CHANGE A PET’S LIFE DAY

Author: Helen Broadley

‘Change a Pet’s Life Day’ started in 2009 to draw attention to the many homeless pets and to encourage adoption; it’s now an annual event on the calendar and will take place on 24 January 2017.

As a child, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ was, without doubt, my favorite book and I am certain that was the start of my love of animals.

I grew up surrounded by dogs and one of my lasting memories was my Grandma reciting Kipling’s poem ‘The Power of The Dog’, in which he says:

“…Buy a pup and your money will buy                                                              

Love unflinching that cannot lie…”

How true he was! My four legged companions have seen me through work-related stress, relationship break-ups and immeasurable grief.

All my dogs have come from rescue shelters and I am convinced that because of their sad history, they love you even more for rescuing them. I have nothing but endless admiration for the staff and volunteers that give their time so tirelessly to save the abused, discarded and stray dogs or those doomed to death in animal control centers. Buying a dog from them makes all their efforts worthwhile.

You may be one of the many people who love dogs but are unable to have one due to personal circumstances; or you may already have one or more furry family members. BUT you can still get involved and change a dog’s life too – and what better time to start than Change a Pet’s Life Day!

Here are a few 4 ways you can make a REAL difference:

#1.   Volunteer

You can bet your bottom dollar that your local animal shelters and rescue organizations are always looking for extra pairs of hands to help out, whether it be with walking dogs, cleaning kennels, or helping with fundraising events.

Without volunteers, many shelters and rescue groups simply wouldn’t be able to operate. By donating your time, you’re not just changing the life of one dog — you’re helping to change the lives of all the animals who find a home through that facility.

 

#2.   Foster

Rescue groups can only help as many animals as they have space for, so many organizations are happy to add additional foster homes, so they can help more dogs in need.

By fostering a dog, you’re not only providing a home, you’re also rehabilitating, training and teaching the dog what it’s like to be a loved pet. Foster homes change the lives of both the dogs and their new forever families, helping their furry family addition settle in more quickly.
Dogs are a perfect cure for loneliness and studies have shown that dog-owners aged 60 and older were four times less likely to become clinically depressed. The study also proved that, compared with non-owners, pet owners made fewer medical visits over the course of a year. That’s got to be good news!

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Unfortunately, many elderly people who may have had dogs in the past, deprive themselves of this perfect companionship, because they’re worried about who will look after their beloved pet should anything happen to them.

Similarly, the charitable organizations find it harder to re-home older dogs, so they are destined to be long-term residents.

Fostering is the ideal solution to bringing the lonely and unwanted together. They’re normally well matched on their fitness levels too and safe in the knowledge that the shelter or rescue will always be there for their furry friend.

#3.   Adopt

It’s heart-breaking to see millions of unwanted dogs ending up in shelters every year, and yet puppy mills continue to use dogs to breed puppies for profit. When you choose to adopt instead of buying from a breeder, you’re not only saving the life of the dog you take home, but also the life of the next dog who can fill the vacant space at the rescue or shelter.

Pet stores that truly care about animal welfare, don’t sell animals; instead, they support their local shelters and rescues. The ones that do sell puppies, normally source them from cruel and inhumane puppy mills, which are best described as dog-making factories, where the female dogs are nothing but puppy-making machines and never even get to enjoy being a mother to their pups. They have no quality of life, spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels, with little or no personal attention or interaction. Sadly, when the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are simply discarded or killed. The pups are often separated from their Mom too soon which, together with over-breeding and inadequate healthcare, more often than not leaves you with a pup that develops severe health issues and you the distress and veterinary bills.

You can help stop this cycle of cruelty by choosing to adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue. Or, if your heart’s desire is to have a specific pedigree, please ensure you buy from a reputable licensed breeder, who is happy to show you where their dogs live and breed.

Community Champion

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Be the eyes and ears in your community…Please don’t turn a blind eye when you see a dog in distress, malnourished or living in totally unsuitable conditions.

Dogs learn through positive reinforcement not brutal force and permanently tied to a tree or post is no way to keep a dog. You could be a poor dog’s lifeline to a safer, happier life – the ASPCA or rescue center are only a phone call away, so put them on your phone contact list just in case.

You may also be aware of an elderly or sick neighbour, who may be finding it difficult to exercise their dog. So why not offer to walk their dog and get yourself some companionable exercise at the same time!

 

About the Author: Helen Broadley

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Helen is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions.

 

The FidoActive team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.

 

Helen regularly volunteers at animal shelters, often having that as her main vacation activity. FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.

 

 

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally

Active is what we want every dog to be!

 

You can find out more about FidoActive on their website www.fidoactive.com


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      1  fidoactive

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

FidoActive supply your canine companion with specially formulated supplements to make sure they don’t suffer in silence. We also understand that, as dogs get older, they tend to get more sensitive stomachs and find it harder to process harsh medicines.

