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June Newsletter

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

Summer is here! 

  • Our Summer Schedule is Filling Up Fast!  Be Sure To Schedule Your Summer Vacations Soon.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
 

Help! My Dog Is Feasting On Grass!

Some dogs seem to be part cow with all the grass eating they do. Does your dog munch on grass? If so, why? Are they sick, bored, or hungry? Will grass eating hurt them?

Guess what? Grass eating is very common but not very well understood. Many dogs love eating grass, it’s even been observed in wild canines, so there is nothing unusual about it. Most vets consider it a normal canine behavior.

So why do they do it? There are a number of theories why – below are the most popular.

  • Many people will tell you their dogs eat grass when they don’t feel well, and they use a grass snack to throw up. Studies have shown that less than 25% of dogs throw up after eating grass, but this may occasionally be their reason.
  • Dogs, like people, are omnivores – which means their diet consists of meat and plants, so it’s natural for them to include plants in their diets. It may add roughage, help their digestion, or offer nutrients they need.
  • It’s tasty and available! And dogs, for the most part, enjoy the process of eating (don’t we all).
  • Sometimes dogs are bored. They dig, chew grass, or eat dirt just for something to do.
  • Occasionally dogs are anxious and need to be doing something, so they chew plants.
  • Some studies have shown that wild animals eat grass to eliminate intestinal parasites. Plant material speeds up their intestine and helps to get rid of parasites. Since most domesticated dogs are free from this problem, this may be a leftover wild behavior.

The only caveat with a grass eating dog… you need to be sure the grass they are munching on is fertilizer and pesticide free. Many people use all sorts of dangerous chemicals on their yard to keep it in tip-top shape. So be sure the grass your pet is eating is “organic” and don’t worry when your dog does a little grass snacking, it tastes good!

Here is a study that seems to debunk the myth of an upset tummy.

You can read the AKC take on grass eating here.

 

Does My Dog Have a Cold?

If your best friend is coughing, has a runny nose, or is just “off” you might be inclined to think they have a cold. The colds people get are not contagious to dogs, so the short answer is: Your dog does not have a cold.

Dogs do, however, get illnesses that can affect their respiratory system that may result in a cough and runny nose. One of the most common is called kennel cough or Bordetella. This illness is highly contagious. Any dog can get it even if they haven’t been in a kennel recently, but it does tend to spread quickly in kennels (a great reason to use a Pet Sitter).

If your dog displays the following symptoms, it may be time to take them to your vet and have them evaluated.

  • persistent, “honking” cough
  • watery nasal discharge
  • sneezing
  • eye discharge
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy

Kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated. There is a vaccination for Bordetella so you may want to discuss that with your vet next time you’re there. Follow your vet’s advice and get your pup back to good health and high spirits.

Read about Kennel Cough according to the AKC.

 

Fun Pet Holidays in June

Adopt a Cat Month
National Pet Preparedness Month
National Microchip Month

June 4 –  International Hug Your Cat Day
June 4 – Pet Appreciation Week
June 8 – Best Friends Day
June 11 – Pet Memorial Day
June 23 – Take Your Pet To Work Day

 

Pet First Aid Kit Supplies

I bet you have a first aid kit in your home for people, right? You might consider having one for your pets too. Accidents happen, and a first aid kit will tide you over while you head to the vet. If you ever have to evacuate in an emergency, it’s easy to have a first aid kit all set up so you can just pick it up and go. As promised last month, here are few things that should be in your kit:

  • the name and number of your vet and emergency clinic
  • the Animal Poison Control Center
  • your pet’s medical records
  • gauze
  • self-adherent wrap bandages
  • adhesive tape
  • activated charcoal
  • eye dropper
  • scissors
  • styptic powder
  • tweezers
  • flashlight
  • disposal gloves
  • eye/ear wash
  • thermometer
  • cotton swabs/balls
  • wound disinfectant
  • Benadryl
  • muzzle
  • leash
 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
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How To Check And Clean Your Cat’s Ears

Check And Clean Your Cat's Ears

An important part of keeping your cat healthy and happy is checking and cleaning their ears. Because the ears are one of the few parts that cats can not reach themselves they need a little help from a loving owner. Keeping your cats ears clean is extremely important because any unremoved dirt, debris, or wax can clog the ears and cause infections. Regular ear cleaning at home augment’s your cats own natural grooming habits.

read more

May Newsletter 2017

Vital Visits News, Tips, and More!

Spring is for New Puppies and Kittens!

Thinking of getting a new pet this spring? A wise owner will do a lot of preparation before the new pup or kitten comes home. You need to consider where they will sleep, if they will be allowed on the furniture, what will they do all day long, and who will train the pup?

You will also need a lot of supplies. Here are some of the essential items you’ll need before your puppy or kitten comes home.

