By Suzanne Alicie
Although I’m not in the market for a new dog at the moment, when the time comes I will get a rescue dog. There are plenty of great dogs in need of a forever home out there. But what if you’re looking for a rescue dog to adopt, yet still want to get a purebred or a specific breed? That’s when you need to know how to find a rescue program for the type of dog you’re looking for.
Check with Breeders
Many dog breeders are approached when a dog needs a home, but they can’t take in all the dogs of a breed so they need to be able to tell people who to get in touch with for a rescue. Because breeders specialize in a specific breed, they often know a lot of people who deal with the same kind of dogs. When a person cares deeply about a breed and wants to be helpful, they will know of a reputable rescue where you can find the dog you’re looking for.
Simply use your search engine to find rescue groups and then narrow down the search with the breed you are looking for. BUT keep in mind that not all rescues are the same. Do a little research, check out their website, and try to locate people who have worked with the rescue to make sure it is a reputable program. Facebook is a great way to find out what people think of an organization and what their experiences have been.
By Suzanne Alicie
The heat of summer is upon us! My doggie, Bear, may be getting old but she still loves to romp in the back yard or simply lie under a tree and nap. Fresh air is good for dogs, and you may think that heat is better for your dog than cold but there are several ways in which both heat and sun can harm your dog.
Rule number one is to always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water and a shady or covered area to lie down and relax. We’ve discussed other summer safety tips for dogs here on the Responsible Pet Ownership blog, but let’s focus this time on sun safety.
You might assume that because your dog is covered in fur he’s unlikely to suffer any problems from the sun, but let me surprise you! There’s more to me than a sappy doggie mommy who has been trained to dole out the CANIDAE TidNips. I know some stuff!
Sunscreen can help prevent your dog’s nose and ears from getting sunburn. These are sensitive areas and are exposed even if there is hair on the dog’s ears. Keep in mind that light colored dogs are similar to folks with very fair skin — they will burn faster than dark dogs. Some dogs have thick coats while others have thinner coats. Poodles that have been freshly groomed have quite a bit of exposed skin for sunburn, so it is important to keep a close eye on them when they are playing in the sun.
By Suzanne Alicie
Many dog lovers enjoy watching dog shows. We get to see the “top dogs” of each breed, but a lot of us may find ourselves wondering exactly how the judges choose the winners. There are many terms and standards that “show dog” owners are aware of and work to achieve. Let’s take a look at a few of these and what they mean, so the next time you watch a dog show you’ll understand more about the process and have more insight into the final results.
The breed standard includes several areas of the dog’s appearance which are dictated by the AKC for show dogs. This means that dogs of a specific breed which are the wrong color, have any irregularities or are too large or small for the breed standard won’t be competing. The dogs which have shown that they fit the breed standard will be further evaluated to find the best example of the breed in the show.
Stacking is how the dog stands naturally and when placed in position. This is something that the handler or trainer will teach the dog. Stacking helps the judges see all areas of the dog’s structure to evaluate against the breed standard and to allow the judges to feel the dogs bone structure and muscles. The breed standard stacking position differs from breed to breed. While evaluating the stack, you may hear judges and announcers talk about angulations, soundness and pedigree.
By Suzanne Alicie
Some people are “cat people” while others are “dog people,” but what about those who love both? It’s always been a common belief that dogs and cats do not get along. In fact, many dogs and cats can be great friends. Ideally, puppies and kittens are introduced when young and grow up together. However, if that isn’t the situation and you want to introduce your dog to a cat in the hopes of adding a feline presence to your home, there are certain steps to take.
The first thing to understand is that both dogs and cats are territorial, and a dog that lives in your home will see the cat as an intruder. If the cat runs, then it is prey; this could get really messy if you don’t take precautions and introduce both animals slowly. Keep in mind that the cat is not only meeting a larger, louder animal with teeth and claws who doesn’t want her there, but she is also being introduced into a new place and will be nervous and skittish.
