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How to Puppy Proof Your Home

by Ryan on March 22, 2017

in Random Thoughts

Puppies are inquisitive and playful by nature. They can be heaps of fun, but it is important to take the right steps to protect your home and protect them from themselves, as having a big heap of energy bulldozing through your home can end in a disaster.

Destructive chewing, playful chewing, jumping on people and getting on the furniture are common behavioural patterns in puppies, but are these preventable?

Chewing and biting

To begin with, puppies may chew and damage furniture in front of you, and it is important to be consistently assertive and to tell them no. But punishing your puppy doesn’t always solve the problem, some cheeky canines continue to chew and destroy your furniture when you’re not around. Simple ways of stopping this from happening are investing in puppy fences that divide up the room into puppy “safe zones”.

Also trying out different behavioural correction techniques can be effective, each puppy will respond differently to the things you try, so don’t give up and stay consistent. Non-aggressive techniques like spraying your puppy with water and saying “no” assertively can be effective. It is important to be consistent with your training, but remember never to be aggressive with your puppy. The end game is to stop them from misbehaving, not to scare them. An unusual but effective remedy is to invest in bitter apple spray to spray on wires and your furniture, this will soon stop your pups from chewing.

Why do puppies chew and bite furniture?

A lot of dog owners believe that chewing furniture is a phase or a mild behavioural problem, such as separation anxiety. Not many people know that chewing could actually be an indication of poor nutrition or not enough food provisions. To prevent chewing from continuing to happen, make sure that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food every day, and also that you are buying food specifically designed for puppies that have the right kind of nutrients, vitamins and protein. If you are unsure of which food to buy, then it is always useful to consult with your vet,

Over-excited puppies

Puppies have heaps of energy, they jump up at people, can run for hours and always want to play. In order to protect your home, always remember to move breakable ornaments and objects out of the pathway or reach of your puppy, especially if they could fall and result in an injury. Protecting your puppy is equally as important as protecting your home. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you vet fits them with a pet microchip. If they are ever lost (or worse, stolen) they will be more likely to be reunited with you.

Caring for a puppy can be challenging, it is important to remember to remain consistent and to think of them like another member of the family. If there are small objects that are a choking hazard on the floor, then the chances are that they will end up in your puppy’s mouth. And if there are breakable objects in reach of your puppy, then chances are that they will get broken. And finally, if you catch them chewing or destroying your furniture, chances are that they will try again until they know better. All of these things are preventable, and the older your puppy gets the less likely they will be to destroy your home.

Cathy is a new author and has experience pet sitting and with pets in general. Three years as a pet sitter in college and extensive experience volunteering in a shelter environment, fostering, training, a year as a vet assistant, etc.

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Here’s the latest from the FDA’s website.

On February 20, 2017, Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food notified the FDA that it planned to recall all “chunk beef” products under the Evanger’s and Against the Grain brands. On February 27, 2017, the FDA became aware that Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food was notifying its distributors and retailers of a new recall for lots of Evanger’s Braised Beef Chunks with Gravy as well as expanding the previous recall for additional lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef and Against the Grain’s Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy.

The 12-ounce cans of dog food being recalled have the following barcodes. The numbers listed below are the second half of the barcode, which can be found on the back of the product label:

Evanger’s Hunk of Beef: 20109
Evanger’s Braised Beef: 20107
Against the Grain Pulled Beef: 80001

The products have expiration dates of December 2019-January 2021.

The FDA’s updated report, as well as original recall notice, can be found here.

 

 

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Dogs and Allergies

by Ryan on January 24, 2017

in Dogs, Pet Health, Random Thoughts

In today’s environment, more and more animals suffer from allergies, from food allergies to seasonal as well as environmental. Just like in humans, some dogs will have savior symptoms, other barely show any and sometimes we don’t connect the symptoms to allergies. Here are a few different type of allergies and the symptoms you should look out for.

FOOD ALLERGIES

Food allergy is the most common allergy among dogs; It is also quite uncomfortable and painful for the dog and very difficult to cure. The components of the canine diet, which often cause allergy are, for example, specific meats and offal, pork usually is one of them, some fats, but also various kinds of ready-made dishes containing eggs or heavily processed ingredients. Some dogs also may be allergic to grain and dairy products.

