A Guide to Pest Control Services and Pet Safety

Pest control and prevention can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing endeavor for any homeowner, but this is especially true if you have pets. The need for pest control can mean many things; fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches, etc. But while you get rid of whatever infestation you are plagued with, you must also consider the well-being of your animals. Follow these tips for pet-safe pest control.

Prevention is Key

Your first line of defense is prevention. Keep your home tidy and deep clean as often as you can. Invest in sealant and clear off any cracks, nooks, and crannies between your home and the outdoors. Avoid placing your pet’s food bowls near doors and windows, as these can attract bugs from the outside. If there is a way for bugs to get in, they will find it, so be diligent and pest-proof your house as best as you can.

Choose Pet-Friendly Brands

If, heaven forbid, you need to take chemical action to fight your pest infestation, it is important to be choosy with brands. Seek out brands that are specifically pet safe and non-toxic to animals. Just because a brand is safe for humans doesn’t mean it is okay for Fluffy and Spot. Make sure to read labels carefully and abide by all directions. If a product has a 12 hour waiting period, it probably isn’t safe for you or your animal during those 12 hours. When possible, choose DIY treatments. For instance; fruit flies can be trapped with just a bottle and some vinegar. These DIY traps are pet-safe and don’t involve chemicals.

If that doesn’t work, professional pest control companies quickly and effectively treat a variety of pest infestations, including termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, ants, and rodents. Find a company in your area that uses eco-friendly treatments; these are least lightly to be harmful to your pets.

When In Doubt, Wait It Out!

It is best to avoid your home for a while any time you involve chemical pest treatments. This is a great time to book a playdate for your dog or cat with one of your neighbors or family members, or perhaps check them into doggy daycare for an afternoon. Having your pet out of the house and out of the way will be safer for them in the long run and more convenient for you during treatment.

No matter what pest-control operations you choose, make sure that your pet is one of your top priorities. Keep them safe by doing your research, choosing animal-friendly products, and keeping them out of the house as long as possible. Follow these tips and your pest control is sure to be pet-friendly.

Do you have more questions about your dog and their behavior? Check out our blog for answers to your questions!

4 Often Overlooked Doggy Dental Facts

As dog owners, we do everything we can to maintain the health of our furry family member, but it can be easy to forget sometimes the importance of their dental health. Dogs can have similar issues with their dental health that people do, and it’s important to prevent any problems from occurring. Knowing more about what’s happening in your canine’s mouth will help keep you more alert to any potential problems.

Here are 4 overlooked doggy dental facts that can help you and your pet:

Gum Disease

Gum disease is extremely common in dogs. Studies have shown that there is an extremely high percentage of dogs that unfortunately show signs of gum disease as early as three years old. Some of the signs for gum disease include noticeably bad breath, brown and yellow buildup of tartar, and irritated gums. Make sure to examine your dog’s mouth regularly so that you can acknowledge any of these symptoms right away.

Root Canals

Another overlooked doggy dental fact is that dogs can also need root canals. Many people assume that root canals are something done specifically for humans, but dogs can also need root canals because it is common for dogs to break their teeth. If your canine needs to have a root canal, you can expect it to cost about the same as it would for a person. Since broken teeth are common in dogs, it’s important to monitor what your dog is chewing on. Hard objects like wood, rocks, hard treats, and hard toys can be potential dangers to your dog. Giving your dog soft treats and toys will greatly lessen the chance of your dog breaking a tooth.

Periodontal Disease

Smaller dog breeds are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Small dogs are more at risk because their teeth are too big for their mouths. Canine periodontitis symptoms include yellow or brown teeth, loose or missing teeth, red or swollen gums, smelly breath, and a loss of appetite or weight loss. To prevent this, make sure to regularly brush your dog’s teeth, visit your vet for dental cleanings, give your dog toys and food that support dental health, and give your pet treats that are treated with enzymes.

Tooth Infection

If your dogs 4th premolar is infected, you will notice swelling under the eye. This tooth is larger than the others and is also known as the carnassial tooth. Owners typically misunderstand the unique problem because of the unusual symptoms.

Just as your dental health is an important aspect of your overall health, so too is your dog’s. Regular check ups and consulting with your veterinarian on recommended toys, treats, and food will keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

References:

Doctors Foster and Smith

PetMD

Hammond Dental Care

Banfield Pet Hospital

Go On Vacation A Lot? Here’s How To Avoid Common Pet Pawblems While Away

While dogs and cats provide excellent relief from our daily anxieties, sometimes you need a good prolonged vacation to burn off some extra steam. But animals rely on us as much as we depend on them, and being left alone or in a foreign environment can be stressful with them. There are a few precautions you should take to minimize the effects of anxiety on your pet and allow you to enjoy your trip without stressing out about their well-being.

