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Why hire a professional pet sitter?

You might have had a conversation like this:

You: “So, you’re leaving for vacation next week!  How exciting!  Have you hired a pet sitter for your pets?”

Friend: “Well, I have Charlie down the street coming over.  He’s 10 years old, and is trying to earn money.”

You: “Why didn’t you hire a PROFESSIONAL pet sitter?”

Friend: “Why would I pay someone more money when I can just get Charlie to do it?”

The internet is flooded with sites like Care.com, Rover.com, with folks offering to care for your pets at a lower price you would get from a professional pet sitter.  There are also neighborhood children who offer to walk your dog for $5.  Why shouldn’t anyone take these folks up on their offer?  Why not get someone cheaper?  Good question!

A professional pet sitter is insured and bonded.  They are members of professional organizations like PSI, Pet Sitters International.  PSI offers numerous webinars and articles that members have unlimited access to, therefore we are always learning new things about breeds, animal behavior, things to watch for when caring for pets (such as regular bowel movements, urinating frequently, are they eating/drinking enough?), etc.  Also, we are certified in pet first aid/cpr.

Would a neighborhood child or non-professional know what to do if they got to your home and your cat had unexpectedly passed away?  Or if your dog was laying on the floor, panting, lethargic, can’t get up?  Would they be able/willing to get the pet to a vet?  What if they were walking your dog and a dog running loose attacked your dog?  We, as the professionals always expect the unexpected.  We know how to act in the event of an emergency.  

As your professional pet sitter, we develop a strong bond with your furbabies.  We come to love them as we love our own. We worry when they become sick, we laugh when they’re being silly, we cry when they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge.  They become an extension of our family.

I hope this helps you to know what to say to family, friends, and neighbors who consider going the “cheap” route.  During meet and greets, I mention these things and people say “Oh, yeah, good point, I hadn’t thought of that.” when I mention the different scenarios that may happen.  

Don’t your furbabies deserve QUALITY care?

Human Food Dos and Don’ts For Pets

Human Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets and Common Pet Allergies

 

Pet-safe/toxic People Foods

If you have a pet, you might know how tempting it is to give your dog or cat food from your plate. Especially when they give you those eyes. But there are many human foods that are toxic for our pets and should be avoided. If you believe your pet has come into contact with something toxic or poisonous, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center immediately at 888-426-4435.

Below is a list of foods you should AVOID giving your pet according to the ASPCA. For descriptions about why these items are toxic for your pet, please refer to the ASPCA’s article here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets

 

Alcohol (vomiting, diarrhea, decrease coordination)

Chocolate, coffee, caffeine (methylxanthines)

Citrus (irritation and nervous system depression in higher amounts)

Coconut and coconut oil (milk/oils may cause stomach upset)

Grapes/raisins (kidney failure)

Nuts (high in fats/oils — vomiting, diarrhea, potential pancreatitis)

Milk and Dairy (digestive upset, diarrhea)

Onions, garlic, chives (gastrointestinal irritation, blood cell damage)

Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, and bones (Salmonella, E. Coli, splinters)

Salt or salty snacks (extreme thirst, urination, sodium ion poisoning)

Xylitol (sweetener – release of insulin, hypoglycemia, liver failure)

Yeast dough (gas, stomach bloating/twisting which can be life threatening)

 

The American Kennel Club provided a reference to foods that are specifically ok for DOGS. That list can be found below. To read more, please refer to the link. http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/human-foods-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/

Please note! Human foods that are ok for pets should still ALWAYS be given in moderation. Typically, they should never make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily diet. Likewise, it is wise to consult a veterinarian in regards to your pet’s diet in case of any allergies or reactions your pet might specifically have.

 

Food that are ok for dogs:

Fully cooked eggs and meats (pork, turkey, fish)

Cheese (in small doses)

Peanut Butter

Popcorn (plain air popped, unsalted, and unbuttered)

Honey

 

Below is a list of foods that are specifically ok for CATS to eat according to Pet360. For further descriptions, please refer to the link. http://www.pet360.com/slideshow/cat/nutrition/15-human-foods-that-are-safe-for-cats/1/jfcxrm2qne-bl4aev3wl6g#/slideshow

 

Foods that are ok for cats:

Spinach (Vitamins A, C, K, Iron and Calcium)

Cooked eggs (Protein, B Vitamins)

Cantaloupe (antioxidants and beta-carotene)

Cooked meats (including chicken, turkey, and salmon)

Bananas (Potassium and soluble fibers)

Oatmeal (Energy, B vitamins)

Pumpkin (Fiber)

Cheese (Calcium and protein)

Bread (Fiber and protein)

Apples and blueberries (Fiber, vitamins A and C)

Peas (Fiber, vitamins A and C)

 

Common Pet Allergies

If you believe your dog or cat has an allergy, call your veterinarian. There are many limited ingredient diet foods out there, as well as foods that are great for dogs and cats with sensitive stomachs or allergies. The pays to check the ingredient list in your dog or cat’s food.

