After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
The past several months we’ve had to say a lot of good byes. Some were pets that have been in our care for years, others were more recent. The good byes were different with each pet; whether they had passed from old age/illness, or simply moved far away, I felt the loss of their presence. After 6 years I still cry on the last day of walks before a client moves or when I hear of a pet passing away. It makes me question whether I’m too attached, but then I receive an email from a new client. They have a puppy and want to build a relationship. Before I can finish grieving, the cycle begins again.
As a pet parent, this is something we go through several times throughout our lives. As Agnes Sligh Turnbull said, “Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” This can be applied to all pets. They rarely outlive us, which makes it our responsibility to make the time they have with us the best it can be.
So how do we do that? It means putting away your phone on walks, setting aside some time to play, and exposing your pet to as many different experiences as possible. Be present when spending time with your pet. Remember, they might be just a part of your life. But you’re their whole life.
In honor of September being Happy Cat Month, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite products for the felines in our life.
I've spent the last 12 years catering to my little furry man, so I've tried quite a few different products, from cat pans and litter to toys and health care.
Here are some of my (er, Jack's) favorites!
1) Best Cat Pan - Hagen CatIt Hooded Cat Pan
This is a large pan that's great for multi-cat households. The swinging door flips up for easy cleaning.
2) Best Litter Mat - iPrimio XL Cat Litter Trapper
Seriously, run don't walk. Buy this immediately. Traps more litter than any other mat I've tried and Jack loves walking on it (not the case with other mats we've tried in the past). The best part is that you can easily dump the loose litter back into the pan instead of losing it the vacuum.
3) Best Litter - Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Litter
I know some people stay away from clay based litters, but I've found them to be the best with odor absorbing. This litter is great because there is NO dust. It clumps great and absorbs all odors. Plus you can get a huge bag on amazon to save you some heavy lifting.
4) Best Scooper - DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop
Jack likes to create "mega pees" an enormous clump created from peeing in the same spot repeatedly. This means I need a scooper with a strong handle (I have broken quite a few scoops cleaning out his masterpieces). This one is sturdy and allows for easy cleaning, even along the sides and bottom of the pan.
5) Best Chew Toy - Petstages Dental Health Chew Toy
Jack is absolutely obsessed with these. It comes as a 2-pack, so it's great for multi-cat homes. Brushing your pets teeth can be a process, but these catnip filled toys gently remove the soft tarter before it can cause cavities.
6) Best Brush - FURminator Deshedding Tool
Whether you have a long or short haired cat, you know that shedding is a thing you will have to live with. We've all seen the little kitty tumble weeds of hair under furniture and in the corners. This brush removes all of the loose hair and leaves your cats fur shiny and your floors clean!
7) Best Stick Toy - Cat Dancer Wand
Sometimes the simplest toys are the best. Jack has broken every stick toy he's ever had, especially the ones with interchangeable attachments. The felt is easy to clean and despite rough play, is still intact after 2 years!
8) Best Scratching Post - Pet Fusion 3-sided Cat Scratcher
I love this because it doesn't look like a traditional scratching post. It sits in my living room to help keep Jack from destroying our leather couches. After sprinkling with some of the included cat nip, its Jack's new favorite place to scratch.
9) Best Treats - Smart N' Tasty Feline Dental Treats
I received these as part of a KitNip Box subscription. Jack loves all food, but I've never seen him get so excited for a greenie type product. I like that they are all natural and make his breath smell better.
10) Best Ear Care - Ear Cleaning Solution by Vetoquinol
Jack has always been good with his grooming habits, but his ears. Ug, always dirty! We had him tested multiple times for infections and ear mites, and were finally told that he just produces a lot a ear wax. This stuff removes all the residue and makes his ears smell nice.
If you are a dog owner living in Forest Hills, Rego Park or Kew Gardens, then I’m sure you’re aware of the limited availability of off-leash areas to take your pup. The grand central underpass run is often very dirty, and Flushing Meadow has a strict time restraint for when dogs can be off leash. Without a car, you may not even know about the dog run along 85th Street and 84th Street and Park Lane South.
All that has changed thanks to the addition of a 9,000 sq. ft dog park near the Overlook. Opening last Monday, June 27th, the run is very basic, but the large grassy enclosure is already a favorite with dogs in the area. A local group of dog owners have united to help maintain and improve upon the park. The Forest Hills Barking Lot community have plans to start collecting a $25 annual membership fee to cover these expenses and add benches, bag dispensers and dog ramps over time.
If you’ve recently visited the run, please submit your pictures and videos! I can’t wait to take some of our Happy Pets.
