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Why Your Dog Eats Poop, And What You Can Do About It

Cedarcide blog post image, Why Your Dog Eats Poop, And What You Can Do About It
As a pet parent, few things can shake up your world quite like seeing your precious pooch scarf down some dog poo. It’s just….well, gross. But don’t worry too much, canine poop eating—also known as coprophagia—is rather common. A recent study found that 16% (or 1 in 6) dogs eat stool consistently, and 24% (1 in 4) try it at least once. It was also found that females are more likely to indulge in the activity, and non-neutered males are the least likely; and overall, most dogs prefer the poo of neighboring pups over their own. But enough with poop statistics, here are reasons your dog’s eating poo, and what you can do to stop it.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

There are many different theories and schools of thought regarding why dogs eat poop. These are the most common:

Dietary Deficiencies
From enzyme deficiencies to a basic lack of nutrition (sometimes caused by parasites, inappropriate diet or underfeeding), dietary deficiencies are one of the leading reasons experts believe dogs eat poop. In other words, these dogs are eating feces as a way to correct an imbalance in their bodies—whether it be a lack of digestive enzymes, insulin or beneficial gut bacteria.

Increased Appetite
If your pup is unnaturally hungry—due to diabetes or thyroid complications, for example—chances are they’ll try poop at one point or another. “Greedy eating,” the behavior of quickly eating food before another dog can get to it, is also believed to play a role in stool-eating.

Cleanliness
It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s believed that dogs have evolved to eat stool as a way of keeping their living areas clean and free of parasites and unwanted bacteria. It also makes sense as a survival trait—if you dispose of feces before it can be detected by neighboring predators or scavengers, your pack is more likely to remain safe and undisturbed. Which explains why mother dogs almost always eat their puppies’ poop if it’s not quickly cleaned up by their owners; they’re simply trying to keep the den clean and their babies safe.

Stress or Punishment
Stress appears to trigger poop-eating in many pups. Separation anxiety, fear, inappropriately long crating sessions—all seem to increase the likelihood that a dog will eat stool. Punishment is a common example: If a dog’s conditioned to fear retribution over potty mishaps, they could be eating their own poop as a way to hide the evidence to avoid getting punished.

Boredom and Curiosity
Lack of stimulation, like being home alone all day, tends to increase the likelihood of poop-eating. When starved of entertainment or company, a pup might try poop simply because it gives them something to do, and—as gross as it sounds—something to eat. This is fairly common, especially in puppies because they’re new to the world and might be trying poop as a way to better understand their surroundings.

Learned Behavior
Like most living things, dogs learn many of their own behaviors by watching elder members of their family or pack. It’s believed that many dogs eat stool because they’ve seen those around them do the same thing.

How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Poop

So you’ve heard the many reasons why your dog might eat poop, but how can you stop it from happening in the first place? Here’s several strategies that might work for you:

Keep a Short Leash and Pick Up Poop Quickly
First thing’s first, pick up any and all poop quickly—including that of other pets you might have, like rabbits and cats. If there’s no poop around, obviously your dog can’t eat it. When out for walks, hikes or dog park visits, keep your pup close, so as to prevent them from hoovering up other dogs’ stools.

Keep Them Stimulated
Keeping your pup mentally and physically stimulated staves off boredom, which, as you read above, is a common cause of poop-eating. Regular exercise, socializing, and interesting toys (like Kongs!) are all essential.

Rethink Their Diet and Address Health Issues
A balanced, varied and nutritionally rich diet is vital to keeping your pup from eating poop. If they’re getting all the vitamins, enzymes and proteins they need, they might just quit their nasty habit. In general, the more raw and organic the diet, the better. We suggest consulting a vet to find a diet that’s right for your pup’s unique dietary needs.

As previously mentioned, health issues like diabetes and parasites can rob your dog of nutrients and therefore lead them to seek out those nutrients elsewhere—like in poop. If your pup commonly chows down on the brown, or if you see signs of parasites in their stool, get a vet to check them over just in case.

