Experienced DBS checked petsitterID: 17g
Is / are:
|36 to 45|
|Education Manager, Pet Sitter|
|East Midlands East of England London North East England North West England South East England South West England West Midlands Yorkshire and the Humber Scotland Wales All Others (full regions list)|
More Information*Full and clear enhanced DBS *
Pet first aid qualified
Driver's license provided as ID with full name
Cat references (further references available)
'If you want someone who understand cats and treats your pets as they would their own, Jeanine is the sitter for you. I have two confident cats and two timid cats and she understood their needs immediately so that they were put at ease from day one. Jeanine gave me daily updates, photos and videos and put the needs of my cats first every day. She is organised, detailed and conscientious but for me, the most important thing is that she really treated my cats well so I can happily recommend her' Elizabeth, Redhill, June 19
'Jeanine is a wonderful, thorough and thoughtful sitter. She is super-organised and efficient but above all obviously loves animals. My two cats took to her immediately and it sounds like they didn't leave her side until she left! I received lots of pictures and messages and I felt 100% happy that all was well at home. I was impressed with Jeanine and would be delighted to invite her back again.'
Mel, Clapham, June 19
'Jeanine was the "Mary Poppins" for our cat, beyond expectations, she was amazing. We were very worried about leaving our house and cat with someone unknown, we could not have asked for more from Jeanine. She came and met us before the sit to run through everything, kept us up to date every day with pictures and great communications, and left the house immaculate and one very happy cat. Jeanine, from all of us, including Hobbes, thank you.'
Chris and Naz, Barnes, June 19
We had the pleasure of meeting Jeanine prior to the house-sit and her experience and love of pets was clear. We received updates and photos on a daily basis, as well as links to songs she played on the piano to relax our cat, Bella! Bella was very happy and pampered, we wondered whether she missed us at all.. Jeanine provided thorough handover notes and left the home clean and tidy. We would highly recommend Jeanine!
Thank you Jeanine for the time and care you took of Bella
Sophie, Wimbledon, May 19
'Jeanine was great keeping Ash. She went well beyond the call of duty in caring for my dog and was overly conscientious about her needs were. Ash was very happy when I came back so I know she was well looked after. The house was very tidy too. I would recommend' John, Putney, Nov 18
*Please provide your postcode and preferred handover arrangments in first contact - I will frequently be coming from another petsit so it may not always be possible to do handovers in person on the day
*Please ensure the dates listed are your departure and arrival dates back. For handovers to friends in your absense,:
-please firstly let me know that this is happening and provide their contact details so that this can be arranged. As I am responsible for your pet in your absense, I will need to ensure they are handed over safely and that your friends arrive (particularly if your pet does not have an auto feeder).
- please ensure your friends and anyone they might bring into your property are pet-friendly, fully briefed and are aware of pet toxicities (eg lilies to cats, Zoflora floor cleaner's toxicitity to cats, chocolate and grapes to dogs), as well as safety aware (eg not leaving windows open for indoor cats) so that no harm comes to your pets whilst you are away.
-please ensure that handovers to friends are coordinated so that your pet is not left overnight (ie that the date they arrive is the same date I leave - please note as a petsitter I cannot leave pets overnight)
*I can only accept 'sole access' petsits, ie with no third parties in the house, or entering the property during the sit dates - this is both for my personal safety, and for insurance reasons and includes cleaners, gardeners and agents. Cleaners and gardeners is for insurance reasons, as if anything happened to your pet (eg something was ingested or your pet was let out by the cleaner), or your cat was harmed whilst hedges were being strimmed, there would be no way to prove this was not a petsitter's responsibility - I have also had several instances of negligence by cleaners where the pets came to harm
*Please ensure you have informed your vet you have a petsitter, my full name, and have an account set up - under the site code of conduct I always need to seek veterinary support for your pet straight away
*If you know your cat only allows you to apply topical flea treatment, please leave flea prevention tablets for a petsitter's use in case your cat has fleas and you are away for more than a few days. This is for your cat's comfort, and prevents a flea infestation in your house.
