Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Santa is Coming To Town!

Santa Paws is coming soon!  Have you been Naughty or Nice ??


Oh Crap.  I probably shouldn't have chewed Icy's blanket up in July.  I hope Santa has a short memory!

A puppy may seem like the perfect holiday gift, but getting a surprise puppy or a dog for someone else is often a the worst gift idea if you don't put some careful thought into it.   

Remember, there's a breed specific rescue organization for nearly Every breed of dog or cat out there!  Please Adopt Don't Shop whenever possible.



JOIN US ON THE BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why A Puppy Can Be The Worst Holiday Gift

It's that time of year again, the holidays are upon us!  At this time of year we give careful consideration about what gifts to give the people we love.  We rack our brains trying to decide on that perfect gift, a special gift, one that demonstrates how much we love them.
A puppy or dog may not be the best holiday gift! 
This holiday season many peoples' thoughts will turn to giving the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.  The one that can actually love you back - that's right, a puppy!   Before you say "Yeah, that's it I'll get the person I love a puppy for Christmas!"  HOLD UP!  Sure, it sounds like a great idea, it's the gift that keeps on giving... but have you put enough thought into whether or not a puppy might give a little too much?  Will a puppy take more than the recipient is able to give back ?

Everywhere you look they're tugging at our heartstrings!  Puppy stores are full at Christmastime, online ads for puppies kick into high gear all through the holidays.  Even at animal shelters people are often there to adopt a puppy or a dog for someone else.  It seems like the perfect gift idea, you're so sure it's the right gift for that special someone. It will bring them so much joy, right?  Probably, but it will also bring huge responsibilities and future costs to the recipient!  


There's a lot to consider before you bring a puppy or a dog into a home.  Even if someone constantly talks about how much they want a puppy and it sounds like they're on the verge of getting one, they may not be prepared for the responsibility at this time in their lives.  So before you decide that a puppy is the perfect gift for someone else, be sure their lifestyle will support the lifelong commitment of owning a dog. 


> If the person you are giving a puppy to travels frequently it may be an issue.  You need to spend time with a new puppy!  They have to bond with their new owner and family, they need to get to know each other and the pup needs training.  Who will care for the dog while they are at work or traveling?


> If the they live in an apartment complex or a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association there may be restrictions on the breed or size of dog they can have.


> If the person lives with someone else such as a roommate or their parents those folks must all be consulted before bringing a new pet into the home.  

> Are there other animals living in the home already?  If so, that is a big consideration, you don't want to upset the dynamic of the home.  A new pup has to be a good fit for existing pets and must be properly introduced to resident pets when you bring him home.


> Assess the ability to afford ongoing costs of pet ownership, especially vet bills every year; annual vaccinations, checkups, and visits to the vet for occasional illness or injury.  What if they need to spay or neuter the dog themselves?  That can be a significant expense.  Are you willing to pick up the tab for that?  

> Training for both a puppy and an older dog are important.  Including a gift card towards training is an excellent addition to your gift of a puppy or dog!

> Make sure  no one in the household is allergic to dogs!  Even the so called "hypo-allergenic" dogs can be an issue.  There really is no such thing as a totally hypo-allergenic dog.  Many breeds have hair rather than fur which is helpful, but some people are still allergic to them.

> Everyone in the household should be on board with adding a new pet and responsibilities for pet care should be clear and realistic.  If the recipient is your own child, make sure responsibilities of caring for the puppy are well thought out and that it’s the right time to add a pet to your family.  Caring for a pet is a great learning experience but don't expect a 7 year old to walk and feed a dog on a daily basis!


Although it sounds magical, I'm not a fan of surprising someone with a puppy or dog as a gift. A dog is a living being that will require lifelong care.  Bringing a dog into your home is not something to be taken lightly.  

Once you've gone through the above considerations and you're reasonably sure a canine companion would be the right gift, help them make the right decision about what dog to get.  It will be just as wonderful a surprise to thoughtfully gift wrap a stuffed animal dog, an animal shelter gift card, a photo of a cute puppy, or even just a leash.  Watch their eyes fly open wide as you tell them that right after Christmas you’ll be taking a trip together to pick out a dog! 

Spend a cozy evening together with a hot cup of cocoa deciding whether to get a puppy or an older dog, and what type of dog would best fit their lifestyle.  


