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Archive for October, 2011

Boxers such as Tara are great breeds for owners of cats.

Yes, dogs are individuals. Every dog is different and has his or her own personality. According to Dog Training Central, where a dog’s from, the socialization, age and training all play a crucial role in a dog’s temperament and personality.

Although this is true, a dog’s breed can play a giant role in what kind of situation they’re best in. Whether you have a family and children, cats or an apartment there’s sure to be a breed for you.

Families with children should first teach their children how to act around dogs if possible. But aside from that there are a few breeds that will be great for this situation. Both Golden and Labrador Retrievers are great with kids because of their high intelligence and affectionate, loyal nature. The Bernese Mountain Dog is good for families that want a large, gentle dog.  Beagles are also a good choice because they’re sweet and highly sociable.

Most people that already have a cat or two should usually turn to younger puppies when looking for a canine companion. It’s generally easier for cats and dogs to get along if they’re raised together. A few breeds that have a reputation for getting along with cats are Great Pyrenees, Bichon Frise and Boxers. Numerous terrier type breeds have been ranked low in cat friendliness. Terriers have been bred to hunt and therefore are prone to chase and are generally a bad choice for cat owners.

Some breeds that do well for apartment owners include American Hairless Terriers, Australian Terriers and Basset Hounds. The most important thing for apartment owners to remember is that even if they get a small, low-energy dog to fit their apartment lifestyle, exercise is still essential and any dog will have to be walked daily.

On the other hand, for people that have high-energy lifestyles and love to do things such as hike, large, energetic and short-haired breeds are a better choice. Breeds such as Weimaraners, Rottweilers and English Springer Spaniels are all good choices. Also, dog lovers with allergies can still find a perfect fit. Breeds that usually shed less and produce less dander include Bedlington Terriers, Chinese Crested and Irish Water Spaniels.

Regardless of your lifestyle or situation, if you love dogs there will always be a dog for you. Remember to keep in mind a few other factors besides simply the breed. All dogs are different. In addition, to help with your breed search visit this Dog Breed Selector Quiz.

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Dog or no dog?

As many students in college that are dog lovers have most likely considered getting a canine companion while they are enrolled full time. But before doing this, said student needs to think about a few things.

Dogs are expensive. Besides the cost of actually purchasing the dog, they also need food, toys and accessories such as a leash and collar not to mention vet appointments and any medicine or treatments they might require. The cost of owning a dog can range from $700 to $3,000 per year.

Dogs require a lot of time, care and attention. College students already have to balance classes, homework, social time and often times work. If you’re already having trouble balancing these things, then you don’t have time to give a pet the treatment it deserves.

Of course, having a dog while in college can offer some benefits too. A canine companion to come home to and take care of can put you in a better mood, help control stress, encourage exercise, provide social support and as always unconditional love.

If you feel you have the time and finances to comfortably provide for a dog while in college, there are a few tips that might help. As usual, plan ahead and set aside some money. Try to work your new furry friend into your plans. Make sure you have a suitable living environment (and one that allows pets) and a roommate that approves and maybe even is willing to help out.

Having a dog while in college is not for everyone and some people should forget about it until they’re graduated. But that’s not to say that no one can handle it. It can be done and for some people it works out better that way.

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Exercise is essential

Having a play date with other dogs can stimulate a dog's mind as well as provide physical exercise.

Exercise is very beneficial on a multitude of levels. We’ve all heard it countless times. What many people overlook though is that the same applies to your dog.

43 million dogs in the US are estimated to be overweight or obese. The problem can lie in an owner’s conscience neglect to exercise his or her dog, but it can also be that the owner simply doesn’t realize how overweight their pet is getting.

A 12-pound Yorkie is equivalent to a human female of average height weighing 218 pounds and a 90-pound female Labrador Retriever is equivalent to a 5’9” human male weighing 217 pounds. Dogs can seem very small or light to us, but in reality be quite overweight within their own species or even breed.

Regardless of breed, all dogs need a daily exercise regimen. Without one, dogs can become obese as well as develop poor muscle tone, heart problems, bone disorders, emotional problems and behavioral quirks. Usually, anywhere from two 15-minute to two 30-minute walks a day should be sufficient. But this can vary based on age and size. You should monitor your individual dog to regulate how much or what kind of exercise he or she needs.

For example, many breeds or types of dogs don’t do well with heat. Younger or older dogs, dogs with short muzzles and black dogs will need more indoor exercise when the outdoor heat is too much for them.

Very extreme hot or cold weather will prevent all breeds and types of dogs from getting normal outdoor exercise. In times like these it’s good to throw toys and play fetch, run up and down the stairs or around the house, or even teach your pet new tricks which can also induce some needed mental exercise.

A well-known saying I once heard goes “a tired dog is a happy dog.” If your canine gets the exercise he or she really needs it will prevent many physical and mental health issues as well as keep him or her quiet, calm and happy.

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Every year 70,000 dogs and cats are born.

Every year 4 to 6 million animals are euthanized because they cannot find a home. This means that of all the animals that enter animal shelters in the U.S. only half of them ever find a home. The other half is euthanized.

This can easily be prevented. Spay or neuter your pet or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, sponsor an animal at a shelter to help pay for their sterilization.

In states where spaying/neutering laws have been put in place it is estimated that the number of animals euthanized in the state is reduced by 65 percent.

As well as having benefits inside shelters across the U.S., spaying and neutering also offers benefits within the home. Dogs that have been spayed or neutering generally live one to three years longer than an unsterilized canine.

Temperament is also improved in spayed or neutered animals. Males tend to be less aggressive, less distracted. Females will have less mood swings as well. Both will be less tempted to roam.

Those that are against spaying and neutering pets argue that the cost is too high. In reality, there are many facilities that offer low cost spaying and neutering and many shelters have the procedure done before they adopt the animals they have out. The cost is also much less than the costs of having and taking care of a litter of puppies. As well as the costs that will crop up if your pet develops uterine cancer or something of the like.

Many are wary too of the risks of anesthesia in the medical procedure as well as a pet’s likeliness to gain more weight and exercise less. Weight and exercise is one problem that can be easily monitored and maintained by a pet’s owner. But in the end, the pros of having animals spayed and neutered far outweigh the cons.

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The pictures shown above were taken at the Animal Care Society in Louisville, Kentucky. The Animal Care Society is one of many no-kill animal shelters across the nation. The No Kill movement is a growing idea that animals in shelters should not be euthanized simply because they are difficult to find a home for or because there isn’t enough room to house them.

Many argue that no-kill animal shelters are ineffective because they turn away the very animals they claim to be helping due to lack of room or amenities. In reality, this lack of room or amenities is mainly due to the fact that no-kill animal shelters are almost always also non-profit shelters.

In order to be a successful no-kill shelter, some necessities include an adoption program, an inexpensive and effective option for spaying/neutering, willing foster home participants, a rehabilitation program and of course plenty of volunteers. In addition to these, the costs of the basic necessities for the animals, such as shelter and food, no-kill shelters ineffectiveness, when it occurs, is mainly based on lack of funds.

To clarify, the No Kill movement does not support denying euthanasia in all cases. In severe cases of suffering such as uncontrollable depression or rage, the animals will be given a painless release. The movement works toward changing shelters that have been known to euthanize healthy, adoptable pets simply to make more room or because they were taking too long to be adopted.

No-kill shelters aren’t perfect, but they have the right idea and they just need a little help (some volunteers or a few donations) to be a lot more effective.

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