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Barks & Recreation: Dog Fitness

You gotta walk the dog -- this much you know. But should you run with him? When is it too hot? We asked experts to explain the finer points of canine fitness.

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Popular in Pets

Pet Cafe

Tired of tripping over food bowls? Here are some creative solutions for pet food storage.

A kitchen is a natural place to feed your dog or cat, but pet food bowls can get underfoot and large bags of chow are awkward to store. As shown here, standard cabinets have features that can be converted into easy-to-reach feeding stations. You also can keep your pet's food in convenient bins and stow dishes in hideaway compartments that remain out of sight until needed.

Converted from trash-holder to food storage.

Designed to hold trash baskets and bags, pullout drawers and swing-out bins are typical lower-cabinet features that are readily adapted for storing bulk quantities of dry dog or cat food.

Create an island oasis for your pet.

This island features a feeding station set at the perfect height for Skipper, the shih tzu. It closes with a tambour door. There are also drawers for storing grooming accessories.

When company comes, pet food disappears.

This cat culinary center in an island can be closed off with a flick of the wrist to eliminate messy pet dishes sitting on the floor. Ordinarily, the door stays open for Natasha, but when guests arrive, the homeowners can close the door, and the mess disappears.

Improperly-stored pet foods can grow stale or draw insects. Here are some ways to prevent these problems, recommended by pet food company Ralston Purina.

  • Dry pet food will stay fresh for six to nine months when stored in a cool dry place.
  • To keep the food bug-free, it's best to store your pet food in airtight aluminum, glass, or heavy-duty plastic containers.
  • Soft-moist pet foods will stay fresh for three to six months kept in their original packages with the top rolled tightly closed.
  • Once canned pet food is opened, cover the unused portion and refrigerate. Fido or Mittens will appreciate it if you let the chilled food come to room temperature before serving the rest of the can.

Out darned roach!

If insects do become a problem, the following steps will help eliminate them:

  • Seal infested food in a plastic bag and discard the sealed bag in the garbage.
  • Spray areas of infestation with an insecticide using these guidelines:
  • Use a household surface insecticide, available at grocery or hardware stores, which has been developed to control crawling insects. Keep children and pets away from the areas you're spraying.
  • Do not apply insecticide to any food or food containers. Thoroughly spray shelf surfaces. Sprayed surfaces should be wet but not so wet that the insecticide runs off.
  • Let the insecticide evaporate naturally until all surfaces feel dry when touched.
  • Periodically, thoroughly clean the shelving where pet food is stored.

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