Category Archives: skunks

Keep Fido Cool in a Doggie Pool


By Ruthie Bently

I’ve used a kiddie pool for my chickens and geese for several years. I originally got it to provide my geese with a place to swim, as our property wasn’t near water. I began to rethink its use the day my dog Katie plunged into it after a play session. I’m not a neophyte when it comes to dogs. I’ve been involved in the pet industry since 1976 helping other pet owners solve problems with their pets, and I’ve owned dogs since 1981. My problem was that I never thought outside the box.

I didn’t consider the benefits of a kiddie pool for dogs until that day when Katie jumped into it. Katie was too warm for her comfort, and that’s why she went for a swim. For me it was an “Ah Ha” moment. I decided to get a second pool that the dogs could utilize without competition, and never looked back.

So why would you want a pool for your dog? You might be amazed at the answers. I found the pool I purchased for my dogs to be an invaluable asset in their caretaking. Smokey Bear met a skunk one evening on a ramble around the property and got sprayed. The odor was so strong I didn’t want to bring him in the house before trying to alleviate the odor, so I bathed him in the pool before I brought him in the house. He still smelled like skunk but not as bad as if I had brought him into the house and had to deal with the smell inside.

What else can you use your dog’s pool for? If your dog has gotten into your garden or flower beds, it’s a great place to wash muddy feet before letting them back in the house where they can track their paws across your rugs or furniture. I live in an old farm house and it doesn’t have a bathtub; instead, it has a shower stall with a plastic shower curtain. While Skye is great about being bathed, I can’t imagine washing a large wriggly dog in my bathroom. I use the pool outside for regular baths during nice weather and have used it for flea baths when necessary. Another benefit of washing Skye outside in her doggie pool is that after the bath she can shake to her heart’s content and doesn’t splatter water all over my bathroom.

I have a garden pond in my yard, and before I set up the pool, Skye would go diving in the pond. Now she leaves it alone. A friend’s mother had a problem with one of her dogs diving in her fish pond. Even though I thought the dog was diving for the fish, I suggested a kiddie pool for the dogs to play in. While she was skeptical, she tried it and the dogs have left the fish pool alone.

If you’re training a puppy to retrieve, a kiddie pool is a great place to toss the dummy to get them used to water retrieving. You can control the water temperature so they won’t get too much of a shock. You can also control the depth of the water so they won’t plunge in too deeply on their first retrieve and become afraid if they go in over their head. You will be better able to discern if they will make a good retriever as you can watch their reaction to the water.

Even if you’re just trying to get a dog used to being around water, a kiddie pool is a great way to start. You don’t have to worry about waves overtaking them and it is a good way to teach them water sports if that is an activity you want them to participate in with you. While most dogs don’t swim as we know it, this is also a good place to teach them how.

As Katie demonstrated to me, a kiddie pool is a great place for your dog to cool off after an exercise session, a walk, or on a hot day. It helps keep your dog from getting heat stroke and you are able to cool them off gradually. Because you’re in control of filling it, you can be sure it won’t have chemicals in it, and you won’t have to worry about your dog getting into bad water. A kiddie pool for your dog can be a great tool; by thinking outside the box you can discover lots of ways to put it to good use!

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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My Dog Got Skunked, What Do I Do?

Living in rural Minnesota has been a wonderful experience, but sometimes it comes with unexpected challenges. There is a river and woods to the east of where I live and many animals travel across my property to reach it. We have deer, wild turkeys, hawks, eagles, turkey vultures, and many other wild birds; as well as raccoons, opossums and an occasional skunk. While I love watching all the wild traffic across the property, sometimes we come into closer contact with it than we would like.
Now with the days getting warmer, more wildlife is beginning to stir, and though skunks do not hibernate, during cold weather they do tend to den up and not eat as much, so we and our pets are less likely to run into them. My mother-in-law’s dog had a closer encounter recently with a skunk to her detriment, as she got sprayed. 
There are some easy ways to stay out of their way if you tend to have them in your neighborhood. Most skunks are crepuscular, which means they come out at dusk and dawn. If you see a skunk out in the middle of the day, there may be something wrong with it, as skunks do not go out in full daylight. So try walking after daybreak and before dusk, you will have less chance of running into one. If you do happen upon one while walking with your dog, you should know that they can spray up to 15 feet (5 meters) away with a high degree of accuracy. 
While it is a myth that skunks can only spray once before their body has to manufacture more musk, they can actually spray up to six times before their body has to make more. As this can take up to 10 days, skunks are reluctant to spray and usually warn whatever is threatening them. They do this by stamping their feet and raising their tail to display their stripes. Sometimes they will even wave their tail to get your attention. If you have to go out after dark, take a flashlight with you to light your way. To keep them out of your yard, make sure all garbage is in a can with a tight sealing lid, or in the garage or shed behind a closed door. As skunks are omnivores and scavengers, garbage is an easy mark for them and they will take advantage of it.
If your dog (or cat) is sprayed, tomato juice while an old standby is a myth and will not take away the odor. Try skunk odor removal products like Odormute™, which can be mixed in three strengths depending on the smell you are dealing with. A groomer’s favorite is Masengil powdered douche, and from what I understand works very well. There are many commercial products on the market today, specifically for skunk odor, but I haven’t tried any of them. I’ve always relied on Odormute™ and have for many years, because it works very well on many organic odors.
Here is a recipe for dealing with the odor. Mix together the following ingredients: 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution and 1/4 cup baking soda. Add to a small amount of liquid detergent, and wash your dog. Make sure to rinse well to get all suds out of your dog’s coat.
By following commonsense practices when walking with your dog and safe garbage storage, you should have fewer issues with this smelly neighbor from the forest.
Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.