8 Tips to Hiring an In-Home Pet Sitter

If your pet isn’t cherishing the idea of a week-long stay the next time you go away, consider an in-home pet sitter. Here are a few things to check off when looking for the right fit.

The benefits to a home sitter are numerous and include not only that your pets get to remain healthy and stress-free in familiar surroundings, but that your home remains inhabited – which keeps the insurance companies happy. The right pet sitter will build a bond with your pets, recognizing if they are acting “off” and a visit to the vet may be required, noticing when they need a little extra attention, when they want to play and when they just want to snuggle.

So where do you begin to hire someone to come into your personal space and take care of the most precious beings in your life? Here are some tips:

  1.  Referrals: Speak with your veterinarian, friends, family, neighbors and your dog trainer. Who have they used and why are they comfortable recommending them.
  2. Training and Qualifications: Do they have experience pilling a pooch, are they familiar with the special quirks of your pet’s breed, with large dogs, older cats, multi-dogs; anything that might make your situation unique to a sitter.
  3. Insurance and Bonding: An insured pet sitter should have documents showing proof of commercial liability (in case your pet injures someone) and be bonded (to protect you from theft). Don’t take their word for it -ask for written proof.
  4. References: Past clients should be happy to provide your sitter with a reference and you should plan to contact these clients with further questions.
  5. Back Up: What happens if the sitter becomes sick and cannot walk your dog or provide the services you expected. Do they have a back-up person?
  6. On the Clock: For live-in sitter, how long do you expect them to spend with your pet? Early morning and evening for cats? All day for dogs? If they walk other dogs, are you comfortable with your pooch joining the pack or do you prefer one-on-one?
  7. Communication: What is the agreed upon method and timing (if at all) to provide updates while you’re away? If your pet is frail or older, you may want regular text messages or emails. Do you want her to log your pet’s daily behaviors for when you return so you can spot any irregularities or change in his mood?
  8. Test Run: Before you seal the deal and embark on that three-week trip to Far East Asia, do a test run. Take off for a weekend and have the sitter care for your pet. Together you can spot and resolve any problems or questions that may crop up and your pets have the chance to become familiar with this new person in their live


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Training your Dog? Six Tips that can help!

  1. Learn to listen to your dog. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable meeting another dog, animal or person, don’t insist that he say hello. He’s telling you that he isn’t comfortable for a reason, and you should respect that. Forcing the issue can often result in bigger problems down the line.
  2. Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.
  3. Just because the bag says “a treat all dogs love” doesn’t mean your dog will automatically love it. Some dogs are very selective about what they like to eat. Soft and chewy treats are usually more exciting for your dog than hard and crunchy treats. Keep your eyes open for what he enjoys.
  4. There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.
  5. Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success.
  6. Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Often behaviors which are “normal” doggie behaviors will take the most time such as barking, digging and jumping. You also need to consider how long your dog has rehearsed the behavior. For example, if you didn’t mind that your dog jumped up on people to say hi for the last seven years and now you decide that you don’t want him to do that anymore, that behavior will take a much longer time to undo than if you had addressed it when he was a pup. Remember it’s never too late to change the behavior some will just take longer than others.




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5 tips to make sure your pets have a happy and safe New Year!

Follow these 5 tips to make sure you and your pet(s) have a happy and safe New Year!

1.Celebration fireworks or other loud noises can frighten pets
If you are leaving for the evening, make sure your pets are secured in your home. Provide them with a quiet area that is familiar to them, and make sure they have everything they need, such as food, fresh water, safe chew toys for dogs, and a litter box for cats. It’s also helpful to leave on a TV or radio to provide ambient noise. Even if you plan on a quiet New Year’s at home, remember that neighbors may be celebrating and could disturb your pet.
2.Party Animals
If you are having a celebration at your home, give your pet a quiet place to get away if your festivities become too overwhelming. Keep your pet safely confined indoors. Settle your pets into a quiet room with access to food, water, a familiar toy, a soft place to snuggle, a litter box for your cat, and a crate for your dog.  Remind your guests that table scraps are a no-no-no matter how cute your pet looks!
3.Make sure alcohol is out of your pets’ reach
Alcoholic beverages are poisonous and potentially deadly to our pets. If ingested, alcohol could cause our pets to become intoxicated and weak, depressed or comatose. Death from respiratory failure is also possible in severe cases.
4.Beware of decorations
Streamers, balloons and noisemakers can be very tempting for our pets, but they present a choking hazard if ingested. They also could result in a painful blockage and costly trip to the vet.
5.Give them a treat
Take a nice long walk during the day to avoid all of the evening activities, which could include parties, loud noises and potentially unsafe drivers on the road. If you decide to take an evening walk, try using a blinker or lighted collar to make sure you and your pet are visible and safe.

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Our new Loving Paws Video

Loving Paws Of Clermont – Video

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What Should You Do If Your Dog Gets Stung by a Bee?

So with an abundance of stinging flying insects living on my property, what would I do if my dog were to get stung?

Dogs will usually get stung on their snouts, probably because they are nosy or are trying to catch the bugs.

They would usually have swollen muzzles and the Veterinarians would most likely give an injection of diphenhydramine, which is Benadryl. Sometimes, they may also give them an injection of steroids to help with the swelling.

If a dog is allergic to bees, or gets stung multiple times it is possible that they can go into anaphylactic shock, and that is a medical emergency that requires prompt Veterinary care. If your dog has a severe reaction, they may experience vomiting, drooling, have difficulty breathing, or have a pale colored gum color.

Here are some things you can do to help your dog if they are stung by a bee:

  • Remove the stinger as quickly as possible, if you can.
  • Call your vet to see what kind of treatment they recommend. They may tell you to give your dog oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Make sure you call first to get the correct dosage for your dog!
  • Apply a cold compress to the sting to help reduce any swelling.
  • Apply a baking soda and water paste to the sting to help with any pain. Never give over the counter pain medications to your dog without talking to your Veterinarian first. Many are toxic to dogs.
Best wishes


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Spay and neuter myths

Pet overpopulation and euthanasia are a continuing problem. Be a part of the solution: spay or neuter your pets.

Spaying or neutering your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Unneutered male dogs that are not able to mate experience frustration, which can lead to aggression. Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, it is the best thing for your dog.

When you get your dog spayed or neutered, be sure your dog is in a calm and balanced state. Never spay or neuter a frustrated, nervous, tense, aggressive, or anxious dog!

In the United States, seven puppies and kittens are born for every one human. As a result, there are just not enough homes for the animals, and according to the Humane Society of the United States three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized every year.

Sterilizing dogs and cats has been hailed as the most effective method for pet population control. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pet. If pets can’t breed, they don’t produce puppies that end up in animal shelters to be adopted or euthanized. Currently, over 56% of dogs and approximately 75% of cats entering shelters are put to sleep.

The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.

Myth #1: A dog will feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized.

This myth stems from the human imposing their own feelings of loss on the animal. In fact, your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill. A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.

Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.

Myth #2: Spaying and neutering will cause weight gain.

Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.

Myth #3: Dogs will mourn the loss of their reproductive capabilities.

Not true. Dogs reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.

Myth #4: Spaying and Neutering is expensive.

Today there are enough low cost and free spay and neuter programs that this can no longer be an excuse! Even if these programs are not available in your area, the emotional distress and money spent on medical treatments you will save down the line makes it an investment that will be worth every penny.

Sterilization reduces the risk of incidence of a number of health problems that are difficult and expensive to treat. In females, it eliminates the possibility of developing uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer. Also, some females experience false pregnancies and uterine infections that can be fatal. Prostate cancer risk is greatly reduced in males. By sterilizing your pet, your dog will live a healthier and longer life.

Efforts by programs such as SPAY/USA already seem to be having an effect. In 1980, approximately 23.4 million animals were euthanized. Twenty-two years later, the estimate was down to 4.6 million. In towns and cities that have already implemented sterilization programs, the number of companion animals who had to be euthanized is showing a decline of 30 to 60 percent.

The truth is that neutered and spayed dogs are better pets. And though we’re heading in the right direction, the problem of euthanasia continues. Be a part of the solution. Spay or neuter your pet today!

Best wishes

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Stop Dog Chewing Dog Behavior Training

Every dog owner will be required to stop dog chewing problems at some stage.

dog chewing problems When our puppies and dogs chew it is a perfectly acceptable and natural behavior for them. The real problem arises when they chew on inappropriate, dangerous or expensive items.

