Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strength and Durability of Child Safety Banister Guard Plastic Child Safety Product

Question about the product Banister Guard 15 feet by 33 inches high, Product Code: =SF-BG15

Q: Does the plastic around the holes crack? Is the plastic very strong?" Thanks, Twig

Answer: We've sold this indoor banister guard product for about 9 years and never had a complaint about the plastic cracking. The plastic is quite strong. PET medical grade plastic. Once this is installed, it is tight to the banister so there should be no tearing. You cannot tear this: you have to punch the holes and cut with sharp scissors.

Several years ago, our family went skiing at Copper Mountain. The condo we rented had an indoor banister with about a 6 inch space between the uprights. I alerted the adults and the kids to the dangers. Nonetheless, my 4 year old grandson caught his head through the opening which resulted in a few minutes of panic before we extricated him. I left a message for the management company and wonder if they ever acted on the risk as a smaller child could actually hang himself if he went feet first.

Child Proofing Banister Guard Features:

* PET medical grade plastic.
* Easy to cut to fit with scissors.
* Attach to spindles and end posts with 50 lb. tensile strength cable ties (included).
* Use hole punch (included) for customized hole placement.
* Wall anchor screws (included) for optional wall attachment.
* 33 inches high.
* For indoor use only.
* Note: No UV protection: this material degrades from sunlight exposure.

This comes in lengths to 50 feet.

Easy Installation. Use scissors to cut shatterproof KidShield to fit. Remove protective clear film. Fasten Kid Shield to banister posts with cable ties. Secure ends to a wall or end post with screws (or around banister with cable ties). Plastic Kid Shield Banister Guard, cable ties, screws, hole punch and detailed instructions provided. Approximately one cable tie provided for every 9 inches of Banister Guard. Materials needed: Tape measure, straight edge, marker, scissors and Phillips head screwdriver.

I hope this answers your questions. Just remember to remove the protective film before installing.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Automatic Outdoor Dog Water Fountain for Summer & Hot Climates

Question about the Contech Outdoor Dog Water Fountain.

Q: My labs enjoy staying outside in our fenced yard despite the summer heat. The trees provide shade but it still gets into the 80's or low 90's most days. We'd like them to have fresh water and the option of cooling off. How does the automatic water fountain work? How hard is it to train dogs to use it?" Thanks. John.

Answer: Learning to use the Automatic Dog Waterer is like learning to use a dog door. If the dog is thirsty, he or she will learn faster. When we trained our Bostons to use the dog door, we gave them dog cookies the first few times and pushed them through the door. That was all it took.

Similarly, your dogs should learn quickly to use the waterer. If you want them to get cooled off, my suggestion is to purchase a Contech Water Scarecrow. This will dump about a cup of water on them each time they approach it which should help to cool them off.

Meanwhile, these are the specifications for the automatic waterer:

* Runs on 4 "C" Batteries: Battery life: Up to 1 Year.
* Low battery indicator: when light flashes red, change batteries.
* Ultra sound based concept: Operates unattended and "activates" the fresh stream of water when your pet approaches.
* Detection Range: 40 degrees angle out to a distance of 1 meter (approximately 3 feet).
* Operates 24/7: Cool Clean Water on Demand for your dog at any time.
* Simple Installation: Installs easily on any outdoor spigot.
* Emergency Lockout: If an object remains in front of the WaterDog for more than 4 minutes, the Water Dog will shut off until the object is removed.
* Pipe Splitter Included: Flow Through Tap Connector allows you to connect another hose or sprinkler without having to disconnect the Water Dog.
* DO NOT use if there is a risk of freezing.
* Maintenance:
o Daily: Place your hand in front of the WaterDog sensor. When the light flashes green, it is working correctly.
o Monthly: Inspect the sensor area to make sure that it is clean and free of any debris. Wash the screen with soapy water.
o Yearly: Replace the alkaline batteries for maximum performance.
* Most dogs will understand how to use the WaterDog immediately. More timid dogs may need some training. When introducing your dog, make sure he is thirsty. Remove regular source of water and exercise first.
* Dimensions: Unit: 6.5" high x 3" diameter. Metal Hose: 23"
* 2 Year Limited Manufacturers Warranty.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara


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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Deck Netting to Block Openings in Picket Fence

Question about using Deck Shield Clear Deck Netting to keep dogs in a yard.

