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Inspirational Pet Quotes: Part 2

Do these quotes remind you of your companions? They made us smile and we hope that they brighten your day too. For even more inspirational pet quotes, visit our Pinterest board: http://bit.ly/InspirationalPinterest

The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with a dog, - Author Unknown

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. - Ellen Perry Berkeley

There are no bad days when you come home to a dog's love. - Author Unknown

When a dog is in your life, there is always a reason to laugh. - Alphonse De Lamartine

A good friend knows all your best stories. A best friend has lived them with you. - Author Unknown

Five Ways to Make Your Home Kitten Friendly

 

Congratulations! You’re the proud pet parent of an adorable new kitten. But before you bring your new kitten home, there are a few things you should know. Consult these tips to make sure your home is ready for your furry bundle of joy.

1. Set up a suitable place—or several—for a catnap
Cats sleep. A lot. Up to 15 hours a day on average, so yours is going to spend a lot of time napping in this special space. Kittens are used to snuggling up to their moms and siblings for comfort and warmth, so they prefer to curl up in snug areas. Beds lined with soft, warm blankets or towels work best.

2. Provide a private potty
It’s important that your kitten’s litter box is located in a convenient spot, but that it is not close to their food and water stations. Cats do not like that smell near their food, and can you blame them? You should also make sure that if you have another cat, your new kitten has its own litter box. The rule of thumb, says the American Association of Feline Practitioners, is one litter box per cat, plus one.

3. Poison-proof your pad
We all know what they say about cats and curiosity. In order to avoid poison pitfalls, keep harmful items out of reach. The ASPCA has tagged the following as worthy of extra attention in your home: citronella candles, flea products, vitamins, rat and mouse bait, mothballs, liquid potpourri and fabric softener sheets.

4. Stock up on toys
Cats love to stalk, chase and pounce. According to our experts, a two-week-old kitten already has a natural desire to play with toys. Provide plenty of toys, such as toy fishing poles, catnip toys, stuffed animals and feathered strings to keep your kitten physically fit and mentally alert.

5. Save your beautiful couch
A cat’s claws need to be worn down, so unless you want your furniture shredded, it’s best to provide an approved scratching space early on. There are a variety of options available such as carpeted or sisal scratching posts, cardboard scratchers, cat trees, and more! Offering a variety of approved scratching options lessens the chance that your feline friend will have to find one on its own.

 

Five Surprising Facts About Your New Saltwater Fish

Everyone loves the rich, brilliant colors of saltwater fish, and it goes without saying that their presence in an aquarium adds a vivid boost to any pet parent’s life. But there are some things that you probably did not know about saltwater aquarium fish. Read on for five fun facts that just might surprise you.

Did you know…

1. Not all saltwater fish are the same. You’re probably already familiar with the wide range of colors, shapes and sizes of saltwater fish, but did you also know that some saltwater fish are herbivores, some are carnivores, and some are omnivores? It’s wise to keep these differences in mind when selecting fish for your aquarium, so you can provide the correct diet for each inhabitant.

2. Saltwater fish drink water. Unlike their freshwater counterparts, saltwater fish drink water. Thanks to the effects of osmosis, they must drink water in order to compensate for the water that is being drawn out of their bodies. In the case of freshwater fish, the water is drawn into their bodies instead of out, thus eliminating the need to drink.

3. They use all five senses. While they might not see, hear, smell, touch and taste in exactly the same way we do, fish possess all five senses and use them to locate food, detect danger and communicate with one another.

4. Fish are smart. Don’t underestimate the cognitive power of saltwater fish. They are more than able to communicate with each other (and with you) by exhibiting certain signals and behaviors, so observe your fish closely in order to interpret their behavior.

5. Not all saltwater fish are friends. Fish are grouped into categories such as “community”, “semi-aggressive”, or “aggressive” when talking about compatibility, however, even fish that are coined “community” may not play nice. Some species get along with other fish, but are aggressive to their own species, while others may only get along with their own species if they are a mated pair. Some male fish like to live in a harem; in a group of all females, and will fight if other males are introduced to the tank. It is imperative that you research the behaviors and characteristics of each species you choose to add to your aquarium to make sure they are compatible with the existing residents.