Dogs chew on just about anything they can wrap their mouths around. My dog’s favorite chewing objects are socks, shoes, and furniture.

What Causes Dogs To Chew?

– Through loneliness or boredom.

– Separation anxiety, this form of chewing often occurs if you work long hours away from home.

– When they are teething(this can be a very trying time for owners).

– Through fear or a phobia.

– Seeking attention.

– Through anticipation, some dogs chew just before their owner is due to arrive home .

It’s important that we stop our dogs chewing not only because it frustrates us, but also because it can be very dangerous for our dogs. If your dog chews into electric wires, poisons and any number of other objects they could be in serious danger. Having said this it should also be noted that chewing on appropriate items offers many benefits to the health and wellbeing of your dog.

Dog Chewing – Prevention Is Your Best Option!

– As with most dog behavior problems it is far easier to prevent chewing problems from arising rather than trying to extinguish an established chewing habit. Try these simple steps to help manage your dog’s chewing:

– Puppy proof your home take away the temptation!

– Provide your dog with a few tasty chew toys. Make it perfectly clear to your dog that if he/she needs to chew, it must be on the chew toys. It’s a good idea to toss a dog toy stuffed with some tasty treats to your dog as you leave for work each morning.

– Keep your dog in a safe and confined area while you are away from home. This could be a dog crate, kennel run or any secure room in your house. Of course you should provide a few chew toys in this area and ensure that there are no dangerous objects present.

– Provide your dog with lots of exercise, both physical and mental when you are at home (games, obedience training, tricks…)

How To Always keep in mind that your dog can’t tell the difference between a $200 pair of shoe’s and a worthless old rag. And your dog is not chewing to spite you, dogs don’t think like us humans.stop chewing problems

– If your dog has a particular liking for a certain object like a furniture leg you can try this method. Coat the object with a foul tasting substance (non toxic) such as bitter apple, cayenne pepper or tobacco sauce.

This method can be effective but because it doesn’t actually teach your dog to stop chewing, it may mean that your dog simply chews on a different object. Of course, if you put some tasty treats in the area, the chewing behavior will hopefully shift straight over to these.

– If you catch your dog in the act of chewing, give a firm “No!” and replace the inappropriate chewing object with a tasty chew toy. Give your dog praise when he starts chewing the toy. Never ever reprimand your dog if you don’t actually catch him in the act of chewing. If you don’t issue your correction within about two seconds of his inappropriate chewing behavior, he won’t have a clue what you are disciplining him for.

Stop Dog Chewing Problems

  1. A good solution to stop dog chewing and any other dog behavior problems is to apply some obedience training. This establishes you as the firm but fair leader in your owner-dog relationship. It will also help to build a strong bond between you and your dog, based on trust, two way communication and mutual respect.
  2. If you catch your dog in the act of chewing, give a firm “No!” and replace the inappropriate chewing object with a tasty chew toy. Give your dog praise when he starts chewing the toy. Never ever reprimand your dog if you don’t actually catch him in the act of chewing. If you don’t issue your correction within about two seconds of his inappropriate chewing behavior, he won’t have a clue what you are disciplining him for.
  3. Teach your dog the “Leave it” obedience training command.
  4. In order to control your dog’s annoying chewing habit all you need to do is consistently follow the above training methods. Add a touch of common sense and patience and you will be well on your way to stopping your dogs chewing problem.

Best wishes

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10 Top Dog Training Tips

An exercised dog is a trainable dog
Pet owners often fail to provide their dogs proper exercise. A dogs training becomes virtually impossible without a daily exercise routine.

Just like kids, dogs need a schedule
Like a temper tantrum-throwing toddler without structure in its life, a dog without a set schedule is bound to become irritable and act out. Dogs need set times for interaction, exercise, feeding and training.

Leadership is the foundation of training
Dog training relies on the presence of one pack leader. A dog lover who assumes the role of pack leader will have successful training sessions.

Half the battle takes place in your mind
You must have unwavering mental strength and confidence to gain the trust and respect of your dog during training sessions. Your dog can sense if you are uncertain or fear it, so you must control situations by maintaining the role of an authoritative pack leader.

