A DOG AS A SURPRISE PRESENT DOESN’T ALWAYS LEAD TO A FURRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Are you looking forward to the Christmas holidays? Some puppies and full-grown dogs won’t be. Why? Because they will end up as gifts in the festive season and it will not end well for them. You might be wondering why this would be the case – surely a gorgeous puppy would make the ideal Christmas gift?

There is an old saying – “A dog is for life and not just for Christmas”. While it is true to say that a lot of dogs that are given as gifts are treated well and are loved by their owners, it is not always the case. What seems like a good idea can turn into a disaster for the poor dog.

There is nothing more heart-breaking than seeing so many beautiful dogs turn up at rescue centers, which were basically unwanted gifts.

A Dog is a Life Commitment

Before you even think about giving a puppy to a person as a gift, you need to know if they will be committed to loving and taking care of the dog for the next 15 to 20 years. A dog needs a lot of special attention, especially in the early training period, and of course plenty of exercise. Is the new owner going to be the right kind of person for this? Does their lifestyle suit having a puppy or would they be better with an older dog that is already house trained and has mastered basic commands such as sit, stay and down?

The last thing that you want to do is to give a dog as a Christmas gift to someone (or a family) that doesn’t want it. Not all people have the same loving and caring attitude towards dogs that we do. Yes, the kid will most likely be delighted with the new puppy, but will the mom and dad?

So, if you are thinking about giving a dog as a Christmas gift, we suggest that you take these 4 key factors into consideration:

#1. Make sure that it is not a Surprise

There is nothing wrong with giving a dog as a gift if they go to the right people. A puppy can literally light up a person’s life, and they can be delighted to receive one. But not everybody is going to feel that way, so you need to find out first.

But what about the surprise element? Look the welfare of the dog is far more important than a surprise package – any welcome recipient will get even more joy from the first walk or snuggle they have with their new furry friend.

But, if you really don’t want to ask the intended recipient if they would like a dog as a gift first, give them something else to unwrap on the actual day. Maybe a photo of the proposed pooch in a picture frame with an ‘I Owe You’ note written on the back. Or give them a box of doggie essentials, such as food and water bowls, a leash, toys or a dog blanket.

The recipient then has the opportunity to meet the dog first and ensure they are a good match for each other or select a more suitable canine companion. This is definitely best for both the receiver and the dog in the long run.

#2. Be Prepared for Anything – Pay the Adoption fees

OK, so you have asked the recipient if they want a dog for Christmas and they tell you that they do. The thing is that you can never be 100% sure, even if you know the person really well.

We have always chosen our own dogs and I think that’s really important, because you know which is the right dog for you when you meet them – there’s an unmistakable mutual bond. And don’t forget, the present may be for an individual, but there are other people in the household that will need to get on with the new furry family member too.

So, it is a good idea for you to pay the adoption fees to the shelter first. If the recipient changes their mind (it happens) then there is no harm done and you have made a great donation to the shelter.

Bringing a new animal home and settling them into a normal routine takes a huge amount of preparation, perseverance and patience, so the hurly burly of the holiday period may not be the best time for either the gift recipient or the dog.

#3. Only give Dogs as Gifts to Family

You might not agree with this point as you may have friends that go back many years. The trouble is that even those friends that you grew up with will sometimes find it tough to say no to you and, again, you may not know their other family members so well. This can be a disaster for a dog, so just stick to giving a dog to your immediate family.

#4. Avoid Acting on Impulse

It can be very hard to walk past someone that has a box of cute puppies for sale. You start thinking about who would love one of these puppies for Christmas, and before you know it you buy one. AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS!

Similarly, internet shopping allows anybody to buy a pup at the click of a button!  This just fuels the already huge problem of illegal breeders and puppy mills (who also supply pet stores) – they just see the poor dogs as breeding machines and to make a quick buck at someone else’s expense. Please, DO NOT purchase any pet through these channels – this more often than not turns out to be a very expensive mistake.

We simply ask that you really think seriously about where you buy ANY pet and we always encourage people to consider adopting a rescue animal first, where the rescue center will know more about the history, character, health and training needs of the animal.

There are already so many unwanted animals in rescue centers across the country and sadly the situation only gets worse around Christmas time, when people give up unwanted pets given as presents.

If you follow the guide principles above, you will not only give someone a great gift but for a homeless pet, a loving and dedicated family is the greatest gift of all. 

Wishing you and your canine companions that best of health – always!

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

 

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The Easiest Way to Include Fido in Your Thanksgiving Feast

Not long now and I’m sure your Thanksgiving preparations are well underway!

This is a special time to spend with our family and friends and I’m sure for all you fellow dog-lovers out there, that includes the four-pawed variety too!

