Tag Archives: Pet sitting

Dog Bite Prevention Week 2016

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Every year, millions of people — mostly children — are bit by dogs, and experts say most cases were preventable.

In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 15-21, here are five tips to prevent bites. However, it is important to note that these prevention methods are reserved for non-aggressive dogs; canines that have already bitten or even growled and barked should be seen by a veterinary behaviorist or behavior consultant.

Tip One

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog while off-leash (at home or away).
Prevention: Early conditioning (or remedial counter conditioning) People = good news for dogs. Teaching dogs that humans are safe is key and the earlier the better. Proper puppy socialization classes are highly recommended. In addition, teaching simple tasks, like coming when called, and manners, like sit and down, are also good tools to guide our dogs away from people if the dog becomes frightened or overwhelmed.

Tip Two

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites humans who reach for him.
Prevention: Teach your dog to gently touch a human hand (hand targeting). This prevents bites by giving your dog a specific task to do when he sees a human hand reaching for him – touch it gently with his nose. Because we use reinforcement-based training, this also teaches your dog (or puppy) that human hands are safe. Touching the hand yields a treat.

Tip Three

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a person or dog on a walk.
Prevention: Teach your dog to follow you on leash and change directions when cued. Not all dogs or people will want to meet your dog, even if he’s friendly. Teaching your dog to calmly follow your directions on walks will prevent frustration and possible aggression as a result. Teaching your friendly dog to properly approach and interact with people on walks will also prevent bites.

Tip Four

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites a human who bumps, startles or steps on him.
Prevention: Teach your dog to give humans personal space and not crowd them unless invited to do so. Dogs are very sensitive to personal space and can learn to move out of the way when humans approach them. It’s good manners and it helps teach them to be aware of human movement. Since we train this with praise and treats, there is no fear associated with the movement. Fear fuels aggression, so it’s best not to scare our dogs when training them.

Tip Five

Problem to prevent: Your dog bites people when he becomes frightened or stressed.
Prevention: Teach your dog to calm himself by making better behavior choices on his own. For example, teach them how to settle themselves on a mat. It’s a unique process called “shaping,” which basically engages the dog’s brain and helps him figure out how to go to the mat and relax on his own.

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A BIG THANK YOU!

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This is is usually a time when pet sitting business slows down. But because of my wonderful loyal clients as well as new ones , We have already had a Busy 2015! Thank you for trusting Us! #petsitters #dogwalkers #hwhd

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Walking Your Dog : It’s Important, Do It Well

Most dog breeds were developed with a specific purpose in mind, for example, sporting, working, herding and so forth. Consequently, whether your pet is a purebred or mixed breed, chances are he carries genetic traits that drive him to pursue an activity.

Many modern day dogs don’t get opportunities to do what their breed instincts tell them to do. In addition, it’s a rare dog that exercises on his own, and your backyard doesn’t provide the variety of sensory stimulation most dogs need to ward off boredom.

Dogs need walks for both exercise and mental stimulation.

According to Clinician’s Brief:

Generally, people walk their dog for 4 reasons: elimination, mental stimulation, exercise, and training. Dogs like to go for walks to get outdoors, sniff and engage with their environment, exercise, and perhaps socialize with people and dogs outside the home. There is no reason that a walk cannot encompass and meet all the needs of both humans and dogs. Because time is often at a premium, it is useful to help owners understand and find creative ways to meet these needs.

Why and how to walk your dog may seem like a ‘no brainer’ topic to many of you, but the fact is there are lots of pet owners who:

  • Don’t walk their dogs at all, or don’t do it routinely
  • Don’t make the most of the activity
  • Dread walks because their pet actually walks them, or exhibits other bad leash manners


