Volume 24 Â· Number 4
2017 Business of the Year: Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. Are Breed Bans Effective? New Insurance Coverage Options Promote Your Business with Live Videos Dog Facts from A to Z Is This Cat Shy or Fearful? NAPPS Winter Safety Infographic
2017 NAPPS Forum May 5-7, 2017 Chicago, IL Build Your Future
Create Your Destiny
NAPPS 2017 Education & Networking Forum – Tentative Program Thursday, May 4, 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Build Your Foundation (with the right blocks) – Pre-registration required (Additional Fee)
8:00 am – 8:30 am
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
8:30 am – 10:00 am Pet Sitting is a People Business: Erin Fenstermaker, EF Consulting LLC
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Informal Exhibitor Meet & Greet
10:00 am – 10:30 am Networking Coffee Break / Exhibitor Time
7:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Get to Know Your Program App
10:30 am – 11:45 am Talent Acquisition: Christine Dvorak, ADP
Continental Breakfast / Networking / Exhibitor Time
Friday, May 5, 2017
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
7:30 am – 8:00 am
Early Bird Exhibiting
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
8:00 am – 8:30 am
Continental Breakfast / Networking / Exhibitor Time
Marketing Methods to Make You Memorable: Hank & Sharyn Yuloff, Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions
8:30 am – 9:00 am
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Home-Based Hospice Care for Pets: Dr. Dani McVety, Lap of Love
4:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Continuing Education Course (Additional Fee)
9:00 am – 10:00 am Keynote Address: Jamie Migdal, FetchFind 10:00 am – 10:15 am Networking Coffee Break / Exhibitor Time 10:15 am – 11:15 am
Life beyond Default: Marty Bhatia, Digital Ninja Consulting
Sunday, May 7, 2017 8:00 am – 8:30 am
Continental Breakfast / Networking / Exhibitor Time
11:30 am – 12:30 pm The Productivity Buzz - How to Get More Done in the Time You Have: Erica Gomez, For the Love of Business/Whoa Doggy! Pet Sitting
8:30 am – 9:30 am
The Sky Is Not the Limit... The Mind Is: Olga Wharton, PetSitConnect.com, LLC; DFW Pet Sitting Services, Inc.; Paw Valet, Inc.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Volunteer Recognition Luncheon / Networking / Exhibitor Time
9:45 am – 10:30 am Stay Safe: Chicago Police Department 10:45 am – 11:30 am Plan for the Worst; Hope for the Best: Sonya Wilson, Southpaws Playschool
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
For Sale: Preparing your Business: Candace D’Agnolo, Dogaholics, Inc.
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Five Keys to Stress Reduction for Improved Health and Productivity: Kathy Gruver, Alternative Medicine Cabinet
11:00 am – 2:00 pm Continuing Education Course (Additional Fee)
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Networking Reception – Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with us!
*Program speakers and times are subject to change*
11:30 am – 11:45 am Closing Remarks
Register Today at http://www.petsitters.org/annual_conference.php
INSIDE WINTER 2016 PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER COVER: Cover photo courtesy of Joette White of Park Cities Pet Sitters, Inc.
Media Mewsings............................................... 4 President’s Message......................................... 5
INDUSTRY NEWS OF INTEREST Are Breed Bans Effective in Reducing Dog Bites?........................................ 6 TIPS OF THE TRADE Take Time Out to Take Care for You .................. 7 New Insurance Coverage Options to Consider... 9
PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER
S TAT E M E N T
The mission of the Professional Pet Sitter is to provide tools for members to enhance their business, help them expand their knowledge of professional pet sitting, and communicate association news and events. Copyright 2016. The Professional Pet Sitter is published four times a year in March, June, September and December by NAPPS Headquarters: 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. Periodical mailing privilege pending at Mt. Laurel, NJ and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: send change of address to the Professional Pet Sitter c/o NAPPS Headquarters, 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. The Professional Pet Sitter is free to National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Inc. members. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
BUSINESS How to Use Live Videos to Promote Your Pet Business........................................... 11 Strategies to Combat Cyberbullying................. 13 Pet Sitting Is a People Business...................... 15
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT 2017 Business of the Year: Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc................................. 16
FEATURES Dog Facts from A to Z..................................... 18 Is This Cat Shy or Fearful?.............................. 20 CONNECT WITH NAPPS About Your Association................................... 22 NAPPS Chat Message Board.......................... 23 NAPPS Member Benefits............................... 24 NAPPS in the News........................................ 25
ONLINE ALL THE TIME www.petsitters.org National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Inc. 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200 Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054 Phone: (856) 439-0324 • Fax: (856) 439-0525 Email: NAPPS@petsitters.org • www.petsitters.org
Like us facebook.com/THENAPPS Follow us @TheNAPPS pinterest.com/source/petsitters.org Join us @National Association of Professional Pet Sitters 3
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
TMIPS ED IA O FMTEHWES T IN RG AS DE
Article and Photo By Arden Moore
Arden Moore, Executive Editor Cathe Delaney, Managing Editor
Bracing for Winter’s Cold and Ice
Making the Doggone Right Choices
hen it comes to unleashing bitter cold temperatures and heavy snowfall, Old ohn madeMan a bad Winter decision. doesn’t Thelimit 16-year-old his wrathboy on predictably bought some coldmarijuana cities like from Boston anand undercover Chicago. Incop. recent As years, a result, cities Johnlike is Dallas, living atAtlanta the Illinois and Youth Nashville Centerhave (IYC)found Chicago, themselves a juvenile contending detentionwith facility icy roads for the andnext record six cold months. temperatures. John is not a hardened As criminal. professional Andpet maybe sitters, if heyou hadn’t deal with been caught many this challenges early inwhen the game, it comes he might to caring stillfor beyour on the clients’ streets, pets perhaps duringnow the stealing winter months. to buying Here larger are quantities seven tipsoftomarijuana—maybe help you provide quality even cocaine care safely or crack. when the snow is deep and the temperatures drop below Butfreezing: landing in IYC is perhaps the best thing that could 1. have Protect happened those paw to John pads. and Dogs the can other 12-17-year-olds suffer like from him.cutThey’re paw pads receiving and even the discipline, training, injuries counseling, caused by slipping education on icy and programs they’ll surfaces. need To to protect reinventthem themselves and provide once they’ve completed more grip theironstay, the sidewalks, via a program consider called Lifetime Bonds. coating their paw pads in petroleum Createdjelly by Best beforeFriends heading Safe outside. Humane, Uponthis program targets return, youth usewho a cloth have to been wipe involved off the in illegal activities. petroleum Each jelly. week, You acan group alsoofincrease dog handlers andtheir theirtraction dogs visit power theand teens. protect The teams theirteach paw pads the young by applying men the paw proper pad way to approach protectors a dog,that a few adhere commands to the pads and a(that chance to socialize you canwith gently thepulled dog. By offreceiving after the walk) the immediate gratification or fitting them of awith happy protective wagging dogtail, boots friendly lick on if they the hand, will tolerate or thewearing roll-overthem. request for a belly 2. rub, Addthese ice cleats youngsters to your begin boots. to realize— If you sometimes for livethein first places timelike in Boston their lives—that or Syracuse, kindness begets N.Y.,kindness. that traditionally And thatget sets socked the stage with for profound lots behavioral of snow,change. consider fitting ice cleats Best Friends to yourSafe shoes Humane or boots National to give Director you more Cynthia Bathurst stability believes whenLifetime you walkBonds dogs. is an integral3. component Reach for of the harness. program in Before that it aims to stopstepping violence in outside, its tracks fit the before dog itin has a a chance to grow harness further. and use “Safe a four-foot Humane”lead. givesAnd, these young never men knowledge use a flexi-lead. and skills A good theyharness can use to positive andadvantage short leash forwill thegive dogsyou they more and their friends control or family over members the dogencounter you are walking, in the streets, especially especially dogsonviewed icy sidewalks. as ‘fighting dogs,’” she says. 4. Create a temporary indoor K9 bathroom. Some dogs, especially Changing Beliefs small ones Is or The elderly, Firsthave Stepdifficulty The young wading menthrough could hardly thick wait snowforto the go bell to ring, signaling outside. it’s Some time for justthe plainly Lifetime refuse Bonds program, or, to asbudge they call outit,the“Dog-Play door during Time.” snow The group breaks storms. intoForfive these smaller dogs,groups consider and begins each discussing session by learning with yourhow clients to approach the a friendly dog. benefits One byofone, having the boys themtake placeturns pee holding out the pads backs in a of specific their hands area offortheir the homes dogs to sniff, thenfor gently use during pettinginclement the dogs on weather. the side. After Then the boysa hold big snowfall, treats in some their hand dogs may whilebe asking the dogs moretohesitant sit and lie to urinate down, then or defecate give the treats—and give and receive more love. After 20 Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
PROFESSIONAL PET STAFF BySITTER Amy Abern
outside. If possible, shovel a path to a designated bathroom area for these minutes, thedogs groups to use. switch to new handlers and dogs. 5. Perform paw inspections after each All theouting. participants Salt, de-icing are anxious chemicals to spend and time with Rou, eventhe icepitshards bull. One can boy cut commented and irritate on how Rou paw resembled pads. After his American each walk, Staffordshire dip terrier. It was thesurprising dog’s paws to in hear a bowl him refer of roomto his dog with thetemperature official breed water title.and “That’s then because use a we’ve seen all drythese cloth different to rid theirguys paws fight of ice andorwe know who the chemicals. best onesYou are,” don’t he want says. snowAnd this packed offersice thetoperfect lodge between segue totheir talk toes about dogfighting. or risk them “Do you licking thinkthe theice-melting dogs like fighting?” asks chemicals Triptow.offMost theirofpaws. the boys nod. “Do you think the dogs like being stroked?” All the
...if you don’t like getting hurt and the dog doesn’t like getting hurt, do you really think the into a situation like fighting where they most certainly will get hurt? boys nod. “Do you like the feeling of being hurt when someone hits you?” All the boys shake their head. “Do you think dogs like the feeling of being hurt, like when another dog bites them?” Tentative shakes all around. “So think about it—if you don’t like getting hurt and the dog doesn’t like getting hurt, do you really think the dogs like going into a situation like fighting where they most certainly will get hurt?” Definite head shakes all around. The 6. teens Shorten haveyour onlywalks participated on veryincold the days. Lifetime Bonds Dogsprogram still need forand twobenefit months,bybut doses of already, changes MotherinNature’s thought,Vitamin attitudeDand (sunshine) behavior areinevident. the winter, NikkibutRobinson, play it safe. Assistant Consider Superintendent/Programs spending moreIYC timeChicago, indoors observes play a the boys notgame only look withforward dogs under to the your sessions care during because they’re bitterenjoyable, cold weather. but that they really “get” why 7. the Enroll program in a pet is important. first aid/CPR course. These trainings will help you know How You Can whatHelp to do if a dog gets hypothermia Best Friends or worse, Safe frostbite Humane from relies prolonged on donations and exposure in-kindinservices the cold.from local businesses and individuals. If you’d like to make a donation For more to the winter Safe tips, Humane please Lifetime check Bonds out the program, NAPPS winter send care a check safety payable graphic to: located Safe Humane on the P.O. Inside BoxBack 7342Cover Chicago, of this IL 60680-7342. issue. n If you’d like to learn more about volunteer opportunities
Please send all letters to the editor: NAPPS@petsitters.org Letters should include your name, address, and daytime telephone Letters may edited with Safe Humane, call number. 312-409-4790. Forebemore for length or clarity. Submissions may be mailed information on Best Friends, visit their Web site at or emailed as a word document.
