Three Tips on Finding a Pet Sitter

Happy Professional Pet Sitters Week! We want to celebrate all of the wonderful caretakers in our fur babies’ lives and help our friends who don’t have a pet sitter to find the right fit for their family!

Unfortunately, we can’t always take our four-legged friends on the road with us, so it’s up to you to decide who to call to watch your fur baby while you’re away. If a family member or friend is not available, and a kennel is out of the question, you’re going to have to enlist a pet sitter you may have never met before. Not to worry, this intimidating process becomes easier with these three tips to help you find the very best temporary caretaker for your pet:

#1. Interview potential candidates

It is important to trust the person you are planning to let in your home to spend one-on-one time with your pet. Ask friends and family if they know of any trustworthy candidates to start your search. If the list comes up short, check out reliable websites like Care.com which features profiles of caretakers, highlighting the pet sitter’s experience, location, age, hourly rate, and service ratings. Once you gather all the information that you need about these contenders, pick a top three to interview either by phone or in person. When you meet, ask them about their experience with animals, and highlight your pet’s unique needs and habits that the caretaker will need to know. If you feel the need, be sure to ask for references from the sitter so you can learn more about their reputation as a caretaker.

#2. Make sure they are reliable 

We want our caretakers to be trustworthy, but also to be someone we can rely on to show up and love on our pets while we are away. Let’s be honest, our fur babies rule the roost of our households, but they still need to know what they can and cannot get away with. Make sure the new sitter knows your house rules and routines so they can maintain the same schedule for your pet.

#3. Introduce your pet

The most important factor we don’t have any say in is your pet’s opinion! Introduce your pet to the caretaker, and to see how your pet interacts with them. Their first meeting should not be when you plan to leave the caretaker with your pet, as your pet may not be comfortable around this sitter. At the end of the day, your pet is going to be spending time with this person and if they don’t respond well, it may not work. Allow some time for your pet to warm up to their new friend. Be sure to let them play and see if your pet approves of your choice.

In celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, let’s take some time to show our fur babies’ caretakers some love (don’t worry, your pet is still your number one fan). Have you recently conquered the hunt for the perfect pet sitter? Share your tips for finding a reliable caretaker below.

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Three Reasons Why Your Kitten is Hiding

Introducing a kitten to your home is an exciting time. Immediately, all you want to do is snuggle up with your new playmate. Though you’re eager to bond with them right away, their initial transition may create a lot of internal stress, leading them to hide. If you feel like your new feline is giving you the cold shoulder, don’t take it personally. This happens to many pet parents, so know that you’re in good company. Here are three reasons why your new addition may be hiding:

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#1: The Territory Has Already Been Claimed

Have other pets? This could cause a bit of stress. While your kitten’s foster parent or brief bio may have communicated that they’re pretty social, stepping into an alpha’s home can be a bit territorial at first; this is especially true with stray and feral cats, as well as felines of the same gender. Your kitten may be intimidated by your longtime pet’s dominance, so they’re looking for a stress-free escape until the two can become acquainted. To help your new addition with the transition into the household hierarchy, check out these tips from the Humane Society.

#2: There’s too much to explore

Curious kittens enjoy becoming familiar with their new home. It is incredibly important for them to explore, but too much exploration can be overwhelming. Be sure to facilitate this on a small scale by providing them with a safe room. This space should contain all of your feline’s essentials: their litter box, food, water, and toys. In this room, be sure to continue with your daily routine—not worrying about normal noises that may initially startle your feline, like opening the fridge or flushing a toilet. Be sure to talk with them in an uplifting tone to begin building their trust. It’s important for your cat to become familiar with these noises and your voice, so try not to tip-toe. Once you notice your cat is comfortable in their safe room, begin letting them explore other areas little by little.

#3: They’re simply nervous to be in a new space

Do you remember what it was like to transition to a new home? Whether you moved out of your parent’s house, or remember starting the dorm days of college, it’s a life-changing move that isn’t always easy. Cats each have their own unique personality. You may bring home a furry friend who immediately feels right at home, and enjoys its new lifestyle, or, your cat may be a bit timid, and need some time to adjust. If you find your feline hiding for most of the day when you first bring them home, it’s okay. They’re just adjusting to the new space in their own way. Let them rest, and try not to move them from their spot. Carry on with your normal daily duties, and be sure to stop by their spot and talk to them with an uplifting tone throughout the day. Leave treats outside of their spot, to encourage them to come out. After a little coaxing with the treats, they will eventually explore the space, and be ready to bond. Keep in mind that it may take a week or two for your cat to fully adjust.

Remember, this behavior is completely normal in cats. Be patient and caring with your feline during their transition process. Try not to drag them out of their hiding place, as this could scare them and prolong their transition. Do what you can to make them comfortable, and make them realize that they are in a safe space. Just because your feline needs some alone time, doesn’t mean that they aren’t a fan of their new abode. Give them time, and eventually they will come around—literally!

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6 Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

It’s hot out there. As the temperature rises, so does the amount of potential dangers for our pets — sunburn, dehydration, and heatstroke, yikes! So the Precise team has compiled six tips for keeping it cool in the summer heat and humidity. Let’s get the sprinklers going:

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Add some ice, ice, baby

In addition to always making sure your pet is staying hydrated, add in a few ice cubes to their water bowl to help cool them down. Another option is to make your pet a yummy iced popsicle to treat and cool them. Might we recommend making catsicles out of your Precise Naturals canned food?

Hang inside between 10 and 2

The midday sun shines the brightest and burns the hottest. To prevent dehydration and possible heatstroke, keep your pet out of the sun during this hottest time of the day. Bring your pet indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Play with your kitten or walk your puppy in the morning or evening in order to keep their core temperatures down while exuding strenuous activity.

Walk on grass, not asphalt

A dog’s paw pads are both adorable and sensitive. When the temperature is high, the hot asphalt can quickly become too hot and burn your pup’s paws. Have your dog walk on the grass and not the cement to prevent any damage.

Keep it breezy in the shade

If your pet has to be in the sun and hot weather, provide lots of shade for them to relax in. Trees and tarps are the best providers of shade because they allow for a breeze to blow through. Doghouses are actually not good options for pets to escape the sun because they don’t allow wind circulation to filter through, retaining the warmth.

Prevent your pet from feelin’ the burn

Dogs and cats can get sunburned too. However, human sunscreens that contain zinc oxide, like the white lotion lifeguards slather on themselves, are toxic to dogs.  Sunscreens with salicylates are also dangerous for cats. Instead of sunscreen, put your pet in a hat or rash guard with UPF protection built in.

Never leave your pet in the locked car

This is one of the biggest precautions to take in order to prevent your pet from overheating this summer. When it is 80 degrees outside, it can reach 99 degrees in a locked car within 10 minutes. Leaving a pet in a car in the heat can cause heat stroke, irreparable organ damage, and even death. In some states, it is actually illegal.

The dog days of summer are upon us. If you follow the advice of these six tips, you and your furry friend can have fun and stay safe in the summer heat!

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Tips to Help Prevent Obesity in Pets

Pet obesity is becoming all too common here in the U.S. According to a 2010 survey conducted by PetObesityPrevention.com, approximately 53 percent of cats and 55 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. These pets are at risk for arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney diseases. These diseases not only hurt pets, but they can also cost pet owners a large sum in medical expenses.

How can you, as a responsible pet owner, help avoid these weight issues? Maintaining a consistent, healthy lifestyle for your pet is the key. A healthy lifestyle should include daily exercise, portion control, and knowledge of your pet’s overall breed and personal health risks.

Another important step in preventing obesity in your pet is to be aware of the ingredients in the food you are feeding them. Precise Holistic Complete is a well-balanced source of nutrition due to its combination of healthy ingredients. Our proteins come from the highly digestible muscle meat from a variety of sources including chicken, duck, turkey, salmon and lamb. These quality ingredients leave your pet feeling satisfied because they are receiving all the nutrition their bodies need from one food.

As with all foods, following the recommended feeding guidelines is essential as overfeeding can also lead to obesity. For Precise Holistic Complete, feeding guidelines can be found on the bag and on our website under Dog Formulas and Cat Formulas.

Questions? Please feel free to e-mail me through the Ask Our Vet form.

Our on-staff veterinarian Dr. Lisa Drapela is on-hand to answer questions about your dog or cat’s health. Whether you’re wondering about the best Precise formula or just have a general health question, visit the Ask our Vet section here on the website to connect directly with Dr. Drapela. We’ll feature some of her answers here on the blog.

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