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How To Train Your Dog To Sit Up Like You

“Sit Up” or “Sit Pretty”: Train Your Dog To Sit Like You   train your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitter Mobile Groomer Southington, Cheshire, North Haven, Meriden, Wallingford CT

 
The trick of “sitting up” or “sitting pretty” is easily taught to small dogs, but should try not be included in a big dog’s education, as it is difficult for them to preserve their balance. Wagging Tails Professional Pet Sitting, Dog Walking and Mobile Grooming Service of over 20 years located in CT offers their expert advice and information on how to train your dog.
 
The training of sitting up is one of the first tricks to teach and forms the groundwork for many other dog tricks. To train a dog to sit up, prepare some treats as a reward, and set your dog on his haunches in a corner, so that he cannot fall either backward or sideways and has very little or no space to lose balance.
 
Keep him from pitching forward by holding one hand under his chin and with the other hand hold the treat above his nose and keep repeating distinctly and deliberately say, “sit up.” Do not make him sit up too long at any one time, but repeat the lesson frequently and reward him often with plentiful of praise and treats.
 
During his first lesson he will require considerable assistance from your hand to prevent him from pitching forward, but as he gets control of the balancing muscles and understands what you want, he will depend less and less upon your hand to keep him in position and you can gradually render him less assistance until you will only have to keep one hand in position two or three inches from his neck or chin, so as to be ready to prevent him pitching forward; later on you can withdraw this hand entirely and simply hold the treat just above the level of his head.
 
By constant practice he will sit up well after you set him up; then he should be train your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitter Mobile Groomer Cheshire Southington West Hartford Farmington New Britain Plainville Bristol CTset up against the wall, so as to afford him a support for his back only, and after he has been well schooled at this and can keep his position easily, practice him against chair legs, cushions or other objects that afford him less and less assistance, until finally he learns to preserve his balance and sits up without anything to lean against.
 
During all these lessons the words “sit up or sit pretty” have been impressed upon his mind by frequent repetition, and now comes the final lesson to teach him to sit up as soon as he hears the words, and the chances are, if he has been diligently drilled, it will be necessary only to call him out in the room, show him a treat, hold it up a suitable distance from the floor, say “sit up or sit pretty” and he will do so, when he should be given the treat while still in position.

 It takes patience and persistence to train your dog!

The only necessity to perfection is to practice him several times a day until he will sit up at the word and without being shown a reward; that can be given him after he has obeyed.
 
You have now a foundation for many other tricks. He can be taught to beg by moving your hand up and down just in front of his paws, which he will move in unison with yours. He can also be taught to salute by bringing one paw up to the side of his head, or to hold a wooden pipe in his mouth, or to wear a cap on his head or other articles of wearing apparel.
 
In teaching a dog to submit to being dressed up, do not attempt to get him to wear too many things at once; try him at first with a cap and after he becomes accustomed to that you can put on a coat and gradually accustom him to the other clothing articles.
 
Enjoy teaching your dog the “sit up or sit pretty” trick and most importantly have fun along the way!
 
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC has been caring for CT’s pets since 1995. Their extensive experience in the pet care industry is shared via blog articles. Visit www.waggingtails.com for more information and useful tips for your pet’s care. Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service

Important Steps To Raising Your Dog

Raising Your Dog – Important Steps to Take raising your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitter in ConnecticutFrom 1 to 3 Years of Age

When acquiring a newborn puppy, there are certain critical steps that need to be taken in the 1 – 3 year timeframe of raising your dog.
 
Physically, he is in his prime, and will continue to develop heavier bone, a deeper chest, a fuller coat, as well as greater strength and endurance. Large breeds attain their full physical maturity and definitive proportions between the ages of 18 months and 2 years, while smaller breeds reach their maturity a little sooner.
 
An adult dog no longer needs a body-building diet, but more of a maintenance one that is adjusted to his daily energy requirements. Too much or too rich a diet will lead to obesity and perhaps more serious health problems.
 
