Archive for the ‘pet sitter’ Category

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16 Jan 14

Dog Safety, what to ask when boardin ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

In light of the recent tragic death of a dog at a local Long Island pet sitting and doggie daycare center in Oyster Bay, here is important information for pet owners on how to choose a pet sitter or doggie day care facility.

There are many trusted pet care professionals to help you with your pet sitting and doggie day care needs.  A few things you should do as a dog owner prior to dropping your pet off in someone else’s care are:

  • Visit the facility or pet sitter’s home if you are boarding your pet there.
  • Ask to see all areas in which your dog may be in, backyard, doggie run area, and where your pet will be kept during its stay.
  • The pet sitter should have you fill out paper work, with all your contact info, veterinarian and emergency contact info, any food allergies, medical issues your pet may have, or special needs or instructions for your pet.   This is something that should be done by all pet sitters or dog walkers who are taking your pet into their care whether it is for a walk or overnight stay at their facility/home.
  • You should have a meet and greet with your pet at the doggie day care and definitely with any pet sitter you are going to hire.  It just helps to see how your dog and the sitter do when meeting.
  • Ask how many dogs are at the facility at one time and how many pet care givers are present supervising the pets in their care – and what their qualifications are to be doing so.
  • How do they screen the dogs coming into their facility? How do you know what dogs are there when your dog is there?
  • Ask where is the closest veterinarian facility to them.

“We do a one night trial first prior with new dog clients that stay at our in-home boarding facility prior to them staying for a longer term stay – it’s mandatory.  We do this so we can get to know the dog and so that you’re dog is comfortable at our facility.  I have to be able to trust all the dogs in my care,” said Robyn Elman President of In Home Pet Services, Inc.  “Sometimes dogs can get territorial after staying a few times with us and they need to be reevaluated if they can stay with us again.”

Elman went on to say, “We also only keep similar size dogs here we never have dogs of different sizes together and only a few dogs at a time stay.  Our staff is also fully trained in Pet CPR & First aid and so are all of our franchisee locations.  We do the utmost to ensure your pet is safe, well cared for and has fun while staying with us.”

Many pet sitters are able to text you pictures and video of your pets while they are in their care, and send you updates as well.  It’s a great way to feel at ease while you are away or just at work to see your pet is being well cared for.

While the death of a pet is rare occurrence at a doggie day, you are better off with as much information about the facility you are bringing your pet too. Ask questions, get a tour of the facility and when you leave you should feel comfortable about bringing your pet there, the same goes for the pet sitter or dog walker you are hire.

The adorable pup below is a stock photo from LIPetPlace and is not the dog who died.

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22 May 12

Sleepover for Fido & Fluffy? ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

With summer almost upon us, and vacations or day-cations being planned, as pet owners we may think we are limited as to places or people our pets can stay with while we are away.  Often times we rely on family or friends to watch our pets, but that may not always be fair to them.  And sometimes our family or friends may not be as responsible about our pets as a professional pet sitter or pet boarding facility might be.  I have heard stories of dogs getting out because a family or friend watching the pet forgot to close the gate or door – especially if they are not pet owners it is easy for them to forget by accident or habit (not worrying about a pet getting loose).  Last year I knew of a Doberman in a local shelter who got out after the owners brother left the gate open – the dog wound up at a local shelter and was there for weeks, and almost got adopted out.  The dog had no ID and the owner was in a different country for over a month and didn’t know the dog was missing.  The happy ending to this story is that the dog and owner were reunited when she got back – but it might not always be the case.

In our world today, we are fortunate to have many pet professionals who are experienced, trained, licensed, insured and bonded who are available to care for your pet.  Whether it is someone staying at your house, stopping in to take your pet out or clean a cage, or if you are leaving the pet overnight at a pet sitters house or boarding facility.  This is their passion, caring for pets, and their livelihood – so why not interview a pet sitter or visit a boarding facility. Ask your friends and veterinarian for referrals of who they hire to care for their pets when they go away.  It could make your vacation that much more pleasant knowing your pet is in the hands of a professional.  Many companies can even send you emails or text message updates about your pet, and some are even equipped with live camera feeds of your pet.  On Long Island and the surrounding Burroughs there are many sitters and boarding facilities for you to choose from. Check out the ones below and contact them for more information about their services:

Queens & Nassau County:

In Home Pet Services, Inc., in Bellerose, NY, has a cage free, boarding facility that provides boarding for their clients and all the IHPS locations are able to access this if there is room available.  Call Robyn Elman at (718)-347-PETS (7387) for more info.

