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Pet Life Hacks

posted October 10th, 2015 by
20141115c

Pet Life Hacks

Making Life Easier

 

Who couldn’t use some shortcuts to make life easier? Simple, everyday tips right under your nose that you just haven’t thought of are also now at your fingertips if you know how to use a computer keyboard.

Enter the “life hack .” Thanks to websites like BuzzFeed, Pinterest and tens of thousands of blogs, you can read life hack lists for hours—mind blown. Oxforddictionaries.com defines a life hack as “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.”

We’ve sifted through a few hundred or thousand (who’s counting?) and compiled a list of pet owner life hacks sure to have you patting yourself on the back.

Keep It Clean

Wrap duct tape around a paint roller to clean up pet hair, creating a giant “hair roller” if you will. It’s faster than vacuuming and really works (The Family Handyman website).

No duct tape on hand, but need an immediate fix? Run a rubber-gloved hand across upholstery, and it will remove pet hair (realsimple.com).

Remove pet hair from carpets by running a squeegee over them (BuzzFeed).

Use a squeeze ketchup bottle top as a vacuum attachment to suck up cat litter or other bits that fall into crevices of your floor or baseboards (lilluna.com).

Put double-sided tape on any surface where you don’t want your cat to lie. Cats avoid sticky things (BuzzFeed).

To clean up unsightly (and smelly) pet carpet stains, pour a generous amount of white vinegar on the stain. Then cover with baking soda. Cover with a bowl so the baking soda does not get kicked around. Leave on for a day or two until completely dried. Then vacuum up the baking soda. The stain will be removed naturally without harsh cleaners (onegoodthingbyjillee).

Down the Hatch

If Fido won’t take his meds, make your own pill pockets, via muttnut.blogspot.com. Simply mix one tablespoon of milk, one tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter and two tablespoons of flour. Form into 12 pockets, then store in the fridge or freezer.

Could your dog use a tick tack? While that’s probably not a safe idea, opt for a sprinkle of parsley over your pooch’s food for fresher breath naturally (leopolds-crate.blogspot.ca).

If your pet is dehydrated or unable to keep foods down, add some low-sodium chicken broth to his drinking water (lifecheating.com).

Clean out an empty syrup bottle and fill with clean water for trips to the dog park or long walks. Simple attach by the handle to a carabiner and hook on your belt loop (fieldandstream.com).

Does Rover scarf his food down too quickly? There’s a hack for that. Place a ball in his food bowl. He will be forced to move the ball around to get to all the food, slowing him down (baggybulldogs blog).

Make your own organic chicken jerky for a gourmet treat. Cut organic chicken breasts or tenders into one-half centimeters in thickness. Then place cling wrap over it and beat with a tenderizing hammer until thin to your liking.

Next, cut into 3-centimeter strips (approximately). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for two hours or until brown and crispy. Now let Fido enjoy a non-toxic, healthy treat. These can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge. (For the photo guided step-by-step recipe, visit http://imgur.com/a/IkUj7.)

For a homemade summertime snack, cut up apples in chicken broth and freeze in ice cube trays (dogfooddude.blogspot.com).

For the Home

Hang a shower caddy on the inside of a closet door to store all your pet items—

brush, meds, treats, leashes, etc. (BuzzFeed).

Hide a litter box under a side table by securing kitty-sized, cute fabric curtains via baileytann.com. Then tie back one side for your cat to enter (BuzzFeed).

Make a DIY cat scratch by gluing a square carpet sample to a square wooden frame and hang low enough for your cat to reach. Voila, instant wall decor (squarecathabitat.com)!

If your feline friend loves to sit on, or in front of, your computer, place a shallow box lid, such as a board game box lid, upside down to the side of your computer. The natural cat instinct is to sit in the box. You’ll be more productive in no time (BuzzFeed).

‘Tis the Season to Hack

Looking for the perfect gift? Submit a photo of your pet to http://shelterpups.com, and they will create an adorable custom stuffed version of your pooch or anyone else’s—unique indeed.

Store your smaller ornaments in egg cartons. Your pet can’t destroy what he can’t reach if it’s safely tucked inside (toostinkincute.blogspot.com).