Their excitement will continue to build as they prepare to add a new furry member to their family.  Make an adventure out of searching for just the right puppy or dog together.  The time you spend searching for their new best friend together will be a gift in itself and a treasured memory
!


Please Adopt rather than Shop if at all possible, or select a dog from a reputable breeder.  Avoid online ads for puppies and do some research to help ensure your puppy isn't from a Puppy Mill!

Did you know that there are breed specific rescue organizations for just about every breed of dog out there?  What better holiday gift than not only giving a dog as a gift, but saving a life in the process!

Have you ever given or received a puppy or dog as a gift?  Leave us a comment and share your experience and advice!

Monday, November 28, 2016

How You Can Help Homeless Animals Over The Holidays

The holidays are around the corner!  You may think not much goes on at animal shelters and rescues because of the holidays.  Not true!  Animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country may need your help this time of year more than ever.  It's the season for giving, and while monetary donations are always needed and always welcome there are other ways to help animals this season as well.  


If you're short on cash or would like to do more than write a check, here are some other things you can do to help homeless animals

DONATE MUCH NEEDED ITEMS
Shelters and rescues are always in need of food and other supplies.  Contact a local shelter or rescue and ask what's on their current donation "Wish List".   

Food is always a good donation, especially canned food.  Young puppies and kittens usually need canned food and cans are not always as available to the shelter as dry food.  In addition, pets that are ill and in Isolation are often unable to eat dry kibble.  Dogs with kennel cough are just one example of that. 

Blankets and towels are another great item to donate.  Those ratty blankets and towels sitting in the back of the linen closet?  Donate them to an animal shelter!  Winter is nearly here and the nights can be cold, any type and size blanket is welcome.  Kennel floors are often made of concrete and can be very cold.  The little ones are especially prone to the cold.  Give them a blanket to cuddle up in, it will make they more comfortable and may help prevent them from getting sick.  

Towels are also much needed, they are used not only to help stay warm but shelters go through a ton of towels following spay/neuter and other surgeries.  Blankets and towels can get worn out quickly so there's always a need.

If you don't have many blankets or towels to donate yourself, check with friends, family, neighbors, or even your coworkers.  Ask them to gather blankets and towels for you to bring to a local animal shelter or rescue.  Most people are happy to help out.  It helps them get rid of old stuff easily with your help, and they can feel good about helping homeless animals.  Kids especially love being involved in this type of activity, it's a good learning experience for them as well.  It helps foster empathy, kindness, and respect for animals and shows them how easy it can be to give back and be part of the community.


Icy and I dropped off a bag of blankets and towels for BIDEAWEE, the shelter we do our therapy dog work through.
I'll share a true story with you.  My good friend Gene helped me out with this a couple of years ago.  He went into work and asked his coworkers if they had old blankets or towels they no longer wanted.  Days later I went to his house and picked up bags full of blankets, towels, and soft pillows!  The county animal shelter was thrilled to have these items.  It happened to occur just before a cold front was coming in.  We literally dropped off these much needed items hours before the temperature plumetted that night!  It was so heartwarming to place those blankets inside the kennels.  Immediately, the dogs all hopped onto their blankets and snuggled right into them!  It was a beautiful sight.

Another fun idea is to organize a small donation party among your friends, family, or coworkers (Be sure to ASK the Boss if it's ok first!).   One of our friends hosts parties at her home a couple times a year.   Instead of bringing something for the hostess, she asks each guest to bring a bag or can of food or other item to donate to the local animal shelter or animal rescue.  Everyone has fun at the party and the next day she loads up the donation items and brings them to the shelter!  

Alternatively, you can ask each person to bring a small monetary donation.  Perhaps each person brings $5.  You can then either pool the money and give the donation directly to an organization that helps homeless animals, or you can shop for items on their WISH LIST.  If you and your guests are comfortable with the idea, this makes it easy for everyone.  Except you of course, because you need to do the shopping!  Personally I love to shop for items on the shelter's wish list, it's so much fun, even more fun than shoe shopping!

Another simple way to give is to Sponsor a shelter pet's adoption, where you pay all or part of the pet's adoption fee.  This can help promote adoption by reducing the overall costs involved when you first add a pet to the family.  It just might help tip the scales in favor of someone adopting a pet that day!


