How to Choose the Best Vet for Your Pet

How to Choose the Best Vet for Your Pet

Choosing a veterinarian for your pet’s health and wellness is one of the most important decisions you will make as a pet parent. After all, the goal is to keep our fur babies healthy, happy and on Earth for as long as possible, right? Finding the right health care provider for your precious pup or fluffy feline is a personal decision that will lay the foundation for your pets’ health. If you are like me, you want quality care that comes with ease and Peace of Mind for your precious pet. Contrary to popular belief, our pets are not born hating the vet! Find a place that makes them feel comfortable and (dare I say) one they look FORWARD to going to! While the responsibility of choosing your pets’ health care provider is HUGE, the process of finding the best fit for you and your pet can and should be FUN! So, take a deep breath and follow these 7 great ways to go about choosing the best vet for your pet.

Talk to your pet owner friends

Get recommendations about the best veterinarians from people you trust who also have pet owning experience. Start by building a list of possible vets based on these recommendations. This list may also include some fair warnings of less than stellar practices based on others’ experience. Consider what type of pet or breed your friends own(ed). A 15-year-old Maine-coon cat will have a vastly different veterinary experience than a brand-new yellow lab puppy. Friends who own pets are a wonderful place to start your vet choosing process.

Research

The best vet for your pet may not fall right into your lap but with focused research the right fit will come along in no time. After gathering a list of names/practices from your pet owning pals do some of your own research. Thoroughly review each candidate’s website and read their testimonials. If people are saying things that you are looking for in a vet like “personal attention” “timely and considerate service” “open evenings and weekends” “good value” or “very professional” they may be worth looking into further. In addition to the compiled list of recommendations from your friends, a Google search for veterinarians in your area is another fabulous resource. Always read reviews and look for people who describe what you hope to find in a vet. Live in Plymouth, MA? Click here for a list of local veterinarians!

Grey and black cat with 2 vets

Visit (or Call) to feel it out

The best way, hands down, to learn if a vet practice will work for you and your pet is to experience it firsthand. When possible, take a trip to your top choices for a visit. You can first do this without your pet to get a feel for cleanliness, day to day operations, and whether the staff meet your friendliness standards. If the visit goes well and you are pleased with your experience, set up a trial visit for your pet. Realize that right now, in a COVID world, scheduling “research visits” may not be an option. Rather than in person, make phone calls to your top choices to inquire about their practice and ask the staff and veterinarian your questions.

Hours of Operation

The best vet for your pet means they are available when you need them! The hours and days of operation vary from practice to practice. Think ahead to what days of the week you will be available to schedule your pet’s routine visits and ensure that your vet of choice is open. If you are only available on weekends and your vet is not open Saturday or Sunday that may be a deciding factor and time to look at other options. If you choose in-home veterinary care, ask for their “on-call hours”. Many times, traveling vets hold hours of operation like a brick and mortar clinic. If the vet, you choose is not open or available 24/7 you will want an emergency veterinarian for your pet as well. Once you have chosen your primary care vet ask them for their recommendation on an emergency vet.

map with pins

Location Location Location

Choosing a vet who is close and convenient is beneficial and can be life changing when it comes to an emergency. Consider your travel time to each vet clinic and decide if that is a distance you feel comfortable traveling with your pet, particularly in the event of an emergency. Knowing the proximity of a clinic is to your home is an excellent way to narrow your search.

Fees and Money Matters

When it comes choosing the best vet for your pet financials matter! To choose a vet that foremost meets your financial needs, compare the pricing of multiple clinics. Always ask ahead of time the full costs of procedures to avoid any unexpected fees. Inquire about methods of payment, payment plans or financial assistance before committing.

small kitten with person and CBD oil

Connect with the Vet on your Pet Care Philosophies

Get down to business by asking the veterinarians their beliefs on practices and treatments for things like cancer, spaying and neutering, and euthanasia. If you believe in holistic and alternative treatments is this something they practice and/or condone? Is the vet patient and understanding of your questions and inquiries? The quality of health care for your pet is not something to compromise on. If a vet does not feel like the “right fit” continue your quest until you feel 100% comfortable in your decision.

