Tag: pet health care

How to Soothe Your Puppy’s Separation Anxiety

If you’ve had a dog before at any point in your life, you know that amazing feeling of having the puppy or dog greet you when you’ve been gone, either for an hour or a whole day. They’re so excited that their whole body can shake with enthusiasm.

But there’s a flip side to that puppy’s happiness. Dogs can worry so much about where you are and when you’re coming back that they can have horrible separation anxiety. This can lead to either self-destructive behaviors or behaviors that are destructive to their surroundings. And that, in turn, can lead to a dog that isn’t any fun to be around.

Separation anxiety isn’t all that uncommon with puppies and grown dogs and can be triggered by any number of changes to their environment. There may be a move or a new family member, for example. So what can you do to help combat this? This graphic explains it.

 


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Soothe Your Puppy’s Separation Anxiety With These Strategies

 

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

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!

 

Grooming An Overexcited Dog? Tips to Help, Part 2

Overexcited Dog Grooming Tips, Continued!

Did you try out last weeks tips but felt like you needed a couple more? We’ve got you covered! Here are two more tips for helping you groom your overexcited dog!

Burn Off Excess Energy Before Grooming Your Dog

Some dogs are naturally more energetic than others. For example, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers have a go-all-day stamina and, if bored, can turn to destructive behavior. Spinning in circles, jumping up and down and excessive, unreasonable barking are all signs the are overexcited. The only way to lower your dog’s excitement is to have them spend its energy physically.

A well-exercised dog is much more easily groomed than a well-rested dog. It is a good idea to exercise your dog 1-2 hours before you want to groom them. Running with your dog can be a great way to burn off any excess energy, and we also recommend you introduce other physically and mentally demanding activities like a game of fetch or a playdate with other dogs.

Reward Your Dog for Good Behavior

The good news about overexcited dogs is that they are overly excited about food too. Use this to your advantage by offering your dog several small treats during the grooming session, and one big treat at the end of the session. This will teach your dog that if it obeys you, it will get rewarded.

If you don’t always want to reward your dog with food you can also use other positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and play, whatever your dog enjoys doing. The aim is to help your dog associate the grooming session with a positive experience.

These strategies may not work for all dogs. Some dogs need professional training for keeping calm while being groomed and pampered. However, before seeking professional guidance, try implementing the previously described tips.

To round up:

  • Make the grooming session a routine. Let your dog get used to the idea of being frequently handled and groomed.
  • To establish this activity as routine, introduce grooming when your dog is a young and easily adaptable puppy.
  • Be calm and serious. How you feel reflects and transfers to your dog.
  • Never yell nor use physical punishment during the grooming process. This is not only abusive but counterproductive too.

We hope the tips included throughout this post will help you groom your overexcited pup more effectively.

Just remember to take things slow and be patient with your dog. In time, they will learn that grooming and play are two separate things and the whole experience will become a lot more enjoyable for both you and your pet.

Contributed by Jenny Nolan

photo credit: nickobec border collie in bath via photopin (license)

Winter Prepping Your Pet – Start Before It’s Too Late!

By mid-October we’ve already felt that wintery chill in the air a few times, and so have our pets! Don’t wait till the first sub-zero night or snowstorm to get your pet ready for the coming season. Winter may only last a quarter of the year, but it sure can feel longer if you haven’t done your winter prepping. Here are some of our top tips for both indoor and outdoor pets.

Winter Prepping Your Pet

Outdoor pets

Outdoor pets need extra care in the winter!

  • Make sure that their shelter is in good shape with a solid roof and doesn’t allow for drafts.
  • Position their shelter smartly. Keeping it closer to other structures helps to block the wind. Turn it so the entrance faces the south, instead of the north too, and make sure it gets good sunshine.
  • If you can do so safely, invest in a heated pet pad. These can really elevate your pets winter abode. As a bonus, they can also help keep your pets water from freezing.
  • Have lots of good bedding! Straw or hay are great for pets to burrow into. Grab two or three bales this fall and keep them in a dry place so you can stuff your pets house and change frequently for cleanliness.
  • Prone to really bad weather? Have a plan that includes bringing your pet inside. It’s good to note that many places have animal cruelty laws about leaving pets out in bad weather. Be prepared to create a temporary pet haven inside your home or garage. If that’s not possible, check into possibly boarding your pet for the duration of the rough weather. It’s not ideal, but it is warm and safe.
  • You’re included in winter prepping too! You will need to check on your pet, take them for walks, and spend just as much time with them. Make sure you have good boots, a coat, gloves and hat for playing fetch with some snowballs!
  • Be prepared to feed them a little more than usual. Their bodies will be using extra calories to regulate the body temperature.

Indoor pets

Winter prepping indoor pets is important too!