In Home Pet Services of Nassau’s Gold Coast offers boarding in Great Neck, NY, for small and medium sized dogs. They also have cage free boarding with 3-4 walks a day, a private dog run to play off leash, toys, treats, bedding, and more. Call Heather information (516) 829-0707.

In Home Pet Services of East Nassau offers boarding for cats as well as dog walking and other pet sitting services.  They are located in Levittown, NY. Contact Danielle Citarella at (516) 442-2822. Meow!

The Barrie Inn in Woodmere, NY, is celebrating 10 years of service this year, but also offer cage less boarding in their facility specializing in overnight boarding for all dog breeds. tel: 516-569-PAWS (7297).

Crawford Dog and Cat Clinic in Garden City, NY, offers veterinary supervised kenneling for dogs and cats. Pets stay in their own runs or cages. Dogs are walked 2 – 3 times a day. Contact Keith Niesenbaum, VMD for more information.

Little Paws Of Hope – Boarding Daycare, Training offers in-home boarding that is cage free. Each pet has personal attention, walks, swimming, movie night, socialization and live web cams to check in on your pet’s fun.  They are located in Levittown and can be reached at 917-519-5708.

Goodnight Lucky has a rather unique approach to dog boarding: they board dogs with loving host families, where each dog has free roam in the home of a true dog lover and his regular routines and schedules are maintained.  They offer this service throughout Nassau County, western Suffolk County & eastern Queens.
Suffolk County:

Fetch! Pet Care of Islip to Lindy, offers private boarding at various boarder’s homes, incorporating them into their family while clients are away.

Fetch! Pet Care of North Central Suffolk County offers private boarding in their pet sitters homes where pet’s are integrated into their sitter’s home environment as part of the family. Pets will not be caged or kenneled during his/her stay unless specifically requested by pet parent. They also offer In-Home where their sitter arrives at your home at 6:30 pm & stay until 8:00 am. Visits include a dog walks (where applicable).


Devine Solutions located in Huntington Station, NY, provides boarding for small and big dogs in their home.  Call Jennifer Devine at (631) 697-5995.

We Board Labs, Inc. located in Huntington open their home to caring for well-behaved Labrador Retrievers.  Dogs have free run of their entire home and quarter acre, fenced-in shady yard; it is not a kennel. Call (631) 549-8263 for more info.

The K-9 Keeper located in Huntington offers cozy, cage-free, family-style boarding in our home. And they also welcome dogs that have special needs. (631) 219-3719.


Paw-Fect Dog Training and Pet Sitting, Inc., located in Medford, NY offers pet sitting in their home where the pets are treated just like if they were in their own homes. Any size dog is welcome contact Lissa Blom at 516-779-2309. Email is


Pet Peeves Dog Training LLC located in Centereach, NY, provides boarding for all their clients at an affordable rate.

East End:

C-Dogs Unlimited LLC, in Calverton, NY, offers home boarding in a country setting, complete with professional grooming services. They also offer personalized care in a holistic environment with reasonable rates.

Dog Town NY located on the North Fork in Southold offers the only Dog Boarding, Daycare (socialization) & Grooming on the North fork. Call 631-765-8844 to find out more.

East End Boarding Kennel located in Westhampton Beach, NY, is a boarding kennel situated on four quiet country acres and your dog will be attended to by caring and attentive staff. Open 365 days a year and can accommodate up to fifty dogs in an environment that is clean, safe, and secure. All dogs are housed in large individual heated indoor- outdoor runs and enjoy time outside in one of our grassed exercise yard several times a day.

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21 Nov 11

Holiday Kitty Care tips! ...

By Robyn Elman of In Home Pet Services, Inc.

As much as the U.S. population reveres their pet dogs as true members of their family, cats are equally beloved by their owners – and just as particular about their care.

