The Barking Blog
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Contributing to Cape May County - Pet First Aid and CPR
We are so very proud to announce that Vanessa, the owner of Zoo Sitters, has wrapped up her Instructor certification
in Pet First Aid and CPR through Pet Tech this past week!
Pet Tech is the first international training center dedicated
to CPR, First Aid and Care for dogs and cats. Their program is extremely comprehensive and we are thrilled to now be able
to offer these informative classes to our community. We travel as well, so if you are located out of our service area and
would like for us to schedule a class near you, let us know!
Preventable Accidents Are The Leading
Cause of Death & Disability Among Pre-Senior Dogs and Cats."
Thom Somes, "The Pet Safety Guy™"
The Pet Tech training has helped save
the lives of thousands of pets that have been in emergency situations with their pet parent or Pet Care Professional. You
can help your pet or pets under your care by being prepared to handle any potential emergency as well as recognize the
signs of potential dangers thereby preventing the incident from ever happening in the first place.
PetSaver™ Training is a one-day course designed for pet owners as well as Pet Care Professionals. Check out
our First Aid and CPR page for more details. We'd love to help you be the best pet parent you can be!
Friday, June 14, 2013
How Do I Choose a Professional Pet Sitter or Dog Walker?
Anyone can print up business cards and
call themself a pet sitter. There are no actual licenses that a pet sitter needs to acquire before attaching the title to
their name. In fact, as pet ownership grows and the pet-care industry remains one of the most booming segments of the pet
industry, more individuals are doing just that.
Is this influx of newcomers to the industry a bad thing? Not necessarily.
For pet owners, the growth of the pet-sitting industry means more options for pet-care services. With this increase in options,
however, comes an even greater responsibility for pet owners to do their due diligence to ensure that they are selecting a
quality pet sitter. For fellow pet sitters, the growing marketplace offers more networking opportunities, greater referral
options and increased pet-sitting resources. On the other hand, as more individuals enter the pet-sitting industry, professional
pet sitters have to handle increased competition often from fly-by-night pet sitters who offer pet-sitting services at unrealistically
low prices to be an actual professional, legitimate business. With the number of online pet-sitter directories that have popped up in the last few years, this competition increases even more as pet owners can access listings of fly-by-night
pet sitters at the click of a mouse.
So, what makes a pet sitter a professional?
As the pet-sitting industry continues to grow, the mission of Pet Sitters International is to foster excellence and
continuous learning in the pet-sitting profession by providing the best education and tools of the trade. With increased
competition, professional pet sitters must separate themselves from non-professional pet sitters and educate pet owners about
what to look for in a pet-care service. PSI recommends quality standards that establish the benchmark for professional pet
sitters and serve as a set of guidelines for every PSI member to use in decisions that affect business ethics, procedures
and professionalism. Professionals earn the pet-owning public’s trust and loyalty by consistently using these practices:
A professional pet sitter:
A professional pet sitter:
- maintains current and adequate bonding and liability insurance.
- visits the client’s home before the first pet-sitting assignment
to meet the pets and obtain and record detailed information about specific needs.
- provides materials or online access to descriptions of services
a legally compliant, written service contract to clarify services, fees, visit schedule, time allocated per visit and all
other agreements, thereby establishing clear expectations in advance for both parties.
- takes precautions to make sure a client’s absence from
home is not detectable because of careless actions or disclosures by the sitter.
- has systems in place to ensure the security of home keys in
his or her possession.
- has a contingency plan for pet care in case of inclement weather or sitter's personal illness (does your pet sitter
service feedback from clients and responds appropriately.
- responds to client inquiries and complaints promptly.
- has a veterinarian on call for emergency service.
- is courteous, interested and
well-educated in the disciplines of pet sitting.
A professional pet sitter:
as much as possible about the routines, behaviors and needs of your pet.
- has adequate experience in caring for pets and is knowledgeable
in pet first aid to best protect their safety and well-being.
- understands and upholds local ordinances and laws applicable to animals in their
In addition, a professional
- exhibits courtesy and professionalism in all dealings with customers, staff and industry colleagues to positively
represent the pet sitter and the pet-sitting industry.
- conducts business with honesty and integrity and observes all federal, state and
local laws pertaining to business operations.
- refrains from criticizing competitors and voices concerns to industry associates in a respectful manner.
- demonstrates ethical standards
in all business transactions.
- provides references, screens pet sitters adequately, and, upon
request, provides proof of insurance and clean criminal history of all they assign to enter the homes of pet owners.
- provides initial and ongoing
training for its sitters and/or establishes standards that its employees must meet to qualify for pet-sitting assignments.
The Fly-By-Night Pet Sitter
an extremely low pet-sitting fee may be attractive, pet owners who love their pets usually want the best care available. Many
pet owners, especially those using a pet sitter for the first time, may not understand what they should look for in a potential
pet-care provider. If cost is the deciding factor of an owner's pet care, considering what that owner is giving up can truly make
a world of difference. To run any legitimate business comes with overhead. Not only should pet sitting companies pay
their employees a decent rate to ensure a level of job satisfaction, but they also have to cover worker's compensation, taxes,
liability insurance, bonding insurance, background checks, and any certifications in Pet First Aid as well as continuing
education for their sitters. With a certain level of attrition, pet sitting companies must advertise to continue to bring
in new clients to assure their sitters have continued work as well. The fly-by-night pet sitter's overhead is simply
the cost of the paper their business cards were printed on.
