Aug 062018
 

Part of responsible pet ownership is providing a healthy, species appropriate diet. For many animals, mostly reptiles, that is going to include feeding live foods. And yes, they can be gross for some people, but they meet a need that your pet has like nothing else can.

Why feed live, when there are dried and canned insects available?

Many of our pets are ambush predators, and have to see their food moving by them. Dried and dead insects often will not trigger their appetite, and are not as nutritious as live ones.

Because no food is nutritionally complete, to ensure that your pet gets the best nutrition it’s best to both gut load and dust your insects with vitamin/calcium powders. Gut loading just means ensuring that you insect is eating and filled with something nutritious, so that your pet will receive it, too. Gut loading can be done with a variety of foods, from potatoslices and zucchini to apples and fresh greens – potatoes and zucchini tend to last the longest without spoiling, but always be sure to clean out old veggies and replace with fresh.

Looking for something more simple?  Flukers makes a cricket diet that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Repashy offers Bug Burger, a powder that you make into a unique, highly nutritious gel for all your insect’s needs. These are an incredibly convenient way to deliver high quality nutrition to your feeder insects and, therefore, to your pet.

In nature, reptiles and amphibians are exposed to a wide variety of food items, often much more varied and ultimately more nutritious than those diets fed to captive herps. We often need to give supplements to ensure great health. There is a great deal of discussion in herpetology about vitamins and mineral supplements, and people find this very confusing. How much do you give? What is the difference between calcium with D3 vs without? How much is toxic?

Aug 032018
 
Gems of the sky!
Jewels of the jungle!
 
Green cheek conures are a favorite among both experienced and novice bird keepers due to their playful natures, small stature, temperament, and relatively low noise level (compared to their larger cousins). They are very social birds, living in large flocks in the wild, so they need to interact with as much of the family as possible. Playful and intelligent, they can learn several words and tricks.

The turquoise green cheek conure is a color mutation on the normal green cheek appearance. Their feathers are a dusty blue pairing well with the grey head. 

 
 

The pineapple is another one of the color morphs of the green cheek. Much more vibrant, with their yellow and red stripped breasts, these little birds are just stunning!

 
 
 

Stop by any time, meet our three newest feathered friends, and find out why they are so popular!

 
First time owning a bird? We have all the expert advice and products to get you started and to keep your bird healthy, happy, and friendly. From great cages, to the healthiest diets and the most fun toys, we’ve got you covered! Our care sheets contain all the basics, from bird behavior to nutrition – check them out here.
Aug 022018
 
One of our favorite aquariums – the biOrb!
 

Sleek, modern style

Efficient filtration

All topped with an efficient   

LED lighting system

 
Constructed Out of Acrylic- 10 times stronger than glass, 50% lighter and 93% clearer
True 5 Stage Filtration – Biological, Mechanical, Chemical, Water Stabilization and Oxygenation
Low Voltage – All biOrb aquariums operate from a 12V Transformer
LED Lighting – Equipped with a long lasting, low voltage Standard LED Light
Filter Cartridge – A true “one size fits all” filter for the biOrb aquariums
 
They are available in two sizes – 8 gallons and 16 gallons – and two colors – black and white. 
 
The 8 gallon BiOrb comes with theremote-controlled multi-colored LED light. Enjoy the magic of multi-colored lighting in your biOrb at the touch of a button. Simply choose your favorite color or scroll through the entire spectrum of light.
 
The 16 gallon comes with white daytime and blue nighttime LEDs, with an automatic sensor to turn them on and off automatically!
 
 
1. Air driven filtration system creates vigorous water flow and a constantly changing water surface. This maintains oxygen saturation.
2. The circular flow of water then collects any fish waste on its way down. 
3. It draws the waste through the ceramic media where the natural biological filtration absorbs some toxins. The freshly oxygenated water also feeds the bacteria.
4. Any remaining waste is trapped in the sponge cartridge. The water then passes through resin particles and natural stabilizers to remove toxic substances and keep the pH levels ­­­constant.
5. The clean water is then oxygenated as it flows back up the bubble tube to repeat the cycle.
 
The easy change, one size fits all filtration cartridge makes your monthly maintenance a breeze! 
 
 
They have created a line of beautiful and realistic decorations, specially designed for this tank. Most unique are the ornaments that surround and cover the uplift tube to hide the stream of bubbles. 
 
 
 
Decorations do more than just make your tank attractive: artificial plants can help create cover for your fish, giving them a place to hide from other fish and helps keep them stress free (stress is just as damaging to our fish as it is to us.)
Jul 312018
 
All organisms, whether animal, plant, or fungus, produce organic wastes, either during their lives as products of their metabolic activity (excreta, carbon dioxide, etc.) and the shedding of dead tissue (skin cells, leaves, etc.) or through the decay of the entire life form after death. These residues are recycled in nature via biogeochemical processes, one of which is the nitrogen cycle, which also takes place within the aquarium. The successful establishment of this cycle is fundamental for the long-term health of the aquarium and its inhabitants.
 
