Puppy Chewing – Tips on How to Survive

You open the front door and see a shoe on the floor – chewed beyond repair. Yesterday you found the remnants of a $20 bill left on a table in shreds on the rug. You placed a book on a table, safe from that mischievous puppy, but bite marks and shredded pages remain.

Experts say puppies – as well as grown dogs – do not chew items because of anger or frustration. They typically chew because they are bored, lonely or anxious, especially for a long time.

Veterinarians say chewing serves as a type of occupational therapy that relieves your pet’s stress and releases energy.

For young dogs, it’s a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. Some dogs become anxious if you arrive home later than usual. To sooth his anxiety he may chew a book on the coffee table or an electric bill that’s been left on a chair.

For older dogs, chewing on items is a way to keep jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.

The majority of puppies outgrow their chewing hobby. Here are some tips:

• As cute as she is, do not trust your puppy to have an unsupervised run of the house.  Consider purchasing sterilized marrow bones or toys that can be stuffed with liver treats or cheese.

• Dog’s and puppies need den-like enclosures which can be provided in the form of an indoor kennel crate. These crates are effective in housebreaking due to the dog’s natural reluctance to soil its sleeping area- and can also reduce separation anxiety, destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture, and to keep the puppy away from the dangers of some household items like electrical wires and chemicals. It can also serve as a portable indoor dog house that can be placed from room to room or wherever necessary.

When traveling by car or plane the kennel can serve as a cabin for your dog. In most hotels that accept dogs a crate may be required to house your dog while he or she is in the room to prevent damages to the furniture and flooring.

When introduced to the kennel crate early in life dogs can grow to prefer their kennel as a place to rest or relax. A crate, or any other means of confinement, should NEVER be used as a punishment tactic.

It is recommended that you provide a kennel crate for the duration of your dog’s lifetime. On some crates the door is removable once the need for training is no longer essential. They can be stowed under a table top or be concealed by one, making it both beneficial and unobtrusive.

• When home, make time to play with your puppy and her toys. Teach her to “find” toys. Scatter several in different rooms. Say “find your toy” and then help her find the right room. Once she has found the toy praise her and reward her with a treat.

• Behavior authorities say most damage takes place just before owners usually arrive home. Your puppy is waiting anxiously for you. Chewing is one way to release energy.

• Puppies that have lost their baby teeth suffer pain as their adult teeth come in. This phase usually ends by the age of six months. Try letting your dog chew on ice cubes, dog toys that can be frozen, or frozen wet washcloths to relieve teething.

• Chewing is normal for dogs but it’s important to teach him what he can chew on. The American Society for the Protection of Animals suggests using a spray chewing deterrent. Apply a deterrent to the fur on the top of his paw. Hopefully he learns the connection between the taste and the odor of the deterrent to avoid chewing items that smell like it. Spray the deterrent on objects he likes to chew on but you don’t want him to chew. Reapply the deterrent daily on the forbidden objects for several weeks.

Hopefully he learns the connection between the taste and the odor of the deterrent to avoid chewing items that smell like it. Spray the deterrent on objects he likes to chew on but you don’t want him to chew. Reapply the deterrent daily on the forbidden objects for several weeks.

It’s National Dog Week!

National Dog Week Honors

Canines for 88 Years!

They wait patiently for their walk. They love nothing better than curling up beside us. If there’s a noise outside the house, they are on top of it. And no one, no one loves you unconditionally like your dog.

Many dog owners celebrate National Dog Week the fourth week of September to recognize the dogs in our lives and to promote better dog care.  This year’s date is the last full week in September 9/18/16-9/24/16.

National Dog Week was founded in 1928 by Will Judy, publisher of Dog World Magazine. Today it is the oldest all-breed dog magazine in the country. Judy’s mission was to educate dog owners about caring for their dogs responsibly. He was a founder of the Dog Writers Association of America.

Later, the designated week was sponsored by the Dog Owner’s League of America and the National Dog Week Association.

The group lobbied legislators during the 1940s to obtain stronger animal rights laws and more humane regulations.

