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As a lifelong animal lover, I recommend for every prepared household to own a pet. I think that pets bring great value to a human's life at both home and away. However, I cannot stress how important it is for you to be prepared before getting your first pet. Here are some steps to follow before welcoming a pet into your family.

1) Do Your Research. Don't just jump into getting a pet. Research is the most important step there is. Start your search on Petfinder, an online, searchable database of animals who need homes. It is also a directory of more than 13,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

I did research for those of you who live in the areas that I service. The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire is in Bedford. There's a Humane Society in both Derry and Nashua. In addition, the Salem Animal Rescue League is a non-profit organization whose goal is to find permanent, loving homes for the abandoned and unwanted animals in Salem, NH and surrounding towns. 

Two other great pet adoption resources for the whole state of New Hampshire are The New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the New Hampshire Humane Society.

2) Pet-Proof Your Home. Before you get your pet you need to make sure your house will be suitable for your pet. The American Humane Association has an informative list that describes how to pet-proof your home. 


3) Explore Your Options. Don't get the first pet up for offer. Once you know what pet you are getting, you have to get the right supplies for it. Be sure to pick out a pet with relatively the same level of energy as you. If your pet has a lot of energy and you're not an active person, it may not be a good pet for you. The same mismatch may happen if you have a lot of energy and your pet doesn't. 


4) Make Sure You Get Your Pet Home Safely. Before you pick up your pet, make sure you have a place for it to ride home. This will prepare you for future trips with your pet as well. 

Make sure that you plan accordingly. If you do all of these steps then you will have a great experience with your first pet.


 

If your dog or cat were to get injured today, do you know how to stabilize or save them before you can get them to your local vet?  The above infographic is from the American Red Cross for performing animal CPR. Please review these instructions before you start performing CPR on your pet.

In addition to following these instructions, I would recommend taking an Adult CPR/AED course that incorporates the latest science and teaches students how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies for victims, whether a pet or a human. After successfully completing this course, you will receive a certificate for Adult CPR/AED, which is valid for two years. The course is being offered in Nashua this Thursday, April 25th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. If for some reason you can't make it to this course, New Hampshire CPR, LLC offers a wide variety of training programs and Pet First Aid/CPR courses. Please check out their websites for further certification information. 

This isn't something that you want to ignore. You need to make sure that you're properly trained in order to save your pet in the case of an emergency. 

 

Just this week alone, I've received so many calls from clients residing in either Auburn or Hampstead with questions that relate to the importance of and proper way to brush their dog's teeth. In this blog post, I wanted to take the opportunity share some insight and tips about brushing your dog's teeth.


It's a known fact that dogs don't get cavities the way humans do, however they do get plaque, tartar, and gingivitis; all of which can cause foul breath and tooth problems. It's possible that poor dental care can lead to dental infections that can travel to your dog's heart, causing major problems and even death. Ultimately, you should brush your dog's teeth every day, but you’re still doing okay as a pet owner if you’re able to brush them once or twice a week.

How do you choose the best time? A great time for brushing is when your dog is tired. In order to get the process started, you need to train your dog to allow you to touch his or her mouth. You can get your dog ready to have his or her teeth brushed by doing the following:
  1. Start off by talking to your dog in calm, soothing tones.
  2. Flip up your dog's lips and gently rub the toothbrush and toothpaste against your dog's teeth and gums for a few seconds.
  3. Wet the edge of a clean washcloth so you can rub your dog's gums and teeth; hold a corner of the wet portion of the washcloth with your index finger and use a gentle, circular motion.
  4. After your dog gets used to getting a gum massage with a wet washcloth, the next step is to get him or her used to the finger brush and pet toothpaste. A finger toothbrush that's made for pets is best. You can still use a human toothbrush, but it isn't as good as a finger brush.
  5. If your dog grows impatient at any point, it’s okay to stop and try again the next day. Give your dog a treat, even if she allows you to work on her teeth for only a few seconds. 
Don't ever use human toothpaste! Human toothpaste contains fluoride, which in large quantities is poisonous to dogs. Dogs can't rinse and spit, so they pretty much swallow everything you put on their teeth. Doggie toothpaste, on the other hand, is flavored with malt, chicken, or some other yummy flavor that dogs can't resist. It makes the experience a little more enjoyable.

