Why Should I Microchip My Pet?

We all see so many lost and stray pets these days. The best advice I can give to pet owners is make sure your pet has an identity tag and a microchip. So, what exactly is a microchip and why should I microchip my pet? 

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A microchip is a tiny computer chip which has a personal identification number programmed into it. The whole device is small enough to fit inside a needle and can be simply injected under the skin of our pets, where it will stay for the life of the pet. This provides a permanent identification which cannot be lost, altered or intentionally removed – a safe, simple and inexpensive way to protect your pet against loss. When your pet is implanted with a microchip it is essential that you register the pet’s details to a suitable database. The vet who implants your pet with microchip should supply you with a registration form for a database. If you are unclear about whether your pet’s microchip details have been correctly registered check with your local vet.

A microchip that is not registered with your details to an easily accessible database is useless. So, if your pet is microchipped, make sure you information is always kept up to date!

Check out these 5 reasons why you should microchip your pet!

 

1. Microchips Are Affordable 

 

Depending on the veterinarian, for $25-$60 you can have your pet microchipped. The implant is only the size of a grain of rice, but contains a special ID number that is linked to your contact information. The one time fee includes the implantation, and the registration in a pet recovery database where your contact information is stored. This information should be updated every time you move or change your phone number.  

 

2. It doesn't hurt

 

The microchip procedure doesn't require any anesthetic  (though is commonly done when other anestesthic procedures take place), and is as simple as the routine shots your pet receives. The microchip is injected between the shoulder blades, beneath the skin’s surface. The process only takes a few seconds, so you'll be in and out of the vet before you know it!

 

3. Microchips Are Permanent

 

Even if your pet wears a collar with tags, a microchip is the only permanent form of identification that won't be able to fall off, be removed, or become illegible. Microchips are designed to work for 25 years, lasting throughout your pet's lifetime. 

 

3. It’s the Best Chance of Getting Your Pet Home

Collars can come loose, and if your cat or dog is caught without one, there’s not much a pet shelter or a veterinary clinic can do to locate you. Pet shelters euthanize thousands of homeless pets a year, which is why providing contact information in some form is so important for owners. When an animal shelter receives a new animal, they scan the animal to locate a microchip. If they find one, a number will register and they can match this number to the number in a database, which is where your contact information will be held when you register your pet’s microchip number. Then you’re just a phone call or email away from being reunited with your four-legged friend.

 

5. You Won't Regret It

 

According to the Humane Society, one out of every three pets is lost during their lifetime. This leads to an overwhelming amount of strays, shelter dogs, and unhappy families. Most pet owners should want to do everything possible to prevent losing their furbaby forever, and microchipping is a simple, modern day tool that can increase the chances in reuniting an owner with their lost pet. You won't regret microchipping your pet, but you'll always regret that you didn't if your pet gets lost. 

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JOIN ALL PETS HOSPITAL IN CHECK THE CHIP DAY!

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12

TIME: OPEN HOUSE 8:00am-6:00pm

WHERE: ALL PETS HOSPITAL LOBBY; 9308 PERKINS RD BATON ROUGE, LA 70810

Join us a we celebrate Check the Chip Day! We encourage you to bring your pets in for a microchip check at no charge to you. We will scan your pet and confirm that the chip is still in place and registering on the scanner. Our friendly staff will check the status of your registration with the microchip company and confirm that your contact information is registered and current. If not, we will update the information as a courtesy to our clients and any non clients that you would like to invite!

PET NOT MICROCHIPPED YET? NO PROBLEM! WE WILL OFFER A 20%  DISCOUNT FOR MICROCHIPS GIVEN AND YOUR PET WILL BE SECURE WITH A MICROCHIP FOR LIFE. 

Refreshments will be provided, and that goes for the fur babies too! It's a great opportunity to assure your precious pets are properly registered. Your visit also gives your pet an opportunity to come to All Pets  Hospital and have a positive experience with the staff! 

Posted on October 31, 2014 .

7 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

The night for ghouls and goblins gracing your streets is just around the corner, knocking at your door and ringing your bell.  The children all look forward to getting dressed up in their costume-best, going door-to-door with their large pillowcases, boasting the phrase “trick or treat” while scoping each sweet entering the bag.  If you have a dog or two or even cats, continually opening the door can be an invitation to escape and danger for your pet. You will need to put into practice some Halloween safety tips for your dog.

Reflect on some protective measures for your pet's safety prior to the kids coming up your walkway.  You can consider placing a safety-gate in front of the doorway if it will fit so you can open the door without fear your pet will get out.  Otherwise it may be best to confine the pets to another room during the busy trick-or-treat hours.  Check out these 7 Halloween Pet Safety Tips!

1. Keep Your Pets Inside

Halloween is known for tricksters and pranksters that may harm, abuse or even steal your pet. Even if you normally keep your pet in the backyard, it’s still a good idea to place them inside your house to prevent theft or worse.

2. Nervous Or Territorial Pets

If your pet is protective, nervous in the presence of strangers or is territorial, putting him/her in another room away from the noise of the front door will prevent any hiccups you may have. Provide a safe place for your pet to sleep and feel comfortable. The constant ringing of the doorbell may be too much for your pet to handle.

3. Get Tagged

Make sure your pet is properly identified in case your pet makes a run for it or gets lost. You may be distracted by trick-or-treaters while your door is open and your pet may escape unknowingly to you. I Love Your Pet suggests not only having tags on your pet's collar, but having them microchipped as well (permanent identification). As the holidays approach, this is also a great time to make sure your microchip information is registered and up to date.

4. Watch The Props

If you plan to decorate your house with spooky things for a Halloween party or just to get into the mood, you’ll need to watch what you put up and where. Pets are curious and if they have access to your fake spider web prop, they could easily ingest it and suffer dangerous life-threatening results. Place your scary props in places your pets can’t reach and secure them properly to prevent them from being knocked down accidentally.

5. Watch The Lights

Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns away from pets. A poorly placed candle can be knocked down and cause a fire hazard as well as a trail of hot wax. Place candles and jack-o-lanterns in places where your pets will not have access to them.

6. Hide The Sweets

That bowl of candy sitting near your door can be a bowl of life-threatening dangers for your pets. Candies may contain xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum that is harmful to pets) or even chocolate which can be fatal.

7. Comfortable Costumes

If your pet is wearing a costume this Halloween, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable. Parts of the pet costume shouldn’t have any dangling pieces that can be chewed off or get in the way of your pet’s sight, breathing or movement. It’s best to let your pet get accustomed to the costume before taking him/her out for the night.

 

I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

 

Posted on October 23, 2014 .

Why Your Pets Need An Annual Vet Visit

Many pets, especially cats, do not get seen at least once a year by their vet for an annual exam. This is a missed opportunity for both the vet and the pet owner to discuss the health, behavioral issues and habits of the pet. Unfortunately, the only one who suffers in this case, is the pet. With unchecked aging bodies, illness' are allowed to creep up unnoticed until it can be too late.

Most people feel that the annual exam is meant to just get their pet vaccine boosters, and therefore, if they do not believe in vaccines or frequent vaccination, that they do not need to go for an annual exam. On the contrary, vaccines are just one part of the annual exam. If you don't believe in having them done, discuss your concerns with the vet and hear them out. Some vets may elect to give vaccines every few years or even check titers instead, so at least go for the yearly exam and see what they recommend. They are, after all, only looking out for your pets best interest.

Pet obesity is on the rise and the annual exam is the perfect opportunity to tackle a potential weight problem (whether too thin or overweight). Your veterinary team will have a lot of tips and tricks to help your pet succeed with his weight issue. A new food may be in order and they can recommend the best one for your pets size, age and medical conditions. They also want to hear the challenges you are having with your pets weight loss/gain plan so that they can make adjustments to make it easier for you and your pet to stick with it. Communication is the key.

