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Reasons Why You Are Lucky to Adopt A Puppy

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Have you been thinking of getting a new puppy? Do you love dogs more than anything in this world? Well adopting a puppy can turn out to be the best decision of your life especially when you’re lonely or living alone. A companion, a friend and a family member comes along with this pet. There are many ways in which you can adopt a puppy for example adoption centers, local shops etc.

Reasons to Get a Puppy

Here are 5 reasons why you should really adopt a puppy:

• Saving a Life: By adopting a puppy you’ll be saving a life. That is one of the most holy actions in a person’s whole life. If you adopt a puppy from an adoption center you’ll definitely give it the quality life it deserves so that’s how you’re increasing the quality of its life. Most of the adoption centers have to leave the animals to be on its own if they don’t get adopted. That’s why by adopting a puppy you’ll save its life.

• Cost Efficiency: If you’re thinking that adopting a puppy will cost you a hell lot of money, then you’re wrong. Most of the times people buy a pet from local pet stores where the puppies are not regularly washed and vaccinated. That is the reason it costs a lot after buying a pet. But if you get yourself a puppy from an adoption center you’ll get a puppy that has been nurtured and vaccinated accurately. That actually saves a lot of money for you. So make sure you buy a pet from an adoption agency that has puppies for sale.

• You’ll get a Healthy Pet: Getting puppies for sale from an adoption agency will not only save your money but give you a healthy pet. Why? Because adoption agencies always spay and neuter their pets and they make sure that the puppies are regularly vaccinated. This makes you free from any worries about the healthy future of your pet. Your puppy will come to you as good as it’s supposed to be.

• You’ll Not Support Puppy Mills: Most of the time you see ads of puppies being sold, they are generally the ads given by puppy mills. Puppy Mills are inhuman businesses where puppy breeding at a large scale is done. These puppy mills collect 100 dogs at a time. And keep them at a place and sell them for their own gain. This not only is a heinous act but it also harms the health of the puppies. Their health gets compromised. That’s why buying a dog from adoption agencies will help you to protest against these businesses by not supporting them.

• Variety of Puppies: As puppy adoption agencies have a lot of pets so you’ll get varieties of puppies to choose. You can also choose to buy a pet online as this gives convenience to the customer. You can choose your pet by its size, sex and age. This makes you search for the pet according to your comfort.

Allen Smith has owned and bred dogs of different breeds and has spent a great deal of time studying dogs and can be considered as an expert in the field so getting his tips before you go ahead finding puppies for sale won’t be a bad decision anyway.

Your Pet Sitter Handy Checklist

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If you are planning to go out of town for a weekend getaway or for a much longer vacation and are not able to take your pet along. The best thing is to ensure that during your absence your pet’s stay is enjoyable and easy as much as possible. You can do this by hiring a pet sitter. But before you get one it is better to prepare for a checklist for hiring, so that during your absence your furry pal has the best comfort available. Some of the things that need to be kept in mind include:

Vacation Itinerary

This would include the time and date of your departure and expected arrival.

Contact information

Ensure that you give your cell phone number, hotel information and room number in case you need to be contacted by the person you have hired.

Contact numbers of your immediate family members

There may be a possibility that the pet sitter might not be able to contact you. In such a situation, they should have an emergency contact number of your immediate family members who can take responsible decisions in your absence.

Key & security alarm information

Ensure that you provide requisite information to the pet sitting professional about the security of the house during your absence.

Primary vet information

Include the name of the practice and veterinarian they can contact providing clinic address and phone number.

Emergency vet clinic information

If there is an emergency with your pet after the primary vet’s office hours, the pet sitter should have an emergency animal hospital’s information which can get the pet treated quickly thereby easing the tension.

Feeding & walking schedule

As a pet owner, you know the feeding and walking schedule of your furry companion. In your absence, this task needs to be done by the person you have hired. Hence, provide him with the requisite information so that he/she can maintain the schedule of the pet in the best possible way.

List of treatments and usage instructions

If your pet is undergoing any treatment specify the instructions so that the treatment can be given on time. This ensures that your pet does not miss out on the dosage in your absence.

List of food & treats

Although you might have made an arrangement of pet food in your absence it is always better to tell the pet sitter where they can procure the pet food in your absence. If your flight gets delayed or due to unforeseen circumstances you are not able to reach home on time, he/she should know where to procure pet food for the furry pal.

List of pet care items

Give the detailed directions about where have you kept different pet care items like the brush, food, cleaning pads, sweater (if it is cold outside) and leash.

Favorite toys

Inform about the favorite toys of the pet so that the pet’s mind can be diverted easily.

Dangers Along Walking Route

Always specify if there is an unfriendly pet around in the neighborhood or if a neighbor yells if your pet pees in the yard. By telling them these things you can ensure that the pet sitter knows how to handle the situation if there is a need.

Room and furniture limitations

Provide a list of rooms or furniture that your pet is not allowed in or on.