If you forget any of the steps, WebMD also has a great slideshow tutorial on how to brush your dog's teeth. Please remember to keep your dog's teeth clean!

 

Has owning a pet prevented you from getting away for a night or two? You shouldn't stress about it. These days, there are plenty of destinations that allow dogs. I've done my research and I've found a few great pet friendly hotels, including a rental property, in some of the towns that I service New Hampshire. You should still call ahead. Please note that some hotels may require a pet deposit. If you're staying close to any of the towns that I service, I wouldn't mind coming by your hotel and taking your dog for a walk. 

  1. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in Manchester is pet friendly! Up to two pets of any size are welcome. The hotel requires a credit card at check in to secure for incidental damages.
  2. Dogs weighing less than 30 pounds are welcome to stay at the Radisson Hotel Nashua, where you can enjoy the elegant castle architecture. 
  3. La Quinta Inn & Suites Salem is pet-friendly. Up to two pets of any size are allowed in each room for no additional fee or deposit.
  4. In Sandown, they have a waterfront cottage for rent that allows dogs, with prior approval from the owner.  
Before leaving on your trip, make sure that you plan ahead. You need to be prepared, in order to prevent any stressful situations. To keep your dog healthy as you travel, you should bring along a supply of his or her regular food and be sure to bring any medications that he or she may needs. In addition, make sure that your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. While traveling, do not leave your dog unattended and remember to bring enough bags in order to pick up the after he or she goes to the bathroom. 

I want to leave you with a few pet-friendly travel planning sites that I use on a regular basis.
  1. New Hampshire Doggie Destinations 
  2. America's Best Dog-Friendly Hotels
  3. Pets Welcome
  4. Dog Friendly Hotels
  5. DogFriendly.com
Enjoy vacationing with your dog! 

 

Have you been trying to figure out where to take your dog for a walk on a sunny day? Whether you want me to take your dog for a walk or if you're up to doing it, I wanted to make some recommendations of places in the areas that I service. Most walking areas require the use of a leash. Please make sure that you bring some bags to pick up after your dog's bowel movements as well.


You can take a walk around Massabesic Lake Park, which runs through both Auburn and Manchester. There are little trails along the water's edge, and then a large clear path that people run, bike, and take their dogs on. There are a few boat docking areas along the way, so you can see more water and take a break at a picnic table or grassy area.

There are a bunch of other great pet-friendly locations in ManchesterManchester Riverwalk offers a 2 mile paved trail alongside the Merrimack River for you and your dog. In addition, Derryfield ParkLivingston Park, and Stark Park allow dogs, if they're on a leash. 

Mine Falls Dog Park in Nashua currently allows dogs, if they're on a leash. The Nashua Dog Owners Group is working to establish an off-leash dog run at this site.

In case you want your dog to run around while you sit and watch, The Derry Dog Park is an off leash dog area located on Fordway in Derry. The area is completely fenced in, with a double gate to enter, allowing dogs the opportunity to run and play freely in a safe and enclosed environment. 

The Hudson Dog Park is another great spot to take your dog to play. It’s run by a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to construction and maintaining an off-leash dog park in Hudson. Their goal is to create a safe place for owners and dogs to play and socialize and promote responsible dog ownership. A fence has been installed and the park has a large main dog play area and a small dog play area for dogs less than 25 lbs. There are currently double-gated entries and trees left for shade. It’s my favorite spot! 

 

As a pet owner, it's always important to think about your dog's health. You want to make sure that your home is a safe environment. After eating, always remember to pick up after yourself, in order to prevent your dog from getting sick from whatever may be dropped on the floor during the process. In addition, if you find yourself playing or working with small objects, make sure that your dog isn't too close to you. The last thing that you want is for your dog to try to eat the wrong things. 


As far as cleanliness goes, make sure that you regularly groom your dog and brush his or her teeth. Don't you always feel good after a nice shower? Dogs want to feel clean and pretty on a regular basis, just like us. 

In order to ensure your dog's longevity, you should design a diet and exercise plan to meet your pet's specific needs. Make sure that you visit your preferred veterinarian for regular check-ups as well. Preventive vaccinations and early detection of diseases are the keys to successfully treating your pet. If you haven't found the right vet for your pet, you can visit the American Animal Hospital Association website, in order to find an accredited hospital near you. 

