10 Ways to Prevent Fleas from Entering Your Home

If you’re a pet owner, you’re probably aware that fleas are a pretty common issue in both cats and dogs. Not only are they extremely annoying, but they can also cause plenty of health issues your pet would rather avoid.

Depending on your pet’s overall health conditions, flea bites might result in a wide range of conditions. Some dogs and cats might be allergic to flea saliva, which will result in skin problems that won’t go away so quickly. Actually, flea allergy dermatitis is among the most common causes of visits to veterinarians in dogs. Also, there are some diseases and bacterial infections that are spread via flea bites, such as Tapeworms or Bartonella bacteria.

On the other hand, risks from flea bites could also affect you or your family members. Fleas can live in your carpets, furniture or rugs, and disinfestation can sometimes take weeks or months. Also, while they’re present and living in your home, these yucky pests are a constant source of flea-borne diseases.

So, it is more than clear that, as a pet owner, you would want to do everything to make your home flea-free! We have to mention that in order to be completely pest free you need to prepare your home before spring. The fleas start attacking when the weather gets warm. Make sure you are ready to prevent these annoying pests from infesting your home before it is too late.

Let’s see what are the 10 best ways to prevent fleas from entering your home.

1. Trim Grass and Trees In Your Yard

If you have a yard or a garden, make sure they are not too inviting to fleas. Your grass, trees, and shrubs should be regularly trimmed and mowed. This will guarantee your outdoor area doesn’t look too appealing to fleas and ticks.

By trimming the grass, you’re not leaving a lot of space for fleas to hide. On the other hand, trimming trees and high shrubs will discourage wild animals from crawling in your yard and bringing fleas with them.

Also, don’t leave your pet’s food bowls outside because feral pets and wildlife might visit your yard because of food.

2. Spray Your Yard

If you want to feel extra safe and make sure pests will have no chances of coming even near your home, then buy a good yard flea spray.

This is a great way of making sure that all fleas that might be on your shoes or clothes are destroyed before you enter your home. By doing so, your yard will be both kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

Spray treatment for lawns, trees, shrubs or flowers has proven to be a great way to eliminate pests and repel not only fleas and ticks, but mosquitoes, ants and many other insects too.

3. Provide Your Pet With Regular Flea and Tick Prevention

As a pet owner, you are probably aware that there are plenty of forms to prevents fleas and tick forms. Your veterinarian has probably warned you about the best ways to prevent flea infestation in your pet.

You might want to consider applying topical protection such as K9 Advantix II Flea & Tick Control, especially if you have a long-haired dog.

However, there are other prevention options, i.e powders Petzlife Herbal Defense Powder that repels fleas and ticks from the inside out. What these powders do is make your pet’s skin undesirable to fleas and other biting insects.

4. Vacuum Your Home And Change Your Vacuum Bags Frequently

Your house doesn’t have to be dirty in order to have pests. Sometimes, a simple walk in the park might catch you some fleas on your shoes. And as soon as you step on your carpet, there you go, infestation risk is there.

So, to make sure annoying insects are not living in your rugs, carpeting, cushions, and furniture, make sure to vacuum at least once a week. But not only, but fleas can also live inside your vacuum cleaner. That’s why changing your vacuum bags on a regular basis is essential when you are trying to protect your home from fleas and other biting insects.

5. Treat Infestations

This is often taken for granted, but when you already found fleas on your pet, you should make sure that there are no traces of pests left in your home. That means that you have to destroy fleas in all stages. As they invade, a certain amount of eggs develop in larvae, eventually turning into adult fleas.

You’ll have to clean and wash your entire home to decrease chances of fleas reproducing in your carpets or pillows. If the problem is too big or is taking too long to resolve, contact an “exterminator” that will save you and your family members finally from these annoying pests.

6. Make Sure Your Pet Is Getting Enough Baths

If your pet caught fleas, look into shampoos that are designed to remove fleas. Also, there are plenty of natural repellents that you can use such as spraying your dog with lemon water.

Also, if you don’t have a flea treatment shampoo at hand, some pet owners claim that baby shampoo also works perfectly in removing fleas.

However, just one shampooing or spraying won’t solve the flea problem. You have to be persistent and continue using all the necessary tools to be sure your pet and your home are completely free from fleas. If there are eggs left somewhere, they will recur. You will have to go through the entire process once again.

7. Use Carpet Spray

Carpet sprays are a great way to make sure those fleas never want to live in your furniture, carpets and generally in your upholstery. So, maybe it would be a good idea to buy one either for prevention or for treating your home after a flea infection.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to carpet and home sprays, but you can, however, find the one that fits you best. Bio Spot Active Care Flea & Tick Carpet Spray is one of the best ones, as it destroys fleas in all stages – eggs, larvae, and adult.

8. Fog Your House

There are foggers specially designed to control flea infestations in your home. This method might be the most aggressive one, but it will protect your home for up to 7 months. Make sure that the life cycle of the flea is broken.

Not only will a fogger be a great way to protect your home from fleas, but it will also kill ticks, cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, mosquitoes, wasps, and many other insects.

9. Wash Bedding in Hot Water

No matter if your dog or cat has caught fleas or not, make sure that the risk of catching them is at zero. It’ll help you sleep better at night.

Furthermore, wash your cat or dog’s bedding, just like you would wash your bedding too. This means washing in hot, soapy water that will kill all potential or remaining flea eggs and larvae. By doing this, you will make sure your dog is not crying in their crate in the middle of the night from all the itching and scratching.

10. Use A Flea Comb

Although it might seem as minimal protection, a flea comb does a great job in removing fleas from your pet. When you comb your pet, make sure you do it outside so that they don’t land anywhere in your home.

The best way of combing your pet is by keeping a cup of soapy water beside you and dipping the comb inside to drown the potential fleas. Focus on the neck area and the base of the tail. Also, the tinier the teeth of the comb the better the pest control will be.

 

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How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Smell

Cats are wonderful cuddly companions, but unfortunately, some have the habit of urinating in places other than the litter box. That urine can soak into furniture, clothing and other materials and make an awful smell.

Worse still, it’s a smell that lingers and isn’t likely to go away on its own, due to the fact it’s super concentrated.

Luckily, there are things you can do to get cat urine smell out – which we’ve listed below. We’ve also explained the reasons why Kitty “goes” outside the litter box, and how you can help combat the problem.

How to treat for cat urine smells

When cats do their business in unexpected places, the problem needs to be treated as quickly as possible. After all, the longer the urine is allowed to stay there untreated, the worse it can smell and the more damage it can do. For example, acidic urine can soak into items and even cause corrosion over time.

Follow these steps to get cat urine smell out quickly and efficiently:

1. Wipe it up and remove as much urine as possible

Start by wiping up as much of the urine as possible. Drying it with a cloth or paper towel works fairly well, but a wet wipe or wet cloth works even better. Clean lightly but thoroughly in the affected area to try to remove as much urine as possible. This is a crucial step, as doing a thorough job here can mean less work later on. Cat urine should never be scrubbed or rubbed, as that can cause it to soak in further and make it harder to remove.

If the urine has been sitting there a while, move onto the next step. Drying or wiping up the urine at that point won’t do much good.

2. Use an enzymatic cleaning product or a home-made solution

The next step is to use some sort of cleaning solution. Baking soda is the old standby, and most people have that on hand. It can be applied to the spot and allowed to settle in before being wiped away. Vinegar works well too, and even though it has a strong smell like cat urine does, it will eventually dissipate with some ventilation.

What you should never do is use anything with ammonia in it to clean the cat urine up. That’s because ammonia is actually one of the components in cat urine, and if Kitty gets a whiff of it, she’s likely to urinate in the same spot.