Their goals were that every dog would have a home, no stray dogs would roam the street, dog owners would be better educated, fair laws for dogs and dog owners, and respect for the rights of non-dog owners.

National Dog Week can inspire you to plan some outings you both would enjoy, not to mention some treats!

• Spread the word of what your dog means to you. Tell an inspiring story about your dog or share an anecdote through email or social media.

• Give your dog the spa treatment. Buy some special, great-smelling shampoo. While bathing him check for ticks or unusual lumps. To avoid the mess, consider taking him to a facility that offers do-it-yourself dog-washing.

• Take your pup to the dog park to mix and mingle. Dogs are social creatures and enjoy playing with others. Most parks have a separate space for large dogs and small dogs.

• Make a donation to the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

• Donate dog food to local food pantries. Many people getting food there also have pets.

• Adopt a new dog from the shelter. If you can’t adopt, make a cash donation, food or even drop off old towels and sheets.

Choosing A Shelter Dog

Nationwide, approximately 7.6 million animals enter animal shelters, and almost 3 million of them never make it out. In 2009, a public service ad campaign launched named The Shelter Pet Project. They were focused on spreading the word about pets in shelters being marvelous and loveable, and encouraging adopters searching for their new forever-friend to look within shelters first.

Make a Good Choice at the Animal Shelter by Doing Your Homework

Many people shy away from picking an animal from a shelter, wary of the emotional baggage these animals may have. 

Adopt a pet from a local shelter!

Chances are you will find a dog or cat you will love, and no doubt they will love you.

• You are saving a dog or cat’s life by providing a new home.

• Most dogs and cats are in shelters through no fault of their own. There may have been a death in the family, a divorce, a new baby or a move. Some animals may have had behavior problems that owners didn’t try to solve.

• An adoption fee at a shelter is much lower than the cost of buying a dog from a pet store or breeder, and the fee helps support the shelter.

• The majority of shelter dogs are spayed or neutered before adoption, saving you the cost.

• Most shelters provide physical exams and vaccinations. An increasing number of shelters provide microchips to help you locate lost animals.

Whenever you acquire a dog, either from a breeder or the ASPCA, it will need some training to transition into a new household. The majority of shelters evaluate each dog. Ask to see the evaluation if there is one. This information can help you make your decision. Some shelter staff and volunteers work with dogs on housetraining and basic obedience before they’re adopted.

There is an increase in an ASPCA adoption program named Meet Your Match which successfully matches animals with owners. Prospective owners fill out surveys that help staff try to make a good owner-pet match.

It’s important to keep in mind exactly what you want in a pet.

• Do you want your dog to travel with you?

• Do you want a pet that will be good with your children?

• Will this new pet get along with a pet you already have?

• Would you like a pet that can take brisk walks or runs with you?

• Consider the size of your home or apartment. If you live in an apartment, what are the pet regulations?

 

Before you visit the shelter, compile some questions to ask staff. Staff members may have access to an animal’s past. They can also fill you in on its personality.

What do you know about a dog’s history? Where did it come from? Was it turned in by its owner or was it a stray? If its owner turned it in you should ask to see the intake information, such as a medical history.

Did you conduct a behavior evaluation on this dog? If so, what were the results? How would you describe the animal’s personality and behavior? Does he like other dogs? Does he like children? How is he with cats? Is he easy to walk on a leash? What do the volunteers think of him? Is he affectionate, aloof, calm, energetic, fearful, shy, or friendly?

Experts advise that you walk through the entire kennel area to see which dogs and cats are appealing to you.
Watch how they react to other people.
See how they react to you.

Ideally you will see friendly animals that wag their tales and want to greet you. If the animal is shy this pet may bloom if there is a small household. But it may not fare well if there are active young children.

Ask shelter employees and volunteers to honestly tell you which pets will adjust well to a new home. However, if a dog growls at you or a cat hisses repeatedly, these are obviously not good signs.

