Volume 26 · Number 1
The authority in professional pet sitting.
EDUCATION & NETWORKING www.petsitters.org
F RUM Atlanta, Georgia atlanta, georgia April 18-20, 2018 For the firstat time in Learn and Network the ONSITE & ONLINE Forum history, NAPPS will NAPPS Forum Connect, Learn, be offering a brick-and-
Interact & Participate Reduce Overhead mortar Costs Smartly event with a “live” Your Own Way Coping with Petstreaming Loss Grief component. Avoid Denied Claims Learn Pet First Aid
The authority in professional pet sitting.
EDUCATION & NETWORKING www.petsitters.org
F RUM Atlanta, Georgia April 18-20, 2018
ONSITE & ONLINE Connect, Learn, Interact & Participate Your Own Way
For the first time in Forum history, NAPPS will be offering a brick-andmortar event with a “live” streaming component.
INSIDE SPRING 2018 PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER COVER: Cover art courtesy of NAPPS
Media Mewsings............................................... 4 President’s Message......................................... 5
INDUSTRY NEWS OF INTEREST Avoid Copyright Infringements........................ 6
TIPS OF THE TRADE Reduce Overhead and Save Money................ 8 Handling Pet Loss Grief................................ 10 BUSINESS Buying a Business....................................... 12 Reasons Claims Are Denied......................... 14
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
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT NAPPS 2018 Forum Speakers..................... 16 FEATURES Learn Pet First Aid....................................... 18 Caring for Exotic Pets................................... 20
association news and events. Copyright 2018. 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.
CONNECT WITH NAPPS About Your Association................................. 22 NAPPS in the News..................................... 23 NAPPS Chat Message Board........................ 25 New NAPPS Members................................IBC
Editorial offices: 1120 Rt. 73, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
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
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Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
TMIPS ED IA O FMTEHWES T IN RG AS DE
Article By Arden Moore
Arden Moore, Executive Editor
Check out the Top 5 Pet Trends for 2018
Making the Doggone Right Choices
he multi-billion-dollar pet ohn made continues a bad decision. Theand 16-year-old boy industry to grow bought some marijuana an undercover expand. Perhaps you arefrom looking cop. Asyour a result, John isservices living at the Illinois to expand company’s Youth Center (IYC)your Chicago, a juvenile detention or better educate clientele. facility for the that next asixcritical months. You recognize keyJohn to is not a hardened success criminal.isAnd maybe if he hadn’t been business paying attention caught thistrends early inand theacting game,on hethem might still be on to industry theastreets, perhaps now manner. stealing to buying larger in timely and strategic quantities of marijuana—maybe even cocaine or So what pet trends are hot this crack.And, why? For answers, we year? in IYC is perhaps turn toBut onelanding of the top dogs in the the best thing thatindustry could have happened to John pet — the American Pet and the other 12-17-year-olds like him. receiving the Products Association. APPAThey’re officials discipline, training, counseling, and identify these popular pet trendseducation to programs they’ll look for this year:need to reinvent themselves once they’ve a program 1. Petcompleted travel is their on thestay, rise.viaThe days of acalled dog Lifetime Bonds. simply jumping in the back seat and sticking Created Humane, this his nose by outBest the Friends window Safe are hopefully program targets youth who have been diminishing. Untethered dogs caninvolved become in illegal projectiles activities. in an Each accident week, or a group at least of distract dog handlers the driver. and their Thisdogs year,visit the the top teens. pet travel trends The teams include pet-friendly teach thetravel youngapps, men the focus proper on way tokeeping approach dogs a dog, in carriers a few commands or tethered and usinga chance seat to socialize belt straps, withmore the dog-welcoming dog. By receiving the immediate restaurants, gratification adventures of a happy and hotels. wagging To tail, learn friendly more, lickcheck on theout hand, www.gopetfriendly.com or the roll-over request and for a belly www.bringfido.com. rub, these youngsters begin to realize— sometimes for the first time in their lives—that kindness begets kindness. And that sets the stage for profound behavioral change. growth The APPPA forecasts Best Friends Safe Humane National Director this year petLifetime sitting, dog Cynthia Bathurstfor believes Bonds is an integral component of the program in that it training services, mobile pet aims to stop violence in its tracks before it has a chance to grow further. “Safe Humane” gives grooming, pet spa services, these young men knowledge and skills they can use to positive advantage for the dogs they and pet photography, exclusive their friends or family members encounter in the streets, especially and dogs viewed ‘fighting dogs,’” pet hotels pet astracker she says.
Changing Beliefs Is The First Step The young men could hardly wait for the bell to ring, it’s time for the Lifetime 2. Petsignaling chow faces greater scrutiny. YouBonds may program, or, asthat theymore call of it, your “Dog-Play discover clientsTime.” are seeking The group breaks groups guidance on into whatfive to smaller feed their dogs and cats beginsaseach by learning how to between approach moresession recognize the connection a friendly dog.commercial One by one,food theand boysthe take turnsof quality health holding outpets. the backs their for theare dogs their Amongofthe pethands food trends a to sniff, gentlyordering petting of thepet dogs on the risethen in online foods like side. www. Then the boys holdmore treats in their hand while Chewy.com, companies producing askingfreeze-dried the dogs toraw sit and down, then give on the diets,liegreater attention treats—and give and receive more love. After 20 Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
PROFESSIONAL PET STAFF BySITTER Amy Abern
minutes, the groups switch to new handlers and dogs. All the participants are anxious to spend time with Rou, the pit bull. One boy commented on how Rou resembled his American Staffordshire terrier. It was surprising to hear him refer to his dog with the official breed title. “That’s because we’ve seen all these different guys fight and we know who the best ones are,” he says. And this offers the perfect segue to talk about dogfighting. “Do you think the dogs like fighting?” asks Triptow. Most of the boys nod. “Do you think the dogs like being stroked?” All the grain-free ingredients and more interest in
...ifvitamins, you don’t gettingthat mineralslike and supplements designed to address digestive or jointhurtare and the dog doesn’t like mobility issues. 3. Expansion of petdo businesses. People getting hurt, you really overwhelmingly lead busy lives and also regard theirinto pets areadefinite members think the situation of their families. Many are looking to that where can not onlythey meet their pet’s likecompanies fighting most needs or provide some pampering as well as certainly get forecasts hurt? growth this enrichment.will The APPPA year for pet sitting, dog training services, mobile pet grooming, pet spa services, pet boys nod. photography, “Do you like exclusive the feeling pet hotels of being andhurt pet when tracker someone technology. hits you?”Look All the for boys moreshake peopletheir head.seeking “Do youtraining think dogs to offer like the upscale feeling andofholistic being hurt, spa like when services, another suchdog as reiki, bites pet them?” massage Tentative and shakes paw-tinctures. all around. “So think about it—if you don’t 4. like getting Increase hurtinterest and theindog pet doesn’t insurance likepolicies. getting hurt, Addressing do you reallythe think medical the dogs needslike of going the 21st into a situation Century like pet fighting comeswhere with they a rising most price. certainly will get Although hurt?” pet Definite insurance head has shakes beenalloffered around. in the The United teens have Statesonly for participated the past threeindecades, the Lifetime industry Bondsexperts program predict for two more months, people but will buy already, insurance. changesThe in thought, main reasons attitude whyand are because behavior people areregard evident. their Nikki petsRobinson, as familyAssistant members, Superintendent/Programs IYC Chicago, more pets are living longer and haveobserves complex the boys only look forward the sessions andnot extended medical caretoneeds and because they’reinenjoyable, that they really advances veterinarybut medicine have resulted “get”inwhy theexpensive program medical is important. most care. Greater push for natural pet products. With How people You Can Help about doing their part to more conscious BesttheFriends Humane relies improve healthSafe of their pets as wellonas the donations services planet, lookand forin-kind increases in thefrom saleslocal of holistic businesses and individuals. If you’dflea likeand to make pet food, natural cat litter, natural tick a donation pet to the Humane Lifetimefibers Bonds repellents, toysSafe made with natural (and program, send a materials) check payable Safesafe Humane void of synthetic plusto: more toys P.O. Box 7342 Chicago, IL 60680-7342. If you’d and items for senior pets, especially dogs. n like to learn more about volunteer opportunities
Cathe Delaney, Managing Editor 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 Kattie Krewer Media Contact email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Jessica Abernathy, President
Greetings from Your New NAPPS President “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Self-help author Melody Beattie
First, I would like to take this opportunity to give a big thank you to Yvette Gonzales, our outgoing NAPPS president. Thank you for everything that you have done for our association. I continue to look to you, Yvette as a mentor and a friend. As I begin my role as NAPPS president, I will heed what you shared with me: “Always remember that your success means success for the entire association.” NAPPS members, I am anxious and excited for our successes in 2018. Here is a rundown of just some of our goals for this year: • Continue to work toward annual membership growth by attracting new members and retaining existing members. • Implementation of a How to Access your NAPPS Member Benefits video. • Execution of several Certification Certificate Courses (Examples: Bereavement and Equine) • Complete website review. • Continue to work on improving our volunteer program. • Continue to work on leadership recruitment. The goals listed above are just a sampling. There are many more and we must have your help to make each one of them come to fruition. We will work together to accomplish these, while continuing to grow NAPPS into the most powerful non-profit in the in-home pet sitting industry. Which committee are you interested in participating on this year? • Membership / Member Benefits (yes, we have combined these into one committee) • Marketing • Annual Forum • Education I would like to hear from you as I start this new chapter, whether it be one-on-one or your role on a committee. I would like the opportunity to review all of the 2018 goals with you and discuss how we can reach all of them — together.
