Tag: bunnies

Farm Animals for Pets – Which One Is Right For You?

Are you an animal lover? Not interested in the dog or cat scene? If you’re looking for a more unorthodox pet, how about a visit to the farm? A cow or horse may not be suitable for most living situations, there are lots of other pets that are! Check out our quick list below for some ideas! Remember that unorthodox pets may have unique needs. Research your new pet variety before you commit to ensure you can meet their standards. Some farm animals need more than a barn!

Pets From The Farm

  •  Miniature Goat – Miniature goats are a unique alternative to a dog. They fit perfectly in dog crates and dog beds. Their temperaments are docile, loving, and easy going. Be sure to get males neutered as they can become aggressive. Maintenance requires hoove trimming a few times each year and horn removal is recommended.

  • Chicken – Chicken’s may seem too simple to be much of a pet but they can actually be rather affectionate! Chickens can learn to come when called, will sit in your lap, and even snuggle. Like most animals, the more time you spend with them when they are young the more domesticated they will be.

  • Rabbit – Rabbits have already largely bridged the gap between farm animal and pet. They can make very affectionate and fun little companions, they are a fragile creature and need owners who understand their unique personalities and needs. Be sure to talk to pet rabbit owners and a vet before being lured by their cute fuzziness!

  • Miniature pig – “Miniature” can be a bit misleading… Many full grown mini-pigs will be the size of a medium dog. These pets have long lifespans (think 20 years) and are a great pet for those who are truly committed and have stable housing. They are easy to train like a dog, but can be expensive to care for.

Whatever unique pet you decide on, make sure your local pet nanny knows how to care for them!

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Licking – Why Does Your Pet Do It?

Whether you’ve got a cat, dog, or bunny, there is likely to be licking involved in their interaction with you. What does it mean, though? How about when they lick other things? You’re questions answered about all that pet slobber!

 

Busting the Licking Mystery

Rabbits

Aside from grooming themselves, the average rabbit does a whole lot of licking. Rabbits practice altruistic grooming when bonded with another rabbit – or an “FLR” (funny looking rabbit) = YOU! They are social and territorial animals with a defined hierarchy. There is always a dominant rabbit, and this dominant rabbit must be groomed by its subordinates (again, you…). However, once a rabbit has picked its partner, they will return the grooming and you may get a good bath once in a while! While rabbits typically only have one bonded partner, they will frequently lick objects around other rabbits to show they are fond of them, while maintaining their dominance. Rabbits often lick items that belong to their favorite people, and frequently explore the world with their little bunny tongues!

Cats

Cats too, lick to show affection. Their affection is always as limited as the rabbits though and they may have many people or other animals that they are fond of. Grooming solidifies bonding and is a great compliment.  Cats also really like salt and humans (especially after a sweaty day) will often taste salty. Unlike rabbits, cats will not frequently lick inanimate objects, unless they have something tasty on them! On rare occasions, a cat may lick/groom out of anxiety. If you notice them licking compulsively to the point of bald patches in their fur, they are likely trying to comfort themselves and it’s important that you talk to your vet about underlying problems.

Dogs

Dogs might be the kings of licking. They need few reasons to break the slobbery tongue out to show you, or sometimes anyone, a little affection. Like rabbits, they lick for affection. Like cats, they also lick for salt. Dogs will often lick to get your attention too, though you may not always realize it. If they start licking you for not other apparent reason, see if you can figure out if they need something. While not given the credit of a cat or rabbit, dogs will also groom themselves some with their tongues. Dog saliva also contains healing and antibacterial enzymes that make licking wounds a vital part of the healing process.
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Pet Peeves – What Our Pets Do To Annoy Us

We may love their furry faces and are willing to do just about anything for them, but admit it – sometimes your pet gets on your nerves. In fact, the complaints about cats, dogs, and even rabbits, seem to be pretty consistent. Our pets might annoy us, but even these little pet peeves are endearing for how they show personality! If anyone out there is an ambassador to the pet world, here are some of the top “pet peeves” to please pass along!

  • Dear Cat… I was excited to see you when I got home and really wanted to cuddle on the couch but you were too busy taking a bath in a remote part of the house. Now that I need to focus on work/homework/anything really, you’re all purrs and cuddles right in my face.
  • Dear Dog… You are a creature of nature. We go on walks regularly, I’m pretty sure that a leaf/rock/stick has never attacked you nor I. Barking at it is pointless.
  • Dear Cat… I’m making a mental note that pouncing on your face while you’re in a deep sleep is considered a type of “fun”. Is this why you prefer to sleep out of reach?
  • Dear Bunny… That’s the same litter box it’s always been. It’s not a predator in disguise. Why you have to randomly tip-toe up to it before deciding not to trust it and peeing on the floor next to it I’ll never understand.
  • Dear Dog… Please stop dramatically requesting to go outside to potty, then just sitting down outside instead.
  • Dear Dog… It’s not polite to stare – especially at someone who is eating.
  • Dear Cat… Please relinquish your hidden stash of my pens/hair ties/socks.
  • Dear Bunny… Thumping the house awake at 3AM is no way to get nose rubs

Give us a snapshot of your pet’s personality by sharing your biggest “pet peeves” with us!

