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Rearrange Your Furniture to Suit Your Pet’s Needs

On Day 12 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home, we will discuss rearranging our furniture to suit our pet’s needs. In our home, Rooney’s comfort and needs definitely supersede our own, and we know we are not alone. As much as we love a Rooney approved solution, we also want furniture that fits our needs and blends in well with our decor.

Since Rooney is a Corgi and falls under the “low-rider” category, I’ll discuss the needs of a low-rider dog. A low-rider dog is one that is long and has short legs. Think Dachshund, Corgi, Sussex Spaniel, or Basset Hound. These breeds of dog need their backs protected and their furniture easily accessible. Our couch is nice and low, so our big concern is our bed.

In our home, Rooney's comfort and needs definitely supersede our own, and we know we are not alone. As much as we love a Rooney approved solution, we also want furniture that fits our needs and blends in well with our decor.

Ottomans & Bench Seats

I recently found this great bench seat and my husband had the brilliant idea to put it at the end of our bed so that Rooney can easily jump on and off our bed without risking injury to his back.

See, sometimes our low-riders just need a little extra help, and ottomans and bench seats are a perfect solution to keeping continuity and functionality in your decor while also providing your pet with the exact support they need.

Pet Stairs

In addition to the ottomans and bench seats, there are a few more decor-friendly solutions. Most importantly there are pet stairs like these from Wayfair.

Pet stairs are a great item to train your dog to use early so that they never learn to jump on and off of furniture. We are still working on Rooney’s affinity (or lack there of) for pet stairs.

PupStep Wood 4 Step Pet Stair

PupStep Wood 4 Step Pet Stair

Regular Price:$107.69

See More Dog Ramps & Stairs

Cats

Don’t think I forgot about the cats. Cats also need dedicated space within our homes, unless you want to pay the price and get woken up in the middle of the night by a chorus of meows because there was nowhere perfect for lying down.

While I am sure there are plenty of places in your home to put a cat bed, there are a lot of new styles of cat beds that can provide your cat with the coziest place, and fit in well with your decor.

Does your furniture suit your pet’s needs? Do any of your furniture pieces double as a pet bench or bed?

In our home, Rooney's comfort and needs definitely supersede our own, and we know we are not alone. As much as we love a Rooney approved solution, we also want furniture that fits our needs and blends in well with our decor.

REGARDING THE CHALLENGE: I must ask for forgiveness from my readers. I promises you 30 posts in April, and I bit off more than I could chew. We only got through 11 :(. As disappointed as I am in my lack of posting, I promise to make it up to you. So the April Challenge will continue! Don’t worry, May’s Safety Preparedness Challenge will not be overlooked. Stick with me and I promise to get you all of the blog posts you deserve!

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.

Cleanliness is Next to Dogliness: Keeping Your Pet’s Bowl Clean

Day 11 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home is focused on cleaning your pet’s bowls & the easiest pet bowls to keep clean.

If you are anything like me, you are a really busy pet parent. You try to keep the house as clean as you can, but sometimes it’s really hard to keep up with all of your chores. Additionally, I will always choose to take Rooney for a walk over doing my laundry, which means that I am often behind on my daily chores. Therefore, when the weekend rolls around, and we are busy cleaning up our kitchens and backyards, we might forget that it’s also time to clean the pet bowls. But that has to change.

Last week, we shared some important information about proper pet food storage. In many of the articles that discussed pet food storage, authors also mentioned that regular cleaning of your pet’s bowls is just as important as proper pet food storage for preventing your pet from consuming unwanted bacteria. As a matter of fact, according to the Huffington Post, the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International rated pet bowls as the 4th dirtiest spot in our homes.

Are there real dangers lurking in my pet’s bowl?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. If you haven’t cleaned your pet’s food or water bowl in a while, you might be surprised to learn that there are a variety of potential health hazards lurking in their bowl. Here are 5 threats just to give you an idea:

  1. Serrate Marcescens “Pink Stuff”
  2. Yeast
  3. Mold
  4. Coliform (same family as E.Coli and Salmonella)
  5. Insects

So the question is, what is the recommended frequency for washing your dog or cat’s bowls?

Every day.

That’s right. Dr. Marty Becker’s co-author and pet professional, Gina Spadafori, recommends washing both the food and water bowls every day. Additionally, she recommends washing them in the hottest cycle of the dishwasher to make sure they are thoroughly sterilized (Vetstreet).

What should we use to wash the dishes?

Hot water and soap if you are washing the dishes every day. There are a few articles out there that suggest using bleach, but I wouldn’t use bleach. Bleach can be so harmful if not properly rinsed.

Cleanliness is Next to Dogliness: Keeping Your Pet's Bowl Clean

If you are at all concerned about harsh chemicals in your dish or dishwasher soap, you can always switch over to a more natural alternative. I really like Meyer’s Dish Soaps. Not only do they smell great (their lavender household cleaner smells awesome!), but they are free of the following chemicals:

  • Phthalates
  • Glycol Solvents
  • Chlorine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Artificial Colors
  • Parabens
  • Animal Derived Ingredients
  • MEA
  • DEA

What are the best types of bowls?

Several different sources stated that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are best for cleaning. Here are a few of my favorites!


 

As a result of my research, I will be washing Rooney’s bowls daily, and placing them in the dishwasher with each available cycle. What changes will you make?

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!

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