Did You Adopt a Cat Over Christmas?

How to Adopt a Cat and Live Peacefully Afterwards

If you are ready to adopt a cat or recently adopted a cat we bet you know cat adoption is rewarding, fun and life saving. Congratulations on bringing that kitty home with you! Here are some tips to get everything off to a great start.

adopt a cat

Chester getting a drink

Socialization  First of all recognize that cats do like human companionship. Although they like to hunt alone they are not the solitary creatures we once envisioned them to be. Be sure to take time to teach your cat to play and interact with you. Pam Johnson-Bennett offers great advice in her book CatWise regarding socializing with other cats, with dogs and with humans.

Declawing  If your new family member has not been declawed we urge you to forego that procedure. Declawing is the amputation of the first joint of all the cats’ digits and is extremely painful. Some cats suffer tenderness in their paws forever. If your cat has been declawed, please don’t let him outside.  He can no longer protect himself without claws.

Scratching  So what to do to protect your furniture from being shredded after you adopt a cat? Recognize that cats scratch to get good shoulder stretches, when excited about something pleasant and to displace tension.

Purchase or make a sisal covered scratching post. Make sure the scratching post is tall enough for your cat to fully stretch his shoulders. You may find it helpful to place the post near the corner of a sofa so it’s handy for your kitty. There are also scratching pads that hang from a doorknob and corrugated cardboard scratching pads that sit horizontally on the floor.  

Litter Boxes  If you live in a multi-level home be sure to have at least one litter box on each level. It’s also a good idea to have one more litter box than you have cats.  Recognize that cats are fastidious creatures and don’t like to use dirty litter boxes.  It’s ideal to scoop the litter two times a day, but please scoop at least one time each day. Remember that cats’ noses are sensitive so unscented litter is the best idea.

Exercise and Nutrition   A fat cat is not healthy so give your cat opportunities for exercise. Did you know you can even clicker train your cat to walk in a kitty harness on a leash? Think vertically so your cat has places to climb and to feel safe. Jackson Galaxy in his book Catification offers lots of innovative solutions. 

Arden Moore writing in her book Fit Cat reminds us that cats need encouragement to remain hydrated. Bubbling water fountains encourage cats to drink water. Canned food or sodium free broth added to kibble will encourage cats to get greater water intake. Cats are obligate carnivores so need protein from chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, turkey or tuna. Avoid meat or poultry by-products.

adopt a cat

This is a cool product

Indoor Happiness In addition to vertical spaces and scratching posts, consider adding a kitty garden and toys to your cats’ space. There are multiple options available but we like SmartCat Kitty’s Garden. Toys run the gamut from crinkled foil and cardboard boxes to tunnels and feather wand toys and laser pointers.  Allow your cat to “catch” the prey to provide satisfaction. Remember to provide a variety of kitty beds and leave her carrier out. If she can go in and out of her carrier at will she will be less likely to hide when it’s time to visit the vet.

Veterinary Care Cats need routine veterinary care for a variety of reasons. Your cat can live a long healthy comfortable and happy life with regular check ups, necessary vaccinations, and dental cleanings. It’s a lot less expensive to be proactive than reactive too. 

Pet Sitting  When you initially adopt a cat it’s best to let your cat become accustomed to her new environment and comfortable in her surroundings. Try not to travel too soon after you bring your new kitty home.  But eventually we know you will need to travel for business or pleasure.  We recommend you hire a professional pet sitter so your cat can stay in the comfort of home.

We offer cat sitting in your home. Our service area includes all of Mooresville 28115 and parts of Mooresville 28117, parts of Mt. Ulla, Davidson and parts of Cornelius. If you reside out of our service area check out the pet sitter locators in Pet Sitters International and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

adopt a cat

Where to Adopt a Cat

If you are ready to add a cat to your family please choose adoption. If you live in the Lake Norman area we recommend the following places to find sweet and needy cats.

Iredell County Animal Services

Catering to Cats and Dogs

Lake Norman Animal Rescue

Lake Norman Humane

Cornelius Animal Shelter

What Happens In Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek (Dog Training)

Episode II – Mikkel Becker

Dog Training

Mikkel Becker with Interested Dog

January is “Train Your Dog Month” and we are delighted to tell you about the workshop and live demonstration with shy and fearful dogs that Mikkel Becker presented at the PetSittingOlogy Conference last October. For those of you not familiar with her work Becker is a certified cat and dog trainer who specializes in the use of reward based training and behavior modification with cats and dogs. These techniques are the epitome of great dog training.

If Mikkel Becker’s name is familiar to you it may be because she is the daughter of Dr. Marty Becker, DVM “America’s Veterinarian.”  Dr. Becker founded the Fear Free movement to help pets be more comfortable in the vet’s office. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree in this instance. Mikkel Becker has earned an impressive list of credentials.

Dog Training

Becker demonstrated her knowledge and skill for us over a 3 hour period of time. A shelter located in Las Vegas provides opportunities for local female inmates to work with dogs to prepare them for adoption. The rescue brought several dogs to the presentation and Becker demonstrated her techniques.

The first dog on stage was a little guy who was fearful. Becker patiently ignored the dog while talking with us and intermittently tossing treats to the dog.  He was quickly eating out of her hand.

Of course there must be a “doubting Thomas” in every crowd and this crowd was no different. One of the participants asked Becker to demonstrate her techniques with a more difficult dog.

A volunteer with the shelter attempted to guide a larger dog up the steps on the side of the stage. The dog steadfastly refused. Becker slowly moved to the front edge of the stage and sat down with her legs dangling over the edge of the stage. She remained focused on the audience and talked in a very calm voice.

Without looking directly at the dog Becker calmly tossed treats on the floor, gradually tossing them closer to her position at the edge of the stage. She continued talking with us about her techniques while answering our questions. The dog moved closer to her until he and the volunteer were able to walk in front of Becker and on to the steps on the other side of the stage.

Becker moved to the other side of the stage and still using treats calmly guided the dog up the steps and sat down next to the dog. In the photo posted at the top of this article you can see the dog next to Becker.

This entire episode took a little over 11 minutes. We know how long it took because Arden Moore timed the episode.  Granted the dog does not have a totally relaxed posture, but clearly is interested and not aggressive.  We call that a win-win-win.  This is a perfect illustration of why we encourage you to use positive reinforcement dog training techniques with your dogs.

Resources for Dog Training

The most effective way to train your dog is a little bit every day.  It’s more fun for you and your dog if you break training into short segments. Feel free to visit our Doggy Page for recommended local trainers and some of our favorite resources. Just scroll to the bottom of the page.  Get going and make January the best month yet for you and your dog.

 

That Hard to Buy for Gift Recipient

Gift Solutions for That Hard to Buy for Loved One

Do you have friends and family members on your list who seem to have everything? Can your friends and family members be hard to buy for? If so we have some suggestions.  

Make a Donation to an Organization They Support

hard to buy for

Courtesy of Lake Norman Lucky Cats

For starters consider making a donation in their honor to a charity that you know they like to support. There is no higher good than that. If your friend or family member is an animal lover remember there are no shortages of good causes right here in our own community.  Take a look at Iredell County Animal Services and Control, Lake Norman Animal Rescue, Cornelius Animal Shelter, Lake Norman Lucky Cats, Catering to Cats and Dogs and Lake Norman Humane.  

 

 

 

 

 

Shop Local for That Hard to Buy for Friend

hard to buy for

Photo by Beth Leatherman Harwell

Shopping at Made in Mooresville supports local businesses and services. They offer home decor, gifts and local products. Everything sold at Made in Mooresville comes from within about ten miles! They have a really cool Christmas Tree Coffee and Paint scheduled for December 17.  That’s a calm easy way for you to relax for yourself. Here’s a photo of their books for sale.  All the books are written by local authors or published locally. I really like the “Jack” books.  They are written for the early reader and the protagonist is a cute dog named Jack.

Speaking of painting, Karen Rosenthal Dortschy with Haute Dauge Portraits   creates beautiful paintings of your pet from photographs that you provide.  She has all the commissioned work she can complete before Christmas but you could certainly purchase a gift certificate so the recipient could choose his or her own photo later in the year.

If your friend or family member is owned by pets he or she may benefit from having their floors cleaned. Todd Kofoed with Bigg Time Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning will make the odors and stains of dirty dogs and cats disappear.

Maybe your friend or family member could use some stress relief.  If so check out gift certificates from Your Karma Center for Yoga and Wellness or Bikram Yoga Lake Norman.

Your Karma offers a range of yoga classes and massages.  How many ways can we spell r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n?LKN Bikram offers yoga and pilates classes and loads of workshops. You can’t go wrong with either option. 

Food for the Hard to Buy For Friend

For the hungry barbecue lover give a gift certificate from Big Tiny’s BBQ.  Those Texans know how to smoke some brisket. The green bean casserole is my favorite side.  How about a tin of cheese rings or gourmet chocolates from Gourmet Plantation? If you hurry you probably still have time today to sample some goodies at Daveste Vineyard at the wine, chocolate and cheese event.  The Celebration continues until 5:00 PM.

Reading is One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

We offer great reading suggestions for cat lovers and dog lovers.  Scroll down the linked pages to see our recommendations about books and other useful products. 

If your hard to buy for person has an established relationship with a local professional pet sitting business they would probably appreciate a gift certificate for cat or dog sitting or dog walking. Just remember to check to see which company your friend or relative uses use because pet sitting is a very personal choice. 

 

May all your shopping be easy, your holidays be bright and your Christmas be Merry!!

What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek

What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek Pet Services

Episode I

Despite popular opinion some things that happen in Las Vegas are designed to be shared. The PetSittingOlogy Conference is one of those happenings. In October 2014 Billy and I were privileged to attend the 3rd Annual PetSittingOlogy Conference. We were delighted to attend the 5th Annual PetSittingOlogy Conference this past October.
 
Vegas

PSO Pet Sitters 2016

 

Arden Moore

Over the next several months we will share the highlights from the conference with you. Today we start with the incomparable Arden Moore. You may have been fortunate enough to listen to her radio show, Oh Behave! on Pet Life Radio. Several years ago I bought her book, The Cat Behavior Answer Book and  have found the tips invaluable when working with, shall we say, less than enthusiastic cats!!

While at the conference Billy and I had the privilege of spending some one on one time with Arden and got to know her on a personal level. Arden’s sense of humor is delightful.  We also had the opportunity to purchase two more of her books, Fit Dog and Fit Cat.  We heartily recommend Arden’s books.

Just this week Billy passed along recommendations for medicating a cat to one of our clients that was distressed about her cat’s needs for medication. Said cat is independent and does not like to be messed with. 

Arden’s cat Casey assists her with teaching Pet First Aid 4U. Pet Safety Cat Casey endorses the The Explorer Adventure First Aid Kit. The kit contains the items you might need in an emergency (for your pet or you). Billy and I previously created our own first aid kits for carrying in our cars but needed something compact enough to carry on hikes with our dogs. This kit is the perfect addition to our backpacks for those so beloved hikes.

Stay tuned next month for Episode Two of What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek Pet Services.

Watch Out for Counter Surfers During the Holidays

Counter Surfers

counter surfers

 

Do counter surfers live in your home? We have learned that we are owned by one dog and two goats.  Or at least Trooper and Luke act like goats sometimes.  Back when Beau was still living he won the prize for counter surfers. Beau routinely counter surfed and managed to snag sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, bread and freshly baked blueberry muffins!

Trooper, our English Springer Spaniel “Goat” prefers toilet tissue, Kleenex and paper towels.  His favorite game of all time is to steal a washcloth, hand towel or sock and run to his crate where he waits on a treat to entice him to drop the stolen bounty.  

We would love to hear from you what your dog chooses to take for ransom.  Post your answers on our Facebook page please.  

But in all seriousness we do want to offer a reminder about year round and holiday dangers to your cats, dogs, birds and guinea pigs.

 

counter surfers

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 886-7965 offers this information about routine pet poisons.

Based on our Pet Poison Helpline call volume and extensive database, here are the top 10 most common toxins that Pet Poison Helpline gets called about. Now keep in mind that some of these listed are very toxic, while some are minimally toxic (like ant baits and silica packs). When in doubt, call your vet or Pet Poison Helpline to make sure there won’t be a problem. Take special care to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach and pet-proof your house!

 

 

 

Dog Poisonscounter surfers

  1. Chocolate
  2. Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
  3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
  4. NSA
  5. IDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
  6. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
  7. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
  8. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  9. Xylitol
  10. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
  11. Caffeine Pills

Cat Poisons

  1. Topical spot-on insecticides
  2. Household Cleaners
  3. Antidepressants
  4. Lilies
  5. Insoluble Oxalate Plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
  6. Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
  7. Cold and Flu Medication (e.g., Tylenol)
  8. Glow Sticks
  9. ADD/ADHD Medications/Amphetamines
  10. Mouse and Rat Poison

 

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

Here’s a common language interpretation on the names above

NSAIDs (e.g. Advil, Aleve and Motrin)

Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol)

Antidepressants (e.g. Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)

ADD/ADHD medications (e.g. Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin)

Benzodiazepines and sleep aids (e.g. Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)

Birth control (e.g. estrogen, estradiol, progesterone)

ACE Inhibitors (e.g. Zestril, Altace)

Beta-blockers (e.g. Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg)

Thyroid hormones (e.g. Armour desiccated thyroid, Synthroid)

Cholesterol lowering agents (e.g. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor)

The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline recommend keeping these fall items away from all pets

  • mushrooms
  • mothballs
  • antifreeze
  • mouse and rat poisons
  • compost bins or piles
  • Maple tree leaves

 

They recommend keeping these seasonal holiday items away from all pets

  • tinsel
  • lilies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
  • alcohol
  • grapes, raisins and currants
  • chocolate
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener often found in sugarless gum and candy)
  • leftover fatty meat scraps (can lead to pancreatitis)
  • imported snow globes
  • liquid potpourri

 

Other Items to Protect From Counter Surfers

We also recommend you keep wrapping paper, ribbon and the Christmas tree water out of reach of your cats and dogs.  You may want to consider installing a gate or closing the door to the room with the tree.  When you are doing your holiday baking remember that if pets ingest uncooked dough it will “rise” in their bellies and can cause an obstruction.  Those other Christmas decorations are also items that can break or splinter or create an obstruction that requires surgery.
A few other food items to avoid allowing your cats and dogs to eat include caffeine found in coffee or tea, under cooked or raw turkey, cake batter, sage (often included in stuffing), candy and candy wrappers, wrappings (foil, waxed paper, plastic wrap, plastic silverware, toothpicks, skewers, etc).

The ASPCA provides a list of plants that are toxic to cats, dogs and horses.

Here’s wishing you a Thankful Thanksgiving, Joyous Christmas and Happy New Year all in SAFETY!!

Late Summer Happenings and Day Trips from LKN

Day Trips from LKN

Soon all the local students will return to school and time will be limited for anything other than studies, music lessons, sports practice and other extra-curricular activities.  Now is a great time for checking out the end of summer local events and day trips from LKN.

Day Trips from LKN

August 13  10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Art in the Park
Blowing Park, NC

This one is a perennial favorite.  You can never go wrong taking a trip of any kind to Blowing Rock.  We have long lost count of how many day trips from LKN we have taken to Blowing Rock. There is an eclectic offering of one of a kind art work.  The shops that line the main street are treasure troves and there are great restaurants too.

 

 

August 20        5:30 – 8:30 PM
Festival of Food Trucks
Downtown Mooresville, NC

The rain dampened this event a little last month, but hey, that’s summer.  There are multiple cuisines and a variety of craft beers available.

August 20       4:00 PM -9:30 PM
Old Town Cornelius Jazz Festival
Smithville Park, Cornelius, NC

We keep meaning to check this out.  Maybe one of these times.

 

August 20        6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
The Tillers in Concert
Cool Park, Todd, NC

We know Todd best for catching a ride to the Virginia Creeper Trail and biking down hill all the way. The Todd General Store is a delightful step back in time and the music is free.

August 21     6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Concert on the Green
Town Green, Davidson, NC

Always a great way to cap off a summer weekend.

August 27     3:00 PM  – 7:00 PM
High Country Beer Fest
High Country Fairgrounds, Boone, NC

Food vendors, live music, seminars and did we mention beer?  Over 50 craft beers from around the region and world.

 

We took our first trip to Pilot Mountain earlier this month.  Try it, you might like it!!!

Day trips from LKN

Beth at the August Cruise – In

 

September 3             3:00 PM-9:30 PM
Hot Nights Hot Cars Cruise In
Pilot Mountain

It was definitely hot this month.  Here’s hoping that September will be a tad bit more comfortable. Be sure to take your lawn chairs so you can sit and enjoy the music. Leave your pets at home, they are not allowed.

 

September 4        6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Concert on the Green , Town Green, Davidson

 

We love events that repeat.  Always a different artist though.

September 10       10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Art in the Park
Blowing Rock, NC

Did we say we love repeating events?

September 17      2:00 PM – 8:00  PM
‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Fest
Cornelius, NC

Another one of those events we intend to take in one of these days.

September 17  5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Downtown Davidson Arts Festival
Main Street, Davidson, NC

This s a great opportunity to shop for those distinctive Christmas gifts.

September 24  4-9 PM
8th Annual Great Chili Cook-Off
Mooresville  Town Square, Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC

Last year the rainy weather caused numerous postponements.  Let’s hope for better weather in 2016.

Tell us about your favorite day trips from LKN.

How to Protect Your Picture Frames and Glass Items from Your Cat

Cats Gone Wild

The term “cats gone wild” conjures up all sorts of images. Maybe you picture a cat attacking a person or dog. Maybe you picture a cat knocking all the soap and shampoo bottles into the bath tub.  Maybe you picture a cat knocking other cats down the steps. Maybe you picture a cat resisting your efforts to give it a pill.

cats gone wild

Uncle Billy cuddling innocent Angelo

Our story of cats gone wild is much more mundane. Several weeks ago I was on a pet sitting visit with Angelo, one of the cats we take care of on a regular basis. Angelo had gone upstairs and I was downstairs writing my note for his humans. Suddenly I heard a crashing sound. Fearing the worst, I went upstairs and discovered he had knocked over a picture frame on the edge of a table.  I moved all the photos to the other end of the table and hoped for the best.

That incident reminded me of another time when Toby, another one of our cat clients was chasing his sisters through the house. He leaped on the kitchen island and knocked over a beautiful glass figurine.  It shattered into what seemed like a million pieces.  I picked them all up (with broom and then damp paper towels) and carefully inspected all the cats to make sure no one got cut.

Museum Wax

cats gone wild

Museum Wax

Both these incidents made me think about solutions to prevent cats from knocking things over, particularly things that break.  After a little research I found an article in cathealth.com. The solution..tada….museum putty or museum wax! Brilliant!!

You can buy museum wax or museum putty at stores like Home Depot, Lowes,  Ace Hardware and crafts stores. There are numerous brand names.  In addition to holding ceramic and other breakable items in place you can use it to secure a picture frame to the wall.

Museum wax will not only keep your breakables safe from your cats, it will keep them safe from your small children and clumsy adults.  It’s a win-win-win situation.

Whisker Fatigue

What is Whisker Fatigue?

What do you know about whisker fatigue?  Yes, there really is such a thing!!  We loved this article in a recent issue of Modern Cat.  Already we knew that a cat’s whiskers are approximately as long as he is wide so your cat knows if he can fit into a space.  But we also learned that in addition to serving as a ruler, your cat’s whiskers help him to respond to changes in vibrations.

There are proprioceptors at the end of your cat’s whiskers that actually do the work. If you are a human of a certain age you probably have noticed your proprioception has become somewhat compromised. I surely have and am always careful going up and down steps for this very reason.

Your cat’s whiskers are quite sensitive and easily become fatigued.  That’s why it’s so important to give him food and water bowls that allow him to eat and drink without his whiskers brushing against the side of the bowl.  Think low and shallow for food bowls and low and wide for water bowls.  Many cats will also paw at their water bowls so it’s a good idea to have a plate underneath the water bowl to serve as a “catch pot.”

Remember that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are the best option for keeping clean. Washing their bowls daily is a must to keep from getting slimy buildup on the food and water dishes.

whisker fatigue

Chester getting a drink

Or you could just let your cat drink from the sink the way Chester is drinking in the photo above. Gotta love those cats.

It’s Summer Time and the Livin’ is Easy

Are you looking for some day trips from the LKN area to the cool mountains? Here are some of our favorites.

Day Trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains

Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway for beautiful vistas.

Blue Ridge Parkway Vista

Blue Ridge Parkway Vista

Art in the Park         Blowing Rock, NC      August 13, Sept 10 & Oct 8
There are artists galore with amazing stories to tell.  We love the shops and restaurants that line the main street too.

Tweetsie Railroad   Blowing Rock, NC      Daily through August 21
This is a must for the little kids. I have fond memories of taking my little sister and nieces and nephew. It’s grown a lot since the old days too.

If you will be in the Blowing Rock area, be sure to take the time to visit the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. You will be amazed by all the neat old fashioned candies along with great outdoor gear. They also have locations in Boone, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Knoxville, Winston-Salem, Greenville and Columbia.

Day Trips (or two day trips) to the Southwest Mountains of North Carolina

If the recent amoeba outbreak at the National Whitewater Center scared you off from river rafting, think again. The water is so very COLD at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, NC that amoeba infection is far off the radar.  We prefer to take a guided rafting trip because the guides know where all the big rocks are and can either get you splashed or help you avoid being splashed.  The choice is yours.

Day Trips

We love NOC

Although you can make this a day trip we don’t recommend it because we guarantee that you will be exhausted. Other cool things to do while there include a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.  Hint, a ride in the fall through the Nantahala Gorge is spectacular. End your train ride in Dillsboro, stop at Riverwood Pottery and dine at the Jarrett House.

Disclaimer:  Most of these activities are not suitable for your pets.

Nothing beats a well planned vacation.  We all deserve a little down time when the weather allows outdoor activities. That’s why so many of you are traveling this summer.  Remember that this is the busy season for everyone with school out. Most businesses anticipate their employees will use more vacation during the summer months than other months. So be sure to book your pet care needs early. We have had multiple dates this year that we were fully booked and had to say the dreaded word “no” to some of you. So, book ahead to assure you (and your pets) are not disappointed.

Fireworks and Pets

Fireworks and Pets Mix Like Oil and Water.

fireworks and pets

Fireworks and pets

No doubt any pet owner who did not already know that fireworks scare the heck out of pets has learned that fact the last few days.

We have three dogs of our own and are also professional pet sitters.  During the last few days we have seen far too many anxious dogs and cats.  I am distressed that the thoughtless illegal actions of others have troubled so many pets and people. It’s truly distressing to be taking care of pets in a house that sits on a thumbnail sized lot with houses so close you could practically touch them if you stretched your arms out. In one instance I had taken a dog out to “do her business.” Just as she squatted a huge BOOM went off. The poor dog stopped in her tracks and did not relieve herself out of fear.

A neighbor had left his dog tied up outside. The pitiful sounds of the dog whimpering and whining broke my heart. The cats inside the house went into hiding.

Certainly we don’t want to destroy anyone’s fun. But apparently many people have differing definitions of fun. However; I cannot define “fun” as an activity that causes extreme anxiety and fear in pets and also causes severe trauma for those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For someone to define this action as “fun” demonstrates their level of immaturity.

More about those issues later in this post, but for now I want to focus on what we as pet owners can do to reduce the fear and stress our pets feel over the sound and sight of fireworks.

Fireworks and Pets:  How Can we Help Our Pets On July 4 and New Year’s Eve

Let’s face it, we most likely will not be able to get our neighbors to refrain from setting off fireworks.  There’s no point in banging our heads against the wall.  Instead, let’s get prepared for dealing with fireworks and pets.  Here are my top ten ideas.

  1. Talk with your neighbors in a friendly manner.  Find out what their plans are and when they plan to set off their fireworks. Tell them you need to know so that you can prepare your pets or plan on being away from home for awhile.
  2. Ask your neighborhood association to send out a notice suggesting that celebrations be confined to one night only each season….ideally on July 4 and New Year’s Eve. Approach this in a solution focused manner to reduce the need for anyone to fee defensive.
  3. Speak up at neighborhood meetings and discuss the realities of the issues around fireworks and pets. Let people know that some pets shake and drool uncontrollably, some pets try to escape their crates or even their homes. Dogs have been known to escape fences if outside when fireworks start. Any human who has ever experienced an anxiety attack is sure to be able to relate to how horrible that feels to the pet. Maybe I’m still just a little hopeful that folks will change their ways!
  4. If your dogs like car rides consider driving around in the country side where there are less likely to be fireworks displays.  Make sure you have the car radio on and bring along some chew toys for your dogs.
  5. Research camp grounds and find out where dogs are allowed and where traditionally fireworks have not been set off.  Once you know, take off on that camping trip. fireworks and pets
  6. For those of you that don’t like to go camping and for those of you with pets that don’t travel well (cats, birds, fish) learn how to make your home a fortress from loud noises. If you have a basement, that’s probably the best spot.  Turn on window air conditioners and fans to generate noise. Invest in a “white noise” machine.  Turn on the TV or stereo with the kind of music you already know is helpful to your pets. Use heavy curtains to help block noise and flashes of light.
  7. Give your dog something to occupy himself.  For food motivated dogs a frozen stuffed kong is ideal. We really like these ideas from Lynnette Walczak. Engage your cat in play. Pull out that laser light or play with a flirt pole to occupy his attention.
  8. Check out calming products for your cats and dogs. Not all products will be effective on all pets so you will need a little trial and error. Some of our favorites include the Thundershirt (they make them for cats too), Adaptil collars and diffusers (for dogs), Sentry Calming Collars (for dogs and cats), Feliway diffusers for cats, Music Through a Dog’s Ear/Cat’s Ear, Bach’s Flower Rescue Remedy and Nature’s Miracle Cat Calming Spray.
  9. If the environmental efforts you made and the calming products you tried did not work, consult your veterinarian for a prescription medication to calm and sedate your pet during the most stressful events
  10. Remember, this too shall pass.  Try to stay as calm as you can because we know that our pets respond to our moods also.

 

Fireworks and Military Combat Veterans

We promised to address the issue of combat veterans and fireworks too.  Here are our thoughts.

fireworks and pets

Combat Veteran Lives Here

Imagine my horror when I read a post in Next Door from someone who apparently had a large fireworks display in their yard.  The individual defended their actions as being patriotic due to her husband’s past military service. I am proud of my father, uncles and even one aunt who served in the military during WWII, another uncle who served in the US Army during the Korean conflict and my husband who served in the US Air Force for 22 years.

However; service in the military truly does not justify distressing others with illegal actions.  Far too many of our former and retired service members served in combat and continue to suffer from the ill effects many years later.  My own father was traumatized and I know many more were also.

The little things truly can make a difference.  Most veterans with PTSD are happy for you to celebrate with fireworks on July 4. To be courteous, please confine the celebrations to one night, July 4.  Please don’t make a week long celebration out of it.  Also know that many combat veterans prefer not to place a sign in their yard.  If they do place a sign be sure to honor it and warn them of your plans. That way the veteran can either leave home for the evening, take anti anxiety medication, turn up the music or do what ever he or she needs to do to ward off the crippling anxiety attack.

For those who think they are honoring military veterans with fireworks, perhaps it’s time to consider a different way to honor our veterans.  The thoughts expressed by many veterans regarding Memorial Day on the Task & Purpose web page are a good start.  One comment in particular rang true with me.

I understand the sentiment and the desire to convey appreciation. Rather than thank me, however, I would prefer people to take moment and think about the original November 11, in 1918. After a horrific campaign, the endless shelling, gassing, and gunfire ceased at 11 am, replaced with the first silence that the battlefields of World War I had heard in four years. Think of the shock and limitless thankfulness the soldiers felt as they heard birds chirping, something we hear and take for granted every day. They had survived hell, and could be reunited with their families. These men carried the scars of war with them forever, as do veterans of all conflicts. —Angry Staff Officer, U.S. Army National Guardsman

Another statement addressed the issue of service as follows.

