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Pet Benefits:   Pets are creatures of habit and they don't like to deviate from their daily routine. When you hire a pet...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

7 Tips to Prevent Dog Urine Spots on Your Lawn

If you have a dog, then chances are you also have brown spots on your lawn. This happens because dog urine is rich in nitrogen, which is known to kill grass when concentrated amounts collect over time.
The effects of dog urine on your lawn are similar that of a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer. A small amount of fertilizer makes your yard healthy, but too much will kill your lawn. To prevent burns, you need to reduce the amount of nitrogen that comes into contact with your grass.
Follow these seven tips to a greener and healthier lawn:
Fertilize your lawn less, or not at all, in areas where your dog urinates.
Fertilized lawns may already have as much nitrogen as they can handle. Even a small amount of nitrogen in dog urine may be all that is needed to burn the lawn.
Spray areas where your dog urinates with water.
Pouring water on the area after your dog urinates will help to dilute the urine and lessen the effects of the nitrogen on your lawn.
Encourage your dog to drink more water.
The more your dog drinks, the less nitrogen will be concentrated in the urine and the less damaging it will be to your lawn. It will also be healthier for your dog as well.
Replant affected areas with a more urine-resistant grass.
Ryegrass and Fescue are the most urine-resistant type of grass, while Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda are the most sensitive.
Feed your dog a dietary supplement.
Certain dietary supplements, such as Green-UM and Drs. Fosters and Smith “Lawn Guard,” bind with the nitrogen in the urine, making it less harmful to your lawn.
Train your dog to eliminate in one area.
Some products, such as the Simple Solution Pee Post, are impregnated with pheromones to encourage your dog to pee on or near them.  Designating an area for your dog to eliminate in will save the remainder of your yard.
Apply a lawn repair treatment.
Some treatments, such as Dogonit Lawn Repair Treatment, contain organic enzymes with soil cleansers to flush the salts from the root zone.

How to Get Your Dog to “Go” in the Snow

Dogs are creatures of habit – their internal clock tells them when it’s time to go out, they favor certain toys and treats over others, and they even have preferred places to hunker down and do their “business.”
But what happens when your pooch wakes up in the morning and steps outside to find his or her yard covered in a blanket of snow? For many dogs, they can’t quite seem to find the right place to “go.”
If your dog is having trouble figuring out how to relieve himself in your snow-covered backyard, here are some tips:
Shovel a poop path
Shoveling a path out into the yard, as well as a little cul de sac at the end for moving about, can restore just enough normality in your dog’s world to get them going again. While you’re at it, try to shovel far enough down to expose some grass too. If his or her favorite “spot” isn’t far from the door, consider going the extra few feet – it can make all the difference.
If you prefer to leave the shoveling and poop-scooping to someone else, pet waste removal services are happy to help, all for about the same price as a large pizza.
Get him running to get things running
Just like every other animal, dogs sometimes need to get their bodies moving to keep things moving, especially their bowels. Take your dog out with you while shoveling their poop path and throw a ball or toy around for them. Lots of dogs are overcome with excitement in the snow and quickly enter hyper-frisky mode, so getting them running should be easy.
Try feeding your pooch a little pumpkin
Plain canned pumpkin is a natural, commonly used laxative for dogs that softens their stool and encourages bowel movement. It doesn’t take much to see results, generally half of one teaspoon for a small dog and a full tablespoon for larger ones. Dogs love the taste of pumpkin and it can start to work in as little as a two or three hours.
Once your dog finally warms up to the idea of doing their business in the snow, it’s important to make sure you scoop it up. As easy as it may seem to just cover it with snow and move along, the fact remains: Snow won’t melt your dog’s poop away.
Unbeknownst to many, dog waste is more than just a gross and unsightly mess – it’s an environmental pollutant and a human health hazard. That’s because dog poop carries disease-causing bacteria and parasites that can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Ringworm, roundworm, salmonella, giardia and E. coli are examples of such frequent inhabitants, all of which are commonly found in dog feces and are easily transferable upon contact. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog waste and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years.
Making matters worse, many of these waste-borne pathogens can survive in water, which means that as the snow mounds begin to melt away, bacteria and parasites living in the poop can spread, covering your yard and eventually making their way into local rivers, streams, creeks and other waterways.
The best way to keep yards, decks and sidewalks clean and safe after a heavy snow and a visit from a squatting pup is to scoop the poop into a bag and toss it out with the garbage.