Psychologically, he is unconditionally devoted to you and may become jealous and possessive. He may even begin to resemble you in some ways. His inteyorkie raising your dog Wagging Tails Pet Sitting Mobile Groomer Cheshire CTlligence and receptivity are at their peak, and he vastly enjoys collaborating with you in work and play, as well as acquiring new skills. He knows and understands you and your habits as well as you know and understand him. These should be the most harmonious and rewarding years of your life together.
 

The most important tips for raising your dog:

What he needs most is training for work, sport, or merely for fun and to exercise his intelligence, lots of mental and physical activity, mutual loyalty and devotion from a loving owner. 
 
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting and Mobile Grooming Service LLC in CT was established in 1995. Since then the staff of Professional, bonded, trained, certified, pet caregivers have offered award winning, nationally recognized pet care to thousands of CT’s amazing pets.  Convenient services in your home, keep your pet healthy and safe, where they’re happiest.
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service

How To Keep Your Pet Safe In Cold Weather

Cold Weather Pet Safetyice storm and blizzard Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet?  Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.

Provide choices: Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.

Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.
Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.
Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.
Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but it’s critical that you keep the registration up to date.
Stay home: Hot cars are a known threat to pets, but cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.
Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don’t have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.
Protect family: Odds are your pet will be spending more time inside during the winter, so it’s a good time to make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets, because they can burn or they can be knocked over, potentially starting a fire. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it’s working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors to keep your entire family safe from harm. If you have a pet bird, make sure its cage is away from drafts.
Avoid ice: When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.
Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.
Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Some pet owners feel that a little extra weight gives their pet some extra protection from cold, but the health risks associated with that extra weight don’t make it worth doing. Watch your pet’s body condition and keep them in the healthy range. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather.
This article provided by the AVMA and shared by Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socmed&utm_campaign=gen

How To Choose The Right Dog Crate For Your Puppy

Looking for a dog crate?fancy dog crate Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming in CT

So you are looking for a dog crate and you want the highest quality you can get for the best price. What options are available to you, and what are the pro’s and con’s of the various types of dog crate…
First, let’s look at the black epoxy coated crates. They look great when they are new, but they chip so easily and tend to look old after only a few uses. Let’s be honest, if you are spending good money then you will want real value for your money and not something that is going look used within a short period of time.
Second, let’s consider those plastic bases that some companies put in the crates. Plastic bases often crack, and split and dogs often chew them. So in reality, there is no advantage to a plastic base except for possibly saving the manufacturer a little money on material and labor costs.
Third, there is chrome for cages – they look great, at first and then you find they also chip and flake because chrome is just another coating. Be aware that the flaking chrome if ingested by a dog could make them sick. In fact you don’t really see many chrome ones around these days which is a good thing. So what are you left with?
greyhound in crate Wagging Tails Pet Sitter in Connecticut
Well you are left with galvanized crates. These are by far the best option, and the top quality galvanized crates have the following features:
• Galvanized for non-rust long lasting
• Polished finish
• Anti-tamper locks
• Very heavy gauge mesh frame
• Metal tray that can’t be chewed and wont split or crack
• Assembles in three moves
• Wont chip or flake
• Lasts for years
• Slide out tray
• Wholesale Prices
The major difference between types of galvanized dog crates is the gauge of the mesh used. If you opt for the beautiful dog crates that are now made to look like a piece of furniture in your home (and why wouldn’t they? since we have cribs for babies, and our dogs are like our children!) be sure that even though these look great, they are SAFE and DURABLE for your pet. The wire should be galvanized and the wood should be safely treated in case your pooch tries to ingest it.
 Puppy in crate Wagging Tails Pet Sitting Service Farmington CT
Dog Crates, dog cages, kennels, whatever you call them, offer an effective way to housebreak puppies, keep your pets safe either at home or away. Some crates now offer an innovative build and design that allows simple assembly and disassembly in seconds and are galvanized which prevents against rust and deterioration and is safe for your dog – this means they will look great for many years to come. When not in use, the cage/crate folds flat for easy transport and storage.
Finding a dog crate that fits your needs includes not only being aesthetically pleasing, built safe to last, and the correct SIZE for your pet. Your dog must be able to stand up, turn around in a circle, and lie down, stretched out inside of the cage, without his paws or toes fitting thru the bars. Keep this in mind when buying a new crate for your small puppy. What size will they be in a few months? A larger crate can and should be divided while your pup is small. It should be a space they can grow INTO and not OUT of.
Finally, a dog crate should not be used as a “time out” area for your dog. It should be a positive reinforcement for good behavior, a place where they can safely relax, a place for them to call their own, a place where they WANT to go into on their own!  So, when introducing your pup to a crate, be sure to put a treat or two, a favorite safe toy and an old tshirt that smells like you in it. Then their crate will surely be a place they WANT to be!