Visitors

Always inform about the estimated date and time of visitors in the house like a house cleaner, lawn care company or pool person. This is particularly important so that your pet sitter does not think that your house has been broken into.

When your pet is well-cared off during your absence you will have a more enjoyable and carefree trip. The pet sitter will also have an easy time taking care of your pet. So, the next time you decide to go for a vacation without your pet do not forget to prepare a handy checklist for your pet sitter.

I own a dog and regularly procure dog supplies for him. I had a particularly bad experience with one of the pet sitters while I was away for a business assignment. Hence, I decided to research on this topic and came up with useful pointers that I have discussed in this write-up.

learn how to Protect Your Pet in Winter

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We all love winter but it’s harsh to all living creatures. There are threats which you may never think about: from chapped paws on icy roads to serious viruses in the air. Below is the list of the most common problems you can face as a pet owner.

Pets require our constant attention and care all year round as you remember what Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote: “you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” As we have winter now, let’s not wax lyrical and proceed straight to the point: what demands your special attention in winter in order to save your pet healthy throughout the season?

Danger: general cold

Yeah, it’s especially cold in northern states. There are breeds that do not need long walks as Chihuahua, or Yorkie, for instance. They can only have their potties at home and do all their vital things there. And more, it’s even better to do so and not let these fragile canines go outside at extreme colds. But if we take, say, Golden Retriever or Husky, they need walking and running some miles (especially Husky).

Solution: since there is no solution to protect your dog’s ears and nose (just like for people), you can, at least, buy some booties and some coats in order to save your dog’s body warmth and, in this way, avoid any viruses.

Danger: slippy sidewalks

Be careful when taking your four-legged friend for a walk and let him go off leash. There are numbers of situations that may go wrong and you may not have enough time to respond: accidental car on the road and the dog crossing it may turn into a tragedy if they meet; simply falling on the ice may bring straining your dog’s leg; etc., etc.

Solution: Keep your dog on a tight leash. Professional dog trainers also insist on training your pet basic commands as there can always be situations when you need to restrain him immediately to avoid a mishap.

Danger: insufficient calories

From your own experience, you probably know that every living creature needs more vitamins in cold season due to the constant loss of heat, extra dryness, and immense viruses in the air. Your dog is not an exception. In order to maintain his skin and coat healthy and avoid any disease, you have to take some additional care of your fluffy companion.

Solution: enrich the diet of your dog with dry kibble, or supplements full of antioxidants, protein, fatty acids, minerals, fiber, etc. Special attention should be paid to fish oil. Of course, each dog fancier knows about the remarkable properties of fish oil or its substitute (like phytoplankton) which is full of omega-3.

Danger: dry skin

Winter brings additional dryness to the dog’s skin.

Solution: actually, you simply have to remember three main rules. Rule No. 1: do not shave down your dog. Wait until it becomes warmer in spring or even in summer. Rule No. 2: Brush your dog. It helps to get rid of dander and dead hair. Rule No. 3: Do not wash your dog too often in winter. If you see that his paws or belly (or both) are dirty, use a towel. The snow is as easily wiped off from the coat as it is washed.

Danger: antifreeze and heaters

There are so season-specific to use antifreeze in cars and heaters in houses that it’s better to remind everyone about them once again. We all know why we use both these two things in the household, but don’t forget about your beloved pets.

Solution: wipe off your dog’s paws and belly after the walk. Additionally, have a look if there are any scratches or chapped skin on the paws. Even if you were extremely attentive and followed your dog’s every step, you cannot notice where he steps. It’s better to check twice, just to be on the safe side. Concerning the heaters, make sure your dog cannot get too close to avoid scalds, especially if we are talking about the fireplaces.

Important Things You have to do to Organize Living With Multiple Pets

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A family with a lot of furry members is really a heavenly abode with lots of enjoyment every day. However, with it comes – greater responsibilities, as the pet family requires a lot of care and efforts to keep them all fit and fine, maintaining their overall wellbeing. Whether you have to take care of two kitties or a pack of four dogs or a whole farm, you need to take care of each vital thing ranging from food, preventive medications, and litter boxes to beds and toys.

Here are a few tips that fully aid you in organizing your day to day activities for taking care of multiple pets. Following the tips, you can definitely have time for yourself along with having a quality playtime with your furry pal.

Arrange for Multiple Beds

Having multiple pets in your home means a special place to provide all for a nap. Get beds for each and every pet in your home. Multiple beds will discourage pets from laying or bouncing on sofas.

Protect Furniture

It is crucial to cover your furniture. Tiny dog or cat hairs are more likely to get easily stick to the furniture. Cover them with fleece blankets and throws on tables, chairs, and couches to keep pet hair to a minimum. Additionally, when it comes to your car, it’s good to cover the seat in order to keep that mud away in case your dog must have brought it from the dog park.

