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Celebrate St. Patty’s Day in style!  In honor of St. Patty’s Day and Pet Sitter’s International’s 23rd anniversary, Creation’s Care Pet Sitting is holding it’s first annual photo contest.  Submit a photo in the comment section or on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/creationscarepetitting, of your pooch or kitty dressed and ready for all the St. Patty’s Day festivities for a chance to win one FREE visit from Creation’s Care Pet Sitting.  Photos must be submitted by midnight Sunday March 19th and the winner will be announced Monday, March 20th.  All participants will receive $5 off one visit.

Must be in the Tallahassee, FL area and not loyal to another pet sitter to qualify.

 

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keeping your pooch happy and safe while out in public

As has become an annual tradition amongst the staff at Creation’s Care Pet Sitting, we took this weekend to pause and enjoy the wonderful world of equestrian sport. The Redhills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee brings equestrian competitors from around the globe for a three day Olympic level competition right to our back door.  Spectators abound, and with them, multiple furry friends who have come with their owners to partake in the festivities.  It’s the perfect place to spend a day with your four-legged friend, or is it?  Ultimately, that really depends on your dog.

When it comes to deciding when or if you should take your furry friend to public events or areas, the singlemost thing that owners need to ask them selves is this: Is my dog comfortable being out in public?  Will they stay quiet, calm and collected, or will they freeze in uncertainty and fear?  If you are anything less than 100% certain that your pooch can handle the large crowds, chaos, and noise with confidence, leave them at home.  They will be happier, and you will be able to enjoy the function you are attending without being consumed with how your dog may or may not react.  And remember, just because your dog may not be cool, calm, and collected in public areas now, doesn’t mean they will always be like that.  You can help your pooch gain the confidence they need through obedience and positive reinforcement.

In her article titled “Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence”, Mardi Richmond states that the first step is recognizing what your dog is timid or scared of and managing those things until your dog can be properly desensitized to them.  Here are her tips for managing stressful situations with your dog:

• Avoid crowded areas where your dog may be overwhelmed by strangers.

• Use a leash, crate, or baby gate to prevent your dog from interacting with strangers in your home.

Think about ways you can protect your dog if you are caught off guard, too:

• If a stranger approaches and asks to pet your dog, you can say, “No, I’m sorry, but my dog is uncomfortable with people she doesn’t know.”

• Put yourself between the person and your dog.

• Create distance by crossing the street or going a different direction.

Once you have management in place and your dog’s overall stress levels go down, get ready to train, desensitize, and counter-condition!

Helping your dog transition into the confident, relaxed companion that can go anywhere and do anything with you will take time and patience, but the end result will be well worth the time and effort spent.

More helpful tips on managing and counter conditioning your dog to stressful or unfamiliar situations can be found on the Whole Dog Journal, http://www.wholedogjournal.com. And as always, never hesitate to reach out to a local certified dog trainer who uses fear-free positive training techniques for help.

References

Richmond, Mardi. “Help Your Shy Dog Gain Confidence”.  The Whole Dog Journal. April 2006. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

 

 

 

 

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Beat the Heat, part II: Know the signs of heat exhaustion.

August 15th marked the first day of school for students all across Tallahassee, Florida, with neighboring counties following suit in the coming weeks, if they haven’t already.  Yet despite this figurative end to summer and many looking forward to the upcoming football games this fall,  the hot and humid temperatures are showing no signs of backing down.  With temps still reaching well above 90 on any given day, and the heat index hitting even higher, it is important to avoid keeping your pet (and yourself) outside for extended periods of time.  When you do take them out for their mid day potty break, make the trip as brief as possible and to watch for any signs of heat exhaustion.  Symptoms to look out for include panting

  • increased respiration
  • increased panting
  • increased heart rate
  • restlessness
  • excessive salivation
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

If not recognized immediately,  these symptoms can progress to weakness,  staggering,  gasping, coma, or death*.

So what should you fo if you think your pet is exhibiting these symptoms? Bring them inside immediately, check their temperature with a thermometer designated for pet use only, and begin wrapping their body in cool damp towels if their temperature is anything over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is also extremely important to call your vet, relaying all the symptoms you notice, and follow any recommendations they may have.

