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How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated

How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated

Hydration is a crucial part of keeping your pet healthy, especially during these hot summer months. Hydrating your pet is so essential the US has declared the month of July National Pet Hydration Month. Did you know that your dog should drink 1 ounce of water per day for every pound of body weight? For large breed dogs that means a lot more water than the recommended 64 oz for humans every day.

Why do pets need more water than humans? It may come as a surprise, but dogs and cats are made up of 80% water, as opposed to the human 55-60%. This means it is 20-25% more likely for a pet to become dehydrated. How do I know if my dog/cat is drinking enough water? We understand it is not always easy to know exactly how much water intake your pet has had each day.  Here are some important symptoms of dehydration to look out for.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy levels
  • Lethargy
  • Heavy panting
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth/gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity

If your pet experiences any of these symptoms try to entice them with a fresh bowl of water. Whenever possible monitor your pet’s water intake. In addition to watching for these symptoms, performing the skin elasticity test is a great way to detect if your pet is experiencing dehydration. If the symptoms persist/worsen you will want to give your veterinarian a call as medical attention may be needed.

Pine Hills cat with kitty water fountain

Tips to keep your pet hydrated

Providing fresh water for your pet daily may sound like a no-brainer, but there are a few tricks that will ensure your pet stays hydrated even through the hot and dry season.

  1. Keep water bowls clean

Your pet may not seem to mind day old water but a freshly clean bowl with fresh water is ALWAYS more enticing than a slimy, lukewarm dish. Cleaning your pet’s dish daily will also keep the harmful, biofilm at bay!

  1. Use more than one water dish

Increase opportunities for your pet to drink water by placing a few water dishes throughout your home as well as in several outdoor areas. This will help to up their water intake exponentially.

  1. Frozen Treats

Offer your pet frozen treats, such as ice cubes, frozen broth, or pet-healthy smoothies. These refreshing, fun treats keep your pet coming back for hydration again and again.

  1. Get a drinking fountain

While some dogs or cats may not mind standing water, others are far more interested in drinking from a bubbling fountain. Can you blame them? Drinking fountains often also filter the water which removes tastes and odors that may prevent your pet from drinking up.

  1. Add water to your pet’s food

This is an especially good idea for older pets. Start with a small amount of water until they feel comfortable with the change. You can safely add water to any type of pet food from kibble to canned food. It is a great way to up their hydration without them feeling like they are being forced to drink, drink, drink.

Tongue out golden dog with water bottle drinking

As always, our goal as pet parents is to have the happiest and healthiest pets possible. Knowing the signs of dehydration and tips for how to keep your pet hydrated will keep your fur baby living their best life all summer long. Just remember, every time you reach for a drink of water for yourself, think of your pet. Or, maybe keeping your pet hydrated will help you to stay hydrated too!

Click here to get a downloadable infographic reminder for Pet Hydration.

How are you keeping your pet hydrated this summer? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!

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. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!

Simple Guide to Adopting a Cat

Simple Guide to Adopting a Cat

Considering adopting a cat? There are many things to consider before bringing a furry feline into your home. Making it a smooth transition for the cat from the shelter to your home will set the tone for your future life together. This guide breaks down exactly what to consider before adopting. Already know adopting is definitely for you? Look no further, here we share the best ways to integrate a cat into your home!

Before you adopt

Evaluate your lifestyle

Before adopting a cat consider your lifestyle. Of course a precious fluffy kitty seems idyllic, but you must be honest with yourself to be sure you are ready for a lifetime commitment to a cat. What does it mean to evaluate my lifestyle you ask?  Start with asking yourself these simple questions.

  • Do I spend a lot of time away?
  • Do I have other pets? If so, do they get along with other animals?
  • Are there children in the home?
  • Does anyone in the home have cat allergies?
  • Am I able to take on the financial impact of owning a cat?

Answering these questions honestly will let you know if you are ready to move on to the next step!

Understand the commitment you are making

Adoption is for life.  It is crucial to understand that in making the choice to adopt a cat into your home has a furrever impact on the cat.  Being shuffled back and forth between homes and shelters is extremely taxing on an animal. Pets feel stress the same way humans do and being moved around multiple times leaves a lasting impact on an animal. Always remember Adoption is for Life.