Professional Pet Sitter is published quarterly by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a nonprofit organization, and is available through membership subscription. No portion of the magazine may be reprinted without the written consent of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. The letters and advertisements contained in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the association. NAPPS is not liable for validity or correctness of any claim, express or implied, made in advertisements or writings of this magazine.
MEMBERSHIP SERVICES NAPPS Headquarters 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200 Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054 Phone: (856) 439-0324 Fax: (856) 439-0525 Email: NAPPS@petsitters.org www.petsitters.org Cathe Delaney Administrative Director Cocee Baker Administrative Assistant Caitlin McWilliams Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org Business Insurers of the Carolinas PO Box 2536, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2536 Phone: (800) 962-4611 ext. 224 www.petsitterinsurance.com For Dishonesty Bond and/or General Liability Insurance The National Group Insurance Exchange 3210 Doolittle Dr., Northbrook, IL 60062 Phone: (800) 955-0418 Fax: (847) 559-9499 Email: email@example.com www.wwins.com Contact: Alan Leafman For Dental and Health Insurance For pet sitting questions contact: www.petsitters.org www.petsitters.org
PR ESID EN T ’ S M E S S A G E
By Yvette Gonzales, President
If I only had the time... I’m willing to bet there’s not one of us who hasn’t at least once muttered the phrase, “If there were just a few more hours in my day.” It’s something I say at least once a week— if not once a day! So when I heard Charles Duhigg on a radio interview a few weeks ago, the subject really captured my attention. Duhigg authored The Power of Habit and I was intrigued by his most recent book, Smarter, Faster, Better the Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. It focuses on motivation, working with teams and goal setting. He attributes eight key concepts to achieve being genuinely productive and not merely busy. From motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making, he explains why some people get so much done and why others are just always “busy.” Now, I can relate with the busy part. I have just a few things on my plate, from running a growing business, to family and friends, to leading a small army of volunteers who run the greatest pet sitting association in the world. Insert here everything you have going on in your lives. Here’s my moment of honesty. I haven’t completed reading the book. Some studies contained within it are complex and I have found that it takes you awhile to contemplate and really wrap your head around them and then put them into a context in a manner to be helpful for you. The book contains many case studies from chief executive officers, airline pilots, four-star generals, Broadway songwriters and more. Obviously, he spotlights people from diverse backgrounds. The book keys in on the fact that the most productive people don’t merely act differently, they view the world in a different way. Duhigg talks about the power of experimentation and states there’s no silver bullet for productivity, but those who are most productive aren’t afraid to try different methods and act upon these methods or portions of them. Duhigg is adamant about the proper way to use “to do” lists (Honestly, I’ve been doing mine wrong for years). Many of us use these to list items that need to be done, correct? Wrong. This method really only lends itself to mood repair, that is, “I’m so happy I got that off my list.” Instead, he suggests you pair your “to dos” with contemplation. Write down a Stretch Goal and build your list based upon things that must be accomplished to ultimately achieve that goal all the while asking yourself why? We all need to keep our eye on the “why.” As a Board, part of our strategic plan or if you will, one of our Stretch Goals, is to build membership. Why do we want to grow our membership? Because growth allows us to create options, offer more member benefits, entice more volunteers, come up with new ideas and possibly, a new skill set. What’s on our “to do” list to achieve this goal? A member retention plan, continued work on our 10-day free trial, a new type of membership option for junior sitters, enhanced Pet Parent Memberships and more. These goals all go back to our “why.” Because making our members the best, well-educated and professional pet sitters and business owners is what all of our volunteers strive for each and every day. I urge you to read the book, try some of the productivity methods and always keep in mind your “why.”
Yvette Gonzales Dedicated NAPPS Volunteer and President www.petsitters.org
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
I ND USTRY N E W S O F I N T E RE S T
Article and Photo by Arden Moore
Are Breed Bans Effective in Reducing Dog Bites?
In the aftermath of a woman mauled and killed by what was suspected to be a pit bull mix in June, city officials in Montreal passed a law in September that would ban new pit bull-type dogs from entering their city limits and force existing pit bull mixes to be muzzled and kept on four-foot leashes at all times. But in early October, a Quebec Superior Court judge placed Montreal’s ban on hold — for now. Those in support of breed bans believe it will keep people safer. Those opposed argue that banning certain breeds in cities and states does not reduce the incidents of dog bites or deaths. In the United States, more than 30 states and more than 700 cities have enacted some form of breed-specific legislation that ranges from mandatory sterilization to outright bans on pit bulls and some other breeds, according to DogsBite.org, a nonprofit that supports
such bans. Yet, officials from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that no jurisdiction has been able to prove that public safety has been improved due to enactment of this kind of legislation nor have they found any proof that one breed is more likely to bite a person than another. This issue is impacting professional pet sitters in Canada and the United States. “I find that a breedspecific bans is a toosimplistic solution. We need to look at both ends of a leash, not just one,” says Carol Corera, owner of the To learn more about breed-specific legislation, visit the BSL Flying Duchess Professional Census site at www.bslcensus.com. Here is a list of states Pet Sitting in Toronto, that have enacted some type of breed-specific legislation: Ontario and NAPPS 2016 Business of the Year winner. • Alabama • Kansas • North Dakota “I find the ban challenging • Arkansas • Kentucky • Ohio and questionable.” • California • Louisiana • Oregon Corera says that a • Colorado • Maryland • South breed ban has existed in the • Delaware • Michigan Carolina Ontario province for about • District of • Mississippi • Tennessee 10 years, but questions its Columbia • Missouri • Utah impact on truly making the • Florida • Montana • Vermont province safer. • Georgia • Nebraska • Washington Instead, Corera favors • Idaho • New Mexico • West Virginia legislature that focuses • Indiana • North • Wisconsin more on building responsible • Iowa Carolina • Wyoming
Breed-specific laws state-by-state
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
pet ownership and educating dog owners and children. “My personal stance is that I won’t judge a book by its cover and I’m not going to judge a dog by its breed,” she adds. “Give each animal his individual right to prove his innocence. Be responsible and be committed to educating and training for yourself, the pets you care for and your clients.” Corera knows that breed-ban laws put professional pet sitters in sometimes difficult and compromising positions. “On one hand, you want to abide by the rules, but on an ethical level, you might find that declining to offer service due to that pet’s specific breed is a morally reprehensible act to you,” she says. “Remember, your role as a pet sitter puts you in an enviable position where you can be an ambassador for animals and a catalyst for change in your society if you so choose.” n
T IPS O F T H E T R A D E
By Linda Beatty
To Take Care of YOU! You take care of your business every day for 8, 10, 12 hours. You may have a family and your own pets to care for. You have your home to take care of. You may have outside duties, too. YOU ARE AMAZING! Everyone says so. YOU ARE SO ORGANIZED! People comment about how much you can get done. YOU ARE A MULTI TASKER! You cannot be stopped. Or can you?
hile you are taking care of all these things, what about you? It is not selfish to take care of yourself. Studies prove that people who are good at self-care are more productive at work and more able to enjoy themselves at home. For example, multi-tasking can be exhausting. Focusing on the present and “single-tasking” can make you feel more calm and centered. See more details at this link: https://www.psychologytoday. com/blog/brain-wise/201209/the-true-cost-multitasking Our job has physical demands. Ignoring your body’s basic daily needs can become a habit that will have consequences. In time, a variety of problems can start to affect your stamina: fatigue, depression, illness, exhaustion and burn out.
FATIGUE/EXHAUSTION Need a nap? Always tired? Mental and physical fatigue will take a toll. Have you ever fallen asleep at a red light? Or forgot a client’s keys and had to drive back home or not remember what day it is when it is already noon? When we multitask, studies show we are less productive. Ever forget to do something at the current pet sit because you are thinking about the next one? Do you take a day off once a week? Once a month? Once a year?
DEPRESSION Pet sitting can be a lonely job. Some days you may not talk to a person at all. After a long day or a disgruntled client or a problem client, how do you unload that stress? Who can relate to your story and give it perspective? www.petsitters.org
ILLNESS Although we aren’t exposed to people germs, if we let our immune system get weak from lack of rest and poor nutrition we are at risk.
BURN OUT This is the end of the line. You just don’t want to continue. You’ve had it and you are ready to look for something else to do. If you don’t deal with all the issues already listed, eventually you will be ready to give up. Pet sitting is a very demanding job. Maybe it isn’t the right business for you. But if you aren’t ready to give up yet, let’s look at some ideas for creating a happier you.
