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The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things about everyday life in America. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that there are a lot of dogs that need a home. And while there are responsibilities involved, those responsibilities are far outweighed by the love and joy that comes with adding a canine companion to the family. If you are thinking about opening up your home to a dog in need, these resources can serve as a great starting point:
Choosing the Right Dog
How to Choose the Right Dog for You
Adopt a Rescue Pup
Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Are Dogs Good for Kids?
Best Dog Breeds for Kids
Basic Care Tips
Routine Health Care of Dogs
6 Steps to Choosing the Best Food for Your Dog
5 Expert Tips to Help You Groom Your Dog at Home
10 Easy Ways to Exercise Your Dog
Pet Ownership Costs Guide for 2020
Get Estimates for Upholstery Cleaning If Necessary
Where to Turn if You Can’t Afford Veterinary Care for Your Dog
21 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Save Money on Pet Care
Shops for Cashback Offers for Petsmart at Rakuten to Save Money
When You Need a Sitter
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter
Best Dog Sitting Sites for Traveling Fur Parents
6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Pet Sitter
The companionship you get by bringing a dog into your home makes all the time, effort, and money you spend well worth it. Read up on how to take care of a dog and how to pick the right breed for your lifestyle. Also, look into your options for financial assistance, and make sure you are thorough when choosing a sitter. With everything going on in the world right now, adding a furry little friend to your household can bring a lot of much-needed joy.
by Aurora James
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
We love our dogs. They’re a wonderful source of companionship. They’re faithful, playful, sometimes goofy, and they always love us.
But they can really stink and cause our homes to stink.
And it’s not just the times when they wallow in a patch of dead, wet leaves, or when they form an accidental friendship with a skunk. Just like human beings, dogs do perspire, but they do it from their paw pads and from their hair follicles. Plus, they have dander, the tiny particles of skin that they (and all animals, actually) shed, which can cause allergies. And dogs can make a mess as well. They drool, throw up and sometimes have accidents if they don’t make it outside in time.
Even though we love them dearly, all their dander, the results of accidents, and general smelliness can make our homes have a certain odor that says to visitors, “Yes, a dog lives here, too.” But there are a few things you can do to keep your home free of “dog smell” so that the only way visitors can tell if you have a dog is if one greets them with a wagging tail when they walk into the door.
1. Invest in an Air Purifier or Filter for Allergies
Purifiers simply keep the air in your house clean by ridding it of airborne particles like pet dander. They range from the simple such as a filter that replaces the one in your HVAC system to a home purifier system, which is professionally installed and intended for anyone with severe allergies. Using a purifier system would be a great way to keep the air in the entire house clean and free of dander and all other types of allergens. There are some filters that are better suited for pet parents than others, so be sure to compare different models to find one within your budget with features that will work best for your needs.
2. Use Household and Natural Ingredients for Spot Cleansers
When your dog has a mishap on your carpet or hardwood floor, you should tend to it immediately before the urine, fecal matter, or vomit has a chance to set in. On hardwood floors, for example, urine can permeate into the wood. And on carpet, it can become absorbed deeply into the fibers. While there are many fine products that can remove the stain and odor left behind, they tend to be expensive. And if your dog becomes ill, or even if you’ve brought a new puppy into your house, you’ll find yourself dabbing up lots of messes and exhausting your expensive supply. Consider, instead, using a combination of items you might already have around the house, such as dishwashing liquid, water, vinegar and baking soda to remove urine, feces and their stains from carpet.
3. Deep-Clean Carpets and Rugs
Pet dander and other odors aren’t only in your home’s air, but they’re also trapped in your carpet. In fact, Michelle Manetti in The Huffington Post states that a carpet can be 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. Sometimes our dogs accidentally use the carpet as a toilet, whether it’s to relieve themselves or throw up a dinner that didn’t set well. Over time, even if you spot-clean any place where the dog left you a present (even if it’s drool), bacteria and odors can set into the carpet fiber. Consider purchasing or renting a deep-cleaning system for your carpet. These systems not only remove stains, but they also can help scrub out any pet dander as well.
