Tag: dog walker

Earth Day Tips for Your Pet!

With Earth Day still fresh on our minds (it was last Friday!), have you ever considered your pet’s carbon footprint? Or small changes you could make to be a greener pet owner?

Green Pets For Earth Day!

  • Green Pet Toys – While you may be tempted to treat your pet with a new toy each time you head out the pickup supplies, most pets don’t know the difference between a bought toy and a homemade one! Not to mention there is no telling what unhealthy chemicals are in/on the plastic and polyester toys commercially available. Dogs love sticks, bones, or even old shoes! Cats are suckers for balls of yarn, pens, and really anything they can swat around the house!
  • Spay and Neuter – Believe it or not, this may be the greenest thing you can do! Nearly 8 million pets are euthanized in animal shelters each year. The resources to house, feed, and eventually euthanize 8 million pets are huge. Spaying or neutering your pet can not only help the planet but prevent animal suffering if you are unable to care for all the potential offspring yourself!

  • Scoop or “Pickup” Cleaner – Whether you’re a cat, dog, or even bunny owner, resources are often used disposing of their waste… Consider trying out eco-friendly plastic bags in honor of Earth Day! Poopbags.com sells biodegradable baggies made just for your pet’s “business”.  Use it on walks, or place one in a small container with a lid next to your litterbox and scoop into it daily, then toss at weeks end! If you’ve got a bunny and space for composting, rabbit manure is praised by gardeners and most rabbit litter is compost friendly too!
  • Avoid Plastics – When possible opt for metal or ceramic pet accessories. They usually last longer, are more natural, and consume less resources to make! Next time you need to replace water and food dishes, litter boxes (yup, they make metal litterboxes!), bedding, toys, collars, etc., opt for the real thing, no plastics or polyesters need apply!

Do you have your own ways you “go green” with your pet(s)? Share them with us in honor of Earth Day 2016!

Infographic Courtesy Of Ultimate Home Life

 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

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.

photo credit: Giving in via photopin (license)

Skincare For Your Pet This Winter

With all that cuddly fur it’s easy to forget that some pets need skincare too! Just when our pets think they can take a break from summer scratching, winter comes in with a whole different kind of itchiness! Dry skin doesn’t just affect humans. Some types of pets or specific pet breeds who are already prone to skin disorders suffer endlessly during the winter months. Don’t just leave your pet to scratching though! Check out these skincare tips and give your pet some relief!

Winter Skincare Tips For Your Pet!

  • Don’t stop brushing! – Just because the shedding season is over doesn’t mean that you can put the brush up! Brushing your pet helps to keep the fur free from matting and dandruff and helps allow your pets skin to breath easier. Your first step in pet skincare is to get in the habit of regular brushings!
  • Think before you bathe! – Because baths can be drying, it’s best to avoid bathing your pet unless you actually need to. Fortunately, since summer has gone, you should be able to set aside the flea and tick shampoos in favor of gentler options. There are many pet skincare lines out there and you can get as fancy as you want. We suggest you look for something sodium-laureth sulfate free (SLS free, or “sulfate free”) with skin conditioners.
  • Feed them healthy fats! – Just like with humans, good skincare starts from the inside out! Make sure that year round (especially if you have an older pet) they are getting plenty of healthy fats in their diet. Look for pet foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6, or consider supplementing your pet’s diet with a little canned fish.

Skincare for your pet!

  • Rinse their feet! – If you’re taking your pet out for walks in the winter time, consider rinsing their paws when you get back home. Salt and de-icers can become irritants and encourage your pet to lick/chew on the bottoms of their feet – in addition to allowing them to ingest potentially harmful chemicals. Got a dog walker or pet nanny? Be sure ask them to do foot rinses/wipings!
  • Deal with excessive scratching – If you notice your pet scratching or chewing on themselves more than usual. Nix it quickly and find the source of the problem. A little itchy dry skin can turn into a trip to the vet your pet gives themselves sores. Try putting an article of pet clothing on their body to shield their skin. If they already have inflamed looking spots, consider dabbing with some non-antibacterial, original Neosporin. For many pets this is same (even if licked) but check with your vet first if you have concerns!

Be sure to always let your pet nanny know if your pet is suffering

 

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!

photo credit: Happy Halloween! via photopin (license)

Innovation in Pet Care – Top Gadgets To Ease Your Worry

With new technologies booming in every possible industry out there, pet care innovations are keeping stride! Whether your “tech minded” or just pet-minded it’s impossible to deny these handy innovations we’ve seen hit the market over the last year!

