8 Tips to Keep Your Pet Happy & Healthy This Winter

8 Tips to Keep Your Pet Happy & Healthy This Winter

Whether your pet loves or hates it, winter is an inevitable part of all our lives. Knowing what is best for your pet is the key to keeping them happy and healthy through the cold and usually dreary months. Fun fact, when our pets feel safe and healthy they will naturally enjoy whatever season they are experiencing. So, let’s dive right in to eight great ways to keep your pet happy and healthy this winter!

1.      Know Your Pet

No one knows your pet like you do. Therein lies the joy and responsibility for using your best judgement when it comes to pet activities and outings during the winter months. Only you can discern if Lily the kitty can play out in the screened in porch a few minutes in the afternoons, or if Duke your Chihuahua should be indoors 100% of the time since he never stops shivering, or if Esmerelda the St. Bernard can spend hours enjoying the backyard and never get too cold. Trust the knowledge you have of your pet and keep a watchful eye on them so you can adjust as necessary.

A cat sitting on a windowsill inside to keep warm during winter

A cat sitting on a windowsill inside to keep warm during winter

2.      Paw Check!

Snow and ice and sand OH MY! After every outing be sure to wipe your pet’s paws thoroughly. Make sure you remove any snow/ice clumps and clear out grainy ice melt or sand as it can get embedded in their fur and paw pads making a simple task like walking extremely uncomfortable for them. Not getting anywhere with the typical towel cleaning? Try a Dexas Mudbuster to make life a little easier and ensure your pet’s paws are free of debris every time!

3.      Shine Bright

Surprise! It gets dark around 4:00 PM during the winter, so chances are at least one walk a day is in the dark. Always wear reflective gear (both you and your dog) along with a light (preferably flashing) to ensure you are visible to other walkers and vehicles. Why you AND your dog? Heaven forbid your dog gets away from you! Being able to SEE them is of paramount importance to getting them home safe and sound. Shine brightly and stay safe this winter!

4.      Leash up!

Did you know that pets have a greater chance of becoming lost during the cold season due to a lack of scents accessible to them? It is true! When heading out for a winter excursion or play date consider keeping your pet leashed up or making sure their play space is enclosed. In addition, always keep a collar with an up-to-date ID tag on them. Unsure about the terrain of a trail or what wildlife you may come across? Better to be safe than sorry, leash up and keep your loving companion safely by your side all winter long.

Cat hiding in car wheel to stay warm during the winter

Cat hiding in car wheel to stay warm during the winter

5.      Beware of hiding spots

Outdoor/stray cats and other small animals are always looking for places to stay warm during the winter. Before starting up your car or using a piece of machinery in your shed double check that somebody has not made themselves a cozy little home in there! Likewise, winter can be tough on nature. Pay close attention to where birds, squirrels, and other less “pet like” animals are nestling down on and around your property. Be mindful and do your best not to disrupt or destroy their winter homes.

6.      Grooming

The winter is for letting ourselves go a bit, isn’t it? Well, our pets are right there with us for that one. Much like the cracking finger tips we experience from excessive hand washing our pet’s skin dries out much more quickly in the winter. While bathing is important unfortunately it washes away helpful oils that keep their skin moist, thus causing itching, irritability, and even painful cracking. In addition, when it comes time for a trip to the groomer be sure to ask that they leave a little more length than they do in warmer months. Our pet’s fur is a natural and necessary part of keeping them protected during the bitter winter months.

7.      Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a deadly liquid that attracts pets due to its sweet taste. YIKES! Always clean up thoroughly after use and keep an eye out for any spills/leaking from your vehicle. Consider trying an alternative antifreeze that uses propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is less tasty, biodegradable, and does not cause kidney damage like ethylene glycol. No matter what product you use always keep out of reach of your pets to ensure their safety.

White dog with large stick enjoying winter snowfall

White dog with large stick enjoying winter snowfall

8.      Winter Rule of thumb

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, chances are it is too cold for your pet. There are always exceptions to the rule but even if your dog is the “made for winter” type, such as a Husky or Newfoundland, they all have their cold weather limits. A great way to discern whether your winter loving pet will be safe and comfortable outside is to put on your winter coat and head outside yourself. However long you feel comfortable in the current elements is probably close to the same for your pup. Never assume your furry friend can handle the cold, snowy, or icy weather, test it out to keep them safe.

