Halloween is a spooky holiday, full of children screaming “trick or treat”, strange noises and dog owners who want their pets to dress up. Chances are if you have a senior dog, he’s way over the whole dress up thing.
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!
As our kids head back-to-school, they may encounter some unfamiliar dogs along the way. It’s important that kids know how to approach a strange dog correctly and react appropriately if the dog shows any sign of aggression. This quiz is critical to prevent dog bites!
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.
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.
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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.
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
>Summertime can mean visits to the pool or lake, family and friend barbeques, and a more relaxed atmosphere overall. The kids are generally out of school, so the early morning hustle and bustle to get out the door and the late night homework assignments don’t re-start until mid-August.
If you’re like me, your meals are lighter in the summer. Why? Because it’s often too hot to cook or eat a heavy meal. The good news? Not only do I get more exercise in the summer, but I eat better — fruits and vegetables galore.
Many fruits and vegetables are low in calorie and provide vital vitamins that your body craves. Did you know that many of these are good for your dog as well?
Chances are the first thing you do when you enter your car during the summer is turn the air conditioner on full blast. Otherwise it’s an oven!
A recent study found that 62% of dog owners say they would never leave their pets alone in a car on a warm day. That means 39% would!
Every year, too many dogs suffer and die when their owners make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car—even for “just a minute”. If the temperature outside is 78 degrees, that means the inside of the car is between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes! If the temperature is 90 degrees outside it can be a staggering 160 degrees in the car.
At these temperatures, a dog can suffer from brain damage and heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Why? Because dogs have a harder time sweating than humans because they can only sweat through their paws.
Summertime means barbeques, trips to the pool or lake, and plenty of family and friend time. As summer temperatures begin to soar, there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool or lake. Because your dogs go most of the places you probably go, it’s important for you to know whether they can swim or not.
Some dogs LOVE to swim, for others it’s a learned behavior, and still others will NEVER want to swim. Just because their breed is identified as one that loves to swim, never assume your dog knows how to swim. Never toss a puppy or newly adopted dog into a lake or pool unless you are there to save him in case he panics or gets tired. This could traumatize the dog and lead to a quick end to your water sports!
When you were a kid did you have siblings? Inevitably you probably fought with them. Maybe you both fought for your parent’s attention. Or possibly one of you was bigger and beat up on the littler one.
In both humans and dogs this is caused sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry occurs when two dogs living in the same household fight repeatedly and aggressively. It may start with snarls or growls, but can then progress to vicious, prolonged fights. We are not talking here about short arguments. Sibling rivalry that is disruptive to your household or to the lives of your dogs is when the problem needs to be addressed.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year with one in five requiring medical attention. We’ve all read stories where people are disfigured or even killed by a dog attack which is tragic.
In fact, more than 6,500 mailmen are bitten by dogs each year! No wonder they are afraid to get out of their trucks.
Children are the most likely victims, often bitten by a dog in their own home or a friend’s home. Children (particularly boys ages 5 – 9) are three times more likely than adults to be seriously bitten (mainly in the face or neck), because kids are around the same height as a dog and because they can crawl into small, low places where dogs can reach. Unfortunately, 50% of children will be bitten by a dog before their 12th birthday. Men are also more prone to dog bites than women.
In addition to being physically and emotionally scarring, dog bites can be costly as well. State Farm Insurance, paid nearly $1 billion in accident-related claims involving a dog over the last decade.