Using Essential Oils to Treat Pet Ailments

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Essential oils are the aromatic compounds found in plants and they have been used for thousands of years for various purposes — from skincare to perfumes — and more recently, people have begun using them on their pets, as well.

Essential oils can be used to treat a host of pet ailments, including flea and tick control, anxiety relief and treatment for irritated skin.

Philly Pet Care’s own Kristie is a big proponent of essential oil use for pets (she’s also a doTerra distributor) and she has seen some really terrific results, first-hand.

She says that she’s had a ton of success with lavender essential oil in helping to calm anxious and stressed dogs. “It’s amazing during thunderstorms and was a lifesaver on July 4th,” she says.

Hot spots can also be relieved through essential oil therapy. One of PPC’s daily walks had two terrible hot spots from biting at his own skin. After getting permission from his owner, Kristie treated the dog’s spots with a lavender spray mixed with fractionated coconut oil. It began working right away! He stopped biting at his skin after the first application and the spots completely cleared up within two weeks. 

After Kristie and Dave’s dog, Janey, had surgery a few weeks ago, they applied a spray of lavender, frankincense, hellchrysm and fractionated coconut oil once a day to the surgical site and it was very effective in promoting healing and relieving itch. 

Kristie says that when introducing oils to pets, it’s important to go slow. Allow the pet to smell the oil before applying it to them to judge their reaction. Owners know their pets best and will be able to tell if their pet is enjoying the aromatherapy or not. Essential oils can be diluted with coconut oil and you should always note the quality of oils when using them on skin or pets. Therapeutic-grade oils are the safest for this purpose. Other grades of oils may be harmful to use in such a manner, so make sure to thoroughly research your oils before you begin to use them on yourself of your pets.

There are a few ways to use essential oils. The two most common and easiest methods for use on pets are topical and aromatic applications. For a topical application, you can apply oils directly to the desired area or spray the oil on using a squirt bottle. For larger areas, it’s helpful to mix the essential oil with coconut oil, which acts as a carrier. If you’d like to take the aromatic approach, you can place a few drops of oil on a cotton ball or use a diffuser which atomizes and disperses the oil’s therapeutic aroma into the air.

As with any medical treatments, you should talk to your veterinarian before using any essential oils on your pets. They are generally safe, when used correctly and in moderation, but there are some things you need to be cautious of, especially when it comes to using essential oils on or around cats, since cats cannot effectively metabolize essential oil components.

Contact Kristie for any questions you may have regarding adding essential oils into your pet’s healthcare routine.

Has anyone used essential oils on a pet before? What have your results been?

Interview With Seger Dog Park’s President

Giving back to the community whenever possible is something that Philly Pet Care strongly believes in. So when we heard about the opportunity to become a sponsor for one of Philadelphia’s own dog parks, it was a no-brainer for us to get involved.

Seger Dog Park, located at 11th & Lombard in South Philadelphia, was just recently awarded the honor of Philly’s Best Dog Park! It’s a completely member-run organization that serves as a community hub for dog owners in the area and as a sponsor, we are thrilled to know that our support goes directly toward keeping the park in pristine order.

As a member of the local community, you, too, can play an integral role in keeping Seger Dog Park in tip-top shape for park members and their four-legged friends. When you become a member of Seger Dog Park, you are supporting a wonderful organization that strives to provide a safe, fun space for dogs and their owners to mingle while fostering an important sense of community. As an added bonus, members are eligible for special perks from local business sponsors. It truly is a win-win situation for all parties!

Philly Pet Care’s own Kristie recently had the opportunity to talk one-on-one, with Seger Dog Park’s Board President, Andrew Freedman, to find out a little more about the park’s history, its membership and its future. You can check out the interview, below.

Oh, and be sure to connect with Seger Dog Park on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Have you ever been to Seger Dog Park? What did you think?

Keeping Your Pets Safe on the 4th

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The 4th of July means barbecues, picnics, parades, fireworks and celebration. But it’s not always so fun for Fido. From July 4-6, animal shelters nationwide, see a 30% increase in pet intake rates — a large number of those pets having been spooked by fireworks and escaped from their owners. Don’t let your pet become a statistic this holiday weekend. Here are some tips to keep them safe:

  • If you are hosting a party at your home, be sure all possible escape routes from your house and yard are secured. This means windows, too.
  • Don’t walk your dog during fireworks or parades. They could become frightened and get away from you.
  • If you’re planning on going out, leave your pets at home, if you can. This is not the safest holiday for them to celebrate with you.
  • Keep a tv or radio on while fireworks are going off to help drown out the noise.
  • Try a Thundershirt to help calm your pet or talk to your veterinarian about other aides to help ease your pet’s anxieties.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing ID and if they’re microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date.
  • Be sure to have recent, clear photos of your pet stored on your computer or phone.

