Archive for April, 2016
10 Great Dog Breeds for Families
With so many good dog breed options these days it might seem hard to be able to choose the best one for you, but here at Petland Mall of Georgia we are able to lend a helping hand to anyone searching for the perfect companion animal for their home. Now, everyone’s lifestyle is different and that means that there is no “one best breed”, but everything that happens in your everyday life can factor into which dog breed would be best for you. We are experts in asking the right questions, listening to your concerns and ascertaining your situation and what might fit your lifestyle. The breeds below are our go-to breeds for families and we’ve also added a little additional information on the breeds themselves, so enjoy! Also, check out our available puppies for sale!
Golden retrievers are one of the most friendly, trustworthy and loyal dogs. They are great companions for children of all ages because of their patience and gentleness. These dogs are known to be very active — whether it is a day at the beach, a hike up a mountain or just a game of fetch in the backyard — they are content. Not only will a golden retriever make a great buddy, but they are also beautiful dogs. Check out these interesting facts about the Golden Retriever here!
Beagles make great family dogs because they are playful and full of energy. A beagle’s sweet demeanor, pretty coloring and small-to-medium size make it a great pet for families with children. Beagles are very curious and love playtime outdoors — especially when they can sniff around. Beagles will be a best friend and a great canine.
Poodles are popular as family-friendly pets. They are full of energy and love to be around older kids. These dogs need room to run and play — and in return will be very friendly and affectionate with the family. Not only are they easy to train because of their fierce intelligence they are also gorgeous dogs.
English bulldogs are known as loyal dogs who live well with children and other pets. These dogs are family-friendly because they love playing with children and being a part of the household activities. They are also known to be gentle, calm and adorable — even when they drool and snore. An English bulldog would make a wonderful addition to any family. Check out some fun facts here!
Labrador retrievers are very sweet and gentle dogs. They fit in with the family environment due to their loving, easy-going personality. Labs love to please their families and are always ready to play. They are highly intelligent and gentle, which makes them great with small children. Labrador retrievers are loyal and affectionate pets, ideal for family life.
A goldendoodle is a designer breed dog, a combination of golden retriever and poodle. Both breeds are known for being kid-friendly, but put them together and they make amazing family pets! The goldendoodle is intelligent, sweet and easy to train. They are known for being social and their ability to get along well with other family pets. Goldendoodles are adorable and affectionate — the perfect addition to any home! This is one of the best dog breeds for families!
Standard and Miniature Australian Shepherds
Australian shepherds are very active, fun-loving pets. They are devoted to their family and enjoy getting attention from their owners. These dogs are courageous and smart, which makes for a good dog to have around the house. “Aussies” are wonderful with kids, as they love to play. They are also agile and easy to train — which gives parents more time with the kids. A fun, loyal friend, this breed would fit in any household.
Pugs are known for their charming character and animated disposition. This breed gets along well with other animals and kids because of their easy-going personality and laid-back demeanor. They also love attention and enjoy play time. Pugs make a wonderful family dog, and will offer lots of love, friendship and amusement.
The Teddy Bear is another type of designer breed puppy and is a mix between the Shih Tzu and the Poodle. The Teddy Bear is known to have an extra big personality! They are fun-loving cuddle bugs that play well with children and get along with other pets. This breed has minimal shedding — which helps with the household cleaning. Teddy Bears would make a nice, clean pet for any loving family!
German shepherds are extremely faithful and loyal dogs. They large in size, but don’t let that fool you — they love to love! This breed is highly intelligent, clever and they fully trust their families. German shepherds love to be close to their owners and they like to protect their family. They are eager to please and are gentle with their family members.
It is important to keep in mind that even though these are our top dog breeds for families, that doesn’t mean you have to choose one of them for your forever pet! There are so many breeds to choose from depending on your needs and we can not only help you find “the one”, we can also find it from a safe and reputable breeder with only the highest standards of care for not only the puppies, but the adult dogs too! Thank you so much for reading our blog and we hope to see you in the store soon!
via The Daily Puppy
Think You Can’t Train Your Puppy in a Week? Think Again!