Winter is unavoidable here in New England so we might as well make the best of it! Understanding your pet and their needs will help you decide what actions to take when it comes to outdoor activities, proper grooming, and knowing their limits. Always cleanup toxic spills, remain visible when out at night, be mindful of the nature around you, and do what is best to always keep your pet safely in your care. These 8 simple tips will have your pet enjoying winter all season long.

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!

 

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is happening and that means lots of decorative additions to your pet’s home. Now is the time to look around the beautiful space you and your pet share to make sure the holiday changes are safe for your pet. Have you noticed that the new scents and fascinating fires have captured your dog’s attention? Has your cat already been admiring the shiny ornaments and whimsical tinsel? Our curious fur babies will no doubt be checking out each and every change happening right in their environment so keeping them safe as they do so is of paramount importance. These holiday pet safety tips will make you as a pet owner aware and help to prevent any unnecessary calamities during this magical season.

Holiday décor

Deck the halls…safely for your pet! The holiday spirit comes on fast and furious and we sometimes forget to “pet proof” our fabulous decking. So many sentimental items to put out, nooks and crannies to decorate, and it’s 100% acceptable to put twinkle lights EVERYWHERE this time of year. Press PAUSE for just a minute and remember these 4 important rules of thumb when turning your home in to a winter wonderland for the holidays.

  1. Keep electric cords out of reach or securely hidden from your curious fur baby. Ex. Behind furniture or up high (unless you have a cat and then you’ll have to be more creative…best of luck!) 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, and no doubt investigate. Always remember not to underestimate what they may do when new cords appear in their space.
  2. Seasonal plants are a much-loved gift and decoration this time of year. While they are beautiful a number of these festive flowers are extremely poisonous to our pets if ingested. A few of the most popular ones to be aware of are Holly, the beloved 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!)
  3. Tinsel and Ribbon are two of the most popular décor items to play with for our feline friends. The sparkle of the tinsel, the flow of a beautiful ribbon, it’s just 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 incredibly fun past time 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 rapidly. In addition, many ribbons have wiring in them which has potential to poke out an eye or even be chewed off and ingested. Keep a watchful eye out for any tinsel and ribbon playing this holiday.
  4. From candles to fires, festive flames are another given this time of year. Who doesn’t love a festive scented candle to really fill the home with holiday spirit or the sacred ritual of lighting a menorah? Whether you are lighting up for fun, warmth, or practicing an important tradition always keep these meaningful flames out of reach of pets. They can become all too mesmerized by the glow or accidentally bump the furniture with a burning candle. Never keep your pet in a closed room with any type of flame.
Cute dog in Christmas lights

Cute dog in Christmas lights

The Christmas Tree

Whether you are team REAL tree or FAKE tree there are a few things to look out for regarding the Christmas Tree in your home and the safety of your pets.

  • Chewing on branches. Ingestion of pine needles or plastic can cause major blockage in the intestines as well as other health complications. If you notice your dog or cat taking a nibble it is important to discourage that behavior and consider moving the tree out of their reach. If your pet insists on chewing on the tree, try spraying some Bitter Yuck (safe for dogs and cats) to deter them.
  • Tree Water. If your dog is anything like mine, they sure do love getting a drink from ANYWHERE that isn’t their water bowl. The water in a tree stand can contain dangerous chemicals that could harm your pet. 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.
  • Ornaments. Across the board chewing on ornaments is a big “no, no!”. Most decorative tree hangings are quite fragile meaning just putting the ornament in their mouth could mean swallowing shattered pieces. For kitties who just want to bat at all the shiny objects or give them a good lick it is still not a great idea to let the tree décor become 1,000 gleaming toys for their safety. Try attaching securely with small zip ties to ensure the ornaments are not removeable.
  • Tree Lights. Sparkling lights are pretty much a given during the holidays, but we can be cognizant of how we position them to make them less attractive to our pets. 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.
Cat in Christmas tree playing with ornaments

Cat in Christmas tree playing with ornaments

Yuletide Yummies

As tempting as it may be to give our furry friends delicious table scraps it’s best to avoid this kind gesture for the sake of their health. Not only are many of our delectable dishes toxic to pets our animal pals have a much more sensitive system when it comes to digestion. No one wants an upset tummy on a special day like Christmas, and neither does your pet. Consider adding a dollop of pumpkin puree or a cup of chicken broth to their regular food to spice up their holiday meal. Some foods to 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.
  • Onions (a popular one)
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on the trash can!

