Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats. When a cat scratches furniture, it is commonly thought to be sharpening its claws. Not so. Claws grow in layers and scratching is necessary to remove the old, flaky, beat-up top layer (husk) of the claw material to reveal the new, smooth claw underneath. Cats also have scent glands on their feet, and when they scratch, their scent remains on that surface, effectively “marking” their territory. Additionally, scratching provides exercise for their legs.
A scratching post is often the best way to meet your cat’s inherent need to scratch, without sacrificing your furniture or drapes. Most cats prefer a rough, touch scratching post covering, such as sisal rope, although cardboard and carpet posts and furniture can also do the trick.
To train a cat to use a scratching post, three cardinal rules must be observed. If pet owners follow them consistently, they should have minimal trouble weaning their cat from scratching their furniture to using its own.
Never punish or frighten a cat while it is on its post or tree. This is the cat’s place, and if it has a bad experience while there, the chances of getting the cat to use the post again may be slim to none.
If the cat is caught scratching the furniture, drapes or carpet, sternly say “no” and place the cat on its post. Generously praise the cat when it uses the post.
Be patient. A cat may need some time to get used to the idea and it may need encouragement. You can show it how to use the post by placing its front paws against the post and moving them up and down, or by scratching the post yourself. The noise will attract the cat’s attention, and it should soon mimic your actions. If the cat seems to need further encouragement, rub the post with catnip (especially if the manufacturer has not treated the post). If you still have trouble getting the cat used to the post, rub the post with a piece of your clothing or bedding. Your smell will often attract your cat to the chosen spot or item.
There are a handful of human foods that are very dangerous for animals to ingest. If you suspect your pet has eaten some of these foods, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control (888-426-4435).
Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine: these foods all contain methylxanthines, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst & urination, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms and even death.
Alcohol: beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, decreased coordination, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
Avocado: all parts of an avocado contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.
Macadamia Nuts: can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.
Grapes & Raisins: can cause kidney failure. These symptoms can be more dramatic in pets who already have certain health problems.
Yeast Dough: can cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system, which can be painful and possibly cause the stomach to rupture.
Raw/Undercooked Meat & Eggs: can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Feeding raw food is safe when handled properly.
Xylitol: used as a sweetener in many products (including gum, human toothpaste, candy and baked goods). Can cause insulin release in most species which can lead to liver failure and/or hypoglycemia.
Onions, Garlic & Chives: can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if large enough doses are ingested.
Milk: pets to not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose), milk and other milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upsets.
Salt: large quantities of salt can cause excessive thirst or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Too much salt intake can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures or even death.
Raw food is considered by many nutritional experts to be the best diet for dogs and cats since it most closely mimics their natural evolutionary diet. Dry kibble has only been popular for 50 or so years and was developed primarily for pet owner convenience, not for dietary improvements.
By feeding raw food, you are giving your pet the meat and bone mixtures they were designed to eat. Because the food is raw, many of the enzymes and beneficial bacteria present in pre-cooked meats and bones are still available for consumption. These enzymes and bacteria help to keep teeth clean and stomachs healthy, balanced and strong. They also provide many of the nutrients necessary for good health, temperament and long lives.
Dogs, and especially cats, do not require grains or large amounts of carbohydrates in their diet. Many dry kibble formulas contain high amounts of these unnecessary grains, which can cause food intolerance and often obesity. Raw foods will help keep your pet lean and active. Raw bones also provide the perfect fiber source to keep their digestive system regular.
There are many different ways to feed raw food. Whole, meaty bones, like chicken backs, chicken necks and small animal frames are inexpensive and easy to prepare. You can also choose ground meaty bone mixtures (available in a variety of protein sources) that include some vegetables and organs, and often mineral and vitamin supplements. A combination of raw bones and meaty bone mixtures is recommended to promote protein diversity and keep supplementation to a minimum.
How to Get Started:
Conduct some research at home and talk to your vet. There are also many books available (such as Give Your Dog a Bone and the BARF Diet). It is extremely important to educate yourself about the proper way to feed raw food in order to ensure that your pet receives a well-balanced diet.
Be sure to wash your hands frequently when working with raw food. Cleaning surfaces, bowls, etc. during the preparation process will also help to prevent the transfer of food borne illnesses.
RECOMMENDED FEEDING AMOUNTS:
UP TO 10 MONTHS
9% OF BODY WEIGHT Pounds/Ounces
10 MONTHS TO 2 YEARS
4.5% OF BODY WEIGHT Pounds/Ounces
OVER 2 YEARS
2.5% OF BODY WEIGHT Pounds/Ounces
0.9 / 14.4
0.45 / 7.2
0.25 / 4.0
1.8 / 28.8
0.9 / 14.4
0.5 / 8.0
2.7 / 43.2
1.4 / 21.6
0.75 / 12.0
3.6 / 57.6
1.8 / 28.8
1.0 / 16.0
4.5 / 72.0
2.3 / 36.0
1.25 / 20.0
5.4 / 86.4
2.7 / 43.2
1.5 / 24.0
6.3 / 100.8
3.2 / 50.4
1.75 / 28.0
7.2 / 115.2
3.6 / 57.6
2.0 / 32.0
8.1 / 129.6
4.1 / 64.8
2.25 / 36.0
9.0 / 144.0
4.5 / 72.0
2.5 / 40.0
Feeding amounts include all food consumption: main diet, treats, bones, table scraps, etc. The above guide is intended to be used as a reference – the proper amount depends on your dog’s activity level, age, environment and individual needs.
