Category: Pet tip of the Week

Pet Sitter vs. Pet Boarding: Which Is Best For Your Pet?

Choosing a pet sitter or pet boarding can be a big decision. One you don’t want to leave to the last minute while making out of town plans. But which choice is right for your pet? There are a lot of different factors that could affect your choice. Is your pet social and does it play well with other animals? Or does it prefer to be alone when not in your company? How much care does your pet require? Does it have special needs? Do you have more than one pet? When you get a pet be sure to take some time to consider its care should you be called away. The better prepared you are, the less stress! Consider these pros and cons of hiring a pet sitter versus using a pet boarder.

Pet Sitter

Pros:

  • By hiring a pet sitter you ensure that your pet gets to stay in a familiar environment where you know they are comfortable. This can minimize the stress your pet can feel by your absence.
  • With a pet sitter it can be easier to ensure special directions  and needs are met. In home care for your pet ensures a one-on-one interaction where your animal is the center of attention.
  • If you have multiple pets, a pet sitter can be a big cost saver.
  • Keeping your pet in home and ensure protection from common kennel diseases.

Cons:

  • If your pet needs let out for bathroom breaks regularly a pet sitter can be rather expensive depending on what they charge for each home visit.
  • If your pet is prone to act out when you are away, this can cause issues for a pet sitter. Pet sitters are generally not responsible for cleaning up or preventing chewed up furniture, knocked over plants, or other household destruction that upset pets can cause.
  • If you have an especially protective dog a stranger coming into your home while you’re away could cause a big problem. Make sure that your pet is the kind that will welcome a pet sitter before you choose this option!

Pet Boarding

Pros:

  • Well run, quality pet kennels can require round the clock care and observation of your pet.
  • Boarding your pet can ensure interaction and playtime with other animals – a great option if this is something your pet is used to.
  • Pet boarding can be a money saver if you only have one pet to be concerned with when compared to paying per visit.
  • Some kennels will offer special services (at an extra cost) such as grooming!
  • Some pet boarders have on site medical care, a big plus if your pet is prone to sickness.

Cons:

  • Even well run kennels can have outbreaks…
  • While your pets basic needs will be met (food, water, bathroom) extra one on one time and play sessions can cost you extra. Your pet may grow depressed if you are away very long.
  • Changes in routine can cause upsets in some pets, especially young ones. Kennels run on a schedule that may not be normal to your pet.

 

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Pet Match – An Unlikely Kinship – Pet Nanny

Check out this heartwarming story here on the Huffington Post detailing how a dog named Opie found an abandoned new born kitten and alerted his owner. After some much needed veterinary care, the kitten (who was named Roscoe) came to be in fine health as well as a much loved companion for life to Opie, his life-saver. While there are many testaments to be found of dogs and cats growing to be inseparable (We’ve even seen the unlikely kinship of a rabbit befriending a cat!) there are a lot of factors to consider before one commits to housing a dog and a cat together. There is truth to the common loony-toon idea that cats and dogs are mortal enemies and there are some things to consider before you match up your pets.
Raising a kitten and puppy together is no guarantee of affection toward one another in adulthood. Like humans, pets have individual personalities and while they may accept they have to share their space with a “brother” or “sister”, that doesn’t mean they have to like it! Puppies and kittens are often playful with anything and anyone. Remember though that just because the two species have some playful tumbles in their youth, don’t expect them to have a trouble free existence. Having said that, if you are going to attempt to pair the two creatures it is best to introduce them while young. They may never reach the level of loving affection as Opie and Roscoe, but they should at least be able to comfortably tolerate each other. Should you not have the option to pair them when they are young and are instead bringing a new cat or dog into anothers already established domain, take some basic precautions:

  Making a Match Between a Dog & a Cat

  • Introduce them both on an equal eye level
  • Make introductions in an open space so that neither animal feels trapped. Plus, if there is a scuffle you can move more quickly to restore peace
  • Make introductions slowly. Allow the two supervised play dates before you allow them to coexist in the same space.
  • Never leave a match unfamiliar with each other alone. Even if it seems like they are getting along well in a very short period of time, it could still lead to injury on one or both parts.
  • Feed and bed them in different spaces. If each animal still feels like they have their own domain, it will be easier for them to tolerate and learn to like each other.

