Posts Categorized: Pet Sitting Tips

Will I Have the Same Pet Sitter or Dog Walker Each Time?

same pet sitter or dog walker each time

Sometimes people wonder if they will get the same pet sitter or dog walker each time they go out of town, or the same dog walker every time they need their dog walked.

At PAWSitive Strides, we strive to keep all of our sitters working as a team. This means that every sitter is trained and familiar with the policies and procedures of our company. Every sitter is able to do the job with the same level of care and attention to detail.

Why We Use More than One Sitter

Imagine if your boss said to you that, from now on, you have to work 7 days per week. Not only that, you have to work morning, noon, and night, and that sometimes you will have to spend the night at work as well. How would you feel about doing that job? Would it be something you would look forward to doing? In addition, as you went on working without much of a break, what would happen to the quality of your work?

Even though we work with pets, the same reasoning applies to pet sitters and dog walkers. They need consistent days off and they need to be able to spend time with friends and family each day. They need time to do all of the things you like to do when you are off from work.

For our pet sitters to have days off, we must use more than one pet sitter per client.

Thus, even though it is not the standard of the industry, we have our sitters enjoy consistent days off each week. We also work our sitters in two shifts so that they have part of their time each working day to eat with their families, run errands, or just unwind.

We have seen that this keeps the quality and level of service high since sitters have the appropriate time needed to rest and recharge.

Why Our Clients Love that We Work as a Team

This is something that our clients have come to love because they know they will receive the same level of care no matter which sitter or walker takes care of their pet.

In addition, our clients rest easy knowing they can count on us when they need care for their pet. They are not depending on just one person, but they have a team of highly qualified and dedicated sitters at their service. They are not left in a bind if there is an emergency with a sitter, if someone gets sick, or must take a vacation. There is always someone else to take care of the pet.

One of our clients, Marysa Sobral, in Windermere, had the following to say about our team of sitters: “All of the sitters we’ve used from Pawsitive Strides have been wonderful! Our kitties are very well taken care of and our house is in perfect order when we return home.”

Another client, Kris Dhanani, in Orlando, said, “Your service is a Godsend for us! We know that our dogs are in good hands when we are away. We would never leave them before we found you. No improvements needed! All of your sitters have been awesome!”

Interested in getting our team of sitters to work for you? Contact us today!


Need Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Orlando and Windermere

Why Choose PAWSitive Strides When You Need Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Orlando and Windermere

Need Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Orlando and WindermereThere are many choices out there when it comes to providing care for your pet. So, why should you choose PAWSitive Strides when you need dog walking and pet sitting in Orlando and Windermere?

Factors to Take Into Account When Choosing Your Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

Reliability

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a person or company to take care of your precious pet is reliability. You need to know that the people who are going to be responsible for your pet while you are away are actually going to do their job.

At PAWSitive Strides, we often get calls from people who are desperately looking for service at the last minute. Their friend, the teenager next door, or even their pet sitting company, bailed on them at the last minute. We got such a call just this week. We were able to accommodate the client and are currently taking care of her sweet dog while she is visiting family in another state.

When you schedule visits and need to be away, you have to be confident that those you have left in charge of your precious pet will follow through. What happens if you have already left for your vacation and the person who was supposed to look after your pet suddenly cannot?

Three Components of Our Service That Make Us Reliable

At PAWSitive Strides, our goal is to provide our clients with reliable, dependable, and stress-free service. We are able to this in many ways:

  • Online System

Our customers use our online system to schedule visits. We do not accept reservations by email, phone call, or text message so that nothing is missed. All of the visits are scheduled by our clients directly in our online system.

Also, clients receive an email confirmation of the visits they have scheduled so that the can look everything over and make sure it is correct.

The online system also serves the purpose of ensuring that no visit gets missed. If a sitter has not checked into the visit during the requested time window, our office manager receives an alert from our online system. The office manager will then immediately contact the sitter. If unable to contact the sitter, the office manager will send out another sitter to the visit, so the pet is not left without a visit.

