Category Archives: News

Bring your dog to work to lower stress; Companies that allow pooches have happier workers


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A new study supports the stress-reducing benefits of bringing your pooch to  work — to play with, look at, and pet while working.

According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, having a dog at work  not only reduces the owners’ stress level but also increased the level of job  satisfaction for other employees as well. The study, announced Thursday, was  published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

“Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference,” said head researcher Randolph  T. Barker. “The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was  present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job  satisfaction than industry norms.”

The study took place at Replacements Ltd, a service-manufacturing-retail  company located in North Carolina, which employs approximately 550 people. The  company has a dog friendly policy, similar to other  companies such as  Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s and Zynga, according to CBS News, with around 20 to 30  dogs romping through the office every day. The study took place over a period of  one work week, and subjects completing both surveys and saliva samples to  measure stress levels.

According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are numerous  benefits to having dogs at work, including improved staff morale, worker  productivity, and camaraderie among employees.

Numerous studies have shown that having a pet is a good investment for your  health. One study found that having a pet lowered your risk factors for heart  disease, and another found that dogs encourage more consistent walking and  exercise.


Action to prevent heartworm in dogs

According to a State of Pet Health Report by Banfield Pet Hospital in Jackson, nearly seven percent of dogs in Mississippi will acquire heartworms this summer, the highest proportion across the nation. The reason risk of infection is so high there is because they have the greatest number of mosquito’s in the US, and heartworm is spread from host to host through the bites of these parasites. However, heartworms are frequently found in dogs throughout the 50 states.

The heartworm is a small thread-like worm. The definitive host is the dog but it can also infect cats, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other animals, such as ferrets, sea lions and even, under very rare circumstances, humans.

Heartworms can live in your dog for six months before any symptoms are displayed. All dogs regardless of their age, sex, or habitat are susceptible to heartworm infection, which is why prevention is necessary. The good news is that heartworm is easily treatable – it just requires keen eyed pet owners to be aware of what the signs are and take action immediately if you suspect that your dog may be suffering with this condition.

What are the signs?

Symptoms of heartworm infection include:

• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Fainting after exercise
• Tiring easily
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Listlessness
• Anaemia
• Jaundice
• Poor coat condition
• Swelling of the abdomen
• Bloody stool

Each of these symptoms on their own, if persistent, warrant a trip to your veterinarian; don’t dismiss them – let a qualified professional be the one to advise you whether or not the symptoms are serious.

If your dog doesn’t have heartworm, then there are a variety of preventative treatments available, which will more than likely come in the form of a chewable tablet.

A couple of popular brands used are Heartguard and Interceptor, but there are other brands available which are just as efficient. Ask your vet which ones they recommend.

If your dog has been infected with heartworms, a possible treatment could be Immiticide and would be administered by your veterinarian. This drug has great efficiency and fewer side effects, which makes it a safer alternative for dogs with late-stage infections.

Depending on the condition that your dog was brought in for treatment, there may still be a few practical steps that your dog needs to undertake, e.g. rest, to ensure they receive the maximum benefits for the treatments that have been administered.

Do you know of any other effective brands that can be used to treat heartworms? If so contact us here at Pet Chauffeur so that we can add them to our list.

Luxury pet hotel opens in Chelsea Manhattan

Luxury pet hotel opens in Chelsea Manhattan

Travelers Today | By  Katie McFadden
Updated: Aug 22, 2012 01:48 PM EDT

A luxury dog hotel is set to open in New York  City.(Photo : Reuters)

A new luxury hotel with double beds and flat-screen televisions is coming to  New York City. However, it’s just for dogs.

D Pet Hotels is coming to West 27th  street in Chelsea this month. The 10,000 square feet luxury dog hotel will offer  rooms with full-size beds and flat-screen TV’s with DVD players. The hotel will  also have a doggie gym with treadmills, a lounge, a spa, a retail boutique, and  even chauffeur services to drive dogs around in Lamborghinis and Porsches.

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The boutique will sell products such as organic dog food, treats, luxury pet  beds, bowls and carrying bags. The spa offers services such as “pawdicures” and  oil treatments for dry coats. There is also a fitness service that comes with a  personal trainer and a special meal prepared by a chef that includes brown rice  with vegetables, lamb or chicken.

