Tag: pet sitter

Pet House Repairs – ‘Tis the Season!

Do you need to do some pet house repairs? We may be in the heat of summer but that cold weather is right around the corner! Now’s the time to assess your pets living situation (especially if it’s outdoors!) and make sure that their home is up to snuff for all the environmental challenges of the changing seasons. Here are some tips to make sure your pet is warm and cozy this coming fall!

Pet House Repairs

  • Assess the space around the pet house. Sometimes limbs may need trimming to prevent a falling hazard during ice or heavy winds. Do they have enough shade for summer or a wind break for winter?
  • Make sure the home is tight! Some pet houses will be fiberglass, some will be wood, and others plastic. Inspect the house for cracks and make sure the roof is solid with no leaks! Go a step further and make sure the pet house door isn’t facing the bitter north wind!
  • Check for hazards! If you have a heated floor for your pet, ensure that it’s in good condition with no exposed wires or dangerous wear. Also, make sure there are no jagged edges, exposed nails, or anything else that could harm your pet.
  • Make sure it’s dry. Ensure that moisture doesn’t pool under, in, or around the house. If it does, look into drainage options or relocating it all together. Furthermore, do a quick mold inspection and make sure that pet house is dry with good ventilation.
  • Replace the bedding. Make sure that your pet has fresh clean bedding regularly, especially in the winter. Hay is a great insulator, cheap, and good to stock up on!
  • Dress it up a little! Give it a new (non-toxic) paint job, plant some greenery around it (unless you’ve got a digger) and add a cute nameplate!

 

photo credit: full view of custom dog house via photopin (license)

Wedding Bells & Furry Tails – Including Your Dog!

With everything in bloom and the beautiful weather, late Spring and early Summer are peak season for outdoor weddings! Pet-friendly venues give an opportunity for the wedding party and guests to include their furry companions. The hustle and bustle of the big day can make it easy to overlook some considerations if you intend on having your dog in (or attending) your wedding. Read through these tips to make it a great day for you AND your pet!

Wedding Tips for Dogs

  • Consider the outfit – Not yours silly, your dogs! Whether it’s an actual outfit or just a festive collar its super important to make sure that your pet is comfortable. You don’t want to wait till the wedding day to find out that they hate it and tear and pull at it constantly. Pick something that fits them well and isn’t too hot, then have them wear it around the house in the days leading up to the event. This will help them feel comfortable and prevent and “faux paws”.
  • Have a Pet Nanny – Make sure that you have either hired or that someone in your wedding party is acting as the “Pet Nanny”. You’re going to be far too busy and distracted to keep up with your pet and make sure they are taken care of. Someone will need to dress them, pick up after them, and make sure they are fed and watered!
  • Keep them in their comfort zone – If your pet is anti-social, has anxiety, can be territorial reconsider including them. A wedding is often an occasion of high activity, with lots of loud and unfamiliar sounds and faces. If your pet isn’t a social butterfly, think twice before subjecting them to so much stimulation.
  • Know the dangers – Be sure to keep your pet out of the reception area where they may end up snacking on dropped foods. Keep your pets safety in mind when choosing your flowers and decorations as some plants are poisonous and some decorations can be choking hazards, if you got yourself a chewer!
  • Be mindful of guests – Make it known that your pooch will be part of the wedding party. Some guests with allergies may need to make special arrangments.

photo credit: Novios y su mascota via photopin (license)

April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Would you know how to administer first aid to your pet in an emergency? Do you even have emergency numbers quickly accessible? You don’t need to have an accident prone pet to realize it’s just good policy to make sure that you’ve got an action plan in case of an emergency! This April, take some time to brush up on what you need to have and know – your pet’s counting on you!

Pet First Aid Refresher Tips

  • Get the App! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a First Aid app just for pets? It provides helpful information for both dog and cat owners in emergency and disaster situations!
  • Update your Pet First Aid Kit! Don’t have one? Get/Make one now! You should check your pet first aid kit annually to ensure that all the supplies are still properly packaged, any medications are not out of date, and nothing has leaked. If you don’t have one, this needs to be on your must list! There are a wide array of pre-packaged kits out there for sale. Bump those store bought ones up against this list from the Humane Society to make sure it includes everything you need. Or, use that list to make your own! Be sure to include comfort items for your pet too!
  • Know the basics! It’s apt that April is pet first aid month since Spring means more time outdoors for everyone! It also means that pets are at a higher risk for being victims of the native flora and fauna. Know what plants to keep your pets away from, and what to do in case of snake bites, bee stings, etc.
  • Vaccinations! Check your vet records to ensure your pets vaccinations are all up to date! This includes wormers, flea and tick prevention, dog flu, and rabies!
  • Check those emergency numbers!  Maybe you’ve changed vets? Or moved to a new location? Make sure that the numbers for both your regular vet and the nearest animal hospital are still accurate and quickly accessible for the whole family!

