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Mark your calendars for September 12, 2018!

Interested in growing your pet business?  Are you thinking about starting a business.  If you are interested in pet sitting, dog walking, training, grooming, or daycare, then join the 5th Annual Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference!  This year you will hear from the top speakers from the previous 4 years!

Check back with PetsitUSA for additional information in the following weeks.

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The FDA reports on a possible health risk:

OC Raw Dog, LLC of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, is recalling approximately 1,560 lbs of Chicken, Fish & Produce Raw Frozen Canine Formulation which was manufactured on 10/11/2017 with a lot number 3652 and a use by date of 10/11/18. We are voluntarily recalling because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause severe and potentially fatal infection in animals consuming the pet food, and the humans that handle the pet food and surfaces exposed to the product. Pets can be carriers of the bacteria and infect humans, even if the pets do not appear to be ill. Short-term symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to Listeria monocytogenes infections, which can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves and their pets for symptoms.

Lot # 3652 of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was shipped to the following states with the following associated volume with the intent to sell to Independent Specialty Retailers and in turn sold to Consumers. California – 356 lbs., Colorado – 153 lbs., Florida – 195 lbs., Maryland – 320 lbs., Minnesota – 429 lbs., Pennsylvania – 78 lbs. and Vermont – 30 lbs.

This lot of OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce was made into 3 lb. Meaty Rox Bags, 4 lb. Slider Bags, 6.5 lb. Doggie Dozen Patty Bags and 7 lb. Meaty Rox Bags. All of which have been marked with a lot number of 3652 and a USE BY DATE of 10/11/18. Each bag has this information on a sticker located on the back lower left corner of the bag.

Product Package Nt. Wt. UPC No. Bar Code
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 3 lb. 022099069171 Barcode--1
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Sliders 4 lb. 095225852640 Barcode--2
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Doggie Dozen Patty Bag 6.5 lb. 022099069225 Barcode--3
OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox 7 lb. 095225852756 Barcode--4

To date there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats or persons in any connection with this product. The contamination is still under investigation.

OC Raw was notified by the FDA of the contamination after it was reported that New Jersey Department of Food and Agriculture tested the product and found it to be positive.

The same lab who conducted the tests for Listeria also tested for Salmonella on our 3 lb. bag of Chicken, Fish & Produce Meaty Rox and the test was negative. In addition to the OC Raw Dog Chicken, Fish & Produce tests the lab conducted tests for OC Raw Dog Pumpkin Rox for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella and the results were negative.

OC Raw Dog is a family owned and managed by passionate dog enthusiasts who take very seriously the safety and wellbeing of its consumers and clients. We are dedicated to producing a quality product that is safe. We are taking this contamination very seriously and have sent multiple samples of machines, utensils, packaging equipment and freezers to insure there is no contamination at our facility. We have also sent several individual ingredients to insure we are using safe ingredients and the food we produce is done so in a safe environment. All samples have returned negative for listeria.

There was product at two of the seven distribution locations. The product has been pulled from inventory and destroyed. It is possible there might be a few bags at retailers or at home with consumers. We strongly urge anyone who has purchased OC Raw Dog’s Chicken, Fish & Produce to check the lot number.

Consumers who have purchased product with lot 3652 are urged to return it to the Retailer where it was purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-844-215-DOGS Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PST.

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Update: PetsitUSA Accepts Credit Cards

by Ryan on September 1, 2017

in PetsitUSA News

New and returning members of PetsitUSA can now purchase memberships with credit cards.  In the past, members could only pay with checks or PayPal.  Members will also automatically have their accounts activated.  Our ‘Welcome’ and ‘Thank you’ emails will also be automatically sent.  We hope this makes it easier for members to join and continue to stay with PetsitUSA!

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Here’s the latest from the FDA’s website.

On February 20, 2017, Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food notified the FDA that it planned to recall all “chunk beef” products under the Evanger’s and Against the Grain brands. On February 27, 2017, the FDA became aware that Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food was notifying its distributors and retailers of a new recall for lots of Evanger’s Braised Beef Chunks with Gravy as well as expanding the previous recall for additional lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain’s Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy.

The 12-ounce cans of dog food being recalled have the following barcodes. The numbers listed below are the second half of the barcode, which can be found on the back of the product label:

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef: 20109
Evanger’s Braised Beef: 20107
Against the Grain Pulled Beef: 80001

The products have expiration dates of December 2019-January 2021.

The FDA’s updated report, as well as original recall notice, can be found here.

 

 

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Dogs and Allergies

by Ryan on January 24, 2017

in Dogs, Pet Health, Random Thoughts

In today’s environment, more and more animals suffer from allergies, from food allergies to seasonal as well as environmental. Just like in humans, some dogs will have savior symptoms, other barely show any and sometimes we don’t connect the symptoms to allergies. Here are a few different type of allergies and the symptoms you should look out for.

