Tag: Dogs

Neighbors and Pets – How to Keep Harmony

The American poet Robert Frost once said that “good fences make good neighbors”. That has never been more true than when dealing with pets in a residential community. If you’re like most pet owners, your pets are like your children and you take great offense when someone complains about them, or even worse, tries to hurt them. If you have neighbors it’s important that you consider them when it comes to taking care of your pet. A few considerate actions can ensure good relations between you and the folks next door, as well as you and your pet.

Tips To Protect Your Neighbors And Your Pets

  • Fences – No matter what kind of pet you have, if it spends anytime outdoors at all, a good fence is truly going to be your best bet. Fences help to keep your pet contained to your property and neighbor’s pets out. Make sure it’s tall enough to keep your pet from jumping out. Also, if you’ve got a digger like a dog or even a rabbit, be sure to line the inside of your fence with decorative rock’s or bricks – something to keep them from tunneling under easily. Walk the length of your fence occasionally to check for half dug holes or weak points.

  • Lunge Lines – If you can’t build a fence and have an outside dog, your next best option is going to be a lunge line. These attach to your pets collar and allow them to roam freely within a set radius. Remember though, this does not substitute for a walk! Lunge lines get a bad reputation because some people tend to hook a dog up to one and then forget about them. Your pet will need just as much attention and play time out of their “zone” as any other pet. Be sure that the radius is large enough for your pets size and free of obstacles for them to get tangled on. Just like with a fence, make sure they have access to shade at all parts of the day and plenty of food and water.
  • Good Leash – Good leashes make sure you’re in control when taking your pet for a walk. A good leash is strong enough to contain your pet, especially if they are trying to chase another animal. It will also allow you to easily prevent your pet from crossing into yards that it doesn’t belong in. Remember – cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other pets can be leash trained too!
  • Minimize Barking – Probably the number one complaint about neighbors pets has to do with a barking dog. Sometimes owners can grow desensitized to their pets barking. This can be very worrying for a good relationship within your residential community. If your dog is outside all the time make sure they have everything they need to keep comfortable and have stimulus such as chew toys to keep them occupied. Dogs will often bark when they are uncomfortable or bored. If it’s still a problem see about investing in dog silencer. These are high-tech little machines that detect barking and release a tone similar to a dog whistle that discourages the behavior. They can usually be found for under $100 – cheaper than most community noise ordinance tickets…
  • Vacation Planning – If you can’t take your pet with you on vacation, make sure that you have a pet nanny or someone to check on and spend time with your pet daily. Lonely pets can make a lot of ruckus.
  • Cat owners, tame that killer instinct! – We addressed this in one of our previous blogs – it’s very important to make sure that your cat is not wandering into neighbors yards and hunting birds or other wildlife that your neighbors may enjoy. When you’re cat is outside playing try to be out there with it. See other tips here.

If someone in your community approaches you about your pets behavior, do your best to be understanding and accommodating. Remember, these tips are for your neighbors peace of mind, but also for your pets safety and your wallet. Frustrated neighbors may use pellet guns, throw things, or call the police. Even if your neighbor is fine with your pet, they may not be as diligent as you about keeping poisons and hazardous materials out of reach on back porches or in open garages. At the end of the day, you are the one entirely responsible for your pets behavior and how it effects others!

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Spring Threats to your Pets – Beware! – Pet Nanny

The clocks have sprung forward and spring is in the air! With each changing season comes the need to change your routine with your pet. After a hard winter sometimes it can be difficult to remember the dangers and precautions that spring brings. It’s not all about sunshine frolics in the park! Check out our list of spring threats and feel free to chime in with a comment about any of your spring-time precautions!

