10 Reasons Why You Should Rescue A Dog Instead of Buying One

Everyday there are countless, gorgeous and loving animals available in local shelters, yet when many people considering getting a dog, they think of buying one from a store first. I would like to change that.

The first step is awareness. Some people just do not realize what a great dog they can find in a shelter or how they will be saving their lives (not to mention helping put the stores which profit from puppy mills out of business!).

My Hayley and Django were both adopted and they are the sweetest animals in the world! I am so lucky to have been able to find them.

The Humane Society of Louisiana put together an incredible article outlining all 10 reasons why you should rescue a dog instead of buying one. 

Please read .... and then share!!

1. You'll Save A Life
A shelter pet is more than one in a million-she's one in 2.7 million. That's the number of adoptable dogs and cats who are still euthanized each year in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people adopt.

2. Because You'll Get A Great Animal
Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets ended up there because of a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the animal did anything wrong.

3. Because You'll Get A Great Bargain
When you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations and sometimes microchipping is usually included in the adoption price, which means you've scored a major deal-a fuzzy deal who will thank you with kisses or purrs for years to come.

4. Because Of The Bragging Rights
No one needs to see another selfie-unless it's a selfie of you with the adorable cat you just adopted, like the hero you are! Adopt a pet, post the pictures and let the love (likes) roll in.

5. Because It's One Way To Fight Puppy Mills
Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The moms of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family.

6. Because Your Decor Will Thank You
Many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already housetrained, which means you're not only saving a pet's life, you may be saving your rug.

7. Because All Pets Are Good For Your Health, But An Adopted Pet Is Good For Your Self-Esteem
Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. And when you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need.

8. Because You're Environmentally Responsible
You recycle your paper and plastic so it doesn't end up in landfills, and you know that recycled materials make all sorts of things. A "recycled" pet can make something even better: She can make you happy.

9. Because The Shelter Pet Project Will Make It Super-Easy
We like easy. Go to the Shelter Pet Project to find pets near you, of every size, color, temperament and breed. You want an orange cat who likes ear-scratches on alternate Tuesdays? You can probably find one.

10. Because You'll Change A Homeless Animal's Whole World
And get a new best friend in the bargain. Seriously, what could be better than that?

About The Humane Society of Louisiana

The Humane Society of Louisiana (www.HumaneLA.org) is a private 501(c)3 animal protection charity founded in New Orleans in 1988. They operate diverse animal care and protection programs, and promote compassion for all animals. They work to prevent animal abuse and neglect in all its forms. They receive no government funding, and rely on private donations for support. 

Canine Cognition Facts

I always knew

The recent studies out on dog cognition include many things that us dog lovers already know: mainly that dogs understand us and feel emotions. Anyone who has lived and loved a dog knows this instinctively. Of course, I'm very glad that these observations are being up by scientific facts, and proving what incredible and special animals dogs are.

What's exciting are the studies coming out which give us a glimpse of things we might not know about our beloved companions, like they actually prefer human companionships yet don't feel guilt. I am continually intrigued about the various cognition leaps and bounds being made. 

Purina Pro Plan who has taken a lead in researching the science behind why dogs do what they do,  has a list of dog cognition facts on their website. It's a good read, and there is also a test you can take about dog cognition (which leads you to a money saving coupon).

In addition, you can find a Dognition Assessment which is a set of 20 games created by experts such as trainers, behavioral specialists, and scientists. The games are to be played with your dog to realize and boost their cognition skills. 

In the meantime, check out this handy infographic (who knew your dog was either right-handed or left-handed?!):

The Potty Training Puppy Apartment: An Innovative, Modern Training System That Works!

Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that the most critical time of a puppy's life is potty training. How well you potty train your puppy will set the tone for your dog's lifetime potty habits...and if not done properly, can result in a stressful (and messy) existence for you both.

I am a huge believer in crate training. When I adopted my pup, Django, we started her on crate training immediately. She was 8 weeks old and just forming habits. She trained quite fast. In those first few days, I would never let her roam around freely unsupervised, and I put her out in our yard countless times a day. When I couldn't watch her, I would put her in her crate many times a day for short periods of time which worked incredibly well because puppies sleep so much.

Every single time, I took her out, I carried her to the yard before letting her walk around in the house. Like most all dogs, she would not have accidents in the bed she slept in. For her it was great (except those times I know she had to go and was rushing home to let her out) and I'm glad I did it because while she did have a couple of accidents in those early days, she has never had in accident in the house since being trained almost 7 years ago.

