8411 Roxboro Road, Durham NC 27503
(919) 477-0618

Pets Companion Inn

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A Little Help Taking Care of Your Dog’s Teeth

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Below is a link to a short article about keeping your dog’s teeth healthy. We all know that keeping our own teeth healthy enhances our overall good health. The same is true for our pets. Pet’s Companion Inn would like to help. Drop by our office during our regular hours to pick up a free doggie tooth brush.

tj

http://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/slideshows/steps-to-save-dog-teeth

Why Everyone Should Have an Office Cat

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Tux2-9-16A couple of weeks ago I returned to my office after lunch to find the screen on my laptop was inverted. Yep, upside down. OK, some strange power surge or something. I restarted my computer and it didn’t change a thing, so off to the “googles” I went. Who knew? That’s a thing, though I still haven’t figured out why one would want their computer screen upside down. Anyway, fixed it. A few days later I left my office for a few minutes and when I returned my keyboard, not just the numeric pad, was locked.. What the heck? OK, google again, problem solved. A couple of days later I stepped away from my desk only to  return to the calculator on the screen. At this point I’m thinking, one thing is weird, two is a mystery. Three is a pattern, and  “What the heck is going on?” Over the next few days I had to undo a new desktop background and theme, a resized taskbar, and relock my unlocked touch pad.Then finally, I caught her. My big, beautiful tuxedo cat, was lying smartly across the keyboard, kneading the keyboard like a pro. She’s very stealth. I have never even seen her on my desk before. She’s always been a heat seeker though, and my laptop has become her newest heat source.  The only thing she’s done that I can’t seem to undo is the resized taskbar previews. I swear, the fixes are certainly not a one or two click fix. How she’s done this is beyond me, but I’ve certainly learned a lot about my computer’s personalization capabilities that I never knew.

I always try to close my laptop when I leave for the day, but I’m up and down from my desk countless times daily and it just never occurred to me to close it. Well, until now. Maybe I should just get her to show me how to lock the keyboard.

Reviewing Fire Safety at Pet’s Companion Inn

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Every year Pet’s Companion Inn has Metro Fire and Safety, Inc,  come to our kennel to inspect and maintain our fire extinguishers. Today our staff also participated in a review on fire safety including the proper use of a fire extinguisher. Remembering the acronym P.A.S.S. will help us all remember how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handles (trigger), Sweep back and forth at the bottom edge of the fire. Pet’s Companion Inn is also inspected annually by the Durham County Fire Marshall.

How To Have The Perfect Boarding Experience For Your Pet

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As the owner/operator of Pet’s Companion Inn for almost 35 years I’ve learned a few things about helping your pet have the best stay possible. Mostly this will be aimed at our canine guests, but many things will help with cats as well.

  1. Make reservations early
  2. Keep vaccine records current and on hand
  3. Consider your pet’s feeling about seeing luggage
  4. Know directions to the kennel
  5. Board new pets early so it becomes a fun and normal activity for them

1. A great rule of thumb is the make your pet’s reservation at the same time you’re completing your own plans. That way it’s done, and there’s no frantic, last minute “oh my goodness, I forgot to call the kennel”. If you prefer your dog to have a Studio, the earlier you call, the better your chances are of not being disappointed. Our Studios book quickly.

2. Keep your pet’s vaccine record current. Be certain that your reservation includes these current records. That way you’re assured of a quick and easy registration, and the beginning of your vacation won’t be ruined by having to chase down records, especially on Saturdays when most Veterinary Hospitals in our area are closed.

3. How does your pet feel about suitcases? Some dogs/cats could care less. Pet owners often tell us about their dog getting frantic when he sees the suitcases come out. If that’s the case with your pet, consider starting your pet’s vacation a day earlier. That way you can avoid his/her anxiety. He will settle in much more quickly from a calm state rather than a nervous one.