You could even pay for medical services the shelter can't afford.  This is my foster, sweet Dusty, continually passed over simply because he had cherry eye.  I sprung for his surgery and within 48 hours he got adopted! 
If you want to go BIG, organize a larger scale event to raise funds such as a doggie fashion show,  a holiday luncheon at a club or restaurant, or an outdoor event such as a walk or run.  Anything that can get people together to help homeless pets!  You may be able to partner with a local pet store or other business to gain sponsorship.

DONATE YOUR TIME
Instead of donating money or items, you can also give your time.  There are lots of ways to give of yourself while helping animals in need.

You can organize a volunteer event at the shelter.  There are SO many things a shelter needs help with.  Everything from walking or playing with dogs and kitties to helping sort donation items, decorating the place for the holidays, or tidying up play yards.   Many shelters welcome groups from companies, social groups, religious organizations, even kids from groups like Eagle Scouts or Girl Scouts.  At the Phoenix shelter, we once had a fabulous Eagle Scout group construct Welping Boxes for expectant dog mothers and their soon to be born puppies!  

Volunteers can get dogs or cats out of their cages to walk and play with them.  This helps dogs get fresh air and exercise and stay well socialized as well as healthy.  It also burns energy so they're not bouncing off the walls when adopters walk through.   Playing also helps cats stay healthy and socialized.  These things contribute to the dogs and cats being more appealing to potential adopters.  


You can foster a dog or cat in your home.  Some shelters have Day Foster programs where you can get a dog out of the shelter just for the day.  It may not seem like a lot, you may even think it's mean to take a dog out for a day and bring him back to the shelter.  But believe me it's a much needed break that helps the dog more than you might think.

Some shelters offer Home for the Holidays events where families offer to host an animal in their home through the holidays.   This is a fun option if you have the time and don't plan on having a house full of people over the holidays.  



If you can do it, becoming a permanent foster would be a wonderful gift to a shelter or rescue.  They are always in need of fosters.  I foster animals in my home, and I know first hand that Fostering Saves Lives!

Offer to take photos of adoptable animals for a shelter.  Shelter staff are usually super busy with the tasks of taking in new animals and caring for the ones that are already there.  They are not always able to spend time getting a good intake photo of every animal that comes in.  Ask a local shelter if they need some help photographing their adoptable pets.  Provide a few props such as a holiday blanket, toy, or santa hat and take some great shots for the shelter to post online.  Bring along a friend who can provide assistance.  If the dog or cat doesn’t have a name, make one up!  A name can forge an emotional feeling and place a name to a face.  People can identify more with the dog or cat when he's not just a number. 

Get on social media and help spread the word about animals that are available for adoption.  Work with a shelter or rescue organization to post photos of their adoptable dogs or cats with compelling details about the animal and links to their site.  This may be a bit of work keeping up with each pet, but it's so helpful.   Cooper is a lovable Golden Retriever mix.  She loves walks and playing fetch!”   Then Share, share, share your post on social media and ask your family and friends to do the same.

Do you have other ideas on how we can help shelters and rescues?  Please leave us a comment and Share your ideas!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Holiday Treat For Your Dog

The Holidays are upon us and all the big preparations have started.  One of the things we give the most thought to are the FOOD we'll be serving.  Turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin and apple pies, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and more.  Lots more!  While we are stuffing ourselves to the gills, our dogs are drooling on the sidelines.  Isn't it time we gave them a taste of Turkey with all the Trimmings too?  No, I don't mean table scraps (heaven's NO!).  I mean....

Vita Bone's NEW Artisan Inspired Turkey, Stuffing & Cranberry flavored Dog Biscuits!

Vita Bone's new Artisan Inspired Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor dog biscuits
Vita Bone's Artisan Inspired Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor dog biscuits
I am being compensated for helping to tell people about Vita Bone's new Artisan Inspired Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor dog biscuits.  Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Reviews are based on our own experience with the product.
These dog biscuits are made with wholesome ingredients:

REAL TURKEY
REAL CRANBERRIES
NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
NO CORN

Lots of good "stuffing" in these Vita Bone dog biscuits!
It's about time someone made a dog treat our dogs can enjoy so they can STOP drooling over the turkey, don't you think?!

