Guide to Equipaws Meet and Greets

Meet and greet Miami

Meet and Greets: Why so many questions?

Before scheduling pet care with Equipaws Pet Services, we require a Meet and Greet with the pet parent and their fur babies. A Meet and Greet is where an Equipaws pet professional comes to your home to introduce themselves to your pets, and learns your pet’s routine including feeding schedules, medical history, behaviors, favorite toys, activities, and treats.

We want to know everything about your pet’s habits and history so we can prepare to care for your pet the way you would while you travel. This information is logged into our pet database in a program called Power Pet Sitter. Pet parents have full access to their pets’ profiles and the ability to update this information at any time.

Furthermore, we ask what seems like hundreds of questions on your home or apartment. Questions include:

  • where is the trash located,
  • where do you keep the cleaning supplies,
  • or do you have an active alarm?

Then we get into questions such as, where is the breaker box and thermostat located? Or where do you keep a flashlight and do you have toilet plunger?

So many questions…for a pet?

When a pet parent hears this, typically we see a funny look come across their face. People seem a touch skeptical and don’t understand why our sitters need to know where the water shut-off valve is and what day of  the week the garbage must go out. Sometimes clients even feel uncomfortable giving us specific information. The staff at Equipaws understands the client is letting a new person enter their home and it can be very intimidating.

Our pet sitters are trained to be observant of anything going askew in the house or with your pets- their outward demeanor can signify internal issues. Remember, not only are we taking care of your pet, but we are your eyes and ears in your home while you are away, providing safety and security on your travels. The more we understand the quirks of your home and the nature of your pet, the better off all parties will be.

Here are a few scenarios we have encountered while on the field pet sitting or dog walking. This may give you a better understanding of why we ask these thorough household questions.

Recently, a client left for a fun weekend away. We were all set with our instructions on pet profile and ready for a few fun visits with the senior pup. One morning, our pet sitter went in for a routine pet sit only to find an inch of water covering the floor! Fortunately, the client’s profile provided information on the location of the water shut off valve and how to turn it off. Although, the house was flooded, she was at least able to clean up and stop further damage to the home.

Another incident occurred when a pet parent had instructed us to flush the kitty litter down the toilet when performing our daily clean out of the box. Although the pet sitter flushed a few clumps at a time, the toilet still managed to get clogged. Luckily, the pet parent provided a plunger, which was handy and solved the problem.

Our pet sitters are trained to be observant of anything going askew in the house or with your pet’s demeanor. Another issue we have experienced is temperature control. A sitter was caring for a bulldog and noticed the apartment was a bit warm, plus the pup was acting quite lethargic and lazy (more than usual for this type of breed). She checked the air conditioning, and it had some how turned off. In the South Florida heat, being exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time can be dangerous for dogs and cats. A quick look at the profile we have on Power Pet Sitter and she turned the AC back on to the preferred temperature.

Recently, we have began asking clients for Wi-Fi codes and passwords. Even in our tech-driven world there are still dead zones throughout our neighborhoods that do not have cell service. Most homes are without landlines, so if an emergency did occur how could our pet sitter call the office or 911? We now collect the Wi-Fi information for your home and pets’ safety.

We hope this gives you a better perception of the importance of details throughout our Meet and Greets. Before the Meet and Greet, we ask the pet parents to fill out the profile completely. This also shows you all the list of questions we are going to inquire about. Do not be alarmed when we ask the questions that may seem out of the ordinary. We are a professional pet sitting company whose main concern is your pet’s safety and and peace of mind while absent from the household.

11 Pet Fire Safety Tips to Prevent Tragedy

prevent tragedy, keep your dogs safe during a fire

Pet Fire Safety Day: 11 Tips and Tricks on Fire-Proofing your Home

July 15th marks National Pet Fire Safety Day. Equipaws Pet Services wants to remind everyone of the importance of this holiday. Our pets are part of our family, and it’s our responsibility to look out for their safety and well-being.

Our pet sitters have seen many instances of potential hazards: cats pressing buttons on stove tops that weren’t set to lock or playing with electric cords while connected to an outlet, or dogs not afraid to jump on the counter to find hot fresh food. The statistics are startling. 40,000 pets die each year in house fires and 1,000 of them started by pets.

What can you do to prevent tragedy and save our furry family members from the flames? Here is a list of general and Miami-specific prevention tips.

  1. Pet Proof Your Home: Take any precaution you would if you were baby proofing your home. Cover all electrical outlets, safety lock cabinet doors, and avoid any electronic wires or machines in reach of pet paws.
  2. Properly Identify Pets: In case you and your pet are separated in the event of a fire have them identified with an up-to-date collar and microchip.
  3. Smoke Alarms: Program your smoke detector to alert you and the fire department when it is triggered, so all important parties are notified if you are not home. In addition, keep as many lights off as possible when you are not home.
  4. Pet Alert Window Cling: This paper hangs in the front window of your house listing all family pets. It allows others to know who is inside when rescuing from a fire. You can find them at participating Fire Stations or at ADT (http://www.adt.com/pet-safety).
  5. Clear Windows and Entry Way: For the rare hurricane or tropical storm Miami may encounter, many homes put up storm shutters. If a fire does occur, having window entrances closed makes it more difficult for firefighters to enter, exit and put out the flames. It may be a hassle to remove shutters  after each potential storm, but will benefit in potential fire hazards. In addition, keep hallways and paths to doors clear at all times.
  6. Have a Safe Haven: Make sure you and your pet have somewhere to go if a fire occurs in your home. Know the hotels in the immediate area that accept pet guests. Find out which family members will take your pet in an emergency situation. Also, be informed of shelters or vets who will accept pets on short notice.
  7. Emergency Kit on Standby: Have a duffle bag ready with a leash, extra collar, food, bowls, bed and blankets stored in a carrier by the door. Include a first aid kit as well with vet emergency information, gauze, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers and a felt strip (can be used for gentle muzzle).
  8. Know Their Hiding Spots: In a fearful situation (storms, fire, hurricanes, etc.) pets may go into hiding. Know where to find them in an uncomfortable emergency.
  9. Avoid Hot Surfaces: The Oven, Stove top, BBQ and fireplace can be inviting to any curious pet. The delicious smells of food and a cozy warm atmosphere would be deceivingly welcoming to any animal. Be mindful of their location and keep them safely contained while cooking or working with any hot surface or tools.
  10. Flameless Candles: An open flame anywhere in the house can lead to devastating outcomes. Switch all candles to flameless and avoid the risk.
  11. Glass Water Bowls: With the gorgeous weather of Miami, the sun glaring off a glass water bowl can create extreme heat. Never leave a glass bowl on a wooden surface as it can create an easy fire.