Jessica Abernathy Dedicated NAPPS Volunteer and President
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
I ND USTRY N E W S O F I N T E RE S T
Avoid Copyright or Trademark Infringements
ver the 10 years that I have been a proud pet sitting business owner, I have received multiple requests from pet sitters around the world asking for permission to “seek inspiration” from my company’s website, our business name, and more. Unfortunately — and more often than not — these requests were made after my company’s copy and content had been plagiarized, my business name was in use, and my policies and services had been blatantly appropriated. Keep in mind, these business owners asked permission. I can’t begin to imagine how many other businesses have helped themselves to my intellectual property without permission. And, I know I am not alone. “Imitation” is running rampant in the pet sitting industry.
(aka marks) can accuse you of copyright or trademark infringement and need only prove that they published, shared or engaged these marks prior to your first use to win their case. As you may imagine, the legal ramifications of using copyrighted, trademarked or registered names and materials are considerable. They include, but are not limited to, repayment of damages and lost profits, fines ranging from $200 to $150,000 and more, repayment of all parties’ attorneys’ fees and court costs and even jail time. To me, that would be reason enough to avoid any kind of possible infringement, but it
copy (aka text) that accurately describe who you are and what you offer. Search engines are powerful and sophisticated, but they have limitations. One limitation is managing duplication. Even within the same website, duplicate pages are a major problem for search engines because they are designed to seek out original content and find the best match to an inquiry or search. The search engine wants to locate the expert who can best answer the question or conduct the business requested. Duplicates dilute information and weaken content, causing the search engine to move past the duplicate
doesn’t end there. Legalities aside, the trouble with imitation in the business world is that imitating or copying another’s website content, business name, logo, etc. can be harmful to all of the businesses involved. Whether or not the business that is being copied is a direct competitor, regardless of where it is located and with or without their knowledge, it’s best to stop and consider the dire consequences.
and continue to seek out something more noteworthy. If your website has similar copy and content to another website, your websites appear too similar to the search engine algorithm. As a result, neither website will be seen as valuable and both websites are likely to end up lower in the search results than other, more distinct websites. Businesses that appear in the top unpaid positions of search engine results receive a greater click-through rate, which means they likely get more customer inquiries and therefore, more new clients. If you want to help your business appear in the top positions of search
Beware of copyright infringement Anyone who thinks that imitation is a form of flattery in the business world is obviously not familiar with copyright laws and the dangers of copyright infringement. When it comes to copyright materials, whether online or in print, imitating, borrowing, drawing inspiration from, whatever you choose to call it, is a crime. The law states that any work, in ink or pixels, may not be copied or published elsewhere without express (written) permission from the author. Materials enjoy copyright protection from the second they are created and placed or shared in a tangible medium, including the Internet. For this reason, it is important that you ensure that a desired business name is not in use prior to naming your business. Your state registrar may show that the business name is available in your state, but the name may be registered as a trademark with the US Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO), which means that it is protected in the entire United States. The same rules apply to business logos, taglines, and slogans. If you copy a business’ branding, registered or not, the company that first used these names, images or sequence or words
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Understand how SEO operates To begin with, copying online content is an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) issue. One goal of SEO is to create useful, information-rich websites using keywords and
By Isabel Alvarez Arata of The Wag Pack
results, unique content is an absolute must. Taking content from others hurts you and the business you’re borrowing from.
Avoid being confused with another business In addition, using another’s established business name, branding, etc. may make it extremely difficult for your customers to find you online. A quick Google search of the selected business name may turn up the other business instead of yours, no matter where they are located. This is especially true if the business upon which you modeled your own has been actively establishing an online presence across multiple platforms for at least a few years. It could be public relations nightmare if the business you think is worthy of emulation has a serious loss or is deemed negligent in the public’s perception down the line. Inevitably, the other business’ behavior may be projected onto yours simply because you share the same name or similar branding. As a new player in the pet sitting industry, it’s easy to look at a competitor or an apparent industry leader and want to mimic their services, fees, and way of doing business. But how to you know that they are running a successful business? Not all businesses are as successful as they appear to be. In fact, just because a business has been operating for a long time does not mean that they are operating optimally nor does it guarantee that they are turning a profit. You may not fully grasp the shortcomings of another business’ model. You may be copying a failing business in the hopes of helping yours thrive. In addition, industry standards vary across urban, suburban and rural settings. Therefore, the pricing, policies and services that work in one area may not work in others. Finally, copying another’s website content, text, branding, etc. is stealing. Would you go
into a local pet supply store and walk out with a bag of dog food without paying for it? You could go to jail. You wouldn’t risk it. Plus, you’re a person of integrity. You pride yourself on having a strong moral compass and living an ethical life. If you wouldn’t shoplift, then why would you steal branding, services, policies or content from a fellow pet sitting business? Can you imagine someone stealing something from you that you worked so hard to create? In business, as in life, there is no such thing as a free lunch. By “seeking inspiration” from and “imitating” established businesses, you may think you are saving time, learning and even setting your business up for success, but in reality, your desire to copy another business may be indicative of your need to further educate yourself on the industry you are hoping to enter or expand into. Start instead by writing a good old-fashioned business plan, enrolling in a business course or hiring a business coach who can walk you through the ins and outs of establishing a business that will blossom in your particular market. If you’ve already somehow “imitated” another business, now is the time to start over. When you know better, you do better. Go
back and create something that is truly unique and fully represents your company’s culture, purpose and mission. Being true to yourself and your business is the only way that you will stand out and, in many aspects, the only way your business will succeed. Isabel Alvarez Arata is a pet industry entrepreneur, writer and business coach. An active NAPPS member, she is the founder and general manager of The Wag Pack. Learn more at www. isabelarata.com and www.thewagpack.com. n
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
T IPS O F T H E T R A D E
Five Ways to Reduce Your Overhead and Save Money No matter how long you’ve been in the professional pet business, and how much profit you are (or are not) making, saving money is always a good thing.
’ve been a pet industry entrepreneur for almost 25 years, and I’ve owned dog walking, dog training, and education (both in-person and webbased) companies. In the last couple of years, it’s gotten easier to build and run a business without having to hire expensive, role-specific employees like office and building managers, accountants, and tech specialists. The downside of all this lovely technology is that new platforms spring up like mushrooms every day, and trying to decide what to use can be bewildering (at best) and paralyzing (at worst). So, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I’ve made a list of the top five strategies you can do to save on your operational
overhead, whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out. #1. Skip the bricks and mortar. Plenty of pet businesses require physical facilities — daycare,
veterinary, and retail, to name a few. But for new startups and companies like dog walking or online education, you can skip the hassle of leases, maintenance, security, and supplies by signing up at a co-working space. These arrangements are everywhere, and quite a few of them are dogfriendly. You can get a dedicated office or just a couple of workspaces with included tangibles like supplies, internet, phone, toilet paper, coffee, utilities, and sometimes even craft beer. The intangibles can also be quite valuable - networking, time saving, monthly contracts, and peace of mind in a secure location. FetchFind recently moved into a pet-friendly coworking space in Chicago and this decision has enabled us to reduce our overhead by almost 60 percent. You read right: Sixty. Percent. Now that makes me so happy. #2. Embrace virtual officing. I don’t know how we functioned before the invention of Slack. We have employees in three states, and we are all in constant contact on Slack. We can message, send files, search threads, and even phone or video conference through this app. Slack works much easier than email for routine communication, and in some instances, it is even better than face-to-face because we have
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
By Jamie Migdal, CEO and Cara Armour, Partnerships | FetchFind
Learn More About Jamie Migdal: Jamie Migdal, CPDT-KA is the chief executive officer and founder of FetchFind. And, she will be speaking at the NAPPS Forum in April. She has been working with dogs and their people, and innovating within the pet industry for 25 years. Having successfully built three national pet service companies and worked hands-on with more than 20,000 dogs and 100,000 clients, Jamie is an expert in all aspects of the pet industry, including education, technology, business development, sales, marketing, and management. Her fourth and current company, FetchFind, provides staff training and other business solutions to pet care service companies around the globe. In 2017, Jamie was named as a Pet Age ICON Award Recipient and received the Women Tech Founders Midwest Women in Tech award in the Lifestyle category. In October 2016, FetchFind was selected as one of the top five most innovative pet care companies via the Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize. Jamie lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter, cat, two rescue dogs, and three adorable rats. In her limited non-FetchFind and non-parenting time, Jamie enjoys podcasts, lifehacking, studying entrepreneurship and mentoring other business owners. She often fantasizes about doing yoga, drinking wine, and playing her dusty guitar.
a record of our interactions and decisions. You can also integrate social media notifications, so you’ll always know what folks are saying about you on Twitter. For task management, we’ve used both Asana and Trello. If you’ve never used a project management platform before, Trello is a little bit easier to implement. Both have free versions that are adequate for most small businesses. www.petsitters.org
#3. Get rid of the client spreadsheets. If you aren’t already using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool, you should be. Traditionally, CRMs are used for marketing and sales teams, but they have a lot of functionality and integrations that can help you stay on top of client interactions and acquisition. We’ve been using the Hubspot CRM — it’s free and very easy to use. #4. Audit all of your professional services. Do a yearly audit of everything you pay for on a monthly or annual basis, and clear out the dead wood if you aren’t using the service or have found a better option. You should also audit the upgrades available in your services. For example, both MailChimp (for newsletters and bulk emails) and PicMonkey (for photo editing) have added tons of features and functionality in the last year, which makes those subscriptions even more useful and valuable. #5. Get a good accountant. This is one area where having a real person can save more money than a virtual service. You won’t need to have an accountant on staff full-time, but hiring one for a few hours a week or month can save big bucks (and many frustrating hours) on payroll, tax prep, insurance, and fiscal compliance issues. I’ve found that word of mouth is the best way to find an accountant suitable for your stage of business development, but if that doesn’t work check out the resources at the Small Business Administration. Be sure to bookmark the SBA site. They even have answers to questions you didn’t even know you should be asking.