That’s why FidoActive’s unique formulas are made of the highest quality, 100% natural, USA sourced ingredients, completely free of artificial flavors and colorings, providing a gentler and safer solution to their pain relief and overall wellbeing, without the additional expense and potential side effects of medicines and NSAIDs.

There is no better way to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again!

Shop now and enjoy 10% off your 1st purchase! http://www.amazon.com/Best-Glucosamine-Joint-Supplement-Dogs/dp/B00V3C2BJ2

Amazon Link – here

Learn More About FidoActive- here

Get Rid Of Dog Urine Out Of Carpet: Traditional Vs Modern Solutions

 

DIY Greenies Shaped Like A Toothbrush! Improved Your Dog’s Breath And Dental Cleaning

“Greenies” are dog treats. If you are a dog owner you know this- and probably have very definite feelings about them. Dogs love them.  There was some issues with “Greenies” a few years back about their digestibility and whether or not they are “bad” for dogs.  I know MY dogs LOVE them. Like dog crack- they gobble them up. I stopped giving them to my dogs a few years back because they are pretty pricy and they never really do digest. I think you know how I know.  The benefits of GREENIES were supposed to be- improved breath and dental cleaning. They were even shaped like a toothbrush!  I always doubted the dental cleaning part- Greenies always seemed to stick to the dog’s teeth… like gummy bears. I have wanted  to make my own greenies for a while now. I knew there was no way that I would get the texture- I didn’t want to have plastic in the treat!  I knew I could get the color but also the benefits plus more benefits- and go all natural! With a real “get teeth clean” crunch I felt confident!

Franks GREEN Breath Brushes

Since I’ve been cooking so much lately, and since dog treats are my very favorite thing to bake, I went online to look for possible recipe ideas. There was one recipe floating around that made sense. It needed a few extra things so I added those. Also I wanted the treats to be something that I could roll out and shape with a cookie cutter, the other treats that I found that were breath freshening all were spoon/ or dropped treats including this one. So I added more flour to the recipe to make it roll out easily. These Breath Brushes came out pretty good!  The dogs love them and they are CUTE!  Today I give to you my version of greenies. Please give them a try! Recipe follows.

Dough and cute toothbrush cookie cutter

Geo “thinks” it might be good

Frank’s Breath Brushes

3 1/2 brown rice flour plus 2 cups more (rice flour for crunch)

1 tablespoon of activated charcoal (I opened 12 capsules for 1 tblspn.)

4Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 egg

1/2 cup packed fresh mint

1/2 cup packed fresh italian parsley

1 cup chicken broth

Liquid chlorophyll (whole foods/health food store)

Preheat over to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Combine charcoal with 3 1/2 cups brown rice flour set aside.

Put parsley, mint oil and 1/4 cup of broth or water into food processor. Process until very chopped, like pesto. Add 3-4 droppers full of chlorophyll. Pulse a few times to mix. Add this green paste to flour mixture and mix well. Beat egg lightly and mix in. Knead adding remainder of water/broth. By this time you should have a very sticky dough ball. Heavily flour the work surface and knead dough until an even green color. Divide dough into workable portions and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick, or whatever thickness  you prefer. Add flour to work surface and dough surface as needed to take away stickiness as you work. Cutout with your favorite shapes, and dock with a fork to keep puffiness down.Bake for 25 or 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I used a toothbrush shaped cutter from my favorite cookie cutter supplier Copper Gifts.   Aren’t these presh??!!

https://darlacooks.com/2012/02/21/make-greenies-for-your-dog/

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

FidoActive supply your canine companion with specially formulated supplements to make sure they don’t suffer in silence. We also understand that, as dogs get older, they tend to get more sensitive stomachs and find it harder to process harsh medicines.

That’s why FidoActive’s unique formulas are made of the highest quality, 100% natural, USA sourced ingredients, completely free of artificial flavors and colorings, providing a gentler and safer solution to their pain relief and overall wellbeing, without the additional expense and potential side effects of medicines and NSAIDs.

There is no better way to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again!

Shop now and enjoy 10% off your 1st purchase! http://www.amazon.com/Best-Glucosamine-Joint-Supplement-Dogs/dp/B00V3C2BJ2

Amazon Link – here

Learn More About FidoActive- here

Get Rid Of Dog Urine Out Of Carpet: Traditional Vs Modern Solutions

Human Foods That Dogs Can Eat

There are plenty of people foods we’d love to share with our dogs, but some are much healthier than others. In fact, some foods are even toxic to our dogs. But fear not, there are certain human snacks that can actually benefit our four-legged friends. To see what they are, check out this list!

(As always, practice moderation and check with your vet before making any dietary changes.)

#1 – Peanut Butter

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Peanut Butter is one of the best treats to give to dogs because it lasts them so long! Plus, its packed full of protein, healthy fats, niacin, vitamin B and vitamin E. Unsalted peanut butter is the best, as too much salt is just as bad for dogs as it is for people. Make sure you check your peanut butter to make sure it DOES NOT contain sugar substitutes like Xylitol, which can be deadly for dogs.