Maintaining an Air of Familiarity For Your Pet

Cats and dogs are creatures of habit. The familiarity of home and the standard routines of everyday life provide them with a sense of stability, and even the most adventurous outdoor cat eventually likes to wander to safety and security back home. While kennels can be a reasonable option for shorter vacations, having a house sitter if you are gone for two weeks or more is a good choice. This allows your pet to stay within the presence of the sights, sounds, and smells that make up their defined territory, but it also avoids anxieties that came from being overly socialized. Interactions with other animals are a positive experience for most pets, but the unfamiliarity of a new environment and the extended exposure to multiple animals can make pets anxious and territorial. Just make sure to set up a regular schedule. Two visits per day are a good average, allowing your pets to get the socialization they need regularly, but this can vary depending on the personality of your dog or cat as well as factors like age and medical conditions.

Lean into the Familiar Routine

Whether you hire a sitter, drop your pet off with a friend, or place them in a kennel or pet hotel, your pet is likely going to experience some anxiety. If you’ve ever scheduled feeding time or walks for your dog, you’ll understand how keenly aware they are regarding the ins and outs of their routine. As their de facto parent, you’re the most assured constant in their routine, but scheduling specific activities for your pet sitter to perform while you’re away can help ease your pet into the process of being away from you. Try to have your sitter stick to this routine as precisely as possible. This will also help the pet understand the terms for times apart in the future and create a consistency they can expect when you go on vacation. Enlisting the services of the same sitter on future outings can go a long way towards making your pet feel more secure.

Put Together a Pet Emergency Kit

It’s generally a good rule of thumb to hope for the best but plan for the worst, and that’s doubly true if you aren’t physically available to deal with a crisis personally. Anything from a natural disaster to a medical emergency could strike while you’re away, and that’s why it’s a smart move to have an emergency kit at the ready for your sitter.

You want to make sure that all of your pet’s basic needs are covered in the kit. Package together secure dry food and preferably sealed water along with bowls for both. An extra leash and collar and a thermal blanket are also key, and you should make sure to include waste bags and a pet first aid kit as well. Consider packing some toys or other personal belongings like blankets as well, so your pet will have an anchor of safety and comfort even if they’re forced to leave their home. Even if an emergency never arises, the kit can double as a to go bag for walks and hikes.

Make Sure All Records Are Updated

If you’re leaving on vacation, chances are you’ve taken the time to pay off your bills and generally get your affairs in order. Your pet deserves the same courtesy. Making the time to take them to the vet and groomer can make sure everything is in order when it’s time for you to say your goodbyes. You’ll also want to make sure their tags and identification are accurate and secured so that they’ll be safe even if they manage to break from their leash or get out of their home or kennel.

Don’t Be Too Dramatic

While you’ll probably miss your little guy or girl while you’re away, making a big deal out of your departure may only make their anxieties worse. Dogs and cats can sense our emotional states pretty effectively, and making a show out of your goodbyes could instill in them the notion that you’ll never return. Treat your farewell with the same urgency as when you leave for your work commute. And if you’re still worried your dog will be anxious, check out our blog to learn some calming exercises you could try.

 

References:

Vetstreet.com

Estatesitting.com

Petinsurance.com

Should I Put My Dog In Training?

Image Source: Integrity K9 Services: Executive Protection Dogs

If you’ve adopted a puppy or an adult dog, you may be wondering if you should invest in dog training. Is it really necessary? Why does it matter? Whether you are struggling to tame your unruly canine companion or simply want to fine-tune your dog’s skills, training has numerous positive outcomes for both pet and owner. Check out the following benefits of dog training services that every owner should know.

Safe and Sound

Training your furry friend will ensure his or her safety. If your dog is obedient, he or she is far less likely to dart out in front of a car and more likely to come back when called in the face of precarious situations. A trained and properly socialized dog will often be less aggressive towards other animals and people. Not only is this a security measure for your dog’s safety, but for others and their pets as well. We recommend starting early, if you have a pup, so that they grow up with the expectation that it is not okay to be aggressive.

Busy Owners

If you are super busy, you may feel you have no time to allot for training your pet. In the short-term, a dog training service will take up more of your time. In the long-term, dog training may actually save time. Dog training can be useful for busy dog owners who don’t have hours to spend on picking up after their pets’ accidents or providing constant monitoring and support. It is easier to leave your dog with peace of mind knowing that you can spend more time on what you need to focus on (and with your dog) rather than fixing your untrained dog’s mistakes.

