On the New Year to do list: Disaster Supply Checklist for Pets

No one wants to think about a disaster happening – and that is an understatement. Being prepared in a natural disaster can be the difference between life and death and the life and death of your pets.

The biggest thing to remember in a disaster regarding your pets is to take your pets with you.  Do not leave them behind, a disaster area is no place for a pet dog, cat, horse or other pet.

Every member of your family should know what is needed during the evacuation.

You need to prepare supplies for your pet.

  • It’s always a good idea to have a stock off non-perishables at home and  have everything ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • It’s a good idea to keep your emergency supplies stored in sturdy containers that can be carried easily (suitcases, covered trash containers, Vittles Vaults etc.).
  • Make sure all medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) are available and a first aid kit is packed also.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape.  Remember that your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time – so make sure it is large enough.
  • Bring a current photo of your pet for identification in case your pet gets lost.
  • Food, water, pet bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manually-operated can opener if you use canned food.
  • Information on medical conditions and the name and number of your veterinarian should be packed in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
  • Only bring pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them.

Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.

How to Control Your Dog’s Shedding

Spring is dog shedding season, as you are probably painfully aware.  I have two dogs, which means double the shedded hair around my house.  Vacuuming my house is quite a task because I have to keep emptying out the all of the dog hair!  Pet hair can burn out the motors in vacuums, so I have also been through my fair share of vacuums.  Luckily, I found some great solutions to prevent dog hair from covering every inch of my house.

Dog hair falls out because it is making room for a new coat to come in.  The best thing to do is to remove the hair yourself.  This way, your dog will not gradually lose his hair as he walks around your house.  Daily brushing sessions are a must.  Take your dog outside, or in a room that is not carpeted so that it is easy to sweep it up.  Regular brooms are not that great for pet hair clean up, so you should use one that is specifically made for pet hair clean up.  I use the Arrgh Pet Hair Broom, which has rubber bristles that will not leave any dog hair behind.  The best part about this broom is that the rubber bristles can be retracted when you want to use this broom for regular cleaning.  Arrgh Pet Hair Broom can sweep up dog hair on tile, wood floors, or even rugs.

For daily brushing sessions, you should use a comb that will remove the dog’s undercoat.  The Dog Undercoat & Dematting Rake is a multi-functional brush.  One side is an undercoat brush, will does a great job of removing your dog’s winter coat.  The other dematting side is great if your dog’s thick fur gets matted.  You do not want to use a regular brush on fur that is matted, it will be very painful for your dog.  The Dog Undercoat & Dematting Rake is comfortable to hold and does a great job of removing excess fur.

One of my favorite tools to remove dead hair is a dog shedding blade.  These do not need to be used every day, because they do a wonderful job of removing your dog’s undercoat.  I try to use them about once a week.  The shedding blade I use is the Double Sided Open Shedding Blade, pictured to the right.  It gets rid of dead hair before it was even going to start to fall out.  My dogs feel softer and look much better after I use the Double Sided Open Shedding Blade on them.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated During the Hot Summer Months

Everyone loves being outside on warm summer days, and this includes your family pets!  However, warm weather poses dangers that do not occur when the weather is chilly (like dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn).  Here are some ways to prevent your pet from overheating and becoming dehydrated during the summer months:

  • When your pet is outside, he or she always needs access to fresh drinking water.  Animals can dehydrate very quickly which can lead to heat stroke.  If you and your pet are hanging out in your yard, be sure to bring out your dog’s water bowl, and continually re-fill it to be sure your dog never gets dehydrated.  You can also add ice to make sure the water is nice and cold for your pup.
  • If you are going for a walk with your dog, bring the Porta Le Bistro Pet Waterer with your.  This is a great portable waterer that has a hook that can attach to your leash, belt loop, or backpack if you are hiking.  You can buy the Porta Le Bistro Pet Waterer in a small or medium size, depending on the length of your outdoor excursions.
  • Never, ever, EVER leave your dog in the car in the summer.  A car is like a furnace and can heat up incredibly fast.  Even leaving the windows open does not prevent the car from rapidly heating up.  Not only can leaving your dog in a car dehydrate him to the point of heatstroke, but it can lead to death.
  • If you are taking your dog with you on a car ride, be sure to take the Road Refresher Dog Bowl, pictured above.  The Road Refresher Dog Bowl can hold up to 54 ounces of water, but will only allow a small amount of water to be in the reservoir at once.  It is specifically designed to never spill, which will allow your dog to drink water while you are driving.  You won’t ever have to pull over to give your dog water!
  • Pay special attention to your dog when he is around pools.  Many dogs are not naturally good swimmers, and falling into a pool can pose problems for your dog.  Never let your dog drink from a pool, the chlorine and chemicals can cause terrible stomach problems for your dog.  Be sure you provide your dog with fresh water to prevent him from drinking from pools.

Blood Sucking Varmits that Annoy your Pet – TICKS

Dog ticks, are the creepy blood suckers that get under the skin, sucking up and causing irritation and illness in their victim.

Ticks spend most of their lives and their mouths buried inside a mammal’s flesh, feeding on blood of there host.  Although ticks are very small, they expand to about 50 times their normal size after they have finished feeding.  Dog ticks are also responsible for spreading Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

4 ways to keep ticks from feeding on your pet:

  1. In order to give the ticks fewer chances to hop and attach themselves to your dog, always keep your grass and weeds trimmed to below ankle height.
  2. To help eliminate ticks, make your yard as  uninviting to rodents as possible.  Secure your trash cans with strong lids and take out any rock piles and brushy cover.
  3. If you see ticks, lightly spray your dog with a tick insecticide and then comb his coat using a fine-toothed flea and tick comb.
  4. If you see a tick – remove it with a tick removing product or tweezers.  After removing the tick, rub the infected area with an antibiotic ointment or topical antiseptic.

Did You Know Dogs Can GET Allergies?

Of course you know that many humans have allergies that are caused by animals, especially cats and dogs.  But did you know that dogs can have allergies too?  You may notice your dog sneezing, but this usually is not a sign of allergies.  Sneezes can be caused by smells, or to clear out the nasal passage if something is up there that should not be!  Dog allergy symptoms usually show themselves as skin problems.  Because skin problems can be caused by a variety of ailments, you may not even realize that a skin problem is being caused by allergies.

Dog allergies can be caused by a number of triggers.  One of the most common allergens is flea  bites.  When fleas bite, they leave a protein on dog’ skin which many dogs are allergic to.  The best way to prevent flea allergies is to obviously prevent flea bites. Luckily there are plenty of options for long term flea control.

Another dog allergen is food.  For example, dome dogs are allergic to beef or corn.  Besides symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, dogs will also have itchy skin.  If you notice skin problems in your dog soon after switching his food, this could be the culprit of his allergies.  Environmental triggers like pollen and dust can also cause allergic reactions in dogs.  If the dog inhales something in the environment that causes an allergic reaction, your dog will have itchy skin, particularly in the front half of his body.

If you and your vet have decided that your dog’s skin problems are being caused by allergies, there are a  variety of ways you can prevent itching and help your pet’s skin heal.  For itching, your first line of defense should be Allergy and Itch Relief Shampoo 16 oz., shown to the right.  This vet’s best formula contains oatmeal, Tea Tree Oil, and D’Limonene, and will relieve itching and remove active allergens on your dog’s skin.

Another way to soothe skin problems resulting from pollen allergens or flea bites is to give your dog Seasonal Allergy Relief for Dogs – 60 Tablets.  This allergy relief comes in pill form and contains a beneficial combination of antioxidants.  It also contains Nettle Leaf, which works as an antihistamine.  It is for use in dogs only, and should not be used in pregnant dogs or dogs who will be used for breeding.

Controlling Fleas in Your Dog!