  • Many indoor pets still have to go outdoors from time to time. Make sure your pet is equipped enough to suit their breed. Short-haired pets may need extra warmth and it’s worth investing in a good sweater for them.
  • Many pets can also suffer from cold-feet come winter, especially if they are walking around in the ice and snow! Consider some paw booties to protect them and keep them dry. If your pet goes out bare pawed, keep it short if their feet are getting wet and be prepared to dry them off when you get back inside!
  • Many people will turn their home thermostat down when they are away or sleeping. Make sure your pet has extra bedding and is positioned in an area without drafts.
  • Just like outdoor pets, a little extra food can help!

photo credit: ShutterRunner First Snow in Chicago via photopin (license)

Pet Tethering Rules Change in Pennsylvania

Pet tethering, or dog chaining has been a hot topic among pet owners for some time. This last August, the mayor of Pennsylvania made his feelings known, increasing rules and penalties concerning pet tethering within the state.

Tethering, or chaining refers to keeping your dog tied to a stationary object, this can include lung lines. Temporary pet tethering can be an acceptable manner of keeping your dog safe while you are away for a short period of time, or keeping your guests free from harassment. The practice is often abused though. Some dogs never get to leave the small area they are confined too, are often tangled and choked, get sores from the collar, and are left without adequate shelter. Here at Pet Nanny, we are happy to see some new laws enacted to help keep animals safe!

What Are The New Pet Tethering Laws?

  • You may not leave your dog tethered for more than nine hours within any 24-hour time frame.
  • You may not tether your pet in temperatures above 90 degrees or below 30 degrees, for more than 30 minutes.
  • The tether holding your animal must be longer than three times the length of your pet, or at least 10 feet.
  • They must have access to water and shade.
  • No tow or log chains, choke, pinch, or prong collars allowed anymore.
  • The animal may have no signs or wounds or sores.
  • The area the animal is in must be kept free from excessive waste.
Penalties for breaking any of these rules have been increased as well:
  • Neglect now can bring a sentence from 90 days in jail or a $300 fine all the way up to one year in jail or a $2,000 fine.
  • Cruelty, as a misdemeanor is up to two years in jail or a $5,000 fine. Felony charges are up to seven years in jail or a $15,000 fine.
  • Convicted persons forfeit their rights to their pets.
  • Vets and vet technicians who report animal cruelty in good faith will be shielded from lawsuits.

Long-term pet tethering isn’t an option for having an animal. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to help you keep your pet safe and happy!

photo credit: tubblesnap Still Bored via photopin (license)

Patio & Pets: Potentially Poisonous Cleaners

Cats, dogs, and other pets love to be outdoors. Having your own garden and patio can give them the freedom and space to run around, while giving you the confidence that they will remain safe. While the streets may contain potentially fatal traffic, predatory animals and poisonous plants, have you thought about the safety of your own backyard?

In 2010, the Animal Poison Control Center received over 167,000 calls pertaining to pets being exposed to toxic substances. We’ve discussed the dangers of fertilizer and toxic garden plants, but the products you use to clean your garden could also be dangerous to pets.

 What to Avoid on Your Patio

The patio is a great place to socialize and enjoy the outdoors, so it’s understandable you’ll want to keep it looking clean. However, many patio cleaners contain benzalkonium chloride. This chemical is also found in many common household disinfectants, including antibacterial cleaners used on water fountains. Benzalkonium chloride can be extremely toxic to cats, leading to severe reactions and even death.

In an analysis of cases of 245 cats being poisoned by benzalkonium chloride, 126 were poisoned through ingestion alone, while many cats were also affected through contact with the skin. Therefore it is vital you check cleaning products for this chemical. Instead, consider using more natural cleaning solutions. For example, lemon, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda can be paired with a powerful pressure washer.

For decking, you may have used a varnish to protect the woodwork. However, varnish tends to be oil based which means it contains harmful solvents which can be accidentally inhaled. This is likely to irritate the intestine, causing diarrhoea. It may also cause an inflammation of the lungs leading to infection of breathing difficulties. It is essential to allow the varnish to dry completely before letting your pet near the wood decking.

 Emergency Response

Dogs and cats are curious animals, so it can be difficult to completely prevent them gaining access to harmful cleaning products. It can take over 6 hours for effects to become clear, but it is important to act quickly.

If you witness your pet coming into contact with a dangerous cleaning product, then you need to remove the product thoroughly and manually. It is not recommended that you use water. Instead use a paper towels and remember to wear protective gloves.

 During the summer, your pets will love to play in the fountain or sunbathe on the patio. It is important as a responsible owner to make sure the products you use to clean your garden and patio are pet safe. If an accident does occur, make sure you recognize the symptoms and act quickly, so that your pet can get the care and medication they need to make a full recovery.

Photo by The Poodle Gang on Unsplash

Camping With Your Dog – Fun, Safety, & More!