*Please secure your vehicle if leaving this outside your property, I cannot be responsible for any vehicles which are stolen during the sit dates
*Although I can drive, I do not have a car so would need to take your pet(s) to the vet by taxi. As requested below, please leave emergency taxi fare and any pet carriers accessible
*Please supply a proper bed with bedding - floor futons and bedsettees which are not comfortable are not practical for a petsitter, as a good night's sleep is needed (spiders can also easily climb onto floor beds) - please also ensure the allocated room has some form of covering on the window - on two occasions I have had a window with neither a curtain nor a blind, which meant a poor night's sleep
*Please provide a clean environment (eg loos clean, bins including food waste emptied, reasonably clean fridge etc
*I will always bring parcels in that have been left outside your home, however I have a 'no signature, no responsibility 'disclaimer for any parcels or packages, due to the large number of parcels going missing in London, including in one case the courier signing for a parcel himself and keeping it (it was tracked by the company). This does not apply to any pet supplies which are needed for the petsit, which also tend not to go missing
*Please be responsive to messages whilst you are away- if you do not wish to be contacted, please provide a reliable and available emergency contact in your country who is happy to be contacted with any queries or emergencies
*Please leave float money for emergency taxi fare, household items and emergency supplies as mentioned below - receipts are kept and change returned
Petcare Skills profile:
Types of cat cared for: Indoor and outdoor cats, cats who need to be let in and out, lap cats and non lap cats
Cat breeds cared for : Persian cats, Russian Blues, Bengal cats, British shorthairs, Siamese cats, Maine Coons, Burmese cats, Ragdolls, Savannah cats, Norweigan Forest cats, Bombay cats, Ocicats
Ages and needs of cats looked after: Looking after cats of all ages, from kittens to geriatric cats
Areas of cat knowledge, experience and expertise:
Food, water and bowl hygiene
Litter box care and replenishment
Looking after cats of all ages, from kittens to geriatric cats
Cat body language and communication (winking, slow blinking, turning their back)
Bonding with nervous and shy cats, and rescue cats
Walking a cat on a harness and lead
Cat rescue - responding to owner's advert, suggesting rescue centre then co-ordinating and picking up cats from previous owner and accompanying to rescue centre, and completing documents
Cat health and safety
Taking cats to the vets
Looking after cats with urinary and gastro issues, including litter box monitoring and the safe treatment of diarrhoea
Round-the-clock care for cats with injuries who need to be crated
Safe tick removal
Recognising signs of stress in cats
Wound and eye cleaning
Food and water hygiene
Cat cooling methods in the summer
Which foods and plants are toxic to cats
Safeguarding indoor cats
Applying suntan lotion to cats
The swaddling method
Dog Breeds Cared For have included: Labrador retrievers (x4 separately) , Whippet, Pugs, Parson Terrier, Bison Frise, Maltese Cross, Labradoodle, Border Collie , Springer Spaniel, Cyprus Poodles, Yorkshire Terrier, Goldendoodle, Dachsund, Cavachon, Pomeranian, Akita, Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, lurcher, Shih Tzu
Ages and needs of dogs looked after: Puppies, teens, elderly dogs, blind and partially deaf dogs
Dog Knowledge and Experience: Which foods are toxic to dogs, Awareness of not overfeeding/ overtreating dogs for weight gain, dog tail positions, walking safely on a lead including pavement awareness, lead training if pulling on a lead, when to walk a dog in the summer months including shade and hydration, how to pick up a dog, looking after puppies including keeping chewable items out of reach, how to calm anxious dogs (including thunder vests), how to reassure noise sensitive dogs within the home, food, water and bowl(s) hygiene, collar safety, summer dog care including cooling techniques, how to bath a dog, general and medical eye cleaning, cleaning pugs' creases, doggy massage, administering tablets (crushed and uncrushed), how to clean interdigital cysts, how to prepare a bland diet for diarrhoea, taking a dog to the vets, taking dogs on public transport, using classical music to soothe anxious dogs, having a dog or dogs sleep on the bed
MY TOP TEN PRIORITY REQUESTS:
1) SOLE ACCESS AND SOLE CHARGE:
Please confirm it is a sole access housesit (ie no third parties present) in your first contact - including anyone with keys or dropping in (eg estate agents). Please reschedule cleaners, gardeners and window cleaners for the end of the petsit, so that the sitter does not have to go out for the duration of their visit. This is also for insurance reasons, as if anything happened to either your home or your pet during the cleaner’s visit, there would be no way for the sitter to prove this was not their fault
