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Preparing a Pet for Evacuation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 3:12:58 PM EST5EDT

No surprise here, but September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. This seems pretty fitting for the month that sits right in the heart of hurricane season, especially this year with Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma causing devastation in the Gulf Coast and Florida over the last few weeks.

But with the many stories surrounding the despair of some and heroics of others in Houston, Miami, Tampa Bay, etc., what has seemingly fallen through the cracks is the effort that was made by many to save their beloved family pets during mandatory evacuations.

Proper preparation for pets requires more than just the basics like buying pet supplies such as flea and tick prevention for dogs or cat medicine for your feline friend.

A truly prepared pet owner develops a contingency plan that will ensure their pet’s safety during a natural disaster and/or a subsequent evacuation.

To help those who haven’t already prepared their pets for evacuation, here are some tips from Vet Supply Source to get you started.

Get Informed

It’s first important to know what natural disasters could affect your area. This will give you a better idea of what pet supplies you might need, how much you’ll need, and how to formulate your plan. Have a radio handy so that you can tune into your NOAA Weather local emergency station. Also monitor TV and other forms of media if there are indications that a natural disaster is approaching. It is also a good idea to sign up for mobile alerts and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area. You can download the FEMA app to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations in the United States.

Have a Plan

Leaving a pet behind during an evacuation would be not only emotionally taxing, but it also could result in the animal being lost, injured or worse. Make a plan that helps your pet be as prepared to evacuate as you are. A good first step to your plan could be checking in with a neighbor or friend who lives nearby to see if they’d be willing to check on your pets or take care of your animals in the event that you are unable to get to them yourself.

Next, look up pet-friendly shelters in your area that will accommodate you and your pet(s). This is easier said than done because many emergency shelters cannot accept pets because of public health reasons. If you cannot find a pet-friendly shelter near you, look into pet hotels, animal hospitals or boarding facilities that could possibly watch your pet until you’re able to reconnect with them. Keep in mind that most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will require your pet’s medical records to make sure all of their vaccinations are up to date. Worse comes to worst, consider an out-of-town friend or relative to send your pet to for the time being.

Another, more advanced measure that pet owners can take is having their pet microchipped. Doing so can make looking up your address and phone number easy if your pet is lost.

Build a Kit

Putting together a kit for your pet will also go a long way in helping them survive, as well as keep them happy and comfortable during a stressful time. Your kit should include: food (at least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container); water (at least three days’ worth and specifically for your pets); medicine and medical records; microchipping documents; first-aid kit; collar and leash; pet carrier; sanitation supplies; and some familiar items such as toys, treats and bedding.

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Three Reasons Why You Should Take Your Cat to the Vet Regularly

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 2:36:36 PM EST5EDT

 

If you haven’t taken your cat to the vet in a while, next week is a good time to start. August 22nd is National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, so we encourage you to take your furry family member to the vet if you can. Just as people should get an annual checkup, cats need to go to the vet regularly to make sure they are healthy and no problems are on the horizon. Even if your cat appears to be fine, you should know that cats are very stoic. There could be something wrong, but they tend to not show signs of illness sometimes until the medical issue has progressed.

 

If you need more motivation to take your cat to the vet, here are a few more reasons to consider:

 

Your Cat Ages Much Faster Than You: The average cat will live up 20 years, depending on the breed, his or her diet, and many other factors. A human being can expect to live into his or her 70s and beyond if he or she lives a healthy life. So, doing the math, one year in a human’s life could mean up to four in a cat’s life. Would you wait four years to see your doctor? Your cat shouldn’t either. Cats, especially older ones, can develop diseases very quickly, and it’s much easier to treat a disease in its earlier stages before it progresses.

 

You Will Develop a Relationship with Your Vet: The relationship between a veterinarian and a pet owner is very important. By working together, you can ensure your cat gets the best care possible and enjoys a healthy life. Yearly visits allow your vet to get to know your cat, so he or she may be able to identify issues quicker. Your vet will also be able to review past records from previous visits to get a better idea of what may be going on with your cat. On the flip side, regular visits and providing your cat with age-appropriate vaccinations on a yearly basis show your vet that you can be trusted as a caring pet owner.

