Stormy Weather, again….

Looks like a tropical storm is headed our way.  Doesn’t seem like it will be much more than a rain maker but they are also calling for lot’s of thunder storms.  This of course will become an issue for many of the pets in our lives.  So the time to prepare is now.

Wet Dog
Rainy Day Dog

If you are using a Thundershirt, you need to start using it before the storms are around.  The reason being if you only put the shirt on your dog when a storm is coming they will anticipate a storm and start to get anxious when you put the shirt on them.  If you put the shirt on and off during calm times when there are no storms they will lose that association.

Give your pet a safe place to go.  Dogs love to have a “den”, a covered or enclosed area where they can go and feel safe.  This could be anything from a crate covered with a towel or blanket, a closet or small room with no windows, I even know a few dogs who like to get in a bathtub during a storm.  Louie G always loves to get in my closet, small, cozy and it smells like me.

Diffusing essential oils to help calm your pet stay calm is my favorite.  I am a big fan of Calm A Mile.  Calm A Mile is a blend of several oils that offer your pet a calm and grounding experience. This is a veterinarian grade essential oils created by Dr Melissa Shelton an Integrative Veterinarian.  Louie G, my standard poodle, is horribly frightened of thunderstorms and

Rainy Day Dog

fireworks.  If I start diffusing the oil prior to the onset of the commotion, we can win the battle.  You can find this oil and others online at AnimalEO we also keep a small supply of these oils on hand if you are interested in trying them.

We also use Bach Flower Remedies, specifically Rescue Remedy.  Flower remedies are a homeopathic remedy that can be used alone or with other types of treatment.  Rescue Remedy is now made in an animal formula which does not contain any alcohol which some people prefer for their pets.  Typically only a few drops are needed to acheive the desired results.

We have also tried some natural types of calming chews that have had varing degrees of effectivness.  I would definitly check with your vet before choosing one.

Other things to remember during a thunderstorm is that your pet may be affected by all the static electricity in the air.  You can help to cut down on this by rubbing a drier sheet on your pet.  Also remember that your dogs hearing is far greater than ours so if the rain or hail is pounding down on the roof or pavement, they may become fearful.

My best advise is to find the thing that will work best for your pet and use it before the animal is in a frantic state.  Once they have escalated to being terrified it will be near to impossible to calm them down.

I may love a rainy day but I sure do hate a thunderstorm kind of day, I just hate to see Louie G suffer.  So let’s do our best to keep them calm and happy.

Natural Pets

I have had an interest in natural and holistic care for my pets for many years.  Around 2000, I started by going to talks and seminars on holistic pet care, searching the internet and doing a lot of reading and experimentation.  My lucky dogs got to be the guinea pigs.

One of the first decisions I made was to discontinue semi-annual and annual  vaccinations (except for rabies as it is required by law) I made this decision after attending a seminar by a holistic vet.  Some of the points she made stuck with me; Continue reading “Natural Pets”

If This Was An Actual Emergency……

It’s hurricane season and we hear be prepared, be prepared, be prepared.  But hurricanes aren’t the only emergency situation that we need to be worried about.  I have lived in Florida for since 1992, not that long but longer than many.  I have been through several small hurricanes, lot’s of tropical storms, rainy days where let’s just say an amazing amount of water came out of the sky.  I have seen flooded streets, patio furniture fly off balconies, docks torn away, roofs coming off and trees smashing everything in their path, when the ground got too soggy and the wind too strong.  House fires and gas leaks, the Republican convention?   Yeah, that too.  Emergencies can come in many different forms, if you are prepared for one you are most likely prepared all.  So let’s take our lesson from Katerina and BE PREPARED and never, ever leave your pets behind.

