727-403-8103         joy@fairydustservices.com

Home and pet services to enhance your life

March 2022 Newsletter


Thoughts from FairyDust Services!

Listening to the birds, you know Spring is coming just around the corner even if we have some cold weather still visiting.

Happy March and Happy St. Patrick's Day (March 17th), a day that celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish. The wearing of green, eating corned beef, and drinking green beer.

A little trivia about St. Patrick's Day:

Patrick's revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see not wearing green. People began pinching those who didn't wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.

According to Irish folklore, leprechauns were cranky tricksters who you wouldn't want to mess with. They live alone and pass the time by mending the shoes of Irish fairies. ... The Americanized, good-natured leprechaun soon became a symbol of St. Patrick's Day and Ireland in general.

Enjoy your month and St. Patrick's Day!

Stache says, Luck o' the Irish to you all!

Things Humans Do That Annoy Our Pets!

We love our pets so much it's painful to think that we may be aggravating them without realizing it. As much as they love us, even our best friends have limits. Go over this list and see if you may have inadvertently antagonized your best friend (don't worry, they have big hearts and will forgive us).

Both felines and canines dislike being lonely. They are social animals, not solitary, and they love attention and companionship. Even with our busy lives, we can all find bits of time here and there to spend with Fluffy and Fido. If you're at home, stop now and then to give them a scratch, a kind word, or a 2-minute training session with treats. Our pet sitters are available to stop by to give your pet some extra attention when you can't.

With their incredible sense of smell, neither cats nor dogs care for artificial scents, even mild ones. Strong scents can irritate their noses. Don't spritz them with scented sprays, avoid air fresheners, and purchase mildly scented cleaners.

All pets like consistency with rules and feel more settled with a schedule. Try to keep them on a regular schedule as much as possible and be consistent with things like feeding, playtime, and bedtime.

No one likes to be awakened from a sound sleep, and that includes your buddy. Make sure to tell your friends and family to let sleeping dogs (and cats) lie. If you need to wake them up, do so gently by quietly calling their name.

A few additional things cats don't care for; they don't like spoiled food, so if you feed Fluffy wet food, remove it from her dish after an hour. Of course, all cats want a spotless litter box, maybe even two boxes! Your kitten will adore a high perch so consider a cat condo or window bed.

Most dogs don't like hugging, and all animals need some personal space. The same goes for staring; it makes most dogs nervous.

Dog parks and playgroups are OK for some dogs, but they should be small, well-controlled groups. If you watch the dynamics, you'll often see that as those groups get larger; more dogs display signs of stress (ears back, tail straight or down, yawning, and occasional fights). Many dogs are very selective about their friends; don't force them to be social if that isn't in their nature.

If you occasionally annoy your pet, don't worry; no one is perfect. If you are aware of your mistakes that's the first step to change and a more laid-back relationship with your best friend.

Poopy Bags - Green Or Not?

Most of us understand that we need to pick up after our pooches and poopy bags make the task more convenient when we are out and about. But are poopy bags ecologically sound? Ask Kermit the Frog - it's not easy being green.

Many waste bags are made from plastic, so the short-term convenience has long-term implications. Those plastic bags end up in a landfill, and they take eons to degrade. There are biodegradable bags on the market. While that may sound nice, many bags labeled as biodegradable contain some plastic, so when the biodegradable part of the bag breaks down, it leaves behind microplastics, which are damaging to the environment.

There are a few good options to dispose of pet waste. You can use 100% plant-based bags and toss them out, you can compost the waste, or you can flush it (not the bag, just the waste).

Several brands of waste bags are made from plants, and once you throw them out, they will degrade faster than anything made of plastic. Make sure to look for plant-based bags rather than "biodegradable." That being said, even plant-based bags don't decompose quickly at the landfill. To decompose well, air is needed, and landfills squish the trash, so there is little air to make the composting process work quickly.

You can buy a commercial pet waste composting bin. However, do not use this waste compost in your vegetable garden! If you have a rural property, you can bury it in an out-of-the-way spot. Dig your hole at least 6" below the surface. Some people bring it home and flush it into their sewer system, but we don't suggest doing this if you have a septic system. Some areas have a facility that accepts pet waste, so check with your municipality to see if they do.

And if you use liners in your cat's litter box, you have the same problem to solve. Again, companies are now making plant-based litter liners.

All of these disposal ideas have pros and cons. Choose a method that works best for your lifestyle and feel better about "picking up."

Does My Cat Know Her Name?

When you call Mittens, what happens? Does she come, or does she choose to ignore you? We've heard many people (non-cat owners) say that cats don't know their names like dogs do. Several studies have proved that cat owners are right; of course, their kitty knows her name and she will, occasionally, when she feels like it, come when called.

Certainly, cats are different from dogs, but both know their names and know that you want them to come when you call them. Depending on her mood, that may or may not happen with your cat (and some pooches we know).

A study done in Japan found that cats know their names and recognize their person's voice. Even when a stranger called the study cats by their name, they still responded. They turned their heads, or their ears twitched, and sometimes they even approached the stranger.

So if Mittens does know her name, why doesn't she come running as Rover does when you call? Both you and your kitty will be happier if you stop comparing her to your dog. Love Mittens for who she is; a complex animal with her own decision-making agenda. Maybe she needs a snooze, perhaps she is bird watching from the window bed, or it is possible she just wants to keep you guessing! Sometimes Mittens feels like doing her own thing, and that is okay.

Researchers also found that cats respond better to certain vowel sounds, particularly a "long ee" sound. So, next time you get a kitten, you may want to consider names with that sound, like Fluffy, Zoe, Maxie, Charlie, or Ernie! Like dogs, cats also like high-pitched chit-chat and respond more readily to it.

Cats (like all of us) are still evolving. It wasn't too long ago that most cats were outside pets, perhaps coming in only at night or in bad weather. But now that more of us live inside with our feline, Mittens is getting better at reading us and understanding what we want.

Never use your pet's name and then punish them; that's a good excuse for your buddy to start to ignore you. Give Mittens a reason to respond to her name - call her and offer her a tasty treat, and you'll find that she will respond far more often. But don't worry, she's still a cat, and there will be days she ignores you.

The more we understand our best friends, the closer our relationships with them will be (and they may even come when called!).

Great Pet Links!

March is:

Poison Prevention Month
Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

March 13 - K9 Veterans Day
March 17 - St. Patrick's Day
March 23 - National Puppy Day
March 23 - Cuddly Kitten Day

Look at these Great Pet Photos
Raising A Well Adjusted Kitten
Fleas and Ticks And Your Pet
A New App That Tells You If Your Cat Is Happy