Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

February 20th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

It’s National Love Your Pet Day!



Today is National Love Your Pet Day, which seems kind of odd because we love our pets EVERY day, but it’s definitely nice to designate a day to really celebrate how much they mean to you. Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, rodent, reptile, fish or any other type of pet, give them some extra TLC today. Spend more time than you usually do with them…either playing with them or just holding, cuddling or petting them. Extra treats won’t hurt either! In our busy day-to-day lives we don’t always have time to give them, so make today great for both of you! What will you do with your pet?

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November 14th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Daisy’s Story



For those of you with big families, you can probably relate to my parents who raised five girls. We always had pets growing up…dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, lizards, snakes (much to my mother’s dismay), you name it.  Now that all of us have families of our own, they live in a big house by themselves. Last month my mother started talking about adopting a dog and asked for my help in finding the best pup for her and my father. As an animal lover with two dogs myself, I was really excited to take on this responsibility and find my parents the perfect new addition.

I started by quizzing her on her preferences regarding size, gender, shedding, personality, look, etc. so that I could narrow it down to a few breeds that would suit them. We did a lot of research and decided that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a perfect choice. I hit the Internet to search Cavalier rescue groups, local shelters, and, all great resources when looking to adopt a pet. I spent most of October filling out applications, providing references, and calling shelters. The adoption process is very detailed if you work with a credible shelter/organization…when they require multiple references, adoption fees, and sometimes even home visits, it’s a good thing because it means they care about where these dogs end up and that they go to a family who will give them a loving “furever” home. Surprisingly, many of the dogs we were interested in were adopted before we could even check them out.

Finally, while browsing (which had become my daily routine), I stumbled upon a brand new listing for a tiny Cavalier…the pretty little girl you see in the picture above. She had been rescued from an Ohio puppy mill by the Champlain Valley Canine Rescue, a group of volunteers dedicated to rescuing animals from puppy mills across the country. I immediately contacted them about this pretty red and white colored girl (her coloring is referred to as “blenheim”). Thankfully we were first in line, and after submitting all the necessary materials and doing a phone interview, my parents traveled to Vermont to pick her up from the foster mom. They decided to name her Daisy. A happy ending for both the puppy and my parents…there is truly nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.


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October 9th, 2013 at 8:41 am

Outfit of the Week: Halloween Style


Animals are adorable Halloween costumes for kids. We offer a number of styles that come in many solid colors, which are perfect for the costume base. Transform your little one into a cute kitty or puppy with our solid tees or thermals, and yoga or fleece pants! The finishing touch comes in a set that includes a tail, ears and nose that actually makes animal sounds when pressed!

You can find EVERYTHING you need for this costume at by clicking the links below!

Garanimals Long Sleeve Lettuce Edge Tee

Garanimals Yoga Knit Pant

Garanimals Long Sleeve Henley

Garanimals Fleece Pant

Cat Costume Accessories

Dog Costume Accessories



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August 14th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Throwing a Birthday Party for Your Pet


My little Comet turns 1 year old today (or at least that’s our guesstimate based on how old he was when we adopted him). And yes, I planned a birthday party for him.  I know I’m not the only person out there who loves their pet so much that they’ll throw parties for them! If you are so inclined to celebrate your pet’s birthday, try some of these fun ideas:

Decorations.  Pawprint tablecloths, balloons, and other “paw-ty” supplies will make everything festive.  If your pet allows, feel free to adorn him with his own party hat or a special bandana.

Food.  Keep your pet at the top of your mind when making food. For a dog party, you can serve hot dogs for the humans and kibble for the dogs. For a cat party, humans can feast on fish filets while Kitty can enjoy Fancy Feast or a small helping of canned tuna, and of course, catnip.

Activities.  Be sure to set aside some playtime!  Play fetch or tug-of-war with the dogs.  Dangle a piece of yarn or have your cat chase a flashlight beam.

Cake.  It’s not a party without a birthday cake! Use a bone- or fish-shaped cake pan for the humans and give something special to the guest of honor, such as this tuna birthday cake for Fluffy or this tasty cake for Fido.

Be sure to keep your pet’s personality in mind. If he prefers quiet, then consider keeping the party to immediate family or maybe invite one animal friend.

Have you ever thrown your pet a birthday party?

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July 10th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Pet Adoption Basics


Adopting a pet can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Not only are you giving an animal a loving home, but you’re also accepting a significant responsibility and a whole lot of unconditional love! There are a lot of things to consider before moving ahead. Being a responsible pet owner is important, so first, ask yourself these questions:

1)   Do I have enough money for a pet?

2)   Do I have enough time for a pet?

3)   Do I have enough room for a pet?

4)   Am I ready for the responsibility?

There are so many different types of pets, the key is finding which one is right for you. It is best to research the pet you have in mind to make sure it’s a good choice. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the adoption:

Research More

  • Research the adoption facility. Make sure it is reputable.
  • Ask friends and family who have adopted to give you recommendations.