You’ve safety proofed your décor from the tinsel to the tree and everything in between. We may take every precaution possible when it comes to the safety of our pets, but accidents do happen. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is critical in making sure the situation does not escalate. Make sure you and everyone in your household are aware of the steps to take if an emergency arises.

In case of an Emergency

  • Have 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.
  • Keep your pet’s medical records in a convenient location. The more information you can provide your pet’s medical professional during an emergency the better they will be able to care for them.
  • Have a plan. Know where you are calling and that they will be open. Be prepared to navigate the quickest route to get there.
Christmas dog in reindeer antlers

Christmas dog in reindeer antlers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Keep your pets safe this holiday season by keeping an eye out for potential dangers of the holidays right in your home. From the gorgeous tree to cozy fires, making your pet’s home a safe place to be during the holidays is part of the job as a pet owner. Wishing you and your pets an incredibly happy and healthy holiday season!

Ensure that your pets are taken care of this holiday season with Just Around the Corner. 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!

 

Preventing Pet Halloween Hazards

Preventing Pet Halloween Hazards

Halloween is a festive and fun holiday but for our pets it can be a dangerous and often scary one. The loud noises, spooky costumes, constant opening and closing of the door, and a plethora of harmful candy everywhere make for one hazardous holiday for our furry friends. Prevention is the key to giving our pets a truly Happy Halloween! Please remember that Halloween is not a typical day for your pet. Even if they stay home and inside the same way they do every day/night Halloween will undoubtedly bring something new and unexpected right to your doorstep. Create a plan and be aware of the-potential hazards of Halloween for your pet. Did you know black animals have a special part to play in this holiday? We are sharing  fun facts about our shadowy friends and their place around the world!

Ding Dong

Knock knocks and ding dongs are frequent sounds of an exciting Halloween. The flow of Halloweeners may be a little slower this year due to COVID-19 but you can probably guarantee at least one or two trick-or-treaters. Even if your dog or cat is usually great with visitors, the ghosts, goblins, cat woman, and possibly the president are sure to catch your fur baby by surprise. Keep your pet safely secured in their crate or in a bedroom towards the back of the house where they can remain calm and cozy on your bed. Give your pet their favorite treats or bone and make their space special this All Hallow’s Eve to help them stay calm and content.

dog in ghost costume with small pumpkin treat bag

Dog in ghost Halloween costume.

Costumes

Dressing up your pet this Halloween? There is nothing cuter than a dog or cat in an adorable costume but there are a few things to be aware of when dressing your fur baby.

  • Make sure the costume does not impair your pet’s ability to see, breath, move or hear. With all the excitement of Halloween night it is important that our pets can function at their best to avoid any added anxiety or confusion.
  • Don’t forget to check the costume for hardware such as buttons or closures as well as loose strings or pieces they can swallow. Avoid an emergency trip to the vet by double checking your fur baby’s costume both on and off before the festivities begin.
  • Costumes on pets are not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. With all the movement our pets make things can shift and become dangerous quickly. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your pet throughout the time they are in costume to ensure their safety all Halloween long.

Trick-or-Treating

Planning to bring Fido with you trick-or-treating? Whether your pet has the best costume ever or they rock their usual fur coat, safety is key to making your pet’s trick-or-treating experience a positive one with a happy ending (home safe and sound). Here are a few tips for pet safety while out and about:

  • Always keep your pet’s ID tags on them. Even if Fluffy’s collar doesn’t match her costume keep it on for her safety.
  • The most well-behaved dogs can still be frightened by Freddy Krueger or Cat Woman and decide to run off, making it extra important that they wear a proper fitting harness and have a sturdy leash. Halloween is sensory overload for humans and animals alike. Stay aware of your surroundings as candy buckets will be everywhere. Bring a few Pumpkin Spice Pet Snacks to offer your pet as a distraction throughout their trick-or-treating experience.
  • Last, but certainly not least, you know how your parents always checked your candy before you could eat it?! Do the same for your pet! If a house offers them a treat don’t be afraid to ask about brand, ingredients, or anything else that is important to know when it comes to your pet and their diet. Happy trick-or-treating!

