Understanding Pet Supplies

Three Indoor Plants That Are Dangerous For Your New Cat

When you don’t have pets, you don’t need to worry about the types of indoor plants that you use to decorate your home. However, when you decide to get a cat, you need to worry that your curious new friend will ingest your house plants. These plants need to be removed before you get your cat. Here are three indoor plants that are dangerous for your new cat. Aloe You may have a container of aloe growing on your kitchen counter. While this plant can help provide relief from minor burns you suffer while you’re cooking, it can also poison your cat. Since you probably won’t be able to keep your cat from jumping onto your counter, your aloe plant needs to go. If your cat nibbles on your aloe plant, they can suffer from stomach problems, including diarrhea and vomiting. Cats who’ve ingested aloe may also lose their appetites and seem depressed. Tremors are another clue that a cat has ingested aloe. Corn plants Corn plants, also known as dragon trees or ribbon plants, are another indoor plant that can pose problems for your new cat. This plant contains saponins, the same toxic compound that’s found in aloe, so it’s no wonder that corn plants are similarly dangerous. If your cat eats part of your corn plant, they may vomit. This vomit can even contain blood, which is scary for any cat owner to see. Affected cats can also develop dilated pupils or start drooling in addition to seeming depressed. Jade plants Jade plants are also called dwarf rubber plants, and they’re houseplants that look like miniature trees. While these plants are attractive, you need to get rid of them before your cat arrives. All parts of these plants, including the flowers and the leaves, are considered toxic to cats. The toxin within these plants hasn’t been identified, but the plant is known to be toxic to cats. When cats ingest any part of it, they can become depressed and lethargic, and they may even stop eating. Vomiting and a lack of coordination are also possible signs of jade plant poisoning. In rare cases, your cat’s heart rate can even become slowed due to the toxins! Cats can be poisoned by many common houseplants, including aloe, corn plants, and jade plants, so make sure to get rid of these plants before you bring your new cat home. If your […]

What to Bring the First Time You Go Duck-Hunting with Your Dog

If you’re getting ready for duck-hunting season and are ready to bring your gun dog along for their first hunt, it’s important that you plan ahead. Just because your dog has trained on decoys and is adept at running drills doesn’t mean that they are a seasoned hunter. Because of this, you will need a few special items to bring along with you. These items are in addition to your own needs (hunting license, ammo, cameo, and so forth). Whistle Your dog is bound to be excited when they first hit the hunting ground. You want to be able to summon them and get their attention when they are out in the field. Rather than scream at the top of your lungs, you should have a whistle on hand. Ideally, it should be the same whistle that you use to train them. First-Aid Kit You should bring along a first-aid kit in case your dog becomes injured. Hopefully they won’t, but should they slice open a paw while chasing after game, you want to be able to dress the wound on site and not have to deal with a bad cut that will bleed all over your truck, and more importantly, might continue to bleed and put the dog’s health at risk. So you want antiseptic, gauze, wraps, and lots of tape. Walkie-Talkies This is important if you’re planning on hunting with other people. You want to be able to communicate with them if your dog gets loose and heads out into the open terrain. This will enable you to avoid a potential shooting accident. Bring multiple walkie-talkies in case the other hunters don’t bring their own. Always set the walkie talkies up ahead of time so that everyone is on the same channel. Dog House or Dog Stand If the weather is going to be very rough, then it’s a good idea to bring some sort of shelter for your dog. During the down time when you’re not shooting game, you want a space where the dog can hang out and keep warm. You most likely won’t be close to your truck, so you can’t rely on the truck for warmth. There are nice, portable dog houses (sometimes called dog caves) designed for hunting. They are weather proof and lightweight, but they provide the necessary shelter. Alternatively, if the weather is warm, but you’re going to be out in […]

