Welsh corgi pembroke puppy on its owners hands

How Long Can You Leave A Puppy Alone

Written by Niki Clark

Puppies! You cannot say that without smiling. Getting a puppy can be great, but it does come with a couple challenges, and for those who work outside of the home, arranging your schedule can be a challenge. There is the chewing phase, the endless amount of energy, and oh yea, the potty training.

Every new pet owner has a list of questions running through their mind. We will cover the 3 main ones here:

    • Exercise and Stimulation
    • Food
  • Potty Breaks

First, let’s define the age range for a puppy. This is anywhere between 3 months and 2 years. The younger they are, the more they need to play, socialize, have stimulation, go out for a potty break, stretch their legs, and have interaction. This doesn’t mean you need to leave work every hour to rush home and make sure your puppy hasn’t destroyed the couch cushions, you just need to be a bit more strategic in your planning. VIP Pet Services offers a great puppy service for just this instance, as well as many other options that would best fit your situation.

Exercise and Stimulation

Puppies are full of energy. They absolutely must get plenty of activity and interaction. When left alone or in a crate for too long, destruction can happen. This is where the one hour per month rule can help. For example, if your puppy is 4 months old, he can be left alone for 4 hours. You want to make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise. Hiring a dog walker is a great idea for your new puppy and it allows more time in your schedule. Dogs also need mental stimulation. There are some great dog toys on the market that help keep your pup occupied. KONGs are widely popular especially filled with their favorite treats mixed with peanut butter. Other suggestions are Nylabones or ropes

Food and Nutrition

Growing pups are hungry pups. The American Kennel Club has created a great feeding guideline to help determine the right amount and how many times you need to be feeding your puppy. The main thing to remember is that puppies require special formulated food for puppies and more of it throughout the day, so you need to make proper arrangements to make sure he is getting his proper nutrition. However, with frequent meals, comes frequent potty breaks.

Potty Breaks

The favorite topic when discussing puppies. How many times does a puppy need to go potty? This is where the one hour per month rule comes in handy again. It is also a good time to start a routine, especially for younger puppies. A common practice is to take your puppy out right after a meal and praise them when they go. This is where VIP Pet Services can step in to help with drop-in visits for those quick potty breaks. 

 

Whatever your pet care need is, VIP Pet Services is here to help in any way we can. We are true animal lovers and thoroughly love what we do. Contact us today!

Little dog's face being cradled in a women's hand looking up into camera

May is National Pet Month

Celebrating Pets

How great are pets! We absolutely love them! In fact, we love them so much, we’ve decided to play with them every single day. The month of May is National Pet Month and it just might be one of our favorite months.

According to Wikipedia, National Pet month aims to help promote and educate the benefits about pet ownership. And what are those benefits you ask? Let us tell you!

Benefits of Pet Ownership:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increased physical activity
  • Companionship
  • Enhancing social skills
  • Responsibility
  • And dare we say, overall joy!

People Love Pets

Cat looking up at camera in women's armsThis is also a topic of a previous blog of ours. People love pets! They actively go out to find a pet and sometimes the pet finds them! People love their companions immensely and regard them as family, so it only makes sense to honor them. Spoil them. Pamper them. Bake for them.

If you ever think to yourself, “am I crazy” as you give your pet a perfectly wrapped present for it’s birthday, know this, you are not alone! There are may ways to show your pet your love and affection, and what a better time than now!

VIP Cares

We at VIP Pet Services never miss an opportunity to show our animal family members how much we love them. At any given time you will find us buying them new beds, taking them on vacations, making them homemade snacks, and getting our photos taken with them. And our clients are huge advocates of pet affection. As a matter of fact, they not only let us spoil their pets, they encourage it!

Dog in very large dog bed.

We would love to see photos and hear stories of how you pamper and care for your pet. Share with us on our Facebook page or email us at pets@vippets.net.

 


Sources: Animal Planet; Wikipedia

 

 

Welsh corgi pembroke puppy on its owners hands

How Long Can You Leave A Puppy Alone

Post by Niki Clark

Puppies!

You cannot say that without smiling. Getting a puppy can be great, but it does come with a couple challenges, and for those who work outside of the home, arranging your schedule can be tough. There is the chewing phase, the endless amount of energy, and oh yea, the potty training.

Every new pet owner has a list of questions running through their mind.

We will cover the 3 main ones here:

  1. Exercise and Stimulation
  2. Food
  3. Potty Breaks

First, let’s define the age range for a puppy. This is anywhere between 3 months and 2 years. The younger they are, the more they need to play, socialize, have stimulation, go out for a potty break, stretch their legs, and have interaction. This doesn’t mean you need to leave work every hour to rush home and make sure your puppy hasn’t destroyed the couch cushions, you just need to be a bit more strategic in your planning. VIP Pet Services offers a great puppy service for just this instance, as well as many other options that would best fit your situation.

Exercise and Stimulation

Exercise and StimulationPuppies are full of energy. They absolutely must get plenty of activity and interaction. When left alone or in a crate for too long, destruction can happen. This is where the one hour per month rule can help. For example, if your puppy is 4 months old, he can be left alone for 4 hours. You want to make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise. Hiring a dog walker is a great idea for your new puppy and it allows more time in your schedule. Dogs also need mental stimulation. There are some great dog toys on the market that help keep your pup occupied. KONGs are widely popular especially filled with their favorite treats mixed with peanut butter. Other suggestions are Nylabones or ropes.

Food and Nutrition

Growing pups are hungry pups. The American Kennel Club has created a great feeding guideline to help determine the right amount and how many times you need to be feeding your puppy. The main thing to remember is that puppies require special formulated food and more of it throughout the day, so you need to make proper arrangements to make sure he is getting his proper nutrition. However, with frequent meals, comes frequent potty breaks.

Potty Breaks

The favorite topic when discussing puppies. How many times does a puppy need to go potty? This is where the one hour per month rule comes in handy again. It is also a good time to start a routine, especially for younger puppies. A common practice is to take your puppy out right after a meal and praise them when they go. This is where VIP Pet Services can step in to help with drop-in visits for those quick potty breaks.

 

Whatever your pet care need is, VIP Pet Services is here to help in any way we can. We are true animal lovers and thoroughly love what we do. Contact us today!

 

Vip Logo

 

dog walker legs and dogs

What Does a Pet Sitter Do

Post by Niki Clark

A Professional Pet Sitter

Pet sitters… what do they really do? Sit on the floor and drag a toy mouse around while Fluffy chases it? Play fetch with Fido? In 1997 “pet sitting” was officially added to the dictionary and is defined as “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away.”What Does a Pet Sitter Do

So, “caring for a pet while its owner is away.” That is broad. That can mean so much and interpreted in so many different ways. Each owner has their own definition of care.

We could write a long list that would probably go on and on. But, in order to make this a short and informative blog, we will break it down into the main points for you.

Pet Sitters Do More Than You Think

Walks

Let’s start with the obvious. Pet sitters do lots of Dog walks. Most dog owners want their dogs walked. And some owners want you to run with their dogs, so get your Nikes ready. And some owners track their dogs while they are in the care of a pet sitter/dog walker to make sure you are in fact taking them on a walk. Dog walks can range from a short potty break to multiple miles, depending on the type of dog and the owner’s goal.

Waste Removal

Let’s be real. This isn’t a job for everyone. Carrying around a poop filled bag until you find a garbage is a job for true pet lovers. And discussing on client requests, it is not uncommon for an owner to ask the sitter to use baby wipes in the rear region to ensure a clean pet. Some pet sitters even are hired to clean yards. Many different size of yards and many different size of pets in those yards leaving those piles for later. And don’t forget litter boxes! Sitters do waste removal like pros.

Food and Beverage

Cat in FridgePets need to be fed. But, not just a scoop of Kibbles n Bits, certain pets require a strict diet. We are talking raw food and/or pureed side dishes. Yes, you read that correctly. And cats, they actually require a diet high in protein, which is all the more reason for fresh, homemade meals. Snakes require… well, you know, not Kibbles n Bits, let’s just leave it at that. Rabbits enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, so hit that Farmer’s Market! People love their pets! They are family, and family deserves the best. Pet sitters must make sure they fully understand all instructions left by the owner.

Medication

Some pets require medication. There are sprays, pills, creams, injections, etc. And pet sitters need to administer those. And administer properly and timely. Pet sitters must map out their schedule based on those pets who need a certain medication at a certain time. Ever heard of a pill shooter?

Home Care

Clients entrust pet sitters with entry into their home. That means pet sitters are responsible to keeping that home safe and secure. Home care also means cleaning up any messes left by the pets. Some pet sitters have watered houseplants. They occasionally bring in the mail. Sometimes they take out the trash. Some pet sitters even stay overnight in the home with the pets, making it look like the owner is home and keeping pets company around the clock.

Pet Services Header Brunette Lady Hugging White Dog

Pet sitters develop a bond with the pets. Some sitters get to watch the pets grow up. Some assist in the training of pets. And some are there when pets cross over the rainbow bridge. Pet sitters grow incredibly close with the pets in their care and that means the sitters develop a relationship with the clients as well. Clients have the sitter’s phone numbers and emails. They know they can rely on their sitters. They put trust in them. Clients love their sitters so much, they invite them to attend special events and send birthday cards. So when you wonder what a pet sitter does, that question has multiple answers. Contact us today!

 

Beautiful couple cuddling and walking dogs outdoors in park

Why People Love Pets

Post by Niki Clark

It’s no surprise that people love animals and choose to keep some as pets. According to the National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of US households own a pet. And that could be multiple pets in one home. Basically, 68% of us opt to share our home with some sort of animal as a pet. Why? What is the appeal? Is it the sheer joy from a dog when you come home from work? Could it be the purr from the cat as it snuggles up on your lap at just the right moment?

Lets Think About This: Pets

There are a slew of answers. Pets offer their companionship, unconditional love, loyalty, protection, and even health benefits. They are members of our family. Their birthdays are celebrated. They receive gifts on holidays and special occasions. They go with us on vacations. Pets hold a special place in our hearts. With that being said, pet ownership has its struggles too. There is the hamster that runs in its wheel at all ends of the night and parrot who thinks your finger is fun to peck at. So why do people continue to open their home to a roommate who is unable to do dishes or fold the laundry?

People Love Pets

Some researchers have suggested it is our need to take care of another living breathing thing. An ingrained need to nurture. Others think it has to do with evolution. Some even think it may be a form of social status. Remember the dog in the purse craze a while back? There are many articles on this subject and all seem to have varying conclusions. Since each individual is different and each pet is unique, it is hard to distinguish the exact reason.

Regardless, it’s safe to say you no doubt cherish them and will do whatever it takes to make sure they are well cared for. VIP Pet Services has many different service options that will be perfect for your special family member. We would love to meet you and your pet! Contact us today!

holiday with dog under christmas tree

Pets Love Their VIP Sitters

 

It’s never easy to leave your pets. You want to make sure they are relaxed and happy while you’re away. When pets are stressed, their immune system is suppressed making them more susceptible to sickness. They also experience increased heart and respiration rate and can be more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease.

Pets Love Their VIP Sitters

That is why our sitters form a deep bond with your fur babies.

Our goal is to make sure your pets are happy to see our sitters arrive, and our sitters work to form deep bonds of trust and attachment with your pets, in the comfort of your pet’s home. In short, we want to be your pet’s friend and reduce their stress while giving you peace of mind knowing that we’re loving your pet like he is our own.

