Thank you for your continued support of Leo&Lucky’s! We are working to continue to offer a wide variety of shopping options for you and your fur babies. Call 941-776-0770 to order for curbside pickup or FREE delivery on orders over $49.

support local at leo&lucky's

Remote working has been on the rise for years as technology allows us to connect without ever leaving our homes, but now, many folks are quickly transitioning to working from home by necessity. Studies have shown that working around animals can lower stress levels and increase worker happiness. Simply spending some quality time with your pet can decrease loneliness, and increase physical activity, for both of you! Sharing office space and hours with your pets SOUNDS terrific in theory, but sometimes can create some unforeseen issues – many that have simple solutions.

Set a Schedule

Pets, like kids and (some!) people, thrive on routine. Long time work-from-home veterans will tell you, this is the number one way to ensure your productivity throughout the work day. Think about all of the things you and your pet need to do during the day. For a dog, it may include potty breaks every so often, meals, walks, play time. For you, it may be a regular 10 a.m. meeting, lunch, and answering emails. Set times for your pet’s necessary activities around your usual daily schedule, and stick to the routine. Everyone’s schedule will look different, but the very first thing on your plan for the work day should be to play with your pet to tire them out. Take them outside for a long walk, play a game of fetch in the backyard, or toss around a toy for your kitties. Well-exercised pets tend to be good pets.

Correct Needy Behavior through Positive Reinforcement

Some pets want all of our time and loving, and we want to give it to them, but we have other things we have to get done, too. If you have a needy pet, consider ignoring negative behavior such as whining or pawing you while you work, and rewarding them when they are displaying good behavior, like playing with a toy independently or laying quietly nearby. Offer a treat, a favorite toy, or give extra pets and affection when they are doing the right thing. This positive reinforcement should lead to your pet being more independent, which will help your productivity.

Keep Pets Occupied

To make it easier to stay on task when you really need to focus or take a meeting, distract your pet. Keep a box of toys up high and rotate them out so they always seem fresh and interesting (side note, this also works with babies and young kids!) Filling a hollow treat with something pet-friendly can create a fun pastime – we have great pet specific options, including therapeutic applesauces you can pop in the freezer, check them out! Treat puzzles, and other quiet toys, are winners when you need your fur baby to entertain themselves. If you have more than one pet, teaching them to play tug-of-war is rewarding, and fun to watch.

Create Some Occasional Distance

Sometimes it is easier if pets aren’t allowed in the office at certain times. Putting a pet bed right outside your workspace or using a pet gate is a great way to allow your pet to still see and smell you, without trampling your important papers or slobbering on your best virtual meeting blouse. Consider crate training for a dog who can’t seem to appreciate your need for occasional personal space while working. Some short periods of being apart could help ward off the development of separation anxiety, too. CBD treats can help an anxious dog to calm their mind and be okay with not being the center of attention 24/7.

Working from home can be great, and having your best friend by your side (when it’s agreeable to both of you!) can make it even better. Any questions, please contact us at 941.776.0770. We look forward to serving you in store, with curbside pickup, or local delivery (free on orders $49+).

We have always known pets can be super heroes – from search and rescue dogs, to therapy pets, to seeing eye dogs, and the list goes on. Have you ever imagined YOUR pet as a super hero? Now is your chance!

Click here to download a blank PDF of a drawing sheet to turn YOUR pet into a super hero! Or, leave a comment on our Facebook post about this and we will make FREE personalized coloring page(s) for you and your wonder pets! These personalized pages will be uploaded a day or two following our Facebook post and you will be able to download and print your pages at home. We will keep you in the loop on Facebook as to where and when you can download them!

We encourage you to comment with pictures of your artistic creations on our Facebook post. We will randomly select a winner to be featured on the Community News board in our store.

Thank you to Lia G. and Jake for completing this amazing example!

jake the wonder dog

There are many reasons why your cat may not be using their litter box.

Location and privacy are key. Try putting the litter box someplace quieter and safer. Maybe that downstairs or little-used bathroom, or a quiet corner in the laundry room. Try a covered litter box if you can’t relocate the litter box itself.

Does every cat in your house have its own litter box? In a multiple cat household, if someone is missing the litter box, that could be the issue.

Cats can be very finicky about their litter. From recycled paper pellets, to traditional clay based litters, pine shavings, and silica based sand like litters, there is a litter to please most cats. There’s even cat litter with a special additive that’s attractive to the cat looking for a spot. Ask us about different litters that may entice your cat to eliminate in the right place.

With litter boxes, cleanliness is next to godliness. Thousands of years ago cats were worshiped as gods. They haven’t forgotten! Keep the litterbox as clean as possible. For some cats, that might mean a self-cleaning motorized version.