Some Ways to Take Care of Yourself While Being a Busy Petsitter SLEEP
either phone or email to “debrief” and get feedback. NappsChat is a place to find people who are willing to talk to other pet sitters. There are seasoned petsitters who can give good advice. If you can’t sleep because your brain won’t stop listing all the things you need to do, simply keep a notebook and pen handy. Write down the list. Knowing they are written lets you release the worry that you might forget something. Wake up naturally if you can. If you need something to wake you up try soft music or an alarm that uses light instead of sound. Being forced to wake up suddenly with a blaring noise (loud music or alarm) starts the day with a jolt, though some people do like or need that. However you choose to wake up, take a few moments before getting up to stretch, meditate, pray or read. This time can set the mood for the rest of the morning.
FOOD It is hard to concentrate when you are so hungry you can only think about food. Plan meals ahead when you know you will have a busy schedule. Cook meals ahead of time
During the week, strive to get six to seven hours of sleep a night. Weekends are usually too busy to hold to this. If at all possible, don’t do office work after you have closed (see OFFICE HOURS below). Let your brain relax and remove as much electronic light as possible before going to bed. Learn more at this link: https://sleep.org/ articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/ If you can’t sleep because you need to discuss the events of the day, find another petsitter in another town or state who you can
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
T IPS O F T H E T R A D E
and freeze in one portion quantities for quick warm ups. Find your crock pot (everyone has one somewhere). It is so nice to come home to a meal that is ready to eat after a long day. SCHEDULE a lunch break and/or dinner break on your daily calendar. It might be just 15 minutes, but take time to stop and eat. Pack a lunch/dinner so you can eat in the car. Or find a park with a picnic table. Remember to bring a cold or hot drink, too. And dessert. It will make you happy. If you are able to stop at home, even better. Always have snacks in the car for the times when you are ready to eat the steering wheel. This will help you avoid the fast food drive-through. The high calories and the money you spend will add up. Pack a lunch box with energy bars, nuts, trail mix, candy, dried fruit, etc. Cut up bite-size portions of fruit or vegetables. Dip them in peanut butter or yogurt.
WATER Always have bottled water in your car. Even when it is cold, you can get dehydrated. Unlike hunger, you may not feel thirsty until you are dehydrated, which can cause physical and mental fatigue.
OFFICE HOURS/HOURS OF OPERATION Establish office hours as though you are a brick-and-mortar business. This gives you the right to have personal time every day. When do you want to start answering the phone and responding to voice mails, emails and texts? 7AM? 8AM? 9AM?
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
Time Out to Take Care of YOU, By Linda Beatty
When do you want to “shut off the lights and lock the door” for the day? 5PM? 7PM? 9PM? Post your office hours on your website, your email signature and your voice mail. Then be very firm with yourself about keeping to them. Unless it is a current client with an emergency, whatever it is can wait until the office is open. Very few service businesses are open 24 hours a day. If you WANT to have a 24-hour business, and respond to texts, emails and calls at midnight, then skip this suggestion. It is your business. It is your choice. Hours of Operation are the days/times you offer pet sitting and dog walking services. This is entirely up to you. A pet sitter who only takes care of cats will have different hours than a sitter who takes care of dogs. Maybe you only want to work on the weekend. Maybe you don’t want to work on the weekend at all. It is your business. It is your choice.
DAY OFF/TIME OFF How can you have a day off every week? Two ways: Have someone else work for you on that day OR have the business closed on that day. NOTE: if you are a solopreneur, it is always good to have a back-up person, so giving them a steady day of work each week keeps them interested and current on your routine.
If a weekly day off just won’t work, what about an hour once a week to visit a bookstore, sit in a coffee shop, go to that new place to look around or… (fill in the blank). At least plan something once a month to get away for a few hours or the whole day or evening and have some FUN and RELAX. All work and no play…well, you know. Maybe not just dull, but crank, too.
YOUR MOBILE OFFICE We spend a lot of time driving. Have you counted how many times you get in and out of your car in a day? That in itself can be tiring after 10 hours. Your car is your mobile office, and is equipped with everything you need to do your job, handle emergencies, food, and water. What about entertainment? I have found that during busy holiday times, listening to an audio book keeps me alert and wanting to get back into the car and happily go to the next job. And to look forward to the next day’s schedule to continue the book. Some people enjoy TED talks, interesting Podcasts, instructional or inspirational CDs, and of course music. Keep your mind engaged and enjoy your workday. It will make you a better pet care provider. n Linda Beatty is the owner of Ask Linda Pet Sitting based in Indianapolis, IN. She is also an instructor in pet first aid and personal puppy training. Linda is also an active member of the Pet Parent Resources Committee. Learn more by visiting www.lindapetsitting.com.
By David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA
New Liability Insurance Coverage Options to Consider Good News! Effective immediately, we are implementing some exciting new changes to the NAPPS Liability Insurance Program. For all NAPPS Members who are currently certified or become certified, you will now receive an additional 5 percent credit off your liability insurance. Our insurer has increased the certification credit from 10 to 15 percent on Oct. 1, 2016, which will take effect on your next renewal if currently certified or on a new policy once you become NAPPS certified.
nd here are more good news announcements: We have added two new coverage options: Non-Owned Auto Liability and Dog Training Liability (as long as less than 45 percent of your gross receipts). And due to an increase in care, custody and control claims over $10,000 (more to follow below) for those of you that have purchased higher care, custody and control limits above the $10,000 minimum (which is about 25 percent of NAPPS members insured with us), there will be a slight increase for each higher level of CCC coverage. Now let’s take a look at all of the above coverage options so you can consider whether you need for your business. Let’s start with the Non-Owned Auto Coverage. Over the years, we have heard from many NAPPS members who have expressed an interest in covering their business should an employee or contractor get in an auto accident www.petsitters.org
while working for them. Unfortunately until now, the only way to purchase this coverage was either as an endorsement to a commercial auto policy or via a Business Owners Policy that limits coverage for the pets in your care and/or independent contractors working for you. Effective Oct. 1, 2016, we are offering $100,000 liability limit to cover your non-owned auto exposures. We anticipate offering higher limits in the years to come. So what exactly does this cover? Let’s look at the following example to see how this coverage would actually apply to your business: Your employee or independent contractor is told to drive his/her vehicle to your client’s home to take their dogs for afternoon walk. On the way to the client’s home, your employee or independent contractor rear ends another vehicle causing damage to that vehicle and bodily injury to the driver of that vehicle. The injured party sues your employee/IC to recover the damage to their vehicle and medical bills they incurred. Your employee’s/IC’s personal auto liability insurance is primary and will cover your employee up to the limit of liability on their policy. Unfortunately, it is determined that the
employee/IC is only covered for $100,000 limit, and the total amount of the claim is for $150,000. The injured party’s attorney learns the employee/ IC was working for you at the time of the accident, and proceeds to sue your business to recover the additional claim expenses over and above what your employee/IC’s policy will pay. With Non-Owned Auto Liability coverage, your business would be defended by your insurer and if it is determined the Employee/IC was indeed working for you at the time of the loss and you are liable, the insurer would pay the additional $50,000 to cover the claim. Please note that non-owned auto does not cover injuries to your employee or IC, nor any passengers in their vehicle. It also does not cover damage to your employee’s vehicles. It is meant to solely cover your business for third-party liability claims where your employee/IC caused bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Another example would be if your employee were driving his or her vehicle on your behalf and were to run into your client’s garage or vehicle. Again, your employee’s/IC’s vehicle would be primary, but if Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
the client sued your business and the employee for the damage to the garage, your policy would cover your business and be excess over your employee/ IC’s auto policy. If you are interested in pursuing this coverage, please contact our office and we will send you a supplemental application to complete and return. The cost for $100,000 in coverage is $200. If you would like a higher limit we can offer commercial auto coverage via another insurer so long as you insure a vehicle owned by the business and titled in the business name.
Details on Dog Training Liability Coverage The second new coverage option is for Dog Training Liability. If your business is currently offering dog or pet training, or is considering offering this to your client base, we can now add limited dog training liability coverage under the NAPPS Liability policy, so long as this is less than 45 percent of your gross annual sales. The optional coverage includes all types of training including basic obedience, agility, hunting, service, therapy, search or scent work, etc. The only types of training specifically excluded are training for protection, attack or fighting, or police or law enforcement work. With the optional endorsement, you will have $1,000,000 per occurrence liability limit for bodily injury or property damage arising out of training classes, as well as your choice of care, custody and control limit including vet medical coverage regardless of fault, ranging from $10,000 up to $200,000. The annual premium for the optional training endorsement is $100 per trainer. To add this coverage to your policy, please contact our office for supplemental application. Here are some examples of dog training claims we have handled: 1. Dogs in a training class who tear their ACL. Total amount paid ranges from $3,500 to $14,000. 2. Two dogs in a training class get in a fight with one or both suffering injuries. Total amount paid ranges from $500 to $11,500. 3. A client running beside her dog in training class trips and falls, injuring herself. Total amount paid ranges from $2,500 to $35,000. 4. During a training session, a child comes up to a dog in class and attempts to hug the dog. The dog bites the child in the face. Total amount paid ranges from $5,000 to $165,000. Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
New Insurance Coverage Options for You, By David Pearsall
5. A dog in class is learning to retrieve in a park. He runs into and knocks down a jogger or walker. Total amount paid ranges from $2,500 to $200,000.
