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  • Tracy Struthers

What I learned from owning a 113 pound dog.

Bear. Our big, old gentle giant. Weighing in at 113 pounds, his greatest challenge daily is finding his green ball and playing with it. He is a handsome long-haired Shepherd, (breed King Shepherd), who’s whole reason in life is to be around us. We adopted Bear as a 4-month-old puppy from a lady who had to give up her dogs due to unfortunate circumstances. Leigha and I in our minivan, drove to Trenton to meet this lady in the Walmart parking lot. She handed us Bear, along with his favorite toy we called “Wormy” and then he was ours. Excited for this new puppy, Leigha held Bear all the way home. To this day Leigha will remember how Bear got sick all over her because he was not great in cars.

We are dog lovers. Our family and lifestyle would not be complete without our dog. I know dozens and dozens of folks who also love and adore their pets, so wanted to share some great tips for a cleaner home, and safer summer for our pets. We have learned a lot having this long-haired dog, who has presented some challenges to maintaining a clean home. It has also made me question whether painting my interior walls white was a smart decision with Bear. At the end of the day, they are just walls, that can be washed (and often ha ha!). Having him and our decor is absolutely possible.

Fur real

There have been times I have seen tumbleweeds of hair rolling by on my floors. It was either Bear’s hair, or a small animal running by. Ugh - this meant it was time to vacuum, and get the boy brushed. Here are some tips we have learned to keep your dog hair under control.

1). Dryer Sheets

Need help removing pet hair from your furniture? A great solution is using dryer sheets. They work wonders on picking up dog hair on almost anything, by using it like a cloth. It keeps my furniture clean, and provides a lovely scent. Slightly dampening the sheet works wonders as well.

2). Lint Rollers

I keep lint rollers close by especially when leaving the house to remove any signs of dog hair on my favorite black sweater, or for a quick clean up before guests arrive.

3). Lightly sweep your carpet before vacuuming.

Dog hair can get embedded in your carpet. To loosen any hair, use a firm broom to roll all the hair into a nice little ball. To get rid of any odors, sprinkle a little baking soda 10 minutes before you vacuum.

4). Grooming

Frequent grooming is a must for dog hair maintenance, especially when your dog is furry. Whether you invest in a professional dog groomer (as we do), or home grooming care, the more you do it – the less hair you will deal with inside. Investing in right tools is the way to go. Do some research or ask your pet groomer for the best tools for your dog.

Hot under the collar

Summer is here. We love taking Bear for walks, swims and camping, it’s so fun. Some of summer safety for pets seems well, really obvious. Let’s talk about this, as these tips are pretty important with the summer heat.

1). Hot Cars.

So, I am going there on this. If I see a dog in a hot car, I am most likely going to LOSE MY MIND. There are just some things that I get fired up about, and this is one. The best way you and I can help these pets is to call authorities immediately. I have provided this below some emergency numbers. Get them in your phones please. I hope you never have to make this call.

Belleville Police Service:613-962-3456

Ontario Provincial Police: 1-888-310-1122

For Emergency Situations Call 911

2). Hot pavement

It’s a beautiful summer day, and you want to take your dog for a lovely walk. If you are walking on pavement, did you know you can seriously burn your dog’s feet? A way to check before you go for a walk is to place the back of your hand against the pavement and hold it there for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog.

3). Keeps your pets cool and hydrated

The hot temperatures will mean your pet will be extra thirsty. I refresh, refill and add ice cubes in Bears water to keep it cool for him. Bear enjoys our air conditioning. He is a bit spoiled. He would prefer to be in the A/C versus laying in the shade any day. If you have pets outside, a shady spot is vital for them. If you don’t have shade, using tarps as shade shelters or keeping them cool inside your home is definitely the way to go.

For me, a home isn’t complete without a dog. I hope you found some useful information for you and your pets.

Live simple, love your dog

Tracy x


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