5 Home Remedies for Pet Allergies

Allergy season is upon us, and you know what that means—sneezing, irritated skin, and puffy eyes are back. Just as you aim to kick your allergies to the curb this spring, don’t forget that your pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies. Although dealing with allergies can be a pain, treating the symptoms can be a little easier with common household items. Here are five home remedies to help keep your animals protected and alleviate your pet’s allergies this season.

#1. Oatmeal

No one likes dealing with skin irritation and itching, especially your pet. If you notice consistent itching or scratching, particularly after they return inside, they may be suffering from seasonal allergies. One way to help relieve the itching is with oatmeal. Just as oatmeal does wonders for our skin, it’s also is a nontoxic remedy for our pets. Combine baby oatmeal (or grind up regular oatmeal) and add it to some warm water to create a paste. Once that paste is made, apply it directly to the itchy areas of your cat or dog’s skin for relief.

#2. Vitamin E and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to pet allergies, dry skin is a biggie. Help alleviate their dry skin by massaging vitamin E oil onto the affected areas—not only will it get rid of the dry skin, but a massage from mom? Yes, please! If you want to go the extra step, add some omega-3 fatty acids to your animal’s diet in order to help improve their overall skin and decrease any inflammation.

#3. Epsom Salt Bath

Some cats and dogs are prone to having frequent wounds or swelling, and allergies can make these wounds worse. Epsom salt baths are their friend (and yours!) when it comes to healing wounds and reducing swelling. Run a warm bath with Epsom salt and let your animals wound soak for five minutes. If your pup or cat isn’t one for bath time, no worries, just soak a cloth in the combined Epsom salt + warm water and apply to the infected area. Be sure to avoid letting your pets ingest the Epsom salt, as it could be harmful.

#4. Wipe Your Animals Down

This one is pretty straight forward, yet it’s easy to slip one’s mind when it comes to thinking of ways to eliminate your pet’s allergies. Wiping your animals down with a damp, warm cloth around their paws, mouths, and coats helps reduce the amount of pollen that could be trapped on your animal’s body causing irritation.

#5. Yogurt

Allergies can sometimes bring unwanted tummy issues for your pets. Thankfully, yogurt can act as a delicious treat that produces happy benefits for your animal’s stomach and intestines. That being said, opt for small doses of plain yogurt to avoid unwanted yeast infections.

Let’s be honest, no one likes to see their animals in pain. As this season springs into full effect, remember that dogs and cats alike can pick up seasonal allergies. Be sure to keep an eye out for these common symptoms; and as always, if their allergies worsen, visit your local vet for further advice. For more home remedies for your pet’s allergies, visit here.

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Top Four Poison Prevention Tips

Our homes contain many household items that make our day-to-day tasks easier and our meals tastier. Unfortunately, these items don’t always bode well with our pets. In an effort to help raise awareness for National Poison Prevention Week, the Precise team has complied some tips to help keep your pets safe from household toxins.

Identify Household Toxins

Your home is filled with items that are safe for human use, but could be fatal for your pets to get their paws in. From basic household cleaners such as window solutions, dishwashing soaps, and bleach; to prescription medications; plants; and even some of our favorite foods, like grapes, garlic and chocolate, are all incredibly dangerous for pets to consume. Both cats and dogs have different tolerances for these items. For example, if a cat were to ingest even one or two lily leaves, it could result in kidney failure, whereas a dog might not have the same reaction. Now that spring is around the corner and gardening season will begin, it’s also important to note seasonal toxins to be aware of.

Poison Proof Your Home

The list of animal toxins is long and intimidating, but there is a way to help prevent your pet from falling victim to poisoning by proofing your house. Your pet is constantly watching what you’re doing. As you pull a piece of chocolate form it’s wrapper, your pet wants a taste of the action. It’s important that you take simple steps to make sure that your pet’s curiosity doesn’t get them in trouble. For example, make an effort to keep all hazardous items in secure cabinets or in high places that your pet can’t reach. Make sure medications and cleaners are tightly sealed and stored away. Also, ensure that the plants you purchase for your home are nontoxic.

Know the Signs of Poisoning

If your pet’s curiosity gets the best of them when you’re not watching, you will notice various changes in their behavior. Vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, lethargy, and loss of appetite are obvious signs that something is not right. There are also symptoms that can occur which aren’t so obvious, such as irregular heartbeat, blood in the stool and bruising.

Have a First Aid Kit Ready

If you notice any of these signs, call for help immediately. While you wait for further instruction from poison control or your veterinarian, an added step of caution would be to have a first aid kit at-the-ready. Your kit can contain items such as gauze, adhesive tape, cotton balls, peroxide, ice packs, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment and more. Talk with your vet before utilizing the kit on the best practices to help comfort your pet before help arrives. Check out this video from the ASPCA for more information on how to create a first aid kit.

Keep these tips in mind as you use the household items mentioned above. Be sure to store these items in a safe place where your curious pet cannot reach them. If you believe your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, be sure to call your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline immediately.

Pet Poison Helpline #: 855-764-7661

*Note: This helpline costs $59 USD per incident

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Pet Palace Sponsors the FIDO Project

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today is an extra special day for four St. Paddy’s pups graduating from the FIDO Project in Ocala, Florida. Precise retailer, Pet Palace, is a sponsor of the endeavor and works to help encourage adoptions within the community and promote the importance of pet training.