Innovation in Pet Gadgets

Tagg GPS Plus  – Tracking systems for pets have been around for some time. The important clue to why this one is an innovation lies in the ‘Plus”. Tagg GPS Plus will track your wandering pet as well as alert you if your pet is suffering from extreme temperatures. If you have an outdoor, or indoor/outdoor pet and live in an area prone to extreme weather this innovation can take the guess work out of your pet’s living conditions.

Pet care innovation makes happy faces!

PetNet – PetNet allows you to use your cell phone to distribute food for your pet no matter where you are! With this innovation, you simply fill the reservoir with food, set the portions, and then use your cell phone to dole out the ideal amount at the ideal time! Keep your pet a creature of habit and never miss a meal time again.

PetCube  and PetChatz– In the spirit of making sure your pet is well cared for in your absence PetCube and PetChatz take it a step further. While no substitute for a pet nanny… Both allow you to talk to and interact with your pet while you’re away. PetCube lets you have a conversation, view them via a built-in camera or even use a laser pointer to play! PetChatz combines the social aspect of PetCube while incorporating the option to reward your pet with pre-filled treats too! Ease the separation anxiety with either of these two innovative gadgets!

FitBark – Make sure your pet is getting the proper amount of exercise! FitBark is an innovative little gadget that lets you know how your pet spent their day. How long they played, slept, or were lightly active. This is perfect if you’re trying to help your pet slim down a little or just want to make sure they are getting enough attention and enjoying life!

What’s your favorite new “must have” pet gadget?

photo credit: taro shiba… still smiling! via photopin (license)
 

Disabled Pet – Tips for Care and Coping

Some pet parent’s choose the less travelled path of taking on a disabled pet. Others may unexpectedly find themselves in that role by an unfortunate accident or simply age. Whether you are a disabled pet parent, plan to be, or may end up as one, we are hoping to provide you some information and resources here to help with the task. Disabled pets often have just the same desires and love for life as any other pet, they just need a little extra care to have the chance to enjoy it! A word of caution though, disabled pets require extra time and money. Do not willingly take on the task unless you are prepared to provide both of these. It’s also always a good idea to have a safety net of funds and a support network should you find your pet becomes disabled in the future.

Caring for a disabled pet

Disabled Pet Basics

  • The first thing pet owners need to know about disabled pets is that animals don’t feel sorry for themselves. Disabilities don’t break their spirit. Don’t make the mistake of euthanising a pet because you feel sorry for them. There are lots of disabilities out there that, with humans help, pets can overcome and live a fulfilling pain-free life.
  • Expect to do things a little differently. Many disabilities make bathroom habits harder to cope with so you may need to make some changes in your home to better accommodate. You may also need to make areas of your home handicap accessible, and be more attentive and available than you once did.
  • Find a support group. A quick googling can lead you to many websites that host forums allowing other disabled pet owners to discuss the struggles and successes of caregiving. Having a supportive community of people who understand and can help answer questions can make a big difference in  your ability to cope. Some groups can even direct you toward charities that help cover the cost of disabled pet care.

photo credit: Dog Wheelchair – Boxer can Walk and Play Again! via photopin (license)

Unattended Pets And The Destruction They Can Cause

“Pet Shaming” has become a popular social media trend with pet parents displaying the destruction their unattended pets have wrought. While the pictures accompanied with little signs explaining the unattended pets crime are far too adorable, they are also far too relatable for many pet owners!

Dogs frequently display destructive behavior when left alone. Mostly because they are suffering from separation anxiety. While you know you’ll be back in the evening, that span of time can seem endless for a dog. The longer you’re gone the more their anxiety can grow and result in some pretty unpleasant behaviors. Chewing and poor bathroom habits are the two biggest symptoms. It’s important to remember that punishing your dog when you get home in the evening doesn’t do any good. Too much time has likely passed for them to understand what they punishment is for and instead they will just feel unloved and not learn anything.

Damage caused by unattended pets

Cats can suffer from separation anxiety too! While unpleasant bathroom habits are often a symptom for them too, they are often prone to scratch instead of chewing. In some cases, that can be far more costly! A dog may ruin a nice pair of shoes, but a cat can ruin your furniture!

 

What can you do help your unattended pets not destroy your home?

  • Keep Them Well Fed With Lots of Toys – Unattended pets will also wreak havoc when they are hungry and bored. Make sure that your pets have (or have had) plenty of food before you leave. Enough to sustain them for the duration of your absence. Also, make sure your dog has chew toys or that your cat has a scratching post!
  • Pick Up After Yourself – Make it a point not to leave things you value within your pet’s reach. Keep your shoes in a closed closet, electronics out of reach, and make sure that your trash containers are inaccessible.
  • Restrict Their Range – Don’t let your pet have free reign of your home while you are away. Keep doors shut to rooms you don’t want them in. If your pet is known for sketchy bathroom habits while you’re away, restrict them to a room with easily cleanable floors.
  • Arrange For Visitors! – If you can’t make it home in the middle of the day to check on your pet or spend some time with them, consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny! Dog walkers and pet nannies are just a service for vacations. They can provide a much-needed bathroom break and playtime mid-day for unattended pets.

