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I am the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I live there with my puppy Bandit. I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  Please feel free to check out our dog walking and pet sitting services.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bird Care


A pet bird is a wonderful companion that can give you and your family years of joy. However, there are things to look out for Bird care. First, make sure you are selecting a healthy bird. Avoid picking a sick or badly treated bird unless you have much experience with the species and its health problems. 

Sick birds may seem fluffy or ruffled. They may seem unresponsive, withdrawn, tired, or tend to hide their heads under their wings. Birds should not sneeze or have droppings on or around their tail feathers, and there should be no sign of discharge near the nostrils.
A pet bird that only sits at the bottom of its cage is seriously ill. These are all big warning symptoms. Birds in good health will have bright eyes, clean feathers with a quality sheen, a healthy appetite and a lot of-of energy.

The level to which your pet has been handled will also be important, as a poorly socialized or poorly treated bird won't be a good pet. Look for birds that are friendly and curious, not those that shy away from careful handling. Remember that you should let the professionals show you how to hold and touch your bird. However - most need relatively gentle care.

Reputable stores and breeders are the best places to look for a healthy, happy pet bird. Don't Use chain pet stores or any place that looks like a bargain. Remember - you're purchasing a living creature, not a decoration.

Once you've found a bird you know you want, you should take him or her to a vet who knows birds well to get the first checkup. You should be allowed to return a bird which is sick or in poor health to any good pet store. It also helps your vet learn what your pet is like when he or she is in good health and lets you build a relationship with them.

Your vet can tell you a lot about what to feed your new pet, how to care for him or her, what medical needs are likely and what training is appropriate. This may be different from what you were told at the store - trust the vet, as he or she has more training.

Your bird's new housing should be the largest you can manage in your home, but with bar spacing that your new pet can't fit through. It's fine to try and find cheap bird cages, but don't cut corners when it comes to your new pet. There are plenty of bird cages for sale at very reasonable prices.

The perch should be made of natural wood branches when possible, and out of safe woods. Keep in mind to clean any branches gathered from outside. Also, quarantine your new pet from other birds before introducing them, to prevent the spread of any problems you may not know about. Follow the veterinarian recommended diet closely, and don't try substituting cheaper foods or different percentages, as this can make your bird ill.

Likewise, avoid pine bedding, cedar, and walnut shell bedding, as all can be dangerous for your pet bird. Change bedding frequently, and remember to socialize with your pet on a daily basis. Big birds like parrots need quite a bit of socialization, so think carefully about the one you get. 

Essential Needs of Pet Birds 
Many birds require consideration and communication. It's great to place them in ranges in your home where your and your family remain much of the time as the kitchen or lounge room. Likewise, picking the correct confine for your pet will guard them, sound, and secure. 

Lodging 
Buy confines that are non-poisonous because most birds will bite on their enclosures. You likewise need to pick a confine that has adequate space for your birds to move around. Select an enclosure that is more than three times the length of their wingspan. If you have more than one pet, pick a greater enclosure to give enough space to each bird. Birds tend to feel discouraged when they are kept in little pens with insufficient space for play and development. Consider these components while choosing a bird to confine for your new pets. 

Veterinary Care 

Bird pets require therapeutic care, as well. It's great to counsel your neighborhood veterinarian for any proposals, rules, and regulations for birds. You should likewise designate a financial plan for crisis medicinal care and reach points of interest of an adjacent veterinary center for crisis cases. That is for bird pet proprietors, as well as every single pet proprietor from canines, felines, reptiles, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. 

Learning more about nurturing your pet is a piece of being a capable proprietor so you can best give the care that they require.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Snaggle Foot Round Lake Receives 2017 Best of Round Lake Award


Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Snaggle Foot Round Lake Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers Receives 2017 Best of Round Lake Award

Round Lake Award Program Honors the Achievement

ROUND LAKE May 5, 2017 -- Snaggle Foot Round Lake Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers has been selected for the 2017 Best of Round Lake Award in the Pet Sitter category by the Round Lake Award Program.

Each year, the Round Lake Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Round Lake area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Round Lake Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Round Lake Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Round Lake Award Program
The Round Lake Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Round Lake area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Round Lake Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

How To Choose a Dog Toy


The best dog toy is one that keeps your dog active and interested. A dog who is bored or doesn't exercise enough is likely to chew your furniture, stain your rug, and engage in other forms of bad behavior. He will get even with you one way or another!

