Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keep Your Dog Warm this Winter!

If your dog is an outside dog, then it's important to make sure your furry friend stays warms during the cold winter months. Some months, especially the months of January and February, can drop to below zero temperatures, depending on where you live. Here are a few tips to make sure your pet stays toasty this winter.

Most puppies cannot survive the cold like adult dogs, so be sure to keep your puppy indoors during winter. It's best to only take them outside for housebreaking purposes only.

Your dog will need more food, especially protein, during the winter months. This will help to keep your pet's fur in good shape and provide the extra calories it needs to survive the cold. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of room to exert the energy it needs to keep its body temperature a level that will provide enough body heat to keep it warm.

If you live in an area that snows, be sure to make your pet a place to sleep that isn't on the snow. Hay, cedar or pine chips, and other pet bedding is perfect for this. If you have a shed or outside building your dog can sleep in, a heated bed is also a perfect way to make sure your dog doesn't freeze. We have a great selection of heated beds and pet bed warmers that will ensure your pet stays warm.

It is also crucial to make sure your pet has plenty of drinking water too. Unfortunately, the cold can cause your pet's water to freeze so it's important to have water that is liquid for your pet to drink. If you live in an area that gets to below freezing temperatures, then you might want to consider getting a heated dog bowl for your pet. This will help your dog's water stay liquid and won't freeze even in the lowest temperatures.

When all else fails, if you can always bring your pet indoors if you think it is too cold for him. Most pets with thick coats will be fine outside, as long as you follow these tips.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Owning a Pet Can Help You Live Longer

You may not realize it, but your pet may be adding to your lifespan. Studies have shown a significant difference in stress levels between people who own pets and those who don't and pet owners tend to live much longer lives.

But why is this? For one thing, our pets can help us from being so lazy. We take our dogs for walks, play Frisbee with them in the park, or chase them around the house because they got a hold of our new shoes. This helps to increase our cardiovascular exercise and keep us at a healthy weight.

Our pets can help on an emotional level too. As human beings, we need to feel wanted and loved. Who makes you feel more wanted and loved than your high-jumping, tail-waggin' furry friend? Your dog makes you feel like you are a celebrity when you walk through the door after a long day's work. Our pet's affection can have a very therapeutic affect on us, whether we realize it or not. They know when we are sad and try to comfort us on some level. Research on individuals of all ages clearly show that 15 minutes of direct contact a day with an animal reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate, improves sleep and reduces the risk of depression.

So go to your local animal shelter and pick out a pet because the life you save may very well be your own.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Problem with Cat Scratching?

Many cat owners suffer with cats scratching in unwanted areas such as furniture. One of the reasons behind the scratching is that cats are very responsive to different smells in the area. So, the solution is easy - change the smell to something the cat will dislike. Most cats do not like the smell of citrus or bitter apple sprays so you can put in these in areas to deter your cat from scratching. Another non-harmful technique is to use a water bottle to spritz the cat anytime he or she is scratching in an area you dislike. Most cats won't like this and it will remind them to not keep participating in the same behavior that is causing them to get sprayed with the water.

You will need to provide the cat with an alternate scratching object such as a scratching post. Positive reinforcement will encourage the cat to use the scratching post, rather than your big, comfy sofa. Training a cat is similar to training a dog in the sense that cats also respond to negative and positive reinforcement. Anytime your cat is scratching on something you don't want her to, make sure you tell her 'no' and put her next to the scratching post. Catnip can also be used to aid in encouraging the cat to use the scratching post instead of furniture.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dog Has Matted Fur? No Problem!

My grandmother knows I am an avid dog lover. One day I got a call from her requesting my help with her Cocker Spaniel, Cara. She said she needed my help with grooming her. She used to take Cara to get her groomed quite frequently, but had not had the money to do so. I agreed to help. I did not know what I was getting myself into until I saw Cara. It was something you only see in doggy nightmares. The dog was completely covered in matted hair and tangles. Not only was the dog covered in matted hair, but also had mud caked into the matted hair, which made it worse. My grandmother would have groomed Cara herself, but her hands make it unable to do so. I attempted to cut the matts out of Cara's fur at first, but quickly found this was going to be impossible. The matts were THICK, plus mix in the mud, the scissors didn't stand a chance. I knew this was going to be a tough job. So I went to the local Pet Depot store and picked up a Wahl KM 2 Professional 2 Speed Pet Clipper.