 

Four Tips for New Freshwater Fish Pet Parents

Approximately 7.7 million American households keep fish as pets, making them the third most popular type of pet after cats and dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Surprised? With their engaging antics and graceful beauty, fish provide a source of enjoyment and education and in situations where having a dog or cat just isn’t possible, a freshwater aquarium can prove to be the perfect alternative.

Whether you’re joining the ranks of first-time fish parents or have already taken the plunge, here are some key tips that will help keep your fish happy and healthy.

1. Choose the right abode. The aquarium or tank that you choose will depend on the type and quantity of fish you plan to keep. Options range from small fish tanks—suitable for a single betta—all the way up to large, elaborate aquariums that can house a veritable school. You can utilize literature and pet experts to help you understand the adult size of the fish you select so you can choose the correct size aquatic habitat for their forever home.

2. Don’t overfeed. According to the Humane Society of the United States, you’ll want to feed your fish only as much as they can eat in approximately two minutes. Overfeeding fish can potentially result in health issues, and uneaten excess food can contaminate the water in their tank. Avoid these problems by carefully monitoring your fish as they eat in order to determine the appropriate amount of nutrition.

3. Clean the water regularly. It’s generally recommended that you replace 25% of the water once a month. By replacing smaller amounts of water using a gravel vacuum, you’ll minimize the possibility of endangering your fish with a dramatic change to their environment.

4. Observe your fish. Of course you’re going to spend plenty of time admiring your fish and watching as they swim around their new home. Take a few moments to observe your fish on a regular basis. Watch for changes in appearance, behavior, or appetite so that you’ll immediately notice if something is amiss.
 

 

Finding the Perfect Guinea Pig

Your children want a pet, but you don’t want the responsibility of taking care of a dog or cat. A friend suggested you add a guinea pig to your family because they make great pets, but you don’t know where to start.

 Relax. Finding the guinea pig that’s a great fit for your home isn’t that hard. Here are some guidelines to help you in your search for your new family member.

1. Guinea pigs are social animals and need daily play time with your family or another guinea pig. Despite the lower cost than parenting a dog or cat, it’s important to make sure you’re committed to giving this animal a good home, with plenty of attention and that you have the resources to care for it.
2. Guinea pigs can be found in pet stores and animal shelters across the country. In addition to friends and family who already parent a guinea pig, talk to the pet store associates or rescue center staff before making your choice. All can provide helpful information on what is needed to provide complete care for your new guinea pig’s health.

3. Observe the guinea pigs before you make your decision: you want a guinea pig that’s active and inquisitive.  Check for signs that a guinea pig is healthy. Their coat shouldn’t have any bald patches or scabs. A guinea pig should have bright eyes, a clean nose, no dribbling from its mouth and quiet breathing.

4. Although guinea pigs are gentle creatures, there are behavior differences between male and female guinea pigs. Two females tend to get along better than two males. One male and one female, if altered, are usually fine together.
5. Before and after you bring your guinea pig home, do some homework and learn how to care for them. Borrow books from the library, search online for reference materials and talk to other pet parents for tips. Find out all you can about their physical, mental, social and emotional needs and make sure you respond quickly to signs of illness.

Six Ways to Make Your New Cat Feel at Home

The arrival of a new cat is an exciting time, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking. How can you ensure that you’re making your cat as comfortable as you can during this potentially stressful time of transition? Here are six tips that will keep your kitty content and make them feel at home in no time:

1. Give them time. As much as you would like your new cat to be a loving companion, you can’t expect instant affection from your new friend. Cats require time to evaluate an unfamiliar situation and to become acquainted with a new family. The days of cozy kitty cuddles will come—if you don’t rush.

