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Fish Feeding Tips You Should Know

Fish feeding tips you should know.

Aside from managing a tank’s water quality, proper fish feeding is one of the most important responsibilities of a fish owner. To keep your fish in optimal health, here are some valuable tips…

How Much Should You Feed Your Fish?
Fish are opportunistic feeders. This means they eat as much as they can whenever they have access to food. With that in mind, a good rule is to feed your fish what they can eat in two to three minutes, twice a day. Of course, the number and size of your fish is going to affect the amount you’ll need. Just be sure they eat all of the food in that time. If they leave food uneaten, feed them less next time.

Food Ingredients
So, what is the best type of food to feed your fish? Quality fish food offers a good balance of nutrients. Common ingredients include:

  • Whole Fish/Fish Meal – If you have carnivorous fish in your tank, these ingredients are highly nutritious for them as they’re loaded with protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Wheat Germ Meal – Wheat germ contains bran, as well as germs of the wheat berry. It’s easy to digest and is a good source of plant protein, but it shouldn’t be the primary ingredient of your fish’s diet.
  • Vitamins Look for sources of vitamin C, A, E, and B-complex, such as Biotin. Quality ingredients, such as Spirulina, Kelp, Spinach, and vegetable extract will provide many of these vitamins.

Types of Fish Food
There are several types of fish food available, including:

  • Flakes – Flake food is very easy to use and is the staple of a nutritious diet for surface-feeding fish and most omnivores.
  • Pellets – Pellets are also easy to use and store. Because they sink to the bottom, they’re great for bottom-feeding fish as well.
  • Wafers or Crisps – Often containing algae and other ingredients, these are good for herbivores and can also be used as supplements or for variety.

We’re here to help. Visit your Pet Supermarket for all your fish needs.

Training Your Dog Not to Jump

How to train your dog not to jump

Admit it. When you first got your dog, you thought it was cute when he jumped up in excitement at your arrival. But now that he’s grown, it doesn’t seem so cute.

In fact, it may be quite a problem, especially if he’s a big dog or if he jumps on guests. It’s not too late to train your dog to stop jumping. But first you should understand why he does it.

The most common reason, of course, is to get attention. That’s not a surprise, but what may surprise you is that it’s likely you’ve been reinforcing his behavior. Even if you push him away or tell him to stop, your dog will feel rewarded by your attention. In his mind, any attention is good attention and he’ll continue his behavior.

Train him out of that behavior with the tips below.

Train Your Pup to Stay Seated

  • Don’t respond. Avoid the temptation to give your dog love when he jumps on you. Positive reinforcement leads to repetitive behavior.
  • Don’t respond negatively either. Your dog can view any response, positive or negative, as getting your attention. Even yelling or pushing him off can be positive reinforcement for him.
  • Walk away. When your dog jumps on you, ignore him until he stops and sits. Once he stops, give him attention. By doing this, your dog won’t feel jumping can earn your attention.
  • Ask your dog to sit before he gets any attention. This will teach him that only when he sits will you give him the attention he seeks.
  • Always keep your cool, even when you’re praising him. Don’t get your dog overexcited when he sits, as this may entice him to jump. Likewise, don’t yell at him to sit down.
  • Make sure everyone who interacts with your dog abides by the same rules.

Follow these tactics and your dog should welcome you home more calmly in no time. We are here to help! Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all your pet care needs.

Kitty Hydration Tips

Is your cat drinking enough water? If she’s a picky kitty, it may be a challenge to keep her hydrated. Cats should be drinking two to four ounces of water a day (depending on her weight and diet).

A few hydration tips:

Sparkling Clean H20

  • Refresh your cat’s water every day to keep it from getting stale or contaminated.
  • If she turns up her nose, try filtered water rather than tap water, which may have an odor from minerals and chlorine.
  • Is she on a dry-food diet? Add a little water to her food, but be sure to dispose of it soon after she eats to prevent spoilage.
  • If your cat is on a wet-food diet, she will need less water, but feel free to add a little to her food bowl.
  • Refill her water to the same level daily. This will make it easier to notice any changes in her water intake.

Water Bowl Protocol

  • Wash her bowls often and rinse all traces of dish soap, which can burn her tongue.
  • Some cats don’t like having their water next to their food, as in a double feeder bowl. Try separate bowls instead.
  • Try a ceramic or stainless steel bowls, as plastic may have an unpleasant taste or odor.
  • Some cats don’t like their whiskers touching the sides of the bowl when they drink. A wide, shallow bowl is best in this case.
  • If your cat prefers to drink running water, get her a water fountain. It can provide a continuous flow of fresh, filtered water. It can also be a source of water play!

