We believe it’s important for you to know your Pet Sitters because they’re lucky enough to spend lots of QT with your fur babies. We’re excited to announce that we’re going to start doing Pet Sitter Spotlights on the blog, so you can get to know our team members a little bit better.
Our first spotlight is on SHIMON! Read below as he talks about his love of fishing and the loyalty and love he appreciates from furry friends.
What's your favorite animal and why?
The Wolf because of their confidence and pride. They always stay focused on what’s in front of them and can adapt to any situation using their intelligence as their main advantage.
What inspired you to become an animal lover?
Honestly, animals always appreciate the love and time you give them.
When I was little, I used to spend time in the country and I would go to my uncle’s farm. We collected eggs from the chickens, rode horses, and fed the dogs and cows. I was truly born to love animals.
What do you do for fun aside from animal care?
Besides spending time with my two amazing daughters, I am CEO of a fishing club. My passion is being out in nature and getting to catch bit trophy bass. I fish on both land and boats, and really enjoy it.
If you had to pick one word that describes you, what would you choose and why?
I would say “loyalty.” I invest a lot of dedication into all of my duties and responsibilities.
What's your ideal vacation (location, activities, etc)?
What's your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would definitely be a trip to Brazil. I would love to see the amazing oceans, beaches, and rivers and would try my luck at catching the native Peacock Bass.
Do you love fishing? Have questions for Shimon?! Please feel free to comment below and share, share, share the blog with your networks to help The Village Pets family grow even bigger!
This week on the blog we're sharing some love and cuteness from another site for pet lovers: Love Meow.
Sometimes you just need some cuteness (especially on a Monday) and Love Meow features some of the cutest kitty cat stories you’ve ever seen.
Check our favorites below...you never know, maybe you’ll end up with a new rescue kitty friend!
Sure, pets get separation anxiety, but let’s be honest, some of us human pet owners get anxious when we leave our pets too. For those of you who can’t stand being away from your pet and want to know what they’re doing while you’re away, we have just the blog post for you!
Today we’re reviewing some of the top pet monitors on the market, and telling you about our faves. These are totally opinion-based and there are tons of available products, so we encourage you to do further research to make sure you find the best option for you. Regular home security cameras do the trick too, but these cameras are specifically focused on your pet so you can watch them bark, jump, snooze, eat, and drink as much as you’d like.
Used by J Lo and Ellen DeGeneres, this product lets you see your pup, talk to them, and even dispense treats if you wish! It’s sleek and stylish and is specifically designed to help you monitor your pup. You control the camera from your smartphone, which can be both positive and negative: you are constantly in control, but the camera can only be adjusted so much from afar. One other slight downside: not all treats fit in the dispenser so you might have to buy special treats to fit in the tiny slot. It’s a bit expensive ($200), but the majority of users say it’s totally worth the money and provides a much-desired peace of mind when you can’t physically love on your dog.
Tenvis Home Camera
While this camera isn’t necessarily a pet-specific camera, many users purchase it specifically to keep an eye on their loved ones because it’s designed to be used inside, it’s easy to control via a smartphone app, and it has a relatively clear camera lens. At only $39.99, it’s much cheaper than the Furbo but has great features including the ability to make a quick 15-second video, night vision, and a motion detector that can send updates and reminders. This is a great option at an affordable price. Our recommendation for an inexpensive yet reliable option!
Petzi lets you “connect with your pet from anywhere,” much like many of the other cameras on the market. Petzi is very similar to the Furbo; in fact, we could find very little in the way of differences, except the price. Petzi is about $85 but still allows you to dispense treats, talk to your pups, snap photos, and watch live video. One cool feature: Petzi is equipped with Amazon Dash so the tiny treats that are required for the machine can be automatically reordered so you never run out! Unfortunately, while Petzi is offered an affordable rate, many users complain that it has some technological difficulties that should be ironed out before it’s really ready to rock and roll.
The Petcube falls into the same category as the Furbo and Petzi, but it’s special feature might entice pet owners who love all-in-one systems: Alexa is built-in. Using the built-in Alexa technology, you can play music, search for a local vet, or order treats. Another benefit of Petcube is that you can count on an experienced pet tech company to back up your device; Petcube has created several iterations of devices, including pet dispensers for dogs and laser pointers for cats, so they seem to know what they’re doing. One downside: some people report having serious issues with wifi and smartphone connectivity. At $171, it is in the same price range as the Furbo, but might be a bit less reliable.
Pawbo+ has been referenced as “Amazon’s Choice” and backs it up with pretty solid, positive reviews. Pawbo has similar features to those listed above: a two-way speaker, video and photo capabilities, treat dispenser, and smartphone controls. For socialties, this might be the best part: you can instantly upload photos to social media using your Pawbo smartphone app. Like the other treat dispensers, you’ll need to make sure you have treats that actually fit in the dispenser, but you won’t be able to automatically reorder refills like you could with the Petzi. At $149, this product is a bit more affordable than the Furbo and seems to have more features, including multi-user capabilities and automated “Pawbo theme park” accessories. This is our recommendation for a high-end product!