 

It’s Much Less Expensive to Pay for Preventative Services than Treatment: As we indicated above, prevention through regular vet visits and other means can help your cat live a healthier life. It can also allow your vet to catch something early when there are more treatments, and less invasive treatment options, available. If you’re worried about costs, you should know that preventative care is much cheaper than treatment later on after a condition has advanced. In addition to that, you can find cat medicine online and vet supplies for cats that are often much cheaper than you might find in stores. In most cases, it won’t cost you a lot of money to make sure your cat enjoys the best health possible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Reasons Why We Love Mutts

Thursday, July 27, 2017 4:58:42 PM EST5EDT

 

July 31st is National Mutt Day, but we think that mutts deserve our love every day. Unfortunately, medium and large-sized mutts represent the largest percentage of dogs that are euthanized, which is a shame as mutts are great dogs to own. If you own a mutt, you already know how awesome these dogs can be, but we wanted to take a second and let everyone else in on the secret.

 

What Is a Mutt?

 

A mutt is a mixed breed dog. Mutts come in all shapes and size. They make up 75% of all dogs in shelters, and they are more likely to go un-adopted or become homeless than purebreds. National Mutt Day takes place on two dates, July 31st and December 2nd, to raise awareness about mutts and encourage the general public to adopt them at local shelters.

 

Why Should You Adopt a Mutt?

 

There are many more reasons to adopt a mutt than five, but we know you’re busy. If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, here are some great reasons why you should adopt a mutt:

 

You will have a dog like no other: No two mutts are the same. Mutts have unique fur colors and patterns, and their features will vary. If you want a dog that will turn heads and get compliments on walks or at the dog park, adopting a mutt is the way to go.

 

Mutts are generally healthier: Mutts are made up from a diverse gene pool, so they are less prone to specific diseases that affect certain breeds. This means they are generally healthier and live longer.

 

Your mutt will be more flexible: Some purebreds have strong programming to be in a specific environment, have a well-defined temperament, and perform certain tasks. Mutts don’t have such strong programming, so they are more likely to be cool with a variety of different environments, making them the perfect housemate.

 

You will pay less to adopt a mutt: If costs are a concern, mutts are the way to go. You can adopt a mutt at a shelter for a few hundred dollars. A purebred could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars more.

 

You will be saving a life: As we mentioned mutts make up the majority of dogs in animal shelters. When you adopt a mutt, you are saving a life, so we can think of no stronger reason to bring a mutt into your home.

 

At Vet Supply Source, we have dog grooming supplies and more to keep your dog looking his or her best. We also carry flea and tick prevention for dogs to ensure your dog stays healthy. We guarantee that your mutt will appreciate it, and he or she will give you back so much more in kisses. We encourage you to learn more about National Mutt Day here.

 

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Five Things You Need before You Adopt a Shelter Cat

Monday, June 19, 2017 3:46:35 PM EST5EDT

 

So you decided that now is the time to adopt a shelter cat? We commend you on your decision – especially since June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Unfortunately, far too many cats do not get adopted, and shelters across the country are full. National Adopt a Shelter Cat is an awareness campaign where the public can get educated on adoption and the many benefits that come with it. 

 

However, before you go to the shelter to pick up your furry friend, we just wanted to take a second and talk about a few of the things you will need. The first few days of cat ownership can be difficult for both you and the cat. Oftentimes, cats will need some time to get used to their surroundings. They may find a hiding spot and stay there for a while until they’re ready to come out and introduce themselves formally. By preparing in advance, you can make the transition much easier. But what cat supplies should you buy beforehand? Here are a few musts that your cat will appreciate.

 

A Litter Box or Two: The rule of thumb is to have a litter box for every cat you own plus an extra one. So, if this is your first cat, you will need two. You will need cat litter too. Clumping litter is preferable as it will neutralize any odors. In addition to that, non-clumping cat litter often contains silica, which is a big no-no for you and your cat.

 

A Scratching Post: Cats need to scratch. If they don’t have a scratching post, they will use your furniture or carpet. It is much cheaper to just buy a post rather than all new furniture.

 

A Cat Carrier: You will need a carrier to take your cat to the vet, which is something you should do in the first week you adopt a cat. Also, a cat carrier often serves as a good resting spot for your cat; cats love small spaces.

 

Cat Toys: Cats are predators, which means they are always on the hunt. Since they are now indoors, they will need something to do. Cat toys satisfy their instinctual hunting drive, and they are also a way for your cat to get some exercise and mental stimulation.

