CategoryPets

3 Essential Tips to Select Efficient Pet Stores

Studies show that nearly 40 percent of the hamsters bought at pet stores test positive for the deadly aseptic meningitis. So, if you are looking for a healthy pet for your home, don’t forget to first conduct a survey of the pet stores that offer a variety of animals, including pet mice, rabbits and guinea pigs. The Animal Welfare Act stipulates the accreditation standards that have to be maintained by pet stores to prevent the common yet deadly Zoonotic and enteric diseases associated with pets.

Apart from this, a reliable store should also display some other features. Here are the top 3 essential areas that you should look into before you make your final purchase.

Health-Savvy Pet Stores

If you don’t have a healthy animal to start with, you are likely to face repeated problems as your pet matures. In fact, there are also times when animals can be carriers of diseases that can infect humans. This is why you need to check whether the pet stores not only sell lively and healthy pets but also take care of the vaccinations and provide tips to ward-off a major health calamity. For instance, allergies, infections, or injuries can take a toll on your pet’s health and hygiene. Before visiting a veterinarian, you can seek help of a competent pet shop owner to gather information about the animal’s history of illnesses.

Take for instance a pet chinchilla. It does not require expensive treatment from a veterinarian on a regular basis if it has proper grooming and a spacious home. From fur treatment to cleaning and discipline, care givers at pet stores would be able to do a better job for a social animal like this.

Well Equipped Pet Stores

The better pet stores do not promote expensive pet items and toys but help owners to take good care of their pet. From blot urine to vomit removing solutions, pet shampoos, scissors, and combs, there are a lot of items needed for the care of a pet. A pet shop would:

  • Sell accessories, food stuff, toys, etc, to keep both the pet and the owner happy
  • Keep specialized tools that cater to a particular breed

For instance, the clipping scissors, shears, nail cutters and combs you choose for a dog will be very different from those needed for monkeys. And, a German Shepherd would need a special comb for proper grooming during fall, while a Pomeranian would require a soft brush for regular combing.

Pet Stores with Fitting Home for Pets

Good pet stores sell pets and the right homes for them. A newbie pet lover would probably not know the best way to keep his pet. However, an expert pet shop assistant would immediately provide tips on creating homes for pets and enabling them to bond with their owners.

For instance, if you are keen on owning a bird, ensure that the cage is big yet cozy enough to make your pet comfortable. Hunt for effective accessories needed to furnish your bird cage – from shrubs, to bird houses, perching twigs, and swings. If you have an aquarium full of exotic fish, ensure that the water, fish food, and under-water habitat are just right to keep your pet fish content and relaxed.

10 Winter Survival Tips for Pets

With winter fast approaching we also see the arrival of some very cold days and even chillier nights. Winter is a cosy time for sitting by fires and rugging up with a warm cup of tea. However avoiding the cold isn’t as easy for our pets and can be a very challenging time for them as they are faced with possible flea infestations, accidental poisonings, arthritis and general discomfort with the change of season. That is why it’s so important that pet owners are aware of the problems that may arise and the precautions that they will need to put in place. The 10 Winter survival tips will help your pet stay happy, warm and safe this winter.

Survival Tip #1: Treat your pet for fleas all year round

As the temperature drops many owners believe that fleas die off and using flea control is no longer necessary. This is a common misconception as a warm heated home provides the ideal environment for fleas to breed and it is crucial that flea control is a year round commitment. Pets should be treated every month to ensure they remain protected 365 days a year.

Survival Tip #2: Provide your pet with extra warmth

When we start to feel the cold we put on extra layers – we wear jumpers and socks, and if it’s really cold, we put on gloves and a beanie. We also make sure that our kids are warm and cover them up with extra layers of clothes – but what do we do for our pets? Many pets are just not suited to the cooler weather and like us, will be a lot more comfortable in a warm winter coat that can protect them from the elements.

There are coats designed for dogs of all sizes and needs, with coats for indoor dogs that are lightweight and warm (the WeatherBeeta Buddy Dog Coat), to coats for outdoor dogs living in harsher conditions that are strong and waterproof (the WeatherBeeta Landa Dog Coat), as well as there being a coat for every climate or situation in between.

Survival Tip #3: Be cautious when using poison baits for rodents

Every year rats and mice invade properties in search of shelter in the cooler months, leading to an increased use of baits and poisons in winter.

These poisons can pose a great risk to our pets if eaten and can lead to a decreased appetite, blood stained urine, blood stained discharge from mouth or back end, breathing difficulties, and can cause them to collapse or even lead to sudden death.

Make sure all bait blocks and pellets are placed in bait stations to guard against the accidental poisoning of children and pets. If your pet shows any signs of being poisoned seek professional asdive immediately.

