Tag: pet health

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

Kids Growing Up With Pets – Here’s Why Its Good!

Have your kids been pestering you to get them a pet? Have you been pondering over the decision for quite some time now? Then it is time you to act! To help you with your decision here is a beautiful infographic that will explain all about the benefits of children growing up with pets. Having a pet along with young children can be an added responsibility for you, but consider the lifetime of benefits that your children will get by adding a cute, happy, playful, loyal, protective, watchful, sensitive, and loving entity to your family! How many reasons do you need to make the leap? How about 25!

Several types of research have been conducted, and are going to be conducted in the future, regarding the various benefits that kids get by having a pet at home. Some of the important conclusions that these studies have come up with are; the kids who grow up with pets have increased levels of immunity, they learn their responsibilities early in their life. They are also often happier than those without pets. They learn to respect other beings. These children will also be more active and pet ownership helps in keeping serious diseases such as heart conditions and obesity at bay. There are many more advantages, please check out this infographic from Top Dog Tips to get the full details.

25 Reasons Kids Should Have Pets!

 

Flood Tips To Protect Your Pet This Spring

While the saying is “April showers bring May flowers,” sometimes those rains get here a little sooner than expected. Melting snow and ice from winter mixed with heavy spring rains make this time of year a flood risk for most. Whether its spring rains or you live in an area effected by hurricane season, you need a flood plan for you and your pet. Every time this kind of disaster strikes shelters are filled with abandoned or lost pets. Don’t let this happen to you and your pet – have an action plan!

Flood Tips For You & Your Pet

  • Evacuation Plans – Have an evacuation plan. That means both knowing how to get out and where you are going. Ensure that the “where” is pet friendly, as are your travel accommodations. This is the best way to ensure you and your pet’s safety. Expect evacuation to move slowly and be chaotic. Don’t wait till the last minute to get to safety.
  • Watch Weather Reports – Many areas will be in a flash flood watch for several days before a flood. This usually means that the ground is already saturated and heavy rains are predicted. If you stay aware of the weather reports and know how water builds around your home, you should have a good radar about when you need to take action.
  • Have An Emergency Pet Kit – Keep an emergency bag packed for your pet. This should include things like leashes, food, water, medicine, comfort items or treats, and anything else your specific pet may require. First aid kits are always a good idea too!
  • Ask Kennels About Emergency Plans – If you’re traveling out of town and have to board your pet be sure to ask about emergency plans. Good pet borders should have reasonable plans for protecting your pets in case of a natural disaster.
  • Tag Your Pet – If you and your pet do become separated speed up your reunion by making sure they have a collar with your contact information on it. Microchips are also a great idea in case they end up in a shelter.

The best plan is to have a plan and stay aware of your conditions!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Dog Flu Season- What You Need To Know!

When we hear the flu season is upon us we stock up on hand sanitizer and vitamin C. Did you know that there is an equally dangerous strain of the flu that effects dogs and cats? Would you know how to detect it? Let us help you out with a little dog flu 101 to get you through the rest of this trying season!

Dog Flu 101

  • Get the shot – Even if you aren’t big on getting the flu shot for yourself, ask your vet about getting a flu shot for your pet!
  • Know the symptoms – Think your pet’s having an off day? Notice lethargy and sneezing? Check your pet’s temperature. If it’s high and pointing toward a fever call to discuss options with your vet.
  • Limit their exposure – Pet Nanny’s sure can come in handy during the dog flu season. We save you from having to board your pet and can help supplement dog park time with extra walks. Try to keep your pet around animals you know.
  • Quarantine – If you have multiple pets (this includes cats too!) and one starts to exhibit symptoms, try to keep them away from your other critters to keep it from spreading and increasing that vet bill!

Most importantly, don’t stress too much. Most likely your pet will be fine, and dog flu is not communicable to humans (and vice versa) so feel free to give them some extra love and make sure they get rest and you keep their temperature down. Once you know the steps for prevention, how to spot it, and what to do then you’ve already conquered most of the danger! Spring will be here before you know it!

photo credit: Anne Davis 773 via photopin (license)

Mental Health & Wellbeing of Pet Ownership!

The Benefits of Pets for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our pets are often some of our best friends and very much a part of our families – in fact, 90% of owners think of their pets as family members! They offer us love and affection when we need it the most, so it’s perhaps no surprise that spending time with them can really benefit your mental health. With 1 in 4 people now experiencing mental health problems like anxiety and depression each and every year, pets can be a brilliant source of comfort and emotional support.

