4 Tips For Hiring the Best Pet Sitter

Leave your dog in trusted hands while you’re away!

  Hiring a pet sitter can be stressful and anxiety-inducing — your furry friend is a vital part of your family and leaving them behind is tough enough. Will the pet sitter care for them as much as you do? Will they turn on their favorite radio station and play their favorite games? You will often have so many questions and concerns that your upcoming trip may prove to be more stressful.   The Vet Set understands your nerves and wants to help get you through the initial steps of finding and hiring the best pet sitter. Navigate this topic with us today and be armed with the knowledge to choose the best pet sitter for your furry friend!

Pet Sitter Services

  When you’re in the hustle and bustle of planning your trip your mind is elsewhere and sometimes you forget to ask your usual people to watch your pet, but don’t panic, there are pet sitters available for this very situation! A pet sitter is an animal enthusiast who often has a background in veterinary medicine or animal care — some do it as a side hustle and some do it as a full-time career. Many pet sitters have their own business and their own pets — they’re empathetic to the stress time away from your pet can place and want to help ease your anxiety.  

Where do you begin to choose a pet sitter?

  Sure, it may not be difficult to find a pet sitter, but it may prove to be hard to find one that you really like and trust your pet with. The best thing to do is to give yourself some time and really get to know different dog sitters and dog sitting businesses.  

Ask for Recommendations

  One of the best ways to find a great pet sitter without much legwork is to ask around. Ask your neighbor, people at the dog park, or the vet at your animal health clinic — chances are, the people around you have recommendations or staff members at the vet may even do it on the side.  

Hire Professionals

  If you’d rather go with a well-recognized pet sitting company instead of by word-of-mouth, you can search online with various pet sitting databases. Though these companies do a great job of vetting their sitters, always take it a little further and look more into depth and look over their resumes and qualifications. It may also prove to be useful by inquiring about the company’s bonded and insured policy, so you know exactly what happens if something were to happen to your home or pet while you're away.    

Create a Pet Community

  This option may take more time, but begin to grow your pet community by connecting with other pet lovers in your area. Frequent dog parks and attend doggy play dates, or if you have a cat, join a cat community online. The more pet lovers you meet, the more people you have in your potential pet sitting network.  

Things to Consider Before You Hire a Pet Sitter

  If your pet lives a pretty normal life and is healthy, you can typically hire a standard pet sitter. If you have a pet with health needs you may need to look into someone with specific qualifications.   What needs of your pet are required? Do they need insulin injections or do they need to be let out more frequently? Consider any extra care and talk with the pet sitting company or person to ensure they can meet your pet’s requirements.  

How Much Do Pet Sitters Cost?

  Every company and pet sitter will have a different set of fees and policies, so it’s important to be on the same page together. Be clear about your expectations and then ask for an estimate. Pet sitting fees can include the following:  
  • Base fee for coming to your home  
  • Specific fee per pet
  • Additional costs for special duties, more frequent visits, and medication administration
  To find the most reasonable fee, compare prices with different people and companies in your area. While fees can vary, pet sitting base fees begin around anywhere from $15 to $75 per day.   Do you tip a pet sitter?   Tipping is never a requirement, but all pet sitters appreciate the gesture. If you’re working with a national company, keep in mind, the pet sitter only receives a portion of the overall cost so a tip is very beneficial, while a freelance pet sitter pockets the entire bill. Other options aside from a cash tip would be a small souvenir or gift from your travels.   Stay in Communication With Your Pet Sitters   Upon choosing a pet sitter, have the person come over before your departure for a good introduction to your pet. Let them play and hang out and get a good feel for each other. Also communicate where everything is located — pet food, toys, leashes, and medicine.   Most pet sitters understand your anxieties of leaving your pet, and while you don’t have to check in all the time — that could get annoying — it is important to arm your pet sitter with the ability to get a hold of you should something were to happen. Provide the following information including:  
  • Your cell phone number
  • The number where you’re staying
  • Your vet’s information
  • Emergency vet information
  • Numbers to relatives and neighbors who can be contacted
If you absolutely need to check in, call a couple times a week or invest in a pet cam where you can watch what your pet is up to while you’re gone (it’ll most likely be sleeping).   Finding and hiring a pet sitter who fits your needs and is the best companion for your pet is tough but when you ask for recommendations, look into a professional company, and begin to build a pet community — pet sitter options abound!   Give your pet the best when you hire the best!  

For the leading animal health clinic that can come to you, reach out and schedule a visit today!  

   

 

Have You Considered Veterinarian Acupuncture For Your Pet?