Q: "I installed a fence several years ago when I purchased a dog. It is a white plastic picket fence . My problem is I now have small dogs and one keeps getting out in between the pickets. Is there anything you sell for me to put on the fence that won't look too bad. I was looking at the clear mesh, for the decking for child protection, which comes in 50 feet wide and 35 in tall lengths. Do you think that is o.k. or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help." Barbara C.

Answer: Thank you for this novel but practical use for the UV treated deck netting. Yes, this should keep your dogs inside and should be practically invisible from both sides. Attach the net with clear plastic cable ties. This is also a great idea for families with little children. Those openings might be just wide enough for a child to get a head or a leg stuck which could be a disaster.

Thanks for your question.
Enjoy your pups!
Sincerely, Barbara

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ultrasonic Bark Control in a BirdHouse

Question about the Petsafe Ultrasonic Bark Control Birdhouse .

Q: "My neighbor is very sensitive about his dogs whose barking can drive me to screaming. I've tried to talk with him about them. I suggested bark control collars, the ones that use ultrasound or citronella. His response is that it is the nature of dogs to bark. I've reported him to the police for violating the noise ordinance. I'd like to try an ultrasonic bark control device but don't want him to be aware of it. Would the Petsafe unit work? Thanks." Steve.

Answer: Steve, this unit has been quite successful if properly positioned. The trick is to mount it low enough that the barking activates the unit but high enough that the sensor is not blocked by a tree or fence. Ultrasound is more like light rays than sound waves so it bounces off hard surfaces.

There are three sensitivity levels. If your neighbor's yard is large, the dogs may learn to stay away from your side of their yard. At least the barking will be more at your neighbor's door than yours. Our experience is that several weeks may pass before the dogs realize the bark yields the unpleasant sounds.

Thanks for your question. Good luck.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Automatic Cat Food Dispenser Feeds When Only Cats Are Home

Question about the Ergo Small Pet Feeder

Q: "We are often gone over a 3 day week-end. Our 2 cats do very well alone since we have an automatic litter box. They do need to be fed on a regular schedule due to medical problems. How many times a day does the Ergo automatic pet feeder release food? How much is dispensed each time? Thanks." Valerie

Answer: The small Ergo automatic pet feeder is probably your best choice. The minimum dispensed per feeding is 1 second's worth which would be .025 ounces. In 1 minute about 3/16 cup of dry food up to 3/8 inch diameter would be dispensed. You can set the release time for up to 5 minutes which would be about 8 ounces of food. The unit has a 24 hour programmable digital timer with battery backup, rotating plug for vertical and horizontal outlets, manual override switch, 8 programs maximum per day plus a daylight saving feature. This dispenser holds 5 pounds of food. This feeder is designed for pets under 15 pounds.

Consider the Ergo automatic pet waterer, probably the smaller unit. Our dogs and cat share one so the medium sized pet waterer with the 3 gallon water jug is better for them. Fresh water is more enticing and healthier for cats and dogs. Our little Siamese cat drinks more often than the dogs do.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara


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Monday, March 9, 2009

Fitting a Child Gate or Pet Gate to a Wider Doorway

Question about the JPMA and Consumer Products Safety Commission approved Cardinal Gates: Metal Pressure Gate, Duragate MB-25, Stairway Special Gate SS-30A Clear Plastic and Metal Gate CP-30 and Auto-Close Self-Locking Safety Gate MG-15B.

Q: " How do I choose the correct gate for the wider doorways in my home? I have dogs and babies who need separation. I'm not sure which gate to buy." Thanks. Janet

Answer: I recommend these actions:

  1. Accurately measure the actual door way openings with a metal retractable tape.
  2. Look at the maximum doorway fit of each gate without an extension.
  3. Decide whether you want a gate that permanently mounts, one that can accept height extensions to keep larger dogs in or out of rooms, etc. Several different gates may meet your specs.
  4. Subtract the gate maximum width from the doorway opening.
  5. Choose 1 or more width extensions, 10.5 inches and 21.75 inches to fill in that missing space for the Duragate, the Stairway Special and the Auto-Close Gates. For the metal pressure gate, there are 5 inch and 10.25 inch extensions.

For example, if your door opening is 52 inches:

  • The steel Duragate fits a maximum opening of 41.5 inches. Subtract the gate from the opening and your distance left is 10.5 inches. The SF-BX-1WH is a 10.5 inch extension for 41.5" to 54" openings. Choose one of this extension.
  • The white self-locking baby gate MG-15B fits a maximum opening of 40.5 inches. There is an 11.5 inch gap which means you would need the wider extension 21.75 inch Extension SF-BX-2WH for 0penings 51 inches to 61.75 inches.

