Category: Pet Nanny news

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Pets Warm During Cold, Winter Months

Did you know that when you’re cold, your pet is more than likely cold as well? They crave warmth just like we do during cold, frigid months of possible ice, wintery and blustery air, and other uncomfortable cold elements. There are also machine and object dangers that can be hazardous to your pet if kept outside, or happen to escape from their warmth surroundings. Follow these simple tips to keep your pets warm and safe during the cold winter:

  • Always keep your pets indoors– If taken outside for exercise, always supervise your pet. Smaller or older dogs would probably benefit from a small sweater.
  • If your dog prefers or wants to spend time outside– Make sure they are protected by adequate shelter with enough shavings, straw and that there is enough room to sit and lie down, and should be faced away from the wind. There should also be plastic or waterproof burlap covering the doorway.
  • During winter months, there are a lot of outdoor cats (stray or feral), and other wildlife– When you start your engine in your car in the morning, tap the hood before you do so, because many cats crawl up on tires to seek warmth, so make sure they are safe from being injured.
  • Provide plenty of water– Always maintain fresh water for your pet, and keep your pet hydrated as keeping warm causes your pets to lose energy. Use plastic, as your pet’s tongue can stick to metal during very cold weather.
  • Protect paws from salt– Salt and chemicals used to melt snow irritate pet’s paws, so wipe them clean before they lick them, to keep from further irritation around the mouth, etc.
  • Avoid antifreeze– Antifreeze is a major culprit in the winter months because it’s a necessity for cars, yet deadly for our pets. It is a poison with a sweet taste, so keep it and other cleaning supplies and chemicals out of reach or stored away not easily accessible.


Freshen Your Pet’s Breath with These Tips

We all love our pets, and want to hug them, and then that moment happens when your dog goes in to give you a big lick across the face, but the smell is nearly atrocious and nausea-inducing. Your dog could use a few breath mints or several routine brushing of the teeth. If your pet suffers from halitosis breath, there are options that can improve the smell (and health) of your pet’s breath. The following are a few tips to help regulate and improve your pet’s breath:

  • Obtain regular veterinary check-ups to ensure that your pet’s mouth is healthy and in good shape. Regular visits with the vet can also provide monitoring of any dental health issues inside your pet’s mouth.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth, literally, although this isn’t typically ideal for busy households, although a pet is unable to brush their own teeth. You can not use human toothpaste, however, but make sure you use a doggie toothbrush or anything appropriate and safe for your pet’s teeth. Make sure you go over each tooth, especially where plaque builds up behind teeth. This is a difficult task, and I think if you can’t brush your pet’s teeth daily, at least 1-3 days of being able to do so is better than nothing at all.
  • Dental chews are also another great option, and we use GREENIES Dog Treats for our pets which help control breath, clean teeth, and even help with joint care in dogs and cats. Always watch your pets indulge in these treats as they can become lodged in your pet’s throat, and they can choke on them. We have some really great Wholistic Chicken, Turkey and Beef Bites, which can be fed as part of a balanced diet, which is greatly important to your pet.

For those who are really daring, a professional cleaning for your pet while under anesthesia. These cleanings are for more serious matters, health and age-wise.

Do you have any tips that keep your pet’s pearly whites clean and smelling good? Please share with our community!


Happy Thanksgiving and Remember to Keep Your Pets Safe

We want to wish all of our clients and our furry and feline friends a Happy, Wonderful and Blessed Thanksgiving! Remember to keep your pets safe and out of areas that are easily accessible to them and potentially dangerous. We’ve posted on this before, but here are a few reminders for those who want their pets to be included in giving thanks and eating.

You can give your pets:

  • Turkey– good for them and you, as it’s lean and full or protein. Make sure it’s given to them without bones or excess skin or fat.
  • Mashed potatoes– Has to be plain with no additional ingredients.
  • Cranberry sauce– watch the sugar, though.
  • Macaroni and cheese– watch the ingredients, and monitor if your pet’s stomach can handle it, because they can become lactose intolerant too.
  • Green Beans– Plain green beans are best, and not part of a casserole with additional ingredients.

Do not give your pets:

  • Onions, garlics, leeks, or scallions- Large portions of these foods can lead to toxic anemia.
  • Grapes– they cause kidney failure.
  • Sweeteners– like Xylitol, as they are poisonous and deadly.
  • Always no to chocolate– it’s very deadly to pets.
  • Always no to alcohol– a small amount can be very toxic for an animal, and can lead to alcohol poisoning.


