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PETS

10 Essential Summer Safety Tips for Dog

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Essential Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer’s here and with it comes one of the best times of year to explore the outdoors with your pup! Swimming, hiking, road-tripping, camping—there’s no end to the thrilling activities you can share with your animal buddy. But summer also presents some unique challenges and health concerns, principally intense sunshine and extreme heat. To keep the fun flowing and emergency vet visits at bay, here are ten Essential Summer Safety Tips for Dogs.

 

Keep them Cool

This is the most obvious but also most important rule of the summer. Here’s some quick tips to make sure your pooch stays cool during the summer months:

  • Before walking, hiking, visiting the dog park and other outdoor activities, consider the temperature and humidity. As a guide, if the humidity and temperature add up to more than 150, it’s too hot for your pup. (For example, if it’s 95°F and the humidity is 60, which adds up to 155, it’s best to wait till it’s cooler)
  • Always bring along water and take plenty of breaks when exploring the outdoors
  • Ensure there’s a shady space and plenty of water when your pup’s in the backyard
  • Keep your house cool, too (whether through A/C or fans)
  • If your doggo exhibits signs of exhaustion—weakness, excessive drooling, heavy panting, glazed eyes, vomiting—end physical activity immediately and consult a vet ASAP.


Watch out for Heat Stroke

Typical canine temperature is between 100°-103. Heat stroke, which can permanently damage organs and even kill your pet, takes hold around 105°F. So, if worse comes to worse and your pup succumbs to heatstroke, you’ll need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms quickly. Your dog’s life could depend on it. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Bright red gums, or gums that appear dry
  • Thick or excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of balance
  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dark stool
  • Lack of urine


If you witness these symptoms, transport your pup to a cooler space as soon as possible and and wipe them down with a cool, damp cloth. Have them drink
cool—but not cold—water to avoid vomiting, which will only worsen dehydration and overheating. As soon as your pup is stable, visit a vet ASAP.

 

Keep the Bugs Away

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can ruin otherwise enjoyable summer days. In addition to causing serious skin irritation, these pests can transmit life-threatening illnesses and parasites to your pet (like heartworms from mosquito bites, for example). To protect your pet from these bugs, and to prevent pesticide exposure to you and your family, use a non-toxic, pet-safe bug repellent on your dog when outside this summer.

 

Do Not Shave Your Dog

While shedding some hair can help humans stay cool, our dogs are a bit different. In fact, a dense coat can actually help keep your pooch cool, protecting them from the sun’s harmful rays. Shaving your dog’s fur makes them more vulnerable to a litany of heat-related complications, including heatstroke, sunburn and dehydration. For this reason, avoid shaving your dog during the summer season, or at any time for that matter.

 

Practice Good Hygiene

From swimming to hiking, our pups tend to get much grimier in the summer season. Apart from the unpleasant odor of a dirty dog, poor hygiene can allow bacteria to build up on your pooch’s skin, causing irritation and in some cases illness. A filthy coat can also make your dog more susceptible to biting, disease-carrying pests. As a guide, bathe your pup monthly throughout the summer, more often if they’re adventurers or outdoor dogs (but not too often, over bathing can dry out your doggy’s skin). To avoid skin issues or exposure to harmful chemicals, always use a pet-safe shampoo sourced from natural ingredients.

 

Never, Ever, Ever Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

We’ve all heard this before, we all know it, and yet it still keeps happening. Even in temperatures as low as 80°F, your pup can suffer a stroke or perish in a hot car in just a few minutes—that’s all it takes! Under no circumstance, ever, ever leave your pooch in a warm or hot vehicle. No excuses.

 

Avoid Sunburns

Did you know skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in dogs? And just like in humans, sunburns can develop fast without notice, resulting in serious pain for days, even weeks. Especially if your dog has a short coat or is light-furred, apply pet-safe sunscreen every 3-5 hours when you and your pup go outside. Pay special attention to the ears, stomach area, and other spaces with little to no fur. We strongly suggest using only non-toxic, chemical-free sunscreen options.

 

Protect Your Dog’s Paws

Ever burn your feet on hot concrete? Yeah, it’s no fun, and the painful blisters can persist for weeks. Ouch! Well, your pup is not immune to this condition either. To protect their paw pads from cooking in the summer heat, avoid asphalt, concrete and other hot surfaces (including the metal beds of pickup trucks!). To test whether a surface will harm your doggo’s paws, place the back of your hand on the surface for approximately 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. Dog booties are another option for guarding your pooch’s feet during the summer months.

