Pet World Summer-Fun Day

June 15th, 2013

Pet World Summer Fun DayWe are kicking off summer with a party and you’re invited! Saturday, June 22nd, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. we will host a Summer-Fun day for family and friends to enjoy! Activities for all ages will be available including

  • ExhibitsLots of balloons
  • Crafts and activities
  • Games with prizes
  • Visit with the small animals
  • Free balloons

The fun doesn’t end there! Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be available. You can also sign up for our raffle, and win a $50 in-store gift certificate! Of course, our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be present for any pet care and product questions. There will also be great deals and savings on products throughout the store.

Summer and fun come together at Pet World! Come and join us.
We’re Here For You!
SM

When: Saturday, June 22nd
Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Pet World
3700 N Vermilion St.
Danville, IL
Phone: (217) 442-7466

We hope to see you there!

 

10 Great Pet Tips for a Warm and Safe Winter

December 31st, 2012

Tabby cat walking through some snowThe winter season is an amazing season for romping in the snow, snuggling next to the fireplace, and sipping some hot chocolate. This time of year though comes with concerns for your daily life, and for the daily life of your pet as well. Keep in mind the following tips for your animal family and enjoy the season!

Outdoors with Cats and Dogs

  • Many of the same dangers to humans also affect our pets in extreme temperatures. Dogs and cats will get frostbite or hypothermia if outside too long. If they require outdoor activity, they need to be monitored. For smaller pets, consider clothing and sweaters to keep them warm. Smaller dogs cannot process bitterly cold air in their lungs, so limit their outside visits.
  • If your pet must be outside for a period of time, give them proper shelter. It should be wind-proof and have plenty of bedding for the animal to curl up and stay warm. Make sure they have access to food and unfrozen water.
  • Ice melting chemicals are great for removing ice from sidewalks, but many contain chemicals that are harmful to your pet. Dogs collect it on their paws on walks and lick it off when they return inside. Even this small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, tremors, excessive thirst, seizures, and even death. Rinse and wipe off dogs’ paws when they enter the home, and also their fur if they played in snow likely to have ice melt in it.
  • Antifreeze is an important chemical for keeping cars and trucks running through the winter. It has a sweet smell and attracts animals looking for a drink, but it is deadly and kills tens of thousands of animals a year. Keep antifreeze out of the home; keep it properly stored either in a garage or shed where pets do not have access to it. When outside with your pets, keep an eye on them so they do not wander into areas where this chemical could be in easy reach.
  • Be aware of stray cats in your neighborhood. They are very resourceful in finding warm places to sleep. They find places under decks, patios, and even in the engines of cars. Cats can be injured or killed by the engine when you turn on the vehicle. To scare them to safety, give a knock on the vehicle hood before you turn the engine on.

Indoors with Cats and Dogs

  • If you use space heaters, make sure they are in proper working order, and keep your pet a safe distance from heaters so they do not burn their fur and skin.
  • Check your pet’s bedding area. Is it at a good temperature? Keep their sleeping areas away from drafty doors and windows. Give extra blankets as needed.

Lizards, Birds, Small Animals

There are other amazing pets we may have in our homes. Even though they do not journey outside, these pets still have needs that shift with the seasons. For all pets, keep their enclosures away from drafty windows and doors.

  • The temperature of your reptile’s enclosure is very important. They are cold-blooded, so the temperature must be maintained at a certain level for the animal to digest food and other vital functions. Keep a spot with a UV light for daytime simulation. This is a great spot for your pet to warm itself and digest its food. Reptiles also need a shady spot in their terrarium for rest. Do not add an additional lamp to make heat for your reptile, it is important to use other non-light-creating options.
  • Birds originate from temperate and tropical climates. They need temperatures above 65 degrees for their immune system to function well. Place a towel or blanket over the cage in the evenings to trap heat. Do not use fireplace fires, kerosene or other gas heaters to supplement heat for a bird. Birds are very sensitive to the fumes made by these, and they can get sick and die. Also, do not run small electric space heaters for birds. Many of these have a non-stick coating within the heater that produces fumes toxic to your bird.
  • For reptiles and birds, maintaining proper moisture is important . The winter months have less humidity in the air, especially if your home has central heating. Be sure to mist your pet to maintain an appropriate moisture level for them. Also, consider getting a home or room humidifier to supplement their moisture needs.

If you maintain an outdoor pond, please check our article on Pet Care Tip—Winterizing Your Pond.

Legend to Fact: How Cats Got Stripes

December 28th, 2012

Grey tabby cat facing camera

Many have asked, “How did a tiger get his stripes?” People also ask that of a tiger’s relative, the domesticated cat. It’s a secret the cat was unwilling to share, so legends and lore were written to tell the tale. Researchers were not satisfied with those answers, and sought out scientific answers to the question.

The mapping of the cat genome, completed in 2007, allowed their study to begin. Although the genome has less fur than a cat, it was still a hairy prospect to comb through. The researchers began looking through the data of many cat pedigrees, which have wide variety of stripe patterns. These patterns are categorized and labeled, and the general term for them is “tabby.”

Tabby cats generally have some sort of recurring alternating stripe pattern on their torso. The pattern also includes a mark on their foreheads, defined by an ‘M’ pattern. Some of the more common variations of tabbies are mackerel, classic (or blotchy, or marbled), ticked, and spotted.

