Five Reasons Why You Might Need A Dog Walker

13577273485_3d4d7925d2There are many joys of dog ownership, both for the owner and the dog. Dogs have been linked to health benefits like lowering blood pressure and alleviating depression. They are great companions for adults and children alike.

There are also tremendous responsibilities that go along with owning a dog, such as keeping him well groomed, getting regular vet care, feeding healthy food and making sure he gets exercise.

Something that not everyone thinks about is: what happens if you work long hours or want to go on a day trip? This is when a dog walker can help.

Here are five more reasons why a dog walker might be right for you:

  1. You have a young dog. Puppies can not “hold it” the way some adult dogs can. Giving him a mid day potty break can prevent accidents while you are gone.
  2. You have a senior dog. Just like puppies, older dogs may not be able to wait eight plus hours to go potty. Also, it can be the highlight of their day when their dog walker arrives.
  3. Your dog has separation anxiety. If your dog is lonely or even bored, he may get into trouble. Giving him a mid day break might save your shoes and even your furniture from being chewed!
  4. Your dog has a chronic illness. A mid day potty break can also include giving meds, feeding or just making sure your doing is doing okay while you are gone.
  5. You feel guilty leaving your dog all day. Knowing that he will get some TLC during the day can go a long way to help alleviate the guilt you feel. As you head out the door you will know someone is coming to spend some one on one time with your best friend.

Do you think your dog might benefit from a mid day potty break?

Give us a call at (267) 981-492912365900_10154061132274796_3978859531553865336_o

Help! I Found A Turtle In The Road!

turtle-640842_960_720

Eastern Box Turtle

When I worked in wildlife rehabilitation, people would often bring in uninjured turtles they found in the middle of the road. We would always ask the person if they could go back to where they found the turtle and place him safely on the other side of the road. The important part was making sure he was placed in the same direction he was going.

The reason for this is the turtle is on a mission, he could be looking to breed, or if it’s a female she could be looking for a good place to nest. If you flip him around he will just turn around and will be right back on that road again. If he is released elsewhere he will be truly lost, causing him great stress trying to find his territory again.

For most turtles, you can grab them by both sides of the shell behind the legs and carry them across. For a large turtle that has a long tail, it could be a snapper. Do not pick them up! Picking them up by the tail is also a no no, they can often stretch around and bite your leg. The safest way to get them off the road is to move them along with a blunt object, such as a snow shovel. I have also pushed them along with a rubbermaid container with great success. The idea is to put something between you and the turtle, also being sure not to injure the the turtle in the process.

If you see any signs of injury to the turtle such as a cracked shell or blood, call your local wildlife rehabber and they can instruct you on what to do.

As tempting as it may be, DO NOT take a found turtle home as a pet. This turtle has lived out on its own for a long time, possibly 50 years or more. We are not doing it a favor “rescuing” it and putting it in a tank. If you are interested in owning a pet turtle, please visit your local pet store or a private breeder. They have young turtles ready to be adopted.

turtle-274715_960_720

Snapping Turtle

It may seem like a small gesture to pick up a turtle and carry him a few feet, but for that little guy you have most likely saved his life!

A Tale Of Three Tabbies – A Weight Loss Journey

tabbies2015

The Girls in 2014

Ten years ago I rescued three kittens. They were only 10 days old, so tiny! We bottle fed them and they grew up to be three of the most beautiful tortie tabbies I have ever seen. As the years past, they didn’t just grow up, they grew out. My tiny girls were overweight. They all seemed healthy, so no harm, right? Then, my girl PeaPod started to limp a bit. She couldn’t jump on anything and if we lifted her up on a chair, she often needed to be rescued to get back to the floor. Her sisters, Gwen and Morgaine, could barely jump. They had become obese and I knew I needed to do something about it.

I started to limit their dry food. There was no change at all. In fact, it made them food obsessed and hungry all the time. They were carb addicts! Then one day my vet said “you know if you cut out the dry food they will lose weight”. I thought, Really?? Could it be that simple?  But they love dry food!

So I made a plan. We went cold turkey. Two cans Fancy Feast per day per cat, spread over four meals. The idea was the same as when I dieted – don’t let them get too hungry.

At first they were confused…where is the dry food? But after a couple of days they started looking forward to all of the little meals throughout the day. Little by little the weight started coming off! They started to jump again! PeaPod  stopped limping and was able to get up and down off of furniture without assistance! It actually worked!!

Here are their weights in February 2015:

Morgaine 17.2 lbs.

PeaPod 14.2 lbs.

Gwen 16.0 lbs

gwen

Gwen 2016

Weights in February 2016

Morgaine 13.2 lbs.

PeaPod 12.0 lbs.

