Here is a list of “handy hints” that have been sent to me over the years, (probably off the net somewhere), that may (or may not) be useful in your everyday life. We cannot endorse the hints, although some we have tried with success. If you have any hints of your own, please email us at the_protector@hotmail.ca  so we can share with the readers.

Air Fresheners
Cinnamon and Cloves: Boil these spices for a fragrant smell. For ease of cleaning, make a cheesecloth bag to contain these spices, and boil the cheesecloth bag. An excellent alternative when entertaining is to steep spiced tea or cider.
Potpourri: Buy or make your own potpourri from your favourite herbs and spices. Place the potpourri in a small basket or jar or in small sachet bags.
Vinegar: Distribute partially filled saucers of vinegar around the room or boil 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in 1 cup of water to eliminate unpleasant cooking odours.

Essential oils are ideal for creating effective, all-natural fresheners for the entire house. The air freshening qualities of lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree cleanse and freshen homes that are shut tight during colder winter months. Simply place one ounce of water in an atomizer and add 12 drops of your favourite aroma.
Shake well and spray into the room to mask unpleasant odours and introduce pleasant, enjoyable and healthy aromas. Make small batches frequently to ensure freshness.

Try these two room sprays which feature tea tree oil. Mix the oils in one ounce of water in a spray mist bottle. Shake well and spray fragrance in the air or in a specific area such as a bathroom or pet area.

Pet Blend
8 drops cedarwood oil
4 drops tea tree oil

Deodorizing Spray
6 drops bergamot oil
1 drop tea tree oil
5 drops lemon oil

Aloe Vera for pet first aid
Aloe Vera, also called the medicine plant or the burn plant, has long been recognized for its ability to sooth damaged skin. It makes a good choice for pets because it provides temporary relief on contact for hot spots, bites, clipper burns, and many other skin irritations that our pets may occasionally experience. Aloe Vera is also non-toxic, so we needn’t worry about our pets ingesting it if they lick their sores.
Which brings us to the second reason why aloe is a good choice: it has a bitter taste. Thus, an application of Aloe Vera may discourage your pet from licking at the irritated skin. Licking can slow healing, so any easy ways to discourage licking are welcome.

Animal bites
Mix equal quantities of castor oil and lime juice. Massage the affected area with this mixture. Also drink 1 cup warm water mixed with lime juice and honey.


Backyard Bugs – Diatomaceous Earth.
This white powdery substance is actually the fossilized remains of diatoms, tiny little critters. To us it feels like talcum powder, but under a microscope you can see sharp jagged edges. The diatomaceous earth pierces soft bodied bugs (like flea larvae and snails) when they crawl across it, causing them to die. If you decide to use diatomaceous earth, be sure to buy the pure kind that isn’t chemically treated. The type sold for use in swimming pool filters is treated with chemicals that you don’t want. Sprinkle it on the ground on your lawn and in garden beds. Be sure the area you’re treating is dry–wet diatomaceous earth has no effect on the bugs. Fence off the area to keep your pets out–it isn’t poisonous, but it isn’t wonderful if they inhale the powder. For the same reason, wear a dust mask as you apply it to the ground. After a few days, rake it around and water it in. At this point, the pets can have access to the treated area. We use DE each spring to control snails and other unwanted garden pests.

Bitches in Season
If your bitch is in season, and you are not planning to mate her, you can give her liquid Chlorophyll (from the Health Shop).
Start with 5 mls and increase it daily to about 2 caps full daily for a medium size dog. Some handlers have succeeded in masking the oestrus odour by giving the female chlorophyll tablets at the first sign of the heat cycle. It is believed to take the stress off any male animals when the female oestrus odour is “masked”. Chlorophyll has been found to be non-toxic, soothing to body tissues and safe for use by people of all ages and animals.

Burrs in Coat
Brushing out a burr is not always possible, but there is another way, as opposed to just hacking it out in a chunk. It still cuts it out, but in a less traumatic way for your dog’s coat.
Take a sewing seam ripper, and pick the hairs around the burr until it can be pulled out.
To prevent burrs from becoming encased again, a spritz with mink-oil conditioner will keep his coat nice and slippery, and any burrs will brush out easily. You can buy mink-oil conditioner from most groomers.

Cedar Chips
Cedar chips are a great repellent for fleas, ants, mice, ticks. Use some around the outside of the house. Put some in dogs bedding, or cats bedding. Outside it helps keep away ants, mice, and ticks.
In the garden use it repels Japanese beetles, and some other insects. I use cedar chips around my roses bush. It wouldn’t bloom for years. I used some chips and the next spring my rose bush was full of blooms!

Chewing Gum in Coat
For gum stuck just on top of the coat, use ice cubes to freeze it first, then you can either break it off, or lift it off gently.
If the gum has been rubbed right in, a good solvent will remove it better than anything. Peanut butter works for this rather well.
For gum stuck in the hairs between his toes, it is best to just cut it off carefully, and keep those hairs trimmed to avoid further mishaps.

