Welcoming a new furry member of the family can be very exciting! But before you bring your new dog home, you have to find your new dog first! Adopting from shelters can be a rewarding experience and some of the best dogs out there are waiting for you at adoption centers. But it can also be a little scary if you don't know much about the adoption process. We're here to help! Here are some tips you can use to prepare yourself for adoption.
Make the adoption process easier by doing your research first. If you find a particular dog at a shelter, or if you find a shelter you're set on visiting, read up on them first. Some shelters require adopters to have a fenced-in yard. If you don't have a fence, that's fine, since your dog can get plenty of exercise at parks or on a leash. But it does mean that you shouldn't visit shelters that require a fence, because they likely won't let you adopt. Do your research and find a shelter whose requirements fit your lifestyle.
You'll need to fill out a form when you are interested in a dog. This form differs from shelter to shelter, but with every shelter, you will need to fill one out. Below are some numbers that you might need to provide on the application:
- Landlord's Number: If you rent, you'll need to provide your landlord's phone number so that the shelter can make sure they allow pets.
- References: Not all shelters require references, but some do. These are personal references (usually not family members) that can speak on your behalf on your capability to care for a dog.
- Vet's Number: If you already have pets, you'll need to provide their veterinarian's number so that the shelter knows that you take them to the vet on a regular basis.
Some shelters want to visit your home with the dog before you adopt. This is for a couple reasons. Often, shelters want to make sure you have a clean and safe space for the dog to live in. The visit also might be to introduce the dog to other animals or kids.
Share Your Knowledge
You might also need to talk about how you'll take care of the dog. How will you discipline? How often will you go outside with your dog? This helps the shelter find the right fit for you and help educate you on training techniques if needed.
Every adoption process is unique, but with these tools, you might find your process going much more smoothly. Now get out there and find your canine comrade!
Thursday, March 23rd is National Puppy Day! What does that mean? Well, it's pretty much a day to celebrate your favorite furry friend. Whether you have a puppy or a grown-up dog, it's a day to dedicate to loving them.
National Puppy Day was first founded in 2006 by the queen of animal holidays, Colleen Paige. She has also founded National Dog Day, National Cat Day, and more! But puppy day is unique since it's not just about dogs, but specifically puppies.
Not only do puppies bring an incredible sense of joy to us, but talking about puppies is very important! Why? Because by talking about puppies, we can change the way we get puppies. When you decide to get a puppy, it can be a very exciting time! But don't jump the gun by getting the first puppy you see. Many puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills, which are dangerous and unhealthy for dogs. Puppies that are born in puppy mills can have genetic problems and can develop diseases. So many of the dogs are kept in poor conditions and are inbred. Not only do you risk getting an unhealthy puppy when you purchase from a pet store, but you might also be financially supporting the horrors of the puppy mill.
But if you do want a puppy, there are plenty of options! Adopting is a great option, and many shelters have puppies that have come from the street or other homes. You can also research a trusted breeder who uses ethical breeding practices.
There are other ways to celebrate National Puppy Day besides spreading awareness about where to get puppies. Here are some great ways to celebrate National Puppy Day:
- Donate to a local shelter (money, food, toys, etc.)
- Buy your puppy a new toy
- Go to an training class with your pup
- Have a puppy party with all of your friends and your puppy's friends
- Have extra playtime with your puppy
- Bake homemade puppy treats
There are tons of ways to celebrate National Puppy Day! Take to Instragram or Facebook with a picture of your puppy and add the hashtag #NationalPuppyDay.
If you love dogs that look a little funny-cute, you'll love our breed feature today - it's about the Bull Terrier.
What They're Famous For: When Bull Terriers first started being bred, they were a mix between bull dogs and various terriers. Because of this combination and their high energy level, people began to believe that they would be the ultimate fighting dogs and even called them "canine gladiators." Thankfully, the public eventually strayed away from the "fighting dog" stereotype.
History: These pups, originally called Bull-and-Terriers, rose to popularity in the early 1800's. They became popular for their pure white coats, and a breeding program began in the 1860's that multiplied the number of "White Cavalier" coats. Their popularity never quite faded, even the Bull Terriers who had different colored coats. They were officially recognized by the AKC in 1885.
Size: A medium-sized dog, the Bull Terrier stands 18 - 22 inches tall and weighs in at a muscular 45 - 89 pounds.
Appearance: While these dogs aren't huge by any means, they are very muscular. You'll notice their thick body mass right away if you try to pick them up! A big feature Bull Terriers are known for is their head. They have a very distinct, oval-shaped head that curves out at the top.
Who They're Perfect For: Bull Terriers would be a great fit for almost any family. They're great with kids, and also have plenty of personality. They're perfect for busy people, too, because they rarely get lonely. They know how to entertain themselves! They also don't require extensive grooming because their coats are so short.
Crufts was hosted in Birmingham, England this year and saw it's fair share of dogs! It makes sense considering Crufts is the world's largest dog show.
This year, Crufts took place from March 9th to March 12th and hosted some of the best show dogs from all over the world. If you missed it, don't worry! We're here to give you a recap on all the winners.
