Welcome to A Pet’s Tale! Every other month I will answer your pet questions right here in the pages of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine. As an avid pet lover (I currently have three pets and they are my babies) and long–time team member at Soldan’s Pet Supplies, I am excited to share my expertise with other pet lovers. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Q. My cat has a terrible habit of jumping up on my kitchen counters. How can I stop him from doing that? A: Cats love to jump, climb and be up high, so start with making sure that you have an alternative for them to jump or climb on, such as a tall piece of cat furniture. There are also many different products available that deter them from jumping on forbidden areas, either sprays that keep them away from those certain areas or products to place on the counter. Q. With summer in full swing, my dog is outside more, jumping in ponds, splashing through mud puddles and so on, how often should I bathe him? A: Normally, I would only suggest bathing your dog once or twice a month to avoid drying their skin out. But if they have been in a pond, mud puddles, etc., you would want to give them a bath that same day to get all of the dirt and possible bacteria off of them. If you have to wash your dog multiple times a month, look for a shampoo that is soap and detergent free. This will be much better for their skin. Soldan’s has a great line of these! Q. My two–year–old pup has recently been waking up each night around 4 a.m. This is a new development and I’d prefer he go back to sleeping throughout the night. Any ideas? A: The first question to ask is why is he waking up? There are so many factors that could be causing this that it is important to figure out the reason. It could be a neighbor making noise, he needs to go potty or even the diet that the dog eats before bed. Once you determine the cause, you can try to treat it. If he needs to go potty, try letting him out later at night so he isn’t holding it for as long. If a crate was used for housebreaking, you can use one for a period of time to reinforce or retrain the habit you desire. If diet, try avoiding treats (especially sugary ones) before bed. If he is unable to make it outside and is having accidents inside, it could be a sign of a medical issue and a vet should be seen.
Meg (Margaret) Bashore is a store manager at Soldan's Pet Supplies. Born and raised in Lansing, she has worked at Soldan's for 10 years and loves it. She is a new mom to a beautiful baby boy, as well as a mom to some four-legged kids - two dogs - Toby, a Jack Russell mix who is about 6 years old and Bruiser, an American Pit Bull Terrier who is 3 and one cat, Steve, who is 4 years old.