World Pet Association: Benefits of Walking your dog

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We all know there are benefits for both you and your pet when it comes to walking your dog everyday, but World Pet Association spells it out in an article out this month:

Every year, October 1st marks the start of National Walk Your Dog Week, a pet holiday week meant to spread awareness of the health benefits of getting out and going on a walk with your dog. And health benefits are abound, not only in burned calories and steps taken. Walking your dog is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for both your and your pooch’s health.

These are four reasons we recommend getting out everyday to walk your dog:

It’s Good For Your Dog’s Physical Health

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This is the most obvious benefit of the walk. Walking not only gets your pooch’s blood flowing, the heart pumping and the calories burning, but also can aid in getting the digestive system moving—great if your dog’s been experiencing any, ahem, digestive backup (this is NOT a time to forget your waste bags!). However, if your dog is prone to hip or joint problems, you might want to look into a hip + joint supplement to promote cartilage growth and joint mobility.

To read more, click here.

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5 Things you should know about collars and leads

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If it weren’t for the collar and nametag on my friend’s beagle, Norbert, we’d have lost him long ago.  He’s an escape artist.  However, because he’s so darn cute, people tend to catch him quickly and then immediately call to let my friend know they’ve found him. He hasn’t escaped in months, but that collar never leaves his neck (except for bathtime).

5 tips for using collars and leashes

5 tips for using collars and leashes

1. As soon as you get a puppy or bring home a new dog, make sure it has a soft collar and a name tag. The collar of course is necessary for using a leash as well, but also provides a secure place to afix that ever important name tag with your contact information and your pet’s name.

2. For puppies, a typical lead length is 4-6 feet. Getting your puppy used to a leash early on will help to ensure that you two can enjoy walks together instead of fighting every step of the way.

3. Speaking of fighting…if you have a dog who usually walks YOU instead of the other way around, try a head collar or harness.  Head collars look similar to muzzles but don’t keep your dog’s mouth closed.  They DO allow you to more easily turn your dog’s head to distract him or her from squirrels, other dogs, etc.  If you can control the motion of your pet’s head, you can control which direction they go.  For more information on using a head halter, check out this article from the ASPCA.

4. If your dog tends to pull and lunge when other dogs approach, you’re experiencing leash reactivity. This often occurs either because your dog is afraid of other pets or because he is so excited to see other dogs and gets frustrated because he can’t get to them more quickly to say, “Hi!”

5. Ways to manage or fix this leash reactivity include: walking at different times of day when there are fewer pets, picking up small pets to avoid lunging, and distracting your dog when others are around.  To actually FIX the problem, click here to see a great training idea from the ASPCA.

Preparing for a puppy

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With the holidays approaching we’re sure some of you are planning to end the season with a new puppy.  Puppies are so much fun to have around, but they also require much work and training.  Paying attention to the needs of your puppy will ensure a happy and healthy pet and pet-human relationship for you and your family.

Grand Junction puppy

According to PetAge.com:

Puppy Foods

Puppies need smaller kibble pieces to help with chewing since their teeth are much smaller than adult dogs.

We stock the Nutro brand which offers three different types of food specifically designed for puppies. The Wholesome Essentials Puppy food contains chicken with amino acids for building muscles for puppies.

Nutro also offers Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Food with Australian and New Zealand lamb. It helps puppies get the optimal nutrition they need without added ingredients that could cause digestive problems.

Nutro goes further into specifics with Small Breed Puppy Food, a formula that caters to small breeds with a higher metabolism. Small breed puppies have higher requirements for energy than puppies of larger breeds.

We also carry Bell Bowls and products by Loving Pets which can prepare pet owners for the inevitable floor food pile. Bella mats  prevent splashes and retain spills with raised edges and anti-skid feet. The mats come in both tan and black and features a stylish bone shape.

Training Puppies

Training is very important for puppy care. When bringing a new puppy home, accidents are bound to happen until puppies can build up a routine.

Nature’s Miracle offers training pads to help combat problems. The Flowering Meadow Scent Release Dog and Puppy Training Pads are disposable pads that feature a scented attractant to let puppies know they have found the right place to relieve themselves. Moisture-activated fragrance can also help keep a new puppy home smelling fresh. The pads also come in Tropical scent as well.  You can find Nature’s Miracle products right here at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center.

Toys, Chews and Treats

Chew toys are important for all stages of a dog’s life. A puppy has brand new teeth that require softer material to help aid in the development of strong and healthy teeth.

