Say it isn’t so: In fact, it isn’t!

Word on the street is that Boston is a very pet un-friendly town, at least where landlords are concerned. However, the truth is that South Boston, in particular, is very pet FRIENDLY. Joyce Lebedew Real Estate (JLRE), based in South Boston, makes a practice of carrying listings of rental properties whose landlords welcome pets. Indeed, JLRE has brokered the rental of approximately 1,400 pet-friendly homes! The company also has had a million dollars’ more market share in rental business than the next most successful local real estate company since 2008, showing that convincing landlords to allow pets has paid off.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that more than 36% of households across the United States have a dog, and more than 30% have a cat. A 2012 study by a company called Mintel has a breakdown of the statistics of pet ownership, sharing that 62% of dog owners own one dog; 26% own two; 7% own 3 three and 5% own four or more. 49% of cat owners have one cat; 29% own two, 11% own three and 11% own four or more. With so many pet-loving potential home renters around, it seems reasonable that landlords allow – and even encourage and support – pet ownership in their units. At JLRE, we actually find pet owners more responsible and have never had a complaint or issue with any of the pets!

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit:

Dogs in Winter

Some dogs are more prone than others to having difficulties during the colder months. Puppies and older animals need special attention. Also, those with diabetes or heart or kidney disease might not be able to regulate their body temperature as well as they should. You know your dog: Make sure to discuss chronic conditions with your vet to get advice about ways to prevent and/or treat wintertime problems for your animal buddy.

Every dog, though, no matter how old or how healthy, has to deal with winter’s impact. After each recent snowfall, we’ve seen dogs out for their walks, covered in sweaters and coats. They might have that one item of protection, but, still, they have to negotiate ice, slush and snowdrifts, and wind that can rip right through even a thick layer of wool or down. There are ways to lessen the toll on your pet, however. Here are some tips:

* Wait until spring to clip your dog’s fur.

* Make sure your pup has access to fresh water while outside. Use a heated water bowl, if possible, or just check often to make sure ice hasn’t formed.

* Because a dog’s tongue can stick to a metal bowl on a freezing day, use a plastic water bowl.

* Provide shelter options. If your dog likes to run around the backyard, for example, prepare a doghouse that will give your pet an escape from the wind.

* Increase the dog’s caloric intake. Animals use their own energy to combat the cold, so help them stock back up.

* When the temperature drops below zero, bring your pet inside after 10 or 15 minutes.

* Don’t put wet sweaters or coats back on your pooch for another outing. Dry all doggy outerwear thoroughly first.

* Some rock salt tossed on walkways and roads to melt ice can hurt a dog’s paws. Every time your return home from an outing with your pet, wipe each foot with a damp towel.

The Humane Society of the United States asks that we also look out for other people’s pets: Neglect of a pet – which includes leaving one without adequate food or shelter – is a crime. They provide suggestions for steps to take, including contacting a local law enforcement agency, if we witness such neglect in these months of extremely cold weather.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: Dan Bennett (Flickr: Hover Dog Snow Day!), via Wikimedia Commons

Doggie Rescue & Adoption

At Joyce Lebedew Real Estate, helping animals is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. We first blogged about this incredible organization in 2012, and we are hoping to keep their efforts top of mind with animal lovers around Boston and beyond.

“Every animal deserves to know love” is the belief at the foundation of the work of Last Hope K9 Rescue. A non-profit organization that is about two and half years old, Last Hope saves abandoned, neglected and abused dogs from high-kill shelters across the country. They never reject a dog because of its age or breed or health. And they work tirelessly to get the dogs they rescue into loving foster and permanent homes.

Last Hope has an educational component, too, spreading the word about spay and neuter programs, and the benefits of microchipping a dog.

There are several ways to get involved with this noble cause. If you are seriously considering adopting a dog, you can fill out an adoption application on their website. There are also options for fostering dogs, volunteering, or donating to this organization. Contact Last Hope via their on-line inquiry page, or call 617-300-8944 for more information.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team



Doggie Costume Contest

Pirates, superheroes, teenage mutant ninja turtles, Elsa, dinosaurs…. These are some of the costumes you’ll probably find children in on Halloween. But you might also find dogs in any one of these or other charming get-ups for this special holiday. If you have a pet pooch, and are planning to dress him or her in one-night-only clothing, consider entering your pup in our Dog Halloween Costume photo contest!

