Is a Chow Chow Right for You?

Chow Chows (often shortened to simply “Chow”) are hardy dogs that originate from cold and snowy northern China.  The breed’s name in Mandarin means “puffy-lion dog,” which refers to the lion-like mane of thick fur that encircles the dog’s head.  Chows are one of few ancient dog breeds in existence, with ancestors dating back 2,000 – 3,000 years; but is a Chow Chow right for you? Temperament Chow Chows are friendly and caring towards their owners, but can also be fiercely protective.  For this reason, many apartment complexes ban Chows, as do certain renter’s or home owner’s insurance policies.  Like most Spitz breeds, the Chow Chow can be considered cat-like, sometimes preferring to keep to itself or only a handful of trusted family members.  Chow Chows can also be extremely stubborn. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep A full grown Chow Chow ranges in weight from 55 – 70 lbs for males,...
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Can You Have a Vegan or Vegetarian Dog?

Dogs are often a reflection of ourselves and typically mirror our own social and political views.  After all, it should be no surprise that dog names like Beyonce, Dobby, Pikachu, and Snow (as in Jon) became more popular in 2016.  In addition to naming our dogs after pop culture and expecting them to partake in our favorite hobbies such as running, hiking, and cycling, we also like for them to follow similar dining habits.  With vegan and vegetarian diets becoming increasingly popular, you might wonder:  can you have a vegan or vegetarian dog?  Listed here are a few surprising facts about meat-free canines. One of the oldest living dogs was vegan. Bramble, a blue merle Collie, once held the Guinness Book World Record for oldest dog, reaching the age of 27 years old.  He resided in the United Kingdom and followed the dietary restrictions of his human.  Bramble ate a...
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Are you Using Dog Treats Correctly?

Three common problems in canine households include pet obesity, excessive begging, and bad behavior based on poor boundaries.  Before you blame your dog (or its metabolism), ask yourself whether your use of dog treats is to blame. Proper Use of Dog Treats The main reason dog treats exist is because dogs learn best with reward-based training.  Since dogs also have voracious appetites, food as a reward is the most logical choice when it comes to training.  In fact, any time a dog is given a reward, be it food, attention, or affection, the pet will repeat any behaviors that preceded the treat or belly rub.  Proper treat use means only giving a dog a reward when it has been earned.  For instance, your dog may receive a treat for sitting and shaking on command, or for peacefully going into his or her crate.  Benefits of proper use of treat include:...
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Is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi Right for You?

In recent years the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has surged in popularity, thanks to the breed’s adorable antics and interesting looks.  Popular Instagram accounts, such as Ralph the Corgi, have also encouraged the breed’s recent success.  Is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi right for you? Temperament Pembroke Welsh Corgis (which are distinct from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi) are highly intelligent dogs that are renowned for their working ability.  They are both affectionate and alert, and make wonderful family companions and watch dogs.  They can be bold, but are kind in their ways. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep Pembroke Welsh Corgis are recognized for their long bodies, erect, triangle-shaped ears, and absence of a tail.  They are small and sturdy dogs, weighing 22 – 31 lbs, depending on sex.  Their coats are short and stiff with the long-coat “fluffy” variation considered a fault.  The American Kennel Club recognizes four colors of Pembroke Welsh Corgi: ...
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How to Choose a Rescue when Adopting a Dog

Are you planning to adopt a dog in 2017?  Just like when choosing a breeder, it is important to choose a reputable rescue or shelter facility from which to adopt your new family member.  Unfortunately, with the proliferation of online advertising and the trend towards foster-based animal rescues, scam artists exist that try to take advantage of unsuspecting adopters.  Listed here are tips for how to choose a rescue or shelter when adopting a dog. Can Meet the Animal Beforehand Never agree to adopt a dog without being able to meet him or her beforehand.  As crazy as it may seem, a non-reputable rescue may try and talk you into adopting the dog, sight unseen.  If you have resident animals, expect to be able to introduce them to the potential adoptee before signing any agreements. Explains Pricing The average adoption price for a dog from a rescue or shelter is...
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Tips for Choosing a Dog Breeder

