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How to Help your Dog with Mosquitoes

“Dear Dogsized, My father’s border collie is constantly harassed by mosquitoes. Are there any dog-safe products for Charlie? – Kiku”

dog-mosquitoMosquitoes are definitely a problem for dogs! Not only do mosquitoes harass and bite dogs (as they do humans), mosquito bites can result in everything from an annoying itch to more serious parasitic diseases. Mosquito bites are also a primary cause of heartworm in dogs. If your dog has more hair (e.g. a chow) then they have more natural protection than say a bit bull or “bully” breeds. Regardless, those areas that show more skin e.g. nose, ears, eyelids, abdomen, groin and inside the legs are more prone to getting mosquito bites (and can also get sunburn).

There are plenty of things you can try to change in your environment to reduce the amount of mosquitoes, for example, avoiding stagnant water, using products containing oil of sandalwood or citronella and staying inside, especially in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.

Mosquito Repellent for Dogs

flys offTo protect your dog, do NOT use human mosquito repellents containing DEET on dogs. Instead, look for repellents formulated especially for pets that contain either permethrins or pyrethrins. Here are some dog mosquito repellent products for your dog to try:
Flys Off Spray
Flys-Off Fly Repellent Ointment
Pet Naturals of Vermont Protect Flea & Tick Repellent Spray
All Terrain Natural Pet Herbal Armor Insect Repellent Spray
Even if you use a mosquito repellent, make sure your dog is taking a heartworm preventative, such as Heartgard Plus, and also a topical treatment and prevention of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies, and lice, such as K9 Advantix II.(see also our article on Advantix vs Frontline).

Mosquito Bite Treatment

Luckily there are some solutions to help your dog if he does get bitten. Treat bites with an antibacterial cream (e.g. Neosporin) to keep them from becoming infected. To help with the itchiness, you might also want to try Sulfodene or a Pet Hydrocortizone (Zymox).
Please see your veterinarian if the bites appear very large (i.e. possibly something in it) or if they do not heal or appear to be getting worse.

Top 10 Indoor Dog Gates

Sometimes you need your dog to stay in a specific area of your home. Maybe you’ve got a puppy on your hands or you don’t want your dog in the kitchen.

We’ve found some of the best designs that we think you will love:

dog gate 1. Supergate Deluxe Decor Gate
This Supergate Deluxe Decor metal gate offers both security for your family and style for your home. It is very durable and constructed with a strong powder-coated metal. The arched gate offers a one swinging walk-thru panel built with a double-locking system, as well as, a stay-open feature.
dog gate 2. Convertible Elite Dog Gate
This 6-panel elite dog gate configures into a free standing dog gate, a room divider, or a pet pen. It’s designed to confine your dog safely in areas with larger openings, yet fit beautifully in any home decor. The gate includes a lockable door that allows you to move freely from room to room. Each panel locks in place at 90- and 180-degree angles using a specially designed cap, which also provides extra stability.
dog gate 3. Elegant Dog Gate
There’s no reason to sacrifice style for function with this beautiful dog gate. This is a freestanding dog gate made of chew-resistant, rich, solid wood. It also has a walk-thru door which allows easy movement between spaces. This dog gate by Primetime Petz is easy to use and folds down to store in seconds.
dog gate 4. Hardwood Dog Gate
A handsome, versatile gate you’ll enjoy having in your home. Customizable, panels can be configured to work in any open space or doorway. Place into a C-shape into the corner of a room to use as a crate or play pen. The collapsible feature and integrated carrying handles make it easy to store. Made of solid hardwood with walnut color finish.
Munchkin Loft Aluminum Gate 5. Munchkin Loft Aluminum Gate
Looking for something more modern? This Munchkin Loft Gate is made from aluminum for durability and strength. It features a slim profile and contemporary, silver-toned finish that will fit into your home decor. To ensure a custom fit, this gate can be “tuned” to accommodate any uneven surfaces in your home via the Integrated Tuning System.
dog gate 6. Free Standing Wood Dog Gate
We love the look of the arch on this solid wood dog gate. The Free Standing Dog Gate by Majestic Pet Products is ideal for keeping your dogs confined while still keeping your home elegant. Built with solid-wood and triple hinge construction, it is both durable and versatile. It comes in a cherry stain wood or white.
dog gate 7. Wood One-Touch Dog Gate
This dog gate is beautifully crafted and has a “tension-mount” design that allows you to easily attach it to a doorway/hallway opening to keep your dog confined to their own “special” area. The gate door allows you to move freely from room to room. The “one-touch” handle design provides the option of opening/closing the gate with one hand. Lockable gate door provides additional pet security. It’s made of polished wood and metal and comes in 3 colors.
Ritchell Freestanding Pet Gate 8. Richell Freestanding Dog Gate
Perfect containment for both puppies and dogs. The Richell Freestanding Dog Gate is self-supporting and requires no installation. Supports fold back for easy storage or transport, and rubber feet protect floor surfaces. Beautiful hardwood finish, lightweight and durable, adjustable width and easy to assemble.
bindaboo gate 9. Indoor or Outdoor Retractable Gate
This award winning retractable gate may be used both inside and outdoors as it’s made from a UV treated durable mesh to keep it from fading in the sun. It fits narrow to wider openings up to 55in (140cm). Very space efficient and the gate retracts out of the way when not in use.
Extra Wide Free Standing Pet Gate 10. Extra Wide Free Standing Pet Gate
This Design Studio 2-in-1 Free Standing Dog Gate is designed with premium hard wood and black accents. It expands to fit a variety of openings from 40-70 inches wide. The patented slide and wide latch system is simplistic and allows you to easily move this gate to different openings around your home. Easy to install and quick take down.

 

Canine Flu – Be Aware and Protect Your Dog

canine fluRecently, there’s been a “bug” circulating around the neighborhood dogs and it was believed to be kennel cough (i.e. bordetella). However, with the number of dogs it affected in such a short amount of time, tests were made and the “bug” is kennel cough caused by canine flu (aka canine influenza), which is highly infectious. According to Dr. Kristin Lester, DVM, kennel cough can be caused by numerous organisms and frequently occur concurrently (e.g. bordetella bronchiseptica, parainfluenza virus, advenovirus type 2 and canine influenza, distemper, reovirus).

canine fluIf your dog has not been vaccinated against canine flu, then your dog will have zero immunity towards this virus. Of course, no flu vaccine is a 100% guarantee you won’t get the flu (just like the human flu vaccine), but it’s better than zero defense. While this might not be going on in your neighborhood (yet), we thought it would be good to update everyone to help keep your dogs safe and healthy.

If your dog frequents doggie daycares, dog parks, or any other locations where dogs play and hang out, you might want to have a discussion with your vet and consider getting your dog vaccinated. I just made an appointment today to get my dog, Kobi, vaccinated and apparently it’s a two shot treatment. Kobi will get a flu shot today and then we’ll go back in 3 weeks for the next round.

sick dogUnfortunately, a friend’s dog caught the canine flu. We thought it would be helpful to let you know how it ran its course. They first had their dog (we’ll call her Bella) on antibiotics, which was possibly more preventative than reactive, but was suggested by their vet. Bella’s parents kept her away from other dogs to prevent spreading the virus. To be safe, if your dog catches the flu, they should not be in contact with other dogs for at least 7 days after symptoms have resolved. The flu virus can also take up to 10 days to gestate and your dog may not show symptoms for over a week.

sick dogBella had a nasty cough (sounded like choking), which lasted about a week. The cough got worse before it got better and it was horrible sounding. Bella’s parents gave her honey, to try and coat the throat a bit (mixed reviews on this, but regardless she loved it) and gave her a couple of spoons of coconut oil with her food (a natural anti-viral). They also gave her lots of water, including luke-warm chamomile tea as it apparently reduces stomach spasms from the cough and made her drink lots. They also cut back on the length of Bella’s walks, much to Bella’s annoyance.

