Pet First Aid

Pet First Aid | Distinctive Pet Care | Pet Sitter Littleton, COPet First Aid

Being informed on Pet First Aid when an animal related emergency occurs, could save your pet’s life. Before administering pet first aid, always keep your safety in mind! Never hug an injured pet and always keep your face clear of the mouth to avoid a bite. Remember, administering pet first aid is not a substitute for treatment by a licensed veterinarian. Always take your pet to the vet after an emergency occurs!

Broken Bones

Bone fractures are very painful! Before handling a pet with a broken bone, first, place a muzzle on them to prevent an unintentional bite. Second, to prevent further injuring the pet, carefully move them to a flat surface. Third, call your veterinarian to alert them that you are on your way. Using a flat board, stretcher or blanket sling will keep your pet secure during transport. Laying a blanket over the pet will help keep them secure. Avoid placing pressure on the fracture or their chest when securing the pet for transport. It is best to leave splinting to a veterinarian, as placing a splint yourself can cause further damage to the broken bone or surrounding area.

Toxins or Poisons

If your pet has come in contact or ingested a poison or another toxic substance, immediately call your veterinarian or animal emergency clinic. For a small consultation fee, you can also call Animal Poison Control center, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The center can be reached at (888) 426-4435. Do not induce vomiting unless you have been directly told to do so by a veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center. Telling your veterinarian what substance your pet ingested or take the substance with you in a sealed container or bag for identification will save valuable time!

Choking

In most cases, when a pet is choking they may have difficulty breathing, may cough or make hacking sounds, have blue lips and tongue, or will be pawing at their mouth. If your pet’s gums are pink and it can still breath, take your pet immediately to the closest veterinarian. If your pet’s gums are blue or they are unable to breathe, the object that is obstructing the airway will need to be removed. Open your pet’s mouth and look in their throat. If the object is visible, carefully try to remove it. It is important that you do not push the object further into your pet’s throat, so use a pair of pliers or tweezers if necessary. Once the object is removed, immediately take your pet to the closest veterinary clinic!

Seizures

Keeping your pet safe from injury during a seizure is important. Clear the area around your pet of objects and furniture. Do not hold your pet down or try to prevent them from seizing. Most seizures last 2-3 minutes and keeping track how long the seizure lasts will help your veterinarian later determine the type of seizure your pet suffered. After your pet has stopped seizing, keep them warm and calm. Call your veterinarian to alert them your pet has suffered a seizure and that you are on your way to their office. Drive carefully and let your veterinarian know of any other unusual occurrences or seizures on the way to the clinic.

External Bleeding

Keeping yourself safe when caring for a pet that is bleeding is the first step. Place a muzzle on the pet before proceeding any further. Open wounds are very painful and may cause even the most even tempered pet to bite. Second, locate the wound and apply pressure on the area with a clean towel or sterile bandaging for at least 3 minutes to allow the bleeding to stop. Do not remove the towel or bandaging, as that can restart the bleeding. If you notice blood soaking through the towel, keep adding layers of towels while applying constant pressure. Third, call your veterinarian to alert them you are on your way and calmly drive the pet to the clinic. Immediate medical treatment by a veterinarian is needed with open wounds, as large amounts of blood loss can be life threatening.

Burns

First, extinguish any remaining flames on or around your pet. Then, flush the burned area with large amounts of cool, not cold water. Do NOT break open any blisters that have formed on the area. Third, after flushing, cover the burned area loosely with a clean towel. Call your veterinarian and let them know you are on your way. Remember, butter and ointments can cause infection and trap the heat in, so avoid using them altogether!

Always have the phone numbers of your veterinarian and local animal emergency clinic accessible for both you and other members of your household. Having pet first aid kit at home can be beneficial! The American Veterinary Medical Association has pet first aid supplies checklist on their website. You can find it by clicking here.  Our founder, Dawn Olson is a Master Certified Pet Tech Instructor. She teaches classes in the Littleton area on Pet CPR & First Aid Training. Visit our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa’s website to sign up for one of Dawn’s upcoming classes.
 
Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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Why doesn’t my cat drink a lot of water?

Why doesn’t my cat drink a lot of water?

Why doesn't my cat drink a lot of waterWe all know cats are picky. They are known to snub their favorite food and often change where they prefer to sleep. When it comes to their water, their pickiness reaches a whole new level. Kidney disease is the number one killer of most domesticated cats. Knowing why your cat is so picky about drinking water and what you can do to get them to drink more water may help your cat’s kidney function and extend their life!

