Tag: pet health care

Flu Season And Your Dog – Know the Risks

When you hear “flu season” you probably think about getting a shot and stepping up your hand washing. Did you know that your dog can get the flu too? And that it spreads from dog to dog just like the human flu spreads from person to person? In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the dog and human flu.

  • It is particularly hard on older dogs and puppies
  • While many times it’s not too serious, it can develop into a severe respiratory infection or even pneumonia and result in death if not treated.
  • Symptoms are the same: sneezing, coughing, fever, lethargy
  • It can be contracted by being exposed to sick dogs or areas where other sick dogs have been

Canine flu seems to be in full swing this year with sixteen states already reporting cases as of July.

The flu can take it’s toll…

Canine flu is very contagious with almost a 100% infection rate in pets exposed to it. Most dogs don’t have pre-existing antibodies and while vaccinations exist, they aren’t always readily available. There are some great steps you can take toward ensuring your pet isn’t infected and caring for them if they are though!

Canine Flu Tips

  • Limit your pet’s exposure to other unknown dogs. Avoid nose bumps and the usual brief sniffing interactions dogs seek out from others while out for walks.
  • Avoid frequenting areas of high pet activity like dog parks, groomers, or kennels.
  • Don’t share toys, food bowls, or water dishes with pets you don’t know.
  • Ask your vet if they offer vaccinations or can recommend a place that does.
  • Keep yourself clean. If you’ve interacted with a friends pet, make sure you wash your hands and change your clothes before you spend time with yours.
  • If you suspect your pet is ill, immediately see your vet and quarantine them and their things from other housepets. Offer plenty of supportive care for your pet. Recovery usually takes 2-3 weeks.

photo credit: lucie silvas:nothing else matters via photopin (lic

Disabled Pet – Tips for Care and Coping

Some pet parent’s choose the less travelled path of taking on a disabled pet. Others may unexpectedly find themselves in that role by an unfortunate accident or simply age. Whether you are a disabled pet parent, plan to be, or may end up as one, we are hoping to provide you some information and resources here to help with the task. Disabled pets often have just the same desires and love for life as any other pet, they just need a little extra care to have the chance to enjoy it! A word of caution though, disabled pets require extra time and money. Do not willingly take on the task unless you are prepared to provide both of these. It’s also always a good idea to have a safety net of funds and a support network should you find your pet becomes disabled in the future.

Caring for a disabled pet

Disabled Pet Basics

  • The first thing pet owners need to know about disabled pets is that animals don’t feel sorry for themselves. Disabilities don’t break their spirit. Don’t make the mistake of euthanising a pet because you feel sorry for them. There are lots of disabilities out there that, with humans help, pets can overcome and live a fulfilling pain-free life.
  • Expect to do things a little differently. Many disabilities make bathroom habits harder to cope with so you may need to make some changes in your home to better accommodate. You may also need to make areas of your home handicap accessible, and be more attentive and available than you once did.
  • Find a support group. A quick googling can lead you to many websites that host forums allowing other disabled pet owners to discuss the struggles and successes of caregiving. Having a supportive community of people who understand and can help answer questions can make a big difference in  your ability to cope. Some groups can even direct you toward charities that help cover the cost of disabled pet care.

photo credit: Dog Wheelchair – Boxer can Walk and Play Again! via photopin (license)

Pet Care As Your Companion Ages – Signs and What to Do

Pet care evolves throughout each furry critters life-span. Just like with humans, the way you care for a baby is different from that of an adult or elderly pet. Do you know how to properly care for your pet at the different stages in their life?

The unique pet care required for young animals seems to be well taught. Pet owners are quick to provide soft and easily digested foods for those that are recently weaned. Many also understand that growing pets need extra nutrients and plenty of play time to develop a strong body. Vaccinations and wormers are also all musts. As they approach adulthood, pet care often becomes more standardized unless you have a pet with special needs. In most cases, it consists simply of a nutritious feeding twice a day with plenty of fresh water and daily exercise.

Pet Care for Aging Companions

What about pet care for aging pets though? Unfortunately, this often gets overlooked for a multitude of reasons. It’s easy to forget that your pet ages a lot faster than you and will likely enter their golden years long before you. When your pet does begin to need specialized care it’s not always obvious. Maybe you’re too busy or distracted to notice the subtle struggles your pet is undergoing? Be sure to take note of some simple signs and know how to care for your pet accordingly.

Aging Pet Care Tips

Talk to your vet – It sounds obvious but if you’re less than prompt about those yearly check-ups and only hit the vets office when something is clearly amiss, you may not realize your pets true age. Talking to your vet about when you should start looking to change up your pets nutrition and habits is a great way to stave off those symptoms of age and ensure your pets continued comfort.