Fleas are a horrible nuisance to animals, especially dogs.   Fleas usually live in couches or carpets, and only visit your dog for a meal.  Fleas actually prefer puppies to older dogs.  Dogs are always bothered by the flea bites, but some dogs are even allergic to flea’s saliva, which creates even more pain.  Fleas can also give dogs tapeworm, making them an extremely unwanted pest.  When fleas are biting your pup, your dog will become incredibly itchy.  Some dogs will scratch themselves so much that they will cause “hot spots” because they will have ripped open their skin.  Hots spots require immediate veterinarian attention because it is highly likely the spot will lead to infection.

When your first notice that your dog is infested with fleas, you can use a flea comb to get rid of the pests.  This is a temporary solution, just to provide your dog some relief for the horrible biting.  The Pet Flea Comb is useful because it has extra fine teeth that are perfect for removing fleas in any type of coat.  However, you will need to enact a long-term solution to kill fleas and prevent them from coming back!

Luckily for dogs, there are flea medications that are safe and effective for long term flea prevention.  These medications are safe because they are designed because you can kill the fleas without hurting your dog!  Spot treatments like Frontline are incredibly effective.  I would recommend you to purchase FRONTLINE Plus Dog 6 months supply, shown above, as you get a good deal from buying in bulk.  Just a few drops a month is all it takes to kill fleas and their eggs, ticks, and chewing lice.  Best of all, the formula is waterproof, and each treatment will lasts for about a month.

In addition to spot on treatments, you will need to consistently clean the dog’s environment.  Be sure to wash your pet’s bedding, and vacuum around the areas your dog most frequents.  Also, another great preventative measure is to spray your dog’s bedding with a product like Natural Flea & Tick Household Spray.  This spray not only kills fleas, but it will prevent flea’s eggs from hatching, successfully breaking the flea’s life cycle.  This product is safe enough to use around your family and your pets.

Pay attention to the tips above and be prepared to say goodbye to fleas forever!

Tips For Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

February is National Pet Dental Health Month.  It is a great time to start regularly brushing your pet’s teeth if you are not doing so already!

Did you know that 80 percent of dogs show signs of oral disease by the time they’re three years old?  Those signs include inflamed gums, bad breath and tartar buildup.  Poor oral hygiene can lead to other health concerns for your pet, from gum disease to liver and heart problems.  In severe cases, the plaque that builds up can even cause life-threatening conditions.  With regular teeth cleanings, you can help keep your pet healthy and keep his breath fresh.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you start to brush your dog’s teeth:

1) Buy a good toothbrush. You will need a larger toothbrush for larger breeds.  I would suggest the Dual End Petrodex Pet Toothbrush, which has a long handle perfect for reaching the teeth at the back of the mouth.    A finger brush like the Pet Dental Finger Toothbrush is all you will need for smaller dogs.  You can use finger brushes on smaller dog breeds and cats.

2) Buy toothpaste specifically for dogs. Human toothpaste can be very harmful on your pet’s stomach.  Petrodex Peanut Flavored Toothpaste is a popular brand because the peanut taste makes your pet think he is getting a treat!  Let your dog get used to the taste of the toothpaste flavor before you start brushing.  For example, you can let him lick the toothpaste off of your finger.  If your pet does not like the flavor of the toothpaste, it will make brushing their teeth very difficult.

3) Make sure your dog is comfortable before you begin. Do not approach your dog when he is hyper or in a bad mood.  You should also remain calm, as dogs are very sensitive to their owner’s anxiety level.

4) Have a plan before you start. A good plan of action when brushing your dog’s teeth is to start with the upper teeth and then move onto the lower teeth.  To begin, lift the upper lip with one hand and brush the gum line at a 45 degree angle in a circular motion.  Pay special attention to removing the plaque on the gums.

5) Reward your pup! Whether you give your pet a treat or take him for a walk, make sure you let your dog know he did a good job!

Regular preventative care can improve the health, quality of life and longevity of your pet.  It’s never to late to start practicing good pet health habits, so start brushing your dog’s teeth today!

