What Household Items Are Poisonous To Pets

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When it comes to our pets, many pet parents find themselves “puppy-proofing” their homes -- whether they are bringing home a puppy, a kitten or an older dog or cat they’ve just rescued.

There are some items that are common sense to keep your pet away from. Items such as:

  1. Household cleaners (invest in natural, pet-safe household cleaning items)
  2. Laundry soap, laundry soap pods (keep all laundry items in cupboards away from your pets)
  3. Electrical cords (puppies love to chew and may chew cords if they see them)
  4. Space heaters (these could be knocked over, be a fire hazard and burn your pets)
  5. Medications (your medications, even if they’re in child-safe bottles can easy be chewed through and gobbled down by your pets). Even pet medications need to be kept out of reach of your pets.
  6. Sharp objects such as scissors or knives. (We’ve known cats who’ve snagged scissors and dropped them onto the ground where they would have been a hazard for a dog in the house)
  7. Certain foods (chocolate, coffee, grapes, etc.)
  8. Batteries (this means any remote controls or other battery-operated items need to be kept away from your pets)
  9. Certain house plants (many of these are poisonous and deadly to your pets)
  10. Small toys (if you have children in the house who play games with small objects these could be swallowed by your pet)

We also know, as pet parents ourselves, that when we are eating and our pets are giving us those “puppy dog eyes” it’s easy to want to slip them some of your people food. We urge you to resist because many of our human foods simply aren’t healthy for our pets.

Here are five human foods to keep away from your pets:

  1. Salty snacks. These can lead to excessive thirst and urination and have the potential to cause sodium ion poisoning.
  2. Seeds from fruits. If your dog loves apples, just feed him apple slices and not any of the seeds. This goes for any seeds in fruits or vegetables.
  3. Bread dough, because of the yeast. If you’re a baker, don’t give your dog any bread dough; the yeast can rise in his stomach and cause health issues. Avoid any uncooked baked goods.
  4. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Period.
  5. Milk or other dairy products. Cats and dogs can’t easily digest dairy and this could lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

Our best advice? Feed your pet dog- and cat-friendly foods and treats. Teach them when they’re young or when you’ve just brought them home that begging at the table won’t gain them any of the human foods that are there and they will cease begging.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.   

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How To Deal With Dog Separation Anxiety

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Pet parent guilt is real.

When you have to leave the house and leave your dog home alone, chances are you’re worried whether:

  1. He’s lonely
  2. If she will chew your favorite shoes
  3. If his separation anxiety can be addressed to make being apart not as traumatic for either of you

Dogs who suffer separation anxiety get either overly excited when you leave the home and are overly excited when you come back. They can be destructive, have bathroom accidents in the home, lick or chew themselves to the point where they’re missing fur and could be “overly” clingy aka velcro dog when you’re home.

We certainly want our dogs to be happy when we come home, but we don’t want them to make themselves ill when we’re away nor do we want them to destroy our homes.

Here are some signs that your dog might have separation anxiety:

  1. They destroy your home and/or furniture
  2. They bark incessantly while you’re away
  3. They lick or chew themselves
  4. They pace
  5. They try to escape by breaking through a window

How can you help ease your dog’s separation anxiety?

If your dog has mild separation anxiety you may be able to address it through behavior modification and short separations, followed by longer times apart. He may come to realize that even though you’re leaving, you are coming back and that may ease his anxiety.

Talk with your vet to rule out any medical conditions. Your vet may recommend anti-anxiety medications if your dog is truly having a hard time coping with your being away.

Get a pet sitter to come and stay while you’re gone. This may not be economically feasible, but if you have a friend or family member who can come and stay with your pup, that might help.

Give your dog a special toy or treat that he only gets when you’re leaving the house. He will come to equate this special and unique treat with your being gone.

Turn on DOGTV. This is special television programming scientifically developed to be of comfort to your dog when you’re not home. Rather than leaving your dog in a completely silent house, DOGTV will provide companionship that will help calm your dog, keep him company and keep him entertained.

Put them in “clothing” that will help with separation anxiety. Items such as the Thundershirt or Surgi-Snuggly’s Wonder Suit wraps your dog in a comforting embrace and that can help him deal with separation anxiety while you’re away from home. Wearing a Wonder Suit might make it possible for you to come home to a house that remains intact!

Use CLAWGUARD products to protect those areas of your home your dog destroys while you’re away -- doors, window sills, furniture. There will be some dogs who simply will suffer separation anxiety and as a pet parent it’s up to you to keep him safe and secure and still protect your home from damage.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  

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Ways To Keep Your Dog's Breath Fresh

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February is Pet Dental Health Month and if you have a dog you know that sometimes he can get “doggy breath” and that is not a great smell! Dental health is important to your pet’s overall health -- cat and dog.

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a build up of odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, on his teeth, in his lungs or in his stomach.

What can you do to keep your dog’s breath fresh? We have a few ideas you can consider.

Have a dental check-up with your veterinarian. If your dog’s breath is truly bad, you will want to schedule an appointment with your vet to make certain your dog doesn’t have an underlying health issue. Bad breath can also be because of a dental issue like a decaying or abscessed tooth. You will want to check it out as soon as you notice it.

Check his diet. If your dog eats anything and everything he finds lying around that could be the cause of the bad breath. When you see your dog chomping down on something he dug up in the backyard, that could be the reason for his bad breath. Feed your dog and cat a high-quality food that is high in protein and offers a crunchy element as that can help clean his teeth. Also, be aware that the bad breath issue could be because of a digestive problem. Ask your veterinarian if probiotics would help with the bad breath by improving the beneficial growth of bacteria in your dog’s intestinal tract.

Bones and dental treats. Offer your dog a variety of bones and dental treats to help keep his teeth clean. Gnawing on a hard bone will help remove some of the tartar and other build up from his teeth. Dental treats are on the market that are specifically aimed at helping clean your dog’s teeth. Be aware, though that these treats can be calorie laden and you may want to cut back on his food intake if he is getting daily dental treats -- check with your vet.

Brush his teeth. The best way to keep your dog’s breath fresh is by brushing his teeth. When you get a puppy and start brushing his teeth when he’s young, it will become part of your daily routine. If you have an older dog who is not accustomed to having his teeth brushed you will want to start out by giving him a taste of the doggie-specific toothpaste. Work up to rubbing some of the toothpaste onto his teeth with your finger or a finger brush. After he’s comfortable with the finger brushing, move up to a doggie toothbrush and get in the habit of brushing his teeth daily.

What are your best steps in helping keep your dog’s breath kissable? We’d love to know!

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  

Protect your home, invest in a CLAWGUARD. 

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How To Walk Your Cat On A Leash

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This may seem like an odd blog post, but CLAWGUARD sells protective tape products to shield window sills and furniture from cat claw damage AND because we saw a cat walking on a leash we wondered how to walk your cat on a leash was accomplished!

We talked with someone who walks her cat on leashes to find out why and how she made it happen.

First the why you’d walk your cat on a leash

We found out some cats, definitely not all, are curious about the outdoors and may eventually take to a leash. Their curiosity may win out and they will allow you to put them in a harness and on a leash.

Spending time out of doors, in the grass and chasing bugs and simply being a cat is beneficial (again, for the cat who enjoys it) If your cat is scared of the out-of-doors, don’t force it.

You don’t need to actually “walk” the cat on the leash the same way you’d walk a dog. Fido enjoys long walks through the neighborhood, Fluffy probably won’t be interested. The “walking” is optional, it’s more about allowing the cat to safely explore.

How to walk a cat on a leash

  1. Get them accustomed to a harness by letting them see it, play with it, kick it around. Don’t bring a harness home and try to put your cat in it -- he will get stressed and you will probably get scratched. Slow and steady wins the race as cats aren’t typically known for being fond of clothing.
  2. Gently put your cat into the harness while you’re indoors and relaxed. If she’s sleeping on your lap, slowly put the harness on. She will wake up and she just might not be too happy, so plan on taking your time and easing her into it. Be advised it could take days or weeks OR you might have a cat who will never want to wear a harness. Cats are finicky like that!
  3. Once the harness is on, let your cat walk around the house and get accustomed to it. Be prepared for your cat to walk oddly -- all hunched up, for example. Your cat might even take a couple of steps then fall over. He may crouch to the ground and act as if the harness is weighing him down. Again, be patient and give him time to get accustomed to it.
  4. After your cat has worn the harness and is walking around with it and seems comfortable you can now try to snap on a leash and walk him. Chances are your cat will not “heel.” Some cats will, most can’t won’t. Don’t drag your cat or force her to walk. Let her drag the leash around inside the house, attached to the harness, and get accustomed to its weight. The leash is a safety measure for when your cat makes his way outdoors.
  5. Carry your cat outdoors or allow her to walk with you holding onto the leash. Let her explore. Don’t leave her outside alone. Always make certain she is firmly and safely inside the harness. Be aware that street noises, a car driving past, people shouting, a lawn mower, etc. could scare your cat and make her bolt. Never let go of the leash and stay in close proximity.

