Kristen Levine

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I’ve been fertilizing this idea for quite some time. Now, like a spring bulb popping to the surface of the soil, my new series is live! Fido Friendly 50+ is a collaboration between the premier, leave no dog behind, travel magazine and blog, Fido Friendly, and me, baby boomer/pet lover marketplace expert.

Today’s boomers are between age 50-70 and while their lives are in a variety of stages, they are singularly the largest, most affluent demographic, and fastest growing group of pet parents in the U.S.  They love their pets, value their companionship and they like to take them (almost) everywhere they go!  My series will suggest destinations that feed the soul of pet lovers in this exciting stage of life. I’ll share travel tips and must see boomer events around the country too.

The Spring issue of Fido Friendly will be on shelves this week, but here’s page 64, a sneak peek of the first installment, “50+: In Full Bloom.”

If you have a favorite Fido destination, and you’re a 50-plusser, please post a comment!

11 Apr, 2014

The Secret to How Pets Make Us Feel Good

Posted by: Kristen In: Uncategorized

Those of us with pets know they have this magical ability to make us laugh, smile or just be happy. While you can probably think of a dozen ways they do this, you might be surprised to learn that hormones are involved! Scientific studies about oxytocin are lifting the veil on some of that magic pets use to make us joyful.

First, what is oxytocin? Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It’s sometimes known as the “cuddle hormone”, because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially and can induce strong feelings of love and trust.

For many years, oxytocin has been known as the link that bonds mother and child, but is it possible that that same hormone can bond pets and humans? Studies point to yes!

Here are three ways pets and oxytocin spread happiness to humans:

1. Just a half hour per day keeps unhappiness at bay. In a study where pet owners and their dogs had positive interaction for just 30 minutes, researchers found increased concentrations of oxytocin, beta-endorphin, prolactin, beta-phenylethylamine, and dopamine in both people and dogs. Increased levels of dopamine, prolactin, beta-phenylethylamine and oxytocin create feelings of happiness and gratification, while prolactin is commonly known to numb the body from pain, thus creating an overall mood boost.

2. Caring for a critter means a happier, healthier you! Pets create a chain-reaction of happiness in their owners. If you’re feeling stressed or unhappy, pet a dog or cat (or a gerbil or a ferret). The simple act of petting an animal leads to key neurotransmitters firing in our heads, which leads to us feeling good. When we feel good, we smile. When we smile, others around us smile, too!

An increased level of oxytocin also has the ability to reduce stress, foster social interactions and even helps us heal faster. A study found a correlation between increased plasma oxytocin following social interactions and wound healing. Researchers believe higher levels of oxytocin reduce inflammation, thus providing evidence that positive social interaction leads to a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, rises in oxytocin levels have the ability to relieve overall body pain, like headaches and cramps.

3. Partner with your pet to spread the smiles. While you’re enjoying the happiness your pet brings, be sure to spread it to your neighbors. Taking Fido on a walk not only reaps great health benefits, but encourages social interactions too. Studies show that when out walking, strangers are much more inclined to stop and say hello when there is a furry tail wagging. I know when I walk Chilly in my neighborhood, people are happy to see him and usually say hi to him first!

The happiness we feel as a result of pet parenting is undeniable, so regardless of what type of animal you have, it is likely just what the doctor ordered to promote happiness, healthiness and longevity.

Have you ever felt the “oxytocin surge” after playing or snuggling with your pet?

01 Apr, 2014

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Posted by: Kristen In: Pet Safety

April showers bring May flowers and warmer weather and these springtime delights mean new adventures for you and your pets! This time of year, dogs tend to spend more time outdoors, therefore increasing the chances they may encounter things that could be harmful and cats can slip outdoors to a host of feline dangers or they may get into new blooms you bring into the home.

Veterinarians cite heat stroke, snakebites, plant toxicities, even “hit by car” accidents as common spring and summer dangers they see as emergencies.

For these reasons, pet parents should use Spring time to brush up on pet first aid in case of a dreaded emergency. Being prepared and able to provide interim care before seeing a veterinarian can mean saving the life of your furry BFF.

