3 Simple 4th Of July Pet Tips

4th of July

It’s the biggest party of summer! July 4th brings about family and friends, cookouts, fireworks and fun. But your pets may not find the holiday as much fun as you. So we’ve compiled three simple 4th of July pet tips to help you out.

Fireworks make the Fourth of July holiday the number one day each year when pets are reported lost. The crackle and booms of fireworks draw oohs and aahs from humans, but they can be downright terrifying for dogs and cats.

Don’t let your pet add to the statistic this Forth of July. Take a few steps to ensure they are ready for the big celebration. Here’s a few 4th Of July oet tips to keep your happy safe this July 4th:

dog id tags1. Update your pet’s microchip information and secure their ID tags today: Start with the worst case scenario: your pet escapes during the fireworks display. Give them the best chance of being returned to you by updating their microchip information and add tags to their collar with their name, your address and phone number.

 

dog walking2. Walk your dogs and feed your pets late afternoon: Don’t wait until dark to take your dog for a walk. Take them out before sunset to do their business. Feed them early to help move along the process.

 

cat sleeping3. Create a safe zone in your home: Pick a room with few or no windows. Create a comfortable place for them with their favorite blanks, bedding or toys. Turn on the TV, radio, or use a white noise machine to muffle sounds. If possible, don’t leave your pet home alone. (If you are taking your pet along to a celebration, make sure they are not left alone. Keep them by your side and for dogs, bring lots of treats to reassure them during any big fireworks displays.)

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate with family. By taking these simple steps, you’ll create a holiday that’s enjoyable for you and your furry family members.

Windermere Pet Sitter Says: Don’t Forget Your Pet’s Care

Summer here is here and it’s time to finalize those plans for summer vacation. You’ve made packing lists and have your passports, birth certificates and boarding passes all set to go. New toothbrushes, travel size everything has been purchased. But…

Did You Call Your Windermere Pet Sitter?

2013-11-25_1385392018Big Paw Pet Care has been serving Central Florida since 2011, bringing it’s loving brand of care to your pets, in your home. If you’re worried about the effects of boarding your pet, you’re not alone. Cats find new environments to be stressful. Dogs can be taught to potty inside with most indoor-play yards at local boarding facilities. And we haven’t even discussed diseases and fleas picked up at local boarding facilities.

Hiring your Windermere Pet Sitter means your dog or cat enjoys all the comforts of home…at home! We try to keep their routine as normal as possible with dog walks throughout the day, playtime and more.

Keeping Your Home Safe Too

Pet Sitting In OrlandoDays of no movement at your home makes it enticing to burglars. With Big Paw Pet Care’s services we always include free concierge services like plant watering, bringing in the mail or newspaper or packages. We also rotate lights, and open/close blinds to give your home that lived in look.

But My Friends and Family Watch My Pets

pet sitterYou love your pets and treat them like family. But don’t be fooled into thinking your friends and family love your pets as much as you. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients and many of them use us because they no longer can trust their friends or family to be there when they need them.

Some clients even tell us they’re surprised that the neighbor’s child didn’t perform as well as expected. Big Paw Pet Care’s pet care providers are experienced pet care professionals trained in pet health, safety and CPR/first aid. Do you believe your pet’s are getting the best care from the neighbor kid?

Big Paw Pet Care makes it easy with online reservations, predictable care and daily updates from your pet care provider. Never worry about your pet’s getting the love and care they deserve with Big Paw Pet Care.

Create your profile today by clicking here and schedule a FREE Meet & Greet with a pet care provider. Big Paw Pet Care services pets and their families in Dr. Phillips, MetroWest, Gotha, Ocoee, Windermere and Winter Garden.

Give yourself some peace of mind this summer vacation and call Big Paw Pet Care for your pet care needs.

Pet First Aid Month: Pet Wellness Assessment

In our Pet Tech First Aid Classes we show students how to perform a Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessment. It’s a systematic method to set a baseline for your pet’s everyday health. The more you know about your pet’s body, normal bumps and lumps, the better prepared you will be if something abnormal appears.

Remember: Early detection means early intervention.

It is also a good bonding experience for you and your pet. You should be able to touch all parts of your pet without them becoming nervous or agitated. Doing regular Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessments makes your pet comfortable with being touched and helps your pet be more comfortable being examined by the veterinarian.

The Assessment

IMG_2301Starting with your pet’s snout, check for any abnormal discharges or cracking in the nose, tenderness in the muzzle. Move on to the eyes- do they appear? Are they tracking together?

Next, its time to inspect the mouth, teeth and gums. Look for swelling, smells or odors. Followed by the head, skull, neck, spine and skin. Do you know what the signs of mites or infection may be? Chest and ribs should be free should be free of lumps, easily feel the ribs under the coat and breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy.

Move each of your pet’s legs independently to see if there’s any wincing or pain, they should move fluidly with no interruptions. Move on to the stomach and genitals. Giving slight pressure to the abdomen, check for signs of bloat. Do you know the seriousness of bloat and how it should be handled?

