Ditch the Kennel, Hire a Pet Sitter

 

Amy, our trusted pet-loving neighbor
          In my family, when any sort of vacation or trip is discussed amongst ourselves, the excitement of getting away is always quashed by the anxiety of who is going to care for our pets. Yes, we spoil them and perhaps we are overly concerned about their well-being when we are absent. It’s partially that we know they will experience separation anxiety and partially because you can never fully trust someone else with your baby. As their parents, we know what they like to eat, where they like to sleep, what their favorite toys are, where their favorite place to walk is, and anything else imaginable that overprotective parents like us would only understand.
     
             BUT, we need to be “normal” people and have our own, human time as well. In this blog post, we will give you advice on choosing a pet sitter that will put your mind at ease and allow you to take a well-deserved vacation. You can even begin to think of it as your pet getting a vacation from you too, because after all, I’m sure you can become annoying too (just kidding).
DITCH THE KENNEL, FORGET ABOUT BOARDING
             Pets are always happier when they are home. Based on common sense, we can agree that it will reduce any amount of stress of not having you around as usual. I remember as a child, when my parents went out of town, my anxiety level was much lower if I was left at home with my grandparents staying over to supervise (cough..discipline) my sister and I. Back to our pets, let’s face it: not everyone has their grandparents or friends available with the time and/or ability to take proper care of our pets. That is why hiring a pet sitter offers the best of both worlds for pets and their owners alike.
  
             The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) takes hiring a pet sitter very seriously. They not only offers tons of resources and tips for pet parents in terms of hiring a pet sitter, but they also offer a directory of professional, certified pet sitters that will leave you feeling the confidence to book the next ticket out of town! Their main tips for hiring a pet sitter are as follows:
  • Develop a set of questions and conduct a thorough interview
  • Ask for references
  • Request proof of bonding and liability insurance coverage
  • Make sure he/she interacts well with your pet
  • Clarify your/your pet’s specific needs 
  • Your budget and exactly how much services will cost
           NAPPS’s website even throws out tips of household tasks to take care of before you go :
  • Clean out your fridge to prevent food spoilage
  • Wash any dirty dishes to avoid attracting pets and make the sink free for the sitter
  • Relocate valuables (away from windows especially)
  • Mow your grass or have someone shovel snow
  • Secure outside gates (to the swimming pool especially)
  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked
  • Do not hide keys for the sitter or others who might be entering your home while you’re away
            On a separate note, services similar to couchsurfing.org are coming out for pets. “Couch-surfing” is a modern day way to stay as a house guest in any city in the world by finding different hosts through their website who have you for free. I am personally a part of that community and there are very trusted members on there who have been reviewed and are legitimate, nice folks. There is a database that I tracked down where you can sign up via petstouch.com for a “pet sitting exchange program”. For people who are on a tight budget and are trusting toward other pet parents and lovers, this could be an interesting concept to explore as pet sitting would be free of charge.
 
           All in all, when it comes to finding a pet sitter, make sure that they are either certified and experienced professionals, or that they are really good folks with pets of their own who will have the time and ability to look after yours while you are away. At the end of the day, it is all about peace of mind for you and about what you can afford. Don’t forget to always interview someone first and ask all of those important questions above. Every pet and parent has their own level of needs, after all. We plan to build quite a network through our Community pages on dealwagger.com in hopes that you will be able to find good neighbors and local professionals to take care of you and your pet’s needs.
The Dealwagger Pack is going to be attending the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL, this week. We hope to cross paths so we can meet you! We are on a mission to carry the best quality food and treats possible at the best price. 
We appreciate your readership and interest in improving the quality of life of you and your pet’s, which is exactly our mission at dealwagger.com. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dealwagger to follow our posts, and sign-up for our newsletter where we share worthwhile resources and contest freebies. Receive daily deal discounts in your E-mail inbox on quality pet products shipped to your door and on goods/services locally. Our launch date to be announced shortly.

About the author: Kevin Opos is the Director Marketing of dealwagger.com, having graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Media Marketing. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, he has shared-custody of 2 dogs and is dedicated to supporting animal rescue organizations & the prevention of animal abuse by giving those who cannot speak a voice.

