Mar 24 2018

Adopting A Dog On The Spot

Deciding Which Dog to Adopt

Sometimes, even with thorough planning, it is still hard to resist puppies with oversized paws and cute, button-like eyes or attractive full-grown dogs, for that matter. This is a natural response commonly observed among would-be owners at rescue homes and animal shelters.

A little planning can still go a long way when deciding which dog to adopt. Even if your previous plans are all but forgotten, remembering the tips below can still help you resist that overpowering desire to bring them all home.

Try talking yourself out of it.

Debate with yourself about your options. Ask yourself questions about whether you are ready to commit yourself to a particular dog. If you have doubts, even the slightest one, you should delay your decision. It is never a good idea to rely a lifetime commitment on a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Remember your game plan and stick with it.

Prior to going to the animal shelter, you have thought about the dog’s breed, dog’s size, the dog’s temperament, in fact even the color of the dog’s fur. Don’t forget these things when looking for the pet you would like to bring home. If you think you would easily fall for a dog, ask your wife, your brother, or a friend to tag along at the animal shelter. Get a second opinion. That never hurt.

Sleep on the decision.

A little time away from the dogs can help a great deal on deciding which dog to get. It is okay to sleep on your decision as this allows you sufficient time to evaluate your options. Only after you have thoroughly thought about your options should you decide. Otherwise, allow yourself more time to weigh your options.

Test the dog.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you are relying on pure instinct to guide you to your dog, without prior plans. The dogs in the animal shelters, on the other hand, rely on their animal instincts to find their suitable owners. If this is the case for you, it is advisable to first test the dog.

Do this by allowing the potential dog to sniff you. Ignore it for a few minutes while observing its behavior. The ideal dog is not clingy to its owner. It is people oriented and sociable but it should not force you to pay all your attention to him. If the dog wanders away and goes back to you after a few minutes, it is a good sign that it is a well-behaved, independent dog. It recognizes its owner but does not demand so much from his master.

It is also not a bad idea to play with the dog. Dogs in stressful conditions don’t normally feel comfortable with petting. Usually, they are aggressive, shy, afraid or stressed. Test your would-be dog’s personality by playing around with it. A good response is often a good indication that a dog is comfortable around you.

Don’t be surprised if it is not playful though. It is enough that he tolerates being petted without showing apprehension.

Apart from using the above criteria, how else would you know which dog to adopt? Well, it always comes down to your best judgment.  Your gut can tell you a lot about how your feeling and the connection you are receiving or not receiving. Go with your gut instincts.

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Mar 22 2018

Adopting A Dog… Going Through The Adoption Process

The Process of Adopting a Dog

Adopting a dog does not end and begin with picking your future best friend at an animal shelter or a rescue group. It’s more than giving a homeless dog a home either. There are plenty of things that go into the adoption process, which could define your long-term relationship with the dog you want to adopt.

Selection Process

This is purely according to your preferences. Dog owners, in general, have their hearts set for a specific type of dog or a specific breed when planning to adopt. Some have their eyes on purebreds, others are comfortable taking home mutts or mixed breeds. There are many, however, who don’t have a particular idea of what dog to adopt.

As a guide, there should be at least three characteristics that you should look for in a dog. First, are the things that you want in the dog you are to adopt. Second, are the things that you want but can definitely live without. And finally, the unacceptable characteristics that you don’t want your future dog to have.

For would-be owners who want to be very specific with the type of dog they would adopt, the following characteristics could help with identifying the best dog that would match their preferences:

Breed:  Purebred or mutt?
Size:  Big, midsize, small, or little?
Activity level:  High-energy or low-energy?
Grooming and maintenance:  High-maintenance or low-maintenance?
Exercise needs:  Plenty or not so much?
Age: Puppies, adult or senior?

You can do no wrong if you categorize the available dogs in the rescue homes or animal shelters under these criteria.

Source Of The Dog

There are, in general, three places from where you can adopt a dog: from an animal shelter, from a breed-specific rescue group, and from a general rescue group. Animal shelters often serve as temporary shelters for dogs that were rescued from the streets. Rescue groups, meanwhile, house dogs in home-like settings where the dogs are observed and taken care of.

Research your prospective sources beforehand. Most of them have websites which can provide a great deal of information about their available dogs. Also, check their actual facilities. These should provide clean homes, safe environment and loving treatment for the dogs. If the facility seems suspicious, leave it and check out the next.

