Tag: Dogs

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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Losing A Pet: Dealing With Grief

It can be difficult for those without pets to understand the great weight of sorrow that can effect you after the loss of a beloved animal. To many people pets are just another member of the family. You dedicate years of your life to caring for them. You seek out pet sitters instead of baby sitters, you care for them when they are sick and you take them out for treats and play dates. The reward you get for your efforts is their humbling devotion and unconditional love. When a pet dies, be it unexpectedly or after an illness, it can be all the more difficult to cope with the loss. Socially many people don’t extend the same sympathies as in the case of a traditional family death. We hope that some of the ideas below will help you to overcome the sorrow from losing a pet. Please feel free to share your experiences with us and others below.

Coping With Losing A Pet

  • Shun the taboo – Don’t let others define how you should feel and don’t feel ashamed for being sad or “off your game” after losing a pet. You may find it easier to limit your social interactions to those who have also lost their furry companions to minimize scorn or lack of understanding.
  • Create closure – a ‘funeral’ may not always be an option when you’ve lost a pet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t provide for yourself the same closure. Set aside a moment for remembrance and saying goodbye. Even if it’s simply a walk in their favorite park or framing and hanging your favorite picture of them. All these are rituals of closure that are healthy.
  • Maintain routine – this is especially important if you have other pets.  Keeping your routine is a step toward moving forward and can help  keep you from getting bogged down. Was walking your pet at a certain time part of your routine? Take the walk solo and dedicate that time to their memory.
  • Don’t make an impulse buy/adoption – running out for a replacement is a common impulse after losing a pet. Sometimes this can just prolong the grief though and prevent you from both fully honoring and dealing with your emotions from your former pet. It can also keep you from fully bonding with the new one. It’s best to wait until your head is clear before you move on to a new companion.

For more help grieving the loss of a pet, check out this site and learn how to help your children cope as well. Losing a pet can be an important life lesson in dealing with grief. Don’t deny yourself  or others this need.

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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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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!


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Great Article Referencing Why Shelter Pets Are The Best Pets

A recent article in the Huffington Post aptly titled “Why Shelter Pets Are Good for the Soul,” encouraged me to write this post inquiring how “shelter” or “rescue” pets have enlightened my life. I grew up in a family surrounded by animals because my Mom grew up on a farm with pigs, cows, horses, goats, chickens, you name it, they more than likely had it. My mother’s deep love for animals transcended to all of us, but more than that, she taught us they are a responsibility, just like a child or job, and you have to be diligent in your care taking for them. She taught us that you can’t just want an animal and expect someone else to take care of it, or that you didn’t want it anymore when it went past it’s puppy stage, because it wasn’t “cute” anymore; a pet is for the long-haul and for the durain that they’re with us. I’m so grateful she taught and instilled this in us, because I value and appreciate all our pets past and present for those very things, and other unexpected surprises. They really do become a part of you and are family, and it’s a very sad loss when they leave us. I’m a firm believer we will see our pets again. I know everyone has different views on this, but this is just mine.

I had a domestic short-haired kitten from an unexpected litter, when I was 12, and he was with me until I was 25 and he passed in my arms. I’ll never forget him, and he is always with me. We had chickens who were such a blessing to us with baby chicks at one time, and we had Bandit, who was abused in a puppy mill and was with us (and wholly protected us) for 13 years. We gave Bubbalicious who had been chained most of his young and adult life the best final 2 years of his life, and we now have our German Shephered Rescues, Lucy (Lulu Belles) and Beba (Bebabay), her daughter who is the only surviving puppy-now-adult out of her 3rd and final litter. She was a “guard” dog at a garage shop and was malnourished, standoffish, and very skinny when we got her. They’re both well-fed and spoiled rotten, and I’ve helped with that. I can tell you they’re definitely a part of my soul, because after living at home for over 10 years and helping raise them, I had a life change when I moved to Charlotte, NC the first weekend of January, and cried so hard when I left them, as if I’d never see them again. They’re not really left, and are with my parents who take exceptional care of them. Needless to say, I look forward to when I see them again in about a month!

Take a moment to reflect on this:

” are approximately 2.7 million healthy or treatable pets out there who still need our help to find a home each year. Since the Shelter Pet Project launched in 2009, euthanasia is down 12 percent. But we still have work to do. Currently, just 29 percent of dogs and 33 percent of cats in American homes were adopted from shelters or rescue groups.

The Shelter Pet Project has just released a new series of PSAs to inspire people from all walks of life to find out how amazing shelter pets really are. And of course, the only way to really find out is to meet one! The ads showcase the personalities of real-life adopted shelter dogs and cats who lick or paw at the screen to show that they want to meet someone just like you.”

Check out one of the many Shelter Pets featured in the playlist below:

“TheShelterPet.org is a terrific resource to find thousands of adoptable pets in your area. You can search by breed, age or gender and see tons of amazing photographs! You can also see available pets by zip code, read adoption success stories and learn more about the adoption process.”

So, what do you say? Is it time for you to have your very own shelter pet, or do you have a shelter pet and want to share your story? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-shaffer/why-shelter-pets-are-good_b_4861602.html

Pet Nanny’s Cutest Pet Photo Contest!




 Does your pet have what it takes to win our Cutest Pet Photo Contest?

  • Attention, pet lovers and owners! Get those flashes ready to take your BEST photo, because we’re running one of our biggest contests ever!
  • The winner receives a $250 Gift Card to Pet Nanny Mainline| has no cash value, and expires on 12/31/2014. ALL entries must be received by March 1, 2014.
  • If you haven’t already, “like” our Facebook and get your pet ready for their close-up!

