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Pet First Aid Kit - Be Prepared for Emergencies

Posted on 1 December, 2016 at 14:49 Comments comments (0)

This is a comprehensive pet first aid list complied by Dr. Becker that I want to share with my pet sitting friends. As a professional pet sitter, I have had pet first aid training and also carry a well-stocked pet first aid kit in my car.  At every visit, the sitters at Kelly's Pet Sitting will assess you furry friend's health and we are prepared for emergencies if they should arise. 

By Dr. Becker

If you’re like most people, having a first aid kit handy is not something you’re terribly concerned about -- until you really need one. And a first aid kit for four-legged family members may be the furthest thing from your mind.
But when faced with an emergency involving a beloved family pet, many people literally cannot think straight. And the more dire the situation, the less able they are to be effective. That’s why having a pet first aid kit prepared and easily accessible for emergencies is an excellent idea. It can take some of the guesswork and wheel spinning out of the equation, while also providing tools that can help you help your pet.
And what you might not realize is that a pet first aid kit is a snap to put together, and you never know -- it might just help you save the life of your precious companion one day.

Getting Started: A Clear Plastic Container and an Emergency Phone List

It’s a good idea to keep the contents of your pet’s first aid kit in a clear plastic container so that one quick glance will tell you you’ve found what you’re looking for. A very inexpensive solution is a good-sized plastic zipper bag big enough to hold the supplies listed below, including a bath size cotton towel.
The first thing you’ll need for your kit is an emergency telephone list with the following information:
·         The phone number and address of your pet’s veterinarian.
·         The phone number and address (and directions, if necessary) to the closest emergency animal hospital.
·         The phone number of your local animal ambulance or transportation service, if one is available.
·         The Animal Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
You can either tape the list to the outside of the kit, or place it inside, positioned where you can read it without even having to open the kit.

Recommended Supplies for Your Pet’s First Aid Kit
muzzle the right size for your pet. It may seem cruel to place a muzzle on a sick or injured pet, but it’s important to protect the humans handling and caring for the animal. The most docile, gentle pets in the world can become snappish out of fear or due to pain.
collar or harness and leash.
A pair of tweezers for splinter or tick removal.
nail trimmer or clipper.
A pair of blunt-tipped scissors to trim hair away from a wound, or to clip out foreign material caught in your pet’s fur.
Pre-soaked povidone iodine (Betadine) pads to clean out cuts, wounds or abrasions, and bottled water. The wound should be flushed with water after using the pre-soaked pads.
Saline solution. Regular human contact lens saline drops can be used to flush out dirt, sand or other irritants from your pet’s eye. It can also be used to flush away debris from a cut or scrape.
Triple antibiotic ointment to apply to a wound after it has been cleaned with povidone iodine and flushed with water.
Sterile water-soluble lubricating jelly. You can apply water-soluble lubricating jelly around your pet’s eyes if you need to use soap or povidone iodine to clean a wound close to the eyes.
Sterile non-stick pads to cover a wound before bandaging.
Bandage material, either elastic bandages or gauze to hold a non-stick pad in place over a wound.
Hydrogen peroxide 3% to induce vomiting, but only if your vet or the Animal Poison Control hotline instructs you to do so. Always call your vet or the hotline if you believe your dog or cat may have ingested a toxic substance. Hydrogen peroxide should not be used to clean a wound, as it is known to actually slow the healing process.
clean cotton towel that can serve multiple purposes, from a pressure bandage, to a blanket, to a sling to lift a larger pet that isn’t able to walk.
flashlight. Sometimes a bright light source can help you more readily identify that thorn in your pet’s paw or the tiny tick in between her toes.

Other Items You Might Want to Include:
·         Cotton balls and swabs
·         Ear cleanser
·         Benadryl for hypersensitivity reactions
·         Bach Rescue Remedy for stress
·         Homeopathic Aconitum for shock
·         Styptic/clotting powder to stop bleeding from broken toenails
·         A thermometer

If you’d prefer not to make your own kit, you can also buy a ready-made pet first aid kit.

