8 Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated this Summer

dog hydrated tips puppies drinking

Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy family and friends. Not only for you but for your furry family as well. Dogs enjoy getting out playing with other dogs and just having the freedom to roam and explore their surroundings. However, the summer months in the South can be detrimental to the health of your pet. It is important to learn how to keep your dog hydrated and safe during these hot months.

Recognize Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Help your pet by learning the signs of dehydration. Signs of dehydration include loss of energy, excessive panting, and your dog’s eyes might appear sunken. Your dog might also have dry and sticky gums. If dehydration has reached this level in your dog, call your veterinarian immediately. Your pet will need to have their fluids replenished and be monitored to avoid their condition deteriorating.

Know Daily Water Recommendations

Your dog needs one ounce of water for each pound they weigh. If your pet weighs 30 pounds they will need 30 ounces of water a day. It does not hurt them to take more water in during hot months. Keep a close eye on how much your pet is drinking each day. It is a great idea to measure out their water to ensure they are getting the proper amount. Check your pet’s water bowl a few times during the day and refill it with fresh water as needed.

Provide Shade for Your Pet

Furry pets need a lot of shade in the South during hot months.  If you are relaxing in the shade or air conditioner, your pet should have a cool spot they can retreat to as well. At times, you might have to encourage your pet to go to their shaded area and relax.

Add Water to Dog Food

Consider offering your dog more wet food during summer months. If your dog is not drinking enough water on its own, you might also consider adding a little water to their dry food. Dry food is not high in water, so adding a little is a genius way to get more water into your furry friend.

Keep Water on Hand

Since summers in the South are extremely hot, most people keep cool bottles of water on hand. When planning a trip outside the home, always take extra bottles along for your pets. Just as easy people become overheated riding in a car with no air condition, so can your pet. If your pet does become overheated or slightly dehydrated, with bottles of water on hand, you can act quickly.

Provide Frozen Treats for Your Pet

Everyone loves frozen treats whether its ice cream or popsicles. Your dog will love them too. You can purchase these treats in just about any store that sells dog food. Also, consider making your own frozen treats for your pet. Frozen broth is a great treat for dogs. It is a great way to give your pet something tasty and keep them cool and hydrated.

Keep Your Dog Groomed

Keep your dog well-groomed during the hot months. Not only will they look better, but they will feel better too. Your dog’s undercoat is actually part of their natural cooling system, but if not properly maintained it can become matted and prevent the necessary air flow across your pet’s skin.

Purchase a Kiddie Pool

Set up a kiddie pool in a cool and shaded area for your dog. Fill it with water so that your pet can take a cool dip when needed. If your dog has no problem with being in water, it will appreciate you showing love with this quick and convenient way for them to splash around and cool down.

To find out more about keeping your dog happy, safe, and healthy in the hot South this summer visit us.

 

Fireworks and Pets: Your 5-Step Guide to Enjoying the 4th of July

4th of july boy dog

As the 4th of July approaches, you may be looking forward to attending one of the many multi-day fireworks celebrations held across the state. Or maybe you’re hosting your own laidback get-together at home. Whether you are planning to attend a festival or host your own event, it’s important to ensure that your pets receive the proper care during fireworks. Below is your 5-step guide to safely enjoying the 4th of July fireworks with your pet without worries:

1) Plan in advance to keep pets indoors 

The single most important step you can take to keep your pet safe during 4th of July fireworks is to plan to keep your pets inside your home or apartment. If you are planning to entertain at your home, you may even want to designate a special room or level of your home for your pet. This measure will help prevent your pet from venturing outside if a guest inadvertently leaves the door open.

2) Secure trusted pet care if you plan to be out of town

It can be challenging to secure reliable pet care on a busy holiday weekend. So make sure you make a reservation with a boarding facility or pet-sitting service as soon as you confirm your travel plans. As you compare options, look for trusted providers like Little Friends.

