Category: Health and Safety

Camping With Your Dog – Fun, Safety, & More!

Whether its spring, summer, or fall getting back into nature with your dog can be a rewarding experience. Camping is just the change of scenery we all need once in awhile! Campfires, starry nights, swimming, and new smells are a delight to man and beast. Camping can be awesome, but it’s not always as easy as just tossing a tent in the back of your vehicle and hitting the woods – especially if your bringing your dog. Our friends over at Redfin have complied “The Complete Safety Guide for Camping with Dogs”. Here are some of the highlights to get you geared up!

Camping with Fido

  • Prep your dog – Make sure your dog is up to par before taking them out. A young spritely pup will be eager to bounce about the mountains and trails but an older dog may have a hard time keeping up with you. Be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is prepared for a potential onslaught of ticks. Your dog is going to encounter lots of aspects of nature they may not be around much at home.
  • Pack for your dog – Don’t forget to bring all the important things you may need for your dog. Make sure your first-aid kit is suitable for both your needs. Check out Redfin for a list of things to include. Leashes are still needed as well as other tether items to help keep your dog in your campsite and not out wrestling bears or snooping around other campers sites. Bring all the things that your pet needs to be comfortable and satisfied!
  • Safe Camping Practices – Keep your dog where you can see them at all times an know what to do in case of emergencies. Lots of interesting smells and new critters can lead a dog to danger quickly! Keep your human food out of their reach, and make sure you know and are following the campsite or park regulations.

Most importantly take it easy and have fun! Prep your pet for camping excursions in small steps! Maybe a night in a tent in the backyard? Then move up to something close and familiar before you hit Yosemite for a week!

photo credit: sonstroem Camp Dog via photopin (license)

5 Great Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

By guest blogger Alexandra Seagal

When many families decide to bring a new dog into their home, they often think of a puppy first. But there is an equally good option found in rescues and shelters all over the country and who is deserving of a loving, forever home.

Senior dogs (dogs over the age of 7) offer so many benefits to potential adopters, yet many people wrongly conclude that older dogs in shelters are there because they are problem dogs. On the contrary, many adult dogs in shelters are there through no fault of their own, but due to a change in the previous owner’s attitude, allergies, or lifestyle changes.

So if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider our…

5 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior

1. Senior dogs already know where to “go”.

Housetraining a puppy takes a significant amount of time, patience, and consistency, and you are bound to deal with accidents and damaged carpets along the way. Those wake-up calls in the early morning hours to race your puppy outside aren’t exactly a thrill either.

Senior dogs are already trained to eliminate outside, so you don’t have to start from square one with them. You can save a lot of time and money replacing furniture and rugs by adopting an older dog.

2. You’ll know about a senior dog’s behavioral and medical history.

Puppies are full of surprises, including being more rambunctious than planned and growing bigger than expected. That often leaves both owner and puppy frustrated at their circumstances.

With older dogs, you will be able to effectively choose a dog who fits with your lifestyle and living conditions. A senior dog’s size, personality, temperament, and activity level are already established; there is no need to guess about the dog at all. Additionally, knowing the dog’s medical background will allow you understand what you’re getting into when you adopt him.

3. Older dogs are already trained but are also willing and able to learn new things.

Training a puppy can involve large chunks of time and practice, not to mention fees associated with any training classes you might enroll your pup in and money spent on dog crates. Puppies are adorable, but puppies pulling on leashes, jumping up on people, not holding a stay command, or not socializing correctly with other dogs are not.

Senior dogs are a ready-made package as they will already know basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.” You can avoid all the work that it takes to train a puppy by adopting an older dog who knows what he’s being asked to do.

This doesn’t mean that seniors are old dogs who can’t learn new tricks; in fact, they are better at learning new commands than puppies. Adult dogs can focus much better on the task at hand, something that puppies struggle to accomplish. Additional training for a senior dog is not only fun for you as an owner, but it also keeps your older canine mentally sharp and agile.

4. Seniors are ready to give you all of their love.

No matter what painful background experiences they’ve had — neglect, abuse, homelessness — dogs are all about living in the moment. They are excellent at forgiving and forgetting.

Whatever they have encountered in their past, whatever emotional or physical scars they carry, they are more than ready to let you into their hearts. All senior dogs want is love, kindness, a good home, and good food, and they will love you forever in return.

