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Share with your Pet Care Professionals

Mar 14, 2008
I read an article recently about a family whose dog escaped from a Dog Day Care Facility. The family was a new customer to this Day Care and when they returned to pick up their dogno dog. The article didn't share if the dog was later found, but what it did share was that after the escape, the owners told the day care the dog was a fence climber.

I used to own a boarding kennel and dog training facility. Over the Christmas holiday one year, a new family brought me their two Cocker Spaniels to board for two weeks. The wife dropped the dogs off and instructed me to clean the dog's ears daily. Knowing that not all dogs enjoy an ear cleaning and since I was not familiar with my new guests, I questioned her how well the dogs would accept the cleaning. She assured me they would be fine. On the first attempt to clean the ears I received the worst bite of my professional career. I thought the dog crushed my finger - had it not been so painful, it was almost comical. One of those moments where the dog had my hand locked between his jaws and I had to use the other hand to pry open his mouth! He made a very strong point that he didn't want to have his ears cleaned.

Two weeks later, the husband came to pick up the dogs. As soon as he came in the door, I told him what happened and that the dogs never got their ears cleaned. His reply"I'm so sorry you got hurt, they bite us too when we clean their ears!"

The point to sharing these stories is to encourage you share information about your pet's behavior and personality with pet care providers. If the Day Care had known the dog was a escape artist, they could have taken precautions to make sure he did not escape. If I had known the cockers would bite with ear cleanings, I could have taken precautions and kept their ears in better health and my hand in better health. I could share a million more stories like these - my only guess as to why they happen so often is that sometimes pet owners might be a little ashamed of their pet's behaviors. My advice to you is to forget about the embarrassment and share with your pet care professionals what they need to know to help keep your pet safe.

Sadly, there are some pet care providers that just don't care enough. I cringe when I think about the outcome of reckless pet professional behavior. I cannot tell you exactly how to avoid reckless pet care businesses, but I can give you some suggestions.

1. The pet business should be clean. I firmly believe that if a pet business owner doesn't care enough about the cleanliness of the facility, what else don't they care about? The pet business does not have to be 'state of the art' in design - but it does need to be clean.

2. Meet the staff. Not just the person at the desk - try to meet, look in the eye, and talk with as many of the employees as you can. That's a little difficult - especially from the business owners perspective - but those are the folks that will be caring for your baby, try your best.

3. Get references - and call those references. There is nothing better to calm the nerves of a nervous pet owner than to talk with other pet owners who have experienced the care provided by this pet business.

4. Depending on your state - some pet care businesses are guided by local Animal Control licensing. If that is the case in your state, call the licensing agency and ask about any reports of abuse or misconduct with this business. At the very least, check with the BBB.
About the Author
To learn more pet care tips and advice on selecting a healthy pet food and treats for your dog or cat, visit www.TruthAboutPetFood.com. Make sure to register for the free Truth About Pet Food newsletter! pets, pet food, dog, dog food, cat, cat food
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