...just a few "TIPS n TRICKS"

    Not TRICKS for the dog silly...for the humans!  So move over, Martha.  
    Here are some hard-earned tips that we animal lovers can try out using
    simple household items.

    CARROTS.
    If you live with a career chewer, you probably know how expensive it can be to dole
    out rawhides or other chew treats, day in and day out.  Once cheap option is carrots:
    They satisfy most dogs' yearnings for a chewie with a little give, and they won't
    stain your carpet.

    Don't feel too  virtuous though: Since dogs lack the digestive enzymes to break down
    cellulose, vegetables must be pulverized in order to provide nutritional value.  You'd
    be better off asking your local health-food store for their leftover veggie pulp.

    Also carrots in excess tend to give a dog's coat an orangy tint.

    LISTERINE.
    If your animals relive themselves in your backyard, no amount of scooping or hosing
    can get rid of that lingering smell.  That's when you need to mix up a batch of this
    nontoxic spray, which includes more or less equal parts of Listerine (buy the original
    battery-acid-yellow formula), dish-washing liquid (some people swear by Dawn, but
    any brand will do) and water.  Pour it into a spray bottle or hose-powered feeder and
    go to town!  

    The listerine kills the naughty bacteria responsible for the odor and the dishwashing
    liquid helps it cling to surfaces.  You can use this on plants without fear of damaging
    them; repeat as many times as necessary.

    ZIPPERED BAGS.
    ...full of water.  This tip came from a seminar by former professional handler and
    American Kennel Club judge Pat Hastings, who swears by it.  If you have a problem
    with flies congregating around your home, kennel or barn - fill a gallon size zippered
    plastic bag with water, seal and hang on the fence or over the doorway.  The theory
    has something to do with light refraction, or the flies seeing horror-flick-sized
    reflections of themselves.

    VINEGAR.
    You can invest big bucks in those brand-name carpet cleaners that promise to remove
    urine stains from your rug.  Or you can just go to your favorite grocery store and buy
    an industrial vat of white vinegar.  Cut the vinegar with water, and bingo - a simple
    concoction that will neutralize urine smells.  

    Don't make the mistake many people do and use ammonia to clean up the "whoopses".  
    Animals are actually attracted to the smell!

    CANNED PUMPKIN.
    When your animal has an upset stomach, white rice and boiled chicken is what most
    people recommend to get the tummy back on track.  Instead, consider canned
    pumpkin, not pie mix.  With it's high fiber content, pumpkin speedily resolves bouts
    of diarrhea, and conversely, relieves constipation too.

    As with any change in your dog's health, consult your veterinarian if the diarrhea is
    serious or persists, or involves a very young or elderly dog.

    GREEN BEANS.
    Even though vets warn about the dire consequences of obesity, most owners wimp
    out because they can't stand the pleading eyes or the incessant whines.

    Try substituting canned green beans, which are low in calories but high in bulk, to the
    newly reduced portions.

    Parmesan cheese...fussy eaters can be infuriating.  This simple trick is a favorite of
    stud-dog owners.  When the dogs go on a hunger strike, sprinkle the potent grated
    cheese atop the regular food, and cross your fingers!

    WOOD STOVE PELLETS.
    And last but not least....to house train those puppies!  Try using wood-burning stove
    pellets.  Preservative free, these capsule-sized pellets disintegrate into sawdust
    when wet, and can be easily scooped and replaced.

    If you have a Tip or Trick that you would like to share - please email it to
    me and I'll post it on the website for other humans to enjoy! :)