3) Consider a pressure wrap or medication for anxiety-prone pets

“Pressure wraps like the Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap may help calm some pets. While we do not know the exact mechanism for how they work, some suggest that the light pressure they produce on the body may lead to an endorphin release that could have a calming effect.”

– Amanda E. Florsheim, DVM, CBCC-KA 

46% of dogs and cats are fearful of fireworks. No one likes to see their beloved pets afraid. Some pet owners find that crating their pets helps to alleviate anxiety. Owners of pets with more serious cases of fireworks anxiety find that pressure wraps like Thunder Shirts and medications help to alleviate stress for their pets. Always consult with a licensed veterinarian before introducing an anti-stress medication.

4) Keep your pet occupied

Keeping your pet occupied is a great way to help lessen any minor anxieties your pet might have about fireworks. Here are a few ways to help you keep your pet busy while fireworks are in action:

  • Give your pet a new toy on the 4th of July
  • Play music or a sound machine to help counteract the noise of the fireworks
  • Consider using a pet-sitting service to keep your dog occupied

5) Thoroughly clean up all debris if you are celebrating at home

Pieces of burned wrapper and gunpowder can be harmful to pets and small children if they are ingested.  Before you allow your pet to re-enter your yard, make sure that you have thoroughly scanned your yard and collected all leftover debris. Finally, make sure that you give debris time to cool down before attempting removal or disposal.

The Bottom Line

By following the tips above, you can enjoy the 4th of July fireworks while keeping your pets happy and comfortable. For more tips on enjoying a safe summer with your pets or to learn more about our services, contact us anytime.

Millennial Dog Owners Love Charlotte!

There’s a lot of reasons why millennials are flocking to Charlotte, especially those millennial dog owners! Charlotte is one of the fastest growing big cities in America for millennials, and it has so much to offer, from affordable housing to fabulous pet-friendly restaurants, patio bars, parks and much more. Charlotte is also home to a lot of big job-makers in the financial and banking industry. So whatever brought you and your pet to Charlotte, we’re certainly glad you’re here. We’re going to share with you a few favorite restaurants, shops, and entertainment locations in Charlotte that welcome both you and your dog!

Dog-Friendly Bars and Restaurants

The first few stops on our list are some of our favorite dog-friendly breweries in Charlotte. There are so many dog-friendly pubs and breweries in our city, you could visit a different one every day of the week! The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is a German-style brewery, pub and spacious 8-acre beer garden where you and your dog are both welcome. There’s plenty of outdoor seating and umbrellas for shade. Their menu is loaded with delicious German style food and beer favorites!

Another hometown favorite is the Noda Brewing Company where your pet is welcome both inside and out. Their tap-room has a long list of beers that you’ll enjoy trying, so make sure you and your fur friend stop by and check out Noda’s when you need some relaxation time!

A third pet-friendly brewery to visit in Charlotte is the Triple C Brewing Company. Here you and your pet can also enjoy outdoor seating and umbrella-covered tables, endless choices in year-round beers, and free pretzels and dipping mustard!

If you’re in the mood for authentic Latin-style food, Sabor Latin Street Grill is definitely worth checking out. Their tables under the front awning are dog-friendly. With eight locations in Charlotte that welcome both you and your pet, this unique restaurant specializes in dishes from El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia. From street food, to tacos, to burritos, they’ve got something for everyone! Don’t forget to try one of their specialty margaritas or mojitos.

For those of you that love pizza, both you and your fur friend are welcome to dine in the outdoor seating area at Pure Pizza. This particular style of pizza is made with the health-conscious person in mind! These self-described “Farm Lovin Pizza Freaks” proudly use organic vegetables and flour to create their healthy pizza pies. So if you’re wanting to try an organically focused pizza restaurant with your pet, you’ll want to try a slice at Pure Pizza. You can get a glass of wine or a pitcher of beer to go with you meal here too!

