Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, and dogs and their humans are about to start enjoying their time outside. One thing can put the damper on the fun – fleas. The pesky little vermin can drive a person (or doggy) crazy. The good news is this spring there are ways to control fleas naturally, without the use of toxic chemicals you wouldn’t want in your home or on your beloved companion. To avoid flea issues this spring, you must address the problem with a 360 approach- outside, inside and on your pet. With a little preparation, you can be ready for a flea-free home.
Prepare Your Yard Naturally For a Flea Free Spring
Fleas love to live in the grass, under trimmings, and in moist areas. Once spring hits it is smart to do a spring cleaning and get rid of these areas in your yard. The first thing to do to prevent a flea infestation in the yard is to simply mow. While you are at it trim the bushes and hedges and remove dead leaves and twigs leftover from winter. Cleaning up the outside and exposing the ground to the sun can help get rid of moist areas fleas are likely to infest in springtime.
The yard is cleaned up, so now it’s an excellent time to plant some new greenery! Natural oils and the scents found in certain plants are a great way to repel fleas. One hardy plant known for bug-repellent properties can be planted in the ground or a pot…rosemary. The scent and oil are known for naturally repelling insects. Lemongrass, sage, and peppermint do too. They all have oils and fragrances that repel many spring bugs including fleas and mosquitoes. You can find these plants in most large garden stores. Not only do they repel insects, but you can also use them for cooking. Win-win!
Now that the yard is in tip-top shape, it’s time to be proactive to prevent fleas, their eggs, and larvae from moving in. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard Spray is a natural product that you use in the yard for flea prevention. Connect to a garden hose and spray the entire yard, shrubs, and plants, up to 5000 square feet. The spray is made with certified natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients, such as peppermint oil and eugenol (from the clove plant). So, it’s not harmful to Fido or any of your trees, shrubs, or flowers found in your yard.
How to Naturally Prevent Fleas From Invading Your House This Spring
Now that you treated the yard it is time to address the inside. Fleas can be an all year long pest but begin to thrive in spring. To prevent a spring flea party, it’s a good idea to give your house a flea once over. Machine wash anything your dog likes to hang out on in hot water and dry on high heat on. Next up, you want thoroughly vacuum the entire space. Be sure to clean in the dark crevices against wall and cracks where fleas like to hang out. Pull up the couch pillows and vacuum well under there too. If you have a steam vac, now is a good time to get it out of the storage closet. Once you are done vacuuming, be sure to clean out the canister thoroughly and put the debris in the outside trash.
If you do find that those pesky fleas are having a spring party, use a natural household flea spray to ensure a flea-free start to the season. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Dog Home Spray is made with certified natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients…only non-toxic chemicals. Spray on carpets, bedding, and furniture with no staining. It works and smells great and is even safe on your pet! Hopefully, this preventative measure will assure a flea free spring. If your pet does bring in some fleas, repeat the process.
How to Naturally Prevent Fleas From Infesting Your Pet This Spring
The last step in the 360 approach to help prevent fleas naturally is to make sure they are not on your actual pet. Once spring hits it’s a good time for a good old fashioned preventative flea bath- except with only non- toxic products. Bathe your pooch in warmish water; hot water is too much for them. Start with an all-natural non-toxic shampoo like Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Advanced Strength Shampoo. Dampen your dog and shampoo thoroughly starting with the neck and working down the body to the tail. You want to avoid the head and eyes so as not to get any soap your pet’s eyes. Leave the shampoo on a few minutes to activate, then wash the shampoo off the body from the neck down thoroughly. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the head and face. Towel dry your dog thoroughly.
For the final step of your pet’s grooming ritual, use a Vet’s Best Flea comb to comb out any dead skin and debris. The comb can also be used gently around the head for the area you didn’t shampoo. The comb is a great preventative measure to help you check your pup all spring to make sure she doesn’t have fleas. It also is a great way to bond with your pooch!
The 360-natural approach to preventing a spring flea infestation is a safe alternative to using toxic chemicals on your pet and in your house. Doing these treatments preventively, and then during heavy flea months, should keep pesky fleas at bay so you and your pup can enjoy the warmer months together – flea free.
