Protect Your Pets from Ticks this Spring

Lyme Disease is becoming more prevalent in pets and the only way to protect your dogs and cats is to keep infected ticks away. In fact, positive cases of Lyme Disease are up 10 percent from this time last year, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

Although Lyme Disease is a serious illness, we don’t want to keep our pets inside all year with the hopes that they won’t be bitten by an infected tick. April is Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month, so this is a great time for all pet owners to think about what they can do to help keep their pets healthy and safe. Lyme Disease is a year-round concern, but spring is possibly the worst time, as ticks are molting when the ground warms.

Here are a few ways to help protect your pet from ticks:

Use a flea and tick preventative: It is important to treat your pet with a preventative that repels ticks as well as fleas. Most pet owners assume if they are on a flea treatment that it repels ticks as well. This is not always the case. Many only work after the tick has bitten the animal. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural way to kill fleas, ticks and other insects on both cats and dogs. Although it looks and feels like flour to the naked eye, under a microscope diatomaceous earth resembles small pieces of broken glass. The food-grade diatomceous earth is harmless to us and animals, those tiny glass-like fragments kill insects and their larvae, by piercing their protective structures, which causes them to dehydrate and die. Apply the diatomceous earth lightly on your pet’s coat, as well as on bedding and carpeting, and because it can take up to 3 days for it to fully work, leave it in any fabric before cleaning. We sell a food grade type that is full of internal benefits as well.

Use a natural repellent: A natural repellent can help keep fleas and ticks at bay. We recommend the Pet Wants Flea and Tick Spray, which is made with natural essential oils such as cedar and peppermint to act as a natural deterrent for insects. Due to cat’s potential sensitivities to essential oils this product is only intended for use in dogs. Pet Wants Flea and Tick spray is properly diluted with therapeutic grade essential oils.

Keep your yard groomed: Ticks do not like to be in sunlight for extended periods of time and are found more frequently in areas where grass is more mature and has a developed underbrush. Keeping your lawn cut and well maintained could help reduce the instance of ticks in your backyard.

Treat your yard: Treat your yard with a natural insecticide, such as diatomaceous earth listed above. Again, it is safe for humans and pets, but diatomaceous earth is deadly to many parasites, including ticks. Sprinkle a small amount on your dog and cat to help with prevention during peak months. Add a light dusting to the areas of the yard your pet frequents the most such as their favorite pee spot. Diatomaceous earth also works well in preventing against garden pests.

Check for ticks: Be sure to inspect your pet closely after they’ve been outside. Ticks tend to target areas like the ears, inner thighs and legs. If you do find a tick on your pet, be sure to remove it as soon as possible. The best way to remove a tick it to grab tweezers or a tick key and place as close to the head as possible. The goal is to remove the tick completely and not have anything remain. If a tick bites your dog it can transfer the bacteria but only if it stays attached.

Lyme Disease does not appear in pets like it does in humans. Pets typically show symptoms such as fever, lameness and pain – not the Lyme Disease rash humans get. Many times, by the time you spot symptoms, it is likely the dog has already been infected, so prevention is the best tool in the fight against Lyme Disease.

If you have any questions about natural flea and tick prevention, please contact us. You can also stop by our store at Findlay Market or at 1409 Vine Street in Cincinnati. www.PetWantsCincy.com

Stinky Dog Breath & Pet Dental Health

Snuggling with your pet can be one of the highlights of being a pet parent, that is unless Fluffy or Fido is suffering from a bad case halitosis! Wherever that bad breath came from, it is probably too offensive for your nose to handle and can haunt you for days. Although pets aren’t known for having great breath, bad breath may really be a sign of poor oral health.

Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, it’s the ideal time to put the spotlight on oral hygiene and the importance of proper dental care.

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In many cases, the bad breath is due to built-up tartar on the teeth close to the gum line. This can become irritated and inflamed if not addressed and ultimately lead to an infection or disease which can cause severe problems and be taxing on the immune system.

Other times, that stink is coming from the gut! Digestion problems, issues in the gastrointestinal tract, mouth and other organs can be sources of what some call ‘stomach breath’.

In both situations, as with many health issues, diet can make a HUGE difference! Because pets are naturally scavenger carnivores, they have a shorter G.I. tract, less enzymes in their saliva to break down foods (especially sugars & carbs) and teeth made to rip and tear instead of crush and chew.

Try these best practices in dental health with your pet:

  • Feed your pet foods that are low in sugars and carbs which cause more tartar on the teeth.
  • Avoid ingredients with no added nutritional value like common fillers and look for high quality proteins.
  • Consider cleaning their teeth a few times a month, even if it’s just wiping off the outsides with gauze or a wet cloth. If using toothpaste, remember to stay away from toothpaste designed for humans and choose one that is natural.
  • Try ‘snacks’ that can act as dental floss like uncooked or smoked bones. Dental chews are another option, but avoid any gluten in those, or try some sea algae which can break down tartar effectively too!