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in CT

is an award winning company of 22 years. We firmly believe that a dog crate can help to properly house train and keep your pup safe, healthy and happy. Feel free to contact us to discuss your pet’s care, dog walking, pet sitting, mobile grooming, cat sitting, puppy potty training, overnight sitting, housesitting, and so much more in over 35 towns in Connecticut.
 Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service

Why Choose Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service?

Hire a Professional Pet Sitter

All pet care providers are not alike.

We would like to provide you with this pet care comparison chart, so you can see for yourself how Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in Connecticut is the best choice for your pet’s care. We know that reputable pet care providers do exist in all pet care categories, however, many of them do not fulfill ALL of your needs. With the growing population of websites that advertise random individuals who are offering part time, side job, hobby pet care, we want to remind you to do your homework. Hire a REAL professional pet sitter and a REAL professional pet groomer.

Hire Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in CT!

Your pet deserves the BEST care! Visit HERE to compare your options.

best of awards 2015Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service angies list 2015 award

Why Professional Pet Sitting Is A Better Choice Than A Kennel Or Dog Day Care

Here’s the #1 reason Professional Pet Sitting in your home, is a better choice than a Kennel or Dog Day Care

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in Connecticut is sharing this information with all CT pet parents as a courtesy.  Your pet’s health and safety has been our #1 priority for the 21 years that we have been caring for CT’s pets.  With the recent outbreak of a deadly canine infectious disease in a CT kennel, we offer this information, so that YOU, the loving pet parent know that you do have a choice in your pet’s care!

There are MANY reasons why hiring a Professional Pet Sitter and Dog Walker is a better alternative for your pet, than taking them to a dog day care, kennel, bed and barkfast, pet spa, etc. No matter what they call it, it’s NOT home.  For a complete list of reasons why you should consider a Professional Pet Sitter over a facility, visit Why Choose Us.

There’s no place like home for your pet, with a Wagging Tails Professional Pet Sitter and/or Mobile Groomer!

The #1 reason is…that there’s NO place like home. That there is no place as safe, secure for your pet, where your pet will remain healthy and happy, than your OWN home is the #1 reason! When your pet visits a pet care facility or dog park, of any kind, your pets are exposed to diseases, infections, fleas, ticks and other parasites that other pets carry.  (Not to mention the fights that break out amongst dogs, that could cause severe injuries to your own pet).  We are confident that your pet is safest, healthiest and HAPPIEST right in their own home, with a Wagging Tails Pet Sitter. Please continue reading the news from NBC CT below for more information about CT’s deadly outbreak of an infectious disease.  And, next time you have to go away, or plan a long day at work, contact us to care for your pets!  www.waggingtails.com

For more information you can also visit Pet Kennel vs. Pet Sitter: What’s Best For Your Pet?

The information below is from NBCConnecticut.comWagging Tails Mobile Grooming in CT

There has been a severe respiratory infection outbreak at a large kennel in Windsor, the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association announced.

One dog that presenting fever, pneumonia and epistaxis has already died at the , the CVMA said. Tests for the dog came up negative for canine influenza and other tests are pending.

The co-owner of Day Hill Kennels in Windsor confirmed with NBC Connecticut that it had been affected by some type of infection.

“Our first notice that there was a problem going on was a week ago essentially and we were notified customers of ours after they took their dogs home some of the dogs developed a cough,” Roger Ball, the co-owner, told NBC Connecticut.

