October2011

Trick or Treat for your Pets

As we are carving pumpkins, picking out costumes and loading up on candy, let’s not forget our furry friends for Halloween.

  1.  Halloween Safety Tips: read this helpful article from ASPCA with the TOP 10 safety tips for pet parents.
  2. Costume Ideas: not sure what costume to choose for your pet? Check out Good Housekeeing’s results from their pet costume contest for great ideas.
  3. Treats: your precious pooch also deserves some tasty treats on Halloween. For a full selection of dog treats including the flavors of fall be sure to shop properpet.com.

Happy Halloween from Proper Pet!

Finding the Right Pet for your Child

We’ve all likely asked for a dog or cat at some point when we were children. I remember I wanted a dog when I was six and my parents said I was too young to handle the responsibility. At the time I didn’t understand, but choosing the right pet for your child is an important step in making sure both your child and your pet are happy and safe. The ASPCA recently published an article that offers some suggestions on how to pick the right pet for your child.

The article broke down each age group.

  • Pets for Infants: Infants are unable to grasp the concept of pet responsibility. If you already have a pet when your infant is born, be sure to properly introduce your child and your pet to each other. Supervision is key. As your child and pet get to know each other, generally increase the time the two spend together.
  • Pets for Toddlers: The ASPCA suggests pet owners look for pets that can be handled in a way conducive to a toddler’s way of learning. Toddlers grasp and tug to learn about their surroundings. A pet that is sensitive to having its fur pulled may not make the best pet for a toddler. Always be alert and supervise your toddler and your pet when they are together. The ASPCA also reminds parents to watch your pet’s food and water bowls, litter boxes and other items (such as cords, tanks, etc.) since toddlers can move quickly and are curious about new things.
  • Pets for Ages 3-5 Years: Since children at this age are learning about contact and empathy, it’s best to choose a pet that likes to be held and touched. The ASPCA recommends a pet like a guinea pig since they enjoy being held and are not standoffish. This avoids any uncomfortable confrontation between your pet and child.
  • Pets for Ages 5-10 Years: Children in this age group tend to have short term attention spans. Animals such as fish or gerbils are the ideal animal. These types of animals are perfect for educating your child on the importance of proper hygiene when handling pets. It’s also a good age range to teach responsibility when it comes to caring for a pet.
  • Pets for Ages 10-13 Years: This age group tends to have a greater interest in animals and ability to grasp the responsibilities of owning a pet. Preteens are usually old enough to handle larger pets like dogs, cats or rabbits. They are also able to take on added involvement with a pet such as cleaning, feeding and exercise.
  • Pets for Ages 14-17 Years: Since teenagers tend to be quite busy, a pet that requires frequent attention and time is not necessarily ideal for either the teen or the pet. Animals like birds or fish are easier to care for with a busy schedule and don’t always require constant care.

Sometimes it’s more than just choosing the right pet for your child. Making sure both your child and pet are happy and safe is key. Before you introduce a pet to your child, it’s always wise to keep these suggestions in mind.

Christmas Gifts for your Pet

Christmas DoggiesAs we write our shopping lists, break out the tree decorations and bake cookies, we don’t want to overlook our beloved pets who provide us with constant love and comfort throughout the year. Make sure to include your pet on your Christmas shopping list. As we do with loved ones in our life, we can take the same approach to our precious pooch when we are choosing the perfect gift. Here are a few tips in finding the ideal present:

  • Budget: Before you even begin shopping, set a budget for how much you can and are willing to spend. More importantly, when you are shopping stick to your budget.
  • Practical or Fun: Consider whether you want to buy your pooch a practical or fun gift. Do they need a new bed, dish, leash, collar, winter coat? Christmas is the perfect time to purchase an item they your furry friend could use. If they already have everything they need, opt for a new toy, treats or even an adorable pair of pajamas. If you buy a practical gift, you can always purchase a small bag of treats or small toy to accompany the larger gift.
  • Wrapping: For fun touches you can place the gift in a stocking or attach a new bone or toy to the ribbon. You don’t even have to use traditional wrapping paper. You can use brown paper bags from the grocery store and decorate the bag with bones and bows for a festive look. This is a great project for your kids to break out their crayons.

For a variety of additional ideas, visit properpet.com. But remember, the best gift you can give your furry friend is the love they give you every day.

Bring on the Harvest with Properpet.com!

