Posts Tagged ‘pet sitting’

Treats? Think again.

I don’t claim to ever be a food expert – but have always respected those who are.

This week, Mark from Doggie Steps Dog Training came by to meet my ROCCO the Rockstar. He saw the Bil-Jac Liver Treats for Dogs that I was using for Rocco’s potty reward (he goes potty outside all the time!) and did a “tisk tisk” shaking his finger at me.

I was like, “WHAT??? He (Rocco) likes them!”
“Danielle,” he said, “these cause cancer. Check out this BHA thing…and he points to the ingredients.”
“Huh?” I said.
Concerned mother instinct kicked in and I started my research.

Are you hearing what she is saying?

One google search of BHA resulted in all I needed to know. These “treats” just got a one way ticket to the trash can. I posted on our Bella’s House & Pet Sitting Facebook Fan Page and Sabine added to my discussion. What I found out from her site has been so valuable and I wanted to encourage you all to take a serious look at what is in your pets food and treats. When they are being fed the same thing, day in, and day out… well – I hope you catch my drift.

For instance…. According to here is what I was feeding Rocco with these treats:

Chicken Byproduct Meal
AAFCO: Consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

Chicken byproducts are much less expensive and less digestible than the chicken muscle meat.The ingredients of each batch can vary drastically in ingredients (heads, feet, bones etc.) as well as quality, thus the nutritional value is also not consistent. Don’t forget that byproducts consist of any parts of the animal OTHER than meat. If there is any use for any part of the animal that brings more profit than selling it as “byproduct”, rest assured it will appear in such a product rather than in the “byproduct” dumpster.

Phosphoric Acid
A clear colorless liquid, H3PO4, used in fertilizers, detergents, food flavoring, and pharmaceuticals. A harmless but unnecessary ingredient, used in inexpensive, poor quality dog food as flavoring, emulsifier and discoloration inhibitor. Used for example as a flavoring for Coca Cola.

Propylene Glycol
A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. Used as humectant in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying out. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life. In countries of the European Union, propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or direct food additive.

Butylated Hydroxysanisole – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods. Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Still think this is a TREAT? Think again. I bought this at PetSmart.  I think I will be going back to FETCH Doggie Store later this week. I am grateful to have such wonderful friends and resources in my life to help make sure that my FUR CHILD stays happy and healthy.

Curious to know if you are feeding your pets any ingredients that are on the AVOID list as seen on the Dog Food Project? Check it out here.

Pet Food Nutritionist – Sabine, The Dog Food Project
Dog Trainer – Mark, Doggie Steps Dog Training
Pet Food Store – Dawn, Fetch Doggie Store and Kitty too

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

Please meet, Rocco the Rockstar!


For those of you who *don’t* know, I am Rocco and I live with Bella now!  See, she wanted a pup just like me for quite a while, but she was only home for 2 hrs at a time because she was always out working. NOW, she only leaves for 2 hrs at a time because of all my Auntie’s who help out (Kelly, Christina, Allison, and Desiree) thus it was the perfect time for us to meet.

The story goes like this -Bella has been seriously looking for a new member of her family for about two months. One Sunday she came home to read a note from my God Mother (Tasha) who SAVED me and my brothers and sisters from a cave in the desert. CRAZY!?!?! I know! Here is the story…..

