Author: lindsaylicata

Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Adopt, Don’t Shop!
10 Reasons You Should Adopt Your New Best Friend

by Brittany A. Hesser

So, you’ve done it! You’ve put in the labor to get everyone in your home on board, you’ve done your research, and you’ve decided you’re ready for a new addition to your home. You are going to bring a new pet into the family! After all, a house is not a home without a dog (or cat!). But now you face a new dilemma: where are you going to find your new four-legged family member?

With so much information out there, it can be very overwhelming deciding where to find your new pet. Going to a pet store seems like an easy option, but you’ve heard some stuff about pet stores and that just doesn’t feel right to you… Maybe a breeder? Oh, or some friend of a friend’s distant cousin whose dog just had puppies…

Or maybe, this thing called adoption. You’ve heard a lot about it, you’ve seen some of your friends advocate adoption and animal rescue., but you’re not quite sure if adoption is right for you and your family… there are so many “what-ifs!”

Well, I’m here to tell you that adoption is the absolute best way to go when adding a new member to your family, and here are ten reasons why:

(1) Every day, 5,500 dogs are killed in shelters because of overcrowding.

It’s really as simple as that. We have a serious problem with overpopulation, and because of it, dogs and cats are killed every single day just to make room for the next thousand to come in and wait in line to die. According to the ASPCA, 31% of dogs who enter the shelter system are euthanized, along with 41% of cats.

The euthanasia rates among animals are not evenly distributed. Pitbull-type dogs are euthanized more than any other breed, with only 1 out of every 600 who enter the shelter system leaving alive. Animals with black and brindle fur also face discrimination, dogs and cats alike, and are less likely to get adopted than their multi-colored and lighter-colored counterparts.

When you adopt, you challenge these statistics, and give life to an animal who was, essentially, sitting helplessly on death row. Victoria J. of Long Island says “I rescued because I went to visit a high kill shelter [and] seeing those sad faces that were going to be put to death [in] less than 24 hours [was] reason enough.”

(2) Adopting saves two lives- the life of the animal you adopt, and the life of the animal who will take his/her spot in the shelter/rescue system.

We just talked about the millions of animals that die annually in shelters across the United States. Devastating as these statistics are, they don’t have to be that way forever! You can make a difference and save lives by adopting.

When you adopt, you are saving two lives: the life of the animal you adopted, and the life of the animal who will take his/her place. This is especially true when you adopt from an animal rescue group, who will be able to pull another animal from the shelter system to safety because of the space created by your decision to adopt.

(3) When you adopt from a rescue, your family will always have that rescue’s guidance and support, should you need it.

When adding a pet to your family, you’re making a commitment, and, as with any commitment, it’s important to look towards the future. Let’s say a behavioral problem comes up, or an allergy in the family, or some other problem that you don’t know how to deal with.

If you bought your dog at a puppy store or from a backyard breeder, you can be certain to receive no help from them. However, if you adopted your pet from a rescue, then that rescue will forever be there to help your family.

Road to Home Rescue Support (RTH) provides a contract to all adopters, and in that contract they describe training recommendations and means of contacting representatives at the rescue should a problem arise, among other things. RTH keeps in contact with all of their adopters to ensure that the transition is going smoothly and the dog/cat is happily integrating into the home.

(4) Training a puppy can be very hard…

When you get a puppy, it’s hard to know how that pup will behave as an adult dog. You need to worry about temperament and personality, but you also have to think about potty training, teething, obedience training, etc..

When you adopt an adult dog, they often already come with experience. Many of the dogs in shelters come from homes, and thus are already house-trained and have at least some level of obedience training. If you adopt a dog from a foster home, you’ll get even more insight into that dog’s training and personality, and you’ll know exactly what to expect when bringing that dog into your home!

According to a representative from Road to Home Rescue Support, they provide the majority of their dogs with training experiences, either in training facilities or in their foster homes. Because of this, these dogs are ready to start life with you in your home with little to no “puppy problems!” Many other rescues and shelters provide their animals with training opportunities, as well as mandatory behavioral evaluations, so you can’t go wrong!