happy dog on counter with vet in background

Gain Confidence in Your Choice

As a pet parent there is no greater choice to make than their health care provider. When embarking on this important quest consider others’ experiences and investigate their recommendations.  Research thoroughly while getting answers to your important questions. Make the choice that works within your budget and time and choose a vet who aligns with your personal pet care philosophies. Following these guidelines will give you confidence and Peace of Mind in making your final decision of which vet to choose for your pet. Remember, choosing a vet is not like a marriage proposal. You are not looking for “the one”, you are making a choice that most closely aligns with your values and expectations of the health care provided to your pet. If your initial choice ends up not being the “right fit” you can always change!

References:

www.akc.org

www.pets.webmd.com

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!

Protect Your Dog and Cat From Toxic Plants and Mushrooms

Protect Your Dog and Cat From Toxic Plants and Mushrooms

Your backyard is one of the safest places for your pup to spend their time, but it can also become deadly in the blink of an eye. Summer days with high humidity make the conditions ideal for dangerous plants and mushrooms to grow. If you are a dog owner, you know “everything goes in the mouth” especially new things they find in their personal space. Well, one mushroom or toxic plant in the mouth, when you are not looking, could become a deadly situation in a matter of hours. However, there are simple steps you can take to prevent your pet and you from dealing with the terrible effects of poisonous plants and mushrooms.

dog sniffing mushrooms

How to prevent poisonous plant ingestion

Clear ALL mushrooms in your yard.

When in doubt, take it out! Better to be safe than sorry so if you see mushrooms you are not sure about in your yard go ahead and dig them up. Be sure to pull them up by the “root “ (or mycelium) if possible, to help prevent further growth. This will not guarantee that they will not come back so keep an eye out. If you wish to keep non-harming mushrooms in your yard educate yourself on the types of mushrooms and their qualities. Learn more here: Types of toxic mushrooms

Be on the lookout for mushrooms outside of your yard too!

If mushrooms can grow in your well-manicured yard they can certainly grow along trails, sidewalks, and those hidden places your pet loves to sniff out for a potty break. Keeping an eye out while on walks, hikes and in new places (even a friend’s yard) is key to keeping your pet safe and plant poison free!

pug with daffodil

Know which plants are toxic to pets

While mushroom awareness is particularly important due to their quick appearance, easy access to pets, and difficulty to identify, they are not the only plants you should be on the lookout for. The same precautionary actions mentioned above should be taken with any poisonous plant. Here are some of the most common plants to be aware of.
• Azalea
• Hydrangea
• Ivy
• Daffodil
• Poinsettia
• Foxglove
• Tulip
• Lily
• Hyacinth
To name a few… Many of these plants are commonly found in flower arrangements as well as flower gardens. If you purchase flowers or plants or are gifted an arrangement be sure to double check the contents before leaving it within reach of your fur babies. Check out a complete list of toxic and non-toxic plants here: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Identifying a poisoned pet

While some symptoms of poisoning are very evident not all signs come on at once or right away. If you suspect your pet has ingested part or all of a poisonous plant be on the lookout for these telltale signs.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood
  • Fever
  • Excessive drooling
  • Weak/Uncoordinated Movements
  • Seizures
  • Strong heartbeat

If your pet exhibits any of these signs, contact your vet or poison control (800-222-1222) right away. Time is critical when getting care for poison.

Have a plan!

As a pet parent we hope to never deal with something so terrible as poison ingestion but nonetheless we must be prepared.

  • Put important phone numbers in your contacts AND in a prominent place like your refrigerator for easy access. Regular vet, emergency vet and Poison Control are a few numbers to have on hand.
  • Identify the plant involved and take a sample with you to your emergency location.
  • Keep your pet’s medical records in a convenient location. The more information you can provide your pet’s medical professional the better they will be able to care for them.
  • There is no home remedy you can offer your pet for this circumstance so get in touch with a medical professional ASAP

 

With so many toxic plants out there prevention can feel overwhelming, but with a few precautionary actions poisonous plant ingestion in pets is 100% preventable.

