Tag: dog walker

Unconventional Pets: What You Should Consider Before You Buy

Are you one of those people who never really identified with cats or dogs? Or maybe you’re wanting a pet that stands out? More and more people are either seeking alternatives to cats and dogs altogether, or they are looking for unconventional pets as companions for their traditional ones. The thing is, rules that apply to one pet don’t always apply to others. There are lots of things that need to be considered before you make an impulse decision to bring home one of the many unconventional pets out there. So, before you run down to your nearest pet shop after watching some adorable YouTube videos, consider these points of interest!

Should You Get An Unconventional Pet?

Hedgehogs, while still unconventional, are a growing trend

  • Do you have other pets? – Not all creatures play well together, especially if one feels his domain is being encroached on. Take into special consideration if either species of pets are territorial. Be especially careful about trying to mix prey and predatory animals.
  • Can you get pet food? – Some pets have specialized eating habits. Snakes require live rodents and frogs need live insects. Are these foods that you can get regularly from your pet shop? Are you comfortable handling them? Are they in your price range for the long-term?
  • Are Veterinary Services Available? – Not all vets service all animals. Be sure that you have a vet in your area that is trained in your particular species of unconventional pet. For example, many vets have to undergo extra training to be certified to work with rabbits or other small creatures.
  • Do you have an emergency or vacation plan? – What if you get called out of state unexpectedly? Are sick for a week? Or you want to plan a family vacation? Most facilities that offer overnight pet sitting, house sitting, or other in home pet services are trained to care for dogs, cats, fish, or birds. You may find it difficult to find a dog walker or someone to interact with your unconventional pet in your absence. Seek out a facility, or confirm that you have willing friends before you make the purchase.
  • What is your pet at risk for? (and you too?) – Be sure to find out as much as possible about diseases or toxins specific to your pet. Did you know that you can get salmonella from pet reptiles? Or that hedgehogs are prone to skin problems?

Budgit Frog

Remember, choosing a pet is a very important decision and your new companion shouldn’t suffer because of your poor caretaking, or not understanding it’s needs. Be responsible and find out as much about your unconventional pet and it’s needs before you purchase. The Encyclopedia on Pets is a great resource, and don’t forget to talk to an area vet preemptively too!

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/maryellen/107867839/”>MaryEllen and Paul</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronwiebe/5574067243/”>Ron Wiebe</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Overweight Pets: How To Help Yours Slim Down

Just like in humans, obesity in the animal kingdom can have similar unhealthy side-effects. Overweight pets can end up suffering from diabetes, heart and liver disease as well as joint pain. How can you tell if your pet is a bit on the pudgy side? Aside from hearing the prognosis from a vet, there are some tell-tale signs you should watch out for with your pet. In most pets you should be able to feel their spine and ribs when you press on them. (Feel, NOT SEE!) If you’ve identified that your fuzzy friend may be overweight, check out our tips to help your pet shed the pounds and live a longer, healthier life!

How To Help An Overweight Pet

  • Re-examine Your Pets Food – If you’ve tend to go for the cheaper pet foods be aware that they are often more difficult for your pet to digest the nutrients and have a higher fat content to account for the lack of flavor. Consider upgrading your pets food to a better quality with more protein! Ask your vet what food they recommend!

Overweight pets can live significantly shorter lives…

 

  • Exercise –  Just like with humans more activity equals health. Maybe you don’t have a lot of time to spend being active with your pet? Consider hiring a pet sitter to come and interact with your animal while you’re at work. Pet sitting and/or dog walking rates are usually very reasonable and it could mean a world of difference for your pet! In home pet sitting will mean that your pet will be encouraged to interact and play, instead of moping around waiting for you to come home! This improves their physical and emotional health!
  • Cut out scraps – Set a regular eating schedule for your pet that you don’t detour from it. Cut out feeding them scraps on the side and keep them out of the kitchen and dining area while the family is eating to prevent the temptation! Also be certain to not “over-reward” your pet with treats!
  • Rule out pre-existing conditions – Take your pet to a vet to rule out any pre-existing disease or conditions that may be causing your pets weight gain. Your pet may become overweight from lack of activity, but they may not be active because of arthritis or other painful conditions.