Click Here to download our FREE Preventing Halloween Pet Hazards infographic to share with your pet loving friends!

Pet-Friendly Homemade No Bake Pumpkin Spice Pet Snacks.

Pet-Friendly Homemade No Bake Pumpkin Spice Pet Snacks.

Chocolate, Candy, and Glow Sticks…OH MY

The hazards of choking and possibility of poison ingestion is real but avoidable! Always keep the candy buckets/bags out of reach of your pet. If your cat loves to jump on the table or countertop place the candy in a closed cabinet or closet. Glow sticks are probably the coolest thing your pet has ever seen and will undoubtedly get their attention. Unfortunately, if they chew on the stick they can ingest harmful material. Keep glow sticks and other intriguing, potentially hazardous, objects out of reach of pets. Likewise, if you choose to light candles keep them out of reach of your dog and cat. The last thing you want is an emergency visit to the vet because Sabrina’s tail caught on fire! To offset the things they don’t get to enjoy on Halloween have special treats of their very own on hand. They can experience the joy of Halloween just like you and the kiddos with delicious homemade pet-friendly treats. Want a yummy fall recipe your pet will love? Try our Pumpkin Spice Pet Snacks recipe. Pet satisfaction guaranteed!

The truth about black cats

Once upon a time black cats were considered bad luck, a curse to anyone who encountered them, and were strongly associated with witchcraft. These formerly distrusted animals are now a popular legend and staple for Halloween décor all over the world. Black cats and Halloween go hand in hand but not in the unnerving way they once did. According to the ASPCA, the United States Humane Society, and many others, the long running concern that black cats are used for satanic practices and ritual sacrifices on and around Halloween are in fact a myth. Old beliefs die hard and this one is no exception, but spreading the truth about black cats can help to mold a brighter future for our shadowy friends.

Interesting fact: Black animal features tend to blend into the background in photos, making them hard to distinguish. This is actually a big reason why black cats and dogs are adopted at a lower rate. Especially now, with COVID-19, pets are being adopted from shelters and adoption centers based on little personal interaction and lots of photo/video to potential new fur parents. Hard truth, but not showing well in pictures can be a death sentence for so many precious black animals. The reality is black cats are just as loveable and offer the same joy to one’s life as the next colorful kitty. Now more than ever it is important to spread the truth about black cats. Consider adopting a black cat or encouraging a friend to go black if they are looking for a new feline addition to their family. Together we can make a big difference for black cats everywhere.

Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting cat client enjoying some TLC.

Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting cat client enjoying some TLC.

Fun Facts About Black Cats

  • Worldwide there are dozens of countries that view black cats as good luck.
  • Ancient Egyptians worshiped black cats!
  • Japan considers black cats good luck, especially single ladies as they are believed to attract potential suiters.
  • The Russians say ALL cats are lucky! (Amen!)
  • Scotland: a stray black cat arriving at your door signifies prosperity!
  • For hundreds of years sailors have believed that black cats bring good luck to their vessel and ensure safe travel.
  • Black Cat appreciation day is August 17th
  • National Black Cat Day is October 27th

Looking to adopt a black cat of your own? Some shelters place a hold on the adoption of black cats this time of year to avoid any harm that may come to them around Halloween based on the history we mentioned earlier. Old beliefs die hard, remember? Please remain patient and do not get discouraged if you are required to wait a few weeks before taking your mysterious kitty home. This is an effort to protect the legendary black cats in their care.

Got Halloween Plans?