Pet Poisining - What to Do

Posted on 1 December, 2016 at 14:32 Comments comments (0)


I would like to share this article written by Dr. Karen Becker because being prepared in a pet poisining emergency can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. At Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon, our sitters are aware of the signs of poisoning and know what to do.  Having a professional pet sitter care for your pets gives you an added benefit because we are knowledgable about emergency pet situations and can get your pet to the veterinarian immediately, if needed. 

In 2013, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) processed nearly 180,000 cases of pets potentially exposed to toxic substances. The APCC has compiled a list of five important tips for handling a pet poisoning emergency in your own household.
 
Quick Tips for Dealing with a Pet Poisoning Emergency

1.     Be Ready
Before you ever need them, make sure your veterinarian’s phone number, the number of the closest emergency veterinary hospital, and the number for a pet poison center are saved in your phone. The APCC number is 888-426-4435; the Pet Poison Hotline is 800-213-6680.And remember that you may be able to provide important, even life-saving initial treatment at home if you have a pet first aid kit ready and easily accessible in an emergency.
 
2.     Keep Your Cool
Maintaining your composure when faced with a pet emergency can be hard to do, but it’s really important if you want to insure your furry family member gets the help he needs. If you stay calm, you’ll be better able to provide first aid, as well as vital information to the people treating your pet.
 
3.     Evaluate Your Pet’s Condition
It’s important to make a clear-eyed observation of your pet’s condition. Is she behaving abnormally? Is she bleeding? Is she having trouble breathing? Is she having convulsions or seizures? Is she unresponsive? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, your pet needs immediate medical attention. Call your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital and alert them that you’re on your way.
 
4.     Be Prepared to Answer Questions
What is the toxic substance you know or suspect your pet ingested? Either pack up the substance itself (this is ideal), or write down the exact name of the product or medication. You’ll also want to write down the strength (typically in milligrams) of the drug, the concentration of active ingredients in herbicides or pesticides and the EPA registration number, and any other information you think might help the veterinarian who will be treating your pet. When did the poisoning happen? Did you catch your pet actually ingesting the substance? Has your pet vomited? If so, did she vomit up any of the poison or packaging?
 
5.     Be Proactive
If you know or suspect your pet has ingested a poison, don’t wait for symptoms before seeking help. Time is of the essence in preventing the poison from being absorbed by your pet’s body. The faster you are able to treat your furry companion at home (with guidance from your vet or a pet poison hotline), or get her to a veterinarian, the better her chances for survival and a full recovery. By Dr. Karen Becker

 

Symptoms that Dog and/or Cat Owners Should Not Ignore

Posted on 28 April, 2016 at 21:04 Comments comments (2)
SYMPTOMS THAT DOG AND/OR CAT OWNERS SHOULD NOT IGNORE
 
This is Part 1 in a 2 part series of symptoms that dog and/or cat owners should not ignore, and should seek veterinary attention right away. They are not in order of importance, as they are all important.
 
In these tough economic times, pet owners are looking for ways to save money on their pets. Unfortunately, this also leads people to delay seeking medical care because they’re uncertain if a visit to the vet is absolutely necessary. Most people know if a pet has collapsed, had a seizure, is bleeding, bloated, unable to walk, or has been injured they should see their veterinarian quickly.  But what about other, more subtle symptoms? When should you absolutely, positively take your pet to the veterinarian?  

We all want our pets to be healthy and well, but there are times in every pet parent’s life when one of our beloved pets may have an illness, injury, or medical condition necessitating a trip to their veterinarian.  I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Dwight Sinner of Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital in Medford, Oregon. *For more information, see bottom of blog*.   Dr. Sinner was kind enough to list the following symptoms in your dog or cat that pet parents should NEVER ignore and should contact their veterinarian right away.
 