The symptoms of food allergy are quite different with each animal,  it is mostly causing persistent itching and scratching by the dog large areas of hair and skin, leading up to the formation of wounds. Besides, there is hair loss around the eyes, feet, and sometimes ear infections. More and more common symptoms are stomach problems, mainly diarrhea occurring but irregularly. These symptoms may be mistaken for a number of different diseases, which is why allergy is not always the first suspect. To make sure that the symptoms stem from a food allergy, enter the dog elimination diet – serve only foods based on meat, fish, rabbit, buffalo or lamb. It is good to exclude grains like rice, and replace them with properly prepared potatoes.

SEASONAL ALLERGIES

Every year we see increasingly affect of seasonal allergies on more and more pets, just like people they are allergic to various types of pollen, dust mites or molds and fungi. Just as in humans, allergy inhaled can cause a rash, itching, but also respiratory problems and asthma attacks. In the case of this type of allergy, I would recommend performing allergy tests, which indicate specific factors your dog is allergenic to. Usually, it is impossible to eliminate the factor from your dog’s environment, but there are several ways to heal allergies – desensitization to certain allergens, the administration of appropriate drugs and non-steroidal support dietary unsaturated. Note, however, that this type of allergy practically can not be cured and you have to be aware of her relapses and the fact that it can regularly appear in your dog’s life.

 

CONTACT ALLERGY

Contact allergy also known as contact dermatitis is a skin disease that can occur when a dog or cat makes physical contact with a chemical or other irritating substance and has a negative reaction. in animals most often occurs in contact with various antiparasitic formulations, whether in the form of a collar or liquid drops. For this reason, veterinarians recommend regular changes of product so the body does not consider them an allergen. When we are dealing with a contact allergy in a dog, the main symptom is persistent itching and scratching, sometimes rash. The best way to heal this condition is to remove the allergen and wash areas with water, which will faster relief the symptoms. Sometimes if your dog has a strong reaction it is necessary to provide the appropriate medication.

 

DOG AND FLEA ALLERGY DERMATITIS

 

This type of allergy is a very common disease for both cats and dogs. You can often encounter an allergic reaction to the feces of fleas left on dogs, which lived in bad conditions or were exposed to strong and frequent contact with fleas. The symptoms are usually itching, persistent scratching and in further stages severe rash. In the case of this type of allergic reaction, it is necessary for you to visit a vet, who will prescribe the appropriate medication, mainly steroidal anti-inflammatory as well as bathe the dog in the medicated flea shampoo and also protect them from flea infestation, by using one of the available flea preventative products. It is also important to remove fleas and their larvae from the environment – dog bedding, carpets in the house and all the places that the dog had contact.

 

Either your dogs show symptoms of allergies or not it is a good idea to have them tested, especially that now allergy testing is really simple and relatively inexpensive. You can order the online kit, provide a sample of your dog’s hair as well as a saliva sample, you will receive a detail report containing food and environmental allergies. Just because your dog does not show any symptoms, that does not mean he is not sensitive to some foods or environmental products, it’s always good to know what to avoid to keep your pets healthy and happy.

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Decoration Dangers:

  1. Artificial snow spray is toxic to cats. Use it sparingly and make sure it is not accessible to a curious cat.
  2. Tinsel and other decorations can be swallowed causing abdominal blockages. Glass ornaments can break and injure a kitty. Place tempting ornaments up high. Better yet, place the dangerous ornaments in a room the cat cannot get into.
  3. Chocolate is a poison for both cats and dogs. Usually it will only make your pet ill, but it can kill. Make sure visitors know the dangers of chocolate being around your pets.
  4. Plants such as mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are poisonous to cats if eaten. Place them up high and out of reach of twitching noses. If you have a cat that generally likes to nibble the indoor plants, it is strongly recommended that you refrain from bringing these plants in to the home at all.
  5. The Christmas tree, cats love Christmas trees. The tree can be like an enormous playground for your cats. Cats can shred a tree, knock it over or destroy all of the ornaments. Buy a tree that does not shed needles. Place weights at the bottom of the tree and secure the top to something rock steady. Place dangly ornaments up high, hopefully out of paws reach. Spray the base of the tree with a diluted solution of lemon juice. Place pinecones around the base of the tree so your cats hopefully won’t get too close.

A Cat Christmas:

  1. Cats often feel left out or overwhelmed by all of the Christmas activity. Set aside special time to play and cuddle with your cat.
  1. Make a safe room for your cat to retreat to if it all gets to be too much for your cat. Place a note on the door telling others not to enter. Put the cat’s bed, favorite toys, a litter tray, and fresh water in the room.
  2. Cats need Santa to bring them toys, too. Any cat would enjoy a stocking with a few new toys.