  • A Team of Sitters

Having a team of sitters allows us to provide our clients with consistent and reliable service, even when there are emergencies. Our clients do not depend on just one person, but rather, they have a team of people at their service. This means that, if a sitter has an emergency, our clients are not left without someone to watch their pet. Instead, someone else from the team will cover the visits. Thus, our clients do not have to make panicked, last-minute phone calls to friends, family, neighbors, and others to try to find coverage because the sitter they were counting on got sick, had a change of plans, or something else.

  • An Office Team

We have sitters working out in the field to take care of our clients’ pets. In addition, we have an office team monitoring all visits for completion, processing client’s schedule request, monitoring the phones after-hours for any emergencies, and answering client’s questions. This allows our clients to be able to leave town with a sense of security. Our clients are confident that they have a team of people invested in the well-being of their precious pet while they are away from home.

Trust

Another crucial factor when deciding on pet care options is trust. Trust is important not only for those coming into your home but even if using a pet boarding facility. You need to be confident that the people looking out for your pet really will do the best job possible. In addition, you need to feel that they have the best interests of your pet at heart.

If your pet care provider is coming into your home, you have to trust this person will treat your home and your pet with care and respect.

At PAWSitive Strides, our sitters a selected after a very careful and rigorous interview process. We have our candidates go through quite a few “hoops” before their first screening interview. Also, we do a total of three interviews before deciding whether or not to hire a candidate.

Once we have decided on a candidate, they must submit to a background check, and we likewise check their references. After that, the candidates go through orientation and a training process to ensure that they will do the best job possible in caring for our clients’ precious pets.

Also, anyone working for PAWSitive Strides is an employee rather than an independent contractor. This means that our sitters follow our standard of pet care, not their own. They are trained and coached as needed. Also, should one of our pet sitters get hurt in your home, we provide worker’s compensation insurance, giving you an added level of protection.

Often, pet parents trust that the person or company they are using to care for their pets is insured and bonded. Unfortunately, most pet parents do not have the time to do all of the necessary research. Many fail to realize that, if someone gets hurt in their home, the cost to them can end up being astronomical. Read more about this here.

Convenience

Life is hectic, and people do not have time to wait for regular office hours.

At PAWSitive Strides we have an online system that is available to our clients 24 hours per day. This means that they can schedule their visits when it is most convenient to them.

Availability

Depending on someone else’s calendar of availability in order to be able to travel or work long hours is difficult. It is much easier if you choose a pet care provider that is available to you 365 days per year. One person alone cannot do this. It is not feasible or even realistic to expect one person to be available to care for pets 365 days per year. People get sick, have emergencies, need time off.

At PAWSitive Strides, as mentioned before, our clients have a team of sitters working for them. This means that they can schedule as needed, even at the last minute, and we typically have a sitter available to them.

Having a team of sitters at their service allows our clients to cope with the emergencies that happen in their daily life without having to stress about the care of their pet.

Wondering if PAWSitive Strides is the right company for your pet sitting or dog walking needs in Dr. Phillips, Metrowest, Windermere, or Winter Garden? Contact us today, and one of our office managers will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Who Are Our Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in Orlando and Windermere?

pet sitters and dog walkers in orlando and windermere

Who are the PAWSitive Strides pet sitters and dog walkers in Orlando and Windermere?

At PAWSitive Strides, we use a team of pet sitters to better serve our clients. It is only natural to wonder who are our pet sitters and dog walkers in Orlando and Windermere areas and how we go about selecting the perfect sitters for our clients.

Why a Team of Sitters Is Important

First, let us take a look at a few of the reasons that hiring a company with a team of sitters to work for you is important.

  • Emergencies happen

As much as we would like to control everything that could possibly go wrong in our lives, emergencies sometimes happen. This goes both ways: emergencies can happen to the client, and emergencies can happen to the sitters taking care of their pets. Either way, having a team of sitters can make dealing with emergencies a much easier and smoother process.

For instance, when emergencies happen to our clients, we are typically better equipped to take on last-minute visits since we have a team of sitters available to each of our clients.

When emergencies happen to the sitters, we can continue service for our clients without any interruption. This would not happen if our clients were depending on just one person.