 
Vomiting and/or diarrhea   Diarrhea:  A single bout of diarrhea is generally not a concern in dogs, but if it persists for more than a day, it can lead to dehydration, or it may indicate an underlying health issue and should be checked out by your veterinarian.  Bring your dog to the vet if his diarrhea continues for more than a day, or if you observe lethargy, vomiting, fever, dark-colored or bloody stools, straining to defecate, decreased appetite or unexplained weight loss.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice your puppy has diarrhea, as it can be an important indicator of serious diseases in young dogs.  There are many causes of diarrhea in dogs.  Some of them include: change in diet or food intolerance, ingestion of spoiled food, poisonous substances or toxic plant material, ingestion of an object.  Diarrhea can also be due to an allergic reaction, bacterial or viral infection, internal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer or tumors of the digestive tract, colitis or gastroenteritis.  Stress can also cause diarrhea so having your pet sitter monitor your dog for diarrhea is very important since being away from you can cause stress.  Vomiting:  An occasional, isolated bout of vomiting may not be of concern. However, frequent or chronic vomiting can be a sign of a more serious condition such as colitis, intestinal obstruction or parvovirus.  If your dog’s vomiting is not an isolated incident, please bring him to the vet right away for a complete exam and diagnostic testing. Any of the following symptoms along with the vomiting would indicate contacting your vet right away: diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, blood in vomit, weight loss, change in appetite , increase or decrease in thirst or urination.  Your professional pet sitter at Kelly’s Pet Sitting will monitor your dog’s food and water intake, bowel and bladder habits and keep you and your veterinarian informed of any change in habits.
 
Seizures or convulsions Seizures can look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking and can last from less than a minute to several minutes.  Some of the causes of seizures are: epilepsy, eating poison, liver or kidney disease, low or high blood sugar, strokes, or other conditions.  When the seizure stops they usually appear confused and unsteady.  Call your veterinarian right away to have him evaluated.  Some dogs may need to take medication to help control the seizures.  Your professional pet sitter will be able to administer medication while you are away and to notice any seizures and let you and your veterinarian know what transpired. 
 
Blood in urine or stool  If you notice your cat litter box has any blood in urine or stool, or if you notice blood in urine or stool of your dog, contact your veterinarian right away. There are many illnesses that may be causing this and it is best to get your pet evaluated and treated as soon as possible.  Your Professional Pet Sitter monitors your pet’s stools for any sign of illness.
 
Not eating for 1-2 days Because loss of appetite in dogs or cats can indicate illness, it is important to seek veterinary care if you notice changes in your pet’s eating habits, especially if your dog usually gobbles up their food & suddenly does not eat.  We have noticed in our pet sitting service that some pets may not eat the first day or possibly, the second day their owners are away.  We also know of various methods that may help your pet to eat.  At Kelly’s Pet Sitting, we ask if your pet normally nibbles or gobbles their food so we can maintain records of how your pet is eating.  That way, we can keep you informed and seek veterinary care if needed. We send daily updates to let you know how your pet is doing for your peace of mind.
 
Inability or painful urination and defecation There are many causes of inability or painful urination or defecation.  The treatment might be as simple as feeding a high fiber diet, giving plenty of water and laxatives as prescribed by your vet.  But it could be something more serious.  Get to know your pet’s normal pee & poop schedules so you can determine what is normal for your pet.  When you hire Kelly’s Pet Sitting to care for your pets, we always monitor your pet’s elimination and look for any signs of abnormality so we can alert the pet parent and take your pet to your veterinarian if indicated.
 
Unexpected weight loss or weight gain If you are feeding a regular, healthy diet to your pet that is appropriate to their breed, activity level, and size and suddenly your pet has an unexpected weight loss or gain, it is imperative that you take your pet for an exam with your veterinarian.  There are many causes for this ranging from thyroid disorders to diabetes, and many others. Your vet will let you know what diet and/or meds your pet may need in order to maintain their weight and health.
 
Increases in water drinking or urination or accidents in the house If you notice your pet drinking more water than is normal for them, or suddenly having accidents in the house with a house-trained dog, this can signal a lot of potential problems. For cats that are suddenly urinating outside of their litter box, this could be a symptom of a urinary tract infection, or other problem.  Excessive water intake and urination could be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease or other problem in your pet.  Please have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian, who will provide treatment. 
 
Weakness or collapse  In hot weather, heat stroke is a definite possibility. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of water if it is hot outdoors.  And keep them in a shady place out of the sun and be careful not to over-exercise them in the heat.  Keep them indoors when it is extremely hot.  Be especially careful with brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short noses) such as pugs, boxers, or any dog with a short snout, etc.) as they cannot breathe as easily as other dogs. If your dog should show signs of weakness or collapse, contact your veterinarian immediately.
 