Do you have Halloween plans that don’t include your pet? Do you wish you did but feel guilty or anxious about leaving your beloved fur baby home alone? Maybe you aren’t into Halloween at all but would love to plan a fall adventure if only you had someone to take care of Fido and Fluffy. Just Around the Corner is here to help! We offer customizable scheduling to best fit you and your pet’s needs. With every visit JAC provides love, affection and even adventure for your furry family members We may not be mom or dad to them, but we certainly care for them like our own. Get out there and enjoy this fabulous time of year and leave the pet care to the professionals. Book a meet and greet today! Call or text 508-245-1389

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!

 

Vet Tech Week: How to Thank Your Vet Tech

Vet Tech Week: How to Thank Your Vet Tech

Every year a week in October is dedicated to veterinarian technicians. This week is a time to celebrate all the wonderful things they do for our precious fur babies day in and day out. These special people are the first to greet us and our pets when we go to the vet. They work tirelessly to provide comfort in uncomfortable situations, and they hold our pet’s paws when they need it most. Their daily duties go well beyond the front of house smiles we see checking in and out. In fact, you might be surprised at what all falls under their job description.

Duties of a vet tech

  • Assess animal behavior
  • Monitor vitals (heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, etc.)
  • Help the Vet with physical exams
  • Prepare/assemble equipment and tools
  • Give injections and other medications
  • Take blood/stool samples
  • Assist surgeries
  • Maintain safe and sterile working environment (and, COVID-free as well)
  • Explain animal status to owners
  • Feed and care for animals who are staying at the Vet’s
  • Clean, bandage and wrap wounds
  • Collect and record animals’ medical histories
  • Perform diagnostic tests and x-rays
  • On Call for ICU
  • And so much more!

Tabby kitty with Vet Tech

How to thank your vet tech

The above list is but a fraction of the things a vet tech does to keep veterinary clinics running smoothly. Wow, right?! Not to mention our fur babies LOVE THEM, don’t they? A vet tech is the warm hug our pets receive to take that “vet visit” edge off. To show our favorite vet techs how much we appreciate them we have come up with 5 fantastic ways to thank your vet tech this week!

  1. Write a Thank You note

The classic Thank You note is a wonderful way to let your vet tech know how much they mean to you and your pet. Write down a few reasons why you believe they are excellent at their job and how much you appreciate what they do. We all need encouragement, especially when we work hard and passionately every single day. Reading a card that describes the type of positive impact they have had is a gesture your vet tech deserves.

  1. Send flowers

Who doesn’t love to be surprised at work with a bouquet of flowers? It is sure to be a bright spot for your vet tech and will set the tone for an uplifting workday. Let the florist know who it is for so they can spice it up with an animal theme. Sign the card from your pet to avoid “secret admirer” talk and keep it fun!

  1. Create a Gift Basket

Think “pet lover” and go nuts! Purchase things like poop bags (you can NEVER have too many), a collapsible water bowl, paw print socks, animal themed coffee mug, (these days) a facemask, pet supply store gift card, the list could go on forever. Put it all together and BOOM, you have a gift basket that will be the envy of all the other vet techs.

  1. Leave a positive review

Nothing goes further these days than a positive review online! Everyone is reading reviews nowadays to make their decisions of where to go, what to do, and when to do it. Recognizing your vet tech in the cyber world will go further than most any physical gift. It is something that will be noticed not only by clients but their superiors and future employers. A positive review for your vet tech is the gift that keeps on giving.

  1. Make a donation

Choose an animal charity that you love or know your vet technician supports and donate. Whether it is an animal rights group or a local shelter, we animal lovers find that a gift to our furry friends is a gift to ourselves as well. Make your thank you one of impact when you donate to an organization hard at work to aid the animal world. Don’t forget to send along a card making them aware of your donation and the reasons behind it. A donation is a thank you that reaches beyond you and your technician to have a greater influence on the planet.

Hands hold give sign

Whether you have had the same vet tech for the last 10 years or you had your first encounter with a wonderful tech last week now is the time to show them your appreciation. Write a thank you card for their hard work or put your thanks to work in a review online. Send them something to brighten their day whether it is beautiful flowers or a fun pet themed basket. You can even donate to animal organizations near or far to show your thanks. Whichever you choose take the time to appreciate your vet tech in a positive way.

Share a positive vet tech experience you have had with us! How did you thank them? Share your Thank You ideas, the more the merrier.

