Tag: dog walker

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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Dog Park Etiquette – What You Need To Know

Taking your dog to a dog park is an excellent alternative to regular people parks! Obviously, a dog park is much more pet friendly than your average park where you might deal with pet haters or nervous parents who are uncomfortable with your Fido taking an interest in their child. Just because it’s a park for dogs though, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and an expected etiquette to ensure all pets and pet parents have the best time possible! Are you a little unsure about what’s okay and what’s not? Check out our list of etiquette and common dog park peeves.

Dog Park Etiquette

  • Know your dog – Most important dog park etiquette is that you know your dog’s preferences, behavior, and sensitivities. If your dog tends to be aggressive and protective, it may be best to keep then on a leash or in a less occupied part of the park. Never let your dog off a leash in an unfenced portion of a park – especially if they rarely listen to your commands.
  • Do Remove The Leash & Harnesses – Once in a fenced in area, always remove the leash and harness. Keeping a dog on a leash in a dog park not only negates the purpose of the park, but also poses a tripping or tangling hazard for your pet, other pets, and other patrons. In heavy play, dogs can get entangled in harnesses causing injury or fights.
  • Stay involved – Don’t just let your dog loose then go sit in the shade somewhere oblivious to what your pet’s up to. Feel free to chat with other pet owners, but never without being aware of your pet. Avoid distractions by smart phones too. Know where your dog is and what it’s doing.
  • Spay & Neuter – If your pet is not spayed or neutered, keep them on a leash or very close to you to prevent any unwelcome promiscuous behavior.
  • Play vs. Fight – Know the difference between dogs playing and dogs fighting. If you have a larger pet, make sure their play stays limited to dogs of a similar size. Dogs often don’t know their own strength and it can be easier for the larger breeds to injure the smaller ones.
  • Avoid Packs – Make sure your dog isn’t teaming up with a large pack. Even packs of normally docile and domesticated dogs can turn dangerous. Try to limit your pets playmates to no more than three at a time.
  • Clean-up Waste – Just because you’re in a dog park, doesn’t mean you don’t have to be prepared to clean up any waste your dog may leave.

  • Health Check – Make sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations and not sick. Furthermore, keep your pet away from any other dogs that may be exhibiting symptoms of disease or mites.
  • No Puppies Allowed – Avoid taking a new puppy younger than twelve weeks to a dog park. They are vulnerable, often don’t have all their shots yet, and may be a target for bullies.
  • Hire a Pet Sitter – Many pet sitters are trained for dealing with dogs and are a great option if you’re not comfortable or don’t have the time to take your dog out for socializing and exercise!

Not sure if there is a dog park near you? Check out dogpark.com to find one! Remember, YOU are responsible for your pet’s actions.

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Memory in Animals – How Does Your Pet Measure Up?

Have you ever wondered how good your pets memory is? Does your pet seem to be a repeat offender when it comes to misbehavior? Do they seem to recall some things (like the sight of the bag of treats) with an amazing ability and then completely blank out with other things (I didn’t know that was a no-no…)? Animals, unlike humans, tend to remember things that are triggered as important to their survival. In the wild, an animal may always remember the way back to a popular watering hole, but  show no recollection of a recent event. As a result, when considering the memory of a pet, it has to be divided into what they remember in the short-term, and what they remember in the long-term.

The short term memory span of a rabbit is four minutes!

Like most animals, dogs have great long-term memories, but are unable to keep track of time and specific events like humans can. Their long-term memories for remembering their training or tricks, are created not by remembering specific episodes, but by connections that are formed in their brain during the training which result in memory “impulses”. So that their reactions to certain stimulus become second nature to them. It’s important to have an empathetic understanding of animal memory when you decide to take on a pet – even more so when you decide to train one!

Their lack of a short-term memory is the reason why disciplinary action must be taken immediately after a bad behavior occurred. If your pet tore up the house and made a mess while you were away, by the time you get home, it’s too late to punish them and expect any effect except other than making them scared of you for a little while. Lasting training and discipline with most pets must come in the form of immediate cause and effect – you go into the brier patch and get scratched or you touch something hot and get burned. Committing a “pet crime” and then getting punished a few hours later is seen as nothing more than abuse by your pet, not punishment. It will result in no change in your pets behavior other than making them less trusting of you, and trust is a key factor in successfully training a pet.