4. Is it your first time leaving your pet? Does the thought of leaving Fido make you anxious? Here’s a tip we’ve found to be very useful. Come for a tour ahead of time. Visit with our staff and tour the facility. Bring Fido too if you’d like. Here’s our thought on this. You’re already nervous about leaving your pet. Add to that the frustration of trying to find a new place, sometimes in an area in which your are not familiar. Unfamiliar territory or getting lost  just adds to your stress. Your pet will pick up on your feelings. He has no clue what has you so anxious, but being attuned to your feelings he will become anxious as well. Get that first visit out of the way. Know our location. Put on your happy face. Your pet will pick up on that as well. Things will go much better for both of you. Even if you can’t make it for a tour, do a drive by. At least you will know where we are.

5.  Do you have a young dog or cat, under two years of age, that has never been boarded?  Make it happen. Take the opportunity to go away overnight and allow your pet to do the same. Making a stay at Pet’s Companion Inn a normal and fun thing to do will make your life and your pet’s life much easier. Even bringing your dog for daycare will be a huge advantage for you both when that first “overnight camp” experience comes up. A dog that beats you to our front door will show you that he’s excited about coming and will ease that nagging guilt about “leaving” him.

OK, you’ve both survived your time away from each other. You’ve checked your dog out and you head out the door. Your dog stops and takes what you’re sure it the world’s longest pee. Yes, I promise, he peed while he was kenneled. We monitor that very closely. Here’s what happens…you dog is excited to see you…some owners actually go overboard with their excitement and get their dog over excited. Excitement elevates blood pressure which in turn makes your dog need to relieve himself. There’s also a good chance that we woke him up when we brought him up to be discharged. Here are some after stay tips.   

  1. Welcome your pet back in a normal, quiet way
  2. Examine your pet to feel confident he’s in great condition
  3. Have water available immediately at home
  4. Ask if he’s been fed on discharge day
  5. Don’t give unusual treats at home

1.  A normal level of excitement is expected, but don’t go crazy. You’ve got plenty of time to reconnect with your pet.

2.  It’s always a good idea to examine your pet before leaving the office. While we encourage phone calls for any and all questions, it’s difficult to provide much useful information a week later. While even minor injuries are rare, dogs that get excited and jump on the chain link fencing, or grab it with their mouth can sometimes get scrapes on their feet or lips. We try to make pet owners aware of any scratches, hot spots, etc.that arise during a stay. We appreciate it if the owner points out anything  that we missed or forgot to mention.

3. The drive home will be exciting, and maybe hot, even in air conditioning, so he’ll be panting. Once at home offer water immediately, but please don’t allow your dog to drink excessive amounts all at once. Allow him to drink a little bit, then wait a few minutes before allowing him to drink more. If you pet likes ice cubes give him some to eat or play with. That will cool him down and refresh him. Too much water too fast can cause stomach upset and vomiting.

4. Ask if he’s had his main meal of the day. If he has DO NOT FEED HIM AGAIN! It is more safe to miss a meal than to eat two meals. If he hasn’t yet been fed, be certain that he is completely relaxed and calm before feeding. This should avoid stomach upset at the least, and gastric torsion at the worse.

5. Do not fall into the guilt trap of giving your dog part of your dinner, especially those wonderful drippings from the pork roast you just cooked, or part of your steak, or even the french fries from that stop at the fast food spot on the way home. It doesn’t happen often but once in awhile we’ll get a call from a pet owner whose dog has thrown up the evening after he’s picked up, or the next day. Sometimes there’s diarrhea as well. Usually a little conversation with the owner reveals some combination of what I’ve discussed in 3, 4, and 5.  Remember, while he’s been visiting with us he’s been away from those “special treats” he loves at home.

