Best Apartment Complexes To Walk Dogs In Yardley, PA

As dog walkers we visit quite a few apartment complexes in the Yardley, PA area. Our favorite complexes have paths to walk your dog, trails close by and dog parks right on the premises. Poop bag stations are also a must!

Here are three of our favorites for dog walking:

Polo Run

Polo Run apartments have paths throughout the community and many poop bag stations throughout. There are Canadian Geese everywhere, which entertain the pups we walk and it’s also fun to watch the babies grow every spring. There is a dog park on the premises. Polo Run is located in Lower Makefield Township in Yardley. 

Yardley Crossing

Yardley Crossing has sidewalk paths throughout the community, but what ‘s really special is the Yardley Canal towpath right behind it. There you can walk your dog for miles if you like and see all the wildlife residents. It’s not unusual to see a beaver swimming along down the canal. Yardley Crossing has those important poop bag stations as well. Yardley Crossing is located in Yardley Borough.

Harpers Crossing

Harpers Crossing is located in Langhorne, PA, right on the border of  Yardley. This apartment community is quite large and has sidewalks throughout making it very friendly for dog walking. Additionally they have a dog park for your dog to make new friends and get some exercise at the same time. Poop bag stations are everywhere, making it super convenient. 

 

 

So there you have it, just three of our favorites for dog walking. If you know of a complex that is great for dog walking we’d love to hear about it! Also, as always we are available for your dog walking needs throughout the Lower Bucks County area. Give us a call at 267-981-4929 to learn more about our mid day daily dog walking services. 

Caution: Small Dogs and Cats Can Be Victims Of Birds Of Prey

The very recent news of a neighborhood Chihuahua being picked up and killed by a hawk inspired me to write a quick blog on the dangers of leaving small pets unattended. Here in Levittown, a Great Horned Owl visits often and hangs out in the tree outside my window. Additionally we have several species of hawks flying around during the day. Just last summer a Harrier Hawk flew past my car with a small bird in its talons. As a former wildlife rehabber I am overjoyed to see raptors making such a strong comeback in Bucks County. We even have regular sightings of Bald Eagles in Falls and surrounding towns. Besides raptors, coyotes are in the Yardley area as well, in fact one of our clients has reported seeing one in her yard on several occasions. As much as I enjoy spotting wildlife, I know we must make some common sense precautions.

 Do not leave toy breeds unattended in yards or use doggy doors where they can go out when you are not monitoring them at all times. There has been a significant increase in news stories about raptors picking up small dogs but this most recent case was right here in Fairless Hills.  Keep a watchful eye on your little pets including cats. Do not allow cats to roam out alone, if you want them to have access to the outdoors you can safely take them out on a leash. 

As always, The Pet Nanny is available if your dog needs a supervised potty break during the day. Give us a call at 267-981-4929 or visit our website at buckspetnanny.com.

New Services Offered: Home Checks and Overnight Plus Pet Visit

We are happy to announce two new Pet Nanny services, Home Checks and  Overnight Plus Visits.  

Home checks are for checking on your house while you are away. We will bring in any packages, newspapers or mail, water plants, rotate lights, check thermostat, flush toilets, run water through drains and walk the entire property to make sure everything looks as it should. We can do daily or every other day checks. 

 

 Our new Overnight Plus Visits are the “Gold Package” for pet visits. Your sitter will stay in the home overnight and additionally spend several hours during the day as well. This is the perfect choice for chronically ill pets and dogs with separation anxiety issues. 

For more information on either service please call us at 267-981-4929 or email tess@buckspetnanny.com

Both services will be offered in the following towns: Levittown, Fairless Hills, Newtown, Bensalem, Bristol, Yardley, Morrisville, Lower Makefield and Langhorne.

For pricing please visit: https://buckspetnanny.com/our-services/

My Why

I see the subject of “my why” come up often, people who talk about their journey to becoming a business owner and what inspired them. 

So today I will talk  about my personal  “why” and what makes my business perhaps a little different than others. 

I started working in rescue as a teen. By the time I was 18 I was screening applicants for a cat rescue, making sure the kittens and cats found their perfect forever homes. I fostered a kitten myself to understand the process from all levels. I also volunteered every week at a local shelter and witnessed the tough decisions being made every day. It was difficult and heartbreaking at times, but I never regretted the time I spent with the animals and providing them comfort and socialization.  