I was skeptical that this particular clipper would be able to do the job, however it worked perfectly. I was able to cut straight through the matted hair by clipping underneath the matts with no problem. I was thoroughly impressed. Clipping the dog's fur on its back was no problem, but it wasn't until I got to the legs that I ran into a problem. This is where most of the mud was caked on, but the clippers cut through it. It did take time because it was so thick. It ended up taking me a total of 16 hours(8 hours a day) to finish the job, but without that Wahl Clipper, would have taken me a lot longer. For her birthday, I bought her a Wahl Kennel Pro Pet Clipper because it is an extra heavy duty pet clipper, just in case we ever run into this problem again. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dog Behavior Spotlight: Aggression in your Pet

Part 2

Now, part 1 is very vital to learning to control your pet's aggression. Once you train your dog to realize that you are in control, you can move on to the next step. You want your aggressive pup to be able to be around people and other pets without being aggressive. To do this, start out slowly. Remember, if your dog is not neutered, it might make it more difficult to train him.

Keep your dog on his leash at all times during this exercise. This is for the safety of the pet and to those around him. You will want to observe how your dog reacts to certain stimuli. Have your dog sit down. Keeping a safe distance, have a person or another pet to walk past your dog. Notice how your dog reacts. Does he immediately start to pull on the leash, trying to get closer to the person/animal? Does he bark or growl? Whatever your dog may be doing, it is important to tell him "no" so that he is aware it is unacceptable behavior. When your dog reacts in a way that you do not approve of, do the same trick as before and tap him on the shoulder and say "no" and make him sit down and stay seated. As before, it is important to do this several times until your dog understands that he is not allowed to participate in the unacceptable behavior. If you dog begins to understand what to do and stays seated and does not react when the person or pet walks by, you can give him a treat to reward his behavior. However, it is important not to allow him to snatch it out of your hand. Give him the treat and say "good boy!"

It is essential that you are consistent with your dog. If you are not, it will confuse the dog. It is also important that you work with your dog everyday. Although it may get frustrating at times, do not give up. You may not be able to completely control your pet's aggressive behavior but doing these tips will start him on the road to becoming a more well-behaved pet.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dog Behavior Spotlight: Aggression in your Pet

Part 1

No matter what size your pet may be or how aggressive your pet is, you can learn to control your dog’s aggressive behavior. If you are yelling at your dog or pulling on his/her leash to get it to listen to you, then you are doomed to fail. This type of approach can cause serious issues in your pet, and in some cases, has caused the pet to become more aggressive.

The first step to controlling your pet’s aggression is to understand what is causing the aggressive behavior. Most dogs are aggressive out of sheer frustration. Male dogs are aggressive towards other dogs to show that he is in control. Dogs that are not neutered will be seen as a mate and view him as a dominant figure. If you have a male dog that is not neutered and has this type of behavior, then it is important that you get him neutered right away. This has been shown to significantly reduce a male dog’s aggressive behavior. If your dog is already neutered and this has not solved the problem, then the first thing to do is to make sure your dog knows that you are in control, not him.

The best way to do this is to start out by walking your dog on a leash. Never allow him to get ahead of you or pull on the leash. If he does this, simply tap him on the shoulder and say “no” in a firm, yet calm voice. It is important to tap him with a firm hand, but do not beat the dog. You want to be sure to portray to your pet that you are in charge, but you do not want your dog to become afraid of you. This is why it is important not to hit your dog too hard. Be sure to walk your dog and do this several times every day. These repeated actions will be instilled in your dog and he will learn that you are in control. Once you have mastered this, and your dog is capable of walking beside you without tugging or pulling on the leash, then you will be ready for Part 2… coming next week.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Pet Owners Can Help with the Gulf Oil Spill

Even though you may not be anywhere near the Gulf, you can still help with the Gulf Oil Spill. If you have a pet, or even if you don't, you can still be a part of helping to keep this disaster under control. Many websites are collecting human hair, pet fur and nylon stockings to help to soak up the oil in the ocean.