The annual vet check is also a great opportunity to talk about behavioral troubles you might be having with your pet. Maybe your dog just won't stop pulling on her leash when walking, or maybe your cat keeps howling in the night and keeping you awake. These are all things that your vet can help you determine the cause and solution for. Veterinary technicians also have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to training and problem solving, so don't be afraid to ask them for help either.

As pets age, their bodies become more fragile and they are more likely to suffer injuries and illness'. An annual exam by your vet can often catch some of the illness' before they become serious and unmanageable.  I once received a call from an upset pet owner who's senior cat was doing her business outside of the litter and also seemed withdrawn from the family. The owner felt that it was time to have her beloved pet euthanized as she could not stand watching her pet suffer. After a discussion with her about her cats new habit, we determined that she likely just couldn't get into the litter box due to her advancing arthritis. With a change of box type and a prescription for some pain relief to manage her arthritis, we bought this pet owner several more months with her cat and the kitty was much more comfortable. Without already having a solid relationship with this pets history, there would have been many more steps and diagnostics that would have had to been done in order to determine the cause of the problem. I will always remember the gratitude I received from pet owner.

Pets, like people, need to be seen regularly by a veterinarian in order to actively prevent things from getting out of control. From here on out, make every year you pets best year for preventative medicine. They will thank you for it!

Don't forget to share your stories and thoughts below. Do you take your pet to the vet at least once a year? If not, why not?

 Dr. Elisabeth Schmidt graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and is the co-owner of  All Pets Hospital  in Baton Rouge, La. Her areas of interest include internal medicine and feline medicine.

Dr. Elisabeth Schmidt graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and is the co-owner of All Pets Hospital in Baton Rouge, La. Her areas of interest include internal medicine and feline medicine.

 Dr. Kristen Kulinski graduated from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and is the owner of  Cypress Lake Animal Hospital  in Prairieville, La. Dr. K's interests include small animal soft tissue, orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine/surgery.  She is actively involved in animal rescue and helps hundreds of rescues each year. You may also see her featured on Animal Planet on " Pit Bulls & Parolees " as the veterinarian for  Villalobos Rescue Center.

Dr. Kristen Kulinski graduated from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and is the owner of Cypress Lake Animal Hospital in Prairieville, La. Dr. K's interests include small animal soft tissue, orthopedic surgery and emergency medicine/surgery.  She is actively involved in animal rescue and helps hundreds of rescues each year. You may also see her featured on Animal Planet on "Pit Bulls & Parolees" as the veterinarian for Villalobos Rescue Center.

I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

Posted on October 5, 2014 .

The Challenges Veterinary Technicians Face

 This is me with a Fennec Fox, an animal ambassador at  Barn Hill Preserve .

This is me with a Fennec Fox, an animal ambassador at Barn Hill Preserve.

 Just one of the many jobs I get to assist with is blood donations. Jupiter is a coworkers personal dog and one of our best patients.

Just one of the many jobs I get to assist with is blood donations. Jupiter is a coworkers personal dog and one of our best patients.

As most of you know not only am I a pet sitter, I am also a veterinary technician. I am often asked about the best and worst parts of being a veterinary technician and also about what makes a "super-tech". Although I cannot speak for every single person in the field, I imagine many will be nodding their head when they read this.


Many veterinary technicians, unfortunately, are not adequately compensated for the wide range of work that they perform and manage on a day to day basis. Having said that, most people understand this, and enter this field for the love of animals, not to get rich. Other risks in this career include its physical demand, and chance of burn out. Lifting 150 lb dogs under general anesthesia on a regular basis can be hard on the body if not done properly. As can restraining a large animal that may startle unexpectedly. I've known techs who have had to permanently leave their jobs because of slipped disks. On the other hand, I also know tiny techs who regularly carry bags of food and pets near their own body weight without a second thought. Veterinary technicians are often much stronger than they appear, but accidents do happen.

Emotions are generally running high on a day to day basis and can be like a roller-coaster. One moment you may be asked to assist with the euthanasia of a beloved pet, the next you may be expected to put on a happy face for the discharge of an animal who recovered from a life threatening illness. It is true that you "get used to it", but is that really the case? I know I'm certainly not used to it, I tend to just suppress those negative feelings until, one day, they all come flooding out. I am, slowly, learning this and the most important thing for me now is working with a team who are all on the same page. We're all in this together and if we don't help and support each other, fights and misery ensue. Every single death, recovery and standstill takes me on the ride of my life. Who needs Grey's Anatomy when you're living it? Without appropriate outlets and support to deal with these emotions, burnout and job dissatisfaction can be the result.

It used to be thought, and sometimes still is, that working with animals is easier than working with people, and that a career in the veterinary industry excludes having to work with people. On the contrary, a lot of the veterinary technician’s time is spent advising and counseling pet owners and co-workers. This may include having to teach an owner how to give insulin to their newly diagnosed diabetic cat, motivating a dog owner to continue with a diet plan, or simply being a shoulder to cry on for a staff member who has had a rough day. It is these interactions that increase the bond and trust between pet owner and veterinary staff to be more than just clients, but also friends and a team to advocate for the pet’s health.

The best vet techs recognize these challenges, but focus on the best things their jobs have to offer. These are the "super-techs" of our profession, not the ones who can multi-task their way through a full day on their own and survive to tell the tale, but the ones who stay positive, motivated and support their team.

So, the next time you're at your vet, remember to thank your veterinary technician for helping...it's the positive stuff that keeps us going!

Looking for a great vet to bring your pets to?

Check out All Pets Hospital in Baton Rouge- we are AAHA accredited! If you're in the Prairieville/Gonzales area, I highly recommend Cypress Lake Animal Hospital. If you're in need of an emergency 24 hour veterinary clinic I recommend Sherwood South Animal Hospital. For Equine veterinarians, I recommend Dr. Mark Gray with Gray Veterinary Service, Inc and Kleinpeter Equine Veterinary Services. LSU Large Animal Clinic is also a 24 hour emergency clinic for equines, large animals, and livestock.

 

I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

Posted on September 27, 2014 .

Fascinating Facts About Horses

As most of you know I'm on vacation in the Smoky Mountains this week. I was supposed to "disconnect" this week and I have, but I couldn't help but write a blog as I watch a herd of horses in Cades Cove at sunset. So, here are some fascinating facts and information about Horses.

Horses have been around for millions of years, so it's about time you stopped horsing around and find out some cool facts about these great animals!

 A herd of horses  in Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains- September 2014 

A herd of horses  in Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountains- September 2014 

Horses belong to the Equus family, which also includes zebras, mules and donkeys. It's estimated that there are about 750 million horses in the world, and they play different roles depending on where they live. In wealthier countries, horses are used for leisure, like horseback riding, and sport, including horse racing and equestrianism. But in developing countries, they're used for work - since they're strong, they can pull plows, carriages and all sorts of other heavy things.

There are more than 350 different breeds of horses. They fall into four main groups.

Light - Have small bones and weigh less than 1,300 pounds. These are usually the riding horses. Examples are Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Morgans and Arabians.

Draft - Also called "heavy" horses and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. They have large bones, sturdy legs and are usually working horses. Examples are Percherons, Clydesdales and Shires.

Ponies - Are only about 57 inches tall, so they're smaller than horses. Examples are Shetlands, Haflingers and Cobs.

Feral - Wild or semi-wild horses. An example is a Mustang.

Horses come in a wide variety of colors such as palomino, chestnuts or sorrels, roans, bays, gray, black, dark bay, and many, many more!

Horses have four gaits (ways of moving around) - the walk, the trot, the canter and the gallop. These are natural gaits that all horses know, but there are other gaits that require special training, including the pace, the rack and the fox trot (no, not the dance!).

Horses are herd animals, so they like living with other animals. They communicate by nickering (making soft, neighing sounds), grooming and using body language. You can usually tell what horses are thinking by their ears!

