Hello and welcome to your very first edition. Before you embark in your reading adventures, we would like to take a minute to thank you for stopping by. This newsletter is intended to brighten your day; so please, sit back, relax, and enjoy. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Petcurean. We’d love to hear from you.
Sincerely, The Scoop team
+the scoop [on the scoop]
Michele, Val, Ryan, Claire
The Petcurean team is extremely excited about the first release of this newsletter-we hope you like it! You can expect it to be issued every four months, which means the next issue will be released December 3, 2012. We will be working towards a more frequent release schedule, but like everything we do, we want to be sure we put forward our best effort to make The Scoop something that Petcurean is proud to call our own- and something that you as our valued customers can look forward to. If you have questions or comments, feel free to email us on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Petcurean. We look forward to hearing from you!
[Training Tips and Advice for Pets You Can Live With]
Training your dog can be so much fun (for both of you)!
Looking for a positive way to train your pet? Positive reinforcement methods are a great (positive!) way to get the behaviors you want from your dog.
Old-school dog-training techniques were often very negative, using choke chains and pinch collars as key tools, correcting negative behavior with a sharp tug on the leash and chain; not pleasant for the pet and not exactly the best way to form a loving and trusting bond. In the early nineteen nineties, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know a well-known English trainer, Robert Harlow, who taught me a whole new world of dog training. What, you want me to play like crazy with my dog when he does what I want and virtually ignore him if he doesn’t? What a revelation! The result: the training experience became much more fun and positive for both of us.
The wholesale change to a more positive method of training happened a number of years ago lead by a couple of pioneers:
Karen Pryor introduced the notion of ‘clicker training’: a way of training using ‘operant conditioning’, where a desired action from the dog is marked with an audible ‘marker’ and then a reward.
The audible ‘marker’ can be an actual clicker or your voice. Karen’s book, ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’ is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand and implement this unique method of training.
Dr. Ian Dunbar is another pioneer in the positive reinforcement training movement. He developed the very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes with the idea of creating good natured and well-mannered adult dogs who are people and dog-friendly and who are under verbal control at all times. The emphasis on this early training is on bite inhibition, temperament training, simple solutions for common behavioral problems and basic household manners His methods are based on food lure/rewards and have gained a large following over the years. Dr. Dunbar coined his training methods, ‘Sirius Puppy Training’, which has spawned many books and videos over the years.
Years of honing and refining the skills taught by Karen Pryor, Dr. Dunbar and others have produced many new trainers and instructors who have taken those methods to another level.
Training behaviors has become fun. You can set yourself a challenge to see what you can train your dog to do. How would you like to train your dog to pick up his own toys and put them away at the end of the day? Can you train him to open the fridge or close the door behind him? Have a look at this video to see the kind of things that are possible:
We haven’t tried any positive reinforcement techniques on cats, but we’d be happy to hear your stories of how you have worked to train your cat (or even some fun things you’ve trained your cat to do). Share your stories on our Facebook page:
The world is your oyster. Give it a try!
Written by Val Culpin
2012 Survival Guide Series: Part 1
Surviving The Concrete Jungle
Feeling a little stressed out these days? Well, as it turns out you’re not the only one.
In the last three decades stress levels have risen 30%. Whether it be from the glut of technological dog collars we carry by way of smart phones or tablets, or from tough economic times; one thing is for sure, stress is on the rise. Even worse, unhealthy eating habits seem to go hand-in-hand with our stressed-out lifestyles.
So what are the indicators of our frazzled society? High blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes are all linked to stress, according to the Mayo Clinic. It sounds like we could all use a remedy to unwind and, it turns out, owning a dog or a cat is a great stress reducer and can actually add years to your life. A recent study of hypertensive New York stockbrokers who acquired a dog or cat were found to have lower blood pressure and heart rates than those who didn’t have a pet.
Beyond lowering our risk for the chronic health conditions associated with stress, owning a dog or cat can also help to ward off the unwanted expansion from our less than healthy culinary addictions. Being active with your pet is a great way to experience some of the additional benefits associated with pet ownership.
If on your last doctor visit your doctor’s eyebrows were higher than the rim of his or her glasses, perhaps it’s time to consider reducing that stress a little with a new dog or cat (or, as the case may be, your dog/cat is the one with the raised eyebrows, keen for a little more active playtime). If so, it may be time to get moving with your pet.
Written by Ryan Jones
Sources: Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com Guide. Meghan Neal NYDailyNews.com
Not only are we concerned about your pet’s diet, we are also concerned about your pet’s style. Since one popular home décor style is currently “shabby chic”, we’re providing you with a home décor idea that fits this style and is one that your pets will love.
Introducing (drumroll, please) the suitcase bed!
This dog and cat friendly bed is yours for under $10 (oh, yeah!). All it takes is an empty suitcase, a pillow, a funky pillow case, and some TLC.
Interested? We thought so. Here’s what you need to whip up this DIY item:
+ A suitcase (vintage style, of course)
+ A hammer, screwdriver, and well, excessive amounts of muscle mass.
+ A pillow (one that fits tightly into your suitcase)
+ A pillow sham (the cooler the design, the better!)
Now take a deep breath, pull on your overalls, and get to crafting!
1.*Open the suitcase and examine how it is hinged together.
2.*If it is screwed together, then you just need to unscrew the top half of the suitcase from the bottom half. If it is attached by some other means, then you will have to break out the hammer. Discard the top half of the suitcase.
3. Cover a pillow with the sham of your choice.
4. Place the pillow in the suitcase and tuck the corners in.
(*If you would like to leave the suitcase lid on, skip steps one and two)
Written by Claire Jensen
What is the best way to store my pet food?
This is a very good question- and one we get asked often. Correct storage of pet food is extremely important to ensure the food is kept fresh (and enjoyable for your pet) and to ensure the well-being of your pet is protected.
Petcurean kibble is cooked and carefully dried to a specific moisture-free level before it’s placed in the bag (to prevent mold from forming).
To ensure that mold spores from environmental moisture don’t develop, be sure to store your kibble in a cool, dry location. Moist areas (like basements or crawl spaces), open containers, or areas where condensation or temperature fluctuations exist encourage mold to grow.
What about pouring your kibble into a storage container? We receive an abundance of phone calls from our customers who profess they have the best dog food storage, e.g. the dreaded Rubbermaid tub.
Pouring pet food into these containers is absolutely not a good idea for two key reasons: many of these containers are not airtight (plastic is porous by nature), and fat and oils can be absorbed into the plastic, risking the opportunity for rancidity to occur.
So what is the best way to store my food? In the Petcurean bag you purchased for your pet at your local pet specialty retailer, stored in a cool, dry area of course!
Can I refrigerate or freeze my food? Generally speaking, most kibble can be refrigerated or even frozen. The food should be tightly sealed or in airtight containers in either case.
Written by Michele Dixon
Questions? Comments? Just want to say hi? Please forward any inquiries about this newsletter to our Facebook message inbox (www.facebook.com/Petcurean) You can also request a PDF format of this newsletter while you're at it!