Christmas Dangers for Pets

We may still only be in November, but already Christmas trees and decorations are being hauled from the loft and with them come potential dangers to our pets.

Last Christmas, within 24 hours of publishing my vlog about the dangers of chocolate, I found myself and German Shepherd Dog Luika, in the vets at Leighton Buzzard, having his stomach pumped!

Such an embarrassment and a fine example of how quickly and easily dogs can capitalise on our mistakes.

Being a pet sitter, we have frequent visits from happy clients brandishing bottles of wine and boxes of chocolates.  All of which we donate to the staff of  local rescue centres as a thank you for their hard work throughout the year.  Sadly they are all to often forgotten and without their dedication and hard work, pets would never find suitable homes.

On this particular day, my husband had answered the door, to discover a beautifully wrapped parcel on our doorstep.  He was late for an appointment and left it on kitchen workshop at the same time as I had answered the phone.

I turned my back for no more than five minutes to discover on my return, a demolished parcel, an empty box of Baileys finest liqueurs and a rather sorry and furtive looking German Shepherd Dog!

I immediately reached for the phone to put our vets on alert, grabbed his lead and made a dash to the car.  Luckily it was only a few minutes drive, who immediately administered an injection to induce vomiting.

For those of you who’s dog has never required a vomit inducing drug, I can assure you it is not a pretty sight.  The next half an hour was spent watching my poor pouch, throwing up vast quantities of chocolate until the vet was satisfied that his system was completely clear.

With over eighteen years working within the pet care industry and a lifetime of owning pets and offering advice on my blog, I was aghast that this could happen to MY dog!  It takes but a few minutes for your pet to find danger and Christmas is a time full of them for our pets.

Every string of tinsel, each Poinsettia and even a Christmas dinner, can hold dangers for our pets.  Cats in particular, simply adore the allure of the Christmas tree decorations, so should never be left alone with its temptations and our pet sitters have lost count of the Poinsettia’s that have been relegated to a locked cupboard. Only last year, a client recalled how her prize Pug guzzled the contents of an unattended glass of sherry, which saw him spending Christmas night at the veterinary surgery, followed by a rather hefty vet bill!

The majority of Christmas dangers can be avoided however, so have a wonderful Christmas and remember to keep your pets safe.


Santa Paws photo competition

We are pleased to announce the launch of our ‘Santa Paws’ photograph competition, in aid of Chiltern Dog Rescue in Tring and Cats Protection in Hemel Hempstead. Both charities are extremely close to our heart, since they are both local and of course one of our own cats was adopted from Cats Protection!
We have been completely overwhelmed by the support we have received, with many local companies making donations for our prizes. The first prize in each section are holidays. For the winner of the dog section we have a self catering cottage, by Lairg, in Sutherland, Scotland which has a log fire, sleeps 4 people and two dogs are welcome. This has been donated by Farrant Frost Ltd.

For the winner of the cat section we have a four day Butlins break for four people, donated by Bourne Leisure, in Hemel Hempstead. The second prizes are a professional photography session, donated by Ian Waldron photography in Edlesborough. Third prizes are a £100.00 hamper donated by Pets at Home in Hemel Hempstead and another £100.00 hamper donated by ourselves Nina’s Nannies for Pets, also based in Hemel Hempstead. Fourth prizes are dinner for two at the Watermill Restaurant in Berkhamsted and The Red Lion in Berkhamsted. Fifth prize is a signed copy of Gino D’Acampo recipe book, and a limited edition, of the Meerkats ‘A Simple Life’by Aleksander Orlov, donated by one of our pet sitters Adrienne Hasler.

In addition to these wonderful prizes, we also have a Thames River trip which includes lunch and has been donated by The Flight Centre in the Marlowes Mall and will be raffled on the day.

Mic Martin from BBC Dog Borstal has kindly given up his time to present the prizes to the winners of the dog section, and Jonathan Vernon Smith from BBC Three Counties radio, is our judge for the cat section.

The competition is being launched in this weeks Herald/Gazette, with two photographs of our dog Luika and Haricat. Both are the Nina’s Nannies for Pets mascots and delight in helping with our fund raising. They are obviously not included in the actual competition itself!

To enter this wonderful competition you should submit a festive photograph of your cat or dog, and the envelope should be marked ‘Santa Paws’ and addressed to The Herald/Gazette Newspaper, 39 Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 1LH and please remember to put your dogs name and contact details on the back of your photograph. We also ask that you submit a £5.00 donation with your entry, made payable to either Chiltern Dog Rescue, or Cats Protection.

You should also be available to attend our prize giving, which will take place on Tuesday 21 December outside of The Flight Centre in the Marlowes Mall, in Hemel Hempstead ,at 4.30pm. if you are lucky enough to be chosen as one of our winners. Even if you are not a winner,why not come down to the Mall and meet Mic Martin or Jonathan Vernon-Smith, where we will also be displaying the winning photographs.

Saying Goodbye To Old Friends

This year has seen the loss of many old friends, including Mr Speckles, a beautiful lop eared rabbit, Muffy, a 17 years old cat from Berkhamsted, Charley a newly adopted cat who was already 15 years old and Tigger, who was the eldest cat on our books at 21 years of age.

It is always a very sad occasion for us and our pet sitters, since attachments are formed in the first few days, and some are frequent sits when their families have property overseas, or indeed, if they are frequent flyers and require a pet sitting service throughout the year.

We have also bid a fond farewell to Janet and Ray Marshall, who have been with our company for the last five years. Sadly their last assignment will be in January next year, since they now have family commitments and will not have the availability to continue. They will both be sadly missed by both us, our other sitters and of course their regular clients. The door however, has been left open for their return, if circumstances change in the future.

Christmas is almost upon us and we have no further availability for our live in service until January 10, but we do still have spaces for our visiting pet sitter, pet sitting service in the following areas – Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable, Northall, and Redbourn. I would strongly advise however, that you contact us at your earliest convenience should you require a visiting service for your cats or caged animals, since there are only so many hours in a day and we do endeavour to finish by 4 p.m. on Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and Boxing Day. There is also a preliminary visit required and since we only have the weekend in order to see new clients you will appreciate how little time there is left.

At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, we have had a wonderful year and seen expansion throughout the South and South East on the Country. We are now able to offer our pet sitting and pet sitter service in the whole of the London area and have added Norfolk to our port folio. We are still recruiting in these areas however, so anyone interested in becoming a live in pet sitter should visit for further information.