June2011

Fish Aquariums

Fluval CHI 10506 Nano aquarium for home or officeTake a swim in properpet.com’s new line of products for fish, including aquariums. We are just getting started, but we wanted to to give you a preview of what it is to come. One of the great new products we are offering is the Chi® Aquarium. This aquarium uses Feng Shui principles to  create balance and peace. The simple design features a gentle waterfall as well as LED lighting. Easy to set up and maintain, this aquarium is ideal for the home or office. In the future, we will be offering additional aquariums, decorative pieces, filters and media. Be sure to check back often for all the great additions heading to properpet.com.

Cool Treats for your Pets

If you think you’re bearing the brunt of the hot weather this summer, remember your pets. With the massive amount of fur that your cat or dog has, beating the heat is even harder for them. So short of shaving them, what can you do to keep them cool? Feed them some cold, refreshing treats. And the good news is that these treats are easy and affordable–and you can make with supplies already in your home.

1. Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are a great way to cool off your pet. Toss a few into your dog or cat’s water bowl to keep their water crisp and fresh during a hot day. You can even give your pet a couple cubes to play with or chew on. Some dogs and cats love having a chilly, frozen treat to munch on in the heat. But melted ice cubes can be messy, so be sure to give them to your dog or cat in an area of your home that’s easy to clean.

2. Frozen Wet Food
It sounds weird, but it’s effective. Freezing wet cat or dog food can be especially refreshing when it’s sweltering. An easy way to do this is to empty a can of wet food in a container, dice it into chucks and leave it in the freezer to harden. Or you can designate a couple of ice cube trays for your pets and portion the wet food into them. That way all you have to do it pop them out of the tray into your pet’s dish. But keep in mind that not all cats and dogs may love this idea. Some prefer to have their food normally and not in frozen chunks. So if your pooch or feline friend doesn’t like food served this way, just stick to their regular wet food and given them cold water often.

3. Cool Dry Food
It’s also a good idea to keep dry cat and dog food in a cool place, like a refrigerator, when the temperature starts to climb. Keep a container of dry food in the fridge so it’s ready to serve during meal times. Refill it periodically so there’s always cold food on hand for your pet. It can be quite rejuvenating for your dog or cat to snack on cool morsels of food when they are hot.

Summer Dog Care

Playful puppy 4While the summer months are great, filled with warmth and fun in the sun, like in any season, it is important to be prepared for various situations that can occur. Here are some tips for you and your dog this summer to conquer typical situations:

1. Poolside: Whether your dog simply likes to lounge by the pool or make a big splash and doggy paddle its way to the other side, it is important to keep your dog safe and supervised. Never leave your dog unattended, near or in the pool. Be sure that your pool has a safe and easy way for your dog to climb in and out. In addition, we carry life vests that are specifically made for dogs for added safety, available in various sizes, styles and color

2. Ticks: It is wonderful if your dog loves nature, but unfortunately some nature bites…literally. It is imperative that before he or she is allowed back into the house you check for ticks and anything else that does not belong in your pet’s fur or skin. We offer a few flea and tick repellent products to help aid in keeping those pesky creatures away. Check with your veterinarian for different tick medications, etc. The humane society offers a helpful article on how to remove a tick from your dog.

3. Heat: Make sure when your dog spends time in the sun, it is limited, and that fresh water is always available. Fortunately we offer travel bowls that are convenient and easy to take with you to keep your dog hydrated. Additionally, NEVER leave your dog in the car during warmer weather – even if it’s just for a couple minutes.

4. Bathroom Break: Much of the time with your pup during the summer may be spent outside whether on walks or playing in the dog park. Either way, it is never fun to have to clean up a doggy mess when you are without bags. So be sure before you leave the house that you are equipped and try your best to help your dog avoid the neighbor’s yard.

These are just a few quick and easy suggestions to help you and the furry one have a fun-filled summer.

Dispelling Common Dog Myths

A few weeks ago, we dissolved a few common myths about cats. In this week’s post, we’re busting myths about your canine pals. Below are a few of the most common misconceptions about dogs and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: You can tell if your dog is sick by touching his nose.
Most people have heard that feeling their dog’s nose can determine the health of their pet. For instance, if your dog’s nose feels cold and wet, he’s healthy. If it’s warm, he’s sick. This is a complete myth. As convenient as it would be, you can’t tell if your dog is sick or healthy just by touching his nose. To really find out if your dog is ill, you have to take his temperature with a thermometer and pay attention to how he’s behaving.