If you are a new Pet Nanny customer, there just may be a surprise waiting for you on our

Facebook page. “Like us” to reveal your savings.

Pet Tip of the Week: Why You Shouldn’t Shave Your Pet

Many pet owner’s like to shave their pets, especially during the summer months, when it’s hot and muggy outside; it seems unbearable to you to watch your pet with all their fur on them. If you’re like me, you can only imagine that they must be miserable. Well, they’re not miserable and are actually much happier with their coat on. Why? According to several vet experts, they say it’s not good for your pet by any means and the reasons are:

  • Their fur coat is actually providing heat relief. How’s that? “A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Hospital. Because dogs’ coat have several layers, these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the blistering heat.
  • Their coat protects from getting sunburned and protects from skin cancer. As a pet owner you can help with this also; take your dog(s) for walk in the evening and purchase pet-specific sunblock to place on bridge on nose, where it gets burnt the worst, along with tips of ears and belly. Dogs with thin, light or white-colored coats are at risk the most from sun damage.
  • Instead of shaving, trim and brush your dog’s fur. it’s needed and necessary to trim your pet’s fur coat, but never remove a matted coat with scissors. With long-haired cats, don’t trim their fur, brush it frequently during hotter and summer months.

Always remember to keep your pets inside on an extremely hot days with plenty of water.

Do you agree with not shaving your pets during hot, summer months? If you do shave your pets, have you had any problems? Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments below!

Article Source:http://www.aspca.org/blog/three-reasons-you-shouldnt-shave-your-pet?ms=em_new_blogpost-shavepet-20130712&initialms=em_new_blogpost-shavepet-20130712

Happy & Healthy Summer Safety for your Pet

Summer is a fun time for family, friends and even your pets. Sun, cookouts, and the swimming pool are just a few of the benefits of a happy summer. However, the heat can wreak havoc on your pet if you don’t take the proper precautions to take care of them. Provided in the steps below are tips and helpful hints that will help you to better take care of your pet during the warmer months and also for them to benefit the joys of summer.

  • Have a high-risk dog? Be extra careful with them– When dogs pant, they are breathing through their nose to cool themselves off. A dog that can’t breathe well, and therefore can’t pant as well as dog who does breathe well, is at a much greater risk health-wise. These also include bull-dogs and pugs, who have a much smaller snout and are flat-faced. Also pay attention to overweight and senior dogs.
  • NEVER keep your pets in locked cars– “Research from San Francisco State University suggests that in 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car rises by 19 degrees. Make it 20 minutes, and the temperature spikes by 29 degrees; 30 minutes and it goes up 34 degrees; and after an hour, the temperature soars by 43 degrees. Dogs and cats have a baseline body temperature of 100 to 102 degrees, and their organs begin to shut down at 106 degrees. “Very quickly, you can literally be threatening your animal’s life,” says Cathy Unruh, an animal welfare advocate based in Tampa Bay, Fla. She cautions that you should never put your pet inside a car that’s been parked outside in the blistering sun – the seats could be so hot that they burn your animal. Make sure the car is cooled down ahead of time.”
  • Keep an eye on heatstroke– Yes, this can happen to your pet too, and is more common in dogs than cats. Take your dog out for exercising in the early morning, during cool hours, and at dusk, when the sun is settling and isn’t at its heaviest. It is suggested to keep your pet inside between the hottest hours of the day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Symptoms of heat stroke include increased heart rate and excessive panting, a bright red tongue, panting or diarrhea, among a few other symptoms.
  • Sunscreen is a necessity for your pet, too– Did you know your pets can get sunburned too? Dogs get sunburned on the bridge of their nose, groin area, tips of ears, on their bellies, and animals with a thin coat are also known to burn. Don’t use your sunscreen; however, use a sunscreen that’s specially formulated for your type of pet.
  • Keep paws protected– The pads of their paws are sensitive and burn too. Keep your pets in the grass or place on doggie boots or socks to protect their paws.
  • Always teach your dog to swim– Why? Because if they fall in water or a pool, they’ll know how to swim to get out. If your dog goes with you to the beach, and they swim in the ocean, don’t let them ingest salt water, as it is toxic to dogs.
  • Keep their coats during the summer– Many people want to shave their pets, including cats, during the summer. On the other hand, it’s best to let them maintain their coat as is. Their coat acts as insulation and regulates their body temperature.
  • Keep your pet stable around fireworks– There is an increase of intake animals at shelters after specific holidays, especially July 4th, because pets get so scared of the booming and loud noise that they run away and escape. It’s best to keep your pet inside during the fireworks bonanza, and reassure and encourage your pet that they are okay.

Source: Angela Haupt with US Health and Wellness News

Pet Nanny Main Line’s Did You Know Post of the Week

I personally love this news, and think there might be less patients with heart problems in the hospital, and much less of a stay while recovering. Several doctors think it’s a great thing, especially for those patients who are in critical conditions, and fare better when their companion is near them. It has been noted to calm the patient tremendously and reduce risk.

There is a new program called Faithful Friends that takes place at the University of Maryland Medical Center, which allows a patient’s pet to visit he or she in the hospital. Before worry or concern sets in for the patient or other patients in the hospital, the pet must undergo strict screening, grooming, along with vaccinations. These visits from their canine or feline companion can help turn the patient’s outlook for the better and reduce their recovery time. The patient’s pet has been noted to reduce the heart rate and offers “a calming piece of home.”

Article Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/52246306#52201872

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