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Pet Health

How to Bathe Your Dog at Home

Living with Pets, Pet Health, Dog GroomingJanet BreyComment
Washing you dog at home can have some great benefits.  Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

Washing you dog at home can have some great benefits. Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

Call me crazy, but I prefer to groom my dog at home instead of bringing him to the dog groomer. The main reasons I choose to bathe my dog at home are:

  • Less stress on my dog who equates car trips with a vet visit

  • Less stress on my wallet as grooming costs can add up

  • Quality time spent with my dog

There are other benefits to bathing your dog at home. You chose the time; you choose the shampoo and the have the peace of mind that exceptional care was taken not to get water in the ears or soap in the eyes.

On the other side, bathing a dog a home can be a challenge. Over the years of bathing large dogs, I have discovered some tips to ease the challenges of bathing a dog at home.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

When I asked the veterinarian how often I should bath my Labrador, he said every 3 months was plenty. Seemed a bit on the light side so I did some additional research. I found that dog bathing frequency depends - depends on the breed, the environment, where the dog has been, and any existing skin conditions.

According to Your Dog Advisor, your dog’s coat will determine how often you should bathe your dog:

  • Oily coat - If you have a dog with an oily coat you may have to bathe as often as once a week. Breeds with oily coats are Newfoundlands, Alaskan Malamutes, Basset Hounds.

  • Water-repellent coat – Dogs that have water-repellent coats should be bathed less often as they have natural oils in their coats that actually keep dirt away from the skin. Breeds with water-repellent coats are Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

  • Short-hair, smooth coat – Breeds such as Beagles or Boston Terriers do not need frequent bathing.

  • Double coated – Australian Shepherds and Alaskan Huskies have double coats (lots of shedding!) and do better with less frequent bathing. These breeds really need to be brushed daily. This will eliminate those awful mattes, remove dirt and debris as well as distribute natural oils through their coat.

Tips for Bathing Your Dog at Home

A long hose makes it much easier when in the bath tub.  Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

A long hose makes it much easier when in the bath tub. Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

Based on my own experience and a bit of research, here are some tips to help you have a better dog washing experience.

Step 1 - Get Your Tools Ready (and keep within reach before your dog gets in the bath)

  • Rubber bathmat – in sink or bathtub. Stops slipping and stress.

  • Shampoo – use dog shampoo. Conditioner is optional.

  • Sprayer hose attachment. Longer hose makes life easier

  • Washcloth (2)  or sponge (2) - Need a clean one for the face area

  • Small bucket to dilute the shampoo - saves you in the rinse cycleWide tooth brush (long thick coats) and regular dog brush - gets out extra hair or knots

  • Assorted size towels - I like a small one for head and a large for body

  • Hair dryer  — A long cord is helpful and use a low heat setting 

  • Drain hair catcher - I think this is critical as I am always amazed at the hair it catches

  • Dog Treats or Toy (optional) - Rewards the good behavior

Step 2 - Dog Bath Process Tips

  • Brush and  comb hair to loosen knots and loosen dirt. If your dog has a lot of mattes, you may be able to remove them before the bath. Mattes retain water, pull skin and can be irritating. If really bad, go to a professional dog groomer.

  • Place the rubber mat in the tub or sink.

  • Lay a towel down in front of the tub and roll one up to kneel on.

  • Run the water ahead of time to get it to a lukewarm temperature.

  • Invite your dog into the bathroom with a treat. My lab will jut step in the tub whereas my Aussie Shepard has to be bribed.

  • Talk softly and calmly to your dog through the entire bath. A treat or two does not hurt either.

  • Wet the dog, starting at the back and working up toward the head. Do not wet the head as you will wash the head area last with a washcloth or sponge.

  • Using your sponge or washcloth, dip into the diluted shampoo. Diluting helps you avoid using too much shampoo.  Too much shampoo makes it hard to get a good rinse as you need to get all the soap out to avoid skin dryness.

  • Start the washing on the back of the dog and then the chest. Work back towards the tail. Wash the tail and private areas last. Put that washcloth/sponge aside.

  • Rinse your dog thoroughly – until no soap in the water.  Lastly, with a clean washcloth, wash the dog’s head – tilt the head back as you do not want to get soap in the eyes or water in the ears.

