This blog is dedicated to the ever changing welfare issues surrounding companion animals. From puppy farms to rescue and adoption; this blog will completely focus on our four legged friends. Please feel free to submit any stories, updates or newsworthy articles related to companion animals.
So when I write something, I usually go through detail to back up the reasons behind my post. But this one is pretty simple.
Do not buy a rabbit for your child this Easter. It is not a pet that lasts for that one weekend, it is a commitment for many years to come.
Stop being selfish and adopt, don’t buy
This is an RSPCA UK advertisement showing the issues with dogs bred for cosmetic value.
Generally, these are your dogs that have been bred for being able to work for a long duration of time at sometimes a fast pace. This includes your Kelpies, Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, Huskies and Shepherds. Labradors and Retrievers come into this category as well especially when they are at a young age, as they need a lot of stimulation. These dogs need a very large area to run around in, at least one long (at least 1 and a half hours) walk a day and plenty of toys to keep them stimulated. Again I stress this as generalised, but I don’t know any Kelpies who live happily in an apartment without mental and physical stimulation. These breeds would benefit from obedience training as well, especially if they are at a young age. Not only does this promote good behaviour and bring a special bond between you and your pet, you are also socialising your dog with others.
Highly active dogs need a lot of attention, thus need a lot of your time. If you can only spend 2-4 hours with your dog per day then I guarantee that any of these breeds or cross breeds are right for you.
Active dogs still need a lot of time and exercise, but not at such an extent that highly active dogs do. Some of the breeds stated above could come into this category and vice versa but I’m just going with what I have in my own experience. This category includes; Rottweilers, Jack Russell Terriers, Fox Terriers, Dalmatians, Mastiff breeds, Staffies and Greyhounds. These dogs should have a long walk (at least 1 hour) per day as well as plenty of toys for mental stimulation. Kongs are really great toys to keep your dog entertained for hours, a great item to use while you’re out of the house to keep them occupied. I also recommend switching their toys around every week or so, so there’s always something new for the dog to play with. A large backyard would also benefit this range of dogs, though they wouldn’t so much need a farm to run around on.
Socialising your dog- at any exercise level is highly important. Off leash dog parks are a great place for your dog to not only get needed exercise, but also have fun and play with other dogs.
Active dogs need a lot of time, just like Highly Active Dogs. Make sure that your lifestyle is right for your pet.
These guys are pretty much your lap dogs; Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Pappilon etc. A short walk (half an hour) per day should keep these dogs happy, as well as some toys. But most importantly, these breeds love nothing more than human contact. I do not recommend these breeds to anyone who wants a strictly outdoor dog as they have that extra dependency on their owners. The dogs that fit into this category would be most suited in an apartment or unit that any other so if that is your lifestyle, please keep these in mind.
Even though they are low maintenance in way of exercise, all dogs need time with their owners and should never feel neglected. If you travel a lot or have very extended work hours, maybe it would be best to adopt a fish.
No matter what breed or cross breed puppy you are looking to adopt, all of them need special attention and requirements. The puppy stage is a crucial time for all dogs, this is when they should be socialised with other dogs, cats, rabbits, other humans..basically ANYTHING that they can come into contact with as an adult. If you start young, the less likely your dog will become fearful or aggressive to things it doesn’t know. Experience is key.
Obedience training is an absolute must for puppies. Not only is it great for you and the dog, but in a worst case scenario where your dog ends up back in a pound, rescue or shelter- your dog is much easier to adopt back out. Puppy Schools run in most suburbs, usually a program run by the vets. It is truly vital to at least try simple obedience training with your puppy.
Puppies need extensive time with their owner- just like a baby does with their parent. And be prepared for messes- whether it be a torn up shoe, dug up garden or urine on your carpet, your puppy is not a saint and is still learning. Reinforce positive behaviour with treats and pats, never use negative reinforcement such as hitting or yelling when a dog has done something wrong. You are not teaching a dog to not toilet inside by smacking him/her on the head- you are simply making the dog fearful and therefore they will most likely start hiding their messes rather than doing it where you want. When you take your puppy out to toilet and they do so- praise them like its their birthday. They will soon learn that this is good behaviour and will love the treats you give them.
Mature dogs (8+) need a lot of love and care. No matter what breed, at this time of life they are starting to slow down, meaning their exercise and diet routines should depend on their age rather than breed requirements. For example- a younger German Shepherd should be fed a kibble that suits an active dog, a higher fat content which enables them to burn more energy without losing too much weight. An older Shepherd isn’t going to be running around as much, therefore they do not need the higher fat content. A senior dog kibble is more suitable, not only having a lower fat content but also being easier for the dog to chew.
Mature dogs are great for owners with a quiet lifestyle, who just wants a dog to keep them company. Though they are older, you must bare in mind that a healthy, mature dog can live for many more years- a 9 year old Lab could still have a good 5 or more years in them so don’t get them if you’re not ready for that commitment.
Be sure to maintain regular vet checks for older dogs.
More cross breed dogs come into shelters than purebred, but more than often you will at least be able to pick out one of the breeds within the dog. Even if you don’t know what it is crossed with, research that specific breed. This will give you an idea for their requirements needed and what their behaviour might be like. If you are getting a puppy, this might also be an insight into how big your dog could become.
Hello everyone, my name is Laurel and I would like to introduce you to a very special dog named Phoenix Rose.
With the help of Augusta Dog Adoptions, Phoenix Rose was rescued from a pound in Lyndhurst, Virginia this morning. She is covered in mats, mange, crusts, and open sores. My family has provided a foster home for ADA for quite some time, but we have never seen such a case of severe neglect.
Phoenix Rose, a Great Pyrenees, is a very quiet, sweet dog. Part of this may be because she is emaciated and very weak. But she jumped right into our van when we picked her up from the pound, and slept all the way to the veterinarian’s office.
When we arrived at Westwood Animal Hospital, the vet took skin scrapings, a blood sample and a fecal sample. Phoenix Rose’s hair loss is caused by sarcoptic mange, a parasite. She tested negative for heartworms, but she also has kennel cough, and she tested positive for Lyme disease. Apparently she has also given birth sometime in the past, but she is still very young, possibly only 2-3 years old. The vet also weighed her. Phoenix Rose weighs 74.3 pounds, but she should weigh about 90 pounds for her size. The vet prescribed medication for both her mange and her Lyme.
It will take a long, long time for us to nurse Phoenix Rose back to health. In the meantime, we are feeding her puppy chow to help her gain some weight. We are also clipping her fur and giving her a much-needed bath. As you can see from the photos, as soon as we started trimming, her fur came off in large clumps. It’s like shearing a sheep. Underneath the mats are large, pus-filled sores and raw skin. Her left ear and elbow are crusted over. We are going to bathe her with special tea tree oil and aloe shampoo to help the irritation. She may look horrible now, but she will be well again soon enough.
Follow this blog if you would like to keep an eye on Phoenix Rose’s story, and watch with us as she is transformed into a brand new dog.
Real men are kind to animals