If your doorway opening is 72 inches:

  • All Steel Duragate: Your distance left is 30.5 inches. Subtract 41.5 inches from the 72 inch opening. Now subtract 21.75 from the remainder. You have 8.75 inches left. So you need one of the BX-1 and one of the BX-2. I also recommend a T-Bar support.
  • Auto Close Aluminum Gate MG-15B: Your distance left is 31.5 inches. Subtract 40.5 inches from 72 inches. Then subtract 21.75 from the 31.5. You still need one each of the extensions plus a support.

Gates are not recommended for children over 24 months old.

If you need help, please email us at with your measurements, color preference, gate preference (pressure, clear, steel, autoclose, stairway, etc.). We'll send you our recommendations and you can order on line or phone us.

Thanks again for your question. Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Are Dog Life Vests Necessary for Boating Safety?

Question about the Dog Life Vests for boating.

Q:" I adopted a 40 lb. Lab mix from the animal shelter. I like to spend my week-ends in the summer boating. My friends say she needs a life vest. I thought dogs were natural swimmers. Is this really necessary? If it is, what do you suggest?" Thanks Joe.

Answer: I, too, recommend a life vest. Our 40 pound pound puppy loved to ride in my Dad's boat on Crooked Creek in Western Pennsylvania. Crooked Creek was 200 to 400 feet wide in most places. Sometimes, Rinty jumped into the water when the boat slowed for passing boats, swimmers, etc. Usually he swam to shore and raced us home along the bank except when the bank was steep or he swam in circles. Getting a wet 40 pound dog into the boat was a struggle: sometimes we waited until he was exhausted to drag him in.

Most dogs enjoy boating. The problem comes when the dog jumps or falls into the water and the shore is distant or it takes time to return to get your dog. A doggie life jacket keeps the dog floating if she is tired or injured from the jump and makes it easier to pull her into the boat.

Life jackets are sized according to the weight and girth of the dog. So you have sizes extra small (dogs up to 15 lbs.), small for dogs 15 to 19 pounds, medium for dogs 20 to 50 pounds, largefor dogs 40 to 70 pounds and extra large for dogs over 70 pounds. Measure the girth to determine the size if your dog falls into several size categories.

The bright orange color let you see her better in the water. Do consider if you have the physical strength to pull a dog from the water. Dogs are prone to struggle making the task harder.

We recommend the life jackets with a grab handle to help pull the dog from the water. The Kyjen are made of tough 600 denier nylon fabric with adjustable chest and neck Velcro flaps. There are quick release buckles and a Neoprene belly band to help keep your dog warm in the water.

Hope this helps with your situation. Remember the importance of restraining a dog when in a moving vehicle of any kind. We recommend dog car seats with restraints for smaller dogs and car seat vests for larger animals. Both have safety straps that attach to car seat belts.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Buying a Dog Door Bell that Sounds Like a Barking Dog

Question about the Pet Chime.

Q: "I have a quiet dog, virtually a non-barker. I need to know when she has to go outside to potty. Where can I find a dog door bell that sounds like a barking dog? Does the Pet Chime bark?" Thanks. Joe.

Answer: I recommend the Pet Chime by Lentek-Koolatron. We've been selling the Pet Chime for many years. You can choose either a door chime sound or a barking dog sound. Training most dogs to push the Pet Paw to activate the Pet Chime is usually quite fast, especially if you are associating the pushing and the going outside with a great tidbit of dog treat. You can buy extra Pet Paws if you want one outside or at several doors. Of course, the chime is the same so you may get some exercise going from door to door unless your dog comes when you call her!

The Pet Paw takes one 9 volt battery and the receiver chime takes 3 AAA batteries. Do protect the Paw from rain or snow unless your dog will push it when in a watertight bag.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy your dog.

Sincerely, Barbara


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Monday, March 2, 2009

Will Each Section of a Lentek 6 Day Pet Feeder Hold a Rawhide Chew?

Question about the product Product Code: ES-LK-PD06G Lentek Koolatron 6 Day Pet Feeder Dish)

Q:"Would like to know the individual dimensions of the each feeding dish/section (of the Lentek Koolatron 6 Day Pet Feeder Dish). Will each section accommodate a rawhide chew stick? " Thanks. Jenny

Answer: Thank you for your interesting question. Thanks to you these measurements are now on the Safe Home Products' website.

