Teaching Your Kids about Dog Bites

by Jason Smith

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In honor of World Rabies Day, I recently presented a talk to my sons’ daycare group about dog bite prevention. The children in the class really enjoyed the presentation and did well in the practical exercises to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

We opened up by playing a short game of “Who am I?” I gave the children clues describing five different animals. The five animals they had to guess were the raccoon, the skunk, the fox, the coyote, and the bat. All of these animals can carry rabies. In fact, researchers have documented rabid bats in all 49 continental states (Hawaii is rabies-free).

Rabies is a serious illness that affects the brain. The only way a person can get rabies is from the bite of a rabid animal. While rabies is in decline in the United States—with 1 to 2 deaths per year on record, down from 100 deaths per year since the 1960s—it is still prevalent in developing countries. In such places, people without access to health care are most likely to become infected. According to the Global Alliance on Rabies Control, 60% of human deaths occur in people 15 years old and younger. Animals infected with rabies usually die within 7 days of becoming sick.

In the United States, in 2000-2004, a majority of the rabies cases occurred from cat bites. Because of strict vaccination laws and protocols, dogs are well-vaccinated in the United States, so they are a less likely source of rabies infection in humans.
However, in developing countries, dogs remain the most likely source.

After our brief game of “Who am I?”, I began telling the children about dog bite prevention. I gave them three different scenarios.

Meeting a Stranger with a Dog

If you ever find yourself walking down the street and you are approached by a person walking a dog, don’t assume you can just go up and pet the dog. Not only is it disrespectful to the dog and its owner it also invades the dog’s space and puts him on alert. The goal is to minimize the chance of biting so instead stop calmly and wait. Decide if the dog appears friendly. Then, ask the owner if you may pet the dog. If the owner says, “No,” be respectful and go about your day. If the owner says, “Yes,” make a closed fist and hold it near your body. Allow the dog to sniff your hand and when the dog is satisfied, then you may pet the dog. As you pet the dog, don’t make a downward swooping motion to pat the dog on the head (as this appears threatening), instead gently stroke the dog down the chest or along the back.

Meeting a Stray Dog

If you find yourself walking down a street and you encounter a stray dog, do whatever you can to stay away. If you cannot stay away from the dog, stop, stand still, and pretend to be a tree. Make closed fists to prevent the dog from biting your fingers. Stand slightly angled to the side with the dog in your peripheral vision (Do not make direct eye contact with a dog because the dog will interpret that as a challenge). Never turn your back to a strange dog and never attempt to run from a dog—you couldn’t outrun a dog if you tried. (Humans can run on average 27.3 miles per hour and dogs can top out at speeds above 45 miles per hour) Besides, when you run away from a dog, you activate the prey drive which makes the dog want to chase you.

Stand still and pretend to be a tree. Remain calm. If the dog attempts to sniff you, allow him to do so and wait patiently and calmly for the dog to lose interest.

Surviving a Stray Dog Attack

Before a dog bites you, offer it something to redirect its attention. You could use a stick, a toy, a treat, a backpack, or anything that you can offer to the dog to bite apart from you. Then, get out of there as soon as possible.

After a dog bites you, don’t try to retaliate. Retaliation leads to escalation and could result in serious injury or even death. Instead, shout for help (avoid screaming as this further draws out the prey drive) and curl up in a ball and pretend to be a rock. When pretending to be a rock, be sure to protect your neck with your hands and draw your knees up into your chest to protect your stomach.

If you’ve been bitten, make sure to go home and wash any wounds with warm water and soap for about 15 minutes. Then, make an appointment with your doctor to determine if treatment is necessary for rabies.

Share these tips with your children today.

Get involved in the cause to stop rabies. When you give:

  • $8 per month will vaccinate a child
  • $2 per month will vaccinate a dog
  • $75 one time gift will provide life-saving therapy to critical rabies cases
  • $10 per month to teach children to stay safe

You can donate online by visiting http://rabiesalliance.org/get-involved/donate

Download the American Veterinary Medical Association’s coloring book for fun coloring pages that teach about safety around dogs.

Tapeworm Infection in Dogs

At my first stop this morning, I became acquainted with three dogs. The last two times I encountered them, we had not been formally introduced so they were excited and protective of their yard as I entered it. This time, the owner saw me coming and ushered the dogs into the house before I opened the gate to enter the yard. As I began cleaning, the owner called out to me. She was getting ready to leave for work but wanted to let the dogs out before she left. She said, “I’m going to let them out one at a time so they can get to know you.”