Pet parents, I hope you’ll use First Aid Month as an opportunity to pack a pet first aid kit and stock it with these suggested items below:

  • Leash (be sure your pet is wearing a properly fitting collar at all times with ID)
  • Muzzle or strip of fabric (a severely injured or scared animal may bite)
  • Blanket (for keeping warm if pet is in shock or to help to restrain pet if necessary)
  • Pillow case (to protect and confine a cat for transport)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pediatric digital rectal thermometer plus lubricant
  • Oral syringe
  • Tweezers (to remove splinters from pads)
  • Mild Soap
  • Saline eye wash
  • Cut and wound care items (antiseptic solution like Betadine, bandages, stretchable gauze, gauze pads, non-stick bandages, non-scented sanitary pads for heavily bleeding wounds, first aid adhesive tape and blunt scissors)
  • Got a Poison Emergency? Call (888) 426-4435! It’s answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. A consultation fee may apply. (See my blog post last month about how to poison proof your pet home.)
  • Tape your veterinarian’s emergency number to the lid of your first aid kit so you don’t have to go searching for the number while you may be panicked.

Do you know what to do if your dog stops breathing?  Do you know the basics of CPR for pets? With training, this life saving measure can be performed on pets and it’s a bit similar to human CPR in principle. Watch Elaine Acker, CEO of Pets America, demonstrate the proper technique for performing CPR on a dog or cat in this video.

Need an app for that? The American Red Cross has issued a new Pet First Aid App for iPhones and Android phones. At just 99 cents, it provides instant access to information on more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations. It provides step-by-step instructions for everything from treating wounds to controlling bleeding to burn care.

The app is not meant to replace veterinary care, but can allow pet parents to provide emergency care until veterinary care is available. Remember, it’s always best to have Fido or Fluffy seen by a veterinarian when emergencies happen.

07 Mar, 2014

Is Your Home Pet Poison-Proof?

Posted by: Kristen In: Pet Safety

The Pet Poison Helpline handles over 100,000 calls in a year and they’ve just released a the list of “top ten toxins” for both dogs and cats for 2014. Ideally, this is something every pet owner should read so please share this post with fellow pet parents!
“Every January, we examine our records to see what toxins contributed to the most emergency calls from pet owners and veterinarians the previous 12 months,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline.


Dog: Top Toxins from 2013
dog toxins
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol – artifical sweetner
  • NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, etc)
  • Over the counrt cough, cold, and allergy medications
  • Rodenticides (rat poison)
  • Grapes and rasins
  • Insect bait stations
  • Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
  • Glucosamine joint supplements
  • Silica gel packs and oxygen absorbers
With Xylitol ranked at two for dogs, this sweetner can cause a drop in a dogs sugar level and cause liver failure. “In addition to finding xylitol in gum, sugar-free candies, mints, and baked goods, we are now seeing it in many healthcare products”, as noted by Pamela Huyck, Certified Veterinary Technician at Pet Poison Helpline. It is always good to read ingredients of products to be sure.


Cat: Top Toxins from 2013
  • Lilies
  • Household cleaners
  • Flea and tick spot-on products for dogs
  • Antidepressants (Cymbalta)
  • NSAIDs (Aleve, Advil, etc)
  • Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
  • Over the counrt cough, cold, and allergy medications
  • Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals
  • Household insecticides
  • Glow sticks and glow jewelry
“Lilies, which are very toxic to cats, are often included in Mother’s day bouquets, start to sprout in our gardens, and often come into the home around Easter”, says Charlotte Flint, DVM.  Lilies are ranked number one for cats as the most calls through out the year.
For more comprehensive information on these potential poisons, and others, please visit the Pet Poison Helpline site.
National Poison Prevention Week is March 16-22. This nation wide observance was launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2002 to focus on preventing child deaths due to unintentional poisonings. But it is also is a good time to think about how to protect all the pets in our homes too.
Be prepared! Below is a helpful guide on prepping your home for poisoning emergencies. In spite of your best efforts, your animal can accidentally become poisoned.
Keep the following information readily available:
  • Your veterinarian’s phone number
  • Emergency veterinary service (your vet can recommend who to call after hours)
  • Pet Poison Helpline 24-hour animal poison control hotline (800) 213-6680.  (A fee of $39 for consultation may apply).
When you call the Pet Poison Helpline, please be ready to provide:
  1. Your name, address, telephone number
  2. Name of the substance your pet has ingested, (if you know what it is). If possible, have the product or container and packaging available for reference. Know the approximate amount ingested and time since exposure.
  3. Provide pet’s species, breed, age, sex and weight
  4. Explain all symptoms pet is experiencing.
Keep a poison safety kit on hand for emergencies, containing:
  • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Can of your pet’s favorite wet food
  • Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medical syringe
  • Saline eye solution to flush out eye contaminants
  • Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
  • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid for the animal after skin contaminations
  • Rubber gloves
  • Forceps to remove stingers
  • Muzzle (remember, an excited animal may harm you)
  • Pet carrier

What’s bigger than a hamster, smaller than a rabbit and makes a fine furry companion? A Guinea pig, of course!