Survival Tip #4: Moderate your pets food intake

Just like humans, pets use energy to create body heat, and in winter may require extra calories to maintain a comfortable warmth. This means that if you live in the colder parts of Australia then you may need to increase the size of your pet’s meals by a small amount to help them to stay healthy. It is important not to overdo it though as this may make it hard for them to lose the weight in the warmer months, so I would recommend just a small increase of up to 10% if you feel it is necessary. You may also want to check with your veterinarian to decide if your pet requires any additional nutritional intake.

Survival Tip #5: Provide a warm shelter

When the weather starts getting cooler, most pets would love nothing more than to come inside and curl up in a nice warm spot in the house, but this may not always be possible and pets that spend long periods of time outside will need to have adequate shelter and warmth to protect them.

A good kennel needs to be strong, waterproof and insulated and should be elevated off the ground and away from any wind draughts. The kennel should also be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around inside, but small enough that it will retain their body heat.

To add extra warmth you can line your pet’s shelter with an old blanket or bedding. It is important to remember to ensure that any sheets or blankets do not become damp or dirty and that they are changed regularly to make sure that fleas are not allowed to breed. The WeatherBeeta Travel Bed and WeatherBeeta Fleece Throw are a great idea as they can both be easily washed and kept clean.

Survival Tip #6: Provide adequate water

When the mercury is down and pets are not as active as they usually are, many owners forget to check that their pets have enough water. But no matter what time of year it is, it is important to make sure that your pets have access to clean fresh water whenever they need a drink.

Pets need to be kept hydrated in every temperature and by leaving fresh water out it will encourage them to keep drinking even when they are not feeling as thirsty.

Survival Tip #7: Be aware of signs of arthritis

As pets get older they become more susceptible to the effects of arthritis and in the colder months of winter they may begin to show early signs of onset. If your pet is having trouble getting up or laying down, climbing the stairs, or has started to snap or cry when picked up, you should visit your veterinarian for advice.

There are many new arthritis treatments now available including over-the-counter supplements such as Joint Powder for Dogs, Joint Guard and Sashas Blend, which are all high in glucosamine and other ingredients which help to control and manage arthritis. In severe cases veterinarians may need to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for your pet.

Remember, NEVER give your pet human prescription medication or over-the-counter medications without consulting your veterinarian first!

Survival Tip #8: Be cautious of winter hiding spots

Many pets – cats in particular – can become extremely crafty in their search for warmth, and can turn every day household objects such as a warm car engine, clothes-dryer or fireplace into a perfectly snug sleeping spot. Pet owners should be vigilant in the colder weather to make sure that they know where their pets are before starting their car’s engine or closing the door and turning the dryer on.

A great idea is to set up a cosy, cat basket near a heat source, lined with a warm blanket. This will be an ideal place for your pets to curl up to and you will be able to rest assured that you will always know that your pet is resting safely in their favourite spot.

Survival Tip #9: Pet-safe your electrical devices

On a cold day nothing could be better for a pet than to snuggle up next to a warm heater in the living room and settle in for a long nap, but when it comes to electronics and pets, owners need to be very careful.

Firstly there is a large danger that an unsupervised pet could knock over a portable heater and cause a house fire and secondly, if they get too close to the heat source they can run the risk of being burnt or singed.

There is also the risk that they could chew through the electrical cords so it is important that pets are supervised at all times.

Survival Tip #10: Exercise your pets

Let’s face it, some mornings we just don’t feel like getting up in the cold and going for a run. But that doesn’t mean that we should make out pets miss out on their daily exercise. Pets that are cooped up inside for long periods of time become restless and can begin to display unwanted behavioural patterns.

It is important that your pets get at least one hour of exercise each day, even through the colder months, and to do this you may need to get creative. If it really is too cold to go outside then maybe you could play a few games with your pets inside – if you have enough room.

Games can include running up and down the stairs, hide-and-seek, tug-of-war, fetch and blowing pet-safe bubbles. There are also many great pet toys that are designed to keep your pets active and entertained.

Remember that exercise will also help keep up your pet’s body temperature and maintain their mental and physical health.

Outsmarting Pet Allergies

Many of my patients are pet lovers. In fact, the pet population in the United States is over 100 million! And not only is it fun to have a pet, medical studies show that people who have pets have lower blood pressure, less depression, and actually live longer than those who don’t. But sometimes having a pet can mean putting up with their dander, those flaky dots of skin that are shed everywhere. If you’re one of the millions of people with pet allergies, your pet’s dander can start you sneezing with watery eyes and a stuffy nose, or worse.

According to the American Asthma and Allergy Foundation, from 15 to 30% of people with pet allergies are allergic to cats, dogs, and birds, with cat allergies being twice as common as dog or bird allergies. If you find you have an allergy to your cat, dog, or bird, take heart. You likely don’t need to get rid of your pet; you just need to know how to manage your physical reactions to them.

A small amount of people have severe allergies to certain pets and for these people it would be prudent not to be around these types of animals. However, like most of my patients, the majority of people have mild to moderate pet allergies that can be easily managed by some simple housekeeping, pet grooming, and personal health measures that can keep your pet a close companion.