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Cost of Pets: What Cost and Which Breeds Take the Cake?

How Much Does Your Pet Cost?

With pets in American increasingly being treated like children as opposed to animals the cost of pet ownership is soaring! Pet spending topped $56 billion dollars in 2014 and is expected to reach or exceed $60 billion in 2015. What are American’s spending such large amounts of cash on? Not vet bills like one would think. Turns out most of the spending is being put into healthier pet foods. Healthy pet food totals over a third of that yearly total. Maybe because of this investment in more quality and nutrient rich food, veterinary bills are now the second costliest part of pet ownership.

Are you a dog or cat person? do you prefer  rabbits or other small animals? If finances are an obstacle for you, then you need to choose wisely before you bring a companion home from the local pet store or shelter.

While dogs often top spending over cats and other house pets, the dog breed that seems to rack up the most in vet bills and general care, surprisingly, is the Rottweiler. Large dog breeds garner significantly higher costs than any other house pet. The Rottweiler breed is especially susceptible to many allergies as well as gastric disorders which can lead to regular vet bills, medications, and specialized care. Other expensive dogs to care for include Great Danes, English Bulldogs and Ragdolls.

While cats are generally less known for specific breeds, the famous Siamese Cat is notably more expensive than your average house cat. Siamese cats are prone to respiratory disorders as well as liver diseases. Again, hitting your wallet much harder than a small pet like a hamster or gerbil.

Overall, most specialized breeds of pets are going to be prone to medical issues unique to their variety. Make it a point to research well and know things you can do right from the start to minimize your pets need for veterinary care. Want more information about the annual cost of pets per year? Check out the ASPCA website for a breakdown!

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Overprotective Pet Parenting: Are You Guilty?

Are you an overprotective pet parent? Most people are used to hearing that term associated with raising children, but do you take it a step further? While it’s not uncommon to be very attune to your beloved pets welfare it can be easy to slip into the overprotective category.

Signs You’re An Overprotective Pet Parent

  • You’ve got your vet on speed dial
  • You keep your home locked up like a fortress for fear of an escape
  • You have a toothbrush for your pet
  • You spend more money grooming your pet than you do on yourself
  • You get nervous if anyone else comes near them
  • You don’t let your pet play with other animals
  • You have a bookshelf full of volumes of dog psychology and care manuals
  • You worry about your pets welfare if they get out of your sight – even in your home
  • You’re afraid of leaving them with a petsitter or a dog sitting service

Does your behavior mirror many of these traits? It’s time to take a step back and see what you can do to stop being so overprotective. While it’s true that there are many things in the world of humans that pets just don’t have the instinct to deal with, don’t underestimate your friends ability to be aware of dangers. Most animals have great instincts. They also often know what they need to do if they are sick. Try to resist the urge to call your vet for minor injuries or concerns. Pick up a basic care manual when you bring your pet home and follow the guidelines. There is no need to seek out numerous care books to feed your overprotective behavior . If you feel you need just a little more information, keep a list of things you have questions about and ask your vet the next time you take your pet in for a check-up. Worried about a dog sitting service? Do some research! Read reviews and find one that is rated well! Don’t forget our tips and tricks on saving money – throw out that toothbrush your pet hates and rub some doggie toothpaste on a chew toy! Remember that animals like to be social. Don’t isolate yours. If you don’t have friends with pets you can let yours play with, then take them to the park and let them mingle (leashed!) with others! Learn the differences between playing and fighting and relax! What looks rough to us is just another (fun) day in the park to them! As for your home, make sure that you follow the basic precautions to keep your home pet safe and let them explore independently in a safe environment. Basic responsible behavior on your part is all that is needed to keep your pet safe and happy! Remember, your pets look to you for direction, if you are constantly nervous  and overprotective, your pet is likely to act the same.

Worried about a dog sitting service? Do some research! Read reviews and find one that is rated well!