The majority of the diet should consist of raw meaty bones, whole or ground 10-20% ground raw vegetables and 10% raw organ meat. Ground raw meaty bones can be introduced at 12 weeks of age. Feeding bones before 12 weeks can cause constipation. At six to seven months of age, adult teeth should be in and you can begin feeding whole raw bones. Provide large bones for chewing once or twice per week.
Other additions include eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, cooked grains, table scraps, cheese, honey, and milk (in small amounts). Daily supplements, such as flax oil, garlic oil, kelp powder and brewer’s yeast can also be added. Your goal should be to provide a complete and balanced diet for your dog over time. Do not be concerned if the diet is not 100% balanced every day, but rather over the course of a week.
For centuries wild canines and their predecessors chewed on the hides of their hoofed prey. Chewing the tough hide provided cleaning action for teeth, exercise for gums, and a source of sport for the young. Only since 1959 have we recognized the dog’s natural desire to chew animal skin and its benefit to domestic dogs.
What is Rawhide:
Rawhide is the inner layer of the hide of any cleft-hoofed bovine livestock. Beef hide is premium rawhide made from cows raised for consumption. American beef hide is derived from corn-fed cows within U.S. borders.
What Makes it so Tough:
Collagen fibers link to make the animal’s hide tough yet flexible. Human skin has the same basic structure but is much thinner.
What is it Made From:
The animal’s skin is split into inner and outer layers. The tough outer layer is used for leather shoes, garments and upholstery while the softer inner layer is cut and formed into different shapes for dog chews.
Choosing a Size and Shape:
Your dog’s preference will vary with different beef hide shapes. Fortunately, chews come in every size and shape imaginable. It is important that the chew be large enough, and thick enough that your dog cannot easily chew up and swallow a large piece or the whole chew. Dogs should be supervised with their chews to monitor for ingestion of large chunks. Rawhide that requires more than seven days to chew should be replaced due to dirt and bacteria build-up.
Types of Chews:
Ground Rawhide Chews
These chews come in all shapes and sizes and consist of ground rawhide held together with binder. Best for: Choosy dogs, or dogs with sensitive mouths.
American Beef Hide Chews
Made from U.S. feeder cattle, it is the premium chew choice because of its consistency, softness and taste. Best for: Most healthy dogs.
Pressed Rawhide Chews
Made from layers of skin pressed together by machine, it is very hard. Best for: Very aggressive chewers.
Infections, kidney, and heart disease can result when poor dental health gives bacteria a channel to enter your dog’s body.
Mineralized plaque forms a hard deposit on the tooth surface called calculus. Excess acid damages the gums resulting in gingivitis.
As rawhide is chewed and moistened, it wraps around the teeth and rubs off plaque and calculi.
Cleaner teeth means fresher breath!
Most bad breath in dogs is caused by gum disease. Inflamed gums, plaque, and calculus harbor the bacteria that creates mouth odor. Even young dogs need dental care. 85% of dogs two years of age or older have some form of periodontal disease. Ask your veterinarian about a program to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
All dogs have an inherent desire to chew, especially puppies. Aberrant chewing can be a sign of boredom, lack of exercise, or a vitamin deficiency, but is most often a normal desire to chew. This drive can exhibit itself on furniture and clothing items. Beef hide offers dogs a more acceptable chewing outlet.
Will My Dog Chew Such a Hard Rawhide?
When collagen in the skin dries out, it become stiff. As your dog chews, the saliva moistens and softens the rawhide.
Which Dogs Should Not Have Chews?
If your dog has gastrointestinal disease or is eating a therapeutic diet, you should seek a veterinarian’s approval before feeding chews. Dogs with beef allergies or that consistently swallow bones whole should probably not receive chews.
How Often Should I Feed Chews?
Rawhide is not a food, but a relatively safe, chewable toy. It is high in protein, low in fat, and has fewer calories per ounce than a typical dog biscuit. An hour of chewing daily is a good rule of thumb for feeding chews. Always supervise your dog while he is chewing his rawhide, since a dog could potentially choke on a large piece of rawhide if swallowed. Once a chew is small enough for a dog to swallow it whole, it should be taken away and discarded.
Other Options for Chews:
Natural antler chews last much longer than traditional rawhide or synthetic chew toys, and often, even longer than raw bones! Deer antler chews are a great natural source for the calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron and zinc your dog needs. Antlers are a clean, odorless, non-staining, non-greasy treat that can keep active chewers busy for days.
Made from fibrous digestible beef muscle, these are a great hard, tough chew sharing many of the same qualities and benefits as rawhide.
