Tag: pets

Happiness – A Lesson Best Learned From Your Pet

Pets might not talk human talk, but a quiet observation could tell us a lot about finding happiness! Dogs, cats, bunnies, and all creatures big or small have something to teach us about life’s greatest pursuit. Let’s listen!

Top Tips To Finding Happiness, From Your Pet

Take Naps – Lots of them. Every time the mood strikes you, no matter where you’re at.
Don’t be afraid to look silly – When you’re focused on the happiness of the moment, you’re not worried how others see you.
Show your love – Don’t play coy or hard to get. If you are happy to see someone, show it and show it often! (Try to not lick their face or pee on the floor though…)
Never stop playing – Make time every day for something you enjoy doing, no matter how old you are.
Love unconditionally, forgive – Pets don’t hold grudges and they’ll love you even if you don’t give them the time or treats you should.
Ask for what you need – Don’t be afraid to come right out and say it. It’s the best chance you have at getting what you need.
Be a problem solver – If there is a way out of an enclosure, or into the treat bag, your pet will find it. Solve your problems with the same determination!
Be thrilled with simple things – your pet finds happiness with relatively little. A chew stick? stuffed animal? or just having you near. Find simple things that make you happy and appreciate them.
Take a bath – Let it be a relaxing moment to reflect on yourself!

Make this face at least once a day for maximum happiness!

Be loyal – Don’t be looking for the next newest and greatest. Find a friend, partner, or pet that treats you well and commit yourself.
Live in the now – Do you think when you’re hanging with your pet they’re wondering about what’s for dinner? or they’re plans for tomorrow? Enjoy each moment for what it has to offer, not constantly thinking about the next.
Body language says a lot – Pet’s don’t game with a poker face. They express themselves through their body language and you should too!
Take walks and be a part of nature, not apart from it – Don’t get lost in the human world! Look at the leaves, smell the air, see how the sun reflects off the water and enjoy the simple things around you. Do it daily!
Don’t be bitter – Have you ever met a bitter pet? A pet that was upset because they didn’t catch that mouse or get to go for a ride? Learn to let things go and find your contentment!
photo credit: Creature Comfort via photopin (license)

Tick Diseases In Your Pet – How To Spot Them

With the first day of summer just over a month away, in some parts of the country tick season is well underway. Spring is an especially vulnerable time for pets as pet owners who let flea and tick prevention lapse over the winter may fail to pick it back up again in time to prevent those first few tick bites of the season. Aside from being an irritant to you and your pet, ticks carry all sorts of deadly diseases that are easily transmitted to you or your pet. Do you know what the diseases are and how to spot the symptoms in your pets?

Identify Ticks here:

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ticks/article_em.htm

Common Tick Diseases and their Symptoms

  • Lyme Disease- A particularly deadly tick disease that may be hard to spot in pets until well after they have been infected. The main symptom is a general malaise in your pet. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and lameness in one or more legs are all earmarks of this very serious sickness. If your pet is exhibiting these symptoms and you have any reason to believe they may have suffered a tick bite within the last few months, be sure to as your vet to test them.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever (RMSF) – This sickness is typically carried by what is commonly known as the “dog tick” and can result in pretty severe sickness for at least a couple weeks, sometimes resulting in death. Don’t let the name of this disease fool you either while it is more frequent in the Rocky Mountain states, it has been found country-wide. Symptoms in pets for this tick disease include stiffness and/or difficulty walking due to neurological effects, blood in the urine or nose bleeds, swelling of the limbs, and lethargy. This sickness usually results in pet hospitalization and treatment.
  • Anaplasmosis – This disease comes from the same ticks that transmit Lyme Disease. There are actually two different variations of anaplasmosis with similar symptoms. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, nose bleeds, and high fever. If your pet tests positive for this tick disease, it can be treated with antibiotics and your pet should start improving in 2-4 days!
  • Ehrlichiosis – This tick disease can vary in severity, affecting your pet’s quality of life for a few weeks, months, or even years. In very severe cases, pets may require blood transfusions. Symptoms include weight loss, pain in joints, depression, coughing, vomiting, and fever.

What better reason do you need to stay on top of your pets flea and tick prevention this year? Ticks don’t limit themselves to dogs or cats either. Any pet that spends time outside should be treated regularly. Be sure to use treatment specific to your pet though. What works for dogs can be very dangerous for rabbits or ferrets!

Some tick-borne illness can affect humans too so keeping your pet tick free ensures the health of the whole family! Remember, if your pet is acting out of the ordinary always be sure to have your vet consider these tick borne illnesses before the disease is allowed to progress into something very, very serious!

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)

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.

 

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.

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/road_less_trvled/1974546699/”>road_less_trvled</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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!