I am a sole charge petsitter, meaning that I request that any dog walkers are cancelled – this covers me against any accident or injury that may occur in the dog walkers’ care, including during the summer if your dog is wrongfully walked during the hottest parts of the day
2) Internal CCTV/ GDPR - as an experienced petsitter, someone with a clear DBS and with numerous references, I will do everything in my power to keep your pets safe. Please advise up front if there is internal CCTV in your home, as due to GDPR and privacy, petsitters are entitled to say if they would like this switched off whilst they are in the property. In cases where there are cameras, I usually switch these on when going out for the security of the property
3)COMMUNICATION AND CONTACTS – Please advise of the following:
- One or several UK based emergency contacts, including their phone number, in your welcome guide. If you have a landline phone, please leave this accessible for emergencies, eg if I need to contact the vet (the phone is sometimes locked in the office space). Please advise of the arrangements if your flight is delayed coming back
- The time you will be leaving and coming back, please ensure the dates are correct on your listing. I petsit on the day that owners go away, versus the night before which is standard for petsitter.
- Your destination (for the time difference and messaging)
- How often you would like updates – I usually send photo updates daily unless otherwise requested. Please be responsive to messages, and polite communication is requested. I will respond to messages within 24 hours during the petsit, and within 48 hours prior to the petsit. Please note I do not always have my phone with me whilst out and about in London due to theft.
- All duties/ responsibilities up front so that these can be agreed to – this includes number of pets (one lady wanted to add a neighbour’s pet to the assignment at the last minute, there were already four pets to look after).
With the amount of deliveries going missing, companies saying they have left them, and that someone has signed for them (when they have not), I cannot sign for any deliveries to your property. I am happy for these to be signed for by a neighbour, however please reschedule any deliveries for before and after your sit dates. This excludes any emergency pet care items such as food or litter
4) FLOAT MONIES
Please leave the following at the beginning of the petsit:
Supplies, float and monies:
a) Emergency taxi money to and from the vets (please note that your out of hours vet may be in a different location to your usual vet)
b) Float money for pet food and pet care items- Please ensure enough food is left for your pet(s) for the duration of the sit, or leave float money to cover this. Float money is typically used for food replenishment, chicken/fish and rice in case of diarrhoea (often from separation anxiety), or small petcare items such as poo bags, litter scoops, tick twisters, pet toys or pet brushes if these are needed. Receipts will be kept and change returned.
c) Float money for houseshold supplies- I have not been at one housesit where there have not been items to replenish - please leave float money for these. These items have included bin liners, dishwasher tablets, antibacterial soap, cleaning supplies such as spray cleaners, sponges and rubber gloves, and I have also had to buy a dustpan and brush, broom and on more than one occasion a mop and bucket. Please note that sitters are required to leave your home clean, and if you have a visiting cleaner, you may not have the supplies needed in the cupboard. Receipts will be kept and change returned.
c)No vet bills, utility bills or cleaning bills to be paid by the sitter
Please be up-to-date with any vet visits needed for boosters, and with all treatments needed (eg flea, tick and worming) , to minimise stress to your pet if a new person (ie a sitter) needs to either take them for a routine appointment, or apply a treatment. Please check your pet for ticks and remove them safely (with a tick twister so that the head is not left in, and without drowning the tick) prior to your departure, particularly under dog collars. This is more relevant for petsits in rural areas. Please provide flea tablets for petsitters’ use in case your cat has fleas whilst you are away.Please ensure your dog’s nails have been trimmed for its own comfort
Please be FULLY prepared for an emergency with the following:
- please let the vets know the name of who is looking after your pet, as for data protection reasons they would not otherwise be able to discuss anything in the event of an emergency, and this could delay emergency treatment.
