Friday, March 17, 2017

When is the Right Time for a New Dog?

Losing a faithful dog is every bit as painful as long any other member of the family, so when is the time right to move on?
Run Free, Angel Rin. No more arthritis over the Rainbow Bridge.
Dogs are the finest life companion that anyone can hope for – they are always overjoyed to see you and shower you with unconditional love. When all else fails you always have a friend for life, except that life is considerably shorter for one party, leaving the other to pick up the pieces when the unthinkable does happen.

Mourning

When your best friend is in the twilight of his or her life and their legs aren’t quite what they used to be, you know deep down that sooner or later your dog’s health will decrease past the point where a vet can help. Unlike with humans, we have the power to decide when to take mercy and end a dog’s suffering and, as anyone who has ever had to go through the process, there is nothing that can prepare you.
While we keep hold of keepsakes such as dog tags, collars and leashes to remember them by, it is the memories that we hold that will last forever.

For many children, losing a family pet is the first experience of death and how to deal with the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t get any easier as an adult, but there is a time when you must move on and just be grateful for the time you had together instead of being sad it’s gone.

Time to Love Again

Different people take differing amounts of time before they feel that they can welcome another dog into their life. Some bring a new dog home within a few days, as this can help focus their mind, while others can take months or years before opening their heart once more.

A lot does depend on whether there are other dogs present in the household and how they would take to another dog entering their territory. If they have been used to being around other dogs for the majority of their life then there shouldn’t be any issues in introducing another pet.

Consult all members of the family that live in your home about their feelings towards a new pet. Others will feel ready sooner than others, so carefully consider whether your home is ready to welcome in a new dog to join the family. If the general consensus is yes, you can get the wheels in motion.

Stick With the Same Breed or Not?

Original Shih Tzu One a.k.a Buchi
Many dog lovers will already know the breeds of dogs that they prefer, and commonly will have more than one of the same breed. If, for example, you are a keen lover of Cocker Spaniels, and are perfectly equipped to meet the dog’s requirements, there is no reason to defer from your preference.

Look it's Shih Tzu 2 a.k.a MyDogsLove.Me CEO a.k.a Chooey
Some dog lovers will feel that electing for the same breed of dog just wouldn’t feel right and prefer a change, and that’s fine too. Different breeds require differing amounts of exercise and have their own unique traits – Labradors are famous for their love of water, while Bulldogs and Pugs are prone to overheating due to their small noses which make panting difficult.

A New Best Friend

Once you know what you are looking for from a new dog, do your research into different breeds’ behaviour and adaptability (do they need a lot of room? And are they generally child-friendly?).

Add this research to your personal preference and you will be sure to find the perfect new best friend for you and your family. All that is left is to put the time in to train them and enjoy years of love and affection!
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Dog Training, How We Have Failed Our Dogs ( Guest Post)

Dear Friends,

Sadly, life has been rough for us. Don't get me wrong... the dogs are fine (living their lives as how dogs should--with maximum playtime, downtime, and socializing).  The human's life however is far different.

Anyhow, I am glad there are still people who are willing to share their experiences and talents with us. Today, I'm sharing an article written by Kevin Davies, a pet lover.  Do check his article out on Labarador Puppy Food

I often hear people say that their dog is being dominant and won’t do what is asked of them. I wanted to write today about what I believe to be one of the most important things you should understand when it comes to dog training and understanding your dog.

Humans are the most dominant species on the planet. We build the most impressive things and are constantly inventing new ways to improve our lives. However when it comes to understanding our dogs we often seem helpless and have no control over our dogs unruly behavior. I believe it is because we somehow think if we love our dogs and provide everything they want that they in return will do what we ask just because we are good and kind. This is the downfall of many dog owners.

Your dog is first and foremost an animal, and as such they need to be shown how to behave in an appropriate manner when they are around humans and other animals. Without clear instructions given in a way that they can understand, dogs will take it upon themselves to set the rules, and this leads to a wide host of problems.

When you take a look at dogs throughout history, you will discover that in the very beginning it was the wolf who first became companions to humans. We bred them and conditioned them to be less like wolves so they could live with us in our homes. While the dog and wolf are of the same species and share the same DNA, this does not mean that the dogs we have today are wolves, they are not, they are completely different, and have different needs that have to be met in order for them to be calm and submissive.

I remember when I was young and we would go out into the fields to work, our dog’s were trained to always be with us. They had jobs to do that fulfilled their needs. One dog protected the animals on our farm and the other protected the family and home. From morning to-night the dogs were with us and lived to please their masters and dog training had a purpose.