Do your research

Research the shelter you are adopting from.  While most town/city shelters are reputable it doesn’t hurt to do a quick Google search for reviews and other information such as background and mission when it comes to pet adoptions. The more you know, the better equipped you will be when making this life changing decision. We suggest Adoption of a shelter cat rather than purchasing a cat from a breeder because every year over a million cats end up in shelters in need of a loving forever home. Be part of the solution.

Know the best fit for you

Know the type of personality you are looking for in a cat.  If you work long hours adopting a more independent cat might be the way to go.  Are you the laid back snuggling type?  Consider a cat who will be easy going and enjoys affection. Cats have personalities just like people! Decide what characteristics will be the best fit for your life and find the cat that suits you.  This will ensure a long lasting and enjoyable relationship for everyone.

Bringing your cat home

Choose a Vet

Plan ahead by choosing a vet that you know and trust. If you have never owned a cat ask your cat owning friends who they use. It is a good idea to get multiple recommendations and compare. Of course you can always do a good ol’ Google search and research Veterinarians in your area, read reviews, and make an educated decision on where to take your fur baby. Once you get the health records from your shelter it is a good idea to book your cat’s first check up ahead of time.  Many vets are extremely busy these days and it will be one less thing to think about after you bring your kitty home.

Cat Proof your home

Cats are curious, agile and smart so get ready! Become aware of the things that can pose as a potential danger to your cat. It may take a little bit to get used to but once you are aware of the items to keep an eye out for it will become habitual. Some things to look out for:

  • human food left out on the counter
  • small choke hazard items such as paper clips or tacks
  • electrical cords they may be playing with or chewing on.

Keep a close eye out for what they are playing with in the first month and arrange items in your home accordingly.

Stock up on supplies

You might be surprised by how many items your cat will need to feel comfortable and confident in their new home. Stock up on essentials such as food and litter, as well as treats, toys, and grooming items.  Download our  “Cat Supply Checklist” for a full list of items you will need as a new cat mom or dad.

Give love, patience and space

Last but certainly not least, LOVE, PATIENCE, and SPACE are three keystones for a happy, healthy, cat/cat owner life. Your cat may take several weeks to fully adjust to their new environment.  Exercising patience as they learn the “house rules” e.g using the litter box, not jumping on the counter, not chewing your shoes, will encourage them to behave appropriately. They may also need “alone time” in a designated space such as their sleeping quarters. It is important to allow them time to explore independently in their new home as it will build their confidence in their new environment and in you as their pet parent. Always remember Love, Patience, & Space.

Adopting a cat is a beautiful thing! Using this simple guide will ensure you and your new fur baby will have a long, happy, well-adjusted life together.

HAPPY ADOPTING!

Have a cat adoption story?  We would love to hear it!  Share with us in the comments.

 

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

Is Bailey dogging your every step? Do you notice Fluffy is more catty than normal?

Given the amount of time we have all been spending with our fur babies during the “Stay At Home” order, we can expect all our pets to experience Separation Anxiety.

While we wouldn’t trade a second of our time with them (right?), our transitioning back to lives outside of the home may be difficult for many of our four-legged family members. I know I feel anxious at times at the thought of this re-entry into the world. Can you imagine how they will feel? Will my cat be confused? Will my dog eat the entire armchair? Will our new kitty understand the abrupt shock of no more mommy all day every day? Will my pup be mad at me and think I’ve abandoned him?  Will it just be too much for my older pet who isn’t in the best of health as it is??? UGH, such agonizing questions that I am sure we are all asking ourselves in one form or another.  Never fear, below you will find a simple guide to answer these big questions.

 

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety occurs most commonly when an animal is hyper-attached to their human and feels abandoned when they are separated from that human (e.g. when their human returns to work outside of the home).  This can manifest in different ways for different pets, with some becoming more vocal or destructive, and others becoming more quiet. Some signs of separation anxiety include

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

Generally, these behaviors will start once you have begun your routine to leave the home, like picking up your keys or putting on your coat. For other pets, the behaviors will begin soon after you are gone and the realization hits that they are actually alone. Now, we know those sound like some daunting characteristics. Rest assured in most cases separation anxiety can be aided and even eliminated from the pet given the proper care.

