Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
I’m sure everyone has heard the phrase “Killing Them with Kindness” used several times during their lives. The phrase literally means to cause discomfort to someone by treating him or her in a way that is extremely kind or helpful instead of returning an insult or wrong. Have you ever though that the same phrase, with a slightly different meaning, could be used to describe how many loving pet parents are treating their pet? Pet obesity in the United States is at an all-time high and is primarily caused by very well-intentioned pet owners providing significantly more nutrition than their animals need.
I remember early in my career it wasn’t unusual to find dogs and cats suffering from diseases caused by inadequate or improper nutrition, but obesity was unusual. It was worse for the non-traditional animals I was treating, such as birds and reptiles, who were more often than not ill due to inappropriate nutrition. Things have changed dramatically for the good. The availability of correctly balanced and appropriate nutrition for our pets is at an all-time high. It is very easy to go to your local pet store and find hundreds of brands and selections of pet food for your beloved friend. There are certainly differences in quality between products but for the most part, pet food sold in the United States is complete and balanced, nutritious and easily obtainable.
The Numbers are Big
So, what’s going on? Let’s look at some statistics. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs are overweight or obese. In their October 2018 clinical survey, 25.7% of cats and 36.9% of dogs were classified as Overweight (body condition score (BCS) 6 to 7 on a 9-point scale). 33.8% of cats and 18.9% of dogs with Obesity (BCS 8 to 9) by their veterinary healthcare professional.
That equals an estimated 56 million cats and 50 million dogs are Overweight or Obese, based on 2018 pet population projections provided by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
APOP also found pet owners were confused by conflicting pet nutritional advice and continue to struggle to help pets achieve safe and ideal weights. APOP President, veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward stated that “Veterinarians need to offer more obesity treatment options than: Feed less and exercise more.” and “The majority of pet owners are overwhelmed with pet food choices and conflicting dietary advice and desperately want help and nutritional recommendations from veterinarians.”
When pet parents and veterinary professionals were questioned about pet obesity, diet and nutrition, and pet weight loss 80% of veterinary professionals reported they had tried to help their pet lose weight, along with 68% of pet owners. The leading pet weight loss method was “calorie reduction/smaller portions” favored by 68% of all respondents, 61% tried an increase in exercise, 29% tried a low-calorie or low-fat pet food, and 19% fed a therapeutic or “prescription” diet from their veterinarian.
When all respondents were asked what weight loss method was most effective, 38% rated calorie reduction/smaller portions as “very effective” and 33% ranked it as “somewhat effective.” 36% reported increased exercise as “very effective” along with 30% reporting it was “somewhat effective.”
Only 9% reported low-calorie or low-fat diets as “very effective” while 23% reported it was “somewhat effective.” “Prescription weight loss diets” were given a 13% “very effective” rating and 14% “somewhat effective.” Further analysis of “prescription diet” revealed 50% of veterinary professionals and 70% of pet owners reported they “never tried” this weight loss method and 27% of veterinary professionals and 9% of pet owners ranked it as “very effective.”
Pet owners were asked, “Please rank where you receive the best dietary recommendations for your pet.” Their rankings were: 1) Veterinary clinics, 2) Online/internet/website, 3) Pet store or Friend (tie), 4) Trainer, 5) Breeder, 6) Groomer, and 7) Other.
Why are so many pets overweight? Experts from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have come up with 6 reasons why we are seeing this alarming and unhealthy trend.
- Food = love? Food is often associated with love, and because we love our furry family members, we want to show them that love by giving them extra food, treats, and sometimes food intended for human consumption, which is generally higher in calories and fat than pet food.
- Early spay and neuter. While experts agree that early spay or neuter is good for population control and for the long-term health of pets, science is demonstrating that the hormone changes associated with early spay and neuter lead to decreased caloric requirements. Because of slower metabolic rates, animals who are spayed and neutered require less food to maintain a healthy weight.
- Lack of exercise. As we lead busier lives than ever before, many pet owners hope a run in the yard for Fido is enough exercise to keep him healthy. For most dogs, this isn’t adequate. Dogs require our participation and interaction. Some dogs love to swim, others prefer to fetch, and some breeds, especially herding breeds, do best with a physical job. For many dogs, however, a simple daily walk is all that is required for them to stay at their ideal body weight.