#2 – Chicken

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Chicken can be fed to our dogs a variety of ways. Cooked chicken meat is a perfectly suitable snack or meal additive, but cooked bones should never be fed to dogs. On the other hand, both raw chicken and raw chicken bones are healthy for our dogs to eat. Cooked bones splinter and can be dangerous, while raw bones are soft and chewy. 

#3 – Cheese

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(Note: some dogs are lactose intolerant, and any dairy products should be given in small amounts.) If your dog is not lactose intolerant, cheese is an excellent treat choice. Cottage cheese is fed often by many dog owners because it’s high in protein, calcium and is bland and easy to digest. 

#4 – Carrots

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Carrots are high in fiber and vitamin A while being low in calories, so they make a great snack for your pooch. Chewing raw carrots is also beneficial for your dog’s teeth. If you’ve got an overweight dog, carrots are a great choice for treats because of their low calorie content. 

#5 – Yogurt

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Yogurt is full of protein, calcium and digestive cultures and is an excellent way to improve your pup’s digestive health. Make sure the yogurt you choose includes live active cultures and is non-fat with no sweetener or flavor. 

#6 – Pumpkin

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Canned pumpkin or fresh, cooked pumpkin with no added sugars and spices is a great choice for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber.

#7 – Eggs

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Eggs can be fed raw or cooked and both have great health benefits. Raw eggs should also be fed with a shell, giving the full amount of biotin, protein, riboflavin and selenium. Cooked eggs should be prepared plain with no salt, pepper or any other seasoning.

#8 – Green Beans

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Green beans are highly recommended by veterinarians for owners looking to help their dogs loose weight. They are very high in fiber but low in calories, making them a healthy treat alternative that’s filling but won’t add any weight. 

#9 – Salmon

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Salmon is very high in health omega-3 fatty acids and is typically the fish used to make fish oils for our pets. Whether you want to give your pooch unseasoned cooked salmon or some capsules, you’ll be providing healthy vitamins for them. Do not give your dog uncooked salmon for any reason.  

#10 – Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes work similarly to pumpkin as they are high in vitamin A, fiber and other nutrients. They are easily digestible when steamed or baked, served unseasoned. 

#11 – Apples

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Sliced apples are a healthy and tasty treat for dogs that are full of phytonutrients, vitamin A and vitamin C. They can be given with the skin on, but avoid feeding the seeds as they naturally contain cyanide. 

#12 – Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is found in many dog foods and for those not sensitive to grains, it can be a healthy additive to your dog’s meal. Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, it’s an excellent source of dietary fiber.

http://iheartdogs.com/12-healthiest-human-foods-for-dogs/

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

FidoActive supply your canine companion with specially formulated supplements to make sure they don’t suffer in silence. We also understand that, as dogs get older, they tend to get more sensitive stomachs and find it harder to process harsh medicines.

That’s why FidoActive’s unique formulas are made of the highest quality, 100% natural, USA sourced ingredients, completely free of artificial flavors and colorings, providing a gentler and safer solution to their pain relief and overall wellbeing, without the additional expense and potential side effects of medicines and NSAIDs.

There is no better way to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again!

Shop now and enjoy 10% off your 1st purchase! http://www.amazon.com/Best-Glucosamine-Joint-Supplement-Dogs/dp/B00V3C2BJ2

Amazon Link – here

Learn More About FidoActive- here

Get Rid Of Dog Urine Out Of Carpet: Traditional Vs Modern Solutions

Dogs Help Improve Your Moods

Mother and daughter hugging dog

If you’ve ever owned a pet, you already know how much fun and affection they can bring. But did you know that pets also come with some pretty powerful mental and physical health benefits? Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a dog can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.

What you can do

  1. Understand the mental health benefits of sharing your life with a dog
  2. Learn how a dog can help you meet new people, get more active, and even lose weight
  3. Consider the time and money involved in owning a pet
  4. Decide on the qualities you want in an animal companion
  5. Learn where to find a dog that’s right for you
  6. Discover how you can experience the benefits of owning a pet without being a pet owner
  7. Learn more by reading the related articles

 

How can dogs help you cope with depression, anxiety, and stress?

More than any other animal, dogs have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and our behavior and emotions. While dogs are able to understand many of the words we use, they’re even better at interpreting our tone of voice, body language, and gestures. And like any good human friend, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand what you’re thinking and feeling (and to work out when the next walk or treat might be coming, of course).

While most dog owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with canine companions, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. The American Heart Association has linked the ownership of pets, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity.

Studies have also found that:

  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that dogs fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression.

 

How dogs can help you make healthy lifestyle changes

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes plays an important role in easing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

Caring for a dog can help you make healthy lifestyle changes by:
Increasing exercise. Taking a dog for a walk, hike, or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.
Providing companionship. Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life, while isolation and loneliness can trigger symptoms of depression. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail and wet kisses.
Helping you meet new people. Dogs can be a great social lubricant for their owners, helping you start and maintain new friendships. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks, hikes, or in a dog park. Dog owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Because dogs live in the moment—they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow—they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.
Adding structure and routine to your day. Dogs require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a consistent routine keeps a dog balanced and calm—and it can work for you, too. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—one plaintive look from your dog and you’ll have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. Stroking a dog lowers blood pressure and can help you quickly feel calmer and less stressed.

