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What Do We Do if Your Pet Sitter Gets Sick?

 

This is a stressful time with Coronavirus going around, but it is important for all pet sitters to have a solid plan for what to do if a sitter gets sick or otherwise cannot make it to a visit. This can happen if a sitter is ill, is in an accident or has a family emergency.

  • If a sitter is a solo sitter then they should have a backup system in place for emergencies
  • If it is s pet sitting company then there should be a thorough system for another sitter stepping in

When a backup sitter may be needed:

  • If a pet sitter becomes too ill to continue with visits
  • If a pet sitter is in a car accident or otherwise injured
  • If the pet sitter has a family emergency

How we prepare for a sitter getting sick:

  • Sitters tell their managers when they first feel sick
  • Sitters check in multiple times a day after that
  • Sitters check into a visit on our software when they arrive, so we can track them throughout the day
  • We verify all of the necessary information for pet and home care is up-to-date, including an extra key
  • We prepare a backup sitter to take over if necessary

What YOU can do to be prepared:

  • Make sure your information is our booking software is up-to-date at all times
  • Be sure your pet sitter has 2 keys or another backup way for a sitter to enter your home
  • Be understanding of any changes – we notify the client as soon as any changes are made and offer frequent updates

In stressful times like these we can all get through it if we stick together!

We are doing daily Facebook Live posts like these, so join us to learn how to make the best of it!

 

The Dangers of Xylitol in Peanut Butter

The Dangers of Xylitol in Peanut Butter Header

The Dangers of Xylitol in Peanut Butter

Recently, there has been a post going around Facebook telling dog parents not to give their dogs peanut butter. If you look further into why peanut butter can be deadly to your pup, you will find xylitol to blame.

So what the heck is it? Xylitol is a food additive that is used to replace sugar in many foods. It is found in hundreds of food and health products, such as gum, human toothpaste, vitamins, and now peanut butter. While xylitol is perfectly safe for humans it is extremely toxic to dogs. Potentially more toxic than chocolate.

When minimal amounts of xylitol is used are used  (like doggie mouth wash) it is perfectly safe for your dog. However, the concentrations of the sweetener in most human food is very dangerous to your dog and can cause poisoning.

Dog being fed peanut butter

What are the symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs?

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Incoordination or difficulty walking or standing (walking like drunk)
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Left untreated poisoning can lead to liver damage. These symptoms typically show up 10-60 minutes after eating it.

What should you do?

1. Always read the labels of any product you giver your pooch and look for potentially poisonous things. Only some brands of peanut butter have this type of deadly sweetener in them.
2. Do not leave gum or toothpaste where your dog can get to them.
3. If your dog does eat xylitol, call your vet right away.

With veterinary care arriving quickly, your dog will hopefully be able to have a full recovery.

What peanut butter is safe?

Many brands don’t contain xylitol but if you want to be extra cautious you should purchase a dog-safe peanut butter. Here are a few brands on the market that all fit different pet owners needs.

Pawnut Butter

Green Coast Pet Pawnut Butter @ $9.99

Super Snouts Nutty Dog CBD Spread @ $29.99

Natural Peanut Butter For Dogs | Woof Butter – woofbutter.com

woof butter Natural Peanut Butter @ £3.99

What about birch sugar?

Did you know another name for xylitol in peanut butter is birch sugar? With more companies being aware of consumers hesitancy towards purchasing products containing xylitol they have come up with other ways to label xylitol-containing products.

Birch Sugar is another name for Xylitol

Once you’ve checked your peanut butter labels, why not try our Peanut Butter Molasses Dog Treats. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments or @WetNosesPetSitting.

The Dangers of a Hot Car

 

 

Most pet parents know the dangers of leaving our pups in the car during a warm day, but unfortunately many don’t realize how quickly a hot car becomes lethal. We tell ourselves that it will only be five minutes, or that the window is cracked open, but this is not enough to keep your dog safe.