Although the forecast for this Independence Day is still looking a bit iffy and we may be getting an unwelcomed visit from Tropical Storm Arthur, it’s still a good idea to take precautions with your pets on this holiday. Even a loud clap of thunder is enough to startle some dogs and send them running for cover.

Fireworks and thunderstorms aren’t the only dangers for pets during this time of the year, though.While enjoying your holiday festivities this weekend, keep these precautions in mind, as well:

  • Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets.
  • Don’t apply sunscreens or bug repellents to your pets unless they are specifically labeled for use on pets.
  • Always keep lighter fluid, matches, citronella candles and oils out of your pet’s reach.
  • Don’t feed your dogs table scraps, especially meat bones or these harmful foods, and keep trash stored in a place they can’t reach it.
  • Don’t let your pets play with glow sticks or glow jewelry.
  • Don’t use firecrackers or sparklers around pets.
  • Make sure your pets have access to fresh, clean water at all times and learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

We wish you and your furry friends a very happy and safe 4th of July!!

 

Philly Pet Care FAQs

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Some of you have been with us since the very start of our pet care business, but some of you are fairly new to the Philly Pet Care family and, naturally, there are probably some things that you are wondering. Here’s a chance to learn a bit more about us; we’ve compiled some FAQs about our company and our services to give you a better idea of who we are and what we do.

Q: How long has Philly Pet Care been in business?

Philly Pet Care has been going strong since 2006!

Q: What does it mean that you’re “family-owned?”

We are Kristie and Dave Glazer and we’re the husband-and-wife team behind Philly Pet Care. This is not only our job, but our passion and what we believe we were called to do in life. We oversee all operations of Philly Pet Care and our employees are hand-selected and trained by us to ensure the continuance of the “family feel” of the business.

Q: What services do you offer?

Philly Pet Care offers cat care, in-your-home pet sitting, dog-walking and in-our-home pet care, including doggie sleepovers! Visit the “services” tab for more information.

Q: What is overnight care and how does it work?

For dogs who would rather not be left home alone at night, they can stay with us! After we’ve determined that your dog is a good fit for our home, your dog is welcome to spend the night with us. This service includes a full day of doggie daycare and walks, as well.

Q: Are there fees for last-minute additions or cancellations?

Our services are all-inclusive and there are no hidden fees. You can request visits up until midnight the day before we are needed without an additional charge and as long as you give us ample notice, we won’t charge if you have to cancel. 

Q: What is your service area?

We generally service the South Philly, Center City, Bella Vista, Passyunk Square, Pennsport, Queen Village, and Italian Market areas. If you are outside those areas, contact us anyway and we’ll do our best to accommodate you and your pets! 

Q: What are the advantages of your service?

Our flexible scheduling, great communication and top-notch customer service, all-inclusive pricing structure and “big happy family” feel are among the factors that set us apart from our competitors. 

Q: How can I get in touch with you?

Our lines of communication with our clients are always open. Call us, email us, text us or use our scheduling software… whichever method you prefer, you’ll get a prompt reply from us. 

Q: Are you licensed and insured?

We are! This involves regular inspection from both the city and the state. As part of our kennel license, we follow a vet-recommended walk and exercise plan for all pets in our care.

Q: What are the benefits of group dog walking?

Group dog walks help to meet dogs’ basic physical and mental needs. Safe interactions with other dogs offer a stimulating and rewarding experience and the exercise that walks provide can also help release excess energy. Group walks work well for almost all dogs, but we can develop a plan that best meets your pet’s needs.

Q: How long are group walks?

20-45 minutes

Q: Who will be coming into my home?

Either Kristie, Dave, or one of PPC’s hand-chosen, specially-trained employees. We don’t subcontract work out, so you always know the people who are entering your home and caring for your pets. 

Q: What are people saying about you?

Our clients always rave about our stellar customer service and level of love and care that we provide for their pets. Check out some of our customer testimonials to read about their experiences using Philly Pet Care. 

For more information about Philly Pet Care, check us out here, or contact us today!