You may be familiar with Chinese medicine and how it benefits people, but are you aware that pet acupuncture exists? Integrative veterinary medicine is guided very much in the same ways that complementary medicine or alternative medicine functions for humans, and pet acupuncture is a healing therapy used with great success.   At VetSet, our veterinarian clinic in Carroll Gardens offers pet acupuncture as a part of our veterinarian services to keep your pets healthy, happy, and thriving! Join us in today’s post as we explore the benefits of acupuncture for your pets!

Is There a Difference Between Pet Acupuncture and Acupuncture For People?

  Distilled, acupuncture is the insertion of tiny, hair-thin needles to a specific point in the body to cultivate a healing response, and each acupuncture point has an associated healing function when stimulated.   Acupuncture has been clinically studied in both humans and animals, and the research is advantageous, with both groups benefiting from this medical modality. The medical aspect of acupuncture when considering both humans and animals is the same; it’s the anatomy that is what changes!  

Is acupuncture safe for my pet?

  Acupuncture is an extremely safe form of medical treatment when performed by a trained vet. The animals feel virtually no pain with the needle insertion, and they typically become calm and sleepy following the treatment.   How do I know the vet is properly trained to perform pet acupuncture?   There are two very important criteria to look for when selecting a vet for acupuncture, including:  
  • The vet acupuncturist should also be a licensed veterinarian.
  • The vet should have training in the practice of pet acupuncture.
  Why go the route of acupuncture for my pet?   Veterinary acupuncture is great for animals much, in the same way, it’s healing to humans; try pet acupuncture to improve your pet’s overall health and wellness, including:  
  • Pain management - Acupuncture can stimulate the body’s own pain-relieving properties and support healthy inflammation management in animals.
 
  • Muscle relaxation - If you have a senior pet, acupuncture can help relax tired and tight muscles at a specific site or other distal locations, creating both localized and general pain relief in animals.
  • Supports circulation - Get blood flowing and tissue oxygenation with pet acupuncture. As things open and begin to move, it also assists in removing toxins and metabolic waste.
 
  • There are no side effects - Just as in western medicine, with prescription medications causing adverse side effects in people, so too do medications for pets. To steer clear of adverse side effects and protect your pet’s vital organs, acupuncture is an amazing alternative.
 
  • Acupuncture is complementary - Because acupuncture doesn’t interact with any medications or supplements your pet may be taking, it can be implemented as another form of treatment to address other health concerns your pet may have.
  A pet gets so many benefits from acupuncture, but it’s commonly used as a modality that fills in the gaps between traditional vet medicine, and can be the difference between getting surgery and not having to go that route!   What does pet acupuncture treat?   Pet acupuncture can be great for many health issues, including:
  • Musculoskeletal concerns - Common issues it can treat include arthritis, nerve issues, and intervertebral disk disease.
  • Respiratory issues - This includes feline asthma.
  • Gastrointestinal concerns - This includes diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Skin issues - This includes anything allergy related, granulomas, and dermatitis.
Pet acupuncture helps bridge the gap between illness and health, and it is safe and effective and treats a myriad of health issues in animals. Before embarking on this healing journey with your pet, always ensure your vet is trained and certified in this specialty.  

For more information on pet acupuncture or to schedule a service, connect with us today!

              

Exploring The Great Outdoors With Your Dog! (Part Three)

In this last and final post about preparing your dog for the great outdoors, we’ll continue the conversation about hiking essentials and discuss potential trail hazards.   Do you want the best for your dog’s health but lead a busy life with jam-packed days? At VetSet, we’ve set out to help remedy this! We’re an animal clinic here to care for your pet and offer the utmost convenience with our mobile vet clinic that can meet you at your place! Help prepare your dog for the trails and schedule a wellness checkup before your next adventure!

More Essentials Your Dog Will Need For The Trail

 
  • Doggy lamp - Just like hikers have a headlamp to use after the sun goes down, it’s important for a dog to have light to alert other hikers and for your ability to keep tabs on them.
 
  • Dog coat - If you have a breed that is sensitive to temperature swings and low temperatures, it’s in good practice to carry a dog coat in case the temperatures drop.
 