You know how guests love to sneak the pets some table scraps at holiday meals, right?  Well, now you can put out a plate of Vita Bone's Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor dog snacks and let guests indulge your dog in a holiday Turkey with all the trimmings treat made just for them!

Phoebe and Icy both loved these Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor dog biscuits!
It bears reminding that so many holiday foods contain items that are hazardous to our pets.  Many of these are used in the cooking of foods and may not be very obvious.  For example, I drench my turkey with a butter & garlic mixture.  Butter and garlic are not good for pets and can even make them sick.  I don't give my dogs any of our holiday turkey, only dog friendly food & snacks!

Some other common holiday foods that can be hazardous to pets are:

CHOCOLATE
ONION & CHIVES (EVEN ONION POWDER)
GARLIC
GRAPES & RAISINS
MACADAMIA NUTS (& SEVERAL OTHER TYPES OF NUTS)
ANYTHING THAT CONTAINS THE SWEETENER XYLITOL
COFFEE & CAFFEINE
ALCOHOL
SALTY SNACKS (THE HIGH SALT CONTENT IS HAZARDOUS)
GUM (IT CAN CAUSE CHOKING OR BLOCKAGE)
PITS AND SEEDS OF MANY FOODS CAN BE HAZARDOUS

This is only a partial list of foods that can be harmful to pets.  For more complete listings, check out the Humane Society's list of Foods That Can Be Poisonous To Pets and the ASPCA'S People Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Pets 

Many of these may not be obvious, they can be included in food, stuffings, gravies, desserts, and food gift baskets. Please make sure your kids and guests are aware of these dangers to your pets and offer an alternative like Vita Bone Artisan Inspired Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavor biscuits!

Please enjoy the holidays safely and joyously!

Vita Bone makes more than one kind of treat, read about Vita Bone's other delicious dog treats.  They make great training treats too!

What are your holiday pet safety tips?  Leave us a comment and share!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Natural Dog Food We Can Trust #WeBelieveinNB

With all the nasty pet food recalls we've seen recently and concern about where pet foods are sourced and made, it’s critical to get our pet food from a trusted source.  

I'm an avid pet food label reader, I make it my business to research what's in my pet's food and where it comes from.  I've always trusted Natural Balance Pet Food®.  I've been feeding Icy Natural Balance Pet Food for several years now.  Their food is made with premium quality ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and high quality proteins. Most importantly, I know it's safe for my pets. 

I want only the best quality pet food for my dog Icy!

This post is sponsored by Natural Balance® and the BlogPaws® Professional Pet Blogger Network™. I am being compensated for helping to share our thoughts about why we believe in Natural Balance as a quality food for our dogs, but Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Balance Pet Foods is not responsible for the content of this article

I first discovered Natural Balance at a Pet Festival when Icy was young. I liked what they had to say about their commitment to the Quality, Nutrition, and Safety of their pet food, (and I've always liked Dick Van Patten!), so I took a few samples to try.  Icy, my finicky eater loved it, she scarfed down every morsel!  Icy is definitely a Natural Balance Dog, she loves every formula and variety of their food!  I've never found a Natural Balance formula that didn't impress me, or one that Icy didn't go bonkers for!

Natural Balance knows that the best pet food not only has to be healthy and delicious, it has to be SAFE.   With Natural Balance pet food, I know I'm feeding Icy high quality food that's safe for her. They even stand behind their food with an outstanding Buy with Confidence™  promise!  If you're not 100% satisfied with the Natural Balance pet food you've chosen, one of their Nutrition Experts can help you find the Natural Balance formula that's just right for your pet, OR they'll refund your money.




You have to see their Buy With Confidence promise, it's so impressive!  This is a company that really Get's It.  They have such a strong commitment to Quality, Nutrition, and Safety! That's what I want for my pets and I know it's what all of you want for your pets too.

Natural Balance believes so strongly in safety testing, they perform 9 different safety tests on every batch of food and treats in their state-of-the-art laboratory before it goes out the door.  They take it a step further by sharing those test results.  You can actually enter the Product Date Code Information from your bag of food online and get the test results!   How many pet food companies do THAT?? 

Natural Balance's test results for one of my bags of Natural Balance Pet Food, the L.I.D. Sweet Potato & Fish dog food!  This is a snapshot from the actual test results report!


Why do I believe in the quality of Natural Balance Pet Food so much?  Let Me Count The Why's!

