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

5 Tips for a New Puppy Parent

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Having a puppy can be both stressful and rewarding. Here at Pet Wants Cincy we love puppies and we love feeding them. In honor of National Puppy Day this month, we wanted to share 5 things we wish we had known when our dogs were puppies.

1) When They Need To Relieve Themselves

Potty training can be a stressful time. Puppies have small bladders and don’t know where you expect them to do their business. To help avoid accidents in the house it’s useful to know when your puppy is most likely to take a potty break. Puppies are most likely to relieve themselves after they have eaten; slept for more than 20 minutes; or played rigorously. It is a good idea to watch your puppy closely after any of these activities and watch for sniffing as an indicator you should get them outside ASAP!

2) Better Nutrition Matters

Many new puppy owners feed the food the shelter gave them or whatever the breeder was feeding. It is important in the first year to give your puppy the best nutrition possible. Here at Pet Wants we are committed to improving your life and that of your pet. We focus on diets that are made fresh and are free of corn, wheat, soy, and animal by-products. Puppies are growing and need proper nutrition to support muscle development, bone growth, and a healthy immune system. Ask your Pet Wants staff for advice on your puppy and which diet works best for his/her individual needs.

3) Train Yourself Before Your Puppy

Training is an important part of development for a puppy. Training needs to start day 1, but most of us discover that we are not equipped to train our puppy. One of the most important aspects of training a puppy is understanding how to train him. Before you bring your puppy home, do research and establish how you are going to train your puppy to sit, lay down, and go potty. Consistency is key; so, make sure you, your significant other, and the entire family know how the dog is going to be trained. Nothing hinders training more than giving the dog different commands to elicit the same behaviors. Everyone involved in training needs to use the same commands so as not to confuse the pup.

4) Make Sure You Have The Right Chew Toys

Puppies love to chew. Some Puppies chew to keep themselves busy while others chew especially hard when they are teething. Many people gravitate towards fluffy stuffed animals because they are cute and remind us of the animals we buy human babies. When you are getting prepared for your puppy be sure to stock up on bones, rubber and rope toys that are a bit tougher. This will help sooth sore gums, and keep them occupied for much longer than a stuffed animal.

5) Crates Are Good

A crate is one of the most useful tools to help in potty training, traveling, and keeping your pup and you’re your belongings safe when you leave. Crates can be a great tool to use for your puppy’s entire life or until you are sure that you trust your pup alone when you are gone.  The first thing to know about your puppy’s crate is that they just need enough room to stand up and turn around. The divider is not just an accessory that comes in the box or a spare part, it’s a vital tool in proper crate training. If puppies have too much room they will poop in the crate which will not help you in training. Having a confined space can make your puppy feel more secure and encourage him to hold it longer until you get home and can take him out. If the crate is too big, you can stick a box or empty cooler in the back and cover it with a soft blanket to make it more cozy and right-sized for your new fur baby.

Always use the crate in a positive way; never for punishment. Always leave the crate door opened when you are home and never put your pup in the crate if you are angry at him for something he did wrong. If you scold your pup and he goes to his crate that is fine, but never use the crate as a punishment. This associates negative feelings with the crate and you want to avoid that. When you leave, put your pup into his crate and give him a special toy or treat that is reserved for time in the crate only.  To help prevent separation anxiety, crate your pup and leave the house for short periods of time, gradually increasing your time away as the pup becomes more at ease in your absence.

 

We hope this helps you prepare for a new family addition. For more helpful tips on your pets visit us www.PetWantsCincy.com and speak with a Pet Wants Nutrition Specialist.

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.

Pet Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Pet Gift Guide for the Holidays

Look no further than Pet Wants Cincy for the perfect gift for your adorable fur-kid. Check out our top picks below!