Visit a Vet
If all else fails, a vet visit is probably in order, if only to rule out any serious health conditions. They should also have additional tips and strategies to help curb your pup’s appetite for stool.

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

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in the Bed?

Do you let your dog sleep in your bed? If so, you’re not alone. A survey by the American Pet Products Association found that about half of all puppy parents share a bed with their dogs. Whether you do or don’t, you’ve probably heard conflicting opinions about the subject. Some experts discourage pet owners from inviting their dogs into bed, while others argue that the pros far outweigh the cons. We know—it can be a little confusing. To help clear up the matter, here’s what you need to know about letting your dog sleep in your bed.


The Cons

There are three primary arguments against sleeping in bed with your dog: Sleep disturbance, allergies/asthma, and behavior issues. The first is not entirely unfounded. In one survey, 53% of pet owners reported their dogs regularly disturb their sleep throughout the night. Which, in the long run, can have negative health effects. You see, dogs are what’s called polyphasic sleepers, meaning they have multiple sleep/wake cycles throughout the day (humans, by contrast, are monophasic sleepers, meaning one sleep cycle each 24 hour period). These extra periods of wakefulness explain why our pups wake us throughout the night. While studies have consistently shown dogs do in fact interfere with our sleep, other studies, including research by the Mayo Clinic, suggests this disturbance is basically negligible.

Allergies and asthma are other common reasons health experts advise against sharing a bed with your dog. It’s not just pet allergies either. Because dogs are often outside, exploring nature and brushing against all sorts of plant life, they can be a serious source of allergens. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America advises allergy sufferers keep dogs, not just out of their beds, but out of their bedrooms entirely. When it comes to allergies/asthma, the issue seems pretty cut and dry: if you have them, it’s probably not a good idea to share a bed with your dog.

Behavior concerns are the last common argument against co-sleeping with canines. While there’s little to no definitive evidence either way, the argument goes that co-sleeping can aggravate dominance and territorial issues, sometimes leading to aggression or even separation anxiety. But it’s hard to know which comes first: the anxiety or the sharing of the bed. Is the dog anxious because they’re sharing our bed, or are we sharing our bed because they tended to be a little anxious in the first place? This isn’t a problem for many pet parents, but if your dog shows aggression towards you or your partner—like growling when they try to come to bed—it might be time to reevaluate your sleeping arrangements.

The Pros

You’ve heard the drawbacks, but what about the positives of sleeping with your pup? Turns out, there are plenty. For one, spending time with dogs naturally increases oxytocin levels in our bodies, a hormone that encourages feelings of contentment and happiness, which might actually improve sleep quality. A dog’s rhythmic breathing, too, is said to regulate and slow the human heart rate, which can be conducive to better sleep. Also, some of us just feel safer when sleeping with our dogs, and you can’t put a price on that kind of security. On a strictly subjective level, sleeping with dogs can be a big mood boost, strengthening the bond with our pups and making them feel happier in the process, too. Not to mention, the snugly comfort and physical warmth that comes with having your dog right next to you in bed is awesome.

 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Now that you’re more informed, weigh the evidence and make the call yourself. If the pros clearly outweigh the cons or vice-versa, then there’s your answer. If you’re currently sleeping with your dog, and don’t suffer from allergies, have a compromised immune system, or experience behavior or sleep issues, then there’s probably no reason to change things up. Overall though, I think most of us who share beds with our puppers know the goods almost always outweigh the bads, even if we get woken up a few times throughout the night.

 

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

What You Need to Know About Mange

Cedarcide blog post image, What You Need to Know About Mange

What is Mange and What Causes It?

