Fall Safety Tips For Your Pets

There is no question that fall is quickly drawing near which is great news since it’s one of the best times of year for outdoor exercise with your pets!

As fall begins to settle in you need to be aware of the pet related dangers the seasonal change may bring.

Below are some of the most common security hazards for dogs in the fall. Take these well being tips to keep your pets happy and healthy all through the season.

      1. Cooler Weather Means An increased need for protection from the elements                    fall-blog-pic

As the air gets cooler pet parents are encouraged to get outside and exercise with their canines. However as the climate gets more severe and the days get shorter it’s important for both you and your pet to wear defensive gear amid walks outside. This incorporates warm apparel, intelligent gear, flashlights and light up collars or chains.

       2. Calm Down Your Pet’s Seasonal Allergies      

Is your cat or canine sneezing and coughing? Do they have watery eyes or release from their nose? In the event that is so, your pet is most likely suffering from seasonal allergies.

Tree and grass pollen, as well as mold and ragweed pollen, are among the most common causes of fall sensitivities. Take your pet to the veterinarian so they can analyse and prescribe your pet medicine to make them happy amid the fall season.

Also consider providing your pet with an omega-3 health supplement just for dogs and cats. Omega-3 can support a pet with regular hypersensitivities.

       3. Pay Close Attention To Candles And Bonfires

During the cooler fall evenings you may find yourself lighting candles around the house or starting a blaze in the backyard to keep warm and comfortable. Be that as it may, these heating methods can cause great threats to your pets.

Numerous pets can become panicky at the sight of fire and flames. Be sure to close any fire pits when unattended and candles before going out.

Additionally make a point to turn off any and all electric indoor heaters when you leave your house to keep your pet safe from any potential accidents.

      4. Be aware Of Pine Needles And Other Choking Hazards

Dogs love running around in a heap of leaves during the cool fall season. Be aware that if ingested the sharp edges of pine needles and pine cones could damage a dogs gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally keep at the top of the priority list that oak seeds are toxic to pets and can cause intestinal blockage.

      5. Keep Those Pesky Fleas Away!

Since bugs begin breeding in the spring, they are at their peak numbers in the fall. Flea insurance is a must to anticipate bugs on your dog or cat. Tke your pet for a visit to the veterinarian for a checkup and flea counteractive action drug. You will help keep your pet safe, warm, upbeat and sound amid the fall months by following these basic tips!


Overweight Pet – A Fat Cat Is NO Laughing Matter

Do you have an overweight pet? Do you even know if your pet is overweight or not? Often times pet parents pay no attention when their pet begins to gain a little weight. This is a dangerous frame of mind that can take years off of your pet’s life. Obesity in pets really is no laughing matter.

Alittle extra weight may look cute on a cat or dog but in actuality , obesity is a serious issue in pets and pet parents alike and can lead to a whole host of other serious and life threatening health issues. Diabetes , heart disease, stroke, liver disease, respiratory disease, cancer and arthritis and other bulldogdiseases of the joints are a few scary and very real health issues that may plague an overweight or obese pet.

How can i help my overweight pet maintain a healthy weight?

1. Feed your pet a well balanced diet. This sounds easy but you’d be surprised how many people are not feeding their pets a species specific diet.  Think high protein, high moisture and low grain.

2. Keep portion control in mind! Two carefully measured and proportioned meals each day is a must. Not sure how much to feed your dog? Follow the guidelines on the pet food packaging if you feed your pets a commercial pet food diet. Your veterinary office can always help you set healthy  guidelines as well.

3. Provide your pet with an opportunity for rigorous exercise.  A light romp around the living room won’t cut it. 3 minutes of exercise is imperative to a healthy lifestyle for your pet. The goal is to keep your pet’s heart rate moving! strong bones, muscle tone and fat reduction will result if you follow this simple step!

4. Go easy on the treats while it may be tempting to give your pets treats throughout the day, proceed with caution. Over treating your pets can become dangerous. Treats are often high in calories so be sure to factor those calories into your pet’s overall diet.

5. Continue with regularly scheduled visits to your veterinarian. This is necessary even if your pet seems perfectly healthy. Your vet can often spot weight and other issues that you may not be completely aware of.

Keeping your pet healthy is no doubt at the top of your list. With these few easy steps you can keep your pet’s weight at a healthy number, which will give him the best chance at a healthy happy long life.



