Tag: dog park

Winter Weather Care For Your Pet – Act Now!

Each new season means taking new precautions with your pet. Now that winter has officially arrived it’s time for pet owners across the country to be on guard against cold weather! While some have been battling arctic blasts for a while, most of the country will experience some brutal weather in January and February. Check out these winter precautions you need to be taking!

Winter Weather Care

  • Baths – While many people will equate pet bath time with summer more than winter, they can be just as important! Extra thick fur coats can capture more debris and become more easily matted. Baths are also important to remove salt or other deicing chemicals your animal may come into contact with in cold weather. But what about dry skin?
  • Moisturize – In the past baths haven’t been recommended in winter because they can strip your pets already winter-dry skin even more. Be sure that when you wash your pet you are using a moisturizing wash. Consider using a lotion too if needed! Yes, dog lotions exist! You can also add a tablespoon of olive oil to their food to help with dry skin!
  • Foot care – The pads of dogs feet can be super sensitive to the cold, and again, the salt and chemicals. Consider using booties to cover their feet, or massaging them with petroleum jelly (or other protectant) as a barrier to environmental hazards. Don’t forget to dry your pet’s feet thoroughly once your back inside too!
  • Fatten them – Don’t go overboard, but now is no time for diets. A little extra food can help replace all those extra calories they are burning to keep their body temperature up.
  • Consider a coat – If your pet has a thin or short fur coat, consider getting them an extra one if you take them out regularly. You don’t wear just the same thing outside as you do inside in the winter, so don’t expect your pet too!

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Summer Fun List For Your Pet!

Need some endless summer fun tips for your pet? Now’s the time to take advantage of the great outdoors (or backyard!) and get in some awesome activities with your pet. Check out our awesome list to brighten up the “dog days of summer”, increase the bond with your pet – while staying cool at the same time!

Summer Fun List

  • Kiddie pools are so versatile and fun! Fill one with some water for your pet to splash around in! If they seem a little apprehensive about taking the plunge, toss some of their favorite water friendly treats in!
  • Make pet popsicles! Cheap popsicle trays can be a great way to treat your pet and cool them off! Mix bouillon with water and freeze it for your cats and dogs, or use something fruity for a pet rabbit!
  • Sprinkler and/or slip-n-slides anyone? We think these are self explanatory!
  • Do a search for local geocaches and take your pet out hiking!
  • Explore new dog parks with your pet! Find ones in your area and hit a new park each day to meet new people and explore new spaces!
  • Make a trip to one of these Cat Cafe’s and see what all the rage is about!
  • Get creative! Make pet toys like scratching posts, backyard obstacle courses, or even a little tree house for your cat if you’re feeling ambitious.
  • Drop your pet off for a spa day, and head to one yourself!
  • Leash train your cat and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and exploring with them!
  • Plant pet friendly sprouts in containers for cats or rabbits to nibble on or dig in!
  • Take your pet out for a photo shoot! Consider bringing outfits and/or props?

Do you already have a summer fun list for you and your pet? Share it with us to help inspire others!

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Summertime Quick-Reference Blog

Summertime officially kicks off on Monday, June 20th this year! Changing seasons herald in the need for unique pet care and pet dangers. Below is a quick-reference guide to some common summertime pet topics  with links to more details about each! Make this summer a paw-riffic summer!

Summertime Pet Care 101

  • Ticks, Fleas, and all the Woodland Buggers – Some pet owners let the flea and tick regimen lapse a little over the colder months. It’s important to get back on top of it as soon as possible once warm weather hits. Waiting too long puts you on the defense instead of the offense. Our former post here discusses extra steps you can take to keep the bug problem under control!
  • The Great Outdoors – Warm weather means more time outside in nature to many. Hiking, fishing, and camping are all summertime favorites. Each one can potentially put you and your pet in an environment you’re not used to. This means new threats that you need to know about! Check out our post on Wildlife Pet Threats!
  • Heat, heat, and more heat! – Yup, that means summer! Imagine you had to wear a fur coat all summer though?! That’s your pets reality! Find out about shaving them, tips for helping them beat the heat, and products that can help you out!
  • The car – I really hope we don’t have to go over the importance of NOT leaving your pet in the car during summer (or even some warm spring & fall) days. These tips will help you keep your pet safe while travelling!
  • Sun exposure, fireworks, water dangers and more – All these pose a  seasonal threat to your pet. Make summertime the greatest time ever by remembering and being attentive to your pets special needs!
  • Heat stroke – know the signs and know what to do!