Taking a Closer Look at Care, Custody and Control Coverage Now, let’s discuss Care, Custody and Control coverage and the reason for the additional cost for the higher limits. First, it is important that everyone understand there is no increase if you carry a $10,000 care, custody and control limit now, which approximately 75 percent of NAPPS members do. The increase will only affect those of you that have purchased higher CCC limits in the past, or if you opt to increase your CCC limits going forward at your next renewal. You will always have a choice at each policy renewal as to which limit is best for your business. Keep in mind under the NAPPS Liability Care, Custody and Control coverage we cover all vet medical claims regardless of fault, up to the CCC limit you choose. That said, over the last several years, just as health insurance has been increasing for you and I, veterinary medical coverage has also been skyrocketing across our country. We have seen an increase not only in the amounts paid on claims, but also in the number turned in. Here are a few examples: 1. A professional pet sitter took a dog for a walk and the dog suffered injuries from the extreme heat and passed away two days later. Total amount paid $17,016. 2. A dog under a pet sitter’s care escaped from his leash and was struck by a car. Total amount paid: $16,519. 3. Two dogs under a pet sitter’s care got into a fight and both were injured. Total amount paid: $17,989. 4. A dog got out of his harness under a pet sitter’s care and was hit by a car. Total amount paid: $22,652. 5. A pet sitter had a house fire and the animals she was pet sitting at her home passed away. Total amount paid: $15,522. Furthermore, you may have read about the recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling made this summer regarding a boarding kennel that caused injury to a dog in its care. The court ruled that claimants are entitled to veterinary medical payments when a dog passes away due to negligence of a care taker. In that particular claim, the veterinary expenses amounted to over
$60,000 when a boarding facility gave the client’s dog arthritis medication by mistake, causing his organs to shut down, The dog died after nine months of veterinary medical care. Based on all of the above, expect to see higher losses on veterinary medical in years to come. In addition to veterinary medical claims, sometimes pet sitters overlook the fact that Care, Custody and Control coverage also covers the clients’ personal contents (such as furnishings and computers). The number of personal property damage claims over and above $10,000 has also been increasing over the last few years. We continue to see large water-damage losses as well as losses from fire and other causes as evidenced below: 1. A toilet overflowed after being used by pet sitter and caused damage to ceiling and client’s furnishings below. Total amount paid: $25,483. 2. A pet sitter was washing pet dishes and got sidetracked and left client’s water running for 12 hours, causing severe water damage to home and contents. Total amount paid: $41,701. 3. A pet-sitting employee brought another person in the client’s home to hang out and use drugs. This inappropriate behavior in client’s home caused damaged to the client’s couch and bed. Total amount paid property damage: $23,700. 4. A pet sitter set an aquarium light on the arm of a chair, causing damage to the chair, table and other furnishings. Total amount paid: $31,692. As you can see, $10,000 may not go as far as it used to. You may want to strongly consider a higher Care, Custody and Control Limit in the future if you want your claims to be 100-percent covered. n David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA, is vice-president/co-owner of Business Insurers of the Carolinas, a multi-line commercial insurance agency specializing in insurance for pet service professionals since 1995. He is a licensed insurance agent in all 50 states and has held the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and the Certified Workers Compensation Advisor (CWA) designation since 2002. David can be reached at 1-800-962-4611, ext. #214, or via email at DP@business-insurers.com.
By Therese Kopiwoda
How to Use Live Video to Promote Your Pet Business By now you probably know that live social video is the hottest new thing in social media. You probably also know that it has the potential to be very beneficial to your business if you take advantage of it and start broadcasting. But if you’re like many people in business, even though you know all this, you may be struggling with what to broadcast about.
s someone working in the pet industry, you have plenty to broadcast about and you can get creative in how you present your content. Just do a simple search on Google for “pets” and you’ll have enough content to last a lifetime! Many of those topics can be incorporated into your own live broadcasts in one way or another. More specifically, think about all the times you talk with someone about your business. You’re constantly telling new people what you do and answering their questions. Every bit of that can be used for live broadcasts, and rather than just talking with one person at a time, you’ll be reaching several people at once. This means you have the opportunity to reach more people in a more meaningful way than ever before. The following ideas should help spark your creativity and help you get started with live video:
Be the Live Broadcaster for an Event When you attend pet events, do some impromptu interviews with vendors and attendees. Give them a business card with a link to the account where they will find the replay. Invite them to share the video to their friends and followers. You might also talk to the organizers of events and offer to be their designated broadcaster.
Be a Local Resource People who work in the pet industry get asked all kinds of questions. For whatever reason, people think their pet sitter has all the answers to anything pet related. Or that their groomer knows when all the local pet events are scheduled. Capitalize on this assumption and become that person by doing a weekly broadcast that is a resource for pet lovers in your area. You’ve probably seen shows like this on your
local news. A local pet person comes on and tells everybody about the pet festivals, spay-neuter clinics, dog shows, and other pet related events that are coming up that week. Not everybody has time to sit in front of the TV to watch those shows, so do your own version of it with live video. Set a regular time and give it a name. You might decide that every Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. you’ll do “Bark around Boston” and talk about all the fun events coming up. When you make it a regular broadcast, just like TV, you’ll find that you’ll have repeat viewers who will either tune in live or watch the replay.
Let Viewers Get To Know You Most of the time, when we work with a small business, we want to get to know the people we are doing business with. This is especially true for a service-oriented business like pet sitting. Getting your employees on camera is an ideal way to introduce people to you and your staff. You will be able to give people an idea of your company culture as well as letting them put faces to names and voices. You can do a formal interview where you ask about their background, what they enjoy most about their job, how long they have worked with you and so on. Your broadcasts don’t have to be all business. If you want to get creative, and have a little fun, you might do a broadcast asking your
Using live video to collaborate with other people and their businesses is an excellent way to maximize your exposure. You will be cross promoting each other to your respective audiences. These are just a few examples of how you might use live video when you collaborate.
Conduct Interviews Interview local pet experts, such as veterinarians, groomers, dog trainers and cat behaviorists. Promote the interview in advance via your email newsletter, with a Facebook event page, and on all of your social media accounts. Afterwards, the video can be repurposed and posted to your blog, and uploaded to YouTube. And since the person you interviewed will do the same, you will be promoting each other. www.petsitters.org
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
employees to answer a particular question. It might be something as simple as, “If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would you be?” You will probably get a variety of answers ranging from sweet to silly – and your viewers will likely join in and let you know their answers, too. Having fun with your employees and your audience will help build meaningful relationships that often lead to sales.
Live Demonstrations You’ll see a lot of dog trainers, groomers, veterinarians, pet photographers, and other pet professionals doing live demonstrations on Facebook Live, Periscope, and other apps. They’re finding it to be an excellent way to educate pet owners as a group or work with clients one-on-one. Dawn Hagan, owner of Halo Dog Training and a broadcaster on The Pet Scope TV, uses it to reach new clients and work with current ones. Live demonstrations can also be used as teasers for a service or program you may be offering. As a call to action, at various points in the broadcast, you can direct people to your website where they can find out more and sign up for your program. Just keep in mind that you want to be sure you’re delivering useful content rather than making it into an all-out sales pitch.
Contests and Promotions There are many ways to use live video for contests and promotions. Promote the broadcast in advance to entice people to start following you. The contest may require people to do something before the broadcast, such as tweeting or sharing a post, entering a photo contest, signing up for your mailing list, etc. You can then announce the winner during the live broadcast. If you’re rolling out a new product or service a live broadcast can be an excellent way to introduce it. During the broadcast have a drawing, trivia game, or other contest and give one of your new products to one or more attendees.
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
Live Video for Promotion, By Therese Kopiwoda
Frequently Asked Questions Whether you have a list of FAQs on your website or not, you can undoubtedly think of several common questions people ask about your business. Each of these questions can be a topic for a live broadcast.
“Live streaming has given me the opportunity to reach pet and service dog handlers on an international level. This allows me to work with people anywhere, not just in person. On a local level, clients are able to see what their pup is doing with me in our day training while they’re off working. This is always popular with pet owners.” Behind the Scenes View Just like we enjoy getting to know the people behind a small business, we like to be invited to a behind-the-scenes look at how things work. Take your viewers with you on a pet sitting visit (being security conscious, of course), show us around your dog daycare, or show the process of how your collars and leashes are manufactured. Oftentimes broadcasts like this will be quite lively with plenty of questions, so be ready for them.
There are endless ways to use live video to promote your pet business. For inspiration, watch what other broadcasters are doing and then come up with your own ideas. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’re at a loss, think of some of the television programs, movies, game shows, documentaries, or live performances you enjoy. Incorporate some of what they are doing with the content you’d like to share. And remember to smile and have fun! n Therese Kopiwoda is a social media and live stream consultant for the pet industry. An avid live streamer, she consults solopreneurs and small business owners on how to leverage live streaming in their own businesses. She is the founder of ThePetScopeTV, the first live stream network for pet lovers; and the #PetLoversTribe live stream community. Learn more by visiting her website at Social Media Hound and follow her on Facebook.
By Carol Bryant
Strategies to Combat Cyberbullying It’s not just my dog: It’s your dog and it’s the millions and millions of dogs worldwide. There’s an epidemic and like fleas, unless it’s treated, it’s going to spread. Cyberbullying has gone to the dogs. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Cyberbullying is all one word, by the way: You don’t separate the means (cyber) from the abhorrent act (bullying): It’s all one click of the Enter button. According to FederalCharges.com, “There are no federal laws at this time that address bullying or cyberbullying. But bullying does overlap with discriminatory harassment if it is based upon race, color, sex, age, religion or disability. In some cases, federal stalking charges can be brought against offenders.” If you Google it, cyberbullying stories are rampant. People of all ages, races, denominations, and nationalities are cyberbullied on a daily basis. Earlier this year, 9-year-old Jackson Grubb hanged himself after repeatedly being bullied. Nine years old. It’s got to stop. We stop bullying by speaking out against it and doing something. “Inciting an online hate campaign does not make you relevant.” I love love love that sentence. Writer Hadley Freeman penned that in an article this summer. Bullies are weak and feel strength behind an electronic screen and a keyboard.
Dogs Are Under Cyber Attack We are vulnerable when we post something on an electronic playground. You click “post” or “publish” and wait for the likes, re-tweets, comments, re-pins, shares, and general kindness of strangers to light up your screen like a Christmas tree. Often times, the ugliest and nastiest, meanest and vilest of creatures surface and shoo their fleas on your moment of sunshine. Trolls, yes, but even scarier, wolves in wolves clothing. A real person with a real name with a real profile with the name of a real town in which their cyber hate resides just told you what a complete *&^%$#&@# you are and that you are going to burn in hell for having a dog. The dog is: • Too skinny • Too fat • Old and should be put down • A dog and as such, a nasty creature who should live outside And so on. Trolls are so 2014. Owning your hate and claiming your spot in history’s trail of www.petsitters.org
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
evil is a new norm for some. Some are now too many. “You put yourself out there on social media, so don’t be surprised when someone comes at you, Carol,” a fellow blogger shared when I told her I was writing this blog post. “There are behaviors of common human decency and that applies to the Internet,” I replied. You can’t ignore vile comments when your career is in social media. You can’t ignore it when you spend time on social media in any capacity.
