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Safeguard Your Pet From Seasonal Ailments
Date:11/13/2007

Canine Influenza, Parvo Disease & Kennel Cough: Serious, But Avoidable;

Expert's Top 10 Tips for Selecting a Reputable Pet Sitter

BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- With over sixty-three percent of U.S. households owning one or more pets, reports regarding the highly contagious and potentially deadly strains of canine influenza and Parvo disease -- not to mention the pervasive kennel cough virus -- have many dog owners worried. So, what's a travel-bound pet owner to do?

Out of concern for their pet's health, well-being and safety, more people are avoiding kennel, boarding and daycare facilities, and even family members or the neighbor's kids, in favor of home-based pet care such as that offered by FETCH! Pet Care -- America's most trusted name in professional at-home pet care.

"It's hard enough for owners to deal with the psychological concerns of boarding their pets in crowded facilities, but the health risks put a pet in double jeopardy," notes Paul Mann, FETCH! Pet Care founder and CEO. "As one sound alternative to 'en masse' lodging, reputable in-home pet care services typically visit or stay overnight with dogs, cats and other small animals in their own home, walk dogs one at a time or in very small groups, or privately board or daycare them individually in the comfort and safety of the pet sitter's home. Thus, the disease risk level for in-home pet sitting is considerably lower."

According to Mann, the better pet care providers employ a large number of pet sitters to assure each staff member interacts with no more than 5 to 10 animals in a day's time -- even during busy holidays. This exposure is far less than the 50 to 150 dogs that might typically board together in a kennel or daycare facility over a busy holiday season. "Considering the overall savings in avoiding expensive veterinarian bills and assuring the safety and comfort of pets, in-home pet sitting is a much safer and cost-effective pet care alternative all around," he says.

However, the difficulty of finding reliable, at-home pet care providers has spawned the need for firm guidelines on selecting the right professional. FETCH! Pet Care offers this advice:

1. Diligently check all of the company's references -- at least three

should be voluntarily provided

2. Ensure the company is fully bonded and insured

3. Verify that your sitter can accommodate both your pet's daily feeding

and exercise schedule as well as your desired vacation schedule during

busy holidays

4. Ensure the company offers 7-day per week telephone and email

availability

5. Confirm that your sitter has undergone a criminal background check and

has received proper training

6. Pre-interview your sitter with your pet(s) present to observe

interactions and establish a "comfort level" for both you and the

pet(s)

7. Clearly state how you would like your sitter to use his/her visit time

in terms of walking, playing, feeding, cleaning, etc.

8. Provide medical and behavioral history about your pet(s) as well as

veterinary and other emergency contact information, and gather all

necessary supplies, including food, vitamins, and treats in one

central location

9. Ensure the company has "backup" measures in place should your sitter

have an emergency that prevents them from completing your assignment

10. Confirm that your sitter will leave you a pet report card at the

completion of their assignment and that the company offers a customer

satisfaction guarantee in case you are dissatisfied in any way.

To find a reliable pet sitter near you, call FETCH! Pet Care's toll-free consumer help line at 1-866-FETCH-ME or use its online pet sitter locator at http://www.FetchPetCare.com. Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Paul Mann http://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=57271


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SOURCE FETCH! Pet Care
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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