Friday, 21 December 2012

Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

This time of year is a wonderful time to share with friends and family, to eat, drink and to decorate your home with festive holiday décor.  However, these traditions can be quite hazardous to our pets if we do not take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of our furry friends during the holiday season.
 
Christmas Trees:  While having a Christmas tree in your home can be delightful and decorative, it can make your pets sick.  Pets are often attracted to eating pine needles, which can become lodged in their throats, making it painful for them to swallow, or worse puncture through.  Also, for pets, drinking the water from Christmas trees can cause diarrhea, mouth sores, and vomiting.  We recommend keeping your pet in an area that is separated from where your tree is located in your home, during times that you are not monitoring your pet, or if you are away over the holidays, and having a pet sitter care for your home and pets.  Also, cover your tree stand with a tight skirting, to prevent your pet from drinking the tree water and pick up fallen pine needless promptly.
 
Plants:  Holly, Poinsettias, and mistletoe can be festive holiday décor for your home, but are unfortunately also toxic to our pets.  They can cause stomach, skin, mouth and eye problems.  Make sure that your Christmas plants are out of reach of your pets over the holidays.  Artificial plants made from silk or plastic can be another option.
 
Lights:  Adding more lights to your home, will add more cords for your pets to chew on if you’re not careful.  With electrical lights, be sure to tape the cords to the walls or floors to ensure that your pet cannot chew or trip on them.
 
Chocolate & Nuts:  Some cookies, candies and nuts can be dangerous to your pets. For example chocolate is highly toxic to our furry friends as it contains theobromine and theophylline, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. The darker the chocolate the more toxic it becomes for our pets.  Eating chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, increased thirst, and heart rate in our pets.  Amongst the nuts the most prominent to avoid is the Macadamia nut. The high phosphorus content is said to possibly cause bladder stones in dogs. Eating Macadamia nuts can also cause weakness, muscle tremors, swollen & painful limbs, and worse paralysis. Candy wrappers can also be extremely attractive to pets, and can cause vomiting and intestinal blockage when digested. Make sure that all of your holiday sweets are out of your pet’s reach, and that candy wrappers are disposed of while your sitter is caring for your pet over the holidays.
 
Holiday leftovers:  While sometimes we think our pets deserve a holiday treat, changing their regular diet even for one feeding can cause indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and/or liver damage with toxic ingredients. There are so many ingredients in our holiday recipes that we need to avoid for our pets, such as: onions, garlic, mushrooms, grapes, raisins to name a few. Poultry and fat trimmings is a popular left over that is often fed to pets.  Poultry bones can splinter, lacerate and cause bowel obstruction which your pet will require surgery to remove the bone. And fat trimming can cause Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas.
 
Parties:  If you plan to entertain this holiday season, make sure that your pet has a place to retreat to when they get overwhelmed with all of the excitement and to ensure that they do not escape from your home.
 
Alcohol:  Animals can become very sick if they ingest alcohol.  Make sure when you’re entertaining to place alcoholic drinks out of reach of your pets.
 
That said, we at Loving Paws & House Sitting encourage you to celebrate the holidays with your furry family members with pet friendly treats, gifts and cuddles. Enjoy their company while keeping in mind their safety!
 
Lastly give back to less fortunate pets this holiday season!  While your pet is in a safe and secure home being cared for by you or your pet sitter over the holidays, there are many pets that will be homeless. At the Ottawa Humane Society, you can give back to less fortunate animals by helping a dog or cat in need or giving a special gift. To donate to Ottawa Humane Society please visit our OHS My Fundraiser Page today!  Your gift would make a paws-itive impact on a pet-in-need’s life. 
 
Have a pur'fect holiday season, and a doggone Happy New Year!
 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

2012 Ottawa Humane Society Wiggle Waggle Walkathon

Loving Paws & House Sitting was delighted to participate in the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) Wiggle Waggle Walkathon again this year on September 9th, 2012.  We have proudly participated in the event each year since 2005, and sponsored the walkathon for the last 3 years, in order to raise funds for the Ottawa Humane Society.  It is a great feeling to be able to give back to the pets in our community in need of care and of loving forever homes by helping raise $170,000!

The event also brings all of our team members together, and enables us our team of sitters to all spend time together for a great cause, be readily available to personally introduce ourselves to prospect clients, and to socialize our pups as well. What a fun day!
This year the walkathon was held at Bruce Pit for the first time.  It was a nice change of scenery, and the day was an absolutely beautiful one, perfect day for walking and socializing the dogs. 

We had the opportunity to meet with so many different types of dogs, and their wonderful pet parents, and to discuss with them the many different in-your-homepet sitting services that we provide to our clients.

This year, we wanted to do something extra for the event, and decided to have a raffle.  It was a huge success, and was a great way for us to raise extra money for the Ottawa Humane Society.  We hope to make this a new tradition, and plan on having another raffle next year. 

It was wonderful meeting with all of our team members once again this year, and with all of the animal lovers and their furry friends.  We look forward to seeing you all again at next year’s Wiggle Waggle Walkathon!

To meet our local team members please visit our Ottawa, Gatineau and Smiths Falls team pages.

Written by Sara Morris

Client Care Coordinator at Loving Paws & House Sitting

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Summer Woofstock Experience

In June 2012, Loving Paws & House Sitting was delighted to attend its first business trip to Summer Woofstock in Toronto, Ontario, the largest dog festival in North America.  We were so excited to be a part of such a large and diverse event, which boasts over 300,000 dog lovers and their four-footed furry friends.

We attended the event in an effort to spread the word about our expansion to the Mississauga area this year, and in doing so, we were overwhelmed with such positive responses from residents from Mississauga, Toronto and surrounding areas.  

Loving Paws & House Sitting was proud to be the only vendor participating in the event which offered in-your-home pet care services as the primary service offered.  Many of the animal lovers we met were unaware that this service existed, and were also pleased with the convenience of being able to leave their pets at home in their familiar environment while working long hours or on vacation.

The pet parents we met were also delighted to hear that this service had been established in Ottawa for 7 years and earned a reputation as the region’s most trusted and called upon pet and house sitting service.  For them, knowing that this type of service exists on such a professional level, with detailed policies and procedures in place, guaranteed visit durations, and with the pet sitting industry’s longest list of Quality Assurance & Standards of Excellence commitments, would give them peace of mind.

We were also very pleased to make great connections with other businesses in the area, from dog trainers to vet hospitals, pet stores, and pet photographers, just to name a few.  Many of these businesses approached us directly, expressed how needed our service was, and requested our brochures.

The positive conversations and feedback that we had with pet parents as well as other vendors/businesses led us to feel that there was a strong demand for this service not only in Mississauga, but in Toronto, as well, and participating in the event led LP&HS to also begin expanding to the GTA in addition to Mississauga.

We hope to have some wonderful new team members join our heartfelt team in the months to come, and are looking forward to attending the next Woofstock and other pet events in the GTA and Mississauga, and to continuing to meet more animal lovers and their pets!
 
 
Self-Employed, flexible hours, and most importantly, a rewarding career!
We are currently looking for; dedicated, motivated, organized, and reliable self-starters with a passion for animals to join our heartfelt team, and service clientele in the following locations:
 
MISSISSAUGA
·       Clarkson-Lorne Park
·       Cooksville
·       Erin Mills
·       Erin Mills Central
·       Lakeview
·       Meadowvale
·       Port Credit
·       Streetsville
 
TORONTO (GTA)
 
·       High Park
·       Etobicoke
·       North York
·       The Beaches
·       Downtown Toronto
 
If you or someone you know lives in one of these communities and would be interested in joining our heartfelt team, we believe we present an exciting opportunity with a thriving future that can offer considerable freedom and a career that offers long-term growth and income potential.
 
