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Preparing For a Dog – 6 Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Bringing a Dog Into Your Life

Preparing For a Dog – 6 Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Bringing a Dog Into Your Life

Please don’t buy a puppy on an impulse. You need time to think things through and be completely honest with yourself. Yes, they are so irresistible, but they grow up and the time between being a puppy and an adult can wear you down to a point of exhaustion if you don’t have the right training for them. Here are some key questions to ask yourself.

Are Dogs Welcome Where You Live?

If you rent a home or an apartment/condo, do you know for sure that dogs are welcome? You need to find out because there are landlords that do not like dogs due to the fact that puppies can be destructive. Your home and the grounds need to be dog friendly. Speak to your landlord and scout out the grounds.

Have You Lived With A Dog Before?

Do you really know what to expect from a new puppy? Get ready, because they can shed, (there are breeds that don’t shed) drag in dirt, mud and leaves, they may kill a rodent and drag it into your home, not to mention throw up on your couch.

Do You Have The Time?

You better make sure you set aside lots of time for your dog. They need a lot of training, affection, companionship and play time. One thing you can’t do is hurry through the door, throw food in your dogs bowl and then leave again. That just isn’t fair to them. They are waiting for you to come home so they can have some attention. You’re all they have in their lives.

Are There Frail Seniors Or A Baby Living In Your Home?

If you have someone who is older and very frail, they cold trip over the dog, lose their balance and have a serious fall. You must keep this in mind because puppies don’t realize their strength. If you have a baby in the house are you going to be able to put your baby on the floor to play when you have a puppy running around?

Does Everyone Agree On Getting A Dog?

If you have other family members living in your home you must make sure everyone is on the same page about getting a dog. What if one of your children is afraid of dogs? That child would be miserable.

Do You Have The Money?

This is a very important question. Do you have any idea how much it costs to keep a dog healthy and happy? They need vaccines, veterinary care, they need to be spayed or neutered, they may hurt themselves and need emergency care. Not to mention they need a crate, leash, collar, toys and excellent premium dog food. (very important)

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m trying to talk you out of getting a dog. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I am a pet owner and love every second of it. Yes, I went through all those trials and tribulations. If I had more time and more room, I would have at least two more dogs. They give you nothing but unconditional love every day. However, you MUST give them love back.

There is nothing that breaks my heart more than a dog owner that has no time for his dog other than a slight pad on the head every other day. That dog leads a very sad and lonely life. Please don’t be one of those owners. Be smart and prepare for your new dog and you will see just how much you will enjoy him/her.…

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Choosing a Dog For a Pet – Good Or Bad Idea?

Choosing a Dog For a Pet – Good Or Bad Idea?

Pets can bring only happiness to people. If some of them think otherwise, they should not get a pet because it is obvious that caring for an animal they see as a problem. Everything that is alive in this world needs care and attention whether it is a person, animal or plant. Caring for someone means to give it what it needs in order to be happy.

Life is full of obligation that people are required to do. If you know that your schedule is full and that you do not have additional time to spend on proper care for pet, then you should give up that idea, right away. Another possibility is to get a less demanding pet, gold fish or someone like that. Those kinds of pets do not require much of your time and attention but also they are not affectionate and cannot give any love in return. Maybe that is something that you wanted but if you do not have enough time, than you should delay it for later, when circumstances are different.

Dog is the kind of a pet that becomes your friend in a very short period. Dogs are loving, friendly and they are able to return all love and attention that you are giving to them and even more. When you come home from somewhere, members of your family can pass on saying hello to you or on showing joy that you are back but not the dog. Dog is happy to see you every time, no matter how long you were absent.

But for all this, that dogs are able to give us, we need to be responsible for them. Dogs are one of the most demanding types of pets. They need constant attention and care. Good and quality care for dog means regular walking and playing outside. When health of the dog is considered, regular visits to veterinarian and providing a healthy food for your dog are required. Hygiene is very important, too. Your dog needs to be good looking and clean so you need to take him regularly to beauty salon for dogs. In case that you want to save money and that you have extra time to spare on your dog, you can do it by yourself.

Ignoring anyone’s needs is morally wrong, especially if that someone depends on you. That is why you should not get the dog for a pet if you know that you cannot provide proper care for a dog. And proper care means a lot of energy and attention.…

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Tips for Keeping an Older Dog Happy and Healthy

Tips for Keeping an Older Dog Happy and Healthy

Are you the owner of an older dog? Taking care of a senior dog isn’t easy. Everything brings new worries and dilemmas you need to be concerned about. The needs of an older dog are much different than those of adult dogs and puppies. Their energy levels aren’t near as high as they used to be for example. One thing is for sure and that is you’ll have to be careful about managing the health of your older friend.