Keeping your pet safe in the summer heat is as simple as one, two,  three, four.   Keep them indoors as much as possible,  provide plenty of water and shade when they are outdoors, know the signs of heat exhaustion,  and act promptly if you are concerned they may be getting too hot.

Worried your pooch may get too bored avoiding the heat while your at work or school? The professional pet sitters at Creation’s Care Pet Sitting are available to play with and care for your pet when you’re not there.  Contact us for more information or to schedule your FREE meet and greet today!

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Happy National Mutt Day!!

“National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was created in 2005 by Celebrity Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige, (also founder of National Dog Day, National Cat Day, National Puppy Day & many more) and is celebrated on both July 31st and December 2nd. National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. The biggest percentage of dogs euthanized in due to the constant over-breeding and public desire of designer dogs and pure bred puppies that are sold to pet stores supplied by puppy mills that often produce ill and horribly neglected animals” (www.nationalmuttday.com)national mutt day pic

“This special day was created to be celebrated on two dates per year to raise awareness of the plight of mixed breed dogs in shelters around the nation, to educate the public about the sea of mixed breed dogs that desperately await new homes and to celebrate the mazing breeds that make up your fur child’s lineage.”(www.nationalmuttday.com)

For more information regarding National Mutt Day and the plight of shelter animals, and to read the stories of famous mutts in world history, please visit http://www.nationalmuttday.com.

References

www.nationalmuttday.com

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Beat the Heat: Tips on Keeping Your Pets Cool when Temperatures Soar

Summer is here and the temperatures are hot.  It’s nothing new to those of us living in the South and though teachers and students are preparing for the school year to start, the temperatures, well, they’ll be sticking around for awhile.  To help you beat the heat during these remaining dog days of summer, we will be sharing tips and tricks to keeping you, your family, and your pets safe, healthy and happy for the remainder of the summer.

Tip #1: Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car

We’ve all heard it, and we know we shouldn’t, but it’ll just take a minute to run grab someheat is fatal to pets milk, so it’ll be ok, right? WRONG.  According to a 2013 article by Mike Oliver*, the interior of a car can reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in ten minutes and 120 degrees in twenty minutes, temperatures that can easily cause heatstroke or death to children, the elderly, and pets rather quickly, even if the windows are cracked or the A/C is running***.

So what can you do to avoid this from happening to your pet:

  1. If you are going to a pet friendly store, take your pet inside with you; if not leave them at home and schedule a pet sitter like Creation’s Care Pet Sitting to check in on your pet if you will be away from home for an extended period of time.
  2. If you see someone else’s dog in a car, Dr. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, suggests either notifying the store manager or calling the police or animal control if the owner cannot be easily located**

Bottom line, if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them.  Don’t let your pet (child, or elderly family member) stay in the car if you’re not there.

References

*http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/07/temperature_becomes_deadly_qui.html

**http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/summerheathhazards/qt/dog_in_car_tips.htm

***info reported by an article in Pet Sitters International online blog for pet sitters, http://www.petsit.com

 

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So What Is Pet Sitting and Why Should I look for a professional sitter anyways?

“Pet sitting” is defined as “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away.” Dog walking is also a form of pet sitting since it involves coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship. Caring for pets in the clients’ homes is what separates pet sitters from boarders or doggie daycares.

What are the advantages of pet sitting (over other   pet-care options)?

• Pets are happier and experience less stress at home in their familiar environment.

• Diet and exercise routines are uninterrupted.

• Travel trauma for both owner and pet is eliminated.

• Pet’s exposure to illness is minimized.

 

What does a pet sitter do?

As the definition above indicates, pet sitters care for clients’ pets in the clients’ home. Pet owners often use pet sitters when they go on a vacation, travel for business, work long hours or when they are too sick or injured to care for their pet(s).
Pet sitters often offer more than one pet-sitting visit per day and some pet sitters, including Creation’s care Pet Sitting, offer overnight stays as well.