Myth 2: Dogs wag their tails when they are happy.
Not always. Yes, happy dogs often wag their tails, but dogs also wag their tails when they are agitated or scared. Don’t just assume that because your pooch’s tail is moving back and forth that he’s in a good mood. Pay attention to his overall demeanor. Is he walking up to you excitedly, wanting to interact? Then he’s probably happy. If he is wagging his tail but also has his ears back and seems a bit hesitant or tense, then he’s likely agitated or frightened. Also, pay attention to the position of the tail. If he’s wagging his tail in a high position, he is likely agitated. If his tail remains toward the middle of his body while moving back and forth, he’s most likely in a friendly mood.

Myth 3: It’s okay to use human shampoo on your dog if you’re out of dog shampoo.
Using your own shampoo to wash your dog is a bad idea. The ingredients in human and pet shampoo are different, and using anything but dog shampoo on your pooch could irritate his skin. It can even cause dry skin and dandruff. Dog shampoo is engineered specifically for dogs, so using anything else to wash him can have negative effects.

Myth 4: Leaving your dog alone in your yard is sufficient exercise.
Many pet owners think that if they put their dog in the yard, he will get plenty of exercise because he will run around by himself. Some owners even forgo dog walks in favor of this. But leaving the exercise up to your dog isn’t a good idea. Sure, some dogs will take the initiative to run by themselves, but others won’t. Many dogs are not active if their owners are not present to interact with them. If left alone, even outdoors in a yard, they will often spend the time lounging or sleeping. The only way to make sure that your dog gets enough exercise is to be with him. Make it a point to go on walks with your dog every day so he gets a healthy amount of exercise. If you’re pressed for time, take your canine pal on a jog with you. That way, you are both maximizing your exercise at the same time. But exercise isn’t just limited to walking and jogging. Swimming, playing fetch and any other active games are a great way for your dog to stay in shape.

Myth 5: Small dogs are better for kids than bigger dogs because of their size.
Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean it will get along great with kids. A lot of smaller dogs are temperamental and easily agitated, and will often bark excessively or even bite. If you want a kid-friendly dog, size doesn’t really matter. Instead, pay attention to the dog’s personality and temperament. A lot of medium- to large-sized dogs are great with kids because they are friendly and enjoy playing. And always supervise your kids when they play with the dog, to ensure they are playing safely.

Products for Your Ferret Friend

BeautyFerrets have become quite the popular pet over the last several years. And like any pet, it is important to ensure they have the best to maintain happiness and health. Fortunately, properpet.com offers an excellent product to get started in providing a great living environment for your ferret: the Living World Ferret Starter Kit.

It includes everything you need to take care of your ferret: a cage, package of food, drinking bottle with leak-proof spout, package of pine shavings, food dish and a rubber toy. Whether you are a newbie to owning a ferret or need to replace some key products, this kit has got you and your ferret covered. Regular and extra-large kit sizes are available. In addition, we offer a range of ferret food to maintain a healthy diet. If your ferret likes to roam the outdoors and you want to include them on your walks, check out the line of ferret leads and harnesses we carry. So find just what your ferret pal needs by browsing our selection.

Protect your Cat from the Heat

Dogs aren’t the only pets you have to worry about becoming overheated during the summer. Your cat can too. Even if you have an indoor cat, the hot weather can take its toll on him. Keeping your kitty in a hot house can cause heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, if he doesn’t have a way to quickly and consistently cool down. But there are several easy, simple things you can do to ensure that he stays cool, hydrated and healthy during the summer.

Keep the air conditioner or a fan on in your house at all times. Some people like to turn off the AC if they are gone for the day to save money. But this can be bad for your cat. If the temperature rises and there’s no cool air circulating around the house, your feline friend can become overheated. So make sure the AC stays on. If you put your cat in a certain room of your house when you are out, run a fan to keep the air circulating.

Make sure your cat stays or is able to get to the coolest part of your home. This is often the basement or an interior room. You will notice that if given the choice, many cats will make their way down to the basement because it tends to be the coldest part of a house. If your home doesn’t have a basement, keep your cat in an interior room with a tile floor. Tile stays much cooler longer than carpet, and most cats enjoy sprawling out on tile floors in the summer.

