Tag: tips and suggestions

Ensuring Quality Meat In Your Dog Food!

Finding Quality Meat that is Safe and Good for Dogs

The perfect cure for depression and one of the best stress busters are pets, and dogs are arguably the most perfect pets for people with these health problems. That is just one of the many reasons why some people adopt dogs, and how canines help people more than we help them. Considering the aforementioned, it is our responsibility to do our best in taking care of our companions, and that starts with a good diet. For a dog a good diet means quality meat!

Dogs love meat and dogs need meat. As pet parents we must ensure that it is of good quality and sourced from reputable places. There are different quality meats used in different brands of commercial dog food diets. For example, some fish have higher mercury levels than others and certain protein sources can be over or undercooked before they’re used in the formula. It’s essential for dog owners to familiarize themselves with the way meat is processed before it’s turned into dry kibble or put into a can, and other aspects of the process to ensure only good quality meats come our dogs’ way.

If you are confused what to feed your dog, you can ditch the packaged dog food and cook for them yourself. It’s the only way to exactly know what you are feeding it. Or you can check out these tips from Top Dog Tips – the perfect resource in the form of infographic on quality meat in dog food for more information and tips on feeding your dog:

How To Keep Clean In A Pet-Friendly Home

Ahh, a change in the weather equals a change in clothes, sports, activities, décor—and pet messes, too. Whether the weather is moving from winter to spring or fall to winter—or any time in between—you’re likely seeing an uptick in moisture, dirt, and debris as your pets, particularly your dogs, go in and out and back again. And while it’s fun to enjoy the weather with your favorite four-legged family members, it’s no fun to try to clean up after them—again and again and again. Keeping a clean pet-friendly home is a chore! Instead of doing that, though, be strategic about your home and your pets with a few simple tips and tricks.

For example, it’s time to take a hard look at your entryway: How is it set up, and how can you make it a better dirt-keeper as your pet goes in and out? Having wipes handy to take care of muddy paws is one strategy. What else works? This graphic can help.

How to keep a clean pet-friendly home!

Rabbit Starter Kit – Tips For A Happy Bun!

Did you know that the rabbit population in animal shelters grows every year? Rabbits can be complicated, yet very rewarding pets if you know a few basics beforehand. Before you let that round little rump and those fuzzy paws entice you into an impulse purchase/adoption let us guide you through some of the basics of rabbit ownership!

Rabbits Aren’t Cats or Dogs

It’s important not to treat them as such. They are a very different creature and how you care for them and respect them can be vastly different. Here are a few of the key points you need to be aware of:

  • Rabbits are prey animals, unlike cats or dogs. Their instinct for survival kicks in each time they get spooked and its fairly easy to spook even a familiar rabbit.
  • It’s very important that you let them familiarize themselves with their environment in a quiet and respectful way. You can’t always be quick to scoop them up, or even approach them, if they aren’t used to regular human contact, or are shy.
  • Locate a vet that is trained specifically for rabbits. Cat and dog vets are not necessarily able to treat rabbits so be sure you have one picked out.
  • All pets have different personalities, but rabbits can vary widely. Some are laid back and up for anything, some are stand-offish, even at their best. If you’re adopting, spend time with your rabbit before you commit. Bunnies need forever homes to be truly comfortable, not temporary ones.

