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Professional Pet Sitter
by Terri Randall
Creature Comforts Pet Care

Hello, My name is Terri Randall and I own and operate Creature Comforts Pet Care in Sheridan, Wyoming. Not sure if you are familiar with what a Professional Pet Sitter does exactly, so let me tell you about a typical day for me, although none of my days are generally typical. Each is unique and sometimes challenging.

First a bit of background. Having worked in a vet clinic, and volunteering at our local shelter as well as raising and loving a myriad of pets, from horses to snakes over the years, I knew when I started my own business, it would have to be animal related. The pet care industry was perfect for me. I am certified in animal first-aid, know what to do in an emergency situation,am proficient at giving injections to my diabetic clients as well as being accredited through our national organizations, NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters) and PSI (Pet Sitters International). I work hand-in-hand with many of our local vets. There are many animals that do not do well in a boarding situation or have special needs, that's where I come in. I make customized visits to my clients homes to care for their pets while they are away. Some are on meds, diabetic, geriatric, or just healthy babies! My pet clients run the gammut from large animals, including horses & llamas, to parrots, reptiles, pocket pets and of course, cats & dogs.

My typical day, when busy, starts at 5:30 am, when I get ready to do my morning rounds. If I have a number of client stops in the morning, those needing meds are first in my rotation followed by the indoor dogs who need to get out, and so on. My first stop is usually at 6:00 am.

The other day it was 20 below zero here, but that didn't matter! I had pets depending on me to let them out, feed them and give them some TLC. One of my morning stops that day was a mini-doxie named Ranger. I opened the door and tried to convince Ranger that yes, he did in fact need to go out to relieve himself. The looks I got from that boy were priceless! A foot of snow, 20 below, and a mini-doxie do not go together well! After a bit of complaining, we worked it out to a happy conclusion which did include a treat as a bribe! The postal service motto; neither, rain, nor sleet nor dark of night shall deter this servant from his appointed rounds ( or however it goes) applies equally to the dedicated pet sitter!

I spend 45 minutes at each of my client stops. I feed, water, clean up after, administer meds if needed, walk, brush and just plain love the pets in my charge. I am always careful to note any changes in eating patterns, bowel or urination habits etc. If something does not seem right with the pet, I contact their vet. I always get a signed Veterinary release from every client authorizing me to take their pets to the vet should the need arise. Happily, that doesn't occur often, but when it does, I'm prepared. I do morning, midday and evening visits and am sometimes called upon to do overnight service with special needs pets etc. I spend the night at my clients homes caring for their pets. There are many days when I do not get home from my last evening visit until 10 pm. or later. During holidays and very busy times I sometimes do 20 visits and more a day!

Needless to say, my meals are eaten on the fly during these times. My business is 7 days a week 365 days a year. I do have a helper that I can call upon to help with high volume times and on the rare occasions that I'm ill or need a day off. I also have emergency back-up in case anything should happen to me. No pet under my care would be left unattended.

Although the hours and days are long, I could not imagine doing anything else. This is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. The pets I care for are a joy for the most part and give back so much in return for the care I give them. My clients trust and depend on me and their pets are my babies!

I am a Professional Pet Sitter and very proud to be one. I can't imagine doing anything else.
Sincerely, Terri Randall

Many thanks to Terri for taking the time to share what a day as a professional pet sitter is like.

If you are a veterinarian, veterinary technician, student, or other pet-related career professional, please submit your story and share what YOUR day is like -- it not only helps those aspiring to be in a veterinary career, it serves to enlighten pet owners just what goes on behind-the-scenes at a typical (or not-so-typical?) vet clinic.

Additional Reading:

Pre-Vet and Career Forum
Stop by for advice, support, or to just vent your school frustrations!

Long Distance Learning
Earn your Veterinary Technology degree on campus or via the web. An interview with Guy Hancock, DVM, MEd. the Program Director for the Veterinary Technology Distance Education Program at St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veterinary Technician Links
For more information about a career in Veterinary Technology.

Veterinary Career Links
For information on becoming a veterinarian and veterinary careers in general.

Dog Diseases and Conditions - Health library A to Z

Cat Diseases and Conditions - Health library A to Z

 

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