Double Duty: Mastering a Business Startup and Pet Care Simultaneously

Image by Freepix

Many years ago (before becoming an author), I had a special events decorating company. I worked out of a shop on my property and met with customers in my home. I also had two cats at the time. Although they usually were no problem, one day I was meeting with a customer to plan décor for her wedding, and when I looked down at Suki, my Siamese, she was methodically emptying my customer’s purse! After shooing her away twice, only to find her right back at it, we finally figured out her fascination—there was a French fry in the bottom of the purse!

Juggling taking care of pets while running a home business can be tricky, but today, Ryan Goodchild is back with some great advice. Take it away, Ryan!

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Starting a new business while introducing a new pet into your home can seem like a juggling act of emotional and professional commitments. However, with a well-organized strategy, it’s possible to nurture the growth of both your entrepreneurial venture and your new furry companion. This article explores effective methods to harmonize your dual responsibilities, ensuring that your business flourishes without compromising the care and bonding your pet deserves.

Caring for Your New Pet

Scheduling Breaks for Rejuvenation

Plan regular breaks in your workday dedicated to pet care and bonding. These pauses not only tend to your pet’s needs but also provide you with necessary mental refreshment. Use these moments to stretch, play with your pet, and detach momentarily from business stresses. This can improve your concentration and productivity when you return to your tasks. Incorporating these brief but vital breaks not only caters to your pet’s needs but also reinvigorates your enthusiasm for your ongoing projects.

Establishing Daily Routines

Set a consistent daily schedule for feeding, walking, and playtime. Consistency helps your pet adapt to their new environment and stabilizes their behavior. A predictable routine lets you efficiently plan your work segments around your pet’s care times, ensuring neither your pet’s needs nor your business tasks are neglected. This routine also instills a sense of security and trust in your pet, fostering a calm atmosphere at home.

Prioritizing Early Training

Start basic training and socialization for your pet as soon as possible. Early training helps your pet develop good habits and adjust to new people and environments, which reduces potential disruptions during work hours. A well-trained pet is easier to manage, freeing you up to focus more on your business activities. Consistent training sessions also strengthen the bond between you and your pet, enhancing the overall quality of your mutual relationship.

Business Development Strategies

Defining Business Objectives

Begin by clearly outlining your business goals, strategies, and financial expectations. This blueprint guides your entrepreneurial journey, ensuring you stay aligned with your vision despite the demands of pet ownership. Detailed planning helps you manage your time and resources efficiently, crucial when juggling multiple responsibilities. It also prepares you for unforeseen challenges, allowing for agile responses that keep your business on track.

Networking and Mentorship

Connect with other business owners and seek mentors. Networking is invaluable, providing support and advice that is particularly relevant when balancing business development with personal life changes like adopting a pet. Mentors can offer practical strategies and emotional support as you navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship. These connections often lead to opportunities and collaborations that might not otherwise be accessible.

Efficient Contract Management

For a new business, establishing clear and legally sound contracts is essential to protect your interests and set expectations with clients and partners. Business contracts should cover all relevant terms, conditions, and obligations, ensuring mutual understanding and compliance. Utilizing e-signing tools simplifies the process, allowing contracts to be signed quickly and securely. Additionally, using a tool that enables you to sign and fill out PDF forms online ensures that your clients can sign documents seamlessly without the need to print anything out, enhancing efficiency and convenience—click for more information.

Streamlining Operations with Digital Tools

Leverage digital tools to handle business operations, including project management and marketing. These tools simplify task management, enhance communication, and improve your marketing outreach, all while saving time. Implementing efficient digital solutions allows you to maintain a smooth workflow, crucial when your attention is divided. This digital integration supports a scalable business model, facilitating growth without proportionate increases in stress or workload.

 

The simultaneous challenges of raising a new pet and launching a business can transform into opportunities for personal and professional enrichment. The integration of thoughtful pet care routines and strategic business management creates a dynamic that promotes well-being across all aspects of your life. As you navigate these dual responsibilities, the growth you witness in your business and the bond you build with your pet will serve as a testament to your ability to harmonize diverse commitments. Ultimately, this journey can lead to a more fulfilling entrepreneurial lifestyle and a deeper companionship with your pet.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love.