Mange is a skin disorder caused by parasitic mites. There are two types: Demodectic mange (also known as red mange) and Sarcoptic mange, sometimes called scabies. Demodectic mange, the most common type, is less severe than Sarcoptic mange and is not contagious. It’s an inflammatory response to a mite that lives on the skin and hair follicles of nearly all dogs, usually without causing problems. However, a compromised immune system or an unusual spike in the mite’s population can lead to irritation—this is Demodectic mange. While complications and further infection occur in rare cases, Demodectic mange normally resolves fairly quickly without requiring treatment.

Sarcoptic Mange, however, is highly contagious, and can affect dogs, cats, pigs, horses and even humans (human infestation is known as scabies). It’s caused by a mite that burrows into the skin, resulting in intense, often painful itching. Skin damage, hair loss, and scabs are all common in Sarcoptic mange. Complications are more common with this type of mange, and it’s usually much harder to get rid of, as it’s easily passed between people, pets and places that have become infested with the scabies mite. 


What Are the Symptoms?

Mange symptoms vary somewhat depending on the type. Hair loss is more common with Demodectic mange, for example, and Sarcoptic mange tends to cause more intense itching, and is normally located on the ears, face, legs and elbows. But in general, the following symptoms are seen in both forms of mange:

  • Hair loss and bald spots
  • Scabs
  • Sores
  • Redness or crusting of the skin
  • Moderate to severe scratching
  • Restlessness


How Can I Prevent Mange?

Methods for preventing mange will depend on the type. Demodectic mange can normally be prevented by keeping your pet clean and healthy. Basic hygiene and a balanced diet are almost always sufficient (in general, choose fresh, organic options over pre-packaged foods). Sarcoptic mange is another issue entirely. Many of the same methods used to repel fleas and ticks can be used for scabies mites—such as regularly cleaning bedding and practicing basic pest prevention. Again, Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious, so limiting possible points of exposure is essential. Similarly, if your pet contracts scabies mites, you’ll need to isolate them, to keep them from infesting other animals and your home.

 

What to Do if Your Pet Has Mange

First thing’s first: take them to a veterinarian. A vet will use skin scrapings to verify a mite diagnosis. Also, a vet visit is important to rule out and prevent secondary infections from taking hold. When at all possible, natural methods are our preferred approach, as they can be both effective and non-toxic. However, never employ natural options instead of consulting a vet, do so only in conjunction with their professional advice


4 Natural Tips for Dealing Mange
:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is said to both soothe mange-damaged skin and help control the mites that cause mange. Gently apply directly to affected areas. Just be mindful that an oily pet can easily leave oil spots on carpet, furniture and bedding.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is said to relieve itching and kill mange-causing mites. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties can also help regulate pH levels, which will in turn aid in the healing of damaged skin. You can apply ACV directly to affected areas using a spray bottle, or if the issue is widespread, you can apply all over as a post-bath treatment. Allow the ACV to air dry. Do not use on pets with raw or otherwise damaged skin.

Natural Bug Repellents 

Natural, pet-friendly bug repellents, like Cedarcide Original, can help keep mites at bay. Apply to both your pet and yourself before enjoying outdoor activities, like visiting the dog park or hiking, to deter biting pests—including mites, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

Honey

Honey is said to help clean and relieve the sores caused by mange. Apply it directly to affected areas using a cotton ball or other gentle applicator.


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 Common Raw Feeding Mistakes

As puppy parents, we’re more informed than ever before—especially when it comes to our dogs’ diets. The traditional, kibble-based diet most pet owners have been using for years is not the ideal way to feed our pups. Kibble is almost always high in starch, carbohydrates, chemical preservatives, and other processed ingredients that should be avoided. Canines, which are natural meat-eaters, do not benefit from carbs and starches, mostly because they did not evolve to properly digest them. Not to mention that kibble lacks many of the vitamins, enzymes and minerals essential to canine health. In essence, raw feeding is an attempt to supply our dogs with the diet their bodies evolved to fit. It’s also meant to return dogs to a fresh, all natural and nutrient-rich diet. Raw feeding can get complicated (and messy). So, if you’re new to the raw feeding movement, here’s 5 common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Before adopting a raw feeding diet, we suggest consulting a veterinarian. Working closely with a vet knowledgeable in raw feeding is essential to creating a diet that meets the unique needs of your individual dog. For in depth info on the philosophy behind raw feeding, watch this three-part series on the subject by wellness veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker. For tips on beginning a raw feeding routine, read this primer on how to get started.