Legal Ways to Help Pets in Cars, By Carol Bryant
Question: Have you ever been affected by cyberbullying in any capacity? Amy Shojai, CABC says: Yes, I’ve had this happen. And like a fool, I tried to be reasonable… and then finally began to delete/block the person. Took me a while to figure out how to block, so the person’s spewing continued to be posted as fast as I deleted. NOW I know how to de-fang ’em, but thankfully, haven’t had many. It’s very disheartening, even hurtful when it happens. I try to remember that not everyone sees things from my perspective, and that the other person (maybe) has good cause for feeling that way. But congenial discourse is required to play in MY playground. Bravo for your post, Carol!
Linda Szymoniak says:
Common Human Decency Be polite, be courteous, be civil, be thoughtful, be tactful, and behave. Simple, right? People are angry and dogs are a target. Bullies generally attack those whom they feel are weaker and/or inferior. Dogs can’t speak, so they are easy targets. This applies to pets in general. Bullies succeed when the behavior continues or escalates. I don’t understand vandals and I don’t understand bullies, cyber or otherwise. As a blogger and social media enthusiast of many years, I do, however, have an understanding of how to handle cyberbullies when your dog is attacked online: • Ignore or block any communication with the bully. Each social media platform has its own system for blocking people. Do it. • File a complaint with the social media platform. Save screen shots, URLs, etc. to share with them. • Delete the comment. • If you are involved with social media or blogging online, my best advice is to not engage the haters. It’s easier to delete their comments and block them when possible. It’s up to you to decide what the line between visible comments versus banning the hate. Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
In April, my senior Treeing Walker Coonhound, Suki, was quickly going downhill and my daughter and I finally had to make “the decision.” That morning, I took a photo of Suki and posted it on Facebook, stating that it was Suki’s last photo. I had so many wonderfully supportive comments. So much outpouring of love and concern, for both Suki and me. Then, one of my FB friends (not someone I really knew, but when you’re involved in animal rescue, you get hundreds, and even thousands of friend requests from other animal people). posted a single word comment: “Murder.” I had lost my deaf hound girl, Ran, exactly one year before (she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, and even after nearly $3,000 in veterinary bills, her condition worsened to the point we had to make the decision on her, and then lost our senior cat in February of this year. So, losing Suki, even knowing she was old and she’d had a long, wonderful life, was especially hard. That one comment almost sent me over the edge. I simply deleted the comment and unfriended the person. I’ve tried not to think about it, but looking back, it was one of the worst things anyone could have posted to me at that time. I hope they someday grow a heart, but until then, I won’t have to worry about their hateful words again. The hate in this world has escalated to the point where I don’t know if we can ever go back to a world of love and acceptance. I count on my fur babies, family, and true friends for that. Haters gonna hate. I choose to ignore them. • Remind yourself that your dog rocks. Cyberbullies are the equivalent of online vandals. Their goal is to tear you down and make you feel bad. They win when you feel like you lose.
What Not To Do to CyberBullies Don’t argue with a cyberbully. You cannot win. A cyberbully’s fuel is inciting a fire and fanning the flames to keep it going. The more comments made and the more hateful the conversation gets, the more the bully enjoys it. Do not feed into the negativity. Cyberbullying negatively affects adults, too, and dogs we love. Don’t perpetuate the behavior by saying mean and nasty things back. Is it
any wonder that teens are engaging in online (and real life) hateful behavior? If adults are doing it, this becomes the norm. There are also cyberbullying laws in place. Click for a brief review of cyberbullying laws and policies by state. Don’t share their comments across social media. You feed the beast in doing this. My heart beats dog® and love always trumps hate. n Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.® www.petsitters.org
By Erin Fenstermaker
Pet Sitting is a People Business Back in 2000 while I was pursuing a master’s degree in business, I enrolled in a “Starting a Business” class. Because I am a life-long animal lover, I chose to do my class project on opening a pet sitting company and dog daycare. After a semester of work creating projected financials, a business plan and marketing materials, I came to a disillusioning realization: If I wanted to make a reasonable amount of money and scale my business to a decent size, I would be spending a lot of time dealing with “people issues” and would likely spend very little time interacting with animals at all. That insight helped me decide not to open that business after my graduation, because I knew myself well enough that I would not be happy having to manage a lot of staff. So, my dream of starting a business so I could work with pets got put on the backburner because I realized most pet businesses are a lot more people-centric than pet-centric.
ow as a consultant in the pet sitting industry, I have met many pet-sitting business owners with companies of all sizes. Many companies with only one or two people tend to have started their business for the very same reason I was interested in doing so — they love pets. Once involved in running the business day-to-day though, they find out that while they do get to interact with pets, the growth and success of their business is heavily dependent on their ability to provide good customer service to their human clients. It also depends on their ability to screen, hire, train and manage other pet sitters. Many such business owners might not love doing these things either, and consequently struggle to retain clients and staff — and then their business never seems to grow significantly or gain any traction over time. The genuine love of providing great customer service and enjoying staff management are, in my opinion, the most important skills that a business owner must have in order to operate a successful, growing pet-sitting business. The larger petsitting businesses in our industry have been able to consistently grow because their focus is on providing great customer service on a daily basis and on finding, hiring, training and retaining great staff. That is why they grow. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to be a one- or two-person pet-sitting business, if that is what you want to do. But if you would prefer to have a larger business so you
can make more money and have a more normal schedule and life, then you will have to evaluate your own abilities and focus in the areas of providing great service and being a great manager of your sitters. If you don’t inherently thrive in these areas, you may want to find a mentor who
Many such business owners might not love doing these things either, and consequently struggle to retain clients and staff — and then their business never seems to grow
strengths in the areas they have weakness. So, if you have been struggling for a while to grow your business, do some serious self-reflection and go out and find the ying to your business yang. It could make all of the difference in the world to your business. n Erin Fenstermaker is a small business consultant specializing in the pet industry. A certified dog trainer, Erin was also a part-time pet sitter for seven years while working full-time as a small business chief operating officer. Learn more at www.erinfenstermaker.com.
significantly or gain any traction over time. can help you improve your skills or find a partner who does shine in these areas. Don’t be afraid of admitting you aren’t great at something. No one can be fantastic at everything required to run a successful business. The smartest business owners I know own up to their weaknesses and then find someone who have
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
NAPPS 2017 Business of the Year Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. Delivers Pet Care in a Big Way By Arden Moore
What Clients Say About Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. Joette White is perfectly content to be imperfect. And she is quick to acknowledge mistakes or setbacks. Powered by a can-do spirit, she transforms life lessons into triumphs as owner of Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc., one of the country’s largest and most successful professional pet sitting companies. am not afraid to admit my flaws and mistakes in both personal and business arenas. But I have learned from them and have been willing to change when things were not working and as a result, I have a thriving business to show for it,” says the always-candid White, who bounced back from financial distress to direct a company that exceeded $1.2 million in income in the last fiscal year and is on track to grow by nearly 6 percent this year. She took over the reins when she purchased PCPSI in 2000 and now oversees a loyal staff of 41. She and her team continue to expand services to grateful pet parents in the Dallas area. For her savvy business skills, people skills and desire to raise the bar on quality pet care for the pet sitting industry, White has earned the title of NAPPS 2017 Business of the Year. Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
As part of the requirements in the application process to be considered for 2017 NAPPS Business of the Year honors, pet sitters had to include comments from clients. Here is a sampling from satisfied clients: “I spend a lot of time traveling and at one point, I was commuting to D.C. PCPSI took care of my pets, my house, my plants and made sure that everything was safe and secure while I was away. I like the PCPSI approach to providing pet service. They really focus on meeting the specific needs of the individual. Joette adapts quickly to my requests and always has a proposed solution. — Lori Fink, of Dallas, who relies on PCPSI to care for her dog, Lucy and five cats. “Joette and her team have been unbelievably flexible with us and we’ve used their pet sitting service since 2002. Joette really listens to her clients, and understands that for people like me, my dogs are my kids. They are always right there to help out and I trust them completely with my ‘kids.’ I can’t imagine not having them in our lives.” — Starlette Johnson, of Dallas.
“Joette has been through rough times with her business, but all of this has molded her into the great person and successful business owner that she has become,” notes NAPPS President Yvette Gonzales, who serves on the nominating committee and operates As You Wish Pet Sitters in the Denver area. Cathe Delaney, NAPPS administrator, adds, “I was a big fan of Joette back when she served on our board and still am today. She is approachable
and she is very passionate about NAPPS and it shows. If you ask her for something – say write an article or make a phone call or help on a project, she does so without hesitation.” And White is there with innovative solutions for her clients. When longtime client Lori Fink was hobbling on crutches at the same time her dog tore a ligament and needed to go to the hospital for surgery, her car’s battery died. www.petsitters.org
Business of the Year Perks The NAPPS Business of the Year Award is presented to a member who has demonstrated outstanding business practices and vision in maintaining and growing their business. The honor includes: • Complimentary participation in the 2017 Education and Networking Forum in Chicago (inclusive of registration, lodging, and transportation). • Professionally prepared customized public relations press release to local media by the national NAPPS office. • The Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. company logo displayed on the NAPPS website for one year. • Recognition of the Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. company during the 2017 Education and Networking Forum. • Indefinite use of the “NAPPS Pet Sitting Business of the Year 2017” logo.