To all our special friends, We have an amazing story to share with you….. This past Thursday, Tasha stopped off at a gas station in her territory out in the middle of the desert with not much around…. she saw a stray dog and soon found out from the gas station attendant that someone dropped her off about 8 months ago and she has been there every day since begging for food and water… what Tasha noticed right away is that she was nursing puppies, but the puppies were no where to be seen or found. On Saturday of this last weekend, Tasha and I went back to this area and fed and watered the mom a few times, hoping that she would eventually lead us to her puppies.  No luck, until we tried one last time!  We fed the Mom and she got full, we started to drive away and saw her go over a hill into the desert.  Tasha jumped out and tried to follow her, but she lost her…I joined in helping and we searched for about 45 minutes and found ourselves 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile into the desert with NOTHING around but sand, trees, cactus, and thick bushes.  All of a sudden, we came around a corner and saw this hole/cave (see picture), and the Mom’s head popped out!  We quickly saw a bunch of little tails, which of course were the puppies!  5 of them to be exact! We walked up to the puppies and the Mom ran off, she is very very scared.  The puppies quickly scurried into the hole/cave and sat at the mouth of the hole/cave and barked at me (Tasha had ran back to the car to get a kennel to put the puppies in). Tasha had to “army crawl” into the cave as it was very small to capture the puppies, which she eventually did….there is more to this story but I am keeping it short. I am attaching some pictures of the puppies….they are the cutest little things and are starting to warm up to Tasha very quickly. They are a shepard mix and will be medium sized dogs….there is one that actually crys until Tasha brings him into bed with her and he immediately falls asleep.  We were definately the first humans that these puppies have seen! If anyone knows of anyone that would give one of these little miracles a good home, please let us know!  We know it is a lot to ask.  We have a vet appointment for them this Friday to get them checked out and for their first round of shots so we will keep you posted. Please pass this email along to anyone that you know and TRUST would take GOOD care of a puppy! Love, Kevin and Tasha UPDATE May 30th, 2010:  The puppies had their first vet appt on Friday and they are in good health… The vet was very surprised that they were as fat and healthy for being found in the desert!  They got their first round of shots and are really coming into their own now….running, playing, eating, drinking, etc.  We have found a great home for 2 of them so far.

Well, Bella read this email and was over to see us in less than an hour. She came over to meet us – and even though I was already promised to someone else I did everything in my power to communicate with the humans that I WANTED HER. Gotta admit – it was sorta love at first sight for the both of us….  Ru-rooo!!!!

Anyways, I am doing sooo good in my new home. I have been here for three weeks, and am now 11wks old. She takes me on meetings with people (you can see my picture all over FB I sleep though out the night, go potty outside, know the word “no” (although sometimes I back talk…) and she gives me lots of love! I couldn’t be happier. I even got to see my brother and sister last week because Bella knows how important family is!

More to come – but I applied to be the new Office Manager…We will see how it goes. My paws are really hurting now from all this typing so I am going to go… (how do you humans do this?)

Ruff Ruff,
Rocco the Rockstar, Bella’s owner.

This information has been provided to you from Bella Vasta, the Pack Leader for Bella’s House and Pet Sitting in Scottsdale AZ. For more information please call 480.330.4552 or go to

Pet Sitting with car magnets = bad idea in Scottsdale.

Car wraps, magnets, vinyl letters on a car. For pet sitting? Some may think that this is a great form of advertising. Bella’s House & Pet Sitting does not.

One of the top benefits that we provide our clients with is security. We feel that it is a big breach of security when our cars are sitting in clients drive ways that say HOUSE AND PET SITTING. “Oh geesh… guess the owners are not home” = potential target to anyone looking to break in or steal anything. We will not sacrifice the safety of your home and pets to try to get more clients by signage on our vehicles.

What about doggie doors? – It has been said in the East Valley Tribune 4/19/08 that, “The pair gained entry to the house through a doggie door after entering the home’s backyard through an unlocked gate.” Being a professional pet sitter and going into many homes, I can’t tell you how many people this actually applies to. Some even ask us to leave their backdoor open for their pets to come and go from. We explain that we can not do this and explain that we care about their home and pets and it is too much liability for us. Clients always understand and thank us for bringing them back to reality.

What about the rebuttal of, “Oh come on, we live in Scottsdale. It is safe.” Think again. The same article mentioned above goes onto say that the break ins in Scottsdale exceed that of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Tempe and that the rate of break ins are slightly higher than the states average.

Luckily this has never happened to any of our Bella’s House & Pet Sitting clients when they have been away from their home or pets. We intend to keep it this way and do everything possible to discourage this sort of thing from happening. That includes not advertising that our clients are not home when we go to care for their pets.

This information has been provided to you by Danielle Vasta, Owner of Bella’s House & Pet Sitting. Please contact her at: (480)330-4552 or for any of your pet sitting needs.

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