Nutritional Supplement for Older Dogs

We all know that pets age much faster than people.  But did you know that, on average, most dogs and cats are well into adulthood by age two?  By age four, many pets are entering middle age.  And by age seven, most dogs, particularly larger breeds, are entering their senior years.

It is common for older dogs to have bone and joint abnormalities.  Many older dogs suffer from arthritis and hip dysplasia.  This makes it difficult for older dogs to be as active as they were when they were younger.  Fortunately, there are great nutritional supplements that can help your dog through old age.  The main ingredient in these supplements is glucosamine, which is shown to improve joint health.  It has even been shown to increase the healing process of skin wounds.

I originally heard about glucosamine supplements through my vet.  I have an 11-year-old terrier mix who suffers from arthritis.  I took my dog to the vet for his yearly check up, and I reported the unusual lethargy I was seeing in my dog.   My vet said that my dog was suffering from arthritis, as do many dogs of a similar age.  I hid the tablets in food, or snacks like peanut butter, and within two weeks, I could see an improvement in pet’s my mobility!  I noticed much more energy, and he did not seem to be in pain like he was before.

The brand I use is Excel Glucosamine with MSM, shown to the right.  This particular brand has HSM to improve joint flexibility.  It also has vitamin C for healthy collagen growth.  I would definitely recommend glucosamine tablets to other pet owners.  Be sure to talk to your vet about proper dosing amounts.

Senior Dog Vitamin Supplements – Are they Necessary?

Older dogs have special health needs and may require more attention and care than younger dogs.  Common health problems associated with older dogs include: arthritis, circulatory problems, ear infections, hearing problems, sight and smell disorders, dental problems, incontinence, weight problems, and kidney disease.

But there is much you can do to prevent or delay these problems and ensure happy twilight years!  Pictured to the right is Excel Adult Multi Vitamin Dog Daily Supplement.

When dogs move into their senior years, they go through physical transformations causing them to slow down. Maintaining a health routine will help senior dogs live a fulfilling and content life.

How old is senior?

This depends on the breed and on the individual pet. Larger breeds tend to age more rapidly than smaller breeds.  In general, toy and small breed dogs (up to 25lbs) become senior at about 10 years of age, while medium and large breed dogs (26 – 100lbs) can be considered seniors by the age of 8. Giant breeds (110lbs +) having shorter life spans become seniors as early as 5 years of age.

Senior dogs have special dietary needs for a variety of reasons. First, older dogs slow down. Like humans, they tend towards being more sedentary as they get older. Therefore, they need fewer calories. Also as the organs age, digestion and absorption are not as strong. Varied diet and a high quality dog food will go a long way to protecting your dog’s coat, energy levels, and proper digestion and elimination. Vitamin and mineral needs of elderly dogs often change. As their digestive systems weaken, they may not extract the full value of the foods they eat.

Some of those special nutritional needs of senior dogs can be supplied in the form of dog vitamin supplements. Talk with your veterinarian to determine if supplementation would benefit your dog.

A Holiday Tribute to Dogs – A Man’s Best Friend

Dogs have been mans (and women’s) best friend since the mid 1800’s.

Whether you own a black lab, golden retriever, shnoodle, poodle or beagle or any other type of dog, you know how important their love and affection is. For all dog lovers, they are a part of the family and without you, they would miss their pack.  Pictured to the right is Pet Dental Freshening Spray for Dogs – on sale for only $5.00 this week.

Happy Holidays to all the dog owners in the United States and across the world!

At GregRobert Pet Supplies, we’re dog lovers too and ALL of us here have dogs. We know you want to treat them with the very best care and feed them the best treats and food, so we’ve got every dog product imaginable to help you care for your best friend.

Whether you have a huge dog, big dog, medium or little dog, we have the supplies to keep your doggy happy. Brand Happy? We’ve got all the cool doggy brands including Four Paws, Nylabone, Bully Sticks, Kong, Petmate, PetSafe and Natures Miracle.

Merry Ruffmas – to each and every dog out there from the staff at GregRobert!