We do love our dogs, but they can stink and make a mess. Fortunately, we don’t have to invest a lot of money into making sure our home stays nice and fresh with them in it.
Your pooch is your best friend, and you always want your best friend along on your adventures. If you ever wondered what it would take to take him along on a camping trip, we’ve compiled a list of things to be aware of when packing. Know what safety precautions to take before venturing into the great outdoors.
Is my pet ready for an outdoor excursion?
How do I check for injuries on my dog?
How do I check for ticks on my pet?
Heatstroke in my dog: what do I need to know?
How do I find dog-friendly campsites and important regulations?
What are the potential camping-related dangers?
What are some other great outdoor adventures for me and my pup?
What packing checklist should I follow?
What should I put in my dog’s first aid kit?
Is a collar or harness best for my dog during our camping trip?
Now that you know how to keep him safe, plan to take him along on all your outdoor adventures. He’ll love smelling all the new scents along the trail and swimming in the same lakes and ponds that you do. Then he’ll curl up next to you in your tent and keep you warm and safe from wildlife while you sleep.
Photo by Unsplash
Anyone with a pet will tell you that their companion animal is a member of the family. We love them like our own children and appreciate the laughter and love they bring to our lives. For people with mental illness or addiction issues, a pet can be life-changing -- for the better. Having a pet can make a huge difference in the lives and wellness of people who struggle with mental illnesses.
The difference pets can make is huge. One study found that, “pets constituted a valuable source of illness work in managing feelings through distraction from symptoms and upsetting experiences, and provided a form of encouragement for activity.” One study participant was quoted in an article on NPR: "When I'm feeling really low they are wonderful because they won't leave my side for two days. They just stay with me until I am ready to come out of it."
In the study, 60 percent of the people who considered pets to be a part of their social networks placed them their most important circle, the same place many people put close family. That shows the importance people put on their pets. "The routine these pets provide is really important for people," says Helen Brooks, the study’s author to NPR. "Getting up in the morning to feed them and groom them and walk them, giving them structure and a sense of purpose that they won't otherwise have."
Pets, especially dogs, can have a motivational effect on people with mental issues. Having a dog forces you to get out of bed and take him for a walk, which will also leads to socializing with other dog owners. The social benefits are good, especially for people with depression and anxiety. For people who struggle to make friends, pets serve as a point of connection for many.
Another way that pets can help is through exercise. Exercise has been shown to help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as help those in addiction recovery stay sober. Having a dog itching to go on a walk is a good motivator toward exercise. Once you’ve walked, you feel better, and your dog is nice and tired, and ready to cuddle. Bonus!
For people with addiction issues, pets can also be a motivator to get through the tough times. If a person is depressed or feels like their life doesn’t matter, a pet who loves that person unconditionally will show that it does. Our pets give us love no matter how badly we’ve behaved in the past.
Often, people with severe mental illness or addiction find themselves isolated from family and friends, so having a pet can ward off the loneliness and sense of isolation they feel. For people with suicidal thoughts, pets can give them a reason to keep going, if only to care for their pets. Sometimes, it takes a pet to remind us that we are people who deserve affection and caring.
Just taking care of a pet can give a person with substance abuse disorder or mental illness a feeling of accomplishment, which helps boost self-esteem. For people with serious self-esteem issues, that little boost can make a world of difference.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness or addiction recovery, a pet can help you get through it. Just beware that getting a pet is a serious commitment and isn’t always easy at first. But once you have a pet that is a permanent part of your life, the joy and love you get from him will all be worth it.