- Exercising a cat isn’t quite as simple. The experts agree that cats are healthiest and safest indoors, but an indoor-only kitty can become a lazy kitty, which can lead to weight gain. One way to exercise your indoor cat is to hide a small percentage of her food in a food puzzle or food-dispensing toy. Her innate prey drive will be activated as she “hunts” for her food, forcing her to be more active. Play is important for cats, too. Use toys that require your cat to chase and jump.
- A change in the norm. Over the years, our idea of a normal weight has changed. As the waistlines of both pets and humans have expanded, we’ve become accustomed to weighing more. What was once an animal of average weight today may seem to be underweight because our perception has evolved. The problem is, this new “normal” isn’t healthy.
- Lack of pet owner knowledge or understanding. To complicate the pet obesity problem, many pet owners don’t know their pets are overweight. The APOP survey also revealed a “fat pet gap,” in which 90 percent of owners of overweight cats and 95 percent of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pets as falling within the normal weight range.
People don’t gain weight overnight, and the same is true for our pets. Because weight gain is gradual, and we see our pets every day, it can be difficult to notice when a pet has become overweight. They don’t wear pants and we can’t see when their pants get tight… And for cats and small dogs especially, a few pounds can make a big difference.
So, what’s the big deal.. are there consequences… does being overweight really hurt our pets?
The answer is overwhelmingly YES!!!
Overweight and obese dogs and cats are more likely than their healthy weight counterparts to suffer from arthritis earlier in life. The accelerated wear and tear on joints is real and also makes it more difficult for them to get up and walk later in life without pain. Like in humans, some types of cancer are also more prevalent in overweight and obese pets. Among overweight cats, diabetes is rampant. In addition, fat cats can have difficulty grooming themselves, which is bad for their skin, physical well-being and their psyche, as self-grooming is a fundamental part of being feline. Not fitting easily into the litter box can cause some overweight or obese cats to have accidents outside the box. The most well-known complication is heart and respiratory disease, which can eventually lead to heart failure. What’s more, obese pets live up to 2 years less than their healthy counterparts.
Veterinary behaviorist Karen Overall, DVM suggests that some obese dogs and cats are actually clinically depressed. Their daily activity is often limited to taking brief jaunts in the yard or to the litter box for bathroom breaks, eating, sleeping, and eating some more.
Did you ever think that having an overweight pet could be viewed as an act of negligence? Well, multiple pet owners in the UK have been prosecuted for cruelty to animals due to their pets being dangerously obese In the UK in 2006, one case revolved around a chocolate Labrador retriever that was allowed to become so obese that he looked like a seal and only able to waddle like one instead of walk.
So, what do we do about this serious epidemic that is threatening the health of our beloved animal friends? Owners who don’t know what obese looks like will benefit from learning how to score their pet’s body condition.
Body condition score guidelines can become specific for each type of pet, but the general vet’s advice is to try and feel a pet’s ribs. The ribs should be easily located without having to put pressure on the pet’s body. If this cannot be easily achieved, chances are the pet is fat. Another way to tell is to look down at the pet from above and see if the pet has a bulging waistline or a circular shape.
Your veterinarian should play an important role in the health of your pet and can help you keep your furry friend at a healthy weight. Yearly health check-ups are very important as your pet will be weighed at each veterinary visit. If your veterinarian notices your pet’s weight is increasing, she will discuss it with you.
Your veterinarian can provide guidance about the right diet for your pet, including the type of food, appropriate amount, and frequency of feedings. Exercise should also be discussed with your veterinarian.
If your pet is already overweight, it is important to consult with your veterinarian about the proper way to help him get back into the healthy weight range. Crash diets aren’t healthy for anyone, but for cats especially a crash diet can trigger a sometimes-fatal liver disease.
Losing weight is never easy, but it can be done safely and effectively with assistance from your veterinary health care team and other knowledgeable and caring animal care professionals.
Petland stores across the country have provided more than 600 Pets in the Classroom grants to teachers through the Pet Care Trust since inception of the program.