5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Allergy-Free This Spring

The spring season brings with it many allergens that affect both us and our pets. This is because most plants thrive during the spring. Here according to Veterinarians, is how to treat your dog’s allergies this spring.                                                                                                                             sweet_pup

1. Go To Your Veterinarian 

Since there are so many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, having your Veterinarian examine your dog is an important first step. Diagnostics, including skin impression smear and scraping, and blood testing may be needed to determine the nature of the condition and the most appropriate treatments.

2. Bathing and Topical Treatments

Cleaning your dog’s skin surface and hair coat using a pet-appropriate shampoo helps remove environmental allergens, bacteria, oil, and other irritating substances. Full-body bathing or localized cleansing can be performed as much as twice daily depending on you pet’s needs. Besides shampooing, a leave-on-conditioner or veterinary-prescribed topical treatment can help to manage your dog’s general or localized skin irritation and infection.

3. Eye Rinses

Applying a few drops of eye irrigating solution, just like that which you would use in your own eyes and can purchase from a human pharmacy, is one of the simplest means or removing allergens from your dog’s eyes. Doing so every morning, afternoon, and evening for 24 to 48 hours can help lend perspective  on whether your dog’s problem is simply mild environmental inflammation or merits evaluation by your veterinarian. Use cleansing eye drops only. Do not use eye drops with vasoconstrictors, which are usually labeled to”get the red out.” Eye drops or eye ointment containing an antibiotic, steroid, or other drugs may be needed in certain situations, but only under your veterinarian’s supervision.

4. Ear Cleaning

Allergens, broken hairs, microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, mites, etc.) and other substances can all get stuck in your dog’s ear canals. Gently irrigating (flushing) the ear canals with a pet-appropriate ear cleaner solution removes these offensive materials and modifies the pH and microenvironment of the ear canal to deter microorganism growth. Additionally, plucking the hair from the ear canal and inner flap prevents accumulation of environmental allergens that can irritate the ear canal and promote the growth of microorganisms.

If your dog is a swimmer, sprinkler-diver, or is frequently bathed, then irrigating the ears post-watery activity can help ensure that moisture doesn’t linger in the canals. When drying your dog’s ears, only use cotton balls as q-tips they can damage the ear drums. Have your veterinarian show you the proper method for cleaning your pet’s ears.

5. Change in Diet

Food allergies in dogs may not be as common as you think, but it’s still important that you consult with a veterinarian in order to rule it out as a possibility. The best way to do this is to initiate a food elimination trail. Novel proteins and carbohydrates (those your dog has not previously consumed) should be chosen and vigilance must be employed to prevent your dog from consuming other food sources (non-approved human foods and pet treats,etc.) that could negatively impact the trail by causing an allergic flare up. Your veterinarian  may also recommend a therapeutic dog food for your pet in order to accurately identify food allergies and perhaps even relieve some of the allergic symptoms.


Christmas Tree Safety Tips For Your Pet

Oh Christmas tree.. Oh Christmas tree.. Christmas tree safety tips and other ways to keep your tree standing!

The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the Christmas season. With the holidays upon us there will be lots of decorating and holiday themed functions taking place. One of the many special things that alot of us do at Christmas is to decorate a tree. If you have pets however, this can pose a challange. Your pets love the Christmas tree too just maybe not for the same reasons as you!

Christmas tree safety tips:                                                                                                                                                                                        xmas-kitty-198x300                             

There are a few things that you can do in order to keep the holidays safe and sound for both your tree and your pets alike!

  • Carefully place the lights on your tree with your pets in mind. Pets are curious, do not put the lights on the bottom branches. Your pet can get tangled in the lights, get burned and even be tempted to chew on them.
  • Keep ornaments out of the way, again with your pets curiosity on high alert. They may see an ornament as a toy that is begging to be played with. These beautiful ornaments can be potential choking hazards, can cause intestinal blockages if chewed as well as cuts if any pieces become broken.
  • Tinsel is pretty, it glistens and glows in the nightime against the lights, however if your pet ingests tinsel it can block their intestines. Intestinal blockage of this nature would lead directly to surgery. Thats one sure fire way to put a damper on Christmas. 
  • If your pet is a climber of jumper you may want to secure the tree and place it in an area safe from their jumping skills. Some people suggest placing a few sprigs of aluminum foil throughout the tree or a few empty water bottles out. The sound may startle the pet and serve as a reminder that the tree is not to be messed with!

Remember, these Christmas tree safety tips when decorating and try to look at the big picture through the eyes of your pet. A perfectly placed and decorated tree should keep all members of the family safe even the four legged ones! 