What is considered a senior dog? The age at which a dog is considered old is often dependent on the breed. Smaller dogs tend to reach senior years by the age of ten. Larger breeds of dogs are sometimes regarded as a senior dog as early as five years old.

If you aren’t sure of how old your dog is, ask your veterinarian during its next visit. If the dog is considered a senior canine, then you need to educate yourself and become more aware of its specific needs and requirements. Try to also look for changes in behaviors such as the dog eating less, displaying less energy than usual or frequent bowel movements and urination.

As the canine grows older, you’ll have to start it on new dog food, the kind specially formulated for senior dogs. Food designed for senior dogs contains fewer calories to help you maintain its weight. Senior dog food also has more important nutrients added to it as a way to help it fight off diseases.

While the dog may be getting older and slower, it doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t want to play and exercise. It’s just the opposite. Playing and exercise are very important for the overall health of a senior dog. A dog that lays around and sleeps all day is actually doing harm to its overall health and accelerating its body’s deterioration.

Sometimes you’ll see that the dog’s movements are stiff or it is having getting up and walking. This is often an indication that the dog may be suffering from arthritis. There are a few things you can do to help alleviate this condition. The easiest and best choice is to put the dog on a diet and help it lose some weight, lessening the pressure on its joints. There are also plenty of medications out there for just this type of problem. Consult with a veterinarian to see what one would work best for your dog.

Senior dogs require a lot more care than the typical dog. Stay alert to any changes and remain on top of all health issues. Be sure to schedule regular veterinarian checkups. The dog may be getting old but that doesn’t mean it loves you any less. Make sure you show it the same kind of love and care.…

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Treating and Preventing Canine Hypothermia

Treating and Preventing Canine Hypothermia

Your pooch can get hypothermia from taking a bath during the winter, especially if he is exposed to the cold before being dried. And while it is a treatable condition, it can cause permanent tissue damage if not dealt with promptly.

Canines that have difficulty maintaining their normal body temperature are more vulnerable to hypothermia, i.e.:

* Small dogs

* Short haired dogs

* Wet dogs

* Dogs that are sensitive to cold weather

* Dogs that stay outside for extended periods without access to dry and warm shelter

Treating hypothermia

To combat hypothermia, you need to get your dog warm so his core temperature can return to normal.

If you are out walking your pet and he is suffering from the cold, you have to prevent further body heat from escaping. If you have a small dog, you can simply pick him up and carry him home. If you have a larger breed, you should head back home as quickly as possible.

Once indoors, you can do the following:

* For mild hypothermia, i.e. your dog is shivering and his muscles appear stiff, take him to a warm room with a well insulated floor and wrap him in a dry and warm blanket. Keep him like this until his temperature gets back to normal – use a thermometer to determine this. If you don’t have a thermometer, wait until he stops shivering, has more movement in his body, and returns to his usual self.

* For moderately severe hypothermia, i.e. your pet’s body temperature is about 90-94 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need some rewarming tools such as hot water bottles, hairdryers, heat lamps, warm baths, heat pads, and warm towels. Don’t try to use water that is too hot – it can burn his skin. The water should be 103-105 degrees Fahrenheit, which are a few degrees above your dog’s normal body temperature.

Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions as your pooch warms up. You know how your fingers can start aching and tingling after you come in from the cold? Your dog will experience similar feelings and he might lash out due to confusion.

* Severe hypothermia should be treated immediately by your vet, who may perform stomach flushes, warm water enemas, and other internal warming procedures.

Preventing hypothermia

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Here are some ways to keep your dog from getting hypothermia:

* Don’t leave your pooch outside in the cold for a long time and provide access to a dry and warm shelter.

* If your dog gets wet while you are outside, the wind chill factor can make him colder much faster, so always bring a towel with you so you can dry him off when needed.

* Consider buying a coat and booties for your dog.

* If your pet is sensitive to cold weather, take him outside only when he has to go to the bathroom.…

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Want to Get a Dog for the New Year? Know This Before You Adopt

Want to Get a Dog for the New Year? Know This Before You Adopt

With the New Year comes a myriad of resolutions made around the world. Some are kept, most are broken, but there is no denying that the first of January is seen as a clean slate, a time to renew spirits and sensibility and taken on things we haven’t done before. Some of you may want to start off 2011 by adopting a four-legged friend into the family, and what that is a nice gesture it is not one that should be done lightly. Before you rush out to your nearest shelter, here are a few things to consider.

