Spring has sprung, and summer is right around the corner

Spring has sprung, and summer is right around the corner. As the warm sun welcomes you and your pet to spend more time outdoors, keep in mind it also invites the rapid multiplication of one of your pet’s most dangerous foes – the flea.

Fleas appreciate a dark, warm, dry home; what better place than deep down in your pet’s fur? Once one or two of the tiny brown parasitic insects hitch a ride on your four legged friend, an infestation is likely on its way. The flea’s ability to reproduce in mass within a short period of time makes them a menace to your pet, you and your family.

It’s well known that a flea’s bite causes itching and redness, but did you know they can also cause serious ailments? Some animals are allergic to flea bites – a condition known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis – and one bite sets off a horrible reaction of shedding, skin welts, infection and severe itching that can linger for weeks. And, if that weren’t bad enough, fleas can transmit other parasites, including tapeworms, to animals and people. Flea larvae feed on the eggs of tapeworms and, once swallowed, tapeworms begin to develop in the stomach of the flea. If your furry friend grooms himself and swallows an infected flea, it is likely he will suffer from tapeworms as well. And it’s not just Fido who can be affected; people, especially children, are susceptible to contract tapeworms if they swallow flea eggs after petting flea infested animals, particularly if they don’t wash their hands afterward. Ewww!

So, how can fleas be managed? The best plan of action is one of year-round prevention rather than repeated attempts of elimination. While fleas are most prevalent in warmer months – they thrive in temperatures above 65 degrees – they also enjoy the heat produced inside your home during the colder months. Be extremely vigilant about vacuuming your floors and furniture; treat your pets with external or oral flea medication recommended by your vet; wash your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water regularly; bathe your pet periodically and use a flea comb to remove any of the pestering insects; and treat your yard with a pesticide or nematode (a natural, non-toxic defense against fleas).

How can you tell if your yard is infested with fleas? It’s easy – walk very slowly around your yard wearing white socks pulled up to your knees. Fleas will immediately be attracted to your skin secretions and will be easily visible as they jump onto your white socks. Be sure to linger in areas of your yard most frequented by your pet, such as his doghouse or favorite shrub, as those will be the areas most heavily infested.

Fleas can create a miserable, uncomfortable nuisance to both you and your pet. Just remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Why Hire a Professional Pet Sitter or Dog Walker?

Why can’t I just use my neighbor kid to walk my dog or pet sit?

It’s easy to let my dog out or take my pup for a walk.  It’s not that difficult, is it?

Why would anybody actually hire a professional to care for their pets?  You mean there are real dog walking or pet sitting businesses?  Is there that much of a demand for pet care?

Sure, your neighbor kid can walk your dog or feed the cat.  And maybe this is a good option for something occurring on a very infrequent basis.  However, if your dog really needs regular and consistent dog walks or your small pets need care while you are away, it is always better to hire a professional dog walker and pet sitter.

Here are some key things to look for in a pet sitting company:

•Full-time company with a track record of satisfied customers.

•Company with proven longevity.

•Staff that is fully-covered bonded and with insurance.

•Employee sitters vs Independent Contractors.

•Pet-sitting secure software for easy payment and scheduling.

•Communicates timely.

•Genuinely cares about giving you and your pets the best service.

•Systems in place for emergency situations.

•Supports local communities and animal refuges and shelters.

•Team of sitters to guarantee full coverage for your service.

•They must be reliable.

•Warm, friendly sitters who truly enjoy being with your pets.

My recommendation is that any company you interview should be able to answer YES to all the above questions.

There are many “hobby” pet sitters available on the market but they will answer NO to most, if not all, of the above questions.

At At Home Pet Care, LLC we want to ensure you have peace of mind for the piece of your heart.  We want to be the perfect match for you and your beloved pets.  We take very seriously the duty of caring for your pet-children.  We LOVE our job!  We provide the highest quality of care while still keeping our prices very affordable.

Dog walking

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather, by The Humane Society of the United States

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

Follow our tips to keep cats, dogs and horses safe and comfortable

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these simple guidelines:

Keep pets indoors and warm

The best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.

No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Help neighborhood outdoor cats

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (feral cats who are scared of people, and strays who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give them a hand.

Give your pets plenty of food and water

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

Protect paws from salt

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Avoid antifreeze poisoning

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold

If you encounter a pet left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied. Learn more »

Horse owners: provide special care to your outdoor pets

Give your horses shelter and dry warmth

Be sure your horses have access to a barn or a three-sided run-in so they can escape the wind and cold.

While not all horses will need to be blanketed, blankets will help horses keep warm and dry, especially if there is any rain or snow. If you’ve body-clipped your horses, keep them blanketed throughout the winter.

Supply food and water to your horses around the clock

Give your horses access to unfrozen water at all times. You can use heated buckets or water heaters/deicers to make sure the water doesn’t freeze.

Feed your horses more forage—unlimited amounts, if possible—during extreme cold. This will help your horses create heat and regulate their body temperatures.