Toxic Yard Mushrooms and Pet Care in Kennewick….

As I go about my way on my pet care route, I’ve been running into mushrooms in clients yards or on dog walks around Kennewick, Washington. This has been of great concern to me and I discard the mushrooms by picking them up while protecting my hands. Then I wash my hands well. I then let my pet care clients know of the danger they can cause to their pet, even death.

Toxic mushrooms fall into 3 categories depending on how toxic they are. It’s very important to take the type of mushroom you think your pet might have ingested to the vet for the proper pet’s care and diagnosis.

The three categories are:

A:) are the most toxic and destroy the kidneys and liver.

B:) and C:) destroy the nervous system.                                           image

D:) cause gastrointestinal irritation.

The most common symptoms with mushroom poisoning are:

Abdominal pain
Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
Uncoordinated movements
Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
Seizures and Coma

What made me want to write this article? Two Mastiff dogs in my home town Kennewick, Washington, consumed mushrooms out in their yard. One of the Mastiffs passed away and one got very ill and required emergency vet pet care.

So there you have it. Will you go out and check your yard now before letting your pets out. Will you check the yards in your neighborhood as you are walking your dogs? Please remember when you hire a professional pet sitter, they do just that while providing pet care for you.

Remember mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes.

Want to know how a professional pet sitter can keep your pets safe while you are away?

Call: 509-627-9037

Help, I Found a Stray Dog here in Kennewick, Washington


Stray dog

Stray dog



I can’t tell you how often I come across a loose dog here in Kennewick. Especially after
one of our wind storms we are known for. It’s heart breaking when I see them frantically running in and out of traffic so scared and bewildered. I have been able to catch a few and go have them scanned at a local Vista Vet for a chip. Usually they are chipped but there’s a few times I’ve been told that they didn’t have a chip but when I took them over to the Pasco shelter they scanned again and found that they were chipped.

Being that dogs can be escape artists, having them chipped and updated tags are so important when you first get them home.

If you do find a lost dog he probably is scared and more than likely will not approach you just by calling him or chasing him. I found that the best way to handle this situation is to sit down. Once you sit down you are a lot less intimidating and there’s more of a chance the dog will approach you. Whatever you do, DO NOT chase it into traffic. There are lots of times I’ve seen dogs stay on the sidewalks because they know better but half the time or more, they have no fear of traffic.

It’s very important, if you have a heart for strays as I do, to carry a leash and some treats in your car. This way you might have a better chance of saving it from getting hurt.

If you are lucky enough to have been able to catch it, first and foremost keep it separate from any children or pets you have at your home. Also, take it to the nearest vet to be scanned for a chip, if it’s wearing tags, call the phone number on the tag and leave a message, post on Facebook under Tri-Cities lost, found and rehome pets of the Tri-Cities with a picture of it and this will get the word out. Also, Craigslist has a lost and found section. DO NOT give it to just anyone claiming to be the owner. Make them prove it by showing you vet records ect.

If the owner is found, repost that it’s been found. If all else fails and you cannot keep it at your home until the owner is found, make it to the local shelter. Here in Kennewick, Washington, it’s off 18th street in Pasco. You can call in a few days to see if the shelter was able to find the owner. Usually, there’s a happy ending.

Small Dogs Love Power Walking in Kennewick, Washington

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Yes, that’s right. I power walked two small dogs here in Kennewick because small dogs love power walking too. One is six lbs and one is 10 lbs. Why power walk small dogs you wonder? Well, these small dogs belong to me and the six pound one thinks he’s the walking king and waits for his daily walks. It really doesn’t matter on the size of the dog that needs a good power walk daily but on his energy level.

Now the six lb dog I own, Corky, could play all day and not get overly tired. He’s one that gets bored. I have to plan ahead with him and take him on car rides, buy him puzzle toys, power walk him here in Kennewick and oh, yes, his favorite, play ” Go Fish”. We have our own version.

My other dog, Tia, is a senior and although she loves walking with Corky and I, she doesn’t have to walk but I walk her daily also to keep her feeling young and help her weight management as she gets older.

Walking dogs and feeding them properly can help prevent them from becoming diabetics. Having a dog become diabetic or get other health problems from an unhealthy lifestyle can have costly affects to their health and your pocketbook. I recommend Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plan here in Kennewick. It offers so many different options to keep your pup in tip top shape with their health and dental care.