Keep Food in Air-Sealed Containers

Different pets mean different requirements of various kinds of foods. To easily recognize the food, it is better to label the plastic bins for different food types. Ensure to store them in a pantry or in a kitchen counter shelf. Keep it away from the damp place and check that it is not accessible to your furry pal or either to your children. Ensure that you keep the feeding place well organized and mess free. To avoid fights among your pets, maintain a feeding schedule.

Separate Feeding Locations

You are wrong if you are thinking that there is no need for separate feeding locations for your multiple pets. It is to avoid food hostility as dogs and cats are quite territorial so try to feed pets in different rooms. Some pets may go along well, but if it seems there is some tension, then it is better to feed them at separate places. This helps to avoid unwanted accidents.

Keep A Folder for Pet Records

Don’t mess your pets’ medical records. Organize different pets’ health records including vet visits, adoption papers, vaccination cards, microchip registration, licenses, and pet insurance policies in different folders for various pets. It would be quite helpful in case of an emergency.

Provide Litter Box for Each Cat

Cats are inclined too much towards cleanliness. They are too picky about clean litter boxes. Provide each of your cat a separate litter box, which they are sure to appreciate. If you want them all to use the litter box, then it is better to provide them each a separate one.

Stock Up First Aid Kit

Always have your pet’s first aid kit in handy. With so many pets in the house, there can be accidents at some times. Providing them first aid will largely cut on the vet bills. The important things that your pet’s first aid box should include are Gauze of various sizes; scissors; first-aid tape; wound disinfectant; antibiotic ointment; eye wash solution; hydrogen peroxide; cotton balls or swabs; cortisone spray or cream; thermometer.

Parasitic Preventive Treatments

A home with multiple pets means that there is a huge probability of spreading disease due to fleas, ticks or worms from one animal to another. Missing treatment of flea and tick infestation or heartworm preventive for a few of them are of no use as gradually they too will be infected by the infected animals, and the cycle of recurring infestation will continue. Treating all the pets in the household will deploy the occurrence of parasitic infestations.

Multiple pets mean taking various responsibilities and providing the best care. Always keep a stock of essential medications including preventive treatments along with proper food and nutritional supplements. This ensures great health and happiness for your big family of humans and four-legged companions.

Signs It’s Time to Change Pet Food

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Sometimes a pet displays signs of poor health that aren’t necessarily related to a disease or illness. When this happens, changing pet food may be a good way to ensure that they’re getting the proper nutrients. Here are common indicators that it may be time for a change.

Flaky or Dull Coat

Just like fatty acids keep humans’ skin healthy and hydrated, if a pet’s food lacks the proper fatty acids, it may result in a dull or flaky coat. If a cat or dog usually boasts a silky and healthy looking coat, but it slowly becomes less vibrant or more knotted with time, it can be an indication that their diet is lacking in said fatty acids. If this indicator appears, keeping an eye out for a brand that includes high levels of Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids may help return the shininess to a pet’s coat.

Fatigue or Lethargy

It’s normal for animals to go through lethargy during certain stages of their lives, such as when they are pregnant or are growing older. However, if a young and otherwise healthy cat or dog begins showing signs of excessive sleep and lack of interest in play or other activities, it could be a bad sign. This may be the result of an underlying illness. In order to combat this, finding pet food with high levels of antioxidants can help the animal’s immune system and speed up their recovery time. However, it’s a good idea to contact a vet before making such changes to ensure that the lethargy isn’t a sign of something more serious.

Age

Even though humans’ diets generally stay the same through all stages of their lives, the same isn’t true of animals. Luckily, pet food comes equipped with the right nutrients for all the stages of a cat or dog’s life. Puppy or kitten chow is fortified with the vitamins and nutrients needed for higher levels of activity as well as for healthy growth. But the same is true for animals of older ages. When a pet is considered a “senior,” which is around 5-7 years depending on the size of the animal, it’s a good idea to find a food that will allow them to age comfortably. Older animals do not need the high levels of fat and nutrients in “all age” foods, and an excess of these can actually be harmful.

Excessive Itching

If a cat or dog is itching excessively, most of the time it’s an indicator that fleas or other pests have made their home in its coat. However, just like humans, some animals are born with natural allergies. These allergies may manifest themselves in upset stomachs, but they may also result in an itch that won’t go away. In this case, it’s a good idea to take the pet to a veterinarian to determine if an allergy is present and to find a low-allergen food that can reduce its irritation.

Knowing what food is right can be hard, and it may take a few attempts to get it right. But the result will be a healthier and happier member of the family!

How to Overcome Common Dog Training Problems

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Dogs, the most loyal and obedient creatures on the planet!
 
We often see such beautiful relations between a dog and his master that are seldom experienced. One can take his/her dog as the closest one if maintained that string of attachment.
 
But many times the dog keepers have to go through a lot of problems while training or keeping their dogs.
 
These loyal, loving pets not only show tantrums in their training days but also while their up keeping.
 
There also comes a time when the owners of the dogs are not able to keep these lively creatures in the correct way which leads to their disowning. And then starts the deterioration of these pets.
 
So it is a humble request to all the readers for never abandoning their pets because of any such reason which has no base.
 