“Joette came to the rescue in her mini-van and drove me and my dog to the hospital so she could have her needed surgery,” says Fink. “I use to judge how my business was doing by how much money was in my bank account. But when the recession hit in 2009, coupled with some bad spending decisions, my business was not looking so great,” recalls White. “I knew I had to make some changes. I needed to learn how to focus on the numbers and pay attention to the metrics to know how my business was really doing.” Recognizing the need to find individuals who have strengths in the areas she was weakest, White hired Erin Fenstermaker, a business strategist, about five years ago. Fenstermaker has guided White on updating her technology for scheduling, email, voice mail and the use of smart devices by Joette White hired Erin Fenstermaker (left), a business strategist.
all staff in the field as well as set financial goals while paying close attention to the numbers. “Joette is a people person who gets the fundamentals of this business better than anyone I know in this industry,” says Fenstermaker. “Her success is due to the fact that she provides great service to her clients and she treats the people on her staff well.” White recognizes the importance of a welltrained staff and in providing education to her www.petsitters.org
clients on pet care. She has hosted dog and cat behavior workshops, cultivated relationships with veterinarians and expanded services to now include overnight stays, dog training and litter box cleaning. “The average employee at PCPSI has been with the company almost five years, and we attribute that to setting clear expectations and regularly reminding the staff how grateful we are for their hard work,” says White. “This is our ‘secret sauce’ and why we have grown for so many years.” And when it comes to fielding any complaints or concerns from clients, White responds, “We jump on them immediately. Addressing complaints as quickly as possible lessens the length of time a client may be upset with us, and tends to make the complaint easier to resolve. Customer service is the core of Park Cities Pet Sitter.” Referrals remain the biggest source of new business for PCPSI. These referrals come not only from existing clients but also from veterinarians, building concierges and property managers. Current clients earn $20 toward future service for each new referral. “Our average client generates about $1,100 per year, which we believe is quite high for the industry,” she says. “It is much easier to grow your revenue by keeping existing clients happy and adding additional services.” Her management philosophy identifies these top priorities: customer service, staff morale, staff training and retention. “If staff are happy, respected, well-trained and feel valued, they will stay,” she adds.
Christy Van Ravenswaay joined PCPSI in 2014 as a pet sitter and is now office manager. “Joette doesn’t claim to be Miss Perfect. That is comforting for me. If I do mess up, it is not the end of the world. She takes the time to explain the process on how to get through an issue.”
PCPSI Identifies Ambitious Goals White is on track to pursue a five-year goal: to approach the $2 million mark in sales, add another 20 pet sitters to the roster and perhaps, open a retail location to continue expansion in the Dallas market. “We would also like to be the first pet sitting company in Texas to offer health insurance to our full-time employees and are taking steps for that to happen in the next 18 months,” she says. The year 2017 marks three special milestones for White. In addition to this NAPPS honor, she will celebrate her 50th birthday as well as the 25th anniversary of PCPSI. “Winning this honor, well, it is hard for me to put into words as this was something I have wanted for a long time,” says White. “There are so few things to be recognized for in our profession and we are both humbled by it and super excited. Now, we cannot wait to shout it on the rooftops and in social media. This is quite an honor.” n
Facts about Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. Location: Dallas Established:1992 Staff: 41 Owner Joette White is active in NAPPS conferences and networks with pet sitting business owners all over the country. Mission statement: “To be the client’s trusted resource for their pet’s entire life.” Innovative service: Recently provided iPads to all full-time staffers and switch to a better scheduling software system called Pet Sitter Plus. Member of NAPPS: Since 2000. Website: www.pcpsi.com Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
Dog Facts from A to Z By Amy Shojai
OG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia is Amy Shojai’s culmination of more than 25 years writing about dogs. DOG FACTS is organized in an easy to use A-to-Z format, with quick tips boxes throughout, and a handy symptoms-conditions chart. It’s published as an exclusive E-book on Kindle with a detailed click-able index, while the widely available print book includes an expanded index to easily accesses life-saving and edu-taining information. I’m delighted to share with NAPPS members these sample excerpts from the more than 200 entries in this 638-page book. I hope these quick tips will intrigue and help keep your dog clients happy and safe. Let’s begin! Acne: Canine acne is common in adolescent dogs, particularly short-coated breeds like Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes and Boxers. Most dogs outgrow the condition. Holistic veterinarians recommend applying a tincture (or tea) of the herb calendula on a cotton ball, used as a compress for five minutes each day to help speed healing. Bloat: This syndrome affects up to 60,000 dogs each year. All dogs can be affected, but breeds that have a narrow but deep chest have the greatest incidence of the condition. Typically, dogs whine and pace in an effort to get comfortable. The dog may try to vomit or defecate without success. The stomach becomes Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
swollen and painful. Bloat is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary intervention if your dog is to survive. Car Sickness: Ginger is a natural remedy that can relieve car sickness. Sprinkle the contents of a capsule n a tablespoon of baby food, and give your dog about 20 minutes before the car ride. Dogs weighing more than 15 pounds can take 500 milligrams of ginger (for smaller dogs, half that amount). Some dog show professionals offer their dogs ginger snap cookies, which may also work, but do tend to stain white fur if the dog slobbers. Diarrhea: Acute diarrhea is treated by withholding food for at least 24 hours to rest the gastrointestinal tract. As long as there is no vomiting along with the diarrhea, offer small amounts of water or ice cubes during this time. You also can use Kaopectate at a dosage of ½ to1 teaspoon per five pounds of pet, up to a maximum of 2 tablespoons every eight hours. If diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, see your veterinarian. Electrical Shock: Most accidents result from the puppy or dog chewing through an electric cord. Electrical current may cause muscle contractions that make your dog bite down even harder, and prevent her from releasing the cord. If you find your dog in such a situation, shut off the current and disconnect the plug before attempting to touch her or you risk being shocked, too. Flatulence: Gas is produced naturally in the intestines during digestion. Flatulence
can be the sign of a health problem. Gorging allows food to stay in the stomach for extended periods, and tends to make dogs more prone to gas. Feed your dogs separately to cut down on competition. Slow the gulper by placing a large non-swallowable bowl in the bowl so she must eat around it. Invest in a foraging feeder, bowls designed to make dogs work to reach the food. Grass Eating: Most dogs occasionally eat grass, which may be used as a natural emetic to stimulate vomiting when the dog feels unwell. Some dogs may simply relish the flavor or texture. Some speculation exists that grass grazing may provide trace elements or vitamins. Hot Spots: A hot spot is a localized area of self-induced trauma that becomes infected. Dogs with heavy double coats like Chow Chows and German Shepherd Dogs seem most prone to developing hot spots immediately prior to shedding. A natural remedy for hot spots is the tannic acid found in black tea. This astringent helps dry out the sores so they heal more quickly. Soak a tea bag in hot water, let it cool, and apply the bag directly to the sore for five minutes. You can do this three or four times a day. Ibuprofen poisoning: The drug prevents oxygen from being absorbed into the blood, which may result in your dog’s gums turning blue from lack of oxygen, and the dog having difficulty breathing. Induce vomiting using three percent hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon per 10 pounds of pet, and immediately contact your veterinarian. Jumping Up: This is a normal greeting www.petsitters.org
behavior for dogs who wish to nuzzle and lick each other’s faces. A submissive dog aims attention at a dominant individual’s eyes and mouth. Therefore, licking the owner’s face is a canine “howdy!” — a way to solicit attention. Teach your dog a conflicting behavior such as “fetch your ball.” She can’t jump up if she’s running to bring you her ball or other favorite toy. Kneecap Slipping: The condition is considered common in toy breed dogs, but can affect any size or breed of dog. Dogs may show no signs at all, or may suffer intermittent lameness and limping as the kneecap slips in and out of place. Keeping your dog slim and preventing excessive jumping can reduce the risk of repeat injury. Licking Sores: Acral lick granuloma is a common condition thought to be associated with canine boredom. The affected dog incessantly licks a selected area, usually on a lower leg, which creates a raised, hairless ulcerative plaque. An owner’s interaction — spending more one-on-one time with the dog playing games, walking, or training — is beneficial. Music Therapy: Music therapy not only blocks out scary sounds, but actually changes the way the brain processes emotion. Soft music with a slow, steady rhythm helps calm agitated dogs and rambunctious puppies. Music with a pulse of about 60 beats per minute slows the brain waves so the listener feels more relaxed and peaceful and shifts the consciousness into a more alert state. This rhythm also slows breathing, which calms the mind and improves the metabolism Nose: Humans have between five to 20 million scent-analyzing cells, but canine scent sense varies between breeds. For instance, the Dachshund has about 125 million such cells, compared to the German Shepherd Dog’s 200 million. The best sniffer of them all, the Bloodhound, is said to have 300 million olfactory cells. Obesity: Defined as body fat that exceeds 30 percent beyond the ideal, obesity most often affects middle-aged and older dogs and is the most common nutritional disorder of dogs. According to the 2014 statistics published by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 52.7 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. Proptosis of Eyeball: A sharp blow to the head or bite wounds may cause the eyeball to prolapse, or “pop” from the socket. To prevent the surface from drying, place a wet gauze sponge or wet cloth over the eye until you reach veterinary help. Don’t try to manipulate the eyeball back into place yourself; you could cause even more damage. The eyeball will need to be surgically replaced. www.petsitters.org
Quarantine: A dog incubating a highly contagious disease becomes sick within two to three weeks of exposure. Quarantine the new dog for a minimum of two weeks (a month is better) to reduce risk of exposure for your other pets. Rolling: Certain pungent scents prompt rolling behavior in dogs. This scent ecstasy is similar to what cats experience when exposed to catnip, however, the canine indulgence is a good bit more noxious, and tends toward offal. Experts theorize that perfuming themselves with such scents may allow the dog to carry the smelly message home, so other dogs can “read” all about it. Shedding: Light exposure, either to sun or artificial light, determines the amount and timetable of canine shedding. Environmental temperature has a lesser influence. More hair is