I took a break from rescue for awhile to raise a family, although we always had a home filled with pets. As my children grew older I had a bit of free time and started to volunteer again, this time at a wildlife rehabilitation center. After two years I became a staff supervisor. I had the incredible opportunity to work closely with many species including opossums, raccoons, baby squirrels, songbirds and birds of prey. After the wildlife center relocated I was offered a job at my vet’s office. I was trained as a vet tech and experienced yet another aspect of animal care. I enjoyed the daily interactions with cats and dogs and learned a lot about the struggles many pet owners have at home, one issue that came up frequently was finding a reliable and trustworthy pet sitter. This was something that I could relate to since I had a home filled with special needs and senior pets, including a very fussy parrot! When the veterinarian I worked for retired, I decided to start a business pet sitting and walking dogs.

 I researched and learned everything I could about the pet care industry. I joined NAPPS (National Association of Pet Professionals) and later PSI (Pet Sitters International). I became insured and bonded and began accepting clients. I quickly learned there was a huge need for my service and made the decision after my first year to add sitters to my team so we could accommodate more requests. I continued my education, studied feline behavior, basic dog training and also became certified by PSI as a professional pet sitter. I also became certified in pet CPR/First Aid and this year our entire team attended training for pet emergency care at our local animal ER and specialty care hospital. 

I believe we are unique because I have cared for a wide variety of animals, including large birds and reptiles. We can provide out of cage time and enrichment for parrots and understand their specific dietary needs. Since I spent many years working with rescue cats and studied feline behavior, I added a “cats only” addition to our company this year and have a team of sitters who can provide high quality care for cats. Because I have a medical background, we can care for special needs felines and also provide behavior consults to help collaboratively solve common behavior issues cat owners might be experiencing. I have also rescued dogs for a number of years and have extensive personal experience with senior dogs, dogs with behavior issues and chronic medical conditions as well. These type of situations almost always require a professional pet sitter as they are not good candidates for a kennel or doggy day care. 

My love of animals is the main reason I enjoy my job, but helping pet owners gives me great joy as well. When I started this business in 2010 I had no idea where it would take me, but I am truly blessed to have found a career that not only feeds my soul but also helps so many people and their pets. We are much more than just someone who comes in and plays with pets while their owners are on vacation or at work. 

We provide peace of mind and comfort to the concerned pet parent. 

This is my “WHY”. 

Why I Became A Certified Professional Pet Sitter and Why I Think It Matters

 

When I first started out in 2010 there were a few other pet sitters in my area. There was plenty of work to go around and we all referred to one another when we were booked.  golden retrievers on a walk

After a few years, some services closed their doors, sitters relocated, retired, changed careers. For everyone that closed, eventually another would open up and initially I thought this was a good thing.

But then something changed. Big tech companies started to advertise that being a dog walker, pet sitter or home boarder was a quick, easy and fun “side gig”. Kind of like that app for car transport services. Like the car service, you can simply use an app to order a dog walker on demand or find a place to drop your dog off for home boarding. It’s easy and convenient, at least on the surface. What could go wrong? 

Well, plenty.

I’m not saying someone can not find a good pet care provider this way, there are many responsible and even experienced pet sitters and boarders that can be found through these services. However, most of the people on these apps are not professionals. They are not vetted as thoroughly as the tech companies claim, this has been proven over and over as more horror stories are coming to the surface. A quick Google search will bring up several of these articles.  This is a largely unregulated industry and as a business owner of a Professional Pet Sitting Service, myself along with many of my colleagues are calling for regulations in the pet sitting and home boarding industry. 

 As pet owners, what can you do? What do you look for when seeking pet care? 

First, a professional pet sitter should be affiliated with a professional pet sitting organization such as Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. You can contact those organizations to verify your sitter is a standing member. Next, check if you sitter is certified thorough that organization. This proves your sitter has passed a certification exam that covers all aspects of the pet sitting business including office procedures, animal health, safety and of course pet care. The sitter will need to complete 30 hours of CE to remain certified. This will easily separate the “hobbyist” from the professional. All certified sitters are required to adhere to a code of conduct and standards in order to remain in good standing.

After you have determined your sitter is a good standing member of a professional organization, check their online presence. Do they have a professional looking website? Are there client testimonials? Do they have proof of insurance and bonding? Do they have online scheduling software? This is proof that they are financially invested in their business.  Checking social media such as Instagram and Facebook can help you discover if this sitter is a member of the local community. Do they post regularly and have pictures on there of their client’s pets, not just stock photos?  Ask in local FB groups if anyone has heard of the sitter and can they recommend them. Do not rely on references given by the sitter alone, these can easily be faked. Ask about their background with animals, this is especially important if you have a special needs pet that might require medication and extra supervision.

 Finally, check if there is a license required in your state for dog boarding. Ask for proof of that license before you leave your dog in someone’s home. Most sitters through apps are not licensed, leaving you very little recourse should something go wrong. 