Maybe we’re a little biased, but did you know dog ownership has actually been linked to better physical health?! Of course we all love our fur babies simply for the joy they bring, but who knew that dog ownership can actually improve overall health and well being.
Doctors typically recommend 2-3 hours of moderate exercise each week, but most dog owners are much more physically active than that and far surpass those requirements. More exercise and physical activity is related to reduced cholesterol and lower blood pressure which improve overall heart health and decrease the likelihood of serious events like heart attack and stroke. Harvard Health writes that “Having a dog can help your heart - literally” (Harvard Health).
But wait, there are benefits to your mental health too! Exercise increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, the “happy” chemicals that produce feelings of joy and relaxation. What’s more - studies show that dog owners tend to have healthier social lives because they’re likely to connect with people about their (furry) common interests. They also help stave off feelings of loneliness and anxiety by “giving us a reason to get up in the morning” (The 10 Health Benefits of Dogs).
Our disclaimer: pets are a great addition to the family, especially given these added benefits. However, each family should assess its ability to care for an animal individually, and remember that pet ownership is a BIG responsibility. For people considering adopting a new furry family member, here are some important questions to consider:
So the moral of this story is: if you’re in the position to responsibly own a pet, adopt a furry friend to improve your physical and mental health!
Many of us love our furry family members as much as our human ones, so the desire to share our meals with them makes total sense. After all, food = love, right? But before sharing that next human snack with your pup, we suggest reading below to see what options are safe, and what foods should be avoided. There are many human foods that are totally fine (some even offer great health benefits) but others can cause serious damage and potentially lead to major illness.
“No-go” foods for dogs:
So what can I share with my dog?
These lists are not exhaustive, and even foods on the “safe” list should be fed in moderation. As always, we recommend talking to your veterinarian about the best diet for your pets. Always research and ask questions when you’re unsure - better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and well-being of your fur babies.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten something harmful or been exposed to poison, consult the Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
Did you know? There’s a very toxic strain of blue-green algae that’s alive and well in ponds and standing water on the East Coast. This rare type of algae can be very harmful to dogs, even lethal in some cases, and should be on your radar as a dog owner.
Veterinarians suggest that dog owners keep their pups away from waters that are murky and/or smelly in nature; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Read below for more specific details about the most recent incident, where three dogs in North Carolina died after being (unexpectedly) exposed to these deadly plants.
Fox8 North Carolina
Believe it or not, pets get lonely too! In simple terms, separation anxiety is a dislike or discomfort with solitude, and is commonly seen when pet parents leave their babies alone for extended amounts of time. Because it is fairly common, we recommend having basic background knowledge in case your babies, or your friends’ babies, ever experience similar challenges.
Veterinarians estimate that 20 to 40% of all dog behavior issues in the U.S. stem from separation anxiety alone. Common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include behaviors like excessive howling or drooling and destruction of household items.
We’ve all heard stories about separation anxiety in dogs, but did you know cats can struggle with it too? While we usually think of cats as solitary creatures, especially compared to pack-loving dogs, there are tons of cats who love socializing and love “their people.” While less common, it’s just as important to know the potential symptoms in cats, which include unusual urination, changing eating patterns, and displays of aggression when the owner returns from extended time away.
There are a variety of treatment options for separation anxiety in both dogs and cats, but most vets suggest trying behavior alterations first.
Every animal is unique, and in some cases, behavior alterations simply aren’t enough. In partnership with your vet, you can look into prescription options. Anti-anxiety medications might be the best option for your family, but it is important to use these alongside behavior alterations; they should never take the place of these modifications. Of course, as always, The Village Pets, Pet Sitting and Pet Care recommends consulting your veterinarian first and foremost before trying to diagnose any of these behaviors at home!
Want to learn more? Check out Manhattan-based veterinarian Arnold Plotnick’s double-whammy experience with separation anxiety here.
For cat-specific resources, check out CatHealth.com and for dog-specific information, check out the ASPCA.
We’re in the midst of the long, hot summer months which mean lots of outdoor family time. While we love taking our babies along, it requires a bit more diligence to keep our pets healthy and safe from annoying pests like fleas and ticks. Read below for our favorite tips for flea and tick prevention, but remember to check with your veterinarian first!
If you do notice signs of an infestation, take action immediately and remember that you need to treat your furniture and floors in addition to your animals. Make sure to wash all bedding with hot, soapy water; vacuum all carpets and floors; apply a non-toxic yard flea treatment; and continue to use appropriate prevention techniques on your loved ones.
Pests can be annoying and intrusive but with proper prevention and management, we can continue enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and camping with all family members, including the furry ones!
