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    Pet News - Featured Post

    Old beagle dog wrapped up in a blanket to keep warm in winter

    With the colder months now upon us, we thought it is a good time to share a few tips for keeping our fur babies safe and happy.

    Protect Your Furbabies from the Cold

    Most dogs love nothing better than going for a daily walk or two, but in the case of extreme weather, or even just moderately cold weather, it might be best to check that they do not get too cold.

    Although here in WA we are not usually subject to the same wildly fluctuating temperatures as our Eastern counterparts, we still feel the effects. Just like their human pawrents, dogs can get cold in wintertime and should be protected against ailments such as dry noses, frostbite, and hypothermia. While it is great to wrap your dog up in a raincoat or jacket to keep them warm, make sure it does not restrict their movement.

    Keep Your Dog Warm and Comfortable Indoors

    If your fur baby is shivering or shaking, acting anxious, or seeking warm places, it is a sign they are feeling the cold. Generally speaking, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for them. Keep them indoors, making sure their dog bed or resting place is elevated and away from drafts, and you can add an extra blanket to keep them extra cozy.

    Protect Your Dog’s Paws from Cold Weather

    As their paws are not protected, you could look into protective booties to keep their little feet nice and warm when they play outside or go for a walk. Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air, chilly rain, and sometimes sleet can cause chapped paws and itchy flaking skin. Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home is one of the causes.

    Towel dry your fur baby as soon as you come in, paying special attention to their feet and in between their toes. Sometimes massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectorants into their paw pads before going out can help too.

    Provide Extra Care and Nutrition to Your Dogs in Winter

    Our fur babies also burn extra energy by trying to stay warm, so feeding them a little bit more can provide much-needed calories. As always, make sure there is plenty of water for them to drink- it helps to keep them hydrated and their skin less dry.

    Bathing and Grooming Tips for Your Fur Babies in Winter

    Bathe them as little as possible since it can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If you must bathe them, make sure to use a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.

    An Interesting Aside on Parked Cars and Wildlife

    Parked cars can attract cats and small wildlife seeking warmth, which may crawl under the hood. Before starting your engine, bang on the hood to scare them away to avoid harm to animals.

    I do hope these tips help keep all our special family members safe, happy, and cozy this winter.

    Jenny + the House and Pet Sitters Team!
    Got a question? get in touch with Jenny

    When it comes time for you to travel out of town for a fun getaway or vacation or go on the road for a business trip one of your main concerns will of course be – who will care for the pets?  Your pets are part of your family and if you can’t take them with you on your trip then you will want to find someone you can trust to ensure that your pets are well cared for while you are away.    

    These days as a pet owner you have many options for pet care including calling on the help of family and friends or neighbours, finding an independent house and pet sitters that are advertising their services on the many listing websites, or hiring a professional pet care service.   With all of these options available you may wonder if it is worth the cost of hiring a professional pet sitter to care for your pets.  

    What is a professional pet sitter?

    Let’s get started by answering the question of what makes a pet carer a professional.   A professional pet sitting, or house-sitting service provides care for pets as their full-time business.  Providing a high level of care for pets is their mission and what they do day in and day out. They have many years of experience in pet care and take pride in the quality service they provide.  A professional service will have an established online presence including a website and social media pages on which they provide information about their services and how you can work with them. They will also provide information about how they train and screen their pet sitting staff.

    There are many reasons why hiring a professional to care for your pet will give you greater peace of mind and a high level of care for your pets. 

    Comfort of Your Pets 

    Pet sitters come to your home to visit pets or house sitters stay in your home with them the full duration of your absence.  Its well known that pets are much more comfortable when kept in their familiar home environment where the surroundings are familiar, and they can keep their normal routine.  Some pets can get very stressed when taken to boarding kennel or another home due to unusual smells, other animals, or strange noises.  

    The exposure of your pets to illness or injury is also reduced as they will not be in contact with other animals that they are not accustomed to. 


    When pets are kept at home you don’t have to drop them off to a friend or kennel or pick them up on your return, so it saves you time and is more convenient.  Importantly it also reduces the stress on your pet who may not enjoy travelling in the car.   Your pets will be there as soon as you return home to great you and welcome you home with unbridled enthusiasm (well your dogs will if not your cats!). 

    Jenny Hodder established House and Pet Sitters in 2003

    Reliability and Care 

    The pet sitter or house sitters’ job is to come and make sure your pets receive the best care. They are not trying to fit the care of your pets in when they can around their normal routine as your friends and family may, rushing around feeding them or walking them and then leaving. Your pet is the sitter’s priority, and they will spend plenty of time making sure they are comfortable, playing and engaging with them, or just having them sit with them while watching TV. 

    Customized service

    A professional pet care service can customize the care of your pets to match their unique needs and routines.   They have the experience to ask the right questions when they meet with you to ensure that they know everything about your pet’s daily routine and your home. They also have experience working with different pet personalities and understand how to manage different behaviour issues or eccentricities of your pet to ensure they are happy, well fed and cared for while you are away.

    While at your house pet/house sitters will also make sure your home looks lived in by collecting mail, watering plants, or doing simple pool maintenance.   This adds to the security of your home as it deters burglars or other intruders who may be on the look-out for homes where the owners are away.  Sitter will also leave your home clean and tidy when they leave so your home is just like you left it when you return home.

    Can React Quickly to Unusual Behaviour or Emergencies

    Pet sitters are experienced in spotting the early warning signs in your pets that they are not their normal selves and may need vet attention.  Some examples may be changes in eating habits, changes in skin or hair, or signs of sickness such as gum or eye colour.  Acting early and getting medical attention if needed may impact the future wellness of your pet.  