Rabbit Supplies

  • Cage/House – Even free-roaming (house tyrants, really) need to have an out-of-the-way bunny specific place that is off limits to you. It’s also important that you have a place you can confine them when doing house projects or when you go out. Rabbits can be dangerously curious and deceptively destructive!
  • Two Litter Boxes – Two are best, one for their cage, one for the house. You may place the litter box where you want, but rabbits frequently will pick their own location and it can be easier to just place the box in the spot they pick.
  • Bunny Litter – Wood chips are fine, but choose Aspen over Pine as pine can be unhealthy for them. Wood pellets and paper are also good choices – Cat litter is a big no-no!
  • Timothy Hay & Pellets – Rabbits should have unlimited access to this delicious hay. They should have a trough in their cage and have access to more while in their litter box. Rabbits are happiest snacking on it while doing their business. Food pellets are also necessary. Choose high quality pellets with lots of vitamins and minerals. Rabbits also love fresh greens like kale, cilantro, spinach, and, as a treat, banana!
  • Grooming supplies – A good, rabbit-specific brush is a must for the shedding season. Good nail clippers are also important.
  • Harness & leash – House bunnies love trips outside! Use a harness with their leash to better protect them and focus on leash training them in the home first, before you venture out. Make sure the space you walk them in is free from predators.
  • Food & Water Supplies – Food and water dishes must be secured. Bunnies are playful critters and anything not secured in their territory is going to get tossed about.

photo credit: Keithius morning chuck via photopin (license)

Pet Names – Top Picks for 2017 Announced!

Picking a pet names is almost as hard and exciting as picking baby names! Just like baby names, each year there seem to be some that everyone is simply in love with. Months ago we released a list of what we anticipated to be the top pet names of 2017. Eager to see how our predictions stacked up we were all ears when we heard that My Dog’s Name had just announced the top picked names for the year. The list is clearly influenced by what’s raging in popular culture, with shout-outs to Star Wars having bumped a few names up in the rankings! It sure can be hard to knock some of the classic names out of the running though! So, without further adieu:

Our Predictions…

  • Boy names – Thor, Loki, Asgard, Bruno, Bowie, Prince, Lou, Drake, Lebron, Peyton, Beast, Ezra, Kylo, Rex, Luke, Max, Rex, Duke, and Pluto.

 

  • Girl Names – Freya, Belle, Nala, Leia, Zelda, Ruby, Molly, Ali, Hilde, Astrid, Lucy and Scully.

Actual Top Pet Names of 2017

  • Boy names – Milo, Bear, Buddy, Tiger, Archie, Charlie, Teddy, Duke, Jasper, Max make up the top ten most popular pet names. Other runner-ups included: Azel, Koda, Bruno, Jax, Atlas, Arlo, Banjo, Pluto, Chewie, Ripley, Finn, Diesel, Jinx, Archer, Pluto, Blue, and so many more.

 

  • Girl Names – Bella, Abbey, Daisy, Luna, Bailey, Hazel, Roxy, Lola, Piper, and Willow are the top ten for the year. Runner-ups include: Ava, Harper, Sadie, Zoey, Pepper, Bambi, Ali, Dottie, Winnie, Belle, Princess, Buffy

Hey, we managed to get a few right, even if we didn’t nail the top ten!  In a few weeks we’ll release our top predictions for 2018. Leave a comment for us with your predictions for the most popular up-and-coming pet names! and be sure to let us know what your biggest influence was when naming your pet or pets!

photo credit: Welsh photographs Chip via photopin (license)

Holiday Season – Getting Through the Big Four

It’s that time of year when the celebrations seem to hit us one after another! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years – whew!! The holiday season parties and family gatherings help to ease us into winter. As we quickly transition from one theme to the next new pet dangers are constantly popping up. A well-seasoned pet owner may know these dangers like the back of their pets paw! If you’re new to the pet game or even new to decorating or hosting holiday events in your home here are some top dangers to watch out for!

Pet Dangers for the Holiday Season

Halloween

  • Chocolate or other candy – including their wrappers which can have remnants or prove to be choking hazards.
  • Loose parts of costumes or decorations, candles in pumpkins, chewable electric cords.
  • Strangers. People unfamiliar to your pet can cause stress and fear as can high traffic. Keep pets safe, even if it means temporarily confining them to a quiet portion of your home.

