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Summer Safety for Dogs

Summer can be a wonderful time for you and your dog to spend time outdoors exercising and having fun.  However, it is important to understand that hot temperatures can be very dangerous, too, and you must keep your dog cool.  The most common warm weather hazards include heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn – all of which can be prevented.  Watch your dog for signs of illness, and call your vet right away if any problems arise.  In order to keep your dog safe, here are some important things you need to know about summer time hazards and prevention.

Automobiles

Never leave your dog in the car unattended.  Despite the many warnings about this, each summer brings numerous accounts of dogs that become sick or even die of heat stroke because they were left in a car.  Even if it does not seem that hot outside, the temperature inside the car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.  If you absolutely must bring your dog with you on errands, make sure you bring another person who can stay in the running, air-conditioned car with your dog.  Otherwise, do your dog a favor and leave her at home.

Outdoor Play

Steer clear of long walks and strenuous exercise on hot, sunny days. Avoid prolonged sun exposure.  Not only is there a risk of heat stroke – dogs can get sunburns, too.  Consider sunscreen for your dog.  If you are planning to spend time outdoors with your dog, find a shady spot and provide plenty of fresh, cool water.  Try to take leisurely walks during the cooler times of the day, like the morning or evening hours.  Remember to protect your dog’s feet from getting scorched by hot pavement.  Sunscreen for dogs can help protect your dog as well.

Events

It might be best to leave your dog at home when going to large outdoor festivals or parties.  A large crowd can be overwhelming and it increases the chances of injury, dehydration and exhaustion.  Plus, there’s bound to be a lot of unhealthy or even toxic food and trash on the ground that your dog might try to eat.  Also remember that fireworks and other loud noises can frighten dogs into running away or otherwise injuring themselves.  If you do bring your dog to events, keep her close by and watch out for potential hazards.

Swimming and Water Activities

Stay near your dog while playing or swimming in a lake, river or the ocean.  Contrary to common belief, not all dogs are skilled swimmers.  Also remember that even the most experienced swimmer can become a victim of an undertow, jellyfish or other hazard.  Also, prevent your dog from drinking the water.  Salt water can cause dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea.  Water in lakes, ponds and rivers may contain parasites and bacteria that can infect your dog.  Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water for drinking.

If you bring your dog on a boat or canoe, a life jacket is just as important for your dog as it is for you.  Falling or jumping overboard is always possible.  Any dog that spends time near water should have her very own pet life vest.

Parasites and Pests

Spending time outdoors means more exposure to various parasites and pests.  Always check your dog for ticks after spending time outside.  Keep your dog on flea prevention to avoid flea-related issues.  Because mosquitos carry heartworm disease, your dog must be on heartworm prevention if you live in an area where mosquitos are present.  Also remember that an encounter with a skunk can be quite a hassle.  More dangerous are snake bites, which commonly occur in spring and summer.  Stings and bites from insects such as bees, wasps, scorpions and spiders are also risks.

Keeping Your Dog Safe

Bottom line, keep an eye on your dog.  Don’t leave her unattended.  It’s important to always exercise common sense and proceed with caution to help keep your dog safe, regardless of the season.  Summertime comes with its own set of hazards, so make sure you are familiar with the risks.  Learn what warning signs mean trouble.  When in doubt, call your vet right away.  When all is said and done, it will be much easier for you and your dog to enjoy the summer.

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Spoil Your Furry Friends!

If you are like me…and most pet owners, you’re a sucker for those 4 legged wet nosed creatures.  We scratch them behind their ears, let them sleep on the bed (not that we want them to), clean up muddy paws, and enjoy sloppy kisses.  Why not spoil them even more!  Here are a few simple things you can do that your dog will love you for even more …

Go for a walk. Getting outside and sniffing new places is always fun and exciting to a dog. Do you and your dog already go on regular walks? Try taking a new route to spice up your routine. If your dog socializes well with other dogs, maybe a trip to a dog park is in order.

Go for a drive. Most dogs enjoy taking a quick trip and seeing what is beyond the backyard. Be sure your car ride is safe with a doggy seatbelt, booster seat, or pet barrier.

Make time for playtime. Dogs love routines. Pick a time of day that works for your schedule and start the fun. Both you and your dog will have something to look forward to every day and it may help keep you both in good shape. Keep things interesting by rotating toys—that way they’ll be new and exciting the next time you bring them out.

Help keep your dog looking good. There is nothing like a sweet-smelling dog with a shiny coat. Don’t have time for a bath? Use a waterless shampoo in between baths and make time for a relaxing grooming session with a multi-purpose brush.

