February 16, 2021

Keeping your pets happy and healthy while you’re gone with Vanicsa Czarnik

Getting AheadShot Cover art
Getting AheadShot
Keeping your pets happy and healthy while you're gone with Vanicsa Czarnik

Show Notes

Fetch! Pet Care owner Vanicsa Czarnik talks with Lane about things you can do to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy when you aren’t there to cuddle them.

To find Vanicsa, go to:

To find Lane and his work, go to:


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Announcer 0:02
Welcome to Getting AheadShot. a show for anybody wanting to get ahead in life join conversations between international award winning photographer Lane Hickenbottom and his clients who while Getting AheadShot offer relatable tips and strategies on a variety of topics, and now here’s lane.

Lane Hickenbottom 0:26
Pets are an indispensable part of our lives. And aggravation we feel when a baby puppy chews up a pair of shoes is quickly replaced by the love we feel. When they look back at us with that look that says, Did I do something wrong? as they continue to grow, so does the spot in our hearts that they occupy our pets absolutely become our family. My next guest knows that so her passion for pets led her to start a fetch pet care franchise here in Omaha. Fetch is a pet concierge service operate offering premium in home care for your beloved animals. Fetch matches families with a pet care professional and ensures a good fit. The pet care professional picked by the family solely services, the family, every single booking the app helps out of town owners track visits, includes text messages and pet care professional to to receive pictures of their animal during visits, and even a pet journal updated with every visit. Fetch runs background checks, and they’re insured and bonded. So with that, I am super excited to welcome fetch owner, Vanessa zernike. Thank you so much for joining me.

Vanicsa Czarnik 1:42
Thanks for having me. Lane. I’m really excited to be here.

Lane Hickenbottom 1:45
It is it is really good. But my first question, because I miss him is Noz doing right now?

Vanicsa Czarnik 1:51
Oh, he’s so good. We’ve been traveling a little bit with training. So and we took a quick getaway because we probably won’t have a vacation for a couple years, since we’re starting the business. So he is he definitely I think was a little mad at us for abandoning him for a couple of weeks. But he’s readjusting. And he’s doing wonderful.

Lane Hickenbottom 2:24
Yeah, so you know. So like, it really gets right into the heart of what it is that you do. You know, when when you have a pet, they obviously be you get close to them, but they get very close to you. But there’s times when you need to leave town and and, you know, so what do you do during that time? You want to talk to me a little bit about get started and kind of like what you do, but also. Yeah, what would you suggest that our listeners do?

Vanicsa Czarnik 2:56
Yeah, that is a great topic, actually. And my partner, Mike and I looked at each other when we boarded Noz before we left on vacation. And that this is why we’re starting fetch. Because it was so emotional for me. He was a rescue from the Humane Society. So he already has experienced being at a kennel. And and what that is like for him, I don’t know what that experience is. But I can imagine from just looking at it, from my perspective, be a little scary. And he’s only like a year and a half. So he’s not that old. Dogs definitely are like children. He’s definitely an adolescent. But him having to be kenneled, you could tell like he thought we were leaving him, and it just broke my heart. So that’s definitely another reason. I love that we’re starting fetch. Because as you said in the introduction, this is more about providing a service to clients and their family and their pets that serve them. We go directly to the home owners resonance and serve the pet in an environment that they’re comfortable with. We want to keep the pet as well as the family’s daily lives as normal as possible. But we also want to make sure that when owners aren’t able to get home to take care of their pet or if they have to take a vacation, or if they have to travel for business or they have to be on zoom calls for five hours. They’re still able to provide the same level of service that they would give their pet. It’s just kind of an extension of their family.

Lane Hickenbottom 4:52
Yeah, very good. So you’re going to be on here today and he kind of talked to me a little bit about about this. Some tips and tricks on on helping to keep your pet healthy. And I think you know a lot of a lot of our listeners, your most of which probably have pets will really appreciate some advice. Let’s just get started talking maybe about that pet health. What do you feed Noz?

