Thursday, December 18, 2008

Humane Society of Durham Region

By now you've probably heard of the devastating fire at the Humane Society of Durham Region in which over 150 animals died. To make a donation, go to their website.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Forms are now ready!

Whether you're a new client looking for a service, or an existing client wanting to book pet or house sitting, the new forms are finally ready. From the main page, click on Contact, or for the direct link, click here.

Please fill out as much of the form as possible as it will allow me to determine whether I have availability. You will receive a copy of the filled out form, and I will then send you a confirmation.

And remember, until you hear from me, don't consider the dates to be booked. You should hear from me within a day at the latest but usually within a few hours.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Peter Organa, pet photographer

Peter Organa will be offering a special deal of 25% off to all clients. Peter is a well known pet photographer in the GTA, and can be reached by phone at 416.261.7349 or via email at

To see some of his incredible photos, as well as his rates, take a look at his website: This offer expires December 15th, 2008.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Upcoming event: The Wild Ball

The Toronto Wildlife Centre's annual fundraiser, The Wild Ball is being held on Thursday, November 13th at 7 pm. See their website for location and details.

They also have an extensive wish list. If there is anything you can give, email me and if it's not too big I may be able to pick it up and get it to TWC.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Upcoming event: Wishbones for pets

I am currently collecting cat and dog food, treats and supplies as a representative of Wishbones for Pets. WFP is a pet sitter driven organization that began with a pet sitter in the U.S. who wanted to give something back to the community. She came up with a food drive for pets that coincides with the Thanksgiving season. I will be leaving plastic bins in several stores in the east end of Toronto and Scarborough where people can drop these items off. I've chosen two recipients, Annex Cat Rescue and Great Dane Rescue, Inc.

I'm in the process of adding drop off locations so stay tuned, more will follow! This will begin this week and continue through to the end of Thanksgiving week.


Global Pet Foods
3110 Kingston Road
Scarborough, ON

Kim's Dog Grooming
3785 Kingston Road
Scarborough, ON

Great Dane Rescue Inc's wish list

Annex Cat Rescue's wish list

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall bookings...and beyond!

Fall and winter bookings are currently being accepted. A few people have already booked for Christmas/New Year's so if you know you are going away, please contact me.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Date: Saturday August 9th, 2008 10:00 AM-4:00 PM (rain date Sunday, August 10, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM)

Location: 244 Howland Avenue -- just south of Dupont (2 blocks east of Bathurst), Toronto

Great finds and bargains galore! Proceeds to the Annex Cat Rescue. Come out, have fun, buy great stuff and show your support. No early birds please!

Not interested in another man's treasure? How about a little something for your favourite feline? Our famous catnip "sausage" toys and "Purr Pads" will be there!


I will be on holidays starting September 13th and ending September 21. I will return to work as usual on Monday, September 22.

August is almost entirely booked

I will not be accepting new clients in August, as I'm pretty much booked solid for the entire month. Barring any cancellations, the following dates are completely filled:

August 13, 14 & 20.

There is availability on most of the weekends but not a lot. Some weekdays have room for 1 or 2 more visits but nothing more.

If you have pet sitting requirements for September, please book as soon as possible. New clients needing pet sitting in September will have to meet with me on a weekend in August as evenings are filled up.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Diabetes in cats - an epidemic

In the last month, 2 cats that I pet sit for developed diabetes. Both were overweight and sadly, it caught up to them. One had to be put to sleep and the other is on insulin twice a day, probably for life.

Before I became a pet sitter, I had no idea that diabetes was so common. The first diabetic cat I cared for was overweight. I figure that in the almost 6 years I've been pet sitting, I've taken care of 20-30 diabetic cats. I can't think of a single cat that was at an optimum weight, or skinny. The common denominator? Dry food, usually free fed so the cat could eat as much as she wanted.

This is a disease that can be so easily prevented with proper nutrition. The cat is an obligate carnivore, yet almost all processed pet food is loaded with grain. It has nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with maximum profit. Grain is cheap filler and costs much less than meat, which is essential in a cat's diet.

So what happens if a cat becomes diabetic? First, you'll probably notice enormous amounts of urine, both in and out of the litter box. Weight loss, lack of appetite, significant drop in energy, increase in thirst are all indicators of diabetes. Some cats eat more, but continue to lose weight. The first thing to do is get your cat to the vet for an exam, including bloodwork.

If your cat does become diabetic, you'll have a number of things to address. Are you afraid of needles? Can you commit to giving insulin twice a day, 12 hours apart, for the duration of the cat's life? Can you afford the extra trips to the vet, the cost of insulin and syringes? Do you have someone in place that can give insulin if you have to go away or have something to do outside the home when the shot is due?

