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4 Ways Invisible Fencing Can Keep Your Pets Safe

Dog-Fence-150x150As pet owners and lovers, we do whatever it takes to keep our pets safe. Because they spend the majority of their lives at our homes, we make sure our living spaces are suitable for their safe enjoyment. If you have a yard that your dogs can use for exercise and play, you must ensure they’re kept inside your property lines to keep them from getting lost or wandering into the road. Invisible fencing is an excellent tool for containing your dogs in your yard, but did you know it can even be used inside the home and to keep other types of pets safe? Here are just some of the ways you can utilize a DIY electric fence to promote the safety and well-being of your pets. [Read more…]

Reliable Pet Sitter Wanted?

If you have a reliable pet sitter, you probably did some of the following things to make sure you found one who is reliable and honest. Having the neighbor’s kid watch your pets and home is not good enough, you want a professional. For those who are in the market for a pet sitter, here are a few tips to help you pick the right one, a reliable professional.

First, and most importantly, is the reason to hire a reliable pet sitter. Professional pet sitting goes way beyond tending to your pets needs. The person in charge of taking care of your fur kids is also in charge of your home and every worldly possession you have. The average vacation is about 7 to 10 days long, that’s a week or  more of your home being mostly unattended. Unforeseen disasters can and do happen at any time, things like the electricity going out, pipes bursting, a fire, a break in… just to name a few. Professional pet sitters are equipped to deal with emergencies of all types, it’s essential to being reliable.

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) has created a thorough check list to help you pick the right pet sitter:

“Hiring a pet sitter is a serious process.  Make sure the person you choose is trained and professional.  He/she will not only be responsible for your pet, but also will have regular access to your home.” (read more)

The care of your pets involves working with your sitter as a team. Providing specific information about your pets and home will help the sit go smoothly. NAPPS provides a guideline to get the most out of your sitter.

“Once you’ve decided to hire a pet sitter, you’ll want to maximize the experience for you and your pet. The following pages list some simple guidelines that will ensure that that your get the most out of the relationship… Provide background on your pet’s history and habits…” (read more)

Part of a pet sitter’s job is to provide you with peace of mind while you are away. It’s worth the time to find the right one.

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Reliable Pet Sitter

Walks are my favorite!

July 4th, Anxiety and Our Pets

  • My husband’s birthday is July 4th but having been born in Mexico, it has little significance for him. Mexico has an independence day too of course and Jose grew up in the states, so he does appreciate the meaning of the holiday. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a good fireworks show on the 4th of July? When it comes to pets however, fireworks are not such a great thing. Loud noises that seem to come from nowhere can be very frightening. Plus the noise is a little more intense for our furry kids than it is for us because they have a more sensitive auditory system. Not all pets have a fear of loud noises and thunderstorms, my parents’ dog Sandy has no problem snoozing through the ruckus. (Halloween is another issue however as I describe here.) Cats are less likely to be stressed by July 4th fireworks unless the source of the noise is in their immediate area. Still, a big bang or popping noise from the sky can send kitty to a hiding place until it’s “safe” to come out.There are several drug free options available to make our noise phobic pets more comfortable during a fireworks show or thunderstorm. A TV or radio at a moderately loud volume may drown out the bangs and pops but not too loud as to be disturbing itself. There are even music CDs specifically made to reduce pet anxiety. Provide a quieter, out of the way place for hiding, like a closet, bathroom or some other smaller enclosed area. Open rooms where pups usually hang out with us aren’t comfortable for the time being. (Pets need a little space of their own to get some alone time as we all do!) Having a radio on in their safe place may be a good idea if background noise is the daily norm. Otherwise it can be annoying.The Thundershirt is a product that came out in 2009 which seems to be pretty successful in reducing anxiety. It’s available in different sizes and there’s even one for cats. As with anything, it doesn’t work for all pets so try adding one or two other relaxing methods to see if results improve. For instance, Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) is commercially available and comes in a spray or plug in diffuser. The feline equivalent is Feliway which is “…a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.” Holistic aids such as Rescue Remedy contain herbs, oils, flowers and root extracts providing a natural alternative to treating anxiety. Many of these herbs and tinctures have the same effect on humans. A laid back companion is a must for maintaining a chaos free environment, nobody likes to hang out with a spaz!If your pet has loud noise phobia, start with one or two of the things listed above. Then add, remove or switch out methods to find what works for you. Happy pets make happy homes so cheers to happiness! Have a safe and fun 4th of July!July 4th

Next Topic: Can pets detect diseases?

Is Your Pet Included In Your Disaster Preparedness Plan?

Disaster Preparedness

First Aid for pets

Having a back up for our pets during a disaster will save time and heartache if anything horrible were to ever happen. This blog will be a guest post from Dr. Brittany Barton of HEAL Veterinary Clinic in Dallas, TX. Her blog, Pet Pause With Dr. B, has a wonderfully worded, easy to read post on disaster preparedness and pets which also contains an extensive list of everything you need to protect your beloved pets as you would your human family (see below)

The recent devastating tornado activity in Oklahoma may have you scrambling to create a Disaster Plan for your family….but wait, what about your pets? Dr. Barton goes on to advise:

All of your pets should have collars with identification information, including your cell phone number and a back-up number of someone who lives outside of your area. But DON’T rely solely on this.  Approximately 60% of lost pets are found without their collar present.  Permanent identification is imperative in pets. Pet microchipping is an invaluable identification tool.  Members are able to list contact information, emergency secondary contact information and veterinary hospital information for each of their pets.  You can even list chronic medical conditions in the event your pet needs regular medication or special considerations.
Remember: If you move or any of your pet’s important information changes, you need to update the information with the microchip database. (This is simply done on-line)

Next Topic: Luxury Pet Accessories

What’s In Your Dog’s DNA?

If you have a full breed dog, you probably have AKC registration papers listing the long line of full bred champions in your fur baby’s genetic history. However, if you are like tens of thousands of other dog owners, you own a mixed breed “mutt” with no clue who their ancestors are.

Now you can have your dog’s DNA analyzed and compared with a data base of genes from several different breeds. I did this with my dog Sandy and was amazed at the results, they were not what I thought they would be. Obvious traits that have long been described as “lab cross” or “Chow cross” were not necessarily reflected in the actual DNA sequence. At the same time, the actual DNA contained codes for traits that one would never guess were there. Your shepherd cross rescue pup may not have any shepherd genes at all!

I was pretty sure my dog Sandy was a Chow/Aussie cattle dog mix. It turns out she does have some Chow in her along with Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and a slight possibility of Pomeranian. I never would have guessed! It just goes to show the variety of canine genes that make up the companions we consider family. Dogs are considerably more genetically diverse then most other animals due to hundreds of years of selective breeding. One thing that never seems to change however, are the puppy dog eyes that melt our hearts when we look into our fur kids’ faces!

DNA

My Dog Sandy

Next Topic: Disaster Preparedness Plan

Toxic Plants

plants

Kitten in Plants

Literally hundreds of common plants, both indoors and out, have toxic effects on our pets causing everything from mild gastro-intestinal upset to death. Sometimes dogs and especially cats like to munch on grass and plants for a variety of reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. Try to keep poisonous plants away from your pets’ reach, a list of toxic plants compiled by the ASPCA, the Humane Society and the American Animal Hospital Association (AHAA) can help you determine if you have any poisonous plants around your home or yard. Here are some common toxic plants:

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