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Wooly Wonkz Hanukkah Ball Dog Toy Star of David

Make the 9 days of Hanukkah fun and Eco-friendly with the Wooly Wonkz Hanukkah Ball Dog Toy Star of David! The Wooly Wonkz Dog Toy is great for your eco-conscious pup. Soft dogs crave will make playtime fun and safe. Lovingly made in Nepal colors and sizes may vary making each toy special. Made of 100% eco-friendly New Zealand wool, naturally anti-microbal plus Azo-free dyes and toxin free! Great for teething puppies and seniors too.  $12.00 each. Available in our stores or  Order Here

 

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Pet Wants Cincy Wag Bags

Get some swag for your pup! Either small or large, our Wag Bags are the perfect gift that Fido can share with his human family too! Since our Housemade balms, sprays and salves are all safe and full of benefits for humans, this (s)Wag Bag will be used by many well past the holiday season. The Healing Salve alone is a quick go to for my own dry skin and chapped lips!  Small $30.00 (value of $40)  Large $65.00 (value of $80). Available in our stores Order Small Here or Order Large Here

 

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Cosmic Catnip Kitty Cat Grass Kit

Use this Cosmic Kitty Grass to grow nutritious grass that your cat can eat! It contains a blend of fresh herbs and greens that you can grow yourself. These specially selected seeds grow into greens your cat can’t resist, encouraging play and activity for hours. Contains no chemicals and helps improve digestion, reducing hairballs. $4.50 each. Available in our stores or Order Here

 

 

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PetLou Fleece Monkey Stick Dog Toy

Monkey Sticks are back! Every December we bring in monkeys of all sizes, which are perfect for playing hard, or soft cuddling. Plus, this heavy-weight fleece dog toy has a squeaker that makes a grunting sound which makes us laugh! Small $6.00  Large $15.00. Available in our stores or Order Here

 

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Peanut Butter Banana CBD Hemp Oil Edibites

Pet Releaf’s CBD-infused Edibites are a “superfood smoothie” for your pet. They are considered an immune system turbo boost and are the perfect daily supplement for your pet. They contain no wheat, corn, dairy or soy and have no fillers or chemical preservatives. Plus they can help with pain or anxiety too! Available in stores or Order Here

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Signature Housewares Fish Cat Bowl

Say goodbye to ugly cat bowls! This adorable bowl is made of glazed stoneware, a dense ceramic material that stands up to constant use and frequent cleanings. It’s dishwasher safe, very durable and has a single fish image on the inside of the bowl too.  $7.00 each. Available in our stores or Order Here

 

 

 

Whisk & Wag Treat Mixes

Ready-to-bake treat mixes in either Honey & Oats or Apple & Cinnamon have exceptional flavor and an impressive range of health benefits for your furry friends. Just add oil and water for a fresh baked, wag-worthy and wholesome snack.  With no corn, wheat, soy or preservatives and non-GMO, this all-natural product is made with the best ingredients and lots of homemade love.  $12.00 each. Available in our stores or Order Here

 

 

Prepping Paws for Winter

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In our last post on dogs’ winter coats, we mentioned the importance of taking care of paws as well. Since winter can be quite hard on the paws of any dog that spends even a moderate amount of time outside, we want to dive into this topic in detail. By understanding exactly what winter means for your dog’s paws, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to provide support and protection for your pet. Read More

Your Dog’s Winter Coat

                fluffy white dog under the falling snow in winter

While there are definitely some nice things about the winter season in Cincinnati, the weather during this time of the year can be quite rough. It’s important to remember that’s just as true for your dog as it is for you. Specifically, the combination of low humidity and keeping your house warm through heating can result in your dog’s coat drying out. Because you want to know that your dog feels great throughout this season and isn’t struggling with problems like winter dandruff, we want to share some coat tips for this time of the year:

1. Consistent Grooming

You’ll definitely want to stay on top of your dog’s grooming needs during this time of the year. Brushing on a regular basis will remove dead hair, tangles and dirt. Not only will this keep your dog looking its best, but it will also help with things like skin circulation. And while it is fine to bathe your dog even when the weather is cold outside, just make sure your pet is fully dry before it goes out again.

2. Skin Spray

Pet Wants is passionate about helping dogs enjoy the highest quality of life. That’s why we developed a homemade skin spray for dogs. This spray is perfect for keeping your dog’s winter coat from drying out. It can also help with other issues like hot spots, bites, burns and irritations. The ingredients used to make this wonderful spray are calendula infused purified water, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, avocado oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, peppermint oil and geranium oil.

3. The Right Diet

You’ve probably heard the expression “you are what you eat.” This very accurate saying applies to dogs of all sizes. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right type of food for your dog. Because Pet Wants dog food is carefully designed to support all elements of a dog’s health, we include ingredients that are specifically targeted at coat health. Flaxseed and fish oil are two examples of those ingredients that can be found in our blends. By combining ingredients like these with all the other healthy elements of our fresh dog food, you can count on your dog feeling and looking great all winter long.