Who doesn’t enjoy the holiday season? Food, festivities, and gifts – what’s not to love? But while most of us find the holidays an exciting time of the year, for our senior pets it’s often the opposite. As our pets slow down in their golden years, they start disliking changes to their routine and environment, such as noisy strangers in their home. Especially if they don’t see or hear so well anymore. And they want to spend more time with their human parents, which can be challenging during the holidays. To help you make it a happy time of the year for your senior pet, our vet Dr. Wiles offers the following tips:
Avoid Feeding Holiday Foods & Snacks
Aging pets often have poor digestion and they get fussier about what they eat as their teeth wear out. Yes, there are some human holiday foods and snacks that it’s safe to feed pets. But it’s best to stick with feeding your senior pet their regular diet so they continue to get the right nutrition and to avoid them potentially choking or suffering from stomach upsets.
If you want to feed them a treat and their teeth are still healthy, give them a chew. Buffalo Range has a variety of all natural, grain-free buffalo rawhide chews for dogs that are gentle on the stomach and fully digestible. If your elderly furry friend has hip and joint problems, consider giving them daily Hip & Joint Soft Chews for dogs from Vet’s Best, which taste as good as a treat.
Keep Them Away from Decorations & Gift Wrap
Everything from holiday tinsel to candles, tree ornaments, plants, and ribbons can be dangerous for our pets this time of year. And not just younger, playful pets, we’re talking older, less rambunctious ones too. Play it safe and keep all holiday decorations and gift wrap out of the reach of kitties and pooches of all ages.
Create a Quiet, Calm Pet Retreat
As our pets age, they spend more time sleeping in warm, cozy spots. At the same time, they get anxious and stressed more easily, especially when a lot of “new” people invade their space. So it’s a good idea to create a quiet, calm pet hideaway for them to retreat to during the holiday season. Your pet’s hideaway should include their beds, food and water, and toys. If you have a kitty, you’ll need to put a cat litter pan in the room as well. If you have a pooch who has “accidents,” place a dog pad on the floor.
Before your schedule gets overloaded, you’ll want to stock up on pet supplies to last you until January. And it’s easy to do! You can find all your favorite pet care products at www.heropetbrands.com. Also, call your vet for prescription refills or medical supplies you may need.
Keep Track of Any Health and Behavioral Changes
The holidays are such a busy time of the year that it’s easy to miss signs that your elderly pet is not feeling so good. Dr. Wiles suggests keeping a list of warning signs to look out for and checking it once a week. Book a visit to your vet if your senior pet is eating less/losing weight; drinking more than normal and/or peeing inappropriately; is having trouble pooping; has stiff joints, or a limp; seems lethargic and gets tired easily; has bad breath or is drooling, or their eyes appear cloudy. Also, if you find any lumps or bumps on his or her body.
And finally, take regular time out from the craziness of the holidays to give your senior pet lots of love and attention. That’s the best gift you can give your furry old friend this holiday season.
Oh, the holiday season… What a joyful time of year! There’s nothing better than celebrating your loved ones by giving the perfect gifts. But don’t forget one of the most important members of the family… Your pet! Your furry friend deserves just as much love and attention during the holidays as anyone else – maybe even more!
Fortunately, finding the perfect gift your your pup or kitty is easy with our Online Holiday Pet Shopping Guide! Read on for our favorite places on the internet to find the best gifts for your pet.
Amazon – Order anything and everything in one place! For great pet gifts, just search any of our brands – Vet’s Best, Simple Solution, Bags on Board, Natural Care, Buffalo Range, and Out! Pet Care.
Chewy – For everything pet-related, Chewy is your best bet! If your pet loves your gift, you can set it up to autoship so they’ll never go without.
Petsmart – Petsmart has online holiday deals and shopping guides galore to make finding the perfect gift for your pet easy.
Petco – Shop by category and use holiday discounts to find the perfect gift online with Petco! You can also bring your pet to a store for a holiday grooming session.
Have another favorite place to shop online for your pet’s perfect holiday gift? Let us know in the comments!
It’s that time of year when the last thing pet parents want to consider is fleas. Gifts, foods, parties – these are all things to think about right now. Bloodthirsty fleas? They’re a hot-weather topic. Or they were. Now they’re a four-season problem, with fleas as active in winter as in summer. So what do you need to do to protect your pets and home during the colder months? It’s easy:
Continue Using Flea Treatments on Your Pets
You already use flea protection on your pets during the hot months. Don’t stop using them once summer is over! You need to protect your furry friends from fleas (and ticks) all twelve months of the year.
A word of caution though about some flea and tick treatments. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued an alert about alert flea and tick products containing drugs that are in the “isoxazoline class.” The FDA advises pet parents and veterinarians to be aware of the potential for “neurologic adverse events” in dogs and cats when they’re treated with products containing these drugs. The brands you may be familiar with that fall into this class include Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard, and Simparica. You can read the FDA alert here.
