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9 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents

Cedarcide blog post image, 9 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents
Sorry to start off with a bummer, but did you know that 20% of all pets die from cancer? Environment is said to play a big role in the development of these cancers, so obviously as pet parents we need to be extra careful with the type of environment we create for our cats and dogs. Reducing harmful chemicals and practicing basic hygiene and cleanliness are essential to upping your pet care game. As you spring clean this year, keep your animal’s wellbeing in mind with these 9 Spring Cleaning tips for Pet Parents.


Upgrade Your Cleaners—Skip the Chemicals!

According to the EPA, indoor air pollution can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Household cleaners and air fresheners are a big reason why, which means spring cleaning is an easy way to introduce noxious chemicals into the home.

Because these toxins can be inhaled, inadvertently ingested and absorbed through the skin—causing hormonal and neurological problems and even cancer in both pets and people—we strongly advise switching to natural cleaning alternatives. Brands like Honest, Mrs Meyer’s, and Method make several natural cleaners to choose from. Do-It-Yourself solutions are another viable option. Click here for an in-depth guide to crafting your own natural cleaners at home.

 

Find a Dependable & Natural Stain Remover

Removing pet stains is not just a matter of vanity, it’s a crucial component of pet training—especially house training. Pets can pick up on even the slightest traces of urine and feces, and will likely continue using that spot to relieve themselves. To prevent such issues, reach for an effective natural, pet-safe stain remover like Kids N’ Pets or mix up a DIY solution at home. Remember, when it comes to pet stains, the sooner you treat them the better.

 

Clean Toys and Food/Water Bowls

Pet toys and feeding bowls are magnets for bacteria, so make sure they’re cleaned regularly. For hard rubber and plastic toys and bowls, soak them in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar to water for at least 30 minutes. Thoroughly scrub after soaking, and then air dry. Soft toys can be cleaned in your washing machine’s gentle cycle, so long as you use a natural detergent that won’t harm your pet. Because these toys can be fragile, skip the dryer and hang dry instead. Lastly, donate or recycle any extra or unwanted toys you find in the cleaning process.

 

Don’t Forget to Check Their Collar

While most pet parents routinely bathe their pets, many forget to routinely clean their pet’s collar. It doesn’t matter how clean your pet is, if their collar smells they’re going to smell. Simply submerge the collar in hot water with a few drops of natural pet shampoo. Soak for roughly 30 minutes, rinse with water and hang to dry. Lastly, use this opportunity to double check the condition of your pet’s collar and tags. Make sure they still fit snugly, are not fraying or close to breaking, and that all identification info is legible and up to date. Replace as needed.

 

Refresh Bedding

Pet bedding and beds also tend to not get cleaned nearly enough, and there’s really no excuse, because it’s super easy. Washing bedding and beds is as simple as throwing them in the washing machine with some natural, pet-friendly detergent. For added freshness, Include a cup of baking soda to help neutralize odors.

 

Clean the Crate, Too

It’s easy to forget to clean crates and carriers, especially if you don’t use them often, but doing so is really important, as they can house loads of germs and bacteria. Using a pet-safe, all-purpose cleaner, spray and scrub both inside and outside the crate, making sure to address all nooks and crannies. If your crate/carrier includes a removable liner, remove and thoroughly clean that as well.

 

Update Your Pest Control


It’s 2018—it’s time to ditch the toxic pesticides already. Traditional pesticides and repellents— whether for yourself, your pets, home or yard—contain unbelievably dangerous chemicals. Worse yet, these chemicals almost always end up somewhere other than their intended destination, such as on flooring, kitchen countertops, and inside your pets’ and family’s bloodstreams. When going non-toxic with your pest control, you’ll need to do it for both indoor and outdoor pesticides to prevent chemical exposure. The same goes for personal bug-repellents: when camping or hiking with your pup, switch out chemical-based sprays for naturally sourced, pet-safe alternatives.

 

Tackle Hair and Shedding

There are two types of pet hair: the type that’s still attached to your animal, and the kind that’s already jumped ship. When spring cleaning, you’ll need to tackle both. Many cats and dogs shed more throughout spring, so extra brushing might be required. (Because the right brush depends on your pet’s breed and unique coat, check with a vet or pet store for help finding one that’s appropriate for your cat or dog.) Regular vacuuming will help address shedding throughout the home, but for the tough task of removing hair from linens and upholstered furniture, reach for a rubber glove. Moisten but do not soak the glove in water, and run it over surfaces to collect unwanted pet fur; repeat as needed.

