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My Favorite Pet Sitter


November 2008 Newsletter

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Courtesy of Doctors Foster and Smith

Because of the shape of our pets' ear canals, they are particularly prone to ear problems. Bacteria, viruses, yeast and many parasites thrive in a warm, moist (and dirty) environment. Cleansing your pet's ears should be a weekly ritual from a very young age. Cleaning ears and allowing adequate air circulation is especially important for dogs with long or floppy ears.

Here are some tips to help you with this easy procedure:

  • Insulating your dog from the floor in both the winter and summer. In the wintertime, many small dogs love to curl up in a nesting-type bed like a Slumber Ball dog bed, which provides the warmth needed for both comfort and good health.
  • Providing your dog with his own private space and a sense of security.
  • Cushioning joints and bones - especially for older, arthritic, or overweight dogs.
  • Controlling the spread of hair and dander by concentrating it in one, easy-to-clean location.
  • Helping to prevent injuries by keeping your dog from jumping up and down from the furniture.
  • Protecting your outside dog. Outside dogs need a bed as much or more than inside dogs.

You'll be surprised at the amount of debris that you can remove. Regular cleansing of your pet's ears can prevent many potential ear problems before they start and will save you time and money in the long run. Your pet depends on hearing as one of the strongest of his senses and it just makes sense to take good care of them.

Feline Dental Disease
Courtesy of Doctors Foster and Smith

Eric was a cat with an eating problem. He became more and more fussy until, one day, he refused to eat hard food altogether. Marie, his owner, thought he was just being finicky, so she fed him the soft food that he would still eat. It wasn't until Eric's annual checkup that the real problem was discovered. His veterinarian pointed out his red gums and informed Marie that Eric was on his way to serious dental disease. Dental care is a frequently overlooked aspect in cat healthcare. In fact, dental disease is one of the most common disorders affecting cats.

Development of dental disease

When your pet's teeth are not given proper care, dental disease develops as follows:

  • Food particles and bacteria collect along the gumline, forming plaque.
  • If plaque is not removed, minerals in the saliva combine with the plaque and form tartar (or calculus), which adheres strongly to the teeth.
  • The tartar causes an inflammation called gingivitis, which can be seen as reddening of the gums adjacent to the teeth. It also causes bad breath.
  • If the tartar is not removed, it builds up under the gums and separates the gums from the teeth to form "pockets," encouraging even more bacterial growth.
  • At this point, the damage is irreversible. It can be very painful and can lead to loose teeth, abscesses, and bone loss or infection.

Luckily, Eric was only in the gingivitis stage of dental disease, a point where the dental damage is somewhat reversible. Marie was told to have Eric's teeth cleaned and to establish a dental program that includes regular visits to the veterinarian for oral exams and cleanings, along with daily home care.

A cat's daily dental routine at home should include tooth brushing along with use of a chlorhexidine solution to kill mouth bacteria. You may also want to try a treat specifically made for dental health. By establishing a simple, daily dental routine for your pet, you will go a long way toward keeping your cat comfortable and healthy. And you will help eliminate bad breath.

I recommend Feline Greenies for cats.  They are hard treats made with real meat and oat fiber, and help keep their teeth clean.  Cats love them and they come in multiple flavors.

Pets of the Month

Joe with Kids

Davina & Cooper
Cooper puppy Cooper puppy

Our favorite toys:
Cooper’s favorite toy is his big caterpillar that he carries from room to room.  Davina has no real interest in toys anymore unless she is feeling a little feisty which occurs about once a month.  She is very content to take very long naps while listening to her classical music. 

Our most exciting adventures:
A great weekend adventure is when we all get in the car and go to the mountains for a nice long day hike.  The air is so fresh and the scenery so beautiful.  We usually walk to a lake and have lunch then of course Cooper will swim while Davina naps.  We hike back down and we are asleep and content after a great day in the wilderness.

Our idea of a perfect day:
A perfect day is a long walk in the morning with a great breakfast then nap to follow.  Cooper really enjoys swimming in the afternoon while Davina finds comfort on a chaise lounge watching him splash and chase some silly orange ball around. 

What I like most about my pet sitters:
We most like our pet sitters when our parents are gone because we all cuddle on the sofa and watch movies.  We always get lots of hugs and kisses and our picture taken as well.

Service Announcements

It’s not too late to schedule for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We would love to care for your pets over the holidays!

Rates will be increasing on January 1st, 2009.  This will be the first increase in 2 years.  New rates are as follows:

20-min. visits $16
30-min. visits $22
45-min. visits $30
60-min. visits $38
12-hr. overnights $70
Key pick-up and drop-off $6 per trip
Claw clipping $15 for first pet, $5 each additional pet (charge is waived if I can fit this in during a pet sitting visit)

“Power Walk” (90-min.)
1 dog $40
2 dogs $55
Minimum 2 dogs on a walk

“Senior Stroll” (60-min.)
1 dog $30
2 dogs $40
Minimum 2 dogs on a walk

How Many Dogs Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

    • Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?
    • Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
    • Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!
    • Rottweiler: Make me.
    • Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.
    • Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!
    • German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation
    • Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.
    • Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb!
    • Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
    • Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or 'We don't need no stinking light bulb.'
    • Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?
    • Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...
    • Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

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