Your Cat Still Uses Its Survival Instincts

Ancient Egyptians domesticated the first cat over 4,000 years ago, but Fluffy still uses the same survival instincts that wild cats used back before Cleopatra. Those instincts kept wild cats safe and today’s modern cat is no different. To cats, a bowl of still water can be potentially dangerous. Fluffy has no idea if the water that seems to sit oh-so-quiet and still is a friend or a foe. That is because still water could be full of bacteria or could have been become stagnant and Fluffy would rather not dare to take a drink and then be sorry. Cats also cannot determine where water begins within their bowl making it too mysterious for your cat to want to take a sip. You can help Fluffy out by always keeping her water clean by washing with water and mild soap once a day before refilling. Always be sure to fill the bowl up to the same level every day, this will help Fluffy know where the water level starts, thus giving her confidence to take a drink.

Your Cat Prefers Their Water To Be Running

It shouldn’t surprise any cat owner that cats like running water. Chances are your cat has asked to take a drink from the tap at least once! To a cat, where there is running water, there is fresh water. The constant circulation of running water keeps it cool and oxygenated, which is preferred by our feline friends. Unless you want to become a slave to your kitty and turn on and off the tap all day, it may be best to invest in a cat water fountain. They come in many colors and shapes and vary in cost. Amazon has an awesome list of fountains to choose from! Our favorites are the Pioneer Rain Drop Fountain& PetSafe Drinkwell Ceramic Pagoda Fountain

Cats have a very keen sense of smell which does them wonder when sniffing around for bugs and other fun things to play with. When your cat is getting a refreshing drink of water, they prefer not to smell their food nearby. Unfortunately, most cat owners keep their kitty’s food & water dishes side by side. By simply moving Fluffy’s water dish across the room or into another room entirely, you may encourage her to drink more water. If you want to score extra brownie points with your kitty, place several bowls of water around the house to give her options on where she prefers to drink!  Also, do not use plastic dishes!.

Your cat would prefer wet food

Most house cats are fed dry food. We get it, dry food is convenient and cost effective. Unfortunately, it does not provide nearly as much moisture as your cat requires from its diet. If Fluffy were to go on the hunt, she would be feasting on birds, rodents, and lizards which would provide her with most of the water she needs in her day. That is because birds, rodents, and lizards are made up of 70% water, unlike dry cat food which is only 20% water. To help your kitty receive most of the water she needs in a day, it is best to feed her a wet food diet. Wet food contained over 70% moisture just like a prey diet that Fluffy would eat in the wild. Drop into the Ken Caryl Pet Spa to pick up some high-quality grain-free options for your cat!

Try one or more of the above to help your kitty stay hydrated!

 

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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Should I Feed My Cat Wet Food or Dry Food?

Cat sitter, cat nutrition, cat food, catsOver the years’ veterinarians have gone back and forth on whether dry or wet food is better for your cat. Even the most experienced of cat owners may not have all the facts. Read along to find out the answer to your question, should I feed my cat wet food or dry food?

Feline Dietary Needs

Cats require a diet that is high in protein, high in water content, and low in carbohydrates. A cat’s natural diet in the wild would consist of birds, lizards, mice, rabbits, and insects. Their natural prey diet would be high in protein, low in carbs, and high in moisture.

Dry Cat Food

Dry cat food is convenient, easy and in most cases the most cost effective. Even your veterinarian may have mentioned in the past that dry food helps remove tartar from your cat’s teeth, a claim that has been provided inconclusive through research. The fact is, most dry foods have too little protein, too many carbohydrates and their moisture content is not high enough. By free feeding dry food, your cat is encouraged to overeat which leads to obesity that may result in diabetes and stress on joints. Since cats instinctively do not drink a lot of water, feeding dry food can lead to low urine production which can turn into kidney failure and urinary crystal and stone formation.

Wet Cat Food

Wet food may not be as convenient and may require more cleanup and upkeep. It may cost slightly more per day to feed your cat, but the benefits of feeding wet food far outweigh the cons. Wet food contains significantly more protein and less carbohydrates than dry food. The higher protein to carbohydrate ratio will aid in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Keeping your cat at a healthy weight will reduce its chances of diabetes and strain on joints. The moisture content in wet food is over 70% which is equivalent to the moisture content your cat would get from eating a prey diet in the wild, which aids with urine production and keeping your cat’s kidneys healthy. In addition, feeding wet food keeps you in control of portions and the timing of when your cat eats.