What Are You Reacting To?

I’d like to explain to you a little about your reaction to certain pets. Cats and dogs are the most likely pet for you to be allergic to, with cats topping the list. Bird allergies are not as common in humans, but those that have them may also be allergic to eggs. So, I’ll focus here on cats and dogs and the particular allergens they carry.

Cats and dogs shed dander, or dead skin, similar to how humans shed dandruff. This dander contains harmless proteins which are the allergens that sensitive people react to. This dander gets sticky from fluids your pet secretes and hangs onto their fur. When your pet sheds, this sticky dander collects throughout your home on everything including you. These proteins are also in your pet’s saliva and urine. So when your dog says hello with one of his face licking kisses, or you clean out your cat’s litter box, you’re exposed to these proteins.

Your reactions to pet dander can range from mild to severe depending on how sensitive you are. Mild or minor reactions may be slow to show up and might include sneezing or a light rash.

Moderate reactions are more likely to appear more quickly, and can include:

oSwelling, itching, redness, of the moist membranes of the eyes and nose
oInflammation, or redness, burning/tearing of the eyes
oNasal stuffiness, post nasal drip

A severe reaction to pet dander might include the following:

oIntense rash on the face, neck and chest
oCoughing, and/or closing throat sensation
oAsthma attack – characterized by wheezing, difficulty breathing, especially with cat sensitivity.

Diagnosing a Pet Allergy

If you find yourself reacting to your pet with any of the above symptoms, especially the severe ones, it would be a good idea to see a doctor in the specialty of Allergy and Immunology. These doctors specialize in the treatment of allergies. Diagnosis of a pet allergy is determined by:

oMedical history – asks about yourself, your pet, your reaction.
oA blood test panel where a RAST (radioallergosorbent test) is used to evaluate the degree of allergens in your blood.

Keep in mind that it may be necessary to remove your pet from your home for a while and then reintroduce it. You need to be sure that your symptoms are coming from your pet and not some other trigger like dust or mold in your home, or outdoor pollens.

What Can You Do?

If you are severely allergic to pet dander so that contact causes you to have an asthma attack, you will need to stay away from pets with fur or feathers. Pets like a snake, fish, or turtle would be a better choice for you.

If you are only mildly to moderately sensitive to pet dander, here are some things you can do to help you live more comfortably with your pet:

oKeep a clean pet. Brush/comb them every day to minimize shedding. Wipe them down every week with a special solution soaked “pet wipe” towel found in pet stores that removes about 90% of their dander. Give your dog or cat a regular bath at least once a month, maybe twice a month, depending on your level of sensitivity. Dogs usually like tub baths and some even like to come in the shower along with you. Cat baths may take a few times before they really get used to it. A kitchen sink with a hose sprayer attachment makes it easier for you to handle them. Letting them rest their front paws up on the counter with their back legs in the sink gives them a sense of security. Use specially formulated shampoo for cat or dog. Or, take them to a groomer.

oKeep a clean home. You will need to spend a little more time cleaning your house. Invest in pet hair removal brushes to keep fur from accumulating on furniture. Clean litter boxes of waste every day. Use a clumping litter that is 98% dust free. Once a month empty it completely and wash it down with hot water and bleach. Keep the floor around the litter box free of litter and wash floor around it frequently with a bleach solution. Keep your pets in their own beds to minimize your reactions to them. A machine washable cover on their beds helps cut down dander spread. If your cat or dog gets up on your bed, launder your blankets frequently. Install a HEPA filter air cleaner on your furnace and air conditioner and run for several hours a day. Its better to not have carpet with pets and/or allergies, but if you must, clean them regularly with steam. Launder throw rugs frequently. Some people may need prescription anti-allergy medicine or shots to help tame their symptoms. Taking adequate levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 can help minimize allergic reactions by boosting your immune system. Antioxidants like Vitamin E and A have been helpful in reducing allergic reactions. Proteolytic enzymes, like bromelain, are supplements that break down proteins in food and can help to further breakdown the proteins in pet dander allergens. Agents like quercetin, a bioflavonoid, blocks histamine response (but should not be taken by pregnant women). NAET (Nambutripad’s allergy elimination technique), is a fairly new alternative approach to eliminating allergies developed by an acupuncturist, Dr. Devi Nambutripad, and involves either acupuncture or acupressure.

Having a pet allergy may cause you to rethink your relationship with certain pets and whether you can, or want to, share your life and living space with them. However, if you do decide you can have a pet in your life, you will need to put a little extra time into the care and keeping of your pet and yourself. But, that extra effort will pay off with health benefits of one of the most enjoyable, mutually beneficial, relationships you can engage in between you and your loving pet.

The Importance of Pet Care Pet Insurance

When a pet is suddenly injured or gets sick there is no question about whether or not we take it to a veterinarian. Most people feel that their pet is an important member of the family and, just as with any other member of the family, we want them to be healthy and well. It is when a pet goes to the vet that most people realize that Pet Care pet insurance would have been a really good idea.

