Posts Tagged ‘dog tips’
Throughout the years, my husband and I have rescued and adopted many older and senior dogs ranging in age from 4 to nearly 11 years old. Each has come with a different life experience. Some have been family pets; others were used as a means of guarding or protecting his family or family’s property; some have been dearly loved friends and companions; others have received little love, attention or affection. Many have been neglected, abandoned or abused through no fault of their own. These older dogs have lost their homes for various reasons: divorce or separation of his parents; the death or severe illness of his guardian, change in work schedule, the necessity of moving to a place where a dog is not permitted (i.e. nursing home or assisted living facility, and so on). There are many reasons dogs are surrendered to a shelter – it is a fallacy that these animals are in someway inferior or have health or behavioral problems. Each of the older dogs we have adopted has brought us great joy and deeply enriched our lives. There are many important reasons to adopt an older or senior dog:
1). You can save the life of a deserving animal in need of a loving home, and feel good about yourself. Older dogs are usually not considered as “adorable” or adoptable as puppies or young dogs. Puppies generally have a much better chance of being adopted than older dogs. Therefore, older dogs are much more likely to be euthanized than younger dogs. The joy and fulfillment of rescuing an older dog and providing it with quality of life are unparalleled.
2). You can experience the appreciation, gratitude, devotion and patience of an older dog which are deeply rewarding. She somehow “knows” and understands that she has been saved, and becomes a grateful, loyal and loving friend, companion and family member.
3). Older dogs tend to be calmer, are often obedience trained and socialized and require less supervision or monitoring than younger dogs. They may even form a deeper bond with you than a young dog.
4). When you adopt a senior dog, you know what you’re getting. When you adopt a puppy, you can never be sure of how large he will get or what he will actually end up looking like. When you adopt an older dog, his size and weight, personality, behavior, likes and dislikes are immediately apparent. – all of which make it easier to select the right dog for you and your lifestyle.
5). An adult dog is past the puppy-chewing phase. This phase can last from eight weeks to two years of age or even longer, This is when the dog is “exploring” virtually everything around him and can be a time of destruction of furniture, carpets, art work and other valuable possessions.
6). Adult dogs are better able to concentrate or focus and actually may be much easier to train than a puppy. The bonding that takes place during the training of an older dog is powerful and even deeper perhaps than that developed with a puppy. Adult dogs possess a maturity and range of experience that young dogs simply do not have.
7). Most adult dogs are already socialized. Puppies must be taught basically everything about life, while older dogs have generally already shared and learned from their relationships with other pets, people and children.
8). The first year of expenditures on an adult dog is typically much less than on a puppy that requires all sorts of vaccinations and examinations as well as obedience training. A healthy adult dog does not usually require the frequent visits to the vet that a puppy does.
9). Adult dogs are typically less active than a puppy. Of course, they require walks and playtime but don’t require high maintenance activity, a lot of exercise, walking and running and playtime. An older dog is much more content to share quality time with you and simply enjoying your attention and companionship.
10). Adult dogs are just as handsome and beautiful as puppies in their own way. They can make you feel young again and bring joy, fun and pleasure to your life!
An older or senior dog can make a wonderful addition to your life and family. By adopting an older dog, you can learn much about life and the aging process - in so many ways comparable to our own. You can teach your children respect and compassion for our older friends and family members.
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In light of the fact that obesity is assuming alarming and epidemic proportions not only for humans but for our canine friends, it is important to address the issue of proper nutrition for our furry friends before serious health issues arise as a result of poor nutrition and inadequate exercise. Beyond nutrition, the importance of regular exercise for human and canine cannot be overemphasized.
However well-intentioned we may be in providing the best care for our animal companions, it is always advisable to conduct our own research as well as consult with a reputable, well-respected and knowledgeable veterinarian as to the “best” nutritional program for your particular pets. Just like human beings, each pet is unique and requires individual care pertaining to his or her size, weight, breed characteristics, heritage and ancestry, overall health and well being and personality, exercise regimen, etc.
Each pet requires consistent and on-going veterinary care – including regular visits to the vet (not just in an emergency or crisis situation). They require spay/neuter as well as physical examinations and their vaccinations. As they are examined, it is important for you (as your pet’s caregiver) to describe your pet’s physical condition, problems or any health issues that you may have observed. Does your pet limp? Pant? Breathe heavily? Have digestive problems? Walk with difficulty or hesitation? Have difficulty breathing? Tire easily even though not old? Your vet will more than likely be happy to address and suggest a proper nutritional and exercise program that will increase your pet’s longevity and improve his health and quality of life. He/she will take into consideration the age and lifestyle of your dog and help determine the diet best suited for your dog’s health and happiness.