If all else fails, consider that your cat might have a urinary tract infection or other problem, and visit your vet. Please let us know if you have any questions about your cat’s litter box!

February is the Humane Society’s National Spay and Neuter Month. The purpose of this awareness event is to encourage people to have their pets sterilized before the spring and summer months, when there is a widespread overproduction of puppies, kittens, bunnies, and more. Many animal shelters experience an unmanageable increase in animal intake. Sadly, an estimated 4 to 6 million animals are euthanized annually, as the ever-growing pet population is just too much for the number of available homes. Spaying and neutering is the best way to prevent these unnecessary deaths.

Spay and neuter surgeries are veterinary procedures that require minimal hospitalization and yet offer lifetime medical and behavioral benefits for the animal. Spaying a female animal involves removing the ovaries and uterus, and the benefits include preventing reproduction, as well as preventing uterine infections, uterine cancer, and breast cancer. Neutering a male animal involves removing the testes, and in addition to stopping reproduction, it prevents testicular cancer. Neutering a male dog also has numerous behavioral benefits, minimizes marking, and reduces mounting and roaming behaviors. The health benefits related to spaying and neutering your animal help reduce the cost of your animal’s overall veterinary care.

Spaying and neutering procedures are very safe, routine, and pets heal quickly following their surgery. Generally, pets are dropped off at the vet in the morning and can be picked up the same afternoon. Puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered as young as 6 weeks old, but speak to your veterinarian or Humane Society to decide the best time to have the procedure performed on your pet.

Common myths associated with spaying and neutering animals, such as weight gain or negative behavioral changes are just that: myths. A proper diet and appropriate exercise following healing from surgery will ensure a fit and healthy pet for many years to come. If your pet is gaining weight, it is likely that they simply need their diet altered and/or an increase in exercise. Your vet can help you decide what is best for your pet, or come see us in store for suggestions about feeding.

Several times each year, the Humane Society of Manatee County receives grant funding that allows them the opportunity to offer low cost and no cost surgeries available to the public. Call 941-747-8808 Option #1 to schedule an appointment, or use their handy online scheduler at www.humanemanatee.org.

The Animal Rescue Coalition, located in Sarasota, offers sliding scale surgeries and vaccinations based upon income for Manatee and Sarasota County residents. Reach them at 941-957-1955 ext. 1.

See you in store soon!

Manatee County’s Favorite Locally Owned Pet Store Expanding with Franchise Offering

Parrish, FL: Pets Plus, Parrish’s locally-owned neighborhood pet supply store, today announced its new name, Leo&Lucky’s. In addition to renaming, Leo&Lucky’s – featuring a wide selection of pet nutrition, pet supplies, and grooming services – will be offering franchising opportunities.

Since their inception over a decade ago, the team at locally-owned Pets Plus, now Leo&Lucky’s, has established proven systems and developed relationships to help support aspiring entrepreneurs be successful in the growing pet industry. General Manager, Rachel McGinnis, stated, “We have had quite a bit of interest over the years; I am personally very excited to share our knowledge and passion with others who can replicate our efforts to be trusted pet advocates for their own communities.”

Added co-owner, Patrick McGinnis, “Pets Plus has been a great moniker for us, but we needed to choose a new name that better represents who we are, and will distinguish us from other stores with similar names nationwide.”

“Aside from our name and updated look, what our customers love about Pets Plus will remain the same,” Patrick explained, “We are not selling the business or re-staffing. We are still offering the same trusted products and grooming services, along with our loyalty program and delivery options. Leo&Lucky’s will continue to strongly support the community as we have for many years.”

Leo&Lucky’s original Parrish location at 8943 US Hwy 301 N, on the corner of Old Tampa Road and 301, is being remodeled and rebranded to reflect the “Leo&Lucky’s vibe.” The public is encouraged to stop in to see the progress on the store remodel, and celebrate our Grand Re-opening during our Customer Appreciation Day, Saturday, March 21st, 2020.

The location for a second Leo&Lucky’s corporate store is currently being vetted and is anticipated to be announced later this year. More information will be released when available here on our website. Parties interested in franchise opportunities can find more information here.

To learn more about Leo&Lucky’s, contact Nicole Apostle, Marketing Director, at nicolea@leoandluckys.com.

All pets need to be seen by a veterinarian at least once a year for their check-up and vaccines. While it can be tempting to choose the vet’s office that is closest to your home or offers the cheapest prices, it’s important to take time to select the right vet for your pets. Like the family doctor, this is a crucial relationship that will help your pet live a long and healthy life.