Dog Walking Dos and Don’ts

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Walking a dog is easy peasy, right? Not always, and it’s not as simple of a task as people seem to think.

While dog-walking is our specialty and we love to help clients out with their dog-walking needs, we certainly encourage you to walk your own dog as much as possible, if you are able. There are so many benefits to both you and your dog, plus, a little exercise and fresh air is always a good thing! But, to keep both you and your furry companion safe and happy while out on your walks, there are a few definite “dos” and “don’ts” that we’ve learned over the past few years and we’d like to share them with you:

DO walk your dog as often as you can. It’s so beneficial to his/her health and serves as wonderful bonding time between the two of you.

DO always keep an ID tag on your pet at all times while outside.

DO let your dog be a dog on walks. This doesn’t mean they should have full control of their walk, but they should be given the chance to sniff, stretch, roll in the grass and say hello to other dogs (with the permission of the other dogs’ owners, first) if they’d like.

DO change up your walking route often. Like us, dogs can get bored seeing the same sights each day. Change up their surroundings once in a while to keep things fresh and exciting for them.

DO check your pet over before and after their walk. Before heading out, be sure that your dog is looking and acting normally. After walking, check them over again and also check the paws and fur for foreign debris that could cause pain or injury. Don’t forget to check for ticks, as well.

DO pay attention to the weather. If it’s excessively hot or cold or if there are thunderstorms in the forecast, maybe it’s best to forego Fido’s walk for the day. Try a different time of day or hold off until another day. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry in extreme weather.

DO pick up after your dog. Always!

DO use proper equipment. This means a sturdy leash and a properly-fitted collar or harness.

DO pay attention to your surroundings. Always be on the lookout for potential hazards to you and/or your dogs.

DO have emergency numbers saved in your phone and always have a first-aid kit in an accessible location. You never know when an emergency may happen.

DON’T walk your dog on hot pavement or cement. Their foot pads are sensitive to temperature and can burn on hot surfaces. Wait until a cooler time of day to head out for your walk or invest in some booties to protect your pal’s feet. Remember, icy surfaces can be just as harmful to your dog’s feet.

DON’T approach strange dogs without permission of the other dog’s owner. Not all dogs are mannerly or friendly with unfamiliar dogs and skirmishes can be easily avoided by allowing pets to have their space when they need it.

DON’T let your dog off his/her leash. While outside, dogs should be leashed at all times to avoid potential problems or injuries to themselves, other dogs or humans. The only exception to this rule should be in an enclosed dog park where off-leash play is welcomed. Even then, pets should be supervised at all times.

DON’T forget to hydrate — both yourself and your pet!

So there you have ’em — some tricks of the trade, if you will, to make your dog-walking experiences a success!

Do you regularly walk your dog? What points would you add to this list?

The Benefits of Daily Dog Walks

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If you don’t think you need to take your dog for walks, think again! Walks are an essential part of his/her well-being and offer them many benefits, which we’ll highlight very shortly.

We know that schedules can get crazy sometimes and that work, family and other obligations can get in the way of time spent with your pet. If you can’t seem to find the time in your busy days to fit in a walk with your four-legged pal, don’t worry — that’s what we’re here for!! Our dog-walking services offer you and your pet the following benefits:

1. Exercise: Dogs, like humans, need exercise to maintain good health and a daily, brisk walk grants them this valuable component of a healthy, happy life. Even older pets and pets with special needs should receive walks for exercise too, and we will gladly tailor your pet’s walk based on his/her physical condition and abilities.

2. Energy release: Dogs’ energy levels can vary greatly from one individual to the next and for those who seem to have as much as the Energizer Bunny, daily walks can be a great way to help them burn off some of that extra energy. Walks may also help lessen destructive behaviors like chewing or digging. Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a much calmer pet? Yes? We thought so!

3. Socialization: Dogs are pack animals by nature and proper socialization is essential to their happiness and well-being. Walks give them a chance to interact with other dogs and introduces them to a variety of people, surroundings and situations, as well, all of which help to make them more well-adjusted and tolerant individuals.

4. Routine: It’s important to keep your pet on some sort of routine, especially as far as potty breaks go. Daily walks allow them to keep a routine, even when you can’t be there to do so. We can visit your dog for a walk as many times a day as you deem necessary.

5. Peace of mind: Knowing that your pets are being loved and well-cared for while you’re at work or traveling may very well be the best benefit of all. While under our supervision, you can rest assured that your pets are receiving the best care possible and that we’re keeping an eye out on your home, too!

