Why Should I Crate Train My Dog?

guideteaserCrate training can be a challenge for many pet parents. The first thing I often hear is that they feel bad leaving them in a crate while they are away instead of letting them have a place to roam and sleep on the couch. Crate training doesn’t have to be a negative thing, in fact, it should be your pet’s favorite place to be… that is if you’ve done your crate training the right way. This is the first of a series of posts about crate training, so lets start with the simplest question to answer: why should I crate train my puppy? P.S. if you can’t wait for the rest of the series of articles, I’ve written a comprehensive guide on crate training available on thatpetplace.com.

Does my dog need a crate?

Lets go back to a time before dogs evolved into, well, domesticated dogs. Wild dogs, foxes and wolves all have a den in the wild. They are all relatives and in the wild have many of the same behaviors. A den acts as a dog’s safe haven. It is a place to retreat to when they are frightened, feel threatened, where they go to eat, and where they raise their young.

In your home your pet’s crate becomes their den. If you follow the right steps the crate becomes your pet’s safe haven, retreat and home within their home.  Scared of thunderstorms? Lay in the crate and feel comforted. Too busy in the house with guests? Retreat to the crate for some rest and relaxation. Fearful that your sister is going to steal your bone? Take it into your crate and feel safe. You can see where I am going, right?
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Proper Pet Care 101: The Basic Necessities

Happy puppy

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Please welcome Jordan with this comprehensive guide on pet care: its everything a new pet owner should know and research before bringing home your very first pet. Our pets are family and living creatures. They should be given the best care and attentiveness you have to offer. Good luck on your pet owning adventures and be sure to add anything you think needs to be added to this guide in the comments section!

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Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, especially if you think about pet health. However, this responsibility also comes with a huge reward in the form of the adoration and love that your pet will show towards you. Wouldn’t you see yourself smiling foolishly whenever you see your dogs wagging their tails at you or your cats dozing off on your lap peacefully? It is like the best feeling in the world that you have made such animals feel safe and happy even if they can only express it in their cute gestures.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit ContentsOne of the first things that you need to do in order to ensure the safety of your pets is to have a pet first aid kit at home. You never know when your clever yet naughty animals will get into trouble so you better be ready to handle any crisis that will come your way. The kit should have the following things:

  • Cotton swabs and balls
  • Bandages and sterile gauze pads
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • First aid tape
  • Scissors
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Leash
  • Muzzle
  • Splint
  • Gloves
  • Eye wash
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Mineral oil
  • Ice pack and hot pack
  • Buffered aspirin
  • Thermometer
  • A bottle of water
  • Veterinary documents
  • Book on pet first aid
  • Other drugs

Cleaning Up After Pets

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No Monkey Business – Caring for a Pet Monkey

Marcel from FriendsIf you’re as old as I am, you’ll probably remember that Ross from the TV show Friends had a capuchin monkey named Marcel early in the show’s infancy. Despite what the few episodes he appeared in showed, caring for a pet monkey is no simple task!

If you’re considering the purchase of a pet monkey, the first thing you’ll want to do is check on your state and city/county laws on the possession of non-human primates. There are 19 states (including New York and Pennsylvania) that outlaw the possession of monkeys. There are many other states that have partial bans or other requirements for the possession of monkeys as pets. Check out Pet Monkey Info for more information on the laws in your state.

Please welcome Jamal, our guest poster for the rest of this basic care guide on pet monkeys, as pet monkeys are beyond the scope of the pets the experts at That Pet Place. No matter what kind of pet you decide on, you should do a lot of research and talk with other pet owners in your area for advice before making any decision; doubly so for any exotic, uncommon wild creature in the U.S.

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SQUIRREL MONKEYIt should be noted, that most of you are not cut out to be monkey owners. Now this is not slander on your ability as people, it is merely an observation that the average person does not have the time nor the commitment that is required to properly care for a monkey. A comparable example to a pet monkey is caring for a toddler an entire lifetime.

To the brave few who feel they are up to the task, I salute you and encourage that you read on.

