How to Enjoy Walking Your Dog

Tips on How to Walk you dog on a lead


  • Place halter or lead on dog.
  • Ensure your dog is next to you or slightly behind, close to your leg.


  • Start with the leg closest to your dog and exaggerate your first step with a command you wish to use consistently – eg. walk, go etc
  • Stopping – stamp your foot, placing your feet together. Give the command ‘stop’ to your dog at the same time you stop i.e. don’t say stop then walk a step or 3.


  • When you stop, ask your dog to sit. Do not look at your dog. (This is a verbal command not a visual command). If you dog does not sit, place your hand on their bum and apply pressure to make them sit (DO NOT GIVE THEN EYE CONTACT)
  • Once they have sat for 10 -15 seconds (depending on the age of your dog), reward your dog by placing your hand over their chest and patting. (It allows for greater control).
  • Repeat the process of commencing walking, stopping and making the dog sit, and patting (DO NOT OVER REWARD YOUR DOG)


  • When your dog pulls to sniff, stop. Allow the do g to sniff (when you want them to, but don’t walk, just stop). Take Charge!

Note: When people come up to you, make sure they talk to you, not the dog. Then introduce your dog to the person. Try not to make your dog the centre of attention. (Remember – you have a pack animal)!


Give the dog some attention, pats, a fuss and a play with their favourite time. Differentiate walk time to play time.


Adding Fish to Your Aquarium

There are a lot of options for setting up aquariums, with many different sizes and lots of different equipment that can be used. An ideal beginner aquarium is one of the new ‘all in one’ aquariums made by a number of manufacturers. These come with lights and filters built into the aquarium and are easy to set up.

Check the Aquarium
Before purchasing any new fish, make a quick check of the aquarium. Ensure the filters, aeration etc are working properly. Check the water quality, particularly pH and ensure it is at a suitable level – for most community tanks a level of 6.8 – 7.2 would be suitable. It may also help to improve the water quality if a water change is also undertaken before purchasing new fish.

Check Fish Compatibility
When buying the fish, check with the pet shop staff to ensure the new fish will be suited to your aquarium and will mix with the species you already have. It is also good to get your water aquarium water tested prior to adding new fish. The Happy Pet Place offers free water tests, so bring in a container of your aquarium water with you.

  1. Avoid delays
    Your fish will have been bagged with minimum water at the Pet Store or Aquarium , and changes such as temperature fluctuations, reduced oxygen levels and increased ammonia levels can occur rapidly. Try to get the fish home quickly and keep the bag out of direct sunlight and extremes of temperature.
  2. Turn off lights
    Turn off lights on the tank – bright lights can add to the stress of fish.
  3. Acclimatizing your Fish
    Gently place the sealed bag in your tank and let it float for up to 15 minutes, this will allow your fish to climatize to the temperature of your tank.
    Then add about half a cup of your aquarium water to the bag approximately every four minutes. This will allow the fish to get used to your aquarium water. The number of times you do this will depend on the size of the bag. A smaller bag 2 to 3 times will be ample.
  4. Place fish in the tank
    Pour the contents of the bag (fish and water) through a net, capturing the water in a container, and the fish in the net. (Try not to handle the fish too much). Carefully release the fish from the net into your tank, discard the wastewater appropriately. Do not place the water from the bag into the tank.
  5. Overcome Transport Stress
    We recommend adding Stress Coat and Stress Zyme anytime new fish are added to an aquarium. API Stress Coat is scientifically proven to reduce fish stress and heal damaged tissue. It forms a synthetic slime coating and replaces the natural secretion of slime that is interrupted by handling, shipping, fish fighting, or other forms of stress.

    Stress Zyme contains over 300 million live bacteria per teaspoonful. Breaks down organic compounds that cause dangerous conditions such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning and low oxygen levels. continuous use assures an active biological filter, cleaner aquarium, healthier fish and good water quality. 

    In addition to adding both Stress Coat and Stress Zyme do not feed for the first 24 hours, and leave the light off for at least 3 hours, to help the fish overcome the transport stress.
  6. Observe with Care
    Observe your fish carefully for the next few days. Signs of stress, such as white spot can be treated by White Spot or a broad-spectrum medication.

