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Honor a Guide Dog

Did you know that September is National Guide Dog Month? It’s also National Blueberry Popsicle Month, Fall Hat Month, and National Square Dance Month – among others – but let’s focus on our four-legged friends.

National Guide Dog Month was established in 2008 as a fundraiser for nonprofit guide dog organizations accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.

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Regular Vet Visits are Crucial to Your Cat’s Health

Aug. 22 is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, which gives us the chance to remind our feline-loving clients to take their cats for annual (or twice-annual if your pet is older) checkups.

Many issues are easier to nip in the bud if they are caught early, and it is just smart pet ownership to track changes in your cat’s weight and assorted vital functions.

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Are Your Pets Hydrated?

This time of year, people are likely to be guzzling more water, especially if they are active or spend much time outside on days when it is 90 degrees, and the humidity is soaring.

The same should be true for your cats and dogs, no matter if they are confined inside or spend plenty of time in the backyard, the park, or anywhere else. You probably did not know it, but July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month – and for good reason.

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Adopt a Cat in June

June may be Adopt a Cat Month, but really any month is ideal for adopting a cat.

Sadly, 69% of all animals killed in shelters are cats, according to bestfriends.org, meaning there are more than enough great felines to go around.

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Is Your Pet at Risk for Cancer?

Sad to say, the answer to the question posed in the headline is YES, especially if your cat or dog is older.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that dogs will get cancer at about the same rate as humans – and that about half of all dogs over 10 will develop cancer. There is little data about cancer rates in cats, but the disease is prevalent and some cancers, including lymphoma, are more prevalent in felines than canines.

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Preventing Lyme Disease in Your Dog

With spring finally here, the odds are high that you and your pooch are spending more time outside enjoying the warmer weather. That’s an enjoyable experience!

Less enjoyable, though, is the increased risk your dog faces (and you, too) in possibly contracting Lyme disease.

What is Lyme Disease?

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March is Poison Prevention Month

Pet Poison Hotline

It’s not the kind of thing you might think about often, but every pet owner should take steps to prevent their beloved canine and feline companions from being accidentally poisoned.

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, so let’s take a look at things that might be dangerous to your pet. Remember that poisoning can happen quickly – like if you leave chocolate or medication on the counter – and some common things can cause problems for pets.

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Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Heed Bob Barker’s Advice!
For years, “The Price is Right” former host Bob Barker ended his sign-off with a reminder to spay and neuter your pets. Barker may be long retired, but his advice remains sound and, since February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, here is another reminder.
Even though pet adoptions are up because of the pandemic, there are still millions of dogs and cats euthanized annually because they can’t find homes. Consider this: a dog can have as many three litters a year and a cat can have up to five litters annually. Think about all those puppies and kittens – and the puppies and kittens they could be producing themselves within a year! [Read more…]

Food Puzzles for Cats and Dogs

Food Puzzles

Early in the pandemic, there were numerous news reports of puzzle sales soaring, as families in lockdown looked for ways to pass the extra time they had on their hands.
Early in the pandemic, there were numerous news reports of puzzle sales soaring, as families in lockdown looked for ways to pass the extra time they had on their hands.
While your dogs and cats probably try to “help” you complete the puzzles, they likely aren’t too successful. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun with puzzles, too.

[Read more…]

Beware of Unsafe Pet Toys

With the holiday season upon us, many people are thinking about their gift lists – and that includes toys for their cats and dogs.
While the sentiment is great, remember that not all toys are created equally, and some can be downright dangerous. A walk down the pet store’s toy aisle can be overwhelming! Let’s take a look at what not to buy, keeping in mind that swallowing and choking hazards are a primary concern.

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Your Dog Likes a Routine

Given the ongoing pandemic, a lot of us are in routines we find boring: Wake up, eat breakfast, work from home, eat lunch, work some more, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. And the next day we do it all over again.
Your boredom is understandable since nearly everyone craves a little variety.
But the same isn’t true for your dog – he/she loves a routine. Dogs are creatures of habit.

[Read more…]

You, Your Pets and Coronavirus

Everyone’s talking these days about coronavirus and, naturally enough, pet owners wonders if they could make their dog or cat sick – or vice versa.