4. Don’t Forget About the Feet

Your dog’s coat isn’t the only part of its body that faces different conditions during this time of the year. Your pup’s paws can also face some harsh conditions when you’re out for a walk. The best way to deal with those conditions is our paw wax for dogs. Made from organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and lavender oil, simply applying this wax prior to heading out into the cold will help your dog a lot.

When Cats Don’t Like Your Holiday Visitors

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There are a lot of exciting things that take place during the holidays. A common example for many people is hosting guests at their home. Some guests may only come over for a few hours to enjoy a holiday meal with you. Others may stay for a longer period of time. Although you probably enjoy having these kinds of guests in your home a lot, your cat may not feel the same way.

If you know you’re going to have guests over this holiday season but you’re worried about how your cat is going to respond to having new people in your home, we have several strategies to help take care of both your visitors and cat:

1. Avoid Pressuring Your Cat

Even though it comes with good intentions, a common mistake cat owners make is trying to get their cat excited about interacting with a visitor. While that’s fine if you have an especially social cat or a kitten that you want to help get used to new people, for a cat that’s already set in its ways, you’re better off letting it hang out wherever it wants to be and eventually coming out on its own if it chooses.

2. Give Your Visitors Helpful Tips

While you can’t really tell your cat how to act around visitors, you can give anyone who comes over for the holidays a few tips for interacting with your cat. First, let them know that your cat takes awhile to warm up, so they shouldn’t feel pressured to engage. Another very helpful tip is to let visitors know that if your cat does start coming around them, they can maximize the likelihood of a successful interaction by using eye kisses. In case you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s done through slow blinking and avoiding direct eye contact. This lets a cat know that someone is in no way a threat to them.

3. Focus on Positive Associations

One way you can help minimize your cat’s stress about visitors and build momentum towards successful future interactions is to focus on positive associations whenever someone comes into your house. This can include managing your own energy, along with exposing your cat to something it really likes whenever a visitor first comes inside.

4. Create a Safe Space

A simple but very effective way to keep both your cat and guests comfortable during holiday visits is to create a safe space for your cat. This should be an area in your home where your cat doesn’t feel pressured and can enjoy activities like scratching. By giving your cat this space, which should include a bowl of tasty cat food, you can minimize the likelihood of your cat having any bad experiences while guests are over.

Do Dogs Feel the Changes of Daylight Savings Time?

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Most people are happy about the extra hour of sleep they’re able to gain when clocks turn back an hour near the beginning of fall. While that experience can be a positive one, the same isn’t always true once this new schedule goes into effect. Plenty of people require a few days to adjust to a new sleep pattern. Others don’t like the fact that it is dark when they go to work in the morning and dark when they get off at the end of the day. And for a portion of the population, this shift completely throws off their internal clock and can cause ongoing sleep challenges for weeks at a time.

Since this single change can have so many different effects on people, it brings up an interesting question of if the switch has any impact on animals. While dogs obviously don’t look at a clock and decide what they need to be doing, they do follow a set schedule for different activities that’s driven by their circadian rhythm. Because the change that humans make to their clocks impacts this schedule that dogs internally follow, we want to highlight a few of the disruptive issues dogs may experience this time of the year:

Going to the Bathroom

Even though potty training a puppy can be quite a challenge, once a dog gets in a consistent routine of going to the bathroom, they’re going to want to stick with it. Many owners take their dog out when they first get up in the morning. So if you start sleeping in an hour later due to the clock shifting back, your dog may get quite antsy or start trying to get you up at the time when it usually goes out. Depending on your dog’s personality, you may be able to shift to a new morning potty time in just a few days or you might have to stagger this shift over a longer period of time.

Eating

Your pet knows when to expect its bowl to be filled with delicious dog food. So when that important event doesn’t happen right on schedule, plan on your dog coming straight to you for a refill. As with going to the bathroom, the time required to fully shift your dog to a new feeding schedule can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Spending Time with You

If you come home at the same time every day, your dog knows when to expect you. So it’s completely normal for your dog to be a little extra excited or even anxious when you first start coming home in the days following the time change.

Because dogs do have such a consistent inner clock, yours may be caught off guard when going to the bathroom, eating or hanging out with you doesn’t occur at the normal time as a result of the shift caused by Daylight Savings Time. While this is definitely a change your dog is likely to notice, the good news is as long as you’re aware of it, you can take a few steps to minimize the amount of time your dog feels like it’s out of its normal routine.

