Susan

Resident Pets.

We welcomed Tucker into our family in January of 2015.  We were only going to foster him until he found his forever home.  We fell in love with him!  Since then, we have enjoyed fostering several puppies and getting them into loving homes.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experienced with an animal?

The funniest thing is when our dog gets the “zoomies” and he runs around the coffee table in the living room!  There’s no stopping him so we just get out of the way.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My ultimate goal in life is to be able to travel to beaches all around the world.

John

Resident Pets.

My pets name is Ted. He is a 22-month old Pomapoo. He’s a great dog; smart, sweet, loves everybody, and he’s hyper-allergenic!

What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experienced with an animal?

I raised two Golden Retrievers, while raising my triplet boys. The one thing I remember the most about the first golden, Jamie, is that he would walk tirelessly the length of the long hallway with me, all night long, trying to get one baby to go back to sleep after another!

What is your ultimate goal in life?

I just received my Real Estate license! I look forward to working part-time in Real Estate, as a New Home Builder Community Specialist!

Desiree

Resident Pets.

I have one cat named Finnegan, Finn for short, he loves chicken, plastic bags and snuggles.

What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experienced with an animal?

One time my cat flew off the stairs going full speed and jumped on the couch but couldn’t stop so he knocked over my glass of tea spilling the entire thing on the floor. Even though he got tea everywhere, it was hilarious.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My ultimate goal in life is to become a first grade teacher.

Cheryl

What can we learn from our animal friends?

They teach us about vision, patience, endurance and live among other things.

What is the best part about being a pet sitter?

Being with animals to experience their joy and curiosity of life.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

Happiness.

Hannah

Resident Pets

My dog Snowflake is my baby to me! She’s a beautiful Australian Shepherd with the most personality I’ve ever seen in a dog. As a herding dog, our family is her herd she is responsible for. She is very protective of us but mostly sweet and playful. She loves attention and likes to feel special. She’s a professional begger and tug of war player. What’s most special about her is she understands and she loves. She knows the names of all our family members, where our bedrooms are, and when you’re talking about her. When someone gets hurt she stays near them to keep them safe, and tries to give them as much love as she can. I’m lucky enough to have grown up with such as amazing friend who’s always been there when I need her. She is family.

 

What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experience with an animal?

The funniest thing I’ve ever seen with an animal was after my dog went to the groomers. She had gotten her nails trimmed and her body from head to toe was squeaky clean. She was so excited when we got home she ran to the living room across the wood floor where her toys were. On the way she skidded down the hall, her limbs going in every which direction with no nails to cling to the ground, and nearly ran into the wall.It took her a day or two to get her grip.

 

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My ultimate life goal is to be a successful business woman, either owning a large company or running one.

Sxott

Resident Pets

I have 2 beagles. One is named Daisy and the other is Beaux. They are named after the show Dukes of Hazzard.  They are sleepy beasts, but love going around Ladybord Lake. Daisy is going to train to be a therapy animal.

 

What’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing you’ve experience with an animal?

Beaux is from Japan. I lived there for 10 years. He had to learn to be bilingual because the police are wary of bigger digs and stop them and give them obedience tests. But they are in Japanese. So I had to retrain him to do everything in 2 languages.

 

What is your ultimate goal in life?

To either create a nursing home for both humans and elderly pets to increase quality of life for both or work with therapy dogs and companion robots for those suffering from mental illnesses.

Shana

Resident Pets

I have 2 cats. One domestic medium haired boy age 15 and the other is a domestic short haired girl aged 10. I also have 2 chihuahuas. Both girls ages 11 and 16.

What can we learn from our animal friends?

They teach us about love. They teach us to not judge and to love unconditionally. They can teach us to be loyal.

What is the best part about being a pet sitter?

Getting out of the house with the dogs and giving them walks. Playing with them. Giving all the pets lots of petting and lots of love.

What is your ultimate goal in life?

My goal is to become some kind of animal whisper. I know there is a lot of education that goes into what Jackson Galaxy (the cat man aka cat whisper) knows. I know Caesar Milan has a lot of experience his whole life being the dog whisper. I’d love to have both those skills some day.

April 11th Is National Pet Day!

 

National Pet Day is just around the corner. Our pets provide us with love, companionship, entertainment, and more. National Pet Day is the perfect opportunity to return the favor.

We’d love to hear how you pamper your pets and show them how much you appreciate them on their special day. Do you have a romp in the park planned – maybe even a picnic? Planning to whip up a batch of homemade dog treats or buy your puppy his own vanilla ice cream cone? Maybe you’ll buy a new scratching post for your cat or a fancy new collar for your pup! There are so many ways to give back to our pets, and we want to hear your picks.  

National Pet Day is the perfect time to remember all those pets in shelters across the country who desperately need new forever homes. Adopting a new pet is the perfect way to celebrate our special relationship with animals. When you adopt a pet from a no-kill shelter, you support humane practices and help save lives!

Of course, however you decide to celebrate with your pal, don’t forget to take lots of pictures to commemorate the fun. Whether you’re a client or a sitter with VIP Pet Services, you’re invited to post your photos here showing us the special ways you spoil your pet on National Pet Day. Be sure to tag VIP! We can’t wait to see the creative, sweet, funny, and awesome ways you honor your favorite furry (or feathered) friends.

April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

By: Cate Burnett

Ticks and Canine Lyme Disease – What To Watch For With Our Pets

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, 5686 dogs out of 34,545 tested positive for tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis, in the state of Texas in 2015. As of this publication date in 2016, 754 dogs have already shown as positive. With warmer weather now upon us, the tick population in the southern US is expanding. This increases the chances of our canine companions contracting these deadly diseases.

Because April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month, we want to place the focus on this chronic and painful disease and discuss what we as pet parents can do to keep our dogs healthy and happy year round.

History of Lyme Disease and Geographical Regions

Veterinarians first diagnosed canine Lyme disease in Connecticut in 1975, although scientific evidence indicates that the ailment has existed in wildlife for a number of years. Recent DNA testing to preserved tissue from a mouse that died in 1894 shows that the mouse was infected with the disease.

Dogs throughout the US can by affected by Lyme disease; however, it is only prevalent in wooded and rural areas where there is a high concentration of ticks. Eighty-five percent of all cases occur in the eastern coastal states from Maine to Virginia. The Northern Plains states and the Mid-West (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan) account for the second highest incidence level of reported disease. The West Coast and the Southeastern states from Texas to Georgia and the Floridian peninsula rank next.

The reported increase of Lyme disease in the 20th Century is thought to be due to certain environmental factors. Prior to 1900, areas of this country were heavily settled and deforested, reducing native deer populations and the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. Now that many of those same areas are being re-planted and restored, the numbers of deer are increasing. This coupled with increased awareness and testing capabilities has led to the greatly increased reporting of the disease.

Transmission of Lyme Disease and Life Cycle of the Tick

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacteria call a ‘spirochete’ for its spiral shape. The primary carriers of this bacterium are the Eastern black-legged tick (also called the deer tick) and the Western black-legged tick. Extremely small, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a sesame seed, black-legged ticks live in shady, moist ground and can be found clinging to tall grasses, brush, shrubs, and low-hanging tree branches. They can also be found in gardens and lawns at the edges of wooded areas where deer and mice, the ticks’ preferred hosts, flourish.

Just about this time of year in the spring, tick larvae begin to emerge from eggs that were laid in the fall. The larvae feeds on small woodland mammals like mice and, if the mouse is infected, the larva enters the tick’s body through its saliva. This infected larva grows until the following spring where it molts into an adult tick. The infected adult tick then feeds on a larger mammal – namely your dog or you – and passes the B. burgdorferi into the bloodstream.

For the tick to transmit the bacteria, it must be attached to its victim for about 48 hours. If the tick dies or is removed before that time, transmission of the bacteria does not occur. Even if the tick is attached for more than 48 hours, your dog may not contract the disease.

Infected dogs pose no risk of transmitting the Lyme disease to other canine or human members of the household. After a full meal (the allotted 48 hours), ticks detach and don’t feed again for several days. There is a risk from ticks that have not eaten fully and become detached in that they might seek out another mammal to feed and pass on the infection.

Symptoms of Canine Lyme Disease

The clinical signs of Lyme disease typically occur 2 to 5 months after a bite from an infected tick. Unlike humans, dogs do not develop the rash or circular red area commonly seen around the tick bite.

Your infected dog may present with…

•Lameness

•A high, persistent fever of between 103 and 105ºF

•Swollen lymph nodes

•Joint swelling and inflammation

•Lethargy

•Loss of appetite

•Stiff walk with an arched back

•Touch sensitivity

•Breathing difficulties

Additionally, some dogs develop chronic, progressive kidney disease as a result of the Lyme disease. Because this consequence is extremely difficult to treat, most veterinarians will recommend running additional blood work on your affected dog to check for continuing renal function. Chronic cardiac problems and nervous disorders have also been seen in some pets diagnosed with Lyme disease.

The clinical signs of Lyme disease may be ongoing and chronic. Some dogs can be perfectly fine one day and showing symptoms the next. A proper diagnosis and long-term veterinary treatment are typically necessary to clear your dog of the organism and prevent a relapse.

All breeds of dogs are equally susceptible to Lyme disease, though dogs used for hunting or other outdoor sporting activities are at higher risk for exposure to ticks.

Diagnosis

Lyme disease is usually diagnosed based on a medical history that includes the possibility of tick exposure, suspicious clinical signs, and results of diagnostic testing.

Several laboratory tests can identify the B. burgdorferi organism in blood or tissues. Additionally, a quantitative antibody test (QC6) can measure the level of antibodies in the bloodstream of your affected dog to determine whether treatment is recommended.

More commonly, veterinarians use an in-clinic SNAP test to check for all tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Similar to the common heartworm test, this SNAP test is very accurate, uses only a tiny amount of blood and only takes a few minutes to show results.

Your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests if your dog shows signs that other organs may be affected by the bacteria causing the Lyme disease.

Treatment and Prognosis

Treatment of Lyme disease generally consists of administration of antibiotics and (if necessary) other medications to temporarily help control joint pain and other clinical signs. Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed for Lyme disease, but others are also available and effective.

Your dog will probably be treated as an outpatient unless other ailments relative to the Lyme disease (severe kidney and/or cardiac involvement) are detected.

Some dogs show dramatic improvement after only a few days of receiving antibiotics, but most veterinarians now recommend a 28- to 30-day course of treatment. Unfortunately, the antibiotic treatment does not always completely eliminate infection with B. burgdorferi bacteria. Relapses are not uncommon, so pet parents are advised to monitor their dogs carefully for signs of illness.

Protection from Lyme Disease

The best protection against Lyme disease is prevention. Prevention means:

•Give your pet a flea and tick preventative that can help ensure an infected tick that attaches itself dies before reaching the 48-hour mark, that time period necessary to transmit the disease. Be sure to discuss preventatives with your vet so they can recommend one that is suitable according to your dog’s risk.

•Keep your pets away from tall grass and wooded areas to decrease their exposure to ticks, thus decreasing the odds of getting bit.

•Vaccinations have been developed that help protect against Lyme disease. This is something you should discuss with your veterinarian to decide whether this method of prevention is right for you.

Please Note: If you suspect the tick found on your dog is a black-legged tick, save the tick in a sealed container of alcohol and take it, and your pet, directly to your veterinarian for diagnostic testing.

A quick diagnosis and early treatment can save your pet from a painful, and sometimes deadly, disease.

 

——

Cate Burnette is a semi-retired registered veterinary technician with clinical experience in small and large animal medicine. With 30-plus years of journalism experience, she went back to school Cateafter 9/11 to work with her first love: animals. The pet parent of four cats, three dogs and one ex-racehorse, Cate is a certified rescue volunteer with the American Humane Association’s Red Star Emergency Services and served with the group in New Orleans doing animal search and rescue after Hurricane Katrina. She is also a horse safety and horse management expert, and has volunteered with US Pony Clubs as a district commissioner and horse management judge.

Great Places for Dog Walking in Dallas

Did you know that every dog needs a half hour to an hour of daily exercise to prevent obesity and promote their health?  They do – just like us humans!

Here in Dallas, we do things in a big way, so a quick jaunt will not do for our pooches. Here are some fun places to go dog walking in Dallas.

Turtle Creek Trail

Turtle Creek Trail runs adjacent to Turtle Creek. It runs for 2.1 miles from Avondale Avenue to Maple Avenue. The trail surface is made of concrete and you can cross over to Katy Trail on the southern portion. It goes over the Bowen Street bridge and leads to an overlook and promenade.

Katy Trail

Speaking of the Katy Trail, it is one of the best multi-use trails. It starts at Lytle Street at American Airlines Center and goes to Airline Road. It goes between Dallas’ West End and through Knox Street, Southern Methodist University and the Mockingbird DART station. Your dog will love the soft-surface track that runs along the side of the main trail. The main trail consists of ballast, concrete, and crushed stone.

Santa Fe Trail 

If you feel up to a long walk, there is the Santa Fe Trail. It’s 4.2 miles of concrete. The trail starts at S. Hill Ave and ends at Winstead Drive, connecting the White Rock Lake Park Loop Trail and the Union Pacific Trail. The White Rock Lake Park Loop is one of the most popular walks, which is 9.4 miles itself and goes around a picturesque lake.

These are all fantastic trails that your dog will absolutely love to explore. There will be fowl to observe, grass to roll in, and strangers to smell.  It’ll be a great time!  So get out there and hit the trails!

PS – Our dog walkers know all the best walks, and we know your dogs will like the new scenery. If you want to know where our dog walkers take our client’s dogs, contact us.