This week, I am writing my own article in hopes that it helps change some pet owners' way of thinking. It is a topic that is very close to my heart.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, have evolved so much from the time that our parents kept the family dog outside, they never came inside. Dog left outside in the elements, even if they have shelter and never being able to be inside with the family actually causes them sadness, stress and ages a dog a lot faster then being comfortable on an orthopedic bed in the living room with the family that they love; receiving pets and kisses, treats, toys and playtime.
And with the evolution of pets into the family comes the feeling that they aren't pets anymore, they ARE family.
I am one of those people.
In my line of work, I see a lot of misconceptions. One in particular is showing your love, to your pet, with food and treats. Overweight dogs are at such a high risk of obesity related illness and diseases, like diabetes. Do you want to put your dog through getting daily insulin injections, twice a day? The weight of the dog puts such pressure on the spine, the spinal disks holding the spine together, their elbows and knees as well. And by all means let's emphasis the pressure it puts on the heart to pump harder to just to move around. If they don't get the healthy exercise that they need AS WELL AS the diet food or just LESS food, they are prone to diabetes, arthritic changes in their back, hips and legs, which is so very painful for them.
This is no life for any pet. You've seen that overweight person walk through the mall or a movie theater; notice their gait, the effort that they have to put forth just to walk, the heavy breathing they do? How uncomfortable they likely are, in pain and how often they must have to sit down to take a break; how hard their heart must be working. It is NO different for a pet!
So if you have truly read the above, think about it. You "think" that you are showing your dog love with all those bowls of food, multiple times a day and so many variety of treats all day long. But what you are really doing is setting your pet up for long term medical problems, high vet bills, constant pain discomfort and all of the medication your pet will have to take for arthritis, diabetes, heart, anti-inflammatory meds for their spine. You don't want that for your pet, I know. It's just that some pet owners, love their pets in the present-day and time, and not thinking of what you are actually doing to their future health, mobility, comfort and happiness as an older pet.
I urge you to get with your Vet, listen to what he has to say and then truly do it. THAT is how you should show your pet love. Let him live a happy, active, pain free life. Yes, your pet, who doesn't understand any of this, will seem displeased and even pout with his new diet. So swap out the unhealthy diet and overfeeding and substitute it with fun distraction like walking, exercise, playing fetch, going to the dog park or play dates. For cats, build outdoor play areas, provide cat trees and high shelves around the house so cats can climb, jump and play. Get out that fake flying bird toy and give him that healthy exercise they crave. Cats are hunters by nature, they need the instinct to climb and jump and hunt.
No pet, no matter what breed, is made to just sit around on your lap all day or lay around and only exist within the square footage of your home or see nothing of the outer world than your back yard. Once I attended a lecture given by local Veterinarians, in another area, who explained to a group of pet-industry-professionals, that when a dog is on a walk and they are sniffing fire hydrants, free trunks, bushes, etc., that is the same thing that we do when we scroll through our Facebook or Instagram feed. Who is doing what and where. When they mark different spots that they was past, that's like they are leaving a comment or a post to the dog that was there before.
This subject really means a lot to me because I own a popular pet sitting and dog walking business and we offer so many different ways that we can help your pet become a happy, pain free and healthy pet. Isn't that what you want for your pet? If you don't have time after work because now you have to cook dinner or help with homework, then that is what we are here for. Call us to see how we can help your pet. Go to our website at www.noniespetcare.com and take a look at all of the services that we offer, package deals or one time "try us out". See the difference that we can make in your pet's life.
Pet sitting is generally of two types: Pet sitters that come to the house at specified times to feed, allow bodily elimination, and exercise the pet are the most common. Other pet sitters will not only care for the pets but can stay at the pet owner’s house so pets have constant companions, or at least night companions. Pets can also show signs of stress when their owners are away but it tends to be less severe when they are in the familiar surroundings of their own homes. In 30 years I have yet to treat stress induced bloody colitis in a pet that has been cared for by a sitter. Having sitters also has the advantage of protecting the pet owner’s home. Newspaper and mail collection by the pet sitters eliminate "away from home" signals to possible “bad guys.” Pet sitters create near normal household activity that also discourages potential robberies like bringing in newspapers and the mail, they can care for indoor and outdoor plants and alternating indoor lights. Pet sitters are more likely to recognize potential health problems sooner and can arrange for the pets to be seen by a veterinarian. My experience is that pets with pet sitters tend to be less subject to separation stress.
So, Which is Better - Boarding or a Pet Sitter?
To me the obvious choice is pet sitting. It is as close to a normal environment for the pets as possible and is also great insurance against crime. It is my personal choice for my pets."