Everyone who knows me knows my pets are my life. In fact my Weimaraner is snoozing right next to me as I type up this interview! I believe in feeding my dogs and cats healthy and nutritious food, and taking them to the vet for regular visits, but I know how costly this can all be, especially in this day and age. Renowned pet expert and NYC pet stylist, Ali McLennan is one of my favorite interviewees and always offers the greatest tips for pet owners/pet lovers! I was so excited when I heard that Ali was going to be chatting with me about one of my favorite stores, Tractor Supply and how they offer everything your pet needs from pet wellness, Pet Appreciation Week, healthy and nutritious 4health food, pet adoptions, a cost-effective veterinary clinic and she even offered great tips for us pet owners.
Candace Rose: Where is the best place to start when keeping our pets happy and healthy?
Ali McLennan: “We have to remember when we take a pet into our lives that we make sure we take care of every aspect of their health – from care to enrichment to diet. What I really like are one stop shops like Tractor Supply. You can go to Tractor Supply from September 16th to the 20th for Pet Appreciation Week, and you can take in your local Tractor Supply and see everything that they have to offer. You might not think of Tractor Supply as a place you would go for your dog, your cat, your puppy or your kitten but they have a lot to offer.
When you talk about pet wellness, one of the first things you want to talk about is diet, so I really do like this product, it’s called 4health. It’s available exclusively at Tractor Supply. What I like about it is – I would not feed my elderly Italian Greyhound the same thing I might feed a new adopted puppy. For every stage of your life they have something for you. They have wet and dry depending on their dental health, they have pet biscuits, they have treats. I’m glad that your dogs are on this because one of the things that you want to look at when you look at a pet food is the first ingredient, and the first ingredient should be meat and that’s what 4health does offer you. They have no added fillers and from the 16th through the 20th at your local Tractor Supply you can go and pick up a free sample and see if your pet likes it. It’s a great, great option and a very good value.
When it comes to veterinary health a lot of pet owners are hindered by the cost of veterinary care and they don’t keep up with vaccinations or yearly visits simply from a monetary stance, but your local Tractor Supply has you covered. Over half of the Tractor Supply’s nationally have something called a pet vet clinic where they have a state licensed veterinarian come and they can issue medicine and they can recommend the same pharmaceutical products that your vet might recommend. You can save about 70% on your yearly vaccinations and they offer things like diagnostic tests and deworming, flea and tick medications with no exam fee/no office visit fee, and also you can go at your leisure with no appointments. Go to your local TractorSupply.com and see when your local Tractor Supply will have a pet vet clinic near you. It’s a great affordable option to keep up with your pet care. They keep your records free of charge whenever you need them at Tractor Supply, it’s a great option.
If you’re out having a picnic or camping you don’t want to let your pet run loose and you also don’t want to tether them because you might be grilling, you might be at the campfire. This is a portable pet gazebo (please see video above for details) you can put it together. I have used it for pigs and baby rabbits, African pygmy goats – it is fantastic. The cover is water-resistant and heat-resistant. It’s a great option, affordable. The other thing that they have are adorable water-resistant leashes if you need to walk your pet, especially if you need to walk your dog or your cat. They’re not retractable, great for training.
Kong toys! If your kitten is lazy or if your kitten is biting you or biting your furniture put their dinner in a Kong toy. Let them push it around and they’ll take it out piece by piece. If your dog (Yellow Lab and Weimaraner in my case) eats too fast, put his dinner in a Kong toy and let him push it around. He’ll get his dinner out piece by piece and not woof it down so he won’t be gassy, he won’t have bloat which is another – when you have a large breed animal that is an issue. These are great interactive toys. If you have an animal that’s chewing everything, put a little peanut butter in a Kong toy, they’ll chew this instead of your furniture.
If your dog (Yorkie in my case) has bad breath, this is called a Dura Chew (please see video above for details) what I like about it is its texture. When they chew on this, this is going to reduce tartar and plaque and so they’ll chew on this instead of your furniture again, but it also reduces plaque and tartar.
One-stop shopping is my greatest tip when taking care of pets. From pet, healthcare to toys to everything you need or if you want to feed your pig or your goat when you’re there, Tractor Supply is fantastic.”
Candace Rose: You shared tips for cats that bite, but do you have any tips you can share for cats that scratch?
Ali McLennan: “The best thing to do is get a little bit of sandpaper and put it on a place where they might already scratch, and what they’ll do is they’ll wear their nails down, or a great option is your local groomer or a mobile groomer who will come to your house and they can actually restrain – they have cat bags and other toys. They’ll clip the nails and file them down for you. I wouldn’t use a Dremel on a kitten, but what I would do would use something like a Kong toy because what they’re doing is getting rid of excess energy, so something like a Kong is a great alternative, also any sort of toy where they want to scratch. They’ll wear down their nails and wear down that instinct as well. What they want to do is get rid of energy and also their instincts are to get rid of that stuff that flops over, so trim them and keep them active as far as scratching goes.”
Candace Rose: You’re the best Ali! Where can we go for more information on everything you mentioned?
Ali McLennan: “TractorSupply.com (for their 4health pet food). Pet appreciation week is September 16th through the 20th. Go get a free sample of 4health. Go and see when pet vet clinic will be near you, you can check them out for pet tips. Also, go to AliMcLennan.com for pet tips.”