Bones Pet Care | Products We Love – Lots o’ Litter | Durham, NC

Get a bunch of pet sitters together, and eventually at some point as the hours pass a passionate discussion will erupt over… cat litter.  Yes, it’s true.  Scoop boxes all day long, and you will develop strong feelings toward different types of litter.  Some you will hate, and some you will be nodding in quiet approval over when first shown the location of the box.  For our first product feature ever in this blog, I am going to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly on cat litter.

Who’s our first contender?  Let’s start in the category we all love to hate–scoop-able litter.  Yes, it’s dusty but what’s so great about scoop-able is it’s just so easy.  Once or twice a day you can scoop it all out and you are left with a fresh clean box.  No more dumping out that old litter pan once a week with all that ammonia smell lurking around your home.  My very favorite scoop-able litter award goes to… (drumroll please…)

Fresh Step Cat Litter
Fresh Step Unscented

Fresh Step takes the award for my favorite scoop-able.  It clumps well, so there’s no broken clumps to worry about.  It’s not as dusty as some other brands, which is a bonus.  I personally do not like the scent in scented cat litters, so the unscented is my favorite.  The perfumes can also be irritating to cats, so I would always lean toward an unscented if possible anyway.  And, price wise Fresh Step is a very affordable scoop-able litter.  Overall, I give it 4/5 stars and the top award in this category.



What if you want something a little more eco friendly?  Something without all that irritating dust that you could still scoop?  In the eco-friendly scoop-able category, we have our second runner-up.

Swheat ScoopSwheat Scoop

While Sweat Scoop doesn’t clump very tightly (and I mean really, really not tightly so be prepared for a task) it does an adequate enough job to be work able.  It’s environmentally friendly, is not dusty, and isn’t irritating to cats the way scoop-able litter is.  It’s also very easy to vacuum the crumbs for a nice clean area around the box.  Cats tend to take to it off of scoop-able without much fuss, which makes it easier to switch to unless your cat is very finicky.  Overall, I think it’s a great product and I give it a 4.5/5 stars as an eco-friendly scoop-able litter.



And now, finally, we are to my very favorite cat litter of all time.  The litter above all litters, the one that takes the cake for being environmentally friendly, easy to use, and best of all NO DUST is:

catFeline Pine Original

What’s not to love about Feline Pine?  It’s got great odor absorbent pellets that break into saw dust.  You can simply change it out once a week or shake the sawdust out depending on your preference.  Solids can easily be scooped off the top and flushed or composted.  It’s completely eco friendly, it’s not dusty or irritating like clay litter, and it absorbs odor like a champ.  Because of the way the pellets break down, a bag lasts a long time too.  Sometimes it can be hard to adjust finicky cats over to Feline Pine, but other than that it is a near perfect litter.  It gets a stellar 5/5 for overall best cat litter.


We hope you have enjoyed our Friday litter round up.  Remember, if you decide to try a new litter, switch your cats over to it by mixing it together so you don’t have any problems with your cat using the box.  Any litter preferences?  Let us know what you love by leaving a comment below.  Happy Friday, and keep those kitties happy and those boxes clean and tidy!

Bones Pet Care
A professional pet sitter in Durham, NC


Bones Pet Care | The dog who stole the Pet Sitter’s heart | Durham, NC

In 2004, I went to the Durham APS looking to adopt a new member of our family.  Looking down the row, almost near the back, I saw this scrappy little black dog tap dancing and smiling and sneezing.  I was totally in love from first sight.  I asked to see him, and he ran into the room, crawled into my lap, and flipped over for a belly rub.  I named him Barnabee and brought him home.

He has been such a wonderful addition to my life.  Always eager to please, his initial smile got more and more cheesy over the years as he learned that it made me happy.  I love coming home from a day of pet sitting to see this funny face.  He makes us smile all the time, and I hope you get a kick out of seeing Barnabee smile at you.

Bones Pet Care | A Pet Sitter’s Adventures in WordPress | Durham, NC

It’s been a fun month here at Bones Pet Care.  In between a busy July pet sitting, we’ve been revamping the web site.  I had previously only used drag and drop software, so WordPress was an interesting adventure.  It took us two books and many, many hours, but we are proud to have an updated and fully responsive mobile site for our clientele.  At first, I was totally lost.  No more could I pull things around as I pleased–now I had a template to deal with. It took many tries to find a good fit.  Then, I poured through the book, learning how to work widgets and learning all about SEO.

One of the things I love most about being a small business owner is the constant adventure and learning that comes with the territory.  You have to wear all the hats, and it gives me a chance to try out new skills.  I have a natural curiosity and a love of learning, so I really enjoy the process of learning something new.  Yes, it’s a little frustrating at times but when you finally achieve success it’s a great feeling.

