Oct 202016
 
We are excited to introduce our new marine and saltwater selection!
And we now carry everything you need to get started:
marine foods
medications and water quality additives,
test kits,
UV sterilizers, circulation pumps, and protein skimmers,
live sand and reef rock,
and the all important Instant Ocean Salt mix!
We also have Coralife’s BioCubes, in 16 and 32 gallons, perfect for your new marine fish and reef!
They feature:
  • Easy setup and includes tank, top, light filter, and filter pump
  • Power compact and LED light bar, with a programmable timer for your day light, dusk, and nighttime lighting
  • Integrated wet/dry biological filtration that can be customized with any filter media you wish.

Watch us as we

build our reefs!

We’re setting these two Biocubes as mini reef tanks; watch us as we go from the bare tank to a living replica of a reef on Facebook (and come in to check out the progress in the store!)

Meet some of our new marine friends:

This stunning fish is the royal gramma basslet. Vivid purple in the front and yellow/orange in the second half, this fish is eye popping even when hiding under a ledge.
Yellow tang: These gorgeous fish are suitable for larger tanks, but are safe for reefs. While they like to be the only one of their kind, you don’t need any more, as they’re just incredible to see!
The stunning flame angelfish is certainly an eye catcher and is one of our favorites! Keeping them well fed makes them safe for your reef tanks. Give them plenty of places to hide with live rock for grazing, and add them last to a peaceful community to really make it pop!
Diamond watchman goby: These cute little fish live at the bottom of the tank, where they like to sift the sand and make their own burrows. (In fact, that’s where they’re hanging out right now in the store, peeking out from their burrows, watching us watching them.)
Red footed hermit crabs live exclusively in salt water. You’ll notice them hanging out on the bottom of the aquarium and climbing the rocks, looking for meals of detritus and algae. They’re one of the most popular reef maintenance animals.
The chromis is a small schooling fish that are less aggressive than their close relatives, damsels and clownfish. They make great companions in a reef tank, as they don’t bother other inhabitants.
Turbo snails are great little clean up crews for reef tanks, as they like most algae, including nuisance algae – a lot of it. They’re hardy and great for the beginners aquarium.

Stop by and check our all the other inhabitants we have, some bold and beautiful, some not so noticeable!

Aug 042016
 

High quality foods are nothing new here at Wilmette Pet. In fact, they are standard for us. Every single food here is made with human grade meats free of by-products, does not contain corn, soy, or wheat, and unnecessary fillers.Open Farm banner

Our newest food Open Farms has all of this, and goes a step beyond by being the first ethically sourced food, ensuring that the animals they use are raised in the most humane way possible. “We source all of our meat ingredients in a way that is consistent with our core value that all animals should be raised with kindness and respect. Not only does this result in happier and healthier farm animals, it leads to a higher quality of meat for ourselves and our pets.”

This means:

  • Proper diet, consisting of quality vegetarian diets free from antibiotics and hormones.
  • Stress free, enriched environment with plenty of room to roam, with clean resting spaces and free access to food and water. Crates, cages, and ties are forbidden. They even ensure that the poultry they use has 6 hours of sleep every 12 hours!
  • During transport, handling and stress are kept to a minimum, and the people involved are trained to ensure ethical and humane handling.

It’s a food that you can feel really good about feeding to your pets!

Open Farm whitefishThey are the first pet industry partner of Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) and they are the first first Certified Humane pet food. What does this mean? This third party non-profit group focuses on animal welfare and constantly audits the entire supply chain to ensure that strict standards are met every step of the way. To learn more about HFAC, visit www.certifiedhumane.com

They are also partners with Global Animal partnership and their 5 step animal welfare rating system. When you see the GAP 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating labels, you can be assured that the farmers and ranchers under the program must focus intently on the welfare of their animals, meet comprehensive standards and be subject to third party audits. To learn more about GAP, visit http://www.globalanimalpartnership.org

This company even has a recycling program for its bags; just bring them to the store, and they’ll come by, pick them up, and reuse them in future batches!

Stop by for some samples of this amazing food, and let us know what you think!