FOOD ALLERGIES

Food allergy is the most common allergy among dogs; It is also quite uncomfortable and painful for the dog and very difficult to cure. The components of the canine diet, which often cause allergy are, for example, specific meats and offal, pork usually is one of them, some fats, but also various kinds of ready-made dishes containing eggs or heavily processed ingredients. Some dogs also may be allergic to grain and dairy products.

The symptoms of food allergy are quite different with each animal,  it is mostly causing persistent itching and scratching by the dog large areas of hair and skin, leading up to the formation of wounds. Besides, there is hair loss around the eyes, feet, and sometimes ear infections. More and more common symptoms are stomach problems, mainly diarrhea occurring but irregularly. These symptoms may be mistaken for a number of different diseases, which is why allergy is not always the first suspect. To make sure that the symptoms stem from a food allergy, enter the dog elimination diet – serve only foods based on meat, fish, rabbit, buffalo or lamb. It is good to exclude grains like rice, and replace them with properly prepared potatoes.

SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Every year we see increasingly affect of seasonal allergies on more and more pets, just like people they are allergic to various types of pollen, dust mites or molds and fungi. Just as in humans, allergy inhaled can cause a rash, itching, but also respiratory problems and asthma attacks. In the case of this type of allergy, I would recommend performing allergy tests, which indicate specific factors your dog is allergenic to. Usually, it is impossible to eliminate the factor from your dog’s environment, but there are several ways to heal allergies – desensitization to certain allergens, the administration of appropriate drugs and non-steroidal support dietary unsaturated. Note, however, that this type of allergy practically can not be cured and you have to be aware of her relapses and the fact that it can regularly appear in your dog’s life.

 

CONTACT ALLERGY

Contact allergy also known as contact dermatitis is a skin disease that can occur when a dog or cat makes physical contact with a chemical or other irritating substance and has a negative reaction. in animals most often occurs in contact with various antiparasitic formulations, whether in the form of a collar or liquid drops. For this reason, veterinarians recommend regular changes of product so the body does not consider them an allergen. When we are dealing with a contact allergy in a dog, the main symptom is persistent itching and scratching, sometimes rash. The best way to heal this condition is to remove the allergen and wash areas with water, which will faster relief the symptoms. Sometimes if your dog has a strong reaction it is necessary to provide the appropriate medication.

 

DOG AND FLEA ALLERGY DERMATITIS

 

This type of allergy is a very common disease for both cats and dogs. You can often encounter an allergic reaction to the feces of fleas left on dogs, which lived in bad conditions or were exposed to strong and frequent contact with fleas. The symptoms are usually itching, persistent scratching and in further stages severe rash. In the case of this type of allergic reaction, it is necessary for you to visit a vet, who will prescribe the appropriate medication, mainly steroidal anti-inflammatory as well as bathe the dog in the medicated flea shampoo and also protect them from flea infestation, by using one of the available flea preventative products. It is also important to remove fleas and their larvae from the environment – dog bedding, carpets in the house and all the places that the dog had contact.

 

Either your dogs show symptoms of allergies or not it is a good idea to have them tested, especially that now allergy testing is really simple and relatively inexpensive. You can order the online kit, provide a sample of your dog’s hair as well as a saliva sample, you will receive a detail report containing food and environmental allergies. Just because your dog does not show any symptoms, that does not mean he is not sensitive to some foods or environmental products, it’s always good to know what to avoid to keep your pets healthy and happy.

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Decoration Dangers:

  1. Artificial snow spray is toxic to cats. Use it sparingly and make sure it is not accessible to a curious cat.
  2. Tinsel and other decorations can be swallowed causing abdominal blockages. Glass ornaments can break and injure a kitty. Place tempting ornaments up high. Better yet, place the dangerous ornaments in a room the cat cannot get into.
  3. Chocolate is a poison for both cats and dogs. Usually it will only make your pet ill, but it can kill. Make sure visitors know the dangers of chocolate being around your pets.
  4. Plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are poisonous to cats if eaten. Place them up high and out of reach of twitching noses. If you have a cat that generally likes to nibble the indoor plants, it is strongly recommended that you refrain from bringing these plants in to the home at all.
  5. The Christmas tree, cats love Christmas trees. The tree can be like an enormous playground for your cats. Cats can shred a tree, knock it over or destroy all of the ornaments. Buy a tree that does not shed needles. Place weights at the bottom of the tree and secure the top to something rock steady. Place dangly ornaments up high, hopefully out of paws reach. Spray the base of the tree with a diluted solution of lemon juice. Place pinecones around the base of the tree so your cats hopefully won’t get too close.