It’s also important to know that some cleaners will actually cause the stain to set, and ammonia is one of them, so you need to be careful about what you’re using and ensure that it will get rid of the stain and the smell and not make it worse. Cat urine is a tricky problem to deal with, as some conventional cleaners simply don’t do the job very well. Enzyme-based cleaners are some of the best treatment methods to use because they can break up the acid in cat urine. That makes it easy to clean up and gets rid of the smell very effectively.

Enzyme cleaners work well on carpets, mattresses and cushions, and they can help to eliminate the smell and the stain before it sets. These cleaners can also do a pretty good job of cleaning up urine that has had time to soak in.

3. Dry it up!

Dry up the cleaning solution and any water used to clean the affected area. A wet vac will do an excellent job of getting rid of any water residue and liquid from the cleaner that was used; be careful about using steam vacuums however as they can actually seal in the stain and make it harder to get out properly.

4. Freshen the air with a pet odor neutralizer or air freshener

If the affected area has been cleaned properly, then there should be no lingering smell from the urine. However, there can be an unpleasant scent from the cleaning solution used, especially if vinegar was applied to the urine.

An air freshener and some ventilation can help clear the air. Baking soda air freshener does a great job of getting rid of any lingering urine odors. It can eliminate even those scents that humans cannot perceive but that cats may be able to notice.

So why do cats urinate where they shouldn’t?

While the house smelling like a litter box is incredibly frustrating, it’s important to recognize that your cat isn’t being bad when they “go” outside the box and it’s usually beyond their control. More likely, the issue is due to frustration, stress, anxiety, urinary issues, or other medical problems:

Emotional issues like depression and anxiety
Has your cat recently experience a change in routine, a new person in the house, or a new home? All these factors can cause anxiety for a cat (especially an older moggy), so it’s important to be understanding and make them as comfortable as possible in their environment

Age
Senior cats can often lose control of their bladder, and other age-related health issues can also cause older cats to spray or soil outside their litter box

Behavioral problems
Is your cat stressed or acting up because they’ve been left alone too long? Are they scared of loud noises? Try to put them at ease and keep their litter box in a familiar place

Urinary issues
Cats experience feline urinary stress or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) when they are extremely stressed, or if they have an underlying medical issue. If you suspect your cat has a urinary issue, you should consult your veterinarian for an expert analysis

If you don’t think the issue is due to any of the reasons mentioned above, it could be a behavior known as spraying, where cats urinate somewhere they know they shouldn’t on purpose. It’s very important you don’t shout at or get angry with your cat if you suspect this, and instead follow the steps below:

How to keep cats from urinating in the wrong places

Diffusers

There are a few ways to stop smelly behavior in its tracks, but one of the most effective is by using a cat diffuser. Simply plug it in and it will release cat pheromones that help Kitty feel calm, de-stressed, and much less likely to pee where she or he shouldn’t.

Calming supplements

Again, helping kitty feel calm or less stressed usually stops the problem at the source. Another way you can help Kitty relax is by supplementing their diet with products designed to aid relaxation. Pet Naturals makes a supplement that does just that, using wholesome ingredients that work with the cat’s body to create a calmer feline. In many cases, that’s all that is needed to keep cats from urinating in places they shouldn’t.

Contact the vet

Keep in mind that you may not be able to solve your cat’s urination problem on your own. It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian and ensure that your cat is receiving the proper treatment. At-home treatment can often deal with the symptoms while ignoring the root cause.

Litter boxes

1. Using the correct cat litter box can also make a huge difference. Some cats simply don’t like certain kinds of litter or litter boxes. They make think they smell funny, have an odd texture, or they simply irritate them, so it usually takes some trial and error to find one that your cat likes.

2. Invest in a high-quality cat litter box that has been well reviewed. Simply switching your litter or litter box to another can be enough to get a cat to use the litter box properly.

3. You may also need to add more litter boxes around the house – especially if you have more than one cat. Sometimes, felines don’t like to share litter boxes and will simply urinate wherever they please rather than buddy up on a single box.

4. Changing out the litter more regularly can help too. Cats will not want to use litter boxes that have a strong smell of feces. Cats tend to be clean creatures so they won’t urinate in places they deem to be dirty.

Wrap Up

Of course, you love your cat, but you don’t have to tolerate improper urination habits. There is a solution to the problem, and though may involve some trial and error, if you use the information provided here, you will be able to get your fluffy friend to urine where you want them to.

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Controlling Aggression in Dogs

As much as we care for and adore them, sometimes our beloved furry companions end up seated with a lot of aggression — and there can be some serious consequences for both you and your pup if it’s not addressed.

Dog attacks are a serious matter and as much love as you have for your dog, those aggressive tendencies can become too much. Everyday tasks like comfortably enjoying walks around the block, trips to the park, and family visits.

In order to ensure the safety of your friends, family, and even your postman, making the investment to get a grip on your dog’s aggression is imperative. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Aggression 101: Training is a Necessity

It’s important to remember that your dog is born with certain instincts and traits. To be fair, a lot of dogs were initially bred to be protective. While you can’t remove these traits, you can control them. This, of course, includes aggression.

The key is to start training before disaster strikes. Starting as soon as possible to tame your dog’s aggression means you will have the right tools in place before an attack occurs. In regards to dog-attack prevention, it’s important that “When your dog is being playful with you and shows signs of aggression you need to reinforce words like ‘no’ and ‘off’ and make sure you cross your arms away from the canine’s reach to show them what is acceptable behavior and does not warrant participation.” It’s also suggested to socialize your dog as a means of controlling aggression (if you have a puppy). “Most dogs are aggressive towards strangers. Puppy parties that help dogs and children intermingle and familiarize themselves are helpful for your canine friend when meeting people outside the household.”

Your local pet store will also likely host similar puppies parties if you are unable to host one yourself. These socialization efforts while your dog is still young can help them get used to seeing and meeting new dogs and humans, fostering a healthier reaction to them. Without this kind of regular interaction, other dogs and strangers are seen as a threat to your dog. It can seem counterproductive but if your pup is showing signs of aggression, getting them around others (in a controlled environment) is a great way to reduce those dangerous tendencies.

Types of Aggression

Of course, if your dog is older or socialization doesn’t seem to be the solution, it’s time to ask why your dog might be acting aggressive. According to The Spruce Pets, “The key thing to remember is that you can’t come up with a plan to change your dog’s behavior until you know the reason behind it.” Aggression comes in many shapes and forms. The Spruce Pets goes on to list several types of aggression, including:

  • Territorial
  • Protective
  • Possessive
  • Fear
  • Defensive
  • Redirected
  • Pain-elicited
  • Predatory

Going through the various types of aggression can help pinpoint triggers and situations — and thus avoid them. You can also seek specific training programs for your dog’s aggression, which can save you time and effort.

reward your dog’s good behavior instantly by remote control

The Consequences Can Be Deadly

Another motivation behind helping your dog tame their aggression is the liability that comes with dog attacks. You’d never want to put your furry companion in danger, and the same can be said for your non-furry companions as well.

For example, while it might seem cliche, dog attacks involving postal service workers are rising. Thanks to the popularity of online shopping, dog owners these days are getting more and more deliveries. This also gives your dog more reasons to get aggressive, considering so many strangers are coming and going, which could potentially lead to an attack or bite.

The same can be said for your neighbors. Even if you have a fence, it’s hard to predict when a curious kid will try to pet your dog (without your watchful eyes) or when the neighbor’s cat will want to sunbathe in your backyard.

If your dog does end up biting someone or attacking another owner’s pet, it’s possible that some of the victims might be within their rights to press charges. Depending on the circumstances, the court could order you to pay a hefty fee or worse — for your dog to be put down. With all of that in mind, spending the extra time and money on training and good practices is certainly worth it when you consider the consequences of not nipping your dog’s aggression side in the butt.

Wrap Up

The most important thing you can do for your dog is to invest in their well-being, and that includes taming those aggressive instincts. Even the most stubborn of dogs can be taught how to control their aggression. You’ll both feel better for it. Good luck!

