Tag: pet sitter

Pet Names – Choosing The Right Name For Your Pet

How do you go about picking pet names? Do you name them after a favorite hero or character? A physical attribution? Or a personality trait? It seems each personality type uses a different method and pet names can range from the average to the outrageous. Despite your personality type for picking a name, there are some simple tried and true guidelines you should think about.

Do you pick pet names by personality?

  • Don’t take too long to choose a name. As a pet gets used to you and their new home it should also get used to a name. A pet’s name is really the first step in teaching a pet commands. So before you go trying to house break them be sure they know what their name is and when you’re talking to them.
  • Avoid names that sound like commands or other commonly used household words. There probably aren’t many pet names out there that don’t sound like something else but try to limit it if you can. Some examples? Naming a pet anything that rhymes with ‘no’ – Boe, Joe, Moe. Or anything that rhymes with fetch, sit,  or down… you get the point!
  • Keep it short. Sure you may be tempted with pet names like Sir Theadorable Purrsalot (an actual pet name) but that’s a mouthful when they’re jumping on the counter to get to your rapidly vanishing supper. Short names of one to two syllables work best. If you just have to pick extravagant pet names, be sure they are easily adapted into a simple nickname.

Here are some of the most popular pet names for this year to help get your brain working!

Emerson
Hudson
Stella
Elsa
Quinn
Charlie
Poppy
Lola
Milo
Archie
Toby
Buster
Coco
Tilley

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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.

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Unattended Pets And The Destruction They Can Cause

“Pet Shaming” has become a popular social media trend with pet parents displaying the destruction their unattended pets have wrought. While the pictures accompanied with little signs explaining the unattended pets crime are far too adorable, they are also far too relatable for many pet owners!

Dogs frequently display destructive behavior when left alone. Mostly because they are suffering from separation anxiety. While you know you’ll be back in the evening, that span of time can seem endless for a dog. The longer you’re gone the more their anxiety can grow and result in some pretty unpleasant behaviors. Chewing and poor bathroom habits are the two biggest symptoms. It’s important to remember that punishing your dog when you get home in the evening doesn’t do any good. Too much time has likely passed for them to understand what they punishment is for and instead they will just feel unloved and not learn anything.

Damage caused by unattended pets

Cats can suffer from separation anxiety too! While unpleasant bathroom habits are often a symptom for them too, they are often prone to scratch instead of chewing. In some cases, that can be far more costly! A dog may ruin a nice pair of shoes, but a cat can ruin your furniture!

 

What can you do help your unattended pets not destroy your home?

  • Keep Them Well Fed With Lots of Toys – Unattended pets will also wreak havoc when they are hungry and bored. Make sure that your pets have (or have had) plenty of food before you leave. Enough to sustain them for the duration of your absence. Also, make sure your dog has chew toys or that your cat has a scratching post!
  • Pick Up After Yourself – Make it a point not to leave things you value within your pet’s reach. Keep your shoes in a closed closet, electronics out of reach, and make sure that your trash containers are inaccessible.
  • Restrict Their Range – Don’t let your pet have free reign of your home while you are away. Keep doors shut to rooms you don’t want them in. If your pet is known for sketchy bathroom habits while you’re away, restrict them to a room with easily cleanable floors.
  • Arrange For Visitors! – If you can’t make it home in the middle of the day to check on your pet or spend some time with them, consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny! Dog walkers and pet nannies are just a service for vacations. They can provide a much-needed bathroom break and playtime mid-day for unattended pets.

 

photo credit: Trash Dogs via photopin (license)

Age in Pets – Beyond Dog Years‏

Find out your pet’s true age!

Everybody knows the unfortunate truth that pets age faster than their owners do. While many people have heard that one human year equals seven dog years that equation isn’t entirely true, nor is it accurate for all the other pet varieties out there! One human year does equal seven dog years, for the first two years of life. After that though the aging process slows down and one human year, on average, will equal four dog years instead of seven.

Cat’s have a similar age progression as dogs. One human year is equal to seven cat years with a gradual slowing after that. Check out this handy chart below to find out your pet’s age in human years. Understanding your pet’s age in relation to yours may help you to better understand why your seemingly young pet is showing signs of age.

 

What about other pets, though? How old is your pet guinea pig? Or pet rabbit? Potbelly Pig? Let’s find out!

What’s Your Pet’s True Age?