So when our clients tell us about their pets waiting at the window for them or running to greet them at the door, we know we have accomplished our mission. ❤

Whether you are going out of town for Christmas or just extra busy, book your VIP sitter now to make sure your pet is cozy and cared for.

Our schedules fill up quickly during the holidays – especially Christmas, so click here to book your pet sitter and we’ll call you…

 

Holistic Pet Care

By Cate Burnette

A General Overview of the 4 Most Common Alternative Vet Therapies

More and more pet parents are searching for alternative forms of therapy when it comes to the veterinary treatment of the animals. The term “holistic” pet care – when related to veterinary tactics – generally refers to trying to be as minimally intrusive as possible when it comes to treating various ailments within a pet.

The primary advantages holistic veterinarians hope to convey is that through less intervention involving technology or medicine, the more effective and cost-friendly this type of technique will be toward comforting an animal and its family during a time of illness and stress.

 

Types of Holistic Veterinary Medicine

There are a number of differing alternative therapies available for sick pets. We will go over 4 of the more common treatments here, although your holistic vet may offer other therapies that he or she feels will be more effective for your individual animal.

 

  • Acupuncture: Veterinary acupuncture is a holdover from Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) that has been practiced on animals for thousands of years. Originally performed on military horses, the demand for modern veterinary acupuncture for use on companion animals has steadily increased over the last 20 years. Used mainly for functional problems involving pain, paralysis and non-infectious inflammation, vet acupuncture can treat patients with arthritis, hip dysplasia, feline asthma, non-infectious diarrhea, and lick granulomas (hot spots).Veterinarians in this country are trained, certified and governed by the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture and approved by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) for the management of pain in cats and dogs.

 

  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy for animals is a touch technique that causes the pet’s body to release endorphins, a natural body product that relieves pain and lowers stress levels. Used on both companion animals and horses, therapists claim that massage can increase the circulation improving joint flexibility and muscle tone, help eliminate toxins and wastes from the body, improve the condition of skin, gums, coat and teeth, and positively affect the behavior of nervous, aggressive or anxious animals.The National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM) was founded in 2008 to establish and uphold professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. Pet massage therapists do not have to be licensed veterinarians, but they must pass national core competency examinations to be certified in this country. Your veterinarian or the NVCAAM can help your find a certified pet message therapist in your area.

 

  • Nutrition and Dietary Changes: Just as in human medicine, veterinary nutritionists use common foods and nutrients to prevent and treat diseases in our pets. They teach pet parents how to read pet food labels to find optimal products, how to make homemade meals for sick and ailing animals, which vitamins and minerals will combat certain chronic disorders and which foods are hazardous to a patient’s health.Obese pets, animals with chronic kidney and cardiac disease, cancer patients, animals with arthritis and hip dysplasia, intestinal disorders and skin conditions can all be helped often with just a simple change in diet or nutritional plan.To find a qualified veterinary nutritionist, consult with your vet or visit the website of their governing body, the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition.  

 

  • Chiropractic Care: Veterinary chiropractors are licensed veterinarians who have undergone post-graduate animal chiropractic training and been certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.Vet chiropractors manually manipulate the neuro-musculo-skeletal systems of pets in an effort to treat animals with stiffness, tension, pain and even organ dysfunction. As an alternative to regular veterinary care, animal chiropractic adjustment can promote optimal function of the nerves, muscles and tissues supporting the joints, resulting in improved movement, stance and flexibility. Vet chiropractors claim that this alignment promotes increased agility, endurance, and overall performance for sport animals. Broader benefits include superior immune function, healthier metabolism and a vibrant nervous system, facilitating your companion animal’s natural ability to heal.

 

Official Guidelines

The American Veterinary Medical Association officially describes alternative veterinary practices as “Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM).” While the AVMA has recognized these types of therapeutic methods for usage, they have still implemented various guidelines that call for appropriate evaluation of each alternative procedure, insisting that programs dedicated to promoting CAVM practices need to demonstrate “a substantial body of scientific knowledge.”

