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Category: Dog (Page 3 of 8)

Common Issues for Aging Dogs

Aging can take its toll on dogs, just as it does with humans. As dogs age, they can start to exhibit a number of issues, both physical and behavioral.

Don’t get frustrated when your senior dog starts acting out of sorts or doing things he doesn’t normally do. These behaviors are natural and this is the time when he will need your help most.

Here are a few common issues for senior dogs:

Accidents at Home
As your dog gets older, he might not hold his bladder as well. This could lead to incontinence, and as a result, may cause him to have accidents before he can let you know he has to go. To help prevent this, monitor your dog’s drinking. Only put down water at certain times of the day and take him out soon after he drinks. Also, consider products such as Senior Bladder Support or dog diapers.

Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is also common among aging dogs. It can be partial or complete, but realize there is a good chance your dog will have some degree of hearing loss. If he doesn’t respond to calls or commands the way he used to, help him out by patting him when you want his attention.

Vision Loss
Another common problem is vision impairment. If you find your dog is suddenly anxious, is constantly at your side, barks more, sleeps more than usual, and is more reliant on you, chances are good his eyesight is failing him. Be patient with him. Guide him to where he needs to go and offer him the reassurance he needs.

Difficulty Getting Around
Another age-related problem dogs can experience is difficulty getting around. Arthritis often afflicts dogs and as their joints become inflamed, moving becomes painful. Try to offer a helping hand or make some adjustments if at home. Your dog may find it harder to get up and down the stairs or might just move more slowly. Aids such as Cosequin Plus and ArthriSoothe-Gold can also help improve joint mobility and relieve stiffness.

If you see any of these signs, check with your vet to confirm there aren’t other issues affecting him. But consider this a time to be kind to your aging dog and treat him with patience and understanding. He may be getting older, but he is still your best friend.

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Back-to-School Blues: Your Dog and Separation Anxiety

Though summer is in full swing, the start of a new school year is just around the corner. While you’re getting ready for the start of a new year, there is some other important business to attend to: your dog.

The start of a new school year often means the start of separation anxiety for dogs. Dogs are pack animals and don’t adjust well to being alone after spending an entire summer palling around with their best friends.

How do you know if Fido is suffering from separation anxiety? If he’s leaving “presents” around the house (urine or poop), if he’s tearing things up or if he’s barking and whining uncontrollably, you can be pretty sure he’s having anxiety about the absence of his best friends.

Here are some tips you can use to soothe your four-legged family member:

  • Ease into it. Gradually introduce him to being alone. Start by leaving him alone for controlled periods of time and gradually increase that time before school starts.
  • Keep him busy. Keeping your dog occupied will distract him from your absence. Offer him a new chew toy, a bone or a food-dispensing puzzle toy. Your pup will associate his family leaving the house with getting a treat and will stay busy for a while. Remember to read the product packaging and do not leave your dog with any toys or treats that require supervision.
  • Skip the drama at the door. Skip the dramatic reunion when you return and let him settle down before rewarding him with attention and play time.
  • Don’t scold. If you come home to a “present” or some destruction, don’t scold your pup. He’s going to be excited to see you and won’t understand why you’re mad. Scolding may actually intensify his anxiety.

These tips should help ease your pooch into being home alone. However, if you suspect your dog is suffering from severe anxiety, take him to the vet. Your vet may offer more advice and options to help your dog cope.

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Summer Fun: Water Safety for Fido

If your dog likes beating the heat with a swim, you might not think twice about letting him show off his best doggy paddle. But, just like with kids, you should take a few precautions to ensure your pooch is safe.