Treats, treats, and more treats. Every dog loves getting a special treat. Encourage and reward good behavior with a tasty snack or by using a treat dispensing toy.

Check out Wet Noses Organic Dog Treats new bakery line, Dogg Candy!  These tasty treats are a GREAT way to spoil those pooches.  Along with being very appealing to the eye (and nose), these specialty treats are also healthy!  They are made with wholesome organic ingredients and do not contain any corn, wheat, soy, salt, or sugar!

Celebrating a special someone’s birthday?  Our dog birthday cake packages are a perfect idea!

How about a tasty cupcake!  For your dog silly….

Nothing sounds better than a delicious brownie baked to perfection….

Even bite size brownies….

Squash is great for your dog’s digestive  system, that’s why your dogs will thank you when you give them a Butternut Squash Swirl!

These Black & White cookies are not only eye-catching, they are filled with flavor!

The Peanut Butter Bark is a great holiday gift item, or a yummy anytime snack. This bark is easy to snap into smaller pieces for smaller dogs and smells really great, even to our human noses. Give it a try today!

Pumpkin is another beneficial ingredient to dogs being great for sensitive stomachs! This soft and chewy treat has a rich taste of pumpkin that dogs can’t wait to devour!

All dogs deserve to be spoiled, so why not spoil them with a healthy treat!  There are so many different treats out there that are made outside of the country.  It is very important to know where the ingredients that your dogs are eating come from.  At Wet Noses, we stand behind all of our products and believe that dogs will live a much longer and healthier life with natural ingredients in their diet.  We use organic, human grade ingredients that are all sourced here locally in the USA.  Check out our website www.wet-noses.com to view all of our tasty snacks worth barking for!  Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog.  Make your dog happy from the inside out!

 

Quick Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

Now that good weather is here and the snow shovel has been safely stashed away, you may be thinking road trip.  If you’re like many of us, you probably have pets who like to go along for the ride.  Summer vacation is no longer just for two-legged travelers.  Many hotels have been ratcheting up the pet amenities due to more people traveling with their furry friends.  This includes room service menus for Fido, massages for over-stressed terriers and tabbies, and cushy beds for canines.  I got to thinking about things that make for a good trip with pets, from choice of vehicle, to the right accessories, to things to bring and trip planning. Here are some tips for safely and enjoyably taking the critters on the road.

  • Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There is a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. It’s always a good idea to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.  If you prefer to not crate your pet, make sure they at least have a safety harness on and are belted in.
  • Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. If you decided to keep your dog in a crate, be sure to secure the crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop.
  • Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.  Travel on empty. It’s a good idea not to feed your pet six to eight hours before embarking on a road trip. Having an empty stomach will make him less likely to throw up.   Giving your pet water, however, won’t upset his stomach and may make him more comfortable.  While some pets travel best on an empty stomach, others will feel more comfortable after eating a small meal. Some pets just need a little food in their stomach to help keep them from getting sick.  But only feed them about half of what they normally, just in case!
  • Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • What is in your pet’s traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
  • Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke) collars.
  • Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
  • When it comes to H2O, always bring your own. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
  • If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.

There are several dogs out there that tend to get car sick.  The first thing to realize when dealing with car sickness is that in 95% of cases it is stress related and not motion related. Your pet may relate a car trip with being taken away from its first home, or trips to the Vet or even worse, the Kennel.  It’s not surprising that subsequent rides in a car should evoke very strong mental and subsequent physical trauma.

If this is the case for your dog then my best advice would be to re-program your pet’s attitude towards travel in a car. Find a park about 5-10 minutes from home, ideally have someone else in the car too, to soothe the dog and distract him from the ride. Keep him happy all the way to the park. When at the park do all the enjoyable things that the dog loves, fetch the ball, and chase the Frisbee. The stay at the park doesn’t need to be that long…. just as enjoyable as possible. Then drive the dog home soothing him all the way again and when home make just as much fuss of the dog as you did at the park. Finish the session with his meal or a treat if time and conditions permit.  After doing this a few times your pet will now associate car travel with fun times.

Take frequent rest breaks. While some pets can travel for hours without having problems, others start getting queasy after a few miles. Get to know your pet’s pattern and stop at least every hour or two to take a quick walk to help your pet get his land-legs back. It’s also a good idea to pour him a little water, since he may not feel like drinking when he’s in the car.

If you are staying in a hotel, hopefully you checked the Pet Travel web site and booked a pet friendly hotel or motel online!   If the hotel/motel charges a pet fee pay it, don’t try to hide your pet, you will spend all night worrying about being discovered.  When you arrive ask for a ground floor room near an area where you can take a walk with Fido.  Be sure to pick up after your pet so that the hotel/motel will remain pet friendly.

