Dog Blog

Spring Cleaning Without Harmful Chemicals

Posted by Michelle Allen on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 09:24 PM

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Thieves essential oil blend has become our go-to cleaner here at Gemini Dogs, as well as in our home. As you look towards Spring, we all start thinking of Spring Cleaning. And if you're like me, you've started paying attention to the fact that so many of the cleaning products have harsh and damaging chemicals, which cause untold numbers of health problems and can cause numerous diseases in both humans and dogs.
 
The solution? Look to Young Living Essential Oils for an all-natural, holistic approach to cleaning. Just add some of the Thieves Household Cleaner in a glass spray bottle, fill with water, and use it to quickly spray and wipe your surfaces. The oils in the formula deodorize and protect your home.
 
We use Thieves exclusively now here at Gemini Dogs, for all of our cleaning needs. We use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean the crates after each use, to mop the floors, to sanitize the bowls and buckets, and more.
 
The amazing power of the Thieves will destroy mold, including air-borne mold, and is well-documented in Nature’s Mold Rx: The Non-Toxic Solution to Toxic Mold by Edward R. Close, Ph.D. Household cleaner can also be used as a bug repellant. In Essential Oils for Horse and Rider, you can see a demonstration of mixing the Thieves Household Cleaner with water and apple cider vinegar to keep flies away from horses.
 
Suggested Dilutions for Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Light degreasing 60:1
  • Medium degreasing 30:1
  • Heavy degreasing 15:1
  • Floors 100:1
  • Walls 30:1
  • Upholstery, fabrics and carpet spotting 40:1
  • Carpet 100:1
  • Glass 320:1
  • Pots and pans 100:1
  • Hand cleaner 1:1
This essential oil blend's name comes from its origin, during the Bubonic Plague.
 
Thieves were robbing those who had succumbed to the illness, but we're able to do so without becoming deathly ill themselves. Their defense was to wear a mask filled with a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils. When they were finally caught and placed on trial for their crimes, they were granted leniency for revealing the recipe of this life-saving concoction. That recipe is the foundation for Young Living’s modern Thieves blend.
Thieves contains clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. This blend has been found to reduce bacterial cultures by 99.96%.
Improve your health, and the health of your dog, by using Thieves for spring cleaning. We can assist you in setting up a wholesale account (For a 24% off retail cost), if you would like to purchase these products for your home!
 
"Thieves Essential Oil blend is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. Inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals used while robbing the dead and dying, Thieves is one of Young Living’s most popular products.  With the benefits of Thieves oil including cleaning power and an irresistibly spicy scent, Young Living offers it as an essential oil blend and as an important ingredient in a full range of home cleaning and personal care products, from dish soap to toothpaste. Looking to make your home smell as clean as it looks? Diffuse Thieves oil throughout the house for an aroma that makes every room smell more like fall baking than harsh cleaning formulas.”
Source: www.youngliving.com

Topics: essential oils, Spring Cleaning, Natural, Holistic, gemini dogs, dogs, home remedies

Cold Weather Questions - Antifreeze Poisoning

Posted by Michelle Allen on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 @ 09:46 AM

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Q: My dog was licking a spot of antifreeze that spilled on the ground; should I be worried?
A: Yes, VERY! If you have any inkling of a thought that your dog might have ingested even a small amount of antifreeze, call your vet immediately. Grab some hydrogen peroxide, too1 If the vet is more than a few minutes away, you will likely need to induce vomiting right now!!!
 
Let me tell you about Smokey's story. This goes way back to when I was married to John. We had just recently brought home a new addition, Smokey the Golden Retriever. Smokey was a curious pup, and one day John came inside from the yard and casually said, "I think Smokey might have licked up some antifreeze. Is that bad?" I almost had a heart attack right there. Yes, indeed, he had. John had stored the bottle inside an enclosed area of the yard with some gardening tools and supplies, and Smokey decided to hop the fence and grab ahold of the bottle, puncturing it, and carry it around for a bit, prancing happily.
 
I immediately ran for the hydrogen peroxide, because thankfully I knew that the best thing we could do was to make Smokey throw up right away, and start the drive to the emergency vet. We mixed the peroxide with an equal amount of milk, and it went down the hatch. Nothing happened at first, so we prepared to leave and gave him another dose. Thankfully that one did the trick, and he starting puking. That was probably the only time I've ever said, "Oh awesome, he's getting sick!" We drove furiously to the vet, wondering how stupid it was that we would leave that poison in a spot that was so accessible to a determined dog.
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When we got Smokey to the vet, they whisked him away, shoved charcoal down his throat to absorb as much of the poison as possible, and desperately tried to flush his system with fluids to help get the poison out. They finally came back into the exam room and told us that we should prepare ourselves, because he might not make it. I was shocked and so upset...he was our new puppy and they were telling us that he might not live! And what was worse was that when they brought him in to say what could be a final goodbye, his tail was just wagging away and he was prancing around like nothing was wrong! Antifreeze poisoning gives dogs the appearance of being "drunk" and that was what we were seeing then.
 
