I have returned to pet sitting to help make some extra cash to help speed up the process of paying off the debts I have accrued over this past year. It has been an expensive year, I was unemployed for 2.5 months. I moved twice. Once from Oakville to the Ottawa Valley and again from the Ottawa Valley to Sioux Lookout (which was very expensive), needing furniture (I still don’t have a couch, I have 2 chairs and one of them is my desk chair), I had to buy a new car because my old car died and I live in an area where a car is essential, and food is definitely more expensive up here. I would really like to meet some of my goals faster than my salary will allow. I also had been seeing a ton of people posting in the town Facebook group asking if anyone pet sat. I started pet sitting when I was working at the clinic right before I started grad school (I got the call offering me admission while I was pet sitting actually!), it was then also a way for me to avoid the commute from Guelph to Oakville that I had been doing for several months (it doesn’t look that far but those highways are a hellscape). So, TLDR, I’m back to pet sitting.
I have noticed that the people in this area are a very different type of pet owner than I had in the Oakville area. There are a few things that I want to have in a kit so that depending on what the owner has that I can use, because we all have our preferred pet products.
Two. I love pill pockets, for most dogs these can work really well for getting them to take their meds. I prefer this Hickory Smoke flavour (it actually smells really good), but they also have chicken flavour in the regular category and then for food allergy dogs they have peanut butter and duck and pea. And they make cat options.
Three. I’m not linking either peanut butter or cheez whiz lol. You can get them wherever you get your groceries. Peanut butter is one of my favourite ways to get dogs to take their pills. You can stick the peanut butter to the roof of their mouth and they are so distracted by licking the peanut butter that they don’t notice the pill and swallow it with the peanut butter. This doesn’t work on all dogs, but I find it to be really successful.
Four. Cheez Whiz serves the same purpose as peanut butter, but for dogs that don’t like peanut butter or have cottoned on to what you are doing or for their human families with a peanut/nut allergy. If I’m pet sitting at a house where there is a peanut allergy I don’t even bring the peanut butter with me. You can use the Cheez Whiz the exact same way as the peanut butter. Also, I didn’t include them in the visual but I prefer to dose with a tongue depressor (the little flat wood sticks), instead of a spoon or something similar, because dogs can bite down really hard on the spoon and it could chip their teeth. However, you do have to be careful with the tongue depressors and those dogs as they can break the tongue depressor and you don’t want them to swallow any slivers.
Five. I always hope that the pets will have their own toys, and they normally do. But sometimes owners don’t always tell me where they are, or they have recently destroyed all their toys so I like to have a ball on hand, just in case. Since I am not leaving the toy with the dogs I need something with as few crevasses as possible so that it can be easily disinfected, this is the best one I’ve found.
Six. It’s a lot harder to find cat toys that aren’t soft and fuzzy, so a laser pointer is the only cat toy I keep in my kit.
Seven. I am very careful about what treats I give pets, so I really like freeze-dried meats and liver treats. They generally have just the one ingredient so I can be sure I won’t be screwing with anyone’s diets.
Eight. CET chews are the best dental chews on the market. They last so long and seem to actually work according to the vets I used to work with. These are definitely pricier but I definitely think they are worth it.
I don’t currently have all of these items, but I have experience with all of these products and am highly particular with my pet products because I have seen so many issues caused by bones or really fatty foods like pigs ears and stuff. I think my experience in vet med really taught me so much about how much pets’ treats and toys can impact their health and well-being and while I try and follow owners’ pets’ routines as closely to normal as possible, there are a few things that it’s just not worth the risk for me to (like give bones or use a flexi-leash). This is a flexi-leash slander account.
From underneath a very cuddly Sheltie,