By: Gemma A.

If you’re looking for a loyal, loving, and elegant companion, let me introduce you to the retired racing
Greyhound. These long legged, ‘needle nosed’ dogs are well known for their gentle nature and soulful

From the farm where they are born to the race tracks where they demonstrate their incredible speed,
Greyhounds have a unique upbringing that results in a well adjusted, well socialized dog. These
beautiful creatures are used to being handled by people and have lived with other Greyhounds from the
moment of their birth. This is credited with producing the sweet, friendly nature that Greyhound owners know and love. It also means that, by the time a Greyhound retires from their athletic career, they are
already well socialized companions.

Many people think that such athletic dogs are high energy. In fact, Greyhounds are known for being
quite the opposite! As sprinters, they are used to one short burst of activity, followed by long periods of
rest. In fact, Greyhounds are often called the ’45mph couch potatoes’ in reference to their top speed and
ability to sleep the day away! It’s also believed that, due to their natural prey drive (due to their original role as hunting dogs), Greyhounds are not good with cats or small dogs. To the contrary, many Greyhounds live happily with other animals and prove to be very gentle with the smaller creatures in their household.

Due to their speed and love of running, a Greyhound should never be allowed off leash in an un-fenced
area. If you have a fenced in yard or are committed to walking your new friend on a leash, you will
have no problems. Greyhounds make excellent walking and hiking companions, and are a delight to
take out and about due to their sweet and inquisitive nature. You’ll find yourself stopped by many
curious people who want to ask you about the elegant dog at your side!

For more information on Greyhounds, please consider the following links:


Racing and adoption facts:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is the number one cause of behavioral problems in pets.  Have you ever wondered why your pet gets agitated or even destructive when you leave the house to go to work or run some errands?   You may have a pet with separation anxiety.  In the wild, dogs are social animals that roam, hunt, and sleep as a pack.  In your household, they see you as the pack leader and feel lonely when you are not there.  Some symptoms of separation anxiety are following you around the house and getting upset if they do not have access to you, whining and pacing when you are preparing to leave the house, destroying furniture and other items when you are away, scratching at the door when you leave, and using the bathroom in the house when they are potty trained.  Some tips to alleviate separation anxiety are feeding your pet before you leave so that they may be full and happy, leave plenty of bones and toys to keep them busy when you are away, or making them exercise before you go, such as taking them on a run or walk.  If none of these things seem to be working for your pet, then you may need to consult your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.

A Social Puppy

Well socialized puppies develop into more enjoyable, safer, and more relaxed pets.  Socializing your dog makes them more comfortable in a wide variety of situations and they are less likely to behave fearfully or aggressively to new people, dogs, or experiences.  Socialization is a big project. It requires exposure to the types of people, animals, places, sounds and experiences that you expect your dog to be comfortable in later in life. Depending on the lifestyle you have planned for your dog, this might include the sight and sound of trains, garbage trucks, schoolyards of screaming children, crowds, cats, livestock or crying infants.  The rule of thumb with puppy socialization is to keep a close eye on your puppy’s reaction to whatever you expose him to so that you can tone things down if your pup seems at all frightened. Always follow up a socialization experience with praise, petting, a fun game or a special treat.  Most young animals, including dogs, are naturally made to be able to get used to the everyday things they encounter in their environment—until they reach a certain age. When they reach that age, they are naturally made to become much more suspicious of things they haven’t yet experienced. Mother Nature is smart! This age-specific natural development lets a young puppy get comfortable with the everyday sights, sounds, people and animals that will be a part of his life. It ensures that he doesn’t spend his life jumping in fright at every blowing leaf or bird song. The later suspicion they develop in later puppyhood also ensures that he does react with a healthy dose of caution to new things that could truly be dangerous.  Great ways to socialize your pet are going to the dog park, taking your dog to a pet friendly store where they can be exposed to many things, and group training classes.  Even a walk in the neighborhood is great.  Just remember, start slowly and see what is best for your individual pet.