The program allows for teachers to apply online for a classroom pet and choose their preferred Petland location. They receive a coupon that provides them with a pet,
a starter kit and a discount for supplies during the school year. Many Petland stores also offer an in-school visit to talk to the students about their new pet.
“It has been so fun to watch my students flock to the guinea pigs – they are eager to take them home, clean up after them, play with them, and feed them. My sixth graders have stepped up to the responsibility handed them with the guinea pigs,” wrote one teacher. “The things that students share with me while holding a guinea pig is just amazing – the guinea pigs really help them open up.”
Petland has long believed in the importance of the human animal bond. Learning about, caring for and handling animals helps teach social skills, responsibility and compassion in children. And, there are documented health and therapeutic benefits to spending time with pets.
Petland stores across the country dedicate time to visiting nursing homes and schools with various pets and we are constantly amazed and grateful at the difference a few pet snuggles can make in a person’s life.
Petland stores in Canada have also begun participating in the program and have already awarded more than 30 grants.
To see more Petland classroom visits, follow Petlandusa on Instagram.
Fullfilling Matthew’s Wish
In honor of Matthew Dugas, Petland Novi will donate 100% of proceeds of a Yorkie puppy to Mitochondrial Disease research. The first Yorkie was gifted to Matthew in 2014. Matthew just had a scare at the hospital and his family was grateful for his discharge. To cheer him up, Matthew’s mom took him to Petland. Matthew had always dreamed of a dog to sit with him in his wheelchair and he was so excited to visit the pets at Petland!
Please read Matthew’s story, told by his mom, below. Since Matthew’s passing, Petland Novi has donated a Yorkie puppy in honor of Matthew’s memory every April.
“I’m completely blown away and at a loss for words, anyone whom knows me, knows that NEVER happens! I know you all have heard me brag about Petland Novi, but it will never be close to the amount of recognition they truly deserve! This pet store isn’t just a store, it’s a family. They aren’t just employees, they are angels. Everyone there changed our life’s and continue to on a daily basis. Please, if you want to meet some amazing people and find your perfect furry forever friend, they are definitely the place to go! This month they have a beautiful yorkie they are selling with 100% of the money going to Matthew’s Wish!!!! Do you realize how huge that is!!! How many children that will help!!!! I’m telling you, they are angels! Allow me to share just a smidge of what they have done for our family.
Matthew had just been discharged from nationwide hospital. We were suppose to have a simple motility test performed. However, nothing about it turned out to be simple. Matthew ended up in the PICU fighting for his life. He was so ill that the staff informed us that his siblings should come visit, that it may be their last time to see their brother. Matthew being the miracle he has always been, showed them differently then what science did! We were blessed to be able to be discharged. We had a very sick Lil boy, but, he was alive! Matthew had always dreamt of having a small dog to sit with him in his wheelchair and go with him to his infusions. Matthew had an appointment with the oncologist team and the prognosis wasn’t good. After the appointment Matthew and I both feeling a little defeated, I decided to do something to try and make him forget the appointment. I told Matthew we were going to Petland to see their puppies!!!!! Matthew’s eye’s became huge!!! He was so happy.
After looking and holding a few pups, we found the perfect little girl. It was a beautiful, heathy, happy, little yorkie! When Matthew held her she would just curl up in his arms and lick him! Now when I held her, she would wanna play and chew on my hand! She knew exactly what Matthew needed and she gave him that! Matthew named his little princess, Jewels! O how bad he wanted her and how deeply he fell in love with her. I didn’t have the money to make it happen. I was devastated. I wanted to give Matthew everything he wanted. I wanted to be able to make him smile! I couldn’t though. I asked Petland if they would hold Jewels till the end of the night for me to try and come up with the money. They assured me they would. Later that night I called to tell them I was still working on getting the money and if there was anyway to leave some of the amazing things you get with your new dog off for a cheaper cost. I knew it was a great deal for everything you were getting, I just couldn’t afford it.