 

Prevent Muddy Paw Prints

As pet parents, it’s easy to dread spring’s rainy days and the muddy paw prints they can leave throughout our homes. An easy way to tackle this problem is to keep a bucket of warm, soapy water and a towel by the door during stormy weather (use only pet-safe soap, of course!). Clean paws with a quick dip and towel dry to finish. It might take some time for your pet to get accustomed to waiting by the door before coming inside, but with repetition they should pick it up fairly quickly.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

5 Ways to Exercise With Your Dog

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

 
Not only is dog man’s best friend, he’s man’s best workout partner, too! Think about it: they need exercise, we need exercise, they’re almost always up for it, and unlike your friend from work, your pup won’t call to cancel at the last minute. In fact, a study from Michigan State University found that dog owners are 34% more likely to meet the recommended amount of weekly exercise compared to those without dogs. Plus, in general, our dogs could use a lot more exercise. According to the Association of Pet Obesity and Prevention, over 50% of dogs are overweight—and over 20% are obese! By joining forces, you and your canine can fend off heart disease, arthritis and even depression together. Here’s 5 Ways to Exercise with Your Dog.

 
Before starting a new workout routine, have your dog checked at the vet to ensure they’re healthy enough for the chosen exercise. Similarly, we suggest having yourself checked over by your family physician just as a precaution.

 

Walking/Jogging/Running

Walking, jogging, running—all healthy adult dogs can do at least one, although few can do all three. Some pups, like greyhounds, are awesome at sprinting, but don’t fare well on long distances. Others, like labs, are efficient joggers, but can’t sprint like the aforementioned greyhounds. Thankfully, all adult canines without preexisting health conditions can enjoy modest morning walks, which still help improve cardiovascular and immune system health. For best results, avoid running/walking during the hottest and most humid times of the day, and if you have a short-nosed breed like a pug or bulldog, keep the distance under five miles. Click here for help finding the right breed for your style of running or jogging. Want to learn more? Check out these 7 Tips for Running with Your Dog.

 

Swimming

Many dogs take to swimming immediately, which is great, because it’s an incredible exercise you can share with your pup. Swimming is a particularly wise choice for older humans and canines, as it’s low-impact and therefore a good fit for individuals with arthritis and other joint complications. Swimming is also a two-for-one workout, in that it not only improves cardiovascular health but also strengthens muscles. Just remember to never leave your pup alone in the pool unsupervised, even strong canine swimmers can suffer accidents when left unattended.

 

Hiking

Hiking is one of our favorite ways of exercising with doggies, and thankfully they love it, too! There are a million smells to smell, plenty of fresh air to breathe, and lots of nature to explore. Plus, hiking is usually so totally entertaining, you hardly notice you’re exercising at all. Like with all exercises, check with your vet beforehand, start slow, and see how your pup handles the activity before tackling any serious trails. Unlike most exercises on this list, hiking requires several pieces of equipment to do it correctly (including canine-safe bug repellent!). For a list of essential hiking gear, click here. More tips for successfully hiking with your dog can be found here.

 

 
Cycling

If your dog prefers faster runs or is way ahead of you in the fitness department, cycling might be the right exercise to share with your pup. As you can imagine, cycling with a dog comes with many potential pitfalls and requires a strong ability to multitask, so we definitely recommend reading up on the subject first. For a list of necessary equipment (body harnesses, special leashes, etc) and tips for getting started, check out this helpful resource.

