Should You Get a Dog When You’ve Just Launched a New Business?

You’ve probably spent months — even years — planning for your new business, making sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row before the big launch. Now that your new business is up and running, your kids are asking for a dog, and the prospect of handling it all seems a bit overwhelming, to say the least. Bringing home a new pet is a very big decision (and an even greater responsibility), so take time to consider the important questions below.

Is This the Right Time? And If Not Now, When?

It’s important to be realistic. Your business is your livelihood, and the first year is the most difficult hurdle for startups to clear. If having a puppy or new dog will cause too much stress or distraction from your business, it may be wise to wait until after you’ve celebrated your first anniversary, or at least until you’ve settled into a routine.

On the other hand, a new pet can be a welcome distraction and a stress-reliever for many people. In any case, weigh the pros and cons of now versus later. Then you’ll be able to make your decision with confidence and in good conscience.

What Could Help Simplify Your Situation?

On the business end of things, deciding to form an LLC can clarify the boundary between your business liabilities and your personal assets. It will eliminate unnecessary worry about how a legal issue or lawsuit may affect your home and investments, and it will save you money and hassles when tax season rolls around. It’s easy to file in your state yourself, but you can use a formation service if you’d rather delegate that responsibility. In either case, it’s much less expensive than hiring a lawyer.

As for the pet situation, adopting an older dog instead of a puppy can also simplify things. For example, most shelters provide a personality profile of the dog so you’ll know what you’re getting, and adult dogs generally are more self-sufficient than puppies.

Who Will Be the Dog’s Primary Caregiver?

If your family is considering a puppy, someone else needs to be in charge of its care while you’re at work. Puppies are active and noisy and will need constant supervision to keep them safe and out of trouble. If you want an older dog, its personality and activity level will dictate whether it can coexist in your office without being a distraction. In general, children under 10 won’t be reliable enough to provide the right care for a puppy or active dog, so another adult will need to be available if you have very young children.

Why Does Your Family Want a Dog?

There are many great reasons to have a family pet, and most dog lovers feel that the rewards far outweigh the challenges. Evaluate whether the desire to have a dog is a passing or enduring one. It’s a huge commitment and not to be taken lightly. Talk together about future scenarios and how you may handle them, as well as how you might feel. Feeling certain about your decision will free you up to focus on your business.

Having a family with kids, a brand-new business, and potentially a new dog can be quite a balancing act: business and family, needs and wants, risks and rewards, to name a few. It’s a very personal decision whether to welcome a new family member in the midst of a stressful time, but if you ask the right questions and answer them honestly, you can feel confident you will make the right choice.

Content Provided by Jessica Brody of

Serious ethnic male in casual clothes sitting on armchair and petting adorable dog while taking notes in notebook at home

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Tips for First-Time Pet Owners

America is truly a nation of pet lovers, with around 68 percent of households in the United States being home to a pet. If you’re thinking about becoming part of this trend, that’s good news for you and for your lucky new friend! However, you need to do some planning and preparation to successfully integrate a new pet into your family.

Find the Right Pet

Don’t choose your pet based on appearance alone. Different breeds can have vastly different temperaments, personalities, and needs, so do some research on the right breed for you. Think about the following factors:

  • Lifestyle: Will you be out of the house for long periods? Cats, true to the stereotype, are more independent and can tolerate more time alone. Dogs, however, vary from breed to breed, so make sure you get one that’s happy being home alone. Need some advice? Barking Royalty lists a few good choices here.
  • Energy Level: Some breeds of dog, mainly larger dogs and work dogs, need lots of exercise, so make sure you’re willing and able to meet this need.
  • Interaction: Are you looking for a pet to snuggle up with, or are you happy with a more aloof companion?
  • Allergies and Grooming: Some pets shed — a lot. For such breeds, you’ll have to spend a lot of time brushing and vacuuming up after them. If you have allergies, look for a hypoallergenic breed that sheds very little hair.

