Here are some helpful hints for dog and cat owners. Denise Flaim's column in the Southcoast Living newspaper lists a number of everyday, household items that can be put to good use.
All dogs should be provided with things to chew and store-bought items can be expensive.
Give your dog a whole carrot. They will not stain the carpet. Dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down cellulose, so in order for carrots to give nutritional value, they must be pulverized. But normally, dogs love carrots and they are a low-calorie treat. Give them in moderation, however or your dog could turn orange.
Mix up a non-toxic spray with equal parts of Listerine, dishwashing liquid and water to remove the odor from that frequently used place in the yard. The Listerine kills the bacteria responsible for the odor and the soap helps it cling to the surface. It will not harm plants.
A most valuable tip -- Use white vinegar to neutralize urine smells. All dog and cat owners end up with an accident in the house at some point and once that smell is there, pets are likely to return. Cleaning the spot with ammonia, which is a component of urine, draws the animals back. Cut the white vinegar with water and -- it's a miracle.
Canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, has a high-fiber content and will relieve bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
Keep a can on hand and be sure to take it along on trips. If the problem persists, consult your veterinarian.
Canned green beans help an overweight dog feel full while we are reducing the amount of their dog food. The beans are low in calories and high in bulk.
A last, helpful clever hint from Ms. Flaim: Woodburning stove pellets work great in housetraining puppies or if you litter-box train your small dog. These pellets are preservative-free and disintegrate into sawdust when wet. They are easily scooped and replaced.
Brian Lowney, a pet writer and dog show judge, writes about the dangers that lurk in our homes. Prescription drugs are one of the most serious. Dogs love to play with containers and will chew into anything. If your pet samples medicine of any kind, contact your veterinarian immediately. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Some dogs are more affected than others and a dog would need to consume about a quarter of an ounce per pound of the dog's weight. Vomiting and diarrhea are early signs of kidney failure.
Halloween is just ahead.
Dogs and cats, all other pets too, should not be allowed access to the Halloween stash that the children collect. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both which can make a pet extremely ill. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than a lighter chocolate, but all should be kept out of reach. There is no antidote for chocolate poisoning.
Dogs and cats are very clever thieves, and their sharp sense of smell tells them where to find the good stuff. Caution is key.
WonderDogs, LTD, is an organization for service, therapy, home-help and senior's companion dogs.
They meet on the first Saturday and the third Friday of each month beginning tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 6. Meetings are from 1 - 3 p.m. in the Meeting Room at the Payson Library. Continuing participants are encouraged to attend with their dogs. New interested people should call Rita Givens, 928 468-6888 prior to attending. Much helpful information and training is shared at these meetings.
A wonderful opportunity to have your dog or cat spayed or neutered at a very reasonable cost is being provided by the Payson Humane Society on Thursday, Oct. 11. Call the humane society for information and to get your pet on the list. It is such an important thing to do for your pet. He/she will be healthier, happier and a better family pet.
The Blue's Dog Walk will be Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Pine Trailhead, beginning with registration at 8 a.m. Pre-register at Blue's Gallery and Moose Mountain Gifts in Pine, at the Payson Humane Society and Post Net in Payson. Proceeds benefit the P/S School and the Payson Humane Society.
All entrants receive a specially designed T-shirt and a doggie goodie bag. Loaner dogs are available at the Payson Humane Society. Reserve yours today by calling 928 474-5590.
Christy Powers is a columnist for the Payson Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@ earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC