Tag: holiday safety

Christmas Safety Tips For You & Your Pet!

Christmas Safety Comes First During Holidays!

Holidays are a time meant for family vacations and friends getting together. Many also plan a vacation away from home. As a pet owner, there is an extra responsibility of putting your pets in safe hands before going on a family vacation. There are several pet care services that work during these holidays so that the pet owners can enjoy a nice vacation. However, it is a busy season for them and some are booked months before the holidays begin.
Before you plan to leave for a vacation, it is recommended that you take care of a few things at your home for maximum Christmas safety. You don’t want to put your pet and Pet Nanny in trouble. It is always better to have pet-friendly decorations at home, objects that are not sharp or breakable. It is better not to encourage your pets to play with decorations. Tether the tree to a strong object to avoid a fall. Check your furnace, house pipes, doors, and windows for any leaks. Do not keep any candies or chocolates that your dog can access as it can be very harmful to your pets. These tips to keep your pet safe during Christmas will hopefully help you have a safe Christmas and a wonderful vacation from Pet Nanny &  Top Dog Tips.

 

 

 

Ensuring Quality Meat In Your Dog Food!

Finding Quality Meat that is Safe and Good for Dogs

The perfect cure for depression and one of the best stress busters are pets, and dogs are arguably the most perfect pets for people with these health problems. That is just one of the many reasons why some people adopt dogs, and how canines help people more than we help them. Considering the aforementioned, it is our responsibility to do our best in taking care of our companions, and that starts with a good diet. For a dog a good diet means quality meat!

Dogs love meat and dogs need meat. As pet parents we must ensure that it is of good quality and sourced from reputable places. There are different quality meats used in different brands of commercial dog food diets. For example, some fish have higher mercury levels than others and certain protein sources can be over or undercooked before they’re used in the formula. It’s essential for dog owners to familiarize themselves with the way meat is processed before it’s turned into dry kibble or put into a can, and other aspects of the process to ensure only good quality meats come our dogs’ way.

If you are confused what to feed your dog, you can ditch the packaged dog food and cook for them yourself. It’s the only way to exactly know what you are feeding it. Or you can check out these tips from Top Dog Tips – the perfect resource in the form of infographic on quality meat in dog food for more information and tips on feeding your dog:

Holiday Season – Getting Through the Big Four

It’s that time of year when the celebrations seem to hit us one after another! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years – whew!! The holiday season parties and family gatherings help to ease us into winter. As we quickly transition from one theme to the next new pet dangers are constantly popping up. A well-seasoned pet owner may know these dangers like the back of their pets paw! If you’re new to the pet game or even new to decorating or hosting holiday events in your home here are some top dangers to watch out for!

Pet Dangers for the Holiday Season

Halloween

  • Chocolate or other candy – including their wrappers which can have remnants or prove to be choking hazards.
  • Loose parts of costumes or decorations, candles in pumpkins, chewable electric cords.
  • Strangers. People unfamiliar to your pet can cause stress and fear as can high traffic. Keep pets safe, even if it means temporarily confining them to a quiet portion of your home.

Thanksgiving

  • Bones, scrapes, and sweets! Make sure guests understand your rules about sharing food with your pets and keep pets out of areas where they can access human foods easily.
  • Chrysanthemums are a popular and lovely fall decor, but also deadly poisonous to dogs.
  • Hot things in the kitchen. Creating a delicious meal means lots of hot plates, pots, pans, and liquids. Tripping over a pet at the wrong moment could lead to more than just a ruined dish. Keep your pets safe by keeping them out of the kitchen during peak cooking times.

Christmas

  • The chrysanthemums may be past their prime by now but poinsettias are just as deadly to your pets!
  • Chocolate! and all other holiday treats and sweets. Sugar is bad for pets.
  • Glass from broken Christmas lights and ornaments.
  • Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, and bows can all prove to be choking and tangling hazards. Make sure your pets are well supervised if they like to frolic in the post-Christmas morning aftermath.

