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.


Food , fun and festivities can wreak havoc on our pets!

Photo by Texas Humane Heros

Photo by Texas Humane Heros

Fourth of July is one of the most stressful holidays for pets, especially dogs (and my horses).  For both dogs and horses fireworks are scary and stressful.

In 2012 we were celebrating the 4th at a party on Plum Island and found a neighbor frantically searching for their dog Obi. Obi had been frightened by the noise of fireworks, got loose and ran away.  Obi was eventually found at 3:00AM at the Salisbury State Beach. In a panic the dog swam across the Merrimac River!

What measures should you take to keep your dog safe on the 4th.

Prevention. No Fireworks for your pets. For dogs, fireworks and reverberations leave them feeling agitated, startled and stressed. Keep dogs away from fireworks displays and noisy celebrations. Instead, create a peaceful environment by blocking outside sights and sounds, closing blinds and curtains, leave on the air conditioner, radio or TV and provide their favorite toy or blanket.

If your dog is especially agitated by loud noises, consider a Thundershirt. Many of our clients swear by the Thundershirt.  A thundershirt applies a constant pressure and seems to help alleviate anxiety in  some dogs.

If the celebration is at your home consider sending your dog to the quiet home of a family member, friend or pet sitter. Not only will your dog be less stressed but you’ll be freed up to enjoy your company.

Be Prepared. Ensure that your pets are microchipped or at least have on a secure collar with appropriate identification tags. Tags should include your name, phone number (preferably your mobile number) and the name and contact information of the microchip company.

Other Hazards. Dogs have many other potential hazards such as toxic glow jewelry, uneducated party goers feeding them stomach-upsetting foods and potentially hazardous alcohol beverages. A good friend of mine recently told me that she put a sign on her dog saying “please don’t feed me I’m on a special diet”. If you must have your dogs at your celebration be sure your guests know not to feed them.

Watch out for children. Some dogs have difficulty interacting with children and may become anxious, stressed or exhibit aggressive behavior. If your pet shows signs of stress/anxiety with children… send them home…oops, I guess that’s not politically correct.

Finally, please have a safe and Happy 4th of July!


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…

Tips on Traveling with Your Pets

Take your Pampered Pooch on Vacation

Take your Pampered Pooch on Vacation (AAA)

Tips on Traveling with Your Dog – How to keep your dogs safe and happy when you bring them with you on vacation.

At Seacoast Pet Sitting we love taking care of all our Newburyport area furry friends while their families go on vacation. However, many of our clients also choose to bring their pets with them while vacationing. Both Anne and I have traveled with our pets including long  trips down to Key West and we would like to share our tips and a collection of advise collected from AAA. We have also included a few links to pet friendly places to visit and pet friendly hotels.

Below is a list of AAA’s advise on traveling with your pet and we have added our comments in purple font.

Road trips with Rover

Trial run. Before embarking on a long trip, take some shorter drives to see how your pet responds. Does he get anxious? Car sick?

Buckle up. About 30,000 accidents are caused each year by an unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. Pets freely wondering the vehicle aren’t only a distraction to the driver, but they’re also more likely to be injured in the event of an accident. You can help ensure a safe trip by restraining your furry friend with a pet barrier, pet seat belt, pet car seat or travel crate.

I was actually stopped by the police once in Haverhill and told that it was against the law to have my dog in the front seat.

Keep heads and paws inside. Your dog may enjoy sticking his head out the window, but riding this way could cause ear damage or expose your pet to lung infections, according to the ASPCA.

I can’t resist letting my dog stick his head out the window but I save this special treat for my dirt road at 25 miles an hour.

Prepare for the worst. Attach a second tag to your pet’s collar that includes the address and phone number of where you’ll be staying during your trip. Also, bring your pet’s medical records along in case of an emergency.

Our dogs have micro chips and we both think this is VERY IMPORTANT!

Pit stops. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises pet owners to stop every two to three hours for your pet to use the bathroom and get some exercise.