Detailed information including; a summary of duties, advantages of working with us, qualifications, and other conditions are posted in the 'Careers' section of LovingPaws.ca, as is an online job application.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Important Things to Remember When Preparing For Your Vacation


Before the Meet & Greet consultation with your sitter, ensure that:


·    You have two keys cut, and tested, for your home ready to provide to your sitter

·    You have your 50% deposit payment ready to reserve your assignment

·    You have your emergency contact information ready

·    You have your travel itinerary ready

·    Your pet supplies (i.e. food, treats, litter boxes/poop bags, leashes, cleaning supplies) are all in the locations in the home that they will be in while the sitter is caring for your pet(s)

·    You have your pets’ medical records up to date
            You read over the Procedures page on the Loving Paws & House Sitting website     in advance to be prepared for what the Terms & Conditions you will be signing during the   Meet & Greet


During the Meet & Greet consultation with your sitter, be sure to:

·    Leave at least one hour window of time to meet with your sitter (avoid scheduling the Meet & Greet on a day when you have other commitments right after the meeting)

·    Have your pet available to meet with your sitter, so the pet is not hiding when the sitter arrives

·    Allow time for the sitter to establish a rapport with your pet(s)

·    Be detailed in all of your instructions and expectations regarding the care of your pet(s) and home to avoid any miscommunications

·    Show your sitter where all home care utilities and pet supplies are located

·    Show your sitter where your pet(s) likes to hide

·    Be descriptive in regards to your pets’ personalities and health

·    Show your sitter the routine of how medication is administered, and be accurate with the amount of medication given (we recommend arranging the Meet & Greet at the same time that medication would normally be given to ensure that you, your pet, and your sitter are all comfortable with the routine)

·    Provide your sitter with alarm codes, and information on how to arm and disarm the system, as well as having them test it out themselves during the meeting

·    Ensure to advise your alarm company that Loving Paws & House Sitting has permission to access your home.

·    Provide an alarm password to your sitter in case of an accidental alarm launch

·    Notify your sitter if anyone else has access to the home and is expected to be at the home at any point during your absence

·    Provide your sitter with: two keys to your home, your travel itinerary, your emergency contact information, and your 50% deposit required to reserve your assignment
 

Before you leave for your vacation:

·    If your vacation was booked more than a week in advance, reconfirm your assignment with your sitter, and notify them of any changes in the schedule or pet needs (i.e. changes in medication dosages)

·    Ensure that you have completed the Loving Paws & House Sitting Vet Notification card and have provided it to your veterinarian

·    Ensure that you have completed the Loving Paws & House Sitting Emergency Contact cards and have provided them to your in-town Emergency Contacts

·    Ensure that you bring your sitter’s Loving Paws & House Sitting business card with you on your trip so that you can easily reach them by phone or email if needed

·    If you have additional instructions, make sure that you leave them in an area where your sitter will see them

·    Make sure your home and supplies are neat and organized, and in the same location as described and shown to your sitter during your Meet & Greet consultation

·    Ensure that there aren’t any safety risks for your pet, and that areas of the home that are to be blocked off to the pet are not accessible for the pet

·    Ensure that you have not left on any appliances, and that all windows and doors have been locked before you leave
·    Ensure to obtain from your sitter our Loving Paws & House Sitting Vacation Checklist sheet, see our website for the downloadable PDF 
·    Be certain that you have all of your luggage and necessities ready for your trip, and don’t forget to have a fabulous vacation, with the peace of mind that your home and pets are well cared for by your Loving Paws & House Sitting sitter!

Provided by Sara Morris
Client Care Coordinator at Loving Paws & House Sitting

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Mississauga News Release - June 25, 2012

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 25, 2012




WE'VE EXPANDED TO MISSISSAUGA

MISSISSAUGA – Amy Shannon Leclair, President & CEO of LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING – the #1 Ottawa-based professional pet & house sitting company that goes to the homes of its clients to care for their pets & homes – is thrilled to announce expansion to Mississauga.

LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING is proud to be the newest business addition to Mississauga and to offer a series of services that will suit anyone working long hours, traveling on business trips or for pleasure, with a pet in need of special medical care at home, in need of someone to take care of their home and plants while away, who want someone to give their dog or puppy a mid-day walk or pee break, or who simply feels boarding their pet is just not the best or loving option.

