Surviving Holiday Travel with your Dog

This week, many people will be traveling to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family.  For some, family pets will make the trip as well.  If this is your first time taking Fido home for the holidays, listed below are helpful tips to make sure he is welcomed back next year. Exercise Your pup is bound to be excited by the change in environment and new people to bug for attention.  Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog; and a happy dog makes for happy hosts.  Take your pup for extra long walks in the morning and provide plenty of play time.  Start a Thanksgiving Day tradition by letting your dog tag along in the local Turkey Trot. Routine Whereas humans enjoy to switch things up from time to time, dogs are happiest when their lives are predictable.  No matter where you travel for the holiday, try to...
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Designer Breeds: Everything you Need to Know

A growing subset of dog breeds is the so-called “designer dog,” which comprises a mix of two popular breeds.  A recent trend, for instance, is to mix everything with a poodle, to produce some sort of “doodle” dog.  The pros, cons, and a few common designer breeds are discussed. Benefits of Owning a Designer Dog Designer dogs are “in” right now, which means there is more of a supply than ever before.  Options for choosing your dog are diverse, and designer breeds are certainly adorable.  In some instances, a designer dog may cause fewer health problems for someone who experiences allergies.  Additionally, diversity of the dog’s gene pool likely means a healthier animal, as the risk of genetic disease is significantly lower in mixed breeds. Disadvantages of Designer Dogs The disadvantages of designer dogs are equally numerous.  There is less controllability in the genetics of a mixed breed dog.  For...
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Is a Siberian Husky Right for You?

Siberian Huskies are currently experiencing a growth in popularity in the United States.  In 2002 this majestic breed was the 21st most popular dog, while in 2016 the American Kennel Club ranked Siberian Huskies as the 12th most popular breed, per registrations.  But, is a Siberian Husky right for you? Temperament Siberian Huskies are energetic, mischievous, and outgoing.  These social butterflies are friendly and loyal, and do well in human or canine packs.  They are considered to be among the closest ancestors to wolves, and indeed have many wolf-like tendencies when it comes to their social interactions.  Huskies can easily become bored, and are known for their destructive and escape-artist behaviors when not properly exercised. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep With thick and heavy coats, Siberian Huskies often look larger than they truly are.  A male Husky tops out at 60 lbs, while females reach 50 lbs.  Their thick fur represents...
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How to Keep Your Dog if You Fall on Hard Times

Owning an animal is a huge responsibility, one that should not be taken lightly.  However, occasionally people fall onto hard times and cannot bear the thought of giving up their pets due to a short-term crisis.  Additionally, sometimes people in tough situations find themselves with a new companion, typically an animal that was picked up as a stray.  If you have found yourself in either situation, know that there are short-term ways to help pay for your pet’s care. Ask for a Foster If you need help for a limited period of time, such as while you find a new place to live or work, approach a respected rescue and inquire whether they can place your dog with a foster family.  Rescues are happy to help pet owners keep their animals if at all possible, and if a foster is available the rescue will surely oblige. Visit a Canine Food...
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Homemade Dog Treats from Thanksgiving Leftovers

With Thanksgiving almost here, you may be stocking up on Tupperware for the mountain of leftovers you are sure to have.  Why not repurpose those leftovers into treats for your dog?  Listed here are homemade treat recipes that use common Thanksgiving foods. Thanksgiving Bowl If you have leftovers of everything, consider substituting this thanksgiving bowl for a few of your dog’s meals.  Not only will your pup enjoy the change in routine, but you will have less food waste (and less turkey fatigue).  To make nine, 1-cup servings (serving size is ¾ cup for small dog, 1 ½ cups for medium dog, and 3 cups for large dog), combine 3 lbs skinless cooked turkey pieces, 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 1 lb cubed, cooked sweet potatoes, 2 TBSP cranberry sauce (optional), and 4 TBSP turkey gravy (optional; if omitting, replace with olive oil).  Combine the ingredients and feed to your dog...
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Is a Weimaraner Right for You?

Weimaraners are noble dogs, best known for their history as large game hunters among German nobility.  Their unique coloring and soulful eyes makes them a popular choice among dog owners; but, is a Weimaraner right for you? Temperament As a dog from the sporting group, the Weimaraner is stereotypically obedient and friendly, while also bold and fearless.  This breed is highly energetic, thanks to its background in hunting large game such as boar and bear.  Like most dogs bred to work closely with humans, the Weimaraner is also very affectionate, almost to a fault.  Weimaraners are highly prone to developing separation anxiety, and often struggle when left alone. Size, Coloring, and Upkeep Weimaraners are large dogs, typically topping out at 82 lbs for males and 71 lbs for females.  They are known for their uniquely colored coat, which can be blue, grey, or silver grey.  Their eyes are light in...
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What To Do If You Find a Stray Dog

Dog people often feel that stray animals are drawn to them, as if the dogs know that they will receive care when they find certain people.  If you find a stray dog, there are numerous things you can do to help the dog find its way home. Secure Safely First, safely secure the animal in your yard or garage.  Use caution, as scared animals are often unpredictable and may bite.  If you are ever unsure about the situation, err on the side of caution.  For help with a sick or injured animal, call animal control or the police department.  Do not introduce your own pets to any stray animals, as you do not want to risk spreading disease. Check for Tags If the dog has tags, call the number on the ID and explain the situation.  If the dog only has a rabies tag but no contact information, call the...
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How to Choose a Name for Your Dog

When you bring home a new puppy or an adopted dog, the first step is to choose a name.  This task may seem monumental; after all, your pet is stuck with this title for the rest of its life!  Tips to help make your decision easier are described here. Research Common Names Max, Sadie, Bella, Bailey, and Buddy are all great monikers, which is why they are on the list of most common dog names.  If you are choosing a popular name for your pet, ask yourself if you plan to take your dog to areas that will be populated with other dogs, such as off-leash dog parks or daycare.  If so, you may want to reconsider, unless you want all the Sadies running to your car when it’s time to go. Here are some free online books to get ideas. Avoid Trends Sure, it might be cute to dub your...
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How to Prepare for Any Canine Emergency

If an emergency were to strike, would you be prepared?  Staying calm and knowing what to do in case of disaster is the first step, and listed below are common emergencies, what you should do, and tips for mitigating the consequences. On the Road Before getting your dog ready for travel, you should prepare a few key items.  First, print off your dog’s veterinary and vaccine records, just in case you need to make an emergency visit to a veterinarian.  Next, ensure your dog’s microchip and tag information are up to date, in case of the unfortunate scenario that you lose your pet.  In addition, be sure to have a recent photo of your dog available. While traveling, it is essential that your pet remain restrained in the car, either in a kennel, with a seat belt, or behind a pet gate.  This not only prevents your dog from distracting...
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Hidden Danger for Dogs: Xylitol

One of the most toxic substances for dogs has only surfaced in recent years, thanks to the health-conscious minds of today’s consumers.  A particularly scary aspect of this ingredient is that it is not always listed on a food’s label, and can appear in unlikely sources.  Everything you need to know about xylitol and the dangers it poses to your dog is discussed here. What is Xylitol? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that adds sweetness to food without the calories or insulin-spike of sugar.  It is commonly added to sugar-free or “diet friendly” foods in order to make these items more palatable.  In addition, xylitol is less likely to cause side effects in humans, such as gastrointestinal upset, which is commonly experienced with sweeteners such as sorbitol. Which Foods Contain Xylitol? The most common sources of xylitol are sugar-free gum, breath fresheners, toothpaste, and most recently, certain brands of peanut...
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