Consider Fostering a Senior Dog

dog fostering HelpEmUpAs the holidays are upon us, we often think about those who may be less fortunate, out in the cold, need a warm meal or just a little help.  Many people “adopt a family” through their church or a charitable group, providing the family with some basics and much-needed help.

It’s also important to consider this for animals.  If you have the chance or means, please consider fostering a dog.  Many pets have been relocated because of the floods and hurricanes we experienced earlier in the year and now find themselves in shelters through no fault of their own. This is particularly true for senior dogs who are less desirable than puppies. Rescue groups are in desperate need of foster parents who can provide temporary homes until a “forever” home can be located.

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Be Careful of the Bones You Give Your Dog

As you go through the pet department and see all the treats and bones, you may be tempted to buy some for your dog. Different vets have differing opinions on feeding your dog bones, but we all know that most dogs love bones. There are a lot of misconceptions about dog bones so it is important to know the facts versus myths.

If you are going to give your dog a bone, it’s very important to your dog’s health to give him the right type of bone. First let’s discuss the pros and cons.

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Tips For Staying In a Hotel With Your Dog

Many of us will be hitting the road for the holidays with our dogs in tow. After all, our dogs are part of the family and many of us wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind. With the hustle and bustle of car rides, check in and unfamiliar places, HelpEmUp offers these tips for a safe and serene adventure:

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Is Your Senior Dog Overweight?

The statistics are startling … over half of all American dogs are overweight or obese. That’s 35 million dogs! That goes right along with three out of every four Americans are overweight.

Unfortunately, if you’re in this group, you could be cutting your own life and your dog’s life short.

According to PetMd, obesity is common in dogs of all ages, but it usually occurs in middle-aged dogs, and generally in those that are between the ages of 5 and 10. Neutered and indoor dogs also tend to have a higher risk of becoming obese.

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Why Puppies Aren’t For Everyone

Who doesn’t love a puppy? They are cute, adorable and full of fun. You can’t help but smile when a puppy is around, complete with adoring eyes that follow you everywhere you go. Their faces are so sweet!

However, puppies are not for everyone. This true story tells the tale of how a puppy can be a disaster if placed in the wrong hands.

My mother-in-law is 84 years old and lives on her own in a senior community in California. She is in relatively good health but has a bad back and mobility issues. Six months ago she lost her beloved labradoodle Hannah and was devastated. As she has had dogs ever since she was a child, she decided she was ready for another dog.

I encouraged her to get a senior dog, one that was already trained. However, she was insistent the dog be a labradoodle. I called animal shelters and rescue groups throughout California and was told these dogs are rarely abandoned because they are “designer dogs”. Instead, she decided to get a puppy who was lovingly delivered to her at 12-weeks-old.

My mother-in-law has brand new white carpeting and a white couch. She was having trouble housebreaking the dog because ”stern” is just not in her personality at this age. Even though she could give us the “stink eye” over the years, the dog did not respond to this type of discipline. It’s now been 4 months and “Lucy” is still pooping all over the house. “What are you going to do?” I ask her. “No worries”, she says. “I’ll just buy new carpeting.”  “I leave the patio door open every night with the light on in hopes she’ll go outside on my patio.”

Does she think there are no burglars? She leaves the lights on – might as well invite the thieves in for a cup of coffee!

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Preparing Your Senior Dog to the Vet

Many of us fear going to the doctor or dentist. The office can have an antiseptic smell and we often associate the visit with shots.

It’s no different for dogs. Although taking them to the vet is essential for their health and well-being, a visit can be distressing for our canine companions. Not only will they encounter hundreds of new smells, slippery floors, and strange people, but they may also hear barking dogs, meowing cats, and strange voices. The experience may be overwhelming for even the most mellow dog.

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Choosing the Right Vet For Your Senior Dog

After you and your family, one of the most important individuals in your dog’s life will be his/her vet.  He will be the one helping you with your dog’s nutrition, health and care. As many of us have senior dogs, there needs can be quite different than puppies or even middle-aged dogs. Therefore, it is important to choose a veterinarian wisely.

Get a Reference
The best place to start is with your friends and family, local rescues or shelters, groomers, dog trainers or pet sitters, particularly if they live in your neighborhood and feel the same way about your pet as you do. The worse time to introduce your dog to a new vet is when he’s not feeling well. Consider making a “get to know you” appointment so you can see if it is a good fit.

Friendliness
Just like children and doctors, many dogs and cats are afraid to go to the vet. Was the front desk staff nice? Is the vet calm with a good bedside manner? Is it fairly easy to get an appointment if there is an emergency? A full waiting room can be good, because that means your vet is well liked. However, no one wants to wait an hour before even being seen! Continue reading