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is here! This time of year spirits are high and food is aplenty. We will soon be consuming ( all day and night ) yummy, home baked and store bought goodness! It is a time to be thankful for all we have, family and friends and this list of gratitude must include our loving little fur-babies. By following these simple Thanksgiving pet safety tips we can show our gratitude to our pets.                    thanksgiving blog

Here are a few Thanksgiving pet safety tips to get you started:                                                            

Food, food and more food! This time of year with all the food to be found we need to ensure it doesn’t make it into our pet’s mouth. Dogs have highly sensitive tummies and the high fat found in most of our holiday goodies can cause some damage. Pancreatitis is one of the most common illnesses your dog will experience if they are fed table food. Their little pancreas will become inflamed causing all sorts of discomfort. High fat foods kick the pancreas into overdrive, releasing enzyme overload. Signs and symptoms range from loss of appetite, diarrhea and even depression. No table scrap is worth jeopardizing your dog’s health. [Read more…]

Top 5 of the most poisonous Halloween candy for dogs

halloween dogWhen your dog looks up at you with those big pleading eyes. It may be tempting to give him just a bit of your Halloween candy. We should never share candy with our dogs because:

  • spiked blood sugar levels, leading to hyperactivity and anxiety
  • digestive problems
  • tooth decay
  • high sugar food can contribute to diabetes

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, calls increase by 12 percent, making Halloween their busiest time of year. “Each year we experience a sharp increase in calls around Halloween, especially during the weekends surrounding the holiday”, said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline.

  1. Candy Apples. Although sliced apples are okay to feed your dog, apple seeds are not. Apple seeds contain chemical compounds that are poisonous to animals.
  2. Chocolate-Covered Macadamia Nuts. Similar to grapes and raisins, studies have been inconclusive on why Macadamia nuts have an ill effect on dogs.
  3. Candy Corn, Skittles, and other High Sugar Candy. Canine digestive systems were not made to process high-sugar foods, which can cause diarrhea and gas.
  4. Gum and other Sugar-Free Candy. Many sugar-free foods contain the sugar substitute xylitol. The ingestion of xylitol or xylitol- containing products causes a rapid release of the hormone insulin, causing a sudden decrease in the dog’s blood glucose. This chemical is extremely toxic to dogs, and may cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and even liver failure.
  5.  Chocolate Covered Raisins. This combination is a double whammy for dogs. Chocolate can cause severe illness or death in dogs, the darker the chocolate is, the more toxic it is. Raisins can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even sudden kidney failure in dogs.

It is important to teach children from a young age what is and is not okay for the family pet to eat. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic food or substance, please immediately call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Obesity In Dogs

Did you know that over forty percent of dogs are obese? it’s true! Well, at least in North America it is! That’s a scary statistic as it has serious ramifications for our beloved canines. Obesity in dogs leads to some serious health issues and even worse, premature death. While canine obesity does not only impact senior dogs, it is too often at this stage of life where we begin to see the ravaging effects of canine obesity.                       obesity in dogs

So why are forty percent of our dogs over weight? There are many reasons for obesity in dogs. Just like humans, diet, disease, exercise, and genetics all play a part.

Obesity In Dogs:

Diet: What are you feeding your dog? Many commercial dog foods are laden with sugar, fat, and grains. This type of diet lacks the vitamins and nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. These commercial foods are essentially fillers that don’t meet our dog’s dietary needs which in turn lead our dogs to eat more than necessary. Additionally, your dog’s diet should be suited for his lifestyle. A very active dog will need a diet suited for burning off high amounts of energy. Similarly, an inactive or less active dog, such as senior dogs may not be suited for a high energy diet.

Exercise: People forget that even senior dogs need exercise too. In fact, often times a senior dog needs just as much exercise as his younger counterparts but his regime should be less rigorous.

Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid can cause your dog to pack on the pounds, and fast , too! The activity of the thyroid impacts how fast or slow fat is burned.

Breed: Did you know that certain breeds are prone to obesity? Shelties, Beagles, Cairn Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels are a few breeds that are more likely to gain unwanted pounds.

Extra weight on your dog’s body puts him at risk for developing many health issues and diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, Arthritis and liver disease are all associated with weight gain in dogs. While some dogs may suddenly gain weight, it usually happens over a period of time. Carefully monitor your dog’s weight, keep him on a high quality diet and be sure that he’s getting a daily dose of exercise – at least 30 minutes. Keeping up with regularly scheduled examinations at the vet is equally as important as the aforementioned tips. Being seen regularly by the vet will increase the likelihood that weight gain will be detected and addressed sooner rather that later.

Why does my cat have a runny nose?