Making the Transition from Dry Food to Wet Food

Always integrate a new food slowly into your cat’s feeding routine. Start by mixing the new food with the old food. Over 7-day period, gradually add more of the new food and less of the old food. If your cat becomes stressed out over the change, slow things down a bit to prevent illness and keep the process positive. If you are switching from free feed dry food to wet food, slowly decrease the amount of dry food in your cat’s bowl and increase the amount of wet food fed at each meal. If you cat does not show interest in wet food especially if it has been refrigerated, try warming it in the microwave. Just be sure to stir the food before serving to evenly distribute the heat.

Each cat will require different dietary needs depending on their health and age. Always consult your veterinarian when choosing a new diet for your cat. You can also contact our owner Dawn, who is a nutrition expert, for tips and diet recommendations.
 

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator  since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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Why Hiring a Dog Walker is the Right Choice for Your Dog!

Why Hiring a Dog Walker is the Right Choice for Your Dog!

A long day at work for you, means a long day at home for your dog. Even the best-behaved dog needs a break from their regularly scheduled program! A midday dog walk or potty break is an excellent way to provide your dog with recess time in the middle of their day. I loved recess when I was in school, didn’t you? Hiring a dog walker is not only beneficial for your dog’s health & well-being, it can be beneficial for your health and well-being too!

Bathroom Break

Even the best-behaved dog will have an accident if not given the opportunity to relieve itself often enough. The stress of having an accident can be detrimental to your pet’s happiness. Holding their urine day after day while you are at work can cause health concerns for your dog. Urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and urinary crystals are can be caused when your pets retain urine in their bladder for prolonged periods of time. A midday walk or potty break is perfect for breaking up your pet’s day and keeping Fido healthy & happy.

Mental Stimulation

Boredom. Most people agree that they dislike being bored. Your dog does too!  Fido patiently waits for you to come home from work every day. He takes a nap on the sofa. He lays by the window snoozing in the sunlight. He throws his toy around the room for some entertainment. When he is feeling frisky, he daydreams about how much fun it would be to dismantle his dog bed all over the house. Let’s face it you would get bored of the same ‘ole routine day-in and day- out. Keep Fido’s bed demolishing dream just that, a dream. Hire him a midday buddy that he will be happy to see every day! Someone who will tell him he is a good boy while you work the daily grind. Someone who can fill in and give Fido some mental stimulation to break up his boredom!

Exercise

Just like people dogs need regular exercise and chances are after a long commute to work, dealing with the boss breathing down your neck, and rush hour traffic home you often are too tired to give Fido that nice long walk he needs to keep his heart healthy. Professional dog walkers are more than just potty break services. They can take Fido for a nice stroll through the neighborhood to check up on which friends left messages for them on the fire hydrants and to see what new canine friends have moved into town. They can also provide that much needed walk to help Fido get his energy out so he is ready for evening snuggles on the couch after you long day at work.

Crated Dogs

Many dog owners safely and effectively use crate training with their dog. When no one is home Fido is placed inside his crate. Crating can keep Fido and your couch safe if he is a chewer! But crated dogs need the opportunity to stretch their legs if they are going to be crated for long periods of time. Even if you dog has enough room to stand up and turn around inside their crate, a midday walk or playtime in the yard can be beneficial! Especially if Fido runs the house like a wild banshee every time you come home and let him out of the crate!

Puppies & Seniors

Puppies and senior dogs need a bathroom break more often than their other canine counterparts do. Puppies can hold their urine on average one hour for every month they are old plus one. For example, a 3-month old puppy can only hold their urine for 4 hours. Senior pets lose bladder muscle tone as they age leading to frequent accidents if they are not let outside often enough. This can lead to a lot of frustration and resentment towards your dog if you have to spend time every evening cleaning messes off the floor as soon as you walk in the door. Having a professional dog walker come over 1-2 times during the workday can prevent such accident from happening, leaving your relationship with your dog happy and loving. We have a program here at Distinctive Pet Care that caters to puppies as they grow! Click here to learn more about our Puppy Playtime & Potty Breaks.

