The Dog Adoption Network

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paw print Four Step Guide to Adopting Puppies

Raising a puppy is a wonderful experience and adopting one in need from a shelter or rescue is incredibly rewarding. Puppies are excellent partners, playmates and family pets’ weather it is a companion for just you, or a new member of your family to bring home. Choosing the right one is a very important decision, and can turn out to be quite a difficult when faced with so many options. Fallow these steps when looking at prospective puppies to help you adopt the right one for you.

Step One: Be smart and do your research. Whether you are looking at adopting a puppy from a shelter or a rescue you will need to know what breed type will be the best fit for you and your family as an adult. For example some herding group breeds may seem like the perfect mid size dog for your condo, but keep in mind these dogs are bred to run and have the mental intensity to stare down livestock. Unless your daily routine involves a morning jog and some quality face time with your dog, they can easily become bored and turn into a destructive pet. The disposition of the breed you choose is another important factor to consider. Even though most dog’s disposition depends heavily on how its raised, breeds that tend to be calmer and have less protective/ aggressive tendencies would be a more ideal pick for a family with children.

Step Two: Get informed about immunizations and make sure the puppy you are interested in adopting is properly vaccinated. Puppies can be very vulnerable to various parasites and diseases, even rabies. Any rescue should have these records readily available for prospective owners and shelters often include vaccinations within the adoption fees.

Step Three: Perform a basic examination on your own of your prospective puppy’s eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Are the eyes alert and clear with no drainage? Are the ears clean and free of mites? How about the mouth and nose? Are the puppy’s gums a healthy light pink color? Check does the puppy have any discoloration on its skin or flaky skin? This could just be due to an allergy, but it can also be the early signs of parasitic mange or another condition. Most importantly your puppy should be breathing regularly without any wheezing or labored breathing.

Step Four: The last and best step of all is to play and interact with the puppy one on one. Any breed of puppy should be playful, energetic, and curious. Of course depending on the individual puppy’s personality, some will naturally be more timid or shy than others. This is not a sign of ill health, just an insight into their first few weeks of life or individual character. Of course any lethargy, listlessness, and droopy posture can be a sign of ill health from parasites, worms, poor nutrition or type of illness.

paw print Dog Allergies

Just like humans, dog can have allergies. However, dog allergies are not always obvious and many dog owners are not aware that they exist. Not only do dog allergies exist, but they are also pretty common. Reports show that in North America alone dog allergies have increased significantly over the past few decades.

So how do you know if your dog has allergies? If your dog starts itching uncontrollable, forcing him to lick and scratch himself until sores develop on his body, then your dog probably has allergies. If you notice your dog exhibiting this type of behavior beware that these sores could become infected and become very painful. Recurring allergy attacks can cause some dogs hair to fall out.

Dealing with dog allergies can be tricky since the allergen could be something the dog touched, breathed in or ate. Unfortunately the list of items that can cause allergies is endless and it’s usually something within the dog’s surroundings, neighborhood, or in the food you’re feeding him. All of this can make solving the problem very difficult.

It’s probably not surprising that in many cases the source of the problem is the dog food. An efficient way to control food allergies is to change the dog’s diet to a hypoallergenic one. Then slowly, one at a time, introduce different food to observe if the dog reacts to it. Once you’ve verified what’s causing the allergies, you can eradicate it from your dog’s diet.

Another common allergy amongst dogs is flea allergies. To make things worse, some dogs are allergic to the saliva produced by fleas. Treating flea allergies basically comes down to controlling and eliminating fleas. Regular grooming and brushing your dog’s coat can help with this issue. There are also several anti-flea products on the market today- flea shampoos, sprays, foggers and medications.

Dog allergies can also be cause by the dog’s surroundings. Make sure you wash everything, including the dog bed and try a good medicated dog shampoo. In some cases a good washing is all it takes. If the issue doesn’t improve within a few days, then something else is triggering the allergies and you may want to seek the advice from your pet’s veterinarian.

Still, the most efficient way to deal with dog allergies is to prevent them. No matter what type of allergy your dog has, avoiding the allergen will minimize the symptoms for you pet, and keep him healthy and allergy-free.

paw print How to Find the Best Dog Kennels

You and your family are finally going on vacation, but taking your dog just doesn’t fit into your plans. How do you choose the best place to house your pet while you’re off playing at the beach? Below are some tips to help you choose the best dog kennel for your furry friend.

How do I find a good kennel?

Start by asking a friend, veterinarian, neighbor, animal shelter, or dog trainer for a recommendation. You can also check the Yellow Pages or search the Better Business Bureau’s online website. Once you have a few dog kennels selected, it’s important to do a background check, even if you were referred by a reliable source.