 

About the Author
Frankie Wallace writes about a wide variety of different topics, from environmental issues to politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho

 

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The Best Supplements To Add To Your Dog’s Diet

Every pet owner wants his/her dog to be completely healthy. Proper exercise, a stress-free environment, nutritional food, regular visits to the vet, and a lot of love ensure excellent health. However, what if your dog could use a little something extra to help him have the best health?

It’s important to look for supplements that will give your pup all the vitamins and minerals he needs. There are also supplements that help him feel better even though he has arthritis. Additionally, you can provide him with probiotics to help him be even healthier.

Here are a few supplements you should know about and how to help your dog stay healthy.

Turmeric

stimulate the production of proteoglycans, which help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissues

Turmeric contains curcumin, a golden yellow chemical used in Asian cooking. It has an earthy character. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal herb that benefits both humans and dogs with arthritis. Benefits to dogs include:

  • Healthy heart and liver
  • Healthy digestive system
  • Antioxidants that help with cancer
  • Helps allergies, liver diseases, and seizures
  • Pain reliever
  • Detoxes the dog’s body

Turmeric truly is worthy of the hoopla it’s receiving in mass media. It is known to shut down the blood supply to cancerous cells, as well as preventing cancerous cells from developing. Turmeric also helps with dental problems, irritable bowels, and allergies.

To add turmeric to your dog’s food:

1. Mix ½ cup of turmeric, 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of either olive or coconut oil, and 1 ½ teaspoon of black pepper in a sauce pot.
2. Heat on low until the mixture makes a paste.
3. Add a little more water if the paste is too thick.
4. Spoon ¼ teaspoon into your dog’s food, placing the remainder in a tightly lidded glass jar. It will keep for a month.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vast numbers of people are turning from chemical remedies to natural ones. They’re extending that to their dogs as well. Apple cider vinegar is nothing more than apples and water. It has some incredible benefits for dogs:

  • Natural flea repellent
  • Half and half ACV and water helps clean ears and prevent ear infections
  • The same mixture of half and half helps heal bruises
  • Putting ACV in your dog’s water helps with digestive upsets like diarrhea and indigestion
  • It also helps battle infections, dental problems, helps with arthritis and joint problems, and urinary tract infections

ACV is acidic, so always dilute the vinegar with water before applying to broken skin or rashes.

Antioxidants

By now, everyone knows that antioxidants battle free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen molecules with only 1 electron. These are produced by body metabolism. The free radicals need 2 electrons in order to be productive, so they take what they need from cells, DNA, and proteins. When they do that, they turn the attacked cells into free radicals themselves.

This causes problems from aging to immune system malfunctions. Free radicals not only come from our own bodies, but from stress, pollution, cigarette smoking, and alcohol, to name a few.

contains many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and essential fatty acids needed by your pets for optimal health

Antioxidants offer the oxygen molecules an electron without becoming a free radical. This stops the cycle of damage from free radicals. Your dog will age better and not be susceptible to immune system problems. Vitamins A, C, and E are excellent antioxidants in addition to carotenoids and selenium. These are usually found in well -balanced dog foods. However, if the dog is fed less-than-nutritious food, then he will need a supplement. Your vet will know if the food you give your dog is high in antioxidants.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract is an essential oil extracted from the grapefruit plant. Infections in animals and humans including bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasites are literally blasted by grapefruit seed extract. GSE has a broad-spectrum effect on the immune system, battling anything thrown at it, whether accurately diagnosed or not.

The oils are high in Vitamins C and E along with bioflavonoids. These act as antioxidants. GSE also raises the body’s pH by alkalizing the blood. This is important because diseases can’t form in properly alkalized blood.

If your dog needs an antibiotic for whatever reason, then giving him GSE is a viable alternative. It has been shown to outclass the normal antibiotics. Don’t worry about toxicity, either. It would take thousands of doses of GSE to see a small percentage of poisoning.

Use GSE if your dog shows signs of gas, strep throat, ear infections, digestive problems, yeast infections, dental problems, infections of any type be it fungal, viral, or other, and doggie colds or flu, to name a few.

Kelp

Kelp is a type of algae or seaweed, sometimes called sea vegetables, growing in the clean waters off the west coast from Alaska down to southern California. It contains about 25 percent protein and only 2% fat. It is a rich source of iodine, which regulates your dog’s thyroid. The iron in kelp keeps your dog’s blood and circulation healthy.

combines kelp, flaxseed and antioxidants from blueberries to support your dog’s health

Kelp offers 60 vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, 21 amino acids, and is a complex carbohydrate. All this combines to offer your pet the following:

  • a regulated glandular system
  • tissue repair
  • a faster metabolism for weight loss
  • high fiber which has anti-inflammatory
  • anti-tumor properties

Your vet will alert you to treats and dog food containing kelp, and those products that are well-balanced and healthy for your dog to consume.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live cultures of bacteria and yeasts. They are the “good” bacteria and reside in the digestive system. Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, and miso.

Proviable-DC - 80 capsules for Cats and Dogs

Natural supplement for reestablishing intestinal health with live microorganisms

Also, they provide a wide range of benefits to dogs such as preventing diarrhea, irritable bowels, and constipation. They promote gut health, battle potential pathogens, and they make nutrients of their own. If your dog gets sick for no immediately apparent reason or has diarrhea, then probiotics would benefit your dog.

Probiotics come in the form of doggie treats and chews, dog food, powders, and doggie yogurt. There is a disadvantage to using them, though. Keep in mind these are live organisms. Exposure to heat and air will destroy their good effects. Keep the organisms at a reasonable temperature, so your dog can enjoy their health benefits.

Glucosamine

As your dog ages, the natural glucosamine in his joints decreases. His body will no longer be able to manufacture its own glucosamine. The result is that he can’t move without pain. The everyday use of his joints combined with this decrease in glucosamine will head right into arthritis in his joints.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar, or a chemical with a sugar base. It contains a hydroxyl group, or a molecule containing oxygen bonded to a hydrogen atom. They are switched with an amine group. Additionally, glucosamine is found naturally in the joints. They help build cartilage.

It is extracted from the shells of shellfish, and eases the pain of arthritis in your dog and helps with mobility. Glucosamine is usually mixed with chondroitin, which is also naturally found in the tissues and cartilage.

Glucosamine comes in the form of supplement pills and treats.

Fish Oil

When the human diet migrated from natural foods found in gardens and on farms, the processed foods they bought were high in Omega-6 fatty acids. That’s not a bad thing; the body needs Omega-6 oils. However, processed foods contain too much -6 and not enough Omega-3 fatty acids. The body needs both to be balanced. So does your dog.

The answer is to take fish oil supplements. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat (a good fat) found in fish. Its benefits include balancing the effects of -6 in inflammatory problems, arthritis, and allergies. Omega-3 oil gives your dog a healthy, shiny coat and good skin. It promotes energy and cognitive development in pups and cognitive function in senior dogs.

If your dog’s food is high in grains, meats that are not grass-fed, and with fillers, then he needs fish oil to balance his body. You will find fish oil in gel form, in oils, and in chews and treats.

L-Carnitine

Some nutrients can’t move on their own to the spots in the dog’s body they need to be. They require something to carry them to those spots. Fatty acids, for example, need carnitine to carry them to the heart and skeletal muscles. Lack of this nutrient causes your dog heart and muscle weakness, enlarged heart, and he won’t be able to exercise.

You will find carnitine in softgels, powders, and doggie chews.

When Is Too Much And When Is Enough?

If your dog eats a formulation replete with all the nutrients he’ll need, then supplementation is unnecessary. If the dog got supplements, some would pass harmlessly from his body through urination. Others, though, can’t be eliminated such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. These will harm the dog. Your vet will know if your dog needs supplementation at all and if his food is nutritionally balanced.

