Author Archives: Chryssa Rich

Five Ways to Battle Muddy Footprints

A dog with dog insurance runs through mud.When I bought my house a few years ago, before I worked for a pet insurance company, I spent a good deal of time choosing the perfect shade of laminate flooring for my kitchen and dining room.

It had to be dark to complement the cupboards, but not too red. And it couldn’t be too light, because then it would compete with the countertops. I settled on a lovely shade with a fancy name… and then I adopted a dog.

Ever since then, especially in the spring, my floors have been more of a Mud Bog Brown or a Dusty Gray. I’ve been at a loss when it comes to keeping them shiny and clean. Obviously, I want a happy dog, and leaving her inside all day isn’t the best option for good dog health.

Thankfully, our Facebook friends have some great tips. Here are five ways you can keep muddy dog footprints at bay:

1. Use lots of rugs
Rafaela of Colorado recommends laying down rugs anywhere muddy paws might land. We like this idea, especially if those rugs are machine-washable.

2. Hang on to the winter booties
In Missouri, Dallas lets her dogs continue to wear their winter booties into spring. As long as you can get those booties off between the muddy outdoors and your floors, there’s no floor or dog clean-up needed at all.

3. Baby your dogs
Lorali of Maryland recommends using unscented baby wipes to clean off muddy paws after every outing. Keep a tub of them by the door and your pups will not only have clean feet, but conditioned pads that are protected against cracking. Cracked paw pads can be a real dog health concern – left untreated, they may become infected and require veterinary care.

4. Double up
In Texas, Frankie has a welcome mat outside, an extra piece of carpet inside, and a carpet shampooer nearby just in case.

5. Look the other way
Jill from Idaho recommends ignoring the dirt till summer unless guests are expected, and jokes, “Then we’ll decide if they’re worthy of the time it takes us to clean up.” She does make a good point, though. How many hours a day can we be expected to mop our floors? Kristen seconds that, saying, “Mostly I just close my eyes.”

Whether you choose to clean daily or look the other way, you can feel good knowing your dog will be happier and healthier when allowed to run and play, even in the mud. Before you know it, we’ll all be chilling in front of air conditioners and wishing for cooler weather!

Dog Health Questions, Answered

Hi, I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’m at home answering questions today from Pets Best Facebook page.

The first question comes from Tina and she asks, “Will neutering my male dog help with his marking issues? In the last six months he’s begun lifting his leg on various outdoor items and he never used to do this. Could it be jealousy over our toddler getting more attention or territorial? Will neutering help, and if not, what do you suggest I try?”

This is a tricky one. Absolutely, neutering may help because marking territories is often a testosterone-driven behavior. I think it would be important for you to be prepared for this to not go away completely. Behavioral modification might be helpful for you; maybe disciplining him when he marks things that he’s not supposed to or making it less desirable for him to approach those objects and mark on them.

Know that this is a frustrating behavior and consulting with a behaviorist might be helpful as well. In addition to potentially helping with his marking issue, neutering is going to be helpful in general for him, not only to prevent unwanted puppies but it will decrease his risk of certain types of testicular cancer.

The next question comes from Amy and she asks, “I have a 9-year-old Great Dane and he needs a dental cleaning. I’m wondering if it’s safe for a Dane his age to go under anesthesia.” This is a terrific question and I think it’s a really common concern for people with older pets. Great Danes have a shorter life span, so 9 is pretty old for a Great Dane. Obviously you’d want to have an exam by your veterinarian, but if he has no underlying heart issues and his blood work screens for any underlying disease, anesthesia should be just as safe for him as for a younger Great Dane.

Oftentimes the amount of disease in the mouth is more harmful to the pet than the risks of anesthesia. If you have an exam with your veterinarian and you find underlying problems, such as maybe a heart murmur, or blood work shows that there’s some elevations in certain of the enzymes associated with organ dysfunction, you probably want to talk with your veterinarian in depth about whether the risks of undergoing anesthesia are worth cleaning up the amount of disease that’s in the mouth. It’s not always straightforward but your veterinarian should help you make that decision.

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