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Friday, February 26, 2016

Why do my dogs lick each other's ears?

“I have two Labradors and they’re always licking each other’s ears. Why do they do that?”

According to What Dogs Want by Arden Moore, Caring for Your Dog by Bruce Fogle, and the article “Why Do My Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?” by Lisa McQuerry, there are a few possible reasons. Dogs lick to relive stress or just for something to do, so they could be anxious or bored. It’s also a way to show submission – when two dogs meet, the lower-ranking dog will often lick the higher-ranking dog.

However, it’s also just a good-natured show of companionship. From a young age, dogs will lick each other to establish and re-affirm bonds. Mothers will groom their puppies, and the puppies will lick her muzzle to indicate that they’re hungry. If our patron’s Labradors are friendly with one another and otherwise content, they’re likely engaging in friendly allogrooming.

While this is likely a harmless display of canine friendship, McQuerry cautions to keep an eye on the dogs to be sure that moisture from excessive ear-licking doesn’t lead to an infection.

For more information on dogs, Decoding Your Dog and Myrna Milani’s Dogsmart are both available for borrowing here at Newton Falls Public Library.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Can you give me any information on how to clean suede?

Suede boots are particularly popular in the winter, but they’re unfortunately prone to stains and scuffing. We looked through several books and websites and found a collection of suede-cleaning tips.

Commercial suede-cleaning products are available (though be sure to only use cleaners specifically designed for suede, not general leather cleaners, as they can mat down suede’s signature soft nap). A suede brush, soft, dry toothbrush, or soft nailbrush is also useful. Brush against the nap to remove dirt, and then brush it back into place to restore its appearance.

If a stain doesn’t come off with the help of a brush, try an eraser – something called a “suede eraser” can be purchased for this very purpose, though an art gum eraser may also work.

There was one area where our sources disagreed – some recommended using undiluted white vinegar to lift stains and some cautioned against it. Anyone willing to try this method would probably do best to first test it in an inconspicuous area.

We found our information in Fix It, Clean It, and Make It Last and Jeff Bredenberg’s Clean It Fast, Clean It Right, and on the websites One Good Thing by Jillee and HowToCleanStuff.Net. Both of the books are available for checkout here at the library.