(5) …but, shelters have puppies too!

That’s all fine and dandy, but you really want a puppy… No worries! If you’ve got your heart set on adopting and raising a dog from a young age, then you’ll be happy to know that shelters and rescues have puppies, too!

Now of course, puppies move faster than adult dogs, so you’ll need to explore a little more than you might otherwise, but puppies need rescuing, too, and you can without a doubt find a homeless puppy in desperate need of a person like you!

And we’re not discriminating against any of our fellow kitty lovers out there! Shelters and rescues are often inundated with kittens during what is referred to as “Kitten Season” (which typically will range from early Spring into Fall). If you want a young kitten to raise in your family, then by all means, adopt that kitten!

(6) Buying a dog from a puppy store supports the deplorable puppy mill conditions that dog came from.

Patricia E. of Long Island says “No real and reputable breeder sells their dogs to pet stores. Think adoption first,” and we have to agree with her. If you’re purchasing a dog from a puppy store, then you are giving your money to the abusers who run puppy mills.

While the puppies in the store look cute, they are often unhealthy, and worse, their parents are trapped in horrific conditions, often never seeing sunlight or having their paws touch grass. They are forced to reproduce constantly, and once they are no longer able to, they are tossed away like garbage.

We will talk more about this a little later, but if you are fully committed to purchasing a dog, then do it right: go to a reputable, licensed breeder. Never buy an animal from a puppy store.

(7) You WOULD adopt, but you have a specific breed in mind? That’s no excuse!

When people think about the typical “shelter dog,” they often think of a mutt. But, in reality, 35% of dogs in shelters are purebred! In addition to that, there are breed-specific rescues for nearly every breed of dog. Large breed, small breed, purebred, designer mixed breed, you name it– you can be sure there’s one in a shelter or rescue who needs you!

If at first you don’t succeed, then try try again. Don’t look at one shelter and assume you’ll never find the breed of dog you want. Go to multiple rescues/shelters, and use online tools like PetFinder.com or AdoptAPet.com to find adoptable dogs in your area. It is more than possible to find the breed you’re looking for; if you’re committed to rescuing a specific breed, then there is nothing that can stop you!

(8) Let’s talk about money.

Say what you will, money matters. We would never advocate to bring any animal into your home if you couldn’t afford to care for him/her, but assuming you’re financially capable of caring for an animal, then why waste thousands of dollars that you don’t have to?

So, let’s break it down. You’re going to purchase a dog from a breeder. On average, it costs anywhere from $700-$1.500 to purchase a dog, and that’s all you’re getting– the dog. Then, you’ll have to spay/neuter your new pet, $200-$500. Vaccinations? $50-$150. Microchip? $45-$60. If your dog is coming from a pet store, it’s more than likely s/he will need treatments for illness, as many of these puppies come sick– this can cost hundreds or even thousands.

Okay, you get it. It’s expensive. But is adoption really that much better?

To answer it simply: Yes! When you adopt a dog, you pay a one time adoption fee, which will typically range from $100-$300 depending on the rescue and type of animal, and with this adoption fee, you get an animal who is up-to-date on all their vaccinations, has had necessary bloodwork, is spayed/neutered and microchipped, and ready to join your family.

Many shelters and rescues also have special events where they waive all adoption fees or reduce adoption fees. It’s really a no-brainer!

(9) When you buy a dog, many times you’re giving money to bad people- backyard breeders, puppy mill owners, etc….

Regardless of what pet store owners may tell you, ALL dogs in pet stores come from puppy mills, which are horrific. Conditions for dogs coming from backyard breeders are comparably awful. Don’t give your hard earned money to bad people who abuse/neglect animals.

If you are absolutely set on purchasing a dog, then do it the right way. Gloria S. M. from Long Island says that if you’re going to buy, make sure you “[buy] from a reputable breeder – one who interviews you, has a waiting list, insists on meeting you, has both parents on premises and has health tested and certified all previous generations.”

Do not give money to animal abusers! Never buy from a puppy store or backyard breeder.

