Big Paw Pet Care Earns Professional Pet Sitting Certification

Mike Meibuhr, Co-Owner of Big Paw Pet Care, Earns the Pet Sitters International Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting

[Windermere, FLORIDA] (August 11, 2015)—Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, has announced that Mike Meibuhr, owner of Big Paw Pet Care in Windermere, Florida, has completed the PSI Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting and earned the designation of PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter.

PSI-CPPS-logoTo earn this prestigious designation, a professional pet sitter must successfully earn the PSI Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, agree to adhere to PSI’s Recommended Quality Standards for Excellence and agree to abide by PSI’s Member Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Successfully completing the Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting Program indicates that an individual has acquired the knowledge necessary to make vital assessments on pet health and nutrition, canine and feline behavior, separation anxiety, pet loss and more. A certificate holder is also equipped, as a business owner, to make decisions on customer service, employee hiring and safety.

According to Ellen Price, PSI’s academic manager, the certificate is earned after completing extensive coursework and successfully passing a comprehensive final exam on 39 sections of instructional material.

“A PSI certificate holder brings valuable knowledge to the care of companion animals,” Price said. “A pet owner who relies on a program graduate will receive top-quality pet care. The curriculum’s in-depth material also assures that a pet sitter is highly capable of making accurate judgments and quick decisions in an emergency.”

Mike’s commitment to his business and clients led him to pursue this certificate.

“As a pet sitter, I value continuing education that allows me to offer reliable service to the pets entrusted to my care,” Meibuhr said. “Earning the designation of PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter demonstrates that I am an animal steward committed to delivering excellent service.”

 

Windermere Pet Sitter Says: Don’t Forget Your Pet’s Care

Summer here is here and it’s time to finalize those plans for summer vacation. You’ve made packing lists and have your passports, birth certificates and boarding passes all set to go. New toothbrushes, travel size everything has been purchased. But…

Did You Call Your Windermere Pet Sitter?

2013-11-25_1385392018Big Paw Pet Care has been serving Central Florida since 2011, bringing it’s loving brand of care to your pets, in your home. If you’re worried about the effects of boarding your pet, you’re not alone. Cats find new environments to be stressful. Dogs can be taught to potty inside with most indoor-play yards at local boarding facilities. And we haven’t even discussed diseases and fleas picked up at local boarding facilities.

Hiring your Windermere Pet Sitter means your dog or cat enjoys all the comforts of home…at home! We try to keep their routine as normal as possible with dog walks throughout the day, playtime and more.

Keeping Your Home Safe Too

Pet Sitting In OrlandoDays of no movement at your home makes it enticing to burglars. With Big Paw Pet Care’s services we always include free concierge services like plant watering, bringing in the mail or newspaper or packages. We also rotate lights, and open/close blinds to give your home that lived in look.

But My Friends and Family Watch My Pets

pet sitterYou love your pets and treat them like family. But don’t be fooled into thinking your friends and family love your pets as much as you. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients and many of them use us because they no longer can trust their friends or family to be there when they need them.

Some clients even tell us they’re surprised that the neighbor’s child didn’t perform as well as expected. Big Paw Pet Care’s pet care providers are experienced pet care professionals trained in pet health, safety and CPR/first aid. Do you believe your pet’s are getting the best care from the neighbor kid?

Big Paw Pet Care makes it easy with online reservations, predictable care and daily updates from your pet care provider. Never worry about your pet’s getting the love and care they deserve with Big Paw Pet Care.

Create your profile today by clicking here and schedule a FREE Meet & Greet with a pet care provider. Big Paw Pet Care services pets and their families in Dr. Phillips, MetroWest, Gotha, Ocoee, Windermere and Winter Garden.

Give yourself some peace of mind this summer vacation and call Big Paw Pet Care for your pet care needs.

Healthy Pet Food: Get Your Pet To Eat Better

In the early days of our country, dogs and cats main source of nutrition was table from scraps (or the occasional rat or mouse caught outside). In the years after World War I, there was a need to dispose of a large number old horses from the military stables. With that, canned pet food was born!

Yea, you read that right. YUCK.

Pet FoodRemarkably, canned dog food was an instant success and soon, dry food made of meat meal was introduced as an affordable alternative. By the end of World War II, dog food sales had skyrocketed to over $200 million a year. That’s 1940s money, folks!