Remember that good oral health is important for more reasons other than that smelly breath! Your pet’s body can suffer more serious problems so try some healthy dental practices and feed good quality food. If interested in learning more about Pet Wants’ fresh food and the benefits on dental health, chat with us on our website Pet Wants Cincy or stop in our stores!

If awful breath is a persistent problem, talk to your veterinarian to rule out any serious issues.  Solutions for your pet’s bad breath depends entirely on its root cause.

For more information on pets or to try one of our nutritious blends, please visit Pet Wants Cincy.

3 Tips to Help Calm New Year’s Nerves

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Can you believe it’s almost 2018?! Soon bottles will be poppin’, fireworks exploding and the festivities will be underway! Although we love to send the year out with a BANG, this can often prove to be more stressful than fun for our dogs.

Here are 3 tips to help calm those New Year nerves:

1. Try some pre-party exercise:
Exercising your pup before the New Year’s Eve party can help tire them out when it comes time for the evening celebration. An overstimulated dog will be that much more nervous, so take your dog out for some energy-draining activity that day. If he’s tired, it’ll be much easier for him to sleep through the chaos.

2. Give an herbal supplement:
Sometimes, just a short-term calming aid will do the trick. Pick up a Pet Wants Snooze-Booster Pawsicle with turkey, lavender and chamomile, to help to soothe some of the nervous tension. Or try some NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews that are packed full of thiamine and L-Tryptophan, these bites help reduce stress and tension while the added melatonin helps to promote rest and relaxation. Give your pet a tasty treat 30 minutes before a stressful situation and enjoy his calm demeanor in any distressing situation.

3. Use an acupressure wrap:
Pet Wants Cincy sell a wrap called the Thundershirt. It’s design uses acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce stress. The Thundershirt is a wrap for your dog with Velcro tabs provide gentle, constant pressure. Their website reports that over 80% of Thundershirt users see significant improvement in noise anxiety symptoms. Most dogs respond with the very first usage; some need 2-3 usages before showing significant improvement.

Happy New Year from all of us at Pet Wants Cincy!

What MSM Can Do For Your Dog

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MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane. Although that’s a mouthful, it’s simply an organic sulfur containing compound. The reason you should care about MSM is it’s been shown to be useful as a joint health supplement. The benefits of this compound are applicable to both humans and dogs.

7 Reported Benefits of MSM

The first reported benefit of MSM is the reduction of chronic pain in dogs. This compound is a natural analgesic. It’s able to block pain impulses from transferring through nerve fibers, as well as cortisol and the inflammation process. Functioning as a synergist is its second benefit. MSM has been shown to improve the cellular uptake of everything from vitamin A to calcium.

The antioxidant qualities of MSM are its third reported benefit. Being an antioxidant means MSM is able to bind to free radicals and deactivate them before they’re able to cause any harm. Fourth on the list is detoxifying, followed by aiding in the prevention of neurological diseases. Sixth is helping to lessen the negative effects of allergies.

Allergies aren’t something that are as noticeable in dogs as they are humans. But dogs can definitely suffer from them. And for those that do, MSM can provide relief. Last on the list is combating parasites. MSM is not a replacement for any medications or other measures recommended by your dog’s vet. However, it can give your dog an additional barrier of defense against a wide range of parasites.

Not All MSM is Equal

While there are a lot of good things that can be said about MSM, one important note is not all forms of this compound are equal. Many forms of commercially produced MSM come with the risk of contamination or impurities. That’s because it only takes not following a single sanitation procedure or using water with heavy metals to create a problem. The best way to avoid those issues and ensure that MSM is as beneficial as possible for your dog is to get an ultra pure formulation.

Give Your Dog a Quality MSM Supplement

Even if your dog already has a quality diet, it’s unlikely that the food your dog is eating contains enough MSM to create a therapeutic dose. The recommended amount for dogs is 50 to 100 mg MSM per 10 pounds of body weight. We believe that MSM can be very useful for dogs with issues like joint pain or chronic inflammatory condition.

That’s why we have our Joint ReLiver supplement. The only two ingredients in this quality supplement are ultra pure MSM and dehydrated pork liver. Not only can dogs benefit from this supplement, but they love the taste as well! We also give you the added convenience of being able to make a one-time or recurring order.

Understanding Pet Food Labels

Happy Havanese puppy dog is lying beside a red bowl of dog food

One of the most stressful things about shopping for groceries is reading the labels. You’re definitely not alone if you feel like trying to look at or compare food labels sends you down a blackhole. Just as soon as you start to feel like you’re getting a handle on calorie counts and daily percentages, you notice an ingredient with a strange name that sets off your internal red flags.  Read More