Are you ready for a Puppy?

Penny Eim from the Tacoma Dog Examiner provides helpful questions you should ask yourself before owning a puppy.

Being prepared means more than having a collar, leash, crate and bowls. New owners need to consider all aspects before diving into the puppy process. These sweet babies need an owner who is dedicated to starting things off on the right foot. Teaching good manners (no biting, chewing, jumping), working on potty training and crate training from day one, and looking ahead to the needs of an adolescent and adult dog.

Puppy ownership is DOG ownership and the faint of heart should not jump in on a whim (especially if motivated by the pleading of their children) especially if they aren’t willing to see ownership through the lifetime of the dog. Nothing is worse than bringing a puppy home and then turning your back on your responsibilities after several weeks or months because it’s just “too hard”. Worse yet, making it through the cute puppy months and rehoming (or taking to a shelter) when the sweet puppy breath smell has faded and the gangly pup or rambunctioius adolescent dog’s sweet looks have faded and it’s harder to find them a quality home.

So, what should you expect with a new baby? Expect to get up during the night to attend to potty needs (probably every 2-3 hrs for a 8-12 wk old pup), expect to keep the puppy on a lead during this time or resign yourself to cleaning up random messes if you don’t make it outside in time (it takes up to 6 months to fully potty train a puppy due to their bladder size), expect to listen to crying when the puppy is away from you. Dogs are pack animals and want to be WITH their people, so if you are away from them, most likely they will cry. There will be an acclimation period as your puppy learns to use his/her crate.

Be committed to finding a puppy training class to start your dog off on the right foot for learning good obedience and manners. Studies show that puppies’ brains are 80% developed by the young age of 16 wks. So, you need to start early! Be committed to socializing your puppy to avoid fear issues in the months to come.

If this is your first puppy (dog) ever, expect to adjust your schedule. If you are used to taking off for extended weekends or even long nights out on the town, you should realize that a puppy (soon to be a dog) has needs that must be considered first. If you take the step to adopt, or buy, a puppy, don’t resent that puppy when you are inconvenienced down the road.

On the upside, puppies are beyond adorable. Puppies are snuggly, fun and unconditionally loving. Puppies are a great tool to teach responsibility to children and a wonderful way to share your love. Just remember that it’s not a commitment to take on lightly.

Original Article

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

March 9, 2009. pet dreams, Training. 1 comment.

Amazing Pets and their stories…

Whoa, Girl

Halfway through my first pregnancy, I was riding Ruby along a trail in the Pennsylvania countryside, about three miles from home. We waded into a pond so she could take a drink. On the way out, she slipped, and the two of us slid backward into the water. Ruby was on her side in the water, flailing and kicking. I tried to dismount but my left foot was stuck in the stirrup. One good thrash of Ruby’s legs, I feared, would mean the end of my baby and serious injuries for me. I yelled, “Ruby, stop! I’m stuck, girl.” Instantly she froze. I managed to pry my foot free, got up and trudged out of the pond, soaked. Only when I was safely out of the way did Ruby kick and get all of her 1,200 pounds up and out of the water. My daughter, Tessa, was born five months later. She’s six now. Ruby, 25, is protective and careful when she’s around.

— Submitted by Lise Sentell, Zelienople, Pennsylvania on Reader Digest.com

Hero Horse: Ruby

 

Saved by the Lab

While walking Boomer, my five-year-old Lab, on a street near my home, I stumbled into a pothole and broke both my legs. Though I screamed for help, no one was around. Boomer lay right down on the road and stayed there. I knew I needed medical help, so I wrapped my arms around his neck and said, “Home.” My 160-pound Lab dragged me, stopping now and then. Finally we made it to the house. My husband found me and called 911.

I had rescued Boomer from a shelter. I never dreamed he would end up rescuing me.
— Submitted by Bobbie Glover, Auburn, California on Reader Digest.com

Click here for more inspiring stories!

Have a great weekend

March 6, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . pet dreams, The Scoop. 1 comment.

The Oddest of Friendships…..