I measured a compartment (all are identical). Each compartment is a segment of a circle with the top part cut off. An individual compartment is 5 inches across at the widest (cut across the arc), with each side 3.5 inches and 1.5 inches across at the top. The tray depth at the arc front is about .75 inches and increases to about 1.3 inches deep at the back (center of dish).

A short, stubby, rawhide chew stick would fit. Each of the six food trays can hold 2/3 cup dry or 5.5 ounces of moist food.

Sincerely, Barbara


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

What Size Pond Deicer for A Backyard Fish Pond?

Question about pond deicers for a fish pond.

Q: "What kind of pond deicer is best for a fish pond located in Illinois? I don't understand why I need to heat the pond as long as there is a hole in the ice." Thanks. Roger.

Answer: For under $75, you can forget about checking your fish pond daily in cold weather to keep that hole open in the ice. The pond deicers we sell are thermostatically controlled. The electricity costs are nominal compared to the cost of replacing fish due to gasses trapped under the ice. I recommend that you choose a pond deicer according to the size of your fish pond and the depth of the water. We sell deicers from 500 watts for 50 gallon backyard ponds to 1500 watts. For example, the Allied Precision 1500 watt floating pond heater is quite popular as is the Farm Innovators Heated Pond Saucer for small ponds.

Pond deicers float or sink to the pond bottom. The heat generated keeps a hole open in the ice and lets gasses escape from the pond during freezing weather. If you have Koi in your pond and the population has been constant for years, the fish are unlikely to become victim to Koi herpes virus. If you introduce new fish, remember that this disease can remain latent for long periods of time. The virus becomes active only at temperatures between 15C and 28C. No treatment is available. Mortality in Koi is between 50 per cent and 95 per cent. Pond heaters, that maintain specific temperatures in ponds, should be custom designed by pond experts.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Using a Heated Mat for an Outdoor Dog House

Question about the product: ES-CZP-FWB Super Footwarmer Heated Mat.

Q: "My Alaskan Malamute is elderly yet wants to stay in his dog house in the back yard in the worst of weather. The dog house is insulated. But he is arthritic. Can I use the Super Footwarmer under a blanket to keep him comfortable?"--Dwight

Answer: The Super Footwarmer is not recommended for animals to lie on. The cord is not protected.

I have two suggestions for you.

First, the Farm Innovators Large Plastic Heated Pet Mat. This 24 inch x 29 inch plastic heating mat for animals comes with a fleece cover, has an anti-chew cord protector and uses only 100 watts of power. There is a thermostatic control to keep the dog mat at a safe temperature.

Second, the Allied Precision large heated pet mat. This plastic covered unit also draws only 100 watts and has a thermostatic control. Not only does it have a anti-chew cord protector, but also it has a fully grounded plug. Dimensions: 23 inches x 29 inches. No cover comes with it. You can cover it with a blanket or any cover you choose.

Safe Home Products also sells smaller sized heated mats for outdoor pets as well as heated dog beds for indoor use.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Does the Snoozer dog seat connect to a car seat?

Question about the Oversized Lookout I Dog Car Seat, NO Drawer.

Q: "Does the Snoozer dog seat connect to a car seat?"

Answer: Yes. To connect the Snoozer, take your seat belt/harness and hook it over the back of the dog seat in the grooves. Connect the dog's harness to the restraining strap (included with the car seat) which attaches to the car seat belt.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Why does the Dog Stop Barking?

Question about the Product Code: =PET-BF02-PRO Lentek Super Bark Free PRO Device

Q: "What does the dog stop barking? Is this painful to them? " Loretta

Answer: Dogs do not like the ultrasonic tones generated when they bark within the range of the Super Bark Free. Per the instructions: "Dogs learn to associate the loud, irritating sound produced by the unit as being a result of barking and stop barking to stop the Super Bark Free sound. Always remember, the activation microphone in the Super Bark Free just detects sound, it can not tell the difference between different types of sounds. Do not try to instigate barking from your dog to see if the Super Bark Free is working. A dog will always bark if harassed.

Most dogs find that being close to an activated Super Bark Free is very distressing and uncomfortable. Sometimes older dogs or breeds with congenital hearing problems are unable to hear the ultrasonic sounds emitted and ignore the Super Bark Free. This is also true of situations where there is a lot of other noise close to the dogs. The ultrasonic sound emitted is drowned out by the other noise."