Here’s How You can Learn More In my article, I threw a lot at you. To help you save money and learn more, here is the list of key resources I mentioned in this article. I wish you the best! Let the money-saving begin! Links: • Online education: http://www. fetchfind.com/p/monthlypro • Coworking space: http://wiki. coworking.org/w/page/29303049/ Directory#northamerica • Slack: https://slack.com • Asana: https://asana.com/pricing • Trello: https://trello.com/pricing • MailChimp: https://mailchimp.com/ pricing/ • Hubspot CRM: https://www.hubspot. com/products/crm • Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/howfind-accountant-who-can-help-yoursmall-business-over-long-haul • SBA: https://www.sba.gov What are your favorite productivity and moneysaving tips? You know I love a good lifehack, so let me know at email@example.com. n FetchFind, led by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Migdal, is an online career site devoted to pet-related jobs and it also provides comprehensive education to pet professionals. Learn more at www.fetchfind.com. Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
T IPS O F T H E T R A D E
By Arden Moore
Effective Ways to Handle Pet Loss Grief Renowned pet loss grief coach Wendy Van de Poll reaches out to professional pet sitters. If there is one common wish among pet lovers, it is this: that our pets could live many more healthy years. Many of us have been blessed to have a “heart dog” or cherished cat or another companion animal who has made us a better person before passing away. What a blessing.
nd, professional pet sitters find themselves in a unique position. In addition to your personal pets, you have also formed strong friendships with many pets you care for. When a special pet belonging to a client passes away, you may find yourself struggling in how to cope or display your grief. Fortunately, you have a dedicated ally in Wendy Van de Poll. Regarded as one of the world’s top pet grief and life coaches, Van de Poll is the founder of the Center for Pet Loss Grief. This international best-selling author has written many books, including The Pet Professional’s Guide to Pet Loss: How to Prevent Burnout, Support Clients and Manage the Business of Grief. A long-time
advocate of pet sitters, she also recently conducted a webinar for NAPPS members. We recently conducted a questionand-answer session with the amendable Van de Poll. Here is an excerpt:
Arden Moore: What inspired you to become an end-of-life and pet grief coach? Van de Poll: As a kid, my mom said I was fascinated with things dying like leaves. I have a scientific mind. How do we die? Why is this leaf brown? My interest in nature and science led me to
become a wolf biologist. I was handling wild wolves and those in captivity. I experienced grief through seeing death and having no support until I became licensed massage therapist for humans, horses and hounds. I learned that a wonderful gift to dying dogs and other animals is to make them feel comfortable and help comfort their humans. Saw through my innate scientific mind, knew the words I was using were not working. I had a soul dog named Marley and she has inspired me to develop my program that reaches out to pet professionals and pet parents.
Moore: What three tips can you offer pet sitters to employ when dealing with a client who has lost a pet? Van de Poll: 1. Before you respond to your client’s grief — take a breath and never judge. 2. Never be in a rush when saying something to a client coping with pet loss. 3. Listen to your client. You don’t have to say a thing. Remember to wait before you say something you may regret later.
Moore: What are things never to say or do when attempting to comfort a client whose pet has died? Van de Poll: 1. Your pet had a great life, and you gave them all you could. This statement doesn’t help your client feel Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
T IPS O F T H E T R A D E
10 Tips to Help Heal Your Pet Loss Grief Wendy Van de Poll created this rundown of 10 effective strategies to help cope with the loss of a beloved cat, dog or other companion animal. More great advice can be found on her site at www.CenterForPetLossGrief.com. Here are the tips: 1. Grief for pet loss is not about following a prescribed list. Although the stages of grief are extremely valuable, the order in which you do them is up to you! 2. Your relationship with your pet was special. No two people grieve the same way. Your grief journey is yours and very unique. 3. Be open to your pain and explore what it feels like when coping with pet loss. Stuffing your feelings can slow down the healing process. 4. Grief and mourning are two different things. Grief is what you feel on the inside and mourning is your outward expression. It is healthy to feel and do both. 5. Your goal for healing your pet loss is not to “get over it.” We never stop feeling grief for losing a pet, but we learn to move forward in life again with our memories. 6. Grief is more than being emotional. You can have physical reactions as well. Insomnia, over eating, lack of appetite, extra energy, lack of energy and more! 7. Remember you are not alone with your pet loss grief. There are supportive friends, end-of-life and grief coaches and pet loss support groups. Find the proper support that can walk the journey with you. 8. It takes work to heal your pet loss grief. Feel comfortable by taking your time. Be an active participant so that you can experience of the stages of grief, create beautiful pet funeral and memorial and feel joy. 9. Once you do all the work in your grieving process, remember that grief can come up again in a few months or years. It is not uncommon to have deep feelings of grief show up again. It is normal for this to happen.
By Arden Moore
supported in the long run. This comment can be devastating and trigger tremendous guilt. Essentially you are shutting them down, closing down any space for their talking and feeling. Instead, just listen and not say anything when your client is expressing guilt over euthanizing and what they might have done better for their pet.
2. I am so sorry to hear that. This one is a big one, one you may not agree with, and the most popular thing to say when we either get the news a client’s pet has died or we have to give the news to a client. The fact is this statement suggests that it is somehow your fault the pet died or it puts the focus of the pet’s dying on you and your sorrow. A kinder, more supportive, and compassionate way to respond to this type of news is “I am so sad to hear that Gus died. Would you like me to just listen to what you are feeling?”
3. How are you doing? “How are you doing?” is commonly used yet well worn. Your client may feel pressured to
4. You can always get another . . . This is another tough one. When we see people hurting, our nature as professionals is to want to make it better for them. A quick response to give a client is “You can always get another dog. There are so many that need new homes.” However, if you say this, it sounds to your client like you are suggesting their beloved companion is replaceable and that the grief they are feeling isn’t justifiable. A supportive response would be “Please tell me about your pet.” Some of the best support you can give your clients is when you let them share their memories and just listen to them without suggesting solutions.
5. This all happens eventually. All things must die. Yes, this is true. Everyone experiences grief and death. Loss is part of life. Yet, when we say this to someone who is experiencing pending loss or loss itself, it minimizes the actual loss at that moment and minimizes the person’s tremendous grief. A better thing to say is “You must really miss your pet.” In summary, if you wish to expand your role in the pet industry, Van de Poll conducts online courses in animal communication, pet loss grief coping skills as well as a course to enable you to become a certified pet loss grief mentor. She also regularly posts informative blogs on her site, with recent entries dealing with compassion fatigue for pet professionals, who to craft a love letter to cope with pet loss and who to create a memorial video for pet loss grief. n
It is okay to feel joy when you are grieving. It is healthy and it doesn’t mean you are forgetting the life you had with your pet. Moving forward with meaning and purpose only strengthens the bond you had with your pet. www.petsitters.org
feel better than they actually are if you say this to them. They may hear something completely different, like “Please tell me that everything is fine with you because it is uncomfortable if you say you are sad.” “It’s tough for you right now.” Will let your client know that you are acknowledging that what they are experiencing right now is painful and difficult. The most important thing is to let your clients have a chance to grieve without judgment.
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Should I Buy Another Business?
Points to consider when determining how to value a pet sitting business The primary reason most pet sitting businesses don’t sell is because the owner has an unrealistic expectation for what they think their business is worth. Many times, the owner does not use concrete metrics for how they came up with their business valuation. Unfortunately, they often come up with a made-up number they pulled from the sky.
o what factors SHOULD impact a pet sitting business’ value? As hard as it may be to do, consider the factors a savvy BUYER uses to evaluate your business to help determine where your business shines and where it may not. Below is a list of some of the criteria that I personally use when evaluating a pet sitting company acquisition. This is not intended to be a complete list, but is a good starting point of what to look for and how these factors make a company more or less valuable:
How long has the company been in business? This is about gauging customer loyalty and strength of business practices. If the company has been able to successfully stay in business for 10 years or more, for example, they likely have decent systems, policies and procedures in place. They are also more likely to have a loyal customer base that has been using the company for a while — though this is not a given and must be verified as part of due diligence. If the company has only Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
been in business less than five years, for example, there is not a huge amount of loyalty built yet and the likelihood customers would leave if a lot of things changed post-acquisition is high. Conclusion: The shorter the amount of time the company has been in business = the less valuable it is.
