Changing A Pet’s Life : Why You Should Consider Adopting Your Next Dog

By the time this Sunday the 24th of January comes around, many of us will be feeling tired of 2021 already. Those “new year, new you” resolutions are quickly wearing thin and the government’s latest lockdown laws are leaving us all lonelier than ever at this time of year. But what if there was something you could do that really would transform your life for the better? And what if that action could turn another life around too? That’s why this Sunday, on National Change A Pet’s Life Day, you should consider adopting your next dog and we’re here to explain why.

Happy little orange havanese puppy dog is sitting in the grass

Every year, over six hundred million strays are reported across the world, and while we might see ourselves as a nation of dog-lovers, the UK still contributes heavily to that number. Some rescue centers in the UK such as London’s Battersea Dog’s Home rescue as many as thirteen dogs a day, three hundred and sixty five days of the year. It’s an unlucky number, but for those thirteen dogs, getting rescued that day is the luckiest thing that will ever happen to them. Without the constant work that such animal shelters put in with the help of thousands of volunteers, many of these innocent animals would not survive. And yet, these millions of unwanted dogs have so much to offer us!

Much like us humans, our canine friends love to feel loved and without a partner in crime to share life’s ups and downs with, they naturally suffer from loneliness like we do. It’s a beautiful thing to witness a depressed dog without a home flourish into such a joyous bundle of affection once they are given a chance to give their love to somebody.

ilst giving one of these lonely dogs a home is obviously a huge commitment that should never be undertaken lightly, adoption is a two way street. We know that from personal experience with many of our clients, in saving a dog, they have saved themselves and now more than ever, we all do need a little bit of saving.

That dogs have helped so many humans through depression, turmoil and grief when traditional techniques such as anti-depressants and cognitive therapy have all failed, is not surprising. It is no secret that owning a dog is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, and there are scientific studies to prove it. The unconditional love and companionship that dogs offer means that most of our owners regard their pooch as their best friend. This is a best friend whose constant enthusiasm for cuddles and play, for a healthy exercise routine and for social interaction makes it almost impossible to be sad. However, making the choice to adopt a rescue dog rather than buy a “new” dog from a breeder is what really counts in making this kind of relationship truly rewarding. When you offer a dog a second chance, you embark on a healing journey together, providing each other with a daily purpose to keep on smiling and wagging through the darkest of times.

Though people often worry that developing a bond with a rescue dog will be difficult, it is precisely this process that makes that bond so much more meaningful. It may take a little patience, but seeing your dog’s confidence go from strength to strength as they put their trust in you is an unforgettable feeling that will make every second of work you put in worthwhile. Rescue centers will do their utmost to smooth this journey for you. One of the best things about taking on an older dog is that their personality is already developed and they are often also already very well trained. This makes it so much easier for staff to help you find the right dog for you. Time will be invested by the handlers who know the dog best considering your lifestyle and your character which will then be carefully matched to the dog who would be best suited to you. When you do find your perfect furry companion, those same handlers will ensure that your transition is gentle and that you are furnished with as much advice and support as you need.

Contrary to popular belief, adopted dogs are also usually much healthier than pedigree or farmed puppies can be, which can arrive with underlying conditions caused by inbreeding or poor care. Comparatively, rescue centers (as charities rather than businesses out to make profits from their dogs) make sure that all their strays are thoroughly vetted on arrival and where necessary are nursed back to full health before being re-homed. Any unwanted puppies that they take in will always be kept until they are old enough to be weaned and they also make sure that each pet gets neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas before leaving. This is all done in an effort to ensure that re-homed dogs are re-homed for life, and the sad cycle of abandonment and stray animals being born on the streets is broken for good.

The trials of 2020 have forced many of us to re-evaluate our lives and here, we honestly believe that can be turned into a positive. If you have more time at home, and less time with your loved ones, the decision to spend that time getting to know a dog who deserves it can hardly be a choice you will regret. When you save a rescue dog, you not only save yourself, but you are also creating a space at the refuge for another dog to be brought in. Your adoption fee will go towards caring for these abandoned animals while they wait patiently for their forever home to come and find them.

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Are dog ramps worth it?