Here at I’ve Gone Mutts we have furry clients that get a daily walk. This helps their owners when they come home from a long day at work to be able to put there feet up and relax, knowing their dogs are already relaxed from the walk they had with their favorite dog walker.

Being that dog walking is so important to the health and welfare of dogs, we have a bulk rate package to help clients save money. The package starts with 20 walks. We ask that you use at least three walks per week. This way the dog gets the most benefit.

Call any time for more information on daily dog walking bulk rate packages.

Richland Washington Dog Park Rules

A trip to the dog park should be an enjoyable event for you and your dog. However, often times we forget the simple rules of etiquette that all dogs and their parents should follow. Keep reading to learn how to make your trip to the dog park fun and safe for everyone involved!

Clean Up after your dog. Nobody wants to clean doo doo off of their shoes and furthermore, keeping the dog park free of doggie doo doo will aid in the spread of contagious diseases.

Leave aggressive dogs at home. Does your dog show signs of aggression or dominance over other dogs? If so, you should leave him at home until he has been socialized and properly trained. For his protection and for the protection of other dogs, a dog that has not been socialized over time has no place in a dog park. In an environment where dogs roam free off leashes, accidents happen involving the most well-behaved dogs, we get that but you’re just asking for trouble if you bring and aggressive dog into the dog park.

Train your dog to follow simple commands! For the safety of your dog as well as the other dogs, your dog should be trained to follow simple commands such as “come” and “stay”. Your dog should follow these commands in all situations not only when he’s waiting for a treat. Dogs will often respond to commands during an ordinary day at home but may completely ignore your commands during times of stress. Not adhering to this rule could potentially cost your dog his life.

Supervise your dog. While it’s completely ok to socialize with the other doggie parents in the park, you should always be aware of what your dog is doing as well as scanning the dog park to keep an eye on what all of the other dogs are doing. It only takes seconds for a seemingly happy encounter to go wrong.
Vaccinate your dog. Before heading to the dog park be sure that your dog is up to date on all of his vaccinations. This will keep him and the other dogs in the park healthy and safe. Also be sure to get the green light from your vet. It’s even more important to keep your dog up to date and regularly schedule veterinary visits when you intend on letting him mingle with other dogs.
Ready to head out to the dog park? If you live locally and are not sure where to go, try out Paws-abilities Dog Park at Badger Mountain Community Park. It’s located in Richland, WA. To learn more about this park including the rules of safety and the dog code, visit the Richland Parks and Rec page. What’s your favorite dog park?

National Pet Dental Health Month


Did you know that over 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will exhibit signs of gum disease by the time they are only three years old? Gum disease is serious business but, the good news is that it’s often treatable – especially if detected sooner rather than later. In fact, that’s what National Pet Dental Health Month is all about – spreading awareness so that prompt and proper treatment can be common practice for all pets!
Are you wondering what steps you can take to keep your pet’s teeth in tip-top shape?
1. Brush your pet’s teeth every day. Just like their humans, pets need a daily dose of brushing to keep bacteria at bay. Brushing your pet’s teeth might seem a little intimidating but we promise that with a little patience and persistence, brushing your pet’s teeth will become second nature to you and your pet. Not sure exactly how to go about brushing your pet’s teeth? Take a look at this video clip. It’s a great starting point!
2. Visit your veterinarian at least once a year. Your pet’s yearly exam must include an examination of the mouth as well as x-rays. Upon examining your pet’s mouth, your veterinarian will discern whether or not x-rays and/or cleaning under anesthesia are necessary. X-rays will uncover what may be undetectable during the oral exam. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Most dental disease occurs below the gum line, where it’s hard to see.”
3. Provide your pet with the opportunity to chew every day! Healthy treats and safe toys will provide your pet with the opportunity to not only expel some energy through chew but, chewing also mimics the brushing action and can be a great tool to help remove plaque and debris from your pet’s teeth and gum line. This is especially important if your pet is really stubborn when it comes to allowing you to brush his teeth.
4. Pay attention! There are some tell-tale signs that should prompt you to schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian as soon as possible. Bad breath, excessive or out of the ordinary drooling, pain or swelling in the mouth, loose, discolored or chipped teeth and/or signs of blood are all signs of poor oral health and should not be ignored.
Often times, pet parents neglect regularly scheduled health visits due to financial strain. We understand that veterinary health care can become a burden during tough economic times. However, there are options out there. Banfield Hospital, which is local to Kennewick, Washington offers Optimum Wellness Plans. For a very manageable cost each month, you can set your pet up with a health care package that is tailored to your budget as well as your pet’s needs. All of the packages offer preventative care. For more information about Banfield Hospital’s wellness plans, visit their site. You can compare plans and calculate costs associated with the plans you are interested in.
Remember, oral hygiene is just as important for your pets as it is for your. Neglecting your pet’s dental health can lead to serious health problems in the future. Don’t delay, make an appointment today! To learn even more about Pet Dental health, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dog Flu in Washington State



