Tag: Dog

The Importance of Keeping Toxic Chemicals Away from Your Dog

Like young children, dogs and puppies are forever curious. They never tire of sniffing objects in their environment, as well as eating or rolling in them. Endless sights and scents mean adventure and exercise for your furry friend, and it’s a joy to witness this kind of carefree enthusiasm for life. Along with the healthy benefits of curious energy come certain dangers, however, including the risk of overexposure or poisoning by harmful chemicals. Fortunately, your dog can avoid exposure or ingestion of toxic chemicals – with a little help from you, his beloved human.

Know the Culprits

Before you can be effective at keeping toxic chemicals away from your dog, you have to know what these chemicals are. Educate yourself about common household products that can be harmful to your pet, as well as any chemicals your dog may be exposed to when the two of you take your walks. Anything your dog is exposed to will be carried into your home – and into your bed, too, if you allow co-sleeping with your dog.

Not only do you need to know which chemicals to avoid, but also what specific products and materials contain them. Often, a toxic chemical isn’t obvious by the name or stated purpose of a product but could still contain harmful chemicals that might attract your dog in some way and cause him harm in the process. Read labels carefully and consider switching to all-natural products.

Garages and sheds, in particular, are common storage places for hazardous chemicals such as gasoline, oil, paint, fertilizer, and antifreeze. Unfortunately, these areas of your property usually contain products with toxic chemicals that can’t be replaced with natural alternatives. Although your dog may rarely be in the garage or shed, it’s still a good idea to store harmful chemicals high up where your dog can’t get to them.

Common Household Poisoning Hazards

In addition to chemical hazards, there other common household items that can cause harm to your dog if inhaled or eaten, including certain medications and foods. Even if you are diligent about protecting your dog from toxic exposure, accidents still happen. Ensure that you have a poison helpline number saved on your cell phone, as well as the number of the nearest emergency vet clinic. In any case of poisoning, time is of the essence.

Medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil and Aleve are commonly found in medicine cabinets, but it’s also common for a bottle to be floating around on the kitchen counter or a nightstand where a dog could easily get to it. These products contain non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. If NSAIDs are eaten in toxic amounts, it can result in acute kidney failure in both dogs and cats. Signs of toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, black-tarry stools, and seizures.

Other medications commonly found in the home that are harmful to dogs if ingested in toxic amounts are acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and cold/cough medications) and amphetamines used to treat ADD and ADHD, such as Adderall and Concerta.

Foods

Certain foods that humans can generally enjoy without risk can be deadly to dogs. Chocolate, for example, contains a relative of caffeine known as theobromine that is highly toxic to canines. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the higher the danger. Another potential poisoning culprit is xylitol, a sugar replacement found in many sugarless gums and candy. Xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, and even liver failure. Unfortunately, dogs can’t safely enjoy grapes or raisins either, as these foods can cause kidney failure.

Mycotoxins

It’s not just human food that may contain toxins. There are certain ingredients found in dog food that may be contaminated with mycotoxins, which are produced by molds that grow on crops of grains. These ingredients include corn, barley, rye, wheat, cottonseed, peanuts, and corn. Good nutrition is of utmost importance for your furry companion, so opt for high-quality natural ingredients and leave the cheapest food on the shelf behind. It will generally contain lots of grain fillers.

Modern lifestyles commonly involve the use of chemicals. Between cleaning agents, insecticides, rodenticides and much more, potential danger can lurk in your home and other areas of your property. In the case of accidental ingestion, inhalation, or direct skin contact, contact a pet poison hotline or emergency vet clinic, and provide any immediate treatment possible. Remember that danger can be avoided with some careful research and cautious storage.

 

Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

Staying Healthy in the Heat – Summer Pet Edition

the dirt and sniff new smells! We’re talking about your dog of course, not you! But as the season moves on the heat can start to be dangerous to you and your pet. No body is in the mood for another month or two of being shut up indoors. So how can you make sure that you and your pet are staying healthy and active? Here are our top tips!