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/maryellen/107867839/”>MaryEllen and Paul</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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>

Fleas and Ticks and Mites, Oh My! – Pet Nanny

Last Saturday marked the change of seasons from the blossoms of Springs to the full fledge greenery of summer! And right along with it came all the insect kingdom looking for food! While mosquito’s and chiggers may target humans the most, pets take on a non-stop onslaught from the fleas and ticks and mites! Between flea shampoos and collars, shots and pills, we’ve come up with some extra steps you can add to your regimen to help keep your pet comfortable this year. While these tips may not be replacements for your pets regular flea and tick treatment, they can help to make them more effective and possibly require less frequent rounds of it. Take these tips to task and let us know if you have any of your own!

Help Keep Fleas and Ticks and Mites Away!

  • Diatomaceous Earth – This stuff is harmless to animals and pets! It feels like baby powder but is made up of super finely ground shells. At a microscopic level though it’s like a bunch of tiny razors. Spread this fine powder around outside areas where your pet likes to sleep. It’s also great to sprinkle on welcome mats or in dog houses. It has to be reapplied once it gets damp though.
  • Grow Mint – Mint has a strong odor that is a deterrent to fleas. Plant it around dog houses, or dry it and keep sachets of it around the home where pets like to congregate!
  • Rosemary Oil – Rosemary keeps ticks at bay. Purchase a cloth collar for your dog or cat and let a few drops of Rosemary Oil soak into the material before you put it around your pets neck. Be sure to wash and reapply as needed.
  • Coconut Oil – Condition you pets fur with coconut oil! A small amount massaged into your pets fur will not only help make their coats shine but also deter fleas and ticks and mites! And it’s harmless if ingested! Don’t forget to swab a cotton ball with coconut oil on the ears and just inside (where fur still grows) to prevent ear mites from taking up residence.

 

Fleas and ticks

Surprising Foods You Can Share With Your Dog

Dogs are masters at begging and few pet owners can resist the puppy dog eyes and soft whimpering that resides close to you while chowing down on your favorite snack. Lots of things human eats can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs though. Here is a list of surprising foods that you can feel free to share with your pet and satisfy your desire to treat them!

Surprising foods to satisfy your dog!

Treat Your Pet With These Surprising Foods!

  • Peanut Butter – Peanut Butter is a perfectly safe treat to share with your dog, but to be on the healthy side, try to be certain that it is natural, and not full of extra sugars.
  • Apples & Pears – not necessarily something your dog will be begging for but they are okay to share! Spare your pet the core of the fruit though since the seeds can contain cyanide!
  • Squashes – Next time you’re hosting a summer cook out, feel free to share some grilled yellow squash or zucchini with your pet!
  • Peppermint – while it may not be one of the ‘surprising foods’ since technically it’s an herb, feel free to treat your fuzzy friends bad breath with some fresh peppermint!
  • Yogurt  and cheeses – we’ve added these two to our list of surprising foods but its important to note that like humans, a small percentage of dogs are lactose intolerant.
  • Oatmeal – a great choice for older dogs who may need more fiber, as well as young pups who need soft food.

While all these foods, as well as many others are safe to feed to your dog, remember moderation is key. Also remember to always choose options with the least amount of added sugars and fats. Be certain to check  out the ASPCA  website for a list of surprising foods to NEVER feed your dog, including avocado, grapes, and bread dough.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/supercereal/10584549423/”>MA1216</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a

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

 

Pet Ownership and Your Health

Pet Ownership Can Improve Your Health

By now, most people have heard about how pet ownership is linked to health benefits – how they can lower some peoples blood pressure and lead to an over all longer and healthier life. In addition to blood pressure though, there are a lot more ways that pet ownership positively effects your well-being, no matter your age! Children who suffer from hypertension benefit from interacting with animals just as much as adults with blood pressure problems do, and pets have been proven to have a ‘mood boosting’ effect on people who suffer from depression. Children also can benefit from animal exposure during their youth by developing less allergies than children without pets. Cat ownership specifically has been shown to lower the mortality rate by heart attack with people who had never owned one reporting 40% higher fatalities, while those who owned a dog and suffered a heart attack were proven to recover quicker! Additionally, responsible pet ownership often means to a more active and social lifestyle, fighting obesity and the negative health effects that come with a sedentary lifestyle.

Pets Can Help with Your Medical Treatments

In addition to many preventative measures that pet ownership offers, animals are being used more frequently in medical treatments all the time! Pet ownership for helping children overcome ADHD, as well as being used as ‘alarms’ for people suffering from diabetes, or similar medical conditions – since it’s been shown that dogs have the ability to detect blood sugar levels and other health emergencies in their owners! Animals area also often used in treating children suffering from autism, since the sensory experiences can help them grow, in a calm and safe environment while also building self esteem.

Whether you or someone in your family suffers from a medical condition or not, in the eyes of the medical world, there’s no doubt that pet ownership can benefit everyone in the household! Check out WebMD for more information, and enjoy the infographic below!

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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.