WHAT?? No State Dog For Indiana?? (And What The Heck Is Sugar Cream Pie?)

I did some homework and I’m not happy.

I talked in the last blog post about how Ohio is trying to have their state dog be a Labrador Retriever.  My very next thought was, “I wonder what Indiana’s official state dog is??”  I told you I’d look it up – and I did.  After all, what kind of a pet sitter wouldn’t know what their state dog is??!

What the heck?

So, I did look up what the state dog for Indiana … and guess what?  We don’t have one!  Are you kidding me?  I consider Indiana to be a true dog-loving state  … so why no state dog?  We have a state bird (the Cardinal) right?  A state tree (the tulip tree), a state flower (the peony) a state insect (yes, we even have a state insect: the Firefly) and (oddly) a state pie (sugar cream pie – which now I have to try) – BUT NO STATE DOG!

I found 12 states that have state dogs and the year that it became official –

  1. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay retriever (1964)
  2. Pennsylvania: Great Dane (1965)
  3. Virginia: American foxhound (1966)
  4. Louisiana: Catahoula leopard dog (1979)
  5. Massachusetts: Boston terrier (1979)
  6. South Carolina: Boykin spaniel (1985)
  7. Wisconsin: American water spaniel (1985)
  8. North Carolina: Plott hound (1989)
  9. Texas: Blue Lacy (2005)
  10. New Hampshire: Chinook (2009)
  11. Alaska: Alaskan malamute (2010)
  12. Georgia: No specific breed, but any “adoptable dog”  (2016)

But, alas… no state dog for Indiana.  

Just curious, if it was up to you – which breed would you choose as the official Indiana state dog and why?? And secondly, have you ever had sugar pie?

The Pet Parlor Earns Award For Two Years In a Row! (THANKS YOU!!)

We’re so excited!  If we were dogs we’d be wagging like crazy!!

Thanks to YOU – our wonderful clients who gave us reviews on Angie’s List – WE WON THE SUPER SERVICE AWARD for the second year in a row!!

I don’t know how to thank you enough!!  I would lick your faces but that’s usually frowned upon…

Here is a copy of the press release:

The Pet Parlor, Ltd. Earns Esteemed 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service



Portage, Indiana, 3/31/18  –  The Pet Parlor, Ltd. is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.


“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award have demonstrated the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros have provided top-notch service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”


Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.


“We strive to maintain a level of excellence that will keep our clients and their pets happy.  Earning this award helps us to know that we are achieving that goal.  We’d like to thank our clients for giving us the highest possible rating and for their loyalty.” says Pat Thompson, owner.


The Pet Parlor has been listed on Angie’s List since 2015. This is the second year in a row The Pet Parlor has received this honor.


Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.


For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.




Can You Guess The Favorite American Dog Breed??

The results are IN!!

The top dog breed in the United States is ….. (drum roll please)??

Nope, it’s not the Golden Retriever (which I considered for a moment, to be honest – I’m a huge fan of Golden Retrievers and The Pet Parlor takes care of many Goldens …  but they came in third.)

And, nope – it’s not the German Shepherd either (I’m a bit partial to these babies – but they actually came in second.)

Are you ready??

It’s the Labrador Retriever!  And, (get this!) it’s been the favorite for the last 27 years!  Wow!

So, what makes the Lab so special to Americans?

According to The American Kennel Club, Labs are the perfect family pet.  Why?  Here’s a list

  • They are outgoing
  • friendly
  • high-spirited temperament
  • bond with everyone in the family
  • great at socializing with neighbors and their dogs too
  • They’re also intelligent
  • They LOVE to play
  • They make good search and rescue, service and therapy dogs

I’m sitting here with a smile on my face remembering pet sitting  years ago in Highland for a family that had THREE!  A chocolate lab, a yellow lab, and a black lab – they had one of each!! And they all three could easily be described by the list above! (they were not service dogs but they were excellent at searching out treats and “rescuing” them, lol…)

What’s not to love?

Jeffery Rezabek

State Rep. Jeffery Rezabek (R-Clayton), even introduced a bill last week (House Bill 539) seeking to make the Labrador Retriever Ohio’s State Dog!  (He’s pretty familiar with the breed since he grew up with them.)