 

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is a good option for those living in locations where extreme weather makes outdoor exercise difficult. From strengthening the lower body to cardio and weight loss, climbing stairs offers many benefits for dogs and their owners. If you access to an indoor staircase, simply walk or jog up and down the stairs at a safe pace for both you and your pup. Avoid stairs with openings that could trap your pup’s feet or legs, and use a body harness instead of a neck leash to avoid choking. If your canine is quite small or suffers from arthritis or other joint problems, stair climbing might not be the right workout for your dog. If you live in a mild climate, outdoor stair climbing also works.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

5 Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Tips for Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Keeping your dog’s breath fresh might be the most obvious reason for regular tooth brushing, but it’s hardly the most important. Dental hygiene plays a significant role in your canine’s overall wellbeing. Neglected teeth can lead to bacterial buildup and eventually periodontal disease, which has been linked to organ damage along with several life-threatening infections. By keeping your pup’s chompers in shape, you not only improve their quality of life, but the length of their life as well—dogs who receive regular dental attention have been shown to live longer, healthier lives. Here’s 5 tips for successfully brushing your dog’s teeth.

 

Get a Dog-Specific Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Human toothpaste and toothbrushes are not safe for dogs. Ingesting human toothpaste, for example, can cause your pup painful stomach problems, and in severe cases even organ damage. Choosing the right dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste will come down largely to trial and error. It goes without saying, you’ll need a bigger brush for big dogs and a smaller one for puppies and small dogs, but the style of brush will depend on your dog’s preferences. From finger-fitted to traditional type toothbrushes, you might have to try a couple before you find one your pup responds positively to. You’ll likely have to do the same with toothpaste, trying out different flavors until you discover something your canine doesn’t reject.

 

Use Proper Technique

Before adopting a regular brushing routine at home, we suggest consulting a veterinary professional for in-depth guidance on proper brushing technique. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Brush in a circular motion, concentrating on the outside of the teeth (it’s usually not necessary to brush the insides of your pup’s teeth).
  • Use a 45-degree angle when brushing, this will allow you to brush the gums and teeth simultaneously, helping to clear away more plaque.
  • If bleeding occurs, don’t panic. Light bleeding is normal. In the case of excessive bleeding or pain, contact a vet immediately.
  • Aim to brush 5 days a week, though 2-3 is better than none at all.

 

Pick the Right Time

Brushing your dog’s teeth is always easiest when they’re calm and content. Enjoying some shared exercise or rigorous playtime is an effective way to render your pup relaxed and docile before brushing. A tired pup is far less likely struggle, resulting in a safer and less stressful experience for the both of you.

 


Ease Them into the Process

Don’t jump into regular brushing before acclimating your dog to the process and the tools involved. First, get your dog comfortable with having your hand in their mouth, then introduce them to the toothbrush and toothpaste. Let them smell and lick the brush and taste the toothpaste before attempting to place either inside their mouth. Once they’re comfortable with both, start by brushing a few easy-to-reach teeth, praising them throughout. Brush only a few teeth, making sure to stop once your dog appears noticeably uncomfortable or anxious. Increase the amount of teeth and time each day until your pup can withstand a complete tooth brushing session.

 

Stop if They Act Overly Scared or Aggressive

If at any point your dog becomes extremely anxious or aggressive, stop attempting to brush their teeth immediately. Even the most well-behaved canines can act strangely when faced with their first brushing experience. To help prevent anxiety, always use a soothing voice and praise, including a reward at the end of every session. If your pup continues to act aggressively or apprehensive, consider consulting a professional for help managing your dog’s dental needs.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Crate Training

Cedarcide blog post image, 5 Things You Need to Know About Crate Training

Crate training can be a lifesaver, especially for new dog owners. But crate training isn’t just for us, crates serve as comforting escapes for our pups, especially when the hustle and bustle of family life or house guests becomes too much. But what are the benefits of crate training, what’s the best way to start, and what pitfalls should I avoid? In the following short guide, we’ll cover these questions and more. Here’s 5 things you need to know about crate training.

 

Why Crate Train?

From potty-training to safe pet travel, crate training is an invaluable tool for puppy parents. It can help manage an anxious pup when your short on hands, or help limit a dog’s movements when your home is occupied by unfamiliar guests, animals, or service professionals like repairmen. Plus, having a place your dog can go to relax—a space just for them—can provide him or her with a necessary retreat when things become too stressful or noisy. Having this kind of escape can be very comforting for our canines.

 

How to Choose the Right Crate

In addition to many sizes, there are soft collapsible crates and rigid plastic ones, metal types and various options made from fabric. So which one’s right for your pup? The perfect crate is just big enough for your dog to fit inside and easily turn around, with enough space for them to comfortably sleep as well. If your dog is growing quickly, invest in a larger crate to prevent having to purchase another one too soon. Remember—a crate should be cozy, not roomy, so in the meantime, simply block off the excess space using a partition or other method. In general, soft crates are best for travel, while hard-sided durable kinds tend to work better for daily at-home use.