Today, mass produced, brand name pet foods have a stronghold on the pet food market. To lower costs and maximize profits, big brands add all sorts of things to their pet food. Still, they are considered “complete” as set by the very low standards of the pet food industry.

Some researchers have found links to these poor food sources most people use and increases in pet mortality. Many vets and pet nutritionists agree that the astronomical increase in cancer related pet deaths can be related to the ingredients in most pet food. With little oversight and regulation, it’s up to you and me to ensure the food we provide our pets is the best we can provide them. But where do you start?

Make a Change

Look for the following terms on your pet food label and avoid those foods:

  • Meat and poultry bi-products: FYI: that’s not meat. That’s anything, and we mean ANYTHING else that may have come from that animal carcass
  • Meat and bone meal: Sounds like something that your pet needs. In fact, the basis of meat and bone meal is render down scraps, removing most of the water and leaving mostly protein. The reality is, using the word MEAT is too vague. This simple term allows manufacturers to use any one of the four D’s as a source of meat: Dead, Dying, Deformed and Diseased animals. They come in the forms of beef, poultry, slaughter animals determined too ill for human consumption, road kill (that’s no joke, folks), expired grocery store meats and euthanized shelter animals (again, not a joke).
  • Animal Fat: Filler…tasty and fattening. This can also include used restaurant fryer fat.
  • BHA/BHT: Food preservatives, known carcinogens banned in human food but not in pet food
  • Propyl gallate: Another food preservative that imitates estrogen causing issues and cancers in both male and female animals
  • Ethoxyquin: A preservative and pesticide, known to cause cancer in humans and animals
  • Corn, soy and wheat in all forms: In the wild, wolves diet would be 95-98% protein with the remaining portion made up by partially digested vegetation in the stomach contents of their prey in the form of fruit, vegetable or grasses. Modified filler crops like corn, soy and wheat were never part of any animals diet, including dogs.

Confused about Pet Food? Don’t be!

There are many options out there from commercial grade raw diets to high quality kibble. The most important thing is to feed your them the best pet food you can afford. Seek out specialty stores dedicated to providing consumers and pets with the best in high quality, pet foods. Most labels have very few, easy to read ingredients. Stop by or visit their websites for expert advice on your pet’s food needs and find a good product at an affordable price.

Christmas Presents For Pets

Many local pet retailers have a visit with Santa planned for pets. What is your pet asking Santa for this Christmas?

In 2014, Americans will have spent approximately $58.5 Billion (yes, that’s a “B”) on pets. A good hunk of that, about $14 Billion, will go to over the counter medicines, supplies and toys. Toys!

That’s a lot of Christmas presents for pets!

FullSizeRenderThis year our family added a new dog, Linus, which means he needs a Christmas stocking to match our other pup’s stocking. So, we’ve invested about $20 in his Christmas present already. Unfortunately for our holiday spending budget, we’ll most likely make a mad dash on Christmas eve and overspend on our pups just as we do every year…but that’s ok with us.

How about you? Are you spending big on your pets this year? Comment below and let us know!

In the meantime, enjoy a video of some happy puppies opening their Christmas presents:

3 Steps For Treating Pet Seizures

Pet SeizuresMany of us that have pets who suffer from seizures or epilepsy.  They can be common in certain breeds and the seizures can also present themselves in many different forms.  However, most of them can be characterized as a jerky motion involving paddling of the legs and fully body spasms.

Knowing your pets health and understanding their diagnosis if they do suffer from seizures is also important.  If your pet has a seizure for the first time or, it lasts longer or, looks different are very important factors that should not be dismissed and are also sure reasons to take your pet to an animal hospital or your veterinarian for further evaluation. Seizures can also be a result from head trauma, poisonings, heat injuries such as hyperthermia as well as many other causes.

If your pet does suffer a seizure, there are 3 Steps to keep in mind to help them through it.