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April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Would you know how to administer first aid to your pet in an emergency? Do you even have emergency numbers quickly accessible? You don’t need to have an accident prone pet to realize it’s just good policy to make sure that you’ve got an action plan in case of an emergency! This April, take some time to brush up on what you need to have and know – your pet’s counting on you!

Pet First Aid Refresher Tips

  • Get the App! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a First Aid app just for pets? It provides helpful information for both dog and cat owners in emergency and disaster situations!
  • Update your Pet First Aid Kit! Don’t have one? Get/Make one now! You should check your pet first aid kit annually to ensure that all the supplies are still properly packaged, any medications are not out of date, and nothing has leaked. If you don’t have one, this needs to be on your must list! There are a wide array of pre-packaged kits out there for sale. Bump those store bought ones up against this list from the Humane Society to make sure it includes everything you need. Or, use that list to make your own! Be sure to include comfort items for your pet too!
  • Know the basics! It’s apt that April is pet first aid month since Spring means more time outdoors for everyone! It also means that pets are at a higher risk for being victims of the native flora and fauna. Know what plants to keep your pets away from, and what to do in case of snake bites, bee stings, etc.
  • Vaccinations! Check your vet records to ensure your pets vaccinations are all up to date! This includes wormers, flea and tick prevention, dog flu, and rabies!
  • Check those emergency numbers!  Maybe you’ve changed vets? Or moved to a new location? Make sure that the numbers for both your regular vet and the nearest animal hospital are still accurate and quickly accessible for the whole family!

Don’t forget to share your emergency contacts and details about your first aid kit with any pet sitters you hire!
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Poison Prevention and Your Pet

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – a cause that needs regular awareness. Carelessness and over-confidence on many pet owners parts lead to pet poisonings every year. While many animals have natural instincts that help them avoid unhealthy things in nature, they are less keen when it comes to man-made things left accessible in their territory. As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure our animal’s homes are safe and poison-free at all times! See our tips below to stay on your toes and keep your pet safe!

Keeping Your Pet Away From Poison

  • Household cleaners – As Spring cleaning gets underway it’s easy to get careless with your cleaning products and leave them within a pet’s reach. If you can’t banish your pet from the area you are working in until you’re done, it’s important to always stay aware and not become distracted. If your pet has a problem with drinking out of the toilet, make sure to never leave toilet cleaner unflushed. Unattended mop buckets with cleaners in them can also pose a threat to a thirsty pet.
  • Mouse, Rat, or Insect poison –  These are three types of poison people tend to tuck away into areas pets can’t get to – the backs of cupboards, closets, shelves, etc.  These carefully concealed poisons can become a threat to your pet when you forget about them and then drag things out of a closet or cupboard, potentially bringing the poison with it. Always be mindful this! Especially if you have recently rented or moved into a new place. There may be poisons left in nooks and crannies that you’re not aware of!
  • Fertilizers & Herbicides – Don’t think your home is the only place you have to be worried about poisoning your pet! Newly fertilized lawns can harm pets too. In addition to storing lawn and garden poisons well away from your pet, be sure not to let them spend time in newly treated areas. Remember you can track poisons too, so keep your shoes out of reach!

Keep your pets away

from areas herbicides

have been used!

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Pet Odor Tacklers – Tough Stuff!

There’s no having a pet without eventual pet odor. Even the cleanest pets can offend our senses from time to time. Tackling pet odor is an age old past time (I bet even the Egyptians tried!). Methods, formulas, and tricks vary from pet to pet and different owners styles. Check out our list of awesome tips for the battle!

Pet Odor Be Gone!

Prevention – The most effective step is to nix pet odor before it begins! If you’ve got a kitty be sure to scoop frequently! Like, as soon as there is something to scoop if you can. Change the litter weekly and each time you do, give it a wash with some hot water and soap. It’s a good idea to replace the box annually to as plastics can retain odors… Rabbit litter boxes don’t need scooped multiple times a day, but you should change their woodchips our daily and give the box a rinse! They key to prevention is making the pet maintenance a daily habit. For some pets, like dogs though frequently do their bathroom habits outside, odor sort of finds them regardless. If you think your dog doesn’t smell, just send them out into the rain for a bit! Regular baths are a big help, but in some situations, even the most diligent pet owners are going to end up with pet odor. So, let’s see how to fight it!