Don’t forget our tips and tricks on saving money – throw out that toothbrush your pet hates and rub some doggie toothpaste on a chew toy!

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Losing A Pet: Dealing With Grief

It can be difficult for those without pets to understand the great weight of sorrow that can effect you after the loss of a beloved animal. To many people pets are just another member of the family. You dedicate years of your life to caring for them. You seek out pet sitters instead of baby sitters, you care for them when they are sick and you take them out for treats and play dates. The reward you get for your efforts is their humbling devotion and unconditional love. When a pet dies, be it unexpectedly or after an illness, it can be all the more difficult to cope with the loss. Socially many people don’t extend the same sympathies as in the case of a traditional family death. We hope that some of the ideas below will help you to overcome the sorrow from losing a pet. Please feel free to share your experiences with us and others below.

Coping With Losing A Pet

  • Shun the taboo – Don’t let others define how you should feel and don’t feel ashamed for being sad or “off your game” after losing a pet. You may find it easier to limit your social interactions to those who have also lost their furry companions to minimize scorn or lack of understanding.
  • Create closure – a ‘funeral’ may not always be an option when you’ve lost a pet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t provide for yourself the same closure. Set aside a moment for remembrance and saying goodbye. Even if it’s simply a walk in their favorite park or framing and hanging your favorite picture of them. All these are rituals of closure that are healthy.
  • Maintain routine – this is especially important if you have other pets.  Keeping your routine is a step toward moving forward and can help  keep you from getting bogged down. Was walking your pet at a certain time part of your routine? Take the walk solo and dedicate that time to their memory.
  • Don’t make an impulse buy/adoption – running out for a replacement is a common impulse after losing a pet. Sometimes this can just prolong the grief though and prevent you from both fully honoring and dealing with your emotions from your former pet. It can also keep you from fully bonding with the new one. It’s best to wait until your head is clear before you move on to a new companion.

For more help grieving the loss of a pet, check out this site and learn how to help your children cope as well. Losing a pet can be an important life lesson in dealing with grief. Don’t deny yourself  or others this need.

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Traveling With Your Pet: A Guide For Your Adventure

As the days countdown to summer breaks ending, families and college students across America are struggling to get in those last minute trips. Where does that leave the beloved pets of American families? Hopefully right by their owners side on the adventures! If you’re headed out on vacation, there’s no reason to leave your pet at home! Follow our guide below and spare you and your furry companion the separation anxiety!

Tips for Traveling With Your Pets

  • Invest in a quality pet carrier.  Just like you might invest in quality luggage, don’t skimp on a pet carrier! It’s you’re pets version of a car. If you’re going to be confined to a small space while traveling, you want it to be as comfortable as it can be! Make sure there is plenty of ventilation and plenty of room. A properly sized pet carrier will allow your pet to stand fully, turn around and lay down comfortably.
  • Let your pet stretch when you stretch. Look for rest stops with parks or grassy areas so that you can take your pet out for a walk every couple hours. This lets them stretch their legs and gives them an opportunity to use the bathroom. Traveling with a cat, rabbit or other small pet? Don’t be shy about breaking out the leash!
  • Make sure the pet carrier is secured. Use your vehicles spare seat belts and/or pillows to secure the pet carrier so that it is not at risk for sliding or flipping.

  • If you have a small animal, invest in a no-drip water bottle that can be secured to the cage door. If you have a large pet, be certain to offer them water in a bowl at each stop.
  • Dole out food sparingly. Make sure your pet has a good breakfast a couple hours before you embark on your journey. Once traveling, it’s best not to feed them until you’ve reached your destination. If you’ve got a particularly long travel day ahead of you, feed them before at least a 30 minute walk. Pets are prone to car sickness too, so try to not take them on a ride with a full belly!
  • Do not leave your pet in your car. Just like children, they can not take the hot temperatures of a vehicle. Be sure to travel with someone who can sit in the running vehicle while you make quick trips inside convenience stores.

Check out this website for pet friendly hotels and other resources for traveling with pets!