So now I’m sitting here wondering, “What’s Indiana’s state dog?”  (Have to look that up and let you know in another blog post!)



Oh NO….Another Recall (Pretty Popular Dog Treat Too)

I know for a fact that I’ve seen these treats at some of our clients homes … PLEASE SHARE!!

On 3/22/18 there was another (limited and voluntary) recall of two varieties of Milo’s Kitchen dog treats.  These were distributed throughout the United States and the reason behind the recall is because the treats may contain too high levels of beef thyroid hormone.

Do you have any of these treats at home??

If you do, check the UPC codes and these “best by” dates:

What can happen??

If a dog ingests too much beef thyroid hormone they may experience an increase in thirst, urination.  They may lose weight.  They also may experience restlessness and an increased heart rate.  Nothing to mess with – especially if your dog is already compromised by age-related diseases and/or a decreased immune system.

If you continue to give treats that contain these levels of beef thyroid hormone, the symptoms may get worse – this includes vomiting, diarrhea, and even labored breathing.

If you see any of these symptoms in your pet, take him to the vet right away.

What do you do if you have these treats at home?

First (and I feel like saying, “duh”)  stop feeding it to your dog. The symptoms are said to stop once the dog isn’t being fed the treats.

If you have questions or would you’d like a refund or coupon for a replacement product, you can call the company at 888-569-6767, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Thanks for getting the word out to fellow dog-owners/lovers.


Kitty boredom?


According to PetMD, cats can sleep between 15-20 in a 24 hour period … (are you jealous?)  What do they do in their ‘awake’ time?  To make sure your kitty isn’t bored during the day while you’re at work, try these simple things … just in case they wake up!

  • put a puzzle feeder around the house somewhere with their favorite cat treat inside
  • place a cat perch in a window (hang a bird feeder or two where your kitty can watch for extra entertainment!
  • leave open paper bags out and about
  • some interesting and safe toys around the house will curb boredom
  • add a cat tree to your living room with lots of different levels and toys

In all cases – don’t be surprised if you come home to your kitty sleeping in the paper bag, on the cat tree, or the window perch.

So What About This Salmonella Stuff?

We recently published a post on some pet food recalls – and this one particular word is getting some unavoidable attention.  Don’t let the pretty picture fool you …

The “S” word

Salmonella has become a word that, unfortunately, almost everyone is now familiar with.  Why should we be so concerned about the possibility of salmonella lurking in our dog or cat food?  They can eat anything, right?  Wrong.  It just so happens that salmonella can be deadly – to pets AND humans.

Now do we have your attention?  Yes, I said ‘deadly’.

When a person comes in contact with and is infected with Salmonella, they can suffer from fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.  This usually lasts between 4 to 7 days and most of the time people recover without medical treatment.  In some cases, however, if the diarrhea is severe the person may need to be hospitalized and put on antibiotics.  In some cases, people have died from complications of Salmonellosis.

What about my pets?

Our pets don’t always show symptoms when they are infected with Salmonella – but some signs to watch for would be:


  • vomiting
  • fever
  • not eating
  • diarrhea (or bloody diarrhea)
  • lethargy or lower-than-normal activity level

Our pets can carry and pass Salmonella bacteria to their human family without ever showing any symptoms that they have the illness….scary, huh?

What can we do?

Some key ways to prevent the bacteria from being spread is to clean, clean, clean!  Wash your hands regularly (especially after handling food of any kind – pet or human).  Clean your pets bowls after every use.  Keep your yard picked up (dog waste, garbage, etc.).  Lastly,   keep up to date on the latest pet food recalls – here is a link to the FDA’s recall page

Do You Feed Your Dog Any Of These?? RECALLS! – Keep Your Babies Safe!

We just came upon four dog food recalls that we think you should be aware of:

First is from the Carnivore Meat Company of Green Bay, WI.  They are voluntarily recalling 73 cases of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Nibblets Entrée for Dogs pet food because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.




Second is from TruPet, LLC of Milford, OH – they are recalling their  “Treat Me Crunchy Beef Delight” with “Lot # 20190514 13753”.





Third up is: Northwest Naturals of Portland, Oregon.  Its 5-pound frozen Chicken and Salmon pet food (the chubs) are being recalled because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.




