Archive for August, 2016
There are several things we as puppy parents unintentionally do that mess with our dogs’ emotions. No matter how hard we try in our effort to be perfect, some of our human ways can lead to one confused pup. And sending mixed signals to our pups will make them more likely to misbehave. But is it really bad behavior, or just bad communication in dog training?
1. “COME HERE NOW!”
How many of you have called to your dog and a wild west standoff ensues? Well, what exactly are you calling them for? We often expect our pups to come even when they know there’s no incentive to do so. Instead, ensure that “come” works every time by rewarding your dog with a puppy party every time they obey this all-important command. The key-word here is reward. Puppy parties should involve anything your dog finds rewarding–a nice belly rub, a yummy treat, their favorite toy, etc. Never punish your dog for coming when called. Even if your dog is coming back after an hour-long escapade through the neighborhood, they still get a puppy party. Remember to always issue a recall command with a pleasant tone and a smile on your face; no dog wants to come running to an angry tone and a scowling face.
2. Back Talk
Petting, talking to, playing with, and even scolding a barking dog, reinforces the dog to bark. Do not give a dog attention while they’re barking. The best remedy to a Barking Betsy is the good ole’ cold shoulder. And don’t forget to praise the peace and reward Betsy when she is being quiet! Remember, barking can be inherently rewarding for some dogs, especially for many smaller breeds. Make sure the reward you give your dog is more rewarding then the barking itself. You may have to test out several dog training treats and toys to find out what your pup goes absolutely bananas for.
3. Chew On This, Not That! Dog Training 101
Dogs don’t just have a desire to chew, they have a need to chew! Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys is the first step, but unfortunately not the last. Dogs need constant reminding of what is okay to chew and what isn’t. Keep anything you don’t want your dog to chew off the floor! If you do catch your dog chewing on something off-limits, redirect him with a few cues (sit, down, touch), and then replace the item with one of their chew toys.
4. Nipping Enabler
Mouthy puppies can be sweet and funny when they are little, but nipping can become dangerous fast. Don’t allow your dog to make teeth-to-skin contact with anyone, ever. When dogs first learn how to play, their litter mates and mother teach them what an acceptable mouthing pressure is, and what kind of wrestling is tolerated among other dogs. As a puppy parent, it is your job to teach your dog the appropriate way to play with humans. Even if it’s a playful accident, let your dog know that nipping isn’t okay by exclaiming “OUCH!” and by walking away. Don’t play with your pup for fifteen to thirty seconds. Your dog will soon figure out that if they don’t play appropriately, the game will end.
We hope this blog was helpful to any who might be making some training missteps and not even realizing it! At Petland, we also pride ourselves on being a fount of information when it comes to properly training a new puppy as well as continuing that training into doggy adulthood! Stop in today if you’ve got a training issue to tackle, we’ve got the knowledge, treats and toys to help you on your way to becoming a better pet parent!
While bunnies are an easier pet to take care of, you still need quite a few things to take home with you to properly care for them. At Petland, we carry all the necessary items for you to be a successful and caring baby bunny owner! Check out our list below of things we know you will need when bringing home your newest family member.
Starter Checklist for New Baby Bunny Parents:
1. Cage – proper housing is essential when bringing home a baby bunny. They need to have a safe place to hang out, sleep and eat, away from any other pets you have. The cage needs to be big enough for the bunny to grow as well!
2. Food & Water Bowls – pretty self-explanatory, but that doesn’t make them any less important!
3. Bedding & Litter – this is so you can keep your bunny’s area clean for multiple days at a time. You can also purchase a litter pan and litter to start the process of litter-box training your baby bunny.
4. Hide-aways – baby bunnies need to sleep in a “den-like” area where it’s dark, so they feel protected. It’s also a good idea to have the hide-away be chewable, so they don’t start chewing on their cage!
5. Hay – baby bunnies need a diet of both juvenile rabbit pellets and alfalfa hay until they are six months old. After that, you can introduce fresh fruits and veggies as treats. Also, you can give timothy and other types of hay, but it still needs to be about a 50/50 split ratio of pellet food and hay.
6. Treats & Toys – we can’t stress this one enough! A stimulated baby bunny is a happy one! Baby bunnies love to play and chew, which is why having a good ratio of treats and toys (or treats that are toys and vice versa!) in their cage is essential for them to keep from developing destructive behaviors. They also need things to help grind down their teeth, which are always growing!
And Don’t Forget These Important Items!
7. Grooming Tools – this one may have slipped your notice, but it’s actually very important to keep your bunny’s hair brushed and nails trimmed to keep your bunny happy and healthy!
