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Both my husband and I have had aquariums in the past, so when my husband came to me and said, “I want a fish tank.” I hesitantly agreed. Fish tanks can be a lot of work, but it can also be worth it to set up your own aquarium. With my husband agreeing to do most of the water changes, we headed to the pet store. We knew that we needed to set up everything and have it running before we ever thought about fish. We found a 20-gallon hexagon column type tank. While I wanted a bow front, my husband fell in love and HAD to have it.

This was our tank all set up.

(Fish included, but I’ll get to that later!)

To this day, I wish I had taken more pictures, but I never planned on writing about our tank, until now.

The Tank

We set it up and decided we wanted to put in cichlids. If there is a cichlid for dummies book, I need it!! We went to a different pet store and told them, “We want a cichlid tank, what do we need?” We were directed to a very cool sand called, Aragonite. Most people use it for saltwater tanks, but it is also great for cichlids as it helps keep the ph up without relying on chemicals.

I wish I would have checked Amazon because it is priced better!

Buy Here: https://amzn.to/2lOKeJC

So we set our tank up with the sand, a heater, filter and air stones. We waited one week before taking in a water sample and when they told us our water was good to go, we started looking for fish. When an employee asked us about our tank, he told us that cichlids definitely need more room and a vertical tank is not ideal, we should have listened!!

Cichlids need more surface area as they are very territorial and a lot bigger size to grow.

We went to another well-known pet store, where an experienced lady told us we should look at different types of fish, but if we absolutely wanted cichlids, we might be able to get away with 5, but not for long.

And we quickly learned this. The first time we noticed two of our fish  being VERY territorial, I told my husband, “WE NEED A BIGGER TANK!!”

20 Gallon Fish Tanks

I really liked our 20-gallon tank. It was cute. It was simple and it fit next to our tv stand perfectly. I liked how you could look around from different angles and be able to see the fish better. So if you are into community fish, I find a 20 gallon can be perfect for even beginners.

Our tank was very similar to this one. 

Buy Here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lR2FgV

My husband has more of a decorative eye and while I was willing to throw the fish tank on part of the kitchen counter, he wanted a stand. We searched and searched. We drove back and forth across town checking prices. (Why we didn’t just call, I do not know!) We finally found one that would fit our tank and it was on sale too!

I believe this is the exact stand we found too.

Buy Here: https://amzn.to/2MInmXF

I do have to agree that a tank stand adds a very nice touch and is more pleasing to the eyes than to just have a tank on a counter.

A few of the other miscellaneous items we put in our tank were a heater, filter, air stones and a circulation pump.

                              

Buy Heater Here: https://amzn.to/2MJGmVU                          Buy Filter Here: https://amzn.to/2MJvrv8

                           

Buy Air Stone Here: https://amzn.to/2MFkHho                         Buy Circulation Pump Here: https://amzn.to/2KJfEMi

Just to add, if you are going have air stones which is highly recommended, don’t forget the air pump and airline tubing!

                  

Buy Air Pump Here: https://amzn.to/2tY4ZGp             Buy Airline Tubing Here: https://amzn.to/2INu8cb

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The post Cichlids for Dummies: The Start of Our Fish Journey appeared first on Paws, Claws, and Gills.

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What You’ll Need

To successfully trim your dog’s nails, you going to need the right tool. Just like with any job ( and it can be quite the job to trim nails!) you need the right tools. So you go to your local pet store and find the aisle with the nail clippers. Sure, they can all get the job done, they look easy enough to use, and they should all work the same.

Right?

WRONG!!!

Not all nail clippers can get the job done and they do not all work the same. The 2 most popular styles of nail clippers are the guillotine and the scissor type. The one I’ve heard people use the most is the guillotine. And I’ll explain the pros and cons of both!

Guillotine Nail Clippers

While these clippers can get the job done, there is one main reason I do not like them and i refer people away from them. The guillotine style only has 1 cutting edge, so the nail does not have even pressure applied when you are trying to make a cut. A few things can happen. The nail clipper can bend, not allowing you to make a quick and easy cut. Or it can only cut part of the nail, causing you to have to readjust the clippers and make a second cut. When you are cutting your dog’s nails, you want the easiest and quickest way. Dogs don’t like to hold still as is.

Scissor Style Nail Clippers

These are my personal favorite style of nail clippers for dogs. There are 2 cutting edges, causing even pressure on the dog’s nail. Thus making a clean and easy cut. I use this style and have for quite some time. Most of this style even comes with a guide to help you not cut too much off of your dog’s nail. The Scissor style also comes in many sizes. Small for puppies and toy sized dogs, medium for medium and even some large dogs and large for large and extra large dogs. The size you want depends of the size and thickness of your dog’s nails. You wouldn’t need the large clippers for a small dog and the small clippers definitely wouldn’t work for a medium – large dog.