How long has the business’ current owner owned the business and why is the owner selling? The reasons for selling a business are important because they can indicate “cracks” within the company, so ask a lot of questions about this. If an owner wants to sell because they are tired and don’t have a manager to back them up or they have a lot of headaches from staff and regular customer turnover — this means a buyer could be inheriting some problems. If the owner is selling because their spouse got a job in another state, that is very different reason. It is important for a buyer to learn as much about the seller’s motives for selling as possible. In addition, if the current owner has only owned the business for a short period of time (a few years or less), he or she is less likely to understand the core fundamentals that make a successful pet sitting business and may not be running it as well as necessary.
Conclusion: The current owner has owned the business 5+ years = the more valuable it is. A verifiable reason they are selling = the more valuable it is.
Is the company currently growing in revenue, declining in revenue or stagnant? (This assuming the business is more than just a few years old.) A company that is more than a few years old and is growing in revenue indicates that the basic business fundamentals are sound. A business that is declining in revenue indicates something is amiss. It could be poor service delivery, high customer turnover, unsound business practices, high staff turnover, or lack of interest, time or focus on the owner’s part. Conclusion: A business whose revenue is growing = the more valuable it is.
How tenured is the customer base? (How many of the current, regular customers have been with the company for 3+ years?) Customers who have used a pet sitting service for a minimum of three years tend to be more loyal to the company versus customers that have only used a company for a couple of years or less. When purchasing another company, look at www.petsitters.org
By Erin Fenstermaker
their list of highest revenue generating clients and find out how long those clients have been using the company’s service. Conclusion: If the highest revenue generating clients have been using the company’s services for 3+ years = the more valuable it is.
What is the average tenure of the existing staff? (12 months or less? Several years or more?) If the average staff person has been with the company a year or less, it is highly like that you will have staff turnover if the company is sold because the staff has not built up a strong loyalty to the company or their clients. In addition, if the acquirer is planning on integrating the staff into their own pet sitting company, that means more change for the staff person. New policies and procedures, possibly a new scheduling system, a change in pay, etc. The more change the staff may experience, the higher the chance they will leave. Conclusion: If the average tenure of the staff is 12 months or less = the less valuable it is.
Does the company use employees or independent contractors? If the company being sold uses independent contractors, then legally the owner of the company has not been able to train them or exert control over how they do the job. This means there is likely not uniformity in how everyone performs their job. If a company uses employees, the owner is legally allowed to train them and exert control over how they do their job. Conclusion: If the company uses independent contractors = the less valuable it is.
Is the company being sold to someone who does not have his or her own pet sitting business currently? If so, they would need to keep your company’s existing infrastructure—company name, website, scheduling software, etc.) Or is the company being sold to an existing pet sitting company that would not continue using your operational systems because they already have their own? Selling your pet sitting business to someone who has never owned a pet sitting business can be risky, especially if that person has no experience in the pet sitting industry at all. This industry works 365 days a year, and is not for the faint of heart. The buyer may or may not know what they are truly getting themselves into, which www.petsitters.org
could be problematic if you are concerned about your clients and staff remaining post-sale. Conversely though, this type of buyer is likely to pay more for your business than someone that already owns their own pet sitting business because the buyer needs your company name, website, telephone number, policies and procedures, yelp page, etc. They will place a value on this infrastructure because they do not need to go out and create those things from scratch. While they will likely value your business more, this type of buyer is typically much harder to find. Vetting them for fitness to run your company may be important to you as well if you want to ensure your business continues on with a good reputation post-sale. Selling your pet sitting business to someone who already owns an existing pet sitting business ensures that the buyer has experience with running such a business and knows what they are getting into. This is important to a seller who wants to ensure their clients and staff are well taken care of. The down side to this is that an existing pet sitting business is unlikely to keep your company name, website, policies and procedures, etc. since they already have those things, and thus are not going to pay a premium for your business because they do not need your infrastructure — they already have their own. This type of buyer is essentially just buying your customer list, and there is no guarantee that even one customer will go with the company sale, so it is very risky to the buyer. Conclusion: If you are selling your business to someone that already owns their own pet sitting business = the less valuable it is.
How healthy are the company’s gross profit margins? Do they range within 45 to 55 percent or are they below this healthy range? Having gross profit margins in the 45-to-55 percent range means the staff is being paid a fair wage, but is not being overpaid. If gross profit levels are 44 percent or below, then the staff is being overpaid and cash flow is likely tight in slow months. A buyer will have to rectify these problems in order to get gross profit numbers in a healthy range and to make their investment worthwhile in the long run. This means a price increase will likely need to occur in the short term and staff would likely not receive raises when it does. This could lead to staff turnover. Conclusion: If the gross profit of the company is lower than 45 percent = the less valuable it is.
Does the company have good, verifiable accounting records and tax returns? When buying a pet sitting company, all revenue, compensation and expense records should be produced, and you must take the time to review them carefully. If they are not easily produced, then there is a very high risk that the seller could be hiding something. Make sure to get tax returns, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets for the company for the last three years when considering any acquisition. Also, make sure you have access to their scheduling system so you can verify the revenues and compensation tie to their accounting records and tax returns. If the company cannot or will not provide this information, then it is highly likely they are not running a financially sound business because they are not being responsible with their records. Conclusion: Good, verifiable accounting and tax records = more valuable it is. If you are considering selling your pet sitting business in the future, consider the aforementioned factors carefully, as a savvy buyer should be considering these points as they evaluate your business. If your company checks all of the boxes for being “more valuable,” congratulations, you should earn a premium price. If your company does not, then work on changing the areas where you are “less valuable” so that you can command a higher price for your business when you do eventually sell. 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. Erin’s ability to collaborate with business owners on developing strategic plans, and then assisting in their implementation, is what makes her an asset to her clients. She considers herself an accountability partner to her clients--many of whom admit they have a lot of ideas, but have difficulty turning their ideas into reality. With her direct manner and ability to break complex issues into workable pieces, she loves assisting pet industry businesses of all sizes reach their fullest potential. Learn more at www.erinfenstermaker.com.
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Reasons Why Some Claims Are Denied “What do you mean I’m not covered? I have been insured with you for several years and this is the first claim I have ever made!” This is the typical response from pet sitters insured under the NAPPS Liability policy, when told their claim is not going to be covered. Often it involves one of the following three types of occurrences that can be covered via another type of insurance policy or via endorsement to the NAPPS Liability policy, but unfortunately many sitters choose to ignore or go without. The three occurrences are: #1. Injuries to you, your employees, or independent contractors. #2. Property damage caused by a vehicle. #3. Injuries to pets and property where coverage is excluded by the liability policy, but can be purchased back via optional endorsement. In addition, there are other claims that are simply not covered under the NAPPS policy, so let’s take a look so everyone is aware. Since I have written many articles on workers compensation/injuries to employees/ independent contractors, I will keep this one short and simple. If you would like to protect your employees and independent contractors from dog bites, slip and falls, etc., while on the job, you will need to purchase a workers compensation insurance policy. The second type of claim we regularly deny is property damage to vehicles, clients’ garages, mailboxes, fences, etc. The reason these claims are denied is that the NAPPS Liability policy does not cover liability claims caused by your vehicle, nor your employee’s or independent contractor’s vehicles. All of these claims occurred while the pet sitters were driving their personal vehicles, and all would likely be paid if turned in to their automobile liability insurer. If you regularly use your vehicle in your business, it is recommended that you carry a commercial auto policy in lieu of a personal auto policy. And if you utilize employees and/or IC’s in your business, it is recommended that you attach the non-owned liability endorsement to your commercial auto policy to cover your business against claims arising out of your employees or IC’s vehicle(s) while driving on behalf of your business. You can now add Non-Owned Auto coverage to your NAPPS Liability policy, which covers your business, and is excess over your employee’s personal auto policy. Another category of claims we often deny are those claims that would be paid if the pet sitter had simply added an optional endorsement Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
onto their NAPPS Liability policy. For example, we recently had two claims denied where there were fights between client’s dogs while in the pet sitter’s care. In both cases, they seemed like valid claims. However, the problem was both of these claims occurred at the pet sitter’s residence. The pet sitters were providing daycare/boarding at their personal residences. If the sitters had purchased the limited “in-your-home” daycare/ boarding endorsement, these claims would have been paid/covered. We have also denied similar claims where a client’s pet was bitten by the pet sitter’s pet while in the pet sitters home, and where a client’s pet was injured while playing in the pet sitter’s backyard. Please note that if you are bringing client’s pets into your home or to your residence (or your employees or IC’s residence) for any reason, you need to purchase the Limited “in- your-home” care/daycare endorsement.