No matter how much you’d love to, you just can’t take your pet traveling with you? Be sure to find a high quality house sitting service with overnight pet sitting rates. Pet sitting services can provide a big relief for pet parents prone to worrying!

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Unconventional Pets: What You Should Consider Before You Buy

Are you one of those people who never really identified with cats or dogs? Or maybe you’re wanting a pet that stands out? More and more people are either seeking alternatives to cats and dogs altogether, or they are looking for unconventional pets as companions for their traditional ones. The thing is, rules that apply to one pet don’t always apply to others. There are lots of things that need to be considered before you make an impulse decision to bring home one of the many unconventional pets out there. So, before you run down to your nearest pet shop after watching some adorable YouTube videos, consider these points of interest!

Should You Get An Unconventional Pet?

Hedgehogs, while still unconventional, are a growing trend

  • Do you have other pets? – Not all creatures play well together, especially if one feels his domain is being encroached on. Take into special consideration if either species of pets are territorial. Be especially careful about trying to mix prey and predatory animals.
  • Can you get pet food? – Some pets have specialized eating habits. Snakes require live rodents and frogs need live insects. Are these foods that you can get regularly from your pet shop? Are you comfortable handling them? Are they in your price range for the long-term?
  • Are Veterinary Services Available? – Not all vets service all animals. Be sure that you have a vet in your area that is trained in your particular species of unconventional pet. For example, many vets have to undergo extra training to be certified to work with rabbits or other small creatures.
  • Do you have an emergency or vacation plan? – What if you get called out of state unexpectedly? Are sick for a week? Or you want to plan a family vacation? Most facilities that offer overnight pet sitting, house sitting, or other in home pet services are trained to care for dogs, cats, fish, or birds. You may find it difficult to find a dog walker or someone to interact with your unconventional pet in your absence. Seek out a facility, or confirm that you have willing friends before you make the purchase.
  • What is your pet at risk for? (and you too?) – Be sure to find out as much as possible about diseases or toxins specific to your pet. Did you know that you can get salmonella from pet reptiles? Or that hedgehogs are prone to skin problems?

Budgit Frog

Remember, choosing a pet is a very important decision and your new companion shouldn’t suffer because of your poor caretaking, or not understanding it’s needs. Be responsible and find out as much about your unconventional pet and it’s needs before you purchase. The Encyclopedia on Pets is a great resource, and don’t forget to talk to an area vet preemptively too!

 

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Tricks for Pet Owners – Save Time and Money!

There are many rewards that owning a pet offer! That doesn’t mean it doesn’t take some hard work and dedicated care to reap them though! Anything that can help a pet owner pinch a penny or make something easier in their day to day duties is worth sharing. We’ve compiled some great tricks for making life with your dog easier.

Tricks for Dog Owners

  • Pet Dental Care – Can’t get your dog to cooperate for a tooth brushing? Try rubbing some doggie toothpaste on a chew toy (like a rope) and letting your puppy clean their own teeth while they play!
  • Carpet Stains – There are many tricks for carpet stains give these a go if you’ve found others less effective – Absorb pet urine stains by coating the stain with baking soda and letting it set for a hour or longer. Then, simply vacuum it up! Another quick tip is to work cheap men’s shaving cream into the carpet, and then wipe up with a wet cloth!
  • Pet Hair – Remove pet hair from furniture with the wet dish glove trick!  Just rub a wet rubber dish glove over the hair covered upholstery to pick it up, then simply rinse the glove off!
  • Fresh Food – A great trick for keeping your pet food fresher and more easily dispensed is to store it in a tall drink pitcher! You can easily turn the lid to keep it fresh, and then open the pour spout to measure out the perfect amount!

Money saving tricks!

  • Start a pet fund – Pet owners may struggle with extra expenses like a dog sitting service, dog walking, or even overnight pet sitting rates. Use a basic money saving trick of dropping loose change in a jar. This trick helps you save up for unexpected trips out of town or an illness that prevents you from taking your dog out for a walk regularly.
  • Cool Summer Treats – A great trick for keeping your dog cool includes using a large cake mold to freeze water mixed with chicken broth for your pet to lick! Make it extra enticing by adding toys throughout the mold. You can also freeze bits of apple in ice cube trays with chicken broth! A healthy treat while cooling down!