Bundling up on those morning walks with your pooch?

Fall is definitely in the air with the cooler weather and crunchy leaves. While we enjoy our hot cider and warm pumpkin scones, we don’t want to forget about treating our furry friends. This season properpet.com is offering a great variety of tasty treats featuring the flavors of fall.

Featured Items:

Shop our fall flavors to keep your dog’s tail wagging!

Feathered Friends

While we offer great lines of products for cats and dogs, we have not forgotten about our feathered-friends. We offer a range of products to keep your birds happy and flapping their feathers.

For your pet bird, a bird harness is the perfect buy to have him or her accompany you on a walk, while keeping them close by and safe. From petite to large, a variety of sizes are available to choose from.

Pet Zone BF-64111 Lighthouse Hummingbird Feeder has three feeding stationsFor those wild birds that like to stop by your backyard to take a rest from flight, we offer a selection of wild bird feeders and wild bird seed. A wild bird feeder gives them a place to land, take a load off and refuel with some yummy seed, before they continue on their flight. Some of the options include tube feeders, suet feeders and platform feeders. Fill those feeders with our selection of wild bird seed. Our selection includes bird seed mixes, blends and sunflower seeds to feed a variety of birds, including goldfinches, cardinals, woodpeckers and blue jays.

Keep those feather-friends flapping and in flight with these great products!

New Product for Reptiles and Amphibians

Exo Terra® Make Your Reptiles Feel At HomeOur selection of reptile and amphibian products are growing and we don’t want you to miss out on these great deals. We invite you to browse through our great selection to get what you need for your pet.

Substrates
We have a variety of substrates, also known as “floor materials,” to fill the bottom of their terrarium. Make your pet feel at home by creating an environment similar to their natural habitat.  From husk, bark, earth, soil, sand and pebbles, give your pet peace and comfort, starting with a great foundation.

Hiding Rocks and Plants
In addition to the bottom of the terrarium, you can continue to create a natural-like habitat for your pet, by adding various hiding rocks and plants. From green-leafed plants to cacti and bushes, there is something to please all reptiles and amphibians. We even carry water plants, vines and hanging moss.

Water Systems
For your tropical reptile or amphibian, it is essential that their living environment is full of moisture and humidity. This environment can be created with various water systems including circulation pumps, compact filters, rainfall systems and more.

Feeders and Dishes
Alongside the decor of the living environment, it is also important that your reptile’s eating environment is similar to their natural habitat. Fortunately, we offer a great selection of feeders and dishes to suit their personal needs.

So whether you have a lizard, turtle or snake, you can find exactly what you need to keep them happy, while creating a home-away-from-home.

On the Road with your Kitty

To go along with our post from awhile ago about traveling with your dog, we’ve come up with a list of products for long-distance drives with your feline friend. Before you load your cat into the car, make sure you have everything you need for a safe trip. In addition to portable dishes, food and water, we carry a variety of travel products that can help keep your kitty calm on a long drive.

Carrier
One of the most important things you need is a carrier. Never let your cat roam around your car during a drive. Many cats get nervous during long rides, and can become jumpy or irritable if you allow them to wander around the inside of your car. They could possibly get into things and even cause an accident. Keeping your cat in a carrier is the best way for him and everyone else traveling in your car to stay safe and secure. Also, make sure the carrier you purchase is roomy enough so that your cat can ride comfortably.

Bed
It’s also a good idea to make sure your cat has a comfortable bed. If you have a roomy carrier, you can put the bed inside. If your cat is comfortable, he will be more relaxed and won’t be as nervous during the trip.

Absorbent Pads
Even though your cat uses a litter box, it’s still a good idea to have an absorbent pad in his carrier in case of an accident. It significantly minimizes odors and the mess you have to clean up if he can’t make it to the litter box.

Treats
Long distance drives can be stressful for your feline pal, so in addition to feeding him regularly, reward him with some of his favorite treats. A well-fed cat is a happy cat, and will be more at ease during the ride if he’s eating regularly.

So before embarking on your summer road trip, take a look at our selection of travel items. You’ll find several things to help keep your feline travel pal content and comfortable on the road.

Revamp your Small Mammal’s Habitat

Sick of that dingy cage your hamster, mouse or gerbil is currently living in? Treat your small mammal pal to a new home by perusing our selection of cages and habitats. Whether you’re looking for a simple wire cage with a plastic bottom or an elaborate plastic habitat with endless tubes and attachments, we’ve got you covered.