This article is purely about how you can tackle the problems that you face while training your dogs and how you can overcome them.
 
To train and teach a dog is a tough job, especially when you don’t hire a trainer and do it on your own. The very first issue that you’ll have to tackle with, is understanding your dog’s mood. Dogs are very moody yet easy to deal with if properly taken care of. Hence, it is very essential to know your pet’s nature before you start training them. To understand your dog well you should spend some quality time with them, play quite often with them. This will bring you two closer and this loyal animal will start trusting you. Also, when you understand it’s mood, you’ll find it easier to feed them. Many times, as seen and observed they refuse to eat even if given the best food because at that point of time, either they require something else or try to convey that they are full (or likewise).
 
Secondly, one should avoid chaining the dogs regularly if you want to train them properly. Chaining leads to the development of stubborn behavior in them which will later be a problem for you when you train them. Instead, leave your dogs open which will make them more comfortable and they will develop trust over their masters and will always obey them for getting to chained whenever it will really be required.
 
Thirdly, the very basic training for the dogs is to make them learn where to litter. In the beginning, dogs don’t know the place and time when they have to litter and so they end up dirtying any place that they get. Owners should fix the time of feeding for them and also purposely take their dogs out for walks so that they know and understand at what time they are going for littering. By doing so, the owners can also stay at peace for zero dirtiness from the side of their happy four-legged.
 
It’s very important for the owner to keep their pets timely vaccinated. This will ensure the safety of both, dogs and the people who see it. A healthy dog survives more and is acting and wanted by all. Therefore, it will get easier for other people too, to help the owner with the training of the dog.
 
Lastly, I have seen people treating dogs in a way where they learn to sleep and sit and wander around the same couches and beds which their owners use. To an extent that is a very unacceptable part of the training as people who will come to visit you may/ may not like this and eventually they may/ may not avoid seeing you. The basic logic behind it is, even if you keep your dog very clean and tidy, their fur will fall here and there and that can lead to serious infections and spreading of viruses in your house. Pampering your dog doesn’t mean to let them sit and sleep in the place as same as you. Instead, if possible you can give them their own space and definitely pamper as much as you want to but in a way where people visiting you are also comfortable.
 
I hope this whole article could be of some help to the beginners who have just got a dog in their houses. 
I believe training dogs are no such rocket science if you become their friends and take care of them properly.

how to get best Dog Breeds

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Living with an active, large dog breed can become an exceptionally satisfying experience. However, while a big dog breed can become ideal for countless people; the owners who are potential must be well-known about many different considerations including health issues and lessened life expectancy of countless large dog breeds. We take a look at eight of the most famous big dog breeds and what you require considering if you are considering to buy one…

Newfoundland 
Characteristics: Newfoundland dog breed is a strong, large dog that makes a great pet for the family. He was initially utilized as a working dog to pull wood or nets of fisherman for lumberjacks, he is a brilliant swimmer.

Health issues: The Arteria Cruciate Ligament’s rupturing can sometimes be found in the breed. Relying on the level of seriousness, this kind of injuries can result in surgery, making having the right dog insurance crucial. Newfoundland dog breed can sometimes suffer more dangerously from Gastric Torsion. This turns out to be a life-threatening condition whereby the stomach stretches because of an increase in gas and can result in the stomach twisting. It is mainly found in large dogs that have a deep chest.

Great Dane 
Characteristics: The Great Dane dog breed is a regal dog with real beauty that has an aura of nobility due to a result of his tall stature of up to 86cm. He is something of a gentle giant and enjoys spending time with his people.

Health issues: While his size was an asset for his original purpose as a hunting dog, it can be harmful to his health. Like the Newfoundland as well as suffering from Gastric Torsion, the Great Dane dog breed is also at higher risk of bone cancer than a smaller dog. The signs and symptoms include lameness which, if you notice in your Great Dane, means you ought to take him immediately to your veterinarian.

Irish Wolfhound 
Characteristics: This enormous dog 86cm tall in size and made him ideal for his conventional roles of pulling and hunting men off their horses in wars. This shaggy-haired dog has the ability to make a perfect family pet for many thanks to his capability to create deep bonds with his owner and his desire to be involved in every aspect of family life.

Health issues: Owing to the size of Irish wolfhound dog breed, he can also be vulnerable to suffering from bone cancer, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. Other conditions that can affect this breed, they include heart disease caused by the heart muscle getting thin and becoming unable to contract in a proper way.

Bernese Mountain Dog 
Characteristics: The Bernese mountain dog belongs to Switzerland whose is very tall up to 68cm in size, makes him ideal for his conventional roles of helping to pull carts and herd cattle. With a sweet-natured disposition and long hair, he is a welcoming and warm family pet.

Health issues: The Bernese mountain dog is a healthy large breed of dog as compared to others, but an owner ought to note the possible conditions which can result from his size. Those conditions include Elbow Dysplasia that is a degenerative disease sometimes found in large dog breeds.

