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Find a Great Pet Sitter Before You Plan Your Next Trip

Find a Great Pet Sitter Before You Plan Your Next Trip


Raleighwood Pet Sitting

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for your pet’s livelihood.  Sure, vacation is awesome…but let’s not lose track of your best kitty or puppy friend.  You know, the one who waits for you 365 days a year!  

If you are looking for a pet sitting or pet care service, then it is important to spend some time screening the company’s qualifications.  Finding a pet sitter with a good reputation, who is also licensed, bonded, and insured is no easy task.  This is why it may be smart to choose a company rather than an individual.  It is also a smart idea to meet with companies who offer these services and see if their employees’ personalities are compatible with your household’s.  (Yes, we mean if the dog or cats likes the person!)

What do pet sitters do anyway?  A pet sitter does more than ‘babysit’ your animal.  Socialization is a major factor. Why some pet services may even offer training and help to teach the animal skills such as obeying leadership, constructive ways to fight boredom and so on.

The exact methods a pet care professional uses will vary from company to company.  It is often recommended that you work with a professional company rather than an individual, as a group of trained pet experts is more reliable than is one person.  

How much does pet care and pet sitting cost?  It really varies by the services offered.  Other factors worth considering include geographic location, time spent at the house or in the boarding facility, and any other extras.  Some companies offer longer hours, more flexible schedules, dog walking, cat and dog grooming, flea treatment and so on.  One of the most interesting new offerings these days is that of pet first aid.  What would happen if your pet became gravely ill in your absence?  Does this pet care company you hired know what to do?  Is there an emergency vet plan ready to go in the event of an emergency?  All of this must be considered before you plan your next vacation!  

Tips For Traveling Without Your Pets

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About the Author

At Raleighwood Pet Sitting, we make it our business to provide quality care for pets and peace of mind for their people. To learn more about how a pet sitter can make your life—and your pet’s—better, contact today.

10 Household Items That Could Harm Your Dog

10 Household Items Poisonous to Dogs

By []Anne Law

Many household items can be poisonous to dogs. The trend is on the rise with no apparent reason.

 Human medications: Common human drugs such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements are poisonous to dogs. Pets snatch pill vials from easily accessible counters or medication accidentally dropped on the floor. Make sure you keep all medication out of reach.

insecticide harm pets Insecticides: Pet poisonings pertaining to products used to kill fleas, ticks and other insects are up. A key finding is the usage of products that eliminate fleas, ticks and other pesky bugs, is not reading and following label instructions exactly. Another mistake is applying the wrong topical treatment to the wrong species. It is best to talk to your vet before embarking on any flea program.

Veterinary medications: Misapplication by earnest pet owners involving animal-related preparations such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heart worm preventatives, de-wormers, antibiotics, vaccines and nutritional supplements can be poisonous to dogs.

Plants: Varieties such as azalea, rhododendron, sago palm, lilies, kalanchoe and schefflera found in homes are poisonous to dogs. What can you do? Learn about the plants in your yard and neighbourhood that are dangerous and be sure your dog does not have access to them. Ideally, remove all toxic plants on your own property including poisonous houseplants. Check out the plant before you purchasing. It is also a good idea to discourage dogs from nibbling on any variety of plant, as even non-toxic plants can lead to minor stomach upsets.

Rodenticides: Rat and mouse poisons can cause bleeding, seizures or kidney damage.

Household cleaners: Lock up your cleaning agents such as bleaches, detergents and disinfectants. When inhaled by our furry friends, it can cause serious gastrointestinal distress and irritation to the respiratory tract.household items harm pets

Food: Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. The toxic compound in chocolate is theobromine, a substance found in cacao beans. The signs of toxicity of chocolate usually include excitement, agitation or nervousness, muscle tremors, vomiting, increase thirst and diarrhea. Some severe cases the dog may have muscle spasms, feel heat and enter into coma. A few were fatal. Dark chocolate has greater potential for poisoning, including baking chocolate. Forget white chocolate, even though it has less theobromine. The bottom line is to exclude chocolate from your recipe. Raisins and grapes can result in hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhoea and kidney failure. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting and tremors in some dogs. Xylitol commonly found in human products, such as, toothpaste, chewing gum; baked goods can cause insulin release resulting in lower blood sugar and potential liver failure. The symptoms are lethargy and loss of coordination. Different dogs react differently, best is to avoidance.

Chemical hazards: Harmful items such as volatile petroleum-based products, alcohols, acids and gases which are found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals. The side effects are gastrointestinal upset, depression, respiratory difficulties and chemical burns.

Physical hazards: Items in this group include objects that could pose a choking hazard, risk for intestinal obstruction, or other physical injury

Home improvement products: Lead is especially injurious. Pets are exposed to it through many sources, including consumer products, paint chips, linoleum, and lead dust produced when surfaces in older homes are scraped or sanded.

Before your dog needs help due to ingestion on any household items poisonous to dogs, decide which poison control helpline you want to use. Post the number where you can easily find it in an emergency.

Hi I am Anne Law. Know your facts then you can save your dog! Stop by my site where you can know more about a veterinary reference that offers alternative solutions to your pets’ health.

Article Source: [] 10 Household Items Poisonous to Dogs

While You’re Away Your Pets Will Play? Maybe not…How a Pet Sitter Can Help


While You’re Away Your Pets Will Play? Maybe not…How a Pet Sitter Can Help


Rubi Wiswall

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to get sick when traveling?  The combination of sleep deprivation, changes in your normal diet and schedule, and introduction to crowds of strangers with varying foreign germs can send your immune system out of whack and produce a nasty cold, unnecessary stress, and a myriad of issues when you come home.