Many dogs and cats have some genetic illnesses but these do not make you love the pet any less. It can however become expensive to treat as they get older. There are other cases where chronic illnesses can affect a pet because of an incident that occurred when they were younger that requires long term treatment. Both of these types of care can be very expensive.

Very few people have pet care in their normal budget. When it is necessary to go to the vet for an emergency, most people don’t have the thousands of dollars that treatment can cost in a special pet care savings. The money must come from some other area of the budget. Or, when there is not enough money some people are forced to make some hard treatment decisions for their pet.

Pet insurance is a lot like having regular health insurance for any other member of your family. Many of the costs for treatment are covered by the insurance or greatly reduced. A pet’s regular check-ups, vaccinations, and other preventative treatment is covered by the insurance. If an emergency occurs, there will be many treatment costs covered by the insurance and a much lower cost for other services.

Most insurance providers have coverage for pets that is structured in the same way as coverage that we get for ourselves. If an individual chooses a full comprehensive plan, their pet can be covered for up to $80,000 over its lifetime. Other types of coverage cover basic needs and routine care. This coverage is excellent if you live in an area where you pet is not in danger of having an accident or being injured while roaming outside.

Deciding on the type of coverage that you want for your pet will depend on where you live and the types of activities that you and your pet are involved in. A person with a dog that is very active and out of doors a lot will want a more comprehensive coverage because the pet can get injured by someone or something that is beyond your control.

An individual who lives in an apartment, has their pet micro-chipped, and has a pet that doesn’t go outside, may want insurance that focuses on the regular check ups. On the other hand if you fond of the great outdoors and have a pet who joins you on these pursuits, then you will need more comprehensive cover.

Just like human insurance, most Pet Care pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, if your pet is prone to genetic disorders and they occur after you have the insurance, the provider will cover the treatment of the illness or condition. Comparing quotes and finding the provider that meets your needs will save you money and help you to keep your pet healthy.

You care for your pet a great deal and this is a good reason that you need to treat him like a member of the family. By obtaining pet plan pet insurance [http://www.lowcostvippetinsurance.com/pet-plan-pet-insurance.html], you’ll do just that. Alternatively, with asda pet insurance [http://www.lowcostvippetinsurance.com/asda-pet-insurance.html] you can be sure that in the event of some misfortune, your pet will receive the finest vet attention obtainable.

Top 10 US Pet Friendly Airports

When planning a trip with your pet that involves air travel, ensuring a happy and safe flying experience for four-legged flier is your top priority. You’ve spent ample time researching the most pet friendly hotels that will best suit your furry companion, but you’re concerned about their comfort and safety during the whole process of flying. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, approximately 76 million cats and dogs travel with their owners each year and airports are starting to take notice.

The following airports have made the most strides in pet travel by opening up designated areas for animals to take a potty break, get water, and stretch their legs. If your route includes any of these stops, these pet areas provide a great way to comfort and reconnect with your pet once you get to your destination or while waiting for a connecting flight.

1. Atlanta: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) We blogged about the grand opening of Hartsfield-Jackson’s off-leash dog park last month and we definitely had to include it in our list. The 1,000-square-foot fully-fenced Poochie Park includes flowers, grass, rocks, and benches to set the scene for dogs to sniff around, get a bit of exercise, and do their business. Being the world’s busiest airport, it has seen its fair share of pets pass through and wanted to better cater to their four-legged passengers.

2. Houston: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Not only does George Bush Intercontinental have four designated pet areas, it also offers the only onsite kennel managed by an airline (Continental Airlines) in the United States. The kennel provides 1,100 square feet of space for runs and exercise pens, day kenneling, overnight kenneling, and grooming.

3. Philadelphia: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) The PHL has 7 (count ’em, seven) pet relief areas that include a mulch surface, a bench, and a faux fire hydrant. Each fenced-in area ranges from 250 to 600 square feet and also includes a pet waste bag dispenser and trash can.

4. Phoenix: Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) The Pet Patch, the Paw Pad, and the Bone Yard are Sky Harbor’s three designated pet-friendly zones. These areas offer a place for pets to get relief, wander and sniff, as well as drink fresh water. Mitts for clean up are provided.

5. St. Louis: Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) Fire hydrants are just one of the features at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport’s two outdoor pet rest areas. Animals are allowed to play off-leash in the 400 square foot gated spaces and also include park benches, trash cans, and plastic mitts for cleanup.

6. Reno: Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RTIA) The “Bark Park” at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport was designed to make pet travel more convenient. It provides a restroom, fresh drinking water, and “Mutt Mitts” all under a canopy to protect travelers and their pets from the weather.

7. San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) San Francisco International Airport offers two pet travel relief areas that are landscaped and fully fenced. They come equipped with drinking water, bowls, and garbage areas with “mutt mitt” dispensers. The areas are available to passengers and their pets 24 hours a day.

8. Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) LAX boasts two areas to make everyone’s pet travel companions a bit more comfortable. The Pet Park comes equipped with a dog house, plastic bags, and a trash can. There is another pet rest area for convenience, although pets must be on a leash.

9. Honolulu: Honolulu International Airport (HNL) Travelers’ beloved companions get to “paws” in paradise at Honolulu International Airport’s fenced-in, grassy area under palm trees. Fresh water, plastic bags, and trash cans are available for service dogs, pets in transit, and working airport animals.

10. Denver: Denver International Airport (DIA) Denver International has opened an exercise area where pets can walk around and relieve themselves after a long flight. The space is enclosed and wheelchair accessible.

It’s wonderful to see airports taking a page from pet friendly hotels and finding ways to make pet travel less worrisome and much more welcoming for both pets and their people. This trend is bound to continue, so check in with the airports you’ll be traveling to and ask about their pet services.

Pet Travel Survey Reveals Increase in Automobile Safety Precautions

Want to go for a ride? Those six little words are often music to a dog’s ears. Whether you’re bringing them to the local dog park or to visit friends and family, many dogs enjoy a road trip. You probably ensure that you and your family are buckled up before you go, but are you also keeping your pet safe when they are riding in the car with you?

Trips with Pets, the leading authority on pet travel and pet friendly hotels, conducted a poll to find out how many pet owners are securing their furry companions while on the road. 53% of the 765 respondents reported taking proper safety precautions, which is up from just 44% only two years ago. Many states now have pending legislation regarding the use of pet restraints in a vehicle, so if you currently have your dog or cat loose in your car, it’s time to consider using one of the following methods:

Vehicle Pet Barrier: This was the most popular pet travel restraint in the survey, cited to be used by 41% of pet owner respondents. These barriers are used in the cargo area of the vehicle, keeping your pet safely away from you and your passengers, and more importantly, away from the windshield in the event of an accident.

Pet Travel Crate: 32% of pet owners in the poll reported putting their pet in a travel crate or carrier while inside the car. Make sure it’s well-ventilated and large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. There are a variety of wire, mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available to fit your pet. If you’re buddy hasn’t been familiarized with a crate environment, it will be important to do so prior to heading out.

Pet Safety Belt: Buckle ’em up like 9% of the people in the survey do. Dog seat belts are made to easily slip onto your existing vehicle seat belt and acts as a harness to keep your pet safely in the seat in case there is a sudden stop or impact. It also keeps pets from distracting drivers.

Pet Car Seat: For smaller pets, pet travel car seats are the perfect answer when you’re on the go, and are a good option for 8% of the survey respondents. Reminiscent of a booster seat, your pet is able to look out and see what is going on while your vehicle’s own safety belt holds it in place. Your pet is secured in the car seat with a lead which is attached on to their harness.

Roaming Free is Not a Good Option: It’s encouraging that owners traveling with their four-legged family members are trying to keep them safe, but 47% of the people who took the survey do not currently secure their pets in the car. Letting your pet have free reign in a vehicle or sit in your lap while driving can have serious consequences. Aside from the obvious implications during a crash, if the scared pet gets free from the car, he could wander out into the road or try to hamper the efforts of rescue workers. And although dogs love to stick their heads out windows, doing so can actually damage their eyes and ears, not to mention put them at risk of falling out. The same also applies to truck beds.

An unrestrained pet can multiply its weight by hundreds or even thousands of pounds during an automobile accident. Some vehicle accident statistics report loose objects, including pets, to be one of the top five reasons for automobile injuries. Don’t put your beloved pet in harm’s way when you take them for a ride.

Be a Considerate Pet Traveler

Summertime is approaching. It is time to plan for a family vacation. Unless your pet is a poor traveler, or your hotel will not permit it, there is no reason to leave the family pet at home or in a kennel while you are away. Traveling with your pet is like being invited to a private home. If you want to be invited back, then you need to be a considerate guest.

Occasionally, pet friendly hotels will change their pet policy. In almost every case, it is because they had a bad experience with an inconsiderate pet owner, and now all pet travelers will have to suffer for the sins of one.

MAKING A RESERVATION WITH A PET FRIENDLY HOTEL

Confirm with the hotel in advance the size and type of pet that will be accompanying the owner. A hotel may state that they are pet friendly, but if a traveling pet owner shows up with a 100 pound dog they may find that the hotel limits their guests to small pets. Also, a certificate of good health and vaccination record may be required by the hotel in order to certify that your pet does not have ticks or fleas or any diseases communicable to humans.

If a cat is traveling with a pet owner, contacting the pet friendly hotel is crucial. Many hotels do not accept cats due to the allergies caused in many people by the dander. Additionally, the risk from damage from cat claws is a concern to many pet friendly hotel owners.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Whether traveling by car or plane with a pet, have them bathed and groomed prior to traveling. A clean pet is more comfortable when confined which will likely happen when traveling.

