Tag: Holiday

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.

 

 

 

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

Boating With Your Dog – Summer Safety!

Got a beautiful body of water nearby just beckoning to you for some summer boating fun?

We know that many folks with dogs love to take their pooches out to sea in the summer. With warmer weather and easier sailing, it’s not so unusual to see a furry four-footer playing the role of skipper!

However, there are plenty of safety considerations to take into account before bringing your pup on board.

The folks over at K9 of Mine have published a new Dog Safety Tips Infographic that we’re sharing here in an effort to keep four-legged crew safe and secure this sailing season. Make sure to read these tips before you set out!

 

 

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)

Literary Pets of Legend From Classic Books

It’s no question that pets play an important role in our lives. This fact is often reflected by their inclusion in our favorite stories and literary tales throughout the ages! Below are some of our favorite examples – an excellent list for children, or source of nostalgia for adults!

Literary Pets of Legend

Big Dan & Little Ann – You don’t have to be from the rural south to fall in love with these two loyal-to-the-end coon dogs made famous in Where the Red Fern Grows. These two dogs led us through an adventurous story capturing the freedom of youth.

Charlotte (Okay, well maybe it was Wilbur…) – Pigs might not be the most popular pets around but noone can say they could resist the friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider in Charlotte’s Web. 

Cat – Not a terribly creative name from one of the most creative literary icons of children’s books – Dr. Seuss. While the cat in Cat in the Hat may exhibit human characteristics, his knack for chaos will be instantly recognizable to any cat owner!

Peter – This posh little rabbit may where shoes and a jacket like a human but his love of Mr. McGregor’s garden delights is pure bunny.

Toto – A delightful little companion for Dorothy during her adventures. He may have a small role in The Wizard of Oz compared to the others but is iconic and this little terrier holds many hearts! Maybe we can all relate to the comfort found in a pet when we feel lonely or out of place as children?

Old Yeller – Possibly one of the earliest tragedies you remember as a child!  This pet that makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to protect the family he loved. Old Yeller will always remain iconic with a special place in our hearts!

Black Beauty – This horses tale teaches us about struggle and kindness, as well as encouraging empathy for animals. A great story that reflects the reality of what it might be like to actually be an animal, instead of the many children’s books that focus on the animal behaving like a human.

Do you have a favorite? Share it with us!

photo credit: alicejamieson Dog Intelligence via photopin (license)

Don’t Overlook Your Pet This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, we are officially in the Holiday Season! If you’re like most people the holidays are a combination of enjoyment and stress. Unfortunately sometimes our furry friends are the ones who take the brunt of our stresses. As we travel to be with family, host parties or are away more frequently on family outings or shopping trips, our pets often get neglected and their needs can be overlooked.

  • If you’re the host – Make sure that your pets have a human-free environment set up just for them. Family gatherings and parties can be overstimulating to a social pet, and downright terrifying to the shy ones. Leaving a pet to mingle with the crowd sets them up for anxiety, being tripped over, or even getting into unhealthy foods or unsafe items. Set aside an area in a bedroom, laundry room, or master bathroom with your pets bed, food, water, and toys to give them their own quiet space away from all the hubbub.
  • If you’re travelling – Do your research before hand. Unless you’ve made plans with a trusty friend whom you can always call on to pet co-parent, plan. Since the holiday season is a popular time for travel, kennels and pet nanny’s may fill up quickly. It’s important for you to plan your pets care as far in advance as you can. Booking a pet sitter or kennel isn’t all their is too it either – you need be sure to pack things they need and leave notes about any special care. Don’t make your pets an afterthought!
  • If you’re away more often than usual – You don’t have to be travelling for your pet to get to missing you. If your social obligations are keeping you from home most of the day and evening, your pets are going to get lonely. Make time for your pet, and if you just can’t swing it, consider hiring a dog walker or pet nanny to temporarily fill your role.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season – and that your pets do too!

photo credit: dangaken Christmas Tree via photopin (license)

Valentine’s Day – How Your Pet Shows Their Love

Valentine’s Day is just under a month away! What better way to spend the holiday than with a furry friend who offers unconditional love? Whether single or attached, don’t overlook your pet this year! Be sure to appreciate the many ways our pets show they love us this Valentine’s Day – and year round!

Signs of Pet Love this Valentine’s Day

 

Valentine's Day Pet Love!
Valentine’s Day Pet Love!

Gifts – While you may enjoy that yummy box of chocolates your partner got you for Valentine’s Day, its the thought that counts right? Don’t overlook the affection behind the many “gifts” your cat may bring you year-round. A lizard, mouse, or other small creature is your cat’s way of showing they’ve been thinking about you. Dogs will also show affection by bringing you their most prized toy.

