With thousands of unwanted dogs living in shelters and desperately looking for new homes, we highly recommend that you consider adopting one of these puppies or adult dogs. You will be able to find details of your local shelters and rescue centers online. However, if your heart is set on a purebred puppy then the very first thing you should do is find a reputable breeder.
Unfortunately, there are many people out there who view breeding purely as a source of income and have very little concern for either the current or future welfare of their puppies. However, by asking the right questions and making some careful observations, it is possible to distinguish between them and knowledgeable and professional breeders. Here is our guide to helping you find a reputable breeder for your future pet.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for a healthy and happy pet. Not only will it provide your pet with enough energy for their day to day activities, but it is also vital for proper brain function, especially for animals in the early stages of their development.
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to feeding your pet is to feed them by ‘life-stage’. Nutritional requirements differ based on the animal's species and stage of life. For example, puppies around 12 weeks of age will require around 3 meals a day and it is not until they reach around 6 months of age that this amount should be reduced. That said, your animal may prefer smaller, more frequent meals, so the key to feeding your pet properly is understanding what works best for them.
A popular method of feeding is known as ‘free-feeding’. This is where a bowl of food is left out so that a pet can eat as much or as little as they want in the frequency that they prefer. This works best for dry foods since they don't spoil as quickly as the wet variety. Unfortunately, some studies show that this method can result in over-eating and subsequent pet obesity, but it may be the best option for you if you cannot stick to a feeding schedule.
Scheduled, portioned feeding requires a strict routine that you need to be able to stick to. Your pet will know when meal times are and ensure that they are ready for them, such as when cats come indoors specifically at these times. This method limits the amount that your pet eats either by portion size or by time as some pet owners prefer to give their animals a specific time frame in which they must eat. This method also works well if you have pets that require medication to be mixed with their food, or have an animal on a calorie-controlled diet.
If you are unsure which method is right for your pet, please consult with your veterinarian who will be more than happy to provide advice.
Do NOT offer home-cooked meals unless specifically instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Most home-cooked meals do not meet the complex nutritional needs of your pet. Instead, stick to specifically formulated pet foods.
Chewing is a natural part of life for any dog. It helps to keep their teeth healthy and is a way for them to play and explore. Chewing can also be a sign of when they are particularly anxious or lonely. However natural it is, there is no escaping the frustration that accompanies returning home from work to find your favorite slippers, remote control or some other household object chewed beyond all recognition. Some breeds of dogs are more aggressive than others when it comes to getting their teeth into things, and even specially designed chew toys can be turned to rubber mulch in just a few days. To save you from spending heaps on toys that just won’t stand up to your dog’s teeth, we have put together this list of the best virtually indestructible dog toys for aggressive chewers.
This ultra-durable ball has a tug-o-war rope at each end, making it good for play as well as a chew toy. Additionally, its clever design means that the
ball will float even after it has been punctured, making it perfect for water-based fun.
The Romp-n-Roll ball is available in three sizes based on the weight of your dog and ranges from 4.5” to 8” in diameter, meaning there really is one for every
chewing champion out there!
Check out their website to find where it is available near you.
The Goughnut ring is an extremely strong rubber chew toy that was designed with safety in mind by means of a ‘chew toy safety indicator’. The concept behind the Goughnut is that when your dog chews through to the red inner layer, the toy should and will be replaced under the Goughnuts guarantee.
There are three sizes of rings available, starting at 3.75 inches and going up to 6.25 inches in diameter. There are no weak points on this toy and despite its durability, it even floats!
Find out more about the Goughnut by visiting their website.
Keeping your pet safe is the most important part of keeping both you and your pet happy. When you first adopt a pet or new breed of pet — or even better, before you adopt them — be sure to research the basics of your pet. When you finally select a pet, talk to the shelter staff about things you might need to worry about or watch out for. Of course, you can always stop by with your pet to discuss behaviors, concerns, or anything else.