Hydrate. The ASPCA recommends keeping a gallon of cold water on hand to ensure your pet stays sufficiently hydrated during the trip.

Anne found that especially on long trips to Florida the dogs appetite and bathroom behaviors varied from the norm. However this is to be expected and your pets should adjust within a day or two.

Don’t leave them alone. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes, which can be deadly. If you’ll be visiting a destination where pets aren’t allowed, leave them at a pet-friendly hotel — or at home — instead of the car.


Flying with Fluffy

Fit to fly. If your pet is very young, very old or not in good health, it’s best to leave the critter at home. Also, some breeds don’t travel well in cargo, such as snub-nosed dogs like pugs, which are prone to breathing difficulties. Many major airlines no longer allow such breeds to fly in the cargo hold.

Do your research. Regulations and fees vary depending on airlines and whether your pet flies in the cabin or as checked baggage. Be sure to check an airline’s history of flying animals. Incidents of pets being lost, injured or dying have increased in recent years. Currently, about 15 major carriers provide monthly incident reports to the DOT, which list pet-related incidents.

Consider a pets-only airline. Pet Airways offers climate-controlled cabins outfitted with individual crates, and a flight attendant checks on the animals every 15 minutes. After landing, pets are given a bathroom break, and can be picked up by their owners at the airline’s Pet Lounge at participating airports.

This article was the first I’ve heard of Pet Airways but I’ve never flown with a pet. However, I took the time to look into this and the reviews were not favorable (cancelled flights, etc).  When I went to the website they didn’t have a Boston departure and I couldn’t get a quote from another city because it kept telling me there were no flights. Personally I would not fly with a dog unless completely necessary.

Pet papers. If you’re traveling outside the country, find out what vaccinations your pet will need and if quarantine is required. Consult this database of animal import requirements for more information.

Prepare the carrier. Purchase a kennel that has room for your pet to turn around and stand without hitting its head. If your pet hasn’t traveled before, spend some time getting the animal used to being in the carrier. Airlines have different crate dimension requirements, but the USDA requires the following: food and water dishes, “Live Animal” stickers, upright arrows and bedding.

ID tags. Attach contact information to both your pet’s collar and its carrier.

Exercise. Before the flight, play with your cat or take your dog for a walk. The more tired your pet is, the more likely it is to sleep during the trip.

Relax. Cesar Millan recommends using lavender oil as an “association scent” to help your pet relaxed while flying. In the weeks before the flight, he suggests putting a drop of oil on your hands at feeding times or before walks. Once onboard, “the positive association will allow him to calm down and remain relaxed.”

I don’t know about this, I usually recommend a favorite toy/blanket/bed.

Other pet travel tips

Consult your veterinarian before embarking on a trip, especially if your pet hasn’t traveled before or if you have any health concerns.

Keep a familiar blanket or toy with your pet to help it feel more comfortable during the trip.

If your pet gets nervous when traveling, consider getting a Thundershirt. These snug-fitting shirts target pressure points, and veterinarians often recommend this drug-free option for animals that suffer from anxiety.

I have friends who have used these and swear by them.

Book pet-friendly hotels, and look for destinations where you’re allowed to take your canine companion or feline friend. offers a wealth of information on these topics and can even help you plan your road trip.

One of my favorite places to stay when traveling with family/pets are Marriott Residence Inns. They are pet friendly, good quality clean –  studio, 1 and 2 bedroom suites with kitchen and work stations. Plus I love the complimentary breakfast and some locations have light complimentary happy hour snacks and drinks!

We have included a link to another AAA article on the top 10 pet-friendly places in New England. However, we have not been to any of these so we can not give our personal recommendation. Note that I already see comments listing more locations.

Please share with us any of your favorite pet friendly hotels/destinations!

Here is a link to the original AAA article online




Complete pet care when you can't be there. Serving Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley and Plum Island, MA Phone 978.204.5519