If you are the owner of a dog, you’ve probably thought more than once – and not having to help my dog get on the bed or get in the car every time. If you are still planning to add a four-legged friend to your family, you will definitely think about it in the future. However, there is a very simple way to solve this problem. You just need a dog ramp that will make your dog’s life easier. And yours as well.

What is a dog ramp? It is a surface that helps your pet to get from one level to another. For example, to get easily from floor to bed, sofa, etc. They can come in a variety of sizes, including ones that can be height-adjusted as needed. They are usually made of plastic or wood, it can be decorated and adapted to the interior of your home.

What is it for? Dog ramps are very useful for those who raise small puppies or have senior dogs. Also for those whose dogs are sick, have joint problems, or are handicapped. The dog ramp allows the dog to be independent as well as risk-free as they do not need to try to jump on a higher surface. Because dogs are underestimating their chances of jumping can get injured very often. And such a situation will cause a lot of discomfort for both you and your dog, after which you will still probably have to buy a dog ramp.

The main benefits of having a dog ramp. It will make the dog’s life easier and protect it from possible injuries. Meanwhile, purchasing a dog ramp will also save you a lot of time, as you will no longer need to help your dog every single time it wants to get on the bed or couch. Also, it is not a short-term investment. This tool will be used by your dog constantly for many years.

The main drawback may be beneficial as well. Reduced space in a room is probably the biggest drawback of having dog ramps. However, if the amount of space is relevant to you, you can choose a functional ramp. For example, the one that is easy to fold. Such a ramp will take up very little space and fit perfectly in the closet or under the bed. Another option is to choose a dog ramp that can be used as a shelf or storage box. In this way, space will be used functionally.

So, are dog ramps worth it? The answer is – definitely yes. Some people doubt purchasing a dog ramp because of financial reasons or they are unsure how it would look in their apartment. However, deciding to postpone getting off a dog ramp often means paying a few times more to the vet after a pet has failed an attempt to jump on the bed. Meanwhile, in terms of design, you can definitely find something to suit your interior and be functional as well.

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Top Most Common Illnesses and Diseases in Dogs

There are many illnesses that can befall our precious pets, some curable, some not. Sadly, some of the most common diseases are eminently preventable if dog owners would just be more responsible about vaccinating their dogs.

There are too many cases where puppies are given “free to a good home,” but then these puppies are not vaccinated or dewormed, leading to diseases. There are also diseases that are more incidental and that loving, caring pet owners could not have prevented. So, what are the most common diseases in dogs?

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that, while more prevalent in larger breeds, has been seen in smaller breeds too. It is caused when the ball of the hip joint, or the head of the femur, does not develop at the same pace as the socket. This can lead to the ball being too small, causing the hip to dislocate from time to time and causing pain and lameness in the dog.

Alternatively, the ball can also be too large for the socket, causing the bones to grind together, causing inflammation, pain and, ultimately, arthritis. The disease is not preventable, but you would do well to research the breeder if you are purchasing a breed prone to this condition.

Some indiscriminate breeders exacerbate the problem by inbreeding to get a more “desirable looking” pup, with no regard to the detrimental effect on the pup’s health. There are interventions and treatments to slow the progression of this condition, making your dog more comfortable. Given its seriousness, you certainly need to learn more about hip dysplasia in dogs.

Parvovirus
This is a completely preventable disease that is prevented by simply vaccinating your puppy; however, failure to do so can lead to your dog contracting the virus that is, in most cases, fatal. It is spread in an infected dog’s feces and once infected, your dog will develop diarrhea and vomiting, making him weak and lethargic as he becomes more and more dehydrated. Many dogs succumb to this disease, which is prevented by timeous vaccinations.

Rabies
Another completely preventable disease, Rabies is always fatal for dogs once they have been bitten by an infected creature (it can infect any species, including squirrels, raccoons, rats etc.). Rabies causes paralysis of the throat and tongue, causing the dog to salivate excessively due to his inability to swallow.

As it advances, he may become aggressive and, if he bites, the infection will be spread – even to humans, who must have a course of shots as soon as possible to prevent their own demise. Rabies shots are easily available and every dog owner should ensure to have their dogs vaccinated.