Your first step should be to find out whether your state requires boarding kennel inspections. If it does, make sure the dog kennels you are considering display a certificate or license showing that they meet the mandated standards.

Next, ask if they belong to the American Boarding Kennels Association (719-667-1600). This is a trade association established by kennel operators to advocate professional standards of pet care. In addition to requiring all their members subscribing to a strict code of ethics, they also offer voluntary facility certifications that show the facility has been inspected and met ABKA standards of professionalism, quality of care, and safety.

Verify that the dog kennels can lodge your pooch for the desired dates and have the ability to address any special needs your dog may have. If you’re satisfied, schedule a visit.

Inspect the Dog Kennels

Any reputable dog kennel will allow you to inspect the entire facility. Overall, the kennel should be clean and well kept. The area where the dogs eat and relieve themselves should be kept separate. Also, the best kennels will have a large common area for the dogs to run and play in.

Inspect the Caretakers

All dog owners want to be able to leave their pet with someone who will take care of them as if they were their own. Make sure you take the time to sit down and talk to the person who will be caring for your pet and ask them questions like- How long have they been at the kennel? How often do the dogs play outside? What vaccines are required to stay? These are all valid questions that any trustworthy caretaker would have no problems answering.
Access to Veterinary Care

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a dog kennel is whether or not they have access to veterinary care. Ideally, you want to find a kennel that has an onsite vet that can care for your dog if something goes wrong. However, access to something like a 24-hour VCA hospital is also satisfactory. Be sure to get explicit information as to who will perform the care, and if there are any additional costs if something happens while you’re gone.

Take the time and do the research to find the best dog kennels for your pet. For more information check out this article from The Human Society of the United States

paw print Choosing the Right Dog Food for Your Pet

Many pet owners’ view their dogs as members of their families and it’s important to them make sure all the pet’s needs are taken into consideration. One of these crucial needs is determining the right dog food for your pet.

Like humans, dogs need a certain amount of nutrients and minerals to live a healthy life. Choosing the right food depends on the dog’s age, health, activity level and breed. Here we will learn a bit more about dog food to help decide what the best option for your dog is. Please note that it’s always best to consult your veterinarian when changing your dogs diet.

Dry dog food usually consists of kibbles, which are small pieces of dry dog food. However, it’s important to be aware that not all brands of dog food use natural, high quality ingredients. Choose a dry dog food that doesn’t use any artificial flavors, coloring or preservatives, since these could be harmful to your pet. Also, stay away from any dog food using meat by products and instead pick one made from natural meat products such as liver, lamb and chicken.

Raw dog food is another option and one that is widely advocated since it uses unprocessed natural ingredients. If you decided to feed your dog raw dog food, you will have to include various starches and fibrous foods along with the meat products to achieve a balanced diet. This is easily done by adding different types of vegetables to your dog’s diet.

Just like dry dog food, canned dog food can contain artificial flavors, preservatives and other harmful chemicals. It’s important to always read the ingredients listed on the label and choose a canned dog food that only uses natural ingredients.

Another great option and one that most people probably don’t think about, is making your own homemade dog food. There are many websites out there that are dedicated to homemade dog food that also provide recipes for you to try at home. This is the best way to control what your dog is eating, especially if you are concerned with what’s really going into commercial dog food.

Experimenting with different types and flavors of dog food is okay. You want to find one that will not only satisfy the nutritional needs of your pet, but also one that your dog will actually like. It’s important to keep in mind that that some dogs suffer from allergies that can be triggered by their food, so always watch for signs of food allergies when trying new dog foods.

paw print Dog Tags

An unfortunate reality for dog owners is that dogs tend to get lost, or run-off. This is why keeping an identification tag on your pooch at all time is so important. This help to ensure your dog is quickly returned by a Good Samaritan or if you dog is picked up by animal control and taken to a shelter, they will contact you immediately. If there is no identification found, the dog will be put on a short waiting period and then either put up for adoption or possible euthanized.

Dog tags, or ID tags, is the simplest identification method used and is typically hung from a dog’s collar. The dog tag should include the dog’s name, your name, telephone number and address. One of the first things you should do after adopting your new dog or puppy is outfit them with a new id tag and collar. There’s no excuse not to have one, especially since they are so easy to purchase. Below are some of the most common dog tags on the market today to help you choose the right id for your dog.

Quick Dog Tags
These dog tags are not only the cheapest available, but also quite effortless. Retail pet stores, such as Petco and PetSmart, have Quick-Tag kiosks that will create a stainless steel, custom-made dog tag in five minutes. The kiosk uses a video touch-screen and has easy to follow step-by-step directions. You can choose from six different shapes and styles; then the computer-driven engraver etches the tag while you wait.