Staying hydrated is crucial in the summer, so remember to replenish your cat’s water often. Throw a few ice cubes in the dish too to keep the water chilly for longer.

Make your cat’s bed a cool haven by placing bags of ice or ice packs in it. Just wrap them in a towel and lay them at the bottom so your kitty can sit on top of them. It’s effective because it helps cool your cat every time he rests or sleeps. To avoid a mess, wrap the ice bags or packs in a plastic bag, then wrap a towel around that. Or if you’re out of ice, keep a couple towels in the freezer, and place them in your cat’s bed once they are frosty.

On exceptionally stifling days, you can even wipe your cat down with a cold, wet towel. Even though most cats don’t like getting wet, you’d be surprised that some cats enjoy being wiped down on a hot day. Just be careful when you wet them. Make sure they are in a relaxed mood and pet them while you do it so they stay calm. The chilled water on their fur will feel refreshing on a sweltering day.

Most importantly, remember that prevention is key. Making sure that your cat stays cool and hydrated is much easier than treating a cat that is overheating or suffering from heat stroke. Those are very dangerous situations and require the help of a veterinarian. But you can avoid that by following these easy tips.

Dispelling Common Cat Myths

Sure, you know more about your feline pal than anyone else, but you may not know that several commonly held beliefs about cats are actually myths. Think it’s okay to leave your cat alone for days? It’s not. Under the impression that they always land on their feet when they fall? Wrong again. Below we dispel these cat myths and more.

Myth 1: Cats prefer to be left alone and therefore are low-maintenance pets.

Not entirely true. Sure, you don’t have to walk your cat multiples times a day like you would a dog. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to not interact with them. Each cat is different, but most enjoy being around their owners. It’s important that you pet and play with your cat every day. Quality time is a vital part of bonding with your pet, and helps foster a healthy, meaningful owner-pet relationship. Pet care is also part of this. You can’t just give your cat mounds of litter and food, leave him alone for a few days and expect him to be content. Daily cleaning of the litter box and scheduled feedings are crucial for the health of your pet. Being inconsistent with cleaning and feeding can lead to negative changes in your cat’s behavior.

Myth 2: Attaching a bell to your cat’s collar is an effective way of preventing them from killing small animals because it serves as a warning sound.

For people who have outdoor cats, it can be a bit unsettling to see their cat periodically kill rodents, birds, snakes or other animals. Many pet owners attach bells to their collars as a way to warn surrounding animals when the cat approaches. It can be effective to a point, but it can also have the opposite effect. Many cats become stealthier hunters and learn to move more quietly even with a bell, which enables them to continually sneak up on unsuspecting animals. Don’t expect your cat to stop hunting just because he has a collar bell. It may improve his hunting skills.

Myth 3: Cats will always land safely on their paws when they fall.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, cats can be agile and move gracefully, but not in every case. For instance, if they are falling from a short distance, they may not have enough reaction time to twist their bodies to land on their feet. Conversely, falling from a very high place is dangerous because the impact could lead to serious injuries or fatal results, even if they do manage to land on their paws.

Myth 4: Purring indicates happiness.

Not always. Yes, cats purr when they are happy, but they also purr when they are anxious, tired or agitated. If you want to gage your feline friend’s mood, pay attention to how he acts. If he’s sitting on your lap in a relaxed position with his eyes closed as you pet him and he’s purring, he’s most likely happy. But if he’s wide-eyed, jumpy and darting around while purring, he’s probably agitated. Don’t just rely on purring; it’s necessary to observe how your cat is acting overall to determine his mood.

Myth 5: It’s okay for cats to drink milk once in a while.

Most cats love to lap up milk, but that doesn’t mean you should let them. Many cats are lactose intolerant, so allowing them to ingest milk can upset their stomachs, cause vomiting and even give them diarrhea. Some cats can consume milk and not experience any negative health effects, but the only way to find out is to see if your cat gets sick after drinking milk. That’s never a fun guessing game to play, since it usually involves messy cleanup. It’s best to be on the safe side and not allow your cat to have milk. With the exception of kittens, which need milk from their mothers or a bottle, milk shouldn’t be part of a feline diet. Stick to just water, in addition to feeding them nutritious cat food.

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