- the address of both the in-hours and emergency out of hours vets in your welcome guide (often different to the usual address for your vets). Please advise if you would be happy for your pet to be taken to the nearest vets in an emergency - eg if the out of hours vets is over 5-10 minutes away by car
- a payment arrangement set up with the vet
- insurance for any emergency treatment needed -this is what the vet will ask upon arrival in an emergency
- emergency taxi money and the number of a pet friendly taxi (I never rely upon neighbours)
- cat carrier(s) accessible and in good working order
All of the above can mean the difference between life and death for your pet.
- For long haired cats prone to matting, please remove any mats in advance of the petsit - cats are much more likely to allow their owners to remove them, and mats are both uncomfortable and painful for your cat, also causing skin irritation and infection
6) PET SUPPLIES: please provide the following:
All pet food, treats (within date and pet appropriate- eg please check ingredients for pre-packed chicken or turkey which frequently contains mushrooms) and if relevant, litter – as well as a litter scoop and poo bags. I do not flush cat litter down the toilet as this goes into the water system. Please supply a litter box or tray this time of year due to fireworks, in which case your cat will be kept in for their safety
Pet first aid supplies, including a tick twister if your tick is prone.
A proper grooming brush for long haired dogs and cats, to help prevent painful matting, and for hairball prevention. Please ensure that any catnip is in date also.
Please organise food and any litter deliveries for before the sit dates, so that these are already available.
7) PET INFORMATION
- Please ensure your welcome guide has been updated and is one comprehensive document (please merge the documents if you have several with conflicting information)
-Please provide the locations of all items needed – pet food, treats, brushes, toys etc, particularly if no pre-visit to the property has been possible
Please supply a full history, and advise of the following:
- Whether your pet is microchipped, and has been spayed or neutered. Please note I cannot allow kittens or cats outside who have not been spayed or neutered. It is now a legal requirement to microchip your dog.
-Whether your pet has any medical conditions or allergies, has had a recent operation or has had any recent health conditions (eg diarrhoea, vomiting)
-If your pet has recently had or is prone to fleas, please ensure you have treated your home to remove them so that they do not bite the sitter
-All behaviours (eg scratching, biting, interaction with other pets in the house, aggression or rescource guarding ) and your pet’s usual routine. Please also advise of any commands they know and any training underway
- Whether your pet is a rescue animal with any relevant history
For cats, please include the following:
- your cat’s weight as this is what the vet will ask for if your cat ingests anything
- whether they are prone to urinary issues when you go away, or in general, or if they have gastro sensitivity including being prone to diarrhoea. Please advise what you usually do in these instances, and whether chicken or rice or white fish and rice would be preferable for diarrhoea (eg if your cat is allergic to chicken)
- - If your cat becomes overly stressed and is prone to resulting medical issues when you go on holiday, please plug in Feliway prior to your departure, or supply this for them to help calm them
- If your cat becomes overly stressed (to the point of deficating or urinating) going to the vets, please leave their carrier out to get them used to it, and provide Feliway spray which helps relax them to and from the vets. This can also be bought with float money if needed. Home visits can be arranged by most vets if your cat gets extremely stressed in its carrier
- Whether your cat is a hunter – eg birds/ mice/ etc
- Whether your cat has had sitters before. Please consider keeping them in for a few days if not, as in one case a cat tried to go after its owners and was hit by a car
For dogs please including the following:
- Your dog’s weight
- Whether your dog has separation anxiety - please consider letting your dog sleep near the sitter if so, for their comfort (if they do not already sleep near you)
- Please include if your dog has arthritis as this affects how far they can be walked
8) SAFEGUARDING YOUR PET
-Please remove any hazards to your pet (eg flowers that are toxic to cats, such as chrysanthemums, lilies and dragon tree plants). I recently arrived at a petsit to find one large kitchen knife on the floor, and another small sharp knife on a low surface a cat could reach
-Please ensure all pet food, treats and supplies (eg catnip) are in date for the safety of your pet
-Please ensure your cat’s collar is a breakway collar which are safe