 

Avoid Unfamiliar Grassy Spaces

Avoiding unfamiliar grassy lots can greatly reduce both your dog’s and your family’s exposure to chemical-based pesticides. Many outdoor spaces—such as public parks, local dog parks, and neighboring yards—are regularly treated with these harmful toxins. Unless you’re familiar with the space and how it’s maintained, it’s best to find another place for your dog to play. The risk is simply too great.

 

Closely Monitor Water Activities

From bacteria and parasites in natural bodies of water, to chemicals and drowning hazards in pools, water activities can be risky for pets and pet owners. We’re not saying avoid the water outright—swimming with dogs and visiting the lake are some of our favorite things about summer—but you need to watch your pup closely when in or around water. Monitor your dog to ensure they don’t drink unfamiliar water, including that of creeks and chlorine-saturated pool water. Also, be sure to rinse off your pup’s fur after they’ve been for a swim to remove chlorine, natural water contaminants, and to check for parasites like leeches.

 

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

10 Tips to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Tips to Help Your Dog Live Longer

Let’s start with the bad news: There’s no quick fix for extending your dog’s lifespan. However—and this is the good news—with continued effort and careful care, you can give your pup the best possible chance at a long and healthy life. Here’s 10 things you can do to enjoy a few extra years with your beloved fur baby.

 

Improve their Diet

Avoiding overfeeding, choosing healthier, more natural foods, and adopting a breed appropriate diet can help improve and extend your pup’s life. In general, aim for diets that are as natural and raw as possible, avoiding fillers like wheat, corn, sugar and generic animal fats. We suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to address your pup’s specific dietary needs.

 

Exercise them more

Exercise helps your pup maintain a healthy weight, decreases their stress levels, and curbs behavior issues, along with countless other physical and mental benefits. While the amount of exercise will depend on breed, age and health, aim to get at least one session of aerobic exercise daily.

Check out these 5 Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog! 😎 🐶

 

Exercise the Mind, Too

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to you pup’s lifespan. Bored dogs are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, as well as other mental and physical ailments. Socialization with both people and dogs, training, and daily playtime are essential to keeping your pooch sharp as they age.

 

Pay Attention to Dental Health

It’s astonishing how many pet parents neglect their doggy’s teeth. In addition to pain and reduced quality of life, poor dental hygiene is directly associated with heart disease and organ damage, which means a shorter life for your dog. It might feel intimidating at first, but improving your pup’s oral care isn’t really that hard or time-consuming. First thing’s first, visit the vet for a dental checkup and tips for brushing your pooch’s chompers. Brush daily thereafter and keep annual dental checkups to stay informed about the state of your pup’s dental hygiene.

For more Tips on Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth, click here.

Also, check out these 7 Ways to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath Naturally.

 

Visit the Vet More

Regardless of how healthy your dog seems, regular vet visits are still very important. Uncovering health complications early significantly improves your pup’s chance of overcoming whatever issue they may face. Plus, as your pup ages, a vet can supply you with tips for keeping them in tip top shape between visits. Preventive care is one of the easiest and most effective ways to extend your pooch’s life.

 

Pay Attention to Warning Signs

Stinky breath, excessive drooling, a change in appetite or sleeping patterns, lethargy, diarrhea—all could be early warning signs of a serious health problem. If your dog’s mood and energy or activity levels change suddenly, it’s a good idea to get the checked over by a vet. Consistently monitoring your pet’s health is a big step toward helping them enjoy a longer life.

 

Reduce Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

Chemicals present in household cleaners, lawn & garden products, flea & tick formulas and other pet products can shorten your doggy’s lifespan. Because many of these chemicals are bioaccumulative—meaning they build up in the body over time—even repeated minor exposure is enough to impact your dog’s health. Consider switching out these products for non-toxic alternatives, especially when it comes to lawn pesticides and topical insect repellents. Doing so will lessen you and your family’s exposure, too.

 

Let them Chill Out

Just like people, dogs age poorly if they’re constantly stressed. Exercise and playtime are crucial to the health of your pet, but there’s a limit and moderation is key. Relaxation and downtime play a crucial role in a healthy and balanced doggy lifestyle, too. Allow your pup a few hours alone each day to sleep or rest as they see fit. Additionally, do not coerce your dog to play or socialize if they’re simply not in the mood, chances are they need a break

 

Enrich their Lives

Introducing new experiences and adding variety to your dog’s life not only improves their quality of life but can actually help extend it, too. Much like humans, boredom and a sedentary lifestyle are counterproductive toward a long and healthy lifespan. Up your pet parent game by taking your pooch on more outings—like dog park visits, playdates, even vacations and simple errands. Practicing and learning new tricks also works to keep their mind nimble and engaged.

