Tag: pet tips

Neighbors and Pets – How to Keep Harmony

The American poet Robert Frost once said that “good fences make good neighbors”. That has never been more true than when dealing with pets in a residential community. If you’re like most pet owners, your pets are like your children and you take great offense when someone complains about them, or even worse, tries to hurt them. If you have neighbors it’s important that you consider them when it comes to taking care of your pet. A few considerate actions can ensure good relations between you and the folks next door, as well as you and your pet.

Tips To Protect Your Neighbors And Your Pets

  • Fences – No matter what kind of pet you have, if it spends anytime outdoors at all, a good fence is truly going to be your best bet. Fences help to keep your pet contained to your property and neighbor’s pets out. Make sure it’s tall enough to keep your pet from jumping out. Also, if you’ve got a digger like a dog or even a rabbit, be sure to line the inside of your fence with decorative rock’s or bricks – something to keep them from tunneling under easily. Walk the length of your fence occasionally to check for half dug holes or weak points.

  • Lunge Lines – If you can’t build a fence and have an outside dog, your next best option is going to be a lunge line. These attach to your pets collar and allow them to roam freely within a set radius. Remember though, this does not substitute for a walk! Lunge lines get a bad reputation because some people tend to hook a dog up to one and then forget about them. Your pet will need just as much attention and play time out of their “zone” as any other pet. Be sure that the radius is large enough for your pets size and free of obstacles for them to get tangled on. Just like with a fence, make sure they have access to shade at all parts of the day and plenty of food and water.
  • Good Leash – Good leashes make sure you’re in control when taking your pet for a walk. A good leash is strong enough to contain your pet, especially if they are trying to chase another animal. It will also allow you to easily prevent your pet from crossing into yards that it doesn’t belong in. Remember – cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other pets can be leash trained too!
  • Minimize Barking – Probably the number one complaint about neighbors pets has to do with a barking dog. Sometimes owners can grow desensitized to their pets barking. This can be very worrying for a good relationship within your residential community. If your dog is outside all the time make sure they have everything they need to keep comfortable and have stimulus such as chew toys to keep them occupied. Dogs will often bark when they are uncomfortable or bored. If it’s still a problem see about investing in dog silencer. These are high-tech little machines that detect barking and release a tone similar to a dog whistle that discourages the behavior. They can usually be found for under $100 – cheaper than most community noise ordinance tickets…
  • Vacation Planning – If you can’t take your pet with you on vacation, make sure that you have a pet nanny or someone to check on and spend time with your pet daily. Lonely pets can make a lot of ruckus.
  • Cat owners, tame that killer instinct! – We addressed this in one of our previous blogs – it’s very important to make sure that your cat is not wandering into neighbors yards and hunting birds or other wildlife that your neighbors may enjoy. When you’re cat is outside playing try to be out there with it. See other tips here.

If someone in your community approaches you about your pets behavior, do your best to be understanding and accommodating. Remember, these tips are for your neighbors peace of mind, but also for your pets safety and your wallet. Frustrated neighbors may use pellet guns, throw things, or call the police. Even if your neighbor is fine with your pet, they may not be as diligent as you about keeping poisons and hazardous materials out of reach on back porches or in open garages. At the end of the day, you are the one entirely responsible for your pets behavior and how it effects others!

photo credit: Stalking a stick via photopin (license)

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)

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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Traveling With Your Pet: A Guide For Your Adventure

As the days countdown to summer breaks ending, families and college students across America are struggling to get in those last minute trips. Where does that leave the beloved pets of American families? Hopefully right by their owners side on the adventures! If you’re headed out on vacation, there’s no reason to leave your pet at home! Follow our guide below and spare you and your furry companion the separation anxiety!

Tips for Traveling With Your Pets

  • Invest in a quality pet carrier.  Just like you might invest in quality luggage, don’t skimp on a pet carrier! It’s you’re pets version of a car. If you’re going to be confined to a small space while traveling, you want it to be as comfortable as it can be! Make sure there is plenty of ventilation and plenty of room. A properly sized pet carrier will allow your pet to stand fully, turn around and lay down comfortably.
  • Let your pet stretch when you stretch. Look for rest stops with parks or grassy areas so that you can take your pet out for a walk every couple hours. This lets them stretch their legs and gives them an opportunity to use the bathroom. Traveling with a cat, rabbit or other small pet? Don’t be shy about breaking out the leash!
  • Make sure the pet carrier is secured. Use your vehicles spare seat belts and/or pillows to secure the pet carrier so that it is not at risk for sliding or flipping.

  • If you have a small animal, invest in a no-drip water bottle that can be secured to the cage door. If you have a large pet, be certain to offer them water in a bowl at each stop.
  • Dole out food sparingly. Make sure your pet has a good breakfast a couple hours before you embark on your journey. Once traveling, it’s best not to feed them until you’ve reached your destination. If you’ve got a particularly long travel day ahead of you, feed them before at least a 30 minute walk. Pets are prone to car sickness too, so try to not take them on a ride with a full belly!
  • Do not leave your pet in your car. Just like children, they can not take the hot temperatures of a vehicle. Be sure to travel with someone who can sit in the running vehicle while you make quick trips inside convenience stores.

