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/  

Fireworks Spook Base Running Dog

   I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.  I doubt very seriously that anyone from the Durham Bulls baseball team has ever read my blog, but maybe they should have.  I posted a story last month about how many dogs get spooked by fireworks and run off around the 4th of July.  Many of these dogs never make it back home and wind up in shelters or worse. Image

     Today I came across this story about Deuce, a 1 year-old border collie that runs the bases during Bulls games along with his brother Ace.  After the game, the dog’s owner, Gene Lonsway, was putting the dogs in his van when the fireworks show started.  Ace was in the van okay, but Deuce was spooked and ran off.  As of Tuesday morning he still hadn’t been found.  Lonsway says he hopes Deuce ran into one of the nearby neighborhoods and was picked up by a family.  The story has gotten a lot of attention in the Durham area, so hopefully it will have a happy ending.  I’ll keep you posted.  Please be careful if you’re using fireworks around your pets.  You never know how it will act when it is exposed to a new situation, especially if it’s stressful.  Lonsway is apparently an experienced dog trainer who has been providing dogs for the Bulls for several years, so it can happen to anyone.  Here’s a link to Deuce and Ace in action.

   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/  

National Pet Fire Safety Day

    Today (July 15) is National Pet Fire Safety Day.  The American Kennel Club started the day 3 years ago to spread awareness about how pets can start fires and how to prevent them.  Pets can also be victims of fires they didn’t start and preparation can help firefighters to save them.  The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires each year.  Nearly 1000 house fires are accidentally started by pets inside the home.

      The AKC website has some tips to try and reduce the risk of your pet starting a house fire.  Most of them are pretty obvious and the first is to not have your pet unsupervised around an open flame.  ImageOne other thing today does is to increase the awareness of the importance to have cling signs at the entrance ways to your home letting fire fighters know how many pets are in your home.  It’s best if you can put how many of each type, like 3 cats and 1 dog.  If you don’t have these on your home already, they are available at most pet stores.  Two links in the AKC article on Pet Fire Safety Day that said you could get free signs from the National Volunteer Fire Council and ADT did not provide that info.  If you are served by a volunteer fire department the signs may be available at your local firehouse, but you may want to call them in advance.

      You also want to know where your pet’s safe haven in your house is.  This is where your pet goes when it’s scared.  If you don’t know, or want to double check, test your smoke alarm and watch where it goes.  If you can put this on the cling sign, it gives the rescue workers a place to go and they won’t waste time looking for your pets.  These seconds could make a difference in them being able to save your pets. 

       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 Fireworks

      We have a holiday week coming up and many of you may be getting an early start on things by taking next week off.  While time off, cookouts and swimming trips may be a lot of fun for you; the week of July 4th can be very stressful on your pets, Imageespecially your dogs.  In my last blog post I talked about ways to keep your dog safe in the sun and heat of summer.  In addition to the heat and sun of Independence Day, many dogs are afraid of fireworks.  More dogs are lost around the 4th of July than any other time of the year.  People leave their dogs unattended in the back yard, and when the dogs hear the explosions, they get spooked, jump the fence and run off. 

      Most of the dogs that are affected by the fireworks are also scared of thunderstorms.  If your dog is anxious and nervous during thunderstorms, you can handle the fireworks situation in much the same way you do thunderstorms.  I talked to Xalina Babunovic, an animal behaviorist at the Dog School 101 in Marietta.  She said if you crate your dog during storms you should crate him when there are fireworks going off.  ImageAlso if you are leaving your dog alone and it’s usually crated when you are gone, crate it when you leave.  Regardless of if the dog is left crated, she advises you to leave some sort of loud background noise on, like music or the TV.   The room should be kept dark as well.  If you use a thundershirt, go ahead and put it on the dog.  Xalina doesn’t recommend leaving the pet with the thundershirt  on because if the dog get agitated it may try and get out of the shirt

     If you haven’t tried a thundershirt for your pet you can find information here.  I’ve also linked a video that shows how easy it is to put them on. 

    It’s best if you will be at home to be with your pet.  Having you in the room will help put your pet at ease as well.  If you’re playing with it, that may be able to keep it distracted and it won’t focus as much on the fireworks. Image

     Another thing to remember if you are hosting a cook out and animals will be around is that you want to make sure the food is kept away from the animals, and any alcoholic beverages. 

     Make sure to have your pet’s chip information handy. In case it does get away, you’ll be able to identify it quickly.  I know most people have plenty of pictures of their pets, but you want to make sure you have a good one that shows its face and could be used on social media or flyers around the neighborhood.  Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with that situation, but you must be prepared.  Hopefully your preparations and responsible actions will mean a 4th of July holiday that will be enjoyed by everyone, your family, your friends, and most of all your pets.   Here is a link that the ASPCA provides on things to help ensure your pets have a happy and safe 4th of July.