4 Ways You Can Help in October for Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month

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Did you know that it’s officially Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month? Given that there are more shelter dogs than ever who need help, this month is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is passionate about animals to do their part to help. Since plenty of people want to contribute to this initiative but aren’t exactly sure how, I’ve put together a list of four different ways you can use your time and resources to help make a difference:

1. Spread the Word on Social Media

A simple but effective way to support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month is to let other people know about it via social media. Doing so can be as simple as sharing this post with others. If you want to remind people throughout the month, another useful option is to find pictures of specific local shelter dogs and share those.

2. Find Out What a Shelter Needs

There are number of great shelters around the Cincinnati area. You can easily find multiple ones via a Google search. Then when you find a specific shelter that resonates with you, check their website to see if they have a donation wish list. If this list isn’t on their website, you can contact them and ask about it. Once you know what the shelter needs, you can put together a donation on your own or organize a mini-drive to help collect those essentials.

3. Volunteer at a Shelter

In addition to things like food bowls and collars, shelters also need support in the form of time. So if you haven’t ever volunteered at a shelter before, October is the perfect month to start. Being a volunteer in this environment is a very rewarding experience. While not all shelters have the same needs, common activities for volunteers include walking dogs, playing with animals who are recovering from injuries, helping with dog training, working in the adoption center, folding laundry and helping with public events.

4. Adopt a Shelter Dog

Choosing to give a dog a home is a big decision, which is why it’s not something you should rush. But if you’ve been thinking about adopting a shelter dog for some time now and have the resources to do so, October is a great opportunity to follow through with this decision. By adopting a shelter dog, you’ll get to save a life and also enjoy all of the benefits that bonding with this type of wonderful animal will bring to your life. Plus, you’ll make room for another dog in the shelter!

Pet Wants Cincy is a company that’s very passionate about the well-being of all dogs, which is why we want to say thanks for using your time and resources to help support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month!

Is Your Dog Stressed Out?

 

photo-1455103493930-a116f655b6c5Over half of the adult population in the United States experiences physical symptoms caused by stress. But we’re not alone in facing the negative effects of this condition. Dogs can also suffer from stress. And just like humans, it can take a toll on their well-being. If you’re trying to get to the bottom of whether or not stress is impacting your dog, here are three signs you’ll want to watch for:

  1. Decreased Appetite

When you feed your dog delicious food like Pet Wants, you know that they’re always going to be excited when it’s time for a meal. So if you notice that your dog suddenly loses the spark it usually has for eating, chances are it’s due to stress or another health condition.

  1. Sleeping More Than Normal

Dogs definitely sleep more than humans. The short answer to why is they don’t sleep as soundly as humans. In order to get the amount of rest they need, dogs have to spend more time with their eyes shut. Although spending quite a bit of time sleeping isn’t a bad thing for dogs, what can be cause for concern is if your dog starts sleeping even more than normal. Like most of the other signs on this list, stress is one of several health conditions that increased sleep can signal, so be sure to let your vet know about this issue in a timely manner.

  1. Self-Isolation and/or Aggression

Like people, dogs may need to occasionally recharge by spending time alone. What a dog shouldn’t need to do is constantly isolate itself from humans or other dogs in your household. Frequent self-isolation is a very strong indication of stress that’s occurring from anxiety or some type of pain that your dog is trying to hide. This symptom can also manifest itself as aggression whenever anyone tries to get close.

Helping Your Dog with Stress

By knowing the signs of stress in dogs, you can help protect yours. If you do notice any of the signs of stress or have reason to believe your dog may be suffering, it’s always best to consult with a vet. Even if it turns out to be nothing, a vet will never fault you for wanting to take the best possible care of your dog!
Once you’ve met with your vet and ruled out any serious health conditions, you can help your dog with its stress by making outdoor exercise a priority. Another way to help is creating a designated area in your home where your dog feels 100% safe. And if you aren’t feeding your dog a high-quality food like Pet Wants, switching can help provide your dog with the health support needed to feel its best. Pet Wants also makes dog-friendly Calming Balm infused with essential oils to reduce anxiety. And if your dog hasn’t tried our Housemade Snooze-Booster Pawsicles, they’re missing out on some serious chill time.  Snooze Booster has dried lavender buds frozen in a pumpkin and turkey breast puree and cranberry to boot!  Just think how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner! Yes please…