Why Dog Boarding Is The Way To Go

When you need to go on a trip but cannot take your dog along for the ride, you will need to make plans and decide where it can stay. Dogs are hardy creatures but you cannot just leave them at home for days on end to fend on their own. A number of businesses have cropped up to fill this need over the years. Two of the more popular options include placing your pet in a dog boarding facility, such as a kennel, or opting for pet sitting services. The first option is often considered better for the following reasons.

1. Socialization

Reggie at camp

Reggie at camp (Photo credit: August Rode)

Think of canine boarding as camp for pets. Pet boarding facilities will allow your dog to have fun while you are on your own trip. With dog hotels and similar institutions, the pets are encouraged to socialize with their own kind. They will get to roam around new territory and meet (or sniff) other dogs. Dogs are social animals and will benefit well from this experience. With pet sitting, your beloved canine will only get to see the designated sitter.

2. Cheaper

Dogs doing what they do best. "You chase ...

Dogs doing what they do best. “You chase me then I’ll chase you” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Availing of dog boarding facilities is often a more practical option for pet owners. Kennels lower their prices to compete with the number of businesses offering the same services. Most pet sitters charge per visit and the charges can rack up quickly if you intend to be away for several days at a time.

3. Supervised by professionals

Dog training: trying some sports

Dog training: trying some sports (Photo credit: Hotfield)

Trained staff with experience handling animals will be taking care of your beloved canine. Unless you have a relative or friend who can stay in your home while you are away, with pet sitting, you will have to settle with a person who will come by for a few hours a day. Leaving your pet in a pet boarding gives you some peace of mind that there are trained professionals always looking out for the well-being of your dog while you are away. You will not need to worry that your pet accidentally ends up in the streets. In case your dog gets sick or needs medical attention quickly, the staff can administer medicine or get them to a hospital immediately. We also provide an extra layer of security by keeping your dog on an invisible dog fence system. we find by using these systems along with a physical electronic pet doors, the possibility of the dogs digging under the wireless fence for dogs is not possible.

4. Added services

Dog Groom UK

Dog Groom UK (Photo credit: Dog Groom UK)

Like people, pets also like to get pampered. Another main draw with a boarding facility is that it can offer premium services that can address your pet’s needs, other than the basic food and shelter. More luxurious pet boarding facilities offer services that resemble those in a spa or hotel. Examples of dog spa services include dog grooming and massage. There are also facilities which offer wellness programs and dog training sessions. For the more lavish accommodations, it is possible to see rooms fitted with televisions or have several pets in the same room, like they are having a slumber party. The sky is the limit on what these kennels can offer pet owners. It just depends on what the owner is willing to pay for their pet.

5. Home away from home

Some pet owners may hate to admit it but they do want their pets to enjoy their time while their humans are away on their own business trip or short vacation. If you choose the right boarding facility, it can become like their home away from home. Your canine buddy will be able to relax and enjoy the company of their fellow dogs. There are studies that indicate that spending some time away from your dog will allow your pet to miss you. As a result, you will enjoy each other’s company more after the trip.

English: Quite the happy dog.

English: Quite the happy dog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are only some of the benefits for leaving your pet at a reputable dog hotel or boarding facility. Keep in mind that the success rate can still vary depending on your dog’s personality and the dog boarding facility you choose to use. Do your research and consider as many factors as possible to ensure that your pet enjoys its stay there.

This post was written by Robert Gold, an active blogger for Paradise 4 Paws, a luxury pet boarding facility located in Chicago, IL and DFW Airport, TX.

Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many portraits I have painted.  Dogs, cats, horses – what will be next?  10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid.

pet portrait, dog portrait, Labrador Retriever, Labs, dogs

Portrait of Harvey ©Deena O’Daniel

The Psychology of Dogs

Man and his canine companion represent a relationship that stretches back to at least 30,000 B.C.. At this time period, it is thought that humans hunted alongside with packs of wild dogs, each party taking advantage of the other’s presence when it came to killing and gathering food. It is possible that man was living and developing meaningful, domestic relationships with these four-legged creatures by the year 12,000 B.C.. Remains of dogs and humans dating back to this time period were buried together, suggesting value in terms of a partnership.