It is not much different for your dog, and when boarding your pet there are some factors that must be taken into account when deciding whether or not to leave your dog in a new environment, particularly if your pet was a rescue, or experiences separation anxiety, difficulty adapting to new people or dogs, or has specific dietary or care needs.

Dogs perform best when they have a consistent routine to their days down to the amount of time they spend running or playing and the consistency of their bathroom breaks.  So, even a kennel with the best intentions will still affect your dog’s schedule, which can cause anything from dehydration, to diarrhea, and other stress related issues.  Eating, sleeping and bathroom routines will inevitably be interrupted when boarding your dog and often times will, if nothing else, make for a very unhappy pet who may take days to return back to normal.your house pet sitter

Unfortunately, this is not the only risk when boarding your beloved companion.  Some dogs adapt perfectly fine to kennels, while others can become depressed, stop eating and drinking, become violent or desperate to escape.  Often times these dogs are rescues or have traumatic events from their past like years in a puppy mill that can affect them for the rest of their lives, and make it much more difficult to adapt to new situations like a kennel.

One pet owner, Sara Moody, in Philadelphia, PA boarded her rescue Pit Bull, Che, for four days while on vacation.  After carefully researching the kennels in the area she picked the one with the best reviews, however according to the kennel staff Che wasn’t eating or drinking for the first few days, and showed constant signs of distress.   Moody says ‘We had Che picked up a day early and he was obviously comforted to see a familiar face.  He relieved himself as soon as he was let out which seemed to be an indication that he knew he was safe.’  When Moody returned home Che had visible scratches on his nose from trying to chew his way out of the kennel he was kept in.  When asked, the staff at the facility said that he was extremely anti-social during his stay, and spent every moment trying to escape by chewing on the metal bars of his cage.  Part of this problem stems from the fact that the staff would leave at 6pm and did not return until 8am, so for fourteen hours the boarded dogs were not let out or given any attention.  ‘It just broke my heart hearing that, but is not uncommon for kennels,’ says Moody.  ‘Who knows what could go on during that time, not to mention the fact that dogs should not generally go that long without relieving themselves.  Clearly, Che wasn’t happy and all he could do was try to chew his way out.’

Part of the reason why Che had a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings without his loving owners is because of the fact that he is a rescue, and since being adopted by Moody and her fiancé, has hated being left alone.  Che was abandoned as a puppy and the issues that stem from those deep-seated memories still affect him.  Other traumatic situations, like puppy mills or abuse, affects dogs in this way too and can make it more difficult to leave them alone.  Chris Shaughness, author of Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!, and pet behavioral expert agrees.   ‘Dogs who have anxiety issues do not handle the kennel well.’  She adds, ‘This includes puppy mill survivors who may associate going to a boarding kennel with being back in the cage at the puppy mill, dogs who have separation anxiety, dogs who are sensitive to too much noise (boarding kennels can be quite noisy and upsetting with a lot of barking dogs) and dogs who have never been exposed to a kennel.’

Not only the previous experiences of your dog, but also their genetics can help make the decision of whether or not to board.  Shaughness advises, ‘Some high-energy breeds such as Border Collies may not be able to endure being in a kennel without exercise. And some breeds are also known to not tolerate kennels at all: Rottweilers and Dobermans have a tendency to get ‘kennel crazy’ if confined for too long.’

So what are the alternatives?  In our busy lives obviously we cannot be there for our dogs every minute of every day!  Shaughness suggest hiring a pet sitter as the ideal.  ‘I’m a huge fan of having a pet sitter simply because most dogs are more comfortable in their own homes, they can get frequent exercise and it gives owners peace of mind to know that their home is also being watched over.’  Moody, who has been turned off of kennels by her one and only negative experience agrees.  ‘I think from now on we will find other ways of making sure he is taken care of while we are away, because as much as we hated leaving him in a kennel I’m sure he hated it more.’   Obviously, there are risks and considerations when looking for a pet sitter as well, but luckily there are associations set up to help discern the true professionals.

One way to make sure you pet sitter is legit is to look for the Pet Sitter’s International seal. PSI offers members access to bonding and liability insurance and educational resources such as PSI’s Accreditation Program and annual Quest convention. Hiring a sitter who is a member of PSI gives the assurance that your pet sitter is caring, professional, and dedicated to the pet sitting industry.

Another reason to have a professional walk/run your dog, feed and give bathroom breaks on their own schedule?  You may just be helping to fulfill that pet sitter’s dream as well.  One PSI member, Bob Zwaan of Wagmore Quality Petcare in Newtown Square, PA feels that this business of caring and loving for animals is his true life’s calling.  An avid marathon runner, Zwaan loves to give his clients’ pets the exercise they need, depending on breed, age, size, and energy level of the pet of course.  Zwaan says ‘I have a great appreciation for the importance of physical and mental health improving the quality of life, not just for humans but our pets, and I want my clients to know that this philosophy about health is built into the Wagmore mission statement.’ An experienced pet owner himself, Zwaan wants to give back to animals the joy and caring that he has benefitted from in the past from his furry buddies.  When caring for the pets in his roster, Zwaan makes sure ‘your pet gets what he needs and most importantly, what he desires.’

You want the best for your dog while you’re away, and only you know what is best for your particular pet.  However, if you are the owner of a dog who experiences anxiety, or depression during long periods of separation, or you would rather not take the risk of your dog catching a cold or any other issue that could arise from boarding, a pet sitter could be a good option for you.  Visit to find a PSI accredited pet sitter in your area.

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About the Author

Rubi Wiswall is a copy writer for Web-Wis-dom, a full service design firm in Philadelphia specializing in web design, SEO marketing and more. 

For more information on Chris Shaughness and her book Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK! visit



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