With regards to being thanked for my service, no one should be under any obligation to do so. If they want to, that’s fine, although ask about my experiences, the people, the conditions. The real, honest stories we share truly help people understand a concept so foreign (literally and figuratively) to them. If they truly feel the need to thank and support service members, I would encourage them to find a veteran’s group or organization and help them out however they can. —Kyle Dykstra, U.S. Army veteran

Common Courtesy

Common courtesy goes a long way in addressing the concerns. For those of you who enjoy setting off fireworks in your yard, please consider the issues and needs of your neighbors (humans, dogs, cats and birds). For those of us who love and care for pets and humans suffering from PTSD, think proactively about how to approach your neighbors in a non confrontational manner. Be prepared with the actions and products that can most help your pets and you get through these difficult holidays. For me, July 4 will always be difficult because my father took his own life 16 years ago on July 4.  Little did we know that he had always hated July 4. Only after his death did we learn that he had taken out an entire company of men one July 4 during WWII.  I make sure not to knowingly engage in anything stressful on July 4 and simply take care of myself and my family the best way I can. May you do the same.

 

 

What Type of Pet ID Do Your Pets Need?

Pet ID

National Pet ID Week
April 17-23

National Pet ID Week

Have you ever found yourself wondering what type of pet ID your pets need? With the weather getting warmer and our pets and their humans outside more, we have a timely reminder about putting ID on your pets.  After all, April 10-17 is National Pet ID Week.

Types of Pet ID for the Collar

There are numerous types of Pet ID that you dog or cat can wear on his collar.  Here are just a few.

  • Engraved brass nameplates screwed to the collar
  • Metal name tags affixed to the collar with a D ring
  • Plastic name tags affixed to the collar with a D ring
  • Name tags with information embroidered to the collar
  • GPS tracking collars that also include owner information

You can go the “just the facts maam” route or you can dress up your pet’s ID with cute bone shapes or paw prints. You pet’s ID can be colorful or just in black.  The choice is entirely up to you. The important point is to be sure that your contact information is on your pet’s ID. It’s advisable to provide your home and cell phone numbers.  It’s up to you about providing your address.  We only provide the name of the town we live in along with our pet’s name, our last name, one cell number and one home number.

If we are traveling with our dogs we can be reached by the cell number.  But for added insurance some folks also purchase a temporary ID tag that indicates where they are staying when out of town or provides the name of a trusted friend or neighbor.  As professional pet sitters, some of our clients use a temporary ID tag that provides our contact information.  Either way, this readily visible information provides the quickest way for your lost cat or dog to find his way home. When your pet is wearing a collar it’s also much easier for someone who finds her to grab your frightened pet before she escapes fro  her would be rescuer.

A study conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and published in 2012 provided interesting information indicating that far fewer of the animals that end up in shelters belong to someone who is looking for them than was previously believed.  However, 15% of the dogs that were reunited were wearing a collar with ID or were micro chipped. The good news is that 93% of lost dogs and 74% of lost cats were recovered.

Microchips

We strongly advocate that you also have your vet implant a small micro-chip in your cat or dog.  All too often pets, especially cats, escape the house without a collar.  Pets can wriggle out of their collars and unscrupulous people can steal pets and then present them as their own.

Virtually all veterinarian clinics have micro-chip readers and most shelters do too.  Our veterinarian practices a great safety check. When we first presented with either of our two adopted dogs, the clinic scanned the chip to assure it was indeed registered to us. This is important because people do steal pets.

There are several micro-chip companies available. Here are a few.

No matter which company you choose, please be sure to keep your information updated. When your pet adoption is final, contact the microchip company and be certain the registration has changed over to your name.  If you move or get a new phone number be sure to contact the chip company and any registration services you use and update the information.  If your pet ever goes missing you will be glad he was wearing a collar with ID and had an up to date microchip!  Just do it.


Beth Leatherman Harwell and her husband Billy Harwell own and operate a small pet sitting business, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC.  Along with a professionally trained group of team members, they provide pet sitting and dog walking services to pets who live in any part of Mooresville, NC 28115 and those who live in near by areas of Mooresville, NC 28117, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla, NC.

 

Puppy Farms Are a Form of Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty

The month of April is designated as prevention of cruelty to animals month. There are numerous types of animal cruelty.  In this post we discuss puppy farms or puppy mills.

Puppy Farms or Mills as a Form of Animal Cruelty

 

puppy farms

Courtesy USHS

You have probably heard the term “puppy mills” pretty often.  But do you really know and understand what puppy farms and puppy mills are? What about the origination of puppy mills?  Jessica Remitz writing for Pet 360 offers this insight.

Puppy mills came into existence in the U.S. after World War II, Menkin said, as an opportunity for farmers to make money in the face of widespread failures. As pet store owners began to realize their business would increase as a result of putting puppies in their windows, the demand for puppies increased rapidly, causing them to turn to these farmers on a regular basis for their animals. Unfortunately, the conditions under which puppies were bred and being raised at these facilities was often mediocre at best.

‘At that time, they were converting old fridges and rabbit cages into dog crates and frames,” Menkin said. “These farmers were encouraged by the USDA to raise puppies as a cash crop … and were doing it by decreasing their overhead costs and increasing their profit.’

As time went on, the demand for pet store puppies continued to rise, keeping puppy mills across the country in business from the 1940s through today. While there is no legal definition of a puppy mill, the ASPCA defines puppy mills as “any commercial breeding facility that puts profit ahead of the wellbeing of the dog,” Menkin said. Because such facilities have been successful, the conditions under which many dogs live in at puppy mills continues to be less than ideal.

‘Dogs are kept in overcrowded conditions, with tiny cages stacked on top of each other and wire flooring that can be detrimental to their paws,” she said. “Females are bred at every heat cycle to make as much money as possible and produce as many puppies as possible.’

Unfortunately the puppy “farming industry” has only increased.  If you want to learn more we encourage you to visit the National Mill Dog Rescue website as well as their Face Book page. The video posted below gives you a bird’s eye view of the horror and the transformation.

Puppy Farms in North Carolina

Lest you think the state of North Carolina is immune from this shameful condition of puppy farms, think again.

Here’s a video of 300 dogs and puppies rescued in Caldwell County in June 2011.

In February 2013, more than 60 dogs were rescued in Sampson County.  In October 2013 more than 100 dogs and other animals were rescued in Pender County, North Carolina. The Humane Society of the US along with local and nearby organizations participated in the rescue. In November 2013 more than 40 dogs and 75 other animals (horses, cats, mini-horses, bunnies and chickens) were rescued from a puppy farm or puppy mill and cruelty site in Gates County.

In March 2014, a similar story with 60 dogs, this time in Hertford County.  A similar situation in Iredell County was addressed in March 2014.  The HSUS, Iredell County Animal Services, Guilford County Animal Shelter, Iredell County Sheriff’s Department and Humane Society of Iredell County rescued these 55 dogs.

In June 2014 over 50 dogs and puppies were rescued from a puppy mill or puppy farm operation in Rutherford County.

In October 2014 the USHS, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Iredell County Animal Services, Cashiers Highlands Humane Society  and Humane Society of Charlotte participated in a rescue of more than 50 dogs and cats from an internet seller in Rutherford County.

We’ve barely touched the surface with these facts, but we think you get the picture.  So what can we do about puppy farms you might ask.

  • Educate, advocate and legislate
  • Educate yourselves and others with the power of this information
  • Make sure that folks know not to buy from a “breeder” that ships their dogs
  • Be wary of pretty internet sites of happy puppies frolicking across green meadows
  • Be aware that a license from the USDA does not indicate a quality operation
  • Be aware that registration with the American Kennel Club does not necessarily mean the seller is a reputable breeder
  • Be aware that breeders who love one or two dog breeds and breed them to better the breed typically lose money, not make a profit
  • Explore the local shelters, local rescue organizations and breed specific rescue organizations when you want to add a dog to your family
  • Be aware that shelters often have full breed dogs of all ages available
  • If you are insistent that you buy from a breeder, fully explore their background and qualifications, visit the kennel and ask to see the male and female parents
  • Be aware that reputable breeders will have you sign a contract agreeing to return the dog if you decide not to keep it
  • Please choose to adopt
  • Get to know Harley and get to know #HarleysDream
  • Get to know Lil Olive, Lee, the One and Only, Nori the Iggy, Leo Puppy Mill Survivor and Sophie the Shy Mill Girl
  • Meet Teddy, Zoie, Harley Jr and Princess Ava Bisou
  • Visit Safehaven Small Breed Rescue
  • Checkout NC Voters for Animal Welfare to educate yourselves on how local and state politicians feel, act and vote on matters regarding animal welfare
  • Contact your local, state and federal officials and legislators and be the voice for the animals

Beth Leatherman Harwell is one of the owners of a Lake Norman area pet sitting business, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC.  She owns and operates the pet sitting business along with her husband, Billy Harwell.  Beth is a retired licensed clinical social worker and Billy is retired from the USAF.  Together, they coddle your pets when you cannot.


 

April is All About Pets

April is All About Pets

April provides lots of opportunities for education about issues important for the health, safety and general well being for our pets. Some of the topics can be a little overwhelming so we recommend you think globally and act locally on the issues all about pets of the most importance to you.

April is all about animals

Beau was a happy dog!!

Click on the links to learn more about the ones of interest to you.

Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty takes many forms ranging from being tethered or “tied-out,” dog fighting, puppy mills, animal hoarding, factory farms, horse slaughter, greyhound racing and cock fighting. Take the time to educate yourselves on all of them.  Then choose the one that you can impact locally.  Our animals are counting on you.

Pet First Aid

Hopefully you will never have to use the skills you learn in pet first aid, but it’s very reassuring to know you could do the right thing in an emergency. Our next Pet First Aid and CPR class is scheduled for May 21.

April is All About Pets

Trooper is a muddy boy

Heartworm Disease

When we fostered to adopt Trooper he was heartworm positive.  His elderly owner just did not know about heartworm disease so did not protect him from it. Trooper had to endure three very painful injections and remain very inactive during the two months of crate rest.  We rejoice that today he is an active fun loving Springer boy. Now he enjoys digging and gets frequent trips to the dog shower!

Prevention is very easy…just give your dog the monthly pill prescribed by your veterinarian or the injection that provides protection for a period of 6 months.  Trooper assures you it is worth it and he will happily undergo his prevention shot two times a year to avoid ever having to have treatment for heartworms again.

 

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is transmitted by infected ticks.  The primary symptom is recurrent lameness due to joint inflammation. Sometimes kidney damage also occurs. Diagnosis can be difficult but once diagnosed can be treated with antibiotics. There is a vaccine but its use is somewhat controversial.  It’s best for your dog to avoid deer tick infested areas. Always check your dogs for ticks after they have played outside. Another great option is to regularly use a flea and tick preventive. We like the Seresto collar. Although it is initially expensive, the protection lasts for a full 8 months so is quite cost effective.

Here’s a demonstration of properly removing a tick from your pet.

 Greyhound Adoption

Greyhound racing is one of the forms of animal cruelty we mentioned earlier.  There are seven states that still allow this so called sport. Fortunately a great deal has been done to ban the practice.  In the meantime there are multiple rescues that assist “retired racers” with finding forever homes.

Meet Cal the Greyhound.  He says he’s ready for a long term commitment!

Special Weeks All About Pets

Most people don’t know that dog waste i.e. poop is a health hazard to humans, pets and the environment.  Besides, who wants to step in dog poop whether in your back yard, on the trail in the park or in your own front yard where someone else failed to pick up after their dog!?!

The work of animal control officers and staffs is physically demanding, sometimes dangerous and often heart breaking.  Consider taking this opportunity to let your local animal control staff know how much you appreciate them.

No one plans for their pet to go missing. Unfortunately though, it does happen. While prevention is best, your dog or cat will most likely be returned to you if he is wearing a collar with identification including your name and phone number  Microchips are incredibly helpful too, just be sure to keep the information updated if you move or chanf=ge your phone number.

As a retired licensed clinical social worker with a great deal of experience in child welfare I clearly see a theme running through these issues.  I have long known the link between physical health and mental health. Likewise I have seen in action the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans.

 

Special Days All About Pets

all about pets

  • April 8    National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
  • April 10  National Hug Your Dog Day
  • Hug that dog, unchain that dog, don’t make that dog fight.

 

 

Healthy physical, emotional, mental and social lifestyles are closely linked. We encourage you to take the time to interact with your dogs, cats, birds or other pets. Curling up with a cat on your lap can be very relaxing and go a long way to reduce your stress level.

Walking with your dog will improve your physical and mental health and that of your dog.This activity also strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Spending time in nature is restorative for the soul.  And did you know you can also teach your cat to walk on a leash?

 

In addition to having our pets micro-chipped we need to make sure they wear collars with ID in the event they ever go missing. We have previously shared tips to keep your pet from getting lost andtips for finding your lost pets.  ID tags and microchips are key components in getting a lost pet home.

We hope April is a great month for you and your pet family!!

Special Event to Benefit State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

 Special Event to Benefit State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption Center

Artist Rendering of Pet Education and Adoption Center

Get ready for it…wait for it…go for it! The East Lake Norman Women’s Networking Group is sponsoring a delightful evening,  For the Love of the Animals FUNdraising Event on April 14. The event venue is The Pearl Weddings and Events in Cornelius and this delightful event begins at 6:30 p.m.

The evening includes appetizers, dinner, music, demonstrations by local animal artists, a raffle and silent auction of some fantastic gifts.The most special activity will be puppy smooches!! A cash bar will be available.

Just a few of the raffle items include a Zoom Take Home Teeth Whitening Kit dontated by Welborne and White Dentistry, a five days Day Care Pass from Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, lunch for two from Novanta 90 Pizzeria Napolenta, and from us a cat scratcher basket full of kittie toys, food, dishes, catnip, Greenies, nail clippers, treats and a book on cat care perfect for a new cat guardian or long time cat lover.

About Friends of the Animals

Proceeds from this first annual event will go toward helping Friends of the Animals build their state of the art Pet Education and Adoption Center. Friends of the Animals’ mission is  to promote responsible pet ownership, provide low-cost spay neuter services, and promote adoption of homeless pets.

State of the Art Pet Education and Adoption CenterOnce built, the Friends of the Animals facility will take educational programs to local schools to help young people develop kindness, respect and compassion for animals.  In-school programs and summer camps at the center will empower young people by learning about responsible pet ownership and the importance of spay/ neuter. Education will be a primary focus for helping change the current situation of too many homeless pets in our region.

How to Get Tickets

Better hurry to purchase tickets. You can purchase on line via the link or by mail at Friends of the Animals, PO Box 3937, Mooresville 28117. The deadline is March 31. A little birdy told me maybe if you smile sweetly they will extend that deadline a few days, but hurry to be sure!!

Happy National Puppy Day

 National Puppy Day

National Puppy Day is March 23

All the puppies we have ever known seemed to think that every day was made to celebrate them and that every day was National Puppy Day.  And why not???they are so adorable!!!  If a puppy has recently joined your family please be sure to enjoy those early weeks and months. Soon… they will be a distant memory as those sweet pups mature.

To make certain you are meeting your puppy’s needs take a look at this checklist we have adapted from multiple sources.

  • Take your puppy to the vet of your choice within 48 hours of bringing him home. It’s important to get your puppy started on appropriate vaccines beginning around 6 weeks. This link provides a list of area vets.

 

  • trooper in the woods

    Trooper on the trail

    Ask your vet for recommendations about flea, tick and heart worm preventives. When we adopted Trooper he was heart worm positive. Going through treatment was painful for Trooper and for us. Treatment is always painful for dogs. Heart worm medicine used for dogs is not safe for cats. Heart worm prevention is key.

 

  • Consult with your vet about the optimum age to have your cats and dogs spayed or neutered. Irresponsible owners allow unplanned and unwanted litters to be produced daily. The only way to prevent pet overpopulation and the resultant high rate of pets being euthanized is to have your cats and dogs fixed. Just do it!!!

 

  • Take your puppy to new puppy classes. Seek a trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques. Scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of positive reinforcement trainers we recommend.

 

 

  • National Puppy Day

    Dirty Trooper in the dog shower

    Learn what grooming requirements are necessary for your puppy. Matted fur is very uncomfortable for your pup. You can do routine maintenance at home by brushing your dog every few days. Some dogs can easily be groomed at home but others do better with the services of a professional dog groomer.

 

  • Be realistic about house training. It’s not a quick process. Set yourself and your puppy up for success and be prepared for a full year of close and careful management. Remember that a puppy can generally “hold it” one hour for every month of age. If you work be sure to enlist the help of a neighbor, relative or your local professional pet sitter. The minimal cost at this stage will save you money in the long run and prevent misery for your pup.

 

  • Provide toys for your puppy and interact often to build that all important bond.

Choose Adoption

The primary reason we celebrate National Puppy Day is to promote the adoption of orphaned, owner surrendered or homeless puppies and to make the public aware of what puppy mills are. We encourage you to adopt from your local shelter or rescue organization or from a breed specific rescue organization.  If you choose to buy your puppy please buy from a reputable breeder.

A reputable breeder does not ship their puppies and does not advertise on Craig’s List or similar outlets.  A reputable breeder will not breed the female dog every heat cycle. A reputable breeder will have one or both of the parents on site, will know the health history, will test the puppy for vision and other health issues and will provide adequate veterinary care for the dogs and puppies.

To learn more about puppy mills please visit the National Mill Dog Rescue.

ENJOY THAT NEW PUPPY!!

Pet Poison Prevention

It’s National Pet Poison Prevention Week

March 20 – 26, 2016

Pet Poison Prevention

pet poison prevention

Beautiful AND lethal to cats

Managing all the steps necessary to keep our pets safe, healthy and happy can keep us on our toes. That’s one of the reasons we need reminders such as National Pet Poison Prevention Week. There are so many dangers for our pets that it’s difficult to keep up with all of them.

In the Garden

For instance, did you know that for a cat exposure to any part of a Lily can lead to kidney failure?  Don’t feel badly. More than 70% of cat owners don’t know about all the dangers of lilies. While I was doing research for this blog post I was stunned to learn that even exposure to the water in a vase containing lilies can be lethal for cats.

The Pet Poison Hotline has developed loads of information that we can use. They have developed an awareness campaign, No Lilies for Kitties that provides methods we can use to educate ourselves and each other. I especially like their short videos that highlight the most significant information.  I learned that day lilies, tiger lilies and Easter lilies are among the most deadly.

For cats, exposure to any part of the Lily can lead to kidney failure. Although you can start first aid at home, there are no home remedies for the treatment phase. It’s essential that your cat begin treatment by the veterinarian as soon as possible after exposure and in no case more than 18 hours after exposure.  Any more time than that and your cat will have an extremely poor prognosis, most likely resulting in the need to euthanize your cat due to acute kidney failure.

 

 

Along with the Lily there are other plants in the garden and landscape that are poisonous to dogs or cats or both. Be sure to learn about any plants you already have as well as any new plants you are considering. The ASPCA offers a list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs, cats and horses.

pet poison prevention

Harwell Family Vegetable Garden

If you grow vegetables that are toxic to cats or dogs you may want to put a fence around that part of your garden. We learned this the hard way one year after Beau and Luke took a romp through our garden while we had the soaker hose on.  Fortunately, the dogs were not hurt, but we decided to protect our garden from being raided by our pets as well as the deer that live in our woods.

Common vegetables found in the garden that are poisonous include onions, garlic and chives.  Although the ripe fruits of the nightshade family are safe for dogs and cats, the plants are not safe. These include tomato and rhubarb leaves and stems and green potatoes and green tomatoes. We even keep the compost bin inside the fenced in area of the garden.

Dangerous ornamental plants include the sago palm, azalea, hibiscus, daffodil, dieffenbachia, geraniums and hydrangeas. Cocoa mulch gives off a chocolate aroma that is attractive to dogs but not safe for them to ingest. Remember that lawn and garden fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are poisonous to our pets too. Yet another reason to consider organic gardening.

Around the House

The Pet Poison Hotline offers  Preventing-Pet-Poisonings-Infographic (2)that is easy to read and follow. As you walk through your house thinking about pet poison prevention consider these items.

pet poison prevention

3 Hungry Pups Waiting for Peanut Butter

Food: Chocolate, grapes, apple and pear seeds, avocado, onion, garlic, chives, macadamia nuts, caffeine, alcohol, salt, unbaked yeast dough, moldy food and any items containing the artificial ingredient xylitol are poisonous. Even some peanut butter is now sweetened with xylitol so be sure to read the label.

Cleaners:  Laundry and dishwasher soap pods are attractive to pets and dangerous. Oven cleaner, fabric softener, bleach and dryer sheets, rust and lime removers, toilet cleaners and ammonia should all be kept out of reach of our pets. Perhaps you are ready to explore making your own cleaners with far safer ingredients including baking soda and white vinegar. But still exercise caution in storage of these items.

Medications: All prescription and over-the-counter medications should be kept out of reach and sight of pets. We all know how curious they can be. It never ceases to amaze me at what kind of containers and doors determined dogs and cats can open. Be particularly vigilant about medications for the heart and acetaminophen. Whether in human or pet dosages these can be deadly.

Decorative Items: The batteries in our remote control devices are poisonous to our pets.  We need to be very careful with liquid air fresheners and potpourri. Remember our earlier discussion regarding houseplants too. The most dangerous plants are those in the Lily family. Other house plants including asparagus ferns, corn plant, dieffenbachia, cyclamen, philodendron, jade, aloe and pothos are poisonous.

Miscellaneous Items: Often times you will find these items stored in the garage because we use them in or on our vehicles and garden equipment.  These items include anti-freeze, de-icers, windshield cleaners, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinner, water softeners and gardening chemicals.


 

We often hear the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s certainly true for pet position prevention. We hope these reminders will keep you and your pets safe as you prepare to enjoy your Spring together.

pet poison prevention

Daisy Mae’s Adoption Day Intro to Her New Yard

How to Play with Your Cats

play with your cats

Curious Cat

Do You Know How to Play with Your Cats?

Who doesn’t love to play?!?  That goes for your cats too. Did you know that cats enjoy playing fetch?  It’s a little different than playing fetch with a dog but just as engaging. Cats enjoy hunting for “prey” so you can put their natural instincts to work. When you play with your cats, be sure to let your cats “catch” the prey or it’s much too frustrating for them.

Choose toys that are sized right for your cat to bring to you in her mouth. It’s much more pleasant to have her bring a stuffed “mouse” than the real thing! Try to mimic actions that mice might make when getting your cat’s attention. Or use a feather on a wand and mimic a bird.  It’s really cool to see the cats we take care of engage with their toys and play time will bring you both a lot of pleasure.

Jonasek the kitten gives us a lively demonstration about the joy of playing with cats on this You Tube clip.

D – I – Y Toys

how to play with your cats

Cat cave by Jess

Toys can be expensive motorized ones, inexpensive stuffed mice or totally free paper bags and boxes. One cool idea is to make a cat cave from a box covered with an old t-shirt. Jess from the blog Practically Functional  writes about how easy it is to make this cat cave. Her step by step written instructions with photos demonstrates how she used objects that otherwise would have gone in the trash.

 

 

Ali Andrews provides a You Tube clip to demonstrate another method of fashioning a cat cave from a t shirt and box.

how to play with your cats

Stella in her blanket cave

Our friend Stella saves her humans the trouble and creates her own cave under the blankets. In the photo you can see me trying to entice Stella out from under her cave with a toy. Stella also enjoys playing with her very own oatmeal box!

.

 

 

The folks over at World’s Best Cat Litter Blog show a whole bunch more!  Enjoy.

The Playful Kitty Blog provides more ideas.

Inexpensive Cat Toys

play with your cat

cat toys

To help build your bond with your cats it’s a great idea to play with your cats in an interactive manner.  After you play you can put the interactive toys away until the next play session. Your cats will also enjoy the toys more if you rotate them in an out of use just as you might rotate toys in and out of use with your children.

If you are supplying plenty of enrichment via cat caves, elevated surfaces, cat scratchers, cat TV (views of bird feeders outdoors) and indoor kitty gardens your cats will enjoy their day and still get plenty of exercise.

 

You can find these cat toys in most any pet supply store.

Play-time Etiquette 

It’s best to supervise your cat during play time and to inspect the toys  for safety after each play session.  Remember you play with your cats to give them the necessary exercise, build your bond and to teach them how to play gently. With catnip it’s best to see how your cat responds and remember not to over stimulate your cat.

Mimic the action of their natural prey by dragging the toy away from your cat so he has to chase it.  Let your cat catch the toy and “kill it.”  Keep your hands away so your cat does not learn to scratch or bite you instead of the toy.  The “kill” is the natural reward but a treat or two as a reward from you can signal the end of the play session and your cat will associate the reward with you.

After the play session your cat will be ready to curl up in her comfy cat bed or lounge in a sunny windowsill.

play with your cat

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

 

 

 

Fun Events to Attend Around LKN in March

Are You Looking for Some Fun Events to Attend Around LKN in March?

Fun Events
  • Thursday, March 10  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM  Free  Live the Good Life Health Fair  Charles Mack Citizen Center, Mooresville                                                                      (Visit with us at booth 79)
  • Saturday, March 19    2:00 PM – 4:00 PM  Free  Hop Into Spring   Robbins Park, Cornelius

Fun Events

Fun Events

  • Saturday, March 19  6:00 PM – 9:30 PM   Mac & Cheese Cookoff   Future Fashion Designers and Mooresville Artists Guild  Art Depot, Mooresville  Fun Events

 

Happy March!!

Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet

Love Your Pet Today and Every Day

 Love Your Pet Day

For us every day is love your pet day.  We love our three dogs to the moon and back.  And what a joy it is to take care of so many other well loved pets. Have you told your pet that you love her lately?  Check out our nine awesome was to demonstrate that you love your pet.

Nine Awesome Ways to Demonstrate that You Love Your Pet

  • Let your pet know how much you love his species by volunteering with a pet rescue group. You can transport rescued dogs or cats from a shelter to a foster home, be a foster parent, build a fence for a chained dog, rescue a bird, volunteer at a shelter to take photos of homeless pets or share about lost pets on social media.  We bet you have lots more ideas. Share those ideas with us.
Love Your Pet

Foster Brittanys on a transport

 

  • Take your dogs on a hike. You can go on your own trail on your property, visit a state or national park or just take a stroll around your local park.  Your dogs will thank you for the opportunity for a change of scenery and better yet a change of aromas.
Love Your Pet

Luke shows Daisy Mae around our woods on her adoption day.

  • Brush your dogs’ and cats’ teeth every day.  Did you know that one way to show your pet that you love your pet is to assure they have teeth free of pain, plaque and tartar? Just like humans, dental health is important.  Infection in the mouth can get in the bloodstream and lead to serious damage to major organs.  Even more important, our dogs and cats can not tell us their teeth hurt and will probably try to hide their pain. The link at the beginning of this bullet point provides a self test about your knowledge regarding dental health and gives step by step instructions to teach your cat or dog to accept having their teeth brushed.
Love Your Pet

Our pet dental kit includes various styles of toothbrushes, toothpaste made for dogs and dental chews.

 

  • Play with your cats.  Contrary to popular belief cats do enjoy quality time with their humans. You can use flirt poles to get your cats to turn on their prey drives, spray catnip spray on tiny stuffed mice to get them to engage or drop a ping pong ball on the floor for them to bat around.  And what cat does not like to play in a bathroom sink with the water faucet on? Tell us what kind of play your cat most likes.
Love Your Pet

Nibbles loves to play if approached quietly and calmly.

 

  • Plant a cat grass garden for your cats.  This is particularly important for indoor only cats.  The grasses will stimulate their senses, give them something to nibble on, help to prevent hairballs, aid digestion and steer them away from potentially toxic house plants.
Love Your Pet

Tootsie enjoys her kitty garden.