Applying For Dog Adoption

Although there are hundreds of dogs that need new homes, most organizations don’t just allow their dogs to leave their facilities without first requiring you to undergo the formal process of adoption.

The majority of rescue homes and animal shelters have policies that require you to apply for dog adoption. They do this to ensure that their dogs don’t end up in the wrong hands.

During the application process, ask for the fees you have to pay. Most organizations charge more or less $200 for their dogs. If they charge more, be suspicious.

Bringing The New Dog Home

Your long-term commitment to your new best friend begins once he steps into your door. The first few weeks after the adoption process is expected to be rough as the dog adjusts to his new environment. Once you have established a bond with the dog, you can gradually start training or preparing him for a life ahead that is shared with you.  Your fur baby will share some beautiful memories with you each day you spend with him/her.  Give your time to enjoy your new family member!

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Mar 20 2018

Adopting A Dog… What about Dog Training?

Dog Training Necessary?

There are very many reasons to love a dog. The dog is appreciative, patient with its owners, loyal and protective. Because of these, even the sternest of dog owner’s fall into the trap of pampering the dog sometimes unmindful of the effect of the temporary indulgence. Who would not? It is so difficult to refuse a dog giving you dog eyes when you are sitting at your table begging for man food. The charm though is easily lost once there are guests. It feels very nice to be welcomed by a dog with a furiously wagging tail, very excited at your coming home, jumping at you, or bolting out the door to meet you. It is embarrassing though when the dog does the same when there are other people around.

On occasions such as these, the owner will attempt at stopping the dog from continuing, but when the dog is not trained, all the dog hears from its owners is just another bark, an important bark maybe but incomprehensible.

It is also a natural instinct among us to not create “fences” among those we love but if the dog is allowed full run off the house, sooner, even those characteristics in a dog that charmed us will be an irritant. Obviously and for very practical reasons, the dog needs obedience training. Little coaching like sit, heel, stop, stay, and come, goes a long way in teaching your dog manners that are very useful in situations when you would want to communicate with the dog and be understood. The dog is also likely to respect the owner more if the owner is consistent and firm with what he wants the dog to do.

Setting limits on what the dog can and cannot do is of the dog’s nature. In fact, dogs enjoy hierarchy; it wants to know who the boss is. It is its tendency that is natural to dogs. Dogs trained in obedience are not only much more enjoyable as companions; dogs also are less likely to suffer and are loved more when it knows its limits.

While mans love affair with dogs is many centuries old, dogs originally were predators in the wild. Even though all these years these instincts are not totally shed. In the wild, dogs lived in packs. As such, there has always been an established hierarchy among them that were useful if they were to survive, and so dogs instinctively obey rules. If rules are not provided and the dog is allowed to do as it wants, it starts thinking that it is the alpha male and will become dominant because contrary to our beliefs, it does not see people as people but as members of the pack where he is a part or where he should lead.

Loyalty, sociability, protectiveness, gentleness with those that the dog is familiar with, fierceness to those it does not know and sometimes meanness when there is a perceived violation of territories are real to the dog that endears him to us but these traits are natural instincts practiced within the pack which by extension is given to humans.

Dog training then is very important if these traits are to be sharpened to our benefit.

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Mar 19 2018

Is Your Dog Safe When Traveling By Plane?

Air Travel For Pets

Just because thousands and thousands of pets are safely transferred from one destination to another via the airlines, it does not mean that dog owners are without responsible precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their family pet.

In fact, after reading through the following guidelines that should be taken before boarding your dog on a plane, you will realize just how important is.

Listen To Your Instincts In Regards To Your Dog’s Personality

Just because they are animals, it doesn’t mean that all dogs can easily cope with the experience of being locked up in a crate during an airplane ride. Every dog owner knows what his or her dog’s personality is like. Trust your gut instincts on whether or not you think your dog can handle the flight. If it doesn’t feel right, then your instincts are trying to tell you something about your dog’s separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a real condition that should not be overlooked. It is estimated that almost 20% of all dogs suffer at some level from separation anxiety. These personality types make very poor candidates for airplane travel. Such dogs should not be left alone and when their condition reaches elevated levels, it is not uncommon for a dog to literally chew through a metal cage in the attempt of trying to escape, causing severe injuries that can cause the dog to bleed to death.