Aggression – Causes of Your Dogs Behavior

Dog aggression isn’t something that’s fun to talk about. It’s also something that can’t be ignored if you expect to have a happy and healthy relationship with your pet. Aggression can be treated with medical care, proper training, and working alongside a behavioral expert. First, you need to understand the root cause:

Causes of Aggression

  • Pain or sickness – this is the most common form of aggression and can be one of the easiest ones to deal with. Remove the source and you remove the aggression. If your pet is suddenly asking aggressive for no apparent reason, be sure to call your vet ASAP. Some medical conditions can cause aggressive behavior too; if your pet is in pain, they are likely to be irritable and act out.
  • Fear – If your pet perceives a threat to themselves, you, or their puppies aggression will frequently be apparent. It is important to socialize your pet and yourself when they are young so they are not afraid of strangers approaching or touching them or you. Dogs frequently read our signals too. If you’re acting intimidated or threatened, don’t be surprised if your pet acts aggressively toward the perceived threat.
  • Genetics – A much-debated topic, the simple fact is that some breeds of dogs are far more likley to behave aggressively than others. Some varieties have been genetically engineered for fighting or protection. Make sure you understand your dog’s breed as well as any adopted pets history before bringing them home. It is especially important to focus on training and control with dogs who are genetically predisposed toward it.
  • Learned aggression – Sadly, some dogs are not only bred to be aggressive but taught as well. While it’s not impossible to re-train a dog, it does take time, dedication, and caution to remove triggers. Before taking on such a task, be sure to consult a veterinarian or training professionals.

Leash Training Your Dog 101

Using a leash with your dog may seem pretty intuitive. Clip it onto their collar or harness and you’re ready to go, right? Sure, that gets the job done, but did you know there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to leash train your dog? Holding it correctly to prevent injury and teaching your dog to stop pulling are two great benefits of  training!

Leash Training 101

  • The right collar. If you’re starting your leash training with a puppy, it’s pertinent to get a collar that fits. Since puppies grow, be aware that you need to check the collar sizing regularly and upgrade as needed. Check out this link for tips on measuring your dog’s collar size!
  • Learn how to hold the leash. Here is where some human training comes in. Knowing how to hold the leash properly will help you keep steady control of your pet, without risking injury to yourself. This is particularly important during the training process when your pet will be pulling and jerking the most. Proper technique, as described by Wikihow:

    “Slip your thumb through the loop at the end of the leash. If you hold your hand upwards in front of you (like you’re giving someone a high five), the leash should dangle off your thumb. Then close your hand around the loop. The rest of the leash should come out the bottom of your fist, beside your pinky finger.”

  • Start with a short range. Keeping your dog close to you can help them learn which side they should walk on and what an acceptable pace is. This also allows you more immediate, easier control during the early stages.

  • Trial and error. Now comes the training part! With a pocket full of treats head out the door! As your pet walks calmly beside you, praise them and offer a treat. If they pull or dart about erratically exercise patience and reward them when they stop this behavior and return to polite walking. If they remain walking with you, stop and reward them every so often.
  • Deal with pulling. If your dog is trying to pull you toward a goal, stop. Wait until your pet stops tugging and then slowly walk toward the object of their interest, rewarding them if they walk calmly with you. Your dog needs to understand that misbehaving will produce the opposite result of what they want. If their behavior persists, calmly walk away from their goal. Don’t ever jerk the leash, just apply enough steady pressure that they must follow you. And again with the training mantra, once he stops and begins following you at a normal pace, reward him!

Remember to always be patient and gentle with your dog. Use your stubbornness and leadership to command your pet. Dogs are smart and most pick up on leash training fast!

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Spoiled Rotten Dog: Are You Guilty?

Dogs are just like to children to many people, and like children, they can be at risk for being spoiled… “What’s the harm?”, you may ask yourself. Extra treats, lots of toys, and lax rules are just how you show your love right? The problem is, just like with children, a spoiled dog can lead to problems as they get older. They can be aggressive toward you or others who try to impose rules on them, a nuisance to neighbors or company, and difficult for veterinarians to provide proper care for. So, what are some of the common errors and signs of a spoiled dog?

