The Critter Courier

A place for pet owners to laugh, love and learn!


1. To meet the demand of a $15 minimum wage, our rates will be going up by $1 on June 15, 2021. This will impact all services. While we understand this isn't a passed law (yet), it is now the "competitive" wage to recruit and sustain employees. 
2. Covid has made our clients better "pre-planners" due to capacity limits, shutdowns, surges of travel, etc. So, we are near fully booked for June and July is getting booked fast. Summer travel will be busy for June, July and the first part of August. If you are a "last minute booker" please know we can only book for slots we have open. If you are a "pre-booker" and cancel outside of our cancellation window, we will ask you pay the cancellation fees as in our service agreement. This is because other people have been turned away for those spots we are holding for your bookings. 
3. If you are a weekly service client and you request to book a weekend just one week out, the service request may be declined. Some weekends are already fully booked for this month and into July. Although you take first priority of scheduling and we ask you have your schedules in by Saturdays, weekends may already be pre-booked.
4. Daily Clients: If you take off for more than 2-weeks or for entire months of time (for whatever reason) your spot cannot be held for your return. Those time slots that you typically get serviced in may be taken. We do have a Daily Client waiting list that we will start to fill as spots become available. 
5. We are arriving to our visits in our 2-hour windows due to the current limitations we have with our staff. While we work very hard to get to our visits at the time requested, we need flexibility within our 2-hour windows. 
6. When you submit a request for a reservation, you will get an email if it is approved or declined. Do not assume it is approved upon request. You can also check this by going into your Time To Pet app and seeing if the dates were approved.


In general, with plenty of water, air circulation and shade, most dogs will probably do okay in warm temperatures up to about 90˚F. However, there is no hard and fast rule about a temperature limit. Dogs do not sweat; they cool themselves primarily through panting. If it gets hot and humid enough, no amount of panting will do the trick. Plus, self-cooling ability depends on the dog. Brachycephalic dog breeds (short-snouted like Bulldogs or Pugs) cannot cool themselves as easily through panting. Dog breeds that originated in cold climates (like Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds, and Newfoundlands) typically have a harder time adjusting to the heat.

Here at Critter Sitters, we do NOT WALK for long period of times when there is a heat index of 90 degrees or more. We are always observing and making judgement calls on walk time/distance based on each pet. 

  • We find the grass, and stay off of pavement. 
  • We find the shade, and stay out of the sun.
  • We limit time/distance of walk if necessary. 
  • You can provide a water bottle, with a carribeanor, attached to your walking leash. We need our hands so it must connect to the leash. 
  • We will still provide services on hot days, but may need to minimize walk time and following potties we will head home to play indoors or in a backyard area.

If a dog cannot expel heat, his internal body temperature begins to rise. Damage to the body's cellular system and organs may become irreversible once the dog's temperature reaches 106°. Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Learn how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog.

Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Heat exhaustion precedes heat stroke. Early signs of heat exhaustion may be subtle. Look for increased panting, lethargy, and failure to follow commands he usually knows. A dog with heat exhaustion may refuse to drink water despite being obviously warm. Without attention, this can easily turn into heat stroke. The following signs may indicate heatstroke in a dog:

  • Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 105° is an emergency)
  • Vigorous panting
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Dark red gums
  • Tacky or dry mucous membranes (specifically the gums)
  • Thick saliva
  • Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
  • Collapse and/or loss of consciousness

What to Do if You Suspect Heat Stroke

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your dog is suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion, you must take immediate action. If your dog is showing early signs, move him to a cool area and offer fresh water to drink. Contact your vet as soon as possible for advice about the steps you need to take next.

If your dog is showing multiple signs of heat stroke, it is best to head straight to the nearest open veterinary hospital. If you have someone to help you, then one of you should attempt cooling methods while the other drives. I

How to Safely Cool Down Your Dog

It's important to carefully lower your dog's body temperature. Rapid cooling can cause even more problems.

  • First, move your dog out of the heat and into a cool, shady area that is well-ventilated.
  • Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog's mouth. Try not to let your dog drink excessive amounts at a time or he may start vomiting.
  • Take your dog's temperature rectally. Continue to recheck it ever five minutes to prevent overcooling. Do not take the following steps if your dog's temperature is under 104°F.
  • Begin cooling your dog's body using cool but not extremely cold water. You may place wet rags or washcloths on the footpads, around the head, on the abdomen, and in the armpits. Replace the cool towels frequently as they warm up. Avoid fully covering the body with wet towels as it may trap in heat. You can use a fan to help provide cool air.
  • DO NOT use ice or ice water. Extreme cold can cause blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body's core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to rise further. Over-cooling can also cause hypothermia (low body temperature) leading to a host of new problems.
  • When the body temperature reaches 103.9°F, stop cooling. At this point, your dog's body should continue cooling on its own. If you keep trying to cool your dog, you risk hyperthermia.
  • Visit a veterinarian as soon as possible, even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an examination is necessary. Further testing may be recommended to assess damage.
There's no such thing as a bad dog, and Nellie is proof. She's full of energy, equally ready to play or cuddle (her ferocious licks can wipe away eye boogers and clear a stuffy nose in one swipe!).
As usual, it's people that ruin things. Breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog, all rolled into the nebulous breed of "Pit Bull," have a bad reputation as aggressive, mean, and dangerous, stemming from their ancestry as fighters.
But just like people, dogs aren't born that way; they learn such behavior. Ask anyone lucky enough to have one of these angels as part of their family, "pits" and their mixes are great with children, loyal, and intelligent.
Look to their training, and it will tell you all you need to know about their owners: a sweet, cuddly girl like Nellie has wonderful humans; a snarling, aggressive dog on a chain, well, bad people live everywhere.
Have you ever awoken with such a feeling of contentment, so well-rested that all the world is a warm glow of sunlight, you can't remember where or even who you are and it doesn't matter because everything's as good as it's ever been and ever will be?
Well, Pippa is here to shake you right out of it. There are food bowls to fill, treats to hand out, and bellies to rub. Get up and make your primate thumbs useful! Seize the day, grab the bull by the horns, and smell the catnip! No one else can do what you do!
Do you want to see your pet's photo in our next newsletter? Send your favorite recent photo of your pet to by June 10th. We'll choose our favorite one to be featured as Dog or Cat Spotlight next month!
Have feedback, ideas or suggestions for the Critter Courier? We want to hear from you! Click here to send your message. 
Copyright © 2021 Critter Sitters of Lexington, Inc., All rights reserved.

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