You shouldn’t worry, even though there were recent reports a dog in Hong Kong had tested “weak positive” for coronavirus. That likely came from the dog being in close contact with an infected human who was shedding the virus. [Read more…]

Why You Should Consider Adopting a Senior Pet

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, an idea we heartily support.
Yes, kittens and puppies are always going to be the most popular options for those seeking a new pet and the advantages are many – the cuteness factor, longer lifespan, and playfulness, to name a few.
But older pets carry a whole different set of advantages and may be an ideal fit for you. Consider the following: [Read more…]

Keep Your Dog Safe and Cool During the Hot Summer Months

Summertime is supposed to be easy – and it often is – but it can be dangerous for your pets, too.
Just as humans deal with overheating, hydration issues, sunburn, and heatstroke, pets can face the same problems. That’s why you need to be careful when your pet is out and about on a hot day.
Here are a few things to watch…
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Preparing for your Pet Sitter

The employees of Steph’s Pet Sitting look forward to every visit with our (mostly) four-legged friends and take steps in advance to be prepared for any circumstances.

Like our clients, we hope that you, too, will take a few steps to guarantee every visit is a positive experience for your pets. [Read more…]

Disaster Preparedness for your Pets

While Philadelphia-area residents won’t have to worry about a significant impact from Hurricane Florence, you never know when Mother Nature may target us — or some kind of manmade disaster occurs.

That’s why you need to consider emergency preparedness measures in advance; it’s always easier to get ready before a catastrophic event occurs.

And be sure not to forget your beloved pets. Here are a few steps you can take. [Read more…]

Taking Your Pets on Vacation

It may seem counterintuitive that a pet sitting business would be writing about taking your pets on vacation with you, but sometimes it’s the only option — or maybe you just want Fido and/or Fluffy to come with you.
That said, bringing a dog or cat isn’t as simple as loading up your car, truck or SUV and calling for Spot to jump into the back seat.

Let’s look at some things you should do (and not do) in advance. [Read more…]

Celebrating Professional Pet Sitter’s Week

March 4 through 10 is the 24th annual Professional Pet Sitters Week, and we think that’s a big deal.

And you should, too.

Some people think there isn’t that much difference when it comes to pet care. How difficult is it to walk a dog, feed a cat or scoop out a litter box, they ask.

On the surface, not much. In reality, plenty. It all comes down to professionalism. [Read more…]

Take Pause-to Protect Your Dog’s Paws

It may be the most wonderful time of the year about now – except for your dog’s paw pads.

Snow, ice and salt can wreak havoc on your dog, causing frostbite, chemical burns, dry and cracked pads, and other trauma.

That’s why you need to take steps to protect your four-legged friend’s feet. [Read more…]

Fall Activities for You and Your Dog

With fall approaching, now’s a good time to start planning longer walks with your dog.  In the summer, high temperatures make walks shorter by necessity – for both you and your dog. But the crisper, cooler air may have both of you feeling a little more frisky, and a walk is a means of exercise and bonding with your pet, not to mention an antidote to boredom. A bonus to come in a few weeks will be the changing leaves. [Read more…]

Why You Should Microchip Your Pet

While we’re not a substitute for your veterinarian, we are often asked whether having your pet microchipped is a good idea.

The answer is a simple one: YES!

A 2009 study by the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine reported that dogs with microchips were 2.5 times more likely than those without to be returned home – while microchipped cats were 20 times more likely to be returned home than those without. [Read more…]

Bored Cat Prevention

If it’s been many moons since your cat was a playful kitten, you might think your furry friend is content to sleep most of the day and needs little more than a few ear scratches or pats on the head.

If so, you’re likely wrong.

They won’t tell you – which is part of the feline charm – but challenging and mentally stimulating your cat can be good for them.   [Read more…]

Why We Insist on “Every Day Visits” for Cats and Smaller Pets

When we first meet with potential new clients, we’re sometimes asked if we can check in on their cat (or cats) every other day.

Unfortunately, we have to say “no,” as it’s against our policy – and there’s a good reason why: Anything can happen when a pet is left alone, and it’s simply a smart idea to check up on the pet – and your house – each day. [Read more…]

How Much Does a Pet Sitter Cost?

A common question we receive concerns our pricing.

Yes, our prices are slightly higher than some others, but there’s a reason for that. At the risk of sounding presumptuous, our prices may be higher because we offer a higher level of service. There’s an old saying that “you get what you pay for.” [Read more…]