Shedding Season is Right Around the Corner — Get Out Your Furminators!

Now before I started working at PetSupplies4Less, I had no idea what a Furminator was, all I knew was that I brushed my cat with a slicker brush. Now don’t get me wrong a slicker brush works good, but that is nothing compared to the Furminator. We’re talking fur the size of an entire cat here folks!

The Furminator looks kind of like a clipper blade with a handle. It has short tines that pull away dead hair from your pet’s undercoat, leaving a nice shiny coat. The brush is very well made of durable plastic with a metal comb. The ergonomic handle makes it easy and comfortable to use. It is also available in a variety of sizes, so you can get the one that works best for your pet. Plus, according to the Furminator web site, it reduces shedding by 90% — yes 90%!!

Their web site also shows video demonstrations of the tool in action, you won’t believe how much hair comes off these pets! Go on over and check it out.

All I can say is that I’m very happy with my Furminator and the cats love to be brushed with it. What is your experience with the Furminator? Do you like it?

Want to try one? Get a Furminator today at PetSupplies4Less.com!

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Professional Pet Sitter’s Week

If you use a pet sitter, send some flowers or a note this week to tell them how much you appreciate them caring for your pet while you’re gone!

Pet sitters do much more than just feed and water your pet while you are away. A professional pet sitter will spend quality time with your pet as well as provide play and exercise time. Pet sitters often will not only care for your pet, but will bring in your mail, water your plants and turn lights on and off to help deter crime.

A pet sitter offers both you and your pet many benefits.

Your pet gets:

  • the environment he knows best.
  • his same diet and routine.
  • relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
  • attention while you’re away.

You get:

  • the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
  • someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
  • someone who will come to your home
  • other services, such as plant watering and pet grooming.

Just because someone has the title of professional pet sitter, doesn’t mean that they are qualified to care for your pet. Here are some things to look for when choosing a pet sitter.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, when looking for a pet sitter, you should keep these things in mind:

It’s important to learn all you can about prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:

  • Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
  • What training has the pet sitter received?
  • Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet, such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
  • Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
  • What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
  • Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training, and play time?
  • Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
  • If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
  • How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
  • Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?

Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from her references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person?

To help your new pet sitter and your pet get accustomed to one another, you might want to take a weekend trip and see how everything works out. This will give you a better idea if your pet sitter and your pet are made for each other.

Natural Dog Chews – What are Bully Sticks?

This post was inspired by a post over on 4urpets about Bully Sticks — it’s quite a funny story, check it out!!

Bully Sticks are a wildly popular natural dog chew, but many people don’t know what they are made of — some might stop giving them to their pets if they really knew! If you’re one of those people, you can stop reading now!

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to give your dog some natural chews, they help clean teeth and give them entertainment for awhile.

Bully Sticks are natural beef, they come in several different flavors and are available as sticks or braids. Bully Sticks are made from …..are you really ready for this?…..dried beef penis (pardon my French!).

Other natural dog chews that are available are hooves, ears, gullets, tracheas, etc.

So now that you know exactly what bully sticks are you can feel free to snicker every time you buy them! And you can buy great All Natural Bully Sticksfor dogs at PetSupplies4Less.com.

Doggy Disneyland

Doggy Disneyland is not a themepark, in a sense. It’s more like doggy heaven. Stephen Huneck, has turned his passion for dogs into a successful business that dog lovers flock too. His hand-sculpted wooden pieces are whimsical and fun. His Dog Chapel celebrates the bond that people have with their pets and it really is a very touching idea. Pets are part of the family, even considered as children for some. This bond can’t be understood by anyone who has never had a pet.

If I ever get to Vermont, this is one place that I would really like to visit. It sounds very beautiful and I love the artwork that I have seen. It’s whimsical, just my style. If anyone has been there, I’d love to hear your experiences. It sounds like a wonderful place!

What to do if your pet is choking

You don’t ever want to think about your pet choking, but knowing what to do beforehand can save your pet’s life.

If your pet is choking, you will see him pawing at his mouth, coughing, excessive drooling, wrenching or frantic behavior. The first thing you want to do is remove any collars or anything that is around his neck.

Next, look inside your pet’s mouth. If you see the object, gently try to remove it. DO NOT just stick your fingers in there and pull on something you can’t see. Dogs & cats have small bones in the back of their throats that support their tongues and they can easily be mistaken for chicken bones. Only remove what you can see.

If you can’t remove the object, don’t force it. If you have a small dog or cat, pick him up with his head facing down. For a larger dog, lift his rear legs up until his head facing down. This often removes any lodged object.

If that doesn’t work, give your pet a sharp hit with the palm of your hand between the shoulder blades. If the object doesn’t dislodge after a couple of tries, you can try a modified Heimlich maneuver. This is done in the same way that you would do for a human. It is very important that you are absolutely sure that your pet is choking before you do this because if he isn’t it can cause serious damage.

