5 Benefits of adopting a pet

Please take me home

There are so many benefits of adopting a rescue pet, not least because you will be saving lives and also have a friend for life.

When you adopt a shelter pet, it really can be a life changing moment. Nothing can beat the excited wag of dogs tail, a happy purr, or a long cuddle at the end of your working day.

There is a serious pet overpopulation in the U.K and not every pet is lucky enough to find a new home, which results in healthy cats and dogs being put to sleep. The following are five good reasons to adopt from a rescue group, or shelter.

Save money

Did you know that the majority of rescue centres will microchip, and neuter your pet before they are rehomed?  They will also worm and vaccinate and some shelters will even test cats for  FeLV and in some cases, dogs are checked for heartworm.  They also receive a veterinary check and will hand out advisory sheets, outlining the best care.

Saving lives

Pets in shelter are all deserving of a second chance and contrary to some beliefs are not there through bad behaviour.

They can be lost, abandoned, the result of a divorce, or their owners could have died.  Whatever the reason, it is rarely the result of unwanted behaviour.

By adopting a pet, not only are you rehoming an animal, you are also not supporting puppy mills, which is an industry that thrives on making money, by churning out endless puppies and kittens.  These poor animals are often inbred and suffer hideous health defects and illness.  Not to mention mothers and fathers who are kept in confined spaces, with little food, proper housing and human companionship.

You will also be making room for another poor unwanted animal, thereby giving them the chance of a loving home.

Help break the cycle of overpopulation

Sadly, there are just not enough homes for animals who are born each year and adopting from a rescue centre helps to lesson this cycle.

An estimated 47,000 dogs alone were abandoned last year.  Some found their way into rescue, while more than 5,000 were put to sleep.  Across Britain, it has become so desperate that both dogs and cats are now being euthanised at a rate of one every couple of hours and the situation is now in crises.

Every day, rescue centres are struggling to cope and the ‘throw away’, mentality is being blamed.  Charities are hoping that this number will start to reduce, following the legal requirement to microchip your dog, which came into force in 2015.

Health benefits

Having a dog is a wonderful motivation to go out walking.  A dog that relies on its owner for their daily walk, with help you to get moving.

Owning a dog will also reduce isolation and help making new friends. They also provide a sense of purpose as well as a faithful companion.

Research also shows that pet owning victims of heart attacks, are far more likely to make a speedy recovery.  They are also instrumental in reducing anxiety and relieving stress.  Stroking a cat can also give warmth in the winter and reduce blood pressure and playing with them can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine, helping you to relax and reduce stress and depression.

Improve your social life

Owning a dog, can especially be beneficial at facilitating interactions with other people that you meet on your walks.  Often talking with other dog owners or people, may even help you find love, since they can instigate confidence when approaching someone you are attracted to and even cat ownership, can be more appealing to those of the opposite, or same sex.

Seriously though, owning a dog will at least help you to make friends and they can often act as an ice-breaker at your side.

 

I have just covered a few benefits here of adopting a pet, since there are too many to mention, like returning home from a hard days work to find an excited dog or cat that can provide the companionship and support that we desperately seek.

Other pets also have positive effects, so consider your lifestyle and be sure that your chosen pet will fit into your routine.

 

 

 

5 Ways To Spend Valentines Day With Your Dog

1. Enjoy a break together

Dogs love interaction with their owners, so a weekend away would be a fun treat for both. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll on the beach, or an amble through leafy forests, dogs are a wonderful ice-breaker and taking a cute dog on a weekend break, could also land you the perfect mate!

2. Donate to your local rescue centre

Valentine’s Day is all about caring for those you love, so why not donate to your local rescue centre and spread some love to those animals who need it most.

3. Bake your dog a home made treat

 

 

Dogs adore food and what better way to say ‘I love you’, than a homemade treat.

4. Play their favorite game

What dog doesn’t enjoy playing a good game of ‘fetch’ and exercise is also great for reducing your waistline!

Playing and interacting with your dog is a wonderful way to keep them stimulated and you physically fit and they thrive when they are able to engage in these types of activities.

5. Watch a film together

Dogs simply love affection and snuggling with their owner is a delight shared by both. Put some popcorn in the microwave, open a bottle of Prosecco and snuggle down with your dog with Marley and Me, but don’t forget the hankies!

