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(480) 608-5885 / TLC House & Pet Sitting Service
Ear Infections in Dogs

Ear Infections in Dogs

Ear Infections in Dogs

A Common Ailment for Many

Your Dog’s Ears Need Protecting from Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs is a very common ailment.  In fact, most dogs will suffer from an ear infection at least once in their life.  As a dog owner, spotting the signs of an ear infection is helpful. Moreso, being able to prevent or treat them is even better.  

What causes ear infections in dogs?

Bacteria and/or yeast are the cause of most ear infections in dogs.  More common in puppies, ear mites are also found to be a source of ear infections.  Having your veterinarian take a sample and look under the microscope will help them to identify the root of the problem.

What are the signs of an ear infection?

Becoming aware of the signs that your pet may have an ear infection will help you to address the infection before it gets out of hand.  Typical signs of ear infection are: scratching, rubbing, shaking of the ears, unusual odor coming from the ears, and/or pain and sensitivity in the ear area.

ear infections in dogs
Head shaking can be a sign of an ear infection in your dog

How can I prevent my dog from contracting an ear infection?

Ear infections commonly occur as a result of too much moisture in the ear canal.  This may be from bathing, swimming, or grooming.  The excess moisture creates an environment ideal for bacterial and yeast growth.  One way to prevent ear infections would be to routinely clean and dry your pet’s ears after bathing, swimming, or grooming.

Ear infections may also occur as a side effect of your pet’s allergies.  These allergies may come from pollens, dust, mold, or food.  When a dog suffers from an allergic reaction, the skin inside the ear becomes inflamed and promotes the growth of bacteria and/or yeast already living inside the ear.  To prevent ear infections from occurring as a result of allergies, you must first identify the source of the allergy and then try to reduce your pet’s exposure to the particular allergen.  Also, routinely cleaning and drying the ear with ear cleaner made specifically for dogs will help to prevent bacterial and yeast growth.

How do I treat my dog’s ear infections?

If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, the best thing to do is take him to see your veterinarian.  Special medication is typically prescribed for treating the ear infection. 

First, you will need to gently clean the infected area with a mild dog ear cleaning solution.  Pour a small amount into the ear and carefully cover it with a cotton ball. Then, rub the cotton ball softly in a circular motion.  Repeat the process for as long as your dog will allow until the cotton ball comes out fairly clean. 

Once cleaned, the ear is ready for the medication that your vet has prescribed.  Many vets warn to never use Q-tips. These may push the debris further into the ear canal. Also, never use harsh cleansers such as rubbing alcohol.  In most cases, topical ointment is all that is needed to effectively treat a dog’s ear infection.  However, in severe cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed as well.

Considering the likelihood that your dog will eventually encounter an ear infection at some time in their life, and also considering how much pain and discomfort they may go through, it is wise to be aware of the signs of ear infections, ways to prevent them, as well as ways to treat them.  Your perky-eared pet will be very thankful!

Additional Reading

Cesar Milan offers a great article written by Henry Cerny, DVM MS on his website addressing this very topic. For additional reading, have a look.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Caring for Special Needs Pets

Caring for Special Needs Pets

Caring for Special Needs Pets

As pet sitters, caring for special needs pets is something we do regularly. These pets need a more gentle type of attention that we are qualified to provide, and enjoy doing. Not all pet sitters are qualified or have the patience that your pet may need. Find one that is a good fit for you and your pet.

What is a Special Needs Animal?

Caring for animals with special needs can encompass several conditions and circumstances. There are basic special needs such as young animals who need more frequent visits. There are senior animals who require more potty breaks. Some animals require regular medication. Also, the animals recovering from recent surgery. And there are also animals with physical conditions such as hip dysplasia or loss of sight.

Whatever you animals conditions, we would be happy to discuss them and review a plan of care with you before services begin.

Rest Assured, We Are Qualified

As the owner of TLC House and Pet Sitting Service, Kara has been caring for animals for most of her life. She understand the importance of reliable and qualified care for pet owners. As such, our staff of pet sitters are qualified to care for your animal. Your pet will benefit from our years of experience and these key features of service:

  • Twenty Plus Years of Experience
  • Bonded and Insured
  • Overnight and Extended Visits
  • Veterinarian Recommended
  • Pet CPR Certified
  • Ability to Administer Injectable Medications
  • Ability to Administer Oral Medications
  • Wound Management
  • Management of Dietary Restrictions and Supplements
  • History of Caring for Special Needs Pets (references available)
  • And more

Time for You to Rest?

Caring for a special needs or aging animal can be exhausting. It can even be overwhelming at times. We understand. On the same hand, the thought of leaving them, even for a short time, is difficult to imagine. All of these feelings are normal and expected.

If you’re feeling this way, it may be time to request some assistance. We know that as a result it will help you get the rest you need and be a better caregiver overall.

Therefore, when you feel it’s time for a break, or simply need some additional help, you can count on us. Call us today to discuss your pet’s special needs at (480) 588-1364.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Free Feeding Your Pet While You’re Away?

Free Feeding Your Pet While You’re Away?

You Want What’s Best

Is Free Feeding Your Pet a Good Idea?

So you’re going away for a few days. It can be tempting to simply leave a self feeder full of kibble out for your cat or dog, but it’s not always the best idea. Consider the following before you begin free feeding your pet while you’re out of town.

What is Free Feeding?