Not Balancing the Diet

One of the biggest complaints lodged against raw feeding is that it can lead to an imbalanced diet. Raw feeding is not throwing a lump of raw meat in a food bowl and calling it a day. It takes research, dedication and planning. Raw meat alone does not make for a well-balanced diet. To meet all the necessary nutritional requirements, you’ll need to include a wide range of foods, from bones, organ meat, and fish, to vegetables, fruits and possibly even supplements. The specifics, of course, will vary depending on the type, size and health of your dog.

Not Customizing the Diet

As any puppy parent will attest, each and every doggy is different. Which means, in most cases, their raw diets should be different, too. Some pup’s have sensitive tummies, some have immune system and inflammation issues. Some struggle with joint pain. Your dog’s medical history and current health should inform the way you shape their raw diet, as you might be able to improve preexisting health concerns through your raw feeding approach. The supervision and guidance of a veterinarian with raw feeding experience is invaluable to properly customizing your pooch’s diet.

Ignoring Fruits & Veggies

Fruits and veggies aren’t always necessary when raw feeding your dog. However, they can help add variety, vitamins and flavor to your pup’s food bowl. Additionally, they offer health benefits that a solely animal-based diet usually lacks. Like prebiotics—which foster healthy gut bacteria—antioxidants, and fiber. Just make sure your chosen fruit and veggies are pet-safe, and that you remove pits and any other inedible portions before handing them over to your dog. Also, because dogs have a tougher time digesting these foods than humans, we suggest juicing or slightly steaming them before feeding.

Forgetting Supplements

As mentioned, imbalance is a common issue with raw diets, especially for those puppy parents new to the process. Insufficient calcium levels, for example, are not uncommon. Adding supplements to your dog’s raw diet is one way to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Which supplements you’ll want to add will depend on the health and specific needs of your dog. Ground eggshells and oyster shells, for instance, help add calcium, while including fish oil can provide omega-3 fatty acids. Issues like joint problems may also be relieved through supplements.

Not Monitoring Fat Consumption 

One of the easiest mistakes to make when raw feeding is giving too much fat to your pooch. Fat is healthy, of course, and they need plenty of it. But like every living thing, they don’t need too much of it. If there’s too much fat in your dog’s diet, they’re probably missing out on other necessary components, like vitamins and minerals. Which, in the long run, can cripple your dog’s health. As a general rule of thumb, cheaper meats are usually more fatty, whereas higher quality organic meats are richer in protein. Again, the specifics will depend on your pup’s unique dietary needs, but 10% fat is a good starting point for balancing out your dog’s raw diet.


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

What You Need to Know About Ear Mites


What Are Ear Mites?

While there are several kinds of mites that can live in your cat or dog’s ears, “ear mites” usually refers to a specific type, Otodectes cynotis (an infestation with this mite is called “otodectic mange”). These nearly microscopic parasites can live deep inside the ear canal or on the more external portions of the ears. Their life cycle lasts approximately 4 weeks and they feed primarily on wax, oil, and skin debris. Ear mites typically cause inflammation and irritation, but significant damage to the ear and secondary infections may occur if left untreated. If your pup scratches hard enough they may also rupture blood vessels inside their ear flap, a condition known as aural hematoma. Surgery is usually required if this occurs.

How Do Pets Get Ear Mites

Ear mites are spread by contact with other animals infested with ear mites. Unfortunately, these parasites are extremely contagious, especially in younger cats and dogs. If your pet has been around other animals with ear mites, chances are they now have them, too.