Create a Strong, Lasting Bond

If your primary goal is to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, dog training services are the way to go. Statistics illustrate that a trained dog has a better bond with its owner. Positive training will improve communication, emphasize teamwork, and foster mutual respect. Your dog will become fully integrated into your family, respect your rules, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Train to Protect, Retrieve, or Alert

After you lay down a basic framework of obedience rules and commands for your dog to follow, you may decide you want to teach him or her a special skill. As your dog moves further throughout formal basic training, he or she will be able to learn more advanced commands that involve protecting you, retrieving important objects you need when you are unable to, or even alerting you to danger.

References:

Benefits of Taking Your Dog To Obedience Training

Dogs: Positive Reinforcement Training

5 Ways Owning a Dog Improves Your Mental Health

It is well known that dogs are the ultimate companions. They offer friendship and comfort to children and adults alike. But dogs can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Particularly for those with PTSD, dogs can provide emotional support and reduce loneliness. Here are five ways that owning a dog can improve your mental health:

Dogs Can Decrease Stress and Anxiety

When feeling anxious or overwhelmed, petting your dog can relax you. The repetitive motion of stroking the dog’s fur and focusing on the rhythm can recenter your thinking and provide a calming influence. Oxytocin is also released when you connect with your pet, which reduces cortisol levels and reduces anxiety and stress.

Dogs Get You Out of the House

It is common for those struggling with depression, anxiety or PTSD to isolate themselves and to avoid leaving the house. However, a dog needs its owner to take him out for walks or for play. This exercise releases endorphins, which increases positive feelings and reduce sensations of pain. Even the exposure to sunshine and fresh air can improve stress levels and depression symptoms.

Dogs Will Listen to You

It can be embarrassing or overwhelming to discuss feelings of depression or anxiety with friends or family for fear of judgment. Dogs, however, offer a sympathetic and unbiased ear, and provide love and comfort regardless of what their owner has to say. Talking through problems or concerns with your dog can have therapeutic effects that positively impact mental health symptoms.

Dogs Provide You With Purpose

When bombarded with anxious and negative thoughts, it can be hard to find value in everyday life. The act of caring for a dog provides an owner with purpose and responsibility, which has been shown to improve mental health. Feeding the dog, taking him outside and playing with him allows for a positive focus on your mental and emotional energy.

Dogs Bring You Joy

Dogs are playful and eager by nature, which can be contagious. Whether playing throw and catch or snuggling on the couch, happy moments with your dog can increase serotonin levels. Serotonin helps to regulate mood, improve your sense of wellbeing, and keep depression at bay.

Training might seem a bit daunting at first, but there are plenty of resources available to help you out! While owning a dog will not cure mental illness, caring for and spending time with your dog can make a positive impact. The everyday routines of walking, playing with, and engaging with your dog can increase neurotransmitters that boost your mood and improve your mental health.

References:

How Dogs Can Help Combat Vets with PTSD | Low VA Rates

What Dogs Teach Us about Peace, Joy, and Living in the Now | Tiny Buddha

Forget the Treadmill. Get a Dog. | The New York Times

German Shepherds: The Ultimate Guide

German Shepherds continue to be one of the most popular dog breeds. They often rank internationally within the top 10 of all dog breeds. They are renown for their intelligence and trainability as well as their regal appearance. They are working dogs that were initially bred in Germany for their herding and guarding abilities. The American Kennel Club classifies them in the herding group.

Physical Attributes

German Shepherds are large dogs, weighing around 80 pounds. Their size is ideal for the work that they perform. While they do not need regular trips to a professional dog groomer, they do require regular brushing. German Shepherds have a double coat that sheds continuously. They top the list of all breeds for shedding. While most dogs are healthy, be aware that this breed is notorious for having hip dysplasia and other joint diseases.

Intelligence and Personality

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and trainability, but a lot of people also tend to think that they are also rather aggressive. They’re not actually! German shepherds are a lot calmer than you think. This is why they are such a popular dog breed. They rank within the top 10 breeds for their ability to learn. This characteristic makes German Shepherds ideal as working dogs for military, law enforcement or placement as service dogs for people with disabilities. They are loyal, and they have a sincere desire to please their owners. Unfortunately, these guarding and herding instincts can also become problematic for people when dogs are not properly trained or socialized. Poorly bred dogs can inherit overly aggressive or shy traits that can challenge even the most experienced dog owner.

