Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BARF New Fad or the Real Deal?

If you own a dog or have been to a pet store you have probably heard of BARF which is short for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food. You hear alot of people rave about BARF and it seems like its the new craze with dog owners, but is it really that good? Well as far as I can tell it is. But my vet told me you cant beat the diet of dry food? yep that is true but BARF is the next closet thing to a good dry food for dogs but it has a wider combination of ingredients and a lot of dogs seem to prefer the taste and the variety in flavours. If someone was to ask me the diet i would recommend to there dog i would say a good dry food like Hills Science Diet, Eukanuba or Royal Canin and BARF.

So what is BARF meant to do for my dog? It is meant to help your dogs skin and coat, keep there teeth clean and breath smelling good, help arthritis and boost energy levels, build up there immune system, keep your dogs body mass correct, reduce odour and help prevent diseases. The first improvement you will most likely notice is your dogs skin and coat being in better condition, usually within 2 weeks you should notice a difference.

BARF comes in 6 different flavours for dogs which are Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Kangaroo and Combination. The most popular flavours we find are Combination and Chicken BARF. The least popular by far is the Kangaroo, we even stopped stocking this flavour at our pet stores. The packet sizes are 2.72 kgs and that gives you 12 patties in a box. For every 5 kgs your dog weighs you will give them 1 pattie, so if your dog weighs 20 kgs they will get fed 4 patties in a day.

The only way to tell for sure if BARF is right for your dog is to pop down to your local pet shop and try some out. That way you can judge what you think of it for yourself.

Monday, February 16, 2009

youtube for pets, Yep petube.com

Well why wouldn't there be a pettube.com, with so many funny pet videos out there it would only make sense. I'm sure this site wont take to long to gain popularity.

Upside Down Dogs?

This website is basically what its website name suggests. People take pictures of there dogs lying upside down and flip them around the other way to come up with some pretty amazing pictures. This is a must see for everyone. https://www.upsidedowndogs.com/

What are Dog Rocks?

Dog Rocks are one of those products that seem to good to be true, but this product is True. So what are Dog Rocks and what do they do? Dog Rocks are basically a type of natural rock you put into your dogs water bowl to stop there urine killing your grass. I know what your thinking, yeah right i bet that is a crock. But these really do work and they work consistently for 2 months at a time. They wont bring old dead grass back to life but they will stop your nice lawn from dying when your dog decides to pee. If you have this problem at home its sure worth a try as the Dog Rocks are not harmful at all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What is the best type of filter for my fish tank?

What is the best type of filter for my aquarium or fish tank? this is very common questions asked while working in a pet store. To answer this question correctly we need to know more about your aquarium such as its size and what fish are in it. Seeing you cant tell me right now I will list the different types of fish tank filters you can use in aquariums and explain what suits what best.

  • Internal Filter: I like internal aquarium filters the best for many reasons. They are simple to use, they are quite, they work really well and they don't break down very often. You can get internal filters to suit tanks from 20 liters to 300 litres, or you can use them on bigger tanks by using 2 large ones on each end of your aquarium. As with every product range there is good quality and bad quality products. Generally you get what you pay for, so if you buy one for under $10.00 don't be surprised when it stops working not long after you make the purchase. Internal filters are fairly cheap for how well they work and are best used with tropical fish and goldfish, but can also be used in saltwater aquariums.

  • Canister Filter: Canister filters are very powerful type of filter for your fish tank. Being powerful makes them do a really good job especially on larger sized tanks. You can get canister filters to fit tanks from 100 litres to over 1000 litres. These filters will really get the work done and keep larger tanks clean. Canister filters are a bit more complicated to set up and maintain then other types of filters. They will also cost a bit more than other filters, but if you are serious about keeping a bigger fish tank it is well worth the extra cost and work. Canister filters can be used with tropical fish, cichlids, oscars, marine fish, goldfish or aquatic plant setups.

  • Hang-on Filter: Hang on filters seem to do a job good with keeping your fish tank clean, and they are a fairly popular way to go. Although they do work well I find that they seem to break a little easier, are a little harder to maintain than other filters like internal filters which are similar in price. Another hang-on filters do which some people like and others don't, is they make the water trickle which can be loud and constant. It is personal preference if you like to here the water trick or not. Hang on filters can be used in tanks up to 300 litres and again if you want to use them for bigger aquariums you can use 2 with one on each end of the tank. They cost a bit more than internal filters but they do work well and are best used with tropical fish and goldfish.

