A Dog Walker Should Leave a Note

It isn’t unusual for dog walkers to walk a person’s dog when he or she is at work or away on a trip. In fact, this is a normal occurrence. However, in these instances it is important that dog walkers leave notes behind to detail the walk and any other care that was given. These notes aren’t a cute way for the dog walker to let the owners know they were there but are actually an important part of the service.

There are a number of reasons why dog walkers should leave notes, one of which is to detail any odd behavior. For example, if a dog that is normally happy and energetic becomes lethargic while walking, the dog walker, who may not be familiar with the dogs normal behavior, may not notice the difference. These changes could signify a larger problem, such as underlying health issues. By leaving a note behind, the owners will be aware that something is amiss.

Leaving a note also lets the owners know what exactly was done with the dog and the last time he was taken out. Some dog walkers also double as dog sitters, meaning they stop by the house to feed, walk, and play with the dog for an hour several times a day. In these instances, the dog’s owner will want to know if the dog was fed, if he ate the food, if the dog was taken for a walk, how he behaved during the walk, and for how long the sitter was in the home. It is also important to let the owners know whether or not any treats were given in order to avoid overfeeding the dog.

It is important that these notes be written in a professional manner in order to develop trust with the owners. They should also be left in the same place. This prevents the owners from having to search for the note and possibly missing it, which could make them wonder if the dog walker every stopped by at all.

Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Pet?

Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Pet



Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Pet










Disaster can strike at any time. Are you prepared? With hurricane season upon us, we want to help you create an emergency evacuation plan to keep your family together. Even if you don’t live in an area known for dangerous weather, the best thing you can do for yourself and your pet is be prepared.

• Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible, make sure all your pets are wearing proper identification and consider your evacuation route ahead of time.

• Arrange a Safe Haven
Don’t leave your pet behind if you’re forced to evacuate. Find out if there are emergency animal shelters in your area.

• Make Sure Pets Have Current ID
Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, current telephone number and any urgent medical needs. ASPCA experts also encourage getting your pets microchipped.

• Get an ASPCA Rescue Alert Sticker
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.

For more tips on evacuating with your pet, visit our Disaster Preparedness section.

Tips to Keep Pets Safe This Summer

Memorial Day weekend signals the unofficial start of summer, and The Humane Society of the United States reminds people to start thinking about how the warm weather will impact pets. Whether taking a walk, a drive or just hanging out in the backyard, there are extra precautions that people can take to keep their four-legged family members happy and safe:

Beat the Heat

  • Never leave a pet unattended in the car on a warm or sunny day. Cars quickly heat up to a dangerous temperature, even with the window slightly open.
  • When taking a dog for a walk on a hot day, plan for shorter walks midday, when temperatures peak, and longer walks in the morning and evening when it’s cooler. Hot sidewalks can burn the pads on a dog’s paws, so walk on the grass when possible.
  • Keep your dog safe and cool this summer with a K-9 body wrap, vest, mat, pool or even an outdoor cabana bed. Please visit: http://store.humanesociety.org/prod_detail_list/warm_weather_dog_gear?r=hspr052411.

Safety First

  • Be sure to keep pets up-to-date on their vaccinations and preventative medications. Fleas and ticks stay busy in warm weather and summer is also the prime time for heartworms. Check with a veterinarian about the best way to keep pets healthy.
  • Keep cats indoors to keep them safe. Cars, other pets and wild animals can all pose risks to cats’ safety. By providing playtime, cat trees and other enrichment, a cat will be happy and content to stay indoors.
  • Beware of cocoa mulch and other gardening products. Cocoa mulch can be deadly if ingested and has an appetizing scent to some animals. Pesticides, fertilizers and other harsh chemicals can also be quickly fatal if ingested.
  • When driving with pets, be sure to keep them properly restrained and inside the vehicle. Special seatbelts and secured carriers can protect pets during accidents and prevent them from distracting the driver. The back of a pick-up truck is never a safe place for a pet to ride.

Don’t Forget about the Little Guys

  • Pet rabbits should be kept indoors because they don’t tolerate heat well. Keeping a rabbit indoors will also provide protection from predators who might try to attack a rabbit in an outdoor hutch.
  • Be mindful of pets around our wild neighbors. When going for walks or playing in a fenced yard, don’t allow pets to harass birds, rabbits, squirrels or other wild animals.

Dog Days of Summer

  • The summer months are the peak season for dog bites because so many kids and dogs are playing outside. Training, socialization and dog spaying or neutering a dog can reduce the risk of dog bites. Kids can learn to stay safe through good manners around pets and humane education.
  • Never leave a dog outdoors unattended on a chain or tether. Long-term chaining during the hot summer months can result in countless insect bites, dehydration and heat stroke. Even short-term unattended tethering can pose risks such as theft or attacks by people or animals.

Cat Bathing 101


Cat Bathing 101

Whether your cat had a run-in with a skunk or you’re simply trying to curb the level of dander in your house, a scrub down may be just what your cat requires. See our step-by-step instructions for a safe and low-stress bathing experience.


Have a battle plan sketched out so that you can get your cat in and out of the bath as quickly as possible.

1. Anticipate how your cat might react to a bath. We understand that many, if not most, cats will avoid a dip in the water at nearly any cost. If you’re worried about your cat resisting violently, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian about how to approach this stressful situation. Your vet should be able to offer a few behavioral recommendations and/or even medications to help put your cat at ease.

2. Do advance grooming work. If possible, trim your cat’s nails before a bath to help reduce the number of scratches your forearms endure. Give the cat a good brushing before bath time to remove the loose and matted fur.

3. Pick your location. We recommend using a bathtub or sink equipped with a handheld spray nozzle to assist in the washing and rinsing of your cat.

4. Line up the proper tools and equipment. By the bathtub or sink have your supplies ready:

  • Shampoo that is appropriate for your cat’s age and coat. Check online or at your local pet retailer for a formula that suits your grooming needs.
  • Any medicines that you are applying to the cat.
  • A washcloth for cleaning your cat’s face and head.
  • A soft towel to dry your cat.
  • Clothing that protects your arms from scratches/biting. We really can’t emphasize this enough!

5. Enlist an assistant cat wrangler. Sometimes two hands isn’t enough when dealing with four paws so have a friend with you to help soothe or restrain your cat during the washing or rinsing.

The Bath

Once you’ve gathered your materials and located a willing helper, it’s time to bathe this kitty.

1. Prepare the water. Before picking up the cat, make sure you have the lukewarm water running. If you don’t have access to a spray nozzle, fill your sink or tub with 3 to 5 inches of lukewarm water. Test the water with your hand to ensure that it’s not too hot or cold.

2. Put your cat in the tub. Gently but surely wet his or her fur using either with spray nozzle or your washcloth. Be careful to avoid splashing water in your cat’s eyes, ears, or nose.

3. Massage the shampoo into your cat’s fur. Follow the directions listed on the label for application of the soap or medicine. Once again, carefully avoid your cat’s eyes, ears, and nose. Use your washcloth to gently wash your cat’s face and head.

4. Rinse the shampoo out of your kitty’s fur. This is the step in which a spray nozzle brings a clear advantage as you can easily move it around the cat’s body. If you’re not using a spray nozzle, use your wet washcloth to rinse the fur, refilling the sink or tub with lukewarm water until you’ve washed all of the shampoo from your cat’s coat.

5. Check for any soapy spots you may have missed. Shampoo left in the fur may cause skin irritation, or your cat may get  from licking the shampoo off. Do a careful check under your cat’s chin, it’s feet, under its abdomen, etc.

6. Dry your cat. Use your soft towel to dry his or her fur. If your cat will tolerate it, a hairdryer on a low-heat setting can speed the process.

Why Does My Dog… Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down

Posted in Bloggies on May 12, 2012 by Mike Scott

Many dogs will circle around a spot before they settle down to rest. While no one can be certain of the exact reason why canines do this, the ritual is likely a residual habit from the days when wolflike dogs lived out in the wild, says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Sueda, DVM, of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.

Your dog’s ancestors had to sleep outside, in the elements, without much warmth or safety. Walking around a spot was a way to stamp down grass, leaves or snow and create a soft, level surface — something akin to carving out a nest.

Why Does My Dog... Walk in a Circle Before Lying Down

Circle There and Dig This

After she circles, does your dog scratch at the bedding or carpeting before curling up? Just like circling, the digging action is probably an ancestral behavior related to staying safe and comfortable.

In extreme heat, digging a hole was a way to reduce a dog’s body temperature by surrounding herself with cool soil that could help regulate body heat. When it was cold — or even freezing — climbing into a hole allowed a dog to retain body heat and keep cozy.

So why haven’t our pampered house pets evolved away from these behaviors?

Don’t worry — circling is not a sign that your pet has heard the call of the wild. Adaptive behaviors tend to linger long after they’ve lost their usefulness if there’s nothing to discourage them or “select against the habit,” Dr. Sueda says.

When Circling Could Be Cause for Concern

Restlessness can be a sign of discomfort or even pain. If your dog is repeatedly circling and digging but can’t seem to get comfortable, she may have a health problem, such as arthritis or neurological problems.

You should observe your pet to see if she’s having trouble getting up and settling down. If she’s restless, take her to the vet to rule out pain and get a proper diagnosis.