Don’t forget to share your emergency contacts and details about your first aid kit with any pet sitters you hire!
photo credit: Link’s Check-Up via photopin (license)

 

 

Traveling With Your Pet In Tow!

Spring Break is right around the corner and so is traveling! Whether you’ve got a road trip planned or are waiting for summer, there are a lot of awesome pet-accommodating services out there ready to make your trip with pet in tow a breeze! But how will you know how to find them? Which hotels allow pets? What about vet offices if your pet gets sick while traveling? Fortunately, for the traveling pet owner of the future (being now) there are websites dedicated to nothing more than letting you know about all these wonderful things and more!

Websites To Ease Traveling With Your Pet

Petfriendlytravel.com – Aptly named, this website allows you to pick a state and city, then shows you all the pet-friendly accommodations you have to choose from!

Pettravel.com – For the international pet, this website takes traveling seriously. They share airline policies for flying with pets, information on pet passports, checklists, hotels, insurance. They also offer tips about pet safety, a travel store, and so, so much more! A great resource!

Gopetfriendly.com – Here you can choose the state your traveling to or through and see top pet-friendly destinations. They are just listed here though, Each location includes a description of the area and experience by the curators of the site! If you’re not happy just trusting the term “pet-friendly” on a listing, hearing actual experiences at Gopetfriendly.com is the place for you!

bringfido.com – This site is also a good location for international traveling or even temporary relocation. They help you find pet-friendly apartments, condos, pet sitters, kennels, grooming, restaurants, attractions, shopping and more! What a list!

Petswelcome.com – This site lets you search both in specific cities, but also within a radius of it. If your traveling to Denver, CO, but aren’t looking for in-the-city accommodations, Petswelcome.com is a great option! They also offer a collection of informative articles to help you and your pet traverse the globe worry free!

Tell us about your favorite resources for vacationing with your pet, share pictures, and help us grow the pet-friendly world! Check out these helpful tips for flying with your pet too!

Pet Odor Tacklers – Tough Stuff!

There’s no having a pet without eventual pet odor. Even the cleanest pets can offend our senses from time to time. Tackling pet odor is an age old past time (I bet even the Egyptians tried!). Methods, formulas, and tricks vary from pet to pet and different owners styles. Check out our list of awesome tips for the battle!

Pet Odor Be Gone!

Prevention – The most effective step is to nix pet odor before it begins! If you’ve got a kitty be sure to scoop frequently! Like, as soon as there is something to scoop if you can. Change the litter weekly and each time you do, give it a wash with some hot water and soap. It’s a good idea to replace the box annually to as plastics can retain odors… Rabbit litter boxes don’t need scooped multiple times a day, but you should change their woodchips our daily and give the box a rinse! They key to prevention is making the pet maintenance a daily habit. For some pets, like dogs though frequently do their bathroom habits outside, odor sort of finds them regardless. If you think your dog doesn’t smell, just send them out into the rain for a bit! Regular baths are a big help, but in some situations, even the most diligent pet owners are going to end up with pet odor. So, let’s see how to fight it!

 

Natural Products – If you’re a pet parent who likes to take a natural approach to those pesky smells in the carpet or on the furniture, you’re in luck! The product lines for natural pet care have grown exponentially over the last decade! Most of these products use natural enzymes to break down the source of the odor, getting rid of it entirely!  Products like Odormute  and Sunny & Honey  are two great options!

DIY – There are tons of do-it-yourself methods out there for pet odor removal. Most of them contain varying amounts of vinegar (no, the vinegar smell usually doesn’t linger), baking soda, hydrogen peroxide (don’t let your pets get into a bottle of this!), and citrus. This site here as three recipes for pet odor eliminators made out of common household items!