 

Natural Products – If you’re a pet parent who likes to take a natural approach to those pesky smells in the carpet or on the furniture, you’re in luck! The product lines for natural pet care have grown exponentially over the last decade! Most of these products use natural enzymes to break down the source of the odor, getting rid of it entirely!  Products like Odormute  and Sunny & Honey  are two great options!

DIY – There are tons of do-it-yourself methods out there for pet odor removal. Most of them contain varying amounts of vinegar (no, the vinegar smell usually doesn’t linger), baking soda, hydrogen peroxide (don’t let your pets get into a bottle of this!), and citrus. This site here as three recipes for pet odor eliminators made out of common household items!

Top In Its Class – Angry Orange Pet Odor Neutralizer. This stuff is industrial strength and it means business! If you’ve got multiple pets this might be the stuff for you. It was designed for the farm industry and is a favorite for kennels.

Have your own fool-proof product or recipe? Share it with us!

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Gardening For Your Pet – Grow Your Own Treats!

As March creeps closer one can’t help but feel Spring fever take hold and the pull to do a little gardening! Whether you live in the city or out in the sticks there is a gardening style to suit both you and your pet! Each pet has their own personality so try a few options from your grocery store to find out their preferences and then get busy planting!

Gardening for your Pet

The Urban Gardner: Here you may be restrained to window or balcony boxes and indoor planters. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow pet-friendly treats and snacks! Catnip is a given. It’s easy to cultivate, pretty and green, and drives kitties crazy! Bunnies also like to give it a nibble. Lemongrass and any variety of mint are also favorites for cats, rabbits, and even some dogs! Trays of wheat grass are an attractive multi-pet friendly option for indoor gardening and can be found at most pet supply shops!

Gardening for your pets!

The Backyard Gardener: If you’ve got a little space like a fenced in courtyard or a full backyard garden your options expand a lot! Many of the indoor varieties listed above are also great options for outdoor gardening. Lavender is a lovely fragrant plant that some dogs enjoy chewing. Other common vegetable garden plants dogs enjoy include spinach, pumpkins, green beans, melons, carrots, blueberries, and even sweet potatoes!  Cats often love to nibble thyme and it’s a great culinary herb for cooking! Try broccoli and zucchini as well (just don’t place a cucumber behind them)! Got a bunny hopping around? Plant a nice patch of parsley and kale – two rabbit favorites!

Some precautions: If your pet is going to be playing in your potted or outdoor plants, make sure that the plant leaves and soil are free from pesticides or fertilizers Be sure to always do your research before you introduce your pet to vegetation. Lots of house and garden plants can be poisonous!

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Laws And Your Pet – Crazy Global Examples

As communities have grown over the years and standards have changed laws have sprung up regarding the do’s and don’t’s of pet ownership. Sometimes these protect the pets and sometimes they are out of consideration for other residents. Take a look below to see some of the strangest ones we’ve found from around the world. Some of these we have to question how they are actually enforced  and some we really hope are!

Crazy Pet Laws

  • French Lick Springs, IN – On Friday the 13th all black cats must wear bells around their necks.
  • Chicago, IL – No dogs allowed in the Opera.
  • Georgia – Goldfish may not be used as bingo prizes. Apparently this got out of hand!
  • Little Rock, AR – Curfew time! Dogs are banned from barking after 6pm.
  • Duluth, MN – It’s illegal for cats to sleep in bakeries. Wonder if they can do other things in the bakery?
  • Saudi Arabia -Here there are laws that forbid men from walking dogs.
  • Japan – Cat curfew! Public display of a cat is illegal after 8pm. Curious what this consists of…
  • Wyoming – No photos please! It is illegal from January to April to photograph a rabbit.
  • Oklahoma – It’s against the law to make ugly faces at dogs, punishable by a fine!
  • France – Owners of pet pigs are banned from naming them Napoleon out of respect for Napoleon Bonaparte.

Laws in Rome prevent goldfish from being kept as pets!

  • Norway – It is against the law to spay a female cat or dog. Only males may be altered.
  • Switzerland – Only want one pet? Too bad! Pets in Switzerland are required to have a companion.
  • Australia – It is against the law to name a farm animal. Only pets you intend to keep may be named!
  • Alaska – It is illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your car. Really?!
  • Florida – No “duck face” here! It’s illegal to imitate an animal.
  • Switzerland – Laws here require aspiring dog owners to pass a verbal and written test before they may take one home.
  • Sweden – Dogs in boarding houses or day car must be able to see out a window.
  • Rome, Italy – Owning a goldfish as a pet is illegal as it is deemed cruel.
  • Oklahoma – Dogs are forbidden from getting together in groups of larger than 3 without a permit.
  • Paulding County, OH – It’s LEGAL for police officers to bite a dog to calm it down.
  • Michigan – It is against the law to own both a cat and a bird.
  • Maryland – Pet lions are not allowed in movie theaters. Thank goodness!