Yak Milk Dog Chews:
100% natural chews, made from yak and cow milk, salt and lime juice.
Raw Frozen Bones:
Raw bones are an excellent natural source of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, calcium, phosphorus and enzymes. Additionally, they can help promote gum and teeth health for better breath! Always supervise your dog when chewing bones.
Dried yams, or sweet potatoes, make excellent nutritious treats that are rich in antioxidants.
One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding the appropriate food to feed your pet. Some good questions to ask when selecting a food for your pet are:
What is your pet’s age – puppy, middle-aged or senior?
What is your pet’s condition – fat, skinny, average? Is your pet active or idle?
What is your pet’s health history – medical conditions (allergies, cancer, digestive difficulties, etc.)?
What is your budget – can you really afford the most expensive foods? How many pets do you have to feed?
When selecting a puppy or kitten food, be sure to start with the food the breeder was feeding in order to avoid stress during transition to a new household. In dogs, be aware that the large/giant breeds need specific types of food to help prevent problems associated with growth. Ask your veterinarian or other pet food professionals for recommendations about the right food for your dog or cat. There is also an abundance of information available online about different types of food and ingredient sources.
As your pet grows, he or she will need an adult food that meets his or her dietary needs. Remember, variety is important to our pets – mixing flavors helps reduce the risk of allergy development or food intolerance. Feeding the same formula for years can cause boredom as well. Just remember to use the proper dry food transition guidelines when changing your pet’s food.
Food Switching Guidelines
Combining the old and new foods together slowly during a transition will lessen the impact on your pet's digestive system, especially if you are switching from a grocery store brand to a premium food or from a premium food to a super premium formula.
Day 1-3: 75% old food, 25% new
Day 4-6: 50% old food, 50% new
Day 7-9: 25% old food, 75% new
Day 10: 100% new food
Be sure to also accommodate for different caloric values in food – you may have to increase or decrease the amount you feed your pet based on the recommendations on the back of the new bag. Using a measuring cup will help ensure your pet is receiving the recommended amount. This is especially important when you are feeding premium or super premium formulas, since they are calorically dense.
Feeding your pet table food is acceptable in small doses, so long as the table food is of high quality. Feeding too much table food can upset the balanced formula of his or her pet food and can add calories that contribute to obesity. If you are feeding table scraps, please remember to decrease the amount of pet food you are feeding accordingly so that your pet does not consume excessive calories. Feeding table scraps can also cause your pet to become a fussy eater.
Recognizing Good Dog Food Ingredients
Look for foods that contain whole or fresh meats or a single source of meat meal. A whole-meat or meal source should be listed as one of the first two ingredients (even better if there are two meat sources among the top three ingredients). Whole meat sources are defined as the clean flesh of mammals or the clean flesh and skin from poultry (no feathers, bones, etc.). Whole meats, since they contain mostly water, are less concentrated than meals and the quantity contributed to pet food is often limited in the manufacturing process. Meat meal is defined as the rendered product from mammal tissues or the skin and flesh from poultry or fish. Meals contain only about 10% moisture which contributes to a higher concentrated amount of animal protein. Meals are, however, more processed than fresh meat.
Fats in a diet are concentrated forms of energy. Fat plays a major role in the palatability and texture of pet foods. It also supplies essential fatty acids Omega 6 and 3, which benefit the skin and coat. Fat also carries fat-soluble vitamins.
Dietary fiber is primarily non-digestible, but is important in an animal’s diet to help food residue move through the digestive tract. It also contributes to the consistency of stool. Fiber is used in elevated amounts in “diet” foods to help create a fuller feeling for the animal.
Vitamins and minerals are also important ingredients and contribute to bone and tissue development, aid in cell formation and assist the immune system.
Water is one of the most important nutrients and is required for all bodily functions. Fresh water should always be available for your pet.
Whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables and other foods are also very important. A previously unprocessed food has the best chance of surviving the manufacturing process with its nutrients intact. Grain fragments (lower cost by-products of other food manufacturing processes), such as brewer’s rice or wheat bran, should be minimal. Also be wary of meat by-products and generic fats or proteins (like “animal protein”). Artificial preservatives and artificial colors are also signs of low-quality food. Propylene glycol is a chemical (traditionally added to keep foods moist or “chewy”) that your pet does not need to be exposed to. Added sweeteners, such as corn syrup, are also sometimes added to low-quality foods to increase their appeal.
When reading food labels look for a few key items: brand name, purpose statement (dog or cat food), guaranteed analysis, list of ingredients, directions for use, manufacturer name and contact information, claim that food meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutritional adequacy.
On the ingredient list, it is important to remember that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Generally speaking, the first few (4-5) ingredients contain the bulk of the weight of the product. Sometimes manufacturers use a technique called “splitting” where multiple forms of an ingredient are listed in order to lower its proximity to an ingredient listing. For example, if a product contains Chicken Meal, Rice Flower, Brewers Rice and Rice Bran, the product actually contains mostly rice, even though chicken meal is listed first. All pet foods will be formulated with some form of grain or starch (typically at least 50%) as they are necessary for binding the product together (it would be impossible to create dry kibble only from meat).