The Florida Inmates and Dog Obedience Project (FIDO), is a program that partners Marion County Animal Services with select inmates from the Marion County Correctional Institution Work Camp to give inmates the opportunity to spend 10 weeks training homeless shelter dogs in basic obedience and socialization skills. The goal of the FIDO Project is to teach the inmates important life skills and to allow them to learn responsibility. Inmates must first study a guide on how to properly train the dogs. Following suit, they have the opportunity to shadow an officer; the officer is responsible for the training and the treatment of the animals. Each day, the inmates will keep a journal on how the practice sessions go with the dogs.

At the close of the program, the dogs go through the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen training test. Among passing the test at a score of 95%, the pups receive a certificate are able to be adopted out into their forever homes!

During each class, the public is invited to meet with the dogs at outings—normally local businesses or other venues. At this time, adoption applications can be submitted. Marion County Animal Services is responsible for choosing the dogs for this program, as well as coordinating the outings, trainings, and promotions to help get these pups adopted.

Today, Pet Palace is celebrating four FIDO graduates: Penny, Guinness, Clover, and Blarney who have all been adopted! At today’s graduation ceremony, each inmate involved in the program will say a few words on their experience training the dogs, and what this project means to them. Check out the Marion County Animal Services Facebook page for an  announcement on the next trainees!

For more information for about how to get involved, volunteer, donate or adopt visit: www.marioncountyfl.org. Congratulations to Penny, Guinness, Clover, and Blarney!

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Three Tips on Finding a Pet Sitter

Happy Professional Pet Sitters Week! We want to celebrate all of the wonderful caretakers in our fur babies’ lives and help our friends who don’t have a pet sitter to find the right fit for their family!

Unfortunately, we can’t always take our four-legged friends on the road with us, so it’s up to you to decide who to call to watch your fur baby while you’re away. If a family member or friend is not available, and a kennel is out of the question, you’re going to have to enlist a pet sitter you may have never met before. Not to worry, this intimidating process becomes easier with these three tips to help you find the very best temporary caretaker for your pet:

#1. Interview potential candidates

It is important to trust the person you are planning to let in your home to spend one-on-one time with your pet. Ask friends and family if they know of any trustworthy candidates to start your search. If the list comes up short, check out reliable websites like Care.com which features profiles of caretakers, highlighting the pet sitter’s experience, location, age, hourly rate, and service ratings. Once you gather all the information that you need about these contenders, pick a top three to interview either by phone or in person. When you meet, ask them about their experience with animals, and highlight your pet’s unique needs and habits that the caretaker will need to know. If you feel the need, be sure to ask for references from the sitter so you can learn more about their reputation as a caretaker.

#2. Make sure they are reliable 

We want our caretakers to be trustworthy, but also to be someone we can rely on to show up and love on our pets while we are away. Let’s be honest, our fur babies rule the roost of our households, but they still need to know what they can and cannot get away with. Make sure the new sitter knows your house rules and routines so they can maintain the same schedule for your pet.

#3. Introduce your pet

The most important factor we don’t have any say in is your pet’s opinion! Introduce your pet to the caretaker, and to see how your pet interacts with them. Their first meeting should not be when you plan to leave the caretaker with your pet, as your pet may not be comfortable around this sitter. At the end of the day, your pet is going to be spending time with this person and if they don’t respond well, it may not work. Allow some time for your pet to warm up to their new friend. Be sure to let them play and see if your pet approves of your choice.

In celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, let’s take some time to show our fur babies’ caretakers some love (don’t worry, your pet is still your number one fan). Have you recently conquered the hunt for the perfect pet sitter? Share your tips for finding a reliable caretaker below.

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Four Signs that Your Pet May Have the Flu

Flu season is among us, and in some areas, it’s even becoming an epidemic. Though you may feel a bit relieved after receiving your flu shot this year, it’s important to note that we two-legged folks aren’t the only ones susceptible to the respiratory illness—our furry friends are as well. Not to worry, catching these signs early can save your pooch or feline from feeling under the weather for an extended period of time.

Look out for these four signs in your pet’s behavior that could indicate influenza:

#1. Coughing

Like in humans, when pets get the flu, they develop a cough. This cough can cause your pet’s throat to become sore. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your pet if their dry cough is giving them trouble.

#2. Sneezing

Unfortunately for our furry ones, tissues aren’t exactly a pet’s best friend. When your pet sneezes, their germs from their illness spread to surrounding areas. If you notice your pet sneezing, be sure to separate them from other animals in the home, as the flu is highly contagious.

#3. Lack of Appetite

Is your pet not taking advantage of meal time like they usually do? That’s not a good sign. While your pet’s palate may change over time, neglecting to eat could mean that they are not feeling their best.

#4. Restlessness

When you are sick, it’s safe to say that you don’t feel like doing much of anything. The same goes for our pets. If you notice your spunky pooch or kitty is a little more lethargic than usual, monitor their behavior. If it extends over a long period of time, contact your vet.

Knowing your furry friend isn’t feeling their best is a tough burden to carry. If you notice any of the above signs in your pet’s behavior, be sure to consult your veterinarian as soon as you can, as the flu can turn into pneumonia if ignored. Your pet will likely be treated with antibiotics to prevent the illness from becoming any worse. When there is illness like the flu in humans or pets – close contact should be avoided and practicing good sanitary habits, like washing your hands with soap and warm water, is always a good idea. A healthy, nutritional diet and hydration are also essential in fighting off the flu.

There are also many natural remedies you can use to stop the illness in it’s tracks. For more information, click here.

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