Here are tips to ensure your pup has a safe time in the water this summer:

  • Don’t Let Him Swim Solo – Your dog may seem like a natural at the doggy paddle – and he may be – but there’s still a safety risk in the water. Even if Fido is a great swimmer, he may get tired or may meet an obstacle that could cause him harm.
  • Give Him a Life Jacket – There is a chance your pup may get a cramp or may get tired. To prevent him from going under water if this happens, outfit him with a doggie life jacket. It will give you peace of mind and might just save his life.
  • Beat the Heat – Keep a close eye on your dog and watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, heat stroke or dehydration. Even though they’re covered with fur, dogs do run the risk of getting sunburns, so keep him covered. And, if you’re at the beach, make sure he doesn’t stand on hot sand too long, as it can blister his paws.
  • Don’t Let Him Drink Pool or Salt Water – A dog’s instinct is to lap up water – any water – when he is thirsty. Don’t let him drink salt water, as it is dehydrating, and don’t let him drink pool water, with its chemicals. Make sure to bring along a bowl and offer him plenty of fresh water instead.
  • Rinse Him Off – As with humans, it’s best to rinse off after a swim. Rinsing your dog off will remove salt, chlorine and any bacteria he may have picked up.

Keep these water safety tips in mind and have a blast this summer!

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Dog-Friendly Travel? Yes!

Dog in the carYour dog is a four-legged member of the family. Taking him along on a family vacation can make for a truly memorable experience, but it will take some careful planning first.

Here are some tips to make your next travel adventure a dog-friendly success.

  • Vet Check
    Before you hit the road, take your pooch to the vet for a checkup. Make sure all of his vaccinations are up-to-date and check to see that he’ll be able to handle a long journey. If you’re traveling by air, make sure you get health certifications as they’re mandatory for air travel.
  • Food and Drink
    Take along plenty of food and water. The excitement of a trip can cause him to dehydrate easily or feel stress. Having food and drink nearby will allow you to soothe him and make him comfortable. Pack his regular food, a large supply of bottled water and bowls suitable for travel.
  • Emergency Plan
    You never know when an emergency will arise. If you’re traveling by car, try to scout out rest stops before you go. Take along an emergency kit with bandages, tweezers, scissors and other first aid items. You should also scout out a vet at your final destination. If your dog is on any medication, make sure you have a full supply before you leave.
  • Air Travel
    Traveling by plane? Your first step is to contact the airline and learn of their rules for bringing a pet on board. You can also find airline policies online at Since there are size restrictions for pet carriers, make sure your crate or carrier is airline-approved. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed breeds (pugs, Lhasa Apsos, etc.) should not travel in the cargo area as they’re vulnerable to breathing difficulties.
  • Crates
    If you’re traveling by car, a crate is optional, but can keep him safe and comfortable during your journey. When buying a crate, make sure it’s large enough that Fido can stand up, turn around and lie down. Placing a blanket or a bed inside will make it more comfortable.
  • The Comforts of Home
    Does he have a favorite toy or blanket at home? If so, bring it along as well. The comforts of home will put him at ease.

Ready for an adventure with your four-legged friend? Don’t forget to pack a leash and never, ever leave your dog unattended in a hot vehicle. Swing by Pet Supermarket for all you doggie’s travel needs and have a safe trip!

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Winning the War Against Fleas

Winning the War Against Fleas

You love your four-legged family members, but you probably don’t love some of the pests that come with them.

You’re not alone. But you can win the war against fleas if you’re consistent in your strategy.

Here are a few tips to keep fleas and ticks off your pets:

  • Break the flea and tick life cycle with treatments you can use on your pet, such as “spot-on” or topical treatments. They kill fleas on your pets and also keep new eggs from hatching. Top brands we carry include Advantage II, Advantix II, and Frontline Plus. These products also attack flea eggs before they have a chance to hatch.
  • Be consistent with your pet’s spot-on treatment. We recommend re-applying it every month.
  • Flea shampoos are also a good “first attack” against fleas. If your dog is flea infested, follow directions for a flea bath or dip. Shampoos will rid pets of fleas, but won’t repel new fleas afterwards.
  • Keep in mind that bathing your pet with a flea shampoo can reduce the effect of a spot-on treatment. Use shampoos like Bio Guard, Natural Chemistry or Tropiclean (except the Neem formula), which won’t remove topical products.
  • You’re not done the first time you get rid of fleas. Because the life cycle of a flea can last 2 weeks or more, the flea population can resurge in your home. Clean and treat your home with flea and tick sprays for carpet, pet bedding and more. Don’t forget to treat your yard with flea and tick spray as well.
  • Going on vacation? Be vigilant after you return. Fleas can stay cocooned in the pupae stage for weeks and emerge when they sense a warm-blooded heat source nearby. This is why you might see more fleas after vacation or after moving into a new home.
  • Don’t use dog flea treatments on cats or vice versa! This could be harmful to your pet.
  • Rabbits, ferrets and other small animals can also be treated. Ask a Pet Supermarket associate for help with choosing a flea treatment that is safe for your small pet.