Spring Threats to your Pets

  • Pet Allergies – Spring brings pollen and pollen means allergies. Some pets can be affected by pollen just as much as their humans. Pets don’t always exhibit pollen allergies with runny eyes and lots of sneezing. Some do so by scratching and biting themselves. Pollen gets embedded in their fur making it a skin irritant. Be sure to brush and wash them regularly. Doing this will also help you get a start on the upcoming shedding…
  • Window Screens – Warm breezes and pretty days mean lots of open windows. Be sure that all the windows you open are fitted with secure screens free of tears. This is important to keep an over-excited dog from jumping through one in pursuit of you, or a lounging cat from rolling out.
  • Flea & Tick Protection – If this is something you let lapse over the colder months, get a head start now by in acting your yearly, vet recommended preventative treatments and procedures. Depending on your area’s spring, these buggers may be out and about before you thing. Don’t wait until it’s a problem!
  • Cleaning Threats – Spring cleaning can pose all sorts of risks for household pets. Remember to keep cleaning supplies out of pets reach! Also, if cleaning out closets or old cupboards, be on the look-out for mouse poison that may be swept out and left in the trash. Spring cleaning also means lots of furniture moving. If your pet’s a chewer, be aware of exposed cords and keep your pets locked up elsewhere until they are hidden again!
  • Buzzing Bees – Pollen’s handy ally in the assault on pets! Taking your pet out to sniff the flowers could result in a bee sting on their curious snouts! Check out this handy article “What to Do When Your Kitty of Puppy Gets a Bee Sting”  to prepare yourself for any necessary first aid required!
  • Fertilizer – Everyone can’t wait to get outside in the spring and jump into gardening and lawn care! Be extra cautious about letting your pet out to play on a fertilized lawn though. Both cats and dogs like to eat grass and if that grass is covered in fertilizer, it could seriously harm your pet. Refrain from using any in areas of heavy pet activity.

With spring also comes Spring Break! Planning a family vacation? Don’t forget to reach out to a local pet sitter if you can’t take yours with you. Pet sitters are a great alternative to pricey lodging, and can provide your pet some one-on-one personal care while you’re away!
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Millennial Generation and the Pet Industry

What does the millennial generation have to do with the future of pets in America? A lot apparently. The American Vetrinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently released a report about their predictions for how the next generation will cause a decline in pet ownership. They regularly study generational effects on their industry. A smart move considering that simple financial statistics show an increasing amount of money spent on pets annually. If pet ownership declines, this would certainly effect the industry as a whole. A decline in pet ownership also means pet shelters at full capacity… But why are millennial’s less likely to own pets in the future?

Pet Ownership & the Millennial Generation

  • More time spent in college – With a tougher and more competitive job market out there, younger people are spending more time in college working on better degrees. Having time for a pet while your working on a degree can be difficult – not to mention pet ownership on a college budget.
  • Nomadic lifestyles – A whole generation of Americans will find home ownership an unrealistic option. Not owning a home means they are less likely to have roots. The millennial generation is more likely to move frequently in pursuit of new opportunities and lifestyles.
  • Renters – Not being able to own a home means a whole generation of renters. Renters are more likely to be confined by lease agreements that exclude pets or charge hefty deposits for them…
  • Reptile friendly – Millennials, more so than the generations before them, are favoring reptilian pets over the furry and friendly kind. This leaves dogs and cats out in the cold…

So what can be done to make sure that shelters don’t fill up and that the new generation realizes the enjoyment of committing to a furry companion for the long-term? Plenty! Millennial’s are coming of age in a different world than the generations before them and they have some great virtues that could offer some relief for pet shelters. The new generation is compassionate when it comes to affecting change and as shelters fill up, many millennials feel compelled do something to help! They are great social media activists and their ability to passionately spread the word about neglected pets in need of forever homes is having a great impact on abandoned pets across the nation! If they can’t own a pet themselves, they are still likely to put forth effort to encourage others who can, to adopt. Those millennials who do embrace pet ownership are also more likely to splurge on their pets than the previous generation. While they may not be big pet owners, at least they make sure the ones they have are well taken care of!

Expanding even more on millennials desire to affect change, this is the generation that is likely to get succeed in demanding more transparency and higher standards in the pet care industry. From dog groomers and pet sitters to food and toy makers, they want to know that their money is going to a quality product or service that is conscientiously produced. This is great news for pet owners who have concerns over unhealthy additives and a lack of quality nutrition in pet foods.

Are you a millennial (born between 1980-2004)? Tell us how you feel about pet ownership and what effects your choices for pet ownership and pet care?

 

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Pet Sitter vs. Pet Boarding: Which Is Best For Your Pet?

Choosing a pet sitter or pet boarding can be a big decision. One you don’t want to leave to the last minute while making out of town plans. But which choice is right for your pet? There are a lot of different factors that could affect your choice. Is your pet social and does it play well with other animals? Or does it prefer to be alone when not in your company? How much care does your pet require? Does it have special needs? Do you have more than one pet? When you get a pet be sure to take some time to consider its care should you be called away. The better prepared you are, the less stress! Consider these pros and cons of hiring a pet sitter versus using a pet boarder.