2. Give them space—but not too much space. Your new cat sure acts like your home is their castle. But don’t give them free rein—the best way to make a new cat feel at home is to restrict them to a limited area for the first few days, recommends the Humane Society of the United States—which allows the cat time to adjust and become comfortable in their new surroundings.

3. Provide your new cat with comforts. Outfit your cat’s new home with items that will make them feel comfortable and relaxed. A scratching post, a litter box, a cat bed, a balcony for resting and plenty of toys will provide your cat with a comfy, cozy place to call home.

4. Make changes slowly. Cats are routine-oriented individuals, so when a cat is already facing the changes that come from being transported to a new home, it’s important to provide as much stability as possible in the other areas of their life. Minimize stress by slowly transitioning them to a new food if you need to improve their nutrition, don’t switch brands of kitty litter, and be considerate of your cat as they adjust to their new surroundings.

5. Make proper introductions. If there are other pets in your home, take time to introduce your new cat into the mix. The Humane Society suggests a gradual introduction that allows your pets to become slowly accustomed to one another.  Never leave newly introduced pets alone unsupervised until you are sure that each pet is accepting of the other.

6. Show affection. While it’s important not to rush your new cat, you also don’t want to withhold any attention or affection from them, especially during this stressful period of transition. Make yourself available and let them seek you out, and then provide plenty of petting, scratching and attention to reaffirm your cat’s positive feelings.

 

Inspirational Pet Quotes

Do these quotes remind you of your companions? They made us smile and we hope that they brighten your day too. For even more inspirational pet quotes, visit our Pinterest board: http://bit.ly/PetQuotes

dog quote

 

dog quote

 

dog quote

 

cat quote

 

dog quote

Survival Tips for New Puppy Pet Parents

lillyIf you’ve recently adopted or purchased a puppy, don’t panic! Although you may be feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of parenting your pet, you’ll quickly see how much love your puppy can give you in return for your time, affection and effort. Here are some tips for surviving those first few weeks as a puppy parent.

Purchase a crate for your puppy.
Even though your puppy cries at night, don’t let your new puppy sleep in your bed. A puppy needs a crate where they can rest, learn the house rules and practice potty training (dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping space). Your puppy should sleep in their crate at night and be placed there when you’re not at home or able to supervise them but allowed out for plenty of exercise time.

Place a soft toy in the crate.
Many puppies use a plush toy as a pillow. Your puppy is cuddling up to the toy because it reminds them of their littermates. Some pet parents choose to place a ticking clock near the crate because it sounds like a comforting heartbeat. Other types of toys, such as chew toys, squeaky toys or rope toys, can keep your puppy mentally stimulated while in the crate, which will prevent boredom, whining, barking and digging.

Gate an area for your puppy, and hold them on a leash.
Your puppy shouldn’t be kept in the crate all the time. A puppy needs to have space to play with you and with their toys. It’s best to gate an area where your teething puppy can’t do any damage and be sure to have an array of teething toys available.

If you are taking your puppy outside of an enclosed space, make sure to use a 6-foot leash to keep them close to you, so you can keep an eye on them. Hold the leash at all times, rather than tying it to something and leaving the puppy alone, which can be dangerous.
Pick up the food bowl after eating.
It’s best to keep the puppy’s toys, water and food in the gated area. Although the water bowl can stay on the floor, your puppy needs to learn to eat their meals and not nibble food all day so remove the food bowl after chow time.

Accidents will happen.
Even though you are taking your puppy out on a leash quite frequently to the same general area to do his business, accidents will still happen. When your puppy has an accident, wipe it up and take the paper towel and your puppy immediately outside. Let your puppy sniff the paper towel but experts recommend against handling accidents with punishment: do not hit your puppy or rub their nose in the soiled towel.

Go to the vet.
As soon as possible, take your puppy to a veterinarian for a routine checkup. Your veterinarian can help you make sure your puppy receives the necessary vaccinations to remain healthy, and advise on key milestones like when you can start socializing your puppy or begin training classes.

