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Harness the Benefits of a Harness

benefits of a harness

by Beatrix Beri, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB

If you ever had to come into close contact with a long aisle of various harnesses at a pet store, you likely experienced the overwhelming feeling that often pairs with purchasing a dog harness. (more…)

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How to Find the Perfect Pet Sitter

by Kathryn Cockrell, Owner of Happy Hound Pet Sitting

It’s a high stakes situation — you’re leaving your pets and home in the care of a complete stranger. Don’t get me wrong, in-home pet sitters are incredible — but it’s essential that you do your homework before handing over the keys to the castle. Here are a few important considerations when hiring a new pet sitter.


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Teaching Kids Responsible Pet Care

So, your child wants their own pet. We both know this means more work for you, the parent. There is not much that is more exciting to a child than the prospect of a new pet. The problem is, most of the time the excitement wears off and the responsibilities get tossed aside. So what do you do? 

New pet rush and crash

I believe the best way to counteract the “new pet rush and crash” is to find ways to keep your child interested in their new companion. 4-H is a fantastic way to do just this. It’s an organization that provides a path for kids to interact with their pets while also learning about them. 4-H members spend time with their pets at home as well as in groups and at competitions. The new pet enjoyment doesn’t wear off because there is continued interaction within a group atmosphere. 

4-H basics

4-H stands for “head” “heart” “hands” and “health”. When people think about 4-H they tend to think about farming, but it’s not just for kids living in rural areas anymore. There are several 4-H clubs that meet and are accessible to kids across America. They describe themselves as, “America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime.” 

Make it group-oriented

4-H teaches young people responsibility and leadership skills that last a lifetime. Members are encouraged to keep meticulous records, learn safe handling skills, anatomy, and have a strong knowledge of health and illnesses related to their pet. Being part of a group makes pet ownership even more fun and the competitive aspect of preparing your pet and yourself for a show gives children a leg up on test preparation later in life.  Standing up in front of a crowd with your peers and answering questions from a judge will help kids learn public speaking skills. Children get more comfortable in uncomfortable situations by repetition. After several shows, they won’t think twice about the crowd. 

Dreams do come true

The knowledge that I gained in 4-H helped me go from adopting pets to running a pet service business today. My ability to speak clearly, without fear in front of a crowd, my record keeping skills, the ability to read and retain information, and my knowledge of animals help me tremendously in my daily life as an adult. I use all of these skills daily as a small business owner and I credit my time in 4-H with giving me the courage and knowhow to graduate college, work in a public institution, and eventually start my own pet service business. 

Get going

Take your kids with you to make pet ownership a reality. Find a pet that fits well with your family’s lifestyle and is something your kids will be able to help care for. Then, find a group either online or in person to help your kids get past that new pet rush and crash. Have fun!

About the Author

Jessica Hampton-Diamond is the co-founder and owner of Platinum Leash Pet Care Company located in Portland, Oregon. A mother of three and a pet parent, she writes about animals, people, parenting, and adoption.


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Every Dog Poops

…But does every owner clean it up? Cleaning up your dog’s poop each and every time is extremely important for the environment. Kari Kalway, owner of Puddles Barkery, shares exactly why more people should be aware of it and how they can learn more about local policies and ordinances to help keep their environment clean.


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How to Start a Pet Care Business

by Stephanie James, dog walker and freelance writer

In recent years, pet care has become a booming business in the US and other parts of the world as well. The industry has different categories. These categories include pet grooming, doggy daycare, obedience training, kennel/boarding services, dog walking, among other pet-related services. Though this is a lucrative business, becoming a pet care pro is a task that needs patience, faith, and sacrifice, among other essential traits. There is more to being a pet care professional than just playing with the pets and taking them for a walk. Pet care is always physically demanding and often times challenging work. (more…)