If your bitch is in season, and you are not planning to mate her, you can give her liquid Chlorophyll (from the Health Shop).
Start with 5 mls and increase it daily to about 2 caps full daily for a medium size dog. Some handlers have succeeded in masking the oestrus odour by giving the female chlorophyll tablets at the first sign of the heat cycle. It is believed to take the stress off any male animals when the female oastrus odour is “masked”. Chlorophyll has been found to be non-toxic, soothing to body tissues and safe for use by people of all ages and animals.

Damaged dry hair
A nourishing conditioner for dry or damaged hair which can be used for all hair types: Separate the white of an egg from the yolk, whip it to a peak. Add 1 Tablespoon of water to the yolk and blend until the mixture is creamy. Then mix the white and yolk together. Wet your hair with warm water, remove the excess moisture, and apply the mixture to your scalp with your fingertips. Massage gently until the froth is worked into your scalp, then rinse the hair with cool water. Keep applying the mixture until it is used up and then rinsed until all of the egg is washed away.

The vinegar is poured into the hair, massaged into the scalp, and left to dry for a few minutes. Then the hair is washed. The process is repeated daily until the dandruff disappears, usually within a few days.

Dogged dish
For a cheap dog dish that won’t blow away, fill an ice-cream container with two centimetres of sand, then sit a second container the same size inside it.

Ear Mites
An oil and vitamin E mixture can help to smother the little buggers that have taken up residence in your pet’s ears. Blend one-half ounce of almond or olive oil and 400 I.U. of vitamin E (from a capsule) in a dropper bottle and then warm the mixture to body temperature by immersing it in hot water.
To administer the drops, hold your pet’s ear flap up and put about half a dropperful in the ear. Then massage the ear canal well enough so that you hear a fluid sound. Once you’ve massaged the area for about a minute, you can let your pet shake her head. After she’s finished, gently clean out just the opening of the ear with a cotton swab to remove any extra oil or debris. You should apply the oil in three treatments, once every other day during a six-day period. Make sure to store the mixture at room temperature with the lid tightly capped.

Ear Scratching
Keep dogs from scratching their ears – with a clean, soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar wipe around the area that is being scratched.

Fetching exercise
If your dog loves retrieving a ball but you find it hard to throw it far enough because of age, stiff joints or whatever, use an old tennis racquet to hit the ball. It goes much further than you could throw it and your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Flea control in pet beds
Cut up a new flea collar into four pieces and place under pet’s bed or under furniture cushions. This will keep the fleas away from your pet’s bed and your furniture. Replace flea collar pieces when expired.

Flea repellents
Try mixing some garlic into their food beginning early in the season.
Make a simple lemon mixture by slicing a lemon into boiling water and letting it stand for a day. Spray the liquid onto the coat two or three times a week.
Avon Skin-So-Soft works well mixed with water and used as a spray.

Fleas and mange
Add a little vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to fight fleas and mange.

Fleas and Teas
Fleas HATE Stash Earl Grey. Tear open a few bags, scatter the tea about on your carpet and vacuum up in a few days. Fleas will flee. Other folks have noticed that their pets love to roll in Stash-perhaps that’s why!

Fleas in the home
For your house: be inhospitable.
Try this recipe if your house has already been overrun with fleas. Mix 1-1/2 pounds of diatomaceous earth, 1-1/2 pounds of natural borax, and 1 cup of salt. Put some of this mixture in your vacuum cleaner bag and vacuum all carpets thoroughly. If needed, you can also sprinkle a little of the mix into any confined areas that your pet can’t get at, such as closets or small crevices behind furniture. It may take weeks or even months of weekly treatments to get rid of all adult fleas, larvae, and eggs.
Make sure to purchase the diatomaceous earth and natural borax at a garden store, not at a pool store. The type of diatomaceous earth sold at pool stores has a high crystalline silica content that is dangerous to humans and pets. Buy only diatomaceous earth with a crystalline silica content that is less than 3 percent.

Fly Repellent
2 cups vinegar, 1 cup Avon Skin So Soft, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp. Eucalyptus oil, 1 tbsp citronella oil – Put in a spray bottle and spray dog’s coat.

To discourage a dog from jumping on bed or couch when you are not home, put a few pennies in an empty soda can and place near edge of the furniture. Went Fido jumps up, can falls and the noise startles him. Be consistent and it won’t take long to change behaviour.

Hot Spots
Hot spots can lead to serious illness in dogs. They can be caused by allergies to chemicals, food, fleas and other substances, but fleas seem to be a primary source. This recipe has proven effective for many dogs suffering from Hot Spots.
3 capsules Sage
¼ teaspoon Epsom Salts
2 cups of Water
Combine all ingredients and bring this all to a boil.
Cool to room temperature and then strain out the powdered Sage.
Store in a 2-cup spray bottle or jar in the refrigerator to keep fresh.
Spray or wipe on hot spots, insect bites, or any other skin abrasions as many times a day as possible.
It heals in about 3 days, and you should begin to see some hair regrowth in a little over a week.

Mint Border
Something for spring! Mint herbs are very prolific and grow just about anywhere. Separate mint herbs and plant them around dog kennels/ fences. Can be planted along edges of dog yards, as well. These not only smell good when brushed, but also act as an insect repellent.