Most accommodations ask that you do not leave the pet alone in the room for obvious reasons. You may have to order take out or room service, or if it is cool enough for your pet to be left in the car for a half hour or so you could go out to dinner and take them along. You may even find a pet friendly restaurant; look for places with outdoor seating areas like sidewalk cafes.

Take the time to review these helpful tips before you take off down the road with your pet.  It’s better to be over prepared than having to deal with a sick puppy on your road trip.

 
 

Flea & Tick Season… Are you ready?

Let’s get to the facts…With a single female flea capable of laying thousands of eggs in her lifetime; a small flea problem can quickly become an infestation. Experts say the only truly effective way to keep fleas off a dog or cat is with a topical or oral medication. Flea shampoo, dips and sprays only provide immediate relief by killing adult fleas on the pet. They won’t prevent the dog or cat from picking up more fleas from around your home or eggs that hatch (unfortunately there is a considerable amount of fleas in your house than on your pet).  It is important to choose the right dosage and to avoid harmful interactions with other medications your pet may be taking.  Always consult your vet before you start giving your dog any new medications.

Fleas aren’t simply a pesky parasite — they can affect the health of their host dog or cat. When a large number of fleas are present, the blood loss to the animal can be life threatening. Often the flea saliva triggers allergies, and the itching and scratching that ensue can lead to a more serious skin infection. Additionally, pets can contract tapeworms from infected fleas. If you notice your pet scratching, check the skin for a dark brown bug about the size of a sesame seed. If you spot fleas, the first course of action should be to start treatment right away of both your dog and your house.

Now that I have you all ‘itching’, let’s get down to the real question that is on everyone’s mind.  Which type of flea treatment/prevention should I use?   With the numerous amounts of options that are available this can be a tough choice without any knowledge.   Pet owners are becoming more aware of harsh chemicals that are in products.  This being said, products that contain natural ingredients have been on the rise.  I am going to enlighten you on both the natural and ‘not-natural’, flea products that you can use this coming flea season.

The most common choice is a spot on, topical treatment (i.e. Frontline or Advantage).  Topical treatments stop adult fleas from biting and will kill them within hours or days.  Topical treatments are squeezed out of a tube and applied between the pet’s shoulders or along the back. The chemical is stored in the oil glands under the animal’s skin, and then distributed continuously to its skin and hair.  Make sure not to put the treatment on directly after the pet has had a bath.  You should wait about 48 hours, so that the skin can produce oil for the treatment to attach to.

Another common choice is an oral medication (i.e. Program or Capstar).  Oral medications are often preferred in hot, humid climates that require year-round flea control or in households with children or multiple pets that shouldn’t come in contact with a topical treatment until it dries.

A different approach that has a more ‘natural’ effect is spray treatments.  There are some out there that have chemicals (i.e.  Bio Spot or Zodiac), and some that are made up of natural ingredients (i.e. Cedar-All, Only Natural Defense Spray, or Natural Chemistry).  Spray treatments can help with getting rid of the fleas in dark and inconvenient places such as under the couch cushion, in corners of the carpet, and inside vacuum bags. This product also works well to repel flies and mosquitoes which is great for things like camping trips.  The natural sprays are made up of cedar oil, lavender oil, citronella seed oil, or eucalyptus.  A nice characteristic that the natural sprays have to the human nose is that they smell nice, but still keep the insects off!  The only throwback to the natural spray is that it does not have a long lasting effect.  Studies show that these sprays usually last up to 5 hours.  These require more frequent applications.  Really it comes down to the comfort of the pet owner and weather you are able to reapply and carry the spray with you.

I am sure that most of you have heard of flea collars.  These are proven to have very little effectiveness to preventing fleas.  Furthermore, the NRDC conducted a study on the toxicity of flea collars and found elevated neurological and cancer risks to humans. After dogs and cats wore flea collars treated with tetrachlorvinphos or propoxur for two weeks, a laboratory tested residue levels on the animals’ fur. The findings reveal half to three-quarters of the pets had “enough residue on their fur to pose significant neurological risks for toddlers who spend about two hours per day with their pet.” The study also found a cancer risk “50 to 500 times greater than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers acceptable” in adults and an even higher risk for children.