Dog-Friendly Shopping

And after you and your fur friend have enjoyed a great meal and beer, you can walk the calories off at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. The location in Charlotte has over 50,000 square feet full of antiques, vintage, and unique home decor. Your leashed pet is welcome and you two can spend the whole day wandering their aisles! You might not have anything in mind that you really need, but in a place of this size, and with so much retro variety, we’re sure you and your buddy can find something that catches your eye!

In the market for a new book or a unique gift? The Paper Skyscraper welcomes dogs! For more than 25 years, this now 5000 square foot neighborhood shop specializes in cards, books, gifts, and much more. They’ve got great selections of notebooks and paper, in addition to old-school games and a variety of eclectic items.

Some of Our Favorite Dog Parks

There are so many dog parks in Charlotte. Here are just a few to check out:

  • Frazier Park – 16.5 acres with clean drinking water available for the dogs. A very clean and beautiful park. It’s a great place to walk your dog.
  • McAlpine Creek Park – 114 acres that has a dog park. Nice paths, creeks, and bridges can be found at this park. A dog-friendly park with clean paths and trails.
  • Freedom Park – 98 acres of pet-friendly area which includes trails, ponds, water fountains, and walking paths and trails, in addition to, 5 outdoor shelters with grills.

A Few Closing Thoughts

Currently, Charlotte is ranked the #1 city in America where millennials are moving to. There’s enormous opportunity in Charlotte, and many great places for both you and your dog to visit once you get here! It’s a growing city that’s filled with great places to eat, drink, shop and have fun. Best of all, such a large percentage of these establishments welcome pets! Charlotte really is the ideal city for millennial dog owners.

And for those of you that are new to Charlotte, you and your fur friend will have to make it a point to come meet Terry Richardson, owner of Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking. Terry, a true animal lover and parent to five dogs, opened up Little Friends in 2009. She now employs over 60 pet sitters and the business services over 1000 pet clients. Little Friends has numerous locations throughout Charlotte and they offer a variety of services to help serve as a substitute parent for your best fur friend, when you’re unable to. Their services include pet sitting, pet walking, pet taxi, errand service and many more! Feel free to contact them today with any of your pet related questions that you may have. They look forward to walking your dog and making a new fur friend!

 

 

 

 

5 Fantastic Pet-Friendly Communities in and Near Charlotte

pet-friendly communities charlotte couple with dog

Known for its Southern charm, you already know that Charlotte is a rapidly-growing, bustling city. But did you know the city is also becoming incredibly dog-friendly? If you are looking for a place to live in Charlotte, consider one of these pet-friendly communities. Those with children often look at factors like school districts when selecting a home, so why wouldn’t you do the same for the furry member of your family? Amenities ranging from nearby dog parks to pet groomers have a major impact on your four-legged friend’s quality of life. Check out these top five pet-friendly communities in Charlotte and the surrounding area:

Ballantyne

This neighborhood south of Charlotte is a spectacular place to live for those with pets. The nearby William R. Davie Park contains Davie Dog Park. There are two separate fenced-in, off-leash areas for large and small dogs. Check out the full list of dog parks in Mecklenburg County for additional information and rules. Bring your dog to dinner at a dog-friendly eatery, such as Burger 21 or Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant. If your pooch needs a new ‘do, check out Pampered Paws at The Fountains. In addition to major chains like Petco and PetSmart, you can shop at Pawtique Holistic Pet Shoppe for your dog’s everyday needs. Remember to take your pet for his or her annual checkup at the Ballantyne Veterinary Clinic.

Cornelius/Lake Norman

This area to the north of Charlotte provides a number of fantastic services for your pet. Swaney Pointe K-9 Park at Ramsey Creek Park provides four acres of fenced-in, off-leash space. Tuesdays are Beer and Bath Night at the Lucky Dog Bark & Brew. Kick back with a beer while your pet gets a bath for only 15 dollars.