Chomper has a great line of puppy toys that are interactive and will allow for bonding time with you as well as keeping your pets from being bored.

Merrick treats, like their Jerky Chip treats, are great for dogs of all ages and provide them with proteins and healthy fats in a great, all-natural and holistic treat.

And finally…

Skin and Coat Care

Puppies have developing coats. Therefore, their skin can be a little sensitive so it is best to use milder shampoos for baths.

Earthbath Puppy Shampoo is naturally tearless and pH-balanced for puppies’ sensitive skin. Its ingredients include natural cleansers, aloe vera and a dash of cherry essence.

Find all of these great products and MUCH MORE for your puppy at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center.

Information for this post taken from: http://www.petage.com/the-wide-world-of-puppy-products/

Tips for helping your pets and children bond

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When it comes to pets and kids, there are several steps you can take to make sure your puppy or even older dog learns to socialize well with children of all ages.

The dog

  • Begin socializing your pet as soon as possible.  If you’ve got a puppy, then between 5 weeks and 5 months is the best time to really begin introducing your pet to children.  This chart from the ASPCA shows the best times to introduce your puppy to a variety of people, places and things:
  • Even with older dogs, you can still help them to become more used to children by slowly introducing them to kids and various child-based situations.  Try taking them to a soccer field to watch children play or take them to a friend’s house where children are present. Introduce them to children of various ages.
  • Teach your dog the “pack” order and how to be comfortable as a pet in a human society by making sure he knows his place: make sure the dog gets fed after people do; make sure that you or your child enters the house or leaves the house before the pet does so that the pet sees who is in charge.
  • Don’t force your dog into a situation that he or she isn’t ready for and make sure not to allow the dog to play roughly with children.
  • Be sure to supervise all pet/child encounters!

The children

  • Make sure your children know that pets are real creatures, not toys.  They should always be gentle with pets.
  • Children shouldn’t grab toys away from pets.  Teach your child how to coax the toy (if playing fetch) from your pet and how to reward the pet with treats for a job well done.
  • Make sure children know to leave dogs alone while the dogs are eating and make sure that they know not to run up to strange animals.

Children and Cats

Cats are quite tolerant of children.  From my own experience it seems every time cats are around children they seem to just lie there while kids do their best to “gently” pat the kitty.  Still, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when helping your child and cat bond:

  • Make sure that children approach cats from a sitting position so as not to seem threatening.
  • Remind children that cats are alive and need to be treated gently and with care.
  • Perhaps reward your cat for his good behavior with a favorite treat or some catnip.

Puppies and Kittens: 5 essentials

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When you bring home a new puppy or kitten, there are several great items you should have on hand to make life easier for everyone.

For puppies
1. Piddle Pads – when house training your new puppy, piddle pads can come in handy.  If you have to be gone for an extended period of time, having a pad your dog knows is an “ok” place to go will make life easier for both of you.  Young puppies have bladders that are still developing and may not be able to hold it if you’re away for a while.

2. Treats – The best way to teach your dog what behavior is acceptable is by rewarding him or her with a treat.  Kind words and a little bit of a treat after using the bathroom outside, coming when called or sitting will go a long way towards getting your young puppy to obey.

3. A good leash – Taking your puppy on walks is a great way to get him or her used to a leash, and also used to the world around him.

4. Name Tags / Collar – Make sure to get your puppy a collar and a name tag with his name, address and phone number.  If he ever escapes from you, you’ll be glad to know that information is there for someone if they find him!

5. Gates – If you want to confine your puppy to one room of the house while you’re at work, having a gate to close off certain rooms of the house is the way to go.

For kittens
1. Spray deterrents – there are lots of pet-safe sprays available that will help keep your new kitten from clawing on furniture or curtains.

2. Treats – Kittens don’t really understand punishment, but they DO understand rewards for good behavior.  When your kitten does what you want, like coming when called or using the litter box, have a small treat handy.

3. Litter box and litter – a new litter box will be necessary for your new kitten. If you already have a cat at home, make sure to bring home at least one extra box and maybe 2.

4. Furniture and/or toys – kittens need places to play and things to play with.  Make sure to get a good scratching post and perhaps even a tower or two for your cat to climb on.  Small toys to chase will also keep your kitten’s mind active and alert.

5. Carriers – when transporting your kitten to the vet or anywhere else, a good carrier is essential for its safety!

Find all of these items and more at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center, 2851 North Avenue, Grand Junction.