Minimize Anxiety By Preparing Your Dog For The Experience Of Flying

As mentioned above, it is never acceptable to force your dog to experience flying if he is deemed to have separation anxiety problems. However, there is always the possibility that you can condition him to fly without having any problems.

This can be accomplished by getting your dog accustomed to the travel carrier that he will be flying in. Simply have one located in your house and keep your dog inside as often as possible. This can be done during meals, sleep time, and while driving around in the car. Eventually, he will be totally comfortable inside the crate and this will aid in making the dog feel more secure during the plane ride.

Yes, Your Dog May Get Lost When Accidentally Transferred To A Different Airplane

One of our previous tips for dog owners and air travel was to only select direct flights. Many times, passengers and their luggage may have to transfer to two or more different airplanes before reaching their final destination. It is during these times when some dogs become lost, never to be found again. They accidentally get transferred to the wrong airplane and never make it back to the owner.

To minimize the chances of your dog not making its way back to you, the best thing you can do is ensure proper identification. Have a permanent ID securely attached to your pet that has your phone number, home address, and any contact information about the place you are traveling to. Microchips and tattoos are also options that can be taken. They may seem extreme but when it comes to your dog and the possibility of him getting lost during air travel, it’s definitely worth it, wouldn’t you agree?

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Guide to Flying With Pets

You may want to check out the Guide to Flying With Pets. It provides the most updated information on pet travel restrictions for every airline, including emotional support and service animals.

This guide provides helpful information on every aspect of pet travel, such as:

  • Pet-friendly airport and relief locations
  • Pet health requirements for each state
  • Travel rewards and programs offered for flying with your pet

Free Guide provided by CreditCard.com 

Mar 01 2018

Tips to Keep Your Dog Save While Traveling

Dog Travel

A recent poll taken by the American Pet Products Manufacturers (APPMA) revealed that almost 50% of those surveyed regularly take their dog with them when they travel in the car. But the bad news is that almost all of them failed to safely ‘buckle up’ their dogs to prevent the animal from being injured in case there was an accident.

It’s difficult to say why so many loving dog owners take such a nonchalant attitude towards safety when traveling with their canine companions. However, it’s never too late to change your habits. So along with ensuring that your dog stays in one piece in the event of a crash, there are additional safety tips that can help keep him alive and well to enjoy the ride.

Buckle Up Your Dog Just Like You Do

Every dog enjoys being able to run loose inside of a moving vehicle, but it’s not a smart choice for you to allow this to happen. Should an accident occur he could be thrown through the windshield and cut up into a million pieces. And any dog that is naturally over-excited could jump on your lap and make you lose control of the steering wheel.

The easiest solution to this problem is to purchase a dog seat belt. These products are very comfortable for your pet and allow the animal to lie down, sit, and change positions if necessary. And should an accident occur, the dog seat belt will prevent him from being injured. They also come in various styles and sizes to fit any breed.

If you have to wait for your dog seat belt to be delivered, and you would like an alternative option, you can also buckle up your dog in the back seat by using the middle seat belt. Simply fasten it up and loop your dog’s leash through it. Just be sure he is comfortable enough and that the leash is attached to a harness and not a collar, as this could choke him.

Keep Your Dog’s Head Inside

Living near a dog park, I see at least a dozen people drive by with their dog’s head excitedly poking out of the window, not to mention dogs being allowed to walk around the bed of a moving truck. While this may seem suitable, it is also quite dangerous.

Just because your dog loves having the wind in his face that does not mean that it is responsible or safe for you to permit this. Flying debris, dust, and rocks have been known to blind dogs and cause severe trauma to the skull. Infections often occur as well. And of course, the worst case scenario is that your dog could jump out, getting smashed by a vehicle behind you in traffic.

All you have to do is keep your pet inside of the vehicle at all times while moving. If the temperature is hot, simply turn the air conditioning on. You may also crack the windows a bit to help with more airflow, but only several inches. A window shade is another good idea to help keep your dog cool.

Do you need help keeping your fur baby cool on your travels?  Check out this Cool Pup technology. Made of a lightweight and heat-releasing SPFUPF fabric with cooling packs inside this harness stays cool for up to six hours after just an hour in the freezer. Awesome for hotter traveling days.