  • Burnout

While pet sitting is a wonderful and fulfilling job, it is hard work and everyone needs a break. Our sitters are refreshed for their visits with client’s pets each week because they have time off during the week and because they work in shifts. This allows them to devote close attention to each pet they care for since they have been able to recharge their batteries during their time off.

How We Choose Our Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in the Orlando and Windermere Areas

For the safety of our clients, we at PAWSitive Strides, hire very, very carefully.

We do a rigorous and thorough interview process and do not hire someone just because they like animals. We look for things such as, are they dependable, punctual, and personable? Have they shown themselves prompt and thorough during the interview process? Are they positive and engaging?

In addition, we do a thorough background check and also a reference check. Many people think that you can trust your instinct and skip the background check process when hiring someone but this is just not the case. The background check is a crucial part of the hiring process.

The PAWSitive Strides Screening Process:

  1. Initial screening interview and survey
  2. 2nd face-to-face interview
  3. Final face-to-face interview with both partners
  4. Full criminal background check
  5. Contacting of all professional references
  6. Sitter orientation and testing
  7. 90-day trial period coupled with ongoing evaluations to ensure that our clients are 100% satisfied and that the sitter is living up to the PAWSitive Strides standards of care and code of ethics
  8. Unannounced quality control visits
  9. Some time after completion of trial period, sitters are trained in Pet CPR and First aid

Curious about our sitters?

Want to see the faces behind the PAWSitive Strides name? Meet our sitters here: www.pawsitive-strides.com/meet-the-team


How Often Should Someone Visit My Pet Each Day?

How Many Times a Day Does Someone Need to Visit My Pet

People often ask us, “How often should someone visit my pet each day?” It can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly how many pet sitting visits per day you need for your pet. Are two visits enough? Should you do three visits per day? How do you decide? Let us consider a few factors.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Number of Pet Sitting Visits Each Day

#1 Does your pet have access to the outside?

Some dogs have a doggie door and can go outside to go potty as needed. In an instance like this, they may only need one visit per day. This depends, of course, on how often they are usually fed (see #2).

If a dog does not have access to the outdoors, the minimum number of visits he should have each day is two. Two visits per day allow the dog to get a bathroom break approximately every 10 to 12 hours.

For many dogs, that is enough. For other dogs, though, three visits per day may be a better fit. In this way, the dog can go out for a nice walk in the morning, in the middle of the day, and again before bedtime.

Cats do not need the outside access because they have litter boxes. Therefore, other factors must be taken into consideration when choosing the number of visits required for them. However, a minimum of one visit per day is essential for the health and well-being of your cat. Read more about it here.

#2 How many times per day do you feed your pet?

Does your pet eat once per day, twice per day, three times per day? Alternatively, does your pet have a self-feeder? Some pet parents even have feeders on timers. The number of times your pet eats per day can help to determine how many visits to schedule each day.

#3 How old is your pet?

Taking your pet’s age into consideration is of particular importance in the case of dogs who do not have free access to the outside. If your dog is older, he may have difficulty holding it if he only gets two visits per day. He may, instead, need three or even four visits in a day.

The same goes for a puppy. The number of visits the puppy will need each day depends on how long he can hold it without having any accidents.

#4 Is your pet crated?

A crated dog that only gets two visits per day will be spending approximately 23 hours of his time in a crate. For that reason, at PAWSitive Strides, we have a minimum requirement of three visits per day for dogs crated while the owners are not home.

Some people crate their dogs only overnight and, in those cases, two visits per day may work quite well for them.

#5 Is your pet on medication?

If your pet is taking medication, you will need to consider how often the medication needs to be administered. If it is once per day and you have a cat, then one visit per day will suffice. However, if you have that same cat but he gets medication twice per day, you will need two visits per day to ensure proper administration of the medicine.

#6 How social is your pet?

Some cats prefer to stay as far away from people as possible. Others love to follow someone around and rub against their legs, purring away. For the friendlier cats, scheduling two visits per day may be a good idea. As an alternative, scheduling longer visits (such as 40-45 minutes) once per day may help fulfill their need for company. On the other hand, the cats who prefer to stay away from people will be perfectly happy with one visit per day.

