Tag: pet sitter

New Years Resolutions – Use Your Pets to Stay on Track!

It’s that time of year again. The time when we reflect on all that we have learned and experienced in 2014 while looking forward to all the potential of 2015. Whether you make New Years Resolutions every year, or are trying it anew this year, you’ve no doubt heard how hard they can be to keep. Listing all the things you want to do and change is far easier than following through. A lot of people need extra motivation to stay on track. A little accountability doesn’t hurt too! Here are some ways that pets can help you conquer so common New Years Resolutions…

Pets to the Rescue!

  • Get fit or just be more active! – If one of your New Years goals is to get in better shape in 2015, then your pet is going to love you! Taking your pet for a walk or run are two great ways to get regular exercise. Take it up a notch by playing frisky or fetch. Not a dog owner? Try working out around a cat and just see how they can get into it too!
  • Quit smoking – Second-hand smoke can be just as bad for pets as it can for humans. Think of your pet the next time you go to light up. Not only will it make you healthier, but your pet too. Plus you’ll have extra lung capacity for playing!
  • Reduce your stress level – Pets have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure! If you’re stressed make it a point to spend more time interacting with or just doting on your pet.
  • Be more charitable and/or giving – Use all that experience time with your pet has given you and extend some of it to less fortunate pets. Take time volunteering at your local animal shelter. Offer to take an elderly or sick neighbors pet for a walk or a simple game of fetch in the back in yard. Donate pet items you no longer need to other animals in need. Get creative!

Do you have your own ways that your pet helps keep you on track with New Years Resolutions? Share them with us!

Pet Match – An Unlikely Kinship – Pet Nanny

Check out this heartwarming story here on the Huffington Post detailing how a dog named Opie found an abandoned new born kitten and alerted his owner. After some much needed veterinary care, the kitten (who was named Roscoe) came to be in fine health as well as a much loved companion for life to Opie, his life-saver. While there are many testaments to be found of dogs and cats growing to be inseparable (We’ve even seen the unlikely kinship of a rabbit befriending a cat!) there are a lot of factors to consider before one commits to housing a dog and a cat together. There is truth to the common loony-toon idea that cats and dogs are mortal enemies and there are some things to consider before you match up your pets.
Raising a kitten and puppy together is no guarantee of affection toward one another in adulthood. Like humans, pets have individual personalities and while they may accept they have to share their space with a “brother” or “sister”, that doesn’t mean they have to like it! Puppies and kittens are often playful with anything and anyone. Remember though that just because the two species have some playful tumbles in their youth, don’t expect them to have a trouble free existence. Having said that, if you are going to attempt to pair the two creatures it is best to introduce them while young. They may never reach the level of loving affection as Opie and Roscoe, but they should at least be able to comfortably tolerate each other. Should you not have the option to pair them when they are young and are instead bringing a new cat or dog into anothers already established domain, take some basic precautions:

  Making a Match Between a Dog & a Cat

  • Introduce them both on an equal eye level
  • Make introductions in an open space so that neither animal feels trapped. Plus, if there is a scuffle you can move more quickly to restore peace
  • Make introductions slowly. Allow the two supervised play dates before you allow them to coexist in the same space.
  • Never leave a match unfamiliar with each other alone. Even if it seems like they are getting along well in a very short period of time, it could still lead to injury on one or both parts.
  • Feed and bed them in different spaces. If each animal still feels like they have their own domain, it will be easier for them to tolerate and learn to like each other.

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Cost of Pets: What Cost and Which Breeds Take the Cake?

How Much Does Your Pet Cost?

With pets in American increasingly being treated like children as opposed to animals the cost of pet ownership is soaring! Pet spending topped $56 billion dollars in 2014 and is expected to reach or exceed $60 billion in 2015. What are American’s spending such large amounts of cash on? Not vet bills like one would think. Turns out most of the spending is being put into healthier pet foods. Healthy pet food totals over a third of that yearly total. Maybe because of this investment in more quality and nutrient rich food, veterinary bills are now the second costliest part of pet ownership.

Are you a dog or cat person? do you prefer  rabbits or other small animals? If finances are an obstacle for you, then you need to choose wisely before you bring a companion home from the local pet store or shelter.

While dogs often top spending over cats and other house pets, the dog breed that seems to rack up the most in vet bills and general care, surprisingly, is the Rottweiler. Large dog breeds garner significantly higher costs than any other house pet. The Rottweiler breed is especially susceptible to many allergies as well as gastric disorders which can lead to regular vet bills, medications, and specialized care. Other expensive dogs to care for include Great Danes, English Bulldogs and Ragdolls.

While cats are generally less known for specific breeds, the famous Siamese Cat is notably more expensive than your average house cat. Siamese cats are prone to respiratory disorders as well as liver diseases. Again, hitting your wallet much harder than a small pet like a hamster or gerbil.

Overall, most specialized breeds of pets are going to be prone to medical issues unique to their variety. Make it a point to research well and know things you can do right from the start to minimize your pets need for veterinary care. Want more information about the annual cost of pets per year? Check out the ASPCA website for a breakdown!

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Weird Pet Behaviors That Are Actually Very Normal

If you’ve had a pet for any amount of time, chances are you’ve witnessed some weird behavior. While there may be many things that pets do that are puzzling to us humans, most of it is a lot more normal than we think!

Weird Behaviors of Pets

  • Gifts from you cat – Does your pet cat sometimes bring you dead rodents or birds? Maybe the occasional reptile? Don’t punish them! From their perspective, they have plenty of food and have managed to obtain excess, they have brought it back to their home in case you, or the other members of their “family” may be in need. It’s a cat’s act of generosity and while it may be gross, you should consider it an honor!
  • Your dog eats dirt – They don’t just roll around and nose in it, they eat it! While dirt isn’t particularly ‘digestible’ to your pet, it does contain nutrients like potassium, magnesium and others. This may be a sign that you need to adjust your pet’s diet!

  • Your rabbit eating its feces… – This one is really gross to us! Whatever you do though, don’t stop them! Rabbits have very sensitive digestive tracts that require a certain bacterial balance. They MUST eat what are called ‘cecotropes’ in order to live! It’s similar to why humans eat yogurt and probiotics.
  • Your cat and too small spaces – Did you invest in a spacious, luxury kitty bed only to have it shunned for that tiny box your Amazon order came in? What is up with your cat always picking the most cramped, uncomfortable locations for a nap? In the wild, animals are vulnerable when sleeping. Cats (and many other animals) like to feel that they are protected on all fronts from attack while sleeping. Tight spaces make them feel more secure.
  • Does your ferret steal? – Ferrets are VERY fond of hoarding. Think of them as smaller dragons who like to stash treasures away in secret hiding spaces. It’s seems weird when ferrets do so in our homes, but in the wild they often kill excess food and hide it for later. While it may not be food, it’s the same instinct that drives them to carry off your watch, pen, or other small items to their secret lair.

Does your pet have weird tendencies? Be sure to share them with your pet sitter or dog walker so they don’t worry if they notice something out of the ordinary!

Share your pet’s weird tendencies with us!

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Losing A Pet: Dealing With Grief

It can be difficult for those without pets to understand the great weight of sorrow that can effect you after the loss of a beloved animal. To many people pets are just another member of the family. You dedicate years of your life to caring for them. You seek out pet sitters instead of baby sitters, you care for them when they are sick and you take them out for treats and play dates. The reward you get for your efforts is their humbling devotion and unconditional love. When a pet dies, be it unexpectedly or after an illness, it can be all the more difficult to cope with the loss. Socially many people don’t extend the same sympathies as in the case of a traditional family death. We hope that some of the ideas below will help you to overcome the sorrow from losing a pet. Please feel free to share your experiences with us and others below.

Coping With Losing A Pet

  • Shun the taboo – Don’t let others define how you should feel and don’t feel ashamed for being sad or “off your game” after losing a pet. You may find it easier to limit your social interactions to those who have also lost their furry companions to minimize scorn or lack of understanding.
  • Create closure – a ‘funeral’ may not always be an option when you’ve lost a pet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t provide for yourself the same closure. Set aside a moment for remembrance and saying goodbye. Even if it’s simply a walk in their favorite park or framing and hanging your favorite picture of them. All these are rituals of closure that are healthy.
  • Maintain routine – this is especially important if you have other pets.  Keeping your routine is a step toward moving forward and can help  keep you from getting bogged down. Was walking your pet at a certain time part of your routine? Take the walk solo and dedicate that time to their memory.
  • Don’t make an impulse buy/adoption – running out for a replacement is a common impulse after losing a pet. Sometimes this can just prolong the grief though and prevent you from both fully honoring and dealing with your emotions from your former pet. It can also keep you from fully bonding with the new one. It’s best to wait until your head is clear before you move on to a new companion.

