Tag Archives: dogs

Using Baking Soda to Fight Dog Odors

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda for dog odorsDid you know that good old-fashioned baking soda can help you fight dog odors?

This common and affordable household product can be used for cleaning many things in your home, but we’ll discuss how you can use it to eliminate pet odors.

It is a natural cleaner and deodorizer that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Dry shampoo your dog with baking soda

When you don’t have the time or energy to give your dog a bath, you can give them a quick “dry shampoo” with baking soda.

  1. Make sure your dog is completely dry.
  2. Brush your dog to remove loose hair.
  3. Lightly sprinkle baking soda across your dog’s coat, avoiding the face.
  4. Lightly rub the baking soda in and leave it in for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Use a brush and a towel to remove excess baking soda.

Wet shampoo your dog with baking soda

Many dog shampoos contain baking soda already. You can make your own DIY dog shampoo with odor neutralizer by mixing mix one tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of warm water. Wash your dog with the mixture and gently massage it into their coat.

You can also make a baking soda and water rinse to use after you have used your normal dog shampoo. This gives your dog a very thoroughly clean and will remove excess shampoo from your dog, which may cause itchiness.

Related: How to clean your dog’s teeth

Use baking soda on a dog bed, furniture or carpeting

Sometimes that spot where your dog loves to lie down can smell a little bit too much like a dog after a while.  Sprinkle baking soda on carpeting, furniture, or the dog bed, then leave it in for about 20 mins and then vacuum it up. 

Baking soda to deodorize your car

You can also use baking soda to eliminate dog odors in your car. Sprinkle it on the seats and floor mats and give it a few minutes to absorb odors and then vacuum it up. 

Clean up “dog accidents” on carpeting

You can use baking soda to clean up a spot on the carpeting when a dog has an accident. First, try and blot up as much of the liquid as you can with a rag or cloth first. Then mix equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to create a runny paste-like substance. Apply the mixture to the soiled carpet or furniture, let it sit for a few minutes to absorb odor and then wipe or sponge it up.

Get rid of skunk smell

The old cure of using tomato sauce to get rid of the smell when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk just isn’t very effective. Instead, get out your reliable box of baking soda, and mix a ¼ cup baking soda with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Rub the mixture onto your dog, leave it on for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly. You may need to clean them with this once or twice to finally get that smell out.

Is baking soda poisonous to dogs? 

An important note: Baking soda is considered non-toxic to humans but that doesn’t mean it is safe for dogs to eat. You can brush your dog’s teeth using baking soda but larger amounts can be dangerous. Baking soda is a leavening agent. If combined with the heat found in your dog’s stomach, it will release gasses that can cause low potassium, low calcium, high sodium, muscle spasms and even heart failure. If your dog eats baking soda, call your veterinarian immediately. 


The Pet’s Home provides in-home pet sitting, dog sitting, cat sitting, dog walkingpuppy training and pet taxi services in the Plainfield, Oswego, Naperville and Shorewood area. 

Contact us online or call (630) 854-8841


 

Benefits of Pet Therapy

Therapy dog with elderly patient

Photo by Zachary Wolf

Pet therapy is a broad term that includes animal-assisted therapy and other animal-assisted activities. It is essentially a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment and rehabilitation. Patients in hospitals or nursing homes can benefit from pet therapy, especially children and the elderly. 

Animals have been a benefit to human’s well being for thousands of years. Only in recent decades have they been recognized for the physical and mental health benefits they give people and pet therapy might be recommended by a doctor.

Benefits of pet therapy

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Decreasing effects of depression
  • Increase self-esteem
  • Improves social skills
  • Improves motor skills and joint movement
  • Increases verbal communication
  • Increases willingness to join in activities
  • Decreases loneliness and isolation
  • Can provide motivation to exercise
  • Helps teach empathy and nurturing skills

People who benefit from pet therapy

  • Stroke victims
  • Children having dental procedure
  • People undergoing chemotherapy
  • Residents in long-term care facilities
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • People hospitalized with chronic heart failure
  • Children having physical or dental procedures
  • People undergoing physical therapy
  • Patients working to regain motor skills
  • People with mental health disorders
  • People suffering from suicidal thoughts

Could pet therapy be of benefit to you?

You should ask your doctor, therapist or caregiver if pet therapy could be of benefit to you. They could recommend a certified pet therapy organization for you to get in touch with. 

Even if you don’t suffer from some of the more serious issues above, any pet owner can tell you how they benefit from their animal friends. If you are physically capable of caring for a pet yourself, you can get a dog, cat or other pet to be your companion. They will keep you company, ease stress and depression and maybe help you meet new people. 

Foods That Are Dangerous For Dogs

Foods that are bad for dogs

Many dog owners are known to sneak their best friend some scraps from the dinner table when no one is looking. 

Those cute faces just seem to say “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE!” and it can be hard to resist.

Some human food can be okay for your dog in small amounts, but others can be dangerous.

In this post, we list human foods that can be unhealthy, dangerous or even toxic to your dog. Read further so you don’t accidentally make your dog sick.

14 Foods Dangerous to Your Dog

Here are some of the worst foods for your dog. They can be very dangerous to their health and have been known to even be fatal to some dogs.

Avocado – The inner avocado is safe for dogs and can even be found in some dog foods. The problem is the skin and leaves. They contain persin, which is an oil-soluble toxin that can be dangerous to non-human mammals. According to the ASPCA, persin may cause “respiratory distress, heart failure, edema”.

Chocolate – Most dog owners know not to give their dog chocolate but it is worth repeating: Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. It contains Theobromine, which can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, become overly thirsty, or even cause abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, or death. 

Related: Chocolate Overdose: What to do if they find your secret spot 

Macadamia Nuts – Macadamia nuts can make dogs very ill, causing vomiting, tremors, loss of control of body movements (ataxia), weakness, and depression. Symptoms usually show within 12 hours of eating and can last 12 to 48 hours before recovering.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes are one of the most toxic foods for dogs. Eating grapes can lead to kidney failure and even death. Raisins and grape juice can be even more dangerous because they are in a more concentrated form.

Garlic and Onions – These plants are toxic to dogs in any form, whether fresh, cooked, dried, or powdered. Onions and garlic are part of the allium plant family, which can cause damage to dogs red blood cells and organs. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, breathlessness, and loss of interest in food.

Sugar-Free Gum & Candy – Sugarless gum and candy is often sweetened with Xylitol, which can be deadly to dogs. According to the VCA, xylitol ingestion causes life-threatening hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar).

Related: How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

Raw Meat, Fish, Eggs – Dog ancestors may have eaten raw meat, but your dog shouldn’t. Raw meat contains bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Raw fish can hide parasites that cause fatal diseases. Raw eggs can contain salmonella or e. coli.

Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Citrus Fruits – The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) contain citric acid and oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts.

Green Tomatoes – Ripe red tomatoes are okay, but unripened green tomatoes and tomato plants contain solanine, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.

Caffeinated Drinks – Caffeine is very unhealthy for dogs and possibly only fatal. This includes coffee and tea, coffee beans and grounds, cocoa, chocolate, colas, and energy drinks. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness, increased heart rate, fast breathing, and muscle twitches.”

Dairy Products – Many dogs are lactose intolerant and cannot properly digest dairy foods. Too much cheese can cause constipation or diarrhea, obesity, and lasting gastrointestinal issues. 

Yeast Dough – Bread dough needs to rise. If your dog eats it, then the dough will rise in their stomach, stretching the abdomen and causing pain. When the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it makes alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Salty Snacks – Salty snacks like pretzels and potato chips can make your dog seriously thirsty. It could lead to sodium ion poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, and seizures and possibly even cause death.

The following is a list of foods that are dangerous to dogs. Even though some foods on this list may be okay in small amounts, we do not recommend feeding your dog these foods.

List of foods you should not feed your dog

  • Alchohol
  • Almonds
  • Avocado
  • Apricot pits
  • Bacon
  • Beer
  • Bones
  • Cheese
  • Cherry pits
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus (peels, leaves, seeds)
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Energy drinks
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peach pits
  • Pecans
  • Plumb pits
  • Popcorn
  • Potatoes (Raw)
  • Potato chips
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Raw meet, fish & eggs
  • Salt
  • Sugar-free gum & candy
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes (green, plants & leaves)
  • Walnuts
  • Wine
  • Yeast dough

To be safe, we don’t recommend you feed your dog any of these foods. If your dog has ingested any of these foods, contact your veterinarian. 


Related Information & Sources: ASPCACanine Journal – DogtimeHumane Society – RoverWebMD


 

Dog Flu Outbreak in Illinois

About the Illinois Dog Flu Outbreak 

There have been recent cases of Dog Flu breaking out all over central Illinois. Be cautious with your dog around other dogs.  Veterinarians say this is a new and highly contagious airborne virus that can spread quickly from dog to dog.

