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Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services

We treat your pets like MVP'S               760-644-0289

MVP Blog


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Companion Animal Nutrition and Wellness Institute

Posted on May 25, 2017 at 8:38 AM Comments comments (89)

Dr. Karen Becker, a holistic veterinarian, and the contributor of Healthy Pets on AND Dr. Donna Raditic, a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, have teamed up to form an organization called Companion Animal Nutrition and Wellness Institute. Both veterinarians agree the foundation of the health of our companion animals is optimum nutrition. They also agree that there is insufficient independent research being done to compare the benefits of feeding dry food versus canned food versus raw or a fresh food diet.
In traditional veterinary training, there is very little information in the curriculum about nutrition and how to feed pets the best food possible to provide them with a long life free of disease.  All of the research done to date on pet nutrition, is funded by the large pet food companies that obviously have a vested business interest in the research. They do care about our pets but care more about the bottom line first. After all, they are in business.

Dr. Becker and Dr. Raditic started CANWI to create a research organization that receives no funding at all from government or pet food companies. The research will be funded entirely by pet parents whose only interest is in finding out how to feed their pets the best nutrition possible.

"Millions of pets have experienced the life-changing benefits of a fresh food diet, but critics say the benefits of fresh foods have not been researched. Until now. This will be the FIRST independent, unbiased pet food study comparing dry, canned and fresh food. Please help us fund this critical research project! This week, when you make a Donation to CANWI, will match funds to help get this critical research started."
I hope you agree that this type of research is essential to taking the best care of your Fido or Fluffy. Please donate today.

Click below to help enrich the lives of our furry friends!


Posted on May 24, 2017 at 12:53 PM Comments comments (4)
The No Hot Pets Campaign is BACK!

“I left the window down for him” “I wasn’t going to be gone long” We’ve heard it all! The issue of owners leaving their pets in their vehicles during the hot summer months, putting animals’ safety at risk and even causing death, is an ongoing problem across Ontario. There is NO excuse for leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle.
 The Ontario SPCA, in partnership with SPCAs and Humane Societies from across Canada, are launching the 2017 No Hot Pets campaign. The campaign’s goal is to educate the public on the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months.

This campaign may be launched in Canada but it is a great reminder for all of us as we hit the hot months.
Please pledge now NEVER to leave your pet in the car when it is hot out.

Cat Wellness Veterinary Visits

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 8:47 AM Comments comments (3)
  One of the things I have noticed in several of the consultations I have done recently with cat parents, is that many feline owners are not taking their cats to the vet unless they are ill.
Just like we humans, cats need to have a check-up once a year and even more often when they become seniors ( 8+). Unlike us, we know when we are not feeling well and can make our appointments to see the doctor to check things out. Cats cannot tell us if they are having a problem with their health. Not only that, but it is instinctual for a cat to hide any health issues or signs of weakness. What this means, is that by the time they display any sort of health issue, they are often in such bad straits that cure or treatment can be extremely difficult and expensive. 
I am not suggesting that you need to go to the vet for vaccinations annually, and this has nothing to do with vaccinations. It has everything to do with making sure they are healthy and not in any discomfort that they may be hiding. A veterinary check-up doesn't have to be expensive and if you take your kitty annually and are able to avoid any major illnesses or problems as a result, you can save thousands of dollars in treatment not to mention, keeping your kitty comfortable, healthy, and happy and giving you peace of mind.
If your cat hasn't seen a vet in over a year, I urge you to make an appointment for a wellness check. And for those of you who are worried about actually getting your cat in the carrier to go to the vet, there are some excellent Youtube videos as to how to get your cat carrier friendly and in a worse case scenario, there are a few mobile vets around who will come to your home to check out the cat. SO there are no excuses.

Handling Open food for Pets

Posted on April 20, 2017 at 8:33 AM Comments comments (3)
I came across some very important information in a newsletter from Care2 Healthy Living this am regarding the handling of pet food. I want to share it with you and advise you to follow their suggestions.

"How long to leave out canned or moist food is a common question from pet owners. Dogs and cats don’t always eat the entire can, and food safety is always questionable when food is left out. Burkholder and Conway weigh in, “The length of time that food can be left out safely depends on a number of variables. Uneaten or open canned/moist food should be covered and refrigerated as soon as possible. As a general rule of thumb, do not leave open canned/moist food sitting unrefrigerated (e.g., in your pet’s bowl or on the counter at room temperature) for more than two hours. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly and lead to foodborne illness.”
Dry food and dishes should be handled similarly to canned food. The FDA recommends storing dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed. Ideal storage conditions are a cool, dry place — under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after handling dry food and use a scoop that is dedicated just for pet food. The FDA also recommends keeping pets away from food storage and preparation areas, garbage and household trash."

