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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.

Safe Paw Ice Melter – a Pawfect Solution

safe paw ice melterRock salt and chemical ice melters can cause sores, infections and blistering on your dog’s paws. Toxic chemicals can also be ingested by your dog when he licks his paws. So many dogs are wearing dog boots because of the salt used to melt the ice on the sidewalks, paths and roads. However, a lot of our dogs don’t like or won’t wear dog boots.

We recently came across this product and thought “what a great solution”! Wouldn’t it be great if we all used a Safe Paw Ice Melter. While your city might not spend the money to purchase this, at least you can make it better on your own property (or where you have real estate influence). According to Gaia Enterprises, Safe Paw Ice Melter is 100% salt-free and is guaranteed to be pet and child safe.

How Safe Paw Ice Melter Works

Safe Paw ice melterSafe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. Safe Paw Ice Melter is a dual-effect compound made of a modified crystalline amide core infused with special glycol admixture and traction agents. This composition gives Safe Paw a two-way timed released action. The liquid component starts melting ice instantly while breaking surface tension. This allows the crystal-core to penetrate and destabilize ice which speeds up melting and the traction agent provides slip protection.

safe pawsWe were surprised to read that unlike other products, Safe Paw attracts solar heat to provide extra melting-power during daylight hours.

Once Safe Paw has melted the ice and snow, it leaves an invisible shield that prevents ice from sticking to surfaces for up to 3 days. Apparently, this teflon effect makes shoveling easier.

Stay warm and good luck with the snow storms!

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.

The Yellow Dog Project – A Great Idea

yellow dog projectWe recently learned about the Yellow Dog Project and think it’s a great idea! Yellow Dogs are dogs who need space – they are not necessarily aggressive dogs, but often are dogs who have issues of fear; pain from recent surgery; are a rescue or shelter dog who has not yet had sufficient training or mastered obedience; are in training for work or service; are in service; or other reasons specific to the dog.

If you have a “Yellow Dog”, you put a yellow ribbon on your leash or dog that can easily been seen so that other dog owners know if advance that your dog needs some space and not to go close towards these dogs.

They also have a list of what a Yellow Dog Project is NOT:

  • It is not an excuse to avoid proper training
  • It is not a waiver of responsibility
  • It is not an admittance of guilt or a confession

The Yellow Dog Project hopes to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space, promote appropriate contact of dogs and assist dog parents to identify their dog as needing space.