Learn Pet CPR Here + Bonus: Pet First Aid Kit

     
           Whether you know how to apply CPR to humans or not, this would be a great skill to attain when it comes to the tools to potentially save your pet’s life. I recently came across a news release out of Omaha, Nebraska, where CPR on pets was explored in terms of how to apply it properly in case of an emergency. An expert was consulted named Pam Nathan, who is certified in CPR and first aid. She travels with her demo dog named Greta, and she offers classes in her region.
           Pam Nathan tells us, in regards to applying CPR to our pet, “The one misconception about choking management is that we don’t do a Heimlich like we do on people. It’s more like a side compression.” Please see the video here or below in order to follow in more detail (plus you can see Greta in action).
Click here to view video of Pet CPR

PET CPR BASICS: 
Heather Clisby, a blogger for BlogHer, posted the following CPR Basics at her article on Pet CPR, here.

If your pet is not breathing, use a finger to clear any mucus or other objects from the mouth. Much like human CPR, tilt the head back to straighten the airway passage.

Hold the mouth shut with one hand, and place your mouth over the animal’s snout, beak or whatever, making sure the seal is tight. Blow into the nose and watch to see if the chest expands.

If the chest doesn’t expand, start over again by clearing the mouth. If the chest does expand, release the animal’s mouth so it can exhale.

Repeat the breathing procedure every five seconds until the animal is breathing normally.

If you detect no heartbeat, you need to do CPR along with cardiac resuscitation.

Start by putting the animal on its right side. Place the heel of your hand on the ribcage just behind the elbow. Place your other hand on top of the first hand.

Firmly press on the ribcage in quick, smooth movements. Depending on the size of the animal, press down 3-4 inches using both hands. The compression should last no longer than 1/2 second. The smaller the dig the fewer inches of compression and less force are needed. Be careful not to damage the ribcage. Repeat this procedure 10 times.

Then, if the animal is still not breathing, perform CPR as described above.

Alternate between the chest compressions (10 in a row), and one breath into the nose.

(*Please note that there are slight variances in CPR approach depending on species and size.

First Aid Kit

           Another great thing to have around in case of emergency is having a special first-aid kit for your pet. Putting your own kit together is recommended since you would know what everything is. Pam Nathan reminds us that the first-aid kit should never take the place of professional treatment. She says the kit should include:
  • Tweezers
  • A syringe
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Travel water bowl
  • Gauze tape
  • Popsicle sticks for splinting injuries
            
             Finally, Nathan recommends that pet owners store their vet’s phone number into their contact list. When people are in a panic, you can imagine how convenient it would be to have an important number like that saved and perhaps on speed dial or as a “Favorite” if you have an iPhone. To learn more about Pam’s pet CPR classes, visit DoggiePaddleOmaha.com

We appreciate your readership and interest in improving the quality of life of you and your pet’s, which is exactly our mission at dealwagger.com. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dealwagger to follow our posts, and sign-up for our newsletter where we share worthwhile resources and contest freebies. Receive daily deal discounts in your E-mail inbox on quality pet products shipped to your door and on goods/services locally. Our launch date to be announced shortly.

About the author: Kevin Opos is the Director Marketing of dealwagger.com, having graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Media Marketing. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, he has shared-custody of 2 dogs and is dedicated to supporting animal rescue organizations & the prevention of animal abuse by giving those who cannot speak a voice.

Pet Food Warning (Made in China): Read THIS– And Avoid Tragedy

          
            I have been coming across numerous articles and warnings of Chicken Jerky treats making dogs sick in the U.S. that happened to be manufactured/processed in China. If we can save your pet’s life, its time we brought this to your attention. We don’t mean to throw the nation of China under the bus, but there are clearly issues with their factories and contamination these days. The last thing we want is for you to pay the price because you were not aware.
Straight from the FDA‘s website, here is the following official report:


“FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

November 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA

Pet Food Warning (Made in China): Read THIS– And Avoid Tragedy

          
            I have been coming across numerous articles and warnings of Chicken Jerky treats making dogs sick in the U.S. that happened to be manufactured/processed in China. If we can save your pet’s life, its time we brought this to your attention. We don’t mean to throw the nation of China under the bus, but there are clearly issues with their factories and contamination these days. The last thing we want is for you to pay the price because you were not aware.
Straight from the FDA‘s website, here is the following official report:


“FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products

November 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

FDA issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. After seeing the number of complaints received drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010, the FDA is once again seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA