Pet Health

Our furry canine friends are just like us in terms of loving that Fall is here and temps are dropping. Gone are the "Dog Days" of summer which left everyone's tongues panting including ours, here in the Carolinas. Just like Summertime, Wintertime holds certain risks for our pets that need paying attention to.
1- Even though our Winter temps in the Carolinas pale in comparison to our Northern friend's winters do, we need to pay attention to how much time is spent outside when temps are cold.
Just because they are coated in fur, that doesn't mean they don't become acclimated to being inside out of the cold. Certain short hair breeds such as Boxers and Pugs are even more susceptible to losing body heat due to not being as furry as maybe a Golden Retriever.
2-When spending time outside in cold temps, remember that dogs bodies pull blood from the extremities to the center of their body to stay warm. This means that even though your dog may be rocking an awesome Christmas sweater, blood is being pulled away from the ears, paws and tail leaving them highly susceptible to frostbite.
3- Keep them boys and girls dry! Any moisture from standing water in the yard to sweat from frolicking around can make their body temperature plummet. Avoid letting them out after a bath until they are completely dry.
4-How cold is too cold? A good indicator of temperature is that if its too cold for you to stand outside your door without a coat, it's probably to cold for your dog. Let's handle our business doggies and get back inside!
5-Enjoy when the sun is out. Our dogs are like us, they need exercise in the winter months. (As always, this will help keep them calm and not get cabin fever). When the sun is shining, get outside and go for a walk, play fetch or any fun activity that will get the blood pumping and burn some energy.
6- Just like we like to have an extra layer on our beds on cold nights, give your pooches extra bedding this time of the year too. Avoid letting them sleep on cold wood or tile floors. Those plastic trays in crates can get very cold also. Throw them an extra towel or blanket in to snuggle with. They will thank you!
7- Dogs will often seek heat during cold weather. Keep them away from heat sources such as space heaters and fireplaces. Also, if you have baseboard radiator covers, you can install covers to protect them.
8- Hydration. Keep water readily accessible just as in warmer months. It is just as easy for a dog to get dehydrated in Winter as it is Summer.
9 - Stay inside as much as possible. Enjoy outside time but once you get cold and need to go in, bring the dogs in too.
10- Don't overfeed. Feed normal healthy food amounts. The only extra layering our pets need to put on in winter are those sweet sweaters as I referenced before.
11- Keep their paws clean. Salt can stay on roads and sidewalks long after the snow is gone. Check paws and clean as necessary.
12- Lastly, remember the senior pets. Cold weather is harder on us older human's; arthritis and snap, crackles and pops. Older pups will have the same aches particularly arthritis. There are some good natural joint supplements out there to help keep their joints lubed up. Also, exercise as much as possible.
Our pets depend on us to keep them safe and healthy. Remember, few things will help keep you warm on a cold winter night as a dog (or 5 in our case) snuggled up with you on the couch!