For more help grieving the loss of a pet, check out this site and learn how to help your children cope as well. Losing a pet can be an important life lesson in dealing with grief. Don’t deny yourself  or others this need.

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Unconventional Pets: What You Should Consider Before You Buy

Are you one of those people who never really identified with cats or dogs? Or maybe you’re wanting a pet that stands out? More and more people are either seeking alternatives to cats and dogs altogether, or they are looking for unconventional pets as companions for their traditional ones. The thing is, rules that apply to one pet don’t always apply to others. There are lots of things that need to be considered before you make an impulse decision to bring home one of the many unconventional pets out there. So, before you run down to your nearest pet shop after watching some adorable YouTube videos, consider these points of interest!

Should You Get An Unconventional Pet?

Hedgehogs, while still unconventional, are a growing trend

  • Do you have other pets? – Not all creatures play well together, especially if one feels his domain is being encroached on. Take into special consideration if either species of pets are territorial. Be especially careful about trying to mix prey and predatory animals.
  • Can you get pet food? – Some pets have specialized eating habits. Snakes require live rodents and frogs need live insects. Are these foods that you can get regularly from your pet shop? Are you comfortable handling them? Are they in your price range for the long-term?
  • Are Veterinary Services Available? – Not all vets service all animals. Be sure that you have a vet in your area that is trained in your particular species of unconventional pet. For example, many vets have to undergo extra training to be certified to work with rabbits or other small creatures.
  • Do you have an emergency or vacation plan? – What if you get called out of state unexpectedly? Are sick for a week? Or you want to plan a family vacation? Most facilities that offer overnight pet sitting, house sitting, or other in home pet services are trained to care for dogs, cats, fish, or birds. You may find it difficult to find a dog walker or someone to interact with your unconventional pet in your absence. Seek out a facility, or confirm that you have willing friends before you make the purchase.
  • What is your pet at risk for? (and you too?) – Be sure to find out as much as possible about diseases or toxins specific to your pet. Did you know that you can get salmonella from pet reptiles? Or that hedgehogs are prone to skin problems?

Budgit Frog

Remember, choosing a pet is a very important decision and your new companion shouldn’t suffer because of your poor caretaking, or not understanding it’s needs. Be responsible and find out as much about your unconventional pet and it’s needs before you purchase. The Encyclopedia on Pets is a great resource, and don’t forget to talk to an area vet preemptively too!

 

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Overweight Pets: How To Help Yours Slim Down

Just like in humans, obesity in the animal kingdom can have similar unhealthy side-effects. Overweight pets can end up suffering from diabetes, heart and liver disease as well as joint pain. How can you tell if your pet is a bit on the pudgy side? Aside from hearing the prognosis from a vet, there are some tell-tale signs you should watch out for with your pet. In most pets you should be able to feel their spine and ribs when you press on them. (Feel, NOT SEE!) If you’ve identified that your fuzzy friend may be overweight, check out our tips to help your pet shed the pounds and live a longer, healthier life!

How To Help An Overweight Pet

  • Re-examine Your Pets Food – If you’ve tend to go for the cheaper pet foods be aware that they are often more difficult for your pet to digest the nutrients and have a higher fat content to account for the lack of flavor. Consider upgrading your pets food to a better quality with more protein! Ask your vet what food they recommend!

Overweight pets can live significantly shorter lives…

 

  • Exercise –  Just like with humans more activity equals health. Maybe you don’t have a lot of time to spend being active with your pet? Consider hiring a pet sitter to come and interact with your animal while you’re at work. Pet sitting and/or dog walking rates are usually very reasonable and it could mean a world of difference for your pet! In home pet sitting will mean that your pet will be encouraged to interact and play, instead of moping around waiting for you to come home! This improves their physical and emotional health!
  • Cut out scraps – Set a regular eating schedule for your pet that you don’t detour from it. Cut out feeding them scraps on the side and keep them out of the kitchen and dining area while the family is eating to prevent the temptation! Also be certain to not “over-reward” your pet with treats!
  • Rule out pre-existing conditions – Take your pet to a vet to rule out any pre-existing disease or conditions that may be causing your pets weight gain. Your pet may become overweight from lack of activity, but they may not be active because of arthritis or other painful conditions.