The same is true for the house-sitting endorsement. All though we do not see as many claims under this endorsement as we do under the Limited “in-your-home” care, we still deny a number of housesitting claims each year. Many involve pet sitters trying to turn in claims where a toilet has been broken or water has been left on, yet when the adjuster does their investigation, they determine there were no pets in the client’s home and the client does not own any pets. Please note that if you are housesitting for a client who does not have any pets, you will need to purchase the housesitting endorsement for coverage to apply. The last category of denied claims are claims that are simply not covered under the NAPPS Liability policy or any general liability policy. The first example involves a pet sitter being bit by their own personal dog. Please note that this type of claim is denied for two reasons. First, www.petsitters.org
By David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA
Here is a rundown of some recent claims General Liability Claims: #1. A client returned home to find stains all over carpet from the pet sitter staying at his home. Cleaning attempts were made and unsuccessful. Total paid: $8,816. #2. A cat has asthma and the pet sitter was to give the cat medications. The client returned home to find the cat’s breathing was not good. The cat was taken to the veterinary clinic where it was determined that the pet sitter did not medicate the cat as instructed. Total paid: $452. #3. A cat did not eat before the pet sitter administered insulin. The cat became very sick and was taken to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Total paid: $2,320. #4. A pet sitter set a glass on a client’s
injuries to you, your employees or your independent contractors are not covered under a liability policy, as this would fall under workers compensation insurance. Second, your personal pets are not covered under your NAPPS Liability policy. You would have covered for your personal pets under a homeowner’s or renters policy if they bit someone else, but if they bite you, the only policy that would pay would be your health insurance. Another commonly denied claim involves the pet with a pre-existing condition. Often pet sitters are asked to care for pets who may have cancer or another illness that occurred long before the pet sitter arrived. When a pet who had a pre-existing condition becomes ill as a result of that condition, and while in the care of your pet sitting business, it is not your fault and you are not negligent for this type of claim. If the pet is injured due to an accident, even those that are not your fault, the policy will pay. However, if the illness or injury is due to a pre-existing condition, there is an exclusion under the NAPPs Liability policy, and therefore this type of claim will be denied. Please note we absolutely www.petsitters.org
table and left. The glass condensation caused damage to table. Total paid: $2,675. #5. While on walk, a dog slipped out of his collar and was struck by a vehicle. Total paid: $11,634. #6. A pet sitter left a client’s garage door open to retrieve her car. While she was gone, a thief entered garage and hid. The thief was later seen on surveillance camera exiting on a bicycle with stolen items. Total paid: $879. #7. An IC put too much paper in toilet, causing it to overflow. Water damage to the ceiling in basement below. Total paid: $1,910. #8. A cat was over medicated by a pet sitter and required immediate medical attention. Total paid: $4,478. #9. An IC placed a heat lamp on the floor
Please note that if you are bringing client’s pets into your home or to your residence (or your employees or IC’s residence) for any reason, you need to purchase the Limited “in- your-home” care/daycare endorsement.
which burnt the hardwood floor. Total paid: $650. #10. A pet sitter gave a dog she was pet sitting an elk antler to chew on. This caused eight of the dog’s teeth to break. Total paid: $1,620.
Worker’s Compensation Claims: #1. An employee became tangled in leashes while walking a pack of dogs and fell. Total paid: $2,593. #2. While walking dogs, an employee slipped on ice and broke an arm. Total paid: $11,578. #3. An employee was bitten on the face and lip by a dog when attempting to unhook a leash. Total paid: $7,922. #4. An employee walking up a client’s driveway after rain storm slipped and fell, injuring her leg. Total paid: $9,632.
dread telling sitters they do not have coverage or their claim is going to be denied. We often can tell you when you contact our agency whether the claim is compensable, but sometimes, we will turn the claim in to the adjuster to be 100-percent certain. If you have questions regarding an incident, please contact our office and we can turn the claim in as soon as possible. It is always best to err on the side of caution, and always best to turn claims in as soon as you are aware of them, to obtain the best possible outcome and reduce further injuries. As always, we can be reached at 1-800-962-4611. n David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA, is vice-president/co-owner of Business Insurers of the Carolinas, a multiline 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@businessinsurers.com.
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Spotlighting Some Speakers at the NAPPS Forum Come and learn from some of the pet industry’s top experts. By Arden Moore
e prepared to learn, be inspired and network in person or at your home base. That’s because the 2018 NAPPS Education and Networking Forum is offering for the first time both a brick-andmortar event you can attend plus a live streaming component to enable you to participate from home. You choose which option works best for you. The conference takes place April 18-20 at the AMA Executive Conference Center in Atlanta. “You asked and we listened,” says Cathe Delaney, NAPPS Administrative Director. “We have a great lineup of speakers and we also wish to give a special shout out to PawTree and the Business Insurers of the Carolinas for sponsoring our event.” Appropriately, the theme for this year’s forum is “Onsight & Online: Connect, Learn, Interact & Participate Your Own Way.” Whichever option you chose, be prepared to be treated to a stellar slate of speakers and training sessions guaranteed to take your professional pet sitting business to the next level. There is still time to register by visiting www.petsitters.org. To motivate you to attend or tune in to the live streaming, we reached out to a handful of speakers who shared summaries of what they will discuss at the Forum and why they are excited to present Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
at the Forum. Let’s start with the keynote speaker, Kathy Gruver, PhD. Look for her to unleash an inspiration talk on the powerful lessons animals teach us on the three P’s: presence, perseverance and power. Speaker: Kathy Gruver, founder of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet Talk Topic and Time: Lessons Animals Can Teach Us, 8:45-9:45 a.m. April 18. Talk Summary: An inspirational talk on the power of animals and the lessons they can teach us. Touching, humorous and motivating, this session will encourage and enliven all who attend. Personal tales of how animals make the difference and how they teach us lessons of presence, perseverance and power. Background on Dr. Gruver: She is an inspirational speaker, health practitioner, award-winning author and yes, a hip-hop dancer and trapeze artist. Reaction to being selected as the keynote speaker: “When I got selected, I was just beyond thrilled. I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be so much fun for me and the audience. I have such a strong passion for animals, so I can’t wait to craft this speech and deliver it.”
Her message to NAPPS members: “Animals don’t complain. They are always in the moment, facing whatever is the now. They are endlessly adaptable. One of the animals I’m going to mention was my favorite cat, Uther. We had to remove a leg from cancer and I’ve never seen anything so amazing as he adapted to walking, jumping, running while missing a front leg. For pet sitters, there is an honesty with animals, a true and basic connection without pretense.” Learn more: www.KathyGruver.com. Speaker: Cindy Vet, founder of Pet Pro Mentoring Talk Topic and Time: Who Is Your Ideal Client/Effective Client Screening Techniques, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., April 18. Talk Summary: How do you identify your Ideal Client? Why is it so important to know who they are? From business development, to marketing, to screening potential new clients before the Meet and Greet, it is essential to know who you are looking for as a client. It’s all in the details! Background on Vet: She has worked as a professional pet sitter and in the www.petsitters.org
veterinary field. She has a graduate degree in business management with a concentration in organizational behavior and development. “I love challenging myself personally. It makes me grow as a human first and a business owner second.” Why speak at the Forum: “I love being able to share my experiences as well as failures and successes as learning moments for my colleagues in this industry. We are all in this together.” Her message to NAPPS members: “Remember, you are a business owner – not just a pet sitter. You can and should say no if the client is not the right fit for you, your sitters and your business. It is not fair to the client or pet if both parties are not a good match. Learn more: www.petpromentoring.com. Speaker: Therese Kopiwoda, founder of the Social Media Hound Talk Topic and Time: Boost Your Business with Facebook Live! 3-4 p.m. April 18. Talk Summary: Hear how others are using Facebook Live, and how you can use it to connect with current and potential clients to grow your business. Learn how to use your live videos to generate content for other social platforms, and get a list of tools to help streamline your efforts. Background on Kopiwoda: She is a pioneer in the social media world of pets. She is the founder of The Pet Scope TFV, a live stream network of pet professionals; founder of the #PetLoversTribe that brings pet people together using Periscope and other live streaming apps and a popular speaker. Her message to NAPPS members: “Clients expect companies they do business with to have a social media presence. That’s why it is important to schedule Facebook Live broadcasts, covering topics of interest to your clients. These can include interviews with local pet experts and doing product reviews. Prior to your broadcast, promote it on your blog and other social media accounts, and let clients know as well.” Learn more: Visit www. socialmediahound.com www.petsitters.org
Speaker: Gila Kurtz, president and co-founder of Dog Is Good Talk Topic and Time: FurCovered Wisdom, 4:15-5:15 p.m. April 18. Talk Summary: Fur Covered Wisdom is the art of chasing your dreams, keeping your eye on the ball, and making time for play to create a powerful legacy and fetch a happier, simpler life...inspired by Dog. Background on Kurtz: She is the best-selling author of Fur Covered Wisdom and named Woman of the Year in 2017 by the Women in the Pet Industry Network. Why speak at the Forum: “I am honored to speak to NAPPS members. I thrive on connecting with like-minded people and entrepreneurs pursuing their passions. The added bonus of members watching online allows for all the speakers to spread their messages and knowledge on a broader scale.” Her message to NAPPS members: Enjoy the journey. Your dog takes in every aspect of the journey. Make things happen. Your dog is a pro at this. They want your attention — they bark. They want you to feed them — they stand by their bowl, or bring it to you. Be unforgettable like your dog. Dogs touch our heart and soul simply by being who they are in the purest essence of being. Be like your dog and show up every day in ways that make you simply unforgettable.” Learn more: www.dogisgood.com Speaker: Cindy Baccus, president of Outta The Box Marketing Talk Topic and Time: 10 Steps to a Successful Social Marketing and Advertising Campaign, 11-noon, April 20. Talk Summary: Discover 10 steps to running an effective influencer social marketing campaign. We will break the process down into ten, manageable steps to help you navigate the complexities and avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with influencer marketing campaigns. Learn how paid advertising campaigns can help boost sales and improve your bottom line.
