Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

The holidays are here, which means lots of decorative additions to your pet’s home! We sometimes forget to “pet-proof” our fabulous decking, so we came up with some holiday pet safety tips to be aware of. Let’s enjoy the holidays and prevent unnecessary emergencies during this magical season.

Pet-safe Holiday décor

With so many items to put out and nooks and crannies to decorate, we forget to press PAUSE and think about how our pets will react to these decorations. Remember these four essential rules when turning your home into a safe winter wonderland for the holidays.

  1. Keep the electric cords out of reach or hidden. Even if your pet leaves the year-round cords in your home alone, they may not do the same for new and exciting ones with sparkling lights. Remember that anytime we make changes in THEIR home, they will be curious. Remember not to underestimate what they may do when new cords appear in their space.
  2. Be aware of the seasonal plants you purchase. While they are beautiful, many of these festive flowers are highly poisonous to our pets if ingested. A few of the most popular ones to be aware of are Holly, Mistletoe, and Poinsettias. Before bringing a seasonal plant into your home, check the full list of plants toxic to pets. (Need more information on toxic plants? Read our blog from July, 2020!)
  3. Keep tinsel and ribbon out of reach. The sparkle of the tinsel, the flow of a ribbon, is too much for a kitty to stand! For tinsel, the biggest concern is ingesting it, which can cause severe blockage and intestinal issues. While playing with ribbons is an enjoyable pastime, our pets can become tangled up quickly. If wrapped around their neck or paws, it can send them into a panic and escalate the situation. In addition, many ribbons have wiring in them, which can poke an eye or even be chewed off and ingested. Keep a watchful eye out for any tinsel and ribbon playing this holiday.
  4. Keep an eye on festive flames. Whether you are lighting up some candles for fun, warmth, or practicing an important tradition, always keep these flames out of reach of pets. They can become too mesmerized by the glow or accidentally bump the furniture with a burning candle. Never keep your pet in a closed room with any flame.

kitten with Christmas decorations

The Christmas Tree

Whether you have a real tree or a fake tree, knowing the potential dangers and trouble your pets can find is important. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Christmas Trees in your home and the safety of your pets.

  • Chewing on branches. Ingestion of pine needles or plastic needles can cause major blockages in your pets’ intestines and other health complications. Be sure to discourage biting or chewing the tree. If the behavior continues, consider moving or guarding the tree away from them. You can also try spraying some Bitter Yuck (safe for dogs and cats) to deter them.
  • Tree Water. The water in a tree stand can contain dangerous chemicals. Avoid letting your pets sneak a sip from the tree base to keep them safe. Use a tree skirt to cover the opening of the tree base to keep your pet from being able to drink from it.
  • Most decorative tree hangings are pretty fragile and can easily shatter to pieces. Cats might want to bat at all the shiny objects, becoming a safety hazard. Try attaching small zip ties to ensure the ornaments are not removable off the tree.
  • Tree Lights. Sparkling lights draped on the edge of a tree can lead to your pets pawing or getting tangled in the cords. Rather than draping them around the outer edge of your tree, try placing them closer to the trunk of the tree. The illumination will still be there while making them far less tempting to our fur babies.

Yuletide Yummies

As tempting as it may be to give our furry friends table scraps, it’s best to avoid this kind gesture for the sake of their health. Not only are many of our dishes toxic to pets, but they also have a sensitive digestive system. Like people, an upset stomach for our pets causes discomfort, and no one wants an upset tummy on a special day like Christmas. If you’re looking to make their holiday meal special, add a dollop of pumpkin puree or some chicken broth. Foods to always keep out of reach of pets include: Chocolate and other holiday candies, raw egg (particularly in dough), grapes and raisins, fruits and veggies containing pits such as olives and cherries, and onions.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the trash can!

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Now that you’ve safely decorated for the holidays, you can think of your emergency plan. Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical in making sure the situation does not escalate. Make sure you and everyone in your household understand the steps to take if an emergency arises. Be sure to always have important phone numbers in your contacts and placed in a visible location, like your fridge. Regular vet, emergency vet and Poison Control are a few numbers to have on hand. Keep your pet’s medical records in a convenient location as well—the more information you can provide during an emergency, the better. Lastly, remember to have a plan. Know the places you could call for help and the quickest route to get there.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Help keep your pets safe this holiday season by keeping an eye out for potential dangers in your home and following these safety tips. Ensure that your pets are taken care of with Just Around the Corner. We offer pet care of all kinds, including 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! Wishing you and your pets a happy and healthy holiday season!

 

 

Why Retractable Leashes are Not a Good Choice

Why Retractable Leashes are Not a Good Choice

Retractable leashes have become a popular trend in recent years. They are a nifty-looking tool and do work in theory. Practically,however, these leashes are no good and could be a safety hazard to our dogs and us. At Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting, we ultimately dislike these leashes. Here is why retractable leashes are not a good choice and why you should stick to the regular leash.

Reinforces Bad Training

The way retractable leashes are designed allows dogs to pull to extend their leash. This reinforces the habit of pulling during walks. Dogs that are being trained should not use a retractable leash and should stick to a regular one. Training a dog on a retractable leash teaches them to pull and harms them if the leash snaps from its retractable device. This leash is an ineffective and non-consistent walking tool, especially in training.