Four Tips To Keep In Mind When Buying Supplies For Your New Chinchilla

Chinchillas can make for delightfully fluffy and docile pets, but they do require a little more care and maintenance than your average gerbil or hamster. Although these unique creatures are hardy and convenient in many ways, they have special needs that must be met to ensure they live happily and comfortably, including a few unique pet supplies. As you shop around to prepare for your new pet chinchilla’s arrival, make sure you have these four items ready to go beforehand.  Choosing the Right Cage Chinchillas tend to sleep throughout the day, which may leave you with the impression that they are lazy. But these animals are actually more active at night or around dusk and dawn, and they need plenty of space to hop, roam and climb while they are awake. Because of this, you should buy as large a cage as your budget will allow. Choose one with multiple levels for your chinchilla to jump to and from, and never buy a cage with a wire floor. Wire mesh can cause injury to your chinchilla, particularly if it jumps down from a platform too hard. Opt instead for a solid floor lined with hay.  Keeping Teeth Short Like other rodents, a chinchilla’s teeth never stop growing. In the wild, chewing on food and nearby plants is enough to keep teeth short and manageable, but your pet may need a little extra help in captivity. Use specially designed chewing logs or chewing treats in your chinchilla’s cage. Avoid salt or mineral blocks, since they may interfere with your chinchilla’s nutritional balance.  Practicing Good Hygiene One of the major benefits of chinchillas as pets is that their fur is so dense and soft that pests like fleas simply cannot survive on them. These desert animals adapted to an environment where rain and standing water are scarce, which means they also adapted very different hygiene methods than, for example, a cat or dog. You will need to give your chinchilla regular dust baths to keeps its coat shiny and healthy. Most pet supply stores sell specially formulated dust for this purpose.  Providing a Source of Exercise If you don’t intend to let your chinchilla out of its cage regularly, it will need another source of exercise to stay active and stimulated. Do not buy the rolling balls meant for hamsters and smaller rodents, since they can be hard on a chinchilla’s spine […]

Bringing Puppy Home: Supplies You Should Have In Advance

How much is the doggy in the window? He’s the one with the wagging tail, cute face, and fun temperament that you just can’t wait to bring home with you as your own. But, before you whisk that new puppy off to start a new life in your home as the family pet, you better make sure you are well prepared for the change. Caring for a puppy is totally different than taking care of a full grown dog. There are some supplies that you should make sure you have on hand right from the beginning. Puppy Training Pads – It takes some time to get a puppy used to the idea that they can’t just relieve themselves wherever they want in the house. However, you can usually get your new doggy to use a training pad instead of the carpet with a little encouragement. Plus, the training pads work well to situate in a crate as well. Chew Toys – From about four to ten months old, puppies will be going through a chewing stage because they are actually losing puppy teeth and growing their adult teeth. Anything that is within reach will become an ideal item to chew on, whether it is your shoes or the furniture. Make sure you have plenty of chewable toys available for your puppy, such as bones and leather toys, to keep him or her from chewing on everything else. Puppy Food – Find a good puppy food that is formulated just for younger dogs. Puppies need a different level of nutrition than adult dogs, so even if they can eat regular dog kibble, it will not be as healthy for them as puppy food. Plus, puppy food is usually small for easy chewing and can even be semi-moist or soft to cater to those smaller teeth. Collar and Leash – Puppies have no training, so taking them for a walk in which they stay right by your feet is just a romantic notion that probably will not be true. Pick him up a collar and a good leash for taking walks, as an energetic puppy will need a lot of exercise and their small bladder means they will need to go much more often. Dog Crate – The last thing you want to do is leave a new puppy to roam unsupervised while you’re not home or in bed. You could wake […]

How To Soothe Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

Dogs can develop itchy skin for a number of reasons. If you’ve eliminated the more worrisome causes, such as fleas and mites, your dog’s dry skin is probably due to dry air, exposure to environmental allergens, or a combination of both. As long as your dog is not scratching so much that he’s causing open sores, you can generally handle the treatment at home without having to make a vet visit. Here are three ways to ease your dog’s itchy skin. Oatmeal Baths Oatmeal has the amazing ability to moisturize and soothe itchy skin. Try giving your dog an oatmeal bath, either with an oatmeal shampoo purchased from the pet store or with one you make yourself by following these directions: Place about a 1/4 cup oats in a food processor, and process until the oats form a fine powder. Pour the oats into a bowl, and add about a 1/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons of a gentle shampoo or liquid castile soap. Stir well. Wet your dog’s hair down completely. Use cool (not cold) water, as this is less drying. Apply the oatmeal shampoo, and rub it into your dog’s hair, making sure it reaches the skin. Let the shampoo sit for at least 5 minutes — 10 is better if your dog will stand for it. Then, rinse your dog with more cool water. You can repeat this oatmeal bath process once a week or so to keep your dog comfortable. For more information on keeping your dog happy during bathtime, talk with a professional like Bath Bone. Vitamin E Vitamin E is excellent for soothing and moisturizing the itchiest patches. All you need to do is break open a vitamin E gel capsule, and rub the contents onto your dog’s itchiest spots. Not only does the vitamin E bring relief, but the rubbing action will help increase blood flow to the area and encourage healing. Chamomile Tea Chamomile is known for its calming effects. When applied topically, it will help the skin relax, relieving irritation. This will help break the cycle in which your dog scratches, which leads to more irritation, more scratching, and so forth. Prepare some chamomile tea by pouring a cup of boiling water over a chamomile tea bag. Let it steep for about 10 minutes so that you’re sure all of the vital compounds have been extracted into the water. Let the tea […]