If your cats want to go outdoors, but won’t tolerate a harness or leash, consider setting up a large dog carrier that is fully enclosed. Remove the bottom tray and let your cats feel the grass and earth beneath their feet and the sun on their bodies. Please note that if your cats get a taste for the outside, they may be more prone to bolting toward the door when you open it -- be careful and ever vigilant.

Cats who are allowed out of doors should be microchipped or wear safety collars with your name and phone number on it.  Cats who never experience the outside can be given a taste of it by providing them with a patch of “cat grass” indoors, giving them a sunny place upon which to sleep and opening the windows to give them a chance to breath in fresh air.

Just as dogs develop destructive behaviors when not given enough exercise or attention, so too can cats. Make certain your cats have mental stimulation and exercise. Give them a toy to chase, a puzzle game to dispense their food and let them be house cats if that is what makes them most comfortable and happy.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.   


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Winter Pet Safety Tips

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Much of the country recently experienced an unprecedented “deep freeze.” Even areas of the country that don’t normally get snow or ice or sub zero temperatures were impacted. Pet parents who live in those areas -- even those accustomed to winter -- were faced with the need to take their pets out of doors, but also needed to know how to keep them safe in the frigid temperatures and snow.

Winter Pet Safety Tips

Here are our best tips in case Mother Nature hasn’t dealt the final hand of an overly-cold winter:

Use a paw protectant. This is important if you put ice melt on your steps or sidewalk; even pet-friendly ice melt can cause discomfort to your pet and his paws.  Some pets will allow you to put boots on them, if they will, use that to protect their paws. When you bring your pet back in, wipe their paws and remove any snow or ice that may have built up between their pads.

Put your pet in a coat. If you have a short-haired dog or one who truly isn’t suited to the cold weather, putting her in a coat will keep her core warm. If it’s raining, a coat will also keep your pet warmer and obviously dryer while outdoors doing her business.

Don’t leave your pet out-of-doors. This is a controversial topic as there are dogs who thrive in the frigid weather. You need to know your dog, the breed and its ability to stay warm and healthy in the frigid, snowy temps. Even if your dog loves to be outside in the wintery days, make certain you check on him frequently and that you have provided shelter from the storm.

Take shorter, more frequent walks. If your pet thrives on exercise but you’re in sub-zero temperatures plan shorter, more frequent walks rather than a long walk all at one time.  If you have to take shorter walks and your pet isn’t getting the exercise he is accustomed to, you may want to cut back on the amount of food he gets during the limited exercise times. Don’t forget, there are many fun ways to exercise with your dog indoors.

Don’t forget the cats! If you have “outdoor cats” or feral cats, provide a space for them to get out of the snow and cold. Before you start your engine, beep your car horn; cats will sometimes crawl up into the engine to keep warm. Make sure there is fresh water available for the outside cats; you may want to invest in a heated bowl to keep the water from freezing.

Stay warm. Stay safe. Enjoy the winter with your pets!

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by pets.  Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like windowsills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  In fun colors too!

CLAWGUARD is easily customizable, whether you get the clear, frosted clear or Grape or Blueberry. We have had one customer tell us they decorated their CLAWGUARD with stickers and designs to match their favorite basketball teams’ colors.

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We love dogs, first and foremost. And we know that each dog has a unique story. Our Blog is a place to share those stories. 

Has your dog experienced separation anxiety? Have you used a Clawguard as a training tool to help you dog stop scratching a door? Used a Clawguard in a clever new way? We'd love to hear about it.

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