Adding a four-legged friend to the family is no small decision, and it’s easy to get distracted by sweet eyes pleading to be taken home. Becoming a dog parent is a major commitment, so it’s important to do your research and make well-informed choices before deciding on a new dog. Take smarter steps to bring your new fur-baby home with these tips.
How to Find the Right Dog for Your Family
(Family Features) Adding a four-legged friend to the family is no small decision, and it’s easy to get distracted by sweet eyes pleading to be taken home. Becoming a dog parent is a major commitment, so it’s important to do your research and make well-informed choices before deciding on a new dog.
No matter what stage of acquiring a dog you’re in, educate yourself about your options. A resource like Be Dog Smart, an online tool designed to guide consumers through the process of looking for a dog, can help you every step of the way, regardless of whether you’re considering getting a dog from a professional breeder, pet store, friend, family member or adopting from a shelter or rescue.
By asking the right questions, researching credible sources and requesting transparency from those who provide companion animals, you can rest assured you are taking the right steps to bring home a new furry family member.
Take smarter steps to bring your new fur-baby home with these tips from the Pet Leadership Council, the creators of the Be Dog Smart initiative:
For additional tips and to learn more, visit BeDogSmart.org.SOURCE:
Pet Leadership Council
From reducing loneliness to keeping people more active, the perks of pet ownership can be felt both physically and emotionally, and are nearly impossible to quantify. Plus, adopting a pet can be a feel-good experience, because you’re not only getting a new best friend, you’re helping an animal in need find a loving forever home. Consider some of these ways adopting a pet can improve overall well-being.
4 Ways Pets Improve Overall Well-Being
(Family Features) Self-care is an important piece of maintaining a happy and healthy life, and adopting a pet can be a beneficial way to improve overall well-being in a number of ways.
From reducing loneliness to keeping people more active, the perks of pet ownership can be felt both physically and emotionally, and are nearly impossible to quantify. Plus, adopting a pet can be a feel-good experience, because you’re not only getting a new best friend, you’re helping an animal in need find a loving forever home.
Consider some of these ways adopting a pet can improve overall well-being. For more information on the benefits of pet adoption, visit Pedigree.com.
Pets Increase Physical Activity
Pets Reduce Feelings of Isolation
Pets Encourage Relationship Building
Pets Help with Stress Reduction
Summer social gatherings and celebrations involving fireworks can add up to a lot of fun for humans, but it’s an equation that may test the limits for a fearful pet. The break in day-to-day consistency and the chaos that comes with festivities can cause pets to escape in search of solace, which often times results in them leaving their loved ones behind. These tips can help prevent your pet from running off.
Prevent Pets from Fleeing in Fright
(Family Features) Summer social gatherings and celebrations involving fireworks can add up to a lot of fun for humans, but it’s an equation that may test the limits for a fearful pet. The break in day-to-day consistency and the chaos that comes with festivities can cause pets to escape in search of solace, which often times results in them leaving their loved ones behind.
“During the summer months, we tend to take a step away from our usual routines and that can be very unsettling for a pet,” said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, president of PetSmart Charities. “While July 5 is known as a day of high intake for local animal welfare organizations due to the noise and chaos associated with the Fourth of July holiday, even small barbecues and other summer events can cause distress that results in a pet fleeing for perceived safety.”
In honor of National Pet Loss Prevention Month, the experts from PetSmart Charities recommend these tips to prevent your pet from running off.
Practice effective “stay” techniques with your pet: Pets and pet parents who participate in behavioral training courses can learn effective ways to communicate during times of leisure or stress. Knowing simple commands like “stop,” “sit” or “stay” can help prevent a pet from running away.
Ensure your pet has proper identification: Microchips are a great way to ensure your pet is armed with the proper identification. To help decrease the number of pets that enter shelters each year across North America, PetSmart Charities supports low-cost microchipping programs in local communities. Whether you use tags, embroidered collars or microchips, make sure you update the information provided at least once a year to ensure the latest contact information is available to those who may find your pet.
Secure your pet’s surroundings: To prevent your pet from running away, provide a comfortable, yet contained environment that he or she may safely explore. This could include a fenced-in backyard during a family barbecue, the use of a leash at a local parade or access to favorite toys for a soothing escape. Don’t forget an ample supply of shade and water to help your pet stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat.
Inquire about calming solutions: Just like pet parents, pets can become sensitive to unexpected events and develop anxiety over time. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to destructive behavior, excessive barking or panting despite lack of exertion. If your pet is exhibiting extreme behavior, ask a veterinarian if calming solutions are a fit ahead of a large gathering.
Know how to handle a lost pet: If you see a lost pet, check his or her tags and contact the pet parent. If the pet shies away from contact, reach out to your local animal control department for assistance. If you lose a pet, contact your local animal control department or your neighborhood shelter to request assistance.
For more information about helping local pets in need, visit petsmartcharities.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Shelter volunteers deserve recognition for the vital contributions they make to transform the lives of shelter pets and the people who adopt them. For this reason, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program launched its second-annual Hill’s Shelter Heroes Contest. While each of the five winners have a unique story, they share a common bond through their passion for helping animals in need.