 

Groom them More Often

Grooming is about more than vanity. Regular brushing and bathing can help you uncover foreign bodies that might be lurking in your pup’s coat. From painful burrs to bacteria to disease-carrying pests, items lodged within your dog’s fur can cause not only pain but also illness, and the sooner you address these hazards the less chance they have of affecting your pooch’s health. But even apart from potential hidden hazards, hygiene

How to Care for Your Senior Dog: 6 Tips

 

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

8 Common Dog Behaviors Explained

Cedarcide blog post image, Common Dog Behaviors Explained

From chasing their tails to howling, our dogs do lots of weird and funny things. But do you know what these behaviors mean? Do you know why your doggy does these odd things? Are they trying to communicate, or are these habits maybe a sign of some underlying health condition? Here are 8 common canine behaviors explained.

 

Howling

Howling is an evolutionary holdover from our pup’s ancient ancestors. Experts believe howling was probably used originally to communicate and claim territory. But modern dogs don’t really need howling for these reasons anymore, so why do they still do it?

The American Kennel Club argues there are several reasons our dogs still howl, including separation anxiety, boredom, to warn us of potential dangers, and to grab attention. Dogs also commonly howl in response to sirens or other high-pitched noises that mimic distant howling. If your pup suddenly develops this habit out of nowhere and the urge to howl persists for several weeks, it could be a sign of a medical condition. In this circumstance, we suggest having them checked over by a vet, just in case,

 

Chasing Tails

Most dogs start chasing their tails as puppies and then slowly grow out of the habit as they age.  This youthful quirk is usually borne out of confusion. In other words, the pup hasn’t learned their tail is part of their body yet and so they chase it.

However, if you praise this behavior with laughter or attention, your pup might keep chasing their tail as they age as a means of grabbing more of your attention. Sudden onset tail-chasing as an adult could be a sign of food allergy, parasites or infection. These afflictions can all cause an itchy backside, leading your dog to chase their tail in order to relieve the irritation. If this sounds like your canine, schedule a vet visit as soon as possible.

 

Circling Before Lying Down

Walking in circles before lying down is another evolutionary trait passed down by your dog’s ancestors. Before plush doggy beds and human laps, wild dogs had to prep their own resting places. This circling behavior served several purposes, including flushing out pests, flattening the grass, and making the earth more comfortable to lie down on. Ever seen your pup scratch or dig at bedding or pillows? This is a similar trait to circling, in that it’s tied to your dog’s instinct to create a den.

 

Smothering You

If your pups are anything like ours, then you often find them snuggling up so close they’re basically sitting or standing right on your feet. The same goes for bedtime, sometimes our pups sleep so close to us they’re more like a second blanket than cuddle buddies. So what’s up with this behavior? Are they trying to dominate us, or are they simply looking for some extra love?

Thankfully, this habit is as sweet as you hoped: Your dog just wants to cuddle with their best friend! 😭But there’s an instinctual element to this behavior, too. Dogs are pack animals, and pack animals feel safest when in close contact with other members of the pack (Psst—that’s you!).

 

 

Doggy Kisses

Ever wonder why dogs lick our faces? Are they really the canine equivalent of kisses? Experts believe this behavior stems from a similar activity in the canine world, where dogs lick each other’s mouths as a way of indicating respect, especially to those with higher status in the pack. So, whether you think it’s gross or not, take those sloppy kisses as a compliment. Experts also believe dogs may have evolved this habit as a way of earning additional affection and therefore food from their human companions.

Does your dog suffer from stinky breath? Here’s 7 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Dog’s Breath and 5 Tips for successfully brushing their teeth.

 

Humping

Humping—whether other dogs, objects or humans—is a perfectly normal behavior that isn’t always sexual. In fact, it’s not usually about dominance either, which is another common misconception. Humping is more or less just another component of normal canine play. If you justify this behavior through more play or laughter, your pup might also continue humping simply because it gets your attention.

 

Sniffing Butts

The canine sense of smell is roughly 10,000 times stronger than ours, so why oh why would they sniff another dog’s butt? Well, dogs see the world mostly through their noses, and in the canine world few things give off as much information as the booty. In fact, a dog can uncover far more than you’d expect from a quick sniff—including personality, diet, and even if the other dog is pregnant or has ever been pregnant. Crazy, right?

 

Digging

There’s several reasons a dog might dig. Anxiety, boredom, hiding toys, or creating a cool spot to lie in hot weather are the most common. The easiest way to prevent digging is to minimize the amount of time you leave your dog outside unattended. This will likely decrease boredom, ease anxiety, and prevent your pup from overheating, thereby addressing the root causes of digging.