Discipline and punishment are not synonymous
Invest heavily in dog training, and there will be no need for punishment. It takes time and effort to see real improvement in your dog’s behavior. Don’t let your frustrations distract you from your goal to properly and successfully train your pet.

A dog is a dog
Treating a dog in a humanized manner is perhaps the cardinal sin dog lovers commit. Love your dog, but do not treat him as a baby. Only dogs that understand their role within a family unit are actually trainable. Upset the role identification, and problems are sure to ensue.

Dogs need boundaries
Set boundaries in your home. If your dog’s barking at company bothers you, make this a focal point of your training. If a dog’s presence in an off-limits room annoys you, focus on this aspect of the dog’s behavior instead.

Consistency is key
It is easy to let a dog get away with eating off your plate “just this once,” but in so doing, you are setting a dangerous precedent. How is the dog to know that tomorrow morning this is no longer acceptable behavior?

Get all family members on board
It takes a household to properly train a dog. You, your partner and all household members need to be on the same page when it comes to acceptable and unacceptable behavior. While there only is one pack leader, the other family members still are dominant to the dog, and they must treat their relationship with it as such.

Start today
It never is too early or too late to start working with a dog. Whether your canine companion is a puppy or a more mature dog, commit to start today and achieve with your dog the desired “balance between people and dogs.”

Best wishes

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5 myths about shelter dogs

There are millions of homeless dogs in the world, and a large number of them are currently in shelters waiting for one of two options: a forever home, or death. Often, people are reluctant to adopt shelter dogs because of certain preconceived notions about them. Here, we debunk five common myths about shelter dogs.

1. They’re in the shelter because something is wrong with them

This myth comes from common misunderstandings about how dogs wind up in shelters in the first place. The perception is that dogs end up in animal shelters because they were strays, they were seized in police raids, or they were aggressive. So, they will tend to run away, they will have emotional problems because of how they were treated, or they are just vicious.

But, in reality, a big reason that dogs wind up in shelters is because they were given up by their owners for reasons that have nothing to do with the dog’s behavior. A lot of families give up their dogs because they can’t afford them anymore, or they are forced to move to a place where they can’t have dogs or, worse, can’t have a dog of a particular breed.

Dogs also end up in shelters when expectations and reality don’t meet — that little Dalmatian puppy grew up into a large, energetic dog living in a studio apartment, or that lap dog that was so cute in the pet store became uncontrollable and dominant because its cuteness earned nothing but affection, affection, affection, so the dog never had any rules, boundaries, or limitations.

The only thing inherently wrong with a shelter dog is that it’s in a shelter and not with a loving family.

2. You’ll never know their history

While this may be true, it’s not a bad thing, because that shelter dog will never really know its own history, either — especially not once it’s brought into a loving home with good Pack Leaders. Dogs don’t dwell on the past, and we shouldn’t either, especially when it comes to dogs.

There are shelters that offer a glimpse of the dog’s story, but that’s not necessarily a good thing because, again, humans like to dwell in the past. Whether the dog was abused by children, thrown out of a car, rescued from a dog-fighting ring, or whatever traumatic event she went through, it’s past. Dogs live in the moment.

A dog’s past will only be a problem if you constantly dwell on what happened before the shelter. The dog forgot about it once it wasn’t happening anymore, and you can help the dog forget as well by not triggering anything that resembles that early trauma.


3. They may have a disease

Yes, they may, kennel cough being particularly common. However, most shelters nowadays will also provide you with a voucher for a subsidized or no-cost first vet visit, and the more devastating diseases have vaccines that are routinely provided by the shelter, like the DHPP (Distemper/Hepatitis/Parvovirus/Parainfluenza) shot, as well as a rabies vaccination. Shelters also make sure that dogs are free of fleas and worms, and they provide spaying and neutering as part of the adoption process.

4. They aren’t purebred

And…? Unless you’re a breeder or are looking for a professional show dog, mixed breed dogs are a much better choice. They are generally free of genetic or behavioral problems that are typical of some pure breeds, like hip dysplasia in German shepherds or incessant digging by terriers.

Mixed breed dogs are also just much more interesting looking, since they don’t follow the strict standards required for purebreds. Finally, if you live in an area with breed specific laws (BSL) that ban certain dogs, like pit bulls or Rottweilers, having that other identifiable breed in the mix can avoid issues with your dog being outlawed.


