If you are a dog lover and/or have never owned a dog in your life, there are so many reasons to add their lovely, fun personalities into your home. They teach you how to take care of someone else, bring you joy, compassion and another pal. I know some new dog owners worry about the costs of bringing a furry friend into your life. Well, not to worry, there are ways to save money on your new housemate.
Make sure to adopt a dog
I am always an advocate of adopting a dog; there are so many dogs waiting for a new home. And you are not just saving a dog’s life, but adopting from a shelter or rescue group can be very inexpensive. If you compare adopting a dog to purchasing a new dog, your adopted dog usually has received its shots, been examined by a veterinarian and neutered. Some shelters and /or adoption agencies have the dog's health records and life history from its previous owner which can also give you a history of any medical costs that might exist. And, above all, you have given this new dog a new lease on life.
Sales and Price Comparison
Treat a dog as you would yourself (or like me) when you buy groceries or anything that could add up. Make sure to check sales for pet items and comparison shop. You can find coupons in the mail and/or visit the big retailers such as Pet Smart or Petco to get great deals. Both Petco and Pet Smart are also on-line retailers and will send you coupons if you sign up for their newsletter. The savings really help.
While I always recommend going for a higher brand of dog food, you don’t have to feed your dog excessively. It is not good for them and can be costly. Make sure to feed your dog according to his or her weight and activity level. If you buy your dog food in bulk, it will usually lower the costs. Even if you spend a little more money on healthy dog food, your dog will eat less of it and be more satisfied. And, of course, the healthier your dog eats, the less expensive your veterinarian bills will be and the overall health of your pup will be improved.
Goodwill and/or Surplus Stores have Items for Dogs
I’m sure you’ve donated gifts, clothes or other items to Goodwill or other surplus stores in your life. Well, next time you are there, see if you can purchase toys for you dog. Even the local Salvation Army is a good place to pick up a leash or simply some fun toys for your pooch. You can also use different items around your home to fix a bed for your pup and make toys that are simple for your dog and not expensive. Most dogs are not too picky and are simply happy for your companionship.
While there are many different types of pet insurance on the market, you should think ahead and purchase insurance to avoid big, unforeseen costs. You can ask your veterinarian for recommendations and/or friends with dogs. Veterinary bills can get expensive so a monthly or quarterly payment could be a great long term investment for you and your dog. Think of it as our health insurance and how much (it usually) saves us in the long term.
The most important thing you can do for your dog is to provide him or her with a lot of love and companionship. Dogs are not picky and you do not need to break the bank just to bring this new furry friend to your home.
Redbox is taking the pet world by storm! Not only are they offering the wonderful Shelter Me on DVD today, but they are also donating all the proceeds to the Ellen DeGeneres’ Pet Foundation from April 23rd thru April 29th. How great is that!
Shelter Meis a wonderful film that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories that show how people’s lives are improved when they adopt ‘shelter’ pets. It tells the moving stories of how shelter pets are helping war veterans cope with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Filmmakers also go inside a women’s prison, where inmates train shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities. And we see the journey of two stray dogs, from the day they are picked up on the streets and brought to a shelter until the day they become beloved family pets.
As I mentioned above, all proceeds from SHELTER ME rentals between April 23rd through April 29th will benefit Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo Pet Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the well-being of pets and the people who love them. This unprecedented partnership will help to raise funds to help shelter pets and educate people about rescue.
One moving episode shows how shelter pets are helping returning war veterans cope with PTSD.
“We’re honored to support the Halo Pet Foundation and everything they do to promote the well- being of pets and their owners,” said Anne Saunders, president of Redbox. “We hope all pet lovers take the opportunity to watch ‘SHELTER ME’ this week, and in the process, help us contribute to this important cause.”
SHELTER ME, which was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Steven Latham (NOVA: Saved by the Sun, TED: The Future We Will Create), is about second chances, hope, helping others and making a difference – and about how dogs are truly man’s best friend.