-Ears that are flat against the neck means the horse is sad or annoyed.

-Ears that are alert and facing forward means the horse is happy.

-Ears that are lowered to the sides means the horse is relaxed, bored or feeling sick.

-Flickering ears means the horse is listening and attentive.

Did You Know?

 Onyx, my 12 year old dark bay gelding

Onyx, my 12 year old dark bay gelding

-A newborn foal can stand up within the first hour and keep up with the herd within 24 hours. However, it can't eat grass because its legs are too long to reach it!

-Horses usually live to be 25 to 30 years old. The oldest horse ever was Old Billy (an English barge horse) who lived to be 62 years old. Wow!

-Horses can sleep both lying down and standing up.

-Horses are herbivores (plant eaters).

-Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.

-Because horse’s eyes are on the side of their head, they are capable of seeing nearly 360 degrees at one time.

-Horses gallop at around 44 kph (27 mph). The fastest recorded sprinting speed of a horse was 88 kph (55 mph).

-A male horse is called a stallion.

-A castrated male horse is called a gelding.

-A female horse is called a mare.

-A young male horse is called a colt.

-A young female horse is called a filly.

As the owner of I Love Your Pet, I am experienced & very knowledgable about horses and would love to care for yours too! Visit my previous blog Can I Get My Horse A Pet Sitter? to read more.

 

I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

 

 

Posted on September 13, 2014 .

Human Foods That Are Harmful to Pets

As Labor Day approaches I thought it was the perfect time to share the most common Human Foods that are harmful, and some fatal if your dog eats them.

Keep this simple chart handy for both the poison control hotline and quick reference guide.

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The following list is a list of Human Foods & Plants that are highly toxic to your Pets
       

FOODS

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fruit pits
  • Cooked bones
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Dairy
  • Some mushroom species
  • Sugar-free gum (and other treats containing xylitol)
  • Human medications like Tylenol and Advil
  • Caffeine

 

PLANTS 

  • Irises
  • Azaleas
  • Sago palm
  • Kalanchoe/mother of thousands
  • Fox Glove
  • Diffenbachia/Dumb Cane
  • Tulips
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Aloe Vera
  • Marijuana
  • Lillies
  • Daffodil
  • Jade plants
  • Cyclamen
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Anemone

 

After Exposure Act Quickly

With any toxic exposure, minutes count so knowing what to do can save a life. Most importantly, you should have the phone number of poison control, your regular veterinarian and an after-hours hospital posted in your home. It is best to wait until you reach poison control before you do anything but usually you will be told to make your pet vomit to get rid of some of the toxic substance. Vomiting can be induced with a teaspoon of peroxide. Give the peroxide by mouth every few minutes, giving your pet a chance to relax between since many pets will refuse to vomit when held. Once vomiting occurs, or if you are unsuccessful within a few minutes, you should then seek professional help from a qualified veterinarian. Be sure to have an idea of how much of the substance your pet ingested and how long ago it happened. Also be sure to call your veterinarian to let them know you are on your way so they can be prepared.

 

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 
National Hotline: 888-426-4435 
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

Posted on August 31, 2014 .

Does Your Pet Sitter Know What To Do In A Medical Emergency?

We don’t like to think it will happen while we are away but you never know. Your pet ends up having a medical emergency while you are out of town and they are left with a pet sitter.  Does your pet sitter know what to do in this situation? Does you pet sitter know who to call? Does your pet sitter know who your regular veterinarian is or where the closest animal emergency room is?

 Rosceaux had to be brought to the emergency clinic late at night while in my care. Thanks to Sherwood South Animal Hospital for taking such great care of him. He is now home and doing well!

Rosceaux had to be brought to the emergency clinic late at night while in my care. Thanks to Sherwood South Animal Hospital for taking such great care of him. He is now home and doing well!

Pet Sitters need to be able to keep a cool logical head in an emergency or medical situation. They need to be able to correctly asses the situation with the pet and decide the course of action. First choice obviously in a medical situation with a pet is to call the owner immediately IF it is not immediately life threatening. A pet sitter can call the pet owner and assess the situation with the pet owner over the phone and ask them what they would like the pet sitter to do.

What if the pet sitter can’t get a hold of a pet owner in a situation? Most pet sitting services have a form called a “Veterinary Release”. This form allows the pet sitter to be able to take the pet to their veterinarian and get treatment started until the pet owner can be reached.  If your pet sitter has this form it is also a good idea to give a completed & signed copy of it to your veterinarian ahead of time to keep in your pets medical file. This way there is no hesitation or gap in time in your pet receiving medical care.

If the pet sitter can not get a hold of the pet owner the next step is for them to call the regular veterinarian.  They can asses the situation over the phone with the veterinarian and decide if the pet needs to be seen either immediately, an appointment needs to be set up, or if treatment can safely be provided at home without being seen. When hiring a veterinary technician as your pet sitter, we are professional trained to know when an animal should see a veterinarian immediately or if it is okay to wait. Sometimes owners aren't sure what to do and though it is ultimately your decision whether or not to bring your pet to the vet immediately or wait, as your pet sitter and experienced veterinary technician I can usually advise you in what is the best decision for your pet.

If it is a holiday, weekend, or after hours and the regular veterinarian is not available the next choice is the closest animal emergency room.  This is where it is also beneficial for the pet sitter to have the Veterinary Release form. It will allow your pet to receive the necessary treatment until they can speak with the pet owner.

In a life threatening situation the pet sitter needs to keep a calm level head. Does your pet sitter know Pet CPR & First Aid? As the owner of I Love Your Pet, I am trained to perform Pet CPR, monitor vital signs, and address wounds. This knowledge can save a pets life, get them stable, or generally help the pet until seen by a veterinarian. A pet sitter needs to be aware of the pets surroundings and behaviors to be able to provide useful & helpful information to the veterinarian. If there was a possible poisoning or an object that caused an injury – what was it? What could it have been? As a veterinary technician we sometimes have a step ahead of regular pet sitters with certain situations as we know what symptoms to look for.

It is only the pet sitters responsibility to get the pet to the vet. After that they are no longer responsible for your pets care. Pet sitters are not responsible to pay any veterinary bills. Most clinics & ER’s will take a credit card over the phone or expect payment upon your return.  It is usually $100 just to walk into an animal emergency room and an estimate of services provided are usually provided to the pet sitter or owner prior to any diagnostic work being done. The diagnostics and treatment ultimately can not be done until it is approved by the owner of the pet. So make sure there is some way to get a hold of you while out of town in case a major decision or authorization needs to be made for your pet.

I Love Your Pet makes all attempts to contact your regular veterinarian for any veterinary care while you're away. However, if your regular veterinarian is not available, your pet will be brought to either Sherwood South Animal Hospital or LSU Small Animal Clinic, both of which are 24 hour emergency clinics in Baton Rouge with fantastic doctors on staff.

 

 I Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convenience of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

Posted on August 24, 2014 .

7 Back To School Tips For Your Dog

Back to school season is upon us!  Some of you are already back to school while others may be putting the final touches on back to school preparations.  School clothes shopping, after school care, and new hair cuts are just some of the back to school preparations happening all over the world.  Household schedules are changing as summer draws to a close but many families are forgetting one very important aspect and in doing so could cause drama for everyone.  Keep reading….

Fido. The back to school schedule change can be difficult for everyone –even the family dog.  Our dogs are creatures of habit, seriously. Any change in their life can wreck havoc on the entire household.  Many times, the back to school schedule causes separation anxiety for our dogs.  It’s serious stuff.  Think about it – your pets have had a lot of family time and companionship all summer long and the onset of back to school leaves your dog alone all day long…after sleeping all night long.  Separation anxiety and boredom can result in destructive behavior while the family is away but there are some things you can do to help the family dog adjust to the new schedule and keep him physically and mentally stimulated. Here are some school tips for your family dog!