This was the way it was for most dogs throughout history, we bred and conditioned them to serve us and they were an intricate part of everyday life. Today however it seems that more and more people have to leave their dogs behind while they go to work and school. It is here that we have failed our dogs.

What we lack in online time, we make up on good old quality bonding time.
What I mean is that we have trained and conditioned dogs to live with us in our homes and they want to be with us at all times, but when people go away and leave the dog’s inside the house for extended periods of time, they become very anxious about where we are and when we will be coming back, and often this anxiety leads to destructive behavior, ie chewing, barking, pooping and peeing all over the house.

The fact that we have trained our dogs to want to be with us at all times is not the problem, the problem is that we have not taught them to be by themselves. Most dogs don’t know how to deal with their humans leaving the home. They get very anxious about it, and will act out if they are not shown how to be when they are alone. I want you to know that this can be remedied. When you take the time to show your dog how to relax on their own they will become more independent and the anxiety they suffer through when we are away will not be as traumatic and with time the problem behavior will begin to go away.

Dog training is about more than getting your dog to sit, or come when called. If you want to learn more about how you can help your dog be more independent when you leave them at home, them leave a comment with your questions and I will answer them in a timely fashion.

I hope this has helped you gain some understanding of what your dog is going through each time you leave them.

Until next time, remember to take the time to help your dog to live in a calm and submissive state of mind.
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Friday, November 25, 2016

How to Deal with a Cat-Aggressive Pooch (Guest Post)

Do you have a dog who constantly attacks your cat, to the point that you’re afraid to leave them alone together? Does your home often feel more like a war-zone than a comfortable and inviting place? Dealing with an aggressive dog can be a stressful experience, especially if you have children in the house. Dogs can be aggressive in many different ways; if you have a cat or kitten and your dog is less-than-thrilled about it, here are some ways you can make your home a more peaceful environment.

Introducing your dog to your cat for the first time


If you’re just bringing a cat or kitten home to your resident dog, ease into the introductions. Leave your cat or kitten in its carrier and bring your dog over for a meet and greet. If your dog immediately shows signs of aggression, take him out of the room, and keep them separated for a day or so; then try the process again. It may take a few tries to get your dog used to the new addition.

Once they both have the run of the house, there may be territorial issues. After all, your dog was there first, and your cat will naturally want to rule over all of you, including the dog! Your cat’s instinct may be to run away when the dog is near, and that will encourage your dog to run after it, as they are natural predators. They may see the cat as prey and your pooch will go into predator mode.

Is your pooch just playing?

Most dogs, particularly puppies, are playful by nature. They may just be wanting to play with your cat, but don’t realize that they are being too rambunctious or aggressive. To help solve this, have your pets play together when you’ve taken your dog out for a walk, or when your dog’s energy level is not at its highest.

Show your animals plenty of love and affection


No matter how old your pets are, or how long you’ve had them, they will get along better if you show them plenty of love and affection. Try not to show favoritism – for instance, allow your cat on the couch, but not the dog; or ignore your cat while paying attention to your dog. They each need to feel loved and needed by you; yes, cats are much more independent and may not appear to like the extra attention, but in reality, they need to feel loved just as much as dogs.

Feeding Time

If your dog is showing signs of aggression, having their food dishes in the same room could exacerbate the problem. It’s best to keep their food in completely separate rooms. Investing in an automatic cat feeder, or dog feeder can provide timely meals as well as portion control.

When giving treats, never exclude on or the other if they’re both in the room. Always treat them equally. This will allow your dog to see the cat as less of a threat.

Is your dog a sociopath?

That may be an extreme diagnosis, but some dogs can suffer from anxiety, depression and anti-social behavior just like humans. The difference is that dogs don’t often have access to medication or therapy like humans do.

If your vet has diagnosed your dog with an extreme personality disorder, it may be best to keep them away from other pets, for the sake of all involved. There are sprays and plug-in pheromones that may help with the issue, but it’s best to talk to your vet before self-diagnosing.

Get your cat and dog at the same time


In a perfect world, you would get your cat and dog at the same time, preferably when they are about 6-8 weeks old. This way, they would grow up together and there wouldn’t be any territorial issues. They still may get aggressive with each other from time to time (think of sibling rivalry!) but generally, they would likely become the best of friends.

But of course, this is not a perfect world, and if you have a feline addition to your family, your dog may be less than impressed.

Always make sure that your pets are in a safe environment – i.e. fully supervised, while they get used to the new order of things. When you are away, put your cat in a separate room with a door that they can’t get out of, or crate your dog (although don’t start crating him just because of the cat, or he won’t understand why he’s being crated, and may end up being even more aggressive.)