Here’s hoping you and your loved little cat have a wonderful and safe Christmas Season!

 

– Written by Linzy Trueblood, owner of Passionate 4 Pets in Orange County, CA

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PetsitUSA’s newest featured pet sitter is Cool Dogs Petsitting in Richmond, VA!  If you are in the Richmond area, you can find their listing here.image441  Cool Dogs offers many services, including:

  • AM, Midday, PM visits and sleepovers
  • Bathing and Brushing
  • Pet Photography
  • Pet First Aid Certified

You can find more information at their website.

Thank you Cool Dogs Petsitting for being a member of PetsitUSA!

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Starting up a pet-sitting business isn’t as difficult as it may seem, but there
are several things to take into consideration. Time, commitment, and professionalism are at the top of the list. Essentially, you will be a small business owner, regardless if you hire employees or go it alone. Keeping that in mind, where does one begin in regards to starting up a business? Here are five things to consider before taking the leap.

Filing the Paperwork

Business License and/or “Doing Business As” (DBA)

Filing for a business license can be a daunting task for many, but it’s not as scary as it seems. Check with your state whether you need a business license to legally operate a pet-sitting business. They will let you know what paperwork to file to get your business off the ground.

Do you want to use your own name, or a business name? (ie. Pam’s Pet-sitting vs. Walk in the Park) If you choose to name your business, you’ll need to register that name with the appropriate authorities. This process is known as registering your “Doing Business As” (DBA) paperwork. Registering your DBA is done either with your county clerk’s office or with your state government, depending on where your business is located.

Protecting yourself

Insurance vs. no insurance

What if, while in your care, Fido bites another dog or a child? Or you accidentally break a client’s favorite antique? As a business owner, you’re liable. Accidents happen, so it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Pet-sitting insurance covers general liability, personal property, and employee accidents or dishonesty. There are several insurance companies that offer pet-sitting insurance. The cost will vary, but it’s worth it.

Keeping track of business finances

Personal checking account vs. business account

dog-1082307_1920Using a personal account for your business finances affects your legal liability. If you’re a sole proprietor and combine business and personal expenses, it can be difficult for the IRS to determine if you’re a viable business. If you choose to operate from your personal account, make sure to keep track of your business and personal expenses. If your business is an LLC, partnership, or corporation, it’s crucial to have separate accounts. Failure to separate business and personal expenses can result in the owner being sued for business and corporate liabilities. Check with your bank to see what they offer in terms of small business accounts.

 Privacy and professionalism

Business phone vs. personal phone

Business contacts who have access to your personal phone number can create privacy concerns. Having a separate business line gives you the ability to answer the phone and return calls in a professional manner. You can also set up business hours (although if you’re taking care of someone’s pet, I recommend being available to them at all times). If you decide to use your private number, be prepared. Clients will treat the number as a business number, and may be calling at all hours. Make sure your voice message states when you’ll be returning their calls.

Advertising & Branding

Logo, website/domain name, business cards, and flyers

Having a local and online presence is important. If you aren’t tech savvy, find someone who is that can help you. It’s also a good idea to check out your local pet-sitters to see how their websites are designed, and what they offer their clients.

Logos: Design a logo to represent your business. Your logo will brand your website, business cards, online advertising and flyers. Make sure your images aren’t copyrighted or you could be sued. You can use clip art or search for Creative Commons images online. From there, find a photo editing/designing program (PicMonkey, Fotor) and create something memorable.  The possibilities are endless, have fun with it!

Website/Domain name: Depending on your business needs, a website/domain name can be free (Weebly, WordPress, Blogger) or paid (Wix, iPage, GoDaddy). Pay careful attention to introductory web hosting prices, as they will most likely increase after the first month. Again, if designing a website isn’t your thing, find someone who can help you.

Business cards and flyers: Leaving business cards and flyers with your local veterinarians, pet shops, animal-related events, shelters, and dog parks is a great way to spread the word about your business. Don’t forget to advertise in your local online directories.

With some thought and planning, starting up your own pet-sitting business is a wonderful venture. Getting involved with a pet-sitting organization to learn from others and network is a step in the right direction. Good luck!

For more in-depth information and helpful advice about starting a small business:

SBA US Small Business Administration

https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business

Clarissa Johal is the bestselling author of paranormal novels, Poppy, The Island, Voices, Struck, and Between. When she’s not writing and listening to the ghosts in her head, she runs her own pet-sitting business and volunteers at the SPCA. Author website: www.clarissajohal.com

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Ready to take your pet business to the next level?