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Treats and Snacks Made at Home – Pet Recipes!‏

Whether you’re a picky pet parent or just like baking and trying out new recipes, homemade pet snacks are where it’s at! There are so many advantages to making your pets treats at home. You get to know exactly what your pet is eating and get to control the quality of what goes in. Does your pet need a boost on certain nutrients? You can make sure the snacks double as a multivitamin too! No need to worry about weird toxins from China or any of those other horror stories you see on the news.

No matter what kind of pet you have, there is a treat recipe out there just waiting to be baked! The Kitchn has an excellent list of nine top doggie treat recipes across the internet. Theirs is one of our favorites though because no dog will shun it and it’s super easy to make!

Homemade Doggie Treats

Makes 2 dozen treats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup melted bacon fat
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix by hand until dough forms. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add more bacon fat or water if the dough is too stiff.

Roll out onto a floured surface, to a thickness of just under 1/2-inch. Cut into 1×4-inch bars and transfer to a cookie sheet. Poke divots into the bars (I use the end of a chopstick) and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the oven off, flip the bars, and place back in the oven until cool (this will further crisp them).

Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Joy the Baker has a great recipe for Salmon and Oat cat treats sure to get you a few purrs.

Got a pet bird or just want to enjoy watching the wild ones? Make one of the easiest treats around! So easy it’s a common kid activity. Roll a pine cone or even cardboard tube in peanut butter and then roll it through some bird seed! Hang it in your pet’s cage or outside a window and watch the enjoyment. Want to make it even more of a treat? Try adding a few pieces of dried fruit to the seed mix!

Bunny or Guinea Pig owner? Try Katie’s Smack Snacks! A delightful blend of carrots, oats, banana, and parsley no little critter can resist. We’ve made these with kale instead of parsley too and they go over just as well!

Bunnies do tricks for treats!

Do you have your own homemade treat blend? Share it with us!

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Shaving Your Pet To Beat The Heat- Is It Okay?

Many pet owners who watch their pets labor under the heat and humidity of the summer months have wondered about shaving off their pet’s thick fur coat. From rabbits to sheep-dogs many pets are burdened with having to stay “bundled-up” even in the hottest of months. Sometimes the easiest way to address your pet’s suffering is by doing the same thing you do when it gets hot – take off those winter clothes and chop off your hair! Assuming you can even get near your pet with a pair of clippers, would it be safe?

Is Shaving My Pet An Option?

One of the first things to remember is that pet hair isn’t like human hair and it’s not like clothes. Pet fur serves more purposes than just providing warmth like keeping an animal’s skin dry and protecting it from pests (like mosquitos) and it’s environment (like thorns and sunburns). Many animals have “built-in” systems that their body uses to regulate body temperature that the average human is unaware of. Not to mention shedding – nature’s way of removing your pet’s fur coat. Each pet variety is different though when it comes to the shaving question.

Cats – Cats are excellent at regulating their body temperatures. They are also often more mobile than dogs since they aren’t kept on leashes or in outdoor pens. This means they are more capable of moving to cooler spots if they find themselves getting uncomfortable. If you happen to have a cat with a particularly long fur coat who spends the majority of their summer days outside and you see visible signs of heat distress, consult your veterinarian about a quick trim. Shaving a cat is never recommended, but using a pair of clippers to reduce your cat’s fur coat to about an inch in length is often considered acceptable. Keeping your cat’s weight down and regular brushings are two additional great ways to combat heat fatigue.

Know the risks before shaving your cat!

Dogs – Shaving dogs is often a far more common occurrence. There are so many different breeds of dogs and their fur coats vary widely. If you have a breed that comes from a  northern climate and is bred for much cooler weather than where you live, definitely weigh your options. Dogs also have built in regulators for body temperature, but these will work less effectively in a Siberian Husky that lives in Georgia. Summer shaving is often used in dogs as a control for matted fur, parasites, and heat exhaustion in especially wooly breeds. As always though be sure to consult with your vet before you break out the clippers.

Rabbits – First of all we have to commend you if you can get near a rabbit with a pair of clipper running! Particularly long-haired breeds like the Angora rabbit almost always must be shaved (it’s actually called “sheared”) or have some attention given to their luxurious coat. Please note though that shaving the average pet rabbit is not recommended. Rabbits do tend to be prone to heat exhaustion but they also easily suffer from hypothermia. While it may provide your bunny some relief during the hot days it can harm them when it cools down at night or gets rainy. Opt for bringing your rabbit indoors during the heat of the day or keeping a frozen water bottle in their hutch.

Always remember to check with a vet before you shave your pet! Follow the basic rules of summer pet care by ensuring fresh water is always available, shade is accessible, and never leave your pet in a hot vehicle!

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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.