The guaranteed analysis stated the minimum or maximum nutrient values contained within a product. For dogs and cats the following values are required: Crude Protein – Minimum; Crude Fat – Minimum, Crude Fiber – Maximum; Moisture – Maximum. Often, manufacturers will list other guaranteed nutrient values to provide the consumer with additional information.
The best way to ensure that your cat will have a smooth transition to its new home is to have everything ready before it arrives.
This is a basic guide to a cat’s needs. If you have any questions, our friendly sales staff is always ready to help determine the best products to care for your pet. By choosing high quality pet food, treats and supplies for your new cat, you will create the perfect environment for a happy, healthy companion.
Educate Yourself First
A book will help you better understand the needs of each different breed of cat – i.e. temperament and grooming needs. It is important to keep new cats inside your home for the first 2-3 months so they will understand that it is their forever home and will be less likely to get lost if they are scared and runaway while outside and be unable to find their way back.
What Your Cat Will Need:
Collar: Your cat should have a collar with an ID tag and local license if it goes outside at all. A quick-release collar will ensure that your cat does not harm itself if it becomes caught in a tree or high area in your home. Outdoor cats should also have a bell to ensure that your cat is not successful at capturing any small critters which may transmit disease to your pet.
Bowls: Choose a dish that is large enough to accommodate one serving of pet food and that is easy to clean. Ceramic or stainless steel bowls work the best. Oval-shaped bowls are also available to accommodate long whiskers. Fountains are another great option.
Make sure water is available at all times. Keeping fresh water accessible in multiple locations throughout the house will help to ensure your cat stays hydrated and will reduce the risk of urinary infections.
Toys: Cats love to chase, bat things and pounce. Small balls, stuffed mice, catnip toys or any toy that has something that dangles or hangs will give your cat hours of play time.
Scratching: Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats. You must provide them with something appropriate to scratch or they will use something inappropriate (such as your couch or door frame). Scratching posts can be free standing, hung from a doorknob, or mounted on a wall. It can be made of sisal rope, wood, cardboard, or rug remnants. Catnip can be sprinkled on it to help entice your cat to use it. Start early! Scent glands on your cat’s paws will mark the post as something appropriate to scratch as they grow.
Catnip: Most cats do not react to catnip until they reach adulthood. If you get an older cat, you should definitely invest in it. Otherwise you can wait until the cat is at least eight months old.
Harness & Leash: For safe outdoor walks with your indoor cat. A cat does not have the natural inclination to walk on a leash, but in time, the cat will get used to it and enjoy your time outside together. Let your cat adjust to wearing the harness inside the home, under supervision, for the first few times, then gradually begin taking the cat outside, wearing the harness, for longer periods of time. This will help ease stress. NOTE: do not try to walk your cat using a break-away collar as these are designed to release when pressure is applied.
Cat Litter: It is best to use the kind of litter your cat or kitten has been using at the shelter or their previous home to ease the transition. You can gradually mix in a new litter of your choice. There are many different kinds of litter available to suit any budget or lifestyle.
Litter Box: Purchase a deep box that your cat or kitten will be able to use as an adult. Kittens will climb into it with no problem. A deep box allows the cat to dig and bury. Covered boxes will help contain the litter as cats dig around, and often come with filters to keep odors down. If you have more than one cat, you may need more than one litter box – some cats do not share!
Litter Scoop: Plastic or metal tool to scoop clumps of litter to extend the life of litter and remove odors.
Brush: Cats shed all year, sometimes heavier than others. This is also great bonding time for both of you. Cats need to be touched a lot, and grooming them helps fulfill this need. Regular grooming easily removes excess hair which can contribute to hairballs.
Flea Comb: Part of grooming. This will help you detect potential infestation.
Nail Clippers: Clip nails while your cat is young, and do it often – this will get your cat used to having its paws touched and nails clipped.
Cat Food: A super premium dry, canned or raw food is a proper diet for your cat. Choose a food with high meat protein content, as cats are true carnivores. Also, look for low magnesium/phosphorus (ash) content in your cat’s food, to reduce the chance of urinary tract problems later on. Grain free and low carb foods are also more digestible for cats. Investing in a good quality food will actually save money – super premium foods have dense nutrition and require less per feeding. This also translates to less waste to clean-up out of the litter box. You can supplement dry food with canned or raw food occasionally or even feed them exclusively, being careful not to overindulge and/or create an imbalanced diet. Canned food increases water intake and may be helpful in preventing the formation of urine crystals.
Treats: An occasional treat is fine. There are many on the market, but not everything will be to your cat’s liking. Treats should not be fed in place of a meal.
Carrier: Cats can be skittish travelers. It is a good idea to get a carrier that your cat can grow into, to keep your pet safe in the car on trips to the vet.
Stain Remover: Every pet owner should have a bottle of enzymatic pet stain and odor remover for those occasional accidents. These all-natural cleaners remove stains and odors effectively so cats will be less likely to re-mark the area.
