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
- 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.
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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.
Have a cat adoption story? We would love to hear it! Share with us in the comments.
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
- 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.
JAC Dog Walking & Pet Sitting’s New Normal
Even in the “New Normal” world there are pets (thank goodness!) and those pets need to be cared for! We at Just Around the Corner have worked diligently to enhance safety for our clients, their pets, and our employees. Aside from masks and extra sanitizing we hope our furry friends won’t even notice a difference! These last few months have had us asking things like… How will we ever return to “normal”? What will the NEW normal look like? Can we reopen? If so, WHEN? What can we change to ensure the safety of our family, friends and clients? All questions that you may have asked yourself recently too, right? Fear not, your favorite pet care company has the answers for you regarding our services and the adjustments we are making.
Before the job starts
- If an employee is not feeling well or discovers any safety/health concerns they will immediately contact the office and their schedule will be reassigned until they are back to feeling 100%.
- We ask that if you as a client will be home during the scheduled visit and are not feeling i.e. fever, body aches, cough, etc. that you contact the office immediately to reschedule your pet’s visits.
- Minimizing exposure is of the utmost importance to us, and while it may not always be convenient we are committed to the safety of our clients, your pets, and our employees.
On the Job
- All employees will wear an approved face mask covering both the nose & mouth for the duration of every visit.
- Antibacterial sanitizer will be used by all employees several times throughout each visit.
- Employees will sanitize directly before starting each visit or touching any part of client property including but not limited to lockboxes, gates, newspapers/mail & doors.
- In order to keep exposure to a minimum we will be handling only what is necessary to care for each pet.
- We will continue to use the client’s designated collars/harnesses/leashes and encourage our walkers to disinfect prior to and post use.
- Moving forward we will not be handling toys, treats, food dishes or water dishes in an effort to minimize exposure for everyone.
- We urge you to leave extra water out (if needed) for your pet(s). You are welcome to leave specified treats or pre-portioned food in their bowls on the counter if you would like your pet to receive those things during their visit.
- Our walkers/pet care associates will also be practicing safe social distancing (6’ apart) at all times.
New Chat Feature
We are excited to introduce the new Chat Feature as a replacement to our previously handwritten notes. PPS (Power Pet Sitter) now has a mobile app with a Chat Feature. When you log into the PPS app, you will see a new box in your visit labeled “chat”. When you tap on the Chat button you will see that a note is waiting for you from your walker/sitter for that day. This will, again, help to limit the number of items touched and overall exposure during each visit. PLUS, you will get to see the note as soon as your visit is complete, no more waiting until you get home to see how it went for the day. YAY! Please note: We will no longer be leaving handwritten notes at the end of each visit as these awesome messages will replace those. Please download the app today! Android, Apple
At the JAC Office
Management at JAC will continue working diligently to keep our team safe and healthy as we make this transition into our “new normal” as safe and easy as possible. We have created these new guidelines in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and all State and local municipalities in response to Coronavirus.
At Just Around the Corner our mission has always been “Peace of Mind for our clients” and “One size does not fit all”. Please know that within these new guidelines we will continue to take situations/requests on a case by case basis. If something listed above may cause harm/discomfort to you as a pet owner or your pet, we are available to discuss the situation with you and come up with a positive solution for everyone involved.
We are all in this together and look forward to our soft reopening May 18th. Please do not hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns. We are here for you and your fur babies, always. 508-245-1389 or [email protected]
We Can’t Wait to See You!
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.
Why is my Dog’s Breath so Bad?
Does your dog suffer from bad breath? If so, you’re not alone! Doggie parents everywhere complain of their canine’s bad breath, or halitosis. While poor dental hygiene is one common cause of bad breath, it’s not the only cause. There are a few other causes of doggie bad breath that you need to know about. Burying your head in the sand is not the best way to go. Your dog’s breath will get worse and similarly, so will his health.
So what else causes bad breath in dogs?
- Cancer of the mouth
- Kidney disease
- Intestinal issues
- Dental diseases or infections
- Digestive issues such as constipation and/or diarrhea
- Liver disease
- Poor diet
If your dog suffers from bad breath, the first thing you should do is assess his diet. If you are feeding your dog a low quality, commercial dog food then, switch his food. Look for a high quality alternative – the more natural, the better. If you are unsure about which food to select, your veterinary doctor can steer you in the right direction.
Next, are you providing your dog with any dental care? You should be brushing his teeth at least a few times a week and providing him with dental chews or toys that help keep plaque and tartar build up to a minimum. Rope toys are a good choice as they mimic the action of a dental floss. Choose sugar free biscuits or healthy vegetables or fruit. Apples and carrots are loved by most dogs and they help keep the teeth clean. You know that clean feeling you get after eating an apple? Your dog can experience that too.
If you already have your dog on a high quality diet and have an established dental care regime in place then you must take your dog in to see his veterinary doctor. The veterinary doctor will perform a full examination which may lead to a few more tests to determine the root cause of your dog’s bad breath. Be patient and remember, a small vet bill today can prevent even larger vet bills in the future as well as spare your dog months or years of suffering. A minor infection can spread to your dog’s brain and kill him.
If it turns out that your dog simply has a case of ordinary doggie bad breath, consider yourself lucky. Continue to keep up with routine examinations and continue to follow the tips above. At any stage in your dog’s life, good health should never be taken for granted.