Tag: pet sitting

Pilgrims and the Role Dogs Played In America‏

Throughout history evidence of man’s best friend can be found playing an important role in many societies – even with the pilgrims! Life was hard for the pilgrims who set out on those first ships from England to explore a wild territory. It’s no wonder they brought at least two dogs with them to the new world. Back then dogs were not just great companions. They were used for protection and hunting too.

Pilgrims & The Mayflower Dogs

The two dogs we have a record of making the journey across the sea were written about in the journals of the ship’s passengers. They were said to belong to a John Goodman and be a Mastiff and a Spaniel. Mastiffs have a long history of being used in ancient cultures for hunting. Some even depict them as killing lions. In England, where the Mayflower departed from, they were commonly used by the upper classes as guard dogs. Spaniels were often trained as hunting dogs and some breeds are considered water dogs.

History did not record the names nor what became of the fearless dogs. It does record an account of two pilgrims who became lost in the woods after gathering thatch and were left to spend the night in the frozen forest with only the dogs for warmth and protection. They miraculously made it and recorded their story forever immortalizing the two nameless pets that accompanied them across the Atlantic ocean.

We know that dogs were brought over on the Mayflower, but there has been no historical mention of them at the first Thanksgiving. One may find them featured in a painting or two and it’s likely if they were brought over, that there were still some hanging around by the time of the first big harvest.

Native Americans had fostered relations with dogs from their first arrival on the American continent during the ice age. Much like the ancient Europeans, the dogs of the Americas had also been domesticated from wolves and coyotes.

The early days of the Pilgrims were blessed with the knowledge given them by the Native Americans and were likely able to continue the familiar companionship with dogs even after the Mayflower dogs expired.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be thankful for not only your pooch, but for all the dogs that have abandoned their wild ways to stand loyally by humans and help guide us through our hardships.

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credit: On Duty. via photopin (license)

Innovation in Pet Care – Top Gadgets To Ease Your Worry

With new technologies booming in every possible industry out there, pet care innovations are keeping stride! Whether your “tech minded” or just pet-minded it’s impossible to deny these handy innovations we’ve seen hit the market over the last year!

Innovation in Pet Gadgets

Tagg GPS Plus  – Tracking systems for pets have been around for some time. The important clue to why this one is an innovation lies in the ‘Plus”. Tagg GPS Plus will track your wandering pet as well as alert you if your pet is suffering from extreme temperatures. If you have an outdoor, or indoor/outdoor pet and live in an area prone to extreme weather this innovation can take the guess work out of your pet’s living conditions.

Pet care innovation makes happy faces!

PetNet – PetNet allows you to use your cell phone to distribute food for your pet no matter where you are! With this innovation, you simply fill the reservoir with food, set the portions, and then use your cell phone to dole out the ideal amount at the ideal time! Keep your pet a creature of habit and never miss a meal time again.

PetCube  and PetChatz– In the spirit of making sure your pet is well cared for in your absence PetCube and PetChatz take it a step further. While no substitute for a pet nanny… Both allow you to talk to and interact with your pet while you’re away. PetCube lets you have a conversation, view them via a built-in camera or even use a laser pointer to play! PetChatz combines the social aspect of PetCube while incorporating the option to reward your pet with pre-filled treats too! Ease the separation anxiety with either of these two innovative gadgets!

FitBark – Make sure your pet is getting the proper amount of exercise! FitBark is an innovative little gadget that lets you know how your pet spent their day. How long they played, slept, or were lightly active. This is perfect if you’re trying to help your pet slim down a little or just want to make sure they are getting enough attention and enjoying life!

What’s your favorite new “must have” pet gadget?

photo credit: taro shiba… still smiling! via photopin (license)
 

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)

Car Safety Tips for Pets‏ – Keep Summer Fun & Safe!

Car rides for pets can be either an exhilarating or terrifying event. Either way, at some point or another it’s an inevitable occurrence of your pets life. Dogs are more often car companions, but cats, ferrets, or other critters take rides too! It’s easy to understand why a loving pet owner would want to take their pet with them where ever they go. Sometimes our desire to do so overrides safety for us, others, and our pets… Before you plan your next vacation, road trip, or a simple drive for errands make sure that you’re following these car safety tips for pet travel.

Car Safety Tips

  • State laws – Before you plan on taking your pet anywhere be sure that you are fully aware of all your states laws regarding pets riding in cars. Some states have very strict rules. If you’re planning a vacation that takes you into or through other states, be sure you know their laws too. Getting a ticket on vacation is no fun!
  • Plan your trip – Whether you’re traveling far or just headed to town to run errands with a pet in tow, make sure that you’ve put some thought into your trip. Map out your long distance trips by identifying rest areas or pet-friendly parks where you can stop and let your critter take care of business, stretch their legs, and get a drink. Even if your just heading to town for errands make sure you’ve got a water dish and some bottled water with you and know where you can take your pet out for a bathroom break just in case your trip takes longer than you anticipate.