Rottweiler 
Characteristics: The Rottweiler dog breed is found in a medium to large size. The breed was originated in Germany, where he was utilized to pull carts and herd cattle for butchers and farmers. He is mentally and physically tough, but needs careful training to respect his owner as ‘pack leader’.

Health issues: The Rottweiler is one of the dog breeds most affected by hip dysplasia. This condition can range from mild to serious. Serious cases are very painful and usually, need surgery to correct. The dog is also among the breeds who suffer from a congenital heart condition which is also called Aortic Stenosis.

Leonberger 
Characteristics: A cross between a Saint Bernard, a Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees it is no surprise that the Leonberger dog breed can be tall up to 80cm. He enjoys remaining around people and requires roughly an hour for exercise every day like many other giant dog breeds.

Health issues: The size of Leonberger increases the risk of getting afflicted by Panosteitis (bone inflammation) and hip dysplasia. It happens when the large bones of the young dogs’ legs become inflamed, making it extremely painful for the dog to move or walk around. With Leonberger dog breed as with every other dog, it is crucial to possess the right dog insurance to make sure your dog is covered and you can enjoy spending your time with any large dog breeds.

Golden Retriever 
Characteristics: The Gundog was created to flush out, locate or retrieve game that shot down by hunters. He is often greatly trainable, keen to amuse and has a pleasant and balanced temperament.

Health issues: Some of his minor health issues include sub-aortic stenosis (SAS), hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia, eye disorders, seizures, and mast cell tumors. You can also find osteosarcoma occasionally in the Golden Retriever dog breed. The other big problems of health for the dog include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), lymphoma, skin problems, and hemangiosarcoma. To recognize such conditions early, a veterinarian may advise heart, thyroid, hip, eye, or elbow tests during routine checkups.

German Shorthaired Pointer 
Characteristics: This German Shorthaired Pointer is a really large hunting dog and is very tall up to 66cms. He has an abundance of stamina and energy. Ideally, he will need exercise for more than two hours a day with a great deal of free running.

Health issues: This dog breed is vulnerable to minor health issues like hypothyroidism, gastric torsion, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), von Willebrand’s Disease (CWD), Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), pannus, and entropion, and major concerns like lymphedema. Other issues which can be occasionally found in the dog breed include ectropion, cardiomyopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). To recognize some of these problems, a veterinarian may advise regular cardiac, hip, thyroid, and eye exams, and tests to verify vWD.

top 10 facts about pets for your kids

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So you want a pet or at least your kids want a pet, well there is nothing unnatural about that, the whole idea will sound great…but wait a minute, stop and think…. there are some great positives about this idea….there are also some essential reality checks that need thinking about….a quick read through my checklists below will help you make a more realistic decision.

 

Remember the old saying “A pet is not just for Christmas”. Someone will have to clear the ‘pooh’ up at the end of it …. all.


Essential Reality Check No. 1 – 
The Type of Pet

The type of pets for kids you can take into your household will depend on a whole host of things such as follows:

The ages of your kids – a two-year-old child will probably not be able to handle a pet gently and certainly won’t be able to care for the pet…..

How much will the pet costs be – not just to buy – but to care for on a daily basis?

What size of pet does your child want? – What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space but guinea pigs, ferrets, and rats need much larger cages.

How much time do your kids and you as a family have to give to the pet?

Will your family be safe with the pet? Will the pet be safe with your family?

If you have a larger pet such as a dog, cat, or goat what effects will it have on your family, friends, and neighbors?

How will your pet be cared for during your holidays?

Will your family be able to cope with the eventual death of a pet?

Some pets will sleep most of the day and be awake at night. Hamsters can be very noisy at night!

If your child wants a dog you will need to look into the breed, size and exercise needs of the dog.

Do you already have another pet, what effect will it have on that pet? For instance, will your dog be OK with a cat or rabbit or bird?

Essential Reality Check No. 2 – 
Ages of your Kids

You will need to decide on a pet that is suitable for the age of your kids.

For instance, in most cases, it would not be wise to buy a hamster for a two-year-old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.

Do you want to give your kids some responsibility in caring for an animal? Some kids are very responsible and will be able to manage this. Other kids, well the sight of a baby animal is just too appealing, after all, who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster?

At first, you may need to help your kids, as caring for a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or carer, you will always need to oversee a pet’s care.

As the parent or carer, you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How often have parents heard the cry “oh but we promise we’ll take it for walks every day” 
Or “we’ll clean it out mum, we promise”. How will you feel in a years time when you find yourself caring for the pets because the kids are busy with friends or away on a school trip or inundated with homework or just plain bored with the poor thing.

Essential Reality Check No. 3 – 
True Costs of Pets for Kids

Some pets are very cheap to buy for instance hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits, and even ferrets.

You will still need to consider: 
The cage set up (this can be very expensive when looking at the cage sizes that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can manage

Food costs per week 
Bedding 
Vets bills if your pets become ill. 
e.g. Ferrets need a yearly injection against canine distemper. 
Holiday care – you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.

