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5 Rules for Adopting a Pet

Posted on: May 20th, 2009 by

1. Always have the pet examined by a veterinarian. If not before the adoption, then immediately afterward. If you can do so before you become emotionally attached to the animal, you might avoid a mistake that could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary services. Invest in a general health screening, especially when adopting an older pet, including a blood test to check the internal organs and overall health of the pet. Make sure the pet has the proper vaccinations, which can prevent a number of contagious viral and bacterial diseases. Also, have the stool checked for internal parasites.

2. Always do your homework before you go to adopt a pet. Not all pets are right for all people. Avoid adopting based purely on emotion or first impressions. Bringing home a pet that you can’t manage or isn’t suited for your lifestyle can make your family—and the pet itself—unhappy. Animals, especially dogs, vary considerably in temperament, activity level and sociability from one breed to another. Be practical and realistic in your approach: training may help, but will never completely transform the animal’s natural tendencies.

3. Be willing to make several visits before you choose. Don’t be in a hurry to adopt. Sure, adopting a pet is the right thing to do, but taking your time and getting the right pet is far more important. Take your time and wait until it is the right fit for you, the pet, your household and your lifestyle.

4. Choose a selection committee. With a family, it is especially important that you discuss what type of pet you will get, how old, what breeds are acceptable and generally what expectations you all have for the pet. It can be a wonderful learning and bonding experience if you take your time, do research in advance and make the selection together. A committee—even if it’s only two people—will also make better decisions. Make sure to get expert input: talk with knowledgeable people about your choices.

5. Be willing to consider a mixed-breed pet. Too often, mixed-breed pets are passed over in favor of purebred animals. The truth is, mixed breeds tend to have less congenital and hereditary defects, and may display excellent traits from a variety of breeds. Often, people who adopt these “mutts” find them to be more loyal and appreciative, with plenty of vitality and character.

How will the economic recession affect your pets?

Posted on: May 19th, 2009 by

These days, it seems like we can’t stop talking about the economy. In the newspaper or on TV, the radio or the Internet, it’s a constant drone: “recession, recession, recession.”

And no wonder: unless you live in a cave someplace, the economy affects almost every aspect of your life, including your family pets: your beloved dog or cat.

In our society, pets are more like family these days. Most of the dog owners who took part in a recent American Kennel Club survey, for example, said that they buy Christmas presents for their pets, spending up to $50. Some, of course, spend much more than that. In the current recession, 69% percent of these people said they would rather spend less on friends or extended family members than to skimp on Fido’s presents!

Plus, there’s more good news for pets: a whopping 96% of latte-loving survey takers would give up their fancy coffee drinks before they would cut back on pet expenses. And 97% would give up luxuries like massages or spa treatments.

Other cutbacks dog owners would be willing to make?

  • 97% would skip their favorite restaurants and eat at home more often.
  • 94% would spend less on new clothes
  • 88% would skip buying new car or buy a less expensive model
  • 72% would give up their gym membership

Yes, some pets may have to live with less during the recession, but it seems that most Americans would rather go without luxuries than keep their furry family members from enjoying the finer things. Kind of makes you think life in the doghouse might not be so bad, eh?

Is my dog overweight? What should I do?

Posted on: May 14th, 2009 by

It was my dog’s groomer that brought it to my attention: my Labradoodle, Murphy, had just gotten a sleek trim for summer when the groomer and I were chatting.

“He sure is a big boy,” she said.

“I know!” I said with pride. One of the largest Labradoodles I’ve seen, he’s just a few inches shorter than I am when he stands on his hind legs.

“Um, big, like sort of round, I mean,” said the groomer.

Uh oh. Was my dog fat? A trip to the scales confirmed that he had gained almost 20 pounds since last fall. How had I let this happen?

Read More…

Consider Fostering Pets

Posted on: May 13th, 2009 by

For many years now my wife adopts dogs, socializes, trains and then finds just the right home for them.  I call it “Foster Doggies” for the dogs that come and go in our household. While you may think this is chaotic or bordering on hording, I assure you it is not – she simply has an overwhelming drive to save dogs.   

 

We have our permanent band of dogs that also endure the Foster Dog program With one exception (my tea cup Chihuahua Torrey) our other dogs don’t seem to mind.  My wife usually only brings in one at a time, works with the dog and learns their personality and their quirks.  Being a dog trainer, she also works with them on simple obedience training, gets them vet checked, vaccinated, wormed, teeth cleaned, etc. – all the things they need.  The dogs may stay with us a few weeks or a year until the right home is found.  She has an uncanny way of matching dogs with the right situation and everybody is happy. 

 

Her specialty is adopting dogs from older people who, through bad health, are forced to give up their dog or move to a nursing home that does not allow dogs.  This situation is so sad when they are forced to give up a beloved companion.  But, she turns it around time after time by adopting the dog, finding a home and even providing follow up information to the former owners on the outcome of their pet. 

 

Consider becoming a foster dog home and helping great companions find new homes.  To be a foster dog home you should consider the following:

  1. Have the time to devote to the dog.
  2. Have the space for play activity, training and not overcrowd your home.
  3. Have a network of friends to help you find homes; otherwise they become your permanent pet.
  4. Have the financial resources to take of the pet with veterinary care, grooming if necessary and at times for training.
  5. Be selective in finding the “right” home, not just a convenient place, so the home is lasting.

It is truly an uplifting experience to adopt a pet, get it ready for a new home and a wonderful feeling watching the new owner and pet bond. 

Pets Get Ready for Take Off

Posted on: May 11th, 2009 by

Pet Airways is Officially Taking Reservations!

Now that spring is here and our thoughts float towards the warm days of summer, it’s time to start to dream about vacations and traveling around this great country. The United States is full of great places visit, but now you no longer have to leave your pet behind. You can take your pet along with Pet Airways.

If you think that you can fly with your pet sitting on the next seat, forget about it. Pet Airways is a pet only airline, no humans allowed, but don’t worry, you can send your best friend in comfort and safety and meet him/her there.

While you struggle with the airport hassle, security checks, $5 bottles of water, juggling the luggage, and the crowds, your best friend can be relaxing at the Pet Lounge, where its comfortable experience begins. Private accommodations (their own pet carrier), great food, water, potty breaks on demand, a wonderful Pet Attendant at its beck and call; maybe even an overnight stay at one of Pet Airways Affiliated Pet Lodges where your pet can network with other pets. Man oh man, it’s a dog’s life! (Did I mention breakfast in bed?)

It doesn’t get any better.

And Pet Airways is starting out in 5 of the largest cities (New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles) so there is no excuse not to find a great place to visit. There are literally thousands of great destinations within hours of every city in this great country.

And get this; Pet Airways is having a great Kick-Off sale on flights with their Anywhere, Anytime Introductory Offer of $149. For a limited time, you can book a ticket for this incredible low price. So put down the leash or rubbing against the scratching post and book your pet’s travel now.

Yep, you heard it right! Only $149 flies your pet in the main cabin with a trained and loving Pet Attendant to care for your loved one. No cargo here! Only First Class for your pet! Do you have cat fever and want to travel this summer? Visit the Pet Airways website at www.petairways.com

They’re ready to take your reservation.

Book soon, as the $149 offer will only last for a limited time.