Staying Healthy in the Heat

  • Stay Active, Safely – It’s important that your pet still gets their exercise, even as the temperature soar. There are several ways you can do this without too much threat of heat exhaustion. The first is to make sure that you or your dog walker time the walks to take place early in the morning or late in the evening when the heat is less intense. Another way is to spend your outdoor time next to bodies of water. This gives your pet the opportunity to cool off when they need to. Who doesn’t love a game of water fetch, anyways?
  • Lots of water – Make sure your pet is getting lots of water. A well hydrated pet can regulate their body temperature better than a dehydrated one. They will need more water than they do in the winter so be prepared for this. Get a larger water dish if you or a Pet Nanny won’t be available to keep an eye on and refill the water throughout the day. When you take your pet out, it’s also a good idea to bring a bowl and bottle of water with you as well.
  • Stop traveling with them – It might be no big deal to take your pup with you while you run errands in the cooler months. They likely benefit from the outings. In the summer though, it is NEVER okay to leave your pet in the car while you run in – even for a second, and even if you leave the window cracked. It can take less than 10 minutes for a parked car to reach deadly temperatures. Leave your pets at home unless you are exclusively going to a pet friendly destination where they can join you.

A happy and safe summer to all!

 

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Kids Growing Up With Pets – Here’s Why Its Good!

Have your kids been pestering you to get them a pet? Have you been pondering over the decision for quite some time now? Then it is time you to act! To help you with your decision here is a beautiful infographic that will explain all about the benefits of children growing up with pets. Having a pet along with young children can be an added responsibility for you, but consider the lifetime of benefits that your children will get by adding a cute, happy, playful, loyal, protective, watchful, sensitive, and loving entity to your family! How many reasons do you need to make the leap? How about 25!

Several types of research have been conducted, and are going to be conducted in the future, regarding the various benefits that kids get by having a pet at home. Some of the important conclusions that these studies have come up with are; the kids who grow up with pets have increased levels of immunity, they learn their responsibilities early in their life. They are also often happier than those without pets. They learn to respect other beings. These children will also be more active and pet ownership helps in keeping serious diseases such as heart conditions and obesity at bay. There are many more advantages, please check out this infographic from Top Dog Tips to get the full details.

25 Reasons Kids Should Have Pets!

 

Sleep and Your Pet – How Much Is Just Right?

In case you didn’t notice, sleep plays a big role in your pets life! It may seem like your pet just sleeps all day. Do you really know how much your pet needs though? Or how much they are actually getting? It can be hard to tell when they doze in lots of short increments, taking “cat naps” throughout the day.

Just like with humans, sleep is an important time for pets to bodies to replenish themselves. It’s important they get plenty of undisturbed rest. Let’s find out how much and how to ensure it happens!

 

How much sleep does your pet need?

DOGS
Your average pooch will need about twelve to fourteen hours of sleep. Thats about four more hours than us! This amount will vary based on your dogs size, breed, and age too. New born pups will sleep A LOT more than a rambunctious puppy of a couple months old. They can clock in at about twenty hours in one day! Likewise, older dogs will tend to sleep more too. They tire more easily and need more time to replenish their bodies and energy levels.

Fun Fact – Wild dogs and wolves will sleep more than their domesticated counterparts. They expend more energy in the pursuit of food and need more time to rest – especially if food is scarce.

CATS
Cats can actually teach dogs a thing or two about some shut-eye. Your average cat will clock in about twelve to sixteen hours in one day! Now it’s just a shame they can’t get most of that in while we’re trying to sleep too… Just like puppies, new born kittens will spend around twenty hours sleeping.

Many people believe that cats are nocturnal, which isn’t entirely true. They are actually most active at dawn and dusk – when most prey animals are active too. Though, they are more prone to doze away more daytime hours than those during the night.

Make their sleep better

Both cats and dogs do better when they have private places, out the way of your daily life, to catch some zzzz’s. Even if your pet “sleeps” with you at night, make sure they have a place to go during the day too. Cats will also rest better after a feast, so if you’re wanting a quiet night, try feeding your cat at night. This will equate to a “dusk feeding” for them. Both pets will also benefit from lots of options for activity, exercise and playtime. Don’t skimp on it! Consider a dog walker or Pet Nanny if you can’t meet their needs.