With dogs, it is important to consider if they have separation anxiety. If they do, it is best to have a minimum of three to four visits per day or even to consider doing overnights, so that have someone spending the night with them while their owner is gone.

Want to talk to someone and find out what would be the right fit for your and your pet? Give us a call at 407-970-0903 or contact us here.


What Does a Pet Sitting Service in Windermere Do?

pet sitting in Windermere

When pet parents have to travel, they have a few different options to consider regarding arranging care for their pet. There is pet boarding, boarding at the vet, leaving with a friend, and there is pet sitting. Using pet sitting in Windermere is an option. However, what exactly does a pet sitting service do?

What Does a Pet Sitter Do?

Unlike dog boarding or boarding your pet at the vet, a pet sitter comes to you and takes care of your pet in your home. A pet sitter should keep your pet’s normal routines in place and allow your pet to stay in the comfort of your home. For instance, at PAWSitive Strides, our goal is to have our pet sitters follow your routines as closely as possible, to provide comfort and care for your pet while you are away from home.

Some of the Things a Pet Sitter Does

Here are some of the many things a pet sitter can do on a visit with your pet:

Feeding

Walking dogs (and sometimes cats!)

Cleaning litter boxes

Changing out wee wee pads

Playing with your pets

Giving fresh water each visit

Turning lights on and off

Watering plants

Opening and closing blinds

Picking up mail/newspaper/packages

Taking trash out/bringing trash bins in

And other things that you may have in your routine with your fur baby

Benefits of Using a Pet Sitting Service in Windermere

What are some of the advantages of using a pet sitting service?

  1. Convenience

Rather than having to transport your pet to a kennel or boarding facility, you just have to worry about packing your bags and scheduling the visits in our online system. That is it. For many, that saves much time and extra effort with all of the planning that already you already have to do when going on a trip.

  1. Less Stress for Your Pet

Depending on your pet, it may be a lot less stressful for him to stay at home than to go to a kennel. For cats, especially, it can be tough to spend time in a boarding facility. Most pets are creatures of habit and draw their security from being home in a familiar environment with familiar routines. Being home creates in them a sense of safety and well-being, even if their owner is away.

Here are what some clients who used pet boarding services before using our pet sitting services have to say:

“It is so much better than boarding our babies, which always stressed both them and us.”

“I want to thank you for taking such good care of Sassy. She was so relaxed when I got in last night, a stark contrast to the stressed demeanor she exhibits when I pick her up from a few days at the kennel. The photos you took are darling, and getting a brief note from you daily just to say she was well really made a big difference to me. I did not worry about her in the least, and usually, I do when she has to go to the kennel.”

So, for many pet parents, pet sitting is the way to go.

  1. Home Security

In addition to keeping your pet relaxed, pet sitting also serves the purpose of helping to keep your home secure. Having frequent activity in your home while you are away contributes to keeping your home looking occupied. Cars will be in and out of your driveway, lights will be turned on and off, your empty trash bin will be promptly picked up, and so on.

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Pet Sitting Service

When choosing the right company to take care of your precious pet, there are many factors that you need to take into account. Be sure to do lots of research and find out the following:

  • Is the company insured and bonded?
  • What happens if someone gets hurt in your home?
  • Is the company you are hiring a professional company?
  • Does the company provide references?
  • Does the company have an online presence?
  • Who are the sitters that work for the company and what is the hiring process?
  • Does the company perform background checks on all of its sitters?
  • How long will the visits be and what do they include?

How Can PAWSitive Strides Help You?

Are you going to be traveling soon? Do you need extra help with your pets on days that you have to work longer hours? Contact us today to get a personalized pet care plan to help care for your pet when you are not able to do so.


every other day cat visits

Why We Do Not Do Every Other Day Cat Visits

every other day cat sitting visits

Many times clients want to have visits for their cats, but they wish only to have us do every other day cat sitting visits or even to visit their cat every three days. When we first started out in business, we would do visits for cats whenever clients requested them and had no minimum requirements. However, experience has taught us differently that there is a need for a minimum of one daily visit. Therefore, for the cat’s safety and well-being, PAWSitive Strides does not do every other day cat visits.

