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Animal Rescue

The Best Reasons to Adopt Senior Dogs

Apr 11, 2013

Dog lovers and why your should adopt senior dogs

It can be exciting to invite a new puppy into the home. They’re all full of energy and just want to explore the world around them. This often makes them the target of potential dog owners who want to adopt them into their lives. And in any case, providing a home for a dog is a great thing to do.

But the truth is, it’s just as great to adopt a senior dog as it is to adopt a puppy. These seniors have a lot of character that goes overlooked, especially at a shelter. What you should know is that seniors may have just the right qualities to fit comfortably in your home, and can provide you with the ideal companionship matched with your lifestyle.

Easy to expect

With seniors, you already know what to expect. Unlike a puppy, seniors are fully grown and have fewer changes to face in the future. In most situations, this applies directly to size. Consider a situation in which you rent housing. A puppy may start out below the lease’s required limits, but a senior will match and hold up without leaving you worrying about them outgrowing their stay.

Appetite is another thing. Young puppies will inherently demand more food as they grow bigger. With a senior dog, you already know what to expect, which means no unexpected bursts in hunger or even mood swings.

Teaching old dogs new tricks

Another considerable benefit is that seniors don’t require the same attention that young puppies or growing ones require. Needless to say, the need to monitor them isn’t a 24/7 job. They’re often potty trained as well, and while the details won’t be the same (such as their potty location), the basics are already covered, making training a much simpler task to achieve.

Additionally, other housetraining situations are also much kinder on your homestead. For the most part, you skip the teething years, which are often the worst on furniture and cushions as any dog-parent that has raised a puppy can vouch. In essence, seniors tend to be less destructive than their younger counterparts, and are often relaxed and more focused on spending time enjoying your company.

And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Older dogs inherently want to focus on you and provide the best attention, whereas young puppies and even mature adults are intrigued by the whole world. This extra attention may be just the thing you were looking for after a long day at work. They want to warm up with you and perhaps enjoy a good rub down while you enjoy the feel of their fur and companionship they provide while you unwind after a long day at work.

Getting along

Older dogs tend to get along better with everyone, both people and pets included. They’ve been around, have grown wiser, and often settle into their new homes very easily because they already know what it takes to become a part of a family. In many cases, introducing a senior dog to other pets is easy, since they’re often much more focused on fitting in and less competitive.

For the most part, they enjoy the more relaxing aspects of life. Not everyone has time to entertain an active puppy, spending time training and introducing them to the entire world. Senior dogs don’t want to conquer the world around them (they already have), they just want to enjoy some time with their companions and have some fun in the process.

But, that isn’t to say that seniors aren’t active. Every dog, both young and old, needs to experience an active lifestyle. Though they may have slowed down a little, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to get out and enjoy some activity. It just means that they’ve never done it with you, and that’s the best part of finding a new friend.

Most importantly, taking in a senior dog saves a life. Older dogs are often the last ones to be adopted at a shelter, and the older they are, the less likely it becomes they will find a happy home. Saving a life offers an emotional return in itself, and can be amongst the most rewarding parts of the adoption process.

If you’re considering adopting a dog, consider one that has some experience under their collar (pun intended). They may not have grown up with you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their life with you. And sometimes, you might find they have a few tricks they can teach you if you keep your mind and heart open.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Acclimating Your Rescue Dog

Jan 31, 2013

Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog

Dog lover tips for your newly rescued dog

Opening your home to a rescue dog is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a dog. Whether it’s a puppy or a senior dog, providing a home for them is not only great for them, but it has an awesome effect on the owners.

However, now that they’re in their new home, how are they going to act? The one characteristic about rescue dogs is that you seldom know their history. While kennels and shelters do their best to investigate your pup’s history (medical, housing, previous lifestyle), they aren’t always accurate. In fact, dogs that live in shelters or kennels for long periods of time will often develop different habits that you might not be familiar with. They may have been potty trained, but probably haven’t had the opportunity to practice it.