All these things will come into play once there is a diagnosis. The good news is, many cats go into remission. It usually involves getting them on a low carb diet. In my mind, no diet is better suited to a cat - regardless of health - than a grainless, raw food diet.

Prevention is everything with this disease. I'm not saying that a cat can't live a good life as a diabetic, but many adjustments have to be made. But avoidance is the simplest, and this is one disease that is so easily preventable.

If your cat is already diabetic and you want to put her on a species appropriate, low carb diet, home testing is a necessity. With a newly diagnosed diabetic, you may see immediate effects once the low-carb food is consumed. Speak to your vet about home testing. Many vets have glucometers at their clinic and will train the cat owner on proper use. The reason this is so important is that you don't want your cat to become hypoglycemic. If your cat needs less insulin than she's been getting, hypoglycemia probably will take place. Testing the blood sugar before giving the shot will determine how much insulin is needed.

There are a number of excellent websites that can help people who want to get their cat on the right track:

Cat Info

This was put together by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. Not only is there a great deal of info on diabetes, but on many other illnesses and problems cats face. It's a very detailed website but totally worth the read.

Feline Diabetes

This is the bible of sites for owners of diabetic cats. There is information that will help those who have newly diagnosed diabetics, complete with a forum where you can ask questions and offer support to others who are going through the same things you are going through.

Cat Nutrition

Not necessarily about diabetics but the information about raw food is invaluable. Not only is it well written, but there is a step by step pictorial that shows the reader how easy it is to make the food.

Your Diabetic Cat

This website is the work of Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, DVM, who has also written a book called "Your Cat: Simple new secrets to a longer, stronger life". It's not just about diabetics although there is a section about diabetes and a number of other common cat ailments.

There are many pet food companies that make raw food. I have been feeding these frozen foods for years after I had trouble sourcing rabbit for my cats. Most of these companies are regional; in the Toronto area the most common are Pets 4 Life, Healthy Paws and Tollden Farms. If you're outside of the GTA, check with high end pet food stores as they're usually the ones that carry raw food.

One last thing about processed food: Don't fall for words like "holistic" or "natural". Look beyond the marketability of these words and read the label. Natural food for a cat is prey, in an unaltered state. Not cooked, not baked, but raw.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Woofstock is almost here!

Woofstock weekend has arrived! Click on the link to read all about it. Dogs are allowed and it will be a great weekend with tons of happy dogs and their people. It looks like we're in for a very hot weekend so if your dog can't handle the heat, it's best to keep him or her at home.

If you do bring your dog, keep an eye out for Cool Doggies. Cool Doggies is operated by the All Canadian Pet Services Network ( Your dog can cool off in a swimming pool or have a drink before heading out for more fun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A message to other pet sitters

I started my business in 2002 with a huge amount of help from seasoned pet sitters, especially those in the About Pet Sitting Yahoogroup. Because they gave so much, I continue to be a member to help new sitters. A few years ago, I created a group for Canadian pet sitters so that we could discuss things more suited to Canucks.

If any pet sitter asked for advice I gave it freely or directed them to resources such as those listed above. What annoys me is that a number of professional pet sitting companies have taken large portions of my website and used it as their own. That is plagiarism, or more simply put, theft. Because of this I've had to take a great amount of time to write to the offending sitters to have them remove my words from their site. Many didn't respond or simply didn't take the site down, so I had to contact the hosting sites to get them involved. One person was shocked that I wasn't flattered! Would he feel flattered if someone liked something in his house and took it? I don't think so!

I'm certainly not the only pet sitter that has had to deal with this, and in fact only realised it when another sitter in my group told us that her site had been ripped off. There's a terrific website called Copyscape that makes it really easy to find out whose website matches your own. This time, I found 5 companies that copied sections of my site word for word. Another sitter on the Canadian group found that her site was copied by another company. Several sitters on the About Pet Sitting group found their sites were plagiarised.

This is an industry where networking with fellow sitters is important. It's also an industry based on trust; we're going into clients' homes and caring for their pets. If you're stealing from your fellow pet sitter, can you really be trusted with the keys to someone's home?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring is almost here!

Really, it's true! Birds are migrating and even though there's snow on the ground, and a bit more in the forecast, people are thinking of spring and summer holidays.

Please contact me as soon as you know you're vacation plans to book me for pet sitting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Going on holidays? Who's going to shovel?

If you're going away and I'm to take care of your pets and home, make sure someone, either a friend, neighbour or a snow shoveling company is going to clear your driveway, pathways and steps. This is especially important if I'm staying overnight as I need a place to park my vehicle.

Even if you stop your mail and newspaper delivery, people are always delivering flyers and the local papers so it's important that all of us will be able to use your driveway and walkways safely.

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