Bringing a new puppy home comes with the challenge of teaching him where and when it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom. Mother dogs keep the den area clean from urine and feces until pups are old enough to follow her outside to relieve themselves. As this is a natural part of a dog’s early training, you can teach a pup as young as 2 months old the basics of potty training and be successful at it!
Prepare Ahead of Time
Your pup needs consistency during the entire week of house training, so you or someone else dedicated to the process should be near him at all times. Plan an area where you will take your dog to do his business. An outdoor area should be easily accessible to the house, or he’ll get distracted on the way to his potty spot. If you live in an apartment and want your dog to use training pads, select an area such as tile where any of his misses won’t ruin the flooring. Invest in cleaning products that will remove the odor should he have an accident so he does not return to the same spot. Set aside one room of the house or a training crate where he’ll stay contained between outings.
Time to Potty
Set an alarm to go off every hour for the first day while your pup is awake. Take him to his potty spot, point and tell him to go potty. Use the same command and gesture each time, so he’ll know what you expect of him. Praise him when he produces results or give him a treat, we call this the “potty party”. Time outings so you take him out five to 30 minutes after eating or drinking a significant amount of water. Be sure to take him out last thing before bedtime. Your puppy will whine or move around restlessly when he needs to go out during the night. But do not take the puppy out in the middle of the night, that is a habit you do not want to encourage. Take him out in the morning as soon as he is awake to avoid accidents.
See the Signs
By the end of 24 hours, you’ll have a good idea how long your pup can wait between trips to his potty spot. The rest of the week entails being consistent, so the routine is well-ingrained by the end of seven days. When your pup is with you, watch for signals that he needs to go, such as whining, sniffing or pacing. Some pups give very little cue that they need to relieve themselves, other than leaving the room or going over to a corner. Keeping the pup in a contained area such as a crate or small room usually elicits whining or a sharp bark once the pup knows you’ll respond by taking him outside to his spot.
When Accidents Happen
At about 6 months of age, he’ll have enough control of his bodily functions to gradually get used to longer periods. The younger the dog, the more frequently he’ll need to relieve himself. Should he have an accident between outings, don’t yell at him, put his nose in it or swat him with a newspaper. Creating a negative association can confuse him and cause him to hide his bodily waste around the house. If he begins to squat while you’re watching him, say “no” to make him stop and rush him outside to his spot. Clean up his accident using an enzymatic cleaner to help reduce odors. Reinforce good behavior with plenty of praise and treats, but be careful not to blame the puppy harshly for accidents. Once the puppy has had an accident and moved on, he will not understand what he is being punished for and that is no way to train. You just have to clean up the mess and move on, this part will be over soon!
At Petland Mall of Georgia, it is our utmost responsibility to both puppy and new owner that you go home prepared to take care of the new life you are bringing into your family and training is no exception. We go over the ins and outs of housebreaking and are always available to help if there is an issue or question about training. We want to make sure everyone has a great experience with their new furbaby!
What Are the Benefits of Having Two Dogs?
If you have two dogs, they always have someone around for company. When you’re not home and can’t provide entertainment for your pooch, another dog in the household can be a comfort. It also can often prevent boredom and resulting behavioral issues. Although owning multiple dogs can work well for some households, it’s not suitable in all situations.
Canine Companionship and Socialization
• If you have a busy work schedule and spend a lot of time out of the home, having two dogs can help your peace of mind. Your dogs can play with each other, which can be effective for keeping boredom and lack of stimulation at bay. Boredom and inadequate stimulation can trigger destructive canine behaviors such as chewing, pacing, digging and excessive barking. Not only can constant companionship help prevent behavioral troubles, but it can help to eliminate or minimize separation anxiety. Being a guardian to two dogs also can be advantageous from a socialization standpoint, particularly in the cases of younger animals. Socialization can be excellent for their emotional development. When dogs spend a lot of time around each other, it can help them learn how to deal with other animals and humans.