 

As the official AVMA guidelines state, these recommendations include:

  • “Veterinarians should ensure that they have the requisite skills and knowledge for any treatment modality they may consider using.
  • Diagnosis should be based on sound, accepted principles of veterinary medicine.
  • Proven treatment methods should be discussed with the owner or authorized agent when presenting the treatment options available. Recommendations for effective and safe care should be based on available scientific knowledge and the medical judgment of the veterinarian.
  • Owner consent should be obtained prior to initiating any treatment, including CAVM.
  • Medical records should meet statutory requirements. Information should be clear and complete. Records should contain documentation of client communications and owner consent.
  • Veterinarians should be aware that animal nutritional supplements and botanicals typically are not subject to pre-marketing evaluation by the FDA for purity, safety, or efficacy and may contain active pharmacologic agents or unknown
    substances.
  • If a human health hazard is anticipated in the course of a disease or as a result of therapy, it should be made known to the client.”

According to a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, in Texas, holistic therapies must either be offered or approved by your TVMA-licensed veterinarian.

——

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 after 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.

orange cat on floor looking at camera

Celebrate International Cat Day on August 8th

International Cat Day – August 8th

 

cat looking up at camera in arms of ladyIn a world filled with furry pups, our feline friends often go unnoticed. However cats finally get their day in the spotlight! Celebrated across the nation on August 8th is International Cat Day.

 

Back in 2002, a group of animal lovers known as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) created International Cat Day. This idea was a way to bring awareness to and provide information about the wonderfully wacky (and lazy) world of felines.  

 

This celebration confirms that dogs aren’t the only best friends of humans. A kitty can make an equally fun, entertaining and loyal (albeit sometimes indifferent) pet. Felines provide their owners with unconditional love, companionship and oodles of entertainment (think funny cat videos).  

 

Cat lovers everywhere – celebrate!

Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:black and white cat photo

  1. Give your kitty a brushing to remove excess hair (this may help with hairballs later).
  2. Take funny pictures of your feline friend in costume and share them!
  3. Treat your whiskered pal to a special meal, a new bed, or some distracting toys that they can chase around the house.  Maybe fill a favorite toy with a bit of naughty catnip and watch the elegant slinky fun ensue.
  4. Get your kitty a shiny new collar with a fancy name tag – even if you can’t take them for a walk, they will appreciate the thought.

 

At VIP pets, we would love to see how you and your pet celebrate International Cat Day . Share your favorite furry cat photos with us by tagging us at @vippetslove.  

 

two cats cuddled in red blanket

Shelters and Fosters

What is the Difference between Shelters and Fosters?

For many unwanted and displaced animals, an animal shelter can mean the difference between life and death. Animal shelters are typically funded by local government and offer a safe reprieve for rescued strays. However, a shelter isn’t the only viable option for an unwanted pet. Shelters often have limited space and rely on the kindness of animal lovers who wish to provide a foster environment for homeless creatures.

Like shelters, fosters provide a haven for animals, offering food and time to heal before being placed up for adoption. Unlike shelters, fosters are self-funded and partner with the local shelters to provide care for an animal. This partnership frees up space at the shelter for additional animals in need.

A foster environment typically involves a person or family who volunteers to care for an animal in their home for a short or definite period, whereas a shelter will often keep the animal as long as possible, or until it can be re-established with a family.  

Shelters and Fosters

Since many shelters operate predominately on donations, they rely heavily on the time and resources provided by volunteers; it’s crucial to give what you can to keep shelters in operation.

Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Donate – You don’t have to donate money (although cash donations are appreciated). One may donate pet supplies to include food, as well as equipment such as bowls, leashes, beds, and toys. Also, volunteers can donate their time to assist with cleaning, animal care and administrative duties.
  • Fundraise. Consider holding a fundraiser at the local dog park or school to honor our furry friends and the shelters who help them.     

The key is to take action sooner rather than later, as thousands of homeless animals are in dire need of homes. With a bit of creativity, you can do your part to ease the homeless animal crisis.