(BPT) - Approximately 6.5 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This massive number underscores the need for volunteers to provide the necessary care to ensure as many pets as possible can be placed in permanent, loving homes. In fact, most shelters would not be able to stay open without the generosity of volunteers.
From walking, feeding and bathing pets, to helping maintain shelter facilities and staffing fundraising events, volunteers are the true backbone of shelters who work tirelessly to promote the welfare of the animals in their care.
Shelter volunteers deserve recognition for the vital contributions they make to transform the lives of shelter pets and the people who adopt them. For this reason, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program launched its second-annual Hill’s Shelter Heroes Contest.
While each of the five winners have a unique story, they share a common bond through their passion for helping animals in need.
1. Tammie Lohnes, Kansas Humane Society: Tammie’s love for animals has kept her at Kansas Humane Society for more than 15 years. She has worked across numerous positions and is now serving as a mentor to all new volunteers and staff members.
2. Dot, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control: Dot has volunteered at Fort Wayne for more than 12 years and consistently puts pets’ needs above her own. In the words of her colleagues, “What doesn’t Dot do for the shelter?”
3. Barbara Comarda, Louisiana SPCA: Following Hurricane Katrina, Barbara drove cross-country multiple times to find good homes for pets that were affected. She has volunteered more than 10,000 hours during her 11 years at the Louisiana SPCA.
4. Mark Imhof, Animal Care Centers of NYC: Mark volunteers at two locations, multiple times a week, and is dedicated to increasing pets’ adoption chances.
5. Janie Stowell, Spokane Humane Society: Janie has helped the most vulnerable pets find happiness, and has donated more than 8,500 hours (and counting) to help animals in need.
To learn more about Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program, visit www.hillspet.com/shelter. The program has provided more than $280 million worth of food to more than 1,000 shelters since 2002. To learn more about volunteering at a local shelter to make a difference for animals in need, visit www.humanesociety.org/community/volunteers.
Older animals can be just as cute and lovable as their younger counterparts. In fact, they often come with many wonderful qualities that take years to develop in younger animals. Here are a few benefits to consider as you're looking for a forever friend.
(BPT) - Every day, in shelters all across the country, senior animals are passed over by prospective pet owners. Why? Some people are looking for the energy of a new puppy or feel older dogs offer families too little time. But the truth is, providing a new home for an older animal may bring you a level of companionship you never imagined.
"Any shelter worker will tell you, puppies and kittens get adopted first and older shelter pets have a higher likelihood of being euthanized," says Andrea Arden, a dog trainer who's been featured on Animal Planet and the Today Show, and spokeswoman for Tractor Supply Company's Pet Appreciation Week. "But if you're considering adoption, there are great reasons to choose a more mature pet."
Older animals can be just as cute and lovable as their younger counterparts. In fact, they often come with many wonderful qualities that take years to develop in younger animals.
Here are a few benefits to consider as you're looking for a forever friend:
Saving a life
It's no secret that senior pets are at a disadvantage in shelters. Not only do they have a lower likelihood of adoption, they are also more prone to depression and confusion as a result of their new environment. Consider how they got there; more often than not, a senior animal ends up in a shelter due to owner surrender. It could be an older owner's declining health, an unforeseen move or a sudden change in financial situation. Still, these are wonderful, loving animals that simply had no place to go. By choosing to adopt a senior pet, you're providing a second chance at life and, with that, can come a lot of fulfillment.
Say so long to training
Lucky for you, the majority of senior animals have already learned the fundamentals - everything from toilet training to various commands to leash walking. Not having to spend weeks and weeks on training can be a valuable perk of adopting a senior pet.
Age is but a number
However, should you want to teach an older dog a new trick, you're in luck. Animals can be trained at any age; in fact, more mature animals may have a longer attention span, so you may actually find it easier to teach your senior pet something new.
What you see is what you get
Adopting an older pet means its size and temperament are established, increasing your chance of finding the perfect companion for your household. Have a cat? No problem, many senior dogs have already lived in a home with felines.
Lots of love, less destruction
Senior pets are typically well past the search-and-destroy phase, minimizing the possibility of unwanted accidents and bad behavior.
Something for everyone
The mellow disposition of a senior animal makes them a great companion for people of all ages. Their lower energy level is often a perfect fit for the elderly, while their calm presence can be great for families with children.
Wonderful years ahead
Arden urges pet parents not to let the shorter lifespan of an older pet keep you from adopting one. Depending on the breed, a dog of 7 or 8 years may have at least as many good years left ahead, and most breeds of domestic cats can easily live to be 15 or older. It's also important to note that while veterinary attention and medication are needed for animals of all ages, old age doesn't necessarily mean higher costs.
"You wouldn't avoid making a human friendship just because the new person in your life is mature," Arden says. "When you adopt an older animal, you can still have plenty of time to enjoy their companionship. Because they're older, you'll be inspired to make every moment with them as loving and rewarding as possible."
Preparing for senior pets
Good nutrition and regular veterinary checkups are important for all pets, especially seniors. Look for a specialized food, such as 4health Premium Pet Food, to ensure your pet is receiving the vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. You can also find walk-in PetVet Clinics at Tractor Supply stores where you can save as much as 70 percent off the cost of yearly vaccinations, microchipping and other preventative treatment options.
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