If you’re like us, you love your pupper more than anything else, but let’s face it, there are some things about pet ownership that can be just plain frustrating!! We’ve gathered some of our personal favorite DOG OWNERSHIP HACKS to share quick fixes and easy household tips.
Do you have a pet ownership hack you love? Please share them in the comment section and make life a bit easier for all of our pet-loving friends! =D
Dog hair bothering you? Instead of spending tons of money on Swiffer or similar products, use a dryer sheet. Simply rub them on the floor or furniture and you’ll be thrilled with the results.
Has drool taken over your life? Use a magic eraser to seamless remove those stubborn drool marks from furniture, the floor, or even your car doors. You can also use a simple mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to clean up that unwanted drool...and the best part? It won’t leave streaks or stain marks.
Need an easy DIY dog bed? Follow Handimania’s simple step-by-step guide to making a homemade dog bed using two items you probably already have: a sweatshirt and a pillow!
Tired of fighting the infamous ATL heat? Buy a kiddie pool for as little as 7 bucks at your local Walmart or Target. Want to get a special doggie pool? Try this foldable pet pool and use it time and time again. Side note: the dogs who attend doggie daycare with The Village Pets looooveee these pools!
Do you struggle with never-ending dog energy? Make an ultra simple dog toy puzzle only three supplies: a tennis ball, a pair of scissors, and small dog treats (even carrots will do!). Take the scissors and cut a medium-sized slit on one side of the tennis ball. Fill with treats and give to your dog - it will keep them busy for hours!
Tired of ants trying to steal your outdoor pup’s food? Draw a chalk line around their dish! Chalk interferes with ant scent lines so you’ll easily distract them and stop the ant takeover.
Fighting fleas and ticks this summer? Mix essential oils like eucalyptus, lemongrass, cedar, and rosemary with water to create a natural, toxin-free spray to prevent flea and tick attacks. Remember, we always recommend consulting a vet for health-related doggie concerns!
Does your dog eat too fast? Throw a toy (maybe a tennis ball?!) into their food bowl to make them work a bit harder and eat a bit slower.
Have a trash-loving pup? Use a simple baby baby proof lock on your garbage can lid to prevent those stubborn pups from eating the garbage, especially while you’re away.
Upset tummy? If you’ve visited the vet and cleared your pup of other serious health concerns, a simple, bland meal of chicken and rice is likely to help with stomach upsets and/or diarrhea. Remember: this should only be used in conjunction with veterinary expertise!
Struggling to keep up with Fido’s water intake? Make this DIY refillable pup water bowl to ensure they always stay hydrated, especially during the hotLANTA summers!
Like these hacks? Share, share, share with your friends and family and check back next week for more DOGGIE TIPS & TRICKS!
Summertime in Atlanta means endless sunshine, festivals, and outdoor activities. Atlanta dog parks are a huge hit with pup owners because the days are longer and we all want to get out and enjoy as much fresh air and green grass as possible. We’re huge fans of dog parks too - some of our faves include Piedmont Park, Oakhurst Dog Park, Fetch, Freedom Barkway, and Adair Park Dog Park.
Dog parks are a big part of ATL pup ownership, but what other activities can you do with your pup to cool off from the HOTlanta sunshine? We’ve included some highlights and you can visit the links at the bottom for even more dog-friendly spots and outdoor activities!
1. Brunch It: Dog-friendly Weekend Brunch at The Family Dog - take a break from dog park time and head over to this Morningside restaurant to enjoy some delicious frozen cocktails and cool off with your fur pal. They welcome dogs to “Sit. Drink. Stay!” every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm.
2. Make a Splash: Visit Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Annual Splish Splash Doggie Bash - enjoy one last splash in the pool as another ATL summer comes to a close. There are splash sessions October 5 and 6 but be sure to sign up early - spaces fill up fast! BONUS: you’ll definitely get social media-worthy photos too. Check out some highlights from last year!
3. Catch a Fly Ball: Take your pup to the annual Bark in the Park event and support the Atlanta Braves - On September 8, Braves fans can bring (leashed) pups to SunTrust Park to support the Braves as they take on the Washington Nationals. Tickets for humans and fur babies are $25 each and are very limited. Be sure to book early.
4. Take a Walk & Enjoy a Night Cap - take a sunset walk on the ATL Beltline and finish it off with a NightCap on the Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall patio - the Beltline has everything you need: shopping, food, drinks, and a beautiful walking path. As the day cools off, take your pups on an evening stroll and stop in to Ladybird for a sweet cocktail and mighty fine summer patio dining.
5. Support a Local Brewery - Visit Monday Night Brewing and hang out on their dog-friendly patios. They said it themselves: “There’s no better way to socialize dogs than over a glass of beer.” Head on over to their West Midtown location, grab a locally-crafted cold one and mix and mingle with dogs and humans alike.
AJC highlights 8 summertime pup activities
American Kennel Club highlights its fave ATL dog activities
Bring Fido showcases ATL hotels, restaurants, & other dog-friendly spots