From now through Halloween, Joyce Lebedew Real Estate will be accepting and posting photos of dogs done up in their finest. Everyone’s invited to vote online for their favorite. The photo with the most Facebook “likes” by November 1st at 6:00 pm will win a $100 gift card to BYOD dog wash in South Boston. BYOD, located at 617 East Broadway, promotes the health and wellness of dogs through bathing, and through support of a healthy diet, mental and physical stimulation and consistent training.

Here’s how it works: Submit your photos via email to And be sure to VOTE on the JLRE Facebook page where the images will be posted.


Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: By istolethetv from Hong Kong, China (jackie o dog  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Natural Treats for Fido

For those we love, our dogs included, we want only the best – safety and comfort, and a satisfying and healthful diet. Often, inexpensive canine treats are filled with potentially harmful ingredients and low (if any) nutritional value. South Boston resident Jane Hayes Handrahan had heard about recalls of some items, but, even with those still being sold, she didn’t have a good feeling. “Anyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about my dog,” explains Jane. “I wanted to know what I was giving my ‘kid’.” She decided to take matters into her own hands, literally:  Jane has developed a handmade line of doggie treats in her South Boston home.

Using 100% all-natural chicken, beef and pork, she fashions these snacks into various shapes: sticks, meatballs and kibbles. Chicken seems to be her customers’ favorite thus far, so she’s added variety to the mix, including chicken and apple, and chicken and banana. Sensitive to some animals’ allergies, she makes gluten-free treats as well.

Called “Wolfie’s All-Natural Treats,” the goodies are available at Broadway Dog Spa at 547 East Broadway (617-269-1164). You can get an 8 oz. bag for $15.00. Check directly with Handrahan through the Wolfie’s Treats Facebook page 
for special orders.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: Wolfie’s All-Natural Treats

Wanna Walk

Dogs need affection, mental exercise (training, toys, games played with people, etc.), and physical exercise. Without this kind of stimulation and exertion, a dog’s behavior may reflect what is missing in their daily routine. You might find them chewing on furniture, barking excessively, jumping, nipping, chewing furniture, and so on.

If you aren’t in a position to offer your pooch opportunities for substantial activity and engagement, consider hiring a dog walker to help fill the void. In South Boston, there’s a professional who lives to walk – and be a companion to – all dogs who come her way.

Please meet Renee Rasinski, owner of Wanna Walk, a premiere dog walking service with a goal of making every walk an adventure. No matter what the dog’s personality is, Renee is up to designing a walk that meets the animal’s needs.

With over a decade of dog-walking experience (during which time Wanna Walk’s clients have stayed with them for an average of seven years), more than 250 hours of obedience training, workshops, etc., 80+ hour of classes on canine nutrition and alternative treatments, Wanna Walk takes each and every dog’s particular circumstances into consideration in creating a plan. In addition to walks, Wanna Walk hosts overnight stays in Renee’s home, “The Tucket Inn.” Wanna Walk is currently in the running for a spot on Boston’s A list in the best dog walker category. (Voting ends August 1st!)

Call 617-699-9953 or send an email message to Renee at to begin a conversation about your pet and Wanna Walk.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography credit: Wanna Walk


Doggy Fun

I’m a happy dog at the park
I yelp and woof and bark
Along with the sound
Us dogs run around
I’m a happy dog at the park
(From the poem, “Happy Dog 3,” by Flying Lemming)


It’s just what Fido ordered: fenced-in green space in which to run and play, no leash and plenty of other energetic pups to mess around with. The South Boston Bark Park, located at 1280 Columbia Road, near Carson Beach, is open from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, offering a place to take your much-loved pet for exercise and sunshine.

Please join the Friends of the South Boston Bark Park at their fundraiser on May 17th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. They are in need of money to maintain this unique spot for our four-legged friends.

The fundraiser will take place under the tent at the park. You’ll have an opportunity to become a member of Friends of the South Boston Bark Park, purchase raffle tickets, play games and enjoy light refreshments. (There will be treats for dogs, too, of course!) Rain date: May 18th.

The Bark Park asks visitors to abide by the park rules, out of respect for all who use it.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team

Photography Credit: Hynek Moravec via Wikimedia Commons

Dogs and Cats in Winter

It’s easy to assume that our pets will be just fine in the cold. After all, they’re born with coats. But dogs and cats can be uncomfortable, or even in danger, just as we can, in extremely cold weather. We take care of our feline and canine pals in so many important ways. These efforts must include protection from winter weather.

