Dogs, cats, and other pets can be a wonderful “addition to the family”, but there is no denying that they can also make their owners face special challenges. Even though you wouldn’t trade your lovable furry friend for any other, it doesn’t mean that taking proper care of him/her isn’t an unnerving experience.
Here are three of the top challenges pet owners face and some helpful advice on how to deal with them:
1. My Pet Sheds All Over the House
If you own a non-shedding dog breed like an Afghan hound or an American hairless terrier, you won’t have any trouble with couches and carpets covered with pet hair. But if your dog is a Japanese Akita or another heavy-shedding canine, you have been blessed with an overabundance of hair.
Besides the overall mess, pet hair all over your house can spread allergy-aggravating dander, afflict you with fleas, ticks and chiggers, as well as put young children in constant danger of being tempted to swallow loose hair balls.
Solutions to dog (or cat) hair problems include:
- Groom your pet regularly, meticulously even, with a fine toothed pet comb. This will remove loose hairs, discover fleas, and make your pet feel loved all at the same time.
- Sweep and vacuum daily. For this task, you will need some specialized tools. When it comes to the best vacuum for pet hair, fastdogs.org has a great review article that will help you make a wise informed decision on finding one.
- Cover furniture with easy-wash slip-covers and place rugs at entry points and other key points throughout the house, to collect much of the hair in areas that are easy to clean.
2. My Dog Has Very Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath, medically dubbed “halitosis”, is a frequent problem encountered by dog owners. If your dog’s breath changes suddenly for the worse and does not reverse after a few days or if the odor is very intense, it may be time for a trip to the vet.
But in most cases, a dog’s bad breath is caused by things like poor diet or deteriorated oral health which can be dealt with at home. Here are some ways you can counteract your pooch’s bad breath problem:
- Feed your dog only healthy and easily digestible food.
- Be sure your dog has a good bone or other chew toy that will naturally scrape off the plaque of his/her teeth.
- Buy specially formulated doggie treats designed to improve your dog’s breath.
- Invest in toothpaste and/or mouth spray made for pets. Human toothpaste should not be used since it can give your dog indigestion.
Note that, although we are focusing on dogs here, cats can suffer from halitosis too, and the remedies would be essentially the same.
3. My Dog Keeps Running Away
If your dog immediately tries to escape from your yard as soon as you let him/her out of the house or keeps on trying to dig an escape tunnel under the fence, you may be tempted to think you’re “a bad master” or that something is “wrong with” your dog.
In reality, there are reasons why dogs repeatedly try to fly the coop, and there ways to reduce the chances they will continue to do so. Taking into consideration that a runaway dog might get hit by a car, thrown in the pound, bite a stranger, or simply never return, preventing your dog from running away is no small matter.
Here are some helpful tips:
- If you just moved, walk your dog around the yard/house to get him/her familiar with the new surroundings. If your dog has less room to roam now than previously, it will take patient training to accustom him/her to the new space constraints.
- Spend more time walking, grooming, and otherwise interacting with your dog. The dog may be lonely. Another solution would be to get a second dog as a companion.
- An unneutered male dog will often run away on “romantic excursions”. You can put up a better barrier (higher fence), get the dog neutered or acquire a female dog of your own.