Healthy Pet Advice

Get tips on helping cats cope with moving, sneezing dogs, destructive behavior in cats, the causes of kennel cough, dealing with kitty litter odor and pet oral hygiene.


| February/March 1992



Pets

Is it toothbrush time yet?


PHOTO: HAGIT BERKOVICH

The owner of a healthy pet takes care of his/her animals in more ways than simple belly-scratching affection. Though it may seem tedious, you should make sure you brush dogs’ and cats’ teeth about once a week. To keep the cat box from smelling sour, mix cedar in with kitty litter. Don’t declaw your cat to make her less destructive; embrace the natural predator that she was born to be. Beyond this simple healthy pet advice, keep reading to find out what to do about kennel cough, the “in-sneeze,” moving to a new home with your cat and natural flea control.

You're probably familiar with some of the best insect guards of the plant world; marigolds, nasturtiums and members of the garlic family are well known to organic gardeners as natural de-buggers. Not as well-known but equally effective are chrysanthemums (they contain a chemical that deadens the nerves of fleas) and pyrethrum (an extract of the mum that is used as a natural flea powder). Mint and cedar are also excellent flea deterrents. When dried and added to the pets’ bedding or steeped and used as a final rinse at bath time, they help to deter fleas and ticks from thinking that your dog is an attractive host. These plants create a natural pest blockade when grown around your house and garden.

When planning your garden, include plants that help the insides of your animals as well. Catnip, a member of the mint family, is ridiculously easy to grow, and your cat will thank you for planting it.

Both canines and cats love dog or couch grass: It works as an intestinal cleanser, and they will seek it out if their stomachs are upset. Parsley is high in iron as well as being a natural breath deodorizer, and an ill pooch will seek out garlic when it doesn't feel well. You may even want to plant a special "pet garden" for your animals.

Remember that adding some organic carrots, corn or potatoes to your pet's food will ensure variety as well as valuable nutrients. Happy Planting!

Q. In about a month's time, our family is moving, and I'm concerned about how our cat is going to adjust. He's a neutered six-year-old, and he's never lived anywhere but here. What can we do to make sure that he doesn't get lost? 





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