 Interesting facts and statistics about animal memory:

  • Fish can remember where for is for up to twelve days! On the down side though they probably have no idea who you are. Their short term memory span is about three seconds.
  • Dogs short-term memory maxes out at about two minutes – no punishing if it’s been longer than two minutes!
  • Chimpanzees will forget trivial information in about 20 seconds, but have a visual memory far superior to humans allowing them to recognize other chimpanzees and places.
  • Sea lions can recall frivolous things they were taught for up to a decade.
  • Ravens remember faces and voices for their entire lifetime.
  • Cats memories are said to be much better than dogs. Cats are believe to have a short term memory of about sixteen hours – maybe it’s that slow pace they’re known for!
  • A rabbits short-term memory is about 4 minutes.
  • Hamsters have terrible memories. The poor little buggers will occasionally forget what they were doing moments after starting!

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Children and Pets: Are yours ready? – Pet Nanny

Soft cuddly playful fluffiness is something most children find impossible to resist! It’s likely that if you have a child it won’t be much longer than they can talk before they are asking for a pet. But are they ready? There is a lot of responsibility in caring for another living creature and it’s not a decision that should be made on a whim. Here are some factors to take into consideration before you give in:

Should Your Child or Children Get A Pet?

  • How old is your child? – Age is a big consideration. Children younger than five tend to have a harder time with pets. While pets can be a great way to teach compassion and empathy, very young children can struggle with respecting a pets space and understanding how to handle one. Getting your child a pet too young can lead to either your child getting hurt or the pet. Stick to stuffed animals until they are a little older!
  • Start small and assess the child’s growth – Pets are also a great way to teach responsibility. Be sure to take it slow. Start your child off with a fish, hermit crabs, or other creature that requires minimal work. If you observe your child maintaining consistent responsibility with feeding, cleaning, and general care, they might be getting ready for a bigger pet!
  • Make sure your child understands commitment – The lifespan of a conventional pet (such as a cat or dog) can match your child’s time in your home. It’s very possible that a pet they get when they are five can still be with them when they are eighteen. You and your child should be prepared for a long-term commitment.
  • Are you ready? – While the pet may belong to your child it doesn’t mean that you are free from responsibility for it. The most mature child is still just a child and it’s up to you to make sure that the animal is being properly cared for and to take over duties when your child is sick or busy.

Don’t let holidays or pet shop windows tempt you into an impulse buy! Living creatures deserve your full consideration and they will be dependent on you for the rest of their lives. See more important tips and things to consider here.

 

Diseases In Pets And How To Guard Against Them!

Nobody likes catching a cold or the flu and that’s no different for your pet! Since your pet can’t talk sometimes it can be hard to know when they are under the weather. Unlike humans, most pets aren’t likely to suffer from the common cold or simple illnesses that are easily overcome by lots of rest and soup. When a pet gets sick it’s something to pay attention to. Here is a list of some common diseases in pets and how you can avoid and treat them.

Dealing with Pet Diseases

  • Dental Disease: This can be found in most pets and left untreated can cause prolonged discomfort and lasting health issues for your pet. Most dental diseases are can be identified by a foul (fouler than usual!) breath, excessive drooling and loss of appetite. If you suspect your pet of suffering from dental issues be sure to make a vet appointment. Preventative measures can and should be taken. If brushing your pet’s teeth sounds like a nightmare try investing in dental treats and toys. They can be found in most pet aisles.
  • Obesity: Obesity in pets is one of those diseases that few pet owners take seriously. While a chubby pet may be extra cuddly and cute long-term obesity can cause long-term damage. You can find your pet’s healthy weight here. Maintaining the recommended weight will keep your pet safe from liver and kidney diseases and also protect their joints. Be sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and keep the treats to a minimum!

Diseases in pets: obesity

  • Allergic Dermatitis: This is one of the many diseases that toy breeds of dog are susceptible too. If you notice your pet scratching excessively with bald patches that are red and flaky it’s a good sign your pet is suffering from allergic dermatitis. Fortunately this can often be helped by increasing your pets’ intake of protein, essential fatty-acids, and antioxidants. Always check with your vet first though to ensure there isn’t an environmental factor that needs to be removed.
  • Heart Worms: Heart worms are one of the diseases that affects dogs more than cats. If you are raising your pooch from a puppy your vet will provide preventative treatment against heart worms. If you are adopting a pet and don’t know its medical history keep an eye out for some common signs: fatigue, coughing and weightless. This is not one of the diseases that can be treated at home and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Ear Mites: Maybe not technically a disease, ear mites are still a common ailment of pets. Fortunately they are easy to treat and as a result usually not a threat. If your pet seems heavily pre-occupied with scratching their ears then it is likely they have mites. If it is a mild infestation simply rubbing their ears with mineral oil can do the trick. If it seems more serious you can get special drops from your vet. Be certain to keep your pets ears clean though since excess scratching can lead to infection.

Remember that regular vet check-ups are a must to keep your pet free from all types of diseases!