Hang wrapping paper on curtain rod hooks to safely keep them away from toddlers and pets who might enjoy unrolling and tearing them to pieces (the soulfulhouse.com).

FYI

While we hope you’ll never need this one, it is worth a try in a desperate situation. LifeHackable.com says one frantic owner ran into two hunters while searching for her dog. They told the owner they had successfully found dogs in the past by taking a worn article of clothing (the longer worn, the better to increase the human’s scent) and leaving it at the location the dog was last seen. If the dog has a familiar toy or two, take those items along also. Attach a note instructing passersby not to move the objects.

Also, leave a bowl of water as the pet may not have had access to water since being lost. Do not leave food that may attract other animals that the dog will avoid. The owner tried it and reported the dog waiting among the items the next day. While not 100-percent guaranteed to work, it’s worth a try to find a loved, lost pet.

In hot temps, cool your pooch down by freezing water, chicken broth, bones, toys, etc., in a cake mold and let him lick away until his heart’s content (Pinterest.com).

If your dog fights having his teeth brushed, squeeze enzymatic pet toothpaste on a Nylabone or rope toy and let him gnaw away on it, getting teeth clean in the process (BuzzFeed).

If you have a teething puppy that enjoys chewing on cords, spritz bitter apple spray onto a paper towel and wipe it along the cord. It will cover the surface area and not waste as much product as spraying directly onto the cord (BuzzFeed).

Run a dryer sheet along your dog’s fur during a thunder-storm. Chances are your pet is more distraught by the static electricity built up in his fur than the thunderstorm. According to marthastewart.com, this should work at least 50 percent of the time (BuzzFeed).

For easy tick removal, soak a cotton ball in liquid soap and swab the tick for a few seconds. The tick should come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you remove it (sdcount.ca.gov).

These are only a few of the life hacks available. Have some tried-and-true hacks that work? Let us know on our Facebook page at OKCPets Magazine or tweet us @okcpetsmag.

Puppy and Kitten Season “Fix” is Available

posted May 9th, 2014 by
Dogo Canario puppy in yellow dandelions

KittenBest Friends of Pets

Spring is here with flowers blooming, windy days, and more people enjoying outdoor activities.  But the season also brings the arrival of stray and abandoned puppies and kittens.  Animal shelters and animal welfare groups refer to this as “puppy and kitten season,” a heartbreaking time of year.

Last year, the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter alone took in 24,000 cats and dogs, down from 28,000 the year before.  14,000 pets were adopted, reclaimed by their owners or transferred to rescue groups.  Sadly, nearly 10,000 pets were euthanized for various reasons.  Pet owners failed to look in the shelter for their lost pets or waited too long to look.  Pet owners surrendered their pets thinking a behavior problem was a lost cause.  Not enough potential adopters thought of the shelter as a place to adopt a pet.  And some pets were too ill or too aggressive to be adopted.

Of the 10,000 pets euthanized, more than 3,200 – about one-third – were puppies and kittens whose only crime was being born in a community where not enough people want to adopt young pets.  These numbers are repeated on a lesser scale at animal shelters throughout the state.

The solution to puppy and kitten season is simple – spaying and neutering.  Best Friends of Pets’ spay/neuter program offers two low-cost, high-quality opportunities for pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered.

SpayWay clinic at 7949 S. I-35 Service Rd. offers spaying/neutering, vaccinations, canine and feline tests, and microchipping.  Fees are $30 for a cat spay or neuter and $40 for dog.  Pet owners with gross household income of $40,000 can call SpayWay at (405) 414-8142 for an appointment.

Logo 2Low-income pet owners receiving Medicaid, OKDHS or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits or meeting Best Friends’ income guidelines can have cats spayed or neutered for $10 and dogs for $20 through its Spay/Neuter Assistance Program.  General public assistance is also available based on income.  Rabies vaccinations are $5 and are only offered when the pet is spayed or neutered.  SNAP works with veterinary and nonprofit spay/neuter clinics throughout the Oklahoma City metro area.  For information about SNAP or to request a SNAP application, call (405) 418-8511 or go to www.bestfriendsofpets.org.