Last but not least is Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA is recalling all sizes and package types of dog treats labeled as “Beefy Munchies, (I worry about this one because I think I saw these at a clients house the other day… just can’t remember)

This is just one to keep in mind if you feed anything by Arrow Reliance Inc (no recent recalls that I know of):

FDA Investigates Pattern of Contamination in Certain Raw Pet Foods Made by Arrow Reliance Inc., Including Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and ZooLogics Pet Food

Read more here

One Star Review … REALLY??

Ok, I’m really mad here.

Fuming, kinda.  I just looked at our Google page and someone named Nicholas (last name not mentioned to protect him … only be assured he’s no relation) – just left us a ONE STAR review.

Eh hem.  We’ve never done business or even spoken to this person EVER!  He just took our overall rating down because he …. because he… I don’t even know why he did it!

It’s hard.

We work pretty hard to keep a sterling reputation in a business that requires that people trust us.  I don’t understand how people can be so thoughtless – I totally get leaving a bad review when a company doesn’t meet the standard that the client has in mind.  I get it.  And I think as a business owner that’s some valid feedback and it might be time to make a change in your business.  But this?

What the heck?!

Now what?  I responded and asked him to please take his review down.  That’s all I can do.  Unless you have some other suggestions?

4 Popular Dog Foods Found To Contain Pet Euthanasia Drug

According to The New York Post the J.M. Smucker Co. is concerned to the point of actually taking the action of NOT SHIPPING some of their dog food due to the fact that the drug pentobarbital got into it supply chain.


Are you aware, Smucker Company, that that’s the drug they use to EUTHANIZE animals?  So, might us pet-owners ask boldly ask “HOW ON EARTH DID IT GET INTO THE FOOD THAT YOU’RE SELLING US TO FEED OUR PETS?!”

If you feed your pets the following food, please get rid of the food and buy a different brand.

  • Gravy Train
  • Kibble ‘N Bits
  • Skippy
  • Ol’ Roy brands

Those are fairly popular brands of dog food, right?  I see them every time I’m at the grocery store …

WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. said that after testing only 15 cans of the Gravy Train, it found 9 cans tested positive for pentobarbital.  That’s 60%!

Oh, but not to worry – the Smucker company is assuring us that “the low levels of the drug cited in the report do not pose a threat to pets.”  Really?  We would just like to know if you would feed it to YOUR pets, Smuckers,?

Read the article here

Local Pet Businesses Raise Money for Humane Indiana

On February 3rd, 2018 several local pet business and Langel’s Pizzeria in Highland Indiana teamed up for “Pizza For Paws” and were able to raise $1327 to help the shelter animals at Humane Indiana.

The businesses that participated were Bentley’s Pet Stuff (Schererville), Laurie Tuttle Dog Training, Poochs Palate, Pups In A Tub,, The Pet ParlorYoung Living (Essential Oils for Pets) and Kristin Challman Pet Portraits.

“It was really a fun time and it’s always great to see how everyone’s heart is geared toward helping these animals.   I was glad to be part of it.” said Pat Thompson, owner of the Pet Parlor.

The fundraiser included a pet photo contest and raffled helium-filled balloons with valuable coupons from the vendors inside.   10% of Langel’s lunch, drinks,  and buffet proceeds went toward the event.

Winner of the photo contest was Elizabeth Klemm – she took home a beautiful  pet-themed gift basket valued at over $175.  Congratulations Elizabeth!

Thanks everyone, for making it such a fun time and for helping all those animals.


Is Your Older Dog Acting Strange? Tip 39

It’s called “Canine Cognitive Dysfunction”

And, it’s actually a pretty fancy way of saying your dog is senile.  Their brains (just like ours) go through changes as they age …  some of these changes can be heartbreaking:

  • Loss of interest in activities and/or people
  • Wandering, pacing or looking ‘lost’ in their own familiar homes
  • Loss of house-training
  • General confusion

What can we do?

Canine cognitive dysfunction is not understood at the cellular level and there currently are no specific strategies that will prevent CCDS, but keeping your dog mentally stimulated may help slow its development.

Things like puzzles, scent work, food-dispensing toys (here’s a cheap one!) and of course, daily outside walks and exercise will go a long way in keeping your dog bright and alert in the years to come.