5 Christmas Gifts For Your Dog

Bling & Sparkle

If you are looking for a little bit of bling and sparkle for your dog/cat this Christmas, look no further than these beautiful rhinestone collars/pet jewellery that will certainly not break the bank.

The large size start at £9.00, with the small costing as little as £7.00 and can be purchased from our very own store at Nina’s Nannies for Pets.

It is wise to remember however, that these collars are not to be used with a lead.

Ruffle Snuffle Treat Ball

We love this treat ball, since it has been created to provide enough of a challenge, but deliver rewards quickly to your dog.

It is made entirely from fleece so no rubber to chew in the middle.

It is also machine washable for easy cleaning.

Again, very reasonably priced at £5.50 and can be purchased from Ruffle Snuffle

Tetford Chesterfield in Heather Tweed

This is one of the most expensive Christmas offerings, but it has been hand crafted and made of the finest Heather Tweed. They really are a quality dog bed, that will fit into anyroom.

Retailing at between £350 – £528.00 this is a product to last and can be found at Lords and Labradors.

 

 

Kong Balls

This is a must toy for everyone with larger breeds, such as Staffordshire Terriers and German Shepherds.

These are the best bouncing and most durable balls on the market and perfect for the dog that loves to fetch and chew.

Made from Kong’s classic durable rubber they come in various  sizes, small, medium and large and retail at approximately £10.49 for the small, depending on where you buy them.  We found some on Amazon that start at £6.00

Dog Coats

Last but not least comes the classic dog coat and if you really want to splash the cash on your pooch this year, what about this quilted little number straight from Harrods!

As you would expect from a high end retailer, these are quilted Barbour coats which come in all sizes, from the tiniest, to the giant breeds.  As you would expect, they do not come cheap and start from £44.94 for the tiny size.

It boasts a slick quilted design, classic corduroy collar and adjustable buckle, with a Velcro closure for easy fastening.

You can find them on Harrods main site.

We hope you have enjoyed our five suggested dog gifts for Christmas and whatever the size of your budget, there is something for every purse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mystical World of Cats

Anyone who has ever lived with a cat knows that they have a certain amount of magical energy and people often refer to them as having ‘psychic powers,’ in their ability to understand our emotions.

Of our three cats, one in particular, Edna, who is our eldest rescue, has a really strong connection to my husband, who has Multiple Sclerosis and this manifests itself, when he is having an attack, or is feeling particularly poorly.  For the most part she is welded to his side and her loyalty to my husband is steadfast.

Magic

There is an old saying, that when a cat rubs against us, it is because they are sharing their magic and not only do they protect us from evil spirits, but also the negative energies that some houses harbour from previous owners.

Cat Burglars & Invisibility Cloak

Have you ever wondered why some people are referred to as cat burglars? Maybe its because they are adept thieves stealing at every opportunity.  From the scraps on your plate, to the milk in your fridge and then they disappear, just like magic!

Evil Spirits

How many times have you watched your cat as they constantly return to the same space in your house, staring at something that just is not there!

We know that cats have amazing senses and will often see things that you miss, so perhaps our cats really do see something that we miss and since they seem more curious than dogs, this could explain their sometimes erratic behaviour.

Healing

Just stroking a cat can release people from their mental and emotional stress and in the winter, they make the most wonderful hot water bottles.

Petting has been proven to lower blood pressure and this can reduce the risk of heart disease. A recent study also shows us that cat owners have a 40% less risk of having a heart attack.  Even a cats purr has proven to be therapeutic and has also shown, that owning a cat lowers your cholesterol and cuts the risk of having a stroke by 33%.

Athletic

Cats have the capability to squeeze into any small space, however small. They almost defy the law of physics as they twist and contort in the air, falling from great heights with no problem at all.

Have you ever tried shutting the windows and doors, to prevent your cat escaping outside.  Within minutes and without any explanation, they miraculously appear in the garden!

Telepathic

Well, they can predict earthquakes, know what you are thinking and even comfort the dying and  is it just a coincidence, that cats are never to be found when a vet trip has been arranged!

Our vet appointments just do not work and it is not because their carrier suddenly appears from the garage. They seem to sense  that I have just made the appointment, so does this really mean that there is a telepathic bond between us and that they are indeed clairvoyant?