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you cat care needs.

Creating a Home for Your Ferret

Your ferret should have a home that is comfortable, clean, nurturing and stimulating. Safety is also key. Remember, they like to explore and it’s their investigative natures that often get them into trouble. They’re also good climbers and expert escape artists.

To keep your little Houdini safe and secure, here are some tips…

A Ferret-Worthy Home

  • Choose the right cage. Remember, ferrets can chew their way out of plastic or vinyl, so avoid these materials. Instead, choose a metal cage with an escape-proof latch. Also, make sure the cage is at least 2-stories tall; though 3- or 4-stories would be better. The more room your pet has to explore, the better.
  • Choose the right location for his home. It should be kept in a cool, dry, shaded area that does not get direct sunlight. Ferrets can’t tolerate temperatures that exceed 80° Fahrenheit very well, since their sweat glands are not well developed.
  • Create a cozy sleep area. Ferrets like their sleep and can sleep from 15-20 hours a day. Pet blankets, batting and hammocks will provide a cozy and comfortable sleeping space.
  • Let him explore outside of his cage. Ferrets shouldn’t be caged for extended periods of time, as they require movement, interaction and companionship. Let your ferret spend a few hours a day outside of his cage.
  • Change the bedding every few days to prevent odors from forming. You should also avoid using materials that are perfumed or scented.
  • Provide a regular source of clean water and food. Ferrets drink and nibble throughout the day and need a constant supply of food and water. Make sure to change their water and refresh their food bowls often.
  • Offer toys. Ferrets like to explore and play. Add toys and other appropriate items to their homes. Feel free to ask one of store associates for toy suggestions.

Stop by Pet Supermarket for cages and accessories to build an engaging and safe home your ferret will enjoy.

Should You Crate Train Your Puppy?

If you’re a new dog or puppy owner, you might think crate training is unkind or unnecessary, but there are many positive benefits for both you and your dog.

With the right training, your dog will view his crate as a shelter or safe haven, similar to a den used by his wild ancestor. It will also serve as your safety net for training and housebreaking. Read on for reasons why and how you should crate train.

Why Crate Training Works
When your pup is trained to love his crate, he will:

  • Learn bladder and bowel control
  • Feel safe and secure while you’re away
  • Have a safe haven to go to during stressful situations
  • Limit his destructive tendencies to toys, not furniture
  • Travel with less stress

You’ll also get peace of mind knowing your dog is comfortable and safe while you’re away.

Here are a few tips on crate training your pup:

Buy the Right Crate
Crates are available in a variety of sizes and materials, including plastic and metal. You might be tempted to buy the largest crate possible to prepare for Fido’s adult size, but it’s best to give him enough room to eat, sleep, stand up and turn in a circle. If your puppy has too much room, he’ll feel he has enough space to eliminate in one corner. This will hinder your housebreaking efforts, so it’s best to either get a crate that fits his size now or to block off part of the area so he won’t soil it. You can upgrade to a larger, more permanent crate as he grows.

Make the Crate a Happy Place
You’ll want your pup to have positive associations with his crate, so use a happy tone of voice when encouraging him to use it and place his favorite toy or treat nearby. Over the next few days, gradually get him closer until he’s comfortable sitting inside.

It’s also important to place the crate in a central area, so he won’t feel isolated. Remember, this isn’t meant as a punishment. Your pup will want your companionship while he’s in the crate and you’ll want to spot any signs that he needs to go out as well.

Keep Crate Time Short at First
When your pup is comfortable with his crate, begin keeping him confined for short periods of time while you’re at home. Give him a treat, send him into the crate and stay nearby for five to ten minutes, then let him out. Gradually increase the time and leave his sight occasionally until he’s comfortable on his own for the night or while you’re away. Remember, puppies shouldn’t be crated for more than three or four hours as they’ll need to eliminate.

How Not to Use a Crate
Here’s what NOT to do with your crate:

  • Never use the crate as a punishment for doing something wrong. Your dog will eventually fear it and refuse to enter it.
  • Don’t leave your puppy in a crate for more than 3 or 4 hours or longer than he can wait to eliminate.
  • Don’t confine your dog for too long without an equal balance of non-crate time. Your dog won’t get enough exercise or social interaction with too much crate time.
  • Don’t let children pester or tease your dog while he’s in his crate.
  • Don’t use the crate to isolate him from the family.
  • Don’t disappear every time he is crated.

Help your puppy see his crate as a safe, enjoyable den, where he can take refuge and rest comfortably.

