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Below are a collection of my favorite hints & tips for pets. Some of these tips have been sent in by visitors to my website, others by friends & family. If you have any great pet tips that you would like to share, send them to me (include your name & what part of the world you are from) to: Barefoot_Lass@earthlink.net and if they are good enough... I will put them on this site and give you credit for sending them in. On to the tips! Just click on a title below, or scroll down to see them all.
If your dog or cat has asthma and if they are on the heavy side, time to put your pet on a diet! Yep, that extra weight is making it harder for your pet to breath. Ask your vet to suggest a good low fat pet food. Next, get a humidifier. This will help your pet to breath easier. If your kitty has asthma, don't use the clumping kitty litter. Make sure to use a dust-free litter instead.
Got a constipated dog? Try this quick fix that Melissa C. from Denver, Co. sent in; "When your dog gets constipation you can give it 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin, not the pie filling just the pure pumpkin. It will regulate their system. It works for me." Thanks Melissa!" Carol from PA writes; "For a constipated dog or cat, try mixing a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil into their food for a day or two. This should do the trick." I would like to add that mineral oil should not be given to your constipated pets! Here is yet another warning sent in by Debby: "I have done cat and kitten rescue for 5 years. I have learned that if the mineral oil is ingested into the lungs, it will be there for life and will cause problems. This can happen very easily in very young hand fed kittens, pups and all mammals." Thanks so much for the warning Debby!
Fido got the runs? Try this great remedy that Candy from Ohio wanted to share with us; "Take one heaping teaspoon of carob powder and mix into your dogs food (1/2 teaspoon for a pup). This should do the job. If the diarrhea lasts for more than two days, get your pup to the vet." Thanks a bunch Candy! Sonja from Belvidere, Illinois writes; "I thought I would write you and give you a GREAT remedy for dog diarrhea. Canned 100 percent pumpkin works WONDERS. It is high fiber and really gets both DIARRHEA AND CONSTIPATION under control. The best part is it's all natural so you're not putting anything harmful into your dog. And no overdosing! So, based on dog size you would give a couple of spoonfuls to 1/3 can after the first lose movement, then several more spoonfuls for every loose movement after that." Thanks for the wonderful tip Sonja!
If doggy breath is a problem for your pet, just mix some parsley in with his food once a day. Works for people too! A lot of times plaque is the culprit in causing your pets yucky breath. Brush his teeth! Yep, pets should have their teeth brushed too!
Does your kitty have the dreaded ear mites? Here is a simple yet effective solution sent in by Wendy from merry old England; "Using an eye dropper, drop two drops of corn oil into your kitties ears. Massage the ear well (gently) then clean the ear with a cotton ball. This will suffocate the mites. Do this for three days" Thanks Wendy!
Ewe! Icky hairballs! To prevent them, just put a dollop (about 1/2 teaspoon.) of Vaseline onto your cats nose. Your kitty will lick it off making the hair pass through his system easily. Or you can try adding 1/2 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your kitties food.
Does your pupster have an itch that he just won't let alone? Dab some apple cider vinegar onto the spot. That should take the itch away.
My favorite tip to remove a tick is to put a nice size dollop of Vaseline onto and around the tick. Let this set for about ten minutes. The tick will loosen his hold to get air. Just wipe him away with a tissue and squish (ewe!). The tweezer method is also a great way to remove those ticks. It is best to use a set of very teeny ended tweezers and grasp as close to the head and skin without actually mashing the belly which could cause him to regurgitate any disease the tick has. Gently pull downward. Don't force, if you have 'em by the jaws, the tick should come off easily. Caution: Do not use a hot needle or anything that will make the tick panic. The tick tends to regurgitate what it has injected back into the host. This can be as bad as leaving the head in. Any disease the tick carries can be transmitted to the host.
Urinary Tract Infections
You've heard that cranberry juice works for us humans right? Well this old time remedy also works for your pet. Just mix 1 to 2 ounces of cranberry juice into your pets food. This will boost the acidity of urine which will reduce bacteria and help relieve his discomfort.
Place a rubber mat in your tub so your critter won't slip! Next put a piece of screen (cut a small section from an old screen door) or a tea strainer on top of your drain. This will prevent your pipes from clogging up! Collect all of you supplies (old towels, rinsing cup, shampoo, brush, camera) and place close to the tub. Run the bath with warm (not cold, not hot!) water. Trick your pet into following you into the bathroom with a treat. Now... shut the door tight and get ready for some fun! Brush your pets coat well before washing. If there are any burrs in the fur, try crushing them with a pair of pliers then brushing out. Or, you can add a bit of oil to the tangle, then work it out with your fingers. Also, for doggies only (kitties lick their fur too much for this one) try getting out those tangles with a bit of cream rinse. Once your pet is nice and clean, make sure you dry him well with a large soft bath towel. You will probably need quite a few! Now brush em' up, and open the bathroom door! By the time you change your wet clothes, someone would have left the door open and your little critter will be rolling around in the mud!