 

5 Ways to eliminate Separation Anxiety in pets naturally

The following steps will help identify, ease, and treat separation anxiety in your pet to make the transition smoother for both you and your fur baby as you move into this new normal.

#5 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 actually leaving the house.  Do this several times a day as you lead up to the real 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.

 

#4 Good Old Entertainment

Think about it, we would be a little anxious listening to ourselves breathe all day while missing our favorite person. Give your fur baby some light entertainment while you are away. Whether it’s the radio, the TV, or even an audio book, leaving something on with a human voice will make them feel like someone is there with them. This is a simple way to really comfort your pet and give you some peace of mind knowing there is something to keep them company while you are away.

 

#3 Stay Calm.

Yes, simply 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. 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.

 

#2 Pawsitive association

Who doesn’t love a new toy or that special reward when we do something grand?  Pawsitive association works for our sweet kitties and slobbery pups too! 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. Is the way to your pet’s heart through their stomach? Have a special snack, like tuna juice for those kitties or the ol’ frozen peanut butter Kong trick for the pups. 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!

 

#1 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 designated time walking your dog or playing with your cat before you leave will also tire them out, and a tired pet is a calm pet.

If you have been home around the clock over these last several weeks with little interruption in the time you spend with your pet 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 check out https://justaroundthecornerpetsit.com/dog-walking-pet-care-the-new-normal/ to learn all about the safety guidelines Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting and Dog Walking is implementing to keep our clients, their fur babies and our employees safe during these unique times. Together we can ease our pet’s anxiety.

 

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

 

How to Bond with Your Cat

How to Bond with Your Cat

If you’ve grown with dogs, you probably know that bonding can be as simple as petting them for a few days to become best buddies for life. Bonding is definitely a more difficult process when you decide to get a cat. We’ve all joked about the haughty nature of felines, but most of those jokes come with more than the grain of truth attached to them. . .
Often times, people get a cat, expect instant bonding and jump to the conclusion that the cat will never want anything to do with them. Take a proactive approach and try a few techniques to better bond with the new feline family member.

Begin with these:

  1. Don’t use negative reinforcement

With dogs people often use negative reinforcement to train them in the dos and don’ts around the house. In fact, many people claim that using this form of reinforcement never results in them getting moody or stand offish and that they simply learned not to potty in the house and all was well. While we don’t recommend that approach with dogs, we most definitely can tell you that cats don’t respond to negative reinforcement – at all.
Simply raising your voice at a cat is a good way to be dead to them for life. Cats have a very low trust threshold. One bad experience with you and building a bond is going to become infinitely harder. Save yourself a headache and focus on positive reinforcement methods if you have to train your cat in order to keep your bond in good standing.

2. Be the giver of food. Don’t just leave food out 24/7. Cats bond much quicker with the people who feed them. The way to a cat’s heart is his/her stomach, so take advantage of that fact and associate yourself with him/her being fed. Your cat will start cozying up to you in no time.  Petting your cat and rewarding him with a treat throughout the day will also remind him that associating with the humans of the house reap many rewards. 

3. Be patientYou can force a cat to like you. Don’t try to play with them incessantly or pick them up all the time. Give your cat some space and let him/her come to you. The more you push for the relationship, the longer it’s going to take to build one. 

4. Be interesting.  Yes, I said it.  Be interesting.  Cats love dangling toys, string and even laser pointers.  Throw a cardboard box or brown shopping bag in the middle of the floor and your cat is sure to come a calling.  These are all great options that allow you to provide your cat with some much needed space.  Once he begins to trust you, then go ahead play more interactive games that won’t scare him off and invade his space!
Follow these basic tips and in time you’ll have every cat happily eating out of the palm of your hand.   

Why You Should Spay or Neuter the Family Pet

Why You Should Spay or Neuter the Family Pet

Your pets, both female and male can benefit from being spayed or neutered. The choice to spay or neuter your pet is something very important to consider. You should weigh out all the options and discuss with your veterinarian to make the very best choice for your pet. Spaying is a surgical sterilization done to female animals to extract the ovaries and uterus. Neutering is a procedure done to the male dog or cat by removing the testicles.