Thursday, March 9th
On Thursday, the Terrier Group and the Hound Group went head-to-head. Okay, well not necessarily with each other, but the dogs in each group were all stars!
Winner: Alan the Lakeland Terrier, whose coat shined as much as his eyes!
Winner: A Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen named Frosty won. This pup was aptly named since he came from the chilly Netherlands.
Friday, March 10th
On Friday, the Utility Group (a group unique to Britain!) and the Toy Group competed for those champion titles.
Winner: A Minature Poodle named Frankie (show title "Minarets Best Kept Secret") defied his size and took home the winning title.
Winner: The winner of this group was unsurprisingly tiny as well, a Yorkshire Terrier named My Precious JP Kagayaki. She traveled all the way from Japan to take home the winning title!
Saturday, March 11th
Saturday was a fresh day and saw only one group compete, the Gun Dog category.
Gun Dog Group
Winner: An American Cocker Spaniel with an eciting name - Afterglow Miami Ink! Even though "American" was in his name, "Miami" hails from Blackpool.
Sunday, March 12th
And finally on Sunday, the overall winner was crowned. It was...
Best in Show: Afterglow Miami Ink, the American Cocker Spaniel.
Not only did Miami take home top dog for his breed, but top dog overall, too! This is quite the accomplishment because it's the first time an American Cocker Spaniel has won Crufts!
If you want to catch up on anything else you missed, check out Crufts' official website. Congratulations, Miami!
The month of March is here and with it comes tons of doggy holidays. Here are some important dog holidays you can celebrate in March.
Poison Prevention Awareness Month - March is all about poison awareness. To help your pet avoid getting poison, you'll want to learn a little bit about how to prevent your pup from getting into anything poisonous. Some of the top things that can poison your pup are chocolate, mouse and rat poisons, vitamins and minerals, and NSAIDS (like ibuprofen and naproxen). You'll want to keep any human medications away from pups, even caffeine pills. The best way to prevent poisoning is to keep these items safely where your dog can't find them.
Professional Pet Sitters Week (March 5th - 11th) - Pet sitters are very important. They make it possible for us to take vacations or trips and still have peace of mind about our dog. This week was founded by Pet Sitters International, one of the world's best organizations for professional pet sitters. Pet Sitters International is a great resource for both pet sitters and those who seek pet sitters. Celebrate this week by checking out PSI's website, where you can find great sitters near you.
Crufts (March 9th - 12th) - Okay, so this isn't exactly a doggy "holiday", but it is a lot of fun for dog owners and show dogs alike! Crufts, held in Birminghman, England, is the world's largest dog show. In the four days that Crufts takes place over, there are almost 28,000 dogs featured. If you don't live near Birmingham or aren't planning on a vacation, don't fret. You and your furry best friend can catch a livestream online.
Today we have a massive breed feature for you... okay, well, it might not be massive blog, but it will be a massive dog! It's the Tibetan Mastiff.
What They're Famous For: The Tibetan Mastiff is known for being a large, fluffy dog. Their face in particular might be most famous, since it has that distinct solemn look. They are also known for their slightly, er, relaxed attitude, but more importantly, for their guard-dog abilities.
History: While there are no accurate genetic records of the Tibetan Mastiff, its heritage is well-known. The first known Tibetan Mastiff was originally gifted to Queen Victoria by the Viceroy of India in 1847. This is why it was called "the large dog from Tibet" for quite a while before officially being named the "Tibetan Mastiff". Before the dogs came to America, they were highly prized by the people of Tibet. The Tibetan Mastiff was first recognized by the AKC in 1996.
Size: Is "Monster" a size? This dog is large, weighing in at a whopping 100 - 160 pounds for males and 75 - 120 pounds for females. They stand at about 30 inches tall. For the record, that's about the height of a Shetland pony.
Appearance: Tibetan Mastiffs are extremely fluffy. They have long, course hair and come in many colors. A common color combination is the tan and black combination. They have a curly, fluffy tail that curls up to touch its back. Their face is long, and sometimes looks surprisingly sad.
Who They're Perfect For: Tibetan Mastiffs are perfect for anybody who has enough room for them! While these dogs are totally okay with lounging around the house, they'll still want enough room to lay down. They're independent dogs, which means they're perfect for busy people. They're also great with kids. While they're large, their gentle, loving nature is ideal for the little ones.
Tuesday, February 27th, is World Spay Day! Spay Day exists to educate everybody on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.
World Spay Day first started as "Spay Day USA" and has since grown. The Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) originally started Spay Day USA in 1995 to promote awareness of spaying and neutering across the U.S. But when the DDAL merged with the Humane Society of the United States, "Spay Day" became a worldwide event.
Promoting and educating others on spaying and neutering can help save tons of animal lives, from homeless animals to service pets. Here are some big benefits to spaying and neutering.