Pet Sitter

Pros:

  • By hiring a pet sitter you ensure that your pet gets to stay in a familiar environment where you know they are comfortable. This can minimize the stress your pet can feel by your absence.
  • With a pet sitter it can be easier to ensure special directions  and needs are met. In home care for your pet ensures a one-on-one interaction where your animal is the center of attention.
  • If you have multiple pets, a pet sitter can be a big cost saver.
  • Keeping your pet in home and ensure protection from common kennel diseases.

Cons:

  • If your pet needs let out for bathroom breaks regularly a pet sitter can be rather expensive depending on what they charge for each home visit.
  • If your pet is prone to act out when you are away, this can cause issues for a pet sitter. Pet sitters are generally not responsible for cleaning up or preventing chewed up furniture, knocked over plants, or other household destruction that upset pets can cause.
  • If you have an especially protective dog a stranger coming into your home while you’re away could cause a big problem. Make sure that your pet is the kind that will welcome a pet sitter before you choose this option!

Pet Boarding

Pros:

  • Well run, quality pet kennels can require round the clock care and observation of your pet.
  • Boarding your pet can ensure interaction and playtime with other animals – a great option if this is something your pet is used to.
  • Pet boarding can be a money saver if you only have one pet to be concerned with when compared to paying per visit.
  • Some kennels will offer special services (at an extra cost) such as grooming!
  • Some pet boarders have on site medical care, a big plus if your pet is prone to sickness.

Cons:

  • Even well run kennels can have outbreaks…
  • While your pets basic needs will be met (food, water, bathroom) extra one on one time and play sessions can cost you extra. Your pet may grow depressed if you are away very long.
  • Changes in routine can cause upsets in some pets, especially young ones. Kennels run on a schedule that may not be normal to your pet.

 

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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!

Presidential Pets – Pets of the White House

Your pet probably plays a pretty big role in your life. Pets that have had the privilege to belong to presidents have had the opportunity to play a big role on a national level too! On several occasions throughout history presidential pets have softened the rough edged of their owners to the public eye. Some of the more exotic pets were often gifts from foreign leaders – one leader even gifted a whole herd of elephants! There have been approximately 256 presidential pets that have called the White House home. Here is a look at some of the noteworthy mentions!

Presidential Pets

  • Theodore Roosevelt had the most pets of any president with a total of 39! His large collection included: 5 guinea pigs, 2 ponies, a hen, lizard, blue macaw, garter snake, 10 dogs, a bear, rat, badger, pig, rabbit, 2 cats, a hyena, barn owl, and a one-legged rooster!
  • George Washington had 3 American Staghounds, 4 coonhounds, 2 horses, and a donkey. His wife Martha had a parrot
  • John Quincy Adams, the 6th president kept silkworms
  • Martin Van Buren kept two tiger cubs for a while
  • James Buchanan had a pet eagle and once received a herd of elephants from the King of Siam – one of which he kept at the White House!
  • Abraham Lincoln once joked that his cat Dixie “is smarter than my whole cabinet”.  He also kept a turkey, two goats, two dogs, a horse, and a rabbit
  • Andrew Johnson kept no pets, but would feed the mice he found in his bedroom.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes kept 8 dogs and was the first president to own a Siamese Cat.
  • Benjamin Harrison kept two opossums named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection
  • Calvin Coolidge had 26 pets. Among these were 12 dogs, 2 raccoons, a donkey, 2 canaries, a goose, bobcat, cat, 2 lion cubs, a black bear, duiker (miniature antelope), wallaby, and a pygmy hippo!
  • Herbert Hoover kept 2 alligators

You can read more about presidential pets and a few of their roles in their owners claim to fame here, at the Presidential Pet Museum website.

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New Years Resolutions – Use Your Pets to Stay on Track!

It’s that time of year again. The time when we reflect on all that we have learned and experienced in 2014 while looking forward to all the potential of 2015. Whether you make New Years Resolutions every year, or are trying it anew this year, you’ve no doubt heard how hard they can be to keep. Listing all the things you want to do and change is far easier than following through. A lot of people need extra motivation to stay on track. A little accountability doesn’t hurt too! Here are some ways that pets can help you conquer so common New Years Resolutions…

Pets to the Rescue!

