Best Tips on How to Pick a Puppy for Your Family

Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr

Best Tips on How to Pick a Puppy for Your Family

Best Tips on How to Pick a Puppy for Your Family

If you’re considering a pet, here are the best tips on how to pick a puppy for your family. Although you may be able to find a bargain from a litter across town, you should be aware that that sort of bargain can end up costing you money and emotional trauma. Having said that, I’m not suggesting that you don’t do that, but I am recommending caution to avoid inheriting a sick or unhealthy puppy.

By knowing some fundamentals in order to make an informed decision, you can avoid issues that you may not even be aware exist. In fact, the only criteria most people in mind are limited to the following: Is it cute?

However, try to be a little more objective when making this choice. Be pragmatic and sensible and be sure you have some testing rules in place to help you.

Best Tips on How to Pick a Puppy for Your Family

Here are some steps to include to help you choose your pet:

Choosing a healthy puppy is easy. Health is the foundation everything else builds off. If you ignore this simple, puppy health check you may end up paying for it later.

Before you start any puppy testing , you should follow some basic guidelines to find a healthy pup. Make sure you spend time evaluating each puppy.

Be objective. Don’t fall in love with a puppy because you feel sorry for it, or think it’s cute. Of course it’s cute, they’re all cute. You have plenty of time to coo once you have a healthy puppy romping around with you.

Sickly puppies and dogs are a burden both emotionally and monetarily. Before taking on a dog or puppy with known health problems, be sure you have the means in both time and money.

If you do end up with a sickly dog, or puppy you will need to have a veterinarian check them out thoroughly.

When you approach a litter of pups observe them for a while. Do you see any pups that don’t seem to fit in? Are there any with noticeable limps or discharge around their eyes? Are their coats clotted and matted? Do you see any bare spots? If yes, it is worth inspecting the whole litter very carefully. It’s not uncommon for a whole litter of puppies to become infected from one sickly pup.

After observing the puppies pick each one up and make some, simple inspections:

A healthy puppy has teeth that meet in the front of the mouth with the tops slightly overlapping. Pull back their lips and check. At the same time look for pink, wet gums, and bright white teeth.

A healthy puppy’s nose should be slightly damp. It shouldn’t drip or leak mucus. A puppy’s breathing should be clear without any raspiness. Puppies shouldn’t have stuffed noses.

Check the puppy’s ears. They should be clean and should not carry any offensive odors.

A healthy puppy’s feet and legs will point forward when the puppy is standing. Dogs shouldn’t be pigeon toed or bowlegged. Run your hand down each limb feeling for any obvious abnormalities.

Check the eyes. They should be clear without any mucus buildup around the lids. The hair around the eyes should be unmatted and dry.

Litter Condition

Check the overall condition of the litter area. The litter area should be free of dog poop and pee. The puppy’s fur should be clean. If you see poop on their fur it most likely means the pen was neglected. Healthy puppies won’t poop where they eat and sleep unless they have no other choice. Puppies that have been living in filth may have problems with rolling and poop eating when they become adult dogs. They will also be harder to house train.

The great majority of puppies are healthy puppies, but it’s worth a close inspection to make sure your new best friend is a healthy puppy. Click here to visit the original source of this post

Some of the best tips on how to pick a puppy for your family are actually pretty practical and methodical. Let yourself be guided with a reasonable approach to the decision process, and you’ll end up with an assurance that you’ve chosen well, and chosen “cute.”


Best Puppy Winter Care Tips for Pet Owners

Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr

Best Puppy Winter Care Tips for Pet Owners

Best Puppy Winter Care Tips for Pet Owners

Want to know the best puppy care tips for pet owners? Well, the first thing to be mindful of is that it’s easy to forget that your dog may have been inside for hours, and the abrupt change of temperature from a warm house to the ice-cold outdoors can be hazardous to your pooch.

Some breeds such as the husky will enjoy the snow and has the coat and protection needed to withstand chilly temperatures. However, most breeds of dog do not have these qualities, and a sudden change from warm and cozy to sub-zero may cause one of many problems.

The ASPCA have a number of helpful hints to bear in mind in the chilly season that I’m including below for your convenience and reference.

Best Puppy Winter Care Tips for Pet Owners

  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
  • Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. (Original here)

The best puppy care tips for pet owners may save your pet from undue physical trauma and health problems, and are very well worth taking into consideration. It’s also a good idea to make sure your puppy does not stay out in the cold weather for too long, and this is especially important for a younger puppy or a dog that has a short coat.



Assistance Dogs in Schools for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr

Assistance Dogs in Schools for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

Assistance Dogs in Schools for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

There are guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired, but should there be an issue with assistance dogs in schools for children with cerebral palsy? The amazing bond that’s created between specialized dogs and their owners is more than just an emotional one. This connection between dog and owner in such a situation often results into a level of communication that goes beyond the norm, and it’s a beautiful thing and is often an inseparable relationship

Assistance Dogs in Schools for Children with Cerebral Palsy?

Eimear Ni Bhraonain of the Irish Independent writes:

The parents of a young boy with cerebral palsy are distraught after been told his assistance dog is not allowed to accompany him in school.

While thousands of children returned to their classrooms after the Christmas holidays yesterday, Luke Kelly-Melia, who is in sixth class at Knocktemple National School in Virginia, Co Cavan, stayed at home.

His parents, Pauline and Brendan, have decided to home-school him after they were told his golden retriever, Aidan, is not allowed on the school grounds until further notice.