By 10,000 B.C., we start to find evidence of different breeds of dogs, making the idea of domestication a certainty. Once 1,500 B.C.E. Rolls around, we see the first instances of modern breeds that are still in existence today. The dogs with the oldest roots stretch across every continent on the globe. In North America, we find the Spitz while in China there are Chow Chows, Asian Spaniels, and Feral Dogs. European countries are still home to breeds such as Terriers, Mastiffs, and Herding Dogs.

The domestication of dogs over time is not one to come as a surprise. The process was slow and continuous but completely in line with the needs and evolution of dogs over time. Wild dogs quickly realized that being near human settlements would equal greater food supplies for their offspring. As humans interacted in increasing numbers with puppies and adult canines, the dogs became less fearful and the puppies were open to socialization from a young age. Interestingly enough the electric dog fence systems show a relevant aspect of dogs and dogs in territorial boundaries, as strange as it seems an electric fence is shows a means of a dogs natural evolution of learning boundaries in nature. These simple training devices can be purchased on electric dog fences amazon or other various websites

Dogs continued to evolve, developing many of the capacities for emotion that now make them so attractive to the average human. Chief among their emotional capacities is the ability to love and return human affection. For this reason, nearly 46 percent of all households in the United States own at least one dog. In addition to providing love and devotion to their owners, dogs can share in feelings of excitement, contentment, fear, and joy. Dogs even engage in dreams on a nightly basis as well. Dogs also experience a high degree of affection from human beings due to the emotions that they rarely develop that we do not typically value in other human beings. These emotions include guilt, pride, contempt, and shame.

Source: Best Psychology Degrees Guide

Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many dogs I have painted – cats and horses too!  10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid!

Top Questions About Canine Heartworms

Thanks to Guest Author Michele Bowie for this article.

Chihuahua short hair (puppy)

Chihuahua short hair (puppy) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

If you have recently adopted a pet dog, you might already be enjoying the pleasures of owning one: exceptional cuteness, an incurable curiosity, and a boatload of energy. Puppies melt hearts daily, and owning one is just about one of the greatest treasures on earth. However, adopting a puppy comes with a price, and that price is responsibility. As a part of your responsibility to take care of your favorite four-legged friend, you are required to take care of his or her physical health. Whether you take your new puppy to the vet or purchase Heartgard for dogs at the best price available, you will find yourself taking on new endeavors in an effort to keep your new friend physically safe.

What are some common health issues your puppy can face?

One of the more obvious health issues your new puppy might experience would be genetic; for example, poodles are prone to receive cataracts. Regardless of whether or not you have chosen a tiny Chihuahua puppy or a little golden retriever as the newest addition to your family, heartworms is a major health consideration to watch out for. Unfortunately, heartworms are very prominent in dogs, causing them to be much more susceptible to the infection. According to the American Heartworm Society, dogs are considered the definitive host when it comes to heartworms.

How do dogs get heartworms?

Picture of a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) m...

Picture of a heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) microfilaria taken through a microscope at 400x. Taken by Joel Mills on April 21, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One answer: mosquitoes. If a mosquito is carrying the heartworm larvae and bites a dog, the infection is immediately transmitted. When the larvae grow, they develop and migrate, and then produce their offspring (known as microfilariae). These microfilariae enter the bloodstream.

Aedes albopictus - Tiger mosquito

Aedes albopictus – Tiger mosquito (Photo credit: Camponotus Vagus)

How can I prevent my dog from receiving heartworms?

There are heartworm options available, such as:

  • Injections
  • Monthly pills
  • Topical treatments

Remember, preventing the actual disease is fundamental. After you have your puppy settled into your home, you should ensure to keep him or her safe from any harm. It’s a good idea to purchase Heartgard for dogs at the best price available so that your puppy can be safe and protected at once.

What are the symptoms of heartworms?

