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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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Brush Up On Your Pets' Dental Health

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:58:26 AM EST5EDT

Most of us recognize the month of February for Valentine's Day, but did you know it is also Pet Dental Care Awareness Month? With that said, mark your calendars because it is time to brush up on some information about your pets' dental health! Many pet parents sometimes overlook their pets' oral care when it really is a very important aspect of their health. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association found that approximately 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show some signs of oral disease by the time they reach the age of three! They also mention that oral disease can contribute to serious health risks like dangerous infections of the vital organs.

With that in mind, the oral health of your pet is important to maintain and it is easier than you might think! Check out the following information about some simple steps to care for your pet and learn the signs and symptoms of dental disease!

Dental Care Tips

Brushing - Just as you would brush your own teeth on a daily basis, you should do the same for your pet! You can start an in-home regimen by brushing their teeth using pet toothbrushes and toothpastes that are safe for dogs and cats. It may take some time for your pet to get used to it, but, if you praise and reward them, it will become an easy to-do task. Plus, regular brushing helps reduce plaque and tartar build up.

Dental Exam – You should schedule a dental exam for your pet at least once a year; a veterinarian can provide your pet with a full dental examination to inspect their teeth and gums.

Oral Chews – You can help your pet remove plaque and food debris from their teeth with oral chews that are specifically designed to be nutritious and promote good oral health. Be sure to add oral chews to your list of dog or cat supplies so you can give them a treat that serves two purposes!

Toys & Rawhide Chews – Some other ways that you can help your pet maintain good oral health is through the use of chew toys and rawhide chews that have mild abrasive action to help wipe away thin layers of buildup on their teeth.

Signs of Dental Disease

In order to prevent dental disease, you have to make sure you apply the above care tips to your pet's health routine. You also need to know the signs and symptoms of dental disease to act quickly if you suspect a dental health issue.

Here are some common indicators of an oral health problem:

  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth, loose teeth or teeth covered in tartar
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Your pet isn't comfortable when you touch around their mouth area
  • Excessive drooling or the dropping of food from their mouth

If your pet has any of these dental disease indicators, you should schedule a veterinary exam right away.

You are now ready to maintain your pet’s oral health to help them enjoy a long and happy life! 

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Time To Celebrate National Walk Your Dog Month

Monday, January 18, 2016 2:28:41 PM EST5EDT

Vet Supply Source would like to welcome the New Year with all of our happy pet parents! 2016 is here and this year's motto can be out with the old and in with the new because January is the perfect time to start fresh with healthy resolutions. While many of us are planning to make healthier choices this year, you can even make that the resolution for your pet! That's right – not only does this month mark the start of new beginnings but it's also National Walk Your Dog Month and there's no better way to bring in the New Year!   

Taking your dog(s) out for a walk is not only beneficial to your health, but it also helps them in numerous ways. Check out these great reasons to get outside with your pup all year long!

Energy Outlet – every pet parent knows that their dogs can sometimes be a little wound up and full of energy, which means they can be a little disruptive when they are in the house. A nice walk can provide them with an outlet to calm their energy and settle their hyperactivity.

Training Aid – since a good walk will drain their energy and make them calmer, they will be more likely to focus on training. This, of course, helps with all types of training and makes it easier to teach them all sorts of commands. Additionally, the walk can serve as a training method to reinforce the bond between you and your pooch. Always remember that you are taking them for a walk and not the other way around, so be sure to maintain control during walks.

Burns Calories – according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of dogs are overweight and that can cause a slew of health problems that may need to be treated by dog medications. However, you can help them burn those extra pounds by taking them for walks on a daily basis. (Also, 58% of cats are overweight and if you need medicine for your cats because of their weight, check out our previous article 3 Easy Ways To Fight Pet Obesity for tips to manage their weight too!)

Provides Social Stimulation – everyone wants their dog to welcome friends, family and other pets but they can be scared, suspicious or shy towards others if they don’t get to interact with strangers. Walks provide them with social stimulation and interaction because they are exposed to others, which will help them feel more comfortable around people and pets they don't know.

Lengthens Life – while walking may be a low-impact exercise, it will improve their well-being and build up beneficial health attributes that will lengthen their lifespan and improve their quality of life.                                                                                                                                                      

Provides Attention – your pet needs attention; they are sociable animals and when you take them for walks, you provide them with the interaction they want and crave.

Are you ready to take National Walk Your Dog Month in stride? 

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Getting In The Holiday Spirit: Pet Edition

Friday, December 11, 2015 11:36:38 AM EST5EDT

puppy and kitten holidayAre you decking the halls with boughs of holly because 'tis the season to be jolly? The holidays are here and while you dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, consider taking your pets along for the ride! There is no better time of year to include your pets in holiday festivities you have planned because they can add some more joy to your holidays. Check out some great ideas for holiday traditions that are pet-friendly!

Holiday Photo Shoot

If you send out holiday greeting cards to friends and family, consider a photo shoot with your pets - you can even dress them up with antlers and pet sweaters for some extra holiday cheer! Additionally, it’s always a cute idea to have them sit with Santa if you really want an entertaining photo. Check with your local ASPCA or animal shelter; some will offer pet photo shoots with Santa, and the proceeds help them with their operation costs.

Winter Wonderland Walks

This holiday tradition is geared more towards dog owners because dogs are more willing to go on walks and car rides. Check out pet-friendly holiday walking or drive-through tours that feature house displays and lit decoration trails. It's the perfect way to spend a night among shimmering light displays. Various places around the country have themed tours, such as Hershey Park's Christmas Candyland in Pennsylvania or Christmas Town in North Carolina. A quick search online will help you to find local events in your area!

Shop With A Companion

Some pet stores, and even regular retail stores, allow customers to bring in their furry friends to shop with them. This is fun and you may be able to shop for pet gifts with your pup or cat right next to you. Just be sure to check the store policies because they can vary from store to store.

Fill Their Stockings

If you hang traditional holiday stockings in your home, include a stocking for your cat or dog. You can fill them with a variety of pet-appropriate items, from toys to treats. It is a fun way to incorporate them into your own gift-opening activities under the Christmas tree. Things like medications for dogs, supplements for cats, pet grooming supplies and many other items can easily fit into any sized stocking!

New Year's Resolution

As the winter holidays come to an end, you have one more tradition can include your pets – New Year's Resolutions! While your own resolution might include the popular goal of becoming more fit and healthy, make it your pets' resolution too. Every pet can benefit from a healthier lifestyle and you can help them shape up in 2016 with more exercise, leaner diets and vitamins.

Are you ready to boost your holiday spirit by including these traditions with your pets?

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