5. You’re giving an older dog a second chance.

Older dogs deserve the chance to live out their final years in a loving home surrounded by people who care for them. A crowded, noisy, stressful shelter environment is not the right atmosphere for a senior dog. But sadly, shelters and rescues are full of older dogs, and it takes much longer for seniors to get adopted.

Some shelters are overpopulated and may not have the time to wait for a senior dog to be adopted. Too many of these old pals are euthanized in shelters, while some spend years at rescue facilities waiting for a home. By adopting a senior dog, you are saving his life, literally or figuratively, and your kindness will be repaid by your new dog every day he is with you.

Senior dogs make the best, most loyal companions, so be a hero and adopt a senior dog! His gratitude for a loving owner and a permanent home will be the foundation of a beautiful relationship between you both.

Cost of Owning A Pet – Managing Pet Expenses

How much do you spend on your pet each year? It’s not uncommon to be surprised by the number. Many pet owners underestimate the lifetime cost of these expenses. Depending on the pet variety and breed, expenses can range from $21,000 to $45,000 over a ten year period. Thats a lot of money! It’s enough that budgeting, proper care, and financial planning should be an important part of pet ownership! Need help getting your head around some things you can do to get a leg on expenses before they get on top of you?

Managing Pet Expenses

  • Invest in preventative care. When you first get your pet don’t skip out on those initial healthcare costs. If you’ve adopted your pet from a shelter, there is a good chance some of this has already been done. Ask your shelter about your new pets medical history. Have they been spayed/neutered? What about early life vaccinations and booster shots? If you’re buying from a breeder or pet shop these steps should be your first priority to starting your pet off on the right track! An unexpected litter can quickly send those pet costs skyrocketing, as can issues with heart worms, Parvo, etc.
  • Keep your pet healthy. We know that cheaper pet food seems like a great way to save a few bucks each week, but it may lead to higher vet bills later. Invest in your pets health by ensuring they are getting the key nutrients they need. Ask your vet and do your research so you’re buying the appropriate food. Don’t underestimate the benefit of keeping your pet active too! Obesity can lead to later life issues so regular walks and play sessions are great for their physical and mental health!
  • Insurance or a savings account. If you don’t feel like springing for Pet Insurance then at least start a savings account for unexpected emergencies. Be sure to contribute to it monthly. Just think of it this way – if you need it, it’s there, and if you don’t you can spend it on something else. It’s better to be prepared!
  • Budget and shop smart. Keep an eye out for sales and consider ordering your pet supplies online. Places like Petco offer a discount if you sign-up for repeat delivery. Buying in bulk can be helpful but not if your pets food or other items are going to go stale or otherwise deteriorate over time. You can also treat your pet and cut back on costs by making your own pet treats and toys! Pinterest is a great tool for all sorts of inspiration!

Got any of your own tips for how you keep pet costs down without sacrificing your pets quality of life and health? Share them with us!

 

photo credit: kdee64 Brandy (2001-2017) via photopin (license)

Rehoming Your Pet – Make It Easier Both of You

Rehoming your pet can be a traumatic experience for you both. It’s something no pet owner ever wants to do. We often think that nothing could make us separate from our furbaby, yet dramatic life changes can push us to our limits. Maybe you need to move? Maybe you’re no longer able to physically keep up? Maybe you need to rehome a relative’s pet after their passing? Whatever the reason we’ve put together some helpful tips for how to make rehoming easier on you both.

Rehoming Made Easier

  • Contact your local shelter. Animal shelters don’t want to take animals. They are much happier if all pets have loving homes and never have to pass through their care. As a result, many shelters offer services to help you identify resources you may need. Do you need to consult with a specialist about behavior issues? Do you need a directory for rehoming services in your area? They can help!
  • Get you pets face out there. Take quality pictures and create a sincere write up about your pets personality, preferences, and medical history. Spread the word using social media and placing flyers in places frequented by pet lovers – dog parks, stores like Petco, nice neighborhoods, vet offices. Rehoming your pet yourself as opposed to leaving them at a shelter is easier on you and your pet!
  • Be discerning. It’s okay to be picky about who you let take your pet. Interview them, ask about other pets, experience, maybe even ask for a home visit. Make sure that the person showing interest is a true animal lover and not someone looking for free animals to sell or abuse. Feel free to ask a small fee too.
  • Look for someone close. If you can find a new home for your pet nearby and foster a good relationship with the new family you might be able to visit your pet or offer services like dog walking or trips to the park so you still get to have a relationship with your pet.

photo credit: Bennilover “It’s the Little Things, like having the Wild Things to play with at the park.” via photopin (license)

Diet Changes for Your Cat – What You Need to Add!