    Professional carers also know the best action to take in an emergency as they are familiar with pet first aid.  Should your pet injure themselves, eat something strange, or get stung by an insect out on a walk they will know the best way to address the issue and when to seek vet assistance. 

    A professional pet sitting service will also insist that you inform your vet that you are away and to let them know who will be caring for their pets.   This makes sure that the vet is prepared for sitters to bring in the pet if required and there is a plan in place to cover any vet care expenses.

    Has a Back Up Plan

    A professional service will have a plan available if your primary pet carer becomes ill or injured and is no longer able to care for your pets.  They will have alternative staff members on hand that can step in to take over or a dedicated emergency sitter that they can call on.   What’s important is that they will ensure that there is no break in the care of your pets.


    Occasionally accidents do happen and there may be damage caused by inadvertent negligence of your pet sitter.  Professional pet care providers will carry insurance that will cover the cost of any damage to your home so that you are not out of pocket. 

    Peace of Mind

    All the reasons above will give you greater peace of mind and allow you to rest easy in the knowledge that your pets are getting the best care while you away.  You will be able to enjoy your holiday or trip more as you will worry less about the pets at home.  Usually, pet sitters will keep in touch and give you regular updates via text or email.  They may even send you photos of your pets so that you can see they are happy and well.

    How much does a professional pet sitter cost? 

    Typically pet sitters will charge either per visit or per night if they are staying in your home. This charge will depend on the number of pets, any special needs, and the length of time that you will be away.  

    House and Pet Sitters will provide you with a quote after they gather this information from you. 

    Today there are many choices available for the care of your pets.   A professional pet care service can provide you with the benefits of experience, customised care, reliability, attention to detail, and will give you the peace of mind that your pets are getting the best care in their comfortable home environment.  Your pets are part of your family so make sure you put their care into competent hands and hire a professional pet carer for them. 

    Give us a call or send an enquiry form through our website House and Pet Sitters Inquiry Form | House and Pet Sittersto book in a pet sitter or house sitter for your next vacation or business trip. 

    Recent months have been tough on us, but our pets have actually LOVED having us working from home … and whilst we’re all thrilled to have things starting to return to ‘normal’ – this will be a difficult time for our fur-family.

    Our pets have loved having us working from home.

    As always, we’re here when you are ready to start planning your next getaway or work trip .. and we are also here to do daily visits to offer walkies, hugs and special care for your pets as you start heading back to the office.

    Our return to ‘normal’ will be a very difficult time for our pets.

    Get in touch with Jenny Hodder or jump on our website and fill out our enquiry form to get a quote https://www.houseandpetsitters.com.au/inquiry-form/

    Snake season warning and useful information

    Snake Warning and Useful Information

    This information is taken from the Perth Vet Emergency First Aid Book 2nd edition

    Australia is home to a number of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous.  In Western Australia, commonly seen snake bites are from Brown snakes or Dugites, Tiger snakes. Less common snake bites are from Black snakes otherwise known as King Brown or a Mulga snake, Death adders and Taipans.

    The poison from the bite of these snakes contains toxins that are responsible for life threatening changes to our pets.

    Unfortunately, Perth pets often come into contact with snakes because they live throughout urban areas, near wetlands and in dry, arid regions. The natural curiosity of our pets and their natural hunting instincts mean they are keen to investigate these slithering reptiles.

    Symptoms of a snake bite;

    • dogs may yelp when bitten
    • animals that collapse and then apparently recover will slowly develop symptoms over the next 30-60 minutes.
    • vomiting
    • drooling and trembling
    • dilated pupils
    • involuntary urination or defecation
    • repaid breathing and/or panting
    • bleeding from the bite wounds or other body sites (bloody diarrhoea)
    • collapse – often immediate which is followed by a period of recovery
    • red or brown discolouration of urine
    • paralysis – starting with hind limbs and progressing towards the head
    • death from respiratory failure – paralysis of breathing muscles

    In the majority of cases, the bite site is not found and there is very little notable pain or swelling associated with Australian snake bites.

    If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake, if you have seen a snake near your pet or if your pet is acting strangely after being in an area where snakes are likely to be found – particularly in warmer weather – seek veterinary attention immediately. Delays in treatment can be fatal.

    Emergency Treatment before Transport to the Vet

    If your pet is not breathing, attempt mouth to nose resuscitation, giving one breath every 3-6 seconds.

    Do not risk envenomation by attempting to bring a live or dead snake in to assist identification– a test can be performed on your pet to identify the type of antivenin required.

    Keep your pet as still as possible to minimise venom absorption. If a limb has been bitten, bandage the entire leg firmly. This limits venom movement through the lymphatics. Do not try to cut off the circulation with a tourniquet.

    What to Expect at the Vet

    • Blood and urine testing to assess the severity of the envenomation, and identify the type of snake if required.
    • Oxygen therapy to help with breathing.
    • Intravenous fluid therapy to support blood pressure and kidneys.
    • Intravenous medications and antivenin if required – some animals need multiple doses and antivenin can be quite expensive.
    • Assisted ventilation – a machine breathes for your pet until it can breathe on their own.
    • Assisted feeding – with special feeding tubes to provide nutrition if the food pipe muscles are affected.

    If your pet requires treatment, this usually involves hospitalisation for at least 12 – 24 hours, and in some cases, several days. When your pet is discharged home, your vet will recommend confined rest for 1 – 2 weeks.

    In some patients, no treatment is required, due to a lack of clinical and laboratory evidence that the patient has been envenomated. In these cases, monitoring your pet for any delayed symptom of envenomation at a veterinary hospital for a period for 12 – 24 hours may be all that is required.

    With appropriate and timely medical therapy, many patients recover completely. Unfortunately, if necessary treatment is not instigated, many of these patients will not survive.

    For another House and Pet Sitters blog about snakes click here.

    Relax and enjoy your holiday!