“Cost is often the biggest reason why pets are not spayed or neutered,” explains Kim Schlittler, Executive Director.  “We find people are tired of their pet having litter after litter of puppies or kittens, and they are excited when they can afford our services.  One dog had eight litters of puppies – all accidents – in four years.  Even the neighbor was excited when they found out about our low-cost spaying and neutering.”

Puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks or weighing at least 2 pounds can be spayed or neutered.  In addition to preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, spaying and neutering makes dogs less likely to roam or bite, ends yowling by cats in heat, and makes cats less likely to spray and mark their territory.  Pet owners often find their pets are more affectionate after being spayed or neutered.

– Kim Schlittler                                           

About Best Friends of Pets

Best Friends of Pets is a local nonprofit organization that began in 1994 under a similar name to help increase pet adoptions and improve conditions for pets at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter.  In 2005, Best Friends started its Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), the first year-round community spay/neuter program of its kind in the Oklahoma City area.  In 2006, Best Friends changed its adoption program to work with small groups and individuals who rescue and foster pets until they are adopted.  Best Friends of Pets strives to reduce the pet overpopulation problem of too many homeless pets by helping pets, their owners and our community.

Oklahoma Shelter Study to be Released

posted May 4th, 2014 by
Spay First Logo 2

Foshay PhotographersThis event will release the results of a shelter study done by SPAYFIRST!, and generously funded by Kirkpatrick Foundation.  It tracks the numbers of shelters in Oklahoma, what area of each county has access to a shelter and what their overall policies are.  A shockingly low number of Oklahoma shelters comply with the 1986 Oklahoma Dog and Cat Sterilization Act, over half keep no records of the numbers and some refuse to say how they euthanize or dispose of carcasses.

This event is for everyone who cares about homeless animals. Please join us on this day for homeless dogs and cats in Oklahoma.

The event is from noon to 1 in the Blue Room at the Capitol.  We want everyone who cares about unwanted animals to join us.

For information call 580-326-4100

Ask the Vet

posted May 27th, 2013 by

Dear Dr. Best :

I have an opossum in my yard, and I’m not sure exactly if it’s just one. I have fountains around with water, and they probably drink out of them. I also have two dogs. Is it safe to have opossums in the same yard as dogs? I called the City and they said they could trap and relocate them. Any advice is appreciated. And, of course, my dogs are vaccinated for rabies.

Thanks,     A worried dog mom

To the worried dog mom:

It generally is not harmful to have opossums sharing the same yard, but there is a slight risk of opossums and raccoons transmitting Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial infection of the kidneys. However, I wouldn’t be worried about it, just aware of the possibility. Opossums do not commonly carry rabies, so that generally isn’t a concern. If you don’t want them in the yard, you will need to make the yard less attractive to them—taking away food and water sources and places they could hide or sleep.

Dear Dr. Best :

I have incredibly dry skin and lotion up every morning. However, my dogs love the lotion smell and can smell it several rooms away when I am applying it. They want to lick, lick, lick on me all day. And I discourage this. I use all types of lotions, but do you know if licking it will hurt them?

Thanks in advance,     The dry dog mom

To the dry dog mom:

Most lotions will not be harmful if the dogs lick some of it, although I certainly would recommend discouraging the behavior. If the lotions are medicated, like with steroids or tea tree oil or antibiotics, they could be harmful. If you can’t discourage them from licking it, you may have to keep away from them until it is absorbed.

This issue’s participating veterinarian is Dr. Carol Best of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital, Tulsa. Thank you Dr. Best for answering our readers’ questions. If you have a question of a non-urgent nature for a Tulsa vet, please email [email protected]

Vote NO to Horse Slaughter!

posted March 25th, 2013 by
6-11 418 (3)

Don’t take Oklahoma out on a limb 

Horse slaughter is a high-risk investment for Oklahoma.  Last Friday the EU (the largest horse meat market) confirmed that US horsemeat will not be permitted to be sold for human consumption in Europe. 

