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Choosing A Pet Sitter

 

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Choosing a Pet Sitter

Pet sitters do much more than provide your pet with food and water while you’re away

Pet sitters do much more than provide a pet with food and water while their guardian is away from home.

A good pet sitter also spends quality time with the animal, gives him exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. What’s more, pet sitters typically offer additional services, such as taking in mail and newspapers and watering plants.
But just because someone calls herself a pet sitter doesn’t mean she’s qualified to do the job.

Why hire a pet sitter?

A pet sitter—a professional, qualified individual paid to care for your pet—offers both you and your pet many benefits.

Your pet gets:

The environment he knows best.
His regular diet and routine.
Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
Attention while you’re away.

You get:

Happier friends and neighbors, who aren’t burdened with caring for your pet.
The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
Someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
Someone who will come to your home so you don’t have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
Other services provided by most pet sitters, such as plant watering and pet grooming.

Where do I find a pet sitter?

Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or dog trainer. Check online or in the Yellow Pages under “Pet Sitting Services.” You can also contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324) or Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222).

What should I look for?

It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:
Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
What training has the pet sitter completed?
Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?
Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.

Helping the pet sitter and your pet

Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven’t also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:
Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
Affix current identification tags to your pet’s collar.
Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
Buy extra pet supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.
Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your pet sitter each other’s phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
Show the pet sitter your home’s important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.

Finally, have a safe and fun trip. And remember to bring your pet sitter’s phone number in case your plans change—or you just want to find out how Fluffy and Fido are doing.

What Are The 5 Most Common Questions I Get Asked As A Professional Pet Sitter?

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An industry with an industry that has really taken off is the Pet Sitting Industry. Let’s face it , we all love to spoil our fur babies . If we could, we would take our pets to work, shopping, out to eat with us and vacation. Unfortunately, for us crazed parents , these are not reasonable options. There are going to be times when we will have to depend on others to help out. When family , friends or neighbors are not around to help us in the long term , one of the best options available to you is a professional pet sitter. So let’s start off with the first question.

A) What Is A Professional Pet Sitter?

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Anyone can put an ad in the newspaper or Craigslist offering their services to care for your pet. Let’s suppose you have a three week trip coming up over seas. Your fur baby, Milo, has diabetes. You see an ad by a twelve year old kid offering to care for your pet. Do you really want to leave that responsibility in the hands of a seventh grader?

A Professional Pet Sitter has three qualities beyond loving pets that pet parents should consider. 1) Formal Work Experience with animals. 2) Completed Pet Related Courses and Continued Education and 3). A Code of Ethics which is set by the organization. Generally reputable Professional Pet Sitters can be through NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) or PSI ( Pet Sitters International ). Both organizations provide pet sitter accreditation to those with these three main qualities.

B). What Qualifications Do You Have As A Pet Sitter?

Our fur babies may be four legged creatures but they are our family. Here’s a list of other qualifications and characteristics one should consider before trusting anyone with their pets.

1) Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
2) What training has the pet sitter received?
3) Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
4) what backup plans does the Petsitter have in place?
5) Does the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog training , pet taxi or the selling of pet supplies and foods?
6) Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
7) Ask the Pet Sitter for references from clients that are willing to share information with you.

C) How much time does the pet sitter spend in your home to care for your pet(s)?

The average in-home visit to care for one pet is 30 minutes, but additional time may be required if you request special services such as dog walking, pet grooming, etc. or have a multiple pet household.

D). What are the payment terms?

Some pet sitters require payment in full for first time customers while others require a deposit upon reservation and balance paid at the end of the assignment. There is no industry standard for payment terms, so be sure you understand in advance the terms of the pet sitting business you utilize.

E) Does the pet sitter (or agency) have established fees for pet care they can quote over the phone and/or in company literature?

A professional pet sitter should have a published list of fees that cover the most common pet-care requests. Fees for special services may be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

If you are interested in more questions to ask or be concerned with, visit my page : 15 Questions To Ask Any Pet Sitter ?