The good news is, that once your dog gets used to his new ‘playmate’ things around the house should settle a bit. They may never be the best of friends, but they will tolerate each other and life won’t be a constant struggle.


Author Bio:

Annie is the founder of MeowKai, where she and her associates write about cat behavior, health issues, and tips and tricks on how to get your cat to behave! It concentrates on creating the best life for you and your cat so you can enjoy each other’s company and build that trust that is so important between pet and human.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How Dog Adoptions Work (Guest Post)

Tristeza
Everybody deserves a good home.
Dog adoption is a process that entails acquiring custody of a dog and taking responsibility for the animal that was abandoned by a former owner or surrendered to an animal shelter or a rescue organization.


The Dog Adoption Process


The procedure to adopt a dog may vary in some ways from one animal shelter or rescue group to another, but the general guidelines on how to go about with a dog adoption are as follows:

1. Prior to taking in a dog, an applicant will need to visit nearby pet shelters and inform the management of his or her intention to adopt a dog.

2. Once a dog is selected, an application requesting for the adoption of the dog will be submitted.

3. When the animal shelter management accepts the request, a staff will then be assigned to visit the applicant’s residence to make sure that it is comfortable and favorable for the pet. Home visits greatly vary from one shelter to another.

4. A background check and character interview are then conducted to further assess the applicant’s capability to care for the pet.

5. After the application is approved, the applicant is then required to fill out forms and pay the adoption fee. The new owner can then bring the dog home.

Note: There are some instances that the background check and interview comes first—before the home visit.

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees are a necessary expense when obtaining a dog from an animal shelter. When a dog is sent to the pet shelter, its basic needs are provided by the shelter until the animal finds a new home. Shelters and rescue groups often cover initial veterinary expenses while it is being set up for adoption. Routine expenses in animal shelters include food and shelter, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, veterinary health visits and exams, deworming, heartworm tests, parasite treatments, microchips, collar and an identification tag, treats, toys, and other necessities.

Adoption fees go towards the cost of care an adopted dog has received while staying at the shelter. It is typical to base the adoption fee on the age of the dog being adopted. Depending on the type of organization, adopting a dog may cost none or it can be several hundred dollars. In many shelters, the adoption fee ranges from $250 to $450. Pet shelters and rescue organizations usually offer reduced adoption fees to individuals who adopt an adult or senior pet. These groups also hold special events wherein adoption fees are waived.

Best Friends Adoption Faire
Just one of the many events we can all support to find homes for pets that deserve them.

Where to Find Potential Pets

Adoptable pets are typically found in thousands of animal shelters and rescue groups all over the United States. Interested individuals can personally visit these centers to find a potential pet. Adequate time should be spent in choosing a dog. The ideal time is during the middle of the week when shelters are usually less crowded. When possible, repeated visits must be made to the shelter to observe for variations in the behavior of a potential pet.

Pet shelters and rescue organizations also offer online pet adoption. They maintain databases of animals currently housed in various shelters and rescue groups in different parts of the country. Among the most commonly used sites are Petfinder.org, Adopt-a-Pet.com, and TheShelterPetProject.org.


About the Author:


Stephanie is a freelance writer who resides in Gilbert, Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking and with her family.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Truth About Hypoallergenic Dogs: FAQ's Answered & Myths Debunked (Guest Post)

For many of us who suffer from allergies, sometimes the concept of having a pet seems out of the question, but for some people with sensitivities, there are alternatives. There are a group of dogs who are on a long list of breeds that are hypoallergenic. Basically, these are canines who shed very little or not at all and can be much less of a threat for those with allergies.

Ironically enough, some dogs themselves can suffer from allergies and may require special diets, sensitivities to things like gluten or lactose. Grooming products such as hypoallergenic shampoos can be helpful for canines who have skin conditions or other problems with fleas and ticks.


But there are some myths and half-truths out there associated with hypoallergenic dogs and how they interact with humans. In this light, here are some popular questions that often come up with these types of canines:

I heard only little dogs were hypoallergenic, can’t I get a big one?

This myth may have been perpetuated by those that believe since bigger dogs have more hair and surface area, they are likely to be more problematic. While this may be partially true, there are many large breed dogs that make the hypoallergenic list:

● The Bouvier des Flandres, also known as the Flanders Cattle Dog, ranges between 65 to 110 pounds.

● The Giant Schnauzer, cousin to the miniature version, can also reach 100 pounds.

● The Irish Water Spaniel is more of a medium-sized breed that generally weighs in at around 45 to 65 pounds.

● The Labradoodle, a mixture of Labrador Retriever and Poodle, dependent upon the size of the parents, this breed comes in a variety of sizes.


