Wednesday 28 October 2009

Caring for your pets, your home, and the planet...

I have very high standards in all that I do. Sometimes it drives me mad, but that's the way I am. It means a lot to me to know that I've given the best I possibly can to all the animals I care for.

I like to take time to ensure they're settled and happy when I first arrive, and when I leave. When it's time to feed, I'll always clean food bowls, even if they're eating dry food, before replenishing, and do the same for water bowls. I ensure that the litter area is clean and tidy too. I realise that they probably won't notice, but I do!!

I talk to them, tell them what's happening, and perhaps let them know when their families are due to be back. I'll tell them stories of all the other animals I've been looking after - and they always listen. I look out for signs of anything that's not right with them, both physically and emotionally. And of course, I bring love and healing.

But my care extends to further than the animals I'm looking after. I always ensure that litter is disposed of properly, according to instructions - some of my customers keep the litter tray in the bathroom or cloakroom, and ask me to flush the solids down the toilet. Otherwise, it's all bagged up and put in your outside bin. Sadly, not all pet sitters take this much care. I've been contacted by people looking for a new pet sitter, when their previous one has left the bags containing solids in the house. It might be an oversight, but more care should be taken - the results can be disastrous and very unpleasant when the family returns home.

I always keep a clean and tidy sink area, and sometimes I even do the washing up if it's been left!! I bring my own gloves, feeding spoons and tea towels, so that I don't use any I find in the kitchen - unless they've been specifically left out for pet use. And I always bring my own rubbish bags and cleaning materials. Accidents happen - like the other the other day where I was emptying solids from the litter tray, and while the lid was off the cat decided to step in for a pee, and sprayed all over the wall! It doesn't bother me in the slightest and I always ensure the area is properly cleaned and disinfected, and cleaning materials disposed of in the outside bin.

I'm happy to feed and water plants - if you ask me - and will also see to any outside or greenhouse watering as long as time allows.

Finally, I'm doing what I can to help the planet, although I know I could do a little more...... Tins and foil trays are always washed and recycled, and of course litter solids can be flushed down the toilet (check the type of litter though, they can't all be flushed). The only problem is that I drive to all my customers, which isn't so good for the planet. I've decided to experiment with cycling to visits next Spring when the weather gets better and there's more light again. The traffic in Manchester is so bad sometimes that I'm sure I'd be quicker on 2 wheels!!

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