Top In Its Class – Angry Orange Pet Odor Neutralizer. This stuff is industrial strength and it means business! If you’ve got multiple pets this might be the stuff for you. It was designed for the farm industry and is a favorite for kennels.

Have your own fool-proof product or recipe? Share it with us!

photo credit: the latest in kitty television via photopin (license)

Valentine’s Day – How Your Pet Shows Their Love

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

Signs of Pet Love this Valentine’s Day

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pets for Christmas? Things To Consider Before You Gift‏

Pet Shelters often start to fill up after the holiday’s when not so well thought out plans of giving pets for Christmas turn into family burdens. As advocates for responsible pet ownership and pet adoption vs purchasing we wanted to send a few reminders out as the shopping season kicks off.

Think Before You Give Pets For Christmas

Don’t fall victim to the “picture-perfect” holiday – It’s tempting to want to create an ideal Christmas morning for your family. A puppy with a bow around its neck sets the perfect scene. Remember to think past the bow this year and focus on the practicality of helping your child care for a puppy/dog in the long term. Pets for Christmas always seems like a great idea until the New Year rolls around…
Pets are like humans – Humans aren’t the only creatures capable of forming bonds. When you take a pet into your home there is an emotional connection felt by the animal. Just because you’re ready to take your pet to the shelter after it’s peed on the rug for the 100th time, doesn’t mean it’s ready to be sent away. Have a family discussion about the responsibilities before you commit to any pets for Christmas!

Pets for Christmas?

Pets aren’t like humans – Unlike people you can’t explain a situation and expect them to understand. As the creature greater of a higher intellectual capacity, it is your responsibility to learn how to communicate and teach your pet. Don’t abandon them for your failings and don’t bring one home unless your willing to put forth this effort.
Look into rehoming before you go to the shelter – Circumstances change and sometimes through no fault of our own pets just can’t fit into our lives any longer. Before you take your pet down to the local shelter put forth some effort to rehome your pet yourself. Rehomeyourpets.com is a great website that allows you to connect with people in your area looking for a pet! This process is so much easier on your pet than going through a shelter. They leave one home for another and you get to meet the people who will be adopting your pet!
Don’t go to a pet shop for a purebred! – If your heart is set on a purebred or designer dog, don’t think that pet shops are the only places to find them. 25% of all dogs in shelters fall under this category.

Thanksgiving Scraps and Your Pet‏

As Thanksgiving fast approaches family visits and meal plans are being laid out all across America! Most family meals for Thanksgiving are composed of “traditional fair” and can be found in almost any home. During a time of celebration and goodwill it’s easy to want to share your good spirits and fortune with your pet too. Just what is a treat or a toxin for your pet amongst those leftovers though? Let us break it down for you!

What to share and what to spare this Thanksgiving!

Are These Thanksgiving Treats Pet Safe?

  • Turkey – Turkey is a great holiday treat for your pet! Just remember to be smart about it. If your pet is watching their waistline be sure to stick to light meat instead of dark. For safety be sure to remove any bones too. They can be a choking hazard or get lodged in a pet’s GI tract.
  • Stuffing – Skip the stuffing when it comes time for pet treats. Most all stuffing (even the boxed mix) will contain garlic and/or onions which aren’t good for pets. Most recipes also contain lots of butter and fats.
  • Green Bean Casserole – Absolutely not! For many of the same reasons with the stuffing – the onions and fats. If your pet is hanging around the kitchen while your cooking though, feel free to toss them a green bean or two though!
  • Pumpkin Pie – Not the best option for a pet treat. Sugar is never good for a pet. If you just can’t stand the idea of your pet going without a dessert, consider a very small amount of cool whip – or make your own pet treats!
  • Cranberry Sauce – Skip it, especially if it has other ingredients mixed in like raisins or nuts – both of which are harmful to pets.
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy– If it’s just plain mashed potatoes with a simple pan gravy then it’s just a matter of fats and your pet’s waistline. If your family likes to toss in chives, garlic, or onions though, keep it above the table top!
  • Dinner Roles – Feel free to toss unbuttered rolls to your pet! If your recipe contains sugar though, keep it to a minimum!
  • Sweet Potatoes – Plain sweet potatoes can be a great treat for your pet! Some people even like to dehydrate them as pet treats! If you’re making them candied or into a casserole with marshmallows, sugar, or nuts, avoid this entirely! Though fully expect them to give you “the eyes”.
  • Deviled Eggs – Eggs are generally fine for pets. In fact some pet owners like to mix egg into pet food one a week to increase coat shine. The many additions that can go into deviled eggs may cause belly upset though. Use your knowledge of your pet’s eating habits and your recipe to determine if one would be okay!

