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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 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

Cedarcide blog post image, 6 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Yard

 
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 Trim Your Dog’s Nails: 5 Tips

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Trim Your Dog's Nails: 5 Tips

Trimming our dog’s nails is sort of like oil changes—it’s super important, and yet most of us don’t do it often enough. But it’s not that big of a deal, right? Well, no, it kind of is—regular nail trimmings are crucial to the health and well being of your canine. In fact, if you fail to keep your pup’s nails clipped, you can really cause them a lot of pain. Long toenails lead to joint pain which, if left untreated, can cause lifelong arthritic complications. So whether you do it or a professionals does it, you really need to trim your dog’s nails at least once a month (at least!). But don’t sweat it, with the following tips and some patience, you’ll be successfully clipping your dog’s nails in no time.


Get Educated

First thing’s first, figure out what you’re doing. The worst thing you can do is wing it: you could end up injuring your pup, traumatizing them to nail-trimming forever. The best way is to ask your vet for a quick tutorial, but at the very least watch an online instructional video or read a how-to guide (kind of like the one you’re reading right now 😉). Take your time, be patient, and you’ll master this nail-trimming thing in no time.


Start Early, Start Slow

The earlier you acclimate your canine to getting their nails trimmed, the less likely both you and your dog will dread it. Before clipping any nails, start slow and get your pup used to being around the clippers and having their feet and toes touched. Introduce the clippers daily for a few days leading up to their first clipping session. Use plenty of praise and treats in the process.


Get the Right Tools

OK, so you’ve got a plan, now it’s time to get the right tools for the job:

  • Nail clippers. There are three main types: guillotine-style, scissors-style and pliers-style. Unless your dog is abnormally large, it’s best to go with a relatively small pair of clippers—they’re simply easier to control, and therefore safer for your dog. We suggest using one with a guide to help prevent accidentally cutting into the quick (the sensitive inner part of the nail which contains blood vessels and nerve endings).
  • Treats. Rewarding your pup throughout the nail clipping experience will make your life significantly easier. The better the experience is for your dog, the better the experience will be for you. In general, reward after trimming each nail.
  • Clotting powder. Styptic powder, or a natural alternative like baking soda or organic corn starch, will help clot your dog’s blood in the event you slip up and snag the quick. If you exercise caution, hopefully you’ll never encounter this issue, but just in case an accident occurs, it’s best to have some handy.


Cut at a 45 Degree Angle, a Little at a Time

There’s no rush, so cut just a little at a time. A few tricks to remember:

  • Trim nails in a well lit room.
  • Hold the paw firmly but gently, separate the toes using your fingers, but don’t squeeze them—that can be painful.
  • Cut at a 45 degree angle.
  • Avoid cutting the quick by stopping as soon as you see the white inner portion of the nail. If you’re clipping the nail and it begins to feel soft or spongy, stop! You’re cutting into the quick.
  • Don’t forget to trim the dewclaws, too, if your pup has them. If you don’t clip them regularly, they can start to grow back towards your dog’s leg and pierce the skin—ouch!


Don’t Slack—Keep Up the Good Work

Trimming your own dog’s nails is no small feat—pat yourself on the back! Now that you’ve got the process down, get ready to do it all over again in 2-4 weeks. Regularly maintaining your dog’s nails is a matter of quality of life, so don’t let it slip.


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!

5 Tips for Dog-Proofing Your Home


Just like baby-proofing, dog-proofing our homes is essential to keeping our loved ones safe. Dogs are naturally curious, and if given the opportunity, will explore any and every area of the home. By making several adjustments around the house, you can help prevent choking hazards, electrocution and maybe even the loss of your pet. Here’s 5 tips to dog-proof your home.

 

Use Baby Gates or a Kennel

Let’s get real: You can’t be everywhere at once, and you can’t foresee every possible item, nook and cranny your pup might get into. To make your life much easier, use baby gates or a kennel to limit your dog’s movement and exposure to potentially harmful areas of the home. This approach is especially useful when it comes to new rescues and puppies.

Keep Everything That’s Not For Your Dog Out of Reach

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many household items pose a threat to your dog. Things you might not normally worry about could actually be life threatening. For example, we all know to keep foods that are poisonous to our pups out of reach—like chocolate and grapes—but did you know dog-safe foods can be just as dangerous? The internet is littered with sad stories of pet owners losing their fur babies to food packaging materials, like chip bags and snack wrappers. Moral of the story: We can never be too careful when it comes to our pets.

While the list is seemingly infinite, here are some tips for keeping common household items away from your dog:

  • Organize your home, and do your very best to keep it free of clutter (trinkets and other little decorative items are common choking hazards)
  • Consider installing child-proof latches on all cabinets
  • Always keep toilet lids closed
  • Keep alcohol and tobacco products out of reach
  • Batteries are commonly lethal if ingested, keep them stored in a firmly sealed container or drawer
  • Verify that all houseplants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Keep lotions, cosmetics and other beauty products off sinks and out of reach
  • Keep toothpaste, floss, mouthwash and other toiletries out of reach
  • Never leave laundry items and shoes within reach of your pup (strings and buttons are common choking hazards)
  • Organize and pick up kids’ toys immediately
  • Keep all foods and food packaging off counter tops and out of reach
  • Store medications in tightly closed, out-of-reach places
  • Properly cover or fence off fireplaces
  • Give your dog chew toys to prevent them from chewing on household items
  • Replace household chemicals—such as cleaners, detergents and pesticides—with non-toxic alternatives. Naturally sourced insecticides are a good choice, as are brands like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyer’s and Method when it comes to cleaners and soaps

Cover and Latch Your Trash Can

Dumpster diving for goodies can easily make your pup sick. To avoid this problem, purchase a trash can your dog can’t get into—such as a sturdy metal option, or one with a latch or lock. If you’ve got an especially curious and willful dog, choosing a trash can you can store under the sink or in a cabinet might be your best bet.