(10) No animal will ever love you like a rescue pet will.

Have you ever seen one of those adorable paw-shaped bumper stickers that says “Who rescued who?” Adopting a dog or cat will make you genuinely stop and ask yourself this question, on more than one occasion.

Rescued animals KNOW that they are rescued, and they show you every day how grateful they are. I asked several Long Island pet parents what they would tell anybody considering adoption, and their answers?

“I would like to tell anyone who is looking for a pet that rescuing a pet is such a fulfilling experience. They know instinctively that you saved their lives!” -Kathleen G.

“I swear to you an adopted dog is so appreciative! [Adopting is] for sure the way to go! Save a life, you can do it!” -Olivia M.

“Tucker [my dog]  is now a canine good citizen and more– he is an amazing athlete, my best friend, my closest confidant, ever faithful, and always makes me laugh when I need to.” -Paul K.

I received over 30 testimonials from dog and cat owners who all say the same thing: their lives would not be the same were it not for their rescued pet. I, myself, can say that in all my years of owning pets, I have never felt the love that I felt from my rescued pit-mix, Sheba, who chose me when I was volunteering and refused to go anywhere but home with me. I can genuinely tell you that I would be lost without her, and I wasn’t even looking for a dog at the time I adopted!

I can go on for days listing reasons why you should adopt, but I’m not going to bore you with pages of words that don’t mean all that much.

Instead, I challenge you to go to a shelter or rescue, meet the animals there, maybe even volunteer if you’d like to really get to know the dogs and cats. And I promise you, when that dog or cat chooses you, you will understand the beauty of saving a life, making a difference, and defying the statistics.

You will understand the beauty of adopting your best friend.

If you’re interested in adoption, but would like to know more about the process, please feel free to reach out to the representatives at Road to Home Rescue Support, who will happily explain the adoption process and introduce you to their adoptable dogs and cats.

We at Lindsay’s Pet Care Services advocate for adoption, and will provide discounted services for anyone who adopts from one of our partner rescues such as Road to home Rescue.

Website: www.roadtohomerescue.org
Email: brittany@roadtohomerescue.org or adopt@roadtohomerescue.org

Pet Poison Prevention Month

It’s Pet Poison Prevention Month

National Poison Prevention Week is officially recognized March 19-25. Here at Lindsay’s Pet Care Services, the safety of the animals in our care is extremely important to us. We continuously educate ourselves on pet toxins and how to prevent/handle poisoning emergencies. Here, we have compiled a list of the TOP 10 pet poisons for you to look out for in your home in hopes that you can be educated as well:

  1. Chocolate
    – Chocolate contains a substance known as methylxanthines which causes vomiting when small doses are ingested, but can be the cause of death if large doses are ingested. Dark chocolate is known to have a higher amount of this substance. Smaller dogs are at a greater risk.
  2. Mouse and Rat Poisons
    -These products are made to kill. Enough said.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
    -What is good for humans, is not always good for pets & can have a reverse effect. Please look up a list of vitamins & minerals that are safe & beneficial for your pets before giving them human pills.
  4. NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.
    – Can cause kidney failure as well as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea & gastric ulcers. Please consult with your vet before administrating any over- the counter medicine to your pets.
  5. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
     -Although calcium channel blockers are commonly used in veterinary medicines, an overdose can result to a slowed heart rate & eventually heart failure.
  6. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
     – capable of causing agitation/restlessness, increased heart rate & blood pressure, muscle tremors, seizures and even death depending on the dose ingested.  If a product name is followed by “D” (ex. Mucinex-D, Claritin-D, Allegra-D, etc), it likely contains pseudoephedrine.
  7. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
    -This can cause vomiting, an increase in temperature, blood pressure, heart rate & may cause seizures.
  8. Xylitol
    -Also known as a “knock off” sugar, causes rapid drop in blood sugar which results in weakness & seizures.
  9. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
    -This is very toxic to dogs, but more-so to cats. This can cause liver failure & a decrease in oxygen to body tissue. Cats usually develop swelling.
  10. Caffeine Pills/Coffee beans
     – Pets are very sensitive to caffeine and within a couple hours of exposure they will endure mild to severe hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures, and collapse.
  11. Household Cleaners
    – Cleaners such as bleach, drain cleaner, detergent etc. are extremely harmful to pets. Do not induce vomiting when a pet has ingested any chemical. These chemicals can cause burning as they are swallowed & secondary additional burns when coming back up.
  12. Lilies/ Azaleas/Dumb Cane/Tulip & Daffodil plants
     -There are many plants that are very poisonous to cats. These are the top 5 most common household plants that are the leading cause of vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, oral irritation & sometimes death.
  13. Glow Sticks
     -While Glow Sticks may not be deadly, they can cause a mild to moderate reaction, especially in cats. Glow sticks contain what is called dibutyl phthalate which will cause drooling, gagging & can cause irritation in the eyes & skin which creates a burning sensation.