About the Author
Paige Jirsa- I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.

 

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Anal Gland Problems & Treatments in Dogs

At times you may notice that your dog is scooting across the floor. Dogs do this when they are itchy and when there is some problem in their rear side. However, if you see them doing it regularly, it may be a concern and may require immediate attention. If your dog scoots on his bottom across the room all the time, there are chances he may be suffering from anal gland problems. Thus, the first thing that you need to do under such situation is to consult a veterinarian and get them examined. Anal gland problems if not treated at the right time may cause severe damages to your dog’s health.

What are anal glands in dogs?

These are the small pouches found between the internal and external anal muscles, located on either side of the anus. Also known as anal sacs, they are lined with apocrine (sweat) and sebaceous (oil) and glands. The anal glands in canines fill with fluid that has a specific scent that differs in each dog. This is the main reason why dogs smell one another when they meet.

Problems in the anal glands in canine

Usually, the liquid inside the anal glands is emptied during the bowel movement of your dog. Problems occur when they are unable to drain the fluid out. When the fluids in the organs do not pass quickly, it thickens inside and may cause a blockage. Thus, clogging up that area. Under this situation, the glands would start swelling and become painful for your dog. There is no direct health challenge adhered to this situation. Yet, your dog may become very uncomfortable and may lead to other infections. Fido may also end up hurting themselves by scooting on the ground.

Inflamed anal glands also make it difficult for the dogs to pass their bowel, and they might end up constipated. The swollen glands, if not treated well, may lead to the formation of an abscess. This causes an infection that may lead to bleeding. Furthermore, causing your pup to lose their appetite, weight and overall health deterioration.

There are three major anal gland problems in dogs.

– Anal gland impact

Here the fluid in the glands fail to pass through the bowel and it thickens while inside. The thickening of the fluid causes blockage inside the tube that empties the sac, which may lead to constipation and discomfort.

– Infection

If the fluid fails to pass out, it will cause swelling of the glands and infection. This situation is harrowing for your dog. The disease causes a build-up of bacteria inside the gland. If the infection is not treated at the right time, it may lead to the formation of an abscess.

– Abscess

The most painful situation your dog would suffer from is an infection in the gland. If not treated immediately, it will lead to an abscess. The abscess has the potential to spread and bleed and formation of pus. Usually, a veterinarian would address this by cutting a small incision and letting the fluid drain out, followed by cleaning of the area with anti-infection ointment.

Though all the breeds of dogs are susceptible to this problem, it is most commonly seen in smaller kind of dogs namely Dachshund, Toy Poodle, Pugs and Chihuahuas. However, irrespective of the breed, you must always be careful and alert when it comes to perineal problems.

promotes healthy anal sac and gland function in dogs

Symptoms of anal gland problems

Mentioned below are few signs or symptoms that may indicate anal gland issues.

Pain in the glands: Your dog would experience excruciating pain while passing bowel or even while sitting down. They will whimper, avoid pooping or sitting straight, and would become restless and anxious all the time. If you notice discomfort, you need to get them checked.

Swelling: You would notice that the anal glands of your pup are swelling and changing color. There may be a formation of hard masses in the bottom, which can be felt externally. So, examine carefully and timely.

Scooting: Your dog will start scooting all the time while dragging their bottom over all kinds of ground. The moment your dog starts to scoot look for infection in their rear area. Be careful, as a lot of dogs tend to get hurt in the process.

Tail biting: This may appear funny at the beginning, but if your dog does this repeatedly, it may be a sign of anal gland infection. As the disease tends to spread, it would also lead to itching and irritation.

Biting or Licking: Any infection leads to itching. Your dog would constantly lick or chew their rear side and may cause more problems. Therefore, if you see your mutt biting their rear, get them examined as soon as possible. Constant itching of the area may lead to other pressing issues.

Anal gland problem diagnosis

The vets diagnose anal gland problems in canines by examining their perineal area. They would wear disposable rubber gloves and massage the gland area to check for swelling, bleeding or any feeling of discomfort in the pet. This gives them an idea about the kind of problem in the gland, and if it is compressible. Once the fluid gets expressed, it gets sent for evaluation. If the anal gland is already infected, the liquid would be a dark brownish color. Chronic infections and abscesses would cause red-browning secretions.

If there is a mass formation in the perineal area, it may lead to cancer. Therefore, your vet would insert a needle to extract some cells. These cells arrive at a lab for examination, giving your vet a clear understanding of the situation and its treatment. It is recommended to consult a vet for any anal gland problem in your dog before it gets too painful.

How are anal gland problems in canines treated?

If you witness any of the signs mentioned above, it will be wise to take your pup to a vet to take fast action. The vet would try to empty the anal glands by pressing with the fingers. They would try to squeeze the fluid out from the gland. If the glands are already infected, he will use saline solution to remove the hardened material and flush the liquid out.

Under situations where there is a formation of abscess, the vet would prescribe a few weeks of antibiotics. During the treatment, they may put your dog under anesthesia or sedation, as the process is comparatively painful. Usually, hot compresses and antibiotics are used to empty the glands. A regular follow-up also is required for the glands to be drained.

If the problem gets worse, the vet may also suggest surgery to remove the glands. Removing the anal glands may be a permanent solution, but it also has its side effects. Once the anal glands are removed, it may become difficult for your dog to control the bowel movement. Therefore, consulting a vet right at the beginning is very crucial, if you do not want the condition to worsen or the infection to spread.

Rear view of a Dalmatian puppy sitting, looking at the camera isolated on white

Post-treatment recovery

After your pup is treated and the vet empties the glands, you need to make sure to take good care, as they would still be under a lot of pain. To make your dog feel comfortable, you can use warm compresses on their real area for at least a week. Repeat it for around 15 to 20 minutes every day. This would also help in soothing the pain and in reducing the swelling. Your dog may also require stool softener in certain situations. However, use it only when prescribed by the vet.

Home remedies to ease anal gland problems in your dog

– Increase fibrous diet

This is one of the convenient and most effective ways to relieve your dog from anal gland distress. All you need is to add fiber and calories to their food. Fibrous diet is helpful in smooth bowel passing, as it softens the stool.

– Increase fluid intake and moisture

If your dog is not very eager to drink water, you can add more liquid to their everyday food. Make drinking sessions interesting by introducing creative drinking bowls or fountains. Also keep a puddle nearby for your dog to take a splash or two whenever they are in a playful mood.

– Keep them fit with exercise

Make sure the dog gets their daily dose of exercise. Keeping them fit would help them with a healthy bowel system and would also enable them to pass their bowel easily.

Wrap Up

Therefore, if you want to keep your dog away from any anal gland problem, you must take care of their health and wellness. Get a healthy dietary plan from the experts and keep your dog fit and healthy. Add fiber to their diet and do not skip their exercise.

About the Author
Adarsh Gupta is a proud father of 2 Pomeranians and French Bulldogs. He always looks forward to sharing his experience in dogs with other dog parents. He also makes the recommendation on all kind of breed and their training in his site: puppywire.com.

 

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Caring for Your Senior Cat’s Teeth

Do you have a senior cat in your life? If so, you already know the importance of feeding your cat a proper diet, giving it exercise and taking it to the vet regularly. Taking good care of your cat’s teeth can also keep him in healthy condition.

Unfortunately, senior cats are vulnerable to many dental issues that can be painful and lead to other physical problems. Dental issues often go unnoticed because you rarely have cause to examine your cat’s mouth and teeth. Consider a few of the most common dental issues for cats in their senior years.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common dental problem for senior cats. As your feline ages, plaque and tartar start to accumulate on its teeth. This plaque slowly makes its way under the gum line causing infection or even loss of teeth in a senior cat. Some symptoms include red or bleeding gums, bad breath, drooling or pawing at the mouth in pain. Unfortunately, most cats have the beginnings of periodontal disease by age 3.