Happy Easter

Posted on April 15, 2017 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (102)
 Happy Easter to you and to all of your family including the ones with fur, wings, or gills.
Just a reminder to make sure your furry kids, cats and dogs, do not get into the Easter chocolate. It is toxic to animals and can make them very ill. If you are having company, make sure the animals are kept safe and don't escape through open doors as you greet guests.
Lastly, bunnies make great pets and I encourage you to adopt a bunny this Easter but ONLY if you are ready to make it a lifetime commitment. DO not bring one home for the holidays and then get tired of it and return it to the shelter.
If you are traveling, stay safe.

Dirty Pet Bowls

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (423)
One of my biggest pet peeves as a professional pet sitter is caring for pets whose food and drinking bowls are filthy. It amazes me how people, who clearly love their furry kids, can allow them to eat and drink out of bowls that are encrusted with old food, pet hair and infested with bacteria and germs. You wouldn't eat or drink from a bowl that wasn't sparkling clean and neither should your dog, cat, bunny rabbit or any other pet you may have. I recently came across this article in Consumer Affairs written by Sarah D. Young on the subject.

"Pet bowls are one of the germiest items in American homes, according to a study by the National Safety Federation (NSF). Yet, 1 in 5 pet parents who responded to a new survey by Petco admitted to waiting at least a month to clean their pet's eating and drinking bowls.
To get rid of germs and bacteria that may upset your pet’s stomach, wash your pet’s bowls daily with hot water and mild dish soap. If the bowl is dishwasher safe, you can simply toss it in the dishwasher.
During those times when your pet’s bowls are being cleaned, it can be helpful to have one extra set of pet food and water dishes on hand. Additionally, be sure to replace dishes and bowls if they are cracked, chipped, or scratched. "

When I or my staff come across filthy pet bowls when doing a pet sit, we always take the time to scrub them and clean them till they shine. We continue to wash them after each usage every day while the pet parents are away. Hopefully, the pet parent will notice this when they get home and get the idea. I will also leave a note for the parent if the bowls are chipped and need to be replaced.

Please be kind and loving to your pet and clean their bowls so that you could eat out of it if necessary.

Professional Pet Sitters Celebration Week

Posted on March 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM Comments comments (192)

"March 5-11 marks the 23rd annual celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week™ (PPSW™). Introduced by Pet Sitters International in 1995, PPSW is an annual observance that honors professional pet-care providers, seeks to educate the pet-owning public about the advantages of professional in-home pet care and encourages pet-loving entrepreneurs to explore professional pet sitting as a viable career.".

Great News on Shelters

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 10:53 AM Comments comments (108)
     Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine recently completed a survey on shelters across the country to try to determine the number of intakes, adoptions, returns to owners and euthanasia performed. The results are incredibly exciting.

“Woodruff and Smith, with the help of the Social Science Research Center’s Wolfgang Frese Survey Research Laboratory, surveyed 413 animal shelters across the country. The survey was limited to brick-and-mortar shelters and those that adopt out dogs. They also compared animal shelter lists from different sources to estimate the number of shelters in the U.S. The survey results were extrapolated to create a nationwide picture of the movement of dogs into and out of shelters.
The study found that shelters take in 5.5 million dogs every year, 2.6 million dogs are adopted from shelters, 969,000 are returned to an owner, 778,000 are transferred and 776,000 are euthanized.”

“When you consider that it’s estimated as many as 20 million dogs were euthanized a year in the 1970s, it’s truly astounding to see how effective the efforts of shelters and the responsible pet industry have proven,” said PLC Chairman Bob Vetere in a press release. “We believe this new research demonstrating the progress we have made will inspire an increasingly strong demand for and focus on efforts to ensure responsible breeding and opportunity to meet the growing desire for dogs in our country.”

   These results are so promising. Hopefully every adoptable dog will be able to find a forever home in the very near future.

Ground-Breaking Legislation in Alaska

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 8:39 AM Comments comments (100)
 PetMD passed on this wonderful information in their newsletter this morning. Up until now, pets have been considered "property" in divorce proceedings and basically treated like other property, ie furniture, art work etc. But Alaska has broken that precedent and now has legislation where judges consider what is in the best interest of the animal regarding custody.