Before You Head Out the Door

The best way to develop a positive dog walking habit is when your pet is a puppy.As soon as her immune system is strong enough to protect her from communicable disease (discuss when it’s safe to take your pup outside with your vet) , she’s ready for walks with you or other family members.She should already have her own secure-fitting collar or harness and ID tag, and sheshould be used to wearing it before you attempt to take her for walks. Some puppies have no problem wearing a collar; others do. If your dog is fighting it, as long as you’re sure it isn’t too tight (youshould be able to easily slip your fingers under it) or uncomfortable for some other reason, distract her from fussing with her collar until she gets used to it. It shouldn’t take more thana couple days for your pup to forget she’s even wearing it.Don’t try to take your pup for a walk if she protests wearing a collar. Get her used to wearing her collar first.If you plan to use a head halter or harness for walks (which I recommend for any dog at risk of injury from pulling against a collar/leash combination), the next step is to get your puppy comfortable wearing it. As with the collar, this needs to happen before you attempt to attach a leash and head out the door.Once wearing her collar and a halter or harness (if you choose) is second nature to your dog, you’re ready for the next step. Attach about four feet of light line — cotton awning cord or light cotton rope will do – and let your puppy drag it around the house with her under your watchful eye, of course. She’ll get used to it being attached, as well as the tug of it when she steps on it.Once your pup is used to the four-foot line, swap it for a 10 to 15 foot line of the same material, and head outdoors.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Initial walks should be short for most puppies – the main goal is to get your dog used to being attached to you by a lead.

Find a safe environment. Allow puppy to drag the line behind him for a bit, then pick up the opposite end. Let him lead you around for a few seconds while you hold the line just off the ground. Slow down so he’s forced to slow down, ultimately to a stop. Take a short break for praise and a little playtime.

Next, let him trail the line again, but when you pick up your end this time, call him and stand still. If he pulls, hold your ground without pulling him in your direction. The goal is to teach him to put slack in the line himself by moving toward you. When he puts slack in the line, praise him and call him to you.

If he comes all the way to you, more praise and a training treat are in order. If he stops on his way to you, tighten the line just enough to apply a tiny bit of pull to it. Immediately call him to come again. Give praise as he moves toward you and treats when he comes all the way back.

Two or three repetitions is all many puppies need to understand lack of tension in the line is what earns praise and treats.

When your pup has learned to come towards you to relieve tension on the line, you can begin backing up as he’s coming towards you to keep him moving. 

Next, turn and walk forward so he’s following you. If he passes you, head in another direction so he’s again behind you.

The goal is to teach him to follow on a loose lead. Once you’ve accomplished the goal, you can continue to use the light line or replace it with a leash.

Depending on your pet’s temperament, five to 15 minute sessions are sufficient in the beginning. Practice controlling your dog on the lead for 30 second intervals during each session. Exercise patience and don’t engage in a battle of wills with your pup. Don’t snap, yank or otherwise use the line for correction or punishment. Stop before either of you gets frazzled or tired. 

After each short session on the lead, liberally praise your dog and spend a few minutes playing ball or some other game he enjoys. Remember — you’re building the foundation for an activity both you and your dog will enjoy and look forward to throughout her life.

Problem Pullers

Some puppies stubbornly fight the pressure of the line rather than create slack.

If your puppy freezes on a tight line or routinely pulls against it, my first recommendation is to use a halter or harness rather than a collar attached to the lead. Your dog can create serious neck and cervical disk problems by pulling on a collar/leash combination.

Next, make sure it’s not you creating the problem. Our human instinct is to hold the leash taught, so you must also train yourself to keep slack in the line. Your dog’s natural response to a tight line is to pull against it. 

Next do the following when your puppy refuses to create slack or move toward you:

  • Maintain the tension on the line and turn your back on her. Allow time for it to occur to her she can’t win by pulling against you.
  • Remain still with your back to her holding the tension in the line – don’t jerk the line, don’t pull or yank her toward you, and don’t put slack in the line yourself, which will teach her the way to get slack is to pull at the line.

The message you want to send your pup is pulling on the lead doesn’t accomplish a thing. It doesn’t change the scenery and it doesn’t earn praise or treats. Eventually, your puppy will stop doing what doesn’t work – especially when she is consistently rewarded for desirable behavior.

The very first second you begin leash training, make sure your puppy accomplishes nothing by pulling on her line. It takes some dogs longer than others to learn to keep the leash loose, but with patience and persistence, any puppy can learn to follow on a loose lead.

Different Types of Dog Walks

Once your dog has been taught good leash manners, I recommend you vary the purpose of your walks with him.