Injuries to People and Pets

It’s not unheard of for retractable leashes to snap. Even the most expensive brands of retractable leashes have the risk of snapping if extended too far. If your dog is known to bolt, chase, or is a bigger dog with a strong pull, please don’t use a retractable leash. If the leash were to snap, it might send a harmful whip toward you or your dog, resulting in injury. In addition to the snapped leash, you have lost complete control of your dog, leading you to other issues that you preferably wouldn’t want. Not only is the risk of snapping dangerous, but there are also known instances of owners being tangled up in the leash as well. If your dog gets excited and starts wrapping the leash around your legs, it’s much harder to reel the leash back into the device. This results in bruises, cuts and even burns on your legs depending on the leash material.

Less Secured Control in Animal Confrontations

Even if your retractable leash doesn’t snap, those flexible leashes will never have the same control as a regular leash. An excited dog meeting others can jolt the leash right out of your hand, which can not only hurt you, but it can hurt your dog and other dogs as well. Reeling in your dog from another dog is also more difficult. Typically, the extendable leash is made from a rope or cable material that is uncomfortable to hold and pull on. It’s better to stick to leashes that you can manually pull back and put around your hand to ensure you have complete control at any given moment.

 

Awkward to Handle

Retractable leashes usually are prettier and have a poop bag holder attached to them, but they are overall awkward to handle despite their looks. The constant shortening and lengthening of the leash can wear out the mechanism. They aren’t as long-lasting as traditional leashes. In addition to the easy wear and tear, they tend to be more awkward to hold. There is only one handle and one way to hold the leash, resulting in less control at critical moments. These leashes also tend to be more expensive. It’s a nice piece of technology, but the regular old leash is the most effective and cost-efficient for most dogs.

 

There are likely many more reasons why retractable leashes are not a good choice. These are just the four most prominent reasons why we do not recommend them. At Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting, we believe in keeping your dogs safe and away from harm. This includes keeping them safe from their own walking equipment! Check out our dog walking and hiking services and treat your dog for some safe and exciting fun with us!

Local Holiday Shopping for Your Pets: Plymouth, MA

Local Holiday Shopping for Your Pets: Plymouth, MA

With the weather getting colder, it serves as a reminder that the holidays are just around the corner and holiday shopping is underway! If you are like us, the fur babies go at the TOP of the shopping list, and budgets have wiggle room to ensure we spoil our babies. When planning to shop, it’s a great idea to shop locally. Whenever possible, choosing a local small business should be a priority. Supporting our local businesses can go a long way in our communities, and as we head into the busiest shopping month of the year, may we all remember the importance of choosing local and shopping small.

To help you plan your holiday shopping trips, we have put together a list of local shops and makers right here in America’s Hometown of Plymouth, MA. Together we can make a big difference in our town by keeping our money where our paws are.

Pet Supplies Plus Plymouth

Pet Supplies Plus is a must-stop shop for pet owners this holiday! Located off exit 6 in the Stop & Shop plaza in Plymouth, Pet Supplies Plus is a locally owned and operated franchise store. They offer everything from dozens of pet food options to hundreds of fantastic toys as well as a whole lot in between. Their inventory covers just about every pet under the sun, including hamsters, reptiles, and fish! One trip here, and you are sure to knock out every pet on your list and provide hours and hours of pet entertainment in the process.

JAC Mascot Quinn at Morrisons Plymouth MA

Quinn loves seeing his friends at Morrison’s!

Morrison’s Home & Garden & Pet

In this all stop shop, you can grab some home hardware to get your holiday decorations up and some pet supplies for your Pet! Morrison’s loves pets and they believe in supplying and spoiling your pet to the best quality of foods and products. And, your dog is welcome to join you – Quinn loves Morrison’s! They offer a wide range of foods and treats that your pet is sure to love. Whether you’re picking up your tree, or purchasing some lights, be sure to stop by the pet section. Morrison’s is a great place to stock up on stocking stuffers for all the fur babies in your life!

Carberry Kitchen

This delightful business makes delicious treats for our deserving pups that keep them happy and healthy. They offer a variety of flavours that your pups are sure to love. Each small batch treat bag is full of locally sourced, wholesome ingredients and a whole lot of love. Whether your dog is picky or will eat anything, they are sure to enjoy these tasty treats. Whenever I’m treating a client, the neighbor’s pups, or my dog, the Carberry Kitchen bag never fails to get their attention. If pups could talk, they would say, “Buy the Carberry treats!” ALWAYS! You can find Carberry Kitchen products in stores all over Plymouth and online. Some stores that sell Carberry Kitchen products in Plymouth are: Made It (Waterfront), Clements Market (Manomet), The Market (Pine Hills), Papa’s Pets Supply (Manomet).

How to support local for FREE!

The holidays may be a bit different again this year. After the pandemic, our shopping patterns have changed. In-person shopping may not be as popular as it once was. Nonetheless, if you still desire to help the local shops and makers in your area, here are 6 FREE ways to show your support!

  1. Write a positive review
  2. Spread the word! Tell your friends and family
  3. Follow them on social media
  4. Subscribe to their newsletter/Join their email list
  5. Share their content, ex. blog link. Give them a shout-out!
  6. Engage with their social media. Like, comment, & share.

Be sure to check how you can shop for your gifts this year. If you’re ever unsure of the gifts to get others, you can always purchase a gift certificate for any of your local businesses. This is another excellent way to support and promote local businesses.

Just Around the Corner offers pet care of all kinds, including 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!

 

 

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.