My first encounter was with Kilo, a boxer. He came galloping out of the house with full force, agitated that a stranger was in his yard. I knelt down beside my lobby dust pan and allowed him to approach me. With caution, he came nearer to me and sniffed around. I managed to pet him. Satisfied that I was not a threat, he bounced across the yard and dropped a fresh pile of poo for me to pick up.

Next, she introduced me to Gracie. True to her namesake, Gracie swiftly and gracefully approached me directly. She sniffed my face and licked my nose. Then, she went about her business.

Finally, Diesel came out to meet me. He came over, circled around me, and sniffed my dust pan. Deciding that I wasn’t that interesting, he went on his way.

After all three of the dogs went back into the house, I continued my first scan of the yard. I saw a tapeworm segment in one of the fresh piles the dogs deposited during our meet-up. Without hesitation, I knocked on the door and informed the owner about tapeworm infection.

If you didn’t already know, tapeworm infection is actually a sign of a flea infestation. You see, the flea is the intermediate host for the Dipylidium caninum tapeworm. Infection occurs when your dog accidentally swallows a flea containing the parasite. You might be wondering, How on earth could my dog accidentally swallow a flea? It is easy than you think.

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites. The females require a blood meal before they can lay eggs. As fleas bite your dogs, your dog becomes very itchy. Have you ever watched your dog nip or bite when scratching a flea bite? Sure you have. When a dog uses its teeth to scratch a flea bite is exactly the time an unsuspecting flea gets swallowed up in the jaws of your canine.

Now, as for this customer, the tapeworm infection is already present. The first course of action is to determine which dog has tapeworm. If you visit your veterinarian, they can give you a small device designed to obtain a fecal sample, or you can simply use a plastic baggy and take samples from each of the dogs into the vet clinic for analysis. After a short microscopic examination of the stool, your veterinarian can tell you which dog is infected with tapeworm. **Please note, fecal analysis does not always provide a definitive diagnosis.

Next, your veterinarian will likely prescribe medicine designed to kill the tapeworm. A couple treatments are usually necessary, spaced two to three weeks apart.

While you’re waiting on the tapeworm infection to clear from your dog’s system, the next course of action is to address the flea problem. Most veterinarians will recommend a monthly flea preventative. These usually come in packs of three droppers that you apply to the whithers of the dog. Certain products are capable of killing fleas, ticks, and eggs of both parasites.

As for home care, you will need to vacuum your carpet. Immediately following, take the bag out of your vacuum, place it in a trash bag, and place it outside in the trash bin. You’ll want to repeat this process several times over the next 90 days to ensure that all of the fleas and eggs have been removed from your carpet.

In adult dogs, tapeworm infection is usually asymptomatic. You will not notice anything unusual except for maybe a few small segments of tapeworm in fresh stool. Tapeworm segments look like flat grains of rice or cucumber seeds. This is usually the only observation necessary to determine tapeworm infection.

In small puppies, however, you might observe a pot-bellied appearance. Anemia and intestinal blockages could also occur, meaning that tapeworm infection in puppies is more serious than in adult dogs.

For more information on tapeworm infection in dogs, be sure to check out the following web pages:

Veterinary Partner – Tapeworms

VCA Animal Hospitals – Signs of Tapeworm Infection in Dogs

AAVP – Dipylidium caninum

Three Steps to Selecting Adequate Nutrition for Your Dog or Cat

by Jason Smith

When you first brought your dog home, how did you decide what to feed him? You probably selected a popular brand of kibble off the shelf at your local supermarket based on recommendations from family, friends, or your veterinarian. Marketing might also have influenced your purchasing decision. Like most people, you continue to buy the same brand of food, feeding your companion animal a uniform meal plan over the course of his life. If you made your decision this way, you may be depriving your beloved companion of a fuller life, both in appetite and span.

In recent years, various writers and researchers have published numerous studies and books about canine nutrition that suggests pet parents should take a more active role in determining what to feed their companion animals to provide a rich and nourishing life. Recommendations vary from feeding one type of kibble over the life of the animal, to feeding canned food, to rotating food once every six months, to home cooking, or even feeding raw food diets. With all the information flooding the marketplace, how can you, the consumer, make the best choice when it comes to feeding your pets?

