Hiring someone to watch over your pets? Here is what you need to know!

To begin the search, you might ask for recommendations from your vet, dog trainer or local Humane Society office or check the databases for the National Assn. of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International .

Those are, by no means, the only ones. You can find other options by searching online or asking friends and family.

To begin, start with a telephone interview and ask lots of questions.

Here are a few to start with:

1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required? Rules and regulations vary regarding what is required to legally operate a business. If your city or state requires a business license, any professional pet sitter you use should have a valid business license. While pet sitters care for your pet at your home, some do offer limited in-their-home boarding. If so, ensure that they also have the proper authorization and license to offer this service as well.

2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded? Ask for proof of coverage. PSI members have access to group rates on policies specifically for petsitters and are provided insurance cards.

3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history? Remember, the person you choose to hire will have access to your property and your beloved animal companion(s). Ask for third-party credentials that verify the sitter has a history of honesty and integrity. Official verification documents will contain a current date (within one year), a Social Security number trace, county-level court search results and the contact information of a reputable investigator. This documentation can provide the peace of mind you seek when admitting a new pet-care provider to your home.

4. Does the pet sitter provide client references? PSI recommends that all of its members have a list of references for potential clients to contact. Some pet sitters also include testimonials on their company websites or on their PSI Locator profiles.

5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract? A well-written contract outlines the details associated with each service the sitter will provide. The contract includes all fees along with the expected amount of time that will be spent with your pet(s). This ensures that both you and your sitter have agreed on and understand the level of service being provided in your absence.

6. Has the pet sitter completed PSI’s Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid? Experience in caring for special needs pets or various types of pets is helpful if that is what you need. Pet sitters who have completed PSI’s Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program have the resources on hand to care for a wide variety of companion animal species.

7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International? Membership in a professional association such as PSI demonstrates a pet sitter’s commitment to their profession and the industry at large. PSI members have access to the most up-to-date educational resources and business tools to help them provide the best possible service to clients and their pets.

Senior Dog Care Challenges

The notion of dog years stems from the common belief that one year for a dog equals seven years for a human. Although canine aging is more nuanced than a simple formula, any dog lover knows that dogs’ lives pass far too quickly.

Even so, America’s 70 million dogs, like their human companions, are living longer, on average, because of better medical care and nutrition. Caring for elderly dogs can be heart-wrenching. Many pet owners struggle to understand when to pursue aggressive care and when to stop and help a beloved pet pass on.

“Older patients are the biggest challenge veterinarians face,” says Dr. Alicia Karas, an assistant professor of veterinary medicine at Tufts University. She argues for a holistic approach to older dogs, saying that “too often we focus on the affected body part or the results of an X-ray, not how an animal walks into the exam room.”

Pain tops the list of common health concerns for older dogs, with causes ranging from the routine, such as arthritis, to the more serious, such as cancer. As in humans, pain management can be complicated by other conditions. A dog with weak kidneys, for instance, may not be able to take canine-specific pain medicine.

Read more here http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/02/25/515610795/when-you-love-an-old-dog-managing-care-can-be-a-challenge

Homeward Bound Pet Care

www.homewardboundpets.com

281-909-7386

My Puppy is Chewing EVERYTHING!

Puppies, just like human toddlers, need a completely puppy-proof area, either a crate or gated room. If your puppy grabs a forbidden item while you are watching him, quickly distract him with a sharp “Eh eh!” and when he drops it, redirect cheerfully with a toy that he is allowed to have.

Teaching tricks is a good way to give your pup appropriate outlets. A good one to start with is “Leave it.” Follow this link to learn how.

Insufficient exercise and mental stimulation can drive your adult dog to find destructive forms of entertainment, so it’s up to you to meet his needs. If ugly winter weather keeps you inside, play indoor games with him. Fetch, hide and seek, and tug-of-war (played correctly) are great fun and exercise for both of you. Here are some good indoor game ideas to try.

There are many entertaining dog puzzles on the market, too, and you can even make your own. Just remember that many of these are meant to be enjoyed with you and not left alone with your dog.

Read more here http://www.akc.org/content/dog-training/articles/how-to-stop-chewing/?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170227-yourakc

 

Homeward Bound Pet Care

www.homewardboundpets.com

281-909-7386

19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade Galveston 2/26

The Galveston Island Humane Society’s (GIHS) 19th Annual Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Mardi Gras Parade will have its Annual “A Cat’s Eye View” Parade Viewing Party on the balcony of the Trolley Building which will allow people to view three family fun parades: The Shriners Hospitals for Children & Sunshine Kids Parade, our Krewe of Barkus & Meoux Parade, and the beloved Children’s Parade following us.  

The theme for this year’s Parade is, “A Paw-Jama Party,” with our Paws Gala Elite Pet Owner winner Shelby Scott and her winning Pet of the Year, Travis. 
The “A Cat’s Eye View” Balcony Party is set for Sunday, February 26, 2017, is from Noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Our Barkus & Meoux Parade will begin at Pier 20, travel the strand to Mechanic, and return to Pier 20. Pre-registration for the parade is $20 per pet. On-site registration will be $30 per pet.

The Parade and Viewing Party are not only fun, but raise money for our community support programs.The success of these projects depends on the support of individuals and businesses who generously contribute.

Contact the shelter for details on sponsorship opportunities, 409-740-1919. The GIHS is a 501c3 organization andyour contributions are tax deductible.

?“A Cat’s Eye View”  Balcony Party Highlights:

  • FREE entrance into the entertainment district included in your Ticket
  • 1 free drink ticket with light appetizers and cash bar
  •  In the center of all the Mardi Gras action
  • View of 3 Parades
  • Perfect view of the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux parade featuring area pets, many in their Mardi Gras finest attire.

Cost: $20 per person

Purchase tickets here:  tix.extremetix.com…

All proceeds go to The Galveston Island Humane Society.

5 Pet-Conscious Tips For Valentine’s Day

Thanks to PetMD for this great article!

Does your heart melt whenever you look into the soft, imploring eyes of the one you love? Does it skip a beat at the sound of your sweetheart’s voice as you walk in the door at the end of a long day? Do you pause in the middle of the day to sigh, thinking of your honey’s warm, wet nose, and furry ears?

It’s love, and we know it — dogs and cats make the best Valentine’s ever. There’s no need to get them chocolates, and they have no use for flowers. In fact, these gifts are actually dangerous for them. But do you know why?

Here are five great tips that help will keep your pets safe this Valentine’s Day.

  1. Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Theirs. Everyone knows that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, among other problems. But not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. While an M&M or two may not do any harm, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter may end up in the ER. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.
  1. Skip the Candygram. Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
  1. Restart the Heart. If your dog or cat should ingest large amounts of chocolate, gum, or candy, it may go into cardiac arrest. Be prepared by learning the proper methods for artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary respiration (CPR), both of which can be found in our emergency section.
  1. A Rose is Just a Rose. But then again, it can also be a something that hurts your pets. The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.
  1. To Give or Not to Give. Are you planning to gift a loved one a new puppy or kitten for Valentine’s Day? You may want to reconsider. Mull it over and do your homework — animals are not disposable, nor can they easily be repackaged, regifted, or returned if the recipient is not pleased.

Homeward Bound Pet Care