Why We Don’t Do Every Other Day Cat Visits

We have a client who uses us whenever she goes out of town to take care of her sweet kitty, Lucky. When she first started using our services, on our very first set of visits with Lucky, we ran into a problem. Lucky’s owner left two ribbons out for her to play with and, unfortunately, Lucky ended up eating one of them. Fortunately, this client has us visit her cat twice per day. We were able to see right away that Lucky was not well. She was taken to the vet immediately and had emergency surgery.

The vet said that it is common for cats to swallow things they are not supposed to, more common than people think. Especially with string, when a cat starts to eat it, because of the design of the tongue, it cannot spit it back out. The cat will swallow the entire string and be unable to stop.

A big factor in determining whether a cat will survive gastrointestinal blockage from a foreign object is how long the object has been causing the obstruction. In Lucky’s case, she lived up to her name and, because her owner had visits twice per day, she got the help she needed right away. Imagine, though, if she had only had one visit every two or three days. She may not have survived the ordeal.

From this, we learned to always do a minimum of one visit per day. In this manner, we can catch any health problems or other issues early. We also learned that you should never leave string out for a cat to play with unsupervised. It is best to put all toys away once done playing with your cat.

Why You Need A Cat Sitter Every Day

  • Cat may dump the water bowl and run out of water
  • Cat may get himself locked into a room (we have had a couple of clients tell us this happens to their cats sometimes)
  • Is food on an auto-feeder? What if it malfunctions?
  • AC or other home malfunction
  • Cat may refuse to use to dirty litter and choose to start soiling elsewhere in the home

Therefore, even though having every other day cat visits (or a visit every three days) may sound like a good idea to save money, it could end up costing a lot more in the long run, if something goes wrong.

At PAWSitive Strides, our goal is to provide our clients with peace of mind while they are away. We also wish to take care of our furry clients as if they were our babies. Taking both of those things into account, we make sure that we visit our feline clients at least once per day. This ensures their safety and well-being, which, in turn, provides our customers with peace of mind. Moreover, we can rest easier each night knowing that all of the pets under our care are doing well.

Have questions about using a cat sitter? We would love to hear from you! Contact us today!


pet-sitting-windermere

What Am I Getting for My Pet Sitting Fee?

pet-sitting-windermere

One of the first questions people usually ask when contacting us is, “how much do you charge for your pet sitting or dog walking services?” That is an important question to ask. However, when you pay your pet sitting fee, you are not only getting pet sitting or dog walking services. You are getting much, much more!

An online system to schedule at YOUR convenience. We provide ease of scheduling.  Our easy to use online system allows our clients to schedule their pet sitting visits at their convenience.  Day or night, our system is available to you, so you don’t have to wait for office hours; just schedule us when you can.

In addition, when scheduling in our online system, you can update your pet’s profile and this information is available to whichever sitter is assigned to your visits. This means that you do not have to leave notes (unless you want to!) and it keeps things organized and efficient, all in one place.

A dedicated office staff. No need to wait all day to get your questions answered.  We have an office staff on hand to help you with all of our scheduling needs. Whether you have questions, an emergency, or just need reassurance that your fur baby is doing well while you’re away, our office staff is there for you!

In addition to this, our office staff monitors all visits throughout the day for completion. Our online system sends out an alert if a visit has not been completed in the assigned time window and our office manager on duty will immediately contact the sitter to see what is going on. If there has been an emergency, a new sitter is assigned so that no visit gets missed.

Peace of mind. We provide YOU with peace of mind.  While you’re away on a business trip or on vacation receiving some well-deserved rest and relaxation, we are here to take over your role as the pet parent.  Our consistency in service is top notch.  Why? We hire employees, not independent contractors. What does that mean for your pet?  Our sitters are specifically trained to meet our standards and go through this training process before we put your precious babies in their hands. We conduct three interviews before hiring (more than many companies), do a thorough background check, and a reference check.