Dogs

    • Food and water bowls – consider non-tip bowls, they will result in less of a mess for everyone. Larger breeds like their bowls raised for easier eating and drinking. 

  • Puppy food – choose a top brand food made for puppies.
  • A crate – they are very helpful with house training, and it’s a perfect place to keep your pup safe and confined when you can’t supervise them. Most dogs that are introduced to a crate as puppies love them and use them as their “den” as adult dogs. Never use a crate for punishment.
  • Bed – put it in their crate if you are using one so that it will be your pup’/s “safe spot.”
  • Walking equipment – collar, leash, and ID tags.
  • Car harness/seatbelt – be sure they are sized correctly.
  • Training basics – treats (small) and possibly a clicker.
  • Puppy toys – we love a Kong! Also, consider a ball, a rope/tug toy, and a good teething toy like a flavored NylaBone. Dogs and puppies like new toys so keep rotating them. Pups love stuffed toys and Kong makes some good sturdy ones, but be aware that no stuffed toy is indestructible so keep an eye on it when your dog is chewing them. Many a dog has swallowed a squeaker. 
  • Essential grooming tools – the appropriate type of brush for your dog’s coat, nail clippers, and a toothbrush.
  • Potty bags – be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your pup.
  • Enzyme cleaner – there will be accidents in the beginning, so it’s best to be prepared!

Cats 

  • Food and Water Bowls – consider non-tip for kittens too.
  • Kitty food – high-quality kitten food.
  • Potty basics – litter box, litter, and scoop.
  • Cat bed – you will need at least one. Every cat loves a bed or shelf that attaches to a window; who doesn’t love a view?
  • Scratching post – along with training, this will help save your furniture.
  • Grooming tools – a brush, nail clippers, and toothbrush.
  • Breakaway collar and ID tag – this should be on your cat every time it leaves the house, even for a vet visit.
  • Carrier – for trips in the car.
  • Cat toys – be sure they are not too small – we don’t want your kitten to swallow them.
 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

Happy May! 

  • Memorial Day is right around the corner and summer vacations are right behind that! If have your vacation dates please book your pet sitting as soon as you can.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
 

Pet Emergency Preparedness

It can happen to you, a tornado strikes your town, a hurricane blows through, or a flood happens. Make plans ahead of time to be sure your pets are protected when disaster strikes.

  • Make a pet evacuation plan. Research shelters and their pet policies. Keep copies of your pet’s vaccination records to take with you. If you don’t have a car find emergency service organizations that will help transport your pet. 
  • Have a one week supply of food for each pet.
  • Keep a list of boarding facilities and hotels that will take pets contact them to be sure of their policies.
  • Identify your pet clearly. Make sure their ID tag is up to date, have your pet microchipped, and use medical tape and a permanent marker to put your emergency location on their collar.
  • Put together an emergency kit. It needs food, their dishes, medications, leashes, and kitty litter.
  • Have a secure way to transport your pets, with a crate, harness, and seatbelt. 
  • Have an emergency first aid kit (for people and animals) and take it with you when you evacuate. (we’ll go over what you need in that next month)

ASPCA Disaster Preparedness – lots of information here.
Homeland Security has a website – devoted to Animals of all types and disasters.

 

Meet Mabel!

Mabel is one of our favorite dog walking and swimming clients. Did you know that most dogs LOVE swimming and it offers many benefits for your pet?

Swimming is a great hot weather exercise, your dog gets a great workout and doesn’t overheat. Experts say that 1 minute of swimming is equal to about 4 minutes of running.

Swimming not only releases pent up energy but it helps a dog relax. For an older dog, it’s great exercise without too much stress on their joints. And a great workout for an overweight dog!

As you can see Mabel loves any activity and swimming changes up her routine, so she isn’t bored. She is always thrilled to see us at the door.

If you are going to try swimming with your older dog or one with health issues, talk to your vet first. For safety always watch your dog in the water, better yet, go in with them!

We have a variety of Pet Packages that we tailor to your dog’s age and exercise needs. You can read about them here.

 

Fun Pet Holidays in May

National Pet Month
National Microchip Your Pet Month
Pet Cancer Awareness Month

May 1 –  National Purebred Dog Day
May 3 –  National Specially-Abled Pets Day
May 4 –  Respect for Chickens Day
May 7 –  Be Kind to Animals Week
May 13 – Frog Jumping Day
May 8 –  National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
May 21 – Dog Bite Prevention Week
May 23 – World Turtle Day
May 30 – International Hug Your Cat Day

 

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Pets

  • Dogs feet often smell like Fritos!
  • Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws.
  • Pet your dog, it lowers YOUR blood pressure.
  • Puppies are born blind, deaf, and toothless.
  • The most popular breed of dog is a Lab.
  • The Australian Shepard is not native to Australia; they come from the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains (Spain).
  • Both cats and dogs dream.
  • Cats have big eyes and can’t focus well on things that are too close.
  • The largest breed of cat is a Maine Coon. (average weight is 18 lbs.)
  • Cats spend 2/3 of their life napping.
  • Birds are attracted to shiny objects (watch your jewelry).
  • Bunnies get bored and need socialization and toys.
  • Many reptiles smell with their tongues!
(The image here is a Maine Coon and an Australian Shepard)
 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
Copyright © 2017 Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service, All rights reserved.