 

Jul 142016
 

Summerfest 2016

On Friday, our good friends from Midwest Greyhound Adoption are going to be with us, showing off their embassa-dogs, and talking about what amazing companions they make.

Then on Saturday, our partners in adoption, Adopt-A-Pet, will be there with some new friends looking for their forever homes. They’ll also have some great arts and crafts and treats to help homeless animals. Joining them in their mission to help rescue cats and dogs is Maddie, offering adorable and cool face painting – and all proceeds are being donated to Adopt-A-Pet!

Jun 302016
 
Hermit crabs are fascinating little pets, with their alien appearance and unique lifestyle. Properly caring for these small crustaceans is a bit different than most people think, but it’s a rewarding experience! They
are, sadly, often considered a throw away pet, but a properly cared for hermit crab can live 15 years or more! We’re here to change that perception and help you get the most out of your new crustacean friend!

A few tips to get you started:

Hermit crabs, despite their name, are quite social and do better when kept in small groups. They can be quite active and love to climb, so give them plenty of space and some vertical surfaces.
Hermit crabs like high humidity and access to both fresh water and salt water. Provide fresh water with a sponge, and giving them a bath twice a week in salt water.
For more information on how to care for these fascinating creatures, check out our care sheet here. Stop by to see these cool little guys for yourself and talk to our trained staff about how to properly care for them.
And to help get you started right, we’ve made our own hermit crab kits! These convenient homes contain everything you need to get started at a GREAT price!
Kit includes:

Hermit crab home
Shell for their food
Sponge for humidity
Substrate coconut/calci-sand mix
Marine Salt
Decoration
plus food and treats!
Jun 142016
 

In our last care sheet we talked about a common problem with cats: kidney problems. Cats are susceptible to another problem, called feline lower urinary tract disease, FLUTD.Cat 2 It is not a specific disease, but a term used to describe any number of conditions that can affect cat’s urinary bladder and/or urethra.

FLUTD, formerly known as FUD, is one of the more common diseases seen in cats. Any cat can get it, but it does seem to be more common if the cat is older, neutered, over-weight, or eats a dry kibble diet.

Symptoms:

  • Increased frequency of using the litter box
  • Urinating outside of the litter box or in unusual places. This can be caused by pain and irritation that causes an urgent need to go and they cannot get to their liter boxes in time.
  • Difficulty, straining, or pain when going to the bathroom, due to the inflammation.
  • Over grooming and hair loss, especially around their perineum. Many cats will over groom and lick themselves as a way to deal with the pain associated with FLUTD.
  • Blood in the urine. Blood in the urine may be microscopic (only detectable by your vet using tests) or may be more severe and obvious (you may see red discoloration of the urine).

Causes of FLUTD:

Bladder stones – These stones can form because of an imbalance in a cat’s pH and from a build-up of magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) and calcium oxalate crystals. This is less common in cats now, as most diets are formulated with limited magnesium and designed to produce acidic urine.

Bacterial infections – Bacterial infections causes a lot of inflammation but it’s relatively uncommon in cats, although it is seen more frequently in older cats.

Urethral plugs – A buildup of proteins, cells, crystals, and debris in the urine can build up and form a plug that cannot be passed. The severe inflammation from another issue can cause muscle spasms, which block off the urethra.

In rare cases, a tumor might be the culprit. It’s more common in older cats that have a history of inflammation and trouble urinating.

Idiopathic – Up to 60 – 70% of cats have no underlying disease to explain why they have problems urinating.

Diagnosis and Treatments:

Because there can be a variety of causes, diagnosis of FLUTD can be difficult. A vet will run various tests, including urinalysis, blood work, and x-rays. Treatment all depends on the cause: a diet that increases acidity can help dissolve some stones, surgery may be needed to remove stones or plugs, or medications, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, may be proscribed. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment is important, as FLUTD can be fatal in male cats.

Prevention:

Preventing urinary problems in cats is always much easier and cheaper than treating problems when they develop.  Some of the things you can do at home include:Cat-it Fresh & Clear Drinking with caption

  • Feed small meals on a frequent basis.
  • Provide clean, fresh water at all times.
  • Provide an adequate number of litter boxes (usually one more than the number of cats in the household).
  • Keep litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house.
  • Keep litter boxes clean.
  • Minimize major changes in routine.