About Halo, Purely for Pets
For over 25 years, Halo, Purely for Pets® has created holistic pet products of uncompromising quality. Halo believes nutrition is the single most important factor in the quality of a pet’s life. Halo offers natural pet food, treats, supplements and grooming products - including the award- winning Halo Spot’s Stew, Dream Coat and Liv-a-Littles treats. Ellen DeGeneres – a long time Halo customer – became a part-owner of Halo in 2008. HALO’s natural dog food, natural cat food, treats, supplements and grooming products are available at Pet Supplies Plus, PETCO, Whole Foods Market, your local pet specialty and natural food store, and online at http://www.halopets.com.
About Halo Pet Foundation
The Halo Pet Foundation’s mission is to enhance the well-being of pets and the people who love them. Inspired by our love for animals, we strive to help pets and their families live longer, happier, healthier lives together. Specifically, we seek to educate people on responsible pet ownership, eliminating animal abuse and reducing the overpopulation of uncared for pets. One hundred percent of every donation to the Halo Pet Foundation is granted to animal welfare groups – all operational expenses are covered by Halo, Purely for Pets.
Please make sure to rent this movie today and tell a friend. Not only will you see a great film, but you could just save yet another rescue. SHELTER ME can be found at Redbox here: Click Here To Rent
Our cats have fun and funny gestures and each cat has different things that make him or her tick! Most cats purr when content or excited. But, don't be surprised if your cat purrs for other reasons. My cat, Sammy, is not a big "purrer" while other cats purr simply by being touched.
Believe it or not, one of our most fascinating feline ways of communicating is still not completely understood by veterinarians today. Below are some theories and ideas of why our felines purr!
Purring is way for your cat to breathe with the mouth closed
Many veterinarians have different theories as to what might make our cats purr, although none have yet been proven. One theory is that purring is the result of electrical impulses generated in the brain that are transmitted through the central nervous system to muscles near the larynx (voice box) and diaphragm. The nerve impulses cause rhythmic contractions of these muscles during both inhalation and exhalation, while the cat’s mouth is closed. Vibrations are felt throughout the cat’s body, but are audible from the nose and mouth.
Purring is a way to help your cat’s bones!
Veterinarians have found that sound frequencies in this range may improve bone density and increase the efficiency of the circulatory system. This may promote healing while the cat expends minimal energy. Studies have also found that the cat’s brain releases endorphins (happy hormones) while purring.
Purring is a way to thank you for caring
Purring is used as both a greeting and as a care-soliciting signal. Purring signals friendly social interactions between cats and is used when cats approach each other, are resting together, groom one another, rub against each other, or touch noses. Kittens start purring when first nursing, and the mother purrs back to the kitten, both reassuring one another that “all is well.” Both are satisfied and content. Kittens can purr and nurse simultaneously, but cannot meow and nurse at the same time.
Purring can also occur when a cat is scared or injured
Believe it or not, purring also occurs in sick, injured, frightened—and even dying cats. Experts believe this is the “care-soliciting” form of the purr, communicating to others that the cat feels bad and that he or she is not a threat. If your cat looks or acts sick, but is purring, you should take him to your veterinarian for a complete check-up.
Purring is a way to release energy
When your cat purrs, it not only demonstrates that he is happy, but it is a way to release endorphins. When your cat’s endorphins are released, it gives your kitty an ‘up’ feeling similar to that when he or she inhales catnip. These endorphins help keep your cat healthy and wanting more interaction which is good for you and your cat! A happy cat will live longer.
Our cats are mysterious creatures. The reactions they have and the sounds they make are part of their genetic make up. And, purring is yet another one of those fun and interesting sounds.
If you have a big dog, you might be aware of or experienced an ACL injury in your dog’s leg or legs. A tear in the ACL (or anterior cruciate ligament) is very common among basketball players as well as big dogs. An ACL injury usually occurs when a dog's knee experiences too much twisting and ultimately tears, typically when a dog slips or suddenly turns when running. In addition, the ACL can deteriorate progressively over time due to obesity.
