Tag: tips and suggestions

Prep Your Pet – Spring Into Action Now!

That time of year we’ve all been eagerly waiting for – Spring! Throw those windows up and welcome the fresh air! As we roll back into motion after winter there is so much to do. Twice as much if you’re a proud pet parent! In addition to thinking about your tan and planning summer fun, there are important steps you need to take to prep your pet for the return of warm weather!

Spring Pet Prep

  • Vaccinations – Is your pet up to date? Warm weather can bring your pet into contact with risks you need strong vaccinations against. Digging in the dirt? Contact with wildlife? Ask your vet to ensure your pets rabies, parvo, and other vaccinations are all up to date!
  • Collar with Contact Info – Lost pet numbers always rise with the temperatures. Even if your pet is microchipped make sure they have a secure collar with your contact details clearly listed on it!
  • Heartworm Prevention – Prep your pet for the incoming mosquito season before it arrives! Whether you treat with oral medication or a shot, make sure your pet stays healthy by administering their spring dose!
  • Fleas and Ticks – These buggers always make it out earlier than you expect and then before you know it, you’re fighting an infestation instead of doing simple Spring Prep! Many pet owners keep up flea and tick prevention year round, but if you’re a pet parent that lets it lapse over the winter, prep now! If you’ve got a new puppy or kitten check with your vet first to determine dosing for their size and age!

Whew! Now take them for a treat after all those shots and medicine and make sure this spring they hit a few mud puddles with you! Happy Spring!

photo credit: The_Little_GSP 0230 Happy Spring Puppy via photopin (license)

Dental Care – The Do’s and Don’t’s For Your Pet!

While dental care may be a priority to you, sometimes our pets chompers can be overlooked. Do you need to get down on their level with a toothbrush daily? How about floss? Lots of pet owners can be a little confused or clueless when it comes to dental care for their pets. Let these do’s and don’t’s guide you along the right path!

Dental Care Do’s and Don’t’s!

  • DO talk to your vet regularly about your pet’s dental health! They will be your greatest source of information about how you should or shouldn’t care for your pet.
  • DO make sure your vet checks for broken or damaged teeth at regular check-ups. Sometimes there is no telling what our pets get up to without us and a broken (and painful) tooth may go unnoticed by pet parents.
  • DO brush your dog’s teeth!
  • DON’T use human toothpaste! Get a specially formulated toothpaste for animals.
  • DO consider teeth cleaning chew toys and treats. Just make sure they aren’t hard enough to cause tooth damage (i.e. some bones…) Never give your cat or dog something to chew on that you would find too hard for yourself. Their jaws may be stronger, but their teeth aren’t!
  • DON’T ignore bad breath. Yes, your pet’s breath may not always be minty fresh, but don’t just dismiss an unpleasant dental odor as “doggy breath” or “kitty breath”. It can be a sign of a more serious issue that can lead to kidney or heart disease if left unchecked.
  • DO feed small animals like rabbits, gerbils, and hamsters fresh timothy hay regularly. Not only does this keep their digestion on track, it also helps to wear down their ever growing teeth, which can be a real problem!
  • DO talk to your vet about periodic professional teeth cleaning – with anesthesia!
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Car Sickness & Your Dog – How You Can Help!

Some dogs hear those car keys and come running – nothing better than a trip! For those who suffer from car sickness though a ride is no treat and your interior may pay the price… To understand car sickness in dogs it’s important to understand the root cause. Just like children

To understand car sickness in dogs it’s important to understand the root cause. Just like children, young pups are more likely to experience it because the structure of the inner ear that helps us establish balance isn’t fully formed yet. As a result, many pups will outgrow it. What if it’s still a problem for your grown dog, though? Let us help!