How does it work? The loose hair/fur can be stuffed into nylon stockings which are doubled up and tied together to make "booms" that surround and contain as well as soak up oil spills. Many people do not realize how important it is to be active in this disaster. Even if you can't donate money, donating hair is extremely important to aid in the cleaning up of this massive oil spill. You can contact your local pet groomer or salon to see if they will save the hair to donate. Animals are being covered in oil and suffering because of this tragic event, so please do what you can to help. Pet Depot is currently saving pet fur from the groomers at our stores to help with the oil spill. For more information on donating hair, money, or ways to help with the Gulf Oil Spill, please click here. Your support is much appreciated in this matter.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skin Irritations on Your Pets

If you are a pet owner, more than likely you have faced some type of skin irritation on your pet. To treat these irritations, first find out what may have caused the irritation. Have you switched shampoos, dog food, or tried a new flea/tick treatment? Dogs, like humans, can have allergic reactions to certain foods or products, so try to pinpoint what may have caused the irritation. If it is just a reaction to a new food or product, then the solution is easy.

It could also be related to the time of year when the skin irritation occurs. Sometimes dog's skin tends to become dry from the heat during the wintertime.

Fleas and ticks are not the only reason for why dogs may be itching. If your dog's skin is dry, this will cause him to scratch continuously. We have many anti-itch relief products that can help soothe your dog's itching.

Unfortunately, itching is not the only result of skin irritations. If mites get on your pet, it can cause wounds, rashes and even hair loss for your pet. If your pet has issues with skin irritations, hair loss, cuts, wounds or any other type of dermatitis, then try NU-STOCK to relieve your pet of these common issues.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

When to put your dog on a adult or senior diet

Many pet owners ask the same question. At what age do I need to put my dog on an adult diet? When is it necessary to put him on a senior diet?

Small and medium breed dogs and even cats should be placed on an adult diet when they are one year old, with large to giant breed dogs going for a bit longer. This all depends on the breed. As senior pets have the same nutritional needs as other adult dogs, only needing fewer calories, the American Association of Feed Control Officials doesn't recognize senior diets as a separate type of food. Simply feed an older dog a bit less. Cats and small to medium breed dogs may be put on a senior diet when they are approximately seven years old. Large breed dogs between 50 and 90 pounds may be placed on a senior diet when they are approximately six year old, and giant breeds over 90 pounds when they are about five.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spoiling your pup may be more dangerous than you think

It is extremely important not to spoil a puppy or dog or the owner will end up with a very badly behaved animal. No one wants a puppy or dog that does not listen, barks at will, steals food from the counter or table, begs, whines when it doesn't get its way, or snaps at the owner when the owner tries to take an object away that it shouldn't be chewing on. Yet some owners believe that their pet will love them more if they let them do what they want, give them lots of treats for no reason, and not do any training with them at all. However, nothing is farther from the truth. In fact, it is best to start training your pet at an early age so it will learn good behavior and habits from the beginning. It is important, as an owner, for you to set guidelines and limits for your dog and at least train the pet to do simple, basic commands. By doing this, it lets the dog know that you are in charge and he will not be allowed to get away with whatever he wants. Training your dog is not only safer for your pet, but the pets will love their owners more. For example, if an untrained dog happens to get off his leash and run away, the owner would not be in control of the situation. The owner would call the dog to come back, but the dog would not listen because he is not trained. Dogs need to be trained and need to know what is expected of them. Be sure to socialize your pet so he will not become stingy and aggressive. It is important to praise your pet when he does something right, but just remember not to give a treat to the dog for no reason or he could become confused. And also, as hard as it is not to spoil a brand new adorable puppy, try to resist. Puppies do need a lot of attention, but too much attention can be bad for the owner and the pet.