Feb 28 2018

More Helpful Tips When Traveling With The Family Dog

Taking Your Family Fur Baby on Vacation

When youíre planning your next family trip, everyone is likely to be thrilled and will have more fun if you take the family dog along. Whether you are planning to travel by car, plane, train, or ship, in hot or cold weather – traveling with your dog doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your canine pal if you follow these simple pet travel tips:

1. Are you traveling outside of your home state or to another country? Make sure that you obtain an up-to-date canine travel document from the places you plan to visit. Most states and foreign countries require a health certificate from your vet including a statement that your dog has had his rabies shot. If you are going out of the country, you will also need these papers from a vet to get him back into the United States. And find out early about quarantine rules.

2. Advanced training in car etiquette will keep your dog safer, which means more pleasant traveling experiences for you and the other passengers on any car trip you take. It’s best to start him out on short drives, if possible when he is still a puppy. Hold him on your lap or on the seat beside you to give him confidence. Right from the start, do not permit leaping in the car or any chance of jostling the driver. Helping your dog get accustomed to the sensation of motion in short stages will help greatly in preventing car sickness.

3. Your dog should have on his collar, a license tag, and identification plate which gives his full name, address, and contact number of a trusted person in case your pet is lost. However, you should take precautions against his straying and keep him on a leash in strange areas. Never let him run loose without supervision, regardless of how well-behaved and well-trained he is. Do not leave him alone in a hotel or motel room, it is easy for a room attendant to open a door and accidentally let your dog out.

4. Your dog will feel more at home, while in strange places if you take along some familiar items like his favorite toy, his own grooming supplies, and feeding bowl. A small kit or suitcase for carrying these supplies is a great idea. A large plastic container is useful for carrying drinking water. He will also appreciate his own dog bed or blanket when you stay in a motel or hotel (and you can bet the proprietor will be grateful too).

5. Feeding while traveling doesn’t have to be a problem these days. Purchase soft-moist dog food, which is ideal for the traveling dog, since these foods do not require refrigeration and are easy to take along and serve. With his favorite food along, it will be easier for your dog to become used to the routine of traveling.

Did you learn some new tips for traveling with your fur baby? You can receive Pet Owner Tips and Tricks in your email if you subscribe to our blog. See registration on the right sidebar.

Do you need a harness to help you travel in a car with your dog?  Check out this cute zebra harness

Feb 26 2018

How To Make The long Road Trip More Comfortable For Your Dog

Traveling By Car – Dog Travel

Traveling with your puppy or dog can be a lot of fun. It’s a great way to bond with your pet while experiencing new places along the way. If your road trip is going to be a long one then you need to take a few extra steps to plan accordingly and ensure that you and your puppy get to your destination safe and happy.

Here are a few suggestions that can help:

1. The last thing you want to do is have to clean up the nasty mess of diarrhea inside your car. And your puppy or dog can easily give you this headache when you do not stick to his regular feeding times and with his normal food. It is very easy to feed your dog inconsistently when you are making a long trip by car. However, it will be best for both of you if you bring along bags of his normal food and only feed him at the same time you would at home.

2. Although it is obvious that you do not plan on ever losing sight of your dog during your travels, you should still make sure that his collar is secured tightly and that he has updated identification tags. If for some reason you’re making a temporary stay for more than a day at a location until you arrive at your final destination, add an additional identification tag that has the address and phone number of that temporary location.

3. When you make a pit stop along the way, always leash your dog before he gets out of the car and keep a tight grip on him. Because he is in unfamiliar territory and may scare easily, the instinct to dart and runoff may be strong. Keeping him tightly leashed will prevent this nightmare from happening.

4. Try to avoid traveling by car during weather periods of extreme heat and high levels of humidity. Dogs do not do well in this type of climate and if you must travel when it’s hot then be sure your vehicle is equipped with a dependable air-conditioning system.

5. Every time you stop for a break during the trip, make sure you give your dog a few moments to exercise. Take your dog for a short walk or run him around the block. This will help get his blood flowing so that he can relax better for the next few hours of the ride.

6. Last but not least, as much as it is common sense, do not keep your dog in your car with the doors locked and windows rolled up. This is just basic safety advice that every person should know already, but unfortunately, there are many accidents where dogs die from heat stroke while sitting in a car during boiling hot weather.