Keep Your Pets Safe By Knowing These Holiday Hazards

Pets are curious creatures, like children and some adults, and want to know what everything is, especially if it’s new. That’s why you need to know what is safe and what isn’t safe, for your pet, while unloading and preparing decorations. According to a recent article featuring advice and expertise from veterinarian, Jae Chang with Farr Veterinary Hospital tells us what to watch out for around our pets:

  • Festive plants– holly and mistletoe are highly dangerous for your pet, causing gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues. Poinsetta’s are dangerous too, but a large amount would have to be consumed as opposed to a smaller amount being ingested with holly and mistletoe.
  • Real and fake Christmas trees– Decorations, including ornaments, can be detrimental for your pet, if they swallow any broken pieces, along with tinsel and ribbon. “Cats love those crinkly sounding things and then when they swallow them, it causes the intestines to plicate or crinkle up, almost like an accordion,” said Dr. Chang. While real trees are safe, it is absolutely necessary to keep your pet away from the standing tree water, because “the bacteria overgrowth that is associated with that stagnant water can cause more GI problems,” said Dr. Chang.
  • Keep table scraps away from your pets– Table scraps also cause stomach issues, because dog and cat food doesn’t contain the same types of fats that human food does, so that requires a dog or cat’s digestive system to work three times as harder, causing “the pancreas to overwork and get inflamed,” also says Dr. Chang.

What else do you keep your pet’s away from during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments!


A Safe Alternative for Your Pets and Their Aches and Pains

Active dogs and older dogs often feel more pain and aches, much like us humans. Since NSAIDs have several risk factors with giving these to pets, and having to receive the approval of your veterinarian. As a matter of fact, you should consult your veterinarian in all things having to do with your pet. Announced today via a press release, there is a new product no the market called Canine ActivZ, that includes a special blend of ingredients that are “specifically chosen to restore and rejuvenate damaged tissue in dogs,” and is considered a “breakthrough treatment.” The new product is from manufacturers, Vireo Systems, who also manufacture AminoActivZ, which is the “#1 alternative to ibuprofen and NSAIDs for humans.”

“We have had outstanding success with NSAID alternatives for people, and we knew that many of our discoveries and innovations could be extended to dogs,” explained Vireo Systems President Mark Faulkner. “With CanineActivŽ, consumers can expect the same level of safe and effective pain relief for their dogs as they’ve come to expect for themselves from AminoActivŽ.”

There are two formulas the product comes in and one is a safe and non-toxic pain reliever for high performance breeds. It also comes in three dosage sizes; small breeds, medium-sized breeds, and large dogs. The secret ingredient? An anti-inflammatory ingredient, Alpha-GEEZ which is safer than NSAIDs that include “a special formulation of homeopathic compounds for dogs. Alpha-GEEZ is a unique compound made up of naturally occurring amino acids founding natural sources.”

The second formula is a high-performance breeds products, which is known as CanineActivZ HP, and “was created with sporting and working dogs in mind, such as hunting dogs, police K-9 units and service dogs.” With winter and hunting season in full-stride in many areas, this will be exceptionally helpful, as many active pets will need to sustain their energy, as well as their joints. CanineActivZ HP is the ideal product as it “promotes endurance, mobility and recovery.” The capsules can be ingested beforehand also. The anti-inflammatory ingredient that works in this capsule is Alpha-GEEZ, the safe and non-toxic pain reliever. Several studies with dogs found that CanineActivZ performed faster and more efficiently than over-the-counter supplements and is similar to prescription medications that reduce pain and inflammation without the risk and potentially fatal effects in prescription drugs. A very large dose ingested in dogs produced no negative side effects.

What are your thoughts? Are you convinced with the safety of this new product; if so, why and if not why are you convinced there potential negative side effects?

Source: Press Release

Give Your Pet a Thanksgiving Feast Too

Did you know that you can feed your pet several ingredients that you’ll eat on Thanksgiving too? Does that make you feel better knowing that your pet can have some of the same foods that often times you think they can’t have, and you feel bad when the aroma reaches their nose and their smelling the air and looking at you like “Why can’t I have any?” Many animal lovers and owners don’t want to feed their pets from the table, or have them making a meal out on the food we eat, but with this Thanksgiving meal for your pet, you can’t go wrong.