Looking for a Veterinarian in the Plymouth, MA area? Click here to download our list of local Vet Clinics in the Plymouth, MA area.

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!

 

 

Keeping Your Cat Heathy: 7 Essentials

Keeping Your Cat Heathy: 7 Essentials

                                            JAC Mascot Cat, Tobey posing with his favorite sunflowers.

Keeping our precious kitties healthy is essential to us cat owners but it is not always cut and dry on how to do it. No matter their age, how long you have had them, gender, or breed, you can have a positive influence on your cat’s health starting TODAY. There are many things you can begin implementing now that will have a big impact on your feline’s health. Follow these 7 simple tips to give your cat the health they deserve.

1.      Cat Friendly Vet

When it comes to a veterinarian for your cat, you can’t go wrong with a vet who specializes in feline care such as, the Cat Clinic in Plymouth, MA. Some clinics can be quite canine dominant which can be a little daunting for our kitties. If your vet of choice is not a Cat (only) Clinic, ask if you and your cat can wait to be seen in a separate waiting room or wait in the car until they are ready to see you. Limiting the amount of time they spend in a waiting room with noisy dogs and other animals will leave your cat more relaxed for the vet. Choose a vet clinic that actively works to make your kitty feel at ease.

2.      Brush Daily

Our kitties do much of the work themselves but help them out by giving them a nice brushing once a day. Brushing daily helps to cut down on hairballs! Want a trick for making your cat fall in love with the brush? Do it during a “happy” time of day, for example after mealtime, or give treats before and after so they begin to associate brushing with a yummy snack. They will be far more agreeable when they have something to look forward to.

white and grey kitty with pet sitter sccoping litter box

3.      Litter Box Etiquette

Luckily there have been cat owners who have gone before us and discovered a few rules of thumb when it comes to litter box etiquette. If you are having trouble getting your cat to consistently use the litter box you provide it is possible that one of these faithful rules is being missed even if only by a hair, literally. Proper litter box etiquette is as follows.

  • One box per cat plus one. Ex. 1 cat = 2 boxes; 2 cats = 3 boxes; 3 cats = 4 boxes
  • Each box should be 1.5 times the length of your largest cat.
  • Scoop 2x/day and change litter fully once a week; clean the box thoroughly before adding the new litter.

In addition, just like you might have a preference in toilet paper, your cat may prefer one litter over another. For example, one of my cats will ONLY use a Breeze System litter box; my other three cats are very happy with their regular litter box with The World’s Best Cat Litter. Just like with a pet’s food, you can’t change a cat’s litter abruptly. Introduce any new litter slowly, mixing it in with their regular litter and slowly changing the ratio until they are comfortable with the new smell and feel. There are always exceptions to the rules but these three tips are an excellent starting point for any cat owner. Your kitty will thank you for the extra box, the spacious room, and clean litter.

4.      Clean Dishes

Give your furry feline the gift of clean food and water dishes every day! Even if your cat bowls appear clean to the naked eye because kitty has licked everything up, bacteria is always growing. Wash with hot (150’F will kill 99% of bacteria) and soapy water at least once a day and preferably after every use. By keeping their dishes sparkling clean you can avoid the dreaded biofilm which can cause urinary tract infections, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases and more! Cleaning their dishes is one of the simplest ways to keep your kitty healthy and happy.

Tabby cat Wade with pet sitter fresh water bowl

JAC client, Wade, ready to lap up his fresh water!

5.       Regular Feeding Schedule & Limited Snacks

If you have had a cat for any amount of time you have probably noticed that they are creatures of habit. The number of times a day a cat should eat can vary but one thing you want to be sure of is that you are being consistent. A dependable feeding schedule will make your cat feel more comfortable and secure at home. Does your cat enjoy the occasional human food?  Before giving your feline friend a table scrap snack double check that it is not a toxic food to cats. There are many human foods you may not expect that are extremely harmful to cats. Chocolate is a well-known one, but some not so obvious ones include dairy products (yes, that means cheese) and yeast dough (bread). Always double check toxic foods to cats.