These are a handful of dogs that bear the distinction of being hypoallergenic and also includes the Standard Poodle, that is often bred to reach larger sizes. As with any sized dog, regular bathing and grooming seem to assist those with allergies, regardless of breed.

Since I’m only allergic to dog hair, wouldn’t I be safer with a dog that has fine fur like the dachshund?

Actually, this one is a little bit deceptive and since I’ve had many different dogs in the course of my lifetime, including a dachshund I had many years ago, I know differently from personal experience. My current canine, who is a rescued purebred Cairn Terrier, has very long hair (also on the list of hypoallergenic dogs), but hardly sheds at all. Compared to my former dachshund, who had very fine, short hair, I’m sure I still have dog hair from that weiner dog somewhere in my house and automobile, since she seemed to shed constantly.

Some people are only allergic to canine hair and/or dander, are there other dog allergens to consider?

A dog’s saliva, skin and teeth can also trigger allergic reactions in some sensitive people along with scratches from their claws. Another reason that obedience training, regular grooming, including trimming their nails and brushing their teeth, is so important.

If I groom my dog regularly and get one from the list, I shouldn’t have any problems, right?

Again, not necessarily, since as many allergy suffers already know, their reactions can differ day-by-day and in various environments, and the same is true for dogs. The best thing to do before getting any dog, hypoallergenic or otherwise, is to spend some time with them before committing to purchase or adoption. Not only can you get a better idea of their temperament, you’ll also see if you have any type of reaction to them.

With a little homework, a fair amount of grooming and forethought, anyone, even those suffering from allergies, should be able to find the perfect pet. Just because someone has allergic reactions doesn’t mean they should lose out on the opportunity of finding a new, four-legged, best friend.

This amazing post was brought to us by Amber Kingsley. She's a writer, travel junkie, coffee addict and an animal lover as well.  And I owe her big time for reserving this informative article for us FOR MORE THAN A MONTH!
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Potty Training a Puppy 101

This post, although sponsored, brings me to a time when I had to teach each and every pack member the ways of the potty-trained warrior. 

As pup-parents, although not as difficult as child parenting, we have our ups and down when it comes to housebreaking, sticking to a routine, and ensuring that our dogs grow into good citizens. 

I do hope new pawrents get to read this post or our ancient post on the 5 "S" of Potty Training.

The Poop Position by Chuck D, CC-BY-2.0 
House training a young pup can be relatively easy, or a complete and utter nightmare, depending on the individual dog. Some puppies seem to “get it” fairly quickly while others can leave you tearing your hair out! How well you, as owner, are trained in potty training techniques is another factor determining how quickly your dog learns. Make life easier for you and your pooch by reading up on these potty training essentials.

Set a regular feeding routine

Feed your pup the same amount of food at the same times of the day and have him eat it in the same place. Whatever you do, don't leave food out for a puppy to eat when he feels like it. A puppy processes food really quickly and will usually need to defecate anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes after eating. So sticking to a routine is obviously going to help you lots when it comes to anticipating when he needs to go.


Puppies eat (like all other living things)... Use this to your advantage to anticipate their "potty" move.

Set up a safe toilet area

If you live somewhere with easy access to outside, then this area should definitely be outdoors. If not, then it may be a bathroom or laundry. During at least the first month of potty training be prepared to pick up your puppy and carry them to the designated toilet area to go potty following every meal. You should also do this immediately upon your pup waking up from a nap, immediately following a big drink of water, after they've been playing hard, if they whine during the night or in their pen during the day, as well as if they stand by the door to outside. Remember, a pup usually “goes” about every 45 minutes, so make sure you're around to anticipate this and prevent mistakes. 

Reward the pup for success

When he goes in the right place, a reward should be in store. This doesn't have to be anything over the top, just a positive reaction and perhaps a small treat will do.

Don't punish a pup

Don't ever punish a pup for a “mistake”. Remember, puppies are never fully potty trained until they are at least six months old. Mistakes will happen. Just clean up, without displaying any negative reaction. 

Interrupting a wee

If your pup begins a wee and you spot him doing so, you can sometimes interrupt it by moving towards him quickly, and startling him – but definitely not scaring him! Sweep him up into your arms and rush outside to the designated spot, and he will hopefully finish the wee there. NB. Don't try this with a poop, as puppies cannot stop themselves mid-poop - you will simply end up with a much worse mess to clean up!

At bedtime

Just prior to your going to bed, ALWAYS go get your pup and take him to the potty area. Doesn't matter if he's asleep or not, make sure to take him to the designated spot every single night. Same goes for first thing in the morning.

Tips from the team at Spoiltrottendogs.com.au, specialist dog carers.
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