Gwen 13.6 lbs.

My girls are large kitties, so their weights are a little higher than your average cat. It’s always best to consult with your vet before trying a weight loss plan for your cat, they can guide you on how much weight your cat needs to lose.

morgaine

Morgaine 2016

pepod

PeaPod 2016

I’d love to hear some success stories from cat owners that stopped the dry food habit. It worked for my girls and they are a lot happier now!

 

Happy New Year And Thank You!

56328e9b7841d.image

Rex and Grace, Bichon Frise dogs

I want to take a moment to thank our Pet Nanny family  for another successful year.

I often see businesses post the number of clients they gained in a year or how much their revenue increased. I measure our success a little differently.

potroast

Pot Roast, tabby cat

For me, success feels more like…a shy cat that comes out to visit us for the first time after caring for them all week…a senior dog who has been off her food agreeing to eat after a little massage and words of encouragement… a frightened rescue pup allowing us to leash them for the first time…talking an anxious African Grey parrot out from under the china cabinet…every time we earn the love and trust of your pet we are truly successful.

We were fortunate enough to win Best Of Bucks and appeared twice in the local paper this year and I am proud of those accomplishments because they got the word out about our services.

But what matters the most is giving our clients peace of mind when they leave pets in our care. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to look after for your special family members.

Linda, Jana, Korki  and I look forward to seeing our furry, feathered and scaled friends in 2016!

lucy

Lucy, a Rottweiler

Happy New Year!

A Word About The Feral Cat Problem

 

cat-72568_1920You may have recently seen a video going around social media that was taken at Core Creek Park in Langhorne. It shows lime being spread around the paths of the park. The word from park officials is that they are trying to get rid of the urine odor caused by the colony.

What they didn’t explain was the real purpose of spreading lime in a feral cat colony is to deter cats. Lime is also toxic to them and humans as well. People bring their dogs and their children to that park. I question the reasoning of taking such a drastic measure like this after the cats have been there at least 20 years. I also wonder why there has not been a successful effort for a trap- neuter- release program. From the research I have done, it seems that many of the cats have been dumped there by local residents. I am sure many of those cats that were dumped were litters of kittens. Read more about the danger of spreading lime here.

This is where the real problem is- it’s people, not cats that have caused this situation.

Every week from spring though fall I see free kitten signs everywhere. They are on bulletin boards, posted to online yard sales and community pages. Many of these cats have been pregnant several times. We have enough cats! There are feral cat colonies all over Bucks County. Some residents are angry and they are hurting and killing these poor felines.

We need to educate the cat owners about the importance of spaying and neutering. We also need affordable places for people to take them to have the surgery performed.

One such place is  The Bridge Clinic  in Trevose . For $75, they will give your cat a rabies shot and FVRCP vaccine in addition to neutering. They are also in need of volunteers for TNR and at the clinic.

Unspayed cats are likely to have behavioral wetting problems. Females are at a very high risk for mammary gland cancer. Male cats as well as females will be less likely to roam if neutered.  There are no good reasons to not spay/neuter. They will not get fat and having one litter is of no benefit for the female cat. These are just silly old wives tales.

Getting all cats spayed and neutered will help them live a longer, happier life!

kittens-555822_1280

 

What Is A Professional Pet Sitter?

photo-1415369629372-26f2fe60c467We love our job!  We get to play and care for animals all day long and it really doesn’t get any better than that. But some of you may wonder how are we different than the neighbor down the block?

Here are a few things that set us apart from the hobby pet sitters:

  • We are not going anywhere! We started this business five years ago and  we will be here for many years to come. This was a long time dream to provide this service and we can’t imagine doing anything else.
  • We are bonded and insured for your protection. Every pet sitter is fully background checked for your peace of mind.
  • This is our “real job”. Many people pet sit on the side, we do this full time so we are here and available when you need us.
  • We are a team. If one of us has a flat tire or gets sick, we have a back up sitter in place.
  • We know pets! Working with animals all day helps us to better understand them. We will cuddle with your dog when he is afraid of the thunderstorm and will lie on the floor and talk to your cat when he doesn’t feel like coming out from under the bed. We love what we do!
  • We care for special needs and senior pets. We understand the unique needs of these animals and work closely with you to create a plan that works best for your individual pet. This can mean giving meds, making more frequent visits or assisting dogs who need help going outside.

These are just a few things that set us apart from a hobbyist. It  may cost a little more, but you will have peace of mind knowing your pets are in the best hands!

Need a pet sitter? Give us a call at 267-981-4929

photo-1425678013935-cafcfb4272c7

 

 

Keeping Pets Safe On Halloween

pom halloweenHalloween is one of my favorite holidays and if you’re like me, you love giving out candy to all the children and seeing their Halloween costumes. But unfortunately, Halloween night can be stressful for our dogs and cats. I recently learned that Halloween is the second most common holiday to lose a pet, the first is the Fourth Of July.