Quick List of Supplies for a New Cat:
__ Family & Owner Commitment
__ Super Premium Diet
__ Cat Grass
__ Litter, Litter Box & Scoop
__ Grooming Tools (nail clipper, brush, flea comb, etc.
__ Quick-Release Collar
__ Stain & Odor Remover
__ Nail Clipper
__ Cat Furniture (scratching post)
__ Flea & Tick Control
__ Leash & Harness
__ Cat Bed
__ ID Tag (recommended for both indoor and outdoor cats)
The best way to ensure that your dog will have a smooth transition to its new home is to have everything ready before it arrives.
This is a basic guide to a dog's needs. If you have any questions, our friendly, knowledgeable sales staff is always ready to help determine the best care for your pet. Remember, for a happy and healthy canine companion; always choose high quality pet food and supplies.
Before Getting Your New Dog:
Get a book or go online and read-up on your desired breed or breeds (in a mixed breed). Learn about their particular habits, health issues, grooming needs as well as the general pros and cons of welcoming this, or any dog, into your home. Also consider the potential size of the dog when it reaches adulthood. Share all of this information with everyone living in your household, kids included, before bringing the dog home.
It is also important to “dog proof” your home. Put away all household cleaners, chemicals, or other potentially hazardous materials. Remove any objects from the floor or low-lying shelves that could cause the dog or puppy to choke. Keep litter boxes in enclosed spaces or out of reach, and make sure your house is free of any toxic plants.
New Dog Needs:
CRATE: Crates are important because they allow your dog to have his or her own space, or den. Crate-training your dog inhibits destructive behavior and will help with housetraining. In general, it is not safe to leave toys (or chews) in the crate with your dog, unless the dog is under close supervision. The crate should never be used as a punishment for your dog. Never bang on the crate, kick it or shake it.
COLLAR & LEASH: For fast growing breeds, select an adjustable collar. For smaller breeds, a lightweight buckle collar is good. Lightweight leashes are also good for smaller dogs. There are many different leash and collar options-- stop into our store and let our sales staff help you find the perfect one for your pet.
PET FOOD: In order to determine the proper type of food for your dog, consult your vet or other pet professionals. There are many different options available, ranging from dry to canned to raw diets. Be aware that large or giant breeds need specific types of food to help prevent problems associated with growth. Our knowledgeable sales associates are available to help you decide what's best to feed your dog on any budget.
To ease the transition to a new household and avoid stress, start off with the same brand of pet food the dog has been eating. After 2 weeks, slowly begin switching your dog onto the new food using this suggested guide (please note, it may take more or less time for your dog to adjust to a new food – make sure stools are firm before moving on to the next step.):
Day 1-3: 75% old food, 25% new
Day 4-6: 50% old food, 50% new
Day 7-9: 25% old food, 75% new
Day 10: 100% new food
GROOMING TOOLS: Good grooming is important and is also a great way for you to bond with your dog. A soft brush gets a dog used to being handled, while a comb is good for long coated breeds and for flea monitoring. Learning how to use dog nail clippers will help you save on grooming expenses.
OUTSIDE CONTAINMENT: Runs, kennels, dog houses and trolleys can safely open up the outdoors for your dog. Remember, however, that if a puppy spends most of his or her time with you outside, they're not going to know what to do with you inside. Make sure to spend time with your puppy both inside and outside.
TOYS: Dogs, especially puppies, love toys. Toys are not only fun for dogs, but offer mental and physical stimulation as well. It is important to supervise a dog the first time it is given any new toy. Trying different textures and sizes with toys is also important when searching for the right kind of toy(s) for your dog.
If you rotate your dog's toys, he or she will think that they're getting a new toy and you'll get more life out of the toys. Remember never to forcefully take a toy away. Try substituting a treat or another toy for one being taken away.
Chew Toys: Keeps a puppy working on a toy, not your hand, table or couch.
Soft Chew Toys: Plush chewable toys for those cuddly times.
Hard Chew Toys: Raw or sterilized bones, antlers, bully sticks and kongs can provide hours of enjoyment. Dogs should be supervised at all times with any type of hard chew.
Interactive Toys: Your puppy likes sharing his or her toys with you! Tug toys are good, but make sure that the human always wins (the owner ends the game with the toy).
Supervised Toys: Some toys can be left with a puppy when you are not around, and some toys cannot. Certain toys can be eaten or swallowed and thus are potential choking hazards or could cause digestive problems. Rope chews, frisbees, squeaky toys and rawhide should not be left alone with a dog. If you have questions about what toys can and cannot be left alone with a dog, please ask your vet or a member of our sales staff.
Remember, keeping a large variety of toys in rotation will provide the most entertainment for your dog!
ENZYME CLEANER: No matter how carefully you watch a puppy, there will be accidents. Natural enzymes break-down the molecular bonds of bacteria, “eating” stain causing elements and removing it completely. Enzyme cleaners are safe and effective at thoroughly removing spots, helping prevent dogs from returning to re-mark the same area. Special formulas for cat stains and odors are also available.
