Family Time: Paw-friendly tips for a fresh home and a healthy pet

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

After a few months of oscillating between indoor and outdoor living, it's time to prepare pets for cold weather and residing in closed quarters. To make sure your home is fresh and clean through the seasonal transition and that pets stay healthy and odor-free, consider these tips.

- Prevent unpleasant odors.  Pet odors are a downside to sharing your home with a furry friend. These smells can become even more prominent during the cooler months when you cannot open the windows to let in fresh air. When guests are coming over it's not uncommon for homeowners to worry about pet odors in the house. In fact, according to AcuPOLL research in Jan. 2010, 86 percent of cat owners believe that sometimes they cannot smell cat odors in their own home but others can. To combat this, use an advanced odor eliminating product.

- Stay healthy, remain healthy. Healthy pets' owners keep their areas clean and odor free. Just as we would not use a filthy bathroom, cats' natural desire for cleanliness extends to their litter box. Keep the litter box clean by removing waste daily and changing the litter frequently. Be sure to keep regular vet appointments and monitor your pet's behavior. Changes to litter box use habits may be a sign of a potential health problem.

- Wash, tag, repeat. Though flea and tick season is over, it is essential to keep pets clean. Put an appointment on the calendar for regular bathing, which helps minimize shedding and odors. If the air is dry, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to discourage excess dander. Also, make sure that you or the groomer puts your pet's collar and ID tags back on afterward. Even indoor cats may slip through an open door or window, so it's important to tag as well. 

- Keep furniture fur free. Since pets may not have the option of lying in a sunny spot in the yard, they will need a cozy place to curl up in the house. To discourage pets from sitting on the furniture and getting pet hair all over you and your guests it is best to make sure they have their own beds. Just be sure to wash pet beds regularly to keep them clean and smelling fresh.


Family Screening Room


Rated: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language)

Length: 129 minutes

Synopsis: A drama centered on three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. George (Damon) is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (de France), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might-or must-exist in the hereafter.

Violence/scary rating: 4

Sexual-content rating: 2

Profanity rating: 3

Drugs/alcohol rating: 3

Family Time rating: 4. Because of the subject matter – death – this is a film for older teens.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Book Report

Guinness World Records 2011,” by Guinness World Records

Ages: Young adults

Pages: 288

Synopsis: “Guinness World Records 2011” continues to build on the intriguing, informative, inspiring and instructional records and superlatives that have made Guinness World Records one of the most famous brands and an annual best-seller around the world. New this year is more U.S.-specific content, including spreads dedicated to "American heroes," "North American wildlife," "Route 66" and extended sports pages.

Did You Know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said deaths involving teenage drivers dropped from 2,200 in 2004 to 1,400 in 2008.

GateHouse News Service