6.       ID Tags/Microchipping

Cats are excellent escape artists! Whether you have indoor or outdoor cats always keep a collar with an ID tag on them. If your cat will not wear a collar or you worry about it catching on something with their outgoing behavior a great alternative is having your cat micro chipped. A Microchip is a small electronic chip (about the size of a grain of rice) placed just under the skin of your pet. There is an ID number assigned to your cat/dog. If your pet goes missing the person checking the chip will have the animal’s name and owner’s contact information to get in touch and return your pet safely home. Of course, you can always use both an ID tag and a microchip to doubly ensure their safety.

7.      Spay & Neuter

Getting your cat spayed or neutered, even for those indoor-only kitties, is necessary. Have your cat “fixed” to help control the homeless cat population. Cats who are spayed/neutered also tend to avoid certain types of cancers, such as breast cancer and testicular cancer, and even uterine infections decrease. After being “fixed” your cat will be less likely to escape/runaway as they will no longer go into heat. Cats who have been spayed or neutered behave better overall than those who have not, which makes a happier and healthier kitty.

happy tabby kitty stretching

JAC Client, Sigmund, enjoying a nice stretch.

Next stop: healthy and happy!

A healthy cat makes a happy home. Take the time to find a vet that will make your cat feel at ease and purchase a collar with ID tags and/or get them microchipped. Each day lend a hand to minimize hairballs, clean their dishes, feed according to their schedule, and follow proper litter box etiquette. Don’t forget, always spay/neuter your pet. Do these things and your cat will undoubtedly be the healthy feline they deserve to be!

Just Around the Corner offers Cat Sitting as well as 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!

Sources:

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/fedding-times-and-fequency-for-cats

https://www.batcopetsitting.com/biofilm-bacteria-pet-dishes/

https://www.vets-now.com/2017/02/foods-poisonous-to-cats/

Potty Training Your Puppy 101

Potty Training Your Puppy 101

It is time to Potty Train your puppy! You have your adorable new puppy home and settled in. She snuggles and licks your face – so sweet. But then, she also pees on your favorite rug, or poops in the corner of the kitchen. Ugh – Where to begin?! Time for Potty Training 101! What you do for potty training in the first few weeks of having a puppy will follow you through the life of your dog. Think of house-training your dog as the foundation of a happy life together. Keep it simple with a schedule, stay consistent and have a positive attitude, and your puppy will be a potty-trained pro in no time. You can do this!

Potty Training: First Things First

The goal of potty training is for your puppy to only poop and pee outdoors, in the spot you want them to. If they need to go out, you want them to let you know. You can begin potty-training your puppy as soon as they arrive (8 weeks). Usually pups start to gain control over their bladder around 12 weeks, but get them used to a regular potty routine as soon as they join your family as an important part of the potty-training process. For the first week or two…play inside, business outside other than short walks on leash. The reason for this is that, when you get your puppy, they will have been with their littermates and have been able to pee and poop as they play in their play area. Puppies are used to this. If you have them playing outside and they do their business while playing, then when you come inside and play they will do the same. They will not know the difference between playing outside or inside and being able to just stop and pee. So, make outside for business-only in the beginning. It will not take long before they understand, and you will be able to have lots of fun outside!

To prepare to house-train your pup there are a few things to do in advance.

  • Choose where their “SPOT” will be outside. Decide on an area that is easily accessible for them, a decent size (min. 10’x10’), and that you can stay consistent with.
  • Don’t keep your outside potty area spotless. Leave a little so your pup can have the necessary smells to know that is where you want them to go.
  • Research the many Potty-Training methods out there to gain as much knowledge of the process as possible.
  • Observe your puppy’s habits to assess how well/long your puppy can control their bladder before starting to train. This usually takes a week or two leading up to starting your training.