  1. Keep some chew toys around. Nyla bones, natural bones, and Kongs are just a few of the great toys  because they are sturdy and provide your dog hours and hours of chewing enjoyment. The chewing will help release pent up anxiety.
  2. Provide background noise. A silent house can be a lonely one. You can also leave the television on, animal planet is a great choice or even some soft background music. There are videos available that are made with your dog in mind. These use sights and sounds from the outdoors to keep your pet engaged and entertained.
  3. Keep your dog’s mind stimulated.   There are many interactive toys on the market nowadays. Treat dispensers and puzzled feeders provide hours of fun for your dog. Other popular toys like bouncy balls or other rugged rubber balls are great too and have the added benefit of a little physical exercise too.
  4. Hide and Seek will keep your dog on the hunt throughout the day – in a good way. Hide some toys and treat dispensers or kongs around the house. If your dog does get bored and is ready for some mischief, he’ll choose to play with the toys instead of chewing on your favorite purse or carpet. Rotate the surprises and toys throughout the week so he doesn’t know what to expect. Keep the little guy guessing.
  5. Exercise your dog before you leave. It sounds simple but many households are so hectic in the morning that Fido is the last one on everyone’s mind. Get up an extra 15 minutes early and have a schedule for all family members to participate in exercising Fido in the morning. A little catch and walk will release energy that could become a problem later.
  6. Evening entertainment. Just like the morning routine, keep the whole family involved in playing with the dog in the evening. Remember, the routine matters to your dog so set up a schedule and stick to it! No excuses. Your family is your dog’s social life, his everything.
  7. A mid-day visit will give your dog something to look forward to and give the opportunity for some human contact in the form of games, hugs, kisses and exercise – not to mention a potty break. This will help with the schedule when after school activities keep you from getting home late.

Following this routine will help your dog not notice your absence so much. Keep a watch on his symptoms though, and if they get worse or do not improve, take him to a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing the symptoms.

 

Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convienece of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

Posted on August 14, 2014 .

11 Interesting Myth Busters about Dogs & Cats

Regardless of whether you own a pet that barks or purrs, you still have probably heard a myth or two about them. Here are some truths, facts and falsehoods about the top 11 most common myths about dogs and cats.

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  • 1. Dogs are color blind

     

  • The origin: The basis for this myth is not known.

    The truth: Dogs do see in color. However, they see differently than most people do and are less able to distinguish between colors. Veterinary ophthalmologists have determined that dogs see like people who have red/green color blindness. Dogs’ eyes have receptors for blue and green shades, but not for red shades. As a result, it appears that dogs cannot easily distinguish between yellow, green and red, but they can identify different shades of blue, purple and gray. Color is only one of many visual stimuli that dogs detect in their environment. Brightness, contrast, and especially motion, are extremely important to a dog’s interpretation of what it sees.

     2. Cats always land on their feet

     

  • The origin: In the feline world, the most popular cliche is, “Cats always land on their feet.” In reality, although cats do instinctively try to fall feet first, they commonly break bones or suffer other injury when falling from heights.

    The truth: This is perhaps one of the most widely known and dangerous of all myths regarding cats, because unfortunately many children have tried to prove that it is true. It is not. Cats are indeed very athletic and agile animals, and they do have a unique instinctive ability to twist themselves around in mid-air to correct their position during a fall. However, if a cat is surprised, sick, disoriented or injured, it is unlikely to be able to adjust its position to land feet-first. Of course, if it falls from a great height, a cat’s ability to reposition itself will not matter, because the force of the fall will cause serious injury or even death whether the cat’s feet hit the ground first or not. Moreover, if a cat falls from a short height, it may not have enough time to twist around and land on its feet.

     3. If a dog’s nose is warm, it means it’s sick

     

  • The origin: There is no identifiable origin for this myth. People just seem to think that a dog with a warm and/or dry nose is sick, and that a dog with a cold wet nose is well.

    The truth: If a dog has a dry or warm nose, it means that he has a dry or warm nose. A dry nose or a mildly warm nose has nothing to do with the overall health of a dog.

     4. If a dog is wagging its tail, it is happy

     

  • The origin: Most dogs do wag their tails when they are happy. As a result, people associate a wagging tail with a happy dog.

    The truth: In many cases, a dog that is wagging its tail is happy, or at least is expressing excitement or pleasure. Tail-wagging certainly does express a strong state of emotion, much like a smile does in people. However, just like a human smile, a dog’s wagging tail does not necessarily reflect happiness or something positive. Dogs frequently wag their tails when they are agitated, irritated, tense, anxious, annoyed, frightened, angry or aggressive. Interestingly, researchers have found that dogs do not normally wag their tails when they are alone, even if they apparently are happy or are in a pleasant situation. Tail-wagging seems to be a behavior that is reserved for times when the dog is in the company of others

     5. Cats have nine lives

     

  • The origin: This myth probably stems from the fact that cats are very supple and resilient animals, even when they are ill or injured. Cats have a keen ability to get out of situations that would probably be the death of lesser animals. There are many reports of cats surviving for lengthy periods of time in very harsh conditions, even without easily accessible food or water. The related myth that cats always land on their feet may also contribute to the myth that cats have nine lives. Nine is considered by many to be a lucky number. In some cultures, the myth is that cats have seven lives. Either way, cats are considered to be lucky.

    The truth: Of course, cats do not “have nine lives.” Cats are mortal. However, they do tend to be very healthy, hearty animals that can take care of themselves in most any situation, whether indoors or out. They are nimble, intelligent and resourceful. But, like all other mammals, cats only have one life to live.

     6. A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth

     

  • The origin: Dog saliva was once believed to be antiseptic, and some people still believe it has healing properties. The basis for this belief is not known.

    The truth: A dog’s mouth is not “cleaner” than a person’s mouth. Dog saliva can be toxic to some bacteria, but it carries its own population of bacteria and other infectious organisms. That population is just different from the assortment of bacteria and other “germs” in the human mouth, based largely upon differences in diet. There is a reason for the term, “dog breath.” People with weakened immune systems and young children probably should not have direct contact with dog or cat saliva.

     7. One year of a dog’s life is equal to 7 years of a human’s life

     

  • The origin: The basis for this myth remains a mystery. It probably comes from simple math: an average life span for dogs is 10 to 12 years, and multiplying this by seven equals 70 to 74 years, roughly the average life span for people today.

    The truth: Contrary to popular belief, there is no exact formula to gauge how much a dog develops or ages in comparison to so-called “people years.” Aging is as individual for dogs as it is for people. Taking a dog’s age and multiplying it by 7 is an overly simplistic formula and does not reflect a dog’s actual developmental status. A more accurate rough guide is as follows:

    • 1-year-old-dog equals a 15-year-old human
    • 2-year-old-dog equals a 24-year-old human
    • 4-year-old-dog equals a 32-year-old human
    • 7-year-old-dog equals a 45-year-old human
    • 10-year-old-dog equals a 56-year-old human
    • 15-year-old-dog equals a 76-year-old human
    • 20-year-old-dog equals a 98-year-old human 

    Of course, there is a distinct difference in aging between small dogs and giant breed dogs. Large dogs have a significantly shorter life span than do small dogs. Their development in the early years is about the same as other breeds; however, large and giant breed dogs developmentally are much older than smaller breeds in their later years, starting at about 7 years of age

    8. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

     

  • The origin: This myth probably started with someone who wasn’t able to get his older dog to sit, roll over, come or stay. It is one of the most common (albeit false) clichés about domestic dogs.

    The truth: You can teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs can learn new tricks, skills and commands within their physical capabilities until the day they pass away. What’s more, they usually want to learn. Their minds need stimulation, just like ours. With patience, kindness, persistence and consistency, owners can teach their older dogs all sorts of new tricks, such as sit, bark when the doorbell rings, fetch, lie down, roll over, play dead and shake or “high five.” As long as a dog is bright, alert, responsive and healthy, there is no reason that he cannot keep learning new things throughout his life.