The Quick

In each and every one of your dog’s nails is a quick and a nerve. The quick is the blood vessel that is very painful to cut. You want to avoid the quick, but just know that if you do happen to cut it, there is a product called styptic powder that can stop the bleeding in a few seconds. Even the pros sometimes catch a tricky quick and apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding. It’s never fun to quick a dog, so be careful.

This is a great diagram on where and how to cut your dog’s nails.

A good rule of thumb is to make the cut so that your dog’s nail will be even with his pad once you have made the cut. Unless your dog is way overdue for a nail trim, then in that case it is better to take a little off at a time.

I always hear clients complain that their dog will run away or move around too  much while they are trying to trim their nails. Having someone there to help you hold your dog is always helpful. Another tip is to put your dog on an elevated surface, such as a dryer or a table outside. When you dog is on the couch or the floor, you are in their territory. They will get away with anything they can behavior wise. When you elevate your dog from their territory, they are more likely to hold still. Which is why groomers use grooming tables!

If you still are not comfortable cutting your dog’s nail, give your local groomer a call! Many groom shops have walk-ins available for nail trimming and are happy to do it for you.

Cutting your dog’s nails is very important. Keeping them shorter will insure your dog is walking properly and not causing pain when he/she does walk. If your dog’s nail have gotten too long, it will take some time to get them shorter sine the quick recedes over time. Check your dog’s nails once a month and if you notice them long, it’s time to get the clippers out or take a trip to your favorite salon!

Here are a pair of my favorite nail clippers : https://amzn.to/2HPOYeQ

Also some styptic powder for at home : https://amzn.to/2KhjEnt

The post How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails appeared first on .

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The Large and Small of Owning a Dog Crate.

With owning a dog, dog crates have to be one of the best inventions out there! There are many reasons to have one for your dog. Just a few reasons are keeping your dog safe, keeping your household undamaged, and keeping your dog from escaping.

Safety

Dog crates allow you to know that your dog is not getting into anything that could harm him/her. Even if you left something out that could harm your dog, (chemicals, sharp objects, certain foods) you will know your dog is safely tucked away in the crate.

Destruction

Ever come home to your shoes chewed up? Maybe even a wall? (My dog loved to chew on the crown molding in my house as a pup!) I know lots of pups that take to trash can diving when their owners are not home. There comes a great piece of mind knowing that your house and belongings will still be intact when your dog is in a crate.

If you need to be away from your home, for work or whatever reasons, puppies and dogs can get bored. Bored can turn into destruction and if you don’t have a crate, that means everything that is reachable is fair game.

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Escape Artist

I’ve seen many videos online of dogs who are master escape artists. Dogs that can open doors and even locked doors can be a scary thought if you need to leave your precious pups at home. With a crate, you won’t need to worry.

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Tips to Get the Most Out of Using a Dog Crate.
  • A general rule for getting the right sized dog crate is to find a size that your puppy or dog can stand in, lay down in and turn around in. If you get one that is too big, your puppy or dog may use part of the crate as a bathroom. Dog do not like to potty where they sleep, so if a kennel is too big, your dog will feel like there is still enough room to sleep and potty. That is something you do not want!

Most large crates come with a divider that you can move as your puppy grows so that the crate is not too large and so that you do not need to keep buying larger crates.

Such as this one

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  • Making your dogs crate as comfortable as possible can help your puppy or dog enjoy being in there. Otherwise, it may feel more like a jail.

(Queue whiny, scratching, and barking here)

We wouldn’t want a bed made out of plastic!

See my article about The Very Best Dog Bed for Your Best Friend to find the perfect crate bed.

However, with puppies for the first month or so I would highly recommend just putting them in an empty crate. Reason being, puppies are prone to have accidents and having a crate bed can mean more of a clean up for you. It’s always recommended to take your puppy out every 30-45 minutes while they are still young, but if you need to be away longer, your puppy may have to potty. Cleaning a crate bottom will be a lot easier that also cleaning a bed, toys and anything else you may out in there.

  • NEVER put anything in your puppy or dogs crate that can become a choking hazard. Always watch your pet with any new toys to ensure that they cannot bite pieces or parts off and choke.
  • If you are going to crate train your puppy at night time, understand there will be whining and crying for the first few nights up to a week.

DO NOT GIVE IN!!

Your puppy is smart! Too smart in fact. He or she will whine and cry to get you to let them out because they just spent the first 8 weeks sleeping with their littermates and mom. If you let them out, they will realize that they can continue to whine and cry and the cycle will never end.

I know it’s hard to hear your puppy cry, but in the end, they will benefit greatly from being crate trained for bedtime!

I will suggest putting their favorite stuffed animal or a t-shirt that smells like you in their crate to comfort them.