Get a dog, lose weight

Numerous studies have linked dog ownership to weight loss:

  • One year-long study found that walking an overweight dog helped both the animals and their owners lose weight. Researchers found that the dogs provided support in similar ways to a human exercise buddy, but with greater consistency and without any negative influence.
  • Public housing residents who walked therapy dogs for up to 20 minutes five days a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds in a year, without changing their diets.
  • A third study found that people who got a dog walked 30 minutes more a week than they did before.

Source: Harvard Health Publications

The health benefits for older adults

As well as providing vital companionship, owning a dog can play an important role in healthy aging by:

Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a dog can bring pleasure and help boost your morale, optimism, and sense of self-worth. Choosing to adopt a dog from a shelter, especially an older dog, can add to the sense of fulfillment, knowing that you’ve provided a home to a pet that may otherwise have been euthanized.

Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and relocation can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs are a great way for older adults to spark up conversations and meet new people.

Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Dogs, and to a lesser degree cats, encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Dogs and adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

As part of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients may exhibit a variety of behavioral problems, many related to an inability to deal with stress.

  • Research at the University of California at Davis concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog or cat in the home.
  • Dogs can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile dog can help soothe an Alzheimer’s patient and decrease aggressive behavior.
  • In many cases a patient’s problem behavior is a reaction to the stressed response of the primary caretaker. Pets can help ease the stress of caregivers.

The health benefits for children

Not only do children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma, many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having a dog or cat.

  • Unlike parents or teachers, pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They are always loving and their mere presence at home can help provide a sense of security in children. Having an ever-present dog can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around.
  • Having the love and companionship of a loyal dog can make a child feel important and help him or her develop a positive self-image.
  • Kids who are emotionally attached to their dog are better able to build relationships with other people.
  • Studies have also shown that dogs can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the dog and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other.

Children and adults alike can benefit from playing with dogs, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a dog can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance. Caring for a furry friend can also offer another benefit to a child: immense joy.

Children with learning disorders and other challenges

Some children with autism or other learning difficulties are better able to interact with pets than people. Autistic children often rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as dogs do. And learning to first connect with a dog may even help an autistic child in his or her interactions with people.

  • Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, making them better equipped to overcome the challenges of their disorder.
  • Playing and exercising with a dog can help a child with learning disorders stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by the learning disability.

Owning a dog is a major commitment

A dog is not a miracle cure for mental illness. Owning a dog is beneficial and comforting only for those who love and appreciate domestic animals and have the time and money to keep a dog happy and healthy. If you’re simply not a “dog person,” dog ownership is not going to provide you with any health benefits or improve your life. For some people, owning a cat requires less time and attention, and can be just as rewarding.

Even if you love dogs, it’s important to understand everything that caring for a dog entails. Owning a dog is a commitment that will last the lifetime of the animal, perhaps 10 or 15 years. And at the end of that commitment, you’ll face the grief and mourning that comes with losing a beloved companion.

Other drawbacks to owning a dog are:

Dogs require time and attention. As any dog owner will tell you, there’s nothing beneficial to your mental health about coming home to a dog who’s has been locked up in the house on his own all day long. Dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay calm and well-balanced.

Owning a dog can curb some of your social activity. A dog can only be left alone for a limited time. By training your dog, you’ll be able to take him with you to visit friends, run errands, or sit outside a coffee shop, for example, but you won’t be able to leave for a spur of the moment weekend away without arranging care for your pet first.

Dogs can be destructive. Any dog can have an occasional accident at home, especially if he’s sick or been left alone for too long, while some dogs are prone to chewing shoes or destroying cushions. Training and exercise can help eradicate negative, destructive behavior, but they remain common in dogs left alone for long periods of time.

Dogs require responsibility. Most dogs, regardless of size and breed, are capable of inflicting injury on people if not handled responsibly by their owners. Dog owners need to be alert to any danger, especially around children.

Dogs carry health risks for some people. While there are some diseases that can be transmitted from dogs to their human handlers, allergies are the most common health risk of dog ownership. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a pet allergy, carefully consider whether you can live with the symptoms before committing to dog ownership. Also consider that some friends or relatives with allergies may no longer be able to visit your home if you have a dog.

Can you afford a dog?