• Know what is in your yard
• Remove all dangerous plants from spaces your pet occupies
• Regularly check your pets’ spaces for new growth/potential danger
• Be familiar with the signs of a poisoned pet
• Have a plan of action

If you are having trouble identifying a plant in your yard a veterinarian or pet care professional may be able to help you. Call your vet or visit www.aspca.org for more information.

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!

 

 

What Are My Pet Care Options When I Go on Vacation?

What Are My Pet Care Options When I Go on Vacation?

Have you ever planned an exciting trip to get away from it all only to be faced with the dilemma of what do I do with the Dog/Cat? The difficulty of leaving your pets behind during a family vacation or weekend getaway is one of the number one reasons people decide not to travel. The pet parent guilt of leaving your fur baby behind can be tough to overcome. Knowing your pet care options before going away will help you to make the right choice for you and your pet(s). Choosing the right pet care option is the key to peace of mind while on vacation!

Before you start the search for pet care there are a few questions you want to answer for yourself and your pet.

  • Where will my pet be most comfortable?
  • How much care does my pet need daily? (consider feedings, medications, puppy needs, etc.)
  • Does my dog/cat get along with strangers (human and animal)?
  • What is my budget for pet care?
  • What will give me the most peace of mind while I am away?

Pine Hills dog on Home mat waiting for dog walker

PET CARE OPTIONS

Professional Pet Sitting

Hiring a professional pet sitter is an excellent way to maintain peace of mind for both you and your pet during your time away. Pet sitting is the most customizable option for your pet! Does your pet feel most comfortable at home? This option allows your pet to remain in their familiar surroundings 24/7 while you are away enjoying yourself. A pet sitter is also a great choice for keeping your pets’ schedule as normal as possible for them. From feeding times to walks/let outs you can customize a timely schedule with the pet sitter and their visits each day. A pet sitter generally holds several pet safety certifications (particularly true of established pet care businesses), adding to your peace of mind. They will keep you up to date with personalized notes or text messages and of course provide lots of love for your fur babies while you are away. Pet sitting can double as a “home watch”. Many pet sitters will bring in your mail and newspapers and even water your plants, making your home appear “lived in” during your time away. BONUS!

In-Home Boarding

Boarding your pet in a pet sitters’ home is a wonderful option if you are not comfortable with letting someone new into your home or if you pet is protective of the home, i.e. does not allow strangers into the home. This can also be a less expensive option compared to hiring a pet sitter to come to your home multiple times a day. In-home boarding keeps your pet under the watchful care of an experienced pet sitter around the clock. In many cases, your pet will be socialized with other pets in a monitored and safe environment. In-home boarding also means your pet is never left alone overnight. When looking to book in-home boarding be sure to ask how much time the pet sitter generally spends away from the home or how much time they anticipate your pet will be crated or left alone in the home. Answers will vary depending on the pet sitter so to make the best choice for your pet it is a good idea to ask.

two dogs with kneeling dog walker

Kennels/Boarding Facilities

A standard option for around-the-clock pet care is a boarding facility. If you prefer to board your pet at a facility make sure it is reputable: read reviews, and ask your fellow pet parents for recommendations. Confirm that the facility holds the required boarding certifications, i.e. PCSA certified. Be sure to ask about the qualifications of the care-takers as well as detailed information on the daily schedule for pets under their care. It is important to note that boarding facilities often do not have staff on location after a certain time of day. Refer to the questions you answered above to determine if a boarding facility is a good fit for your pet. Find qualified boarding facilities at the International Boarding & Pet Services Association

Friend/Neighbor

Does your best friend LOVE playing with your cat, or maybe your neighbor has a teen dying to walk your dog? Consider asking them to pop over for feedings and playtime/walks. Having an established relationship with the person coming into your home can be comforting for both you and your pet. This is a great option if your pet has difficulty with new people or if you need someone to pop over on short notice. If they have pets themselves offer to return the favor next time they plan a trip. An important thing to remember when using a friend or neighbor is that life happens and there is always the possibility that something “comes up” last minute making them unavailable. Be sure to have a backup plan just in case.