We here at Pet’s Companion Inn hope that these suggestions will be a guide for you and your pet to have the perfect vacation stay.
Gwen Habenicht

 

Your Pets and This Heat Wave

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Yesterday we decided to do an experiment. We took a thermometer that we know to be fairly accurate and put it in my SUV. In the short time it would take to check in a pet here at Pet’s Companion Inn, about 2 minutes, and chat a moment, we checked the temperature.

What we discovered was amazing!

Heat in locked car

PLEASE, PLEASE, NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A CAR! No, not even to “just run inside for a minute”. Your car is more than just transportation. It can become an oven, and a death trap.  In a couple of minutes it was over 100°. Within 20 minutes it was literally off the scale…over 140°. Heat stroke and death by overheating is a horrible way for life to come to an end. It is preventable. Take your pet with you when you leave your car.

Under the best of circumstances there are three things your pet needs to survive; SHADE, WATER, VENTILATION. When one of these is missing tragedy is imminent. Avoid the sun when walking your dog. Take water along for both you and your pet. Avoid any surface that would be hot to your feet. Remember, your dog is barefooted, and heat soaked surfaces will burn his pads. Our dogs are devoted to us and will do whatever we do. Think twice on these 90°+ days about requiring him/her to run when you run. Heat stroke can sneak up on a dog pretty quickly. Just don’t take a chance. Enjoy a long and happy relationship with your pet by keeping him safe, cool and comfortable this summer.

Viper Visits School

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Pet’s Companion Inn is honored to say that Viper visits with us. It has always been a point of pride for us that we’ve kept many K9 Officers over the years. Here’s a link to a short story that appeared recently in the News of Orange.

 

Clues to the Diabetic Cat

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Over the past 30 years we’ve kept many diabetic dogs and cats at Pet’s Companion Inn, and are accustomed to giving insulin injections. Our only requirement is, that to the best of the owner’s knowledge, their pet is stable in his dosage needs. Recently my own ten year old yellow tabby, who came to live with me last year, was diagnosed as diabetic. So, time for another review on things we, as cat owners, should be aware of regarding our feline family members. Hobbs is a big fellow, weighing in at 16 pounds. “Big boned,” you might say. Within six months of him coming to live with me I noticed a distinct increase in the amount of water being consumed by my clowder of four. I also noticed very large “clumps” in the litter pan. Hobbs never showed any weight loss, so I know that is not always an indicator in all cats. His mood, activity level, and food intake never really changed. Still, I knew something wasn’t quite right, and he was the most logical candidate. A visit to our vet, and some blood work showed that he was, indeed, diabetic. We put him on a diabetic diet for a month…no easy task with multiple cats, I tell you, but after a month his insulin levels were still very high. He is now stable and happy and is being given two insulin injections daily. His next blood work will be done in ninety days. Yes, as the owner of a diabetic cat you will have to make some adjustments to your schedule, but otherwise its just one tiny extra thing to do each day for the pets that give us so much pleasure.

Here is an article from AnimalPlanet.com giving you basic information on what diabetes mellitus is, and what symptoms to be keep in mind. Hope it gives you a heads up.

What are the symptoms of feline diabetes?

You might want to be a fat cat, but you sure don’t want your feline to become one. There are a many reasons to keep your cat at a healthy weight, but avoiding feline diabetes may be the biggest.

Feline diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease often found in older and overweight cats. Similar to diabetes in humans, feline diabetes occurs when there is not enough insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas) in the cat’s body to balance out the glucose (sugar) in the cat’s diet. In normal cats, food is broken down during digestion and the resulting glucose enters the bloodstream. Insulin is then released to regulate the blood’s glucose levels. If your cat isn’t producing enough — or any — insulin, he will become diabetic. And if too much glucose builds up in his body due to the lack of insulin, the disease can become dangerous and even life threatening.

