Even dogs have dirty laundry…

Do you sleep with your pets?  If you do, you’re not alone.  Co-sleeping with your dog or cat has now become more than a normal routine for pet parents in this country.

In fact, a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, found that nearly half of all dogs sleep in their owner’s beds.  Broken down further — that’s 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs that sleep with their owners.  And that’s nothing compared to the 63% of cats who sleep in their parents’ bed!

Whether you side with the experts who say sleeping with a pet is good for your mental and emotional health and perfectly OK, or you prefer to have your pet sleep in their own bed, the reality is that our dogs and cats live right along side us, up close and personal.

Our pets living alongside us (in our homes, in our cars, on our furniture, in our beds!) means that our lives are surrounded with the wonderful companionship of those sweet animals, but it also means we will be regularly surrounded in some not-so-wonderful things, like muddy paws, pet hair, stinky odors, urine stains, etc.

At Skout’s Honor, we get excited about creating Better, Faster and Stronger products to support pet parents in their quest to keep things fresh and clean.  One of our latest additions to the Skout’s Honor product family is our LAUNDRY BOOSTER – a Stain & Odor Removal Additive that can be used to supplement your regular laundry loads.  Whether it’s their own blankets, bedding, towels (or yours!), this extra-strength 3X concentrated solution provides the necessary boost to clean even the most “doggy” or “catty” laundry when combined with your everyday detergent.  Available in a 32oz pour spout, simply add our laundry booster to the bleach or fabric softener reservoir.

Bonus use: Got more than just fur babies in your life?  Our Laundry Booster works wonders to remove kid-related stains & odors like food, urine, vomit and more.  Calling all potty-training parents…this is a must-have for your cleaning arsenal!

Happier Bacteria = A Happier Pet!

The next big thing in skin care is finally HERE: Skout’s Honor’s NEW Probiotic Skin Care line for pets!  Pet parents, it’s time to “up” your animal’s grooming game…

The skin is the largest organ in the body. That statement is true for human, canine and feline. However, it isn’t as good at protecting us as we once thought, due to all sorts of environmental factors that can disrupt the skin’s natural balance.  Luckily, the skin has friends…lots of them.  Skin health is the result of a symbiotic relationship between the skin and the trillions of beneficial bacteria that call it home. When left in its natural state and perfect balance, the skin has the potential to provide all the protection we need against the most common ailments.

Unfortunately, daily life in an industrialized society and the products we use to groom our furry friends often disrupt the natural balance of their skin’s biome and can leave the animal susceptible to opportunistic pathogenic bacteria and an immune system that over reacts – often leading to excessive shedding, itching, dryness, hot spots and odor.

Medications can provide relief from the effects of a pet’s disrupted skin biome, but do nothing to help the cause, often leaving the animal in a vicious cycle of treat-and-repeat. The only true product solution to the problem of an unnatural imbalance is to bring the skin’s biome back to its natural state, in a safe and scientifically-proven way: the use of topical probiotics!

Topical probiotics are not designed to treat, cure or prevent any of the ailments listed above. They do not clean the coat or the skin. Instead, they work to rejuvenate, support and maintain the bacteria naturally found on the skin and allow these trillions of “good guys” to do what they do best: protect their home from the environmental damage and inflammation that causes skin and coat issues.

Think of it this way: Happier Bacteria = A Happier Pet! 

Here is a great example/testimonial of how the use of Skout’s Honor’s Probiotic Skin Care line can do wonders for your pet’s skin:

“We have tried everything from Vet-prescribed medications, to a variety of other over-the-counter products, and this is the ONLY thing that has worked to clear up my dog’s ongoing skin problem. The time frame for this before/after was less than a week. I love it!!!” – Jennifer Hively, pet parent

Photos of Jennifer’s French Bulldog, before and after one week of using Skout’s Honor Probiotic Pet Shampoo & Probiotic Daily-Use Deodorizer to treat a recurring skin problem from a blocked sweat gland/inflammation.

 

 

What the Skunk?!

Skout’s Honor Skunk Odor Eliminator

 

OOOH, that smell!!  Any pet owner who has had the [unwelcome] honor of dealing with a skunked animal knows that it can be one of the worst experiences for you and your pet. So with skunk season now upon us (February through March)…are you prepared if and when “Skunk” happens to you?

Mid-February is the prime mating season for striped, hog-nosed, and hooded skunks, which is why their signature smell is so common around this time of year. Used as a defense mechanism, skunks spray each other when competing for a mate, or when unreceptive to courting attempts.  Oftentimes, curious dogs or cats find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and end up being the recipient of a skunk’s spray — and that’s when things can get crazy.  Cleaning up a skunked animal is one thing, but once that skunked animal runs into your house and rolls around on the carpets, flooring and furniture to rid themselves of the odor, you’ve got a much bigger problem to deal with.