Are you considering purchasing a new puppy in 2017?  If you are set on your decision to shop, rather than adopt, you should ensure you are choosing the best breeder possible for your new family member.  This seemingly small decision can mean the difference between a happy and healthy pet or one that is prone to health problems and poor genes.  Tips for choosing a dog breeder are discussed here. Seek Recommendations When choosing a dog breeder seek out recommendations from trusted sources, such as national breed associations and veterinarians.  Always check the breeder’s references, particularly if the kennel is not well-established.  If you cannot find recommendations for a kennel in your area, at the very least ask trusted canine professionals which breeders to avoid. Ask Questions Once you narrow down your list to a few breeders, the next step is to ask plenty of questions.  How, and why, did...
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Is a Boxer Right for You?

One of America’s oldest and most popular breeds, the Boxer is a dignified dog known for its spunky personality and beautiful brindle coat.  Currently ranked 10th most popular dog breed in the United States, there is no shortage of Boxer puppies.  But, is a Boxer right for you? Temperament Boxers are intelligent, fun-loving, and active dogs.  They are patient with children, yet also spirited and protective, and make great family pets for these reasons.  Boxers can be stubborn animals that are prone to boredom, so care must be taken to ensure these pets are properly exercised and mentally stimulated. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep A medium-to-large breed, Boxers weigh 55 – 71 lbs and stand 21 – 25’’ tall at the shoulder.  Two colorings are accepted by the American Kennel Club:  fawn and brindle.  White Boxers are also fairly common, representing approximately 25% of all litters.  However, white Boxers are commonly...
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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

When you let your dog into the yard does he or she immediately munch on the greenery?  Almost 80% of dog owners report that their pets behave more like herbivores than carnivores from time to time.  Why do dogs eat grass, and is it dangerous for their digestive systems? Boredom One reason that dogs eat grass is out of boredom.  Dogs will do the darnedest things when left to their own devices, and digging for worms (while eating the excess dirt and grass) is one of them.  Limit the amount of time your dog spends in the yard by his or herself, and invest in a few interactive toys. Nutrient Deficiency Another theory for grass eating is that your dog may be experiencing a nutrient deficiency, such as fiber.  Make sure your dog’s food is a high-quality brand with adequate protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber sources.  If your dog seeks...
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Should I Clean my Dog’s Food and Water Bowls?

An often overlooked aspect of pet ownership is hygiene.  While you are likely to bathe your dog when required, do you pay attention to the cleanliness of your pet’s everyday items?  A recent study performed by the National Institute of Health found that your dog’s food and water bowls were among the dirtiest objects in the entire household.  Tips for cleaning your dog’s food and water dishes are described here. The Importance of Daily Cleaning When your dog uses her food and water bowls, she leaves behind saliva and food particles that are full of bacteria.  This environment is often the perfect breeding ground for germs such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and the pink slime caused by Serratia Marcesens.  Not only can these bacteria spread to human residents in the household, but dogs that are in close contact with bacteria may develop diseases such as pneumonia. Just as you would...
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Adopting a New Dog: The First Two Weeks

The most crucial period of time after a dog is adopted is the first two weeks.  Dogs are most frequently returned to shelters or rescues in this duration due to new owners expecting too much, too soon.  The following is what to expect in the first couple weeks your new dog is home, and common difficulties that are encountered. Name Changing Many adopters change the name of their new pets.  While most dogs are quick to learn their new name, this process may still take 2 – 3 weeks.  While your dog is adjusting to the surroundings and the new moniker, have patience with your pet.  After all, how easy would it be for you if your family suddenly started calling you by a different name? Potty Training Even if your new pet is supposedly potty trained it may take time for your dog to acclimate to new expectations.  Make...
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