Spoiled Dog Syndrome

  • Does your dog routinely ignore commands they were once prompt to obey?
    Do they sneak around to do things they know are no-no’s? (i.e stealing food, chewing on shoes, etc.) Are they rude to your company by growling or jumping up on them?
  • Make time for your pet instead of buying extra toys. Time in your company as your companion is the best “toy” you can give. Walks, trips to the park, or even a movie and a snuggle will help enhance your bond and make your pet desire your approval.
  • Alternatively, consider crate training to teach your pet how to spend time alone too. Most people can’t spoil their pets (or themselves) to the extent of being “attached at the hip” and you will be required to leave your pet alone at times. To ensure they don’t either suffer anxiety or see these as moments to partake in all the no-no’s of life, make sure they are comfortable spending time alone.
  • Don’t send mixed signals. We know puppy dog eyes are pretty hard to resist, but it’s important that you send a consistent and clear message about what’s okay and what’s not, AT ALL TIMES. This means no exceptions for being too tired to shoo them off the bed for the tenth time, or as “okay on special occasions”. A no-no is a no-no. The better your pet sees this, the less likely they should be to beg.
  • Keep treats for good behavior, but not ALL good behavior. Overfeeding your pet treats isn’t just bad for their behavior, it’s bad for their waistlines too! While treats can be a great way to help train a dog for all sorts of behaviors, they shouldn’t become a permanent reward. This doesn’t mean that you can’t treat them for coming when called, or sitting when told too, just do it less than 50% of the time.

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Traveling With Your Pet In Tow!

Spring Break is right around the corner and so is traveling! Whether you’ve got a road trip planned or are waiting for summer, there are a lot of awesome pet-accommodating services out there ready to make your trip with pet in tow a breeze! But how will you know how to find them? Which hotels allow pets? What about vet offices if your pet gets sick while traveling? Fortunately, for the traveling pet owner of the future (being now) there are websites dedicated to nothing more than letting you know about all these wonderful things and more!

Websites To Ease Traveling With Your Pet

Petfriendlytravel.com – Aptly named, this website allows you to pick a state and city, then shows you all the pet-friendly accommodations you have to choose from!

Pettravel.com – For the international pet, this website takes traveling seriously. They share airline policies for flying with pets, information on pet passports, checklists, hotels, insurance. They also offer tips about pet safety, a travel store, and so, so much more! A great resource!

Gopetfriendly.com – Here you can choose the state your traveling to or through and see top pet-friendly destinations. They are just listed here though, Each location includes a description of the area and experience by the curators of the site! If you’re not happy just trusting the term “pet-friendly” on a listing, hearing actual experiences at Gopetfriendly.com is the place for you!

bringfido.com – This site is also a good location for international traveling or even temporary relocation. They help you find pet-friendly apartments, condos, pet sitters, kennels, grooming, restaurants, attractions, shopping and more! What a list!

Petswelcome.com – This site lets you search both in specific cities, but also within a radius of it. If your traveling to Denver, CO, but aren’t looking for in-the-city accommodations, Petswelcome.com is a great option! They also offer a collection of informative articles to help you and your pet traverse the globe worry free!

Tell us about your favorite resources for vacationing with your pet, share pictures, and help us grow the pet-friendly world! Check out these helpful tips for flying with your pet too!

Dog Flu – What You Need To Know

We’ve heard of swine flu and bird flu before, but this year all the news is about dog flu. With all the dramatic headlines flashing across the internet it’s important to know the facts and how this affects you. We’ve researched the answers for some of the questions that we were curious about, to help you weed through all the headlines and keep you and your pets protected!

The Dog Flu & You

  • What is the dog flu and why have I never heard of it before? The dog flu (H3N8) is a relatively new strain of the flu (think 2004) that evolved from a strain that was found in horses previously. Due to it’s relatively new appearance on the viral scene and this year being the first real epidemic, not too much is known about it.
  • What are the symptoms?  Symptoms in your pup are similar to the symptoms you might exhibit if you caught the human version. You’re going to notice a general malaise, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and likely a lack of appetite. Try to stay in tune to your pet’s behavior and isolate them quickly if you notice any symptoms of dog flu.
  • What if I have other pets in the house? It’s important to note that your pet may be contagious to their peers before you notice signs of sickness. Try to stay in tune with your pet’s behavior and keep them isolated if you notice anything out of the usual. Don’t forget food and water bowls, toys, and bedding are also ways that pets can spread disease! Be sure to wash your hands and possibly change your clothes after contact with an infected pet.
  • How dangerous is it? Like with people, most pets will have a miserable week or so and then start to mend. About 5% of cases so far have been fatal. It’s a small figure but enough for pet owners to take note. Dogs with shorter or flat snouts have a harder time with dog flu due to the mucus build up in their respiratory tract.
  • Are there ways I can prevent it? Minimize your pets exposure to other dogs. Dog parks and kennels are two places where your pet may come into contact. Ask your vet if you should consider a canine flu shot. Dog flu shots don’t prevent the virus, but they can help to reduce the severity. If you frequently have your pet around others this may be a good route to go.