 

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Ear Mites

The following signs and symptoms are common with ear mite infestation:

  • Frequent shaking of the head
  • Frequent scratching near the ears, neck and head
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Black or red crusts on the outer ear
  • Ear inflammation
  • Abrasions on or around the ear
  • Dark, waxy discharge

 

What to Do if Your Pet Has Ear Mites

Because ear mites can be easily confused with common ear infections, it’s advisable to visit a veterinarian if you suspect ear mite infestation. As with any pest issue, prevention is always the preferred route as far as treatments go. Regular ear cleanings can help prevent ear mites, as can naturally sourced bug repellents applied before and after potential points of exposure—in other words, any time your pet is contact with other animals. From medications to natural alternatives and home remedies, there are several ways to approach the treatment of ear mites. Before attempting any treatments on your own, we urge you to consult your vet to see what options are right for you and your pet.


Advice for Cedarcide Customers

Here’s a tip we often give Cedarcide customers to help control ear mites: Dab a cotton ball with Cedarcide Original and gently massage it throughout your cat or dog’s ear.  Make sure to treat both the ear and the ear flap, but be careful not to treat down into the ear canal, as Cedarcide Original is not recommended for internal use. 

 

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 Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

Cedarcide blog post image, How Cedarwood Oil Kills Bugs

In case our name didn’t give it away, cedarwood oil is the driving force behind our pest control products here at Cedarcide. So naturally, the obvious question is: How does it work? How does cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kill bugs? While the answer can get a bit technical, there are 6 basic ways cedarwood oil works to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, mites and more. Here’s a simple outline of each one.

Dehydration

Most bugs are extremely sensitive to moisture loss, which is bad news for bugs that come into contact with cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is extremely effective at leaching moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dried out and eventually dead.

It Disrupts Their Pheromones

Pheromones are chemicals that many bugs use for navigation, mating, searching for food, as well as to regulate bodily functions. Cedarwood oil disrupts these pheromones which not only disorients the insects but interferes with their fundamental bodily processes like breathing. The disorientation helps repel insects and other bugs, the interference with their bodily mechanisms kills them.

It Dissolves Them

Insects in earlier life stages—eggs, larvae, pupae—are extremely vulnerable, so vulnerable in fact that cedarwood oil can dissolve them on contact. In adult insects, arachnids and other bugs, cedarwood oil helps dissolve their exoskeleton. This allows the essential oil to penetrate their shell, hastening the oil’s pest control effects.


Emulsification

Emulsificationor the breakdown of fat particles, is another way that cedarwood oil works to control bugs. Like many organisms, bugs require fat to live. By helping disintegrate this fat into smaller, more fluid parts, cedarwood oil attacks bugs from the inside out.

 

Suffocation

As mentioned above, cedarwood oil can interfere with bugs’ capacity to breathe. Unlike mammals, bugs breathe through openings located on the surface of their bodies. When faced with the lethal effects of cedarwood oil, bugs attempt to limit their exposure by closing these openings, which prevents them from breathing. In other words, the bugs suffocate themselves.


It Messes With Their Body Chemistry

Like most every living thing, bugs must maintain a specific chemical balance to stay alive. Any drastic changes in this balance can have deadly results. Cedarwood oil neutralizes the acidity within bugs’ bodies, effectively throwing this balance out of whack. As a result they cannot properly function, and shortly die.

 

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

10 Cats for People With Allergies

While no cat is completely hypoallergenic, if you love cats but suffer allergies there’s no cause for concern. There are several breeds that might work for you. But why are some people allergic to cats in the first place? The answer mostly comes down to a single protein, Fel d 1, which is the primary cat allergen. Saliva, urine, skin, dander—all carry this allergy triggering protein. Some cats produce less of this protein than others, and other cats shed less, making the spread of the Fel d 1 protein less extensive. Essentially, all hypoallergenic felines fall somewhere in this range. Here’s 10 of our favorites.