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: stefernie)

Although a blood test is the most definite answer you can receive, here are a few signs your puppy might have received heartworms:

  • Lack of eating/inability to eat
  • Loss of energy and lethargy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • An abrupt collapse
  • A bulging chest
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Cough

If your puppy has had any of the above symptoms, take him to the vet immediately.

My dog has heartworms—how can I treat it?

There is an injection treatment for heartworms, but the overall cost can be up to $1,000. It’s much better to prevent heartworms in the first place with Heartgard or by keeping your dog out of mosquito-infested areas.

Your puppy will bring you many days of joy and tons of laughter throughout the course of your lives, but don’t forget that preventing heartworms is a crucial step in first adopting your new friend. Make sure to prolong his or her life with a good heartworm preventative so your cute little puppy can grow old with you.

Michele Bowie is the owner of an adorable Chihuahua named Tina. She lives in Philadelphia, PA and works in a vet’s office. She enjoys writing in her spare time.

Doggy Emergencies – 4 Common Reasons To Call Your Vet

Thanks to Guest Author Mila Joseph for this article.

No matter how well we look after our pets, sometimes they end up suffering from the effects of a life threatening health problem. Some problems are easily treated, but others require emergency intervention from a veterinarian. Pet emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, but here are a few of the most common reasons for an out of hours visit to the vet.

1. Eating the Wrong Foods

A lot of people treat their canine best friend as another human. This is fatal. Dogs are not people and should not be treated as such. They can’t eat the same food as us without suffering from side effects because their digestive systems are not designed to cope with the things we like to eat. Chocolate is particularly dangerous to dogs, so never feed your pet chocolate unless it is a pet-friendly variety. Other foods your dog should never eat are grapes and raisins.

2. Poisoning

Aside from poisonous foods, dogs are also susceptible to ingesting other types of poison. Rodent poisons are sometimes attractive to dogs, especially the types of dogs who will eat anything. Symptoms of poisoning include:

  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the nose and mouth

To prevent a poisoning incident, never put rat poison down where a dog may find it, and if you suspect your dog may have ingested rodent poison take him to the vet immediately.

3. Swallowing Foreign Objects

Some dogs find it impossible to distinguish between food and foreign objects. This means a lone sock or a plastic ball is fair game to a Labrador with a penchant for chewing. The trouble is a lot of dogs end up in the emergency room having ingested a totally inappropriate object. Small objects can often pass straight through, but larger or awkward objects get stuck and end up causing a potentially fatal intestinal blockage. Symptoms include:

  • Distended abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Discomfort
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

4. Allergic Reaction

Dogs are just as susceptible to allergic reactions as humans, so if a bee stings your pet or he comes into contact with some other allergen, he may go into anaphylactic shock, which is a life threatening allergic reaction. Dogs often develop allergies over time, so be vigilant to the symptoms, which may include:

  • Itchy/runny eyes
  • Excessive scratching
  • Sneezing
  • Scabby/itchy skin

If a dog has allergies to pollen and dust, he is likely to be allergic to an insect sting or bite. And if the worst happens and he has a massive allergic reaction to an allergenic substance, he will need to be taken to the emergency room immediately.

Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to figure out what is wrong with your pet when his symptoms are not clear-cut. If in doubt, you should always contact a vet for advice, and if you suspect your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have (particularly if he may have ingested human medication), make sure you give your vet as much information as possible.

The author of this post is Mila Joseph, an employee at Pleasant Plains, a leading veterinary hospital in New York. Mila is also an animal rights activist and spends her weekends hiking with her friends.

6 Reasons Your Next Pet Should Be an Adopted One

Thanks to Live In Nanny for this article.

 

Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of humanity is our willingness — and passion — for caring for animals. Having a pet enriches our lives, both for the animal and for the caretaker. People who share their homes and their lives with their pets know that unconditional love, both given and received, enhances our life experience. While there is nothing inherently wrong with having a pedigreed pet, more and more animal lovers are discovering that a pet adoption from a shelter or rescue organization is a viable and rewarding choice. Compiled here are six solid reasons why you should consider adopting your next pet.

