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□ Be a Good Grooming Client. Prepare your dog for his trip to groomers by continuing your in home ‘handling’ routine. If he’s used to people touching his ears and paws, he will be less stressed when a stranger touches him in an unusual environment. Make sure that your dog is up to date on all his vaccinations and veterinary records. Prepare groomer for your dog and make them aware of any particular needs he has – if he is geriatric, tends toward nervousness, or if he has any chronic medical problems.
□ Find a Reliable Pet-Sitter. Because you will need to leave your pet at some time in your relationship, it’s important that you have found a reliable person or company to care for your pet in your absence. You may be lucky enough to have family or a neighbor who is reliable and always available to care for your pet. However, if you are new to town and don’t have any nearby people to call, you should take time to interview and find a reliable pet-sitting company. Ask your vet or neighbors for referrals and be sure to interview a few companies to make sure you have right fit. Important questions include: are they bonded and insured? Do they have experience with your breed of dog? Do they have back-up plan in case of illness or emergency? If you travel frequently on short notice, it is also important to ask how far in advance you must book to guarantee service. Perhaps most important is to take notice of how they interact with your pet. A couple of places to search on-line for a professional pet-sitter are The National Association of Professional Pet-Sitters or Pet Sitters International.
□ Be a Good Pet-Sitting Client. Whenever possible, book with plenty of time to assure your place on company’s schedule. Many pet-care businesses are run by a single person who may book up early, so once you know your schedule, make an appointment for your pet’s care. Be clear about your expectations, if you don’t want your pet-sitter to give your pet treats, make it clear. Be sure your dog is up-to-date with all vaccinations and complete all required paperwork prior to your first appointment. You will be asked to provide all pertinent information regarding health and medical history of your pet. Do not make it difficult for your pet-sitter to park or access your home – have parking passes and keys ready for your sitter at time of your initial interview.
Peggie Arvidson-Dailey is the founder of the Pet-Care Business Success University and the author of several articles, books and classes on running a successful home-based business. Go here: http://www.peggiespets.com/wst_page9.html to get your free copy of “243 Tips for Running a Successful Pet-Care Business.”