Preventing Pet Poisonings

    Now that all the green beer has been consumed and the green shirt you wear once a year has been restored in the mothballs, we can get down to the serious event of the week.  ImagePoison prevention week.  Pet owners may be surprised of all the items that are toxic to pets that are lying around the home.  You don’t have to throw everything away, or spend all day reading all the labels on everything you buy.  There is plenty of good information out there to make your home safe for your pets and maybe even the rest of your family. 

    I found this blog from the Oregonian in Portland, Oregon that has a list of many of the items that are dangerous to pets.  You may not even be aware that some of the most toxic items can be your houseplants.  I have a client that has a cat and dog, and when I’d go over there to walk the dog, I could tell the cat had eaten some of the leaves on plants and had gotten sick.  Lilies are especially dangerous.  Here’s a list of plants that are harmful to pets if ingested.

     There are many dangerous things in the kitchen too.  Dog owners know what spots on the counter are not safe from their dogs.  It’s harder to keep things away from cats because they can get almost anywhere.  That’s why it’s important to know what is dangerous and to keep it in the pantry or a cabinet and that those doors are kept closed.  If you smoke, it’s important to empty your ashtrays.  You don’t want to leave cigarettes lying around either.  Second hand smoke is toxic to pets just as it is to humans, so you may want to do your smoking in a place where your pets can’t go. 

    The Pet Poison Helpline has a great website with a lot of wonderful information about making your home a safe environment for your family and your pets.  If your pet does ingest something that you are afraid could be dangerous to it, they have a number to call for help.  There is a $39 fee for this, but it includes follow up calls.  You may want to put the number in your phone: 800-213-6680.  It is monitored 24/7.

    As you do your spring cleaning, keep some of these tips in mind and you may find some things that can be easily fixed.  Hopefully you’ll never need to call the hotline.  This is another instance that preparation can prevent a problem or at least make it less likely to happen. 

           Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

Animal Lovers Guide to Super Bowl Commercials

     Unless you’ve been stuck in a frozen snow drift or on an Atlanta interstate for the past few days you know this weekend is the big, huge event that everyone looks forward to and spends all day Monday breaking down:  The annual Pets and Product Placement Presentation known as Super Bowl Commercials.  I post a lot of things on my Facebook page about how people use animals toImage promote their business or product, so I think it’s neat how the commercials do this.  When I was researching this, I found several groups that have their own top 10 lists for Super Bowl commercials involving animals.

    I’m not going to bore with you my top 10 list because I don’t think I could even name 10 Super Bowl commercials with animals.  I will say that my favorite one from last year is the one with the Clydesdale trainer reunited with the horse he raised as a foal.  I’m a big sports fan, so I’m watching the game and using the commercials to get another drink or fill up my plate with more food.  But there have been some memorable animals that have debuted during the Super Bowl.

    I did come up with a few memorable spot, all from Anheuser-Busch: Image Spuds McKenzie from the 1987 Super Bowl, the Budweiser Frogs from 1995, and of course the Clydesdale’s football game

   However animal lovers may be a little disappointed on Sunday.  Variety magazine says that celebrities will be the stars of most of the commercials this year.  You may have already seen the Bud Light commercials promoting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s commercial.  That’s what we’ve come to, promos for commercials.  Animal lovers shouldn’t stay away from the game.  After all there are 2 animal teams playing.  Audi is going the celebrity and animal route in their commercial.  There will also be a sequel to the Budweiser commercial I mentioned earlier.  This one has a puppy in it and you can get a preview hereImage.

    One reason these commercials are so popular is because we love animals so much and can relate to many of these experiences.  And let’s face it, some of these animals are just cute and you can’t take your eyes off them.  I think that animals will always have a place in commercials because so many people love animals and marketers want to have their products associated with them.  Enjoy the game and let me know what your favorite commercials have been in the past and what you think about this year’s commercials after the game. 

           Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

Pet Gadgets

     The annual consumer electronics show wrapped up over the weekend in Las Vegas.  This show is usually where the latest in TVs and other gadgets are released to the public.  I’m not a big gadget guy, but I’ve learned since doing this job that many things for humans are getting turned into things for pets.  So I decided to see if there was anything at this year’s show that can make a pet owner’s life or the pet’s life any better or easier.  As it turns out, one of the top rated items at the show is for pets.

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Voyce from i4C Innovations

     It’s called Voyce, and it’s a device that worn around your dog’s neck and measures all sorts of things, including activity, rest, calories burned and other things.  The information can be used to track the dog’s overall health and well-being.  I see more and more humans wearing monitors of some sort at the gym and this is something similar for your dog.  The information can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device and shared with a vet to develop or track programs for your dog.  The heart rate monitor is one way to determine if your dog is feeling pain, which it may not visibly show.   

   It will be available for pre-order this spring and will be shipped in the summer.  The cost is slated to be $299 for the device itself with a $15 a month subscription for the data.   Voyce was developed by i4C Innovations in collaboration with a group of bio-medical engineers, dog experts and Cornell University, one of the leading veterinary institutions.  I4C Innovations describes itself as a company that loves dogs and aims to understand dogs like never before.  If Voyce takes off, there are plans for a smaller unit for toy breeds and cats, as well as an equine version. 

           Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

Pets and the Cold

     The Atlanta area will be seeing some temperatures dropping down to close to all time record lows over the next few days, so it will be important for pet owners to take some precautions for not only their pets, but themselves.  ImageOur sitters are preparing for these conditions as well.  As every pet owner knows, regardless of what else is going on, nature will call your pets so you’re going to have to go outside for at least a little bit. 

    Tuesday morning temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits with wind chills below zero.  If you keep your dog outside, you should really considering bringing him in for the night.  If there is no way for that to happen, you should consider boarding it for that night.  Make sure the boarding facility is taking precautions for the cold and make sure your dog has a warm bed at least.  If the dog will be staying outside, make sure the doghouse has been wind proofed and insulated.  Take some extra blankets out there to keep it warm.  And don’t forget water.  There are water dishes available that won’t freeze, but you may not be able to find them around Atlanta on this short notice. 

     If your dog spends most of its time inside, you will need to make sure you are dressed warmly as well.  Even if you are convinced you will only be out for a few minutes it’s dangerous to have any exposed skin when temperatures and wind chills are that low.  And as every dog owner knows, when you want your pet  to go quickly, it won’t regardless of how cold it is.  Be sure and wear layers, gloves, and a hat.  There’s a chance of some icy conditions over the next few days as well.  If you come across ice, try your best to avoid it.  The ice  can cause damage to your dog’s pads, plus the obvious reason, you don’t want to slip on it.  If you walk in an area when you see that salt or other chemicals have been used on the ice, make sure you wipe off your dog’s paws very carefully when you get back home.  The chemicals will burn and it will start licking them and that can lead to a lot of problems. 

    After you get back in, keep a close eye on your dog.  Make sure it drinks water to stay hydrated.  Dogs can show signs of shivering.  If you see that outside, get it back in, regardless of if it has done its business.  ImageIdeally you should snuggle up with your dog so both of you can warm back up together.  If that’s not possible, move your dog’s bed into a warm spot and make sure it gets in it.  You can tell when dogs and cats are cold.  They will curl up more and want to snuggle with you.  You may want to give them an extra blanket or towel to curl up with.  If they look lethargic that’s an early warning signal that there could be a problem.  Contact your vet. 

   I’m sure most of you know all this stuff already, but this will be a cold snap that’s not seen much in the Atlanta area, so taking some time and precautions can help you and your pets make it through the first part of the week safely. 

       Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

Dealing with a Bad Dog

   I found a link to this story in a review of some of the best journalism of 2013.  Thank you Rachel Maizes for sharing your experiences.  A lot of dog owners can relate to this.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/booming/bad-dog.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&

    Does this sound familiar to you?  

       Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/  

Guest Post – Fostering a Pet…Make Your Own Holiday Story

   This post is provided by Alana, one of the Pet Sitters at Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta and the owner of ABJ Photography.  She shares some of her experiences working with a pet fostering program and how you may be inspired to get involved and give a pet a very happy new year!

 

In 2009 ABJ Photography was born out of a love for photography.  Little did I know that in just a few years my business would take on another level of passion and dedication for capturing life’s memories. 

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 In 2012 after losing our amazing black lab Tess I turned to the Atlanta Lab Rescue looking for some healing through giving back.   My Tess was a black lab, and I was drawn to this rescue group for that reason.  In the beginning it was simply to use my profession of photography to help their dogs look better in online profiles.  I was guided a few years ago to use my talents to help others. 

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As you will see above our involvement quickly grew, and soon we opened our home to other labs and lab mixes who were in need of homes.  During the course of the year, we even ended up adopting one of our own!  The process of bring a dog in need of a home into yours temporarily is called fostering.  Over the course of the last year David and I have fostered six dogs.  Some dogs come from shelters, some are surrendered by their owners due to life altering circumstances, and some have literally been rescued from unkind owners. 

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Fostering is very important in the rescue process.  This is an opportunity for a loving pet owner to share their knowledge and kindness to an animal that may not have been shown that love or respect their entire lives.  It also keeps them out of overwhelmed shelters that can cause psychological damage.  This Holiday season we have more than 20 dogs living in homes with volunteer foster families!  And, the Atlanta Lab Rescue is close to saving the lives of 2000 dogs over the past six years. 

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There are so many great rescue groups out there, and many dogs still needing foster families and forever homes.  To get involved with fostering you can connect with your local shelter or rescue group and inquire about foster applications.

 

As you can see through the eyes of some of our foster dogs above fostering can be a lot of fun.  It is also through those experiences that I transitioned my business to specialize in pet and family photography. Pets are our confidants, our family, our friends. We are lucky enough to share our lives with these incredible beings for a short time, and it is my passion to capture images that are true to life and lasting memories. 

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www.abjphoto.com

Twitter: abjphoto

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABJPhotography

Shopping For Pets and Pet Owners

       If you’re not very far along with your Christmas shopping, I hope that you have at least been thinking about the presents you are going to get for your friends and family.  I also want to remind you not to forget your pet.  And if you have pet owners on your list, I have some ideas for you.

      One of the main ways I promote my company, Fetch! Pet Care, is by attending networking groups around the area I serve.  RuthE Levy is one of the people I met early on and her newest venture is a must stop for animal lovers. ImageThe website is bowwowmews.com.   She has a wide selection of animal products. If you like to dress up your dogs, she has some handmade dog scarfs available, even some for Thanksgiving.  She has scarves available from most area colleges so you can dress up your dog to match your gameday outfits.  Personalized products are available as well.  Under the link pet tales, she has must-reads for every animal lover. 

      One other idea for pet lovers is a professional photo of your pet.  Every animal owner has hundreds of cell phone pictures of their pet, but nothing will preserve the long term memory of your pet better than a professional photograph. Image Just because it’s professional doesn’t mean in a studio.  But a professional photographer like Alana from ABJ photography can capture the proper light for the best possible picture of your loved one.  Alana is one of our sitters and is very involved with the Atlanta Lab Rescue.  She has some holiday specials that you can take advantage of and help that great organization by going to her Facebook page. 

     Another great way to spread holiday cheer to animals is to make a donation of cash or merchandise to a shelter or rescue organization in your area.  ImageMost of these facilities operate strictly on donations and welcome anything.  You can also volunteer your time with them as well.  That doesn’t cost as much but can provide you with that great feeling of doing something for these animals that are longing for love and attention. 

       Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/