There’s no getting away from it: owning a dog costs money. First, there is the cost of buying the dog. Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group in the U.S. typically costs between $70 and $300, depending on the age of the animal, while buying a puppy from a breeder can cost several thousand dollars. Then there are the other costs of raising a healthy dog:

  • The ASCPA estimates that it costs between $580 and $875 per year to take care of a dog’s routine needs, depending on the size of the dog. That’s $50 to $70 per month. If you’re unemployed or elderly, on a limited fixed income, it may be a struggle to cope with the expense of pet ownership.
  • A puppy requires spaying/neutering and vaccinations, although some shelters and rescue groups include the cost of this in the adoption fee. Adult dogs usually require monthly flea and tick prevention treatments as well as vaccination boosters. Then there are food bills and the cost of a crate, bedding, food and water bowls, collar and leash, toys, grooming, licenses, treats, and boarding or pet-sitting fees.
  • When a dog gets sick, veterinary bills can mount up quickly. While certain dog breeds are more prone to specific health problems, any dog can require emergency care following an injury or illness. Whatever your intentions towards your dog when you first bring him home, he will quickly become a cherished companion. And if he becomes sick, you’re likely to do whatever it takes to bring him back to health—even going into debt.

Getting the dog that’s right for you

If you’ve decided that owning a dog is right for you, congratulations: you’re about to open your life to a unique and rewarding relationship. While people who have dogs tend to be happier, more independent, and feel more secure than those without pets, it’s important to select the type of dog that is best for your needs and lifestyle. Man’s best friend comes in countless breeds or mix of breeds, each offering a different blend of personality traits. Talk to other members of your household and agree on the qualities you want in a dog and those that you’d prefer to avoid.

Deciding on the qualities you want in a dog

If you’ve never owned a dog before, it may not be obvious what type of dog will suit your lifestyle and living arrangements. Following are some important questions:

  • Do you have an active household with young children, disabled people, or frail elderly people? If so, you’ll want a gentle dog. In an active household, avoid toy breeds; they may get trampled by youngsters and are prone to barking and biting.  Large or rambunctious dogs could accidentally knock over a small child or adult who is unsteady on his or her feet.
  • How much shedding can you tolerate, and how much grooming can you afford? Most dogs shed fur to some extent, especially dogs with double coats like chows and Akitas, which can be messy and provoke allergy attacks in some people. Some dogs, such as poodles and poodle mixes like Labradoodles, are bred to be nonshedding but may require a lot of professional grooming, so you’ll need to factor in the time and expense of owning such a dog.
  • How active do you plan to be with the dog? This is one of the most important questions you can ask about a potential dog (and yourself). If you’re not terribly active, don’t get a dog that needs a lot of exercise, such as a golden retriever or husky. On the other hand, if you’d like a dog to run with, choose an animal that can tolerate lots of exercise such as a pointer or Border collie. Inevitably, a dog that gets enough exercise will behave better in the home and be less prone to anxiety and its potentially destructive consequences.
  • Who will take care of the dog? Although children will often beg for a dog and reassure parents that they will be the primary caretakers, the responsibility typically falls to the adults in a household. (And even if a child does care for the pet, you must supervise him or her.) The bottom line: if you and your family members aren’t prepared to feed and walk a dog, you shouldn’t get one.
  • How long will the dog be alone on a daily basis? Not only do dogs need to go out to eliminate every eight hours or so (or more often than that if they’re puppies or old and sick), but they can also suffer from loneliness and anxiety if isolated. You may have to hire a dog walker or take the dog to doggie day care.
  • Do you have other animals in the home, and will they get along with your new pet? Some dogs and cats will not tolerate a new animal in the home, so be sure to assess your current pets’ predisposition to new family members before you commit.
  • Do you live in the right size and kind of home for the dog you want to acquire? Big, rowdy Labrador retrievers and hyper Border collies won’t do well in tiny apartments and need plenty of space to run and play, especially when they’re young. But size is not always a good indicator of energy level or adaptability to a small house. Many large dogs are better suited to apartment life than are the high-energy but small Jack Russell Terriers, for example.
  • Do you want a puppy or a full-grown dog? Starting from scratch with a puppy can be a tremendous joy, but also a tremendous amount of work, so you want to be sure you’ll have time to properly housebreak, socialize, and train a puppy. If you can’t deal with a puppy, a housebroken adult dog is often a better choice.

Adapted with permission from Get Healthy, Get a Dog: The health benefits of canine companionship, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publications.

Where to find the perfect dog

If you have a specific breed of dog in mind, you can look for rescue group that caters to that breed or seek out a reputable breeder. Ask for a referral from other dog owners, a veterinarian, or local breed club or rescue group, but remember: a reputable breeder will always want to meet you before selling a dog to ensure that you’ll be a suitable, responsible owner.

Of course, you can also find purebred dogs in shelters—where they’ll cost substantially less than from a breeder—as well as many different types of mixed breed dogs. Mixed breed dogs usually have fewer health problems than their purebred cousins, often have better dispositions, and tend to adapt more easily to a new home. With a purebred, though, it’s easier to know what to expect in regards to size, behavior and health—you’d need to know the different breeds in a mix to determine the same of a mutt. Of course, breed or mix of breeds doesn’t solely determine the character of a dog—much of that is down to you and the kind of home and training you provide your pet.