Feline Distemper affects vital cells Annual exams and vaccinations are important for the health of your pet, family and pet sitters. Fluffs of Love is researching details this fall about viruses that require annual vaccines in dogs and cats. Today we look at a preventable virus that highly contagious and life-threatening to cats. Feline distemper, or FVP, requires several initial shots to prevent distemper in kittens and cats. But after the second inoculation, cats are safe from contracting the virus from infected animals. Feline distemper is a misnomer, because the virus does not affect a cat's temperament. Also cat and dog distemper are not related nor are feline and canine parvovirus. However, the feline parvovirus causes distemper in cats. Humans, cats and dogs cannot catch the parvovirus from one other. Many names and acronyms refer to feline distemper: feline panleukopenia virus, or FPV; and feline parvovirus, or FP. All of these refer to the same virus, which can be prevented with vaccinations and deadly without required annual shots. Symptoms include uncharacteristic behavior? Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and several other signs the cat is not well. Some less common symptoms are cats hiding, tucking their feet under their bodies and or resting their chins on the floor for long periods of time or suffering from a lack of coordination. Symptoms of the virus might not show until four or five days after a cat was exposed to infected blood, urine or feces. Fleas that attached to infected animals can also transmit the virus. Pregnant cats are at high risk of contracting the feline distemper because of their compromised immune systems. A pregnant cat that gets infected can pass feline distemper to unborn kittens or after their birth through breast milk. Infected cats from two to six months old are most likely to suffer from severe symptoms or death. Young kittens benefit from vaccination? Kittens as young as four weeks can get a killed vaccine if they have likely been exposed to the virus. Kittens older than 4 weeks can get a modified live vaccine, but neither live nor killed vaccines protect the cat until after second vaccine. Feline distemper attacks blood cells? This virus affects blood cells that divide rapidly, especially cells in the intestines, bone marrow (which makes red and white blood cells), and in the stem cells of a fetus. With blood cells under attack, the FPV can lead to anemia and make the cat vulnerable to other viral or bacterial infections. Cats can survive distemper. In adults cats, the virus usually occurs in mild form and might even go unnoticed. Cats that survive feline distemper will never again be sickened with the virus after they are well. Disinfect contaminated areas?The parvovirus resists common disinfectants and can survive for years in contaminated environments. To clean an environment where feline distemper is suspected, leave a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to a gallon of water for 10 minutes. Then wipe away the solution. Renowned veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker recommends Rescue Disinfectant Cleaner. A cat with distemper can shed the virus through urine and feces for up to six weeks. If your home had a cat with distemper, disposing of all pet items the cat came into contact with is safest. But you can soak the hard items in one of the solutions above. Anything that was soiled with feces or urine should be discarded. If your shoes or clothing were contaminated, dispose of them. When you are handling a cat recovering from distemper, use soap and water frequently and keep your cat from other cats as long as the veterinarian recommends. But do show the cat attention and affection. Cats suffering distemper are physically and emotionally depressed and need you interaction. Change clothes when you leave and wash them well. You, your pets and any other cats can avoid feline distemper with a couple of shots. Vaccinate ANY cat before you let it into your home. NOTE: The feline distemper vaccine is required for any stay at Purrfect Paradise Cat Hotel. (www.purrfectparadisecathotel.com/) At Fluffs of Luv, your pet’s care and comfort is our primary concern. We are extremely careful not to spread illness from one pet to another. Therefore, we require all pets to be current on vaccinations. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits now. Resources pets.webmd.com/pet-vaccines-schedules-cats-dogs - This link provides a useful chart of core and non-core vaccines. www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2134&aid=222 www.vetstreet.com/care/feline-distemper-and-rabies petmd.com/cat/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_ct_feline_panleukopenia Keywords feline distemper feline panleukopenia feline parvovirus FPV FP By Beth Crosby

Pets want holiday treats, too!

When you celebrate, your pets want to celebrate with you. You have cake, so they want cake. You have a tossed salad, and they think they want one, too! But they shouldn’t have sweet frosting or anything with Xylitol as a sweetener. Some things we might share aren’t healthy, such as raisins and nuts.

The good news is that while you are in the kitchen making goodies for Christmas, you can make your pets some healthy treats without much effort. You probably even have the ingredients in your kitchen!

Purchasing a dehydrator at an outdoor gear store can initially be a big expense, but it will save you as much as you spend, and you can control what your pets eat.

For dogs

Dried fruit, such as apples, are easy to make and last a long time in a container. Thinly slice apples after removing the core. You can peel them or not. Any apples will do, as long as they are firm. Both green and red apples dehydrate well. Place slices on the dehydrator shelves and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar). Cinnamon has many healthy effects, such as stabilizing blood sugar and fending off fleas and ticks. You can also dehydrate bananas, blueberries and sweet potatoes. Limit the number of banana and sweet potato pieces because too much potassium can dangerously speed heart rate. Remember that dehydrated foods expand when introduced to the stomach’s juices. So limit these treats more than you would others.