  1. Get Informed

The first thing to do is gather information about the various foods you are considering feeding your companion animals. One of the most important things to locate is the AAFCO statement on the packaging. The AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The criteria they use to determine the nutritional adequacy of a dog or cat food is their Nutrient Profiles for cats and dogs. Here are a few statements you should look for and what they mean according to the AAFCO’s web site:

  • “Complete” – product contains all required nutrients
  • “Balanced” – nutrients in the product are in the correct ratios
  • “for gestation/lactation” – indicated for use with pregnant or nursing dogs and cats
  • “for growth” – indicated for use with kittens and puppies
  • “for maintenance” – indicated for use with healthy adult dogs and cats
  • “for all life stages” – indicated for use with cats and dogs of any age

Here is the AAFCO statement from the back of a bag of Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies & Adult Dogs:

AAFCO statement

According to the AAFCO, the nutritional adequacy statement is the most important piece of information on any pet food product because it allows the consumer to make quick and easy comparisons.

Also, you may want to delve a bit deeper into the ingredients list. The ingredients list lists all ingredients in descending order based on weight. Generally, you will want to avoid foods that do not distinguish “animal fat” from “chicken fat” because the term “animal” is not specific. In fact, the AAFCO prohibits using collective terminology on pet food products. The AAFCO web site states, “Collective terms, such as ‘animal protein products,’ ‘grain products,’ or ‘roughage products’ that cover more than one ingredient and can be used on other animal feeds cannot be used on pet food products” (emphasis added). If you see a product with non-specific terminology, do not purchase it for your dog or cat.

The guaranteed analysis is another important part of the food label. The AAFCO requires four guarantees for pet foods:

  • Maximum percentage of crude protein
  • Minimum percentage of crude fat
  • Maximum percentage of crude fiber
  • Maximum percentage of moisture

A food labeler may voluntarily include additional guarantees following the moisture guarantee. If a labeler guarantees an item the AAFCO does not require, then the labeler should include it last with an asterisk pointing to an additional statement on the label.

Here is a snap shot of the guaranteed analysis for Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies & Adult Dogs:

Guaranteed Analysis

The AAFCO Statement, Guaranteed Analysis, and Ingredients List is the minimum information you will need before making your decision to buy a pet food.

  1. Understanding Price

Depending on the process used by a manufacturer and the selected ingredients, the price of dog and cat food may be different. According to Consumer Affairs, there are three types of pet foods: canned, semi-moist, and dry. Dry foods are mass-produced using a process called “extrusion.” It is a fast cook process allowing a manufacturer to produce a lot of kibble quickly. Because this process is fast and uses inexpensive ingredients, the overall price extended to consumers is low. There is a range of dry products available. If a manufacturer selects premium or “human-grade” ingredients, adds more protein, or uses natural preservatives instead of synthetic preservatives, the price of the food will be higher.

A step up from dry is semi-moist foods. Many dog and cat treats are semi-moist foods. The difference is that semi-moist foods contain more water than dry, so the food tends to be chewy instead of hard. Semi-moist foods also contain preservatives. The price of semi-moist foods is more than the price of dry food.

Canned food is the third type of food available on the market. Canned foods do not usually contain preservatives because the canning process acts as a preserving mechanism for the food. Because canning is more expensive than the processes used in manufacturing dry or semi-moist food, canned food is the most expensive type of food available on the market.

Marketing may also influence the price of dog or cat food. Sometimes, fancy packaging or the addition of words like “Premium” or “Senior Blend” may influence the price to go higher. In my experience, cheap foods are usually cheap but expensive does not always mean better.

  1. Do what’s Comfortable

After collecting information and understanding price, you are ready to make a purchasing decision. Dave Ramsey always says, “Do not buy anything you don’t understand.” You wouldn’t invest money in the stock market if you didn’t understand stocks, so why would you buy pet food that you don’t understand? The food you select for your pet is an important decision that will affect the life of your companion animal. So make a good choice.

Is canned food the best choice for your pet? Is semi-moist food the best choice for your pet? Is dry food or premium dry food best for your pet? Is raw or home-cooked food best for your pet? Many experts agree that the best food for your pet is one that your dog likes, one that you’re comfortable with, and one that fits into your budget.

I used the resources below to write this post. Here they are for you to use so you can make an informed decision.

After you’ve done your research, hop on over to lifesabundance.com/petcorps to browse our products. Enjoy the benefits of just-in-time dog or cat food shipped direct to your door.

