Archive for February, 2013

Whether you have a backyard where your dog potties or you walk your dog, picking up and disposing of your dog’s waste is not just the polite thing to do, it’s also good sanitation. There are a number of reasons why you should pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste.

  1. One of the most compelling reasons to poop and scoop is because dogs are subject to lots of internal parasites which can be passed through their feces. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms can all be passed to dogs from the soil where they are deposited in some stage in the feces. If you are trying to rid your dog of these worms or prevent your dog from becoming re-infected, you have to keep your yard free of their eggs in the soil and you can only do this by picking up your dog’s waste and removing it.

Other parasites which cause diarrhea such as coccidia and giardia can also be passed through the dog’s feces, and through the feces of other animals. Parvovirus and some other dog diseases can also be spread through contaminated feces and fluids. So, for your dog’s health, it’s important to pick up waste in your yard and dispose of it. If you walk your dog, pick up waste and dispose of it where other dogs will not come in contact with it. Talk to your vet about worming your dog regularly so your dog won’t carry an infestation of worms.

  1. Dog waste carries potentially harmful bacteria. Just a single gram of dog waste can contain an estimated 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. If you don’t pick up your dog’s waste, you and your dog can track this bacteria into your home where it can affect your health, the health of your family, and even your children.
  2. When you don’t pick up dog waste it eventually goes into the ground water and into our water systems.
  3. Dog waste can attract vermin and other animals, as well as flies to your yard. Flies, especially, will lay eggs and cause more pests to come. This leads to a health hazard.
  4. When you leave dog waste in your yard there is a strong odor which can become offensive to your neighbors even if you don’t notice it. Dog waste left in the yard is not good for neighborhood relations.
  5. Dog waste left in your yard will cause brown spots to develop and ruin the appearance of your grass.
  6. Dog waste cannot be used as compost or fertilizer. It is high in protein and too “hot” for these purposes. Even waste from healthy pets carries parasites which makes it unsuitable to use on plants.
  7. Dog waste left in the yard can encourage some dogs to start eating poop which is bad for them and a nasty habit. It can be a hard habit to break once your dog starts doing it.

For all these reasons you should pick up after your dog when he potties and dispose of the waste. Most people use plastic bags to pick up dog waste but you can also use a pooper scooper rake and carry the waste to a designated container just for such waste. A plastic or rubber container is good since they are easily hosed out for cleaning. You can also use a doggy dooley system (installed) or a dog compost bucket which breaks down the bacteria (though the waste is not used for gardening). If you have a small dog with small poop, you can flush it but this is not advised for bigger dogs as it probably won’t flush successfully and you’ll just clog your toilet. Just be sure to pick the waste up out of your yard and dispose of it so it won’t spread bacteria or attract flies and animals.

Article by Nancy Cope, owner of the online pet boutique Pampered Dog Gifts

Ticks are harmful to both pets and to humans. They carry diseases like Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses. An infestation of ticks in the home is not as common as a flea infestation but if you do find your home plagued by ticks, they can be very hard to banish. They are harder to find and harder to kill than fleas. In addition, ticks can go for a long time without a meal which means that even after you think you have gotten rid of them, a tick can surprise you and emerge when it finds a new blood supply.

 

But don’t despair. There are some good ways to eliminate ticks from your home for good. Here’s what you need to know about how to get rid of ticks in your home.

 

Step 1: Clean up your house. Pick up all the clutter and everything that’s lying around. Anything lying around on the floor can provide a place for ticks to hang out. Put dirty clothes and bed linens directly into the washing machine and wash them on the hottest setting possible for the items. Don’t put items from the floor into a clothes hamper since this could allow ticks to get into the hamper and into all of the clothes and other things in it. Be sure to wash your pet’s bedding in hot water, too.

 

Step 2: Clean. Clean thoroughly. Clean the entire house. Vacuum, mop, vacuum again. Be sure to vacuum furniture and drapes. Wash curtains. Clean counter tops and other surfaces. If you have ever gone through this process to get rid of fleas, do the same thing to get rid of the ticks now. Be sure to empty your vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bags in a trash can far from your house so the ticks won’t toddle right back inside.

