Sunday, September 1, 2013

Making Adjustments

Pet sitting is often about making adjustments. We try to keep the pets as close to the same schedule as they are used to, but it's often not possible to be there at the exact time they are used to having dinner or their special treat. In the end, that's OK since their routine has already changed. The owners are gone so of course things aren't the same. After a visit or two, they get used to the fact that when this other person (the pet sitter) comes in, they will be on a slightly different schedule.

Eating patterns often change as well. I've had more than one pet stop eating for a day or two after their owner left. It's usually nothing to worry about. They will soon get used to the new routine and will give in to their hunger and start eating again.

Sometimes you have to employ little tricks as well. I am currently pet sitting regular clients Gracie, a Beagle, and her sister Emma, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Gracie has recently been put on a special diet of prescription kidney dry and canned food. They both get their dry food mixed with a bit of water and a bit of regular canned food. Gracie then gets a couple spoons of her prescription canned food mixed in and both bowls are warmed for a bit in the microwave.

Now usually, this works out fine for them, but during this set of visits, Gracie has decided she doesn't really want to eat all her food. So, I had to come up with a trick or two. It has ended up with me going ahead and putting her food in the bowl with water and letting it soak so it will be soft for my next visit. Then, I mix that softened up food with the canned food, mushing it all together. Seems to work pretty well. During one visit though, Gracie decided this still wasn't quite right, so I grated some carrot into the bowl and mixed it in. (Both dogs get a treat of a carrot at each visit, so I just put a bit of the one I will give her later into the food.) Yep, so far that's worked.

All animals can be a bit finicky, and they will react to changes in their daily routine. As a pet sitter, it's my job to work within that change, keeping them as close as I can to the usual. Of course, nothing can beat the day their owners walk back in that door, making their world right again.

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