Old habits die hard

One of the most serious issues with a rescue dog is that they may be hyperactive when you interact with them and they won’t quite be able to settle back down like most dogs would. It could be because they’re just happy to be free and have a home, but the condition often resonates long after they’ve moved in with you.

Additionally, their new environment may cause them stress. Many shelter dogs have accommodated themselves to living within a small area. Consider making them comfortable by surrounding them with something familiar and then gradually introducing them into a larger home. One of the most effective methods is the crate, and while it might seem contradictory to getting them out of the shelter, it does provide them with a place that is familiar while they are adjusting to their new home.

Another situation is the potty issue. Keep in mind that dog shelters aren’t focused on training and working with a dog, especially in this department. Many dogs will potty in their own housings (contrary to their own instincts), which can quickly and unexpectedly become a difficult habit to break. Be cautious about letting your recently rescued dog navigate your home unattended. If you aren’t with them, it’s best to keep them isolated in a certain location, such as a crate or their own room (make sure they can’t jump over doggy gates).

Comfort

Comfort is a big thing for a dog. [tweet this]

While we laugh because they can sleep just about anywhere (and in the strangest positions), dogs are often just looking for what makes them comfortable. The question is: where are they going to eat and sleep? Many shelter dogs are going to be accustomed to eating in the same spot where they sleep, and change can confuse them quickly. It may be necessary to start feeding them close to their crate or sleeping area, then gradually moving their food back to a designated location (kitchen). This should allow your pup to ease into their new lifestyle, rather than just surprising them with a whole lot of change.

One thing to consider is that shelter dogs are often going to be surprised by new objects, sounds, and even people. In order to provide the ideal comfort zone while they adapt, it’s generally good to check your home for anything that would “surprise” your new dog. This might include loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners, clocks, and other strange noises, that could stress out your dog.

Stress on your dog and how to address it

Keep in mind that stress has a physical effect on a dog as well. The introduction to a new environment combined with a change in diet often results in an upset stomach and even diarrhea. This is simply a fact, so don’t be surprised or upset with your pup if he is having stress-related issues, since you’ll only make it worse.

The best way to address this is as soon as your dog is introduced to the home, it’s time to begin potty training. Take them to a pre-designated location (indoor or outdoor) and allow them to take care of their business there. Be sure that this area is obscured from any outside stimuli, such as the neighbor’s barking dog or even elemental factors. The more comfortable and secure they feel in their potty location, the more quickly they’ll begin to accommodate themselves to your house rules.

Providing a home, even a temporary one, for a rescue dog is a wonderful thing. You’re making their life better by simply giving them a chance to make yours just as good. It might be a puppy, a big pooch, a tiny rascal, or even a senior dog, but what matters the most is that they now have a home and a place in your heart.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month

Oct 24, 2012

Dog lovers adopt a dog at your local shelter this October

The fall is here and the cool air makes it wonderful to take walks around the neighborhood, or hang around in the park and watch the leaves fall in the wind. It’s also quite possibly one of the best months to have a man’s best friend to enjoy these times with.

A brief history of shelter dogs

Over a hundred and eighty years ago, the first animal shelter was founded in Great Britain. It wasn’t until 1866 that Henry Burgh initiated the ASPCA here in America. The first shelters were founded in 1894 and since then, shelters have housed homeless pets that were given up on by their owners. Thus, October has been designated as Adopt-a-Shelter Dog month to help families and dogs come together and promote the need to find homes for our four-legged friends.

There are a lot of dogs without homes and are living in your hometown shelter, instead of enjoying the free air of the great outdoors and a companion to share their life with. Many of these dogs are given up on by their owners because of incompatibility, lifestyle changes, and sometimes for reasons (more like excuses) like ‘the dog did not live up to the owner’s expectations’. However, the fact remains that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners who do not understand what it takes to build a solid relationship with their companion. And truth be told, not everyone is a dog person (even those that sometimes think they are).