For those who keep track of obscure national observations, March is adopt-a-rescued guinea pig month. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) joins the leader in online pet adoptions, Petfinder.com, to invite families to learn about these darling critters and to consider adopting one of many cuddly cavies available at your local animal shelter.

Guinea pigs, Cavia porcellus, or “cavies” are native to South America. They can live up to ten years in captivity and are quite social creatures. There are approximately thirteen different breeds of Guniea pigs, differentiated by their hair types, colors and markings. Some cavies have long silky hair, while others have a rough coat resembling multiple cowlicks all over their bodies.

These cute, hairy, hamster-like animals make fabulous friends. Since not all families have the space or can afford to care for a dog or cat, a Guniea pig can be an ideal family companion.

On any given day, the animal shelter in my town has between two and 10 healthy guinea pigs awaiting adoption for just 10-25 dollars. When they are turned in to a shelter, it’s usually because people realize that their care and clean up is more intensive than first thought. Just because a pet is little, doesn’t mean it’s easier to care for.

The domesticated Guinea pig is quiet and affectionate—even cuddly, according to enthusiasts. They don’t require constant attention and have relatively low-cost, but daily upkeep. Perhaps the most adorable Guinea pig trait is their language of squeaks, squeals, gurgles, growls and murmurs.

Cavies only bite if they are very frightened by things such as mishandling or a threatening animal. Guinea pigs may look like toys, but they are delicate critters that need gentle handling. Children under six years of age are too young to handle Guinea pigs. Older kids should be supervised by an adult and taught how to pick up and hold them properly.

Find a knowledgeable veterinarian who treats Guinea pigs and ask about their special dietary needs and how to groom them and house them in their new surroundings.

Piggy particulars
Personalities: Cavies are social herd animals. They prefer each other’s company and thrive best if kept in pairs. Be careful not to pair a male and a female or you’ll have enough pigs for a parade before you know it! Adult females are easiest to keep. Young male Guinea’s get along well, but may become aggressive as they become adults.

Housing: Guinea pigs love to run and play and are capable of jumping 12 inches. Therefore, the minimum enclosure for a single pig is a two-foot cube, (two foot by two foot by two foot). More space should be provided for any additional Guinea pigs.

Wire bottomed cages may be used as long as something is placed on the floor to prevent their little feet from getting caught in the floor bottom. Glass aquarium enclosures should never be used due to inadequate ventilation. Keep housing away from direct sunlight, drafts and temperature extremes. Always line the cages with safe bedding such as sawdust or wood shavings.

Guinea pigs love to hide and play! Outfit their enclosures with cardboard or PVC tubes wide enough for them to fit through. You may also allow cavies playtime in a single room, once it has been pig-proofed for safety. Always supervise their playtime outside the cage.

Diet: Feed a quality, commercial pellet made especially for Guinea pigs. They require daily vitamin C, which rabbit pellets do not contain. You can also supplement their daily diet with small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. Be sure to clean up any leftover fresh food before it spoils. Water should be provided in an inverted bottle that attaches to their enclosure. Change water every day.

Grooming and general care: Just like all rodents, Guinea pigs’ teeth grown continuously. Provide pigs with a piece of wood to gnaw on. This will wear his teeth down. Use a pesticide free tree branch, or an unpainted wood not chemically treated.

Brush your Guinea pig regularly to keep coats smooth and remove loose hair. Long-haired Guinea pigs should be groomed daily to prevent tangles and matting.

If a Guinea pig sounds like a great family addition, visit www.petfinder.com to search for available Guinea pigs at your local animal shelter.

19 Feb, 2014

PetSafe Indigo Dental Sauce & Floss Bones Review

Posted by: Kristen In: Reviews

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Last month, I attended the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Conference in Orlando, Fla., where I spoke with PetSafe about their indigo™ line of pet dental health products, which includes Fresh Dental Sticks, Dental Sauce and Floss Bones. Check out this video to learn more about PetSafe’s indigo products and to see how Chilly likes them!

If you would like to learn more about the importance of proper pet hygiene, read my blog post here:  Brush up on pet’s dental health in February.