After just ten minutes on an 80 degree day, the car is already 99 degrees! Imagine being in a 90 degree car with a fur coat on and that’s what it is like in your hot car for your dog. Dogs can easily get heat stroke, which can result in lots of time at the vet and possibly death.

So what can you do to avoid a situation too hot to handle?

1. Take your dog into stores with you.

Many stores that do not sell food, like Home Depot and Apple, will allow leashed and well behaved dogs in the store. Make sure that your dog is on a secure leash, does not bother other people and is not a distraction.

2. Eat outside

If you are going out to eat, sit with your dog on the patio and ask to be seated in the shade.

Learn about dog friendly restaurants in Fort Collins.

3. Hire a dog walker!

Leave your dog at home and have a dog walker stop by to play with your pup! You can go on your errands without worrying about your dog, planning your stops or clocking your time. Your dog gets a dedicated friend to come by and spend time with her! Learn more about how dog walks work.

 

The Lowdown on Parvovirus in Dogs

What is the Parvovirus?
Parvovirus is a deadly, contagious disease that attacks rapidly reproducing cells. The lining of the gastrointestinal tract is a common culprit. It also can attack the heart muscle of puppies that were infected in the mother’s uterus. This is a less common form. The parvovirus in dogs has been around since the 1970’s, and spread worldwide in less than two years.

How is the Parvovirus transmitted?
This extremely contagious disease can be passed along via any animal, object or human that comes in contact with infected feces. Parvo can live for months and many people don’t realize that it can survive on objects like shoes, clothes, carpets, and floors – even your dog’s leash. This dangerous disease is highly contagious and resistant.

Signs and symptoms of the Parvovirus:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite

Diagnosis of the parvovirus in dogs is made via clinical signs and laboratory tests. The Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay (ELISA) test is a commonly used test. The test takes about 15 minutes to obtain results. Your vet may request blood work and additional testing for a clear diagnosis.

Preventing the Parvovirus:

  • Keep your dog up to date on his vaccinations.
  • If your dog is infected or an infected dog has been in your home or yard, disinfect all toys and bowls using a solution of bleach and water 1:32. Disinfect for ten minutes as parvo is very resistant. If you have items that can’t be clean, throw them out as the parvovirus is deadly!
  • Take care when allowing your dog to socialize with other dogs especially if your dog is not
  • vaccinated. If you are going away on vacation, an in-home pet sitter is the best option as your dog is susceptible to diseases in a kennel environment.

Treatment:
If your dog is infected with the parvovirus, you can expect a lengthy and costly hospital stay. Infected dogs will receive antibiotics, drugs to control vomiting as well as IV fluids. Care is geared towards building the dog’s immune system so it may battle the disease. There are no drugs currently on the market that can eradicate the parvovirus.

If your dog exhibits any of the above mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Your dog’s life could be in danger. Prompt treatment could be the difference between life and death of your beloved canine companion.

Treating Dog Asthma

 

Did you know that dogs can get asthma?  Yes, it is true. Just like humans, dogs can get asthma.  Asthma is a serious and potentially fatal disease.  If you know what to look for, you can help your dog treat and manage asthma.  Educating yourself could save your fur baby’s life. Our team of pet sitters here in Fort Collins, Colorado did some research to help educate our clients. Read on to learn about asthma in dogs including symptoms, diagnosis and treating dog asthma.


Symptoms
Some symptoms of asthma are: shortness of breath, wheezing, rapid and/or shallow breathing, chronic coughing, and loss of appetite, lethargy, blue-ish gums, open mouth breathing and exercise intolerance.  If you notice your dog having any combination of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment for a complete physical exam.