 

Never Misuse the Crate

Misusing a crate can easily make your dog fearful of this useful training tool. Firstly, never use crating as form of punishment, and don’t leave them alone in their crate for improperly long periods of time. Dogs that are crated too often and for too long can develop depression or anxiety. As a general rule of thumb, don’t leave your pup in a crate longer than they can go without a bathroom break (for puppies, this is about 3-4 hours).

 

 

Crate Train Gradually

Crates are tools not quick-fixes. Attempting to rush the crate training process can spook your pup, leaving them frightened of crates for months if not for the rest of their lives. To start, keep the crate in a relatively busy area of the home, this way your pup doesn’t feel too isolated in the beginning. Make the crate as comfortable as possible as well, filling it with blankets and perhaps your dog’s favorite toy.

In the first days of crate training, leave the door open, even when your pup’s inside (shutting the door immediately can make canines feel trapped or punished). Get your dog interested in the crate by enticing them with treats and feeding them a few meals inside. Once they’re comfortable spending extended periods inside the open crate, start experimenting with shutting the doors and leaving the room. Begin with a few minutes at first and work your way up daily to longer and longer periods of time, consistently rewarding your pup along the way. As soon as they can stay in the crate for roughly 30 minutes without noticeable signs of anxiety or whining, you can start crating them when running short errands. It’s usually relatively smooth sailing from there.

 

Don’t Expect Too Much Too Soon—And Have Fun!

Crate training is not exactly easy or fast. It can take weeks to properly and safely crate train a puppy, sometimes even longer for mature doggies. Don’t expect too much too soon, or you could get frustrated and ultimately give up. Sadly, your dog can pick up on this disappointment, making the process harder still. Always keeping the process light and fun, and making sure the crate is associated with only positive moods and plenty of rewards, is the fastest track to success.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

How To Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Did you know mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet, causing more deaths annually than sharks, snakes, wolves, lions, crocodiles, tigers, bears and humans combined? Crippling, sometimes fatal diseases such as Malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Zika, West Nile virus and more are all spread by mosquitoes.
 
Roughly 700 Million people on Earth contract a mosquito-borne illness likes these each year—1 million of these die.
 
During the height of breeding season, these parasites outnumber every other animal on the planet, except for termites and ants. Unfortunately, mosquito bites don’t affect only humans, they also transmit life-threatening parasites and illnesses such as heartworm disease in animals like dogs, cats and horses, too.

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for mosquitoes. BBQs, outdoor birthday parties and events, swimming—all activities in your backyard—are threatened by these harmful insects. However, there are steps you can take to protect your yard and family from mosquitoes. There’s no need to resort to toxic insecticides, either. Instead, follow these non-toxic tips to mosquito-proof your yard this mosquito season.

 

Remove Possible Breeding Sites
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The first and arguably most important step to keeping mosquitos out of your yard is to get rid of all potential breeding areas—which primarily means removing all sources of standing water. Mosquito eggs often remain attached to receptacles even after they’ve been drained, so be sure to thoroughly clean, not just empty, all areas where water has collected. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove pet bowls, buckets, tires, unused lawn equipment—everything that easily catches rainwater
  • Change and clean bird bath water regularly, or, better yet, empty them during mosquito season
  • Fix leaky hoses, faucets, sprinklers and clogged drainage areas to prevent pooling water
  • Frequently check A/C drip pans for standing water
  • Keep pools well-maintained
  • Regularly check and clean pool covers and other tarps—these often hold water
  • Cover or fill hollow tree stumps and other natural water-collecting reservoirs
  • Clean and remove all blockages from gutters and storm drains
  • Check flower pots and flower pot drip trays for standing water
  • Cover all trash cans and dumpsters
  • Remove all additional clutter from your backyard, such as appliances, unused tools, sporting equipment, children’s toys—anything that can potentially hold water

 

Maintain Your Yard
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Mosquitoes love hiding in tall grass, shrubbery and damp, unkempt areas like woodpiles. Keeping your grass short and yard well-maintained is essential to mosquito control.