Add some lemon juice or vinegar to your pets rinse water. This will cut the soap scum along with eliminating odor. A great bath tip was sent in by Doug from Washington; "Add some baking soda to your pets rinse water after his bath. This will get rid of the stink and as a bonus, will give your pooch a soft and shiny coat." Thanks Doug!
Quick Bath for Short Hairs
Nancy in Connecticut writes; "It can be hard to bathe my short-haired dog in these New England winters. I don't want her to get chilled, so scheduling baths around walk times is hard. The solution? Disposable, pop-up baby wipes. She's clean, smells good, and the lotion eases her dry winter skin. We only do the rub down once a week or so. If they're safe for babies, they have to be safe for our doggie babies." Thanks for the great bath tip Nancy!
Run in with a Skunk!
Michael from Hartford, CT. writes; "I have tried everything, to remove the skunk smell from my dog. Pet stores sold me strong perfumes that masked the odor. Tomato juice turned my dog pink, but did nothing to remove the smell. Mixing Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking soda does what nothing else can. This mixture is only effective when first mixed. I actually coat the dog with baking soda and scrub in the peroxide." Thanks Michael! P.S. Don't forget to rinse! Some people swear that tomatoe juice really works. If it is a nice day, take your pet outside for this endeavor. If not, make sure that the area is well ventilated. Set 'em in the tub and bring on the tomato juice. You will need quite a few large cans of the stuff. Pore it on and rub into his fur. Try to keep the juice on for a few minutes before washing. Now you can wash you pet as usual. Add a bit of vinegar to the rinse water. Some say that for the last step, take 2 gallons of water and add two tablespoons of ammonia to it. Then rinse and rinse once again with clear water. Michaelene “Mikey” Taliano, from Cleveland, Ohio writes: "I was a Doubting Thomas, when one of the guys I worked with, told me about using liquid douche to remove that horrid smell when a pet has a run in with a skunk. I went ahead and bought a supply and the next time my dogs met up with the black and white “kitty”, I found out for my self that the liquid douche is terrific, works rapidly and even leaves a pleasant scent. This really works!" Thanks Mikey! I just had a friend tell me that douche is what her vet recommended also. So this must really work!!
When bathing your pet, don't get any water into his ears! This could very well cause an infection. We sure don't want a big vet bill just because we were careless... do we?! Oh, and if your pup has dirty ears you can gently wash them with a soft cloth that has been dipped into a vinegar and water solution (1/2 water - 1/2 vinegar).
Precautions Against Pesky Fleas!
The month of March is the time to prepare for those annoying fleas. If you start off the month right, you can keep those fleas at bay. If you put a flea collar on your critter, do it now! Before the army of fleas attack. Start your dog on some yeast supplements. Sprinkle Brewers yeast on your kitties food. Brewers yeast makes your pets blood taste yucky to fleas.
Flea Proof Dog House
Sprinkle salt all around your dog house to keep fleas at bay. Don't forget to sprinkle the salt into all of the crevices of your dogs home. Then place a bed of fresh pine needles on the floor of the house. Cover with his favorite blankie and your good to go! Or try this great pet tip sent in by Cynthia Hanson; "To keep fleas out of you dog's house, surround the house (and underneath) with cedar chips. Fleas hate the smell of the cedar and stay away." Thanks for the critter tip Cynthia!
Fleas Hate Salt!
Besides protecting your dog house with a sprinkling of salt, try washing your pet with salt water. That is sure to kill those pesky fleas! Add some salt to your vacuum bag and vacuum often during flea season. This will kill the fleas that are trapped in the bag. Don't forget to vacuum the couches and chairs.
Cats & Fleas
A good remedy to keep fleas off of your cat is this simple solution: Slice a whole lemon very thin (peel 'n all) and add to a pint of water. Heat this mixture right until the boiling point. Let sit overnight. In the morning gently rub the mixture into your cats fur and skin. Just dampen the fur don't drench it! Do this once a month. This is a natural flea killer! You can also use this every day for skin problems involving fleas. Sprinkle a small amount of Brewers yeast onto your kitties food. Fleas hate yeast! Also, avoid flea powders containing pyrethrins. Although considered safe, the cats will lick it off when grooming and will be ingested. It is so much safer for your cat if you use natural flea remedies. Don't forget to wash your feline's bedding and all area rugs often (the fleas will drown!). Vacuuming frequently is a must! Sprinkle some Rosemary or Eucalyptus leaves under your cats bedding (powdered Rosemary works in a pinch).