  • Under Gravel Filter: Under gravel filters are a little bit more old school than some other filters and really don't do as good a job as the internals, hang-ons or canisters. They will keep your gravel cleaner but the much in the fish tank really doesn't have anywhere to go so it stays in the tank under the gravel. Another downside to these are you need to use a air pump to run it which can be loud and a hassle. They do work as a filter but just not as well as some of the newer type filters you can get. I wouldn't bother putting this type of filter in a tank over 100 litres but anything up to do should be fine. Under gravel filters will work best with Tropical fish and Goldfish.

  • Sponge Filter: Sponge filters are another older style product but these ones tend to a fairly good job.They are run off an air pump which can be a bit annoying but if you have a lot of tanks you can use one big air pump and attach these to each tank and that will be a good system. You can get them with bigger sponges and smaller sponges to fit all sized tanks to say 200 litres. They are also a good filter to use if you have baby fish in the tank because it wont suck them up. Sponge filters are best used for Tropical fish, Goldfish, Cichlids and baby fish like small guppies.

Even though using a good filter helps keep your tank a lot cleaner there is no better way to maintain and keep your tank clean then doing water changes, which should be a weekly or fortnightly duty. Hope this article can help you when deciding what filter is best to use for your aquarium fish tank.

Best Flea Treatment for Dogs?

(updated 18th of September 2019)

What is the best flea treatment for dogs? this is one of the most common questions asked while working in a pet store. The answer is that there is no one best way to kill fleas, but there is a number of different ways. What we will do is list the common methods and talk about how effective they really are and rate how well they work out of 10. Are you ready to find out the best flea treatment for your dog?

  • Flea Shampoo (4/10): This is the first method people will usually try. Using flea shampoo will take most of the fleas off your dog, but it will not do much to stop them from coming back which generally is the main problem. Of course some flea shampoos will be more effective than others but overall none of them are going to do a great job of stopping fleas from coming back onto your dog. On the plus side though it is a cheaper solution than most of the others methods of getting rid of fleas on dogs. If you are going to try a flea shampoo I would suggest Fidos flea shampoo or malaban wash as they seem to be the most effective.

  • Advantage, Advocate and Advantix (8.5/10): These are all listed together as they all come from the same company and have the have the same ingredient that kills fleas (Imidacloprid) in them. Advocate for dogs also known as Advantage multi treats for fleas, heartworms, intestinal worms and ear mites. Advantix for dogs treats for fleas, ticks and insects. Advantage for dogs only treats for fleas, flea larvae and lice. These products are one of the most effective of getting rid of fleas and keeping them off. They last for a month at a time and start to work within a hour of use and are in full effective within 24 hours of application. Sure they still might not work as well for some people but 90-95% of people who use these products have success and continue to use them after. They might not be the cheapest solution but they do work really well. Overall the Bayer range has proved to consistently be one of the best over the years.

  • Revolution (8.5/10): This is another very good solution to killing fleas on your dog. Revolution for dogs is very similar to Advocate as it treats for fleas, heartworm, intestinal worms and ear mites. It has showed time again that it works great and this is back up by the loyal following of repeat users. Overall if you are using Revolution know that you are using one of the best flea products on the market and is very hard to fault. Revolution for cats also is very popular and uses the same ingredient (Selamectin) to kill fleas as Revolution for Dogs.

  • Frontline Plus (5.5/10): There was a time when Frontline for dogs was the best flea control out there, but that time has come and gone. Yes it still works well for a lot people but I would guess that about 75% of people who it use to work for, just doesn't work nearly as well anymore. No one really knows whether fleas have started to become immune to the formula they use or they have changed the formula in Frontline or what exactly has happened. But one thing we do know is that it isn't anywhere near as effective as it once was. If you are looking for another flea and tick product I would recommend using Nexgard, as it treats for fleas, tick and insects for about the same price and you will find it is much more effective on fleas.

  • Frontline Spray (7.5/10): Unlike regular Frontline, Frontline Spray seems to work very well and a lot of people have a good amount of success with it. Maybe it works better because dogs get a larger dosage amount and are more thoroughly treated with it as it is sprayed all over the dogs body. The spray version of Frontline never really saw popularity like the tube version and I would guess this is because of the price. It works out to cost quite a deal more than other flea treatments. But overall we have very little complaints in its ability to kill fleas.