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Halloween Safety Tips For Your Pet

No matter what your plans are for Halloween this year, it’s time to start thinking about pet safety! Whether you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the holiday or try to avoid it all together, there are important safety considerations to make!

Halloween and your pet!

Halloween Saftey Tips

  • Pet costumes – Few pet owners can resist the urge to dress their pet up! Just because it looks cute doesn’t mean it’s safe. Keep some basic things in mind while picking a Halloween costume for them: does it have small pieces that may prove to be choking hazards? does it fit too tight causing restriction or too loose posing a tripping hazard? does it inhibit their eyesight or ability to breath? Keep the costumes cute and safe!
  • Be mindful of Trick-or-Treaters – If you’re staying in but plan on handing out candy this Halloween make sure your pet is secure. If you have an indoor pet be sure to keep them confined away from the door that you will be opening frequently to strangers. This will keep them from running out or acting aggressively toward the children. If your pet is outdoors, try to secure them away from the hustle and bustle at your front door. Unsecured pets may be prone to follow children and get lost or act protectively of your property.
  • Watch decorations and candles – Halloween decorations can often be a choking or electrocution hazard for your pets. Be mindful in how you decorate and try not to leave your pet unattended around a jack-o-lantern with candles!
  • Watch for abandoned candy – In the days prior to Halloween keep an extra close eye on your pet while out for walks or in a park. Children will often drop sweets that, if consumed, could be fatal for your pet. Be sure to mention this concern to your dog walker or pet nanny too!

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April Is National Pet Month – Celebrate With Us!

April is National Pet Month! You may be asking yourself, “What does that mean exactly?” Well it’s not just a month for pet pampering, but also for raising awareness about pet related issues! April is the month to be reminded of all the amazing ways pets impact our lives and how we can make theirs better. Below are some ways you can participate in the National Pet Month. Do you have your own April ritual to celebrate pets? Share it with us!

April Pet Awareness!

  • Support pet adoptions – Do your best to raise awareness for pet adoptions and provide loving homes to many abandoned and abused animals looking for a “forever home”. Can’t adopt one yourself? Many shelters struggle to make ends meet under growing population of homeless animals. April donations of food, treats, toys, and medicine can mean a lot toward ensuring that these pets get the best care when they are in the worst sit
  • Volunteer! – April 12-18 is also National Volunteer Week. Ask your local pet shelter if they could use some extra help with Spring cleaning or other duties! Sometimes the regular staff could use a little extra help or some much deserved time off.
  • Support pet responsibility – Help prevent overpopulated shelters by being an advocate for spay and neuter! Go one step further by raising awareness about the cost and responsibility associated with pet ownership. Informed people are less likely to get in over their heads with a pet and more likely to understand their pets unique needs!
  • Pay tribute to service animals – There are many charities out there that pay tribute to service animals; animals that were injured in the line of duty, or have reached the age of retirement. Consider donating or volunteering at one of these facilities. Service dogs range from those that help the blind to dogs that accompany firemen or police officers. Their dedication to humanity is something that deserves recognition all year long, not just April!
  • Promote the benefits of pet ownership – pet ownership has many medical and social advantages, even for those who don’t require service dogs! From lowering blood-preassure to helping build responsibility and self-esteem in children, pet ownership has tons of benefits.
  • Pamper your pet! – When you’re overworked it can be easy to get frustrated with the responsibilities associated with taking care of pets. Take this month to reflect on what a positive impact your pet has on your life. Remember not to take them for granted! Give them extra treats, make time to hit the dog park or schedule play dates! If you’re too busy, consider getting a Pet Nanny to spend some extra time with your pet! Remember, you’re their whole world!

Has a pet made an impact on your life? Share it with us on our Facebook page! We’d love to hear your story!

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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.