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April Newsletter 2017

 

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Heartworm – The Facts!

The month of April is National Heartworm Awareness Month. Let’s go over the facts of this disease, so we have the information we need to keep our pets safe.

Heartworm is a devastating, potentially fatal disease. The good news is that it is preventable. Heartworm has been found in ALL 50 states, although it is more common in the southeast. Studies by the American Heartworm Society have found Heartworm infections are increasing across the USA.

Heartworm is exactly like it sounds, a parasite that lives inside your pet’s heart and blood vessels of their lungs. Mosquitoes transmit this disease, and if left untreated it will not only affect the heart and lungs, but your dog’s liver, kidney, eyes, and eventually cause death.

There are very few symptoms in the early stages of the disease but as the number of heartworms increase so do the symptoms which include coughing, exercise intolerance, fatigue, labored breathing, and weight loss. Often by the time you notice any symptoms your pet may have irreversible damage to their health. This is why it’s so important to have your dog tested every single spring for heartworm.

Diagnosis is a simple blood test. If your pet tests positive for heartworm, your vet may want to do some further testing to see how advanced the disease is. Treatment is expensive, often difficult, takes time, and is not without its own risks. It usually involves a series of shots, medications, hospitalization, and strict confinement for your pet. The goal of every pet owner should be prevention.

There are a number of preventative canine heartworm medications available from your vet. They come in oral, topical, and injectables and many of them also protect your pet against other parasites. Some pet owners think they can skip heartworm medication in the winter, but the current veterinary recommendation is to treat for it all year around. A day or two of winter thaw can cause mosquitoes to hatch which increases the risk of infection.

Don’t take any chances with your best friend, have your dog tested this spring and talk to your vet about the proper medication for your pooch.American Heartworm Society Questions and Answers
Does My Dog Need a Heartworm Test
Heartworm Infographic

 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

Happy Spring! 

  • If you need pet sitting for this the weekend or vacations, please book as early as possible.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
  • Read my blog article: Keeping Pets Safe on Walks
 

5 Obesity Tips You Can See Coming

There are many factors that contribute to obesity, here are a few to watch out for.

  • Breed – some breeds like Labs, Boxers, and Bulldogs have a tendency to gain weight. If you own one of these breeds, you need to be extra vigilant with food.
  • Inaccurate information – incorrect feeding instructions or calorie information on dog food is common. Many suggest servings that are too large or have incorrect calorie counts. Look at your dog, do they have a waistline?
  • Treats – I know, they beg and look at you with sad eyes, but too many treats and table scraps quickly add up to a chubby pet. Try green beans, tiny training treats, apple pieces, or even carrots.
  • Get moving – start walking! It’s good for both of you, and not enough exercise is the second most common cause of extra weight (eating too much is #1).
  • Age – most of us (dogs and people) slow down a bit as we age. We all need to reduce our calorie intake a bit as we get older.
 

Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Most animals are doggone good at “speaking human,” but if you’d like to have an even closer relationship with your best friend, learn a little animal language. Here are some dog and cat speak behaviors that you can easily learn.

Cats

  • Purring – this lovely behavior happens for a variety of reasons, usually situational. Most of the time purring is associated with positive situations and contentment.
  • Kneading and rubbing – both are signs of positive feelings; your cat is expressing their love and need for a bit of comfort and attention from you.
  • Blinking and eye contact – in most animals, staring is a form of assessing a threat and establishing dominance. Blinking serves as a “break” from an otherwise aggressive stare, and long, slow blinking means your cat is relaxed.
  • Hunting – cats are amazing predators and practice their hunting skills whenever they can. Mother cats instinctually hunt to feed their kittens. When your cat brings you a “gift,” they are telling you how much they love you (and they may think you need a little mothering too).
  • Tail up! – when a cat is holding their tail straight up, a behavior seen in cats of all ages, it’s a friendly greeting to you and an acknowledgment of status. The straighter the tail, the more status you have.
  • Tummy view – not all cats like a belly rub, but when your cat shows you their tummy, which is a very vulnerable posture for your cat, they are telling you they love and trust you.