Hope this helps. Thanks for your question.



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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dealing with Noisy Dog Next Door

Q: "My neighbor's young Lab type dog wakes me up every morning at 4:30 am. when my neighbor puts him out before breakfast. Then he puts the dog out on a tie out when he leaves for work. The dog barks every time he spots movement outside or even when I move in my kitchen. There are bushes between the yards that aren't very dense. The dog is about 20 feet from my house. Please help!"

Answer: I phoned this customer to get more details. The police are not responsive to his complaints about the almost constant barking despite noise ordinances. He hesitates to bring up this barking issue again with his neighbor because they've had differences about the junk strewn in the neighbor's front yard, the unkempt lawn, etc. The customer is concerned his neighbor may become violent or retaliate.

We discussed the Super Bark Free Pro , the Super Bark Free and the Super Bark Stop. All three units respond to dog barking with ultrasonic tones that are usually effective in reducing nuisance barking. The range on the units is up to 50 feet.

Due to the distance, the customer's desire not to have the neighbor know the units are installed, etc. the customer decided to think about other options. We had one customer years ago who actually painted the Bark Free units to match the siding on her house and had great success silencing the next door neighbor's dogs. (She was an order taker for Sky Mall and bought from SHP because our prices were much, much lower!)

Unfortunately, in these situations, the owner, not the dog, is responsible for the problems.


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Recommended Devices to Scare Away Dogs and Cats

Question: "For scaring away dogs and cats, what stationary device is the most effective? Thanks!"

Answer: The answer is dependent upon whether you want to keep the cat or dog off a particular place like a table or a car or whether your purpose is to keep the animal out of your yard.

Ultrasonic Area Repel Devices for Cats Only:

  • The CatStop by Contech. An ultrasonic cat repeller that is motion activated and uses a high decibel alarm that startles the cats to leave while not disturbing the peace. This unit operates for about nine months on one standard 9 volt battery. (Battery life estimate is based upon 4900 activations over 245 days at an average of 20 per day.) The CatStop protects about 330 square feet (20 feet or 6m in front of the unit in an 80 degree arc). There are no controls or adjustments. Install the battery. Position it in your yard. Turn it on. The ultrasonic alarm is from 21-25 kHz, levels rarely heard by animals other than cats.

Ultrasonic Area Repel Devices for Dogs and Cats:

  • The Koolatron Dog and Cat Repeller with AC Adapter and the Lentek Koolatron Dog and Cat Repeller, Battery Only. These are identical except for the AC adapter. use PIR (passive infra red) motion sensors, are powered by two 9V batteries (not included) and battery life is approximately 2000 sound releases. Mount no greater than 3 feet as close as possible to the area to be protected. 85 feet range at a 70 degree arc. Waterproof to IPX4 standard. Advanced ultrasonic sirens: Ultrasonic sound: 80 to 115dB; Frequency sweep: 18 kHz to 24 kHz.
  • The Bird-X Yardgard Outdoor Animal Repeller is the most powerful unit (and most expensive) motion sensor activated unit that we sell. The coverage: 4,000 sq. ft. (278.7 sq. meters) , Frequency range: 15,000 - 25,000 Hz (adjustable) Sound pressure: 90 dB at 3 feet . Electricity costs: Less than $0.25 per month or uses 4 "C" cells (not included). Working current: <200>
  • The Animal Away Pro. Power supply: 9V (Two 9V akaline batteries, not included)Power: Standby current: 0.16mA . Warm up time: 30 seconds. Frequency range: 18,000 Hz to 24,000 Hz. Protection coverage: Fan shaped area of 70 degrees, distance up to 40 feet. Material of plastic housing: ABS plastic. Again motion sensor activated.

Protect a tabletop or car in a garage from dogs or cats:

  • Scat Mats. These are clear plastic static mats that come in large and medium sizes and strips run on either 9 volt batteries or an AC adapter. To extend coverage, you can buy extension mats. The animal/animals don't like the harmless static electricity generated and stay off.
  • The Contech Mini Scarecrow is motion sensor activated and uses a warning sound followed by a puff of compressed air to scare an animal off a surface. Once your pet responds to the warning sound, switch to "sound only" mode and conserve compressed air. The motion sensor and spray are separately adjustable to allow precise positioning. Keeps dogs and cats from scratching furniture and drapes, jumping on counters, window sills, tables; entering a room, etc.

Please take a few minutes to examine the details on one or more units before you make your choice. We also sell a standard Animal Away unit that is less expensive and less powerful. The advantage of this unit is you can use it inside or buy several units to surround an area.

Hope this helps. We thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

What Hardware Do I Need to Install a Duragate?

Question about the White Duragate Metal Child Pet Gate w Height Extension Product Code: : SF-MG-25-TPX-W

Q: "What hardware do I need with sheetrock with a stud on both sides?"-Bob

Answer: Installing the Duragate in this situation is easy. Use the longer screws included with the Duragate for mounting in studs. You can mount this at an angle if you need to do so to install in a stud.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How High a Gate to Separate a Great Pyrenees & Irish Wolfhound?

Question about the product Product Code: SF-MG-25-TPX-T -Taupe Duragate Metal Pet Gate with Height Extension

Q:"I have a great pyrenees and an irish wolfhound. One weighs 100 lbs; the other weighs 140 lbs. They need to be separated for a while in the house. Iwill need to put the gate in a doorway that does not have a door attached. Do I really need the extra 8 inches since I will raise the gate 4 inches above ground giving me a total height of 42 inches. Am i correct?"

Answer: The MG-25-TPX-T does include the 8 inch height extension. This is a height of 29.5 inches plus 8 inches plus 4 inches equals 41.5 inches. See the installation guide on the webpage for specifics. As long as you have studs on both sides of the doorway, the installation should be fast. Answering the extension question is a bit more complicated.

The questions you must answer are how high can each of your dogs jump? Once you answer that question, then choose either the MG-25 in taupe, the MG-25-TPX-T or the MG-25-TPX-T with the additonal 8 inch extension.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can you mount Guardian Angel window guards on the exterior of a house?

Question about the product Product Code: = SF-GA3558-45V Guardian Angel Window Guard Vertical Mount 3558-45V

Q: "Is this product suitable for mounting on the exterior of the house? If not, do you carry anything which can be externally mounted?-Rob

Answer: The window guards we sell are truly meant for mounting on the inside of a house or apartment, inside the interior window frame. Both the John Sterling brand and the Guardian Angel brands can be mounted on the exterior of a house. Be aware that corrosion will occur due to moisture. If you choose a fixed window guard, the corrosion will require periodic painting of the metal guards.

If you choose a removeable guard like the Guardian Angel or the John Sterling 1170 series, removal may be impaired by the corrosion. The Guardian Angel units telescope apart, extending to snap into the mounting bars. The John Sterling 1170 extend. Although the bars are painted, extending them and compressing them can rub off paint.

The window guard most comparable to the GA-3558-45V is the John Sterling model JS-1175L , which will mount vertically to protect casements or sliders that are 21 to 25 inches wide and 40 to 60 inches high. This is a unit that can be used both for security and safety.

Please measure your windows and we'll help you make the best choice to protect them.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Construction of Snoozer Buddy Bicycle Basket

Question about the product Product Code: =OD-85002 Snoozer Buddy Bicycle Basket - Pink

Q: "The description does not mention a metal frame. Can you please confirm if there is or is not a metal frame? I don't see how I can tow my 9 lb. dog in this is there is no metal frame."

Answer: Thank you for your question. We've now added this information to the product description! The dog bike basket has a metal frame around the top for structure and also has a hard bottom. The basket is constructed with a metal support to keep the basket from touching the front tire. We've had no reports about problems with this bike pet carrier unit which is a popular selling unit. 9 pounds is well within the limit of 14 lbs for pet weight. My guess is your dog will enjoy your cycling as much as you do!

If you have more questions, please contact us.



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Monday, May 19, 2008

Using A Tattle Tale Alarm for a Peeing Cat

Question about the Tattle Tale Sonic Pet Training Alarm.

Q:"I am trying to keep a cat from walking to the edge of a rug and peeing on the hard floor. The pee is soaking into the rug. Is this product sensitive enough to feel the vibration of a cat walking on a rug?" - Jean

Answer: "The Tattletale device is activated only by vibration. The cat walking on a carpet is unlikely to set off the alarm as the carpet is tightly stretched and won't move much and the cat is not very heavy.

We suggest you purchase a Scat Mat. These are plastic mats with thin wires embedded in the plastic. When powered by a 9 volt battery or AC power, the mat develops a static charge. You can choose a low, medium or high level of static. When an animal walks on it, there is a "shock" from the static charge like when you get a shock from walking across a carpet with nylons and then touch a wall or a person.