  • Cool collar - If you’re hiking in extremely warm temperatures some dogs have a hard time regulating their temperatures, so a cooling collar will offer some relief. You can just soak the collar and wrap it around them or make a makeshift frozen one and weave the material into their already existing collar.  
  Learn About Trail Hazards   Not only can the heat be an issue, but the area may have animals and other creatures to be wary of, in addition to poisonous plant life. It’s important to educate yourself on these dangers and have a plan on what to do if you encounter a poisonous snake or skunk.   Your furry friend is just as vulnerable to dangers on the trail as any human, but what makes it even more dangerous for them, is they can’t recognize a threat nor communicate with you to tell you if anything is wrong. Be alert and aware of the following:  
  • Animals - If you run into wildlife such as porcupines or skunks, the best defense is creating a barrier with your leash or pack. Ticks are also a huge concern even when symptoms don’t manifest in dogs compared to humans, but it’s important to do a tick check after your excursion.
 
  • Overestimating your dog - There is a fine line between overestimating your dog's abilities and pushing them too far, and pushing them just enough. Monitor your dog’s heart rate and panting and watch to see if it normalizes during rest periods. If they have a hard time calming, you may want to consider shortening your hike or time more breaks. Limping and laying down are other signs that your dog is having a hard time coping with the hiking conditions.
 
  • Heat stroke and heat exhaustion - The most common signs of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting, collapsing, convulsions, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you suspect heat stroke, promptly move your dog to a shaded area and pour water on them to help them cool down, in addition to giving them water to drink. Let your dog rest, and when they’re able, head back out and call your vet clinic when you get back into town.  
 
  • Safety in the water - Before you hike, test your dog's water skills. Can they swim, and for how long? If your dog has any issues with swimming and you’re going to a spot with a large body of water, pack a doggy life vest and a towel to dry them off afterward. Even if your dog is an amazing swimmer, letting them roam near a rushing river in whitewater territory is an easy way for your dog to get swept away.
 
  • Plants - It’s always wise to educate yourself of the dangerous plants in your area, but a general rule is to stop the chewing before your dog has a chance to swallow it. Common plants such as poison oak, sumac, ivy, and nettles will all cause issues for both you and your dog. Burrs and thorns can be nuances on the trail, but foxtails are ones to watch for. They are barbed seed pods that can become embedded in fur, between toes, ears, eyes, the nasal cavity, and genitals. If you notice your dog has excessive head shaking, sneezing, or eye discharge there is a good chance your dog has foxtails. While it’s uncomfortable for your dog, it’s important to turn around because they can be fatal and work their way towards organs.
 
  • Pathogens in the water - Dogs are vulnerable to water pathogens just as humans, so it’s imperative to keep your dog from questionable water sources, or if in the backcountry, treat your water for you and your dog.
  While most dogs are ready and able to conquer peaks and take a dip in a cool and refreshing lake, sometimes as owners we assume they’ll be fine and subject them to dangerous situations unintentionally. With a little preparation in trail training, packing, and knowing the trail hazards you can protect your dog, all while having an amazing hiking experience.      Keeping you dog safe on the trail is done by packing trail essentials and learning about trail hazards, but at VetSet, it’s our job to ensure their safety before you head out and explore the great outdoors.

Make an appointment with us today for your dog’s wellness! Too busy? That’s perfect, we have a mobile vet clinic that can come to you!

 

Exploring The Great Outdoors With Your Dog! (Part One)

When you enter into relationship with your furry best friend you likely want to take them everywhere — from touring local breweries to the office — where you lead, they follow! The great outdoors are no different, but there are a few more things you have to plan and prepare for before taking them on a long hike or backpacking excursion.      Having a trusted furry sidekick to navigate life with gives a different lens to the world — dogs naturally make you kinder and more friendly — so entrusting them as a hiking companion isn’t all that uncommon. At VetSet, it’s important to have all the information before you head out, and before you go, consider visiting your local vet clinic to make sure you pooch is healthy enough to go! Join us in today’s post as we explore how to get your dog equipped for the great outdoors!

Breeds That May Have a Hard Time in The Outdoors

  There are some breeds that may have a hard time keeping up on the trail so always take them out for a longer walk first, and talk with your vet about the risks.  
  • Age - Age plays a role in whether your dog has the stamina for a long hike. Both dogs that are young and old may have difficulty.
 
  • Brachycephalic breeds - We all know and love these short-snouted dogs such as pugs, Boston terriers, and boxers. Because they have shortened muzzles and narrowed nasal passages, it can make hiking quite dangerous as they’re prone to heat exhaustion and overdoing it.
 
  • Highly sensitive breeds - If your dog is highly sensitive to scents such as blood hounds or have a high prey drive, trails can be overwhelming for them. While you can train your dog with sound to obey whistles or verbal commands, it’s easy for them to get caught up in scents and sounds and run off.
 
