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Personal assistant skills: Loving pets

We think of personal assistants of being the right hands of celebrities and executives, but a new trend in the industry is changing the job description. Many personal assistants now spend a good portion of their time taking care of their employer's pets.

This hybrid personal assistant/pet sitter has to be sensitive to the needs of both their human and animal employers.

"I don't just walk your dog around the block and then call it a day," said Manny Apolonio, a San Francisco-based personal assistant, in an interview with Phoenix, Arizona, FOX affiliate KSAZ. "For example, one client asked me to change the filter on his furnace, drop off groceries at his house, replace batteries in his smoke detectors, water his plants and deliver his black lab, Bamboo, to his office in the Financial District because he missed her."

Skilled pet personal assistants tackle many issues that the owner is unable to deal with such as behavioral problems and sickness. They are also the go-to people to care for a pet when an employer is traveling or unavailable.

If an employer is looking to hire a personal assistant to work with his or her pet, he or she should take the same precautions that would be used when hiring a nanny or babysitter for children. Conduct as many face-to-face meetings as you deem necessary and check references. This will ensure safety for your pet and a potential personal assistant.

If you're looking for a personal assistant in Los Angeles with a very specific skill set, consider conducting your search through Colonial Domestic Agency. We specialize in matching employers with the best-qualified applicants.