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Should I Adopt a Dog?

If you are considering adding a furry friend to your family, you may have asked yourself if you should adopt or if you should buy one from a breeder. Before you make your decision, consider these reasons for adopting:

You’ll be saving a life

In the United States, 2.7 million adoptable animals are euthanized each year because of overcrowded shelters and the lack of people adopting.

You’ll get a great animal

Most animals that end up in a shelter are not there because they are bad pets, often times when a family moves or couple divorces, the animals are the ones that pay the price. There are also people that take their pet to the shelter because their personalities didn’t mesh well. For example: an older women adopting a very energetic puppy; the puppy needs to be played with and taken on walks or else it may get into things it is not supposed.

It’ll cost you less

Typically when adopting a pet, the cost of first vaccines and spay/neuter are already included in the price. Some shelters even include microchipping and heartworm treatment if your animal tests positive for heartworms. You may also get discounts and coupons for food, treats, and services as well as a name tag for your new family member.

You’ll be helping to fight puppy mills

Puppy mills are factory-style breeding centers that put profit over the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are put in very poor conditions with improper health care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled. The mothers of those puppies are kept in cages to be bred continuously, without human companionship and with little expectation of joining a family. After they are no longer profitable, breeding dogs are either killed, abandoned or sold in auction.

These puppy mills continue to remain in business through deceptive tactics — their clients are unsuspecting customers who shop in pet shops, over the web or through classified advertisements. By adopting a pet, you can be sure you are not giving them a dime.

It’s good for your health

Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they’ve been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial for their own companions. Caring for a pet can offer a feeling of satisfaction and purpose and reduce feelings of loneliness. When you adopt, you could also feel proud about helping an animal in need.

Adoption helps more than just one animal

Overburdened shelters take in millions of stray, abused, and lost animals each year, and by adopting an animal, you are making room for others. Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the price of your adoption goes directly towards helping people shelters better care for the animals they take in.

You’ll change a homeless animal’s whole world

The pet will get another chance at life and you’ll get a loyal, loving friend.

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Introducing Your New Dog to Your Cat

STEP 1: CHOOSE THE PROPER LOCATION FOR THE FIRST MEETING
  • The introduction should take place at home away from other animals. Do not take your cat to the shelter to meet the new dog, this can stress the cat.

 

STEP 2: SEPARATE THE ANIMALS
  • Across the next  couple of days, allow each animal to take turns being confined. This allows each pet plenty of time to investigate the others scent.
  • When the dog obsessively digs at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for over a day or two, the interaction probably won’t work without appropriate training. You might need the support of a professional.
  • When nobody is home, the cat or dog must always be securely confined so unsupervised interactions aren’t possible.
  • Proceed to the next step only once the dog is more calm around the cat and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box normally.

 

STEP 3: MAKE LEASHED INTRODUCTIONS
  • Secure the dog on a leash but allow both animals to be in the same room at the same time.
  • If you notice aggression or fear coming from either of the animals you need to stay at step 2 until this is resolved.
  • Continue this until both the dog and cat are relaxed around each other.
  • Once again, confine the dog and the cat to separate areas when nobody is home so that unsupervised interactions are not possible.

 

STEP 4: UNSUPERVISED INTERACTIONS
  • After a month or so, unsupervised interactions are allowed only if you are sure the cat and the dog can get along and not hurt each other.

 

WARNING SIGNS
  • If the dog remains overly concentrated, does not take his eyes off the cat, completely ignores you or lunges suddenly as soon as the cat moves, this is probably a dangerous match.
  • If your cat’s behavior changes then that is a sign that she is not happy. If she stops eating, drinking, or using the litter box then you may want to consider finding a better match or contacting a professional in animal behavior for help.
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Bring Home Another Dog – What You Should Know

Are you thinking of bringing home another dog? If so, you first need to consider the dogs you already have.

Dogs are individuals, so there are no set rules when it comes to good dog matches. However, before bringing home another furry friend you should look at your dogs behavior and personality, including their energy, socialization, play style, and playmate preferences.

Dog Introductions

First impressions between puppies are extremely important; have your dogs lie or sit down to clinic self-control, particularly if one dog looks nervous or excited since jittery energy may cause frustration or aggression.