One of YouTube’s latest phenomenons features an unlikely pair bound by a BIG love. The video—now viewed more than 2.5 million times on YouTube—is a CBS Evening News with Katie Couric piece on the animal kingdom’s oddest couple, a rescued mutt named Bella and her best gal pal, 34-year-old Asian elephant Tarra. The girls became fast friends at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, a non-profit pachyderm refuge founded in 1995 by Carol Buckley and Scott Blais. At 2700 acres, it is the largest natural-habitat sanctuary of its kind, providing a place of peace for sick, old or needy elephants. In addition to the 17 endangered African and Asian elephants that call the sanctuary home, many homeless dogs and cats have found respite there as well.
It is one of these sanctuary dogs that formed an unlikely but enduring friendship with Tarra. Bella, who now spends her days lounging in the shade of Tarra’s belly, was taken in by the Sanctuary when she was found guarding a bulldozer on recently acquired land. Perhaps this bulldozer-attachment pointed to an inherent draw towards the large, for an elated Tarra soon won Bella, the subject of her affection, over.
But their love was to be put to the test. In April 2007, Bella became incapacitated with a spinal injury after chasing wildlife and the friends were torn apart for several weeks while Bella endured strict bed rest. The inconsolable Tarra silently held vigil under Bella’s window until caregivers finally relented and carried Bella out to her. The reunion became a daily routine until Bella was well enough to return to her rightful place in the barn stall she shares with her elephant best friend. For more on the Elephant Sanctuary behind Bella and Tarra’s inspiring friendship. Article

Click Here to View Video

tarrabella_eatinglogo

Have a great weekend everyone!

February 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . pet dreams. 1 comment.

Did You Get Your Pet Spayed This Month?

Spay Day is The Humane Society of the United States’ and Humane Society International annual event to inspire people to save animals’ lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats. Spay Day officially takes place on the last Tuesday of February – but events will be running all through the month! The 15th annual Spay Day will be Feb. 24, 2009.

 

Reason why to spay your pet….

1-Help your community … and yourself

Homeless animals may get into trash containers, defecate in the neighborhood and bite or attack. Spaying or neutering your pet means that your animal and its potential offspring won’t contribute to the population of unwanted pets.

You can also enjoy your spayed or neutered pet more. Female pets that have been spayed do not go into heat. You won’t have the mess that comes with the female reproductive cycle or the boisterous, noisy male suitors. Spaying and neutering may also reduce the risk of certain health problems, offering you more years with your beloved dog or cat.

2-Safe and effective

Licensed veterinarians perform the spay or neuter operation while the pet is under anesthesia. Depending on your pet’s age, size and health, he or she will stay at your veterinarian’s office for a few hours or a few days. Depending upon the procedure, your pet may need stitches removed. Your veterinarian can fully explain spay and neuter procedures to you. If you have a new puppy or kitten, don’t wait! Pets can become parents sooner than you think. Early age spay/neuter is safe and effective, so talk with your veterinarian at your pet’s first visit.

3-Financial assistance may be available

Spay or neuter surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when you consider the benefits. It’s a small price to pay to make sure your pet’s offspring aren’t euthanized. For pets living in homes with limited income, reduced cost procedures may be available. Humane societies work with veterinarians to offer subsidized and affordable spay and neuter services in veterinarians offices, in specialized clinics and even in customized mobile units that bring safe, effective spaying and neutering into specific neighborhoods. 

4-It’s not just for dogs and cats!

When being conscientious about the pet overpopulation, don’t forget to spay or neuter your pet rabbit. Rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and often end up in shelters where they must be euthanized. Spaying or neutering rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying and boxing. Spaying females can prevent ovarian, mammary and uterine cancers, which can be prevalent in mature females.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a tragedy—but it can be solved. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution. Contact your veterinarian today and be sure to let your family and friends know that they should do the same.

February 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . pet dreams. Leave a comment.

Puppy Training in 9 Steps….

If you are going to be bringing a puppy home that hasn’t been house trained, you can use this step-by-step guide. There are nine steps in the process of house training outlined here. Being consistent and persistent in the house training process are of great importance if you are going to be successful.

The 9 Steps….

1.The right size of dog crate is vital. Make sure you get one before your puppy arrives. This means it should be big enough so your puppy can turn around in it and lay down in it but not much bigger than that. This will become your puppy’s den and his instinct is not to soil it. If he can sleep on one side of the crate and have enough room for a toilet area at the other side, he probably will. Don’t be surprised!

2. Make sure you are free for at least two days, so that you can remain with your puppy. He’s going to need taking outside a lot to begin with – from every half an hour to every hour.

3. You may want to limit the puppy’s access to certain areas of the house until he is house trained.

4. There are particular times when he is very likely to require taking outside, so take him out at these times: when he awakens in morning, when he gets up from a nap, after he’s been exerting himself (for example, playing hard), after eating or drinking and before he retiring to sleep at night.

5. When he arrives he is going to require you to take him outside every thirty to sixty minutes, until you learn to recognise the signals that he wants to poo or pee. The sign may be sniffing, circling or backing up.

6. Once you notice the signal that he wants to relieve himself, you need to take him outside as fast as you can and wait until he does his business.