 

Winter Storm Impact on Petco Stores in the Midwest & Cold Weather Tips for Pets

Please be advised that the following stores are closed due to government issued mandates:

Merrillville, IL

Highland, IN

 

We have made the decision to also shut down all of our stores in Indiana and Missouri as of this evening.  Please plan accordingly.  If you are an associate and require more information or have concerns, please contact your District Manager. Stores will be open for regular business hours tomorrow.

 

All animals in our stores are safe and being cared for.  If you have any concerns, please reach out to us at blogs@petco.com.

 

Petco and pet lifestyle expert, Sandy Robins, shares tips for keeping pets safe during winter storms:

Physical Safety

  • Keep pets inside. A pet left outside in the elements can be injured or die. In addition, pets who are left outside can become easily lost. Never let a dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, as they can lose their sense of smell and become easily lost.
  • Outdoor cats will often sleep under the hood of the car to stay warm and can be injured when the motor is started. Be sure to bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Before taking a dog outside, make sure to keep hair around its paws trimmed so they gather less snow or water, which can freeze in cold weather making it difficult for animals to walk. Their paws may also bleed from snow or ice so wearing booties while outside is another preventative measure.
  • Wipe off a dog’s legs and stomach when they come back inside, as they can accidentally ingest salt, anti-freeze or other chemicals picked up from the ground outside when grooming themselves.
  • If pets are staying in the garage, make sure chemicals such as antifreeze are out of reach. This sweet liquid is deadly for animals if ingested.
  • Rather than using rock salt, look for pet safe ice melt if needed. Rock salt can be irritating to paws, mouths and stomachs.
  • Never leave a dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a freezer, putting the pet in danger.
  • Smaller, light-weight dog breeds, toy breeds and breeds that have naturally short or thin hair can benefit from a warm dog sweater or coat when they need to go outside. Dogs that tend to have short-cropped hair should also be given a sweater to protect them from low temperatures. Also, older dogs with weaker immune systems and dogs with diseases that impair hair growth typically need an extra source for warmth. For added safety, Petco LuvGear ColdAlert jackets utilize technology that warns pet parents when it’s too cold for dogs to be outside.
  • Important points to remember for pet parents with aquariums:
If power is lost during a storm, do not feed fish. Depending on how long the power is out, test the water and if needed, complete a water change before feeding fish. Resume feeding fish once power is restored.
Cover their tank with a blanket to help prevent heat from escaping.
 Have a check valve and/or drip loop to prevent water from getting into electrical outlets when the power returns. Make sure the cords running from the tank touch the ground before looping back up to the plug. This is called a “drip loop” and prevents water from running down the cord into electrical sockets.
 If the power is going to be out for a while, performing partial water changes will help maintain water quality.

 

Avoid Losing Pets

  • Keep current photographs of pets with important documents. If a pet is lost during a disaster, a sharp, recent photo can be used to make flyers.
  • Keep an up-to-date identification tag securely fastened on pets. If a pet gets out or flees from a scary scene, this will greatly increase the chance they will be returned. Take this measure even for indoor cats. Use breakaway collars, and make sure cats can slip their head out if the collar gets caught on something. Having a cellular telephone number on a pets ID tag instead of a home number is recommended because if there is an evacuation, no one will be home to answer phone calls. Also consider getting microchip IDs for animals.

 

