Xylitol and its Effects on Dogs

Xylitol and its Effects on Dogs

Do you know about Xylitol? Most people have no idea about Xylitol and its effects on dogs. This hidden threat is a poison to our dogs. It is responsible for poisoning dogs every year and is even known to cause death. It’s a popular substance in our everyday products and foods and is most likely in your home right now. Even though humans can consume it without risk, Xylitol is a potential killer to dogs. In this blog, we hope to teach you about Xylitol and help prevent unnecessary trips to the vet this year!

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally produced in many fruits, vegetables, and plants. It is a sweet substance that is also known as “birch sugar.” Although it’s a healthier alternative for sugar in our human diets, dogs cannot digest Xylitol, which could be very harmful to them. Xylitol has become a popular sugar substitute in our diets, so we need to be extra careful about what we give our dogs.

How Does Xylitol Affect Dogs?

Xylitol activates insulin production in dogs which can decrease your dog’s blood sugar levels. The effects of Xylitol can happen quickly if it is ingested. Since this substance affects blood sugar levels, your dog can feel the impact of this quickly and experience loss of coordination and loss in muscle strength. Depending on the amount of the substance consumed, your dog may experience anything from being lethargic and weak or seizures and death from liver failure if a large amount is consumed. Varying amounts can be lethal to your dog, so you must not feed any products containing Xylitol to your dogs.

What Products are Made with Xylitol?

Xylitol is in more products than you think. It is commonly known in sugar-free gum, but it is also found in so many sugar-free and no sugar added products. This substance can be found in: sugar-free baking products, ice creams, yogurts, some peanut butter, and condiments and sauces are even made with it too. Human toothpaste and mouthwash are also everyday products that carry this substance, so be sure only to brush your dog’s teeth with their doggie toothpaste.

Be sure to read the labeling for products to make sure it does not contain Xylitol. If you have products containing the substance, be sure to keep it out of reach from your dogs to prevent any emergencies.

How to Treat Xylitol Poisoning?

If your dog ingested something with Xylitol, you should take them to the vet immediately! Xylitol can take effect within minutes or hours, and depending on the amount consumed; this can be life-threatening and lethal. One way you can help your dog is by rubbing corn syrup or real maple syrup on their gums to raise their blood sugar levels. This is just a temporary fix that can help keep your dog conscious, but please visit your vet as soon as possible. If there is evidence of wrappers or things your dog might have consumed, then bring those with you so the vet can accurately determine a solution to the problem.

Xylitol is a dangerous and hidden poison in your home. It’s essential to keep all human food and products away from your dogs so they can’t get into them. Xylitol and its effects on dogs can be lethal, so keep an extra eye on your dog with Halloween coming up and candy being out for the festivities. If you need a pet sitter while you’re out celebrating Halloween be sure to contact us about our pet sitting services, and we are sure to keep your pup out of trouble!

5 Ways to Keep you Dog Calm During Fireworks

5 Ways to Keep you Dog Calm During Fireworks

Fireworks are often a terrifying experience for our pets, especially dogs. Since dogs are so much more sensitive to sound, fireworks can cause stress and anxiety and cause dogs to seek a safe haven. July 5th is usually the busiest day of the year for Animal Shelters due to so many pets getting lost trying to get away from the BOOMS of Fireworks. Since fireworks in the summer are inevitable, we share 5 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks so that your family can enjoy a relaxing summer celebrating from the comfort and safety of your home.

 

1.  Provide a safe space for your Dog

Creating a space where your pup can go to feel safe and protected during a scary time (e.g. Fireworks or severe storms) will ease their anxiety. A crate is a great place to start. Include a bed, add their favorite blanket, give them a few toys for comfort and their cozy den will feel like a safe house when things get loud or spooky. If you have extra space or are hosting a party, reserve a quiet room for your pets that they can escape to when things get overwhelming. Setting up an intentional space for them to feel safe is vital, so they have more options than just hiding under your bed or in the bathtub.

Calm dog with sparkles and owner

2.  Desensitize your pet to Fireworks

Playing videos or recordings of Fireworks at home in short spurts can help your dog become more comfortable with the “real thing.” Using a YouTube Fireworks Video is a great place to start. Be sure not to overdo it, as these can also make your dog more sensitive to loud noises if over-exposed. If, after a couple of these sessions, your dog’s reaction has not eased, you may want to switch gears. Try playing music or watching TV recordings of outdoor festivities that mimic the sounds of celebrations and fireworks as practice for the real thing.

Changing the visual atmosphere of the room can also help your dogs receive fireworks more easily. Closing the curtains can help muffle the sound and hide the visual flashing component, which can also cause alarm. A dark place with sounds coming from a distance can help our dogs handle fireworks better.