We all know that dogs love to play. Running, jumping, chasing, mouthing, chewing, wrestling, biting, and yes even riding your leg are all normal forms of play. You might want to discourage that last one, though, if you want to avoid public embarrassment.

Whatever your dog likes to use as a toy, make sure its safe.
It should be large enough that she can't swallow it or choke on it and hard enough so that chewing wont cause pieces to be bitten off and swallowed. If toys have holes or openings in them, be sure your pet cant get his tongue or jaw stuck in the opening. The tongue can get stuck when it seals the only opening in the dog toy, creating suction. (One way around this is to punch another small hole at the opposite end.) Its always best to supervise you dog for his first few days with a new toy, just to be sure he can play safely.

Dogs prefer to play with people or other dogs, but will play alone if there is no one around to entertain them. If you leave him alone for long periods of time, be sure your dog has a favorite toy to keep him busy.

Food Dispensing Toys
Dog toys designed to dispense food can provide hours of fun for the dog who's left alone. These toys require your dog to chew, push, roll and bat the toy around to get at the goodies inside. Great fun! If your dog tends to use her paws a lot in play to stop or hold a ball, sh will enjoy the one she has to push around. If not, the chew types work best. This dog toy should be properly designed for safety, so make sure you get one tough enough that your dog wont chew the toy to pieces (a choking hazard). Also be sure she cant get her jaw or tongue stuck in the opening (see above).

The treats are typically dry and in small pieces, e.g. kibble, small biscuits, small cubes of hard cheese. Long thin bits which are easier to load then to dispense back out, like pieces of beef jerky (dog or human style) about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long, work great too. There is even a vitamin-enriched paste made specifically for this type of dog toy.

Chase and Fetch Toys
Dogs love to run and chase, and some of their favorite games are tug, fetch, and Frisbee. As always, safety is your first consideration. Make sure the dog toy is large enough for safety, but not so large or heavy that its tough for your pet to handle. Avoid toys with parts that she can chew off and swallow, or toys small enough that she can actually swallow the toy itself.

This type of play is a great way to keep your dog fit and work out stress or anxiety. We all know that a tired dog is a good dog! But be careful not to overdo it at first. Before starting any vigorous exercise program, a dog should get a clean bill of health from the vet just as you would from your physician.

Some good toys for chasing and fetching are durable rubber balls, and rings, oversized tennis balls, plastic Frisbees and throwing discs.

Chase and fetch are normally not solitary sports, but there is a way to set up a solitary chase game for your dog when hes alone. You can set up a ramp (a larger one for outdoors, or small for inside) that hell learn to use for rolling a ball. I don't know of any commercially available, but you can make one by building a wooden cube about 2 feet to a side, then putting a ramp up one side and down the other. For indoors, a baby slide about two feet high works just as well.

Its worth spending some time checking out the different categories of fetch toys. Among them are Tennis Ball toys (toys made with tennis balls and tennis ball materials), Giggly Wiggly toys (they make fun noises when your dog plays with them), and Water Toys (all of them float, for good aquatic dog toy fun!).

Chew and Tug Toys
I probably don't need to tell you that dogs love to chew, especially if you own a puppy. Dogs also love to wrestle and use their mouths, so tug-of-war games come naturally for them. Just be careful that your dog doesn't have too much pent up energy or get too carried away. Dogs playing with other dogs will wrestle and mouth each other without causing any harm. When they do this with you it can be quite another story!

A dog toy that's especially popular for tugging is the knotted rope variety. You should resist making your own, since there is a danger of them coming un-knotted and frayed. Frayed pieces can be swallowed and cause obstructions in the intestines. Commercially made rope toys of good quality will resist unraveling and fraying. Keep an eye on things to be on the safe side.

Chew toys should be made of durable materials for the similar reasons. You don't want your friend to choke on little pieces. Fortunately, there are some great ones available, made in a variety of sturdy materials.

Thank you to our guest writer Kevin Davies for this great article. If you would like to read more of his blog please go to:  https://petloverguy.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

Taking Care Of Your Puppy: Best Practice


It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the excitement when you get a new puppy and completely ignore your gorgeous new pets basic needs in the process - no one could blame you either, they’re so energetic and playful that they seem to have an endless abundance of energy ready to deploy at a moment’s notice any time of the day.

Don’t be deceived though, these little guys are prone to illness and they’re literally placing their life in your hands. Whether your new family member is a personal pet or a little friend for your child - it’s important that you make their health and safety a priority from the moment they enter your life if you want to have nothing but happy memories as they develop into a fully grown adult.