Potty-Training Schedule

As a general rule the number of hours a puppy can go without using the bathroom is the equivalent to how many months old they are. For example, a 2-month (8 week) old pup can usually go 2 hours between potty breaks, a 3-month old can go 3 hours, and so on. As your puppy grows the hours between relief will also grow and your schedule will vary depending on their house-training progress. For anyone beginning to potty train their dog this schedule is an excellent place to start. Download our free Potty Training 101 Schedule to use as your daily guide: 8-12 Week Schedule        12-16 Week Schedule

6:00 AM Wake up & right out to POTTY

6:15 AM Breakfast

6:30 AM Post breakfast POTTY

9:30 AM Mid-Morning POTTY & Walk

12:00 PM Post Nap/Pre-lunch POTTY

12:15 PM Lunch

12:30 PM Post Lunch POTTY

3:30 PM Afternoon POTTY & Walk

6:00 PM Post Nap/Pre-dinner POTTY

6:15 PM Dinner

6:30 PM After dinner POTTY

9:30 PM Last POTTY before bed (this time will adjust depending on your personal bedtime)

NOTE: Your puppy will not be able to make it through the night without an accident. Be prepared to get up during the night every 2-3hours to take your puppy out.

Remember to always take your pup out for relief following naps and playtime. In addition, a potty break is needed before and after all meals. This schedule is only a starting point. Do not forget to adjust with your growing puppy as needed. Get a FREE age appropriate schedule for your pup here: Potty Training 101 Schedule: 8-12 Weeks     12-16 Weeks

small tan puppy lifting his leg on grass

Consistency is KEY

Whatever your schedule looks like, keep it consistent for your dog. Constantly changing up their routine confuses them and can wind up setting back the progress you may have already made. The hours between potty breaks will increase as your pup grows but keep feeding times and walks on the same schedule whenever possible to maintain their regimen. If you are a working puppy mom or dad a regular schedule may seem impossible. Hiring a dog walker/pet sitter for times you are unavailable keeps up the consistency for your pet and expedites the house-training process. Typically, by 4-6 months you will be able to judge for your puppy what their best long-term routine is as every dog is different.

Stay Positive through the House-Training Process

Keep it PAWsitive for your pup! We know how frustrating it can be when our pet uses the bathroom inside, especially on our favorite rug. No matter how trying the times of training may be your pet will respond best to a positive attitude and constructive actions. Punishing your puppy for an accident in the house is not going to teach them what you want them to do. Instead of punishment try clapping loudly to get their attention if you catch them in the act. Verbalize NO or another word they are familiar with and take them outside immediately to teach them the correct way to use the bathroom. Let us not forget the successes; when your pup does their business outside praise them! Your dog wants to please you. Giving extra love and even a cookie will create positive association for your dog making them more eager to please you every time, thus becoming house-trained.

smiling dog waiting for treat from dog walker

Signs your pup needs to potty

During the first few weeks of your potty-training quest it is important to keep a close eye on your pup. Look for the signs that they need to relieve themselves. Each pup will have his or her own sign, which you can learn by watching carefully. To get started, once they exhibit any of the signs listed below take them to their “potty spot” outside as quickly and gently as possible. Soon you will recognize their “I gotta go” behavior and be able to respond appropriately.

  • Sniffing
  • Whining
  • Circling/Restlessness
  • Licking the groin area
  • Standing still and lifting the tail (That’s our mascot Quinn’s move)
  • Going to a previously “used” in-house area
  • Squatting (Catch them quick with this one!)

You can do it!

Potty training your precious pooch is a big responsibility that you can totally handle! When you keep a consistent schedule and stay positive with your pup in everything from the praise to the corrective actions you will have a house-trained fur baby in no time. Remember that puppies are not puppies forever and one day (soon!) the trials of potty training will be a distant memory. Soak it up while you can. Create a schedule that works for you and find ways to keep it up no matter what. Whether you hire a dog walker for additional help or recruit your mom or neighbor to avoid skipping potty breaks your pet will appreciate your hard work. When the day of no more accidents comes so will you!

happy puppy smiling on grass

Need help keeping your pup’s schedule?

Just Around the Corner offers a wide variety of dog walking and pet care options for you and your furry family member. We all know how difficult it can be to keep up a consistent schedule for our dog, especially while potty training. JAC is here to help! Avoid the setbacks of messing up your dog’s routine. Set up a Meet and Greet with a JAC pet care professional. Choose from a variety of visits, walks, and hiking options that best suit your dog and never worry if your pup’s schedule is “off” again! Call or text: 508-245-1389 to set up a meet and greet TODAY.

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!