PetsitUSA is sponsoring the upcoming online pet business conference!

It’s a virtual event and you can attend from wherever you are in the world…and it’s at no cost to you.

Many top pet business experts will be speaking including Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, Beth Stultz from Pet Sitters International and many more speakers at the upcoming Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference hosted by Kristin Morrison.

The goal of the conference is to inspire pet business owners to break through problems, get unstuck, and move forward on business goals. In short, to empower you to fulfill your dream of working with pets for a living.

Kristin’s conference has a unique format. It’s no charge (woo-hoo!), international (cool!), and comprised of a series of informative interviews with all sorts of experts in the business and pet field. And the conference is online so you can attend regardless of where you are in the world.

You’re sure to take a gem away from each of these informal chats, each one built around the theme of making more money while experiencing more ease and more freedom (nice!).

All the details you need are here: Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

Hope to see you there!

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As pet owners, we are responsible for maintaining our pet’s health. Part of that is ensuring that they are safe and warm during the cold season. Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares tips on how you can accomplish this.

Dogs like the winter season just as much as their owners do. In the same way, however, they are also affected by the cold when they are outside frolicing in the snow. In addition, not all dogs are used to the cold and have sufficient fur for protection. As such, it is important to think about their well-being when the cold season starts. Here are some ways you can protect your dog from the cold.

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Keep Them Indoors
Technically, the best solution to a cold draft is to keep your dogs inside the home. In order to keep them from bustling with energy, take them out for exercise and walks, but never leave them outside, especially when the temperature drops.

Food and Water
Keeping oneself warm takes a lot of energy. With that, dogs are expected to need more food and water for such occassions. The water should be checked regularly as it can freeze over time, leaving the pet thirsty and unable to help themselves.

Outdoor Care
If you feel that you must leave them outdoors, there are certain requirements needed in order for them to brave the cold. Ideally, the ceiling of their outdoor shelter should be 2 to 3 inches taller than the dog’s sitting height. Likewise, it is advised to have an interior that is 36 square inches for every 1 inch of dog height. It would also do to have the entrance off-center. This way, the dog can curl up in one corner, far away from the opening.
If there is another building on the property, such as a garage or shed, that would make a better place to house the shelter rather than the bare ground.

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Keep Them Indoors
Technically, the best solution to a cold draft is to keep your dogs inside the home. In order to keep them from bustling with energy, take them out for exercise and walks, but never leave them outside, especially when the temperature drops.

Food and Water
Keeping oneself warm takes a lot of energy. With that, dogs are expected to need more food and water for such occassions. The water should be checked regularly as it can freeze over time, leaving the pet thirsty and unable to help themselves.

Outdoor Care
If you feel that you must leave them outdoors, there are certain requirements needed in order for them to brave the cold. Ideally, the ceiling of their outdoor shelter should be 2 to 3 inches taller than the dog’s sitting height. Likewise, it is advised to have an interior that is 36 square inches for every 1 inch of dog height. It would also do to have the entrance off-center. This way, the dog can curl up in one corner, far away from the opening.
If there is another building on the property, such as a garage or shed, that would make a better place to house the shelter rather than the bare ground.

Protect Vital Body Parts
When walking them around the neighborhood or even when indoors, dogs can still feel the cold, especially if they are not accustomed to it. There are a ton pet aids you can use to downplay the cold they are enduring. Here are some of them:
Foot wax – Dogs paws are always in contact with the ground. During winter, it becomes all the more important to protect these. Foot wax or paw wax is a great way to keep their paws soft and pain free. This is especially helpful when the dog is always mobile, such as during walks. On the other hand, pet safe salt should be spread across the driveway if the dog is simply at home.
• Coats/sweaters – Dog coats and sweaters are really nifty to have. During regular days, you can use them to accessorize your dog when taking them out for walks. For the cold season, these make great buffers between them and the extreme cold.

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There are numerous ways to tell if a dog is suffering from hypothermia. The biggest telltale sign is that their temperature gets really low and they start shivering. Also, their pupils start dilating and their breathing visibly slows down. When this happens, be sure you are there to warm your dog up right away. If you need to be away, be sure you leave them blankets and towels so that they can help themselves.

Author: Jordan Walker
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is matched with his passion for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can visit his Google+ or Twitter accounts.

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