 

  • Feed your pets the best quality food you can afford.  Prices of kibble ranges from very low to very high.  We know that you have to stay within your budget.  Check out an objective resource to learn what your pet needs and what is in the food you are buying. We recommend against buying your food at a big box retail store unless it specializes in pet supplies.  Two great local places to purchase pet food in the Lake Norman area are Village Paws and Claws in Mooresville and Huntersville and the Dog Supplies in Huntersville. You will find knowledgeable staff at these stores.  You will not find low quality food and that’s important. Both stores offer discounts.
    Love Your Pet

    Canned cat food provides necessary water content for your cats.

 

  • Learn about ways to make your home feel safe, comfortable and inviting for your cat.  Remember that cats love vertical spaces and don’t like to be backed into corners.  That’s why cat trees, elevated shelves and tunnels, and sunny windowsills make them so happy.  You can create “Cat TV” for them by placing a bird feeder outside a window they can easily see out of.  Go a few steps further and put a cat grass garden in the enlarged windowsill or bay window.  Add a scratching post nearby so your cat can keep his claws neatly trimmed and avoid shredding your furniture.
Love Your Pet

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

  • Take your dogs on a pet friendly vacation. There are scores of beach and mountain rentals that accept dogs.  Our two favorite places to vacation with our dogs are Duck, NC on the NC Outer Banks and Hot Springs Log Cabins in the mountains of NC.
Love Your Pet

Daisy Mae and Trooper in Duck, NC.

 

  • Provide regular veterinary care for your pets.  Getting them examined yearly while young and more often when they are seniors ensures that you catch little problems before they become big problems. Regular immunizations and preventives for fleas, ticks and heart worm are essential. Those dental cleanings can be lifesavers tool. No one wants their pet to be in pain.  Our sweet senior Luke had his dental cleaning earlier this week. We had no idea that he had cracked a tooth and that infection had set in. Fortunately his tooth infection had not caused damage to his internal organs but sadly he did have to have a tooth extracted.  I shudder to think what would have happened if we had not gotten a routine dental cleaning for him.
Love Your Pet

Luke with Ms Kim at Village Animal Hospital in Mooresville. He was still a little glassy eyed after his extraction.




We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend that you hire a professional pet sitter when you must leave your pets at home.  We provide daily dog walking services and vacation pet sitting services in the Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla communities.  Call us at 704-662-0973 to arrange a free meet and greet consultation.

Six Facts Your Cat Wants You to Know About Kitty Litter Boxes

6 Facts Your Cat Wants You to Know About Kitty Litter Boxes

We love to look at pet designated days, weeks and months.  Earlier this month we noticed that January 22 is National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.  The day is designed to remind us to pay attention to what our cats are trying to tell us in the only language they have. Rather than simply being annoyed when your cat pees outside the litter box, scratches your sofa or meows incessantly, you are encouraged to think about the issue from your cat’s perspective.  With thoughts about what your cats might ask we offer 6 facts your cat wants you to know about kitty litter boxes.


 Fact # 1 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats prefer their litter boxes to be located in quiet places.

Unfortunately, many cat owners place the kitty litter boxes in the laundry room which is extremely noisy when the washer goes into spin.  Add to that the sound of the dryer when the dryness sensor goes off. And just imagine what happens if the washer goes out of balance just when your cat is using the litter box!  Those scary noises can negatively impact your cat’s willingness to use his litter box.


 

Fact # 2 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats don’t like scented kitty litter.

Their noses are extremely sensitive and your cat may find the aroma you like quite distasteful.  There’s another reason for your cat to avoid the litter box.  Nobody wants that.


Fact # 3 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats like clean litter boxes.

Think about how you feel if you go to use the toilet and there’s “stuff” in it. Cats with their keen sense of smell are easily put off by the odors from the litter box.  It’s best to scoop the litter box after every use, but that may not be practical.  However; it’s pretty easy to get on a daily or twice daily litter scooping schedule.  Your cat’s nose as well as your own will appreciate the effort.


Fact # 4 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  The standard to strive for is one litter box per cat + 1.

If your house has multiple levels, please put at least one litter box on each level of your house.  How would you feel if you had to run from the second floor all the way to the basement every time you needed to go potty???   By having multiple litter boxes each cat can choose his or her favorite “bathroom.”  If some of your cats prefer different types of litter you can easily use the preferred kind in that cat’s preferred litter box location.  The same thing regarding covered or uncovered litter boxes is true.  It will probably take some experimentation to find the just right combo. But it’s so worth it to keep a beloved family member happy for his 15 – 20 years of life.


 

Fact # 5 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats don’t like eating in their bathrooms.

Just imagine how you would feel if your dining table was next to your toilet!  Not particularly appetizing is it?  It’s best to locate your cat’s food and water bowls in or near the kitchen and to place their litter boxes in the bathroom or in open door closets in quiet low traffic bedrooms or perhaps even in your home office.


 

Fact # 6 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Sometimes kitty litter box issues are indicators of medical problems.

And…these medical problems can be life threathening particularly when it involves a urinary track blockage in make cats.  Read the blog by our friend and colleauge Rita Reimers the Cat Analyst regarding a cat with a urinary tract blockage.

Rita is a trusted colleague who also offers cat sitting services in the Charlotte area.


When you next need kitty sitting services call us at 704-662-0973. We provide kitty care services for residents in Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mt Ulla, NC who live within 8 miles of our home base. Check out our kitty sitting page to learn more.

NC Winter Escapes

Awesome NC Winter Escapes Within an Easy Drive from LKN

The holidays are great but sometimes leave folks feeling a little let down. Now is a great time to plan a winter getaway to have something to look forward to. Maybe Valentine’s would be a nice winter break.  Check out these awesome NC winter escapes.

winter-scene (1)

 

Asheville

Asheville’s Grove Park Inn tops our list. The century old resort is now a part of the Omni chain. The resort is steeped in history and grandeur. The resort offers outstanding views from the Front Porch. Cozy up to the fireplace in the Great Hall Bar or bask in a luxurious treatment in the award winning spa. Dine in one of the multiple restaurants on the grounds. Weather permitting, end the day on the Sunset Cocktail Terrace. After a winter get-away we bet you will make plans to enjoy the golf course and pool in the spring.  Just one note though, two dogs each weighing no more than 60 pounds are the only pets allowed.  You may wish to make arrangements with us to pet sit for you while you are out of town.

gpirst-omni-grove-park-inn-check-in

 

Blowing Rock

NC winter escapesMaybe you would enjoy a fly fishing adventure.  If so, check out Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock. Chetola Resort is an Orvis endorsed fly fishing lodge. While you don’t have to book a room to go on one of the adventures, they do offer packages for people who do book a room and a fishing adventure. Chetola furnishes all the gear you will need.  Just be sure to purchase a fishing license. If you forget, you can always buy a fishing license in Blowing Rock or Foscoe and your guide will assist you.  Not pet friendly.

 

The Blowing Rock Winterfest is scheduled January 28-31. Highlights include the Polar Plunge, Chilly Chili Challenge, Ice Carving Demonstrations and Hay Rides. You can eat like a lumberjack at the Polar Plunge Breakfast Buffet.

 

Greensboro

The O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro offers packages and specials. One of the more intriguing packages is the Our State “What We Love” Weekend: Food, Art and Music. The celebration is February 12-14. The weekend is replete with chocolate, musical artists in residence, a trip to nearby Weatherspoon Art Gallery, jazz, storytelling, cabaret, fine dining and wine and even local barbecue!!! A great way for newcomers to NC to learn more about our state.  Not Pet Friendly.

chocolate at green valley grille

Do You Know Where to Find a Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer?

Find a Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer During National Train Your Dog Month

positive reinforcement dog training
Were you one of the many families who adopted a dog over the Christmas holidays? If so, congratulations on your new family member!!  This is the ideal time to help your new family member learn good manners, become well socialized, and become a happy and healthy companion.  There’s nothing like finding a good positive reinforcement dog trainer to help you achieve these worthy goals.
As professional pet sitters and dog walkers we encounter lots of dogs.  Some are well trained, well socialized and a dream to care for.  Others have not been crate trained, understand no cues (commands), jump up on people, and don’t walk well on leash.  We do all we can to reinforce positive training and encourage the pet owners to seek professional guidance.  It really works!!

 

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month in 2010. The great tips offered are designed to make life easier for you and your dog.  Because so many people acquire dogs over the holidays, the group chose January as a month to emphasize training in hopes of preventing lots of dogs being relinquished to shelters and rescue organizations.  Training your dog builds a bond between you and helps assure your dog remains a loved family member.

How We Can Help You Find a Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer

We encourage you to make training a part of your every day life with your dog. Visit the Doggy Care page of our website to learn about three local positive reinforcement dog trainers and to read a list of tools and books we recommend.

Our goal is to help you help your dog and family become and remain a strong bonded family unit.  We strongly advocate pet adoption.  To that end we support pet adoption by offering a discount to families who have adopted a pet for the first three months after the adoption takes place.  If you live in our service area call us today to learn more.

January Pet Holidays

January Pet Holidays

The January Pet Holidays jump start 2016 for us.  Read all about the zany holidays and some more practical and useful January pet holidays in 2016.

January is designated as National Train Your Dog Month, Walk Your Pet Month and Adopt a Rescued Bird Month. Notice it is Walk your Pet, not just walk your dog month.  Sure enough, some cats can be trained to walk on a leash, but it is not recommend for every cat.  Click here to read a great article on the subject.

January Pet Holidays

Luke and Beth on a snowy hike

We know it’s cold outside in January, but that does not give us a “bye” for giving our dogs the exercise they crave and need.  If it’s too cold for you to walk your dog every day or if it’s dark by the time you arrive home, consider having us walk your dog from one to five days every week. Check out our doggy care page to learn about the services we provide for your dogs.

January 2 was National Pet Travel Safety Day.  We strongly advocate that when you are transporting your pet that you secure them with a pet safety belt and harness or inside a crate. Airline approved crates are the most sturdy for this purpose.

January 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day.  It’s one of those zany holidays just because it’s fun.  Pet MD even offers 10 reasons it’s a good idea. Be sure that your pet enjoys dressing up, that the clothing is not too tight and restrictive and and that nothing dangles off that could cause your pet to choke.

National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (January 22) was designed to remind us to pay attention to what our cats are trying to tell us in the only language they have. Rather than simply being annoyed when your cat pees outside the litter box, scratches your sofa or scratches and bites you, think about the issue from your cat’s perspective.  If your cat’s behavior is perplexing you consider booking a consultation with Charlotte based Rita Reimers the Cat Analyst. Rita is a trusted colleague who also offers cat sitting services in the Charlotte area.

Change a Pet’s Life Day is celebrated on January 24. The ASPCA is sponsoring a contest to tell how you have changed a pet’s life. Check out this link to enter the contest.

January 21 is the day that Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper are most looking forward to. On that monumental day they get to appreciate squirrels!

January pet holidays

Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper (front to back)

Lucky Thirteen Awesome Tips for Finding Your Lost Pet

lost petHelp!!  I Have a Lost Pet!

It’s terrifying for your cat or dog to go missing. Your anxiety level goes sky high from the fear that he is seriously injured, run over or lost forever.  We hope you never experience the loss of a pet.  To assure that your pet does not go missing we recommend your read  our previous  blog post. But for now, let’s take a look at how to find your lost pet.

Thirteen Awesome Tips for Finding Your Lost Pet

Active Steps

  1. Fire up the grill with the most aromatic meat you can find.  Dogs and cats have strong scent senses and are attracted to the aroma of delicious meat.
  2. Put a bowl of water on the front porch or walkway.  They will get thirsty and will need to drink.
  3. Place one of their beds and an article of your clothing with your scent on it on the front porch or on the walkway.
  4. Notify your microchip company and use the on line posters they provide. Upload a recent high resolution photo of your lost pet for the poster. You do have one in an easily located file in your computer, don’t you??? Most microchip companies will locate the folks who have registered as part of the network and who live approximately 25 miles from where your pet went missing.
  5. Walk and drive around your neighborhood and other nearby neighborhoods to look for your pet.
  6. Go door to door to let neighbors know your pet is missing.  Leave your contact information with them. Ask permission to look in and under their out buildings as your pet may have sought shelter.

Communicate With Others

  1. Print the “lost pet” posters with a high resolution photo and your phone number in a large font. Laminate the posters and place on light poles at intersections near where your pet went missing.Post the posters on FaceBook. Several great pages include Lost and Found Dogs North Carolina, Mooresville Lost and Found Animals, Lost and Found LKN Pets, Lost and Found Pets of North Carolina, and Lost and Found Pets Iredell County.
  2. Join Nextdoor, a free private social network for your nearby neighborhoods. Posts on this network are categorized and we have found that neighbors are usually eager to help each other. We are in the Coddle Creek neighborhood and are able to connect with residents of nearby Curtis Pond, Kistler Mill, Franklin Grove, The Woodlands, Oaks on Main, Cherry Grove, Central Mooresville, Magnolia Street, Red Oaks, Linwood Farms, and Huntwyck Place.
  3. Often times people who find lost pets will take them to a veterinarian to check for a microchip and to get immediate necessary medical evaluation and treatment. Start by contacting your own vet and then other vets in your area. Click to see a listing of LKN area veterinary services.
  4. Contact local rescue organizations and post on their social media sites. Send the photo of your lost pet along with identifying information to administrators of social media pages that have demonstrated a willingness to share about lost and found pets.
  5. Contact your pet’s groomer so she can be on the lookout for your lost pet.
  6. Remember that lost pets quickly become disoriented.  It’s not uncommon for them to run from you. When you spot your lost pet resist the urge to move toward him. Move slowly and quietly to sit and allow your pet to come to you. Treats are helpful and a can of wet cat food will send off a delicious aroma which will attract your hungry pet.

Welcome Home!!

Praise your pet and love on her.  Make sure the return home is a totally happy experience. She has no idea how worried you have been.

Lost Pet

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN Only Has One Week Left – You Better Hurry!

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN –  You Better Hurry!

Presents 4 Pets 205 LKN

There is just one week left to make your donation to Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN so you better hurry!!! We have joined forces with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) for the

This national program, already underway, will run until the third week of December. As part of this annual program, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC and other NAPPS members across the country are reaching out to their clients and encouraging them to collect and donate products for this worthy cause.  Items such as pet food, toys, treats, crates, cleaning and laundry supplies, blankets, towels, rugs, beds, leashes, collars and flea and tick preventative are all being solicited.

This is a great opportunity for ALL animal lovers, pet owner or not, to help provide for those animals often forgotten. In addition to offering support to our local shelters, shelter animals, rescue groups and pets in foster care, we hope to generate awareness of community shelters and rescue groups and the important role they serve.

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN Donation Sites

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN would not be possible without your generous contributions or without our partners who provide space to accept donations.

The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson
Main Street Veterinary Hospital
Shear Performance Hair Salon
Q-Nails Nail Salon
Pretty Pups Pet Grooming
Village Animal Hospital
Randall Veterinary Hospital
Lake Norman Animal Hospital
Village Paws and Claws
The Dog House Pet Grooming Spa
Barks & Rec Boarding
Brawley Animal Hospital

Beneficiaries of Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN

Our collections benefit the animals served by Iredell County Animal Services,  Lake Norman Animal Rescue and Catering to Cats and Dogs.

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN

These are the needed items for Iredell County Animal Services.

These items are needed for the surgery and medical rooms.

  • Rubbing Alcohol  <<<<<<VERY MUCH NEEDED
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Hot Dogs (used to make homemade pill pockets) – but we ask you to just drop those off at the shelter!!
  • Pill Pockets

These items are needed for general shelter use.

  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (Or off brand) <<<<<VERY MUCH NEEDED
  • Arm and Hammer Litter Box Deodorizer
  • Pelleted Type Cat Litter (Anything other than clay based)
  • Gently used/new Dog Crates
  • Gently used/new  Cat Crates

These are other useful items.

  • Topical Dog Flea/Tick preventative
  • Rawhides (Larger sizes)
  • Canned Cat Food
  • Cat Play Cubes
  • Lint Rollers
  • Towels and Blankets (New or Used)
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric Softener
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Digital Thermometers
  • E-Collars (New or used)
  • Any kind of office supplies
  • SCENTED cat litter (They have a lot of kitties so this is helpful!)

These are the needed Items for Lake Norman Animal Rescue

These are items that are seldom donated yet needed on a regular basis.

  • Dry kitten chow
  • Kitty litter (any brand)
  • Canned cat food
  • Canned dog food
  • Dog chew treats (nylabone, etc)
  • Small blankets
  • Small dog beds
  • Puppy pads
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Natures Miracle Spray products (any)
  • Dog Collars
  • Dog leashes

These are the Needed Items for Catering to Cats and Dogs

  • Wire crates (any size)
  • Fresh Step Cat Litter
  • Cat Toys
  • Dog Toys
  • Dog Food (brands such as Authority from Petsmart, Natures Domain from Costco, or 4Health at Tractor supply) This helps us not upset tummies.
  • Cat Food (canned and dry)
  • Comfy Dog Beds
  • Comfy Cat Beds
  • Collars/Leashes for dogs
  • Cat  Treats
  • Dog Treats
  • Puppy pads
  • Playpens (We have our puppies in these until the puppies have all of their shots)
  • Copy paper
  • Pens
  • File Folders

 

Thanks good folks of LKN for your donations to help homeless and foster pets in our region!

Presents 4 Pets 2015 LKN

Eleven Awesome Tips to Keep Your Pet From Gettiing Lost

  Here’s the Low Down on How To Keep Your Pet From Getting Lost

Pet owners post pictures and pleas for help about their lost pets on social media on a daily basis.  It’s always heartbreaking to read. There’s nothing like a little prevention to avoid the heartbreak and to keep your pet from getting lost.  Just in case the unthinkable does happen, please get your pet micro chipped and place a collar with ID on your pet.

keep your pet from getting lost

Lost Pet!

Awesome Tips to Keep Your Pet From Getting Lost

keep your pet from getting lost

Nice Catio

1. Keep your cats indoors unless you are actively supervising their time outdoors.

2. If your cats enjoy the fresh air, consider building a catio for them. The catio can be a very simple structure or more elaborate.  The catio pictured to the right was featured in Landscape Design in a Day.  Animal Planet provides plans for the DIY tribe.

3. When entering and exiting your home, do so carefully. If you enter via the garage, be sure the garage door is shut completely before entering the main part of the house.

4. When someone else is pet sitting for you remember that your cat is not as likely to come to them as they are to come to you. So ask your pet sitter to keep your cat inside.

5. If your dog has a fenced in yard, check the perimeter of the fence on a weekly basis to make sure there are no gaps or breaks in the fence. Always check your fence after extreme weather too.

6. Check the latches on the gates on the same schedule.

7. Supervise your dog while she is outside even if you do have a secure fence.

keep your pet from getting lost

Gate with Lock

8. Consider adding a lock on your gate so that any workers (utility, landscape, pesticide etc) need to check with you to gain access.

9. When walking your dog always use a leash that is 4 to 6 feet long. Attach the leash to a harness or head collar that attaches under the chin. Please see the Doggy Care page of our website for recommendations. NEVER use a retractable leash….. they are NOT safe.

10. If your dog uses a doggy door close it when you are asleep or away from home. When someone pet sits your dogs, leave the doggy door closed.  Remember that in addition to pets going missing on their own, people do steal dogs, particularly if they are unsupervised.

11. When your cat or dog is riding in your vehicle, make sure they are in a carrier or crate or harnessed in. Although studies have not indicated such devices protect your pet in a serious crash, they will keep your pet from jumping out a broken window or door. Also, unrestrained pets create a distraction that can lead to an accident.


Prevention is always the best action.  Watch for our post coming soon where we share awesome tips to find a lost pet. As a segue, we remind you to get your pet micro-chipped.  Your pet should wear a collar with ID when you leave the home with your pet. There is divided opinion regarding whether it is safe for your pet to wear a collar when at home, so you decide on that one.

How to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

How To Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

Pet Safety is important year round. The extra decorations, rich foods and company in and out of the house make the holidays a time to be extra vigilant to keep your cats and dogs safe. With that in mind we offer these seasonal tips to keep your cats and dogs safe during the holidays.

cats and dogs safe

  • Stabilize your Christmas tree so it’s not easily tipped over
  • Don’t decorate with plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs including lillies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
  • Don’t use tinsel on your tree…it can cause an intestinal blockage
  • Don’t leave lights on the bottom branches of your tree…pets can be burned and can also bite through the electrical wires
  • Keep ornaments out of your pets’ reach…they can cause an intestinal blockage, choking and cuts on paws
  • Don’t let your pet drink from the Christmas tree water…the preservatives can harm your pets
  • Use lighted candles only on shelves high enough your pets cannot knock them over
  • Don’t use edible decorations on your tree
  • Keep ribbons and strings on your packages out of your pets’ reach
  • Consider putting a baby gate or pet gate around your tree
  • Don’t feed your pets rich and fatty goodies…they can cause pancreatitis
  • Don’t give your pets uncooked dough…it can expand in their stomachs and create bloat
  • Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts can lead to organ failure
  • Alcohol, chocolate and foods sweetened with xylitol are poisonous to pets
  • When entertaining guests caution them not to feed your pets tidbits from the holiday table and to keep their plates and glasses out of reach of your pets
  • Consider confining your pets in another room when guests are present
  • At New Year’s remember that most pets are frightened by loud noises such as fireworks
  • Perhaps most important, don’t give pets as gifts…instead give the bowls, beds and toys needed and adopt your pet after the holidays

We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!

xylitol your cats and dogs safe

December Happenings around Lake Norman

These December Happenings Around Lake Norman are Making it Look a Lot Like Christmas

December Happenings Around Lake Norman

We are never without fun things to do around Lake Norman in December or any other time.  There’s something for the entire family, just for the kids and just for the pets. Enjoy!!

We hope you enjoy all the December Happenings Around Lake Norman!

Christmas Happenings Around Lake Norman

How to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Healthy

You Can Keep Your Cats and Dogs Healthy

We enjoy the trend of posting daily during the month of November about what we are thankful for.  That’s an easy one for me because I am always thankful for my three dogs and their good health.  We make a commitment to keeping our dogs healthy. Here is how to keep your cats and dogs healthy. 

keep our cats and dogs healthy

All lined up, pretty as a picture: Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper

  • Perform a snout to tail assessment daily (Learn how via Pet Tech)
  • Feed your cats and dogs high quality pet food (the best you can afford)
  • Exercise with your cats and dogs daily
  • Brush your pets’ teeth several times every week

 

keep your cats and dogs healthy

Toothpaste and brushes for dogs

  • Practice with your pets on maintaining their skills and tricks several times every week
  • Take your cats and dogs to the vet for their annual or twice yearly checkups to catch any issues early
  • Have the vet clean your pets’ teeth every year 

November Health Watch Issues for Your Cats and Dogs

You can keep your cats and dogs healthy by being aware of diseases and their symptoms.  If your cats or dogs present with symptoms of specific illnesses check with your vet.

November is National Pet Diabetes Month. If your cat or dog is drinking excessively, urinating excessively and acting lethargic, it’s time to visit their veterinarian to rule out the possibility of diabetes.

November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  Click on the link for a brief discussion of cancer in dogs.  Click the next link to learn more about cancer in cats.

Finding Homes for the Cats and Dogs

There is nothing more important than a stable home for the health of our cats and dogs.  After all, being homeless and on the streets or in a noisy shelter is not conducive to good health.  There are wonderful shelters and 501(c)(3) rescue organizations in our community.  You can find a cat or dog of any type or breed and any age.  Visit the shelters and check out the adoption fairs held regularly by our local rescues. 

keep your cats and dogs healthy

Rescued Kitty

 

Older cats and dogs face the most difficulty when they become strays or are surrendered to a shelter. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month.  Learn the joys of adopting senior cats and dogs.  Meet our favorite senior dog Mia Bryant-Bedard. Mia says, “Senior Pets Rock!”

keep your cats and dogs healthy

Mia Bryant Bedard

November 1-7 is National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week.   A great way to show your appreciation is to begin collecting items to donate during our Presents 4 Pets 2015 campaign.  Once again we are collecting  items for the pets served by Iredell County Animal Services, Lake Norman Animal Rescue and Catering to Cats and Dogs

A Little More About Presents 4 Pets 2015

We are members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).  One of the multiple ways we give back is by coordinating this annual campaign to collect needed items for the cats and dogs in local shelters or foster homes.  Click to see the wish lists of our local shelter and rescues.

Here’s a list of our partners that are providing  space for you to drop off your gifts:

The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson  in Davidson

Main Street Veterinary Hospital  in Cornelius

Q Nails in Mooresville

Shear Performance Hair Salon in Mooresville

Pretty Pups Pet Grooming in Mooresville

Village Animal Hospital in Mooresville

Randall Veterinary Hospital in Mooresville

Lake Norman Animal Hospital in Mooresville

Barks and Rec in Mooresville

Village Paws and Claws in Mooresville

Last year the generous residents of the Lake Norman community donated items valued at over $1500.  With your generosity we can once again help all the cats and dogs in our community be healthy and feel the love.

keep your cats and dogs healthy

Great presents 4 pets!!

 

 

 

 

National Cat Day

October 29, 2015  –  Today is National Cat Day

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We celebrate cats everyday. We’re glad one day is set aside for special attention. How do you plan to celebrate National Cat Day?  The founders and sponsers of National Cat Day have identified 20 Ways to Celebrate.

Ways You and Your Cat Can Celebrate National Cat Day Together

  • If you have one or more cats, how about making it a special day for them? One of the ideas we like the most includes baking some cat shaped cookies for your family and friends and some tuna cookies for your cats. Click the link to see a recipe for tuna cookies.
  • Another idea is to update your cat’s supplies.  Is the litter you use safe for your cat.  Does your cat need a new litter box?
  • Does your cat have places to climb and hide; scratching posts; toys?
  • Is your cat’s food healthy for him?  Read the labels and check with your veterinarian to make sure you are providing proper nutrition for your cat.
  • Speaking of the veterinarian, when was the last time your cat was seen by the vet? Cats should be seen by the vet every 6 to 12 months. Well cat visits are important to assess for dental disease, to assure that your cat is at a heathy weight, to assess the need for vaccine updates and for a general head to tail exam.
  • Important Tip: Don’t just pull out the cat carrier when you are ready to visit the vet. Leave it out with a catnip infused toy in it. Consider leaving some of those tasty home made tuna treats in the carrier.
  • Cats frequently don’t drink enough water so it’s important to provide fresh water and to consider installing a fountain.
  • Another great way to get adequate water into your cat is with canned cat food or tuna.
  • Play with your cat. Their minds and bodies need exercise on a daily basis.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s make it the best National Cat Day Ever!!

 

 

Just What is a Community or Feral Cat?

What is a community cat?

How Does a Community or Feral Cat Differ from a Stray Cat?

On their website Alley Cat Allies gives us detailed facts about the bullet points we have listed below.

  • Outdoor cats have existed alongside humans for 10,000 years.
  • Feral cats are not socialized to people.
  • Feral cats should not be taken to pounds and shelters.
  • Feral kittens can be adopted.
  • Feral cats live healthy lives in their outdoor homes.
  • People are the cause of wildlife depletion.
  • Catch and kill doesn’t work.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return does work.
  • You can make a difference and save lives.

Alley Cat Allies defines a feral cat as follows:

  • Is a cat who has either never had any contact with humans or her contact with humans has diminished over time. She is not socialized to people and survives on her own outdoors. Most feral cats are not likely to ever become lap cats or enjoy living indoors.
  • Can have kittens who can be socialized at an early age and adopted into homes.

Alley Cat Allies defines a stray cat as follows:

  • Is a cat who has been socialized to people at some point in her life, but has left or lost her indoor home, as well as most human contact and dependence.
  • Can become feral as her contact with humans dwindles.
  • Can under the right circumstances become a pet cat once again. Stray cats that are re-introduced to a home after living outdoors may require a period of time to re-acclimate; they may be frightened and wary after spending time outside away from people.

Lake Norman Resources for the Community or Feral Cat

In the Lake Norman community we are very lucky to have the Lucky Cats Program. It assists community or feral cats as well as stray and pet cats.  They operate a trap/spay/neuter/return program for community cats.  Additioally they offer low cost spay/neuter programs for owned and stray cats.