Creature Comforts: Essential Life Hacks for New Pet Owners

Image by Freepix

Anyone who has talked to me for more than a few minutes knows I am an animal lover. Almost all of my books have at least one cat or dog and sometimes even a horse or two. Today, John Dunbar is returning to offer some great advice for new pet owners. Take it away, John!

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The decision to bring a new pet into one’s life is both exhilarating and filled with responsibility. Regardless of whether this is a person’s first pet or they’ve had the experience before, there are universal guidelines that can elevate the level of care given to a new animal companion.

Find a Pet That Fits Your Lifestyle

The first crucial step in responsible pet ownership is selecting an animal that suits one’s lifestyle, home, and daily habits. Someone living in a small apartment may find a big dog inconvenient, while a person with a big backyard might opt for a more energetic breed. Assessing one’s circumstances is vital because it impacts not just the owner’s life but also the quality of life the pet will experience.

Safeguard Your Living Space

Once a pet is chosen, the next step is to prepare the household for its newest member. A home with a pet should be a safe one, free from hazards like small objects that can be swallowed or toxic substances that can be ingested. PetCoach suggests organizing a designated space with a bed, water, and toys will also help the pet adapt to its new environment.

Manage Stress Turbulence

During the initial days, it’s crucial to manage the stress levels of both the owner and the pet. The principle here is simple: pets are highly sensitive to human emotions, thus keeping your own anxieties in check so your pet doesn’t pick up on them is essential. Adopting calming techniques for oneself can translate into a smoother transition for the pet into its new home.

Organize Veterinary Documentation

Medical records are a critical aspect of pet care. These should be saved in an organized manner — if you need to create a PDF online, it can make life much easier. Furthermore, saving documents as PDFs with Adobe Acrobat offers benefits such as maintaining formatting across devices, having compatibility with different operating systems, and easy sharing and storing of files. This kind of organization is particularly beneficial during emergencies or while traveling.

Establish a Veterinary Partnership

Establishing a long-term relationship with a qualified veterinarian is crucial after the initial stages of pet ownership. Regular medical examinations are vital for monitoring your pet’s well-being and catching potential issues early. Staying up-to-date with vaccinations provides an additional layer of protection against various diseases. Being proactive about your pet’s health can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life for your furry friend.

Engage in Strong Connection

Building an emotional bond with a new pet is more than a mere feel-good activity; it’s a requirement for a healthy pet-owner relationship. Engaging in games, offering cuddles, and investing time in activities that both the pet and owner enjoy will lead to a more balanced and happy life for the pet.

Maintain Physical Activity

For dog owners, regular physical activity is non-negotiable. Walking the dog daily not only keeps the pet fit but also mentally stimulated. Opt for locations that are pedestrian-friendly and conducive to walking to ensure safety and enjoyment for both the pet and owner.

 

Pet ownership brings with it many responsibilities, but the rewards are endless. Implementing these guidelines ensures that one is prepared to select an appropriate pet, set up a safe and welcoming environment, manage stress levels, maintain organized health records, build a relationship with a reliable vet, cultivate a meaningful emotional bond, and provide adequate physical activity. The collective outcome is a lifetime filled with love, companionship, and the enriching experience of caring for another being.

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Thank you, John, for all the great info. If you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a home, you will want to check out John’s website, Housing Secrets.

It’s Zaturday – Happy Festival of Sleep Day!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog. Zorro here.

Did you know that Festival of Sleep Day was this week? You probably think I’m a really smart kitty, but I only know because Mommy told me. She said humans have that day to catch up on the sleep they lost during the Christmas season. Ziggy and I don’t really see the purpose of a day to catch up on sleep. I mean, we aren’t behind at all.

Mommy didn’t do what she was supposed to that day, though. She didn’t take a single nap. In fact, she never takes naps. We think she needs to take lessons from us. We get up in the morning, and once our bellies are full, we sit on the windowsill to watch the birds and squirrels for a little while.

Then it’s time for our first nap.