If you remember to keep your dog healthy and he or she will continue to make you happy!

 

Responsible pet owners should understand the risk to their animals presented by lawn fertilizer products. Some lawn fertilizers have several toxic formulas, depending on the type and mixture of chemicals. Harmful effects in dogs can include diarrhea and vomiting. In recent studies, there's also a correlation between lawn chemicals and cancer in dogs. 


Not sure where to start when it comes to picking out the right fertilizer for your lawn? The fertilizers containing dangerous chemicals are usually clearly stated, they give instructions on how to warn others and time limits before pets can be allowed on the grass again. If you for some reason you end up purchasing a fertilizer that contains toxic chemicals, please make sure that you store unused fertilizers where dogs cannot get into them. If your dog gets into the fertilizer, wash him or her with soap and water. Make sure that your lawn is completely safe, before sending your dog back outside. It's very possible that the toxic fertilizer can get stuck in your dog's paws. This may cause a level of discomfort that leads to he or she licking their paws, in order to get it out. If at any time, you think that your dog ingested the fertilizer, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If you feel reluctant or fearful of using lawn chemicals, I suggest using organic products. Fire Belly Organic Lawn Care comes right from Auburn. Regardless, the package will clearly state whether or not it’s an organic product. Purchasing organic products the safe way to go. 

You can have a green lawn and healthy pets at the same time. Save your worrying for something else and avoid purchasing fertilizers that contain harmful chemicals. 

 

Now that Spring Forward has passed, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities with your dogs. The sun will stay out longer, which will allow for outdoor time after work. If for some reason you can’t find the time, that’s why there are dog walkers and pet sitters like me.

You should think about making some plans with a friend in the neighborhood, who happens to have a dog that will get along with yours. Since the dogs have most likely been cooped up all winter, besides the occasional outdoor bathroom breaks, I would recommend visiting a local park. This will allow for them to play and run around freely. However, you need to plan ahead and make sure that the park you plan to visit will allow pets. Every state should have a Department or Division of Parks and Recreation website, with a list of pet-friendly parks.

Since my business is based in New Hampshire, I researched a park that permits pets in my surrounding area. Pets are permitted at Taylor Mill State Historic Site in Derry. For a full list of parks that allow pets in New Hampshire, please visit The New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation website. In order to ensure a pleasurable and safe visit for both pets and park visitors, please be sure to familiarize yourself with the park rules.

Take a few breaks from work and enjoy the nice weather with your pets. There’s a reason you wanted to have them in the first place. You now have the opportunity to enjoy the time together outside.

 

Welcome Top Dog Pet Care's Blog, where I'll be posting weekly stories and tips for pet lovers and owners.  

Let me start off by giving you a history of Top Dog Pet Sitting & Dog Walking. It was founded in 2010 and is independently owned and operated by me, Jessica Dupere.

Working with animals has always been a very rewarding experience for me. This is the reason why I started Top Dog Pet Sitting and Dog Walking in New Hampshire. I began this venture out of my love and respect for animals and my desire to assist others by providing quality and affordable pet care for their loved ones.

I am a lifelong animal lover, defender, and activist. My love, adoration, and devotion extends to all living creatures. I have been a vegetarian since the age of twelve and a vegan since the age of twenty-one. 

I lost my beloved fifteen year old dog Red in May 2010 and his thirteen year old sister Zoey in January 2009. I miss them dearly and have taken great comfort in being able to care for other peoples beloved pets. 

I have experience working at a local animal hospital with dogs of all ages, breeds and backgrounds. I also spent a summer volunteering at the NHSPCA. From Chihuahuas to Great Danes, the old and the young, the large and the small, the outgoing and the meek, I've walked, cared for, and loved them all!

I am a licensed, bonded and insured pet care provided. I am also Pet CPR and First Aid Certified through PetTech and am a member of Pet Sitters Associates LLC. 

Top Dog Pet Sitting and Dog Walking's services include live in house sitting and pet sitting, dog walking, at my home dog sitting, cat sitting, day care, and at your home dog sitting. I service the following towns in New Hampshire: Nashua, Derry, Londonderry, Windham, Manchester, Bedford, Hookset, Sandown, Auburn, Salem, Hudson, Hampstead and Chester. 

If you're living in or visiting any of the above mentioned towns in New Hampshire and looking for trusted pet care, I'm here for you.