Find a compatible friend

While it may seem unlikely that you would find a quality companion at a shelter, the reality is that your options are almost limitless. Dogs of all breeds and sizes come in every day, so it is very unlikely that any future dog owner would be unable to find a compatible friend here.

You’ll be able to pick a dog that matches your personality. Do you have a lot of energy? Perhaps you enjoy relaxing. Outdoor activities more like your style? Could you be searching for a playmate for your other pup? Having a dog companion to do all this and more is more reason to visit the shelter and pick out one.

When you visit the shelter, ask whether you can spend some time with the dog before you settle on a final decision. You want to be certain that you make the best decision for the both of you, and that they’ll be comfortable in your home setting and lifestyle. For some, it can be difficult to say no to the so many puppy-dog eyes that just want someone to be their friend. However, it’s always best to keep both you and the dog’s best interests in mind.

Upon adoption, all dogs are vaccinated and treated, so you don’t have to worry about these expenses during your first trip to the vet. In other words, it is possibly the most economical route for adding a dog to your family. Aside from the cost of the shots, adoption fees amounts are normally a matter of a few dollars. Just be sure that your home and heart are ready for the new family member (don’t forget food, water, time, and a lot of love).

Share with your friends

You don’t necessarily have to adopt a dog; you can always play a part by sharing information with others you know. Social networks help information travel fast, so why not post a few hints and recommendations for your friends and associates to see and take note. Every time someone reads and shares, it becomes more likely that a shelter dog will find a new home.

You can also locate a shelter close to you and inquire how you can help promote adoptions this month. Flyers, posters, and volunteers can help spread the word about shelter adoption and motivate pet lovers to open their home to a new companion. Playing a part, no matter how small it may seem, will help a shelter dog find a happy home. Don’t hesitate to help in any way you can.

Bailee, of Midland Texas, is the proud owner of Dragster, a Welsh corgi, and annually adopts a shelter dog who is on the verge of being euthanized. She pays for all the shots and vet bills, and then she searches for an owner, making sure it is just not anyone who gets to keep the dog. She finds prospective owners that can provide a good home and gives the dog away to make someone’s life that much better.

This October, do your part as a fellow pet lover or owner and help spread the word about your local shelter. Whether you’re planning on taking a new friend home or just helping a friend find a companion to share their life with, it is possible to make someone’s life better.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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A Pet Emergency Plan – The Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Sep 14, 2012

Dog owners should have a pet emergency plan

Emergencies happen, whether it’s a secluded accident or a regional crisis. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of Louisiana, destroying homes and displacing families across the coastline. A crisis of this magnitude gained national attention and individuals from all over the country arrived to offer assistance in this time of need.

The disaster

Steps were taken to aid in the assistance of the people of Louisiana and Mississippi, but there was far more to save than just people because their pets also faced the same problems. There were approximately 8,000 pets rescued during the crisis, but during the event, air rescue teams refused most pets in order to make room for people in need.

In the aftermath, the Humane Society of the United States along with the Louisiana SPCA and several other groups recruited hundreds of volunteers to assist in rescue efforts. They managed to rescue 6,031 pets and reunite 400 of them with their owners. But overall, an estimated 600,000 pets perished or were left without homes in the aftermath.

From this, we can see that there is good reason to realize the potential hazards of your region and take precautions. A planning lesson can be well learned from The Audubon Zoo, which lost only three animals out of a total of 1,400 because they invested in good disaster planning and because of their elevation. The zoo considered the hazards of their environment and to ensure the safety of their facility and its residents, took precautions to ensure safety. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) was signed into law in 2006 to assist disaster recovery efforts through FEMA in order to help both pets and service animals.

Being a responsible pet owner

While government organizations such as FEMA are prepared to offer assistance, it is up to every responsible pet owner to put a plan together in response to emergency situations.

The number one thing you should do is ID your pet. Keep their tags up to date and list multiple contacts. More pets are displaced because there is no way to contact their owners even after they are rescued. ID-ing your pet will aid in the recovery process and is a must for every responsible pet owner regardless of whether or not there is a disaster situation.