Our industry is changing and we are proud to offer modern app based software that provides the convenience that the large tech companies  offer, but with the personal attention of a small boutique service.  chocolate lab with pet sitter

If you are looking for Professional  Pet Care in the Lower Bucks County, PA area call us today at (267) 981-4929Yorkie at home.

Why Does My Dog Lick His Paws?

If your dog always seems to be licking his paws there might be a reason behind it. Paw licking can be a habit like nail biting in adults, but it’s important to take a look at the paw to see if a vet visit might be necessary. 

First, take a look at the nails. Do they need a trim? Sometimes a nail can break off or grow long enough to be bothersome to the dog. Now look between the paws and paw pads. Any debris or foreign objects? Also look for redness as this can indicate possible allergies or yeast and a consult with an allergy specialist might be in order. Finally, check for any lumps or growths. If everything looks good then this could be a behavioral issue. If it is excessive a consult with your regular veterinarian is still a good idea, he or she might be able to provide some valuable insight. 

Should I Leave The Radio On For My Dog?

A lot of dog owners leave the radio or tv on for background noise when they are not home.

But do you ever wonder if your dog has a music preference? Well there’s a recent study that suggests they do! 

Irish psychologist Deborah Wells exposed dogs at an animal shelter to different genres of music including pop, classical and heavy metal. 

When heavy metal was played the dogs appeared agitated and began to bark. The classical music seemed to have a calming effect and many of the dogs began to lay down and quiet their barking. The pop music made no notable behavior difference in the dogs. 

So there you have it, it would seem dogs like to chill out to classical music! 

Have you noticed a difference in your dog’s behavior when you play music? 

Why a Pet Water Fountain Might Not Be The Best Choice

 

pet-water-fountainPet water fountain bowls have been all the rage for years now,  I used to own one myself. As a pet sitter I am in and out of homes and have worked with pretty much every brand out there and I have found problems with all of them.

The bowls are VERY difficult to clean. The traditional fountains I see most often are made of many moving parts with nooks and crannies that are nearly impossible to get to with a sponge. One brand even sells a scrubbing kit with different sized bristles. That should tell you something right there! They are a challenge to clean even for the most diligent pet owner.  Bacteria loves to grow in these fountains. Whether they are plastic, stainless, or ceramic, the only true way to keep the bacteria out is to take the fountain apart and wash and reassemble. Every. Single. Day. This is a lot of work for a pet owner. It is much easier to switch out a stainless bowl daily with a clean one and fill with filtered water from a Brita or from the water dispenser that comes with many fridge models.

Please keep in mind the filter is not magical. I have taken apart these fountains for cleaning only to find the filter itself had mold on it!.  If you have a fountain bowl, empty it out and take a paper towel to the bowl and the filter compartment. If the paper towel comes out with a yellowish slime, that’s biofilm. Biofilm is a slimish film where bacteria thrives. The filter will do nothing to prevent biofilm, you will still need to wipe the bowl out daily.

If you are worried your cat is not getting enough water, try adding a water dish at different stations in the home. You can use a drinking glass or ceramic mug and place it on a nightstand or bathroom counter. If your cat likes running water, go ahead and turn on the tub or sink for a few moments each day. It might not be as good as filtered but in most cases it will be cleaner water than what is coming out of those fountains. For dogs who are not drinking enough, try adding a little water to each meal. You can also experiment with what your dog likes best, some love Brita water but other dogs prefer bottled water brands. Dogs have sensitive noses and they might pick up on something we can not smell in the water. Extra stations can help for dogs as well, consider adding a water bowl for each floor or wherever your dog hangs out a lot. chihuahua-1351026_1280

If you have already purchased a pet fountain or still would like to try one, just be sure to keep it super clean. Rinse and wipe out daily and at least twice a week soak all the parts in a vinegar solution to kill bacteria. If there are parts that go in the dishwasher, go ahead and put them in there. Although it is very tempting, refrain from just topping off the bowl. Taking the extra step of emptying and refilling daily will keep the parts cleaner and keep your pet healthier as well.

How To Deal With The Loss of A Pet

dog-bed-30749_1280Losing a pet is one of the hardest things we will ever go through in life. It will make people who never cry shed significant tears.

 It makes sense that the sadness is so profound, after all we have lost a friend who was always there for us, even at our worst. They accept us for who we are and give our life purpose.

So when the time comes to say goodbye, we now have a giant hole in our life. How to fill that hole is a little different for everyone, but here are a few suggestions on dealing with the grief.

In the first few hours after you have said goodbye, sometimes it’s best to get out for a little while. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy, it can be a walk around a favorite store or having coffee with a friend. It is okay to talk about your pet but it’s also okay if you don’t want to. Do whatever feels right and don’t feel pressured one way or the other. When you do return home, consider moving things around so there aren’t too many painful reminders of your pet such as their bed or their feeding dish. But of course if those things are giving you comfort, by all means leave them where they are for now. Right now this is all about you and what brings you peace.

