Taking care of a pet is no easy task. It’s hard work almost akin to childcare. But the benefits often outweigh the hard work put into raising our furry friends. Dog and cats have been by human’s side for centuries, and it’s unlikely that will ever change. This is why it’s important to know some of the basics before embarking on the magical journey of pet ownership. This will help you understand how much does a pet sitter cost.
The cost varies across the cities of the U.S.A but usually, it varies between $14 to $17 in most of the cases. Before hiring a pet sitter, you should know some basics of pet care yourself. That will help you to be smart enough to understand that the pet sitter is not bullshitting you! Below you will find a quick guide to the most important aspects of your pet’s needs. Prepare yourself in advance so that you and your pet can have a happy life together.
Pet owners face a constant dilemma. Which pet food is the best to feed my pet? Is my dog or cat getting the best nutrition possible? How can I be sure I’m feeding my pet all natural ingredients? These questions and many more face pet owners at every turn. Unsurprising, shopping for pet food can be an arduous task. With so many brands and different types of food, finding the right food for your pet can seem overwhelming.
Additionally, pet food recalls in recent years have put pet owners on edge, wondering if the food they feed their pet might be dangerous. But our pets have to eat right, so never fear. Here are few things to look for when purchasing pet food for your dog or cat.
Choosing the right pet food:
There are thousands of dog/cat food brands on the market today. The two major types of food are wet (canned) and dry (kibble). While kibble is inexpensive and convenient, sometimes kibble isn’t the best food to feed your pup/kitten. Depending on your pet’s breed and nutritional needs, there are times when one food might be better than the other. Additionally mixing the two (known as the topping) can help provide a full range of nutritional needs for your pet.
Canned Food vs. Kibble
Some of the benefits of canned dog food include:
- Higher protein content – Canned food often contains anywhere from 28-50% of protein.
- Fewer carbohydrates.
- Higher fat content.
- Meat ingredients in canned food are closer to its natural state making the food more appetizing and palatable for dogs.
- No synthetic preservatives.
- Helps control weight –The moisture content in canned foods helps your dog/cat feel fuller for a longer period of time than kibble.
All this isn’t to say that canned food is a superior product of kibble. Kibble has its benefits as well including:
- Lower Cost.
- More convenient for owners.
- Unlike canned food, kibble has a longer shelf life
When searching for the right kibble for your dog it’s important to read the ingredients on the bag before purchasing. Keep an eye out for the first ten ingredients as these ingredients have the highest amount contained in the food. Things to look for are:
- High-quality protein such as muscle meat, not pieces or parts.
- Moderate levels of animal fat.
- High moisture content.
- No grains.
- No potatoes or starchy filler.
- A few veggies and a small amount of fruit.
Things to avoid:
- Labels that include the words, byproducts, meat/bone meal and animal digest.
- The dangerous chemical preservative such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
- Excessive fillers such as grain, added sugars, and carbohydrate fillers
Let’s face it your pet has become an extension of you. If it were possible you’d probably take them everywhere. After all, pets make some of the best travel companions. There are so many different pet carriers on the market today; it’s challenging finding the right carrier for your dog/cat.
Before you get started, the best way to decide on a carrier is to determine the right size. For dogs owners will need to know the height and length of their dog. Carriers should be large enough so that your dog is able to turn around easily and curl or stretch while lying down.
For cats, it’s a bit different. Cat owners need to have a deep understanding of their cat’s temperament. For instance, if your kitty is rambunctious it’s probably a good idea to opt for a carrier with multiple entrances.
Next, determine the style of carrier for your pet. The market is flooded with different types of carriers, some are hard and others soft. For dogs determine what you’ll primarily be using the carrier for. For instance, if the carrier is to keep your dog contained when running errands, you’ll want something light, easily packed and comfortable. Some styles of dog carriers include:
- Hard-sided carriers – Preferred for their durability, hard-sided carriers offer more protection for dogs and are easy to clean. These carriers are approved by many airlines, but you might want to check with your airline before you purchase one.
- Soft-Sided carriers – These carriers are the most popular style for carrying small dogs. With a light and portable design, these carriers are also easy to store and are mostly approved by airlines to go under your seat.
- Wearable dog carriers – Obviously these carriers are only practical for smaller dogs, but they are light and easy to store. Most of them are washable and come with zippers for added security.
Cats have slightly different requirements for carriers. If your car is a scratcher, be sure to purchase a hard plastic carrier, which will be much more durable. Also, cat owners should consider their cat’s behavior when it comes to straps, snaps, zippers or Velcro to secure your kitty in the carrier. If your cat can manage to squeeze him/herself out of these constraints then you might want to consider sturdier material to secure your cat.
If your cat or dog is prone to car sickness, consider finding carriers that are easy to clean. Many soft-sided carriers have a hard base that is removable. Hard-sided carriers can simply be hosed down and wiped out.
Hygiene, it’s important to us humans and equally important for your pet. Cats differ from dogs in the bathing department, but it’s important as a pet owner to understand that even our feline friends need a bath every now and again. Cats are known to be great self-groomers, so they rarely require bathing. However, there are instances when bathing kitty is essential.
Cats with certain health issues might require more bathing than cats in good health. It all depends on your cat’s coat length, self-grooming behavior, and activity level.
Dogs, on the other hand, are known for rolling around in whatever pleases them to no end. Experts suggest you should bathe your dog at the very minimum every 3 months. However, some owners may find their dog needs more baths. If your dog spends a lot of time outside or suffers from skin and coat conditions its imperative to bathe him/her regularly.
Like many things pet-related, there are hundreds of brands of shampoo available. Choosing the right shampoo doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are a few tips when choosing the right pet shampoo for your dog or cat.
- Do not use human shampoo – It may be tempting to use your glorious shampoo on your pet, but experts suggest otherwise. Animals, especially dogs have skin that is more alkaline than our own. Dog’s skin is thinner and more sensitive and thus not able to handle human shampoo which tends to be more acidic.
- Skin allergies and itchy skin — Allergies in your dog can make your pet’s coat dull. Make sure to purchase gentle shampoos that won’t dry out his/her skin. Gentle shampoos will remove allergens and dirt while soothing skin and restore moisture to the skin and coat.
- Moisturizing pet shampoos –Detergents and strong fragrances can wreak havoc on a dog’s skin and coat. Be sure to use mild moisturizing shampoos that will soothe, cleanse and control itching on the sensitive skin.
- Fleas and Ticks –It’s important to prevent and treat any flea and tick infestation on your pet. When choosing a flea shampoo, find one with natural ingredients that will safely kill adult fleas on contact.
Of course, you’re the world’s best pet owner. Of course, your pet means the world to you, but there are times when your pet simply cannot be by your side all the time. If you work long hours or plan on going vacation, never fear about leaving your pet all alone. Many services are offered from dog walkers to pet sitters to “daycare” centers that will keep your pet company. Usually, these services are inexpensive and provide exceptional care for your pets.
According to Angie’s List, pet owners reported paying an average $37 a day for pet sitters, while the cost increases slightly for overnight stays. Overnight stays range from $50-$75 on average. Pet sitters are an invaluable resource to have especially if you have a busy or unpredictable schedule. It’s important to do thorough research for any sitters/walkers in your area and develop a relationship with them. This way your pet will feel comfortable with their sitter and the both of you can be more relaxed while you’re away.