Research

This short guide is a great start to obtaining the information that you would need to begin caring for your first pet monkey, but far from complete. You must do extensive research, scouring the internet and books, for all information you can gather. To take this one step further try reaching out to an actual monkey owner to see what methods they use which you feel will be transferable to your monkey. Do the majority of your research before obtaining your monkey as this could be as this could be the decision maker into whether or not you are up to caring for a monkey. Make sure to research the different breeds of monkeys before getting much farther into the process.
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Some cat grooming may be best left to the professionals

Hi Pet Blog Readers! I’m pleased to introduce a guest post by Rick Jacobsen in Phoenix, AZ. Rick has three grooming tasks in mind that might just be better left to the professionals. If you’re in the Lancaster, PA area, stop by grooming center, That Groom Room, for a consultation and meet our resident groomers who will pamper your pets with a day at the “spa”!
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Cat in lapEven cat lovers acknowledge that they can be fussy creatures and depending on the breed, it can take a lot of effort to properly groom your cat. For example, trying to groom a Persian feline can be a real challenge and in most cases, it is best to leave unwilling participants in the hands of experts! Many cat owners are guilty of delaying the grooming process and this only serves to make things worse, as their pets can suffer from matted hair and it may also be the case where certain medical conditions go unnoticed, because you did not recognize the symptoms. Below, we take a quick look at what a professional cat grooming service can do for you and your beloved pet. Here are my top 3 grooming tasks that should be left to the professionals.
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Is a ferret the right pet for your home?

ferretFerrets, they’re cute, mischievous, and small. If you’re looking for a pet and not up to the challenge of a cat or a dog, is a ferret the right pet for you? Like any pet, a ferret is going to mean extra money for food and care and requires time to care for the animal. Please welcome today’s guest poster, Catherine Daniels, with a few things to consider before heading to That Fish Place – That Pet Place to adopt your first ferret!

What to Consider Before Getting a Pet Ferret

One of the rookie mistakes all first time pet owners commit is not considering whether this pet is suitable for them, whether they will be able to take care of them, and whether they truly wish to enrich their life with a pet or if they’re just a novelty item. In such cases, people who thoroughly research their pet of choice and take the time to consider all angles of the decision often find that they aren’t ready for a pet. When new pet owners don’t take the time to make this important decision, unwanted animals often are neglected or given up by the family. With a more unusual pet, like a ferret, seriously considering whether you should adopt one or not is more important than ever. So, here are some things that you need to consider before you decide to get a pet ferret.
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Is a Vet just a Vet? Top Services You Didn’t Know Your Vet Provided

not going to the vet!Everyone has a vet that they see regular for unexpected illnesses and regular exams for their furry family members, but did you know that your veterinary clinic might provide these additional services for caring for your pets? Cutting back on the number of places your dog goes for services can help alleviate their stress, turn the vet into a more positive trip than usual, and can help them socialize (an important part of overall wellness).

If you are a pet parent, you are probably already aware of how important your dog’s or cat’s health to you. Your pet is  like a family member to you, so you may want to be sure that your best buddy receives a high quality and proper health care services. It is important to find right veterinary hospital for your furry friends.

Whether you have just adopted a new pet and you need them to bring them in for vaccinations as well as proper checkup, or you require bringing your pet to an animal doctor for any kind of medical emergency, these veterinarian hospitals delivers variety of services. As these services vary from one place to the other, one will find some type of common services offered at veterinary hospitals. The varieties of services offered at different veterinary clinic are as follows:

Exams and vaccinations:

vetPreventative medicines such as vaccines are a great way to keep you pets healthy as well as free from various unwanted diseases and parasites. Most of the veterinarians advise that the pets should be examined at least once a year. During this examination one can discuss any of the doubts or concerns that one have about the pet with the vets. Also you can discuss about the pet’s dental needs, exercise needs as well as issues regarding what type of diet would be appropriate for the pet’s health. Also the veterinarian would be pleased to give you advice on the proper vaccinations. [Many veterinarians recommend a checkup every 6 months for senior pets – so be sure to schedule your senior pet’s checkup today!]

