The Forgotten Rabit

During my eighteen years as a pet sitter, one animal in particular, seems to be the most forgotten – the humble rabbit.

You would think the film ‘Watership Down’, given its popularity, would have helped to educate people with regards to their living conditions and requirements, but sadly we continue to care for solitary rabbits, some living in cramped conditions and often overlooked in their garden hutches.

Rabbits are community animals that desperately need to live in groups.  In the wild a community can consist of up to a hundred individuals, living peacefully in their network of tunnels, so please do not deprive them from having company.

Hutches should incorporate outside space and be raised off the ground to allow air to circulate and prevent water logging.  It should also be secure and in the summer months, moved to shady position in your garden.

You should also be mindful that the winter can be perilously cold and your rabbits should be moved to a warmer area, where they will not be exposed to the elements.

A hutch can never be too big.  I have seen some ingenious living quarters, often designed and built by the owner.  Care should be taken however, to ensure that there are no sharp edges or escape routes and before attempting a ‘do it yourself hutch’, seek professional advice to ensure that the home is suitable, before the building commences.

It is essential that your hutch has both a living and sleeping area and large enough that your rabbits can hop around.  The outside space should be secure and safe from predators.

Frequent cleaning is an essential and a daily regime is extremely important. 

Any soiled hay/paper should be removed, and the toilet area cleaned. Beware of harmful cleaning products, so ensure that any products are rabbit friendly.

Dirty hutches can result in illness, such as sore feet and dirty bottoms, which can result in fly strike.  This is caused when the eggs of the fly are laid and then hatch into maggots, which unless caught quickly can be a killer.

For full details regarding animal care you can visit their website:-

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rabbits

Owning and caring for rabbits, requires exactly the same commitment as owning a kitten or puppy and they will delight their owners if you are well prepared.  So please do not allow yours, to be the forgotten rabbits!

So you want to engage a pet sitter!

So you are going away and Great Aunt Maude, who promised to come in and care for Kitty each day, has suddenly discovered that she is due to have her hip operation on the first day of your holiday!

The neighbour has already expressed their dislike of cats and is forever chasing him out of their garden, so what do you do?

You have exhausted your contact book and someone suggests that you try a pet sitter.

Your first thought is shock horror. A stranger in your home is not what you had anticipated when you had booked your dream holiday to Barbados, but since you do not wish to expose little Kitty to the confines of a cattery, the option of a pet sitter suddenly seems very attractive.

Following your research you discover that not only do they provide extra home security, but they also take in the post, water the plants and even put bins out for collection. Perhaps the idea of a pet sitting service is quite attractive after all!

So now to the nitty gritty.

1. Is your pet sitter insured

2. Are they registered
3. Do they have a CRB check
4. Can they provide testimonials
5. Can you speak with their clients

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the above, the chances are that you are employing a good, professional pet sitter to care for your pet(s) and provide home security while you are away.

With bags packed and passport in hand, you are now able to enjoy that well earned holiday, content in the knowledge that you will have happy pets, a well watered garden and secured home while you are away.

We are now able to cover the following areas for our live in service:-

http://cambridge.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://surrey.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://westsussex.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://hampshire.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

Animal Cruelty

I honestly believe that introducing ‘animal welfare’ into the school curricula will undoubtedly see a decrease in animal cruelty. I would therefore please ask all visitors and clients to sign and share our petition to ‘Introduce Animal Welfare into the School Curriculum’.

Animals have encouraged the moral and personal development of children, bringing social benefits to their communities. Scientific research has also proved the health benefits as well as promoting a general feeling of wellbeing.

Animals also bring out the nurturing instinct of a child and help them to understand the responsibility of owning a pet.

Therapeutic and educational benefits have been identified, especially benefitting those children with special needs. Their calming affect can also help to reduce stress, improve concentration and help to boost self esteem.

There may not be a ‘quick fix’ for animal abuse, but educating our children how to better care for our animals is a start. I would therefore ask EVERY person who reads this article, to PLEASE sign our petition. We can force change and we CAN make a difference. It is easy to tut tut at the horrific images of animal abuse, or feel sickened by the puppy who has just been put to sleep having been thrown from a motorway bridge!

I am therefore asking people to put their pen where their mouth is and to force our government to make animal welfare education part of the school curricula. Together, we can and will make a difference.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38361

Nannies Expand for Dorset Dogs

A pet sitting business, formed after its founders recovered from serious illness, has expanded their workforce to cope with growing demand from their Dorset clients.

Nina Cole set up their enterprise in 1998 after recovering from a brain haemorrhage, which she suffered 6 months after her husband, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Nina has worked with animals throughout the majority of her life, both as a volunteer fund raiser for animal charities and studying for her diploma in dog psychology, which was postponed indefinitely when her business, Nina’s Nannies for Pets took off.

Today business is flourishing, particularly in Dorset and the surrounding area, where she recently held interviews at The Sandbank Hotel in Poole.

The majority of Nina’s and Doug’s pet nannies are retired people or couples, who have undergone vigorous security checks before being accepted as part of their family team.

“We do occasionally take the odd prank call”.  Nina stated, recalling one potential client who requested care for his one eyed incontinent Anaconda!  “We always try to accommodate our client’s needs, even if it means sharing your bed with a St Bernard, or dealing with a burst pipe”, and we take these oddities in our stride”.

In 1997 the company were proud to reach the semi finals of the Barclays Small Business award, narrowing missing out on a place in the final and their certificate takes pride of place on the office wall.

Their website boasts glowing testimonials and their service is recommended by pet professionals and clients alike.  They are particularly keen to keep the ‘family’ feel to their business and this is reflected in their prices.  Nina states that it is important to offer an affordable service and clients such as the Cinnamon Trust are always given a discount.

Saying Goodbye To Old Friends

This year has seen the loss of many old friends, including Mr Speckles, a beautiful lop eared rabbit, Muffy, a 17 years old cat from Berkhamsted, Charley a newly adopted cat who was already 15 years old and Tigger, who was the eldest cat on our books at 21 years of age.

It is always a very sad occasion for us and our pet sitters, since attachments are formed in the first few days, and some are frequent sits when their families have property overseas, or indeed, if they are frequent flyers and require a pet sitting service throughout the year.

We have also bid a fond farewell to Janet and Ray Marshall, who have been with our company for the last five years. Sadly their last assignment will be in January next year, since they now have family commitments and will not have the availability to continue. They will both be sadly missed by both us, our other sitters and of course their regular clients. The door however, has been left open for their return, if circumstances change in the future.

Christmas is almost upon us and we have no further availability for our live in service until January 10, but we do still have spaces for our visiting pet sitter, pet sitting service in the following areas – Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable, Northall, and Redbourn. I would strongly advise however, that you contact us at your earliest convenience should you require a visiting service for your cats or caged animals, since there are only so many hours in a day and we do endeavour to finish by 4 p.m. on Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and Boxing Day. There is also a preliminary visit required and since we only have the weekend in order to see new clients you will appreciate how little time there is left.

At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, we have had a wonderful year and seen expansion throughout the South and South East on the Country. We are now able to offer our pet sitting and pet sitter service in the whole of the London area and have added Norfolk to our port folio. We are still recruiting in these areas however, so anyone interested in becoming a live in pet sitter should visit

www.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/recruitment.html for further information.