Dogs

  • Play bow – when your dog gets into a play bow this is their way of telling you it’s time for a little fun. They are trying to engage you in play.
  • Wag the dog – there has been a lot of research on tail wagging! A recent study shows that their tails tell a lot more about their feelings than we previously thought. Wagging to the right is a more positive sign, left wagging seems to indicate negative emotions.
  • Smiling – I love it when a dog smiles. This is a means of communicating playfulness to humans. Interestingly, this is a behavior dogs have learned to use with people, and it’s never used to communicate with other dogs.
  • Slurp, face licking – this is a common way for a pooch to show you affection. It also might be because your body lotion tastes good! 
  • Yawing – Just like people, dogs yawn when they are tired, but in other cases, a yawn is an indication that your dog is nervous or stressed out.

Dogs and cats do their best to learn our language; this primer should help you learn a little bit of “animal speak.”

Cat Speak in Pictures
Dog Speak in Pictures

 

Fun Pet Holidays in April

National Heartworm Awareness Month
National Greyhound Adoption Month

April 2 – National Ferret Day.
April 5 – National Birding Day
April 10 – Hug Your Dog Day
April 19 – Pet Owners Day
April 23 – Lost Dog Awareness Day
April 29 – World Veterinary Day
April 30 – Adopt From a Shelter Day

 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
Copyright © 2017 Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service, All rights reserved.

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Remove Fear From Vet Visits

Fear Free

Does your dog or cat hide when you mention the words vet visitYou’re not alone! According to a Bayer Veterinary Study, 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners say their pets hate going to see their veterinarian.

The very best way to have pleasant vet visits is to start them off on the right paw when they are puppies and kittens. Let’s face it; it’s a stressful environment. They get put in the car or a crate and driven to a funny smelling building filled with strangers and a lot of commotion. They have people they don’t know poking them, holding them down, and sometimes doing things that hurt. It’s no wonder your pets (and you) are stressed out.

Believe it or not, you might be adding to their stress from the get-go. Do you rush home from work, grab your pet, and dash to the appointment? With a fearful pet, this sets them up for failure. Here are a few tips to have a relaxing visit.

If your pet hates car rides, it may be because all the rides are to places that cause stress (vet, groomer). Help them by taking fun, short car trips that involve treats and a playtime. Take your dog on a ride to the beach or the woods for a hike. A cat can just go for a “no reason” ride. Make them short, offer treats, and give them a lot of love. Once home, let them relax. Do this frequently, so they start to connect car trips with something other than stress-makers.

March Newsletter 2017

 

 Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

On The Road Again!

Most dogs and people love going for a ride in the car. No matter how long or short the car trip is, it’s important to keep your pet safe. You’d never consider putting your child in the car without being buckled in, and just like any other passenger, your best friend needs a seatbelt too.

We all know that a dog riding in your lap is not a good idea but did you know that being in the front passenger seat puts them at significant risk of being injured? It’s the airbag… they are meant to protect adult humans, and they can seriously injure your pet. The back seat is the safest place for your pooch, either using a seatbelt or secured in a crate. Here are some great reasons to strap your dog in:

  • Sudden Stops – We can never predict when we’ll have to JAM on the brakes and if you do your pet could hit the rear seat or dashboard. A dog’s nose if very sensitive and an accident would be painful. Getting thrown on the floor or against the windshield can break bones.
  • Distractions – An unsecured dog can cause a serious distraction to drivers and is dangerous to everyone on the road. Many accidents happen when a dog jumps into the driver’s lap.
  • Road Debris – Many dogs love having their heads out the window on a ride. However, your vet will be the first person to tell you that they treat dogs all the time that have gotten objects in their nose and eyes or have been hit by road debris. You can buy a screen for the window or put goggles on your dog if you want to be super safe.
  • Staying Inside – Every year injuries happen when a pet jumps out of the window of a moving car. Dogs often operate on instinct and some dogs, when they see a cat or a squirrel, just go after it. 
  • Stability – Believe it or not, most dogs can better brace themselves in a moving car when they are restrained. They lean into the harness, and it’s easier for them to stay upright. All seatbelts and harnesses allow for a dog to sit and lay down too.
  • Emergency – Even a minor traffic accident can cause the door to pop open or the window to break. Accidents are noisy and scary. Many pets have jumped out of a vehicle and gotten lost after a crash because they were not belted in.

The next question is, are all safety restraints safe? The answer is no. This crash test video done by the Center for Pet Safety is hard to watch (done with stuffed animals) but shows that most restraints failed the crash tests. At the end of that crash test page are some harnesses and crates that passed the tests.

Hit the road and keep your best friend safe!

 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

  • Happy Spring! If you need pet sitting for this the weekend or vacations, please book as early as possible.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
  • Read my blog article: How Safe Is It If My Dog Walker Texts And Talks On The Phone?
 