Shelter and rescue dogs

Whether a mixed breed or a purebred, dogs adopted from a shelter or rescue group make excellent pets. For the most part, a dog ends up in a shelter through no fault of his own. His owner may have died or moved to a place that doesn’t allow pets, or he may have simply been abandoned by irresponsible owners who bought him on a whim and later discovered they were unable or unwilling to care for him properly. If any shelter or rescue dog exhibits aggressive behavior, he is typically euthanized rather than offered for adoption.

Rescue groups try to find suitable homes for unwanted or abandoned dogs, many taken from shelters where they would otherwise have been euthanized. Volunteers usually take care of the animals until they can find a permanent home. This means that rescuers are often very familiar with a dog’s personality and can help advise you on whether the pet would be a good match for your needs. By adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue organization, you’ll not only be giving a home to a deserving pet, but you’ll also likely be saving a dog’s life.

Avoid puppies sold in pet stores or on the Internet

Pet stores that care about puppies don’t sell them. That’s because the majority of pet stores that sell puppies carry dogs from cruel and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are like dog-making factories with the mother dogs spending their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Consumers who purchase puppies from pet stores or over the Internet without seeing a breeder’s home firsthand are often unknowingly supporting this cruel industry.

Help stop this cycle of cruelty simply by choosing to adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue, or by only purchasing a dog from a responsible breeder who will show you where your puppy was born and raised.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States

Assessing a dog or puppy

There are no perfect tests to predict how a dog or puppy will adapt to your home—much of it comes down to your emotional reaction to the dog—but there are some things to look for when meeting a prospective new pet. In general, you’re looking for a friendly dog that’s interested in you and likes to be touched. If you have kids, you want a dog that is not overly sensitive to loud noises or being handled.

  • Talk to shelter staff or rescue group volunteers, anyone who has spent time with the dog and can offer insight into its personality. Many organizations have developed temperament tests for dogs to help make better matches—these may tell you how a dog is with children or other pets, for example, whether he guards his food, or is energetic and needs a lot of exercise or prefers to snuggle up with a human.
  • Remember that any dog in a shelter is likely to be stressed so may seem a little shy or scared at first. Often, a dog’s true personality won’t become apparent until he’s away from the shelter.
  • Spend time with the dog, out of his cage. Is the dog friendly and curious about you? Is he hyper or calm? Does he like to be touched and petted?
  • Take the dog for a walk to see how he reacts to other people and dogs. Play with him, ask to feed him. Does the dog seem comfortable around you and your family?
  • Even if the dog has any physical or behavioral problems, with the right care and training he can still make a wonderful pet. It’s a personal decision but it’s best to be aware of any potential difficulties before making a commitment.

Alternatives to dog ownership

If you don’t have the time, money, or stamina to own a dog full-time, there are still ways you can experience the health benefits of being around dogs. Even short periods spent with a dog can benefit both you and the animal.

  • You can ask to walk a neighbor’s dog, for example, or volunteer at an animal shelter. Most animal shelters or rescue groups welcome volunteers to help care for homeless pets or assist at adoption events. You’ll not only be helping yourself but also be helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, making them more adoptable.
  • Some animal shelters and rescue groups offer pet “rental” programs. Dogs that are available for adoption can be rented out for walks or play dates, or you can foster an animal temporarily until a permanent home can be found for him, or to decide if the dog is right for you.
  • A variety of different organizations offer specially trained therapy dogs and cats to visit children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice programs, shelters, and schools. During these visits people are invited to pet and stroke the animals, which can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/the-health-benefits-of-pets.htm

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

FidoActive supply your canine companion with specially formulated supplements to make sure they don’t suffer in silence. We also understand that, as dogs get older, they tend to get more sensitive stomachs and find it harder to process harsh medicines.

That’s why FidoActive’s unique formulas are made of the highest quality, 100% natural, USA sourced ingredients, completely free of artificial flavors and colorings, providing a gentler and safer solution to their pain relief and overall wellbeing, without the additional expense and potential side effects of medicines and NSAIDs.

There is no better way to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again!

Shop now and enjoy 10% off your 1st purchase! http://www.amazon.com/Best-Glucosamine-Joint-Supplement-Dogs/dp/B00V3C2BJ2

Amazon Link – here

Learn More About FidoActive- here

Get Rid Of Dog Urine Out Of Carpet: Traditional Vs Modern Solutions

National Pet Travel Safety Day

Traveling with our furry friends can be a fun experience but it can also be stressful and dangerous, so here are some top tips to act as a reminder and ensure safe travels for both you and your canine companions.

Expect the Unexpected

You may be one of the lucky people that have never had a car accident but please still read on, as most people will have a couple of scrapes at some point in their lives.  No matter how good a driver you are, you can’t always foresee hazards on the road, whether that be black ice, an animal or person running out in front of you or other irresponsible drivers on the road.

