Tag: pet sitter

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

Looking for Success in Life? Get Yourself a Pet!

Did you know there are potential links between pet ownership and success? Some of the most successful entrepreneurs today have pets and are making their office spaces pet friendly too! Even the greats of the past like Theodore Roosevelt knew the importance of pets! So, are you looking for another reason to get one? Maybe your future spouse is on the fence about Fido? Let us walk you through all the reasons your pet can make you a success!

How your pet can make you a success!

  • Beat that stress! – Being a success can be stressful! As your business and influence grows, so does your work load. Having a pet can help you manage the workload when you’re in that transition period before your successful enough to delegate some of your duties. Studies have shown that even people who say they don’t like animals experience reduced stress by petting one!
  • They build confidence!  – Everyone needs someone to believe in them, or someone to comfort them after a failure. Your pet will always be happy to see you! Pets often prove to be an emotional “safe-haven” for people. This allows for some recovery time after a blunder and helps people get back on their feet quicker and stronger! These are important skills for success!
  • They build connections! –  This applies more to dog owners than cat owners, but pet ownership has been proven to increase your social skills. Maybe this is because of all those trips to the dog park? Or maybe this is also related to that confidence boost? Either way, pet owners are often more social and better at networking.

Are you worried that the extra responsibility of pet ownership could cancel out these benefits? Consider hiring a pet nanny or dog walker to help keep up with pet duties. That way, you get all the great benefits of animal kinship without all the stress!

 

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA 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!

 

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

Travel Safety With Your Pet – Top Tips!

With March comes Spring and after Spring comes summer! All this good news means you and your pets will be out and about shaking off some cabin fever. Travel safety is second nature for you. You always buckle your seat belt and check your mirrors. If you’re traveling with your pet it’s important you check for their travel safety too!A small, low speed collision can still send your light-weight pet from the front to the rear of your vehicle (or vice versa), causing serious injury.

Pet Travel Safety

Minimize and Secure –  Objects can become dangerous projectiles in an accident. While it may be tempting to just let stuff pile up in your vehicle, this is a safety hazard. Try to minimize what you keep in the front cargo area of your vehicle. Especially heavy or sharp objects that could be dangerous if thrown. If your vehicle has an open trunk area like most SUV’s use straps to secure luggage and other items.

Get a Car Seat or Travel Crate – Yup, they exist. Smaller pets do great in little pet care seats like this one. They are padded and attach to a body harness (be sure you use a body harness and don’t attach to their collar). This keeps them from being tossed around and increases travel safety by keeping them from becoming a distraction for the driver. Travel crates for large pets are also great, but be sure they are properly secured.

Pet Seat Belts – If you’ve got a well behaved pet, consider investing in a pet seat belt. These are secured using the same seat belt hookups already installed in your vehicle and fit around your pet like a body harness. They keep your pet secured in case of accidents or sudden braking and turns.

photo credit: Hanafan Car driver via photopin (license)

Moving + Pets – Stress, The Pet Nanny Guide For Your Move!

How to Move House With Pets Without the Stress

In 2016, 11.2 percent of the American population moved to a new home. Many of these households have at least one pet. Data gathered by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation in 2012 shows that over 80 million Americans have pets. With an approximate of 40 million households moving to a new home each year against the total US population of over 323 million, it is safe to say that many households moving house have at least one dog, cat, bird, or horse. This is why professional pet sitters are called pre-move and during the move itself.

The Moving Process

A good number of homeowners also seek to move house while re-mortgaging their old property. Buy to let mortgages to family members, such as siblings and parents is increasingly becoming popular in the US. This can be due to a son or daughter still working or going to school in the area or other family members wanting to stay in the old home for other reasons.

If you are leaving your old home for a new one, and looking into buy to let mortgages, one thing is for sure – you and your pets will be very stressed out by the move. Whatever the circumstances, moving house with your pets will prove to be challenging.

Stress on Your Dogs or Cats

Moving to a new home is one of life’s most stressful events and this is true even if you are moving from an old house to a palace or when you are moving to a new state or just down the street. There will be so many things on your plate and your pets will know something’s up. After all, they’d keep seeing strangers visiting your house.

By the time that you are already inundated with things that need to get done, your pets’ meal times will vary and they won’t get the attention that you usually give them. Apart from too many strangers visiting your home, a disruption in their schedule will contribute to the stress that they are experiencing..