Finally, we’re at the tail. It should have a full range of motion, but don’t push your pet’s tail beyond it’s normal range.

Celebrate Pet First Aid Month: Take A Class

There you have it! A wellness assessment for your pet that’s easy, thorough and repeatable. The assessment is intended to find irregularities in the coat, skin, lumps or bumps that may have changed since your last assessment.

If you’d like to learn first hand how to complete this Snout-To-Tail assessment, sign up for our one of Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR or PetSaver classes today. It’s fun, interactive, informative and most importantly – hands on.

Top Tech Gifts For Dogs 2014

Christmas is right around the corner and you may be asking your self: What do I get my semi-geeky, tech loving pooch for Christmas? Well, we have some ideas below.

Big Paw’s Top Tech Gifts for Dogs Guide

PetziConnect from PetZilla – This amazing new device mounts in your home and connects to your WiFi network. From here you can view your pets, speak to them and even TOSS THEM A TREAT! It’s an amazing device that is managed through a simple app on your phone. How cool is that?

 

Fetch by GoPro: Everyone has a GoPro camera these days. The versatile and nearly indestructible cameras can be seen in hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos capturing surf board-views of surfers at play, perusing skyscrapers or mountains on a drone and now, from your dog’s point of view with Fetch. This simple to use, adjustable harness fits all sizes of dogs and gives you first hand perspective of a dogs world.

Halo Mini Dog Collar: Halo creates awesome LED safety bands to make sure runners, couriers and more get noticed. Now, for you early morning or late night dog walkers, the Halo Mini brings your pet the same “noticeability” on walks after dark. Be seen, be safe with he Halo Mini.

 

With these items your dog will definitely have something to bark about to his friends!

 

 

3 Reasons To Avoid Rawhide

In our Pet Tech First Aid and CPR course we cover many aspects of your pets daily life to promote a safe, healthy environment for your pet. During our section on choking management, the discussion inevitably turns to chew toys and treats. As pet sitters, we encounter all types of products visiting our clients at their homes. Some are relatively safe when used with supervision, others are dangerous from the outset and should be avoided. 
 
The one item that always falls into the danger category, even under close supervision, is rawhide. 
 
What Exactly Is Rawhide? 
 

pet sitter“Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. To make them more appealing for dogs, some rawhide treats contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings.” (Source: Pet WebMD: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog)

 
Why Avoid Rawhide? 
 
1. Choking: Chunks of soggy, yet firm hunks of rawhide can easily be swallowed by your dog. These flat pieces of semi-rigid, processed flesh can swell when they become wet with saliva. They can lodge in your dogs throat, blocking airways and cause choking. In most instances of choking by a dog, the cause most often is rawhide (more than handballs, small tennis balls and other chew toys).
 
2. Turn Stomachs Into Knots: Some dogs, especially puppies, cannot digest rawhide. Being a processed form of animal skin, it doesn’t remotely resemble the organic nature of prey food that a dogs body is able to digest. Moreover, some dogs are allergic to rawhide and may vomit or have loose stools after consuming it. And going back to point one, if your dog is able to swallow a piece of rawhide, but vomits, it doesn’t mean it won’t become a choking hazard on the way back up. 
 
3. There Is WHAT In Rawhide?: Rawhide is not a food, but a highly produced byproduct of the food industry. And the details can be downright gruesome: 
 
Removing the hair from hides often involves a highly toxic recipe: sodium sulphide liming. A standard practice is to procure rawhide in the “split lime state” as by-products from tanneries, facilities that top the list of U.S. Superfund sites. In the post-tannery stage, hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide. And that’s just one step.
Other poisonous residues that may show up in rawhide include arsenic and formaldehyde. Even dog skin is a possibility. [sic] Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” (Source: http://thebark.com/content/dangers-rawhide-dog-chew-toys)
 
 
A Better Chew “Toy”
 
The fact is for dog owners, you need to supply your pet with something to chew or else you’ll end up with chewed furniture and chewed shoes. Unfortunately there’s not one perfect solution for all pets and pet owners. So we recommend several items for dogs who need to satisfy the need for chewing: 
 
pet sitter1. KONG brand chew products (unstuffed) 
2. Nylabone brand chew products can be safe as long as you select the size appropriate for your dog and they are not consuming pieces bigger than a grain of rice
3. Deer/Elk Antlers or Raw Beef Bones: Depending on your comfort level with raw bones, both beef bones or antlers can be a long-lasting product for your dogs to chew. However, some dogs have been known to break teeth on these types of products, so check with your vet on your dogs dental condition before offering these to him. 
4. Bully Sticks are an all natural, safe alternative to rawhides. 
 
It’s important that you never leave your dog by themselves when chewing a chew toy or bone. Supervision is always required. Additionally, after each chew session you should wash the item with hot water, and a mild soap, as you would your pet’s food dishes, to avoid bacterial growth and contamination. 
 
