Get ready for cold temps!Get out warm clothes and wrap pipes!The cold winds blowing down from a typhoon in Alaska that brought snow the the Upper Midwest on Monday will be blowing through our area Thursday, Friday and Saturday.The forecast calls for overnight lows of 29 degrees Thursday night, 27 degrees Friday and 33 Saturday. The high will be 46 Friday and 50 on Saturday, followed by a cold rain Sunday, with a high of 48. Wind gusts to 15 mph will make it feel even colder.Freeze warnings for Thursday night have already been issued in Alabama.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is not predicting repeat of the 2013-2014 season but are forecastering a slightly cooler winter. The weather service recommends covering delicate plants and protecting your pets and pipes through the cold snap. But they didn't forcast than one either!
Cold weather, particularly frost, causes the water in plant cells to freeze, damaging the cell wall. Frost-damaged plants are easy to spot, their growth becomes limp, blackened and distorted. Evergreen plants often turn brown and the leaves of tender plants take on a translucent appearance.Frost problems are often made worse where plants face the morning sun, as this causes them to defrost quickly, rupturing their cell walls.If you have any tender potted plants outside make sure to bring them in or shelter them under large trees and shrubs or against walls, give them some heat and protection during the cold.Unless damaged plants are moved indoors or another sheltered area, do not attempt to prune damaged leaves or stems. This actually offers additional protection should another cold spell occur. Instead, wait until spring to cut away the damaged areas.When frost or freezing conditions are expected, you can protect tender plants by covering them with sheets or burlap sacks. These should be removed once the sun returns the following morning.
Holiday Travelers, What About Your Pets?
So you are planning on traveling for the holidays and you have confirmed your flight reservations, booked a hotel, planned some fun things to do, checked out the best restaurants…Aren't you forgetting something? Or should I say someone?? Hmmmm. The pets!Who's going to care for your pets??? Neighbor? Friend? Your vet? Pet sitter?There are many options but which is the best for your pet?A neighbor or friend could do it and hey they might do it for free but they are busy with their own lives especially around the holidays. They may watch your pets but they don't really "watch" them. Do they have an emergency plan in place if your pet gets sick or hurt? If the neighbor who is watching your pet is a kid or teen is your pet really getting what they need in terms of exercise and attention? It's a good idea to make sure there is adult supervision.Your veterinarian could board your pet.Many animal hospitals have kennels for dog and cat boarding. This could be a good option for a pet with medical issues or one that needs round the clock care. Take a tour before deciding on this option as your dog may spend the majority of time in a kennel sometimes even toileting in it.Many dogs and cats can be stressed by the sounds and smells at the vets office (let's face it, usually when they visit the vet bad things happen!) and stress can weaken their immune system making them more susceptible to illness. While many vets offer boarding few are set up to offer the quality of care that most pets enjoy at home.Doggie Day care is an option best suited for young, well socialized dogs. Plenty of play and interaction with other dogs is great but nap and break times are essential. A good dog day care will insist that your dog is current on vaccinations. Opt for one where your dog will have access to the outdoors to play and potty. It is not uncommon for dogs to have toileting issues after returning from a stay at a dog day care where they had no option but to toilet inside. Yuk!
A Professional Pet Sitter is another option and I'm not talking about someone you found via some well advertised website that is a clearing house where anyone can sign up and call themselves a pet sitter. A great place to start is NAPPS-National Association of Professional Pet Sitters at www.petsitters.org where you will find true professionals! People who have made it their life's work to care for pets. Your pet is their first priority.
This one-on-one approach provides the focus needed to spot acute illnesses, changes in behavior or diet, and can prevent medical emergencies before they occur. A reputable pet sitter will be licensed, bonded and insured. They will have references and likely know pet first aid and CPR.
They will require a good amount of information from you so they can provide the best care. This option allows your pet to be pampered in the comfort of their home while maintaining their regular routine. Professional Pet Sitters care for all types of pets and can administer medications, injections and carry out any special instructions you may have.
While their major priority is caring for your pet they will also maintain your home by taking in the mail, alternating lights, keeping your house looking lived in which is a great security measure. This gives many a pet owner the peace of mind knowing their home and their pet is well cared for while they are away. But more importantly most pets would rather stay in the comfort of their home, keeping to their routine, having fun and being pampered and loved by someone who is there just for them. It's a staycation for your pets!
Owner at Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care
Professional Dog Training & Pet Sitting Services
Best of Gwinnett since 2011