Plain frozen yogurt is as tasty to dogs as it is to us! But be sure that you freeze sugar-free, plain yogurt in plastic ice cube trays. You might mix fruit or cinnamon into the yogurt before filling the ice tray pockets about half-full. Plain yogurt on dog food makes the food irresistible! And yogurt supports the digestive system.

Dogs love green beans and carrots. Our black lab string beans frozen, thawed or cooked. Vets recommend that green beans are a great way to fill a glutton’s tummy without adding many calories. If you serve canned green beans, look for low sodium options.

Most pulpy fruits, such as peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon are safe for dogs. Just remove the seeds and rinds. Citrus fruits can cause tummy upset.

For cats

SimplyPets.com offers some great, simple recipes! Some are more extravagant, such as Super Salmon Smashers.

Catnip pancakes– Knead 4 oz. ground sirloin, 3 tablespoons of oatmeal, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of catnip into a ball. Then flatten it on a cookie sheet. Broil at 425 degrees for 8 minutes (4 minutes on each side) or until crisp. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into bite-size pieces. http://www.simplypets.com/pet-recipes/Cat/Treat

Tuna balls – Combine 1 can of drained tuna, ½ cup cut turkey or chicken and 2/3 cup dry cat food with optional sliced vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or asparagus until well-mixed. Form into small balls and chill for about an hour. Roll the balls in bread crumbs or crushed cat food and serve.

Cats don’t generally like fruits and prefer moist proteins.

AVOID avocados, raisins, onions, garlic, nuts, yeast, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, milk and dairy. Also limit coconut or coconut oil to small amounts. The fats and oil can cause gastric distress. 

Share the joy and tastes of the holiday with your pets. Plan ahead like you do for the rest of the family, and be careful to reduce their mealtime food to account for the treats. Healthy treats for both of you is a great new year’s resolution, too! You can enjoy many of the same healthy fruits and veggies, as well as lean meats and proteins. If you wonder if a particular food is safe for your dog, cat or rodent, simply search it online or visit our blog index on the right side of this page. http://fluffsofluv.com/contact-us/blog/

If you have other questions or topics for a blog post, leave us a comment below or contact us!

By Beth Crosby

Perhaps as part of the whole foods, back-to-basics trend, a growing some people feed their dogs and cats an all-meat, raw diet. They reason that since cheetahs and wolves don't barbecue, feeding processed kibble doesn't make sense. Consider these pro's and con's to going raw.

The pro's include the animal's natural inclination to eat meat like their wild relatives. Meat provides the nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

Processed pet food uses fillers such as grains to bind the food together and make it cheaper. It therefore contains less meat. In many kibble and canned foods, the grain content far exceeds what the animal would naturally eat. Some pets exhibit sensitivity to kibble which a raw diet seems to alleviate. The heat used to process processed food also kills natural enzymes inherent to raw food. The enzymes are said to improve the animal's oral health and digestion. 

The cons to raw food include some pets' inability to tolerate raw food and the risk for food-borne illness, although raw pet food adherents say that gradual introduction to raw food can reduce these possibilities. Feeding raw bones may lead to splinter-related injuries, so commercially prepared raw diets use ground bone. Prepared raw foods also ensure a better balance of muscle and organ meat, versus homemade raw diets.

Raw food is inconvenient, messy and bloody, unless you buy dehydrated raw food. In either case, it requires strict attention to cleaning bowls and implements and measuring the food.

Instead of pouring a scoop of food, most people weigh raw food to make sure their pet has enough to eat. Servings vary based upon the animal's size. 

Companies typically sell raw food in frozen logs (for large dogs), patties or lumps that require refrigeration and freezer space. You have to defrost the food properly daily to maintain the food's safety and the safety of your food meant for people. Raw food should be eaten immediately. 

If a pet sitter cares for your cat or dog, she must be willing to learn about and implement your pet's raw food regimen because switching back and forth abruptly isn't advisable.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.  

20140318_085926As temperatures skyrocket this summer, don’t forget about keeping your dog cool. Whether your dog spends most of his time outdoors or indoors, these tips are important for the health and wellbeing of every pooch.