Of the $18.6 billion spent annually on Valentine’s Day, $815 million will be spent on pet gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. Rightfully so! February 14th is the one day per year you can spoil Fido and Fifi with gifts such as an “I <3 My Pet” desktop frame and not think twice about doing so!

As you sniff out gift ideas for your furry Valentine, why not consider toys or treats that donate to animal causes when you make a purchase. Check out my 5 pet valentine gifts that “paw it forward”…

Surely, if you’re reading this post you are keenly aware that BISSELL is a company of pet lovers. “Top dog,” Cathy Bissell’s love of pets and devotion to helping homeless animals is an initiative embraced by the entire company. When you purchase BISSELL pet products you are giving the gift of life to pets in need through the company’s funding and support of The BISSELL Pet Foundation. More than 18,000 animals a year receive assistance through BISSELL Pet Foundation grants.  Join the BISSELL pet community!

It’s not a ‘stupid pet trick’! Brushing your pet’s teeth can actually provide them a longer, healthier life.

While it may seem silly, or in the case of some pets, impossible–brushing their teeth or enlisting other preventative measures will do more than simply deter bad breath.

“Two-thirds of pet owners don’t understand the importance of dental care for their pet,” explains veterinarian Emily Dugas of Veterinary Medical Clinic in Tampa. Dugas estimates that only two-percent actually brush pet’s teeth with enough frequency to maintain good oral health.

A pets’ mouth is as important to them as our hands are to us humans. They use their mouths to eat, play, explore and more. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) aims to educate pet owners about the critical importance of your pet’s dental health.

“Most often, pets don’t show signs of periodontal disease”, explains Dugas. “But by age three, 75-80 percent of dogs will have some stage of periodontal disease.”

That statement is supported by an AVMA report that cites periodontal disease as the number one diagnosed problem in dogs and cats over three years of age.

Why Brush?
Killer dog or cat breath typically means there is significant bacteria buildup. Poor dental hygiene is directly linked to serious health problems that affect longevity including risk of heart, liver and kidney disease. Therefore, pet owners should consider pets’ dental care as important as their own.

“When the mouth is infected, bacteria can move to other parts of the body–important organs including the heart, kidneys, and liver,” says Dugas, citing recent findings from an AVMA study about oral health in pets.

Periodontal disease results when bacteria attack the soft gum tissues in your pet’s mouth. It is the final stage in a process that begins when plaque develops on the teeth. When plaque mixes with saliva, it hardens and becomes tartar. All three, bacteria, plaque and tartar irritate your pets’ gums and cause redness, swelling and tenderness. This stage is referred to as gingivitis.

Eventually, inflamed gums can separate from the teeth causing pockets allowing more bacteria to accumulate. As pockets deepen, bacteria attack the roots of the teeth and the bony tissues of the jaw. This causes teeth to loosen, gums to bleed, mouth odor and pain. This is full-blown periodontal disease.

As if this doesn’t sound painful enough, the next progression for bacteria is to enter the bloodstream and infect major organs and possible the nervous system as well. If not caught in time, a pet’s organs can sustain serious damage that can lead to death.

Keep in mind, our pets cannot tell us they have a toothache, or trouble chewing. “Pets can be very stoic,” Dugas points out. “So it might not be obvious when they are experiencing pain or discomfort.”

Watch for the following signs of dental disease in dogs or cats:

  • Yellow or brown buildup of tartar along gum line
  • Inflamed gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Change in eating or chewing habits,
  • Not eating at all
  • Depression
  • Broken teeth

Prevention and Treatment
The good news—periodontal disease is preventable and treatable! The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends a team approach to maintain your pet’s dental health–professional veterinary care and treatment at home. The Society outlines the following three-step process to take the bite out of dental dilemmas:

Step 1: Take your pet to the veterinarian for a complete check up, including a dental exam. Don’t wait until your pets’ annual check up if you suspect a problem. The vet can determine if tartar build up has begun and the appropriate course of action to take. He or she can also determine if your pet has a toothache they haven’t been able to tell you about!

Step 2: Begin a dental regimen at home. Your veterinarian can suggest steps that may include brushing your pet’s teeth. Ideally, it’s best to start them on a routine brushing program at an early age, but adult animals can learn to tolerate brushing too.

Start with a soft gauze and a toothpaste formulated for pets. Graduate to a specially designed pet toothbrush. Toothpaste for humans will irritate your pet’s stomach.

Another convenient and effective way to combat oral disease if feeding specially formulated foods proven effective in fighting plaque and tartar buildup.