Notice your pet’s energy levels – Are they ready for a rest much sooner than usual? Do they act languid before their old play routine is over? Take note of your pet’s energy levels and adjust play time accordingly. Note that this doesn’t mean stop playing with your pet – just play with them differently. Shorten their walking circuit. Shrink their play space so their toys aren’t so spread out. Take them for shorter but more frequent frolics. Essentially know their limits and cater to them accordingly.

Watch their eating and bathroom habits – As pets age, they sometimes need softer food that is easy to digest just like young animals do. If you find they are eating less or seem to have trouble chewing try switching foods. Additionally, if your pet has always had good bathroom habits but lately they seem prone to accidents or going outside their box or “zone” you may need to make adjustments. If your cat uses a litter box try getting one with a lower entry point for easier access. If your dog waits to go outside try introducing puppy pads so there is a safe place for them to go in the house in case they can’t hold it.

Test for nutritional deficiencies – Some pets will experience hair loss and vision or hearing problems. In most cases, the level of pet care you provide will be limited to simply trying to make their life with the disability easier. Some of these problems can be lessened or slowed by correcting nutritional deficiencies associated with age. Consider having your pet checked regularly as they age.

 

 

Treats and Snacks Made at Home – Pet Recipes!‏

Whether you’re a picky pet parent or just like baking and trying out new recipes, homemade pet snacks are where it’s at! There are so many advantages to making your pets treats at home. You get to know exactly what your pet is eating and get to control the quality of what goes in. Does your pet need a boost on certain nutrients? You can make sure the snacks double as a multivitamin too! No need to worry about weird toxins from China or any of those other horror stories you see on the news.

No matter what kind of pet you have, there is a treat recipe out there just waiting to be baked! The Kitchn has an excellent list of nine top doggie treat recipes across the internet. Theirs is one of our favorites though because no dog will shun it and it’s super easy to make!

Homemade Doggie Treats

Makes 2 dozen treats
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup melted bacon fat
1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix by hand until dough forms. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add more bacon fat or water if the dough is too stiff.

Roll out onto a floured surface, to a thickness of just under 1/2-inch. Cut into 1×4-inch bars and transfer to a cookie sheet. Poke divots into the bars (I use the end of a chopstick) and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the oven off, flip the bars, and place back in the oven until cool (this will further crisp them).

Treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Joy the Baker has a great recipe for Salmon and Oat cat treats sure to get you a few purrs.

Got a pet bird or just want to enjoy watching the wild ones? Make one of the easiest treats around! So easy it’s a common kid activity. Roll a pine cone or even cardboard tube in peanut butter and then roll it through some bird seed! Hang it in your pet’s cage or outside a window and watch the enjoyment. Want to make it even more of a treat? Try adding a few pieces of dried fruit to the seed mix!

Bunny or Guinea Pig owner? Try Katie’s Smack Snacks! A delightful blend of carrots, oats, banana, and parsley no little critter can resist. We’ve made these with kale instead of parsley too and they go over just as well!

Bunnies do tricks for treats!

Do you have your own homemade treat blend? Share it with us!

photo credit: Will stand for treats via photopin (license)

photo credit: 24/365 Treat’s On Its Way via photopin (license)

Snakes, Spiders, & Bees – Summer Dangers For Your Pet‏

Pets see the world from a whole different perspective than us humans do. Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, ferret, rabbit or other fuzzy friend, they are all prone to sticking their snouts in places we’d never dare to shove our hand! Due to their curious, exploratory natures most pets are in danger during the summer months from snakes, spiders, and bees. Depending on your pet and with which critter the encounter was with, some could be very serious!

Pets are often overly curious of snakes!

Snakes

While there is no database for keeping records on how many pets get bit by snakes each year, most pet owners have heard of at least one pet that has suffered a bite. Like humans, with proper care bites of snakes often aren’t lethal. It is important to remember that they can be and to take all the necessary precautions if you suspect your pet has been bitten. The most lethal snakes for most pets include the Copperhead, Cotton Mouth, Rattlesnakes, and Eastern Coral Snakes. Try to be mindful of your pets wanderings and keep them where you can see them and the area they are in clearly. Cotton Mouths like to be around water while the Copperheads and Rattlesnakes like leaf litter and rocks. If your pet gets bit do your best to stay calm and identify the snake from a safe distance. If you can tie something above the wound to help slow the spread of the venom, do so. Not too tight though. Get your pet to the vet as soon as possible! Always be on the lookout for swelling and changes in behavior in case your pet is a bit when you’re not around.

