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Pet Au Pair popular among Windsor animal lovers

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Published By CBC News | January 7, 2017

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Some days Richelle Gale spends more time with dogs than people. 

The pet care provider visits her clients' homes to spend time with the pets, who tend to need some attention during the day.

Gale has been operating Pet Au Pair Service, an in-home pet-care business, for the past four years. She visits people's animals, lets them outside and spends a bit of time with them.

"There are a lot of people who work long, long hours and they prefer to have someone come in and give their animal a quick let-out. It's like a mid-day potty break," she said. 

Keeping pets out of trouble

The animals quickly come to expect Gale's visits, which usually last for about 30 minutes. That small window of company in the middle of the day goes a long way to keeping pets happy and out of trouble.

"The animals get bored," she said. "With me going in and taking them for a walk or just entertaining them, throwing a ball for them, it just really breaks up their day and they're less apt to getting into mischief."

Gale also grades the pets, based on their behaviour. Outlined in a report card she gives to the owners, Gale keeps tabs on how many times the animals go to the washroom, the type of food they eat and the mood they were in during the visit. 

Lisa Killaire uses the in-home service regularly for her dog, Charlie. 

"You get a report you can see exactly what little Charlie was up to while you were away," she said.

Knowing her dog needs attention and exercise, Killaire has come to rely heavily on Gale.

"I don't want him to be alone too long. He enjoys sleeping, but he also loves to run and loves to get out and go for walks," she said. "That tires him out, so it's good for him to get his exercise. He needs that every day."