For even more amazing helpful tips and fun information about your pets sleep habits check out Tuck!

 

9 Ways Pets Help Raise Good, Healthy Kids

As kids get older, they find themselves having friends who own pets. From dogs and cats to birds and hamsters, its inevitable they will be asking their parents if they, too, can become pet owners. With pet ownership being a big responsibility, some parents hesitate on giving their blessing. However, as scientists have done research on the benefits of pet ownership as it pertains to children, you might find yourself more eager than ever to drive to the local pet store or animal shelter. There are numerous ways pets help children!

If you have found that your children have had more than their share of ailments, owning a pet could change all that. Based on research published in the Journal of Pediatrics, kids who had pets in their home while they were infants were found to have 31 percent fewer respiratory infections and 44 percent fewer ear infections. When looking for a reason to explain this, scientists determined that being pets help expose them to dirt, dander, and pollen made the children’s immune systems much stronger at an early age, making it a bit easier to clean up after Fido or Fluffy.

And speaking of cleaning up after pets, kids who own pets have also been found to grow up to become very responsible adults. According to researchers, owning pets that they are responsible for feeding, grooming, playing with, and cleaning up after on a daily basis shows children the importance of responsibility, organizational skills, and maintaining a regular daily schedule.

But if you’re more interested in having a child who’s a great student, you’ll be happy to know pets help contribute to this as well. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, kids who own pets are much more self-confident, have higher self-esteem, and are better able to make friends and perform better in school, particularly in literacy. By having pets who willingly sit and listen to them read while not criticizing them for an occasional mistake, children’s confidence levels go sky high.

If you need even more reasons why its great for kids to own pets, pay a visit to www.catological.com/9-ways-pets-help-raise-kids/

9 Ways Pets Help Raise Good, Healthy Kids

Vaccine Boosters – What Your Pet Needs and When

You may think the time for vaccines has passed once your pet is all grown up. Not so! If you want to keep your pet in peak health it’s important to get regular check-ups and a booster vaccine from time to time. How do you keep this straight though? What does your pet need and when? These questions become even more complex if you are taking on a new pet that is already an adult.

Most pets that come from shelters will have had a vaccine or two. It’s super important when there are so many animals in such a close environment as a shelter. Before you adopt, be sure to ask about your potential new pets medical history. Their known vaccine history should be included. Get a copy and be sure to take it to vet for the first check up. This will help them know what your pet needs and what it doesn’t.

Some vaccines may not be important for pet, depending on their lifestyle. Shots for things like the dog flue and kennel cough are super important for dogs that come into regular contact with other dogs. If your pets don’t frequent dog parks or socialize on a large scale, these may be less important. A vaccine for Lyme’s disease can be super important for dogs that spend time outside. If you have a delicate dog or a house cat though, chances of them contracting it are pretty slim (it’ comes from tick bites).

Save these two great infographics that detail your dog or cats vaccination needs from the start of their life on. It includes the boosters they will need to get after so many years and annually. Be sure to ask your vet about the need for seasonal vaccines too – such as the dog flu!

 

Pet Vaccine Schedules

 

 

 

 

Backyard Safety with Your Pet – The 101

How Pet Safe is Your Backyard?

Pennsylvania has always been a pet loving state, with statistics indicating that over half a million of us seek the companionship of a dog, cat, or other furry, spiny, or ‘slimy but friendly’ creature in our homes. Around 400,000 households have at least one dog vs 244,000 households with at least one kitty. Statistics also show that we love our yards; even city dwelling millennials dream of having a large home in the suburbs with a backyard lawn on which to have barbecues, socialize with friends, and play fetch with Fido.

If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful, spacious backyard, are you sure it is safe for your dog or cat? If you already know how to puppy proof your home, why not ensure the yard is just as safe?

Picking the Right Plants

Many pet owners are surprised to find out that common flowers such as azaleas, rhododendrons, many types of lily or daffodils, are toxic to cats and dogs, so much so that ingestion of just a small amount can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, and sometimes, even death. If you have bought a new house and are not sure about which plants are in the yard, help from a trusted gardener will enable you to weed out potential culprits.