After 7-8 days from presenting signs, Bella was no longer coughing and had a lot more energy. She is back to playing, chasing and chewing her toy duck and was bouncing around on their walks. We’re so happy Bella’s feeling better!!!

Thanks to Dr. Kristin Lester, DVM, Fetch Club and Downtown Dog NYC for keeping us up-to-date on canine health issues in the NYC area!

Top 5 Tips to Create a Pet Friendly Home

In honor of National Puppy Day, we’re bringing you our Top 5 Tips to Create a Pet Friendly Home. We would highly advise them if you have a new puppy, but they could even help your relationship with your fully grown dog.

pet friendly home1. If it’s on the floor – consider it fair game

Dogs are literally living at a lower level than us, so they really notice first what’s on the floor. They particularly like it when there’s something tasty or smells good. Real leather fits the bill perfectly. Puppies that tend to chew a lot, will find your shoes and handbags on the floor irresistible. Even my dog, who’s trained quite well, went through at least 4 pairs of shoes and almost a handbag (I quickly rescued it before major damage was done) when he was a puppy. So just don’t tempt them, if you like it, keep it off the floor.

2. If they can reach it – it’s also fair game

Pappy

Pappy

When creating a pet friendly home, you need to take into consideration how tall your dog is – including how tall he is on his hind legs and stretching. Dogs will use all their efforts to get to something they really want. Did you read our post on how Pappy nabbed the family rotisserie chicken? Pappy was 8 years old when this happened, so this isn’t just a puppy problem.

There’s also the issue of the coffee table – your dog reaching it from the front with his mouth or from the back with his tail. You’ve got to be the responsible pet parent here and realize the coffee table is a potential disaster zone. Keep and eye out or make sure your dog can’t get near it.

bad foods for dogs Did you know it’s National Poison Prevention Week? As a reminder, please make sure those potentially dangerous human foods are out of reach of your best friend. A friend of mine had some chocolates on the dining room table and while she was away at work, her puppy dachshund jumped on the chair and then up on the table and ate all the chocolates – which very sadly resulted in her puppy’s passing. If in doubt, put it away!

3. Give your dog his own personal space

While most of us would agree that a dog’s life is quite nice, they still need some personal space. At times they’re going to want to escape from the family chaos and retreat into their own little spot. Perhaps it’s a special spot in your home or your dog’s crate (read more about crates at: The Dog Crate – An Essential Part of Your Home). Make sure it’s comfortable, cozy and preferably den-like.

4. Baby-proofing is not just for babies

pet friendly homeWhen you start to look at some things in the pet and baby departments, you’ll notice some cross-overs. For example, there are baby gates which are useful not just for babies but also for dogs. There are play pens for babies and also for dogs. You’ve got diapers for babies and pee pads (which are essentially flat diapers) for puppies.

Most importantly, you want to make sure your babies and doggies cannot get to harmful chemicals or drugs. Babies and doggies also tend to have their mouths on a lot of things you would prefer they avoid, so store things appropriately and avoid harsh chemical which they could potentially come in contact with.

5. Clean up – your dog will appreciate it

Pet friendly homeLet’s say you’ve abided by tips 1 & 2 and have stored all those things away that you don’t want eaten or chewed. Next is to reduce the dirt and dust in your dog’s life. Certain allergens, dirt and mold can affect your dog’s health and greatly decrease their quality of life. It’s probably not healthy for you either.
Not to mention, if you keep the toilet seat up and you have a lab (or similarly larger breed) – they’re probably going to try to drink out of the toilet a some point when you’re not looking – let’s keep the bowl clean if not for you, then for your best friend.

To conclude, we’re not recommending you to become some sort of neat freak. Having a dog (or babies) definitely makes life a bit messier, but with that comes a lot of laughter and love.