Tag: cat

Holiday Season – Getting Through the Big Four

It’s that time of year when the celebrations seem to hit us one after another! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years – whew!! The holiday season parties and family gatherings help to ease us into winter. As we quickly transition from one theme to the next new pet dangers are constantly popping up. A well-seasoned pet owner may know these dangers like the back of their pets paw! If you’re new to the pet game or even new to decorating or hosting holiday events in your home here are some top dangers to watch out for!

Pet Dangers for the Holiday Season

Halloween

  • Chocolate or other candy – including their wrappers which can have remnants or prove to be choking hazards.
  • Loose parts of costumes or decorations, candles in pumpkins, chewable electric cords.
  • Strangers. People unfamiliar to your pet can cause stress and fear as can high traffic. Keep pets safe, even if it means temporarily confining them to a quiet portion of your home.

Thanksgiving

  • Bones, scrapes, and sweets! Make sure guests understand your rules about sharing food with your pets and keep pets out of areas where they can access human foods easily.
  • Chrysanthemums are a popular and lovely fall decor, but also deadly poisonous to dogs.
  • Hot things in the kitchen. Creating a delicious meal means lots of hot plates, pots, pans, and liquids. Tripping over a pet at the wrong moment could lead to more than just a ruined dish. Keep your pets safe by keeping them out of the kitchen during peak cooking times.

Christmas

  • The chrysanthemums may be past their prime by now but poinsettias are just as deadly to your pets!
  • Chocolate! and all other holiday treats and sweets. Sugar is bad for pets.
  • Glass from broken Christmas lights and ornaments.
  • Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, and bows can all prove to be choking and tangling hazards. Make sure your pets are well supervised if they like to frolic in the post-Christmas morning aftermath.

New Year’s Eve

  • Alcohol. Don’t ever give your pet alcohol or leave it where they can easily access it.
  • Confetti, ribbons, and small celebratory things can lead to digestive and intestinal issues in pets.
  • Chocolate and sweets. Yeah, we really like candies… Always keep them out of your pets reach!
  • High traffic, again, is a threat here, but doubly so if your guests are drinking. Unsteady feet don’t mix with little creatures at foot level.

Know your pet and always keep them in mind before, during, and after each holiday!

photo credit: The 3 bulldogs Hangover, hangover, hangover… via photopin

How To Keep Your Canine Cozy in the Cold Months

Cozy Canine in the Cold Months

Ok, so we can all agree that Rudolph is a pretty cute reindeer, but your precious pooches definitely shouldn’t be sporting the ‘red nose’ look this fall/winter. It’s just not fetching! As it gets colder, and the bathing suits go back to the closet to collect dust, special care must be taken when keeping your canine warm. So grab something pumpkin spice related, put your feet up because we’re here to show you how you can keep your pup cozy by the fire and what to look out for to keep them out of harms way.

Never…

Never ever leave your dog in the car! This one is a given, but sometimes we need a reminder that, even though we’re in a rush to get Kristen’s birthday cake at the last minute, it’s never a good idea to leave your dog in the car in the meantime. And this applies in the winter too, as the car can get very cold, very quickly, and your poor pup could be exposed to hypothermia or frostbite. Also make sure that, apart from walks, your dog is not spending too much time outside and when they are inside, make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.

Try…

Dog sweaters! This one is a little controversial, but it’s generally harmless as long as the dog is not wearing them for too long, the material is comfortable and it fits well. If you’re on a budget, then knitting your dog jumpers is a great way to save the cash and add a personal touch. This is extra fun in the holiday season and they even make great gifts! There is a whole host of options available to you online, for all budgets. So get shopping if you don’t want to end up with a chilly canine.

Do…

Check your dog’s temperature when necessary and add more protein into their diet as it gets colder. As with yourself, maintaining normal body temperature is paramount to their health and safety – if it drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit then they are at serious risk and you must take them to the vet immediately. You can buy digital thermometers to help keep track of this (make sure they do not contain mercury) but the main thing is to keep the house at a consistent, and safe, temperature. That’s why wall mounted fireplaces tick all the boxes. They are easy to use, easy on the eyes, and safer for your dogs. This is because you can control their temperature a lot easier than you could with a traditional fire. This way, your pup isn’t at risk of overexposure to the heat, or from getting too close to a flame. So why not keep it cosy, and stylish of course, with a fireplace this winter!

Don’t hesitate to hire yourself a Pet Nanny to check in on pets during the cold months too!