If your habit is to walk him to his potty spot to relieve himself, that’s a purposeful walk – usually of short duration.
Then there are mentally stimulating walks during which your pup is allowed to stop, sniff, investigate, mark a spot and so forth. Most dogs on a leash don’t spend as much time sniffing and investigating as off-leash dogs. (This is probably because leashed dogs sense their owners aren’t really into the same things they are!)
Allowing your pet some time to sniff around and investigate is good for him mentally. Dogs gain knowledge of the world through their noses. You can train your dog with commands to know when he’s out for a mental stimulation walk, a training walk or an exercise session.

Regular exercise is a necessity for your dog, the natural athlete. Regardless of his size, breed, gender or even his age, he needs physical activity in order to be a balanced, healthy animal. Exercise will keep his frame strong, his weight in the healthy range, and it can also help prevent or alleviate arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases.
Exercise consistency is really important. Dogs need exercise every three days, minimum, in order to maintain muscle tone and prevent muscle wasting. In my opinion, consistent daily aerobic exercise should be the goal. It’s important to elevate your pet’s heart rate for 20 minutes during exercise sessions. If your dog is out of shape, you’ll need to start slow and build gradually to 20 minutes per session.

Ongoing training throughout your dog’s life is a great way to keep his faculties sharp and boredom at bay. It’s also a wonderful way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Training walks can be about improving leash manners, learning basic or advanced obedience commands, ongoing socialization – just about anything you can think of that can be done on a leashed walk.

Your dog depends on you for her quality of life. Walking her every day or at least several times each week – taking advantage of different types of walks to stimulate her mentally and physically – will help your canine companion be balanced, healthy and happy for a lifetime.

 

 

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.

2015 Pet Holidays!

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Are you looking for pet holidays that recognize the special role that dogs, cats, and other pets play in our lives? You’ve come to the right place. This extensive calendar, updated throughout the year, features fun pet holidays as well as serious pet awareness days, weeks and months that focus attention on challenges in the pet world.

January

National Train Your Dog Month

Walk Your Pet Month.

Adopt a Rescued Bird Month.

Jan. 2, 2015: National Pet Travel Safety Day.

Jan. 14, 2015: National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Jan. 22, 2015: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.

Jan. 24, 2015: Change a Pet’s Life Day.

Jan. 29, 2015: Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.

February

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. (Humane Society of the United States)

Pet Dental Health Month.

Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.

National Prevent a Litter Month.

Unchain a Dog Month.

Feb. 7-14, 2015: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.

Feb. 16-17, 2015: Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show. Held at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, this event is televised.

Feb. 14, 2015: Pet Theft Awareness Day.

Feb. 15-21, 2015: National Justice for Animals Week.

Feb. 20, 2015: Love Your Pet Day.

Feb. 22, 2015: Walking the Dog Day.

Feb. 23, 2015: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.

Feb. 24, 2015: World Spay Day. Annual campaign by the Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States; held the last Tuesday of February.

March

Poison Prevention Awareness Month.

Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month.

March 7, 2015: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins. Called “The Last Great Race on Earth,” this grueling race travels along a path that alternates between two paths, changing in even and odd years. The race crosses two mountain ranges in conditions that range from 30 degrees above to 30 degrees below zero.

March 3, 2015: If Pets Had Thumbs Day.

March 1-7, 2015: Professional Pet Sitters Week.

March 5-8, 2015: Crufts. Held in Birmingham, England, this is the world’s largest dog show, featuring nearly 28,000 canines in its four days.

March 15-21, 2015: National Poison Prevention Week.

March 23: National Puppy Day.

April

National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. This event is an effort by the American Red Cross to draw attention to the need to know specialized pet first aid.

Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. (ASCPA)

National Pet Month. (UK)

April 12-18, 2015: Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.

April 11, 2015: National Pet Day.

April 18, 2015: Pet Owners Independence Day.

April 22, 2015: Earth Day.

Third week in April. Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week. An effort by the Humane Society of the United States.

Third week in April. National Pet ID Week.

April 26, 2015: National Kids and Pets Day.

April 25, 2015: World Veterinary Day. This event from the World Veterinary Association is always celebrated on the last Saturday in April.

April 25, 2015: Hairball Awareness Day.

May

National Pet Month (US)

Responsible Animal Guardian Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research. (Also see November events.)

