Posts Tagged ‘summer safety’

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!

Fun and Functional Outdoor Summer Party Tips

April 11th, 2019 | By Claudia Moreno

Moxie Girl loves a summertime pool party and we have some inexpensive and creative ways to make yours a hit! Many of the items needed to implement these fun and functional tips may even be purchased at your nearest dollar store.

No Pests Allowed!

A week or so before your party is to take place, make time to do a thorough walk of your grounds and nip any pest problems in the bud. Your local hardware store can recommend products to take care of any issues you may discover and keep your party bug free!

Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness in having mosquito repellent available during your outdoor party – mosquitoes can be relentless during monsoon season. Moxie Girl recommends a chemical-free repellent such as Z-Shield which contains natural citronella, clove, peppermint and cedar oils.

Photo by Norwood Themes on Unsplash

Discourage flies, in particular around food service areas by cutting lemons in half and placing cloves in the flesh of each lemon half. Set the lemon halves in small dishes or candle cups, attractively placed between dishes on serving and dining tables.


*Towel…Bring your own towel! Unless you have a resort level stock of beach towels and would like a laundry duty for days after your party. It’s best to ask your guests to BYOT to your pool party. You may spark your guests and get them excited about bringing their own towels by making a game out of it. Consider providing a small prize for the guest who brings the funniest, cutest, or most colorful beach towel!

Speaking of towels, make sure there are plenty of places for your guests to hang their towels to dry. Retractable clotheslines are a great idea and can be useful on a regular basis for air drying your hand washables.

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Let’s Drink to That!

Liquid refreshments are a must at any party. Moxie Girl knows how to make cleanup easier, as well as reducing waste in the drink department.

Use drink dispensers with spigots for water. Guests will be able to easily serve themselves and you will not be creating a mountain of plastic bottles to be recycled – or worse, abandoned half empty around your yard. Since it is so important to stay hydrated, attract your guests to the water dispensers by offering an infused selection (or two!) as well as plain. Try these great combinations for infusions: cucumber and green grape, strawberry and fresh mint, and lemon and raspberry. Simply wash, cut and freeze the ingredients in advance and add to the fresh filtered water when filling your drink dispensers.

Moxie Girl thinks it’s a great idea to set up a “drink area” and keep dispensers, cups, ice, and napkins conveniently within reach. Consider placing a colorful plastic table cover from the dollar store underneath your drink dispensers to catch any drips or spills. Keep a sanitized cooler filled with ice for drinks and provide an ice scoop or tongs for your guests to use when making a drink.

Photo by Shubhesh Aggarwal on Unsplash

If using disposable party cups, have several Sharpie markers for party-goers to write their names on their cups, making it much easier for guests to keep track of their drinks and save on cups.

Small inflatable or durable plastic kiddie pools filled with ice make fantastic and festive open-air coolers for canned or bottled beverages. A shady spot is best for anything you are trying to keep cool, of course!

Go play!

Inflatable rafts and beach balls are pool play favorites. Quality, long-lasting inflatable pool toys can be pricey – you may want to consider some inexpensive selections just for your party. You may also invite your guests to bring their favorite pool toys to the party. Having a manual pump on hand will allow inflatable items to be quickly applied for play!

Pool “noodles” also make for a great floating fun, they don’t require air and can be found at the dollar store. Remember, none of these toys are safety devices, children should be supervised AT ALL TIMES!

Which Way to the Bathroom?

If you have a choice, select a bathroom with the shortest path through the house for your guests to use during your pool party. As always, make sure this bathroom is sparkling clean and stocked with plenty of toilet paper, hand soap, and hand towels!

Now, examine the path from the pool to the bathroom and decide if water could damage the flooring or create a slippery and unsafe situation for your guests. A protective runner or high absorbency mats are solid pre-emptive measures against mishaps!

If your backyard gala is particularly large, investigate renting a Port-a-Potty for the day. There are many reputable companies that will deliver these units clean, fresh and ready to use. Moxie girl has seen hosts decorate their rented portables with all the comforts of an indoor restroom – lighting, mirrors, fresh flowers, fancy soaps, and lotions. And once the party is over, the disposal company will haul them away for you!

Speaking of Hauling Away…

Discourage guests from abandoning their dirty dishes and other refuse around your yard and pool by making sure to have adequate, lined trash bins and clearly marked recycle bins that are easy to spot. Keep pests and odors to a minimum by using bins with lids and placing all bins away from serving and eating areas. Full liners should be replaced before they begin to overflow and hauled to an area away from the party, for permanent disposal later.

Party Patrol, Reporting for Duty!

Even hosting a party as a couple, it is easy to overlook things like the timely refilling of drink dispensers, replenishing food, emptying trash bins and freshening the restrooms. If you’ve got a few friends willing to help, put together your own “party patrol” with each member committing to periodic checks of items and areas needing attention during the event!

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

We hope you found these tips useful and fun – maybe they even inspired you to begin planning your own outdoor summer party!

Moxie Girl is a local, female-owned cleaning company specializing in the care of vacation rental homes. Our team currently services nearly 120 vacation rentals in the Phoenix metro area, providing full between-guest turns, including SAME DAY cleanings for our valued clients! Vacation rental home owners, please click for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out how much easier your life can be!

Moxie Girl is always open to expanding our very supportive team, too! The nature of our business lets our Moxie Girls (and Moxie Boys!) enjoy flexible schedules that fit with their college schedules, parenting duties and other obligations, while getting and keeping fit as a Vacation Rental Assistant. There’s plenty of room for growth here, and Moxie Girl prefers to promote from within our excellent team. Interested in joining us? Click to APPLY!