Thanksgiving

  • Bones, scrapes, and sweets! Make sure guests understand your rules about sharing food with your pets and keep pets out of areas where they can access human foods easily.
  • Chrysanthemums are a popular and lovely fall decor, but also deadly poisonous to dogs.
  • Hot things in the kitchen. Creating a delicious meal means lots of hot plates, pots, pans, and liquids. Tripping over a pet at the wrong moment could lead to more than just a ruined dish. Keep your pets safe by keeping them out of the kitchen during peak cooking times.

Christmas

  • The chrysanthemums may be past their prime by now but poinsettias are just as deadly to your pets!
  • Chocolate! and all other holiday treats and sweets. Sugar is bad for pets.
  • Glass from broken Christmas lights and ornaments.
  • Wrapping paper, ribbons, tags, and bows can all prove to be choking and tangling hazards. Make sure your pets are well supervised if they like to frolic in the post-Christmas morning aftermath.

New Year’s Eve

  • Alcohol. Don’t ever give your pet alcohol or leave it where they can easily access it.
  • Confetti, ribbons, and small celebratory things can lead to digestive and intestinal issues in pets.
  • Chocolate and sweets. Yeah, we really like candies… Always keep them out of your pets reach!
  • High traffic, again, is a threat here, but doubly so if your guests are drinking. Unsteady feet don’t mix with little creatures at foot level.

Know your pet and always keep them in mind before, during, and after each holiday!

photo credit: The 3 bulldogs Hangover, hangover, hangover… via photopin

Travel Season – How to Care For Your Pets!

The holiday season is fast approaching! Between the pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie, and roast Christmas goose there are lots of opportunities for travel. Traveling with your family doesn’t always mean traveling with your pet. What do you do when you have to be away though? This separation can be hard on you, but even harder on your pet since they don’t understand. Here are some of our top options for pet care while your celebrating!

Pet Options For Holiday Travel

  • Find a friend! – If you can’t be with your pet and have to go away overnight, finding a good friend or family member who your pet is familiar with to check on them. Having someone your pet loves visit, care for their needs, and spend a little play time with them is ideal. Your friend can’t make it every day? See if your pet can stay with them!
  • Take them with you! – If you can travel easily with your pet, why not? They can love road trips too! Map out a route with lots of pet friendly stops. Just make sure that the family or friends your traveling to are okay hosting your furry friend too! Check out these tips from Meeow Cat on how to travel with your cat!
  • Get a Pet Sitter! – Pet Sitters are great in lieu of a family member or friend! They will visit your pet, make sure they have food & water, administer medication, take them for walks, and sometimes, so much more! Our Pet Sitting services also include House Sitting! We’ll clean out the litter box and pick-up your dry cleaning too!
  • Find a Pet Boarder – This should be your last option. Even great boarding services still place your pet in an unfamiliar atmosphere with strangers and other pets. They can be exposed to illnesses and develop anxiety. They are also frequently more expensive that a pet sitting service.

photo credit: Viv Lynch Falling Leaves via photopin (license)

5 Great Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

By guest blogger Alexandra Seagal

When many families decide to bring a new dog into their home, they often think of a puppy first. But there is an equally good option found in rescues and shelters all over the country and who is deserving of a loving, forever home.

Senior dogs (dogs over the age of 7) offer so many benefits to potential adopters, yet many people wrongly conclude that older dogs in shelters are there because they are problem dogs. On the contrary, many adult dogs in shelters are there through no fault of their own, but due to a change in the previous owner’s attitude, allergies, or lifestyle changes.

So if you’re thinking of adopting a dog, consider our…

5 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior

1. Senior dogs already know where to “go”.

Housetraining a puppy takes a significant amount of time, patience, and consistency, and you are bound to deal with accidents and damaged carpets along the way. Those wake-up calls in the early morning hours to race your puppy outside aren’t exactly a thrill either.

Senior dogs are already trained to eliminate outside, so you don’t have to start from square one with them. You can save a lot of time and money replacing furniture and rugs by adopting an older dog.

