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How To Tell If Your Pet Is Overweight

March 29, 2017 | Charleston, Dog Treats, Dog-Friendly Charleston, Helpful Tips, Pet Health

Did you know that more than 50% of U.S. pets are overweight? That’s not a good thing to hear, especially when being overweight can lead to tons of health problems for your beloved pet. It could mean a shorter life span, it can aggregate joint disease, lead to Type 2 Diabetes, worsen heart conditions, and lead to skin diseases. Who would have thought all those extra treats could cause such awful things?

How can you tell if your dog or cat is overweight? Ideally, when you look down your pet should have an hourglass shape. Dogs and cats should both have a definite waist, or an inward taper between their abdomen and hips. You should be able to feel their ribs, but not see them.

If your pet is overweight, focus on these 3 things to help them lose the extra pounds:

  1. Make sure you are feeding them the appropriate amount of food. Check your dog or cat’s food label to find out the recommended amount of food for their weight range. Use a measuring cup when you scoop out their food so you know you are feeding them the right amount.
  2. Switch up their treats to something healthy. Try giving your dog carrots, fresh green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, apple slices (no seeds), banana slices, or watermelon. My dogs are obsessed with carrots!
  3. Don’t forget exercise! Dogs should get at least one 30 minute walk every day. If walks aren’t your thing, schedule a visit with Charleston Dog Walker for some exercise time! Or you can head over to a local dog park and let them run with some doggy friends. Here are our favorite dog parks in Charleston. For your kitty, spend some time playing with toys that get them up and moving, like a laser pointer or any toy they can bat around.

Your pet’s weight is very important, so take the time to make these simple changes to their lifestyle. They can’t make the changes without you!

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


3 Easy Ways To Give A Dog A Pill

March 24, 2017 | Charleston, Dog-Friendly Charleston, Helpful Tips

Most dogs hate taking pills – and who can blame them? I don’t like taking them either! But there are lots of ways to get your pup to easily take a pill without all the struggle, and without spending a fortune on pill pockets. Check out these common household items you can use as cheap, easy ways to give a dog a pill:

  1. Peanut butter – It works like magic! Put a dollop of peanut butter on a spoon and stick the pill in the middle, so it’s covered by the peanut butter. Most dogs LOVE peanut butter, so they just lick it right up – pill and all!
  2. Cheese – If your dog isn’t a fan of peanut butter, try using a tiny piece of American cheese. The “singles” slices work great. Just tear off a square and put the pill in the middle. Squish the cheese around the pill and make it a little cheese ball. Offer this little cheese pill ball up like a treat and your dog will be begging for more.
  3. Deli meat – Try getting a small slice of deli meat and wrapping it around the pill. This isn’t as secure since the pill can just come out, but generally deli meat is delicious enough that a dog will gobble it up before they notice the pill.

Hopefully one of these things does the trick for your pup and you can make giving your dog a pill a lot easier on you and your wallet!

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


How To Choose Between A Friend, A Boarding Facility, Or A Pet Sitter

March 10, 2017 | Helpful Tips, Pet Sitting, Pet Travel, Uncategorized

When you are heading out of town for a trip that you just can’t bring your pet on, it can be a tough choice to figure out who will care for them while you’re away. Most people do one of three things: have a friend or neighbor take care of their pet, board their pet, or have a pet sitter care for them. There are pros and cons to each option and it’s important that you consider these when you make your decision about who will be caring for your pets. After all, they are your furry babies and you want the best for them!

Friend, Family, and Neighbors

Pros:

  • This is often the cheapest option, which can make it appealing.
  • You know them already and they probably know your pet, so you already trust them.

Cons:

  • You can feel like you are a burden by asking them to help. They also might not keep you updated with how things are going and you could feel like you’ll come off as intrusive and like you don’t trust them if you ask, so you end up just worrying.
  • Your pet is probably not going to be their priority. To them it’s a favor and they still have their regular life to lead. If they don’t have other pets then they also may not truly realize the potty break routine that your pet needs.
  • It’s unlikely that they have been trained to handle an emergency situation with a pet. Do they know what to do and where to take your pet if something were to happen?
  • They probably don’t have a backup plan in case something comes up (have to work late, unexpected emergency, etc.) and they can’t get home to your pet.

Boarding Facility

Pros:

  • Not too expensive
  • This is a great option for the friendly, energetic dog! They can play with their dog buddies throughout the day and get lots of exercise.
  • A lot of facilities have cameras so that you can even watch your dog online.
  • Good boarding facilities will require their staff to be trained in emergency care.