Buy the Essentials

  • Before you bring the animal home find out what you will need to care for them.
  • You will need food, bowls, treats and a few good books on caring for your pet.
  • For cats you’ll need a litter box, litter and possibly a scratching post.
  • For dogs you’ll need a collar, a leash, and a tag.

Choose a Good Veterinarian and Make an Appointment

  • A newly adopted pet should always be seen by a veterinarian within the first few days. This is to ensure that the animal is in good health and up to date on vaccinations.
  • For young pets, you should discuss neuter/spay options with the doctor.
  • Like humans, pets should see a doctor at least annually.

Have you adopted a pet lately? Tell us about it.

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June 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Cat Care


June is Adopt a Cat Month.  There are many reasons why cats make great pets: they’re easy to take care of, easy to transport, and can be just as playful and affectionate as a dog.  While I love all animals and have lived with them my entire life, I have never had a more loving and fun pet than my 10-month old kitten, Comet, who we adopted from a shelter at Christmastime. But just because cats are easy to care for doesn’t mean they don’t require any of your time and attention!  If you think that a cat or a kitten might be the perfect pet for you and your family, consider whether you can provide the following care:

  • Feed your cat a balanced diet.  I feed Comet twice a day with healthy wet and dry food, like Blue, Merrick, and Tiki Cat.  Of course, as with a human child, they’re entitled to a treat every now and then and I’ve never met a cat that resisted Temptations!  Also be sure your cat ALWAYS has fresh water to drink.
  • Provide a litter box and keep it clean.  I’ve never had to “potty-train” a cat; I just showed them where the box was and they knew to use it.  Most will not use a dirty one, so be sure to clean it out as often as possible.
  • Buy a collar and an ID tag with your contact information.  Even indoor cats should wear a collar at all times.  Make sure it has a breakaway buckle, like this one from Petco, for your cat’s safety.
  • Groom your cat regularly.  Brush your cat regularly for a healthy coat and minimal shedding.  Make sure you also have nail clippers and styptic powder to trim their claws. A scratching post will also help trim them down.
  • Annual trips to the vet are a must.  Keep your kitty up-to-date on shots and vaccinations.  Have him or her spayed or neutered if this hasn’t already been done.

Finally, even though cats are known for their independence, they still crave human love.  Provide him with catnip and toys to keep him stimulated, but remember that his favorite toy is you!  These guidelines for cat ownership will help ensure that you have a happy kitty and that your family will have a loyal friend for years!

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May 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am

Summer Pet Safety


With the unofficial first weekend of summer upon us, it’s important to keep some important things in mind for our furbabies that we don’t have to think about the rest of the year.  Follow these tips to make sure your pet stays safe in the season of extreme heat, fireworks, and outdoor parties:

1)      Make sure your pet stays cool.  Even if I’m not feeling particularly warm, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in a fur coat when the temperatures are rising.  Put on the air conditioner or fans for your pet and make sure he has plenty of fresh, cold water to drink throughout the day.

2)      Do NOT keep your pet outside (or in a closed car, for that matter) for any extended period of time.  If they must be outside, make sure they have a shady spot to lie down and cold water to drink.

3)      Especially leave them inside on Memorial Day and the 4th of July.  It can be easy for your dog to get lost or into trouble if you bring them to an outdoor event with a lot of people, and fireworks can be dangerous, not to mention frightening, for them.

4)      Practice safety around water.  Don’t just assume that your pet can swim on its own in a big pool or a lake.  Now they make small pools especially for dogs so Rover can stay cool and safe.  For larger bodies of water, make sure they are wearing some kind of flotation device.

5)      Be careful what you feed them.  If you’re having a barbecue, take special care to ensure that your pet can’t get a hold of anything they shouldn’t be eating or drinking, especially chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, and alcoholic beverages.

Taking this advice into account will ensure that your pet will have a safe and happy summer!

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April 11th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Starting an Aquarium


Aquariums are beautiful and fairly easy to maintain. They double as décor and pets! Fish are by far the best “beginner” pet, and kids can help care for them at a young age. However, a lot goes into the preparation of the tank, so here’s a beginner’s guide to aquariums that will have you enjoying some fishy friends in no time!

Do your research

Freshwater aquariums are best for beginners because they are less maintenance than salt water. There are tons of online resources where you can learn about the types of aquariums, fish, products, etc.

Understand the nitrogen cycle

Nothing like a little science lesson. One of the key elements of an aquarium is the nitrogen cycle. In a nutshell, fish waste and decaying food that hasn’t been ingested turns into ammonia, which is bad for the fish and needs to be broken down. Tank size, filter, amount and types of fish, and how you maintain it, all affect the nitrogen cycle.