 

3.  Exercise!

Never underestimate the power of EXERCISE! Taking your dog for a nice long walk in the morning will help ease their anxiety in the evening. As the saying goes, “A tired pup is a happy pup.” Having been properly exercised, they are more likely to sleep or feel relaxed during stressful times later in the day. Be sure to take proper care when exercising your dog during the summer months. We recommend walking your dog during morning hours when the temperatures are cooler, and the ground is not hot or harmful to their paws. After their morning exercise, they will have no energy left to be fearful or anxious about fireworks or storms occurring in the evenings.

Dog loves July 4th!

4.  Be home with your Dog during Firework times

This option is not for everyone, but if possible, stay home with your pet during prime fireworks hours. Your presence will provide the best possible comfort to your four-legged baby. Being home allows you to problem solve, distract, and pivot as needed. When you are home, you can adjust the TV volume and put on or take off their Thundershirt, as needed. The Thundershirt is another great tool to keep dogs calm during stressful times by creating comfort and calm.

Giving delicious treats or playing with their favorite toys will keep their mind off their anxiety and distract them as well.

The way you act also affects your dogs. A calm non-distraught owner will convey calmness to their pets in any situation. Overall, your dogs will be happier and more confident knowing you are with them.

If you cannot be home, you may want to purchase a Dogness Smart Camera with a treat dispenser. This will allow you to keep a close eye on your pet and provide a delicious distraction for them until they are safe in your arms again.

 

5.  Talk with your Vet

If you implement the above tips and your pet is still riddled with anxiety, reach out to your veterinarian. There are many calming agent options a vet can recommend for your pet. This includes anything from all-natural CBD oils to calming chews as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. The pet may also recommend specific trainers or training techniques to help your dog feel comfortable around loud noises and fireworks. Your Vet will be able to guide you in the best direction given your dog’s history and current state.

 

As pet parents, we intend to keep our fur babies safe. Fireworks, and our pets’ reactions to them, can be unpredictable. These 5 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks are just some suggestions to help your dogs during the firework season. Pets still escape from homes despite our best efforts, so please make sure your pet comes home safely by keeping their ID tags updated. Microchipping your pets will also help quickly identify them in case they run away. Be sure to include your pets’ name, a working phone number, and your current street address in the identification.

Share this FREE infographic to spread the word and keep pets safe this 4th of July!

Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information.

 

5 Dog-friendly vacation spots in New England

5 Dog-friendly vacation spots in New England

With Summer just around the corner, it’s not too late to start planning your summer vacation with your pups in tow! There are a ton of dog-friendly vacation spots in and around New England. With beaches, cityscapes, parks, and beautiful views, New England has something for everyone to enjoy. Here is our list of 5 dog-friendly vacation spots in New England.

Inn By The Sea

The Inn by the Sea in Maine is a dog’s paradise vacation. This family-friendly resort welcomes dogs to stay and even offers a special INNcredible Pets Package loaded with services to pamper your pup. In addition to it being accommodating to canines, the surrounding area is also dog-friendly. There are beaches, trails and dog-friendly dog parks to enjoy with your pup. To relax, the Inn by the Sea has pet massages as well as gourmet room service for both you and your dog to enjoy. If you’re looking for a nice relaxing getaway to get pampered and forget the stresses of everyday life, then the Inn by the Sea is for you.

Dog with stick on a walk

Dog Mountain

As the name suggests, Dog Mountain is a space dedicated to dogs located on a mountain top in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. These grounds are free of charge to the public and open to visitors so that dog owners can meet and enjoy the company of their dogs running around. The grounds also have a chapel dedicated to pet parents who lost their pet and want to reflect on those memories. In addition to this, Dog Mountain hosts dog parties throughout the year so that dogs and pet parents can enjoy their time together. Whether you only visit the mountain once or make a couple of trips out, this is a great space to visit on vacation with your furry friends.

The Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt is a beautiful historic hotel with an old charm that you and your pup can enjoy. The hotel allows for up to two pets for an additional fee for their rooms, but they provide bowls, beds, and treats for their canine guests. Outside the hotel, adventures are waiting for you. From cliff walks to cruise rides, Newport, Rhode Island has attractions for your seaside vacation with your pup! When you’re hungry, you and your dog can enjoy some fine dining at the Clarke Cooke House and watch the sunset on the water together. The beautiful scenes in this vacation will have you and your pup feeling like you’re in a dream.

Wilburton Inn

The Wilburton Inn, located in Manchester, Vermont, doesn’t just welcome dogs; they celebrate them! Each year, they have multiple dog-related events known as ‘doggie slumber parties‘ to celebrate particular holidays with visiting pups. Wilburton believes that it’s not a family vacation unless your fur babies come along for the trip!

