Hiring Employees for Your Pet Business, Rescue, or Shelter
There’s no shortage of questions to ask when hiring an employee for a pet store or animal shelter. Staffers who fill these roles are responsible for the lives of the dogs and cats they care for.
Before you bring in a candidate for a face-to-face interview, do a complete investigation to ensure that their background is free of animal or human abuse. Once the check comes back clear, you can schedule an interview and begin asking questions like the following:
- Tell me about yourself (background, education, etc.).
- Why do you want to work here?
- What skills would you bring to this position and how do you want to make the shelter better?
General Animal Questions
- What is your favorite animal and why?
- What is your least favorite animal and why?
- Tell me about the animals you have owned. If you have a pet, can you tell me a story about them?
- Would you become so attached to a dog or cat in the store (or shelter) that you would find it difficult to give it a new home?
- Do loud work environments disrupt your ability to work efficiently?
- Are you easily distracted by animals?
- Do you understand that you may be bitten, scratched, or injured while working here? What precautions would you take not only to keep you safe, but the animals as well?
- If you were bitten or scratched, would that in any way impact how you felt about and cared for the animal?
- How knowledgeable are you about animals? Are you willing to learn about a wide range of breeds and species? Are you willing to share what you’ve learned with others, including adopters and your fellow employees?
- How do you feel about cleaning out cages? Are you diligent enough to always make sure that cage doors are fully shut so the animals can not get away and possibly be injured?
- What is your experience as far as bathing and grooming dogs and cats?
- Are you allergic to animal hair/dander? Other health concerns that we should know about?
Dealing with Sick/Injured Animals
- What signs do you look for to determine if an animal is sick or injured?
- Give an example of where you treated a sick or injured animal.
- What sorts of experience have you had in preparing foods, medicines, liquid formulas and supplements for sick or injured animals?
When hiring a shelter or pet store employee, look for those candidates who understand the unique needs of animals and are willing and able to help them find new, loving homes.
Pets are often left at home alone. This loneliness can cause you to worry about their safety while you’re away. Here are five ways that you can keep your pets safe when you’re not at home.
Install A Pet Smart Security System
A security system is an excellent way to keep your home and pets safe when you aren’t around. You can install security cameras in your home so that you can check up on your pets during the day. It will also provide a deterrent from someone breaking into your home. There are even pet doors that will remain closed until your pet is within range of the sensor. Some security sensors can alert your pet to leave your home if there is a problem, such as a fire. That way they will be able to escape unharmed.
Maintain A Comfortable Temperature
Having a programmable thermostat will allow you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature even when you’re gone. You don’t want your pets to become too cold or hot while they’re stuck inside. Maintaining the temperature in your home will allow them to stay comfortable all day long.
Have Sufficient Food And Water Available
Even if your pets are on a feeding schedule, you need to leave water out for them. You don’t want your pets to become dehydrated during the day. This dehydration can lead to health problems and other discomforts. You may even want to consider a timed feeding bowl if you have to work late. This way your pet won’t go hungry if you aren’t home on time.
Remove Unsafe Temptations
Pets can get into a lot of trouble while they’re left alone. The best way to ensure their safety is to remove items of temptation. Put away things that are unsafe for your pet. These attractions include foods that may make them sick or the trash can. For cats, make sure to use breakaway collars so that they don’t accidentally hang themselves.
Use Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for the whole family. Fire detectors don’t prevent fire; they prevent fire-related injuries. This prevention applies to your pets as well. Train your pets to leave your home if they hear the alarm going off. These alerts can save their lives in the event of an emergency.
Keeping your pets safe is a priority. There are lots of types of technology that can help. Use them to your advantage.
A healthy dog is a happy dog, and this means a happy owner. Besides a healthy diet, dog parks are popular way to keep your pet healthy by making them free to run and interact with other dogs. However, this option is not available everywhere, so what is a dog owner to do? Here are a few alternatives to choose from that ensure your dog is receiving the exercise it needs to stay happy and healthy.
Obviously walking is going to be one of the best forms of exercise, but for those who crave just a little more to challenge your energetic pooch, walking or hiking trails can make all the difference. Uneven or rocky terrain means that your dog is getting more of a variety of exercise with intermittent periods of strenuous work and rest. Getting this kind of exercise with all the different sights and smells your dog can encounter ensures that they get both physical and mental stimulation.