Custom Dog Tags
Another easy way to purchase dog tags is from an online retailer. There are several sites on the internet that specialize in pet identification tags. Simply fill out the order form and then sit back and wait for it to be delivered to your home.

Digital Dog Tags
An alternative to the conventional id tag is the Dog E-tags. Just like metal tags, it’s worn on a dog’s collar, but provides much more information and can be used in several different languages. These tags are water proof, scratch proof and store up to 40 lines of information, including messages such as: “I can’t hear I’m deaf” or “I am nine years old and I can’t see very well”. You can find Dog E-Tags at your local Petco or most online pet retailers.

One-of-a-Kind Dog Tags
If you are looking for something extra special or unique for your pooch, then you might want to consider a handcrafted dog id. There are many websites that offer handmade custom dog tags, but bear in mind that these items can be on the expensive side.

paw print Volunteer at Your Local Dog Rescue

Are you looking for a way to give back to you community or simply enjoy animals? You may want to consider volunteering at your local dog rescue. Volunteers play an important role for dog rescues since most of these organizations are non-profit and depend on volunteers to survive. There are many different ways you can help and anything you can do is greatly appreciated, but don’t forget the most important part- you’ll be making a difference in a dog’s life.

Different ways you can help your local dog rescue:

Volunteers are always in need to play with and exercise the dogs. Simply spending quiet time with a hyperactive dog or playing with an older dog can help them become more adoptable. Also you can help rescued dogs for adoption. This also helps the busy staff who have little or no time to spend with the animals themselves.

Another job that may seem small, but is actually very important is helping with the cleaning. Washing dirty dishes or doing a few loads of laundry helps the staff to focus on more important issues and provides the dogs with a clean and healthy living space.

If you enjoy office-oriented work, your local dog rescue could use help with answering phones, data entry, and filing papers. This type of work is mostly hands-off with the dogs, but you are more likely to see the happy families that end up adding a new pet to their homes by shelter dogs for adoption.

If you have extra room at home or a fenced back yard, fostering a dog is another great way to volunteer. Sometimes dogs are too stressed to stay at the dog rescue or they may be recovering from surgery and need special care. These dogs for free adoption.

At times it can be too painful to help out personally, but there are still other options to help out. Many shelters and rescues will list items they need to care for the dogs. Picking up a bag of dog food on your next trip to the grocery store or donating gently used blankets and towels help the dogs without you having to see them in the kennels.

For those creative types out there, you local dog rescue could be looking for someone to take photos of the dogs to post on their website. Intake photos tend to show the dogs when they’re scared and unhealthy. Taking new photos or making flyers for the dogs are great ways to spread the word about those cuddly balls of fur that still looking for homes.

If this has inspired you to volunteer, call or email a dog rescue in your area and ask how you can get involved. It’s a good idea to call more than one place since different programs have different needs.

paw print Dog Beds: How to Choose the Right One for Your Dog

To a dog, sleeping is a very important activity. They sleep an average of 13 to 14 hours a day, so having the right bed is essential for their comfort and well-being. There are many choices out there and dog beds can range from the ultra lux to simple and functional. So how do you make the right choice for your dog?

Consider these things:

The size of your dog is crucial! Dogs grow up pretty fast, so make sure you choose a dog bed that will fit him as an adult. Nothing else matters if you don’t get the right size.

When looking through the many dog beds, check the quality of the material and make sure that it is sturdy. All dogs are different and you don’t want to choose a bed your dog will shred.

Will you be using the dog bed indoors or outdoors? If you are looking at outdoor dog beds then it’s important to consider things such as does the bed have an inner wrap that keeps moisture out or is it waterproof.

It’s important to look for dog beds that are washable.

What is the climate like where you live? Make sure you pick a dog bed that is suitable for the climate in which you live. Depending on the season, you might want to consider having one bed for the winter season and another for summer.

How will the bed look in your home? Dog beds come in a variety of colors and styles (including designer dog beds), making it easier to choose one that fits with houses décor.

Does your dog have any special conditions such as Arthritis or stiffness? You may want to purchase an orthopedic bed. These beds are filled with medical-grade foam and are perfect for older dogs. Some even come heated…

Do you take your dog on trips with you? Then you may want to consider a portable dog bed.

It is apparent that there are a lot of options to consider when choosing the right dog bed. Of course you want your dog to be comfortable, but dog beds also need to be functional (conserve your dog’s body heat, is easy to clean, waterproof or moisture resistant and durable). After carefully considering your dog’s needs, I’m sure you’ll make the right choice.

Measuring your dog:

As a general rule, the dog should be measured while he’s sleeping and then add a few inches. Compare the measurements with the specifications of the bed to determine if you need a small dog bed or a large dog bed. Please note that the dog bed you choose should have enough room for the dog to easily move around in and stretch out.

paw print Is Dog Insurance Right for You?