So what do I need to do to get my pets ready for an emergency?  The ASPCA recommends:

Continue reading “If This Was An Actual Emergency……”

Dog Tales: Stories from our Rescue Dogs

I decided to share some stories of our dogs, all rescues.  It started with Spike in 1999 and our newest is Penny Lane.  I was originally going to try and get this down by writing about each dog, one at a time.   Now I have decided that I have too much to say about everyone and that it would make more sense to just share stories at my whim.  So here we start with Louie G and Walter, numbers 2 and 3.  I hope you get of sense of each of each of these amazing animals, where they came from, their travels through life, to emerge in a place that is loving and safe.  Forever.

Our Gang
Louie G, Walter, Myself

Continue reading “Dog Tales: Stories from our Rescue Dogs”

Dog Parks

Dog Park Etiquette

dog park play
dogs playing

Dog parks. You either love them or hate them.  We are very fortunate in St Pete to have so many places we can take our dogs to play, from North Shore Park to the beach at Fort DeSoto.

The ideal of the dog park is of course, dogs having fun with enough room to run, to fetch balls, play frisbee and socialize with other dogs and people.  The up side for the owners is  you get to socialize with other dog lovers and meet their dogs.
The not so ideal; dogs getting into fights, people get knocked over by running dogs, your dog gets sick after being at the park, owners who ignore their dog while it bullies the other dogs, stepping in… get it.
If everyone steps up and follows a few simple guidelines we can all have a fun and safe time at the park.

*Follow the rules. Most dog parks have posted rules.

*Healthy dogs only. Kennel cough, mange and other health problems can spread like      wild fire in an open dog community.

*Be sure your dog is current on their vaccinations.

*No puppies under 4 months of age. They aren’t fully immunized and are at a higher risk of contracting diseases.

*Don’t bring small children. Dogs running fast have been known to knock over an adult, imagine what could happen to a child.

*Remove the leash as soon as you enter the off leash area. Mixing leashed and unleashed dogs can cause aggression.

*Limit your use of toys or food treats to avoid dog on dog conflict.

*NO female dogs in heat, that combined with unneutered males is asking for trouble.

*Bring only as many dogs as you can manage. The typical ratio is one human to 2-3 dogs.

*Do not allow dogs to form loose packs. There is a potential for serious problems including ganging up on weaker dogs and possibly attacking them.

*Be realistic about your dogs play potential. Not all dogs enjoy playing with others, some dogs prefer to sniff every blade of grass. If your dog is not having a good time it’s time to go.

Dog park
Squirrel Hunting a favorite dog park activity

*Supervise your dog, be prepared to interrupt inappropriate play.

*Clean up after your dog.

Stay aware of your surrounding and your dog and everyone will have a enjoyable experience.

For a complete list of dog parks in Pinellas and St Pete please follow these links:  Pinellas County Dog Parks and St Petersburg Dog Parks

happy anniversary Calling All Dogs 

Happy Anniversary to Calling All Dogs! 

This year Calling All Dogs will be celebrating our 11th anniversary.  In the pet sitting business that is huge, most people who start in this biz tend to burn out in 5 years or less.  Not to say that I haven’t had my days or weeks but with the help of a great staff we are 10 years old and growing.

So to celebrate this great occasion I decided to share some of our clients through the years.

Jill.  She would come and sleep over with us and as you can tell from the look on her face she was a little impish

Riley, although very sweet, was not well socialized and ended up being a fearful girl.  I hope she was able to work through that.

Petey was a true love on my life.  Powerful but a lover.  His head was so big that when he licked your face you were afraid he would take it off.

Murphy with Louie G.  Murphy belongs to one of the Ray’s players and would spend road trips at our house.  He was a young guy and manners were not always the best.  Especially the time he ate my sofa.

Dear Miss Lilly had to find a new home when her mom had a baby.  Hope she is doing well, we miss her.  Bailey here got her new little sister Daisy this past year and they are a dream team to be with.

Kira lived in our building and loved to go for walks with Louie G and Walter.

One of our newest clients, Orion.  A great big lover dog.

And Wolfie, guess what?  Wolfie is a wolf hybrid.

Thanks to all of our clients past present and future.  We love you all and look forward to another 11 years.