Ball said the infection was in an isolated area of the kennel where there were 30 dogs. He noticed about a third of them developing symptoms of the respiratory infection.

To the CVMA’s knowledge, no other veterinary hospitals are treating cases and the incident seems to be isolated to the facility.

Dogs from the Windsor kennel are currently being treated at Pieper Memorial Veterinary Center in Middletown and New England Veterinary Center in Windsor, the association said.

welcome home mattA vet told NBC Connecticut tells dog owners that if they board their pet or keep them at a daycare, to be on the look out for symptoms.

The warning is keeping Fidelco, a guide dog foundation, said it will be keeping its dogs out of public areas amid the infectious outbreak.

Fidelco said symptoms of the infection include coughing, wheezing, running nose, weepy eye, blood in cough or stool.

NBC Connecticut reached out to the state Department of Agriculture:

“The CT Dept. of Agriculture is assisting in the investigation of an incidence of a canine respiratory illness at a commercial dog kennel in Windsor.

Dept. of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Mary J. Lis is working with veterinarians at Day Hill Kennel, where one dog died and six others became ill.

A necropsy is being conducted on the deceased dog, and tests are being conducted on the others to identify the illness, and to determine its cause.

Lis said the illness appears to be isolated to the facility and the ill dogs have been given antibiotics, which has reduced symptoms of fever they were exhibiting.”

And the following info is from Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC in Connecticut

Although this may be considered an isolated incident, please be aware that pets can contract these illnesses at dog parks, day cares, and any other facilities that pet’s share space. If your pet exhibits any signs of illness, please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or bring your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary center.

The next time you plan a vacation, staycation, work a long day, or need your pet cared for, contact us! www.waggingtails.com

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Serviceangies list 2015 award20th anni transparentbest of awards 2015

Important Things To Know Before Adopting A Kitten

Are you prepared to become a pet owner?wagging tails pet sitter in ct

Adopting a cat is a joyful event in every family. But cats bought at first glance can cause a big surprise and unfortunately sometimes a great disappointment, too. Many unwanted cats end up in the streets or animal shelters because of people’s irresponsibility or inconsistent pledge.

It is not only joy but also a great responsibilitykittens 2
It is important to know that if you buy a pet, you will have to take responsibility for it. You should never buy a cat as a result of a sudden resolution. As a pet owner you are required to take responsibility for an adopted living creature, you must take care of it not only when it is fit as a fiddle but also when it is ill for the rest of its life. The following guide is for those who are to become cat owners for the first time in their lives.

Where should you get your kitten?

It is very important where you get your cat because it does matter what experiences your future cat has gained during the very first part of its existence. If you would like a pedigree cat then it is worth the trouble to look for a breeder who will kindly show you his or her animals and can provide you with information on the advantages and disadvantages of the different varieties.

You can buy cats in pet shops, too. You can buy healthy, well-bred, well-kept kittens in some of the better pet shops. Kittens are catered for their special needs in these specialized shops, for example, they are provided with runways, toilet boxes, and things to climb on and to play with.
But it is more common to adopt a kitten from our local shelters, petfinder.com,  or to pick up a stray cat from the street.  In this latter case you should also take into account the different parasites such as mites, fleas, ticks, worms, or the appearance of latent diseases. Adopting a kitten from a local pet shelter is definitely the best option in our opinion!

How old the cat should be that we intend to adopt?baby kittens open eyes Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming foster kittens

It is not simple to place an animal in a human’s habitat and it is also true for cats. Kittens should stay with their mother and siblings until they are 7 or 8 weeks old, because it is essential for their sense of safety and it is essential for their healthy development. During this time they can learn what things can be dangerous for them such as dogs, strangers, cars, etc. The fact that they have accustomed way too much to their original surroundings can cause problems for those cats that are older than 9 or 10 weeks. They can have hard time getting used to their new environment, they often wander off or run away.

Would you prefer a female cat or a tomcat?

You should make a decision about your cat’s sex well in advance because a she-cat and a male cat can cause totally different problems.