Til Next Time……

Guess What’s Happening For The Smart Pet Owner?

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Hello HWHD Clients & Followers!

There is really exciting news for pet parents that are determined their furry babies have a happy and long life!

There is a new innovative conference for ALL pet parents to get all of their questions answered from the best of the best. More importantly , it’s free!!

I know many out there , that are like myself that constantly worry about their furry babies the minute one tiny thing happens. We can’t help it, they are our children. We want to make sure we are doing the best we can so they may have a fulfilling , happy healthy life.

For those that have come to me and have asked questions from grooming to training to dental health and serious health issues, look no further!

On January 17th, the best of the best in veterinary care are coming together to answer EVERY concern, you as a pet parent have. You can participate out the comforts of your own home and the best part, it’s FREE!!

So if you have concerns about training, ASK!
If you’re worried about immune illness such as heart issues, ASK!
Maybe you’re concerned about peculiar behaviors with a pet , ASK!
Ever wondered why your cat constantly love bumping you with their head? ASK!
What is the deal with so many Pet Food Recalls? Ask!
If you have any questions as a concerned parent then this is the Event For You!!

It’s a Pet Conference offered in the form of a webinar…To Register: Click Here Now

To learn about the Veterinarians that are participating , CLICK HERE.

Don’t let this Fabulous opportunity pass You !

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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet [ Oh, and For You Too :- ) ]

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Goals Aren’t Just for People

The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for pets needing a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for their pets. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!

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#10 Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food Fido (or Kitty) really needs. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

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#9 Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet

Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.

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#8 Try a New Activity with Your Pet

From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!

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#7 Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine

Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going — in addition to lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.

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#6 Make a Date with Your Vet

Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a key component of good preventive care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

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#5 Groom Your Pet Daily

Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.

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#4 Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet

Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay — just be sure to use a toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. And even with all of these tricks, regular cleanings by a licensed veterinarian are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.

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#3 Teach an Old Dog a New Trick

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.

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#2 Update Pet ID Info

Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2012, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.

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#1 Consider Fostering

You think you want a new pet, but you’re not 100 percent sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. Who knows? That home just might end up being yours.

What Home Treatments Are Best for Diarrhea in Dogs & Reference Guide to Download…

Dog-diarrhea

One of the many new activities I have tried for my pets is cooking for them. It doesn’t mean I have eliminated feeding them holistic dog food but it brings more variety into their daily meals.  One of the side effects that can happen is your pooch can have a diarrhea from the transition. Of course I grew concerned because I needed to make sure my pets were still healthy and I was not feeding them anything that they should not be eating. I checked with our veterianarian and also look up information about pets having bouts of diarrhea and what I can do.  

My pets are fine now but of course it came up in conversations I have had with clients and other pet sitters . We discussed the best remedies and preventative care. So I decided to blog about this for any pet owners that have dealt with this like I have and need another confirmation that their treatment and care is correct when trying to cure diarrhea in their pets.

All dogs, at one point or another, have had a bout of diarrhea. Most diarrhea lasts a couple days, however when loose bowels continue over a long period of time it is a cause for concern; especially if the diarrhea gets severe, and is uncontrolled liquid squirts. My pets are my babies ( And for that matter, my clients’ pets , I treat them as my children too ).  If your baby has a soft stool in his/her diaper, it may not be a cause for you to seek your doctor’s advice, for instance, if you have tried a new food ( my cooking)  which upset the baby’s belly.  If this is the case for your pet, it may be fine for you to treat it at home. However, if your baby had uncontrolled diarrhea, you would seek a medical doctor’s advice, as there could be an underlying cause. Like a baby, a puppy or dog  can dehydrate FAST from severe diarrhea. REMEMBER, diarrhea can be mild or severe and the treatments differ.