Like I said before, there are more fleas imbedded into your carpet, on your furniture, and in bedding than on the dog (only about 10% make home on the dog itself).  A good way to fight the fleas in your home is by using carpet powders (i.e. Flea Go, Diatimaceous Earth, or Bio Spot).   Flea powders are considerably less expensive than the popular spot-on products. In addition, they are highly multifunctional and can be used on pets, carpet, bedding, furniture and even in your yard to prevent flea infestation.  Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance formed from the shells of diatoms, a type of algae. Diatoms’ silicon shells fall off when they die and fossilize in the earth. Taking this earth and grinding it into a powder consistency produces a chemical-free alternative for flea control.  This is starting to get very popular for its natural flea control effects.

Ultimately, I think it really depends on where you live, and the different levels of infestation that occur.  Sometimes it is necessary to use spot-on treatments just to prevent your dog from getting bit by something that is going to potentially be disease-carrying.  I correspondingly think it is also about the efficiency along with safety.  It’s the pet owner’s preference on how comfortable they are with using an all-natural product and how comfortable they are using the spot-on treatments.  The first sing of fleas are the most important to catch because of how fast they spread and produce.   I hope this information can help make your decision easier on where to start the flea treatment fun!  In the end, you want your furry friend to be comfortable and FLEA FREE!

 
 

Spring & Summer Plant Toxicity in Dogs…

With Easter coming up this weekend, your house is probably full of flowers, Easter baskets and chocolate! While these are fun and delicious for humans, they can be potentially dangerous for your pets.

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Spring is the season where flowers bloom and sunny skies bring beautiful sunshine. Dangers also become a factor as toxic plants are in full bloom, posing risks to our beloved pets. Learn about the different kinds of plants that can harm pets and pose health risks to pets.

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Springtime holidays are often associated with bulb plants and ingestion of the bulbs causes the most severe illness. Summer holidays are associated with plants. Here are some of the more common spring and summer holiday plants and information on their toxicity.

• Tulip (Tulip spp)- Ingestion can result in intense vomiting, depression, diarrhea, hypersalivation, drooling   and lack of appetite.

• Hyacinth (Hyacinthus oreintalis)- Ingestion can result in intense vomiting, diarrhea, depression and tremors.

• Daffodil (Narcissus spp)- Ingestion can result in severe gastrointestinal illness, convulsions, seizures, low blood pressure and tremors.

• Peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp)- Ingestion can result in ulcers in the mouth, vomiting and diarrhea.

• Easter cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesi)- Ingestion can  result in vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Cats can also develop staggering.

• Easter daisy (Townsendia sericea)- This plant is considered non toxic.

• Easter orchid (Cattleya mossiae)- This plant is considered non toxic.

• Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis multiplex)- This plant is considered non toxic.

• Resurrection lily (Kaempferia pulchra)- This plant is considered non toxic.

• Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia splendens prostrata)-   Ingestion results in vomiting and diarrhea.

These plants are considered very toxic and can result in severe illness or even death:

• Azalea (Rhododendron spp)- Ivomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS   depression, cardiovascular collapse and death.

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• Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)- Excessive salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, gastro-intestinal  disorders, lack of appetite, tremors, convulsions, seizures

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• Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp)- Vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, weakness, coma, hypotension, CNS   depression, cardiovascular collapse and death.

• Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum)- Vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, kidney failure. Cats are only species known to be affected.

• Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum)- Vomiting, inappetence,  lethargy, and kidney failure. Cats are only species known   to be affected.

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• American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)- Weakness, convulsions, gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea.)

• Clematis (Clematis sp.)- Vomiting, diarrhea, oral ulcers, ataxia irritant or vesicant action.

• Day lily (Hemorocallis dumortirei)- Vomiting, lethargy, kidney failure. Cats are only species known to be affected.

• Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)- Cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, cardiac failure, death.

• Lily of the Valley (Convalaria majalis)- Ataxia, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmias, death.

• Narcissus (Narcissus spp) Severe gastrointestinal   disorders, convulsions, shivering, hypotension, dermatitis,   muscular tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias.

• Morning Glory (Ipomoea spp)- Seeds may cause hallucination, may cause diarrhea.

Also note that lawn pesticides can affect your dogs as much as your children. Be careful of where you place pesticides. Many natural pesticides are now available to people that are much less harmful.

Your animal may become poisoned in spite of your best efforts to prevent it. You should keep telephone numbers for your veterinarian, a local emergency veterinary service, and the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-4 ANI-HELP) in a convenient location. If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately.

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Now get out there and enjoy the sunshine with your furry friends!

 
 

They Always Make Us Laugh….

These are some dog videos I’ve seen and wanted to share them with our followers…..Enjoy a good laugh 🙂

This baby learns chewing techniques from his Puggles!