Step 3: Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are essential in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. For young and adult pets, an annual visit (minimum) is very important. Senior pets should visit every six months. Also, watch for signs of dental disease (see above).

Brushing Challenges?
So, what to do if your cat looks at you as if to say “are you crazy?” when you approach her favorite sunning spot with toothbrush in hand? It might be best to introduce the tooth care concept to Tigger and Fido slowly.

Here are some practical dental health-care tips to help ease pets and people into the new routine, provided by veterinary dentist, Jan Bellows, of Hometown Animal Hospital in Weston, Florida.

Good: It’s good for dogs and cats to have chew toys and tartar-scrubbing foods, similar to “edible” toothbrushes, as part of their dental care. (Look for Indigo Floss bones or Indigo Dental Sticks from PetSafe or other toothbrush shaped chews at your local pet supply retailer. Yes, there are dental chew products for cats too).

Better: An even better idea is to rinse the pet’s mouth with pet oral rinse that can be squirted into their mouths. Some of the rinses are malt or fish flavored. Another clever idea is dental wipes, for use once a day. These products can be a great addition to the dog’s chews.

Best: Brush your pet’s teeth. Your pet will get used to it and so will you. One of the newest techniques in canine tooth care is a special antibiotic given to the dog five days of each month to control periodontal disease. Used together with daily brushing, they eliminate doggie breath and help your dog hold onto his teeth until he is a senior citizen.

Regardless of what type of dental care you choose for your pet, introduce it to them gradually. Keep the sessions short and never over restrain them. Make it worthwhile to cooperate by offering a special treat or a favorite toy after each “tooth-care timeout”.

Together, you and your family veterinarian can ensure your pet lives a longer, healthier life as a result of good dental care.

08 Jan, 2014

Innovative products for vision-impaired pets

Posted by: Kristen In: Reviews

Two percent of all dogs will lose their vision, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health PRA Project. Those of you caring for a blind dog understand the daily challenges this disability presents for both you and your pet. That’s what prompted Innovet Pet Products to develop its innovative line of products designed to improve the health and wellbeing of pets that are hard to train or medicate, including vision-impaired pets.  Below is a brief overview of their solutions:

Tracerz® – Innovet’s Tracerz are scent-based location markers that help your dog adjust to blindness and navigate their way through your home. Made of all-natural ingredients, Tracerz contain long-lasting scents from safe essential oils that dogs can easily detect. Place Tracerz at your dog’s nose height in areas they’re likely to get lost in or spots they might bump into, such as wall corners, stair edges, doors, door jambs, tables, chairs. Ranging from $19.95 (20 obstacle and 8 path markers) to $39.95 (60 obstacle and 24 patch markers), Tracerz are the most cost-effective way to help your pet adjust to blindness.

BioPel™ & BioPel Plus™ – Flea and tick control is important for all pets. Innovet’s BioPel is a fresh-scented leave-in conditionerfor dogs and cats that kills fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Containing organic lemongrass oil, neem oil and diatomaceous earth, BioPel kills insects mechanically via dehydration (not chemically), making it non-toxic and safe for use around pets and children. Made from all-natural human-grade ingredients, BioPel Plus is a nutritional supplement that works from the inside out to control pests, regulate the digestive system and help pets maintain a healthy coat. BioPel (8oz) and BioPel Plus (1 lb/160 servings) can be purchased online for $15.95 each.

PurOtic® – Cleaning a pet’s ears can be a daunting battle for any pet parent. PurOtic is the first ear cleaner for home use that comes with a soft ear applicator for quick and precise delivery into the inner ear (where it’s most effective). Designed by veterinary and health care professionals, the non-irritating wash is made from all-natural ingredients and a pharmaceutical grade emulsifier to instantly eliminate odors and help break up wax and prevent ear infections. PurOtic can be purchased online for $10.95 (4oz) and $15.95 (8oz).

Illumaject™ – A must-have for any pets that resist ear medicating, Illumaject is a critical tool for locating the opening of the ear canal to ensure accurate delivery of expensive liquid medicines. Illumaject features a durable aluminum LED flashlight and a clip to attach a 1cc syringe with a 2mm soft applicator tip (included). The unit, which includes batteries for the flashlight and a single 1cc syringe with a 2mm soft applicator, can be purchased online for $12.95.