Canine Role Models
• If one of your dogs is insecure and lacks confidence, having another dog around who is the polar opposite can be helpful. A self-assured dog can be a positive role model for one who is anxious, high-strung and fearful in temperament. It’s important to note, however, that two dogs who display similarly anxious temperaments can reinforce negative behaviors in the other. This also goes for aggression. If one of your pets is aggressive, it could encourage the other to act in the same way.
Companionship Benefits for Humans
• Two dogs means increased companionship for them. It also means more for you. Animals can be sources of comfort for people. If you’ve had a tough day and feel grumpy, tired and cynical, your dogs can help you relax and forget your problems. You can cuddle, pet them, play fetch and feel better. Having dogs can be beneficial for your health minimizing stress, reducing your chances of getting a stroke or heart attack and decreasing your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Improved Social Lives for Owners
• Multiple dogs also can encourage socialization in owners. If you own two dogs, you have to go outside to take them out for walks more frequently — dogs benefit from solo outings. This gives you more chances to interact and communicate with other people regularly. The more you visit pet grooming salons, pet obedience training classes and veterinary clinics, the higher the odds of your encountering new faces who are just as passionate about their dogs are you are.
Considerations for Owning Multiple Dogs
• While owning multiple dogs can have its benefits, it also can have its drawbacks. It can be costly to own one dog, with food costs and veterinary bills. Owning multiple dogs takes that to the next level. If your dogs have destructive tendencies, multiple dogs can be problematic, too, especially if they encourage bad behavior in each other.
Never allow dogs to be alone together without your supervision until you’re 100 percent sure they get along fine. Although dogs often get along swimmingly when owners get them at the same time, things can be rocky when a new dog is introduced to an existing dog. Territorial and possessive behavior could ensue. Here at Petland Mall of Georgia, it is our absolute highest priority to make sure that is your family already includes one dog, that we properly educate on how to bring in a new puppy or dog in the mix. Look out for the next blog post we do, which will be the steps necessary to successfully add a puppy or dog to an already existing dog household! Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!
6 Steps for Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog
We all want to be responsible pet owners and a big part of caring for your dog is seeing to its nutritional needs. Our beloved four-legged family members cannot tell you want they need, so it’s up to you to be able to navigate the every-growing sea of dog food brands. Keep in mind that no two dogs are exactly the same and differences in age, growth, activity level and reproductive status all play a role in which dog food might be right for your dog. And while there are many good dog food options with regards to nutrition, there is no one “best” dog food and these steps should help you evaluate the most important needs for your individual pet. So let’s get started!
1. Your pet’s age and activity level. These categories are very important when deciding on a dog food. A growing puppy needs more calories than an older pet would, just as a high energy breed of dog needs more calories than a breed that prefers to laze around the house.
2. Evaluate the specific nutritional needs of your dog. You should ask the question of whether your dog is in healthy shape. Can you see a discernable waist and feel the dog’s ribs with your hands? It can be fairly easy to see if your dog is a little on the thin side or if he has been packing on the pounds and this should factor into your dog food decision.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When comparing dog foods inside a pet supply store, allow the employees to help you by asking questions about each dog food you’re considering. They are usually pretty knowledgeable about the dog food they stock and can help point you in the right direction or give suggestions based on your pet’s individual needs.
4. Talk to your veterinarian. If you’re worried about your pet being at its optimal weight or if it has very specific health problem that is affected by diet, then your first resource should be your veterinarian. You should be able to discuss options and develop a plan that’s right for your pet. Typical diet related health problems can include dry/irritable skin, chronic loose stool and diabetes.