 

 

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

10 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Home

Cedarcide blog post image, 10 Tips for Cat-Proofing Your Home

 

If you want your cat or kitty to enjoy a long and healthy life, cat-proofing your home is absolutely essential. From the kitchen to the bathroom, there’s plenty of spaces to address and items to store far out of reach. Don’t get intimidated: it doesn’t take that long and it’s really not that difficult. Taking just a few extra precautions could save you a lot of heartache and veterinary costs in the long run. Here’s a short guide to get you started.

 

Keep the Toilet Lid Down

An open toilet lid is an invitation for a drink—a very unsanitary drink. Even worse, young cats can slip and fall inside, making toilets a drowning hazard, too. As a precaution, keep bathroom doors shut and toilet lids closed as often as possible.

 

Lock Up Medication

Keep medications, both prescription and over-the-counter (including vitamins and supplements), out of reach of your cat, such as in a cabinet or drawer. If like many cats, your feline can open cabinet doors, use locks or baby proof latches to secure them.

 

Secure Window Dressings & Cords

As cat parents know all too well, felines can’t resist anything resembling string. Case in point: window dressings and blind cords. Just like with children, these represent a serious strangulation risk to your cat. Whether it’s tucking them behind the top of the blinds or simply knotting them, find some way to hide these items from your cat. It might just save their life.

 

Keep Chemicals out of Reach/ Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaners & Pesticides

From detergents and cleaning supplies to pesticides and antifreeze, our homes are filled with chemicals that endanger our feline friends. For chemicals with natural alternatives—like pesticides, kitchen cleaners, and air fresheners—make the switch if at possible. The long term side effects of these chemicals on our cats—not to mention ourselves—are both frightening and well documented. For the chemicals you can’t easily replace, like antifreeze for example, just be sure to store them far out of reach of your kitty.

 

Secure Trash Cans & Recycling Containers

Cats are curious, and one thing they often get curious about are trash cans and recycling bins. They’re full of interesting smells and sometimes food scraps our kitties would just love to snack on. But hazards ilke plastic bags, floss, bacteria, and sharp objects also lurk inside. Choose trash cans and recycling bins with securable lids, because once your cat pries off that top, there’s no telling what they’ll get into.

 

 

Monitor Furniture

Furniture—especially items that recline or fold like sofa beds—are surprisingly dangerous for cats. Cats love hiding in hard-to-reach places, such as those inside recliners and underneath couches. As you can imagine, failing to check these spaces before use can have life-threatening consequences for your feline.

 

Hide or Organize Electrical Cables & Cords

If your cat bites into a live electrical cable, they could get shocked. If they get tangled in appliance cords, they could suffocate. In addition to health concerns, if your cat snags a wire, they could easily damage costly entertainment equipment or your cell phone. Make your life simple: Organize, conceal or use cord protectors for exposed electrical cables and cords. For extra safety, unplug unused cables when leaving home (it helps save energy, too!)

 

Remove Toxic Plant Life

Some cats just love chewing plants. Even though non-toxic plants can still cause stomach issues, for the most part this habit is little more than an annoyance. However, if you have toxic plants inside your home, things can go wrong quickly. To sidestep an emergency vet visit, remove or stow away plants toxic to cats. Consult this list to know which plants to avoid.

 

Keep Windows Closed

A barely open window is plenty for your cat to escape and get lost. To keep things simple, never leave a window open unless you’re home and can monitor the situation. Do a quick check of your home’s window screens, too. Not only are cats notorious for getting tangled in loose screens, but if you live on a higher floor, a faulty screen could mean a nasty, potentially fatal fall for your feline.

 

Keep Human Food Out of Reach

Whether toxic for cats or not, keep all food in your home off counters and out of reach of your felines. Non-toxic foods can still cause an upset tummy, but more importantly, food packaging doubles as a serious choking and suffocation hazard.

 

For more Cat Parenting tips, like “9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer” and “7 Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Them” subscribe to our newsletter.

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

Can Your Dog Really Smell Other Dogs on You?

 

Have you ever come home after playing with a dog only to have your own dog freak out? Maybe they sniffed you all over. Maybe they even acted a little jealous. As dog parents, we just assume our pups can smell other dogs on us. But is that really true? After some research, we found the answer. Here’s a short guide to dogs’ ability to smell other dogs on their owners.

 

Can Your Dog Really Smell Other Dogs on You?

Turns out our instincts as pets parents are correct: Yes, our dogs can smell other dogs on us. Dogs can detect not only new and unfamiliar smells, but also the pheromones of other canines (which are present in skin, fur, fecal matter and urine). So, the next time you come home after playing with a dog, know that your dog’s onto you. Not only can your dog tell if you’ve been cheating on them, their noses can also discover a lot of information about the dog you were playing with—including their sex, if the dog has given birth, what the dog had recently eaten, where they had recently been, and even what kind of mood they were in when you saw them.