Put a survival kit together. What would you need to survive? Do you have a medical kit? What about fresh water? Food? Doggy paw covers (socks could work) or anything to keep your dog’s paws safe from broken glass and debris should be included in your kit. It’s necessary to always have supplies for yourself but do keep in mind that your dog will need supplies as well. It is wise to have a kit for both your home and your vehicle just in case you have to move immediately.

In case of evacuation, consider a doggy harness that can carry items such as food and water for them. (there are growing numbers of doggy harnesses that already have pouches for treats and potty bags). In the event that you are forced out on foot, it would be helpful to have your pet carry some of the burden and help the family out.

If you can’t get back home, consider if there is someone such as a neighbor, pet service, or friend that could help evacuate or care for your dog. Make sure both you and your dog trust them because in the event of a disaster, a dog will likely be scared. They will have to trust the individual they are with to ensure their complete safety.

Don’t cage your dog during a disaster. Though you may think they’ll be safest in there and out of the way, it can become a trap if you are forced from your home and have to abandon your pet. Instead, leash them and keep them with you at all times.

Consider electricity problems as well. During a disaster, power is likely to go out, and due to extreme weather, it is likely that your dog will be subjected to high heat or extreme cold. Take precautions in case of a power outage, such as keeping your pet warm or cool. Keep ice in the freezer and heat packs for cold weather.

Disasters are most dangerous when you aren’t prepared for them. Though assistance is helpful, it is up to each individual pet owner to help themselves and their pets. When you are ready for that “just in case” moment, both you and your dog are less likely to get separated and remain safe in the event of a disaster.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Our Inspirational Star

Aug 24, 2012

How dog owners make a difference

For us, when something goes wrong in our lives, we pray and hope for another chance or another opportunity to make a difference. We have friends and family we can run to for advise and then eventually we get the second chance that we need. However, it’s not that easy for our fury friends. But here’s an inspirational story about a dog that went through a lot of abuse until she was given a second chance when she was rescued. At first, they told her owners that she was unadoptable but thanks to the owners’ will to take her in, she had a second chance and went to a happy home. Her name was Starfish and here’s her inspirational story on how she fought for her life until her last breath.

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Why Dog Chaining is Cruel

Feb 21, 2011

photoThe following is a dog chaining Q&A adapted from a fact sheet compiled by the Humane Society of the United States.

1. What does “chaining”  or “tethering” mean?

Both terms refer to the practice of tying a dog to a stake or stationary object, often in the owner’s backyard, as a way of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the times when a dog is being walked on a leash.

2. Does continuous chaining or tethering present any problems?

Yes. Aside from being inhumane, the practice is also a threat to the safety of the chained dog, other animals, and humans.

3. How is tethering inhumane?

Dogs are naturally social creatures that love to interact with humans and other animals. In the wild, dogs and wolves live with other canines. They’re genetically wired to live in a group, so a dog that’s isolated in one area for hours, days, months, or even years suffers massive psychological damage.

If kept continuously chained, a normally friendly dog will become unhappy, anxious, neurotic, and oftentimes aggressive. In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores as a result of attempts to escape confinement, as well as improperly fitted collars. Some chained dogs have collars embedded in their necks. They also frequently get tangled in their chains and become unable to access food, water, and shelter.

4. Who says tethering is inhumane?

The Humane Society of the United States, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and several animal experts. The US Department of Agriculture also issued a statement against tethering in the July 2, 1996 Federal Register. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the dogs most likely to attack are male, unneutered, and chained.

5. How is the practice dangerous to humans?

Dogs tethered for a long time can become very aggressive. Canines are inherently protective of their territory, and when they feel threatened, they respond according to their fight-or-flight instinct. Since chained dogs are unable to flee, they often feel forced to fight and attack any unfamiliar person or animal that unknowingly wanders into their territory. Furthermore, a tethered dog that has broken free from his chains may remain aggressive and is likely to chase and attack passersby and pets.