Fortunately, there are bacterial strains that metabolize the waste products of aquarium life into relatively harmless gases, thereby allowing the aquarium to sustain life. It can take anywhere from thirty to forty-five days for sufficient amounts of bacteria to grow to maintain the cycle. The first of these bacteria .. . . Read more here
Jul 312018
 
Dental health of our small animals is something most peopledon’t spend time thinking about, and yet it is vital to their overall health as it is for our cats, our dogs, and even us.
 
Nearly all small animals kept as pets belong to the order Rodentia (which literally means “to gnaw”) and one characteristic is that their teeth continue to grow throughout their entire lives. While rabbits are not in the same order (being members of the order Lagomorpha) but have the same feature with their teeth (this is why people think rabbits are rodents). They must chew on wood to keep their incisors short and trimmed. 
 
Malocclusion – where the teeth do not meet up properly, are unevenly worn, or grow crooked – is a common problem for small animals if their teeth are not cared for, and it prevents them from eating properly. For rabbits and their sensitive digestive tracts this can be a life threatening problem. In severe cases, the teeth continue to grow and begin to grow into their head.
 
Severe cases of malocclusion require a veterinarian’s intervention.
 
So how do we prevent this? Wooden chews! Fortunately, we have a wide assortment of sizes, colors, and shapes. Some can even be stuffed with paper or hay to hide treats inside for extra fun. Just a few of our top chews:
 

Gnawsome playtime chew toy with a nutty surprise
Made of all natural wood and contains a peanut inside wooden ball
USDA approved food coloring is safe to chew
Ideal for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Hamsters, Gerbils, Pet Rats, and other small animals
Helps overcome cage boredom and promote good dental health
 
 
 

Natural willow mega munch sticks small pet chew treats
Safe critter chew
Made of natural wood and nut chew that critters crave
Environmentally friendly
Measures 1-3/4-inch width by 1-3/4-inch depth by 11/2-inch height
Your Pets Will Love to Chew These Mega Munch Sticks
Made of All Natural Willow that is Completely Safe For Your Pet
 
The Treat-K-Bob is a cool accessory to your cage. Designed to fit any of the Ware chews, it’s also a great place to put their veggies or treats so they have to work for them. 
 
The fun Snak Shak by eCotrition 

The Snak Shak is made with delicious fresh alfalfa and golden honey, making it 100 percent chewable. It gives your hours of stimulating play for your pet. It has a natural wood look, and the larger size can serve as a hidey hut.
 
One of our favorite recommendations is the Woodland Get-A-Way hut. It both provides a cozy place to relax and hide away while also helping keep their teeth trimmed when they chew on it. 
 
The real key is variety – offer different types and shapes of chews, and be sure to change them out when they’ve been gnawed on for a bit.
Jul 252018
 

It can always be a little hit or miss when you buy your cat a toy. You see something that looks cool and fun, that you think they’ll love, but they sit and stare at you and then want to go play with the rings from your milk jug.Image result for cat playing with neko flies

But not with Neko Flies Toys – they’re one of our most popular toys and they’re back on the market!

Why are they so popular?

Realistic – Each and every toy has been carefully designed to realistically mimic various insects and mice that your cat would naturally want to chase and pounce on. Soft fur, jiggly legs, flexible wings, and a crawling double body are guaranteed to keep your cat engaged.

Interchangeable – Even the coolest toy will get to be boring and old after a while. Keep it interesting by changing it up with Neko Flies’ interchangeable lures! With several designs and varying textures, they’ll stay totally captivated. All interchangeable toys come with a 41″ string and clip to make it easy to change the toy frequently.

Durable – These toys may seem flimsy, but they are made with top grade materials to withstand the kind of abuse a playing cat can dish out. Checkout the video on the left to see the toy in action.

As durable as this toy is, there are some small pieces, so when you’re done playing with your cat, make sure you put it somewhere safe and secure – cat’s don’t always agree when we think it is time to stop playing!

Effective – These toys have been tested extensively; their realistic shapes and engaging movement catch and hold cat’s attention, making play time fun for both of you.

Cats are born to be hunters and their passion to chase prey and pounce on them is part of their very essence. And Neko Flies are one of the best ways to help keep them stimulated, active, and happy!

Jul 252018
 

You may have heard the recent news from the FDA, warning pet owners and veterinarians about reports linking a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs being fed grain free diets.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is when the heart muscle becomes enlarged, making it harder to pump blood properly. Symptoms of DCM include decreased energy, coughing, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse. Certain dog breeds – especially large ones like Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards – are known to be genetically predisposed to it, but what makes this more worrisome is that it is being seen in breeds not typically known for it.

