🎉HAPPY NEW YEAR!🎊 For many of us, 2017 was a sad, difficult, and downright AWFUL year! We lost a lot of amazing notorious people, and PUGS. You don't have to look further than FB to see a sense of fear and frustration among so many. So if you're in that category, -CONGRATS! Say "Goodbye and Goodriddence!" to 2017 and here's wishing you complete abundance of health, happiness, prosperity (and PUGS!) in 2018!
As we begin a New Year! 🎉most people make a resolution of one kind or another. The most popular being: to get in shape, workout and lose weight. Those are great goals but how about something simple for your dog? This is a perfect time to do some: SPRING CLEANING! -In the dead of winter. Get rid of the old and bring in some NEW!
Taking the best care of your furry family member means paying attention to things you might not even realize need to be cleaned or repaired or just TOSSED! Here are some great tips on dog-supplies you should PITCH for the sake of your dog’s health and well-being (and ultimately yours!)
5 Things Dog Parents Need to Toss Right Now
1. The old, stinky and ill-fitting collar:
A dog’s collar is like your underwear. They wear it all the time, and it’s very close to their skin. And while most people wouldn’t think of wearing the same underwear day in and day out without ever washing or replacing it, many dogs’ collars never get washed or replaced. I learned this, like EVERYTHING ELSE I blog about, THE HARD WAY when Raisin got a horrible yeasty, foul-smelling rash around his neck and required a heavy course of antibiotics (and a new, clean collar to wear!)
It’s important to keep your pet’s collar clean to reduce the risk it will cause an infection or hot spot on his skin. Worn-out collars, those with an unpleasant odor and collars that have either grown too tight or too loose, need to go. Also check to make sure their tag with your contact info is still legible should they ever get lost. You may need to replace and update that as well.
Replace with this: New collar/ID tag
I found a clip for the ID tag and now change out collars all the time. I have an entire collection of cute festive collars I find on sale. Have fun with this! 😜
2. Plastic food and water bowls:
Plastic food and water bowls are inexpensive and convenient. Unfortunately, not only are they impossible to thoroughly sanitize, but as the plastic begins to break down, it can leach toxic chemicals into your dog’s food and water. In addition, I have seen many dogs (including my own!) get acne on their chins and other skin irritations from bacteria and oils which get easily trapped in the peeling plastic. Some more sensitive dogs can develop allergies to the materials and dyes in plastic bowls, and get rashes, tear staining and other complications. In addition, aggressive chewers have been known to gnaw their bowls into small pieces and swallow them. Also avoid the cute pottery bowls since these can contain dangerous lead-based paint and other toxic materials. Again, I have learned everything the hard way and I hope to save you from the same mistakes.
Replace with this: Stainless steel, porcelain or glass food and water bowls.
3. Broken or chewed up toys:
Many dogs are toy slaughterers. My Pug can tear off the head of a stuffed toy and devour the stuffing faster than I can open a jar of peanut butter. There have been many times I’ve left a pug alone with a stuffed toy, only to find they have a belly full of chemical-tainted cotton stuffing before I get to the first commercial break during Real Housewives! With any luck, (and a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin purée) the stuffing will pass in their poop. However, God forbid, they should swallow a squeaker or get a piece of the toy lodged in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Suddenly that $5.00 chew toy can become a life-threatening situation requiring expensive surgery to remove. It’s a good idea to review the contents your dog’s toy basket on a regular basis and get rid of anything that could pose a choking hazard or GI obstruction. I also recommend avoiding potentially toxic toys.
Replace with this: Repaired or new non-toxic toys .
I love the un-stuffed flat, crinkle toys, non-toxic ropes, and Tugga Kongs filled with a premium pet food.
4. Dull nail trimmers:
Most dogs enjoy nail trims the way I enjoy a root canal but one thing that can make a bad situation worse is a pair of dull clippers. I personally leave nail trims to the pros after too many bad experiences. I am about as welcome as parking enforcement when dogs see me come at them with nail clippers. (Talk about feeling unpopular!) With dull clippers, instead of a quick clean snip, the trimmers can crush and split the nail. Or, not cut at all! Not only is this extremely painful for your probably already anxious dog, but it tends to make you — the human at the other end of the clippers — tense up. Your dog, in turn, picks up on your stress, which doubles theirs. In a worst-case scenario, a nail trim botched by dull trimmers can FOREVER make your dog run like a pack of wolves every time they see them come out. Trust me on this one.
Replace with this: Freshly sharpened or new nail trimmers, or a battery-operated rotary tool (e.g., a Dremel). Or visit your vet’s office, PetSmart or a trusted local groomer and let a professional do it. 👌
5. Retractable leash
“Leash” is probably not a good word to describe the thin cord or ribbon used in many retractable devices. The real purpose of using a leash is to keep the animal safe and under your control while out on walks. Retractable leashes often do just the opposite. They give the owner and the dog WAY TOO much leeway and then put you both at risk when you must quickly RETRACT. I never recommend these leashes as a good option for pet parents. I only recommend them for those who are working specifically with a trainer on commands but never for walking.
There are many reasons to avoid or reconsider use of a retractable leash, starting with the fact that on this type of leash, it's easy for your dog to get too far away from you to be safe. Suddenly a car, aggressive dog, skateboard appears and if it's not too late already, quickly retracting can result in SERIOUS injuries. I personally have gotten deep, horrible burns and cuts and also know of young children needing amputations, if you can imagine!
In most cases, these devices are also wholly counterproductive to training a dog to walk politely on a leash. The very nature of retractables trains dogs to pull on the leash to extend the lead. The dog is out front and in-charge. Needless to say, this pulling behavior will be repeated whenever the dog is on a standard leash.
Replace with this: 6-foot flat leash and pull it in closely until your dog has learned to walk at your side without pulling.
In addition to tossing, losing, stopping, quitting. Why not turn it around and TAKE ON, START, BEGIN, FIND a new thing or two for the new year. I make a vision board each year cutting out inspiring pictures of places I want to go, goals I want to reach, things I want to do. While it always seemed stupid and a childish waste of time, looking back, 99% of what I paste on my vision boards I have gotten. Especially if I go back a few years. Why not make one yourself. Or, set a few small goals that will be healthy for both you and your dog. Here's a few ideas and I welcome your suggestions:
1. If your puggie is a bit pudgy, commit to a long walk, better food, smaller/healthier treats, a reduced portions to get them fit and trim.
2. Join a dog meet-up group and make a few new friends.
3. Check local events and do a dog hike, yappy-hour or another dog-friendly social activity with your pooch once a month.
4. Make an appointment for a "sPAW" day mani-pedi/bath/nail trim/teeth cleaning. While your pet is being groomed, enjoy some spa services yourself before picking them up.
5. Sign up for a training class together to refresh skills and work on socialization. This will be a great way to bond closer with your dog.
Check my homepage for activities and ideas and try to put something on this month’s calendar. Remember that $$$$ and time wisely invested in you dog will come back TEN-FOLD. I hope you will join me for fun, easy, healthy resolutions for you and your pup that you can do ALL YEAR LONG!
I love 💕 getting your feedback, comments and above-all PICS! So please share. Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you and your beloved pets! 🎉 -Pugs and Kisses! -Katy & Olive