You can become involved too. They always have a need for volunteers for special and/or on going projects.  Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program, Inc. has an ongoing need for:

  • Good quality, “in date”, canned and dry cat food.
  • Gift cards:  Lowe’s, Home Depot, PetSmart, Petco, Staple’s, Office Depot, and Gas Stations
  • Towels – bath size
  • VOLUNTEERS!  Volunteering is a work of heart.  Thank you for sharing yours with the Lucky Cat Program.

Becoming involved is a great way to celebrate National Feral Cat Day on October 16.

Feral or community cat

Are You Ready to Adopt a Dog?

Where Can You Adopt a Dog?

If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog, there’s no better time nor place than one of our local shelters during October, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is sponsored by the ASPCA.

October is also declared Adopt a Dog Month by the American Humane Society.

Now is the time!

The LKN area is blessed with well run shelters and equally well run rescue organizations. Here’s a list to get you started with your adoption.

adopt a shelter dog

Iredell County

Iredell County Animal Services and Control, Statesville

Lake Norman Animal Rescue, Mooresville

Humane Society of Iredell

Ironstone Lane Rescue and Stables, Troutman

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County Animal Care and Control, Charlotte

Catering to Cats and Dogs, Cornelius

Cornelius Animal Shelter, Cornelius

Cabarrus County

Cabarrus County Animal Control, Concord

Humane Society of Cabarrus

Rowan County

Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary, Salisbury

Lincoln County

Lincoln County Animal Services, Lincolnton

Humane Society of Lincoln County

Catawba County

Catawba County Animal Services, Newton

Humane Society of Catawba County, Hickory


 

You can find many purebred dogs as well as mixed breed dogs at your local shelters. You can find puppies, full grown dogs and seniors. The opportunities are endless for you and your family. If you want a specific breed you can also check out the multiple breed specific rescue organizations.

And…don’t forget. The shelters and rescues have lots of cats and kittens available too.
Happy shopping…er…ah…ADOPTING!!

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We support pet adoption and offer a 10% discount on our pet sitting and dog walking services during the first 90 days of your pet’s adoption.

Pet Celebration Days in October

October Rocks for Pet Celebration Days

Here’s the rundown.  Celebrate these pet celebration days where celebration is called for and take heed where action is needed.

Month Long October Celebrations

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month

With all the rain we have had lately, now is a good time to go on a search and destroy mission for wild mushrooms anywhere your dogs walk and play.  A former co-worker’s dog spent the night at an emergency animal hospital last night after eating wild mushrooms.  The dog had seizures as a result.  The same thing happened to the dog of a Facebook friend a week or so ago.  Sadly, Actor Dwayne Johnson’s puppy had to be put down after suffering extensive liver damage from eating wild mushrooms.

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

The ASPCA urges us to adopt a dog from a shelter.  We think that’s a great idea. We adopted our sweet Daisy Mae from National Brittany Adoption and Rescue Network (NBRAN) after they rescued her from Caldwell County Animal Shelter.

Sweet Daisy Mae

Sweet Daisy Mae

The ASPCA offers lots of tips about pet adoption.

The ASPCA tells us that approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.

Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.  About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.  That’s why we support spay and neutering your pets and adoption instead of buying a pet.

Adopt a Dog Month

The American Human Association declares October as Adopt a Dog Month.  They urge us to take the pledge to make our next dog addition an adoption either from a local shelter or a rescue organization.  The Amerian Humane Association recommends Pet Finder as a great place to start.  They remind us that nearly 3.7 million animals are euthznized every year in shelters. That’s a heart breaking statistic that we can all do something about.  Adopt, rescue, spay & neuter.

Dogs bring so much to our lives. They love us unconditionally, encorage us to exercise and bring us lots of laughs. For that matter, cats bring us lots of laughs too…they just don’t show their love in quite the same way.  Here are some of the dogs and cats we have known and loved during the early days of our pet sitting business (along with a photo of our three).

PSX_20140816_193829 PSX_20150901_144043 Billy and pets PSX_20150319_123846 PSX_20150601_001749 PSX_20150901_143740 PSX_20150901_145841 PSX_20150901_145308dozer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Weeks in October

October 1 – 7  –  National Walk Your Dog Week

National Walk Your Dog Week was founded by  Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Behaviorist “Colleen Paige” October is usually a great month for walking out of doors. What better way to get the exercise you and your dog need while strenthening the bond between you and your dog! Let this be a habit that starts you on daily walks with your dog.  For those days that you cannot walk your dog due to work and family obligations consider hiring a dog walker.  National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International (PSI) both offer free professional pet sitter/professional dog walker locater services.

October 11- 17  –  National Veterinary Technician Week

Just as nurses and others in the human medical field are indispensable, so are veterinary technicians indispensable to the field of veterinary medicine.  Checck them out on FaceBook and remember to thank them the next time you take your pet to the vet!

vet techs

Special Days in October

We have four special pet celebration days in October.

October 4     World Animal Day

On their website the fouders of World Animal Day tell us about their mission:

To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.  It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.  Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

world animal day

 

October 14    National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Did you know that 28% of all cats studied in 2014 were obese? Did you know that 17% of all dogs studied in 2014 were obese?  Another 30% of cats were overweight and another 35% of all dogs were overweght.

Excess weight in pets leads to Osteoarthritis, Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart and Respiratory Disease, Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury, Kidney Disease, Many Forms of Cancer and Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years).

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention offers these tools to help you help your dog or cat get back to a healthy weight. It takes conscious effort on our parts to accomplish these goals. You can start with simple steps such as feeding your pets on a schedule instead of free feeding them.  Measure the amount of food you provide.  Remember the calories in treats count too.  Perhaps your dog could achieve a sense of satisfaction with a half cup of green beans added to his half cup of kibble instead of a full cup of kibble.

Get active with your pet. You can play chase games with your cat and provide climbing towers for him.  Remember earlier we talked about walking with your dog? That’s a win win for both of you.

Dr. Nancy Kay, on her blog, Speaking for Spot, offers sage advice.

 

October 16    National Feral Cat Day

NFCD_3Sections_Join

On their website, Alley Cat Allies provides sobering facts.

  • Cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. They are part of the natural landscape. Feral cats are the same species as pet cats. Feral cats, also called community or outdoor cats, live in groups called colonies and can thrive in every landscape. They are just as healthy as pet cats, but they are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return—a humane approach to managing and caring for community cats—is the only effective method of stabilizing cat colonies. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR programs.
  • However, in the majority of cities, cats are still caught and brought to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. About 70% of cats who enter shelters are killed there, including virtually 100% of feral cats. That’s why it’s so important for people like you to join us for National Feral Cat Day®, and every day, to help change society and create compassionate communities for cats.

You can help change this by working locally to reduce the feral cat population.  Get involved with Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program to help.

 

October 29    National Cat Day

On their website, the folks at National Cat Day suggest 20 ways to celebrate the day.  If you decide to commission the portrait of your cat, we recommend Karen Dorchesty at Haute Dauge Portraits.  1908369_434803663311547_3989341091501783072_nhautedaugue

 

 

 

 

 

 

We agree with their recommendation to write your congressional representative urging the banning of euthnasia by gas chamber throughout the United States.  And, if you decide to try the idea of donating needed items to a shelter or rescue organization please consider donating to our Presents 4 Pets 2015 campaign.


There you have it folks.  Enjoy those special Pet Celebration Days in October!

 

What Is There to do Around Lake Norman This Weekend?

 

Around Lake Norman This Weekend

Are you looking for something to do around Lake Norman this weekend?  Well look no more.  We have found loads to do around Lake Norman this weeekend and every weekend in October!!  Some of the events are specifically for you and your dog to enjoy.  Others are for you to enjoy but require that you leave your pets at home. Please be sure to check the details from the event website to know the rules.  Proceeds from all the events go toward great programs around Lake Norman so you get to have a great time while supporting a worthy cause.




There are 3 Exciting Things to Do Around Lake Norman This Weekend – October 10, 2015

There are three, count ’em 3 great events going on around Lake Norman this weekend. They range from events greated toward the kids at a school in Mooresville, a run and adoption fair for pets in Davidson and a blow out delicious meal in Cornelius.  Proceeds benefit a school tutoring program, the capital campaign for a state of the arts dog and cat adoption facility and wildlife.  Events are free, low priced and expensive. Take your pick and whatever you do have a great time!!

When:  Saturday, October 10, 2015  –  2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

What:    2nd Annual East Mooresville Intermediate School Fall Festival

Where:  1711 Landis Hwy, Mooresville, NC  28115 –  2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Details:  The  2nd Annual East Mooresville Intermediate School’s Fall Festival! This year will be bigger than ever! They will have multiple food trucks which include Maki Taco, Bebo’s American Bistro, Wingz on Wheelz, Robbinos Concession, Deluxe/Front Porch Ice Creams, Tastebuds Popcorn at the Lake. Face Painting, massage chair vendor, multiple inflatables and bounce houses and games galore. A silent auction with raffle baskets will be onsite! Many games and TONS of vendors! Purchase pre-event wrist bands for unlimited games for just $8.00  or $10.00 at the event. 

Cat Basket

Items for your cat: Value over $130.

Speaking of those raffle baskets, check out this photo to see the cat basket we donated. If you have a cat this is an opportunity to win a basket valued at over $130 for much less money while you have a great time, grab something to eat and support the tutoring program at East Mooresville Intermediate School.  

The cat basket holds a cat bed, two food/water bowls, 3 cans of cat food, 12 toys, 2 Nature’s Miracle products, dental chews, slicker brush, nail clippers, collar and even a lint brush for the humans.

We will be at the event with a booth and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our pet sitting and dog walking services. 



When:  Saturday, October 10 –  9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

What:  5th Annual Pawz Too Run

Where:  The Green in Downtown Davidson, 119 S. Main Street, Davidson, NC

Details:  The event includes the Celebrated Dog Walk  3K (1.8 miles) or 1.5K (.9 miles); Dog Contests with Prizes, Individual and Team Awards; Vendor Fair on Health & Wellness for People and Pets; Animal Rescue Agencies with Dogs to Adopt; Live Music in the afternoon; Kid’s Inflatable Bounce House; Dog Washing Station courtesy of Davidson College Pre-Vet Society; Dog Bandanas for Participants and Opportunity Drawings.

Friends of the Animals

Architectural Rendering of Friends of the Animals State of the Art Facility

 

 

 

Funds raised will help Friends of the Animals build a state-of-the-art facility to save more homeless dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in the greater Lake Norman region. Your support will help them to start construction.

 

 

 

 



When:  Saturday, October 10, 2015 – 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

What:  Lake Norman Wildlife Oyster & Shrimp Festival

Where: LangTree Lake Norman

Details: The seventh annual event kicks off at 5 o’clock on the evening of Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at LangTree Lake Norman. Come out and support local wildlife conservation efforts while enjoying live music, wine and local craft beer from D9 Brewing, auctions, and tons of family fun! As always, Big Daddy’s of Lake Norman will be serving up some of the best oysters, shrimp and BBQ in the Carolinas!

Ticket price is $50 per person. Stayed tuned to Facebook for more announcements in the coming week to learn more about how to purchase tickets, receive member discounts, volunteer for the fest, and much more!

Oyster & Shrimp Festival

Oyster & Shrimp Festival

DON’T BE SHELLFISH – please come out and show your support for LNWC at the 2015 Lake Norman Wildlife Oyster & Shrimp Fest!

 

 




We Found Two Things to do Around Lake Norman This Weekend  –  October 16-18, 2015

These two events include an opportunity to visit Cornelius, listen to msuic while tasting beer and eating from one of the many food trucks that service the area around Lake Norman.  It’s a great example of beautiful local flavor.  The other option ranges over three days and is a spectacular event in Statesville with national renown.



When: Saturday, October 17, 2015   –   4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

What:  3rd Annual LaketoberFest Music & Brewfest

Where: Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius, NC

Details:  The Cornelius PARC Department and Bella Love  host this community event, featuring Live music from The Glass Hammers, Ben Gatlin Band and Pluto for Planet.  Six of Lake Norman’s top breweries and bottle shops including D9 Brewing Co., The Clown, Primal Brewing, Bayne, Cork and Cask and Old Town Public House and  15 great food trucks will be on hand, There will be a Cornhole tournament along with a Kid’s zone with crafts and games Admission and parking are free.  

Things to Do Around Lake Norman

Laketoberfest

Event proceeds benefit the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists. LNWC is a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) – a community based organization established for the purposes of environmental education, appreciation of wildlife and natural history, and conservation of wildlife habitat and natural resources. The Vision of the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists is to protect and enhance the natural resources and wildlife habitats of the greater Lake Norman area, for all to enjoy.



When:  16-18, 2015  –  10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

What:  21st Carolina BalloonFest

Where:   Statesville Regional Airport, 260 Hangar Drive, Statesville, NC 28677

Details: This popular event is held annually the third weekend of October.  Last year National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc donated over $82,000 to 25 local charities!

Be prepared with cash for your purchases and plan to arrive early as traffic will be heavy. There will be 10+ music groups of various music genres; hot air balloon launches and hot air balloon rides;  Kids Zone with Inflatables*, Bungee Jump, Climb Wall, Walk-in Balloon & Magic Shows; Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Garden; Canine Agility Exhibition and lots of food and beverage vendors!
* inflatables & walk-in balloon are weather dependent


If you have never witnessed a hot air balloon mass launch this is a must see.  If you have been before you know how much fun it will be. Check out Carolina Balloon Fest for all the details.

balloonfest




When:  Saturday, October 25, 2015  (Actually October 4 –  November 22, 2015)

What:  Carolina Renaissance Festival

Where:  16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

The Renaissance Festival is a 16th century European style art and entertainment festival combining outdoor theater, circus entertainment, arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, a feast fit for royalty, and much much more.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival was introduced in 1994 with six acres of exhibits, attractions and entertainment. The event has grown into a twenty acre theme park filled with charming cottages and castles, kitchens and pubs, and a most unusual collection of people powered rides and games of skill – all nestled in 325 acres of pristine woodlands just north of Charlotte, NC.

The Carolina event has grown to be one of the largest of the Renaissance fairs nationwide. Tree lined lanes are filled with over 100 purveyors of crafts and food, and non-stop music and comedy shows are presented on 11 stages every event day.

This is one of the most interactive entertainment shows ever created with wonderful amusements and antics ongoing all around you! You can sit back and watch, or you can become a part of the action, surrounded by over 500 costumed characters roaming the festival village. The village lanes are full of peasants singing sea-faring songs and street entertainers surprising you with tall tales and tricks, each with a role to play.

You can experience the clashing of armor and the thundering of hooves daily with full combat jousts at the King’s Tournament Arena.




When:  Saturday, October 31, 2015  –  Noon- 4:00 PM

What:  The Great Chili Cookoff

Where:  Mooresville Town Square, 279 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC

Details: Sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Mooresville-Lake Norman, Mooresville, Top of the Lake and Troutman.

Drenching rains have postponed this event three times but it’s always a hit. There will of course be loads of chili but lots of other food and craft vendors as well. Entertainment will be provided by Back Road. Back Road is a collection of 5 talented musicians with years of experience playing Country Rock Music in front of major recording artists across a variety of genera. Back Road has been the house band at the Frontier Bar in Gastonia for nearly two years.

Great Chilli Cook-Off

Great Chilli Cook-Off

All proceeds from this event benefit local programs such as Health Reach, Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), The School Backpack Project AKA Food for Days, and other charities supported by the four Rotary clubs hosting the event. The 2014 event attracted over 4,000 people and $50,000 for charities supported by Rotary.

 

 



When: Saturday, October 10, Saturday, October 17, Saturday, October 24, Saturday, October 31 –  11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

What:  Rescue Ranch Fall Fun Days

Where:  Rescue Ranch  –  1424 Turnersburg Highway Statesville, NC 28625

Fall Fun Days events include arts & crafts, hay art, hay rides, a scarecrow contest, a straw maze and more!  Be sure to get in touch ahead of time to learn how to enter a Scarecrow in the Scarecrow Contest, be a vendor and to learn about  sponsorship opportunities!


$5.00 per person, not including pumpkin painting or food and beverage.

 

Fall Fun Days

Fall Fun Days




 

 

Enjoy the Fall around Lake Norman!!

‘Tawba Walks Arts & Music Festival

Art, Music, Food Trucks, Oh My!!! – It’s Time for the ‘Tawba Walks Arts & Music Festival

Street festivals are so much fun.  Mark your calendar now for Saturday, September 19 and plan to take in ‘Tawba Walks Arts & Music Festival X, a multidimensional, eclectic art crawl, which snakes through the heart of Old Town Cornelius.
 ‘Tawba Walks X  features dozens of local vendors, live street performances, shopping, amazing food and more, showcasing the best Cornelius and the surrounding areas have to offer.
'Tawba Walk May 2015
Bella Love Arts and Entertainment, host of the event says
 That’s right, folks. ‘Tawba Walk X is set to take Old Town Cornelius by storm on Saturday, Sept 19th featuring an  all-local cast of the area’s most exceptional talent! This twice-per-year Arts & Music Festival showcases the region’s top bands, artists, performers, businesses, craft breweries, food trucks and so much more! Come take a stroll through the streets of Old Town Cornelius and enjoy a plethora of activity for the whole family, including a new-and-improved kid zone, two stages of live music, 80+ artists and craftsmen, live demonstrations, 10 food  trucks… and there’s even a little something for your furry friends, too! Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll find it at the ‘Tawba Walk Festival on Saturday, Sept 19th from 2-8 pm. Come on everybody… let’s do THE ‘TAWBA  WALK!
We love that ‘Tawba Walks is a dog friendly event.  If you plan to take your dog here are some tips:
  • Be sure to take water for your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated and wears his or her rabies tag.
  • Use a sturdy leash that is no more than 6 feet long. (Retractable leashes are not safe).
  • Make sure your dog wears ID tags that include your cell phone number.
  • Leave the event before your dog is overly tired (like you would with a human toddler).
  • If your dog is reactive around other dogs, strangers, or has not been properly socialzed, please leave your dog at home.

Mega Adoption Event

Yippee Skippy, Wowee, Yahoo, Yay, Hooray, this is so exciting! The Humane Society of Charlotte is coordinating a HUGE, grande, big, MEGA Mega Adoption Eventadoption event at Metrolina September 18-20.  The Charlotte Mega 500 Adopt-a-thon runs from September 18-20 at Metrolina (7100 Statesville Road, Charlotte). Doors are open on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  The goal is to finalize 500 adoptions of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. Area municipal rescues and shelters or those with 501(c)(3) status are poised to help you find your new best friend.

If you have been thinking about adopting a pet, now is the time. and what better time than Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!! Each rescue or shelter will bring pets that have been spayed or neutered, are up to date on vaccinations and that can go home with you that day.

If you already have your limit of pets perhaps you could volunteer to help in some capacity at this special event.

Mega adoption event

Seven New Puppy Solutions

We all know what happens when we look into those big brown puppy eyes and just melt. Once you meet the puppy it is next to impossible to leave him behind.

Source: Seven New Puppy Solutions

Cool Day Trips from Mooresville NC

How to Beat the Heat

Has the heat gotten to you in the last week or so?  On my deck here in Mooresville on June 21 at 8:40 AM, it’s already 77 degrees with a predicted high of 91 degrees for the day.  According to Accucast the humidity is now 95%.  I don’t want to think about how it will feel this afternoon. The heat is about to beat us so we looked around for some cool place for day trips from Mooresville to escape for a day. Take a look at the places we found.

Cool Day Trips from Mooresville, NC

Grandfather Mountain

As I write this on Saturday morning at 8:40 I checked the weather at Grandfather Mountain. It’s a pleasant 63 degrees there. The predicted high for today is only 79 degrees.  It’s a pleasant two hour drive so let’s gas up the car and go!

The highest temperature ever recorded there is 83 degrees. Average high temps in June are 66 degrees, in July 69 degrees and in August 68 degrees. If you are new to the area and don’t have a clue what there is to do at Grandfather Mountain, here is the scoop.

Walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge. I remember my first walk there as a child.  Scary but exhilarating. Here’s a photo from a more recent trip.

Take a hike on one of the 11 trails. You can find wildflowers in bloom from March until September. Visit one of the wildlife habitats.  This is nothing like a man made zoo in the middle of the city. The viewing areas have been built around the natural habitats of black bears, river otters, cougars AKA panthers, eagles and white-tailed deer.

English: A white-tailed deer

English: A white-tailed deer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are ready to go indoors, visit the Nature Museum. Enjoy lunch in Mildred’s Grill. You can finish your day with a tasty treat from the Fudge Shop. My two memories of my first visit to Grandfather Mountain included the mile high swinging bridge and a view of Mildred the Bear. They’ve come a long way with preservation of this God given land. The late Hugh Morton made a lasting gift with his dedication to conservation.  Trips to “Grandpappy” as the mountaineers call it could be a series of units for home schoolers and a great summer educational trip for children of all ages.

Banner Elk

If whitewater rafting doesn’t cool you off, nothing will. Although we have never been to the Edge of the World we have rafted with Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City lots of times. We love NOC but it’s too far for a day trip from Mooresville. I drove up and back from Conover in the same day one time and this rafting driver was exhausted. So it looks like we need to check out the Edge of the World. They’re in Banner Elk, just a hop, skip and jump from Beech Mountain.whitewaterdoedeo-1024x683 If you just want to be cool, but don’t want high adventure, Banner Elk offers concerts too.  Check out the schedule here. There’s a museum to visit too. The local winery and brewery offer unique tastes. Elk River Falls Trail  is one of my favorite short hikes.  The view is great and I always get a kick out of watching crazy folks jump from the top of the falls.

 Mayberry

There is no Mayberry, NC, but there is Mount Airy and that is the town Mayberry was based on. Take a trip back in time and visit Andy Griffith’s home town. You can visit Snappy Lunch, take a squad car tour and visit Floyd’s Barber Shop. Pilot Mountain State Park is nearby and you can enjoy hiking, fishing and all the activities common to a state park. Hanging Rock State Park is nearby too and swimming is available during the warm season.

Raleigh

Anyone who ever watched the Andy Griffith Show knows that it was a big deal to go to Raleigh. Well, it still is. Maybe you prefer to visit indoor attractions when you go on a day trip.  If so, the NC Museum of Art is a must see and do.  In addition to the permanent collection, there are rotating exhibits.  One of the more unusual exhibits is the Park Exhibit.  Three billboards in the museum park are on display throough October.  The billboards feature a statewide college outreach project.

An interesting tidbit is that the permanent collection was establshed in 1947 when the NC Legislature appropriated $1 million dollars to begin the collection. NC was the first state in the nation to use public funds to purchase works of art.

The museum has a sweet restaurant with good food and equally wonderful views.  If you are going during a busy time be sure to make a reservation for the Iris Restaurant so you will not be disappointed.

 


 

 

Where Can You Take Your Dog on the Outer Banks?

Dog Friendly Duck

Recently we took a week off and and visited the Outer Banks with Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper. We highly recommend the town of Duck, NC for being “dog friendly.”   Luke, Trooper and Daisy Mae all enjoyed chasing after OBX Trooper & Daisy on beachPSX_20150603_200449seagulls on the beach.  Duck allows dogs to be unleashed on the beach so this was a highlight of the trip for the dogs and the reason we chose Duck as our destination.

Daisy Mae and I enjoyed a morning stroll along the Duck Trail and the Boardwalk on the Sound side.  The Duck Trail is tree shaded and offers a nice bench for weary humans along with a three tiered water fountain: one fountain for adults, one fountain for children and one fountain for dogs!

The boardwalk along the sound is wide and offers astounding views.  Most of the shops located along the boardwalk allow well behaved and properly leashed dogs to come in the stores.  Many of them had water bowls outside their premises for those thirsty canines.  There are multiple doggy waste stations located along the boardwalk so no one has to step in the “business” of any dogs.

By far, Daisy Mae’s favorite shop was Outer Barks aka “the dog store in Duck.”  The shopping is to howl and meow for and their Thursday afternoon “Yappy Hour” was a hit with both of us.  Yappy Hour is free and the dogs get cool frozen treats, OBX yappy hour PSX_20150514_225307pup-cakes and other goodies.  There are agility courses to try out for the dogs and comfy chairs for the humans.  For a $5.00 donation to the shelter that Outer Barks  supports,  your dog can make a paw painting. Daisy Mae, as usual was up for her painting. She keeps wanting to know when I will frame it! While in the store we bought way too much. But my favorite purchase was the Water Rover.  It’s the best designed water bottle for a dog I have ever used.

 

What About Food?

Restaurants abound, but we particularly enjoyed Aqua Restaurant and Spa. Yes,  you read that right. The restaurant is located downstairs and the spa is located upstairs. If you show your restaurant receipt within a week you can get a discount on your spa services! The inside of the restaurant is nicely appointed and they allow dogs on the deck or in the yard bar.  Billy and I chose to eat there without the dogs along (they enjoyed a quiet rest time in their crates back at the house we rented).  But one morning Daisy Mae and I took a long walk that we had not properly prepared for. We stopped at Aqua Restaurant and Spa before they opened for the day and they kindly put out a bowl of water for Daisy Mae to get a drink.

If you want to cook your own, try out the Dockside ‘N Duck for great fresh seafood.  We enjoyed swordfish and also bought one of their homemade tomato pies.  Think layers of tomato, spinach and cheese in a pie crust.  It was delicious.

Dockside 'N Duck

Dockside ‘N Duck

 

What Else is There to Do?

For Billy no trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a drive on the 4-Wheel Beaches.  The dogs went along for the ride but we didn’t let them on the beach there.  We feared for their safety from wayward fishing gear, wild horses and tourists diving recklessly.

OBX Wild Horse

OBX Wild Horse

Although Luke, Trooper and Daisy Mae all enjoyed chasing after seagulls on the beach we do offer one word of caution.  Due to all the storm erosion in recent years there has been a significant beach re-nourishment project to build the dunes and add sand back to the beach. Consequently, one is forced to walk at a difficult angle and even close to the water the sand is more soft packed than hard packed. That made walking on the beach a little difficult for the humans but did not deter the canines. If you choose Duck for your destination consider staying sound side and enjoy the ambiance of the old world south.  We surely had a great time but it’s wonderful to be back home.

On another note, we don’t usually take our dogs on vacation, but wanted Trooper and Daisy Mae to experience the Outer Banks.  Several years ago we took Luke and Beau and it was a blast.  We had forgotten how demanding it is to take our dogs out on leash for potty breaks.  When we are at home we can let them out in our safely e-fenced yard for potty breaks and play time.  We are in and out all through the day as we make pet sitting and dog walking visits for our clients and then return home. We have several places for longer sniffing walks for our three dogs.  If you are planning on vacation you may want to consider using our pet sitting services so you can take a break from the daily tasks that accompany responsible dog ownership.

Are You Ready to Adopt a Shelter Cat?

How Are You Celebrating Adopt a Shelter Cat  Month?

It’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month so what better time to consider the necessary steps. If you have been thinking about adopting a cat, prepare and dive in.  You will be richly rewarded.

Many of the steps for adopting a cat are the same as those for adopting a dog. The common considerations are the needs of the pet, proper nutrition, choosing a vet, groomer and pet sitter and over all considering the true financial costs of pet ownership.

Curious Cat

Curious Cat

Too often new cat owners think that because cats are less social than dogs that they require very little attention. But we need to pay special attention to the needs of cats and have a basic understanding of why they do certain behaviors.

What Do Cats Need?

Cats need items to scratch. It’s best to provide both horizontal and vertical scratching posts to see which style your cat prefers. They dislike soiled litter boxes and need sufficient litter to cover their pee and poop. That’s why it’s so important to follow the general rule of thumb for having one more litter box than cat, and a litter box on every level of your home. It’s important to scoop the litter box at least daily to assure they don’t go outside the box.

Cats need to sleep in a quiet area where they can feel safe and secure. This may be on a cat hammock, under your bed or on a cat bed all curled up. They need elevated perches where they can see the world around them. Their version of “cat tv” is a perch in front of a window with a view of a birdhouse.

