Thursday, September 24, 2009
Anything to make it easier! (Dog tips)
Well folks, I had planned on putting this up on Sunday but it seems I may be a bit exhausted from working at the Bloomsburg fair so I'll post today and you may not see another for a week or two. Okay,stop laughing!
Anything to make it easier! Tips for dog owners.
Hey, I’m all for making life easier when you own a big brood such as I do. Maybe if they were smaller, some things would not get destroyed so easily, but one lift of a paw or one jump on a window sill from a Newfoundland can indeed cause much damage, so I ask myself, do I want to spend my life agitated at the dog for being a dog, or do I want to enjoy the many hours of love they want to shed on me throughout their lifetime? After all I can take my aggravation out on family!
I do, like everyone else in society, like to have the best of both worlds, a fairly clean but comfy home and the love of a dog. So I choose to cut my losses where personal property is concerned, seek out the big red CLEARENCE tags in a store, and stock pile items like world war two is coming!
This dog tip article was partly prompted by a coworker (Thanks Karen for your
suggestion), whose friend brought home a new dog, and unfortunately when they got home, the dog got loose without any identification on it. So the first tip would be for owner’s picking up a new puppy or dog from a kennel/rescue.
1) Identification: Collar tags get lost and micro chips believe it or not, can fall out, so buy a solid color collar, write your dog’s name and your telephone number right on the dog’s collar in black permanent marker. Go over as needed every couple of months. I especially recommend this when picking up a new dog since you may not have time to get a micro chip or I D tag before you get the dog home and settled. Should they run off your telephone number will be written right on the collar. I can’t tell you how many calls we got saying “ I have Steeler here!”
2) Buy Cheap, buy plenty! If you have or need to use scatter rugs, first of all, buy cheap and plan on them getting ruined, this will save you some aggravation in the long run. Buy two of each when they are on sale so a dirty one can easily be replaced when company comes.
3) Scatter rugs: Turn carpet runners or scatter rugs upside down, this keeps them free from stains and dog hair, when company comes just flip them right side up! Purchase scatter rugs that can be cleaned with water so if it becomes bad enough you can clean them outside with a power washer. (The type of washer you use to clean the outside of a house)
4) Urine marking: If you have a dog that urine marks, never let them have run of the whole house if you cannot watch them. Set up six foot tethers in a couple of rooms and use them. Dogs don’t usually like to eliminate where they eat or sleep. This gives the dog some feeling of freedom from a crate, but also keeps them contained. Tethers should be made of wire with hooks on both ends so they can easily be removed from the eye bolt when not in use. This is only for when you can’t keep an eye on the dog and you are home.
5) Window covering: If you have a dog that freaks out and jumps up on windows during storms, fireworks, or for other reasons, buy extra sets of cheap blinds and/or that extra set of curtains you find on sale as they will eventually need to be replaced!
6) Water Dish: If your dog is one that loves to play in the water dish making a mess on every floor you own you can continuously follow the dog around with a shop vac and refill the water bowl or you can get a spill proof bowl. This is a bowl that the dog can toss around all they want and still no water comes out. (the spill proof bowl is different than the travel bowl with just a lid. The spill proof bowl has a funnel inside. You can find a sample at the below site.)
7) Wall messes: If you have dogs that make a mess of your walls with dirt or slobber, first of all use washable paint or wallpaper then use the Swiffer mop to clean them. It makes the job go faster and is easier than lugging around a bucket of detergent water and a sponge. This can even be used on your appliances. For harder dog stains use a Mr. Clean magic eraser as there is very little scrubbing involved and it takes just about everything dog off the wall and molding.
8) Doggie odor: Let’s face it multiple dog owners will have some form of dog odor now and again and you may notice it more after returning home from a long day at work. There is no aromatic smell of freshly baked cookies, or that freshly cleaned odor after you use woolite rug cleaner to take over the doggie smell. But at last, a little invention called the car air freshener; you know the ones that clip right onto the heat vents in the car? Yup, clip those babies on an AC unit, or the fan you’ve left on for the dog and there is a constant summer breeze going through your house!
9) For Quick hair spot clean up of a rug without dragging out the vacuum use a dog’s slicker brush. (Some people call it a pin brush). It really grabs the up hair and lifts the strands of the rug, just don’t do this on Berber type carpet or you’ll pull up loops. With Berber, which I never recommend when you have dogs, you’ll need to drag out the vacuum
10) Outside clean up: What was I thinking the last 13 years? For poop detail I used to carry around a five gallon bucket over an acre of land. A five gallon bucket is not large enough for a thorough clean up of my brood and I’d end up taking out one bag, tying it off then putting in a new bag until my lawn was scattered with poop bags that I then had to go back and pick up. One day thankfully my bucket broke, not a pretty sight, and when it did I took a regular garbage can with WHEELS and a handle and put inside it a heavy construction bag. No more backtracking to pick up smaller bags of poop! Heavy duty Construction bags can be found at a hardware store. Much easier when you have an acre of property and multiple dogs!