We were so lucky...we saved our puppy with some quick action and a good vet, and thank the stars that I had known about how poisonous antifreeze is for dogs.
Now, where is your antifreeze? Is it in a safe location, where an industrious dog cannot reach it? Consider that dogs can jump fences and dig under things, and knock over boxes, and make sure that yours is stored in a place where it is completely inaccessible. Do not store it in the back of your SUV and then put your dog in there with it! Antifreeze is sweet and smells good and dogs seek it out. Better yet, use antifreeze that does not contain ethylene glycol
 
And be sure to watch out for it on your walks. People often spill a little when filling their cars, and it lands on the ground in a little puddle. Tiny dogs could lick that up and it could be fatal. Keep your eye out and watch for bottles of antifreeze and try to educate people about the extreme danger of leaving even a trace of it where a dog might get to it. (All the more reason for dogs not to be roaming the neighborhood.
If you liked this Q&A please share with your friends and family. Message us {woof@geminidogs.comand let us know what Question we can answer for you!
WOOF!
 

Topics: Puppy, dogs, cold weather, antifreeze, safety

Top 5 Truths for Dogs That Chew Everything In Sight

Posted by Michelle Allen on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 01:02 AM

dog chewing shoe resized 600Destructive chewing is one of the most common complaints among dog owners. It can be a frustrating problem - and an expensive one. Chewing is not bad. It is a normal and necessary activity for a dog. Chewing only becomes a problem when your dog chews things you don't want him to chew. This information is designed to help you understand why your dog is being destructive and to offer you some avenues toward a solution.

1. Your Dog Did Not Eat the Couch Because He’s Mad at You!

Your dog may chew for any number of reasons, but among them is not anger, spite, or hatred. Dogs do not act out of spite. Here are some possible reasons for your dog's demolition of your couch, floor, favorite shoes, or whatever:

  • Boredom - One of the ways dogs relieve boredom is by chewing. They will chew whatever is available to them or what they enjoy most. Think of how much fun it must be to rip the stuffing out of a couch and watch it fly all over the living room!
  • Fun - No explanation necessary…
  • Tension - Dogs, unlike people, don't keep tension bottled up. They release it, usually by chewing. If departure upsets your dog, for instance, he may chew the kitchen table leg to relieve his anxiety.
  • Lack of Exercise - All dogs need exercise and some need more than others. If your dog does not get enough exercise, he may use chewing as an outlet for his pent-up energy.
  • Poor Diet or Hunger Tension - Dogs not getting proper nutrition or who are sensitive to food additives may exhibit any number of behavior problems, like chewing.
  • Teething - When puppies lose their milk teeth (baby teeth), they need to chew on things much the way human babies do when they cut teeth. After the adult teeth are all in, when your pup is about 6 months old, they will begin to set in the jaw. At this time, puppies need to chew more than ever. If your puppy is between 6-10 months old and is left in an empty room, he will chew the walls and floor because he has to chew.

2. It is Possible That Your Dog Has Too Many Toys

If your dog has many chew toys on the floor it will be harder for him to differentiate between what's his and what's yours. It all looks like fair game to him. If, however, he has just one or two toys, it is much easier to teach him the difference. When he is better trained you may wish to add a couple more. It is also a good idea to reserve one favorite toy that your dog only gets when you are gone. It will become a special treat that will occupy more of his time than his ordinary, everyday toys.

3. Your Dog Does Not, In Fact, Know He's Done Wrong

Dogs don't have morals and don't know right from wrong. When your dog looks "guilty" he is actually saying, in dog language, that he is submissive and/or scared. He is in effect saying, "I respect you and don't want you to hurt me." Let's consider what leads up to that guilty look: You leave for work and for some reason, perhaps boredom, your dog begins to chew a shoe you forgot to put away. It feels good on his gums and the leather tastes especially nice. He flips it in the air a few times for laughs. Eventually, he loses interest and takes a nap. A few hours later you come home. Your dog is happy to see you and you him - until you find the rest of what used to be your shoe. So you yell and maybe even hit him as you show him the chewed shoe. On another day you leave for work and your dog discovers how fun it is to rip the stuffing out of the couch cushions. He has a real blast scattering that puffy white stuff all over the living room. Some time later you arrive home to find this mess and again let your dog know how unhappy you are. Notice a pattern? Your dog has. He knows that he has a great time when he chews up your things and that he has a really bad time when you come home. Your dog has not learned that chewing is bad. He has fun when he chews. What he has learned is that your homecoming is very unpleasant. So now after a great day's chewing, when he hears you drive into the driveway, he gets scared and submissive and looks "guilty.” He reacts this way because he knows he's in for it when you walk in the door, not because he knows he has done something wrong. To teach your dog not to chew something, you need to catch him in the act or before. When he so much as looks at your shoe or the couch or whatever, utter a sharp, bark-like sound and/or clap your hands to startle your dog and interrupt his actions. Then give him something else to do like chew on his own toy, come to you, or sit on command. Punishing him after the fact will do nothing more than confuse him and damage your relationship with him.