There are plenty of reasons why this is the case:

  • Pet owners, especially those with dogs, get on average far more exercise than those without pets. Going outside and getting exercise has been proven to elevate mental health!
  • Pets help you be more social! Whether it’s at training classes, during a trip to the vet’s or even just when walking your dog, pet-owners find they meet lots of people they already have something in common with.
  • Perhaps most importantly, pets are amazing companions and are always there when we need them. There’s nothing better than a much needed cuddle when you’re down!

If you’d like to learn more about the ways that pets can improve your mental health, take a look at this infographic created by the Animal Health Company

 

About the author Sasha Quinn is a content writer for Animal Health Company, a supplier of canine and equine health, hygiene and grooming products.

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:

How To Keep Your Canine Cozy in the Cold Months

Cozy Canine in the Cold Months

Ok, so we can all agree that Rudolph is a pretty cute reindeer, but your precious pooches definitely shouldn’t be sporting the ‘red nose’ look this fall/winter. It’s just not fetching! As it gets colder, and the bathing suits go back to the closet to collect dust, special care must be taken when keeping your canine warm. So grab something pumpkin spice related, put your feet up because we’re here to show you how you can keep your pup cozy by the fire and what to look out for to keep them out of harms way.

Never…

Never ever leave your dog in the car! This one is a given, but sometimes we need a reminder that, even though we’re in a rush to get Kristen’s birthday cake at the last minute, it’s never a good idea to leave your dog in the car in the meantime. And this applies in the winter too, as the car can get very cold, very quickly, and your poor pup could be exposed to hypothermia or frostbite. Also make sure that, apart from walks, your dog is not spending too much time outside and when they are inside, make sure the house is a comfortable temperature.

Try…

Dog sweaters! This one is a little controversial, but it’s generally harmless as long as the dog is not wearing them for too long, the material is comfortable and it fits well. If you’re on a budget, then knitting your dog jumpers is a great way to save the cash and add a personal touch. This is extra fun in the holiday season and they even make great gifts! There is a whole host of options available to you online, for all budgets. So get shopping if you don’t want to end up with a chilly canine.

Do…

Check your dog’s temperature when necessary and add more protein into their diet as it gets colder. As with yourself, maintaining normal body temperature is paramount to their health and safety – if it drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit then they are at serious risk and you must take them to the vet immediately. You can buy digital thermometers to help keep track of this (make sure they do not contain mercury) but the main thing is to keep the house at a consistent, and safe, temperature. That’s why wall mounted fireplaces tick all the boxes. They are easy to use, easy on the eyes, and safer for your dogs. This is because you can control their temperature a lot easier than you could with a traditional fire. This way, your pup isn’t at risk of overexposure to the heat, or from getting too close to a flame. So why not keep it cosy, and stylish of course, with a fireplace this winter!

Don’t hesitate to hire yourself a Pet Nanny to check in on pets during the cold months too!

Look out for…

Hypothermia and painful frostbite. After a walk, make sure to brush off any ice or water left on your canine’s coat or you run the risk of them getting ill. If your poor pup has been outside too long or the house a little too cold, then look out for the following signs and act quickly:
Anxious behavior
Non-stop shivering
Looks for warm places around the house
Seems weak
Stops moving or slows down dramatically
As long as you think of your dog’s well-being as you would your own, they’ll be happy as a pup!

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

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)

Hot Car – A Year Round Threat to Your Pet

Don’t let the changing trees and cool fall breeze fool you. With summer winding down, many pet owners may think it’s okay to leave their pet in the car for “just a few minutes”. Did you know that the temperature in your car rises the most in the first ten minutes of being parked in the sun? “Quick trips” in somewhere will have little effect on how hot your pet becomes. Here is a quick overview of how the temperature in your car changes after being parked:

How Hot Will Your Car Get?

  • The First 10 Minutes: The temperature increases between 10-20 degrees.
  • The First 30 Minutes: The temperature is increasing by an average of over one degree per minute. A car parked in the sun on a 75 degree day will heat up to approximately 105 degrees during a 30 minutes time frame.
  • The First Hour: The temperature inside is, on average, 43 degrees hotter than it is outside.

Sure, cracking a window can help, but only so much. Studies have shown on an 85 degree day, with the windows cracked, interior temperatures still reached 102 degrees in 10 minutes! That’s mighty toasty, especially if you’ve got a fur coat on!

We know it can be hard to leave your pet at home when they give you those eyes and look dejected… Trust us though, a sad pet at home is better than a heat stressed (or worse) pet along for the ride.

 

Thanks to Fred Beans of West Chester for the helpful infographic!

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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.