The next thing we know, we’re waking up to sounds in the kitchen, which means Mommy is getting ready to feed us lunch. After that, we take another nap. Ziggy and I never have problems falling asleep. We can sleep anywhere:

In Mommy’s duffel bag…

In the cat bed…

Snuggled with stuffed animals…

All alone…

Or with each other…

When it comes to naps, we’re not picky at all.

We hope all the kitties and puppies out there had a happy Festival of Sleep Day. We sure did!

It’s Zaturday – Winter is Here!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog. Ziggy here.

 

Okay, I know I said winter is here. Technically, it’s not winter yet. Mommy says that doesn’t happen until December 21. But when it’s cold enough that I can feel it, even with all this fur, it’s wintertime! This week, though, I figured out how I can still enjoy the sunshine on my catio while keeping my body warm in the house.

 I thought that was pretty smart. The only problem is that wherever Zorro is, he’s stuck, because I take up the entire cat door.

Speaking of Zorro, Mommy and Daddy like to build fires inside the house when it gets cold. That doesn’t sound very safe to me, but I guess Mommy and Daddy know what they’re doing. Zorro isn’t so sure, though. When there’s a big fire in the fireplace and Zorro has to cross through the living room, he runs through like something is going to jump out and eat him! The noise of the fire freaks him out, too, especially when a log falls.

He is getting a little braver, at least if the fire burns down enough. Last night, he was even sitting on the coffee table watching it.

Our favorite way to keep warm, though, is snuggling.

Sometimes Mommy will cover us up, which is kind of nice, too.

All you kitties out there, stay warm! Doggies, too…I guess…

It’s Zaturday – Wet Paint!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Zorro here.

Our house has really been a busy place lately. Mommy decided to remodel another room. This time she tore up the living room. Fortunately, she had us stay downstairs while most of the work was going on, because it was really noisy. Ziggy and I don’t like noise, unless we’re the ones making it. Like when we run up and down the stairs when Mommy and Daddy are trying to sleep, and they say we sound like a herd of elephants. We’re not sure what elephants are. Maybe they’re like cats but bigger.

Anyhow, they finally let us come back upstairs when they were finishing the room. All while they were working, the house was a mess. Furniture was piled up in the dining room and the music room. But Ziggy and I still found a comfy place to sleep.

When Daddy finished painting the window sill, I thought it would be fun to get up there and walk around on it. When Mommy came back into the room a while later, this is what the floor looked like:

She didn’t know who did it, so first she checked Ziggy’s paws. No paint. Then she picked me up. Guess what she found. Yep, white paint on my paws. I couldn’t deny it when the evidence was right there.

Mommy scrubbed the paw prints off of the wood floor but wanted to leave them in the paint on the window sill. She said it’s like when parents have their kids put their hand prints in wet cement, and we’re sort of like her kids. Daddy didn’t think that was a good idea, but he hasn’t gotten around to sanding and repainting yet. I kind of hope he leaves my paw prints there.

Now the work is all done. We really like the new room. Ziggy and I have lots of fun chasing each other from one end to the other and sliding on the new wood floor. There’s even a fireplace. On cold days, Mommy and Daddy put a fire in there to keep us warm. Lately it’s been too warm for a fire, but we still like to hang out in there.

Well, I gotta go. It’s time to see what other trouble I can get into.

It’s Zaturday – Missing Daddy

It’s Zaturday—the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog! Ziggy here.

Okay, I think Mommy really needs to rename this “It’s Zunday!” Because this is two times in a row that she’s been late posting. She sort of has an excuse, though. Last week, Mommy and Daddy left the house to go exercise and didn’t come home. (Fortunately, they fed us before they left.) Mommy finally got home late that night and Daddy still hasn’t come home. Mommy said he fell playing pickleball and broke his hip. We’re not quite sure what that means, but they’re not letting him come home. Zorro and I really miss him, so we’re hoping that, wherever he is, Mommy is going to break him out.

A long time ago, Mommy broke Zorro out, too. Before Mommy came, this is what Zorro looked like:

Then Mommy broke him out and brought him home. He looked really sad at that other place, but he’s really happy now. In fact, we’re both really happy. See?