  • Don’t keep your animal outside longer than necessary. In severe conditions – very low temperatures, cutting winds or freezing rain – cats and dogs can suffer. It’s easier that we might imagine for them to develop frostbite, in which extremities (ears, paws and tail) lose blood flow, or hypothermia, in which the body temperature drops below normal. If your pet whines, shivers, or seeks to burrow at a warm spot, he or she may be ready to return indoors.
  • Wipe your dog’s paws off very well as you come back inside from a walk: Some products strewn on driveways and sidewalks to melt the ice can ulcerate paw pads. Alternatives to those non-pet-friendly de-icers include Paw Thaw and Safe Paw.
  • Pets with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, need special attention. They are particularly vulnerable to pain and injury if they slip on ice. In addition, their joints might become stiff and more painful in the cold.
  • If you’ve placed a water bowl outside for your pet, make sure to check that it hasn’t frozen. Without access to clean water, dogs and cats might drink other available liquids, including puddles of anti-freeze on the driveway or water in gutters or other places that collect dirt.
  • It isn’t just outside that you need to take precautions. Indoors, fireplaces and space heaters pose dangers. Animals are attracted to the warmth, and might burn themselves. They also might knock the portable heater over. If the heater touches something flammable, the entire dwelling is in peril. The old standby – curling up with your pet on a chair, sofa or bed – might be the best way to keep Fido, Kitty and you comfy and warm this winter.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team


Fat Cats

The news about cat obesity in the U.S. is disturbing: About 50 million cats across the country are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. That’s more than half of our pet feline population.

Just as with humans, animal obesity contributes to a number of medical conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, high blood pressure and compromised immune function. We want our pets to live long, healthy lives. Having them at or close to their ideal weight is critical in helping to make this likely.

Most cats we keep as pets should weigh between eight and ten pounds, though the normal weight of a few breeds might be higher. A cat weighing more than 20 percent above its ideal weight is considered obese. This translates into just a few pounds for most domestic cats, but three pounds is comparable to about 30 pounds on a 140-pound woman!

Obesity can be caused by medical conditions, however, usually, it results from giving the pet too much regular cat food and too many treats.

High-protein, low-carbohydrate canned food has helped cats lose weight and stay healthy. As for treats, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie goodies are best. And there’s always exercise: Play laser tag or offer interactive toys that require your cat to move around energetically for at least 20 minutes each day.

Get your cat weighed and assessed by your vet, and then change old habits, if need be, to help your feline friend be in the best possible shape.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team.

Photography credit:  EIC, via Wikimedia Commons

A Pet-Safe Home is a Pet-Happy Home

We go to great lengths to enjoy time with our pet cats and dogs. A demonstration of new tricks, a game of chase-the-ribbon, or just snuggling together on the couch can all be moments of bonding, and bliss. But there are little ways in which we might unintentionally put feline and canine pals in danger. With some attention, the dangers can be lessened, and our homes thus made safer.

1. Even if we adore glass or clay figurines or sculptures, a low table along which the dog’s tail might graze is not the spot to display them. We’ll lose pieces of a collection, and our pet might get cut. Instead, place the art works on top of cabinets or on shelves beyond the reach of Fido. And if Kitty loves to climb and jump from one surface to another, perhaps you should consider putting the fragile pieces in a display case with a glass front.

2. Window screens aren’t always as secure as they appear. Be sure to check: one accidental push against a loose screen could lead to a disastrous fall.

3. Just as they are for small children, cords and tassels attached to drapes, as well as electrical cords, are major hazards for choking and electrocution of pets. Be sure to pull, wrap or tape cords and wires so that they don’t appear to be toys!

4. Dogs, especially heavier ones, can slip easily on area rugs, crashing into furniture or the dining room table or perhaps your expensive sound system. Place a rug grip, sometimes called a rug liner, cut to size, under each rug. Cut the grip 1 to 1 1/2″ smaller than the area rug.

5. Did you know that through their paws pets absorb what has soaked into our floors? Instead of using bleach and other harsh liquids, try washing surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and water. Also, store disinfectants and other cleaning supplies away from where the cat and dog might be able to tackle and taste them.

6. Keep foods securely covered, and packaged foods in closed cabinets. Some foods are harmful to dogs or cats. Others, even if safe to eat, might have wrappers that are not!

Check out the American Humane Association’s list of ways to enhance your pet’s safety in each room of your home.

Blog post by the Joyce Lebedew Real Estate Team.