Take them with you

What greater peace of mind than to have your fur baby right alongside you while you are away? If your pet is comfortable in new places, enjoys car rides (for road trip travels), or offers comfort to you as a pet owner they could be an excellent travel companion. There are many pet friendly travel options out there. From Airbnbs to restaurants and shopping, pets are becoming widely accepted in both public and private places across the country and the world. If your pet has a hard time being away from you or with new people, bringing them along will be your best option. Searching sites such as bringfido.com will give you detailed information on recreation, businesses, lodging and more that welcome our furry friends! Even if your pet does well boarding or with visits by a pet sitter/neighbor you may want to consider researching your destination for pet friendly options.  After all, what is a family vacay without the family pet? Download our Free Guide to Traveling with Pets for all you need to know when you travel with your pets.

tiger kitty in carrier

From hiring a pet sitter to in-home or traditional boarding to traveling with your pet, you have many options for pet care when you vacation. You know your pet best – think about which option will be the best fit for them and for you and go with that! Whichever form of pet care you choose, always do your due diligence. This means reading reviews, researching the business/person/facility, checking their history of pet care and certifications. It is your right and responsibility as a pet owner to gather as much information as you can before you trust someone with your precious fur baby.

Want to give traveling with your pet a try? Download our free Guide to Traveling with Pets for all the tips and tricks of traveling with your furry family members.

Just Around the Corner offers Daily Dog Walking and Cat 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!

 

6 Tips to Keep Your Dog and Cat Flea- and Tick-Free

6 Tips to Keep Your Dog and Cat Flea- and Tick-Free

Prevent Fleas and Ticks for your Dog and Cat

Is there anything worse than finding a tick behind Fluffy’s ear? Or that moment when you see a flea jump from Bruno’s tail right onto the living room rug? YUCK! Keeping our pets flea and tick free is part of our duty as a pet parent but it is not always as simple as year-round treatment. These 6 tips will keep your dog and cat flea- and tick-free both indoors and out all year long.

Why are Fleas and Ticks bad?

Besides being just plain yucky, fleas and ticks are parasites that may cause serious harm and discomfort to our precious fur babies. They transmit dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease, Dog Ehrlichiosis and let us not forget…the Bubonic Plague (Flea transmitted disease). These sneaky parasites are out to get our furry friends, but with a few simple steps your pet and your home will remain flea- and tick-free!

itchy grey cat with dog

6 tips to prevent flea and ticks

  1. Year-round treatment

A monthly pill or collar to prevent fleas and ticks for your dog and cat is a must year-round. No matter what region you live, continuing treatment through the winter is extremely important. These parasites survive temperatures as low as freezing (30 degrees). The unpredictable weather these days makes remaining diligent with your pet’s treatment more important than ever. All it takes is a few winter days in the 30’s for fleas and ticks to be right back to their pesky ways. No bones about it, continue your pet’s treatment 365 days a year.

  1. Throw out old preventatives

If you have old flea and tick treatments from previous years or other pets it can be tempting to use them on your current pet. However, most treatments have specific expiration dates and become ineffective over time. These parasites evolve and often become immune to older products. Always check with your Vet for the most effective brands/products available to you. In addition, be sure to use pet specific products, canine products for dogs and feline products for cats. Swapping one for the other can cause serious harm to your pet.

  1. Keep backyard clean

Our own backyard is the number 1 place pets contract fleas and ticks. Keeping the grass, trees and shrubs trimmed will keep your yard from looking too appealing to fleas and ticks. A regular mowing and grooming will continually disrupt the possibility for these sneaky parasites to make their home in your yard.