Bigger pets for kids such as goats, and dogs and pedigree cats are far more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds. 
You will need to consider: 
Bedding and a cage (if buying one for your dog or cat) 
Leads and collars for dogs. 
Food bills 
Vets bills (dogs should have yearly check-ups with a vet) 
Toys 
Holiday care (kennels can be very expensive) 
Flea treatment 
Ongoing veterinary costs if your pets become chronically ill.

Essential Reality Check No. 4 – 
The Space Required

Even small pets for kids such as guinea pigs, fancy rats, and ferrets need a lot of cage space for a happy life. They will need the biggest cages you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise out of the cage.

Cats take up very little space, as do small breeds of dogs. 
Dogs will need a decent sized garden as well as walks to keep them well exercised.

Essential Reality Check No. 5 – 
Time for your Pets

Do you and the family have time for a pet?

For smaller pets, you will need to have them out of the cage and being handled daily for at least 2 hours a day.

Do you have time to clean out your pet at least once or twice a week, or even daily?

Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage cleaned more often to avoid a foul-smelling cage and pet.

Water bottles and food bowls will need cleaning and refilling every day.

Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? – dependent on the breed some need more!

Are you willing to look after your pets for kids for the many years some can live? 
(From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse up to 15 years for a dog)

If you are out at work all day and the kids are at school all day your pets will need and will demand attention when you return home

Essential Reality Check No. 6 – 
Your Pet and Family Safety

You will always need to ensure your kid’s safety when they are spending time with any pets. 
Even little pets can bite and leave a wound.

Dogs should not be left unattended with your kids as they are unpredictable. Even a faithful dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or afraid. It happens rarely – but it does happen.

You will also need to ensure your pet’s safety:Is your child able to handle a pet safely without hurting it.

Is your pet safe with any other pets in the home? – if you have young children and a dog …. you will need to make sure the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.

If you have a dog you need to ensure visitors safety as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even off your property)

Make sure that when pets for kids are having free time out of cages that: 
Other pets cannot hurt them 
They cannot chew electrical leads 
They cannot fall into toilets or baths of water. 
They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors 
They cannot get outside without supervision

Essential Reality Check No. 7 – 
Effects on Family and Neighbours

The whole family needs to be in agreement if you are getting pets. Pets can be noisy and messy having an effect on family living.

What effect will a pet such as a dog have on Granny who suffers from an allergy – will that mean she cannot come to visit anymore?

If you get a dog will it bark and howl when you leave them for any length of time and will this annoy your neighbors? 
Will the dog bark when your neighbors are in their own garden. 
How will your neighbors take to having your pet cat mess in their garden?

You will need to keep your yard free of dog mess to ensure it does not smell -particularly in summer months.

Essential Reality Check No. 8 –

Holidays and Care for Pets for kids

If you have pets for kids what will happen to them during your holiday times.

Do you have family or friends who can care for your pets while you are away?

If not you will have to pay for your pets care.

This will be expensive for dogs, cats, and larger animals.

Even for little pets, holiday care can be expensive.

Essential Reality Check No. 9 – 
Loss of a Pet and Grief

Some children are really sensitive and will be distraught when their beloved pet eventually passes away or is lost in some way.

This is especially distressing if the pet has died as a result of an accident or illness.

How will you manage this?

The kids will need to grieve, grieving is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer losses every day in a small way such as not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or other family member struggles with the grieving then look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stepping stones through which people move. Your family member may not go through them in order or spend long on anyone.

The stepping stones are: 
Shock, Denial, Guilt, Anger, Depression Bargaining, Acceptance 
Your child may want another pet this is called bargaining and is one of the stepping stones through the grief process. 
If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden losses that the death of their pet has caused. 
Could there be a loss of your child’s self-worth or self-esteem? 
Have they lost their only companion? 
Has your child lost the only one who listened to them? 
By chatting try to find out how your child is feeling and help them to work out their losses and then work through to acceptance by doing some healthy bargaining. 
Would your child be able to regain their sense of worth or self-esteem another way? Perhaps helping out with a friends pet for instance.

For some children, it may be helpful to have a burial service, so they can say goodbye properly.

(My son kept some hair from his beloved dog)

Our kids have managed the deaths of their pets really well and have gone on to have other pets, for other kids though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child’s pet.

Essential Reality Check No. 10 – 
Pets for Kids are GREAT!

For the most part pets for kids are good fun. They are often good company for your kids especially if the kids are lonely.

Our autistic daughter has changed a lot since we got her guinea pigs to look after. She has gained some imaginative play, we think this is because she talks to her guinea pigs. 
We do have to oversee her with them though.

Kids can learn a lot from caring for pets for kids and by having pets even when they are lost naturally.

Dogs can encourage the family out to get exercise as they walk the dog.

All our kids love their pets.

Bring Your Pet With You

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The holidays are one of the peak seasons for travel, and it is the perfect time to take your pet along with you. Whether you are off on a ski vacation, visiting family or perhaps enjoying the magical feeling of a Swiss village at Christmas time, having your best friend along will make the trip more enjoyable.

