Stuffy nose, hair-raising static, doggy diarrhea? Here are six smart and simple solutions to a few common pet problems…
COMB A PET’S COAT SANS STATIC – Grooming your furry friend can be a hair-rasing experience in the colder months, when dry indoor air helps spark static electricity. To prevent shocks, avoid brushing your pet when he’s lounging on a synthetic surface (like many rugs and wall-to-wall carpets), which tend to hold static. Instead, have him stand on a 100% cotton bath mat, natural-fiber rug or hardwood floor during pampering sessions.
GET KITTY TO SLEEP IN HER OWN BED - Cats are naturally drawn to warm areas, so your little pal thinks curling up next to you in your bed is the best place to be on a chilly night. But if her presence disrupts your slumber, try this: Warm up a towel in the dryer for a few minutes just before bedtime, then tuck it into her sleeping area. She’ll gravitate toward her own toasty space, allowing you both to get a good night’s sleep. (We don’t have this problem with our four cats but I’m thinking this would be a nice “treat” for them every once in a while…on those cold, snowy nights.)
SOS FOR DOGGY DIARRHEA – Fido gobbled up some table scraps and now has an upset stomach. For fast relief, give him Imodium. As it does in humans, the OTC med will relax intestinal muscle spasms that cause diarrhea. The vet-approved dose (CHECK WITH YOURS FIRST): 1/4 of a 2-mg tablet for dogs under 20 pounds, 1/2 tablet for 21 to 30 pounds, 3/4 tablet for 31 to 50 pounds and 1 tablet for over 50 pounds.
CAT-PROOF INDOOR PLANTS – Despite frequent scoldings, your cat keeps “going” in your indoor planters. (Our cats like to play in the dirt and make a huge mess.) To break her of the habit, place strips of aluminum foil over the soil. Since cats hate walking on noisy or uncomfortable surfaces, the crinkly barrier will repel her. After two weeks, she’ll have learned to stay away and you can remove the foil.
KEEP YOUR PUP CALM WHEN GUESTS ARRIVE – If your dog tends to get anxious around visitors, treat him to a pre-company peppermint massage. Simply warm 1 tsp. of food-grade peppermint oil (found in the supermarket’s baking aisle) in the microwave for 30 seconds, then gently rub it into your pooch’s paws. Applied topically, the oil has a calming and uplifting effect that relieves stress and tension. (NOTE: The oil is considered safe but should NOT be used on pregnant dogs.) I wonder if this trick works on humans too?
QUICK RELIEF FOR A STUFFY NOSE – It’s cold season for pets too. If your cat or dog seems to be congested, place a humidifier in the room where she sleeps. Moisturizing the air can help prevent nasal membranes from drying out, relieving congestion and irritation. Just be sure to avoid bacteria buildup by cleaning and replacing the humidifier’s filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.