BOWLS: Separate food and water so they don't mix together. Depending on the amount of food you are feeding, you will need an appropriate sized bowl or elevated double-diner arrangement (recommended for large breed dogs). Stainless steel and ceramic bowls do not scratch and are easier to sterilize. Plastic bowls need to be inspected regularly and should be replaced once scratching and/or flaking occurs. Always have fresh water available for your dog.
TREATS: Dogs love treats. Treats come in many flavors, shapes, textures and sizes and can be extremely helpful when training your new dog, as they are an effective reward. Remember that treats have calories, though, and should be used in moderation. Kibbled dog food is also a great lower calorie substitution. Food servings, in general, should be cut back on big treat training days.
SOCIALIZATION: Dogs are social animals. If you have a puppy, make sure it gets to interact with responsible children and older dogs. Introduce your puppy to all situations that you think they will come into contact with. Be your own judge when you think your puppy has had enough socialization-- don't over stimulate them all at one time. Training classes or doggie daycare are great ways to socialize your puppy and have fun, too. All dogs need exercise and activity to keep them happy and healthy.
BEDS: Dog beds provide a comfortable place for your pet to rest. This is especially important during the winter months, as a bed will keep your dog off the cold drafty floor!
VETERINARIAN: Make sure to take your dog or puppy in for regular check-ups at the vet. Keep both your vet's phone number and an after-hours, emergency vet's phone number in a convenient place at home, and carry those numbers with you as well. Make sure to get your puppy spayed or neutered when he or she is the age recommended by your vet.
I.D. TAGS & LICENSE: A simple I.D. tag can reunite a lost dog and their owner quickly and relatively easily. Make sure that your puppy always wears his or her up-to-date I.D. tag. Having your dog licensed by your town is not only the law, but it will also help if your dog is lost.
FLEA COMB: Part of grooming. This will help you detect potential infestation.
Quick List of Supplies for your new dog:
__ Family and Owner Commitment
__ Premium Diet
__ Kennel or Crate
__ Enzyme Stain & Odor Remover
__ Toys & Chews
__ Collar & Leash
__ Grooming Tools
__ Vet Visit - Spay or Neuter
__ Socialization Class
__ Food & Water Bowls
__ Food Storage Bins
__ I.D. Tag & License
__ Tooth Brush and Toothpaste
__ Breed Specific and Dog Training Books/Magazines
As with Humans, preventative dental care is the key to a healthy mouth and a quality life for pets, too.
A preventative dental program, including regular check-ups and home care, can prevent emergency dental problems for pets. Some veterinary statistics suggest that nearly 85% of all dogs and cats older than four years have some form of dental disease. Your pet depends on you to provide home dental care and regular professional examinations.
Common signs of dental disease are dark deposits on the teeth, bad breath, a change in appetite, bloody gums, drainage inside the mouth or under the jaw, frequent sneezing, watery or bloody nasal discharge or excessive salivation. Also, if a pet has an abscessed tooth, the owner may notice swelling around the face.
Have your new pet’s teeth checked at their first vaccination visit so any dental problems can be treated right away. Continue regular dental check-ups during your pet’s life. If tartar or plaque is forming, the teeth should be cleaned. Some animals may need to have their teeth cleaned frequently. Similar to human dentistry, owners should brush their pet’s teeth between check-ups.
Most small animal veterinarians will do routine cleaning and extraction, if necessary. Depending upon the severity of the problem, owners may have to take their pets to a specialist. Veterinarians can perform oral examinations when the animal is awake, but cleaning and/or extraction requires general anesthesia.
Home Dental Options for Your Pets
This is the very best home dental care you can provide for your pet. Tooth brushing removes plaque above and below the gumline and slows the accumulation of tartar while helping prevent gum and bone infections. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste intended for pets. Pet tooth brushes are soft and shaped to fit in your pet’s mouth. Pet toothpastes are made to be swallowed, unlike toothpaste made for people, they also do not contain fluoride. Pet toothpaste comes in flavors that appeal to dogs and cats. Take your time, be patient and always use positive reinforcement (praise and rewards) when brushing your pet’s teeth. From your pet’s perspective, tooth brushing means attention from you, tasty toothpaste on a soft brush and a reward afterward!
Dogs or cats should have their teeth brushed regularly. This is especially important for older dogs or cats, which are more likely to have plaque buildup.
To introduce a puppy, kitten or adult dog or cat to brushing, rub its mouth and gums for a few minutes each day. After your pet becomes accustomed to this, begin to put a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger when you rub the mouth and gums. Next, begin putting a small amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristle toothbrush specifically designed for pets and brush the teeth gently in a circular motion.
If your dog or cat struggles when having its teeth brushed, try wrapping a large towel around your pet to restrain it. Be as gentle as possible and follow the brushing with praise and play, so your dog or cat associates the experience with something positive. Just like with nail clipping, if your pet starts to struggle, let them go and resume the next day. If using a tooth brush just does not work, try a rough washcloth or put a little enzymatic toothpaste to chew toys like Kong Dental Sticks or similar toys.