Peace of Mind

We have all been there. It is 4:55pm and you have your coat in hand ready to walk out the door. Just as you start to get up, Mr. Boss man asks if you can stay another hour. You reluctantly say yes knowing that Fido last went outside at 8:00am and you have no idea what surprises he will have waiting for you when you get home. Hiring a professional dog walker gives you peace of mind that if the boss asks you to stay late or there is a pile up on the interstate, Fido will be okay because his dog walker gave him a midday walk in the afternoon. Many professional dog walkers also offer evening visits, so if staying late at work turns into dinner and drinks with a client, Fido’s dog walker will be there for his evening walk while you take care of business.

When hiring a professional dog walker, be sure to do your homework! Professionals are bonded & insured. They are often CPR First Aid Trained and should have a clear background check.

Let our team of professional dog walkers here at Distinctive Pet Care give Fido that midday break he needs! Click here to check out our services page to find out more about our Midday Dog Walks & Potty Breaks

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator  since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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February is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

What better way to celebrate than to learn about ways to keep your pet’s bad breath at bay.

We’ve all been there. Fido comes in for a kiss and BAM! you are knocked on the floor practically unconscious from the rank smell of roadkill that radiates from your dog’s mouth. Bad breath is not just unpleasant, it can be an indicator of some serious issues going on in your pet’s mouth. Periodontal disease is serious and can lead to tooth pain, abscessed teeth, heart disease, kidney disease, and more. Did you know there are ways to keep your pet’s breath fresh and their teeth and gums healthy?  Keep reading to find out more!

1) Brush Your Pet’s Teeth Daily

Number one on our list of 5 ways to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, brush your pet’s teeth daily. Brushing teeth has gone to the dogs (and the cats)! We all have bacteria in our mouths, your pet is no exception. After your pet eats, bacteria, food particles, and saliva mix together and form a covering over the teeth called plaque. That plaque sits on the teeth and over time builds up to form tartar. Plaque and tartar trap bacteria under the gum line causing gum disease and infection. By brushing your pet’s teeth every day, you are removing the plaque that forms on the teeth after eating, which will help keep their breath fresh and their gums healthy. Our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa, offers teeth brushing with Oxyfresh Dental Gel for just $5. If bringing Fido & Fluffy to the spa every day to get their pearly whites brushed is not your speed, you can purchase a variety of Dental Products from them for at home care. These include pet toothbrushes, water additives, & pet toothpaste. In February all the dental products are 20% off too!

Just a reminder, if you are going to brush your pet’s teeth, be sure to use a pet toothpaste product and NOT a human one. Human toothpaste includes fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs.

2) Add A Supplement To Your Pet’s Water To Freshen Breath & Kill Bacteria

Number two on our list of 5 ways to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, add a supplement to your pet’s water to freshen breath & kill bacteria. Placing an additive in your pet’s water is safe and convenient. It helps kill bacteria and freshen breath in between brushings. Simply measure out the additive according to the directions and add it to your pet’s water bowl. Check the ingredient label, there should be no artificial colors, flavors, alcohol or zylitol.  Click here to find the water additives that our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa recommends.

3) Provide Your Pet With Dental Chew Treats

Number three on our list is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, provide your pet with dental chew treat, toys & food. In today’s market, there are so many dental chews that help remove plaque and tartar. They range from all natural chews to ones specially formulated by veterinarians. For those who prefer to take a natural approach, we recommend deer antlers, bully sticks, marrow bones, roasted shin bones & raw, frozen bones.  All of these can be found here on the Ken Caryl Pet Spa website. Please remember that feeding your pet bones from your dinner plate is not recommended. Only give your pet bones made especially for chewing from pet product manufacturers to prevent unwanted trips to the emergency veterinarian! If you are looking for a specially formulated chew bone, Greenies®, Del Monte Tartar Check® Dog Biscuits, Bright Bites, OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews, and Vetradent Dog Chews are examples of edible products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.  To see the list of accepted products from the Veterinary Oral Health Council click here.

4) Give Fido A Dental Chew Toy

Number four is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is, give Fido a dental chew toy. Does Fido like to chew on things he should not be chewing? Have you noticed Fido’s breath is smells horrible? Why not take care of both with a dental chew toy! The market is filled with choices so pick according to your pet’s needs and their strength of their jaw! Kong and Nylabone are two companies who have a variety of dental chews for even the most aggressive strong chewers!