Background on Baccus: An expert in the fields of social media and digital marketing, she is an instructor at Collin College and the author of several books. Why speak at the Forum: “I see this as a great opportunity to be part of this new online launch this year at the NAPPS forum. I am excited to be part of this.” Her message to NAPPS members: “One of the most important steps to begin a successful social marketing campaign is to create a plan. Deciding who the true target niche is going to be and what social platforms are the best to reach them on a regular basis. Content calendars can help the professional pet sitters create engaging content and plan for specific, time-sensitive community activities. Learn more: www. outtatheboxmarketing.com. And, be sure to catch the other speakers at the NAPPS Forum. Here is a brief rundown: • Sandy Weaver, of the Center for Workplace Happiness: PAWsitive Communication for a Winning Team • Britt Alwerud, of Handler: Technology is the Cure for Burnout: Let Tech Work for You • Jamie Migdal, founder of FetchFind: One Paw in Front of the Other – How to Separate Yourself • Gary Reed of Reed Financial Group: Saving for Retirement • Lily McNulty of Laner Muchin, Ltd.: Avoiding Legal Landmines • David Pearsall, of Business Insurers of the Carolinas: Insurance • Barbara Royal, DVM: Wild Health Nutrition • Amy Mattison Toman, of Pet Sitter SEO: Google My Business: Your Site’s Best Friend • Bryan Bailey of Taming the Wild: Enter at Your Own Risk • John Curtis, of Walk and Sit: How to Beat Your Competition and Win Customers with SEO n
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Why Professional Pet Sitters Must Know Pet First-Aid By Denise Fleck, aka The Pet Safety CrusaderTM Heather sat down in front of the TV for an evening snack and a movie with the two Dachshunds she was pet sitting. She wanted to give them special time while their owners were away on an extended vacation. She stroked their heads and could feel hot doggie breath hit her arm as the pups sat waiting for a morsel, eyes wide open, ears pricked as high as the could raise them. Heather tossed them each a kernel of popcorn and the foodhound of the duo gulped at the speed of lightning. He opened his mouth, gagged and then went silent before collapsing. Not only was the food lodged in his tiny windpipe, the dog under Heather’s care stopped breathing!
eterinarians are the medical experts, but most of us don’t have one Velcroed to our hip 24/7, so YOU must react quickly and effectively at the scene when an injury or illness takes place. Knowing what to do during those first few moments can make a life-saving difference for the companion animal in your care. By knowing pet first-aid, you can: • Minimize blood loss and prevent infection through proper bandaging techniques. Knowing arterial pressure points can be a life saver! • Alleviate choking with the doggie or kitty Heimlich-like maneuver. • Reduce body temperature preventing brain damage, GI failure and death. • Be the pump your pet’s heart can’t be, moving life-giving blood and oxygen throughout his body, until you can get him to professional medical help. Pet First-Aid is not a replacement for veterinary care, and CPR (now Cardio Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation) is not a cure, but performing these skills helps you work as a team with the veterinarian to help your best Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
friend, or that of your client, live a longer, happier, healthier life. Fortunately for that Doxie, his sitter knew how to perform the doggie Heimlichlike maneuver, so the popcorn kernel flew out of his mouth. Unfortunately, he was quicker than the human and retrieved it, but this time swallowed without a problem.
Injury and Illness Can Occur Any Time, Any Place Layla, a lilac-pointed Siamese was having the time of her life dashing down the carpeted hallway, spinning around and staying just out of claws reach of her younger brother Charlie, a lively and agile Russian Blue, when suddenly she began to limp in grave discomfort. Claws out helping her grip carpet fibers as she quickly turned corners, one nail tore and began to bleed knocking kitty playtime to a quick halt. As Layla limped towards the kitchen, her pet sitter picked her up and examined the injured digit, then then set to work to stop the bleeding and diminish the pain for her feline friend! Well-conditioned pets can suffer an injury just as easily as their couch-potato counterparts.
Milana Wilson’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mistimed her landing, falling squarely on her snout during agility competition. “Riley was whimpering and pawing at her skinned-up nose,” Wilson explained. Just like humans, dogs and cats can suffer an unexpected injury any time and at any place. It’s estimated that 9 out of 10 dogs and cats will experience a severe emergency situation during the course of their life times, so factor in the number of pets you visit daily and chances are YOU will need to handle an emergency! Just a few months after taking a pet first aid class, Mary Ann Loomis noticed a black-coated dog appearing woozy in the hot sun. “I cautioned his owner to bring him over into the shade,” Loomis shared, “and I wiped rubbing alcohol on his belly and the pads of his feet. In a short time, he was doing much better.” After a morning run along the beach in Ventura, California, nine-year-old Rocco the Doberman collapsed on the driveway as he returned home with his owner Shirley De Fazio. Grateful she had learned pet CPR, Shirley remained calm and got to work. Rocco wasn’t breathing so she breathed into his nostrils and checked his pulse…there was none, so Shirley began administering chest compressions. “Right away, Rocco started breathing only to stop again, so I continued until his heart started pumping and he started to www.petsitters.org
pant.” Her training taught her that CPR is not a cure, but only a means to keep that life-giving blood and oxygen circulating until you can get to professional medical help, so Shirley quickly transported Rocco to the local animal emergency hospital. “I truly never thought I would use my training on my own dog. I can’t believe I actually saved Rocco’s life,” Shirley exclaimed.
Protocol has been improved over the last few years and is now referred to as CPCR – the second “C” encouraging more efficient oxygen flow to the brain or “cerebral” portion of the body. Slight adjustments have been made to hand position based on shape of the pet’s chest, so even if you have taken a course, it is important to brush up regularly.
Even Before You Take a Pet First-Aid Class Practice Pet Safety • Keep dangers out of paws and claws reach by making sure the environment is safe every time you depart, and even under your watchful eye. Warm up canine muscles before a jog. Be cautious of insects and reptiles that could inject harmful toxins. Supervise around toys and chews. Always secure pets safely in your vehicle when traveling to parks, grooming appointments or veterinary visits. When brakes are applied at 35 miles per hour, an unrestrained animal continues at 35 MPH until something stops him – the dashboard, the windshield or another passenger! Properly secure pets in a body harness, seat belt or crate, and attach that crate or carrier to the vehicle. The front seat is never safe, even when properly restrained. Pets have suffered broken necks and have had tongues severed when air bags deploy in the front passenger seat during a collison.
Head-to-Tail check • Look pets over from head-to-tail regularly feeling for lumps and bumps. Notice tender areas, condition of the skin and coat, parasites, burrs or foxtails. Knowing baseline vitals and what each unique pet looks like when sitting and standing as well as frequency of eating and bathroom habits can help you more quickly spot something ‘not quite right.’ www.petsitters.org
Pet First-Aid Kit • Make sure you have everything you need in one place and know how to use it. Check for expiration dates and refill packages that have expired. Hydrogen peroxide will not fizz if the bottle has been subjected to heat and won’t induce vomiting when you need it the most! Adhesive on bandaging also goes bad in the summer heat of your vehicle. At the very least, have the following items on hand in an easily accessible place: • 3% Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting • Eye wash (saline or purified water) • 4” X 4” gauze squares and gauze roll • Adhesive tape of self-adhering bandage • Cold pack • Antibiotic ointment • Needle-less syringe or eye dropper • Digital thermometer (healthy body temperature ranges for dogs and cats is between 100.4° and 102.5° F) • Styptic powder to stop bleeding toe nails • Scissors and tweezers • Antihistamine and antacid tablets • Portable water bowl, bottled water and electrolytes • Leash to wrangle or muzzle a pet (cats and flat-faced dog breeds require specific muzzles) • Towel or blanket to wrap an unruly puppy or use as a stretcher • Phone numbers/addresses of your veterinarian and animal ER • Pet first-aid handbook
Animal ER Drive there before you need to, so you know where to enter, what services are offered and how they accept payment. You may need to know several ERs depending on the types of emergency and for the different neighborhoods you service.