     9. Cats purr because they are happy

     

  • The origin: This myth, like many others, doesn’t have a precise origin. It probably comes from the fact that most cats do purr in the presence of their owners when they are being petted, which we interpret as a sign of happiness.

    The truth: Most cats do purr when they are happy. However, that is not the only time they purr. Cats will sometimes purr when they are sick, stressed, injured, frightened or in pain. They also can purr when they are giving birth, and even as they are dying. Purring seems to be more an expression of some strong emotion – whether positive or negative – than it is an expression of any particular emotion, including happiness. Purring by a cat might be similar to humming or whistling by a human: it commonly is done out of happiness, but it may also be done as a result of stress, fright or discomfort.

     10. Cats can see in the dark

     

  • The origin: This myth probably originates from people observing cats navigating at night. Cats are often active at night and do tend to get around very well in the dark.

    The truth: Although cats do see better in semi-darkness than people, they cannot see in total darkness. The pupils of their eyes open much wider in dim light than those of people, letting in more light during the normal hunting hours of dawn and dusk. But again, cats cannot see in complete darkness.

     11. Dogs eat grass to throw up or when they are sick

     

  • The origin: This myth originates from people observing their dogs eating grass and then vomiting.

    The truth: There actually appear to be two distinct types of grass-eating behavior in domestic dogs. Some dogs graze casually, taking only a few nibbles of grass at a time, while others chow down on grass vigorously and with a purpose. Dogs who wolf down their grass tend to vomit it (and other stomach contents) within a matter of minutes. Dogs that graze slowly usually do not throw up. So, eating grass does not necessarily mean that a dog has an upset stomach.

     

    Love Your Pet offers pet care services in the convienece of your own home! Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future vacation & weekend pet sitting services. 

  • Posted on August 2, 2014 .

    Crate Training Your Dog

    When I adopted my first puppy as a child, my whole family worried that almost everything we were doing was wrong. “Should we take him out again?” as I watched him vigorously smell the carpet only 10 minutes after I had just taken him out. “Do you think he’s hungry?” I’d ask since he stood over her just emptied bowl. “Maybe he’ll stop barking if we let him out of the crate,” I would mutter at 1 A.M.

    Then I remember that first night we brought him home and tried to be firm by putting him in his crate far away from our rooms only to have his barks break our heart – and most likely anger the neighbors – and soon he ended up, still crated, but next to my bedside, with my finger patting his head every so often through the metal bars of the crate.

    Yet soon we discovered that as anxious and uncertain as we felt, the crate eased our stress — as well as the dogs.

    Teaching our dog to be in the crate for short periods of time, as well as during the night, helped us potty train our dog rather than watch him constantly like an unpredictable sprinkler system, ensured he was safe when we were gone, and slowly gave him the confidence to peacefully sleep through the night without me petting his head every so often.

    Yet as he grew, his crate, which for years had seemed the right and obvious solution, started to become a question mark for us. He was happy nestled on the couch when we were outside, he was most certainly housebroken and had outgrown his curiosity for power cords and houseplants, and while we still used his crate, he didn’t seem to need it like he used to. This led to discoveries on how to crate train a dog, and how to do it properly.

    Remember the basics:

    Dogs should be crated to provide them with a den environment that they are genetically accustomed to in the wild. Since dogs don’t like to soil their dens, crates can help housebreak a dog. Also, because a dog’s den, or crate, should be a source of comfort and safety for them, it can be a bed for them to go to when they’re tired, the house is chaotic, or a thunderstorm occurs. This element of safety also ensures they stay out of trouble when you’re not home.

    A crate is not a babysitter:

    Often when people have misguided ideas about crates they can think they are cruel; however, when done properly a crate is just the opposite. A crate is supposed to be a safe and secure place for your pet, as well as a training tool, but in no way a babysitter. Your dog or puppy should be exercised for 30-60 minutes before and after being put in the crate if you will be gone for several hours, and up to 90 minutes before and after a full night in the crate. Additionally, they should first eliminate before being put in the crate, and the crate should have items that will be safe for them and can keep them busy or lull them to sleep, like a Kong filled with peanut butter. Ideally, guiding your pet into their crate with a treat or favorite toy will teach them to go in willingly rather than you picking them up and putting them in the crate.

    Don’t lose sight of the purpose of a crate:

    As your dog becomes housebroken, trustworthy, and more independent explore leaving them home alone with the crate door open so they can come and go as they please. For their safety, start with an area, such as a crate with a pen around it or a safe room in your house like the bathroom. Even if your dog appears comfortable and trustworthy, be sure there’s nothing they can harm themselves with in the area you leave them, as some dogs can behave differently if they feel anxious when you leave.

    Avoid separation anxiety:

    Just like when you crate them, don’t make a big deal about your leaving or returning when you leave them home alone. Dogs play on your emotions and if you seem anxious or excited they will adopt those tendencies and develop anxious, and sometimes destructive, tendencies when left alone.

    Consider the unique personality of your pet:

    Though every dog is different, crating should never be a misused training tool, no matter your pet’s age. Look for signs in your pet of what makes them most comfortable, and what your deem the safest solution, and work toward creating an environment that both remembers this, as well as grows with the maturity of your pet.

    Crate training is also a great tool if you ever have to travel or leave for an emergency. With our family dog we learned what not do with crate training and as adults with our own personal dogs we know what to do to make our dogs more comfortable and to love their crate!

    CRATING CAUTIONS!

    A crate isn't a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.

    • Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter it.
    • Don't leave your dog in the crate too long.  A dog that’s crated day and night doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a doggie daycare facility to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day.
    • Puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for that long.  The same goes for adult dogs that are being house trained.  Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
    • Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.

    We all wants our pets to be loose in our homes without restrictions and sleeping on the couch when we return, but not all dogs are able to do this. There are some dogs that have to be crated when left alone for the entire life or they will destroy or have accidents in the house. What can make crate training a dog difficult is the unique personality of every dog, yet that is also what makes your pet so special and irreplaceable to you!

    For more information on crate training, check out this video on Vetstreet about how to crate train your dog or contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net!

    Posted on July 19, 2014 .

    8 Reasons Why You Should Foster A Homeless Animal

    Fostering an animal is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have (other than adopting, of course). By taking an animal in need temporarily into your home you're: freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue can take in another dog.

     This picture of Mumford was posted on the  St Martin Parish Shelter's Facebook page . He was a cruelty case in need of a foster and rescue. He had been left tied up outside with no shelter, food, or water and was severely emaciated. 

    This picture of Mumford was posted on the St Martin Parish Shelter's Facebook page. He was a cruelty case in need of a foster and rescue. He had been left tied up outside with no shelter, food, or water and was severely emaciated. 

    1. Fostering animals is, simply put, saving lives. When you become a foster parent, you volunteer to keep a homeless pet in your home temporarily until they go to a forever home. Fostering can be done through a local animal shelter or rescue group. Many shelters rely on foster homes to keep pets until they have room, and some rescue groups are run entirely through foster care. While most people choose to foster dogs or cats, there are also rescues for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, and other animals. 

    Many people come up with excuses not to foster. They think they’re too busy, or they don’t want to get attached to an animal they’ll have to give up in a month or so. I believe that with a little preparation and that by working with the right organization, most people would make great foster parents. Here are eight reasons why you should consider becoming a foster parent.

     

    1. Fostering increases an animals chance of getting adopted. Foster families are usually the first to find out about the pet’s personality. You may even be the first to teach your foster pet basic house manners, making them more appealing to potential adopters.

     

    2. Your own pets will learn more social skills. The more animals your pets come in contact with, the better they are at dealing with stress and getting used to strangers. Your pet might even find a playmate in your foster pet.