 

Adopt a pet, save a life. 

 

English: Animal Rescue

English: Animal Rescue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has published estimates showing that 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters annually. Nearly half of them are euthanized. Though these figures are appalling, they represent great strides in progress. Just 40 years ago, HSUS records showed that American shelters euthanized 12-20 million dogs and cats. At that time, there were 67 million pets in homes. Now it is estimated that 2.7 million cats and dogs in shelters are euthanized annually — approximately 3% of the 135 million pets in homes in this country. By adopting your next pet, you can help to reduce the number of pets killed by euthanasia to zero. Learn more at the Humane Society’s site.

 

Pets are good for kids.

Both dogs and cats are a very healthy part of the lives of millions of children, and studies by child psychologists, doctors and pet trainers conclude that having a pet aids in the development and social well-being of a child. Immune systems develop faster when kids are raised in homes with pets, and they tend to have fewer incidences of common colds and allergies. Kids with dogs also spend more time outside playing with their pets, which reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety, and may even help lower blood pressure. As children learn to feed and care for their companions, they are encouraged to become more responsible and they show better impulse control, higher self-esteem and better interactive social skills. Parents report that sharing the love and care of animals forges better sibling bonds, too.

 

No-kill shelters need your help.

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at th...

Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. I took this picture. This looks just like my dog Yuma. He was from a shelter in Evanston Il. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Choosing a dog or cat from a no-kill shelter allows that shelter to take in a new animal. Most animal sanctuaries are non-profit organizations that survive on the goodwill of pet lovers, Good Samaritans and volunteers who staff these facilities. As their population increases, each life-sustaining shelter faces the costs of expansion, greater food and medical expenses and, often, limited resources. As the population of pets that are not adopted ages, they must care for more special-needs pets that must be cared for until the end of their natural lives.

 

If you are adopting a new pet for a child, choosing a shelter animal can open a young person’s eyes to the plight of homeless pets. In addition to teaching the child compassion and responsibility, sharing in the decision to provide a home for a pet that might otherwise be caged for life is a character-building and rewarding experience. The Shelter Pet Project is a great starting place.

 

No housebreaking required.

The majority of animals in shelters are housebroken or litter box trained, and more mature dogs know basic obedience commands. Many shelters have dedicated staffs that work with animals to overcome training or behavioral issues. When you adopt a pet from one of these organizations, you will know what to expect from your dog or cat when you bring your new pet home. The Best Friends Animal Society is a great resource for learning more about shelter animals.

 

Adopted pets are healthier than you think.

English: Galveston Island, TX, September 17, 2...

English: Galveston Island, TX, September 17, 2088 — Dogs displaced by Hurricane Ike are sheltered at the local center set up by the Humane Society. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Animal shelters have happy, healthy animals waiting for someone to take them home. Not only do most shelters vaccinate, spay or neuter animals before adoption, they also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to ensure you get a pet that fits your lifestyle. A common misconception is that animals are in shelters because they were abused or have behavioral issues.

 

Animals enter shelters because of circumstances beyond their control. A new baby, death in the family, divorce, illness or a move that excludes the pets are common reasons for pet abandonment. Unfortunately, many animals are simply discarded by pet owners who should never have had a pet in the first place. Most shelter dogs and cats are healthy, affectionate animals. According to the ASPCA, less than one in 100 people who adopt a pet from a shelter are dissatisfied.

 

Shelter animals are a bargain.

Adoption fees at most shelters are very reasonable — usually between $50 and $250 —making your decision to adopt a pet a financially smart one. Buying a pet from a pet store or breeder can cost thousands of dollars, and the costs just begin there. Shelter animals are spayed or neutered before adoption, so you immediately save the cost of surgery. Physical examinations and vaccinations are routine, and some shelters microchip animals, too.

Choose your pet carefully, taking into consideration your personal lifestyle, the ages of your family members, the behavioral characteristics of the breed, and the amount of care and maintenance your new pet will require. A good choice will bring you immeasurable joy and happiness, and you’ve already made a great choice if you choose to adopt a pet from a shelter.