D Pet Hotels offers day care services as well as rooms for boarding that  range from standard suites to “ubersuites,” which have queen-size beds, 19-foot  ceilings and 42-inch TV’s for $200 a night. There are 40 standard rooms that  start at $79 a night. The luxury suites, which include TV’s and DVD players,  cost $110 a night. Pets can watch titles such as “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and  “Fox and the Hound” on the TV’s.

A walk around the neighborhood costs $60 an hour and gourmet meals go for  $9.

“As a New Yorker, when you go on vacation, and you stay in a fabulous  hotel with fabulous services, your dog is staying in a fabulous hotel with  fabulous services,” Investor Shawn Hassanzadeh explained to Digital  Spy.

Another D Pet Hotel opened in Scottsdale, Arizona on August 15.

The company opened its first property in Hollywood and it turned out to be  very successful.

Pet hotels are becoming increasingly popular and are getting even more  ridiculous. A five-star luxury Pooch hotel, which offers dog massages,  pedicures, facials, and teeth cleaning, opened in Dallas on Aug. 18.

An eight-story pet sex hotel is coming to the Brazilian city of Bello  Horizonte. The rooms include heart-shaped mirrors, red cushions and dimmed  lighting to set the mood for doggie love.


Pet friendly restaurants in New York

As the weather continues to warm up, the people of NY will no doubt want to engage in a spot of alfresco dining.  Increasingly more and more restaurants are making it possible for pet owners to be able to eat at their establishments with their beloved friends.  As far as I can tell at present, people have mainly been eating out with their dogs.  But if you decide to visit a restaurant with your pet iguana, be sure to let us know what happened!

The next time you fancy eating out, try these restaurants.  Remember to drop us a line to let us know what your experience was and if you would recommend it to our readers.

Barking Dog
150 E 34th St, New York. 212-871-3900

Barking Dog Luncheonette
1678 3rd Avenue, New York.  212-831-1800 ‎

Barking Dog Luncheonette
1453 York Avenue, New York.  212-861-3600

1649 3rd Avenue, New York.  212 289-2700

79 St Boat Basin Cafe
West 79th Street   212-496-5542

Cafe Gitane
Frnt 2, 242 Mott St, New York.  212-334-9552

Frank Restaurant 

88 2nd Ave, New York.   212-420-0202

Kabab Factory
101 Lexington Avenue, New York. 212-683-4229

The Shake Shack
Madison Square Park, New York. 212-889-6600

335 Bowery, New York.  212-505-9100

Shake Shack
Madison Avenue and 23rd Street, New York. 212-889-6600

Tom & Jerry
40 Elizabeth St.New York. 212-274-8787

646 W 131st Street, New York. 212-694-1777

Empire Diner
210 10th Ave.New York. 212-243-2736

9 9th Ave. New York. 212-929-4844

350 E 53rd St, New York. 212-753-1761

120 Hudson St. New York. 212-219-0666

941 2nd Ave. (Corner of 50th St.) New York. 212-308-5353

 White Horse Tavern
567 Hudson St, New York. 212-243-9260

George Keeley’s
485 Amsterdam Ave, New York. 212-873-0251

Tratoria Spaghetto
232 Bleeker St. New York. 212-255-6752


Dog Parks in New York

Spring is well and truly here now, and as it gets warmer the inhabitants of New York will be spending more time outside of their homes to make the most of the nicer weather.

Taking your dog to the park or to some other open space should be a fun day, but unfortunately as not all dog owners are responsible it can be irksome for those without pets who have gone to the park to enjoy a nice day out.  Some pet owners do not clean up after their dogs when they defecate; others let their dogs run riot, completely unconcerned about what a nuisance they are being, and still others are slow to respond when their dogs chase or bark at petrified passers-by incessantly, or help themselves to the food that is on the plate of those trying to enjoy a quiet picnic!  While you love your dog and everything about them, others don’t!  But of course, not all pet owners are like this.

There are a number of dog parks and dog runs in NY which cater either largely or exclusively for dogs so that your pet can run around uninhibited to their heart’s content amongst other dog lovers.  It is still essential that consideration and courtesy is extended to others who are using the facility also.

If you do happen to go to any of the parks listed here, please leave a comment stating what your experience at the location was like.

Adopt a Sheltered Cat

Here at Pet Chauffeur we talk a lot about our beloved dogs, but June is officially Adopt a Sheltered Cat Month.   There are thousands of cats in shelters throughout the NYC who need a loving environment to be nurtured in.