Walk your dog and potential new dog together, this is called parallel walks, which allow dogs to get comfortable with each other while doing a fun activity in a neutral space. Parallel walks require:

  • Both dogs are on a leash
  • There is 1 individual per dog
  • You keep the leashes loose, particularly if/when the dogs Decide to socialize
  • You keep the first meeting brief (several seconds)
  • You praise both puppies constantly and at a light-hearted tone

While walking, allow 1 dog to sniff another. Let your existing dog sniff first, while feeding the possible new dog some treats. If the walk goes smoothly, take both dogs to a fenced in area to relax and interact. If may be best if there are no other dogs in the fenced in area, so avoid busy dog parks.

What Not to Do
  • Do not put two dogs together in a car, home, or backyard and assume that they will work it out. Even social dogs that appear to get along need supervision or separation at home for a couple of weeks.
  • Do not keep the leashes tight when dogs meet. The pressure from yanking only raises tension between them.
  • Don’t allow the dogs rush up to one another.
  • Do not use a stern voice, telling them to”Be good!”
  • Do not immediately introduce competition or battle over popular toys, food, or bones.

 

Good Signs:
  • Loose, relaxed body moves
  • Open mouths
  • Wiggling bottoms
  • Wagging tails, low and sweeping moves
  • Play bows (where one dog puts his elbows on the floor and his bottom in the air) or other bouncy motions that encourage play
  • Some dogs who feel at ease can also dismiss each other after the first hello.

Some barking is fine, if it is happy barking.

Bad Signs:
  • Closed mouths
  • Tails held high, with a tic-tic-tic motion
  • Prolonged body stiffness
  • Forward ears
  • Staring
  • Growling

It is normal for puppies to dismiss each other somewhat, but what is not okay is avoidance.

Fearful dogs may seem either grumpy or completely tucked up and stressed, with tails clamped to their stomachs and ears flat against their heads.

If either dog shows any of these stress signals, happily call them over then ask them to maintain a sit-stay or set them back on leash.

Puppies and More Than One Dog

The friendly nature of the majority of puppies makes introducing them to an older dog much simpler. Dogs learn best from other dogs, so most puppies will get quick, clear lessons from other pet(s) about what is allowed.

Brief, controlled lessons which don’t cause the pup any harm are fine. If the puppy does not get the hint, step in so that the pet does not escalate the correction.

Adding a new dog or puppy into a multiple-dog home is done similar to single-dog introductions. Only bring out one or two of the recent dogs at a time to satisfy the new dog.

Quick Friends, or Not

You can help dogs prevent conflict and make good relations by doing these two things:

  • Give each dog its food bowl and eating area, water bowl, bed or sleeping place, and a lot of rest.
  • Continue walks together along with other fun activities, this helps dogs learn how to enjoy each other because good things happen when they are together.

 

During the adjustment period you want to see
  • Fewer grumpy moments
  • More regular play or interaction
  • Mutual cuddling

However, if the dogs only tolerate each other or prevent one another, then that reflects a terrible match. Just present together, but sitting on opposite sides of the room, is not a fantastic relationship.

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10 Extremely Durable Dog Toys

We’ve all been there, bought a dog toy for our best friend only to find it torn apart a couple of days, or even hours later. You may have even done a search with the hopes of finding an “indestructible” dog toy. While no toy is actually indestructible, we’ve rounded up a list of toys on the market that are durable enough to last your pup a good while.

Multipet Nuts for Knots

photo courtesy of Multipet.com

 

Planet Dog – Orbee Tuff Snowball

photo courtesy of Amazon.com

 

The Kong Wobbler Toy

photo courtesy of Kong.com

 

The Kong Extreme Toy

photo courtesy of Kong.com

 

West Paw Jive Dog Ball

photo courtesy of Westpaw.com

 

The Kong Wubba Toy

photo courtesy of Kong.com

 

The Kong Squeezz Toy

photo courtesy of Kong.com

 

The Kong Goodie Bone

photo courtesy of Kong.com

 

GoughNuts Ring Dog Toy

photo courtesy of Chewy.com

 

Jolly Pets ROMP-N-ROLL Ball

photo courtesy of Jollypets.com

 

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