Thursday, March 5, 2015

Safe Spring Cleaning Tips

Safe Spring Cleaning

     Spring is about to be sprung, and we know what that means: spring cleaning! In your cleaning frenzy, don't forget about your pets. They share spaces with you, and how you clean and rearrange can affect them as much as it does any other family member. If you have specific concerns about how your pet might react to your favorite cleaning products, consult your veterinarian. Otherwise, enjoy these pet-friendly cleaning tips to keep your home spotless and your pet safe!

1. All cleaners are not created equal
We all have favorite household products we use, but have you ever taken the time to read the back or research the product? Many household cleaning products can be toxic to your pets. It's best to treat them like you would if you had an infant in the home: lock up all chemicals. There are, however, many natural or non-toxic cleaners and degreasers that will cut through grime just as effectively. Some of our favorite products include Simple Green, Kennelsol, Nature's Miracle, Seventh Generation, Method, and Mrs Myers (just to name a few)! 

Just like humans, animals can have reactions to things like dust, pollen, bee stings, plants, and food. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling and sneezing as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you think that your pet may suffer from allergies, it is best to consult your veterinarian. 

3. Don't let the bed bugs bite
Warmer weather means fleas, ticks, and heart-worm-harboring mosquitoes are all on the way back. Make sure to give your pet monthly preventatives to protect your pet against these pesky pitfalls. Fleas love hiding in warm, dark beds, so be sure to also wash your pet's bedding and scrub their crate frequently. It is recommended to clean bedding and crates at least once a week.

4. Do the dishes and pick up the toys
Just because a dog lick's their bowl clean doesn't mean the bowl is clean. Using hot water and dish soap, or even your dishwasher, scrub your pets water and food bowls at least once a week. Toys should also be washed once a week. Ropes and stuffed toys can be placed in a normal cycle in the washing machine, and rubber or plastic toys can be hand washed with hot soapy water.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Keep the Garden Growing

Keep the Garden Growing

The Balance Between Pet-Owning and Gardening

     As gardeners, we work extremely hard to keep our flowers vibrant and our produce bountiful! The frustration of your best fur-iend reeking havoc on your garden is all too real! Whether it's pottying on the plants, or digging it all up, we've got you covered with these helpful tips to create a dog-friendly garden.

1. Be the Dog
When planning anything in your home, you will often think "What do I as a homeowner want from this space?" However, we encourage you to think like your dog! Think, "If I were my beloved pampered pooch, what would I want out of this backyard space?" Knowing the characteristics of your dog's breed will also play a role here. Dogs like huskies, chows, and malamutes may only be digging to create a space to stay cool in. This is easily resolved by creating an area for your dog to cool down in, like a small patio or awning made just for him! Dogs that were bred for hunting in tunnels, such as terriers, dachsunds, beagles, and whippets may be digging either by natural behavior or when they find underground animal tunnels. Redirecting their attention with a game (like hiding treats above ground) while outside, or even giving them their own dig box, may alleviate the issue of digging up the garden! Some dogs will dig merely from boredom! Combating this is as easy as socializing at a dog park or doggy daycare, or exercising them as often as possible.

2. Landscaping to Protect
When planing, keep in mind that different levels and placement of gardens can deter a dog from tearing through it. If your dog's favorite pathway is directly through where you want to place your garden, it may be easier to select another location. However, if your heart is set on that location, create boundaries and use verbal commands to redirect your dog away from the garden. Elevated garden beds and mounds may also reroute your dog!

3. Sun and Shade Alike
Like we mentioned before, it's always a good idea to create a safe and cool place for your dog to rest. It's also equally important to leave a sunny spot in your yard completely undisturbed so that your pooch can soak up the sun without crushing your favorite perennials! In this area, you can include a dig box and anything else that reinforces to your dog that "this is your space."