Toys they can interact with are important. Cats love to pounce on moving objects like balls or moving wands because this brings out their instinct for hunting prey. Cats prefer to approach us rather than let us approach them. They like play time to be short, but frequent. Keep that in mind to avoid being scratched or bitten.  When kitty is through playing, he is through!!

P4P cat itemsPSX_20141015_164343_edited

 

The cat may benefit from cat calming spray to help him feel more comfortable around the humans.  And the humans may appreciate an enzymatic cleaner for those inevitable kitty “oops.”

Where Can I Find a Cat to Adopt?
We are blessed with great adoption agencies throughout our region. Check out Catering to Cats and Dogs, Iredell County Animal Services, Lake Norman Animal Rescue, Cornelius Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of Iredell for your next cat adoption. There is no better way to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

Seven New Puppy Solutions

Those New Puppy Woes

That new puppy is sooooo adorable until he …

  • chews your favorite pair of shoes
  • poops on the carpet
  • digs up your flower bed
  • keeps you awake all night.

If that sounds familar or you simply want to avoid those woes, read on.

Seven New Puppy Solutions

Plan ahead.  Bringing home a new family member is very important.  It requires some thinking ahead and should not be an impulse decision.  We all know what happens when we look into those big brown puppy eyes and just melt. puppy_eyes-2Once you meet the puppy it is next to impossible to leave him behind. Decide if your current lifestyle can accomodate the needs of a puppy. If not, consider adopting a slightly older dog or postpone your dog parent days until later.


Decide what size and breed puppy you want. Do you have   your heart set on a specific breed?  Do you want to adopt a mixed breed dog? What activities do you want to do with your dog?  If you want a dog to take on hikes a Chihuahua is probably not the right dog for you.  If you want a lap dog, it’s best not to choose a German Shepherd.  What about shedding?  Do you or your family members have allergies?  These are all important considerations when choosing the right type, size, temperment and breed of dog for your household. Dog Time provides an easy and short survey to get you started on the process.  Just for fun I took the survey. The closest match I got to the dogs that own us was the English Cocker Spaniel. We have a Brittany and two English Springer Spaniels.  But it got me thinking about my preferred characteristics in dogs for my later years when my lifestyle changes.


Prepare your home and yard.  Now that you have decided on the right type, size, temperment and breed dog you want, prepare your home and yard for the new puppy.  Take a good look around and think sort of like a new human parent. Pick up all the clutter that is laying around.  You don’t want to have to replace cherished items and certainly don’t want your puppy eating something dangerous to her.  Will you need to install puppy gates on some doors?  What rooms have tile or hardwood floors?  That’s important when considering puppy ah, er, eh…elimination! Where is the best place for dog beds and crates?  What kind of toys will your puppy need? Where will you feed your puppy? Does your yard contain plants that are dangerous to dogs?  Is your yard fenced or will you need to always take your dog out on leash?


best-way-to-house-train-a-puppyLearn how to house train your new puppy before you bring him home. This tip applies to any age dog that you adopt. Even if the dog was previously trained, he has to learn the boundaries in your home. Remember that puppy bladders are small and that they have to not only develop physical control but also learn where it is ok to go potty.  Depending on the size puppy, previous history and environmental conditions it takes between 4 months and a year to fully potty train a new puppy.  You can begin the process around 12 weeks of age when your puppy has developed bladder and bowel control. Dog Care Knowledge  offers great suggestions on how to house train your new puppy. Remember to take your puppy out after every nap, after he plays, after he eats, just before bedtime and as soon as he wakes in the morning.  If you are using a crate, the maximum length of time your 2 months old puppy can “hold it” is 2 hours; at 3 months he can “hold it” for a maximum of 3 hours and at 4 months he can “hold it” for a maximum of 4 hours.

The Housebreaking Bible has a nifty housetraining schedule you may want to adapt.


 

Research what kind of food to feed your growing puppy.  It seems there are a million choices of nutritional plans to adapt for your new four legged family member.  You can feed your growing puppy homemade food, frozen raw food, canned dog food or manufactured kibble.  A good rule of thumb is to use the best food you can afford. Opinions vary on what is best but for the most part we know the least expensive brands of kibble contain a lot of fillers.  Those extra fillers create a lot of waste which you will see in your dog’s poop. You will most likely have to feed more of the lower quality foods so will not save as much money as you might anticipate.  Be sure to remember that a highger quality diet will result in fewer illnesses for your dog and thus less costly vet bills. A great place to research and compare dog foods is the Dog Food Advisor.


Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

A tired dog is a happy dog and a good dog.  It’s unrealistic to expect a puppy to occupy himself all day while you commute to and from work, take a lunch hour and actually work 8 hours.  And remember our notes above on how long a puppy can “hold it.”  So know ahead of time you will need to share the “letting out” tasks with someone. Perhaps you can take an early lunch time and someone else in the household can take a later lunch time so you can both come home to take the puppy out.  Maybe you can staggger your work hours to accomplish those same tasks.  If you have a reliable neighbor that’s another idea.

Pet sitters and dog walkers offer their services so you may want to research the Pet Sitter Locaters offered by Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.  Choosing a professsional who is reliable, trustworthy, bonded and insured will likely save you money in the long run.  Most pet sitters offer a variety of services including daily dog walks and vacation pet sitting services. What starts as a puppy potty break may very well grown into a daily dog walk and vacation pet sitting servivces too.  Patricia McConnell, noted applied animal beaviorist offers her opionion on hiring a dog walker.  We liked her article and commented on her blog post discussing our services.

If your puppy is to be an only dog you may also want to consider taking her to doggy day care one or two days per week to assure she has good socialization skills with other dogs. Patricia McConnell, offers an excellent view regarding how to evaluate if your dog is suited for a doggy day care and how to find the right doggy day care.

No matter what choice you make, assure that the person or people taking care of your dog are meeting her physical needs for a potty break and a snack, getting some exercise and enjoying some one on one brushing, stroking or play time. Be sure the care giver is familar with dog body language, is mature and responsible, reliable and capabe of using good judgement.  Pet first aid and CPR training is a must too.  It’s important that any one who takes care of your dog shares your philosophy on how to treat your dog. We prefer positive based training and interactions and are very clear with prospective clients about our methods.


clicker training your puppyWho will teach you to train your dog?  That’s right, we said who will teach you now to train your dog, not who will train your dog. It’s your responsibility to do the training and oh so rewarding when you see your bond deepen as your dog learns to trust you.  Training is best done in tiny little “bites” of five minutes or so multiple times during the day.  Incorporating training into play time and meal time and bed time and all the “times” works great to have a positive dog-human bond.

While we don’t advocate board and train schools, we do recommend that you participate in at least a puppy class with your new puppy and in a family companion type class as your puppy gets older or if you have adopted an older dog. The Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals offers a directory of trainers who use postive reinforcement methods.  An excellent resource for finding a good dog trainer is the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Note that you will need to research if these professionals use force free methods only or also incorporate other methods in their training.  We heartily endorse clicker training.


Now go out there and enjoy the next decade or more with your new family member!!

 

Meeting the Needs of Your Cats

What Do Cats Need?

In mid April I had the pleasure of traveling to Atlanta to attend a two day conference of the Cat Division of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).  Presenters provided information on a wide range of topics including cat nutrition, successful dog – cat interactions, handling aggressive cats, social organization and communication in the cat, compulsive grooming issues, understanding medications veterinarians prescribe and using humane handling and behavior therapy to reduce stress among cats in shelters. In a nutshell, attendees learned about meeting the needs of your cats.

Nibbles

Nibbles

Steve Dale, who delivered the keynote address reminded us that there are more cats in US households than dogs, yet their needs are often overlooked. More cats are given up to shelters than dogs, yet fewer are adopted from the shelters. The most often cited reason for giving up a cat is behavior issues including litter box issues and negative behavior between the cats in a household.

For a long time we humans have believed that cats are independent and non social.  This is just not true. We need to learn to watch for the more subtle cues cats give off when they want to interact and just how they interact.  It’s important for cats of all ages to have toys to play with and to have your home arranged in a welcoming manner for cats.  No, you don’t have to do over your entire home, but consider putting a cat tower in a room, a couple of scratching posts near the furniture you want to protect and some tunnel like areas for your cat to use to satisfy his hunting instinct.

Cat Scratching Post

Cat Scratching Post

When was the last time you took your cat to the vet? Feeling a little uncomfortable with that question?  If you are among the very many cat owners who dread the thoughts of taking your cat to the vet, start thinking like a cat. Instead of only bringing out her carrier when you are going to the vet, leave it out and open so it becomes a part of her every day life. If your cat likes treats, toss a few in the carrier from time to time.  If your cat is stimulated by catnip, place a catnip infused toy inside his carrier.  A trip to the vet will be much easier if you and your cat are not traumatized by the actions necessary to just get in the car.

You might also want to consider using a veterinarian who specializes in the care of cats. If you don’t have a nearby cat specialist, consider using a vet that has a separate entrance and waiting area for cats. All of these steps can ease the stress on you and your cat and go a long way in meeting the needs of your cats.

Curious Cat

Curious Cat

Professionals Who are Interested in Meeting the Needs of Your Cats

Neither Billy nor I have ever lived with a cat, so admittedly we had a great deal to learn when we opened our pet sitting business.  That is the main reason I attended the cat behavior conference  last April.  As we have cared for cats, I have grown increasingly fond of them and have learned a great deal about their needs.  It was time to expand my education and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so.  In addition to continuing education I enjoyed the company of 4 other pet sitters that I regularly “talk with” on line.  We were all interested in learning as much as we can.  These pet sitters know and understand cats and in Rita Reimers’ case, specialize in providing care only for cats.

Rita is also known as The Cat Analyst  and offers cat behavior consultations so look her up if you are experiencing behavior issues with your cat.

Want to Know More about Meeting the Needs of Your Cats?

The IABBC posts a blog that many of you may find helpful.

We also recommend the related articles referenced below.  Happy cat reading!

How to Prevent Dog Bites

How often have you heard someone say, “There was no warning, the dog just bit him!” ?

But the truth is, there were likely lots of warning signals that the humans failed to notice or “read.”  As adults who care about children and dogs it’s our job to pay attention to the signals dogs send out and to monitor the interactions between children and dogs.  As humans we can alter the way we interact with dogs and keep pets and humans safe.


 

greeting-a-dog1

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association more than four and a half million people in America are bitten by dogs each year. Nearly twenty percent of the dog bite victims require medical attention and nearly half of the ones receiving medical attention are children. Children experience the most severe injuries. Most dog bites occur when children are interacting with dogs they know in typical everyday activities. Senior citizens are the second most common victims of dog bites.


So what can we do to prevent dog bites?


First of all with your own dog, be responsible. Properly socialize your dog by exposing him to typical sounds, sights and smells in the home and community. Teach your dog basic commands including sit, stay, come, leave it and drop it. Step up your training with teaching your dog the “look at me” cue.  Assure that your dog has ample opportunities for exercise and play.  The old adage of “a tired dog is a happy dog is a good dog” is true. Keep your dog healthy with routine veterinary care and as good a diet as you can afford. When looking for a trainer hire one that uses positive reward based skills.  4Paws University offers guidelines on choosing a dog trainer.


Teach your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash.

loose leash

Use a regular leash, four to six feet in length.  Avoid retractable leashes.


If your dog does not do well interacting with others consider putting a yellow or “caution” bandanna on your dog.  If your dog does like to be petted, instruct those who ask permission how best to approach your dog.  For instance, approach your dog from the side, avoid staring into your dog’s eyes, and offer the back of their hand to your dog to sniff.  Tell others to avoid bending over your dog and patting her on the head.  Instead, suggest they scratch her under the chin.

 


Educate yourself and your children about how dogs react and about the types of interactions that stress them. Remember, any dog can and will bite if presented with the wrong cues.  Always ask permission before interacting with someone’s dog and teach your children to do so.


Learn dog body language.

dogbodylanguage1

For instance, dogs will look away, lick their lips,  yawn or adopt a stiff body posture when uncomfortable.  The next stage may well be growling or a warning “soft” bite.  Take heed when the dog first shows his discomfort and disengage.  

Modern Dog Magazine also offers easy to interpret illustrations of dog postures ranging from relaxed to aggressive.


Together we can all prevent dog bites!  Let’s put National Dog Bite Prevention Week to work for all of us!


Part Time Employees Needed: Professional Pet Sitting and Dog Walking

We will be hiring two part time employees in the near future.  Currently we are developing the employee handbook, dotting i’s and crossing t’s and generally setting up the legal structure to hire the right employees to help us take care of your pets.

If you meet our qualifications (or know someone who does), please contact us. It goes almost without saying that the right person loves animals, but there is a great more to it than love. Basic qualifications are as follows:

  • Honest, trustworthy, reliable and mature
  • Able to pass a background check including drug screen, criminal record and driving record
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Able to use technology (on line records, on line scheduling, email)
  • Detail oriented
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Flexible, friendly and courteous
  • Willing to learn pet first aid and CPR (no cost to the employee)
  • Physically able to provide care for cats, birds, small caged pets, fish tanks, small outdoor fish ponds and all breeds of dogs (scooping kitty litter boxes, walking dogs, picking up dog poop, feeding all pets, playing with pets)
  • Available two weekends per month (Saturday and Sunday) and at least one weekday per week
  • Available for a portion of all major holiday weeks (New Year’s, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Available from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM or from 1:30 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Acknowledges there are no guaranteed number of pet sitting visits during any shift
  •   

Jade loves her walks

   If you are an awesome professional pet sitter/dog walker  or know someone who is an awesome professional pet sitter/dog walker contact us now.      email info@coddlecreekpetservices.com

PSX_cat220150425_160422

Heartworm Prevention or Heartworm Treatment: What Will It Be For Your Pets?

We confess to having only learned about heartworm disease approximately 10 years ago. Both of us grew up in an era and culture when pets were kept outside year round. Our families at least provided outside shelter and maybe brought pets into the basement or barn if the weather was extremely cold. But by and large we were of the belief that pets belonged outside.  Our pets rarely visited a vet and that was primarily at a rabies vaccination clinic.  Most of our pets died at a young age, usually from being hit by a car. Knowing what we know now, I suspect the others died from complications of heartworm disease.

We have forgiven ourselves, learned a great deal and moved forth. Lots of things in life have changed. Just as today we have flat screen TVs, computers, smart phones and cars with cruise control and electronic windows, things have improved for our pets. Now, out pets live indoors, have a fence containement system when outside, sleep on cushy beds, have toys other than sticks, see the vet on a regular basis, get a host of vaccinations, take dietary supplements, eat premium food and sometimes even go on vacation with us!

Preventing heartworm disease is very simple.  All it takes is a monthly pill. If your dog or cat will not take pills you can ask the vet to give your dog a heartworm preventative via injection that is only required every 6 months. Your cat can be protected with a spot on treatment if she is difficult to pill. Pets in all fifity states are suscepticle to heartworm disease. The infected larvae is transmitted from one infected animal to another by mosquitos. There are over 22 types of mosquitos in the US and they are active at various times throughout the year.

Depending on what brand of heartworm disease prevention you use, the cost for a six month supply can be as low as $35.00.  Treatment for heartworm disease in a dog varies from $500 to more than $1000. Financial cost alone is a significant issue. But more importantly we should note that there is no safe treatment for heartworm disease in cats.

For dogs, the treatment regimen is difficult.  There are three very painful injections given between the shoulder blades. During the 120 days of treatment your dog must be on strict confinement because activity increases bloodflow.  When that happens the dead worms can cause blockages or blood clots leading to death.

As many of you know, when we fostered Trooper he came to us HW+.  He was three years old at the time and was and remains such an active little joyful boy. But we had to keep him leashed when we took him outside.  He wanted so badly to dig and we could not allow that. He and Daisy Mae wanted to run and play, but again we could not allow that. When we were in the house with all three dogs awake, Trooper had to remain in his crate or tethered to Billy or me to prevent overactivity. And of course, there were those very painful injections.  It took a while after his treatment was over before Trooper could go to the vet’s office and not cringe.

Trooper

Trooper

Because we fostered Trooper prior to adopting him, English Springer Rescue America (ESRA) paid for the financial costs of his treatment, but Trooper is the one who paid with pain and restricted activity. Fortunately, today he is a happy, energetic, active boy, but it could have been so easily prevented.

Please choose prevention!!

What Is a Professional Pet Sitter?

Choosing a Professional Pet Sitter

We are celebrating professional pet sitters week March 1- 7.  You may ask, “So, what is pet sitting anyway?” Dictionary.com defines pet sitting as “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away.” What makes one a professional pet sitter? If you live in Mooresville, Davidson or Cornelius, how do you choose the best professional pet sitter for you and your pets?

Your pet needs a professional pet sitter

Your pet needs a professional pet sitter

We belong to Pet Sitters International (PSI) and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). We joined these groups as a part of starting our business because we are dedicated to doing the job right and keeping your pets safe and happy while you are away. We knew we needed information from others who had done this work for a long time and that we needed to stay current with all things pets. Both PSI and NAPPS suggest a variety of questions to ask a potential pet sitter. Key among those questions are: (1) does the pet sitter carry business liability insurance; (2) does the pet sitter use a services contract that discusses the services to be provided and the associated fees; (3) is the pet sitter trained in pet first aid and CPR; (4) how does the pet sitter keep the key to your home secure; (5)  does the pet sitter have a clean criminal record history; (6) does the pet sitter participate in continuing education on line or at pet sitters’ conferences; (7) does the pet sitter meet with you and your pets in your home prior to beginning services and is there a fee for this meeting; (8) does the pet sitter have a website that you can review to get information about the people and the company; (9) how much time will the pet sitter spend in your home with your pet; (10) what will the pet sitter do if your pet becomes ill or is injured; and (11) how does the pet sitter communicate with you.

Some of the Elements that Distinguish Our Professional Services

We are happy to assure you that (1) we are insured and bonded by Business Insurers of the Carolinas; (2) we have a comprehensive services contract; (3) we are both trained in pet first aid and CPR and Billy is an instructor in the Pet Tech family of pet first aid and CPR courses; (4) we have passed a background check with Sterling International (5) the keys to our clients’ homes are coded by number only and maintained in a locking key cabinet when not in use; (6) we attended the PetSittingOlogy conference last October and will be attending the PSI conference in September; (7) we always conduct a free meet and greet with potential clients and their pets in their home prior to beginning services; (8) our website is www.coddlecreekpetservices.com; (9) our pet sitting visits are untimed…..we stay as long as necessary to attend to the physical needs of your pets, provide them with emotional comfort and reassurance, collect your mail and newspapers, rotate your lights and blinds, roll your garbage and recycle bins to and from the curb and water a few house plants; (10) if your pet becomes ill or injured while you are away we will assess the injury or symptoms, apply first aid, contact you for instructions and if not able to reach you will take your pet to the vet if our assessment of the injuries or symptoms indicate the need for veterinary intervention; and (11) we send an email or text message after every pet sitting visit.

Please visit our website to learn more about our services.

Pet Poison Prevention and Intervention

Pet Poison Prevention Tips

Our pets are not able to distinguish between safe objects and non safe objects so it’s up to us to keep them safe. March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month and March 15 – 21 is Poison Prevention Week, so there is no better time to talk about this subject than now.

There is a great deal we can do to prevent our pets from being poisoned. First and foremost, be diligent about putting all medications out of sight and out of reach of your pets.  A bored and determined dog can accomplish feats we would never dream of, so better to be safe than sorry.  Make sure household cleaners are safely stored too.

Think about how you might keep a human toddler safe and you have the right idea.  Just remember that although you would not leave a toddler unsupervised, most pets spend a great deal of time every day unsupervised. That means the garbage needs to be empty or made inaccesible to your dog.  For some strange reason the Harwell family dogs like to eat tissues not to mention food wrappers that smell yummy. So we have learned to put a heavy coaster on top of the tissue box and to keep our bathroom doors shut.  We reommend that you keep your toilet lids down or close the bathroom door if your pets like to drink from the toilet.  This is especially true if you use bleach tablets in your toilet tank.  Learn the foods and beverages, houseplants and garden plants  that are off limits for dogs and cats and keep those out of sight and out of reach of your pets. We have tragically read about dogs and cats that have been poisoned by houseplants.      poisonous plants 8648213_f520

It’s much better to be safe than sorry.  Prevention is always preferred to assessment and treatment.  Calls to the  Pet Poison Helpline cost $49.00 not to mention the damage your pet may have already suffered and the worry you may feel.  Calls to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control cost $65.00.

Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline

As professional pet sitters we review safey tips with pet parents when go on our consultation visit. We recommend that all non safe items be out of reach of your pets.  Although they may be fine when you are home on your normal schedule, your cats and dogs sense the difference when you are away several days or more.  Even though we are making frequent visits to your home, your pets may become bored, so we recommend placing all medications in a cupboard your pets cannot access.

 What To Do If You Suspect Your Pet Has Ingested A Poinsonous Substance

Possible signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, trouble breathing, over excitement, loss of consciousness or seizures. It’s important to get veterinarian help quickly, and remember information is powerful.

  • First and foremost, stay calm and keep your pet as calm as possible.
  • Try to determine what the poisonus substance may have been, gather up any suspicious wrappers and if your pet has vomited or had diarrhea gather some of the fluids in a clean container.
  • Try to determine the approximate time your pet ingested the poison.
  • Call the veterinarian or poison control center for first aid instructions.  Never induce vomiting without being instructed to do so by a veterinarian or animal poison control expert. (If the substance is acid or a strong alkali or petroleum based, you should not induce vomiting).
  • If the substance is toxic or corrosive and on the pet’s body, brush it off and then rinse with lots of cold water.
  • Transport to the nearest veterinary hospital for veterinary assessment and treatment.

A handy aid with these instructions can be found in the Pet Tech PetSaver App  for your smart phone. The app includes a handy link to nearby veterinary hospitals and emergecny veterinary hospitals in case you are traveling or the pet poisoning occurs after typical hospital hours.

Want to Know More About Care for Your Pets

We don’t know any pet parent that doesn’t want to protect his or her four legged family members.  It’s a great idea to take a pet first aid and CPR class so you can feel and be prepared in an emergency situation.  That’s why we both took the Pet Tech PetSaver class when we had an opportunity. We were so impressed with all we learned that Billy took a three day class to become an instructor.  If you want to know about Pet Tech, click here.  If you want to register for the next class click here.  Classes are scheduled for March 21, April 18, and June 6, 2015.

 

 

Related Articles

What is Happening In and Around Mooresville During March?

Are you curious about how we celebrate with our pets in and around Mooresville during March? 

For those of us who live with pets, here are the celebrations, special days and weeks we are paying attention to in around Mooresville during March that you just might want to know about.

  • March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month
  • March 15 – 21 is Poison Prevention Week
Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline

We hope you never have a need to call the Pet Poison Helpline, but if you do have a need we want you to know about the resource.

Sadly, guinea pigs are at risk of neglect, abuse and abandonment too.  If you are considering getting a guinea pig for a pet please visit the local shelter.  And yes, we happily provide pet sitting services for guinea pigs too.

Did you know that pigs can learn tricks?!?

  • March 1 – 7 is Professional Pet Sitters Week
Did you hire a professional pet sitter?

Did you hire a professional pet sitter?

For those of you who live in nearby areas of Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius, we are available to meet your pet sitting and dog walking needs.  Visit our website here.

While you are preparing your house and getting items ready for the humans, please be sure to gather together the items your pets need too in the event you have to evacuate. I’m sure we all remember the tragedy of people who refused to evacuate during Hurricane Hugo because they would not leave their pets behind.  Make a list of pet friendly shelters and lodging where you and your pets can go.

pet evacuation

 

  • March 8 brings us Daylight Savings Time

Yippee skippy!!!  We are ready.

  •  March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day

We’re all a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • March 20 is the first day of Spring

….and not a minute too soon!!!

Who doesn’t love a puppy? The goal on this wonderful day is:

to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it’s a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further our mission for a nation of puppy-free pet stores. Our goal is to have 10,000 puppies adopted across the US on National Puppy Day!

Of course if you plan to adopt a puppy you will need someone to help give the puppy potty breaks while you are at work.  Yes, we happily provide that service too.

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

 

  • March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day

What could be better than taking a walk in the park with that puppy you adopted earlier this month?

 

Local Events In and Around Mooresville During March

  • March 10                              6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
    Iredell County Animal Services Rabies Vaccination Clinic
    430 Bristol Drive, Statesville

 

  • March 10                              6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Friends of the Animals Pet Loss Support Meeting      Call 704-235-5300 to register
    181 North Main Street, Mooresville

 

  • March 15                                1:00 PM
    The Lake Norman 5K-9    North Mecklenburg Park,  Huntersville
    www.hffa.com

 

  • March 21                                9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Class
    email:   info@coddlecreekpetservices.com  or call 704-662-0973 for information
    Click here to register

We hope you have a wonderful experience in and around mooresville during March.

 

Do You Know 11 Steps to Responsible Pet Ownership?

February is Responsible Pet Owners’ Month

We love to look at special days, weeks and months for ideas about celebrations.  And we are delighted to learn that February is Responsible Pet Owners’ Month. Really, every day should be responsible pet owners’ day and we are sharing the 11 qualities we believe demonstrate responsible pet ownership.

Beau joined us at our fav restaurant during his final week

Beau joined us at our fav restaurant during his final week

 

11 Steps to Responsible Pet Ownership

  1. Learn all you can about the dog or cat breed you are considering adopting.
  2. Make a commitment to your pet for life.
  3. Have your pet micro-chipped and affix current ID tags to your pets’ collars.  Always make sure they are wearing their ID tags when they go outside of your home.
  4. Get your dog or cat spayed or neutered.
  5. Train your pet.
  6. Exercise your pet’s body and mind every day.
  7. Feed your pet the best quality food you can afford.
  8. Get regular veterinary care for your pet.
  9. Brush your pet’s teeth every day.
  10. Make adequate arrangements for your pets’ care when you go out of town.
  11. Learn pet first aid and CPR.

 

How These Steps Contribute to Responsible Pet Ownership

Learn all you can about the dog or cat breed you are considering adopting.

Knowledge of the needs of the pet you want will help to assure a good match between the pet and your household. You need to know the most typical health conditions of the breed, how much exercise is required and if you are able to provide that type and frequency of exercise. For instance, you need to select a veterinarian that can provide care for the pet you want. If you are considering adopting a bird, is there an avian specialist veterinarian nearby? What are the nutritional needs of the pet you want? What type of training is needed? And remember, it is really you who needs the training!!!

We strongly support pet adoption.  According to the US Humane Society, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year.  These are pets that were surrendered by owners, dumped, or found stray.  If you adopt a pet, you save his or her life and make room in the shelter for another pet. If you buy a pet from an on line ad you are contributing to puppy mills.  We adopted our Daisy Mae through National Brittany and Adoption Network (NBRAN).  She helped our hearts to heal after Beau went over the Rainbow Bridge from lymphoma.   Yes, adopting a pet can put a smile on your face.

Frightened Daisy Mae at the shelter

Frightened Daisy Mae at the shelter

 

One Happy Daisy Mae on a boat ride

One Happy Daisy Mae on a boat ride

Don’t worry, her life jacket was in the boat!!

Make a commitment to your pet for life.
Enough Said

Enough Said

Rita Reimers, noted cat analyst has written a heartfelt blog about people dumping their cats.

Have your pet micro-chipped and affix current ID tags to your pets’ collars.  Always make sure they are wearing their ID tags when they go outside of your home.

Approximately 15% of pet owners report having lost a pet within a five year period of time according to a recent ASPCA study.  ID tags and microchips were important in getting 15% of the lost dogs home.  It’s important for ID tags to have the owners’ cell phone number as well as the number of another emergency contact.  If there is enough room on the tag you can add the land line number and if comfortable with it the home address.  Be sure to update the information if you move or get a new phone number. And, please register the microchip information with the microchip company….otherwise it is useless!

Get your dog or cat spayed or neutered.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, are euthanized. The good news is that responsible pet owners can make a difference. By having your dog or cat sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters and may reduce many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.

Train your pets.