 

Treat Your Yard
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Treating your yard with an a non-toxic, water-soluble insect repellent, especially before outdoor activities, will significantly reduce the amount of mosquitoes in your backyard. Cedarwood chips are also a natural insect deterrent; sprinkle them throughout your yard—especially along foundations and fence lines—for additional mosquito protection.

 

Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours
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Lack of wind, sunlight and heat make dawn and dusk ideal feeding times for mosquitoes. In the U.S., mosquitoes are least likely to bite in the middle of the day, and most likely to bite just after sunset. Limiting outdoor activity—particularly in wooded, humid and shady areas—during these periods will greatly decrease the chances of being bitten. Wearing clothes that match your surroundings—darker colors at night, lighter clothing in the day—has also been shown to limit mosquito bites. Wearing closed-toe shoes helps, too.

 

Use Outdoor Fans
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Surprisingly, outdoor fans have proven effective at reducing mosquitoes and mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, body heat and body odor. Fans work by dispersing and redirecting these attractants throughout the air, diminishing not only the appearance of mosquitos in your yard but also the likelihood of getting bitten.

 

Use Mosquito-Repelling Plants
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The following plants are known to have mosquito-repelling properties. Place or plant them in areas where you spend the most time outside:

  • Marigolds’ distinct aroma is a natural insect repellent
  • Basil’s strong scent naturally deters mosquitoes and other insects
  • Catnip has been shown to be 10x more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET
  • Lavender, in both living and dry form, actively repels mosquitoes
  • Lemon balm attracts beneficial insects like bees, but repels mosquitoes
  • Peppermint’s smell helps drive away mosquitoes. It can also be crushed for use as an effective mosquito bite relief treatment
  • Rosemary has a long history of use as a mosquito repellent
  • Citronella’s strong smell can help mask carbon dioxide and body odor, in effect, hiding you from mosquitoes
  • Pennyroyal, both crushed and fresh, helps to repel mosquitoes

 

 

Team Up With Your Neighbors
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Regardless of how many preventative measures you take, if your neighbors don’t pitch in, they might not do any good. Managing and implementing mosquito control best practices—removing standing water, lawn care, etc—is almost always a team effort.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

How to Care for Your Senior Dog: 6 Tips

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, How to Care for Your Senior Dog: 6 Tips

Is your pup getting a little gray around the face, are they less agile than they were a few years ago? If so, your dog might be entering their golden years. Don’t worry—this isn’t a bad thing! It just means your canine might need a little extra attention, especially if they have underlying health conditions like arthritis or vision loss. From monitoring their health to keeping their weight in check, here’s 6 tips for keeping your senior dog in tip-top physical and mental shape.

 

Visit the Vet More Often

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends senior dogs visit the vet at least twice a year for check ups. During each visit, ask your vet for a body condition evaluation, which is a basic overview of your canine’s overall health. Many of the health complications that plague older pups can be treated if detected early enough, so these evaluations are priceless for maintaining your dog in their older years. Lastly, ask your vet for advice about caring for your specific breed as they age, specifically what health issues you can expect. This way, any serious problems can be reported to your vet and treated as soon as possible.

 

Keep Their Weight in Check

Overweight dogs are much more vulnerable to health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer compared to pups who maintain a healthy weight. If your dog is currently overweight, speak with your vet about what diet and exercise changes you need to make to restore their fitness. Less weight means less stress on the body, which makes for happier, healthier senior pups.

 

Take Care of Their Teeth

Your dog’s dental health might be more important than your realize. Neglecting your canine’s teeth is not only painful for your pup, but could cause serious issues down the road, as oral bacteria can reach the bloodstream and wreak havoc on your pooch’s overall health. Skip these problems by regularly brushing their teeth at home and incorporating annual professional cleanings into your pup’s schedule. Even regular brushing doesn’t always solve stinky dog mouth, so check out these 7 ways to naturally freshen your pup’s breath.