For regular readers of our care sheets, it should be no surprise to learn that one of the best things you can do to help prevent FLUTD is by feeding a high protein, grain free, high quality diet, especially raw and canned foods. The extra moisture in these styles of food is important for cats, as they typically do not drink enough water to maintain a healthy urinary system. Check out this care sheet for more details.

In cats that already have FLUTD caused by stones, avoid fish in their diet. Salmon and tuna are common sources of struvite crystals, and can exacerbate the inflammation already present.

FLUTD and other urinary problems can be a source of major aggravation for both you and your cat. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. A biologically appropriate diet is the foundation of great health for your feline friend. As always, stop by any time and talk about your cat’s nutritional needs with our staff!

Jun 142016
 

You hear a lot of stories of older cats with kidney problems; kidney disease is the leading cause of death in domestic cats. You may have experienced this in your own life with your own pets. It’s a common problem for older cats, but it doesn’t have to be.Cat in the desert

Cats are thought to have been domesticated from species living in western Asia and northern Africa. Cats are, originally, desert creatures, and typically do not have a big “thirst response”. While they do drink water, it’s usually not all that their bodies need. They evolved to obtain most of their moisture from their prey items. In the wild, rodents, lizards, and birds provide hydration, supplemented by drinking free standing water. Now look at our domesticated cats, keep indoors and feed a diet mostly of dry kibble. After all, we’ve always heard that dry food keeps a cat’s teeth clean and canned food makes their teeth get weak. But it turns out a lifetime of this diet can slowly dehydrate them, eventually leading to an older cat with those dangerous kidney problems.

There are several things that you can do to help prevent these problems later in life:

Cat-it Fresh & Clear Drinking with captionUse a cat water fountain. Cats are much more likely to drink water that is in motion – we’ve all seen cats drink from faucets. Moving water tends to feel colder, and cat drinking fountains have built in filters to help it stay cleaner than still, stagnant water. We love the Cat it Fountain; it’s a great way to increase their water consumption. Check it out here.

Place several water dishes around your house. Cats are more likely to drink when there are multiple sources. Wider water dishes can get your cat to drink more, as they hate to have their whiskers touching anything, even the side of their dishes.

Add water, or something tasty like low sodium chicken or beef broth, to their dry kibble. Allow it to sit for a few minutes for it to soften. The bowl should be picked up after a few hours to prevent the food from drying out and going bad. This is a good way to get fussier cats to eat, as it adds some flavor and the moisture releases the aroma of the food.

Better yet, switch them to canned food, as this contains higher levels of moisture. Dry cat food contains around 8-10% moisture content, while canned fCat's teeth 1ood can be as high as 80%. You do need to feed more than dry food, but this gives them the water how their bodies expect to get it. There’s another reason to go to wet food: Your cat’s teeth are actually sharp and angled, having evolved to shear meat, not flat to grind dry kibble. In fact, when you hear cats crunching their dinner, they are actually breaking up the kibble with the roof of their mouth. So it’s not only easier for them to eat, but it effectively gives them that vital moisture. For older cats, some people will even add extra moisture, water or broth, to their canned food to make it even soupier.

By far the best diet for your cat and hydration is raw food. This food is the closest thing to their natural diet. It has not been altered with heat or friction, which preserves the innate vitamins and minerals, along with essential amino acids and enzymes (processed kibbles have these added back to the food after cooking them out.) Two of our favorites are Stella & Chewey’s and Nature’s Variety.

Cat 1Cats are about 60% water, and they must have continual hydration to maintain this level. Symptoms of dehydration in cats are lethargy, dry gums and eyes, and skin that stays peaked when you lift a fold. Severe dehydration is a matter for your vet to address, as intravenous fluids may be needed. Giving fluids in a more natural way can help keep your cat well hydrated and out of the vet’s office. Try offering water in a variety of ways; your cat will definitely let you know what they like!