A study done by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) and published on PetFinder’s website indicated that 96% of the dogs relinquished to shelters had received no training.  There are some basics that are essential to a happy relationship between you and your dog.  These include potty and crate training, and the cues for sit, stay, down, off, drop it, leave it and come.  For fun you can always add in tricks such as roll over and high five! We heartily recommend positive reinforcement training. If you need a trainer locally we are pleased to recommend Donna Rogers with K-9 Capers Dog Training Academy in Concord and Sara Higgins with Positive Pups Dog Training, LLC in Cornelius.

What about training for your cat or bird?  Yes, you read right.  Pets Web MD offers great tips for training your kitten or cat to use the litter box. The Partnership for Animal Welfare offers tips on teaching your cat to use a scratching post. Many years ago while still working as a social worker one of my clients told me he had trained his cat to walk on a leash. I was pretty astounded at the time, but have since learned it is a valuable skill.  Mother Nature Network offers some tips on helping you and kitty acquire this skill.

Pet MD offers tips for training your pet bird.  Multiple issues are also common to other species: biting, screaming (barking), grooming, using treats, chewing on furniture and traveling.  We got a laugh about talking birds and their sometimes unsavory vocabularies!

Exercise your pet’s body and mind every day.

All pets need physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis.  You can play games indoors with your kitties to engage them and keep them on the move. Of course, we know that dogs need time for sniffing walks when they can check and deposit “pee mail.”  A good generalization is that most dogs need at least 2 walks of 15 minutes duration every day.  The specifics will depend on your dog’s breed, general health and temperament and age.  If you don’t have time to walk with your dog on a regular basis, consider hiring a professional dog walker several days per week or even daily if your budget allows.  Having a variety of places to walk with a variety of sights and smells will enrich your dog’s life.  On those days that the weather makes long walks out of doors unsafe, play some mental games inside. Nose work inside is particularly effective.

Feed your pet the best quality food you can afford.

Remember not to overfeed your pets either. Pet obesity has become a huge problem in the US. It’s best to feed your pets at certain times of the day so you can easily assess how much they are eating.  An added benefit is if they eat on a regular schedule they will be more likely to eliminate on a regular schedule. Leaving dry kibble down for cats is discouraged too because they benefit from eating canned food.  Cats tend not to drink enough water so they need the hydration from canned or “wet” foods.  Lisa A. Pierson, DVM offers an excellent explanation of these facts.

Get regular veterinary care for your pet.

In general pets need to be assessed by their veterinarian on at least a yearly basis.  Puppies and kittens as well as senior pets need to be evaluated more frequently.  And of course, pets with chronic medical conditions need more frequent monitoring.

Regular checkups include examining the ears, eyes, nose, abdominal organs, skin and fur and heart and lungs.  This is also the time for vaccination protocols, heartworm preventative medications and lab work. It is much easier on the pet to prevent a problem than to treat a problem.  And we might add, less expensive. We fostered to adopt Trooper through English Springer Spaniel Rescue America (ESRA) and he came to us Heartworm positive.  It was heartbreaking having to keep him quiet during the months of treatment.

Trooper

Trooper

 Brush your pet’s teeth every day.

Yes, you can and should do this.  It’s easier if you start when a puppy, but they can learn to accept it at any age.  just be sure to use toothpaste made for dogs and cats, not the human kind.  Human toothpaste has soap in it to make it sudsy and that’s not good for our pets because they can’t spit it out. Experiment until you find the flavor they like (vanilla, mint, chicken, beef).  There are a variety of types of toothbrushes too, so keep at it until you find the right one.  I brush our dogs’ teeth multiple times per week and we are going to be able to skip dental cleanings this year.  That is not only a financial savings but we’re so relieved not to have anyone put under anesthesia.

Just as with humans, there is a link between good oral health and good general health.  Dogs with proper dental care live on average two years longer than those without proper dental care. Luke is almost 9 years old and is an old hand at getting his teeth brushed.  Daisy Mae and Trooper are mildly resistant (we adopted them) but they are getting better at accepting it.

Luke

Luke

Make adequate arrangements for your pets’ care when you go out of town.

In today’s world we have numerous options for pet care when we are unavailable.  Options include friends or family members, in home pet boarding, pet kenneling and professional pet sitting in your home. We recommend against the use of the kid next door at any time.  While family and friends may work out some of the time, it can become an awkward situation if you ask them too often.  It’s important to avoid the “hobby sitters” who do this to pick up “pin money.”  They are extremely unlikely to be bonded, to carry professional business liability insurance, to have a criminal background check, to be trained in pet first aid and CPR and to be available long term when the novelty of “playing” with dogs and cats has worn off.

If the cost is an issue and you only have one pet you may be well served with a good boarding or kenneling facility.  If you have two pets your costs between a professional pet sitter and a facility will be similar.  If you have three or more pets or pets of multiple species you will most likely find a professional pet sitter who provides care in your home to be most cost effective.  While many pets do well in a boarding facility, most thrive in their own familiar homes.  A professional pet sitter will be able to give your home that lived in look with rotation of lights and draperies, mail and newspaper collection, roll out of garbage and recycle containers and watering a few houseplants.

Two professional pet sitters organizations offer user friendly pet sitter locator services: Pet Sitters International (PSI) and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).

Learn pet first aid and CPR.

No one wants to encounter an emergency, but we all know urgent issues happen every day.  It’s a good idea to take a class in pet first aid and CPR. There are numerous options available.  Billy has been trained by two organizations.  After we were both trained in the PetSaver program by Pet Tech last October we were both so impressed with the program that he took the training to become a trainer. He offers the courses approximately 8 times per year.

Learn about PetTech at this link.  See Billy’s instructor profile at this link.



 

Thanks for taking the necessary steps toward responsible pet ownership!!!

Pet First Aid Class Available in Mooresville on February 28

Billy Harwell Certified to Teach Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Classes

Have you ever wondered what the “More” is in our business name?  When we were brainstorming what to name our business we purposely made allowances for expansion. Hence the “More” in our name. On February 28 you will see one of the multiple reasons for “More” when Billy begins offering pet first aid classes. Both of us were trained by Pet Tech, Inc. in pet first aid and CPR last October. Billy’s background with first aid and CPR with humans has easily transferred to pet first aid and CPR.

In January Billy achieved a significant professional goal after attending a three day training course for Pet Tech Instructors.  Pet Tech is an international organization whose mission is “Improving the quality of pets’ lives, one pet parent at a time.”  Pet Tech is the premiere organization offering information and training in Pet CPR, First Aid & Pet Care.  Check out the web site at http://www.pettech.net for full information.

Billy successfully completed the Pet Tech Instructor Training program in January, 2015 and is qualified to teach the Pet Tech family of programs.  The 8-hour PetSaver™ class includes the skills and information necessary to prepare the pet owner in the unfortunate event of a medical emergency involving their pet.  Some of the topics highlighted in the class include:  CPR, Rescue Breathing, Shock Management, Bleeding, Injury Assessment, Heat Injuries, Cold Injuries, dental care and senior care.  These skills are essential for dog and cat groomers, dog walkers and pet sitters too. Billy now offers Pet Tech’s pet first aid and care classes for pet owners:  PetSaver™, First Aid & Care For Your Pets™ and Knowing Your Pet’s Health™”.

Class is Completed!

Class is Completed!

 

Why Take a Pet First Aid Course?

An important part of being a caring, conscientious, responsible and loving pet owner is knowing the life saving skills of pet first aid and care.  Your pets, just like children are at greater risk of death or injury from preventable accidents than any other reason.  Taking the correct and proper actions can significantly increase the chances of survival and reduce the extent of injury to your pet, before transporting them to your veterinarian.  The PetSaver™ Class is designed to help pet parents keep their pets happy and healthy. Additionally, each student receives a copy of Pet Tech’s PetSaver handbook, an emergency muzzle and a certificate valid for two years. Your registration fee also includes lunch.

Classes are scheduled for February 28, 2015 and March 21, 2015. For more information call Billy Harwell at Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC (704-662-0973).  For those of you that have used our pet sitting, dog walking or pet taxi services, we offer a significant discount on the fee.  You may call us to register.

If you are new to our services you may sign up for the February 28 class here. You may sign up for the March 21 class here.

 

CPR for dog

CPR for dog

 

 

 

 

 

How Are You Celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is Just Around the Corner

Do you realize that Valentine’s Day is on a weekend this year?  Yes indeed, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate with the one you love and get away from your day to day activities for a mini vacation. Folks who live in Mooresville, Cornelius or Davidson have great proximity to the mountains for a wine tasting tour or something a bit more eclectic.  We’ve got some recommendations too.

What’s that you say?  You would love to, but what about the dogs, cats, birds and hamsters?  Not to worry.  Give us a call and we can set up a free consultation to meet you and your pets and get prepared to look after them while you’re gone.  Now, what to do about the human kids…..sorry, we’ve got nothing for you!!

Great Wineries to Visit on Valentine’s Day Weekend

A few years ago Billy and I visited Shelton Vineyards and had a great time. We happened to go during the time of year that we could take a tour of the vineyards, but the best part was the wine tasting, so who cares if it’s too cold to tour the vineyards? They are offering a special Cupid’s Package for Valentine’s Day weekend that is sure to please. When we last attended a wine tasting at Shelton Vineyards, the hotel was under construction but it has been open for several years now.  Located in Dobson, NC the trip from Mooresville is only 64 miles so you can easily get there in just a little over an hour.

If hotels are not your style there are bed and breakfast options available in the area. You better hurry though because those quaint lodgings are nearly all booked already.

Stony Knoll Vineyards offers a special Valentine’s Day wine tasting. They even have a sweet little cabin wine lodge.

Want Something a Little Different for Valentine’s Day Weekend?

Maybe you want a unique experience to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend.  Well, head on to Asheville and explore the not so common offerings.  I lived there for many years and can assure you the variety of activities is mesmerizing. Pottery making with your love, a 5k, a different kind of city tour or a “trip to Argentina?”

Valentine's Day pottery

Getting a little dirty

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts offers an opportunity to get dirty.

LaZoom Tours offers a funny twist on city tours.  The Let Your Love Roll Ride departs from the Asheville Brewing Company.

The Wedlock 5k run is a unique way to renew your commitment to each other and to running while also benefitting Helpmate, one of my favorite Asheville charities.  Helpmate has been advocating, supporting and assisting victims of domestic violence for decades.

Tango

Tango

If romance is intriguing, how about a “trip to Argentina?”  Lex 18 Supper Club is offering a 1920’s candlelit dinner, music and tango revue.

 

Relax and Enjoy You Time Away

Relax and enjoy your time away.  We’ll take care of your pets just as you would.  You will receive email updates to assure you those four legged family members are well cared for in your absence.

 

 

 

How to Change a Pet’s Life

Change a Pet’s Life Day

Did you know that January 24 is Change a Pet’s Life Day? This celebration began in 2009 to increase awareness of homeless pets and to encourage adoption of pets from shelters and rescues.  Of course there are numerous things we all can do to change a pet’s life.  Activities range from teaching your own dog a trick (after all, January is National Train Your Dog Month!) all the way to adopting a dog.  Often people are just not able to adopt a dog for various  reasons. They still can contribute to changing a dog’s life though. That might include taking pictures of homeless animals so they look attractive on an adoption website. It might include grooming a dog, taking shelter dogs for walks, providing transport for dogs from a shelter to a foster home, or fostering a dog. Of course, financial contributions are always needed too, especially to pay for long neglected medical needs.

Today we want to talk about one lovely dog that longs for her forever home.  Mocha has a special friend, her “Aunt Michelle” who is working hard to change a pet’s life. “Aunt Michelle” visits with Mocha on a regular basis, takes Mocha to her own home for some family life time and takes Mocha on outings in the community.  She advocates tirelessly on Mocha’s behalf and has even created a FaceBook page to showcase Mocha right into her own home. She has done a beautiful job of keeping Mocha well socialized.

Meet Mocha-Chino ……in Her Own Words

Change a Pet's Life

Mocha

I am a beautiful chocolate colored pittie girl, about 3 years old, with the most stunning eyes that will melt your heart. I am one of the most affectionate dogs out there but I keep getting overlooked.

Here’s the thing with me….I can’t remember everything from my past, but I do know that someone witnessed me being thrown from a moving vehicle and because of that, I have some trust issues. I take a bit of time to warm up to new people BUT PLEASE understand that I want to love you and trust you and I try really hard, but I get scared so you need to give me a bit of time (and plenty of yummy treats) and once I trust you, there is nothing that you can’t do to me. Once I give my trust (and it only takes a couple visits) , it’s yours 100% and I will love you with my whole heart and soul!

I would do best in a home with older, respectful children and I am selective with other dogs,. If they are submissive and calm, I am calm but if they’re in my face and hyper, I don’t like that. Just ask and we can do a meet and greet with your doggy to see if it’s a match. It may take a little time though as I don’t have a lot of experience with doggy manners. I do know that I don’t get along with cats though.

I may be best as the only pet in the home. I definitely cannot live with cats. I was in a temporary foster home for 6 months and lived with a teenage girl and I was great but I had to come back through no fault of my own. I have wonderful house manners, I’m housebroken, know basic obedience, ride wonderfully in the car and am a really good girl. I’d love to have a family of my own real soon. Check out my bio to learn all there is to know about me.  Woof!

If you’d like to make my acquaintance, please complete an adoption application & be sure to mention my name – MOCHA!!

Change a Pet's Life

Mocha

 How We Know Mocha

We know Mocha through her Facebook Page .  From her page (and from communicating with her “Aunt Michelle”) we have grown to know and love Mocha.  She resides with Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph, New Jersey. Click here to see Mocha’s very own web page.

Mocha has lots of friends and her “Aunt Michelle” created Mocha’s FaceBook Page. Although “Aunt Michelle” would love to adopt Mocha, she cannot do so.  Mocha explains the reasons quite well.

She has a very dog aggressive dog at home that cannot share her home. Aunt Michelle knows that this is not the ideal situation for me and wouldn’t put me in a potentially dangerous situation. I have made so much progress in my dealings with the real world and she doesn’t want me to regress and have any set backs. She loves me enough to say that her home is not 100% ideal for me, even though i know it hurts her, I understand her decision and know how much she loves me and only wants the best for me. She is my best friend and I love her for all she does for me.

 Special Perks that Accompany Mocha

  •  Mocha’s adoption fee will be covered to an approved adopter by http://www.sammyshope.org/daves-faves
  •  A local trainer has offered to provide training for Mocha, free of charge to her new family

A Few Requirements

  • Due to Mocha’s trust issues, you must be willing and able to come meet Mocha a few times.
  • Mocha must feel comfortable with you before you will be able to bring her home.
  • The Eleventh Hour Rescue will not transport Mocha to you.

Mocha is waiting. Will you be the one who changes Mocha’s life today?

I Love FaceBook Pet Pages

I Love Facebook Pet Pages

Today, I am stepping out of the role of business owner and stepping into the role of human being. One of the ways I relax is playing around on Facebook.  I am obsessed with cute pet pages.  I follow a wide assortment of them. Most are puppy mill survivors and 2nd up are pages from dogs that have been rescued via some other rescue organization.

I don’t remember how I first came across National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), but am so glad I did.  Reading those stories and seeing those pictures ignited my passion for the plight of dogs kept for the purpose of breeding.  I had no idea of the awful conditions the breeder dogs were kept in.  Nor did I realize the role the Amish play in this despicable “puppy farming” practice.  National Mill Dog Rescue has an extensive Facebook page that provides education on all aspects.

Anyone who spends much time on Facebook or any other social media pages is sure to know there are lots of heartbreaking stories. When the topic is pets, emotions can often be quite intense.  Sometimes the humans behind the pet pages become quite involved in drama. When that happens, I just have to back away.  Those are the times I’m not so certain that I love Facebook Pet Pages.

Happily, there are numerous wonderful Facebook Pet Pages that have found the just right combination of keeping it real, providing education and also spreading joy.  In fact there are so many positive FaceBook pet pages that we would be here all night if I blogged about all of them.

Tonight I want to focus on two such pages that are experiencing hard times and could use our financial help and prayers.

 How They Are Linked

Harley is a puppy mill survivor who was adopted by Dan and Rudi Taylor.  Dan and Rudi own two small businesses in Berthoud, Colorado. Dan and Rudi do an incredible amount of volunteer work rescuing dogs on behalf of NMDR. Harley’s Facebook page is an inspiration.  Dan and Rudi’s love  for Harley and his fursibs is tangible. I learned from Harley that mill dogs live in wire cages and never get out.  The puppy mill owners hose down the cages with firehoses to clean the cages without taking the breeder dogs out.  That’s how Harley lost an eye.

Harley10425009_286121284845511_2360213608895270664_n

In addition to their rescue work, Dan and Rudi foster a lot of dogs for NMDR.  Sunshine was one of those dogs. Sunshine was adopted by a lovely family in Michigan and is now known as Princess Ava Bisou.  Ava has a sister named Mia Bryant Beddard. Mia and Ava bring joy and laughter to thousands of people every day.  Their humans have big hearts and do a great deal to raise awareness about the plight of senior dogs that are dumped and about puppy mill breeder dogs. Their humans are the epitome of family.  Their daddy is self employed in a small business he owns.

Princess Ava Bisou

Princess Ava Bisou

 

 

Mia Bryant Beddard

Mia Bryant Beddard

 

Why I Feel Connected

  • First of all because they are both such genuinely nice families.
  • They have “spoken” to me for quite a long time.
  • I am a retired social worker and know that these are the kind of people our world needs more of.
  • Both these families are small business owners.
  • I grew up in a farm family.  You can’t get more small family owned business than that.  My paternal grandfather set out the first apple orchard in Lincoln County, NC.  My father and uncle followed in my grandfather’s footsteps. I remember the lean years.
  • My husband’s maternal grandfather was a self employed plumber.  Again, small business. My husband’s parents started and operated a small independent finance company.  Billy also remembers the lean years.

OK, so those are the purely simple reasons.  But it gets much more personal than that.  I am a cancer survivor.  When you read the story about Mia and Princess Ava’s humans you will see the connection.  And, on July 4, 2000 my beloved Daddy took his own life.  When you read the story about Dan and Rudi’s oldest daughter you will understand.

Friends of Dan and Rudi have set up a YouCaring Fund for their son in law and grandchildren. I have set up a YouCaring Fund for Ava and Mia’s humans.  I urge you to visit the links and give prayerful consideration to helping these two families in their times of need.  I also ask for prayers for God’s healing grace, mercy and peace for these two families.  Thank you for your consideration.

Helping Princess Ava Bisou and Mia Bryant Beddard

Here is what I had to say about Princess Ava and Mia’s humans.

help-princess-ava-mia-s-daddy-with-cancer-surgery-bills

Ava and Mia do so much for others and now they are in need. I love this family for so many reasons: 1. They are always positive. 2. They consistently advocate for adoption of seniors and eradication of puppy mills. 3. They don’t get caught up in FaceBook pet page drama. 4. They are kind. 5. They share information appropriately. 6. They value family.

As many of you know, their Daddy is self- employed. Their Mommy is a long time cancer survivor. And recently their Daddy had very serious surgery for cancer. While he is recovering and unable to work they have no income. I have been given permission to post and ask for support if you are able and so moved. If you are able to help you may make a contribution to their YouCaring Fund.

No, I don’t know them personally. However, I am a retired social worker and have “just a little bit” of experience in assessing character. Princess Ava and Mia bring me enormous joy every day with their posts. I still have such fond memories of their Olympics a few years ago. Watching Ava run down the snow tunnel was so exciting and I watched it over and over. Princess Ava Bisou has 6,292 followers. Mia Bryant Beddard has 4037 followers. I know that many of us follow them both, but that is still a heap of people. Imagine how much difference we can make in their lives with just a tiny bit of effort in their time of need. For instance if every one of us (conservatively 6, 292 people) each gave just $1.00 there would be $6, 292.00. Or if we each gave $5.00 there would be $31,460. OMD OMD, OMD!!! Or as Princess Ava Bisou says, Wow Wee, yippee skippee.

Do the math any way you want, but please consider helping them out. I know there is no tax deduction for this, but seriously, how many of us will miss $5.00 next week? Thanks for any consideration for helping this precious family in their time of need. Sincerely, Beth Leatherman Harwell

Helping the Family of Harley’s Human Sister

Harley’s human sister (Rudi and Dan’s oldest daughter) lost her life to depression.  Here is how a friend of the family described Samantha.

A NOTE OF GRATITUDE FROM HARLEY’S FAMILY

My name is Mary and I am a friend of Harley’s family. They’ve asked me to let you know they are keenly aware of the outpouring of love and support from Harley’s friends over the loss of their daughter Samantha. Your thoughts, prayers and kind expressions of sympathy mean more to them than you can imagine.

Suffice it to say, this is a time of immense and unbearable sadness for the Taylor family. Samantha suffered with depression her entire life and, during the last 3 years, also suffered with a crippling illness called Dystonia. In spite of these difficulties, she fought hard to enjoy her life and make every birthday, holiday and Christmas count for her children … and let them know they were loved beyond measure.

Sam touched so many lives in such amazing ways. Always there for those in need, she created fundraisers for people she didn’t even know, took people into her home when floods swept through the area, and had great compassion for the homeless. She always kept food, water and other supplies in her car to distribute at a moment’s notice. Sam was creative, funny, and just plain amazing. She loved her children and family more than anything … and, of course, she loved her dogs. In fact, when she adopted her beloved dog Lolo last year, she went to the shelter and asked for the most unadoptable dog they had. Out came a 14-year-old Husky mix who had been discarded by the only family she’d ever known … and she became a cherished member of Sam’s family.

Many of you have asked how you can help. A fundraiser has been established to help Sam’s children in the days and months ahead. Her husband, Aaron, is a self-employed carpenter who has already been facing challenges during these difficult economic times. If you so desire, please click on this link and contribute what you are able … no amount is too small:

 Finally, I know the question remains, “How is Harley doing through all of this?” Harley is doing great and the vet was pleased with his test results, including the biopsy that was done 10 days ago … so all is well. He is surrounded by family and enveloped in love, as are Olive, Riley, Cricket, and Stella. There is no shortage of laps and love.

Sam is missed terribly and has left an indescribable hole in the lives of all who knew and loved her. On behalf of the entire Taylor family, thank you from the bottoms of their hearts. You are a true blessing to them during this unspeakable time. heart emoticon

 


You see folks, it’s about a lot more than the fact that I love Facebook Pet Pages.  It’s about life & love. Please help Princess Ava Bisou , Mia Bryant Beddard  & Harley

Catification

What is Catification?

Jackson Galaxy says, “The catification process starts by understanding how your cat sees the world.”

What are your most difficult “cat problems?”  Does you cat poop just outside the litter box? Does your cat launch into attack mode when a guest enters the home?  Do you find the look and style of cat trees unattractive? Or maybe you just want to make your home more pleasant for you and your cats. Take a look at Jackson Galaxy’s book Catification.

The book is chock full of innovative suggestions.  Galaxy is the host of “My Cat From Hell” on Animal Planet.  He co authored the book with Kate Benjamin, a cat style expert.

The authors discuss the “why” behind cat behaviors and recommend positive methods to work with your cat’s nature, instead of against his nature. We particularly like the superhighway design that Dan and Jenne Johnson, a Wilmington, NC couple, developed after getting the idea from Galaxy’s show.

As professional pet sitters we visit a lot of homes with cats.  We love to visit homes where the humans have put out cat scratching boxes, cardboard boxes and toys.  Most of the ideas in this book could easily be implemented.  Have fun!

CatClimbingShleves

 

 

How Are You Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day?

National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015

Yep, it’s here today, January 14, 2015 is national dress up your pet day.  Are you going to dress up your pet today? We see so many cute outfits on lots of pets.  We always think we should dress up our dogs and then seldom seem to get around to it. But here is one picture from Luke and mom getting ready for the Mooresville Christmas parade.

PSX_20150113_203524

 

We have the pleasure of providing pet sitting services for lots of pets, but rarely see them costumed either.  But here is one of three Pugs we know all ready for Santa to visit.  Max, Sophie and Gizmo are cute any way you slice it.

IMG_5081 (1)

 

Moose models her raincoat nicely too.

PSX_20141110_141034

 

Who Thinks Dress Up Your Pet Day is a Great Idea?

Pet MD  for one.  Go check out their blog post on the idea.  Way cool.

The Animal Rescue Site offers some recommendations on keeping it safe.

Vet Street offers some cute, albeit hilarious photos.

Many of our Facebook friends dress up their pets on a regular basis.  We are sharing a sampling of them.

Princess Ava Bisou and her sister Mia Bryant Beddard are fashion divas.

Lil Olive and her sisters were rescued from puppy mills. They rock clothes every day to keep warm because they are Italian greyhounds and don’t have much fat.

Muppie’s Rescued usually goes au naturelle but sometimes wears her fine jewels from The Dollar Store.  She is so funny.

 

We can hardly wait to see your pictures for Dress Up Your Pet Day!

 

It’s Easy to Pick Up the Dog Poop

How Easy is It to Pick Up the Dog Poop?

Believe it or not, incredibly easy. So what brought about this post AKA rant?  Last Wednesday afternoon Daisy Mae and I walked at Bellingham Park.  Daisy Mae and I like walking there because the basic loop around the park is approximately a mile so we can pretty easily measure how far we walked.  There’s a variety of plants for me to look at. For Daisy Mae there are lots of aromas to sniff and plenty of bunnies to stalk.  There are two neighborhoods that connect directly to the park for added variety on our walks when we feel like walking longer distances.

But when we walked last Wednesday, Daisy Mae also had lots more sniffing opportunities than usual. It seemed that every few feet we walked there were piles of dog poop on the side of the paved trail.  Certainly we were pleased the dog poop was not on the paved trail, but really folks it’s easy to pick up the dog poop!

As professional pet sitters and dog walkers Billy and I always carry poop pick up bags.  You would be amazed at the variety of bags: scented, biodegradable, printed, plain black.  They come in cute little dog poop bag purses and there are little purses to put the full bags in till you find a trash can! At Bellingham Park there is even a dog poop bag dispenser.  PhotoGrid_1421031290069

We frequently walk dogs at condominiums and apartment complexes too. And amazingly, most of them have similar dispensers located at multiple places on the property.  Those with dog parks even have dispensers mounted on the fences inside the dog parks.  It never fails to amaze me to find dog poop on the AstroTurf inside the dog parks and in the grass within a foot of the poop bag dispensers and trash cans.

You would think it wasn’t easy to pick up the dog poop. But it’s easy to pick up the dog poop.  We aren’t certain if people are just gross or are uneducated.  Being the eternal optimists, we choose to believe they are uneducated.  So we are going to lay out a few facts about dog poop.

Facts About Dog Poop

  • Pet waste left on the ground gets swept into storm drains and flows to the local waterways without being treated (NC Environmental Education)
  • Stormwater pollutants end up in the water we swim in, fish from and draw water from (Lake Norman anyone?) (Know Where It Goes)
  • Roundworms, E. coli, and Giardia are some of the parasites that can infect humans. The infectious agents can last four years (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services).
  • Attracts flies and other undesirable insects
  • Makes the yard a yucky place to play
  • Is not suitable for fertilizer or compost (Gardening Know How)
  • Can be eaten by your dogs (who later kiss you!)

I don’t know about you, but for me that last fact seals the deal. Here’s hoping everyone will pick up the dog poop when out walking in public areas as well as in their own yards.

Dogs-dress-up-for-Poop-Fairy-photo-contest

 

 

 

Pet Tech – Pet Saver is Coming to Coddle Creek

Pet Tech – Pet Saver is Coming to Coddle Creek

Recently we told you how pleased we were to take the Pet Tech – Pet Saver training when we were in Las Vegas last October. We took the course for the safety of our own pets as well as the safety of your pets. When we are providing care for your pets, we want to assure they are happy, comfortable and safe.  We love our pets and know you love your pets as much as we love ours. We want you to have the skills and confidence necessary to administer first aid to your pets when necessary, but just as importantly to be able to recognize potential health issues to discuss with your veterinarian. That’s why Billy has chosen to be trained as a Pet Tech – Pet Saver, CPR and First Aid Instructor. http://www.pettech.net/index.php

Billy is taking the Pet Tech – Pet Saver instructor’s training this month and we anticipate he will teach his first class in March or April.  The course he will offer is 8 hours in duration and can be taught in one full session or two half days. Please let us know whether you prefer one full day or two half days for taking the Pet Tech – Pet Saver, CPR & First Aid program. We will keep that in mind as we set up the schedule.