This Lab’s dream came true!!!

Someone’s totally guilty!!!!

Where did the water go?

Sign up this guy for the next round!

This isn’t a dog… but I couldn’t resist putting this up!

Someone is a little tired… at least the front end is

This one is a classic….

You don’t see this everyday…

 
 

Spring Is Among Us… Time to Clean!

The days are getting longer … this means spring is just around the corner!  Along with cleaning the house, do not forget to de-scruff that furry friend.  Get out those mops and put on your rubber gloves because spring is here and it’s time to clean house! Many pet owners are getting ready to tackle their to-do lists and spruce up their home. As you make plans to sweep and dust, consider including a few activities to make the next few weeks easier on you and your dog.

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There are several things to consider when you have pets and it’s time to do a routine spring cleaning. To begin with, pet grooming isn’t just about your dog or cat. Think of everything related to your furry friend’s lifestyle as something that needs a “grooming” of its own.  In addition to a bath, every pet can benefit from a thorough spring cleaning once a year. Consider asking for a conditioning treatment to moisturize the coat. Get those ears well cleaned. Have nails filed down. Brush, or have the pet brushed, until all the winter undercoat is gone. Sometimes a bath will release the undercoat, then you do a second serious brushing, and the next bath leaves the pet’s coat new penny clean. Get your pet’s teeth cleaned, and remember that a non-anesthetic tooth cleaning is the gold standard for healthy pet care.

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Let’s start out with the house… that carpet needs to be cleaned from the winter’s build-up of mud and dirt.  Cleaning the carpet and upholstery is as simple as purchasing a cleaner like Bissell Upholstery Shampoo and renting out a carpet shampooer from your grocery store. When everything has been shampooed, take your pooch out for a day of fun so that everything can dry out.  Spring is synonymous with “mud season” and it only takes one good romp through the puddles to undo hours of cleaning. Until the front yard looks less like a scene from Woodstock, you can focus your efforts on making sure mud doesn’t get tracked inside. An old towel kept near the front door is handy for wiping down muddy paws and fur. Some dog owners find it helpful to outfit their pups in rubber booties or rain slickers for easy cleanup.

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Next, be sure to wash your pets bedding.  Your dog probably spent most of the winter bundled up in their blankets and pillows which have just been gathering dirt, hair, and bacteria. If the pillows have removable covers, take them off and throw them in the washer with any blankets the pet uses to get a fresh start this spring. Skip the dryer sheets and scented detergents, though—they could irritate your pet and deter them from snuggling up in their trusty blanket again.

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Don’t forget the dishes!  When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your dog’s water and food bowl? Many people simply overlook cleaning the bowls because they figure dogs can handle it. In reality, dog bowls gather tons of bacteria and dirt that you wouldn’t want your dog ingesting. Throw both bowls in the dishwasher to ensure a deep cleaning and give your dog a fresh bowl to eat from.

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Hair everywhere you say?  This spring cleaning tip takes place right on your pet. When a dog begins to shed their winter coat, homeowners will find little dust bunnies and hair in every nook and cranny. Months later, you’re still finding hair in random places, not to mention the hair that always seems to find its way to your clothes. Take the time to brush your dog more often and on a regular basis outside where you can safely collect the mounds of hair before they are spread all over the house. Regular brushing helps to decrease your pooch’s tendency toward shedding, and it’s up to you to help. After all, Fido can’t help it!  Some grooming tools remove loose fur and dander in the undercoat, further reducing the amount of stray fur to clean up. Breeds with long coats sometimes require the use of a de-matting tool. The FURminator de-Shedding Tool is the best grooming tool we’ve ever found.  I use it on my Lab and the amount of hair it removes is astonishing! Most veterinarians and professional groomers swear by it. It can reduce shedding by as much as 90 percent!

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When cleaning and scrubbing your house, be cautious and read labels of your cleaners.  A lot of people forget that pets can be sensitive to toxic cleaning agents, just like humans. Pets don’t have the rationality to not lick surfaces that have been coated with chemicals, however. If you have a puppy running around the house, make sure all of your cleaning supplies are non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is always better to be safe than sorry in this situation. Even the safe cleaners should still be kept out of reach from your dog; anything but healthy dog food will likely cause vomiting and diarrhea.

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Without a doubt, spring is a great time to spruce up your house or start that home improvement project you’ve been putting off. Just a few extra minutes of preparation can also help reduce shedding and make your home smell fresh and clean. Keep your pet’s safety in mind while cleaning, and it won’t be long until you’re basking in the glow of a clean home and pet.

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