7 Signs of a Cat Emergency

Breathing problems, drooling, diarrhea… when do you know if it’s a cat emergency? If you notice the following signs, it’s time to visit the vet stat.

Abnormal urination: This is a very severe condition that can be fatal. It’s caused by a urethral obstruction and happens most often in male cats. Cats with this condition suffer pain and can experience kidney failure, bladder rupture and/or cardiac arrest. The first signs include urinating outside the litter box, straining for small quantities of urine and grooming genitals excessively. Cats with irregular urinary habits should see a vet immediately.

Difficulty breathing or choking: Fluid in the lungs or the chest cavity can cause breathing problems. If it goes untreated, cats might even go into respiratory or cardiac arrest.

Unconsciousness: Poisoning or airway obstruction are a few reasons why your cat could lose consciousness. If you get no response when you call or touch your cat, check her breathing and take her to the vet immediately.

Excessive drooling: While it may be normal for a dog to drool heavily, cats don’t drool this much unless there’s an issue. Mouth burns from electrical cords, contact with poisons and nausea from other illnesses can cause this.

Chronic vomiting: This often occurs after intestinal blockage from a ribbon, rubber band or string and needs immediate attention.

Continuous diarrhea: A variety of causes can lead to diarrhea, including poison, infectious diseases and more. If it continues, it can cause severe dehydration and worsen quickly if not addressed right away.

Pale or discolored gums: Pale gums imply anemia, bluish gums suggest a cardiac or respiratory problem and yellow gums point to liver disease. See a vet immediately for any of these signs.

8 Facts You May Not Know About Hamsters

Think you know hamsters? Test your knowledge with these interesting facts:

  • Hamsters got their name from the German word hamstern, which means “to hoard or store up.”
  • Hamsters have a great sense of smell, but not great eyesight.
  • Hamsters can learn to recognize their names if you speak to them often enough.
  • A mother hamster can give birth to 24 babies, although eight or ten is more common.
  • Baby hamsters are called puppies.
  • There are three main types of pet hamsters: short-haired Syrian (or golden) hamsters; long-haired Syrian, also called teddy bear hamsters; and dwarf hamsters, which include Roborovski, Djungarian, Siberian, and Chinese hamsters.
  • Roborovski dwarf hamsters are the smallest and can grow to 3 inches long.
  • Syrian hamsters are territorial and will fight if kept together. Dwarf hamsters can live together, but only in same-sex pairs that were raised together.

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you hamster care needs.

Preventive Care for a Healthier Pet

Your pup might not have nine lives, but you can help him live a longer, healthier life with these preventive care tips…

Keep your pet at a healthy weight
Obesity is a big pet problem. In fact, it’s the top nutritional disease among pets. To avoid it, keep Fido lean with exercise and a healthy diet. Being overweight can shorten his life by as much as two years, due to heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.

Feed him a balanced, nutritious diet
Your pup’s overall health will improve with a high quality diet. It’ll show too. You’ll notice not only his shiny coat, healthy skin and bright eyes, but also a stronger immune system, healthy joints and more.

Get preventive help from your vet
Nothing beats a yearly exam to maintain your friend’s good health and find problems early. Of course, you should also vaccinate your pup against diseases such as distemper, parvo and rabies. Find an in-store vet clinic at your nearest Pet Supermarket for vaccinations at affordable rates.

Fight parasites
Did you know swallowing a flea could cause your dog to get tapeworms? It’s one of the most common internal parasites for pets. Fleas can also irritate skin and lead to hair loss or hot spots. Keep Fido parasite free with one of the many flea-control products available.

Clean those teeth
You might joke about your pet’s “doggy breath” but that bad breath can be a sign of dental disease. What might seem like a little problem now can lead to a big one later, such as dental pain and even heart and kidney disease. It’s worth spending a little time cleaning his teeth and offering dental chews.

Our four-legged family members depend on us. These tips make it clear that preventive care is the key to ensuring our pets live happy, healthy lives!

Enrich Your Cat’s Life with These Activities

She sleeps as long as she wants, is adored and admired by those around her and has a “servant” to attend her needs. Yes, your cat seems to have the life of the rich and famous. But is that the best life for your cat?

Despite what it seems, your indoor cat may be bored. She needs an environment that keeps her healthy, both mentally and physically. Veterinarians call it “environmental enrichment” and it can be as simple as providing the right toys and helping her relieve her stress or aggression.

Enrich your cat’s life with…

A variety of toys
Rotate your cat’s toys into use so they seem new and fresh again. Some fun options that will keep her busy include:

  • Wand toys with danglers – Cats love to pounce on a dangling feather or string.
  • Treat-dispensing toys – Treats in a toy. What could be better from a cat’s point of view?
  • Catnip toys – Most cats say yes to catnip!
  • Interactive toys – Puzzles or toys with moving parts will keep her guessing.