It's finally here! Long days and cool nights mean lots of extra time to spend outside with your pup. Whether that means going to the beach or hanging out by the pool, there's a few precautions that should be taken to ensure everyone has a good time.
Water Safety: With temperatures rising, we often seek relief by going swimming. What does that mean for our fuzzy companions? Not all dogs know how to swim, even those that do, might not be strong enough to sustain a long or difficult swim. If you plan to spend time by the water, you should look into getting your furry companion a life jacket. Bright and easy to put on, this is an easy solution for dogs of all sizes.
Heat Safety: It is very easy for dogs to overheat if you don't know the warning signs.
Sun Safety: While most dogs do just fine out in the sun, there are a few important things you should know about dog sunburn and dog skin cancer.
#1 – Apply a dog sunscreen.
When should sunblock be applied? You’ll want to put a quality dog sunscreen on each time before your dog goes outside — especially if your dog will be spending a lot of time out in the sun.
Where should sunblock be applied on a dog? Put it on your dog’s nose, belly, ears, and groin. Any spot that is normally "pink" on you'd dog — including any skin that shows when your dog is shaved — should be protected with sunscreen prior to being outdoors for long periods of time. Avoid using dog sunscreen around the eyes. (see #5 below)
#2 – Don't cut your dog's fur too short.
Your dog’s hair is one of the things that helps to protect the skin from sun exposure. If your dog has at least half-an-inch of fur, then it would be highly unlikely that sunburn would ever occur. However, if your dog is shaved, then be very careful whenever he is exposed to the sun. That said, fur alone isn't the best source of sun protection.
#3 – Buy sun protection dog clothes.
In addition to mid-length dog shirts, look for a full-body dog sunsuit. Ideally, you want at least 30+ UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor).
#5 –Protect your dog's eyes.
The eyes are a common spot for canine melanoma. That’s why doggie sunglasses, like Doggles, are so popular. They’re the world’s only eyewear made just for dogs.
Pet goggles for dogs offer 100% UV protection, and shatterproof, anti-fog lenses facilitated by side air vents; a very flexible, wrap around foam padded frame; interchangeable capable lenses; two adjustable soft elastic head and chin straps; for complete and beneficial dog goggle eye protection for your pet.
What If Your Dog Gets Sunburned?
If your dog does happen to become sunburned, 100% pure Aloe Vera gel is the best way to quickly and easily soothe your dog's skin.
The Leash Problem Begins
Most leash pulling begins as soon as the dog sees the leash and knows she's about to go for a walk. If the walk begins out of control, the precedent is set for the entire walk. Before expecting your dog to calmly walk beside you on leash, train her to be calm when you are putting her collar and leash on!
Ask her to sit-stay while you are putting on her leash. If she does not stay, the walk is delayed until she does. Don't give in or she will learn that it's OK to be out of control. If your dog doesn't have a reliable sit-stay, then practice training her to sit-stay without the distraction of the prospect of a walk. If you do not know how to teach a reliable sit-stay, enroll in an obedience training class.
Leash Training Warm-Up
Most dogs learn very quickly that they must sit while the leash is being attached to the collar. They usually tremble with excitement, ready to explode into a frenzy as soon as this phase is accomplished. If your dog bolts toward the door, dragging you behind, then the situation is still out of control. Simply hold onto the leash, stand still and let your dog dance, ricochet and bounce around at the end of the leash. It may take 5 minutes or more, but she will soon realize that you are not going anywhere and will begin to calm down. When this happens, praise her for being good. After another minute or so, take your first step, but NOT towards the door. Instead, walk your dog around your house, garage or yard to give her a chance to practice her 'not-pulling' skills. Every time she pulls, lunges or strains on the leash, simply stand still again. When she calms down, talk to her, praise her calmly and quietly. Try to keep her attention on yourself instead of the door that leads to outside. When you feel that your dog is in control and she is walking nicely without pulling in your house or yard, then it is time to proceed to the great outdoors.
Leash Training Outdoors
Every time your dog pulls on leash and you continue the walk, you are rewarding her for pulling and lunging. Every time your dog gets out of control it is essential that you instantly stop the walk, stand still and wait for her to calm down before continuing. It is a tremendous effort in patience at first but it will pay off if you persevere. You may only get to the end of the block or even your driveway on your first outing, but if you give in to your dog's demands, then she will continue to pull. You can speed up the process by asking her to sit-stay for about 5 to 10 seconds every time she begins to pull. Of course this will only work if your dog already has a reliable sit-stay.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.