We hope Daddy’s not too sad. It’s been more than a week since we’ve seen him, which seems like FOREVER! And Mommy has been gone from early in the morning till dinnertime. But Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris have taken good care of us. They feed us lunch and dinner too if Mommy isn’t home yet. Daddy says Uncle Chris is a good fill-in butler and Aunt Kim is a good fill-in ladies’ maid.

A long time ago, Mommy and Daddy watched a program called “Downton Abbey.” Zorro and I watched it with them. It was okay, but there weren’t any cats on there. Daddy said that show helped him understand how cats think about their humans. Now he says Mommy is Mrs. Patmore, because she makes our kitty food, and he’s Pappy the Butler. If we think about it that way, Mommy and Daddy are good servants, because they take really good care of us. They make sure we have yummy kitty food…

Fun places to climb…

A comfy bed…

And lots of love.

Whether Mommy and Daddy are our servants or not, we think we’re going to keep them.

It’s Zaturday – Ziglet the Piglet

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Zorro here. Okay, I guess it’s Zunday instead of Zaturday, because Mommy’s slow! She didn’t get this put up when she was supposed to.

Recently, Ziggy and I went to the doctor. Mommy had to find a new doctor for us since we live in North Carolina now. Our old one is in Florida.

I checked out good, but Ziggy is too fat! I’m not surprised. He gobbles his food down then stares at me while I eat, hoping I’ll leave some for him. Daddy calls him Ziglet the Piglet. Now instead of calling “Kitty, kitty, kitty” when it’s time to eat, Daddy hollers, “Sooie, sooie, sooie, pig-pig-pig,” and we both come running! Mommy says it’s a pig call. I don’t care how they call us, as long as they feed us.

Every time Daddy calls Ziggy fat, Mommy says he’s just fluffy, and Daddy reminds her that that’s not what the vet says. I agree with Daddy and the vet. I think he’s getting fat, especially when he pounces on me.  He’s HEAVY! Even so, I don’t want Mommy to put Ziggy on a diet. Since we always eat together, that would mean they’d have to give me less, too. Instead, I’m helping Ziggy get more exercise by chasing him around the house and wrestling with him.

I’m glad I have Ziggy for a buddy, even if the vet says he’s fat. He helps me not to get too lonely. We hang out together in our catio…

and play with our toys together…

and take naps together…

…LOTS of naps. In fact, I think it’s time for another one!

It’s Zaturday – Lonely Kitties!

It’s Zaturday, the day we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog!

Ziggy here. Zorro and I were sad kitties last week. Mommy and Daddy left us! They went to Florida and didn’t take us with them! They were gone a really long time—almost a week! We missed them, but Aunt Kim took really good care of us. We got to hang out with Grandma a whole bunch, too. We also had each other to snuggle with.

Zorro and I like going for car rides. When Daddy’s driving, we both get in Mommy’s lap. It’s a little crowded, because she usually has her computer there, too. When Mommy’s driving, she only lets one of us lie in her lap. Zorro always beats me to it. He curls up there and doesn’t move until Mommy stops for gas.

When Mommy and Daddy first got back, Zorro pouted for a whole day. Mommy couldn’t get him to purr no matter what she did. But he finally got over it and forgave them for leaving him. One thing that helped was that the day after they got back, Daddy went to the store and bought a bunch of meat. Then they made a batch of fresh cat food. Mommy and Daddy make really good kitty food. We like it better than the food that comes out of cans. Zorro even stands up for it.

We think we have good parents, even though they do sometimes leave us. But Mommy promised they wouldn’t leave us again until June. We’re not sure when June is, but we’re hoping its reeeeaally far away. Do you think if we try really hard, we can get them to cancel their trip?

It’s Zaturday – We’re back!

It’s Zaturday, the day that we (Ziggy and Zorro) take over Mommy’s blog.

Zorro here. I know it’s been a really long time since Ziggy and I have been on here, but whew, have we been busy! Well, I guess it’s Mommy and Daddy who have been busy. First, something happened to Daddy. Mommy said he had shoulder surgery. Ziggy and I don’t know what that means, but he came home with this great big thing on his arm and had to wear it for a long time. Ziggy and I were scared of it at first, but we got used to it. Soon we were back to snuggling with him.

