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Proper Pet Food Storage

Day 10 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home will be focused on proper pet food storage. Pet food storage may seem like a minor thing to consider. However, as a pet parent, it is vital to make sure that your pet’s food is stored appropriately to ensure quality AND is stored somewhere where they won’t overfeed themselves while you are away.

Why is proper pet food storage necessary?

  • Dog food can lose nutritional value if it is stored inappropriately
  • Moisture can cause your dog food to become moldy. Mold can cause stomach upset, or cause an allergic reaction if your dog is allergic to mold (WholeDogJournal)
  • Proper food storage can keep vermin and bugs out of your pet’s food.

Proper pet food storage is also dependent on the kind of food you feed your dog; dry food or canned food.

Dry Food

  1. Dry food should be stored in a cool and dry place off of the ground. This will prevent vermin, mold, or bugs from contaminating your pet’s food. According to Petcurean, avoid places like basements where temperature changes can create condensation.
  2. Food should also be consumed by the “Best Before Date” which is typically located on the back of the food bag.
  3. The storage container should be a food-grade storage container with an airtight seal. When using a storage container, you can do one of two things. You can leave the food in the bag and store the bag in the container, or you can pour the food directly into the container. However, if you pour the food into the container, you will need to wash the container between bags because the oils from the food can cause the plastic to become rancid.
  4. Always keep your bag! The dates and codes on pet food bags have valuable tracking information that can help you in the event of a recall.
  5. Dry food can be frozen in an airtight bag, but only for a limited time.

Canned Food

  1. Food should also be consumed by the “Best Before Date” which is typically located on the bottom of the food can.
  2. Once canned food is opened, it should be covered with the appropriate seal and placed in the refrigerator.
  3. Do not serve your pet canned food that is more than 3-5 days old. When I worked at the veterinary hospital, we would write the open date on the can to ensure we never served old food.
  4. If wet food is served (either canned or dry food with water), it should be eaten immediately or refrigerated.
  5. Canned food can be frozen, but it needs to be stored in an appropriate freezer container, like an ice cube tray.

What container should I buy?

Well, the criteria for the container is stated above; food-grade, plastic airtight container. The size of the container should be large enough to store your entire bag of food. Therefore, you may need to buy a larger container if you have a larger pet.

Even when you think you buy the right container…

When you are considering your pet food storage, please make sure that the container is stored in a place where your pet cannot help themselves. I have seen a few pets visit the veterinary hospital due to food bloat. I even knew a dog and cat team that worked together to get the food container open! If you don’t believe me, watch this video of a Border Collie helping herself to seconds.

I want to thank Petcurean for providing us with excellent information and resources for proper pet food storage. In addition to their amazing resources, they are also providing one of my lucky readers with 2, 25lb bags of their Go or Now Fresh Dog food!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean Blogger Advocate. I have been compensated in exchange for providing my opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only discusses products I truly believe in. In fact, I feed Petcurean to Rooney every day.

Also, if you are participating in our home challenge, I want to apologize for falling behind on the blog post schedule. I am doing my best and I feel it is more important to provide you with quality posts rather than rush them. Thank you for your patience.

Pet-Inspired Art Can Make Your Home Complete!

On Day 9 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home, we are going to discuss how pet-inspired art can make your home complete!

There are so many different types of pet-inspired art that you can add to your home, each of which celebrate your pet and the special place they have in your life! Today, I want to share with you some inspiration for 3 of my favorite types of pet-inspired art!

Prints

Prints are very popular in home decor these days, and no gallery wall is complete without them. Prints inspired by your pets can include quotes, phrases, or even silhouettes! Below are a few of my favorite examples.


Paintings

Having a custom painting of your pet can be a great way to capture your pet’s unique personality all while integrating them into your decor!

I love these pet portraits that are custom painted by Kim from Yellow Brick Home.

Photography

Photography is amazing. It’s so incredible how a photographer can capture a moment with your family. Recently, my husband and I had an opportunity to have a photoshoot with Rooney. Not only are the pictures amazing, but we had the most amazing day on the beach with Rooney! A day I am sure we will remember forever!

Pet-Inspired Art for your home!

In addition to lovely photography we will add to our walls, Anne also designed this photo book for us that captures our perfect day! This photo book is the perfect addition to our coffee table!

Dog Art to Add to Your Decor

The exciting news is that I have a special offer for my readers in Northern California!

Anne Mary from Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography did such an excellent job capturing Rooney’s spirit and giving us photos that we are going to cherish forever! Anne is so amazing, and she is a huge advocate for animal rescue.

Therefore, Anne is offering readers of MKHP, 25% off their purchase, AND a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers Club Rescue – which is the organization we adopted Rooney from!