Even stopping suddenly at 10 M.P.H. your beloved pet is at risk of injury, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are a number of easy and inexpensive precautions to significantly reduce the risks and help keep both you and your furry traveling companion safe.

Top 10 Tips for Safe & Happy Canine Car Journeys

#1 Don’t let your dog roam around the inside of the car. They can impede your driving and distract you – just like kids! If you have to stop or swerve suddenly they can immediately become a high velocity projectile (just like a bullet from a gun!) and thrown into the dashboard, windshield, the back of a seat or the head of the person in front. At the very least your pet will suffer emotional distress, worsened by cuts, bruises and broken bones from blunt force trauma.

#2 Never let them sit in your lap or on the edge of your set next to an open window. Not only does this impede your driving, if you stop short or have a head-on impact, they can be crushed between you and the steering wheel, injured by airbags or ejected from the car into moving traffic.

#3 Don’t let your dog roam unsecured in the back of a truck. Secure a crate to the bed of the truck and keep your dog inside of it. The risks posed to those furry friends are 100 times greater than those loose inside of a vehicle.

#4 Dogs should stay restrained in the backseat or cargo area of your vehicle.  A metal separator is not enough to keep your pet safe; that really only prevents them from jumping into the seat in front and hitting the dashboard in a sudden stop or accident. It won’t prevent injury if your vehicle rolls or is impacted and if the window is open in their space, they can still be ejected.

There are many good safety harnesses and crates available today which prevent this kind of injury to your pets.

Safety Harnesses – These come in a range of price and quality but try to invest in one that is sturdy, padded for comfort and designed for automobile use. And remember to use it on even the shortest of journeys as, sadly, most accidents occur close to home. The harness should be on a short enough tether to anchor them in the event of an accident or sudden stop, but long enough to allow your dog room to stand up, turn around, move a bit from side to side and lay down when they want.

Crates – Many dogs, especially nervous or new travelers are often more at ease in crates. Buy the sturdiest crate you can, preferably crash-tested and approved. Place it in the car with the long side against the seat back, to avoid extreme impact on one part- possibly the head- of the animal in case of a crash. Then secure it not only with the seatbelt but also with a couple of wide, heavy-duty luggage straps. You might have a mechanic install anchors for these.

In the case of small dogs, placing the crate behind the front seats on the floor is reasonably safe but somehow anchoring it there is even better. This may require having bolts put in the car specifically for this purpose, like you would in the back of a truck.

Finally, fit it with their favorite blanket (plus favorite toy) so it feels more like home.

#5 Opening car windows is great for ventilation and feeling the wind through their fur but make sure your pooch can’t jump out if they see something they’d like to chase.

Avoid letting your dog stick their head or paws out of the car. Just like humans on a motorcycle, their    head and eyes exposed to high speeds and wind without protection are at risk to dangerous highway debris or obstacles. Remind yourself of a time when a stone was kicked up from the road and hit your windscreen, when a bush or tree branch scratched the side of your car, when you’ve had to pass a wide truck and only had a hair’s breadth between your wing mirrors, or when a motorcyclist has come speeding up between you and the other lane… then imagine your beloved pet’s face sticking out and being hit by one of those things… Seriously, I know it makes for a great photo but your beloved pet doesn’t know the dangers – they rely on you to keep them safe and it’s just not worth the risk.

dog

So, keep the air conditioning on, or just crack the windows, to let the air flow instead and let your dog get some fresh air on your regular pit stops – store up the fun for your vacation together!

#6 Keep their collar and tags on. It might seem more comfortable for your pup to have his collar off in the car, Keep their collar and tags on. It might seem more comfortable for your pup to have his collar off in the car, but if you crash and your dog panics, he may run away. Not everyone checks for microchips, so that little tag is still the best way to ensure their safe return.

#7 For longer car rides, remember your pup needs food, water and breaks too. Feed your dog a small meal a few hours before your trip, then make regular stops for water/food every hour or two, or when Fido gets overly restless; this will give you both a chance to stretch your legs. When travelling in high temperatures, you’ll need to stop more often, about every 30 minutes to offer your pooch water. These breaks are especially important if it’s your pet’s first car trip, or they don’t like cars because a stressed and nervous dog runs a higher risk of dehydration than a calm pet.

#8 Not all dogs like the car; some associate it with trips to the vet or groomer and others are simply of a nervous disposition. Newly adopted pets may become car sick or nervous due to a previous unknown trauma. Exercise them prior to the journey, so they get rid of excess energy and are ready for a rest.

Have a batch of specific treats your pooch really loves and use them ONLY for car journeys, so that it builds a positive association with the car.

Weather permitting, rolling down the window a little closest to your dog will help distract them by smelling the air around them and also assists with limiting nausea. Better still, for their first journey, get another person to hold and comfort them, especially if they’re not in a secured crate.

Nervous dogs often prefer being enclosed in a crate as it feels like a den and covering it with a dark blanket reduces the motion they can see through the windows and makes them feel more snug, safe & secure.