Keeping of a mature male cat involves many unpleasant things because by the time a tomcat becomes sexually mature he gets into the habit of spraying. You can prevent this if you have your cat neutered in time. Due to their instincts, tomcats often wander off, fight with the other male cats of the neighborhood and by doing this they get wounds, bruises and parasites easily. They can acquire or pass on incurable diseases such as FIV or leucosis. If you forbid him to go out, he will meow desperately. Female cats are smaller, gentler, they like petting and cuddling much better than male cats but they can also cause a lot of problems when they become sexually mature. Around the time when they become 5 or 6 months old, they become sexually active, which recurs in 14-week periods. During this time, they run away and look for a partner if they have a chance to do so. They give birth to 2 or 3 litters of kittens a year.
To prevent the inconveniences that are due to this frequent labor and to avoid certain diseases it is recommended to neuter female cats, as well. Animal protection associations also suggest that you should have both girl and boy cats neutered. Nowadays these operations are considered routine procedures and they are absolutely painless.
Please spay or neuter your kitten.

Would you like to adopt a pedigree or an ordinary domestic cat?

Rare, registered pedigree cats are sold for hundred or thousands of dollars while you can put your hands on mixed cats for free, or a small adoption fee. There can also be significant differences among the different varieties concerning intelligence. For instance, there can often be deaf cats among the white ones and there are the so-called over-bred silly varieties and those types that require special treatment. You are not recommended to keep such cats even if they are award winning and you can afford them. Although crossbreeds are wilder and harder to domesticate than pedigree cats, they are better to keep as hobby pets since they are tougher and more resistant to diseases. And last but not least their character is more similar to real cats.
Whichever kitten you choose, be prepared and dedicated to a long life together. Well cared for cats can live up to over 20 years of age! www.waggingtails.com Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming LLC

Keeping Your Pets Safe In Cold Weather

golden retriever puppy in snowYou’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe in cold weather

as offered by the experienced team of 20 years in Connecticut- Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming LLC

Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet? Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
dog on snow plowKnow the limits: Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.
Provide choices: Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.
dog shoveling snowStay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.

More winter pet care precautions:

Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.

Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.
Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.
Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but it’s critical that you keep the registration up to date.
Stay home: Hot cars are a known threat to pets, but cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.
Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don’t have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.
Protect family: Odds are your pet will be spending more time inside during the winter, so it’s a good time to make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets, because they can burn or they can be knocked over, potentially starting a fire. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it’s working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors to keep your entire family safe from harm. If you have a pet bird, make sure its cage is away from drafts.
Avoid ice: When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.
Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.
Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Some pet owners feel that a little extra weight gives their pet some extra protection from cold, but the health risks associated with that extra weight don’t make it worth doing. Watch your pet’s body condition and keep them in the healthy range. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather.

We hope you have learned from and enjoyed this info regarding keeping your pets safe in cold weather.

This article provided by the AVMA and shared by Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC

Pet sitter, dog walker, mobile groomer in Connecticut

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Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Southington, Cheshire, Bristol, Wallingford

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Dog Walking in Southington, Cheshire, Bristol, Wallingford and over 35 towns in Connecticut!

Winter Storm Jonas can’t keep us away from your pet! We’ve been pet sitting for over 20 winters and each one brings us a new challenge that we’re ready to meet. For the safety and well being of your pet…they’ll be happy at home, surviving the storm, with a Wagging Tails Pet Sitter.

Always ready, always there!

Whatever Mother Nature brings our way, Wagging Tails Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers are ready to care for your pets!

Yes, we are pet sitting and dog walking in snow, sleet, rain! For over 20 years now, we’ve been Connecticut’s premier pet care, pet sitting, dog walking and mobile grooming service! We truly care for all pets!  If the governor closes the State roads, Wagging Tails Pet Sitters are prepared to venture out as soon as they are opened.  All clients are contacted and made aware of the local weather.

When they gotta go, we gotta be there! :)  If you see a pet left outside in poor weather conditions, please contact your local Animal Control Officer, Police Station or authorities. Be the voice for those that cant speak!!! Keep them inside where it is safe and warm.

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