When I was growing up our house was always full of pets. Back then I never realized how much money went into taking care of them since my parents were always the ones footing the bills. Well now that I’m an adult with a dog of my own, boy was I in for a rude awaking the first time I saw the vet bill. It got me thinking about all those commercials I’ve seen on TV for dog insurance and if it was something worth pursuing.

Pet coverage can cost $2,000 to $6,000 over the average life span of a dog, but the chances anyone would actually spend that much on a treatment is pretty small. Most people would be better off putting the money they’d spend on premiums into a savings account. However, there are those out there that would do anything for their dogs and would be willing to spend thousands of dollars on medical care. In that case, dog insurance might be a good choice instead of the alternative: going into debt.

I bet you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find a dog insurance provider. Insurers have teamed up with Petco Animal Supplies and American Kennel Club to offer insurance and more than 1,600 companies (including Office Depot and Google) offer coverage through their employee benefit packages. But just like regular health insurance, you need to be aware of what a plan actually covers before purchasing it. Some plans won’t cover pre-existing problems or hereditary conditions and some won’t even cover pets over the age of 9.

Before purchasing any insurance plan, do your homework and consider the follow:

  • Shop around- Policies and premiums can greatly differ. It’s important to pay attention not just to the monthly or annual cost, but also the differences in co-pays, deductibles, and caps, which could limit payouts by incident, annually or the dog’s lifetime. Ask the insurer if there are discounts on insuring multiple pets or if your employer offers dog insurance as a benefit.
  • Scrutinize policies- The conditions that will most likely to afflict your dog, are usually the ones excluded from a policy.
  • Build up your savings- A Consumer Reports showed that pet owners with insurance might actually end up spending more money on their animals than those without.
  • Check with your state- Like human health insurers, pet insurers should be registered with your state.
  • Check out this article if you would like more information on where or not dog insurance is right for you.

    paw print Choosing Dog Bathtubs

    Even if you send your dog to the groomers, dog owners need to be able to wash their dog at home. Most people have probably tried bathing their dogs in the family bathtub, or if the dog is small enough, the kitchen sink. Another option is to purchase your pooch a dog bathtub of his very own. Sure it may sound a little crazy, but consider the benefits of using dog bathtubs- like saving money on groomer fees and saving your bathtub from being scratched up by your pooch’s nails.

    When considering what kind of dog bathtub to purchase, you need to first determine what size you will need. Simply measure your dog’s length and height to make sure your dog will fit comfortably inside the tub. Also, you will need to make sure you have a way of securing your dog in the tub while grooming him. Fortunately most dog bathtubs come with a collar system to hold your pooch in place and provide space to hold your supplies for easy access.

    There are quite a few different types of dog bathtubs to select from. After obtaining the measurements of your dog, you can next decide what features you want. Some tubs are portable, so you can set it up when you need it and put it away when you’re done. Some however require installation and will need their own area, such as the utility room.

    Another important feature to consider is how to control the temperature and flow of water. A hand held nozzle is a great choice since it will allow you to control the water flow and a drainage system is very handy to deal with all the hair your dog looses each time you bath him. However, if the drain is too little it could get clogged when trying to empty the bath water and no one likes digging hair balls out of the drain.

    Now the first few times you wash you dog in the new bathtub he might bit nervous, but if you use it regularly your dog may grow to love it. Since grooming is seen as an act of love, your dog will be able to relax if you take your time the first few times you use the new tub. It’s important to take the time to bond with your dog while he is in the collar restraint; this will not only help you get the job done faster, but it will also help your dog relax and take pleasure in the new home spa.

    paw print www.dog shelters

    The majority of people have heard about the pet overpopulation dilemma in the United States. The amount of overpopulation and humane euthanasia used to control the problem is appalling. Depending on the source, the annual figures for animals being euthanized range from four million to 15 million. However, we can combat this serious problem with two solutions: spay and neuter pets and adopt homeless animals.

    Like many other industries, animal adoption groups are using the Web to reach a larger audience. This gives people the convenience to view photos and read descriptions of available dogs. Dogs found in rescue shelters are there for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include: dogs rescued from abuse or neglect, owners moving and cannot take their dog, or the owner becomes ill and can no longer care for the dog. There are also many breed rescue groups if you are looking for a particular dog.

    Most online rescue and shelter groups are nonprofit. These groups are frequently in need of supply and monetary donations, along the volunteers. It is important to help support these groups, so they can continue their important work. If you are interested in helping, look for the ‘how you can help’ links found on many shelter sites. Here are a couple of websites to help you get started with your www.dog shelters search: http://www.petfinder.com/ & http://www.1-800-save-a-pet.com/.

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