5) Routine Veterinary Dental Exams And Dental Cleanings

Last but not least is to get a handle on your pet’s bad breath is routine veterinary dental exams and dental cleanings.  A dental cleaning done by a veterinarian removes unsightly plaque and tartar that you can see on the surface of the teeth. It also removes bacteria from under your pet’s gums that you cannot see. By removing the bacteria, chances of infection are reduced.  Most pets should have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian at least once per year, but how often a pet requires a dental will depend on each individual animal. Your veterinarian can advise you on when your pet needs a dental exam and cleaning.

Make a habit of scheduling your pet’s dental cleaning every February during National Pet Dental Health month. Most veterinarians run specials on dental cleanings.

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents

New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents

written by Julie Gajewski

JacksonEvery year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to eat better, exercise more and live a healthier life style. Why not include man’s best friend in your New Year’s resolutions this year! Here is a list of 5 things you can resolve to do better for your furry companion in 2017.

1) Increase the quality of your dog’s kibble by at least one star

Number one on our list of New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents is, increase the quality of your dog’s kibble by at least one star. Did you know that not all pet food is created equal? Many pet parents have no idea what ingredients go into their pet’s food, let alone the quality of those ingredients. Sadly, most commercial pet food brands are rated less than 3 stars by dogfoodadvisor.com. By studying the ingredient list and the meat content within the food, Dog Food Advisor determines the rating of each food. According to their website, Dog Food Advisor says, “a five-star dog food is one that is high in meat content and free of any by-products, suspicious chemicals or plant-based protein boosters.” You can visit dogfoodadvisor.com to find your pet’s food rating or to research a pet food that is highly rated. Did you know that Dawn Olson, owner & operated of Distinctive Pet Care & Ken Caryl Pet Spa in Littleton, CO has completed a 100-hour course in pet nutrition? She is an excellent resource for pet parents looking to feed their pets a higher quality kibble.

2) Add supplements to your dog’s daily routine to promote health & wellness

Number two on our list of New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents is, add supplements to your dog’s daily feeding routine to promote health & wellness. Just like human’s dogs can benefit from supplements that aid in digestion, mobility, and overall health. Goat’s milk makes a great addition to your dog’s daily kibble ration. Soaking your dog’s kibble in goat’s milk help aids in digestion and expands the kibble before eating to help prevent gas and bloating. Goat’s milk is easily digestible and contains probiotics which may help with many chronic diseases. Turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family, is an herb that has been used in eastern cooking and medicine. According to Dr. Randy J. Horowitz, the medical director of the Arizona Centre for Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, “Turmeric is one of the most potent and natural anti inflammatories available.” Turmeric aids in heart health, epilepsy, cancer, detoxing the liver, preventing cataracts, and more! Send Dawn Olson owner & operator of Distinctive Pet Care & Ken Caryl Pet Spa an email by clicking here to learn more about goat’s milk, turmeric, and other all natural supplements for Fido today.

3) Pamper your pet with regular grooming & nail trims

Number three on our list of New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents is, pamper your pet with regular grooming & nail trims. Did you know that grooming is the first line of defense for your dog’s health? Groomers pay attention to your dog’s skin, eyes, & ears during the entire grooming process. Abnormalities, signs of infection, cancer, and much more care often spotted during a bath, brush, or clip and can be brought to your attention so you can get Fido to the veterinarian for an exam sooner rather than later. Did you know that long nails can cause damage to more than just your hardwood floors? As the nails grow out, they begin to curve. If left untrimmed, nails will grow into the paw pad causing pain and discomfort to your dog, and may also result in an infection. Dew claws (the nails on the side of the paw) can often get snagged on clothing and blankets resulting in painful injuries that may require surgery to fix. Overgrown nails can also cause your dog to lose their grip on slippery surfaces resulting in injuries. Pain from overgrown nails will cause a dog to alter they way they walk, forcing them to rock backward onto their heels as opposed to walking on their toes. This not only shifts the balance of weight, put your dog at a higher risk for tearing ligaments and for injuries to their ankles, shoulders, and hips. Our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa, located in Littleton, CO can help you with all of your grooming needs.