Quick Spring Pet Tips

  • Fleas and tick activity is picking up in Spring, protect your pet!
  • Keep spring cleaning supplies away from your pets.
  • Don’t use sticks for a retrieving game, they aren’t good for your dog’s teeth and can cause injury to throats.
  • It’s allergy season look for skin problems – rashes and itching.
  • Make sure your windows have screens in them, so your pet doesn’t jump out!
  • Keep pets away from fertilizer and other lawn and garden products.
  • Don’t use human sunscreen on your pets; the ingredients can be deadly. They make sunscreen specifically for pets.
  • Car’s are heating up again, don’t leave your pet in yours.
  • Don’t forget to give your dog heartworm medication every month.
 

Everything’s Going To Be Alright

Listening to music is a great way to unwind. The “right” song can put me to sleep, and another can energize my entire day. Music has positive effects on animals too. Many studies have been done on music and our pets but the most recent, published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior, puts a new slant on it.

They tested dogs with 5 different playlists, Classical, Pop, Motown, Reggae, Soft Rock and a quiet time. They measured their heart rate, stress hormone levels, and their behavior over a period of time. Of course, some dogs seemed to favor one type of music over another, but some very consistent patterns emerged from the study.

Overall, music does have a calming effect on dogs. Guess which playlist relaxed the dogs the most? If you chose Classical music you got it wrong (so did I). It’s time to go out and buy some Bob Marley music; Reggae won paws down.

Shelters, which are often scary places for animals, are now piping in “island music” to help the animals loosen up and enjoy their stay more. If your pet has separation anxiety or problems with thunderstorms you can help them “chill” with some tunes from Jamaica.

Dog love Reggae.
Everything’s Going to be Alright – Bob Marley

 

Fun Pet Holidays In March

March 1 – National Pig Day
March 9 – 15 – National Aardvark Week
March 14 – Save a Spider Day
March 20 – World Frog Day    
March 23 – National Puppy Day
March 26 – Manatee Appreciation Day
March 28 – Respect Cats Day

 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
Copyright © 2017 Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service, All rights reserved.

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February Newsletter 2017

 

                                                                                Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Removing Fear from Vet Visits

Does your dog or cat hide when you mention the words vet visitYou’re not alone! According to a Bayer Veterinary Study, 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners say their pets hate going to see their veterinarian.

The very best way to have pleasant vet visits is to start them off on the right paw when they are puppies and kittens. Let’s face it; it’s a stressful environment. They get put in the car or a crate and driven to a funny smelling building filled with strangers and a lot of commotion. They have people they don’t know poking them, holding them down, and sometimes doing things that hurt. It’s no wonder your pets (and you) are stressed out.

Believe it or not, you might be adding to their stress from the get-go. Do you rush home from work, grab your pet, and dash to the appointment? With a fearful pet, this sets them up for failure. Here are a few tips to have a relaxing visit.

If your pet hates car rides, it may be because all the rides are to places that cause stress (vet, groomer). Help them by taking fun, short car trips that involve treats and a playtime. Take your dog on a ride to the beach or the woods for a hike. A cat can just go for a “no reason” ride. Make them short, offer treats, and give them a lot of love. Once home, let them relax. Do this frequently, so they start to connect car trips with something other than stress-makers.

Now that you’re taking your pet on car rides, occasionally stop at your vet’s office for a “hello” visit. My vet welcomes these visits. The staff at my vet’s office love to see us stop in for a hug and a treat. They know that these visits ultimately make their job easier.

Try booking early morning visits. Most offices are less hectic in the morning, they aren’t behind, there may be less commotion, and a shorter wait to upset your pet. Leave with plenty of time to get to the appointment. Avoid rushing; that stresses you out, and your pet reads your stress like a book – it upsets them. So leave early, turn on some classical music (it’s been proven to relax animals and humans), and have a peaceful ride.

Many vet offices now have “species-specific” waiting areas, these dog or cat-only waiting areas are helpful. If your dog is high anxiety, you might try a Thundershirt or wait outside with your pet. 

Once you get in the exam room, don’t act differently than you normally do. I remember one of my very first visits to the dentist; my mom said, “don’t worry it won’t hurt at all” and I knew right then, it was going to hurt. So don’t tighten up on your dog’s leash, don’t talk in a different tone of voice, don’t pet them or hug them any more than you normally would. Just let them sniff around the room and give them an occasional treat.

Many vets will examine pets on the floor because those high exam tables can be scary. Make sure everyone (this means you) keeps their body language calm and relaxed. My vet gives treats throughout the entire visit, from the minute we walk thru the door until we leave. Now my dog loves his vet and the entire staff.

Many vets are now part of or practice the Fear Free program; a certification that helps make vet visits fun. They can help you and your dog have a stress free visit. 

Find a Fear Free vet in your area.
Are you adding to the fear? Take this quiz.
More tips for Vet visits.