Another factor that contributes to your peace of mind is our insurance. We have liability insurance and bonding. Above and beyond that, we have worker’s comp, which covers our employees should they get hurt in your home.

Highly trained employees. We can handle emergency situations. Did you know that according to the American Animal Hospital Association, one out of four more beloved pets would survive if just one pet first aid technique was used on the pet prior to arriving at the animal hospital?  At PAWSitive Strides, our pet sitters and dog walkers are mandated to attend a 4-hour Pet CPR and First Aid class once they have completed their trial period with us. Our pet sitters are trained on how to react in emergency and non-emergency situations.

A team of sitters and walkers at YOUR service. We have a strong team of pet sitters!  Our organization is set up to be as fail-proof as possible.  If one of our sitters is sick or has a personal emergency, our clients are not let down.  We have plenty of trained pet sitters that can step in to provide the service you’ve contracted us for, which is to keep your pet safe and happy.  We are also in the position to readily provide pet sitting services to our clients should an emergency arise for them. While we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate last-minute schedule requests, the fact that we have a team of sitters at your disposal usually means that we can.

Quality control visits.  We make unannounced visits to check up on our sitters.  This keeps everyone on their toes and gives you the added assurance that your pet is in the BEST hands while you’re away.  Two paws up!

As you can see, a lot of thought and cost goes into providing you and your precious fur baby with the best care possible. So, your pet sitting and dog walking fee covers much more than just pet sitting and dog walking.

We didn’t put the wow in bow-wow for no reason!  Contact us for more information.  We’d love to tell you how we can be of service to you and pets while you’re away!


Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Consultation

pet-sitting-dog-walking-consultation

When you first decide to use a pet sitter, there are many things that you must take into consideration to make sure that you are choosing the right company for you and for your pet. One of the best ways to get to know the company you are thinking of choosing is to do your research. Does the company have a website? What information does it offer on its website? Have you searched for the company’s online reviews? What do those tell you about the company?

Once you have decided on a company, you will typically set up an initial consultation with them. What is involved in an initial consultation?

A PAWSitive Strides Initial Consultation

So, what happens at the initial consultation with PAWSitive Strides?

  1. You will typically get to meet the owner of PAWSitive Strides. The owner always tries, as much as her schedule allows, to meet with every potential client. She will come approximately 15 minutes before the sitters to go over some important information about the company, such as:
    1. Who is PAWSitive Strides and how did we start
    2. Our many awards
    3. Our insurance
    4. Our employees
    5. Paperwork
    6. Lockbox information
    7. How to schedule appointments with us
    8. Payment information
    9. What we need from you to get you started with our services
  2. After the initial meeting with the owner, the sitters will arrive and we will discuss the routines for your pet(s) and how we can best ensure that we are properly meeting your needs. Some of the things we will talk about are
    1. Feeding – how much and how often? Do all pets eats in the same area or should they be separated? Do they need coaxing to eat all of their food?
    2. Is water from the tap or filtered?
    3. Does your pet get treats? How many and how often?
    4. Is any pet on medication? If so, how much does he get and how often?
    5. Location of leash and poop bags
    6. Location of litter box, scoop, bags, and broom or vacuum to clean up area around litter box
    7. Where to dispose of pet waste
    8. Mail and newspaper pick-up
    9. Preferred method of communication for receipt of our virtual notes
    10. Any other particulars so that we can make the visits the best for your pet
  3. We always check with you to see if you have any questions, concerns, or anything else that we need to know to ensure that we do the best job possible for you and for your fur baby.
windermere-dog-walking

We typically send one or two sitters on each consultation, depending on how much notice we have and how busy the schedule is that day or that week. The consultations are just one of the ways in which you can meet our sitters. You can also “meet” the sitters on our Meet the Team page. On that page, we have written biographies and video biographies of each of the sitters on our team so that you can become better acquainted with all our sitters.