Petland called me back a little later and said could I bring Matthew and come back to the store. I explained I hadn’t had all the money together yet. They then told me, “we are giving Matthew Jewels for FREE”!!!! What!!!! Seriously!!!! You guys are giving us Jewels!!!! They told me they wanted to do this! As the tears streamed down my face, my hands shaken, I hurried to load Matthew’s wheelchair up and get him in the car. When we got there nothing could have prepared us!!! Every single employee greeted us! They were all smiling and happy to see us!!!! They went and got Jewels and placed her in Matthew’s lap! They went on to tell him that she was his!!!! I watched as Matthew tear up, trying his best not to break and let anyone see him crying!
The employees then told Matthew, “come on, we got to go shopping for her now”!!! “Matthew anything you want for Jewels, it’s yours for FREE”!!!!! When Matthew grabbed a couple things and in a very soft voice thanked them, they were like, O No! We are shopping Matthew!!! Before I knew it, the employees and Matthew had two carts filled with everything a dog would ever need throughout its entire life!!!! Remind you, it was all FREE too!!!! The employees went on to tell me how they were also giving us FREE food for life!!!! FREE vet care!!!!! I couldn’t believe my ears!!!! The employees all sat and talked with Matthew, making him feel like he was the most special boy in the world!!!!! They all were held over, but they never seemed to care. At this point the store even the whole mall was closed, but again, they didn’t care!
They just made Matthew feel like he was the only thing that mattered! They just kept talking and laughing at all his jokes!!! They didn’t know what they were doing for him that night, but, I truly believe they are the whole reason we were able to have another 6 months with Matthew! They lit a fire in him like I never seen! They gave him a reason to keep fighting!!! Jewels brought Matthew so much happiness and so many laughs! But, Petland, they gave our family TIME! I’ll never forget when Jewels wanted to hide her food, she’d dig in Matthew’s curl and bury it!!!! I’d try to make her stop, but Matthew would tell me to let her! He use to love when she’d do that!!! I don’t know what I’d do without Jewels. So many nights when I’m falling apart, missing Matthew more then I can bare, Jewels will come up in my lap and lick my tears and cry with me. She will place her head under my neck and whine. I swear, that little princess is one of the best things to ever happen to me! I need her! She keeps me fighting now!
After Matthew passed away we had a celebration of life. We asked everyone to wear superhero clothing or star wars in remembrance of our hero! You could image my surprise when Petland sent me a photo of everyone of their employees wearing superhero shirts that day!!! I once again broke down in tears!!! I couldn’t believe they would do this for my hero! For me! For my family! It was such a blessing to us all! They then took it a step further too! They asked all their costumers to come in with a superhero shirt in remembrance of Matthew!!!! Talk about giving my heart the biggest hug ever!!!
A few days later Petland contacted me and said they collected donations for Matthew’s Wish. They asked if I’d be able to stop by the store. They also said they had something for Matthew’s siblings! The kids and I went there and I was blown away by their love, empathy, sympathy, understanding, and just pure compassion! They ended up donating a very large sum of money to Matthew’s wish along with a very generous gift card for the kids to go hang out at Dave and busters!!!! The kids were so excited!!!!! Their life’s had been completely turned upside down and shattered into a million pieces. That gift card allowed them to just be kids and for a few hours be able to forget how much their hearts were aching! I watched as they laughed and played and were able to just be kids! Petland gave that to them!!!
I was thinking Petland would forget about us and we wouldn’t hear from them any longer, boy was I wrong! Petland has NEVER forgot about Matthew! Every year in the month of April since Matthew’s passing, Petland has sold a yorkie and donated all the money to Matthew’s Wish!!!! This store is a miracle and these employees are truly a miracle!!!! They have and continue to do more for Matthew’s Wish then anyone will ever know!
Not only do they consistently support Matthew’s Wish, they call me, text me, FB message me, just to make sure I’m ok!!!! You talk about an angel in disguise! I wish everyone could see how truly amazing this group of people are! They are life changers! They are hero’s! They are angels! They have and will forever touch my heart! Randy Horowitz you are truly a blessing in our life’s! Thank you!!!”
If you are interested in supporting Mitochondrial Disease research or the Yorkie puppy in Matthew’s memory, please call Petland Novi at 248-671-6435.
Fundraiser for cystic fibrosis April 6 at Greenfield VFW Ranch; Petland of Chillicothe thanked for support
By Jean Little, M.Ed.
