Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dog Sitters

I am heading off to Greece tomorrow! Through a friend I have found a reliable pet sitter that will also tend to my house.

How do you find reliable dog sitters when you travel?

Here are a number of things that you might think about doing to find care for your pet and to ease your mind while you are away from home.

A Friend Or Neighbor At The Home

Do you have a trusted friend or neighbor? Some animals, cats in particular, prefer a familiar surrounding. Assess what your pets needs are and determine if the pet staying at home is an option for you. A friend who adores your pets and would not mind house sitting might be a particularly good option for you. If you have cats that are very low maintenance, perhaps a neighbor can check in on them a minimum of every other day to change litter and give them affection.

A Friend Or Neighbor Away From Home

This option would most likely pertain to only dogs. Dogs are okay with a change in routine and may even be excited for a little adventure. Make sure that the person who is caring for these pets have all of the appropriate tools to feed, groom, walk, and care for your pet from their home.

Pet Providers

There are a number of web sites available that offer services of pet caregivers. These are people who sign up to a site and are paid to watch your pets from your home or just walk them (live in or out). These web sites can do background checks, provide references, and sort providers by the amount of pay, experience, distance, and amount of work that they do. These people range from college students who need extra income to people who work regularly caring for animals at vets, shelters, and grooming facilities. Make sure to interview and introduce your pet to them before hiring, research their background thoroughly, and hire only if and when you feel you have make a decision you can be comfortable with. Once you do find someone you like and trust, a pet provider can be great to have around, especially for short term care or last minute trips.

Pet Boarding

There are many pet boarding facilities that range in price and level of care for your pets. Be prepared to do a little leg work ahead of time in making sure the dates you choose are available, your animals are treated ahead of time for fleas or other conditions, your animals have shots that are up to date, and be sure that the conditions are ones in which your animals will be safe and happy. Ask how often they are given affection, meals, treats, walks, medication, etc. and tour the facility. Another option might be to find a pet boarding facility at your vacation destination. If this option is feasible you may have to drive or fly with the animals, but can check in on them periodically.

Leave Detailed Instructions

Whatever option you decide to choose, be sure to leave a detailed note listing the routine and care procedures for your animals. Times of feeding, litter changing, walks, grooming, medications, and toy and bedding preferences should all be listed. Do not forget to leave emergency phone numbers for your cell phone, vacation destination, and a phone number and address of the closest veterinary clinic. You also might consider speaking with your vet and leaving instructions for emergency care. Your vet will need the name of the caregiver and billing instructions.

With the proper pet sitter, supplies, and instructions, you can take that relaxing and stress free vacation without worry!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Unusual Application of Dog Shock Collar

As proprietor of Training Collar Source, I receive interesting e-mails. I get to learn about unusual behaviors of dogs and their masters.

When I received this e-mail, I thought this guy was joking.

"Hi - I'm in need of an alert system for my wife to call me around the place. She is temporarily an invalid and I don't hear well at all. Wondering if a small dog shock collar converted to a bracelet for me would work. Of course she'd be punished for using the thing frivolously! Ever hear of this application? Thanks."

I suggested the Lap Dog Collar because it was our smallest collar.

His next e-mail read......

"I'd like to do this. At least we'll set a precedent and see how it works. My daughters are threatening to arrange something sane and reasonable we can always fall back on.

So, I'd like to order: a small dog collar I can adapt to my wrist as a bracelet; range minimum of 150'; a bit of an instruction booklet; non-lethal; would like to have it asap; cost - I won't say money is no object, but anything reasonable under $100 will be ok.

Can you fix me up? Should I send you a check or ...?

What a story you will be able to tell your website!


We corresponded several times.
I really thought this guy was pulling my leg.
A few days later, he placed an order for the Lap Dog Collar.

Visualize this on a wrist

Follow up e-mail:

"Hi - Collar received all in order. Thanks. I fit it as a bracelet and programmed it for bad "stimulus" only and tried it out on all levels. Boy, that # 4 button is a real kick in the, ummm, wrist. I think this is gonna work."

I am looking forward to hearing how his training is going!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dog and Cat History

Dogs and cats are the two animals who have shared our homes for the longest time. They have very different histories, and they see the world in very different ways. Dogs, it is been said, see themselves as one of us, but cats see us as one of them.

Man started domesticating the dog’s wolf ancestors at least 15,000 years ago, and, as pack animals, they responded to training from their new human pack leaders. Cats, according to recent studies, chose to live with humans and in effect domesticated themselves. When humans began growing grain in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago, their stores of wheat attracted rats and mice. Wild cats found a ready food source and moved in. Since there was food, it was comfortable, and they were protected from other predators, they stuck around. Because it suited the humans to have the rodent problem solved, they let the cats stay. The earliest known domestic cat is a kitten discovered in Cyprus that was buried with its owner 9,500 years ago.

Cats have done well. They spread across Europe, Asia, and Africa and came with Europeans to the Americas. In the USA today, almost half of domestic cats live in a household where there is also a dog. So it is pretty important that they are able to get along.

Dogs and cats have become so much a part of our domestic scene that we sometimes forget how much of their DNA they share with their wild ancestors. Cats—like their big relatives, lions and tigers—are among the most effective hunters on the planet. One reason is that for cats, hunting was always a matter of life and death because they need meat to survive. Dogs, on the other hand, evolved to be able to supplement meat with plant matter when they could not find prey.

To understand a cat, it is important to understand it first as a hunter.

Physically, cats evolved as formidable hunters. They have extra vertebrae, which enable them to be flexible; sharp teeth that can deliver a fatal neck bite to prey; retractable claws, which help them to move while leaving almost no track; and their eyes can see in one-sixth the light a human needs.

Psychologically, too, the cat is first and foremost a hunter; that dictates much of its behavior. The games kittens play are hunting exercises, and the urge cats have to pounce from a perch, the stealthy, deliberate way they move, and the ways they mark and “own” territory are all rooted in their hunting DNA. Cats are much less likely to act impulsively than dogs—stalking an object cautiously, as if it were prey. And although many people think of cats as solitary creatures, the decision to be part of a group or not is decided by the availability of prey.

Are dogs and cats born to fight with each other—or can they get along peacefully?

Here is a cute video of a dog and cat best friends.