 

photo credit: Trash Dogs via photopin (license)

Back-to-School and What It Means For Pets

As July nears an end those three dreaded words every child fears start popping up everywhere – back-to-school. Two to three months of summer adventures come to a close leaving some parent’s relieved for their households to resume their usual routine. But what about pets? Whether you’ve adopted a new pet over the summer months or have the same family friend, back-to-school time can be rough on them. As adults head out the door in the morning for work and daily errands and children rush off to the school bus pets are often left home alone for the majority of the day.

 

Make sure you are still meeting their basic needs. Sometimes in the rush to get everyone out the door on time, a pet can be overlooked. This can be a problem any time of the year but especially during the first back-to-school months when routines are being formed. Your family may find it helpful to use a dry-erase board on the refrigerator to make a morning pet checklist.

Pets don’t like back-to-school time any more than their

owners do…

Back-To-School Checklist Ideas

  • Ensure that dogs have been let out for a bathroom break and quick exercise
  • Make sure cats, bunnies, or other pets have clean litter boxes
  • Fresh food and water should be provided
  • Shoes, cords, and other things your pet shouldn’t be into are placed safely out of their reach
  • Windows and doors that may give them access to restricted areas are closed
  • Necessary medications are administered

Keep an eye out for depression too. After a summer of constant play and companionship, it’s not unusual for your pet to be sad and a little lost once all the humans run off to do other things. Until your pet has an opportunity to adjust to the new family routine consider asking a friend to stop by and check on them or hiring a pet walker or pet nanny. Someone stopping by during the day can make sure their needs are being met and give them a little mid-day attention.

Make the most of the evening time and be patient. You may have had a full day of socializing but your pet hasn’t. Any hyperactivity or persistent demands for affection have to be understood from your pet’s point of view. After back-to-school as homework and extracurricular activities pile up remember the importance of making your pet a priority. Those other things are important too, but a pet is a living responsibility. If you feel your lifestyle will prevent you from providing the love that’s needed, you should reconsider before getting a pet or taking on those extracurricular activities.

Remember parents, while the pet may belong to your child, as the adult you are ultimately responsible for making sure its needs are being met. Don’t make pets victims of the back-to-school frenzy!

photo credit: Academic Cat via photopin (license)

 

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!

Bizarre Accessories For Pets – Do You Indulge?

It can be easy to get carried away with spoiling your pet but do your habits venture into the bizarre category? Are you a sucker for buying unusual pet accessories? Check out our list of outlandish pet care owners get up to and see if you’ve fallen victim!

Bizarre Pet Accessories

  • Pet Highchair – Owners who want their pets on the same level as them have the option of purchasing a “highchair” for them! A quick search on Amazon brings up a wide variety of options for highchairs that clip onto tables to elevate your pet. If you’re tempted to take part in this bizarre behavior try to be mindful of restaurant rules!
  • Social Media– In 2015 it’s not that bizarre for doting pet owners or celebrities to create social media accounts for their pets. “Puppy Tweets” takes it a step further having created a USB device that snaps onto your pet’s collar and automatically uploads tweets from your pet to their Twitter account based on their activity levels!
  • Pet Treadmills – While we take our pets healthy and activity level seriously a treadmill for a pet seems a bit much… Taking  your pet for a walk is about more than just the act of walking – it’s the excitement, stimulus, and adventure that goes with it! If you can’t find time to walk your pet regularly don’t fall prey to this bizarre option. Instead use that money to hire a dog walker for your poor pet!
  • Kitty Wig – At some point most pet owners are guilty of putting a pair of sunglass or a hat on their pet to take a silly picture. We all do it. It’s not that bizarre. But would you buy a wig just for your cat? Most importantly, does your cat even want a wig? The fashion statement may be lost on your cat, but we’re certain that they will enjoy hunting, fighting, and ultimately conquering it at 3 a.m.
  • Pet Tattoo – Temporary! As pet owners, it’s natural to want your pet to express your personality just as much you yourself do with your own fashion statements. Temporary pet tattoos now allow you to brand your pet with a message or image. They work by staining your pets fur but before you decide to attempt this bizarre pet practice be sure to do some research into the safety of the dyes being used. Most pets lick their fur!

Bizarre Kitty Wigs

photo credit: Sam wants in on the wig action via photopin (license)

 

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