A Cat Christmas:

  1. Cats often feel left out or overwhelmed by all of the Christmas activity. Set aside special time to play and cuddle with your cat.
  1. Make a safe room for your cat to retreat to if it all gets to be too much for your cat. Place a note on the door telling others not to enter. Put the cat’s bed, favorite toys, a litter tray, and fresh water in the room.
  2. Cats need Santa to bring them toys, too. Any cat would enjoy a stocking with a few new toys.

Here’s hoping you and your loved little cat have a wonderful and safe Christmas Season!

 

– Written by Linzy Trueblood, owner of Passionate 4 Pets in Orange County, CA

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PetsitUSA’s newest featured pet sitter is Cool Dogs Petsitting in Richmond, VA!  If you are in the Richmond area, you can find their listing here.image441  Cool Dogs offers many services, including:

  • AM, Midday, PM visits and sleepovers
  • Bathing and Brushing
  • Pet Photography
  • Pet First Aid Certified

You can find more information at their website.

Thank you Cool Dogs Petsitting for being a member of PetsitUSA!

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Starting up a pet-sitting business isn’t as difficult as it may seem, but there
are several things to take into consideration. Time, commitment, and professionalism are at the top of the list. Essentially, you will be a small business owner, regardless if you hire employees or go it alone. Keeping that in mind, where does one begin in regards to starting up a business? Here are five things to consider before taking the leap.

Filing the Paperwork

Business License and/or “Doing Business As” (DBA)

Filing for a business license can be a daunting task for many, but it’s not as scary as it seems. Check with your state whether you need a business license to legally operate a pet-sitting business. They will let you know what paperwork to file to get your business off the ground.

Do you want to use your own name, or a business name? (ie. Pam’s Pet-sitting vs. Walk in the Park) If you choose to name your business, you’ll need to register that name with the appropriate authorities. This process is known as registering your “Doing Business As” (DBA) paperwork. Registering your DBA is done either with your county clerk’s office or with your state government, depending on where your business is located.

Protecting yourself

Insurance vs. no insurance

What if, while in your care, Fido bites another dog or a child? Or you accidentally break a client’s favorite antique? As a business owner, you’re liable. Accidents happen, so it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Pet-sitting insurance covers general liability, personal property, and employee accidents or dishonesty. There are several insurance companies that offer pet-sitting insurance. The cost will vary, but it’s worth it.

Keeping track of business finances

Personal checking account vs. business account

dog-1082307_1920Using a personal account for your business finances affects your legal liability. If you’re a sole proprietor and combine business and personal expenses, it can be difficult for the IRS to determine if you’re a viable business. If you choose to operate from your personal account, make sure to keep track of your business and personal expenses. If your business is an LLC, partnership, or corporation, it’s crucial to have separate accounts. Failure to separate business and personal expenses can result in the owner being sued for business and corporate liabilities. Check with your bank to see what they offer in terms of small business accounts.

 Privacy and professionalism

Business phone vs. personal phone

Business contacts who have access to your personal phone number can create privacy concerns. Having a separate business line gives you the ability to answer the phone and return calls in a professional manner. You can also set up business hours (although if you’re taking care of someone’s pet, I recommend being available to them at all times). If you decide to use your private number, be prepared. Clients will treat the number as a business number, and may be calling at all hours. Make sure your voice message states when you’ll be returning their calls.

Advertising & Branding

Logo, website/domain name, business cards, and flyers

Having a local and online presence is important. If you aren’t tech savvy, find someone who is that can help you. It’s also a good idea to check out your local pet-sitters to see how their websites are designed, and what they offer their clients.

Logos: Design a logo to represent your business. Your logo will brand your website, business cards, online advertising and flyers. Make sure your images aren’t copyrighted or you could be sued. You can use clip art or search for Creative Commons images online. From there, find a photo editing/designing program (PicMonkey, Fotor) and create something memorable.  The possibilities are endless, have fun with it!

Website/Domain name: Depending on your business needs, a website/domain name can be free (Weebly, WordPress, Blogger) or paid (Wix, iPage, GoDaddy). Pay careful attention to introductory web hosting prices, as they will most likely increase after the first month. Again, if designing a website isn’t your thing, find someone who can help you.

Business cards and flyers: Leaving business cards and flyers with your local veterinarians, pet shops, animal-related events, shelters, and dog parks is a great way to spread the word about your business. Don’t forget to advertise in your local online directories.

With some thought and planning, starting up your own pet-sitting business is a wonderful venture. Getting involved with a pet-sitting organization to learn from others and network is a step in the right direction. Good luck!

For more in-depth information and helpful advice about starting a small business:

SBA US Small Business Administration

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business

Clarissa Johal is the bestselling author of paranormal novels, Poppy, The Island, Voices, Struck, and Between. When she’s not writing and listening to the ghosts in her head, she runs her own pet-sitting business and volunteers at the SPCA. Author website: www.clarissajohal.com

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