 

Signs Your Dog Smells Another Dog on You

Just because a dog can smell another dog on you, doesn’t mean they have. Here are some telltale signs your pup has picked up on the scent:

  • Excited jumping and other hyper or anxious behavior
  • Intense sniffing that lasts longer than usual
  • Twitching whiskers
  • Wide-eyes
  • Drooling

 

 

How Do They Do it?

A dog’s sense of smell is said to be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 more powerful than our own (it’s believed that dogs have between 125-300 million scent glands). In a way, though, comparing a dog’s sense of smell with our own doesn’t make a lot of sense. The canine sense of smell gathers so much more information than ours that it’s essentially an entirely different kind of sense—it’s more like our vision and our sense of smell combined. Sometimes it takes your dog several attempts to sniff out all the information they’re looking for, which explains why they seem to smell you for a lot longer after you’ve been around other canines.

 

Your Dog Can Also Smell You on Other Dogs and People

Experiments into the canine sense of smell have revealed other interesting things. For instance, in one study researchers tested a dog’s ability to distinguish her owners scent from that of other humans. The scientists found that not only could the dog recognize her owners smell from the rest, but they found that her brain’s pleasure center was activated only when she detected her owners smell, not when she detected other humans’ scents. This means two things: First, your dog really really loves you, and second, your unique smell likely reminds your pup of all the good times you’ve shared.

The study also showed that the brains of therapy and service dogs act differently than most other canines. Compared to other dogs, these service dogs’ pleasure centers were activated by contact with nearly all humans, not just their owners. Which, of course, makes sense since they’re trained for empathy and affection. Another study confirmed something else us pet parents regularly assume: Dogs, it seems, actually do get jealous!

 

For more answers to common pet questions (like “Do Dogs Really Dream?”) subscribe to our newsletter.

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

9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer

Cedarcide blog post image, 9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer
We’d all like our cats to live long, healthy lives. While nothing can be done about genetics, there are several things that we as cat owners can do to improve our feline’s lifespans. From simple lifestyle changes to maintaining healthy habits, here’s 9 things you can do to increase your cat’s life expectancy.

 

Keep Up with Those Vet Visits

Regular nose-to-tail examinations are a must for keeping your feline in tip top shape. Compared with dogs, cats are more likely to disguise pain, so you might not notice when their ill or injured. In addition to maintaining overall health, keeping up with vet visits will help catch potentially serious health concerns before they become life-threatening. From dental issues to advice managing an aging pet, maintaining regular contact with your vet is a no-brainer approach to extending your kitty’s life.

 

Keep Them Inside

Because of elements like infectious disease, pesticides, animal attacks and car accidents, outdoor cats tend to live much shorter lives. In fact, outdoor cats live only 2-5 years on average compared to 15-20 years for indoor cats. An easy way to not only extend your cat’s life but improve their quality of life is to never leave them outdoors unattended (It only takes a second for your cat to ingest something toxic or get snatched by a wild animal). Now, enjoying outdoor activities with your adventure cat is a different story—we’re all for that!

 

 

Keep Them Hydrated

Many household cats do not drink enough water, and it’s not always the owner’s fault. Firstly, in the wild, cats consume much of their water through feeding. Secondly, some cats can be weird about stagnant water sources, including traditional water bowls. If your cat is not adequately hydrating, you can help them get more water by switching out dry foods for options with higher water content (we suggest consulting your vet for the specifics). Additionally, feel free to turn on the faucet every now and then so your cat can grab an extra drink. Just make sure to switch it off when they’re done—wasting water is no bueno.

 

Spay or Neuter

A study by Banfield Pet Hospital found that spayed and neutered cats live longer than those that haven’t undergone these procedures. In addition to saving literally millions of animal lives from euthanization each year, these surgeries can help limit undesirable behaviors like marking as well as reduce the likelihood of certain diseases. Want your cat to live as long as possible? Fixing them is one of the easiest steps you can take in that direction.

 

Improve Their Diet

As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and the same goes for our feline friends. It’s simple: If your cat eats a high quality, balanced and age appropriate diet, they’re going to live longer. Specifically what that diet includes will vary from cat to cat based on lifestyle and specific health needs. In general, aim for a diet that’s as organic and fresh as possible and avoid over or underfeeding. Keep treats to a minimum, too. Consult a vet (or holistic vet) to determine what diet is best for your cat.