  • Breeds with health issues - If your dog has a special need or is on a medication, they may not be suited for the wilderness. For additional advice on whether your dog can hike, inquire with your local animal clinic.
  Before You Hit The Trail   If you’ve ever been on the trail and noticed a dog struggling or lagging far behind deeply panting, they’re probably not having a great time and not ready for that long or hard of trek. It’s important to be a good owner and prepare your dog before the initial trail hike.   You can start a trail training schedule by easing into hiking trails. Begin by going out for 30 minutes to an hour, and monitor how your dog does. Are they wiped for the rest of the day or are they spunky and ready for more? If afterwards, they’re still lively with energy to spare, go out for a longer hike the next time. Treat this training like you would training for a marathon — accomplish one goal at a time and keep expanding from there. It’s always good to go slower too because it will help strengthen and toughen their paws to adapt to the terrain.       

Check With Your Vet

  Before the hike consult with your vet on whether the hike is appropriate or if they have any concerns. It’s also important to work through basic obedience and trail etiquette beforehand and begin with easy walks and hikes before tackling a more strenuous one.   The company of your furry best friend by your side as you bag peaks and meander through fields of wildflowers makes your hiking experience that much better. Beyond checking that your dog can handle the adventure you’re both about to embark on, there is a much more information to ensure that the adventure is safe and fun. Stay tuned for part two as we dive into what to talk with your vet about before the trek, and explore the essentials that your dog will need.   At Vet Set in Carroll Gardens, we provide empathetic and high-quality veterinary care for all the animals in the area. Our vet clinic is staffed with the best of the best — those who have graduated from the top veterinary schools in the country and who value continuing education in our field.  

Take advantage of our mobile vet services and schedule with us today!

    

Debunking the Top 10 Myths About Heartworm Part 2

There are so many dangerous myths out there about heartworm disease.

Heartworm is an incredibly serious disease, and it’s important for pet owners to take it seriously and take steps to prevent their pet from contracting it. However, there are many myths out there that can mislead pet owners and put their pets at risk. In our last blog, our animal hospital in Carroll Gardens set out to debunk the most common myths about heartworm. Keep reading to learn the truth about a few more myths.

Myth #6. You can use natural remedies to prevent heartworm.

There are lots of great ways to reduce your pet’s risk of heartworm naturally by reducing their risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes. Things, like eliminating standing water and using pet-safe insecticides and repellents, can help to keep your pet safe. However, none of these things can prevent your pet from getting infected with heartworm disease if they do get bit. According to the experts, avoidance and repellents are excellent additions to preventatives, but they should not replace them.

Myth #7. Heartworm disease is contagious.

Heartworm disease cannot be spread from pet to pet or from pet to person. So if you’re worried that your pet will get heartworm by hanging around another pet that has been diagnosed, don’t be. Heartworm disease also cannot be transmitted to humans from our pets. The only way that pets get heartworm disease is when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. If the pet who has been bitten is not on a heartworm preventative, the heartworm larvae will multiply and mature, eventually damaging the lungs and heart.

Myth #8. Heartworm prevention is too expensive and inconvenient.

When it comes to heartworm disease, you’ll find that prevention is a much more cost-effective method than treatment. Depending on the brand of preventative you use, you’ll probably only have to pay between five and 15 dollars per month, and you’ll be doing your part to protect your pet’s quality of life. Heartworm treatment, on the other hand, can cost up to 10 times the cost of heartworm preventative for an entire year. And, as far as convenience goes, giving your pet a heartworm preventative doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You can give your pet a monthly chewable, and there are even bi-annual injections available as well.

Myth #9. Only pets who live in the south need heartworm preventative.

When people think of mosquitoes, they often think of humid southern states, like Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas, but the reality is that mosquitoes exist throughout the whole of the United States. What’s even more surprising is that mosquitoes are actually quite common in big cities. In fact, New York City is listed as one of the top 20 worst cities in the United States for mosquitoes. Here in Carroll Gardens, it’s essential that your pet is on a heartworm preventative, and that’s true no matter where you live.

Myth #10. It’s okay to skip doses of preventative every once in a while.

Most people think that heartworm disease prevents a pet from being infected with heartworm disease, but in all actuality, it works by killing and eliminating the larvae after a pet is infected, preventing it from developing into adult heartworms. It only takes about 51 days for heartworm larvae to reach maturity, and by that point, they cannot be effectively eliminated with preventative medications. It’s incredibly important to always ensure that you give your pet their heartworm medication on time every month because late or missed dose could give the larvae enough time to fully mature. Stop believing the myths about heartworm disease and start taking the appropriate steps to keep your pet healthy. Schedule your appointment with The Vet Set today!

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