Dog Facts: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia Xylitol poisoning: The ingested substance may cause vomiting, lack of coordination, seizures and even liver failure. shed during the greatest exposure to light, which typically coincides with the summer months. In fact, house dogs under constant exposure to artificial light may shed all year long. Temperature: The adult dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees, while a newborn puppy’s temperature is considerably lower at 92 to 97 degrees. A body temperature outside the normal range is an indication of illness. Temperatures higher than normal are referred to as a fever, and can be a sign of infection, or of heat stroke. A drop in body temperature may indicate shock as a result of trauma, or loss of body heat from extreme cold. Uveitis: Uveitis refers to an inflammation of the iris, the colored portion of the eye, and the ciliary body that supports the lens and produces fluid of the front portion of the eye. The condition is common in dogs, and may affect only one eye or both. Unless diagnosed and treated, the dog may lose her sight in that eye. Dogs may squint, suffer watery eyes, clouding of the cornea or even a change in eye color. Vestibular Syndrome: Middle-aged and senior dogs sometimes suffer from sudden,
unexplained balance problems referred to as vestibular syndrome. The pet commonly begins to suffer from dizzy behavior, head tilt, circling, and falling with difficulty getting up. Often the pet’s eyes will jerk back and forth from side to side. Most cases gradually get better on their own over a period of a week to a month. Wart: Young dogs may develop a condition called papillomatosis in which warts develop in their mouths, or sometimes on the eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, or skin in other locations. The condition may be spread to another dog by close contact with an infected dog. Papillomatosis is almost always a transient condition, which cures by itself with a few months. Xylitol poisoning: The ingested substance may cause vomiting, lack of coordination, seizures and even liver failure. Bleeding may develop in the dog’s gastrointestinal track or abdomen, as well as dark red specks or splotches on his gums. Usually the symptoms happen quickly, within 15 to 30 minutes of ingestion, but some types of sugar-free gum may not cause symptoms for up to 12 hours. If you see your dog eat something containing xylitol, induce vomiting immediately and then get to the veterinarian. Yellow Skin (Jaundice): Jaundice refers to the abnormal yellow discoloration of bodily tissues and fluids. In dogs, jaundice is most easily seen in thinly furred or light-colored areas of the body, such as the insides of the ears or whites of the eyes. It is a sign of abnormal liver function, and results from the abnormal deposition of bile pigments throughout the body. Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis: This is a skin disorder caused by a deficiency of zinc in the diet. Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Terriers, Samoyeds and Siberian Huskies may inherit a genetic defect that interferes with the proper absorption of zinc. Signs include thinning of the fur, and a scaly dermatitis especially on the face. The dog’s feet also typically develop thick calluses, and crack and bleed. Correcting the diet, along with short-term zinc supplementation, may reverse the signs of disease. n Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 30 best-selling pet books. Learn more by visiting her website: www.shojai.com. About Dog Facts Book: DOG FACTS: The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia; Puppy to Adult, Disease & Prevention, Dog Training, Veterinary Dog Care, First Aid, Holistic Medicine is available in print on Amazon.com and other vendors for $24.99 and Kindle Ebook for $9.99. Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
Is this Cat Shy or Fe
Veterinary experts help you tell the
ot sure if a cat you wish to approach is shy or fearful? Recognizing the difference between these two feline behaviors can mean the start of building a trusting relationship or the onslaught of a vicious attack. A shy cat is more apt to “freeze” in place
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
and even tremble in hopes you will walk away. A fearful cat, however, is more apt to flatten his ears, dilate his pupils and deliver a warning hiss or growl before swatting or biting you if you attempt to touch him. “There is no doubt that the behaviors exhibited by fearful and shy animals overlap,” notes Leni Kaplan, DVM, a lecturer in the Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y. “In my experience, shy cats will usually not show signs of aggression because they are trying to get away or avoid being the center of attention. Fearful cats, on the other hand, tend to feel threatened or endangered (whether it is genuine or imagined) and are likely to swat, hiss or growl to discourage being handled.” Other fearful signs including a cat bringing his feet closer to his body, lowering his head and making himself seem smaller. His back will
become more arched and his ears more flattened when a person he does not know approaches. As the person gets closer, he may start hissing — a warning sign before he strikes. When in doubt as to a cat’s emotional state, Dr. Kaplan cautions you to never: • Attempt to invade the cat’s personal space. • Lower yourself to be face-to-face with this cat. • Touch his hind end, tail or paw pads. • Speak in a loud voice. • Move abruptly or use large gestures. “I tell people that cats like quiet people,” adds behaviorist Katherine Houpt, VMD, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Cornell. “When meeting a cat, use your ‘library’ voice and resist making expressive hand motions.” Unlike dogs, cats are solitary hunters by nature and are apt to avoid a fight or conflict whenever possible by distancing themselves by hiding or fleeing the room. As both predator and prey, cats often show fear or defensiveness in strange surroundings or with unfamiliar people. If they perceived they are being cornered, they may lash out. In a 2013 study conducted by Maddie’s Institute under the direction of Sheila D’Arpino, DVM, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, how a kitten or cat behaves in a shelter is not always a good representation of the cat’s true behavior when he enters a less stressful surrounding, such as being placed in a home. The study indicated that 87 percent of respondents (1,069 individuals) reported that a shy or fearful cat they adopted or fostered hid for the first 24 hours once in their homes. The majority — 55 percent — reported that they were able to interact with the shy or fearful feline within two weeks and that most of these cats became comfortable and relaxed in their homes in less than three months. The study concluded that by proper handling, offering a safe environment and when needed, using behavior modifications and/or anti-anxiety medications, many shy or fearful cats can evolve into loving pets. Predictability is one way to build www.petsitters.org
By Arden Moore confidence and a sense of security in newly adopted kittens or cats. Felines are fans of household routines. “Make sure the cat has escape routes like on top or under furniture, especially if there are dogs or other cats in the home,” says Dr. Houpt. “Initially, keep dogs on leashes inside or at least separate them in different rooms using barriers, such as baby gates, so they can sniff one another without having close or physical contact.” Dr. Kaplan encourages owners to be in tune with their cat’s individual temperaments and work within the limits of that pet. Some cats may just prefer less handling and attention than others. She offers these tips to help a shy or fearful cat feel more at home: 1. Limit exposure to situations that create fear and anxiety. For example, feed the cat in a separate room from other pets. He needs to feel he can eat without being threatened by other pets. 2. Consider clicker training the cat to teach him new tricks and build his confidence. 3. Create a calm, predictable and stable environment by offering cat trees and litter boxes in different locations in the house. 4. Limit the amount of handling the cat initially and slowly build his trust in you. Recognize that your cat tunes into your emotional level as well and can sense when you are feeling impatient or afraid. When taking your cat to the veterinary clinic, for example, try to remain calm and reduce any outward display of fear or anxiety. Also, understand that the source of your cat’s fearful response may be an underlying medical condition, such as pain or hormonal imbalances. Book an appointment with your veterinarian to exam your cat who may be an ideal candidate for a sedative or anti-anxiety medication that is given prior to an anticipated stressful situation, says Dr. Kaplan. When it comes to handling a fearful cat, less is more. “I’m a strong advocate of low-stress handling techniques,” says Dr. Kaplan. “I use www.petsitters.org
Reducing the Fear Factor for Veterinary Visits All cats need and deserve to be examined by veterinarians at least once a year, ideally twice a year. Marty Becker, DVM, America’s Veterinarian, is spearheading a national Fear-Free™ Initiative that includes veterinarians, animal behaviorists and other key pet professionals. Whether the cat you are bringing to the veterinary clinic is yours or belongs to a client, leaders of the Fear-Free Initiative identifies these strategies to make veterinary visits less traumatic for cats: 1. Make sure the cat is safely inside a pet carrier, ideally one with an opening on top and front. To build a positive association with the carrier, encourage your clients to leave the carriers open in their living rooms with bedding or thick towels to make the carriers comfortable, resting places for their cats. 2. Limit the cat’s food intake before a veterinary visit. Some cats may respond favorably to receiving a favorite treat during the appointment. 3. Call ahead and request that your fearful cat be allowed to go directly into an exam room rather than wait in the lobby area. Strive to select an appointment time during the typical “rush hour” times. 4. Seek veterinary clinics that may incorporate pheromones, calming music and a silent space heater to keep the exam room feel safe and cozy. 5. Make sure to bring a bath towel to place the cat on so he does not slip and slid on the stainless steel exam table. 6. Allow the cat time to explore the room to get used to the environment before beginning an examination. 7. Identify the best way to handle the cat in a calm manner and make sure the veterinarian puts down this information in your cat’s chart. 8. Inquire about the safe option to choose vaccines that can be administered in a less stressful route through small-gauge needles or through a reduced dose. Also ask about warming injections to room temperature — as long as this does not impact the product’s efficacy.
towels (or large blankets) to handle cats. Usually they feel secure and do not fight or flail because they are not being directly touched by the person restraining them. Do not scruff cats because this will only escalate their fear, anxiety and shyness so that they will no longer be able to be handled.” Keep in mind that fear ranks as the most common cause of aggression in cats at veterinary practices, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. That is why it is critical to recognize early signs to take measures to reduce or prevent the escalation of fear. The use of nylon face muzzles that cover the eyes calms some cats because it reduces the intensity of visual stimuli in the exam room. The type of pet carrier you select can also help mitigate some fearfulness in your cat at the clinic. Plastic carriers with removable tops and front can allow a fearful cat to remain in the carrier during an examination. And the use of a towel can make an examination less stressful. Some cats feel more secure and relaxed when lightly swaddled in a towel while being examined in their carrier or on the exam table. By allowing the cat to say in the bottom half of the carrier, a towel can be placed over the cat, creating a “tent effect” but still allowing the veterinarian to access your cat. When coming home with your cat, you can reduce the chance of any aggression from other cats at home by leaving the returning cat in the carrier. Watch how the other cat(s) are reacting to his return. If there is no hissing, wait about 5 minutes before letting the cat out of the carrier. Monitor for any reaction and if any signs of aggression surface, distract the cats by clapping or stomping to separate them. Never attempt to separate them or pick one up when they are in an aroused state because one or both may redirect their aggression on you. n Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
ABOUT YOUR ASSOCIATION A NAPPS website blog is posted weekly. Be sure to check out the weekly blog and various articles via the NAPPS home page which includes the following: Behavior & Care • Safety & Health • Pet Food Recalls Various Pet & Pet Parent Holidays
We encourage you to share this information with your clients, on your website, with your staff, etc.
If you are interested in writing/submitting a future blog, please contact NAPPS Headquarters at NAPPS@petsitters.org.