Benefits of Spaying:
- Female dogs won't go through heat (males won't be attracted to them)
- Less restless/less likely to run away
- Less risk of mammory gland tumors, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer
Benefits of Neutering:
- Male dogs won't spray/mark as much or at all
- Less restless/less likely to run away
- Risk of prostate disease decreased, risk of prostate cancer eliminated
- Decreases aggressive behavior
Overall, if you spay or neuter your pet, they're more likely to live a longer, happier life. So use the holiday to spread awareness about spaying and neutering, or to donate or volunteer at local shelters. Happy World Spay Day!
Soon, dogs might be able to live forever! Okay, not forever. But with scientific knowledge ever-increasing, you dog might be able to live longer than ever before. How? With genetic modification.
The term "genetic modification" has been throw around before. Maybe you've heard it from Jurassic Park. Thankfully, there are no dinosaurs here. The genetic modification that one breeder (yes, breeder, not scientist!) is talking about wouldn't create "new" dogs, it would just create healthier dogs.
According to David Ishee, a dog breeder from Mississippi, "Dogs have more genetic diseases than any other species on the planet." Unfortunately, this is true. There are many dog breeds out there, and unfortunately, many of these breeds have faced severe inbreeding. With a limited gene pool, genetic defects and disorders are prevalent many breeds. The genetic makeup of breeds like bulldogs, boxers, and dalmations is almost impossible to change - until now.
Ishee calls it "gene editing". While he doesn't have a biology degree or experience in science labs, he does know a lot about dogs. Using his own kit and DNA he ordered online, Ishee taught himself how to edit genes.
He explains that it's not impossible, however regulations are tightening on genetic engineering. The FDA isn't sure yet of effects on the environment, ecosystem, or individual genomes. While Ishee might be able to get rid of certain diseases that currently ravage purebreed dogs, the effects of synthetic DNA are relatively unknown.
There are pros and cons on both sides. Gene editing and genetic modification is still very new. The effects of editing existing genes is still a little fuzzy. Will it end up hurting the animal, or the breed, in the long run? However, other sides argue that this might be our only chance to eradicate big doggy diseases, since the current purebreed gene pools are too limited to try to change.
Science, and dog breeders, will continually surprise us! What do you think it would be like to own a genetically-modified pup? You might find out someday soon.
Today our breed feature is on the handsome/beautiful Border Collie. These pups sure are adorable, and come with an interesting history!
What They're Famous For: Border Collies are known for their impressive herding capabilities. You might remember the Border Collie, Fly, in the pig movie Babe. Fly was a fun-loving Border Collie in the movie who herded sheep with a passion. "Fly" from the movie really did accurately represent what Border Collies are famous for: herding sheep.
History: Surprisingly, the Border Collie wasn't officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as a breed until the year 1995. The Border Collie became distinct from the Collie way back in 1860 when Queen Victoria took a liking to the breed. "Scotch Collies", as they were called then, grew in popularity and became a top choice for farmers.
Size: Medium. Border Collies stand at about 18 to 22 inches tall and have a muscular but lean build that weighs them in at about 30 pounds.
Appearance: Border Collies come in two varieties when it comes to their gorgeous fur: those with medium-length coats and those with short coats. Border Collies come in a variety of colors as well but they're most known for their black-and-white, medium-length coat. They also have a distinct "herding eye", meaning that they have an intelligent, intense gaze.
Who They're Perfect For: Border Collies are ideal for those who don't want a big dog and also don't want a small dog. Their medium size makes them the perfect companion whether you have a big or small house. Border Collies hate being alone, so they're not the best dog for busy people. If you want to teach your dog tricks, they're perfect for you because of their quick brain and keen intelligence.
The Westminster Dog Show is one of the most famous dog shows, and began a little unexpectedly! The dog show had humble beginnings, all starting in 1876. The Westminster Club, at the time, was primarily a shooting club. They sent one of their members over to England to obtain a pointer for breeding reasons. However, the dog, named Sensation was so, well, sensational, that they instead used him as a show dog. From there, slowly, the Westminster Kennel Club was formed and created the Westminster Dog Show.
So now you know a little bit about the history of the dog show, but what about current history? Here's a recap on the results of this year's show, which took place February 13th and 14th.
Ain't nothin' but a hounddog... the winner of the Group this year was a Norwegian Elkhound named Daggarwood Delight.
On the opposite end of the size-spectrum, the winner of the Toy Group was the ever-lovable Pekingese, with an alliterative name of Pequest Pickwick.
The Non-Sporting Group is still plenty active! At least, the winning Miniature Poodle was. With plenty of energy, As If took home the gold for her group.
The ever-regal Irish Setter took home the award for the Sporting Category. Sea Breeze's shiny red coat billowed as he walked like a... well... sea breeze!
The breed with arguably the cutest face of all, the Boxer, won first place in the Working Group. Her name is perfect if she wants to sneak up on peole while they're discussing her win - Speak of the Devil.
The cute, fluffy, Twice as Nice was the winner for the Terrier Group. The Norwich Terrier is so adorable that you wouldn't believe he's not a stuffed animal!
Herding and Best In Show
The winner of the Herding Group this year was the powerful and regal Rumor Has It V Kenlyn. That's right, she's so awesome that she has a first and last name. This beautiful German Shepherd took home first place in Herding and the Best In Show!