Grass Eating

Why do pets eat grass?  Well, there are a few different reasons.   Some dogs and cats love the taste.  Grass contains fiber and some pets find it tasty.  Another reason could simply be boredom.  Stuck in the back yard by himself, your pet may just decide to eat his troubles away.  Are you providing enough exercise for your pet?  Another theory is that grass eating could be a form of self-medication.  If the behavior starts suddenly, then this could be the case and it could be a sign of something a little more serious if the behavior is not typical of your pet.   Whatever the reason, there is no need to panic.  Veterinarians consider grass eating among pets to be normal and as long as there are no harmful pesticides or chemicals on the grass, then your pet should be fine.  To keep your grass eater safe, use only non-toxic products on your lawn and when in public, keep a careful watch of what your pup puts in his mouth.

Your Puppy and their Pet Sitter



Well it is definitely that time of year where people have gotten puppies for Christmas presents. They are totally adorable bundles of fur and love.  You took the time to pick the perfect puppy that will fit in with your family. You have spent days coming up with unique name for this wonderful new arrival. Now the real work starts. While the puppy is young it is the perfect time to instill the rules of the house to ensure a lifelong loving happy relationship.


The phones at Gwinnett Pet Watchers are ringing off the hook. New and existing clients are calling to get our help in raising their new puppy’s. This is one of our favorite times of the year. After all we get all the snuggles all the puppy breath without ever getting our shoes chewed on.

We have a special product called a potty break. We offer this service for all of Lawrenceville, Buford, Dacula ,Sugar Hill and Suwannee . We also offer this service to most of Loganville, Grayson and Snellville. We added the potty break to our line’s of  services when we realized there were a lot of people in Gwinnett County that are away from home for long periods of time Monday through Fridaybecause of their long commute to work . The potty break is ideal for the dog whose owner is at home in the morning, and in the evening to walk and give it plenty of attention. What we do is come in the middle of the day and get the pup to outside for a bathroom break.

People with new puppies use this service a little differently. Many will have us come in at 10 or 10:30 AM for the first break and then come back around 2 or 2:30 PM for the second break. With this schedule the puppy is only in its crate for 3 to 4 hours in between breaks. The client pays $10 per visit and in this example $20 per day. A price that is well worth the jumpstart to house training.


When the puppy gets to be about eight months old (like children each puppy develops at a different rate) we can usually move to one 30 minute walk. This gets the puppy out of its crate for a nice walk to get some exercise and to expel some energy. This  makes for a much happier experience for the owners when they come home from a long day at the office.

Call us today 404-819-3641 to  set up your free consultation. We can come up with the perfect plan for you and your new puppy.

Puppy Boot Camp :Potty Training


New Puppy Boot Camp: Potty Training

Introducing your new puppy to potty training can be a frustrating and grueling task but with patience and consistency you will succeed. In this post I will describe ways to make potty training easier for both you and your pup.

Eliminate the Possibility of Accidentspuppy white background

Accidents are inevitable but there are a few things you can do to lessen their likeliness of happening.

  • Keep a constant routine. Make feeding time and potty breaks the same time each day. Eating at the same time each day will usually mean needing to go out at the same time too. Scheduled potty breaks can also teach your pup that they can rely on you to let them out and they won’t need to resort to going inside.
  • Take away water in the evening so that your pup doesn’t need to go out during the night.
  • Clean up soiled surfaces. Pups are likely to return to the same spot, especially if a residue or scent remains. Invest in carpet cleaner to get out tricky stains.

Praising & Scolding

  • When your puppy goes to the bathroom outside make sure you immediately respond with praise, whether in the form of cheer or a treat. This reaction lets your pup know that he or she has done something good and that this good thing makes you happy (and might even result in a yummy snack). Be consistent with your potty praise so that your pet associates one with the other.
  • Scolding when your pup goes to the bathroom indoors is necessary but needs to be done right. If you come home to an accident, it’s too late. Your pup will unlikely connect your anger with the accident. However, if you catch your pet in the act, it is wise to quickly interrupt them by distracting them (speaking loudly works) and then instantly taking them outside so they can continue. Once they have finished outside it is then appropriate to praise as usual to signal that the change in behavior was good and appreciated.puppy potty training bells

While You’re Away

Pups under a year old need a little more TLC than older dogs. A young puppy will need to go to the bathroom every couple of hours so if you have a fulltime job or expect to be out of the house for a long period of time, it is best to have someone let your pup out for you during the first year.

At Gwinnett Pet Watchers we offer an affordable service called Potty Breaks. Monday through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you are able to call on us to let your pup out for a quick ten-minute break. Call us at (404) 819-3641 or send us a message if you’re interested in learning more about this service.


