Category Archives: Small Animal Care

My Best Friend – Bissell Rug Cleaner

Dog owners best friend

Dog owners best friend

After a busy February vacation week my best friend is my Bissell Rug Cleaner. We love having the dogs in our home but some of the little ones mistake our carpets for pee pee pads. As much as we keep up with spot cleaning nothing beats the deep cleaning provided by this great machine.

I bought the Bissell two years ago and to hear me describe my new toy you would think I bought myself a diamond ring. If you have rugs and dogs I highly recommend this Bissell Proheat rug cleaner!

The Unbelievable Health Benefits of Puppy Massage.

The article below was shared with me and I wanted to share with you. Originally posted on and written by Phil Mutz. I have created a poster (below) which can be printed on 8 1/2×14 paper.

The Unbelievable Health Benefits Of Puppy Massage

As a responsible pet owner, I know that I constantly have to be looking out for my dog’s health and overall well-being. However, I never realized that I might actually have quite a large degree of control over their physical health.

According to Heal Animal Massage Therapy, “Along with regular veterinary visits, massage is a proactive therapy that addresses future health issues and also helps with certain problems your pet may already have.”

Just as there are reflexology points that a person can massage to maintain a healthy body, there are just as many points on your dog’s body that can be enormously beneficial to their health.

Massaging specific areas of your dog can be good for very specific organs, systems, and parts of the body.

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at the benefits of puppy massage, and to see exactly where you should massage them in order to achieve the specifichealth benefits you are looking for.

And while this should never take the place of a vet’s medical advice, I will definitely be trying out these massages on my canine companion. He may not know I’m doing it for his health, but I’m sure he will absolutely love the physical attention and bonding time!

Click the image below or click here to download a printable pdf massage poster.



New Puppy’s First Week

French Bulldog, JJ at 10 weeks

French Bulldog, JJ at 10 weeks

JJ, a 10 week old French Bulldog Puppy,  just moved to his new home in Newburyport, MA and we are lucky to have been chosen to care for him when his parents are working.

JJ’s first week has gone GREAT, primarily due to his owners careful planning and preparation. They are keeping track of and adhering to a schedule for eating/sleeping/playing and bathroom breaks.  They have introduced basic training and this little guy is catching on fast.

When I visit I have a hard time leaving, he’s just so much fun to play with. I’m looking forward to his spending full days here on the farm with me and Buddy! Keep watch for updates, videos and pics of JJ (a few below)!

JJ Loves his new toy box

JJ Loves his new toy box


Our Newbury, MA pet care facility is registered and inspected!

Has your doggie daycare been investigated?

Has your doggie daycare been investigated?

We may be a small home based business but we run our pet care facility  just like the big ones,  or so I thought. I watched a recent episode of “Help me Hank” on channel 7  (a  link and article below  about it is below).

Before you read this let me assure you that we are a registered dog kennel (it seems many are not). So far just this year we have been inspected 3 times and passed with flying colors! We are fully licensed to conduct business and carry insurance through Pet Sitters LLC.

Most importantly  we offer personalized professional attention and a heavy dose of common sense. We have three safe separate areas for dogs to play in and never exceed 10 dogs total.  Our average regular (somewhat exclusive) doggie daycare count is usual quite a bit less than 10 and vacationing dogs are kept separate if need be. An understanding of animal behavior helps us to regulate what dogs hang together.

Anyway… Here is the link to this alarming article:

Link to Help me Hank article on a Massachusetts Doggy Daycare


Need some help taking care of your pets… How to get the kids to care for their animals.

Get help with pets

Get help with pets – image from

I found this post and wanted to share it with you…

May is National Pet Month, which you probably know already if Fido or Fluffy greets you at the door when you come home every day. But for those of you on the fence about having a pet—while hearing a constant barrage of “Mommy, can we get a dog?”—one question may be keeping you from taking the plunge: Who will take care of it? No matter how much the kids promise to help, you fear the the answer is: you.

That’s what happened to Dr. Nicole Audet, who was inspired to write the children’s book, Parents for Sale, by an experience she had with her sons and her golden retriever. “At first, they we very happy to have the dog,” she says. “Then, after a while, when it was raining or if they were tired, they refused to take care of it.” (Sound familiar?) Eventually, Dr. Audet threatened to sell the dog. “They cried and cried,” she says. “I’ve never seen them cry so much.” (Watch out: In her book, the kids decide to sell their parents instead.)

