Dogs Are Not Gifts

photoWith the holidays here, folks are shopping around for that very special gift for their loved ones and friends. And what better gift than the companionship a puppy can offer…but unfortunately, the timing just isn’t right. With all the activity on the agenda, we don’t always have time for a new roommate. Amongst the usual activities such as work and school, we are all occupied by festivities, shopping, and the family trips.

A life changer

A young puppy isn’t a gift- it’s a life changing partner that needs special attention and care. Consider what changes have to take place in a new home.
First, a person must reorganize their living style to accommodate a curious pup. That means that furniture may have to be moved. Dangerous items such as cleaners and electrical wires must be up and out of puppy reach, and they’ll also have to ensure the puppy has a good place to rest their paws.

The second step is going to be the most time consuming. Feeding and potty training aren’t included (just like batteries). So a puppy addition to the home now requires the proper training in order to keep the carpet clean for new guests that arrive for the celebration. Alongside that, a puppy also needs the proper training to ensure good behavior or they’ll stay mischievous for the rest of their lives.

Finally, the fun, but most important part is puppy attention. A puppy isn’t the kind of gift you get where you can say “Oh, thanks,” and hide it in the closet with a few other odd gifts. A puppy is a living, breathing, lovable creature that needs attention to help them develop and bond with their owner. Playtime, walkies, and exercise are just the basics of ensuring that the puppy has a good, loving home where they can grow and mature alongside their companion.

A time of stress

Not only are we stressed about the holidays, a puppy is stressed, too. Not just about the holidays (they don’t do much shopping of their own), but when you introduce a pup into a new home, everything is new and strange. It takes a lot of attention and nurturing to help a pup settle safely in their new home.

Also, with parties going on we don’t have time to keep an eye on everything. You may end up with that clever little rascal running about in the kitchen or dining room as they try to sneak a piece of what you have cooking. A puppy is far more sensitive to human food than an adult dog, and you don’t want them getting sick and ending up at the vet with an expensive emergency bill.

Puppies are not gifts

It is a sad thought, but most pups that are given as a holiday present don’t get to stay in their first home. Most are given away or are sent to animal shelters where they await a future home with another family who will hopefully have time to spend with them.

Needless to say, if you’re considering the option of a puppy as a gift- Don’t do it. A puppy is not a gift- their friendship is the gift. So take the time to consider how a puppy will change you or your friend’s life, and make sure that you are doing what is right for both your friend and the puppy.

If you really want to give somebody the companionship of a puppy, do it later when things have calmed down quite significantly. Take the time to plan things out. And after some thought, you might actually find out that they don’t have time to take proper care of a puppy. But, if it turns out they would like a puppy, when the time is right, a four-legged friend might just make your friend’s day. Your friend will be able to give that rascal the attention they deserve, and I’m sure the puppy will thank you for it, too.

Categories Dog CareTags

Leave a comment on Dogs Are Not Gifts

Pet Friendly Housing

photoPups are great companions, both lovable and loving. Unfortunately, housing situations for even the most lovable of pups and their owners can be fairly limited. While some home owners have the ability to have multiple pets in their house, the rest of us are limited by our landlord’s rules. Apartments, condos, and some homeowners associations enforce pet rules as well. While there is some housing that has that big “No dogs allowed” sign in the front, there are a few that allow pets- as long as you abide by the rules.

No means no

Just to start things off- If there is a “No dogs allowed” sign up front, don’t try to sneak little Fluffy in with you. You’ll just end up stressing yourself out or getting mad at Fluffy for doing what they do (bark at that cat in the window), and if (when is more likely) your landlord does find out, the best thing you can hope for is that they’ll make you pay a fine. If you aren’t that lucky, you’re gonna be looking for a new home soon- and it’ll be harder to get into a pet friendly location since you’ll have violated your lease terms by having a pet where you weren’t supposed to.

There are rules…

So why are there rules concerning pets? Most dog owners realize the responsibilities of dog ownership, but there are still those that don’t- hence a landlords concern- from cleaning up properly (picking up the puppy poop) to obnoxious barking and chewing, and even jumping up on children or neighbors. In truth, these concerns are valid, since no one wants to be kept up all night by the howling of a lonely pup. Of course, these concerns aren’t a “no” answer, they’re just a “depends on the pup.”