Still unsure what a healthy weight for your pet is? Click here to see a healthy weight chart for different popular breeds of cats and dogs!

Keep your pet from becoming overweight!

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/trippchicago/2209634767/”>-Tripp-</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

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Summer Heat – Keeping Your Pets Safe This Season!

Most of the United States will suffer from at least a few days of seemingly unbearable summer heat at some point this season. Whether your fortunate enough to only endure a few days of it, or one of the many who will endure a whole season of soaring thermometers, you’ll want to be certain to know how to keep your pets safe. You might think you’re hot, but remember your pet has a fur coat on! Check out these signs of heat exhaustion in pets and be certain to follow these steps to help prevent it!

Summer Heat Tips For Pets

  • Brush your pet regularly! Many animals will shed during the first part of the summer heat and removing  that extra hair from their coat will both help keep them cooler and keep them from ingesting so much of it during their regular grooming! Feel free to trim long haired breeds!
  • Plenty of water! We know this seems like an obvious tip, but many people get in the habit of refreshing their pets water based on winter consumption. How much your pet drinks during the  summer will often greatly increase so be sure to check their water more often than usual. Also, make sure it’s fresh and try to keep it in the shade. Maybe even freeze a bottle of water and place it in your outdoor pets water bowl to help keep their water cool.
  • Make sure your pet has plenty of shade! And we don’t mean just a dog house to get in. They need to have access to full shade and open air at all points during the day. A dog house in full sun offers little to no relief for pets during the peak of summer heat.
  • Try spraying down a shaded area a couple times a day for your pet to lounge in, or place a little kiddie pool in the shade! Staying moist is a great way to deal with summer heat.
  • Watch out for hot sidewalks and streets while walking your pet! Most animals feet are tougher than humans, but they can still find the hot sidewalks or asphalt to be uncomfortable or painful. Try walking your pet in the grass if possible. Or talk walks in the morning before the summer heat has taken hold.

Keeping Cool in the Summer HeatRemember to keep an eye out for odd behavior in your pet and check on them frequently. Also never ever leave your pet alone in a vehicle on a hot day! Even with a window cracked the temperatures inside a car will skyrocket in a very short period of time. Preparing for the summer heat ensures you and your pet a great healthy season!

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8113246@N02/9674559859/”>dog.happy.art</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

Missing Pets: What Do You Do Next?‏

The scenario every pet owner dreads – your beloved companion has gone missing. A missing pet can be an especially emotional and stressful situation. Having an action plan to try to locate and bring your pet home safely is a must. Just like keeping the phone numbers for the sheriff, ambulance, and fire station handy, you should save this blog post as a future reference. Like the aforementioned phone numbers, let’s hope you never have to use it!

Before we get to the tips though, let’s take a moment to cover some precautionary things you can do. When you first get your pet, make sure they have a collar that contains your contact information. Even if they are strictly an indoor pet they should wear an identification collar. Should they slip out of the home unnoticed you’ll be happy they had one! Microchips that can be implanted at your local vet’s office are also a great option to track your missing pet in an emergency.

Flyers are a great way to get the word out!

Tips to bring home your missing pet

  • One of the simplest steps to find a lost pet is still  asking your neighbors. Often times a lost dog or cat will not wander far out of their neighborhood and its likely someone on your block has seen them. Footwork is the best way because it allows your lost pet access to your scent and hear the sound of your voice. They might be looking for you too!
  • While you and your friends are scouring the local area, bring flyers and hang them up at intersections, local shops – anywhere someone may pause for a moment. Be sure your phone number is on the flyer!
  • If you’re like most pet owners, you probably have a thousand photos of your pet. In addition to asking your neighbors, show them a recent photo. Then take that photo and upload it to all your social media accounts and ask all your friends who live in proximity to share it with their friends. The more eyes looking the better your chances!
  • Take you photo to the local pet shelters and ask if your pet has been brought in recently. Leave your number and a picture in case someone comes in with your missing pet after you’ve been there.