     Mumford after he was pulled from the shelter and arrived at  All Pets Hospital . He was matted to the skin and he had to be shaved down by  Pretty Paws Grooming . He was very skinny and sick with an upper respiratory infection. Mumford weighed only 18 pounds and had a severe heartworm infection.

    Mumford after he was pulled from the shelter and arrived at All Pets Hospital. He was matted to the skin and he had to be shaved down by Pretty Paws Grooming. He was very skinny and sick with an upper respiratory infection. Mumford weighed only 18 pounds and had a severe heartworm infection.

     

    3. You get to see if you’re ready to own another pet. Maybe you want to foster a certain dog breed to see if you’re ready to adopt one, or you want to see if adding a cat into your all-dog household will upset the balance. Or maybe you want a new pet now but aren’t sure where you’ll be in the next 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Though fostering is not a trial adoption period for that pet, it can help you try out changes to your current “fur family.”

     With great veterinary care from the doctors and staff at  All Pets Hospital , medication, good quality food, and TLC, Mumford gained 5lbs in just a few weeks. He was then able to be neutered, vaccinated, teeth cleaned, microchipped and start his heartworm treatment.

    With great veterinary care from the doctors and staff at All Pets Hospital, medication, good quality food, and TLC, Mumford gained 5lbs in just a few weeks. He was then able to be neutered, vaccinated, teeth cleaned, microchipped and start his heartworm treatment.

    4. Fostering is temporary. Cats require minimal space and are very low maintenance- they don’t take a lot of time to look after. If you’ve already got a dog, it’s not a big change to add one more pup to your daily walks and potty break schedule. Knowing the foster animal will only be with you for a short time makes it easier to find the time to take care of them, and it also makes it easier to give them up when it’s time.

     

    5. You probably already have the space for one more. A spare bedroom, office, or screen porch is the perfect place for a foster pet. Even a bathroom is enough room for a kitten or puppy, and it’s much larger than a cage in a shelter. Sometimes a spare room is the only thing standing between an animal and euthanasia in an animal control facility.

     Mumford had several issues during his heartworm treatment. He had to have a cardiology consult and treatment had to be stopped as he became pale and very ill, it was thought he may have thrown a clot and had pulmonary hypertension. It was heartbreaking for us all as we had become very attached to him. A few weeks went by and this trooper proved us all wrong! He bounced back and was able to finish his heartworm treatment! 

    Mumford had several issues during his heartworm treatment. He had to have a cardiology consult and treatment had to be stopped as he became pale and very ill, it was thought he may have thrown a clot and had pulmonary hypertension. It was heartbreaking for us all as we had become very attached to him. A few weeks went by and this trooper proved us all wrong! He bounced back and was able to finish his heartworm treatment! 

     6. You can choose how to foster. Only want to foster bulldogs? Prefer to look after kittens? Can’t foster for more than a few months at a time? Most rescues can accommodate your requests, as long as you agree to it beforehand and give them plenty of notice about changes. There are such a wide variety of animals in shelters, chances are they will be able to find the dog or cat that will fit your home the best!

     Mumford completed his treatment and spent his first Christmas indoors, in the heat with the love of a family. He had probably never experienced this before and was forever grateful. 

    Mumford completed his treatment and spent his first Christmas indoors, in the heat with the love of a family. He had probably never experienced this before and was forever grateful. 

     7. Fostering keeps animals out of shelters. As wonderful as animal shelters are, they can be stressful from the lack of quiet, training, and exercise. And there’s nothing like the love and warmth of a family! Animals in foster care tend to be less stressed, better socialized, and have a lower chance of getting sick than animals in shelters.

     8. You are saving a life. You feel good, your shelter or rescue group helps more animals, and your foster pet is happy, healthy, and well-socialized. Talk about win-win-win!

     I have been fostering for 6+ years and all of my fosters have been successfully adopted into their forever homes. Mumford weighs 30lbs now...almost double what he weighed at intake. After all we had been through with Mumford I had a hard time wanting to adopt him out. Luckily my brother Lucas stepped in to adopt him and now he will forever be part of the Haley family! 

    I have been fostering for 6+ years and all of my fosters have been successfully adopted into their forever homes. Mumford weighs 30lbs now...almost double what he weighed at intake. After all we had been through with Mumford I had a hard time wanting to adopt him out. Luckily my brother Lucas stepped in to adopt him and now he will forever be part of the Haley family! 

    Mumford started as a heart wrenching cruelty case at the shelter but with TLC and vet care he was able to become the jewel he was always meant to be. Fostering saves lives, literally! 

    Interested in fostering? There are so many local shelters and rescues in Baton Rouge that need your help! Check out Companion Animal Alliance, Yelp! BR, Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue, Friends of the Animals (FOTA), CAAWS, Cat Haven, and Project Purr.  

    There are even breed specific rescues such as Louisiana Boxer Rescue, Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue, Gulf South Golden Retriever Rescue, Red Stick German Shepherd Rescue, Hokie's Hounds Beagle Rescue and Creole Poodle Rescue are just a few rescues always in need of fosters and donations! 

    Don't live in Baton Rouge and reading this blog? Contact your local shelter or rescue today to see if you can help! 

     

    What if you absolutely cannot foster but want to help homeless animals? There is ALWAYS something you can do!

     

    If you can't adopt - foster...
    If you can't foster - sponsor...
    If you can't sponsor - volunteer...
    If you can't volunteer - donate...
    If you can't donate - educate, network, and crosspost...
    Everyone can do something, large or small, to help save a life!

     

     

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    Posted on July 6, 2014 .

    Exotic Pets Need Pet Sitters Too!


     Bob, a clinic African Grey Bird at All Pets Hospital. Bob has lived at the clinic for years and has a bad habit of plucking his feathers, but we love him anyways!

    Bob, a clinic African Grey Bird at All Pets Hospital. Bob has lived at the clinic for years and has a bad habit of plucking his feathers, but we love him anyways!

    It may seem crazy to think about, but all pets need to be pet-sit at one point or another. Sure, dogs, cats, and other “basic” pets need that occasional pet sitter when a family goes out of town, or if a person works long hours and needs somebody to care for their pet during the day to avoid health issues. But not everybody has a dog or a cat, after all – some people have birds, lizards, horses, pigs, and all other forms of exotic pets that need special and specific care and must be treated carefully and professionally at all times, regardless of needs and specific dietary or lifestyle restrictions. After all, it can be quite complicated to find a high quality exotic pet sitter, as it can be a challenge to find a company or individual who can totally and fully understand the specific needs of your pet. And, like so many other pet owners, exotic pet owners are understandably very particular and concerned with their pet’s lifestyle and needs, so much so that it is important to pick an exotic pet sitter carefully.

    But what can you really get out of a good exotic pet sitter, anyways? Here are just a few important things to consider when using the services of an exotic pet sitter:

    Professional house sitting

    First and foremost, a professional exotic pet sitter provides a professional experience. You don’t need to worry about the guy down the street that you hired to rifle through your things while you are gone; with a professional, you get the best you can expect without having to worry about the results as you enjoy great pet sitting experiences from a respected and respectable company.

    Care and understanding of your pet’s needs

    Exotic pet sitters work to the point where they fully and completely understand exactly what it is your pet needs and deserves, no matter their background, medical history, or level of "exoticness". In fact, professional pet sitters work hard to maintain professionalism in knowing exactly the care your pet needs, as they are experts in a variety of exotic and non-traditional pets that may require more specific care and more focused love than a normal dog or cat. See my previous blog on Why You Should Hire A Veterinary Technician As Your Pet Sitter.

    Experience and a good reputation

    Finally, a professional pet sitting company like I Love Your Pet, provides a great experience and a great reputation with which to work. No longer do you need to worry about bad happenings with your pets or your home, as I Love Your Pet works tirelessly to build a professional reputation with everything that you have and with your beloved pet. We will see to it that you and your pet are satisfied and happy by the end of the stay, and that you get the most out of your investment.   