Many cats that we see roaming the streets do so because they have been abandoned by their owners for some reason.  Unless someone sees them and gives them a loving home or takes them to a shelter, such cats are often prey to sick people who take pleasure in mistreating them for fun or they fall ill and die from eating bad food or from being over exposed to harsh weather.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.  It is great that abandoned cats are safe in shelters, but they would benefit so much from having a loving family look after them.

Zootoo is running a page advertising lovable tabbies for adoption  Another easy way to help sheltered cats this month is to promote the Fee-Waived Cat Adoption initiative from the ASPCA and Fresh Step litter. To help spread the word and encourage similar programs, Fresh Step litter will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the ASPCA for every “like” received on its Facebook page from June 1 through July 31, 2011. The money will help support this program and other cat care initiatives.

Alternatively, check out shelters near you to find a cat that you can give a great home.  Let us know which shelter it was so that we can list them.

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Cancer doesn’t have to mean the end for your dog

Cancer.  For decades this one word has struck fear into the heart of anyone who has been given this diagnosis.  Many believed death to be the certain outcome.
Nowadays this isn’t necessarily the case. We forget that with all of the incredible breakthroughs in science and medicine, cancer needn’t be the end.  Even though they cannot speak and tell us when something is wrong, cancer can be detected and treated in dogs, and in many cases it can be cured. The success of treatment will depend on the type of cancer, the treatment used and on how early the tumour is found. The sooner treatment begins, the greater the chances of success. Therefore, one of the best things you can do for your dog is to keep a close eye on them for signs of the disease.
There are doctors who specialise in field oncology, such as the world renowned dog cancer expert Dr Demian Dressler, whose research into the subject has brought immense comfort and hope to dog lovers the world over who have received the upsetting news about their beloved pets.  His comprehensive book, “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” covers an array of issues surrounding cancer in dogs, such as the various treatments available, the correct diet for a dog that has been diagnosed with cancer, even how to manage your emotions during your difficult time.  So rest assured that a lot can be done to save the life of your pet.
So, how do you know if your dog has cancer?  First of all it would be a good idea to start by taking a look at the breed of your dog.  Did you know that certain breeds have a higher rate of cancers than others?
In my research I discovered the following:
Highest incidence breeds which also develop cancer at an earlier age than other dogs.
• Boxer.
• Golden Retriever
• Rottweiller
• Bernese Mountain Dog

High incidence breeds
• Boston Terrier
• English Bulldog
• Scottish Terrier
• Cocker Spaniel

Average incidence breeds:
• Irish Setter
• Schnauzer
• Labrador
• Mongrels

Relatively low incidence breeds:
• Beagle
• Poodle
• Collie
• Dachshund

It isn’t a sure-fire guarantee that these breed of dogs will develop cancer; it is just to make you aware that there is a higher probability that these breeds may develop the illness.

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there may be some variables from one breed to the next, but these are the signs that indicate your dog might have cancer:

1. Abnormal swellings or lumps that don’t reduce in size or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Loss of appetite
4. Weight loss
5. Bleeding or discharge from openings on/in the body
6. Difficulty eating or swallowing
7. Emitting foul odours (not just breaking wind)
8. Apathy, lack of interest in exercise; reluctance to move around much
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

If your dog has any of these symptoms take them over to your vet as soon as possible.  Don’t immediately fear the worst as these symptoms may be signs of other illnesses too.

If your dog is diagnosed with cancer, however, it still isn’t the end of the world. The vet will discuss your various options, but remember that it is important that you do your research to satisfy yourself that the best course of action for your dog is being taken.  They should know of all the specialist cancer clinics that treat dogs and so they should be able to recommend one to you if they are not able to offer treatment for the type of cancer that your dog has.  Typically the treatments offered are, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery but there are other options available, such as cryotherapy.  Check out our page for the addresses of some of the best veterinary practices in New York.

The key is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can so that, should the worst happen, you are able to make informed decisions about the best treatment for your beloved friend.

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Raising an exotic animal

We had a lot of fun last week here at the Pet Chauffeur offices with Leo the leopard!  He was a boisterous little fellow!  Check out our videos of his visit on our Facebook page.  To mark the unique experience, today’s blog is about exotic animals.

Having an exotic pet can appear to be quite glamorous, or so the celebrities who pose with them in magazines make it appear.  But is it really?  Let’s take a look at what is involved in looking after a leopard.