  1. NEVER put anything in the pet’s mouth!  You don’t want to compromise their airway and may now have made the situation worse.  On top of that, if you cherish your fingers, it may also be a good idea to keep them out of your pet’s mouth.  With that said, the good news is that it’s a lesson you have many times to learn, namely 10…
  2. During the seizure, reduce external stimuli such as lights or sound.  Make sure they don’t injure themselves on nearby furniture or if they are in close proximity to a staircase, make sure the don’t fall down the stairs.
  3. Like in any other emergency, keep calm and don’t panic.  Your pet is very much in tune with your energy level so if you stay calm, it will help reduce you pet’s stress too.

Stay safe until the pet seizures to run their course and have a plan before you take action once they have passed. Most importantly, be prepared to contact your vet as soon as you and your pet are safe.

A Geeky Pet Sitters Dream Come True

“Do, or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda

Pet Sitter Orlando, Star Wars DogThis Labor Day marked not only some time for the American worker to relax and enjoy the fruits of his/her labor. It also marked the official launch of Petco’s new Star Wars line of pet products. Just in time for Halloween this exclusive line of products includes costumes, toys, pet clothing and much more.

Check out our friend Skittles showing off some super cool Yoda ears. Why not start your Christmas shopping now for that hard-to-shop-for-pet on your Christmas list?

View all the items available at www.petco.com/starwars . 

Ocoee Pet Sitter Warns: Dog Treat Recall

Big Paw Pet Care

Another dog food recall

It what seems to be a never-ending cycle of warnings, yet another dog food company has issued a voluntary recall of their dog treats. We are warning all of our pet sitting clients and Central Florida pet owners of the alert.

Dogswell has recalled pet treats which are sold throughout Central Florida. Their press release states:

[box]During routine testing of our products, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) discovered that a sample of our Dogswell Happy Hips Chicken Breast Jerky contained trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States. [/box]

The press release goes on to say that only products labeled Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky under the Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality, and Vitakitty brands that are labeled with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date” are part of this recall.

Dogswell sells products manufactured in the US however some of their treats are manufactured in China. China has been a common theme in many pet food recalls.

It’s important to note that this company has chosen to report this as a “withdrawal” rather than a “recall”. Why is that important you ask? Watch our blog later this week for more information on the ways pet food companies believe saving face is more important than reporting facts to their consumers.

Orlando Pet Sitter Lists Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs and Cats

Summer is here and most likely you and your family are spending more and more time outside. Many of us spend time in the yard or out in parks. With Florida’s diverse plant and flowers it’s important to keep in mind what your dog or cat may be allergic to or could even be poisonous to your pet.

poisonous plants for petsLilies Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Sago Palm (pictured to the left)
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Azalea/Rhododendron
Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

Oleander
All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cyclamen
Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

For more information on poisonous plants to animals or for a complete list of poisonous plants please visit www.aspca.com

 

What Is It Like Pet Sitting in Orlando?

pet sitting in orlandoPet sitting is very common in big cities like New York, LA or Chicago and even Miami. But pet sitting in Orlando is not very well-known. Even today it is not uncommon for us to be approached by potential clients at pet events asking: “You will really come to our house to watch our pets?”.

The answer is always: Yes, we’d love to…

Maybe you, yourself didn’t know that pet sitting in Orlando was available to you. But every day professional pet sitters like us are out there, keeping an eye on your furry loved ones while you are away. Providing peace of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, pet sitting in Orlando has its challenges. In the summer we battle rain and thunderstorms every day.

In the winter, temperatures can reach the low 20s. Walking dogs in 20° weather when you’re used to 90° weather is a real wake-me-up in the morning.

In the spring we’re very busy as local families are visited by relatives from up north or head out on their own spring break vacations.

Dog Walk, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, Pet Sitting In Orlando

And in the fall, we have to batten down the hatches for hurricanes that seem to spring up on your busiest weekend.

But that’s not to say pet sitting in Orlando doesn’t have its rewards. In fact, pet sitting is it’s own reward.

Like, when you arrive in a downpour to a pair of wagging tails and big tongued smiles, happy to see you in your soggy galoshes – everything seem to dry up instantly .

Or when you’re sitting on the floor with a kitty with a full tummy, curled up in your lap purring – your shivering hands warm up and steady.

Finally, when that email or text arrives full of gratitude from an extremely happy pet owner, you smile and your heart fills with pride. Because you know that the peace of mind you’ve given that pet owner is invaluable.

That’s what it’s like pet sitting in Orlando.