Before cats became civilized and domesticated, their primary diet consisted of raw meat. Of course, you aren’t going to let your cat out to grab a bite to eat for dinner every night, so you’ll feed him/her a commercial cat food. But what kinds are the right ones that provide a balanced and nutritious diet that your fur ball will thrive on?

Well, if you understand the 5 ways to improve their diet, you can keep your kitty happy and healthy for life.

Veggies are Good

You may think that as a carnivore, a cat only needs meat to survive. The truth is that even when they were wild they always took in some veggies by eating grass or the digested vegetation in their prey’s stomach. So, giving your kittycat a few veggies is a nice little treat. Familiarize them into your cat’s diet by mixing them into their regular cat food, or if they will have them, giving bits and pieces as treats. Some veggie suggestions are broccoli, green beans, squash, and carrots, but always make sure that meat makes up the bulk of your cat’s diet. However, a few veggies added every once in a while is a good thing.

Always Serve Cooked Meat

Yes, cats ate raw meat in the wild, and they also got parasites like worms too. Meat treats are terrific for your cat, but be safe and make sure they are well cooked.

Eggs Make Great Snacks

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and B vitamins, and it doesn’t matter if they are sunny side up, over easy or hard boiled. Just make sure they are cooked, and you’ll be good to go.

Add Omega 3’s to Their Diet

Essential fatty acids, like Omega 3’s, are just as good for cats as they are for humans. Cold water fish are loaded with them, they are heart healthy and your cat’s fur will be silkier and shiny. Better still, research shows that they slow the spread of cancer, and if your cat has arthritis, they’ll reduce the inflammation.

… And Probiotics

If your cat has digestive problems, probiotics are the best thing you can do for them. Probiotic supplements are known for creating more effective and efficient digestion while strengthening a cat’s immune system too.

Follow the suggestions as illustrated, and you’ll see for yourself that a healthy diet means a healthy cat.

Thanks Feline Living for the great tips and infographic!

 

pro501

Runaway Pet? Here’s How To Find Them Quick!

Did you know that pets are more likely to run away in the summer? Runaway may not always be the appropriate term. Many pets simply wander off or get lost. Un-neutered males will frequently run off looking for mates. Either way, do you know the best steps to take to ensure you get them back home FAST? These quick tips can help!

Bringing a Runaway Pet Home

  • Get your pet microchipped! Microchipping your pet ensures that if they become lost and are turned over to or picked up by an animal shelter, you’ll be notified! Have questions about what microchipping is and how it works? Check out our FAQ article about them here!
  • Get a tracking collar! There are numerous GPS collars now that can be invaluable for finding runaway pets. These collars will allow you to find your pet’s exact location. That is, provided the collar remains on the animal.
  • Check out PetFBI.org. This is a great national database of missing pets. It is used by individuals and pet shelters to post about animals they find. You can browse through it to see if your runaway pet is listed.
  • Walk the perimeter. Most pets won’t go further than 2 miles from home. Large dogs may roam as far as 5. Be sure to canvas your neighborhood and talk to people. Check the dog park or other areas you and your pet may frequent.
  • Don’t give up hope! Your pet may simply be being cared for by someone who found it, sans collar, and lovingly took it in. Be sure to let your neighborhood know what your pet looks like. Post photos in community pages, on poles and in the post office. Ask people at the dog park and notify your local vet’s offices. All places someone who may have picked your pet up will likely frequent.

photo credit: Castro Camilo Liquor store’s helper via photopin (license)

Shelter Animal Adoption Tips

Pet adoption is a cause near and dear to our hearts here at Pet Nanny. We like to see every critter in a warm loving home! Anything we can do to ease the adoption process and get a shelter animal in your home, we want to do!

Cindy Grant at NoLongerWild.com has compiled the ultimate treasure trove of shelter animal adoption tips! The labor of love is really impressive! Here are some of the highlights of her work, but ultimately, we suggest you head over to her site too for the full details if you have any questions or concerns!