As well as tuning into their owners thoughts, they also seem to know when an owner is expected home, regardless of them returning at unpredictable times.  In my early days of pet sitting I had no set time of my arrival and yet just before I was due home, all three would be dutifully waiting on the window ledge mewing as I walked through the door.

So cats have improved our lives in so many different ways.  We have fewer medical visits and live longer by owning a cat.  The psychic powers of cats may yet still to be proven, but for all of us owning and sharing our life with these creatures, is any further proof really necessary!

 

Helping a Dog Lose Weight – Weight management

Health implications for overweight dogs

There is an old saying with regard to overfeeding your dog and that is quite simply, ‘killing your pet with kindness’, or what you perceive to be kindness.

Of course dogs relish the opportunity of a cooked sausage or two and look at those eyes when they see you reach for their treat jar.  Sadly the reality of too many sausages and treats, can be an overweight dog causing lasting damage to your pets organs, bones and joints, leading to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Less calories – weight management

You can start by consulting your vet, who will advise the best diet for your dog and work with you to ensure that weight reducing and management, will be controlled and done in the correct manner.

They will also take into account your dogs exercise regime and calorie intake. It could be that just cutting treats altogether is all that your dog needs to shed those extra pounds.  If this is the case and once your dog reaches their ideal weight, a slightly longer exercise regime, is all that is required to maintain a healthy weight.

Don’t give in

It is so important that you hold firm when Fido offers those pleading eyes. Remember it is for their own good and if you are serving the correct portions, giving more food/treats will only add to more weight issues.

Begging is a trick that they will quickly learn to exploit, so put them away while you are eating.

Exercise

Increasing their exercise alone, is not enough to reduce a dogs weight, although it is very helpful.  You will need to start gradually, little and often, being mindful of older pets, especially in hot weather.

If your dog enjoys playing, outdoor activities such as hiding a favourite toy, will also stimulate their mind, as well as reducing their waistline.

Treats

Treats do not have to be like those found in a local supermarket packet.  Pieces of carrot, small slices of cooked liver, or chicken can be ideal, but remember to adjust their main meal accordingly.

Neither are treats essential and should always be given in small quantities such as the size of a fingernail.

Patient

Be patient with any weight loss/weight management program.  It may take a few months before your dog reaches his/her target weight and be sure to seek veterinary advice and guidance before a diet is agreed.

Having more than one dog

The best solution for someone who has more than one dog, is to feed them separately.

Do not leave food out when you are away from the home, since you cannot control who eats what when you are not around.

Weight loss success

For the majority of overweight dogs the key to weight loss success is commitment from their owners.

Dogs do not understand the implications of being overweight and rely on us for their well-being and safety.  By overfeeding our canine companions we are inadvertently contributing to a premature death or developing a debilitating disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Loss – Pet Bereavement – Help Guide

Saying Goodbye

The death of a much-loved pet can be devastating and saying goodbye can be an extremely tough and emotional time, especially for the elderly for whom their pet is often their only companion.

Just like the death of a human family member, losing a pet can result in the same set of emotions and in some cases, the devastation and pain can be worse!

What if!

All too often the death of our pets will make us question our decisions and the guilt can be unbearable.  Was there more that could have been done?  Should I have picked up on illness sooner?  What if I had been home when my pet fell ill!

It is all too easy for us to focus on self-criticism and find guilt where there is none and distorted conclusions can plague us for months, even though such feelings are completely illogical.

Euthanasia

This is never an easy decision, but we should never prolong a pet’s suffering.  It is often said that your pet will know when it is time, but it does not lessen the burden of guilt.

A good veterinarian will help you decide when the time is right and should never allow your pet to suffer needlessly and they will assist you through such a difficult time.

Unexpected death

There are two schools of thought when your pet dies unexpectedly.  The first being that it is in some ways easier and the second that some people may think that they should have detected symptoms earlier.

For some pet owners, an unexpected death is thought easier since they do not have to make that difficult decision to have their pet put to sleep.  We all hope that our pets will die peacefully, but this rarely happens.

Children

The finality of death is a difficult concept to explain to a child and they need to understand the finality.

