Over the years we have collected a "knowledge base" of tips on daily pet care, and preparing your home for your pet while you travel. Below is a collection of these tips.


Bringing a pet into your life can sometimes approach the needs of a child. A good name is very important!

  • Pets respond better to one or two syllable names that they can easily recognize.
  • Pick names with strong consonants at the beginning or end (e.g., k, n, t)
  • Consider names that are easy to call out (e.g., "Rocky") - don't use something exotic.
  • Pet's behavior is a great source for names (a "Rosy" personality leads to a dog named Rosy!)
  • Avoid names that sound like instructions (Fletch sounds like "fetch"). Animals have trouble discerning such differences.
  • Get a book on baby will certainly find something fun and practical.

There are a number of small, but important, key points about dogs that most people do not realize. Key to all is the fact that most of a dog's traits are learned. Let's explore some of these interesting points below:

  • Habits learned in the first 2-4 months of life stick with puppies forever.
  • Growing up in a quiet home, he may react aggressively to new sounds when older. Therefore, puppies should be introduced to other animals and people when young to reduce their fears.
  • Until all vaccines, their travel and exposure should be limited to prevent illness.
  • The puppy should have as much free run as possible in the home so he becomes comfortable with all new sights and sounds.
  • At about 8 weeks, fear of being alone can be strongly ingrained; keep him at home with minimal contact.
  • After about 8 weeks, make sure this time period is very interactive and fun. Take your puppy to obedience classes. This is important in bonding with your puppy and helping them overcome distractions.


Many dogs that people deem uncontrollable are often in need of basic training. We are strong supporters of the Southwest Florida Professional Dog Trainers Alliance and their ability to turn unruly dogs into well mannered pets with a high success rate.

CLICK-HERE to visit their web site and learn more.



All cats, especially indoor cats, need exercise and energy outlets. Give them games or they make their own such as climbing drapes. Nearly all cats favor some kind of "hunting" amusement. Games that involve stalking, pouncing, chasing, or batting objects are favorites. Like dogs, many habits are learned but are not so obvious. Let's look at a few:

  • Stretching is natural for cats. They are always exercising in stretch when running or reaching. Draw toys out of reach or pull a string along the floor. They go to full stretch to reach them.
  • Climbing is natural with a feeling of "power" once they get up high. Using a drag toy, pull it along and up the stairs or scratching post.
  • Cat Aerobics is good for the cat and owner! Chase toys are great for getting their heart rates up.
  • Try also a red laser pen from an office supply store. They just go nuts over running after the red dot! Be careful though...although these lasers do not harm humans, cat eyes are so sensitive they could be damaged (this game should be left to an adult ONLY).


We cannot forget about our bird lovers! Many dog and cat lovers often have birds and they have their own needs. Below are some points on bird care:

  • Verbal Commands: What words do they understand? Do they like to "chat" with humans?
  • Gestures: Do hand and body movements scare or entertain the birds?
  • Eating Habits: Does it enjoy being hand fed or is food a "territorial" to them?
  • Bird Baths: Does it have its own bath or bathing habits?
  • Night covers: Do they have their own "blankets" like humans? Some birds like pitch dark at night.
  • Cage Cleaning: The cage needs cleaning every day to prevent harmful bacteria.
  • Biting: Is a bite a sign of play or fear?
  • Bird I.D.: Like dogs and cats, they should have some kind of microchip or leg tag.
  • Bird "Backup": Sometimes they get out of their cages or fear returning and a known person needs to help recover them.


Be kind to your pets! Please take just a little time to think about some of the safety items below to pet-proof your home whether you are gone or at home.

  • Household cleaners, furniture polish, disinfectants, insecticides, antifreeze, fertilizers, and perfumes can be dangerous to many animals.
  • Make sure cupboards and storage areas are secure. A nosey nose and a paw can pull open spring loaded doors and cabinets - make sure they latch.
  • Keep the toilet lid down - they might fall in and the germs are never good for pets.
  • Toss old plastic bags, rubber bands, tie wraps, and food wrappers. Plastic is toxic to animals and all can be easily swallowed.
  • Lock up all human medications - the rattling bottle can entice them to pry open a pill bottle.
  • Remove candy, nuts, chocolate from coffee tables - these can be toxic to all dogs and cats.
  • Keep moth balls completely out of reach of cats, dogs, and birds - they can kill them.
  • Put away hobby supplies! Paints, glues, needles, and threads are interesting to cats especially.
  • Lock up all garbage containers.
  • Remove all plants that might be poisonous to animals.


We all grow old and get pains but our furry friends still cannot tell us when something is wrong. Do them a favor and follow through on the points below for a happy life.

  • Establish a relationship with your vet. A check up every 6 months is highly recommended.
  • Become aware and informed of health conditions common to certain breeds of animals.
  • Feed your pet the best food without preservatives and chemicals. Multiple small portions are much better than 1 big meal.
  • Do no overfeed your animals! Like humans, obesity is now a killer of animals!
  • Consider dietary supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin to help prevent arthritis.
  • Give older dogs moderate exercise, but reduce the amount and pace as they age.
  • Brush your dog's teeth daily and plan for annual dental checkups and cleaning.
  • Vaccinate only once every three years. This is now advised by many medical colleges.
  • Be diligent in controlling fleas/ticks with regular bathing and brushing.
  • Keep you senior pets around you as much as possible. Boredom can hurt as much as old age.


Before jumping in the car to leave your loved ones (your pets) please take a minute to check through the following preparations to ensure the safety of your pet!

  • Coordinate all activities with your pet sitter.
  • Make sure there is more than enough food and litter.
  • Lay out all leashes and pet carriers.
  • Lay out (securely) pet medications.
  • Where are my toys?
  • Note any last minute home problems (e.g., plugged drains).
  • Check the thermostat keeping it at a comfortable level.
  • Check lights, timers, blinds, windows, door locks.
  • Remove dangerous plants
  • Give the neighbor, and/or gate keeper the sitter's name.
  • Give the pet sitter the alarm code and password.


When a stranger comes into the home, there is an adjustment period for all animals. If they have not seen their masters', a flight reaction is common for them to run in hopes of finding them in addition to getting away from this new person.

Please take just a little time to have a metal name tag with emergency information inscribed on it and attach it to their collars. It will then be impervious to weather. Considering the $5 investment this should be imperative for all pet owners. A simple light weight aluminum tag is very good for cats and dogs. Consider placing the pet sitter's name and phone number on the tag as well should you not be available.

Also, think about the "microchips" for animals. They are so small now, and are inserted under the skin above the shoulder blades via a near painless procedure. Should your pet be found, a simple electronic scan by a human society person or vet will reveal all important information about them and the owner. The Humane Society can microchip for a small fee of $25. Either way...please identify your pets..the pain of a lost one never heals.



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