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Pet Care Tips:

My Dear Pet Parents, we are starting this section called Pet Care Tips. Here we will talk about anything related to pets and how to take better care of them. This advice page is something that can help you understand or find out something new about our furry babies.

Cats and water...

We often hear from pet parents that their cats rarely drink water and they often get quite dehydrated. Every owner has to know that dehydration, especially in cats, is dangerous and it can lead to serious health issues. To avoid unnecessary vet bills and stress, please follow these 5 simple steps below to keep your cat hydrated and healthy each and every day.

1) Separate the bowls!
Place the food bowl and the water bowl far from one another. Lots of cats prefer to drink water without any smells of food nearby. Plus, particles from the food can get into water leading to bacteria growth.

2) Keep Water Clean!
It's very important to change the water at least once a day and keep the bowl clean at all times. Cats love fresh water and they will refuse to drink it if it's not clean, has a strange odor, stale taste or if the bowl is slimy and dirty from bacteria. When the cat avoids drinking water or if he/she does it rarely, it can lead to chronic dehydration and eventually kidney problems.

3) Get the fountain!
For the cats who love running faucet water, getting a drinking fountain is a wonderful idea! Not only will the kitty have lots of stimulation from playing with the stream, the water will also have a better taste from being oxygenated. The thinner the stream, the more oxygen it gets. Just remember the fountain has to be kept clean and tidy!

4) Use multiple water sources!
For the kitty's drinking convenience and in the household of multiple cats, keep several water bowls around the house. Place them in different rooms. If you have a two story house, the bowls have to be upstairs and downstairs so the cats have easy access to water during the day and night, no matter where they are.

5) Be Creative!
Each cat is different, some kitties enjoy drinking water from the human glass or coffee cup. Since the glass is too narrow for the cats' head and only the top layer of water can be used for drinking, it's crucial to refill the glass all the way to the top at least twice a day depending on how much the cat drinks. In addition, it's absolutely necessary to keep a couple of regular water bowls in the house to prevent dehydration. Never use only one glass of water without any additional water sources.

Did you know?

Pets and Music.

Everyone knows that classical music is very relaxing and calming for the human body and mind. But did you know that the dogs and cats react to classical music the same way?

Studies show that pets experience much less anxiety, stress and fear when left alone with classical music playing in the background.

Animal Behaviorist Dr. Debora Wells did a series of tests in dog kennels of Ireland, where various types of music was alternately turned on and the reactions of the dogs were recorded. It turned out that the dogs who were exposed to classical music showed less agitation, anxiety and stress. In addition, they barked much less! Pop music didn't have much effect on dogs and heavy metal agitated and stressed them even more.

More research was done by Susan Wagner DVM. She found out that the slower the music is and the less instruments are used in the production of it, the more calming effect it has on dogs.

"It was found that classical music with slower tempos and simpler arrangements created the greatest calming effects on dogs in shelters and home environments"

Classical music is great for all animals, but it's especially advantageous for dogs who have separation anxiety, barks excessively, fear of thunder or fireworks, gets aggressive when new people come to your house or when meeting new dogs.

Even though no formal studies were done for the effect of music on cats, but from my own experience I can definitely confirm that kitties who have sensitive nervous systems benefit greatly from relaxing music as well. They feel less lonely when left alone and they sleep more.

So dear pet parents next time you go on vacation or work don't forget to leave Mozart, Chopin or Beethoven for your puppy and kitty and you will come home to a much more relaxed, calm and happy pet :)

Are you using enough litter boxes?

Cats are very territorial animals. They love to have their own things and they don't like to share them with other cats. In the household with two or more kitties using multiple litter boxes is a must. In fact, if your cat does her business elsewhere, outside of the litter box, try to add an extra litter box to eliminate this problem.

Some cats will never use a litter box if it already has the smell of a different cat or if it's too dirty.

If you have one cat, use 2 litter boxes, for two cats, use 3 litter boxes, if you have three cats, use 4 litters box and if you have four cats use 5 litter boxes.