5. They’re too old

Adopting a puppy can be an attractive idea — you get to start out with a four-legged blank slate, and raise it to adulthood. However, people often focus on the “cute” part and forget the reality of raising a puppy: It can be just as intense and difficult as raising a child, and it’s also a full time job.

Sure, it only takes about a year and a half to raise a puppy, as opposed to eighteen (or more) for children, but that can be a year and a half of having things chewed up or peed on, having your rules constantly tested, and having a growing ball of energy rushing around the house.

You can also never be absolutely sure with a puppy what you’ll wind up with as an adult. You may want a medium size dog and the shelter thought that the puppy you’ve adopted was mostly beagle. What happens, then, when the other part turns out to be a St. Bernard or Great Dane and the dog you expected to weigh 30 pounds tops out at 150?

Particularly if you don’t have a lot of time to spend on training, an adult dog around 1 or 2 years old can be ideal. They usually come with all the useful features pre-installed: Housebroken, they know some tricks, they’re used to people. If they do have any behavioral issues, they will be much easier to fix at this point — assuming that they show up at all, which they may not if you do things the right way.

And don’t discount senior dogs, which are those aged 7 years or more. Senior dogs can be ideal for lower-energy households, or in situations where you don’t want to commit for ten or fifteen whole years but still want a loving companion.

So, next time you want to add a dog to your family or your pack, adopt don’t shop — you’ll save a life and find a faithful friend at the same time.

Best wishes

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Telltale Teeth – A horse’s teeth reveal his age

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Why? Because you can determine a horse’s age by looking at his teeth and it would be rude to try to put a dollar value on a gift. It would be like sending a friend to Tiffany’s to see how much your new boyfriend spent on those earrings he gave you for Christmas. But truth be told, if you really did peel back the lips of your gift horse, would you really know how old he was anyway? Probably not. Fortunately, learning to determine equine age is not that much more complicated than counting the rings on a tree trunk — you just have to know what to look for. Continue reading and you’ll soon be lining up the horses at your barn in chronological order.

As a horse ages, his teeth wear down in a specific pattern. This results in characteristics that are common to all equine teeth as they approach certain ages. Both the temporary and permanent teeth follow the same sequence of wear: from the lower jaw to the upper jaw, and from front to back — or from the central incisor to the intermediate incisor to the back comer incisor.

The first sign of wear is the loss of the dark cup, a hollow space formed by the central enamel, which becomes filled with food. As the tooth wears, the pulp becomes exposed. This is referred to as a dental star. Also, when a tooth is young, its top, or table, is oval-shaped. As it wears down it becomes rounder, then triangular.

Another way to assess age is by looking for Galvayne’s Groove. Found on the corner incisor, this line appears to travel from the top of the tooth to the bottom as the horse ages. It first appears in 10-year-olds. By 15 years of age, Galvayne’s Groove is halfway down the corner incisor. At 20, it reaches the full length of the tooth. After that it begins to recede from the gum line. It is halfway gone at the age of 25 and completely gone by 30.

As the tooth wears down, it changes from a long oval shape to a round shape and finally to a triangular one. When the horse reaches his 16th year, the central incisors become triangular. As with the wear of the dark cups, the pattern continues to the intermediate incisor in the horse’s 17th year. At 18, the back corner incisor becomes triangular, too.

Unfortunately, not everyone involved with horses uses this knowledge for good. Unscrupulous horse dealers may try to alter their horses’ teeth so they can pass them off as younger or older animals. They may pull the temporary teeth of a younger horse so that the permanent teeth will come in faster, making the horse appear to be older. Also, the teeth may be bishoped, or drilled, so that black marks appear instead of the white dental stars that characterize older horses. This effect may also be achieved by staining or burning the tables of the teeth.

However, these alterations can be detected by checking to see if the central enamel that forms the cup is visible. If the teeth have been bishoped, this enamel will not be present. Also, the slanting of the horse’s teeth and the shape of the teeth are unalterable. A younger horse’s teeth form a vertical angle as they meet each other, but as he ages, the angle juts out more and more, approaching an outward 90 degrees. And as mentioned, younger teeth are more oval, becoming more triangular and narrow with age.

Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision when buying a horse — or just sneak a peak at the price tag on that gift.

Best wishes

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