Some of the topics addressed in the training include primary assessment; snout to tail assessment for injury and wellness; heat and cold injuries; insect bites/stings and snakebite; bleeding and shock management; choking management; assessing the pet’s vitals; seizure; rescue breathing; canine and feline breathing; restraining and muzzling; and caring for your senior pet-izen.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reminds us, “Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.”

PetTech Logo

Take a Hike with Your Dogs in North Carolina

Take a Hike with Your Dogs

Did you make New Year’s resolutions to get fit?  Did you resolve to spend more quality time with your dog?  If so, have we ever got a host of recommendations to help you fulfill both resolutions!  Whether you call it hiking, or walking, there is an abundance of trails all over North Carolina that are dog friendly.  So, get ready to take a hike with your dog.

 

NC State Parks

Our all time favorite place to hike with our dogs is Lake Norman State Park  (http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/lano/activities.php).  We are fortunate to live near the park and often hike there with our dogs. We enjoy the Lake Shore Trail because of the frequent views of the lake.  There are several sandy beach-like areas where we can take the dogs off leash and let them fetch the tennis balls out of the water.  Just be prepared for a smelly wet dog on the ride home. We are offering true confession here that we do let our very well behaved dogs off leash briefly, but always with our leashes in hand.  When park visitors approach us on the trail, we leash our dogs and cue them to sit until the other hikers have gone past us.  We get lots of positive comments about our sweet beautiful well behaved dogs.  We heartily recommend you take a hike with your dogs at Lake Norman State Park.

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

 

Our 2nd most favorite hiking spot is Stone Mountain State Park (http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/stmo/activities.php).  When hiking with our dogs we enjoy the Widow’s Creek Trail.  The trail runs along the side of a stream for much of the way.  This trail is not heavily populated with other hikers and that enhances the serenity and peace.  That makes it a great trail for hiking with your dogs.

Tell us your favorite places to take a hie with your dog!

 

Our Own Backwoods

We are fortunate to have a wooded area on our property. Billy has created our very own hiking trails in the woods.  Our three dogs love exploring the woods off leash with us. All dogs benefit from daily walks.  Walking or hiking with your dogs increases the bond between you and your dogs. If your schedule or health does not permit walking with your dogs on a daily basis we are available to take them on a daily outing.  We will walk in your neighborhood on leash.  We are available to give your dog his needed potty break and outdoor exploration time.  Having an opportunity to get out of his own yard and sniff all the smells a few blocks away does wonders for your dog’s disposition. Call us today to arrange your free meet and greet.

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Here is to you and yours in 2015. We hope you have a happy new year and that the start you get in January lasts all year long. We want to see at least one good snow for an opportunity to walk with our dogs through a winter wonderland. We trust all your hopes, dreams and wishes will come true.

January is National Train Your Dog Month (http://www.trainyourdogmonth.com). To celebrate, Daisy Mae and Beth are looking forward to participating in a training course. We bet Beth is the one who will be trained!

Good Dog!

Good Dog!

January is also  National Walk Your Pet Month. Do you walk your dog or cat on a regular basis?  Yes, cats can be taught to walk on a leash, believe it or not. The ASPCA (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/teaching-your-cat-walk-leash) has great tips for getting your cat accustomed to a harness and leash. You would be amazed at how well you can train a cat if done in a positive fashion.

 

 

Bird Adoption

Bird Adoption

 

Have you considered acquiring a pet bird? January is Adopt a Rescued Bird Month so there is no better time. A great place to start is Companion Parrots Re-homed (http://www.companionparrots.org/) in Pineville. Another wonderful place to learn about bird care is Parrot University (http://www.parrotu.com/) in Pineville. They even offer boarding for your parrot when you must go away. Please be sure to educate yourself on the intricacies of bird care and the issues facing captive birds (http://www.avianwelfare.org/links/organizations.htm).

 

Here’s what else January offers. January 2 –  National Pet Travel Safety Day; January 5 – National Bird Day; January 14 – National Dress Up Your Pet Day; January 16 – National Penguin Awareness Day; January 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day (our dogs are ready for this one Sealed); January 22 – National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day; January 24 – Change a Pet’s Life Day and January 29 – Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.

 

Happy New Year to you and your pet family.

New Year’s Resolutions from the Coddle Creek Dogs

All lined up, pretty as a picture: Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper

All lined up, pretty as a picture: Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper

New Year’s Resolutions

The Coddle Creek Dogs read my recent post about New Year’s resolutions and have a few New Year’s Resolutions of their own.

Luke, “I hereby resolve to…….

  • sleep on both new doggie couches and get them shaped ‘just so’ to all my curves
  • show Trooper and Daisy Mae how the game of fetch is played
  • eat more bacon, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt
  • cuddle with my humans every day
  • learn to like bananas
  • eat more peanut butter

Trooper, “I hereby resolve to…..

  • be the first one out the door every morning
  • claim my crate before Luke or Daisy Mae have a chance to sleep in it
  • eat the entire spoonful of Greek Yogurt and cottage cheese in one helping
  • learn how to dislike at least one food
  • learn how to give up the ball when Daddy plays fetch with me
  • eat more peanut butter

Daisy Mae, “I hereby resolve to…..

  • quit going in Trooper’s crate or climbing on top of it
  • learn to like dried sweet potato chips
  • claim the new doggie couches before Luke and Trooper get to them
  • be the prettiest girl in our household
  • eat more bananas
  • eat more peanut butter

Predictions About Their New Year’s Resolutions

  • Trooper and Daisy Mae are incapable about learning the rules of fetch, so give it up Luke
  • If Luke ever eats bananas we will know he is sick, so this one better not come true
  • Trooper never seems to get the timing right to claim his own crate so he will be sleeping on the Kuranda bed because he sure won’t go in Luke and Daisy Mae’s crates
  • If ever Trooper does not want to eat whatever is put in front of him, we will know he is sick, so this one better not come true
  • Nothing can convince Daisy Mae that sweet potato chips are good……..bananas are another thing
  • Daisy Mae loves all crates and beds and couches, so give it up everybody
  • Daisy Mae will always be the prettiest girl in our household
Did somebody say peanut butter?!?

Did somebody say peanut butter?!?

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

Those Pesky New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, you know what we’re talking about.  The resolve to lose weight, get more organized, exercise more, get on a regular sleep schedule and so on. All those self improvement resolutions.  How’s that been working out for you?  Not so well you say.  Maybe it’s time to incorporate your pets’ needs into your New Year’s resolutions for a new twist. Here are our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for pet parents.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

  1. Walk with your dog every day. Play games with your cat.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day…..and brush Fido and Fluffy’s’s teeth once a day.
  3. Measure your food…..and measure your pets’ portions too.
  4. Play with your dog and cat every day.
  5. Go to bed at a similar time every night and get up at a similar time every morning.  Your dog will happily serve as your lights out monitor every night and alarm clock every morning.
  6. Keep Spot’s brain active with training a few minutes every day. Keep your own brain active by learning how to positively train your cat and dog.
  7. Practice relaxation habits while brushing your pets’ coats every day.
  8. Disengage from electronics for at least one hour every evening.  That’s a great time to walk with your dog, train your cat or brush their coat or teeth.
  9. A place for everything and everything in its place.  That applies to your “stuff” as well as your pets’ blankets, toys, food bowls and beds. Heck, maybe you can train your dog to put his toys in the toy basket every evening.
  10. Laugh every day at the antics of your pets.

 How These New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents Benefit You and Your Pets

If you follow New Year’s resolutions for pet parents,  you and your pets will be more relaxed, healthier and happier.  Exercise benefits all species. Walking your dog (or cat too) provides benefits for physical and mental health, reduces negative behavior and helps with sleep. (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general_health/top-ten-health-benefits-walking-your-pet-provides) There is nothing better for bonding with your dog than a daily walk.  You will both release endorphins, get your blood flowing, increase strength, burn calories and enhance your brain power. ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 )

Our general health overall health is affected by our dental health. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 ).  Just as we need to brush our teeth regularly, out pets need good dental care too. (http://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/grooming/top-ten-tips-on-how-to-keep-your-cats-teeth-clean)

It does take practice and patience to introduce teeth brushing, but you will be rewarded with a healthier pet.  Never use human toothpaste, instead purchase toothpaste made for cats and dogs. There are substances in human toothpaste that are harmful to pets if swallowed and our pets don’t know to spit out the toothpaste.

dog-toothpaste

cat-toothpaste

When introducing teeth brushing to your pet, start slow.  Put some pet toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to lick it off.  The next day put some pet toothpaste on a piece of gauze or pet toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the toothpaste.  Continue with this until your pet appears eager to get a taste of toothpaste.  Then you can introduce placing the toothbrush with toothpaste on the outside of your pet’s teeth. Be sure to go at a pace that is comfortable for your pet.

The best exercise is to use our fingers to push back from the table. That’s far easier if we measure our portions and stick to a nutritionally appropriate and balanced diet. The same thing applies to our pets.  It’s up to us to prevent or treat pet obesity because our pets can’t make these decisions on their own. (http://www.ideas4ag-ed.com/uploads/3/7/0/4/3704787/craig_kohn_treating_and_preventing_pet_obesity.pdf)

In our connected, go go go world, relaxation and appreciation of nature become even more important.  Take that break from the television, computer or smart phone and truly engage with your dog or cat.  Taking a walk, brushing your pet, playing an active game of fetch or engaging your cat in mind games indoors will rejuvenate all of you. This is an ideal time to incorporate a few minutes of training into your daily routine with your pets. Just be sure to make it fun and positive.  We especially like clickers for the training activities. (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/clicker-training-your-pet)

Be sure to laugh every day.  We never tire of watching Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper’s antics.  We are especially blessed to be able to take care of lots of pets in our pet sitting business and have lots of opportunities for laughter in our daily work.

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

 

Presents 4 Pets 2014 Was a Huge Success!!

Presents 4 Pets 2014 Results

Wowee!! Yippee Skippy! Presents 4 Pets 2014 has been a huge success thanks to you the members of our LKN community.

Items such as toys, treats, blankets, towels, rugs, pet beds, leashes, collars, harnesses, crates, kitty litter, pet shampoo and pet food were collected. We will be making deliveries to the beneficiaries in the next few days:

The goal for the community collection was a minimum of 300 items. Over 470 items were collected with an approximate value of $1270 during the Presents 4 Pets 2014 campaign!!


We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all those who donated to this worthy cause and helped to make the “Presents 4 Pets” campaign a success.
We are 
especially grateful to the businesses that sponsored donation boxes in Davidson, Cornelius and Mooresville:

The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson was a donation site for Presents 4 Pets 2014

The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson was a donation site for Presents 4 Pets 2014

 

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Many thanks to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) for providing the guidance for this project.

NAPPS is the only national nonprofit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of professional pet sitters. The Association aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as “the most respected authority in professional pet sitting.” It does so by providing the tools and support to foster the success of its members. NAPPS recently launched a membership designed with the pet parent in mind—the NAPPS Pet Parent Membership is the ultimate resource for pet lovers; offering guides, education opportunities, networking and exclusive discounts and deals to help pet parents care for their animal companions.

To find a pet sitter in your area, check out NAPPS’ nationwide “Pet Sitter Locator” at www.petsitters.org. For more information on NAPPS, please follow @TheNAPPS on Twitter or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNAPPS.

Doggie Doggie, Are You OK?

Pet Saver, Pet First Aid and CPR

Over a year ago Billy took the Red Cross Dog & Cat First Aid course because we value the safety of your pets as well as the safety of our own pets. In October of this year we attended the Petsitting-ology conference in Las Vegas.  While there we both had the opportunity to take the Pet Saver, Pet First Aid and CPR classes offered by by Pet Tech, Inc.  The Pet Safety Guy himself, Thom Somes taught much of our eight hour course. http://www.pettech.net/index.php     1022141115

As professional pet sitters it is important to us to not only provide proper care for our own three dogs but also to provide proper care for your cats and dogs and keep them safe while in our care.  Pet Tech’s Pet Saver Program includes 6 components:  Caring for your Pet, Pet First Aid and CPR, Snout-to-Tail Assessment, Poisonous Items, Essentials and Dental Care.

We learned the importance of doing a Snout-to-Tail assessment of your pet at least weekly.  You too can do this valuable assessment by downloading the Pet Tech Pet Saver app on your smart phone.  Just go to the Play Store on your Android phone or the App Store on your iphone and type in “pet saver.” The Pet Tech Pet Saver app has a small fee but is worth its’ weight in gold.  You can record the results of your pet’s weekly snout-to-tail assessment for starters but the app is loaded with other useful wellness and injury information.  We encourage you to go download that app right now!

We wish we had known about this several years ago before our beloved Beau became ill with lymphoma.  Had we been assessing his basic health indicators on a weekly basis we are confident the changes would have led us to seek medical attention sooner.  He could have had palliative care to resolve his discomfort and to keep him with us longer.  Now  we feel armed with information and that is a great feeling.

While in the class we had an opportunity to practice restraining and muzzling, CPR,  rescue breathing, and first aid bleeding protocols.  Despite the “excitement” of these hands on skills we know that fortunately we will use the wellness information on a daily basis and through prevention plan to avoid the need for urgent care.

In January Billy will take the 3 day training course to become an instructor in the Pet Tech Pet Saver, Pet First Aid and CPR program. We are excited to be able to offer this valuable resource to our community in the near future. Stay tuned for details regarding when he will teach the first series of classes here in Coddle Creek!!

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How to Turn Your Outdoors Cat into an Indoors Cat

Bringing Your Outdoors Cat Indoors

The weather is getting cold again and that got us thinking about the plight of outdoor cats. Despite what many people think, cats really don’t fare well outside.  If you are cold, so are they. Maybe you have been contemplating bringing your outdoors cat indoors or restricting access to the outdoors for your indoor/outdoor cat.  If so, good for you!!

Hazards for Outdoors Cats

Want to know some of the problems of letting cats roam around outside? They are exposed to many illnesses including feline leukemia, feline AIDS and upper respiratory infections. Cats can pick up parasites including fleas, ticks and worms. They can be hit by cars, killed by other animals or tortured by cruel individuals. and they really can get stuck in a tall tree. The weather is getting cold again and that got us thinking about the plight of outdoor cats. Despite what many people think, cats really don’t fare well outside. http://pets.webmd.com/cats/features/should-you-have-an-indoor-cat-or-an-outdoor-cat

If you are cold, so are they. Maybe you have been contemplating bringing your outdoor cat in or restricting access to the outdoors for your indoor/outdoor cat.  If so, good for you!!

If you are now inclined to consider bringing your outdoors cat indoors you are probably concerned that your cat will destroy your furniture.  Not to worry, you do not have to declaw your cat. In fact we recommend against declawing your cat but that is a topic for another day. It is fairly simple to make your cat’s environment a happy one for her. Provide vertical and horizontal scratching posts, various heights of cat towers, and comfy cat perches to extend the width of the window sills in front of sunny windows. Rotate her toys just as you would a child’s toys. And be sure to interact with your cat in play on a regular basis. Worried about cost?  Many cat friendly items can be made from things you have around home. Be sure to put out cardboard boxes and paper bags because they love those.     CatInBox_250x300

Cat Scratching Post

Cat Scratching Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing your outdoors cat indoors can more easily be accomplished by utilizing the ultimate in the best of two worlds:  construct a catio.  It does not have to be expensive or elaborate. If you have an existing cat door check to see if you could construct one where the cat gains access to the house.  Take a stroll on Pinterest to find great ideas. You can get a lot of ideas by visiting Jackson Galaxy’s web page too. We hope this gives you a good starting place for your first catio.

http://jacksongalaxy.com/?s=outdoor+enclosure

Catio1 Cat terrace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wish you the best with bringing your outdoors cat indoors!

There is a lot going on in October!!

There is no shortage of dates to celebrate this month.

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month      dog-adoption
  • Adopt a Dog Month
  • National Service Dog Month
  • National Pet Wellness Month
  • National Animal Safety & Protection Month
  • dog-walkerOctober 1 – 7        National Walk Your Dog Week
  •  October 12 – 18    National Veterinary Technician Week  veterinary-technician
  • October 1              National Fire Pup Day
  • October 2             World Farm Animal Day
  • October 4             World Animal Day
  • October 8              National Pet Obesity                                             Awareness Day
  • October 16            National Feral Cat Day
  • October 29            National Cat Day
  • October 31             Halloween

We are aware of three opportunities on October 5 to participate in a Blessing of the Animals in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Dogs must be leashed and cats and other small animals must be in carriers.

  • St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Mooresville will hold a special service in their outdoor worship area at 10:30 AM.
  • St. Peter Catholic Church in Mooresville will hold a special service at 11:00 AM.
  • Davidson College Presbyterian Church will hold a special service at 3:00 PM on the lawn in front of Lingle Chapel.  They are requesting that you bring an offering of pet food to be shared with the Loaves & Fishes pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center.

Presents 4 Pets

English: dog in a wire crate strapped into a c...

English: dog in a wire crate strapped into a car for safe traveling Taken by Elf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

 

We are getting ready to start our first annual collection drive for Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius.  We invite you to a be a part of this gift giving opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting November 1 and running through December 15, we will be coordinating a collection of items needed for dogs and cats in foster care or in local shelters. Presents 4 Pets is an annual project sponsored by members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).We have contacted the organizations that we have selected to be the beneficiaries but need to finalize details before listing them by name.  Later this month we will reach out to local veterinary hospitals, groomers, pet supply stores and other interested businesses regarding serving as a collection location.We will collect the items the rescues and shelter identify as most needed.   As a general rule the most needed items include canned and dry dog and cat food, stainless steel cat and dog food and water bowls, kitty litter, pet sized fleece blankets, towels, dog and cat toys, Nylabones, dog and cat collars, dog leashes, dog and cat flea and tick preventatives, Kongs, baby food (for the sick or injured little ones), formula for newborn kittens and puppies (when mommas are weak, sick or injured), cat towers, cat carriers, dog crates, puppy training pads, dog beds, cat nappers,and cleaning supplies.

If you happen to see these items on sale it would be a great time to buy some for donations. Stay tuned for further details in our October newsletter and on our social media sites.

 

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

Christmas Giving Opportunity

 

We have a wonderful Christmas giving opportunity right here in our community to benefit homeless pets!! From November 1 through  December 15, 2014 Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC is coordinating a collection of needed items for dogs and cats housed at the animal shelter operated by Iredell County and animals in foster care with two local rescue organizations. Presents 4 Pets is an annual project sponsored by members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). http://www.petsitters.org/


combined-01cat toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipients of our local Presents 4 Pets campaign for 2014 are:

 

We are currently contacting local veterinary hospitals, groomers, pet supply stores and other interested businesses regarding serving as a collection location.  Stay tuned to our social media sites and be on the lookout for press releases to find out where the collection sites will be located.

 

The recipients have identified their most needed items.  Now is the time to stock up if you see these items on sale.  Go_Pet_Food

  • Dry or canned (pate´consistency) dog/cat/puppy/kitten food
  • Collars, harnesses and leashes (any size)
  • Kong toys of any kind
  • Kong toys that unscrew
  • Rope toys, tennis balls, Nylabones, rawhides
  • Dog & cat treats
  • Cat toys & catnip
  • Kitty litter (scented is awesome in a shelter setting)
  • Disposable kitty litter pans
  • Dog & cat shampoo
  • Wire crates (any size)
  • Playpens (new or clean used)
  • Puppy pads
  • Dog and cat beds
  • Towels and blankets (new or clean used)
  • Chicken stock or broth (used as a medium in frozen stuffed Kongs)
  • Bleach, laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets
  • Lysol or Clorox wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Adams Flea Spray
  • Nature’s Miracle products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Petco or Petsmart gift cards

Iredell County Animal Services also has some special needs for their surgery room.

  • Digital baby scale              SpayandNeuter
  • Small double sided crock-pot (to warm surgical scrub)
  • Twin size electric blanket (to warm the pets after their spay/neuter)
  • Twin size waterproof mattress cover for electric blanket
  • Pill Pockets
  • Advantage Multi for Cats
  • Ophthalmoscope
  • Otoscope
  • Lint rollers (to prepare surgical draping prior to laundering)
  • Home-made rice socks to warm the pets during & after spay/neuter surgery

 

Your participation in this  Christmas Giving Opportunity will add to the safety, health and comfort of our homeless animals and enhance their chances at finding their perfect forever homes.

Speaking of forever homes and such……foster or adoptive homes are always needed.  If you cannot foster or adopt find out if you can help with transport.  If you cannot transport, can you play with pets at the shelter?  Can you share their pictures on your social media sites?  Have you had your pets spayed or neutered??

On behalf of NAPPS Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC thanks you for contributing to Presents 4 Pets 2014.

PresentsForPets_logo_12_11

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Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

 

We love our three dogs, two male English Springer Spaniels and a female Brittany. Nothing is more important than keeping them happy, healthy and safe. As professional pet sitters we visit with multiple pets on a daily basis. Their welfare is of great importance to us also.  In that spirit we offer these summer safety tips for pets.

  • If your dogs eat kibble (ours eat Taste of the Wild) be sure to store the food in a safe manner.  It’s important to retain the bag in case of recalls. If you dog becomes ill you will also want to check the lot number in the unlikely event there was a problem with that batch of dog food.  If you dump the dog food into a plastic container without cleaning it between new bags the food can become contaminated and rancid. In summer temperatures that becomes even more likely. That’s why we store the entire bag of dog food inside an airtight plastic container. We close the bag to help keep it fresh and store it in the plastic container in our “dog palace.”  Our  “dog palace” is an over sized laundry/storage/dog shower/dog crate room that is heated and air conditioned. Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper enter and exit our house here, eat in this room, get their paws wiped down and chill out when they are dirty.

 

  • Although the temps are going down, it is still too hot to leave your dog in the car. Even if the top temp is only 78 hot-car-hot-oven2degrees the temps in a closed car will rise to 90 degrees in five minutes and 110 degrees in 25 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to get in and out of any store in five minutes. Even in the shade and with windows cracked it will get waaayyy too hot.  It only takes 15 minutes for an animal to get heat stroke and die in a hot car!  Please leave Fido at home to chill out in the AC. If you see a dog (or child) left alone in a car please check with the store manager and if the parent does not return soon, call law enforcement.

 

 

dog-and-boy

  • Teach your children that dogs and cats are living beings with feelings.  For safety also let them know to always ask permission before petting a dog or cat. Let your children know they must leave the dog alone when he is in his crate because that is his safe space.
  • Focus on teaching your child to use gentle behavior when interacting with dogs.  Make sure your children know not to tease a dog by taking his toys or treats. Only by teaching empathy can we assure the safety of our children and our pets.

When we fail to teach basic safety and empathy we risk the danger of injured children and euthanized pets.article-2714759-2039370500000578-495_306x337

 

Pet Safety Tips

We love our three dogs, two male English Springer Spaniels and a female Brittany. Nothing is more important than keeping them happy, healthy and safe. As professional pet sitters we visit with multiple pets on a daily basis. Their welfare is important to us too.   In that spirit we offer these pet safety tips.

  • If your dogs eat kibble (ours eat Taste of the Wild) be sure to store the food in a safe manner.  It’s important to retain the bag in
    Kibble

    Kibble

    case of recalls. If your dog becomes ill you will also want to check the lot number in the event there was a problem with that batch of dog food that resulted in a recall.  If you dump the dog food into a plastic container without cleaning it between new bags the food can become contaminated and rancid. That’s why we store the entire bag of dog food inside an airtight plastic container. We close the bag to help keep it fresh and store it in the plastic container in our “dog palace.” 

  • Our  “dog palace” is an over sized laundry/storage/dog shower/dog crate room that is heated and air conditioned. Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper enter and exit our house here, eat in this room, get their paws wiped down and chill out when they are dirty.

 

hot-car-hot-oven2

No pet is safe in the car alone.

  • Although the temps have gone down, on any given day of the spring, summer or fall it’s still too hot to leave your dog in the car. Even if the top temp is only 78 degrees the temps in a closed car will rise to 90 degrees in five minutes and 110 degrees in 25 minutes. I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to get in and out of any store in five minutes.  Even in the shade and with windows cracked it will get waaayyy too hot.

 

  • It only takes 15 minutes for an animal to get heat stroke and die in a hot car!  Please leave Fido at home to chill out in the AC. If you see a dog (or child) left alone in a car please check with the store manager and if the parent does not return soon, call law enforcement.

 

This Mom is teaching her son how to interact safely with a dog.

This Mom is teaching her son how to interact safely with a dog.

 

  • Teach your children that dogs and cats are living beings with feelings.  For safety also let them know to always ask permission before petting a dog or cat. Let your child know they must leave the dog alone when he is in his crate because the crate is the dog’s safe space. Focus on teaching your child to use gentle behavior when interacting with dogs. Make sure your children know not to tease a dog by taking his toys or treats. Only by teaching empathy can we assure the safety of our children and our pets.
article-2714759-2039370500000578-495_306x337

If his parents knew these pet safety tips, these injuries could have been prevented.

When we fail to teach basic safety and empathy we risk injury to children and euthanasia to someone’s pet.

 

 

 

 

 

Products for Cats These Pet Sitters Recommend

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Products for Cats

 

As professional pet sitters, we scoop a LOT of kitty litter. Recently we were introduced to a litter that we can rave over. That’s right..the words printed on the box were actually true. We took care of three cats in a household that share one litter box. We made visits two times a day but were concerned about the potential odor. Not one bit. It was like magic in terms of sealing in the odor and not making a mess outside the box. We heartily recommend these products for cats.

 

Another product we were impressed with was the Just for Cats Calming Spray by Nature’s Miracle. We sprayed this on our shoes and notebooks before entering the home of three cats who had a less than perfect introduction when the newest cat was brought in. We were tasked with keeping one cat in a separate room due to a history of cat fights. One day that cat managed to get out of her room, but lo and behold there were no fireworks.

 

Natures-Miracle-No-Stress-Calming-Spray-for-Cats-018065057808

We used the product in two other households where visitors typically do not see one of the cats. Well, wouldn’t you know it….the cats came out of hiding in each household. We count that as a win for felines, feline owners and pet sitters

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  We received no compensation for the use of these products or for blogging about them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Delicate Subject…but….we all need to pick up the dog poop.

…we all need to pick up the dog poop.

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Not only is it disgusting to step in, but it’s unsanitary. Do you really want your dogs to carry waste back inside your house on their paws? Do you really want to carry it inside on the soles of your shoes? What about your children and their hand to mouth habit? Do you know that dog poop frequently contains E. coli, tapeworms, roundworms, giardia, parvo, salmonella, hookworms and a host of other horrors?  YUCK!!  That’s why …we all need to pick up the dog poop.

 

PICK-UP-POO

Then there is the matter of pollution of our waterways.  Dog waste left in your yard, at the local park or on the trails at Lake Norman State Park will make its way into the water.  According to the EPA the decaying of your pets’ poop creates nutrients that weeds and algae thrive on. These unwanted plants choke out the oxygen and do harm to the fish.

It is really pretty simple to use a scoop in your own yard or doggie waste bags on your walk. The unused waste pick up bags can be tied on your dog’s leash, or carried in your waist pack. You can carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket too. Simply stop when the dog goes potty, pick up the waste with the plastic bag over your hand and turn the bag inside out and tie it shut. Deposit in the nearest public trash can.

earth-rated-poop-bags-300ct

I prefer the scented waste bags because dog poop really stinks, but the important thing is that you always carry pick up bags when you take your dog anywhere and that you regularly pick up your own yard (preferably every 24 hours). By the way, dog poop is not a good fertilizer for your yard so please don’t scatter it with your lawn mower. If you are not physically able to pick up the poop from your yard there are companies who provide this service. Please get that scooping going!!Cool

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell
Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC
www.coddlecreekpetservices.com

How to Transition Your Outdoor Cat to an Indoor Cat

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Outdoor Cat

Are you ready to bring your outdoor cat inside to live? Great because outdoor cats, on average, live to age 5 while indoor cats may live into their late teens or early twenties. While you may not be able to transition a feral or barn cat, most cats can successfully make the adjustments. It will take patience and time but can be successfully done.