Vanicsa Czarnik 5:22
we decided to go with a raw diet for him. We were referred to a raw diet from a friend. And with Noz he has his breed, he’s a pitbull mix. So he probably has some terrier in him. And Pit Bulls in general, along with like English Bulldogs, they tend to be a little more sensitive, like their stomach and their skin and things like that. And his digestive system is definitely sensitive. Not only is it sensitive, in regards to what he eats, but he gets nervous gas as well. So I’m feeding him a balanced diet. And we chose raw because it helps eliminate those things. And when I was first told about feeding RA, it didn’t make sense to me because as a consumer, I’ve never been exposed to that type of dog food before or animal food in general. But I’ve been doing a lot of reading on it. And obviously with having a dog that didn’t receive raw as nutrition and, and then receiving raw. It’s almost overnight changes on how it changed his digestive system. And the benefits that come along with feeding raw are huge, because there’s no preservatives, there’s no additives, everything that is in it is exactly what they need to make sure that they’re healthy.

Lane Hickenbottom 7:02
Yeah, so those are types of things that you might find in a lot of cheaper dog foods, I’m guessing a lot of those additives and preservatives. Aside from finding like a specific name brand, if you’re if you’re taking a look at labels, other things that that somebody should be aware of,

Vanicsa Czarnik 7:27
yeah. Look at your animal’s diet, as you will look at your own. Everything that you hear as an adult, as to what you can do for a healthier life is the same thing that you can pass on to your pet. So the less ingredients that you see in food for your animals, the better. And you want to avoid. I mean, obviously, if you’re going to see words that you can’t pronounce, we already know that those are probably preservatives and additives and fillers, and things like that, that we don’t necessarily want that aren’t good for us or our pets. But the less ingredients and avoiding like greens and corn. Those are going to be just avoiding grains and corn and additives are going to be a huge difference in your pet’s health.

Lane Hickenbottom 8:24
Yeah, very good. And so talk to me a little bit about the combination of young going back to like if I think about my own health, we’re talking about diet, but there’s kind of a good combination of eat well and stay active, right?

Vanicsa Czarnik 8:47
Yes, totally. The funny thing is, since I’ve been doing a little bit of reading because I’ve never had a dog like Noz before, I’ve always been around pets I grew up in rural Nebraska. I’m used to the dog staying outside with the cows and, and things like that. So coming from rural Nebraska into the city, animals are treated way different than than I was used to growing up, which is very interesting in itself. But a I personally after reading into exercise for animals, it’s interesting that a lot of behavioral issues. Animals can establish behavioral issues if they don’t receive enough stimulus or activity. So a lot of people may think that their cats don’t need exercise, but they’re no different than a dog they just received kind of a different style of exercise so they go back to their instincts of like kicking pouncing, hiding stocking And those are really easy things to do if you like just leave boxes out for them. Like if you’re at work, when you’re not home unable to give them attention, but leaving boxes or paper bags or not, yeah, paper bags, you don’t want to probably leave plastic bags out, but they will automatically probably use those things to play, and then that’s going to be their exercise. So it’s really interesting when you start reading about just the small things that we can do as pet owners that will provide the exercise that the pet needs in dogs, like just giving them like if you wanted to invest in a little kiddie pool and put some standard or in there digging for dogs exercises their back muscles in their arm muscles, and even like shaking with both of their front legs, exercises their arms so it’s it’s little things that we can do that take five minutes.

Lane Hickenbottom 10:57
Oh, those are those are really interesting things. I hadn’t considered getting a sandbox specifically for your dog, especially to avoid holes throughout the salon perhaps right? Yeah, either other like, like, there just seems like a like a cool trick. Are there some other things like that for either cats or dogs? I know you mentioned the, the the bag or box for a cat, we have cats in our home. And if ever we buy something that well, it makes sense. If it’s a if it’s one of our children’s toys, and they’ve got a box and the cat immediately goes the box. But it can be a little crazy. If you buy something for the cat comes in a box and the cat ignores that something and instead, I’m gonna play with the box.

Vanicsa Czarnik 11:48
Yeah, Yeah, I would agree with that. And cats and other things since you have a cat. In case you don’t know this, they said that even if you give a cat like somewhere to perch where they can see outside, that is like watching TV. For us. It’s it’s stimulating for them, but it’s relaxing for them. And it just ties back to their instincts of like hunting. So it’s keeping them mentally stimulated.