For an owner who would like to have a more interactive role in their dog’s play, building your obstacle course is a fun way to customize your dog’s exercise. No one knows your dog better than you, and a project such as this can be as simple or grand as you like. Create your own obstacles with what you can find or build or purchase one of many obstacle course kits.
Other ‘Park’ Options
A fenced-in backyard can be a great way to help a dog exert some energy with free play and roaming. However, for those with more restricted properties, a vacant basketball court or tennis court could do just fine, barring any posted restrictions of course. A neighborhood court versus one owned by a school may have more lenient regulations. It’s the perfect place to let your dog run free and throw a ball. For obedient dogs, parks that feature soccer fields also offer the space an exuberant dog craves.
A TetherTug is a device you can set up in your own backyard to provide hours of effortless fun for your energetic pup. Perfect for large or cramped yards, TetherTugs are strong, yet flexible, poles that spin on a secured base and encourage dogs of all sizes to run, jump, and do what they love best; play tug-of-war. Featuring a variety of toys to grab onto, they are built to withstand the constant force that even a large dog can produce.
So, no dog park? No problem! With these helpful hints, keeping your energetic pooch occupied and healthy is as easy as tossing a tennis ball, so let it fly!
Baby Safety With Dogs – Preparing Your Pet
Will your baby be safe with your dog? Bringing home a new baby can be a big adjustment for families — and their pets. Amid the chaos around your new arrival, the new sounds and unfamiliar experiences might be upsetting to your dog. This can be particularly challenging when trying to adjust to a newborn yourself, however, many resources exist that can help ease your dog into this new transition.
Before the Baby Arrives
When preparing for your new arrival, the ASPCA recommends teaching your dog the necessary skills to ensure safe interaction with a new baby. Additionally, you will need to guide your dog as they adjust to the new experiences that come along with a newborn. Resources such as group classes and at-home training classes will help guide you and your pet along the way.
Show Your Dog What to Expect
You will also need to familiarize your dog with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells they might be faced with when the baby comes home. Ask your friends with infants to stop by for a supervised visit. Likewise, pushing around a stroller in your home or cradling a doll in front of your dog will help get your dog used to these changes. You can also play a recording of a baby crying. Associating these new changes with positive rewards will significantly eliminate your dog’s anxiety. In the months prior to bringing home baby, you will want to implement any changes to your dog’s routine so they can have time to properly adjust. You may also want to consider addressing any concerns with your vet at this time. Spaying or neutering your pet may help eliminate unwanted behavior such as biting, to help keep baby safe.
Make it a goal for your dog to master basic obedience skills and commands before the baby is born or brought home. “Sit,” “stay,” and “off” are extremely useful commands for preventing your dog from jumping. Similarly, the Humane Society suggests teaching your pet to lay calmly on the floor next to you until invited on your lap. In doing so, your pet will get used to you cradling your baby.
Taking Precautions Once Your Baby Arrives
Plan a safe introduction for your baby and pet. Before you bring the baby home, give your dog your baby’s receiving blanket to investigate. Note that your dog might be anxious to greet you, which may add to the chaos. Simply have another person take the baby into a different room while you calmly greet your dog. It is also important to keep treats on hand.
Begin by situating your pet next to the baby, remembering to reward the appropriate behavior. This will help reinforce a positive associate with the baby. However, it’s crucial to understand that your dog should never be forced to get near the baby. Forced interactions can cause anxiety or injury. Remember, all interaction between your baby and dog must be supervised.
Further, keep your baby’s room off-limits from your dog by installing a sturdy baby-gate or barrier. Playpens are another way to separate your baby from your pet.
Preparing your dog for the arrival of your new baby will help ensure a smooth transition for your family. With proper training and supervision, your dog will be able to safely share space and feel positive about the changes coming to their life. Many resources are available for expectant mothers and families with pets. If you are adopting, be sure to ask if pet introductions can happen in conjunction with family introductions and visits. The key to a smooth transition is preparation and when you take time to ready yourself and your pet, the rest will be cake!
Bringing home a new pet is not so different than bringing home a baby. Of course, that also means you’re going to have the paranoia of a new parent as well. A new pet, just as a toddler, comes with the prime directive of going wherever they’re certain you don’t want them to be. Here are a few ideas to get you started as you pet-proof your home.