If you have any questions and guidance regarding fish, pop into The Happy Pet Place and speak to one of our fish experts.

Pets In Winter

During winter it’s important to remember that our pets need extra care during the winter months too.  Below is a guide on what to think about and what you can do to make your pets more comfortable during these cooler months.


In the colder months, pets’ diets need to increase in energy intake rather than fat content. Animals shouldn’t gain weight over winter; they should just maintain body condition. As your pet is burning more energy in winter to keep warm, it is important to make sure they have plenty of water. As food intake varies for different pets and breeds, it is best to refer to your local Pet Expert for specific feeding requirements.


As we all know, the last thing we want to do in winter is go out and face those cold, harsh conditions. Although it is much more comfortable to curl up under a blanket, our dogs need to be exercised regularly for their physical and mental health. So put on a nice warm coat and head outside; your dog’s wellbeing will thank you for it.


One of the most important things for a pet that is kept outside in winter is to ensure they have a warm place to sleep at night. Dogs and cats that are lean, have short coats or do not have a double coat need an extra layer of protection from the elements, such as wind and rain. They need insulated kennels, blankets, and raised beds that keep them off the cold ground. An insulated kennel is best for all outside pets, and make sure the opening of the kennel is not facing the wind.

*COLD TIP: Attach a dog or cat door to the opening of the kennel. That way the kennel opening can be closed off so the cold isn’t constantly flowing in, but your pet can still push through the flap to get in or out.*

Rabbits cope well living outside in the colder months, provided they have a warm shelter to go to. The shelter must be well insulated, water proof, and raised off the ground to encourage the air to circulate and stop the bottom becoming damp. Heat mats are also a great addition to their hutch that will keep it toasty and warm.

Guinea pigs should not be housed outside during the extremes of winter, as their survival rate dramatically decreases when the temperature drops below 17C. They are very susceptible to temperature changes, so a mild 22C winter’s day that drops to 7C overnight can lead to an Upper Respiratory Infection that could become fatal if not treated.


It is during winter that your pet’s coat must be at its best, as this is when they need the insulation. Shorthaired breeds have short coats that do not insulate as well therefore they will need the extra protection of a coat. Long coat breeds are able to self insulate, however owners must make sure that their coat does not have any mats or debris, as this will interrupt the insulation effect. Pets still need to be washed in winter, however not as regularly. Make sure it is done on a relatively warm day, and that they are towel or blow dried thoroughly before being exposed to the elements. It is also important to check your pet’s paws after a walk, because the cold, wet ground can cause cracks or redness between the toes.


During winter, animals are more susceptible to health concerns because their immune systems are lower due to exposure to stress from the cold. Regular physical examinations from a Pet Expert or Vet are advised in winter to make sure your pet is coping. Illnesses such as Frostbite and Hypothermia are common during winter months, and can be fatal if not treated. Look out for signs of these illnesses, such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.


Arthritis is a very common illness that can flare up in colder months, often caused by injury, obesity, or genetics. 1 in 5 dogs suffer from the pain and disability caused by arthritis, and it is more common in outdoor dogs. This is a very debilitating disease that will dampen your dog’s quality of life if not treated, so it is important to be aware.
Checking for arthritis:

It is important to ask your Pet Expert to check for the signs of arthritis, such as soreness or restriction in the limbs, clicking or crunching sounds when moving the limbs, or behavioural abnormalities. If your pet is showing these signs, you will be referred to a vet where treatments will be discussed.


One of the largest pet dangers in winter is actually our car. Firstly, the chemical Antifreeze which can leak from your cars radiator, tastes delicious to animals, however it is deadly if consumed. If you see your animal acting drunk or convulsing, take them to a vet immediately.

Secondly, a very inviting spot for your cat to curl up and sleep in is underneath or inside of your car’s bonnet. There have been many cases where a cat is inside the car’s motor and the car is started, leading to tragedy. For this reason we suggest keeping animals away from garages at winter, and be careful of chemical spills if you take them for a walk and see them sniffing around a neighbour’s driveway.

REMEMBER if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pet.