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!

Dangers To Your Pets During The Winter Months.

Winter time in Philly can be brutal. We are a city that walks and bikes everywhere, even in freezing temperatures. Philadelphians will bundle up and head out, but what about our pets?
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Here is a list of possible dangerous to lookout for during the winter months.
BRING EM IN: It is important to use common sense for pets that are outdoors during extreme temperatures. If it is too cold for you, then it is too cold for your pet. During a walk time outdoors should be limited. You should watch your pet closely for signs of any distress including shivering, anxious behavior, slowing or stoping during a walk. If you see any of these signs you should seek shelter and warm your pet up with blankets as quickly as possible.

CHECK YOUR ENGINS: Cats will curl up against your car engine in the winter months to stay warm. Before starting your car, be sure to check under the car, tap on your hood or honk your horn to ensure not critters are hiding in there.

CHECK THIER PAWS: Pets that are outdoors can be exposed to rock salt and antifreeze during the winter months. Both of these can cause paw pads to become irritated, cracked, or bleed. If ingested, they can cause an inflammation of the digestive tract. To ensure your pets safety after a walk, wipe their paws with a warm wash cloth.

DRESS EM UP: If your pet will tolerate it a sweater can help keep them warm. Booty’s can also do a world of good protecting their paws from the elements and cold. Remember that dressing your pets up will not completely protect them. Dogs loss heat from their paw pads, ears and respiratory track so it is still important to limit the outside time during extreme temperatures.

Every dog will have a different tolerance to extreme cold weather. Always use caution in hazardous weather and pay close attention to your pets. We have to advocate for own pets safety since they can not tell us they are cold. Common sense and intuition can be the best defense to keep our pets safe. Of course, if you think your pet needs medical attention seek help from a veterinarian immediately.
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STAY WARM, STAY SAFE

5 Ways A Group Walk Can Benift You And Your Dog

On the Friday after Thanksgiving this year, our regular schedule was a bit off because of the holiday. I always start the pack walk around Center City with two dogs that live in the same home named Grady and Baxter. On this day, I picked them up and we walked our regular route but as we got closer to the building’s entrance where we normally stop to pick up two of their friends, Grady put on the brakes and would not walk. I could see in his eyes he was telling me to GO GET HIS FRIENDS! He could not understand why I was going to just leave them and not pick them up! I told Grady that it was OK and that we did not have them today. I finally convinced him to move on. Grady’s behavior got me thinking how much group walks benefit dogs. Here are five reasons why dogs and dog owners love group walks.

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  1. YOUR DOG MAKES FRIENDS I see the type of behavior that Grady was displaying all the time in group walks. Dogs that walk together daily form a bond that we call a “pack”. They enjoy seeing their friends everyday and have fun on their walks while getting in some socialization in monitored, safe environment. I often hear from owners that they get to know other owners because their dog pulled them to their fur friends houses or towards each other when the encounter on the street.
  2. PACK DOGS TEACH EACH OHTER HEATHY BEHAVIOR Dogs are social animals and they thrive when they are able to be part of a heathy pack. Allowing you pooch to participate in a group walk can help balance your dogs behavior and even teach them a new skill or two. For example, we love to pair up a puppy who is not the best walker on leash with a balanced pack. Suddenly the puppy is walking along and enjoying the freedom and stimulation that comes from being part of that pack. It can also help with many other situation like pulling, fear or shy behaviors.  The benefits are endless.
  3. POOCHES GET TO GO POTTY! This one is pretty self explanatory but of course they get to go potty while out there on the walk.
  4. THE DOG WALKER IS NOT DISTRACTED I see distracted walkers all the time around the city. They are on their phones texting, or talking away or listening to music. However take notice the next time you see a person walking more then one dog. If that person is in control of their pack, you can bet they won’t be on their phone.
  5. THEY ARE MORE WORN OUT AT THE END OF THE WALK This one is always the owners favorite. I hear all the time, “so and so is much better behaved after the group walk”. Proper pack behavior requires dogs to be focused and balanced. Doing these two things alone helps dogs calm down, then by adding a walk in, you have a recipe for success.

Dog Birthday Parties…A New Trend?

It’s not uncommon to have a small treat for your dog on their birthday, but lately at our dog daycare we have seen a growing trend for full blow birthday parties. I must admit, I have been caught up in the excitement too and look forward to throwing our next party for one of our pack members.

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The party’s remind of when I was young. The Birthday Boy or Girl’s mom would bake a delicious treat for the class to enjoy. The teacher would set up a special birthday theme for the day and there was always a buzz of happiness. The same thing happens at dog daycare.

During our last party, the dogs just knew it was a birthday celebration day and could hardly wait for me to get the treats ready. They swarmed around and were all of a sudden the best behaved crew you have ever seen. After the party they all needed to nap!

It’s all in good dog fun! I think we have the best dog daycare birthday bashes in Philly and I enjoy being a part of it all. Check out of our pawtastic parties on the link below.

Do I need a dog walker?

Many people wonder if their dog can benefit from having a professional dog walker and I say YES, all dogs can. Just like us, dogs need regular exercise to stay happy and heathy. Hiring a dog walker  when you can’t be there ensures you pet will get their daily dose of exercise and fitness. You can rest easy knowing there will be a professional dog walker keeping your dog on a daily schedule and routine.

The benefits are endless. Getting out in the fresh air helps your dog stay well balanced by providing lots of mental stimulation with new sights, sounds and smells.

Some times your dog just need to go potty! When you have a long day and can’t get home to walk your dog a professional dog walker is just the thing you need to help break up you dogs day.

It won’t matter if you have a young puppy that needs help with potty training, a middle aged dog that needs some exercise, or an older dog that needs a potty break, a professional dog walker is the way to go!