If you think your fur-kid has ingested any of these items or any other substance that may be harmful to them please contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. Experts at the APCC are available to answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a $60 consultation fee. Another option is the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680 with a fee of $49 per incident.

Why your fur-kid should be your Valentine this year.

Why Your Fur-Kid Should Be Your Valentine’s Date This Year

Valentine’s day is approaching and whether you’re happily single or content in a relationship with a significant other, you may be secretly thinking…..”ugh”. If you are.. don’t beat yourself up.. You’re not the only one! Yahoo News reports that one in five people would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet over their partner.

So why might you consider for-going a “people” date for a fur-kid date for Valentine’s Day?

  1. Does your fur-kid talk?… I didn’t think so. Moving on….
  2. Fur-kids shouldn’t have dessert which means…you get to eat it all yourself!
  3. If your date with your fur-kid starts to go south there’s always the crate….
  4. No stress over break-ups because what crazy person would want to get rid of their fur-kid, right?
  5. Your fur-kid couldn’t care less what you look like…(or if you’ve showered or shaved). They just love YOU.
  6. We’re pretty sure tossing a ball or twitching some string would be considered a perfect date by your fur-kid…maybe not so much a “people” date.
  7. You’ll never be yelled at for having your face in your phone at dinner. A few gentle pats on the head or scratches behind the ear and your fur-kid is happy as a lark. Scroll on..
  8. Netflix and chill with your pet means…well….Netflix and chill. Snuggles included.
  9. Flowers & candy are poisonous to fur-kids. A $5.00 chew toy will keep them adoring you forever (or until they gut-it to kill the “squeak” and need a new one). Either way…cheap date!
  10. Did we mention fur-kids can’t talk?

Going on a Valentine’s date and need a pet sitter or dog walker to show your fur-kids some love? Let Lindsay’s Pet Care meet your pet sitting and dog walking needs this Valentine’s Day. Our trained professionals know exactly what to do to make your baby feel spec-pup-ular if you choose a “people” date over your pet.

Call us today!
516-524-5940

Winter Safety Advice

Winter Safety Advice For Pets

You know how the song goes….”oh…the weather outside is frightful….”, right? Winter-time and the inclement weather that it brings can be “frightful” for your fur-kids too, but your pet care professionals at Lindsay’s Pet Care Services are here to help you get your pets safely through the winter months. Here are some of our winter safety tips we would like to share:

  • “Winter Cleaning”– LPCS suggests that all their clients do a “garage check” when it starts to get cold (and all year long!). Clean up any chemical spills and make sure that salt-based ice melts are put away. Antifreeze is DEADLY & fur-kids like it because of it’s sweet taste. 1 or 2 teaspoons is all it takes to kill your dog or cat. Ice Salt can be a skin-irritant. Make sure that you wash your dog’s feet when they come inside if you’ve been out walking them to prevent chemical burns.
  • Outdoor Moderation– Puppies, senior dogs and sick dogs are more sensitive than others to cold temperatures. Make sure that if you have a puppy, senior dog or a pet with a compromised immune system you limit the time they spend outdoors otherwise you may expose them to hypothermia, frostbite or worse. Dogs with short coats or low body fat like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, etc. will absolutely thank you for a warm sweater or their very own winter coat when it gets cold. No matter what age, dogs who reside in states where it gets cold should always have a sweater or jacket on when outside.
  • Keep Em Fuzzy & Clean– Skip the haircut! Do you shave your pets down in the summer? You’ll want to skip that haircut in the winter. They need their winter coats…just like we do! But don’t think that skipping a haircut means skipping out on your pets bath. In the winter months, with the heat blasting indoors & the cold, dry air outdoors, your pet’s coat can lose its luster & his/her skin can become dry & irritated. Try using an oatmeal based shampoo during the winter months to lock in moisture.