As soon as I turn off the water, my dogs wants to jump out of the tub. I firmly give the stay command and wrap a large towel around him, as if it is a robe. Then I quickly grab a small towel and dry his head and ears. If my boy is not ready to jump, I take another small towel and dry his legs and tail.

Time for a big hug! Image.  Photo by Sasha Sashina on Unsplash

Time for a big hug! Image. Photo by Sasha Sashina on Unsplash

Once out, I rub my lab a few more times with the large towel. Now, the Aussie should be squeezed dry - more than rubbed as vigorous rubbing can cause tangling. 

All done? Time for a big hug! And, now that I have a clean dog, I want to make sure he lies on a clean dog bed. I make sure to put on a clean sheet on the dog bed - a fresh PawSheet. Since they are so easy to remove and replace, I can do this immediately after the bath.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please share.

 



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My Dog's Bed Stinks - How Can I Remove Odor from a Dog Bed

Pet Health, Living with Pets, Cleaning dog bedJanet BreyComment
The sooner you deal with it the better - don’t let stink make you throw out your dog bed. Image: Karin Hiselius.

The sooner you deal with it the better - don’t let stink make you throw out your dog bed. Image: Karin Hiselius.

If you have a dog and that dog has a dog bed, there’s a good chance you have to deal with DOG BED STINK. As I see it, there are two ways to get rid of the dog bed stink:

  • Trash the dog bed - not a good solution for a number of reasons, one being cost and another is adding to landfills

  • Wash it - sound easy but not if you have a large bed. Also, sometimes even washing it will not remove the stink

Here is my recommendation:

  1. Remove the cover. Shake it out and wash in the washing machine. Add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the washer or put in the fabric softener dispenser. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of baking soda on top of dog bed cover.

  2. If your inner mattress is washable and fits in your washer, your can add it to Step 1 with your cover. If it is too big for the washer, fill up your tub with hot water. Add a 1/4 cup of a mild detergent and 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar.

  3. Let the bed soak for about 15 minutes. Make sure it is submerged and not floating.

  4. Drain the tub of the soapy water and, if you have a shower hose, shoot it with water to get some of the soap out. Then fill the tub up and squeezes the mattress to all the soap out.

  5. Once you have thoroughly rinsed the inner mattress, you need to dry it. Best to do on a warm sunny day.

  6. When completely dry, give it a sniff. Hopefully, it will not stink. If it does, you may want to try a few sprays of Febreze. My research indicates Febreze is safe to use around pets. For a very detailed assessment of Febreze and pet safety, click here.

  7. Put on the washed cover and then to keep it fresh… invest in a few PawSheets.

As the founder of PawSheets, I created bedsheets for dog beds to deal with this issue. However, the I have noticed on occasion an odor in the general vicinity of my Lab’s dog bed.

PawSheets are great to keep the surface of a dog bed clean, but will not prevent a stinky bed from sending out stink signals. Best tip to keep the dog bed clean, is to never let it get too stinky or dirty. Make sure to change the cover (or PawSheet) at least once a week.

Helping Your Puppy Make the Transition to a New Home - by Jessica Brody

Living with Pets, Pet HealthJanet BreyComment
Moving can be disruptive to your pup. Here are some tips to help ease the transition. Photo is courtesy of  Pexels.com

Moving can be disruptive to your pup. Here are some tips to help ease the transition. Photo is courtesy of Pexels.com

If you’re contemplating buying a new house, you’ll naturally take into account the needs of everyone in your family. That could mean giving each of your kids their own room or providing larger closets for you and your significant other. Those are all excellent reasons for moving, but it’s important to make sure you consider everyone in your family, and that includes your pets. It’s especially important if you have a puppy who needs extra care and consideration during what’s sure to be an anxious time. Think carefully about whether the house you’re considering is in a pet-friendly area, and whether it’s suitable for your pooch.

Get familiar with the area

Especially if you’re moving to a brand new city or state, it’s important to get a feel for the area where you’ll be settling down. Take a broad look at the city, but also look closely at any neighborhoods that have piqued your interest. One helpful strategy is to spend a weekend in a rental in the area you’re considering buying a home. This will help you decide whether the home’s amenities and neighborhood are a good fit for your family (including its furry members).