So why not treat your furry friends by giving them their own Thanksgiving meal? It’s super simple –NO EXTRA WORK and an ideal way to include them in the holiday festivities!

Here’s a list of favorite Thanksgiving foods that are safe to share with your canine companions.

But please note, it’s very important that you exercise constraint on behalf of your pooch. Thanksgiving food is very rich and dogs don’t do portion control – given the chance they would easily gobble up their own meal then all the leftovers too! Unfortunately, that could easily end up with a visit to the doggie ER – not where you want to spend your holiday!

I always serve my dogs these meals on a ‘human’ plate (specially reserved for their use), so they know it’s a special occasion and makes it easy to get food proportions correct. The basic rule of thumb for a dog’s meal is: 10% carbs, 50% vegetables and 40% protein (about 1oz of protein per 10 pounds of dog).

10 THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT ARE SAFE FOR FIDO

No salt or seasoning to be added

  1. Turkey White turkey is one of the best protein-packed foods for dogs to eat and they love it! 

CARE: Please be aware that other parts of the turkey are not so safe. Avoid the brown meat as that is richer and definitely don’t feed them turkey skin – too much rich, fatty food can cause gastrointestinal issues and can lead to pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease of your dog’s pancreas.

Another big no-no is turkey bones; these can easily splinter and get stuck, causing an obstruction in their throat or intestines, or tear their stomach, causing internal bleeding.

 

  1. Mashed Potatoes Plain mashed potatoes are absolutely fine for your dog, as long as you hold the butter, sour cream, garlic and onion. So, set aside a pooch portion before you load up on the flavor additions for the humans.

 

  1. Sweet Potatoes This sweet orange-colored root vegetable (often mis-labeled as the sweeter, nutritionally inferior yam) is a Thanksgiving staple, but typically served baked with marshmallows which are an absolute no-no for your dog. That’s because they contain large amounts of sugar and very likely the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. However, you won’t want them to miss out on this superfood, as it’s packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, so, instead, serve them a plain sweet potato mash (not the canned mix!), or small raw cubes.

 

  1. Carrots These are also loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Raw carrots are a real favorite with dogs and great for their teeth, but cooked (unseasoned) carrots are also a tasty treat.

 

  1. Green Beans Green beans are high in fiber and vitamins C and K, but your dog should only have the steamed or raw versions. Definitely keep them away from the creamy casserole version with mushrooms and onions added, which are toxic to dogs.

 

  1. Corn Give your pooch a few kernels of corn if you want to give them an energy boost to keep them from snoozing through the festivities!

 

  1. Cranberries These provide a tasty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, but some dogs may turn their nose up at plain cranberries. Just be cautious and serve your dog the smallest amount, if yours is the jellied or sauce version, due to the sugar content. NEVER give them types that contain alcohol or xylitol (the artificial sweetener), which are BOTH TOXIC to dogs.

 

  1. Stuffing There are so many normal ingredients included in this traditional tasty accompaniment, that are simply bad for your dog’s health (or even toxic!), that it’s probably best just to leave it out altogether on your pooch’s plate. The ingredients you’d have to exclude from the recipe are onions, garlic, strong herbs such as sage, raisins/sultanas and dripping.

 

  1. Bread and Rolls These are another staple on the Thanksgiving table, but probably not required! These are packed with carbs, so no nutritional benefit to feeding your dog bread or rolls.

CAREIf you’re making your own, please keep your pooch away from the raw dough (or any yeast related food), as this can be deadly for dog.

 

  1.  Apples Apple Pie is a legendary part of any Thanksgiving menu, but too sugar-laden for your pooch. Instead, set aside some raw apple slices or mix cubed apples with plain yogurt then freeze in ice cube trays – both healthy treats to serve as doggie dessert!

 

I hope you and your furry friends enjoy sharing this special meal together as much as we do. It’s always great to see your dog happy and we’d love to see them too!

Don’t forget to share a photo of your pup tucking into their Thanksgiving food on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FidoActive/  and put a smile on all our faces!

Happy holidays!

 

 


Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Why a Senior Furry Soulmate Could Be YOUR Next Perfect Companion

10 Reasons Why a Senior Furry Soulmate Could Be YOUR Next Perfect Companion

#1       Senior dogs have better manners 
Having spent years living with a family, they have been socialized with humans and may even have been trained to at least respond to basic commands such as sit, stay and down. Many will also be house trained, so it won’t take long for them to pick up the potty rules in their new home. 

#2       What you see is what you get
 senior dog holds no surprises as to how big they may grow, whether their coloring may change, or whether they will develop a genetic or breed-specific condition. Having knowledge of their past and present helps you better manage future expectations.