4) Schedule semi-annual visits with your veterinarian

Number four on our list of New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents is to schedule semi-annual visits with your veterinarian. Dogs age at a much higher rate than humans do. The math is not as simple as we once thought! Check out this handy chart to figure out your dog’s age in human years. You wouldn’t go several years without visiting the doctor would you? So why should your pet? We all know the importance of having routine check-ups for our children and family, routine exams for our pets are just as important! Semi-annual exams help catch illnesses early and we all know how important preventative medicine can be! Ask your veterinarian what tests and vaccines they recommend doing every six months to help keep Fido happy & healthy!

5) Get outdoors more often with your dog

Number five on our list of New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Parents is, get outdoors more often with your dog The great outdoors has so such to offer for both you and your pet. If you are like most people, exercise more is at the top of your list of New Year’s Resolutions. Why not include Fido in your nightly walk or weekend hike? It will get both you and your four-legged companion out of the house and will be a great bonding experience for you both! Find like minded friends to make it a social outing, just make sure all of the canine companions are vaccinated and well behaved enough to be around other dogs! Get some fresh air, recharge, and get to know your dog in a whole new way.

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Christmas Pet Safety Tips

Christmas Pet Safety Tips

Written by Julie Gajewski

Christmas Pet Safety TipsThe holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and love. But they are also filled with many hazards for our furry loved ones. Help keep your fur kids safe this holiday with these Christmas Pet Safety Tips.

1) Collars with ID Tags & Microchips

Number one on our list of Christmas Pet Safety Tips is, collars with ID tags & microchips. The holidays are a revolving door of family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones coming and going to celebrate. This leave the door wide open (pun intended) for your pet to take an adventure in the great outdoors. Microchips are placed under the skin and are your pet’s best chance at being identified if lost. Just be sure the registration information for the chip is up to date with the company. Collars with ID Tags are also important for pets during the holidays especially if your pet is not microchipped. The kind stranger who finds Fido taking a midday jog or Fluffy prowling the bushes will have your contact information immediately.

3) No human food!

Number two on our list of Christmas Pet Safety Tips is, no human food! No one wants a trip to the emergency vet on Christmas eve. No one wants a mess to clean on Christmas morning. Avoid stomach upset, diarrhea, and possible fatal diseases like Pancreatitis by leaving the human food to the humans. Or holiday feasts are high in fat. Fat the can cause the pancreas to become inflamed and release digestive enzymes too early. Those enzymes can cause the pancreas to digest itself, leading a potentially fatal outcome. We all know chocolate is bad for your dog. So keep the yummy goodies (boxed or open) away from Fido. Does Fluffy loves to sniff the mugs of Eggnog and sneak a lick or two? Be advised Fluffy may have an upset tummy. Does Aunt Sally like to spike the eggnog? If so that alcohol can be dangerous for Fluffy. Best to keep her off the table and away from a potential hazard. Remind your guests and your family that their is is not for sharing with the furry ones!

3) Poinsettias, Tinsel, & Lights OH MY!

Number three on our list of Christmas Pet Safety Tips is poinsettias, Tinsel, & Lights OH MY! Tinsel catches your eye and gives your tree a holiday sparkle. Well it catches Fluffy’s eye too and may give her a holiday emergency surgery. Nix the tinsel and Fluffy will thank you for saving hr from a bowel obstruction. Poinsettias, holly & mistletoe are poisonous to your pets If you can’t celebrate the holidays without these deadly plants, just be sure to keep them out of reach from your pet. The Christmas tree is the highlight of your holiday decor. Don’t make it the reason for your holiday emergency. Keep ornaments securely fashioned to the tree. Make sure the tree is steady and unable to topple over when Fluffy makes her nightly climb to the top. Keep Fido from being able to drink the tree water as it may contain fertilizer or bacteria if water has been sitting too long that will make him sick. Keep wires secure so your pets doesn’t chew them end up getting electrocuted like the cat on Christmas Vacation!

4) Keep the routine, keep the pets sane

Number four on our list of Christmas Pet Safety Tips is keep the routine, keep the pets sane. Fido knows that everyday he gets to take his evening stroll and then snuggle on the couch with you. Fluffy knows just when the time is right to sneak up and be the perfect foot warmer while you watch your nightly shows. This is your routine and it is also their routine. The holidays bring busy days and a housefull of guests. Don’t forget to still give Fido & Fluffy there evening of cuddles. You may not be able to do the exact evening routine, just don’t forget to take a few minutes to slip away and give your pet that one on one time they are used to!