Safer Car Rides With Your Pet

  • Hot Cars – Every year pets perish due to being left in hot cars. A car parked in the sun in summer can reach deadly temperatures in less time than it takes you to fill up a tank of gas. Cracked windows are great on cooler days in spring, fall, or winter, but are rarely enough in the heat of summer. If your pet can’t come in with you, it’s best to leave them at home during the peak of summer. In some states, it’s illegal to leave an animal locked in a car. Despite all the warnings though, many pet parents ignore the dangers here. If you have any doubts, we encourage you to try sitting in the car yourself in summer and see how long you can take it!
  • Windows – When your pet is in the car, you must be diligent and constantly aware of the windows. Most dogs love to reenact the iconic image with their heads out the window in the breeze! Be sure you’re aware of the dangers though! Heads outside the window can cause serious injuries due to road signs, mailboxes, and other roadside items. Be careful of windows being too low too. We’ve seen pets jump out of moving vehicles before to chase things!

Fun, but not very safe!

  • Distractions – Make sure that driving with your pet in the car doesn’t prove to be too much of a distraction. Never let your pet occupy the space immediately around you like gear shifts, the steering wheel, or gas and brake pedals. Make sure your pet isn’t big enough or positioned to obstruct your view while driving. Before taking your pet out regularly or on long trips, make sure you’ve put the effort in to “car train” your pet so they know how to behave. Car training your pet is also super handy when you have to hire a pet nanny! The better behaved your pet is, the more fun they can have in other people’s care – like trips to the park!
  • Movement injuries – Most pets in vehicles are not physically secure. This means your pet could suffer injuries should you have to come to an unexpected quick stop or swerve abruptly. There is a wide variety of pet partitions or car attachments that make traveling with your pet safer for both you and them. Shop around and see what you can find to fit your particular pet and car type!

Remember, keep summer fun by staying safe!

photo credit: I’m not thinking anything – I’m a cat via photopin (license)
photo credit: IMG_5123 via photopin (license)

 

Dog Park Etiquette – What You Need To Know

Taking your dog to a dog park is an excellent alternative to regular people parks! Obviously, a dog park is much more pet friendly than your average park where you might deal with pet haters or nervous parents who are uncomfortable with your Fido taking an interest in their child. Just because it’s a park for dogs though, doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and an expected etiquette to ensure all pets and pet parents have the best time possible! Are you a little unsure about what’s okay and what’s not? Check out our list of etiquette and common dog park peeves.

Dog Park Etiquette

  • Know your dog – Most important dog park etiquette is that you know your dog’s preferences, behavior, and sensitivities. If your dog tends to be aggressive and protective, it may be best to keep then on a leash or in a less occupied part of the park. Never let your dog off a leash in an unfenced portion of a park – especially if they rarely listen to your commands.
  • Do Remove The Leash & Harnesses – Once in a fenced in area, always remove the leash and harness. Keeping a dog on a leash in a dog park not only negates the purpose of the park, but also poses a tripping or tangling hazard for your pet, other pets, and other patrons. In heavy play, dogs can get entangled in harnesses causing injury or fights.
  • Stay involved – Don’t just let your dog loose then go sit in the shade somewhere oblivious to what your pet’s up to. Feel free to chat with other pet owners, but never without being aware of your pet. Avoid distractions by smart phones too. Know where your dog is and what it’s doing.
  • Spay & Neuter – If your pet is not spayed or neutered, keep them on a leash or very close to you to prevent any unwelcome promiscuous behavior.
  • Play vs. Fight – Know the difference between dogs playing and dogs fighting. If you have a larger pet, make sure their play stays limited to dogs of a similar size. Dogs often don’t know their own strength and it can be easier for the larger breeds to injure the smaller ones.
  • Avoid Packs – Make sure your dog isn’t teaming up with a large pack. Even packs of normally docile and domesticated dogs can turn dangerous. Try to limit your pets playmates to no more than three at a time.
  • Clean-up Waste – Just because you’re in a dog park, doesn’t mean you don’t have to be prepared to clean up any waste your dog may leave.

  • Health Check – Make sure your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations and not sick. Furthermore, keep your pet away from any other dogs that may be exhibiting symptoms of disease or mites.
  • No Puppies Allowed – Avoid taking a new puppy younger than twelve weeks to a dog park. They are vulnerable, often don’t have all their shots yet, and may be a target for bullies.
  • Hire a Pet Sitter – Many pet sitters are trained for dealing with dogs and are a great option if you’re not comfortable or don’t have the time to take your dog out for socializing and exercise!