Share your tricks for saving money and time with your pets! Check out the link here for more pet owner money saving tricks!

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Summer Heat – Keeping Your Pets Safe This Season!

Most of the United States will suffer from at least a few days of seemingly unbearable summer heat at some point this season. Whether your fortunate enough to only endure a few days of it, or one of the many who will endure a whole season of soaring thermometers, you’ll want to be certain to know how to keep your pets safe. You might think you’re hot, but remember your pet has a fur coat on! Check out these signs of heat exhaustion in pets and be certain to follow these steps to help prevent it!

Summer Heat Tips For Pets

  • Brush your pet regularly! Many animals will shed during the first part of the summer heat and removing  that extra hair from their coat will both help keep them cooler and keep them from ingesting so much of it during their regular grooming! Feel free to trim long haired breeds!
  • Plenty of water! We know this seems like an obvious tip, but many people get in the habit of refreshing their pets water based on winter consumption. How much your pet drinks during the  summer will often greatly increase so be sure to check their water more often than usual. Also, make sure it’s fresh and try to keep it in the shade. Maybe even freeze a bottle of water and place it in your outdoor pets water bowl to help keep their water cool.
  • Make sure your pet has plenty of shade! And we don’t mean just a dog house to get in. They need to have access to full shade and open air at all points during the day. A dog house in full sun offers little to no relief for pets during the peak of summer heat.
  • Try spraying down a shaded area a couple times a day for your pet to lounge in, or place a little kiddie pool in the shade! Staying moist is a great way to deal with summer heat.
  • Watch out for hot sidewalks and streets while walking your pet! Most animals feet are tougher than humans, but they can still find the hot sidewalks or asphalt to be uncomfortable or painful. Try walking your pet in the grass if possible. Or talk walks in the morning before the summer heat has taken hold.

Keeping Cool in the Summer HeatRemember to keep an eye out for odd behavior in your pet and check on them frequently. Also never ever leave your pet alone in a vehicle on a hot day! Even with a window cracked the temperatures inside a car will skyrocket in a very short period of time. Preparing for the summer heat ensures you and your pet a great healthy season!

 

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Spring Cleaning – Spruce Things Up While Protecting Your Pet

While April showers are making the preparations for May flowers, the season of spring cleaning has come upon us again! It’s time to throw open those windows and shake out the dust (and pet dander) of winter. While spring cleaning is a chore for most any home, there are extra precautions that pet owners should be sure to make. It’s easy to overlook the dangers that some cleaning practices may have on your pets so we’ve complied a great list of potential hazards and precautionary practices to ensure you have a house as fresh as a spring breeze and a healthy pet too!

Pet Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid bleach and ammonia as well as all cleaners that contain it. These harsh chemicals can cause respiratory issues not just in pets, but humans as well. Try using natural cleaning brands like Method or Mrs. Meyers – or try making your own vinegar based detergents! Healthier for both you and your pets! Click here for pet approved cleaners!
  • Keep your pets out of the space you are cleaning. Not only does it make it easier to clean when your pets not busy messing behind you, but often times spring cleaning requires moving heavy objects or exposing areas that are often inaccessible – like access to power cords or rodent poisons. Be certain to keep your pet contained (or, better yet, send them out with a Pet Nanny!) to ensure their safety.Spring cleaning with your pet!
  • When it comes to cleaning your pet’s area and bedding, avoid heavily scented products. Try scrubbing the area down with baking soda and vinegar followed by a good rinse and wash their bedding in unscented detergent, minus the dryer sheets!
  • Be mindful of dangerous plants and flowers. Many people are likely to purchase new plants or pick/bring home flowers for display in the spring and summer months. Be sure to run a quick internet search on the varieties that you choose to be certain that they are pet friendly.

Have your own spring cleaning pet tips or tricks? Share them with us! Happy cleaning!

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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.