Is dog poop really that toxic?

by Jason Smith

What a great question! The beauty of this question is that the answer is in the question itself. First, we must define the word “toxic.” When something is toxic, it has poisonous attributes. In the case of dog poop, there are no poisonous attributes; therefore, dog poop is not toxic. However, dog poop has the potential to be harmful to people, pets, and the environment. Here’s why:

Intestinal Parasites

Dog poop may contain certain diseases-causing agents (pathogens) that can affect both people and pets. For example, roundworm and hookworm are common intestinal parasites of dogs. The eggs of these parasites usually pass in the stool of an infected animal. Roundworm and hookworm are both zoonotic diseases (diseases that are transmissible from animal to man).

Roundworm eggWith roundworm, the eggs can remain in the environment in soil. Dogs who dig or children who play in contaminated soil are most likely to introduce the parasite into their mouths. When this happens, the parasite migrates throughout the body. The natural environment for adult roundworms is the intestine of dogs; in humans, they continue to migrate throughout the body causing lesions on the skin and sometimes damage to the eye resulting in blindness.

Hookworm close upWith hookworm, the animal waste is infectious immediately. Infection easily occurs through the pads of the feet of dogs or humans walking barefoot in a waste-laden yard. Because hookworms are blood-sucking parasites, they can cause anemia in both animals and humans.

Since treatment for worms has become commonplace in practice with the administration of a monthly pill, the likelihood of roundworm or hookworm infection is low. Other intestinal parasites include tapeworm, Giardia, Coccidia, and Cryptosporidium.

Intestinal Bacteria

Other pathogens that could be harmful to people include Salmonella spp. and E. coli.

SalmonellaAccording to CDC.gov, salmonellosis is a mild bacterial infection that lasts for about a week. It causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, salmonellosis can migrate through the blood stream and cause death. The elderly, infants, and immunocompromised individuals are at the greatest risk of severe illness.

While E. coli normally occurs in the intestines of humans and animals and contributes to a healthy intestinal system, some strains are toxic and can cause illness. According to the CDC, there are diverse symptoms associated with various E. coli infections, such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.

These are the most likely culprits to human infection; however, other bacteria known as campylobacter may also cause illness in humans.

Environmental Impact

When left to accumulate on the lawns of pet owners, dog waste is affected by weather patterns that play a role in carrying intestinal parasites and bacteria into the water system. When rain or storm water carries dog waste into sewer drains, the waste flows to water treatment plants. Despite our ability to eliminate contaminants from wastewater, pathogens from dog waste survive the process. This leads to water contamination. The worst part is that some of the aforementioned parasites thrive in water and infect people and pets that drink contaminated water.

Nitrogen is a natural byproduct in dog waste. When waste flows into a local body of water, the nitrogen in the waste converts to ammonia. High concentrations of ammonia in lakes, rivers, and streams have the ability to kill fish populations. Ammonia also provides a food source to algae and is responsible for an algal bloom in Lake Erie last summer that affected Toledo, OH residents.

While dog waste is not the only cause of water contamination, maintaining a clean yard is within our control. At a minimum, cleaning up after the dog should happen at least once a week. Ideally, cleaning up should happen every time your dog has a bowel movement. With busy schedules and time poverty affecting most of our lives, the ideal method is not always possible. That’s where hiring a professional comes in handy.

As you work hard to provide for your family’s needs and wants, professional dog waste removal service companies work diligently to clean up and remove the dog waste from your lawn. Luxury services like these are not for everyone. In fact, as a follower of Dave Ramsey, I’d recommend that splurging on a service like this should happen after you are out of debt, everything but your home, with 3-6 months of savings in an emergency fund. This way, you know you can afford it. By then, after all your hard work, you will have earned it.

jasonsmithJason Smith is the owner of PetCorps Professional Pet Care, a Kentucky pet services company. Before starting his business in 2007, Jason served on active duty as a veterinary technician in the United States Army. He worked overseas at the Osan Airbase Veterinary Clinic in Osan, South Korea and later oversaw the care plan of the military working dogs at the Fort Knox Veterinary Treatment Facility in Fort Knox, KY. His mission is to help make pet care pawsible by being a resource to people and their pets. For more information about PetCorps, visit petcorps.info.


When Little Doggies Trespass

by Jason Smith


Image source: Bing Images

The other day, after I had finished my scooping route, I came home and decided it was way past time to mow the yard. Here in Kentucky, we had experienced several days of rain, with flooding in several parts of the state. With all that rain, the grass was happily growing tall, without a dry day in sight to mow the grass. Fortunately, the rain had cooled things down in my part of the state and a dry afternoon was ideal for mowing. I grabbed the mower and started mowing the front yard.