We all suffer from a runny nose from time to time some of us more than others, no doubt but why does my cat have a runny nose? Well your cat is no exception. He has a nose that is not much unlike yours. While it’s completely normal for your cat to have a runny nose, it should not be a chronic condition. If the runny nose does become chronic or severe, you definitely need to get your kitty checked out.                               why-does-my-cat-have-a-runny-nose-300x219


Other than the nose producing nasal discharge, aka the runny nose, your cat may experience some other symptoms. Your cat’s eyes may become inflamed, he may be taking in and letting out less air through his nasal passages and you may notice he has dried up discharge on his facial hair or even his front limbs. Additionally, cats with nasal discharge may also have diseased teeth, polyps and or swelling of the face.

Why does my cat have a runny nose? what could be going on?

If your cat is experiencing a nasal discharge, a few things may be going on. If your cat is suffering from dental disease, he may have a runny nose. Also bacteria fungi and viruses are often culprits of a runny nose too. That’s not all. A runny nose can often be traced back to pneumonia, vomiting, inflammation of the ear, cancer and/or weak immune system. Has your cat been on a long term use of steroids? That too can cause nasal discharge. All from a runny nose? Yes it is rather interesting how one runny nose could result from so many different things.


The question ” why does my cat have a runny nose” can be diagnosed a variety of ways. It’s not always easy to get to the bottom of a runny nose!

  • Examination of the nasal cavity
  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure
  • Tear test
  • Dental exam
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Culture of the discharge may be taken
  • Biopsy

Once the veterinarian reaches a proper diagnosis, he will put in place a treatment plan. This plan can really be any number of things. He might order up antibiotics or pull a few teeth. It is all dependent on the diagnosis. As always, do your best to keep your pet comfortable at all times. He may need some extra love just like you do when your suffering. Keep his area free of dust, debris and anything that may aggravate his condition.

Keep your dogs at home Canine Influenza is on the rise

In home pet sitting is one way to avoid canine influenza:

Have you placed your dog in danger of getting Canine Influenza? Maybe you have never stopped to think of it, but being a true dog lover, and one who advocates for in home Pet sitting and Dog walking I find it necessary to raise this very important concern. More so i see it as my responsibility. As such the question at hand is one that revolves around, “What is Canine Influenza and how much of a threat is it?” The truth is that keeping your pets at home, engaging in Petsitting and adopting a practice of Dog Walking is actually a much safer option for pet owners, rather than boarding them and exposing them to Canine Influenza. This is because many dog owners are not aware of the dangers of Canine Influenza and a very real reason for this is the fact that many may not have heard of Canine Influenza up until now.

Canine Influenza is more commonly referred to as “Dog Flu” and it is a highly contagious respiratory disease found in man’s best friend, dogs. Having started as canine disease in horses, it spread to dogs and at present can spread from dog to dog and among dogs. While not all dogs may display symptoms of having it, it forces a very potent reality of having our dogs being in contact with an infected dog and being exposed to contracting this illness while we remain ignorant of the true reality right in front of our eyes and oblivious of its complications.

Bearing this in mind some signs worth looking for which some infected dogs may display are a cough, fever, and running nose. While it can vary in severity, from no signs to dogs being very sick, it may also result in pneumonia and unfortunately, in some cases death as well.

Based on this it becomes easier to see the threat which kennels and shelters can be as well as other contaminated objects and materials that a coughing, sneezing or infected dog showing no symptoms may come into contact with. It means respiratory secrections one may not be able to see with the naked eye and which may be very airborne may place boarded canines at great risk. For this very reason it is not advisable to allow your dog to interact with a coughing or sneezing dog and boarding canines isn’t advised. After all, “prevention is better than cure!”

canine influenza photo


Hello everyone! We are now offering Pet Sitting in Apex NC.

tony maria Pet Sitting in Apex NCTony and Maria here. We are so excited to be starting this new adventure and to be offering our Dog Walking & Pet Sitting in Apex NC. and surrounding areas. Our mobile dog grooming business Top Dog Pet Services has been servicing the area for over eight years now and we felt it was time to offer pet sitting services as well.

Tony will continue to service our Mobile Dog Grooming customers and I will continue to answer the phones and book the appointments for both Top Dog and The Pet Butler while servicing our pet sitting customers. In time we hope to add more quality people as our business grows.

We will be offering in home pet sitting for those who need this service while being on vacation along with dog walking and midday potty breaks for those who work away from the home.

We will also offer overnight pet care for those who want someone to be there with their pets and tuck them in at night. Our promise to you is that we will offer you and your pets the best care possible and we will treat them as if they were our own.