  1. Make sure the vet is knowledgeable about your pet’s species
    This may seem like a given, but some vets prefer to see dogs and cats only; some are large animal specific, while others specialize in exotics. “Exotics” is an all-encompassing term that can mean ferrets, birds, pigs, and more, so be sure your vet sees pets of the correct species regularly before scheduling an appointment with them. If the practice employs several vets, don’t be afraid to ask which one might be most experienced for your particular pet. 
  2. Listen to word of mouth 
    Check your local Facebook or Next Door group to see if this topic has come up in the past. You can sift through responses to get an idea of the local favorites, or learn who to stay away from. Google reviews can also be helpful, but remember, many people only review if they had a negative experience, so online reviews can be skewed. If you adopted, ask the rescue you got your pet from who they see. Vets who take care of rescues’ pets often have big hearts and are compassionate about animal welfare.
  3. Ensure the support staff is excellent
    It’s great if you love your vet, but what if you can never get ahold of the receptionist, are constantly overcharged, or are concerned about the way a vet tech is handling your pet? Veterinary staff should be kind, knowledgeable, courteous, and not afraid to ask the vet if they aren’t sure about something. Be sure you have a good feeling about the staff when you make the first visit.
  4. Check on convenience
    While proximity shouldn’t be the number one factor when choosing a vet, it is important to be somewhat close in case of emergency. Do they offer evening or weekend hours? How many vets are on staff, and how do they cover for illnesses or vacations? What emergency hospital do they have a relationship with?
  5. Take a tour
    The most telling way to find the right veterinary office is to take a tour of the facility. You’re looking for clean, calm, and comfortable. Smelly facilities, broken equipment, or dirty rooms are a red flag. With notice, the staff should be more than willing to take you on a tour and answer any and all questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to bring a list, this is your fur baby, and your comfort level matters.

Choosing a vet can be daunting – but it is important for the health of your four-legged family members. Feel confident in knowing you’ve done your due diligence and followed the right steps to find great care for your pet. We will see you in store, soon!

If you’re on social media, brace yourselves: it’s time for “new year, new me” messages to take over your feed. A New Year is a nice, clean slate that can be used as a catalyst to adopt some major modifications into your family’s life. Don’t forget about your pet – they can also benefit from some fresh, positive changes, too! Here are some easy ways to incorporate your pet into your resolutions:

  1. Exercising more – together!
    Walking your pet is one of the best ways to get in your steps! Not only is walking a strong bonding activity, leaving the four walls of your home also releases some of your pet’s mental and physical energy. This makes for a healthier, happier, more well-behaved pet! There are many gadgets that can make walking your pet a breeze; from gentle leaders, to soft harnesses, to poo bag dispensers that clip directly on your leash. If you have any challenges with walking your pet, let us know – we can help!
  2. Getting pets to a healthy weight
    As much as we all love a squishy furry friend, being at an ideal weight is important to your pet’s health. In addition to getting more exercise, there are other ways to encourage a healthier weight. Different food choices, smaller portion sizes, low-calorie treats, toys that encourage exercise and mental stimulation, and refraining from feeding pets table scraps can help your pet drop a few pounds. If you think your pet is getting chubby, your vet can help you make that call, and we are here to help you select food and treats that may be a better fit. Feel free to use our scale located near the register to get an accurate weight on your pet and track his or her progress – ask any employee if you need assistance!
  3. Practicing better dental health
    Dental and gum disease are major issues for many pets. Poor dental health can impact every system in the body. Ideally, you should be brushing your pet’s teeth daily; and there are a wide variety of dental treats, chews, and toys that can also help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums. Ask about our Doggy Dentals service, offering anesthesia-free dental cleanings for pets. Call us at 941-776-0770 to schedule an appointment for your pet in 2020!
  4. Visiting the vet
    Young, healthy pets should visit the vet every year, and aging pets may need to see a vet more often for checkups. It’s vital to ensure your pet is licensed to ensure its and others’ health and safety. At Pets Plus, we offer regular low cost vaccination clinics with a local licensed veterinarian. Check our Events page for the next clinic date!
  5. Trying something new
    Our area is super pet-friendly! Check out a dog park, rent a kayak to paddle around in (don’t forget a doggie life jacket!), or take a hike through any of our local state or county parks. There are a number of pet-friendly restaurants nearby with year-round outdoor dining – just ask us for suggestions!

Pets are our family, and they love us as much as we love them. Cheers to having a good time with your furry, feathered, or scaly friends in 2020. We hope to see you soon at Pets Plus, but if you need pet supplies in the meantime, don’t forget about our FREE local delivery on orders $49+. Just call 941-776-0770 to order. Happy New Year!

Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/gnHmTu

The key to training your pet to eliminate where you want them to is to prevent accidents, and reward success. Never punish, yell, or rub a pet’s nose in an accident. This doesn’t teach them anything, and may make them afraid of eliminating in front of you at all. Positive reinforcement works best for pets.