Have You Noticed Our New Look? The NAPPS Marketing Committee has given the NAPPS website a facelift! It is clean, crisp and most importantly, offers straight forward navigation. As I have said before, the NAPPS website will forever be a moving target. Meaning that the site will be updated regularly — responding and adapting to your needs. We hope you are enjoying updates made and the functionality of the website. We appreciate your feedback; please send your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
WHAT’S NEW ON NAPPS CHAT MESSAGE BOARD THE DO’S, DON’TS, AND THE WHYS OF USING NAPPSCHAT NAPPS Chat Message Board Your association provides an On-line Discussion Group, NAPPS Chat, to facilitate the relationships and exchange of information and ideas among NAPPS members. Novices and experienced pet sitters alike listen, learn and share in an effort to help one another. All NAPPS members are invited to participate and we especially encourage those who have the wisdom of many years of experience to take an active mentoring role. NAPPS Chat participants are asked to abide by the Pledge of Professional Conduct that all members agree to as part of their NAPPS membership. Additionally, NAPPS members should avoid discussions related to pricing or lobbying efforts. Discussions regarding pricing may violate federal and state antitrust laws which are intended to insure that there be free and open competition to the maximum extent possible. The Chat Do’s and Don’ts below are enforced by NAPPS Headquarters and a Moderator. Please understand that the Do’s and Don’ts are in place to make the Chat a pleasant, informative place to share and network, as well as protect NAPPS from any anti-trust violations. • Always be courteous in your response to NAPPS Chat Message Board participants even if you disagree with their point of view. • Do not use the NAPPS Chat Message Board to defame or disparage another NAPPS member. • Do not use the NAPPS Chat Message Board to
communicate about current or future pricing, allocation of markets or customers. Do not use the NAPPS Chat Message Board to suggest refusal to use a particular product or service or particular customers, or to purchase or provide service only on certain terms. Do not upload or distribute files subject to proprietary rights such as trade marking or copyrighting. Vendors, suppliers and providers of professional services are not permitted to use the NAPPS Chat Message Board to send information promoting their products and services. Do not clutter the NAPPS Chat Message Board with messages such as “thank you for the information” that do not add to the chain of information. Always advise NAPPS Chat Message Board readers AT THE BEGINNING of your message (the subject line is a good place) if your comments are going to be lengthy.
• Always create a “new” message when introducing a new topic or question. Do not simply reply to an existing string of messages when posting an unrelated question or comment. • When responding to a post, please trim the original message to include only the relevant portion you are discussing. • NAPPS Chat Message Board participants can discuss legislative issues that are related to the pet sitting industry or animal welfare. • All posts should include e-mail signature with name, pet sitter business name and web site utilized for membership listing, city and state. Signatures can include, NAPPS position (if any), NAPPS award (if any). No additional websites, not listed in the member directory can be included. n
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
ME M B ER BE NE FIT
NAPPS Member Orientations Are Back! Are you a new NAPPS members and interested in reviewing all of the NAPPS Member Benefits that are offered to you? OR Are you a seasoned NAPPS member and interested in learning more about the various changes recently made to the NAPPS website? NAPPS Headquarters will be hosting a NAPPS Membership Orientation on the 2nd Monday of every month at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. All of the NAPPS Member Benefits offered will be reviewed in detail, many of which are at no additional cost. Contact NAPPS Headquarters directly for information regarding future Orientation dates. Professional Pet Sitter Âˇ Winter 2016
NA P P S IN THE NE WS NAPPS PR EFFORTS
Halloween isn’t exciting and fun for everyone.
Your association has an active public relations and marketing campaign that raises the visibility of NAPPS and its programs, and establishes NAPPS as the authority in professional pet sitting. Each month, the NAPPS PR team provides regular story ideas to national media outlets designed to increase awareness of the organization and the entire profession. The press room, located on our website, houses a library of all the recent releases that have generated lots of media interest. PR efforts have surpassed many milestones! • NAPPS has a total number of Facebook “likes” of over 5,000. • NAPPS has increased the number of Twitter followers to almost 5,860 as of December 2, 2016. • NAPPS is helping to increase awareness of pet safety and caring for animals during extreme weather conditions through shareable content like digital media and infographics. n
Please keep your pets safe and protected this weekend. 1,698 people reached
Great recommendation from NBC’s The Today Show... ;) “Experienced pet parents and humane advocates agree that before you hire a sitter, you should ask about basic qualifications, training and references and whether they’re bonded and insured. Clearly articulate what services you need.... start with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters...” click here
Considering the idea of welcoming a pet into your home? Learn more about the benefits of adoption on the #NAPPS blog: http://bit. ly/2dE47hU Do you have an adoption story about your furry family members? Share in the comments below! 682 people reached
Hurricane Matthew is making its way to the Atlantic Coast. Please stay safe and take advantage of the emergency planning guides available through the NAPPS website: http://bit.ly/2dRBH7Q 993 people reached www.petsitters.org
Professional Pet Sitter · Winter 2016
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PET SAFETY GUIDE PET WINTER WINTER SAFETY GUIDE ‘Tis the Season for Pet Safety ‘Tis the Season for Pet Safety Be Be Prepared Prepared STOCK UP STOCK UP ON SUPPLIES ON SUPPLIES
Weather emergencies Weather can leaveemergencies your family can leaveatyour family isolated home. Among isolated at home. Among other items, be sure other items, be sure there is enough food, there is water, enoughand food, bottled at bottled at least onewater, week’sand worth least one week’s worth of any medication your of any medication your pet may need. pet may need.
KEEP THEM CLOSE KEEP CLOSE Keep yourTHEM pets on a leash when outside; Keep yourlose pets on ascent leashinwhen outside; they can their the snow. they canall lose their scent in the snow. Be sure contact information is up Be sure on all contact information is up to date your furry friend’s collar to date on your Include furry friend’s collar and microchip. your name, and microchip. Include your name, phone number and veterinarian’s phone number and veterinarian’s information. information.
GIVE THEM THEM GIVE SPACE SPACE Create a cozy spot
KNOW BEFORE KNOW BEFORE YOU GO YOU GO Program local weather
Create cozy from spot inside -aaway inside - away cold drafts - forfrom your cold drafts for your pet to -relax pet to relax
Program weather and radiolocal stations into andphones radio stations into cell before leaving cell house. phonesWinter beforeweather leaving is often the the house. Winter is often unpredictable so itweather is important to unpredictable is important to regularly checksotoitsee if there may regularly check to see if there may be a sudden drop in temperature. be a sudden drop in temperature.
Keep Keep Them Them Warm Warm LONG LONG HAIR, HAIR, DON’T CARE CARE AvoidDON’T shaving your pet during
Avoid shaving yourlonger pet during the winter months; coats the longer coats willwinter providemonths; additional warmth. will provide additional warmth.
PET PET PEDICURES PEDICURES
Reduce the amount of snow that Reduce the amount snow that collects between Fido’s of toes by clipping collects toes Be by sure clipping the furbetween betweenFido’s toe pads. to the fur between toe with pads.warm Be sure to rinse your pet’s paws water rinse your pet’sthem pawsdry) with warm water (before wiping each time your (beforefurry wiping them dry) each time your friend returns indoors. furry friend returns indoors.
If ayour petwinter doesn’t naturally warm coat be surehave to a warm winter coat beon sure to put a coat or sweater them put abefore coat orgoing sweater on them outside. before going outside.
NEVER your pet alone in a vehicle,leave regardless of the temperature vehicle, of the outside. regardless A car can act as atemperature refrigerator outside. A car can act as a refrigerator during the winter, trapping the cold during the winter, trapping the cold temperature and causing hypothermia. temperature and causing hypothermia.
Cats (and small theor warmth of aother car. Be sureanimals) to makelove noise warmth of ahood car. Be sure starting to make your noisecar. or bang on the before bang on the hood before starting your car.
Protect Against Hazards DECK THE HALLS HALLS DECK Keep smallTHE decorations out of PLANT PLANT POISONS POISONS
SWEATER WEATHER WEATHER SWEATER If your pet doesn’t naturally have
DON’T LEAVE LEAVE YOUR YOUR DON’T PET IN THE CAR PET IN THE CAR NEVER leave your pet alone in a
CHECK CHECK UNDER THE HOOD UNDER THEanimals) HOOD Cats (and other small love the
Many common holiday plants Many common holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe, and such as holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can cause irritation, poinsettias can cause irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart vomiting, diarrhea, arrhythmia. Call yourand vetheart right arrhythmia. Call your away if you think yourvet petright may away you think your pet may haveifingested a toxic plant. have ingested a toxic plant.
Keep your cats inside, Keep yourlike catstoinside, even if they frequent even theyoutdoors like to frequent the if great from the great timeoutdoors to time. from time to time.
Keep pet's smallreach. decorations out of your They can your pet's reach. They can be a choking hazard and be a choking hazard and decorations like tinsel can decorations like tinsel can cause intestinal cause intestinal obstruction. obstruction.
ANTI FREEZE FREEZE
ICLTE ME MELT
BE AWARE AWARE OF OF BE CHEMICALS CHEMICALS Keep all winter products, such as
Keep all and winter products,substances, such as antifreeze ice-melting antifreeze andpet’s ice-melting substances, out of your reach. These items outcontain of yourchemicals pet’s reach. These that canitems be contain chemicals thatcausing can be dangerous to animals, dangerous to animals, causing irritation and burns. Clean up irritation andasburns. Clean up product spills soon as possible. product spills as soon as possible.
CHESTNUTS CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON ROASTING ON AN OPEN OPEN FIRE FIRE AN Make sure you are aware of what
Make sure you are aware of what foods may be toxic to your pet. foods may be toxic to your pet. Macadamia nuts, walnuts, garlic, and Macadamia nuts, walnuts, garlic, and onions are just a few of the popular onions are just a few of the popular holiday foods that can cause holiday foods that can cause your pet to become ill. your pet to become ill.
FOR OR PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL PET PET SITTING SITTING FOR MORE MORE INFORMATION INFORMATION ABOUT ABOUT PET PET PARENTING PARENTING OR www.petsitters.org www.petsitters.org FOLLOW US ON: FOLLOW US ON:
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