Boxes, bags and other curiosities
Did you get something in the mail? Have extra packaging, bags or boxes? These are often enough to keep your curious cat entertained for a day or two.

Cat furniture and high perches
Cats need to climb and love to sit in high places. Indulge this instinctual behavior with cat trees, cat furniture and cat shelves she can climb.

A window seat or perch
Does your cat like to watch the action outdoors? If you don’t have a window sill or ledge, move a piece of furniture close to a window or install a window perch just for her.

Play time please
It goes without saying that your cat also needs your attention. She won’t admit it and may act aloof, but 15 minutes of play time can go a long way!

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for fun and entertaining toys for you cat.

How to Avoid Overfeeding Your Fish

It can be easy to overfeed aquarium fish. Aside from watching them, your most common interaction with your fish is at feeding time. So the next time you feed these silent, beautiful creatures, keep a few things in mind…

Fish will always seem hungry, but like other pets, can get overweight if they eat too much.

Feed your fish once a day or give them smaller meals two to three times a day, but stay consistent.

The top rule of thumb is to make sure your fish eat all of the food you give them in one to two minutes. When you drop food into the aquarium, count the time and watch to see how much is eaten and how much food falls to the bottom. If too much is left over, feed them less next time.

Be sure there isn’t too much excess food left in your tank. It can decay and affect water quality (and the health of your fish) in the long run.

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you fish care needs.

Dog Park Etiquette

Dogs, like people, need exercise and socialization. Taking them to the dog park is a great way to give them both.

But before you take Fido, there are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind…

Consider Your Dog’s Disposition
Before you take your dog to the dog park, be sure he can handle it. If Fido doesn’t play well with others or has a habit of barking at strangers, it’s probably best to avoid the park until you’ve had a chance to train him further. A trip to the dog park should be enjoyable for all.

Bring a Pooper Scooper
You never know when nature will call and it’s simply good manners to pick up after your dog does his business. Be sure to take a pooper scooper and bags as the park might not have bags available.

Don’t Pressure Your Dog
Let your dog enjoy the park as he wants. If he’s not playing with other dogs, don’t pressure him into doing so. He may just want to sniff around and explore the area. Every dog has a unique personality and may not want to play with others.

Leash On or Off?
If the dog park is un-fenced, keep your dog leashed unless he is responsive to verbal commands. In an off-leash park area, however, you should let your dog run off the leash. Keeping him on the leash when other dogs are running free could cause your dog to feel insecure and trigger aggressive behavior. Whether he’s on the leash or off, keep an eye on your dog at all times.

Supervise His Behavior
If your dog wants to play with other dogs, that’s great; however, keep a close eye. If you notice your pooch or another is starting to get a little too rough, break them up. Pups can get carried away when they are deep in play mode and could unintentionally end up hurting each other.

Monitor Intact Males
If your dog is intact, be mindful of his location and playtime with female dogs. Likewise, if your dog is a female, don’t take her to the park if she is in heat or pregnant.

Keep the Peace at the Park!
Work with other park goers to keep park visits peaceful. If you notice your dog is being bullied, is playing too rough or doesn’t get along well with others, either work it out by speaking calmly with other pet parents or head home to avoid problems. Be respectful of other’s wishes as well. If another park goer asks you to take your dog away from theirs, do so without arguing and to help keep the peace at the park.

We hope these tips will help you keep your visits to the dog park fun for all.

Helping Your Cat Deal with Allergy Season

Does your cat have allergies?

If she exhibits any of the following symptoms, the answer is likely yes:

  • She sneezes, coughs or wheezes
  • She is constantly scratching her skin when exposed to certain substances
  • She has itchy and runny eyes
  • She exhibits issues with her digestive tract, such as vomiting or diarrhea
  • She has itchy ears or gets ear infections often
  • She snores
  • She chews on her paws or the pads of her paws are inflamed

What Could Cause Your Cat’s Allergy?

Just like in humans, there are a number of things that can cause allergies in cats. Some of the most common allergens for cats include:

  • The pollen from trees, grass and weeds
  • Mold, mildew and dust spores
  • Fleas and the products used to control fleas
  • Prescription medications
  • Food
  • Perfumes or colognes
  • Household cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • The fibers in certain fabrics
  • Rubber or plastic

How to Handle Allergies in Cats

If you think your cat has allergies, it’s important that you take action to get her the help she needs. If left untreated, allergies will not only make her uncomfortable, they might also be life threatening.