My suggestion is to purchase one of the large scat mats and up to 2 large extension mats to increase the length of the scat mat coverage. Each large mat is 48 inches to adding two more mats increases the protected distance to 12 feet. If you are concerned about the cat jumping over the 20 inch width, you can place the mats side by side to protect 60 to 66 inches in width and 48 inches in width.

Another suggestion, more urgent, is to have the cat checked by a veterinarian. My cat owning friends tell me it is rare for a cat to pee anywhere but in a litter box unless the cat has a urinary tract infection, has not been neutered, has a dirty litter box or has no access to the litter box. My friend's daughter was keeping his neutered male Siamese for him along with her two cats. After two months' time, she complained about the cat pooping in her baby's room. When he stopped to pick up his cat, he saw litter boxes that were very dirty. He recently bought an automatic kitty litter box and is very pleased with the reduction in odor and in box cleaning.

Good luck. Let us know what yours results were.



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Monday, May 5, 2008

Can I Use the Cat Stop to Keep Cats Off My Car?

Question about the Catstop Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Device.

Q:"Can the Cat Stop P7810 be used as an overhead device to chase/keep cats off my car? I have a Firebird and park it under a carport that is about 8 ft tall. Please advise. Thanks. Fred"

Answer: The Contech P7810 mounted overhead as long as it is pointed down toward the car. Another option is to mount it in front of the car at hood height. You might have to re-position it a time or two to see what works best, but it should be effective.

Directions for Use:
Place the Cat Stop facing the area you want to protect. An animal entering the area sets off the built-in motion sensor. The ultrasonic alarm is from 21-25 kHz. Humans hear sounds between 2 kHz and 20 kHz so this rarely disturbs people. Note: Most dogs hear at frequencies between 40 kHz to 100kHz.

Thanks for your question and hope this works wells for you.


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Monday, April 28, 2008

Can Super Bark Free Be Activated Manually?

Question about the Super Bark Free ES-PET-PC16

Q: "Can the Super Bark Free be activated manually without the dog barking? Our neighbor's dog charges me at the lot line. I's like to discourage this activity." - Larry.

Answer: The Super Bark Free has a test button but is not made to be activated manually. The Super Bark Free is heavy, operating off 4 D cells.

What we suggest is an ultrasonic dog corrector like the Dazer , Pet Agree or Dog Off. Each weighs only a few ounces. The Dazer and the Pet Agree are essentially the same except for the color and the name. According to the manufacturer, in some countries only the Pet Agree is sold as the word "dazer" connotes cruelty. Both generate an ultrasonic sound which dogs dislike. The Dazer and Pet Agree are powered from a 9 volt battery and feature a belt clip. Our UPS delivery man uses one as do joggers, etc.

The Dog Off Pro, also powered by a 9 volt battery, features a flashlight, 120dB audible emergency personal alarm. belt clip and ultrasonic sound generator for dog correction.

We stock all three and can ship same or the next business day.

Thanks for your question.



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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keeping a Dog Out of a Carpeted Area

Q: "Will this item, Two (2) Tattle Tale Sonic Pet Training Alarms, keep a dog out of a carpeted area of the house?"

Answer: No, this is not the best choice. Tattle Tales are best used to keep animals off sofas, counter tops, etc. And they do work well. The dog's weight on a carpeted floor is not likely to set off the alarms.

My suggestions are as follows:

  • Scat Mats: these are static charged mats. Power comes from a 9 volt battery and you can set the charge to low, medium or high. The animal dislikes the static shock. The downside: you'll feel it, too, if you are in your bare feet. (Works quite well for both my Boston Terriers. and they avoid the mats for a while even if they are turned off.)
  • Animal Away: this is an ultrasonic dog or cat repeller that works on motion. The pros: small, silent, dependable. The cons: a few dogs ignore or tolerate the sounds. I have one Boston Terrier who avoided the bathroom for days after I used one to keep her out. (She was anointing the bath rugs.) She shook for ten minutes after the first go around and there was never a second one that I was aware of. The other bolder one ignored it and came on in.
  • Stay Away by Contech: uses a motion sensor that activates a warning sound and then a brief, harmless spray of compressed air to keep your pet away.
  • Taupe or White Pet Gates: As much as gates are a nuisance at times, they do the job without noise, batteries or static. The Cardinal Gates we sell also have extensions for height and width. They are easily installed and remove from their side brackets if you have company coming.