Greenfield Elementary School
Over the weekend, we had an amazing experience at Petland in Chillicothe, and I truly believe that we should not only thank them in a big way, but also make sure that everyone knows how much they did for a little girl in our community.
Greenfield Elementary School pupil Ava Everhart has cystic fibrosis. Ava and her sister, Zoie, created a dream list that we wanted to try and fulfill while Ava is young and as healthy as possible. Ava’s first dream was to have a Pomeranian puppy.
After a little convincing, her mother said it was fine, and I went to work calling different pet stores. When I spoke with Petland in Chillicothe, they directed me to the corporate office, where I received a phone call after sending an email. They were “all in,” and when they found out it was Ava’s birthday March 30, they decided to do a surprise birthday party for her in the store. It was absolutely amazing.
They treated all of us like royalty with a full tour, petting and holding animals (teaching us about them as we went along), a full shopping spree (donated) for Ava’s new puppy (also donated), and they are also paying the vet bills for life (knowing how expensive it is for Ava’s parents to use gas to and from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and medical bills).
They are even coming to our April 6 event to share and teach about their animals.
Ava’s Magical Unicorns benefit for cystic fibrosis will be noon-11 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the VFW Ranch in Greenfield. There will be a huge silent auction, car show, band, outdoor games, a cornhole tournament, Kona ice, food trucks, face painting, a bouncy house, poker run and more.
Everyone is welcome. The VFW Ranch is located at 12868 Watt Road, Greenfield.
For additional information on Ava’s Magical Unicorns, email email@example.com or go to:
Pawty at Petland Chillicothe! Ava is a special girl and we were lucky to celebrate her birthday with her. She named her Pomperanian puppy Willow! To learn more about how you can support Ava’s Magical Unicorns, visit them on Facebook.
Ferrets really are the best pet! By Marshall Ferrets
Here at Marshall, if there is one thing we know, it is ferrets. We have been the largest breeder and exporter of the world’s friendliest ferrets since 1939. Over the years we have seen the popularity of ferrets grow to become the third most popular pet in America, after dogs and cats.
Why? Because they are awesome 🙂
Ferrets are an incredibly social animal and will quickly become part of your family. They will dook (dance and sing) their way into your hearts and become part of your daily routines, to the point where it will be hard to imagine your family without them.
They have an insatiable energy and need to connect often.
Getting ferrets as babies (called kits) is similar to getting a kitten.
While they sleep up to 18 hours each day, their short spurts of energy require social interaction to keep them happy and properly exercised. Having a spot in the house that is dedicated for playtime is recommended so the area can be properly ferret-proofed to keep them safe. If your ferret is free-roaming, you can be certain that your side kick will hang around and fall asleep in your lap when they are tired. This is why many people adopt ferrets in pairs. They will have a companion to play with while their owner is away and will keep them from getting into trouble. The ferret community calls this ferret math and many owners end up with a business of 5 or more and question how it got to this number. Those owners will tell you they are happier because of ferret math!
Ferrets are easily trained.
That’s right… ferrets were one of the hardest working animals in the early 20th century. During this time, they were trained to help rid NYC
of rat infestations, and Boeing also used them to run wires through tight machinery. This means getting them to use a litter box is a challenge that is usually quickly taught, and doing tricks to please will become routine. The Marshall Premium Ferret Litter provides excellent odor control. The recycled newspaper pellets are dust-free, biodegradable and flushable! Using this with one of our High Back Litter Pans makes it easy to get your ferret litter trained.
One of the benefits of adopting kits is that you are able to make the impressions necessary on the young pet to help them quickly feel comfortable in their family home and promote healthy habits in their diet, hygiene and behavior. They do have baby teeth and may get nippy. While this stage has given ferrets a bad rap, it is typically short lived because ferrets are so easily trained, and bad habits can be quick to break with consistent discipline.
Ferrets don’t take up a lot of space.
You may hear the opposite from some ferret fanatics, but the truth is the cages should take up very little space. While they are not in their cages, it is encouraged that they play in a ferret proofed space. Having a spot with a couple of Super Thru Ways and a Pop N Play Ball Pit is fun for the ferrets to play and the family to watch. Some people dedicate entire rooms in their home to their free-roaming pet, but this is not necessary. All they really need are some warm places to burrow and sleep like one of the Marshall Banana Hammocks or the Bear Rug and a place to do their business. That is why ferrets have become a popular pet for those that live in small spaces like an apartment.