I absolutely hated to read about this. Tip 38

I almost cried.

I read a story about a 6 year old boy in Florida who died a few days ago.  The reason the story grabbed me was because of the word ‘rabies’.  He was bitten or scratched by a rabid bat.

Once symptoms start to show, it’s too late.

His family didn’t want to take him in right away because he started crying at the thought of getting a shot.  I can understand trying to appease the tears of your child (I have a son too).  But a week or two later the boy started to complain of numb fingers and a headache.  It was too late.  I read that there is not much doctors can do once symptoms are showing.

Then I read the statistics.

I was a bit shocked to read the following:  “Globally, the World Health Organization says 55,000 people die of rabies every year, with dogs the source of 99 percent of these fatal bites.”   You can read the story here

Ever wonder why your state has a mandatory rabies vaccination policy?

This is why.  That 6 year old boy.  And the 55,000 other (I know, most are not in America). Mandatory vaccination of your pets is probably why.

So, why am I telling you this?

I’m just imploring you:  Vaccinate your dog with the rabies vaccine.  For your dog.  For your neighborhood kid.  Just do it.

Something Smells Fishy Here…Tip 37

Do you have an older dog or cat?

if your dog is older you may consider giving him or her fish oil as a supplement to their regular diet.

Why fish oil?

There’s a good reason that fish oil is the most common supplement given to older dogs and cats. Here are just a few:

  • it’s an anti inflammatory
  • it helps manage certain heart problems
  • it promotes healthy skin and coat
  • it helps with joint problems and arthritis
  • in some studies it has even slowed the growth of cancer

That’s enough for me!  Bring on the salmon! Or, of course the herring, the anchovies, the tuna, the sardines and cod!

It’s Time To Weigh In – Tip 36

When was the last time you weighed your pet?

Weight loss (or weight gain) just might be a sign of something more serious than a few extra treats. And sometimes it’s hard to notice if your pet has gained or lost a few pounds … especially if they have fluffy fur that hides that loss or gain.

Be consistent

The trick is to just get into the habit of weighing your pet every month. That way, you’ll be alerted to any changes or trends that might need to be addressed.

Oh My Gosh – My Clients Are Brilliant!! – Tip 35

Sometimes I’m astounded at the resourcefulness of people!

Especially my clients.  I was at Luna’s house the other day – giving her a mid-day potty break and I read a note from her owner telling us where her ‘busy box’ was located.

Busy Box?

“What the heck is a busy box?” I thought.  Then I saw it and thought, “How clever!”

She had taken one of those large spice containers and poked holes in it for Luna’s kibble to fall through the holes.  I put a little handful inside the container, replaced the lid and gave it to Luna.

She played for the next 15 minutes!

She was thrilled!  She played for the next 15 minutes and was rewarded for every effort with a few pieces of her kibble!

My clients are brilliant.  And their dogs are happy and occupied!

It’s Pet Dental Health Month – Do We Have A Party? Tip 34

February is Pet Dental Health Month – Do we celebrate or what?

Seems like it would be an odd sort of party, don’t you think?  “What should I bring?”  “A couple of tooth brushes and some cake-and-ice-cream-flavored pet toothpaste would be great!”  But why is this ‘pet dental health month’ a ‘thing’?  Should we really care that much about our pets teeth?

Did you know?

Teeth problems can lead to MUCH nastier things than bad breath and unsightly teeth.

The American Veterinary Dental College says, “…periodontal disease is usually under-treated, and may cause multiple problems in the oral cavity and may be associated with damage to internal organs in some patients as they age.”

“Your dog’s bad breath could be killing him.”

Oh, okay – that’s why they made the whole month of February for pet dental awareness.  Dental health (for you and your pet) is really important to the overall health of the body.  Not just your mouth.  Infections that start in the mouth can spread to the entire body – so what?  Well, that can result in things like sepsis, paralysis, and death.

Do we have your attention now?

Since your pets can’t brush –  it’s up to you to do their teeth care for them.