Parks or no parks

It’s always nice to have a park nearby. Being near a park makes your property more appealing, and they’re a great way for kids and dogs to get some exercise. Many cities have fully-equipped dog parks, a useful amenity if you’re a little short on square footage in the backyard. If you’re not able to book a rental home before your move, at least spend a few hours in the area, and be observant when checking out how your prospective new neighborhood welcomes pets. Do you see other homeowners walking dogs? Do people appear to be receptive to furry companions?

Know the local laws

If you’re a pet owner, it can be hard to believe there are places where cute little dogs aren’t welcome, but it’s true. You could run into community statutes or homeowners association rules governing dogs, so err on the side of caution and check out neighborhood rules thoroughly before even putting an offer in on a property. Some places also have restrictions on the kinds of breeds you can bring into a community based on size, aggressiveness and barking (a notable annoyance among many homeowners). 

Yard compatibility

Whether a yard is big or small, it’s important to have some means of keeping your dog from getting away. That usually requires a fence of some kind, which could mean you’ll need to install one. Depending on your budget and the material you wish to use, you’ll want to account for the costs associated with installing a fence. This calculator from Homewyse can help you gauge the price of what a new fence will cost.

Your best-case scenario will be to find a house with a fenced-in yard big enough for your puppy to run and exercise. Check the fence line for any gaps or space underneath where a dog could dig his way through, and make repairs as necessary. If your intention is to have a fence installed, don’t forget to check local rules and regulations for doing so. Some communities will allow underground electric fencing but not a traditional barrier fence, while other places may restrict the kind of material you can use.

Easing the transition

Moving can make a puppy anxious, so don’t be too hard on your friend if all that excitement and activity leads to an accident now and then. Make time to play with your pooch while preparing to move. Puppies need plenty of reassurance when things get topsy turvy at home, so work in extra playtime. Consider hiring a moving company to pack and transport your stuff for you, so that you can spend more time with your pup. You can easily search for a local moving service online, which will help relieve some of the stress.

Make sure to keep some of your puppies used toys and their bed. It is tempting to think moving is a good time to get a new bed or toys, but those treasured items can bring comfort to your puppy. Adding a clean cover to a dog bed can give it a clean, new look while keeping your puppy’s scent in the bed.

Once you’ve made the decision and the big move, be prepared to help your pooch settle into his new surroundings smoothly and comfortably. After all, it’s his new home too.

About the Author

Jessica Brody created OurBestFriends.pet so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions.

Does Your Dog Food Provide Magnesium?

Pet Health, Dog nutritionJanet BreyComment
Too much or too little magnesium can cause dogs to be tired and depressed. Photo by  Dominik QN  on  Unsplash

Too much or too little magnesium can cause dogs to be tired and depressed. Photo by Dominik QN on Unsplash

Let’s face it. Our pets are family and we want to give them the best quality of life possible. Healthy food, exercise, a comfy bed, toys, coats, and even Halloween costumes!

Healthy food is one of the most important contributors to an active, happy pet. Understanding what is, or is not in your dog’s food, is very important. In a recent blog, I wrote about looking for certain ingredients that should be avoided. Today, I am writing about something that should be included or supplemented in the diet - magnesium.

Magnesium is a mineral that controls and supports many metabolic functions - both in humans and dogs. Most of us know about the importance of potassium, but not magnesium. Magnesium supports the following functions in your dog:

  • Hormone functions and secretions

  • Maintaining electrical balance across cell membranes (muscle contraction)

  • Maintaining calcium movement into the muscles (keep bones strong)

  • Metabolic functions (turning food into energy)

  • Proper absorption of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamin C and E

  • Transmission of nerve signals (thinking, brain functions)

If you think about it, almost every function of your dog’s body requires magnesium. So, if your dog has too much or too little, it can cause some serious problems. Symptoms of low magnesium levels can include depression, heart arrhythmia, lethargy and muscle pain. Symptoms of too much are similar.

After reading the Your Dog Advisor article, What is the Optimal Level of Magnesium for Your Dog, I checked the ingredients of my dog’s dry food. I did not see magnesium mentioned, nor did I see any of the ingredients noted in the article that represent magnesium, such as magnesium oxide, bone meal, or soy. For a complete list, see the article.

Next time I am at the vet, I am going to ask if they can check my dog’s magnesium level. If it is on the low side, I will look to supplement his diet with some kidney beans.

