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Insight on Caring for Senior Dogs

Posted November 27th, 2013 by admin

Last month, we met Jessica Perry, a friend of Sleep Eas-zz and a dedicated pet sitter. Jessica has been continuing her pursuit of knowledge regarding pet sitting and pet care and has finished another course through NAPPS. This month, Jessica shares with us some insight regarding her most recent course on Caring for Senior Dogs. We are sure you will her comments as interesting as we did, so let’s get started!

1. Why did you choose to begin training through the NAPPS program?

Mardella told me about the NAPPS online courses. She suggested that I get as educated as possible, because I enjoy pet sitting so much. I would like for pet sitting to be my long-term career.

2. Is there anything pet owners can do, to make daily life/routines easier for their senior dogs?

The book really stressed keeping a dog at a healthy weight. An overweight dog will much more likely have joint and ligament problems, which makes arthritis and pain much worse.  Use runners or non-slip rugs on hard floor to keep dogs from slipping and falling, and help older dogs get up a little easier.Have soft beds with lots of cushion. Don’t let an older dog in the heat or the cold for too long, because “his body is not going to be as tolerant of weather extremes as when he was young.”
Make sure that older dogs still get lots of exercise, even if it is low-key exercise.

3. What elements of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Caring for Senior Dogs course were the most interesting to you?

Learning about heart failure was interesting, because it sounds so fatal and final. However, the book said “heart failure means fluid in the lungs because of a heart pumping problem, and that there are medications to get their pet through the crisis and also extend life and even quality of life. We can’t tell you up front whether it’s going to be three months or three years, but with good care and dedicated monitoring, a dog can go on for a long time.”

4. How do you think taking this course will help you to become better as a pet sitter?

The textbook discussed how to know when a dog can wait to go to the vet and when a dog needs to go to the emergency vet. For instance, a dog that vomits once or twice can be monitored and taken to his or her regular vet later. A dog that vomits 3 or 4 times in a short period would need to go the emergency vet immediately. An older dog that is struggling to breath should also go to the emergency vet immediately. If a medical emergency were to occur, I would know what signs to look for and what to do.

5. What tips can you pass on for dog owners that make it easier to understand their pet?

The textbook just focused on an older dog’s physical needs, but I think that a little TLC goes a long way. Dogs need a lot of love, attention, care, compassion, patience and exercise. Exercise is extremely important, because a dog that does not get enough of it will often use that excess energy with “bad” behavior.

6. What can pet owners do to make it easier for dogs to acclimate to having a sitter versus being with their owners?

A pet sitter should spend quite a bit of time with a dog during the first time when he or she visits a home. I would recommend that the pet owner have treats available for the pet sitter to give to the dog. The pet owner can also have the pet sitter take the dog on a walk for a few minutes. The more comfortable the dog is with the pet sitter, the better. Pet owners should also have plenty of contact information available, in case there is a medical emergency while they are gone.

7. Are there any other courses you will be taking through NAPPS? What degree, if any, will you earn?

Yes! I plan on taking the NAPPS Certification Course for Member Employee at the beginning of the year.

8. What are you planning on doing, once you have earned this degree/certification?

I plan on taking more courses because NAPPS has quite a few online courses that I feel would beneficial to take.
Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time to share this information about caring for senior dogs.

We wish you the best in all your studies and look forward to hearing more about how your studies can help you be an even better pet sitter! Readers, should you have any questions regarding senior dog care, cat sitting or other pet related questions, or perhaps have a topic you would like to see discussed on our blog we (Sleep EasZz Pet Sitting) would love to hear from you.

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