    Although there may be many options for the care of your cats or dogs while you are away, it may be difficult to find friends, relatives, or pet sitting services to care for pets that are more exotic.

    I Love Your Pet is pleased to offer care for exotic pets such as:

    • Birds (parrots, canaries, parakeets, cockatiels, and others)
    • Reptiles (lizards, turtles, snakes, fish and others)
    • Small Mammals (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, ferrets, chinchillas, and many others)

    I Love Your Pet understands that caring for exotic pets can be quite involved and require very detailed instructions. And, prior to providing any pet sitting services, I Love Your Pet will meet with you.  This meeting allows you and your pet sitter to get to know one another, and gives you the chance to provide exact details for the care of your exotic pet. If you have an exotic pet that you believe I Love Your Pet may not have experience with, do not hesitate to ask. If I Love Your Pet has never personally taken care of a certain type of animal I can still guarantee that it will be properly cared for.

     

    Need a pet sitter for you exotic pet? Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net today for rates and booking!

    Posted on June 19, 2014 .

    Why You Shouldn't Leave Your Dog In The Car

    In south Louisiana, the heat wave is on. As the mercury soars, the danger is not just to people -- heat kills pets too. While it should be common knowledge that you mustn't leave your dog (or other pet) in a car while you're away, lots of people do it. What's the big deal, you may ask? How hot does it really get? Doesn't "cracking the windows" make it okay? The answers: pets really do die this way, it's easy to get over a hundred degrees, and opening the windows doesn't solve the problem. Veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward stays in a parked car on a summer day to see how dangerous it is to leave a pet inside a car. The car reaches 117 degrees within 30 minutes with all four windows opened 1 to 2 inches.

    If you see an animal locked in a hot car, have the car’s owner paged in local stores. If this doesn't work quickly, contact Animal Control or call 911 immediately. Remember: it is illegal to leave an animal in an unattended motor vehicle under “circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”

     

    Posted on June 15, 2014 .

    How I Love Your Pet Can Help You Enjoy Your Summer

    Who doesn’t love the summer? It brings with it so many opportunities for weekend-getaways, trips, social events, barbecues and days on the beach. 

    image.jpg

    Don’t let your summer fun be hindered by constantly trying to find someone to take care of your pets for you. It can become a bit exhausting always bothering friends and family to come by to feed the cat and let the dog out. Not only does it become a burden on them, your pets can start to get a bit lonely because they aren’t getting as much attention as they’re used to. 

    By establishing a relationship with a professional pet sitter you have freedom knowing that you can make plans to have fun this summer without the worry of “who is going to take care of the four-legged family members?” Your pet sitter will be right there to take care of your pets for you (of course most pet sitters don’t work “on call” so you’ll need to give at least a weeks minimum notice to be fair to your sitter). 

    The other big benefit to hiring a professional pet sitter? Our lives are devoted to taking care of and loving our client’s pets while they're away. I Love Your Pet's focus is to shower your fur-kids with attention and make sure they’re happy and well cared for.

    Though friends and neighbors are well meaning, they don’t put much effort into the attention and affection part of pet sitting because that’s not their goal. Their goals are to make sure they eat, have water and go potty…that’s about it. Friends and neighbors are less likely to fluff Fido’s pillow before he lays down at night or have the patience to play 15 minutes straight of “catch the laser pointer” with the kitty. 

    Your pets crave attention, exercise and playtime because that’s what they’re used to when mommy and daddy are home. With professional pet sitting not only are your pets getting their basic needs taken care of and able to stay in the comfort & convenience of their own home, you have peace of mind knowing that their emotional needs as well as their physical needs are being met. 

    If you are in the Baton Rouge or nearby areas such as Prairieville, Gonzales, & St Gabriel and need a pet sitter for this summer, contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net and I can get you on your way to a worry-free summer! 

    Posted on June 7, 2014 .

    Hiring A Professional Pet Sitter VS Friends/Neighbors/Relatives: An Honest Look At The Difference

     Jax, a family dog who was adopted from Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter

    Jax, a family dog who was adopted from Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter

    Many times people are reluctant to hire a professional pet sitter because they think “Why would I pay someone to come in and take care of my pets when I can just have a friend or neighbor do it for free?”

    It’s hard to argue with “free” and I can see where people are coming from with their thought process on this, however,  there is so much more that goes in to pet care than just the cost that most pet parents don’t take in to consideration. 

    We are going to take an honest look at the difference between hiring a professional pet sitter and asking friends, neighbors or relatives to take care of your pets for you. 

    The Pros

    The Professional Pet Sitter:

    • A professional pet sitter makes pet sitting their full time job which means it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to forget to come and take care of your pets for you
    • Professional pet sitters have more experience and are better prepared to handle emergency situations
    • Professional pet sitters can be a great resource to help you with advice regarding the care of your pets. From toys, to food, to behavioral training advice and veterinarian recommendations pet sitters have seen it all and can aide you in making your pet’s life happy and healthy.

    The Neighbor, Friend or Relative:

    • Often a less expensive option (if not free) 
    • This is already a person that you know and trust 
    • Neighbors are close by and can respond quickly in case of an emergency 

    The Cons

    The Professional Pet Sitter:

    • More expensive 
    • You have to trust a “stranger” to take care of your pets
    • Your pets have to go through an adjustment period of getting to know a new person, especially when you’re not there

    The Neighbor, Friend or Relative:

    • Because it’s not in their daily routine to do so, relatives/friends/neighbors are more likely to forget to take care of your pet 
    • Relatives/friends/neighbors are more likely to rush through visiting your pets to get back to their daily lives. The emphasis is more on making sure your pets get food, water and go potty rather than spending quality time with them
    • Relatives/friends/neighbors have less experience with animals than professional sitters and are less likely to notice health concerns or be able to handle emergencies 
    • It may become a burden or irritating (to both you and the recipient) to constantly ask relatives/friends/neighbors to take care of your pets 

    Though it may be a bit scary to take the plunge into allowing a professional pet sitter to come in and take care of your fur babies, the pros outweigh the cons and in the end you and your pets will be glad that you opted to hire a professional that you can rely on time and time again for your pet care needs. 

    Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net today to book all of your future pet care services!

    Posted on May 29, 2014 .

    Summer Pet Care Tips

    Summer is finally here and the heat wave is on!  During those “dog hot days of summer” most  humans can be found relaxing by a pool sipping an ice cold drink or in the comfort of air conditioning to keep themselves from overheating.  Even without the benefit of these comforts,  our bodies are naturally designed to sweat to cool us down when we feel overheated.  But what about your dog?

    Although dogs sweat, they do it much differently than their human counterparts. Most of their perspiration comes through their paw pads.  The quantity is minimal so it is not enough to make big changes in their body temperature.  But what does? … Their  panting and breathing!  The dog’s tongue  and the lining of their lungs are the primary locations where their body heat  is transferred to the air.  A dog’s tongue does not contain sweat glands as seems to be a popular belief.  Dogs also dissipate some body heat by the expanding blood vessels in their face and ears.  All three methods of cooling help keep your dog from overheating but are not enough by themselves.  Below are some helpful hints that you can take to ensure your dog does not overheat, stays cool, and remains healthy during these hot summer months.