5) A busy pet makes for a happy pet

Number four on our list of Christmas Pet Safety Tips is busy pet makes for a happy pet. Busy people get even busier on the holidays. Between the annual office party, family dinners, shopping for gifts, cooking, and house guests, there isn’t much time to play fetch with Fido or chase the string with Fluffy. All of the pent up energy leave Fido & Fluffy lonely and spiteful. If you can’t carve out time for the usual long walk or playing with toys, keep your pet busy with toys such as Premier Busy Buddy® Kibble Nibble™ our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa. You can also find automatic toys such as a PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy for Fluffy that will entertain her for hours.

 

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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Christmas Gifts for Pets

Christmas Gifts for Pets

Christmas Gifts for Pets1. You can’t go wrong with a new cozy pet bed

Number one on our list of Christmas gifts for pets is a new bed. Fido & Fluffy deserve to be treated like a royalty! And what would king and queen do without a cozy throne to sleep on? The options are limitless! Hammocks for cats to chill and relax, organic & recycled beds for the more earth conscious pet, beds designed for specific breeds like Dachshunds, and unique DIY beds made from repurposed items. Click here to make a DIY pet bed that is both easy and affordable.

2. Puzzle toys for enrichment and fun

Number two on our list of Christmas gifts for pets are puzzle toys for enrichment and fun. Puzzle toys are all the rage! They keep your pet busy and enrich their mind. Puzzle toys come in many sizes and can range in price. Click here for a few DIY puzzle toys for cats. Click here for a DIY muffin tin puzzle feeder game for dogs. Click here for an abundance of puzzle toy choices from Nina Ottosson. Click here to see the interactive toys available from our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa

3. Water Fountain

Number three on our list of Christmas gifts for dogs is a water fountain. Veterinarians agree that pets should always have fresh, clean water available at all times. This is especially true for cats, as they tend to drink less water than their canine friends. Water fountains are an excellent way to encourage your pet to drink more water which is good for their kidneys and overall health. Water fountains come in many unique forms. Some look like pieces of art, while others allow your pet to turn on and off the outside hose using their paw! Click here to see the many options available.

4. New leash and/or collar

Number four on our list of Christmas gifts for pets is a new leash and/or collar. Leashes and collars are a way for your pet to express themselves…okay maybe it is a way for you to express your taste, but you’re catching our drift! Leashes and collars have come so far over the years. No more mundane leather leashes and collar with metal buckles. Think flowers, bow ties, and crazy patterns. For safety reasons, we recommend steering clear of retractable leashes and sticking to a leash that is 4 or 6 feet in length. The choices are limitless! Click here to see the leashes offered by our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa. Click here for a list of DIY dog collars and leashes.

5. A day at the Pet Spa

Number five on our list of Christmas gifts for pets is a day at the spa. Pamper your pet at our sister company Ken Caryl Pet Spa located right here in Littleton, CO. They have purrfect packages for finicky felines and pawesome packages for cool canines. Their team of Pet Stylists are available to give your pet the full spa experience. If you are more of the DIY type, try their self-serve pet wash. They even have a frequent bather value klub! You will find that Ken Caryl Pet Spa has everything your pet needs to relax and come home looking and feeling fabulous! You can even pick up an item or two to keep your pet fresh-faced between spa visits!

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

 

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Winter Safety Tips for Pets

Winter Safety Tips for Pets

  1. Pet Sitting Littleton COKnow what temperature your dog can handle

Number one on our list of winter safety tips for pets is, know what temperature your dog can handle. Some dogs were born for the snow! Others prefer to bask in the sun and vacation in Florida! Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, and Great Pyrenees have what it takes in their DNA to withstand extreme temperatures and long snowy hikes. Their double coat protects them from the elements. Be careful when taking Chico the Chihuahua and other small toy breeds outside during a winter wonderland. Their small stature and short hair can cause a leisurely winter stroll into a serious emergency. Winter coats and snow shoes to protect tiny paws are essential when the thermometer drops and snow begins to fall.

  1. Watch out for ice!

Number two on our list of winter safety tips for pets is, watch out for ice! Those who live in an area with cold climates know how dangerous ice on the sidewalk can be. Use caution when taking a stroll down the street for both you and your dog’s safety. No one wants a trip to the ER for a broken leg or a bump on the head. Frozen ponds are another hazard to watch out for on the chilly afternoon walk, so always keep your dog on a leash! Snow can often cover a pond, so it is always best to stick to the trail and the shoveled walkways. Even if a pond looks to be frozen solid, don’t risk it. The ice may not be able to bear the weight of you and your dog. If your dog falls through the ice do not go into the water or attempt to save it on your own. Call 911, and wait for help. If you fall through the ice into a frozen pond follow this video from Jeff Rossen on The Today Show on how to survive.