6. Are chained dogs good guard dogs?

No. Chaining promotes aggression, not protectiveness. A protective dog learns to defend his human family by spending plenty of time with people. A chained dog that is confined and ignored becomes aggressive. Because they’re not used to people, aggressive dogs are unable to differentiate between a threat and a family friend and will therefore attack anyone. According to statistics, one of the best deterrents to intruders is a dog inside the home.

7. Why is tethering unsafe for dogs?

Aside from psychological damage, chained dogs are easy targets for humans, biting insects, and other animals. They may suffer harassment from passersby, bites from insects, and attacks by other animals.

Moreover, tethers can become intertwined with other objects, which can lead to choking or strangling the dog to death. Chained dogs are also easy targets for people looking to steal animals to be used as training fodder for organized animal fights or for sale to research institutions.

8. Are chained dogs dangerous to other animals?

Yes, sometimes. Smaller dogs, cats, rabbits, and others may enter the area of confinement when the tethered dog is asleep and then get attacked when he wakes up.

9. Are tethered dogs treated well otherwise?

Chained dogs rarely receive adequate care. They suffer from irregular feedings, overturned water bowls, insufficient veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. They often have no access to shelter that will protect them from the sun or snow storms, and rarely do they get enough water. And because their often neurotic behavior makes them unapproachable, they are seldom given even minimal affection and can be easily ignored by their owners.

10. Are the areas in which tethered dogs stay comfortable?

No, because they have to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate all in one place. Owners who chain their dogs are also less likely to clean the area. While there may have once been grass in an area of confinement, it is usually very beaten down due to the dog’s pacing. As a result, there is nothing on the ground except mud or dirt.

11. But how else can people confine their dogs?

Dogs prefer to live inside with their human family, with frequent walks and exercise time outside. Apartment-dwelling canines are fine living indoors with regular walks. If a dog needs to be housed outside at certain times, he should be placed in a fenced area with enough room and shelter from the elements.

12. Should tethering or chaining ever be allowed?

Just as it is an owner’s responsibility to provide adequate socialization and attention, it is also their responsibility to restrain their dog properly. Placing an animal on a restraint to get some fresh air can be acceptable if done for a short period. Keeping a dog tethered for extended periods, however, is never acceptable.

13. If a dog had to be tethered or chained for a while, can it be done humanely?

Animals that must be kept on a tether should be secured in such a way that the tether will not get tangled with other objects. Collars must be comfortable and fitted properly. Never use choke chains. Restraints should allow the dog to move about and lie down comfortably. Dogs should never be tethered during natural disasters.

14. What about securing a dog’s leash to a “pulley run”?

Attaching a leash to a long line, e.g. a clothesline or a manufactured device called a pulley run, gives the dog a larger area to roam and is more preferable than tethering the animal to a stationary object. However, most of the issues associated with tethering are still present, including lack of socialization and attacks on or by other animals.

15. What can be done to correct the chaining problem?

An increasing number of communities are passing laws to regulate the tethering of animals. Tucson, AZ; New Orleans, LA; Carthage, MO; Okaloosa, FL; and Lawton, OK are among the cities that ban chaining, while Denver, CO; Wichita, KS; Austin, TX; West Palm Beach, FL; Norfolk, VA; and the state of Connecticut only allow dogs to be chained for a limited number of hours each day. Little Rock, AR permits pulley runs but bans fixed-point chaining.

16. Why should continuous chaining or tethering be outlawed?

Every day, animal control and humane agencies receive calls from people who are concerned about dogs in these cruel situations. Animal control officers, who are funded by taxpayers, spend several hours trying to educate pet owners on the cruelty and dangers of this practice. Regulations against chaining also give officers a means to crack down on illegal dog fighting as many fighting dogs are kept on chains.

A chained dog is trapped in a vicious cycle. Long periods of boredom and social isolation turn him into a neurotic shell of his former self, which further dissuades human contact. An inherently social creature, the helpless animal can only suffer from the frustration of watching the world go by. Any community that prohibits the chaining or tethering of dogs is a safer, more humane one.

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Give Chained Dogs Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Feb 11, 2011

photoDogs are pack animals that depend on their humans for food, shelter, companionship, and affection. Why then, do some people have a pet dog only to keep the animal chained outside all the time? Sadly, chained dogs can be found in every neighborhood, be it in a city, suburb, or rural area. Just look around your own hometown.

This year, Dogs Deserve Better (DDB) is preparing for their Valentine’s Day outreach project that aims to send 17,000 Valentines to chained dogs everywhere during February 7-14, which the organization has declared Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week.

DDB is 501(c)3 non-profit animal advocacy organization based in Pennsylvania with a single goal – to free all chained dogs from living in harsh outdoor conditions by bringing them into a warm, loving home, which is what they deserve.

For the past eight years, DDB has sent Valentines to owners of chained dogs in an effort to educate them about why chaining is so detrimental for their canine companions. Included with each Valentine is a coupon for dog food or treats, as well as anti-tethering literature.

DDB founder Tamira Ci Thayne’s commitment to raising awareness about the plight of chained dogs is nothing short of amazing. Last year, she chained herself to a doghouse outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg for 52 days in order to get the attention of lawmakers. Despite her efforts, however, the bill did not even make it to the floor for a vote.

According to Thayne, “Winter is the best time to reach out to those who chain and pen their dogs, and what better excuse than Valentine’s Day to send these forgotten animals a little love.  Every winter our rescuers see dogs that have frozen in the snow, suffered frostbite, or otherwise endured horrific living conditions because of the longstanding misperception that it is OK to chain a dog outside in any kind of weather.”

A video filmed by Thayne shows just how long a chained dog that has been deprived of water (as well as food, shelter, and attention) will drink when given the chance. The short video was recorded over the course of two days. On day one, the chained German Shepherd drank non-stop for at least four minutes. On day two, it was about six minutes. Situations like these really explain Thayne’s determination.

The German Shepherd in the video and her three yard mates were eventually rescued by the PSPCA, but many other dogs are still waiting to come into loving homes. If you’d like to take part in DDB’s Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week, visit their website at DogsDeserveBetter.com.

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Tips for Avoiding Puppy Mills

Oct 6, 2010

photoSeptember 18th was Puppy Mill Awareness Day. This yearly event aims to educate the general public about the problems associated with puppy mills, as well as the actions that can be taken to address these issues.

A puppy mill or a puppy farm is a facility that breeds puppies in large quantities. Some of the most common problems that can be found in puppy mills include overbreeding, inbreeding, overcrowding, unclean facilities, and lack of human interaction. And because the puppies are not fed well and do not always receive proper veterinary care, diseases are also prevalent, and many unwanted animals are killed.

Puppy mills are illegal but have been around for decades. People are strongly discouraged from buying dogs from such places as the animals suffer from horrible living conditions.

Aside from the mill itself, puppy farm dogs are sold through other avenues such as flea markets, newspaper ads, or online. Sometimes, they are sold to agents and pet shops. So how do you avoid puppy mills? Here are some tips to make sure that your next pet does not come from one:

1. Do not purchase from flea markets, pet shops, or online.
2. Look at how the pups are being kept. Do they live in small cages? Can they move around? Are their surroundings clean?
3. Observe the dogs’ attitude when they meet strangers. Are they happy to interact with people or are they hesitant?
4. See if you can meet the parents of your potential pet to find out if the dog breeder takes proper care of his animals. Check if they are healthy and friendly.
5. Different breeds of dogs have different needs. If a breeder offers various breeds, ask questions to see how much he knows about them.
6. Ask for client references. A reputable breeder should have no problem providing these.
7. Ask for the puppy’s vaccination and health history.
8. Most dog breeders provide after sales support. A responsible breeder will be available to answer any questions you might have after you’ve taken your puppy home.
9. Be wary of pushy dog breeders. Professional breeders give their clients time to think things over before making a decision.
10. Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a certain breeder, you’re most likely right.
11. Another option is to adopt from shelters or rescue groups. Since these organizations are non-profit, you can rest assured that their top priority is the dog’s well-being.

