October Celebration to Reduce Pet Overpopulation

Rescuing a homeless dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs are generally good for families with children. Some studies have shown that children who grow up with pets tend to be more emotionally stable. Having a dog can actually help children increase attention span, learn the rewards of nurturance, trust, kindness, and attachment, while reducing stress and anxiety.

Studies of the elderly have found that older people with dogs tend to take less medication, recuperate more quickly from illness, have the lower risk of depression or feelings of isolation, and live longer.

Reasons Dogs End Up inShelters

The fact that a shelter dog is homeless usually reflects more about the former owner than the dog. Most shelter dogs are not there because of their problems but because of their owner’s problems. Shelter dogs are not the rejects of the pet world as some may believe. Most shelter dogs are in need of a forever home due usually to someone’s lack of commitment or planning.

Behavior problems are a small percentage of reasons people take dogs to shelters. Other reasons include:

  • Moving
  • Unwanted puppies
  • Can’t afford preventatives or grooming
  • No time due to new job or new baby
  • Divorce
  • Allergies

Advantages of Adopting a Shelter Dog

There are many advantages to adopting a shelter dog. Adopting a dog from a kill shelter saves its life. Kill shelters must put dogs to sleep who do not get adopted quickly, in order to make room for more. Adopting a dog from a no-kill shelter is still saving a life because it frees up space for another dog from the kill shelter or for a dog who would have been euthanized had there not been room at the no-kill shelter.

Adopting a shelter dog supports rescue work while boycotting puppy mills that, often times, raise unhealthy dogs in deplorable conditions, adding thousands of animals to pet overpopulation in the interest of profit.

Adoption fees, which usually include a health check, vaccinations, deworming, and spay or neuter, are generally lower than selling prices.

One-fourth to one-third of shelter dogs are purebred and their adoption fees are lower than the price that a purebred would be.

Shelters have a large selection and variety of dogs. If you browse through the young, middle aged, old, large, medium, small, black, brown, white, longhaired, shorthaired, playful, and quiet and still don’t find anything suitable, just check back in a few days. Shelters are always getting new animals in and will usually contact a potential adopter if they see a good match.

Shelter workers handle the dogs every day and get to know them well. They can talk with potential adopters and help to match the right dog to the right family.

Shelter dogs are smart. They may be older, more settled, already housetrained or easier to train. Many have gone on to become assistance dogs or drug dogs like Popsicle and movie star dogs like Benji, Some even learn sports and become show dogs.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Do I have time to take care of a dog?

Can I afford the cost of proper care for a dog?

Can I commit to the care of another living being for the next 10 or 15 years?

Celebrating

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month may be a good time to bring a special canine friend home for the holidays. However, for families who already have one or more dogs, there are other ways to celebrate in October. Consider volunteering a few hours at a local shelter or hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a local shelter.

Treatments to Care for Your Pet’s Pads

Dog walks in towns, cities and the countryside can present many hazards for dogs’ feet. These can include hot pavements in the summer months, broken glass, grit salt in the winter months and sharp rocks or uneven ground. Dogs that pull excessively when on the lead are also at a higher risk of having sore front paws in particular.

How to See the Signs of Sore Dog Paws

It can sometimes be a few hours after a walk that a dog will start by licking his feet or limping when walking. It is helpful to always check a dog’s feet after a walk, even if there is no sign of soreness or injury. Sore pads will often appear quite pink in colour and will sometimes show signs of broken skin and/or bleeding. Claws should also be kept at a reasonable length as sore paws can also indicate a broken or split claw which can be very painful for dogs when walking.

How to Care for Sore Dog Paws

There are many treatments and prevention for maintaining the health of an animal’s feet. First and foremost is to take a dog to the vet if it is necessary. Some wounds can turn serious if left untreated or not treated correctly.

If dogs are very active, such as working dogs or agility dogs then it is advisable to prevent the damage before it occurs. This can be done easily by investing in a set of dog boots. There are many available types and sizes available both in stores and online. The boots often have a leather, cushioned sole that moulds with the feet and are held in place by Velcro higher up the legs.

Balms or creams that are specifically for dogs can help to soothe and heal blistered and sore pads. Care should be taken when using human creams on pets as some of the ingredients may not be suitable or beneficial for animals. Diluted salt water can often be used in minor cases to soak sore paws as it also has antiseptic properties.

Natural and Homeopathic Remedies for Dogs

Aloe Vera is an excellent natural remedy for soothing and healing sore dog paws. It is best to use the 100% pure gel instead of mixed blends, which may contain other added ingredients. Aloe Vera is safe to apply directly to pads and is also safe if a dog licks it afterwards. It has many beneficial properties including being anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-septic.

Tea Tree Oil diluted in a 1:3 part solution with water is excellent for sore paws, especially where frequent licking is a problem. With both anti-fungal and anti-septic properties, Tea Tree is an ideal natural remedy for minor dog sores and wounds.

If your dogs are part of your family there is nothing more exciting than seeing them rip the paper off the presents you have bought them, or pull things out of their “doggy stockings.”

If money is no object Harrods, the famous Knightsbridge store, has a wonderful pet department where there is an amazing range of pet gifts and accessories for your four-legged friend. But be prepared to take out a mortgage to pay for most of them. It is possible to buy rugby shirts and other coats there for your pooch at prices you can afford and it is certainly worth visiting the store at Christmas, especially the pet department.

For those with a limited budget you can buy a wide variety of gifts online for under £10, as well as the more expensive items like dog beds.

Under £5

PetPlanet

  • “I Believe in Santa Paws” T shirts.
  • “Gift Unwrapper”, “Santa Don’t Forget Me” and Elf Hats
  • Clinch-it collars, bright new range of colours with a safety lock.
  • Green velvet bell collars and green velvet collars with white trim
  • Plush Puppies Rhinestone Collars

Pets@Home

  • Squeaky ho hoho bones
  • Reindeer Loofah “12”
  • Christmas Pudding Tennis Ball on a rope
  • Christmas squeaky toys
  • Rawhide Snap Cracker
  • Christmas cracker dog treat.

Under £10

PetPlanet

  • Boutique Armitage star collars
  • Festive sweaters
  • Festive Christmas Coats
  • Santa dog coat and hat
  • “Outward Hound” designer cool-it bandana

Pets@Home

  • Red plastic dog bed
  • Three Peak Crass Mat
  • Microwave Puppy Comforter
  • Fleece Blankets
  • Oval Cushion beds

For those pampered pooches whose owners do not mind what they spend on them there is a great range of “personal” gifts at Pressies4Dogs.

  • Personalised dog cakes
  • Personalised fleece coats
  • Personalised warm towelling dog bath robes
  • Personalised dog food spoons and forks
  • Personalised dog food and water bowls
  • Personalised dog scarves and hats.

There is a nice selection of soft dog beds for you to choose from from £14.99 on NetPetShop

To many people the family pet is as much a part of the family as their human owners and their presents are put under the tree like all the others. They also have their own canine stockings which are hung up and filled by Father Christmas. If you want to give your dog chocolate at Christmas buy some of the special dog chocolate items that are available at all good pet stores. Ordinary chocolate contains caffeine which is poisonous to dogs and can kill them. In the same way nuts are very bad for canines, so do not give these to your pets. They can have a small portion of your Christmas Turkey or goose as that will not cause them any harm.