To avoid these potential health issues, consider using flea and tick products made with natural, plant-based ingredients. One brand to check out is Vet’s Best and its line of natural flea and tick treatments. All Vet’s Best pest control products are made from a blend of certified natural essential oils. These powerful plant extracts are hard on pests (they kill fleas, flea eggs and ticks on contact) but gentle on pets. And most important? They’re free from DEET, synthetic pesticides, toxic pyrethrins and permethrins, harsh chemicals, and drugs.
Continue Treating Your Home as Well as Your Pets
Fleas die outside when the thermometer hits freezing. But if they’ve snuck inside your warm home, they’re in the perfect environment to survive and breed all year long. Yes, it’s almost enough to make us pet parents turn off our central heating! But there’s no need for such drastic action.
Instead, continue to clean and vacuum furniture, carpets, and floors to destroy fleas at each stage of their lifecycle. (Four, in case you’re wondering.) Make sure to throw away your vacuum’s dust bag in the outside garbage bin when you’re finished so no fleas can escape back into your home. You can also spray dust bags with a home pest control spray, such as Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Home Spray, to finish the job. And wash all bedding, pet beds, furniture covers, and soft rugs regularly at 60 degrees or higher.
By sticking to your flea prevention program year-round, you won’t have any unwelcome “home guests” to spoil your holiday festivities.
You’ve thought about it for a long time. You’ve done your research. You’ve prepared for a new addition. Finally, it’s time to bring your second dog or cat home. An exciting time in any pet owner’s life, bringing home a second pet can also be stressful. How will your first pet react? Will your second pet adjust quickly or take some time? While each situation is different, here are a few tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
If possible, dedicate a room to your new pet and your new pet only. This way, your new dog or cat will be able to acclimate to the scent and feel of your home in peace, and your first pet won’t feel like their territory is being completely invaded. A helpful trick is to put treats on either side of the door and let both pets sniff at each other under the door as they nibble away. That way they’ll associate something positive with each other’s scents.
When you feel like both of your pets are ready, it’s time to slowly open the door and introduce them. They’ll likely sniff each other and size each other up, and your new pet will start to explore the rest of the house. It is important for you to constantly supervise their interactions, but don’t jump in and interrupt unless they start to get aggressive. If you feel like things are taking a negative turn, return your new pet to his or her room and try again the next day.
Give It Time
Remember, animals are territorial and protective of their families. It may take some time for your first pet to adapt and get along with your new pet, and vice versa. Make sure to never leave them alone together until you are absolutely confident they will get along. Show them both equal amounts of love and discipline, and if you feel like their interactions are getting worse and not better, consult an expert. But with enough space, supervision, and time, most new pets will quickly become part of the family.
Comment with your own tips for bringing home a second pet!
If your dog loves getting his paws on your leftover “people food,” he’s going to be very excited when one of the biggest meals of the year rolls around… Thanksgiving! But just like any meal, it’s important to know what foods are bad for your pets and what foods they can enjoy safely.
You should never feed your pets chocolate, artificial sweeteners with xylitol or ingredients with alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) among other potentially dangerous foods. But here’s a list of foods you CAN feed your dog or cat so that they can join in on the Thanksgiving festivities.
Turkey – Just make sure to give your pet white meat with no skin, fat or bones.
Mashed Potatoes – As long as they are plain and don’t have any added ingredients.
Cranberry Sauce – Just be sure to feed limited amounts to control sugar intake.
Green Beans – Plain, fresh vegetables are always a good idea.
Sweet Potatoes – Just be careful they aren’t covered in sugar or artificial sweetener.
Carrots – Another yummy vegetable option!
Pumpkin – As long as it’s fresh and just plain pumpkin – no pumpkin pie allowed.
A good rule of thumb for sharing Thanksgiving scraps is to choose plain old fresh veggies or meat. Your pet will appreciate the treat, and you won’t have to stress about any post-Thanksgiving accidents or trips to the vet. And if you aren’t sure if a food is healthy for your pet, always do your research before giving in to those puppy dog eyes.
Let us know what your pet’s favorite people food is in the comments!
Doggie diapers or pads? You know you need one or the other to help keep your pooch and home dry and mess-free. But which one? Doggie diapers or wraps (the male version of diapers) that your pup wears? Or dog pads that you put on the floor so your pup can go potty on them? To help you figure out which is best for you, we’ve pulled together a handy checklist. Just match up your dog’s issue with our recommendations.
House training aid
Use diapers or wraps if your puppy runs around the house between outside potty breaks. Go for dog pads if you’re crate training your puppy (put the pad on the crate floor).