This virus can be transferred via nose and mouth secretions, coughs, and even sharing water bowls. Because this particular virus is airborne, it can spread without contact.

Most dogs are not naturally immune to the virus and when exposed to it will most likely contract it. 

How to Protect Your Dog 

The first thing you should do is talk to your veterinarian about canine influenza to see what they recommend is best for your dog. 

If you notice anything out of the ordinary isolate your dog and call your veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not wait or hesitate as this is a very aggressive virus and your should seek medical treatment immediately.  

A vaccine is available, if you have not already, the H3N2 vaccination is available for your dog. Discuss whether the vaccine is right for your dog with your veterinarian. 

Start boosting your dog’s immune system by feeding them a healthy and balanced diet.  Give them plenty of vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and probiotics. You can also use some of the many natural immunity boosting supplements and herbs to improve your dogs overall health and well-being.

Be sure to watch your dog for common symptoms such as: coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, nasal or eye discharge. Give your dog lots of water and plenty of time to rest. 

If your dog does get the flu, keep them away from other dogs for at least 21 days.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth

You may have heard the saying, “a dog’s mouth is cleaner.” While that is not entirely true, dogs are not as prone to cavities as humans. However, dogs can still develop plaque buildup, which leads to tartar and gingivitis. Although these are concerning issues, they actually lead to serious health issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease. In order to prevent these life-threatening issues, bad breath, and yellow teeth, learn how to clean your dog’s teeth.

To properly brush your dog’s teeth, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently scrub at the gum line and teeth. Use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs, which can be found at pet stores. Human toothpaste has many ingredients that are poisonous to pets; never use your own toothpaste.

Pets do not always love the experience, but if you are patient and read your dog’s signals you’ll be able to create a comfortable routine for both of you. The first few times you brush your dog’s teeth, you man not get to clean as thoroughly as you want – that’s okay! Starting slow and building up a tolerance to the brushing activity will ease your dog into it gently. Ensure that you’re speaking pleasantly to your dog and avoid yelling in frustration. The first times are admittedly tricky. You can reward your dog with a treat afterward to encourage better behavior.

If your dog hates this process, there’s still hope. You can make choices that help encourage better oral health for your pup. Crunchy kibble is better for your dog’s teeth than softer foods. The soft food sticks to teeth and leads to decay, while the kibble does not. In addition, you can try synthetic bones and chew toys that are formulated to clean teeth. Although these steps help, they are no replacement for brushing your pup’s teeth.

If your pup has chronic bad breath, yellow teeth, missing teeth or other dental problems, see your dentist for the best advice and treatment.

Top Autumn Pet Care Tips

With the changing weather, comes shedding, increased energy and more time spent indoors. Are you taking care of your pet with autumn in mind? Here are our top tips for autumn pet care:

  1. Be mindful of rodent poison. Rodents are likely to make their way into your home during this time of year. You may be tempted to leave poison out in the open, but your pets can get into them with fatal results. Make sure you place the poison in areas that your pets cannot get into, like cupboards and cabinets, or in rooms that stay closed off. Be sure to protect your pets at all costs because rodent poison is very seriously toxic to cats and dogs.
  2. Watch their food intake. During the summer, pets are more active outdoors and burn more energy which can cause them to eat a bit more. Fall and winter can become a pudgy season for both pets and humans, with less activity and increased decadent foods available. Be sure to watch your pet’s diet and ensure they are getting enough exercise during these cooler months. Consult a veterinarian before making changes to your pets’ diet, as every animal has different needs.
  3.  Beware chocolate. Chocolate consumption goes up during the cooler months with the celebration of many holidays. Be sure to keep your pet away from the chocolate, as it can make dogs very sick. Keep your trick-or-treat buckets out of reach from mischievous, hungry pets.
  4. Avoid bones. You may be tempted to give your pooch a turkey bone from your Thanksgiving feast. Most bones are actually a choking hazard to dogs. Toss your pet a piece of turkey meat and throw the bones away instead.
  5. Be mindful of decorations. Until your pet is familiar with the painted pumpkins, stuffed turkey decor, and fake snow in your home, she might accidentally knock them down or ingest them. Keep your decorations up high or out of pet’s reach for the safest bet.
  6. Clean up the anti-freeze. When you winterize your vehicle, make sure to clean up every bit of anti-freeze. It has a sweet smell that draws in pets. However, a very small amount can kill pets. Keep your pet away when you’re using anti-freeze and thoroughly clean any spills.