5 Tips For Adopting a Puppy
Founded in 2006 by pet lifestyle expert, animal behaviorist, and author, Colleen Paige, National Puppy Day is dedicated to bringing the acre and protection of puppies into focus. This year, National Puppy Day falls on March 23. Consequently, this day and month leads to many adoption fairs. Of course, one of the biggest concern regarding puppies is the illegal operation of puppy mills. One important way to put a stop to puppy mills is to never buy a puppy. Rather anyone who would like to give a puppy a home should go to their nearest animal shelter and adopt. Keep in mind, too many animal shelters are not no-kill, meaning they do, in fact, euthanize their dogs that are not adopted.
The non-profit organization Found Animals does a wonderful job of fostering awareness, and aims to reduce the euthanasia rate of pets in animal shelters by taking them from shelters and adopting them out to loving pet parents. The organization has been finding homes for pets since 2005. If you are thinking about adopting a puppy this month, check out these tips from Executive Director Aimee Gilbreath:
1. Understand the Benefits of Adopting a Puppy While it is easy to melt at the sight of an adorable puppy, the first thing to understand is that your new furry friend will require a lot of time, energy and patience. With that in mind, puppies (and pets in general) can be amazing companions that give unconditional love to their owners. They often times become part of the family and their unique personalities are something to marvel at. Be prepared to fall in love.
2. Find Your Puppy With so many ways and places to look for a puppy the options can be overwhelming. Petfinder (petfinder.com) is a great place to start. This online database features over 300,000 adoptable pets from 13,477 adoption groups across the country. All of these groups offer pets that have been properly vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped, and ready to go.
3. Choose the Right Puppy for You The real key to finding the right match is making sure that you bond with the puppy and his/her unique personality. Energy level is another important factor to consider. Remember that this is a long-term commitment, so don’t rush it. Be sure to introduce everyone in your household to your potential new friend before making your final decision.
4. Understand Your New Companion Every animal has just as much unique diversity as a human, which at times may mean troublesome behaviors but that is just their way of communicating their needs. Once those needs are understood and met, you will quickly re-establish harmony with your puppy and get back to enjoying their cute and lovable ways. Puppies especially have lots of energy and a need to play. Providing them with toys and other pets to play with is a simple way to meet their natural need to socialize, run and have fun.
5. Keep Your Puppy Healthy and Safe Now that you have selected your new puppy, it is important to keep them healthy and safe. Make sure to provide your puppy with regular veterinary checkups to ensure that they are always up to date on their vaccinations. Try and keep your dog in a closed off area, provide them with an I.D. tag and if possible, microchip them to ensure they are never lost for good. A microchip is a device that is about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique serial number that can be linked to your name and contact information through a microchip registry database. It is permanent and one of the best ways to prevent your pet from getting lost and ending up in an animal shelter. Now that you have them, you want to make sure to keep them!
4 Compelling Reasons Fluffy Cats Are The Best
Everyone should love cats. There is something about them that brings a sense of comfort, and there will never be a moment on this Earth without at least one cat in someones life — not if it can be helped anyway. There is a special love for one certain feature. It’s not their eyes or coat color, but the amount of fluff their fur has. I love long-haired, fluffy, soft, and fuzzy cats, and I think there needs to be more of them in everyone’s lives. There is just something about the fluffy cats that gives them a little bit of an edge over their shorter-haired friends.
1. They make great pillows Everyone loves a good pillow, right? Well, fluffy cats are like the best pillow ever. Their fur is soft on your face and doesn’t mess up your hair. If you have a cat that you’re close with and you can lay your head for a moment on their side without them batting you with their paw, you have it made. My late cat Puff used to let me use him gently as a pillow, and I miss that so much. While short-haired cats can also be used as a pillow, the less fluff means a little less softness.
2. You get to shout out fun catchphrases There is something just awesome about shouting a fun catchphrase at your cat like “It’s so fluffy!” from the movie Despicable Me — it just always makes me smile. When I see Ariel cleaning her gorgeously fluffy fur, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind. There are many fun things you can say about a fluffy cat (I mean, even saying the word “fluffy” is fun) that you can’t quite say for a short-haired cat.
3. Brushing them is therapeutic According to the ASPCA, if you have a cat with long hair, you should make time to brush them every day. While that seems like quite the chore, for me it’s the opposite. It’s an excuse to sit down and cuddle with your cat, and I find it to be quite calming and therapeutic. Sure, short-haired cats need to be brushed as well, but not as often at only once per week.
4. They garner a lot of attention If you’re looking at images of cats on the internet, and let’s face it — we all do, there are some cats that always seem to get our attention above the others. For me, those cats have very fluffy fur, and I have a feeling they get your attention quickly too. Short-haired cats are absolutely crazy beautiful too, but that fluffy fur does something to all of us and it gets our attention fast.
Ways To Build Confidence In Your Shy Or Fearful Dog
Having a shy or fearful dog can be troublesome, not only because you feel for the dog, but because a truly fearful dog can act out and bite out of fear. Shy or fearful dogs might also urinate or exhibit other unwelcome behaviors. But there are things that you can do to help your dog overcome shyness and fear, and that can really create amazing changes in your pet.
Control the Environment: One of the easiest things you can do is control the environment so that your dog is not faced with things that makes him or her fearful. For example, crating your dog when strangers come over or avoiding loud crowds will help. However, this will not work to proactively reduce fear in your dog. Nor can you avoid everything that makes your dog afraid. That is where training comes in.
Desensitization: You can work to desensitize your dog to scary situations through training. This involves exposing your dog to the things that makes him or her nervous at a low level and feeding treats until the scary situation goes away or your dog adapts to it. For example, a dog that is afraid of strangers could be fed treats while a stranger is nearby, but not close enough to cause a full blown reaction in the dog. Have the stranger move away and quit feeding. Repeat this with the person coming a bit closer each time.
Using Agility and Other Canine Sports to build Confidence: The most successful method is doing agility. For a dog that just generally lacks confidence overall, agility is wonderful. Through agility, you and your dog not only learn some great communication skills, but your dog also is faced with multiple challenges to learn and overcome. Through doing so, the dog gains confidence and gets rewarded both for attempting to try difficult things and for successes. Learning to navigate a tall dog walk and learning or go over a teeter-totter shows dogs that they can face fears and overcome them. That in turn gives them more confidence in future new situations. Aside from agility, other canine sports can help your dog gain confidence.