#3       Senior pets are less destructive
An older dog has grown out of the seek and destroy puppy phase, they’ve gone through their infant teething, so don’t chew on anything and everything and their mischief mayhem is replaced with calmer curiosity.

#4       You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Adult dogs are less easily distracted than younger pups, so they can focus better on the task. Many will already know the basic commands, so it can be fun for both of you to learn new tricks and increase the bond between you.

#5       A dog to match your own energy levels
As an older dog has less excess energy to burn off, they will be happier to go at a slower speed. So, if you prefer to play frisbee in the yard or a walk in the park, rather than a mountain hike then an older dog may be the best fit for you.

Oh, and it goes without saying that senior dogs make great snuggle buddies when you just want to kick back and relax at the end of a hard day!

#6       Senior dogs and senior citizens make the perfect companions
Many elderly people crave companionship and can talk to their furry friend all day, every day, without judgement or criticism. Stroking an animal also has a proven soothing influence, that improves a human’s mood and well being.

#7       Adopting a senior dog is a relatively short-term commitment
Many people deny themselves the pleasure of a dog because their circumstances are likely to change in the next 8-15 years. Elderly people think their pet will outlive them and are worried about what would happen to them. A senior dog is the perfect solution for both scenarios and satisfies the mutual need for companionship.

#8       Adopted seniors are more devoted
Dogs are always thought to have a sixth sense but, from my own personal experience, I truly believe that my senior adoptees really know they have been rescued and saved from years spent in a cage or an even worse fate.  They show true devotion and are really eager to please, as if they are showing gratitude for me rescuing them.

# 9      You Can Pick Your Perfect Pooch
Whether you want a certain size dog, or a non-shedding breed, one that’s cat-friendly or one that likes travelling in cars, you can cater for YOUR specific requirements.

Many rescue centers have photos and details of dogs available for adoptions on their websites, so you can make your initial shortlist before arranging a visit in person. There are also some rescue organizations that specialize in specific breeds, which will not only match you up with the dog of your dreams but also provide specialist ongoing advice and support.

BUT don’t be surprised if you end up going home with a totally different dog than you went for – you’ll only know which is the right one for you once you get there!

To see their true character, it’s important to interact with the dog outside the cage, to get to know them better and see if you have that special connection.

#10     It is in the giving that we receive.
This is undeniably illustrated when you give a rescue dog a home, for you will receive unconditional love and loyalty that money just can’t buy!  What’s more, I think they know they’ve been ‘rescued’ and love you all the more for it!

Yes, it may take a little time and patience from both of you at the start, but it’s sure worth it and bound to put a new spring in both of your steps!

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

 

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Homemade Fall Treats For Your Canine Companions

Pumpkins come but once a year, so when you’re preparing your seasonal favorite for the family, why not set aside some pumpkin puree, so you can whip up some doggie-licious treats for fido at the same time!

We hope your pooch enjoys these recipes as much as ours and we’d love to hear how you get on.

The size of your dog should determine the size of the dog treats you make (or simply break down into smaller pieces). Also, best to apply the rule “a little of what you fancy does you good” – while pumpkin is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, be sure to limit the number of calorific treats you give your furry friend!

No worries though, you can top up their treat ration with FidoActive all-natural joint care nuggets, that dogs eat like a treat too – they taste good AND do them good!

Here’s what our customer M. Borelli said about FidoActive Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs:

“I have had my 9 year old Jack Russell on supplements for a while now but I was unable to find something that works this well. It is also hard to find something that is in the form of a chew and not a pill. She looks forward to her morning treat and is back to her normal self. I love that I can buy it in this size, so I know I won’t run out.”

For more information about our all-natural supplements just click on the tabs at the top of this page or visit our Amazon store and treat your dog to an active life too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Gingersnaps

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter, warmed to room temperature

1 egg, room temperature

4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger*

½ cup pumpkin puree

*Fresh ginger adds a lovely fragrant touch to these treats – it’s good for tummies &canine travel sickness too! If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can substitute ground ginger although it isn’t as flavorful.

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda then add butter, egg, ginger, and pumpkin. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Turn out dough on a floured surface and knead until completely combined. Roll out dough (thinner for a crisp consistency, thicker for chewier biscuits) and cut with cookie cutters.
  4. Place cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven; bake about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Treats

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter(Care: please check your peanut butter does not contain xylitol – this artificial sweetener is toxic to dogs)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl until the mixture forms a dough.
  3. Roll the dough out, and then cut the dough into ½-inch pieces.
  4. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, and bake for about 40 minutes.

[source: All Recipes]


NO TIME TO COOK? NO PROBLEM!

Your furry best friend doesn’t have to miss out!