-Please provide a lead and harness for ragdoll or birman cats who are allowed in the garden. Please note these breeds are not streetwise and could easily come to harm. I can recommend a cat harness and lead if needed, which I have previously used I will not otherwise be able to let either a birman or a ragdoll in the garden during the petsit
- I cannot be held responsible for any harm which should come to outdoor cats, eg getting hit by cars, eating toxic substances in neighbouring gardens, theft or the unlikely event of a maiming or brutality, particularly in inner city areas where these things have sadly been happening
-I cannot be responsible for any damage to your cat from wearing a collar. Cats have been known to get their collars caught on tree branches and in the worse case scenario, lose their lives. It is much safer not to put a collar on your cat but to have their microchip as their i.d
-Please confirm whether your dog is able to escape from your garden
-I cannot walk dogs off-lead as a petsitter, due to the fact I would not be able to recall them. All dog walks are on-lead only, using the lead you provided - please ensure it is secure and has a trigger clip for safety. Please also ensure a long enough lead is provided if you would like to your dog to be able to run whilst on the lead
-I cannot leave dogs in the garden for any length of time as a petsitter, due to the increase in dog thefts in the UK - nor can I leave dogs tied up outside shops.
-I am required to remove dog collars inside the home as a petsitter, due to the known cases where these have become tangled and have led to both injuries and fatalities
-I will not and cannot agree to use any aversive tools on dogs: prong collars, choke chains, shock/noise/spray collars, or anything that uses the addition of something unpleasant/painful/uncomfortable/scary to reduce behaviour
- I would never give a dog either rawhide or bones for health and safety reasons, and due to choking hazards
I cannot feed a reptile live animals, as this is against my beliefs as a humane pet carer – if your reptile is able to have an alternative diet during your holiday, I will be able to petsit for you
Winter and summer care
Please supply a coat for your dog if they have hair versus fur, as well as keeping your heating on for the health and safety of the sitter and your pet. Please supply emergency details if this were to break down
Please do not overly trim your dog’s fur in cold weather, if your dog feels the cold – particularly if your dog does not have a coat
Please ensure your pet’s fur has been trimmed if needed for the summer – dogs can’t sweat so need extra help to keep cool. Please schedule your pet’s groom before you leave for your trip, to minimise distress to your pet. I had one cat experience stress from his owner’s departure, whose groom was scheduled for the very next day, which causes him further stress and exascerbated his urinary issues
-Please provide cooling mats and a fan if your home gets very hot during heatwaves
9) PROPERTY AND GARDEN: GENERAL
- Please create a clean environment for the petsitter: Although the majority of my petsitting experiences have been extremely positive, I have unfortunately arrived at two separate petsits to find heavily soiled toilets, dirty guest room sheets, bins overflowing and on one of them a cat litter box which was heavily soiled and not washed in weeks - on one of them I got ill as a result and had to take antibiotics. I appreciate that this is very rare, and may offend some pet owners reading it, however I now have to say it due to my experiences
-In terms of house care plant watering is fine, however I do not mow lawns due to health and safety
- Please advise whether you have heating (one lady did not) and a guest bed with bedding - as well as if there is kitchen access. Please also advise on building works and any noisy neighbours up front (one neighbour played dance music at full volume through the floor during a housesit) - this includes any communal gardens in summer – I work from home so need a quiet environment. Please provide a bedroom with blinds or curtains on the windows – one guest room had no covering on the windows at all
10) PROPERTY SAFETY AND SECURITY
Fire and gas:
Following the recent fire in Worcester Park, please check your fire alarms in advance of the petsit, and provide both smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector - this is for the safety of both your pets and the sitter. Please provide a fire contingency such as a fire blanket for the event of an emergency, as well as a contingency for your pets - eg cat carriers for both pets, or if they do not go into their carriers willingly, leads and harnesses. This sounds extreme, however cats were trapped in the Worcester Park fire due to having to be left. Having now detected several gas leaks on petsits, please ensure there are no leaks prior to the petsit. As stated below, please advise if there is any gas in the property, and the location of both the gas meters as well as the water mains. I reserve the right to contact the gas emergency if there is a smell of gas, for the safety of your pets and of myself.