  • Rabbit – The first year for a rabbit is equal to about eight human years. By the time a rabbit has hit the age of five, they will be nearing 45 in human years.
  • Guinea Pig – The first year for a guinea pig is about ten human years progressing at that same rate so that by the time five human years has passed, your guinea pig will be fifty!
  • Hamster – Hamsters age very rapidly. One human year is equal to twenty hamster years with few hamsters ever reaching their fifth birthday. If they do that would make them 100!
  • Horse – As a much larger pet horses age two years for every one human year generally, ensuring rather long lifespans.
  • Parakeet – The average parakeet will be five within the first year of life. It will be about twenty-two after five human years.
  • Potbelly Pig – These little piggies age about three years to our one. Another potentially long-lived pet!

photo credit: Descansando via photopin (license)

Back-to-School and What It Means For Pets

As July nears an end those three dreaded words every child fears start popping up everywhere – back-to-school. Two to three months of summer adventures come to a close leaving some parent’s relieved for their households to resume their usual routine. But what about pets? Whether you’ve adopted a new pet over the summer months or have the same family friend, back-to-school time can be rough on them. As adults head out the door in the morning for work and daily errands and children rush off to the school bus pets are often left home alone for the majority of the day.

 

Make sure you are still meeting their basic needs. Sometimes in the rush to get everyone out the door on time, a pet can be overlooked. This can be a problem any time of the year but especially during the first back-to-school months when routines are being formed. Your family may find it helpful to use a dry-erase board on the refrigerator to make a morning pet checklist.

Pets don’t like back-to-school time any more than their

owners do…

Back-To-School Checklist Ideas

  • Ensure that dogs have been let out for a bathroom break and quick exercise
  • Make sure cats, bunnies, or other pets have clean litter boxes
  • Fresh food and water should be provided
  • Shoes, cords, and other things your pet shouldn’t be into are placed safely out of their reach
  • Windows and doors that may give them access to restricted areas are closed
  • Necessary medications are administered

Keep an eye out for depression too. After a summer of constant play and companionship, it’s not unusual for your pet to be sad and a little lost once all the humans run off to do other things. Until your pet has an opportunity to adjust to the new family routine consider asking a friend to stop by and check on them or hiring a pet walker or pet nanny. Someone stopping by during the day can make sure their needs are being met and give them a little mid-day attention.

Make the most of the evening time and be patient. You may have had a full day of socializing but your pet hasn’t. Any hyperactivity or persistent demands for affection have to be understood from your pet’s point of view. After back-to-school as homework and extracurricular activities pile up remember the importance of making your pet a priority. Those other things are important too, but a pet is a living responsibility. If you feel your lifestyle will prevent you from providing the love that’s needed, you should reconsider before getting a pet or taking on those extracurricular activities.

Remember parents, while the pet may belong to your child, as the adult you are ultimately responsible for making sure its needs are being met. Don’t make pets victims of the back-to-school frenzy!

photo credit: Academic Cat via photopin (license)

 

Bizarre Accessories For Pets – Do You Indulge?

It can be easy to get carried away with spoiling your pet but do your habits venture into the bizarre category? Are you a sucker for buying unusual pet accessories? Check out our list of outlandish pet care owners get up to and see if you’ve fallen victim!

Bizarre Pet Accessories

  • Pet Highchair – Owners who want their pets on the same level as them have the option of purchasing a “highchair” for them! A quick search on Amazon brings up a wide variety of options for highchairs that clip onto tables to elevate your pet. If you’re tempted to take part in this bizarre behavior try to be mindful of restaurant rules!
  • Social Media– In 2015 it’s not that bizarre for doting pet owners or celebrities to create social media accounts for their pets. “Puppy Tweets” takes it a step further having created a USB device that snaps onto your pet’s collar and automatically uploads tweets from your pet to their Twitter account based on their activity levels!
  • Pet Treadmills – While we take our pets healthy and activity level seriously a treadmill for a pet seems a bit much… Taking  your pet for a walk is about more than just the act of walking – it’s the excitement, stimulus, and adventure that goes with it! If you can’t find time to walk your pet regularly don’t fall prey to this bizarre option. Instead use that money to hire a dog walker for your poor pet!
  • Kitty Wig – At some point most pet owners are guilty of putting a pair of sunglass or a hat on their pet to take a silly picture. We all do it. It’s not that bizarre. But would you buy a wig just for your cat? Most importantly, does your cat even want a wig? The fashion statement may be lost on your cat, but we’re certain that they will enjoy hunting, fighting, and ultimately conquering it at 3 a.m.
  • Pet Tattoo – Temporary! As pet owners, it’s natural to want your pet to express your personality just as much you yourself do with your own fashion statements. Temporary pet tattoos now allow you to brand your pet with a message or image. They work by staining your pets fur but before you decide to attempt this bizarre pet practice be sure to do some research into the safety of the dyes being used. Most pets lick their fur!