During the pet-sitting visits, pet sitters perform a variety of tasks, including: woman-feeding-dog-food

• Feeding the pets and changing their water bowls

• Providing exercise and play time (may include walking the dog)

• Cleaning litter boxes and cleaning up any other pet messes

• Administering pet medications, if needed

• Providing lots of TLC!

Pet sitters also often bring in mail or newspapers and alternate blinds and lights to give the home a “lived-in look” if the owners are away. Pet sitters may also perform other tasks as requested by the pet owners.

 

What separates a hobbyist pet sitter from a professional pet sitter?

PSI Logo-PPPS TaglineOften times, pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term “pet sitter” carelessly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a “pet sitter.” It is important pet owners to understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters and dog walkers offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.
With the influx of pet-care directory sites popping up in the last couple of years and news stories touting pet sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for pet care. However, simply being listed on an online pet-sitter directory or even a nationally-publicized site does not automatically legitimize their pet-sitting business.

What questions should you ask when considering a pet sitter for your pet?
Individuals seeking to offer professional pet-sitting or dog-walking services should be able to answer “YES” to the following questions:

1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state?

2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?

3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?

4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?

5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?

6. Has the pet sitter completed PSI’s Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting and/or has he or she participated in petcare training, such as pet first aid?

7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?

So the next time you need to go out of town, or simply need to help with the daily TLC for your pet, turn to a professional pet sitter like Creation’s Care Pet Sitting, providing professional care when you can’t be there.  Contact us for a FREE consultation today!

This article was taken in large part from Pet Sitters international which produces articles like this one for professional pet sitters to share with their clients and the public at large. 

“Professional Pet Sitters . . . .What Do They Do” https://www.petsit.com/site/get.php?id=82262

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Meet the Staff of Creation’s Care

So who’s behind Creation’s Care Pet Sitting?  Here’s a look behind the scenes at who we are and why it all got started.

20160703_183101-1Virginia S. McMullen, Founder/Petsitter

Virginia’s love of animals came at an early age when, along with assisting in the care of her childhood dog, Dudley, she began riding horses and assisting with equine therapeutic activities in her childhood home in Centreville, VA.  Virginia followed her passion of helping others as a young adult, achieving her B.A. in Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Virginia began casually pet sitting in 2008 while working within her field of study at Hands and Hearts for Horses in Thomasville, GA.  It wasn’t until 2012 that Virginia learned she could turn her love of caring for animals into a professional business and career through Pet Sitters International

While currently limiting her services to daytime visits and dog walks so she can be with her own canine companions at night, Virginia is excited to engage in courses for animal behavior and training in order to add those services in the years to come.

David W. McMullen Jr. Co-Founder/Pet Sitter

david and VAThough he holds no formal education regarding pets or pet care, David was eager to jump in in support of Virginia’s vision to take her love of pet sitting to the professional level. As part of the Creation’s Care staff, David primarily assisted with daytime and extended overnight visits when the company originally opened in 2014.  Though his primary role now will be to care for “the kids” while Virginia is away from home, he is looking forward to joining in on weekend and evening visits as part of the re-established Creation’s Care Pet Sitting team.

 

Lucky and “Lil Bit”

20151218_081914Lucky, the mini schnauzer, and Lil Bit (short for Lucky), the chihuahua, were adopted by the McMullen’s in 2015 soon after the passing of Virginia’s first pet, MJ.  Both were swooped up from the Companion Animal Rescue Endeavor (C.A.R.E.) in Tallahassee.  Unlike other rescue shelters, C.A.R.E specifically targets the needs of sick or injured pets that would otherwise be euthanized if they were taken directly to a shelter.  After completing their rehab under the loving care of local veterinarians and their staff, animals like Lucky and Lil Bit are put up for adoption.  Since joining the McMullen family, both dogs have stole the heart of their “momma.” While they don’t like it when momma or poppa leaves for work (or anytime really) they are always eager to welcome them back home with tons of licks, barks, and tail wags.

To learn more about us and the services offered by Creation’s Care Pet Sitting, visit us on our webpage.  Summer reservations are still available.  Call us today to ensure your your pets get  the same love and care at home, even when your not there!

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