5. Check the list of ingredients on the label. After you’ve narrowed down your pet’s nutritional needs, now it’s time to make sure the dog food fits those needs. Many people don’t realize, but dogs are omnivores that can eat a variety of vegetables, meats and grains. The thing to be on the lookout for is the first listed ingredient, which should be the protein source or the meat that you want your dog to have. Stay away from foods that have a grain or vegetable listed first, unless you are specifically looking for a vegetarian diet, and beware of foods that have “meat by-product” or “beef or chicken meal” listed first.
6. Check the protein and fat analysis on the label. This gives you a starting point for deciding if it’s right for your dog. Also important is the adequacy of the food for your pet, does the bag say that the food is appropriate for “all life stages” or is it specifically for “adult maintenance”? These are all things to consider with choosing a dog food.
The key element here is that doing a little research can go a long way to picking the perfect dog food for your pet. Here at Petland Mall of Georgia, we have landed on Health Extensions brand dog food and it is what we feed and recommend in our store. Health Extensions is an American made dog food company that is family owned and operated, which is an important factor with us as we are family owned and operated ourselves! It has several protein sources to choose from, organic chicken being the most popular, as well as formulas for senior, weight management, small breed specific and grain-free. And if that doesn’t fit your needs, we have many other high-quality dog foods for you, and your four-legged companion, to choose from!
6 Homemade Treats We Think Your Dog Will Love!
Are you looking to spoil your little furbaby with some homemade treats, but don’t know where to start? Well, we’ve got some recipes here that are sure to be a hit! It’s important to make sure that everything that goes into homemade treats are safe and palatable for your four legged friend.
1. Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Banana Dog Treats:
• 1 egg
• ⅓ cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
• 1 cup whole wheat flower
• ½ cup oats
• 1 mashed banana (1/2 cup)
• Preheat oven to 300 degrees
• Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and knead until a dough ball forms. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.
• Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. (I use the cap of spices for tiny circles, since he’s itty bitty.)
• Place the cutouts on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes
2. Spinach, Carrot and Zucchini Healthy Treats:
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 1/4 cup peanut butter
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
• 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
• 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
• 1 zucchini, shredded
• 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
• Gradually add old fashioned oats and 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. Add carrot, zucchini and spinach, beating just until incorporated.
• Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
• Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
• Let cool completely.
3. Oat and Apple Pretzel Dog Treats:
• 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Flour
• 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats
• 1 free range egg, beaten
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
• Beat egg and set aside.
• Combine applesauce, oat flour, and rolled oats in a large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the egg over the mixture and set aside the remaining 1 tablespoon of egg.
• Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until a dough forms. The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky. Add a bit more or less flour if necessary.
• Take a two tablespoon sized piece of dough (approximate) and roll into a tube. It should be about 10 inches long and about the width of a pencil.
• Take each tube and make into a U shape, then twist the ends together and fold back to the top. This makes the pretzel shape. Pinch the ends in to make sure they’re secure.
• Place the pretzels onto the baking tray. Brush the top of each pretzel with the remaining egg.
• Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until they’re slightly browned and become crispy. The pretzels should be pretty hard, just like pups love them!
• Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
• Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
4. Chewy Cheddar Puppy Puffs:
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
• ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• ½ cup evaporated lowfat milk
• 1 large egg
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
• Drop the dough by teaspoons full onto a greased cookie sheet.
• Bake for 9-12 minutes or until golden.
• Remove from the oven, cool and store in an airtight container
5. Doggie Breath Mints:
• 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, (optional whole wheat flour)
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
• 1 large egg
• 1/4 cup of water, plus 1 teaspoon
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined extra-virgin is best)
• Preheat the oven to 325° F
• Add oats to a blender and pulse to a flour like consistency. In a large bowl whisk together diced parsley and mint, egg, water, and oil. Add oat flour and stir to combine. Knead dough a few times then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
• Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten dough to about 1/8″ thick. Using a cookie cutter or knife cut out approximately 40 (1-inch mints) mints. Place mints about 1/4-inch apart on a parchment lined or non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
• Allow mints to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
6. Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Bone Treats:
• 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (can substitute whole wheat flour if you know your dog is okay with wheat)
• 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree (can substitute mashed sweet potato, thinned down with a little water)
• 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter (no sugar added)
• 2 large eggs
• Pinch of salt
• Preheat oven to 350f.
• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, and peanut butter until smooth. Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula or your hands to form a stiff, dry dough. (If the dough is too dry to hold together, add a few drops of water, or a little more pumpkin puree, as needed).
• Dust your counter or work surface with a little more flour and dump the dough out. Knead the dough into a rough ball, and roll between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use any cookie cutters you like to make the biscuits. Re-roll and cut any scraps. If you’d like, use the tines of a fork to poke indentations about half-way deep into each biscuit.
• Place biscuits onto an un-lined baking sheet (they can be spaced as close as you like, since they won’t spread at all) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tray and flip each biscuit over – return to the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until completely dry. Let cool before treating your pup!
Make sure before adding or changing your dog’s diet that you consult your veterinarian if they have any food allergies or you think they might have food allergies. Also, make sure not to give too many treats at one time as they can upset your dog’s stomach, everything in moderation!
Here at Petland Mall of Georgia, we have many different types of animals that you can visit with and learn about, but when you’re looking to add a new family member, it can be hard to choose which one might be best for you! Below, we have some descriptions of the most popular pets we have and you can decide for yourself which one best fits your lifestyle!
Hamsters – whether it be a dwarf hamster like the Roborovski or a full-size like a Panda Bear or Teddy Bear hamster, these pocket-sized pals make a good starter pet for people of all ages. They do require a cage that is big enough for them, but not too big that they can escape! Chew toys, proper food, an exercise ball and wheel and a few grooming tools will put you in business to take care of these little guys, but otherwise, they are fairly low-maintenance. Just watch out that the breed of hamster you choose might be nocturnal, which means they are most active at night, in which case, make sure the wheel you choose is a silent one!
Bunnies – these also make a perfect first pet for many different people. Rabbits tend to be gentle and easy to handle as long as you keep a sure grip on them. Younger children need to be monitored carefully that bunnies don’t jump out of their hands and do better when the child is sitting on the ground and the bunny can be in their laps. Rabbits do require a much bigger cage as they can reach several pounds in weight depending on the breed you go with. Rabbits also need a varied diet that includes not only pellet food, but all hay and fresh fruits and veggies once they reach adulthood. They also need stimulation in the form of chews, treats and toys and, of course, lots of love from their owners! If a slightly higher maintenance pet is still okay with you, then a bunny might be right up your alley!
Cockatiels – these feathered friends are easily spotted in our new aviary at Petland Mall of Georgia! If you’ve never considered having a bird as a pet, you are surely missing out! They make great pets, especially our hand-raised babies, to first time pet owners. They can learn to whistle tunes and even talk in some cases! They can also be very affectionate, giving their owners “kisses” and grooming their hair. Birds do require an appropriate sized cage, as well as many types of toys and chews to keep them entertained and daily interaction from their owners. They can sometimes be very demanding, so make sure you are prepared for that if you decide that an avian pet is right for you!
Puppies – as man’s best friend, we couldn’t leave the dogs out of our examples of pets! While dogs can be the most demanding of pets, they can also be the most rewarding. It takes a lot of responsibility to take care of a new puppy or dog, but the unconditional love they show you over the course of their lives make it all worth it! Sometimes the amount of training, toys and nutrition they need can be daunting, but we can help you rise to the occasion if you decide that a puppy is the pet for you!
We hope you enjoyed this brief description of our store’s favorite pets! And if you are still unsure about which pet may be right for you, come in our store and let our dedicated Pet Counselors answer any questions you might have about pet ownership. We can make sure you have everything you need to be a responsible (and happy!) pet owner. Thanks for being such a valued member of our Petland community!