The first step in treatment is to visit the vet. Your veterinarian will do a complete background check, asking you questions concerning her physical environment and the things she is exposed to before her reactions. The vet will also conduct a thorough physical exam. Skin or blood tests may also be ordered.

If your cat does have allergies, your vet will recommend the best treatment plan. Options for treatment include:

  • Preventing exposure to the allergen
  • Topical medications that can be applied to rashes
  • Oral medications
  • Clearing her environment of allergy-causing items. For example, you may need to avoid perfumes or certain household cleaning products.

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for hypoallergenic toys and treats!

Keep Your Rabbit Cool with These Warm Weather Tips

The dangers of overheating in the summer are a risk for any pet. Rabbits are especially vulnerable as they don’t tolerate heat very well and are often penned in enclosures that may not give them room to avoid the heat.

To keep your rabbit safe this summer, follow these tips:

  • Be sure your bunny’s cage has plenty of shade and isn’t sitting in the sun.
  • Keep her water cool and refreshing with a few cubes of ice. Also make sure her water is always clean and that she stays hydrated.
  • Did you know rabbits dispel heat through their ears? If you suspect she’s getting too warm, mist her ears with water to help keep her cool.
  • If you have a long-haired rabbit, consider cropping her coat short during the summer. Otherwise, brush out extra fur.
  • If it gets very hot in her area, consider placing a few items in her cage that she can lie on or against to stay cool: a 2-liter soda bottle that has been frozen with water in it, for example, or a cool ceramic tile that she can lie on.
  • If you have a senior or overweight rabbit, watch her carefully. She may be at higher risk if she’s sedentary and doesn’t drink often enough to stay hydrated.

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you rabbit care needs.

How to Safeguard Your Pet This Summer

The season of summer barbecues and celebrations has begun. With more outdoor events and family travel plans, the risk of losing a pet rises in the summer, so it’s no coincidence that July is National Lost Pet Prevention month.

Here are some tips to ensure your pup is safe this summer and doesn’t become one of the many pets that go missing this time of year.

Create a Secure Location during Stressful Events

Many dogs get nervous when their house fills with guests or there are thundering noises outside. With the constant opening and closing of doors during events, your pup may try to escape. If he’s fearful enough, he may even try to go through screen doors or windows.

To prevent this from happening, create a secure location for Fido. If there’s a spot he likes to hide in during stressful times, give him access to that space and make it comfortable. Otherwise, create a safe space or room with his toys and bed for comfort. Try using baby gates to block a room, for example, so he can roam freely in the space, but can’t get out.

Offer Limited Comfort

Dogs are extremely sensitive to sound, so it’s not unusual for loud noises to frighten them. At those times, it’s OK to stay with your pup. But, believe it or not, a lot of cuddling, petting or treats can reinforce and reward his fearful behavior. Stay close by, but don’t react to the sounds that frighten him. His favorite toys, water and a comfortable spot to curl up in are all items that should be available.

Check or Update Pet ID

Make sure your pet is wearing his identification tag at all times. The tags should clearly indicate his name and your contact information. It’s a simple measure, but ID tags are the fastest way to recover your pooch if he’s lost. If he has a microchip, be sure to update his information at least once a year.

Stick to the Doggy Diet

What dog doesn’t love hot dogs or hamburgers off the barbecue? Giving him even a little could lead to an upset stomach. Ask your guests not to feed him or better yet, offer him a doggie treat instead. He may be an expert at begging, but succumbing to that cute face could make him miserable.

Poison Prevention

Things like bug spray, citronella, sunscreen and matches are all hazardous to dogs if ingested. Keep anything that could cause health problems out of your pup’s reach to ensure his curiosity doesn’t end up hurting him.

While you’re planning your summer fun, make sure your furry family members stay safe!

Fun Feline Facts

Cat Facts

We’ve long been friends with furry felines—since the days of ancient Egypt in fact. During that time, we’ve learned quite a few things about them.

Here are a few feline facts you might not know…

  • Cats can purr continuously as they inhale and exhale.
  • Cats are one of the few mammals that can’t taste sweetness.
  • Cats do not have sweat glands. They sweat through their paws.
  • Cats can hear high-frequency sounds and have better hearing than dogs.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • A pack of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
  • A cat’s tongue is scratchy because it’s lined with papillae—tiny backwards hooks that help hold prey in place.
  • A cat’s nose has ridges in a unique pattern, similar to human fingerprints.
  • An adult cat can run about 12 mph, and can sprint nearly 30 mph.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for fun toys and tasty treats for amazing feline companion.

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