We’re going to share some of the best tips out there for ensuring that your miniature canine companion develops as soundly and safely as they should.

Secure a vet
This probably seems a little obvious but this step is likely the most important - you really do need to ensure that you find not only the best vet you can afford to take care of your puppy’s health, but also one that is in close proximity in case of an emergency.

Any potentially stressful situation you may face with a new pet is almost definitely going to involve a visit to the vets - that’s why you need to ensure you get the right one. Look into the customer testimonials for the veterinary practices in your area and hone in on the most positive. You should never search purely on price alone.

Don’t buy junk food
Believe it or not, some of the leading canine food brands produce nutrition products for dogs that are actually the equivalent of a human eating McDonalds for every meal - we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be comfortable with your kids eating like this, so it’s important that you apply the same logic to your puppy too.

Look for the highest grade dog food you can find relevant to your chosen breed and age - again reading through testimonials and looking for products that have been backed by veterinary practices will almost always guarantee safety.

Establish strong foundations
It’s important that you lay down some ground rules from day one to ensure that your little friend doesn’t develop any negative behavioural traits that could soon turn ugly as they continue to grow.

If you’re not confident training your puppy on your own, it would be a great idea to enlist the help of a dog trainer to help bring out the best in your canine companion - the financial outlay will more than pay for itself over time when you’re not having to replace broken furniture and throw out dirty carpets.

Engage, play and enjoy!
Just like human children, puppy’s need mental and physical stimulus to ensure their overall happiness - their energetic nature needs to be nurtured in order to keep them wholly satisfied and you’re going to play a vital part in the sustainment of that activity!

Regular walks are a must, but equally as important is playing with them and allowing them to benefit from new experiences as often as possible. They love seeing, doing and smelling new things - open the world up to them and you’ll find that it’s also easier to control their behaviour as they get used to the world around them.

Look out for early warning signs
It’s quite normal for a puppy to temporarily go off their food due to over excitement and sometimes nervousness (after all, everything is completely new to them) but this lack of appetite and any other slightly “off” behaviour you notice should only ever be temporary.

If you see strange behaviour for a period of more than a couple of days at the most then it’s important that you take your furry little friend for a visit to the vets to see what the problem might be. It’s probably going to be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe.

These five points are by no means an all encompassing list of elements to incorporate if you want to ensure that your puppy lives the happiest life possible, but they certainly form the cornerstones of the vital foundations needed to develop a happy life for your puppy.

Should you adhere to these steps, you’re going to create infinite happy memories with your new companion as it grows from being an adorably cute bundle of excitement into a well formed, well behaved and genuinely lovable adult.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Learn About Your Pet Food and Nutrition


Pet foods have been a preferred option for many pet lovers. The focus is usually on the balancing of nutrients available in these foods. However, there are many factors and aspects revolving around these feeds. For instance, what are the additives, the nature of ingredients used and the manufacturing process? In terms of nutritional composition, the percentages of individual components are important in prevention of diet related disorders.

What Makes Pet Foods
Due to marketing strategies, advertisers encrypt attractive embroidery of the supposed components of the feed. However, the actual components of pet feeds are human leftovers or food that is unsafe for human consumptions. In order to increase pet’s palatability, certain odors and aromas are added to the food. Other feeds contain supplements, mainly micronutrients that help boost the health and proper growth of the pets. 

Rendering is one of the major processes that lead to production of food. This process involves utilization by products from human food through cooking processes, to make them edible by animals. The ingredients in this case range from livestock carcasses to human food leftovers. Although this process serves many purposes, sterilization through elimination of pathogens is important for safety of consumption. The main ingredient utilized by the manufacturer is the dry protein, while the rest of the products end up in disposal.

The dried protein undergoes grinding, to increase the surface area for addition of other diet components. Energy giving foods and micro nutrients are included into the meat meal in different percentages, depending with the intended use and targets. In order to add that natural flavor, the pet foods may contain digest matter. Digest is a product of chemical synthesis of edible meat and other products, which have that natural umami taste and flavor. 

The Process and Yields
With rendering involving high temperatures, there is a tendency of destruction of nutrients in the vats. Just like humans, animals have digestibility rates of certain products, based on the availability of the subject nutrient. For instance, the whole process of making pet food may either increase or reduce the availability of digestible proteins to the body. This means that the expertise of the manufacturer determines the success of the pet food.
However, not all processes will yield the same composition of nutrients. Generally, these foods come as either natural or synthetic, based on the ingredients used. Natural feeds are recognized by Association of American feed Control Officials since they utilize ingredients from the natural environment. On the other hand, synthetic foods contain of in-vitro made supplements, which occur in higher percentages and presentations than that of natural foods.