To assist you with this introduction and prevent injury to the dog, cat and people, there are a few things you’ll need to have. The first is a secure cat carrier, preferably with holes too small for the cat to get a paw out. You will also need a harness, leash and muzzle for your dog as well as a second person to help with the introductions. Don’t forget to have some CANIDAE TidNips™ treats on hand. Reward the animals throughout the process for their good behavior and be sure to praise them both. Your voice will be calming and help both animals deal with the introduction.
Place the cat in the carrier and harness your dog before attaching the muzzle. Keep in mind you are dealing with nature: dogs bite, cats scratch…so do as much as possible to prevent any injury to either animal.
Once both animals are situated, choose an area to place the cat carrier and slowly allow your dog to sniff and inspect the carrier. Scent is very important to dogs, so introducing the scent of the cat to your dog first is a good idea. The cat may hiss and puff up its fur. This is a defensive measure, and by having the cat inside the carrier you’re saving your dog’s nose from those dangerous claws. Allow both animals to smell and get used to one another. When your dog settles down and is willing to lie down or wander away from the carrier and when the cat stops hissing, that is an indicator they are accustomed to the scent and presence of one another.
By Suzanne Alicie
The past year has opened my eyes to the joys (?) of living with an aging/elderly dog. Bear is almost 11, and she is showing her age.
As a fairly large dog, she is experiencing some arthritis and hip dysplasia symptoms. We’ve had to get her a thick comfy therapeutic bed, which she loves. The hard part is convincing her that she is too old and stiff to still go under our bed. It’s always been her favorite place. When she gets under there, I find myself having to pick up the bed enough for her to stand up and limp out.
When her hip locks up on her, I sit in the floor and massage her leg while she whimpers. This is a very emotional thing for me, because I can’t stand when she cries. Fortunately this is not a daily thing, and if I can keep her from going under the bed or jumping around and acting like a much younger dog, then she doesn’t hurt too much. So far we’ve been pretty lucky that Bear hasn’t developed more health problems like the ones Ruthie Bently discussed in Common Health Issues for Older Dogs.
With her old age, Bear has begun to be quite moody. If you’ve read some of my other posts about Bear you know that she is not a very social dog. She loves her family and is tolerant of our guests, but lately she makes it clear that she doesn’t like people visiting. When someone comes to the door she has always barked until we let them in. Once she saw us let them in and she was able to sniff them she’d be quiet and go lay down somewhere. These days when anyone comes over she barks and barks. They go into another room and she quiets down until she hears one of them laugh or talk and she barks some more. It’s almost like she forgets someone is here until she hears their voice, then she has to warn them that it’s her house.
By Bear, Canine Guest Blogger
Howdy! Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been allowed to write a post here, you know my mommy always wants to say things her way. Besides I’ve been a little busy lately… I’ve become a couch potato!
When Mom has to leave the house she always leaves the TV on for me so I don’t, as she says, destroy things. I really don’t, but when I hear things outside and want to see, I sometimes have to climb up on her desk or on the table near the window. Okay, sometimes I might put my paws on the windowsill and maybe the curtains get pulled down if there’s a cat or another dog in my yard. Hey, I’m just letting them know they are trespassing!
Oh yeah, back to the story… so, she leaves the TV on and turns it up to drown out other sounds, then she leaves. I don’t know why this woman thinks an intelligent dog like me is going to be interested in children’s cartoons; it’s obvious she hasn’t a clue about a doggie brain. I have figured out how to find the shows I want to watch, and let me tell you there is much better programming on for pets than cartoons!
Did you know there are entire channels dedicated to food shows? That’s right; I can curl up on the sofa and watch people cook all sorts of yummy foods. My favorite is Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives with that spiky haired Guy Fieri – boy, he finds all the best food!
When I’ve drooled a nice puddle and am tired of wishing I could eat what’s on the television, I move to the other end of the sofa and choose another show. There are lots of shows on Animal Planet that are great fun for a dog to watch.