Much to my surprise, I found little nuggets all over my front yard. Now, I know it wasn’t from the dog I was pet sitting in my home because I had let her out in the backyard to do her business. These nuggets were obviously from wandering dogs. Granted, I’m a professional pooper scooper but do you really think I want to clean up dog waste from stray dogs or people walking their dogs in my yard? Absolutely not.

We need to install a fence, I thought. I still like this idea. As soon as the budget allows, it is a viable option to solve the problem of a stray dog entering my yard to take a dump. Until then, I would appreciate a little help in this matter.

If you’re a dog walker or you’re walking your dog past my house, please be considerate and pick up the waste with a poop bag. I have walked dogs for others and I always make sure I’m carrying poop bags just in case the dog takes a potty break while we’re walking. You wouldn’t like it if I let a dog in my care poop on your lawn, so why would you think that I would like it? Forget the label on my Jeep that reads “We Scoop Dog Poop” and simply follow the Golden Rule. Matthew 7:12 says, “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.”

I really don’t care if you think poop is gross and you don’t want to stoop down to pick it up because it stinks. Do you really think you are the only person in the world that dislikes dog poop? Nobody likes to pick up dog poop. That’s the main reason I have a job. I enjoy what I do because it makes a difference in the lives of others. The problem with the wayward dog walker is that instead of concerning himself with others, he takes a selfish position that says, “Yes! That’s one less pile I have to clean up. Good dog!”

Need I remind you about the new signs popping up around pet-friendly apartment complexes? They read:


“Pet Waste Transmits Disease…clean up after your pet.”

It is true that dog waste transmits disease. Some of the diseases your dog can pass on to humans include:

Even worse is a disease that dogs can spread to other dogs: parvovirus.

So when you let your dog poop all over and fail to clean up after her, you are aiding in the spread of diseases that can harm people and pets. Besides this, you may create a situation that you’d want to avoid.

A while back, I had read an article about a man walking a dog. The dog had squatted on a lawn, appeared to have pooped (when in truth, only urinated), and the man and dog promptly continued on their way. The owner of the property had witnessed the act and followed the man home. When the property owner caught up with the dog walker, the property owner struck the dog walker and killed him. Now, that’s a little extreme, but there are crazy people out there. My advice to avoid such an encounter is to get in the habit of cleaning up after your dog. If this grosses you out, you have other options:

1 – Don’t have a pet dog. They poop and eventually someone is going to have to do the dirty work.

2 – Hire a dog walker. It’s part of the job to clean up after the dog. If you’re a dog walker and you’re not doing this, it’s time to get out of the business of walking dogs.

3 – Hire a professional pooper scooper to do the dirty work for you. Now, keep in mind, luxury services like these don’t come cheap; if they do, they probably aren’t worth it. Don’t skimp on price when it comes to choosing a professional pooper scooper. You indeed get what you pay for.

cropped-fave_01.jpgJason Smith is the owner of PetCorps Professional Pet Care, a Kentucky pet services company. Before starting his business in 2007, Jason served on active duty as a veterinary technician in the United States Army. He worked overseas at the Osan Airbase Veterinary Clinic in Osan, South Korea and later oversaw the care plan of the military working dogs at the Fort Knox Veterinary Treatment Facility in Fort Knox, KY. His mission is to help make pet care pawsible by being a resource to people and their pets. For more information about PetCorps, visit petcorps.info.

To dig or not to dig?

Dog Digging A Hole in the Yard

Image source Bing Images

Digging is an instinctual habit of dogs but an undesirable trait according to dog owners.

It appears that people are more concerned about the appearance of their lawns than the psychological development of their dogs. After all, it’s expensive to produce a well-manicured lawn and the destruction caused by digging dogs frustrates pet owners.

According to Shore, Riley, & Douglas (2006), one of the reasons dog owners turn their dogs over to animal shelters is digging. So clearly, dogs and their owners must work together through this issue.

There are several reasons a dog resorts to digging. First, it’s hardwired into their DNA to dig.

In fact, breeders bred some dogs because of their digging abilities. According to Cesar Millan, the desire to dig is “especially strong in terrier breeds.”

Second, it gives them an outlet for their energy. When a dog doesn’t have an outlet, they become bored and naturally gravitate toward their digging instinct.

Third, they dig to ward off intruders like moles and other ground-dwelling animals. According to Yvette Van Veen in the Toronto Star, “Dogs notice these uninvited guests- often well before owners. [When they do], they usually start to dig.”