Organize Cables and Wires

Electrical cords and wires are some of the household’s most dangerous items when it comes to pets. From Blu ray players and televisions to lamps and computers, our homes are filled with these electrocution hazards. Properly organizing or covering cables (and electrical outlets) could save your pup a burnt mouth and a scary visit to the vet. For more tips on pet-proofing household cables and wires, click here.

 

Dog-Proof the Garage and Yard, Too

People often ignore the garage and yard when dog-proofing their homes, assuming they can easily control their pup’s access to these areas. But as seasoned pet owners know, dogs have a way of getting into almost anything at one point or another. Here’s some things you should definitely address:

  • Keep the garage floor clean and free of clutter, especially with regard to chemicals like antifreeze and oil
  • Store all chemicals and other hazardous liquids in high out-of-reach places
  • Store all tools and other sharp objects in high out-of-reach places
  • Verify that all garden plants are pet-safe and non-toxic if ingested
  • Switch from chemical-based yard treatments and pesticides to non-toxic, naturally sourced alternatives
  • Check your gates and fencing for holes your pet could use to exit the yard
  • Secure open water areas like pools and spas (these are serious drowning hazards for pets)

 

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7 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea, And What You Can Do About It

Cedarcide blog post image, 7 Reasons Your Dog Has Diarrhea

Part of being a doggy parent is dealing with doggy diarrhea. It’s gross, messy, and no one likes to see their pup suffer with it. Identifying the cause is crucial to relieving this unpleasant condition as soon as possible—plus, you might just be able to prevent it from happening again. From there, you can try a few natural home remedies to address your pup’s upset tummy. Let’s start with the most common causes.

Remember: There’s no substitute for a professional veterinarian. We suggest consulting a vet before attempting home remedies on your own. If the diarrhea persists for over 24 hours, your pup’s behaving strangely, or their stool looks unusual even for diarrhea, consult your vet as soon as possible.

A Natural Detox

Diarrhea is never comfortable or welcome—not for pet parents and definitely not for pets. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes diarrhea is simply the body detoxing itself of bacteria, toxins or other contaminants. In essence, the body is trying to flush out potentially harmful items before they can do any more harm.

A Change in Diet

A simple change in diet is often enough to cause doggy diarrhea. Sometimes it takes our pups a few days to adjust to a new feeding routine, and diarrhea is a common symptom of such a change. If you need to alter your dog’s diet, do it gradually over time when at all possible.

They Ate Something Gross, or Toxic

This one’s so common vets have a name for it: “Garbage gut,” and it’s one of the leading causes of dog diarrhea. As pet parents know, dogs like to pull items from the trash and eat them indiscriminately. Rotten food, too much food, food that’s toxic to canines—all can give your pup the runs.

Stress

Emotional stress like trauma, loss of a loved one, or a change in scenery can upset your dog’s tummy, leading to diarrhea.

Parasites

Parasites are a common cause of intestinal distress—including diarrhea. They’re easily picked up from unexpected water sources like ponds or puddles, or from eating animal poop. If your dog’s stool includes mucus, has white markings in it, or looks foamy, you should consult your vet to have them checked for intestinal parasites.

Allergy

If your pup’s diarrhea is accompanied by sneezing, scratching, paw chewing and wet eyes, a food allergy might be the cause. In this instance, diarrhea is a way for your dog’s body to remove the allergens before they cause further issue.

They Ate Something Inedible

From floss to packaging materials to toys, our pets can and will attempt to eat almost anything. Sadly, these items can become lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestinal tract, leading to diarrhea. Such occurrences can be life threatening, so if you suspect your dog may have something stuck in their tummy, you should consult a vet immediately.

Natural Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

Dog diarrhea is not normally serious, and usually resolves on its own in a few days. However, there are several natural home remedies that can help settle your pup’s stomach a little sooner. Here are some of the easiest and most effective:

Fasting
A 12-24 hour fast is typically the first method to try at home when dealing with a mild case of diarrhea (fasts do not include water—your pup will need lots of hydrating while they’re experiencing diarrhea). Consult a vet before trying this approach, however, as older dogs, younger dogs, ill dogs and some smaller dogs might not be a good fit for fasting.

White Rice
Replacing your dog’s normal food with boiled organic white rice is said to help relieve diarrhea. The bland nature of the rice can help settle the stomach, and the fiber can help firm ur your pup’s stool. Slowly reintroduce your dog’s normal diet over the next few days until things return to normal.

Plain Chicken
Plain boiled white chicken is also said to soothe dog’s suffering from diarrhea. This can be added to the white rice mentioned above if your dog handles the rice with no issue. Just make sure the chicken is skinless, boneless and free of herbs and spices. Again, gradually reintroduce your dog’s normal eating routine over the next several days.

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