With the right tools and a consistent strategy, you’ll be armed to win the war against fleas and ticks! Start with dog flea control or cat flea control products from Pet Supermarket.

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How Often Should You Change Your Dog’s Water?

How Often Should You Change Your Dog's Water?

With spring in the air, you may soon be spending more time outdoors with your four-legged friend. If so, use these tips to keep your pet healthy and hydrated while he romps this season.

Water is vital, not only to keep organs functioning, but also to help lubricate joints, digest food and keep your dog going. Drinking too little water can lead to dehydration, severe health issues and even death if continued.

Here’s what you should know to keep Rover fit and hydrated:

  • Refresh your dog’s bowl with clean water every single day.
  • Healthy dogs typically need one-half to one ounce of water per pound of body weight a day.
  • Dogs on a diet of dry dog food should drink more than dogs who are fed wet food.
  • Dogs with kidney disease, diabetes or cancer are at greater risk of dehydration.
  • A dog may need more or less water depending on his activity that day.
  • Elderly, pregnant/nursing dogs and puppies need more water.

Warning Signs of Dehydration

If Rover has had a long play session in the heat, check him for these signs of dehydration:

  • Eyeballs will seem sunken
  • Gums will look pale and dry and feel sticky
  • Skin won’t feel as elastic (Pinch and gently pull a fold of loose skin at the top of his neck. If the skin stays folded or is slow to get back into place, he may be dehydrated.)
  • He will seem lethargic or slow and perhaps depressed
  • Will have little or no appetite

To protect his health, it’s important to clean your dog’s water bowl and keep it filled with fresh water every day. For water bowls and fountains, visit Pet Supermarket online or in store.

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Can Your Dog See in Color?

Despite common misconception, your dog can see in color. He can’t see the same range of color you see, but he can use color to distinguish between different objects.

Scientists believed for many years that dogs could only see in black and white, but recent research has shown differently. In fact, dogs see colors the way a color-blind human sees them. Read on to learn how your dog sees the world in color…

A sky of blue and grass of… gray?
Because dogs have fewer light-catching cells, called cones, they can only see colors in the blue and yellow wavelengths. So they can see blue and yellow, but not red and green. Overall, their world is colored in yellow, blue and gray.

Can they see light or dark colors?
Although their color range is limited, dogs can see different shades of color. If seeing a rainbow for example, they’d see it in shades ranging from dark and light blue to gray, light yellow, dark yellow and dark gray. Tests show they detect items based on color and shade, so the ball you throw him might appear light yellow against the gray-looking grass.

Canine closeup
Although some breeds can be nearsighted or farsighted, dogs in general have less visual acuity than humans. They can see fast-moving objects, but can’t clearly focus on objects up close, which might look blurry or out of focus. If Fido visited a human eye doctor, for example, he’d be classified with 20/75 vision instead of 20/20.

Now that you know more about your dog’s view of the world, be mindful of the colors you choose. When training, avoid red and green objects together as they might be confusing. Choose dog-friendly colors instead.

Speaking of dog-friendly colors, our stores offer a variety of toys and items your dog will recognize clearly… including our shopping bags! Is it any wonder why they’re bright yellow?

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The Basics of Puppy Leash Training

An important activity for you and your pup is walking. Training your puppy to walk comfortably on a leash will ensure safety for both you and your dog and make your walk more pleasurable.

Get started with these tips…

Begin at 8 weeks
The best time to start training your puppy is 8 weeks of age. First, familiarize him with the collar and leave it until he’s comfortable wearing it.

Introduce the leash
Once you’re ready to introduce the leash, clip it to his collar and let your puppy simply drag it around for about 10 minutes a day (under your supervision). This will help him get used to the feel and weight of the leash. Do this for about a week.

For the next five to seven days, hold the leash loosely and follow the puppy around, again, for 10 minutes a day. It’s OK if he pulls on the leash – you’re still getting him used to the feel of it.

Take control
Once your puppy is comfortable with the leash, it’s time to take control. Carry one of his favorite toys or treats while holding the leash and begin walking. If Fido comes along, immediately reward his behavior with a lot of praise and affection. If he’s reluctant, lure him with his toy or treat. Remember to always praise him when he’s moving in the right direction!

Leash 101
Do you have the right leash or lead? Make sure you choose the best weight and length. The weight should depend on how strong your dog is and how much he tends to pull. Get heavier leashes for stronger dogs.

For length, a 4′ leash is suitable, although most trainers prefer a 6′ lead. A retractable leash is also a good option if you want flexibility for different walking situations.

Keep at it
Work consistently with your dog and he’ll be ready for the many wonderful walks in his future.

Pet Supermarket also offers specialized training harnesses and halters for dogs with pulling and tugging issues. For help choosing a leash, ask a Pet Supermarket associate or visit us online.

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Safe Doggie Introductions

Dog meeting other dog at parkDog introductions can get complicated. Scent, body language and territorial natures all figure into how dogs react when meeting other dogs.

But whether your furry pal is social or aloof, it’s your job to read the signs and keep him as safe as possible. Use these tips when meeting other dogs at the park, at home or in the neighborhood.

  • Watch body language – Body language will let you know if either dog is ready to meet. If he’s relaxed, wags his tail or faces the other dog in a crouch with hind end in the air, your dog’s feeling friendly or ready to play. If there are growls, bared teeth, a rigid stance or a fixed stare from either dog, it’s best to move on and avoid conflict.
  • Mind your own body language – If you’re hesitant or fearful, your dog might sense it and be more aggressive in his own behavior. Keep your tone calm and try not to tense up or jerk his leash.
  • Offer positive reinforcement – When dogs first meet, talk to them in a friendly tone of voice. After they sniff each other briefly, praise your dog and lead him away.
  • Prevent aggression – If you see signs of aggression from either side, distract your dog then lead him away before the situation escalates.
  • Ask the pet parent – Your social butterfly might want to greet every dog he sees during his walks, but it’s often best to ask the other pet parent first. If the other person doesn’t want his dog to meet yours, don’t take it personally. His pet may have aggression issues it would be best to avoid.

Your dog may love meeting other dogs and making new friends. Just be sure to keep it safe and fun with these tips!

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Gift Guide for a Dog-Friendly Holiday

Whether he was naughty or nice, your favorite furball deserves a few extra toys and treats of his own this holiday. It’s time to play Santa and boost the pet holiday fun. Here are some ideas that will get his tail wagging…

  • Holiday Dog Treats – Spoil Fido with dog treats in holiday shapes and colors. They’re made with wholesome ingredients and are an extra festive treat.
  • Canine Christmas Stockings – Stockings from Santa aren’t just for kids. Your canine pal will love his own stocking with tasty treats and toy goodies.
  • Paw Flapper Dog Game – The hidden chambers will have your dog searching for treats in this puzzle toy. It’s a canine favorite.
  • ChuckIt Tennis Ball Toy – This pickup toy is great for pets AND parents. You’ll throw farther and faster with it and can avoid bending over and handling slimy tennis balls. It’s a win-win for both of you.
  • Squeaky Rope – If your pup likes squeakers and rope toys, he’ll get the best of both worlds with the Squeaky Rope.
  • Fun Dog Bandana – Has your dog been naughty or nice this year? Help him proclaim his status with a fun bandana that will bring him smiles and extra pats wherever he goes.
  • Dog Park Play Date – If you’re in a warmer winter climate, set a play date for you and your friend at a dog park. Visit to find the nearest park for some off-leash romping and fun.

With the holidays upon us, we hope you enjoy time spent with friends and family, including your furry pet family.

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How to Enjoy a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving

It will soon be Thanksgiving, when we will give thanks for the food, family and pet friends that surround us. But as you enjoy the family feast, be careful when including your pet family.

What might be an enjoyable meal for you, could be a hazardous one for them. Here are a few tips to ensure your pet has a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey dinner – It may seem healthy to feed your dog a little turkey or potatoes, but fatty skin, herbed seasoning, stuffing and other items make it a little too rich for your pet. Rich or fatty foods can cause vomiting or diarrhea, especially if your dog is accustomed to a certain diet.
  • Bones – Dogs love them. Chicken or turkey bones however can be dangerous. They splinter easily and can block or even puncture the intestinal tract, so it’s best to keep them away.
  • Begging – If you or your guests can’t resist the doggy-eyed plea for food at the table, it’s time to get sneaky. Keep a few dog snacks or treats at the table for him instead. Just don’t let feeding at the table become a habit!
  • Sweets or baked goods – You may already know that chocolate is toxic to dogs. Baking mixes, such as cake batter with raw eggs or raw bread dough, can cause harm as well. They could cause stomach discomfort or, in the case of raw eggs, an infection such as salmonella.
  • Pet-friendly Thanksgiving meal – We’re not saying Fido can’t have turkey at all. Just make it pet-friendly with no sauces, fatty skin, seasoning or bones. (Herbs like sage can cause stomach problems for cats as well.) Pet Supermarket carries Merrick Thanksgiving Day Dog Dinner and Dinner Sausage and a variety of other Thanksgiving pet meals.

We hope these tips will make your Thanksgiving a special one for your entire family, including your pets! For dog toys or treats this holiday season, visit your nearest Pet Supermarket.

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5 Ways to Help Your Dog Age Gracefully

Just as people slow down with age, so do dogs. If your dog is entering his senior years, there are a few things you can do to maintain his quality of life.

Here are some tips…

  • Provide the nutrition he needs
    Most senior dogs will need fewer calories to avoid weight gain as they slow down. For this reason, most premium dog foods for seniors offer less calories, less fat and more fiber.
  • Keep him fit and fabulous
    He may move more slowly, but that’s no reason to skip the exercise. Extra weight puts more stress on your dog’s joints and body, so take him for frequent walks, but make them shorter and less strenuous.
  • Doggie dental care will help
    Good dental care is especially helpful for senior dogs. Otherwise, problem teeth and their resulting bacteria might affect his internal organs and overall health.
  • Don’t forget those checkups
    You may have been able to slide a bit on yearly checkups for Fido, but we don’t suggest doing so as he gets older. Checkups will allow you to catch the early signs of diseases, such as chronic joint disease. When they’re caught early, you’ll have more options for treatment.
  • Manage house soiling issues
    If your dog can’t “hold it” as long as he used to, he may have more accidents or even incontinence. Outside of any medical issues, which you should check with your vet, you can help him manage it. Options include taking him out more often, keeping him in a room (when he’s alone) that allows for easier cleanup, laying down wee-wee pads for adult dogs or using doggie diapers.

With loving care, you can ensure your canine friend ages gracefully. Help him live a healthy life with age-appropriate dog food, supplements and more from Pet Supermarket.

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House Guests with Less Pet Stress

Does Fido accept house guests easily? Holiday events and house guests will be here before you know it, so it’s a good time to prepare.

Here are a few tips to help Fido accept guests with less stress:

  • Provide a safe area: Your dog should have a quiet area he can escape to if he’s overwhelmed by noise and foot traffic. In a separate room, set up an area with his food, water bowl, toys and cozy dog bed.
  • Stick to the schedule: Holidays can be hectic, but your dog will be less stressed if you stick to his regular schedule for feeding, playtime, etc.
  • Offer guests dog treats: We’re not suggesting you add dog treats to the holiday menu, but a few extra treats for Fido wouldn’t hurt. Let a few guests offer him treats (under your supervision). It won’t lead to instant friendship, but may break the ice.
  • Mind those door manners: Does your dog follow “sit” and “stay” commands? Treat him when he sits and stays calmly at the door before you open it to visitors. If he needs a little more training, see our previous article on training your dog not to leap and greet.
  • Pay attention to the little ones: If child visitors want to pet and play with Fido, show them how your dog likes to be pet and which toys or treats to use. Also, make sure they’re supervised at all times.
  • Leash or crate your dog, if needed: Does Fido get too excited? If so, keeping him on a leash or putting him in his crate may be the best option to keeping him under control.

Try these tips to help your dog cope with house guests. If he growls or acts aggressively, however, you’ll need to take extra safety precautions and may need help from a trainer.

Visit Pet Supermarket for your dog’s favorite toys and treats before the holidays!

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Do You Know the Symptoms of Heatstroke?

The symptoms of heat stroke in pets.

Heatstroke. It’s one of the hazards of playing outdoors in the summer–for dogs and humans alike.

But since dogs don’t sweat the way humans do, they rely on panting and sweating through the pads of their feet. This isn’t a very efficient process, especially for short-nosed breeds, like pugs, bulldogs, boxers and Pekingese.

When outdoors, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior. If it’s hot and your dog is acting strangely, it may be your first sign of a problem. Here are others:

The signs of heatstroke

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy panting
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, tacky saliva
  • Lying down & unwilling to get up
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What you should do if your dog shows signs of a heatstroke

Take your dog out of the heat as quickly as possible and offer him cool water to drink. In an air-conditioned room or car, place towels or cloths cooled with water on his paws, around his head or on hairless areas. (Don’t use ice water or ice. They can cause blood vessels to constrict and prevent cooling.) Even if your dog seems to recover, you should visit your vet or an animal hospital right away.

How to avoid heatstroke

  • We hope it goes without saying, but never leave your dog in a car, even in the shade with the windows down. The temperature inside can quickly reach 140 degrees.
  • Keep drinking water available at all times.
  • If there’s no need, don’t muzzle your dog as it restricts panting.
  • Offer shaded areas outside.
  • When walking on hot concrete or asphalt, stick to the shade or keep it short.
  • Avoid outdoor activities in the heat with older dogs, overweight dogs or those with breathing problems.

We hope these tips will help keep your dog safe in the summer heat. Visit Pet Supermarket for travel water containers and bowls for hydration on the go.

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Swimming Safety for Pooches in Pools

Safety tips for pooches in pools.

Does your pooch love to swim? Whether he jumps in the water with glee or dips his toe in nervously, there are things you can do to ensure he’s safe.

Follow these safety precautions while at the pool, beach or lake this summer:

  • Never let your dog swim without supervision – Always keep a watchful eye on Fido, especially as he’s entering or leaving the water. He’s most vulnerable at these moments.
  • Buy your dog a life jacket – Just as humans can get exhausted, be overwhelmed by waves or get muscle cramps, so can dogs. A life jacket such as the Fido Float will help him stay afloat.
  • Mark the exit to the pool or lake – Dogs don’t have great depth perception and may not see the pool steps or shallow end. Mark the pool steps with a planter or float or provide a dog ramp. If you’re at a lake, stand on the shore side where he should exit.
  • Keep a life preserver nearby – Dogs who struggle or panic in the water could try to climb on anyone who comes to assist. If your dog is in need of help, bring a life preserver with you to assist your dog in the water.
  • After the swim – Did he have a good swim? Afterwards, offer drinking water and rinse him off to remove chlorine, dirt or bacteria. Be careful of leaving a wet collar on him. It might create a hot spot.

Are you and Fido ready for summer play time? With these precautions, your pooch should enjoy cooling off at the beach or in the pool. Visit your nearest store or for pet supplies and assistance.

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