Saturday, April 24, 2010

What? My dog can't eat that?

See these? --------------------------------->

That's right. Grapes are bad for dogs. Raisins, too. Grapes can cause kidney failure, even death. That's not to say that it happens in every case, as physiologically every dog is different. Specific breeds are susceptible to kidney dysfunction, however and are more easily affected. If you want to give treats, stick to dog cookies and biscuits!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pet related injuries - I feel your pain

Does your cat abide by the famous "three foot rule?" I don't know one that does! You know, when you're working at the kitchen counter, you step away and who is sitting right behind your feet but your faithful kitty. Ever walk through the house with a basketful of laundry and hear the familiar "screech/meow!" as you step on them, trip and maybe fall or twist your back. (Usually not harming the cat; their only mighty miffed by you not watching where you're going.) A few months ago I arrived at a clients' home to dog sit and knelt down (as I commonly do with all animals) to greet my charge, a lab mix. She was feeling especially enthusiastic that day and as I came down, she hopped up and banged me right underneath my eye. Ice pack!

In our day to day activities at home , our pets are typically at our side and it's natural for them to be curious about what we're doing and to be close. One of my big rules at our house is that in the kitchen, the dogs are not allowed to be close to my work area. Before starting a task, I command them to "place" and they both go to their respective areas of the kitchen, where they can still see what's going on but at a safe distance. Boiling water, sharp knives, and my pacing back and forth from stove to fridge to sink are hazardous and even potientially deadly. This includes working near our outdoor grill. I don't want any of us spending time getting fixed up after an avoidable injury.

Surely you've got your own stories of accidents with your pets. Statistics from the CDC state that thouands of people each year visit emergncy rooms each year as a result of sustaining injuries involving their pets - or pet toys. Having three pets - two large breed dogs and a cat - I'm in the habit of keeping their toys out of the way, especially near stairways to avoid falling accidents. And speaking of stairways, our dogs are trained to stay put (or given the ok to proceed first) as we are making our way up or down steps. Our cat, Silver is another story and being mindful of where he is ensures our safety. Silver has another bad habit: hopping up behind me as I use a kitchen chair as a step-stool to reach the upper cabinets in our kitchen. He's done this as I've climbed a ladder to paint, too, perching on the lower rungs as I work. I always need to be aware of where he is when I'm doing activities like that. With the dogs, my injuries have always been minor and non-intentional - usually a jammed finger or 'dog-head-meets-my-nose' incident.

Although it's impossible to avoid accidents completely, but you can keep your family and friends safer by being mindful of your pets' habits and implementing a few of your own rules in house.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lost cat: Smudge, a white cat with black and brown spots, missing from Kenilworth Drive -

Lost cat: Smudge, a white cat with black and brown spots, missing from Kenilworth Drive -

Ping, pong...

Want a way to keep your cat busy today whle you're away at work? Toss a ping pong or other fun kitty ball into a clean, dry bathtub. That's it. Your cat will go insane with joy batting and chasing the ball around, and best of all it's a game that your cat can play independently.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Red Cross Pet First Aid Class -April 15 - Community News

Red Cross Pet First Aid Class -April 15 - Community News

Ready, Set, Play!

With the warmer temperatures, we're all itching to get outdoors and do something - even our pets. Dogs need to get out stretch, bark - and run! Sure throwing a tennis ball is a fun game that not only my dogs love, but most of my clients.

Want to amp it up a bit?

Get a Chuck It ball launcher. This ingenious, simple tool is inexpensive, easy to use and fun for both human and dog alike. Available at pet stores everywhere, the washable, plastic device 'launches' a tennis ball with a simple arm motion - great for those dog owners who have range of motion issues. It's sure to make your dog a serious playaholic. The Chuck It drives our dogs insane with enthusiasm when we grab it and head outside.

The best part? No more slobbery, spit covered hands from throwing a tennis ball.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Good people, good energy. Get ya some.

Some of the most important things in my day aside from my family, good strong coffee in the morning, my BlackBerry. (The latter is essential in my business.) Another thing that rates right up there is positive energy. I get it from my day to day work, without a doubt.. I get to see my (mostly) furry clients each day and embark on one of our little adventures. I see the world through an animal's eyes; new, fresh zeal each time we're together. It's a great feeling.

Another port of positivity is connecting with my people on Twitter. Some are local to me, some aren't. Since on most days my contact with humans can be minimal, Twitter is a connection to so much. Seeing the ideas and energy just flow from others is a real source of inspiration for me. I like reading what others are doing. Input helps, too.

There is a tradition on Twitter called Follow Friday: a practice that helps folks get introduced into social circles. Each Friday, if I remember to get it done on the PC before my bleary eyed departure (BlackBerry is too difficult to manage this.) Although I like the idea, it can be cumbersome and time consuming. After reading a post by Chris Brogan today on Twitter, I decided that indeed I could make better use of my time by giving props to some folks who you need to know about. Agreed; 140 characters doesn't do some folks justice. This is a cool new thing that I'll be putting into practice for sure. Maybe not just on Fridays. Check it out. If I don't mention you today, don't be offended. Rome wasn't built in a day.

@interactiveAmy – Such incredible energy from Amy Ravit Korin. Insight. Humor. Ideas. She's expanded my mind about social networking/media. Learn from her.

@custardfairy – Hysterical. We all need humor. Her tweets are brief, but pack a punch.

@tom_peters – Tom describes himself as a 'professional agitator'. I think that he just moves beyond the obvious and says what needs saying. Intelligent, good common sense advice on business and life. I'm all about common sense. Too bad it's not more common, huh?

– One of the first folks that I followed, Jackie Dishner is author of BACKROADS & BYWAYS OF ARIZONA. She's great at being inspiring. Period.

Think about who you gain the most from. Shine the light.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good things to come!

This week brought a lot of changes... the weather was awesome, a client notified me that they are indeed prepping for a new puppy & I'm happy to share the super news that I am now a contributor to's pet section. I have tons of fresh, useful information that I know you'll enjoy, so I hope that you will check it out regularly, along with all of the other wonderful information and insights with my fellow contributors.

If you've any topic that you would like me to touch on, questions to answer or stuff I ought to know about please get in touch. My intention has always been to keep my blog purposeful and helpful to YOU.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pet food recall - current info...

I periodically review the FDA's site to get up to date on any pet food recalls. Click the link aforementioned in case you want to do the same.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I have an unusual request...

I received got an e-mail from a prospective client a couple of years ago, who was referred to me by a very good client of mine whose dog I have cared for, for nearly 2 years. He was wondering if I would be interested in caring for an African Clawed Frog… he realized that this may be an unusual request, but this little frog was very special to him as he got it when he was 8 years of age (yes, the frog at the time was 21) and would appreciate considering the task. I was thrilled! I had not had the pleasure of sitting for a frog in a long time, (I used to have one myself years ago and loved it) and was looking forward to the prospect of meeting them, and got in touch immediately. Froggy turned out to be a swell little guy and is a treat to care for.

I get inquiries occasionally with regard to ‘exotic pets’… pet rats, mice, snakes, a pot bellied pig or two, birds (even parrots, cockatoos, mustache parakeets, etc.) and more. Most of my clients are canines or felines, but I include most species in my business. I’m not sure that most folks with so-called exotic pets are aware that my niche exists! I certainly consider a pet of anyone’s to be special, even if they might be considered typically, to be unusual.

This topic brought a question to mind…

What is the most ‘unusual’ pet that you have ever had or encountered? Share your stories!

I would be thrilled to know!