Pet deposits and authorization are usually in order for your pet-allowing housing. While deposits may be hard to avoid (especially in an apartment in case of destruction to carpet and furniture) getting the okay is all up to how you present your puppy situation to your landlord. Like a job, a resume can only help your approach. Even letters of recommendation can make that fella with the pen behind the counter do the old “okay” head nod.

The resume that says: My pup is a good, well-behaved pup and I’m a good owner

Veterinarian records are a definite for any pup owner. Landlords love to see that you’re in the habit of taking care of your pup properly. Shot records and checkups give you a good chance at proving that you know how to ensure you’re pup’s health.

If you’re in the business of flaunting your pup’s stuff, you may have had the honor of getting a few awards (not just show dogs, but training as well) that can definitely boost your standing with a landlord (even a cranky one). They get the message across that says: I’m serious about caring for my pup.

We don’t all send our pups to a professional trainer (school and education records!) but there are other places that your pup might likely frequent where people interact with your pup. The groomer isn’t a bad place to start looking for a letter of recommendation. They have to handle that rascal when you’re not around which proves that your pup can handle themselves in your absence. Your former landlord (hopefully you left on good terms) would be one of the best letters of recommendation you can get your hands on. You might even get lucky and they waive the pet deposit.

Finding pet friendly housing is all up to how you approach the situation. With the right words that help authenticate that you are a good and caring pup owner, you can be rest assured that your landlord will be a little more gracious about letting little Fluffy join you in your new humble abode.

Categories Dog CareTags

Leave a comment on Pet Friendly Housing

Keep Fall Fun

photoFall is an exciting time of year- for everyone. From the upcoming school plays to eves with the family, things are really beginning to happen. Fall is a fun time for everyone, but what about your faithful pup? All that activity actually changes things for them. School takes kids away for the day, and while you’re at work, what’s your pup going to do with all that free time?

Everyone’s busy but me…

Naps increase now that the kids are back in school, which means only one thing- that your pup is going to be a little less active. Luckily, the evenings offer such a fine atmosphere for walkies. So grab your pup’s leash and head out for some exercise to get those paws moving again. You’ll find that exercise is a lot more enjoyable now that the temperatures are cooler and the atmosphere is full of beauty. Sidewalks and roads are cooler, so your pup doesn’t scorch their paws even during the mid-day hours. Even though fall is going to be a busy time of year, it is important that we still spend time with our pups and help them enjoy the fall.

Of course, the flip side to cooler days is that the nights are going to get cold, too. And depending on where you are, things can get down-right chilly. Keep in mind that you don’t want your pup sitting outside, especially if it’s freezing. This might actually be a good time to grab a grass litter box for your house so your pup doesn’t mess the carpet during the frigid nights. You may also consider a dog sweater to help keep some warmth in if your pup is used to being outside most of the time. If it’s too cold, or your pup doesn’t like dressing up, be kind and give them some shelter for the night. Insulate their dog house and make sure it’s good and warm in there during the cold days.

Fall holidays

What about the fall holidays? There are going to be lots of treats and eats on the table soon, but remember that people treats aren’t puppy treats. The holiday parties are probably going to bring in family and friends, so make sure you keep an eye on sneaky hands. Kids love to sneak some of those veggies off their plates and into your pups mouth, so make sure that everyone knows your pup’s feeding rules and regulations.

Ornaments like Christmas trees and lights are also going to be going up soon, so make sure your pup doesn’t get any chewing ideas. Hide power cords underneath rugs or carpeting to keep them from getting seriously injured. Duct tape is a magical thing and can help keep cords out of sight and out of your pup’s mouth. Mistletoe is something to be extra careful with. While it’s nostalgic and does give a sense of the season, it can be deadly to both humans and pups if they chomp on it. You should stick with a fake sprig or avoid it if you’ve got pups around.

Since the fall is a little cooler, the old fireplace is likely going to get some use. Most fireplaces have netting or protective screens and covers to keep any wandering hands or items from getting singed, but make sure that you put them to use. Pups are curious, and you don’t want a toasted nose or a burned tail ruining a fine fall evening.

While fall brings a busy time of year for us all with school, work, shopping, and partying, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still have time for our faithful friends. The leaves falling, the smells wafting from the kitchen, and the cooler days actually prove to be exciting, even for our pups. So don’t forget to spend some of the fall fun with them, too.

Categories Dog CareTags

Leave a comment on Keep Fall Fun