Chip Your Pet Month.

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. The American College of Veterinary Optholmologists hosts this annual event when over 200 veterinary optholmologists donate their services to provide eye exams to service dogs in the US and Canada.

May 1: National Purebred Dog Day

May 4-10, 2015: American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week. This week-long event has been celebrated since 1915. Always the first full week of May.

May 3-9, 2015: National Pet Week. Always held the first full week of May by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

May 4-10, 2015:American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week . An initiative of the HSUS, this week is always scheduled to begin the Monday before Mother’s Day.

May 18-24, 2015: Dog Bite Prevention Week. This event by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) focuses attention on preventing dog bites.

June

Adopt-a-Cat Month®. From the American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. From the ASPCA.

National Pet Preparedness Month. This month, timed for the first month of hurricane season, urges people with pets to make preparations in case they should be hit by a disaster…and that includes making plans for what you would do with your dog in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster.

June 4, 2015: Hug Your Cat Day.

First week in June. Pet Appreciation Week.

June 9, 2015: World Pet Memorial Day.

June 10-14, 2015: World Dog Show, Milan, Italy. This large show is hosted by a different county every year.

Mid-June: Animal Rights Awareness Week.

June 26, 2015: Take Your Dog to Work Day.

July

Dog House Repair Month.

July 4: Independence Day. This US holiday is no holiday for dogs; the sounds of fireworks causes many dogs to panic and run, resulting in many lost dogs every year.

July 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day. Sponsored by the The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), ADT Security Services and the American Kennel Club® (AKC).

July 21: National Craft for your Local Shelters Day.

July 31: National Mutt Day. Also see Dec. 2.

August

Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs. The North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, declared August 1 as a birthday for all the shelter animals whose birthdays are unknown. Happy DOGust!!

Aug. 5: Work Like a Dog Day.

Aug. 2-8, 2015: International Assistance Dog Week.

Aug. 15: National Check the Chip Day. AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”

Aug. 15, 2015: International Homeless Animals’ Day®. From the International Society for Animal Rights.

Aug. 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day.

Aug. 26: National Dog Day.

Aug. 30. National Holistic Pet Day.

September

National Disaster Preparedness Month. Led by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council, this effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. Visit Ready.gov and CitizenCorps.gov.

Second Sunday in September. National Pet Memorial Day. Established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (IAPC).

Last full week in September: National Dog Week.

Last full week in September. Deaf Pet Awareness Week. By Petfinder.com.

Sept. 13, 2015: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day. A day dedicated to the issue of pet birth defects including information on identification, prevention and treatment. Sponsored by the MBJungle Foundation.

Sept. 23: Dogs in Politics Day (also known as Checkers Day). Recognizing the dogs of politicians.

Sept. 28: World Rabies Day. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

October

Adopt-A-Dog Month®. By American Humane Association.

Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month.

National Pet Wellness Month.

1st Week of October. National Walk Your Dog Week.

October 4: World Animal Day.

1st Full Week of October. Animal Welfare Week (AVMA)

Oct. 11-17, 2015: National Veterinary Technician Week. Sponsored by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.

Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

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Oct. 16: National Feral Cat Day.

Last Saturday in Oct.: National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

Oct. 28: Plush Animal Lovers Day. A day that most dogs will be happy to celebrate…as they unstuff them…

Oct. 29: National Cat Day.

Oct. 30: National Black Cat Day in the UK.

November

*MORE November holidays; observances

Adopt a Senior Dog Month. By ASPCA.

National Pet Awareness Month.

National Senior Pet Month.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and the Animal Cancer Foundation. (Also see May events).

Pet Diabetes Month.

National Dog Show. Always broadcast in the US on Thanksgiving, this event is held at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania and is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, the event features 2,000 dogs.

First full week of Nov: National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. by The Humane Society of the United States.

Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day.

Nov. 17: National Black Cat Day.

December

Dec. 2: National Mutt Day. Also see July 31.

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……

House Of Horrors Greets Family After Dream Vacation

In the previous post, I mentioned about Pet Parents using teenagers as Pet Sitters . They generally do it to pay cheaper prices. Its another reason to do research and hire a Professional Pet Sitter. Here is a true story that happened in Buffalo, NY.