Shelters

Did you know there are different types of animal shelters? Each different type has its own operating procedures. You may find it helpful to know what kind your local shelter is so you know what to expect before you go there! Here are the five types Cindy identifies:

  • Municipal Animal Shelters
  • Private Full Service Non-Profit Animal Shelters
  • Non-Profit Full Service With Animal Control
  • Non-Profit With Limited Space Animal Rescue Shelters
  • Animal Rescue Groups

Need help identifying good shelters from bad ones? She helps with this too! Aside from taking note of the general well-being of the animals and their living conditions she also addresses a couple important, yet not often mentioned aspects:

  • Is the staff friendly? That’s a great sign that they are happy to help a future pet parent! However, don’t be quick to get offended as they may grill you over certain aspects of your life. They’re not there to be your friend, they’re there to ensure each pet goes to a loving and capable home so they don’t see them back at the shelter!
  • Shelter pets aren’t “free”! While shelters shouldn’t demand a “donation” with adoption, they will charge you an adoption fee. This isn’t for-profit though, so don’t get the wrong idea. This fee frequently covers the cost of spaying/neutering, shots, and other preventative care your pet received under their care. It’s important that you get an itemized list of these things so you know what your pet has had, and what it still needs before you head home!

Know What Questions To Ask About Your Shelter Animal!

Shelter pets have a history and you should find out as much as you can before you adopt. Does it have any preexisting health conditions? Why is it in the shelter to begin with? What’s it’s general temperament? Important questions you need to ask! Make yourself a list – but be prepared to answer some yourself!

 

 

photo credit: M.P.N.texan Helen via photopin (license)

Boating With Your Dog – Summer Safety!

Got a beautiful body of water nearby just beckoning to you for some summer boating fun?

We know that many folks with dogs love to take their pooches out to sea in the summer. With warmer weather and easier sailing, it’s not so unusual to see a furry four-footer playing the role of skipper!

However, there are plenty of safety considerations to take into account before bringing your pup on board.

The folks over at K9 of Mine have published a new Dog Safety Tips Infographic that we’re sharing here in an effort to keep four-legged crew safe and secure this sailing season. Make sure to read these tips before you set out!

 

 

Up-to-Date Food Recalls – Keeping Your Pet Safe

As pet parents, we all try our hardest to keep our fur babies safe and healthy! Sometimes that delicious food or those tasty treats aren’t so safe though… Most of us don’t have a real-time option for pet food recalls. This leaves us relying on social media or the news to find out and by then it could be too late!
Fret no more! Bookmark this page for your #1 resource for current pet food recalls courtesy of PawDiet.com.

Recalls By PawDiet.com

 What causes a food recalls?

Pet food recalls happen when the food company because aware that a batch that has left the factory may have become tainted. Sometimes they are alerted to potential issues internally, other times recalls don’t happen until the company is alerted by a concerned pet owner who has had an issue.

Sometimes these recalls occur due to contaminants – some that could be deadly. Other times because of plastic, metal, or other foreign bits could be contained in it. Sometimes it could be simply that the food was mislabeled.

 

Wedding Season: How To Include Your Pet!

June is one of the most popular months for weddings! Whether you have a wedding planned this month, or next year, we’ve got some great tips for your celebrations As a pet parent, it’s only natural to include your furry friend in the nuptials. Here are some fun and creative ways how to do so!

Your Pet + Your Wedding

  • Engagement and Wedding Photos – Be sure to find yourself a photographer that is comfortable working with pets. Pinterest is a great place for photo ideas! Find poses your pet will be comfortable with and practice them a few days before the shoot.
  • Decor – Use some pictures from that awesome photo shoot in your wedding decor! Pets look adorable on name cards for the tables at the reception, as cake toppers, or on invitations.
  • In the Ceremony – An honor reserved for only the best of behaved pets! They can walk down the aisle with you, stand to the side as a “best man” or “maid of honor”, be the ring bearer, or even accompany the flower girl! Just be sure they are well rehearsed before the wedding to avoid any mishaps!
  • Dress them up! –  Everyone else at the wedding will be looking their best, why not your pet too? Flower’s tucked around their collar, ankle cuffs, and even flower crowns! Check with your local groomer to see if they offer any extra services for making your pet shine!
  • Get a Pet Nanny – This might be the most important piece of advice for pets in a wedding. It’s your big day, but your future spouse deserves your full attention, as do your many guests! Be sure to have a trusted Pet Nanny looking out for your pet’s needs and keeping them out of trouble!

photo credit: IQRemix Shiba Inu all Dressed up via photopin (license)

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