Keep Your Trash Can Covered
This may seem self-explanatory, but cannot be stressed enough. This is doubly so if you own a large dog. Leaving any trash can open, large or small, is an invitation to finding the contents strewn about your carpet after a long day’s work. Not only can this be frustrating for you, but your dog could also accidentally eat something that could make them very sick, so this is really important.
Hide All Electrical Wires
No matter what kind of pet you have, they will probably go through a phase of chewing on everything they can. Electrical wires are an ever-present danger to new pets, and the shock from chewing through one can be fatal. Be sure to make as many wires as you can inaccessible to your pet. You can also use deterrents, such as nasty tasting sprays to discourage chewing in general.
Keep Your Toilet Lid Down
To a thirsty dog or cat, your toilet is no different than a water bowl that refills itself. Of course, a toilet bowl is not the cleanest place drink. At the same time, the cleaning chemicals we put in a bowl will end up making your pet sick if they ingest it. Keep the lid down and your pet healthy.
Keep Valuables Out of Reach
Most pets don’t want to cause a mess or make you upset, but accidents happen. If you have something valuable or important, you need to keep it away from your dog. If it is on their level, it may just be a matter of time before it gets knocked over or chewed on. Consider moving valuables to a higher location or putting them in a room that your pet is not allowed in.
Update Your Security
If you have motion activated security devices, you are going to need to adjust this for your pet. Security systems often include pet-friendly sensors, meaning you won’t get an alert every time your pet moves. Your security system can also help you check up on your pet if you are away from home for a while. Home security is getting more affordable, so you don’t have to worry about this breaking the bank.
It may be hard to remember all the little things to keep your pet safe, but it is well worth the effort. Your pet is precious, and even if they don’t appreciate you “ruining” their fun, it will keep them safe and healthy.
Avoiding Household Hazards
Pets are curious creatures that can get into all kinds of mischief, including finding hidden dangers around the house. As a pet owner, it is essential to know what hazards may be lurking in your home. The following are the most common household items that could pose a threat to your furry or feathered friends.
Not all people food is right for your dog or cat to ingest. Obvious things like chicken bones that could shatter and choke a small animal should be disposed of properly, and alcoholic drinks should never be where a pet can drink them. Onions and onion powder, as well as yeast dough, salt, grapes, coffee beans, and coffee grounds, are also poisonous to pets. Yes, chocolate is bad for your dog; it’s not a myth. Make sure to be giving your pets only the best foods, formulated for their nutritional needs.
Never leave a lit candle unattended, especially when there are pets in the house. Cats can creep past almost anything, but an open flame can quickly catch their fur on fire. Consider a flameless candle instead. Take care of all electrical cords. Pets can chew through them which will expose wires that can cause fires or electrocute the animal.
Chemicals are used for a variety of purposes around the house, but they can be deadly to pets. Avoid fertilizer and plant food when there are animals in the house. Antifreeze with ethylene glycol is lethal, but it has a sweet taste that attracts cats and dogs. Even non-stick cookware and self-cleaning ovens give off fumes that can harm birds.
Medications should be kept out of reach from pets just like with children. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin are all deadly when ingested by pets. Even cold medicines and diet pills need to be locked away. Tubes containing creams and ointments can become a tempting item to chew open. Have a designated cupboard for all OTC and prescribed medication. Immediately pick up any that spill, and account for all that you did not take yourself.
Once you are aware of the items that are hazardous to pets, you will be able to go through your home and make sure these dangers are kept well out of reach from your fury and feathered friends. Also, you should have your regular veterinarian’s and an emergency veterinarian’s phone number on hand just in case an accident were to happen.
Shopping For A Home Security System With Your Pet In Mind.
For today’s homeowners, home security is a must. You want to be sure that your home is protected from intruders and that if someone does attempt to break in, you receive warning that there’s about to be a problem. As you install your security system, however, it’s not just the members of your family you should keep in mind. You also need to consider your pet.
You can get a better look at how your pet is doing during the day. Are you gone all day, leaving your pet at home alone? Do you have a pet sitter coming in to mind your pet while you’re on vacation? A home security system that includes interior cameras will allow you to monitor what’s going on with your pet when you aren’t there, which will make for better pet care.