Pet owners across the country should be on high-alert, there’s a new, highly-contagious, and dangerous strain of dog flu that has spread across the United States over the past year and there is no sign of it being contained anytime soon.
A RAPIDLY TRAVELING VIRUS .    The AVMA, or American Veterinary Medical Association, states that it all began in the Windy City of Chicago last year, when the new canine influenza strain moved so quickly through shelters that it caused mass closings in an attempt to keep it under control.
The Paws Chicago pet hospital says that they had to treat over 300 dogs who came in with canine influenza and place them with temporary caregivers to regain their health. Vets know how hard it is to contain and protect dogs from the effects of dog flu. A dog’s immune system is much less resilient than a human’s, their ability to filter out foreign agents is just not as efficient.
Chicago is the first place to have discovered the virus, but there are at least 25 other states that are actively fighting it today. With how fast it is traveling, though, that number could actually be up to 40 states. Wherever you live, you should be taking as much precaution as you can with your dog.
All dog owners across the country can arm themselves with knowledge and precautionary actions to keep their pets safe. Always keep your dog’s physical exams current, if your dog is suffering from a pre-existing condition that you are unaware of, it can leave them more vulnerable to canine influenza, if they were to contract it.
AVMA says that less than ten percent of dogs will die from the flu, but even more can die from illnesses, such as pneumonia, that are exasperated by the flu’s weakening of the body’s immune system. It goes without saying that older and younger dogs will be at the most risk of succumbing to this virus.
Most dogs who become infected by this flu strain will immediately exhibit a bad cough, loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy. Coughing is usually accompanied by runny nose and sneezing from constant irritation of the nasal cavities. If this mucous becomes opaque or viscous, your dog’s immune system is unable to fight off bacterial infection and must get help from antibiotics.
More severe stages of the flu include respiratory infections, heightened fever, and pneumonia. Older flu vaccines from previous strains are an option for proactive defense, but they do not provide full protection, of course.
If you somehow believe there is a possibility of this canine influenza hopping species and spreading to humans, there are no signs of that ever happening. Those kinds of mutations are freakishly rare and generally only exist in older strains that hang around for generations until the game of chance results in a new super-virus. It’s better to be safe than sorry, in regards to your dog, though. If you think your dog’s cold could possibly be early signs of the flu, take them to the vet and have them checked out. Make sure your dog is eating raw, nutrient-dense foods to keep their immune system in top shape. Dogs get infections much more frequently when they are on diets that rely on processed and canned foods.

The Best Way to Celebrate Your Dog this Valentine’s Day!


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Why it’s important to hire a professional pet sitter in Kennewick who sends daily updates.

Why it is crucial to hire a Professional Pet Sitter who believes in sending daily pet care updates.

Reviews I’ve read about a local pet sitter broke my heart. To think of leaving my dogs unattended for a week and in the care of a local pet sitting company that never checked on them or fed them would be my worse nightmare.

That being said, I can’t stress enough to my clients that we all need to be on the same page, more or less, when it comes to the care of their beloved pet family members. What that means is they should expect to be in some type of communication from me daily when they are out of town.

If that was the arraignment that was made by the nightmare pet care situation I read about, it would not have EVER happened. Because that obviously was not put in place, a week long pet sit was never done. Just forgotten by the pet sitter.

Are you looking to have a pet sitter care for your pets? If so PLEASE remember:

image1. They must be licensed, insured, and bonded.