Dogs & Fleas
Start giving your dog Brewers yeast supplements in March. Or, just sprinkle the yeast into his food. You can even rub some Brewers yeast right onto his coat (a double whammy for those nasty fleas!). Sprinkle some Rosemary or Eucalyptus leaves under your dogs bedding (powdered Rosemary works in a pinch).
Flea Proof Your House!
Here is a homemade flea trap that won't cost you a dime. Take an old cake or pie pan and fill with water. Add a tablespoon of dish detergent. Place the pan under a nightlight. If you have a green bulb, use it in the nightlight (green works even better!). In the evening the fleas will jump into the pan and fleas can't swim!
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FYI: A flea can jump 150 times its own length!!
Feeling like your pet isn't so precious after finding chew marks on your new coffee table? Try dabbing a bit of clove oil in the wood. The bitter taste and scent of the oil will keep 'em away! A good way to keep your cat off of the your tables is to put strips of double faced tape on them. Cats totally hate to put their paws on something sticky. After a few days you can remove the tape. Careful on wood tables with finishes though! Want your cat to stay off of your chairs? Just put some plastic on the chairs (cats hate plastic too!) until they learn that chairs are for people.
Housebreak Your Puppy
Feeling like your pet isn't so precious after finding chew marks on your new coffee table? Try dabbing a bit of clove oil in the wood. The bitter taste and scent of the oil will keep 'em away!Hang a bell by the back door. Each time that you take your puppy out for a "pee", ring the bell. As your pup gets older he will ring the bell himself to let you know that he's gotta go!
Keep your pet's dishes from sliding around by putting them on top of a rubber mat. A super way to keep ants out of your pets dishes? Just put his dish in a cake or pie pan of water.
If you cat tends to think that you are a food item, when he takes his next bite, just say "No!" (don't smack him) and walk away from him. Totally ignore him! Sounds easy, but it really works for most felines. Here is a good way to train your cat not to do something (getting on tables, etc.). Keep a spray bottle of water handy. When you see your cat doing something that he shouldn't be doing... give 'em a squirt of water in the face. Man, they really hate that!
Dog Digging Holes?
Stop your dog from digging that "dogone" hole by putting cayenne pepper in the hole. Gives them a weird feeling in their tootsies. He won't be digging that hole any more.
Keep your pet's dishes from sliding around by putting them on top of a rubber mat. A super way to keep ants out of your pets dishes? Just put his dish in a cake or pie pan of water.
A New York Pet Lover writes; "This formula works by neutralizing the acid in pet urine and killing the bacteria. If you do not know where the urine is, get a black light bulb (most inexpensive) for an existing lamp or hand held black light (available at pet stores for $20 or so. OUCH!!). In a dark room with only the black light on, the urine will glow! Here are the ingredients to make the urine stain remover solution; 1 16 oz. bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 Tbsp. of Baking Soda, 1 Teas. of liquid dish detergent (regular or antibacterial). Mix all ingredients into a plastic or glass bowl (do not use metal). Stir with a plastic spoon (not metal!) until completely dissolved. Place in a plastic squirt bottle. Let the solution set for an hour before using (this is important!) for the best results ever! Test the solution on a small, hidden part of your rug, carpet or furniture (non-color set fabrics such as Indian cotton rugs may fade). Completely saturate the urine stain and allow the solution to soak in. Do not blot. Do not scrub. Do not walk on the spot. Allow to air dry. Once dry, vacuum up any residue left by the baking soda. Gentle brushing with a towel or soft brush may help. This really works!" Thanks Pet Lover from NY! You are really swell for sharing this great tip with us! Check below for more pet accident tips!
Pet Accidents II
Mindy from England writes; "Cats of either sex seem to love to urinate on comforters and duvets (dogs too!). Even though you wash it they go and do it again! The reason that they repeat this awful habit is because they can still smell the urine. My tip is to include a large bottle of malt vinegar into the main wash. After washing you won't be able to smell the vinegar but your pet will and it will put them off. I use this method with all cat attacked duvets that come into the laundry where I work and they very rarely come back (not good for business really hehe). This method will also work on any area where cats or dogs tend to urinate such as carpets." Thanks Mindy! This is a gem of a tip! Kristen from Mt. Pleasant, SC writes; "When my male cat urinated on my carpet, it was almost impossible to get that smell out! Nothing over the counter would work, and regular deodorizers were of no help either. I found that if I took a regular spray bottle and added Original Listerine, and sprayed it on the spot a couple times a day for 2 days, it was gone.....and it never returned. No one would ever know there had been a problem!" Thanks Kristen!