How to Keep Your Pets at Ease Pre-Move

There are ways for you to reduce your pets’ stress pre-move.One of the most helpful is to stick to their feeding schedule.

For dog owners, it is imperative that you make time for play time because nothing stresses your furry friends more than suddenly being neglected or ignored. You can also take them out of the house whenever you can so that you and your dogs can get away from all that stress even for a bit.

How to Reduce Your Pets’ Stress Levels During the Move

Put their IDs on them and keep their favorite toys and other possessions such as their beds with them. Make sure that you call a pet nanny beforehand so that a professional can take care of your pets while you are busy. This is ideal because the nanny will get them away from the craziness when the movers start getting all of your household items out of the house.

When you are finally in your new home, make sure that you take care of your pets’ needs. Go right back to their routine and play with them even if you have lots of boxes to unpack. Their beds, toys, and other items must be taken out of the box so that they can be reunited with familiar items. It is also advisable to give your pets time to get comfortable in their new home before inviting people over.

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Rabbit Starter Kit – Tips For A Happy Bun!

Did you know that the rabbit population in animal shelters grows every year? Rabbits can be complicated, yet very rewarding pets if you know a few basics beforehand. Before you let that round little rump and those fuzzy paws entice you into an impulse purchase/adoption let us guide you through some of the basics of rabbit ownership!

Rabbits Aren’t Cats or Dogs

It’s important not to treat them as such. They are a very different creature and how you care for them and respect them can be vastly different. Here are a few of the key points you need to be aware of:

  • Rabbits are prey animals, unlike cats or dogs. Their instinct for survival kicks in each time they get spooked and its fairly easy to spook even a familiar rabbit.
  • It’s very important that you let them familiarize themselves with their environment in a quiet and respectful way. You can’t always be quick to scoop them up, or even approach them, if they aren’t used to regular human contact, or are shy.
  • Locate a vet that is trained specifically for rabbits. Cat and dog vets are not necessarily able to treat rabbits so be sure you have one picked out.
  • All pets have different personalities, but rabbits can vary widely. Some are laid back and up for anything, some are stand-offish, even at their best. If you’re adopting, spend time with your rabbit before you commit. Bunnies need forever homes to be truly comfortable, not temporary ones.

Rabbit Supplies

  • Cage/House – Even free-roaming (house tyrants, really) need to have an out-of-the-way bunny specific place that is off limits to you. It’s also important that you have a place you can confine them when doing house projects or when you go out. Rabbits can be dangerously curious and deceptively destructive!
  • Two Litter Boxes – Two are best, one for their cage, one for the house. You may place the litter box where you want, but rabbits frequently will pick their own location and it can be easier to just place the box in the spot they pick.
  • Bunny Litter – Wood chips are fine, but choose Aspen over Pine as pine can be unhealthy for them. Wood pellets and paper are also good choices – Cat litter is a big no-no!
  • Timothy Hay & Pellets – Rabbits should have unlimited access to this delicious hay. They should have a trough in their cage and have access to more while in their litter box. Rabbits are happiest snacking on it while doing their business. Food pellets are also necessary. Choose high quality pellets with lots of vitamins and minerals. Rabbits also love fresh greens like kale, cilantro, spinach, and, as a treat, banana!
  • Grooming supplies – A good, rabbit-specific brush is a must for the shedding season. Good nail clippers are also important.
  • Harness & leash – House bunnies love trips outside! Use a harness with their leash to better protect them and focus on leash training them in the home first, before you venture out. Make sure the space you walk them in is free from predators.
  • Food & Water Supplies – Food and water dishes must be secured. Bunnies are playful critters and anything not secured in their territory is going to get tossed about.

photo credit: Keithius morning chuck via photopin (license)

Travel Season – How to Care For Your Pets!

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

Pet Options For Holiday Travel

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

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

Warm Days Equal Hot Cars – Don’t Leave Pets Unattended!

Warmer temperatures are on the way and as the weather starts to warm up, many pet owners start to bring their pets out while running errands. Often times pet owners think they are doing the right thing by getting their pet out of the house, but it can be extremely harmful for the pets. Pet owners need to think twice before taking their pets on car rides, because of how dangerously hot the inside of a car gets. Within minutes, the heat inside the car can reach hazardous levels – even when it’s relatively cool outside. The following infographic displays information on keeping your pet safe during the warmer weather.

If your pet can’t come in with you on your errands, it’s best to leave them at home!

Pet Safety and Rising Temperatures created by FIGO Pet Insurance

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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.