Always check with your vet before you add supplements or change how you feed your dog. It’s always good to have a bit of knowledge so you know what questions to ask. This post is not intended to provide medical advice, just help you provide the best you can for your furry family member.

What Dry Dog Food is Best?

Pet Health, Living with PetsJanet BreyComment
animal-animal-photography-bowl-1766480.jpg

Dry Dog Food

What You Need to Know About the FDA Report & DCM

There has been a lot of news about certain grain-free dry dog foods causing cardiac issues in dogs, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). On June 27, 2019, the FDA released an update on their prior advisories.

I was (and still am) very concerned about what is being reported. The brand of dry dog food that I have been feeding my dogs for years is near the top of the list. Of course, I had done my research and thought I was providing one of the best dry food for my buddies. Well, I am now questioning my choice.

The Whole Dog Journal posted a blog about the update which is worth reading. The key takeaways are:

  • Regardless of what your dog eats, if he/she exhibits low energy, trouble breathing, or coughing, get to your vet. It could be DCM, so do not waste any time.

  • Potential biased reporting - The top dogs affected are the most popular breeds. If Labs are the most numerous purebred dog in the US, is it a surprise that we would see higher representation? This is only 1 example of a bias - there are many others.

  • Grain-free should only be given if there is an intolerance or allergy to grains.

  • Avoid foods that have peas, chickpeas and lentils high up on the ingredient list - before position 6. Switch foods if the food has more than one of these ingredients.

The report is not conclusive. There are many variables that need further research. DCM is a genetic condition in dogs, so it could be a bad gene and not diet related. The most important thing is to be aware of what you are feeding your pet. Do not trust marketing speak and entertaining commercials. Do your research, understand labels, talk to your vet, and stay on top of the news.

Is It Safe to Give My Dog CBD?

Pet HealthJanet BreyComment
Get the facts about CBD supplements for dogs

Get the facts about CBD supplements for dogs

It seems like there is a lot of information available on the use of CBD oil to treat pet ailments. Now there is a new organization, the CBD Awareness Project that is dedicated to providing accurate information about hemp-derived products to the public.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It can be supplied as CBD oil with only CBD as the active ingredient. That means no psychoactivity as there is no THC. CBD oil has found to have some beneficial effects in humans, such as pain relief. There are also studies that show promising results for using CBD supplements to manage a dog’s anxiety, pain and seizures.

The CBD Awareness Project has a great free resource to help dog owners understand which products are most likely to be pet-safe - A Dog Owner’s Guide to CBD. They created this guide to educate pet owners about the safety and legality of products on the market.

As stated in the guide, “CBD is legal in all 50 states, but the research around its effects on dogs is still developing. However, a growing number of veterinarians are recommending it to their clients. While the research is not yet definitive, many believe CBD offers several therapeutic benefits to dogs.”

Learn about the potential benefits of CBD supplements in dogs and how to be sure that the CBD products you find will be safe for your dog.

Please share your thoughts and experiences.

3 Simple Ways to Keep a Dog Bed Clean

Pet Health, Living with PetsJanet BreyComment
Bathing your dog regularly helps to keep the dog bed clean. Image by  oritslama  from  Pixabay

Bathing your dog regularly helps to keep the dog bed clean. Image by oritslama from Pixabay

Ask Google how to clean a dog bed and you will see tips, videos and products recommendations. One post offers 15 steps on how to clean a dog bed.

I don’t know about you but I do not have a lot of time to spend cleaning a dog bed. So here are 3 simple ways to keep your dog’s, or dogs’ bed(s) clean.

  1. Keep you dog clean. This means bathing and grooming. Brushing daily and bathing regularly. What does regularly mean? According to Canine Journal®, bathe your dog at least once every three months.

  2. Cover the dog bed with an easy to remove, easy to wash and dry, and easy to put back on dog bed cover. If a dog bed cover is hard to remove and a struggle to put back on, you will avoid doing it.

  3. Change the dog bed cover weekly - or sooner if it looks dirty. It is a good idea to vacuum the dog bed cover daily - if you can.

The best way to keep a dog bed clean is to cover it as soon as you buy it. Then, change or wash the cover weekly. Simple, right?

After a bath my dogs feel so happy. They run around and play. How do you feel after a shower?