Functional Pet Foods
Just like there are functional foods for humans, pets also have functional feeds. The main aim of these advanced foods is reviving the health or nutritional attributes of the pet. However, the label composition and the ingredients used are important, with regard to possible side effects. Manufacturers are adding important nutrients to form supplements for pets. In as far as, you feel your pet requires these boosters, it is important to understand the carrier properties and reactions.

For instance, antioxidants and omega-3 supplements are available in the market. Some of the manufacturers claim their meat meals contain these properties. However, the percentage composition may have little impact on the expected results due tom presence of antagonistic nutritional properties in the foods. Some foods that have intestinal benefits simply increase the fiber content reducing the likelihood of constipation and colon blockages. 

Additives and their Impacts
Since pet foods come from byproducts, sometimes the rendering process leads to loss of their characteristics. It is obvious that highly processed foods have a shorter shelf life especially with the destruction of enzymes through heating. Among the additives you find in these foods are preservatives in form of antioxidants, to reduce the deterioration levels of the food. Vitamin E and C are the most important inclusions due to their nutritive addition as well as preserving attributes.

Other additives include minerals such as Calcium, Iron and Phosphorous and essential vitamins to boost the strength and immunity of the pets. The rest of the additives add no Nutritional value but can increase the organoleptic properties. They include colorants, flavors, stabilizers and emulsifiers, all that focus on the palatability and suitability of the foods to the pets.

Final Scope

The labeling of pet foods as super or premium may not necessarily reflect on the nutritional benefits. It is important to check the percentage composition of natural ingredients in the food, to enjoy maximum benefits.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Create a Strong Bond with Your Pet Bird


Birds have a flock mentality and are out of their element in a domestic environment. Bonding with your pet helps to ease the transition and is an essential but often ignored aspect of bird care. In any case, it would be nice to have the same relationship with your bird as other pet owners have with their dogs or cats. There are a few simple but effective tips that you can use to create and strengthen the bond with your pet bird. 

Share some of your meals
Sharing your own meals helps activate the bird’s flock mentality and to perceive you as a friend. Birds bond in the wild by regurgitating food for each other. Sharing food off your plate can have a similar effect. Ensure that the food is safe for birds and does not contain any salt or seasoning. Fruits are a safe bet in this case. 

The bird may be hesitant to try the food at first. Simply put a small portion in his food bowl and eat yours directly in front of him. Your bird should warm up to the idea of sharing food in no time. Encouraging the bird softly as you eat can help to move things along. 

Create time to bond
This is especially important for rescue birds or birds that have been rehomed. Some of these birds have unfortunately had traumatic experiences with humans or simply haven’t spent much time around them. Schedule time every day to simply sit next to your bird and speak to him softly as you would to a child. Rehomed or rescue birds can get nervous around people so it may take some time for your bird to warm up to you. Sit next to the bird for 5 or 10 minutes daily while avoiding any sudden movements. You can increase this time as the bird grows more accustomed to your presence. 

Consider grooming sessions
Grooming is an essential part of bonding for most animals including birds. Grooming is a great way to create a strong relationship with your bird provided that he allows himself to be handled. Gently scratch the back of the head to remove pinfeathers. With time, consider investing in a shower perch to enjoy quality bath time with your feathered friend. 

Be creative with food
Remember that a proper diet is an integral part of bird care. Birds generally do well with fresh seeds, pellets, vegetables and fruits. Find out as much information as you can about your particular breed’s feeding habits and quantities. Hide some of the food in your bird toys, cardboard box or around the bird cage. This lets the bird forage for food as he would in the wild and provides much needed entertainment while you are away. 

Listen to music together 
Birds in the wild mainly communicate through their voices and body language. Mimicking this is an effective way to bond with your pet. Sing to your bird or listen to music and dance for him. Most pets cannot resist the temptation of joining in. It may feel awkward or silly at first but it will come more naturally in your bird care routine. 

Try bribing your bird
Bribery works magic with shy birds. Note your pet’s favorite treats and offer them every time you spend time with him. You can also make a few homemade bird toys to spruce up the bird cage and give him something to do while you are away. 

