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.

Dog Sitting – Contact Us Today!

New Clients Register on TTP  Dog Sitting – Contact Us Today!

Dog sitting is the perfect choice for dogs who can safely be allowed to roam the house in your absence.  

When you choose Coddle Creek Pet Services for your dog sitting needs, a member of the Coddle Creek Team visits with your dog at least three times per day. While in your home we give your dog companionship, fresh food & water and an opportunity for exercise & potty time. Visit our Doggy Care page for full details.

Dog Sitting – A Few of Our Happy Dogs!

dog sitting

Milo

dog sitting

Lulu with “Aunt Beth”

 

dog sitting

Jesse

dog sitting

The Harwell Trio – Coddle Creek Team Members Take Care of Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper When We Are Out of Town

dog sitting

Belle

dog sitting

Max and Sophie

Options for Dog Sitting

We know you have lots of options for pet sitting services for your dogs when you are out of town.  Those choices range from the kid next door, the adult next door, a relative, a kennel, in home boarding, the vet’s kennel, a hobby sitter or a professional pet sitter.

No one option is hands down the best option for all pets.  Your budget may require that you ask a relative or neighbor to look after your pets while you are away. Your dogs may not have left “puppy stage” yet and require crating when not supervised. Although crating might be ok for a weekend, it’s not an ideal situation for a week long vacation. 

Your dog may experience separation anxiety and do better in an in home boarding situation. Your dog may have multiple medical issues and do better with medical boarding.

Professional Pet Sitting

Fortunately most adult dogs do great with a professional pet sitter who comes to your home to provide care for your dogs. If your budget allows it we highly recommend you opt for a professional choice whether you choose in your home professional pet sitting, in-home boarding with a professional, a professional licensed kennel or a veterinarian.

When exploring your options ask about bonding, professional liability insurance, Pet First Aid and CPR training, year round full time availability, and methods of communication while you are away.

If you live in our service area of Mooresville, NC, Mount Ulla, NC, Davidson, NC or Cornelius, NC we invite you to explore our full web site and call or email us for further information.  

If you live out of our service area we recommend you use the pet sitter locator from Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

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!!

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!!

How Are You Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day?

National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015

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

PSX_20150113_203524

 

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

IMG_5081 (1)

 

Moose models her raincoat nicely too.

PSX_20141110_141034

 

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

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

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

Vet Street offers some cute, albeit hilarious photos.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

It’s Easy to Pick Up the Dog Poop

How Easy is It to Pick Up the Dog Poop?

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

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

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

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

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

Facts About Dog Poop

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

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

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

 

 

 

Take a Hike with Your Dogs in North Carolina

Take a Hike with Your Dogs

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

 

NC State Parks

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

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

 

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

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

 

Our Own Backwoods

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

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

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

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

Good Dog!

Good Dog!

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

 

 

Bird Adoption

Bird Adoption

 

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

 

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

 

Happy New Year to you and your pet family.

New Year’s Resolutions from the Coddle Creek Dogs

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

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

New Year’s Resolutions

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

Luke, “I hereby resolve to…….

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

Trooper, “I hereby resolve to…..

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

Daisy Mae, “I hereby resolve to…..

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

Predictions About Their New Year’s Resolutions

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

Did somebody say peanut butter?!?

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

Those Pesky New Year’s Resolutions

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

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

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

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

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

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

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

dog-toothpaste

cat-toothpaste

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

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

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

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

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

Christmas Giving Opportunity

 

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


combined-01cat toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

PresentsForPets_logo_12_11

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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

 

 

Puppy Punch

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
twodogsdrinking

 

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

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

Let the pups enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Time Around Lake Norman with Dogs in Tow

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

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

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

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

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

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

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

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

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

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

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View from Grilles at Lake Norman

image

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

“Bye Truman”

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

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

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

Bye Aunt Willena.