By following the guidelines above set by
Pet Sitters International, pet owners can be sure they are hiring someone they can trust to take care of their pets. After
all, this person is going to have access to a client's home and is being given the charge of caring for one of a pet owners
most beloved family members. With that in mind, a pet sitter is only as good as their credentials coupled with their
reputation within your community. While it's not a decision to take lightly, by educating pet owners on the differences that
exist, owners can choose a pet sitter best suited to their needs.
PSI Blog Feb 20, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
Great Pet Food Brands Fly The Coop
Back in 2010, we published a blog regarding Proctor &
Gambles' purchase of a number of popular dog food brands and thought the blog was worth publishing again.
It has been announced that Natura is being bought out by
Procter and Gamble.
Natura currently produces brands such as Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother
Nature and Karma. These foods will all now be produced by this large company.
While P&G has assured Natura
that nothing will change, keep in mind that both Iams and Eukanuba who are also owned by P&G.
Something to think about....
Keep in mind what kind of company Procter and Gamble is.. Below is a list of
their top selling items, considered their "Billion Dollar Brands"
- Ariel is a brand of laundry detergent/liquid available in numerous forms and scents.
- Bounty is a brand of paper towel sold in the United States and Canada.
- Braun is a small-appliances manufacturer specializing in electric shavers, epilators, hair care appliances and blenders.
- Crest is a brand of toothpaste and teeth whitening products.
- Dawn is a brand of dishwashing detergent.
- Downy/Lenor is a brand of fabric softener.
- Duracell is a brand of batteries and flashlights.
- Fusion is a brand of men's wet shave razors and is the quickest P&G brand to have reached $1 billion in annual sales.
- Gain is a brand of laundry detergent and fabric softeners.
- Gillette is a brand of safety razor and male grooming products.
- Head & Shoulders is a brand of shampoo and conditioners.
- Old Spice is a brand of aftershave, Deodorants, Soaps and Bodywash.
- Ivory is a soap.
- Nice 'n Easy is a hair coloring product.
- Olay is a brand of women's skin care products.
- Oral-B is a brand of toothbrush, and oral care products.
- Pampers is a brand of disposable diaper and other baby care products.
- Pantene is a brand of hair care products (conditioners/styling aids).
- Prilosec OTC is a brand of heartburn medicine co-marketed by AstraZeneca.
- Pringles is a brand of potato chips.
- Puffs is a brand of facial tissue.
- Secret is a brand of antiperspirant and deodorant.
- TAG is a deodorant and body spray.
- Tide is a brand of laundry detergent.
- Vicks is a brand name of over-the-counter medicines (Formula 44, Sinex, NyQuil/DayQuil)
- Wella is a brand name of hair care products (shampoo, conditioner, styling, and hair color).
- Whisper is a brand of pantyliners sold primarily in Asian markets.
Do I want these folks in charge of my pet's food!? No way.
Can you ask your vet what's best? Sure! Just keep the following in mind, (from Kerns, Nancy. “Choose the Best
Dry Food”. Whole Dog Journal Feb. 2002: 3-7 & Smith, Dr. Ronald D. UI-CVM Professional Curriculum. 16 April 2002):
Another resource many people turn to for help in choosing a pet food is their veterinarian. People assume that their veterinarian
has had training or taken courses in animal nutrition. In reality, veterinarians may not know any more about nutrition than
the average consumer. Some vet schools only offer one or two courses in pet nutrition, and the courses they do offer are mainly
focused on nutritional problems, not on feeding for health, as is the case at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary
Medicine. Courses in animal nutrition that are offered are often sponsored by Hill’s or other large pet food manufacturers.
According to a Wall Street Journal article by reporter Tara Parker-Pope, “Hill’s now funds a nutrition professorship
in nearly half of the nation’s veterinary schools. Hill’s employees wrote a widely used textbook on animal nutrition
that is distributed free to students” (qtd. in Protect Your Pet 15). Martin reveals that several large pet food manufacturers
also give free pet food to veterinary colleges and offer discounted food to veterinary students and faculty members (Protect
Your Pet 15). These factors may make veterinarians more likely to recommend the pet foods owned by these companies, whether
or not these are the best foods for their patients. As Kerns remarks, "when they’ve [veterinarians] been given
free Hill’s dog food in vet school, their veterinary nutrition textbooks have been underwritten by Hill’s, and
written by Hill’s researchers, its no wonder they have really good feelings about Hill’s products".
The morale of the story - ask lots of questions and make informed decisions. For those of you currently feeding
a brand you'd like to move from, head into The Wagging Tail down in Erma (337 Route 9, Erma - 609.886.5999) and talk to the
staff there. They will be happy to counsel you on the changes taking place and help you find a comparable diet for your babies.
In my opinion, they KNOW pet nutrition and they take it very seriously.
Am I Feeding My Pet Quality Pet Food?