  • Check and refill water bowls a couple times a day. It’s hot! Your dog’s going to pant more and drink more. Watch for signs of dehydration: An overheated dog will drool excessively, become lethargic and have bloodshot eyes. If your dog lives outside, it might be smart to invest in an automatic dog waterer.
  • Provide shade from the sun so you dog has a cool place to get out of the heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, be innovative. Cesarsway.com suggests investing in a kiddie pool, setting up a fan in front of a pan of ice or misting your dog with sprinklers. If you have a white or lighter-colored dog, you might have to apply sunscreen to the tops of his ears and nose to help prevent sunburn.
  • Exercise early or later to avoid the hottest part of the day and keep your dog’s paws from burning on the pavement—or from overheating. If you have to walk during the hottest part of the day, bring water for your dog. You might even purchase doggie boots at your local pet store to protect his feet.
  • Spray your pup with water to cool him off quickly. Because dogs cool from the bottom up, spray his paws and belly first. Water is a dog’s best friend during the summer. So look for opportunities to swim!
  • Never leave your dog in the car, not even with the windows down and water to drink. According to PETA, on a 78-degree day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 100 to 120 degrees in just minutes. On a 90-degree day, try 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Animals can die from heatstroke or sustain brain damage from such high temperatures.

By Deanna Morono

 Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and Cat and Dog Grooming. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.

 

Is your dog like every dog out there and looks forward to treat time every day? Does your dog sit with anticipation as you head for the treat bowl only to stare at you with the “mom I can’t believe I am only getting one, but I did sit and stay!” Like your furry friend, my dog does just that.  I give my furry friend high quality all natural treats; not only does she go crazy over the bag I have a peace of mind knowing I am providing her with the best quality treats I can. I bet you are thinking “what type of treats does she buy” and the answer is Charlee Bears! That’s right, they are made with your pet’s health in mind. Charlee Bears are made with all natural ingredients and baked for just the right crispy texture your dog will love. Charlee Bears have only 3 calories per treat so you can rest knowing your pet will not gain excess weight with the proper amount. The average store bought dog treat has a range of 30-120 calories per treat and are highly processed making them an all-around unhealthy choice for your furry friend. Your pet will love you even more when 10 treats are passed out instead of one.

Grab a handful before you head out for that evening walk or car ride your pet loves so much. You can put them in your pocket or small zip lock bag, just remember wherever you put them your dog’s nose is sure to follow. Next time you need to buy treats put the leash on your fury friend and stop by so they can pick out their bag of Charlee Bears!

By: Arianne Ortiz

Fluffs of Luv Pet Sitting offers an array of customized pet care services, including pet supplies, grooming, in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and more. Stop by today and pick up your pet supplies!

Flufs of Luv Pet Supplies

315 Main Street Suite 1

Pineville, NC 28134

704-421-3492

www.fluffsofluv.com

Fluffsofluv@gmail.com

You are what you eat…does this hold true for pets too?

With commercially grown wheat, corn, and soy, there is an abundance of food products that have these ingredients as the main source of fillers. While wheat, corn, and soy are not entirely “bad” they seem to be the go all when mass producing food. So how does this impact your pet? Most of the common pet foods you see lining the shelves of your local pet stores or grocery stores have fillers. These fillers are in abundance and are generally by-products of soy, wheat and corn. This provides carb intake however it is with little nutritional value. Where does your pet get proper balance in nutritional value? This comes from replacing “bad” carbs with complex carbs found in sweet potatoes, peas, barley, rice, and potatoes; that’s just a few! Foods that are not highly processed enable your pet to have the healthiest possible choice in a dry food diet. Just like you, your pet requires a well-balanced, minimally processed, high quality food to obtain the best possible nutritional value. Pets who are provided such diets tend to maintain healthier weights, skin and coats. A perk for pet parents, less mess to clean up in the yard because your pet is utilizing the food rather than expelling most of it. That’s right, food high in by-product fillers are not nutrient dense therefore your pet expels it frequently.  If the body can’t use it to fuel itself then it must go somewhere. Many of these foods are high in caloric intake contributing to obesity in pets. When a pet becomes obese it impacts their overall health and well-being. It can increase the risk of joint pain, trouble breathing, poor hygiene, heart disease, diabetes, and forms of cancer. Help your pet stay healthy with a grain-free diet.