According to veterinarian and owner of six dogs, Dr. Jyl Rubin, states that your pet can enjoy their own special meal on Thanksgiving. How easy is it? All you need is:

  • Crockpot
  • Ground Turkey Burgers
  • Lowfat Organic Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Celery
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cranberries

Why are these ingredients good for our pets? Says Dr. Rubin, “the way we eat is the way our pets should eat — organic, nice and whole fresh foods.” The benefits of some of the ingredients are:

  • Fiber
  • Urinary health
  • Omegas

However, Dr. Jyl does suggest and warn a few notable points; be sure to skin the salmon and meat (ensure skin is off), use low-fat meat in case of any gastrointestinal issues, and pets who have arthritis should not give their pets rhubarb, eggplant or tomatoes.

Do you feed your pets special meals on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below!


Do-It-Yourself Creative Gadgets for Your Pets

In a recent and interesting article featured in Popular Science magazine, there was a detailed article about several do-it-yourself gadgets that will help pets care for themselves when you’re away. Many of these gadgets are incredible and unique designs that seem to work by those who created them for their purposes. They use social media, VCR and other electronics to emit the response wanted for the pet. However, as with any product, check with your veterinarian before utilizing any of them.  They are as follows:

  • Water Warden– “Designed by Eloy Salinas to automatically keep the water dish brimming for his dog. It sends a tweet when the reservoir runs dry.” Via
  • VCR Cat Feeder– This device uses the programmable timer already built into a VCR to schedule delivery of cat kibbles. Via
  • (A) tiny Fish Feeder– This device employs an ATtiny85 or ATtiny45 micro controller, and requires some enclosure-building chops as well as electronics skills. For more information, check out
  • Twitter-controlled Pet Feeder– “Amanda Ghassaei hacked an off-the-shelf automated feeder to dispense dry pet food in response to a tweeted command. The device utilizes Arduino as the controller, adding an Ethernet shield to receive Twitter data.” Via
  • Frankenfeeder– “This project builds off Amanda Ghassaei’s original design. It utilizes a Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino in order to include additional features, such as a wireless WiFi connection, taking commands via a Gmail account, and “feedback” via camera surveillance of the feeding pooches.” Via
  • Crittergram Capture Cam– This device snaps a photo each time it senses movement, so that you can see what your pet’s up to when you’re not there. Via

Know of any other cool and innovated technology products that enhance the care for your pet while you’re away? Let us know!


Special Pet Programs for Veterans

With Veteran’s Day taking place yesterday, November 11, and the honor and love they deserve for fighting for our freedom and sacrificing their lives, many of them are left in limbo in trying to place their pets in homes. Many veterans or current military get relocated and placed in areas where pets are now allowed; therefore, this leaves them in a bind in either attempting to locate a foster or animal rescues. In some worst case scenarios, when they are desperate and can’t find suitable arrangements at all, these precious and beloved pets are sadly taken to animal control, where often they are put to sleep. ChicagoNow recently had a great blog post about a variety of pet programs that specifically aims to help veterans and active military with their pets. In April 2013, we featured one such program on our sister site, Pet Watchman called Dogs on Deployment, and that article can be viewed HERE.

Military Dog Rescue: is a rescue group for those working dogs who put their lives on the line, much like our fellow soldiers. Yet, many of those dogs are euthanized or in limbo upon return from the battlefield. They work to provide rescue to adoptable dogs, make sanctuaries for those that are not. This group also provides housing for those disabled veterans caring for those dogs.

The Puppy Rescue Mission organization works to assist and fund-raise in pet rescue, fostering, and re-homing when needed, with focus being those pets of soldiers, with many being deployed in war zones.

Providing Service Dogs:

Pits for Patriots trains pitbulls to be service dogs and first responders to those in need. What a great organization to teach others that it’s not the breed, but the people that can make or break a pet. Yes, any pet can turn on you, and some have more inherent qualities than others. However, one has to respect and know boundaries with any pet, and vice-versa. Visit for more information.

This Able Veteran helps veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and mobility issues. The organization was founded by dog trainers who select and train the dogs. Visit for more details.

Rehab and therapy programs: help with the protection of well-being of all animals and to help those in distress, including military dogs and pets.  In addition to Guardians of Rescue, they also facilitate Paws of War, which matches up a military pet with a veteran suffering from PTSD and other traumatic stress. They also offer Home Again: Operation Support Our Troops, which helps “returning service men and women in adopting a dog or cat from an animal shelter when they return home or bringing back a pet rescued during their deployment.” helps “veterans who suffer from the effects of traumatic events by providing both dog training and handling experiences in order to develop confidence, respect, and trust, thereby improving the veterans’ quality of life, self esteem and social skills. is “dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from a companion animal.”

