Messages from Professional Vet Tech Services Certified Technicians
Why choose a certified veterinary technician VS "professional" pet sitter?
When choosing a pet care provider many questions come to mind. Firstly can I trust this person with my home and pet? Are they reliable? Do they truly know what they are doing? These are all completely valid questions and should be asked when choosing a pet care provider. Most pet sitters are "hobby" sitters or "professional" pet sitters. What is the difference? Well neither need a degree or certification, it is simply a title. So I can simply decide today I will be a professional pet sitter and there you have it I'm now a professional pet sitter. Professional pet sitters usually belong to an organization such as Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. These are organizations that you pay a fee and bang you are now apart of the organization, and most now call themselves "professional pet sitters". They usually do carry insurance verses "hobby" pet sitters usually have no insurance and are not classified as a true business. Some "professional" pet sitters will keep up on research regarding caring for pets, BUT this is completely up to them to stay abreast of the latest news and research therefore it may or may not happen. Now why chose a Certified Veterinary Technician? Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT) require a minimum 2 year Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology. In order to complete their degree they must complete several college courses as well as multiple externships (large, small, and exotic animals) in veterinary hospitals (usually around 500 hours- at least that is what my program requires). CVT's will not pass until they are able to successfully complete each exercise in the externship as well as write multiple papers explaining the why behind what they are doing. They study multiple areas of veterinary medicine including, but not limited to: animal care and husbandry, animal nursing, animal behavior, radiology, pharmacology, parasitology, surgery, laboratory practices and techniques, anesthesia, analgesia, CPR, dentistry, anatomy and physiology. Finally, CVTs are required to pass a state board exam to become certified. Once they pass, it is required in order to maintain your certification to attend at minimum 10 hours of continuing education per year. Continuing Education must be recognized by the certifying organization. Here in CO CVTs are apart of an organization called Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians, you CAN NOT be a member unless you are a CVT.
Rest assured Professional Vet Tech Services is both insured and bonded. We also perform relief services at many local hospitals (chances are we have worked for your veterinarian) making us Veterinarian approved and their # 1 choice is in home pet care! I hope I have helped enlighten you on all the benefits of hiring a true educated professional and experienced pet care provider! We look forward to working with you and your beloved pet to offer the ultimate pet care!
Signs of Stress in Animals
Kennel and boarding facilities can be stressful for pets and humans. It is vital that staff is properly trained in understanding the signs pets exhibit when stressed and take appropriate actions. "Failure to recognize stress signals can affect the long-term physical and mental well being of both the animals and humans in this environment" (Dr. Pam Schreiner, University of Minnesota). Below are some of the signs of stress Dr. Schreiner observed in her research of companion animals:
Signs of Stress in Dogs
Panting and salivating
Diarrhea/ bowel movements
Licking the lips
Shaking (as if the animal were shaking off water)
Whining, excessive vocalizing
Growling when approached to be handled
Sweaty paws(leaving sweaty paw prints on the floor)
Increased or decreased activity
Excessive scratching or licking repeatedly
‘Spacing out’ by turning away or avoiding eye contact
Loss of appetite
Hiding behind the handler
Signs of Stress in Cats
Restlessness, distraction, agitation
Listlessness, unusual passivity
Hiding and refusing to interact with humans or other animals
Causes of Stress in Animals
Confusing or inconsistent training or handling
People exhibiting strange or unusual behavior
Unpredictable or rough handling
Being crowded by people or other animals
A resident or staff member being nervous or acting in a strange way from the animals perspective
Extreme indoor and outdoor temperatures
Housing or resting area in an inappropriate place, not able to get adequate rest as a result
Requiring the animal to be up and active 24 hours a day to match the staff shifts of facility
Too many animals (whether the same or a different species) within the same general area causing crowded territory issues (How many is too many? The animals will tell you!)
Inadequate exercise or mental stimulation
Inadequate diet for species
Inappropriate or excessive feeding of animals
Visiting animals from outside the facility coming into their territory
Reference: Schreiner, Dr. Pam. "Signs of Stress in Companion Animals. Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments. University of Minnesota. 5/16/16.
Holiday Hazards for Pets
As the holiday season quickly approaches it is important to keep in mind some of the holiday hazards.
Cats love to climb, and climbing an unstable Christmas Tree can lead to broken bones.
Tinsel and Ornaments can result in a foreign body, which may result in surgery and should be kept away from curious pets.
Electrical cords should be kept secure and in a place that pets can not reach. Pets biting on electrical wires may result in severe burns.
It may be tempting to give into your pet's sweet, innocent eyes and slip them some of your holiday feast. It is important not to feed your pets food other than what they are use to. Foreign food (especially food high in fat) can result in pancreatitis. Make sure your friends and family members do not feed your pets as well.
Chocolate of any sort is harmful to pets and should be avoided all together. If your pet does get into chocolate, call your vet immediately. This can prove to be life threatening depending on the type and amount of chocolate consumed.
Turkey and ham bones should not be fed to pets. Bones may shatter and splinter that can potentially perforate the intestines or cause an intestinal blockage. Both cases may be life threatening.
Poisonous Holiday Plants
Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are all poisonous to pets if consumed. If you find your pet munching on any of these dangerous plants call your vet immediately.
Always remember when lighting those Hanukkah candles to make sure you do not leave them unattended where an inquisitive pet may burn themselves.
We hope some of these holiday tips help to keep your pet safe. Please never hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We hope we may have an opportunity this season to care for your beloved pets while you are away enjoying the season! Happy Holidays from your friends at Professional Vet Tech Services!