Emergency Preparedness For Your Pets

September is Designated as Emergency Preparedness Month

September is  National Emergency Preparedness Month. How very fitting as residents of the Carolinas and much of the East Coast are bracing for Hurricane Florence to hit later this week. Here at Coddle Creek we take this issue seriously.  We lived through Hurricane Hugo twenty-nine years ago and learned a great deal. 

emergency preparedness

Take Me With You!

Hurricane Hugo Compared to Hurricane Florence

In Hugo, we learned there could be power outages as far west as Boone and Asheville.  We learned that rooftops could be lifted and homes destroyed.  Billy was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC.  He and other military personnel were “deployed” for weeks afterward in various parts of North and South Carolina to help with clean up.  

I lived in Asheville, NC.  My sister was a student at Appalachian State University in Boone.  Our brother lived in Clover, SC. We each experienced heavy rain and high winds with some damage in the areas of our homes.  Our parents lived on the family homeplace in Lincoln County.  Approximately 10 acres of their property was covered in hardwoods.  Remarkably, my father had enough downed trees to cut all the firewood they needed to heat their home for the next eleven years.  After their deaths, there was still enough firewood stacked in the chicken house to have heated their home for several years.

The National Weather Service website contains personal stories from numerous people, including the then young meteorologist Eric Thomas at WBTV.  A story in the Charlotte Observer on the 25th anniversary of Hugo tells similar stories.

Similarities Between Hugo and Florence

Florence has enough in common with Hugo to have us on alert and well prepared.  We expect you are prepared if you lived through Hugo, grew up hearing the stories or have lived around here long enough to meet some of us “old-timers.”  You most likely know what you need to keep yourself safe and comfortable. Therefore, we are focusing on the extra information you need to keep your cats, dogs, small caged pets and birds safe.  

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

A lot of emergency preparedness for pets is similar to emergency preparedness for humans.  We know the drill.  Have enough water and food. You need medication. Have supplies handy and ready to deploy.  But there are several special considerations for our pets.

Several major networks offer great tips.  Here is an article from CNN. And Fox News offers great tips too.

Special Food and Water Considerations for Pets

  • If you feed raw food you will need extra ice and coolers in case of power outages
  • For pets on a prescription veterinary diet you will need to have an extra bag of prescription kibble or box of canned prescription food
  • If you make home prepared meals for your pets you will need extra ice to keep the food safe if you lose electricty
  • For pets who eat regular kibble or canned food you need an adequate supply in case you can’t get to the store
  • Pets that drink distilled water or filtered water need extra jugs of water

Medication for Your Pets

  • If your pet is on  medication for thyroid issues, Cushings, diabetes, anxiety, etc you will need  enough for two weeks
  • But even if your pet is not usually anxious he may feel nervous with the noises of a major storm, changes in barometric pressure, etc
  • If you have to evacuate from your home your pet may get sick in your vehicle
  • If you have to move to the home of a relative or to a shelter, your pet may be nervous
  • In each of these instances it’s a good plan to talk with your vet today about what over the counter supplements may be helpful if it’s too late to have your pet evaluated for prescription medication  

Special Supplies for Your Pets

  • Nature’s Miracle makes a cat calming spray that can be sprayed on blankets and beds
  • Feliway makes diffusers and a calming solution for the cat scratching post
  • Sentry makes calming collars for cats
  • Adaptil makes calming collars, sprays and diffusers for dogs
  • There are numerous storefront retailers and on line retailers that sell a wide variety of calming treats, collars and sprays for multiple species of pets
  • It’s helpful to use one of the calming sprays on your pets’ blankets or to put a calming collar on them
  • It’s also helpful to give your pet a calming treat if they don’t have medication to treat anxiety

Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters and Hotels

  • Bring Fido provides information on pet friendly hotels
  • Here is a list of pet friendly emergency shelters
  • Many breed specific rescue organizations have active social media pages
  • Log into those social media pages to see if someone is offering a place to stay for others affected by the storm
  • Because most public emergency shelters will have separate areas for humans and pets you will need dog crates, cat carriers and bird cages for your pets
  • To block the scary view of others it’s helpful to place a blanket or towel over the dog crate or cat carrier.
  • Each dog will need a crate, bed, towels, food/water bowls, ID tags, collar, leash, harness, poop bags and toys
  • Each cat will need a carrier, bed, blankets, food/water bowls, toys, ID tags, collar, litter, litter box, litter scoop and bags to use for used litter
  • Consider a harness and leash for your cat
  • Each bird needs his or her cage, food and water containers, toys and blankets to cover the cage

What to Do Before the Next Pet Emergency

Chances are you were not fully prepared this time.  That’s ok.  Very few people are always fully prepared.  Good preparation takes planning, time and money. You can’t be blamed for not knowing what you don’t know.  Now you know so you will do better next time.

Next week do these steps:

Review the things we talked about and select the ones you have the time and budget to implement first. That might mean buying a dog crate.  Or maybe it’s getting one extra bag of pet food so you can stay ahead.  Likewise maybe you can schedule a vet appointment for your anxious pet to get medication. 

Train your cat to go in his carrier or your dog to love her crate. The public library has lots of books to help with this.  If your budget will stretch a little further schedule a few private sessions with a positive reinforcement trainer or take advantage of free classes offered

If you want to go a step further consider taking a pet cpr and first aid class in case your pet sustains an injury.  That’s helpful in every day life.  We teach Pet Tech classes and are happy to have you join us if your live nearby. 

Another great plan is to microchip your pets. 

And last but not least.  Never give up. This too shall pass.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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

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

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

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!!

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!

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!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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 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

 

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.

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

 

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.

billy_ray_cyrus_1760aj5-1760akh

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

outdorcar_tumblr_mckgddhtL81r8drkso1_500

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.

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