We should remember the strong connections that are formed between a child and their pet and holding a burial, or having a memorial, will help to reinforce the importance of their lives.

Children may not immediately show their emotions, but this does not mean that they are severely affected by the loss.  Very young children may not fully understand the concept of death and reading age-appropriate books about death may prove extremely helpful.

Emotions

There can be a period of denial following the death of a pet, followed by anger, which can be directed at either yourself or even the vet.  Invariably, there will be times when you avoid returning home since this is confronting the reality of an empty home.

We may feel irritable, self-critical and fall into depression and pet parents realised that their loss is permanent.

Coping with loss

Speaking with others who understand your loss and are supportive can help.  The Blue Cross has a Pet Loss and Bereavement line 0800 0966606 or visit their website https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss

Sometimes recalling memories of your happy life together, rather than a snapshot of your pets last days/hours can help.  The pain may feel intolerable now, but YOU WILL GET THROUGH and there will be a time when those beautiful memories will bring happiness and laughter instead of pain and sorrow.

 

A Pet Sitter’s Diary

October 2017

A Pet Sitter’s Diary

Magic the puppy

So peaceful.    And then  ….  the baby alarm sounded.  Moses the poodle pup (4 months old) had started to stir.  I dashed from the bed throwing my dressing gown around my shoulders as I ran into the kitchen and opened the cage door to extract the most adorable puppy ever born.    As I picked him up he started to pee, and continued to pee down my dressing gown until I reached the back door and then he stopped!

It was so difficult to put him down onto the cold garden slabs.  He was adorable and like a living teddy bear.  His pleasure at seeing me was so touching but his pleasure at suddenly seeing his partially sighted brother was indescribable.   Poor Magic was subjected to repeated attacks from this little ball of ginger fur, huge eyes and a never-ending licking tongue.

The days were filled with regular play times in order to tire out the puppy and lots of cuddles for Magic so he wouldn’t feel left out.   Moses slept regularly in his cage as he needed his sleep for his development.  Watching Moses was a constant job when he was out of the cage as any lack of movement in his legs usually meant he wanted “out” but didn’t quite get the message to wait. Making sure Magic was cuddled and soothed and placated was also a necessity.

Walks were an experience.  Magic being elderly was slow and meticulous in his smelling of every corner and paving slab.   Moses, on the other hand, spent most of the walk standing on his two back legs and waving his front paws trying to win the attention of all passing walkers.  Which he did.

This pet sit was such a pleasure.  During the week I noticed Moses’s improvement in toilet training and routine.

January 2017

Moses – partially blind poodle

Three months later and the gorgeous poodles are even more gorgeous. Magic is still partially blind but may be considered a suitable candidate for eye surgery very soon.  Moses is now seven months old, still as adorable and a lot cheekier.  Night time cage is no longer needed and both dogs like to lie on their own blanket, on the floor, at the base of my bed.   Their gentle snoring is actually comforting and soothing.

Walks were determined by Moses whose furry face, huge brown eyes and wet nose would suddenly appear over the edge of the bed.  Whilst putting on Moses’ harness and Magic’s lead, Moses would grab the lead and excitedly pull Magic towards to door to hurry things along. Magic put up with a great deal of bullying from Moses but the playfulness will decrease in time.   Or will it?

My meals were taken in the kitchen whilst the dogs were eating.  This worked very well as they didn’t hurry their food in order to follow me around the house.

Evenings were spent sitting on the sofa with a poodle lying across each foot…

Pet sitting is an adorable hobby and job.  Why on earth didn’t I do it sooner?

Maggie with another furry client

Maggie Lennie

#AdoptDontShop – For the Love of Jenson

Celebrity!

Why caring for a rescue dog is such a pleasure and why we offer discounts for adopted pets.

We recently cared for a beautiful little Staffie called Jenson and it turns out that this little fella is quite a celebrity! Having just received a five-star review from his owner, we have learned that he was recently featured in Paul O’Grady’s programme ‘For the love of dogs’, where he was looking for his forever home.

Dog relaxingJenson enjoying his bench in the garden.

Andi, his Pet Nanny, had already featured Jenson on her Facebook page, having become totally smitten.

He was adopted by his now owner Kate, after only two weeks fostering and at the princely age of 8 ½ is still as spritely as ever.