Prepare Your Home

Although animals have their own personalities, you should assume your new family member will chew, scratch, and eat everything within reach  — at least until proven otherwise. Keep choke hazards, food, and dangerous materials like medications and cleaning products in places your pet can’t access. Some cats knock items off of surfaces — sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally — so don’t leave anything out that will break if it falls, even on high shelves. Electrical cables and outlets are another risk and should be safely covered; you can find some inexpensive electric outlet covers at retailers like Lowe’s. American Humane has some more tips on pet-proofing your home.

Helping Your Pet Settle in

Moving to a new home is stressful for a pet, so try to keep some consistency with their routine at first. Find out what brand of food they ate, what their exercise times were, and other aspects of their routine. Match this routine to begin with and gradually switch to your own schedule. You can also provide comfort and a sense of security by getting a new bed for your furry friend. Making the new addition to your family feel relaxed is important, especially they’re sleeping, so select one that’s perfect for their shape and size.

It’s best to let cats get used to a single space for around three weeks before letting them roam. Let them live in a single room to start with and gradually allow them into more of the house. For dogs, start house training as soon as you get home by taking them to the yard or another elimination spot straight away. Keep them on the leash as you show them around your home. Also, keep visitors to a minimum for a few days to avoid overwhelming them.

Create an Emergency Plan

As soon as possible after bringing your pet home, get them microchipped, register at a local vet, and put together an emergency plan. Find out which vaccinations, if any, they have already received, and make an appointment to get the remainder done. Find out the emergency line you can call in case there is a problem with your pet, and keep it where you can find it easily. If you live in an area at risk of disasters, make sure you include your pet in your preparedness plans. Have carry-crates and leashes in easily accessible places, and make a list of pet-friendly hotels or animal shelters on your evacuation route so you know where you can go should you ever need to leave your home in a hurry.

Many people find that the reality of owning a pet doesn’t live up to their expectations. This is sometimes for reasons outside of their control, but in many cases, it could have been avoided with some prior research and preparation. If you do your homework and start preparing before you get your pet, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

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Dog-Proofing: Keeping Your House Showplace Beautiful 

It’s difficult to imagine our lives without the furry friends we take into our families. They’re a constant source of unconditional love and companionship, and they’re always glad to see us at the end of the day. Studies have shown that dog owners tend to be happier than non-pet owners, and are in better physical and mental health. But there’s a trade-off: Dogs keep their owners busy trying to keep pace with the mess and maintain a beautiful home that smells as nice as it looks.  

Dogs shed (most of them anyway), vomit, go to the bathroom on the carpet, chew on furniture, scratch the hardwood and generally create mayhem. There aren’t many shortcuts when it comes to cleaning up doggie messes, but there are some steps you can take to make the work a little easier.  

Keep Rover clean 

Dogs get dirty without even trying. Their fur is a haven for ticks, fleas, mites and a host of microbes. They dig holes in your yard and roll in things that are unpleasant to think about not to mention clean. It’s in your best interest, as well as your pet’s, to keep him washed (but use shampoo sparingly), trimmed and well-brushed. Set aside a space where you can dry your puppy and let him relax while his fur is drying to keep the essence of wet dog under control.  

Be well-equipped 

If dog hair is a fact of life in your house, you probably appreciate the value of a quality, durable vacuum cleaner with plenty of attachments. Dog hair accumulates in clumps on the furniture, in the corners, on the carpeting and in places you’d never expect to find it. Make sure yours has plenty of suction strength and effective brush motion that can extract hair that’s too difficult to pick up with the vacuum. An effective filter (preferably a HEPA filter) is important for keeping indoor pollutants and allergens out of your indoor air space, and don’t forget to clean your filter on a regular basis to maintain its effectiveness. 


Clutter makes it difficult to create a clean and orderly living space. It can be an excess of dog toys, an unkempt dog bed (or two) or leashes and collars strewn about. For starters, you can reduce the chaos by creating organized pet stations around the home to store pet supplies (leashes, harnesses, poop bags) which can be conveniently placed in a tote bag hooked by the door. Further minimize clutter by purchasing a storage bin for dog toys, and consider moving your dog’s bed to a less visible spot. 