By spaying or neutering you can:

  • Decrease the amount of homeless dogs and cats
  • Protect your pet’s health
  • Avoid disruptive behavior
  • Save money on pet care​

In the U.S. there are homeless dogs and cats everywhere. Each year millions of animals enter shelters. Less than half of these poor animals get adopted and the remaining are euthanized. The best way to help decrease these numbers is to spay or neuter your pets.

  • Spaying helps females avoid uterine infections and breast cancer.
  • Spayed pets don’t go into heat and don’t have the need to mate.
  • Spaying and /or Neutering prevents overpopulation by having unwanted puppies or kittens.
  • Your male dog will be less likely to get testicular cancer if he is neutered.
  • A neutered dog or cat won’t have the urge to find a mate and will be more behaved.

When dogs and cats are in heat, they go wandering and come in contact with other animals, get hit by cars and many other undesirable situations.

Pets who have been spayed or neutered are less aggressive. They also tend to bark less. Dogs who are not neutered are prone to urine marking which is when they lift their leg to urine. Cats that are not “fixed” have the urge to spray, which can create a horrible odor in your home. This problem would be minimized or eliminated by spay or neutering.

Having your pet spayed or neutered has no effect on his intellect or learning capabilities. The procedure produces a kind of calming effect, which makes these pets better companions.

Are there risks involved with spaying and neutering? There are risks and possible complications, as with all surgical procedures. Your pet could be at risk for incontinence and some forms of cancer. Prior to the procedure your pet will be examined thoroughly to make sure they are in good health and can undergo the stress. You will be asked to keep your pet in a clean, quiet and peaceful environment after surgery.

You can be confident in your decision to spay or neuter knowing that these procedures are the most common done by veterinarians. The benefits far outweigh the risks. Many shelters and clinics offer free of low cost spay or neutering so there is finances should not stand in your way.

Must Have Apps for Cat Lovers

Must Have Apps for Cat Lovers

You love your furry purring kitty cat friends, and you want what’s best for them, right? We know this means keeping them safe, healthy and happy. These five apps are must haves for the cat lover;they have everything you could ever need in an app.

1)Catbook

Wouldn’t you love it if your kitty had his very own Facebook page? Well, there is something even better. Yep, you read it right. Catbook is social media for your cat! This app will aid in networking you and your kitty with an online community of over one million cat lovers. You can use this app to post cute pictures of your kitty, and updates about what your cat’s been up to. Also, you can use this app to connect with other cat lovers to exchange tips, tricks and other cat friendly advice and chit-chat.

2)PetSnap

YOUR cat is the most adorable creature in the world, right? How easy is it to capture good pictures of him? Yep, we thought so! It can be incredibly difficult to get that perfect picture to show off just how cute your kitty is. Whenever you think you are just about to get the perfect shot, healways seems to look away. PetSnap is an app that plays sounds to grab your cat’s attention, so when curiosity takes over and he looks at your phone you can snap a picture of that curious face. How cool is that?

3)The PetMD First Aid & Emergency for Cats app

The PetMD First Aid & Emergency appt for Cats provides you, a loving kitty cat parent, with quick and understandable advice for the most common cat emergencies and medical concerns. This app can give you some peace of mind and necessary knowledge for how to respond to any medical concern. Whether you’re at home or on the go, this app is for you!

4)PetLog

Petlog is the ultimate app for cat owners. If your kitty wanders off you can send an alert to add your cat to their database of missing pets and even post to their Lost and Found Facebook page.Petlog also gives you the opportunity to look for vets and rescues through the Cat Friendly Directory.

5)Cat Game

Who says you get to have all the fun? This app is the perfect game maker for you and you furry friend. It has the red “laser” dot right on your iPhone screen for your cat to try to “catch”. No more searching the kitchen drawers and under beds for the laser pointer. Best of all – you can play too! Entertainment for you and your cat never got so easy.

What’s your favorite pet friendly app? We’d love to hear how technology is keeping up with the demands of you and your cat – or dog. So, tell us!