6 gross pet messes, smells & problems — plus 6 solutions


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Fur balls.


Foul odors.

We love our pets, but certain aspects of being a pet owner can be, well, unpleasant — like, say, when you unexpectedly step in something wet. But really, they don’t know any better. And their slobbery, messy, shedding habits should not get your knickers in a twist. So before you throw your hands up and surrender to the pile of fur sticking to your couch, check out these tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, WebMD and Petco.


DogGroom1. Shedding

Remember the time you sat down on a couch covered in fur, and when you got up, you had your very own Golden Retriever coat?

Solution: Brush your pet’s coat at least once a week to reduce shedding. The ASPCA recommends consulting your veterinarian or groomer for the best type of brush or comb for your dog’s fur type. Excessive shedding can also sometimes be prevented with proper nutrition. You may need to try different brands and formulations if your dog has allergies or sensitivities.


DogToy2. Unsanitary toys

Dogs don’t care if their toys are clean — or even in one piece. But that doesn’t mean we should let their stuffed animals become germ-infested pals.

Solution: The ASPCA recommends using hot water with a mild liquid dish soap, such as Dawn or Palmolive, to clean your pup’s toys. If his toys — particularly the plush ones — are completely destroyed, replace them.


3. Drool

If we wanted a warm bath, we would take a warm bath. But our furry friends are just looking to give us an affectionate greeting, so how can we really fault them?

Solution: Some breeds drool way more than others. So if you’re not a fan, you can easily choose a different breed. But some canines salivate as a response to certain situations — like, say, watching you eat. Do not give your dog table scraps. Better yet, have your dog leave the room while you and your family eat. Dogs also sometimes excessively drool when they get excited. Try to keep your canine calm when you have guests. And if he is interacting with other dogs, try separating them for a bit to reduce their excitement levels.


DogBath4. Foul odors

There’s really nothing like getting accosted by your pet’s stink.

Solution: Give your pets regular baths to control pet dander and allergies. Bathing a dog once a week will also help eliminate dirt and debris on his skin and coat. Cats need the occasional bath as well — as do small critters like hamsters and guinea pigs, which use a simple dirt or dust bath. And remember to change small animal bedding often.


5. Fleas and ticks

We’re really glad it finally feels like spring, but with warm weather comes the arrival of fleas and ticks.

Solution: Protect your pet with a flea bath and flea and tick medication. Use topical, on-the-spot products to repel fleas and kill existing ones. You can also try a flea-repelling collar, which lasts all season long. Treat your yard. Attach an outside spray — like Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Spray — to a garden hose nozzle, and spray both your front yard and backyard.


6. Bad breath

The bad breath of a dog is something special, isn’t it? Bad breath forms in dogs — just as it does in humans — by bacteria that grow on their tongues. These bacteria produce sulfur-based odors, aka bad breath.

Solution: If plaque is the culprit of your dog’s bad breath, he might need a professional cleaning, according to WebMD. If it’s a diet issue, you might have to change your dog’s menu. If your dog’s breath suddenly smells weird, consult your veterinarian. Unusually sweet or fruity breath could indicate diabetes; breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease; and an unusually foul odor accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite and yellow-tinged corneas or gums could signal a liver problem. You can also try purchasing Orapup. Made by the folks behind OraBrush, Orapup helps clean the crevices of your pet’s tongue.