Bizarre Kitty Wigs

photo credit: Sam wants in on the wig action via photopin (license)

 

Growing Pains – How To Raise A Happy Pet

Growing with your pet can be an amazing experience. Kittens, puppies, baby bunnies – whatever your style watching them grow and learn is a real treat! On occasion though, two different species coming together, each trying to learn about the other so they can co-habitat in harmony, can cause a few growing pains. So what can you expect to struggle with from your new young pet? Check out our list of common growing pains!

What Traits Do You Need To Help Your Growing Pet?

Patience – No matter what kind of pet you’re raising up for a companion the key virtue you need to have is patience! Growing pets need thoughtful discipline and the only way to achieve thoughtful (as opposed to “in the moment” discipline is to understand that your pet has no way of understanding the concept of how much that shoe they just ruined cost, or what a big deal it is to stain the carpet. They have to learn that there are unacceptable behaviors, but one thing they DON’T need to learn is to fear you.

Growing kittens need patience!

Consistency – While training a growing pet it is of the highest importance that you are consistent. This applies to both disciplining them consistently for wrong behavior, rewarding good behavior, and being on a regular schedule. It can be hard to train a puppy to do their business outside when you leave for random long periods of time and know one is there to tend to them. When you get a new pet, it’s important that your life is stable so they learn your routine. If you can’t be there to attend to you growing pets needs, make sure you can higher a pet sitter or have a willing friend who can.

The Value of Distraction – While with some pets implementing a regular, consistent discipline is ideal, other pets don’t respond to that well at all. Rabbits are one of those pets that you just can’t discipline. Due to their nature as a prey animal instead of a predator (like most other pets) they are much more sensitive. They don’t perceive punishment as “discipline” but rather as “danger”, and they will learn to avoid you as a threat. With rabbits, your best method of approach is to distract them from their bad behavior. If they are nosing around where they aren’t supposed to be, lure them with a treat somewhere else! provide them with plenty of toys and areas to act out their natural instincts.

Understand your pets nature – Puppies and bunnies have an urge to chew, kitties need to scratch things. These are simple facts of having a pet. Don’t set your pet up for failure by leaving expensive shoes or electronics around for little teeth. Limit your pets roaming area, keep them under careful watch, and make sure that you have provided them with an environment free from as many bad temptations as possible. Make sure your new pet has toys and areas to act out their instincts, free from admonishment. Remember, you’re supposed to be the higher intellect.

photo credit: pet24 via photopin (license)
photo credit: You sneaky rabbit! via photopin (license)

Wildlife Pet Threats – What You Need To Know

Most pets will encounter some type of wildlife during their adventures. Whether you live in a rural area or the city, wildlife encounters happen all the time! From pigeons and rats to racoons, skunks, or squirrels! Is it okay for your pet to play with wilder cousins and distant relations? Sometimes pets and wildlife can learn to be great friends but there are several precautions and scenarios you need to be aware of!

Wildlife And Your Pet

  • The City Varmints – If you live in the inner city and rarely escape closer to nature it’s likely your pets wildlife interactions will be limited. That being the case though, they are still at risk for exposure to some pretty nasty diseases, mites, and parasites from rats, roaches, or pigeons. Not to mention the poisons often put out to control such creatures.
  • The Unseen Threat – Dogs and cats may seem impervious to a lot, but they suffer from many of the same threats as us. Waterborne illnesses and parasites in the dirt are two unseen and serious threats. Most pets are fine drinking and burying their faces up in things we would never dream of, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe! If you’re in a national park or out traveling pay attention to signs, keep your pet in areas that appear to be well travelled, and avoid letting them drink stagnant or foul smelling water.
  • The Woodland Varmints – Whether your camping or live in the country your house place is bound to be visited by a skunk, opossum, armadillo or another similar critter at some point. Make sure your pet keeps its distance! Aside from being smelly, skunks are popular carriers of rabies. While armadillos and opossums carry leprosy and lots of other diseases! Not to mention, a confrontational or overly friendly pet is likely to get bit! Did you know that skunks will kill kittens?

Wildlife love to feast on food left out for pets!

 

  • The Predators – More of a threat for campers or rural dwellers, predatory wildlife can be a big danger for pets. Coyotes, bears, mountain lions, alligators, and bobcats are all critters found across America. Don’t let your pets roam out of sight, and make sure you have an action plan should you confront one. Some suburban pets can come under attack too. Rabbit owners should always be on the look out for birds of prey!

When out hiking, always keep an eye out for wildlife warnings!

