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How to Select a Dog to Adopt

Posted on: May 5th, 2009 by

First, be prepared at home. Make sure you have the time and space for a dog. If you are adopting a large dog, be sure you have a yard with a fence. And, that your fence is in good shape with no holes for escape and high enough to prevent your newly adopted dog from jumping over it.

Newly introduced dogs may panic and will “bolt” with noises, strangers or at the least provocation. It takes a dog a while to understand that this is it’s new home. Do not adopt a dog with the intention of tying or chaining it up in the back yard. This is cruel to the dog and they will develop behavior problems.

Outdoor dogs need a warm dry dog house to get out of the weather and away from the sun. They need a cool place in summer, just as much as they need a warm place in the winter. Summer can be more deadly than winter for large long haired dogs, which are not suited for hot weather. Imagine wearing a long fur coat in the heat of summer! Be sure there is shade, plenty of water and a cool place, preferably with a breeze for your dog in the summertime.

If adopting a small house dog, make sure you have a private space for them that is quiet and secluded. Puppies need nap time and a place to go for time outs. A crate is a must and should be utilized from the first day of adoption for time out, sleep and when you are away for short periods. Do not allow them to roam the house, place them in the crate for short periods.

Second, know what type of dog you want to adopt and be patient. Patience is very hard, especially when you see how many dogs need and deserve a home. Touring a shelter can be very emotional and easily lead to guilt if you find a dog that seems scared and overwhelmed by their experience.

I have a very hard time touring a shelter and not wanting to save them all. But start with one and one that will work out for your situation, so that it is a long lasting relationship and not one where a short term emotional decision leads you down a path of a bad pet relationship and eventually returning the pet. Remember, your selection will be one you live with for years.

If you live in an apartment, it is best not to adopt a large or active breed that requires space, unless you can commit to long walks at least twice a day. Different breeds have different requirements for space, activity and companionship. Adopt a breed that is more suitable for an apartment and avoid a huge, future problem. Understand that adopting a puppy will require much more time and management than an older dog for at least a year or more in large breeds.

Third, observe the dog in their surroundings before selecting which dog to adopt. Watch how they play or interact with other dogs. What happens when you approach? Do they eagerly come up and want to be petted? Or do they cower away into a corner? The one that cowers away will require much more work and understanding of behavior to overcome. Are they unruly, jumping up on you and everyone? If so, an obedience class is a necessity and possibly some home training in-between classes. This will be the best time you ever spend with your dog in having a long lasting and wonderful relationship.

Understand that if you are unwilling to commit the time to an obedience class and the needs of your new dog, you are not ready to adopt a dog.

Essential Pet Supplies for Adopting a New Pet

Posted on: April 30th, 2009 by

Are you thinking about bringing home a new pet? If so, make certain you are ready in advance. We’ve included here a short list of the absolute essentials you will need to make sure you have before you bring home your new cat or dog.

Dog:

  • crate
  • food
  • bowls
  • treats
  • chews & toys
  • bed
  • leash & collar
  • grooming comb
  • fenced yard

Cat:

  • privacy quarters
  • food
  • treats
  • bowls
  • grooming comb/brush
  • litter box & litter

The Positive Benefits of Pets

Posted on: April 20th, 2009 by

Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that pets offer positive physical benefits?

Some Positive Benefits of Pets:

  • reduce stress hormone-cortisol
  • reduce blood pressure
  • reduce feelings of depression
  • provide companionship
  • entertaining
  • increase feel good hormones in our blood stream

Preventing Separation Anxiety in Adopted Dogs

Posted on: April 7th, 2009 by

Hopefully, the dog you adopt had periodic separation from its mother. Puppies raised with their mothers’ constant attention and in close confinement, such as in puppy mills, tend to retard the puppies ability to cope with separation later in life.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Hyper-excited greetings
Following owner from room to room constantly
Checking in frequently with owner
Seeking physical contact constantly
Acting sad when owner is leaving
Prevention

-Do not greet until the dog sits, then give calm and loving greetings – not excited ones
-Do not reinforce constant following
-Do not say good-bye to the dog when leaving, make leaving a non-emotional experience
-Feed treats inside a toy as a positive distraction when departing

The Lap of Luxury: Santa’s Ultimate Pet Gifts

Posted on: December 16th, 2008 by

Posted by Pets Best on 12/16/2008 in Articles from Newsletters

You might not believe it, but Ralph Lauren wants to take care of your dog. It’s true! He has actually designed a whole line of clothing for pups, guaranteed to keep the well-bred canine comfortable and fashionably well-dressed. And he’s not the only one catering to the four-legged set—these days, a host of designers and high-end retail stores offer luxury items for those cats and dogs who appreciate the finer things in life. Here are some of the gifts that you’ll find on the Christmas wish lists of America’s most pampered pets.

The Ralph Lauren Pup Collection includes a smart-yet-cozy Cashmere Ruffle Dog Sweater priced at $195. The collection also features Lauren’s classic Polo shirt, especially tailored for dogs, as well as rugby shirts, hoodies, and coats; prices range from $32 up to $225.

Nordstrom’s offers an extensive line of pet accessories by the youthful, edgy Juicy Couture label. For dogs, the line includes plush chew toys, feeding bowls, high-fashion collar-and-lead sets and more. Prices for these run from $25 to $75. And for the trendy pet on the go, whether canine or feline, the Juicy Couture Velour Pet Carrier is available for $295.

Harrods in London carries a line of luxury canine grooming products called Sexy Beast; the line includes a signature eau de parfum, specifically formulated for dogs. It is described as “a unisex blend of bergamot and vanilla-infused musk combined with natural patchouli, mandarin and nutmeg oils.” A 3.4-ounce bottle costs about £83 (or $123 American), and custom engraving is available.

A monogrammed, velvet-textured back seat car cover by Eddie Bauer keeps pets comfortable while protecting seats from mud, dirt and pet hair, at a price of $105.50. Other monogrammable items from Eddie Bauer include dog beds and collars that feature the designer’s rugged, outdoorsy style.

From Neiman-Marcus comes the Fleur-de-Lis Pet Day Bed , featuring the elegant look of hand-crafted wrought-iron, with a price tag of $200. A matching feeding station is available for only $100.

Perhaps the ultimate in luxury (and expense) is found in Louis Vuitton’s Sac Baxter GM , one of several pet carriers by the legendary bag maker. It can hold a pet of 44 pounds and features their signature “LV” monogram canvas with natural cowhide trim. At a cost of $1,610, it tops our list of indulgent gifts.

But what do you get for the pet who already has everything? How about a nice vacation? Soon taking reservations to cities across the country, Pet Airways will let your best friend travel in style and comfort. Though the company has not yet posted prices for individual flights, they say that prices will start as low as $150.

Or how about the sheer luxury of a spa day? Your pet may enjoy a day of pampering as much as you would. These days, many doggy daycares offer services including grooming, professional massage, spas, and more. Check the Yellow Pages or the Internet for a good daycare/day spa for pets near you.

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The 3 Most Popular (and Affordable) Pet Gifts

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a bit more frugal this Christmas, FetchDog.com has a few great suggestions. Their Mud Magnet Gloves , for example, are made from super-absorbent microfiber to make quick work of wiping muddy, dirty paws and cost just $19 a pair. Or how about the Holiday Hounds Collar , a rugged webbed-nylon dog collar with a choice of fun holiday-themed patterns for $19 each? Then again, there’s the Puppermint Chew —made of peppermint-infused rubber, this tasty toy will freshen the breath of the most active chewers. And at $12 apiece, you can afford to buy one for every dog on your list.