Dr. Audet is happy to report that the golden retriever is still a part of the family, and that since the incident her kids have gotten better about keeping up their end of the pet care—though. “it’s not perfect,” she says. If you’re thinking of getting a pet, here are her tips (that don’t include threatening to sell the pet) for getting your kids to do their part and keep it up.

Choose the right pet for your family. Before you even start to divvy up pet care responsibilities, make sure you can find one that fits your lifestyle. “Get prepared,” says Dr. Audet. “Go over everything. What is the cost? What is your budget? What kind of space do you have? Where will it live?” You might be thinking of keeping a crate and a dog bed in the family room, but your kids—all of them—want it to sleep at the foot of their beds. If you make these decisions and discuss them in advance, you’ll avoid conflict right off the bat.

Head to the library. Check out books that will help your kids learnwhat’s involved in pet care. It might be more than they realize, so talk about dividing up responsibilities—before the pet comes home. Dr. Audet knows first-hand that once the pet is in the house, it’s a part of the family and there to stay, whether the kids help our or not.

Tie pet care into other kid chores. Dr. Audet’s son, for example, started taking their dog for its morning walk while he was doing his paper route, a responsibility he already had and was good about keeping. If pet chores can fit in naturally with their current schedule, kids will be more likely to continue doing them.

Know what you’re in for. No matter how good the kids are about taking care of the pet, there will always be days they just can’t keep up with it, whether they’re sick, tired or overscheduled. “With young kids,” Dr. Audet says, “it’s always on your hands.” If you’re unable or unwilling to add pet care on top of everything else you’ve got going on, it may be better to stay with the goldfish for now.


Original Post by…
It’s National Pet Month, time to train your kids to tend to their furry, fuzzy or feathery friends.
By Marisa LaScala  –

What should you put in your pet’s first aid kit?

dog_petfirstaidAnne and I recently attended a pet first aid class held by Lindsay Renzullo, DVM, Assistant Medical Director at Bulger Veterinary Hospital in North Andover, MA.

Dr. Renzullo supplied us with a list of items that you should have in your pet’s first aid kit. I would like to share this list here…

What should you put in your pet’s first aid kit?

Your veterinarian’s emergency numbers and the numbers of veterinary emergency hospitals in your area. Call your veterinarian or go to an emergency hospital immediately if you see your pet eating something toxic. Induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide only if your pet eats something toxic – mushrooms, antifreeze, rodenticide, alcohol, chocolate, etc.

Bandage materials

3×3 gauze squares

Sports tape


Rubber gloves

A flashlight


A sock. The sock can be used as a muzzle, or to wrap around a wound, it can also be used to apply pressure to a bleeding wound.

A muzzle – injured pets bit. They are not trying to hurt you, they just don’t want you to hurt them.

Extra leashes (in case you find a stray who needs help).

Diluted betadyne solution, or diluted iodine solution (dilute 1 part betadyne to 5 parts water).

Benadryl 1mg/1lb (the PINK box. Ingredients in Allergy Benadryl can be toxic to pets) this can be administered for bee stings, or other allergic reactions. Call your vet or an emergency veterinary hospital before administering.

I think this is a great basic list and I would like to add a few items I’ve found a need for.

Tweezers – the flat slant tip kind for removing splinters and/or ticks) There is a device called a tick scoop

Thermometer – normal temperature of dogs and cats is 100.5 to 102.5. Take your pets temperature under normal conditions so that you’ll get a baseline.

A first aid guide book.

Note that this is a basic list. Your kit could include many other items but this is a good start.  My honest reaction to most injuries or medical concerns is to bring my pet to the vet. Quick reliable veterinary care can actually save you money in the long run.



Pet CPR Video

Anne and I attended an informative lecture on pet first aid last night. The lecture was given at Healthy Hounds Doggie Daycare of Salem, MA and presented by Lindsay Renzullo, DVM of Bulger Veterinary Hospital in No. Andover, MA.

Lindsay, assistant medical director at Bulger prepared a wonderful powerpoint presentation on basic first aid that she will be sharing with us soon. In the meantime she also shared a video on pet cpr that we will post here for your review.


Should you vaccinate your dog against canine influenza?