The offer includes:

  • A full 2-3 private hours with your Artiste on-location*
  • Session includes up to 4 subjects (Humans,Canine or Equine)
  • We will take a variety of candid and posed pawtraits of your pets. And will have 30+ edited pawtraits per subject for you to choose from post production.
  • You will receive a bonus Print Credit of $100 which may be applied to your favorite Pawtrait from our Event.

*Please Note:  This Special Offer for Fans ENDS on April 27th!

If you are interested in helping Corgi rescue and would like to have your very own photoshoot, visit the event page and RSVP today!

Tell me, what kind of art do you have in your home? Does your pet inspire your decor?

The Right Detergent for Washing Pet Blankets

Day 8 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home is all about the right kind of detergent for your pet’s skin.

Now, you may have noticed that I am a few days behind on this challenge, and I promise to make it up to you. However, the reason I am behind (in addition to generally being busy this week) is that we are having guests today.

In preparation for our guests, we have been cleaning and finishing a few projects around the house, which you will see photos of very shortly. One of the most important steps in preparing for guests is washing the pet blankets.

Be the blanket. I am the blanket. #BlanketCorg #ImCold #ItsStormin

A photo posted by Rachel Sheppard (@mykidhaspaws) on

The blankets that our pets use can start to stink over time due to the oils in their skin and the items they track in from outside. Of course, I recently learned about the new World of Angus blanket that is anti-microbial and, therefore, can prevent the stinky blanket situation from happening in the first place. However, Rooney has a variety of different blankets all of which need to be washed before guests come over this weekend.

But, is there a certain detergent I should be using to wash pet blankets?

The answer is, yes!

When washing your pet’s blankets, it’s important that you use a detergent with no dyes or fragrances. Why? Although these additives can make pet blankets and beds smell better, they can also irritate your pet’s skin. Additionally, certain chemicals within laundry detergents can be toxic to your pet if your pet chews on their blankets.

The best thing you can do is select a pet-safe natural laundry detergent that won’t irritate your pet’s skin or contain harsh chemicals (the harsh chemicals commonly found in laundry detergent are harmful to you too!). There are a variety of different natural laundry detergents out there, but make sure they don’t contain the following:

Chlorine

Fragrance

Petroleum distillates

Nonlphenol ethoxylate or NPE

Diethanolamine

Bleach

…and the list goes on.

The specifics on what chemicals need to be avoided is unclear based on my research. Effectively, any detergent that is chemical based and not made from natural ingredients can irritate their skin and will be toxic if consumed. The best suggestion I can give is to discuss alternatives with your veterinarian.

In our house, we use All Free & Clear, which doesn’t have any fragrances or dyes and is recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians. We have to use this detergent because I am the one with sensitive skin, but it is nice to know that it won’t irritate Rooney’s skin either. Although, when researching the ingredients for this laundry detergent, they weren’t available online (and they aren’t on the bottle either). Since Rooney doesn’t chew on his blankets, I am not too worried. However, I may be making a switch to Seventh Generation, which is highly focused on keeping household cleaners safe. I will be discussing with Rooney’s veterinarian very soon.

No matter what detergent you use, it’s always a good idea to add an additional rinse cycle to the laundry to be sure there aren’t any chemicals left behind.

The Danger of Laundry Detergent Pods

It is highly recommended that pet parents stay away from laundry detergent pods. Due to their high concentration, they can be very toxic to pets who bite down or ingest the detergent. Additionally, if your pet vomits the detergent, there is risk of aspiration due to the foamy nature of the product. (HealthyPets Mercola)

What about dryer sheets?

Same goes for dryer sheets. These items can also contain toxic chemicals for pets, especially cats.

The toxic ingredients are actually referred to as cationics. These chemicals can be harmful to both the digestive system and the skin. The best thing you can do is keep your pets away from these dryer sheets and use other, more natural means, to neutralize pet odors.

Vinegar Can Neutralize Odors Left Behind on Pet Blankets

So I know what you are thinking now. What am I supposed to use to make these pet blankets smell better?

PetMD recommends adding 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to your load of laundry to deodorize blankets. I have never tried this remedy before. If you have any feedback about this method, please leave a comment.

I hope this information helps you make the best choice possible for keeping your house clean and your pets safe!

Choosing Pet-Hair-Friendly Bedding

Welcome to Day 7 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home Challenge! Today, we are all about pet-hair-friendly bedding!

When I first learned that there was such a thing as pet-hair-friendly bedding, I was thrilled!

I don’t know if your dog sleeps in your bed, but Rooney sleeps on our bed during the day, and sometimes at night. Since Rooney sheds a lot, it is really important that our bedding is easy to clean, and can easily have pet hair removed.

Keep in mind, there aren’t materials that completely repel pet hair and keep all hair off your bed at all times (at least not yet!). However, there are materials available that will make your bedding easier to clean.

Choosing the Right Fabric

Tightly Woven Cotton

When the fabric is made with little space in between, there is less room left for pet hair to cling. How do you know how tightly woven your fabric is? Check the thread count. The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric. There are a few different fabrics available under the “tightly woven cotton” category. This home article from SFGate recommends sateen.