 

Manage Their Weight

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 60% of cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. All that extra weight can put a serious strain on your cat’s body, potentially causing type 2 diabetes, organ damage, joint problems or heart failure. On the other end of the scale, an underweight cat can point to underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease or cancer. If your cat’s weight is unhealthy, visit your vet to strategize how to improve your pet’s physical fitness. If you’re unaware if your cat’s weight is healthy, visit petmd’s weight tool to find out.

 

Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is about more than quality of life—it can affect how long your cat lives, too. Bacteria from mismanaged teeth can enter your pet’s bloodstream, ultimately causing organ damage and in some cases even premature death. Most cats over the age of three already experience some form of dental disease. If you’ve neglected your cat’s teeth, it’s not too late! Make an appointment with your vet for a dental checkup and maintain regularly scheduled visits thereafter. Also, consider professional teeth cleanings if you don’t feel comfortable performing them at home.

 

Fend Off Boredom

Bored, depressed, and stressed cats on average live shorter lives. Providing your cat with engaging toys as well as perches and scratching posts can help keep them nimble and alert (just remember to rotate the toys occasionally). Playtime and grooming can be a much needed source of stress-relief for your cat, too—the shared bonding time will not only improve your relationship but also help keep your cat’s behavior in check. Bored and stressed cats are much more likely to act out or otherwise misbehave. Adopting a friend for your cat is another fun way to keep your kitty entertained. Click here for tips on showing your cat some love.

 

Ditch the Chemicals

From cleaning supplies to outdoor pesticides to flea and tick products, your cat is surrounded by toxic chemicals that can shorten their lifespan. Limiting their exposure to these chemicals is essential. Firstly, consider switching out household cleaners and air fresheners for natural alternatives. Making your entire cleaning routine pet-safe is even better. Secondly, trade traditional, chemical-based pesticides and bug repellents with pest control options sourced from natural ingredients.

From heartworms (which are spread by mosquito bites) to skin diseases caused by fleas and mites, bugs can put a serious hurt on your cat’s health. Protecting your cat from these pests—and the harmful topical pesticides normally used to treat them—is something every cat owner should take seriously. To safeguard your feline, we suggest applying a non-toxic insect repellent to your cat’s fur weekly (2-3 times a week for outdoor and adventure cats).

 


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

 

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Bone for Your Dog

Cedarcide blog post image, 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Bone for Your Dog

 

Bones are beneficial for dogs and dog owners alike. They taste great and are super entertaining for our pups, but more importantly they’re good for them, too. Chewing bones strengthens jaws, cleans teeth, reduces bad breath, and supplies both physical and mental stimulation thereby helping manage destructive behaviors. Natural bones are also a good source of nutrients, such as calcium and other minerals. But these many benefits are only enjoyed if the bone is the right fit for you pooch. Choosing the incorrect type and size for your dog’s unique needs could do more harm than good. Here’s three simple tips to help you select the right bone for your dog.

 

Go Natural and Raw

When selecting a bone, we suggest only natural, raw options. Artificial and processed chews like rawhide bones are notoriously unsafe and often contain toxic chemicals and preservatives (more info that here). That leaves you with cooked or raw natural bones. Cooked bones have fewer nutritional benefits and are usually quite brittle. If a sharp splinter breaks off during chew time, your pup could suffer damage to their teeth, gums, throat, intestines and more. Raw natural bones are the only way to go.

 

 

Pick the Right Size

The right bone is neither too small nor too big. A bone’s that too small could easily be swallowed, becoming lodged in the throat or stomach; and bones that are too large can damage teeth, and may contain too much fat content for smaller pups. As a general rule, aim for a bone that’s bigger than the length of your dog’s muzzle, but nothing much larger than that.


Consider Your Pup’s Age, Health and Personality

Is your dog an aggressive chewer? Do they still have puppy teeth, or did they recently have dental work? Do they have a sensitive tummy? Are they prone to allergies? Your dog’s unique health profile and personality should be considered when choosing the correct bone.

To prevent choking, give bones only after feeding, which will curb the temptation to swallow bones or bone fragments whole. It’s a good idea to supervise chew time also, so you can take away small or finished pieces before they become a choking hazard. Additionally, separate dogs when offering bones, as even the friendliest pups can become territorial when tasty bones are involved.

 
 

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 Hiking with Your Cat

Cedarcide blog post image, 6 Tips for Hiking with Your Cat
 
You’ve probably heard of hiking with dogs, but did you know hiking with cats is also a thing? Adventure cats are quickly becoming a hot topic in pet circles, especially for those who spend considerable time outdoors. We know what you’re thinking: “there’s no way I could get my cat to hike with me!” But you might be surprised. With a little patience, training and experience, many cats come to love exploring the outdoors with their pet parents. Hiking can also be super beneficial for cats, supplying them with much needed mental stimulation and exercise. Like with any new activity, you’ll need to adequately prepare to enjoy a successful hike with your cat. Here’s 6 tips to get you started.

