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.

That Hard to Buy for Gift Recipient

Gift Solutions for That Hard to Buy for Loved One

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

Make a Donation to an Organization They Support

hard to buy for

Courtesy of Lake Norman Lucky Cats

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

 

 

 

 

 

Shop Local for That Hard to Buy for Friend

hard to buy for

Photo by Beth Leatherman Harwell

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

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

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

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

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

Food for the Hard to Buy For Friend

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

Reading is One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

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

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

 

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

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

Cats Gone Wild

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

cats gone wild

Uncle Billy cuddling innocent Angelo

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

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

Museum Wax

cats gone wild

Museum Wax

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

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

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

Whisker Fatigue

What is Whisker Fatigue?

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

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

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

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

whisker fatigue

Chester getting a drink

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

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.

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!!

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!!

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!!!

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

Those Pesky New Year’s Resolutions

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

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

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

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

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

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

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

dog-toothpaste

cat-toothpaste

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

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

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

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

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

Christmas Giving Opportunity

 

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


combined-01cat toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Transition Your Outdoor Cat to an Indoor Cat

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Outdoor Cat

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

 

Indoor Cat

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

 

 

cat scratching posy

cat scratching posy

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

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

 

 

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

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

http://indoorpet.osu.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

www.coddlecreekpetservices.com

 

Treats…Treats…We Love Treats

 Who doesn’t love feeding their dogs treats?

Yummy in my Tummy!

Yummy in my Tummy!

Pup-sickles

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

 

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

 

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

Carrots are tasty!

Carrots are tasty!

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

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 
Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

 

 

Snowmageddon in Coddle Creek

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

Enjoy this photo from our deck.

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