Red or painful eyes and/or loss of vision Examine your dog and cat eyes and lids for signs of redness, discharge, cloudiness or change in eye color.  Be sure to protect your dog’s eyes from shampoo during bathing and please drive with your dog’s head inside of the vehicle, as debris or insects, as well as the wind drying out their eyes, can cause injury. If you notice your pet bumping into things, have your veterinarian do an exam.  They may have cataracts or other eye problems affecting their vision.
 
Tumors or lumps  You may be snuggled up with your canine buddy, and all of a sudden, you notice a lump. Before you freak out that it may be cancer, realize that most lumps are fatty tumors, and are more common in older pets.  Often these are benign, meaning not cancerous.  Fewer than half of lumps and bumps you find on a dog are malignant, or cancerous.  Still, it is best to let your vet evaluate the lump to determine if it is nothing to worry about or something that needs to be further evaluated.
 
*Dr. Dwight Sinner graduated from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Pullman, WA in 1982.  He has owned Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital since 1984.  He has special interests in dog and cat surgery, dental procedures, and knee stabilization procedures.  Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM, and Saturdays, 8:00 AM – Noon and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  After hour emergencies are referred to the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center at (541) 282-7711.  In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family, bicycling, hiking, and volunteering at his church.

DISCLAIMER: Of course, this list cannot explain every symptom that could indicate an emergent situation, so if in doubt, ALWAYS call your vet if you have concerns. 

At Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon we have every client fill out a Veterinary Authorization listing the name and contact information for their vet, as well as names and descriptions of their pets.  All of our pet sitters are experienced in what symptoms to look for in your pets while in our care and to contact you and/or your veterinarian for advice and/or treatment.  We also have the number of the Emergency Vet in Medford should your veterinarian not be able to see your pet after hours

Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center 541-282-7711.  Pet Poison Number (1-888-426-4435 or 1-800-548-2423.  Sources: pet.webmd.com, dogtime.com
 

 

How to Bring a Scared Cat Out of Hiding

Posted on 8 April, 2016 at 16:31 Comments comments (0)
How to Bring a Scared Cat Out of Hiding

I was recently reminded of how much patience this requires while on a Kelly's Pet Sitting visit. The female cat in question ("Hen") was ill and didn't have a cat or dog companion, so it was of the utmost importance that I get her out from under the bed and make friends with her. 
 
In my experience, there's always something that will catch a cat's attention and bring them toward you. Usually this response is instilled over time by the pet's parents. I've trained my own cats to come to the sound of a fork being tapped on the edge of a small glass dish I use to feed them canned cat food. No matter where they are (indoors or outdoors), they come running to the ringing of that dish.   
 
Other cats are crazy for a certain toy, such as feathers on the end of a piece of string, and flicking the feathers near their location will bring them leaping out. Playing hide & seek with your hand under a pillow or magazine can also bring out the hunting instinct in cats. As the cat moves toward your hand, pull the pillow or magazine back little by little, until the cat is out of his hiding place. You'll want to back up as well, so the cat doesn't feel cornered when he sees you. Speaking softly and offering a treat or a head scratch may encourage him to stay with you and not go back into hiding.  
 

Some cats love to be scratched, so the sound of your finger nails raking across the carpet or on your own pant leg will be more than they can resist. If they have a favorite comb or brush, making a scratching noise with that will often get their attention too. Always move slowly when working with a cat that doesn't know you. Fast movements or loud noises will often drive them back into hiding. 
 
In Hen's case, it was the noise made by shaking her bag of treats - a common motivator for many cats. Once she poked her head out from under the bed, I made a line of treats that brought her closer & closer to my location. I spoke to her softly and gave her a good scratch when she was near. Soon, she followed me into the kitchen, went to the sliding door to watch birds, and even let me brush her fur. I repeated the treat trick each time I visited Hen and she always came out to partake & get a little extra attention.  

Like people, cats are individuals with various life histories, so it's up to us to discover what they can't live without. Once you do, you'll be on your way to a permanent place in that cat's heart. >^..^<

                                                     Beth Berghofer, Pet Sitter
                                                     Kelly's Pet Sitting


Note From Kelly, Owner of Kelly's Pet Sitting:

We are often told before we begin a cat sitting job that "you'll probably never see the cat" from the pet parent.  Our sitters have extensive experience caring for cats and kittens. It is our greatest joy when we are able to coax your kitty out for play and loving.  If you want a cat sitter with a big heart for your precious kitties, be sure and give us a call for your pet sitting needs!