 

Bring the Proper Gear

Bottom line: If you don’t pack the proper gear, your excursion will not be successful. At the minimum, bring the following:

  • Water: Always bring enough for both you and your cat. Never allow your cat to drink from natural water sources like ponds and streams, the risk of parasites and bacteria is simply too great.
  • Snacks/food: Hiking burns lots of energy, so you’ll both need to refuel. Consult a vet to find the ideal food for hiking with your cat.
  • Harness: The type will depend on your cat’s unique needs, consult this resource for help choosing the proper harness.
  • Cat-safe bug repellent: flea, tick and mosquito protection is essential when exploring the outdoors.
  • Collar with ID tags (we also suggest microchipping your cat).
  • Cat-safe sunscreen (especially if your cat is short-haired, no-haired or fair-haired)
  • Cat pack: For when your kitty gets too tired to walk on their own
  • Pet-specific first aid kit
  • Foldable litter box and/or poop bags (cat poop contains harmful bacteria and should never be left in the wild)

 

Stay on the Trail

Veering off the trail exposes you and your adventure cat to countless safety hazards. Poison ivy, toxic plant life, hungry predators, dangerous terrain—all lurk just off the trail. The environment can also suffer from walking off trail, as delicate ecosystems can easily be disturbed by trampling feet and curious cats. For the benefit of nature, you, and your fur bae, stick to the designated trails.

 

 

Train Beforehand

Transforming your cat into an adventure cat doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, training and lots of treats to get your cat ready to hit the trail. First thing, you need to get them used to using a harness and leash (here’s a helpful tutorial for that). Spending a few weeks using the harness around the house and in the backyard is a must. Training your cat to come when called is also important, as accidents and other dangers can occur on the trail without warning.

 

Start Young

The sooner your cat gets acclimated to adventuring, the more likely they are to enjoy it. In fact, kitties are often better at wearing a harness and being walked than adult cats. Before hitting the trail with your young cat, consult your vet to ensure they’re physically ready for hiking (make sure they have all the necessary vaccinations, too!).

 

Beware of Dangers

Nature is fun, but it’s also wild. Owls, eagles, hawks, coyotes, parasites, snakes, biting insects, domesticated dogs—all pose a threat to your cat while hiking. Be prepared to face these risks and plan accordingly. As a rule, always keep your cat close, harnessed, leashed, hydrated and well fed. Apply pet-safe insect repellent and cat-safe sunscreen (for fair, shot-haired and no-haired breeds) to guard against bites and burns. As a precaution, read up on the signs of exhaustion and heat stroke, too.

 

Prepare to Carry Your Cat

Even veteran adventure cats get tired faster than most dogs. Whether from exhaustion or nervousness, at some point you’ll have to pick up your kitty if you take them hiking (hence the cat pack in the suggested equipment above 😉). Simply put, cats tend to feel safer on high ground, so especially at first, your cat might want to “hike” sitting on your shoulders or safely tucked in their cat pack. For these reasons, make sure your cat is comfortable being carried and that you’re physically capable of towing them around before hitting the trails.

 

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 Household Products Every Pet Owner Should Avoid

Cedarcide Blog Post Image, 5 Household Products Every Pet Owner Should Avoid

 
As pet parents we go to great lengths to keep our pets safe. We seek healthy food options, keep up with vet visits, and never let our fur baes eat dangerous foods. But did you know most households are filled with chemicals that threaten the health of our pets? From cleaners to candles, countless products contaminate our homes with toxins. Because of their small size and close proximity to the ground, pets are far more vulnerable to these toxins and therefore more likely to suffer their negative health effects. For the safety or your cat or pup, here are 5 household products every pet parent should avoid.

 

Toxic Flea & Tick Products

Traditional flea and tick products can seriously threaten your pet’s health, not to mention your own. Whether collars, pills or repellent sprays, traditional pest control products for pets often contain toxic ingredients—including fipronil, imidacloprid, and pyrethroids. Organ damage, seizures, nervous system damage and even death are all associated with these chemicals. Choosing a pet-safe, non-toxic insect repellent is one way to lessen your animal and family’s exposure to chemical-based pesticides. Remember: always consult a veterinarian when planning your pet’s pest control regimen.

 

 

Household Cleaners

Indoor air pollution is a common issue in American homes. Whether inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, common household cleaners are largely at fault. Bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals feature prominently in these cleaning solutions, including laundry detergents. Cancer, anemia and organ damage are just some of the known health complications associated with these ingredients and their noxious fumes.

