In a normal Petcarers day our carers could be warming a very cold lizard under their shirt against their skin for body heat. Administering first aid then rushing a dog to the vet after it’s been injured. Gently coaxing a timid cat out from behind furniture to hand feed it because it is off its food and playing tug-o-war with a German Sheperd and its rope toy.
The qualities you should you look for in a pet carer or house sitter, in addition to the skills above, include a background in the animal industry, such as kennels, catteries, animal welfare, veterinary nursing and so on. This experience is gold and cannot be learnt on a google search.
A team of carers who can back each other up should one fall ill. People who interact with your pets when they come to meet you for an instruction visit before you leave on your holiday. Carers who are observant, interested, caring, ask questions and add notes to their paperwork. Naturally patting your pets while talking to you, and people you feel comfortable with.
Look for someone who can offer sound advice when you have been wondering about your pet’s particular behaviour. Petcarers have seen all sorts of things. Something you may have thought was odd & didn’t want to ask about might be fairly normal in the pet world. We’ve seen Boot Scooting, Muffin Making, Mounting, Little Dog Syndrome and more.
The most common medical or behavioural problems we see are chronic head shaking in dogs which often starts from a very simple ear infection. Your vet can help you with this. Dogs who are undisciplined on lead. You know, they drag you from tree to letterbox to tree for the next exciting scent while you are hanging on for dear life with your feet barely touching the ground. At Petcarers we recommend finding a qualified dog trainer/behaviourist who uses calm gentle methods. The investment will be so worthwhile for you and your dog and walks will become a pleasure again. In the meantime purchase a Sporn dog harness, we can’t recommend them highly enough.
Poor behaviour from boredom is the easily fixed. Rotate toys; give them low fat treats that last a long time such as rawhide chews for dogs. Cats love tunnels and ping pong balls. Change your hutch positions around the yard for variety to stimulate their minds. Give your dog and cat different flavours of pet food. Play with them, cuddle them, lie on the floor with them, and include them. Like us they love cuddles.
What I have learnt while caring for a wide variety of pets over a number of years. They are all individuals, who love, play, learn, get scared, nervous, and curious, have a sense of humour and are loveable souls who just want to please you.
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” John Grogan, Marley and Me.