Treatment

The type of treatment for this condition depends upon how severe it is for a senior cat. If the periodontal disease is in its early stages, then a professional teeth cleaning can serve as a treatment. Most felines will need to be anesthetized to do a full dental cleaning and remove all tartar. For older cats, going under anesthesia carries its own set of risks, but it is often the only way to remove the disease.

However, if the disease has progressed and spread, a vet may choose to place antibiotics beneath the cat’s gums or perform a dental procedure such as a root canal or tooth extraction.

ultimate starter pack to help keep your kitty healthy

Prevention

Brushing your cat’s teeth every day is one way to prevent periodontal disease. Be sure to use a small cat toothbrush with soft bristles and a toothpaste designed for cats. Your veterinarian can suggest dental treats that your cat can enjoy while they remove the plaque build-up that can lead to this condition.

Mouth Cancer

The official name of this dental issue of senior cats is gingival squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer affects the tissue in a cat’s mouth.

Unfortunately, this cancer can spread quickly throughout a cat’s body.

Treatment

The treatment of mouth cancer in cats depends upon the size of the growth in the cat’s mouth. A small growth can be removed by cryosurgery which involves freezing the growth.

A larger growth may need to be surgically removed along with part of the cat’s jaw. Then, a veterinarian may advise radiation treatment for the cat as a way to make sure the cancer is gone.

Prevention

There is no known cause of mouth cancer in cats. But by performing the following, can only help create a life for your pet:

  • Feeding your cat a balanced
  • Nutritious diet
  • Brushing its teeth daily
  • Giving him plenty of exercise

Broken Teeth

As your cat grows older, his teeth weaken. So, by the time your pet reaches its senior years, it is vulnerable to broken teeth. It may bite into a hard treat or its dry food only to break one of its teeth.

A partially broken or split tooth is a dental issue because it leaves the interior of the tooth exposed. This condition is painful, and it can prompt infection to develop. A cat can break a tooth anytime in its life, but it’s more likely in older cats.

Treatment

The treatment for a broken tooth in a senior cat is much like the treatment for humans. The vet may extract the tooth or perform a root canal on a partially broken or cracked tooth in order to save it. If the area has become infected, then the vet prescribes antibiotics to help clear it up.

Prevention

Knowing that your cat’s teeth will become weaker as it ages is valuable information. So, feeding your cat soft foods and refraining from giving it hard treats are two ways to avoid a broken or cracked tooth.

dental solution with antimicrobial activities reducing the plaque, dental calculus, and tartar buildup on pet’s teeth over time

Stomatitis

Stomatitis causes your feline’s gums to become inflamed due to an allergic reaction to the plaque on their teeth. This condition is mostly seen in older cats who have had time for plaque to build up on their teeth.

But, veterinarians aren’t sure why some cats with plaque on their teeth suffer from stomatitis while others with plaque build-up don’t come down with the condition.

Treatment

The treatment for stomatitis is removal of the teeth behind the cat’s canine teeth or, in some cases, all of the cat’s teeth. The treatment depends on the extent and severity of the stomatitis.

If a cat’s teeth are extracted, there is no surface on which plaque can form. Antibiotics and pain relievers are also used in treating this condition.

Prevention

Having your senior cat’s teeth professionally cleaned can help in the prevention of stomatitis.

The Benefits of Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth each day gives it a better chance of avoiding dental issues in its senior years. Start when your pet is a kitten, so it becomes accustomed to the routine right away.

Brushing your cat’s teeth each day gives you the opportunity to get used to the normal appearance of its teeth. So, if any growths appear or its gums look red, you can bring it up to the vet right away. In short, you are aware of any changes in your cat’s teeth because you are seeing into its mouth each day.

Lastly, brushing your senior cat’s teeth can’t prevent every dental issue, but it’s an effective way to prevent many of them. Naturally, you want to do everything you can to keep your cat happy and healthy in its senior years.

 

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Kennel Cough Treatment and Prevention for Dogs

Does your dog have a constant dry, hacking cough? Does he gag or retch at the end of a coughing spell? There’s a good chance he could be suffering from kennel cough.

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, or canine tracheobronchitis, is a respiratory illness that can be spread through nasal and oral fluids. Your dog can also contract kennel cough if he inhales the virus or bacteria causing the illness. Because kennel cough can be spread through the air, it is a highly infectious disease, like the influenza virus that infects humans. Kennel cough is not likely spread to cats and humans. The disease can affect dogs of any breed or age. For the most part, kennel cough resolves on its own, typically within 1-3 weeks.

For more information about kennel cough and what it sounds like, watch this video:

Causes and Risk Factors

Kennel cough can be caused by many infectious agents. They include canine adenovirus 2 (CAV 2), canine respiratory coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and mycoplasma. The most common virus that causes kennel cough is parainfluenza. Meanwhile, the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria that causes kennel cough.

Your dog is at risk of contracting kennel cough if he:

  • Was recently rescued from a shelter
  • Is housed in a boarding facility or kenneled for long periods of time
  • Is malnourished
  • Attends doggy daycare
  • Plays at dog parks
  • Has a weakened immune system
  • Visits pet shops, groomers, or any other places with a large population of dogs

Other risks factors include being exposed to:

  • Parasites
  • Extreme cold
  • Pollution (i.e. dust, aerosols, cigarette smoke, etc.)
  • Stress (i.e. from prolonged stay at kennels)

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of kennel cough can resemble the symptoms of more serious illnesses such as heart disease, heartworm disease, or canine influenza. This is why it’s very important for you to take your dog to the vet to rule out any of these illnesses.

The symptoms of kennel cough typically include:

  • Hacking or “honking” cough
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Gagging or retching
  • Hoarse barking
  • Sensitivity to pressure in the throat (from leash and/or collar)

Dogs with this mild form are generally able to carry on like normal. Their appetites aren’t affected, and neither are their activity levels.

If kennel cough progresses to a more serious infection such as pneumonia–which is fairly rare–your dog may experience:

  • Lethargy
  • Fever (rectal temperature greater than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Non-stop, productive cough (phlegm)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Anorexia

Diagnosis

A medical professional such as your dog’s veterinarian should be the one to diagnose kennel cough. An unskilled individual can provide the wrong diagnosis, which could lead to the wrong treatment. Thus, a new problem can arise.

A vet may run some tests (i.e. bacteria cultures, blood tests, X-rays) to differentiate kennel cough from other respiratory illnesses or certain infections that affect the respiratory tract.

Prevention

There are several ways you can prevent your dog from becoming infected with kennel cough. These methods aren’t fool-proof, but they’ll lower the risk of your dog contracting the disease.

Vaccines

Most cases of kennel cough are self-limiting, which means that they will resolve on their own over time. But for preventative measures, you may still want to vaccinate your dog against kennel cough. Especially if he has a weakened immune system or is frequently boarded at kennels. Many vaccines for the Bordetella bacteria, a common cause of kennel cough are available.

Unfortunately, multiple strains of the bacteria exist. According to Dana Scott, founder of Dog Naturally Magazine, there are at least forty agents that cause Bordetella. But the vaccine contains only a couple of these agents. This means that if your dog gets the vaccine, it won’t fully protect him from contracting kennel cough.

But isn’t some protection better than no protection? This isn’t always the case because over-vaccination really is a thing and it can do more harm to your dog and other dogs around him. Why? Because one, we really don’t know what’s contained in these vaccines and two, dogs vaccinated for kennel cough can shed that disease for up to 7 weeks and parainfluenza for a week. This can infect other dogs your pooch comes in contact with.