2. You’ll know about a senior dog’s behavioral and medical history.

Puppies are full of surprises, including being more rambunctious than planned and growing bigger than expected. That often leaves both owner and puppy frustrated at their circumstances.

With older dogs, you will be able to effectively choose a dog who fits with your lifestyle and living conditions. A senior dog’s size, personality, temperament, and activity level are already established; there is no need to guess about the dog at all. Additionally, knowing the dog’s medical background will allow you understand what you’re getting into when you adopt him.

3. Older dogs are already trained but are also willing and able to learn new things.

Training a puppy can involve large chunks of time and practice, not to mention fees associated with any training classes you might enroll your pup in and money spent on dog crates. Puppies are adorable, but puppies pulling on leashes, jumping up on people, not holding a stay command, or not socializing correctly with other dogs are not.

Senior dogs are a ready-made package as they will already know basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel.” You can avoid all the work that it takes to train a puppy by adopting an older dog who knows what he’s being asked to do.

This doesn’t mean that seniors are old dogs who can’t learn new tricks; in fact, they are better at learning new commands than puppies. Adult dogs can focus much better on the task at hand, something that puppies struggle to accomplish. Additional training for a senior dog is not only fun for you as an owner, but it also keeps your older canine mentally sharp and agile.

4. Seniors are ready to give you all of their love.

No matter what painful background experiences they’ve had — neglect, abuse, homelessness — dogs are all about living in the moment. They are excellent at forgiving and forgetting.

Whatever they have encountered in their past, whatever emotional or physical scars they carry, they are more than ready to let you into their hearts. All senior dogs want is love, kindness, a good home, and good food, and they will love you forever in return.

5. You’re giving an older dog a second chance.

Older dogs deserve the chance to live out their final years in a loving home surrounded by people who care for them. A crowded, noisy, stressful shelter environment is not the right atmosphere for a senior dog. But sadly, shelters and rescues are full of older dogs, and it takes much longer for seniors to get adopted.

Some shelters are overpopulated and may not have the time to wait for a senior dog to be adopted. Too many of these old pals are euthanized in shelters, while some spend years at rescue facilities waiting for a home. By adopting a senior dog, you are saving his life, literally or figuratively, and your kindness will be repaid by your new dog every day he is with you.

Senior dogs make the best, most loyal companions, so be a hero and adopt a senior dog! His gratitude for a loving owner and a permanent home will be the foundation of a beautiful relationship between you both.

Cost of Owning A Pet – Managing Pet Expenses

How much do you spend on your pet each year? It’s not uncommon to be surprised by the number. Many pet owners underestimate the lifetime cost of these expenses. Depending on the pet variety and breed, expenses can range from $21,000 to $45,000 over a ten year period. Thats a lot of money! It’s enough that budgeting, proper care, and financial planning should be an important part of pet ownership! Need help getting your head around some things you can do to get a leg on expenses before they get on top of you?

Managing Pet Expenses

  • Invest in preventative care. When you first get your pet don’t skip out on those initial healthcare costs. If you’ve adopted your pet from a shelter, there is a good chance some of this has already been done. Ask your shelter about your new pets medical history. Have they been spayed/neutered? What about early life vaccinations and booster shots? If you’re buying from a breeder or pet shop these steps should be your first priority to starting your pet off on the right track! An unexpected litter can quickly send those pet costs skyrocketing, as can issues with heart worms, Parvo, etc.
  • Keep your pet healthy. We know that cheaper pet food seems like a great way to save a few bucks each week, but it may lead to higher vet bills later. Invest in your pets health by ensuring they are getting the key nutrients they need. Ask your vet and do your research so you’re buying the appropriate food. Don’t underestimate the benefit of keeping your pet active too! Obesity can lead to later life issues so regular walks and play sessions are great for their physical and mental health!
  • Insurance or a savings account. If you don’t feel like springing for Pet Insurance then at least start a savings account for unexpected emergencies. Be sure to contribute to it monthly. Just think of it this way – if you need it, it’s there, and if you don’t you can spend it on something else. It’s better to be prepared!
  • Budget and shop smart. Keep an eye out for sales and consider ordering your pet supplies online. Places like Petco offer a discount if you sign-up for repeat delivery. Buying in bulk can be helpful but not if your pets food or other items are going to go stale or otherwise deteriorate over time. You can also treat your pet and cut back on costs by making your own pet treats and toys! Pinterest is a great tool for all sorts of inspiration!