July has been filled with lots of pet visits.  I always really enjoy visiting old friends and making new ones.  Seeing the animals leap and dance about with joy at my visits makes any day that much better.  I’ve had lots of chances to take snap shots with my buddies.  I hope you will follow along with all the cute animal pictures.  We are new to social media, and I’m really enjoying the ability to interact with my clients and share with them the love I have for their pets.

We hope you enjoy the new Bones Pet Care web site.  Thanks for being a part of it, and for allowing us to have the greatest job in the world!


Bones Pet Care | Association of Pet Sitting Excellence | Durham, NC

Durham Pet Sitting

I am always interested in being a part of professional groups for professional pet sitters.  I recently found out about an organization that is gaining a good reputation among professional pet sitters called the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence.  They have tons of information on the business end of pet sitting, which is great.

Loving animals is a requirement in this field, but you also have to run a good business.  That often means wearing every hat from marketing consultant, web site designer, office manager, to tax accountant.  If you don’t know how to do something, you have to learn.  I’ve been taking advantage of the resources the APSE provides to help me improve my business.  From webinars to e-books, I’m getting a lot of ideas to improve my business to make it a great experience for my clients.  We are proud to be a member of the ASPE.  Even after a decade owning my own business, there’s always more to learn.

Bones Pet Care | Pet Sitters | Durham, NC

I have been working hard this summer to make changes to our service and I am so happy with the results!  Our new booking software is amazing.  We can now access all of your information on our Smartphones, send real time emailed pet journals with pictures, and check in and out with GPS.  It’s been great to hear feedback from clients that they love getting updates on their pet’s walk or visit while they are at work or away.  We hope it gives our clients peace of mind and a little bit of fun to know their pets are cared for and having fun.

I’ve been a pet sitter since 2003, so I’ve seen a lot of changes happen in our industry.  Back when I started, pet sitting was just catching on and small, personal services were the norm.  Like any industry, things change as time goes on.  Small, personal services are not as common as they used to be.  It takes a lot of dedication to work multiple times a day seven days a week, but we do it for the animals.  Building a relationship with them is what it’s all about.  They start to catch on quick that your visit means lots of fun.  We try to do things for them that make them happy.  A long game of ball, a good long walk, a long belly rub, dangling a feather, or scratching a chin is just as important as providing their care routine.  I’m proud to say that I still spend my days with the animals as well as working with my small team.

We carefully select our team members looking for a person with a strong sense of integrity and a big heart.  Lots of people love animals, but it takes more than that to be a great pet sitter.  We choose only the best for our company.  Our newest addition is Thomas Davis.  He graduated on a full scholarship with honors from UNC two years ago, and is making his way as a musician teaching after school lessons.  He is a truly kind person and treats the animals with love and his responsibility as important.  We are very lucky to have him be a part of our pet care team.

We try to treat our clients with care and respect and make it fun for the animals.  We are grateful that our clients allow us to have such an awesome job.  Seeing those tails wag and kitties purr is what drives us day after day despite 100 degree weather or a downpour.  We drink a lot of water, grab our umbrella, and get to walking and pet sitting.  We thank you for trusting us to watch your babies, and we hope you will be able to relax knowing they are being loved in your absence.

Bones Pet Care | Professional Pet Sitting Defined | Durham, NC

Hi, and welcome to Bones Pet Care.  I’m Christa and I’ve been a professional pet sitter for over a decade.  When people ask me what I do, they often seem unsure of what professional pet sitting really is.  They often confuse it with non-professionals who walk dogs or watch pets for a little extra money on the weekends or for friends.  So what sets a professional pet sitter apart?

One of the most important tools of a pro is a great online scheduling system.  This provides an easy way to keep reservations and client data in one place.  It allows us to easily see what we need to do and where we need to be for the day.  Being able to send confirmations of bookings also gives the clients peace of mind.  Having the confirmation means they are set and ready to head out of town with no worries of their pet being left alone by accident.

Another important tool that a professional has is specialized pet sitting insurance.  This helps cover any liability in case of an accident or injury to the client’s pet or home.  While all pros strive to keep everything safe and sound, it’s always nice to know that protection is in place should something go wrong.  Most professionals are also bonded, which is a special policy that protect someone in the case of employee theft.

The third, and by no means any less important, is experience.  A professional has seen it all and knows what to do.  If your dog has a belly ache, they will know when to call you and suggest chicken and rice, or when to call the vet.  They know health problems to watch out for, hazards to avoid when out walking, and they stay educated on the latest information in the industry and all things pet related.

I’ve often been called at the last minute when someone didn’t hire a professional, or when the non-pro got into a situation they couldn’t handle.  It costs a little bit more to hire a professional, but when you think about how important it is to protect your home and pets, your pet care may not be the best place to cut corners.  I hope you will be sure to hire a professional pet sitter the next time you head out of town.