Life long commitment

Sharing your life with a pet is a wonderful, rewarding thing.  No matter what type of pet.  Ever since I was a kid my family had a pet, sometimes even more than one.  The first pet I ever recall having was a goldfish, then a hamster, a cat and finally, we graduated to getting a dog!  We knew little about having a dog but what my family did know was that we loved him!  I remember one winter morning he got out the door and was missing but I was told I had to go to school and thought about him all day, out in the cold of the winter.  Luckily a neighbor had found him and taken him in for the day.  I remember being so happy and relieved to have him safely back home!  Having a pet is great for a number of reasons; they provide companionship, in the case of a dog they get you outdoors for exercise, and they can help teach kids about responsibility.  

Having a pet is a big responsibility that you need to consider before getting one.  Are you prepared to care for them for the full length of their life, whatever that number may be?  If the kids who wanted the pet start slacking on their responsibilities of caring for the pet, are you prepared to take over and/or reinforce the responsibilities to the kids so the pet doesn’t suffer?  Are you prepared to give them the time required to train, groom, exercise and take them to the vet?  Are you prepared financially for all of those things as well as the unexpected, such as a serious illness or accident?  Pets should be vaccinated and visit a veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure they are healthy as they have limited ways of communicating to us if they feel unwell.  Regular grooming for certain pets is a requirement as well, especially long-haired dogs or cats.  All dogs and cats will need their nails trimmed, floppy-eared dogs may need regular ear cleanings.   Exercise is essential even for indoor cats, they should have a way to learn, play, explore and move.  Even more so for puppies and dogs, especially any high-energy breeds!  Bored, unexercised pets can become destructive as they will find ways to entertain themselves such as digging holes in your yard, chewing, scratching and destroying items/furniture in your house, demand barking or meowing incessantly.  Even if your pet is somehow limited physically, by an injury for example, there are things you can do to exercise their brains which can be just as exhausting and make for a tired but happy pet.  Teaching your pet basic tricks (yes, cats can learn tricks too!) can build a bond between you and your pet.  You can teach tricks that might be useful on a vet or groomer visit such as give a paw, lie down on your side, or stand still.  DSC_0378

Many people think the responsibility ends after the first couple of years or months and the pet has been vaccinated, has been to one series of basic dog training classes and gets out for a daily walk.   But the responsibility is for a lifetime, you made the choice to bring them into your life so it is up to you to make adjustments for them as they get older or slower, maybe need more attention, need a special diet or a slower, shorter walk.  If circumstances are so bad that you just cannot keep the pet for some reason and there is no other solution, it is your biggest responsibility to find them a sound and suitable home where they will be happy and healthy for the remainder of their life.  

Our pets are only with us for a very short time frame so we need to enjoy them while they’re here with us and keep that promise to provide for them for the entirety of their lives.  

Why Hire a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter??

Why would a person hire a dog walker or pet sitter when they have family, friends or neighbours they could ask to help them out? Well if you travel a lot or work everyday and need help with Fido or Fluffy, it can be a lot to ask of someone as a favour.

As a pet sitter my goal is to keep your pets as comfortable as possible in your own home by maintaining as regular of a routine as possible.   I will come into your home on regularly scheduled visits to feed, water and walk/exercise your pets while you are away.  Other tasks are also offered as part of the service such as medicating the pets, alternating lights in the home, bringing in mail and newspapers and watering plants.  Some other benefits for your pet are they are familiar with their surroundings and not stressing in a kennel listening to other dogs whine and bark.   Cats generally do not travel well so this is the ideal way to have your cat cared for.  Also you do not need to administer any additional vaccines in order to leave your pet at home and you don’t need to worry about pick up and drop off times scheduled at a kennel.  My visits will be scheduled based on your travel times so Fido and Fluffy are home and happy to greet you when you arrive.

