Month: July 2014

Cool Pups

Who doesn’t like a cool popsicle on a hot day?

A great, and easy treat to make for your dog and the kids can help out on this one.

What you will need: paper cupcake liners, fruit, veggies, dog treats, water and a freezer — oh and a dog!

1. Place paper liner in muffin tin and add pieces of fruit, vegies or even dog treats. Things that are healthy for your dog  to eat. If you are unsure about what not to feed them please take a moment to research it online.

2. Add water.

3. Place in freezer.

4. If  the paper is frozen to the tin turn it upside down under some tepid water. Add water back into the tin and place paper covered ice pop back in the water for 2-3 seconds. This will make the paper liner easy to remove.

5. Call your dog and take him outside to enjoy his treat.

******As with all toys and treats, please sit with him and watch him enjoy it and make sure he is safe.*******

 

Kodi checks out his fresh blueberry ice pop on a hot Florida day.  Next I am going to mush up some of the berries so they are not all at the bottom, not that he minded.

Ice pops 3

Ideas for fillers:

Uncooked green beans, sweet potato, bananas, strawberries, fruit juice with no added sugar (I would add just a bit to the water), dog treats

 

Flea free

The one question guaranteed to start you scratching has got to be, “Is that a flea?”

Hoping against hope the small black dot you see on your pet is just a speck of dirt quickly fades as the “dirt” jumps.

Seeing one flea can start you scratching. Heck, writing this has me feeling things that aren’t there.

I have found a few ways that work for me in displacing these unwanted house guests.

First let’s meet our flea, In other words, “Know thy enemy.”

Fleas require certain conditions to survive beginning with their food supply which is blood. Yours or your pet’s the flea doesn’t care. So the first thing to do is treat your animals,

Bathe them with a high quality flea soap and dry them briskly with a towel and with the hair dryer if they will let you. Immediately take the towels and any bathmats and put them in the washing machine.

Now apply your flea preventative of choice. If the infestation is bad enough ask your veterinarian for a capstar pill. One should do it. This pill is given prior to the bath and will kill all of the adult fleas. You will see them wash down the drain. This is not a replacement for the preventative.

Now the house. I am not a big fan of poisons and repeated bombings. This is not healthy for you or your pet and simply trying to poison them isn’t going to do the job.

For a long and “reproductive” life fleas needs warm temperatures and humidity. Let’s get rid of both.

Tackle the problem one room at a time, beginning with the bedrooms. Strip your bedding and put it in the washing machine. I use hot  water, laundry soap and 20 Mule Team Borax. Maybe cold water and just laundry soap would work but this makes me feel better.

Remove your mattress and rub borax on the top of the box spring. Just a thin layer. Reposition the mattress.

Vacuum like you have never vacuumed before. Several times back and forth. I like to sprinkle borax on the carpet. Just be sure to vacuum all of the powder up. We do not want Fluffy and Fido licking it up.

Next, buy, borrow, rent, whatever, a dehumidifier. Fleas love humidity and hate dry air. Turn it on, leave as many lights in the room on as you can and close the door as you continue onto the next room.

EMPTY the vacuum bag or canister. I put my trash can in my garage to do this. If the bag is full replace. This is not the time to save money and conserve on bags. When you have completed your cleaning of the whole house take the garbage outside to your street trash can. We are not letting even one flea back into the house.

I am not going to kid you. This is an intense process that needs to be done thoroughly.

Your house is going to have the cleanest carpet in the neighborhood for the next few weeks. Why? Because you are going to vacuum it thoroughly every single day for at least two weeks. Running that dehumidifier each day will also help.

That’s my system and it has worked for me. It is the most natural method I have found. If you decide to use poisons you are still going to need to vacuum thoroughly,

Four letter words

There are four letter words no pet owner wants to hear — flea and tick. These offensive and intrusive parasites can turn an otherwise happy home upside down.

Prevention is of course the key. There are many products to choose from but one size does not fit all. What works for me may not work for you.

Topical treatments, those tiny plastic tubes that you snap open and apply on a section of skin below the animal’s fur have never been easy for me. No matter what type of dog I had, parting the fur was never simple. With my current pup, Kodi the Corgi, the fur is so dense I cannot get to the skin.

According to Kodi’s the fluid is some sort of acid. He squirms and bucks and if a drop should fall and bead off his red and white coat … well the reaction is indescribable and he is not protected.

When he was younger I did manage to get a topical treatment between his shoulder blades and to his skin, or so I thought. At that time we had two other dogs, Shadow, a Labrador mix, and Luna, a golden retriever mix. The morning after I applied the treatment we found Luna had died in her sleep. She was only 8-years old with no known ailments. I have always wondered if  he licked Kodi’s shoulder after the application. I will never know for sure but that was it for me and the topical treatments.

We began using Trifexis, which is an excellent treatment for fleas and ticks but is pricey. I have even tried to get it through our vet at the humane society. One our benefits is being able to get discounts, but there was no real savings for this pill. But I continued because that is what we do for our pets. We may go without something so we can care for them.

Enter a sales representative with a wonderful new product using an old method — a flea and tick collar. This is not the type you pick up in the grocery store. Seresto collars by Bayer are made for dogs and cats six months and older. The initial cost is $45 and up but they last for eight months or about $6 a month.

I put one on Kodi and one on Samantha, a cat who does not wear collars, three months ago after the threat of a flea infestation. We caught the fleas early, treated them and the house (tomorrow’s post) and then the collars were added.

As I said, indoor cat Samantha was not accustomed to having a collar on so I watched her carefully. I certainly did not want her trying to get out of the collar and getting it stuck in her mouth. But that was never an issue. These have a nice soft feel to them and everyone adapted quickly.

The feature I like the most (other than the absence of the intruders) is I put this on my pets, counted forward eight months on my phone calendar and forgot it. No more questioning myself, did I treat them this month?

Most important — I haven’t seen a flea or tick since they began wearing them.

 

Found my way “home”

My blog posts stopped last October as duties as the Volunteer Manager at a local humane society swallowed up my time.  But a meeting with the Ancient City Writers (St. Augustine FL) and guest speaker Carol O’Dell have brought me back to what I love to do — write about animals.

During the past nine months (geez I could have had a baby) I have given birth to some new skills which will hopefully be featured in spin off blogs, volunteering and summer camp. Summer Camp? you ask, yep last week was the second of four, week-long summer camps  at our humane society. With each one we learn what works and what does not and being a writer first I kept notes for future use.

But this is a pet blog so hopefully I will find some like minded readers and we can have fun.