#9 If you can’t afford a safety harness or crate, you can always loop a strong, thick leash through the seatbelt to restrict your dog from moving around and while it may not be 100% effective, it lessens the risk significantly and something is better than nothing!

#10 Put down a towel or sheet on your back seat, to protect it from muddy paws, hair and toenail snagging. Also, if your dog is prone to car sickness, you won’t be distracted or worried if they vomit and you can just pull over at your earliest opportunity.

Flying With Your Furry Friend?

  • Learn the airline’s pet policy. There are often fees associated with flying your pup and certain breeds are almost never allowed to fly or only allowed to fly seasonally. Some airlines have a strict ‘No canine passengers’ policy.
  • The ideal is to travel with your pet in the cabin but if your furry friend won’t fit under your seat, a crate is be the best option. But make sure you select a specially approved travel carrier to ensure your best friend’s safety and comfort. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around comfortably.
  • Prepare your dog for hours alone in a crate. Practise with your dog and the crate several weeks before the flight date, so that they associate their crate with positive experiences and seem happy to spend some time in their crate alone with you nearby. Leave the crate out in your home with the door open and with their usual comfortable bedding and favorite toy in it. Feed your dog with the crate door open and work your way up to feeding with the door closed. Keep the same blanket & toy in the crate, to provide warmth and comfort for the duration of the flight.
  • If your pooch has to be checked into the belly of the plane, consider freezing a bowl of water. This way, it won’t spill when you’re transporting it, but will have melted by the time the dog gets thirsty. It’s also worth taping a small pouch, preferably made of cloth, of dried food outside the crate, so that airline personnel will be able to feed your pet in case he gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.

 

Camping

  • Camping is one of the most popular vacation activities for furry families but don’t let your pooch run loose unsupervised. With so many new smells to explore in the great outdoors, it can be exciting for a dog, but there are also dangers to be aware of, from wild animals to poisonous plants. So keep your dog on a leash during a camping trip.
  • Stay close at night. Though it may not be appealing to have a dirty pup that’s been playing in the woods all day asleep beside you, a dog tied up outside risks weather and wild animal hazards (for you both.!), so keep them in the tent, cabin or RV with you.

 

Hotels /Lodgings

  • Check the hotel/motel policy on pets before booking. If you are bringing your dog to a hotel, do some planning. Nothing is worse than trying to check into a hotel after an exhausting journey, only to discover that your extra-large pooch does not meet their size or breed restrictions.
  • Bring your dog’s crate or a dog bed from home if it’s practical, as it will be familiar to your dog and will help make them feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. By having a crate, your dog has a piece of home, and a place to stay when you aren’t in the room. Make sure to train your dog before the trip, so it will be used to the crate.
  • If your dog is allowed to stay at a hotel, respect other guests, staff and the property. I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone loves dogs!
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible and do not leave them unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
  • Ask the management where you should walk your dog and ensure you pick up their poop.
  • Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may result in the hotel management asking them to leave and potentially refuse to allow any dogs in the future. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds as you found them.

 

Health and Safety

  • Bring your dog to the vet’s for a check up before going on an extended trip. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and bring the shot records with you. Health certifications are required for airline travel.
  • To keep your dog healthy as you travel and help get them settled in to unfamiliar surroundings, bring along a supply of his regular food and treats. Be sure to bring any medications he needs and usual supplements to keep them in tip top condition.

 

Identification

In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of a safe and swift recovery by making sure they can be properly identified:

  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog’s name, your name, and your
  • telephone number, as well as proof of rabies shots. Remember to attach a temporary tag with details of your vacation address and contact number too.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip.
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.

Additional Things to Pack

  • Paper towels,stain and odor remover and anything else you need to clean up after any accidents
  • Plenty of poop bags
  • A bowl, plenty of water, and some treats
  • Seat covers (an old towel or blanket with plastic bags underneath works) if you want to protect your car from stains, hair and toenail scratches.
  • Make sure you have at least 3 days’ worth of food and any medication your pet needs, a warm blanket, towels, a pet first-aid kit and toys, in case you get stuck on the road due to adverse weather, major traffic incidents or if your vehicle breaks down.

 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions happy travels always!

The FidoActive Team

 

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

FidoActive supply your canine companion with specially formulated supplements to make sure they don’t suffer in silence. We also understand that, as dogs get older, they tend to get more sensitive stomachs and find it harder to process harsh medicines.

That’s why FidoActive’s unique formulas are made of the highest quality, 100% natural, USA sourced ingredients, completely free of artificial flavors and colorings, providing a gentler and safer solution to their pain relief and overall wellbeing, without the additional expense and potential side effects of medicines and NSAIDs.

There is no better way to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again!

Shop now and enjoy 10% off your 1st purchase! http://www.amazon.com/Best-Glucosamine-Joint-Supplement-Dogs/dp/B00V3C2BJ2

Amazon Link – here

Learn More About FidoActive- here

Get Rid Of Dog Urine Out Of Carpet: Traditional Vs Modern Solutions