Spiders

Spider bites are tricky business when it comes to pets since they are much harder to detect and there is almost no way for a vet to confirm that is what your pet is suffering from. Fortunately, unlike with snakes, it’s a bit harder for a spider to get its fangs through most animal fur coats. Usually when the spider bites do occur, they are on the nose or other area where there is little to no fur. The most dangerous spiders in America for pets are the same for humans – Brown Recluses and Black Widows. Spider bites in pets often appear as a swollen area that your pet will frequently lick. Other symptoms vary based on the spider variety, but be very concerned if a lesion developed (brown recluse) or your pet starts having difficulty coordinating and begins breathing heavily (black widow). Emergency vet care is needed in both cases to treat the symptoms, preventing them from becoming life threatening

Bees

Snakes and spiders may be more obvious threats than bees. They should not be discounted though, as a bee sting can be very serious in some pets, especially smaller ones. Also, unlike snakes and spiders, bees can be prone to attack very large numbers stinging their victims multiple times. Most pets are usually stung on the nose or the paws. In case of a basic bee sting be sure to inspect the area and make sure the bee did not leave a stinger in the wound that is still distributing venom. You can then help reduce swelling by using a cold compress. Your pet may not need emergency care, but be sure to monitor them. If the swelling becomes excessive or your pet starts having difficulty breathing, get them to the vet. Otherwise, you may just call your vet, explain the situation and they can recommend a dosage size of Benadryl based on your pet type and size. If your pet is swarmed, get them to the vet as soon as possible as multiple stings can be life threatening in most animals. Be especially wary of ground hornets who build their nests on the same level as your pets!

Make sure you know how to identify the dangerous species of snakes and spiders where you live and that you know how to detect bites and care for them. Not knowing what to do in an emergency situation could cost your pet it’s life.

photo credit: P3183255 via photopin (license)
photo credit: they found a really big spider via photopin (license)

 

Tick Diseases In Your Pet – How To Spot Them

With the first day of summer just over a month away, in some parts of the country tick season is well underway. Spring is an especially vulnerable time for pets as pet owners who let flea and tick prevention lapse over the winter may fail to pick it back up again in time to prevent those first few tick bites of the season. Aside from being an irritant to you and your pet, ticks carry all sorts of deadly diseases that are easily transmitted to you or your pet. Do you know what the diseases are and how to spot the symptoms in your pets?

Identify Ticks here:

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ticks/article_em.htm

Common Tick Diseases and their Symptoms

  • Lyme Disease- A particularly deadly tick disease that may be hard to spot in pets until well after they have been infected. The main symptom is a general malaise in your pet. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and lameness in one or more legs are all earmarks of this very serious sickness. If your pet is exhibiting these symptoms and you have any reason to believe they may have suffered a tick bite within the last few months, be sure to as your vet to test them.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever (RMSF) – This sickness is typically carried by what is commonly known as the “dog tick” and can result in pretty severe sickness for at least a couple weeks, sometimes resulting in death. Don’t let the name of this disease fool you either while it is more frequent in the Rocky Mountain states, it has been found country-wide. Symptoms in pets for this tick disease include stiffness and/or difficulty walking due to neurological effects, blood in the urine or nose bleeds, swelling of the limbs, and lethargy. This sickness usually results in pet hospitalization and treatment.
  • Anaplasmosis – This disease comes from the same ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. There are actually two different variations of anaplasmosis with similar symptoms. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, nose bleeds, and high fever. If your pet tests positive for this tick disease, it can be treated with antibiotics and your pet should start improving in 2-4 days!
  • Ehrlichiosis – This tick disease can vary in severity, affecting your pet’s quality of life for a few weeks, months, or even years. In very severe cases, pets may require blood transfusions. Symptoms include weight loss, pain in joints, depression, coughing, vomiting, and fever.

What better reason do you need to stay on top of your pets flea and tick prevention this year? Ticks don’t limit themselves to dogs or cats either. Any pet that spends time outside should be treated regularly. Be sure to use treatment specific to your pet though. What works for dogs can be very dangerous for rabbits or ferrets!

Some tick-borne illness can affect humans too so keeping your pet tick free ensures the health of the whole family! Remember, if your pet is acting out of the ordinary always be sure to have your vet consider these tick borne illnesses before the disease is allowed to progress into something very, very serious!

Adopt A Shelter Pet – What Steps Do You Need To Take?

If you and your family are looking to adopt a new pet for your home, you’re likely going to start at your local pet shelter. Some people can be a bit surprised when they get to the shelter and find out that pet adoption has more steps than just choosing the pet that’s right for you and taking it home. Before you head to the shelter, be sure you know what you need to do and have before you adopt!

