The Pet Supplies Blog: July 2008
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The Pet Supplies Blog - Pets, Dogs, Cats, Pet Supply Reviews, Equine, Rabbits, Aquariums

We love our pets and they love us. This blog is dedicated to all of our furry friends.

Sunday, July 27, 2008  

Why do you need a Dechlorinator or Water Conditioner for your Aquarium- CLICK HERE!

An Aquarium dechlorinator or chlorine remover is an additive that neutralizes chlorine in your aquarium or fish bowl. It is a chemical that reacts with the chlorine in Tap Water. De-chlorinators are ( in general terms ) 'water conditioners'.
Conditioners that ONLY dechlorinate water are the simplest type of water conditioner. Many, like AquaSafe also remove heavy metals that are bad for your fish. Although a dechlorinator is a water conditioner, not all water conditioners are dechlorinators.
Most municipal water supplies and holding tanks for wells in rural communities, farms, and ranches, are treated with chemicals. These chemicals are fine for us humans because they kill off harmful bacteria and other pathogens that are found in the water.

The most common chemicals found in your water are chlorine and chloramine.
The dosages of these chemicals in the water supply are low enough that they are not harmful to mammals (including people, dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, etc) or house plants, they are high enough to cause damage to fish. First they cause damage to your biological filter and eventually will hurt your fish. It is Aquarium 101 (ie .. very important) that your water is treated to remove chlorine with a dechlorinator before you add the water to your tank or fish bowl.

We like to recommend AquaSafe Water Conditioner for fresh and salt water aquariums because it makes tap water safe for your fish. It neutralizes chlorine and heavy metals present in municipal water supplies. If you have Goldfish - try the AquaSafe Goldfish version.

AquaSafe also neutralizes chloramines by breaking down the bond between chlorine and ammonia. It reduces both fish-toxic chlorine and ammonia components. In addition, it enhances the natural protective slime coating of fish to help wounds heal and protect fish from abrasions.

Whether you like our brand or another - never forget to remove the chlorine from water before adding it to your tank.


Monday, July 21, 2008  

Urinary Incontinence in Pets- CLICK HERE!

Urinary Incontinence is an in voluntary loss of control over urination. Bladder incontinence in humans is talked about more and more these days. It used to be a taboo subject not that long ago. (Can you say Detrol?) There is little written about bladder control problems in pets though.

When your pet has urinary incontinence, it may cause your pet to urinate often throughout the entire day and night, or urinate without even knowing it. Urinary incontinence is not inappropriate urination (a behavioral problem) and it is not an urinary tract infection or submissive urination. Submissive urination is when a pet pees when they are yelled at or scared.
A veterinarian may need to test your pet to distinguish between urinary incontinence and other urination problems like submission urination or a urinary tract infection. Before getting too upset with your previously potty trained dog .. be sure to check with the vet that it is not one of these problemsIncontinence in dogs in most cases is primary sphincter mechanism incontinence due to the weakness of the urethral muscle. It is commonly seen in middle aged medium to large-size spayed female dogs.

Signs of urinary incontinence in pets include:
  • Dribbling urine while they walk
  • Finding wet spots where they sleep or around the house
  • Irritated skin from contact with urine
Treatment for incontinence in pets varies based on what’s causing the urination problem. Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. If your pet has urethral weakness, your veterinarian may prescribe estrogen supplementation or another medication.
HomeoPet Leaks No More is specifically for urinary incontinence or "leaking" and is a homeopathic remedy. This is worth trying before jumping into surgery or estrogen supplements.
There are many Dog Diapers on the market that can help.

Urine-off makes a remarkable product that will stop the odor and remove urine stains. Urine-Off contains bacteria and enzymes that were painstakingly isolated and selected specifically for their appetite for the urine salt crystal.

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Friday, July 18, 2008  

Dog Agility Training - A Bonding Experience- CLICK HERE!

Agility Training for Dogs is Gaining Popularity as it Follows the past of Equestrian Training

Agility is a sport in which a handler or owner directs a dog through an obstacle course. The sport of agility was originally based on equestrian events, and is now enjoyed by many dogs and human owners or handlers around the world. In the US, agility training is gaining popularity at a speedy rate.

There are a variety of events and contests involving different combinations of obstacles and courses. A standard dog agility course will use nearly every type of obstacle, while a tunnelers course will be only tunnels, a jumpers course will be mostly jumps. Most well known throughout the United States are the jumping courses.

Any breed of dog or mix of breeds (your mutt can do it too!) can enjoy agility training. Some breed personalities and body types may be better suited to competitive agility success. There is no need to compete if you or your dog is not suited. Many owners and dogs get tremendous enjoyment with just training (and showing off to the neighbors and relatives).