Working long hours or traveling and need a pet sitter or dog walker this winter? Let Lindsay’s Pet Care Services meet your pet sitting and dog walking needs. Our trained professionals know exactly what to do to keep your fur-kid’s safe and warm during the winter months. Call us today! 516-524-5940

Tips for the Howl-I-Days

long-island-cat-sitters

Tips For The Howl-i-days From Our Pack To Yours

By Betheny Green

The “howl-i-days” are full of fun celebrations, but don’t let your celebrations be put straight in the dog-house with unplanned emergencies regarding your pets. The following tips and tricks for a stress-free holiday are the cat’s meow for a stress-free holiday season:

Prepare For Unplanned Emergencies

If we’re helping you out by fur-kid sitting when you leave town, make sure your pet sitter has detailed contact information for you and your veterinarian of choice. Let your veterinarian know that Lindsay’s Pet Care is caring for your fur-baby before you leave and give them authorization to treat your pet in an emergency.

Some things to always leave out when having a pet sitter in your home are:

  • A Flashlight
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Cleaning supplies
  • A cat carrier

Those Delicious Tidbits…

Keep people food away from pets, and don’t worry….your Lindsay’s Pet Care pet sitter will too!. If you want to share holiday treats with your pets, make or buy treats formulated just for them. Chocolate, baked goods, turkey/turkey skin, table scraps and yeast dough can cause serious problems for pets, including gas, bloating and even pancreatitis. Make sure to always do your research before passing those scraps under the table.

Oh Christmas Tree…

Greenery, lights and Christmas trees can make the holidays festive, but they also pose risky temptations for our pets. Make sure that your Christmas trees and other holiday decor are pet friendly. Never leave candles in reach of your pets. Some common holiday decorations that are harmful to pets are:

  • Holly & Mistletoe….. Both plants contain high toxicity levels such as toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin which can cause severe drop in blood pressure, upset stomachs, diarrhea, breathing problems & even weird behavior from hallucination.
  • Poinsettias….. Although not as toxic as Holly & Mistletoe, Poinsettias contain a highly irritating sap which will cause a burning sensation to the mouth and esophagus. This often leads to vomiting
  • Christmas tree needles…. Aside from the beauty of a Christmas tree, the natural oils produced by a fir can be irritating to a pets mouth and cause drooling and vomiting. The pine needles can cause obstruction & puncture. Be sure to keep an eye on your pets.

Paw-ties and Guests…

The noise and excitement of paw-ties can be fun for us, but not so much fun for your pets. Even fur-kids that aren’t normally prone to anxiety can become uncomfortable and nervous in a party-atmosphere. Make sure your fur-kids have access to a comfortable, quiet place in your home if they need a spot to get away. Bring their water dishes, litter boxes, their favorite bed and toy into a quiet room so they feel safe.

Don’t Leave Home Without….

Make sure to empty any trash or make sure your trash is secure so that your pets can’t indulge and unplug lights, decorations, etc. Those curious fur-kids may be tempted to chew cords and paw at some hanging ornaments. Consider hiring Lindsay’s Pet Care Services to come check on your babies while you are out.

Working long hours or traveling and need a pet sitter or dog walker this holiday season? Let Lindsay’s Pet Care Services meet your pet sitting and dog walking needs. Our trained professionals know exactly what to do to keep your fur-kid’s safe and warm during the winter months.

Call us today! Servicing 15 Long Island Towns! 516-524-5940

 

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