Respect your pet’s decision
This is in respect to birds that are let out of the cage and is especially important for a bird that just arrived. Getting the bird out of the cage can be challenging at first but it is best to allow him to do as he likes. Simply open the cage and wait for him to come out on his own. Physically removing the bird from the cage can frighten him or create mistrust. Most bird species want to feel control over their environment so this is a good way to allow your pet that privilege. 


Bonding with your bird is just as important as with any other pet. Ensure that you have a good avian veterinarian on call in case of any health issues or questions about your pet. These tips should help you create a mutually rewarding relationship with your pet bird. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Common Pet Illnesses and What To Do


If you own any pet, you very well know how vulnerable they are to various diseases. And because they can't communicate with us, it's our duty to take care of them. When you are a pet parent, it's not just about the fun parts, it's also about taking care of them when they are sick and being a responsible guardian. 

What to do if your pet seem to be sick?
If your pet seem to be a bit off, there is a huge possibility that it might be sick. Pets usually try to mask any sign of disease. This type of behavior in animals is their natural instinct kicking in, as in the wild any animal who showed weakness sign was ostracized by its members or attacked by other stronger animals. Thus, you have to be alert regarding any changes in the behavior of your pets, no matter how subtle it is.
Before giving medications to your pets on your own, you need to take them to a veterinarian and get them tested properly. At the earliest onset of symptoms it's important that you seek professional advice rather than waiting till the end when things go out of control.

Top 5 common pet illnesses.
Parvovirus- Parvovirus is a common disease seen in dogs as well as cats (however it does seem to effect puppies more than adult dogs). The disease is highly contagious though it doesn't spread cross-species. The disease is caused by a virus known as canine Parvovirus. This virus can remain in the environment for a period of at least one year. Large amount of virus is found in the feces of pets, hence if your pets even sniff feeces of an infected animal, they can get this disease. Symptoms of Parvovirus in pets:

Fever
Depression 
Diarrhea 
Dehydration
Vomiting

Always get your young pet vaccinated for Parvo.  However once your pet gets it, it needs proper care and intensive treatment.  The mortality rate is high with Parvo so vaccination is imperative. 

Skin infection - skin infection in your pets can get really messy. Skin infection can be caused by fungus (eg- ringworm), bacteria ( eg- pyoderma and impetigo) or skin parasites. These infections can either be on the surface of your pet’s skin or they can penetrate deeper. Skin infection is contagious and if you think your pet has it, you need to visit your vet office and ask for a skin test.

Symptoms of skin infection in pets are:
Loss of hair in spots
Redness of skin
Abscess 
Lesions
Pustules
Itching of skin.
Oozing sores on your pet’s skin

As bad as these symptoms appear, you need to start treatment for them instantly or things can get worse.

Diabetes- The growth rate of diabetes in pets is much more than in humans. From the year 2006-10, dogs diabetes rate in US increased by 30% whereas in cats the rate was 10%. diabetes happens when your pet’s body isn't producing enough insulin. This can be due to pancreas are working in a defective manner or it's damaged. Although diabetes can't be treated, it can be managed and controlled. 

Symptoms of diabetes in pets are as follows:
Pets get thirsty frequently 
Frequent urination
Loss of weight
In advanced cases, your pets might show symptoms like:
Depression 
Weakness
Vomiting

Arthritis- arthritis usually occurs in older pets. However in several cases, even young pets were seen suffering from this disease. This disease causes pain in the joints of pets and your pet shows signs of pain, stiffness and discomfort. Arthritis can be caused by old age, development of abnormal cartilage, ligament damage or fracture.

Some of the common symptoms of arthritis in pets are:
Limping
Irritability
Tiredness
Difficulty in moving
Muscle atrophy

Usually if your vet thinks that your pet got arthritis he will suggest X rays to confirm the bone or bones in which arthritis is prevalent. Weight loss and proper exercise can provide your pet immense relief from arthritis pain. Your vet may also prescribe joint medication.

Heartworm disease- Heartworm disease is a common and fatal disease amongst pets. Usually, the symptoms of Heartworm shows up late and by then the disease can become fatal and deadly. Heartworm is caused by worms known as dirofilaria immitis. The worms are spread in your pets through bites of mosquitoes. 

Symptoms of Heartworm in your pets are:
Dry cough
Weakness
Loss of weight
Difficulty in breathing
Seizures
Bulging of chest

If not treated on time, Heartworms can cause heart failure, damage of organs, lung disease and in some cases it might also lead to death. Your vet can test your pet for Heartworm by taking his blood sample and testing it.

You are with your pet every day so if you see something that just doesn't seem right, seek care, it could save their life.