Ferrets are funny and have relatable personalities.
Just as dogs and cats have their own individual personalities, so do ferrets! They will each evolve to connect with members of your family and personality traits will begin to emerge. When they play with each other, they get excited and will often give you a little song and dance (called dooking). They tend to steal things from you and hide them in their own special spots (one of the reasons why the most popular ferret name is Bandit) and they will show you their love in their own special way that only you two will understand. Some will kiss you on the chin and others will curl up on your neck. Either way, the bond you create with a ferret is one based on love, trust and loyalty.
Is a ferret right for your family?
As with any pet, there are things you should be aware of when considering a ferret for your family. A ferret is a responsibility. We encourage people to do their research to fully understand the care that is needed for a ferret. Yes, it is a great way for an older child to learn responsibility of a pet without having to take it for walks to do their business; The family should also know this is in no way a rabbit or hamster. Ferrets need social interaction, daily cleaning of their living space, and exercise out of their cages.
You should also have a vet that is familiar with the care of a ferret. While a ferret is in no way exotic, they are considered as such in the veterinary field. Find a vet that knows your pet.
Providing the proper diet for a ferret is integral to the overall health and life span of your pet. Be prepared to purchase the proper diet without taking short cuts for a value priced product. Every Marshall ferret comes with a one-year guarantee, provided you maintain feeding the diet they are given on the farm, the Marshall Premium Ferret Diet. This diet is specially formulated by vets, nutritionists and ferret experts for the ferret’s high protein nutritional needs and short digestive track.
And while a ferret is social and friendly, you should always supervise interactions with other pets and small children.
And what about their smell? This is a common complaint of many small pet owners. Their smell comes from their high protein diet. All Marshall ferrets are de-scented before they leave the farm. While this goes a long way to subdue the smell, the all-natural supplement Good Bye Odor further works to combat that smell from the inside. Maintaining a healthy diet, and a clean cage will significantly reduce the offensive smell that ferrets are known for.
Today, National Ferret Day, we here at Marshall want to thank all of the ferret parents out there who are taking such good care of our furry friends. We appreciate their dedication to their pet, their support of the ferret community and their ferret love.
To learn more about the ferret and if it is the right pet for your family visit marshallferrets.com/
Petland applauds the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) March 21, 2019 announcement seeking public comment on proposed updates to the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare Act is a federal law that establishes the regulations of commercial dog kennels, dealers, research facilities and exhibitors.
“Petland has a proud history of advocating for enhanced meaningful standards of care for America’s pets at both the state and federal levels,” stated Joe Watson, president and CEO of Petland, Inc. “We are pleased to have played an important part in encouraging the USDA to seek input from breeders, veterinarians and other stakeholders in order to make meaningful enhancements to the current standards of care.”
In October of 2018, Watson wrote to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting a meeting to discuss the need for improved compliance and meaningful updates to standards of care. This letter followed a 2016 letter from Watson to then-USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack where Watson stated, “the time has come for the USDA to begin the process to strengthen and modernize the current Animal Welfare Act standards.”
Petland invests heavily in supporting responsible, humane breeders who go above and beyond current standards of care because they love their pets.
“In our travels around the country, it is encouraging to see the dramatic improvements responsible USDA breeders have already made to their kennels and in the care provided for their pets,” states Watson.
Petland currently requires breeders to provide:
-Safe and comfortable housing with ample room
-Frequent socialization and exercise
-A state-issued health certification
-A consulting veterinarian
Passed by Congress in 1966 and amended eight times, the Animal Welfare Act establishes the federal standards of care for animals and the USDA is tasked to enforce the Act.
Yet, less than 20 percent of dog breeders in America are federally licensed and regulated (and inspected) by the USDA, leaving a vast segment of unregulated breeders selling online, at flea markets and, in some instances, to unregulated rescues. Interestingly, the responsible, regulated USDA breeders are villainized almost daily by activists and their pets are banned from sale in pet stores in over 200 communities in the United States while the other 80 percent fly under federal oversight.