CHECKING IN

Remind the desk clerk that you will have a pet in your room, and they need to notify the housekeepers. A “Pet in the Room” door hangar can also accomplish this purpose.

INTRODUCTIONSAfter entering the room, allow the pet to get accustomed to its surroundings. Show it where the water and food will be located. If your pet is allowed on beds and furniture at home, be sure and cover the furniture with a sheet or blanket for protection.

LEAVING YOUR PET ALONE IN THE ROOMDo not leave a pet alone in the room unless the errand is only a minute or two. Many pet friendly hotels will not permit leaving a pet alone in a room, even when crated. Put up the Do Not Disturb sign on the door when leaving.

If your dog is not accustomed to traveling, it is best not to leave them for any amount of time. A barking dog can be a major disturbance for other guests. If absence is necessary, ask at the desk if there is a trusted person they could recommend.

GOING FOR A WALK

The front desk should be able to advise a good place to walk your pet. Take along not one, but two litter bags, and use them. Keep your pet on a leash at all times. Their behavior in unfamiliar surroundings can be unpredictable.

SADLY, NOT EVERYONE LOVES PETSWhen on the street, or in the common areas of the hotel, make sure a pet is securely leashed, and be aware that not everyone loves animals. Pets should be kept close to their owners and not allowed to approach others unless both the dog and the other person (or animal) is comfortable with the meeting.

CLEAN UP

Always return the room to the order in which you found it. Be considerate of the next guest and the management of the hotel.

The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.George Eliot

If you have a pet I am pretty sure they are a great source of pleasure to you. Hopefully they are an important part of your family, with their own unique personality and behaviour patterns. It may interest you to know then that owning a pet can bring with it many benefits to your mental and physical wellbeing. If you don’t have a pet, then discover some of the reasons why it may be worthwhile getting one.

The psychological benefits

A confidante
You’ve had a terrible day and you just need to vent. However your friends aren’t available, your partner is at work and you don’t see your counsellor until Friday. Fortunately, you can just sit and talk to your pet. They may or may not understand you. Not that it matters: at least it means you can say what you want without fear of reproach. Because they don’t judge you. Even better, you can truly be yourself around your pet.

Reduces loneliness
You are not alone with a pet. What a good feeling it is when your cat curls up on your lap or comes to greet you at the door. Or you’re working at your desk and they decide to visit you for no apparent reason. A number of studies add support to this idea. Research conducted at Ohio State University found university students who owned a pet were less stressed, lonely and depressed compared to those who did not have a pet. Other research reports that homeless young people who had pets were less lonely and were in better health than those without.

Even a robot dog can be a companion to someone. Residents of a nursing home in the US had regular visits from either a real dog, a robot dog or no visit at all. After seven weeks the residents had formed attachments to their dog visitor, whether they were real or not and found them to be a great source of comfort.

Mood booster
If you’ve ever watched TV programs like Funniest Home Videos, you will be aware of how frequently the actions of pets bring laughter and smiles. Furthermore, being entertained by a pet will be good for the family as a whole. Caring for a pet is a common interest shared by each member and each person will develop their own relationship with the animal.

If pets boost mood, then presumably they can help prevent the onset of depression. One particular study showed how men with AIDS who owned a pet were less likely to suffer from depression, compared to those who did not have such a companion. People with HIV and AIDS are at a greater risk of developing depression.

Self-esteem
Pet ownership has to be good for your self-esteem. You get to learn new skills and increase your knowledge as you discover more about your animal and the things you need to do to look after them. Seeing them thrive will be a boost to your confidence. Sharing what you have learned with others will also increase your self-worth.

Develop empathy and caring
Having a pet offers you a chance to develop your empathy skills. Animals may not be as expressive as humans, but any pet lover will know when their pet is feeling down or in pain. It also means you are putting the needs of another ahead of your own. Thinking of another (whether person or animal) takes your mind off your own concerns. If you are prone to getting stuck in your head, this can be a good thing.

In addition, for some pet owners, it is an opportunity to carry out an act of kindness to the community. There are organisations people can join to offer their pets up as therapists. Their pet (generally dogs) visits nursing homes and hospitals. One example of this is Therapy Dogs in the US.

The physical benefits

Stress reduction
Given the psychological benefits associated with pets, it is not surprising to learn that they are a great way to reduce stress. If you experience stress long term, you put yourself at risk of some serious health problems. These include: heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, asthma and migraines.

However, having a pet can relieve stress in a number of ways. Simply stroking or cuddling your pet has been shown to lower blood pressure, slow down your heart rate, your muscles are no longer tensed and breathing returns to normal. All the things you would want from a stress reliever. Stroking your pet may even release endorphins – a natural pain reliever and stress reducer. It has also been shown that simply having your pet near you at times of stress, may reduce your stress-related symptoms. Bear this in mind if you have to make a difficult phone call.

Lower lipid levels
Lipids are a type of fat found in the blood that is linked with diabetes. Cholesterol is a lipid and high levels of the bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) put you at risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Another type of lipid is triglycerides and this can also increase the risk of heart disease if it is present at high levels.