Pets may control where you can install motion sensors. Typically, motion sensors react by causing an alarm when, for whatever reason, the pattern of the beam is disrupted. Some security systems can be configured to ignore pet movements, especially if you have a small pet. Others can directly be placed in a location where pets won’t be likely to trigger them, but intruders will.
Check Your Volume Settings
Do you have a home security system that goes off at a high volume? Make sure that it’s not at a volume that will be damaging to your pet’s sensitive ears. You should also pay attention to ongoing noises like regular beeps or a low buzz when the system is activated that can be irritating to pets.
Have a Response Plan That Includes Your Pets
Your home security plan should include how you’ll respond to a potential emergency–and it should take your pets into account. Even if you don’t have time to grab them on your way to a safe location, you need to consider things like soothing them after the system has gone off and preventing them from escaping if the security company needs to respond to an alarm.
Get Help Faster
Is your pet home alone when a pipe bursts or the house catches on fire? What if carbon monoxide levels are on the rise? Home security systems can get your pet help faster. An excellent home security system incorporates all of these elements so that in an emergency, you can get your pet out faster.
Home security is critical to any homeowner. As a pet owner, you want the best possible security system for your family and your pet: one that will keep everyone safe. By considering how your security system impacts your pet, you can make a better choice that will be more likely to help your pet, rather than irritating or frightening them.
Clean Your Home With Pet Safe Natural Cleaners
All pet owners should worry about the types of cleaning supplies that they use in their homes. The majority of home cleaning products available in grocery and hardware stores contain corrosive and toxic ingredients that can hurt both humans and pets alike. Which natural cleaning solutions are safest for use around pets? The following five alternatives work best.
Vinegar and Water
Vinegar has natural acidic and cleansing properties. It also has a fresh scent. Use equal parts vinegar and water to safely clean windows, countertops, tubs and showers, sinks and floors. To deodorize garbage bins or a pet waste boxes, soak a sponge with this solution, place it in the container and then remove it and rinse everything after an hour.
When you’re dealing with strong odors and stains, baking soda is a gentle cleaning option. Baking soda has mildly abrasive and odor-absorption properties. To create a bubbly liquid that deodorizes garbage disposals and clears drain pipe clogs and debris like soap scum and hair, pour equal parts baking soda and boiling vinegar down the drain, wait 15 minutes and then follow with hot water.
Many pet owners have to come up with creative ideas for dealing with the toughest odors and stains. Place a bag of zeolite stones made from volcanic ash around your home to trap odors. To remove most stains on scratch-resistant surfaces, including crayon and coffee stains, rub the spot with wet pumice powder.
A lot of pet owners also struggle to find a safe solution for removing adhesive from various surfaces. Coconut oil, beyond being delicious, removes many types of glues. Just apply the oil to the sticky surface and then wait a day. Depending on the adhesive, the stain will either dissolve enough that you can wipe it away or lose its stickiness enough that you can pop it off the surface. Now that’s pet safe and clean!
Certain Essential Oils
Some essential oils are perfect for adding to your cleaning regimen. Some of the oils can enhance the purifying power of the solutions you’re using, and they don’t contain any harmful chemicals. They also smell great, and you’re guaranteed to find a smell you like since there are so many options to choose from. To create a fragrant carpet powder or deodorizing sachet, for example, add a drop or two of a pet-safe essential oil to two cups of baking soda.
Please keep in mind that different pets don’t tolerate the same oils. Cinnamon and clove oils are usually safe to use around dogs but can be dangerous to cats. Always check with your veterinarian before using a particular oil and dilute the oil before cleaning.
With every one of these alternatives, it’s important to remember that you should still follow common sense cleaning practices. Powdery residues from baking soda and pumice, for example, can sometimes cause mild eye, respiratory and skin irritation. Thoroughly rinsing surfaces reduces the risk. Also, each of these natural products makes your home a much safer environment for everyone. Try one or more of them today.
P.S. – Does your pet have allergies? Keeping a clean environment will help!