The same concept applies to a fresh bed. As soon as I change the cover on the bed, my dogs jump right on the bed. Clean feels great. Next time you bathe your dog, give him or her a fresh bed cover. Putting a clean dog on a dirty, smelly bed just does not make sense.

PawSheets make it easy to keep your dog’s bed clean and fresh. Use promo code “3SIMPLE” for 10% off your next order.

Pet First Aid - Two Guides with Great Advice

Pet HealthJanet BreyComment

Now that Spring/Summer is here - so are snakes! While walking my lab, I almost stepped on a snake basking in the sun. Keeping this in mind, I thought I share two links about Pet First Aid with you.

The first is the Pet First Aid Guide from AVMA. This handy pdf has tips and checklists to help keep your dog safe.

Another source of great info is from our friends at FluentWoof: First Aid for Dogs - Preparing for the Unexpected. This is a short article that provides what to do when a dog is choking (for example), along with videos that explain How to Tell if Your Dog Has Shock and Performing Dog Heimlich - all from Dr. Libby Guise, DVM.

Great information on what to do if you pet needs first aid.

Great information on what to do if you pet needs first aid.

Protect Your Pet - Tick and Flea Season is Here

Living with Pets, Pet HealthJanet BreyComment

Do you know where fleas and ticks hide in your home? They can be found in a variety of places such as the cracks in hardwood floors; on the couch, bed or chair cushions; in rugs and carpets, and on your dog’s bed and blankets.

Now that Spring 2019 has arrived, it is important to be tick aware - for your dog’s and family’s safety. The best way to help you deal with ticks in your home is to prevent them from entering. What can you do?

  • Put a fence up to reduce the number of tick carrying animals strolling through your yard

  • Keep your lawn mowed and remove dead leaves/piles of brush

  • If you take a walk in the woods, check yourself and your dog before you enter your house

    • Put your walking clothes in the wash immediately so ticks do not have a chance to move into your home

    • Vacuum your car if you drove it right after your walk

Keeping your house clean helps too. Vacuuming removes up to 30% of flea larvae and up to 60% of flea eggs from rugs, carpets and bedding. Using a quality HEPA vacuum will reduce ticks and

  • Vacuum regularly (Using a robotic vacuum helps - see the post on How to Solve the Pet Hair Problem)

  • Check your pet using a flea comb

  • Treat your pet with flea and tick treatments

  • Keep you dog’s bed clean - vacuum daily and wash weekly


Check you dog carefully for ticks. Vacuum daily and wash your dog week once a week.

Check you dog carefully for ticks. Vacuum daily and wash your dog week once a week.

How to Check Your Dog for Ticks

Use the picture to the left to find out the spots on your dog where ticks like to attach. Ticks like the warm areas, such as the ears and under legs. I have removed ticks off my dog’s nose as well as every spot on the picture.

Using a sharp tick removal tweezer, grabbing at the mouth of the tick and pulling gently works the best for me. Some ticks really hang on so it may take a minute or two. Always give a reward as I give my dog and myself a treat after it is all over!

PawSheets Can Help

Changing your dog’s bed cover weekly can be a pain. So why not use a fitted sheet that can easily changed every week? That’s what inspired PawSheets. PawSheet customers send me emails telling me they use PawSheets on chair or couch cushions. It ‘s a great idea.

Thanks for reading this post. If you would like to try PawSheets, use promo code SPRING2019 for 10% off one PawSheet. If you buy two PawSheets, you get 10% off with GET2PAWS.

How To Help Keep A Dog Bed Clean and Odor Free

Living with Pets, Pet HealthJanet Brey3 Comments

According to a recent survey conducted by PawSheets, the top challenge of dog owners is keeping their dog’s bed clean and odor free. 

PawSheet Customer Survey - What is Your Biggest Challenge With Caring for Your Dog?

PawSheet Customer Survey - What is Your Biggest Challenge With Caring for Your Dog?

This is no surprise. There are more styles for dog beds than ever before. Even for not-so-big dogs, extra large dog beds, bolster dog beds and couch type beds are becoming very popular. 

According to International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH), a dog bed should be washed once a week.  Germs and other nasty stuff can live on a dog bed for up to 12 months! The large and extra large dog beds present more of a challenge.  Removing a stinky, hairy cover is not fun, and refitting the washable cover is no easy task.