 

Step 3: Kill the ticks and their eggs. Apply boric acid powder throughout your home. You can use a produce like 20 Muleteam Borax detergent which is found in many grocery stores if boric acid powder is unavailable. You can also use diatomaceous earth, found in gardening centers. Sprinkle one of these products over your floors and leave it for about 72 hours. This is usually long enough to coat any ticks that are present in the home. These products work by drying out the adult ticks and killing them. They will also dry out larvae and eggs that they coat. You can also use a botanical pesticide for this purpose if you prefer. Make sure you treat your pet’s bedding and sleeping areas with these products, too.

 

Step 4: To make sure you have killed all the adult ticks you will need to use a good adulticide. Many flea and tick sprays made with pyrethrins are good for this job. Pyrethrins are made from flowers like marigolds and they keep fleas and ticks away. You will also need to use a product with an insect growth regulator such as Precor. Spray your entire home with these products including baseboards, closets, furniture, and chair and table legs. Ticks will climb to get up off the floor and try to hide so be sure you spray places where they might lurk. Spray under your bed, too. Turn over chairs, sofas, and other places where they can hide.

 

Step 5: Finally, once your home is treated you will need to make sure that you and your pets don’t bring anymore ticks into your house. You can do this by keeping your yard tidy, among other things. Clear away any brush and leaves. Fence your property to keep wild animals away since they often carry ticks. Clean up under bird feeders as bird seed will attract animals. And keep your grass cut short. Tall grass provides a place for ticks to hide.

 

If you follow these steps you should be able to eliminate ticks from your home and keep them away permanently. It will also help to use a good flea and tick product on your pet. Talk to your vet to find out what he or she recommends in your area.

 

Article by Nancy Cope owner of the dog boutique – Pampered Dog gifts

Interactive Dog Toys

Interactive dog toys are lots of fun for dogs and for owners. Many of them also provide a good way for dogs to learn. Instead of simply giving your dog a chew toy to keep him occupied, you can sit down with your dog and do something together. It takes more of your time, but you and your dog can build a stronger bond.

 

Different kinds of interactive toys

There are different kinds of toys that are called “interactive.” Some toys require a response from the dog in order for them to do something. For example, the Buster Cube and other treat-dispensing toys will dispense treats to your dog if he figures out how to roll it in a certain way to make the treats come out. Other toys will “speak” to your pet (with a message that you have recorded), when they play with it. One toy releases bacon-scented bubbles when the dog plays with it. (Dogs love bubble machines) These are all interactive toys because the dog has to do something to make the toys work. These are fun toys for your dog and you might be interested in getting some toys like this to keep your dog entertained.

 

However, there are also toys that require you to be present to play with your dog. For example, toy designer Nina Ottosson makes wooden puzzles for dogs. You hide treats inside the puzzle and the dog has to move the puzzle pieces with his nose or paw in order to find the treats. You have to be with him to help him play. The puzzles can be made more difficult as your dog figures out each level. Ottosson has made lots of these puzzle games. They can be found online and in some pet stores.

 

You can find lots of similar games for you and your dog to play together if you visit pet stores or check online. The key thing is that these games, toys, and puzzles are something that you and your dog can do together.

 

Of course, some of the best and most fun interactive games you can play with your dog are playing fetch, tug, and other old-fashioned games that dogs love to play. You can make an interactive game for your dog by taking a small pail and putting some of your dog’s rubber toys in it. Then fill it with water and freeze it. Give the block of ice to your dog in the yard on a hot day and let him lick at it to get his toys out. Dogs love to play with this ice toy.

 

Whether you choose toys that your dog has to interact with on his own, or you find puzzles and games that the two of you can enjoy together, the important thing is that your dog has a chance to use his mind and problem solving abilities to figure things out. These games are fun and challenging for your dog and he will have a good time playing with them.

Essential Grooming Tools

Grooming your dog is an important part of keeping him healthy. Brushing your dog regularly stimulates his skin and improves circulation. It makes his coat looks better. And it improves the bond between you and your dog. In order to groom your dog there area  few essential grooming tools that all owners need.

 

Brushes

Different dogs have different grooming needs, depending on their breed and coat type. But virtually all dogs need to be brushed regularly. The best brush for the job is a good boar bristle brush. Boar bristles are a natural bristle which do the best job of circulating the natural oils in your dog’s skin throughout his coat. They also won’t break your dog’s hair the way nylon bristles will. This kind of brush is good for both short and long-haired dogs. You can find these brushes at pet stores, at beauty supply stores, and at drugstores.