There are a number of groomers to choose from, including Impeccable Paws, Tazzy & Boo Pet Foods & GroomingLake Norman Pet Grooming, and Puppy Luv Dog Grooming. Whether you’re feeling like a curry at Sangam Indian Cuisine or BBQ at Mac’s Speed Shop, there are multiple dining options to choose from that allow pets. Concerned about the health of your pet? Take him or her to one of the nearby animal hospitals, including Main Street Veterinary HospitalNorth Mecklenburg Animal Hospital, and Animal Hospital of Cornelius.

Dilworth/South End

With a number of amenities for both dogs and people, Dilworth seems like an obvious place to live. Close to both Latta and Sedgefield Park, Dilworth will make you forget that you are just over two miles from the center of Charlotte. Need a birthday cake for your dog? Check out the Canine Café where you can pick up a number of supplies for your pooch. K9 Playland Dog Training will help you make sure your dog is well-trained and ready to hit the town. Choose from nearby veterinary clinics such as Dilworth Animal HospitalSouth End Veterinary Clinic, and Long Animal Hospital to take care of your dog. When the sad day comes when you have to say goodbye to your furry friend, Paws, Whiskers & Wags offers compassionate cremation services.

NoDa

Known for its art, this neighborhood also boasts numerous pet amenities. Visit a hiking trail or throw a frisbee on the field in North Charlotte Park. Looking for a place to relax with your pup? Grab a beer at The Dog Bar where well-behaved dogs can be off-leash inside a fenced-in area. Other establishments that allow pets include JackBeagle’s and NoDa Brewing Company. Stop by Four Dogs Pet Supplies and be sure to visit the art gallery when picking up some premium food and other doggie gear. Whether you are taking your pup in for an annual or sick visit, Uptown Veterinary Hospital and Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic are nearby and ready to help.

South Park

Don’t confuse this location with the cartoon. South Park is a great area for pet owners. Visit nearby Ray’s Fetching Meadow, which is a one acre, off-leash dog park located at McAlpine Creek Community Park. Stores like Pet Supplies Plus and Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming have everything that you need for your pup. Whether you are looking for a simple Bath & Brush or a Fancy Hair Cut, Canine Carousel Of South Park will deliver the grooming your pet needs.

From chains like California Pizza Kitchen to local spots like Sushi Guru, there are a number of dining establishments that allow well-behaved dogs. Choose between four nearby veterinary clinics for your pet’s health needs: South Park Animal HospitalAAA Pet ServicesBanfield Pet Hospital, and Cotswold Animal Hospital.

No matter where you decide to live, be on the lookout for amenities that your four-legged friend can enjoy. If you are looking for pet sitting services, consider us at Little Friends Pet Sitting & Dog Walking. We service all of the locations listed here and many more in Charlotte and the surrounding area. Contact us today for more information about our services, which include Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Home Care, Pet Taxi, Errand Service, and Key Pick Up/Drop Off for your convenience.

Living and Working in Pet-Friendly Charlotte

In beautiful Charlotte, companies in all industries are interviewing and hiring personnel, and people continue to move here from all over the country. As these new Charlottetonians find a place, put down roots and embrace the area they build a life. Single folks with or without children, married couples, those with partners and entire traditional families, are all flocking to Charlotte. Most of these are young movers and shakers who dive headfirst into both active work and social lives.

A huge consideration when moving is how short can I make my commute? Another major concern is will it be pet-friendly? Many transplants bring along their best four-legged friends, and many others will be adopting a fur friend in the near future.  Luckily, Charlotte is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation with 6 off-leash dog parks and a general trend of being very welcoming for pets and their owners.

Dog Parks in Pet-Friendly Charlotte 

  • William Davies Park
  • Barkingham Park as Ready Creek Park
  • Frazier Dog Park
  • Fetching Meadow at McAlpine Creek Park
  • Shuffletown Park
  • Mallard and Clark’s Creek Greenway

We love to take our pups of all ages to play in the open air, socialize with other dogs and exercise their hearts by running their little legs off. As the old saying goes “a tired puppy is a happy puppy.”