Car Sickness in Dogs

  1. Car sickness in a grown dog can sometimes be caused by stress. Does your pet only go for a ride when you’re headed to the vet? Dogs are all about cause and effect. If everytime they get in the car it ends at the vets office they’re not going to be happy riders. If sometimes it ends at the dog park, river, or other fun destination then you’ve replaced that guaranteed stress with excitement!
  2. Help build up their tolerance! Don’t toss them in the car for the first time on a long road trip! Let them have a chance to get their “car legs” by taking quick 10 minute trips at a time to fun destinations. This helps them learn how to deal with the motion and that car rides end in fun! (see point 1)
  3. Roll that window down! …do it safely though! Be careful that it’s not so low that your pet can easily jump out. The fresh air can help alleviate symptoms of car sickness.
  4. Take them on an empty stomach. Try to time your dogs feeding schedule so that they haven’t just eaten when you go for car rides. This will help keep them from getting queasy and save you a mess!
  5. Consider bringing their crate for them to ride in. Being in a safe, familiar environment can help pets prone to nervousness. Toss in a favorite toy or two as well!

photo credit: cheesy42 366-163 Looking out the window via photopin (license)

Diet Changes For Your Pet? Read This First!

For most people feeding your dog is simply a matter of grabbing the dry kibble, putting some water in the bowl and hope that your pup loves it.

There is, however, a new movement of feeding dogs a raw diet or supplementing their diets with fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Of course, dogs evolved from wolves, and therefore they enjoy a diet high in protein, specifically meat based products.

For many of us, knowing what human food to feed a dog can be a challenge. A diet that’s high in fat, sugar, and fillers is bad for dogs – and us, so why should we feed them unhealthy food? Luckily Pet Gear Lab has produced a super handy chart which you can download, print out and stick on your fridge. It lists all the common foods which you can freely feed your pup and those which you should feed moderately, or avoid altogether. It’s handy for kids, elderly parents or even a pet nanny to refer to when they feel like giving your pets tit bits.

This is what it looks like:

Head on over to Pet Gear Lab to grab the download and let us know how you’re getting on with introducing human food into your dog’s diet!

Teach Your Kids To Respect Animals – Top Tips!

Animals all have their own unique “languages”. Just like learning to talk it’s important to teach children how to communicate with all the critters they may meet. Why is this important? Because animals are awesome and being good to them makes you pretty awesome too; among many other good reasons far too numerous to mention! So, how do you go about teaching your kid about the language of animals? Here are some top tips!

How to Teach Your Kids to Respect Animals

  • Teach them to be humble. Kids have a way of seeing something they want and just grabbing it for their own purpose and amusement. When around another living creature, encourage them to control that urge. Some animals are crazy and will bounce all around a kid scaring them, but sometimes it’s the kid doing the bouncing and grabbing. Teach your kid to be patient and let the animal approach them on their own terms.
  • Teach them to be gentle. Soft touching and no grabbing is key to animal respect. Sure, there will always be amazing pets out there that don’t mind your toddler dragging them around by their tail, but do they really enjoy it? Best to advise your child how to stroke them gently and carry them comfortably.
  • Teach them to be calm. Pets can be just as rambunctious as kids sometimes. It’s important that your kid learns not to lash if they get annoyed with them. No hitting, kicking, or biting!
  • Learn more! Find a full list of awesome ways to teach your child to respect animals here.  From visiting animals shelters to reading books about them there are a million (or at least 21) ways that you can increase your child’s empathy and ensure they have lots of happy relationships with pets in their future!

Therapy With Your Dog? Find Out How!

Did you know that the first modern therapy dog was a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky? An abandoned pup found in the midst of World War II, she stayed alongside her adopted owner throughout the war. She helped them accomplish incredible tasks and boosted morale with certain entertaining numbers she had learned. Therapy dogs didn’t become popular until 1976. A  nurse noticed the positive response patients had to the visiting Chaplain’s Golden Retriever. Since then, the ways that dogs (and cats!) have been proven to help people has done nothing but grow! While certain things like seeing-eye dogs are commonly thought of, here are a few more ways dogs are helping people out!

Therapy with your Dog!