Diagnosis
There are many factors involved in the diagnosis of asthma.  Your vet will want to assess your dog’s symptoms as well as discuss complete medical history.  The pooch will undergo a complete medical examination which will include a chest x-ray, and blood work.  This thorough examination will also help rule out other ailments such as cardiac disease, respiratory infections and heart worm. Some diseases mirror the same symptoms so it’s important to leave no stone unturned.  If the veterinarians’ exam comes up inconclusive, he or she may want you to keep a journal so you can log when your dog has these symptoms, the severity of the symptoms and under what conditions they are present.

Treatment
Upon diagnosis, your vet will work closely with you to implement a proper treatment plan. It will be important to first determine the cause of your dog’s asthma before a plan is set into place.  Many causes of asthma are identical to the triggers experienced by humans.  Some or all of the following may cause your dog’s breathing passageways to spasm: smoke, exercise, dry air, allergens, and dust. When this occurs an attack is set into place. The passageways fill up with mucus due to narrowing and difficulty in breathing occurs.

Treating dog asthma may vary due to the causes, severity and symptoms of the attacks. Some treatment plans include the use of antihistamines, oxygen therapy, steroids, and bronchodilators. It may take some trial and error to find the most beneficial plan for your dog but once you have found a plan that works, future management of the disease is quite simple.

Call Wet Noses Pet Sitting if you have any comments or concerns or if would to discuss the benefits of our services. We are your neighborhood pet sitters!

What Does Your Pet Sitter Do If Your Pet Gets Sick?

 

A couple weeks ago we had an unfortunate, but inevitable situation arise – a dog we are watching became very ill.  At Wet Noses Pet Sitting we have very clear policies in place for when your pet gets sick, in the case of any problem the sitter is to contact the manager on call or myself (the owner) and await directions.

As pet sitters we have 3 situations that can arise:

1) The illness or injury is minor. We can either take care of it ourselves or the problem will resolve on its own.
2) The problem is more considerable but does not yet warrant medical care. In this case we keep a close on the pet and make a decision on care as the situation develops.
3) The animal requires immediate medical care.

So how does our process work?

If it is clear to the sitter that the animal needs medical care they contact us while loading up the pet.  The dog or cat is taken to either their regular vet or the emergency vet while a manager goes to meet the sitter and contacts the human family.  Our sitters often have other pets to care for, so a manager will take over at the veterinarian to make sure the pet is well cared for and the owner is kept informed.

What if the sitter is not sure if veterinary care is needed?

Occasionally the situation is a little less clear and a second opinion is needed.  The sitter will consult with a manager and often the manager goes out to see the pet and make a final decision.  In the case of a recent emergency, I went out to see the dog and brought my husband with me just in case. The dog in question weighed in at 160 pounds and we knew would require a few people to lift him.  It was good we had extra people as upon our arrival the dog was barely able to walk and had to be assisted into the car.  If the sitter ever has a concern about the health of an animal, a second person is called for help.

What about a minor scratch?

For something small we often take care of the problem ourselves.  All of our sitters have wonderful animal experience and if they need help another sitter or manager comes in to assist.  Some situations depend upon the pet, such as a case a few years ago.  We had a client who was a regular dog walk rip his toe nail off while out on a walk one day.  The sitter was actually a vet tech and I was in the area, so with both of us being more than capable of handling the problem, we tried to do so.  The dog was having none of it.  We made the decision to bring him to a vet since we were not able to get a hold of his owner.  When we did reach her we found out that he has to be sedated for any medical work to be done on him so we were glad we were already at the vet!  This was an unusual situation and in most cases we are able to handle small concerns ourselves.

Do you charge for this extra care?

Handling emergency situations is part of our job.  We do not charge extra if a manager goes out to help a sitter or if your pet gets sick and needs to be taken to the vet.  If the future services for the rest of the trip need to be changed in order to accommodate additional medical needs, then we will charge more for that time, but there is nothing extra for the initial time while we handle the emergency.

While our clients entrust their pets to us we take their care and health very seriously.  We want to know that we did all we could to provide the best care for your fur friends and our clients appreciate the peace of mind that we offer!