500 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Extra Deep Pocket 6 Piece Sheet Set

500 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Extra Deep Pocket 6 Piece Sheet Set

Regular Price:$103.99

See More Sheets

Linen

100% linen fabric resists pet hair, reduces pilling, and is very durable. Also, this fabric will keep you cool during the summer months since it is so breathable. Linen bedding can cost a pretty penny, so if you would like to save yourself some money, Amanda Bell from SFGate recommends opting for a high thread count cotton-linen blend.

Microfiber

Now, I am a very tactile person. I simply cannot help walking past a soft looking blanket without feeling the fabric. For this reason, I love microfiber. According to the same article from SFGate, Microfiber thickness is measured in deniers. A higher denier = thicker bedding, which leaves less room for pet hair.

Extra Features to Consider When Searching For Pet-Friendly Bedding

If your pet doesn’t shed too much, then pet hair might not be the problem you are looking to solve. If that’s the case, I recommend considering the following criteria when selecting bedding.

Stain & Liquid Resistant

While your pet may never intend to drool or lick their paws and get your blankets wet, this might happen anyway. If you believe this is something your pet might do, you could consider investing in water resistant comforters.

Anti-microbial

This may be a blanket feature that you have never considered before. Perhaps your pet likes to sleep in the same spot on your bed all the time. If this is the case, you might notice that that particular section of your bedding may start to stink. In this case, you could use a blanket like this one from World of Angus. Not only is this blanket water-repellent, but it is also anti-microbial, which resists oils and keeps your bed extra clean.

Washing the Bedding

A tip I read while completing the research for this blog post, stated that it would be important to use 2 rinse cycles while washing your bedding to ensure that you have removed as much pet hair as possible.

So tell me, are you thinking of upgrading your bedding to make it easier to clean?

Disclaimer: I am part of the Wayfair Homemakers Program. I am occasionally provided with Wayfair products in exchange for my honest opinion. My Kid Has Paws strives to share only products we believe would benefit our readers.

Helping Rescues & Shelters With the Items in Your Home

Day 5 and 6 of 30 days to the Best Pet Home are all about giving back to rescues and shelters with the items in your home.

You can spend 1 hour, or a few days, going through your household items and provide much-needed donations to your local rescue or shelter.

Step 1: Towels

Rescues and shelters need towels to bathe the pets they have at their facility. Additionally, if your rescue or shelter has an in-house veterinary facility, towels are often used in veterinary hospitals to provide pets with a more secure footing when placed on an exam table.

Step 2: Blankets and Throws

Rescues and shelters use blankets and other throw items as bedding for pets. Having enough blankets and cushions for all the animals in the shelter is very important. It definitely adds a feeling of comfort for a pet as they wait patiently for their forever home. Not to mention, blankets provide warmer shelter for rescues and shelters with outdoor facilities.

Step 3: Pet Beds, Crates & Blankets

Is it time to upgrade to a new pet bed? Do you have an extra crate lying around the house? All gently used crates, pet beds, and blankets can come in handy for rescues and shelters. Not only can they help the animals while they are in the shelter, but it’s also an excellent selling point for volunteers to say that a pet comes with a crate, bed, and blanket, for example. Covering the initial price of many of these items can help with the initial adoption fees and encourage more people to adopt a pet.

Step 4: Extra Leashes & Collars

Do you have extra leashes and collars for your pet? Is it time to downsize to only 3 fashion leashes instead of 7? (I hope I am not alone) If so, rescues and shelters can use these items. It may sound silly, but cute leashes and collars can be used for photo shoots for adoptable pets, and can make them look cute and gentle and, therefore, more adoptable. Not to mention, these items can also provide value for the pet as they are adopted.

Step 5: Donate Extra Bowls, Treats, and Food

If you have recently purchased a new food bowl for your pet, or you received an extra bag of treats from an event, these items can also benefit pets at the shelter.

While many of these items may seem obvious, I have known many people who did not know that you can donate gently used items to rescues and shelters. Just keep in mind that their funds are limited so help in all forms is welcomed.

Appropriate Condition for Donation

  • Many locations prefer that all items are gently used or new.
  • It is wonderful when the items are dropped off freshly laundered or washed.
  • With blankets and towels, I like to cut off any extra strings that are along the edges.

If you are ever unsure of what your local rescue or shelter might want or need, always feel free to call ahead and ask.

Have you previously donated these items to your local rescue or shelter?


 

Also, to help raise awareness about homeless animals in shelters and rescues, and to support one of my local rescues, Valley Humane Society, I am participating in the Voiceless Challenge. I challenge all of my blog readers to go to voicelesschallenge.org and learn more about how you can speak up for homeless animals.

#VoicelessChallenge from Rachel Sheppard on Vimeo.

Helping Local Rescues & Shelters

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