The beautiful 30-acre establishment offers nearby activities for your whole family to enjoy, like walks and hikes in the surrounding areas. If you feel like going up to town, you can bring your pup along as Manchester is a very dog-friendly city and welcomes dogs in shops and outside restaurants. Wherever your adventure takes you in Manchester, Wilburton is sure to include your whole family in the fun.

dog playing dominoes with family

Fairmont Copley Plaza

For a posh getaway to experience city living with your pup, visit the Fairmont Copley Plaza. This fancy building is known to be one of Boston’s most dog-friendly hotels. To prove it, they hired a black lab to be a ‘canine ambassador‘ for the hotel!

While in Boston, you can spend your day walking the city streets and admiring the sights and sounds of everyday life in the city. Your adventure can lead you to many discoveries and hopefully some dog parks for your pup to enjoy. In the evening, you can relax in your beautiful suite and order some room service to enjoy a peaceful night together. Your dog is sure to be welcomed with open arms at this establishment!

New England has many dog-friendly travel spots to choose from. Whether you want a country getaway or a couple of days on a beach, the New England area has all this to offer and more. These are our 5 dog-friendly vacation spots in New England, but there are plenty more out there. Please let us know about your favorite places to travel with your dog in the area. We would love to know!

If you’re going on a vacation without your pets, please consider looking at our pet sitting services and contact us for more details. Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

Given the amount of time we have been spending with our fur babies during the “Stay At Home” order, we can expect our pets to experience some form of separation anxiety. Easing your pet into their pre-pandemic routines may be a challenge as we return to work and the outside world. We have come up with five ways on how to ease your pet’s separation anxiety. These steps will allow for a smoother transition into a routine for the changes to come.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety occurs most commonly when an animal is hyper-attached to their human. They feel abandoned when they are separated from someone they spent so much time with. This can manifest in different ways for different pets. Some pets become more vocal or destructive, and others become quieter. Some signs of separation anxiety include:

  • Vocalization: howling/whining/barking or excessive barking
  • Destructive chewing furniture/ personal belongings (destructive behavior)
  • Inappropriate urination (peeing outside the litter box or on the owner’s clothes)
  • Scratching at the door/destructive behaviors
  • Shaking/Shivering
  • Refusing to eat
  • Become quiet or withdrawn

Generally, these behaviors start once you begin your routine to leave home, or after you have left. Picking up your keys or putting on your coat will be a sign your pet will associate with departure. These sound like some daunting characteristics, but rest assured, separation anxiety can be aided and even eliminated from the pet given the proper care and training in most cases.

Here are five ways on how to ease your pet’s separation anxiety.

Practice your ‘exit routine’ without the exit

How many times have you gone to put your shoes on to leave the house, and one of them has magically disappeared? That is because our pets KNOW what it means when we put our shoes on. Try doing the final few steps of your exit routine without actually exiting. Put on your shoes, grab your keys, wallet/handbag, and then stay home. Instead of leaving, give your pet extra loving, maybe a treat, belly rubs and reassurance. When you do this, your pet will start to disassociate those “exit actions” with you leaving the house. Do this several times a day as you lead up to the actual exit date. If you have already begun working outside of the home, you can still practice this technique during periods of being home, such as evenings, weekends, etc.

Good Old Entertainment

We would be a little anxious listening to ourselves breathe all day while missing our favorite person. Our pets can also get anxious and distressed from the silence. Give your fur baby some light entertainment while you are away. Whether it’s the radio, music, the TV, or even an audiobook, leaving something on with a human voice will make them feel like someone is there with them. This is a simple way to comfort your pet and give you some peace of mind knowing there is something to keep them company while you are away.

calm kitty with frog toy

Help your pet to stay calm even when they miss you

Stay Calm

Humans emit pheromones that our pets can smell. These hormone-like chemicals tell our pets when we feel nervous, fearful, or anxious. Our anticipation of knowing our pets will be anxious when we leave can cause us to emit those chemicals, adding to their separation anxiety and emotional distress. If you can’t help but feel worried about leaving them, pop a mint or piece of gum into your mouth to throw them off your scent.

Pawsitive Association

Pawsitive association works for our sweet kitties and slobbery pups by rewarding their good behaviour through toys or treats. For this behavior modification exercise, try purchasing a new toy that you only bring out when you leave. This will give them something positive to enjoy while knowing you are leaving. If the way to your pet’s heart is through their stomach, then have a special snack on hand. Tuna juice for cats or frozen peanut butter Kongs for pups are great treats. This will keep them busy as you head out the door and leave them with the fondest of memories of you as they snack away!

Exercise and Interaction with Other Humans

Exercise and interaction are a fantastic way to build up your pet’s confidence and ultimately relieve much of their anxiety. Spending a designated time walking your dog or playing with your cat before you leave will also tire them out. Try to plan your day out thoughtfully and include them into your daily routine. This will not only help them get into a daily schedule, but the exercise and play will also be good for their physical and psychological well-being. Remember, a tired pet is a calm pet, which guarantees peace of mind.