Habitat, range and diet
The leopard is the smallest of all big cats, i.e. tiger, lion and jaguar, and there are a number of breeds within this species, such as the African Leopard, the Sri Lankan Leopard, the Amur Leopard and the Clouded Leopard.  The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa; there are also fragmented populations in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, and China. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a “Near Threatened” species by the Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The leopard’s natural habitat is grassland and woodland which extends for miles.  Their home ranges can extend from 12-30 square miles for males and 5.8-6.2 square miles for females.  They have a very broad diet and eat anything from an antelope to insects and they mostly go hunting from sunset to sunrise.
Bearing all this in mind, how would you be able to humanely house and feed a leopard in NYC??

According to Born Free USA, the exotic pet industry is a multi-billion dollar business, but it is incredibly difficult to rear animals such as leopards in an enclosed environment when they have been used to living in a home that measured a minimum of 6.2 square miles of grassland or woodland, not to mention the problems with trying to feed them.  I mean, where can you go to stock up on fresh antelope for them to eat?? Where would you be able to take them for a walk?

Effects on wild animals living in captivity
According to the ASPCA malnutrition, stress, trauma, and behavioural disorders are common in exotic animals kept as pets. In the states where it is legal to have an exotic animal (only a few states allow this, and even then you will need a license) getting medical care is extremely difficult.  It may require a trip to your local zoo as your everyday veterinarians aren’t trained to deal with the diseases specific to animals usually found in the wild such as salmonella and herpes.

The reality is no matter how adorable an exotic animal may look, or how cool you think it would be to have one living with you, it really isn’t a good idea for you or for them.  The little that we do know about them shows that humans cannot meet their needs properly in captivity at all.

Leo is in the hands of trained experts who know what he needs and have the means to provide him with it, which is why he was such a handful for us at Pet Chauffeur!  If that wasn’t the case he may have ended up like a number of wild animals living outside of their environment do; as the majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals end up caged, chained, or beaten into submission.  Some owners will even have an animal’s teeth or claws removed, so that the animal cannot harm the owner should an attack occur.

Outside of their natural environment, the best place for a leopard or any other wild animal is a smaller, controlled environment such as a reserve where, even though there isn’t as much room as they are used to, they can roam freely and get the specialist care and attention that they need.

Finding the best diet for your pet

You will find nowadays that it is becoming the trend for pet owners to start feeding their cats and dogs a raw diet.  The deterioration in health of these animals over the last 20 years has prompted a lot of research to find out why. The over all results cited poor quality ingredients in commercial animal food as being the common denominator in declining pet health.

Are our pets really getting what the label on the tin says?
In his article “Food Not Fit For a Pet,” Dr Wendell O. Belfield, D.V.M, who has been practicing small animal medicine for over 25 years, states that when he is asked which commercial pet food he recommends, he replies “none”.  Researchers have found that the “meat” in sampled commercial pet food was purchased from rendering plants which also receives material from slaughterhouses such as hair, feathers, hooves and any part of the mammal which is condemned for human consumption.  If food is condemned for human consumption, there is no reason why an animal’s constitution would be able to digest it. Rotten meat is rotten meat; mixed with hair, feathers and hooves it is a stomach churning meal.

A raw diet, which has been prepared with fresh, organic ingredients, will enable you to have peace of mind about what your pet is really eating.

Why a raw diet?
Before dogs and cats were transformed into pampered household pets, they were used to living in the wild, hunting for food.  Their diets would have consisted of raw materials which in that state provided them with the fullness of the vitamins and minerals that their systems needed to remain healthy.  There weren’t any cooked meats and other little treats and delicacies for them to eat!  And they have survived for centuries!  If we want Fido to live in optimum health, then his diet must mirror what he used to eat before he became a pet.  But do your research first of all, to determine if this diet works best for your animal.

You will find however, that opinions are sharply divided on this issue: a lot of veterinarians do not agree with a raw diet, citing high levels of bacteria in uncooked meats as being dangerous to your pets.  I suggest an experiment – put your pet on a raw diet for a fortnight and monitor the changes. If the changes are positive then keep going.  If not, then stop.

If you know you want to change your pets’ diets but find the thought of serving up raw meat a little nauseating, consider an organic diet instead.  Eating a diet with less pesticides and questionable ingredients can only be a good thing for them.  Again, conduct thorough research first of all before you decide which diet is best for your pets.