Not sure if there is a dog park near you? Check out dogpark.com to find one! Remember, YOU are responsible for your pet’s actions.

photo credit: Playing dead via photopin (license)

photo credit: IMG_2921.JPG via photopin (license)

Spring Threats to your Pets – Beware! – Pet Nanny

The clocks have sprung forward and spring is in the air! With each changing season comes the need to change your routine with your pet. After a hard winter sometimes it can be difficult to remember the dangers and precautions that spring brings. It’s not all about sunshine frolics in the park! Check out our list of spring threats and feel free to chime in with a comment about any of your spring-time precautions!

Spring Threats to your Pets

  • Pet Allergies – Spring brings pollen and pollen means allergies. Some pets can be affected by pollen just as much as their humans. Pets don’t always exhibit pollen allergies with runny eyes and lots of sneezing. Some do so by scratching and biting themselves. Pollen gets embedded in their fur making it a skin irritant. Be sure to brush and wash them regularly. Doing this will also help you get a start on the upcoming shedding…
  • Window Screens – Warm breezes and pretty days mean lots of open windows. Be sure that all the windows you open are fitted with secure screens free of tears. This is important to keep an over-excited dog from jumping through one in pursuit of you, or a lounging cat from rolling out.
  • Flea & Tick Protection – If this is something you let lapse over the colder months, get a head start now by in acting your yearly, vet recommended preventative treatments and procedures. Depending on your area’s spring, these buggers may be out and about before you thing. Don’t wait until it’s a problem!
  • Cleaning Threats – Spring cleaning can pose all sorts of risks for household pets. Remember to keep cleaning supplies out of pets reach! Also, if cleaning out closets or old cupboards, be on the look-out for mouse poison that may be swept out and left in the trash. Spring cleaning also means lots of furniture moving. If your pet’s a chewer, be aware of exposed cords and keep your pets locked up elsewhere until they are hidden again!
  • Buzzing Bees – Pollen’s handy ally in the assault on pets! Taking your pet out to sniff the flowers could result in a bee sting on their curious snouts! Check out this handy article “What to Do When Your Kitty of Puppy Gets a Bee Sting”  to prepare yourself for any necessary first aid required!
  • Fertilizer – Everyone can’t wait to get outside in the spring and jump into gardening and lawn care! Be extra cautious about letting your pet out to play on a fertilized lawn though. Both cats and dogs like to eat grass and if that grass is covered in fertilizer, it could seriously harm your pet. Refrain from using any in areas of heavy pet activity.

With spring also comes Spring Break! Planning a family vacation? Don’t forget to reach out to a local pet sitter if you can’t take yours with you. Pet sitters are a great alternative to pricey lodging, and can provide your pet some one-on-one personal care while you’re away!
photo credit: Es wälzt sich gut in Leipzig via photopin (license)

Children and Pets: Are yours ready? – Pet Nanny

Soft cuddly playful fluffiness is something most children find impossible to resist! It’s likely that if you have a child it won’t be much longer than they can talk before they are asking for a pet. But are they ready? There is a lot of responsibility in caring for another living creature and it’s not a decision that should be made on a whim. Here are some factors to take into consideration before you give in:

Should Your Child or Children Get A Pet?

  • How old is your child? – Age is a big consideration. Children younger than five tend to have a harder time with pets. While pets can be a great way to teach compassion and empathy, very young children can struggle with respecting a pets space and understanding how to handle one. Getting your child a pet too young can lead to either your child getting hurt or the pet. Stick to stuffed animals until they are a little older!
  • Start small and assess the child’s growth – Pets are also a great way to teach responsibility. Be sure to take it slow. Start your child off with a fish, hermit crabs, or other creature that requires minimal work. If you observe your child maintaining consistent responsibility with feeding, cleaning, and general care, they might be getting ready for a bigger pet!
  • Make sure your child understands commitment – The lifespan of a conventional pet (such as a cat or dog) can match your child’s time in your home. It’s very possible that a pet they get when they are five can still be with them when they are eighteen. You and your child should be prepared for a long-term commitment.
  • Are you ready? – While the pet may belong to your child it doesn’t mean that you are free from responsibility for it. The most mature child is still just a child and it’s up to you to make sure that the animal is being properly cared for and to take over duties when your child is sick or busy.

Don’t let holidays or pet shop windows tempt you into an impulse buy! Living creatures deserve your full consideration and they will be dependent on you for the rest of their lives. See more important tips and things to consider here.

 

Pet Sitter vs. Pet Boarding: Which Is Best For Your Pet?

Choosing a pet sitter or pet boarding can be a big decision. One you don’t want to leave to the last minute while making out of town plans. But which choice is right for your pet? There are a lot of different factors that could affect your choice. Is your pet social and does it play well with other animals? Or does it prefer to be alone when not in your company? How much care does your pet require? Does it have special needs? Do you have more than one pet? When you get a pet be sure to take some time to consider its care should you be called away. The better prepared you are, the less stress! Consider these pros and cons of hiring a pet sitter versus using a pet boarder.

