When You Leave Home, Your Pet Doesn’t Have To

Going on a Trip? What about your dog?

Companion CatWhen the time comes to leave your dog in the care of someone else, there are many options for dog owners to choose from. Some dog owners arrange to bring their dog to their veterinarian who will not only board the dog but during that time take care of all the routine vacations and grooming needs. Other dog owners prefer a boarding place where the dog has his own kennel and is taken on walks. Other boarding places have indoor facilities where the dog exercises all the time. There are also a lot of pet sitters who will take your dog into their home. Other sitting services will send someone to take your dog for walks and give the dog food and water. All these services will charge varies fees. Many of these services demand that your dog has all his shots, especially Bordetella to prevent kennel cough. Some lucky dog owners can also rely on friends and relatives to take of their pooch for a while. But those who do not have the financial resources to board the dog or do not have friends or relative close by should explore the internet, because help could be right in your neighbor.

Whatever arrangement you choose, of course, depends on you. What is important, however, is to leave critical information with the dogs care giver.

Make sure you spend a little time thinking about the things that make your dog (and you!) most comfortable when you are apart. Discuss these needs and wishes with the dog care provider beforehand. Most dog care providers ask the dog owner to fill out a questionair. However, in case you find someone who does not do this professionally, a list with facts about you and your pet should be provided. Here is a suggested checklist of information you might want to prepare for yourself and for the dog care provider. It’s not meant to be complete list – the more information about your dog you can give, the better!

  1. Give a copy to your care giver. Ask if they have any questions
  2. Take a copy of this list with you on your trip so you have the contact information of the care taker.
  3. On the day of your trip or time away, review the list and gather everything the care provider will need for your dog.

You should call the caregiver immediately if your plans change like to return early or late!

Information you need to have:

Telephone number of owner, veterinarian and caregiver

Eating Habits (Measuring cups, pails, bowls, food, treats)

Toilet Habits (leave enough refuse bags)

Grooming needs (grooming utensils)

Exercise and play routines (leashes, toys)

Medications (pills, directions, dosing tools)

Fears the dog might have(i.e. fire works, sirens)

Copy of shot records

Other things the care provider must know about the dog

The right planning and the right caregiver can make this time enjoyable for you and your dog. Of course there is nothing better than coming home to a happy and healthy dog!

Betty started her online community http://www.PetWatchClub.com in 2006. On her website pets and their owners connect with thousands of other members in their local area and beyond. If you’d like a check list as outlined in this article go to: http://www.petwatchclub.com/Checklists/PetWatchClub-general-checklist.pdf

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Is Neem Oil Safe to Use on Cats?

I see this question pop up often. Knowing the risks of using synthetic flea treatments, many cat owners are looking for more natural, non toxic remedies. Cats are always licking and grooming themselves. Whatever goes on their fur is likely to be ingested by the cat during their grooming regimen.

I have found Neem Oil to be an effective alternative. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It acts as an insect growth regulator and a repellent. It has been used in India and Asia on humans and animals for centuries.

Neem Oil is not an essential oil. I think that is where the confusion starts about using these oils on cats.

I asked Vicki Parsons, owner of Neem Tree Farms, about the safety of Neem use on cats and the confusion between Neem Oil and essential oils.

”Essential oils can be dangerous for cats but Neem is an expelled oil, much like olive oil, so it can be used straight on mammals. Tea tree, for instance, is an essential oil made through a distillation process – totally different from an expelled or pressed oil.

Neem for Cats is made with a chemical fragrance that is approved for use on cats, recognizing that the average person is not going to like the smell of straight neem but that EOs can be dangerous.”

Before buying a Neem product you should read the ingredients. If it contains essential oils I would not suggest you use it on your cat. Instead, you could just buy 100% Neem Oil and mix it into the shampoo you usually use. If you and your cat would like something more pleasant smelling try Neem for Cats. You could also make a dip or spray out of either product. They can also be used undiluted but do not cover the entire cat with it. Just use a few drops on the back between the shoulder blades.

You can also use Neem Leaf. It can be made into a tea to be used as a dip or spray.

For more info on Neem and other natural products, check out these links:

Natural Products for Insect Pest Management

What is a Neem Tree?

No Poo for Your Pet!

Ha! It’s not what you think!

About a year ago, I stopped shampooing my hair. Now, I don’t mean that I stopped washing my hair, I just stopped using shampoo. I now use baking soda, water and apple cider vinegar. I also switched our dogs to the same no-poo method of bathing them.

There are many advantages to the No Poo method.

  • You save money. There’s no expensive pet shampoo or conditioner to buy.
  • You probably already have baking soda and apple cider vinegar in your cubbard.
  • No Poo is a safe, non toxic way to keep your pet clean.
  • While you do want to rinse out the baking soda, it’s no big deal if you don’t get it all out. If left to dry on your pet, shampoo can cause dry skin.

This is what I do. We have large dogs so I use gallon jugs ( I reuse the apple cider vinegar jugs once they’re empty). If you have a small dog or a cat you can probably use half gallon or smaller.

  1. Prepare a gallon jug with about 1/4 cup of baking soda. Fill with warm water. No one likes a cold bath.
  2. Prepare another gallon jug with 1/4 cup (ACV) apple cider vinegar, then fill with warm water. Sometimes I add 1-2 drops of essential oil like lavender or tea tree. Or, I may add some Neem for Cats, or Neem for Dogs to soothe the skin and repel fleas.
  3. Before wetting your dog with water, sprinkle on some baking soda and massage it in to the skin. Rinse well with water.
  4. Take the jug with the baking soda/water and pour it on. Saturate all areas. Again, rinse well with water.
  5. Rinse with the ACV mixture, saturating well but avoid getting in the eyes. This step may cause stinging if your pet has any sores on his skin. Do not use on open wounds.

If my dog has had excessive itching I will use Witch Hazel instead of ACV. Witch Hazel can be used full strength between baths also to relieve itching.

That’s all there is to it. You now have a clean dog. You didn’t pour any chemicals into the environment. You saved money. Your dogs feels good. You feel good.

The No Poo Movement

The “No Poo” Hair Care:6 Months Later

Voice of the Voiceless by Ella Wheeler Wilcox



So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.

I am the voice of the voiceless;
Through me the dumb shall speak,
Till the deaf world’s ear be made to hear
The wrongs of the wordless weak.

From street, from cage and from kennel,
From stable and zoo, the wail
Of my tortured kin proclaim the sin
Of the mighty against the frail.

Oh shame on the mothers of mortals,
Who have not stooped to teach
Of the sorrow that lies in dear, dumb eyes,
The sorrow that has no speech.

The same force formed the sparrow
That fashioned man the king;
The God of the whole gave a spark of soul
To furred and feathered thing.

And I am my brother’s keeper
And I will fight his fight,
And speak the word for beast and bird,
Till the world shall set things right.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)