We carry a variety of cage and habitat sizes to accommodate all sorts of small pets. So whether you have a hamster, mouse, rabbit or ferret, you’re bound to find the perfect new home for him. Plus, we carry various attachments and add-ons to make your mini pet’s new home fun to explore. Our array of plastic tubes, hideouts, outposts, curves and cubes is enough for you to build an imLiving World 61834 Has everything you need for your new rabbitpressive and detailed home. These add-ons are easy to fit onto an existing habitat, and can be adjusted and transported to make different designs. They make for a fun and stimulating place for your pet mouse, hamster or gerbil to explore.

So the next time you’re in the mood to give your tiny pet a home makeover, look to our collection of small mammal habitats and attachments. You can quickly and easily turn your small mammal’s dwelling into a fun, exciting and interesting place to live.

A Basic Guide To Training Dummies and Bumpers

First, “dummies” and “bumpers” are used interchangeably. Both names refer to those plastic, canvas and foam items used to train gun dogs. While they all share the same name, plastic, canvas and foam dummies all perform differently in the field. Choosing the right dummy can help your dog improve in his training.

Canvas Dummies
Most canvas dummies consist of a durable canvas material around a foam core. These are a great choice for starting out young puppies. The solid foam core provides a little resistance, and is pleasant for puppies to grab onto. You can also inject the core with a training scent, to introduce puppies to game birds. Some foam dummies will float, but you should check the manufacturer’s specs to verify. And always make sure the dummy is made with non-toxic materials.

Plastic Dummies
Plastic dummies have a couple of advantages: they are durable, they float and they aren’t as pleasant for dogs to pick up. (Give me a second, it does make sense). The ideal gun dog listens to and follows all of his handler’s commands, not just the ones he feels like. If dogs become used to carrying the hard plastic, they’ll have no problem with a downed bird. (If your dog really doesn’t like plastic bumpers, work with them until they overcome their dislike. Skipping over basic skills lays a poor foundation for more advanced commands.)

Plastic dummies are primarily available in three colors: black, white or orange. These aren’t random options; the color of a dummy has an important function. Dogs can’t see colors very well, but they can see contrast. White dummies stand out against dark backgrounds, and black dummies stand out against light backgrounds. Visible dummies are easier for dogs to find, and a good choice for building foundation skills. Orange dummies are a little more challenging. Dogs see orange as a shade of gray, and it blends into almost any background (think of orange as bumper camouflage). Because dogs can’t see the dummy, they must rely on scent and/or cues from their handler. Orange dummies are preferable for teaching more advanced dogs blind and forced retrieves.

Foam Dummies
Foam dummies are less common than the canvas and plastic varieties: they tend to be more expensive and less durable. But foam dummies also have a few unique benefits. Most are shaped like specific game birds. Ducks are most common, but you can also find quail, dove, pheasants, etc. The realistic shape and softer material help dogs transition from hard, plastic cylinders to soft, lumpy bodies. Several models also feature loose necks and dangling heads which will bang against a dog’s face if the dummy is handled too roughly. This design feature helps dogs develop soft mouths and proper handling technique.

One of the advantages of foam dummies is also one of their drawbacks: they are excellent at retaining scent. Injecting a dummy with training scent makes them more appealing and easier to find. The foam bodies also retain the smell of pond water and dog slobber, and they can start to stink after awhile. Regular cleaning with a baking soda solution and storing them in a well-ventilated space seems to keep this problem in check.

Choosing a dummy frequently comes down to personal preference. Some people are committed to a particular type of plastic bumper or foam dummy. But considering your dog’s needs when purchasing a bumper can make the training process easier and more rewarding for both of you.

  1. Evelyn Eddington 9: Some of the popular material utilized are PVC, nylon, polyester, denim, jute, plastic, cotton, khaki twill, canvas and leather.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s how you and your pooch can help.

According to www.breastcancer.org, “about 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime [and] in 2010, there were more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.” It is important to keep the number of survivors growing and to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Every donation to breast cancer research, no matter how big or small, helps.

Coastal Pet Products Inc. is carrying a line of Breast Cancer Awareness items, featuring pink ribbons and paws. The items will include collars,  leads and harnesses for both dogs and cats. With every purchase made, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research including the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Inc. and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Whether walking in the neighborhood or dog park, show your support for breast cancer research.