  • Some dogs enjoy a blanket covering their crate. That is something you will have to figure out if it works for your puppy or dog. Some dogs will pull the blanket into the crate a shred away. If you’d like to try a blanket, place one over your dog’s crate and keep an eye on them to make sure it doesn’t become a tug a rope.
  • Putting the crate in a common area of the house will allow your dog to get used to having it around. Leave the door(s) open during the day so that your puppy or dog can lay down or take naps. Soon they will love to sleep in their crate.
Great Dog Crates

My favorite crates are the ones that come with 2 or more dogs. Reason being, I can place it anywhere in my house and still have accessibility to a door. Here are some of my favorite small, medium and large dog crates.

My dog, Daisy has this exact crate, even though it only has one door, I think it’s adorable!

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But if your not a fan of pink, many of my favorite crate come in the color black. Which matches any home decor or colors.

This is a great dog crate!

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For medium dog crates, this is a great option.

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You can even find crate covers that will double your dog’s crate as an end table for you! I find this as a great option in optimizing your space and blending a crate in with the rest of your home.

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Large crates for your large pup. Again make sure to find a crat with a divider, so that your puppy’s crate can grow with him\her.

This is a great option.

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The benefits of crate training greatly outweigh any reason not to have one. The safety of your pet comes first and dog crates can play a key factor in keeping your puppy or dog safe! Crates are great training tools and should be used as such. I do not recommend using a dog crate for timeouts. Nor do I suggest putting your dog in a crate outside, as it can get too hot or cold and your dog will not be able to find shade or shelter.

Buy Here Now:

EliteField 3-Door Folding Dog Crate with rubber feet – https://amzn.to/2rY3Q1v

Carlson Pink Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Dog Crate, Small-

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AmazonBasics Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate with Paw Protector –

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MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate | iCrate Single & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates – 

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Merry Products Cage with Crate Cover Set – 

https://amzn.to/2s2nM2k

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate | iCrate Single & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates –

https://amzn.to/2IA68tU

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The post Dog Crates: Large to Small appeared first on Your Guide For Happy Pets.

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Wether it’s a simple task as sitting or a constant problem of your dog not listening, I HIGHLY recommend this book the Secrets to Dog Training.

There is also a money back guarantee!!

Click Here!

The post Help with Dog Training appeared first on .

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It absolutely thrills me to see people walk their dogs!! Especially when the dog just looks like he is on cloud nine. It’s time between the owner and the dog to just explore, see the neighborhood, and both can benefit from it. They walk down the sidewalk as though they were meant to be side by side until the end of time.

Then there are people with their dogs who you just want to pull the car over and help. Their dog is either dragging them all over the place, running in between and around their legs, or getting caught up on every pole, bush or rock they can find.

I’ve seriously contemplated helping a few of these people and their dogs!

Walking your dog should be a breeze and it should be fun. I know many people who simply do not walk their dog because it’s to difficult to manage or they have one good walker and one not so good walker. All dogs should get to smell the neighborhood and pee on some trees. Which brings me to some of the greatest products that have helped so many people be able to walk with their dog.

My favorite products for walking my dog.

Primal Pet Gear Leash 

Check Prices on Amazon

PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar

Check Prices on Amazon

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness

Check Prices on Amazon

Dog Waste Bags & Dispenser

Check Prices on Amazon

Dog Travel Water Bottle

Check Prices on Amazon

Leashes

You want control when you are walking with your pet. A leash that is too long can just cause problems. (Getting hung up on objects, your dog not staying near by, reaching people or dogs before you can.) A leash that is too short can also make it seem like your dog is dragging you. I think the perfect length for walking is 6 feet. Your dog can still walk over by trees and flowers and you’ll still have control of him/her. You can get your dog closer to you so people can walk by or so you can have them meet with other dogs safely.

I prefer a padded leash that is comfortable on the hands. Another great thing to have in a leash is two handles. (MORE control!)

Harnesses or Collars

For older dogs or dogs that already know how to walk, a simple collar will work perfectly. If you have a rowdy dog or one that is still learning to walk on a leash I prefer the PetSafe Gentle Leader or the PetSafe Easy Walk. These two products were designed with hard to walk dogs in mind.

I do NOT recommend any plain type of harness for hard to walk dogs.

You are giving them more power to drag you down the road!! Harnesses were designed for pulling power. Think sled dogs and horses.

These products give you a simple way to teach your dog that if they pull or try to move off the beaten path of where you would like to go, they can’t.

Accessories

It’s always great to have some poop bags handy, just incase your furry friend needs to go on the walk. The bags pictured also come with a handy carrying dispenser.

I also like to have some water for my dog. In case we take a longer walk than planned or if it is a particularly hot day.