Look out for…

Hypothermia and painful frostbite. After a walk, make sure to brush off any ice or water left on your canine’s coat or you run the risk of them getting ill. If your poor pup has been outside too long or the house a little too cold, then look out for the following signs and act quickly:
Anxious behavior
Non-stop shivering
Looks for warm places around the house
Seems weak
Stops moving or slows down dramatically
As long as you think of your dog’s well-being as you would your own, they’ll be happy as a pup!

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

Patio & Pets: Potentially Poisonous Cleaners

Cats, dogs, and other pets love to be outdoors. Having your own garden and patio can give them the freedom and space to run around, while giving you the confidence that they will remain safe. While the streets may contain potentially fatal traffic, predatory animals and poisonous plants, have you thought about the safety of your own backyard?

In 2010, the Animal Poison Control Center received over 167,000 calls pertaining to pets being exposed to toxic substances. We’ve discussed the dangers of fertilizer and toxic garden plants, but the products you use to clean your garden could also be dangerous to pets.

 What to Avoid on Your Patio

The patio is a great place to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, so it’s understandable you’ll want to keep it looking clean. However, many patio cleaners contain benzalkonium chloride. This chemical is also found in many common household disinfectants, including antibacterial cleaners used on water fountains. Benzalkonium chloride can be extremely toxic to cats, leading to severe reactions and even death.

In an analysis of cases of 245 cats being poisoned by benzalkonium chloride, 126 were poisoned through ingestion alone, while many cats were also affected through contact with the skin. Therefore it is vital you check cleaning products for this chemical. Instead, consider using more natural cleaning solutions. For example, lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can be paired with a powerful pressure washer.

For decking, you may have used a varnish to protect the woodwork. However, varnish tends to be oil based which means it contains harmful solvents which can be accidentally inhaled. This is likely to irritate the intestine, causing diarrhoea. It may also cause an inflammation of the lungs leading to infection of breathing difficulties. It is essential to allow the varnish to dry completely before letting your pet near the wood decking.

 Emergency Response

Dogs and cats are curious animals, so it can be difficult to completely prevent them gaining access to harmful cleaning products. It can take over 6 hours for effects to become clear, but it is important to act quickly.

If you witness your pet coming into contact with a dangerous cleaning product, then you need to remove the product thoroughly and manually. It is not recommended that you use water. Instead use a paper towels and remember to wear protective gloves.

 During the summer, your pets will love to play in the fountain or sunbathe on the patio. It is important as a responsible owner to make sure the products you use to clean your garden and patio are pet safe. If an accident does occur, make sure you recognize the symptoms and act quickly, so that your pet can get the care and medication they need to make a full recovery.

Photo by The Poodle Gang on Unsplash

Hot Car – A Year Round Threat to Your Pet

Don’t let the changing trees and cool fall breeze fool you. With summer winding down, many pet owners may think it’s okay to leave their pet in the car for “just a few minutes”. Did you know that the temperature in your car rises the most in the first ten minutes of being parked in the sun? “Quick trips” in somewhere will have little effect on how hot your pet becomes. Here is a quick overview of how the temperature in your car changes after being parked:

How Hot Will Your Car Get?

  • The First 10 Minutes: The temperature increases between 10-20 degrees.
  • The First 30 Minutes: The temperature is increasing by an average of over one degree per minute. A car parked in the sun on a 75 degree day will heat up to approximately 105 degrees during a 30 minutes time frame.
  • The First Hour: The temperature inside is, on average, 43 degrees hotter than it is outside.

Sure, cracking a window can help, but only so much. Studies have shown on an 85 degree day, with the windows cracked, interior temperatures still reached 102 degrees in 10 minutes! That’s mighty toasty, especially if you’ve got a fur coat on!

We know it can be hard to leave your pet at home when they give you those eyes and look dejected… Trust us though, a sad pet at home is better than a heat stressed (or worse) pet along for the ride.

 

Thanks to Fred Beans of West Chester for the helpful infographic!

3 Common Household Toxins That Can Poison Your Pet

According to the EPA, 50% of all illnesses in both pets and humans can be traced to indoor pollution and toxins. Additionally, indoor pollution is directly related to the use of home cleaners. Cleaning products are filled with tons of ingredients that include ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers, bleach and formaldehyde that can put pets and humans at risk of anemia, cancer, kidney damage, and liver disease.

No matter how clean and organized you make your home, it’s likely to always hold some sort of danger for your pets. Just like many common food items, household products can make a pet ill or even kill them. Due to their natural curiosity, animals like dogs will sniff around unfamiliar smells without being aware of the toxic chemicals around them. Since pets are smaller than humans are, they become more at risk due to the close vicinity of carpets, garage floors, and restricted spaces that may carry chemical residue. That is why it is important to keep pet owners on their toes and ensure that they make their homes safe for their pets.