Below we've got some general notes on basic safety tips, whether indoors or outdoors. Remember that traveling —that's more than a quick jog to the park or a ride across town for a play date— may require some extra steps based on the species of your pet. Traveling at any distance can give some pets anxiety, and there are other physical safety factors to consider. Come by and talk to us about what you may need, especially if you're about to travel abroad!
As a pet owner, you know that unfortunately, fleas are an extremely common and annoying occurrence. You probably also know how important it is to treat your dogs and cats for worms and fleas on a regular basis. However, with 95% of flea and egg larvae living in your environment rather than on your pet, it is equally, if not more important, to treat your home too, otherwise, the infestation will return time and time again.
It is not uncommon to be able to spot fleas jumping on and off of your pet’s body, but they are very small and very fast. They are flat-bodied, dark brown or black in color (unless they are full of blood in which case they can be a lighter color) and are usually less than an eighth of an inch big. Typical behavioral symptoms that your pet might display include restlessness and chewing, scratching or licking certain parts of their body more often than usual. If you suspect that your pet has fleas, you can check their skin and coat for signs of the fleas themselves or for ‘flea dirt’ which looks like regular dirt but is actually flea feces. If you aren’t sure if it is actual dirt rather than flea dirt, put some on a paper towel and add water. If it is flea dirt, then it will turn a reddish-brown color as it will contain blood that the flea has ingested and then excreted.
With so many different flea treatments available on the market, finding the right one can be tricky which is why we have put together this list of some of the best and most effective flea treatments for dogs and cats to get you started. However, discovering which products will work best for you and your pets may require some trial and error.
Frontline® sprays do not contain the potentially toxic insecticides found in many pet store sprays and is a one-stop-shop for any household that has both cats and dogs. It is also safe to use if you have kittens or puppies on your property and is water-resistant, so it is still effective even if you like in an area with high rainfall.
A topical version of Frontline®, this formula will repel fleas and other pests at all life stages for a full 30 days. This helps to prevent re-infestation and keeps your home clear of fleas for a month at a time. Like other Frontline® products, it is free of potentially harmful insecticides and is water-resistant.
Also known as CDV, Canine Distemper is a highly contagious viral illness that can be debilitating and even fatal. It not only affects dogs, but can also be seen in certain species of wildlife, including foxes, skunks, and wolves. Puppies and non-immunized dogs are most commonly affected, but pets on immune-suppressing medications may also be vulnerable.
CDV is resistant to the majority of cleaning products, and household bleach is the only known way to eradicate it.
The CDV virus is mainly transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal via bodily fluids such as saliva from coughs or sneezes which is why inhalation is the most common way it enters a new dog's system. CDV attacks the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system.
The virus does not live long once outside the body, so indirect contact is extremely rare.
As with most contagious diseases, animal shelters and kennels are much more likely to be contaminated.
The primary symptoms of CDV include, but are not limited to:
Watery or pus-like discharge from the eyes
Once the virus reaches the central nervous system (CNS), it can cause twitching, seizures, and partial or total paralysis. This causes irreparable damage to a dog’s nervous system, often resulting in death.
The addition of a new pet can be very exciting! However, knowing where to find your new companion and choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips to assist you in making your decision.
Adopting a new pet is a big decision that shouldn’t be done impulsively. Pets require time, effort, and money to be cared for and loved just like any other member of the family. Do you have a yard large enough for a goat to live comfortably? Do you have time to walk your dog more than once a day, every day? Do you have enough money to regularly buy fresh litter for your cat?
Only consider adopting a new pet once you feel confident in your ability to care for them. This includes caring for your children’s pets. Children will naturally want to participate in all the fun aspects of pet care but may have trouble consistently remembering or wanting to do the dirty work. If you won’t be able to care for your pet when your kids can’t, your pet will be the one that’s left neglected.
But we understand that sometimes life can change! If you feel that you can no longer care for your pet, contact the shelter or organization you adopted the animal from, or feel free to come in and talk to us about potential options. There are plenty of choices if you need to rehome your pet so abandonment should never have to be one.