Behavior counseling:

If your pet is not obedient and behaves disobediently for any of the reason, your veterinarian can help you with that matter. Veteran can guide you what is the cause of this behavior and also he/she may be able to conduct an examination for resolving the cause of the problem. [Most behavioral issues do not need to be treated by a veterinarian, but rather a trainer using positive reinforcement can show you how to improve your pets behavior: from barking problems to housetraining issues. Some behavioral issues require medications from your veterinarian. Your trainer will be able to tell you if medication may ease severe anxiety or if inappropriate chewing/elimination is occurring due to illness so that you can get treated by your vet.]

Boarding:

If in certain situation you plan to go somewhere out of the town for a long period of time, you can board your pet at a veterinary hospital where they can be taken care of. Majority of these clinics have their separate boarding places for the pets and especially for cats and dogs. The pet would be able to fully enjoy the exercise as well as fun along with other pets and toys and feeding every day. The technical clinic staff of animal professionals will more often tend to dogs or cats for their special required needs.
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That Fish Place – That Pet Place’s 41st Anniversary Sale

IMG_3775That Fish Place – That Pet Place will be celebrating 41 years of business with our annual Anniversary Sale on March 29-30, 2014. Plan a trip to Lancaster, PA for our biggest sale of the year!

Save Big – 2 days only

We’ve partnered with hundreds of manufacturers to offer discounts on thousands of items. These sales are only available in our Lancaster, PA retail store on March 29-30, 2014. The savings and the FUN are worth the drive!

Save 15 – 50% off EVERY Aquarium supply product in our store

  • Fish Tank Specials: up to 50% off aquariums up to 125 gallons!
  • Aquarium Salt Specials: Buy 3 Get 1 FREE deals on Instant Ocean salt mixes
  • Fish Food: up to 30% off popular brands of fish foods
  • Aquarium Filters: Save 30% on Whisper power filters
  • LED Aquarium Lighting: Save up to 30% off select fixtures
  • Decorations, circulation pumps, filter cartridges.. it is all on sale!
  • Visit our 35,000 gallon fish room + Save 30% on all Aquarium Livestock

IMG_2528Huge Discounts on Dog & Cat Food + Supplies

  • Select brands of dog & cat food up to 30% off
  • Save 25% off select treats
  • Buy 1 get 1 FREE deals
  • Cat litter at amazing discounts
  • Got a heavy chewer at home? Tuffy’s dog toys are 15% off
  • Greenies, supplements & vitamins on sale
  • Save on dog beds, cleaning supplies, remote trainers and fencing, crates and more!

Savings for all of your pets

  • Save up to 25% off  supplies
  • All pet birds, reptiles & small animals 30% off
  • Pond supplies up to 30% off – get ready for pond season!
  • There are so many sales we can’t list them all!

IMG_0885-e1391091861566-764x1024Prizes, Face Painting & Kids’ Activities

Our annual sale is more than just a sale – its our biggest event of the year! We go all out and have an area where kids can have fun, and help pets in need too! All proceeds from kids games and face painting are given to Lancaster C.A.R.E.S., a local coalition for animal rescues, education and events. We’ve got a goldfish toss, beanbag toss, lollipop tree, (fan-favorite) PLINKO and wonderful face painters so your kids can have a great day, too.

Our lovable mascots, Bernie and Chompers, will be around throughout each day for plenty of photos and hugs!

Snake Photos

snake-photo-2013Have you ever held a snake? How about a big python draped over your shoulders? No, well everyone should experience it once! Have our photo taken with one of the snakes from the Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary. All proceeds from the photos go to helping reptiles in need of rescue and care.

Prizes for Facebook Friends

Make sure you visit our Social Media Booth in the center of the store. This year we’ll have a free photobooth. Get you and/or your pet all dressed up and we’ll snap a photo. Photos will be uploaded to Facebook throughout the day. Look for your pic and don’t forget to tag yourself! We’ll also have a guessing jar game with the winner of each jar taking home $25 in Fish Bucks. We’ve saved the best for last – our “Go Fish” Prize Wheel will let you spin for a chance to win Fish Bucks, T-shirts, keychains & more! Want even more chances to win free stuff? Like us on Facebook!

Meet and Greet with Manufacturers

Last, but of course not least, you’ll have the  chance to meet and greet with manufacturer representatives. Ask your questions, get recommendations, free samples, and more. Many manufacturers will be providing free snacks and refreshments throughout the day, so come with room for snacks!