 

Food: The long-term health of your cat will largely be determined by what you feed him or her. Cats are carnivores, which means they have different dietary needs than humans or even dogs. Your cat, unfortunately, can’t become a vegan. Ask your vet what food he or she would recommend and be sure to keep your cat on a regular feeding schedule. And don’t get scared if your cat doesn’t want to eat for the first day or two. It’s all part of the adjustment period. 

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Why Preventing Fleas Is So Much Easier than Treating an Infestation

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:50:48 AM EST5EDT

 

The weather is getting warm, which means flea prevention is all the more important if you own a dog. If you haven’t treated your dog for fleas over the winter and have been lucky so far, consider yourself just that –lucky!  Fleas enjoy this time of year as it’s not too warm yet but it is warm enough where there won’t be a freeze. They typically fare best in moist, cool places like your shrubs, trees, and leaf piles. And guess where dogs like to sniff around and do their business?

 

Why It’s So Hard to Treat an Infestation

 

Fleas can jump onto your dog anytime your dog goes outside. Even if your dog only goes out for a minute to use the bathroom, this is plenty of time for fleas to hop on board. You can also bring fleas into the home, as fleas can get on your socks or clothing if you head outdoors.

 

Once they come into your house, fleas make themselves at home. The typical flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day, and those eggs may hatch in days, weeks, or months. In fact, 57% of the fleas in any given home are in the larval stage and may remain so for months. If there is an infestation, it is imperative that it is treated as quickly as possible as fleas can spread diseases to both pets and humans. In many cases, the household will have to call pest control to completely get rid of the problem, which could be prohibitively expensive as well as frustrating.

 

This is why we think it’s best that you pay attention to prevention so you don’t have to worry about treating an infestation. First and foremost, get flea treatment for your dogs so they are protected if fleas try to attach to them. If you are unsure of which medication would work best, you should consult your veterinarian to see what he or she thinks.

 

In addition, you should try to vacuum as much as possible. As fleas are in cocoons in our carpeting, bedding, couches, and linens, vacuuming and cleaning these and other parts of your household could significantly reduce the amount of fleas in your home. Don’t forget to clean up the areas where your dog likes to hang out and sleep; clean these spots often as fleas will tend to be found here in numbers as well. 

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Five Reasons to Adopt a Pet on National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:30:22 PM EST5EDT

 

On April 30th, shelters across the country will hopefully see lines out the door as it will be National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. At Vet Supply Source, we love our adopted furry friends, and we hope many more find homes in the upcoming weeks. Obviously, owning a pet comes with many responsibilities, but if you have thought about it and think you’re ready, you may want to consider adopting a pet. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s a great idea to adopt.

 

You’ll Save a Life: One of the main reasons why National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day was established was to create awareness about how overcrowded our shelters currently are. Did you know that more than 2.7 million cats and dogs are unfortunately euthanized every year due to overcrowded shelters? This number could be reduced dramatically if more people decided to adopt.

 

You’ll Save Money: Speaking of saving, the cost of adopting a pet is usually much less than buying one from a store or breeder. The adoption price will often cover many upfront costs, including spaying/neutering, initial vaccines, microchipping, and more.

 

You’ll Feel Better: You won’t just feel better about saving a life; you may feel better physically and emotionally too. All pets, but especially adopted pets, give their new family unconditional love, which in turn can lower stress levels and provide owners with a greater sense of purpose. Plus, those walks every day will help you get off the couch more as well.

 

You’ll Be Saved the Troubles of Housetraining: This will depend on a number of factors, but, in many cases, adoptable cats and dogs are already housetrained, which will save you and your household the trouble.

 

You’ll Help More than One Animal: Remember when we said that our shelters are overcrowded? When you adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter, you won’t just save the immediate life of the pet you decide to adopt. You will also make room so another cat or dog can potentially get adopted too.

 

What to Do before You Adopt

 

Before you adopt, it might be a good idea to plan ahead of time. You will need dog grooming supplies, toys, food, and/or cat supplies, a place your pet can call its own to eat and sleep, a vet whom you like, and more. If you have other pets, they will need to be introduced slowly to the new furry member of the household as well. While it sometimes can some take time for the new dog or cat to get adjusted, we’re sure he or she will get acclimated before you know it.

 

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Four Tips for Keeping Your Pet's Breath Smelling Fresh

Monday, April 17, 2017 10:46:22 AM EST5EDT

If you don't brush your teeth and floss, you're going to hear it from your dentist. Regular brushing and flossing as well as avoiding added sugars and acidic foods is the best prescription for healthy teeth and gums. When you skip maintenance or regular dentist visits, this is when you run into trouble.