 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

  • Happy Valentine’s Day! If you need pet sitting for this holiday, please book as early as possible.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
  • We love this new neighborhood pet supply store, The High Class Hound. With an amazing selection of natural treats, food, and supplies. They offer free delivery in Plano, TX too! Their website and Facebook page are great too. They offer the best dog events, Yappy Hour, Open Houses and more so be sure to visit their Events page here
 

Doggone It, They’re at it Again!

Hero pets, that is! We’ve all heard the stories; they are so moving. I’m sure we all wonder if our pets would behave in the same way. Would my dog even wake up from his nap? There are many stories of animals saving their people or even strangers from danger. Here are a few good ones.

The Finn family had a bunny named Rabbit. Rabbit had a fenced in yard and a pet door so he could go in and out at will. One evening a fire broke out in the Finn home while everyone was sleeping. 

Rather than dashing out his pet door,  Rabbit made his way through the smoke-filled house and pawed at Finn’s for a half hour until he was able to wake them up! They got their daughter, and they all were able to leave the house safely. The local fire commander said the heat and smoke were so intense that without Rabbits’ help they may not have gotten out.

Maya, a gorgeous Pitbull, was the 2008 Dog of the Year. She saved her owner Angela from a vicious attack when a man broke in her home. Angela said, “Maya, get him.” And Maya did. She bit the intruder multiple times, and he finally gave up and ran out of the house. The police were able to recover the intruder’s blood on Maya and identify him with DNA testing! A word to the wise, don’t mess with Maya!

Baby, a timid tabby cat also saved his family from a fire in 2010. Josh and Letitia a suburban Chicago couple were 7 months pregnant with twins and sound asleep. A fire broke out, and Baby jumped on the couple repeatedly, until they woke up. Although they lost their home to the fire everyone, including Baby, was safe and sound.

As any pet owner knows, our pets love us, have empathy, and can sense distress. These 3 pets are something special!

 

Pet Photography 101

Most of us have a camera with us all of the time (our phones). If you’re like me, you’re trying to capture your pet’s personality with great photos. Pet photography can take a little patience, but with a few tips, we can all get some great photos of our pets. 

  • Take a LOT of pictures of your pet, so they are used to the camera.
  • Turn the flash off. It can wash out the image, scare the pet, or make your pet have spooky “green-eye” (like red-eyes that people sometimes have in pictures).
  • Try taking some pictures from the dogs level, not always from above.
  • Try different angles, front on, from the side, even the rear! Don’t always put your pet in the center of the photo.
  • Experiment with different ways to grab the attention of your pet. Think treats, toys, and noises. Whining often makes a dog tilt his head – cute!
  • Cats don’t always sit still so be sneaky and fast. Or, enlist a friend to help you and get some action shots of your cat playing.
  • Don’t photograph a dark colored pet against a dark background. A white pet will get lost in a light background.
  • Bunnies love to clean themselves, and those pictures are adorable! Be patient, and I bet you’ll get one.
  • Small critters are often fast movers. Have someone hold your pet and move in for a close-up of their face.
  • Pay attention to the background, is there a telephone pole directly behind your dog’s head?
  • Have someone take a close up of you and your dog.
 

Great Pet App!

The American Red Cross has apps for people and pet emergencies. Find them here and download Pet First Aid!

 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
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January Newsletter 2017

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Cold Weather Pet Safety

Wintertime can be hard on pets; it doesn’t have to be snowy or below freezing for your dog or cat to be uncomfortable. If they are young, or of the senior variety cool temperatures can quickly catch up to them. Leaving your dog or cat outside and unattended in cold weather is a prescription for trouble. They can be at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, or serious illness.

Most animals love a nice warm place to nap and will often seek out a sunny spot for a snooze. Cold floors, especially tile or stone, can lower their body temperature, so be sure to offer your pet a blanket or bed in their favorite sunny spot. 

There are a variety of great pet beds on the market. Offer your cat or dog a few choices, maybe an A-frame style which traps the heat, a heated bed, a bunch of cozy blankets, or a box with blankets (cut an entrance in it for older cats). Open the curtains and put a rug down in a sunny spot at nap time. Keep their beds away from drafts and cold tile.

Many dogs and cats will require more calories to keep warm, so you might want to give them a bit more high-quality protein during cooler months. Sometimes older animals have a decrease in their appetite so be sure your pet isn’t losing weight. Keep your pets active and schedule interactive playtime every day, this benefits your cat and dog physically and emotionally. Remember, a garage or basement is NOT pet-friendly. Many people put litter boxes in these spots and especially for an older cat this could be very uncomfortable.

When taking your dog (or cats that are leash trained) outside in snowy weather be sure to check their paws for snowballs that can build up between their toes, they are painful. Boots protect your dog’s paws from salt and snowballs. Dogs get used to booties quickly, and if you take long winter walks, they are a must. Consider your dog’s breed, the distance of your walk, and the weather to determine if your dog needs a sweater. Never leave your cat or dog unattended in the car either, they cool off very quickly.