Buddy received a Canine Influenza shot on May 22, 2014

Buddy received a Canine Influenza shot on May 22, 2014

On  May 22, 2014 I had Buddy vaccinated at Amesbury Animal Hospital with the canine influenza vaccine. This is what I learned…

First background:

There were only 4 confirmed cases of canine influenza, all at the same doggie day care, with the same vet.

Amesbury Animal Hospital is generally recommending it for dogs in situations where they will be exposed to a LOT of other dogs.

About the Vaccine…

The vaccine is given in 2 visits. Your dog will not be protected until several days/weeks after the SECOND BOOSTER. Second booster is given at least 2 weeks after the first vaccine.

IMPORTANT…VACCINE DOES NOT PREVENT FLU! However, it is suppose to help lessen the symptoms and reduce the time that the flu lasts.

Is Seacoast Pet Sitting requiring clients to vaccinate?   We are not requiring it at this time but like Amesbury Animal Hospital, we are recommending it to clients with dogs that are exposed to a lot of other dogs.

We are a small facility and most of our clients dogs only come here and do not have a lot of interaction with dogs outside of our facility. I have asked one client who’s dog goes to a separate large doggie day care to have their dog vaccinated. We keep our facility clean and dogs that are here just for vacation pet sitting are normally kept separate from our daily clients.

So why did I get Buddy vaccinated? I figure better to be safe than sorry.  Buddy does interact with some of our vacation pet care dogs so he is with more dogs than our daily clients (never more than 4).

For more information we have included a link to an  ASPCA article on Canine Influenza…

10 Things Not to Feed Your Dog or Cat


Ten Things Not To Feed Your Dog Or Cat

I got this list from our pet sitting insurance company and thought I’d share it…

Nellie Playing with a Stick

Nellie Playing with a Stick

10 things not to feed your dog:

  1. Chocolate, tea, coffee, caffeine – these foods and drinks contain substances that can cause severe or even fatal heart or nervous system problems and should never be given.
  2. Grapes, raisins or currants – contain an unknown toxin that can cause kidney failure.
  3. Xylitol containing gum or candy – can cause severe low blood sugar or liver failure.
  4. Garlic, onion, or chives – contain a substance that can cause anemia. This includes garlic and onion powder in prepared foods.
  5. Corn on the cob – pieces of the cob can be swallowed and cause a bowel obstruction.
  6. Bones that splinter or can be swallowed – certain bones can cause lacerations to the mouth or digestive tract or cause obstruction.
  7. Raw eggs – contain an enzyme in the egg white called Avidin, which prevents the absorption of a B-Vitamin called biotin which can lead to skin and hair coat problems.
  8. Avocado – contain a substance called Persin, which causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  9. Liver – when fed in large quantities causes Vitamin A toxicity causing bone and muscle problems.
  10. Fish – raw, canned or cooked when fed exclusively or in large quantities a Thiamine deficiency leading to anorexia, seizures, an in severe cases death.

10 things not to feed your cat:

  1. Chocolate, coffee, tea or caffeine -for the same reason as dogs.
  2. Canned tuna for human consumption and raw fish – when fed exclusively or in high amounts can cause thiamine deficiency similar to dogs.
  3. Grapes, raisins, or currants – same as dogs
  4. Nuts – some nuts like macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin causing intestinal, nervous system or muscle problems. Also if swallowed can cause a bowel obstruction.
  5. Xylitol gum or candy – same as dogs
  6. Baby food – many times contain onion powder, which can cause anemia when fed exclusively for in large quantities. Also is not completely balanced for a cat.
  7. Onions and Garlic raw, cooked or powder – contain sulfoxides and disulfides which cause anemia. Cats are more sensitive than dogs, and onion is more toxic than garlic.
  8. Dog food – if fed repeatedly causes taurine deficiency, which can cause malnutrition and heart disease.
  9. Bones – can cause obstruction or lacerations of the digestive system.
  10. Raw meat – may contain ecoli or salmonella causing diarrhea or vomiting.

Many of the foods listed can be used occasionally or as part of a balanced diet, but if not using a commercially prepared diet consult your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist.

Cold Weather Tips for your Pets from the ASPCA


DSC00889Brrrr—it’s cold outside! The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars.

When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.

Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. Morton Pet-Safe Ice Melt

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.

Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.