Check out this website for pet friendly hotels and other resources for traveling with pets!

No matter how much you’d love to, you just can’t take your pet traveling with you? Be sure to find a high quality house sitting service with overnight pet sitting rates. Pet sitting services can provide a big relief for pet parents prone to worrying!

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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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photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronwiebe/5574067243/”>Ron Wiebe</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Missing Pets: What Do You Do Next?‏

The scenario every pet owner dreads – your beloved companion has gone missing. A missing pet can be an especially emotional and stressful situation. Having an action plan to try to locate and bring your pet home safely is a must. Just like keeping the phone numbers for the sheriff, ambulance, and fire station handy, you should save this blog post as a future reference. Like the aforementioned phone numbers, let’s hope you never have to use it!

Before we get to the tips though, let’s take a moment to cover some precautionary things you can do. When you first get your pet, make sure they have a collar that contains your contact information. Even if they are strictly an indoor pet they should wear an identification collar. Should they slip out of the home unnoticed you’ll be happy they had one! Microchips that can be implanted at your local vet’s office are also a great option to track your missing pet in an emergency.

Flyers are a great way to get the word out!

Tips to bring home your missing pet

  • One of the simplest steps to find a lost pet is still  asking your neighbors. Often times a lost dog or cat will not wander far out of their neighborhood and its likely someone on your block has seen them. Footwork is the best way because it allows your lost pet access to your scent and hear the sound of your voice. They might be looking for you too!
  • While you and your friends are scouring the local area, bring flyers and hang them up at intersections, local shops – anywhere someone may pause for a moment. Be sure your phone number is on the flyer!
  • If you’re like most pet owners, you probably have a thousand photos of your pet. In addition to asking your neighbors, show them a recent photo. Then take that photo and upload it to all your social media accounts and ask all your friends who live in proximity to share it with their friends. The more eyes looking the better your chances!
  • Take you photo to the local pet shelters and ask if your pet has been brought in recently. Leave your number and a picture in case someone comes in with your missing pet after you’ve been there.

If you’re in a more metro area, check out these websites:

FidoFinder

The Center For Lost Pets 

A word of caution: if someone calls saying they have found your missing pet and wants to meet you somewhere or come to your home, ask them to name some identifying characteristics about your pet that maybe weren’t noticeable in the flyer if possible. Ask to meet in a public place (even the local sheriff’s office if something feels off) and be certain to have at least one friend with you – especially if they are coming to your home (which we don’t advise).

Furthermore, never give up hope! Stories all the time surface of pets finding their way home through unfathomable odds!

Choosing a Wise Health Insurance Plan for your Pet

The purchase of pet insurance is on the rise and with it comes multiple companies to choose from. You wouldn’t choose just “any” health insurance for yourself or a family without conducting a thorough research, and many of our pets are our family too. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose the best plan for your pet to receive the utmost benefits.   John North of Dayton Daily News has produced an article that features several tips and suggestions from the Better Business Bureau. Read the following guidelines to aid you in your search for the best pet insurance for you and your pet.

  • Obtain several quotes. Every plan is NOT the same.
  •  Recommendations from vets, family and friends can go along way in your determination. Word-of-mouth is the strongest referral there is.
  •  If you find the right plan, don’t put off purchasing it, because it’s not guaranteed and often difficult to ensure your pet when they’re older when they have what insurance companies consider a “pre-existing condition.”
  •  Ensure clarity of particular coverage and start date. Keep a copy of the plan for your records.
  •  Want to pay a monthly or annual fee? Make sure you know what you’re paying, and make sure you ask whether it’s automatic renewal and what cancellation procedures are involved. Deductible and co-pays may apply. Make sure you know what you’re insurance is and what you are and aren’t receiving.
  • As with all contractual, business agreements. Make sure you receive everything in writing.
  • Always keep your receipts and documentation.

Do you have pet insurance for your pooch or kitty? What do you think of the varied insurance companies and plans out there?

Source: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/business/health-plans-for-pets-and-how-to-choose-wisely/nTyTr/

Pet Nanny Main Line’s Pet Tip of the Week; Rattlesnake Vaccines

With summer coming upon us fast, with already severely hot temperatures, reaching at 90 degrees and above in some areas, snakes are a more common occurrence during this time of the year. Poisonous ones are highly prevalent, such as copperheads, rattlesnakes, and non-traditional ones, with harmless rat and barn snakes.

If you’re in an area where poisonous snakes are highly common, you’ll want to invest in the rattlesnake vaccine. While this vaccine doesn’t protect your pet from a bite, but “may shorten the severity of the bite, and give you time to get to a vet.”

For more information about the vaccine, copy and paste the following links to the websites in your web browser:

http://rattlesnakevaccinefordogs.com/faqs.html

Article Source: http://www.petinfo4u.com/pettipof.htm#Rattlesnake_Vaccine

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.