Prepare for setup

Choose a place for your aquarium that isn’t in direct sunlight. A good beginner tank size is 20 gallons. Contrary to what some may think, larger tanks are easier to take care of because they simulate a real marine environment more than small tanks can.

Things you’ll need

Tank, filter, heater, thermometer, water conditioner, lid with lighting system, gravel or rock substrate, plants, decorations, aquarium test kit, cultivated bacteria or water from another tank to aid in the nitrogen cycle, a fish net, and fish food. And of course some fish! You can buy these all in one place at your local pet shop, online or at Walmart.

Set up the tank

Clean the inside of the tank with water (no soap) and a cloth. Rinse the gravel thoroughly and spread it on the bottom of the tank. Add the plants and decorations (after rinsing), but don’t overcrowd. Add water until it is almost full, then add water conditioner (follow the package instructions) to remove the harmful elements. Install the filter, heater and lid with lighting. Turn everything on; this is when you’ll start the nitrogen cycle by adding cultivated bacteria or using products to start growing your own. Here is good information on how to cycle your new tank .

Test the water when you think you are ready to start adding fish.

Using the aquarium test kit, check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels. If they are within the proper range according to the kit, you are ready to add fish! Add only a few at a time and wait at least a week in between additions. Let the bag with the fish float in the aquarium for an hour or two so the fish can adjust to the temperature of the tank water.

Choose your fish wisely.

Fish need to be chosen carefully in order for the aquarium to function properly. Like animals and people, some fish just don’t play well with others. Good starter fish are: Black Tetras, Tiger Barbs, Convict Cichlids, Zebra Danios, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Plecostomus.


Feed your fish once a day (kids LOVE to do this). Start with a large pinch and see how much they eat. A rule of thumb is only feed them as much as they will eat within 5 minutes. Change out 10% to 20% of the water once every week or two, to keep the cycle healthy. Test regularly to make sure the levels are good. Then just sit back and enjoy your beautiful fish.

Do you have an aquarium? What kind of fish do you have?



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January 24th, 2013 at 11:01 am

Introducing Baby to the Family Pet


Most of us with pets consider them to be a part of the family… sometimes even our first “babies” (or “fur babies”). It’s quite an adjustment for them when we suddenly have another little bundle that takes up a lot of our time, energy, and affection. Having babies and pets living under the same roof requires some planning, both before you deliver and when you first bring your newborn home. Here are some tips for making sure you all become one big happy family!

Before Delivery:

Research the hazards

Diseases can be transferred from your pet to you, and from you to your unborn baby. You may have heard of the dangers of the cat’s litter box. If you are pregnant and cannot have someone else change the litter, wear rubber gloves.

Prepare your pet

  • If your pet has any obedience or training issues, now’s the time to address them. Consider a training class at your local pet store or do some training research to handle it yourself. Be consistent and firm and keep treats on hand! Doing so will ensure your pet will listen to you when your baby is home.
  • Make sure you keep their coats washed and nails trimmed to avoid scratching and shedding issues.
  • Schedule a vet visit before your due date to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations.
  • Familiarize your pet with the smells and sounds of a baby with baby powder and audio of babies crying (you’d be surprised how animals react to new sounds and smells!).

After Delivery:

  • Have a family member bring home a blanket or item of clothing the baby has been wrapped in, and let your pet smell it. Some pets will enjoy sleeping with it once they are familiar with it.
  • When you come home from the hospital, your pet will likely be excited to see you. Let someone else hold the baby in another room while you greet your pet calmly and show it love. Once they are calm and collected, bring the baby in and carefully let them see and smell him or her. Give them treats for good behavior around the baby.
  • Always supervise interactions between your child and your pets. While you may be convinced your pet would never hurt them, it’s important to remember that they sometimes don’t know their own strength or roughness.
  • Try to stick to your pets’ routines as best as you can. It may be difficult so enlist your family members to help if necessary. Remember to give them lots of love and affection and involve them in your new baby’s life.
  • Sometimes it’s best to wait to introduce your new baby to your pet. Birds, reptiles, rodents and some other caged animals require different care than a cat or dog. Keep them separate until your child is old enough to understand the proper way to hold and care for them.

Did you have any problems introducing your bundle of joy to your pets? Share some of your own tips and tricks!

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November 28th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Homemade Dog Treats


For many of us, our pets are like furry children. We often let them sleep in our beds, get away with being naughty and spoil them rotten. We also want to make sure they’re healthy and happy, so feeding them delicious and nutritious foods is important. Frequent pet treat/food recalls and common unhealthy ingredients like BHA and BHT make it difficult to find good treats. Making your own from scratch will ensure that your pup is eating safe, healthy foods that they’ll love! Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

 Bacon & Cheddar Dog Treats

 Peanut Butter & Honey Dog Treats

 Apple-Cheddar Dog Biscuits

Have you ever made homemade treats for YOUR pets?

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