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!

My Dog Ate What? – Signs That Your Dog Swallowed A Foreign Object And What To Do About It

Thanks to Guest Author Kris Hopkins for this article.

Dog eating a neck of lamb raw

Dog eating a neck of lamb raw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a dog owner, you are well aware of your dog’s curiosity and his tendency to try to ingest something he shouldn’t. Most dogs chew certain items, such as a bones, toys, sticks, stones, and rubber balls, and occasionally they will swallow foreign objects. Some of these objects may be so small that it will just pass through their system without causing any problems. Unfortunately, some objects may get stuck, putting your canine’s life in danger.

What should you do if your dog swallows a foreign object? How will you know that he swallowed it in the first place? Listed below are the signs you should watch out for and what you should do in such a situation.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten A Foreign Object?

If your dog is exhibiting any of these warning signs, it may mean that he has eaten a foreign object or something toxic:

  • Vomiting or gagging
  • Diarrhea
  • Tenderness in abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in usual behavior, such as becoming aggressive when picked up or when handled around the abdomen
  • You see something hanging from your dog’s mouth or bottom. If you see a string or a thread, do not pull it because it might lead to more serious injury. Do not cut it either because it will be more difficult for the vet to treat your dog.

When these signs start to manifest, immediately bring your companion animal to the vet to learn more about his condition and how to treat it. You should not wait for the object to pass on its own because the longer the foreign object stays in your dog’s body, the more damage it will cause. For one, the foreign object can cut off the blood supply to the vital tissues. If that happens, your pet may suffer serious damage or shock. Lastly, do not induce vomiting without the veterinarians’ consent because the foreign object may cause as much damage or harm coming back out.

How Will The Vet Treat My Dog?

  1. The veterinarian will perform a careful physical examination. He will gather as much information about your dog as possible.
  2. The vet might ask you if you have an idea of what your dog ate and when he swallowed it.
  3. Abdominal x-rays and ultrasound will be necessary if a foreign object is suspected as the cause of the symptoms.
  4. You will also need to submit your dog’s blood and urine sample to be tested.
  5. If the foreign object needs to be removed, your dog will be given general anesthetic.

The vet will also consider some factors:

  • The location of the foreign object
  • The size, shape, and characteristics of the object
  • How long it stayed in your dog’s intestine or stomach
  • The health condition of your companion animal before swallowing the object.

If there is a good chance that the foreign object will simply pass on its own, the veterinarian will recommend hospitalization of your canine so that he can observe him closely. But in most cases, the vet usually recommends surgery to remove the object and to avoid further internal damage.

Sick Puppy

Sick Puppy (Photo credit: Won-Tolla)

Preventive Tips

You cannot possibly stop your dog from chewing or putting things in their mouth; however, you still need to keep an eye on what he is eating. Avoid giving him toys that are too small as this increases the risk of swallowing foreign objects. In addition, do not keep too many toys lying around. Lastly, you should properly dispose fruit stones, corn on the cobs, and bones. Make sure that your dog won’t be able to access them.

Citations:
  • Marlene Sanchez.”IMG_0001″. September 27, 2010. Online Image. Flickr. Dec 04, 2013

Featured images:

  • License: Creative Commons image source

The author, Kris Hopkins, promotes pet health and safety. In this article, she lists the signs that pet owners should watch out for and what they should do if their pet swallows a foreign object.

Want 2 Pet Dogs? Here’s 4 Breeds That Get Along Well Together

Thanks to guest Author Neil Kilgore for this article.

 

English: A Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ...

English: A Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many families find that having two dogs is actually better than having one. This is because the two are companions when the humans are gone to their various activities. But it is important that you carefully combine the two dogs because you really want them to care more about your family than they do about each other. Whole Dog Journal has a good discussion of that dynamic here.

Choosing the breed of your pets

A big factor in having two dogs is the compatibility of their breed. Among the top breeds known to get along with other dogs, here are four to consider:

  1. Golden Retriever–the most popular dog in the US, friendly and calm but loving activity, weighing 55 to 75 pounds when full grown
  2. Bernese Mountain Dog–a gentle giant weighing 70 to 115 pounds at maturity, excellent with children and other pets but the size difference can cause problems
  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel–the classic lap dog at 13 to 18 pounds, very dependent upon companionship and eager to please
  4. Bichon Frise–tiny at 7 to 12 pounds, tolerant and friendly

The Golden Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog are larger breeds known for their amiable personalities. The King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise are smaller dogs that are equally gentle. It makes sense to avoid aggressive or highly territorial breeds when you are combining your household pack, because the pack dynamic is unavoidable. Dogs who are naturally inclined to be laid back about things make the adjustments easier.

A male Golden Retriever named Tucker.

A male Golden Retriever named Tucker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Planning for your pets

But there is more to a multi-dog household than breed compatibility. Veterinary Partner suggests that combining a male of larger breed with a female of smaller breed will use the natural inhibitions of aggressive behavior from male to female and large to small in your favor. There will be adjustments as each member of the pack finds their place; you and your household members will be considered members of that pack so be diligent to stay “alpha”. It is extremely important that you work with each dog individually and know not only the general breed characteristics but the personality of your own pets.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A multi-pet household is common and most owners will tell you that the extra investment in time and training is well worth it. Take the time to do research on the animals you are considering and make your choice with an eye on the future: your dogs will be with your family for a long time. Think about who will be in the home at the end of your pet’s natural lifespan and be aware of each breed’s tendency toward specific health problems.

With two or more dogs, your vet expenses will be at least double. Knowing what to expect with the breed you choose will help you deal proactively with potential problems. Owners of multiple combinations in these breeds; the Golden Retriever, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, and the Bichon Frise, are all pleased with their choice and glad to have more than one canine companion.

 

Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.

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.