“I generally do not recommend kennel cough vaccines unless dogs are staying in a boarding facility that requires them (and even then I don’t truly recommend vaccination — instead, I recommend finding a facility that doesn’t require them).” -Dr. Eric Barchas

But if you feel that you absolutely must vaccinate your dog against kennel cough, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Ask your vet to administer the intranasal (via the nose) form of the vaccine and not the injection.
  • Give the vaccine at least 2 weeks before your dog has contact with other dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is at least 3 weeks of age.

One plus of getting your dog vaccinated against kennel cough is that it will likely decrease the severity of the symptoms in case your dog does contract it.

You can get your dog vaccinated for canine adenovirus-2 and parainfluenza as well. Once given, the vaccine can be given every 3 years for continuous prevention.

Herbs to Boost Immunity

Dogs with a strong immune system are at lower risk of getting kennel cough. And if they do contract the disease, their symptoms are typically mild and go away pretty quickly. You can give your dog immune-boosting herbs like echinacea or astragalus. Be sure to check with your vet before giving any type of herb to your dog.

Lifestyle Changes

Your dog should be on a natural, balanced, and high-quality diet. His food should be free of preservatives and by-products. If you don’t already, make sure your pooch is getting plenty of exercise. Try your best to limit your dog’s exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke and chemicals. These substances can weaken your dog’s mucus lining that protects his respiratory tract from certain illnesses.

Better Hygienic Practices

While it’s always good to properly clean and disinfect your dog’s kennel, bowls, and dishes, etc., I’m mainly talking about taking your dog to pet care facilities (i.e. kennel, rescue, shelter, grooming salon, vet clinic, pet shop, etc.) that follow strict sanitation and disinfection guidelines. Because kennel cough is primarily spread through the air, it is optimal for a pet care facility to have an air-purification system in place to kill the specific bacteria and viruses in the air that infect pets. Air purifiers can also remove dust and dander from the air. According to PetAirapy, bacteria can live on dust particles and dander for quite a while.

Treatment

As I mentioned earlier, kennel cough typically goes away on its own. It’s much like the common cold in humans. But there are some things you can do to treat the symptoms and make your canine companion more comfortable.

Natural Treatments

You can use a humidifier to keep your dog’s airways open and moist. The moisture can help your dog breathe more easily and alleviate his symptoms. Alternatively, you can turn on the shower. The steam from the shower can open up the bronchial passages as well.

Use a harness instead of a collar. A collar can irritate your dog’s sensitive throat and make coughing spells worse.

Feed your pooch softened kibble or canned food to prevent further irritation to the throat.

Making sure your dog is getting essential vitamins is important for helping his body fight the illness. Vitamin C is great for fighting viruses. It’s why they tell us humans to drink lots of orange juice as it’s packed with Vitamin C! Vitamin E is also good, as it helps support the immune system, which needs to be as strong as possible to fight against kennel cough successfully.

Give your pooch manuka honey to soothe your dog’s throat and alleviate his cough. Manuka honey is antiviral and antibacterial as well.

To help relax your pup and ease his breathing, you can drop some essential oils in a diffuser. Lavender, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus are great because they have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Chamomile can add a calming effect. Also, playing some relaxing music might help sooth your sick pet.

Medications

Kennel cough doesn’t typically require medication. Your vet may prescribe a cough suppressant and/or antibiotics if the symptoms are more severe or the illness lasts longer than normal.

Don’t give your dog a cough suppressant without first talking to your vet. It’s not that cough suppressants aren’t safe for your dog, it’s just that he needs to cough as it’s his body’s way of fighting the illness. Your vet can determine if your dog’s cough is severe enough to give him a cough suppressant, which ultimately might mean more intensive treatment is needed.

Hospitalization

If your poor pooch hasn’t gotten better and has been experiencing severe symptoms such as lethargy or difficulty breathing, he may need further treatment. Your dog has likely contracted pneumonia while his body was trying to fight kennel cough. You should take him to an animal hospital or emergency clinic. If your dog is having trouble breathing, he’ll get oxygen therapy. Medical professionals may also perform coupage, which is the clapping of hands on the sides of the chest to break up any congestion in the lungs.

Wrap Up

Kennel cough is, for the most part, a relatively mild illness that affects canines. You don’t have to do much to help your dog recover. Just keep a close eye on him, especially if he’s immuno-compromised, a young puppy, or a senior dog. A trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt either, as a mild illness can turn into something serious, although this is rare. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.

About the Author
Britney Sanders is a dog blogger who aims to help make the lives of pet parents easier through her articles about dog health, products, and training tips. She is the mother of two rambunctious boys and two crazy furbabies. She is married to a jokester who keeps her sane when she is not blogging.

 

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How To Clean Your Horse Tack Properly

As owners, we invest so much in the well-being of our horse or horses. To keep them in their best health and achieving through optimal performance, the maintenance of your horses stable, tack and trailer is essential. We’re sharing the top tips that we allow your horse to live in luxury, comfort, and well-health!

Cleaning Your Horses Stable

The regular maintenance of a stable is vital for ensuring the health of both horse and owner. Unclean horse stables encourage decay and moisture induces rotting, particularly to wooden stables. Keeping on top of daily mucking out is a sure way to achieve optimal purity and the structure lifespan.

Six top tips for daily stable maintenance

1) Be sure only to remove muck and wet, most of the bedding can be saved and reused, this is both efficient and economical! Ensure you redistribute the leftover clean linen.

2) Get an old spray bottle and fill with diluted purpose disinfectant. Give your stable floor a quick spritz to remove ammonia smells.

3) Be sure that your wheelbarrow is facing the direction of the door before you start filling it. This will make maneuvering it a lot, much easier once you’re finished!

4) Put together a Daily Cleaning Kit. Having everything you need in one place will allow you to do this efficiently and effectively day after day.

5) One effective strategy when time is short is a deep litter system. Pack the stall full (we mean full!) of shavings, at least 12-18 inches from wall to wall. Bank up the walls, this offers a supply of fresh shavings daily after quickly removing muck.

Daily maintenance is key. However, to avoid the development of nasty germs, we recommend a deep cleaning monthly or every other month. Of course, doing this when you have rich pastures to maintain and home your horse temporarily will make life a lot easier.

Here’s a recommended routine…

Checklist for Deep Cleaning

• Shovel
• Fork
• Large Wheelbarrow
• Purpose Disinfectant
• Stiff broom
• Sponge

1) Dress appropriately

This is a messy job. Be sure to have work clothes, a waterproof jacket, and some quality boots on.

2) Prepare your tools

Get everything you need within reach before starting. This will help you do an efficient and clean job and avoid any traipsing back and forth trying to find things.

3) Clear the area

Remove all matting, buckets, feed, etc from the stable. Look out for any cracked or broken equipment that may need replacing.

4) Clear out

For a deep clean, remove manure and shavings from the stable to allow for thorough cleaning and fresh bedding.

5) Pressure Washer

If available, a pressure washer is the quickest and best method for removing stubborn dirt and grime. Be sure to concentrate on the floor, walls, doors, fixtures, and fitting.

6) Disinfect

To ensure the removal of nasty bugs, use a purpose disinfectant. A stiff brush will really get deep into the nicks and cracks.

7) New Matting

If possible, invest in some new rubber matting to put in the stable, it may be your old matting that’s really holding the nasty smell!

Three Top Deep Cleaning Tips!

• Try an Odour Eliminators, Nature’s Miracle is a great one! Just apply using a spray bottle or pump sprayer at full strength.

• For cleaning your stable aisle, add one tablespoon of finely ground salt to 2 gallons of water in a sprinkling can. Swish it vigorously, then sprinkle generously in the area. This will smell fresh and is completely natural and safe for your horses.

• Work hard to keep equipment clean. Regular maintenance will help keep your horse’s environment hygienic and nasties free.

Cleaning your tack

Some horse owners love it, some hate it, but inevitably we all must clean our tack! The better we take care of saddles, bridles, halters, and bits, the better they’ll take care of us. Here are some tips and tricks to hassle-free maintenance that will ensure a long life for your tack.