It would be easy to believe that there is one superior pet food or diet that would fulfill all of your pet’s nutritional needs. Unfortunately, that is not the case. As is with the case of people. no one particular diet suits all pets. Your individual pet’s needs must be carefully considered in light of your pet’s age, background and overall health and well being.
Overall, your pet needs certain vitamin and nutrition, and a food that will be easily and well digested without any health consequences. Your pet may not need but generally will enjoy a varied diet – just as you do. Think in terms of your own health and enjoyment of healthy meals. Your pet should be fed a diet specially formulated for his age, breed, size and health history. For example, if he has kidney failure, there are appropriate diets that can help him therapeutically to limit the pain of his disease and prolong the quality of his life.
There is also danger in feeding your pet the “wrong” diet. It is important to give your pet a breed and age appropriate diet and also a special one designed for a dog that is pregnant, anemic or allergic or one who has kidney or liver failure, heart disease or other significant health issues. Therapeutic dies generally contain higher quality ingredients and have tighter quality control. Because they are intended for pets with special health issues, these diets are available through veterinary health professionals and should be administered under veterinary care.
If your pet is overweight, consult with your veterinarian as your pet’s obesity can be responsible for a number of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver and kidney disease, endocrine and intestinal problems, cancer, etc. Certain diets, typically those higher in fiber and lower in fat, can help keep obesity in check. Generally, diet and exercise are the keys to helping your pet maintain a healthy and well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Is Your Dog Overweight?
You may have suspected it, but a visit to the veterinarian with your dogs confirms the fact that your beautiful canine is overweight. Actually, you shouldn’t be too surprised as obesity in our pets, just as obesity in humans has reached epic proportions. You have done your best to feed your dog a healthy and nutritious diet, yet; somehow, you have provided her with more than the daily intake of calories she requires. You may have provided too little activity or exercise. You may have given her extra treats as “rewards” for good behavior or simply to make her happy. Any which way, it is time to deal with the inevitable – placing your dog on a healthy diet, exercise regimen and nutritional program. Proper nutrition will enhance your dog’s longevity as well as her quality of life.
Obesity is the most common nutritional problems veterinarians encounter in dogs and cats today. Being overweight can result in a wide variety of serious health problems for your pet, including heart disease, urinary problems, arthritis, cancer, endocrine issues and cancer. Overweight dogs are at higher risk in surgery, more prone to injury and experience greater stress on their hearts, livers, kidneys and joints. Excess weight can worsen respiratory problems and exacerbate osteoarthritis. Excess weight can lead to diabetes mellitus and generally diminish the overall quality of your pet’s life. Obesity can also decrease your pet’s life expectancy. Obesity is an issue that necessitates serious thought and consideration as well as change in your pet’s lifestyle.
The lives of our pets are generally shorter than our own. Therefore, if we are hoping for our pet to live a long, happy and healthy life, it is imperative that we provide our pets with a healthy lifestyle, sound nutritional program and a regular exercise regimen. It is as important for our pets to eat healthily and exercise frequently as it is for us as human beings. Once we have made the decision to adopt a pet, the animal is ours to care for until its death. We are the one and only caregiver of our vulnerable and trusting canine or feline friend, companion and beloved family member. Our pet’s life is completely dependent upon us. We are responsible for her overall care, health and well being.
To assess whether Fido really is “fat”, note the following:
Have your pet examined by your veterinarian. Consult with him or her to determine what weight loss regimen is most effective and beneficial for her.
If your vet puts Fido on a diet, do your best to adhere to the requirements of this health plan:
Limit the amount of food and snacks he gets;
Cut back the amount of kibble in his food bowl;
Feed healthy snacks if you “must” give him any at all: choose green beans, carrots or other low-calorie vegetables, unbuttered popcorn, organic or apple slices, etc. as per the advice of your vet;
Watch the fat content of the food you are purchasing & look for a diet with similar ingredients but fewer calories;
Watch the fat content in the food you buy’
Check the supplements you use for value & caloric quantity;
Keep Fido away from the dining table at meal time so that there is no temptation to your pet to beg or for you & your kids to give him unhealthy, fattening snacks.
Exercise your pet gradually and with the advice/consultation of your vet. Short sessions of low or moderate activity are a great way to begin this program i.e. a walk around the block, a regular obedience class or obedience routine are good ways to begin your pet’s exercise regimen.
Obesity affects approximately 25 percent of the U.S. canine population. Make certain that your dog is not a member of this population. Keep him healthily fed and exercised. Take no chances with your best friend’s health. Give him your love and a healthy dose of nutritional well-being and daily exercise.