4. Your Dog May Only Chew Things When You Are Not There to Catch Him

When you are away from home or are too busy to watch your dog, confine him in a place where he can't get into trouble. For some dogs, this can be a small room. For many, this means a dog crate. When confined, your dog will be safe and will not be able to get into anything he shouldn't. When you confine him, make sure he has fresh water and a safe chew toy. A stuffed kong is great for confinement. When you come home at the end of the day it will be with the comfort of knowing that your house is in one piece and you and your dog will both be happy to see each other. If your dog has already developed a habit of chewing your things, you may need to crate him for a long time before the habit is broken. When you begin to give him more freedom, do so gradually to help prevent setbacks. If you have a puppy, plan to crate him until he is at least one year old to get through the worst of the teething periods.

It will also be helpful to your dog if you make your departure and homecoming low-key and uneventful. If you get your dog excited just before you leave, he will be more anxious about your going. The same holds true for your return. If your greeting is a very excited one, your dog will begin to get revved up around the time you usually get home. If you are late, your dog will need to do something to relieve his anxiety and pent-up energy. He will chew. Similarly, if you always feed your dog or take him out to relieve himself immediately upon arriving home, your dog will learn to get excited around the time you are due back. Get your dog used to the pattern that your homecoming means a quiet "hello" and a pat on the head, and that going out and eating have no connection with your return. Let your dog out 10-15 minutes after you arrive (with the exception of a young pup who has been confined for an extended period of time) and feed him 30 minutes to an hour after that.

5. Exercise Can be the Solution

Give your dog lots of physical and mental exercise to provide him with constructive ways to release his energy. Along with 1-2 hours of physical exercise a day; give your dog a mental workout in the form of training. Training gives your dog a job to do and you will strengthen your relationship with him by establishing clear (and fun) communication. Feed your dog a high quality, naturally formulated dog food to ensure that your dog is not being destructive because of a nutritional imbalance or sensitivity to additives in his diet. Feed adult dogs twice a day and young puppies 3-4 times. Give your dog every chance to behave his very best.

Daycare may be another good option for your dog. At a good daycare they will be active for part of the day and have nap breaks in between their play sessions. If you cannot afford daycare every day even a day or two a week can make a big difference. Note: Gemini Dogs Doggie Daycare is open every day of the year from 6:00am to 10:00pm, and pricing can be as low as $20 per day with a package plan.

By trying to understand your dog and his behavior and by following a common sense approach, you'll be well on your way to having a dog that is a joy to live with, a couch (and carpet and walls and shoes) that is intact, and a lifetime of friendship with your dog.

Topics: Puppy, Chewing, Puppies, Dog, dogs, Chewer

How We Can Help the Displaced Dogs in NYC

Posted by Michelle Borelli on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

Bodhi ~ Humane Society Rescue

Thousands of pets have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy...I am sure by now that you have seen the pictures of the horrific conditions in NYC and in New Jersey. That very well could have been us; you just never know when and where something like this will happen!

As a disaster volunteer myself, I have seen what this type of disaster can do to people emotionally, and (as you can imagine) the most important thing to most of those affected is the safety of their loved ones; including their pets.

Photos like this just bring tears to my eyes. It tugs at my heart, imagining that something like this could happen to our precious pooches. So...what do we do about it?

Well, thanks to a contact that we have with the staff of Brooklyn Bark in NYC, there are a couple of things we can do! As they told us, "Too many people evacuated during Sandy have lost their homes and are facing uncertainty. Some short term situations that become available will not necessarily be pet friendly. To give these people the flexibility they may need in rebuilding their lives, we are seeking foster homes. This need is going to be continuing as evacuees move out of shelters into temporary situations over the next few weeks." 

Gemini Dogs has already offered to assist the displaced doggies by fostering any of them who need a place to stay, and we have offered to drive down to NYC and pick them up as needed.

Brooklyn Bark is also collecting items that are needed for the animals that are currently in temporary emergency shelters, and you can help by donating the following items:

  • Any Type of Unopened Dog or Cat Food
  • Any Type of Dog or Cat Treats
  • New or Gently Used Collars, Leashes, Crates, Carriers
  • New or Gently Used Bedding or Towels
  • New Toys of Any Type

You can bring your donations to Gemini Dogs anytime, and we will drive them down to NYC, where they can be distributed to the affected animals who desperately need them. After disasters like this, it is sometimes weeks and months before the people can get back to some sense of normalcy. Our thoughts are with all of the pet owners who are still searching for their companions, and we are thankful for those who escaped Sandy's path.

Topics: disaster, pets, NYC, donations, Hurricane Sandy, dogs