By: Lou Michel

House of horrors greets family after dream vacation

Steven Binder and wife Kristen Segebarth said that there were feces on carpet and footstool and that someone had urinated on the bed.Steven Binder and wife Kristen Segebarth said that there were feces on carpet and footstool and that someone had urinated on the bed. Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

When Steven Binder, his wife and daughter returned home from a dream vacation in Costa Rica last month, they walked into their Parkside house to find the mother of the cat sitter they’d hired standing beside a vacuum.

There had been a problem with a bed upstairs, the woman sheepishly said.

She quickly added that she had taken a comforter and two rugs to a professional cleaner.

“What the hell went on here?” Binder demanded.

The answer was far worse than he could have possibly imagined. The house had been trashed, some valuable items had been pilfered, and there was thousands of dollars in damages.

The cat sitter, a trusted teenage friend of the couple’s 18-year-old daughter Zoey Binder, had apparently hosted an out-of-control party the night of Dec. 27 with about 50 teens, all from the Buffalo area’s best high schools: City Honors School, Nardin Academy, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and Canisius High School.

Binder and his wife, Kristen Segebarth, confronted the 17-year-old cat sitter and her parents, asking them to pay for damages.

The best that the cat sitter’s parents would do, Segebarth said, was write out a check for $90, the amount they had paid in advance for the girl to care for the cats. After waiting a month, Binder and Segebarth decided to come forward with their story. When The Buffalo News contacted the cat sitter Thursday afternoon by phone for her insights on what happened, she declined to comment. The News made several calls to the sitter’s mother that were not returned.

Binder recalled the horror of what he and his family encountered upon their return from vacation. There was urine, feces and pools of vomit on the rugs and bedding. There were used condoms strewn about.

A video clip Zoey later secured from a social media site showed teenage boys in her bedroom. One of them was urinating on her bed with an unseen narrator saying, “This is for you.”

The video also shows another teenager throwing an item against the wall and then shoving all of the papers off a desk and cursing Zoey.

Binder recounted feeling as if he’d been beaten in the face “with the flat side of a shovel” as he left the house to calm down and pick up their dog Atticus at the kennel.

As Binder went out the door, the 64-year-old homeowner said he could hear his wife and daughter crying out, “Oh … oh … oh ….” as they made their way from one room to the next in their normally well-cared for home on Florence Avenue, just down the block from Delaware Park.

Upon doing an inventory, the family discovered that a number of precious keepsakes, including matching mother-and-daughter gold necklaces with pearls, were stolen. More than $6,000 in cash was taken along with a large quantity of prescription pain medications for Binder, who had recently experienced a prolonged bout of lower back pain. But it was the state of their 2½-story home that he and his wife have fixed up over nearly two decades that has him distraught.

“The destruction to our house is considerable. There was human feces, urine and vomit in numerous locations. Every floor in the house was rifled. There was broken furniture and there were multiple used condoms,” Binder said Thursday as he and his wife explained that it wasn’t until just last week that they succeeded in eradicating the stench from the party.

“It took an industrial strength cleaning to get rid of the odors of urine and vomit, and we keep discovering more,” Binder said. “I don’t know that I won’t open a box in my attic at some point and discover more vomit. There was vomit everywhere.”

And while the family is slowly putting their house back together, it will take much longer, they say, to come to terms with the outrageous feeling of having their private space violated by dozens of strangers. “It’s a betrayal of trust,” Binder said.

Two of the cats were so traumatized, he added, “that they did not come out of their hiding places until two days after we had come home.”

Northwest District Detectives Margaret Dragoon and Edwin Perez are investigating the cat sitter’s role in the party and have obtained a list of names of the 46 known partygoers and their schools that she had provided to the homeowners. The teenager has not been charged at this point and whether there will be charges appears uncertain.

A police official confirmed that the house had been trashed and said the Erie County District Attorney’s Office has advised investigators that the case may end up being a civil matter, rather than criminal, though the investigation is continuing.

Twenty-five of the young people attended City Honors, seven were from Nardin Academy, six from Canisius High School, four from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, three from a Williamsville high school and one was an exchange student, according to the list.

The News is not using the names of the cat sitter, her family and the other alleged partygoers because they have not been charged.