Still unsure what a healthy weight for your pet is? Click here to see a healthy weight chart for different popular breeds of cats and dogs!

Keep your pet from becoming overweight!

 

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Rescue Series Conclusion – See the Closing Music Video!

Following up on our coverage of Josh Duhamel’s and PetSmart Charities  “Rescue Waggin: Tales from the Road” production, we are proud to present  the video conclusion of this amazing 8 Episode project featuring the actors who helped make these rescues possible – providing ‘Forever Homes’ to these pets who’ve had unfortunate starts. Enjoy!

(Video now unavailable)

The 8 episodes encourage future pet owners to adopt shelter pets instead of buying them, and walks us through the journey or relocating discarded pets from over crowded and  poorly frequented shelters to new “no-kill’ shelters where they are more likely to be picked up for adoption instead of euthanized.  You can see the appreciation of a new loving home in the dogs eyes!

                     The Sad Truth About Rescue Shelters

  • Up to 4 million dogs are euthanized each year at pet shelters
  • There are approximately 5000 animal shelters nationwide who see upwards of 5 million pets each year
  • Only 25% of pets that wind up at a shelter end up getting adopted
  • Only 15% of dogs end up getting returned to their owners, and only 2% of cats
  • 60% of dogs and 70% of cats that end up in a shelter are euthanized
  • Approximately $1Billion dollars of tax money is spent annually to pick up, house and euthanize neglected, abandoned, and unspayed/neutered companion animals.
   Look here for more pet shelter statistics and remember to make your local town or county shelter the first stop when seeking out your next loving companion!

Rescue a pet today!

Pet Facts – Expand Your Knowledge of Your Amazing Pet!

One of the great pleasures of pet ownership comes from observing the quirky, unique peculiarities specific to your pet – marveling at their differences and occasional similarities to ourselves.

Be sure to break out these amazing pet facts as a conversation starter with fellow animal enthusiasts!

 Fast Facts About Your Pet

1) Most dogs can reach speeds of 19MPH when running at full capacity – no wonder it’s hard to keep up!
2) Cats can jump up to SEVEN times their height!
3) Cats short-term memories exceed that of both dogs and orangoutangs, lasting up to 16 hours, compared to a dogs 4.
4) Rabbits can often be easier to litter train than cats. Being creatures of habits, once they pick a place to go, all you have to do is put a box there!
5) Ferrets have an exceptional sense of smell, equatable to a dog being able to smell a fly up to two miles away!
6) A common misconception is that rabbits are members of the rodent family; they are in fact lagomorphs, a unique family of plant eating mammals.

Pet Facts – Tongue Barbs

7) Cats, like humans, are either left pawed, or right, showing favoritism early on.
8) Cats tongues are covered in tiny back angled barbs, helping them to hold their smaller prey (and comb their fur!).
9) Dog and cat nose prints are unique in each animal and can be used as identifiers, just like human fingerprints!
10) Cats spend 2/3 of their lives asleep. A nine-year-old cat has only been awake for three years of it’s life!
11) The cat’s meow is used almost exclusively for humans – they very rarely meow at each other!

Pet Facts – Nose Prints

Enjoy more pet facts at the links found throughout this post. Do you have some pet fact knowledge of your own? Check out our social media and share your own amazing pet facts with us!

Happy Tails,

Pet Nanny

 

Did You Know: Interesting and Unique Pet Facts

With a recent post that we read referencing “cool and fun” pet facts, we thought it would be a great idea to share with our readers also, as you all may not be familiar with these facts.

  • Fact #1- A dog’s normal temperature is between 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fact #2- Just as we do, pet’s suffer from wear and tear on their joints as they age.

Have any other fun facts about pets that you’d like to share with us? We want to hear from you!

Source: http://www.reneethepetnanny.com/Pet-Fun-Facts-and-Tips.html

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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.