The age-old method of bathing your animal in tomato juice to soak out the odor may still work for some, but for most it’s not a realistic solution.  Luckily, products like Skout’s Honor’s NEW Skunk Odor Eliminator can help knock out odors quickly and effectively to provide relief for both you and your pet.  This special, award-winning formula breaks down and destroys skunk spray and odor molecules on contact and is safe to use on both skunked animals & surfaces!

More Skunk Facts:

  • Skunks are cat-sized or smaller; all of the five species found throughout North America can be identified by their distinctive black and white coloration of either stripes or spots.
  • Skunks are extremely nearsighted, yet have a very fine-tuned sense of smell.
  • Skunks are solitary, except when raising young or sharing a den for warmth.
  • Striped skunks, hog-nosed, and hooded skunks breed in February and March and the babies are born in May and June. Spotted skunks breed either later in the spring, in early summer, or in the fall — as is the case with western spotted skunks.
  • Skunks den in natural cavities like woodchuck burrows, hollow logs, and brush piles, as well as crevices in stone walls and under buildings.
  • A den is used only for brief periods because skunks are nomadic.
  • Once classified as members of the family that includes weasels, martens, and badgers, skunks are now placed in a family of their own.
  • Skunks can be active all year but will remain in dens during cold spells.
  • Skunks often tumble into window wells and are not able to climb out due to their nearsightedness and poor climbing ability. If a skunk is stuck in a window well, it is very easy to help them out.
  • Skunks follow their noses, so if a garage door is open, a skunk will likely amble in. If the skunk enters the garage, The HSUS recommends leaving a garage door open at night and sprinkling flour along the bottom of it so you can see exiting tracks.

*Reposted content from Humane Society

Skin Care for Pets?

Laura Nativo, pet expert & her fury baby Delilah
Skout’s Honor Probiotic Skin Care for Pets!

You heard us right. Skin Care for Pets is here, thanks to the ALL NEW Probiotic Skin Care/Grooming line from Skout’s Honor.  Finally, pet parents everywhere are realizing that keeping their pets’ skin and coat healthy is a must for ensuring their overall wellness.  

When the American Academy of Dermatology calls topical probiotics “one of the new beauty breakthroughs…” and companies like CliniqueColumbiaAndalou and Pacifica start to include it in their products, you listen. If you are a pet parent trying to do what’s best for your fur family, you wonder if that applies to them too. The good news is: YES!

Why do Probiotics matter for pets’ skin?

The skin is home to trillions of bacteria, some good and some bad. The good bacteria serve as the first line of defense against the environmental damage and inflammation commonly associated with excessive shedding, itching, dryness, infection and odor. Unfortunately, that environmental damage, commonly caused by over grooming, a dip in the pool, heat, wind, an over-sanitized environment and pretty much everything else a pup faces on a day-to-day basis also disrupts the natural environment on the skin (also known as the biome) and leaves our loved ones open to all of the ailments mentioned above. Ailments that, if the skin were left in its natural state, would not be an issue.

These problems are currently dealt with passively. Grooming products utilize everything from oatmeal to essential oils to deal with the negative effects of a disrupted biome but have done nothing to help revive and support the skin’s natural protective layer. Until now. Topical probiotics provide a scientifically-proven natural active solution for supporting and maintaining the skin’s natural ability to defend against and repair the damage associated with excessive shedding, itching, dryness, infection and odor.

When applied to the skin, probiotics make it difficult for harmful bacteria to take over and allow the good bacteria to flourish. This allows them to block-out opportunistic pathogenic bacteria and naturally calm the immune system. The result, a noticeably healthier-looking skin and coat in 2-4 weeks and the immediate gratification of knowing that your dog’s natural defenses are being supported in an effective and natural way!

More on Skout’s Honor’s Probiotic Skin Care for Pets

Additional information about the groundbreaking trend of Topical Probiotics in Beauty Products:

7.3.17 Happi.com “Probiotics Play a Key Role in Maintaining Skin Health”

http://www.happi.com/issues/2017-07-01/view_anti-aging–cosmeceutical_corner/probiotics-play-a-key-role-in-maintaining-skin-health/

8.8.16 Dermatology Times “Are Skincare Products with Probiotics Worth the Hype?”

http://dermatologytimes.modernmedicine.com/dermatology-times/news/skincare-products-probiotics

3.10.16 Elle.com “Why You Should Put Yogurt on Your Face” 

http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/a33771/probiotic-skincare/?src=social-email

5.1.16 Allure “You Should Probably Start Using SkinCare Products with Probiotics in Them”

https://www.allure.com/story/probiotics-skin-care

 

 

 

Being Prepared When a Disaster Strikes

by Samantha Grant, Pet Specialty Expert & Retail Associate

I have been planning this blog post for a little while, because late summer and early fall is “fire season” here in southern California, but with Hurricane Harvey devastating Texas and the southern region, the time to discuss tips and strategies for disaster preparedness is especially relevant. I’ve personally had to evacuate due to wildfires four or five times throughout my life, several times with livestock in addition to our family’s house pets. Dealing with disaster is never easy, and the challenges of surviving a major event with your animals presents some unique problems.

