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!

 

 

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.

 

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

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

What is separation anxiety?

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

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  • Become quiet or withdrawn

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

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

Practice your ‘exit routine’ without the exit

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

Good Old Entertainment

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

calm kitty with frog toy

Help your pet to stay calm even when they miss you

Stay Calm

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

Pawsitive Association

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

Exercise and Interaction with Other Humans

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Your Home the Pet Friendly Way

Cleaning Your Home the Pet Friendly Way

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

Effects of Toxins

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

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

Going Green and Pet-Friendly

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

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

Many healthy alternatives

Getting Started

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

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

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

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

Helpful Resources

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

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

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

What you need:

1 cup of castile soap

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

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

5 drops of essential oil (lemon)

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

Contact Us

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

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

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