Amy Shannon says, "While pets and their well-being are our first two priorities, LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING has equally strong commitments to professionalism and excellence in service, and that should allow LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING to set a new, higher industry standard for professional pet and home sitters in Mississauga."

Unmatched by any other pet and home sitting service in Mississauga, LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING offers services that are backed by all of the following:


  • Fully bilingual
  • Insured, bonded & security-checked
  • Vet hospital & client recommended
  • Guarantee that each visit and the duration of each visit will take place
  • Memberships with the All Canadian Pet Services Network (ACPSN), Pet Sitting International
  • Founded on 15+ years of experience and education in the animal health care industry, and 7 years of successfully operating a professional pet & house sitting service in the Capital Region
  • Canada’s only Gold Member accredited by ACPSN
  • Highly dependable & reliable: count on LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING to be there
  • Complete transparency: all our rates & policies are advertised & viewable online at one glance
  • Emergency Ready with an Emergencies Handbook and sitters trained and certified in pet First Aid and CPR
  • Professional adherence to a strict code of conduct, and a detailed quality assurance-standard of excellence commitment

  • Services are reasonably priced and start as low as $16.50
Ms. Leclair adds, "LOVING PAWS & HOUSE SITTING will initially focus on providing service to all residents living in and within a 15 km vicinity of Clarkson-Lorne Park, Cooksville, Erin Mills, Erin Mills Central, Lakeview, Meadowvale, Port Credit, and Streetsville. Our plan is to expand and service other communities as well, and as soon as new sitters come on board."

Amy Shannon concludes, "I invite & encourage all those who could benefit from our professional services to visit us at www.LovingPaws.ca and explore what we have to offer, especially the mix of unique programs we’ve tailored for our customers; moreover, I welcome calls for inquiries or to book heartfelt Meet and Greet consultations with our dedicated team servicing Mississauga."

WE’RE HIRING PROFESSIONAL SITTERS AND DOG WALKERS IN MISSISSAUGA!
Self-employed, flexible hours, and most importantly, a rewarding career!

As we gear up for the spring and summer, we are currently looking for dedicated, motivated, organized, and reliable self-starters with a passion for animals to join our heartfelt team, and service clientele in the following locations:


  • Clarkson-Lorne Park
  • Cooksville
  • Erin Mills
  • Erin Mills Central
  • Lakeview
  • Meadowvale
  • Port Credit
  • Streetsville

If you or someone you know lives in one of these communities and would be interested in joining our heartfelt team, we believe we present an exciting opportunity with a thriving future that can offer considerable freedom and a career that offers long-term growth and income potential.

Detailed information including a summary of duties, advantages of working with us, qualifications, and other conditions are posted in the 'Careers' section of LovingPaws.ca, as is an online job application.
For more information:
Amy Shannon Leclair, President & CEO 289-201-7819, or information@LovingPaws.ca or www.LovingPaws.ca

We also invite you to visit us on our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter LovingPaws2005

Monday, 18 June 2012

Hot Summer Pet Tips

Hot and humid summer days have arrived and, like us, our four-legged friends love to be in the great outdoors to experience fresh air and a little adventure! However the heat mixed with humidity is a serious health risks for our pets - to help guarantee their overall wellbeing consider these simple tips.

To prevent dehydration: Have plenty of water available!

To prevent overheating:

·    If your pet has a thick coat of hair keep the fur thinner and shorter. However don’t cut the fur too short to allow the exposed skin to sunburn!

·    Give your pet plenty of shaded places to cool down (especially during walks) or outdoor shelter (many shelters come in various sizes and budget).

·    Use a “cool” bed (a waterbed filled with cool water) or “cool” jacket (a specialized jacket soaked in cool water).  

To prevent sunburns:
  • For sensitive paw pads (especially those of puppies) keep off of hot asphalt. 
  • Apply a pet safe SPF cream to any visible skin; e.g. nose or short haired ears and/or body.  
Be Prepared with a Pet First Aid Kit!
If something unfortunate happens to your pet, having the tools necessary to assist you is crucial. Luckily if you’re not yet equipped, we can help! Our pet First Aid Kit is perfect for pet parents. It includes over 63 Veterinarian-recommended items stored in a convenient canvas case and it's specifically designed for animal care.


