Archive for June, 2016
We’ve all had those mornings. You know the ones – the alarm didn’t go off, your hot water took forever to heat up, you couldn’t find those pants you wanted to wear today and all of a sudden you’re soooo late and all you need is for your dog to stop sniffing around outside and go to the bathroom! Yeah, like I said, we’ve all had one of those. Well, hopefully the tips below will help your pooch get down to business when you need him to. But there’s nothing you can do about the dreaded “nothing goes your way” days!
1. Make sure your pup’s reluctance to go potty is not a sign of a medical condition. Dogs are smart. They often figure out that once they poop, the walk’s over. But before you accuse your pup of being a manipulative little genius, find out if they’re holding it in because of something more serious. Urinary tract infections are a common cause of urinary retention, and constipation might be stopping up your dog’s bowels. Get the opinion of a trusted vet before you trying any of the methods below.
2. Find a quiet area and make it a habitual potty spot. Like us, pups prefer to go #1 and #2 in peace. Your dog might be uneasy relieving himself in an area with lots going on. It’s kind of like when you go to the bathroom and someone talks to you through the door and suddenly find yourself with a weird case of bathroom stage fright.
3. Tummy massage. Never underestimate the power of a gentle tummy rub. Your pup will think he’s just getting a normal belly rub for being a good pup, but soft clockwise motions might help get things moving, if you know what I mean.
4. Use a command. Most people use “Go poop,” but feel free to get creative. I have also heard of people who say, “Do your business” and “Go potty.” The important thing is that your pup knows it’s go time when you say the magic words so you’re not walking up and down the same street for an entire hour because your pooch thinks you’re just going for a normal walk.
5. Get that cute booty moving! When housetraining, owners are advised to take their pup outside or to a fresh puppy pad immediately after playtime, because all that horsing around encourages your pup to let loose! Taking a quick jog around the neighborhood or playing a game of fetch might be just what your dog needs to finally go.
We hope that these tips will be effective the next your pup needs to hurry things along because you need to get out the door! Let us know any tips or tricks that you might have for “potty time” with your puppy, we are always looking for good advice to pass along! Thanks for being a loyal reader of our blogs!
Training a kitten to use a litterbox is typically easier than training a puppy to go potty outside. Most kittens who are at least 8 weeks old will already know how to use the litterbox, but some kittens, especially younger ones, may still require some help from you. Here’s how to train a kitten to do his business in the litterbox.
Introducing the Litterbox
You can encourage your kitten to use the litterbox by placing him in it at regular intervals, especially if he’s recently eaten or awakened. Place him in the box and wait to see what happens. Most kittens will naturally start to dig in sand or litter by about 4 weeks of age — if you see your kitten doing this, don’t interfere. If he doesn’t do anything, try gently taking his front paws and scratching the litter with them. When you let go, he may continue doing it on his own and then feel compelled to go ahead and eliminate. Most cats prefer some privacy when they eliminate. So if you hover over him or try to help, you may convince him to go elsewhere. Instead, give him some space, then praise him and offer a treat when he’s finished. If you find your kitten eliminating outside of the litterbox, quickly pick him up and deposit him in the box. Don’t yell or be rough, which will just frighten him and possibly cause him to associate the litterbox with punishment. Cleanse soiled areas with an enzyme-based cleaner. It’s helpful if you place the waste in the box, so your kitten can follow the scent to find the litterbox.
Choosing the Right Box and Litter
Start by making sure you have the right number of litterboxes: You should have at least one per cat, plus one extra. If you have more than one cat, place the boxes well away from each other, as some cats can be territorial about boxes. You can use a smaller box for a kitten than for an adult — in fact, be sure the kitten can get over the sides without having to jump. The box should be made of nonabsorbent material (no cardboard, unless it’s just for a day). Many people prefer litterboxes with tops, as they look better and contain odors better. However, some cats don’t like using covered boxes. When first starting, you’ll probably have better luck with a topless litterbox.
Place the box in a quiet location away from your kitten’s eating and sleeping areas and separate from high-traffic areas, but close enough so the kitten doesn’t have to go far to find it. Make sure that closed doors can’t block the kitten from accessing it. A corner location is best, because it allows your cat to keep a watchful eye on his surroundings when he’s in the vulnerable act of eliminating. Once you’ve found a place for the litterbox, leave it there. Don’t constantly move it around.
There are many types of litters to choose from, including clumping, nonclumping and crystals. You might want to experiment a bit to see which type your kitten prefers. The depth of the litter may vary, again, by your kitten’s preferences. But adding more litter is not an alternative to cleaning the box.
Scoop out any solid wastes at least once a day and change the litter entirely at least once a week. Never throw litter down your drain pipes, as it can cause costly plumbing problems. Avoid using scented litter or strong-smelling cleaners, as these strong odors may repel the kitten.
If your previously litterbox-trained cat begins to eliminate elsewhere, it may be for a number of reasons, including: You’ve changed litter type, haven’t changed the litter enough, have another cat who is keeping him out, have used a strong-smelling cleanser on the box or have made some other change relating to the litterbox. But it could also be because your cat has a medical problem. When in doubt, always consult your veterinarian.
This blog is an extension of the one we did earlier this week, but that doesn’t make it any less important! New kittens are usually pretty good, but occasionally you’ll have one that’s a little confused and that’s okay as long as you get them on the right track of course! Never hesitate to swing by the store and pick our Pet Counselors’ brains (they won’t mind!) about tips and tricks for bringing home a new kitten. We also stock many different kinds of litter and litterboxes, as well as foods, treats and toys for your new furry family member. Thanks for reading our blog and we’ll see you in the store soon!
Most people know dogs can hear and smell things that humans can’t, but did you know there are things you can’t see that your dog can?
Well, dogs have the tremendous ability to see ultraviolet light, meaning their world is only “ruffly” the same as ours. Because pups can see UV rays, they see a whole lot more than you or I ever could.
Here are 11 things that make your dog’s world a bigger, brighter place than our own:
1. Banana spots: While you see a loaf of banana bread in the making, your dog sees something a tad more psychedelic: spots that glow blue. But will he eat a banana when it’s all spotty? That just depends on how ripe he likes his bananas.
2. Black light anything: Tattoos, T-shirts, toys—if it’s branded as “black light,” your dog doesn’t need a black light to see it. For him, it’s just…light.
3. Layers in paint: Your dog sees an artist’s every mistake and change of heart, again, because of his ability to see UV light. Maybe bring him along to the flea market next time and use his canine vision to help you spot real (and fake) masterpieces.
4. More of the night sky: One of the most incredible things for city folks to witness in the countryside is the night sky. There are so many more stars visible out there! (Stupid light pollution.) Yet your dog sees even more stars and celestial bodies right in the city than you do driving out to the sticks.
5. Security features in money: Your dog would be better at spotting counterfeit money than you—if he had any idea what to look for. Not like he even understands what money is. He thinks treats grow on trees.
6. Human teeth: If you use a lot of fluoride-based products, your dog probably confuses you for the Cheshire Cat because, to him, it looks like your teeth are glowing. Ditto if you have dental prosthetics.
7. Quinine: Fingers crossed you’ll never have malaria, which quinine is used to treat. You probably know it from tonic water instead. To dogs, this extract glows blue because of—you guessed it—ultraviolet light.
8. Lint and hairs: You know how you can pick up a sweater and not notice anything’s on it? But, gradually, as you go about your day, lint and pet hairs begin to surface. Well, your pooch knew those suckers were there all along because of his ability to see UV light and just didn’t tell you. What a jerk.
9. Pee marks: OK, obviously we can see a fresh puddle of pee on the floor or ground. What your dog sees is the residue left behind when pee hasn’t been fully cleaned from something. (Yuck.) That’s because urine stains also are on the UV wave length.
10. Their own farts: Really? Yeah, really. (Oh, and this one has nothing to do with UV light.)
11. The Earth’s magnetic field: Your furry friend aligns himself with the north-south axis every time he pees. That’s because he can actually see the Earth’s magnetic field. Talk about metaphysical.
Wow, talk about amazing! Dogs are so much more incredible than we give them credit for, well maybe! Thanks for reading our blog and we’ll see you next time!
It’s come to my attention that we need more blog posts about our other favorite four legged friends – the kitty cats! While they are not quite as popular a pet as the dog, that doesn’t make them any less special to the owners that love them. Cats, however, are typically easier to take care of that their dog counterparts and require very little for their day-to-day upkeep. But that being said, there is the dreaded litterbox to contend with! Does this situation sound familiar? You head to your kitty’s litterbox to scoop it out and discover that she’s decided to go to the bathroom elsewhere. How frustrating! But don’t blame your cat just yet. She might have a medical condition that needs attention. In fact, the first thing you should do if she’s improperly eliminating is take her to the vet to rule out any medical problems. If it turns out that the issue isn’t health related, then look at other potential reasons. In fact, you might be the cause of her litterbox issues. Oh no! Here’s a list of common mistakes that happen with having a litterbox trained kitty.
You’re not cleaning her litterbox enough.
Many cats won’t use the litterbox if it’s not in pristine condition. We know it’s probably not your favorite chore, but you should scoop it out at least twice daily and add more litter as needed. Clean the actual box with baking soda or unscented soap once a week. To make your life a little easier, make a litterbox kit with all the essentials (litter, bags and scoop), so you have everything handy.
It’s in a less than ideal location.
Place your cat’s litterbox in an area that’s quiet and away from her resting areas, as well as her food and water bowls. If there’s too much foot traffic or if it’s too close to where she eats, she might opt to go to the bathroom somewhere else. Also consider how much privacy the location offers and how easy it for your cat to access it.
You don’t have enough litterboxes.
For many cats, having just one litterbox to use is not going to cut it. Instead follow this general rule: one litterbox per cat plus one. So if you have one cat, you’ll need two litterboxes; two cats need three litterboxes. More boxes might be necessary if your house is large or has multiple floors.
It’s not big enough.
When it comes to litterboxes, size matters. A 2014 study conducted by veterinarian and behaviorist Norma Guy found that cats tend to prefer big litterboxes to small ones. Ideally, the litterbox should be at least one and half times the length of the cat’s body (not including the tail). Additionally, cats are not always fans of covered litterboxes, so you should try leaving it uncovered.
You’re not addressing your cat’s stressors.
If your cat is missing the litterbox, it could be a sign that she has anxiety. Common stressors are when there is a move or a new baby or new pet in the household. If you have multiple cats, one of them could be bullying your kitty and preventing her from using the litterbox. The stressor could even be more subtle than that. For instance, she might be stressed that you changed to a new type of litter, moved her litterbox to a new location or that the depth of litter has changed. If you’re not sure what’s causing your kitty to miss the litterbox, talk to your veterinarian, who may refer you to a veterinary behaviorist.
Petland Kennesaw also has a variety of different litterboxes, as well as different foods to try or calming supplements if anxiety is stressing your beloved feline out. Or if we don’t have what you need, ask one of our Pet Counselors if we can special order it for you. We can also be very knowledgeable about cat food and how different brands can affect your cat’s delicate system. That’s all for now, thanks for staying up to date on our blog!
While there are people out there that are constantly on the move, running, hiking, being social or having adventures, there are also people who are the exact opposite (which is the category I fall into!). This blog is for the person that would rather stay in and snuggle their pooch on the couch, than go on a three day camping trip on the side of a mountain. So here you go lazies, the best (hopefully) dog breeds for you!
Havanese: These gentle pups usually don’t weigh more than 15-16 pounds, and travel pretty well (you know, for trips between the couch and the fridge). Smart and small, a Havanese makes a perfect companion dog, and will happily sit in your lap all day if you let it. Which you obviously will.
Pug: With their smushy faces, curly pig tails, and sassy ‘tudes, Pugs have taken the world by storm. Effortlessly charming and clever, a Pug always knows what it wants — and 99% of the time, that’s doing a whole lot of nothing with their human.
Chow Chow: Known as the “Fluffy Lion-dog” in China, these snuggly squish balls are loyal, quiet, and independent. Relatively low-energy, Chows happily take to apartment living, and wouldn’t mind if you left them to their own devices once in a while.
Bloodhound: These large dogs can weigh up to 110 pounds, but are pretty low-energy and don’t require too much grooming. Although these talented pups are known for their sharp nose and tracking abilities, they’re also happy to hunt down the piece of cheese you accidentally just dropped.
English Bulldog: Docile and loving, English Bulldogs tend to be pretty low energy. They’re charming, affectionate, and don’t require a great deal of walking/running. Their preferred method of exercise is cuddling with you.
Basset Hound: Sugary sweet and non-confrontational, these goofy pups are blessed with short legs and big ears. By far the most relaxed of all Hound types, this dog tends to be great with children and other animals.
French Bulldog: The ultimate companion dog, these flat-faced cuties have exploded in popularity. Despite their Insta-famous dog celebrity status, these sweet pups are just as happy to pose for a photoshoot as they are to stay in on a Friday night. Naturally chill and requiring minimal exercise, their favorite pastimes include snoring on a pillow and snuggling up to their favorite human. (That’s you.)
Chinese Shar-Pei: Sporting deep wrinkles and a short coat, these pups are devoted, reserved, and fabulously fold-y. Their calm nature makes them some of the best dogs for laid-back people. But be warned: you might lose an entire weekend getting lost in those adorable wrinkles.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These pups often become therapy dogs due to their gentle and affectionate nature. Kind and willing to please, they are perfectly happy with a bit of regular light exercise — a nice walk around the neighborhood or romp in the back yard.
Great Dane: Originally from Germany, these majestic dogs are surprisingly one of the calmest breeds out there. These gentle giants are perfectly happy with plenty of space and a nice, comfy bed for napping.
Bullmastiff: Despite its size — weighing up to around 130 pounds — these muscular yet sweet protectors are great family dogs. Not meant for timid owners, these pups thrive in a loving but firm home.
Of course, this is only the short list! All joking aside, there are so many different breeds to choose from out there and we think that there is a perfect one for everybody. At Petland Kennesaw, we specialize in being able to match the right pet the right person and meeting the needs of both! Whether you fall into the lazy category or you lead a more active lifestyle, having the right breed of dog will make everyone happy. Thanks again for taking the time to read over our blog, until next time, have fun lounging on your couch!
As summer is fully upon us and the opportunity to leave your pooch in the car for a quick errand is past, these stores have fully jumped on the pet bandwagon and will allow you to bring your pet in for that quick shopping experience. And while most pet stores (including ours) and pet supply stores (also including ours) are a no-brainer for being able to bring your pet in, some of these other places you might not have guessed are pet friendly! Please enjoy, and hopefully frequent, the following list:
Abercrombie & Fitch
Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft
Tiffany & Co.
Bath & Body Works
Bass Pro Shops
Barnes & Noble
LUSH Cosmetics (their products are also famously not tested on animals, I highly recommend them!)
Sacks Fifth Avenue
Tractor Supply Co.
The Apple Store
We thoroughly hope this list helps out next time you have your pup in tow and need to make a stop, or even if you want to work on how your pet behaves in an outside environment for training purposes. As I said above, our Petland Kennesaw store welcomes pets of all shapes and sizes, fur or feathers! As always, thank you for reading our blog!