Why not try one of these quick and simple (max. 3 ingredients!) NO-BAKE pumpkin recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 1

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup plain yogurt

Instructions:

Mix the two ingredients together, and then pour the mixture into a large ice tray. Place the mixture in the freezer, and leave it for about 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the treats will be nice and frozen and ready to be served to your pup.

[source: Pop Sugar]

Option 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2½ cups oats
  • additional oats as needed for rolling

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and water. Stir well to combine.
  2. Add the 2½ cups of oats to the pumpkin mixture and stir well to fully mix the ingredients.
  3. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small spheres and set them aside.
  4. After you’ve rolled the mixture into spheres, spread the additional oats on a plate, and roll the spheres in these oats to create a “coating” on the outside.
  1. Refrigerate the finished treats for 24 hours before serving to firm the pumpkin puree.

[source: two Little Cavaliers]

 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

 

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Dog Adoption – Paws Down the Best Option!

If you are considering a new furry 4-pawed addition to your family then you need to think carefully about how you will obtain your next best friend. Many people will think that a trip to the pet store is in order, but there is a much better alternative! Here are some reasons as to why we think adoption is paws down the preferred choice and how it could be a WIN:WIN situation for both you and your new pet.

 

Adopt one dog and you save two lives!

Are you aware that in the United States there are 2 million shelter dogs euthanized every year? How heart-breaking is that? At the same time puppy mills are producing 2 million pooches that they supply to pet stores and elsewhere across the country.

There are just not enough dog adopters for the number of animals found in shelters. One of the main reasons for this is that people do not think about adopting from a shelter when they are looking for a new furry friend.

If you immediately think about a pet store then I really hope you will consider the alternative. Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue center will mean that, not only will you save a loving pooch by adding them to your family, you will also create a much-needed space for some other poor animal, giving them a lifeline too.

Surrendered due to circumstances not bad behavior

Each year in the US around 3.3 million dogs enter shelters, but sadly only 1.6 of these canine companions are adopted. There is no logical reason for this, as animal shelters are full to the brim with healthy and happy pooches that just want to go home with you and lead a normal life as part of a loving family.

The dogs in shelters are mainly there because of human problems such as moving, divorce, financial difficulties or death of their owner. They were happy with their families and did not do anything wrong. Most of the dogs are already housetrained and well-socialized with people and other dogs because they were part of a loving family before.

 An adopted pooch will cost you less

If you go to a pet store for your new furry friend then you can easily spend from $500 to $1,000 and even more. The average cost of a dog adoption will be between $50 and $200. Also, you are likely to find that when you adopt a pooch their first vaccinations and neutering or spaying costs are included in the price.

Plus, because many shelter dogs will have housetraining already and some will also have been discipline trained, so this will save you money as well. Why pay over the odds for your new companion when you don’t have to?

Adopting your new friend will make you proud

You should be very proud if you have saved a pooch from an animal shelter. Tell the world about it! I always love it when I’m out walking and people stop to admire and pet my dog; I love it even more when I watch their jaws drop when I tell them I got him from the local rescue.

Oh, and remember to take selfies of you and your new best friend and get them out on social media. People will just love your pictures, and it will help to get the message across about adopting rather than buying.

Adopting puts pressure on the puppy mills

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) recently published statistics reporting that 34% of new dogs come from breeders while only 23% are adopted from a shelter. The term “breeders” is an interesting one. These numbers will contain animals purchased online, from a pet store or even a market.

The problem is that most of these pooches come from factory style puppy mills. They are profit driven businesses and the welfare of the animals comes a distant second. There are usually very inadequate living conditions in these puppy mills, and there is very little medical attention.

There are literally mom dogs held in cages just for breeding the next batch. These animals have very little human contact, and if the dogs don’t sell quickly then they end up euthanized, abandoned or sent to an auction.

There are very shady practices going on in some of these puppy mills. The only way to put them out of business is to stop buying dogs online, through classifieds and in pet stores. Adopting your next pet is the best way to make a stand against these dreadful places.

You can choose the dog that you want to adopt

A lot of people believe that if they adopt from a shelter then they will not have much of a choice and they won’t get a pure-bred dog. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can visit the Shelter Pet Projectwebsite and find puppies or adult dogs of every breed, color, size and temperament in shelters near you. 

Around 17 million people a year decide to add a pet to their family. If you are one of these then please adopt don’t buy. You will have saved your new best friend from a pitiful existence and you will also have changed their whole world.

As individuals, adopting one dog seems a drop in the ocean when there are at least 10000 shelter dogs euthanized EVERY DAY, but if 17 million people adopted, just think what a difference that would make!

Finally, please believe me when I say that there is no love than the love of a rescued dog – it’s as if they know what you have done for them and they will reward you with unconditional love, loyalty and devotion for life.

A person is the best thing that could happen to a shelter dog – please be that person!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health,

 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

 

 

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