          When you spot a good candidate, ask to visit with the animal outside its kennel. Try to play fetch or let it tug on a rope toy and observe its behavior.  ASPCA officials advise bringing your children to the shelter to see how animals react to them. A dog or cat that retreats from children may not be the best choice.  Also, check with staff to see how the animal reacts when he is disturbed when eating or playing with toys.

If you have any doubts, it’s a good idea to ask the shelter to hold your choice for a day or so. Most shelters will do so. Also, if you have any qualms, hire a dog trainer, vet or behaviorist to give their opinion. Also Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAABs) and Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDTs) can give you an objective assessment of the dog you are about to choose. This will save effort and heartbreak of taking home an animal you have to bring back.

Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?

Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?

The puppy is soooo cute. You must have him! You purchase food, a dog bed and lots of cute toys.

But you didn’t think about all the times you have to work late and on the weekend. You’re also out of town a lot and he goes to the kennel. You didn’t mean it to happen, but you spend little quality time with your pet.

This path could make you an irresponsible dog owner. 

Cute puppies turn the heads of some people who have no business owning a pet. Dogs are a big responsibility, and owners should be committed to the relationship for the life of the pet.

The American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) offers these suggestions on being a responsible dog owner:

• Don’t make impulsive decisions about choosing a pet. Consider your lifestyle and your home. Adopting or purchasing your pet is just the down payment. Food, visits to the vet – owning a dog costs money.

• Your pet should have identification tags or be microchipped in case he should get lost. Make sure information in databases is up to date.

• Follow leash laws in your community.

• Spay or neuter your pet. This helps curb overpopulation problems.

• Find a veterinarian with a great reputation and with whom you have rapport.

 

Getting  your pet spayed or neutered can extend their lifespan and help them live a healthier life, thus giving you less headaches. Spaying and neutering your pet reduces and eliminates uterine infections and breast cancer in females, and prostate problems and testicular cancer in males.

 

• Make sure your dog receives his vaccinations, parasite control and any medicine he needs.

• Your dog should learn social skills with people and other animals.

• Don’t let your dog become a neighborhood problem. Pick up his waste when he takes a walk, try to control barking, and don’t let him stray.

• It’s important that your dog gets regular exercise.  Walks and outings to the dog park also provide mental stimulation.  Walking with a leash allows you to establish a bond with your dog.

• If you find you can no longer keep your pet, find him a loving home.

• When your pet’s health declines, be mindful of her quality of life. Don’t wait until your dog is very ill to talk to your vet about geriatric and end of end of life care.

A Pleasant Walk With Your Dog

We see dog walking drama on the streets. A Cocker Spaniel dashes to every light pole or parking meter to “get his news.” A German Shepherd races down the sidewalk as his owner tugs his leash. Nearby an aging arthritic Basset Hound sniffs noses with every dog he meets.

Walking your dog should be relaxing and fun for both of you. The right leash is crucial, according to Kristen Collins of the American Society for the Protection Against Cruelty to Animals.

What’s the best type of leash?
Choose what is most comfortable for you to hold, Collins recommends.

Retractable leashes provide more freedom for your dog. These should be used in the park or open spaces that your dog can explore a bit. They are not recommended and can become entangled in high traffic areas there you are continually meeting owners and their pets.

Many dog owners choose leather leashes because they provide a firm grip and are smooth to the touch. Today’s leather leashes are available in a variety of colors and designs.

The No. 1 reason for a good walk spoiled is your dog’s steady tugging on the leash.  Many dogs make a wild dash after birds, rabbits and other wildlife. Pulling on the leash is natural. Dogs are excited by sights, sounds and smells they are not typically around. Some dog owners use head halters or no-pull harnesses for more control over their pets.

Walking your dog is a great way to provide socialization. He is meeting other dogs as well as other people. Do restrain your dog’s enthusiasm and desire to jump up on the owner or the other dog. Ideally you dog will learn how to sit upon command and continue sitting while interacting with another dog.

If it’s going to be a warm day and you’re going on a long walk, make sure you bring water for your dog.