 

Keep Up the Exercise—Physical and Mental

Regular exercise and mental stimulation play a big role in your dog’s health as they age. Physical exercise helps fend of obesity, joint pain and countless other ailments, while mental exercise will help keep your pup alert and youthful. Just remember: your dog is older now, and they probably can’t run, hike or climb like they used to, so monitor their body language closely for signs of fatigue when exercising. Limit exercise to the early morning or evening, avoiding the hottest portions of the day. Senior dogs cannot regulate their body temperature as well as young pups, so avoid extremely cold weather as well. Mental exercise is as easy as playing with your dog everyday, maintaining close companionship, and providing them with entertaining toys—like kong food puzzles.

 

Consider Senior-Proofing Your Home and Yard 

As our doggies age, we sometimes need to make special accommodations to make their lives just a little easier. Hearing loss, blindness, arthritis—all require pet parents to make adjustments to their pet care. For example, ramps can be used in areas where stairs are unavoidable, and rugs or mats can be placed on hard surfaces to help relieve joint pain. Senior-specific products like bedding and supplements can also be used to ease pain associated with aging.

If your dog spends time outside, too, your yard needs to be senior-proofed as well. Anything that poses a threat to your pup’s health—from pools they can fall in to toxic plants they might eat—needs to be removed or fenced off. Consult your vet for additional guidance on how to best address your senior pup’s unique physical limitations. For more tips on dog-proofing your yard, click here.

 

Keep the Pests Away

Older pups are more vulnerable to pests like fleas and ticks, as well as the diseases and bacteria they carry. To ensure your dog remains protected, apply a non-toxic and pet-friendly bug repellent to their coat before and after enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or dog park visits. For added protection, treat your yard with a naturally sourced outdoor pesticide, too.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

7 Tips for Running with Your Dog

Cedarcide blog post image, 7 Tips for Running With Your Dog

One of the cool things about dog ownership is that you’re never without a running partner. Plus, with that cute face looking up at you, you’re much less likely to play it lazy and skip a day when you shouldn’t. Fresh air, mutual exercise, bonding time—running with your pup has it all. But before you dive in head first, check out the following tips to make your running routine safe, healthy and successful.

 

Check in with the Vet

Before taking your first run, visit the vet for a checkup. Be clear that you’re planning to start a running routine, and you want to make sure your pup is fit enough for that type of exercise. Not doing a preliminary health check can cause your dog serious harm, especially if their breed is unsuitable for intense exercise, or they have underlying health conditions like hip dysplasia, arthritis or cardiovascular complications.

Is your dog ideal for running? Click here for a list of of dog breeds that make excellent running partners.(Remember: even if your dog isn’t mentioned here, they might still be a good candidate for running, which is why a vet check-in is essential).

 

Start with a Bathroom Break

Giving your pup a potty break just before each run can save you pit stops along the way, not to mention the annoyance of stopping to bag dog poo. But just because your dog enjoyed a successful bathroom break before running, doesn’t mean you can get away with leaving the poo bags at home. Always bring them along just in case.

 

Start Slow

If running is a new activity for you and your pup, it’s best to start slow. From cardiovascular fitness to strengthening your dog’s paw pads, it can take some time to get into running shape. Moderate 10-minute runs are a good starting point, then simply add an additional 5-10 minutes each week until you find a distance and pace that’s right for both of you.

 

Watch their Body Language

Because your pup can’t say when they’re tired or hurting, you need to monitor their body language closely. Heavy panting, foamy mouth, tongue hanging out—all point to an exhausted canine. Note any significant change in their speed as well. If they’re lagging behind or heavy on the leash, your dog is tired and needs a rest.

 

Pay Attention to Their Paws

Running, especially starting out, can sometimes cause injury to your dog’s delicate paw pads. Hot concrete, ice, and glass are all common sources of injury. If you spot limping or constant licking of the feet, there’s a good chance your pup has hurt their pads. Routinely checking their pads before and after outdoor activities—including running—is a good habit to adopt. We also advise cleaning the pads with warm, soapy water after each run to remove possible irritants. If your pup is susceptible to paw injuries, consider investing in some booties for added protection.

 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is fundamental to any healthy exercise, especially when your dog’s involved. Giving your pup water before, after and during runs is a must. While bottles might be ideal for your personal needs, they aren’t always the easiest way for dogs to grab a drink. So consider purchasing a collapsible bowl for when your pup needs water, too.