  • Sentinel Spectrum (6/10): This product comes in a chewable tablet form and controls flea infestations, flea allergy dermatitis, heartworm, roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tape worm. One big part that Sentinel for dogs does not treat for is Adult fleas. So if you already have fleas on your dog it will not get rid of those fleas, what it will do is break down flea infestations and control flea allergy dermatitis. If your dog already has fleas and you want to use Sentinel I would suggest using it in conjunction with Capstar or a topical solution like Advantage. But just because it does not treat for adult fleas it certainly does not make it useless in keeping fleas off your dog.

  • Capstar (6/10): This is a small flea tablet that work only works for 24 hours at a time, but when given to your dog it kills 99% of adult fleas on them. Capstar for dogs and cats will not stop fleas from coming back on your dog after 24 hours but it does a really good job of getting fleas off. Some dog owners use capstar by giving there dog a tablet every few days and it seems to work well for them. In my opinion the best way to use Capstar is in-conjunction with Advantage, Advantix, Advocate, Revolution or Sentinel. Also if you do not have fleas at your house, but your dog has been to a friends house or the kennels and picked up fleas, one dose of Capstar should be able to fix the problem. Capstar tablets are a relatively cheap solution also.

  • Comfortis and Panoramis (9/10): These are the newest flea products on the market and would also class them as the best on the market at the moment. These products are both made by the same company (Elanco) and use the same ingredient (Spinosad) to treats fleas. Comfortis for dogs treats for fleas, flea infestations and flea allergy dermatitis. Panoramis for dogs also known as Trifexis for dogs treats for fleas, heartworm, hookworm, roundworm and whipworm. They come in the form of a chewable tablet, that are easy for dogs to digest. In a very short time Comfortis has proved to be the leader in flea medications for dogs. Panoramis has only just been launched by we predict it will be just as powerful in killing fleas as Comfortis is. The only downside to Comfortis is that many dogs have had side effects, most commonly vomiting within in 1 hour of taking the tablet, after this happens it is recommended to dose the dog again. There have been many cases of side effects recorded, although they are still very rare, it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on your dog after dosing with Comfortis. In the way of killing fleas these products would still be my first recommendation. 

  • NexGard for Dogs (8/10): This is the first effective flea and tick chewable tablet. NexGard for dogs was released in 2014 and has immediately started flying off pet store and vet shelves. NexGard is made by Merial who are well known for producing Frontline, Frontline Plus and Heartgard.  It rapodly kills fleas and controls the 3 main ticks. It can be used on puppies from 8 weeks of age. As it is a tablet, you can bath your dog after treatment without diluting the solution. NexGard price is on par with Advantix and Frontline Plus, which are the two other products that treat flea & ticks in the same medications. 

  • Bravecto for Dogs (9/10): Many people have heard rumors of a new tablet that treats fleas for 3 months. And the rumors are true and the product is Bravecto for dogs. It is a chewable tablet that will treat and prevent flea infestations are 3 months and control ticks up to 4 months (depending on the kind of tick). It can be used on dogs from 8 weeks of age and over 4lbs (2kgs). Although it is just 1 tablet, which is a easy way to treat your dog, you are not going to save any money as the cost is on par with other monthly treatments like NexGard.
  • Simparica for Dogs (9/10): This is the latest flea & tick treatment for dogs. It comes in 3 packs and 6 packs of chewable tablets which are easy to give. They have 5 size ranges for dogs going up to 120lbs (60kg). We have found it to be as effective as Bravecto and more effective than NexGard & Advantix. Simparica for dogs is also at a cheaper price point than the other dog flea & tick tablets. 

  • Flea Collar (1.5/10): Most flea collars claim to keep fleas off your dog for 2+ months at a time, but in my experience I have not seen a flea collar keep fleas off for longer than 2 minutes. Of course not all flea collars are created equal and some might actually do something, most simply just wont do anything or enough to make any significant difference. Flea collars are cheap but I can not think of many other ways that are a bigger waste of money.

  • Flea Powder (3/10): Flea powder is similar to flea shampoo and probably just as effective (which isn't very). Before the invention of flea medications, there was flea powder and this would of been the most effective method of killing fleas at the time (over 20 years ago), now days with all the great flea products on the market, this method almost seems useless in comparison. It wont hurt of use flea powder and it is cheap, so you can give it a shot, but if and when it isn't doing the job change to a real flea med instead of having your dog bugged by fleas all day.

(updated 18th of September 2019)