While “any” dog can enjoy agility, there are some considerations regarding your dog’s age and overall health. Tremendously overweight dogs should get a clean bill of health before training. Talk to a vet.

Also - many senior dogs are able to enjoy agility into their senior years, but you should talk to your vet to determine if agility is safe for your senior dog.

Puppies Should Wait!

Puppies have soft bone plates in their joints. These bone plates need time to solidify, similar to the skull plates in human babies. Therefore, puppies are not allowed to compete in agility and should not train like adult dogs. Some agility basics can be taught to puppies for fun. Puppy agility training should be done with a professional and more and more “puppy agility” classes are popping up around the US.

Puppies can attend obedience classes prior to agility training so that they are ready to accept more complex commands. They should understand some basic obedience commands, particularly sit, stay, come, and down before starting training.

A great bonding experience - but remember .... safety first!

Save $5.00 on all agility training equipment and training treats that total over $75.00 at GregRobert. Coupon code: michbiz


Wednesday, July 9, 2008  

The Dog Days of Summer Pet Supply Sale at GregRobert- CLICK HERE!

The "Dog Days of Summer"

Everyone knows that the “dog days of summer” occur during the hottest and muggiest part of the season. Webster defines “dog days” as...

  1. the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere

  2. a period of stagnation or inactivity

But where does the term come from? Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer “dog days?”

GregRobert Tip:
The dog days of summer are just around the corner, and pet
owners should be on guard for their furry friends' safety. Now
is the time to think about parasite control, heat stroke and
travel arrangements for cats and dogs.

In ancient times, different groups of peoples in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. The images drawn were dependent upon the culture: The Chinese saw different images than the Native Americans, who saw different pictures than the Europeans. These star pictures are now called constellations, and the constellations that are now mapped out in the sky come from our European ancestors.

They saw images of bears, (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins, (Gemini), a bull, (Taurus), and others, including dogs, (Canis Major and Canis Minor).

The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. In fact, it is so bright that the ancient Romans thought that the earth received heat from it.

GregRobert Tip:
As pets spend more time outside during the warm weather, they
are likely to encounter a disease-transmitting insect such as
a tick, mosquito or flea. Pet owners should take a few minutes daily to run their hands, or a specialized comb, through their pet's fur to look for ticks.
Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky
Mountain spotted fever.

In the summer, however, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the
. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star.

The conjunction of Sirius with the sun varies somewhat with latitude. And the “precession of the equinoxes” (a gradual drifting of the constellations over time) means that the constellations today are not in exactly the same place in the sky as they were in ancient Rome. Today, dog days occur during the period between July 3 and August 11. Although it is certainly the warmest period of the summer, the heat is not due to the added radiation from a far-away star, regardless of its brightness.

Of course, the heat of summer is a direct result of the earth's tilt.

GregRobert Tip:
When it comes to keeping a pet healthy during the summer, owners need to be aware of how heat affects their animals. Remember that dogs have padded feet, and the sidewalk can be too hot for them. It's a good idea to walk them on grass if possible, and preferably in the early morning or evening."

Happy Summer - and remember buy Pet Supplies with Google Checkout and save $5.00 on all orders > $75 with coupon: googlerocks (all lowercase)


Friday, July 4, 2008  

Happy 4th of July - Pets and Fireworks- CLICK HERE!

Pets. Firecrackers and other Fireworks

As many pet owners know, fireworks, sparklers, firecrackers and other recreational explosives commonly deployed on the 4th of July can cause a great deal of stress for some pets. Many dogs and cats have problems - but other pets like Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and Ferrets can show signs of stress.

Commonly seen stress signs include

  • Shaking and trembling

  • Excessive salivation or drooling

  • Incessant Barking and howling

  • Panicked attempts at trying to hide or get into / out of the house, fence, or other kennel type enclosure.

  • Refusal to eat food and stomach issues like diarrhea or nausea.

  • Some animals may loose bladder or bowel control from prolonged stress caused by fireworks

Some pets do fine and don't seem to notice the fireworks at all. Our dog in particular, gets excited about the firecrackers and seems to be enjoying himself. Some do well with having Mom or Dad nearby - or in some cases (with smaller pets) sitting on their owner's lap and being talked to in a soothing voice. Petting your dog or cat or holding him/her can go a great deal in
calming them.

There are some pets that cannot be calmed by petting or talking to them. Try one of the all-natural calming remedies for pets that are on the market. Many people have found great success in these potions

Animals that are extremely upset or frightened can hurt themselves and possibly escape if they are left alone. Results from a frightened pet escaping can be fatal. Frightened animals running loose are in danger of being hit by a car.

Note - please consult with your veterinarian if signs are excessive or persist after fireworks
have subsided. Also consult a vet if you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned or is otherwise ill.



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