If you find that even after organizing your dog’s items, you still feel cramped for space or feel you’re in the midst of constant clutter, consider that it may be time to assess your own belongings to determine what you absolutely need, what you may be able to toss or donate, and what you may want to move to an off-site storage facility. Just be sure to budget accordingly: the average cost of a storage unit in Seattle, Washington, over the past six months runs about $125. Once you’ve gotten your house in order, you’ll be able to breathe a well-deserved sigh of relief. 

Rapid response 

Definition of a bad day: Your boss criticizes you in front of co-workers, the evening commute takes twice as long as usual and when you get home there’s a smelly pile of dog waste waiting for you on the living room carpet. Dog waste not only leaves behind a nasty smell, but it also leaves behind a stain that can be difficult to extract from some carpeting. Enzyme-based cleaning solutions generally act fast and do a good job of eliminating odors, and are well worth the price at approximately $15 for a one-gallon jug.  

Get a mess-resistant dog bed 

It’s generally considered a bad idea to allow your dog to sleep in your bed at night, especially if you’re trying to maintain a beautiful home. Furniture isn’t a good alternative, which brings us to dog beds. They come in all sizes and many different materials, but many of the soft, fluffy dog beds tend to accumulate hair and smells that are really hard to get rid of. They look comfy, but look for a water-resistant and easy-to-clean variety that prevents the build-up of allergens instead. A little soap and water and a good wipe down and you’re all set.  

Air it out 

Unwholesome indoor air quality affects your family in many ways. It can create or aggravate breathing issues, zap everyone’s energy level and it can even settle into clothing. Just opening the doors and windows and letting fresh air in for 15 minutes or so every day can alleviate much of the lingering scent your dog leaves behind just by hanging around.  

Dog owners are happy to take the bad with the good when it comes to their pets, even if the bad is sometimes really bad. You can mitigate the bad by keeping Fido clean, your house uncluttered, and resolve to attack messes as they occur.

Content Provided by Tamara Gilmore of

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Ready for Adventure: Tips for Public Outing With Your Dog 

Ready for Adventure: Tips for Public Outing With Your Dog

Your four-legged friend can make a great “go” partner if you take the time to prep and plan before heading out into the world together. Here are a few ways to do just that. 

  • Clean up their messes. Unlike humans, your dog won’t wait until he’s got access to toilet paper and a flushing toilet to relieve his bowels and bladder. Let your dog relieve themselves before leaving home and keep plenty of waste bags on-hand for accidents. 
  • Banish barking. Train your dog from any early age to reserve his enthusiasm when you’re out and about. A barking dog is not only an annoyance to everyone within earshot, it can also scare young children and may even get you banned from certain spots. Before you can stop unwanted vocalization, you must first determine what triggers your dog’s barking. Once you know, you can be prepared with a distraction such as a favorite treat. 
  • Avoid unwelcome interaction. If your dog is friendly, he or she may want to enthusiastically greet everyone they meet. But, it’s important to respect other people’s personal space. Always ask if your dog may approach. 
  • Keep control. No matter where you are, it is your responsibility to keep your dog secure. According to Angie’s List, the best way to do this is by using a fixed-length leash and collar or harness. You should also teach your dog to stay by your side when you’re out in public and have a backup plan in place in case he doesn’t cooperate. offers tips on how to teach your dog to heel while on a leash. 
  • Master the meet and greet. You are not the only person taking in the town with your canine companion. No matter where you are, there’s a good chance that you and your dog will cross paths with other like-minded adventurers. Even if both dogs seem friendly, allow them time for proper introductions before letting them play off-leash. The American Kennel Club offers guidance on how to make canine introductions; its great advice that you can take with you anywhere. 
  • Be prepared. Planning for an outing with your dog is a lot like going out with children. There are certain supplies that you simply can’t leave home without. Always keep an extra leash and collar in your vehicle and be prepared with portable food and water bowls. Your dog may only need to eat once or twice per day, but they should always have access to water, especially when you’re outdoors in warm weather. 
  • Watch the walk. Safety is your number one concern when you venture outside of your home with your pet. Avoid walking your dog in highly congested areas where the sheer volume of people and passing cars can be overwhelming. Dr. Lynn Buzhardt, DVM of VCA Hospitals also recommends steering clear of rough terrain if your dog is older. Always carry proper identification for you and your pooch and wear reflective gear if walking at night. 
  • Wipe your paws. There are many outdoor dining areas and major retail chains that are happy to accommodate four-pawed patrons. Make sure your dog is clean before waltzing into your local Lowe’s or dog-friendly dining patio. You may no longer be welcome if your best friend leaves behind muddy paw prints or gags everyone within a 10-foot radius with his natural musk. 
  • Slow down. When you have an extra body in tow, leave a few minutes early so that your dog may have an opportunity to explore the sights and sounds along the way. 