Fencing Fido In

Dogs have a natural digging instinct and some might try to escape to the Great Outdoors if they are bored or alone in the yard or backyard. To stop this from happening make sure your fence is sturdy and that it reaches all the way down; flexible dogs are often able to worm their way out of even the smallest gap.

Bury chicken wire deep into the soil beneath the fence or better yet, consider building a stone or paved path between the fence and the grass, so your dog has no soil to dig up when escape is on his mind.

Another unsuspected danger for dogs in the yard is a gate that is easy to open. A self-closing system will ensure your pooch can’t just slide the latch to the side and escape. If you prefer a manual latch, make sure it is too difficult for your dog to manoeuvre.

If your dog is a digger, build him a little play area in your yard by digging up soil and filling it with sand. Place his favorite toys under the sand and watch him go!

Also, ensure that your dog isn’t digging because of boredom. Make sure he is physically and mentally challenged through exercise and Kong style toys and puzzles, which will keep him interested in more useful pursuits. Walk him regularly, even if he is a yard dog, to ensure mental stimulation and exploration! Hire a pet nanny if you can’t find time regularly! 

Ticks, Fleas, Insects (and Snakes!)

Dogs and cats love to roll around in the grass, which means they can be bitten by insects or infested by ticks and fleas. The first priority is to keep the grass shortly mowed and clear of clutter.

Make sure your pets are protected with a pet-friendly flea and tick repellent that is free of harsh toxins such as pyrethoids, which have sadly caused too many pet deaths. Go with what your vet recommends and talk to them about natural possibilities.

Many dog and cat owners use diluted essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint to repel parasites, but be very careful, since some essential oils can cause harm. For instance, geranium and citrus oils can be dangerous for  cats, while some oils (such as cedar, citronella or pennyroyal) should never be used on pregnant animals.

The one oil cats seem to be okay with is neem oil, which can be added to shampoo (one teaspoon of oil per cup of pet shampoo is usually okay, according to passhealthfoods.com).

For dogs, typical solutions contain around five drops of essential oils like geranium, lemon, or lavender, with one teaspoon of carrier oil. When rubbing the oils onto your pets, avoid the eyes, nose, mouth, genitals and anal area.

Neem juice and citrus essential oils are also excellent to spray on plants to repel insects, but if you have cats, avoid anything but neem in most cases.

Beware of the Sun

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke if let out in the sun too long. Unless your backyard has tall trees that can provide plenty of shade, build your dog a wooden dog house where he can hide from the burning UV rays during peak hours of sun.

Make sure there is a fresh bowl of water out and place his house far away from his ‘potty spot’.

For most Americans, a pet is as much a member of the family as humans are. Make sure their favorite place to lounge contains no toxins that can harm their health, and keep them inside to avoid the risk of loss or injury. Finally, adapt your yard to the seasons, making sure Fido or Kitty always have a cool spot to chill out in.

Photo by The Poodle Gang on Unsplash

Flood Tips To Protect Your Pet This Spring

While the saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” sometimes those rains get here a little sooner than expected. Melting snow and ice from winter mixed with heavy spring rains make this time of year a flood risk for most. Whether its spring rains or you live in an area effected by hurricane season, you need a flood plan for you and your pet. Every time this kind of disaster strikes shelters are filled with abandoned or lost pets. Don’t let this happen to you and your pet – have an action plan!

Flood Tips For You & Your Pet

  • Evacuation Plans – Have an evacuation plan. That means both knowing how to get out and where you are going. Ensure that the “where” is pet friendly, as are your travel accommodations. This is the best way to ensure you and your pet’s safety. Expect evacuation to move slowly and be chaotic. Don’t wait till the last minute to get to safety.
  • Watch Weather Reports – Many areas will be in a flash flood watch for several days before a flood. This usually means that the ground is already saturated and heavy rains are predicted. If you stay aware of the weather reports and know how water builds around your home, you should have a good radar about when you need to take action.
  • Have An Emergency Pet Kit – Keep an emergency bag packed for your pet. This should include things like leashes, food, water, medicine, comfort items or treats, and anything else your specific pet may require. First aid kits are always a good idea too!
  • Ask Kennels About Emergency Plans – If you’re traveling out of town and have to board your pet be sure to ask about emergency plans. Good pet borders should have reasonable plans for protecting your pets in case of a natural disaster.
  • Tag Your Pet – If you and your pet do become separated speed up your reunion by making sure they have a collar with your contact information on it. Microchips are also a great idea in case they end up in a shelter.

