Do-it-yourself tips for pet owners in honor of National Pet Month

April is National Pet Month and a good time to adopt a dog or cat. But living with pets in Arizona can be challenging. Here are some questions you may have:Where should I install a doggie door?Lots of dog door kits are for sale in pet stores and elsewhere.The best place to install that door is in your garage or in a utility room so you can put a deadbolt lock on the door in that area that leads to the rest of the house. Bad guys have been known to use doggie doors as a way of entering and burglarizing homes.Some doggie doors connect to backyard runs. Be sure there are locks on the run to keep intruders out.What about using electronic fences with dogs?Yes, these “fences” can train your dog not to leave the yard or trample the veggies or the flowers.The devices include a transmitter and a set of wires that you have to bury a few inches underground. Then you put a special receiver collar on your dog.When he’s wearing it, he hears a warning and feels a small electric charge if he crosses the lines set with wires.If I build a kennel, what should it be like?Remember, few pets can be left outside all year round in southern and central Arizona.If you’re planning a kennel, put it in a cooler, shaded area in your yard. It should have shade the entire day.Cover the sides and top of it with strong fencing to protect against wildlife, including coyotes and hawks. Put cement-secure screening into the bottom of the walls to keep out snakes.If you leave your dogs in a garage when you’re at work, you should install a mini-split air conditioner.How do I remove pet odors from the house?Rent a wet vac/extractor to remove heavy stains on rugs. These machines force clean water into the rug and force dirty water out.You can then treat the carpeting with a pet odor neutralizer once the area is really clean.If the situation is really bad, replace the carpet with pet-friendly porcelain tile.How do I fix a pet’s scratch marks on hardwood flooring?When wood flooring is first installed, put a polyurethane seal on the surface. Later, you can use marking pens containing wood stain to hide surface scratches.For really deep scratches, sand them and restain the wood to match surrounding areas. Then reseal with polyurethane.

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