Social media can be cathartic at moments like these. Sharing photos of your pet online  and reading all of the comments and likes is a way of celebrating their life. If you want to fill your wall with photos of Fido, go for it. If you prefer not to talk about him online at all, that’s perfectly fine too. Do whatever feels good.

Consider eating your favorite comfort foods, especially takeout. Don’t be hard on yourself if you fall away from your diet for a couple of weeks. No one is going to judge you, you’ve been through a lot.

If you don’t feel like going anywhere, go ahead and binge watch some Netflix. There’s nothing like a good crime drama to help you forget about your troubles for a bit.

Allow time to process your grief before jumping on Petfinder. The temptation to adopt another pet right away can be quite strong, but try to give it a little time to be sure this is the right decision for you. This amount of time will be different for everyone, sometimes it’s a couple of weeks but for others it can be years.

As the days and weeks go by, the hole in your life will not simply disappear, it will just become much smaller. The hole will leave a permanent scar, but that scar will eventually become a beautiful memory of the life you had with your pet.

How To Find A Great Pet Sitter

australian-terrier-164087_640When google searching for someone to care for your pets, you will likely see Rover, Care. Com or DogVacay come up at the top of your search results. But are they the best place to find a great pet sitter?

 

Those sites will tell you that the sitter you select on their site has paid for a background check, has experience and some will even insure the sitter in your home. This all sounds wonderful, right? It actually can work out very well, but in some instances it has had disastrous results. All of these sites and many others can also attract people who are looking to make what they think is “easy money”. It might be someone who started out with the best intentions and became overwhelmed or in a few cases a dishonest person looking for access to people’s homes. I am not saying that will definitely happen if you hire someone on these sites. There are also professionals on there such as myself hoping that pet parents will choose one of us instead of the cheapest sitter, who may not have the experience to handle a variety of possible scenarios that may come up.  

I know many pet parents don’t want to think about something going wrong while they are away, but what if a pipe bursts or the power goes out? What if your dog suddenly stops eating or your cat is not urinating in the litter box? A high school or college student may not recognize the early symptoms of an illness or know what to do in the event of a home emergency or worse, a pet emergency.  A professional pet sitter has seen it all! My company as well as many others in our industry know the importance of getting all of a client’s emergency contacts, learning the behavior of their cat or dog and what to do when things don’t go quite as planned. A professional pet sitter has a plan B AND a plan C. We know that if a cat has not urinated in the box that he might be going elsewhere OR it might be a urinary blockage that will need a trip to the ER. We will be in close contact with the pet parent to collaboratively solve the problem. We will call their emergency contacts in the event we come in and there is a broken pipe or an extended power outage. We are all fully insured and bonded, but in my experience we have never needed to use it because we quickly get in front of any potential problem.

 

You can still say ” my dog is really easy” or “my cat just needs his food and water bowls topped off” but any professional pet sitter will tell you that there have been times where a simple job became quite complex and the pet owner was relieved that they hired someone who knew exactly what to do when things became complicated. We walk dogs every day and know what to do if a strange dog suddenly comes charging at your dog. We have back up leashes in our car should you accidentally leave the dog leash in your car. We have the experience that is needed when caring for a special needs or senior pet. If your cat or dog is in sudden respiratory distress or something more subtle such as your parrot is not using his normal perch, we recognize these problems because we have cared for hundreds of pets and have encountered a variety of situations. If we encounter a medical emergency we are always prepared to take your pet to the veterinarian.bird-1284082_640

So how does a pet owner find a true pet care professional? When performing a google search, try looking below the above list of directories and click on local pet sitting websites. Read through their About Us profile, Testimonial page and Facebook Business page. See what people are saying about them. Do they live in your town? How long have they been doing this professionally? What is their professional background as far as caring for pets? If you are in a hurry to find a pet sitter, besides doing a google search you can ask your vet for recommendations, your apartment complex, your neighbors or your groomer.  You can also go to http://www.petsitters.org or https://www.petsit.com/locate for a directory of pet care professionals. On these sites you won’t find anyone who is just doing pet sitting or dog walking on the side. Instead, you will find pet care professionals who,  like myself, own professional pet sitting and dog walking services. We all work with animals full time, every day.  These two organizations, Pet Sitters International and the National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters have certification programs and a wealth of resources for professional pet sitters as well as annual conferences for continuing education. Most professional pet sitters belong to one or both of these organizations, look for a badge on their website.kittens
 
Please keep in mind that the best sitter for your pet might cost a little more, but you will be glad you spent a few extra dollars should a situation arise that needs a professional!