I hope these products can help you enjoy walking your dog. They certainly helped my with my dog and I know many others enjoy the benefits of these simple but effective tools.

Buy Here

Primal Pet Gear Leash: https://amzn.to/2w7InaX

PetSafe Gentle Lease Head Collar: https://amzn.to/2HOyJvh

PetSafe Easy Walk Harness: https://amzn.to/2Kxc4Wa

Dog Waste Bag & Dispenser: https://amzn.to/2JPS2oj

Dog Travel Water Bottle: https://amzn.to/2JK8ZRm

The post Let’s Go for a Walk with Fido! appeared first on .

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Today I want to talk about brushing and bathing your dog. It seems simple enough and it really is. What if i told your that there are tools that help make this simple task even easier?

Well there are and I would like to share them with you.

Short Haired Dogs

For short coated dogs, it’s a long simpler than longer haired dogs. Simply get them wet, rub on the shampoo and rinse! Viola! But what if I told you, you can get even more out of the experience to help you and your dog?

Short haired dogs, such as labs, boxers, chihuahuas, pugs, bulldogs, etc tend to shed A LOT! There’s a lot that plays into this such as their diet, (I’ll go over this more in a food post!) Bathing your short haired dog is a good way to help drastically reduce shedding, but you need the right tools.

Long Haired Dogs

For long haired dogs, bathing can be a bit more tasking than a short haired dog. The very first thing you need to do is brushing your long haired dog. To ensure you have all of the tangles out you will need a slicker brush and a comb.

(Some of my favorites will be at the bottom of this page.)

First use the slicker brush to work out an tangles. Then you will want to go over your dog with the comb to make sure there are no tangles or mats on your dogs. Bathing your dog with tangles or mats will make the mats worse and very tight!

After your dog is tangle/mat free, you can go ahead and scrub-a-dub-dub. You’ll want a good shampoo to make your pup soft and smooth. A conditioner also helps long haired dogs feel soft and keep tangles out as well.

Shampoo and Conditioner

A good shampoo and conditioner with help you get the most out of bathing your dog at home. You want to look for a shampoo that is hypoallergenic (especially if your dog has skin allergies). Oatmeal is also another great ingredient that helps sooth the skin. As far as conditioners,  I personally like a deep coat conditioner because it not only helps them feel silky smooth after the bath, but it also acts like a lotion for your dog’s skin and  helps release a double coated dog’s under coat.

Be sure to keep the shampoo and conditioner out of your dog’s eyes and keep the water away from your dog’s ears.

Some of my favorite brands include: Furminator, Isle of Dog, Vets Best, Earthbath, Nature’s Miracle, and AromaCare.

I use AromaCare shampoo almost everyday. My favorite kind is the deodorizing.

You can buy here: https://amzn.to/2FlHqes

Brushes to Help Bathing

For short haired dogs, a Kong Zoom Groom is a great product to really spread the shampoo and conditioner and helps remove a decent amount of undercoat! The are easy to clean and store and work great for bathing and brushing outside of the tub.  The Kong Zoom Groom comes in different colors and sizes.

You can get one here: https://amzn.to/2Ff0cnL

For long hair dogs, I really recommend completely brushing your dog out before getting them wet. As I mentioned above you’ll need a slicker brush and a comb. A great brand of slicker brush is Paw Brothers. The pin tips are coated to prevent any scratching from the bristles.

Buy a slicker brush here: https://amzn.to/2HCYe2m

Buy a comb here: https://amzn.to/2vVkFP2

Other Accessories to Help Bathing

I know a cup works great to pour water on your dog, but it can also take a lot longer to get the soap out of your dogs hair. I’ve used an attatchable shower sprayer at home and it makes the whole process much easier!! They are fairly simple to install too.

Buy Here:https://amzn.to/2r4SOGo

One issue I always had with bathing my dogs at home was the hair that would come off and clog my shower drain. These drain covers are perfect to help prevent any clogs while bathing your dog.

Buy Here: https://amzn.to/2r4jDuv

Bathing Your Pet

My hopes are that some of these tools can help you get more out of bathing your dog than for them to just smell better. Scrubbing your pup down can be fun as well as helpful if you’ve got the right tools.

Happy Bathing.

Just in case you need to see the products again or so you don’t have to scroll back through and find them.

Aromacare Deodorizing Shampoo: https://amzn.to/2FlHqes

Kong Zoom Groom: https://amzn.to/2Ff0cnL

Paw Brother’s Slicker Brush: https://amzn.to/2HCYe2m

Paw Brother’s Comb: https://amzn.to/2vVkFP2

Attachable Shower Sprayer: https://amzn.to/2r4SOGo

Shower Drain Cover: https://amzn.to/2r4jDuv

The post Bathing Your Furry Friend appeared first on .

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