“Licensees would have to demonstrate compliance with the AWA and show that the animals in their possession are adequately cared for in order to obtain a license…These steps allow the American public to confidently purchase pets and view animals on public display.”
-USDA statement, 3/21/2019
Meet the Petland Pets of the Month: Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
The pets of the month make great first pets! Guinea pigs and rabbits come in a wide variety of colors and can rock a short or long hairdo. Guinea pigs and rabbits may be small, but they are two unique types of pets with big personalities. Guineas have a charming habit of whistling when happy or excited. With training, rabbits can even learn to use a litter box! Here are some tips to keep your rabbit or guinea pig happy and healthy.
Check out our blogs on the unique characteristics of the bunny or the guinea pig and why they make great first pets!
1. Chew Blocks
Your guinea pig’s or rabbit’s teeth will grow continuously and it is important to help keep their teeth trimmed. The good news is both rabbits and guineas will love to play with the chewing aids you give them! Check your pet’s teeth on a regular basis for malocclusion (improper bite) which prevents them from eating normally. If the lower teeth slide over the top teeth, an under bite, visit your local small animal veterinarian.
2. Salt and Mineral Stone
Your bunny and guinea need a salt and mineral stone always available. Salt will encourage your pet to drink enough water, which aids digestion.
3. Vitamin C Supplement
It is especially important for guinea pigs to receive vitamin C supplementation because just like us, they can’t make it on their own. Make sure your guinea pig pellet is made from hay and fortified with vitamin C. Even with a well-rounded diet of pellets, hay and fresh foods, Petland recommends to provide your guinea with a vitamin C supplement daily. The easiest way to supplement your guinea with vitamin C is to add it to their water, available at your local Petland .
If your bunny has a well-rounded diet of pellets, fresh foods and an unlimited supply of fresh grass hay, then a vitamin supplement isn’t necessary. If your bun bun doesn’t have that diverse diet, you can easily add a vitamin supplement to your rabbit’s water or food.
4. Fresh Foods
Just like us, your pet will enjoy variety in their diet! All pets should be introduced to new foods gradually. Once your pet is used to these new, fresh foods, try giving them one cup (the size of your bunny’s head) of three types of fresh greens daily. When picking fresh foods for your pet, always head to the organics section to avoid veggies that have been sprayed. Here’s a list of greens your rabbit or guinea will love:
- Carrot and beet tops
- Dandelion greens and flowers (that haven’t been subject to spraying)
- Collard Greens
- Romaine and leaf lettuce (not iceberg or head lettuce)
- Pea Pods
Your guinea and rabbit will love to play! Give your pet ramps, ladders, platforms and slides. Your pet may even learn to use a harness and
leash to go on walks with you or a large-sized run-around ball! Stop by your local Petland for fun new toys for your rabbit or guinea pig and have fun playing!
The Petland pet of the month is only $10 with purchase of a Moss Hollow homecoming kit!
Wednesday, March 13th Petland Pembroke Pines donated a Mal-Shi puppy to a woman with sick cell anemia. The hypoallergenic puppy is a cross between a Maltese and Shih Tzu. The donation is a part of Petland franchisee Luis Marquez’s resolution to assist South Floridians fighting illnesses. Last year, Marquez gifted two puppies to Sebastian and Michael, two Floridian boys fighting Hunter Syndrome.
The Largest Single Donation in Petland History
The numbers are in! Petland stores nationwide raised more than $140,000 during the 2018 St. Jude Halloween Pin-Up Promotion benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Treatments invented at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.
Petland first partnered with St. Jude in 2009. To date, Petland has raised more than $640,000 for St. Jude. The St. Jude Halloween Pin-Up Promotion, now in its 28th year, asks customers to donate $1 or more at the register during the month of October to support the hospital’s lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.® In exchange for the donation, customers sign a St. Jude Halloween-themed pin-up which is displayed in the store. Petland also initiated a corporate campaign for the home office, offering payroll deductions for donations.
Because of fundraisers like the St. Jude Halloween Promotion, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because St. Jude believes all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
To learn more about the St. Jude Halloween Promotion, visit stjude.org/halloween.