To avoid exposure, consider 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 making natural cleaners at home.

 


Air Fresheners and Scented Candles

From plug-ins and incense to sprays and scented candles, air fresheners are surprisingly toxic. Long term health effects such as respiratory complications, heart disease and cancer have been linked to the harmful chemicals contained within these products. Formaldehyde, heavy metals, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like ethanol, acetate and acetone are the primary culprits. Studies have shown that in some respects these ingredients can be even more harmful than cigarette smoke.

Considering these chemicals can accumulate in the body over time and usually end up collecting on the floor, pets and children are most at risk. To ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life, we strongly encourage seeking natural alternatives to household air fresheners. Click here for tips on freshening your home’s air naturally.

 

Fertilizers, Herbicides and Outdoor Pesticides

Traditionally formulated pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers can spell trouble for your dog or cat. Dogs have been known to ingest fertilizers, which commonly contain toxic mixtures of nitrogen, phosphorus and other chemicals. Pest control sprays and herbicides are arguably even worse. Lying on the lawn, paw-licking or consuming grass are all it takes to receive harmful exposure. Bottom line: don’t put anything on your lawn or garden until researching its potential impact on your pet’s health. To prevent life-altering side effects and possibly even the loss of your pet, go with a non-toxic lawn and garden alternatives instead.

 

Indoor Insecticides and Rodenticides

The same ingredients that make indoor pesticides lethal to insects and rodents make them extremely dangerous for your pet, too. Avoid illness, a vet visit, or potentially serious health consequences by using only pet-safe pest control products within the home. Plant-based pesticides, DIY essential oil mixtures, and diatomaceous earth are viable substitutes. Adopting basic pest prevention practices will also decrease pest activity.

 

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 Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Them

Cedarcide blog post image, 7 Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Them

One of the most frustrating things about being a cat parent is finding ways to effectively communicate with our fur baes. We all want our cats to know how much we love them, don’t we? Unfortunately, cats can seem distant and preoccupied, seemingly uninterested in our affection and company. The truth is, cats and people just express feelings differently, so your love is being lost in translation. If you can speak your cat’s language, you can let them know just how you feel, and strengthen your bond in the process. Here are 7 ways to show your cat that you love them.

 

Nose-To-Tail Body Rubs

We’ve all seen our cats do this. It’s cute, cuddly, and it makes us love them even more (even when we have to reach for the lint roller afterwards). It turns out our cats do this for a very specific reason. In short, they’re marking us as their own. By rubbing their scent onto our bodies, our cats are leaving a trace that says: “this human is mine!” When you allow your cat as many nose-to-tail rubs as they can handle, you’re letting them know that you value the relationship, too.

 

Slow Blinking and Head Bunting

Cat experts agree: slow blinking and head bumping are big signs that your cat loves and trusts you. Reciprocate by mirroring this activity to show you love them right back. Experts advise against initiating these behaviors, but if your cat swings up with the slow blinks and wants to bump heads, dive right in.

 

Cat Naps

Snoozing with your cat can strengthen your shared bond. If a cat feels comfortable enough to sleep on or right next to you, it means they respect you immensely. Co-sleeping is by no means necessary for cat parents, but if your cat curls up ready for a quick nap, accepting the gesture lets them know the respect is mutual.

 

Cat Massages

Who doesn’t like massages? In addition to lowering blood pressure and helping with stress, massages can bring you and your cat closer together. Use this time to check for lumps and hair mats, too. Over time you’ll discover your cat’s favorite massage spots, but if you’re just starting out, try their cheeks and tail.

 

 

Grooming

Just like with massages, cats love grooming and to be groomed. In the cat world, grooming is a social activity that expresses affection and shared trust. In other words, grooming is a fast track to your cat’s heart. In addition to feeling good and expressing love, gentle brushing reduces hairballs and leads to a cleaner coat. If your cat approves of your grooming technique, they might just try to groom you back, so be ready for those sandpaper tongue kisses

 

Catnip

At the end of the day, everyone likes to have fun and unwind—including your cat. No, you can’t share a craft beer with them, but you can definitely introduce your kitty to catnip. This affordable and harmless herb can give your cat a serious boost, making them much more playful and relaxed. Whether you’re giving them straight catnip or toys laced with the plant, your cat will absolutely love you for it!

 

Get Playful

Unlike dogs, cats usually make us work for their affection. Don’t be fooled, they enjoy being loved on, too. The big difference is that cats prefer to dictate when and how that love takes place. Whether using string, a box or actual cat toys, playtime is the easiest way to up the relationship with your feline friend. Even the most aloof cats will warm up the more playtime you offer them.

 

 

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