A grey mackerel tabby cat

Mackerel Pattern

A grey cat with classic tabby pattern

Classic Pattern

Research from one group of mackerel pattern cats and another group of classic pattern cats were compared. The scientists finally isolated one gene that controls this pattern: the Taqpep gene. When this gene is active, a cat has the more common mackerel pattern. If a mutation occurs, the classic (or blotched) pattern becomes the cat’s markings. This is the same gene that works in other feline species. Cheetahs’ spots are controlled by this gene, but if it mutates, their spots are blotched, and they are called King Cheetahs!

A King Cheetah and the blotchy spot pattern

King Cheetah

Further study of gene patterns are needed. Scientists have unlocked the mystery of stripes, but explanations for what causes a tabby to be spotted still belongs to legend and lore. As Leslie Lyons, a cat geneticist states, “The cat has not revealed all its mysteries yet.”

Unusual Traits Make Reindeer Santa’s Perfect Partners

December 24th, 2012

Adult male reindeer with antlersWith Christmas around the corner, stories of Santa Claus are as common as the incoming winter chill. He toils through the year, with his elves hastily working by his side, ensuring all good little boys and girls have toys under the tree. Santa runs a pretty efficient business—with manufacturing, distribution, and delivery of gifts. His delivery system requires more than just a sleigh and toys; he needs the power of a hardy beast, full of speed and grace. Ol’ Saint Nick found it in one of the north’s most majestic animals: the reindeer.

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! We know the names of those that carry Santa and his packages on Christmas Eve, from Clement C. Moore’s poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), is a species of deer native to the far northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They live in the extreme climates of the far north, where temperatures can dip below -50°F and have no sunlight for up to three months. Santa was not the first person to figure out that reindeer are a great animal for work and survival. Many indigenous people in the far north have semi-domesticated herds of reindeer; the populations of such herds number in the thousands. They have even trained some reindeer to be milked!

To thrive in that extreme climate and pull Santa’s sleigh, reindeer need good food. Santa may give them quality hay, a little grain, and an occasional carrot. However they are perfectly happy to eat a variety of plant life. They spend their days munching on shrubs, grasses, and the bark of trees. One of their main food sources in the winter is a combination of algae and fungi called lichen, which grows in the tundra. They will dig into the snow with their powerful hooves to find the nutrient-rich food.

There may be another reason that Santa chose the reindeer as such a reliable carriers of his cargo. A 2011 study found that reindeer can see in the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. This is invaluable in the conditions in the Arctic. For instance, the fur of predators contrasts greatly with the snow in UV lighting. Also lichen, is easy to spot against the snow. Seeing UV in low light conditions, during long polar winters, comes in handy for guiding sleighs as well.

You may be wondering where did Santa get a red-nosed reindeer? Scientists will not say there is not some Christmas magic involved, but there are some reindeer sub-species in the Americas that have pinkish tones to their nostrils. These reindeer have 25% more capillaries in their nostrils. The extra blood flow keeps his nose warm and regulates his body temperature, which helps Rudolph fly his best on Christmas Eve.

Reindeer are an amazing animal that Santa chose for his delivery partners, and they excel in their task. On Christmas Eve, leave out a carrot and listen for the patter of hooves on your roof!

9 Holiday Animal Legends – Fearsome Cats, Christmas Spiders and More!

December 21st, 2012

Tabby cat in a Christmas TreeThe holiday season has many celebrations from a variety of faiths and traditions; a great majority of these are tied to Christmas. Over thousands of years traditions grew in the regions it was celebrated, and reflect the values of those areas. Of course animals are a part of people’s lives, so creatures of all shapes and sizes share in the traditions!

  • Polish single ladies need to have a keen ear leading up to Christmas. The unwed woman should step out her door and listen for a barking dog. The direction that she hears the dog indicates where her potential husband will come from.
  • Also in Europe, legend says on Christmas Eve, at the toll of midnight, animals are gifted the faculty of human speech for one hour.
  • Are Santa’s reindeer girls or boys? Biologists still can’t give us a definitive answer. It is true that female reindeer keep their antlers into the spring, and most male reindeer loose their antlers in early December. The key word is “most.” Some young bulls keep their antlers through the winter months, even into April.
  • Americans love to give more than to receive, as demonstrated by their giving of presents to their pets. 63% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners will leave something under the tree for their pets.
  • Spiders have a connection to the Christmas holiday as a symbol of luck and prosperity! In Poland, it is told spiders wove a blanket for baby Jesus. In Ukraine, the story is of a woman who was very poor and could not afford Christmas decorations. She awoke Christmas morning and found spiders had decorated her family’s tree with their webs. When the morning light hit the silks, they turned to silver and gold.
  • In Bolivia, on Christmas Eve people attend the Mass of the Rooster. It is named as such because the rooster was the first animal to spread the word of the birth of Jesus. Some mass attendees even bring roosters to the mass!
  • Iceland has a legendary cat, called the Yule Cat. The Yule Cat does not cuddle and play; it is a fearsome beastly cat that eats lazy children! Children must finish their fall chores with the wool harvest, so they can receive new clean clothes. This is the only defense against the Yule Cat.
  • There is another Christmas legend tied to cats. On the night Jesus was born it was cold, and the baby Jesus fussed. A nearby tabby cat came to their aid, and curled up next to them, purring a soft tone, and warming them. Mary was so grateful for the cat’s help, that she placed her initial of ‘M’ on the cat’s forehead.

Bonus Fact!

  • The Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has a lot of birds in it, even more than you might realize! Seven swans a swimming, six geese a-laying, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge (in a pear tree of course). That’s 23 birds! And the verse “five golden rings” can refer to pheasants, due to the ring around their necks, making the aviary total 28!