New Year’s Eve

  • Alcohol. Don’t ever give your pet alcohol or leave it where they can easily access it.
  • Confetti, ribbons, and small celebratory things can lead to digestive and intestinal issues in pets.
  • Chocolate and sweets. Yeah, we really like candies… Always keep them out of your pets reach!
  • High traffic, again, is a threat here, but doubly so if your guests are drinking. Unsteady feet don’t mix with little creatures at foot level.

Know your pet and always keep them in mind before, during, and after each holiday!

photo credit: The 3 bulldogs Hangover, hangover, hangover… via photopin

Travel Season – How to Care For Your Pets!

The holiday season is fast approaching! Between the pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie, and roast Christmas goose there are lots of opportunities for travel. Traveling with your family doesn’t always mean traveling with your pet. What do you do when you have to be away though? This separation can be hard on you, but even harder on your pet since they don’t understand. Here are some of our top options for pet care while your celebrating!

Pet Options For Holiday Travel

  • Find a friend! – If you can’t be with your pet and have to go away overnight, finding a good friend or family member who your pet is familiar with to check on them. Having someone your pet loves visit, care for their needs, and spend a little play time with them is ideal. Your friend can’t make it every day? See if your pet can stay with them!
  • Take them with you! – If you can travel easily with your pet, why not? They can love road trips too! Map out a route with lots of pet friendly stops. Just make sure that the family or friends your traveling to are okay hosting your furry friend too! Check out these tips from Meeow Cat on how to travel with your cat!
  • Get a Pet Sitter! – Pet Sitters are great in lieu of a family member or friend! They will visit your pet, make sure they have food & water, administer medication, take them for walks, and sometimes, so much more! Our Pet Sitting services also include House Sitting! We’ll clean out the litter box and pick-up your dry cleaning too!
  • Find a Pet Boarder – This should be your last option. Even great boarding services still place your pet in an unfamiliar atmosphere with strangers and other pets. They can be exposed to illnesses and develop anxiety. They are also frequently more expensive that a pet sitting service.

photo credit: Viv Lynch Falling Leaves via photopin (license)

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! and Your Pet!

In homes all across the country, Christmas trees are going up! Whether your family opts for the natural cedar variety, or a more colorful, long living synthetic Christmas tree, to a cat a tree is a tree. Dangling ornaments, climbability, lights – how could a cat resist! So what can you do this year to deter Mr. Whiskers from challenging his acrobat abilities at your expense?

Keeping Your Cat Off The Christmas Tree

  • Citrus – Did you know cats hate the smell of citrus? Try keeping orange peels under your tree, or even hanging those festive oranges studded with cloves from the tree!
  • Placement – Try to position your tree away from furniture, shelves, or windowsills. Anything a curious kitty could use as a springboard to launch onto a tree.
  • Place Ornaments Higher – Don’t tempt your kitty with low hanging ornaments. Keep the dangly decor for the upper part of the tree, not accessible from the ground level.
  • Tabasco – Even if your cats not into climbing, they love to try and chew those lower branches! Spritz the lower half of the tree with Tabasco water. One nibble and they’ll learn it’s nothing they’re interested in! You can also try purchasing a product called Bitter Apple.

Other Pet Precautions To Take

  • Choose your decorations wisely – Tinsel, artificial snow, ribbons, and other such long stringy items can be hazardous to your pet. Avoid these all together. Also, avoid items with food like popcorn, cranberries, or chocolate!
  • Secure the Base – If a defiant pet does get on the tree, you don’t want it to fall over! Ensure that you follow the proper precautions for your specific tree style and size. It shouldn’t be wobbly!
  • Mind the cords – Make sure that Christmas tree light cords are run behind furniture, kept up, or run through PVC pipe to prevent your pet from chewing on these new wires.
  • Keep them away from the base – If you have a live tree, it will be important for it to have water. Make sure your pet does not have access to this water, it may be toxic to them!

photo credit: Daniel Dudek Elsa loves Christmas via photopin (license)

Pokemon Go With Your Dog? You Bet!

With the new Pokemon Go craze sweeping the nation, more people than ever are wandering around outdoors! That’s a good thing! An even better thing if you take the new game as an opportunity to let your pet tag along. Here are some tips to get you and your fuzzy friend started!

