Month: February 2021

Creating a Gift Basket for Your Dog

Designing the ideal gift basket for your canine friend can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little planning and some great ideas, anyone can do it. You may even find yourself enjoying it so much that you decide to sell your doggy gift baskets!

The first step is to find the right container. A basket isn’t ideal, really, since your dog might chew it and get splinters. Instead, consider using a new metal food bowl with his name engraved on it. Plastic bowls work just as well and many can be personalized as well.

Next you need gifts to put inside the bowl. As a general rule, you should include at least two edible items. A rawhide toy is ideal, but try to find one that your dog has never seen before, something besides the usual bone. There are special rawhide dog ball toys that dogs love, look for something unique.

A bag of doggie treats or even homemade dog biscuits is perfect. You might also try your dog’s favorite brand of canned dog food or another treat that you know he enjoys. The idea is to give him something that he will be happy to receive.

The best gift baskets include some fun toys. These don’t have to be expensive, a trio of tennis balls can be pretty exciting to a puppy! You could also try jingle balls, soft rope toys, and other items that you find in the local pet store. Just be sure that whatever you include is safe for your canine friend. Remove all packaging and tags before you put the toy into the basket so your dog can play with it right away and not have to wait.

Practical items also have a place in your dog’s gift basket. A new collar with a personalized tag, a fancy leash, or an elegant new coat can all make wonderful gifts. You can buy a wide selection of items online or in your local pet shop. These are plenty of options available and hundreds of great pet products out there.

Last, you need to wrap your basket. This can be done with clear cellophane drawn up around the container and tied with a thick cord or even the dog’s new leash. Add a name tag and you are all set for gift-giving fun!

If you enjoy making this gift basket for your pet, why stop with one? Try making them for pets of friends and families. You could even open your own business providing customized pet gift baskets.

Silver Dollars: Part II: Keeping Them


Welcome back, and again, sorry to keep you guys hanging! Well, last time we went through a lot of the textbook type stuff and made sure you didn’t come home with a Pacu or Piranha when you just wanted some Silver Dollars! This time, the fun stuff…my experiences with these fish, and recommendations for keeping them.

 

You’re going to get at least a group of five Silver Dollars, preferably seven or more. They are a schooling fish, and a nervous fish as well, so they will do much better if kept in the recommended size groups. With this in mind you are going to need at least a thirty gallon long tank for your Silver Dollars, and preferably something a little longer than that since these guys like to swim.

I say they are a nervous fish, but at the same time they are an extremely hardy fish. Like I said, I’ve had my guys for almost three years without one casualty. They will panic when you go to work inside the tank, dashing corner to corner, up to the water surface and into the sad/gravel. Don’t worry they’ll calm down, just try to be a little more careful so as not to unnecessarily stress them. A couple of mine will even come to water’s surface and splash me with their tails when I’m trying to work in the tank. Annoying, but painless and slightly humorous as well!

You might panic when you first bring home your Silver Dollars, or if you move them from tank to tank (which I’ve done about three times with this same reaction each time!). My Silver Dollars upon settling into their new home will sink to the bottom of the tank and keel over on their sides, looking as though they are moments from death. The first time this happened I found myself doing water changes until they righted themselves. It’s behavior that I’m used to now! Again, no need to unnecessarily stress the fish, so don’t move them around for fun or show, but nothing to panic about. Keep some Stress Coat on hand to dose the tank with afterwards, I find this does actually help.

My Silver Dollars will eat flakes, but be sure to buy some spirulina flakes so they get their veggies. They are primarily a herbivorous fish, but will eat just about anything in captivity. Bloodworms are chewed up, and krill is even funny to feed them—they’ll catch onto a bit and start chewing with a bit hanging out of their mouths. As they chew they dart back and forth avoiding the others who want to come steal their Krill away. They chew and chew until the piece of krill disappears. They are more than willing to bite off more than they can handle in this way!

Pet Housetraining

Pet housetraining can be done very effectively if you use the natural instincts of your puppy. Let me explain what I mean by this. A puppy will naturally not want to eliminate where he knows he will be sleeping. If he has a place that is all his own, he will recognize that and not want to dirty it in any way. Your job in pet housetraining is to help your puppy establish that space.

You can do this in a few ways. One is to pick an area of your home that is to be for your puppy. This can be the garage, a laundry room or a corner of a big room. Choose somewhere that does not have carpeting, because your puppy will initially eliminate everywhere. This is because he has not yet realized that it is his space. You help him realize this by playing with him there. Put food and water and his bed there.

When pet housetraining, you can use a blanket, bed or even a towel as his bed. In addition, make sure you put his toys there. Your puppy will soon realize that this is his personal space and his natural instinct of not wanting to dirty it will take over. While you are doing this, and you are at home, take your puppy outside about every 45 minutes, especially after eating, drinking or playing.

Steps of Pet Housetraining

Above all, make sure your puppy has constant access to his toilet area as he is learning. If you have designed that outside is the only area he can eliminate, take him there about every 30 minutes. After he eliminates, pour on the praise. He will get the idea. When he eliminates where he is not supposed to, you may yell a quick, “No!” Then, immediately pick him up and carry him to where he is allowed to eliminate.