Pet Sitter

Pros:

  • By hiring a pet sitter you ensure that your pet gets to stay in a familiar environment where you know they are comfortable. This can minimize the stress your pet can feel by your absence.
  • With a pet sitter it can be easier to ensure special directions  and needs are met. In home care for your pet ensures a one-on-one interaction where your animal is the center of attention.
  • If you have multiple pets, a pet sitter can be a big cost saver.
  • Keeping your pet in home and ensure protection from common kennel diseases.

Cons:

  • If your pet needs let out for bathroom breaks regularly a pet sitter can be rather expensive depending on what they charge for each home visit.
  • If your pet is prone to act out when you are away, this can cause issues for a pet sitter. Pet sitters are generally not responsible for cleaning up or preventing chewed up furniture, knocked over plants, or other household destruction that upset pets can cause.
  • If you have an especially protective dog a stranger coming into your home while you’re away could cause a big problem. Make sure that your pet is the kind that will welcome a pet sitter before you choose this option!

Pet Boarding

Pros:

  • Well run, quality pet kennels can require round the clock care and observation of your pet.
  • Boarding your pet can ensure interaction and playtime with other animals – a great option if this is something your pet is used to.
  • Pet boarding can be a money saver if you only have one pet to be concerned with when compared to paying per visit.
  • Some kennels will offer special services (at an extra cost) such as grooming!
  • Some pet boarders have on site medical care, a big plus if your pet is prone to sickness.

Cons:

  • Even well run kennels can have outbreaks…
  • While your pets basic needs will be met (food, water, bathroom) extra one on one time and play sessions can cost you extra. Your pet may grow depressed if you are away very long.
  • Changes in routine can cause upsets in some pets, especially young ones. Kennels run on a schedule that may not be normal to your pet.

 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Diseases In Pets And How To Guard Against Them!

Nobody likes catching a cold or the flu and that’s no different for your pet! Since your pet can’t talk sometimes it can be hard to know when they are under the weather. Unlike humans, most pets aren’t likely to suffer from the common cold or simple illnesses that are easily overcome by lots of rest and soup. When a pet gets sick it’s something to pay attention to. Here is a list of some common diseases in pets and how you can avoid and treat them.

Dealing with Pet Diseases

  • Dental Disease: This can be found in most pets and left untreated can cause prolonged discomfort and lasting health issues for your pet. Most dental diseases are can be identified by a foul (fouler than usual!) breath, excessive drooling and loss of appetite. If you suspect your pet of suffering from dental issues be sure to make a vet appointment. Preventative measures can and should be taken. If brushing your pet’s teeth sounds like a nightmare try investing in dental treats and toys. They can be found in most pet aisles.
  • Obesity: Obesity in pets is one of those diseases that few pet owners take seriously. While a chubby pet may be extra cuddly and cute long-term obesity can cause long-term damage. You can find your pet’s healthy weight here. Maintaining the recommended weight will keep your pet safe from liver and kidney diseases and also protect their joints. Be sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and keep the treats to a minimum!

Diseases in pets: obesity

  • Allergic Dermatitis: This is one of the many diseases that toy breeds of dog are susceptible too. If you notice your pet scratching excessively with bald patches that are red and flaky it’s a good sign your pet is suffering from allergic dermatitis. Fortunately this can often be helped by increasing your pets’ intake of protein, essential fatty-acids, and antioxidants. Always check with your vet first though to ensure there isn’t an environmental factor that needs to be removed.
  • Heart Worms: Heart worms are one of the diseases that affects dogs more than cats. If you are raising your pooch from a puppy your vet will provide preventative treatment against heart worms. If you are adopting a pet and don’t know its medical history keep an eye out for some common signs: fatigue, coughing and weightless. This is not one of the diseases that can be treated at home and requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Ear Mites: Maybe not technically a disease, ear mites are still a common ailment of pets. Fortunately they are easy to treat and as a result usually not a threat. If your pet seems heavily pre-occupied with scratching their ears then it is likely they have mites. If it is a mild infestation simply rubbing their ears with mineral oil can do the trick. If it seems more serious you can get special drops from your vet. Be certain to keep your pets ears clean though since excess scratching can lead to infection.

Remember that regular vet check-ups are a must to keep your pet free from all types of diseases!

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!

We take pride in making your pets' well being a priority while you are away from home.

"Carol was very loving and attentive to Chance and Nina. She went out of her way to stay in touch and respond to communications while we were gone. She was cheerfully accommodating when we changed plans for our return date. We are completely satisfied with your service and will be using you again."

Read more reviews

© Copyright 2020 Pet Nanny. All Rights Reserved. | Sitemap | Privacy Policy

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.