We have seen these benefits in action and many happy dogs and their owners are testament to this. We urge you to try out our dog-walking services if you’re finding it difficult to fit Fido’s walks into your schedule. We’d be delighted to work with you to establish the walking schedule that is right for you and your pet. Contact us today to get started!

In-Our-Home Service

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Here at Philly Pet Care, we’re pleased to offer a wide array of service options to meet the needs of you and your pets and we strive each day to make our company the very best it can be. While we believe we are some of the top pet care providers in the Philadelphia are, one of our services, specifically, sets us apart from many of our competitors. It’s a service that might be described as something in-between dog boarding and pet-sitting — it’s Philly Pet Care’s in-our-home pet care.

With our in-our-home service, your pets come to us and become part of our family while you’re away — whether it’s for one day while you’re at work, or for one week while you’re on vacation. While we find that many dogs do well with traditional pet-sitting visits (in which we visit your home several times throughout the day to care for your pet), those that may benefit from this specialized service include the very old or very young, those with special needs, those that thrive in a group environment or those who do not do well when left alone.

To be considered for in-our-home service, a dog must meet the following requirements:

  • be completely potty-trained (with the exception of puppies who are still being crate-trained)
  • be friendly with other dogs, cats, and children
  • have no destructive behaviors
  • be well-mannered (no excessive barkers, please)

When your dog stays with us, they are treated like one of our own. They are given free range in our home, including use of our basement, which is set up with lots of open space and a soft floor. We also have a deck where they can catch some rays or some zzz’s (we set up a pool in the summer for hot days), but the real allure of our house is that we do everything in our power to make our guests feel that it’s their home-away-from-home. Dogs are not crated unless requested to do so by owners. Walks are encouraged throughout the day to offer potty time and a bit of fresh air and exercise. Also included in your dog’s stay are lots of kisses, belly rubs and snuggles, as well as transportation to and from your home. Pick up hours are between 8-10am and drop off is 4-6pm.

Soaking up some sunshine on the deck!

Soaking up some sunshine on the deck!

Before a dog can check out our place, we first require a consultation in the pet’s home. From there, it we think the dog will be a good fit for the in-our-home service, owners are welcome to stop by our home to see what we have to offer. If a dog who is currently not a client would like to use this service, we require at least one trial day of daycare before we will permit entry. Please keep in mind that this is our home and not a boarding facility, so we must be selective with the pets we allow to stay with us to ensure the peace and well-being of all pets in our care. We also place a limit on the number of guests staying with us at one time, so spots fill rather quickly and availability is not always guaranteed. We recommend booking this service well in advance.

A "ruff" day at PPC!!

A “ruff” day at PPC!!

If your pet is not the right fit for our in-our-home service, we trust that one of our other services can meet your and your pets’ requirements. Contact us for more information about any of our services.

Have you used our in-our-home service before? What would you tell anyone considering it?

Creating A Pet First-Aid Kit

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Spring is finally (finally!!) here! We’re not sure about you, but we’re definitely ready to trade in our snow boots and heavy coats for short sleeves, sunglasses and sunshine!

Naturally, nicer weather drives people and their pets to spend more time outside. For me and my dogs, warm weather means trips to the dog park and the beach, long walks and endless hours of playtime outside with canine pals. As you make your spring and summertime plans and get ready to enjoy more time in the great outdoors, it’s a smart idea to think about what you’d do in case of an emergency. What if your dog fell while playing and fractured a leg? Or was cut on rusty barbed-wire? Do you know what to do if your cat got into some rat poison? An emergency can happen at anytime, anywhere, whether you’re in your own home or out on a fun adventure with your pet. We hope that you’ll never find yourself in an emergency situation with your pet, but if one should occur, your preparedness could be the key to your pet’s successful recovery.

Part of your emergency preparedness should include creating a pet first-aid kit with everything you may need should you ever encounter an emergency situation with your (or another) pet.