When it comes to bringing a new pet into your home, preparation is crucial in order for them to make a successful transition. It can take days, weeks or even months for your pet to really feel at home. Here are our top tips for helping your new pet settle in.
Ensure that you have all of the supplies and equipment your new pet will need. This includes basic supplies such as a bed, water bowl, and food, as well as toys and other items to stimulate their cognitive development and keep them entertained. Remember, your pet's emotional wellbeing and mental stimulation is just as important as their physical needs.
Ensure that any other pets in the home are up to date with their vaccinations. Whilst shelters do their best to treat any viruses, occasionally adopted pets do bring new diseases with them that could be transmitted to existing pets in the household.
You may also have to introduce existing pets to your new pet gradually until they get used to one another.
As soon as you bring your pet home you should register with a veterinarian and make an appointment for your pet to have a thorough health check. Ideally, this should be done within a week of their arrival. They will be able to advise you on the correct vaccine schedule for your pet and ensure that there are no underlying illnesses or concerns.
You should also speak to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your pet if it is not done already. There are thousands of animals in shelters across the United States that are desperate for loving homes. Limiting population growth further by having your pet spayed or neutered is the responsible course of action for any owner.
Establishing some basic house rules ahead of your pet's arrival can help create a routine that your pet will quickly adopt as his own. Knowing what to expect will also help him settle in much faster. Also, assigning specific responsibilities to family members can help them bond with your pet and take ownership of their commitment as a pet owner.
Being consistent with rules for your pet will make training them much easier. For example, do not start off by letting your pet sleep on the sofas if this is not a behavior you want to continue in the future.
Once you have decided to make a new pet a part of your family, the first concern you should have is with making them comfortable. After your pet has settled into your home, a good next step would be to think about training which can help to ensure that the behaviors they exhibit are primarily desirable ones.
Whilst dogs have earned a reputation as ‘man’s best friend’ thanks to their loyal and affectionate nature, they can sometimes possess frustrating habits or personality traits that make them difficult to live with, just like their human counterparts.
Training your dog will be hugely beneficial for your dog to learn to live harmoniously alongside his human family. It will strengthen his bond with your family and ensure his safety when out and about.
What is the best method to train my dog?
There are many different schools of thought concerning how to best train a dog. Some owners prefer strict training with punishments for non-compliance, whilst others prefer to praise positive behavior and ignore undesirable reactions. Studies have shown that as a general rule, the latter method works best, but however you decide to train your dog, you will need to consistently control the consequences of your dogs’ behavior in order for the training to be effective.
Since dogs cannot relate events that are separated by time, the consequences to negative behavior need to be immediate. Just as you cannot praise your dog several minutes after returning to you when called since he will not understand why he is receiving it. The easiest way to train a dog is to reward the behaviors that you like and not those that you don’t.
If your dog likes the reward you give them, they will be more likely to repeat that behavior so they can receive it again i.e. love, attention, and praise.
If they dislike the consequences, then they will do the behavior less often.
It really is that simple, but being consistent is vital to a successful training plan, otherwise, you will send mixed messages to your pet. For example, if you do not want your pet to jump on you (which they do to get your attention) then ignore them until they calm down. Once they have calmed down, be sure to praise and make a fuss over them. This will help them to learn that this is the way that you prefer them to behave. It may take several days or weeks of doing this, but your dog will soon learn the correct behavior to exhibit.
We are constantly being told that obesity levels are increasing worldwide and that we should act now in order to ensure our long term health. However, this problem doesn't just affect humans. A shocking statistic from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention states that an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese.
(Source: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 2015)
Just like humans, pets who are overweight are at increased risk for a number of health problems including but not limited to:
Cranial cruciate ligament injury
Decreased life expectancy by up to 2.5 years
Heart and respiratory disease
High blood pressure
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
Varying forms of cancer