Cat in boxThen we all moved from Florida to North Carolina. Ziggy and I like car rides, so we didn’t mind that at all. What was really fun, though, was when Mommy started unpacking. Every time she emptied a box, Ziggy and I got in! Boxes are the most fun thing in the world! Well, catnip toys are pretty fun, too.

Lately, though, Mommy and Daddy have been making lots of noise, and we don’t like that. Even Aunt Kim is getting involved. Mommy says they’re remodeling. While Mommy and Aunt Kim put a new floor in, Ziggy and I hung out on our catio.

For a while, there was white stuff all over the ground, and it was really cold. When I wanted to get warmed up, I just came in and curled up in Grandma’s lap. Grandma has a soft, warm lap, because she wears a thick, fuzzy robe.

Now the room where everybody was working is all finished. Ziggy and I are glad. We like to hang out in there and look out the front window…

…or play on the new floor.

Mommy says she’s not done with the remodeling, though. Next, she’s going to tear up the hall bathroom. That sounds like a noisy job, too, so Ziggy and I are hoping she’ll change her mind. Think we might be able to convince her to play with us instead?

7 Ways You Can Keep Your Pets Healthy and Safe this Winter

By guest blogger, Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love

Photo by ModCatShop on Unsplash

Now that the cold weather has arrived, you need to make sure your pet has the essentials to stay healthy and happy all season long. Not sure where to start? Then check out these top health and safety tips for taking care of your furkids.

Find Allergy Relief for Your Pets

Itchy pets may be suffering from allergies. Pet allergies are pretty common for cats and dogs, and can be the result of dust, pollen or even certain foods. All of the scratching can lead to hair loss and infections, so schedule a checkup for your pets if you suspect environmental or food allergies. You can also try switching your kitty to an allergen-free food to see if that helps with symptoms.

Address Your Pet’s Behavior Issues

Winter weather can mean more indoor gatherings with family and friends. If you plan on bringing your pets along you should make sure they have at least some basic manners. This can also be helpful if you want to sip your favorite fall lattes on local dog-friendly patios. If you need help with training your dog, consider reaching out to a local, qualified trainer for a consultation.

Be Aware of Signs of Pain in Your Pet

Colder weather can make your pet extra achy. Arthritis is another common health concern that tends to come in during colder seasons, and aches and pains can be particularly common for senior pets. Lifestyle changes can reduce pain and inflammation for your pet, including keeping your pet active and investing in quality beds.

Pain from inflammation, nausea and vomiting from cats with sensitive stomachs is another thing to look out for. In this case, switch your kitty over to food that is specially produced for such ailments. Ingredients in sensitive stomach cat food — such as prebiotics, highly digestible ingredients, and fatty acids like fish oil — are geared towards soothing cats’ digestive systems.

Make Sure Your Pets are Microchipped

It’s always a good idea to microchip your pet. If your pet gets away from you during a hike, a walk, or a holiday vacation, having a microchip will increase the chances of being reunited with you. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure that can be priceless when it comes to protecting your furry family members.

Protect Your Pet’s Paws and Nose

You know how your lips and hands can get dry and chapped during the winter? Well, the same thing can happen to your pet’s paws and nose. If you notice dry skin or cracks on their skin, consider mixing up a protective balm. You can also add a layer of balm to help safeguard your dog’s paws against salt and other chemicals used to prevent ice on sidewalks.

Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards

Finally, before you enjoy any holiday celebrations with your pets, you should be aware of some of the most common holiday pet hazards. Human food may be the first thing that comes to mind, and keeping fatty meats, herbs and other risky treats away from your pets can be crucial for keeping them healthy. But holiday decor, including poinsettias, mistletoe and tinsel, can also present poisoning and choking hazards.

Ensuring a safe and healthy season for your pets is all about preparation and planning. So even if the temperatures are still hot and sticky in your area, start making appointments and stocking up on supplies as soon as possible. Then you can rest assured that your pets are healthy enough to enjoy all the fall fun ahead.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love. For more pet safety tips How To Keep Pets Safe at Home by LA Homes offers advice for every room of the house.