  • Comfort – Never underestimate the amount of comfort your dog can provide during stressful and emotional situations. Just petting an animal lowers your blood pressure and helps people with anxiety feel calm. Dogs have begun being utilized in prison therapy programs, allowing inmates to talk about very emotional things that can lead to visible distress. The dogs are trained to approach the person and comfort them.
  • Emotional Support – College campuses across the nation have been employing therapy dogs to help students cope with tragic situations. Yale University has so much faith in the service that students can “check-out” therapy dogs as needed.
  • Bridging Communications – Therapists have found that in people who have trouble communicating or connecting, the presence of a dog can help them open up and feel more secure in social situations.
  • Increasing Confidence – Because dogs don’t judge, interacting with one can help grow children’s confidence. Children will often interact with pets like they might a human – by reading or singing to them, or even asking their “opinion” on something. These interactions have been shown to strengthen children socially and emotionally.

photo credit: rentmam1 Wir wünschen euch ein schönes Wochenende via photopin (license)

Whiskers – Your Pet’s Sixth Sense in Action!

Whiskers – just about every fuzzy creature around has them. They stick out of cheeks and snouts, hang off chins and even span out like exaggerated eyebrows. They are found in predators and prey alike, and cats even have them on the back of their front legs! What do these peculiar hairs do though and why are they so common? Here are some interesting facts about your pet’s whiskers!

All About Whiskers

  • They are much different from normal pet hair, or human hair! They are embedded much more deeply and send information about an animal’s surroundings straight to their sensory nerves. This helps animals have a clearer sense of their surroundings knowing how and when to react to them.
  • Did you know that whiskers will shed, just like fur? Don’t worry if you find one laying around. It’ll grow back!
  • Not all whiskers are straight! Some breeds of cats can curl!
  • Don’t trim them! Trimming can give an animal a distorted sense of their surrounds. Some critters, like rabbits, can’t see right in front of them and whiskers are pertinent to keep them from bumping into things!
  • They help gauge width. Ever wonder how your cat or rabbit just knows they can fit into a tight spot? Those long hairs help tell them the width of spaces without being able to see them. If the whiskers fit, the body can fit!
  • They are so sensitive, they respond to vibrations in the air!
  • The cat with the longest whiskers lives in Finland and is named “Missi”. In 2005 they were measured at 7.5 inches long!
  • Whisker Stress is a real thing! If your pet eats or drinks out of a narrow food or water dish they can develop this disorder. The constant stimulus every time they eat or drink can become uncomfortable. This may lead to your pet not eating or drinking enough, or attempting to drag their food out of their bowl before consumption.

photo credit: y_egan “Whiskers on kittens…” via photopin (license)

2017 Popular Pet Name Predictions from Pet Nanny!

Happy 2017! Each year claims a new style or trend to define it – and that includes popular pet names! If you’re looking to pick-up (or adopt!) a new furbaby this year check out our one-stop-shop for what are sure to be the most chosen names of 2017!

You got a name for me?

 Pet Names for 2017

  • Go Viking with strong names like Thor, Loki, or Asgard. Or their girl counterparts of Freya, Hilde, or Astrid.
  • How about your favorite pop culture icon? Living or recently passed are sure to be hot this year: Bruno, Bowie, Prince, Lou, Drake…
  • Are you a football fan? How about LeBron, Love, or Peyton?
  • With a remake of Beauty and Beast hitting the theaters this Spring, pick a Disney name! Belle, Beast, Gaston, Major, Pluto, Merryweather, Nala, Bambi…
  • We’re sure to see some names inspired by the latest Star Wars film from late 2016. Try out Ezra, Kylo, Hera, Mace, Rex, Rey… and of course the classic – Leia and Luke
  • Science Fiction will rule 2017 so don’t be afraid to break out your “nerdy” side! Nebula, Gamora, Gallifrey, Zelda, and Scully
  • It may be 2017, but some names are classic and timeless – Molly, Bear, Lucy, Duke, Max, Rex, Ruby, and Ali.
  • Politics may be a hot button issue, but expect to find pets whose names reflect the turbulent 2016 election year! Bo, Obama, Donald, Hillary, Bernie… Even Ken Bone!
  • Want something a little more unique than what trends have to offer? Consider some of these unusual pet names! Ox, Novac, Babs, Palto, Reese, Igor, Dagney, Elsie, or Evo?

