sweet puppy dog in playing pose on grass at the green meadow

5 Effective Pet Products for Flea or Tick Control

Fleas and ticks are not just gross, they can make pets itch! Aside from their bites, these pests often carry diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or even tapeworms. Help keep your pet happy and healthy by upgrading your defenses to counter sneaky fleas or ticks! These products contain effective ingredients to help control unwanted guests on your furry friends.

1. Advantage® II Flea Control Large Cat (for Cats over 9 lbs.)

This easy to apply, topical flea treatment is specially formulated for felines to help keep them protected from biting fleas for up to 30 days with a single application. The two key ingredients, imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen, work together to provide multi-stage flea control by killing adults, larvae, and eggs. This is important because fleas on your cat can lay up to 50 eggs in a day! Kills fleas through contact, fleas don’t have to bite your cat to die.

advantage ii flea control for catsfor fleas only

2. K9 Advantix® II TEAL for Medium Dogs (11-20 lbs)

Ever wished for a pest control product that kills AND repels parasites? K9 Advantix® II is a topical treatment for dogs that offers broad spectrum protection against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. This convenient treatment provides flea, tick, and mosquito protection to your furry canine friend for a month with a single, easy application. It also treats all of the flea life stages, to effectively prevent reinfections on your dog. Even better, it works by killing fleas, ticks and mosquitoes through contact, no biting required.

Do not use K9 Advantix® II on cats.

k8 advantix ii for medium dogs repels and kills fleas and ticks on contact

3. Seresto® Flea & Tick Collar for Large Dogs

Tired of reapplying topicals each month? Seresto® has you covered. This innovative collar provides effective protection from fleas and ticks for 8 continuous months! Not only is the collar simple and easy to use, but it is also odorless, non-greasy, and works to effectively kill and repel fleas and ticks for your dog. Kills and repels fleas and ticks through contact. No biting required.

Seresto flea and tick collar for large dogs repels and kills pests

 

4. Advantage® Treatment Shampoo for Dogs

This shampoo treats dogs and puppies that are infested with unwanted fleas and ticks.  These pests will quickly be killed on contact to help provide relief to your canine buddy.  The treatment uses pyrethrins to kill both fleas and ticks on contact and can be used for dogs and puppies that are over 12 weeks of age.

Advantage treatment shampoo for dogs to kill flea and tick infestations

 

5. Advantage® Household Fogger

This effective household fogger reaches fleas, ticks, and other listed insects in places you can’t see such as hidden in carpets, rugs, drapes, upholstery, pet bedding, floor cracks and open cabinets. Kills adult and preadult fleas, including flea eggs for 7 months! Kills hatching fleas before they grow up to bite!

advantage household fogger for flea and tick infestations

Pet-Friendly House Plants

There’s no better way to infuse your home with a sense of color, texture, and healthy energy than by adding houseplants. Besides the aesthetic benefits of trailing green leaves or bursts of color in bloom, they also purify the air and add oxygen, so they positively benefit our health, too.  

Unfortunately, not all of them are good for your pet’s health—many of them cause dangerous side effects, and some can even be deadly. Here’s a roundup of the most poisonous houseplants you need to avoid for your cat or dog, as well as some safer, nontoxic alternatives to make you and your furry friend happy.

Aloe plant (also known as medicine plant or Barbados aloe): It’s great to have on hand for sunburns and soothing skin, but certain parts of this common succulent can irritate your dog or cat’s digestive system, causing vomiting and urinary problems.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: African violet

via ASPCA

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Asparagus fern (also called emerald fern, emerald feather, plumosa fern, lace fern, or sprengeri fern): This frilly favorite is actually poisonous for dogs and cats and can cause not only diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, but skin irritation, too.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Air plants

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Corn plant (also known as Dracaena Fragrans, cornstalk plant, dracaena, dragon tree, or ribbon plant): This tropical beauty is easy on the eyes, but it’s ugly news for your dog or cat. With symptoms of vomiting—often with blood—as well as appetite loss and depression, this is one plant you’ll definitely want to skip.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Ferns (Maidenhair, Boston, and Bird’s Nest)