7. When he does his business, immediately give him lots of praise and attention.

8. You can leave your puppy in the crate for an hour when you cannot watch him for a time. But you must firstly lead him to be content to remain in his crate. The way to achieve this is through giving small tasty treats when he is next to the crate and then gradually tempting him inside with them. Once he’s been in a few times, shut the door very briefly and then open again. The time the door is left closed should be lengthened gradually. You can also put an interactive toy or a dispensing toy in the crate to keep him occupied.

9. If he does have an accident and makes a mess in the house, just ignore him when he does it but be sure to clean it up and clean the area with an enzymatic cleaner or hot biological washing powder solution. If you do not clean it in this way, there will still be a scent detectable by your puppy and he is likely to do his business there again.

Article Thanks to Chummydog.com

February 2, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . pet dreams. Leave a comment.

Obama’s biggest decision……..

What will he name his family dog?

OK…maybe this isn’t his biggest decision, but it is one he will enjoy!

While dog lovers wait for the new administration to select the First Dog, marketing firm Strategic Name Development randomly surveyed 487 U.S. pet owners/Obama supporters about their thoughts on what the First Dog should be named.

Nearly one in four, it turned out, preferred a pet named after a well-known person, fictional or real.

The findings also include:

• One in 10 Obama supporters named their pets after a consumer brand, such as Hershey, Snickers, Adidas or Nike.

• 7 percent named their pets based on color: Goldie, Rusty, Red, Onyx.

• 7 percent used size as their inspiration: Itsey, Magnus, Half-Pint.

• 16 percent of Obama supporters played off virtues — Faith, Frank, Precious — or Bandit, Misfit or Jinxie.

• Other popular inspirations include objects (Shamrock, Cashmere, Snowball); personality Traits (Lovey, Maverick, Turbo); and generic animal names (D’og, Moose, Panda).

What names have past presidential dog owners chosen?

Gerald Ford’s dog was Liberty. Richard Nixon went with Vicky, for victory. Jimmy Carter chose Grits. Rutherford B. Hayes picked Grim and Calvin Coolidge went for Calamity Jane. Abraham Lincoln’s dog was named Jip, which was often spelled Gyp. John F. Kennedy’s dog was named Shannon because it was a gift from the president of Ireland.

One suggestion for Obama from Strategic Name Development: End with a vowel sound. Names ending in vowels like Fido (another Lincoln dog) and Barney (George W. Bush’s dog) are significantly easier for pets to hear. Says Strategic Name Development: “This is good insurance for a president who wants to make sure that no matter what he does, there is still one living being who will listen to him.”

Article

Give us your thoughts……

And Have a Great Weekend!

 

Check out this YouTube video discussing Obama’s big decision…..VIDEO

January 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . pet dreams. Leave a comment.

Health Tips for Your Pets…..

This January as many pet owners resolve to improve their eating habits and fitness routines Banfield, The Pet Hospital of Livonia, urges them to remember to consider their pets health as well.

“Feeding your pet a balanced diet promotes overall health and allows you and your pet to enjoy more quality years together as a family,” said Karen Johnson, DVM at Banfield pet hospital.

 

In honor of January Pet Food and Fitness Month, Johnson offers the following tips:

  • Feed your pet a high-quality diet. Select food made by companies known for staying current on the latest nutritional research. Your veterinarian can recommend the best diet for your pet based on factors including age, health and lifestyle.
  • Offer fresh food and water every day. Also, remember to wash bowls regularly.
  • Feed your pet the correct amount of food. Determine portions according to your pet’s weight and avoid overfeeding. Use feeding recommendations on the pet food label as a guide and adjust for activity level. Your veterinarian can help determine the correct amount to feed your pet.
  • Follow a daily feeding schedule. This will help your pet maintain normal elimination habits and avoid indoor accidents.
  • Most pets do better when fed two smaller meals rather than one large meal.
  • Avoid people food. Your pet’s digestive system is simpler than yours and can be easily upset by feeding him or her table scraps. Feeding from the table makes it more difficult to control calorie intake which can lead to weight problems.
  • Watch the treats. It’s often not the dog or cat food fed to the pet that adds unwanted pounds but high calorie treats multiple times a day.
  • Consult your veterinarian for exercise needs. If your considering adding a pet to the family, first determine the pets need for exercise and whether those can be blended into your lifestyle. Your dog needs a walk at least once a day. If the pet has been inactive, start slowly gradually increasing the pace and length. Find a schedule that works for both of you whether a short walk twice a day or one long walk.
  • Help your cat stay active. Overweight cats are at risk for medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. There are a variety of toys designed to help your cat stay fit and active.

“One of the best ways pet owners can increase the strength of the bond they share with their pets as well as improve their own fitness levels is to introduce daily walks and interactive play,” said Johnson.

Health Tips Article

January 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Health & Lifestyle, pet dreams. Leave a comment.

Tips for the Crate to Make it Great…..

Thanks to Kelly Marshall, an expert crate trainer & full time writer in the dog industry. Here are some more helpful crate training tips.

Pet Dreams Designer Cratewear

 

 

Pet Dreams Designer Cratewear

4 Crate Training Tips

It’s crucial that you never forget to remove your puppy or dog’s collar while they are in their crate. Your dog or puppy might get his collar stuck on the crate, causing a scary situation. And make sure the crate is never in direct sunlight, or placed too close to a vent or radiator. Your puppy has to be as comfortable as possible in his crate
for effective training and safety.

 

1. Toys in the Crate: Placing toys in the crate for your puppy’s amusement is a smart approach to prevent him from getting bored or lonely. A Nylabone or similar chew toy can provide immediate gratification.

2. Crating At Night: When you go to sleep, never forget to crate your puppy. A puppy should not be given unsupervised access to your home when you sleep. You might be startled when you wake up when you notice the demolition that has occurred. Here’s an addition hint that will help: lay a tarp under the crate. If your puppy has an accident inside the crate, it may drip onto the ground. This safeguards your flooring or carpeting in the future, or security deposit if you happen to be in a rental situation.

3. Don’t have any space for a crate? If you have absolutely no room to put a crate, you ought to then restrain your pup to a bedpost or to an eye hook in the baseboard close to your bed while you sleep. Give her just enough lead to spin around and lie down. You don’t want the lead to be too long where she will wander about in your bedroom. If you’re renting an apartment, make positive you have your landlords consent to screw an eye hook into the
base-board. This will make your landlord feel good about renting to dog owners since many don’t like dog owners as tenants. Additionally, lay cottony bedding onto the ground if he is to sleep tethered to your bed.

4. When Your Puppy Whines during the Night: During the first couple of weeks, your puppy may not be able to sleep through the night. Many pups whimper during the night because they need to go outside. When your puppy does cry, take him out straight off so he’s able to eliminate. After he’s done, entertain him for a few minutes or so and place him back into his crate (or on the leash).

It’s crucial that your puppy understands that he is being taken out of the crate at night to go potty and not to goof off. If he’s still whining after you have just taken him out and if you’re certain isn’t suffering from diarrhea, resist the urge to let him out to play with you. If you give in, you’re forming a pattern in which the puppy can decide when he gets to come out and you’ll regret it later on.

January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . pet dreams, Training. Leave a comment.

Choosing the Right Trainer for You and Your Dog…..

Here are some simple tips:

• Look for trainers who use only teaching methods that use positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for unacceptable behavior.

• Observe an obedience class without your dog. Watch to see if the dogs and people are having a good time. Talk with a few participants and ask if they are comfortable with the trainer’s methods. If someone won’t let you sit in, don’t enroll.

• Don’t feel you must do something that the trainer told you to do if you believe it is not in your dog’s best interest. S/he’s counting on you for safety and protection.

• Do not use trainers who offer guarantees about results. That trainer is either ignoring or doesn’t understand the complexity of animal behavior.

• Avoid trainers who object to using food as a training reward. Food is an acceptable positive reinforcement training tool.

• Avoid trainers who won’t let you use any training collar other than a choke chain or pinch collar. Head collars are humane alternatives to choke chains and pinch collars.

• Look for trainers who treat both people and dogs with respect, rather than one who presents him or herself as “I’m the boss.”

• Have fun while training your pet! The rewards for you and your dog will last a lifetime

Thanks to the advise of Brenda Barnette, CEO of the Seattle Humane Society.

January 26, 2009. pet dreams. Leave a comment.

Top Ten Breeds of 2008!

Labrador Retriever is nation’s most popular dog breed

The Labrador Retriever certainly has a lock on the hearts of American dog lovers.

For the eighteenth straight year, the Lab has topped the American Kennel Club‘s list of the nation’s 10 most popular purebred dog breeds.

The rankings are based on 2008 dog registration statistics.

There were twice as many Labs registered in 2008 than any other breed, so it’s likely to hold the top spot for many years, according to AKC predictions.

The Poodle came in a close second to the Lab in New York the Bulldog ranks number 10 for the metro area. Its bat-eared French counterpart took fourth place.

The top 10 most popular dogs for New York City are: Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Dachshund, French Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Havanese, Shi Tzu (tied for eighth) and the Bulldog.

The AKC is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and the top 10 list is the first of many celebratory events, Peterson said.

2008 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.
1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle

 

Click here to see all Top Ten

So this leaves the question, what is your favorite breed?

Give us your thoughts……..

January 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . pet dreams, The Scoop. 4 comments.

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