The Cat that Spooked the Pet Sitter


The Cat that Spooked the Pet Sitter

Before my client left on her trip, she took me through her house to show me how she would put boxes and tables in front of doors so I would know if someone had been in the house. She was concerned about my safety and said, “If anything is moved, you just get out of the house.” I chuckled to myself but thought she was very sweet.

On my second visit, I noticed that the box she had put in front of the door leading to the dining room was no longer up against the door, but at an angle several inches away. I was concerned and moved very carefully into the living room, where the owner had put a table up against the door leading to the deck. The table was just as she had left it. I let out the breath I did not realize I was holding, but as I turned back toward the kitchen I noticed the magazine rack that had been up against the door leading into the foyer had been moved as well. Now that took my breath away. I quickly left the house. As I walked around the outside of the house looking for any signs of forced entry, I called the clients on their cell phone. I explained to the client what was going on, but that I could not see anything amiss on the outside; nothing else was out of place, no screens cut, or any broken windows. The client had me move a table in front of the front door so that I would know if someone had been in the house and that I could also check in with a neighbor who had a key.

A little later in the afternoon the client calls to tell me she thinks she has solved the mystery. She goes on to tell me how one of her cats gets very upset when she is confined in an area. My client tells me several stories about items the cat has moved when trying to escape and that she thinks it is the cat moving the box and magazine rack.

Sure enough when I went back the next day the box and the magazine rack were moved again. The table was still in against the front door, so no one came in from the outside. It was just one little kitty spooking the pet sitter!

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

With spring here many of us are spending more time outside, and our dogs are outside with us.  If you have just gotten a protect you dog from poisonous plantsnew dog or puppy, or maybe  moved into a new home, take a look around for thing that  could be dangerous.

Some things you might want to look at are the plant life in your yard, especially if you have a puppy or young dog that loves to bite and chew.

Below is an article written by Jenna Stegowski, RVT

Many types of plants and flowers can be poisonous to your dog. Effects range from mild to severe depending on the type of plant and the quantity consumed. Some plants will only cause slight stomach upset, while others can cause seizures, coma or even death. Learn about the plants in your yard and neighborhood that are dangerous and be sure your dog does not have access to them. Ideally, toxic plants on your own property should be removed. Houseplants are a bit easier to control – simply do not keep toxic plants inside your home and you have removed the risk. If you are planning to get new plants or flowers, research them ahead of time to learn whether or not they are toxic.

Find out what plants and flowers may be poisonous to dogs with the following list of common toxic plants and flowers. Please note that this is not a complete list. If you have a particular plant in mind for your home or yard, you should thoroughly research it first. If you suspect your pet has come into contact with a potential toxin, please contact your vet or animal poison control immediately.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs

Aloe Aloe vera vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, tremors, change in urine color
Amaryllis Amaryllis sp. vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, tremors
Apple and Crabapple Malus sylvestrus seeds, stems and leaves can result in red mucous membranes, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, panting and shock
Autumn Crocus/Meadow Saffron Colchicum autumnale oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, organ damage, bone marrow suppression
Azalea/Rhododendron Rhododendron spp. vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, weakness, coma, death
Calla Lily/Trumpet Lily/Arum Lily Zantedeschia aethiopica oral irritation and pain, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Castor Bean/Castor Oil Plant Ricinus communis oral irritation and burning, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, convulsions; Note: beans are highly toxic
Chrysanthemum/Mum/Daisy Chrysanthemum spp. vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, loss of coordination, dermatitis
Cyclamen Cyclamen spp. excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart arrhythmias, seizures, death
Daffodil/Narcissus Narcissus spp. vomiting, salvation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, heart arrhythmias
Dumbcane Dieffenbachia oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Elephant Ears Caladium hortulanum and Colocasia esculenta oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
English Ivy Hedera helix vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, diarrhea
Foxglove Digitalis purpurea heart arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, death
Hosta Hosta plataginea vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors
Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens vomiting, diarrhea, depression
Iris Iris species excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy
Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis vomiting, irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, disorientation, coma, seizures
Marijuana/Hashish Cannabis sativa depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, excessive salivation, dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma
Mistletoe/American Mistletoe Phoradendron flavescens gastrointestinal complications, cardiovascular collapse, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, behavior changes, vomiting, diarrhea
Oleander Nerium oleander vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, shallow/difficult breathing, muscle tremors, collapse, cardiac failure
Peace Lily Spathiphyllum oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Philodendron Philodendron spp oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Pothos/Devil’s Ivy Epipremnum aureum oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Sago Palm Cycas revoluta, zamia species vomiting, black (tarry) stools, jaundice, increased thirst, bruising, blood clotting problems, liver damage, death
Schefflera Schefflera oral irritation and burning, excessive salivation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
Tobacco Nicotiana glauca hyperexcitability then depression, vomiting, loss of coordination, paralysis
Tulip Tulipa species vomiting, depression, diarrhea, excessive salivation
Yew/Japanese Yew Taxus sp. sudden death from acute cardiac failure (early signs include muscular tremors, difficulty breathing, seizures