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Cyclamen (also known as sowbread): This perennial flowering plant sure is pretty—especially when lining the ledges of your windows—but beneath the blooms lie toxic roots, which can cause your dog or cat heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and even death.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Orchids

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Dumb cane (also known as dumb cane, tropic snow, or exotica): If you’ve got one in the house, trash it fast: ingesting this plant can cause your cat or dog severe swelling and burning of the mouth, difficulty swallowing and/or breathing, and even death.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Spider plant

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Elephant ear: (also known as caladium, taro, pai, ape, cape, via, via sori, or malanga):  Forget the pink-centered pretty leaves—this colorful plant results in a toxic reaction for pets: difficulty swallowing, swelling and burning of the mouth, excessive drooling, and vomiting.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Zebra plant

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Ivy (also known as pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, and taro vine): The trails of ivy may be pretty for your wall, but they can be deadly for your furry friend—this plant can cause oral irritation, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and breathing, and can even lead to paralysis or a coma.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Peperomia or Ponytail palm

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Jade (also known as baby jade, dwarf rubber plant, jade tree, Chinese rubber plant, Japanese rubber plant, or friendship tree): This popular plant may be well-loved among black thumbs for its hardiness—but it’s not meant for households with pets. Known symptoms of jade ingestion include decreased heart rate, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Prayer plant

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Philodendron (also known as horsehead or heartleaf philodendron, cordatum, fiddle leaf, panda plant, split-leaf philodendron, fruit salad plant, red emerald, red princess, or saddle leaf): It’s one of the most common indoor plants, but it’s toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested, it can cause burning and swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips, which can lead to difficulty swallowing, vomiting, digestive issues, and even seizures.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Areca or Golden Palm

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Sago palm (also known as Cycas Revoluta): Beware of this exotic plant, because every part of it—roots, leaves, seeds, and all—is poisonous to your furry companion. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, potential liver failure, and even death.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Haworthia succulents

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Lilies (also known as Mauna Loa): Most plants of the lily family are poisonous for cats, and many are toxic for dogs, too—so when in doubt, avoid all lilies. Side effects will include vomiting, severe pain of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and possible kidney failure, which can result in death.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Bamboo

via Ben White Florist

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ZZ plant (also known as Zamioculcas): Popular because it survives in low-light conditions, this glossy-leaved houseplant causes toxic symptoms in cats and dogs, including vomiting and diarrhea.

A safe (nontoxic) alternative: Burros tail succulent

Now that you’ve got some pet-friendly, safe alternatives to these toxic plants, you can have a livelier, more colorful home—and, best of all, the peace of mind that your favorite feline or mutt is healthy and happy.

 

About the Author: Lauren Pezzullo is a writer, editor, and musicophile who’s passionate about vegetarianism and sustainable eating. As an editor for Modernize, she writes about energy-efficient living in the home. She’s currently writing her debut novel.

 

5 Things to Consider Before Bringing Your Puppy Home

Puppies are so much fun to be around, they are playful by nature and will love you unconditionally. But whilst you are thinking about all of the brilliant things you can do with a new puppy and how much fun you’re going to have, it’s important to know that they are a LOT of hard work. If you’re looking to get a puppy, you have to be sure that you have enough time, money and love to give to them because, not unlike children, puppies will be completely dependent on your love and care. Having a little ball of energy running around can sometimes end in disaster. Chewing, jumping and knocking things over are to be expected from a new puppy, here are some things to consider before you bring your little ball of energy home…

1. Chewing and Biting

Puppies are inquisitive by nature. As their teeth grow and they discover new objects and materials, it’s inevitable that they are going to bite and chew things. They will initially push the boundaries and try to chew the furniture in front of you. It’s important to know how to stop this from continuing. When you see your pup chewing at different things in your home, be firm and say “no”, continue to be consistent and make sure that they know that what they are doing is wrong. Every dog is different, so various behavioral techniques will have various success levels. 

Some of the most successful techniques are non-aggressive. It’s important to remember that the end goal is to stop them chewing – not to scare them! These techniques include spraying your pup with water, to let them know that they are doing wrong. They will grow to associate this action with misbehavior and will alter their actions accordingly. Another unorthodox method is to spray your furniture and all chew-able objects with bitter apple spray – this is a natural and safe deterrent which will have your pups keeping their chops to themselves in no time.

