Over the years that I’ve owned and taken of care of other people’s pets I’ve learned a lot of things about safety measures we can take to keep them safe. Some things are quite obvious but to a first time pet owner removing your dog’s collar when in a crate may not seem so obvious, for example.
Pet stores offer a wide variety of products that serve many purposes safety-wise such as reflective leashes and collars, warm coats and boots to keep them safe from the weather and elements including road salt, light up collars and collar tags, muzzles – yes these can be used for their safety and ours, and so on.
Unfortunately I know of someone who was struck by a vehicle while walking on a rural road on a dark night. While I do most of my dog-walking during the daytime hours I found the need to make myself feel safer and more visible while walking some dogs on a rural road. On a foggy day or other weather that has poor visibility I noticed cars passing by didn’t seem to see me as well until the last minute. The dogs have bright-coloured harnesses and leashes so I invested in a reflective and light-up vest that I can wear over any coat or other outerwear. I walk against the traffic so I can make eye contact with the drivers and am able to see if they are paying attention and notice me. If I think a driver has not seen me I can move the dogs and myself further away from the road, which unfortunately means into the ditch, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I will always smile or wave thanks to any car that notices and gives me a bit of a berth if they can. It is just common courtesy I think but am surprised how many cars do not move over even an inch. The same courtesy should be given to anyone walking/running/pulled over or even putting out their garbage!!
reflective & lights up in the dark!
high visibility & reflective in the day light
bright & reflective harnesses & leashes
Putting a collar and identification tag on your pet can help them safely find their way home if ever lost. Microchipping is also a good option, however, if your pet is found wandering the chances of a person having a microchip scanner in their back pocket are pretty slim so I.D. tags work instantly if you have the correct & updated contact information on them. There are also GPS tracking collar tags available now. I don’t know much about these so you should do your research, however, it is a great use of modern technology that can help keep your pets safe!
Our pets are our family so we want to keep them safe and away from any harm. Consider which concerns are most likely to affect your pets’ safety and invest in the tools to keep them safe. For example if you have a dog who tends to run off and wander spending some money on a GPS collar tag might be a great idea to help get them back. If you walk your dog at night any light up or reflective items will make you both more visible. I hate to hear stories of accidents or tragedies concerning pets especially when it could have been preventable. Let’s keep ourselves and our pets safe!
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 a 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.
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? do they carry insurance? 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.