  "As reported by the Animal Defense League, as of January 17, 2017, "Alaska has become the first state to empower judges to take into account the 'well-being of the animal' in custody disputes involving non-human family members." 
It is the first law of its kind in the United States which "expressly require[s] courts to address the interests of companion animals when deciding how to assign ownership in divorce and dissolution proceedings." The law also takes joint ownership of the pet into consideration. It's a big step forward in how animals are seen in the eyes of the courts. 
Penny Ellison, an adjunt professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, recently wrote an article for The Legal Intelligencer asking the very question, "Can Courts Consider the Interests of Animals?"  In the article, she notes that in instances where both parties want to keep the family pet, "Alaska courts will now be taking evidence on issues like who took responsibility to care for the pet and the closeness of the bond the pet has with each 'parent' in determining what type of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the animal." 
Ellison and Culhane both agree that other states are likely to follow in Alaska's footsteps, and should. "I think that the approach that is being [done] in Alaska—a provision in state law—really is the solution here," Culhane says, noting that people think of pets as much more than just property. 
"Anyone who has had an animal knows, without question, that they have interests and preferences and, in general, the law does not recognize that at this point," Ellison tells petMD. "A first step could be simply permitting courts to enforce agreements between former spouses about living arrangements for family pets. As it stands, many states won't even take action if one party breaches an agreement like that. Where parties can't agree, I would hope that more states would allow courts to decide what is in the best interest of the animal." 

Well done Alaska!!

Alternative to Castration

Posted on February 20, 2017 at 8:52 AM Comments comments (201)
Dr. Nancy Kay of "Spot Speaks" has enlightened us with another one of her informative blogs. Here it is below.

Canine Vasectomies 
                              by Nancy Kay, DVM

"Do you know that vasectomy surgery can be performed on dogs? Indeed this is true, and, as we learn more and more about the impacts of traditional canine neutering (castration), vasectomy surgery is becoming increasingly popular.What exactly is a vasectomy?Whether performed on a human or a dog, vasectomy surgery involves clamping, cutting, or ligating (tying off) the vas deferens, the duct that transports sperm out of the testicle and into the semen. Local anesthesia is all that is needed to accomplish this surgery in men. (Most men will lie still when told to do so.) Vasectomy surgery is performed in dogs using general anesthesia. Vasectomy versus castration. Castration is referred to as “neutering” because the reproductive organs (testicles) are removed. With vasectomy surgery, the testicles remain in place, so the dog is not considered to be “neutered.”Whether castrated or vasectomized, the end result is a sterile dog. And, there is a period of surgical recovery with both procedures. Castration tends to be a “bigger deal” surgery in that the incisions are larger and there is more overall tissue trauma. Performed by someone with significant experience, a vasectomy tends to be considered a relatively minor procedure.The testicles are where testosterone is produced. So, it makes sense that castration (removal of both testicles) reduces testosterone production to almost nil. A very small amount of testosterone continues to be produced by the adrenal glands. Vasectomized dogs maintain normal testosterone production.Choosing whether or not your dog should live his life with or without testosterone is a big-deal decision these days. There is mounting evidence (pun intended) that removal of testosterone, particularly in dogs under a year of age, might be associated with negative health implications. There are plenty of pros and cons to consider, and they should be discussed at length with a veterinarian you hold in high regard. Be sure to do some investigating yourself. I have compiled a bibliography on canine spay/neuter research, including that which is most current. Please shoot me an email if you would like a copy.Be forewarned. If you opt to sterilize your dog via vasectomy, here are some things to consider:– There is no “Vasectomy 101” course being taught in veterinary schools (yet). Most veterinarians who perform vasectomies are somewhat self-taught. While this surgery is pretty darned simple, be sure that you are working with a surgeon who has several vasectomies under his or her belt (pun intended). If you are having difficulty finding an experienced surgeon, look for a surgical specialist. He or she will be able to handle your request.– If ever you become unhappy with the role testosterone is playing in your vasectomized dog’s life (he’s humping everything in sight, he’s jumping the fence to be with the neighbor’s dog who is in heat), you can always opt for castration at a later date.– Following vasectomy surgery, a male dog can successfully breed for up to two months. Do not let your vasectomized dog interact with a female in heat during this time period.– You might be ostracized and/or interrogated at dog parks and other public venues where only neutered dogs (those without reproductive organs) are allowed.– Proprietors of doggie day care facilities may refuse your vasectomized dog because they hold negative and sometimes inaccurate impressions of testosterone-driven behaviors."

Lots to think about here but it is great to have an alternative..