Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Zen Litter Box

Some Things To Keep In Mind:
~ Cats have a better sense
of smell than we do.
~ Cats are finicky about cleanliness.
A clean litter box is one that will be used.
Multiple Cats:
~ Need multiple litter boxes. Have one more box than you have cats. (2 cats = 3 boxes, etc.)
~ Keep the litter boxes in different areas of the house.
~ Scoop more than twice a day for multiple cat boxes. Use gallon baggies, seal, and then throw out at the end of the day.
The Box:
~ Ever use a “Porta Potty”? That’s what a
traditional litter box smells like. Yuk! Lids off!!
~ Try plastic storage boxes with flat bottoms and high sides. They are sized better for a cat.
~ Empty the box totally at least once a month and clean with a gentle non ammonia cleaner.
Whatever your cat likes is the best of course. Try something other than clay though. Better for your cat’s lungs and better for the environment.

Tracy B Ann – Radio Host “The Politics of Dogs”

Solving The Chewing Problem

Dogs chew. That’s non negotiable.
You get to pick what your dog chews. Ask yourself, “Have I met my dog’s basic needs today?”
~ Did my dog get enough exercise?
~ Is my dog’s food loaded with sugar?
(Beet pulp, sorghum, corn syrup, grains? All code for sugar). High in protein & sugar = “rocket fuel”. Might be good for sled dogs, but for yours? Not so much.
~ Do I have enough toys? Six minimum - a wide variety. Squeaky, rope, stuffed, bones (as in a piece of cows leg sterilized, packaged for sale at pet stores) and balls.
To Interrupt Chewing:
~ On Your Furniture or Belongings - say “Oops” and redirect to a toy. Keep your house puppy proofed, everything up and out of reach.
~ On You - YELP (go for an Academy Award) and freeze. When your pup let’s go, redirect to a toy. Playing with other dogs is great for learning “bite inhibition” and it does transfers to humans.

Tracy B Ann – Radio Host- The Politics of Dogs

Help Save My Hammock Please!

Tracy, About 3 months ago, we bought a rope hammock and set it up in the yard. Our 1 year old lab mix was not interested in it at all, but a week ago, she started chewing it up. I thought she might not be happy with her toys, so I went out and bought some new toys. She didn't chew it again, for a week, but then I got home today and the hammock is in the worst shape yet, she really went to town. I don't want to have to keep putting the hammock away, and I don't want my pup chewing it. Any suggestions? Cheers,Iain

What happens on those days when she chews Iain? Is it trash day? Does a meter reader come? Is it windy so the hammock moves? If so, those would be good days to keep her in the house.
A year old lab mix is a pup still. Generally dogs mature according to size. Labs are large dogs so I would expect them to chew everything in sight until about 2 ½ years old. Keeping her inside crated when you can’t watch her until she matures is an option.
You could booby trap the hammock. Set a few mousetraps on the hammock (upside down so she won’t get hurt) so that when it rocks from her chewing, the mousetraps will go off, startling her. Be sure to set them up when she is not watching. You can use anything that will make a racket, won’t do her any harm and will lead her to believe that the hammock is possessed and best left alone.
Let me know how it goes! (Oh and be sure at least one of those toys you got her is a rope toy!)
Tracy B Ann