Security/ burglaries/ neighbours/ building works:
Please advise if your property has been burgled recently, if there are any noise, smoking or antisocial issues (which affect a petsitter's safety) with neighbours, or if there are any current or imminent building works or dogs kept in gardens nearby. Please supply all keys for the property, including door and window locks if these are available.Please ensure your locks and spare keys work so that I am able to get in – very stiff locks can be treated with WD40 which I have on occasion bought from the float money. To ensure your locks are in full working order is also important to prevent burglary, particularly if you have had burglaries in your area
OWNERS' FREQUENTLY ASKED TOP TEN QUESTIONS - PLEASE READ
1a. Can you arrive the day or evening before the date we leave for our trip?/ how do you do your handovers?
*I can only start each petsit from the date that owners leave, versus the night before. This is also for my own peace of mind, and is standard for professional petsitters. For handovers, I either arrive up to one hour prior to your departure time from the house, or quite often a key is left with a neighbour. If coming from another petsit in another UK location on the same day, I would not be able to arrive before you leave if you are leaving in the morning, in which case I would ask that the key is left in a safe place or with your local emergency contact or safe neighbour.Please state your preferred handover arrangements up front, eg for unwell or nervous pets when you would prefer to do an in-person handover
1b. Can you come and visit the house beforehand for a meet and greet?
If I am near your location then yes I can, however I do ask for travel costs for this. Alternatively I can talk over the phone
2. Where are you based?
I am based in Surbiton, and currently do most of my petsitting in London and the South East.
3. What do you do for a living and what is your daily work pattern whilst petsitting?
I do a combination of online teaching and ad-hoc cover teaching, as well as professional petsitting . My petsitting days are a combination of staying in, and going out - this is not every day, and I am always back in the evening
4a. Would you leave a pet overnight you are caring for?
As a professional petsitter, no, this would never be the case unless I am on a drop-in petsit or pet feed
4b. Would you ever have a party at a petsitter's house? (many ads state 'no parties')
Again as above, I have a professional work ethic so I would never do this
5. Why do you ask if there are cameras in the property or garden?
This is a routine question for petsitters, as a GDPR (privacy) issue for the sitter. The sitter can then accept or decline the sit based on this information, which is standard. I send photo updates daily unless otherwise requested, to give you peace of mind about your pet
6. A family member wants to drop in during the petsit, is this okay?
Having had a couple of experiences with people letting themselves in during petsits, I now specify that I will only do sole access housesits (as per the terms of the site). I would be happy to take their phone number and be contactable in the event of an emergency
7. Can you accept parcels for me whilst I am away (or for the household)
Due to parcels being delivered previously with items broken, I now request that all deliveries are arranged for prior or after the petsit dates. This include all deliveries for your pet)s)
8. Can you respond to messages straight away?
I will endeavour to respond within 24 hours, or straight away in the event of an emergency. This applies both before and during a petsit - prior to your petsit I may be in transit to a different petsit, completing a petsit or just starting one at busy times of year. During your petsit, if out and about in London I do not always have my phone with me due to the rise in theft. If you would like to talk on the phone please arrange this with me giving enough notice
9. What's the protocol with food?
For voluntary petsits I am usually left the first night's dinner in the fridge (typically a pizza or ready meal) as it's not always possible to get to the shop after a long journey - please note I don't drive. I am also left bread, milk, cheese and eggs usually - I have also been left prosecco, chocolates, or a supermarket gift voucher for a nearby shop. I am usually invited to help myself to food so if there is anything you would like not eaten please mention this upon arrival.