How To Prepare For Bringing Home A New Boxer Puppy

Bringing a puppy into your house is a big decision. If you have narrowed your choice down to an adorable boxer puppy, know that you are making a great choice. In the US, boxers are the 10th most popular dog breed, and are a wonderful dog for families that have children that will be around them. Boxers can also be a guard dog if you have concerns about securing your property. Here are some things you should know prior to bringing a puppy home. Things To Look For From A Pet Store or a Breeder The first decision you’ll need to make is if you want to use a local pet store of a dog breeder to get your boxer puppy. While some people love getting puppies from local breeders because of the personal experience that they put into raising them, others prefer to select rescue animals from pet stores or shelters. It’s ultimately a personal preference, but you should ask either place similar questions. You’ll want to verify if the puppy has had a test done to see if they’ve had heart worms. This is a big problem for puppies and can even lead to them dying prematurely. If they have heart worms, you’ll need to give the puppy medicine to keep them healthy, since the parasite could attack their lungs and heart and cause either to fail. Also, check out the puppy’s living conditions to verify that they are sanitary. Ask about veterinary visits and if they have received all of their vaccinations. Be aware that a boxer should be with their mom for at least 8 weeks, and leaving their mom sooner than that can cause the dog to be more aggressive as it gets older. How To Care For Your New Boxer Puppy A boxer prefers to be indoors because of its short hair, which does not provide the best protection from outdoor elements. Boxers also prefer living with humans because they are pack dogs. That’s why you should dedicate some time every day to play with your dog. Boxers tend to have a lot of energy, so you’ll need to get them outside for occasional playing so they can be active and run. Boxers like to eat three times a day, with about 1-2 cups of dry food for each meal. Avoid using free feeding so that they do not become bloated.  If you have […]

Stay! How To Train Your Dog To Stay In The Yard

Dogs have the propensity to yearn for whatever is outside of their home’s perimeter, and many animals run away from home, never to be found again. It’s important that your dog understands where his or her boundaries are so they understand how to stay in the yard and not wander off into the street or away from home. While installing a standard, traditional fence or an from a company like A Dream Pet Store can be helpful to keep Fido at home, there are also training methods you can use to prevent them from wandering outside of your yard. Start Indoors It’s best to start training your dog to understand boundaries inside first before moving to the outside so they can grasp the general concept without all of the temptations that come with being outside. Purchase some small marker flags you can find at most hardware stores, and strategically place them in random locations in a large room. These flags will create a virtual boundary that your dog will learn to obey by using positive reinforcement. Buy some special treats or give your dog a small piece of meat for this exercise so they really understand the importance of successful training. Show your dog how to approach the flags and stop on your command. Whenever they obey, reward them and whenever they disobey and run past the flags, have them repeat the exercise until they learn to stop at the designated flags. Outside Training After approximately one to two weeks of indoor training, you can move the exercise outside. Using the same flags, space them apart along the fence or property line of your yard. A distance of about eight to ten feet should be sufficient depending on the size of your yard, and the flags should be evenly placed apart. Start by walking your dog along the line of flags and see if they stop at each one just as they did indoors. When they do, reward them with their special treats to reinforce that they’re doing things correctly. Practice this training several times per day for at least four to eight weeks so your dog fully understands that this area is the boundary they should stay within. Maintaining The Boundary You can increase the distance between the flags over time to work on creating a solid understanding of boundaries for your dog. If the dog ignores your commands regarding the […]