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Tips for Blending Your Furry Family

Getting along is possible It can be hard to get used to living with someone day in and day out, even when you are in love with that person. It can be even more difficult to get used to living with the other person’s pets. It's  common to have one spouse be slightly jealous of the other’s beloved pet, especially when that pet has been with the owner for a long time and is used to being fussed over. But it’s not always a walk in the park when you both have pets either. Now under one roof, your pets must get along, like a furry Brady Bunch family. Raising a pet can stir up issues that are very similar to parenting, such as being too lenient, not setting rules, letting the dog/cat do anything, etc… And that’s why so many couples fight over their pets. It’s key to take baby steps and introduce the dog to the new person or another dog very gradually before taking a big leap. It’s also important to be honest and upfront with your partner if s/he does something that bothers you with you

10 Signs You Should Not Get A Dog

Every dog deserves a loving home, but should every person have a dog? As much as I advocate adopting unwanted pets and opening your home and heart to a homeless pup, some people just should not have dogs. It's easy to get lost in the excitement and brush over the chores associated with living with a dog. You will have to clean up, feed, walk, and play with this animal daily, and at regular intervals throughout each day no matter your lifestyle. If you don’t see yourself as someone who can handle that level of engagement, it is kinder to not bring home a puppy or dog. Too many people adopt dogs only to surrender them soon after when the reality of ownership kicks in. I have known people who see my dogs and comment that maybe they should get a dog of their own. However, they are often the same people who would have a problem with daily walks, vet care, and even regular feedings. I tell them that dogs are a lifetime commitment that requires a deep understanding of yourself and your wi

Boarding Your Pup: 5 Tips For Packing a Doggy Bag

Make sure your pup has their favorite toys Deciding to take a vacation can be a daunting undertaking for pet owners. Unless you have family who are ready, willing, and able to pitch in, and take care of your dog until you get back home, the decision can be unnerving. Resolving to board your dog is something that many owners are not willing to do. Some owners prefer to leave their dog home and hire a pet-sitter instead. If you decide that boarding is a good option for you and your dog, once you find the perfect, loving and responsible people who will care for your dog while you’re away, the next thing to do is pack up things to make them feel comforted while you're away. Supplying their necessities as well as comfort items will make the transition as smooth as possible.  We asked DogVacay for some tips on what to pack in your pup’s bag to prepare for their boarding experience: 1. Your dog’s usual food: Some dogs get an upset stomach if you change their chow, so be sure to pack plent

What Does Your Dog's Sleeping Position Mean?

How does your pup sleep? There have been times when I’ve looked at my black lab mix, Django and chihuahua mix, Hayley both curled up in tight ball-like positions and have wondered how they ever managed to get comfortable enough to sleep that way. But at night, I’ll find Django sprawled out along the foot of my bed as I compete with her for the last two inches of blanket. You might think that since there is limited space on the bed but ample room on the floor that she might curl up in bed, but quite often, the opposite is true. Peculiar, you may think, as I did, until you understand why dogs sleep the way they do. According to an article over at  VetStreet , Dr. Margaret Gruen, DVM, a clinician at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Behavior Service, explains that a dog’s tendency to either  curl up or sprawl out   stems from biology and survival. Dogs naturally curl up simply to keep warm, so if it’s a cool day and you find your pup curled up, that may be why. How

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Some signs can be subtle. It’s every owner’s worst fear.  Your older pup is getting on in years and slowing down. Of course, with regular check-ups your vet will help identify any concerns he/she might have but in the back of your mind, you’ve heard stories or perhaps had other dogs who seemingly overnight were diagnosed with cancer. While you can’t prevent your dog from getting cancer, you can educate yourself about early warning signs. As with humans, early detection is key.  Here are the top 10 warning signs of cancer in dogs, courtesy of petMD. 1. Coughing or difficulty breathing Although typically symptoms of heart and lung disease, coughing and abnormal breathing can also indicate cancer. This symptom will most likely occur if cancer in your pet's body has metastasized into his or her lungs. 2. Lethargy and depression Dogs with cancer tend to suffer from depression and sleep more, become less playful, and be less willing to go for walks. Although lethargy or depression can se

Does Your Dog Bark When Looking In The Mirror?

Who's that doggie? When  Django  was still young, every now and then,  she  would wake up, stand, and start barking in the middle of the night and I couldn’t figure out why. Then one afternoon, I heard her barking her head off when I was downstairs and she was upstairs. A quick look in my room and I saw her losing her mind and barking at the dog in the mirror…herself. It was funny and endearing. I showed her my hand petting her head but she just would not have it and was convinced that the dog she saw was a stranger, and thus needed to defend herself…against, herself. It became a regular occurrence around the house. If we heard her barking upstairs, we knew she was staring at herself. Yet her barks are loud and I soon began to close the door so she wouldn’t have the mid-afternoon showdown with her ego.  Only now, two years later, did I learn of why she did that. Why dogs bark at their own image Dr. Marty Becker, over at Vetstreet says, the “mirror test is considered an important ev

Signs Your Dog May Be Overheated

Dogs can overheat quickly in the sun Hayley and Django were really huffing and puffing one particularly hot day last summer. Just going out in the yard to do their business caused them to come back in the house looking like they just braved the Sahara. Here in New York, we’ve had a few heatwaves this summer with temperatures feeling about 100 degrees. While my kids relaxed in the pool, our dogs tried their best to stay cool. When we were out in the yard, Django felt the need (as she always does) to stay with us, even though our living room was air-conditioned. Hayley, older and wiser, did what she had to do outside and quite happily retreated to the cooled-off room with the A/C. I sprinkled Django a little with the hose but she still seemed pretty hot and was panting quite a bit, so I went inside with her after a little while. The truth is that I wanted to go inside, too. When temps get this high, it’s vital for dog owners to keep a watchful eye on their pups because dogs can become ov