  • Get fit or just be more active! – If one of your New Years goals is to get in better shape in 2015, then your pet is going to love you! Taking your pet for a walk or run are two great ways to get regular exercise. Take it up a notch by playing frisky or fetch. Not a dog owner? Try working out around a cat and just see how they can get into it too!
  • Quit smoking – Second-hand smoke can be just as bad for pets as it can for humans. Think of your pet the next time you go to light up. Not only will it make you healthier, but your pet too. Plus you’ll have extra lung capacity for playing!
  • Reduce your stress level – Pets have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure! If you’re stressed make it a point to spend more time interacting with or just doting on your pet.
  • Be more charitable and/or giving – Use all that experience time with your pet has given you and extend some of it to less fortunate pets. Take time volunteering at your local animal shelter. Offer to take an elderly or sick neighbors pet for a walk or a simple game of fetch in the back in yard. Donate pet items you no longer need to other animals in need. Get creative!

Do you have your own ways that your pet helps keep you on track with New Years Resolutions? Share them with us!

Cruelty to Animals – What Should You Do?

In a perfect world we’d never have to worry about or be confronted with animal cruelty and abuse. Unfortunately it is a reality that happens everyday. In an effort to combat animal cruelty you should know the signs and symptoms as well as what you should do if you suspect animals are being mistreated. All domesticated pets deserve a loving home and sometimes, all it takes is a phone call to put the wheels in motion to bettering an animals life.

 Many people may have the image that animal abuse requires some sort of physical abuse or starvation. In fact abuse of an animal can take many forms.

What is Animal Abuse/Cruelty

  • Not Providing Adequate Shelter – pets that are left tied up outside in the rain, snow, wind, and sun without adequate shelter is a form of abuse. All animals should have the opportunity to shelter themselves from the elements.
  • Not Seeking Medical Treatment – this applies to everything from leaving serious physical injuries untreated to not taking steps to properly safeguard a pet from flea and tick infestations and heart worms.
  • Malnourished Pets – Anytime you can see an animals ribs clearly, they are malnourished and in need of care.
  • Frequent abandonment – Pets that are frequently left alone for extended periods of time without a pet sitter or anyone to check in on them to make sure they are in good health and their basic needs are being met.
  • Physical Abuse – Striking, choking, or incapacitating an animal in any way
So what should you do if you feel that you have witnessed or are aware of an ongoing situation in which animals are being mistreated? This will vary based on your areas resources. If you have a local Humane Society many of them will have a hotline you can call to report abuse. You can also call your local law enforcement agency and ask for assistance or direction in checking on the situation.
Make it a point to get to know the animals in your neighborhood and be sure to teach your children the proper way to treat pets – both theirs and others. If you have concerns, and feel comfortable with the owners, ask questions. Sometimes situations won’t be what they seem. You’d hate to end up reporting someone who had just taken in a starving stray and was trying to nurse it back to health. When in doubt though, call someone to perform a welfare check on the pet(s).
For more ways to help put an end to animal cruelty check out the Human Society’s information for your state here.
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Gifts For Your Pet – A Holiday Guide – Pet Nanny

As the Holiday shopping season rambles on many pet parents are out there searching for last minute gifts to adorn their pet, cozy pet beds, toys and treats! As the pet sized elf hats and holiday sweaters sell out consider these gift options to make your pet’s Christmas a treat! As an added bonus the purchase of these gifts do good on a bigger scale than  your living room on Christmas morning!

Pet Gifts That Give

  • BarkBox – A subscription to this service not only ensures that you and your pet get a monthly box of goodies throughout the year to come, but a portion of the proceeds go toward helping with spay and neuter programs as well as  military dog organizations.
  • Under the Olive Tree Oil – When mixed with your pets food this oil can ensure a healthy coat. It can also help with skin allergies and boost immunity. Think of it as a doggie cosmetic! 10% of their proceeds go to local animal charities in Virginia.
  • Luv-a-Pet Holiday BlanketThis blanket is great for snuggling up with your kitty, keeping a puppy warm or letting a bunny nest around in. Plus PetSmart charities gets 10% of each purchase!
  • DJ Cat Scratching Pad – This awesome kitty toy is offered through ASPCA’s online store and proceeds from it go toward preventing animal abuse across the nation. Not only a blast for your house cats, but a unique idea!

Want to help animals with every gift you buy this year? Download the iGive app and anytime you spend money at one of the over 1500 participating businesses a portion of your purchase goes to your charity of choice, at no extra cost to you!

Also, if you’re giving a pet this year instead of buying for one, don’t forget to shop your local animal shelters first! Give a pet a second chance at a loving home is just about the best way you can give back to the animal world!

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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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.