The best plan is to have a plan and stay aware of your conditions!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

New Puppy Diet Tips – Feeding Them Right!

 

 

Got A New Puppy? Learn All About Feeding Your New Pet! 

One of the most exciting times in life is when a new member joins the family, be it a human or a pet. Puppies have a special place in our hearts and can send our loving instincts into overdrive, so how to make sure your new puppy gets the nutrition that’s scientifically right for them?

Firstly, it’s important to remind ourselves that human food isn’t suitable for dogs, and may even be harmful – especially for puppies. So while there are some safe foods to share with your dog, try to resist those puppy dog eyes, and don’t be tempted to feed from the table as it will only encourage bad habits and can lead to health problems.

How often?

Guidelines say that just weaned puppies can safely have puppy food they can access throughout the day left out because they are unlikely to overeat at a young age. Just make sure that wet food is replaced before it can go off – dry food tends to be OK. And please don’t forget the water! Pups can dehydrate quickly in warm temperatures, so a clean source of water is as important as nutritious food. Alternatively, consider feeding your new pet four times a day, and switch to three times a day when they reach 4 months of age.

How much?

How much to feed your dog will depend on the breed and the weight they are likely to reach as an adult – females tend to be lighter than males. Overfeeding your dog can lead to dangerous complications, as can the wrong combination of food and supplements. Best to stick to a breed specific puppy food brand, and check out some expert guidelines on feeding your new puppy. If you can monitor their weight with a reliable set of scales, this will be enormously helpful at this stage.

Growing up fast

By the time your dog turns 6 to 12 months, you can feed them twice a day and some puppies will start to switch to adult dog food. Again – check their breed, as larger breeds take longer to reach their full adult size and you’ll still wish to control your pup’s calcium intake to avoid bone problems later on. As dogs grow, you’ll want to start training them and they’ll burn off much energy through walks and exercise, but bear in mind safe levels for feeding and ensure they get dog treats that are right for their breed and age.

Emotional eating isn’t good for humans or dogs

There are plenty of ways you can show your love and praise to your dog that don’t involve food treats, which may be unsuitable or lead to weight problems. Praising your new puppy with cuddles, petting, an enthusiastic voice or simply giving them your full attention is just as effective, if not more, than stuffing them with useless calories.

Keeping those simple rules in mind should give your dog the best start in life, and help you enjoy a long and healthy bond with your beloved pet.

Travel Safety With Your Pet – Top Tips!

With March comes Spring and after Spring comes summer! All this good news means you and your pets will be out and about shaking off some cabin fever. Travel safety is second nature for you. You always buckle your seat belt and check your mirrors. If you’re traveling with your pet it’s important you check for their travel safety too!A small, low speed collision can still send your light-weight pet from the front to the rear of your vehicle (or vice versa), causing serious injury.

Pet Travel Safety

Minimize and Secure –  Objects can become dangerous projectiles in an accident. While it may be tempting to just let stuff pile up in your vehicle, this is a safety hazard. Try to minimize what you keep in the front cargo area of your vehicle. Especially heavy or sharp objects that could be dangerous if thrown. If your vehicle has an open trunk area like most SUV’s use straps to secure luggage and other items.

Get a Car Seat or Travel Crate – Yup, they exist. Smaller pets do great in little pet care seats like this one. They are padded and attach to a body harness (be sure you use a body harness and don’t attach to their collar). This keeps them from being tossed around and increases travel safety by keeping them from becoming a distraction for the driver. Travel crates for large pets are also great, but be sure they are properly secured.

Pet Seat Belts – If you’ve got a well behaved pet, consider investing in a pet seat belt. These are secured using the same seat belt hookups already installed in your vehicle and fit around your pet like a body harness. They keep your pet secured in case of accidents or sudden braking and turns.

photo credit: Hanafan Car driver via photopin (license)

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