8. Exercise Pen – you have to watch your baby bunny very closely when it is out of its cage. However, if you aren’t able to do that, an exercise pen is just the ticket! Your bunny can get the daily exercise it needs and you can walk away if you need and know that the bunny will be safe and sound.
9. Carrier – and lastly, it’s important to have a carrier for your bunny for trips to the veterinarian or over to a friend’s house to play!
We hope you enjoyed this checklist for bringing home a new bunny! Stop by today if you’re interested in checking out the bunnies we have in the store. Also, talk to our Pet Counselors what we suggest on bringing home with them! Thanks again for reading our blogs!
Pet Bunny Breeds:
I know sometimes it seems like we focus on puppies (because they’re just so darn cute!), but on these next two blog posts I want to really dive into the world of owning a different kind of four-legged furry friend…the pet bunny rabbit! First, we are going to go over the different pet bunny breeds that we carry at Petland Mall of Georgia and which one might be best for your family! Here we go:
As a miniature version of the Rex rabbit, the Mini Rex has risen in popularity. With a sweet personality, and fur described as “living velvet,” the Mini Rex makes a great pet bunny. Its famous fur is dense, plush and very soft to the touch. Colors include black, gray, brown or white. The pattern could also be splotched, or one solidly colored fur.
Lionhead rabbits are small and fluffy, reaching only about 4 pounds in weight. Their petite size and soft fur make them a popular choice as a “pocket pet.” They are aptly named due to the lionlike manes that surround their faces. Lionhead rabbits can have either a single or double mane, with the double mane extending to a long, wool skirt around the rear. These rabbits have a gentle disposition, and are willing to play. They can be skittish, but handling from an early age should counteract that.
The English lop is instantly recognizable from its very long, floppy ears. Similar to its droopy ears, its body is long and lean. It is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated rabbits, and the first lop rabbit developed by humans. Its pleasant and playful disposition make the English lop a popular choice for a pet bunny rabbit. It enjoys playing and exploring, but can be easily startled. Care should be taken when handling this breed.
Dutch rabbits, native to Holland, are one of the oldest domesticated rabbit breeds. They are also a common sight in rabbit shows. This breed is distinguished by its white fur on the face, shoulders, neck and feet. The remaining fur could be black, brown, blue or tortoiseshell in color. Their serene and laid-back personalities make them a great pet choice for children at least 10 years old. This breed thrives on human interaction, so playing with them should be a daily activity.
Netherland Dwarf Rabbit
The Netherland dwarf rabbit is one of the smallest rabbit breeds. Their fur ranges in color and patterns, and they normally weigh around 2 pounds. They have extremely short ears and short fur coats. This breed is another one seen in rabbit shows, but it also makes an excellent choice for a family pet bunny. They are happiest in pairs, so two are better than one in the case of Netherland dwarf rabbits.
Some puppy breeds like their space. Other pups like YOUR space.
For those who loooooove the latter, here, in no particular order and based off personality characteristics are the 8 puppy breeds most likely to give you some serious PDA!
Affectionate Puppy Breeds:
- Labrador Retriever – Born to please, it’s a wonder these friendly pups don’t give their hoomans a cavity, they’re so sweet. Plus, everyone knows a happy Lab’s tail-wagging is the best mood booster ever (and also great at clearing small objects off low desks…chairs…tables…).
- Golden Retriever – Goldens are big, friendly lugs. Popular with families all over, their lovability and affection for their pup parents are the stuff of Hollywood. You doubt? One word: SHADOW. We also did a whole blog about the Golden Retriever here!
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Steadfast lovebug companions to humans as far back as Britain’s King Charles II’s reign, these pups are always up for super snuggle time!
- Brussels Griffon – They’re called Velcro dogs. Please. You can’t GET these scruffy little fuzz-butts to stop showering you with affection!
- Old English Sheepdog – You can’t look at these pups and not want to give ’em a hug! Good thing they’re all about the love. They’re especially great with kids (though sometimes, they might try to herd them).
- Chihuahua – These funny little cuddle bugs fave place: Right by their humans! Good thing they’re portable. Chihuahuas can sometimes be wary of strangers, but if you’re their human, you’re THEIR human (and they wouldn’t have it any other way!).
- Great Dane – They’re lap dogs that just don’t care your lap is way, way, waaaaaaay too small for them.
- English Bulldog – Slobbery, farty, snoring bundles of wrinklebutt cuddles, the English Bulldog does everything 110%, including adoring their hoomans!