 

Pick the Right Leash

Having the right leash for your dog’s physical characteristics and behavior profile will make all the difference. The specifics, however, will vary depending on you and your pup’s unique needs and running preferences. To narrow your search, here’s a list of excellent leashes for dogs and their human running partners.

 


Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

Camping with Your Dog: 8 Tips

Cedarcide blog post image, Camping with Your Dog: 8 Tips
Camping is one of the best bonding activities you can share with your dog. Plus, your pup will love it—there’s a million things to smell, chase, look at and pee on. It’s doggy heaven right here on earth. But to keep things safe and fun, you’ll need the proper preparation. Check out the following 8 tips to ensure you and your pup make the most of your outdoor excursion.

 

Find the Right Campsite

Not every campsite is ideal or welcoming of canines, so finding a suitable spot is first on the agenda. Choosing the right space could come down to preference as well, as some sites require leashes and other don’t. Use Bring Fido, hipcamp.com or another online resource to find a pet friendly campsite that’s right for you.

 

Visit the Vet and Update Your Dog’s Papers

Before camping with your pup, especially if it’s their first time, visit the vet to make sure your dog’s physically up to the challenge. While you’re there, confirm that your pooch’s ID tags, vaccinations and microchip information are up to date. As a safety precaution, bring these records along everytime you camp. And because camping can get messy, consider laminating
them, too.

 

Pack the Essentials

While this list is by no means exhaustive, bring at least the following:

  • Poop bags
  • Leash (preferably reflective and no longer than 6 feet)
  • Collapsible food and water bowls (and plenty of food and water for the both of you)
  • Outdoor dog toys (you’re camping remember, it’s supposed to be fun!)
  • Towels (messy pups don’t make ideal tent buddies)
  • Dog backpack (but only if your pup is old enough and strong enough to carry one)
  • Dog-specific first aid kit (more on that below)

 

 

Bring a Dog Specific First Aid Kit

While your dog’s first aid kit should include more items, the U.S. Forest Service suggests bringing at least the following when camping with your pup:

  • Needle-nose pliers for removing thorns, splinters and other sharp objects
  • A bandana in the event you need an emergency muzzle
  • A tool for removing ticks
  • Booties, in case your dog injures their paw or simply requires extra paw protection
  • A first aid book with instructions for treating common dog injuries

For an in-depth guide to finishing out your dog-specific first aid kit, click here.

 

Don’t Forget a Tether and Stakes

Have you ever tried setting up camp while holding your dog on a leash? It’s almost impossible. Two hands is simply not enough. A tether and stakes to secure your dog to the campsite will make your outing much less stressful. While going tether-free or leashless is always an option, it’s a big risk. When faced with all the temptations the outdoors offer, even dogs that do well without a leash can run off and become lost.

 

Bring Pet-Friendly Bug Repellent

Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and countless other insects and parasites inhabit the great outdoors. Apply a non-toxic, pet-friendly bug repellent to both your pup and yourself for a bite-free camping experience.

 

Never Leave Your Dog Unattended

Whether out exploring or back at the tent, never leave your pup unattended. If left at the campsite, your dog could aggravate other campers by barking or stealing food. But more importantly, your dog could get injured by wildlife if you’re not around to monitor their activity. As a rule, never let them venture too far from your side until you’re back in the comfort of your own home.

 

Pack Blankets and a Sleeping Bag Just for Your Dog

Like we said, your pup should never leave your side when camping—and that includes bedtime. While your pup can typically sleep on the ground, doing so, particularly in cold or wet weather, unnecessarily exposes them to the elements (body heat, for example, can easily be lost through the thin flooring of a tent).

To prevent such issues—and to give your pup a comfier spot to rest—pack blankets and a sleeping bag dedicated just for your dog. Low on cash? A child’s sleeping bag from a resale shop makes for a great doggy sleeping bag.

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

6 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Yard

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Dog-proofing your home is a must to keep your canine safe and out of trouble. But equally important to the health of your pup, is ensuring your yard is dog-proofed as well. From removing toxic plants and chemicals to yard maintenance, here’s 6 tips for making your yard a safe environment for your pup. 

Maintain Your Yard

Harmful pests like fleas and ticks thrive in unkempt yards with tall grass. To protect your pup, keep your yard organized, free of clutter and regularly mowed. Keep shrubbery trimmed, too. To further ensure your yard remains bug-free, apply a non-toxic, plant-safe insect repellent monthly.