Whether its spring, summer, or fall getting back into nature with your dog can be a rewarding experience. Camping is just the change of scenery we all need once in awhile! Campfires, starry nights, swimming, and new smells are a delight to man and beast. Camping can be awesome, but it’s not always as easy as just tossing a tent in the back of your vehicle and hitting the woods – especially if your bringing your dog. Our friends over at Redfin have complied “The Complete Safety Guide for Camping with Dogs”. Here are some of the highlights to get you geared up!

Camping with Fido

  • Prep your dog – Make sure your dog is up to par before taking them out. A young spritely pup will be eager to bounce about the mountains and trails but an older dog may have a hard time keeping up with you. Be sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and is prepared for a potential onslaught of ticks. Your dog is going to encounter lots of aspects of nature they may not be around much at home.
  • Pack for your dog – Don’t forget to bring all the important things you may need for your dog. Make sure your first-aid kit is suitable for both your needs. Check out Redfin for a list of things to include. Leashes are still needed as well as other tether items to help keep your dog in your campsite and not out wrestling bears or snooping around other campers sites. Bring all the things that your pet needs to be comfortable and satisfied!
  • Safe Camping Practices – Keep your dog where you can see them at all times an know what to do in case of emergencies. Lots of interesting smells and new critters can lead a dog to danger quickly! Keep your human food out of their reach, and make sure you know and are following the campsite or park regulations.

Most importantly take it easy and have fun! Prep your pet for camping excursions in small steps! Maybe a night in a tent in the backyard? Then move up to something close and familiar before you hit Yosemite for a week!

photo credit: sonstroem Camp Dog via photopin (license)

5 Great Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

By guest blogger Alexandra Seagal

When many families decide to bring a new dog into their home, they often think of a puppy first. But there is an equally good option found in rescues and shelters all over the country and who is deserving of a loving, forever home.

Senior dogs (dogs over the age of 7) offer so many benefits to potential adopters, yet many people wrongly conclude that older dogs in shelters are there because they are problem dogs. On the contrary, many adult dogs in shelters are there through no fault of their own, but due to a change in the previous owner’s attitude, allergies, or lifestyle changes.

So if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider our…

5 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior

1. Senior dogs already know where to “go”.

Housetraining a puppy takes a significant amount of time, patience, and consistency, and you are bound to deal with accidents and damaged carpets along the way. Those wake-up calls in the early morning hours to race your puppy outside aren’t exactly a thrill either.

Senior dogs are already trained to eliminate outside, so you don’t have to start from square one with them. You can save a lot of time and money replacing furniture and rugs by adopting an older dog.

2. You’ll know about a senior dog’s behavioral and medical history.

Puppies are full of surprises, including being more rambunctious than planned and growing bigger than expected. That often leaves both owner and puppy frustrated at their circumstances.

With older dogs, you will be able to effectively choose a dog who fits with your lifestyle and living conditions. A senior dog’s size, personality, temperament, and activity level are already established; there is no need to guess about the dog at all. Additionally, knowing the dog’s medical background will allow you understand what you’re getting into when you adopt him.

3. Older dogs are already trained but are also willing and able to learn new things.

Training a puppy can involve large chunks of time and practice, not to mention fees associated with any training classes you might enroll your pup in and money spent on dog crates. Puppies are adorable, but puppies pulling on leashes, jumping up on people, not holding a stay command, or not socializing correctly with other dogs are not.

Senior dogs are a ready-made package as they will already know basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.” You can avoid all the work that it takes to train a puppy by adopting an older dog who knows what he’s being asked to do.

This doesn’t mean that seniors are old dogs who can’t learn new tricks; in fact, they are better at learning new commands than puppies. Adult dogs can focus much better on the task at hand, something that puppies struggle to accomplish. Additional training for a senior dog is not only fun for you as an owner, but it also keeps your older canine mentally sharp and agile.

4. Seniors are ready to give you all of their love.

No matter what painful background experiences they’ve had — neglect, abuse, homelessness — dogs are all about living in the moment. They are excellent at forgiving and forgetting.

Whatever they have encountered in their past, whatever emotional or physical scars they carry, they are more than ready to let you into their hearts. All senior dogs want is love, kindness, a good home, and good food, and they will love you forever in return.

5. You’re giving an older dog a second chance.

Older dogs deserve the chance to live out their final years in a loving home surrounded by people who care for them. A crowded, noisy, stressful shelter environment is not the right atmosphere for a senior dog. But sadly, shelters and rescues are full of older dogs, and it takes much longer for seniors to get adopted.

Some shelters are overpopulated and may not have the time to wait for a senior dog to be adopted. Too many of these old pals are euthanized in shelters, while some spend years at rescue facilities waiting for a home. By adopting a senior dog, you are saving his life, literally or figuratively, and your kindness will be repaid by your new dog every day he is with you.

Senior dogs make the best, most loyal companions, so be a hero and adopt a senior dog! His gratitude for a loving owner and a permanent home will be the foundation of a beautiful relationship between you both.

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