 

Siberian

Don’t let their long and luxurious coats fool you—Siberians are a suitable breed option for allergy sufferers. Siberians are hypoallergenic because they produce less of the Fel d 1 allergen, making them far less likely to trigger symptoms than most other breeds.


Balinese

This curious and loyal cat is often called the “long-haired Siamese” (the Balinese is basically just a furrier Siamese). Not only are they one of the most intelligent breeds, they’re one of the most hypoallergenic, too. Like the Siberian, there are less allergens in their bodies than most other types of cats. The Balinese is a particularly good choice for those who prefer lap cats to more reserved breeds.


Bengal

 

This exotic-looking cat tends to shed far less than other breeds on account of its unusually fine fur. Less shedding means less personal grooming, which makes for fewer allergens. While their bodies produce just as much allergy-triggering proteins as most cats, their unique hair makes them a solid option for cat lovers suffering from allergies.


Cornish Rex

Whereas most cats have three layers of fur—guard hair, awn hair and down hair—the Cornish rex only has down hair, or what’s commonly called the undercoat. Because they lack the layers of other breeds, the rex is far less likely to spread allergy-causing dander around the home. Bonus: they’re just a really unique looking feline!


Devon Rex

The Devon rex is a short-haired cat with fine, curly hair (like the Cornish rex, Devons only sport an undercoat). So thin is their coat that it’s not uncommon for them to lose a large portion of their hair as they age. This quality is exactly why they’re an ideal match for allergy prone cat admirers. Less hair equals less allergy symptoms.


Javanese

Athletic and popular as a show cat, the Javanese is an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Javanese cats like many hypoallergenic breeds have just a single layer of fur instead of the usual three. With just a medium length top coat, the Javanese shed very little dander, making them great for allergies and clean floors alike.


Oriental Shorthair

Elegant and renowned for its countless patterns and colorways, the Oriental shorthair is closely related to the Siamese cat. If you have cat allergies and enjoy a highly sociable cat, this might be the right breed for you.


Russian Blue

Despite their dense, compacted fur, Russian blues are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds in the world. Russian blues, like other allergy friendly cats, produce less of the protein associated with triggering allergy symptoms, Fel d 1. Their silvery coat and sea-green eyes also make them one of the most beautiful breeds on the planet.


Sphynx

 Perhaps the most obvious of all hypoallergenic cats, the sphynx is a completely hairless breed. While no cat is entirely allergy friendly, the sphynx is close. But prospective owners be advised, no hair does not necessarily mean no maintenance. Sphinxes like most hairless breeds, require regular baths due to skin oil buildup.


LaPerm

One of the more unusual looking cats, LaPerms have just the type of hair you would expect: Very curly. The breed’s curly tufts and infrequent shedding are likely why allergy sufferers tend to do well around these cats.

 

If you’re looking for more ways to help manage cat allergies, check out this resource. Questions, thoughts or suggestions? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think!

How Cold is Too Cold for Your Dog?

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The coldest days of the year are here—and this can be a confusing time for dog owners. “My dog loves playing in the snow, but is it safe?” “How do I protect my dog from the cold when we go outside?” “How cold is too cold?” Many questions arise when it comes to our dogs and potentially dangerous weather. Let us help clear things up. Here’s a quick primer on how to manage your pup in freezing temperatures.

 

How Cold is Too Cold for My Dog?

In this regard, there’s no straightforward answer—it depends on the type and size of your dog, along with several other factors. What one dog might find uncomfortably cold, another might consider toasty. The spectrum is wide. As you might have guessed, smaller dogs with thinner coats are in general more vulnerable to cold temperatures. Here’s a few more rules of thumb: Starting at around 45°F, you need to more closely monitor your pet’s behavior for signs of discomfort (we’ll talk more about those signs later). Once you hit the 30s, those with smaller, older and less-healthy dogs should consider seeking warmth. And below that, all owners should start prepping their pups to return home, no dog should remain in such low temperatures for extended periods of time. But again, these are broad parameters, and each dog will react to the cold differently. Other things to consider: Coat type, weight, age, fitness, breed, wind chill factor, moisture.