If you are like me, washing a couple large dog beds (or even the covers) every week is a bit more than I can handle. I find that there are several reasons for this:

  • My dog beds are too big for the washing machine – so need to go the laundromat.
  • What if the dog bed cover shrinks at a high temperature making putting it back on next to impossible?
  • What if the dog bed cover zipper wears out?

I don’t know about you but washing the dog bed cover ends up at the bottom of my weekend ‘to do” list – right after cleaning the garbage cans.

Tips to Help Keep The Dog Bed Clean

Keep in mind the longer you wait to wash the dog bed, the harder it will be to get it clean. So here are a few tips to help keep a dog bed clean and odor free:

  • Buy beds with a removable, washable cover and a good zipper.
  • If you dog tends to have wetting issues, trying enclosing the mattress in a large plastic bag and then put the cover over the bag.
  • Vacuum the bed daily. Use a pet hair sticky roller to remove the stubborn hair.
  • Make a deodorizer spray with some baking soda, essential oil (lavender, lemongrass) and water. Spray the bed daily.
  • Some people spray the dog bed with Febreze®. If you do, I would suggest spraying the underside of the dog bed in case of a sensitivity.
  • Do not let it get too stinky. If it does, it may be time for a new bed.
  • Try using a durable dog bed sheet – or two. PawSheets are made with plenty of fabric and big enough to use two at once.
    • I use two PawSheets and wash the top one weekly. Then if the underneath one is still fresh, I use it on top of a fresh PawSheet.

The Best Tip to Solve Dog Bed Odor

Extra large, XXL and fancy dog beds look great when they are new. The best tip is to think about how easy or difficult it will be to keep the bed clean and fresh – before you buy.

Have any other ideas for keeping you dog’s bed fresh? Please share with us.

Great Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers - Top Dog Gifts Holiday 2017 - by Cindy Aldridge

Pet Health, Living with Pets, Dog giftsJanet Brey1 Comment
Great Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

Great Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

People who love dogs also love to spoil their canine companions. Do you baby your dog? Does it make you deliriously happy to shower your pup with gifts? Well, during this Christmas season, you may want to add these gift ideas to your wish list. Who knows? You just may find some of these items tucked beneath the tree.

Electric Fencing

Do you worry about your pet escaping from the yard? After all, if your dog escapes from your property, he runs the risk of getting lost or hit by a car. So why not add electric fencing to your Christmas list? Electric fencing keeps your dog safe and close to home. The cost to install an electric fence is $962-$1434. If you and your dog have really been good this year, maybe someone will pay for the installation as your Christmas gift. So go ahead! Add it to your wish list.

Keep Your Pooch Warm

If you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter, you know that temperatures during this season can be brutal. So while you pile on the layers of clothing to keep yourself warm and toasty, don’t forget about your dog. He gets cold too! Ask Santa to give your pup some warm sweaters to keep him protected from the frigid air. Dog sweaters come in a variety of colors and styles. All of them are designed to keep your dog comfy and warm. He’ll also look impossibly adorable as he struts outside in his new sweater.

Dog Bed

Speaking of keeping your dog comfortable and warm, your pup will definitely appreciate a new dog bed. A bed will help your pet sleep better and can be especially beneficial for older or overweight animals.

If you already have a dog bed, consider treating your dog to a clean bed by getting him a new sheet specially designed to fit pet beds. This sheet can be changed weekly to reduce hair, dander, and odors. Many of us do not even realize how dirty our pet’s bed gets. No one likes dirty sheets, including your pooch.

Dog Toys

Dogs love to play with toys that are soft and squeaky. So add dog toys to your Christmas list. Today’s dog toy options are practically endless. Chew toys, soft toys, noise-making toys, and balls are all perfect gifts for your dog. And you can’t go wrong with an interactive toy that requires your dog to do a bit of thinking to remove a treat or dollop of peanut butter from the toy. Toys that make dogs problem-solve keep them busy while you’re away so they won’t suffer from separation anxiety and chew up your favorite house slippers.

Dog Stroller

Perfect for those walks around the neighborhood, dog strollers provide your pint-sized pup the chance to rest his little legs. Similar to a traditional baby carriage, dog strollers allow you to place your small dog inside it for a relaxing stroll. Made with stylish fabrics and modern designs, your precious pup will feel special and pampered as he rides inside it.