The same holds true for your pets. If you notice that your pet's breath is getting a little funkier of late, you shouldn't ignore it. Bad breath isn't just an annoyance; it could be a sign of a greater health condition. In addition to that, plaque and tartar buildup could potentially cause periodontal disease, which is painful for your pet and can spread to other organs in your pet's body.

So it's time to get serious about your pet's dental health. And now is a perfect time. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and what better way to celebrate than getting your pet's breath under control? If you're wondering where to start, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Start Slowly with the Introduction to Brushing: Unless you are the luckiest pet owner in the world, your cat or dog is not going to welcome the toothbrush with open paws. It's going to be a slow process that will probably involve a lot of treats. Let them smell the brush and touch it and then reward them with a treat. Slowly get them comfortable to the point where you can brush their teeth for about thirty seconds on each side. If they get scared or bite or claw you, you might have to start again or try a different route.

Purchase Dental Treats, Toys, and Food: Although these are not as effective as brushing, they can help. Just be sure they are designed for oral health and have been certified by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Use a Dental Rinse: Dental rinses are becoming increasingly popular for pets that have no interest in having their teeth brushed. Ask your veterinarian if this is an option. Speaking of that…

Take You Pet to the Vet for a Dental Exam: Your vet will review your pet's history and examine the pet for any issues. Your vet will look for inflamed gums, chipped teeth, plaque and tartar, and more.  Your vet will also check your pet for lumps and other symptoms to rule out cancer and other harmful conditions that could be affecting dental health. He or she may also recommend a cleaning, which, although will require sedation, may help your pet significantly in the long run.

Are you looking for affordable pet supplies online for your pet's dental health? Vet Supply Source has you covered. Find pet oral health toothbrushes and other supplies at the best prices in our online store.

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Three Things You Should Know before Adopting a Puppy

Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:49:55 AM EST5EDT

Did you know that March 23rd is National Puppy Day? This year marks the tenth anniversary of the event, which aims to educate the public on adoption and issues with puppy store and backyard breeders. If you do decide to buy a puppy from a purebred breeder, be sure to research beforehand to make sure the breeder is licensed and has a good reputation in the breeding community.

But there are millions of puppies in shelters right now waiting to go to their furever home, so why not just adopt instead? That is the main message the organizers of National Puppy Day wanted to show, and we encourage you to check out their official website to learn more about adoption. If you are considering adopting a puppy, we would also like you to consider the following to make sure now is the best time to bring a new puppy into your home:

Are You Allowed to Have a Pet? If you own a single family home, you probably have more options here. But many people rent, and leases may have specific rules in place regarding pet ownership. If you live with your parents, roommates, or siblings, you should consult with them as well as they will be affected by a new puppy living with them too. You may have to negotiate with your landlord or roommates to make it work for everyone involved.

Can You Afford to Own a Puppy? Owning a pet requires a significant financial commitment for fifteen years or even more. There is the adoption fee, but this is only the beginning. Your pup will need to go to the vet for shots, wellness visits, and when he or she gets sick. Your pup will need food, toys, and treats as well as potentially professional training and dog walking and grooming services. While there are ways to find savings online for dog supplies, you should budget beforehand to make sure you are able to afford the costs of puppy/dog ownership.

Do You Really Want a Puppy? Owning a puppy and later a dog requires more than just a financial commitment. It requires significant time and availability as well. Your pup will need to be walked several times a day, will need to be trained on basic good behavior, and will require house training unless you want to cover your home in plastic. Puppies are very cute, but they need your time, attention, and energy. For those who can provide these things, puppy ownership is truly wonderful, but make sure you can before you make a trip out to the shelter. 

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Mark Your Calendars For Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 8:55:41 AM EST5EDT

Are you thinking about getting a pet? If so, April 30th is the perfect day  - you can participate in National Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet Day! Millions of companion animals are looking for forever homes in shelters all across the country. Adopting a furry friend from your local animal shelter will give you all the joy and happiness you've been looking for!

While you could certainly adopt a companion animal any time of the year, the special day aims to raise awareness of the number of pets currently in need of pet parents to avoid euthanasia. The unfortunate reality is that local animal shelters have a limited amount of resources to cover expenses and foster pet parents just don't have the space to save every animal.

