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The Ins and Outs of Pet Grooming

Posted on 28 January, 2018 at 18:54 Comments comments (1269)
THE INS AND OUTS OF PET GROOMING
By Guest Writer Carrie Norberg

Every pet owner is different when it comes to grooming.  Of course, time and money play a role in how and how often you groom your pet.  Some like to do it themselves and others like the convenience of professional groomers. 

All pets are different too and breeds play a role in the type of grooming needed.  The information and tips below will help you better understand your pet’s grooming needs and the options that are available to you.
Breeds dictate the how and what of grooming

These links will inform you of the grooming needs for a variety of dog and cat breeds:

Dogs

Cats

Benefits of professional grooming

All professional groomers boast skilled stylists, professional products, and convenient hours but there are many more benefits.

Health
Professional groomers are trained in, and have extensive experience in identifying and mitigating pet health risks.  They can provide expertise in:

·         Avoiding harm (e.g., trimming nails too close, nipping an ear or skin, detecting skin conditions and parasites, etc.)
·         Discovering early warning signs of illnesses
·         Alleviating human allergies to pets
 
Well-being
Regular grooming will help your pet feel his or her best and generally make your pet nicer to be around.  And just like us, our pets like to be pampered.   You can choose to let the professionals handle that with services such as:
·         Nail trimming and grinding
·         Removal of tangles, burrs, and mats
·         Flea/tick removal and maintenance

Aesthetics
There are many reasons owners care about appearance, from those who enter their pets in shows to those who just want a nice looking pet.  Professional groomers can help with:
·         Haircuts styled by breed
·         Trendy styling if desired

Range of grooming services available

There are service and price ranges to fit every pet owner’s need and desires. 

Large pet stores
Going to a large pet store for grooming, like Petco or PetSmart, offers affordable grooming and multiple groomers, making it likely you can get in on pretty much any day you want.  However, expect to leave your pet there where he or she will wait in a kennel for their turn in an often noisy environment.

Boutique pet groomers
There are many in the Medford area to choose from, offering anything from basic grooming services to high-end pampering.  You can make a dedicated appointment time and it’s up to you if you’d like to leave your pet longer to meet your schedule.  With so many options, you’re likely to find a price range and services that fit you and your pet’s needs.

Mobile pet groomers
For a stress-free, convenient, and fast grooming experience, try a mobile pet groomer.  Especially great for senior pets and those who can be a little anxious.   While this option offers a one-on-one experience, most mobile groomers are run just by the business owner and that can mean a limited schedule.  Pricing tends to be higher than other grooming options.

Yelp’s list of the 10 best groomers in the Medford area:


Kelly's Pet Sitting in Medford, Oregon can be a great resource for your pets.  We can recommend groomers based on our experience or mobile groomers.  We can also provide pet taxi service to and from your grooming appointments (pending availability.) 

Avoiding Pet Depression

Posted on 14 November, 2017 at 17:51 Comments comments (928)
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.

 

Pet First Aid Kit - Be Prepared for Emergencies

Posted on 1 December, 2016 at 14:49 Comments comments (150)

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

 

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.




The Dangers of Antifreeze

Posted on 5 January, 2015 at 18:54 Comments comments (0)

The Dangers of Antifreeze

My blog this month is a post by Dr. Jeff Grognet and Mike Annan at ACE Academy for Canine Educators. Antifreeze is so deadly that I wanted to highlight the importance of keeping it out of reach from your pets. Without immediate veterinary treatment the prognosis for recovery is very grim. Dogs and cats are very curious by nature so I felt this was extemely important to share. 
 
Ethylene glycol, the most common type of antifreeze commercially available, has an extremely sweet taste. This means that pets, wildlife, and even children are attracted to it. Unfortunately, ethylene glycol (EG) is also very toxic. Once it is absorbed through the intestinal lining, it is metabolized in the body to a chemical called oxalate. In the blood, oxalate causes little harm, but when it concentrates in the kidney tubules, it forms microscopic crystals. These crystals plug the tubules, block urine flow and shut down urine production. With nowhere to go, toxins build up in the bloodstream and poison the pet. When EG is first consumed, the animal suffers from vomiting and delirium but, in many cases, owners do not notice these symptoms. Over the next few days as kidney function deteriorates, drinking increases significantly. Once toxins reach a toxic level, which is normally three to four days after EG consumption, appetite falls and the legs become weak. Over time (a few more days), the toxins cause extreme lethargy and dullness. Pets can then slip into a coma or begin convulsing. Death soon follows. Treatment, once signs are evident, is considered futile. The kidneys are already damaged beyond repair. The only ones that recover from EG toxicity are ones that are caught consuming EG and treated immediately. If therapy begins within an hour of consumption, the conversion of EG to oxalate can be inhibited and the poisoning averted. The treatment for EG poisoning is administration of ethyl alcohol (the one you drink) intravenously. The high level of ethyl alcohol in the blood saturates the enzyme that converts EG to oxalate and stops oxalate from being created. The EG is eliminated from the body and causes no harm. Alcohol intoxication must be continued for 48 hours. Because EG poisoning is so deadly, it’s not surprising it is the number one cause of fatalities in dogs and cats. It is also an issue with children who may find the bright, often yellow container attractive and consume it. This has led to pressure from both veterinarians and animal welfare groups against antifreeze manufacturers and government for change. Years ago, and even now, groups promote the use of the non-toxic antifreeze propylene glycol instead of EG. Labeled as “pet-safe”, propylene glycol is slightly more expensive than EG, bit it is a great way to protect dogs. You can ask your mechanic to add this instead of the traditional antifreeze on the next radiator fill up. The other way to protect pets is to make EG unpalatable. This is done by adding a bittering agent. British Columbia was the first province to enact laws protecting dogs from this toxic antifreeze. Legislation took effect January 1,2011 and it makes it mandatory to add an extremely bitter substance to antifreeze and engine coolant. But, this only affects EG sold at the retail level in BC. Though the bittering agent will lessen the appeal of EG to pets, it does not eliminate its toxicity. You still need to be careful when handling or disposing of any antifreeze product. And, a loophole is that mechanics aren’t required to use the safe antifreeze because they aren’t selling it. So, make sure you know what is added to your radiator.


Dr. Jeff Grognet and Mike Annan
ACE Academy for Canine Educators
[email protected]