   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/  

 

    

Dog Bite Prevention Week

     National Dog Bite Prevention Week starts on Sunday.  The American Veterinary Medical Association started designating a week to focus attention on dog bites and theirImage prevention.  Just how much of a problem is this in our country?  4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of those are children.  The Insurance Information Institute says dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012 at nearly $500 million dollars.  The number of claims filed last year actually decreased by 1.4 percent.  Georgia ranks 9th in the US with 121 claims paid last year worth $3.3 million.  The US Postal service says that nearly 5900 letter carriers were attacked by dogs last year.  Atlanta doesn’t show up in the top 20 US cities for dog attacks on Postal Service Workers, but Los Angeles is number one with 69.

  Whether or not a dog will bite has nothing to do with the breed.  Any dog in any breed can bite. Image The friendliest Lab will turn aggressive if it’s chained to a pole and ignored all day.  Socialization of your dog with people at an early age is very important.  You should never leave a child alone with a dog.  Make sure your kids know not to disturb a dog that is eating or sleeping.   Avoid exposing your dog to people and situations that are unfamiliar to it so you don’t know how it will react.  If you’re thinking about getting a dog, talk to a vet or an animal behaviorist about what breeds work best with your household situation.  Do you have small children? Will the dog spend a lot of time alone?  These things are important in ensuring that your dog will be less likely to attack someone. 

    Don’t be afraid to keep people, especially children away from your pet when you are walking them.  A lot of times when our dog walkers are walking client dogs someone will come up and ask if they can pet the dog.  ImageVI tell the sitters to politely decline, telling them it’s not their dog and they are not sure how the dog will react.  Sometimes children may get a little bolder approaching a dog on a leash, but since the dog is on a leash and out of its comfort zone, it may be more on edge and more likely to attack.  The advice I give my sitters could work for you:  Be aware of your surroundings and eliminate the potential for trouble before it happens.  If you are walking your dog and there is a group of children or you see a dog off its leash, turn around or go a different way, so there won’t be any interaction. 

    Some of the links in this story have more tips to avoid dog bites.  Be sure and check those out and check in on my Facebook and Google + pages to see things I’ll have posted all next week.  Dogs are for fun and pleasure, but you must remember they are animals and you never know how they will react in strange situations.  Stay safe and don’t wind up as a statistic!

   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/

National Pet Month

   Now that we are getting weather in Atlanta that feels a little like the way spring is supposed to feel, I’ve noticed dogs out about as much as the pollen.  As I drive to my dog walking jobs with Fetch! Pet Care, Image I see all sorts of breeds out with their owners.  May is National Pet Month, and many organizations are promoting adoptions so you can have a new pet to give you another reason to be outside and enjoy the nice spring weather.

      It may be as easy as ever to see some of the pets that need homes.  The Cobb County Animal control is having a big adoption fair at Jim Miller Park on May 18.  On June 9, an animal rescue fair at Willis Equestrian Park in Alpharetta is being billed as the largest pet adoption event in the Southeastern United States.  The Georgia Homeless Pets has pets it is trying to find a home for at Pet Smarts stores in Smryna and Austell. every weekend.  Of course, most days the Humane society of Cobb County Imageis open for you to come in and look for a pet.  They mostly just have cats because of the limited space there.  The Atlanta Humane Society has two offices: one on Howell Mill Rd. and one on Mansell Rd. in Roswell.  Most breeds have a rescue group in the Atlanta area or somewhere in Georgia.  There are too many other rescue groups in the metro Atlanta area to mention all of them, but many will be represented at the event at Willis Park. 

    The first thing about adopting a pet is making sure that everyone in the family is on Imageboard.  You may want to contact trainers about what breeds fit in with your family’s lifestyle and personality.  They can also tell you about what breeds may work better with kids.  If you’re not sure about if a pet will work with your family, you can foster a dog.  Many of the organizations that put pets up for adoption need foster homes.  You can get a pet for a while and see how it works.  Sometimes the foster pet is available for long-term adoption.  If it’s not, but you realize a pet will work in your home, you can get another one.  If you have kids, it may be beneficial for you to scout a few possible pets without the kids around and once you have narrowed down the animals, have the kids check them out.

   Maybe you’ve thought it would be a great way to spend a nice spring evening, walking the dog.  Or perhaps your kids have made that suggestion.  Pet ownership is great, but it does take work.  Of course you can hire a professional pet sitting company like Fetch! Pet Care to stop by and give the dog a walk, or clean out the cat’s box and play with it, (sales pitch) but you will want to do most of it yourself.  If you have been seriously considering adding a pet to your family, take advantage of these opportunities available the next few weeks to save a pet’s life and bringing new life to your home!

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/