If you’re in a more metro area, check out these websites:

FidoFinder

The Center For Lost Pets 

A word of caution: if someone calls saying they have found your missing pet and wants to meet you somewhere or come to your home, ask them to name some identifying characteristics about your pet that maybe weren’t noticeable in the flyer if possible. Ask to meet in a public place (even the local sheriff’s office if something feels off) and be certain to have at least one friend with you – especially if they are coming to your home (which we don’t advise).

Furthermore, never give up hope! Stories all the time surface of pets finding their way home through unfathomable odds!

Spring Cleaning – Spruce Things Up While Protecting Your Pet

While April showers are making the preparations for May flowers, the season of spring cleaning has come upon us again! It’s time to throw open those windows and shake out the dust (and pet dander) of winter. While spring cleaning is a chore for most any home, there are extra precautions that pet owners should be sure to make. It’s easy to overlook the dangers that some cleaning practices may have on your pets so we’ve complied a great list of potential hazards and precautionary practices to ensure you have a house as fresh as a spring breeze and a healthy pet too!

Pet Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid bleach and ammonia as well as all cleaners that contain it. These harsh chemicals can cause respiratory issues not just in pets, but humans as well. Try using natural cleaning brands like Method or Mrs. Meyers – or try making your own vinegar based detergents! Healthier for both you and your pets! Click here for pet approved cleaners!
  • Keep your pets out of the space you are cleaning. Not only does it make it easier to clean when your pets not busy messing behind you, but often times spring cleaning requires moving heavy objects or exposing areas that are often inaccessible – like access to power cords or rodent poisons. Be certain to keep your pet contained (or, better yet, send them out with a Pet Nanny!) to ensure their safety.Spring cleaning with your pet!
  • When it comes to cleaning your pet’s area and bedding, avoid heavily scented products. Try scrubbing the area down with baking soda and vinegar followed by a good rinse and wash their bedding in unscented detergent, minus the dryer sheets!
  • Be mindful of dangerous plants and flowers. Many people are likely to purchase new plants or pick/bring home flowers for display in the spring and summer months. Be sure to run a quick internet search on the varieties that you choose to be certain that they are pet friendly.

Have your own spring cleaning pet tips or tricks? Share them with us! Happy cleaning!

Pet Facts – Expand Your Knowledge of Your Amazing Pet!

One of the great pleasures of pet ownership comes from observing the quirky, unique peculiarities specific to your pet – marveling at their differences and occasional similarities to ourselves.

Be sure to break out these amazing pet facts as a conversation starter with fellow animal enthusiasts!

 Fast Facts About Your Pet

1) Most dogs can reach speeds of 19MPH when running at full capacity – no wonder it’s hard to keep up!
2) Cats can jump up to SEVEN times their height!
3) Cats short-term memories exceed that of both dogs and orangoutangs, lasting up to 16 hours, compared to a dogs 4.
4) Rabbits can often be easier to litter train than cats. Being creatures of habits, once they pick a place to go, all you have to do is put a box there!
5) Ferrets have an exceptional sense of smell, equatable to a dog being able to smell a fly up to two miles away!
6) A common misconception is that rabbits are members of the rodent family; they are in fact lagomorphs, a unique family of plant eating mammals.

Pet Facts – Tongue Barbs

7) Cats, like humans, are either left pawed, or right, showing favoritism early on.
8) Cats tongues are covered in tiny back angled barbs, helping them to hold their smaller prey (and comb their fur!).
9) Dog and cat nose prints are unique in each animal and can be used as identifiers, just like human fingerprints!
10) Cats spend 2/3 of their lives asleep. A nine-year-old cat has only been awake for three years of it’s life!
11) The cat’s meow is used almost exclusively for humans – they very rarely meow at each other!

Pet Facts – Nose Prints

Enjoy more pet facts at the links found throughout this post. Do you have some pet fact knowledge of your own? Check out our social media and share your own amazing pet facts with us!

Happy Tails,

Pet Nanny

 

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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.