We are a team of sitters, so we do use more than one sitter per client. This is something very helpful to our clients because they are not depending on just one sitter to take care of their fur baby. Should a sitter on the team have an emergency, our clients are always covered because we can send someone else to cover the visit. The pet’s routine is not altered and all is well.

In addition, just like in any other job, our sitters have days off and work in shifts. So, depending on which days and times windows you have requested for your visits, we have different sitters available. Since we use employees and train each employee to our standards of service, you get the same quality of service no matter which sitter comes to take care of your pet.

Interested in setting up an initial consultation to get to know us in person? Please contact us today! We will be happy to talk to you about our different options for caring for your fur baby.


inexpensive-cat-toys-you-can-make

6 Inexpensive Cat Toys You Can Make for Your Cat

inexpensive-cat-toys-you-can-make

Clients often tell me that they buy all kinds of expensive cat toys for their cat but then he ends up preferring the box or the bag the box came in instead of the toy itself. So for some people, inexpensive cat toys you can make for your cat are the perfect answer to this problem. I decided to do a little research and found 6 inexpensive toys that you can easily make for your cat. And he is bound to love them! Plus, why not save a little money in the process?

6 Inexpensive Cat Toys You Can Make for Your Cat

The Classics with a Twist

A Carboard Box

Just about every cat loves playing with a cardboard box. To make it more interesting, you can tape it shut.  Cut out a small square as a door and another one somewhere else as a window. Your cat will enjoy playing in it and using it as a hiding spot.  It may even become his favorite place to take a nap.

To make the window more interesting and exciting, why not cut some pieces of yarn and glue them in such a way that they hang down over the window?

Tin Foil Ball

This one is very easy and self-explanatory. You can use tin foil to make a ball and your cat should get a kick of chasing it around the house. You can also make one by wrapping tin foil around a piece of yarn so you have a ball on a string. Attach the yarn to your belt loop and walk around the house doing your chores. Your call will “have a ball”, pun intended!

Ping Pong Ball

Same idea as the tin foil ball but this one is bouncy! Young cats especially love chasing a ping pong ball throughout the house. For fun, you can draw a face on the ping pong ball. That’s more for you than for the cat. You can also glue a piece of pipe cleaner or a piece of yarn for a tail and you have a very inexpensive, fun mouse toy. If you glue pieces to your toy, do not leave your cat unsupervised while playing. Some pieces can become a choking hazard.

Toilet Paper Roll Treat Dispenser

This is very simple and easy to make. If your cat loves treats, she will love the challenge of trying to get the treats out of the toilet paper roll treat dispenser. Simply fold the ends of a toilet paper roll in toward each other. Leave a couple of holes for the treats to spill out with movement. Do this on both sides of the toilet paper roll.

Paper Towel Roll Scratching Toy

Take a paper towel roll and stuff it well with newspaper to make it strong and sturdy. Wrap the outside of the roll with sisal twine. Use a hot glue gun to glue down at least the start and end points of the twine so it will hold. It may be best to glue down a few other portions of the twine as well. This way the toy can hold up longer.

Toilet Paper Roll Snake

Many cats are fascinated by snakes, but, in the wild, some are poisonous and can pose a danger to our cats. So, bring the outdoors in by making a toilet paper roll snake. Take at least 3 empty rolls of toilet paper and glue down a piece of string or ribbon inside each one to both connect the rolls and to make them flexible. Use the toilet paper roll treat dispenser idea to combine two toys in one for extra fun! Completely seal off one end of the snake by bending the ends down and taping them shut. Bend down the ends of the “mouth” of the snake; leave some room for treats to fall out. You can then cover the “snake” with fabric of your choosing, add a few treats, and watch your kitty have some fun!

The true pleasures in life are the simple things. Sometimes it’s not the most expensive thing or the fanciest, that can hold our attention and affection. It is no different for our cats. Sometimes it is the simplest toy, the most inexpensive thing that becomes the most fun and beloved, leading to hours of contented play time.