Safety, both for your dog and the people you meet on your adventures, should always be at the forefront of your mind. Make sure you have the right supplies and that your dog’s etiquette is intact. 

Content Provided by Tamara Gilmore of


Image by Pixabay

Diet and Exercise: How Your Dog Can Thrive 


Photo by: Pixabay

Diet and Exercise: How Your Dog Can Thrive 

Dogs have it made. They have food served to them, nap whenever they want, and get unlimited head scratches. It’s safe to say that many dogs live a pretty good life, but is your dog living his best life? A happy hound isn’t necessarily a healthy hound, but with the proper diet and exercise routine, you can ensure your dog will thrive! 

Balanced Diet 

As a dog owner, you love spoiling your dog, and table scraps may seem like a great way to indulge him. Before you toss him your leftovers, make sure you aren’t feeding him something with a known toxicity to dogs. In addition to being toxic, when it comes to human food, many vets report seeing dogs who are obese or experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis. The general consensus is that human food is not meant for your dog, but if you absolutely must give him a treat, stick to healthier options such as a scoop of peanut butter or an apple slice.  

Make sure your dog’s regular food contains all the essential ingredients to keep him healthy and strong such as protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. The dog food aisle can be a little overwhelming with the large variety of options, so ask your vet if you aren’t sure to guarantee your dog is getting the right nutrition for his age and size. Don’t forget about the importance of water, too. It makes up as much as 70 percent of your dog’s body, so provide constant access to clean, fresh water. 

Exercise Routine 

It doesn’t matter if your dog has the most epic backyard on the block, letting him outside to potty and play doesn’t meet your dog’s daily exercise requirement. It might not seem that important, but exercise keeps your dog fit and channels all that built-up energy into positive activities rather than destructive behavior like chewing, digging, and barking. The best part about incorporating more exercise into your dog’s life is that there are so many options.  

Head over to the local dog park and set up an agility course, play fetch, or even just chase each other around. This is also a great place to encourage social play with other dogs, but keep your dog’s safety and that of others at the forefront of your mind at all times by keeping a watchful eye, especially since your dog will be off leash. As part of your daily exercise routine, include 10 to 15 minutes of training to exercise the brain and maintain your control in all situations, whether at the dog park, on a hiking trail, or on a walk around the block. 

Pawblem Solved 

It’s easy to keep your dog on track when you are with him, but work and life mean time spent apart. For those days when you need an extra set of hands, bring in the team at Pawblem Solved to give your dog a walk and plenty of love. Plus, all services include a food and water refill, so you can rest assured that your dog isn’t running on empty and is in good hands. When owner Danielle Jaffy was asked about the most rewarding part of working with dogs, she had a hard time pinpointing one specific thing. “There’s too much to love. But since I have to pick just one rewarding aspect, I would pick the fact that I can walk into the room, and they are always so over-the-top excited to see me,” Jaffy said. “I definitely don’t get that same reaction working with people!” Having a fellow dog lover care for your dog is the peace of mind you need. 