 

Dog drinking water out of bowl

Dehydration & Pets

By Cate Burnette

 

When Texas summers get as hot as they normally do, all pet parents need to watch out for our dogs and cats becoming dehydrated from a lack of body water. Dehydration occurs when the total body water is less than normal and involves loss of both water and electrolytes (minerals such as sodium, chloride and potassium).

When there is not enough body water, fluid shifts out of the body cells to compensate, leaving the cells deficient in necessary water. This leads to dehydration. The severity of the dehydration is based on the magnitude of these body water shifts. Pets normally lose fluid through breathing, panting, urinating and defecating and those fluids must be restored regularly to maintain optimum health.

 

Causes and Symptoms of Dehydration

There are a number of ways your dog or cat can become dehydrated. Your pet may not be eating or drinking enough to take in appropriate amounts of water. Dehydration can cause the loss of appetite and, in a frustrating cycle, your animal loses even more body water when she won’t eat or drink. Illnesses that cause bouts of frequent vomiting or diarrhea and/or high fevers can result in your pet becoming dehydrated. Any dog or cat that is overheated may also be suffering from dehydration.

So what are some of the symptoms that you need to watch for?

There are basically 3 levels of clinical dehydration, with the final levels being the most serious.

Beginning Signs

  • Excessive panting and warm skin
  • Dry mouth, nose and gums
  • Visibly tired, less animated
  • Sunken eyes, lack of moisture

Intermediate Signs

  • Loss of skin elasticity – If a gentle pinch of shoulder or neck skin doesn’t immediately pop back into place, your pet is probably dehydrated. As the tissue under the skin loses moisture, the skin moves back more slowly. In extreme cases, the skin doesn’t pop back at all.
  • Delayed Capillary Refill Time (CRT) – Place your thumb or index finger firmly against your pet’s gums so that they whiten. Remove your finger and count how many seconds it takes for the gums to become pink. Any time longer than 2 seconds is a sign of dehydration and/or other illness.
  • Rectal temperature greater than 105º F

Final Signs

  • Your pet is wobbly and unsteady on her feet
  • You notice hind end weakness

 

How to Prevent Dehydration

Maintaining a constant body fluid level is as important in animals as it is in humans. The Humane Society of the United States issues these tips for keeping your pet hydrated in even the warmest weather.

  • Leave several bowls of water around the house so that your cats and dogs get enough to drink.
  • If you notice your pet hasn’t had a drink in a while, start by allowing her to have a few sips of water every few minutes. Overdrinking can easily lead to nausea and vomiting and losing even more fluids that she needs.
  • After strenuous exercise, monitor the amount of water your dog drinks and don’t allow overdrinking.
  • Take a collapsible bowl and plenty of cool water with you when you’re exercising or playing outside with your pet. Allow plenty of down time (especially on hot days) and find a place for shade so your pet can cool down.
  • If your dog or cat is outside for any length of time, ensure there are bowls of clean, cool water available for drinking.

 

What can I do if I suspect my pet is dehydrated?

  • Give an electrolyte (such as Gatorade®) mixed with water if your pet is showing the early signs of dehydration. While water helps in replenishing a lot of nutrients, electrolytes can do the job more quickly.
  • Animals who have gone a long time without drinking water may have a hard time holding it down. Allow your dog or cat to lick ice. She’ll rehydrate herself as the ice melts.

 

  • If your pet refuses to drink for any extended period of time, see your veterinarian immediately!

 

Veterinary Treatment of Dehydration

The veterinary care for moderately and severely dehydrated pets revolves around the administration of supplemental fluids. Typically, fluids are given either subcutaneously (SQ) under the first layer of skin or intravenously (IV) through a vein. The latter requires hospitalization and the insertion of an intravenous catheter. Your vet can determine the amount of fluids to be given and the route of administration in the best interests of your pet.

 

——

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 after 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.