For a visual guide, check out this chart by Veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth:

 

How Can I Protect My Dog From the Cold?

First things first, closely supervising your pet is essential in cold temperatures. Be on the lookout for any behavior that’s out of the ordinary. If you and your pup engage in activities that require extended exposure to colder weather, consider purchasing him dog booties and a winter coat (the booties will also protect his paws from ice and de-icing salts). Playing in the snow is also usually fine, with one exception. If the snow is topped with a hard icy crust, we advise skipping the snow play. These surfaces can harm your pup’s pads, or even cut his legs.

You can help also prevent frostbite by quickly removing ice and snow from your dog’s paws after he’s been outside (pay special attention to any snow or ice balls that may have formed in between the toes).

 

How do I Know if My Dog is Too Cold—What Are the Signs?

The following are signs your pup could be getting too cold:

  • Barking, whining or any other verbal sign of discomfort
  • Suddenly stops playing or moving—they could be uncomfortable, or their pads might be hurting from snow or ice exposure
  • Shivering
  • Signs of Hypothermia in dogs: Intense shivering, lethargy, shallow breathing, loss of appetite
    muscle stiffness, weak pulse
  • Signs of  Frostbite in dogs: Red, gray, blue, white or pale skin; shriveled skin; pain in the ears, tail, paws or other extremities; skin that remains cold to the touch

 

What do I do if My Dog Gets Too Cold?

If you see any of the hypothermia or frostbite signs mentioned above, consult your vet immediately.  For hypothermia, you can help raise your dog’s body temperature by placing warm water bottles wrapped in towels under their armpits and chest. Wrapping them in a blanket warmed in the dryer is also effective. (Never use hair dryers or electric blankets, though, as these can cause burns to hypothermic animals). If you’re worried your pup might have frostbite, apply warm—but not hot—water to frostbitten extremities to provide relief. Be careful not to rub or massage areas suspected of frostbite, doing so can cause irreversible damage to the body. If you’re worried your pup might be a little too cold, but they don’t have frostbite or hypothermia, simply bring them inside, wrap them in a blanket and monitor them until they warm back up. If at any point you become concerned about the health of your dog, again, consult a vet immediately. 

 

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

Do Fleas and Ticks Survive the Winter?

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Do Fleas and Ticks Bite in Winter?

Yes! While these pests thrive in humid, warm conditions, they can also live (and bite!) throughout the winter. It’s true they cannot endure freezing weather for extended periods, but they often find ways to survive anyway. In fact, some species of tick are most active in winter. Adult blacklegged ticks, for example, take their first blood meals during late fall or early winter. The winter tick is another especially durable individual, living exclusively during the year’s coldest months.

 

How do Fleas and Ticks Survive the Winter?

Whether hiding in leaf litter, attaching to a warm host, or overwintering in a garage or animal den, fleas and ticks have several methods for surviving freezing conditions. While fleas cannot hibernate or enter a dormant stage, ticks can. Going dormant on a host or under brush is actually a tick’s primary means of remaining alive through winter. Fleas, however, mostly seek warmth in shelters or hosts—like inside your home or on your pet.

 

Do I Still Need to Treat for Fleas and Ticks in Winter?

Absolutely! Regardless of your environment, we suggest protecting your pets, your home, and yourself from fleas and ticks year-round. The risks are simply too great. Halting pest prevention, even for just a few weeks, can have frightening results. A single flea slipping through the cracks can lead to a full blown flea population in no time. Ticks are another matter entirely—we all know how dangerous they can be. We don’t even need to mention the diseases a tick bite can spread (but we will! Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, American boutonneuse fever, Powassan virus, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, tick paralysis and more).