When it comes to a healthy dog, nutrition and exercise are key. Once you get a routine going, you’ll find it’s much easier to keep your dog on track. Plus, with a professional dog walker as an option, there’s no reason why your dog’s tail shouldn’t be wagging.  

Content Provided by Tamara Gilmore of 

A Few Of My Favorite Pet Products

After over 8 years of running a pet sitting & dog walking business (& being surrounded by animals my entire life), I have narrowed down some of my favorite animal-related items.


Stella & Chewy Freeze Dry Food: My cats have been doing ahhhmazing on Stella & Chewy’s freeze dry food. They have been little balls of fire! Because they don’t like the texture of the freeze-dry food alone, I crumble them into the BFF Packets & they’ve been loving that combination. I keep it simple with chicken & turkey flavors, and I can’t remember the last time they vomited?! Obviously you’ll want to consult your vet about any nutrition recc’s and amounts. What works for my kitties, may not work for yours! Also, I only have experience with their cat food, so if you have any comments regarding their dog food, would love to hear in the comment section!

Pioneer Pet Fountains: I have found my cats drink alot more water out of a fountain. I love the Pioneer Pet Ceramic Fountains. I will admit it’s a pain in the butt to clean, and it’s a little noisy, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Go Cat Da Bee Chaser: Cats go CRAZY over this toy! I mean run up walls crazy. And you can even kill two birds (or bees!) with one stone, by running around with them… because they will expect you to run around with them. Just be sure to keep a close eye on them during playtime – they will destroy & conquer.

Slicker Brush: I have tried dozen’s of brush’s for my long-haired cats. None have worked quite as well as a simple slicker brush, with stainless steel pins. They do get brushed daily, and they love it.


Freedom No-Pull Harness: I love this harness. You have the option to clip the leash to the chest area or back. I have never had a pup pull enough to where I needed to clip onto both, but you have that option as well. What I really love about the harness is the velvet lined strap. I do like the Wonder Walker as well, but love the sturdiness of the Freedom Harness.

Pawfectly Adorable: Reversible & customizable dog jackets. You send your dogs measurements, and you get to choose two fabrics & patterns. They are super duper cute, too! How fun is that?! I love these because they fit the pups perfectly, truly keep them warm and dry on cold, rainy days (we get a few of those in Seattle), but the best part is, some of the profits go towards rescues. Yes!

Kongs: Do you have a puppy that won’t go into his crate? Stick some peanut butter into a Kong, and freeze that bad boy. Place it in his crate… Works like a charm!

My AlphaPet Dog Poop Bags: I pick up alot of poop. I have purchased alot of poop bags. These are definitely my favorites. No leaks, no odors, easy to open, large & environmentally friendly. I got really excited about these! =D (Life of a dog walker.)

If you have any favorite pet products, please mention them in the comments section! I am always looking for recommendations & love to share them with my team, clients and family!

We Need Bees & Bees Need Us

Did you know bees are among the most important insects on the planet?

Without bees to pollinate certain crops, they wouldn’t survive. Can you imagine life without apples, peaches, strawberries, onions, avocados, carrots, almonds? The list goes on and on. These diligent little pollinators make it possible for many of our favorite foods to reach our tables.

Bees also pollinate flowers, encouraging growth, which helps to provide habitats for other insects and animals.

Bees keep our economy buzzing!

According to Honey Love Urban Beekeepers –

  • Bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants including 90 different food crops.
  • 1 out of every 3 or 4 bites of food you eat is thanks to bees.
  • The honey bee is responsible for $15 billion in U.S. agricultural crops each year.

Yikes!! We need bees.

But they are disappearing at an alarming rate due to Global Warming, habitat loss, such as agriculture & urban development, and pollution & pesticides.

Bees really need our help to thrive & I encourage you to take action –

Understand the importance of bees, and be kind. We need them. 

Kelsey Gray Photography

Kelsey Gray Photography


Hiring Redmond, WA Area Pet Lovers!