Why Hire a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter?

The problem is, we moved here to work and have jobs we like, but this can be demanding. Our best friend is home alone while we are gone 8 to 10 hours each day. The guilt weighs on us. Maybe a neighbor can be persuaded to take your buddy on a walk in the afternoon, though that can create a lot of other issues. Are they reliable? Will they treat your pal right? Do you trust them with someone you love?

Perhaps you are a cat lover. Your little meow mix may not require quite as much attention as a dog, but cats need ear and chin scratches too. If you are only home to sleep because you are burning day and night hours in order to meet a deadline or have to go out of town, who is giving your little whiskered one attention?

Little Friends is the Ideal Solution

Thankfully Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has an experienced staff to take up the slack when you just can’t. You can schedule your pet sitting times so that your fur buddies receive one on one attention in increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. The longer the visit, the more the sitter can do. Of course your baby gets more attention, but they will also do things like get your mail, rotate blinds and  water your plants.

Dog walking has the same increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes including a potty break, fresh water and snack you have provided.  The staff and sitters are all insured and bonded and all have been through a thorough interview process and background check. All pet sitters must love pets, and also have to prove a history with pets. All of the sitters have either owned pets, previously sat for them, worked with animal rescue groups or even worked in a veterinary clinic. With over 70 sitters providing services to over 1000 clients, the reputation of Little Pets speaks for itself. Here is a guide to the sitters who will love and take care of your pets.

Little Friends has a big footprint covering a lot of real estate. In fact, if you find they don’t already cover your location you are invited to call them to see if your location can be added to their coverage area. Established in 2009, Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has long been serving Charlotte’s pet needs with excellent service and has gained a great reputation. They truly do make your pet a priority when you are unable to.

 

Why You MUST Have an In-Home Consultation With Your Pet Sitter

If you need someone to watch your pet while you’re out of town or if you are looking for a dog walker to visit your dog while you are at work, then an in-home consultation is crucial. You will be bringing this new person into your home and into your pet’s life. For that reason, the two of you should meet before they begin working for you. Here are some reasons a consultation is so important:

You Get a Sense of the Sitter

Your pet sitter is going to be coming into your home when you are not there. If you are going through a reputable agency, you should have some reassurance that this person has had background checks and been thoroughly vetted. Even if that’s the case, you should still meet to get a sense of this person. An in-home consultation gives you a good idea of how comfortable you will be allowing this person into your home to care for a cherished member of your family.

Your Pet Gets to Know the Sitter

It is so important for any prospective pet sitter to meet your pet ahead of time. Sometimes cats can be skittish when it comes to strangers, but dogs may be even more of a concern. If your dog is territorial or just anxious, he will definitely need to see that this person has your seal of approval. Letting the pet take his time to check the pet sitter out while the two of you talk can help to alleviate fears. This means your pup will be much more comfortable with the sitter the next time they meet.

The Sitter Can Be Introduced to Routines

Obviously, the sitter is going to be caring for your pet, so it is a good idea to introduce them to your pet’s routines. Show them where your pet’s supplies are kept. Let them know when and how much to feed your pet. You may even show them the route you take your dog when you go walking, and of course where their harness or collar and leash are kept. This is also a good time for the sitter to understand what rules your pet is expected to follow, like not jumping or sitting on the furniture. Your sitter will also have the opportunity to see what commands your pet is familiar with like “sit” and “stay.”

How to Introduce Your Pet

When the pet sitter comes into your home, the two of you may just sit and chat, initially. This will give your pet the chance to check out this new person without any pressure. Here are some things you can try when introducing your pet to someone new:

  • Keep him in another room until the sitter has settled in. Once the pet sitter is seated, you can release your dog or cat.
  • Let your pet make the first move. While the two of you talk, your dog or cat may come to investigate. Your dog may sniff or your cat may rub up against her. The visitor should not make any eye contact or attempt to touch your pet until the pet has made the first overtures. This indicates that they are open to being touched.
  • Allow the sitter to offer your pet some treats. This will help to build a bridge. Do not allow treats to be offered if your pet is behaving in a shy or fearful manner. This could actually reinforce the anxious behavior.

Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking offers in-home consultations free of charge. This allows you to meet with a sitter who is experienced, bonded and insured and whose background has been thoroughly checked. This gives you peace of mind and allows your pet to acclimate to a new caregiver while you are present. This also gives you and the sitter the opportunity to discuss your pet’s needs and routines. For more information or to schedule your consultation, visit our website or give us a call today. You can also fill out the new client paperwork here.

Entertaining Your Pets with Music & TV!

I’m sure that you or someone you know will turn on the radio or the TV when they are leaving a pet alone in the house.  I bet you’ve also wondered if this is really effective, or if we, as humans, do it because it gives us a little peace of mind.

But are our pets really entertained?

Image from Huffington Post

Research shows that it CAN be effective!

Music, depending on the genre, can help relieve stress and anxiety in pets.  Different types of music can garner different types of reactions.  Classical music, for example, can calm and relax your pet, whereas rock music may cause hyper or even aggressive behavior.  Playing some soft, calm music can help your pet rest, relax, and go to sleep.  Researchers also say that it’s best not to play music around the clock, just at strategic times during the day, like meal time, bed time, or when you know you will be leaving the house.  It becomes less effective if played 24/7. There are many apps you can download, for cats and dogs, that offer different types of music for different situations.

Image from National Geographic
Pets LOVE watching TV!

Having the TV on helps alleviate separation anxiety, improving your pet’s state of mind when they are home alone.  TV seems to be more effective with dogs than cats.  According to the Alpha Dog Blog, dogs prefer watching other dogs on TV.  They also respond positively to sounds of praise, happy human voices, and squeaking toys.  There is now a TV channel with 24/7 programming called DogTV!  And for our feline friends, there are interactive videos and DVDs for cats called “Meowvies” that can be found all over the internet!

Pet shelters have been using music and video to help calm and relieve anxiety in their furry residents.

The ASPCA has said in their blog recently that it has helped tremendously. The shelters play music for a couple of hours, and not every day.  And by doing that, and avoiding overexposure, they feel it has made the biggest impact.

Please keep in mind that while music and TV are great to use to help us take care of our pets, they should not be used as substitutes for other important activities, such as play time or cuddle time.

TV and music can be a wonderful addition to your pet’s healthy, well-balanced life!

Share with us!!

Have you tried this with your pet? Do you have a specific radio station or CD you play?  Does your pet react to a specific TV channel? Do they not react at all?  Have you had any negative experiences with music or video in regards to your pet?  Let us know, we want to hear from you!

References:
The Alpha Dog Blog, NY Times Blog, Huffington Post,
thebark.com, petspyjamas.com, aspcapro.org

Your Comments are Crucial to our Company!

One of the many things that Little Friends Pet Sitting has benefited from are the reviews we get from our clients.  The rave reviews about how wonderful their sitter is are always nice.  But, we also like to get feedback on what we can do to improve service are helpful as well.  Truth is essential, in business and in life.  Our goal is to have our client rely on us completely, and to receive the service they expect and deserve.

I know the saying goes, “No news is good news,” but we feel the exact opposite.  We want to hear from you!  What did you enjoy most about your visit?  How was your experience with your sitter?  How did your pet respond to your sitter?  How was our communication with you?  Do you feel like all of your needs were met?  If not, what could we do differently next time?

With the growth of social media, and online presence, here are some ways you can let us know what you think to help us improve our business and services:

Click on links below to check us out on different social media outlets, and feel free to leave your review, as well as see what others are saying about us!

 

 

                     

 

 

We value your opinions!  Let us know how we’re doing!