But, I have to admit the toll it took on me was consuming. For weeks, I was barely sleeping, always on alert to hear if she was up and need to go out. I put her out every morning at 5:30 am. To top it off, it was November and it was brutally cold. I liken that time to getting up at night with a new baby. Yes, it had to be done, but it was truly exhausting. I was just lucky enough to work from my home office. I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise. I was also taking a risk by going against my vet's advice of keeping her indoors completely until she had all her shots. So I let her out in the cleanest part of my concrete yard for just a few minutes until she did her business, hurrying her along, in the cold, often in the dark, 10-12 times a day!

So when I saw the Potty Training Puppy Apartment®, I just wondered why this had not been invented sooner. This indoor puppy potty training solution (look for a special discount code below!) has already successfully trained over 50,000 dogs, and many in as little as three days! It looks like a crate but, in fact, is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment for your puppy. An adjustable room divider creates a cozy bedroom for your puppy to sleep and a bathroom just outside to relieve him/herself on puppy training pads. So the puppy can sleep, get up at 3 am, urinate in the bathroom section, and cross over the room divider to go right back to sleep in their bed...without disturbing you.

In addition, there are three exit doors so the puppy can enter and exit from the front or side depending on where you place the apartment in your home. The adjustable room divider can be moved when your puppy outgrows his/her bedroom. The Puppy Apartment is available in various sizes, ranging from XSmall to XXXLarge. It also comes with a free instructional DVD which teaches customers who to train their pup in just three days.

On the other end, this product is also very good for elderly dogs who can no longer make the potty trip outside. My Hayley, who already has health challenges and is blind, recently turned 13. While I don't like to think about her getting any older or more incapacitated, knowing a product like this exists give me a great peace of mind.

To get a full appreciation of the Potty Training Puppy Apartment, watch their world famous puppy training video (which has almost 8 million views!):

Use the coupon code DOG11 to receive a 5% discount!!

Straight Talk About Ear Infections

Many dog owners have witnessed their pet excessively scratching their ears or rubbing their head on a hard surface. Some owners may even notice redness, swelling, or odor in their dog’s ear canal. Although we may do everything we can to keep our dogs clean, these common signs could be a result of a canine ear infection.

According to Dr. Alison Diesel, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, canine ear infections are common and can be caused by multiple factors. 

“There are several contributing factors associated with the development of ear infections in dogs,” she said. “Some factors, such as excess hair in the ear canals, excess wax production, and increased moisture, can contribute to the development of ear infections; however, they do not solely cause the infection. There is generally an underlying cause, such as parasites, allergies, or foreign bodies. Other causes include hormone imbalances, benign or cancerous growths in the ear canal, or physical trauma.”

If you think your dog may have an ear infection, it is important to consult your veterinarian. Treatment for canine ear infections depends on the underlying cause of the infection as well as the specific type of infection involved. Ear cleaners or topical medications, such as ear drops or lotion, are common in soothing canine ear infections. Sometimes, additional medications may be necessary to decrease swelling in the ear canals or treat infections that have migrated into the deeper structures of the ear, such as the middle or even inner ear.

Although it may seem as simple as thoroughly cleaning your dog’s ears to relieve them of irritation, Diesel recommended avoiding home remedies for an ear infection. “Some medications can be harmful or painful when used in certain infections,” she explained. “For example, the use of a medication containing antibiotics may contribute to the development of bacterial resistance if used improperly. It is best to consult your pet’s veterinarian prior to treating the ear infection at home. If you have a cleaner your veterinarian has prescribed for ear infections in the past, this may be tried initially; however, a follow up examination should be pursued if clinical signs persist.”

You may bathe Fido regularly, but this does not protect him from developing an ear infection. To effectively prevent canine ear irritation, be sure to check your dog’s ears weekly for debris and wax build up. If your dog swims a lot or has a history of ear infections, you should talk with your dog’s veterinarian about using an ear cleaner periodically as maintenance.

“In some cases, long-term maintenance ear care, such as periodic ear cleaning, may be helpful to help prevent infections,” Diesel said. “To address this most effectively, it is important to have a conversation with your pet’s veterinarian to help develop a long-term plan. Discussing particular activities your pet likes and or concerns you have will help your veterinarian formulate a righteous preventative care plan. For example, if you frequently plan on taking your dog swimming, your veterinarian may recommend an ear cleaner that has some drying properties for use after swimming. A veterinary dermatologist can also be an additional helpful resource for long-term ear care in your dog.”

To prevent your dog from developing an ear infection, remember to clean their ears regularly. Ear infections are one of the most common health problems in dogs, but it is not a condition that should be treated at home without the guidance of a veterinarian. Be sure to seek professional help in treating your dog’s ear infection.