Besides the video clip found, Zoey also discovered social media believed to have been made by the partygoers:

“If I didn’t die last night, I’m probably living forever.”

“I am DISGUSTED by every aspect of this night.”

“Never realized that I go to school with such horny people.”

“Roll another bowl.”

The family is now awaiting a damage estimate from their insurance claims adjuster, and it is expected to be in the thousands of dollars to repair holes in walls, fix flooring and pay cleanup costs.

Binder said they also recently met with the cat sitter and her parents and asked that they be reimbursed $8,500 for their vacation as a form of partial restitution. The vacation was in honor of Zoey’s high school graduation last June and her attendance at an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania.

Segebarth said the cat sitter’s parents wrote out a check for $90, the amount that had been paid for the cat sitting job.

What deeply troubles Segebarth, she said, is that there seems to be an attitude that “kids will be kids.” She believes it is an entirely unacceptable reaction to the crisis she and her family have experienced. The message to the community, she said, is that parents need to start teaching their children to be accountable.

“These actions of destruction and disregard are wrong,” Segebarth said.

“We are not taking our role as victims lying down. We intend to hold those young adults and their parents accountable for their actions and/or lack thereof,” Binder said. “People need to understand that invading a home, vandalizing that home and robbing the homeowners is not just ‘teenagers being teenagers.’ ”

  • This bed frame was broken during an underage party at the Parkside home of Steven Binder and Kristen Segebarth.
  • Steven Binder and wife Kristen Segebarth said that there were feces on carpet and footstool and that someone had urinated on the bed.
  • This broken lamp in the Florence Avenue home of Steven Binder and Kristen Segebarth is just one example of the widespread destruction they discovered after an underage house party was held there while they were away on vacation.
  • Photos show some of the destruction that occurred at a Florence Ave home during an underage house party.
  • Photos show some of the destruction that occurred at a Florence Avenue home during an underage house party.
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He Dropped His Dog Off At The Sitter. What Happened Next Is Every Pet Owner’s Worst Nightmare

I always like to inform Pet Parents the importance of finding a Professional Pet Sitter to take care of your dog while you are away.
I recently read two articles where Pet Parents either utilized a teenager to care for their pet or Rover where people advertise just as a hobby and no insurance for both. Neither of these caretakers” had true experience in caring for animals. Loving Animals , while is great, is not a qualification for caring for animals. This story I have here comes from viralnova.com. Read to find out what happened to this Pet Parents beloved pet.

Before going away on a holiday at Christmas, this family decided to board their 3 year-old Shar Pei Akayla. Akayla’s dad used Rover.com to find a family to watch her. The website claims to be a mediator that will put you in contact with safe homes to care for your dog while you are away. “No more lonely cages, just happy homes full of love!”

The couple found a dog sitter with positive reviews. She was advertising herself as looking to start a professional dog-boarding business. On December 24th, Akayla was dropped off at the woman’s home.

Putting the well-being of a loved one in the hands of another person is always frightening, but to know that something went terribly wrong for Akayla would have been terrifying for this family. Thank goodness she survived the vicious mauling and was able to recover.

Source: imgur.com

If you ever use a dog sitter, do your research. Websites like Rover.com may have reviews, but you’re giving away precious cargo. Be careful! Please share this article with others so they can be cautioned.

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What Does Your Dog’s Emotions Go Through When You Are Not Home

ImageI had to write this blog because lately my male shih-tzu, Toby, has been going through quite of bit of separation anxiety lately .  Now, Toby, has always needed my attention as so do I, but lately he never lets me out his sight or does not to be home without touching. He follows me foot by foot and when I sit down, he insists on laying on my shoulder, my abs, my legs. He is constantly kissing me. I can’t figure out why he has all of sudden became so needy. I wondered what feelings is he going through when I am not home.

There are series of emotions that your dog go through when you are there.

Dogs are very social animals, and they would like nothing more than to be by your side 24/7. But we know , we can’t be there 24/7 because we owe to ourselves to have a happy balanced life.

1st Emotion:  Denial

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Here is what is going through their mind.

“I’m okay, I’m fine, this is all right. Mommy  will be right back. I’ll just sit right here by the door waiting for her … she’s probably just right outside. This is fine. I am okay.”