  1. Chemical are everywhere!

Number three on our list of winter safety tips for pets is, chemicals are everywhere! Antifreeze and other chemicals that melt ice can be toxic and even fatal to your pets. After a walk, be sure to always remove chunks and ice and snow from your dog and wipe their  paws. This will prevent the chemicals from being ingested when the dog licks their paws and prevents the chemical from irritating the paw pads and skin. Be sure to keep antifreeze containers closed securely and to wipe up any spills. Ethylene glycol, the main active ingredient in antifreeze, is lethal to pets. Although since 2012 manufacturers of antifreeze now add a bitter agent to the mixture, it is best to take precaution.

  1. Give them shelter!

Number four on our list of winter safety tips for pets is, give them shelter! If you have an outdoor cat or dog, be sure to provide them with a safe and warm place during the winter months. Dogs need a dog house that is big enough for them to lay down but t also stand up and turn around. However, the shelter should also be small enough so that the dog’s body heat can keep the surrounding area inside warm. The opening into the dog house should have a heavy plastic or waterproof material covering the opening and the shelter itself should be free from drafts. Keep the doghouse elevated off the ground and be sure to line the bottom with straw or wood shavings to help keep your pooch warm. Outdoor & feral cats also need a safe, warm, dry place to sleep. You can find a step by step tutorial to make a DIY cat shelter here.

  1. Listen to the weather person!

Number five on our list of winter safety tips for pets is, listen to the weather person! They went to school. They know what they are talking about. If your local weather station says to hunker down and stay inside, then maybe you and your pets should do just that! Be prepared. Buy extra food. Stock up on your pet’s medications. Have a plan ready in case you are snowed in and cannot get your dog outside. Bring outdoor pets inside if you are not able to get out to care for them during the storm. If you are able to safely go outside during a blizzard, be safe and be prepared with the appropriate clothing and foot coverings for your dog.

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator  since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

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Communication Is A Two-Way Street

Pet Sitter Littleton COCommunication Is A Two-Way Street!

Hiring Distinctive Pet Care means that you have a staff of dedicated individuals to care for your furry family members. To avoid miscommunication all correspondence needs to come from and to one source; our office. The preferred method is through the time to pet portal but while email/Internet access maybe unavailable for you, our office line is always available any time of day or night. In our over 20 years as professional pet care providers, we have learned that having a consistent route of communication assures our clients and staff that no detail slips through the cracks.  Recently, we have had situations where clients have contacted the sitter directly by text message or email, the sitter was on vacation themselves and the client either did not receive a response or the client interrupted the sitter’s time off.    We would ask you to do most of your scheduling of your pet’s needs through the software client portal to avoid these issues.  The office and the sitter will receive your request and we are able to confirm your needs more efficiently.

We ask that you use your sitters’ personal cell phone number with discretion.  If they have requested a text message when arriving home, or you have a change to your schedule with less than 24 hours’ notice, these are acceptable.  If you have more than 24 hours’ notice, please access your portal and add or cancel visits here.  Your sitter will be notified when they confirm their schedule first thing in the morning.  If a sitter is sick or has a family emergency, the backup sitter will have the most up-to-date information.  Please also remember that your sitter is on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.  They have blocks of time where they are “off of work”.  Please be mindful of this and honor their free time.  Please do your best to plan ahead for trips or give 24 hour notice on the client portal for changes to your regular weekly schedules. You are not their only client and a little pre-planning really helps reduce the chaos of ever-changing schedules and correct invoicing.

An alternative to a non-urgent request; such as availability of your sitter for an upcoming trip you are trying to plan can be sent to the office via email (info@distinctivepetcare.com) as we have a central calendar that the sitters schedule all their availability.

Please contact us via the time to pet portal for all of your questions, concerns etc. If you have a private matter or would like to speak directly to a manger/owner, please email us at info@distinctivepetcare.com.  We do have a voicemail system but messages are checked less frequently due to our being out caring for animals. The portal and email are faster ways to communicate with the office and your sitter simultaneously.

 

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