With proper training, German Shepherds thrive in either a working or family environment. They get along well with children and other pets in the home. Their loyalty is legendary. They are generally aloof around strangers and will protect their family. Early socializing with people is essential so that the dog learns to recognize regular human activity versus the unusual. If German Shepherds are not socialized with other people, they can become aggressive and overprotective of their family members. This social balance is one that every owner will need to understand.

Energy and Exercise

German Shepherds are energetic and need regular exercise, but German Shepherds are calmer than you think. These dogs have a strong work ethic and are always ready for an outing. They are not couch potatoes. They thrive in an active lifestyle – so you’ll want to invest in some high energy toys. Activities such as agility, Herdengebrauchshund trials and scenting will keep these dogs busy. They are also excellent companions for runners. If the dog has no job, he will find one. They can develop destructive tendencies if they are not given things to do, or they lack proper training. For the most part, German shepherds are quiet, and they are not known for their barking.

Breed Ban Lists

German Shepherds are on breed ban lists. Think carefully about adopting a German Shepherd before investigating local ordinances or homeowner association regulations. If you travel, your dog may not be welcome at hotels, RV parks and may be banned from some communities. Check your insurance. Some companies will have exclusions for some dog breeds. German Shepherds have a mixed reputation. They may be an insurance or legal liability.

Choosing Your Dog

Choosing a dog will be one of the most critical activities you will do. A dog will impact your life for the next 10-15 years. This is not a decision to take lightly or impulsively. If you are a new dog owner, you should seriously consider adopting an adult dog. They will have the training and socialization critical for this breed.

Before adopting a German Shepherd:

  • Get to know other people who own German Shepherds.
  • Visit kennels without committing to any purchases.
  • Interact with German Shepherds as well as other dog breeds.
  • Contact pet organizations; discuss your interest in German Shepherds.
  • Meet with professional trainers.

The best places to adopt your dog is from a breeder who has dogs with the temperament that you want. Contact an established breed rescue organization. This is the best place to look for an adult dog.

Take an expert or a knowledgeable person with you to help assess any dog that you adopt. A second opinion may save you years for frustration. Have the dog vet-checked before finalizing any purchase.

German Shepherds are amazing dogs. They want to please. They have intelligence and a strong work ethic. There are positive and negative traits in every dog breed. Analyze why you want a dog. If your vision of dog ownership matches that of a German Shepherd, you will have a long, enduring relationship with this noble breed.

 

Love Your Dog? Kick These Bad Habits Today

A dog’s expected lifespan is already less than 20 percent of that of a human. Rover certainly does not need the effects of his owner’s bad habits to rob him of even more years from his existence on earth. So for the sake of your own health and that of your barking buddy, here are some bad habits that you should consider quitting immediately:

Smoking

Nicotine addiction, as any substance use disorder, is a chronic relapsing brain disease of the reward pathway rewiring. Addiction is characterized by dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal, and has genetic predisposition as well as gender differences. This is why it is important to be evaluated and treated by a specialist in order to achieve the best results. So not only is smoking a surefire way to destroy your health and shorten your life, but research has suggested that second-hand smoke can have the same damaging effects on your loved ones. If you have a dog, you likely count him or her on your list of breathing beings that matter the most to you. And if your pets live indoors, you should be aware that your smoking habit could lead to nasal and lung cancer in dogs.

Laziness

It is no secret that dogs mimic the behaviors of their owners. So if you spend your entire day sitting on the couch watching TV, your dog is likely to do the same. But dogs need exercise just as much as humans do. While they need to move to maintain their physical health, they also need exercise to feel happy about the life they live.. So tell your rear end to quit its addiction to the cushions on your couch. Start incorporating frequent walks into your daily routine, or maybe start doing yoga (with Fido!).

Not Picking Up After Yourself

Speaking of laziness, you should consider the health of your pets the next time you think about neglecting to throw away your candy wrappers and to take your dishes to the sink. Dogs are world-renowned lickers and chewers. And they typically do not care what the item is made of that they have in their mouth. If you decide to continue the habit of leaving your trash out where it does not belong, it is only a matter of time until your dog eats chocolate or chokes on a wrapper.

Losing Your Temper

You might be surprised just how much your emotions influence those of your dog. If you have a habit or yelling or screaming on the phone or to other family members in your house, your dog will feel the stress in your voice. As a result, your dog’s heart rate will increase and adversely affect his or her health.

References:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/7912759/Your-dog-does-behave-like-you-scientists-prove.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/27/dog-imitation-humans-canine-behavior-video_n_3653115.html

https://rightpathaddictioncenters.com/smoking-cessation-programs/