So what symptoms should you look for? Begin by monitoring your cat more closely, especially if he’s older or is overweight. Have you observed him drinking or eating a lot more than usual? Take note if his water bowl goes dry or his food dish empties faster than it used to — especially if he’s eating more and still losing weight. Another symptom to watch for is unusually frequent urination. All of these are key signs that his glucose levels are going unregulated — the lack of insulin is preventing his cells from absorbing and getting energy from glucose, and the resulting excess glucose in his blood is making him thirsty. If you observe these symptoms, make an appointment to see your vet. She can run a laboratory test to check how much sugar is in his blood or urine and make a diagnosis.

According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, about 50 to75 percent of cats with diabetes need to receive insulin injections, and some may also be prescribed pills to help regulate their glucose levels. Crucial to the treatment of diabetes is revisiting your cat’s diet. You’ll need to work with your vet to change and watch his diet, feeding him smaller portions of foods specially designed to help his body handle sugar. Monitoring his food and water intake, waste output and weight will be important in making sure his diabetes is properly treated. Some trial and error might be necessary in finding the best treatment for him, so call your vet right away if your cat’s symptoms return.

Although there isn’t a cure for diabetes, some cats — even after just a few months — will stop needing insulin. This is most common in overweight cats that lose their extra weight — the cat’s pancreas can once again supply the amount of insulin his body needs.

Diabetes is a challenging disease to deal with, and it’s best prevented by keeping your cat at a healthy weight. However, with good monitoring and care a cat with diabetes can live a long, happy life.

Cardboard Boxes And Cats: The Mystery Is Solved!

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If you have a cat, or have even been around a cat, you know they have a propensity for trying to fit into spaces far too small for them. Many a box has been ruined by a cat with a misguided sense of her size. From shoe boxes to refrigerator boxes, cats zero in on cardboard and make it their own. The question is, why? Is it because they know how adorable it is? Or do they get a thrill from making sure we have to keep climbing over whatever random box they have made their home for the day? Well, science has finally (possibly) found the answer!

It turns out, according to a new study from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, that cats use boxes for stress relief. Researches took 19 cats that were new to shelters and gave 10 boxes, while the other 9 did not. Over a 14 day period, the felines with boxes showed far less stress on the Kessker and Turner Cat-Stress-Score (CSS), and adjusted to the shelter environment far better than their box-less cohorts.

Cats are also awful at resolving conflict. If you have more than one cat, pay attention to where they go after a squabble, or to avoid one. Chances are, they are hitting an enclosed space, most likely a box. Hiding out in them helps them ignore whatever is stressing them out. That’s assuming your other cats don’t try to follow into the same box. . .

Outside of stress relief, boxes also provide something every cat needs: extra warmth. Cats prefer to  stay between 86 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, about 20 degrees higher than the average temperature of homes. Since cardboard is such a great insulator, curling up in boxes helps them maintain their comfort temperature. The same goes for cats curling up in a sink, or in a corner of the basement when they are too hot. They don’t do it simply to be cute (probably).

This article was published on The Animal Rescue Site, and I found it interesting. We often use boxes in the cattery at Pet’s Companion Inn. They may not be high tech, and we often get a laugh at the print on them, but its well worth the stares I sometimes get when choosing just the right boxes from the Costco box pile, just to see how much our cat guests enjoy their boxes.

Stuido 112405 016

Welcome

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I am delighted to welcome all of our friends to our new website for Pet’s Companion Inn. We’re very excited to have a sleek new format that is computer, tablet, and smart phone friendly. We are hoping that you’ll find making reservations to be both quick and easy, especially for returning guests. Over the next few weeks we’ll be fine tuning everything, but in the meantime, please enjoy our blog, ask us questions via info@petscompanioninn.com, and make your pet’s reservations with ease.

Gwen

Search Dog Hero

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Bretagne the golden retriever

Bretagne the golden retriever. Photo by Texas Task Force 1 (Facebook) via Daily News.

Search dogs contribute incredible value to the lives of their owners and to rescue teams! We love this Daily News article about a search dog who returns to visit Ground Zero, where she helped her handler with search and rescue during 9/11.