Lane Hickenbottom 12:19
Very good. Yeah. What are, you know, the thing I really like about you talking about the sandbox for dogs, obviously, you should walk your dog regularly. You know, that’s, that’s good for both the dog and for you to talk about some words, some other things that you can do that that may be require less time for the owner, if you have a busy owner, things that allow your pet to get some good exercise.

Vanicsa Czarnik 12:57
Yeah, it is kind of hard for the pet owner to with they’re not present to exercise their animals. And there’s only so little that we can do if we’re not there. But going back to why we started fetch. We are different from competitors, because we actually again, go to your home. And we can provide that level of service that your pet needs, is getting the exercise that they need if you’re away at work all day, or in zoom meetings, because even though people may be working from home, it still might mean that they can’t give their loved ones the attention that they need. So fetch definitely can do that we can come over as long as you want, as many times as you want, as often as as needed. To take your animals on walks, we offer 30 minute walks, 45 minute walks, 60 minute walks. And within that time, so to add to that, like if the weather’s bad. If we can’t necessarily go outside except for like maybe a quick potty break, then we come inside, the consumer still has paid for say a 30 minute session, then it’s our job to like, play with the animal. So we would do the things that the owner would do in the place of that time for the visit. So it exercises the animal. I hope that answers your question. Yeah. I, I didn’t come across anything else that would that an owner could do not being home. And that would give the pet exercise. And there might be things that exist but I’m not sure.

Lane Hickenbottom 14:57
Yeah. We had. We had a Kind of an automated laser pointer thing for our cat, but we had to turn it on but I, somebody who’s smarter than I am out there should invent the this the Smart Home laser pointer. So don’t

Vanicsa Czarnik 15:16
give your secrets away that

Lane Hickenbottom 15:18
Well, I’m not gonna make an idea. I’ve got I’ve got way too many other things so. So if somebody decides to make it, you could buy me a beer.

Vanicsa Czarnik 15:28
There you go.

Lane Hickenbottom 15:28
Yeah. So I realized this is gonna be species specific, breed specific, specific, and even just your pet personality specific. Everything’s going to be different amounts of time. But if for people who are going on vacation, what are maybe some guidelines as to how often their pet ought to be this visited or played with or walked?

Vanicsa Czarnik 15:59
Great question. What I would tell a consumer or client or a family member, is just think about your daily routine. How many times do you let your dog out during the day? How many times do you want your dog to go out during the day, and it’s easy to lose track of when you’re at home and you’re doing your normal routine and you let the dog out? You know, I think it’s easy to lose track of how many times we do let our animals out, or service them in whatever way that they need. Because we do take care of exotic animals as well. But serving exotic animals is a lot different. Because most of the time, they’re not going to be as hands on. But servicing exotic animals, it’s important that they have heat lamps most of the time. So a lot of times, if owners are out of town for more than a couple days, they want to make sure that heat lamp stays on. So we can go over and make sure that it’s it’s on there animals live, everything’s good. If we do need to feed it or feed the fish or get your mail or water plants, those are things that we do as well. We truly want to be an extension of your family, we want to to build that trust with you. So yeah, going back to your question is really just thinking about what you do on a daily basis, and then breaking that down. So you know, we’ll have people say, Well, I wanted to schedule a visit, because I will be away, you know, say 12 hours, I have to travel out of town, but I’m going to be back early in the morning. I’m not sure one visit would probably accommodate a dog. So maybe that means that we do three visits. Or maybe that means we do an almost overnight, which means we come later in the evening and stay for a couple hours. And then we come back right away early in the morning. So that dogs still getting very similar attention as it would if the owner were home, then you don’t have someone in your house overnight spending the night and you don’t have to send your dog away and add stress and boredom somewhere. So we have a lot of options. And I’m my history is in the service industry. And I feel like if you can do it, why wouldn’t you? So? Yeah,

Lane Hickenbottom 18:31
I like that approach. Just you’re trying to go the extra mile to make to serve your clients. minds at ease. That’s fantastic.

Vanicsa Czarnik 18:39
Thank you.

Lane Hickenbottom 18:40
Yeah. I feel like I’ve got I’ve got a question. I’m trying to think about how to phrase it. Basically, I was thinking about Noz I do. I do. Remember one thing I was wanting to ask you is, is Mike wanted me to ask you about Noz’s gas, which I realize you alluded to at the very beginning, but apparently there’s a story there.