 

Dog parks are very popular and great socializing for your pet. Most parks have separate areas for large dogs and small dogs. It’s usually a good idea to keep small dogs separated from large ones as many small dogs are intimidated. Most dogs like to romp together. But don’t worry if your dog tends to be a loner. Many dogs enjoy smelling the scents most of all.

Things to consider before you go:
Your dog will be exposed to lots of other dogs.  Make sure he is properly vaccinated for rabies, distemper, bordetella, has had a negative fecal test in the last 6 months and is treated for fleas and ticks.

When you think of a dog park you probably imagine dogs of all shapes and sizes blissfully frolicking together on a sunny summer day- but as you soon may learn, this vision may be more fantasy than reality. Just as humans are not always comfortable when thrown into certain situations, not all dogs are dog-park friendly. Before taking your furry friend to a dog park, visit the park beforehand and observe area and visitors, both human and animal. You may often find some dogs arrive around the same time each week.

Look for things that may be of some concern:
  • Are there too many dogs crammed within the same area?
  • When a new dog is present do the others surround him?
  • Do you notice any form of bullying among the dogs?
  • Are the humans preoccupied with other matters and not watching their dogs?
  • Is there tolerance from the humans to other’s dogs?
  • Is there a toy present, such as a Frisbee or ball, that may arouse conflict?
  • Is there a high number of intact males?
  • Is there a separate area designated only for smaller dogs?
  • Are the parks fencing and gates secure and/or double gated?

It is essential that dogs have exercise and playtime, but only if the environment is healthy and safe. If the behavior is getting too rough, or you sense your dog is not having fun or relaxed, you must vow to leave that kind of environment.

Remember, playtime at home is just as important.
Your dog’s thinks of you as his best friend and desires YOUR attention and love the most!

What’s New

New Products at Pet Mania!

Pet Mania has new products at its stores! A new dog food brand “Now” from Petcurean! Pet Mania has also increased their freezer space at all 3 stores to offer more raw diets! See details below!

New Dog Food Brand

Introducing “Now” from Petcurean

Visit their website to learn more

NOW FRESH Adult Dog Food Recipe is made with 100% FRESH turkey, salmon, duck and 100% fresh Omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts and canola. It could only be fresher if you made it from scratch. This recipe also features:

> Zero grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn, or soy
> Zero rendered meals, by-product meals or artificial preservatives
> Balanced proteins and fats to support an active lifestyle
> Omega oils for healthy skin and coat
> Pre and probiotics to aid with digestive health
> Antioxidants for increased immunity
> Wholesome berries, fruits and herbs such as broccoli, peas, blueberries, pumpkin, spinach, kelp, cranberries, alfalfa sprouts, lentils, and more

Look for this and other Now products in Pet Mania Stores!

Great News!

Pet Mania has increased freezer space at all 3 locations to to help with higher demands for raw diets. The results are seen whether you are feeding raw as a total diet or using raw as a supplement to your pets kibble.

Benefits seen are:
*Shinier coat
*Healthier skin
*Cleaner teeth
*Higher energy level
*Smaller stool
*Anal glands work as nature intended
*Great for picky eaters
*Balances blood sugars
*Aids in digestion and maintains digestive enzymes naturally

We Believe In Giving Back

At Pet Mania we believe in two important principles: we want to help as many dogs as possible live the best lives possible and that there is no one factor that matters more in a dog’s life than nutrition.

Celebrating 25 Years!

Wow!! Time does fly…

We are humbled by the fact that Pet Mania started 25 years ago.  It seems not long ago we cautiously opened our doors at Beacon Plaza on New Bern Ave in Raleigh.  We followed our hearts and love for animals when we greeted our first customers on February 1, 1988.  We are blessed to work in a field that brings us so much joy and feel very fortunate for the support and patronage we have received through the years.

Whether you are new to Pet Mania or one of our longtime maniacs, we want to say thank you.  The relationships we have formed while doing business in the Triangle are something we most appreciate.  Over the next year we will discount certain items a whopping 25% each month in honor of our 25th Anniversary Celebration.  Please take advantage of the huge savings.  Once again, thank you and we hope to see you soon.