 

Indoor Cat

Be sure to provide scratching posts and pads for your kitty. To attract the kitty to the scratching post you may want to sprinkle some fresh catnip on it. Cat furniture that is sturdy and stable and has vertical and horizontal angles will be most appealing. Be sure your kitty has some perches where she can survey the outdoors.

 

 

cat scratching posy

cat scratching posy

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

Locate her litter boxes away from her food and water bowls because cats are known for not wanting to eat in or near their own bathroom.  You need a litter box on every floor of your house the cat has access to and at least one more litter box than the number of cats you have.
Cats love to play no matter their age so provide safe and fun toys. Furry little mice toys and ping pong balls are great options. Avoid string though because it’s a choking hazard. When you are available to play with the kitty use laser pointers or feathers on a wand to engage your cat. Be sure to put out some paper bags or boxes because most cats love them. And be prepared to share your sink.

 

 

For more information consult The Cat Behavior Answer Book by Arden Moore Catbehaviorcover

or Indoor Pet Initiative of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University.

http://indoorpet.osu.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

www.coddlecreekpetservices.com

 

Treats…Treats…We Love Treats

 Who doesn’t love feeding their dogs treats?

Yummy in my Tummy!

Yummy in my Tummy!

Pup-sickles

32 oz plain yogurt
1 mashed ripe banana
2 T peanut butter
2 T honey

 

Blend all together and spoon into ice-cube trays (who remembers those?!?) or Dixie cups or egg cartons. Freeze until solid. Serve individually to your pups.

 

For those remaining hot days of summer plan on serving these out-of-doors (they are messy) for your pups to enjoy.
Human Foods

Carrots are tasty!

Carrots are tasty!

Your dogs may enjoy small bites of watermelon, berries, carrots, apples or cheese. Your cats might like zucchini, cantaloupe or leafy green veggies.

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our three dogs sit at attention politely waiting on a spoonful of plain fat-free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

 

Just remember that portion size matters and calories do count. Think 1/8 inch square for a cat or small dog and 1/4 inch square for a larger dog.

 

 
Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

 

 

Special Pet Days and Weeks in August

August is steaming hot.  Let’s celebrate the special pet days and weeks in August for a little relief.

dog days of summerdownload
We’ve all experienced the dog days of summer.  We have no idea where the term came from.  Maybe it was because the heat and humidity makes us feel dog tired.  At any rate, we believe every day with our pets is special, but here are more reasons to celebrate those special pet days and weeks in August.  While you are at it, be sure to make some cooling pupsickles for your pets.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.

This a great time to be sure our pets’ shots are up to date and to consult the the veterinarian about titers.

 Special Pet Days and Weeks in August

August 3 – 9        International Assistance Dog Week

August 15            National Check the Chip Day

August 15            International Homeless Animals Day

August 22           National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 26           National Dog Day

 

Assistance dogs provide a necessary service for children in schools, wounded warriors and folks with hearing or vision impairments.  Without these highly trained dogs, the lives of many people would be barren and bleak.  Micro chipping our pets is a great way to improve the chances of a lost or stolen dog being returned home. That helps to reduce the likelihood of more homeless animals.

Cats are not known for liking to travel. Consider leaving your cat’s carrier out so she can go in and out of it at will.  that will make her trips to the vet a lot less traumatic.  You may also want to consider using a vet office that has separate entrances for cats and dogs or seeking the services of a mobile vet.

So, let’s enjoy the dog days of summer.

Puppy Punch

Puppy Punch is just the thing on those hot summer days.

 
 
 
 
 
 
twodogsdrinking

 

We found this recipe for puppy punch on Pinterest.  It can be served to your pups as a punch or frozen treat. Just be uber careful to use decaffeinated green tea as caffeine is not OK for the pups!

 
Ingredients
1   cup decaffeinated green tea
1   13.5 oz lite coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bananas
2  cups frozen blueberries
Directions
Brew 1 cup decaffeinated green tea. Place in refrigerator to cool.  Puree remaining ingredients in a blender. Stir in chilled green tea.  Serve chilled or pour into small silicon molds or ice-cube trays.

Let the pups enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricochet’s New Book

Ricochet

Ricochet

Ride a Wave of Hope with the Surf Dog Who Inspires Millions

 
In her new book, Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions, Judy Fridono shares the emotionally-moving story of Ricochet, the beloved golden retriever who went from puppy prodigy to service-dog dropout before becoming an inspirational phenomenon and Internet sensation.  It wasn’t long before Ricochet became the world’s only SURFice dog™, participating in numerous charity events that changed the lives of a sea of very grateful people. Through her extraordinary gift of surfing, Ricochet has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and those in need. With every wave she rides, she heals hearts and transforms lives by teaching people to believe in themselves and follow their heart. The story of Ricochet is one of purity, synchronicity, our interconnectedness and opening ourselves to life’s ‘paw’sibilities. It will motivate your spirit to make the most of the gifts hidden within you—so you can shine your light on the world and paw it forward!  Click here to learn more about the book, bonus gifts and ordering. http://ricochetthesurfdog.com
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Dealing with Pet Death

Pet Death

Oh what a topic, but unfortunately pet death is a necessary topic.  We know that our pets will live a short life span compared to that of humans. Losing our beloved Beau was very difficult, but we would not trade anything for the 8 years we had with him.

Beau enjoying his bucket list

Beau enjoying his bucket list


On April 26, I had the opportunity to combine my hospice social work interests with my pet sitting interests and attend the first Asheville Angel Pet Conference. Beth Marchitelli, DVM addressed how to assess quality of life in companion animals. Dr. Marchitelli also discussed companion animal hospice care and home euthanasia.   

Nancy Kay, DVM discussed the need for us as pet parents to advocate for our pets with our veterinarians.  She also taught us what happens in the euthanasia process and options to consider. I was so impressed with Dr. Kay that I purchased her book, Speaking for Spot. Dr. Kay has an informative blog which you can visit at www.speakingforspot.com/blog.  In a recent article she discussed medical questions to ask a prospective pet sitter. We heartily recommend that you visit her blog.

When we said good-bye to Beau last year we were fortunate to have the services of Lap of Love.  We said good-bye in the back yard under Beau’s favorite tree (which now is Daisy Mae’s favorite tree) next to his wading pool.  Then we loaded his body in the garden cart and towed him with the garden tractor to his grave in our woods.  We did not think we could have tolerated having to carry him out of the vet’s office and we knew we wanted to bury him at home.

Beau the Snow Dog in his prime

Beau the Snow Dog in his prime


As difficult as that was, we were totally unprepared for how deep the grief would be.  At times I felt as if the grief over Beau was just as strong as the grief over the death of my parents.  Mark Neville, M.Div, a hospice chaplain, put that into perspective as he talked about the disenfranchised grief of pet loss.  Leigh Meriweather, the organizer of the conference presented the value of honoring our pets in healing grief.  She offers supportive services for all aspects of your pet’s life including honoring memorial ceremonies, grief healing sessions and honoring wraps. Learn more at her web site: www.honoringourpets.com and on her facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/PetHonoring.

As professional pet sitters we know that some of you have aging pets and we hope this information will be helpful to you as you prepare for your canine or feline family member to transition to the Rainbow Bridge. 

Spring Time Around Lake Norman with Dogs in Tow

For the first weekend in a very long time we did not have any pet sitting assignments so we enjoyed a stay-cation with our three fur babies.  Living near Lake Norman is a blessing…and the weather this weekend was perfect.

On Saturday Luke and I dropped in at the Open House at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Cornelius.  What a nice place that is.  We saw lots of evidence of teddy bear surgery and teddy bear dental work.  It was my first time in the surgical suite of a veterinary hospital and I was impressed.  Luke is an old hand at dental cleanings so he did not flinch at all.

After we left “surgery” we meandered down to Davidson and caught the tail end of Davidson Town Day. Luke took a few snapshots of the giant stacks of books outside the library.

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

While Luke and I were out and about Trooper and Daisy Mae helped Daddy with yard work.

Sunday was another great day so the humans took Trooper and Daisy Mae to Lake Norman State Park for a hike.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Luke stayed home to guard the homestead.  We love the 3 mile trail along the lake shore but we were all worn out by the time we returned home. Hiking with these two is different from our hikes with Luke and our late Beau.  Daisy Mae and Trooper were well behaved but clearly need a little more trail certification training!

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

All in all we enjoyed our stay-cation.  Now we are ready to get back to pet sitting and dog walks on a little more even terrain (and shorter routes than 3 miles).

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View from Grilles at Lake Norman

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One of the multiple reasons we love living near Lake Norman.
They allow dogs on the deck and even supply water bowls.

Pack Walk to Celebrate 1st Day of Spring

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Just a walk in the park.

Snowmageddon in Coddle Creek

We had a rare snow event in Coddle Creek today.  It was beautiful.  As much as we love to pet sit for others, today was a no go.  Fortunately, we had no one scheduled for today and the parents of the kitty client scheduled for tomorrow have postponed their trip by a day. Lucky break.

Enjoy this photo from our deck.

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Daisy in a Rare Quiet Moment

It is so cold outside that even I, the one and only Daisy Mae Harwell decided that it would feel good to snuggle up in my blankie.

Daisy Mae Getting Warm in her Blankie
I don’t really have a favorite blankie, but I let Mommy think I do.  BOL.

Vacation Ideas When You Have the Cold Weather Blues

Vacation Ideas When You Have the Cold Weather Blues

 

These single digit temps are for the birds….as in the ones who have flown south or west. We are not accustomed to these frigid temps.   Are you thinking of flying the coop? Ah, vacation here we come.  These are some of our favorite things to do and some of our favorite places to go. We have more vacation ideas when you have the cold weather blues.

We love Key West

We love Key West

 

 

The Southernmost Point in the Continental US makes for a great photo-op.

 

A cruise makes for some romantic dinners.

Romantic dining

Romantic dining

Water is not your thing? How about the hot desert sands of Arizona?  Just be careful around those ‘ole cacti!

No Touchie Cactus

No Touchie Cactus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter where you jet off to, be sure to make arrangements for the care of your fur babies. Even if it is frigid here we will take great care of them while you are gone. They will have great tales to share with you.

Beth & Luke playing in the snow

Beth & Luke playing in the snow

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How to “Pill” a Cat

How to “Pill” a Cat

Does your cat need daily medication?  Does little Susie take her pills willingly? cat-sniffing-tablet

 

 

Yeah, that’s what we thought too.  Recently we had a new client who needed medication for an overactive thyroid two times a day.  We surely needed to know how to pill a cat.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, we both bravely tried to administer said meds.  Billy was bitten first.  So up next, your intrepid pet sitter # 2.  The first time I wore thick outdoor gloves and bravely followed the instructions of the kitty parent to pry open her mouth and put pill inside and then massage the side of her neck.  Success!  But all good things must come to an end.  The next morning said kitty hissed at Billy so he left her alone until the evening visit.   I tried to bond with said kitty while she hid out under the end table. So far….so good.  She even allowed me to pet her.  Then her Beagle siblings came out of their crates to greet her.  Still all was well.  Then I made the fateful mistake of trying to brush away a tiny speck of dust…….and she pounced!  Ouch went that sharp canine tooth into the flesh of my hand. Those puncture wounds hurt.  And in my case, caused an infection.  Within two hours you could see the swelling and red streaks.  So, off to the doc for a tetanus shot and an antibiotic shot followed by 7 days of oral antibiotics.

Time to do some research on how to give meds to a cat.  First up a conversation with a long time pet sitter.  She asked how I would feel if a stranger picked me up and tried to shove a pill down my throat.  Now, I GET it!!  Enter her two favorite methods altered slightly by me. Here is our new take on giving pills to cats who own our clients.

Preferred Method #1:  Put the pill in a teaspoon of canned cat food and place in kitty’s bowl.  We will heartily recommend this method to all our clients even if their kitty usually eats dry kibble.  Besides, we learned that kitties need some canned food every day because they don’t naturally drink enough water to keep their little bowels in prime shape.

Preferred Method # 2:  If the medication can safely be crushed and dissolved, we will dissolve it in a small amount of hot water.  Next we will pour some tasty tuna water in the solution and moisten a few pieces of kibble.

Short of those methods we will have to decline clients whose cats need pills.  We don’t want to traumatize any precious fur babies and we don’t ever again want to be bitten by a cat!!

by coddlecreekpetservices on January 5, 2014 at

“Bye Truman”

My Aunt Willena died the day after Thanksgiving.  The last of the five.  My Mother’s only sister.  She spent a little over a week at a local hospice house.  I went to visit her for a final goodbye the morning after she moved.  I didn’t do such a great job of it.  Danced around the subject.  Maybe because she was a bit confused.  Maybe not.  She asked if Marie (that’s my Mom) was coming to visit.  I reminded her that Marie was in heaven.  I opened my mouth to tell her that Marie would be waiting for her but the words did not come out.  This from a hospice social worker!!

Our pets help us be so much more direct.  Debbie told me that on the day her Mom went to the hospice house that their old dog Truman came trotting up to the stretcher.  Truman nosed his way in.  Aunt Willena had barely been responsive for a few days. But when Truman appeared, she reached out to pat his head and said, “Bye Truman.”

Too bad we can’t help each other this way.

Bye Aunt Willena.

10 Plans for Black Friday: Anything but Shopping

Not this.  We have 10 Plans for Black Friday: Anything but Shopping!

Black Friday shopping fight

Black Friday shopping fight

 

 

We have some great alternatives instead.

  1. Hiking with the dogs at Stone Mtn, NC State Park.
  2. Transporting a rescue dog from the shelter to his or her foster home.
  3. Playing fetch with Luke.
  4. Teaching Trooper how to lay down on command.
    Trail walk at home

    Trail walk at home

  5. Trimming Luke’s nails.
  6. Putting up the red flags to begin Trooper’s electronic fence training.
  7. Working with Daisy Mae on the “give it” command.
  8. Playing “find it” individually with Trooper & Daisy Mae. (Luke is a lost cause because he is so well mannered. LOL)
  9. Hiking at Lake Norman (LKN) State Park.
  10. Loving on all three dogs.

I have not gone shopping on Black Friday in many years.  Billy thinks he has never gone shopping on Black Friday.  These are some ideas to get you started.  We know we will be far from any malls.

 

Panda’s Freedom Ride

What a beauty she is.  Panda is the first black and white Brittany I have met.  She is a real stunner with those panda bear eyes.  We can easily see how she got her name.  Panda’s  life story is sad.  She was picked up as a stray, along with her siblings, Angel and Spot.  Iredell County Animal control checked: sure enough Angel and Spot were chipped!! Oh happy day!!

Panda gets ready to leave the shelter.

Panda gets ready to leave the shelter.

Not so fast.   A phone call to the owner was disappointing.  He said he had “given away”  all three dogs.  Really?  Pretty lame.  But at least he came to the shelter and completed the owner surrender paperwork.

This freedom ride thing is a lot scary

This freedom ride thing is a lot scary

All three took their initial rides to freedom this weekend.  Angel and Spot left a little earlier in the day to be fostered by New England Brittany Rescue (NEBR).  I picked up Panda and transported her to Rock Hill, SC where a foster mommy with American Brittany Rescue (ABR) was waiting to take her to her home in Columbia.

Panda is warming up!!

Panda is warming up!!

Panda is pretty in pink.  She is a little chubby (60 pounds!) but will slim down in no time after she recovers from her spay surgery.  Here’s to a happy life for Panda the beautiful Brittany Spaniel.

Happy Panda ready for new life!!

Happy Panda ready for new life!!

Open Adoption: For Dogs

Our Experience with Open Adoption:  For Dogs

 

The front door was open so we could see through the storm door. The doorbell rang. We were nervous. What if Trooper didn’t remember his former Daddy? Would he know him when he saw him or would he have to smell him? Luke and Daisy were in the den and took off for the living room door. I called Trooper; no response. Had he not come back from his walk with Daddy?? I opened the stairway door and here he came, trailing a leash behind him.  This was our opportunity to see how open adoption:  for dogs would turn out.

Trooper remembers his 1st Daddy

Wow, look at that tail wag! Here he goes jumping up and down. Even Luke and Daisy were jumping up and down but had no idea why. Guess it was just contagious exuberance!  No need for Trooper to smell; he knew his first Daddy by sight. He just could not get close enough to his Daddy. It was a great hour-long visit and we hope the first of many.

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Trooper’s elderly first Daddy was diagnosed with cancer and had to have chemo. His doctor told him he would not be able to withstand the treatment and look after three dogs. He convinced his MD to let him keep the oldest dog and his vet hooked him up with English Springer Rescue America (ESRA) for help in re-homing Trooper and  Brownie.  Enter Trooper into our lives and for this we are grateful.  So are Luke and Daisy Mae.

Pet Death and Grief

Beau the Snow Dog in his prime

Beau the Snow Dog in his prime

Dealing with Pet Death and Grief

 

Losing a beloved pet is so very hard. We are sharing some general tips along with a bit of our journey in hopes that our experiences will be helpful to you.

As a licensed clinical social worker in a local hospice agency I know that everyone’s grief journey is personal and individual. What is right for you may not be right for me. The beauty of the journey is that we each get to make our own choices.

We had no idea how hard it is until last May when our precious Beau was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was just two days short of his 8th birthday when he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and we had just under two weeks to adjust to the idea. By the time he was diagnosed he was pretty far along. When he vomited every meal for two days it was time to take him to our vet.

The initial impression was that he either had a “dietary indiscretion”, pancreatitis or something wrong with his liver. We were given pain meds and prednisone and strongly encouraged to take him to the specialty vet clinic for an ultrasound. We followed up the next day. When the vet told us that Beau had lymphoma I almost fell to the floor. A co-worker’s Golden Retriever had died from lymphoma less than a year earlier and I knew instantly what was going to happen. They told us that dogs can go into remission from lymphoma with chemo and that chemo is not as difficult on a dog as it is on a human. The goal is remission, not cure. We chose to manage the remainder of Beau’s days with comfort directed care. For us that was the right decision. We would have felt selfish to put Beau through any amount of discomfort. For others, we know the decision to treat is the right one. Neither of us can stand in judgment on the other.

While at the specialty clinic I went into the ladies room and sobbed as quietly as I could. That night we invited Beau up on the bed with us. As I tried to go to sleep my mind and heart kept going to the sadness until once again my body was wracked with sobs. I sobbed so hard and so loud that Beau got off the bed never to get on it again.

We strongly advocated for all the comfort measures possible for Beau and felt that we had done for him the best we could do. I dropped out of training for my first half marathon to spend more time with him. We took him on car rides, to our favorite restaurant, for one last hike at Lake Norman State Park and on lots of hikes in our woods. We took video and still pictures of him. And we told him endlessly how much we loved him.

Beau at the restaurant at the lake

Beau at the restaurant at the lake

He declined much more quickly than we had anticipated. It was torture watching him try to poop and not be able to. We called the vet and learned that canned pumpkin helps with constipation.  So we fed him canned pumpkin. Next he lost his appetite (he was a large Brittany who weighed 50 pounds and loved to eat). We tried everything except standing on our heads to get him to eat. We did learn that he liked cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurt. Who knew??? But what he ate at one meal was untouchable at the next meal. We bought very expensive highly palatable canned dog food and sometimes he ate it and sometimes he did not. We cooked veggies and sometimes he ate them and sometimes he did not. Once again we called the vet; this time about his poor appetite. The vet recommended that we back off on his pain meds. But when we did that he just shook from the pain.

Meanwhile I had been researching cures for cancer in dogs along with searching for vets who made home visits for the purpose of euthanasia. We did not want to go to the vet’s office to “put him down.”   While I researched these items Billy dug the grave in our woods. On Beau’s final night with us I looked into his eyes and told him what a good boy he had always been. I told him how much we loved his desire and need to run and be independent. And I told him we would not let him suffer anymore. I told him that I would talk to his Daddy the next day and we would let him go.

Beau's last day

Beau’s last day

On Beau’s last day with us he went on a hike with his Daddy and brother Luke in the woods. We had called the vet (we chose Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice for Beau) and made an appointment. We let Luke wait inside the house and we went outside where Beau was hanging out under his favorite tree next to his wading pool. That is where we said goodbye to him. We were there holding his paw, stroking his head and telling him how much we loved him during his final moments on this earth. We let Luke come out to say goodbye and let Luke watch us wheel Beau in our wheelbarrow to his grave. We laid him to rest with a blankie, a tennis ball and a dog cookie (three of his favorite things). As always Beau was good for a laugh. We had a large tarp under him and used that to lift his body from the wheelbarrow into the grave. As we slipped the tarp out from under him he rolled over and over into the grave. Only our thunder-chasing Beau could do something like that. We covered him with landscape cloth because Daddy could not stand to throw dirt on his face. Together we shoveled the earth over him and piled rocks to mark the grave. It is odd, I am not a grave visitor. But I visit Beau’s grave frequently.

At several points during this process I found myself feeling guilty for feeling his loss so intensely……..maybe more so than even when my parents died. Now don’t get me wrong. I grieved mightily for both my parents, but never did cry. In searching for answers to these strange feelings I discovered other writings that suggested it is not abnormal to grieve so intensely about our pets. After all, they love us unconditionally and never do anything to hurt us intentionally. We tell them things we might not tell humans. They bring laughter to our lives every day. I felt better with those explanations.

Fortunately the intensity did not last nearly as long as my grief over my parents and my healing journey has been peaceful and strong. I still miss Beau every day and know there will never be another dog like him. I visit his grave whenever I want, look at his picture daily and stroke his fur and collar whenever I want.  I talk about him with my husband and Luke.  And I tell our two new rescues Daisy and Trooper all about him.  Poor dogs; they probably have a complex after hearing so much about Beau!!  These are the things that have worked for us.  We hope the tips listed below will be of help to you on your grief journey.

1.  Talk to your pet and tell him how much you love him
2.  Tell your pet goodbye
3.  Keep your pet’s remains in an urn or bury her body where you can visit
4.  Keep a picture and other mementos (we have a clay paw print, a swatch of his fur, his      picture and his collar)
5.  Talk to and with others who have lost a beloved pet
6.  Go on regular walks where you and your fur-baby used to walk
7.  Consider adopting another pet in his honor (we adopted Daisy Mae and now are fostering Trooper with a plan to adopt him)
8.  Volunteer to walk dogs at your local shelter
9.  Volunteer for a pet rescue organization
10. Advocate with your state and federal representatives for the elimination of puppy mills and the elimination of breed specific bans
11. Advocate for the end of gas chambers for dogs and cats in local shelters
12. Contribute to funds for low-cost spay and neuter programs to end pet over-population
13. Advocate for the end of lab experiments on dogs
14. Our favorite one is to start a pet related business. Our loss led us to this one and now we get to play with numerous cats and dogs on a regular basis. Now that is a win-win situation!

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The Joys of Off Leash Walks

In September we had the opportunity to participate in a “walk-about” with a whole lotta Springers and a few wannabee’s.   The occasion was a fund-raiser for the NC Chapter of the English Springer Rescue America (ESRA) group.  As members of this group and the proud owners of Springer Luke and wannabee Daisy (our lovely Brittany) we decided it would be a fun activity to participate in.  And were we ever right!    It was so much fun seeing all those Springers in one place that a few short weeks later we brought another Springer into our household.  But more about sweet Trooper another day. today we want to focus on the joys of off leash walks.

So just what is a walk-about?  Loads of fun, that’s what.  We gathered in a fenced in compound of several acres containing a few out buildings, a huge open field, woods and joy oh joy a POND!  A local trainer was there to give us guidance as we gathered in a large circle in the open field and took the leashes off our dogs.  Slowly they began to mill about and explore.  Just as the trainer had told us, our dogs “checked-in” with us from time to time as they explored the area and each other.  We wound around through the woods to find the pond where the more adventurous pups dived in for a swim.

Billy & Beth 038

We learned a lot that day about how different dogs interact without the constraints of leashes.  Noted behaviorist Patricia McConnell has lots to say about that.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.  We came home inspired.

We are very lucky in that we own five acres just outside the town limits of our little town.  Our dogs have lots of opportunities to run free within the confines of half of our acreage while wearing their collars for the electronic fence.  But after this experience we began taking them for more off leash hikes through our woods and the private drive owned by our neighbors.  Luke and Daisy are gaining in confidence with every off leash walk.  This makes us wonder though, just where can the average dog and his human go for off leash walks?  We are not great fans of dog parks and most municipal, state and federal parks require leashes.  So where do your pups take you for off leash walks?  We are eager to learn.

Pet Safety at Halloween

cute-halloween-dog               With smart planning, Halloween can be a barrel full of fun and safe treats for pets and humans.

Halloween is loads of fun. However, joy can turn to tragedy if simple precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of your pets.

“Pets are curious by nature,” said Dr. Steve Hansen, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Hansen, whose department also includes the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, asks pet parents to be mindful of their pets this fall.

“Thinking about your home from your pet’s point of view will help ensure everyone has happy and safe holidays,” Hansen said. “Pets have the ability to get into everything, especially during the holidays when there is more to see and do.”

To ensure a happy and safe Halloween for you and your pets, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC recommends that pet owners be cautious of the following:

Ringing door bells and scary costumes  The constant chatter and squeals are upsetting to some pets.  If your dog or cat is skittish, confine them to a bedroom with the door shut and provide an interactive toy to keep them occupied.

Pet Costumes  Chances are Snoopy and Snuggles will not think a costume is very cute.  You know your pet better than anyone else so assess his comfort level.  You may need to take the costume off after the photo opportunity.  Be sure your pet will not overheat, the costume doesn’t have any dangly pieces that can easily be chewed off, and your pet can still breathe, meow and bark.

Escape artists Sometimes our best efforts are not enough and a pet gets out the door.  Make sure Fluffy and Rover are always wearing collars with identification.  If you have a microchip (we heartily recommend this) be certain you have registered with the microchip company and keep the information up to date.

Tricksters  Keep your pets indoors on Halloween even if that is not your normal custom.  Some adolescent tricksters think it is funny to scare your pet.  Funky costumes can freak out your pet even if not intentional.  Black cats are especially at risk on the weekends before and after Halloween as well as the actual day.

Candles  The glow of candles inside pumpkins is festive. But curious cats and dogs can easily be injured or create a fire hazard.  Be sure to keep a barrier between your pets and lighted decorations or use battery powered lights instead.

Dark and baker’s chocolate While milk chocolate is not poisonous, it will cause your pet to have an upset stomach.  On the other hand, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine.  Animals are extremely sensitive to both and ingesting either type of chocolate could be fatal.

Xylitol This sugar substitute causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly.  This poisoning can be treated, but causes liver failure if not treated properly.

“Healthy treats” Some people choose to hand out grapes and raisins as an alternative to all the candy.  But be aware that grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to cats and dogs. Ingestion of these substances can lead to kidney failure for your dog or cat.  We don’t even want to think about what could happen with chocolate covered raisins!

Candy wrappers Your pets will not unwrap treats first and those foil and cellophane wrappers can cause an intestinal blockage.

It pays to plan ahead. Remind your children that pets’ digestive systems are easily upset or   compromised by food items humans can safely ingest. Be sure to have a ready supply of the treats your cats and dogs like and are accustomed to eating.  Remember to meet the needs of your cats and dogs for interactive play, attention, brushing and loads of walks for your dogs so they will be calm before the potentially frightful night begins

If your pet ingests any potentially harmful product, call your vet or a local emergency animal  hospital immediately. Other alternatives include the ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426- 4435 for a fee of $65.00 or the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 for a fee of $39.00.

Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC offers pet owners these helpful hints to keep pets out of danger, while still enjoying the food, fun and festivities that accompany Halloween.