You Are a Pet’s 9-1-1 As a professional pet sitter, you are the person in charge when pet parents are away. But
even when they are home, YOU are the “go-to” person for most of your clients’ pet needs as you are thought of as experts in everything animal! Besides being a professional pet sitter, you are an educator – the person who comes into a client’s home with the latest information due to your diligence in reading, attending classes and conferences and talking with animal aficionados. In the words of one of my students, Dog Mom Kate Ahrens, “Don’t wish you HAD learned pet first aid.” n Denise Fleck is the Pet Safety Crusader™ having taught more than 15,000 humans animal life-saving skills. Her mission is to help YOU make a difference in the life of an animal through her Pet First-Aid, Senior Pet Care and Disaster Preparedness classes (inperson, video course and monthly LIVE Skype-like conferences). Denise has appeared on The Doctors, CNN Headline News, Animal Planet, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life and other TV shows, has written hundreds of articles for pet publications and is the proud recipient of two Muse Awards and three Maxwell Medallions from the Cat Writers and the Dog Writers Associations, respectively, including “Best Children’s Book” and “Best Radio Show.” She has authored 10 books and has twice been a finalist as “Pet Industry’s Woman of the Year.” With a soft spot for senior pets, Denise serves on the Executive Board of the Grey Muzzle Organization which aids senior dogs and the Emma Zen Foundation which provides pet oxygen masks to First Responders. Learn more at www.PetSafetyCrusader.com. Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Kangaroos, Zonkeys, Ferrets, Oh My! Marc Wolf taps his inner Doctor Doolittle to care for unusual pets. By Arden Moore
hen the phone rings or a text pops up on his phone, professional pet sitter Marc Wolf has learned to expect unusual caretaking requests. That can include providing care for ferrets, parrots, hermit crabs, lizards, cows, goats and yes, even kangaroos and zonkeys. It’s just all in a day’s work for Wolf, owner of Wolf’s Pet Sitting & Services, LLC based in Golden, CO. While cats and dogs remain the most popular pets being catered to by pet sitters, exotic and rare species are finding their ways into homes, requiring pet sitters to expand their care-giving skills and knowledge of a variety of companion pets. Wolf’s years growing up on a 200-acre farm in Illinois has helped him. He helped in feeding cattle, pigs, chickens and horses, including a special one named Muffin. “Muffin was a buckskin-colored pony who was a bit of a pistol until we finally got her to stop bucking,” recalls Wolf. “I had fond memories of taking off on Muffin and riding for hours.” After a 20-year career in accounting, including a stint as an Internal Revenue Service auditor (yes, I was the person people loved to hate”), Wolf recognized what he really wanted to do was to spend time with animals. That motivated him to start his pet sitting business seven years ago. “I have always had a way with animals and as a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian,” he says. “I love being a pet sitter. It is never boring and every day can be a little different.” But even Wolf was surprised when he received a call from Rachel Crawford to take care of her pets that included a zonkey named Zane and a pair of kangaroos answering to the names of Roony and Bindi. A zonkey is a hybrid cross between a donkey and zebra. A zonkey usually sports a small horse shape, a black mane and stripes on his body and legs. Zonkeys fare Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
best on diets of grasses, herbs as well as fruits and berries. Kangaroos consume formulated, vitamin-fortified pellet diets as well as grasses, especially alfalfa hay, apples, carrots and sweet potatoes. Crawford adopted the pair of kangaroos about a year ago when they were both about five months old. “Bindi likes to lick your face and Roony likes to play with you and try to box with you,” she says. “Both are very sweet as they have been around people their whole lives. Zayn the zonkey is sweet, but can be a
little stubborn if you ask him to do something he doesn’t want to do. If scared, he will jump at first, then calm down — that’s the preymindedness of the zebra in him.” Crawford needed to travel for a week and her usual pet caretaker was unavailable, so she reached out to Wolf and his staff stepped in to assist. Marc and his team were able to be introduced to the kangaroos and feed them in Crawford’s presence. They are happy to be the go-to backup pet sitting team should the priority one is not available. “I found Marc when I spotted his business card at the feed store where I buy my grain and feed for my animals,” says Crawford. “Now, when I need backup help, I know I can reach out to Marc to care for my animals.” www.petsitters.org
Wolf welcomed this rare chance to interact • Shrimp in salt-water fish tanks: “It is with Crawford’s unusual pets. “Her kangaroos fun to watch shrimp eat their food in the were not like the ones you often see on tank. They have long claws on their legs television, which are 6-feet tall,” says Wolf. “Her that they use to grab a piece of food and kangaroos were only three to four feet tall. Bindi bring it up to their mouths.” has a soft coat and Roony’s coat was midway between soft and rough. Zayn the zonkey has Wolf joined NAPPS about seven years ago and shaggy ears. All of them are really cute.” has served as a director for a few years. Giving back Wolf and his team have cared for dogs, to this non-profit organization and helping other pet cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards, sitters remains a priority for Wolf. mice, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, snakes, turtles, “I feel like I want to contribute to help chickens, cows and horses. They have also NAPPS go in the right direction and help provided pet sitting care for people at RV parks members stay current in this industry,” he says. and staying in hotels. “With my accounting background, I can help When it comes to caring for atypical pets, with the budget. I remember one meeting, we Wolf shares this advice to other pet sitters: “When had someone coming in trying to explain about it comes to care instructions for unusual animals, our investments. He was not comparing apples it is important to listen carefully and take notes.” to apples in his presentation and some board He offers these insights into the following members were confused. I stepped up and took exotic pets: the marker and drew out what we really needed • Ferrets: “The ferrets I care for are hilarious to consider.” to watch. They love cat toys, especially ones And, if you are attending the upcoming with flippy strings. If the owner has them NAPPS Forum on April 18-20 in Atlanta, be sure separated or paired up in multiple cages, to introduce yourself to Wolf. be sure to return them in the proper cages. “There are some pet sitters, especially Not all ferrets get along with each other beginners, who may feel they cannot afford it or and some will fight or pick on a smaller or that they can’t be away from their businesses, weaker one. If they are allowed out to run but I urge everyone to attend,” he says. “You around, romp and play, be sure to keep an will find out you are not the only one out there eye on them. They can (and do) squeeze facing certain issues, like stubborn clients or under things like doors and couches. whether to go with independent contractors or The ones I cared for even went under the hire employees. Hearing in person from another dishwasher that didn’t have a “kickplate” pet sitter gives you a better understanding of at the bottom. I couldn’t reach under to get the issues. I highly recommend attending the them out and ended up waiting about 30 Forum.” n mins before they came out on their own. I couldn’t just leave until all were back in their cages.” Learn More about Marc Wolf • Hermit crabs: “They live in salt water, but need fresh water to Marc Wolf is the owner of Wolf’s drink. They eat flaked food Pet Sitting and Services, LLC, based and tiny vegetables. Keep in in Golden, CO. Visit his website at mind that they hide a lot and nocturnal. In a terrarium, the www.wolfpetsitting.com. bedding has to be moist.”
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
NA P P S ME MBE R B EN EFI T S ABOUT YOUR ASSOCIATION
NAPPS Locator Page
Several improvements have been made to the NAPPS locator page — action is required. Please take a few minutes to review the following improvements:
• Customizable About My Business Area ~ this customized text will appear on the NAPPS locator page, providing you the ability to add text specific to your business • Photo Area ~ you now have the ability to add your photo or company logo which will also appear on the NAPPS locator page • Contact Form ~ potential clients now have the ability to contact you directly from the locator page, indicating his/her name, contact information and message • when a potential client completes this form, you will receive a direct email indicating a form has been submitted and the appropriate information you will need to contact the potential client • this should decrease the scam messages which we realize have been an issue
Action required to utilize the improvements: • Access the NAPPS website • Access the Members Only Section with your login/password • Click on Change Contact/Profile Info under My Membership Information • Add text to the About My Business Area • Click on Upload/Change Photo Also, this is a great opportunity to verify your contact information including email address, services offered, pets cared for and the zip codes of the areas you service — this can all be done via the My Membership Information area. We hope that you are taking advantage of all the benefits of NAPPS membership. If you have any questions, let us know — we are happy to assist. Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
NA P P S IN THE NE WS NAPPS PR EFFORTS 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. PR efforts have surpassed many milestones! • NAPPS has a total number of Facebook “likes” of over 5,680. • NAPPS has increased the number of Twitter followers to 6,008 as of March 7, 2018. • 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
Cat Herders’ Day is a time to celebrate hard workers who manage a lot of people and projects all at one time, and in the case of our busy Pet Sitter members, actual cats! Keep up the great work! 834 people reached December 15, 2017
We are excited to announce Carrie Leensvaart-Feinberg of Safe Haven Advocate Pet Care & Photography, LLC as our 2018 NAPPS Business of the Year Award recipient! Read Carrie’s full story here: http://bit.ly/2lOjPLv 313 people reached January 3, 2018 Stay indoors and enjoy a quiet night with your fur friends during the coldest month of the year on National Cuddle Up Day!
On National Day of the Horse, people are encouraged to become more aware of all that horses have contributed to the economy, history, and character of the United States.
1,073 people reached January 6, 2018
Learn more: http://bit.ly/2AY4PV1 2,819 people reached December 7, 2017
NAPPS Members, have you seen our new and improved Pet Sitter Locator yet? Check it out and customize your own business profile at petsitters.org! 367 people reached January 12, 2018 National Pet Travel Safety Day seeks to bring awareness to the risk of driving with unsecured pets in the car and educate people about how to make rides safer for their beloved pets. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1Gt81WY 747 people reached January 2, 2018 www.petsitters.org
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
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NAPPS CHAT Setting and Sticking to Business Hours ORIGINAL POST: Hello, I am finding that some people need me as early as 6:30 in the morning and then as late as 8 in the evening to put their dogs or cat in a kennel. I also am a personal assistant during the day for clients as well as a pet sitter. Quite frankly, I am tired and need to sit and eat with my family. To go back out again, especially now it is so dark. Without asking prices, do you have any hours that you start and end, or change the pricing at some point? Pamela GoFer Girl Friday _____________________
RESPONSES: When I first started my business, I was doing visits as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m. I quickly burned out! I have since changed the start and end times. The earliest appointment I schedule is 8 a.m. and the latest is 8 p.m. Occasionally, I will make exceptions, depending on my schedule and the client, but generally stick to this rule. I do not charge extra for early morning or late evening appointments. Hope this helps! Melissa Longo Pet Concierge Inc. __________________________________ While I certainly do go all out for my clients, it is still my business and I set my policies and guidelines just like any other professional business would. I believe, in order for clients to respect that it is a business, you have to set parameters that work for you. My clients may give me specific times of an AM visit and a PM or late visit, but I always explain that while I will get as close to their times as possible, it will never be exactly that time due to many factors, one being how many other clients are being seen on the same day in the morning or evening.