Be sure to consider pet identification before you leave. Pet ID tags with your CELL PHONE number are great since there will not be anyone at home to answer the phone. You should consider the added safety of a pet microchip. If your pet is separated from you, a shelter or a veterinarian can read the chip, and they can then track you down through the database of the company who manufactured the microchip. If you are going to be spending a couple of weeks in one place, consider buying a second Pet ID tag with the contact information on where you will be staying.

Pet crates are a great way to keep your pet safe when traveling in the car. Unless a pet is confined or harnessed, its behavior can cause a great distraction to the driver of the vehicle. As much as we all like our smaller pet in our lap, it is detrimental to the safety of the pet, the driver, and the passengers riding in the car. A collision, even at a slow speed, can seriously injure an unrestrained pet. The safety of your pet is your responsibility. Be sure and buckle them in (just as you do for yourself) or confine them in a crate.

If it is very warm or very cold, do not leave your pet in the car alone. Be prepared by having a supply of water, food and water/food bowls in the car. You may not find the brand of pet food they are used to where you are going.

If your pet is larger than about 15 pounds, and you are traveling by air, then you will need a pet crate that is compliant with the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) regulations. If you will be staying in a hotel, then the pet crate is the proper place to leave your pet while you go out to dinner. Make sure that the pet crate is large enough so that your pet can stand up and turn around. Be sure to leave an adequate supply of food and water to last for the period that you will be away. It is also a good idea to place an absorbent pet pad in the bottom of the crate that will keep your pet dry in case of accidents.

Buy your crate well in advance of your trip so that the pet can get used to it before you travel. Pet crates come in two pieces, a top and a bottom. For a few days leave the top of the crate and put treats and a favorite toy in just the bottom portion. After seeing that your pet is comfortable, assemble the crate and leave the door open. Invite them in with praise and treats.

Flying with your pet is easy these days. Almost all airlines accept pets on board the aircraft. Very small pets can often travel in the cabin of the aircraft with you in an airline compliant pet carrier. Larger pets will travel as checked baggage in a special section of the cargo hold where the temperature and pressure are the same as in the cabin. Be sure to alert the captain of the aircraft that you have a pet in cargo as he will take extra care to keep the temperature and pressure at the proper levels. You will need a health certificate stating that your pet is healthy enough to fly. Be sure to make reservations early as the airlines only allow a limited number of pets per flight. Stay away from medical tranquilizers for your pet and instead give them an all natural product that makes them less anxious such as a product called Happy Traveler.

You will need lodging on the way. A great majority of pet-friendly hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts that accept pets but they do not always accept all types and sizes. It is important to make your reservations in advance and ask about their pet policy. Under no circumstances should you leave your pet in the car overnight.

When traveling, keep your pet on their normal schedule by feeding them and taking them for their “walk” as close to the regular time as possible. Be sure to pack a supply of plastic bags to take along on those walks. If you are traveling with a cat, there are portable kitty litter trays available. Realize that your pet is out of their normal surroundings, so be sure and keep them on a leash and watch them closely. Reassure them should they show signs of nervousness or anxiety.

Be considerate of other people. Although there are many pet lovers in this world, there are some that do not feel comfortable around pets. Respect others by restraining your pet when necessary.

So whether your destination is Grandma’s house, a mountain cabin or a ski resort in Switzerland your pet can accompany you with the proper planning. International destinations require special veterinary certificates, however, when traveling to most countries, there will be no quarantine of your pet.

PetTravel.com has been serving the traveling pet public on the internet for over 12 years. We are the largest and most comprehensive website on traveling with your pets. We have over 26,000 pet-friendly hotels and services, and immigration information on over 190 countries worldwide. We support the traveling pet owner with information on how to make traveling with their pet easy and comfortable.

How to Ready and Prepare and Travel Comfortably With Your Pets

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Always do what is best for your pet. If air travel is involved, then leaving pets at home with a good pet sitter is usually the preferred option. When you do travel with your pet, deciding what to take is always a good place to start. Depending on the mode of travel and the length of the trip, you will need to pack any necessary medications and medical records, especially if your pet has chronic health problems or is currently under a veterinarian’s care for an ailment. And the appropriate paperwork is essential if your travels take you across international borders (see the links below for specific requirements).

Then you will need the basics like food, food/water bowl, pet first aid kit, bed, leash, collar, required tags (ID and rabies), and grooming tools if your dog requires regular grooming, pet waste bags, crate, and toys (especially an interactive or chew toy that will keep them entertained). You will also need litter and a litter tray or disposable litter trays for your cat. Just in case, take a recent photograph along. It will be much easier to locate your pet if it becomes separated from the family if you have a photo to show people. And if your pet has an embedded ID chip you will need to have the phone number of the company and your account details so you can immediately contact them.