Why is the Oklahoma legislature spending time reinventing ceiling wax?  They need to work on real solutions.

Facts:

Horse slaughter is not a humane alternative to starvation.    We have laws to stop starvation.

Why do they want to reopen horse slaughter plants? To make money. The families of Representatives Skye McNiel, Curtis McDaniel and others want to buy and sell cheap horses. They hope that a slaughter plant will help them do so.  However, it won’t and Oklahoma will pay the price.

Where did “all these horses” really come from? Oklahoma has too many horses because of overbreeding. The number of horses in the U.S. grew by over two million between 1986 and 2011 (over 25%). Horse registries encouraged overbreeding, even offering “registration papers” for mixed breed horses. The overproduction placed, “hundred dollar horses” into the backyards of people who could not afford to feed them, much less breed them. Now, horse dealers want their ‘heyday’ back again at any cost.

Will a slaughter plant solve the crisis? No.  Only corruption sustained the appearance of a horse meat market. The current European (EU) horse meat scandal revealed that horse meat[i]  was sold as beef for over two years.

The supply of horse meat greatly exceeded the demand for it.  With a dying overseas market, SB 375 is intended to make horse meat into an Oklahoma staple; that is very unlikely to happen.

Additionally, commonly used equine medications are dangerous to people, slaughter horses going to the EU may require drug history as is required for cattle[ii]. On Friday March 22, the EU confirmed that horse meat from the U.S. will not be accepted for human consumption.   Oklahoma may have a horse slaughter plant with no market to sell to.

What then?   There is no actual market.   While the world figures out who actually buys horse meat when they know what they are buying, dealers would bring slaughter horses to Oklahoma by the thousands.    This scheme is short-sighted and high-risk for Oklahoma.

Can horse slaughter increase crime in Oklahoma? Of course it will.  In 2012 Oklahoma George Baker of Stroud, OK, a foremost “killer buyer” and trucker of Oklahoma’s slaughter bound horses,  along with five others, were indicted in a multiple count grand jury indictment involving nine Oklahoma counties and extending to Texas.[iii]

Charges against Baker include buying and selling stolen property and farm equipment, and conspiracy and racketeering. Baker’s violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) are on the USDA website[iv]. Similar organized crime connections were noted throughout the EU scandal.[v] The UK Guardian noted that governments discussed organized crime because, “Previous convictions of dealers and traders, along with intelligence, suggest a link between the horse trade, meat laundering and various forms of trafficking.”

What about theft?  Unlike cattle, most horses are easily handled. An apple can lure a valuable horse into a trailer; a quick trip to a sale barn can reward a thief before the owner is even home from work.

What stands between your daughters’ horse and a thief is HB 1999.  Tell your legislator to safeguard you, not Skye McNiel’s money.

Horse slaughter is a bad deal for Oklahoma.

Below are the Oklahoma legislators who will vote on Monday whether or not they want to help Skye McNiel make money killing horses. Let them know you oppose horse slaughter.

Please be sure to reach your own legislator.

If you an Oklahoman let them know that you are tired of being called a “radical” or an outsider because you do not agree with greed and corruption.

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected],  [email protected], [email protected],   [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected][email protected], [email protected][email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected][email protected], [email protected]

Lawyer Lloyd

posted March 9th, 2013 by

by Lloyd Benedict

Dear Lawyer Lloyd:

My dog recently had puppies. She had a total of four puppies and I found homes for two of them. I have found no takers for the littlest one and another female. My friend told me to call the Humane Society and the SPCA. I called, but they told me they currently did not have room to take them.

Another friend said I could take them to the pound, and they for sure would be adopted because they are cute and pure bred. I really do not want to take them to the shelter if there is a chance they would not get adopted and be put down instead. What do you think I should do? Thank you, Tulsa Puppies Need a Home

Dear Puppies: Thank you for your email and question. My simple answer to your question is keep looking for someone to responsibly adopt them, meaning the new owners will license and have them spayed as required by law, so as to break the cycle of legal non-compliance if that was the case with the mother of those puppies.