The benefits of a raw or organic diet

Reduction of skin ailments and allergies – If your dog suffers from allergies or an irritating skin condition, you’ve probably tried everything hoping to provide your pet some relief. Organic dog food may provide your pet with the best chance of combating skin infections and allergies in the long term. It is free of artificial colors and flavor enhancers, chemical additives and toxic pesticides that could be the source of your dog’s allergies.

More energy and a healthy weight – Since organic/raw food is naturally more nutritious, many owners report their dogs eat less organic dog food than other commercial varieties. Organic food doesn’t contain bulk-fillers, so your dog consumes only what it needs to maintain healthy energy levels and life functions.

Fewer digestive disorders – A lack of chemicals and artificial substances makes organic dog food more digestible. If your dog vomits occasionally after meals or commonly experiences gas, bloating or diarrhoea, check with your veterinarian for underlying illness. In the absence of another cause, feed your dog an organic diet and you’ll notice a definite change!   Easily digestible oats, barley or other natural whole grains and human-grade turkey, lamb or chicken make a tremendous difference to your dog’s digestive system. Rather than consuming corn or other bulk fillers and chemical additives, your dog will ingest only what it needs for healthy metabolic functioning.

Better overall health and stronger immunity – Organic dog food provides better quality sources of nutritional substances than even the non-organic, premium brands. It is more digestible for dogs, and therefore dogs are more likely to absorb than eliminate more of the nutrients they require to maintain a healthy immune system. Boosting your dog’s immunity may help prevent costly infections and illnesses that require veterinarian care.

Where can I get this type of food for my pet?
Some pet owners have taken to preparing food for their cat or dog by hand from scratch.  This is great if you have the time to do this, but I suspect that not many people will. Try these companies who provide ready prepared, natural foods for both cats and dogs and let us know how their products worked with your pet.

Stella and Chewy’s

Paw Naturaw

American Eskimo Food

Onesta Organics

Raw Advantage

Primal Pet Foods

Only Natural Pet Store

Also check out Sled Dog Central which has listed companies providing organic animal food throughout the US. It also lists a few companies in Canada and one in Germany, Europe!

Pet Airways – The first pet only airline

Travelling abroad or in the US can be quite a taxing operation with so many things to organise.  For those travelling with pets this can be a lot more problematic.  Apart from ensuring that your pet has had the right shots, has up to date health certificates etc, the safety of animals in transit is also a big issue.   How it all happened

Pet Airways  are leaders in the field of pet comfort and safety during long haul travel.  The company was born after the founders, Dan and Alysa Wiesel,  kept running into difficulty with airlines when trying to travel with their beloved dog, Zoe.  There just seemed to be no suitable way for Zoe to fly with them whenever they wanted to go on vacation.  Finally they gave up trying to convince human airlines to transport animals more responsibly and decided to take up the cause themselves.  In 2008, Pet Airways was born.

Pet Airways is the first airline that caters exclusively for animals.  With the exception of the pilots (obviously, LOL!) and pet attendants onboard, all of the passengers are of the furry variety.  The beauty of this airline is that it’s run by pet lovers for pet lovers.  Every conceivable occurrence has been thought of to ensure that pets arrive at their destination healthy and happy.


At present, Pet Airways operates domestic flights only and flies to and from the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles/Hawthorne, New York, Omaha and Phoenix.  If you need help finding reliable international pet shippers, feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

The plane

Pet Airways uses the Beechcroft 1900 as the plane of choice for flying animals around the country.  This plane was chosen because of its impeccable safety record.  The animals all travel in the main cabin of the plane, NOT in cargo and each pet has their own container.  There is a climate-controller on board which ensures that the pets will neither be too hot or cold.

As with traditional flights, tickets  are booked online. There are different size seats to accommodate the various frames of animals who may be travelling: your pet can only travel on a given flight if the correct size seat is available.  If there isn’t a seat available on the day you want to travel,  you can either choose a different day or be put on their waiting list just in case another pet drops out.

Pets are checked every 15 minutes during the flight, or as needed and have regular potty breaks.  Everything is done to ensure that they are not distressed at any point during the flight.


As with all niche/boutique enterprises, you must expect to spend a bit more than you would on human airlines.  Fares start from $149 per animal per flight, but keep an eye out as they sometimes have sales.

It’s great to finally see the issues of animal safety during flights being addressed in this way.  It’s a relief to have the peace of mind that while your pets are out of your sight, they are being looked after by people who love them as much as you do.

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