Cats are generally believed to be a more low-maintenance pet than a dog. They don’t need to be regularly walked on a leash, and you can leave them for a day with a bowl of food and water. That low-maintenance perception leads people to “collect” these pets, rescuing them from the outdoors or from shelters. It’s estimated that greater than 20% of cats owned in the U.S. are acquired as strays. This may be why we rarely hear a person described as a “dog lady,” yet “cat lady” seems to be a commonplace term. Once you have owned a cat, you will know that they present their own set of challenges and behaviors, and to care for them may mean almost the same amount of dedication and work as that of a fellow dog owner.

I have come to find that pet sitters are more likely to be afraid of a cat than a dog. Cats have 5 ways they can hurt you. A mouth that can bite and 4 paws with claws that scratch! Their behaviors are also often more difficult to read. While it’s unlikely that a dog will turn around and attack you while it’s sitting on your lap being brushed, it is a more commonplace event with cats. Cats also have a more sensitive metabolic system and when ill, they can go downhill much more quickly than a dog.

If you are a pet sitter, or thinking about going into the business, you are bound to have cat only households as clients. It’s important you learn about cat specific behaviors and especially signs of illness. These include changes in behavior, eating, litter box habits, and the amount of water they are drinking. Take a Pet first Aid & CPR class so you will prepared in an emergency situation such as poisoning, choking, bleeding, etc. Most importantly, make sure your client tells you as much specific information about their cats as possible, including places he or she does or doesn’t like to be touched, favorite toys, specific feeding schedules, litter habits, and especially hiding places! It’s important to be able to see the cats in your care and knowing their favorite hideouts can save you a lot of time. I have cared for cats that hide on bookshelves, on top of refrigerators (and like to pounce on you from above!), behind washing machines, and in boxes in closets. Be extra careful when entering and leaving the home as some cats are sneaky and try to escape outside. As a person in the pet sitting business for almost 10 years, I have seen a lot – especially with cats. We have cat only clients that want everything from overnight stays with their cats, to twice a day visits, to a visit only every other day. It’s not uncommon for an owner to accidentally close a pet cat in a closet before leaving for a trip, and that’s why I recommend at least one visit every day for a pet cat.

If you are a cat owner and are thinking about hiring a sitter, find one that you can afford to come at least one time a day. Although cats are more self sufficient than dogs (in most cases), they still need to be looked in on once a day to make sure they haven’t gotten themselves into trouble, and to make sure they are eating, drinking, and using their litter box normally. It’s important you provide your sitter with plenty of food and extra litter while you are gone. If you run out and the sitter is forced to get a different kind of litter, for example, the cat may not want to use the box and go somewhere else – like your bed! As mentioned above, it’s important you tell your sitter details about your cats hiding places. This is especially vital should you need the sitter to administer any medications. Be realistic about this. Boarding at the vet might be your best option if medications are essential and you have a difficult cat.

The Holidays can be stressful for your cat, as their normal daily routine can easily be interrupted by our crazy schedules. When you have guests over you may want to consider confining your cat to a room or section of the house away from the noise and people. With the people coming in and out, a cat can easily run out the door unnoticed. Make it clear to guests not to feed your cat from the table. Turkey skin and other fatty foods can cause pancreas problems, onions can cause liver failure, and grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Of course we all know to keep chocolate away from our cats, but also keep any sugarless items away as well. Cats cannot process the chemicals such as xylitol, and their blood sugar can rapidly crash. The Christmas tree also poses another danger. It’s easy to climb on, which makes it easy to topple over, and the water at the base of the tree can be toxic. Consider use of a repellent or “Scat Mat” to keep your cat safely away from the tree. Alternatively you can set up a ‘cat room’ just for your cat during the holidays complete with bed, scratching post or tree, litter box, fresh water and food – and a latch at the top of the door so kids can’t get into the room while you’re celebrating over the holiday season. Cats will adapt to the room and you won’t have to worry about the cat getting out, or jumping on the Christmas tree!

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12 Oct 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Heading to the North Fork with your furkid to go pumpkin picking or hitting the wineries this weekend?  The east end of Long Island is very pet friendly and I have yet to be at a farm stand, pumpkin patch or winery that a well behaved pet was not allowed.  If you are staying the entire weekend and are looking for a place to board or walk your pet while out there, you are in luck as there a few places to choose from:  A1 Critter Sitters, C-Dogs Unlimited LLC, These Dreams Pet Services, Inc. (631-764-9571), some also offer grooming.