10. Is it okay if I add on duties during the petsit, or add extra pets to the petsit?
As per the site terms, please confirm all duties prior to the petsit so that these can be agreed
I thought this might be a good way to tell you about me(please scroll down for a references):
1. Why should I give you the keys to look after my house?
- As a trained and experienced teacher I am very responsible, resourceful, proactive, diligent and hardworking in my approach to petsitting, and take lots of notes on how owners like things to be done. I am a non smoker and will leave your house or flat both clean and tidy when I leave. I will send you regular updates to let you know all is well for your peace of mind. I am a UK citizen and all of my family live here, so I would be able to give you an address in this country as well as a copy of my passport and up to date, clear CRB. I have lots of excellent references which I am happy for you to follow up.
2. What are the first things you do on a housesit?
The first thing I do after letting the owner know I have arrived, greeting the pet or pets (letting them sniff me) and feeding them, as well as letting dogs out for a wee, is to go round and check all the windows are closed and locked, for the security of the house. I often find windows have been left open so have learned to be extremely vigilant. I then always check a vet contingency is set up, and that I have the emergency details for the vets in case anything were to happen. I frequently research the name of a pet friendly taxi company if I find this has not been left, to minimise any delay to getting a pet treated in an emergency
3. Do you like pets?
- I haven't got any of my own pets, but really love both cats and dogs, and animals respond well to me. I have a sister who has two dogs, a cat and two rabbits so is able to tell me anything additional I need to know or check. As a trained teacher I am extremely nurturing and have had experience both teaching and childminding very young children (from a very early age myself), which I find also translates well to looking after animals.
4. What have you learned so far in looking after pets
- Each animal is very much an individual with different needs and preferences. I always takes notes on their routine and how they like their food, and am sensitive to the fact that they might have separation anxiety. If there is anything I am unsure of I always research it or ring a vet to double check. I make sure their litter is kept clean (for cats) and that the animal is happy - for example if looking after a cat I always check the position of their tail as an indication of how they are feeling- dogs also. I like to find out which toys they like, and which treats they enjoy. I don't like to leave an animal on its own for too long and always ensure they are comfortable and content.
5. What differences have you found in looking after both cats and dogs?
- I know to be extremely vigilant when walking dogs because of other dogs which may attack them, and I am experienced in dogwalking - I also know to keep a firm hold on a lead and to have it wrapped round my wrist. I have excellent hearing for oncoming cars (eg in country lanes) and have a gentle but firm approach. I am vigilant also when walking a dog in built up areas because of what might be on the ground, and recently a pond was giving dogs that paddled in it diarrhoea so I knew to avoid it. I am aware of the foods which are toxic to dogs and cats respectively, and that their tail positions mean different things for each -e.g a wagging tail does not mean the same thing for a dog and a cat. I know how to safely pick up both a dog and a cat if needed.
6. Do you have experience of taking an animal in your care to the vets?- Yes, I have taken two separate cats to the vets, and Benson the elderly labrador. I also made an appointment for Mitford the labrador to go to the vets for an eye infection, and took her - she had her eyes examined and dye put in which was traumatic for her but I comforted her throughout.
7. Have you had experience of giving a pet medicine and/ or dealing with illness?- Yes, many times. I have had experience of giving daily antibiotics to Bertie the dog and looking after Mish the cat when he had a broken leg. I also cleaned Mitford's eyes daily (please see above) and applied her eyedrops three times a day for five days until the infection had cleared. I have treated dogs' diarrhoea with a bland chicken and rice diet until they are better - I am extremely resilient and hands-on. I recently looked after an elderly Labrador who was on lots of medication, and worked out how to time the pills so that he could walk more easily round the park - this was also noted by a neighbour compared to a previous petsitter.