Dog Park Etiquette - Kelly's Pet Sitting Medford, OR

Posted on 28 May, 2015 at 1:45 Comments comments (0)
My dogs love going to the dog park to socialize and be off leash. Sometimes they want to play with other dogs or chase balls and other times they would rather just accompany me around the park as I walk or lay down and relax. Either way, we all get to unwind and enjoy ourselves.

Now that summer and warmer weather is here, a lot more people will be taking their dogs to the dog park to socialize and exercise. Here are eight tips for having a happy dog park experience.

Take a pre-park walk. With our busy schedules, we dog owners often use a trip to the dog park as a way to get all that excess energy out of our pups. That means the dogs coming in are at their peak level of energy. This may be the first real exercise they have gotten in hours, sometimes all day. You know this is what happened whenever you see a dog charge through the gate and head face first into trouble. The dog park should be used for socialization as well as mental and physical exercise, and to do that safely a pup needs to come in calm and relaxed. If your dog is unable to enter the park without having any self control, take a pre-park walk around a block or two.

Mind the gates. Many dog parks have at least two gates you have to go through before getting in our out of the main park area. One of the reasons for these gates is to keep unleashed dogs inside. No matter how eager your dog is to get inside and join the fun or to go home, make sure you enter and exit safely. You should only go into the “leashing and unleashing” area when there is no one, or no other dog inside. If someone is already in the process of going in our coming out, stop, step aside, and wait your turn. Always close and secure each gate behind you as you move through it. Just because your dog is ready to move on safely, that doesn't mean a dog on either side of the gate is ready to do the same.

Go leash-free. If a dog park is off-leash, you need to take the leash off your dog. Do so in that area between the two gates when there is no other dog around and you can make sure your dog is calm, cool, and collected before heading in to be with the masses. A dog on a leash, when all others are off, can cause trouble. A leashed dog is a magnet for other dogs to come check out and when that happens the poor pup on the leash can easily get scared because of his inability to react in the way the unleashed dogs do – the ability to get away if needed. This can be a recipe for a brawl.

Stay Calm. When a bunch of humans are put into one area with our furry babies, there can be differences of opinions and protectiveness of our pets. I've seen rational humans morph into insane lunatics in reaction to something or someone. Calm down, take a deep breath, and walk away – do anything that helps you NOT become “that guy.” When you put a bunch of dogs together and then add very opinionated owners, you are bound to have a scuffle now and then. As long as no one is hurt, pick yourselves up. shake it off, and move on. Dogs will react to the emotions of the humans around them, especially THEIR humans. When you go crazy, your dog is sure to follow, and that isn't good.

Follow the rules regarding age and keep kids close. Many dog parks prohibit children under a certain age from entering. Even if they are allowed, they need to be closely watched (as in stay right next to them). Just because your dog is good with your kid, that doesn't mean other dogs will be. Letting a child be unsupervised around unfamiliar dogs, who are just being dogs in a park designated for their kind, is unfair and unsafe for both species.

Keep the party small. Be aware of any rules you dog park has limiting the number of dogs one person can bring. Even if there isn't a rule, only take as many dogs as you can watch at once, and reasonably control if things get out of hand.

Leave human food at home. DO NOT bring human food into a dog park – EVER! You are just asking for trouble. And it's also a good idea to leave the dog treats at home too. If other dogs smell the food or dog treats, they may be food-possessive, and this can trigger a fight.

Let the dogs teach each other. The best thing that can happen to a puppy at a dog park is to learn manners from their elders. Puppies may not heed another dog's “get back” warnings and may find themselves being disciplined for their bad behavior. They may yelp, but they are being taught a lesson. If this happens to your puppy, do a quick check to make sure he is ok, but let him walk it off and absorb the lesson. He will be better off when he learns common courtesy. If you tend to be overprotective of your pooch and don't let dog lessons happen, you may be inadvertently teaching your pup to be afraid of other dogs and react negatively. Which is the exact opposite of why you are going to the dog park in the first place.


Do you have any tips for the dog park? Share them in the comments below. 

Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford, OR can help keep your dog happy during the day by providing daily dog walks while you are at work or on vacation.  We also provide play time which can mentally and physically satisfy your dog's need for stimulation and interaction to help prevent destructive behaviors. 

How Your Pet Sitter Can Help Train Your Puppy

Posted on 19 April, 2015 at 18:41 Comments comments (0)
How Your Pet Sitter Can Help Train Your Puppy



Having a new puppy is such an exciting time! They are so adorable, playful, and well, just FUN.

FACT: Puppies require a LOT of time. A new puppy's needs can be overwhelming and most pet parents have jobs to go to or other responsibilities and just don't have that kind of time in their day; so let the professionals do it for you.

That's where Kelly's Pet Sitting comes in. Our experienced pet sitters understand that your pup needs to stay on schedule in order to have success at potty training and to begin experiencing life in a positive way.

Crate Training

If you are crate training, the rule of thumb is 1 hour in the crate for every 1 month of age. So if you have a 3 month pup, you can only expect him to hold it for 3 hours between potty breaks. We love nothing better than to take them outside, praise them for doing their business and help them understand that their crate is a safe place to hang out. As they grow, their time in the crate can be increased.

As your pup grows, we can work with you if you would like to have an area of your home gated off to contain the pup until we know they are reliable in their potty training. Having a potty trained dog makes everyone's life easier!

Manners/Training

We will work with you while you are training your pup basic commands and manners which is a vital part of raising a puppy to be a polite member of your family. We will discuss with you which words you want to use with your pup to keep it consistent and reinforce these basic commands in a positive way.

Exercise

Young dogs have a tremendous amount of energy! They need time to run and play, chew and receive love and cuddles. We believe that puppies (and all dogs) need a healthy outlet for all of that energy so they don't turn to destructive behaviors in order to entertain themselves. A tired dog is a happy dog!

So, if you have a new puppy that you would like some help with, or even an adult dog who could really use some attention, love and exercise during the day, please contact Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon. We LOVE pets and want to help you to have a happy pet while also fulfilling your daily obligations. Our pet sitters are bonded, insured and background checked for your peace of mind.

Call us today at 541-601-7461 or visit our website: www.kellyspetsitting.net.


Why Does My Cat Do That?

Posted on 4 February, 2015 at 3:10 Comments comments (0)
WHY DOES MY CAT DO THAT?

I have been studying Pet Sitter's International Certification Program Coursework to further my education in the areas of pet care, health, behaviors, etc. in order to be the best pet sitter I can possibly be. I wanted to share some of the information I am learning with pet owners, particularly CAT owners in this blog.

Cats are not fond of change, so pet sitting is the best option by far for taking care of a cat while the owner is away. But there are still issues with cats that pet sitters need to recognize, know what's behind the behaviors and how to deal with them.

Our cat companions can be a real challenge at times. Sometimes we just don't understand why our cats are acting strange, or being destructive. As a professional pet sitter, I know that sometimes cats can act differently for a pet sitter than they do with their pet parents. And, I am also owned by 3 cats myself, so I know how perplexing cat behavior can be.

Here are some possible explanations for “WHY do they do it?”



A good example of that is going outside of the litterbox. The cat may have had a sub-clinical medical problem and when you add any sort of stress, it goes over the edge. That's why a problem seems to appear suddenly – out of the blue. An experienced pet sitter can alert you to any changes in litterbox habits that may indicate a health concern that would warrant a check up by your veterinarian.



Some cats you sit for, you may never see. You peek under the bed and there they are! With a cat like that, you don't want to reach in and try to haul it out Believe what it's telling you. If it's looking for a fight, leave it alone. Make sure your pet sitter is experienced in cat behavior in order to make your feline feel relaxed and comfortable while you are away. I find that almost every cat I have cared for comes out eventually to see me, even if I have been told “I will probably never see the cat.”



You've got to give a cat an opportunity to be a cat or it will act out. Cats are predatory, playful, territorial. Providing a cat with the attention it needs, whether it be petting, lap time, chasing after toys or laser lights, are all easy outlets for you to provide for your feline friend. Cats need daily interaction with their humans. For social and active kitties you may want to have your sitter visit two times a day.