We open and close our door many times and even if  there’s a storm door, children will often prop it open while we are handing out candy. Dogs like to greet people at the door and they can easily slip out in all the chaos. Kitties who like to dart outside can slip out without anyone noticing since they are so small.

Ideally, try to confine the pets to an area of the house where they don’t have access to the front door. Don’t leave them in the yard unattended during the time you are giving out candy. Make sure they are wearing collars with current ID tags.  If they do get out, someone will be able to contact you when they find them.

If your dogs are prone to anxiety, try a Thundershirt or putting them in a room with the TV or radio on. You can also talk to your vet about possible medications to give them for the evening.

And of course, remember to keep all the candy out of your pet’s reach!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!dog halloween

Is It Okay To Feed Bread To Ducks?

mallard-ducks-934518_1280It seems like such a good thing to do. You have stale bread, why waste it? There are plenty of hungry ducks, geese and other birds who are hungry…

The reality is, bread is very unhealthy for birds and can actually be quite dangerous to their health.

Putting bread in canals and lakes pollutes our water. It can cause bacteria to grow, causing excess algae. If the bread becomes moldy and a bird eats it, it can cause aspergillosis, an often fatal lung infection. One infection can decimate an entire flock of ducks. Ducks that become dependent on eating bread will stop seeking out more nutritious food, leading to malnourishment.

If ducks become dependent on humans feeding them, they may hesitate to migrate. This could cause them to freeze over a  harsh winter.

When I worked in wildlife rehabilitation, I saw the effects of malnourishment in waterfowl. Many were brought in because they were unable to fly. Feeding bread can also affect song birds. Mourning doves in particular should never eat bread. This species has a deep crop for storing food. They will fill their crop and digest it later, but when it fills with bread sometimes it gets stuck. The bread expands in the crop and ferments and the bird can no longer eat. People would often bring us several mourning doves found in their yard who were too sick to fly after consuming large quantities of bread.

So what should we feed the ducks? Pick up a bag of cracked corn or duck feed at your local feed store. If you don’t have a feed store nearby, defrosted frozen peas are a good choice as well as wild bird seed. Occasionally, grapes cut in half are a nice treat. Just remember not to overfeed. We want these guys trim and ready to migrate later on the fall!

What should you do with all that leftover bread? Make some bread pudding, stuffing or croutons. You can also add it to your compost pile to fertilize your garden next spring.

 

duck-811711_1280

 

 

 

 

 

References

[2015] Mayntz, M http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/feedingducksbread.htm

[2015] http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7001.html

How Often Should You Clean You Pet’s Water Bowl?

dog-bowl-429227_1280We all that know that we need to provide fresh water daily for our pets, but just topping the bowl off can encourage bacteria to grow. If you feel a slimy residue in the bottom and sides of the bowl, that’s dangerous fungus and bacteria starting to grow. Animals can smell that bacteria and often won’t drink as much as they should, potentially causing dehydration. If they do drink contaminated water, they can become ill.

It is best to clean the water dishes daily. If you have a dishwasher, that is an easy way to disinfect pet bowls. For hand washing, scrub with dish detergent and hot water. A natural alternative is to use equal parts baking soda, warm water and salt.

Plastic dishes are not recommended as they can absorb odors and become scratched, which will make them difficult to disinfect. A better choice is stainless steel or ceramic. Glass is also fine to use.

Now that your bowls are all clean and shiny, consider filling them with spring water or filtered water. Your pets will thank you!

 

Reference

Simpson, L [2015]  Invisible Monsters In Your Pet Bowls

Fun Places To Walk Your Dog In Lower Bucks

dogtrail2As dog walkers in the Yardley area we have lots of opportunities to walk dogs along the Yardley Canal. The towpath is dog friendly and sometimes there is even a dog or two taking a quick dip! There are all kinds of wildlife here from frogs and turtles to birds and even the occasional beaver sighting!

Another great place to walk your pup is Falls Township Community Park. There are two different trails, one is shorter and surrounded by trees and another longer trail that circles the lake. There is also a dog park inside the park now.

Playwicki Park in Langhorne  has a trail along the creek where there are lots of deer, frogs and turtles. The path from beginning to end takes about two hours to walk.

One of the largest parks is Tyler State Park in Newtown. It has many different trails suitable for toy breeds looking for a fun walk and longer, more challenging trails for the larger breeds. The park is clean and beautiful, bring a picnic lunch!

Where are some of your favorite places to walk your dog?dogtrail