Read an Excerpt
Animals and Pets
Supplies and equipment for livestock, horses, dogs, cats, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish; prescription and over-the-counter health products; pet doors; humane animal traps; equestrian clothing and gear; live baby poultry
Perhaps the four words we mothers dread most are “Can I keep him?” I once spent $170 on a homely box tortoise that a “friend” had given us when my son was just a toddler. There was the aquarium, the plug-in heated rock, the heat lamp, the fresh worms, the organic strawberries, the tortoise-friendly bedding material, the trip to the vet . . . Well, if you're an old softy when it comes to animals, as I am, you'll understand my dilemma. The problem was, when I'd look deep into Harry's cold-blooded reptilian eyes to see if he appreciated me (or even noticed me, for that matter), it wasn't at all clear that he did. Most pets, however, are as rewarding to own as they are expensive. And the rewards don't stop with a lick on the cheek. Being around pets has been shown to help people with depression and various illnesses'and has even been linked with lower mortality rates in the elderly.
Is a baby alligator an appropriate pet for a toddler? Will a pot-bellied pig be a good companion in a small city apartment? Will a rabbit gnaw the legs off my antique furniture? Am I likely to outlive my koi carp? If you're thinking about getting a pet, you might want to first check out the American Veterinary Medical Association's website (www.avma.org), which has wonderful articles about buying a pet, dealing with pet loss, things to know about animal health, animal safety (how to safeguard your petfrom poison, how to travel with your pet, safety tips for kids), and how to select a veterinarian, among others. Maybe you'll change your mind!
All kidding aside, though, if you're looking for an all-around great resource that will lead you to humane organizations or concerned individuals who can help you find a shelter (for adopting unwanted animals of all species) or animal hospital in your area, offer more information on pet care, and provide material about specific animal welfare issues, check out ASPCA's website (www.aspca.org). There you'll find a comprehensive list of national and state-by-state organizations with websites, as well as links to indices with lots more references and resources.
If you're reading this book, you're always on the lookout for bargains. A pet is hardly a bargain'in terms of the money it will cost to care for over its lifetime. However, there's no reason to buy a pet. Just do some searching around on the Internet (I like www.About.com for this type of research) for rescue groups in your area. It's a big world out there, and I discovered rescue groups for everything from greyhound dogs, pet rabbits, and boa constrictors to ferrets, horses, and even mice. So save some money in the beginning, because you'll be spending plenty down the road!
I'm a believer in self-education, and almost all of the companies in this chapter carry books, videos, and CD-ROMs so you can become an expert on just about any kind of animal and pursue any number of related subjects (training, breeding, care, etc.). Several of the firms listed in this chapter are owned by or retain veterinarians who will answer your questions on products and their use, but usually won't give specific medical advice. Whether you're seeking discount food for your alpaca or a miniature entertainment center for your favorite hamster, you'll find nearly everything for the winged, scaly, furry, fuzzy, stinky, prickly, or slimy loved one in your life'for a lot less in some cases than you'll pay locally.
Find It Fast
Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, Omaha Vaccine, That Fish Place/That Pet Place, Tomahawk Live Trap, UPCO
Dog and Cat Supplies
Drs. Foster & Smith, Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, Patio Pacific, That Fish Place/That Pet Place, UPCO, Valley Vet Supply
Equestrian Clothing, Footwear, and Gear
State Line Tack, Valley Vet Supply
Jeffers, Omaha Vaccine, That Fish Place/That Pet Place
Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, Omaha Vaccine, State Line Tack, UPCO, Valley Vet Supply
Live Baby Poultry
Murray McMurray Hatchery
Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, Murray McMurray Hatchery, Omaha Vaccine, Valley Vet Supply
Reptile and Small Animal Supplies
Jeffers, KV Vet Supply, That Fish Place/That Pet Place, UPCO
Tomahawk Live Trap
Vet, Kennel, and Groomer Needs
Drs. Foster & Smith, KV Vet Supply, Omaha Vaccine, UPCO, Valley Vet Supply
Drs. Foster & Smith
|Drs. Foster & Smith||Form Of Information: free print catalog; online catalog|
|P.O. Box 100||Pay: check, MO, MC, V, AE, DSC|
|Rhinelander, WI 54501–0100||Sells: dog and cat supplies|
|800–826–7206||Store: no walk-in location; mail-order only; 24-hour phones|
|Fax: 800–776–8872||Online: www.drsfostersmith.com|
Doctors Race Foster and Marty Smith, both practicing veterinarians, personally select every product in their catalog to assure high standards for quality and value. Their 112-page color catalog includes pet furniture, treats, toys, vitamins, products for skin and hair, vaccines, cat trees, carriers and crates, grooming tools, leashes, training aids, and much more. Helpful sidebars dot the pages on subjects ranging from caring for your older dog to clipping your pet's nails to cat tree criteria. You'll also find an excellent selection of reference books on breeds, guides to traveling with your pet, health manuals, and other useful reading sources. Although many of the products in the catalog are Drs. Foster & Smith brand, a spot check of several major brands carried at other discount pet stores showed this company's prices to be the same as or lower than its competitors'. If good prices and the handpicked selection of products aren't enough, on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can speak to a staff vet on general pet issues and health care. The special vet hotline number is in the current issue of the catalog.Website: Wow! What a website. This company has a beautifully designed online catalog that's easy to use, well organized, and enjoyable to read. In addition to the full inventory, you'll also find Deals and Steals, a selection of overstocked pet products priced up to 75% below list; web-only sale items; free newsletters; and a link to PetEducation.com, the doctors' sister site where you can find and read articles galore on pet behavior, health, and other topics. The website allows you to place your order online.Special Factors: Satisfaction is guaranteed; returns accepted.Buy Wholesale by Mail 2001. Copyright © by Gail Bradney. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.