 

May 262016
 

Cocolicious cat“Cats are notoriously fussy when it comes to their food. And it isn’t just to test your patience. It’s biological. Cats are true carnivores. As such, nature demands they eat a diet based on animal proteins to thrive. That’s why our Physiologically Correct™ recipes always start with meats rich in complete proteins as the main ingredient. But it wouldn’t matter how nutritious our food is if your cat won’t eat it, so we tailor the taste of our recipes based on actual feline feedback to ensure it’s equally delicious. When we say our food is Co-Created by Cats, it isn’t just a slogan, it’s the secret to everything we make.”

Available in 6 canned recipes

May 192016
 

Fussie cat“SINCE CATS ALWAYS GET THEIR WAY,
WE DECIDED TO PUT THEM TO WORK.

Cats are notoriously fussy when it comes to their food. And it isn’t just to test your patience. It’s biological. Cats are true carnivores. As such, nature demands they eat a diet based on animal proteins to thrive. That’s why our Physiologically Correct™ recipes always start with meats rich in complete proteins as the main ingredient. But it wouldn’t matter how nutritious our food is if your cat won’t eat it, so we tailor the taste of our recipes based on actual feline feedback to ensure it’s equally delicious. When we say our food is Co-Created by Cats, it isn’t just a slogan, it’s the secret to everything we make.”

Available in 3 dry and over 13 canned recipes, so there is something your cat is sure to like!

May 192016
 

Now that spring is (finally) here, the trees and the grass are turning green again, and we start to see a problem that we didn’t have in the winter – yellow burn spots on our nice green lawns from dog pee.Lawn burn with ring

The biggest culprit of burn marks is the ammonia (NH3) in your dog’s urine, which breaks down into its two components, nitrogen and hydrogen. While nitrogen is actually utilized as a fertilizer by plants, when it is too concentrated in one area it stops the grass from absorbing water and nutrients. (You’ll often notice burn marks surrounded by lush grass; this is because on the edges the nitrogen is being diluted and then used as fertilizer.) The problem gets worse if you’re already using a high nitrogen fertilizer on your lawn.

The extra hydrogen ions released also change the pH of the soil, damaging the grass. Metallic salts and other compounds in the urine will also affect your lawn’s ability to take up nutrients properly.

Contrary to popular thought, female dogs don’t have a different kind of pee, or a more acidic one, that makes burn marks worse. It’s just that males often lift their legs to mark high on something in multiple locations, where females crouch on the ground. This means more urine is concentrated in an area, making the yellow marks worse.

But don’t stress, we have the solutions!

Dog RocksDog Rocks – When these first came in, we were highly skeptical, as were many of our customers. And these are one of the most effective and popular solutions we carry! These naturally mined rocks from Australia help reduce the compounds in dog urine that ruin your lawn. Simply place in their water source for it to go to work. Get more details and instructions on how to use here. Note: if your dog is on a high protein diet, they are producing more ammonia than normal, and the Dog Rocks may not be enough. For best results, combine with one of the following products.GrassSaver

NaturVet Grass Saver – This is a great tasting supplement that helps protect your lawn. This contains natural amino acid that can change the acidity of your dog’s urine, helping to spare your lawn. See their page here.

Dogonit Lawn RejuvenatorEarth’s Balance G-Whiz Lawn Saver – This water additive contains amino acids to help your dog utilize process proteins, reducing ammonia and the pH of their urine. It also helps reduce bad breath, body, and fecal odors.

Earth’s Balance Dogonit Lawn Rejuvinator – Used on the lawn, this helps heal spots already burned by dog urine (so it’s GREAT to use when it’s not your dog’s spots). It also safely and naturally helps correct toxic soil conditions caused by synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, so pet owners can look forward to a healthier and better looking lawn.

A few tips to help:

Water the area your dog goes pee in. A simple rinse of 15 – 30 seconds after they pee will help dilute the ammonia and prevent the grass from being damaged. Carrying some water in a water bottle will help protect other’s lawns when you’re going for a walk.

Train your pet to only eliminate in an area with trees or rocks, a simple solution that many people don’t consider.

With the right tools, your lawn will stay green and gorgeous all summer long!