Free feeding, also known as grazing, is when you set out a large, unmeasured quantity of food for your pet. It’s different from meal feeding because your pet has the opportunity to eat throughout the day instead of at predictable intervals.

Unlike when you measure a portion of kibble that your pet can nibble until the next scheduled serving, free feeding doesn’t have any means of portion control. You would keep topping it off every time it gets low and rely on your pet to determine how much to consume.

What are the Advantages?

Of course, the biggest advantage to free feeding is the convenience. Once you set out the food, you wouldn’t have to do much monitoring other than keeping it full. Some animals benefit from free feeding, particularly elderly or sick pets who need help keeping their weight on. Pets who are prone to anxiety from food insecurity may have to be free fed as well.

What are the Disadvantages?

However, free feeding kibble throughout the day has serious health drawbacks. Especially when you’re out of town, some cats and dogs will begin grazing on their kibble out of boredom. Then, their overeating could lead to obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract disease. For cats, a free fed diet can also lead them to be more sedentary, because they are naturally more active before meal time.

Dogs in particular have a harder time knowing when to stop eating. Dogs’ wild ancestors, wolves, instinctively gorge themselves on large prey animals, and then go days without eating while they digest. Today’s dogs express that wild instinct by eating as much food as there is in front of them. Since the kibble expands in their stomachs, some dogs will eat to the point of becoming nauseated.

What Are Some Alternatives to Free Feeding?

If you’re only going to be gone for just one evening, you might want to invest in a timed feeder. Timed feeders come in a variety of configurations. Some have a reservoir on top and a mechanism on the bottom that turns to measure an amount of kibble. Others pop open to reveal a pre-measured amount of food, which is particularly useful for wet food.

However, if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time, the best thing you can do is hire a pet sitter. A pet sitter can monitor your cat or dog’s eating levels to make sure that they have a healthful appetite. Our professional pet sitters also have emergency plans in place, so you don’t have to worry about your pet ever missing a meal.

Questions About Free Feeding ?

If you have any questions about free feeding, or other questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.

Safety of Client Keys

Safety of Client Keys

Safety of Client Keys with Us

When you give someone the keys to your house, it’s an exercise in trust. As pet sitters, we take our duties to look after your pets and your home very seriously. Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at how we handle our clients’ keys,

Management of Client Keys in Our Office

Once you provide us with your keys, we code, label, and enter them into our specialized tracking software. This allows us to keep any information that can be used to identify you from falling into the wrong hands. Likewise, we keep all of our keys in a secure, locked location when not in use.

As an extra precaution, we also ask that you provide us with two sets of keys.  Always having a spare set of keys at the office means that we can quickly dispatch a second sitter if your regular pet sitter is unable to make it.

Management of Client Keys Outside of Our Office

Sometimes, unexpected events arise when traveling. It’s not uncommon to be significantly delayed or to have to extend your trip a few days. For that reason, we will never lock the keys in your house behind us. That way, you won’t have to worry about giving your sitter access if your plans change at the last minute.

Lockboxes are another secure method of giving your sitter access to the keys. As long as you provide us with the code, we can access the keys as needed. However, we don’t recommend that you hide your keys in an unsecured location such as under a doormat or rock in the garden.

For More Information

If you have questions about the safety of Client keys or general questions about pet sitting, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.

What is House Sitting?

What is House Sitting?

What is House Sitting?

And What to Expect:

Have you ever thought, “What is house sitting”? That’s a great question. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, house sitters watch your home. If you travel out of the country or for a business trip, a house sitter can help. You may also need someone to look after your pets and/or plants. This is where house sitting benefits you. Hiring professionals like TLC is easy to do. Our team will stay in your home and care for it while you are away. House sitting includes the overall upkeep of your home. This can often include taking care of the plants, retrieving your mail and in some cases, looking out for burglaries.

However, as straightforward as it sounds, conflicts may arise if both parties have not clarified the terms and expectations. To make that clear, we’ve put together a list for both parties.

Home Owners – What to Expect

House sitting is a two way street, with both parties having their own expectations. As a homeowner, it is pretty clear that what they expect out of a house sitter:

  1. Home owners expect you to be trustworthy enough to leave their home, property and pets in your care.
  2. They expect you to look after their plants if they have any.
  3. If it is a part of the agreement, they expect you to look after their pool, garden area and keep the house tidy without displacing anything in it.
  4. They expect you to keep them updated on their pet’s health.

House Sitter’s Expectations

House sitters also have a set of expectations. These should be carefully laid in front of the homeowner during the agreement process.

  1. House sitter expects the homeowner to give them complete information about their pet, their eating habits, if they have any allergies, about their temperament and how they like to be handled.
  2. A professional sitters expects the homeowner to provide them with proper living accommodation in the house, with a bedroom, proper space for hanging clothes and a space to carry out their day-to-day activities.
  3. House sitter expects the house to be in a clean and tidy state without any risk factors involved. They don’t expect to see any plumbing issues, leakages, infestations or any kind of damages.
  4. If the house sitter is working remotely, they  expect  internet connectivity with all the downtime issues taken care of.
  5. There should be no pending utility bills, electricity bill or internet charges that the house sitter might have to deal with in your absence.
  6. If the house is situated in far and remote areas, house sitter expects to be provided with a vehicle to commute for getting groceries or for emergencies. If a vehicle cannot be provided, then at least a car rental services should be accessible nearby.