To ensure the best results, it is important to separate your tack’s components at least every 5 rides for a deep clean. However, be sure to wipe down your nail with a damp cloth after every use to remove grease and sweat. This will make the deep cleaning much more comfortable and ensures safety for both you and your horse.

Leather

• Before applying anything wet to the leather, with a soft, dry brush or a vacuum with the brush attachment, remove any surface dust, dirt, and grit. This will keep your water cleaner and prevent any scratching. Pay specific attention to the underside of the skirt and along the stitching and grooves.

• Wash the leather with warm water and let it dry while hanging thoroughly before soaping. This will make the leather more susceptible to the soap ultimately giving it a longer shelf life.

• Looking for some extra luxury? Adding some spray-soap to your saddle soap will make it extra soft.

• Be sure to always use separate cloths for washing, soaping and polishing for the best results.

• When cleaning the tack, double check that all stitching is tight and intact. Loose threads may cause malfunctions such as a slipped saddle or lost stirrup as the worst time.

Try a Homemade Leather Balm for conditioning

25g | 0.88oz beeswax
25g | 0.88oz cocoa butter
50g | 1.76oz sweet almond oil (or other not-too-greasy liquid oil)

Melt all ingredients together over medium heat, pour into a 125ml jar and all to solidify.

• Be savvy about your storage! Extreme cold or hot conditions can be detrimental for your leather tack, try and keep it in a dry, temperature-controlled environment. Also, leather can be a tasty treat for rodents so keep it somewhere out of nibbles way!

Metal

• Begin by using hot water and a tooth/nail brush to remove the worse of the grime, paying extra attention to the inside of joints.

• Soaking in hot water and white vinegar mix can help remove any tough to shift marking.

• If preparing for a show or just wanting to achieve the ultimate shine, placing your metal tack components in a dishwasher will bring them out squeaky clean!

• Using metal polishes with a soft cloth can provide that extra sparkle when showing. Remember to leave your horses Bit out. Brasso is not tasty!

• One recommendation we came across was dipping the Bit in Listerine. This kills bacteria and leaves a peppermint taste your horse loves… Try it out and let us know how it goes!

Cleaning your horse trailer

Let’s face it, it’s no one’s favorite job, but proper trailer maintenance will ensure a quality appearance and extended lifespan. It’s important to remove any dropped feed, muck and wet spots after every journey. Yet, deep cleaning can be done periodically dependent on use.

Guide to Deep Cleaning

1) Remove everything – Take out tool boxes, extra shavings, hay nets, etc. Don’t forget anything stored in the tack room.

2) Remove matting to be separately washed and disinfected.

3) Using a stiff broom, sweep any debris into a pile for removal. Collect with a dustpan brush.

4) Using a low-pressure hose rinse inside of the trailer, floors, and walls. Using a pressure washer may seem like a quick solution but isn’t recommended as it spreads dirt and bacteria around the trailer.

5) Using a foaming soap agent and a stiff bristle brush, scrub the inside of the trailer from top to bottom. Be sure to use a brush that will get into all the corners, nooks, and crannies.

6) Use a softer, handheld brush to concentrate on trailer components like hinges, latches, and ledges. It’s vital to keep these in good condition to ensure operational soundness.

7) Gently rinse off foaming soap agent, re-scrub any stubborn marks and brush out any excess water.

8) Disinfect all interior surfaces of the trailer using a stiff bristle brush. Spray diluted disinfectant and leave for the instructed time for that product before brushing.

9) Gently rinse surfaces again.

10) Whilst allowing the trailer to air dry, clean the previously removed matting. Brush excess debris off, rinse and scrub using the same method as for the trailer.

11) If your trailer has a tack room, you need to approach cleaning this with a bit more care and attention. Like with the main part of the trailer brush out any debris. Then taking a bucket of hot, soapy water and sponge, wipe the walls, saddle racks, bridle hooks, and any other components down. Follow this by spraying all-surface disinfectant and wiping with a wet cloth. Remember you’ve spent a lot of time cleaning your tack and the last thing you want just before a show is to get mud and grim on it from your trailer!

12) Once everything is fully dry, place all removed items back into the trailer and you’re good to go!

About the Author
Emily Davis works at Cheval Liberte as community manager. Cheval Liberté have been designing, developing and producing stalls, stables and stable equipment since 1995, Driven by their passion for horses, Cheval Liberté was founded by both riders and breeders and since 2005 this passion has been implemented in the UK, with our North Wales company being the sole importers of Cheval Liberté products for distribution and erection throughout the UK & Ireland.

 

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Tips for Trucking With Dogs

According to the American Trucking Association, there are an estimated 3.5 million truck drivers on U.S. roads. And many of those truck drivers don’t go at it alone. More and more, canine companions are becoming an integral part of the truck driving lifestyle for numerous reasons.

Data indicates that around 40 percent of truck drivers bring their dogs along for the ride. That high number may be because trucking with dogs improves your health, keep you safe, and make you more productive.

However, it’s important to note that taking your dog on the road as a professional driver is different than taking a weekend excursion with your pup. Depending on the company you drive for, there may be regulations you have to follow or even deposits and fees to pay.

Further, you’ll want to make sure that your dog has everything he or she needs to stay comfortable on long drives across the U.S. Also, make sure Fido is up to date on vaccinations. Here are some pointers and considerations for truckers planning to take their pups on the road with them.

Know the Rules Before Hitting the Road

Most pet-friendly trucking companies have restrictions based on weight or breed. Some companies ban the so-called “aggressive” breeds. These vary by company but may include Rottweilers, pit bulls, and chow chows.

If you end up staying at a hotel or motel during your travels, keep in mind that hotels may also have breed bans or a blanket ban on pets altogether. Further, many dog-friendly lodging options charge a pet fee, so be prepared to shell out more money than you do while traveling solo.

When traveling with a dog, expect your trucking company to charge a fee or deposit, which could range from $200 to $1,500 or more. Most companies will allow you to take those fees out of your paycheck or pay the deposit in installments so that the cost isn’t prohibitive.

The majority of pet-friendly trucking companies have a maximum pet weight limit of between 25 and 35 pounds. That encompasses a wide variety of common breeds such as pugs, Chihuahuas, dachshunds, and terriers.

Health Benefits of Canine Companions

During your cross-country travels, you have likely seen numerous service dogs in your life, from seeing eye dogs for the blind to trained police and rescue dogs. But there’s a growing movement of “companion” and/or therapy dogs, which are in a different category altogether. Dogs are also increasingly being utilized in the healthcare field in integrative care settings. These special pups are trained to treat the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.

Companion animals fit into the patient care equation for many reasons. Medical professionals claim that the simple act of petting an animal can reduce your heart rate, lower stress, and anxiety levels, and give you a more positive outlook on life. The long periods on the road can lead many truck drivers to feel isolated and alone. A pet’s presence can help counteract those negative feelings.

Driver fatigue may also be reduced when there’s a dog along for the ride. Truckers with dog companions have to make more frequent stops, reducing fatigue and promoting safer trucking. It also gets drivers out of the truck and moving around more frequently, improving overall health.

Register Your Dog as a Service or Companion Animal

In general, dogs aren’t allowed in many of the places you encounter while on the road, including truck stops, rest areas, and restaurants. But dog owners have options that may negate “no dogs allowed” regulations, allowing you to keep your pooch at your side in most settings. If you want to travel with a dog because they help calm you down, you may be able to register your dog as a service or emotional support animal.

Prior to hitting the road, do your research. Find out if your state has a designated service animal program or registration system. Sometimes you can do this type of registration by filling out an online form and paying a small fee.

Once your dog is registered, carry your service animal’s ID card on you at all times, and invest in a vest or collar that identifies your dog as a service animal. Finally, remember that it’s illegal for a shop owner to ask what service your companion animal performs.

