An Essential Guide to Avoiding Toxic Pet Foods

Columbus dog avoids toxic foods - pet safety in Ohio.

As the festive cheer of Thanksgiving fills the air, we, as dedicated dog walkers and pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio, have a crucial role to play. Let’s gear up to keep our furry clients safe from toxic pet foods this holiday season. We want to ensure the festivities are filled with joy for both humans and pets, keeping emergency vet visits off our schedules!

Navigating Human Food Hazards for Pets

As professional dog walkers and pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio, we must educate pet parents on the dangers lurking within the Thanksgiving spread. Chocolate, for instance, contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Even a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe agitation.

Onions and garlic might make our dishes flavorful, but they can cause gastrointestinal irritation and potential red blood cell damage in pets. Grapes and raisins, often found in holiday desserts, can result in kidney failure in dogs. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, and some baked goods, is also a no-go as it can cause a rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia.

Here’s a list of other human foods to keep your pets away from:

  1. Caffeine: Can lead to restlessness, heart palpitations, and tremors in pets.
  2. Alcohol: Causes dangerous intoxication, which can lead to vomiting, disorientation, and in severe cases, coma and death.
  3. Avocado: The persin in avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  4. Macadamia Nuts: Toxic to dogs, potentially causing weakness, tremors, and hyperthermia.
  5. Yeast Dough: Expands in the stomach, causing pain and can create alcohol as it ferments.
  6. Raw/Undercooked Meat: Risks transmission of bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.
  7. Bones: Can splinter and cause blockages or tears in the digestive tract.
  8. Salt: Excessive amounts can produce excessive thirst, urination, and even sodium ion poisoning.
  9. Apple Seeds: Contain cyanide, which is harmful to dogs and cats when ingested in large quantities.
  10. Tomato Leaves and Stems: Contain solanine, which in large amounts, can cause solanine toxicity.

Look Out for Harmful Pet Food Ingredients

For those of us in Columbus, Ohio providing pet sitting services that involve feeding and nourishing pets, it’s just as important to scrutinize everyday pet food as it is to police the Thanksgiving table. Pet parents should be examining what goes into their pets’ bowls every day. Be vigilant about pet food recalls, as many commercial pet foods contain artificial colors and preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, which are under scrutiny for their suspected carcinogenic properties. Additionally, economical fillers such as corn and soy may benefit pet food companies’ bottom lines, but they are known to provoke allergic reactions and digestive turmoil in many pets.

Moreover, the source of protein in pet food often comes in the form of meat by-products, which is a mixed bag in terms of quality and nutritional density and may not meet your pet’s health requirements. Opting for high-end pet foods that use defined, wholesome ingredients is a wise move to circumvent the potential threats posed by these lesser additives. Keeping abreast of the latest pet food recalls can further protect your pets from inadvertently consuming products that have been found to be unsafe.

A Recipe for Safety: Homemade Dog Food

For the discerning pet parent or the diligent dog walker and pet sitter in Columbus, Ohio, sometimes the best food comes from your kitchen. You can ensure that the ingredients are fresh and wholesome. Try this recipe!

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 ½ cups brown rice
    • 3 pounds ground turkey
    • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
    • 2 carrots, shredded
    • 1 zucchini, shredded
    • ½ cup peas, canned or frozen
  • Directions:
    1. Cook the brown rice as per the instructions and set aside.
    2. In a large pot, cook the ground turkey over medium heat until browned.
    3. Add spinach, carrots, zucchini, and peas, and cook until the spinach wilts.
    4. Stir in the brown rice and cook for a few more minutes until everything is combined and heated through.

This recipe provides a balance of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients to keep your pet in tail-wagging shape. Plus, it’s free from the harmful additives found in some store-bought pet foods!

Pet Care Protocols: What To Do in Case of Emergencies

To ensure a safe holiday environment, keep all human foods away from pets, dispose of trash securely, and remind guests that table scraps are off-limits for furry attendees. It’s also wise to keep the contact information for emergency vets in Columbus, Ohio, accessible.

Thanksgiving Safety with The Best Pet Sitters in Columbus, Ohio

As Thanksgiving approaches, a time of bustling kitchens and hearty feasts, it’s crucial for all pet parents and pet care professionals, including dog walkers and pet sitters in Columbus, Ohio, to stay informed about pet safety. This season, let’s make a commitment to safeguard our beloved animals from potential dangers, ensuring they enjoy the holiday just as much as we do. It only takes a little knowledge and proactive attention to avoid the risks of accidental poisonings.

Also, during those inevitable moments when your holiday preparations take you away from home, remember that you have support in the Columbus pet care community. Professional dog walkers and pet sitters are ready and equipped to step in, providing the care and vigilance needed to make this Thanksgiving a joyous and pet-friendly occasion. Let’s work together to make this a time of celebration, filled with grateful hearts and the contented purrs and wagging tails of happy and healthy pets.



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.