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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 10 Years & 50,000 Blankets ~

Dogs & Chocolate - No amount is safe!

Mental & Physical Exercises for your dog!

Make Your Dog's Toys - New Again!

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how to tell if Your Dog Love You ...

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The Amazing Fibromyalgia Dog

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Make Your Dog's Toys - New Again!

Dogs as Blood Donors

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Great Charities That Help Pets & the Military

A great way to end the year is to shine a spotlight on two awesome charities that could use everyone’s support. They combine a love of pets, with a respect and admiration for those who serve our country in the military. Check these out and maybe there’s a way you can help!

Pets for Vets (petsforvets.com)

This wonderful organization offers a second chance for dogs who end up in shelters. They rescue these pets and provide training and instruction. The goal is to make sure they are comfortable around wheel chairs, or other assistance devices, and are the perfect pet for a home environment.

As they get to know the personality of the dog, they are able to pair them with veterans who feel they could benefit from a companion pet. Often these brave men and woman are fighting the effects of stress from combat, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or have a Traumatic Brain Injury. This group also gets to know the veteran and their lifestyle, putting together a “match made in heaven”.

Pets for Vets has seen how pets can provide life-saving therapy, or just a trusted friend, to these veterans who are now returning to civilian life. They site many studies which show that companion animals greatly improve the physical health, mental stamina, and reduce stress, depression and general anxiety of veterans they support.

Dogs on Deployment (dogsondeployment.org)

Another stress that many service men and women experience is the difficulty in finding a temporary home for their pets, when they are away on deployment. Dogs on Deployment solves this dilemma by providing an online network for service personnel to search for pet-loving volunteers, who will provide foster-care for their pet while they are away, serving their country. This solution also reduces the number of dogs who would otherwise end up in shelters!

It’s easy to find out if you can help. Just visit their website and register your family as a potential foster family. Alternatively, you can enter your city and state in the search area, to find a list of pets who are in need of foster care near you.

Dogs on Deployment goes a step further, by promoting spay and neuter programs, the need for vaccinations and working with community organizations to spread the word on their foster-care system. Their ultimate goal is to have a long list of foster care families near every military base in the US!

Both groups do fantastic work, providing peace of mind to those that serve our country. They also offer us pet-lovers some unique ways to help pets, and people, in the new year!

De-Skunking Your Pet!

For many of us, evening walks with the pup are one of life’s greatest joys. Smelling the distinctive odor of a skunk, clearly is not! Fear of being sprayed by a skunk should not keep you, or your dog, stuck inside at dusk (when skunks are most active). It’s rarely dangerous, and if you’re prepared, clean up isn’t too bad.

Skunks do not seek out people and pets to “spray”. It is their only defense in a world that is sometimes startling to these timid critters. They only have a limited amount of “ammo” at any time, so they will only spray when they have no other option. Their spray causes temporary blindness when directed towards the face of predators, and allows the skunk to escape.

The noxious odor is created by Thiol, a chemical compound made of sulfur and hydrogen that is “fired” from the anal glands. This same combination is, not surprisingly, found in feces and rotting flesh. What makes skunk spray just a bit worse is that it is quite oily and contains additional compounds that, when mixed with water, release even more of the smell. So clearly it’s important to treat this as a unique problem, and one that a long bath will not resolve!

The key to ridding your dog, cat, clothes, etc. of the skunk smell is to create a chemical reaction that will neutralize the odor. Even though the ingredients are fairly common, you may not have sufficient quantities on hand (especially if you have a big dog) when you need them. So it’s a great idea to stock up now, before you need them, and have all the items ready to go in a stinky emergency!

  • 32 fluid ounces 3% hydrogen peroxide (this ingredient will expire in time, so replace your stock a couple times a year)
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 2 tsp liquid soap
  • 1 quart lukewarm water
  • Plastic bowl (one that can be thrown away)
  • Plastic mixing spoon
  • Protective eye ointment or mineral oil
  • Rubber gloves
  • Towels

Steps:

It’s important to start right away. The longer you wait, the worse it gets (another reason to stock up ahead of time)! It’s best to do this as you would bathe your dog outside, or if inside, be sure to open as many windows are you can.

1 – Put on rubber gloves and check your pet for any injuries. Check the eyes for redness or any discharge, since pets often are sprayed in the face. If you see any injuries, contact your veterinarian before doing anything else!

2 – Rinse out the pet’s eyes, nose and mouth with warm water, as best you can. Then put a few drops of the protective eye ointment or mineral oil in your pet’s eyes. This protects them from getting any of the remedy solution in their eyes.

3 – Combine the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap. Add some lukewarm water if you’re treating a large dog. The solution should start to fizz (remember elementary school volcanoes?), which means the chemical reaction is happening. Start using the solution as soon as you see this! This combination will oxidize the volatile thiols, and neutralize the smell.

4 - Massage the solution into the pet’s coat using a sponge or cloth. Massage it down to the skin to break up the oily skunk spray, and leave it there for at least ten minutes (20 minutes is better). Avoid the pet’s eyes, mouth and ears, and keep them from licking any of it.

5 – Rinse your pet with lukewarm water. You may need to repeat the previous step 3 – 5 times to fully neutralize the odor. The smell of skunk oil can last up to a year, so when in doubt, repeat step 4 one more time! Once you feel it’s really, truly gone, dry off your pet and give them a big treat!

You may be able to avoid skunks by not venturing out at dusk or early evening, but what fun is that? It’s best to keep your cat inside at night (and during the day), but a nighttime trip (if even to the bathroom) is unavoidable with dogs.

When walking your dog, if you shine a flashlight up ahead, and swing it left and right, you’ll likely catch the reflection of the skunk’s eyes in plenty of time to turn around. You may also want to discourage your dog from rummaging in drain-pipes, under bushes, and in other dark areas while on your walk. These are the areas where skunks hang out during the day, and then emerge at night. With a bit of warning, you can usually just quietly reverse course and all critters will happily go their own way. However, having your own personal “de-skunking” kit on hand will be a welcome relief for the times you have no warning!

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Dogs Help Cancer Patients

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Doggy Fun!

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Pet Benefits for Seniors

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Can I Trust a wagging tale?

 

One of the most misunderstood aspects of dogs is their wagging tail. It’s a common belief that a dog with a wagging tail is a “happy dog”, but that’s not entirely true. A wagging tail can mean “stay away” as easily as it means “come on over!” Not knowing how to correctly interpret this aspect of canine behavior can cause a lot of misunderstanding during human-canine encounters!

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Peanut Butter Doggie Treats!

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Probiotics with Fur?

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