Legal Considerations of Trucking With Dogs

It may be unpleasant to think about, but what if you’re involved in a trucking accident while your canine companion is along for the ride? Bodily injury clauses in vehicle insurance typically won’t cover non-human injuries. Furthermore, it’s in your best interest to drive safely when your dog is in your work vehicle.

Trucking company owners also need to consider the legal ramifications of allowing employees to have companion animals along for the ride. Small business liability insurance may not cover damages if a dog is involved, and you may want to consult with a legal professional for guidance. If you’re an independent trucker driving your own vehicle, ask about how bringing a dog to work with you may affect your insurance coverage.

Dogs also provide extra protection while you’re on the road. A barking dog is often enough to deter potential thieves, which is a plus if you’re alone on the road for an extended period. But that simple fact can open you up to possible legal issues.

For instance, if your dog bites or otherwise harms a thief or intruder, you may be found to be at fault for injury.

Behavior and Training of Your Road Dog

Along with legal considerations, there’s also your dog’s personality and habits to consider. For instance, if your dog loves to chew, make sure he or she has plenty of bones and toys to avoid damage to your truck’s interior.

What’s more, bored dogs may end up excessively barking, chewing, or scratching. You can curb your dog’s bad habits by keeping training consistent and allowing your dog plenty of time and space to exercise. Take advantage of truck stops and rest areas with designated dog run areas. As mentioned previously, by exercising your dog regularly while on the road, you improve your own health as well as Fido’s.

You may also want to take your canine to a groomer before hitting the road. Giving your dog a nice bath and a nail trim is a great way to kick off a cross-country run with your pooch. Since you’ll be cooped up in your truck’s cabin for long distances, you will have a more pleasant ride if your dog smells fresh.

Creating A Personal Space in Your Truck for Your Pup

After grooming your canine thoroughly, but before taking off on your cross-country journey, make your pooch feel more comfortable by making a special space that’s just for them. Invest in a dog bed and toys, and start introducing them to the area several days before departure so that they feel comfortable and safe while on the road.

You should also prepare for the unexpected: What happens if your dog gets lost during your cross-country journey? Keep a collar or harness on your dog at all times, and make sure the information on their tag is complete and accurate. On the tag, include your name, the dog’s name, and a working cell phone number. That way, you can be reunited with your pooch quickly.

Few things are scarier than your dog coming up missing while you’re on the road, and having accurate information on your dog’s tag is imperative in the event of an emergency. You should also have relevant canine paperwork, such as vaccination records and registration information, in a safe place in your truck that’s also easily accessible.

Wrap Up

Dogs are wondrously adaptable and make for perfect companions when trucking is your lifestyle and profession. Yet, as a trucker, your journey with a dog is quite different than taking a vacation with a pooch in tow.

By planning ahead, understanding any pertinent rules and regulations, and keeping training consistent, you and your furry pal can have exciting trucking adventures today and into the future.

About the Author
Devin writes from somewhere along the West Coast. He is infected with wanderlust but always tries to bring his dog, Scrummy, along for the ride. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

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Quality of Life: Advice for Aging Pets

Anyone who has had a pet will tell you that they are a valuable member of the family. For anyone who’s lost a pet, you know what a difficult situation that can be. However, for many people, handling their pet’s transition into old age can be unexpectedly burdensome.

While there are numerous types of pets, from snakes and lizards to cats and dogs, we’re going to concentrate on the big two. The reptile owners will have to wait. The reasons are simple: There are way more pets that are dogs and cats than lizards and snakes.

According to Statista, in 2017 there were 95.6 million house cats in the U.S. There were fewer dogs, but not by much, at 89.7 million in the same year. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at some ways to make Fluffy and Fido more comfortable as they age.

Senior Tips for Aging Cats

It wasn’t that long ago that cats between the ages of 7 and 10 were considered “seniors.” However, with improved nutrition, senior status usually isn’t reached until at least 12, prompting cats everywhere to exclaim, “15 is the new 10” — if they could talk, that is. Vet bills can get out of hand for aging cats. If you suspect this may be the case with yours, consider pet insurance.

According to one study, 90 percent of cats over the age of 12 have arthritis. If your cat is less active, has obvious mobility issues, or doesn’t jump onto the kitchen counter every time you open a can of tuna fish, this is a sign that he may have arthritis.

Of course, those mobility issues could also be due to obesity, which is a big problem for cats, as they tend to become less active with age. Another common issue is dental problems, including gum disease. If your cat’s breath is terrible, or if you notice that Whiskers’ not eating as much or cleaning himself as often, this could be the reason why.

Emily Levine, DVM, recommends improving your cat’s access to fresh water, food, and litter. Senior cats don’t want to go up and down stairs, so putting these things on every floor may become necessary. Also, a cat having trouble getting over the sides of the litter box, consider buying one with lower sides or using a cookie sheet with a newspaper draped over it.

If your senior cat has a favorite chair or windowsill he can no longer reach, consider installing a ramp or stairs. Make sure the surface isn’t slick though! Carpeting will provide firmer footing and help keep your cat safe.

Nightlights are a great idea for cats with worsening vision. Also, if your senior cat is going blind, call his name before approaching him. If your cat is deaf, approach him from the front so he can see you coming.

Grooming may become a problem, especially for long-haired cats, which means they’ll require your help. Also, while a few cats will prefer to be left alone as they age, most will appreciate some emotional support. Finally, just like people, older cats can become set in their ways and prefer predictable, set routines.

Senior Tips for Aging Dogs

There are several common health issues for older dogs. Older dogs also don’t enjoy moving from one residence to another. If you have to make a move with an older dog, remember that this may be particularly stressful for her.

Senior status for dogs usually occurs between the ages of eight and 10, but it really depends on the breed, genetics, nutrition, and environment.

Like senior cats, aging dogs often suffer from arthritis. If your older dog is slowing down, can’t walk as far or play as long, and is reluctant to climb stairs or get into vehicles, these could be signs that she may be developing arthritis.

Dental problems are also a concern later in life and may even result in tooth loss. If your senior dog is having trouble eating, this may be why. However, that’s not the only reason an older dog might lose her appetite. If your aging dog has lost weight, this may also be a sign of kidney, liver, or heart disease.

Obesity is a higher risk in older canines. There are some dog food options specifically for them, but it’s essential to consult your vet before changing their diet. Also, check labels! Not all dried food is created equally. Another common issue, especially with older, obese dogs, are joint problems. You could help your wobbly pooch with a ramp, especially when getting in and out of the car.

Nicholas Dodman, head of the Animal Behavior Department at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, says older dogs are particularly sensitive to extreme temperature changes, whether it’s the heat of summer or winter weather conditions.

“They’re really like older people,” says Dodman. “Older people are often the ones who are the victims of these freezing bouts or extremes of heat. They’re less able to thermoregulate.”

“More than 50% of dogs 10 and older get cancer,” says Dodson, “it’s important to weigh all your options if that happens.” He recommends looking at their quality of life and how painful the procedures are. For older dogs, you’re usually not looking at a cure but merely a few extra months of life.

“If your dog has lost her vitality and interest in food and social interactions, that’s a bad sign,” says Dodson. There’s not much you can do at that point but make her more comfortable and consider putting her down.

Bob Barker Would Be Proud

Bob Barker, the longtime host of The Price is Right, at the end of every episode would say, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”

While it is indeed sad to see a beloved family pet grow old and eventually pass on, it’s even sadder to see unwanted dogs on the street or in shelters, where they don’t last long. At least family pets that were loved and given good homes had some good years.

Spay or neuter your pets. It’s a message that deserves to be passed on.

You’re welcome, Bob Barker.

About the Author

Frankie Wallace writes about a wide variety of different topics, from environmental issues to politics. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho

 

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