Have you ever made a toy for your cat? What is your cat’s favorite toy?


is-pawsitive-strides-bonded-insured

Is PAWSitive Strides Bonded and Insured?

is-pawsitive-strides-bonded-insured

A very important question to ask when choosing a pet sitting company is, “Is your pet sitting company bonded and insured?” Many clients, when they first contact us for pet sitting services or dog walking services in Windermere or Orlando, wish to find out if PAWSitive Strides is bonded and insured.

Insurance and bonding may seem to some like a small matter, but it is very important to ensure that any person or service you select to care for your pets has the appropriate insurance as well as bonding.

In this article, we will consider first what types of insurance your pet sitting or dog walking service should offer and why. In addition, we will take a look at bonding – what it is and why it is important.

What Types of Insurance Should Your Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Service Have?

Liability Insurance

Most, if not all, professional pet sitting services have liability insurance. Liability insurance covers damage to your pet, your home, or a bystander (or bystander’s pet) who may be hurt by your pet. This insurance is in effect while your pet sitting or dog walking service is caring for your pet.

This type of insurance is very important because, unfortunately, when dealing with pets, accidents can happen. Pets can be unpredictable at times, and it is good to be prepared with insurance, should something arise.

If the pet sitting or dog walking service you use is not properly insured, the cost of damage will more than likely end up falling on you. Most people, unfortunately, don’t think about the necessity of having this coverage until something happens to them or their home or pet.

Here are some recent examples of liability claims from the September/October 2016 issue of Pet Sitter’s World Magazine:

  • During a walk in the woods with an insured pet sitter, a client’s dog suffered an injury to its paw. Total paid $1,195
  • While running, a dog in an insured sitter’s care, tore its ACL. Total paid $4,168
  • A cat in a pet sitter’s care was bitten by another cat and the wound became infected, requiring a visit to the veterinarian. Total paid $2,294

Worker’s Compensation

Unlike liability insurance, most professional pet sitting companies do not have worker’s compensation for their sitters. Why is worker’s compensation an important type of insurance for your pet sitting or dog walking service to have? Doesn’t liability insurance cover it all?

The answer is no. Liability insurance does not cover any injury to a pet sitter or dog walker while he or she is taking care of your pet. Traditionally, pet sitting and dog walking services use independent contractors, and these should, technically, carry their own insurance. The reality is that most, if not all, do not. Therefore, if something happens to the pet sitter or dog walker while in your home or out walking your dog, the liability will fall on you.

How necessary is worker’s compensation?

Here are some recent examples of worker’s compensation claims from the September/October 2016 issue of Pet Sitter’s World Magazine:

  • A cat bit a pet sitting service’s employee on the forearm while the employee was petting it. Total paid $1,261
  • An employee was bitten on the finger by a client’s dog while returning to the home from a walk. Total paid $10,058
  • An employee sitting for a client’s dog was holding onto its leash with her left hand while trying to lock the door with her right hand. The client’s dog noticed other dogs, started to growl and took off. The employee suffered injury to her fingers. Total paid $8,296
  • In an attempt to leave a client’s home, a sitting service’s employee was bitten on the hand by the client’s dog. Total paid $2,107

That same article made the following interesting observation: “I’d be willing to bet most of the pet owners don’t realize the exposure… and that they may potentially be sued for the sitter’s injuries… I believe most pet sitting clients would not want to hire a sitter if they were aware that the sitter did not have adequate protection in place – and that the homeowner could be held liable for injuries. Professional pet sitters are aware of this risk to their business and obtain workers compensation insurance.”

Bonding – What is It?

Bonding is actually not insurance. It is, instead, an agreement that if an employee steals from a client, the bonding company will reimburse the client for the loss and then go after the guilty person to recover the loss.

Any professional pet sitting or dog walking service should have bonding to protect clients from potential theft. Of course, any professional pet sitting or dog walking company will, in addition to carrying bonding, have a stringent interview process, background check, and reference check, to ensure that it has top-notch employees working for your peace of mind.

At PAWSitive Strides, we are bonded, have liability insurance and, in addition, have worker’s compensation insurance should a pet sitter or dog walker get hurt in your home. Our goal is always to strive for our clients’ peace of mind. Want to find out more about us or schedule a free consultation? Contact us here.