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Can You Have a Pet and a Clean Home?

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What's the secret to a non-stinky litter box?

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What's the secret to a non-stinky litter box?

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Keep the box as clean as possible. Scoop solid waste every day, and clean the box thoroughly once a week with hot water and dish soap. For extra freshness, spread a thin layer of baking soda under the litter. If you have more than one cat, get two or more litter boxes.

Many cats don't like strong smells, so skip the scented litter and air freshener. These products may discourage your kitty from using the litter box at all.

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Should you ever give a cat a bath?

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Should you ever give a cat a bath?

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Most cats keep themselves clean and don't usually need a bath. A good brushing once or twice a week will keep shedding to a minimum. However, your cat may need a bath if she gets especially sticky or dirty. If you're allergic, you might consider bathing your cat once a week to help remove dander. Ask your vet for tips on safe bathing, and use only cat shampoo.

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How often should you give your dog a bath?

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How often should you give your dog a bath?

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Once every three months is a general guideline. But it really depends on how much time your dog spends outside and how healthy his skin is. Although it's safe to bathe your dog as often as you need to, bathing him too much may remove the natural oils in his fur and cause dry, itchy skin.

Be sure to always use a dog shampoo; products designed for people can be too harsh.

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Why do dogs like to roll on dead animals and other gross things?

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Why do dogs like to roll on dead animals and other gross things?

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Experts don't know for sure why dogs like to roll in things that smell bad, but one theory is that it's a way to mask their own scent, so they can be better hunters. Keep in mind that what smells terrible to you may smell great to your dog!

If your dog rolls in something stinky, use a brush to remove any solid material. Then give your dog a bath using regular dog shampoo. You don't need to use any special cleaners or deodorizers.

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Only unneutered male cats spray their urine.

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Only unneutered male cats spray their urine.

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Although unneutered males are most likely to spray urine, all cats may spray when they feel stressed.

You can help stop urine marking by having your cat spayed or neutered and coming up with ways to keep her happy and entertained. Talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers. These may lower anxiety, particularly in households with more than one cat. Clean all urine spots thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner. If you use other types of cleaners, your cat may try to mark the spot again.

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What's the best way to clean pet barf in your carpet?

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What's the best way to clean pet barf from your carpet?

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Vomit has acids that can stain carpets quickly. To remove the smell and prevent staining, try this:

Pick up solid material right away with a wet paper towel. Then sprinkle salt or baking soda over the area and let it dry. Vacuum, then repeat with baking soda. Once you've vacuumed, pour some club soda on the spot and blot it dry with paper towels. Don't rub. If the spot is still stained, try using a special cleaner formulated for pet stains.

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Why do dogs chew everything?

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Why do dogs chew everything?

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Chewing is natural for dogs -- it's a way for them to explore the world and relieve stress. The trick is to teach your dog what's OK to chew. Give your dog plenty of safe chew toys and move things you don't want chewed -- shoes, books, pillows -- out of reach.

If you find your dog gnawing on something he shouldn't, say "no" and hand him a chew toy instead. Giving your dog plenty of attention and exercise can also help stop unwanted chewing.

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An "accident" isn't always an accident.

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An "accident" isn't always an accident.

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Dogs may go to the bathroom inside because of anxiety, fear of going outside, or to mark their territory. Cats may go outside of their box if they're stressed, have a urinary tract infection, or they don't like their litter.

If your pet starts having accidents, see your vet to rule out a medical problem. Then ask about ways to curb the problem, like keeping your dog on a schedule or changing your cat's litter. Clean accidents with an enzymatic cleaner to stop your pet from soiling the area again.

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Learn to ignore pet hair! There's no easy way to get rid of it on clothes and furniture.

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Learn to ignore pet hair! There's no easy way to get rid of it on clothes and furniture.

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Don't give up! Pet hair may seem impossible to clean, but there are ways to remove it from your furniture, carpets, and clothing.

Use lint brushes, sticky rollers, or wrap packing tape around your hand to rub the hair off. Or mix 1 part liquid fabric softener with 3 parts water, spray it on the surface, wait a few hours, and vacuum.

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How can I stop my dog from shedding?

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How can I stop my dog from shedding?

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Although you can't stop your dog from shedding, regular brushing can help cut down the amount of dog hair in your house. Most short-haired dogs only need brushing once a week. Use a rubber or bristle brush to get rid of dirt, dead skin, and dead hair.

Dogs with long hair may need daily brushing, first with a slicker brush to remove tangles, and then with a bristle brush to get rid of hair and dirt. Feeding your dog a high-quality dog food can also help with shedding.

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How can you get a cat to stop scratching furniture?

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How can you get a cat to stop scratching furniture?

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To your cat, scratching is normal. Cats scratch to sharpen their nails, to stretch, and to mark territory. Instead of trying to stop your cat's scratching, give her plenty of good places to scratch in your home.

Try scratching posts with several different textures -- cardboard, wood, upholstery -- to see what your cat likes best. Encourage scratching by sprinkling these surfaces with catnip or hanging toys on them. Then praise your cat when she uses them.

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Dry food will cut down on smells.

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Dry food will cut down on smells.

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If you're trying to get rid of the pet smells in your home, dry food is your best bet. You can leave it out during the day and it won't go bad.

When picking a food for your pet, choose a brand with high-quality ingredients. These are more easily digested and are less likely to cause gas. Whether you choose wet or dry food, give your pet fresh food in clean bowls every day to prevent bacteria and pests.

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Why are some dogs so gassy?

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Why are some dogs so gassy?

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If your dog lets loose something "silent but deadly," his diet may be to blame. Some dog foods contain poor-quality ingredients. Gulping food too fast or eating table scraps can also cause gas.

Ask your vet to recommend a high-quality dog food, and don't share people food with your pet. If you think speed eating is the problem, try feeding him smaller meals a few times a day.

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Most puppies are housetrained by what age?

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Most puppies are housetrained by what age?

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You can encourage your puppy by keeping him on a regular feeding schedule, supervising him while inside, taking him outside often, and praising him when he goes outside.

Don't ever punish your puppy for having an accident. And don't use an ammonia-based product to clean up. Ammonia smells like urine to dogs and may tempt them to go on the same spot again. Use an enzymatic cleaner instead.

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Crating is bad for your dog.

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Crating is bad for your dog.

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When used the right way, crating can really work for housetraining. Most dogs like having a cozy, safe den. And because dogs don't like to soil their dens, crating is a good way to prevent accidents when you're not home. Crating can also help curb bad behaviors like digging and chewing.

You shouldn't use the crate for punishment or leave your puppy in a crate for more than four hours. For best results, ask your vet how to crate train.

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