People who own pets tend to have lower lipid levels compared to people who do not have pets. It is possible that the extra activity involved in having a pet may explain these differences.

Exercise
If you own a dog it is the perfect way of getting exercise. Come rain or shine, your puppy will want to be walked. Physical exercise benefits you both physically and mentally. Your daily walk is also a chance to meet other people. Meeting other dog owners, means you instantly have something in common.

Getting exercise outside alone can be a safety concern particularly for women. These feelings can be greatly decreased with a dog by your side.

Research has shown that children who have a dog are less likely to be overweight than those without. They offer the child opportunities for play, even if it is just around the house.

Pet therapy
When clinicians use pets as part of their work, you can be certain that there is something good about the process. There are numerous examples of health professionals taking their dogs to work with them. Here are some examples I came across. A physiotherapist takes her dog to work with her at the hospital she works in at Harborview Medical Centre, Seattle. Another dog makes visits to patients at Bellevue’s Overlake hospital in Washington. In the 1960s, Boris Levinson a child psychiatrist used his dog Jingles in therapy with his young patients. In Montrose, there is a mental health clinician whose dog is involved in therapy sessions with children. Even Great Ormond Street Hospital is taken with the idea, with Ripley the dog visiting sick children.

Tips for getting the most from your pet

  • Think of creative ways you can spend time with your pet, so as to make things more interesting for the both of you. Be on the lookout for new play opportunities, inventing games that will get you both thinking.
  • If you want to enhance your chances of happiness and are not sure which pet to get, go for tropical fish. Research by Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire found tropical fish owners to be the most content amongst pet owners.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity pets give you to be kind to another.
  • If you don’t have a pet, you could get your fix by helping out at a local shelter. Volunteering increases happiness and you’re doing something good for the animals.
  • Take photos of your pets. Even better film them.
  • Know that it is okay to have your pet as a member of the family and not just part of the furniture. So make sure you don’t forget their birthday!
  • Don’t forget animal shelters if you are thinking about getting a pet. How great, rescuing an animal that will consequently be a source of joy for you.

10 Reasons to Use a Pet Sitter

Have a vacation approaching? Business trip looming? And you still don’t know what you’re going to do with your pet? Consider a Frisco, McKinney, or Allen in-home pet sitter from Personable Pet Care! The experience is leaps and bounds above the obsolete practice of kennel boarding. Here are the benefits of choosing an experienced, certified and insured in-home Personable Pet Care pet sitter:

1. Your Pet is in the comfort of his own home! His places to sleep, eat, potty, and neighborhood walk keep his routine constant without a hiccup. He’s remains stress free while a certified pet sitter follows his specific daily routine providing individualized care. However, common practice at kennels is to leave your pet locked in a cage in between their potty break times. Your pet is in a tight, dark space on a cold, hard surface approximately 23 hours a day.

2. Your Pet is not exposed to other dogs’ diseases and germs! The practice of boarding is so risky to your pet’s health that there is even a disease caused by and named after boarding in kennels. Kennel cough is a term that is commonly used to describe a highly contagious respiratory disease complex in dogs and cats caused primarily by the bacterium Bordetella Bronchiseptica. It generally results in a mild, self-limiting illness characterized by coughing and sneezing in animals recently housed in a communal setting. Your pet stays healthy in your home with no exposure to illness.

3. Your pet gets concentrated love and attention! With boarding, your animal is in a cage most of the day and only gets attention when let out to relieve himself. With pet sitting, an experienced, animal-loving pet sitter comes to your home to devote all of their attention to your loved one. Pet sitters work with your dogs schedule and ensure his specific routine is followed. They take walks, play games, get treats and of course lots of love and belly scratches!

4. Pet sitters won’t cost you any guilt! You never have to impose on friends, family or neighbors again. They may do a good job of taking care of your pet but are they trained to respond to an emergency with your pet or your home? Are they insured and bonded in case something goes wrong? Personable Pet Care, a professional pet sitting company, has been trained on how to respond to any type of emergency situation and holds insurance and bonding so you are always protected.

5. No more unnecessary vaccinations! Many kennels require a laundry list of vaccinations for your pet, regardless of what your personal vet recommends for your individual animal. Unnecessary vaccinations can actually increase your pets risk of developing allergies and pose dangerous health risks. Many vaccinations for your pet stay with them for their lifetime.

6. Price! Price! Price! Kennels charge by the size and number of the pets and can become very costly. Pet sitters charge a modest per visit fee based on the number of pets in your home and with multiple pets, you likely will pay less than what a kennel will charge.

7. Visits tailored to your pets needs! Because your pet will be getting one-on-one attention, you can be assured that your specific requests will be met when your pet sitter comes over. Your pet sitter can tailor visits from 1 to 4 visits per day depending on your pets unique needs. In a kennel environment, your pet is usually taken out with other pets increasing their risk of dog fights, exposure to illness, and stress, as this is not the environment they are used to.