 

If you have a long-haired dog you will also need a good pin brush.  A pin brush lifts and separates the long hair and is especially good for long feathering on the legs, chest, and tail. Do not scrape it along the dog’s body though. It is best used just for the long hair. You can find these brushes at pet stores and other places where brushes are sold. Pin brushes made for pets will last longer than those made for humans.

 

Combs

Dogs with medium and long hair will need a good comb. One of the best combs you can get is called a Greyhound comb, though it’s not just for Greyhounds. This is a long  comb that has teeth that are wider at one end and closer together at the other end. You can find them at pet stores or online. They are not expensive.

 

Nails

No matter what kind of dog you have, you will need to trim your dog’s nails regularly. You can buy a nail grinder such as the PediPaws, though these do not always work well on dogs with thick nails. Or you can buy a good nail clipper. Miller’s Forge makes good quality nail clippers. The scissors style will work for Toy dogs. For medium and large dogs you should get a guillotine or plier style nail clipper.

 

Hound glove

If you have a short-haired dog, such as a Beagle, a hound glove can be very useful. It has small wires on one side which will remove dead hair, and sisal or another material on the other side to smooth your dog’s coat. They are very helpful for short-haired dogs that shed.

 

These are the essential grooming tools you will need for your dog, though dogs can use more grooming to look their best. If you have a long-haired dog you should try to brush him two or three times per week. Otherwise his coat may develop tangles and mats that can become painful. If you have a short-haired dog you can usually brush your dog once a week. Short-haired dogs often shed as much or more than long-haired dogs so brushing them is important to keep the shedding down.

 

If your dog needs trimming or scissoring, it’s best to see a professional pet groomer.

 

Article By Nancy Cope , Owner of Pampered-dog-gifts.com and online dog gift boutique.

Dog Doors

A dog door is more than just a hole cut in a door, or a flap over the hole. Today there are all kinds of dog doors for different living situations. Whether you have a sliding glass door, a storm door, a wooden door, or no door at all, there are dog doors that will work for you and your dog.

 

Advantages of a dog door

Dog doors can make life much easier for dog owners. Instead of getting up and down to let your dog out every time he looks at you or barks to go outside, your dog can simply go through the dog door without bothering you. They are very handy if you have a fenced yard for your dog. You know he will be safe in the yard so you can trust him to go in and out of the house as he likes. Dog doors are particularly nice if you work at home and don’t want to stop what you’re doing to let your dog in and out every 10 minutes.

 

Dogs also love dog doors because they have a greater degree of freedom and can go outside without as much supervision. They don’t have to ask you every time they go out or want inside. Your dog doesn’t have to wait outside in the cold or rain if you forget to let him in.

 

Kinds of dog doors

You can have a dog door professionally installed, purchase a door that already has a dog door in it, or you can install a dog door yourself. Many dog doors are not hard to install if you have the right tools.

 

Dog doors for sliding glass doors are one option. You can buy a sliding glass door that already has the doggy door built into it with a thermal flap to keep out heat and cold. Then simply have the door installed into your existing sliding glass door frame.

 

There are also dog doors that can be mounted into your existing door. These are probably what most people think of as “dog doors.” To install these doors you can cut a square hole in your door and mount the dog door frame into the door. The dog doors come with a variety of flaps such as thermal flaps and other kinds of inserts. They protect your house from drafts but it’s easy for your dog to go in and out.

 

You can use a similar kind of doggy door and mount it in your wall instead of in a door if this is more convenient in your home.

 

Small pet doors can be mounted into windows or window screens for small dogs.

 

If your dog has a kennel and you would like to have a dog door between the kennel run and the kennel building, you can mount a dog door made of plexiglass. These doors can also be used for doors in the home.

 

You can also install an electronic doggy door. This kind of door will keep out undesirable animals such as stray cats and raccoons. To go in and out, the animal has to be wearing a collar with the right key or ID. It will also keep other pets in the house if they are not wearing this collar.

 

Doggy doors are useful in many ways. Take your time and choose the right door for your dog and situation.

 

Article by Nancy Cope, Owner of the online dog boutique Pampered-dog-gifts.com