Vanicsa Czarnik 19:08
There’s lots of stories with it. And I think when you took our headshots and our family photos for actually Fetch! when we were in the room, and you were taking my my pictures, and in general, I was like Oh my Lord, I know Noz is over there tooting. I can smell it and then I instantly get embarrassed because I think oh my god lane probably thinks I’m over here passing gas. And it’s not me it’s the dog and of course when he gets nervous, like it seems to be uncontrollable and very consistent. So yes, he does get nervous gas but the majority of his gas from what we’ve learned in the three months that we’ve had him in changing his diet stuff is boiled down to basically what we feed him. Yeah, so not feeding him table scraps and sticking to the raw diet. And the funny thing is, is when you start feeding raw, and then say you run out of food or raw is a little more expensive. So we’ve been trying to feed him kibble as well as maybe one mill kibble and then two other Mills raw. But there are so many additives and kibble even the kibble that we bought is the highest grade. That week, we print, primarily shop local, we shop at green spot, and nature dog. So and they’re also a very good outlet. If you have questions about your dog’s health or what food to feed them. They have been tremendous help. And so is the Nebraska Humane Society, but they definitely will help you in selecting the right food to help your dog and whatever issues you’re dealing with.

Lane Hickenbottom 21:09
Very good. So before we start talking about where people could go to find you, are there any other tips or tricks that that you think that our listeners ought to know?

Vanicsa Czarnik 21:22
Yeah, I mean, I’m learning just as much as knauss learning. And I think Mike would probably agree with me. Reward rewarding with treats when an animal’s learning is huge. And, of course, because I didn’t grow up with that. You just don’t you think that treats, feeding too many treats is excessive, but they can’t speak. So and they don’t understand English, it takes them a while to learn that and every animal is going to be different than the next. So your dog may learn what you’re saying a lot quicker. Now, sometimes I think just blatantly ignores us, just because he is he has that terrier in him. But just like so what we’ve learned from the Nebraska Humane Society, because we’re actually taking him to training. Because he is a pit bull, he has to go through canine training, in order to have a certificate to prove that he is not an aggressive animal. So not only is the training for him, but it’s also for us. And it’s also going to help our clients because we’re going to have education, along with the service we’re providing. But so what we do is we say his name four times, and every time you say his name, you’d give him a treat. And then you find a marker word. And that marker word we’ve decided to say is nice. So when you want to let him know he’s done a good job or let your animal know they’ve done a good job, you use that marker word and then you say and then the word and you give them a treat, you say the word you give them a treat. And the best example I for me personally is we don’t let them on the on the couch or the bed. So when you want them to get down and they get down then you give them a treat. So everything is about giving a treat. And then they will learn that that’s the expectation. And then the treats, you can decrease that. So and I would definitely I’m not a trainer, I’m not a dog trainer by any means. Do I want to be educated? Am I getting educated? Yes. But that’s not the specialty of fetch the FET. The specialty of fetch is being an extension of your family and taking care of your dog’s needs. I’m definitely not going to be the one you call if you need a trainer. So I would highly, highly recommend the Nebraska Humane Society. I’m like on speed dial. with Kathy. She’s so helpful and so nice. And it’s it’s been a great experience adopting Noz.

Lane Hickenbottom 24:12
Fantastic. Well, so it’s I really enjoyed talking with you about all this stuff. Folks, if you want to know more about Vanessa Czarnik. Definitely check them out. You could Google their business, Fetch! Pet Care, which would be But if you’re in the area, and you just Google Fetch Pet Care, they show right up. You could give them a call at 402-709-3037. We’re also looking at the Fetch! Pet Care Facebook page. Vanessa, thank you so very much for for coming on to the show. And and thanks for Getting AheadShot with me.

Vanicsa Czarnik 24:59
Oh well. Thank you.

Announcer 25:06
Thanks for listening to the Getting AheadShot podcast, recorded inside the Omaha Headshot Company Studio to support the podcast, share it with others post about it on social media or leave a five star review to learn more go to Getting We look forward to seeing you next time.

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