Glad you asked.  Here are some ways to help care for your pets teeth:

  • Brush them.  Yep – you can brush  your pets teeth.
  • Clean them with an old (clean) sock.  Ever wonder what to do with those stray socks from the dryer? They make great ‘teeth wipers’ for your pets.  Then throw them away or re-wash and use them again and again.
  • Give them things to chew on that will scrape that ‘gunk’ off.  Raw (never cooked) bones are great for this.  There are treats on the market specifically for teeth cleaning.
  • Visit your vet.  Your vet will know if your dog or cat needs professional assistance in the teeth cleaning department.

Happy Groundhogs Day! – Tip 33

Happy Groundhogs Day!

We’re not going to give you a ‘tip’ today – but we are going to give you some pretty cool facts about our little critter: the groundhog:

  • they are also called ‘woodchucks’
  • they are rodents
  • they are the largest member of the squirrel family
  • the mothers give birth to 2-4 ‘kits’
  • they hibernate in the winter (the big ‘chill’, lol)
  • they can eat more than a pound of vegetation (herbivores) at one sitting (that’s like a 150 lb man eating a 15 lb steak!)
  • they can burrow up to 20 feet underground
  • their burrows are so complex that each has its own “bathroom” chamber
  • their top and bottom teeth are meant to grind each other down, but sometimes (if they happen to misalign)  the upper teeth can pierce the lower jaw, with fatal results.)
  • the males come out from their dens in early February and go looking for the burrows where females live.   They then enter the burrows and sometimes spend the night (even though mating does not take place at this time).  This brings us to Valentines Day…



Dog Booty Escape Tactics 101 Class Offered For Area Canines- Tip 32

“I won’t wear those stinkin-booties!”

Do you have any experience with those cute little dog booties that are supposed to help dogs in the winter?  As a pet sitter: we do!!  Usually those experiences are not so positive … they’re not easy to get onto a squirmy and reluctant dog and once you’ve spent 1/2 hour putting them on, well let’s just say that the dogs we’ve watched are graduates of the ‘Dog booty escape tactics 101’ class.  When its NASTY cold outside and your dog refuses to wear those  little booties, what do you do?

Vaseline to the rescue!

Put a thin layer of the greasy stuff onto her pads and it will protect her from some of the harmful winter elements AND keep her paws soft and crack-free!

Is Your Pet In Your Last Will and Testament? – Tip 31

What would your cat do with $13 million dollars??

Maria Assunta was 94 when she passed away and she was pretty crazy.  Crazy about her cat,  I mean – she left her entire fortune ($13 million) to “Tommaso” her cat!

She found Tommaso as a stray – ridden with fleas and in need of some TLC.  She was a widow and had no children, so Tommaso fell into the heiresses loving heart.

 Uh Oh – There’s a hitch!

Italian law doesn’t allow passing one’s wealth directly to an animal, so Maria entrusted her nurse to oversee her estate AND care for her beloved Tommaso.  So now Tommaso and the nurse are living a pretty good life….

Have YOU considered your pet(s) in your last will and testament?

You (probably) don’t have $13 million to think about what you’re going to do with when you pass away … but maybe you should consider how your pet(s) will be cared for in your absence.

“Nope. Not Gonna Eat That!” – Tip 29

“He’s not eating.”

It’s a sentence heard at veterinary offices every single day.  It’s always good to be watchful when you pet stops eating.  But how do you know if your pet is expressing an illness or is just plain bored with his food?  When your pet stops eating its regular diet, here are some things you can try before you rush in to see the vet.

Try these suggestions first:

  • Stop the treats (just like you and me, treats can decrease desire for food at meal times)
  • Check the food you’re feeding (food tends to lose its enticing odor when it’s been around too long)
  • Add some warm water, chicken broth, or a teaspoon or two of canned food to the dry kibble
  • Try leaving him or her alone to eat quietly
  • Try staying with him or her (sometimes they would like you there)
  • Make it fun.  There is one dog we pet sit for that won’t eat unless we throw the kibble and he chases after it!
  • Check those teeth!  I had a cat once who couldn’t eat because his gums were sore.
  • Change the food.  Do this slowly over time.  If you switch too quickly, it may cause tummy upset.

Nothing worked.

There are many reasons why your cat or dog may be turning up their little noses at the food you’re putting down and one of them, unfortunately, may be illness.  If there are no other signs of illness and you’ve tried the above suggestions and they still won’t nibble, it’s be time to take them to the Dr.