Here are the top 3 common household cleaning toxins that can poison your pet.

Antifreeze

Ethylene glycol is an ingredient that can be found in liquid rust inhibitors like antifreeze. It is found in a variety of products, especially the car antifreeze. Due to the sweet smell, animals become drawn into the chemical and even end up consuming the harmful ingredient. Consumption will lead to deadly side effects, as just half a teaspoon will be enough to kill a cat. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States estimates a total of 10,000 cats and dogs die every year due to the exposure of ethylene glycol. The best pet-friendly alternative to antifreeze is to use the “low toxic” version that is made of propylene glycol. The chemical is just as effective as ethylene; however, it contains a fraction of antifreeze.

Formaldehyde

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, animal inhalation of formaldehyde was reported to increase the risk of nasal squamous cell cancer. However, despite its probable cause as a human carcinogen, it is still used in agriculture, home furnishings, construction materials, cosmetics and household cleaners. When inhaled or absorbed through the skin it is considered as highly toxic. To avoid, you can purchase doghouses that are made of solid wood and allow them to “off-gas” before introducing your pet.

Mothballs

When used properly, mothballs can be an effective method to killing moths. However, they will also pose a dangerous threat to pets when used carelessly. Inhalation of mothball vapors can lead to headaches, nausea, respiratory distress, eye irritation, and more. When ingested, mothballs can cause toxic poisoning that will lead to liver damage, seizures, respiratory failure, heart arrhythmia, and especially death.

 

Domestic pets may have a strong sense of smell and curiosity, but they do not have the proper defense against the dangers of toxins in your home. As a pet owner, why not consider placing them in animal day care or hire a pet nanny if your away to ensure your pet’s safety and health?

Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that there are plenty of environmentally friendly cleaning products available on the market that are safe to use around pets and children. You can substitute toxic cleaning products with natural soaps, liquids, and powders that use biodegradable ingredients. If you are unable to locate all-natural cleaning brands, consider choosing natural cleaners such as baking soda and vinegar as just a little mixture will go a long way to cleaning your home without harming your pets.

Guest Post by Sally Writes

Photo by Jacob Curtis on Unsplash

Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats – Which is Right For You?

Do you have a cat or are considering getting one? Cats are unique creatures. They love human time, but mostly they like to spend time alone. They can go both indoors and outdoors, and there are benefits to both. Would you get an indoor cat or a cat that could go both in and outdoors?

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats are easy to care. Cats love lying in the sunlit window sills or curling up on your lap for a spell. Keeping your cat inside has many benefits. It protects them from getting lost or hurt and from inclement weather and fleas and ticks. Many people prefer to have their animal indoors so they don’t have to worry about them or attend to and cuts or mishaps that might happen in the great outdoors. Cats can play inside just as well as they can outside. Do you exercise? Many cats love to watch or “help” their owners during yoga sessions or other physical activity. They may interfere or get in the way, but that is because they are curious by nature and want to see what their human is up to.

Outdoor Cats

Cats can spend hours staring out windows to watch the birds and other wildlife. Many people allow their cats outside. Cats are great hunters; so if your cat is outside, don’t be surprised if they bring you a “trophy” consisting of a bird or mouse. Cats love exploring, and most will return home for food, water, and care. There are potential hazards outdoors such as traffic, other cats and dogs and getting lost. If you have a fenced or walled area, you can let your cat out on a supervised playtime. They can be safe and still enjoy romping around the yard.

Common Cats

Both indoor and outdoor cats require a certain level of care. While they are both independent, they need food, water, shelter, and love from their owner. Care is the best thing you can do for your pet. Both indoor and outdoor cats will enjoy playing with toys and things they may find outside. Both will need regular checkups at the vet and annual vaccinations to keep them healthy and safe. Try purchasing or building an outdoor cat house where they are safely confined to a fence or house but can feel the grass or watch the birds closer.

Both types have many commonalities and benefits, so which cat would you prefer?

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker twilight zone via photopin (license)

Bio: Sarah is the author of Crazy Pet Guy. She enjoys spending time with her pets and writing about how to take care of them and raise them well.

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)

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)

We take pride in making your pets' well being a priority while you are away from home.

"Carol was very loving and attentive to Chance and Nina. She went out of her way to stay in touch and respond to communications while we were gone. She was cheerfully accommodating when we changed plans for our return date. We are completely satisfied with your service and will be using you again."

Read more reviews

© Copyright Pet Nanny. All Rights Reserved. | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

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.