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Tickle Paw Tuesday: Puppy Explorer Conquers Flower

This week’s selection for Tickle Paw Tuesday is a video that captures a keeshond puppy investigating and overcoming a newly perceived threat – a dandelion. These silly moments our dogs experience are very important lessons that help to promote confidence as they explore and learn about the world around them. This method of paws-on learning teaches them the consequences of their actions. The pup in this video doesn’t seem to mind the flavor of that fuzzy foe, but another puppy might just learn that the flower not only tastes bad, but it sticks on your nose!!! The horror!

One summer we took the boys to Texas for a vacation. Just prior to heading back to Illinois, we stopped by a friend’s house for a visit. The dogs were taken off their leashes and allowed to play untethered on the 200-acre property. They didn’t know what to do with themselves or their new found freedom.  We were surprised when they opted to stay at our sides. However, Frosty couldn’t contain himself when he saw something running in the distance.

Our Frosty didn’t understand why his two brothers went running in the opposite direction when they saw the unknown beast. Frosty decided he must be the brave one and followed the trail of the stranger. He yelped in surprise when he found himself sprayed by the “beastly” skunk who wasn’t fond of being chased by a dog. A bath in a pond did not help his smelly situation, and his brothers did not look fondly at him during the 18 hour drive back home. I don’t know why Tristan and Grandbury didn’t follow suit and chase after Frosty. Perhaps they had a previous experience with a skunk, or maybe they had a healthier relationship with fearing the unknown.

Yes, sometimes a pup, even one outside the “puppy stage” must learn the consequences of his actions. Keep them safe as they learn, and remember that some experiences are best left unknown.

Happy Tuesday!

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Not Just For Humans and a Product Review: Absorbent Underpads

For the past two years we’ve been a house well stocked with baby wipes and incontinence pads. Not exactly items you’d expect in a home dedicated to fur-kids, but they are daily essentials for our pack.

We started using baby wipes a few years ago to help clean the folds around Tristan’s mouth as he is prone to develop an allergic reaction to any dirt, dust, or stray food particles that might linger on him. He requires a very gentle product that doesn’t contain alcohol (because it stings and burns any open wounds or scratches and acts as an irritant to his skin), no fragrances, and no dyes.

Other uses for these wipes:

  • cleaning ears – very gentle, large, and two-sided
  • cleaning around the eyes – very gentle
  • cleaning up any mistakes that may occur while on the road
  • wiping down the saddle portion of Tristan’s cart to maintain a clean seat

Speaking of other uses for “human” products:

If you’re pet is experiencing recovery from surgery, incontinence, sickness, or just potty training, you quickly become acquainted with the products on the market that will help make the best out of your situation.

Most pet parents are familiar with the disposable absorbent pads that can be used for any of the above situations. We really like these for traveling (even small trips become long trips with an incontinent dog), and for use when an animal is violently ill. These pads really saved the day for all of us when Frosty was in his last weeks and controlling his diarrhea became our own Olympic trial.

There are manufacturers who produce biodegradable versions of these pads, and we really like those, because if you must use these pads very often they do create a lot of waste.

However, you may find that you are better served by a washable, waterproof, and absorbent fabric underpad. These would especially be good for a pet who has undergone surgery, as they often have a spot that leaks, drains, or even bleeds.

Tristan has moments of incontinence when he is asleep, as well as when he first awakens and gets to a standing position. We had been using an old twin mattress pad cover that had a cotton top with a plastic bottom. It was waterproof, and it did work well, but after about six washings, just fell apart.

I happened to stumble upon exactly what we needed quite by accident one day. I found myself in the incontinence/bladder control section of the store and saw the following box:

Waterproof Sheet Protector Absorbent Underpad by Inspire

These pads are large (30″ x 34″), washable and reusable, have a non-slip bottom layer that keeps Tristan standing instead of sliding, a waterproof barrier, a soaker core, and a dry-touch top layer that wicks moisture into the pad. They make a larger size (36″ x 72″), but I haven’t seen it available locally.

Here is the top (white side) and underside (green) of the pad:

We’ve been using them now for a little over a month, and after many washings, they are still performing like new. All this for just shy of $10.00. You can find them at a variety of stores that may be in your neighborhood, or check the online retail list.

There are comparable products marketed specifically for pets, but you’ll pay a great deal more for them.

24Paws Rating: 5 Paws (5/5)

5 Paw Rating for Excellence

The Product: Waterproof Sheet Protector Absorbent Underpad

Company & Site: K2 Health Products, Inspire Brand

Retail Price: $9.00 – $11.00

How’d we get our paws on it: Purchased at a local store

Why we love it: Economical, large, portable, non-staining, doesn’t leak, washable, reusable, and safe for the elderly or young pup who can’t get their footing very easily. Machine washable and dryable.

Room for improvement: We wonder if an antimicrobial agent applied to the material would be a beneficial feature to the product or cause a price increase that would be unjustified. There doesn’t seem to be much of an odor-blocking element to the pads. Not that there is an overwhelming odor, as the moisture is quickly drawn into the core of the pad, and they launder beautifully and dry quickly.

Remember: Let your pets inspire you – poke your nose around different sections of your favorite stores…you never know what you’ll find. Dare to explore!

Got a favorite incontinence product you’d like to share? How about a product that is marketed for use by humans but is a great item for pets?

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