Take a few extra steps during the cold weather, and you’ll all enjoy the winter.

 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

  • Happy New Year to You! Long weekends and winter vacations are here. Please book your vacation dates as early as possible.
  • We love this new neighborhood pet supply store, The High Class Hound. With an amazing selection of natural treats, food, and supplies. They offer free delivery in Plano, TX too! Their website and Facebook page are great too. They offer the best dog events, Yappy Hour, Open Houses and more so be sure to visit their Events page here
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
 

How to Tell if Your Pet is in Pain

Recognizing when your pet is in pain isn’t always easy. Many animals are very good at masking pain. Even so, there are some subtle things that you can look for that are good indicators that your pet may be hurting more than they are letting on. If you suspect your pet is in pain, don’t hesitate to get them to your vet right away.

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Heavy panting
  • Limping or abnormal gait
  • Excessive vocalizations
  • Disruption in sleep patterns
  • Excessive grooming or absence of grooming (cat)
  • Won’t jump up or down
  • Attempts to stand with front legs first
  • Playing and running becomes more difficult
  • Reluctance to walk on slippery surfaces or go up and downstairs
  • Aggression where it never existed before
  • Aversion to being petted or groomed
  • Lower head posture
  • Tail flicking (cat)
  • Housetraining issues
 

January is National Train Your Dog Month!

With an entire month dedicated to training, if you start now, your pet can learn a whole slew of tricks by the end of the month. Let’s slightly change the name to “National Train Your Pet Month” because with patience (and treats) any animal can be trained! Started in 2010 this “holiday” has been a great success to bring awareness to how important, fun, and easy training can be.

Teaching your pet tricks a few times a week for 10 minutes or so is a great bonding experience, and your dog or cat will be the hit of the neighborhood with all the new tricks they learn!

You can teach an old dog (or cat, pony, bunny, or bird) new tricks. We’ve found the very easiest method for teaching tricks to almost any animal is with clicker training. It’s easy to learn and works!

Teaching a cat a few tricks may require a little bit more patience than teaching a dog. Clicker training works especially well with cats; they quickly figure out what is the desired behavior with a clicker. Another tip, do your cat training just before mealtime, so they are hungry and more motivated for treats.

With any pet, be patient and train every day for just a few minutes at a time. In a few weeks, you’ll be ready to show off your pet’s tricks.

Clicker Training Basics
10 Impressive Dog Tricks
How to Train a Cat
5 Tricks to Teach Your Cat

 

Great Pet App!

Clicker Training!  This app for iPhone and a similar version for Android not only makes the clicker sound with volume control but it has training videos too. 

iPhone
Android

 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
Copyright © 2017 Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this because you signed up for our newsletter. We Take Care Of The Family You Leave Behind!Our mailing address is:

Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service

PO Box 852192

Richardson, TX 75085

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December Newsletter 2016

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Holiday Gifts for Pets and Pet People!

This month we are featuring some fun and innovative gifts for pets and their people. 

Cats

  • Catnip Fortune Cookies – We love this gift, it is adorable. Filled with organically grown catnip and made in California. Each cookie also has a fortune for your cat to ponder.
  • Natural Playtime Pack – A package of toys made in colors that cats see best. All in natural materials and only $4.99.
  • KitNipBox – A gift that keeps on giving, a monthly box of cat goodies. 
  • Wall Mounted Scratching Post – Many cats like to scratch standing up!

Dogs

  • Orbee Ball – This toy is top rated by many dog magazines as “world’s best dog ball.” The ball comes in 3 sizes, has a durability rating is 5 out of 5, and it floats.
  • Found My Animal – Rope leashes and collars made in Brooklyn promoting pet adoption. We love that they support a LOT of animal charities with their profits.
  • Dog-E-Glow – Do you know someone that runs or walks after dark? This dog leash lights up! 
  • BarkBox – Monthly toy/treat box for dogs. One, six, or 12 month plans.

Fish

  • No Clean Aquarium – This gift is made of natural glass and using laws of physics it more or less cleans itself. No electricity or filters needed. 

Pet People

  • Custom Pet Tote – Handmade by an artist, each one is unique. This sturdy cotton twill tote is handmade in CA. It’s washer and dryer safe. 
  • Dog Blue Print Pillow – This pillow is hand screened and features dog breed profiles (even a mutt), handsewn design, double sided, and made in the U.S.A.
  • Cat Box in a Bench – This gift is a bit more expensive – a great way to hide the litter box.
 

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

  • It’s December already! Holidays and winter vacations are here. Please book your vacation dates as early as possible.
  • All Inclusive visits! Did you know that our visits to your pet are one price? We don’t charge you extra if your pet needs medication, or if the visit runs a bit longer. No surprise charges on your bill, our goal is to keep your pet happy and healthy!
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New clients can learn more about us and register here.
 

