filtrete

Your pet and air quality

My dog is a Jack Russell with short, straight hair.  She doesn’t actually shed too much but since she has hair that means she has dander.  This isn’t an issue most of the time, except when I have family to visit or go to visit family and want to take her along.  Although she loves animals and adores Jack Russells, my mother is very allergic to dogs.  She has a poodle-mix when she was a small girl and did pretty well with that dog.  She once heard that that was due to the poodle in the dog.  Supposedly, poodles have fur and not hair, so do not affect allergic people as much.  Anyway, when she comes to visit me, I clean and vacuum like crazy and spray special stuff all over the upholstery.  She takes antihistamine and brings an inhaler, but its a bummer for both of us.

I plan on visiting my folks at the end of the summer and I’m going to take my Jack with me.  Mom says its fine but the dog will have to sleep in her crate on the screen porch.  Not sure how I feel about that, so I’m looking into options.

First of all, there are treatments for the animal herself that might help.  There is a spray called Allerpet and there are shampoos with salicylic acid that are supposed to neutralize the dander.  These products get mixed reviews, certainly don’t do any harm and may even help to hydrate your pet’s skin so she scratches less.  The American Humane Society advises that its probably best to just make sure the animal gets a good bath in lukewarm water and a good brushing at least once a week to remove excess dander.

Febreeze

Secondly, there is the environment around the animal.  There are sprays to use in the air and on the carpets and upholstery.  The two best ones I can find are ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray and Febreeze Allergen Reducer.  You can buy both of them on Amazon.  The ADMS product gets top reviews.  I found some of the Febreeze product at a local grocery store and tried it.  It smells good and it did not seem to bother my dog when I sprayed the couch and carpet with it.  I understand these products are mostly de-ionized water which attracts the dander molecule to itself and neutralizes it.  (Look at me getting all scientific!)  I definitely plan to get several bottles for the trip and spray Mom’s house liberally with it.

Next, there are air filters.  I’ve looked into the portable ones, and frankly, I got dizzy from the dollar signs swimming before my eyes.  They can be expensive, and while they certainly can scrub the air, most claim it will take four to six weeks of continual use to see any difference with your allergies.

I also looked into other ways I can help with the air cleaning issues in my mother’s house as a result of having my pet there.  I feel so bad about it but I know she really wants us to visit.  When I looked into air purifiers, I also investigated the filters that can be used in a home’s HVAC system.  This is the filter you buy at the local home store and place inside the uptake opening to your home’s air system.  (It’s not usually something we renters worry about.)  I’m thinking about buying a super high quality filter for my mom’s house.  I’ve heard about HEPA filters, but I understand those are not useful for most home systems.  Instead, buying a filter with pleats should be very effective.  And, it will probably only cost me about $10-15.  I plan on putting in a clean one when I’m there.

Another thing I found I can do is to have my parents air ducting cleaned after my dog and I leave.  This shouldn’t be too expensive.  I called a local company and found that the cost is no more than the cost of a two nights in a hotel.  Since I’m staying with them for this vacation and won’t have lodging costs for myself or the dog, I consider that very affordable.

It is important for me to visit family.  I also consider my pet part of the family.  My parents are not opposed to her visiting with me, but my mom’s allergies can be dibilitating for her, so I must take them into consideration.  Needless to say, I’m super glad I took after my dad’s side of the family in that regard…they have no allergies to animals!

Dog TV…For real?

Let me just begin by saying the weather this past winter just kicked my butt. Getting my Jack outside to do her daily business was difficult enough, let alone getting her out for her much needed exercise. The dog park was pile 8 feet high with snow and the freezing pavement was way too precarious to allow her much time outside. Add to that, the extra time I had to allow to get to and from work due to transportation issues…well, lets just say, I began to look into options for her. This led me to Dog TV. Yes, it is a real thing. The experts on the staff have impressive credentials and the website makes the case for why this is valuable for your dog. I was willing to try ANYTHING!

Dog TV recommends watching with your dog. Some of the images and sounds will seem odd to you, the human; remember, this is for your dog. The programing is designed to appeal to the unique sensibilities of the canine brain. There are three types of programs: relaxation, stimulation and exposure. Your dog will LOVE it. You will love it. Try it for one month for about $10.

Fido Car Riding System

dogseat

 

If your furry friend is anything like mine, riding in the car is the ultimate treat. Just saying the word car in my house prompts barking, whining and scratching at the front door. My Jack Russell Terrier is obsessed with traveling new places. To her, the car equals adventure. And, for the most part, she’s great in the car. She sits obediently on the seat next to me and loves to look out at those passing by.

Last Christmas, when it came time to make travel arrangements to see my family for the holidays, I was faced with the same dilemma as many pet owners: finding a pet sitter. With the arrival of sites like Rover, this task has become easier, however, it is still expensive. So, I decided to drive to my family and take my doggy with me. As I prepared for the three day drive, I started researching road trips with dogs. I scoured for tips, advice for how often to stop, products that would make it easier for her, anything that I could find to make the trip more pleasant.

In the process of my research, I began to see the same advice popping up: GET a carseat or harness restraint. Up until this point, I had just let my pup ride shotgun. She is well-behaved and I didn’t see the danger in letting her ride freely in the car around town. I was wrong. After reading horror story after horror story of vehicle accidents involving animals, I quickly began looking for car seat options for her. After a lot of research and review reading, I settled on the Fido Rido car seat system.

Fido Rido is designed specifically for dogs under 25 pounds. My dog is 22 pounds, so she was close to the top end of that requirement. There are a few reasons I went with the Fido Rido:

1. It is similar to a dog bed making it comfortable and relaxing for my dog. She can sleep, sit up and see out the window while riding.

2. Fido Rido is crash tested and uses a two point system to tie into the car seat hooks in most modern vehicles.

3. It comes with its own safety rated harness that buckles the dog into the base for extra security.

Essentially, you secure the base of the booster to the car seat hooks and then use the harness system to secure your dog to the booster. Lastly, the reviews from users made it clear that their dogs rode comfortably and securely. This was really important to me since we would be in the car for long hours each day. I also like how portable it is, so it could even been used if you are hiring transportation while traveling with your pooch. And, the bed can be removed and the plastic basin used for bathing while on the road.

The result: my dog loved the seat and ran to jump into it each time we got in the car. She slept peacefully and could clearly see out the window. I felt safe knowing if I had to slam on the brakes, she wouldn’t go flying through my windshield. We are back now, but she still rides in it around town. She jumps immediately into the backseat when I open the car door. She’s happy. I’m happy. Everyone wins.