If you are bringing your pet with you, be sure to stop at The Country Pet on Love Lane in Mattituck – this quaint pet store carries beautiful pet products as well as top quality pet food and treats.  Want to capture the weekend or maybe have Fluffy’s photo taken by a pro, you will want to schedule an appointment with ThePuparazzi, that’s right (you don’t have to be in the Hamptons to have flash blubs going!).

Or maybe you need some training techniques and tips from an expert dog trainer?  Like how to handle your dog when he sees all those different farm animals at a vineyard or pumpkin patch?  Give the North Fork School of Dogs a call and they can help you.  After a long day of pumpkins and new scents your dog may be wiped out so what about a canine massage or reiki session?  You are in luck as Patty’s Pet Services offers just that.

Autumn on the North Fork is a treasure for LI and a wonderful place to visit with your pet.  Just remember to keep your pet leashed, clean up after him, have fresh water available and respect the areas you visit with him.  Your dog will experience the excitement of a new location, new scents, may see animals he has never seen before – so be sure you know your dog can handle it.  Enjoy the harvest!

Heading out East for the day but don’t have a pet, be sure to stop by Kent Animal Shelter, the North Fork Animal Welfare League or Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation on your way back!

(Recently while apple picking on the North Fork a family had their two dogs with them a large golden doodle and a poodle, the dogs were perfectly mannered and sweet, even took the ‘hay’ ride out to pick apples.  The dogs were so well behaved the entire time with very good owners, I cannot say that for the out of control kids that were throwing mud and apples and screaming the entire time – and their parents didn’t care! Even the dogs were looking at those kids like ‘what the bleep?’ is going on.)

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14 Jun 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

Pet Sitter Summer Safety Tips

Pet Sitters and dog walkers typically enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer bring, and this is especially true this year, after a harsh, cold, snowy winter that seemed like it would never end. New York is definitely a place with extreme temperatures on either side of the mercury, and this spring has already seen temperatures reaching above 95 degrees.

On these extreme days with high heat and humidity, it’s important to make some changes in your pet’s daily routine with your pet sitter. For example, if you’re high energy dog usually gets an hour walk or run at the dog park, consider splitting the visit between inside and outside time, allowing your pet, and walker, to cool down from the heat. Keep a doggie water bottle next to the leash for your walker to take with them on the walk, and feel free to leave a bottle for the human as well.

Consider leaving the air conditioner on for your pet during the day, which your sitter will also surely enjoy after being in the heat all day. It’s also important to leave instructions on how to use an air conditioner in your house or apartment, and what settings you prefer. You should leave it up to your sitter’s discretion if the air needs to be left on for your pet.

If you are leaving for vacation, keep an eye on the expected weather for the day. Just because it’s a nice cool morning, doesn’t mean you can leave your pets outside until the sitter comes for the next visit. (Also note that NYS law requires any pet left outside to have proper shelter, fresh water and in some areas cannot be tied up for more than 3 hours at a time). Several years ago, on a particularly humid day, I was informed that the client left her dogs (English & French Bulldogs) in an outside enclosure, and I would find them there when I arrived for the first visit of a pet sitting that I was doing for the week. When I arrived, I was horrified to see that one the English bulldogs lying down, not moving, and upon closer examination not breathing either. He had died from heatstroke. This case was also the impetus for me becoming a Pet First Aid & CPR instructor so I could help teach people how to prevent death and injury to their pets. After all, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in pre-senior dogs and cats, and this was certainly one of those cases.

If you hire a sitter to care for your dog on the 4th of July, let them know how your pet may react to the loud noises, or where they may be hiding in the house. Limit the amount of time they stay outside, and allow your sitter to turn the radio or television on for your pet if they feel it will help. Keep a leash handy also if the dog is normally just let in the yard by your sitter – leashing the dog during a time of year that fireworks may be occurring nearby is a safety precaution. Some dogs can be so terrified they will find anyway to get out of the yard and run for cover – simply having the sitter leash the dog and “walk” him in the yard will really help the dog from bolting.

Keeping your pet sitter in mind, as well as your pet, can make for a happy, healthy, and safer summer for all. Enjoy the season!