8. No travel required. Some animals love to get in the car and go for a ride. Unfortunately, there are many that don’t and it can be a huge hassle and struggle to get your animal to a kennel, not to mention, sometimes traumatizing for the animal themselves. Using a professional pet sitter, you never have to induce travel trauma on your pet. They stay in the comfort of their own home.

9. Your Pet is waiting at home for you! No need to worry about when the kennel opens or closes and if your plane will land in time to get to the kennel before they close to avoid paying for an extra night. With pet sitting, your pet is happily awaiting you when you walk in your door.

10. Home Security! Not only is your pet still at home to fulfill his duty as watchdog, but with someone coming and going every day for pet visits, your home doesn’t have the look of a home with a family on vacation. A pet sitter gives your home a lived in look by following your specific requests. They turn on and off indoor and outdoor lights, adjust blinds and curtains, and bring in the mail and newspaper daily. Giving your home a lived in look is an added bonus when choosing Personable Pet Care’s professional, certified pet sitters for your pet sitting needs.

5 Helpful Tips For Administering Pet Meds

When your pet is sick, you know it often needs medication. But pets, like babies, don’t know that the pill you want them to take will help them. They just know it smells funny and they don’t want it.

Here are five tips to help get your pet to take the medicine.

Liquid Medications

Ask the veterinarian or pharmacist if the liquid medicine can be given with food. If the answer is yes, then your easiest path is to mix it with canned food. First give your hungry pet a small amount of canned food without the medication. It’s important that the pet nibble on the food and see that there’s nothing amiss.

Next, while the pet is still hungry, mix the medication in a small amount food and present it. Repeat as necessary to get the entire dose down. Never mix the medication with the full meal. If the pet decides not to finish the meal, the dose will be wasted – and you won’t know how much of the medication was consumed. It’s better to be patient and feed your pet in small doses.

If the pharmacist says the medication cannot be taken with food, you need a syringe or a dropper to get the liquid down your pet’s throat.

Before you call your pet in, be sure to have the medication and any other materials you’ll need ready. Keep a cheerful tone in your voice so the pet doesn’t sense your stress or hesitation. Position your pet where it cannot scoot away, perhaps having a dog sit with his back against a wall or chair – or a cat on your lap.

Once the pet is in position, use one hand to gently open the pet’s muzzle from above, tilting back the head slightly. Use your other hand to insert the syringe or dropper between the cheek and back teeth. Slowly squeeze the medication so the pet won’t choke. Try to keep your pet’s mouth closed for approximately 30 seconds or until you see it has swallowed. If your pet is being obstinate, stroke its throat gently or blow on the face. Be sure you conclude the session with praise and perhaps a treat so your pet will not associate medication with a bad experience.

Pills

As with liquid medication, you’ll want to start by determining if the pills can be given with food. If so, line up a variety of foods to disguise the pills. Look for foods that easily wrap around a pill, have a strong flavor to hide the taste of medicine and foods that your pet likes. Consider using butter or peanut butter, cream cheese, liverwurst and canned pet food. Be sure to vary the food so it doesn’t lose its “special treat” appeal.

Just like giving liquid medication, administer it when your pet is hungry – and give just a small amount at first. The pet will gobble it down hungrily, looking for the next bite. Again, do not put the pill in a full meal in case your pet doesn’t finish it.

If your pet is on to you, and won’t eat pills wrapped in a treat, then you will have to insert it deep in its throat. Have the pill ready to administer and call your pet to your side. Again, greet the pet in a happy voice and position it so it cannot get away. Open the pet’s muzzle from above and tilt up the head so your pet is looking at the ceiling.

Open its lower jaw with one hand and insert the pill as far back as you can go without causing the animal to gag. Encourage the pet to keep its mouth closed. Lower its head and stroke the throat to encourage swallowing. It’s important to remain calm and confident during this process. If you’re uneasy, your pet may become anxious or uncomfortable. Praise your pet and present a real treat.

Compounding

If medications do not come in a format that your pet likes, ask the pharmacist about compounding – or mixing the drugs in some format the pet will take. Compounding pharmacies can add flavors to liquid medications. They can even make convenient sized capsules that your pet can tolerate. Compounding also helps if your pet is allergic to one component of the medication as the offending agent can be left out.

Devices

Dropper and syringes were mentioned above as tools to use with liquid medication. For pills, there is now something called a pill gun. Instead of sticking your hand deep into your pet’s throat, you insert the pill gun deep into the throat. You control the release of the pill. This can often be more comfortable for the pet and owner.

Practice

Administering medication effectively takes practice. As you get better at it, your pet will learn to relax. It will learn that the medicine is not going to hurt. So even when there’s no medication to administer, practice by putting a small amount of water into a syringe and giving it to your pet.

Keep these simple tips in mind next time your pet needs medication, and you’ll significantly reduce the stress and aggravation of both you and your furry friend.

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