How to adopt a shelter pet

  • Talk to the people at the shelter – The people at the shelter are the ones who have spent the most time with each individual animal and know their personalities. Before you adopt talk with the people who take care of the animals about your family and lifestyle. Do you like to do outdoors activities or are you, more homebodies? Do you have small children or other pets in the house? These people can help guide you to the pets best suited to your family’s lifestyle making the bonding process a breeze for both your family and the new pet!
  • Don’t rush! – Just because you’ve decided to get a pet doesn’t mean that you have to leave with one on your first trip to a shelter. Spend time with the pets you are considering and get to know them. Some shelters will let you take dogs on a walk and spend some one-on-one or family time with the pet you are considering.
  • Bring your paperwork – Shelters like to make sure that when someone comes to adopt a pet they are doing so with the best intentions for the animal and are prepared for the commitment. Make sure to have a photo ID with you and your current address. If you’re a renter, some shelters may require that you have a copy of your lease agreement or written permission from your landlord that you are allowed to have pets. These precautions help ensure that the pet is moving into a lasting and stable environment instead of an impulse adoption that will end up on their doorstep in a week or two again.
  • Bring Money – Shelters are not a free place to adopt a pet. They have to cover the expenses associated with operating, and some shelters will spay/neuter, and vaccinate the pets when they first come in. Be sure that you are prepared for the expense required bringing your pet home.
  • Ask for your new pets medical history – While some shelters will spay/neuter or vaccinate pets, not all do. Make sure you know what medical treatment your pet has had, and what services it may need. It’s often best to plan on a vet check-up shortly after you adopt regardless of your pets known history.

Why should you adopt a pet instead of buying a new one from a breeder or pet shop? Pet shelters are often overwhelmed with abandoned pets missing their homes and a loving family. Breeders breed pets to meet demand while shelters try to find homes for already existing pets in need of love.

 

Adopt A Shelter Pet – What Steps Do You Need To Take?

If you and your family are looking to adopt a new pet for your home, you’re likely going to start at your local pet shelter. Some people can be a bit surprised when they get to the shelter and find out that pet adoption has more steps than just choosing the pet that’s right for you and taking it home. Before you head to the shelter, be sure you know what you need to do and have before you adopt!

How to adopt a shelter pet

  • Talk to the people at the shelter – The people at the shelter are the ones who have spent the most time with each individual animal and know their personalities. Before you adopt talk with the people who take care of the animals about your family and lifestyle. Do you like to do outdoors activities or are you, more homebodies? Do you have small children or other pets in the house? These people can help guide you to the pets best suited to your family’s lifestyle making the bonding process a breeze for both your family and the new pet!
  • Don’t rush! – Just because you’ve decided to get a pet doesn’t mean that you have to leave with one on your first trip to a shelter. Spend time with the pets you are considering and get to know them. Some shelters will let you take dogs on a walk and spend some one-on-one or family time with the pet you are considering.
  • Bring your paperwork – Shelters like to make sure that when someone comes to adopt a pet they are doing so with the best intentions for the animal and are prepared for the commitment. Make sure to have a photo ID with you and your current address. If you’re a renter, some shelters may require that you have a copy of your lease agreement or written permission from your landlord that you are allowed to have pets. These precautions help ensure that the pet is moving into a lasting and stable environment instead of an impulse adoption that will end up on their doorstep in a week or two again.
  • Bring Money – Shelters are not a free place to adopt a pet. They have to cover the expenses associated with operating, and some shelters will spay/neuter, and vaccinate the pets when they first come in. Be sure that you are prepared for the expense required bringing your pet home.
  • Ask for your new pets medical history – While some shelters will spay/neuter or vaccinate pets, not all do. Make sure you know what medical treatment your pet has had, and what services it may need. It’s often best to plan on a vet check-up shortly after you adopt regardless of your pets known history.

Why should you adopt a pet instead of buying a new one from a breeder or pet shop? Pet shelters are often overwhelmed with abandoned pets missing their homes and a loving family. Breeders breed pets to meet demand while shelters try to find homes for already existing pets in need of love.

 

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!
photo credit: Es wälzt sich gut in Leipzig via photopin (license)

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.

 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

We take pride in making your pets' well being a priority while you are away from home.

"Carol was very loving and attentive to Chance and Nina. She went out of her way to stay in touch and respond to communications while we were gone. She was cheerfully accommodating when we changed plans for our return date. We are completely satisfied with your service and will be using you again."

Read more reviews

© Copyright Pet Nanny. All Rights Reserved. | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

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.