GPS Collar and Pet Tracker

Worried about your dog getting lost? Ask Santa for a GPS dog collar or pet tracker so you know where your dog is located at all times. These collars monitor your pup’s whereabouts so even if he escapes from the house, you can still track him down. Far from frivolous, these gifts can recover a lost dog and even save his life!

Dog Monitor

You hate being separated from your canine companion, but you have to work. How else will you pay for his kibble and expensive dog toys? Fortunately, you can still monitor your dog in real time as you go about your work day. Just ask Santa to buy you a dog monitor. Dog monitors are cameras that let you spy on your dog all day long. They use the internet to function, so you and your dog can be separated by thousands of miles, but you can still see what he’s up to while you’re away. 

Admit it. You want your dog to enjoy the season by receiving gifts he’ll literally slobber over. As an important member of the family, he deserves to be showered with love and presents. So if you want to make your pup’s Christmas merry and bright, add some dog-friendly gifts to your Christmas list. Your dog will thank you !

Thank you Cindy Aldridge for contributing this post!

Photo via Pixabay

What's Crawling In Your Pet's Bed? Tips for Washing Your Pet Bed

Pet HealthJanet Brey1 Comment
        Do you know what is hiding in your pet's bed?

        Do you know what is hiding in your pet's bed?

Hot Tips for Washing a Pet Bed

It is no surprise that a dog bed is a magnet for hair and dirt, but did you know that it can also harbor flea eggs and larva, ticks and other parasites? According Dr. Heidi Maher, Medical Director of The Truesdell Animal Care Hospital and Clinic in Madison Wisconsin, bedding should be washed with a mild fragrance and die free detergent weekly or when it becomes dirty. Water should be warm (130° or higher) and dry on high for 20 minutes.

If you or someone in your home has asthma or allergies, clean bedding will keep pet dander and hair to a minimum. Washing bedding regularly is very important to remove parasites eggs and flea dirt.  It also eliminates the odor of a stinky dog bed!

An Easier Way Then Washing

PawSheets offer an alternative to frequent dog bed washing. What makes them so convenient is that they are easy to take on and off and are made of a polyester and cotton blend. They are durable, do not shrink or fade and still provide a nice comfy feel for your pet. So you can use a hot water and a hot dry setting to rid the dog bed sheet of fleas, spiders, ticks and other dirty stuff.

PawSheets Fit Most Dog Beds

Before you look for a dog bed replacement cover that often has to be an exact fit, try a PawSheet. PawSheets’ unique design makes them a great fit on round, square, rectangular or oval pet beds.

 

 

Dogs and Rawhide - Safe or Not Safe?

Pet HealthJanet BreyComment
Dogs love rawhide chews! Beware of some dangers. Get the facts before your give one to your furry friend.

Dogs love rawhide chews! Beware of some dangers. Get the facts before your give one to your furry friend.

This is a question I have struggled with for years. They look so tempting at the pet store and I know my dogs love them.

Based on advice from my vet, I stopped giving rawhide to my dogs. I know people who give their dogs rawhide chews and never have a problem. When I read an article on vetSTREET, I thought it would be good to share a few considerations.

Considerations when giving a dog rawhide chews:

  • Only buy if made in USA. That means sourced and manufactured in the US.
  • Can be a carrier of salmonella so wash your hands after touching. Don't let your baby near them!
  • Know your dog's chewing style. Does your dog chew or gulp? My Lab gulps so it could be trouble for him. My Shepard mix chews everything to the max so it is  unlikely to get stuck in his throat or stomach.
  • Can help with teeth and gums but not a substitute for brushing.
  • Make sure you are around to supervise your dog while he is chewing in case of a problem.

Another post The Dangers of Rawhide Dog Chew Toys presents good reasons to avoid commpletely rawhide chews. For one, they are not regulated so who know what chemicals were used to produce them.

For me, forget the rawhide. Too many considerations. I have tried antlers, but they actually cracked on of my dogs teeth! My most successful toys and treats are rope toys, Greenies (which have been reformulated and OK by my vet) and smart toys.

Here is a video of my Lab with his new smart toy... he is finally getting the hang of it. The first couple days he was trying to bite the toy open! 

Comments welcome!