    • Avoid excessive play on hot days. Avoid bringing your dog to the dog park in the middle of the day when it is hot. A trip to the dog park will have your dog’s tail wagging, but the heat might make it droop quickly.
    • Walk your dog early in the morning or at night when the sun is down. Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. I'm a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity.
    • Provide fresh cool water to keep your dog well hydrated. Carry a bottle of water when going on a walk with your dog. Better yet, have your dog carry it for you in a backpack or a vest! The water in the bottles will keep the dog cooler and also give the dog a sense of purpose.
    • Be mindful of certain breeds and conditions. If your pet is brachycephalic — or has a flat-shaped face — like Pugs, English Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boston Terriers, they cannot pant as effectively and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Be especially careful with breeds like these in hot weather and keep plenty of water on hand. Different dogs have different needs when battling the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration.
    • NEVER leave your dog in the car without AC. The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.
    • If your dog does become overheated, contact your veterinarian immediately. Heat stroke is an emergency and requires immediate treatment. Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever of 104-110 degrees, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizures, and unconsciousness. Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their paws, head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes and take them directly to the veterinarian. Remember to call your veterinarian before to let them know you are on your way so they are fully prepared when you arrive.

    The best activity you can do in summertime or hot weather is swimming. Instead of walking the dog, take the dog on a swim!

     

    For more pet information, check out www.iloveyourpet.net or contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net.

    Posted on May 17, 2014 .

    Why Your Pet Wants An Overnight Pet Sitter

     Maisy tucked in on the couch

    Maisy tucked in on the couch

    Where does your pet sleep when you’re at home? If you’re anything like me, than your fur babies either sleep in your bedroom with you on their own special bed or they sleep right in bed with you!

    Most of what makes pet sitting so great is the personalized attention and the ability to very minimally change your pet’s routines. Why not extend this to bed time as well?

    Overnight pet sitting is a great way to know that your pets are receiving the best care while you’re away. Not only will your pet sitter be coming in during the day to spend quality time with your pet but they will be returning to spend the night snuggling in bed or on the couch with your baby watching movies and giving them unlimited belly rubs.

    Even cats can enjoy having an overnight pet sitter stay with them!

    Some cats enjoy sleeping with someone or at the very least, are comforted by the fact that they have someone at home with them. Some cats even have odd feeding schedules that require them to be fed at times that normal pet sitting visits wouldn't allow.

    Another great candidate for overnight pet sitting are dogs that need to be crated if left alone.

    Personally, if I was traveling and had to have a pet sitter, I would not be able to bare the idea of them sleeping alone in their kennels all night! Having a pet sitter spend the night with them and knowing they’re cuddling on the couch under the blankets, rather than alone in their crates, would do a world of good for my peace of mind!

    A great benefit of overnight pet care as well, is knowing that someone is staying in your home and looking after your house not just during the day, but at night as well. 

    Next to having a live-in pet sitter, overnight pet sitting is the best in pet sitting luxury. And don’t we all want the very best for our pets?

    Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net today to book your next overnight pet care dates!

    Posted on May 8, 2014 .

    Why You Should Hire A Veterinary Technician As Your Pet Sitter

     Niko, a beautiful Russian Blue, requires subcutaneous fluids every other day for health reasons as well as oral medication.

    Niko, a beautiful Russian Blue, requires subcutaneous fluids every other day for health reasons as well as oral medication.

    Why would you choose a trained electrician over Uncle Joe to fix your electrical panel? Why prefer a licensed contractor over cousin Eugene to remodel your bathroom? The same reason you should choose a veterinary technician as a pet sitter: they’re professionally trained. Hiring a trained professional is always preferable to someone you know or someone you “think” can do a good job. Many people choose friends or family to look after their pets when they are away because of trust issues. It is always smart to have someone looking after your pets who cares. If you happen to have pets that require special care, such as needing medication or following a specific diet, it is wise to hire a professional who knows how to handle and care for animals properly.

    As a veterinary technician, I am trained in a wide variety of topics that give me special skills for caring for and handling animals. It is these skills that differentiate me from a regular pet sitter. I am trained to handle all different kinds of animals, including dogs, cats, reptiles, equines, livestock and other exotics. Here are a few points as to why you should hire a veterinary technician as your pet sitter:

    • Veterinary technicians have been professionally trained.
    • A veterinary technician is capable of providing direct nursing care and medical attention to injured or ill animals. We are trained to recognize when an animal is in immediate distress, monitor vital signs, perform CPR, and treat minor wounds or injuries until your pet is able to be brought to your veterinarian. 
    • Empathy and understanding are our greatest qualities.
    • Veterinary Technicians are trained to administer all types of medications even subcutaneous fluids.
    • Vet techs can care for and handle all different kinds of animals (farm animals, small pets, and even exotics).

    Many people are very uncomfortable leaving their pets with strangers when they are away on business or vacation for extended periods of time. Knowing that a trained professional is looking after their pet(s) gives peace of mind. Veterinary technicians are prepared to care and handle any type of animal with any type of health condition.

    Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future in-home pet care services!

    Posted on May 2, 2014 .

    10 Questions Your Cat Would Ask Your Pet Sitter

    As you have been searching for a cat sitter to take care of your precious feline companion I am sure that you have a list of questions that are important for you to ask prospective pet sitters to determine if they are a right match for you. Some of these questions may include things related to price, how often they can visit, and experience.

    However, have you considered what your cat might ask his pet sitter if he could talk? Here are 10 questions from your cats perspective!

    1. Will you be picking up the little pieces of dry food that I leave strewn about near my food bowl? I know I left them there but I prefer my eating area to be clean and tidy…which is where you come in.
    2. Do you clean the litter box at each visit?
    3. Do you like to cuddle? I may want to cuddle occasionally but only when I feel like it.
    4. Are you good at hide and seek? I’m a great at the hiding part.
    5. What is your treat policy? I know how many my mom and dad give me each day and I expect not one treat less.
    6. If you do an overnight with me are you content to not get much sleep because I enjoy running through the house at 3 in the morning to get in my daily exercise.
    7. How do you feel about cat butts? Because I will likely be sticking mine in your face while you pet me.
    8. Do you come equipped with a laser pointer?
    9. How are your “cooking” skills. I expect both breakfast and dinner to be perfect otherwise I refuse to eat.
    10. Will you open the blinds for me during the day so I can watch the birds and squirrels?

    Finding a trustworthy cat sitter is more than just finding someone to put food down and scoop the litter. Your cat has a lot of personality and needs and your pet sitter should understand them and ask you questions about your cat to really get to know them. Once you find the sitter that meets both you and your cat’s needs, they are irreplaceable! I Love Your Pet is very experienced including orally medicating cats, to giving insulin to diabetic cats, all the way to renal failure cats that require subcutaneous fluids on a regular basis. Having not only a qualified pet sitter but a veterinary technician as your pet sitter is a major bonus when it comes to pet care!

    Do you LOVE your pet? Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net to book your future pet care services!

    Posted on April 17, 2014 .

    Can I Get My Horse A Pet Sitter?

      Hannah bringing in all 4 horses from the pasture to their stalls.

     Hannah bringing in all 4 horses from the pasture to their stalls.

    Humans have always been drawn to horses and few can deny their beauty. That’s why so many of us (myself included) have joined the wonderful world of horse ownership!

    However, having a horse takes a lot of responsibility and time when they live on your property, rather than at a boarding facility, and even some boarding facilities only provide partial board which leaves you to do most of the work.

    Have you found yourself wondering how you will ever be able to take a vacation without someone coming over to take care of your horse for you? Who do you call to take care of a horse anyways?

    Well I’ve got great news for you!

    A pet sitter isn’t just for dogs and cats, a pet sitter can take care of your horse for you too!

    What Does a Pet Sitter Provide for My Horse?

    Whether your horse stays in a stall or spends most of their time in pasture all day, your pet sitter can be there to perform all of the basic duties that you would do yourself if you were home, including the following:

    • Filling up water troughs or buckets
    • Providing hay and grain as instructed
    • Muck stalls
    • Pasture turn out
    • Rinsing off horses after turn out
    • Picking/cleaning out hooves

    No more trying to get neighbors or friends to come over while you’re traveling to take care of your horse. With a professional pet sitter, you now have a reliable, experienced sitter to come and take care of your precious (and very large) baby! 

    Contact hannah@iloveyourpet.net for more information as well as rates and booking!

    Posted on April 5, 2014 .