Before the hubbub of the feast try to let guests know (especially children) if they share with your pet. If keeping an eye on everything is too much for you consider confining your pet to a separate room during meal time. This will allow you to be the one to divvy out treats during clean up so you know exactly what your pets getting into!

photo credit: All for me via photopin (license)

Halloween Safety Tips For Your Pet

No matter what your plans are for Halloween this year, it’s time to start thinking about pet safety! Whether you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the holiday or try to avoid it all together, there are important safety considerations to make!

Halloween and your pet!

Halloween Saftey Tips

  • Pet costumes – Few pet owners can resist the urge to dress their pet up! Just because it looks cute doesn’t mean it’s safe. Keep some basic things in mind while picking a Halloween costume for them: does it have small pieces that may prove to be choking hazards? does it fit too tight causing restriction or too loose posing a tripping hazard? does it inhibit their eyesight or ability to breath? Keep the costumes cute and safe!
  • Be mindful of Trick-or-Treaters – If you’re staying in but plan on handing out candy this Halloween make sure your pet is secure. If you have an indoor pet be sure to keep them confined away from the door that you will be opening frequently to strangers. This will keep them from running out or acting aggressively toward the children. If your pet is outdoors, try to secure them away from the hustle and bustle at your front door. Unsecured pets may be prone to follow children and get lost or act protectively of your property.
  • Watch decorations and candles – Halloween decorations can often be a choking or electrocution hazard for your pets. Be mindful in how you decorate and try not to leave your pet unattended around a jack-o-lantern with candles!
  • Watch for abandoned candy – In the days prior to Halloween keep an extra close eye on your pet while out for walks or in a park. Children will often drop sweets that, if consumed, could be fatal for your pet. Be sure to mention this concern to your dog walker or pet nanny too!

photo credit: Happy Halloween! via photopin (license)

Puppy Time! How To Set Your Pet Up For Success

With little rolly-polly bodies and a playful spirit, puppies are hard to resist. There is nothing sadder though than to see a puppy that was brought home be left untrained and set up for a lifetime of struggle. Sometimes when the responsibility sets in and a puppy becomes a misbehaving dog it’s easier to take them to a shelter or put them outside on a lunge line or in a pen. What can you do to make sure that you’re both ready for the responsibility and that your puppy turns into a pet you can manage? Let us guide you!

Puppy to Dog – Tips for Success

  • Know your commitment – True with ANY pet, don’t make an impulse decision. Bringing a pet home is a big commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure you are ready and willing to put in the time and money to lovingly see the animal through to the end of its life.
  • Prepare your home – If you don’t want it chewed or damaged keep it out of a puppy’s reach. Make sure that you have the required equipment (puppy crates, puppy gates, etc.) to restrict their access and keep them safe. A well-prepared home will lead to less disciplinary measures required during the bonding process.

Puppy time!

  • Define toys – Make sure that your pet knows what it’s toys are. Don’t confuse them by letting them play with an old shoe or something similar. They aren’t going to discern between the toy shoe and your new pair when play time arrives. Make sure toys look different from regular household items you don’t want them messing with.
  • Take the time to train them – Training your puppy doesn’t have to be a big deal or a headache. The best training comes through play! For example, a game of hide and seek with treats as rewards can teach your pet to come when called. Get creative!
  • Keep bathroom breaks consistent – A great puppy potty break rule is to take their age in months and add 1. That is how frequently you should let them out. If your puppy is 4 months old, be sure to let them out at least every five hours. If you can’t be there all the time consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny!
  • Make them guest friendly – Nobody likes to be greeted by an over anxious or hostile pet when they visit. While your puppy is young consider keeping them leashed and by you while you have company. Being near you instead of all over a guest will become a habit for them as they grow. To prevent a second pet faux pas, discourage your pet from jumping on you and others by only ever rewarding them when all four paws are on the ground.

photo credit: Hudson, 9 weeks old. via photopin (license)

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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.