2. Protect the Furniture…and the Puppy

Reprimanding your pup doesn’t always solve the chewing problem, so if you want your home to stay safe then it’s a good idea to invest in puppy fences that divide the room into “puppy safe zones”. A lot of people also use baby gates to stop their canine friends from getting to certain rooms, which can save you a lot of stress when you have to go to work! It’s a common misconception that puppies chew and bite furniture to misbehave, when in fact, it can often be an indication of malnutrition or hunger. Consider a No Chew Spray as well!

3. What to Feed Them

A puppy has a huge appetite and will eat a lot. Up to 6 months, you will need to feed them up to four times as much as an adult dog. A puppy should gain one to two grams per pound of adult weight each day. Puppy food needs to be higher in protein, and also enriched in vitamins, minerals and fats to help them to be healthy and grow into their skin. Make sure that you buy food that is specifically made for puppies, rather than just dogs, as this will ensure that it has more vitamins and minerals. Different dog breeds will have different dietary requirements, so always consult with the vet or breeder when selecting the right food to have.

4. How Much Exercise a Puppy Needs

A commonly known rule of thumb, is that a puppy must have a minimum of 5 minutes exercise per month of age until they are fully grown, then they can go out for much longer. A puppy needs exercise every day, so before you decide to bring one home, you need to consider how much time and attention you can dedicate to them.

5. Trips to the Vet

Protecting your home from your pup is important. But protecting your puppy is even more so, so make sure to regularly have them checked at the vets, given the right injections, and also have them microchipped, to ensure that if they become lost they can be safely returned. Dog microchipping can increase the chances of returning your pet safely by up to five times! Another option is to purchase a dog tracking collar

Before you bring a puppy home, it’s really important to make sure that you’re doing the right thing! Dogs require a lot of love, attention and upkeep, but if you think that you can provide a loving home for your furry friend, then you will come to find that dogs truly are man’s best friend!

 

5 Tips for Finding a Dog Sitter

Finding a dog sitter can be tricky. Your dog is a member of the family and you want someone to take care of him of her the same way you do while  you’re at work or away on vacation. So how do you find a good, trustworthy dog sitter? Here are five tips.


1. Ask Friends and Family

Start by asking friends and family that live nearby for recommendations. Who better to suggest a sitter than those closest to you and the people you trust? Another good resource is your neighbors as they’re more likely to know of a local sitter.

2. Check Out Google

The internet is a wonderful thing as we all know, so just bring up Google and type in “dog sitter” and your city name and see what pops up. You can find dog sitter websites, ratings, prices, and, if you see a dog sitter you’re interested in, you can call or fill out a contact form to get in touch quickly.

3. Interview, Interview, Interview

Deciding who’s going to take care of your dog is a serious decision, so don’t rush through the interview process and hire the first person you talk to even if you do think they’re perfect. Interview a few different sitters and take detailed notes before making a decision.

4. Watch Their Interactions

During their interview, watch how your potential sitter interacts with your pooch. Does your dog seem to like this person? Does the person seem to like your dog? Do you get a general good vibe between the two?

5. Try a Test Run

Maybe you’re torn between two sitters. Maybe you’re just not sure if the sitter you picked is ‘the one’. If that’s the case, ask for a test run. Have the dog sitter visit your dog one day while you’re not home and see what happens. If everything goes well, perfect. If something seems off, try another sitter.

It may take a while, but if you follow these five steps, you’ll definitely find the best dog sitter for your pooch.

caring for a job with a full work schedule

4 Things to Know If You Work Full-Time and Want to Bring a Dog Home

One of the biggest concerns to address before bringing home a new puppy or an older dog is the effect your work hours will have on him/her. If you work full-time, this means that your dog will be left alone for close to eight hours every day.

Will this have a negative impact on the well-being and healthy growth of your puppy?

Many rescue organizations and shelters refuse to give dogs to people who work full-time and cannot make a commitment to be by their dog throughout the day.