Evacuations

  • When being evacuated, do not leave pets behind. Remember to take all pets including birds, reptiles, hamsters, rabbits, etc. In case of an emergency evacuation, it is always a good idea to keep an extra harness in vehicles as well as an emergency kit as an extra precaution. Also, make sure to keep a carrier and seatbelt harness for each pet in the car to ensure safe transportation of pets. Put the pet’s name along with the pet parent’s name and phone number on the crate or habitat that the pet will be transported in. This will ensure someone can reach pet parents that are separated from their animal. If transporting small animals, birds, or reptiles and their habitats, this may require additional attention and care to help decrease chances of stress-induced illness and death. It is important to keep pets from different species as separate as possible and maintain the best possible hygiene in order to decrease disease transmission.
  • When transporting animals, park or move the car close to the house and ensure the car is warm before putting a companion animal in the car. If using a carrier to transport a pet, cover the carrier for transport to and from the car to help keep out the cold and wind, but remove the cover once in the car for better ventilation. Plan travel routes in advance so that companion animals are taken directly to intended destinations and take the animal inside the new location first prior to bringing in any other item.
  • Prior to the storm, check with a veterinarian, local animal hospital, kennel or shelter to see if dogs or other pets can be boarded during a disaster. Be prepared to submit current medical records. Put together a “pet network,” in which arrangements are already made with someone outside of the immediate area to care for each other’s pets in a crisis. The same goes for birds, reptiles, fish, hamsters, and any other companion animal in the household.
  • Make sure to have a pet “emergency kit” on hand. This waterproof bag should include pet food and dishes, bottled water, treats, a can opener, medications, potty pads, paper towels and cleaning supplies, copies of pets’ medical records (in a waterproof container), toys, leashes, harnesses, collars, current photos and contact numbers. It’s also important to have a pet’s regular medications. Keeping familiar beds and blankets in the emergency kit can help put pets at emotionally at ease if they are evacuated to an unfamiliar location. For cats, also pack disposable litter pans, litter and a scoop. For small animals, reptiles and fish, be sure to include extra bedding or substrate. Always have at least one week’s supply of water in storage for animals. If the drinking water gets contaminated in a disaster, it’s not safe for people or pets.

 

Keeping Pets Mentally and Emotionally at Ease

  • Make sure pets have a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy bed with a warm blanket or pillow can do wonders for keeping pets emotionally happy. The same goes for small animals, birds, and reptiles. Make sure habitats are away from windows and drafty areas of the house that are often colder than others.
  •  Ten minutes of thinking play can equal 45 minutes of active, outdoor play for pets. During stressful situations such as evacuations or storms, keep pets mentally stimulated and entertained with food puzzles. There are even puzzles for hamsters such as the bedding that hamster’s can sort by color and size.
  • Most importantly, help pets feel emotionally at ease. When the family is stressed, most pets will feel it too. Bringing along their favorite blanket or toy can often help ease anxiety. There are also calming agents and products like the Thundershirt.

 

 

Additional information can be found here:  Companion Animal Disaster Planning Care Sheet and Disaster Planning For Your Dog.

 

“Win Your Pins” Sweepstakes

Wish you could have spoiled your pup a bit more over the holidays?  Still dreaming about that amazing saltwater tankand coral reef you want to grow?  Maybe you want to dedicate an entire room of your home to Fluffy, complete with every cat tree we carry…  If you are inspired to create the perfect environment for your pets or just want to spoil the pets in your life, make sure you enter our Win Your Pins Contest! Go to petco.com/pinterest  for a chance to win up to $10,000 in Petco products!

 

A quick overview is to simply register at petco.com/pinterest, then follow @Petco on Pinterest, create a board called “My Pet Dreamboard” and start pinning with inspiration from Petco.com by February 28th, 2014!

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: How many times can I enter?

A: You only need to register your Pinterest account once, and then create a board titled “My Pet Dreamboard”.  Pinterest sets a limit of 100,000 pins should you plan to be an overachiever.

 

Q: Can I name my board something else?

A: No, our contest engine won’t recognize anything other than “My Pet Dreamboard”.

 

Q: How and when will the winners be chosen?

A: Winners are chosen at random on or about March 3, 2014.

 

Q: Can I win anything I pin in “My Pet Dreamboard”?

A: If you are the Grand Prize winner, you will win a minimum of $1,000 in Petco gift cards and the value of your pins from petco.com up to an additional $9,000 in Petco gift cards.  See official rules for more details at petco.com/pinterest

 

Q: What if I already follow @Petco on Pinterest?

A: Awesome!  Just make sure you register for the contest at petco.com/pinterest, create your “My Pet Dreamboard” and start pinning!

 

Q: When does the sweepstakes end?

A: February 28, 2014