Being prepared and avoiding accidents can be the matter of life or death to your furry friends. Hopefully by implementing these tips you can peace of mind that you, your home and pet are out of harm’s way with our pet fire safety blog. 

Running in Miami with Your Four-Legged Friend

Running in Miami with your dog

Running in Miami with Your Four-Legged Friend

Thinking of making your pup a your partner while running in Miami? Our city is the perfect place to start with beautiful trails that are pet- and pedestrian- friendly. Your pet can be a running partner who goes out rain or shine and will never cancel on your running date- imagine that!  In addition, this gives you a chance to bond with your best furry friend, plus keep you both healthy and fit.

Running in Miami with your pet may seem as simple as throwing on a pair of Nikes and grabbing a leash, but for a successful journey you need to be prepared. Once your veterinarian has cleared your dog for running (and you ease into it with a new running pup!), check out these tips on useful accessories for you and your dog and where to find them in the Miami area.

Get your pup geared up!  You and your pup partner need the correct gear to let you fully benefit and avoid injury to both parties. These can include:

  • Hands-Free Short Leash
  • Waste Bag Dispenser clips
  • Folding Water Pouch & water
  • Reflective or Light up Vest, Collar and Leash (If running in dark)
  • Doggy Back Pack (Keep yourself hands free and store supplies)
  • Dog Safe Sunscreen (The Miami sun can be a scorcher! Dogs have sensitive skin too!)
  • Doggles (Sunglasses for dogs- ok, maybe not practical for running, but they’re cute for after!)

Visit your local REI, PetSmart, or head to the Web!

  • Ruff Wear Inc. – Build performance dog wear so pets can accompany us on our adventures.
  • Other popular sites: StuntPuppies.com, cardiocanine.com, buddysys.com, granitegear.com and runningdawg.com

Stock up on running equipment at local running stores:

SoleRUNNERS
Address: 11650 N Kendall Drive Miami, FL 33176
Phone: 305-595-RUNS (7867)
Email: customerservice@solerunners.com

SoleRUNNERS was formed by a team of fitness and running experts who share an affection for an active and healthy lifestyle. The store offers a variety of knowledge, apparel, footwear, accessories and nutritional supplements to feed every athletes need.

11Runners
Address: 1055 SE 1st Ave Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 305-358-0400
Email: INFO@11RUNNERS.COM

Passionate runners and Venezuelan natives, Daniel Martinez and Cristina Abuhazi,  created 11Runners in 2011 and haven’t looked back. Located in the heart of Mary Brickell Village, 11 Runners offers a wide variety of sportswear and accessories targeted to runners and triathletes. The store offers running apparel, shoes, nutritional products and accessories.

The Runner’s High
11209 S. Dixie Highway Pinecrest/Miami, FL 33156
Phone: 305-255-1500

The Runners High was founded by Bruce R. Wilk and Byron Kilbert.  Bruce is a lifelong runner, amateur triathlete, and physical therapist with a passion of treating running specific injuries.  Byron is a retail footwear specialist with an incredible 20 years of experience. Together a beautiful partnership was born to provide a running store for people of all ages and levels of fitness. They specialize in gait analysis and determine the right shoe for your foot and physical activity.  They offer athletic apparel, footwear, sports medicine needs, and nutrition.

Now that you know where to get materials and will be outfitted to begin this adventure here are the last few tips to get you started with the right paw forward.

Running Tips with Your Dog:

  • Remain in charge: Warm your dog up first, let her sniff and have her potty break. Once you get into the run, you want to avoid letting the dog pull you every which way. You should lead your pup in what you expect from her. Letting your pup pull every which way can make a run difficult and create a negative experience for you both. Don’t let your dog run you! You are running together.
  • Keep your hands free: To improve running endurance, keeping your hands free allows the runner to keep a natural motion and not lean one way or another.  Also, it can save your shoulders and back from tensing when a dog pulls.  Having a leash around your waste is a huge comfort and health benefit!
  • Prepare for weather: Hot, Cold, Rain, Snow or Shine be prepared with the correct equipment. Read our vital tips for running and walking dogs in Miami.
  • Hydration: Make sure you and your pet drink water before and after the run, being careful to not overdo it.
  • Vet visit: Most importantly visit the vet to make sure Fido is fit for the training that lies ahead!

By having the correct accessories and knowledge you can better enjoy the exercise and experience with your pet.  Here’s to your most successful and fun runs yet!