Silicone Pet Feeders – Available in three sizes – 10cc (2 tsp), 30cc (1oz) and 60cc (2oz), Innovet’s silicone pet feeders are the only hand-feeding syringes made with medical grade silicone to prevent damage to gums, cheeks and teeth. The soft silicone tips make the hand feeding of liquids, foods and medicines easy for pets and pet parents alike, yet are durable enough to withstand a pet’s chewing. Innovet’s silicone pet feeders can be purchased online for $4.95 (10cc), $5.50 (30cc) and $5.95 (60cc).

For more information about Innovet or to purchase any of its innovative pet products, visit www.innovetpetproducts.com.

Written for the Bissell Pet Community!

The New Year is the perfect time to resolve that you can better manage pet messes around the house.  In fact, more families would have pets if they only understood how easy it can be to maintain a clean pet home! A BISSELL pet cleanup survey found that nearly 25 percent of people without pets said pet messes were the main reason they chose to be pet-less.

Pet messes can easily be grouped in three categories: odors, shedding and stains. These seven simple tricks will guarantee a cleaner, fresher pet home in 2014. (Pass them on to a pet-less friend too—maybe they’ll change their mind and adopt a pet)!

ODORS

Bathe pets regularly

The frequency for bathing should depend on a few factors, including the length of your pet’s coat, condition of their skin and the amount of time they spend outdoors. While over-bathing can lead to dry skin, regular bathing with conditioning shampoo will keep pets clean and comfortable. Obviously, an active dog that spends a lot of time playing outdoors will require more frequent bathings than the couch potato-type pooch.

And yes, you can bathe a cat! However, cats usually do a great job of cleaning themselves. IF your cat is significantly overweight, he or she may have difficulty cleaning all areas of their body, so be mindful of this and bathe them accordingly.

Scoop daily

One of the biggest olfactory offenders is a stinky cat box. Scoop kitty litter daily to clear it of solids and liquids, and add a bit more litter to absorb any remaining dampness. Also, place a small mat or piece of carpet outside your cat’s box to reduce the amount of litter that gets tracked out of the box and into your home.

SHEDDING

Often cited as the most difficult pet mess to rid from the home, shedding is nearly unavoidable. However, brushing up on your daily routines can go a long way to eliminating unwanted pet hair on carpets, furniture and drapes.

Brush your pet daily

A few minutes each day—just you, your pet and a grooming comb or brush—will eliminate a vast amount of pet fur tumbleweeds from rolling about the house! Get the kids in on the brushing action, too. Everyone can be responsible for a day or two of grooming per week and this is a great way to bond with your dog or cat for a few minutes each day.

If you have a longhaired cat or dog, you and your pet will benefit from a professional grooming every six-to- eight weeks to control matting and excessive shedding. Those regular baths will come in handy to control excess shedding, too.

STAINS

Pet stains usually come from the “back end” or the “front end,” if you know what I mean.  The best way to avoid pet stains from the inside of the pet is to keep their diet healthy and not overfeed them.

Feed your pet a quality diet and watch their portion size

Annual or bi-annual vet visits ensure a healthy pet. At your next veterinary visit, talk to your vet about your pet’s diet and portion size.  Healthy, well-measured meals will go a long way to avoiding an accident due to an upset tummy.

No begging policy

Be smart about the treats or people food you offer your pet.  Rich, greasy foods and portion sizes fit for a human, not a pet, will potentially make their way onto your carpet if they make your pet ill.

Wipe down paws

Some stains come from messy feet! Keep a towel handy right by the door to wipe messy paws when your pooch comes inside from playing outdoors. Snowy and rainy seasons make for especially muddy paws, so a quick paw pat with a clean towel will cut down on any unwanted tracks through your home.

Avoid messy treats

Occasionally, a pet causes a stain because they chew on a sticky or color-dyed toy. Or worse, something they dug up when you weren’t looking.  Avoid giving pets treats or bones with color dyes or greasy surfaces or only allow them on hard surfaces rather than carpet.

Have the right clean up tools

Keep your favorite Bissell cleaning product handy – after all, some messes can’t be avoided! My personal “must haves” include the BISSELL SpotBot® Pet to clean tough stains on the carpet or upholstery and, my Total Floors® Pet Deluxe Vacuum with Febreeze filter to manage pet hair and odors.

What are your favorite tips, tricks or tools to manage pet messes in your home? Please share with our BISSELL pet community so that we all might have cleaner, fresh smelling homes!


About

Fetching Communications is a marketing communications agency focused exclusively on all things pet. We represent companies selling products or providing services for pets, as well as organizations who want to reach pet-passionate consumers. Our unique understanding of the industry and our relationships within the pet marketplace offer our clients a distinct advantage.

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