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From the PSI Member Forum: Crate Accidents

The WORLD, July/August 2009

by PSI Member Input
Topics: Pet-Care, Dogs

Even a housebroken puppy can have an “accident.” As pet-care professionals, PSI members need to have a solid working knowledge of what is normal and what might be a red flag to a more serious problem or illness. Even if you have worked with puppies and crate training for many years, you can always learn from the advice and experience of other pet sitters. That’s what the PSI Forum on is for. Here is a sample question and answer on the subject of “Crate Accidents.”


Question: When does being a conscientious pet-care provider cross over into doing “too much” out of love for the pets?

Mary Neale, Pampered Pet Sitting Service, Cherry Hill, NJ: My First “Puppy Pooped in Crate Experience” started when one of my daily puppies, a 13-week-old golden retriever, must have been sick. She pooped all over her crate, the walls of her crate, all over the two small towels in the crate, and all over herself – You get the picture.


After the initial UGGH, I scooped her up and put her in her fenced-in back yard and then got a large bag, paper towels, anything I could find to clean with, etc. I washed and scrubbed, threw the trash away and then gave the puppy a bath in their wash tub as she was caked in poop.


My normal half-hour there, turned into 45 minutes, but my clients were so appreciative. They felt I went above and beyond, but I told them that I have truly fallen in love with their puppy. (Don’t most of you feel this way about your daily walks?) I would never have left her without trying to bathe her. Even though there was no shampoo that I could find, I merely washed her clean with water in their washtub in the laundry. The dishwashing detergent they use looked too harsh.


I don’t plan on charging them for this instance. The puppy was sick and was better the next day. These clients pay me every day to come and care for their puppy while they work. I’m thinking they’ll probably leave something for me on Monday.


Answer: I do it for love

Mike Zufall, Happy Paws Dog Walking, Silver Spring, MD: I don’t know about being a mom, but as far as being a dad goes, puppies are my favorite to work with. I guess you could call them my passion. I started to work more with pups last year and I now have four on my schedule, teaching them the basics, including house training.


More than once I’ve had to deal with a dog that exploded in a crate – pups and adults. More that once, I’ve had the privilege of getting a pee bath from a pup or poop on my clothes from a dog’s feet or other body part. I also clean them up; there is no possible way I could leave them in a mess. I never charge, most times clients will leave something extra; if they don’t that’s O.K.


I wind up falling in love with all of my dog clients. This can be frustrating. When working with pups and trying to get them house trained, through teething and chewing, their humans are not always on the same page with me. I know where things are going to go, but the humans still will not listen. I’m trying to figure out a way to deal with this.


The questions, concerns and responses listed here show why the PSI Forum is such a valuable communications tool for all pet sitters.


But there is so much more! Check out the PSI Member Forum and find out for yourself. Everyone has the opportunity to ask questions, voice opinions or supply answers. Everyone has the potential to contribute valuable information to their pet-sitting colleagues. To access The Forum, log in at the Members area of the PSI Web site and click on “The Forum” in the top Navigation Bar.


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