No matter where you and your pet live or choose to travel always make sure they are up to date on all their shots and preventative medicines for fleas, worms, and everything else to minimize the impact wildlife could have on them!

photo credit: Skunks Stealing Sam’s Food via photopin (license)

 

 

Cat Facts – Silly and Interesting Things You May Not Know‏

You’ll never look your cat the same way again! For loving owners of cats, dogs, or any other species of pet, we just can’t get enough of the little things that make them different. One of the greatest joys of owning a pet (aside from the fantastic companionship!) is getting to study the little critters on an upfront and personal level. It seems no matter how long we have a cat there are still things we learn that are pretty cool! Here are a few that maybe you didn’t know either!

Cat Facts

  • Most people know that a boy cat is also called a Tom. Have you ever wondered what a girl cat is called? Molly!
  •  What about a group of cats? While some people prefer a “clowder”, it’s a little easier for us to understand calling them a “glaring”. Either words are acceptable though!
  •  Did you know that just like humans a cat will favor the right or left paw? Unlike humans though, cats favor different paws based entirely on gender! A girl cat is “right-pawed” and a boy cat is “left-pawed

 

Things you might not know about the life and history of the cat!

  • Cat’s, like several other critters, can’t see right under their noses. If you’ve ever dropped a treat on the floor to see your cat sniff around for it when it’s right in front of their face, your watching this little fact in action!
  •  A cat is much more heat tolerant than humans. Perhaps due to their evolution out of the jungles and African savannah, a cat can be relatively comfortable at temperatures reaching as high as 126 degrees! Even higher if they have plenty of water! Please note – do not test your cat’s heat tolerance!
  • Cats can’t taste sweet things! This is probably a good thing since most sugars are bad for pets…
  • The average lifespan of a cat has been increasing over the last few years, just like humans! According to Wikipedia, in the 1980’s the average lifespan of a cat was seven years. This increased in the 1990’s to nine years and as of 2014 was as long as twelve to fifteen years, average!
  • The longest living cat on record lived to be 38!
  •  Kitty noses are famous for being moist but did you know that they are the cat version of a fingerprint? Each cat’s nose print is unique to them!
  • Cats are the most common pet in both America and Europe with men and women being equally likely to have one!

Be sure to break these little tidbits of information out to your fellow pet lovers and pet nanny! Know a few interesting facts of your own? Be sure to share them with us!

photo credit: Mi gato via photopin (license)

Water Fun & Safety With Your Pet

Memorial Day is fast approaching and for many Americans that means time spent near the water either at the lake, canoeing the river or another family friendly activity. As summer nears weekends of swimming, fishing, and boating become more regular for many. That also means more dogs are being taken along for family fun. Are you and your pet prepared? New environments mean new rules for pets and you shouldn’t rush out with a dog in tow to hit the beach without being prepared! Here are some important things to consider!

  • Does your dog even like the water? –  Pets, like people, all have individual personalities and some may not care for the water. Make sure you know how your dog feels before you drag him for a day at the lake!
  • Do they know how to swim? – While dogs may have a style of swimming named after their technique, not all pets are strong swimmers. If you have any doubts and plan to take your pet out on a boat or canoe, look into a life jacket for your pet!

Taking your dog to the water!

  • Be considerate of others – Keep your dog on a leash until you are in a relatively remote area and know that your pet obeys your commands when given. Some dogs have a natural instinct to save “drowning” people and may mistake a playful swimmer for a human in distress. Other pets may just be overly friendly. Not everyone is a fan of dogs and may not like being approached. As in any public setting, keep your pets interactions limited to you and your family.
  • Be mindful of doggie “business” – Keep the shore and water free of dog droppings.
  • Be VERY careful taking dogs out in motorized or speed boats! – Make sure they are properly kept on a short leash while in a boat, not capable of jumping over the side. If your pet is scared of loud noises then a motor boat may not be for them.
  • Be prepared for an emergency – Know what to do if your dog gets in over his head. These tips will help guide you through what to do in the event of a drowning. Knowing basic pet first aid could mean everything! To prevent an emergency, try to keep your dog close and always in an area where you can get to it quickly if needed. Stay clear of areas where boats and jet skis are in use too!
  • Be prepared for the ride home! – If you take your dog out much, your probably already know this. Just in case though, be sure you are prepared to be returning home with a wet pet and you have proper seat covers to protect your vehicle! Pack a towel for your dog and do your best to towel them off before hand!

Can’t take your pet with you for a day on the water? Make sure to have a pet sitter or friend check in on them throughout the day to ensure their needs are met and they aren’t too lonely!

photo credit: Beaches_0705 via photopin (license)

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