For more allergy tips, check out our “Pet Allergies” blog article here: http://naturalpetfooddelivery.com/nsd/carolinas/pet-allergies-what-causes-pet-allergies-and-what-you-can-do-to-treat-them/
Whether your special companion has eight legs, four legs, or no legs at all, they all have individual requirements to meet their physical and emotional needs. Follow these simple steps to make the most comfortable environment for your pet:
Similar to humans, animals require light to maintain their circadian rhythm. If their circadian rhythm is not regulated, their quality of life will plummet drastically. Whether you are providing natural or artificial light, be sure they are getting the right amount of light to keep them regulated. For animals with more specific light requirements (such as cold-blooded animals), consider buying a light timer so they can receive the exact amount of light they need.
Dust, toxins, and allergens can impact our pets just as much, if not more, than us. Avoid damaging the air quality by maintaining a smoke-free environment with as little air debris particulates as possible. A simple way to keep your home air clean is implementing toxin-reducing decorative houseplants in your home, such as English ivy or peace lilies. Keep air from becoming stagnant by opening windows and maintaining efficient air circulation with fans.
Also, proper air conditioning maintenance will ensure the healthiest environment for you and your pet. Improve your air quality by regularly changing out your air conditioning filters, which will decrease dust and allergens in your home. If there seems to be a problem with the air flow, request help from a professional as soon as possible to ensure the highest quality air and temperature in your home.
Every living being has a temperature comfort range. While our furry friends typically share the same temperature needs as us, reptiles and amphibians require additional heat to ensure their body temperatures are regulated. Do your research to see what your pet’s comfort zone is, then make a plan to maintain a stable temperature for them.
Be mindful that animals are much more sensitive to sound than humans. Typically, a more quiet environment is preferable to them. That being said, you can implement noise in your home in a way that can make your pet feel more at ease. For animals that become stressed during uncontrollable noises (such as fireworks or thunderstorms), covering the noises with more soothing sounds such as classical music or television can reduce their stress levels. Pay attention to what sounds comfort or discomfort your pet to ensure the most comfortable environment for them.
Because pets cannot communicate with us verbally, it can sometimes be difficult to understand their wants and needs. Having an understanding of the physical requirements of your pet in things like air, lighting, temperature, and sound will alleviate a great deal of stress for them. Along the way, you may discover that your pet’s personal preferences or sensitivities to some of these areas, which can help you individualize the plan for your home to their needs. Through research, personal observations, and plenty of TLC, you can create your pet’s dream environment in no time.
Make sure to keep your pet’s food in a temperature-controlled environment, when possible, to protect vital nutrients that can be damaged with exposure to heat or cold. Nature’s Select pet foods, for example, should be kept between 64-75 degrees fahrenheit, to protect the viability of the probiotic bacteria added to the food to give your pet optimal digestive health.
What would happen if we treated ourselves the way we treated our pets?
This line of questioning can create a LARGE spectrum of answers and opinions.
On one end, we have pet parents who feed their pets homemade food, organic, natural, or other high-end foods, while the person still eats processed, unhealthy foods. That pet parent will spend fortunes on veterinary care and check-ups for the fur-baby, foregoing an annual check up for themselves. These pet parents love without hesitation and give more than they can, in many ways.
At the other end of the spectrum, some pet owners chain their pets outside, in the rain, cold, and heat. Sometimes they remember to feed their dog. Sometimes they remember to give him fresh water. Sometimes they don’t.
Throughout history and still today, there have been those who regard animals as sub-creatures and those that elevate them, even to the point of worship, as did the Egyptians.
One of my favorite quotes is from Mathatma Ghandi, who said, ‘The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
The Bible says in Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”
Buddhist will be familiar with this verse from Dhammapada 129, “All living things fear being beaten with clubs. All living things fear being put to death. Putting oneself in the place of the other, Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.”
One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, an advocate for equality and change, said, ““I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”
Our wold-views, moral beliefs, and religious beliefs shape how we view others and ourselves.
Where do you fall on the spectrum? I recommend taking Lincoln’s advice – taking a holistic approach to animal care and yourself.
Make sure you are caring for your animals as you care for yourself. Ask yourself these questions.
Do you care for your pets more than you care for yourself?
Do you care for them less than you care for yourself?
How do your worldviews shape how you care for your animals?
If you cared for yourself as you care for your animals, would you be healthier? Happier?
Would you be miserable? Would you fall somewhere in-between?
Analyzing yourself, your personal relationships, your world view, can help you treat yourself better, or treat your pets better.