But, take heart from the fact that this reservation is not backed by scientific proof or evidence.  Several dog parents have worked out successful arrangements to keep their dogs happy and safe, while they are away at work for most of the day.

caring for a job with a full work schedule

Here are a few reasons why full-time jobs do not pose a hurdle to getting a dog home:

1. Why Do We Have to Leave Them Alone?

The majority of us have to work full time in order to meet our living expenses, including the cost of providing a safe home to our dogs. The cost of living is especially high in big cities like NY and San Francisco. Dual-income households and single working professionals make up different types of households with virtually everyone away at work or school during the day. But, does this mean that there are no dog parents in these cities?  The answer is a big no, with San Francisco even having more dogs than children!

Just browse online and you will come across several communities that support dog parents in Brandon and surrounding areas. You can attend meetups and get to know how others like you are managing their dog’s wellbeing.

With determination and perseverance you can provide a happy life to your dog.

Also keep in mind that quality wins over quantity as far dog parenting is concerned. All that you need to do is ensure that you spend your spare time with your dog and give him the care and exercise he needs.

If a person can sit at home and be with his dogs, it is just because he can do it due to the specific circumstances he is in. That does not make him a better dog parent, or you a lesser one.

caring for a job with a full work schedule

2. Enlist the Help of Others

If you have brought home a few weeks or a couple of months old puppy, it will be unfair to leave him alone for several hours every day. Very young puppies need human company and attention, and can develop behavioral issues if left alone for a long time. Also, puppies will need to relieve more often and cannot control their bladder for long.

You are aware that it takes a village to raise a child; the same can also be applied to a pup. Neighbors, in-laws, grandparents, friends or co-workers can be enlisted in your support group. They can just pop in for a few minutes to ensure that your dog pees/poops and has a short walk, or to see that he has eaten and is not too lonely.

You can also consider a local doggie daycare center. For example, if you’re a resident of Brandon, a doggie daycare in Brandon can work out great. Daycare is an expensive alternative, but a couple of times in a month will help break the routine and provide a welcome change to Fido.

caring for a job with a full work schedule

3. Take Special Care of Your Puppy

If the puppy is about 8-10 weeks old or younger, you will have to consider alternatives to spending the whole day away from him. Smaller puppies tend to get agitated and stressed out when left alone. You can opt to work from home until he is a few weeks older or ask a friend to be with him during the day.

At about 8-10 weeks, your puppy will be learning bladder control, but he will need to wee every few hours or so. If you are planning to work full-time, do make arrangements for someone to take care of your little one. Ask a neighbor to pop in by noon to take the puppy out for a walk and to the toilet so that he is comfortable again. Remember that your puppy will find it difficult to go without a wee for more than three hours.

A 3-6 month old puppy has fairly good bladder capacity and you can come by during lunch break to take him out. He will also be happy to doze off during the hours you are away, provided he’s been exercised before you leave for work.

A bored puppy can be quite destructive, so ensure that you get him accustomed to a puppy pen to avoid problems. Puppyproofing a room and allowing him free run is another option.

Also, remember that your puppy is still very young, so it is necessary you have someone to drop by and give him a walk at least couple of times a day. You can also consider working with a pet sitter or a volunteer puppy walker.

caring for your dog with a full time job

4. Exercise Is Extremely Important

A well-exercised dog will be happy to just sleep through the day until you walk in the door in evening. But for a dog to get adequate sleep, he also needs prior exercise.

There should be exercise, play and entertainment on either side of the 8-hour period your dog will spend alone. This will keep your dog happy and content, and he will be naturally exhausted. As a result, your dog will sleep almost all through the day. Nature has devised this as a method to keep pack animals energetic and ready to hunt for food by the time their prey comes out in the dark.

Dogs love and absolutely enjoy your company. But if you are able to provide it only for a few hours in a day, that makes no reason to avoid getting a dog home. The rest of the time spent in your company is all that your pooch needs to stay healthy, happy and safe.

 caring for a job with a full work schedule

In Conclusion…

Your decision to bring a dog home should be carefully considered and evaluated. If you have the desire and are sure you will be able to commit your time to building an everlasting bond with your pooch, then go ahead and embark on your journey as a pet parent. This will be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of your life.

 

About the Author: George Conda is the owner of “Tampa Puppy Palace” –  an all-inclusive dog boarding resort in Tampa, FL.