Mum Pauline said Luke’s life has been “transformed” since last November, when he got the assistance dog, which helps his mobility. “He was bringing the dog to school and it gives him a lot more independence,” she said.

“We used to worry all the time about him falling backwards and hitting his head — but now when he wobbles, the dog stops and they steady themselves before continuing on again.”

However, the parents were informed in a letter just before the holidays the dog was not allowed on the premises while the board of management gave “consideration to the matter”.

The letter suggested the parents only made a verbal request for the dog to accompany Luke to school, and that they had only asked for this to happen from March this year.

It asked them for a written request to be considered by the board. The letter also asked that Luke’s family “cease the current practice of bringing the dog on to the school premises” until a final decision was made.

But Luke’s mother said she was “very surprised” that there was any issue about the dog attending the school.

“His teachers were very positive about it all when we were told he was getting the dog from Dogs for the Disabled in Cork in November,” she added.

“Luke has a classroom assistant but as he said himself, she doesn’t wear a harness, and can’t stop him from falling over.”

His mother added: “He misses his friends and we don’t want to keep him out of school. Everyone in the community has reacted so well to the dog. We bring him to the shops, to the butcher’s, we even practice steps with him in the library — people are fantastic.”

The principal of Knocktemple NS, Declan Cooney, said he had received a letter from the parents on the matter yesterday.

He added that their application would be “considered by the board of management”. Mr Cooney declined to comment further on the matter.

The Department of Education said it provided the “care needs of children with special educational needs who require support in the classroom through the special needs assistant scheme”.

A spokesperson said it was a “matter for the board of management of each school to develop a policy on whether guide dogs or assistance dogs were allowed in the school, taking account of the needs of all the children in the school”. Click here to visit the original source of this post

Would you allow assistance dogs in schools for children with cerebral palsy? I would vote an absolute yes. Of course, I realize that there may be issues in regards to the distraction a dog may have in a classroom full of children, but it would also be a tremendous learning experience for all the kids to learn to accept such needs for others. This could be a great experience for Luke’s classmates, and a valued exposure for the entire school.

I’d be interested in your feedback and comments.


Best Puppy Safety Tips for Holiday Festivities

Written by Senior Editor Peter Ghr

Best Puppy Safety Tips for Holiday Festivities

Best Puppy Safety Tips for Holiday Festivities

During the festive season it’s always good to be reminded of the best puppy safety tips for holiday festivities and beyond. With unfamiliar visitors, extra noise, late nights, and a shift in regular schedules can be enough to cause your puppy a measure of insecurity.

Taking time to be mindful of the disruption to your pet’s schedule will help them be assured and aid in normalizing what would otherwise be a disruptive period. Of course, it’s not always possible to completely devote every attention to your puppy, but as habitual members of our households it can sometimes be more difficult for them to part from the norm than you may realize.

Best Puppy Safety Tips for Holiday Festivities

As much as possible, maintain your pet’s usual routine with feeding and exercise. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit – they’ll be much more content if you incorporate their daily needs into your overall holiday planning.

Keep poisonous plants out of reach of your pets.

Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are the most common offenders, as well as lilies that are harmful to cats. A complete list of plants should help narrow it down.

Watch out for any liquids other than the clean, fresh water you provide for your pet every day, or made-for-pets gravy.

No unattended alcoholic beverages. That includes eggnog and spiked punch.

The most dangerous liquid to keep out of your pet’s way is antifreeze – it tastes sweet but can be lethal. It’s also sometimes an ingredient in snow globes.

Keep the garbage can lid securely closed, or even in another room away from your pets.

If any of your family members or guests take medications, be sure to keep pill boxes and medicine bottles tightly closed and secured out of a pet’s reach. Zipped plastic bags, locked medicine cabinets are all good protection where both kids and pets are concerned.

If you have a live Christmas tree, the water in its stand may contain fertilizer or preservatives not good for Fido.

Beware of electrical cords that can trip a pet – or a human – and catch fire, cause a lethal shock, or be tempting to a puppy as something else to chew. Use duct tape to keep wires in place.

No lit Menorah or Christmas candles in wagging tails’ way. Set them (the candles) in stable candle holders, up on a table, and blow them out if you leave the room.

Keep a good supply of healthy pet treats handy so you won’t be tempted to sneak your pet human treats like: chocolate that can lead to digestive upset, cooked bones that can splinter internally, or spicy or high-fat foods like gravy that can lead to pancreatitis.

Need a better way to keep Rover or Muffin occupied? Try dental chews and similar treats that take several minutes for your pet to work on. Fill a Kong or other toy that’s more or less indestructible with healthy, digestible treats to ease a lot of an excited dog’s nervous energy.

Give your cat her own new holiday presents – toys with catnip, a big ball to chase. And of course, lots of playtime.

Before guests arrive and endless chaos ensues, give your pets plenty of quality time. Plenty of exercise before the party will help hold down a pet’s level of excitability.

Reserve a “time-out” room, crate or carrying case for your pets while guests are arriving, and let Fluffy and Spot out once the constant door-opening and closing has subsided. Or if your pet is comfortable with the action, keep a leash on to reduce the chance of your pet escaping when no one is looking. Click here to visit the original source of this post

The best puppy safety tips for holiday festivities start with common sense. Parties can generate a level of excitement that can be unsettling for your pet, so stay sensitive to their needs and provide them with as much normalcy as possible to keep their daily regimen as structured as possible.