Cat and Dog Myths Debunked

Tall tales or facts? We hear these “myths” all the time, and none of them are true! Understanding more about your pet will lead to a happier and healthier life for both of you!

  • Cat’s don’t need to see the veterinarian as often as a dog does. False. Both cats and dogs do best with regular veterinary visits, think prevention! Sadly, cats don’t have nine lives.
  • Cats need milk. Fabrication! The truth is cats do not require milk for a well-balanced diet. Many cats are lactose-intolerant so that milk can give them a tummy ache.
  • Cats hate water. Malarkey! Some breeds of cat actually like water and most cats will do fine with a bath if you start getting them comfortable around water as kittens.
  • Cats always land on their feet. Spurious. While cats do have excellent body control and balance and often land on their feet, they don’t every time. And even if they do, a fall or leap from a high spot could still injure your cat.
  • Cats can’t be trained. Huh? Hogwash! Cats are smart and with a little patience can be easily trained, just Google “cat tricks!”
  • Cats exercise themselves. Balderdash. Many of our pets will snooze a lot if you don’t play with them. So get out and enjoy your pet, it’s fun!
  • Old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Poppycock. Learning new things is good for dogs (and any animal including humans) of all ages. Older dogs can learn new tricks and habits just like puppies.
  • A wagging tail means the dog is happy. Misinformation! (sometimes). While a wagging tail can mean happiness it can also indicate fear, submission, or a message to “back off.”  
  • A dry nose means they are sick. Nonsense. A healthy dog can have a wet or dry nose; it’s not related to their health!
  • Dogs that eat grass must be sick.Baloney, some dogs just like grass!
  • A dogs mouth is cleaner than a humans.Incorrect! We’d like to believe our dog’s mouths are magically clean but after watching the things my dogs eats; I’m sure this isn’t true. Research pans this out; dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. On the plus side, a lot of it is very species specific so much of it won’t transfer sickness to humans.
  • An indoor animal doesn’t need any flea or tick protection.Erroneous. Sadly, you can bring fleas or ticks in the house from the outside. On your shoes, shopping bags, or clothing. Once a flea takes up residence, watch out – a single flea can lay thousands of eggs. Yuck! 
  • Dogs get all the exercise they need in the back yard. Bunk. Dogs need a daily walk and regular play!
  • Dogs hate cats. Untrue. As any dog and cat owner will tell you, they can be best of friends, especially when raised together.
 

Top 5 Health Problems For Dogs And Cats

 

  1. Obesity – Just like humans, a dog can struggle with weight issues, and the number of overweight dogs keeps increasing every year. Obesity leads to a shorter and more unhealthy life for your pet. To keep your dog or cat at the proper weight, exercise every day, feed them the right and make treats small and low in calories.
  2. Dental Problems – We all know that our pets need their teeth brushed, but we don’t always do it. Poor dental health can lead to health issues, infections, and sore teeth for your pets. So have your vet check your pet’s teeth and start brushing!
  3. Skin Conditions – Most pets at some point in their lifetimes will have a skin condition. They can be caused by allergies, infections, boredom, stress, hormonal problems, or fleas and ticks. If your pet is scratching, chewing, or licking themselves, it’s time for a visit to their vet for a diagnosis.
  4. Ear Infections – Dogs ears, especially dogs with longer, floppy ears, don’t get fresh air and are difficult to keep clean, so they are prone to infection. If your pet shakes his head, rubs or scratches his ears, if they smell bad, or are red, they will need to see their vet. Ear infections can also be caused by water in the ears, mites, too much hair in the outer ear, or allergies. 
  5. Arthritis – As our pets age, many of them suffer from arthritis in varying degrees. Symptoms include limping swollen joints, stiffness, sore spots, or a once active pet that suddenly turns quiet. While there is no sure cure for arthritis, your pet can be made more comfortable with medication, regular exercise, and a proper diet.
 

Pet Reads!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos We’ve found on the net this month. Enjoy!

 
 
Copyright © 2017 Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this because you signed up for our newsletter. We Take Care Of The Family You Leave Behind!

Our mailing address is:

Vital Visits Pet Sitting Service

PO Box 852192

Richardson, TX 75085

Add us to your address book

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

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Fun Healthy Pumpkin Treats For Your Pets

healthy pumpkin treats

Are you looking for another fun easy pumpkin treat you can make for your pets?  This is one that is used in our home all year long. This is especially appreciated during the Thanksgiving Holiday week for the aroma it imparts and the friends that gather.  Yes,  our dogs actually have cousins, and next door neighbors that roam into the house from the back area of the house, or the front when the door is open. With this wonderful weather we’ve been baking these for the last week and giving as gifts to the pet parents when they stop by to say hello.  🙂   We hope you’ll try them and do the same! 

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