When Kate came to us looking for the ideal pet sitter, she explained that Jenson was adopted, but there was little information about him. She knew that he had two previous owners and discovered that he was not keen on cars, could not be left alone without destroying the furniture and barked quite a lot!

Paul O’Grady

Jenson was featured in episode 5 in October 2016, when Paul was seen taking on the role of doggie masseur. Jenson has suffered accidental, permanent scarring on his back, which had left his skin dry and itchy. Jenson was really struggling with kennel life, until he found his forever home with our client Kate who initially foster him before falling for his charm.

Both Andi (his Pet Nanny) and his owner, have both said that he is a complete star. He now loves his car journeys and has shown no desire to shred the furniture, in fact he is a glowing testament to the real nature of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and not the demon dog that some of our media would have you believe!

There are so many advantages of adopting a rescue pet and Jenson is a shining example of the joy they bring into our lives. Not only are you re-homing a pet, you may also be saving the life of another by making room. They say that you cannot buy love, but you can buy it from a rescue centre!

Review

We would thank to thank Jenson’s owner Kate, for the wonderful review left on TrustPilot We so appreciate client testimonials and the fact that they take the time to show how much they and their pets have enjoyed our service speaks volumes about our service.

Please note our discounts for adopted pets. #AdoptDontShop

The best that you can be!

Last night I received an email from a client with a little blind Poodle. It wasn’t a long email and I have included it for your perusal, but it meant so much to both me and the sitter who cared for him that it prompted me to include it in my blog.

When Nina’s Nannies for Pets was formed, it was done through love – a love of animals that I believe was inherent from birth.  I have always found it easy to connect with animals, who were my constant companions as a child. Being an animal lover inevitably drew me to the veterinary profession which soon became a long held dream.  I was going to save every poorly pet on my planet and help rescue and re-home every orphan!

I felt sure that all I required to become a successful Veterinarian was love, but  I was soon to discover that I could not actually handle the not so pretty side of this profession, which was euthanasia and not forgetting that I was never really academically minded, or able to achieve the required qualifications.

When I left school at the age of fifteen, I decided to follow in my beloved dad’s footsteps and join the family painting and decorating business.  For a young female donning a pair of white overalls and venturing up a ladder to paint the outside of a house, was still a source of amusement in a largely male dominated world and yes I did look for the left handed screw driver and the tub of elbow grease, much to my workmates amusement.  I did not however, fall for my boss’s insistence that the woodchip wallpaper I had just spent an afternoon hanging, was upside down!

When I left the building trade, I spent several years doing secretarial work and a further six manning a switchboard, before my life was to change dramatically.  My husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was just forty two years old, but his determination and zest for life was unwavering and undoubtedly helped my recovery when fate was to strike once again six months later when I suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Without going into detail, it made me even more determined to attain my dream of working with animals.  Being away from the office made me realize how stressful and unhealthy it was and just how much I hated the work and so my venture into the world of pet sitting began.

After thoroughly researching the American pet care industry (it was largely unknown in the UK at that time), I decided that this would finally realize my dream of working with animals.

Meanwhile the phone is left unanswered since I am spending a considerable amount of time trying to help re-home a client’s dog whose owner is emigrating to Australia! When I have finally secured a place with a local rescue centre, it is time to address Mrs Smith’s SOS.  Her niece can no longer care for her hamster, three chickens, and her three legged pooch and she is flying out to Italy the following day!  I explain that a preliminary visit must be undertaken before an assignment is accepted, but she insists that she is so desperate she will accept anyone!  After almost half an hour of explaining our procedure and the benefits of meeting your prospective sitter, she agrees and I replace the receiver only for it to ring again.  This call is from a client desperate to excel the virtues of their regular pet sitter and why they must be available for a short notice wedding that is taking place that weekend!  My colleague had spoken to her earlier in the day, to explain that her regular sitter has already been booked, but she is insisting that little Bertie will only accept Susan and after all, she has used our services for over eight years!

So yes, I feel that I have realised my dream.  I am also extremely thankful that despite my setbacks, I have been able to help educate pet owners, but I will always feel that I could do more!

Serious illness does have a massive impact on your life, but for us it has been in a positive way.  Last night, when I received that email, I knew that you should never stop trying,  to be the best that we can be!