This simple trick will help prevent any territorial issues among your kitties because each of them will be able to have their own clean litter box, plus one more just as their back up toilet.

10 Hazardous Foods

10 hazardous human foods you should never give to your pet

  1) Cooked Bones

  2) Chocolate

  3) Macadamia nuts

  4) Onion

  5) Avocado

  6) Grapes

  7) Raisins

  8) Yeast Dough

  9) Sugar free gum and anything containing sweeteners such as Xylitol.

10) Chives

If you suspect your pet ingested one of these foods contact your vet immediately!

In addition, here is the phone number for the ASPCA poison control center: (888) 426-4435 (A consultation fee may be applied).

They are available for help 24 hours a day.

Hot Weather and Pets

On hot days, before leaving the house, make sure you put lots of water on your dog's chest, tummy, inner thighs and paws. It will cool your dog off quite a bit, save him/her from overheating and will allow both of you to have a much more enjoyable walk.

When the temperature rises up to 95+ degrees, it's better to postpone those long walks with your dog. Heatstroke can be fatal and dogs usually don't show any signs of distress until it's in critical condition. If however you have to take your dog out for any reason in the scorching heat, follow this tip.

Always have a bottle of water with you and a collapsible water bowl, let your dog drink every 15 to 20 minutes. Drink yourself as well to avoid overheating.

Avoid walking your dog on asphalt. It's temperature on a 90 degree day can go as high as 150 F leading to multiple burns on any dog's paws. Rule of thumb: if it's too hot for you to walk on asphalt barefoot, it's hot for your dog too.

POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS and LIFE THREATINING is TO LEAVE YOU DOG OR CAT IN A PARKED CAR. Never leave your dog in the car on any hot day, ESPECIALLY with CLOSED windows although it doesn't matter much if the windows are opened. The temperature in the car quickly rises and can reach higher than 150 degrees in a matter of minutes. Remember when it's hot outside, it's even hotter inside the car. When the car is parked in a shady area, your pet still can have a heatstroke.

Do this test: get in the car yourself, make sure all windows are closed and stay there for a few minutes. You will quickly realize how hot it gets in a short period of time. Will you stay in the hot car like this yourself? Now open the windows just a little and see how it feels. The temperature is still high and staying longer than a few minutes one will get heatstroke.

When leaving your pet in the house, make sure your AC is TURNED ON and set it to a maximum of 78-80 F. You will come home to a relaxed and happy pet, who was enjoying a comfortable environment while you were away.

Always keep the water bowl filled inside and outside of the house.

When leaving your pet outside in the backyard, make sure there are some shady areas and plenty of water. Cooling fans or misters are great in preventing a heatstroke.

Finally, when hiring a pet sitter, let her/him know about your requirements for your pets in hot weather.

Use common sense and keep your pets safe and comfortable at all times.

Pet sitter Natalya walking a dog.

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Phone: (805) 298-7272


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Client Testimonials

Every now and again, you just get lucky in life. That's how I felt when, looking for a pet sitter online, I found True Friend's Pet Care.  I had never used a dog walker, or pet sitter, before, so I was really anxious at first. Would my little Jack Russell puppy be too much for them? (He is VERY energetic.) Could I trust them to keep him from bolting out the front door and eating dead bees? (His favorite pastime.) Would I feel comfortable giving them a key to my house? Would it be super expensive? The answer is that now I could not live without True Friends. Seriously. Natalya has this gift - she loves animals and they love her back in a way I've never seen. My puppy, who as I've said is energetic but also very anxious around strangers, took one look at her and sat down quietly with his tail wagging. She is his favorite person. Natalya walks him, helps us train him (really, mostly it's just her!), and stays overnight at our house when we go away, so that we no longer need to send Georgie to 'camp' when we are out of town. I know I can trust Natalya to keep George safe, healthy and happy; it's such a HUGE relief for me!! If you need some help caring for your animal - not just dogs - call them! Don't be scared! I thank my lucky stars every day for Natalya. Seriously.

- Nora - Westlake Village, CA