8. What experience have you had with rescue animals?
I have looked after several rescue pets – one rescue dog would growl if anyone approached his food, due to his background, so I knew to keep at a distance during his feeding time. I have also rescued a cat, and co-ordinated his rehoming with Cats Protection – I fought hard to ensure he was not given to the RSPCA as I knew he would be put to sleep. I paid for his fees and he was ultimately rehomed. I also helped rescue a dog who was running loose on a main road – myself and another lady took him the nearest vets. I regularly look on free websites for pets being given away for free, and if so, always contact the owner to make them aware of the dog fighting operations looking for both dogs, and for bait. I also contact animal rescue organisations to make them aware, and recently one had space to help two of the dogs being given away for free. I always wait with dogs if they have been left tied up outside a shop, due to the numerous cases lately of dogs being stolen.
9. What experience do you have of looking after a property?-Having rented on my own for several years (after house sharing in my 20s) I'm conscious of taking responsibility for a property and all that entails - having an awareness of security, making sure doors are locked and appliances are switched off, keeping bill costs down, emptying the household rubbish and recycling, and generally keeping the house clean, tidy and safe.
10. What do you do for a living and how is your career history relevant to house and pet sitting?- I own and operate an education company, having worked as a teacher for 19 years. This experience has included several years of primary and secondary supply teaching, requiring the ability to follow instructions, be flexible and quickly adapt to new schools and classroom systems whilst respecting what was already in place - I find this skill to be very transferable to house and pet sitting.
11. How have you demonstrated being responsible in the past?- Apart from running my company, I have been an education manager for several companies on their summer centres, including pastoral responsibilities with children staying away from home in another country, requiring a high level of responsibility. I am also an aunty to two lovely little girls, and having grown up with two much younger sisters I have always been very hands-on and responsible. I was often asked to babysit and childmind for friends and family at a young age due to being mature for my age, and am the second oldest of four children.
12. Describe how you treat your own home- I am clean living, don't smoke, hardly drink and don't play loud music. I am also very careful with stains and like to keep a clean living environment. I check everything meticulously before both going out and going to bed.
13. What are 3 relevant skills?- adaptable- forward-planning- proactive
14. What are the personal qualities that make you suitable for house and pet sitting?- responsible - caring - diligent - patient
15. Describe your personality and how you behave if you are stressed or tired - I have been trained to 'keep calm under pressure' and will always speak calmly and kindly to pets in my care, always playing down any accidents or spillages - a skill learned from teaching and childcare. Having babysat for my nieces since their birth I am used to being woken up very early for feeding, however do need my sleep also to prevent illness
16. What little touches can you offer which make you stand out?
- I will leave your house tidy with a light clean ( versus deep clean/professional standard) with the rubbish and recycling emptied, and will wash all bedding and towels I have used or strip the beds depending on your preference. If I am ill I will do my best to leave it as clean as possible.
17. Is there anything else you would like to add?
- I'm a good communicator so will stay in regular contact with you and let you know all is well - photos and videos of your pet are also fine, and I love taking photos! As a musician I like to play cat music or classical music to help soothe pets - I also always leave the TV or radio on for pets if they are left alone. I am kind and loving towards pets and like to ensure they are happy - there are always lots of cuddles on the couch and I both talk to them and praise them (eg on walks) - as well as sing and tell them stories! I'm aware of food hygiene and always check food is in date/within the recommended number of days once opened - I also keep an eye of pets' preferred flavours of food from selection packs, and general eating preferences. I have previously bought a coat for a dog in winter who had recently had his fur trimmed, and a doggy rope toy for a dog who liked tug of war - I also like to pick up paper bags in shops for cats in my care! I am always conscious of maintaining a comfortable environment for pets, ensuring it is an ambient temperature and that tv and music is not too loud.
Lastly I was brought up in the Cotswolds and have also lived in the city, so can adapt to different environments very well.