Archive for the ‘pet sitter’ Category

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04 May 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

We all have read stories about how much pets can help disabled humans – from seeing-eye dogs, to therapy dogs, to the simple act of reducing our blood pressure by petting a cat or dog. What happens when the tables are turned and the pets are the ones who become disabled? Every year since 2006 we celebrate National Specially-Abled Pets Day on May 3rd to show case the amazing ways our pets and animals adapt that may have become challenged due to disease, birth flaws or injuries and develop greater senses and abilities.  I like to think we can celebrate them everyday!

Being a professional pet sitter since 2003, I have seen, worked with and helped clients with pets that are Specially-Abled over the years.  It is inspiring and touching to see the lengths people will go to give back to their pets. Take the story of an adult male German Shepherd owned by a 110lb. woman in Bayside, NY.  When his bone cancer became more aggressive and started spreading, there was no choice but to amputate one of his hind legs. A specially made harness was needed to help to lift up and support his rear while walking.  The client dedicated herself to helping her best companion to learn to walk again.  The dog was depressed in the beginning and didn’t want to walk, but she stuck by him. She actually began to work out to gain more strength in her upper body, and worked with her dog every day. We would come midday while she was at work to continue the routine of motivation and lifting him up to get his first few steps started. Through her hard work, compassion, and dedication, after only a couple of months he started to enjoy walking again. He was no longer depressed, loved to sit outside on the porch and even played ball.

I have also seen how pet lovers will not hesitate to bring an already disabled dog into their lives – especially ones who are blind or deaf. My staff and I have had the pleasure of learning how to care for these pets, and we are happy to go the extra mile to assist them in their care and help their owners too.  With a deaf dog or cat, it’s still our habit to talk to or call out to the non-hearing dogs, learning to tap on the floor so they know there is someone there, (they can feel the vibrations), and using a lot of visual cues.  Each dog has their own unique visual cues – just like human sign language.

For blind dogs, besides using a lot of audio signals, we let the dogs use their nose to approach and smell us before we use touch. It is amazing to see their ability to adapt to their environment. Once they get used to the layout of a room and house, they can navigate it without any hesitation.

Animals have a spirit and determination that never ceases to amaze me – and the kindness of people amazes me as well. With all our pets do to try and please us, it’s great to see people giving back to them – they deserve it!  After all, pets are considered part of the family these days and sometimes are treated better.

Shanna, lost her leg to cancer - lived until a happy, healthy 12.5 years as a 3 - legged wonder dog, inspiring people everywhere she went!

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19 Jan 11

Pet Sitters & Blizzards ...

by Robyn Elman, President of In Home Pet Services, Inc.

What do Pet Sitters do in a Blizzard?

This has been a rough winter so far with two big storms a rain and ice storm and more snow forecasted to hit our area again.  They mayor says to stay off the roads. The schools are all closed and kids get to stay home with their parents or people are away on vacations. So what is a pet sitter to do?

When pet sitters have clients that are away on vacation they, and more importantly their pets, are depending on the sitter to come for their care. Dogs like Sophie the beagle still has to go outside to do her business, get feed, fresh water, love and attention, and cats like Bella needs her daily medications, litter changed, etc.

Dedicated professional pet sitters go with shovels in their cars to each appointment, and if the roads are not plowed they take the train or bus; and if that fails – as in the last blizzard in New York when there was no public transportation – they walked!   But pet owners who are hiring pet sitters should also take into consideration the following tips to ensure safety for their pets and their pet sitters:

If you are away during the winter and are relying on a pet sitter, you can make things safer for them, ensuring your pet can get their care.

  • Have someone “pre-hired” to shovel in case it snows. Have them shovel your driveway with a path to the road as well as the sidewalk in front of the house, and a path to the door.
  • Leave pet safe salt containers for the people shoveling your walk and driveways (with directions to only use that type of salt) – and leave an extra container or two inside incase the pet sitter needs to add additional salt to ice or snow.
  • Always have the numbers to your power company and/or heating company displayed for the sitter to call if there is an outage.
  • If there is a power outage, or no heat at your home, make sure you have arrangements with your pet sitter so that they can take the dog, cat or bird home with them to board in case of a no heat emergency.
  • Extra leashes, collars, dog or cat carrier is great to have available in case the sitter does have to take the pet with them.
  • Have the number to the nearest 24-hour vet emergency hospital displayed as well.
  • Keep a shovel handy for your sitter to maintain the paths.
  • If you have a regularly scheduled dog walker and you are staying home from work – remember to call them to cancel.
  • Make sure you have enough pet food, litter, pet medication and bottled water in case you’re stuck and can’t get back on your schedule day due to weather.

Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers truly work through rain, and snow, day and night. Planning ahead during the winter will make the care of your pet a little easier for your sitter to stay safe while caring for your pet.  The tips above will make a big difference in the life of your pet and pet sitter during another blizzard.

Dangerous roadways are tough enough on pet sitters.

Don't leave it up to your pet sitter to shovel your house out.