2. They must have excellent references.

3. They must have all legal paperwork in place such as a vet release form in case of your pet getting sick or injured.

4. Do they have an emergency plan in place in case they have an illness or accident while you’re away?

5. Will they confirm with you the day before you leave town that all is in place for your pet’s care?

6. They must let you know that there is to be communication from day one between you and them while you are on vacation. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a text or picture of your pet or both each day? That means “Peace of Mind”.

7. You must never take your pet’s care for granted. If you follow these rules above, you are more than likely to have an excellent pet sitter experience and will no doubt have made a new friend that will always be available for your pets care with hugs, kisses, and lots of love.

I treat each fur baby in my care as if they were my own.

Winter in Kennewick, Washington and your pets

Winter in Kennewick, Washington and pet care

As I’m driving to my first pet sits of the day, I’m thankful for the beautiful snow here in Kennewick Washington. I’m also thankful for being able to care for pets around The Tri-cities, Washington.

As I make note that winter has set in, I think about the upcoming dog walks I have scheduled this week in Kennewick and Richland. I wonder as a professional pet sitter what are the best ways to protect dogs from the winter elements as I walk them.

First of all, there are dogs that are made for the winter:

1. Akita

image2. Alaskan Malamute

3. Chow Chow

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

5. Samoyed

6. Golden Doodle

These are a few of the dog types that will fair well in cold weather. As long as they have a heavy fur coat and body fat they have more cold protection than a Greyhound type dog.

What can we do for all our pets in the colder months even if they do well with the temps:

1. Remember the wind chill. Even if the temperature seems ok, windchill can kill a beloved pet.

2. Heated dog houses. I have clients that do have outdoor dogs. These clients protect their dogs from the elements with heated dog houses. Some even have air conditioned dog houses during our beautiful hot summers.

3. Throw some straw down inside a dog house.

4. Sweaters. Dogs such as short haired, Dobermans, Greyhounds, etc. will benefit from a doggie sweater or jacket. Do not shave dogs in winter and make sure after an indoor bath, they are completely dry before going back outside.

5. After a walk with your pup, remember to always wipe off their paws because of salt left behind and anti-freeze residue. Anti-freeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats and only four teaspoons can kill a dog under 10 lbs.

6. Remember an extremely long cold spell is a time to bring pets inside.

For more information on dogs and the cold please look online to make sure you protect each one of your fur babies.

Happy Winter from I’ve Gone Mutts Pet Sitting and Dog Walking!

Kennewick New Years Goals and Pet Care…

imageNew Years goals for yourself and your pet

Who said anything about resolutions? Resolutions are to be broken but what about New Years goals? Making goals for a healthier life for yourself and your favorite companion.

1. Get out for a walk….daily. Caesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, says if you cannot take time to walk your dog daily, you should not have a dog. Really? Sometimes daily dog walks do not fit into our busy lives. That’s where a dog walker becomes a best friend to you and your dog.

2. Go hiking. A hike is an excellent way to work on fitness goals and get out with your dog. A lot of pet sitting companies offer dog hikes.

3. Look into a doggie daycare. Daycare is an excellent way to offer your dog socialization with other dogs their own size. The fees are very reasonable for just a few hours, or a full day of play.

4. Swimming… in the Tri-Cites, Washington, we have The Columbia River where dogs love to swim. Consider taking your dog for a much needed cooling off during the hot summer months.

5. Agility. This is a great activity where your dog gets to enjoy and learn constructive play. Almost any dog will benefit from some level of agility. Active dogs will get to go home and relax after getting all that energy out.

6. Competition sports. Dock Dogs is a dog water competition that competes across the United States as well as here in the Tri-Cities, Washington.

7. Camping. I took my two small dogs camping for the first time this past summer. What a treat for both myself and my dogs. They loved it. Especially cuddling by the camp fire.

Now that you have a few ideas about goals for your dog, what about goals for you?

1. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. The shelters have many needs, including spending quality time with the animals, walking dogs, helping to evaluate personalities, just to name a few.

2. Do a pet food fund raiser and donate the proceeds to a shelter.

3. Fostering a pet is an excellent way to help your local shelter evaluate and place them in their forever homes.

There you have a list of goals that your pet will love participating in, and a few you might consider for yourself as we go into 2015.

Happy New Year from I’ve Gone Mutts Pet Sitting!