Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Dog Days of Summer – Safe Desert Travels with Your Fur Kids

May 2nd, 2019 | By Claudia Moreno

Planning a summer vacation in the Phoenix area? No doubt you’ve heard about the heat, but if you’ve never experienced summer in the desert, there are some things you should be aware of – especially if your doggos are along for the trip! Moxie Girl has some important tips to help you and your “best friend” have a safe and enjoyable summer vacation in Arizona.

The Perfect Place to Stay

Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley all have some great “dogs-welcome” vacation rental homes and these cities, in particular, have many restaurants and cafes with pet-friendly patios, too! Before booking your vacation rental, make sure you’re clear on the property’s pet policy.  Some good questions to ask:

Is there a pet deposit required, and how much is it?

How many pets are allowed, and is the required deposit “per pet” or just a general pet deposit?

Is the pet deposit refundable (or not charged) if no pet damage occurs?

Does the property have any weight or breed restrictions?

Wow – They Weren’t Kidding About This Heat…

Nope, not at all! Moxie Girl cannot stress enough the importance of protecting your pet (and yourself) from extreme desert heat.  First and foremost, NEVER, EVER leave your pet in the car! Even if the outside temperature is only 80 degrees, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees within a matter of minutes, so just DON’T.

Staying hydrated is a must!  Always have plenty of cool, fresh water available for you and your pet, especially when you’re out and about.  Remember, if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already on your way to dehydration…and that’s just a hop and a skip from heat stroke – or worse.

Walk your pet in the early morning hours. Not only is the desert gorgeous at sunrise, but it’s usually also the coolest part of the day. Still, even during the coolest hours asphalt or concrete may be uncomfortably hot for your pet to walk on. Take your shoes off and walk outside.  If your feet are burning, so will your dog’s. Either stay on the grass during your walks or invest in some protective footwear for your pet.

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Creature Features and Weird Plants

Even though your summer vacation rental home may feel as though it’s “in the city” – and it may well be – doesn’t mean you won’t find any critters. Sure, there may neighbors, restaurants, and shopping nearby, but please be advised that our desert wildlife pays no mind. Coyotes, javelina  (wild desert boars) and various birds of prey are regularly spotted in well-populated areas around the valley, so NEVER leave your pet unattended outside.

Early mornings sightings are common, so pay special attention to your surroundings when walking your pet.  If you should happen upon a coyote or javelin, don’t panic. They’re generally not aggressive unless they feel threatened, but then again they’re not called “wildlife” for nothing.  It’s always best to stay quiet and calmly but firmly guide your pet in the other direction. If you feel threatened by these creatures, know that they can usually be dispersed by a loud noise, such as banging a heavy stick on a metal sign or fence if necessary.

Oh, and we also have scorpions and snakes.  Don’t freak out, but definitely steer clear of either of those.  Scorpion stings can be dangerous and are always painful.  While many desert snakes are harmless, unless you’re versed in herpetology, take no chances. One of the most dangerous snakes in the Southwest is the rattlesnake and they blend in quite well with the desert landscape, so keep a close eye on and around your path.

Pets can be curious, and cactus is unique! Keep plenty of space between you and your pet and anything that looks spiny or full of thorns.

Stormy Weather

Summer monsoon storms can quickly come out of nowhere, bringing blowing dust, heavy rain, booming thunder and spectacular lightning strikes.  You and your pet are safest indoors during these events and your pet may appreciate some extra TLC – these storms can be loud and scary!

If a monsoon storm is predicted, making a few simple preparations in case of a power outage is a great idea.  A fully charged cell phone is a good place to start.  Think about what you and your pet might want to have close at hand should you find yourselves in the dark for a few hours and gather those items in a comfy spot you’ve chosen to wait out the storm.

Moxie Girl hopes our tips for summer travel with pets have you feeling excited and well-prepared for a fantastically fun getaway with your whole family. Check out other blogs for more helpful hints for enjoying your Phoenix summer vacation rental!

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

September 8th, 2015 | By Claudia Moreno

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

I will never forget when my friend Denise and her sparkly little 18 month old, Tiffany, came over one morning to visit. When coffee and conversation were over, Denise started to sing, “Now it’s time to clean up toys, clean up toys , clean up toys…” and little Tiffany, as if turned on by a switch, stood up and began to clean up the toys! One after the other she picked them up and dropped them in the basket. I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that a toddler would help with chores. That day this mom learned a lesson: kids will do what is expected if you follow through and make them do it!

There are 3 keys to getting your kids to do chores in your home:

Setting Expectations, Training, and Follow Through!

Setting Expectations

Maybe you’ve never made your kids do chores. Perhaps they do chores but it’s hit or miss. Start by telling the kids that you are going to implement a new chore system and everyone is going to participate, because this is how a family functions best.

Start with a family meeting. Determine daily personal tasks, which evScreen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.35.41 PMeryone will do for himself, and household chores, which will be done weekly and split up according to age appropriateness. Determine penalties for missed or improperly completed items. Every person in the home who can walk and talk participates.
Yes, really.

Every child will have his personal chart. For little ones, paste pictures on a sheet of paper with a blank box beside each one for a sticker when the job is completed. For the older kids, use a simple spreadsheet. Personal chores should be completed by a certain time daily—say, before school, with only praise for a job well-done. Every child needs to be expected to learn self-care as it’s own reward.

Setting a weekly time for household chores, where everyone works together—say, for 1-2 hours on Saturday morning—is a great idea. Household chores should be part of “family life”, but may include an occasional movie night, or ice cream to celebrate a job well done.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.41 PM

If you choose to give an allowance, make sure it is tied into proper and timely completion of tasks.


If required tasks are done haphazardly, or if Mom needs to follow with a “re-do” they are not really ‘done’, are they?

Proper training looks like: “I do, We do, You do”. First I rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher in the proper way while Suzy watches. Then we do the chore together; I rinse and she loads–so we can talk, correct anything done improperly, and make sure the desired result is achieved. Lastly, Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.26 PMSuzy rinses and loads by herself with Mom watching to insure the child has understood and is doing the chore correctly.
Proper training now is essential to sanity and proper completion later!

Follow Through

Once chores are assigned, and the children have been trained, it is time to implement the program by putting charts on the refrigerator and expecting follow through at the proper time. The first week is when a few reminders may be necessary and a few penalties incurred. Be an absolute stickler this first week, and after that, you’ll be amazed at how smoothly things begin to run!

Congratulations! Your chore plan is now underway! Here’s to a smoothly running household!