I don’t have set hours. I start as early as 5 a.m. and finish at 11 p.m. I do charge extra for hours after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m. Most people expect to pay extra at those times. But what I’ve found is if I can’t make myself available when my client needs me, ultimately, they will find another sitter who can and will. And trust me, there is always someone waiting to take your client. It’s very competitive where I live. So, I have an unspoken policy of bending over backwards for my best clients. Whatever they need, I give them. For clients who cancel a lot and who are completely inflexible, demanding, and non-tippers, I pick and choose what I’ll do for them. There are plenty of those kinds of clients out there, but the really great clients I try and treat like royalty. Anita Mineral Springs Bed & Biscuit ________________________ Our hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We offer late visits for a surcharge until 7 p.m. I explain to our clients that having regular business hours make our job sustainable, our staff stay longer and contributes to their safety. They all understand and are happy to oblige, to a person, and an added bonus is it helps them see that we are professionals and not just like “the neighbor kid.” Our staff is very appreciative of the business hours as am I, so we are able to live a balanced life with an occasional evening interruption. Weekends also have surcharge and staff are paid more accordingly, so are more likely to say yes. Holidays have an additional surcharge and this fee goes 100 percent to the pet sitter, which definitely contributes to the ease of staffing holidays. I am happy to forego my income on holidays as a bonus of appreciation for them.
Remember always be true to yourself or the business will run you and then it isn’t fulfilling anymore. Donna FairyDust Services, Inc. www.petsitters.org
I also limit office hours; this is at the bottom of our email signature: Office hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We care for pets 365 days/year, but we return calls and emails during office hours. Please contact your pet sitter directly or text Shelly if your need is time sensitive and outside these hours. This has worked well for us almost from the beginning. Shelly DalyPetCare __________________________________ I’m in a large rural area, many horse clients (who also have dogs and cats, etc.), as well as many clients with pets but not horses. I’m frequently required for 5:30 a.m. feeds/potty breaks/and meds, and as late as 9:30 p.m. potty breaks so dogs can last until the next morning. My clients are typically gone on vacation or business trips, not just gone for the day to the office. If I didn’t accept these start and end hours, I’d have NO clients at all out here. Some of my clients are around a three-mile distance from me and some are 10 miles. We have a few paved roads in my 10-mile radius, but most are gravel roads. Fortunately, I’m very lucky I am in an area that no one EVER calls me after 9 p.m. or before 6 a.m. and usually not even that late or early unless it’s an active booking. So, I don’t have to set office hours to prevent 24/7 calls. Christi Paws ‘n Ponies Pet Sitting Services ___________________________ Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the great answers. We all work for different reasons, live in different communities, some of are solo and some of are not. What I did take from this is to have balance and to do what I need to do to keep healthy and balanced. I guess for me I will have to not get so many customers that I can’t keep up or let my own dogs and husband suffer. My husband is a firefighter and I certainly get that others have different needs for sitting. I also have needs for me to be a happy pet sitter, wife and grandma of five grandkids that love to go to the river and kayak. n Pamela GoFer Girl Friday
Professional Pet Sitter · Spring 2018
Welcome Our New Members NAPPS welcomes new members who joined between November 6, 2017 and February 7, 2018. Here they are in alphabetical order by state: California Margaret Rance, Meowser Bowser Pet Care, San Diego Shannon Staley, DogFrolic, San Francisco Erin Hennigar, Erin Hennigar, Culvery City Lois Buncher, Bunches of Love, Stockton Eden Fleming, Eden E. Fleming, Cloverdale Lisa Oien, Puppy Luv Pet Services, Glendora Mary McCarthy, At Home Pet Sitting San Francisco, San Francisco Christopher Klein, Christopher Klein, San Jose Heather Smalley, For the Love of Dog, San Ramon Maria Giaccio, Lil’ Rascals Pet Care, Napa Erin Slocum, Weeping Willow Dog Walking & Pet Sitting, Placerville Julie Fryman, Pawsitive Players, Redlands Kylie Holliman, Fire Hydrant Pet Sitting Co., Pomona Colorado Kerstin Nemitz, The Visiting Vet Techs, LLC, Calhan Lori Gallagher, Doone’s Professional Pet Services, Denver Michelle Cinquemani, Just Like Home Doggie Daycare, Reseda Florida Samantha Hullstrung, Gulfside Pet Sitters, LLC, Fort Myers Theresa Prince, Paw Prince Pet Services, Orlando Malissa Egan, Fur Baby Walks, LLC, Riverview Jennifer Dew, 9 to 5 Pets, LLC, Ponte Verde Beach Natasha Reeder, Natasha Reeder, Miami Michelle Miller, At Home Comforts Pet Sitting, Panama City Alice Coulter, Emerald Coast Critter Sitter, Navarre Mark Emel, The Furry Godmother Pet Sitter, Riverview Austin Crocker, Crocker Pet Sitting, Clermont Georgia Kellie Taylor, Precious Paws Spa and Hotel, Rockmart Elysha Panati, Love-N-Paws, Pooler Barbie Klapp, 2 Paws Up Inc. Pet Sitting, Dog Walking & Dog Training, Snellville Sara McCune, Claws and Paws Pet Sitting, Evans Illinois Lauren Dunkle, The Pet Lady, Ltd., Elmhurst Gwyn Cutsforth, Chiefly 4 Pets, Vernon Hills Chris Ingersoll, Chris Ingersoll, Champaign Alison Lynch, Alicats Pet Services, Geneva Beverley Petrunich, DoGone Fun, Chicago Amanda Spataro, Amanda Walks, Brookfield Krista Toth, Pet & Home Pros, Inc., Chicago Indiana Taylor Nance, Dog Sitting By Taylor, Carmel Manny Nordone, Handy Manny the Dog Nanny, LLC, Greenfield
Maryland Susan McCurry, Bow Wow Meow Petsitting/Dog Walking, LLC, Joppa Manoj Singh, TBD, Gaithersburg Unita Murray Unita’s Pet Sitting, Williamsport Massachusetts Becky Riley, Becky Riley, Wakefield Michigan Lynn Parsons, Duffy’s Pet Sitting, Fenton Minnesota Lauren Godfrey-Singh, Tabby and Terrier, LLC, Bloomington New Hampshire Angela Kingsley, PAIGE & PAWS, Concord New Jersey Gina Stanton, Strouse House Sitting, LLC, Clinton Michelle Jarvis, Absolutely Pawsible Pet Sitting & Dog Training, LLC, Boonton Tahir Springer, Wagging Striders, West Orange Brett Shelby, Brett Shelby, Park Ridge New Mexico Joanna Bishop, Joanna Bishop Pet Sitter, White Rock New York Shannon Swift, Moonwalk Dog Walks, Yonkers Samantha Snyder, Peace Love and Pets Sam’s Pet Service, Dansville David McCallum, The Dog Walking Network LP, New York David Nadelson, MUDDY PAWS Dog and Cat Companions, New Rochelle Tara Barthelmas, Codys Bed and Breakfast A Home Away From Home, Schenectady North Carolina Timothy Wright, Pet Sitting By Tim, Mount Airy Edward Bruch, Ted’s Happy Pet Hotel and Pet Sitting, Boone Laura Gonnerman, Precious Paws Pet Sitting, Cornelius Christine Chase, Christine Chase, Siler City Barbara Walsh, Cool Whiskers, LLC, Cary Ohio Christie Heyes, New Albany Dog Walking Company, New Albany Oregon Cori Floyd, Happy Paws By Cori, Tigard Pennsylvania Kyrie Laubenthal, Copper’s Critter Care, Erie Kelly Young, Kelly’s Kritters, Langhorne Kevin Clair, Reliable Pet Services, Marietta
Catherine Taylor, Care From the Heart, New Freedom Kimberly Ann Mackey, Pro Pet Nanny, Media Trina Raab, Hairy Pop-Ins Pet Nanny, Hummelstown Mary Ann Houser, Pawstails Petsitting, Scottdale Rhode Island Briana Perez, Briana’s DogVacay, LLC, Cranston South Carolina Maggie Schaap, Oceanside Pet Sitting, LLC, Mt. Pleasant Tennessee Allison Sindelir, Westhaven Pet Sitting Professionals, Franklin Joyce Gouge, Rustic Rover Lodge, Knoxville Texas Lezlie Kline, Lezlie’s Pet Care, Whitehouse Michelle Rogles, Sidekick Sitters of Texas, Canyon Lake Peggy Riley, Noah’s Ark Pet Sitting, Houston Kimberly Larkin, A Companion For Your Companion, Dallas Vermont Sylvia Akerlind, Squad Dogs Camp & Care, Essex Junction Virginia Jennifer Clark, Lucky Dog VA, Newport News Carly Stepan, Autumnwood Pet Care, Reston Robin Ebaugh, This Is The Year, Newport News Thomas Schantz, Ally & Indy, Alexandria Washington Anne Becker, A Friend in the Field, LLC, Duvall Andrea Johnson, Frolicking Fido, Tacoma Charis Biesold, Highlands Pet Nanny, Issaquah Nicole Orrino The Walking Canines, Greenacres Wisconsin Cecelia Blenker, Cecelia’s Pet Sitting, Waukesha Mary Cordes, Big Cedar Pet Care, West Bend Jennifer Kaye, River Hills