 

Use Non-Toxic Yard Treatments and Pesticides

From manure to weed-killers to pesticides, chemical-based yard products can be extremely dangerous to your pet, not to mention your family. While many guides advocate removing pets from the yard when using such products and then replacing them afterward, we don’t feel that goes quite far enough. After all, these chemicals can persist for weeks after application. A safer and more eco-friendly route is to switch out chemical-based yard products for naturally sourced alternatives—especially when it comes to outdoor pesticides.

 


Secure Trash Cans and Garden Supplies

It goes without saying, but dogs will put just about anything into their mouths. To protect your pup from themselves, make sure your outdoor trash cans and recycling bins are always sealed. The same goes for garden supplies and other outdoor storage items—keep them all out of reach.

 

Remove Toxic Plant life

Before introducing a dog into your yard, you need to remove all plant life that’s potentially toxic to your pup. Consult this list of plants toxic to dogs for help.

 

Fence Off Pools and Hot Tubs

Regardless of their swimming experience, no dog should be left unattended in a backyard with a pool or hot tub that’s not fenced off. We suggest installing a pet fence around your pool, or keeping your pup in an area of the yard without access to the pool.

 

Supply Shade and Water

Whether your dog spends most of the day outside or only goes in the yard occasionally, make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade. Dehydration and heat stroke can sneak up awfully fast. 

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

How to Go Green When Camping: 5 Tips

Camping is about getting outside and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, when we bring lots of waste and chemical-based products along with us, we can threaten the very nature we hope to appreciate. Green camping is a way of  making our outdoor outings as eco-friendly and responsible as possible. As the saying goes: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. From reducing waste to preserving nature, here are 5 green camping tips. 

 

Go Non-Toxic With Your Bug Spray, Sunscreen and Toiletries 

Traditional, chemical-based products threaten the air, water and wildlife, not to mention your friends and family. Go with a naturally sourced bug spray instead, and when it comes to sunscreen and toiletries, make sure they’re non-toxic and biodegradable. Also shoot for recyclable or reusable packaging.

 

Leave Behind the Electronics

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Other than your cell phone and a flashlight (and GPS if you need it) leave the electronics at home. You’re out in the wild, so appreciate it! MP3 players, handheld video games, tablets—leave them all behind. Consider going solar when charging your devices, too


Use Eco-Friendly Gear

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Switching to more sustainable and responsibly sourced gear options is a big part of making your camping experience more green. Plastic tents, for instance, can sit in landfills for generations after their final use. For sleeping bags and tents, look for options made from 100% recycled materials. Nearly all tents come with some type of water-resistant coating as well as dyes, so aim for options that contain no toxic dyes and coatings that are solvent-free. If these options aren’t available to you, consider borrowing or purchasing used equipment to reduce manufacturing waste.

Dishes are another way to cut down on your environmental footprint. No matter how tempting, don’t resort to disposable plates and utensils—they’re super bad for the environment. Use reusable dishes instead, like lightweight titanium for example. 

 

Ditch Plastic Water Bottles

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Rolling up to a campsite with a few cases of plastic water bottles is just the worst thing ever. That’s a TON of waste, first of all. Second of all, if the campground requires you to carry out your trash, well that’s a whole bunch of stuff to pack out. Plus, plastic means chemicals are leaching into your drinking water—gross! Bring a reusable water bottle instead, along with a few gallons of extra water when you need a refill.

 

Take Care of Business—Responsibly!

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Maybe this should have been #2 on the list, but either way, it’s time we all learned how to take care of our business in a way that’s respectful of the environment. If there’s no outhouse or composting toilet near your campsite, here’s what you need to do:

  • Bring your own toilet paper (We like this one from Seventh Generation) and a bag to dispose of it in
  • #1 or #2 it doesn’t matter, you need to find a secluded spot that’s at least 200 feet from the closest campsite or water source
  • Dig a hole at least 6 inches deep, and promptly cover it after you’re finished
  • Remember that bag you brought to dispose of the soiled toilet paper? Never leave that thing behind—make sure to camp it out or find a way to dispose of it properly

 

Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

 

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