 

The first thing to keep in mind is that if you are not prepared to take care of yourself and your human family members first, you will likely be unable to do much for your animals. I keep emergency kits in my vehicles (car, truck and horse trailer) as well as in the house. My mobile kits include three days worth of non-perishable food and water for one person, a blanket, a spare change of clothes including underwear, close-toed shoes, a basic first aid kit, and a few tools (utility knife, screwdrivers, flashlight with spare batteries, jumper cables, etc.).  Yes, these items take up a fair amount of space, but they’ve come in handy in emergencies more than once. The home-based kit is a little more extensive and I keep 2 weeks worth of bottled water, canned and dry goods that I rotate throughout the year. In a pinch, many canned meats and vegetables can be fed to your pets as well.

Secondly, I keep emergency items for every animal in the household. Just as I rotate canned and dry goods for the humans in our home, I do the same for our animals. As a minimum, I keep a three-day supply of food at all times. This rule has come in handy even under mundane circumstances, such as when I was sick and couldn’t make it to the pet store, or when a vehicle was at the mechanic for longer than anticipated. When there is a sale on canned pet foods, which typically have a shelf life of 2-5 years, I will often buy a case. Even if you typically only feed dry kibble, keeping canned pet food on hand is a must. In an emergency, the moisture content of canned pet foods can keep your pet hydrated so you don’t have to dip as deeply into your own emergency water supply.

In addition, I keep easily accessible travel crates, or spare collars and leashes for each animal in the house, depending on what is species-appropriate. Each of these emergency items has a tag with my contact information on it, as well as anything critical to the animal’s well being, such as necessary medications or allergies. It is important to have these items in an easily accessible location in your home, garage, or vehicle.

You will also want to have a pet first-aid kit. While you can purchase pre-made first aid kits for animals, you may choose to put together your own, more complete version. If your pet requires any sort of important medication be sure to ask your veterinarian for an extra refill of that prescription to keep in your first-aid kit. Again, be sure to rotate those medications so that they are not expired when your pet may need them most.

Third, have a detailed, written plan for your family. In the event of a major disaster, having a clear plan is crucial. If a spouse, roommate, or neighbor knows where to find your family’s emergency plan, he or she will be able to determine where to go or what to do under different circumstances if they can’t immediately reach you. For instance, in case of a wildfire requiring evacuation, our county offers temporary stalls for livestock at the fairgrounds, and small animals that cannot be with their owners for whatever reason can be tagged and housed at the county animal shelter until evacuation orders are lifted. I keep a binder that has photos of each of our animals, photocopies of important paperwork (vaccination records, registration papers, microchip numbers, and so on) all sealed in plastic. In the front of the binder is a list of important phone numbers and addresses, such as veterinarians I use, the local animal shelter, and out-of-state family members.

These days, most people rely on their smartphones to remember these kinds of things, but in the case of a natural disaster, fire or flood may damage your technology, and having an old-fashioned “hard copy” is well worth the effort. Perhaps more importantly, if you are caught away from home when disaster strikes, a friend or first responder who goes to pick up or take care of your animals will better be able to help your pets if he or she knows where to take them or who to call.

Bottom line: keep yourselves and your pets safe by staying prepared!

Pro tip: most canned goods that have been properly stored
are safe to consume for 6-12 months past their expiration date.


Check out this article about the shelf life of canned goods for more information!

Great Ways to Help Your Kids Adapt to Living With a New Pet

by Amber Kingsley

If you’ve been a parent for a while already, you know that having kids is a great responsibility. You have to take care of their health, appearance, psychological well-being, social comfort, and so on. And if you’ve ever lived with a pet, you know that’s a big portion of responsibility too. You need to ensure that your four-legged friend is healthy, happy, and not hungry.

Both kids and four-legged friends require love, care, and attention. Each one is challenging in its own right, and double-challenging when rolled into one. Below are some great ways to help your kids and newly adopted pets make friends with one another.


Make Sure Your Kids and New Pet Are Introduced to Each Other
Although it sounds like an obvious thing to do, you should make sure to introduce your kids and pets to one another. Both kids and pets are vulnerable creatures, and it takes time for them to adjust to the new circumstances and start feeling comfortable. So your goal is to take things slow and make sure the stage of the first encounter is not skipped. Give your kids and new pet some time to get to know each other. Follow the best practices of introducing pets to children, and soon enough you’ll see how great they pull together.