Our Store is Always a Blast

TTEven without all the extra hoopla from our biggest event of the year, That Fish Place – That Pet Place in Lancaster, PA is a great place to take the kids anytime. Stop by our Pirate’s Cove Touch Tank and feel a stingray! We have  360 degree displays of our small animals – they’re so cute it is hard to resist. Visit our store pets: Jax, the Flemish Giant Rabbit & Kyan, an African Grey parrot.

That Groom Room will be open, meet our resident groomers and book your pet’s appointment.

As always, leashed, vaccinated and healthy pets are welcome to come along to the sale. We love meeting our customers pets! Keep in mind that it will be crowded, if your pet is anxious or nervous around people or other dogs you may want to keep them home or have someone with you to take them outside if the action is too much to handle.

IMG_0002Lancaster C.A.R.E.S. members will have tables set up where you can learn about each rescue and how you can help. Maybe you’ll even meet your next best friend?

All in all it is a great event and fun for everyone in your family. Mark your calendars for March 29-30 and we’ll see you there!

Should I give a Vitamin B12 supplement to my dog?

Sick DogHi Pet Blog Readers! Please welcome Erica, a veterinary clinic technician, with this guest post about the possible uses for vitamin B12 supplementation for your dog. I’d like to preface this by saying that you should always consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplements, and definitely get your pet to the vet right away if they are showing signs of lethargy (periods of time lacking energy, excitement or extreme weakness).

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The vitamin B12 is not only important for the human body- it is also important to the health of a dog or cat’s nervous system and the growth of red and white blood cells. Lethargy, weakness in the legs, or a lack of appetite in a pet may be a result of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This common deficiency may be a result of insufficient levels of the vitamin in the pet’s diet, or of an inherited condition that makes it difficult or impossible for the pet to absorb it through its regular diet. A vitamin B12 deficiency that goes untreated may lead to more serious problems, such as serious gastrointestinal diseases and weight loss. A B12 vitamin supplement is a very effective and simple solution to the problem, whether the problem stems from insufficient dietary levels or from an inherited condition. B12 supplements can also help pets that suffer from gastrointestinal ailments or kidney disease.

How is Vitamin B12 Administered to Pets?

B12B12 vitamin supplements may be administered to pets by a variety of methods, just as it can for humans. The most common method is by oral supplement, which can be administered by crushing a tablet and mixing it into the pet’s food, or by mixing the supplement with water and administering it directly to the mouth by syringe. Increasing meat in the pet’s diet will also provide more of the vitamin. Because many pets have difficulty absorbing the B12 vitamin, injection is a commonly used method of administering the supplement. Some will want these injections to be administered by veterinarians, but the process is simple, and with the veterinarian’s approval, the injections may often be done at home by the pet’s owner. Typically, B12 injections are reserved for serious deficiencies, and they are recommended if the pet has a gastrointestinal illness or an inherited condition that prevents it from absorbing the vitamin through food. Injections are typically administered to a dog’s hind leg. Cats receive the vitamin through subcutaneous injection. B12 injections are typically given once a week for the first five or six weeks, bi-weekly for another period of weeks, and, eventually, on a monthly basis.

How Long Until My Pet Shows Signs of Improvement?

Dog TiredAs the pet is taking the vitamin supplements or injections, the veterinarian will test the pet’s blood regularly, until the B12 level is acceptable. While the pet is taking the supplements, improvements in appetite and energy, weight gain, and improvement of any gastrointestinal problems should be noticeable. For the majority of pets, a few weeks taking the supplement will begin to show improvements in the problems associated with the deficiency, but the breed and medical condition of the pet will ultimately determine whether it will need the supplements in the short or long term.
The potential side effects of a B12 vitamin supplement are minimal. B12 is a safe, non-toxic vitamin. While it is possible for a pet to have too much of certain vitamin supplements, taking too much of a B12 supplement will very rarely harm the pet, because it is not stored in the body. The bloodstream will only absorb as much of the vitamin as it needs at a time, and discard the rest through urination. Vitamin B12 is truly a safe solution for pet lethargy, so talk to your veterinarian today about Vitamin B12 injections or supplements for your pet.