Always keep in mind that puppy mill breeders are only interested in earning money and do not care about the welfare of the animals. Help put an end to this cruel trade by not buying from puppy mills and telling other people about it.

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Handling Dogs with Hearing Impairment

Oct 1, 2010

photoAlthough most individuals prefer to get their dogs while they’re still puppies, some choose to adopt grown dogs from animal shelters or rescue groups. This gives unwanted dogs a chance to go to a loving home instead of being put down. However, shelters and rescue groups sometimes face the difficulty of placing dogs with disabilities.

Dogs, like other animals, can experience loss of hearing in one or both ears. It can be inborn or hereditary, or caused by old age, injury, or illness. Some breeds are more prone to hearing impairment, such as the Dalmatian.

People who are looking to adopt might be hesitant to become the owner of a deaf dog. Many think that pooches that are hard of hearing may be impossible to train, but this is usually not the case. On the contrary, studies have proven that dogs that were trained using techniques for deaf dogs respond better than those that were trained using verbal commands.

This is likely due to the fact that canines use expressions and body language to communicate with other pack members. They do not use sound, so it is possible to train hearing-impaired dogs by using visual signals.

Hand signs are extremely effective for training deaf dogs. Since the dog is unable to perceive sound, the owner will have to get his attention some other way, such as gently throwing a small object towards him. When the object hits or is noticed by the dog, the owner should take the chance to catch his attention, then reward him with a treat. This process is to be repeated until the dog is able to react to the object whenever it is tossed. The owner can then come up with different hand gestures for different commands.

If your dog is not responding to sounds and you suspect that he might have hearing problems, you can have him checked by your vet. Puppies that are more than six weeks old can be evaluated using the BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) test.

As previously mentioned, hearing-impaired dogs can be taught, but until your pooch is properly trained, remember to always keep an eye on him and don’t let him wander near busy intersections by himself.

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Tomorrow is National Homeless Pet Day

Aug 20, 2010

Over the years, the number of homeless pets has been growing and has actually reached the highest count so far.  Animal shelters and pounds have become packed and overcrowded which resulted to turning down and euthanizing these great pets! A lot of neglected, discarded, and abandoned dogs still suffer at the shelter on an empty stomach. With limited resources, shelters are struggling.

Each year, millions of dollars are being invested into animal shelters for care of homeless pets. You can help by donating or purchasing products were some funds are used to purchase pet food.

photoHow can you help?

First, begin by taking good care of your animal pets if you have one yourself. It’s surprising that many current pet owners will be the ones who make room in their homes to adopt a pet. You might be one of them.  Review your own home needs, abilities, and desires of your family and see.

Remember, to take care of your own pooch first
by ensuring that your dogs come with their respective tags for easier identification and can be returned in the event that your dogs get lost.  It is also recommended that you spay or neuter your dogs to make certain that the possibility of overpopulation is being controlled.

Second, adopt animals instead of buying them from a pet shop or a breeder. Imagine the world if each person would only adopt at least one pet, there will be no issue about having homeless pets in our society today.

Third, promote advocacy to your own family and friends. The best way to encourage them is by making them aware of the need.  By discussing the significance of proper animal care with them, you can make a real impact and increase the base of individuals taking a serious role in caring for homeless pets as you spread this important message.

Lastly, if you are capable and can share extra funds within your means, it is best to contribute to animal shelters. Most of these pet shelters are all lowly funded and are under pressure just to keep a small number of animal pets they have. As more people take part in this advocacy, the simpler it will be for pets to find homes.

Make this a part of your habit – not just because we are celebrating National Homeless Pet Day this week.  Always drop by the nearest pet shelter in your local vicinity first when you decide on a new addition to your family.  Just look at these faces!

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