Grasp your dog or cat around the waist so that the rear is nearest to you, similar to a bear hug. Place a fist just behind the ribs. Compress the abdomen several times (usually 3 to 5 times) with quick pushes. Check the mouth to see if the foreign object has been removed.

Even if the object has been removed, you need to take your pet to the vet for a check up. A foreign object can very easily cause internal damage.

Volvo offers pet restraint system

I saw this article today and I think it’s a great idea!!

CHICAGO|Volvo Cars of North America has gone to the dogs at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, partnering with BarkBuckleUP of San Diego for a 2008 Pet Travel Safety Campaign.

More than 67 percent of U.S. households own a pet, statistics show. Of those, 44.8 million own a dog; 71 million own a cat. Nearly 50 percent of those households own more than one pet.

“The most critical component for responsible travel with a pet is to properly secure the animal,” said Christina Selter, co-founder of BarkBuckleUP. “In an accident, an unrestrained pet can become a projectile, risking serious injury to the passengers and pet.”

Volvo is displaying an available dual compartment pet housing system in the 2008 XC90 SUV.

The system helps contain pets in a sturdy metal protective crate, custom-built to fit the contours of the vehicle’s cargo bay behind the second row seats.

According to Selter, 80 percent of pet owners travel with their pets but never use a restraint.

A Tru-Fit Smart Harness fits around a pet’s front legs and chest and attaches to the vehicle’s front or second row buckled shoulder belt harness.

The pet harness is padded and comes in various sizes to match the pet’s size and weight.

Crate Training a Puppy

I am writing about this today because before now, I didn’t realize how frustrating it can be to crate train a puppy. We got a new puppy Friday, a pug, who is very cute and we believe, very smart. Too smart for his own good!

Before he came to us, he spent most of his time in a kennel, which I am thinking is/will impede his progress with potty training because he is use to going in his own space. We will see how it goes.

If you are wanting to crate train your new puppy it is best to start the day you bring him home. You will need a crate that is the size of your dog. He should be able to turn around and lay down and that’s about it. Keeping his area small will discourage him from pottying in the open space and then lying in the other half. If you want, put a towel or small blanket in there for him, and be sure that it is washable in case he has an accident.

When you first bring the puppy home, place the crate in the same room with you and allow him to explore it. To encourage him to go in it, you can tempt him with a tasty treat. Allow him to smell the treat and then toss it in the crate while saying your command, ours is “Crate.” Allow him to go in, eat the treat and come out if he wishes. Once you have him regularly going in and out of the crate, you can try having him stay in the crate for a short period of time. Allow him to go in, close the door, wait a few seconds then open the door and give him a treat. You can do this, each time increasing the time between entering the crate and his treat. Here you can add a safe toy, one that doesn’t have small parts or come apart easily, such as a Kong. They are made of hard rubber and are pretty much indestructible, not to mention, you can fill it with peanut butter and keep him happy for hours!

Once he is comfortable with the crate, you can start feeding him in the crate. Place a small bowl of food just outside the door and allow him to eat. Each time move the bowl farther back in the cage until you reach the back. Once you reach the back, you can close the door. Keep the door closed while puppy is eating then let him out. Each time you can extend the amount of time you wait between when puppy is finished eating and when he gets out of the crate. You want to do this to build positive associations with the crate, do not use the crate as a form of punishment.

Once he is happily eating his meals in the crate, you can start getting him use to you leaving for a bit while he is in there. Put him in the crate and sit quietly by it for 5-10 minutes. Then get up and go into another room for a few minutes, then return and sit by the crate for 5-10 minutes. After doing so, let him out of the crate and praise him. Repeat this process a few times a day until you can successfully leave the room for 30 minutes. Once he is used to you leaving for that amount of time, you can start leaving for a longer period of time running errands, etc.

Now the most important thing is to keep puppy on a routine. Feed him at the same times during the day and this will greatly help your potty training. Most puppies will have to go out within 30 minutes of eating so be sure that you take him out after he has eaten. You will also want to take him out first thing in the morning and after naps and play time.

Puppies younger than 6 months will need to go out about every 3-4 hours because they have limited bladder control. So be sure to plan your day around letting puppy out to go potty. When you take puppy out of the crate, carry him to his potty spot and stand there until he goes. Once he does, praise him lavishly and give him a treat.

Crating Duration Guidelines

9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum

While you are potty training it is a good idea to keep puppy on a leash so you can supervise him at all times. If he begins sniffing around like he is looking for a place to go potty, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot. If you wait for awhile and he doesn’t go, return to the house and try again in 10-15 minutes.

If your puppy does have an accident, punishing him after the fact will do nothing but confuse him. He won’t even know what he has done wrong. If you catch him in the act, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot.

Do you have any tips or tricks for puppy potty training? Let us know!