With that in mind, adopting a companion animal from a shelter gives the pet a chance to be happy and live a long, healthy life. Plus, there are few relationships that are as unconditional and strong than that of the bond between an owner and pet. Pet parents know that their devoted furry friends will be there for them if they are sad, happy, sick, healthy or moody – pets are a great source of long-term companionship. Since there are a few weeks until the annually celebrated day arrives, you have plenty of time to prepare for an adoption. Below are some tips to get everything you need ready if you decide to adopt!

What Kind Of Pet Do You Want?

Animal shelters are typically full of both cats and dogs, so it really comes down to what type of pet you would like to join your family. But, you need to consider which animal will best fit your lifestyle and schedule. You need to keep in mind that cats and dogs require different types of care and attention. For instance, dogs need to be taken outside for potty breaks, whereas cats typically use the litterbox. These are the types of considerations that prospective pet parents need to factor in when choosing between a cat and a dog.

Purchase Pet Supplies

As a general rule of thumb, you want to make sure you purchase pet supplies online before you bring your pet home from the shelter. These essentials include grooming supplies like brushes, pet shampoo, vitamins, and supplements, as well as flea and tick medication. Additionally, you will need food and water bowls, toys, a pet bed, a collar, a leash, a litterbox and other necessities for your new pet.

Spend Time With Your New Pet

When you first arrive home with your new cat or dog, it may take some time for them to get assimilated to their new surroundings, so your pet may be shy in the very beginning. With that said, spend ample time with your new addition so they can feel comfortable and loved, and before you know it, you'll see their full personality! If you've adopted an older shelter pet, they may already be eager to play, so be prepared to provide endless entertainment.

Are you ready to adopt a shelter pet?

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National Puppy Day: Adopting A Healthy Puppy

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:23:37 AM EST5EDT

March 23rd is National Puppy Day and it's aimed at celebrating puppies and promoting adoption for the millions of pooches who are looking for forever homes. When it comes to picking up a furry friend, there are a few ways you can go about it – head to the local animal shelter, check out a pet store, search online or look at the classified ads in the newspaper. While all seem like viable options, there are some red flags you need to be aware of because puppy mills and backyard breeders are becoming more problematic all across the country.

The unfortunately reality is that many people are unknowingly supporting these 'black market' practices and you should know how to identify the red flags associated with them. First, a puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding compound that puts a priority on profit over the well-being of the dogs. Backyard breeders are people who breed animals, often without proper registration and in some cases, produce inbred puppies for looks with little to no regard to their health.

In both cases, these poor animals can suffer from a slew of health problems, which in turn can result in significant medical care costs because medicine for dogs is expensive. You want to be sure you get a healthy puppy that hasn't been exposed to diseases or environmental conditions which may affect their well-being. While all dogs deserve a good home, you can do your part to help and still find an adorable puppy along the way. Here are some tips for finding a new puppy!

Know the Signs Of A Puppy Mill

Puppy mills generally house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without sufficient food, water or veterinary care. Some puppy mills will have cages upon cages of animals, and the cages have only wire flooring, which injuries the puppies’ paws and legs. If you visit a property like this to look at puppies in these conditions, it's definitely a red flag. Instead, consider leaving and calling the police to report that the animals are in unsafe conditions. Additionally, the local animal control department may also be able to step in for help.

Know the Difference Between Breeders

Like mentioned above, there are 'backyard breeders', which breed dogs in an irresponsible manner that puts the focus on profit rather than the well-being of the dog. With that in mind, it's important to understand the differences between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible one.

Responsible breeders don't sell their puppies to or through pet stores because they personally want to screen and select the homes for their puppies. They will take many factors into consideration when selecting an adoptive family, and will turn people away if their lifestyle or home situation does not fall in line with the breed they are raising.

Additionally, responsible breeders don't sell multiple dog breeds; they typically only specialize in one or two main breeds and they will demonstrate an extensive knowledge on that breed's history, traits, conformation and temperament. On top of that, they will allow you to visit their home so you can see the dog's living conditions. They also have their dogs’ health evaluated frequently and make sure they are up-to-date on their shots. To make your search even easier, you can use the American Kennel Club's breeder referral search tool to find one in your area!

Finding a healthy puppy to take home just takes a little bit of research, and knowing where to adopt one can make a huge difference in your experience with your new pet Use the above tips when you search for your new puppy to find one that is a good fit for your home and your family!

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