Olga E. Colquhoun is a certified pet sitter who finds her job rewarding on many levels, mainly because of her passion for animals. When she is not caring for pets in clients’ homes, she often volunteers her time at local animal shelters; doing everything she can to make abandoned, abused and stray animals feel comfortable and safe.
Colquhoun has built her reputation on quality care and a high level of professionalism. Many of her clients rave about her services, noting that professional pet sitting services is much more efficient than other options such as boarding facilities.
“Becoming a certified pet sitter is an intensive process,” she said. “And it shows in how professionally trained sitters care for animals, going above and beyond the standards found in boarding facilities.” Olga E. Colquhoun celebrates a recent article in Carroll County Times that emphasizes why choosing a pet sitting service is generally the best way to go for vacation plans. The article mentions that “It should be noted that a kennel environment may not be appropriate for some pets. The change of environment, sounds, smells, food and disruptions to familiar routines may trigger stress in some animals. For owners of sensitive pets, hiring a pet sitter may be a more suitable option.”
Olga E. Colquhoun has established a strong relationship with clients as she enters their homes to play with, feed, walk and care for their dogs and cats. The article notes “Professional pet sitting has grown into businesses that hire bonded and insured employees who make several visits per day to feed, interact with and let pets outdoors to relieve themselves. Other pet sitting services provide 24-hour care with the sitter staying in the home.”
Because Colquhoun extends her services as a “one-woman-operation,” her services are set apart because of her continual devotion to each client. “I personally care for every pet, so dogs come to know and trust me, relying on my consistent care while their owners are away,” she said.
Most of her clients came to her through word-of-mouth because she has built such a solid foundation. The article highlights how others come to discover professional pet sitter services. “Get recommendations from friends, neighbors and relatives. Also check the bulletin boards at your veterinary hospital, grooming shop and pet supply store. Publications like the Maryland Pet Gazette and Pet Lovers Companion [found in veterinary hospitals, grooming salons and pet supply stores] have listings for professional pet sitting services.”
If planning to hire a pet sitter, the article recommends preparing pets before leaving for vacation by inviting the sitter for a “pre-vacation” home visit to establish rapport with the pets and observe the routines for feeding, administration of medications, dog walking and playtime. Olga E. Colquhoun expounds upon this concept. “I always give clients the option to make sure their pets are comfortable with me,” she said. “I have found that dogs with separation anxiety feel much better if they know me or have met me. Planning a ‘meet and greet’ is a luxury that most boarding facilities do not provide.”
During this special home visit, the article recommends to “Show the pet sitter where food, treats, medications, cleaning supplies, leashes, collars, cat litter and pet sleeping areas are located. Insist that your dog be walked on a leash, even if you have a fenced-in yard as some dogs may panic and attempt to escape or not come when called by the sitter.”
Olga E. Colquhoun also urges pet parents to supply photocopies of all pets’ inoculation and health records in case she needs to bring the pet to an animal emergency hospital. This information is crucial, especially for the ER staff as they may not have access to the incoming patient’s health history. The report adds, “Discuss what additional house sitting services you require, like bringing in the mail and newspapers, watering plants, security checks, etc., providing instructions for use of electronic light timers or an alarm system.”
She also lets pet owners know that she requires that they sign a consent form to authorize emergency veterinary care. “I also make sure I know what their limits are on how much I am able to spend on the pet in case of an emergency,” she said. The article advises pet owners to “Discuss the fee schedule and compensation for any expenses that may be incurred by the sitter during the care of your pet.”
Before Olga E. Colquhoun cares for clients’ pets, she gathers comprehensive information regarding any unusual behavioral idiosyncrasies that their pets may demonstrate, including shyness, finicky eating, fear of thunderstorms or favorite hiding places. “Understanding positive techniques used to alleviate the pet’s behavior will help me better handle the dog or cat and it will also help the pet to feel comfortable under my care, she said.”
The report recommends getting all pets micro-chipped in case of accidental escape: “Micro-chipping can be performed on dogs, cats, birds and small mammals and reptiles.” Colquhoun also points out that labeling foods and bowls is another helpful step in preparing the pet sitter. “If you have several pets in your home, it is important to label all food and medications. Provide detailed written feeding and medication instructions to ensure that the sitter takes appropriate action and to avoid any mistakes.” She even recommends measuring out food or medication in precise amounts and dosages to eliminate any error.
The article highlights the importance of providing a list of emergency contact numbers, including cell phone numbers, veterinary hospital, emergency veterinary hospital, friends, neighbors, relatives and the vacation destination hotel number. Also, Olga E. Colquhoun advises owners to “Place cleaning supplies [baggies, disinfectants, paper towels, trash bags, dish washing lotion for pet bowls] in a location that is easily spotted.”
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Olga E. Colquhoun is a certified pet sitter who enjoys sharing the benefits of professional sitting services. She places quality care, comfort and safety as her top priority for every client, demonstrating a true passion for animals. When she extends pet sitting services, she enters clients’ homes to feed, care for, walk and play with the animals. She finds her job incredibly rewarding, and in her spare time, she volunteers at the local animal shelters.