When putting together a first-aid kit for your pets, you can make it as large or small as you see fit, but below is a list of the basic items that you may want to include:

  • The number for the animal poison control hotline and other relevant numbers (your veterinarian, local emergency vet hospitals, etc.)
  • Sterile pads/bandages
  • Gauze rolls
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • An instant ice pack
  • Tweezers
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Medical tape
  • Scissors
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sterile saline eye wash
  • Styptic powder
  • Benadryl
  • A few doses of any critical medications your pet may require
  • Sugar tablets
  • Bottled water and a bowl

Other helpful items you may want to include are:

  • Restraints (collar, leash, muzzle, etc.)
  • A pet carrier
  • Towels and blankets
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • An animal first-aid book

Of course, there are commercially-packaged pet first aid kits available for purchase via many retailers, but, as you can see, it’s quite simple and cost-efficient to put together your own, and especially so if you plan on making multiple kits. It’s important to keep your first-aid kit in a spot where it’s easily accessible. And, if you’re traveling, don’t forget to bring your kit along with you! Your kit should be kept in a sturdy, easy to carry bag or box and be sure to periodically check medications and solutions for expiration dates. Clearly label your kit as such and make sure that all family members know where it is located and what should be inside. Also, if you’ve never taken a pet first-aid class, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the basics. In an emergency, a first-aid kit is of no use if you don’t know how to use it.

Again, we hope that you’ll never, ever need to reach your hands inside a pet first-aid kit, but it’s always a smart idea to be prepared, just in case!

We wish you and your pets a wonderful and safe spring and summer!!

The Five Best Things You Can Do For Your Pet

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As a pet owner, I’ll admit — I’m definitely one of “those” pet moms. You know what I’m talking about! And come on, now…I know that some of you are just as guilty of this as I am! I treat my pets more like children and would never, ever think of them as “just dogs” or “just cats.” They’re so much more than that to me and I do all that I can to make them feel happy, loved and an important part of our family.

Part of this spoiling (if that’s even what you’d call it!) includes buying them special treats for their adopt-a-versaries, taking them out for adventures and making sure they’re included in as many family activities as possible. These things definitely make the pet ownership experience a lot more fun and exciting, but I often wonder if they really enhance my pets’ lives. I certainly would like to think that they do! And if tail wags are a measure of their contentment and happiness, then it’s safe to say that I’m definitely succeeding!

Aside from creating a fun life for your pet, there are a handful of things that you can do that go beyond a pet’s happiness, right down to their overall well-being, and can help to ensure a healthy life for them, as well.

Here are the five best things that you can do for your pet:

  1. Feed them the right food (and the right amount of food). This doesn’t mean buying the the most expensive food in the store. It means knowing your pet’s individual nutritional needs and choosing a food that meets those needs. A pet’s breed, age, size and activity level all factor into what and how much they should be eating. Consult a pet food expert or talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional requirements and food options.
  2. Help them maintain a healthy weight. Like humans, a pet’s weight is directly related to their overall level of health. A pet of normal weight is less prone to certain diseases and injuries and feeding the correct type and amount of food for your pet’s specific needs plays a big part in maintaining a healthy weight. But treating and exercise habits are important factors to consider, as well. If your pet is overweight, your veterinarian should be able to help you devise a plan to get your pet back on track to reach a healthy weight. It can be done! Really! Anyone remember the story of Obie, the severely overweight Dachshund who successfully lost almost 50 pounds?! 
  3. Keep their teeth clean. Dental health is so, so important to a pet’s overall health. Many pet owners, including myself, have tried to brush their pet’s teeth but have been unsuccessful and so, have given up. But you shouldn’t let your pet win this battle! Be persistent in your efforts, as hard as it may be to convince your pets that it really is for their own good. Talk to your veterinarian about other ways you can help maintain  or improve your pet’s oral health.
  4. Take them for heath checkups at least once a year. Keeping pets up to date on vaccines in many cases, is the law, but beyond that, yearly checkups can help to keep abreast of any issues that could adversely affect your pet’s well-being and can screen for changes from year to year that may require monitoring or treatment.
  5. Know their “normals.” Learn what a normal bowel movement looks like. How many times a day they urinate. How much water they drink in a day. How many hours they sleep. All of these things may seem insignificant, but they’re all part of your pet’s normal routine and changes to this routine could indicate an underlying health problem. Since pets cannot speak and are very good at hiding sickness and pain, sometimes the only sign that something is wrong is a slight change to their normal habits. The sooner you recognize the problem, the better chance of correcting it.

So, if you do these five things, are you guaranteeing that your dog will live to 15? Or your cat to 20? I wish I could tell you with definite certainty, “YES!” but unfortunately, that’s just not the way the world works. None of us can predict the future and we can never know how long our pets will live. We can only keep them as healthy as is within our control and by making sure that you’re following the five above guidelines, you’ll be off to a great start in doing just that!