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating His Poop

As pet owners, we want our furry loved ones to be healthy and happy. So when we happen to see Fido taking an interest in eating the waste he has left behind, it is only natural for us to feel concerned and want to do something about it.
As unpleasant as it may be to witness this behavior, it is actually very common in dogs and has been forever. Called Coprophagia, some attribute dogs eating their own waste to hard-wired instinct. Before dogs were domesticated, they were scavengers that survived by eating whatever they could find. Often, this included feeding on the waste of other animals, as well as their own. But today’s dogs are not their ancestors and Coprophagia is a behavior that should be laid to rest.
Diet:  A lack of sufficient nutrients in a dog’s diet is the single-greatest factor leading to Coprophagia. Dogs will sometimes try to re-digest the food to get all of the nutrients they can from it.
The best dietary solution is to put Fido on a raw diet. Dogs are carnivores and their digestive system is built for processing meat – raw meat, to be precise. By researching and implementing a raw diet, you will better align your pet’s diet with their physiological makeup. In turn, this should work to satisfy their needs and prevent them from scavenging what they’ve left behind.
Stress:  Dogs behave differently under stress. One of the leading behavior changes in dogs suffering from anxiety is their eating. Did you recently adopt your dog or move to a new home? If so, give them time to adjust. Exercise is also a great way to level out a pet’s temperament and reduce their stress.
Attention:  Finally, whether it’s stealing a sock or running away when you call them, dogs tend to act out when they are seeking attention. Included in this array of attention-seeking bad behaviors is Coprophagia. Keep in mind that negative attention is still attention, so make a point not to react if you see your pooch eating his left-behinds. Instead, calmly remove and dispose of the waste without saying a word or making eye contact. As contradictory as it seems, scolding the pet will often reinforce the behavior rather than reduce it.
While there are many factors contributing to a dog’s tendency to eat its own waste, ranging from diet to animal instinct, this is a common behavior that can be stopped. The best action pet owners can take to ensure doggie deposits are not re-consumed is to make sure pet waste does not accumulate. By removing the waste, you remove the core of the problem.
Those who are too busy to deal with the mess – or simply prefer not to – should consider hiring a local pet waste management service. With most services costing about the same price as a large pizza, who wouldn’t want to wash their hands clean of the whole cleanup business?

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Many Plants and Flowers Toxic to Dogs

As pet parents, there is nothing more important than keeping our furry loved ones safe and healthy. So important is the health of our pets, in fact, that United States pet owners collectively spend more than $27 billion on veterinary care and over the counter medicines every year.
While we all take great care to keep foods like chocolate, grapes and chicken bones out of paws reach, when it comes to plants and flowers, the dangers are not quite so clear.
According to the ASPCA, there are approximately 400 plants and flowers that can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Some of the more well known culprits include: azaleas, elephant ears, ivy, foxglove, nightshade, morning glory, wisteria, cyclamen, hydrangeas, daffodils and tulips.
With such a long list, committing the name of every dangerous plant and its toxicity level to memory is by no means necessary as a pet owner; however, it is a good idea to be aware of the general signs associated with poisoning from plants.
The most common symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, lethargy, swollen limbs and abdominal pain (your dog may flinch or whine when their underside is touched, especially the stomach). Pets coming into contact with a toxic plant that secretes a milky sap may develop redness, swelling and itchiness on the skin where contact occurred.
Examining your pet’s waste is also an effective way to gauge their health and identify illness, plant related or otherwise. In short: Regular, solid bowel movements are a sign of good health; loose, wet and irregular stools can indicate sickness.
If you begin to notice any of these symptoms in your pet and suspect he or she may have consumed a toxic plant, contact your local veterinarian immediately. The ASPCA also maintains a 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
Sadly, many dogs lose their lives every year due to plant poisoning that could have been avoided. Whether your dog is a young puppy or an old friend, it’s important to always be mindful of the plants kept inside your home and around the yard.
For a full list of toxic plants, visit the ASPCA website ( and search for “toxic plants.”

Top 3 Fire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Pet’s Life

We understand that you would do anything to ensure that you pet is happy and safe. In honor of Pet Fire Safety Day, we wanted to share with you the top 3 tips to keep your pet safe in the event of a home fire. According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, the first step to pet fire safety is including your furry friend in your family evacuation plan. By knowing who is responsible for scooping up your pet, and grabbing their emergency kit items, you can be sure that they are not overlooked in the chaos. For outdoor pets, such as rabbits or chickens, it’s suggested that you clear any brush away from their dwellings, so as to prevent the fire from spreading too close and putting them at risk.
Graphic Courtesy of

In case rushing to grab your pet on the way out the door becomes impossible, DogTime suggests leaving them their own emergency exit, in the form of a doggy door. If there’s a heightened risk that a fire might break out at your home, they ask that you consider installing monitored smoke detectors. This will ensure that firefighters are sent out to your home at the first signs of smoke. Both DogTime and Veterinary Pet Insurance recommend that you map out a list of locations where your dog is likely to sleep, or hide out. Having this list handy with your evacuation kit will make it far easier for the rescue crew to locate your pet if they were unfortunately left behind.
The following 3 action items could save our dog’s life in the event of a fire.
  • Mark Windows with Emergency Stickers – Ensure that main windows are marked with emergency stickers to notify firefighters of exactly how many animals you have in the house, as well as what they look like.
  • Keep Your Dog Collared – Frightened animals may act erratically and run away from emergency personal and into danger when they feel threatened. Keeping a collar on them and a leash near the door will make it easier for rescuers to quickly grab your pet and get them outside to safety.
  • Practice Fire Prevention – Whenever possible, use flame-less candles. Keep a close eye on active fireplaces and ensure that your wiring is up to date and in good working shape. Lock or remove the knobs on your stove so that a stray tail can’t switch the burner on. The easiest way to keep your pet safe from a fire, is to avoid one altogether.