We might imagine our dogs gleefully doing the Tom Cruise Risky Business slide when we shut the door behind us in the morning, but the more likely scenario is that the dog is experiencing some level of separation anxiety. This separation anxiety might manifest itself as anything from nuisance barking or whining (unpleasant for the neighbors) to stinky surprises left for you when you return home (unpleasant for you). If your dog is one to chew his feelings, you may also find some prized possessions or furniture vandalized during your absence.

 

2. Anger Erupts

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3. Rationalizing and Bargaining

“If I balance all these treats, will Mommy  come home? I promise to never tear up another cushion again … you’re going to have to buy new cushions first, but I promise I won’t tear them up when you do, if you only come home like, now.”

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Separation anxiety is a serious condition. Dogs suffering from the more severe forms may salivate, pace, bark, howl, and/or urinate and defecate in panic. They can destroy cars, homes, and possessions at an incredible rate, and dig and chew their way out of windows and doors. They sometimes resort to self-mutilation when left alone. Just think about how intensely frightened you’d have to be to lose the contents of your bowels when left alone, or to rip out the walls of a room to escape. These dogs are suffering immensely and miserably. They need help from a patient and understanding owner – and the owner needs professional guidance from an experienced, educated trainer who understands the behavior and the necessary steps to overcome it. In order to help a dog triumph over a severe manifestation of this condition, extraordinary support for his owner is absolutely crucial.

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4. Depression Sets In

“Oh mighty wolf gods, Mommy is never coming back, is she? She’s gone. She’s gone. I think I am dying. I am going to die without the two-legger. My heart is breaking. I am going to lie here and never move again.”

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5. Acceptance

” I acccept my new life as a lone wolf devoid of my Mommy. I accept this the way I accept trips to the vet and the cone around my neck. I accept it the way I accepted the new cat you brought home from the pound. Who will feed me now?”

Your dog is starting to accept how things are at the moment. But do we really want our babies to suffer through these stages. Our parental instincts kicks in when we see our babies suffering emotionally.

If you want a calm dog or transition your pet more smoothly , it doesn’t get any calmer than sleep. Before you leave the house, make sure you schedule time for a brisk walk or a vigorous game of fetch in the backyard or nearby dog park. Having an anxious dog home alone is bad enough. Having a dog that is anxious and hyper is a recipe for disaster. Exercise helps calm your dog down in two ways. Physically, it tires your dog out, so he might be up for a nap while you’re away; and emotionally, exercise can level out your dog’s brain chemistry in the same way a good workout can leave humans exhilarated. This is another great benefit of hiring a Professional Pet Sitter.

The best-case scenario is you can come home for lunch and spend a little quality time to break up your dog’s day. But if your schedule or commute doesn’t always allow that, it may take a village.Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter is priceless in this situation. There are other options like family or a neighbor but a more upscale option is to hire a Professional Pet Sitter to come by and provide a professional field trip.

6. Euphoria YaY! She’s home!

“What’s that? Is that the four-wheel monster I hear in the driveway? Is it — wait — let me sniff … yes! It’s mommy’s  smell! SHE’S BACK OH WOLF GODS I AM SO EXCITED I WILL PEE MY PANTS.”

Separation Anxiety is a serious issues that needs to be addressed. Its best to consider some solutions to help your dog’s quality of life.

Your own behavior and feelings could be a big trigger to your dog’s separation anxiety, therefore you must make sure you are sending the right message, helping your dog to stay calm, instead of adding anxiety and overexcitement in to the mix.

Here are a few reminders of how you can help your dog by changing your own behavior:

– Don’t feel bad or sad about leaving your dog alone, your dog will feel your bad energy and associate it to being left alone.

– Avoid having any kind of interaction with your dog before you leave, no talking, hugging or petting to comfort your dog, all that adds to the anxiety levels and sets your dog for failure, just get ready and go, like it’s an absolutely irrelevant event.

– Same thing as you come back home, don’t pay attention to your dog until he has almost forgotten about you again.

– Remember excessive attention and affection is the main reason why dogs develop separation anxiety, it is not healthy for your dog, so please control yourself, and help your dog become more independent and confident.Image