A lot of people get injured by introducing a cat to a dog by holding it out and saying, “Kitty, meet Doggy.” You are the nearest vertical object and that cat wants to get away and high up to safety. At this point, you simply become an obstacle to go over or through. If you try to handle the cat, you'll get bit or scratched. Cat scratches or bites can be very serious – always seek medical attention. Also, it is best to let your cat be the one to initiate contact with a new person in your home at their own comfort level.



Cats are the best blackmail artists in the world. They will meow and meow and they won't give up! They know they'll eventually get the attention they want. A dog will ask for a while, then go away. Not a cat. See if you can figure out what your kitty is asking for. Is it affection? Play time? Wanting to be petted? Note: Sometimes they are just beggars for more treats or food. Be sure you are feeding them a nutritious diet and the proper amount to keep kitty at a healthy weight. But, a couple treats never hurt, right?



Destructive scratching is usually territory marking, exercise or claw sharpening. Be sure you have several scratching posts available for your kitty. Kittens need to be taught where it is appropriate to scratch. I sprinkle cat nip on the areas I want kitty to scratch and I provide vertical and horizontal scratching opportunities in various locations throughout my home.



Cats need a place to “do their business” that is private and away from their feeding areas. The general rule is one litter box per cat, plus one extra if you have multiple cats. They should be placed in different areas of the house and cleaned daily. If you need to change the type of litter you use, it should be done gradually. Cats do not usually like change and may go outside the box when there are sudden changes.


THE “FELINE TOOL BOX”

There are some things that I have found useful in my profession as a cat sitter, as well as sharing my own home with cats.

  1. Feliway. This is a product that uses the facial pheromones of cats to relieve stress and help prevent unwanted behaviors. It seems to help upset cats to become calm. It comes in a spray or a plug-in. I use the spray on my clothes when meeting cats that may be fearful of new people. You can also spray it in their room (never spray on the cat.) The plug-in works well in a room where the cats hang out and are in a stressful condition, such as moving to a new location, fireworks or thunderstorms, pet parent leaving for a trip, etc.

  1. Aluminum Foil. Cats do not like it! You can tape it on an area that you don't want a cat to scratch. Or if a cat is spraying a certain area, put up a sheet of foil there.

  1. Plastic Carpet Runners. This is the type that has the bumps on the back. Turn it upside down. Cats don't like the way that feels and you can use it to keep them off of things or out of certain areas.
  1. Double Sided Tape. If your cat is scratching your furniture or getting up on counters, you might want to try this (or one of the other suggestions).

  1. Spray Bottle. I have found that this works well to stop unwanted behavior – like a cat getting up on counter tops. But when you use it, don't say anything or they will simply relate the negative consequence to your presence. Be sure to reward your cat with treats or praise when doing the behavior you want, like using their scratching post or staying off of the counters.




Senior Pets Need Love Too!

Posted on 15 June, 2014 at 4:40 Comments comments (0)
SENIOR PET CARE TIPS
That sweet look; that graying muzzle, those fading eyes that still adore you. If your pet is now a senior it is time to return the favor for all of the faithful years of unconditional love they have given you. Read the following tips on how to take care of your senior pet, and of course, consult your veterinarian to make your pet's final years as healthy and productive as possible. 

Preventative care

Taking care of a senior pet can be difficult, but there are many things you can do to make the process a manageable one. Below are a few preventative tips to help manage the aging process.

Annual visits to the veterinarian for protection from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus and kennel cough. Annual heartworm and intestinal parasite checks are also important.

Good nutrition is critical to good health at all ages, so be sure your pet is on a proper diet.

For dogs, exercise is imperative to keeping them in good shape. Exercise can mean adding years on to a dog’s life.
Other steps a pet owner can take to delay the onset of aging in their pets include:teeth cleaning to prevent gum disease; grooming to keep the skin and coat healthy and to be aware of any problems such as dry skin, thin or brittle coat, thin coat, body odor, or sore spots; and checking the ears for odor or gunk produced by infecting organisms.

Signs of aging

Extremes in temperature and changes in surroundings can affect aging pets.
Skin and coat can also change as the skin loses pliability and the capacity of the oil-producing sebaceous glands diminishes. Wounds heal more slowly, allergies often worsen, non-malignant tumors may appear in the mouth or on or under the skin, and infestations of intestinal parasite may occur.
If your pet is stiff, let them walk it out; don't rush them to get up. Be aware of when they last went to the bathroom and remind them when they need to go out.