Puppy Preparedness – How To Get Ready For Your New Pet

Bringing home a new puppy is always exciting! However there is a lot of preparation that should be made first. The more you do beforehand and the better prepared you are the easier it will be on both you and your new puppy! A smooth transition is ideal for a long and happy relationship. Also, don’t forget to spend some time considering where you get your puppy from! Be sure to check your local shelters first. You can find shelters near to you by using the Humane Society’s shelter locator here.

Getting Ready For Your New Puppy

  • Puppy proof your home – To ease the stress for both you and your puppy, make a point to put everything you don’t want chewed on well out of the puppy’s reach. You’ll be a lot less likely to have to discipline your pet during the transition period if you remove all temptations before hand. Don’t forget to keep chemicals, poisons, and electrical cords out of reach too!
  • Prepare a space – make sure that your puppy has a space where it can feel safe and free from harassment. It’s best that this area have an easily cleaned floor for accidents too. Keep their food and water dish, bed, and puppy pads for accidents here.
  • Get the right supplies – Here is a basic list of items you should have on hand before you bring your puppy home: food for puppies, puppy bed or adequately sized kennel, food and water dishes, puppy pads, collar and leash, treats for training, and plenty of chew toys!
  • Find a vet – Make sure that you know a good vet to use for your puppy’s needs right away. This will prevent you from delaying important preventative care. You will need a vet for vaccinations and worming, as well as for spaying/neutering and future check-ups!
  • Find a pet sitter – You will inevitably have times when you can’t be there for your pet. Whether these are planned vacations or unexpected family emergencies, be certain that you have a care plan for your puppy! If you don’t have a reliable friend who can take over pet duties on short notice then be sure to research and find a good pet sitter in your area. Having these numbers handy and doing your research before hand can ensure that your pet is properly cared for and reduce your stress!
  • Be prepared for the elements – If your pet will spend much time outside, be certain they have access to adequate shelter in both the summer and winter. Plenty of shade, free of obstacles, safety from wind and rain and enough insulation to protect against the cold. If you’re in a place that gets really cold temperatures and bringing your pet in is out of the question, invest in a dog house with a heated floor.

Want to take an extra step? If you’re a home owner, consider fencing in your backyard so your pet can play while you relax.

Remember that while getting a new puppy is exciting, it’s also a big responsibility that is going to require a lot of patience. Don’t forget to prepare yourself and family for the added responsibility and understanding!

Pet Match – An Unlikely Kinship – Pet Nanny

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

  Making a Match Between a Dog & a Cat

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

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

How Much Does Your Pet Cost?

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

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

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

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

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

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Weird Pet Behaviors That Are Actually Very Normal

If you’ve had a pet for any amount of time, chances are you’ve witnessed some weird behavior. While there may be many things that pets do that are puzzling to us humans, most of it is a lot more normal than we think!

Weird Behaviors of Pets

  • Gifts from you cat – Does your pet cat sometimes bring you dead rodents or birds? Maybe the occasional reptile? Don’t punish them! From their perspective, they have plenty of food and have managed to obtain excess, they have brought it back to their home in case you, or the other members of their “family” may be in need. It’s a cat’s act of generosity and while it may be gross, you should consider it an honor!
  • Your dog eats dirt – They don’t just roll around and nose in it, they eat it! While dirt isn’t particularly ‘digestible’ to your pet, it does contain nutrients like potassium, magnesium and others. This may be a sign that you need to adjust your pet’s diet!

  • Your rabbit eating its feces… – This one is really gross to us! Whatever you do though, don’t stop them! Rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts that require a certain bacterial balance. They MUST eat what are called ‘cecotropes’ in order to live! It’s similar to why humans eat yogurt and probiotics.
  • Your cat and too small spaces – Did you invest in a spacious, luxury kitty bed only to have it shunned for that tiny box your Amazon order came in? What is up with your cat always picking the most cramped, uncomfortable locations for a nap? In the wild, animals are vulnerable when sleeping. Cats (and many other animals) like to feel that they are protected on all fronts from attack while sleeping. Tight spaces make them feel more secure.
  • Does your ferret steal? – Ferrets are VERY fond of hoarding. Think of them as smaller dragons who like to stash treasures away in secret hiding spaces. It’s seems weird when ferrets do so in our homes, but in the wild they often kill excess food and hide it for later. While it may not be food, it’s the same instinct that drives them to carry off your watch, pen, or other small items to their secret lair.

Does your pet have weird tendencies? Be sure to share them with your pet sitter or dog walker so they don’t worry if they notice something out of the ordinary!

Share your pet’s weird tendencies with us!

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Traveling With Your Pet: A Guide For Your Adventure

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

Tips for Traveling With Your Pets

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

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

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

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

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