Originally Posted by Rhondabelle
Hi all :) I'm a newbie to these forums. I'm going back from maternity leave to my job at the local pet store (not Petsmart, Petland, etc), and the assistant manager position is opening up in the fall. I'm next in line for a promotion, and I figure that I should get my facts straight before I go back to work (I admit I'm guilty of lack of knowledge, I was hardly in the fish section... pls don't flame, I'm working on rectifying the lack of knowledge).
So. What are the top things that I should be telling my customers? Obviously I won't be telling them that bettas are happy in little jars. And it doesn't have to be just about fish, either. Anything that I can do to increase my knowledge and my customer's knowledge!
Thanks in advance!
Wow... I could give you SO much info!! I'll try and keep it short
I think everyone here will basically cover the fish part!
I would suggest looking at dogfoodanalysis.com to get an idea of brands of food, contents, what will be good brands to recommend, etc.
Do not offer pigs ears--they are LOADED with sugar and can easily break into sharp pieces that will cut the inside of their dog's mouths.
Chocolate, onions, and grapes are poisonous to dogs, and garlic is questionable.
Even in winter time dogs need flea/tick prevention if where you live has fleas/ticks.
A crate should be large enough for a dog to stand up in and turn around and stretch out comfortably, not much larger. If someone with a new puppy comes in looking for a crate, I would HIGHLY suggest offering them one with a divider so as a puppy they can block off part so the puppy can "grow into" the crate rather than coming back to buy another.
Most commercial brand dog training treats are SO bad for dogs because for training you feed large quantities and these are not meant for that. Offer them freeze-dried liver, "natural" dog treats, etc. Maybe give them the idea of cooked carrots (w/o any seasonings and such) or frozen plain yogurt drops.
A leash should generally be around 6 feet long, unless it is a leash meant to walk in large crowds with.
Collars should fit snug at the TOP part of the neck, but you should be able to fit 2 fingers underneath it comfortably. (That means without it heavily squeezing and you feel like your fingers are losing circulation.) Smaller dogs SHOULD have a harness, NOT a collar. Chihuahuas, pugs, dachshunds, etc. They can have collars for indoors, but for walks and such, HARNESS!
ALWAYS tell people to get heavier bowls if they are separated, as in, not in a tray or wire holder or something. If not, those things will FLY all over your floor. If they get one in a holder, make sure that you can get each individual out or it will be one big pain.
Raised food dishes have NOT been scientifically proven to prevent bloat, some even believe it CAUSES it. Be careful about spreading this advice.
Highly recommend people to micro-chip their dogs. It can be done for under $50. It is completely painless, and is injected into the dog's neck. Your dog doesn't need to be put under, it's very quick and simple. It is smaller than a grain of rice! It will hold ALL your contact info and now nearly every shelter and vet office scans new dogs. You can even change the info that comes up if you move.
Dogs simply do not need supplements into their diet if they have a healthy diet. Period.
Every single dog owner should have grooming supplies! Even a short-haired dog should be brushed. They may not need it, but it is a bonding experience. TOOTH BRUSHES TOO.
I highly recommend steps for dogs with longer bodies (such as Dachshunds) to beds or frequently visited places. Every single Dachshund will have 1 back surgery in its life. (Not proven, but likely.) By not allowing your dog to jump up and down off of things, it will not break its back. $20 steps are worth it!
Stuffed toys are never any fun. Ever. Hardier, sturdy, durable toys are! Always offer toys to fit the dog! What I'm saying is, would you offer a Great Dane a 2" squeeky ball? NO. Would you offer a Maltese a rubber tire? NO. Ask about the breed of dog, the dog's preferences, and the dog's behavior BEFORE offering a toy. If a dog is a chewer, definitely don't offer a stuffed toy.
Even though it is a cat, cats DO need carriers. They need to go to vet visits and sometimes get groomed, things like that. It is safest for the cat to be put into a carrier.
Their bowls should be waited, too. And I would recommend a mat, some cats are MESSY eaters. (Like my one male!)
Cats should be micro-chipped as well, and if not, have tags! Cats are sneaky little things.
Cats generally do not like collars, and while bells are nice, I would get one without it. Also, break-away-collars for the outside cat is a must, or else it can easily get caught on something and the cat will choke to death. (This is why MICROCHIPPING IS IMPORTANT!)
They most definitely need to be groomed. Any kind of cat. Ears, teeth, claws, coat, they NEED it. Look up some good quality grooming tools and tips, this will help you out a lot!
Automatic cleaning litter boxes are nice, but will scare most cats. I've tried these personally, and one of my cats in particular refused to use it at all and decided going on the carpet and her bed was better.
Cats can and will mark, just like dogs. Don't put it past them. This also "spray".
Never offer a yarn type of toy or a small toy. Balls and toy mice are always great things to offer!
Soft Claws or Soft Paws whatever it is, is a load of crap!! It does NOT work by any means, I swear they drug those cats in those commercials and even if your cat was good for it, they fall off within an hour. Oh, and your cat will rip them off themselves!
Cat food is just as important as dog food, research things that go in it. Cats are straight carnivores and should be fed so!
Never ever ever get frayed rope toys. A bird at my local pet store almost choked to death in one. They can get caught in there very easily.
Sand paper bottoms are great! But you can use newspaper.
Seriously, just stay away from noisy toys. Every person regrets it the next day, especially those bells.
The seeds you feed your bird needs to be watched. A lot of times the shells and cases and such will fill up their container, and it's not unheard of for birds to choke on these things.
You see those large, gorgeous parrots in those small cages? SOO NOT THE CASE. Prepare a potential buyer that they will need a very large cage and stand for that bird.
Finches and such love to be with many of their kind, and they will breed in captivity in your own home.
I know there are a LOT of things harmful to birds, I suggest you Google that because I honestly can't remember. (I haven't owned birds in years!)
I know so much more about animals, of all different kinds, so if you would like to know more about certain animals that you carry/supply for, feel free to PM me or just ask in this thread and I'll provide more info. I could go on forever, but I'd rather just tell you about the animals your store DOES provide!!
I know about rodents, sugar gliders, some reptiles, a bunch of fish types, horses, and other live stock.
Good luck on that promotion!!