Don’t forget to get your new pet a nice shiny new name tag for their collar and include your phone number! This helps differentiate a stray from a lost pet and can be the difference between a quick return home or a trip to the local animal shelter if found!

photo credit: Carly & Art “What? Go out in the snow? Are you nuts?” via photopin (license)

Paws for Thought – Caring For Your Pet’s Feet

Pet paws, with their fuzzy and sometimes thick and leathery pads seem pretty tough to us. Our pets go tromping across terrain that we need a pair of hiking boots to even consider approaching! They might be tougher than our bare feet but they still need cared for properly. Do you know what threats, remedies, and precautions you need to take to protect your pet’s paws?

Caring For Your Pet’s Paws

  • Claws – Some people don’t realize how important keeping a pet’s claws trimmed is. It’s not just for your comfort or aesthetic reasons. In the wild, many animals claws will be worn down naturally by digging and making their way across rocks. In the domesticated world this natural “trimming” often doesn’t occur as often, or even at all. When trimming you have to be careful about trimming too short and cutting the “quick” in the nail. This can hurt your pet and cause bleeding. If you’re not comfortable regularly trimming your pet’s nails be sure to ask your vet at your next appointment!
  • Frostbite – Pets exposed to freezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time can experience frostbite, which is a damaging of the tissue, often leading to the tissues “death”. It can be very painful, and also very dangerous if left unrecognized and treated. Paws are a common place to see frostbite on pets since they are less insulated and in direct contact with ice, snow, or water. Check out the common symptoms and treatments here.  If you’re taking your pet out in very cold weather, keep it brief and keep their paws dry – or consider a pair of booties!
  • Burns – Summertime can make your pet at risk for burns on the bottom of their paws. Asphalt that has baked in the summer sun all day and even rocks or sand can cause damage. When taking your pet for a walk ensure they have grass, dirt, or some other alternative to hot surfaces to walk. You can also plan your walks for early morning or late evening.
  • Thorns & Cuts – Never ignore your pet if they seem to be favoring a paw either by limping, or paying extra attention to it with their tongue. Outdoor adventures, even within an urban environment can lead to cuts, splinters, or even thorns. Left unattended these can fester and become a much bigger problem for your pet.
  • In Rabbits – Rabbits, especially those who have cages with wire bottoms or hop around on smooth surfaces frequently are prone to a special paw ailment – sore hocks. Sore hocks occur on the back feet of rabbits and can be very dangerous if left untreated. They begin as bald spots on the bottom of the foot that wear away to open sores and infections. Keep a sharp eye on your bunnies hind feet to spot the symptoms!

Neosporin is a great treatment for many mild foot ailments. It is safe for use on most pets (including rabbits). Remember to regularly pay attention to your pet’s paws and see your vet regularly!

photo credit: Mic the otter spotter, going slow Pixie paws via photopin (license)

Charity for Pets – Helping You Give This Year!

Don’t forget about all the furry friends in need this holiday season! Making a charitable contribution in someone’s name can be a great gift for the animal lover who has everything. What pet charities have the greatest impact? Which ones best target the animals you feel are most in need? Let us help you find the perfect pet charity to donate to this holiday season!

Find the Best Pet Charity For Your!

  • Leave No Paws Behind – You know those pets at the shelter that are a little less desirable? Maybe their old, or have special needs? These are the pets most likely to live out the rest of their short and difficult lives in a small shelter pen. Leave No Paws Behind is an amazing charity who seeks these pets out and gets them hospice care, or finds them foster parents, not stopping until each one of these “less adoptable” animals has the comfort and dignity every pet deserves.
  • Fences For Fido – This charity helps “unchain” dogs and provide them with better outdoor care. Through this program, volunteers build dog-proof fences and provide an insulated dog house to animals kept on chains.  They also help educate family’s on outdoor pet care and affect policy change to ensure pets are treated more humanely.
  • Pets For The Elderly Foundation – Double your impact with this charity! Loneliness is a serious affliction for elderly people and many who would enjoy the companionship of a pet are daunted by adoption costs. This charity aids elderly people with covering the costs associated with adoption – finding a home for an animal while providing companionship for a senior citizen.
  • Red Rover – Red Rover offers Urgent Care Grants for pet owners who can’t cover the cost of their animals unexpected injury or ailments. They will also help you locate help in your area!

photo credit: wuestenigel Golden Retriever via photopin (license)

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