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Helpful Pet & Household Tips

Welcome to our Helpful Pet & Household Tips page!  Here you will find answers and solutions to many common issues that come with owning a pet, from fleas & ticks to first aid to yard & garden issues.  Some of the tips I have tried or use personally, some I heard about through the grapevine.

  I will do my best to try as many as possible, but since these are tips to solve problems, I hope I don't need to try many of them at all!

I hope you will find these tips helpful and as always, please contact me with any feedback on them or if you have a particular problem that you would like some tips for.


Bathing Tips:

  • When giving your dog a bath, apply eithercastor oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly to his eyes to protect them from soap irritation.
  • Adding eithera little baking soda, lemon juice or vinegar to your pet’s final rinse will help to soften, deodorize and add a little shine to his coat.


Child Safety Tips:

  • Teach your children to act tall around pets, both yours and others. Young children are about the same size as pets and may be seen as littermates rather than someone they need to respect. Have your children practice making themselves ‘bigger’ by standing or sitting taller and speaking in a lower and descending tone of voice. Likewise, squealing and rapid movements should always be avoided around pets.
  • The old method of holding out your hand for a dog to sniff has been thrown out the window. A dog doesn’t need an extended hand as he can smell you from several feet away. Neither dogs nor cats respond well when people wave their hands around and in fact, an extended hand could be seen as a threat. 
  • Teach your children to stand still with their arms at their sides when meeting a new dog and to let the dog approach them. Avoid eye contact and never meet face on. Only once a dog has initiated contact with you via a gentle rub or nuzzle should you offer affection to him. If the dog isn’t very interested and wanders away, let him go.


Flea & Tick Tips:

  • According to Botanical.com, fleas do not like powdered fennel.  Crush some fennel seed and sprinkle it on your pet's bedding or in the dog house.   It will act as a deterrent to the fleas.
  • A sever flea infestation could lead to anemia in your pet from the blood loss.  If your pet seems fatigued or the inside of his mouth turns white, take him to the vet immediately.
  • Never use flea products which are intended for dogs on your cat.  The formulation is different and could sicken or poison your cat.


Foxtails & Other Plants can be very dangerous to our pets.  The following tips and advice could save a life.

  • Remove foxtails from your pet’s fur immediately.  Foxtails puncture the skin and travel through your pet’s body which can harm tissues and even organs. 


  • If your pet gets a foxtail embedded either in her ears, eyes or nose, take her to the vet immediately as this can cause very serious complications.


  • If your dog gets a foxtail in his ear and you can’t get to the vet immediately, warm up some olive oil and apply it to the foxtail to soften it and relieve some of the irritation until you can get to the vet.  DO NOT PUT OFF GOING TO THE VET UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.


Household Tips:

  • Getting into the trash can is a nasty habit and can certainly be dangerous as well.  If your dog can't seem to resist the Eau-de-garbage, try sprinkling some Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce on top of the garbage.  If the smell doesn't deter him, the taste will probably make him think twice about going
  • back for seconds!


Insect Bite Tips:

  • If your pet gets stung by an insect or bee, mix a paste of baking soda & water and apply it to the sting several times a day.  This will draw out the venom and relieve the sting.
  • For bee stings, wet a tea bag and apply it to the sting.  It will numb the sting and help to draw the stinger to the surface of the skin so it is easier to remove.


Sticker & Burr Tips:

  • To get stubborn burrs out of your pet’s fur, apply drops of just about any kind of cooking oil to the burr(s) to soften them, then pick or brush out the burrs.  If it’s not time for a bath yet, soap & water on a rag will suffice to clean the oil from your pet’s coat.
  • Crushing the burrs with a pair of pliers (don’t pinch the skin) makes them easierto comb out.
  • Remove burrs before your pet starts licking the affected area, causing the surrounding hair to shrink and tighten.
  • When giving your dog a bath, apply either castor oil, olive oil or petroleum jelly to his eyes to protect them from soap irritation.


Sunburn & Dehydration Tips:

  • Pets with white fur and those that live at high altitudes are more susceptible to sunburn.  The most common areas are the nose, ears & bellies.  Apply sunscreen to those areas before your pet goes outside and try to keep your pet out of the sun between 9 am & 3 pm.
  • To relieve sunburn pain, try applying either petroleum jelly or aloe vera to the area, or make some unsweetened ice tea and put it in a spray bottle and spray the affected area with a fine mist.
  • For dehydration, offer your pet either Gatorade or Pedialyte.  If they won't take it, use an oral syringe.
  • When the temperature is above 80 degrees, dogs & cats need fresh water every 30 minutes.  Either replace the water or add some ice cubes to cool it down.
  • Signs of dehydrationinclude weakness or lethargy and a different look in your pet's eyes.  Also, pinch your pet's skin to gauge how quickly it snaps back or press on her gums with your finger.  You'll see a white spot on the gums where your finger was that should return to pink less than 2 seconds.  If it does not, take her to the vet immediately.
  • Signs of heatstrokeinclude a bright red tongue and gums and thick, sticky saliva along with rapid panting.  If you see these signs, get your pet to the vet immediately.


Wound Care Tips:

  • Bleeding
    • To stop bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound with a gauze pad or clean cloth.  If the blood soaks through, just add another pad on top and continue the pressure.  Lifting the pad could disturb the clot.  Do not wash wounds that are bleeding heavily.
    • To stop bleeding on paws, apply a pressure bandage.  Put a gauze pad against the wound and slip a cotton sock over the foot.  Tape a plastic bag over the sock (the bags that newspapers come in work well).  For pets with small paws, cover the paw bandage with a condom.  Whatever covering you use should fit snuggly enough to apply pressure without restricting circulation.


  • Bandage Techniques
    • To bandage your pet’s paw after the bleeding has stopped and it hasbeen cleaned, disinfected and dried, place a gauze pad over the wound.  Run a doubled length of roll gauze from the bottom of the paw over the ends of the toes and up the top of the paw.  Then wrap a single-ply length of gauze around the paw, starting at the toes and moving up until it covers the folded gauze below it.  Overlap each layer and use even, gentle pressure.  Apply tape only at the top edge.  Slip a cotton sock over the bandage (cut it to fit if necessary) and tape that at the top edge to your pet’s fur.


  • Splinting
    • Bubble wrap is an excellent splinting material because it pads the leg and protects it at the same time.  Gently wrap the bubble wrap around your pet’s leg or tail until it is a thickness that restricts movement.  Tape it in place by starting at the foot or tail tip and working up toward the body.


Yard & Garden Tips:

  • If your pet insists on digging in your flower or vegetable gardens, try sprinkling some Cayenne pepper around the area.  It will not harm your pet, but they will not step foot in that area a second time!
  • If your dog's urine is burning your lawn, try mixing one cup of baking soda in one gallon of water and pouring it on the area every three days or so.  This helps to deodorize the area so your dog will not return to the same area as well as neutralize the acid so the grass can recuperate.



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