Pesticides, Insecticides, and Pool Chemicals:
·    Keep pets away from lawns that have been treated with harmful chemicals and from pool areas.
·    When planning your garden, aim for dog and cat-safe, non-toxic plants.
·    Keep pesticides, insecticides and pool chemicals secure from pets.
·    Read chemical labels to determine how long they last and if they are harmful to pets (many last days and most are toxic).

Travel - It's best to avoid traveling with your pet(s) during summer. Leaving a pet alone in the car can be fatal, even with open windows and for a short amount of time. Heat  inside a car can reach dangerously high temperatures in a few mintues.

Play safe, leave your pet at home during vacations or when running errands. Let our dedicated team of sitters and dog walkers provide care and companionship to your beloved family members in the comfort of YOUR HOME!

If your pet shows any signs of being overheated, dehydrated, sun burnt, or you suspect chemical exposure, your pet may need immediate medical treatment. Call your Veterinarian immediately!

For more information please visit us online at www.LovingPaws.ca
To order a Pet First Aid Kit Now
To view previous Summer Newsletter
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Information the Pet Sitting Company requires from their clients to make it a pleasurable transaction for both parties

Communication is really the key to making the transaction run as smoothly as possible.  As a client, be upfront and honest when it comes to your pet’s behaviour.  If your pet often has separation anxiety, make sure to inform your sitter, so the sitter will not be alarmed if your pet does not eat during their first visit, as they are just getting used to the transition of having a sitter care for them.  Be honest if your pet has had any history of aggression towards pets or humans, and if your pet is aggressive, be sure to explain the routine for handling your pet in detail to your sitter to ensure the safety of your pet and your care provider. 


Don’t forget to mention if your pet has a history of trying to escape when someone opens the door to your home, that way your sitter will be aware, in advance, to be extra cautious when entering your home.  
Make sure to explain to your sitter if your pet tends to hide while you are away, and what their favourite hiding spots are, so that your sitter can locate your pet and ensure their health and safety during each visit.  When clients forget to mention this, it is not only difficult to locate the pet, but also will concern sitters immensely for the safety and health of the pet. 
Communicate any past illness or health issues, even if it seems minor (i.e. my cat vomits occasionally, don’t be alarmed, or my elderly cat cannot always make it to the litter box, and sometimes leaves “accidents” to be cleaned up).  Sometimes owners are so used to their pets “quirks” (personality or health normality’s) they forget to mention them to their sitter.  If not mentioned ahead of time, these “normality’s” can be of concern for the sitter who is unaware that these are normal for your particular pet.

Be sure to explain in detail what your expectations are for each visit.  For example: indicate the amount of food to be fed at each visit, describe your pet’s personality, and favourite toys.  Go over the routine in detail, (i.e. Molly gets a treat after her walk, but only after she gets her paws wiped off and sits).  If certain areas of the home are off limits to your pet, make sure your sitter is aware of this.


Be prepared for your Meet & Greet Consultation with your sitter.  Complete the questionnaire provided ahead of time, in detail, so your sitter is able to review and prepare your file ahead of time.  Completing the questionnaire in advance helps sitters familiarize themselves with all the information ahead of the meeting, and leaves more time to spend establishing a rapport with clients and their pets.  Be prepared with your two keys cut, your pet’s microchip and veterinarian information and deposit at the time of the meeting.


Ask questions.  If anything is unclear, our sitters are always pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding the care of your pet, your payment, the contract, emergency procedures, key handling practices, invoicing, etc.  We put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, and know that it can be difficult letting someone you haven’t met before care for your furry family members and home.  If anything is unclear, we will always take the extra time to explain our procedures to you.  Clarity, transparency and good communication between the client and company makes for a great pet sitting experience for both parties!

For more information about our Procedures please visit our website
www.LovingPaws.ca
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