- French Bulldog – These precious smaller versions of the English Bulldogs are perfect if you want a lap warmer that won’t smother you! They want nothing more than to be right by your side and how could you resist those smushy faces anyway? Want to know a little more about the French Bulldog? Click the link for interesting facts!
Here at Petland, we have the breeds you want if you’re interested in your own little snuggle bug! We also have everything you need to spoil your little four-legged family member, since they already shower you with love! Check out our available puppies on our website!
Diary of a “Lost Dog”:
This past January I experienced the longest five seconds of my life, I thought I had a lost dog on my hands. I fastened a leash on my French Bulldog. I took him out of the car. Then, I turned back to the car to grab something. Then I noticed that the leash was not connected to my dog.
I yelled “Oh no! Jameson!” I whipped around to find him so close behind me that I almost tripped over him. He was standing there like it was no big deal. He couldn’t figure out why I was smothering him with hugs.
One-third of pets will get lost in their lifetime. Even more startling, 10 million pets get lost each year. That’s larger than the population of New York City.
Due to lack of microchipping and proper identification, 90% of these beloved animals will never return to their humans.
There’s no way around it, those stats are freaking scary. There are things you can do to prevent your pup from becoming a statistic.
1. Microchip your dog and register him here.
This is possibly the most important thing that you can do for your best friend. If you have a lost dog, rescuers can identify your pup, and you, via a unique identification code. They’re not only helpful for lost dogs, they can also help to return stolen pups to their rightful families. Make sure you keep your microchip records up to date with your current address and phone number.
2. Keep tags on your dog at all times.
Many pups don’t wear collars indoors. If you have a bolter, then your BFF could end up out in the wilderness with no way to tell the world where they live. An accurate dog tag, with your contact information, will help good Samaritans contact you if they find your pup.
Remember, 90% of shelter pups don’t find their way home because rescuers can’t track down their original family.
3. Make a DIY dog collar.
There are options for identification other than dog tags. Some of us really can’t handle the clanking together of those things! Sewing your phone number onto a collar is a simple way to let other humans know how to find you if your pup gets lost. Using a bright contrasting color will also help people see your number without getting too close to your dog. This is super important if you have a skittish pup who may run when strangers get too close.
We all know that accidents happen. Even the most vigilant parent can lose their pup. These prevention tips will help you reunite with your BFF if the worst happens. And remember, the faster you find your pup, the safer he’ll be. Here at Petland, we make sure that ALL of our puppies are properly microchipped and registered for identification with Petkeys. We also offer a wide variety of pet tags, as well as collars, leashes and harnesses!
Sunburns, Whaa? Not for Your Dog!
Ah summer, the wonderful season filled with beach days, weekends at the cottage, and picnics in the park. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful it’s also the season, of blotchy, red, irritating sunburn. We know that sunburns are a serious summertime issue for humans, but what about for your dog?
As it turns out, despite their fur coats dogs can suffer from sunburns just like humans. While some pups are more susceptible to burns than others, all dogs have vulnerable areas on their bodies.
Unsurprisingly, hairless breeds such as the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli are at the greatest risk for sunburn. Without to act a barrier of protection against the sun, they can suffer the same burns people.
Having fur doesn’t guarantee sun protection, however. You know how a white t-shirt only provides SPF coverage of about 7? The same goes for white fur.
Dogs with white fur have very fair skin under it that is susceptible to burns from UV rays.
What about dogs with thick, dark coats? Even dogs that fall in this category have parts of their body that are at risk for sunburns. Areas where there’s thinner fur, such as the stomach or ears, or even their nose can be burnt.
What Can We Do?
If dogs can suffer from sunburns just like humans, what we can do to protect them from the sun? The best thing you can do is to keep them out of direct sunlight. If you’re going to outside for an extended length of time, bringing an umbrella for shade or setting up under a big tree is a good idea.
If you’re going to in an area without shade, it might be a good idea to pick up some dog-friendly sunscreen. There are a few different sunscreen brands available on the market, but talk to your veterinarian about which would be best for your pup. When applying sunscreen, make sure you get the areas that are most susceptible to burns, such as ears, nose and belly.
If your dog does get sunburn, use the same treatments as people, such as taking an oatmeal bath and applying cooling aloe vera gel. Just remember to keep an eye on your pup to ensure they don’t lick off the product. If your dog does not seem to be feeling or looking better in a few days, contact your veterinarian.
Just because dogs can get sunburn doesn’t mean that they will. Taking the steps to protect your pup from the sun will ensure that there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying your summer adventures to the fullest! Want to guess which ones of our puppies are susceptible to sunburn? Well, try your luck!