In case of toxin exposure, keep a list of important phone numbers in a visible, easily accessible location. Be sure pet sitters and other people who might be in your home are aware of the location of the list. The following phone numbers should be included:

  1. Your primary veterinarian
  2. One or more nearby 24-hour veterinary emergency clinics
  3. ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435 ($50 fee)
  4. Animal Poison Hotline: 888-232-8870 ($35 fee)
  5. Pet Poison Hotline: 800-213-6680 ($35 fee)
  6. An emergency contact number for you and your dog’s co-owner (if applicable).

DNA Testing

There are those of us who never get to go out and pick a new pet — rather, they seem to pick us. You open your door one Animal loverday and there they are. Or you’re driving to work and you see the sad eyes of an abandoned cat or dog. Or the universe says it’s time for the Taylor household to have a new pet! For those like me, we can end up with a strange assortment of pets. Most of time we don’t know a lot about their background and never got a chance to meet mom and dad. We just open our hearts and love them and they love us back. Not a bad deal for either party.

As our new friend grows we notice certain traits and sometimes I find myself saying “He must have Lab in him,” or “That’s the Border Collie in her.” We sit around with our friend and look at the shape of their heads and the length of the tail and come up with what breed we think they are and argue our points. When we are at the vets we ask the vet to get their opinion, and when they have a different idea of our dog’s ancestry we will argue our point. We find ourselves telling the vet how he does this like a Beagle or she looks just like another German Shepherd-Collie mix you had as a child.

Well now all the guesswork can be put to the real test with DNA testing for dogs! That’s right, we can now test our dogs for their heritage. I know some of you may be thinking that it would take the fun out of guessing what Fido is mixed with, but it doesn’t, it just adds another level. And yes, you can still argue with the test results.

Let me tell you about my family’s fun with DNA testing.

Eight years ago I was looking for a playmate to keep my female Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix Suzie (Psycho Suzie). Suzie was nonstop full of energy and smart, smart, smart –  but also crazy. We never even saw her lay down until she was four years old. Needless to say I wanted a calmer dog. Still needed one with lots of energy to keep up with Suzie but with a calmness we hoped would rub off (Suzie was badly abused before she adopted us, but that is another story). So in comes Domino. I adopted Domino from the Border Collie rescue group out of South Carolina and what a beautiful boy he is; he is the poster child for a Border Collie. With his beautiful long black coat with majestic white mane encircling his neck, he could be on a Border Collie calendar.

As he settled in, the family noticed that he looked like a Border Collie on the outside but he did not have a single Border Collie trait. Hell, he won’t even fetch! Believe me some of the missing Border Collie traits were a blessing (anyone who knows how has Border Collies are, no matter how much we love them … can we say intense!?). But not Domino. When he is in the house he lays down and sleeps. No squeak toys for him, no bringing a ball over and dropping it at your feet, no following you everywhere you go in the house, in other words, no Border Collie traits! Not one! In this case even the vet and his groomer thought he was a Border Collie. Once when I explained to my vet that I thought Domino might be an impostor, he chuckled and told me to be thankful. After all, he knew Psycho Suzie!

Well, for the Christmas of 2009, I got a wonderful Christmas present from my son and his fiancée: a DNA kit from BioPet. I looked around at all of my dogs but my son made it clear that it was to be used on Domino to see once and for all if he was a Border Collie or an impostor…