Cons:

  • Despite requirements for updated vaccines, it’s extremely common for pets to come home with kennel cough and other illnesses.
  • Pick-up and drop-off hours can be limited at night and on weekends. This means that if you need to leave too early to drop off your pet or if you get home too late to pick them up, you’ll have to pay for an extra night of boarding.
  • Most boarding facilities are not staffed 24 hours a day. Typically, pets are kenneled at night and then the facility is closed and unattended for the night.
  • It can be hard for some pets to adjust to being alone and kenneled overnight (especially for those who like to curl up in bed with you!).
  • Some dogs just aren’t social and don’t enjoy being in a doggy daycare environment, which can trigger fights and aggressive behavior. They would be stressed out and would much rather have been home with their normal routine.

Pet Sitter

Pros:

  • Your pet gets to stay home in their own environment and can stick to their normal routines. The pet sitter will come a few times throughout the day for potty breaks, play time, exercise, and feeding. They typically also offer an overnight option where a sitter will stay the night at your house with your pet for cuddles and love all night long.
  • Your pet gets individualized care and all of the attention is focused on them.
  • A good pet sitting company will require that their staff are trained in pet emergency care so they know what to do in case of an emergency and how to get your pet immediate help.
  • You can expect to receive updates with pictures after every single visit from the pet sitter so you always know how things are going.
  • Your pet won’t be exposed to other dogs who could pass along illnesses.
  • There’s no need for you to drop off or pick up your pet – they’ll be home waiting with a smile when you get there!
  • The pet sitting company will have a backup plan in place in case your sitter has an emergency and cannot do the visit, that way your pet always gets their scheduled care.
  • Pet sitting is a job for the person you hire – which means they take pride in providing your pet with the best possible care.

Cons:

  • Pet sitting can be more expensive – but you also get what you pay for. You are paying for individual care from a professional where your pet is the top priority.
  • It can be stressful trusting a stranger with your house and pet. It’s very important to do your homework before hiring a pet care company. Read online reviews, call and talk to the company to make sure you feel comfortable, and make sure the pet care company insists on a Meet & Greet so you can get to know them first.

You have lots of choices when you need care for your pets, but it’s really important to think through the pros and cons of each option to ensure that your pet is in good hands. If you’d like to hire a pet sitter, check out Charleston Dog Walker – we’d love to care for your pets!

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


Top 4 Charleston Dog Parks

March 1, 2017 | Charleston, Dog-Friendly Charleston, Helpful Tips, SC, Things To Do

Charleston is such a great city for dog lovers to live in because there’s never a shortage of dog-friendly activities and places to go. When my husband and I moved here from DC, we were amazed at the number of dog parks and we couldn’t wait to let our dogs Indy and Anna run wild and make new friends! We’ve tried all of the Charleston dog parks out and love them each for different reasons. Here are our top 4 Charleston dog parks:

Indy and Anna love playing ball at the Hazel Parker Playground!
  1. James Island County Park Dog Park: The JICP dog park is a huge, grassy field that opens onto 3 sandy beaches and water. Dogs can swim and splash all they want and there’s a doggy water fountain and hoses to clean them off at the end. There is also a small-dog fenced area and a few picnic tables around the park. It can get quite hot for the humans in the summer, since there isn’t shade, and bring your bug spray if you’re heading there around dusk. Don’t forget your towel if your dog is a swimmer or else your car might get a bit wet!
  2. Hazel Parker Playground Dog Park: If your dog does better in a smaller area, head to the Hazel Parker Playground dog park downtown by Rainbow Row. The park has a fenced, gravel area that you can go to any time of the day, or wait until 5pm and the fully-fenced grassy field is open for off-leash play. They have a doggy water fountain and trees around the edges of the park. It’s also in the heart of downtown, so there’s typically a great breeze from the water and plenty of gorgeous Charleston sites within walking distance if you want to take a cool-down stroll. Pro Tip: Find street parking on the side of the park instead of parking in the parking lot. You are only allowed to park in the metered spaces – the rest are monitored insanely closely and you’re almost guaranteed to get a ticket.
  3. Hampton Park Dog Run: This dog park is one of the shadiest you’ll find around Charleston, which can be quite important in the summer heat (and the spring, fall and winter heat, too!). It’s smaller than the others, but still fully fenced and with a water fountain. Sadly the grass is a bit lacking at this park, but there’s a huge parking lot and plenty of room for good games of chase and fetch.
  4. Palmetto Islands County Park Dog Park: If you’re in the Mount Pleasant area, check out the PICP dog park. Your dog will love the long fenced in grassy field where they can run like crazy! There’s a small-dog area at this park and a few picnic tables for the people to take a break at, too. This dog park lacks shade, but it’s perfect for your pup to get some energy and socializing and then you can take them for a stroll around the scenic park. Make sure to take a walk over to Nature Island while you’re in the park – you walk over a board walk to a super cool (literally) path through the trees with great marsh views.

We hope you and your dogs enjoy these dog parks as much as our crazy pups do! There are doggy water fountains at all of them, but make sure to bring a portable bowl and an extra water bottle to keep your dog hydrated as they play. And most importantly – watch your dog the whole time to ensure they are playing nicely and having a safe, fun time.

 

Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!


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