Tips For Hunting Pokemon with Your Dog

  • Caution! – The essence of Pokemon Go means you’re likely to have your phone in front of your face which can be hazardous walking around outside. Doubly hazardous if you have a pet in tow. It may be a fun game, but don’t let it take priority over your safety and that of your pet. What for traffic, snakes, and steps!
  • Follow Leash Laws (even if there aren’t any) – Make sure your pet is on a leash and comfortable with it. Pokemon Go has become so popular, you and your dog are likely to encounter a lot of fellow hunters – and maybe their pets too!
  • Watch the Weather – Just like a normal walk, be mindful of when you go and if there are any storms in the area. With the summer heat, grab the sunblock and aim for early morning or evening. Take water for you and your pet, and be sure to check the radar so you’re not caught in a lightening storm!
  • Mind Your Pets Stamina – Maybe you’re okay with walking a couple miles, zig-zagging around, but your dog may not be. If you’ve acclimatized them to shorter walks be sure to not over-stress them. Take frequent breaks and stay in-tune to the signals your pet’s giving you!

As a bonus, some animal shelters are asking hunters to swing by and pick up a dog to take along. This increase in volunteering helps the shelters and helps leash-trained dogs get some exercise! Ask at your local shelter if they have “Pokemon Dogs”!

Summertime Quick-Reference Blog

Summertime officially kicks off on Monday, June 20th this year! Changing seasons herald in the need for unique pet care and pet dangers. Below is a quick-reference guide to some common summertime pet topics  with links to more details about each! Make this summer a paw-riffic summer!

Summertime Pet Care 101

  • Ticks, Fleas, and all the Woodland Buggers – Some pet owners let the flea and tick regimen lapse a little over the colder months. It’s important to get back on top of it as soon as possible once warm weather hits. Waiting too long puts you on the defense instead of the offense. Our former post here discusses extra steps you can take to keep the bug problem under control!
  • The Great Outdoors – Warm weather means more time outside in nature to many. Hiking, fishing, and camping are all summertime favorites. Each one can potentially put you and your pet in an environment you’re not used to. This means new threats that you need to know about! Check out our post on Wildlife Pet Threats!
  • Heat, heat, and more heat! – Yup, that means summer! Imagine you had to wear a fur coat all summer though?! That’s your pets reality! Find out about shaving them, tips for helping them beat the heat, and products that can help you out!
  • The car – I really hope we don’t have to go over the importance of NOT leaving your pet in the car during summer (or even some warm spring & fall) days. These tips will help you keep your pet safe while travelling!
  • Sun exposure, fireworks, water dangers and more – All these pose a  seasonal threat to your pet. Make summertime the greatest time ever by remembering and being attentive to your pets special needs!
  • Heat stroke – know the signs and know what to do!

April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Would you know how to administer first aid to your pet in an emergency? Do you even have emergency numbers quickly accessible? You don’t need to have an accident prone pet to realize it’s just good policy to make sure that you’ve got an action plan in case of an emergency! This April, take some time to brush up on what you need to have and know – your pet’s counting on you!

Pet First Aid Refresher Tips

  • Get the App! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a First Aid app just for pets? It provides helpful information for both dog and cat owners in emergency and disaster situations!
  • Update your Pet First Aid Kit! Don’t have one? Get/Make one now! You should check your pet first aid kit annually to ensure that all the supplies are still properly packaged, any medications are not out of date, and nothing has leaked. If you don’t have one, this needs to be on your must list! There are a wide array of pre-packaged kits out there for sale. Bump those store bought ones up against this list from the Humane Society to make sure it includes everything you need. Or, use that list to make your own! Be sure to include comfort items for your pet too!
  • Know the basics! It’s apt that April is pet first aid month since Spring means more time outdoors for everyone! It also means that pets are at a higher risk for being victims of the native flora and fauna. Know what plants to keep your pets away from, and what to do in case of snake bites, bee stings, etc.
  • Vaccinations! Check your vet records to ensure your pets vaccinations are all up to date! This includes wormers, flea and tick prevention, dog flu, and rabies!
  • Check those emergency numbers!  Maybe you’ve changed vets? Or moved to a new location? Make sure that the numbers for both your regular vet and the nearest animal hospital are still accurate and quickly accessible for the whole family!