Welcome Home! – Dogs, cats, rabbits, and many other pets know the sound of your vehicle pulling up or your key in the door! It would be hard for any human to match the excitement a pet can show when you walk through the door! Leaping into your arms, slobbering all over your face, or binkies!

Adorable Body Language – Sure your pet may wag their tail at a friendly mailman or purr when anybody takes the time to sit down and offer some petting, but some body language is saved just for you! Dogs will often lean against you as a sign of companionship and act protective of you or your things. Cats may let just anyone pet them, but getting a good grooming is usually saved for their number one human. Same with rabbits!

The Head Butt – Cats are known for rubbing themselves around your legs but the head butt is a special sign of affection. Rabbits do a similar technique with their noses. While a bunny nose bump can sometimes be a bossy demand for something, it’s also frequently an acknowledgement and show of respect and companionship!

Attached At The Hip – When your pet loves you they want to be where ever you are. Even if you’re not interacting with them, they like to know that you are near. If your pet frequently follows you from room to room and likes to nap near you, it’s a sign of love.

The Dance – Just about every pet has a personality specific happy dance. Some may be modest like flicks of a tail coupled with a purring meow to down right exhibitionists like a pooch bouncing on their hind legs or a bunny circling you with binkies!

When a pet loves you they just can’t help but show it! Don’t play coy! This Valentine’s Day (and every day!) show your pet that their love is reciprocated in the most unashamed fashion you can muster!
photo credit: Valentine Pug via photopin (license)

Gifts Your Pet (And You) Will Love!

While your pet may not understand the “reason behind the season”, there is no doubting that they love Christmas gifts

just as much as any kid! In most family’s pets are like family and their is usually a smaller stocking with their name stitched or glittered onto the cuff hanging with the rest. But what treats will fill it? Check out our perfect (though not always stocking sized) selection of gifts for the pet who has everything!

Pet Gifts For The Pet With Everything!

1) The Cat Trapeze – Does your cat like to climb things? Sleep around in odd, out of the way spots? Of course it does! The Cat Trapeze makes us a little jealous we don’t have such a fluffy suspended bed. If you’ve got a dog to this is a must have haven for your kitty to escape and relax without knocking your plants over. Some gifts give year round!

2) Dog Perfume? – Is your pet of such high class that only the finest will do for them? Mungo & Maud have created an ultra chic line of pet products for the most sophisticated creatures. Careful though girls, you don’t want your pooch smelling better than you!

 

3) Camper Dog Fetch Balls – These attractive, colorful fetch balls are easy to spot, heavy duty, and come in two sizes to suit your pups mouth. Hit the dog park with stylish toys, and check out some of the other awesome pet gifts at Harry Barker!

4) Pet Cam – Know what it’s like to walk a mile in your pets paws! Strap this very affordable camera onto your pets collar and see what they get up to for a day!

5) Catviar Treats – Fill your kitties stocking with these tasty little treats! It’s caviar for cats!

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.

Pilgrims and the Role Dogs Played In America‏

Throughout history evidence of man’s best friend can be found playing an important role in many societies – even with the pilgrims! Life was hard for the pilgrims who set out on those first ships from England to explore a wild territory. It’s no wonder they brought at least two dogs with them to the new world. Back then dogs were not just great companions. They were used for protection and hunting too.

Pilgrims & The Mayflower Dogs

The two dogs we have a record of making the journey across the sea were written about in the journals of the ship’s passengers. They were said to belong to a John Goodman and be a Mastiff and a Spaniel. Mastiffs have a long history of being used in ancient cultures for hunting. Some even depict them as killing lions. In England, where the Mayflower departed from, they were commonly used by the upper classes as guard dogs. Spaniels were often trained as hunting dogs and some breeds are considered water dogs.

History did not record the names nor what became of the fearless dogs. It does record an account of two pilgrims who became lost in the woods after gathering thatch and were left to spend the night in the frozen forest with only the dogs for warmth and protection. They miraculously made it and recorded their story forever immortalizing the two nameless pets that accompanied them across the Atlantic ocean.

We know that dogs were brought over on the Mayflower, but there has been no historical mention of them at the first Thanksgiving. One may find them featured in a painting or two and it’s likely if they were brought over, that there were still some hanging around by the time of the first big harvest.

Native Americans had fostered relations with dogs from their first arrival on the American continent during the ice age. Much like the ancient Europeans, the dogs of the Americas had also been domesticated from wolves and coyotes.

The early days of the Pilgrims were blessed with the knowledge given them by the Native Americans and were likely able to continue the familiar companionship with dogs even after the Mayflower dogs expired.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be thankful for not only your pooch, but for all the dogs that have abandoned their wild ways to stand loyally by humans and help guide us through our hardships.

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credit: On Duty. via photopin (license)

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