Pawblem Solved is hiring for a Pet Nanny and Dog Walker. You’ll be paid to give love to the cutest cats and dogs on the Eastside. Even if you’ve never considered pet sitting in your future before, take a look at all the benefits of this enjoyable and rewarding job.

  • Starting rate of $11 per 30 minute walk/visit (1 hour visits net you $22).
  • Holiday pay.
  • Reimbursement for gas.
  • You set your schedule and decide which jobs to take on.
  • Bonuses based on team member’s commitment, enthusiasm and hard-work.
  • Working for a small company which values providing the very best care for pets and their humans above all else.
  • Mentoring and training on the finer points of pet nanny services and dog walking.
  • Fun, stress-free work environment, with a supportive, family-like team.

What We Are Looking For:

  • Someone interested in part-time, mid-day (11am-3pm), weekly work, with occasional weekends, mornings & evenings; averaging 5-15 hours per week.
  • Someone living in the Redmond, Bellevue, or Kirkland area. Hiring specifically to take on Redmond pets at this time.
  • Clean criminal record.
  • A person who doesn’t mind a little rain with their day.
  • A trusty vehicle for getting around.
  • Lastly, you should label yourself as a true animal lover.

About Us:

Pawblem Solved is a small, reputable business, which looks to provide amazing service to the pets of the Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland areas. We offer 30 minute Monday through Friday leashed dog walks for those pet owners that work long days and can’t get home to their pups, as well as 30 minute pet-sitting visits. We focus on healthy and happy pets that are absolutely impossible to resist. To see our team, visit our webpage at

To Apply, Please Email:

  • Resume.
  • Contact information including; phone number and home address.
  • Cover letter describing your experience(s) with animals and any other distinguished information that sets you apart from other candidates.

Contact Info:

The Realities of Climate Change & What You Can Do To Help


Kelsey Gray Photography

According to NASA; “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.” 

Climate change is real, and it should be taken very seriously. The Earth’s average temperature is increasing faster than ever before. This paramount change effects everyone, and everything on the planet – humans, animals, forests, oceans. Sea levels are rising, oceans are becoming warmer, plant and animal species are dying.

To put it simply; with too many greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide), the Earth would heat up beyond survivable levels. Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air due to your personal needs; transportation, electricity, food, clothing, and other goods.

To protect what we have left, we must immediately take action.


Kelsey Gray Photography

There are things each and everyone of us can do to slow down the process, and help reduce the problem.  

  • Educate yourself, and others on this subject.
  • Vote for candidates that don’t plan to destroy Earth. Candidates who are against coal ash, fracking and pesticides. These not only hurt the planet we live on, but us, as individuals. “Polluter profits cannot triumph over public health:” Check out Earth Justice for ways to help:
  • Unplug. Turn off your electronics when not in use; computers, lights, TV’s, wash clothes in cold or warm water vs hot, and hang some of your clothes to dry.
  • Buy organic and locally grown foods, or better yet, grow some of your own food. Make several of your meals meat & dairy-free. 18% of green house gas emissions come from meat & dairy production.
  • Walk, ride your bike or take transit, instead of driving a car.
  • Purchase solar panels for your home. Efficient solar panel systems create electricity without producing global warming pollution.
  • Part of the problem is deforestation, as trees help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by absorbing CO2 & other pollutants. Plant, plant, plant! OR donate to an organization that is devoted to increasing our forests: The Nature Conservancy.

I have already started implementing many of these, and I look forward to planting trees and building a vegetable garden this spring with my daughter.

What will you do to help?

For more facts regarding climate change, check out NASA’s Climate Change FAQ’s.



Kelsey Gray Photography

We Ran, We Conquered.

On Saturday, September 17th 2016, my daughter, Olivia, & I ran through the finish line for Old Dog Haven. We raised $2000 (doubling our goal), with a matching donation from Salesforce, for a total donation of $4000!

This was such a great experience for Olivia & I, and I highly encourage everyone to do something, get involved, make a difference.. Be a part of your community. We are already thinking about what to do next. 😉

Thank you, so much, to those that donated and supported us! The money will do great things for the senior dogs.