Got any of your own tips for how you keep pet costs down without sacrificing your pets quality of life and health? Share them with us!

 

photo credit: kdee64 Brandy (2001-2017) via photopin (license)

Rehoming Your Pet – Make It Easier Both of You

Rehoming your pet can be a traumatic experience for you both. It’s something no pet owner ever wants to do. We often think that nothing could make us separate from our furbaby, yet dramatic life changes can push us to our limits. Maybe you need to move? Maybe you’re no longer able to physically keep up? Maybe you need to rehome a relative’s pet after their passing? Whatever the reason we’ve put together some helpful tips for how to make rehoming easier on you both.

Rehoming Made Easier

  • Contact your local shelter. Animal shelters don’t want to take animals. They are much happier if all pets have loving homes and never have to pass through their care. As a result, many shelters offer services to help you identify resources you may need. Do you need to consult with a specialist about behavior issues? Do you need a directory for rehoming services in your area? They can help!
  • Get you pets face out there. Take quality pictures and create a sincere write up about your pets personality, preferences, and medical history. Spread the word using social media and placing flyers in places frequented by pet lovers – dog parks, stores like Petco, nice neighborhoods, vet offices. Rehoming your pet yourself as opposed to leaving them at a shelter is easier on you and your pet!
  • Be discerning. It’s okay to be picky about who you let take your pet. Interview them, ask about other pets, experience, maybe even ask for a home visit. Make sure that the person showing interest is a true animal lover and not someone looking for free animals to sell or abuse. Feel free to ask a small fee too.
  • Look for someone close. If you can find a new home for your pet nearby and foster a good relationship with the new family you might be able to visit your pet or offer services like dog walking or trips to the park so you still get to have a relationship with your pet.

photo credit: Bennilover “It’s the Little Things, like having the Wild Things to play with at the park.” via photopin (license)

Runaway Pet? Here’s How To Find Them Quick!

Did you know that pets are more likely to run away in the summer? Runaway may not always be the appropriate term. Many pets simply wander off or get lost. Un-neutered males will frequently run off looking for mates. Either way, do you know the best steps to take to ensure you get them back home FAST? These quick tips can help!

Bringing a Runaway Pet Home

  • Get your pet microchipped! Microchipping your pet ensures that if they become lost and are turned over to or picked up by an animal shelter, you’ll be notified! Have questions about what microchipping is and how it works? Check out our FAQ article about them here!
  • Get a tracking collar! There are numerous GPS collars now that can be invaluable for finding runaway pets. These collars will allow you to find your pet’s exact location. That is, provided the collar remains on the animal.
  • Check out PetFBI.org. This is a great national database of missing pets. It is used by individuals and pet shelters to post about animals they find. You can browse through it to see if your runaway pet is listed.
  • Walk the perimeter. Most pets won’t go further than 2 miles from home. Large dogs may roam as far as 5. Be sure to canvas your neighborhood and talk to people. Check the dog park or other areas you and your pet may frequent.
  • Don’t give up hope! Your pet may simply be being cared for by someone who found it, sans collar, and lovingly took it in. Be sure to let your neighborhood know what your pet looks like. Post photos in community pages, on poles and in the post office. Ask people at the dog park and notify your local vet’s offices. All places someone who may have picked your pet up will likely frequent.

photo credit: Castro Camilo Liquor store’s helper via photopin (license)

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