Erica Anderson has spent ten years as a Tucson veterinary clinic technician. She loves writing about pets, parenting, and gardening.

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So, have you tried B12 for your dog? How did it work out and what were you treating? I’ve used B12 myself in the past to supplement my diet and increase my energy and I think it worked pretty well for me! Share your stories in the comments!

What does it take to become a Police Dog?

K-9 Officer Kota in Recovery

K-9 Officer Kota in Recovery

We’ve had some really heart-breaking stories of the loyalty of police officers in the news the last few months. K-9 officer Kota showed her heroic loyalty to her person when, after she fell through an attic crawlspace, she returned to the suspects and her person to help finish the arrest despite a broken leg!

Kota has since recovered from surgery, but it prompted me to remember my Aunt’s police dog, Andor. Andor was bred specifically for his job, to sniff out drugs. He was fiercely loyal to my aunt and watched her back, for which I am grateful for every day.

I was very young when my aunt brought him home from his training in Texas, but I remember the training was described as “intense” and took almost a full two year to complete!

Please welcome Kerry Moloney with a guest post about how police dogs are bred or selected, trained and used:

Bristol's first police dogsPolice dogs are normally bred specifically for the job, but sometimes public dogs are accepted in to the pack to become part of a crime-stopping squad. Police dogs are vital in solving crimes including murder and drug trafficking and they are also crucial in calming and controlling public disorder.

Not all dogs have the innate ability to become a police dog, as it requires a certain natural instinct. The German Shepherd is the most common breed for police dogs, but other dog breeds include Belgian Malinois Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers and Weimaraners.

To join the dog squad, there is a set of requirements that need to be met:

Perfect health

A police dog has to be healthy in every sense of the word. The dog doesn’t just have to be physically fit, but also mentally alert. They need to have the intelligence, willingness and drive to catch the criminal or pick up that vital piece of evidence for years to come.

Agility

Of course, fitness is a huge part of the job. The dog has to be fit enough to do a lot of walking and attacking (if needed) and will go through many different situations, which will vary in pace. They may have to go from a slow, quiet walk to an energetic sprint within a matter of seconds.

Size

A police dog can be of either sex yet, whether the dog is male or female, there is one weight limit for all and that is generally between 55 and 70 lbs.

Age

If the dogs are part of the breeding program, then they are generally brought into service between the ages of eight and twelve weeks. However, the unit often gets dogs that are a little older, or even full grown. They usually become fully operational in the job at around 2 or 3 years old. They usually work for around 5 or 7 years and take retirement at around 7-9 years old.

Sociability and ability to work with humans        

Of course, there needs to be a great relationship between the dog and its handler. The dog needs to be able to be obedient and understand that they are doing a job. It can’t be scared to interact with humans, because the majority of their time will be spent with humans – whether that’s its handler or criminals.
Day 179 - West Midlands Police - Ivan the Police Dog
A military police working dog attacks.

Courage, strength and determination

A police dog cannot be scared to leap on a criminal if needs be. The dog must have a courageous manner and enough physical strength to intimidate. This is why German Shepherds are often used as police dogs, as they are courageous by nature. [editor’s note: Well, not all… My German Shepherd is pretty cowardly by nature J ]

Instinct for predation, play and hunting

A police dog has to want to find things and hunt. Some dogs would prefer to lounge in front of the fire, which isn’t going to cut it in the force.

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Assess your dog’s personality, nature, and health – then ask yourself, would he have made a good police K-9? Let us know in the comments!

Brace Yourselves (and your pets) for Record-Breaking Low Temperatures!

 

Brace yourself… Winter is coming!

Winter Tips for PetsI heard on the news this morning that by tonight, here in Central PA, we’ll be experiencing record-breaking low temperatures well below zero. The wind chill will be below 20 degrees fahrenheit! Brrr!

It seems like an opportune time to go over some basic safety tips for pets when we’re dealing with drastic temperatures. Pets, even those bred for winter weather (like Huskies) are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia if not given adequate shelter in frigid temperatures.

My Top 10 Tips for Pets During Cold Weather

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