Senior dogs with urinary incontinence
We love our older dogs but they can have problems with leakage. Diapers will absorb the urine and protect your senior dog’s abdomen and legs from getting wet. Which you don’t want to happen because urine can “scald” your pooch if it stays in contact with their skin too long.
Your dog may need to wear diapers if he’s recovering from an illness, injury or operation. In these scenarios, he may not be able to move – or move fast enough – to make it outside to go potty.
Is your dog going be in a situation where she’ll get over-stimulated? This can happen if you’re having guests visiting, for example, and lead to “excitable urination.” So play it safe and put him in a diaper if you want your guests to be able to make a fuss of your furry friend. Or put her in a quiet room with a dog pad on the floor, away from all the noise and excitement.
Some dogs (generally males) like to leave territorial scent marks around the house. Protect your home by having them wear a male wrap.
Females in heat
When your lady dog is in heat, which usually happens a couple of times a year if she’s not spayed, use a diaper. This will protect your carpet, floor, sofa, bed, and your pet’s bed from any traces of blood. Bonus: it will also stop your pooch from constantly licking herself.
If your pup is traveling in a crate, place a pad on the crate floor. If she’s strapped into a doggie car seat, a diaper works best. And if you’re staying in a hotel, you can keep her in the crate with a pad or put a dog pad on the bathroom floor. Or have her wear a diaper while she’s in the room.
Dogs can get stressed and anxious when their environment changes. This can occur during house moves, for instance, or fireworks nights. The result? Inappropriate elimination. Depending on the situation, either use a diaper or put your pet in a closed room with a dog pad on the floor.
If you’re ready to buy diapers, try Simple Solution’s new Disposable Female Dog Diapers or Male Wraps with True Fit. These adjustable fit diapers are true-to-size. This means they are comfortable for dogs to wear and move around in. And they come in a wide variety of sizes, including XS and XXL – perfect if you have a toy pup or extra large doggie! Just as important: they’re really absorbent and leak-proof, so they’ll keep your pooch AND home dry.
If you need dog pads, try OUT! Ultimate Dog Pads with Pro-Grip. They’re designed for dogs who are lovable mess-makers! The Pro-Grip technology makes sure the pads stay put – and don’t slip or bunch up – once they’re placed on the floor or other surface.
October 28th is Pit Bull Awareness Day, and we think that’s definitely cause to celebrate!
Pit bulls and pit mixes are one of the most misunderstood breed families, often painted by the media as being aggressive and quick-tempered. But according to Pet WebMD, the ASPCA states that “a well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent, and gentle dogs imaginable.”
Unfortunately, pit bulls often land in the hands of bad owners who train them to fight and perpetuate their aggressive reputation. As Jim Gorant, author of The Lost Dogs, says, “Every dog is an individual. Pit bulls are just dogs and if they are not raised properly and socialized and treated right, they can have behavior problems. But they aren’t any more problematic than any other breed by nature.”
This is where caring, level-headed dog lovers – like our Hero Pet Brands community! – come in. If you are thinking about adopting or fostering a dog, we encourage you to consider a pit bull or pit mix. You’ll be giving a dog a second chance, a loving home, and helping to change the stigma around a sadly misunderstood family of furry friends.
The clock doesn’t have to strike midnight to turn your dog into a pumpkin this Halloween! Just follow these simple steps to create a pup-tastic masterpiece in no time.
Small knife or X-Acto blade
Candle (preferably flameless)
Make a Doggie Jack-O-Lantern
Grab your pumpkin and cut off the crown with a sharp serrated knife. Make sure your pup keeps his distance while you use those sharp tools!
Use a large spoon (or your hands!) to scoop out the pumpkin seeds and fibers.
Now it’s time to pup-ify your pumpkin. You can either:
Draw directly on the pumpkin. If you’re comfortable with going freehand, go ahead and draw a picture of your dog right on the outside of your pumpkin. Use a Sharpie or other felt pen to make sure you can see the lines.
Use a stencil. If you want to take your time and allow for do-overs, it’s a good idea to sketch a stencil of your dog that you can then tape to the outside of your pumpkin.
Once your design is either drawn or taped onto your pumpkin, grab your small knife or X-Acto blade and get carving! Carefully carve along the lines you’ve laid out in your design.
When you’ve finished, you should be left with an adorable – and a little spooky – tribute to your pup! The finishing touch is to light up your design from the inside. We recommend using a flameless candle to keep your pup from accidentally scorching himself.
Don’t forget to take a few photos of your pup and his matching pumpkin. Share them on social media and tag us using #HeroPetBrands – we can’t wait to see your creations!