Cold weather and your pups

 This cold weather has been particularly hard on us humans, but can also be hard on our pups.  They are prone to the same itchy, flaky skin and cold air as we are.  Their paws can become chapped, itchy, and flaking.  The chemicals from products used to melt ice can wreak havoc on the paws.  Here are the tips provided from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

Stay warm and dry, and don’t forget your pets!  


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,, 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:


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.

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)



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.


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:


Common food allergies for dogs:

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








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:







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 (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:

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



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   “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!