How Can I Protect my Pets and Myself from Fleas and Ticks?

Prevention is your best friend. First, you need to ensure your home and yard are inhospitable to fleas and ticks. Remove all sources of clutter and debris from your lawn—this is where fleas and ticks will likely hide during cold snaps. A monthly preventative yard treatment with a naturally-sourced outdoor pesticide is also recommended (we do not suggest using traditional, toxic-based pesticides on your lawn or garden for the safety of your pets and family). For more detailed instructions on safeguarding your yard from pests, click here.

For indoor prevention, regularly spray possible entry points—like doorways, window sills, baseboards, attics, basements, etc—with a non-toxic indoor pesticide to create a repellent barrier against fleas and ticks. For more tips on preventing fleas and ticks from entering your home, click here.

For you and your pets, simply reach for a naturally-sourced insect repellent, like Cedarcide Original. Make sure to apply it before enjoying outdoor activities like hiking or visiting the dog park.

 

Have questions? Having flea or tick issues? Give us a call at (800) 842-1464 or email us at questions@cedarcide.com. We’re here to help!

How to Prep Your Dog for Holiday Guests

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Savory food, crackling fireplaces, traditional decorations—all are essential elements to the holiday season. But above all else, family and friends are what really make this time of year so special. As our homes buzz with the traffic of a busy kitchen and visiting relatives, it’s easy to forget this annual hustle and bustle can be overwhelming for our beloved pups.

Even the most well behaved dogs can act strangely when faced with the loud noises and unknown visitors the holiday chaos brings. So to ensure the safety and enjoyment of both your guests and your pups, consider the following 5 tips when preparing your pets for the big holiday celebration.

 

Create a Refuge for Your Pup

When the holiday crowd and noises get to be too much for your pup, she’ll need a secure and quiet retreat to escape to. Creating a space for your dog to chill out when she gets stressed or anxious is important to keeping everyone safe and happy during holiday festivities. The area should be comfortable, familiar, calm, and closed off from the busier parts of the house—a laundry room or guest bedroom will work fine. Consider including the following: blankets, a dog bed, their favorite toy, a water bowl, treats, their crate, and soothing music (Spotify and YouTube have lots of dog-specific music playlists). Finally, let your guests know this area is the dog’s safe space, and that she should be left alone when inside.

 

Use Baby Gates

Even when your dog is not in her safe space, you’ll still likely want to limit her movements throughout the house. After all, the kitchen and front door are hotbeds of traffic during events like Christmas day. Baby gates are the best tool for this task, and will make hosting celebrations that much easier for you and your guests.


Prep Your Guests

Your dogs aren’t the only ones in need of preparation before holiday get-togethers, your guests are, too. Before the big day arrives, inform your visitors not to feed your pup party snacks or table scraps to save them from tummy aches. Not everyone owns dogs, so inform your guests about basic canine body language, so they know when it’s best to give your pup some space. It’s also a good idea to explain why the baby gates are up and what areas of the house your pup is allowed to explore. Any other special needs—like behavior quirks or medical issues—should be mentioned, too.

Be Mindful of Children

Dogs unaccustomed to children can behave out-of-character when faced with unfamiliar kids. If that describes your dog, and children are planning to visit this year, it might be best to keep them seperate. However, even if your pup is kid-friendly, supervision is a must. For the safety of your dog and the kids, never leave them alone together. Educating visiting kiddos about how to treat your dog is key to avoiding potential mishaps.

Exercise and Distract

As they say, “a good dog is a tired dog.” Exercising your pup an hour or so before guests arrive can make your life much, much easier—plus, your dog will be happier, too. After a walk or visit to the dog park, your dog is much less likely to jump on arriving visitors or beg at the dinner table. Keeping your dog busy with distractions—like KONGs and other puzzle toys—will help manage her behavior throughout the day as well.

 

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