Chew toys provide some benefit by partially removing plaque and tartar above the gumline. Always watch your dog when he or she has a chew toy, to avoid potential problems if the toy comes apart. Rawhide strips, raw bones, bully sticks, dimpled hard toys, flexible plastic polymer toys and firm rubber toys are safe for most dogs.
The most common cause of bad breath in pets is dental infection. If your pet’s bad breath is due to infection, the breath will improve only when the infection is treated. However, sometimes temporary bad breath can be caused by digestive odors or dietary indiscretions (your pet ate something offensive). In these situations, a breath treat can control the problem. If your pet has persistent bad breath, consult your veterinarian promptly.
Dental supplements can also be added to your pets food and will help decrease plaque build-up.
Plaque is composed of hard food debris and bacteria, combined with proteins and calcium salts from the saliva which hardens to form tartar or calculus. Pets fed a diet consisting only of soft or canned food are apt to build up tartar more quickly. Canned food is nutritious, but because the meat is ground, minimal chewing is necessary. This does not mean that all gum disease is caused by feeding soft food s or that pet should not be fed soft food. Dry pet food provides good nutrition and assists in the removal of plaque by the mechanical action needed to chew it. A pet’s gums and teeth tend to be healthier when the pet eats at least some dry food and/or has access to hard chews or raw bones.
Home dental care and regular professional examinations help protect your pet’s health. Ask your veterinarian how often your pet needs a dental exam. Even if your pet appears normal, regular examinations could reveal severe dental problems that might have been hidden well by your pet.
Flea & tick control and prevention is a key factor in keeping your pet safe from disease and your home free of unwanted guests. Ticks are also a growing concern in our area - fortunately, however, most flea preventatives will also work for ticks. Checking your pet for pests after it comes in from outside is a great way to spot and remove ticks and begin treatment for fleas immediately.
Below is some information about fleas.
There are four stages in the flea life cycle: adult, egg, larva and cocoon/pupae. In and around the home, there are three areas where fleas, at various stages of development, are likely to be on your pet, in the yard and on the carpet, upholstery and drapery inside your home.
No single product can kill fleas in all four stages of their life cycle in all the areas they live. It takes a program consisting of the right combination of products applied at exactly the right time to kill fleas during the key stages of their life cycle.
Traditional/Synthetic Flea Control Solutions:
Products include: topical spot-ons, sprays, collars, shampoos, powders for pets, foggers for home and yard, carpet sprays and powders, etc.
Active ingredients include: Methoprine, Pyrethrin, Permethrin, Piperonyl Butoxide, Linalool, Nylar, Fipronil, Propoxur, etc.
Natural Flea Control Solutions:
Products include: shampoos, pet sprays, pet powders and home/carpet sprays.
Fleas are small wingless insects that live on mammals and birds and suck blood for food.
They lay their eggs in bedding, carpet or other areas.
The hatched larvae crawl into bedding and cracks in the floor.
A full life cycle takes about two to three weeks to develop through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
They can be controlled at every stage except the pupa when they are virtually indestructible.
Fleas prefer animals with thick coats, but can live on various animals including humans, moving from the body of one host to another.
In 30 days 10 female fleas can produce 4,000 new fleas. In turn, assuming that half are females, 4,000 can produce 800,000 fleas in 30 days.
Fleas can remain frozen for a year and then revive.
How Do I Know My Pet Has Fleas:
Flea “dirt” on your pet – it looks like black pepper on your pet’s skin, it is actually flea excrement. If flea dirt is present, there are fleas somewhere as well.
Use a flea comb regularly to check for fleas.
Why Should I Treat for Fleas:
Fleas are more than just a nuisance. Fleas can cause your pets serious medical problems. Many dogs and cats are highly sensitive to flea bites and may develop an allergic reaction. Fleas also may transmit tapeworms and cause infested animals anemia (severe blood loss) not to mention great pain and misery. Once your pet becomes infested, products must be used to exterminate the existing flea population. All affected areas must be treated including your pet’s bedding, the areas outside your home that your pet frequents, and all carpets, furniture and drapery inside your home. Failure to properly treat all areas will increase the likelihood that some fleas or eggs could survive and re-infest your pet and your home.
How Do I Get Rid of Them:
There are 4 steps to complete flea control:
Pet Control: Use a shampoo that is made specifically for flea control. All pets in the household should be treated for fleas simultaneously.
Home & Yard Control Foggers are easy to use and effective to treat large areas of your home when you have an infestation. Carpet sprays and powders reach underneath other furniture not treated by the fogger. Fleas picked up in the yard become your problem. Treat the yard and avoid infestations.
Ongoing Maintenance Use a topical flea product to prevent fleas form using your pet as a host. Repeat home and yard treatments within 7-10 days to ensure effective treatment of an infestation.
How Do I Prevent Fleas?
We recommend using flea treatments year-round for best results. Most monthly topical flea treatments are easy to use and are effective at killing and repelling fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
A common misconception is that fleas and other parasites aren’t a problem in the winter. This is not the case. Under the right conditions, such as a midwinter warm spell, fleas can survive and reproduce indoors. The onset of flea season is impossible to predict.