If your pet’s coat and skin dry out, brush them more frequently to stimulate the production of natural oils and ask your veterinarian for shampoo and skin care recommendations.

Reduce calorie intake, if necessary, to prevent your pet from becoming overweight. Ask your veterinarian about a special diet if your pet needs to lose weight.

Most importantly, be aware of your pet's increased special requirements as an aging animal. Your pet may not remember to go to the bathroom outside or to eat, so you may need to remind them. And above all, be patient. With these simple tips, your pet may live years longer and better enjoy his/her time with the family.

And if you have a senior pet that needs some TLC or takes medications, we love and understand older pets and give them the love and attention they need. Contact Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford Oregon at 541-601-7461 for your pet sitting, dog walking and overnight pet and house sitting needs. Our website is www.kellyspetsitting.net




Why Should I Schedule Pet Sitting in Advance?

Posted on 20 May, 2014 at 23:15 Comments comments (4)
Why Should I Schedule My Pet Sitting Services In Advance?

May 20, 2014 - By Kelly’s Pet Sitting

At a minimum you should schedule your pet sitting visits at least a week in advance when it’s not a holiday, at least 2-4 weeks when you will be needing visits during a holiday period. Summer is also a high demand time when people schedule vacations. What is the point to scheduling early?

First and foremost it greatly increases your chances of your pet sitter having availability. Pet sitting is scheduled on a “first come, first serve” basis because we only have so many hours in the day and can’t be everywhere at one time. If you get on the books far in advance, you don’t have to worry about your sitter being available or not.

Secondly, it is courteous. Contrary to popular belief pet sitters do have lives outside of taking care of everyone’s pets all day. We have friends, family and other personal obligations that we do our best to schedule around our pet sitting visits. When a last minute request for pet sitting comes in, often times in order to meet those needs your pet sitter has to give up something they had already planned.

While we, and the vast majority of pet sitters, do our best to accommodate last minute requests we so greatly appreciate and value the clients who take the time to be prepared and schedule their pet sitting services 1-4 weeks ahead of time.
 

What Should Pet Parents Look for in a Pet Sitter?

Posted on 17 March, 2014 at 1:19 Comments comments (2)
What Should Pet Parents Look for in a Pet Sitter?
 
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters, encourages pet owners to only use the services of a professional pet sitter when they need pet care.
Recent news reports described the horror of a dog left to starve to death by a family friend while the owner was helping his wife at a hospital in another state. Reports of theft, pet injuries or property damage at the hands of a person asked to provide pet care are, unfortunately, not uncommon.
“Oftentimes, pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term ‘pet sitter’ carelessly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a ‘pet sitter,’” explained PSI President Patti J. Moran. “It is important pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”
“The good news is that with the growth of the pet-sitting industry, pet owners do not have to rely on untrained or unwilling friends, family members or neighbors when travel or long work hours keep them from their pets,” added Moran.
PSI advises pet owners to ask five important questions when interviewing a professional pet sitter:

1.          Is the pet sitter insured and bonded? 
2.          Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history? 
3.          Does the pet sitter provide client references? 
4.          Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract? 
5.          Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) and/or has he or she              participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?

“Pet owners must realize that although friends and family may be willing to watch your pets, they often do not have the education or credentials to offer quality, reliable care for your pets,” said Moran. “What’s more, they are also not insured should any damage to your home or injury to your pets occur while they are caring for them.”
PSI recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a Pet Sitter Interview checklist on its Web site to guide pet owners in the interview process.
 
Pet owners in need of pet-sitting services in 2014 can visit PSI’s Official Pet Sitter Locator™ at http://www.petsit.com/locate to find pet sitters in their areas and download the Pet Sitter Interview checklist.

Kelly’s Pet Sitting in Medford, OR is a family owned and operated pet sitting and dog walking company. We are proud to be members of Pet Sitters International (PSI). We are all professional pet sitters and we are bonded, insured, pet first aid certified/trained.  We also have current background checks. Excellent client references available on request. Visit our website at www.kellyspetsitting.net and give us a call today!

 


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