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!



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




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.









[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!



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


5 Reasons Why A Bird Sitter Is Better Than Boarding

lovebirdsIf you are a bird owner and are looking to board your little friend, a great alternative is an in home pet sitter. Here are five reasons why this might be a better choice:


  1. Your bird will have no exposure to other birds who might be sick or have parasites.
  2. You won’t have to transport your bird which can be an ordeal for both bird and owner
  3. A bird sitter will also check in on your house every day. This is an added security advantage.
  4. Your bird will be able to maintain his regular schedule. Your sitter can visit twice a day, morning for breakfast and play time, night time for dinner and  and cover.
  5. You can be sure your bird will receive individual, loving attention every day while you are away!

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

5 Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe On The Fourth Of July

independence-day-159462_1280Here are some tips to help keep your dog happy and safe over the holiday: 

  1. Keep you dogs indoors as much as possible. Don’t leave your dog unattended, even in a fenced in yard. Loud noises can make dogs do things they would not normally do, such as jump a fence or crawl under it.
  2. If you will be out for the evening, close all the windows, close the blinds and put the AC on. This will help with the noise. Put a TV or radio on a little louder than usual.
  3. Consider a Thundershirt. They have a calming effect on most dogs and are available now at PetSmart.
  4. If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, he will likely be afraid of fireworks too. If she pants excessively or her heart races during a storm, talk with your vet. Sometimes they will prescribe mild tranquilizers to help with their anxiety
  5. If you are having a barbecue, keep an eye on your pup around the grill. Also, be mindful of guests who may leave a plate with bones on it where your dog can reach. Do not leave alcoholic beverages unattended.

Have a happy and safe Fourth Of July!



When Is It Too Hot To Walk My Dog?


pugDogs need to go outside no matter what the weather is like, but when is it too hot to go for a full walk?

As summer approaches, we need to take extreme heat and humidity  into consideration. How hot is too hot? If there are weather advisories regarding extreme heat, it is too hot to take your pup for a long walk. Shorter potty breaks are a safer choice. Take into consideration how hot the sidewalks are and if there is a shaded place to walk your dog. Senior and young puppies are more sensitive to the heat than young adult dogs. Thick coated breeds such as Shelties and Akitas are prone to heat stroke. Pugs, English Bulldogs, Shih Tzus  and similar push nosed breeds aren’t able to pant as efficiently as other breeds and as a result can’t cool themselves down quickly. This can cause  respiratory distress.

Dr. Carrie Phelps, DVM states that shorter, more frequent walks are recommended in hot temperatures, allowing for better recovery and not getting dogs too overheated.

Signs of heat exhaustion:

  • excessive panting
  • drinking large amounts of water

Signs of heat stroke:

  • restlessness
  • drooling,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea
  • disorientation
  • bright red tongue and gums


First aid measures include spraying the dog with a cool water mister bottle, applying wet cool towels to the dog’s neck, chest, tummy and between the legs. Do not use ice. Encourage them to drink, but don’t force them. Call your veterinarian.








When’s the  best time to walk your dog in hot temps?  The same as when it is best to do gardening and other work outdoors. Early in the morning and after 7:00pm.



photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/36204108@N00/5631779007″>MAMAMAMAMA!</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/83128028@N00/13577273485″>?? / Taipei – ???</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>




Are Air Fresheners And Plug-Ins Safe?


A lot of pet owners are concerned about pet odor, litter box odor in particular. They use plug-ins and spray air fresheners to hep mask the smell. But are they really safe?

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council the answer is no. The NRDC recently tested 14 air fresheners and found that 12 of them contained phthalates chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. Some of the products were labeled all natural and unscented. According to Scientific American, air fresheners also contain  benzene and formaldehyde, which can cause cancer. Another common ingredient is volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause headaches, nausea and can aggrevate asthma. If these products are  harmful to humans, I can only imagine what they are doing to our pets.

So what can we do about pet odor? First, we can open our windows and air everything out. Get a fan going to circulate the air. Mix four teaspoons baking soda to four cups of water and put in a spray bottle to use as an odor neutralizer. One part vinegar to four parts water is not only an excellent cleaner but it gets rid of odors as well. Simmering cinnamon and cloves in water on a stove will make the whole house smell wonderful.

To learn more about the study on air fresheners click here.


(2015) Toxic Air Fresheners? http://www.nrdc.org/living/healthreports/hidden-hazards-air-fresheners.asp

(2012)  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nontoxic-air-fresheners/