11) Dog hair on the bed, part one: If your dog is a bed hog, which is of course a personal preference, buy two or three of the same bedspreads/quilts because they are bound to, at least once in their life, jump up on the bed with a muddy body! This way you can wash one and still keep your bed made with the other, plus it will still match your curtains if you are the matching bedroom attire type. Sometimes I’ll buy a cheap oversized bedspread and plop it right over the bedspread that’s on my bed so the cheap one gets the dirt and hair, but if company pulls in the driveway, I can quickly put the dogs outside, pull off the cheap bedspread, stuff it under the bed and there underneath is a perfectly preserved bedspread.
12) Dog hair on the bed part two: If you are one to sleep with the windows open in the winter but like to stay warm under an electric blanket, you’ll notice the blanket can really attract dog hair if your dog is allowed on the bed. While electric blankets can be washed, washing them too often can eventually destroy them and it does not always get the dog hair off. What I found last year that I did not know even existed is a heated mattress pad! I love it! It goes on like a fitted sheet and your sheet goes over top of that so the pad stays protected from dirt and dog hair!
13) Dog hair on the bed part three: To keep your regular bed blankets as free from dog hair as possible, again this is for bed hogs, when you lay your top sheet on the bed, lay down the blanket, but don’t put it all the way up to the pillows (neck height), but rather put it at chest height, then pop another top sheet over the blanket so your blanket is sandwiched in between the two sheets. Both sheets should help keep the blanket free from dirt and hair.
14) Expecting overnight company: This is a must if you have spare bed rooms that the dogs go into where one day you hope to house your complaining mother in law or picky sister in law for a few nights. Get a separate bedspread, sheet set, and blanket and keep them together in the zip up bag (the kind that comforters come in). Keep them well hidden from your children and husband (sorry guys) because let’s face it; they’ll throw anything on their beds without thought as to its purpose! Put in a fresh smelling dryer sheet, or, you can spray the spread with Pet fresh rug spray for a nice odor. By keeping these together in the bag they are less likely to get dog hair on them. Also, it will save you from doing loads of wash trying to get all the dog hair off of the linen that already covers the bed. Don’t forget to take everything off once immediately after your company has gone because other family members are sure to leave it therefore their own use! (Kids, dogs & husbands need to be lumped in one category! Again, sorry guys!)
15) Counter surfing! Originally I bought this product called “Driveway Patrol” to alert me when someone was pulling into my driveway and I found that it had a duel purpose, especially if you have counter surfing dogs. Putting one of these motion detectors on the counter or kitchen table is usually enough to scare them away and it’s very affordable! Once the dog stops surfing, you can put it back in your driveway! Click on the site below to see one of these buggers.
16) Falling Leaves: Long haired thick coated dogs can come in the house looking like your shrubbery in the autumn when the leaves start falling to the ground. Some people use their lawnmowers to chop up the leaves and then let them remain on the lawn for “fertilizer” which is a nightmare for the owners of long haired large breed dogs. This is when keeping a soft grip shedding blade handy near the door can really help. This is basically the only thing I use this blade for as my dog’s fur is so thick that it really does not penetrate below the outer coat but it does a good job getting off stuck on leaves! You can see this tool here. http://www.petco.com/Shop/petco_Product_FamilyID_14270_ShoppingGuideID_25_ShoppingGuideElementID_109.aspx
17) Travel: When I make day trips or travel plans that include the dogs I don’t often think of ‘hot and humid’ weather in September, but that’s just what we have had this year and even in the year prior, temperatures in September were in the 90’s and humid. So keep a small outdoor thermometer inside your car so you will be mindful of if it’s just too hot to bring the dog out with you. Air conditioning is great for the driver and passenger, but in some cars it does not travel to the back seat very well; however you can be sure that the sun’s hot rays are making their way through the rear windows. So check the temperature before you load up the dog and make changes if necessary, such as running the car to cool it down before Fido jumps in. The same holds true for winter when your car actually holds in the cold like a refrigerator. A neat car accessory that is helpful to move air around is a fan which plugs into the lighter. This can help move cooler air to the back of the car/van. I purchased two of these little babies and attached one right to the vent in the front seat to push the cool air to the back and one on the back seat to push the air even further to the back of my van. I will not rely on them totally top keep a hot car cool, you have to know the limits of your own vehicle.
Well that’s it for now and hopefully you won’t see me as totally lazy, but just frugal with how I choose to spend my time! I welcome any other tips that readers may have; just hit the comment button at the bottom of the post and post away my friends. Also I added a new addition to the bottom of each post. Let me know if you find the post interesting, funny, or cool as it keeps me in touch with reality! Although I don’t really know what Cool means, but there was no other third choice!