For more advice on safe pet products or advice, feel free to call us anytime at 321-345-PETS (7387)

Orlando Pet Sitter Warns: Dog Food Recall

images-1It’s been a busy summer already for pet food producers. One constant recall after another. This time Natura Pet Products is issuing a recall on all of it’s Innova, California Natural, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma branded dry pet food and biscuit/bar/treat products with expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014 are being recalled.

The decision was made in part due to a single positive Salmonella test by the FDA on product manufactured April 3.

If you have any questions, please contact Natura Pet Products at www.naturapet.com/ or by calling (800) 224-6123.

Windermere Pet Sitter Warns: Another Hartz Recall

Well as quickly as one recall was issued, Hartz has issued another pet recall. This time for dog treats.

windermere pet sitter They’re recalling one specific lot of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs due to concerns that one or more bags within the lot may have been potentially contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, all of whom are at particular risk from exposure and should avoid handling these products. Salmonella symptoms may include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea in both dogs and humans. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek immediate medical attention. Owners of dogs exhibiting these symptoms should also seek veterinary assistance.

So there you have it…two for Hartz. If you’d like to contact them for more information or to obtain a refund please call 1-800-275-1414.

How To Find A Pet Sitter In Orlando

find a pet sitter in orlandoYou’re packing your bags to head out-of-town when suddenly your cousin, who promised to watch your dogs, is going out-of-town too. Now you’re in a bind because your pet sitter is not available. Quickly you ask yourself “how do I find a pet sitter in Orlando”?

We hear this story a lot.

Family and friends are always eager to help out when it comes to taking care of your pets. But many times when the day approaches, something always comes up. You’re left in the last-minute scramble.

How can this be avoided? The best bet is to find a profesional pet sitter before you NEED a pet sitter.

Get started: Now!

Start a pet sitter search now. Don’t wait until the last-minute. Interview pet sitters today, when you’re not packed up and applying the sunscreen already. Set aside a few hours to research and contact pet sitters who serve your area.

Where do I find a pet sitter in Orlando?

Finding a pet sitter in Orlando is fairly easy with several resources. Both the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence and Pet Sitters International offer search features to find professional pet sitters that service your zip code. There’s also Urban Pet Magazine, a local publication perfect for finding that pet sitter in Orlando. Urban Pet also offers a variety of pet retailers and services – they even have an app for your smart phone.

Narrow the search.

Think about what is important to you and what will keep your pet’s schedule as normal as possible. Then interview potential pet sitters and ask them if they provide the service you need.

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions – you have to trust the person coming into your home is going to follow your instructions. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

View online testimonials and request copies of their insurance and bonding policies. There’s no more peace of mind than those two pieces of paper.

Give them a try!

Plan a night out with your spouse or family and give the pet sitter a chance to visit your pets on his or her own. Did they do all the things you asked of them? Do you trust they were there on time, as requested?

If something was not performed to your liking, tell the pet sitter. Give them a chance to correct the situation.  A pet sitter who’s open to comment or critique and wants to make it better is a good sign.

So there you have it, some simple tips to help find your pet sitter in Orlando. Don’t forget that Big Paw Pet Care offers pet care services throughout West Orange County, including most of Orlando. So give us a call at 321-345-7387 to set up our free consultation with our pet sitters.

What Is It Like Pet Sitting in Orlando?

pet sitting in orlandoPet sitting is very common in big cities like New York, LA or Chicago and even Miami. But pet sitting in Orlando is not very well-known. Even today it is not uncommon for us to be approached by potential clients at pet events asking: “You will really come to our house to watch our pets?”.

The answer is always: Yes, we’d love to…

Maybe you, yourself didn’t know that pet sitting in Orlando was available to you. But every day professional pet sitters like us are out there, keeping an eye on your furry loved ones while you are away. Providing peace of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, pet sitting in Orlando has its challenges. In the summer we battle rain and thunderstorms every day.

In the winter, temperatures can reach the low 20s. Walking dogs in 20° weather when you’re used to 90° weather is a real wake-me-up in the morning.

In the spring we’re very busy as local families are visited by relatives from up north or head out on their own spring break vacations.

Dog Walk, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, Pet Sitting In Orlando

And in the fall, we have to batten down the hatches for hurricanes that seem to spring up on your busiest weekend.

But that’s not to say pet sitting in Orlando doesn’t have its rewards. In fact, pet sitting is it’s own reward.

Like, when you arrive in a downpour to a pair of wagging tails and big tongued smiles, happy to see you in your soggy galoshes – everything seem to dry up instantly .

Or when you’re sitting on the floor with a kitty with a full tummy, curled up in your lap purring – your shivering hands warm up and steady.

Finally, when that email or text arrives full of gratitude from an extremely happy pet owner, you smile and your heart fills with pride. Because you know that the peace of mind you’ve given that pet owner is invaluable.

That’s what it’s like pet sitting in Orlando.