Your pet should have its own bag so you know where everything is and can grab items when you need them. Don’t forget to carry some water if traveling by car, and remember to take enough of your dog’s regular food for the entire trip. If you can’t find the same brand on the road, abruptly changing a dog’s diet can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, something to be avoided while traveling. It is always best to stick to their regular feeding schedule as well.

If you are traveling by car and your pet is unaccustomed to car travel, begin preparing in advance of any long trips by first getting your pet comfortable in the car and then take it on several local trips of increasing duration. This will help minimize the risk of motion-sickness and help it become accustomed to car travel. If your pet appears to be prone to motion sickness consult your vet. Your dog should never be allowed to ride in the passenger seat, on your lap or allowed to run loose in a moving car.

Always use either a crate or one of the available safety harnesses or other barrier systems to restrain your pets. Restraining your pet is as important to their safety as buckling up is to yours. Some states even require restraints on pets in a moving vehicle. Restraining your pet serves the same purpose as our seatbelts; they help protect your pet in the event of an accident and they keep them from distracting the driver or jumping out an open window. Restraining your pet also maintains control of your pet when you stop for gas or a snack.

Crate-training your pet at home pays big dividends while traveling Not only does the crate provide a safe place for your pet while traveling when secured to the seat or floor of the vehicle, but your pet will feel at home, safe and secure in their comfortable crate wherever your travels take you. And crates are the most effective way of restraining cats and small dogs in a moving vehicle. Your local pet store will carry a variety of styles, sizes and makes.

For larger dogs, or if your pet prefers, there are also pet restraints available that work with your car seat belts or cordon off part of your vehicle. There are a wide variety of styles and types including harnesses, seat belt attachments, car booster seats, and screens and netting that create an internal barrier in your vehicle. Whichever method you choose, make sure it fits your pet and car, is comfortable and your pet will tolerate wearing it for hours at a time. And keep your pet’s head inside the car window to avoid eye injuries. Stop every two hours; this is advisable for you as well as your pets. Stretch your legs and take a walk. Be a responsible pet owner and don’t forget the pet waste bags and antibacterial wipes. Finally, never leave your pet alone in a parked car. They may attract thieves and can easily become overheated and distressed even on a cool day.

Traveling by air is always stressful for an animal so visit your vet well in advance of the planned trip to make sure your pet is physically fit and don’t fly your pet unless it’s absolutely necessary. But if you must, always check with the specific airline carrier and ask about all regulations (see the websites below for more information). Find out what their requirements are including quarantine periods at your destination and if your pet qualifies to ride in the cabin or must be sent as checked baggage. You will need to determine the container requirements, check-in times and health documentation needs as well. Always use a good quality container in good condition; many mishaps occur every year from pets traveling in damaged or poor quality containers.

If your pet must travel as checked luggage use a direct flight and travel on the same plane as your pet. Don’t travel when temperatures are forecast to be above 85 degrees F or below 45 degrees F. When you book your flight asks the airline if you will be allowed to watch your pet being loaded and unloaded and when you check-in, request that you be allowed to do this. After you’ve boarded, notify the Captain and the head flight attendant that your pet is in the cargo area. If your flight departure is delayed or has to taxi for longer than normal, ask that they check the temperature in the cargo area and report back to you.

Even if you know that your pet is a nervous flyer it is not advisable in most situations to use sedatives to calm them. According to the American Humane Society and the American Veterinary Medical Association, sedatives for air travel are not recommended because it is much more difficult for an animal to regulate their body temperature and maintain their balance and equilibrium if they’ve been sedated. Because of the altitude and temperature of a plane’s cargo area pets that fly in the cargo area are also more susceptible to respiratory and cardiovascular problems if sedated.

Before any trip get your pet’s papers and medications in order. Learn about the area you will be visiting in case there are diseases or hazards foreign to you and your pets. Your veterinarian can give you advice if you will need any additional vaccinations or medications. Have your vet perform a routine examination on your pet. Get any required legal travel documents (for air travel, contact the airlines for specifics that you’ll need to give to your vet), make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, and get any medications your pet might need during the trip.

If you’re giving your pet medication specifically for travel test them on your pet several days before you travel to ensure the dosage is accurate and that there are no adverse side effects. Depending on where you’ve been, another examination by your vet after your trip might be a good idea to check for parasites such as, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, ticks, and fleas, that were picked up while you were away.

If you are traveling overseas there are very strict and detailed regulations for transporting pets. Be sure to follow the vaccination requirements exactly. You don’t want your family pet to undergo any unnecessary quarantine periods. Pets are an important part of the family so be sure to take the time to plan and properly prepare them for the family vacation. By planning ahead and knowing what to pack, what to expect, and what to do each step of the way, you will ensure that your pet has a safe and stress-free holiday.

The DogSmith was founded in 1998 by Niki Tudge, a leading proponent of positive animal training techniques. The DogSmith mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship and the quality of the life they share, though; 1. Providing professional support and training to Pet Dog owners, 2. Supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and 3. Offering affordable and professional care for family pets.

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