Fourth, they dig to provide themselves a place to cool off during the summer. The cool earth provides a nice place to cool off in warmer months. I’ve also observed that in colder months, dogs will cuddle together in a previously dug hole to keep warm.

Digging is part of who your dog is. Asking your dog to stop digging is like asking him to change his nature. Why? So you can have a pristine lawn. Your dog doesn’t understand why your lawn is so important, after all, it’s his bathroom. Not that he doesn’t appreciate a clean yard to frolic in or the fact that you have it cut regularly, he just doesn’t value the yard the same way you do.

Is it really necessary to stop the behavior? If the answer is yes, here are some things you can do to curb your dog’s desire to dig.

Primarily, exercise is key. Dogs need about 30 minutes of exercise 6 to 7 days a week. Take your dog on walks, jogs, or runs. Take your dog swimming. Find an activity that you and your dog can enjoy together and let her exercise to her heart’s content.

Second, never allow your dog to be alone in your yard. If it is important to stop the digging behavior, you must absolutely keep a watchful eye on your dog for signs of digging. When you first observe it, that’s when you must quickly redirect your dog to some other acceptable activity.

Another option available to you is one of compromise. It’s understandable that you don’t want your yard to be “ruined” after you paid handsomely for it. Couldn’t you designate an area of your yard as a digging-zone? It is almost like providing a sandbox for your children. In fact, you might be interested in doing some research on dogscaping, a relatively new way at sculpting your yard with your dog’s needs in mind.


Cesar’s Way. (2014 December 8). Common dog behaviors. Retrieved on June 10, 2015 from cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/basics/common-dog-behaviors-explained

Millan, C. (2015 April 23). Stop dog from digging. Retrieved on June 10, 2015 from cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsession/How-Can-I-Get-My-Dogs-to-Stop-Digging

Shore, E. R., Riley, M. L., & Douglas, D. K. (2006). Pet owner behaviors and attachment to yard versus house dogs. Anthrozoos19(4), 325-334.

Yvette Van Veen Special to the Star Yvette Van Veen is an animal behaviour consultant. Write her at, a. (n.d). Backyard digging has many roots. Toronto Star (Canada).

Gas Pump

PetCorps to Implement Transportation Fees

Gas PumpTo offset a rise in fuel costs this summer, PetCorps will implement a temporary fuel surcharge on all services beginning in May and ending in October.

The fuel surcharge will be applied as a separate charge on customer invoices apart from the regular price for waste removal, pet sitting, and other services.

The decision comes after the recent increase in fuel prices in the Elizabethtown and Louisville markets. Based on a forecast report from GasBuddy, PetCorps owner Jason Smith said, “A transportation fee is necessary to continue serving our customers.”

GasBuddy 2015 Gasoline Forecast

GasBuddy 2015 Gasoline Forecast

The transportation fee will be calculated to minimize the overall charges customers receive. Customers will be charged 57.5 cents per mile for their “fair share” of the average miles driven.

First, the sum of the distances from PetCorps to each customer on a route are averaged. Then, the distance for each customer is divided by the total miles to find the percent of total miles. The percent is multiplied by the average miles to determine the miles billed.

For example:

Customer Distance % Miles billed
A 9 37.50% 3.0 mi
B 8 33.33% 2.7 mi
C 7 29.17% 2.3 mi
TOTAL 24 100.00%
Average 8.0

Calculating the final price that will appear on a customer’s monthly invoice depends on the frequency of service.

For example, if customer C is a twice-a-week customer, the total miles billed each week is 4.6 miles (2.3 times 2). We first multiply by the mileage rate to get the weekly fee. The weekly fee in this example is $2.65. We multiply this by 52 weeks and divide by 12 months to get the transportation fee. In this example, the monthly transportation fee is $11.48.

If customer A is a biweekly customer, the total miles billed every two weeks is 3.0. The biweekly fee is $1.73. We then multiply this result by 26 two-week periods and divide by 12 months to get the monthly transportation fee, which is $3.75 in this example.

Finally, if customer B is a once-a-week customer, the total miles billed each week is 2.7 miles. The weekly fee is $1.55. Multiplying by 52 weeks and dividing by 12 months yields $6.72 in transportation fees each month.

This method minimizes the transportation fees passed on to the customers and prevents monthly fluctuations caused by 4 or 5 week months.

At the end of September, PetCorps plans to remove the transportation fees as fuel prices begin trending downward. The company will continue to absorb transportation costs from October through December; however, if prices consistently trend above $2.509 per gallon after that time, permanent transportation fees may become necessary in 2016.