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Avoiding Pet Depression

Posted on 14 November, 2017 at 17:51 Comments comments (701)
Avoiding Pet Depression
 
Let's face it; it’s becoming a trend that our pets are developing very human-like issues.  Or maybe we just didn't think to notice before.  A generation ago, you never heard about pets getting cancer, and certainly not having the emotional and psychological issues that are becoming so common and often treated medicinally these days.
 
But pet depression and anxiety are real.  These sweet beings thrive on love and attention.  So it makes sense that they might succumb to the same negative psychological reactions we humans do when encountering stressful situations.  Research shows that leaving them alone for extended periods of time creates true anxiety in our pets.  Let’s take a look: 

Cats abhor change.  They crave a stable environment where they feel safe and loved.  You are a big part of that stability and when you’re away, that is a significant change for them.  Boarding is not often an effective solution since cats are territorial.  They experience stress because not only are you gone but now they are in an unfamiliar environment with the sights, smells, and sounds of other animals to boot. 

We know that dogs are pack animals and crave companionship.  Regardless of how emotionally healthy you believe your dog to be, he is likely to experience some level of separation anxiety in your absence. While boarding can provide some needed social interaction, there is the risk of aggressive situations and in most cases; your dog is left caged and alone at night in an unfamiliar place.

We care about our pets as if they are family.   We want them to be happy.  But life happens and you need to be away from them sometimes.

At Kelly’s Pet Sitting, it’s important to us that your pet is cared for both physically and emotionally while you’re away.  We come to your home where they are safe and comfortable, and we spend quality time with them. We recommend at least one visit daily for cats and two to three visits daily for dogs.  Our visits are never less than 30 minutes and we offer 45 and 60 minute visits as well.  We also offer overnights for your pet to get the maximum amount of loving and attention.

Let us relieve the inevitable guilt of leaving your pets.  We treat them like they are our own.

 

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





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