Dogs are living creatures that require attention and care, especially during the initial period of adjustment after you bring one home. If you maintain a busy lifestyle that keeps you away from home often, consider the consequences of bringing home a dog that will likely stay in your house longer than you. Do you have the resources to ensure it is fed and looked after in your absence? If not, adopting a pet may not be in the card for you just yet, but you may wish to adjust your lifestyle to make it happen. If that is what you want, here are some more things to ponder:

Can you afford it? Contrary to some beliefs, adopting a pet isn’t necessarily free. You may be expected to pay fees related to medical care, licensing and neutering. Once you have a dog, then you have to buy food on a regular basis, and vitamins and toys and other accessories. Before you get your dog, check your budget first.

Are you healthy enough? You may have never before exhibited allergic reactions to furry animals, but if you’ve only occasionally been exposed to dogs your experience may differ by having one around all the time. You may want to consider a check up or allergy test to determine that bringing a dog with his dander into your home is a good idea.

Is the dog healthy enough? It’s not uncommon for shelters to rescue dogs that have been abused, or of advanced age. These dogs with special needs are most in need of a good home, and you must decide if you are prepared to open your home and heart to a dog that may require medical attention.

Once you have done the math and weighed the pros and cons of your situation, then you can look into bringing a pet home. Know first that you can take care of him and yourself.…

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A Puppy or a Dog? A Male or a Female?

A Puppy or a Dog? A Male or a Female?

You may already have considered what breed of dog you would like to get, but have you given much thought to the age of the dog. Do you want a small puppy that is from 8 to 10 weeks old, one that is 6 months old or even one that is a year or older? Although many people usually are looking for a puppy when they consider getting a pet, some do not care if the dog is between the small puppy stage and adult stage.

A full grown dog can be less maintenance. They are not fed as many times as puppies. They do not have to go through the monthly check up or at least every 6 weeks that most veterinarians want the puppies to go through. Sometimes you might luck out and get a dog that has already been trained or partially trained. On the other hand, you might get one that has had no training whatsoever.

A puppy is so cute and they whimper like babies and everyone feels the need to mother this puppy. That is generally what is associated with buying a puppy. Sometimes, unless you have patience that is abundant, a new puppy can be frustrating. They often will cry all night because they miss their brothers and sisters and their mother, they are in a strange place, they want to be held and cuddled and the list can go on and on.

So, unless you are up for the all-nighters and the constant cleaning after a puppy, you might be better off to go with an older dog. Puppies also have to go through all the vaccinations whereas an older dog may just need a booster every now and then. Puppies will need to be fed several times a day just like babies.

Puppy proofing your home will be another part of bringing home a new puppy. They are notorious for chewing on everything within sight and you may want to purchase a crate and begin training him right away. An adult dog can benefit from a crate as well, but they are not typically chewing everything unless you get one that is just a chewer.

The question of male or female is another thing that will have to be considered. Unless it just does not matter to you one way or another so you choose the one that stands out in the crowd without a though of whether you are getting a male puppy or a female puppy. There are some people who want a certain kind so unless there is a particular reason, you may not care either way.

Many times a particular sex is chosen because the owners had this sex before in a pet. They may have had a really good experience with this pet and feel that they would like to have another female puppy or another male for this reason. Regardless of whether you get a female or a male, a puppy or a full grown dog, the responsibility is still the same.…

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Winter Dog Care

Winter Dog Care

As I peer out the window I see the results of the first snowfall of the year. Our friends Mr. Snow, Ms. Ice and The Cold Family are just beginning to warm up their act here in New England. Don’t forget that winter weather not only impacts us, it impacts our four legged friends as well.

Some dogs tolerate cold well, others not so well. As the mercury drops, keep a close eye on your dog and look for any signs of cold related trouble. It’s OK to let your dog outside, just be sure and check on him or her often. If you happen to check on your canine companion and find him rigid with all four of his paws frozen to the patio, you should seriously consider checking more often.

In addition to the temperature, other winter hazards await as well. When the ice arrives, many of us start throwing salt or other chemicals on our sidewalks and driveways. Some of these products can get stuck between the pads of your dog’s feet and actually burn your dog’s feet. Think about taking your pup with you on your weekly pedicure appointment.

“Did someone mention pedicure??”

“Did someone mention pedicure??”

While your Pedicurist is checking your dog’s paws for salt and chemicals, have him or her trim any excess hair around your dog’s paws. Snow and ice have a tendency to pack up on excessive paw hair, making it painful for your pup to prance.

If you do notice your dog limping, be sure and take a close look at the pads on the bottom of his paw. Sometimes these pads can get cut or torn when a dog runs across a sharp piece of ice. The solution here is to buy your dogs the new steel-toed Timberland Pro series boot. It sure beats the sissy little sock things those Iditarod sled dogs wear.

Enjoy the weather. “Let’s be careful out there.”…