  1. Clean home regularly

Flea eggs can stay alive all year long in your home, even through the cold months. Once eggs are laid, they can multiply as quickly as 100 per DAY! A thorough routine cleaning will keep your home flea free. There are a few things you do not want to miss during your cleaning that specifically target removing/keeping fleas at bay.

  • Washing pet and human bedding in hot water
  • Cleaning curtains, couches and other fabric materials that are a playground for fleas
  • Dispose of vacuum bag/empty canister (outside) after EVERY use. Flea eggs can continue to hatch and multiply even after being vacuumed.
  • Spray/clean carpeted areas frequently
  1. Do regular tick checks

Looking for more peace of mind when it comes to wondering if Fido has a tick? Do a regular tick check yourself. Start this when your dog is just a puppy or your cat is a kitten to get them used to the unique full body search that an older pet may otherwise not be comfortable with. Regular baths will also help to prevent fleas and ticks. Bath time is also a fantastic time to do a flea/tick check.

  1. Regular Vet checkups

Checking in with the professionals will ensure you have your pet on the best preventative plan possible. They will check the efficiency of your current program and make sure your pet remains on the safe track for being parasite free! A thorough checkup provides the utmost peace of mind for a pet parent, which is priceless. Do not delay, schedule a checkup with your pet’s veterinarian today.

happy yellow dog running to pet sitter

Keeping your dog and cat flea and tick free makes for a happier, healthier pet. When your pet is armed with an effective year-round treatment with a nicely manicured yard to play in, a clean bed to rest their head, smelling fresh from routine baths, and gets a gold star from their vet check fleas and ticks don’t stand a chance! These 6 tips will have your pet saying THANK YOU again and again.

Do you have a best kept secret for preventing fleas and ticks in your pet(s)? Share with us in the comments!

Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Cat 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 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 hydrated cat with pet 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 Plymouth dog with water bottle for hydration

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!

5 Ways to Keep your Dog Calm During Fireworks

5 Ways to Keep your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Fireworks are often a terrifying experience for our pets, especially dogs. Did you know that July 5th is usually the busiest day of the year for Animal Shelters? So many pets get lost trying to get away from the incredible BOOMS of Fireworks. Summer Fireworks are inevitable, especially here in America’s Hometown, but there are several ways to keep your dog calm during this stressful time. These 5 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks will allow your pet to enjoy summer calmly from the comfort and safety of their own home.

sad dog plymouth fireworks

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 spooky.  Setting up an intentional space for them to feel safe is key so they have more options than just hiding under your bed.

2. Desensitize your pet to Fireworks

Playing videos/recordings of Fireworks at home in short spurts can help your pet to become more comfortable with the “real thing”. Using a video like this one here (YouTube Fireworks Video) is a great place to start. Don’t overdo it, however. If after a couple of these sessions your dog’s reaction has not eased you may want to switch gears and focus on playing music or watching TV during the outdoor festivities. Shutting the curtains can help muffle the sound as well as hide the visual component.

plymouth dog walker with two small dogs fireworks

3. Exercise!

Never underestimate the power of EXERCISE!  Taking your dog for a nice long walk in the morning, a Fireworks-free time, will help to ease their anxiety in the evening. As the saying goes “A tired pup is a happy pup”. Having been properly exercised that day they are more likely to sleep or feel relaxed during stressful times. 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/harmful to their paws.

plymouth dog on dog walker lap fireworks

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. Give them delicious treats to keep their mind off their anxiety or distract them by playing with them. Overall, they will be happier and less stressed knowing you are with them.

If you cannot be home, you may want to purchase a Dogness Smart Camera with 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. Your Vet will be able to guide you in the best direction for your pet given their history and current state.

 

As pet parents, our best intention is to keep our fur babies safe. Fireworks, and our pets’ reactions to them, can be unpredictable. Pets escape from homes despite our best efforts. Make sure your pet comes home safely by keeping their ID tags up to date. Be sure to include your pets’ name, a working phone number, and your current street address.

Share this FREE infographic to spread the work 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.