Don’t forget to share your emergency contacts and details about your first aid kit with any pet sitters you hire!
photo credit: Link’s Check-Up via photopin (license)

 

 

Poison Prevention and Your Pet

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month – a cause that needs regular awareness. Carelessness and over-confidence on many pet owners parts lead to pet poisonings every year. While many animals have natural instincts that help them avoid unhealthy things in nature, they are less keen when it comes to man-made things left accessible in their territory. As pet owners, it’s up to us to make sure our animal’s homes are safe and poison-free at all times! See our tips below to stay on your toes and keep your pet safe!

Keeping Your Pet Away From Poison

  • Household cleaners – As Spring cleaning gets underway it’s easy to get careless with your cleaning products and leave them within a pet’s reach. If you can’t banish your pet from the area you are working in until you’re done, it’s important to always stay aware and not become distracted. If your pet has a problem with drinking out of the toilet, make sure to never leave toilet cleaner unflushed. Unattended mop buckets with cleaners in them can also pose a threat to a thirsty pet.
  • Mouse, Rat, or Insect poison –  These are three types of poison people tend to tuck away into areas pets can’t get to – the backs of cupboards, closets, shelves, etc.  These carefully concealed poisons can become a threat to your pet when you forget about them and then drag things out of a closet or cupboard, potentially bringing the poison with it. Always be mindful this! Especially if you have recently rented or moved into a new place. There may be poisons left in nooks and crannies that you’re not aware of!
  • Fertilizers & Herbicides – Don’t think your home is the only place you have to be worried about poisoning your pet! Newly fertilized lawns can harm pets too. In addition to storing lawn and garden poisons well away from your pet, be sure not to let them spend time in newly treated areas. Remember you can track poisons too, so keep your shoes out of reach!

Keep your pets away

from areas herbicides

have been used!

photo credit: Grass Beater First Aid- By Chris_Alberti CCBy2.0 via photopin (license)

Pets for Christmas? Things To Consider Before You Gift‏

Pet Shelters often start to fill up after the holiday’s when not so well thought out plans of giving pets for Christmas turn into family burdens. As advocates for responsible pet ownership and pet adoption vs purchasing we wanted to send a few reminders out as the shopping season kicks off.

Think Before You Give Pets For Christmas

Don’t fall victim to the “picture-perfect” holiday – It’s tempting to want to create an ideal Christmas morning for your family. A puppy with a bow around its neck sets the perfect scene. Remember to think past the bow this year and focus on the practicality of helping your child care for a puppy/dog in the long term. Pets for Christmas always seems like a great idea until the New Year rolls around…
Pets are like humans – Humans aren’t the only creatures capable of forming bonds. When you take a pet into your home there is an emotional connection felt by the animal. Just because you’re ready to take your pet to the shelter after it’s peed on the rug for the 100th time, doesn’t mean it’s ready to be sent away. Have a family discussion about the responsibilities before you commit to any pets for Christmas!

Pets for Christmas?

Pets aren’t like humans – Unlike people you can’t explain a situation and expect them to understand. As the creature greater of a higher intellectual capacity, it is your responsibility to learn how to communicate and teach your pet. Don’t abandon them for your failings and don’t bring one home unless your willing to put forth this effort.
Look into rehoming before you go to the shelter – Circumstances change and sometimes through no fault of our own pets just can’t fit into our lives any longer. Before you take your pet down to the local shelter put forth some effort to rehome your pet yourself. Rehomeyourpets.com is a great website that allows you to connect with people in your area looking for a pet! This process is so much easier on your pet than going through a shelter. They leave one home for another and you get to meet the people who will be adopting your pet!
Don’t go to a pet shop for a purebred! – If your heart is set on a purebred or designer dog, don’t think that pet shops are the only places to find them. 25% of all dogs in shelters fall under this category.

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