Hopefully, you are aware that Tulsa has a law that requires your dogs (and cats) to be spayed or neutered by the time they reach 6 months old. Failing to abide by that law could cost you a hefty fine of up to $200. You should also be aware that Tulsa has been experiencing a serious pet overpopulation problem for quite some time, and it’s getting worse.

There are many reasons for Tulsa’s pet overpopulation, but one of the primary reasons is pet owners’ noncompliance with our mandatory spay/neuter law and Tulsa’s lack of enforcement for such law.

To demonstrate how serious Tulsa’s pet overpopulation really is, one need not look further than the numbers according to the 2010 census there are approximately 164,000 households that make up Tulsa’s population of 390,000 people.

According to the Humane Society’s U.S. website, it is estimated that 39 percent own dogs, with the average dog owner owning 1.69 dogs. Regarding cats, their study states that 33 percent of households own at least one, with the average cat owner owning 2.2 cats.

Interestingly, their study states that of the dogs owned 78 percent are spayed or neutered and 88 percent for the cats. Personally, I think Tulsa’s spay/neuter rate is considerably less than the national average but have no data to support my assertion.

Now let’s do the math for Tulsa. For dogs, there are 164,000 households of which 39 percent own 1.69 dogs. So, 63,960 households, times 1.69 dogs equal 108,092 dogs. Now calculate the national average spay/neuter factor, and you see that there are 23,781 un-spayed or un-neutered dogs in Tulsa that are at risk for unwanted reproduction on any given day.

Using the same equation for cats, we arrive at a figure of 15,375 un-spayed or un-neutered cats in Tulsa for a combined total of 39,156 dogs and cats. in other words, that’s 14,000 dog-owning households and 6,495 cat-owning households, totaling 20,495 Tulsa households breaking the law.

To compound this problem further, one must also consider the reproduction factors of Tulsa’s estimated 39,156 un-spayed and un-neutered pets. According to the ASPCA’s website, the average number of litters a fertile cat can produce in one year is three, with an average of four to six kittens per litter. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats.

The average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year is two, having an average litter of four to six. In six years, one female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs. So, theoretically speaking, if we applied that reproduction equation to Tulsa’s un-spayed and un-neutered pets, then it doesn‘t take a genius with an Excel spreadsheet to figure out that Tulsa‘s pet overpopulation problem is completely out of control.

Although the solution to this problem may be complex and multi-faceted, a part of the solution may be easier than we realize. Simply put, stricter enforcement of Tulsa’s spay/neuter law would substantially reduce the pet overpopulation numbers. If we use the above figures, we can see that just enforcing 10 percent (roughly 2,000) more households to be spay/neuter compliant would result in considerably thousands less unwanted and unnecessary litters.

This begs the question, how can the city of Tulsa do a better job at enforcing its own mandatory spay/neuter law? in my opinion, the city of Tulsa’s solution to this matter thus far has been more reactive than proactive. That is, the city appears to mainly rely upon its animal Welfare Department (TAW) to deal with our pet overpopulation issue.

In 2012, almost 11,864 animals were logged in through TAW with only 36 percent of those animals being redeemed, adopted or rescued. This means the remaining 7,472 animals were euthanized. It is quite clear that Tulsa’s citizens and animal rescuers cannot adopt enough dogs and cats from TAW to solve the problem alone under Tulsa’s reactive approach.

Instead, the city of Tulsa needs to address this matter in a proactive approach. For example, there are many cities in the U.S. that have implemented cost-effective and result-driven enforcement policies of their spay/neuter laws that have seen significant reductions in pet overpopulation numbers

Tulsa should study those cities and adopt the successful policies. Tulsa also needs better public education and communication in this area to promote the low cost spay/neuter programs throughout our city that offer low cost services for low income households.

But most effective of all, nothing says “get compliant” more than getting slapped with a $200 ticket if you do not become compliant within 30 days after receiving the citation. after all, the more fines collected the more money that can be applied to spay/ neuter enforcement efforts.

Editor’s Note:

If you live in the City of Tulsa and would like for the City to enforce its existing spay/neuter laws, you can sign an online petition at: http://mytulsalive.biz/onlineSignup/spayneuter/Petition

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