There are a variety of options to help those veterans who are looking to have a companion or to help them during their rehabilitation and therapy time. Or, if you’re not a veteran, and are a pet lover who are willing and able to foster a military pet or a pet of a military owner who is deployed or moving to a location where pets aren’t allowed.

Do you know other organizations that deserve an awesome shout-out for what they’re doing in regards to helping veterans? Let us know in the comment box below this post!

Be Careful Administering Pain Medications to Your Pets

When your pet gets sick or has other health ailments that require a visit to the vet, and your vet therefore prescribes a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, how do you respond? It is important to know that NSAIDs are the most commonly prescribed pain relievers for animals. Why? They work by blocking the production of chemicals produced by the body that play a role in inflammation.

“Scientists consider NSAIDs the cornerstone of osteoarthritis therapy in dogs,” says Melanie McLean, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some NSAIDS are also used to manage pain after surgery in both dogs and cats. No NSAID has been approved for long-term use in cats.

Like many other prescription medications, there are benefits and risks. To be sure your pet can ingest NSAIDs properly and effectively, they need to undergo a complete physical examination, thorough review of their medical history and for the medication’s side effects and potential and very important to discuss also.

Risks & Side Effects of NSAIDs in Pets

  • Blood tests need to be conducted on a regular basis.
  • vomiting
  • decline in appetite
  • decline in energy level
  • diarrhea
  • blood in feces
  • tar-like stools
  • whites of eyes
  • yellow gums

Call your vet as soon as possible if any of these begin to take effect in your pet, including stomach and intestinal ulcers, intestinal perforation, kidney failure, liver failure and even death. These side effects and risks are increased when your pet is given two NSAIDs at the same time. Gastrointestinal toxicity can become gravely increased. These risks are detailed on the enclosed inserts with the NSAID prescribed medication.

There are several OTC human pain relievers with NSAID that can be harmful, including deadly, in pets. Many pet owners think that they can give their pets the same OTC drugs and sometimes it’s too late. Always check with your veterinarian before you give your pet any OTC human drugs.

What to Chat with your Vet about Before Giving Your Pet an NSAID:

  • Know what your pet is being prescribed, exact dosage and how long to administer.
  • Always discuss side effects and symptoms.
  • Explain your pet’s medical history, especially past intestinal problems, including stomach ulcers or any surgeries in that area.
  • Tell your vet about other medications, vitamins and supplements your pet is currently on.


Save Money with your Pets by Reducing Pet Care Myths Cost

Are you subjected to purchasing items you don’t need for your pet because you’ve heard certain stigmas attached to it that you think are true? Well, you’re not alone. We all do it, but many myths are just heresay, passed down from generation to generation, and often become distorted or “old wives tales” that bear no alliance of truth whatsoever. Recently, a local news station in Kansas City provided a brief summary of those pet care myths that are the most common to believe among pet owners. They are as follows:

  • Do you really need to purchase hypoallergenic shampoos and other pet products? These shampoos might reduce the amount of shedding (but nothing eliminates it), because all dogs and cats shed, although different breeds shed more than others.


  • Are baths not needed for pets? Baths are needed at least weekly to reduce shedding and help them smell better. Plus, it’s good for their hygiene, like it’s good for the owner too. 


  • Do you really need a specific pet shampoo? Yes, human shampoo is not good for your pet’s coat, as you will more than likely end up at your vet’s office asking them how to relieve your pet’s skin rash and dander. Pet shampoo is specifically made for their fur. Quite simple: human shampoo damages their fur. 


  • Can cats really clean their own teeth? No, because their teeth can rot down the road, and relieving rotting teeth can be much more expensive than providing proper dental care for your pet. 


Listen to your vet and their recommendations. They know what’s best for your pet in the long run, and can save you thousands of dollars, along with time.

Do you know of any other pet care myths that you’ve believed or know others have before? Share with our network so they can save additional time and money!


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Pet Nanny-Pet Sitters of The Main Line, offers pet sitting, dog walking, house sitting and concierge services in Malvern, Paoli, Berwyn, Devon, Wayne, Chesterbrook, Strafford, Radnor, St.Davids, Rosemont, Bryn Mawr, Villanova, Haverford, Ardmore, Wynnewood, Gulph Mills, Conshohocken and Newtown Square.