Teach Your Kids the Basics of Pet-Friendly Etiquette
The least you can do is to teach your kids to treat pets respectfully. It might sound a little bit overdramatized, but your goal is to make sure your kids understand that they should treat pets the way they’d like to be treated. It’s not polite to come play with a pet when it’s sleeping or eating. It’s also not a good idea to try to pull pet’s fur or jab fingers in pet’s face. All these rules of treating pets are about common sense, and they are necessary to follow. Not only will these tips help your kid and pet make friends faster, but it is also a way to ensure your kids are safe when pets are around.

Ask Your Kids to Help Take Care of Your New Pet
Another great approach to follow is to encourage your kids to take part in pet-caring activities such as washing, feeding, walking, and so forth. This way, your kids will gradually develop the feeling of responsibility regarding your new pet. And the benefit of this idea is twofold. On the one hand, you’ll be able to relax and be sure that your kids are safe when your pet is around. On the other hand, you’ll get a great deal of help. After all, who wouldn’t want a helping hand when it comes to taking care of fluffy friends?

And What’s the Bottom Line?
When it comes to introducing pets and kids, time is key. Just like making new friends with people, making new friends with pets consists of many stages. Don’t rush it, and your loved ones will make a great team before you even know it.


About The Author
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.

Housetraining Tips from a Certified Dog Trainer & Canine Specialist

@goldenreuben "Potty-training"
@goldenreuben “Potty-training”

At Skout’s Honor, we love to provide educational tips and tools for our customers, to help them deal with their everyday pet stain and odor issues. Adopting a new puppy (or any rescue animal for that matter) can be one of the most trying times for pet owners and is one of the most common reasons why they seek expert advice.

We’re excited to offer these specific tips for Housetraining Your Puppy from our Guest Blogger Renee Jones, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Canine Specialist!

HOUSETRAINING TIPS:

The amount of time it takes to housetrain your puppy is primarily dependent on you. If you do it right, it shouldn’t take long at all, perhaps just a few weeks. Dogs are unique – some “get it” right away and others don’t get it quite so fast.

The most important thing to remember when housetraining your puppy is that unless you actually catch him in the act of having an accident in the house, you should NOT punish him or yell at him. Above all, do NOT take him to the spot and put his nose in it or show it to him. First of all, if he had an accident it is your fault, not his. You should have been watching him more closely. Secondly, he will have no idea why you are mad at him. He’s gone potty hundreds of times before and been praised for it. He does not fully understand the concept of “place” yet, so punishing him for something that is natural (going potty) only confuses him.

If you do catch him in the act, quickly (but calmly) pick him up and without raising your voice, say NO! and take him outside. When he finishes, praise him.

Most puppies will go into a “pre-potty” routine. Some of the common signs that he is getting ready to go potty are sniffing the floor and circling an area. Watch for these signs and go outside immediately!

If you are crate or cage-training your puppy, there are a few important things to remember:

  • Make sure your crate/cage is properly sized for your puppy.
  • Do not put food or water in the cage.
  • Take your puppy outside immediately after you open the cage.
  • Whenever your puppy is not being watched by a responsible family member, he should be in the cage. You might also want to have a leash on your puppy and loop it through your belt or keep it on your wrist so he can’t wander off to go potty when you aren’t watching him.
  • Like most training, housetraining is about consistency & positive reinforcement. Use specific commands to tell your puppy what you want him to do and use the same command all the time. For example, say “Outside” when it’s time to go out to potty. Once you’re there, pick another word or short phrase like “Hurry Up” or “Find a spot” to have him do his business.
  • If you keep your puppy leashed when he is outside you will make certain he is actually going potty when he is outside. If we just let the puppy out in the yard unattended, he may easily get distracted and forget to go.   Then when he comes back inside and has an accident we can’t understand it! He was just outside!!
  • As soon as your puppy goes to the bathroom, praise him!! Let him know that was exactly what you wanted him to do. Then take him back inside right away so that he only associates the word “outside” with going potty. A few minutes later you can take him out to play, if you wish.

If your puppy does have an accident in the house it is extremely important that you thoroughly clean the area with a product specifically made to clean pet stains and odors. If you don’t use a product for pet accidents, even if you can’t smell an odor your puppy can and he will return to that spot again and again. To him it will smell like it is “ok” to eliminate in that place.

Remember, until your puppy is accident-free, he is not housetrained. Even though you thought you were about done with this stage, you must go back to the same level of monitoring and training you were doing at the beginning of the training. Be patient! You’ll get there. The better job you do, the better your puppy will do!

Renee Jones
Renee Jones

 

More About Renee:

Renee Jones, CPDT-KSA is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, Jean Donaldson and Victoria Stillwell, to name a few.  She is a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).  She serves as the Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for JeffersPet and JeffersPet.com.