Stop by Fluffs of Luv store today and pick up your bag of grain-free food

By Arianne Ortiz

 Fluffs of Luv Pet Store

315 Main Street, Suite 1

Pineville, NC 28134

704-421-3492

www.fluffsofluv.com

Fluffsofluv@gmail.com

 

Many pet parents are overjoyed with having their furry baby to play with, spoil, and exercise on a daily basis.  At times you may contemplate whether your pet should get groomed regularly. You may have a short-haired pet companion so you think “they do not need it” or you may have a long coated pet that needs frequent brushing and coat care but you think “I would love to have them groomed frequently but time does not permit.”
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slide5For many of us our family vacations or work travel are not pet friendly which leaves us with one question, who will take care of our furry friends while I am away? With all the options out there it turns into a difficult choice between pet sitting and boarding my pet. As your pet ages their comfort level becomes more of a concern while you are away than ever before. Many senior pets begin to feel the discomfort of hearing loss, arthritis, vision loss, joint pain, and simply “spoil me more than ever before because I deserve it” syndrome, at least my senior girlie does. With this in mind we must ask ourselves “where is my pet most comfortable?” the answer is home. While there are many boarding facilities to choose from the most comfortable secure feeling place for your senior pet is in a familiar environment with the added benefit of your scent on everything. Boarding facilities generally house multiple pets of all ages, personalities and activity levels. With unfamiliar scents, barking, and multiple people this can cause high anxiety in even the most relaxed furry friend. When pets get overly stressed for long periods of time they can form colitis, hair loss, anxiety, and loss of appetite; adding to an already vulnerable state that will only decrease their happiness. Pet sitting in your home is the perfect solution! Your senior pet will get one-on-one with a familiar face, comforts of their own home where they feel secure, and the added benefit of having someone coming in to ensure your home is safe while you are away. After working in a veterinary clinic for over ten years that offered boarding, I saw the health benefits of pets having pet sitters versus boarding. Those with a pet sitter had less anxiety, less gastrointestinal issues, and appeared much happier when their parents came home. Consider hiring a professional pet sitter the next time you travel. Your pet will thank you!

By: Arianne Ortiz

Fluffs of Luv Pet Sitting offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.

Heartworms can be deadly however are preventable with a monthly step that ensures your furry friend’s safety. Heartworms are a parasite that infects the heart and are transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Adult heartworms generally grow 4 to 12 inches and live up to five years in the pet. Our feline friends are just as vulnerable as our canine friends and can be harmed in the same way; outdoor pets are five times more likely to contract heartworms than indoor pets given their exposure to mosquitoes. Although heartworm disease is curable, in many cases it can be fatal to your pet and the treatment is invasive with no guarantees. Here are some preventable measures that will aid in the safety and health of your companion friend. Heartgard is a monthly chew that resembles a treat and is a prevention against heartworms. Heartgard also acts as a monthly de-wormer against hookworms and roundworms. Iverhart Max is an effective monthly heartworm prevention that has the added benefit of de-worming against hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. These are just a few among your many choices. Due to North Carolina’s mild climate yearly it is essential to use a monthly prevention year round. Some breeds may be sensitive to the active ingredients in various heartworm preventions, therefore it is best to consult your veterinarian about what is the best fit for your furry companion. Using organic sprays to repel insects, especially mosquitoes, and monthly flea/tick preventions will enhance the health of your pet by protecting them from those unwanted visitors. Don’t delay…start today!

Written by Arianne Ortiz

Fluffs of Luv Pet Sitting offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.

 

We can't wait to play with your furry family member. Call us today for a FREE consultation.

Fluffs of Luv, LLC

Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Cat Sitting & Overnights

(704) 421-3492 (828) 668-2860 Text (704) 612-8166 Fax PetSitter@CallFluffs.com

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