If you enjoyed reading this article and have learned some new tips for your next trip, you may enjoy learning about the Insect Shield for Cars. Not only does it shield your car from mud, dirt, hair, and water, but it will shield your dogs from bugs. The Insect Shield has bug protection!  Check it out by clicking on the image.

 

Feb 09 2018

No Dog Food? No Problem

Out of Dog Food?

You reach inside the dog food bag and … nothing. You’re already rushed and the kids are late for school, do your puppy pals go hungry or is there a solution?

Dogs can eat most people food without a problem even as a regular diet. If you’re out of dog food here are some suggestions.

Dogs need roughly 50% protein, 25% vegetable/fruits, and 25% grain, or starch, in their diet. Stick with these proportions and your dog should be just fine. Stay away from salt, high-fat foods, and processed foods, but that still leaves lots of choices.

Dogs love eggs, so scramble up two or three, break up a slice of bread and add a few carrots and breakfast is served. You don’t even have to cook the eggs if you’re short on time.

Cook up some quick oatmeal (not the prepackaged, single serving, kind that has too much sugar), add some vegetables from your dinner last night and the meat from a couple chicken legs.

Bake a potato in the microwave and roughly chop. When it’s cool add a can of tuna fish or a cup of cottage cheese, a handful of cooked string beans and dinner is ready.

How much you feed your dog depends on how big he is and how active. If you usually feed one standard size can of dog food per meal that’s about a cup and half. Dry dog food is a bit more calorie dense, so a cup of dry dog food would equal about a cup and a third of fresh food.

The protein can come from hamburger, beef, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, turkey or fish. Stay away from cold cuts and deli meats. Even deli turkey, for example, has more salt than is good for your pooch. Cheese is high in protein but it’s also high in fat and salt. Save cheese as a special treat. Just about any fruit or vegetable is appropriate with the exception of grapes. Some experts say dogs shouldn’t have onions even if they’re cooked and others say they’re just fine. Grains and starch include rice, potatoes, yams, cracked wheat, wild rice, oatmeal, pasta, and in a pinch, bread.

If you plan on serving your dog’s leftovers make sure they’re human quality leftovers, not the grizzle and fat from a steak with gravy thrown on top. If you wouldn’t eat it your dog shouldn’t. There is one exception. Dogs don’t mind if everything is served in the same bowl from salad to entrée to dessert.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may want to subscribe to Pet Owners Tips and Tricks and receive them in your email inbox. 

Feb 06 2018

Dog ownership comes with considerable responsibility

Should You Get a Dog?  

Dog ownership comes with considerable responsibility, and the decision to introduce a dog—whether puppy or adult—into your home should not be taken lightly. Having a dog inevitably changes your lifestyle. The decision to bring a dog home can (and hopefully will) represent a 10 or 15-year commitment or more. Advancements in veterinary care and nutrition have resulted in longer life spans for most breeds of dogs.

Dogs require a time commitment from their owners. They are pack animals and do not like to be left alone for extended periods of time. You and your family members become your dog’s pack. The workaholic who leaves for the office at 6 AM and comes back at 10 PM is not the ideal dog owner. Frequent travelers have to make arrangements for boarding their dog when they are gone, which can be expensive. Even if suitable arrangements can be made, no dog wants to spend half its life in a boarding kennel—he wants to be with his pack.

Time must be spent training and socializing your dog so he can be a member of the community. Your dog must be under control when he meets people or dogs on a walk, or when guests come to your home. Successful training requires patience, consistency—and time. A poorly trained dog can be disruptive to a household. And a dog that is poorly socialized can be a hazard to children and other dogs he might encounter. In many cases, it is beneficial for the dog and owner to attend organized obedience training classes.

Dogs vary in the amount of maintenance they require, but most dogs need to have their coats brushed or groomed (in some cases like the Old English Sheepdog this may require several hours of grooming per week). They need their teeth brushed regularly. Most breeds need some kind of daily exercise; some need long walks or runs daily or twice daily to keep them contented. They need the stimulation of play as well, whether it is a simple game of fetching a ball or more formal activities such as entering agility training programs. Some breeds must have their ears cleaned regularly. And don’t forget baths!

The bottom line question is: Does your lifestyle allow you enough time to properly care for your dog, well beyond just feeding him or talking him for a quick walk around the block when you get home from work?

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