Symptoms of allergies in pets include but are not limited to itching, skin irritations, licking, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian.

For more information about dog food allergies, please reference Dog Food Adviser here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/hypoallergenic-dog-foods/

 

Common food allergies for dogs:

Various meats including chicken, beef, rabbit, pork, fish, and lamb

Eggs

Corn

Wheat

Grains

Soy

Dairy

 

Ingredients that are recommended for dogs with these allergies include but are not limited to venison, potato, and oatmeal. Brands that offer limited ingredient diets or low allergen foods include Natural Balance, Acana, Blue Buffalo, Nature’s Recipe, Merrick, Orijen, and Wellness. Some of these brands offer these L.I.D. foods for both dogs and cats.

 

Common food allergies for cats:

Beef

Lamb

Seafood

Corn

Soy

Dairy

Wheat gluten

 

If you ever have questions about your pet’s diet, consult a veterinarian. Be sure to feed them table foods in moderation and always check ingredients in your pet’s food when you are deciding on a brand. Trying and sticking with high quality brands to begin with is a good way to start your pet in the right direction to a healthy, holistic, and/or well-balanced diet. We love our pets and want them to be around a long time. Take the time to do some research. Your pet is worth it!

Watermelon: Summer’s sweetest treat!!

I LOVE a good watermelon in the summer!!   You are at your favorite supermarket and they have watermelon on sale.  You purchase one or two (or more!), practically salivating all the way home, looking forward to taking your first bite into that juicy, sweet fruit!  When my dogs see and hear me cutting into my watermelon, they are practically salivating, as well.  They know they will also be treated to this luscious fruit.

What??  You can feed watermelon to your dogs??

Yes!  They love it as much as we do.  Just make sure you remove all the seeds, as they can cause intestinal blockage.  Giving them the rind is also not advisable.  It can cause gastrointestinal problems.  The fruit is filled with vitamins A, B6,  and C, and potassium, according to akc.org.

www.watermelon.org (who knew there was a website strictly on watermelon??) states there are approximately 50 calories in a cup, and 92% water, so the alternative for hydration is a sweet one.

For a list of fruits and veggies that are safe to feed your dogs, please click on this link:http://www.akc.org/learn/dog-health/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/

Summer will be over before we know it, and watermelon will be gone until next year!  So happy eating!!

Syndi

 

Important Tips for Pets on Hot Days

Welcome summer!  While many of us love the summer heat, we have to be vigilant about caring for our pets during this time.

We’ve all seen it.  We’ll be walking into a store and notice a dog in a car with the windows barely cracked, if at all.  The dog is panting, clearly in discomfort.   Even if one thinks that they’re just making a “quick” stop, the temperature can climb to dangerous levels very quickly.  Even if it is a cool day, this is not a good idea.  When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car can climb to 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.   The temperature can increase by 40 degrees in 10 minutes.  Dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people.  Imagine yourself sitting in a hot car with a fur coat on!

According to the ASPCA, the shade offers little protection on a hot day, so even if you’re parked under a tree, your pet is not going to stay cool.  Pets most at risk for overheating include young animals, elderly animals, overweight animals, those with short muzzles and those with thick or dark-colored coats.

So what can we do if we see this?  Try to locate the pet parent, go into the store and ask that they try to locate the owner of the car, and/or CALL 911.  We have to be the voice for these guys!

Limiting exercise to the early morning hours or evening hours will help your pup from overheating.  It’s important to remember even if the temperature is not high, humidity can be a problem.    In www.humanesociety.org:   “It’s important to remember that it’s not just the ambient temperature but also the humidity that can affect your pet,” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”

The asphalt can be extremely dangerous, as well.  If it’s too hot for you to walk barefooted, it’s too hot for the pet.   Their pads can blister and/or become raw.  Try to keep your pet in the grass, if possible.  Again, limit walks to early morning or evening when the pavement will be cooler.

Enjoy the summer, stay cool, and help your pet do the same!

 

Coming Soon!