Read Labels Carefully Before Using Any Flea Product!
Just like human fingernails, a dog and cat nails grow all the time, so regular manicures should be part of every pet owner’s routine. Trimmed claws are also less likely to snag fabric and inadvertently scratch people. Nail trimming is much easier if the your pet has been accustomed to regular manicures since it was a puppy or kitten, but most owners still have a good chance for success even with an adult animal, if they follow these simple instructions.
To get a dog or cat used to having its paw handled, gently hold and massage each paw for a short time. Before clipping, study your pet’s toes and paws carefully. The pink area in the nail is a living nail (called the kwik), which carries the blood supply and should not be cut. The white area that forms the sharp, pointed nail tip is the part that needs trimming. Just take off the tip of the claw, leaving a little white nail on the end to protect the pink portion. If your pet’s nails are cut too closely they could bleed profusely and be quite tender and painful.
In case of an accidental cut, keep syptic powder on hand – this antiseptic clotting agent will help to stop the bleeding quickly.
Spaying and Neutering are surgical procedures performed by veterinarians where reproductive organs are removed. There are many benefits to having your pet spayed or neutered.
Females who have been spayed are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancers. Males who have been neutered are less likely to develop prostate and testicular cancers. Once their reproductive organs have been surgically removed, pets are less apt to roam, thereby reducing the risk of injury or contracting infectious diseases.
Having your pet spayed or neutered also helps to ensure that they will not contribute to the growing problem of pet overpopulation.
Your veterinarian can provide more information on these procedures as well as recommendations for the appropriate time and age to have your pet spayed or neutered.
By using a high quality cat litter you can more easily trap odors and your litter will last longer. A covered litter box will also contain more odors. Many also come with a filter to clean the air coming out of the box. They will also help reduce the amount of litter scattered on the floor around the litter box.
Feeding your cat super premium pet foods will also cut down on waste, since these foods are more highly digestible.
Tips for Guiding Kitty to the Litter Box:
Follow a few basic principles to train your new kitten or cat to use the litter box.
Confine the kitten/cat, for the first week, to a small room when you’re not around to supervise. Place their litter box in that space. Locate their bedding, food and water in another area of the house.
Choose a private, quiet location for the permanent location of the litter box.
If you have a kitten, choose a low-sided litter box that will allow them to more easily climb into the box. A larger box can be purchased for a full grown cat, or when your kitten gets older.
Be consistent with the type of litter you use. Switching litter formulas can throw off a kitten’s training. If you must make a change, transition the litter slowly, by gradually mixing in the new with the old.
Clean the litter box daily. Some cats will not use a litter box if there is any waste odor. However, with a very young kitten it’s good to leave a little of the odor to help draw it back to the box.
If the kitten or cat goes outside the box, clean the area thoroughly with an enzyme cleanser, designed to remove organic wastes and odors completely and reduce the temptation for the cat to use that spot again.
Avoid harsh disinfectants and deodorizers that may disturb the cat’s sensitive nose. Safe, natural enzymatic cleaners will do the job without putting your pet at risk. If you prefer to use a deodorizer, get the cat used to it slowly so it doesn’t begin avoiding the box.
If your cat urinates outside the box frequently, it may be an indication of a urinary tract problem. If your cat exhibits any irritation, or appears strained while urinating, see your vet immediately. Left untreated, Feline Urinary Syndrome (FUS) can be fatal. Prevent FUS with a healthy, high-quality low-magnesium, low-ash diet and always provide plenty of fresh water. You may also want to supplement dry food with canned or raw food to increase water intake.
There are many different types of litter. Visit Accessories for a list of available brands, or visit one of our retail stores and a sales associate can help you find the best type of litter for you and your home!
Leaving your pet in a parked car can be dangerous.
On a warm day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 160 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with partially opened windows. With only hot air to breathe, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or even die from heatstroke. Dogs and cats dissipate heat through the act of panting, they do not sweat like people do and are unable to signal when they are over-heating.
Signs of heat stress:
Deep red or purple tongue
If your pet becomes overheated, you must lower his or her body temperature immediately! Get your pet in the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over their body. Let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes or ice cream. Bring your pet to a veterinarian right away, it could save their life.
Pets can also suffer from hypothermia if left in a parked car on a cold winter day.
In general, if you can’t take your pet with you when you get out of the car, they are safer at home!
Dumbcane Elephant Ear
Eucalyptus Fox Glove
Four O’Clock Gardenia
Hydrangea Indian Corn
Iris Jack in the Pulpit
Juniper Kalanchoe Larkspur
Lily of the Valley Marijuana
Norfolk Pine Oleander
Privet Queen Anne’s Lace Rhododendron
Rubber Plant Schefflera
Snow on the Mountain
St. John’s Wart
Sweet Pea Tobacco
Tulip Virginia Creeper Wisteria
Many types of Ivies,
Mums and Seeds (fruit) also.