Never give chocolate to your pet! Chocolate is pure poison to our furry friends! Feeding this sweet treat for humans to your cat or dog could be fatal. Please pass this warning on to your children. Lori from Topeka writes, "Here is a very handy tip that may save your dog's life. One Christmas our sheltie got into a whole 5 lb box of chocolates. We called the vet (Dr Robert Johnson, DVM Paw Prints Animal Hospital) and he told us to put about a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide on the back of the dog's tongue. Do this outside or somewhere that will be easy to clean up the vomit. (The fizzy of the peroxide makes them vomit) Sometimes it takes more than a teaspoon to get the dog to vomit. Give them a teaspoon, wait about 15 minutes and if it doesn't work, give them another teaspoon of peroxide." Thanks for sharing Lori!
NEVER give your pet Mineral oil! It is made from petroleum. It suffocates the skin and should never be put on the skin OR ingested. If the mineral oil is ingested into the lungs, it will be there for life and will cause problems. This can happen very easily in very young hand fed kittens, pups and all mammals.
Linda from Cape Fair, MO writes; "My sister almost lost her dog due to macadamia nuts. He had gotten into some bird food which contained the nuts and became very ill, her vet said that the nuts cause bloat in dogs and it can be fatal." Thanks so much for sharing Linda!
Garlic and it's relatives, onions, leeks shallots and chives are all bad for dogs and cats. They contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which causes hemolytic anemia. The symptoms include bloody vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is a nasty painful death and I would never recommend feeding such things to dogs especially considering there is no scientific evidence that they help with things like flea control. If you have a flea problem, Frontline is much safer. This little known fact was sent in by Sean from GA. Thanks so much for enlightening us Sean!
If your pet has a tummy ache or is just plain sick, never give them human medicine!
Don't feed your cat cows milk. It will give your cat a case of the runs! Kathleen from Kingston, Georgia writes; "Just wanted to share that you can give kitties either half and half or canned evaporated milk without problem. Neither of them contain lactose which is what gives kitties the runs. Either choice is far more economical than the "kitty milk" now sold in the pet food aisles." Thanks for sharing Kathleen!
All driveway de-icers are toxic to your pets feet! The salt or chemicals in these ice melters may burn their little feet or cause a fungus. They may even lick their toes and get sores in their mouths. So... wash your pet's feet when they come in after a jaunt in the snow!
Grapes & Raisins
Dr. Alexis Gullett from Ohio writes; "Another little known toxin to dogs and cats is actually grapes and of course, raisins. It was only discovered/decided a couple of years ago that they can actually cause anemia in these animals. Of course, some dogs will eat grapes every day and never have a problem, but it's impossible to tell which animals are the most sensitive to grapes and raisins, and so it is better not to feed them any at all." Thanks for your contribution Dr. Gullett!
Cars & Trucks
Don't leave your pet unattended in your vehicle for over 15 minutes. When you do, make sure to open the window a bit to let in fresh air. Don't let your pet ride in the back of a truck in the winter months. If you have a metal truck bed, their feet can actually freeze to the bed!
1 1/4 cups grated Cheddar cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 cups of buckwheat, rice, or rye flour
1/4 pound softened corn oil margarine
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add enough milk to form the dough into a ball. Cover and chill for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured board roll the dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with bone shaped cookie cutters. No bone shapes? Use your creativity and cut different shapes by hand. Place on a un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 min. or until firm and slightly brown. Makes 2 - 3 dozen biscuits (depending on the size). If you want to be fancy, brush a beaten egg onto the biscuits before baking for a nice glossy finish.
1 1/2 cups cooked, boned and skinned chicken or turkey
1 large egg
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 cup of buckwheat, rice, or rye flour
1 cup cornmeal
In a food processor or blender, mix chicken, egg & broth until you get a smooth consistency. Scrape out into a bowl & add the cornmeal and flour. Stir until moist. Cover & put into the fridge for about 2 hours until firm. Roll out onto a floured board. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/2 inch shapes (triangles, squares or circles). I use a lid from a Tabasco bottle myself. Arrange on a greased baking sheets so that the sides do not touch. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove from oven and give the treats a stir. Let the treats cool in the pans. Put in an air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Makes 3 cups.
This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your vet with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of your pet.
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