Owners,
Kevin and Jackie Myers

Pet Mania to Bring “Taste of the Wild” Back to Stores January 1st, 2013

In April of this year, as part of routine product testing, a bag of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice dry dog food tested positive for Salmonella. Diamond Pet Foods issued a recall for that product.

It was determined that the infected bag had been manufactured in Gaston S.C., so the Diamond team decided to close down the plant entirely to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do a complete investigation and to try to find the source of the contamination. The plant was closed from April 9th to April 26th and during that time the FDA took more than 88 environmental swabs and more than 50 ingredient samples, all of which were salmonella negative.

But even after the plant had been thoroughly sanitized and reopened, Diamond received additional reports of Salmonella in food that was already in the market.

This lead them to widen their recall to include all products manufactured at the Gaston plant between December 9th 2011 and April 9th 2012 — when they had closed its doors to allow for FDA testing and the complete cleaning.

This recall went well beyond what was requested by the FDA, but Diamond felt it was necessary to be proactive in protecting its customers. Several million bags of pet food were recalled and during the height of the recall scientific testing cost up to $50,000 a week.

How Pet Mania Responded

Despite the measures Diamond was taking, Pet Mania didn’t want to take any chances. So the first week of June we pulled all Diamond products from our shelves and discontinued carrying all Diamond pet food brands, including both Taste of the Wild and Chicken Soup.

Since the recall Diamond has completely redesigned its manufacturing process, going from traditional pet food processes to a human-grade system. We were invited to come view the newly improved Gaston plant in September and what we found lead us to consider carrying Diamond products once more.

Changes at Diamond

Diamond has instituted a number of new measures to prevent future outbreaks. Perhaps the biggest change has been in how the plant itself is laid out. Previously, the facility used an open floor plan; now the plant is divided up into three color-coded sections—green, yellow and red—that denote what part of the process the products are in. Red is for raw or partially cooked materials and green marks finished product ready for consumption.

The new safety measures even affected the way the tour of the facility was conducted; it began at the end, in the green zone, and then worked backward through the manufacturing process, ending in the red zone, to prevent contamination of finished product.

In addition to these measures Diamond brought in a third-party microbiology laboratory in June to provide unbiased testing of its products throughout the production process. The lab is located on premises and tests ingredients as well as finished products. Now, after manufacturing, every single SKU is held until it can be tested; only then is it allowed to leave the property. Diamond is currently the only manufacturer testing products after production; other companies only test their ingredients. This should help ensure Diamond has the safest food on the market.

The entire staff — all 150 Gaston employees — also sat through a basic microbiology course so they would better understand the reasons behind the new procedures, as well as be able to better foresee any future problems. Equipment, including dryers, coaters and coolers, were retrofitted to allow for easier cleaning and are now swabbed before and after cleaning to measure the effectiveness of those new sanitation procedures. All major equipment in the post-processing, or post-thermal, step is cleaned every two days instead of weekly or biweekly.

By testing the product multiple times throughout the manufacturing process, taking newly stringent measures to ensure cleanliness and safety and only allowing products out into the market after they have been cleared a final time, Diamond has reached a new level of safety.

What This Means for Pet Mania Now

Since we stopped carrying Diamond Pet Food products many of our customers have asked specifically that we bring these products back. However, before we did so we wanted to make sure that Diamond was taking every possible precaution to ensure there would be no additional outbreaks.

After learning about these new measures and seeing them ourselves during the tour, we feel that Diamond has made significant changes to their processes and is now offering only the safest possible products for sale.

We carefully considered both the feedback we’ve received from our customers and the new improvements we witnessed in Gaston and have decided to bring back Taste of the Wild products.

They will be available again at all three Pet Mania stores (Raleigh, Holly Springs and Wake Forest) starting January 1st, 2013.

 

Cause For Paws

Check out Gunner’s latest venture! Gunner likes to hang around our Holly Springs store so come and visit him sometime!