Lyme Disease
This tick-borne disease can be prevented by ensuring your dog is bathed regularly in a tick repellent shampoo. You can also purchase collars that prevent tick infestations for months – they are an excellent way to make sure your best friend does not end up with this awful disease. If your dog suddenly displays lethargy and loss of appetite, you will need to act quickly to get her on antibiotics, which will clear the bacteria from her blood.

Skin Disorders
Like humans, some dogs have sensitive skin and can develop itches and rashes on their bodies. Some skin disorders are caused by specific, identifiable allergens, like grain or fish by-products, where the pet owner can change his diet and he will be fine.
Some dogs are allergic to grass seeds, which is very sad, as dogs love to bound around in open grasslands. However, as with humans, the trigger for some dogs’ skin disorders is never identified. These doggies will need to be treated symptomatically for their entire lifetime.

Ear Infections and Ear Mites
Ear infections are more prevalent in dogs with “droopy” ears, such as Dalmatians, Spaniels, even more so in dogs with very large ears, like Basset Hounds. These closed-up areas offer the ideal breeding ground for both fungal and bacterial infections, being warm and moist all the time.

You will know your pet is battling if he shakes his head constantly or scratches at his ears. These conditions are easily treated, either with antibiotics or antifungals, depending on the type of infection. You can prevent recurrence by cleaning your dog’s ears regularly with a damp cotton ball, ensuring to clean out any visible build-up.

Kidney Disease
This is not necessarily preventable and it can seem to sneak up on you as a dog owner. Your dog may drop weight and appear more lethargic. He will drink excessive amounts of water and urinate more frequently. This condition can be insidious as it is usually a slow degeneration.

You will initially notice he loses his shine and somehow, he seems a little less energetic, but all other aspects appear normal. Then he may start to lose more fur than usual and lose weight and general condition. Your key symptoms are weight loss and an increase in water consumption. The disease is degenerative and progressive and, while you can take steps to slow it down, it cannot be cured.

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Choosing Premium Dog Food

Pet domestication is one of the most critical aspects of society that we have developed over the years. Many people think it all stopped when these animals just followed our commands and requests throughout their lifespan. However, the way we treat them now will also influence future generations, as this type of evolution takes centuries. We never had dogs running around with us before; for example, the process of domestication aided us to have it.

When it comes to canine health, there are still many facets of it that people get confused about all the time. It seems that our familiarity with dogs has been confused with expertise, as with many others around us as you may read here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/biggest-dog-myths-1117469. Some have even stated that they already know what they are doing without consulting experts. It is usually the case for people who think they cannot afford to have their beloved animal to the vet.

Cheaper or Better?
Please do not get us wrong; veterinarian costs these days are getting more expensive. Many aspects factor into the increase. It is a trend that we cannot escape since the foundation of the free market. Everything else involved in the process is getting pricier, as the tools and medicines are used.

It is also not easy to deal with creatures that may not be able to understand us correctly. For this reason, there is some premium when it comes to this particular service.

On the other hand, it is also crucial to know what to do even without a doctor’s help. These people are not going to be there all the time so mastering some skills is the key. As we have mentioned before, choosing the best dog food for your furry pal is both an art and a science. Many things can go wrong or right with one’s choice for sustenance. Dogs live a different life than us, even if they stay with us most of the time.

Most people who are just starting to have a pet at home would have some misconceptions regarding their food choices. In some countries, they tend to feed their animals with the same things as their owners. The rule goes: whatever is on the table will be provided from the family to the dogs. However, many animal experts believe that it is harmful to the fur babies in the long run. Depending on the food type or group, it may even harm them in the end.

Premium pet food has been rising in demand due to these claims. These products are considered “premium” for various reasons, as Hungry Bark super-premium dog food may tell us. It may be because of the ingredients, processing, brand, health benefits, or a combination of them. It has been this way for a long time, even with other products like those meant for us humans. However, are all of them made in the same way, or are there still nuances between them?

It is essential to choose your dog’s right choice as their digestive tract is not the same as ours—dogs process food differently than we do since it is needed for their physical prowess. For one, it is crucial for their growth and development, in the long run, so you might want to start early. Below are some aspects that you want to read more about before deciding on anything.