Causes of Diarrhea

Bacteria/ Parasites – Viruses and parasites are one of the main causes of diarrhea in dogs If you are concerned that this is the cause, please get a stool  sample to the vet  to check for Coccidia(Coccidiosis), Giardia, Trichomonas or other infections. If your litter of two-week-old puppies gets diarrhea, it could be worms. Normally we do not worm pups till three weeks, but some do it at two weeks. When worms become active, it can cause diarrhea. If the diarrhea worsens, even after using a worming medicine, you may need to check for coccidia. The incubation period is 13 days, and the dams often carry it. They would come in contact from the dam at birth, or shortly after; they are not born with it.  If a 13-day-old puppy has diarrhea, it often means coccidia. This requires vet medicine to treat. It can be found in a stool sample.

Anxiety – My pets as with all pets get completely excited or stressed over many things. One issue can be the stress of traveling, being in a kennel or a doctor’s office.  Believe it or not dogs/puppies have been known to get diarrhea from the excitement/stress of these issues.

Foreign Diets –  Dogs are natural scavengers and tend to eat many indigestible substances, including garbage and decayed food, dead animals, grass, wild and ornamental plants, and pieces of plastic, wood, paper, and other foreign materials. Many of these are irritating to the stomach as well as to the bowel, and are partially eliminated through vomits.


 Food Intolerance
 – As I mentioned earlier, the change in diet can put a strain on your pet’s belly. Foods that some dogs seem unable to tolerate can include beef, pork, chicken, horsemeat, fish, eggs, dairy products, spices, corn, wheat, soy, gravies, salts, spices, fats, and some commercial dog foods. Note that food intolerance is not the same as food allergy, which causes dermatitis and possibly vomiting, but rarely causes diarrhea.

Drugs & Medications – Diarrhea is a common side effect of many drugs and medications, particularly the NSAIDs ,which include aspirin. Some heart medications, some dewormers, and most antiobiotics also can cause diarrhea.

Treatments of Diarrhea In Dogs

 Home Treatment For Acute Diarrhea

The most important step in treating acute diarrhea is to rest the GI tract by withholding all food for 24 hours. The dog should be encouraged to drink as much water as he wants. With persistent diarrhea, consider giving a supplemental electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte, available over the counter in pharmacies and grocery stores.  This has been a great solution for me and one of my main first options. Dilute it by one-half with water and add it to the dog’s drinking bowl. Custom canine electrolyte solutions and sport drinks are also available, such as K9 Thirst Quencher. These are flavored to encourage the dog to drink. If the dog won’t drink the electrolyte solution, offer only water. A low-salt bouillon cube dissolved in the water can help encourage him to drink.

Acute diarrhea usually responds within 24 hours to intestinal rest. Start the dog out on an easily digestible diet that’s low in fat. Examples are boiled hamburger (one part drained meat to two parts cooked rice) and boiled chicken with the skin removed. Cooked white rice, cottage cheese, cooked macaroni, cooked oatmeal, and soft-boiled eggs are other easily digestible foods. Feed three or four small meals a day for the first two days. Then slowly switch the diet back to the dog’s regular food.

Obtain immediate veterinary care if:

  • The diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours
  • The stool contains blood or is black and tarry
  • The diarrhea is accompanied by vomiting
  • The dog appears weak or depressed or has a fever

What if the Diarrhea is Chronic?

If it turns out that your dog  chronically has diarrhen then your  first step is to find and treat the underlying cause. Diarrhea resulting from a change in diet can be corrected by switching back to the old diet and then making step-by-step changes to pinpoint the cause. When lactase deficiency is suspected, eliminate milk and dairy products from the diet, particularly as they are not required for adult dogs.

Diarrhea caused by overeating (characterized by large, bulky, unformed stools) can be controlled by tailoring the diet more accurately to the caloric needs of the dog and feeding his daily ration in three equal meals.

Chronic, intermittent diarrhea that persists for more than three weeks requires veterinary attention.


If You are Interested in any routine care of your dog, Feel Free to Download this reference guide and print out.  routine-health-care-of-dogs10092013(3)

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