No specific brand was mentioned in the warning from the FDA. The diets being fed frequently listed potatoes or multiple legumes – peas, lentils, and other pulses – early in the ingredient list, indicating they are main ingredients. It is not known how these ingredients are linked to these cases of DCM. Legumes and potatoes are considered a better starch to have in dog food over the alternatives of wheat, soy, corn, and rice. Low glycemic foods are fundamental in daily carnivore diets.

This warning stems from reports of DCM in 8 dogs, all breeds not known for this heart condition. In four of the atypical DMC cases, the dog’s blood work showed low whole blood levels of Taurine. In four other cases, the dogs had normal blood levels of Taurine.  It is too early, and there is too little information, to know much of a role it played in these dog’s health.

What is taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid important for the metabolism of fats and is necessary for heart health. It is found naturally in raw meats and organs. It has no tolerance for heat, and is absent in cooked foods unless added back in after the cooking process. Since taurine is not normally considered an essential nutrient for dogs, it is rarely listed on the nutrition panels (although a few of the brands we carry do add it as a supplement.) Early reports indicate that the dogs ate these foods consistently for time periods ranging from months to years.

Is there anything for you to worry about?

We do not think so. Millions of dogs are fed grain free diets with no ill effects. We actually see excellent results with grain free foods, as they lower obesity, prevent diabetes, reduce allergies, and improve skin conditions.

We, as a store, do not defend any one diet. We realize that each customer and each dog is unique and has different nutritional needs. We feel one of the best ways to ensure your pet is getting proper nutrition is with rotational feeding. New recipes, even different companies, each time help cover any gaps that there might be in your pet’s diet. Using a variety of canned, dry, and raw frozen gives your dog the most rounded diet possible. And while the American Veterinary Medical Association may not like raw diets, many holistic vets do, and we feel it is one of the most natural things to feed your dog (and this warning just confirms for us the health benefits of raw diets.) For another take on raw and grain free diets, check out holistic vet Dr Karen Becker’s video on How to Choose a Good Dog Food.

This is just preliminary information, and there is a lot more research that needs to be done before any conclusive link between grain free diets and heart disease can be confirmed.  The FDA continues to work with veterinary cardiologists and nutritionists to better understand this issue. They often issue warnings like this out of an abundance of caution. If you have any concerns about your dog, their diet, or their overall health, please contact your veterinarian. The FDA does encourage anyone to report cases of DCM to the Safety Reporting Portal.

Wilmette Pet has always tried to be educated on the best diets available. Pet nutrition is still an ongoing learning process, and we’ll be here to bring you the latest news and information.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm613305.htm

http://www.petbusiness.com/The-Truth-About-the-FDAs-Grain-Free-Dog-Food-Warning/

 

 

Jul 132018
 
NEW! Grizzly Joint Aid – From the people that are known for their high quality salmon oil comes a superior supplement for arthritic joints, Joint Aid! It contains the four prime ingredient to help reduce inflammation and protect damaged joints:
  • Glucosamine: used in the formation of tendons, ligaments, bones and skin; helps cartilage maintain its natural “shock absorber” fluids.
  • Chondroitin: supports cartilage resilience while serving as its most abundant building block.
  • MSM: important sulfur source for healthy connective tissue, joint function, cell replacement, enzyme activity and the immune system support.
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA): helps lubricate and cushion joint tissues, generate new cells, and dispose of metabolic waste.
It comes in two forms – liquid with a pre-measured pump top and mini Pellets, with a  pre-measured scoop inside the container, making it easy to dose just the right amount. The mini pellets go one step further with turmeric, which has been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the whole body.
Jul 052018
 
Midwest’s is one of the top names in small animal habitats, cages, exercise pens, and accessories, all bearing the stamp of their innovative design, engineering, and manufacturing.They spend a great deal of time with expert instructors to learn as much as possible about small animal behavior and needs. The result? The industry’s best-selling small animal products.
 
And we’re excited to have their newest and coolest cages!
 
Critterville’s Race car and Butterfly small animal cages
 
Safe and fun hamster habitat with stylish accessories. Includes
  • exercise wheel
  • water bottle
  • food bowl, shelf
  • hideout hut
  • clip-on art and decals. 
  • 19.4″ W x 9.8″ H x 13.85″ L
 
New! Only $54.99
 
Critterville Arcade
  • This fun and unique cage features a cool multi-level play space to watch your hamster in action.
  • Includes FREE accessories to get you started, with an exercise wheel, water bottle, food bowl, nesting nook, and interior play tubes
  • Features a deep base to contain hamster bedding, a convenient top door for easy access to your pet & a removable upper cover for easy cleaning.
  • The modular design includes connector pieces that fit standard play tubes, if you want to connect to another hamster habitat to make a huge, fun home
  • Simple assembly w/ no tools required
  • 18.11″ x 11.61″ x 21.26″
 
New! Only $69.99