If you have been home around the clock over these last several months, chances are both you, and your pet will feel a void when the time comes to part ways. Hiring a midday dog walker or cat sitter is a great way to make sure the transition is smooth for both of you. A dog walker will make sure your pup gets fresh air and great exercise to prepare them for the second half of their day while waiting for mom/dad to arrive home. A cat sitter can come by during the day for some playtime and a treat or two. Having “outsiders” come into the home will help your pet become more adaptable. This ultimately places less hyper-attachment on you, giving you a happier, healthier, less anxious relationship.

If you are concerned with cross-contamination when considering hiring a dog walker, cat sitter, or pet sitter, check out our Covid safety measures to learn all about the safety guidelines Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting and Dog Walking is implementing. We believe in keeping our clients, their fur babies and our employees safe during these unique times. Together we can ease our pet’s separation anxiety while creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

Have experience with an anxious pet as a pet owner? Let us know how you helped them overcome and ease Separation Anxiety in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Your Home the Pet Friendly Way

Cleaning Your Home the Pet Friendly Way

Having a clean home protects us from harmful bacteria and viruses and creates a healthy and comfortable atmosphere. For homes with pets, cleaning your home in a pet-friendly way is essential. Household cleaners are a common cause of poisoning for cats and dogs, so you must know which cleaning products are safe and pet friendly.

Effects of Toxins

Toxins are bad for our health and are harmful to the planet. Many people think you have to ingest the chemical for it to be dangerous. However, toxins are just as damaging to breathe in as to be around. These toxins pose a threat to us and our pets. The contact made with these chemically cleaned surfaces can negatively affect our pets’ health.

Inhaling or ingesting chemicals can have dangerous effects on our pets, especially with their heightened senses of smell. Being around toxic chemicals can cause dizziness, headaches or nausea. Ingesting poisonous chemicals can have life-threatening effects. If you think your pet has ingested a chemical, take them to the vet right away.

Going Green and Pet-Friendly

There’s no time like the present to change your ways. You can make your natural products at home. These DIY products will be safe for your family, including your pets, and you’ll know everything that’s in them. It’s also quick, easy and cost-effective!

Making homemade pet-friendly cleaning products does save you money in the long run. However, pet-friendly and green products are popular in the market and can be purchased commercially. Make sure you do your research before buying any cleaning product.

Many healthy alternatives

Getting Started

Many people don’t want to throw out the commercial products that they have on hand – and rightly so. We recommend starting simple and gradually swapping your commercial cleaners for pet-safe and homemade organic products as you finish those toxic bottles. We promise it’s a lot easier than it seems!

When you’re ready to replace your old chemicals, we recommend you start collecting the following products:

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water or boiled (then cooled) tap water
  • Box of baking soda
  • Table salt
  • Bottle of white distilled vinegar
  • Oils (almond, olive, vitamin E, mineral, coconut)
  • Castile Soap (bar or liquid form)
  • Fresh lemons.
  • Washcloths or old rags
  • Pure, essential oils (which are great for their antiseptic, antibacterial qualities) smell so good: Rosemary, tea tree, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and lemongrass are just a few).

A simple search online can result in many free recipes. From carpet cleaning, carpet stains, floor cleaning and eliminating pet odors, there is a recipe for all household cleaners. With these natural ingredients, you can create many organic pet-safe cleaning products for all your household chores.

Helpful Resources

If you prefer to have a personal copy of pet-safe organic cleaning products, we recommend the book “The Organically Clean Home: 150 Organic Cleaning Products” by Becky Rapinchuk. It comes with simple instructions on how you can get started. It also contains many practical hints along the way. This book has received great reviews, and it’s FREE if you subscribe to kindle unlimited!

Here’s a sample of an easy pet-safe recipe from “The Organically Clean Home: 150 Organic Cleaning Products”:

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

What you need:

1 cup of castile soap

¼ cup distilled water (or tap water that is boiled and cooled)

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

5 drops of essential oil (lemon)

Combine the ingredients, and voila! Use one tablespoon of the mixture per load and run your dishwasher as you normally would. Becky suggests putting distilled white vinegar in your dishwasher’s rinse compartment if you’re worried about hard water spots. This detergent also lasts and has a 3-week shelf life!

Contact Us

We believe that cleaning your home in a pet-friendly way can not only improve your pet’s life but your life as well. These organic mixtures and cleaning remedies will give you one less thing to worry about your pet’s health and safety. If you would like to know about the pet-safe cleaning products we use for pet sitting and disinfecting, please contact us.

Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!

We’d love to hear what your “go-to” natural cleaning products are? Happy cleaning!