The people who know you best understand that when your dog is happy, you’re happy. Christmas is a perfect time for them to do something nice for both of you by giving gifts that’ll delight your pooch and maybe even make you a better friend and owner. You know your pet better than anyone, so when you give friends and family your Christmas wish list this year, be sure to include some carefully selected items for your dog. It doesn’t have to be a chew toy or a new box of Milk Bones. It could be something that helps keep your canine companion safe, or something like a stretch leash that makes your daily walks more comfortable for both of you. The best gift is one that benefits both of you!
Dogs like to have fun too
It’s hard to imagine there’s ever been a dog that didn’t like a toy. Most really enjoy playing with stuffed animals, or some kind of chew toy that squeaks. If your dog enjoys playing a good game of tug of war, ask for a piece of toy rope (most pet stores will have one) or something they can pull on. Muscular dogs with a strong jaw can chew through a toy pretty quickly, so specify one that’s made of hard rubber or some synthetic material that’ll last. If your pet likes to play fetch, add a frisbee to your list instead of more tennis balls. Frisbees are fun and it’s a good workout for both of you.
Squeak toys are popular enough that there’s a new variation every year about this time. This year, the Kong Cozy Dog squeaky toy promises to be a top seller. It’s a little trendy but it’s squeaky, so who cares? The Chuck-It ball is a fetch toy on steroids, featuring an extra-high bounce and bright colors, so it’s easy to keep track of.
Your dog may sleep under the dining room table or on a pile of dirty clothes, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a doggie bed. There are some especially comfy ones to choose from. For example, the Orvis Fleecelock Bolster Futon bed which is lined with fleece and suede, and is plenty big enough to accommodate mega-dogs. Read reviews to decide on the best one for your pup.
If your back yard isn’t fenced in, you’re probably pretty restricted when it comes time for your pet to relieve himself out back. There’s no opening the back door without a worry. Installing a new fence can cost quite a bit, so consider asking for a hefty donation this Christmas from a generous relative. There are lots of materials to choose from, including chain link, vinyl, wood, iron and aluminum. If you have a big dog who likes to jump, chew and dig, you might consider going with iron or some other strong material.
The internet has made it easy to subscribe to services that wouldn’t have been possible years ago. And there are quite a few dog-oriented services that are pretty cool. Most dogs are partial to dog treats, so consider asking for a subscription to Barkbox or Pawpack, delivery services that deliver a new treat or doggie delicacy every month. There are also services that’ll walk your dog on a regular schedule, which can come in very handy in bad weather or when you’re just too busy. Dog gifts can add a fun twist to holiday gift giving. Don’t just think practical, get creative when you draw up your wish list.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
Aurora believes there are no bad dogs. She created DogEtiquette.info to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere.
Okay, well not all bad. However, they are a bad idea when given as an impulse gift to a child for Easter. Rabbits are a lot of work and have special dietary needs that many people don’t realize. It’s not just pellets folks! They require a steady amount of fresh vegetables and hay. Hay! When was the last time you saw hay for sale at your local grocery store? Their special diet can add up fast, making them more expensive than most apartment size dogs.
When you envision giving your child a pet, you probably are thinking of the time they will spend playing, holding and cuddling the future pet. Be aware, rabbits aren’t always fans of this type of attention. They are prey animals and prefer a quick exit, which often means staying close to the ground at all costs. Is your child old enough to understand that in order for their rabbit to be happy, they have to do what’s best for the rabbit?
What children and rabbits have in common is energy, both need plenty of exercise and stimulation. For rabbits, this means time spent outside of their cage. Rabbits love to chew almost as much as they love carrots; wires, baseboards, edges of furniture are all at risk when your rabbit is burning of energy. Be prepared and bunny proof your home.
So do I recommend you bring home Floppy as a present for your little one this Easter? Maybe! As long as you do your research and line up a hay supplier (lol) a rabbit can be a fantastic pet for a child. Pets teach our children responsibility, and thinking about the welfare of someone other than ourselves. Only introduce a new pet to the household if you have pet proofed your home and have all of the supplies in place.