We appreciate your question. If you need more information, please contact us.




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Friday, February 1, 2008

Width of Height Extension for Pet Gate

Q: "I need to keep a large dog out of a room. How wide is the height extension for the White Duragate Metal Pet Gate with Height Extension (SF-MG-25-TPX-W)? I know how tall it is but before I order I want to make sure of the width."

Answer: The doorway width is the same with or without the height extension: 26.5 to 41.5 Inches. The height extension is adjustable as is the gate. With one extension, the gate is 38 to 40 inches high. The gate height varies with mounting height from the floor (flush to 2 inches). With an additional TPX-1, add 8 inches giving a total height of 46 to 48 inches for the gate. Unless your dog can get a running start, the gate with one extension should be tall enough.

Please contact us if you need more information.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Can you buy additional Pet Chime transmitters?

Question regarding the Lentek Pet Chime Dog Doorbell..

Q:"Do you have an additional transmitter for purchase? Thanks - Stacy"

Answer: Yes, the dog supply product you are looking for is called the Extra Paw. The Pet Chime can be activated by 1 or more of the paw transmitters. The only problem might be figuring out where the dog is if you have pet paws at more than one door.

If you have questions about our other pet products, please contact us.



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Saturday, July 12, 2003

Can Deck Netting Be Used to Childproof a Balcony?

Adrienne asks: "Can you use outdoor deck netting (Deck Shield Netting SF-DS-30CLR) to block the open area between the balcony top railing and the roof of the balcony to keep a child from falling over the balcony? If not, do you know of a product made to prevent falls from over a balcony railing?"

Dear Adrienne,

No, outdoor deck netting would not work in your application. Deck Shield is durable, weather-resistant plastic netting with cable ties and eye screws provided to attach the mesh netting to deck posts and to the deck surface. Without permanent supports attached to the balcony roof and the top railing, this netting could not safely block that opening.

One way to childproof that area would be to have a carpenter install a sturdy frame in that area. Safe Home Products sells both removeable Guardian Angel and John Sterling brand window guards that can be installed vertically inside that frame to protect that dangerous opening. If this was an exterior balcony above the 6th story, window guards need to be permanently fixed as most fire truck ladders don't extend above the 6th story. One customer had a similar frame installed along with Guardian Angel guards to childproof an interior balcony overlooking her family room.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, May 2, 2003

Childproofing Slider Windows

Q: "We have large, sliding windows. One side of each window slides horizontally. The inside measurement (ie, the actual "screen" itself - this measurement does not include any window framing, etc) of the screens are: 61" high, 30" wide. I want to be sure to purchase the correct window guard. Do we have to cover the entire opening of the screen? That seems excessive to me. I was thinking that the guard would need to come up as high as a standard safety gate would - but maybe I am wrong. Please let me know if you have what we need. Sincerely, Kimberly"

Dear Kimberly,

To childproof a slider window or a casement (wind out) window, the only safe way is to cover the entire window opening with one or more vertically mounted guards spaced side by side with a 4 inch or less space between them. Yes, this means the guard looks like prison bars. Otherwise a child could use a horizontally installed guard as a ladder and climb over the guard and fall out. In order to slide both sides of your window, you will need to stack guards side by side to cover the entire window. To determine the size that you need, please go to our window guard sizing and selection page.

There was a sad situation in New Jersey a few months back. A child fell OVER a horizontally mounted window guard through the screen. It was a slider window. I was contacted by a man who was going to testify about this tragedy. Horizontal window guards are made for single hung or double hung windows: a window stop can be used to stop that window from opening above the guard so the child cannot climb over. Sometimes, parents will protect the entire window if it is next to a bed or sofa where a child might fall against the window and break the glass.

Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions or want to childproof a number of windows in your home.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Are Pet Chime Paws Weatherproof

Q: "Are the pet chime paws (transmitters) weatherproof and hence suitable for outside use?"

Answer: According to Koolatron, the manufacturer, the paw is essentially weatherproof/water resistant.

  • The paw shelters the electronic components.
  • Seal the paw in a baggie placing it where it may be flooded or doused by torrential rains.
  • Or mount the paw outdoors on a wall or under a protective overhang.
  • Use an additional paw for the dog to signal that it wants to go outside.

Sincerely, Barbara


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