An ACL tear is common in many breeds
Dogs that are prone to an ACL injury are St. Bernards, Rottweilers, and are very common Golden and Labrador Retrievers. These breeds tend to have weaker back limbs and are therefore more prone to an ACL injury. These injuries can also occur when dogs are overweight and therefore put too much pressure on their limbs.
A dog that has a ruptured ACL will usually stumble and limp suddenly or hold the leg of the affected knee off the ground at an odd angle. Further, the knee might appear swollen and your poor dog might be able to put some weight on his or her leg, but will then hold it up again. Exercise typically aggravates the pain, while rest tends to relieve it. As soon as you see this happen, make sure to take your dog to the vet for further tests.
If the above happens, make sure to take your dog to the vet to diagnose whether your dog tore his ACL. Your vet will watch the way your dog walks, paying specific attention to the legs and knees. The vet will usually hold onto the dog’s femur and check the back legs. An X-ray is generally needed to determine if there is a tear.
An ACL injury usually requires surgery
Unfortunately, surgery is typically the best way to treat a ruptured ACL. However, if the ACL is only partially torn, treatment can sometimes heal the ACL injury. Swimming, low-impact exercises and different ways to manage the pain are sometimes the most effective types of non-surgical treatment. There are also many healthy vitamins and supplements on the market that specifically aid in strengthening your dogs bones.
Unfortunately, when a ruptured ACL is left to heal on its own without surgery, arthritis can occur. Therefore, it is important to monitor your dog’s health to make sure that the anterior cruciate ligament heals correctly.
How to prevent an ACL injury in dogs
The best way to prevent an ACL injury in your dog is to keep your dog active and lean. Exercising with your dog will help strengthen the knees and ligaments of your dogs. Further, make sure that your dog is at a good weight, especially those prone to ACL injuries, to prevent further pressure on their ligaments.
I hope that your dog never experiences an ACL injury as it is painful for your dog and for you to watch. However, if it does occur, don’t despair, because they are very common, just not a lot of fun.
We all know that our beloved dogs and cats bring us so much love and joy. Pet ownership has been proven to help pet owners relieve anxiety and reduce stress. There have been countless studies that actual equate pet ownership and happiness. But, what about just being around puppies or dogs for a short time to reduce stress? This is exactly what Dalhousie University had in mind when they created a puppy room to help college students reduce stress during final exams.
The puppy room came after an online suggestion
The student union opened a puppy room where students can hang out with several dogs, including Roc, a St. Bernard who happens to be a therapy dog. The idea is for students to go the room, sit down pet and talk to the dogs. The idea is to bring equal love and attention to the dogs and the students.
The student union decided to offer the program after one student suggested it on an online forum. The plan was to give students a few minutes to relax with their new pet pals and forget the stress of this month's exam period.
As it turns out, more than 300 students lined up at the Halifax University when the door’s first opened for the puppy room and the wait to get into the university's new puppy room reached nearly 45 minutes.
The students took to the idea quickly
There were lots of hugs and pats as the students surrounded the dogs. As the doors opened, students crowded around different dogs, each taking a turn hugging and petting the different dogs. The dogs loved the attention and the students loved the dogs – a win-win.
Most of the students had either owned dogs and missed their dogs at home or just enjoyed an afternoon with the pups. They felt all the love and warmth from the dogs and forgot about their final exams for the afternoon. A stress reliever indeed.
The dogs were actually therapy dogs, not puppies
While the animals were actually fully grown trained therapy dogs, the idea for the puppy room spread quickly on Twitter, inspiring other schools to consider starting their own animal therapy project. One of the leaders in charge of the dogs said he wasn't surprised by the overwhelming joy in the room after he had suffered a bout of depression and a dog helped his outlook. He was hoping it would help the students in the same way.
Other Universities should watch closely
It would be great if other Universities could take a look at how successful this program has been and introduce a puppy or dog room of its own. After all, finals are very stressful for students and rather than turn to alcohol, drugs or anti-anxiety medication, why not look to a puppy room? What about bringing in some dogs or puppies in from a local shelter and everyone could get some love that afternoon? Sounds like a win-win situation and an excellent program to implement.