Dogs

Young puppies can be particularly difficult to train, as they have small bladders and lack bowel control. To encourage good habits, take your pet’s age in months and add one, and that’s the number of hours they should be able to hold their business during the day. For example, a six-month-old puppy can usually hold it for up to seven daylight hours, but remember that every dog and situation is different (just ask Rachel about how it went with Riptide!) Puppies may need to eliminate after they eat, sleep, or play, so you will be going outside a lot with a younger pup.

To train your puppy or dog, be sure to bring your new pet home when you have several days to work with them before going back to work or leaving them alone for longer periods at a time. Keep the pup with you at all times, using pet gates or a leash to contain them if necessary. When you see them start to sniff excessively or give indications that they need to eliminate, take them on a leash to their designated potty place right away. Stay there, pacing back and forth, using the same phrase (maybe “go potty,” or “do your business”) until they eliminate. Reward them excitedly with whatever motivates them (treats, toys, affection… or a combo!) immediately when they go. Maintain a predictable schedule for feeding and potty times, and your dog will catch on in no time!

Cats

Most kittens or cats will catch on quickly to the idea of the litter box. Providing one more litter box than there are cats in the home is a good idea, so if you are bringing home your first cat, you’ll want two litter boxes. Place the boxes in locations that are easy to get to, yet private. Your cat needs to feel safe in order to use the litter box.

Show the cat or kitten where the boxes are as soon as you get home. Put them gently in the box immediately following meals and after they wake up from naps. If you notice your cat looking like they need to go (sniffing, crouching), pick them up and put them in the litter box. Some cats won’t eliminate with an audience, so you may need to leave the room. Just like with dogs, when you notice your cat using the litter box, reward them with a cat treat, pets, praise; whatever works to motivate them to go in the right place.

Some cats are particular about the type of litter box and litter they want to use. You may need to experiment a little to figure out which litter works for your cat. Keep the litter as clean as possible, scooping daily and replacing as needed. Clean the box itself as well – some cats will refuse to use a stinky litter box.

For both dogs and cats, be sure to use a pet-specific enzyme cleaner to treat any accidents. Pets may continue to use the same areas to eliminate if they can smell previous accidents. Cleaners like vinegar or bleach can “clean” the area, but won’t eliminate the pheromones that attract pets back to the spot. Please let us know if you have any questions about housebreaking, and if you need assistance choosing gear, products, or pet enzyme cleaners to help train your pets to potty politely. We are happy to help!

Unbelievably, it’s that time of year again. While you’re making your holiday list, and checking it twice, don’t forget your furry friends! There are so many options for cute and useful gifts for pets. Fill their stockings with things they’ll love!

Dogs

Our most faithful companions are usually fairly easy to shop for, since we know the way to their hearts is through food, and fun! Mini treats can be given throughout the day without disrupting a balanced diet, and can also be stuffed inside a treat-dispensing toy. Check out treats that do double-duty, such as dental chews that clean teeth and keep gums healthy, as well as treats that are infused with all-natural CBD oil, providing a calming effect to help with handling all of the holiday commotion.

For the play-driven, we recommend toys that provide mental stimulation as well as toys that encourage much-needed exercise. Puzzle toys, chew toys, and treat dispensing toys are great for dogs that get bored and try to find “creative” ways to amuse themselves. For the athletic pooch, tennis ball flingers are fun for launching a ball repeatedly without wearing out your shoulder. Rope toys are another favorite – who doesn’t love a good game of tug-of-war? And of course, no doggie stocking would be complete without a stuffed animal to destroy (many “stuffed” animals for pets are now stuffing-free, if you’re not in the mood for a white Christmas all over your Florida living room.)

Cats

All of our cat friends have such different personalities, but by offering a wide variety of treats and toys, you are bound to find gifts even the most discerning feline will love. Cat treats are now available in many forms, including freeze-dried treats that even the pickiest of kitties will enjoy, and CBD treats with mellowing and pain-relieving properties. Many cats enjoy treat-dispensing toys that they have to roll around and play with to reap the rewards. Don’t forget the catnip (and be sure to send us a zoomies video…)

Cats who enjoy lounging will love a new fluffy bed just in time for cooler weather, or a cat tree for the perfect place to sit and look out the window. Remember to get your indoor cats a post or scratching box to allow them to exercise their claws on something that’s not your new couch. Other options for felines include a new collar and ID tag (even indoor kitties should wear ID!), feathered toys, or toys that hang from a doorway – for random attacking at 3 a.m.!

And as always, no cat’s holiday would be complete without a box to chew and some leftover wrapping paper to sit on. Happy Holidays!

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