So the day finally came and we were able to officially celebrate our win as “Best of the Boro” for pet sitting and dog training! We arrived early to set up our table and ended up with some fantastic neighbors, Aigner Chocolates, who were nice enough to share some of their samples with us. Yum!
We met with pet owners, pet lovers, and others in our field. Not to mention Mr. Met! It was a night to also chat with one another. We work outside and independently, so chances to really talk with one another usually happens via text. Our trainer, Kate, lives just outside of Queens, so we rarely get to see one another in person. It was her first time meeting some of my staff as well; they were especially excited to meet her since she has helped them indirectly by training the dog’s that they walk.
It was an honor to be nominated and truly humbling to win. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote, not just once, but daily. My staff and I appreciate the recognition and strive to deliver the best service possible to all of our loyal clients.
After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
Did you know that January 8th is National Bubble Bath day? I love a good bubble bath. It can be a relaxing way to unwind at the end of a long day. Wouldn’t you like for your dog to have the same experience? Here are 5 tips to help your pet enjoy “spa day” as much as you do.
1) Supplies: Keep yourself sane by gathering everything you need to properly clean your dog before you get your dog in the tub. That means shampoo, a bucket, cotton balls* (more on this later), and a few towels.
2) Temperature Check: While you might enjoy slowly roasting in a toasty bath, your dog would prefer something closer to room temperature.
3) Keep it Safe: Did you know placing a towel at the bottom of the tub or shower will keep your pet from slipping? This is because it will give them more traction than standing on slippery tiles. Make sure to wet it thoroughly before having your dog step on it.
4) Suds them up!: So where to start? Begin at the head and work your way back to the tail. If your dog is prone to ear infections or has pendulous ears, place cotton balls in their ears to help keep the water out. Pay special attention to the major areas prone to the most dirt like legs and belly.
5) Time for the fluff dry: This may take multiple towels if you have a large dog. If it’s cold out, you can also use a hair dryer (on it’s lowest setting) to speed up the process.
So now that you have your dog looking his best, it’s your turn! I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy National Bubble Bath day!
Our cat Jack has been dealing with some medical issues and it's reminded me that, as pet owners, we know our pets better than anyone else. Jack is 12 years old and is famous for his love of food, high play drive and ability to High 5 for a treat. Our rambunctious senior kitty does not act his age and is constantly keeping us on our toes.
Lately, however, we’ve been waking up to puke. Puking has never been an issue with Jack. This raised a bright red flag for me, so I made a vet appointment. Jack had no temperature, gave the entire staff a work out trying to keep him on the table, and left with a shot to treat the nausea. 3 days later, he’s puking again. Another trip to the vet resulted in a cracked nail bed and a tuft of fur ripped out during Jack’s vigorous attempts to escape. The vet did manage to take a blood sample despite Jack’s efforts.
Blood work showed a healthy cat. Jack continued to eat and beg for treats, drinking water, playing and generally acting normal. We had changed his food, just in case, and the puking came to a stop. Our vet suggested we give him some time and see if that solved the problem. We were game.
On Friday night we were introduced to THE Puke. This was seriously the most foul smelling, disgusting puke I’ve ever seen. It was open the windows and air out the house bad. So now our vet is on board that there’s something wrong and we’re scheduled for an ultrasound, additional blood work and a urinalysis.
While we wait for answers I pet Jack and wonder if he’s feeling okay. His coat is shiny, he’s eating well, and chasing after his treats when tossed around the house. So while he seems healthy, we know that something is wrong and will find out soon how to make him well again. I no longer feel foolish for rushing him to the vet for puking daily or when the test results came back negative. I know my cat better than anyone, even his vet, and when my gut tells me something is wrong, I trust it.
If you notice a change in your pet, let your vet know. Your pet won’t complain and often the symptoms won’t be obvious. Changes in eating habits and water intake to activity level and behavior changes can often be signs that something’s not right. Please check out this page: http://www.vetstreet.com to learn more about identifying the signs your cat is unwell.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.