Some tips for leaving your pets at home:

  • inform your veterinarian you are away and let them know who is taking care of your pets in your absence; provide your veterinarian’s contact info to your care provider
  • inform your family/neighbours you are away and that you have someone coming in to look after them; provide your pet sitter with emergency contact numbers in case there is an emergency with your house (broken window, fallen tree)
  • have a plan for things such as power failures, snow clearing, broken furnace or air conditioning, etc
  • if you are uncertain about leaving your pets with a pet sitter do a ‘trial run’ and go out for one night to see how they do

Daily dog walking services are ideal for anyone who has a long day at school or work or needs to run errands after school or work and want their dog to get out for some fresh air, to stretch their legs and, of course, to relieve themselves during the day.  I offer a variety of services ranging from potty breaks for puppies and senior dogs, thirty minute walks or sixty minute hikes – all of which can be tailored to your dogs’ needs.  Your dog can be walked individually or with other dogs – you make the decision.

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When searching for a dog walker or pet sitter some things to consider in your decision would be their experience and love of animals – ask them about themselves and how they came to be a dog walker/pet sitter.  Ask for references – you would do the same for anyone else you hire.   Ask about their training and practices – are they trained in pet first aid? how many dogs do they take out together?  what do they do if your pet gets injured? is their business insured?  When you hire someone to care for your four-legged family members you should feel good about leaving your pets in their care and confident that your pets will be loved and cared for appropriately.

 

 

Thankful

This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend my Thanksgiving weekend with my own dogs and some friends and their dogs, performing and entertaining crowds at the Erin Fall Fair as part of shows demonstrating our canines’ abilities in tricks, frisbee, agility and jumping.

I’m thankful that twelve years ago when I needed a dog walker for my young, energetic dog I found someone who was able to provide that service.  Yes, I began as a client who needed a dog walker.  Jarvis is now at the Rainbow Bridge but as a young, high energy dog he needed to get out while I worked all day.  Luckily the service I hired was able to help expend some of his energy and it was through that person that I learned about dog sports and competitions and a whole new world was opened up to me.

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Since learning of this new world I’ve enjoyed training all my dogs as well as some client’s dogs in fun events like tricks and frisbee.  Not only is it fun to teach your dogs new things but using their brains to learn can be just as tiring as physical exercise and helps build and strengthen the bond they have with you.  Don’t get me wrong, dogs still need their walks and hikes as much as they need to learn and I’m thankful to be able to provide that for my clients as well as entertain people with my own dogs through the skills I’ve taught them over the years.

Services

I offer dog walking and pet sitting services in Caledon, Caledon Village, Caledon East, Mono Mills, Inglewood, and Cheltenham.  Prior to booking any services I will meet with you and your pet, free of charge, to discuss your pet’s needs.  Please call 647-228-0273 or email wagsnwiggles.sue@gmail.com for availability and to set up a meet and greet.  Each visit is tracked with an app that every client is set up on so you get a real time report of your pet’s visit, including photos, comments and an option to chat live!

Services offered:

  • 30 minute dog walk in your neighbourhood
  • 60 minute dog group hikes *dogs must meet required criteria*
  • puppy/senior dog potty breaks
  • cat/small animal visits
  • vacation care visits (includes collecting mail, watering plants, alternating lights/blinds, etc)
  • medication administration
  • house sitting *no pets required (includes collecting mail, watering plants, alternating lights/blinds, checking on heating/cooling/water pipes, etc)

*dogs must be friendly with other dogs, must behave for travel in a vehicle, aggressive/dominating behaviour will not be tolerated on group hikes

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This is just the beginning…

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I started this business about a year ago and have debated since then if I need a website…do I know how to create one? will I have time to update it? will it provide anything to my clients? will it have anything to offer to potential clients?  Well it has taken a year but I decided to go for it…so far the creating part has only been a bit frustrating – luckily it’s a rainy, gloomy night and my dogs have all been exercised and trained today so I’ve got time to sit and play with it.  The rest…well we’ll have to see how it goes.

I hope to provide my clients with cute stories and photos that may or may not include their pets, will most definitely include funny stories and photos of my own pets as well as offer potential clients a way to see what services I offer.

I also hope to share some of the fun events I attend, the things I know as well as many other tips and tricks I have learned over the years