The Aspects for Choice

Age
First, the canine’s age will be one of the primary considerations for food choice. It is something that most manufacturers of this particular product would tell their customers. Some options are meant for puppies as they need more nutrients to grow older. Once they mature to full adults, the diet also changes as well as their metabolism. As they reach old age, some food groups would be more helpful for them in the long run.

Size
Another aspect that you need to look into is their size, as it will dictate their diet. We all know that if you are more significant, you also tend to eat more. It is even more apparent with dogs since you can already see it happening without thinking too positively about it. If you have a German Shepherd or Malamute, expect some spikes in dietary needs as they grow bigger. On the other hand, you do not need to worry too much about the smaller ones like Chihuahuas, but they still eat a lot.

Reaction on Food
Meanwhile, this aspect readily depends on the dog and the way they have been brought up. It can also be their taste since these animals do have differing personalities. Some may prefer kibble, while others prefer dry options. Always take note of their eating habits as it will be pervasive even later on in life. You can try and let them get used to the ones you give, but it might take time to catch up and even fail at times.

Activity Level
Lastly, you need to take into consideration the amount of energy that they expend in a day. You do not have to use mathematics for this as observation will suffice. Most dogs tend to run around and play all day, especially while they are still puppies. As they grow, it will lessen to more focused activities depending on how you train them. Meanwhile, some dogs have more physically demanding responsibilities, so they need to eat more.

Ingredients Do Matter
Once you have already considered these aspects, it is time to look into the products themselves. As we have mentioned before, not all of them are created equal when compared to each other. Both wet and dry dog food does have advantages, but they are interchangeable most of the time. It will always come to personal preferences, but the ingredients are the ones that matter the most.

First off, you need to take a look at the contents. One of the indications of well-made pet food is the presence of natural ingredients. If you can find organic options, then it would be the better choice. However, most of them are relatively rare for now, even if there are sightings in typical grocery stores. Meanwhile, there are some specific ingredients that you need to find in their lists that you can check here.

Meat is an integral part of the natural canine diet. It gives them the nutrients they need to survive, like proteins and taurine. However, several pieces of research suggest it might be possible for them to go full vegan. There are already products that claim it on their packaging, and they are trying to go to the mainstream. If you are looking for the standard options, though, it would be best to look for a meat source in the ingredients.

The name of the content should be clear enough for anyone to understand. For example, if there is meat in the product, it should be appropriately labeled. If it says something generic like animal parts, then you might want to ask more questions about it.

What kind of animal are they using for this product? What are the elements that they have mixed in their contents? Some products tend to combine many other animal products in their pet food, but they should be named like beef heart, chicken liver, and others.

Additionally, it would be best if you looked into the carbs in the prepared food source. It is usually mixed in because dogs are omnivores, and they can live off plants, too. The same rule applies to meat; it should be labeled clearly by the manufacturer. The ingredient list should say what kind of carbohydrates they are putting in, like wheat and barley. Some low-quality products tend to use vague terms like coarse meal, and you might want to avoid it.

Most of these dog food products are supposed to be safe for consumption, as long as they have passed the US FDA regulations. It means that it does not have anything that is supposed to be dangerous to the canine species like chocolate, onions, and caffeine. However, it still pays to read the list and search for the terms that might not be clear for you. In this way, you can make sure of their health and well-being.

Make Your Own
On the other hand, you can try and make food for your beloved canine. It is something that most people do these days since the world has been plunged into pandemic mode. Going to the market or grocery feels more of a chore since you have to do a lot of preparation before going out. You need to have a mask on and use alcohol as much as possible. Social distancing has also led to lesser people in these areas, so you might end up lining for a long time.

In this instance, it is essential to know that any food you are going to offer your dog should be cooked. It includes the meat, as modern domesticated animals tend to have a weaker digestive system than their wilder counterparts. A wolf can eat raw meat because they need it to survive but feeding one to a domesticated dog can lead to digestive issues. Also, we have mentioned that there are inherently dangerous food items, so watch out for them.

Being a dog owner might not be as simple as it seems, but there are so many reasons why it is a popular way of life. For one, having another animal with you is already proven to be therapeutic, given the circumstances. Dogs were inherently bred to be human’s constant companions, and we cannot see it changing anytime soon. For this reason, you need to feed them properly so that they can perform well even in the direst of situations.

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