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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pest Control

     There are multiple forms of pest control for your pooch, such as topical medication, pills, chews, flea collars, and even some natural remedies. Different methods work better for different dogs, so your first choice may not be the most effective or the healthiest for your pooch.
     Topical medications can get into your pet's digestive system if they are prone to cleaning themselves often, as many Shiba Inus are. This can cause a range of effects from mild digestive upset to severe poisoning  requiring a vet visit. If your pet is a diligent cleaner, be sure to avoid these if at all possible.
     Flea and tick control pills are an excellent alternative for pets who are prone to grooming themselves or just for owners who aren't comfortable with topical medication. Usually given once or twice a month per month, these pills come with a list of side effects that would surprise even the most experienced pet owners. Most of these side effects are fairly uncommon, but they still do happen occasionally, so they must be taken into consideration.
     This is our preferred method with Marou, as we can hide the pill in a piece of cheese or a scoop of yogurt, and he never realizes it's there. He does get some lethargy, and it occasionally makes him sick, but it is the best of all the flea prevention methods available in our area.
     Chews typically share most of their characteristics with pills, but they are typically flavored favorably to entice your pup to eat  them instead of needing to be hidden in food or treats.
     Flea collars are a time-proven method of flea control, but compared to the methods of today, they are fairly spotty and unreliable. They do work quite well at repelling fleas on smaller dogs, but on bigger dogs, other methods may be far more effective and reliable.

     Natural remedies will fit in better with some of today's "greener" households and environmentally conscious families. Some of these methods are proven to work, while some of them are simply rumors with no proven effectiveness. Certain plant leaves and scents are said to repel fleas and ticks, and some people will swear by these methods. I have never tried any of these methods, simply out of contentment with our chosen method's effectiveness and convenience (I must mention the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.")

     It may take you some experimentation to find your preferred method of flea control, or you may get lucky, as Josie and I did with choosing a method for Marou. Either way, this is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Coconut oil is known to be an excellent supplement to improve a pup’s skin and coat, and many dogs go crazy over the taste. Not to mention, it can also freshen up the room if you don’t care for the smell of dog food. Just a teaspoon per day is enough for smaller breeds, while larger breeds may require up to 2 or more. Many dogs will eat it by itself, but it is best when mixed in food or water to allow for easier absorption into the body. As an added bonus, coconut oil can be used by people as a nutritional supplement for skin and hair health, lowering cholesterol, relieving stress, regulating blood sugar, promoting weight loss, and relieving kidney problems in some people.
                If coconut oil isn’t readily available in your area, or if you would simply prefer not to have to mix the oil into your pup’s food, coconut chips or pure shaved coconut are great alternatives. Shaved coconut can be given as a treat by itself or sprinkled over food to give an extra layer of flavor for your pooch. Be very careful to get only pure coconut, not the shredded/shaved coconut used in baking, because pure coconut doesn’t contain any of the extra sugar or other additives that make the baking-style coconut taste so delicious to people. Those extra additives and sugar can cause a lot of harm to, or even kill, your pooch.
                Used properly, coconut oil can be an excellent addition to both yours and your pet’s diets (especially if you don't care to use fish oil or someone in the house has an allergy to it.). As with any supplement, it is just that, a supplement. It is not a replacement for any other part of yours or your pet’s diet.