** PREMIUM PROTEINS like Salmon, Chicken, Venison, Lamb, & Duck

** NUTRITIOUS VEGETABLES and GRAINS like Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, Peas, & Garbanzo Beans 

** NATURAL PRESERVATIVES and INGREDIENTS like Flax Seed, Taurine, & Salmon Oils


What you'll NEVER find in Natural Balance pet food are Artificial Flavors, Chemical Preservatives, Soy, Wheat, Corn, By-Product Meals, or other undesirable ingredients!


Visit the Natural Balance Premium Quality Ingredients web page for more details about the wonderful high quality, nutritious ingredients in their food!  Once you do, you'll definitely want to try Natural Balance Pet Food!

Natural Balance dog food fits perfectly into Icy's healthy active lifestyle.
I want Icy and I to continue taking walks and hikes together for a long, long time.  I do everything I can to ensure she stays healthy and active.  We are what we eat, so feeding her high quality food is essential.  With an active lifestyle, she needs the premium proteins and healthy vegetables & grains in Natural Balance Pet Food!


WHICH NATURAL BALANCE FORMULA DOES ICY EAT?
On a daily basis, I feed Icy the Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.) formula. I like that the L.I.D. food has simple formulas with limited ingredients.  It contains a single source protein and limited carbohydrate sources.  The L.I.D. diet helps her maintain a healthy digestion.

Icy loves all things sweet potato so I usually choose the Chicken & Sweet Potato or the Sweet Potato & Fish flavors.  I also like to mix the corresponding L.I.D. wet food with her dry food.  I like the variety and the extra moisture my dogs get with wet food.


For those of you who are interested in adding the benefits of raw feeding to your pet's diet, Natural Balance makes Wild Pursuit.  Wild Pursuit is a High Protein, Grain Free formula.  I had the opportunity to try it last year and I've added it to Icy's diet.  She loves the taste and I like having the ability to incorporate the benefits of raw food into her diet several times a month.

Natural Balance makes so many varieties and formulas of pet food, you're sure to find one that's perfect for your dog.  You can even chat live with one of their expert Veterinary Technicians for help in choosing the perfect formula for your dog's unique needs and preferences!


Psst!!  Tell your friends about Natural Balance Pet Food and their Buy with Confidence™ guarantee! 
FOLLOW NATURAL BALANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND STAY UP TO DATE ON ALL THINGS NATURAL BALANCE!



The holidays are coming!  One of the best gifts to give a pet lover is a handmade treat jar.  I made one for my neighbor last year and filled it with Natural Balance treats.  I loved it so much I made a second one for my own dogs!   
DIY Treat Jars are a thoughtful gift for pet lovers!

Have you tried Natural Balance Pet Food ?  What do you think about their amazing Buy With Confidence Promise?  Leave us a comment and share your thoughts, we LOVE hearing from you!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Natural Balance. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, November 14, 2016

100 Places To See With Your Dog: Hot Springs, Arkansas

I fell in love with Arkansas a few years ago while passing through on our way from Arizona to New York.  It was just a convenient stopover at first, I didn't realize just how much natural beauty there is in Arkansas.  Now I fully understand why they call Arkansas THE NATURAL STATE.

Dog friendly Arkansas has so much natural beauty throughout the state.
We love going to dog friendly Arkansas!
Many people visit Arkansas just to see the well known city of Little Rock, but to the North and South of Little Rock there is so much more to see and do.  The natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains to the North, in places like EUREKA SPRINGS is positively majestic!  The Southern part of the state is equally stunning.

Arkansas is called The Natural State, and rightly so!

During one of our cross country trips we traveled to the Southern part of Arkansas to the beautiful historic town of HOT SPRINGS, where natural hot springs created the popularity of this town.  There's a Scenic Highway Route that heads South from Interstate 40 that is so lovely.  It takes a bit longer to get there via the scenic route but it's so worth the ride.  The long, winding road through beautiful mountains leads straight into the town of Hot Springs.

Natural Hot Springs can be found around all the town of Hot Springs.
You'll see beautiful natural hot springs & pools all around the town of Hot Springs.  The average temperature of the water in the hot springs is 143 degrees Fahrenheit so I don't recommend sticking your hand in it!  The springs produce close to a million gallons of water each day!  In the photo above, you can see steam rising out of one of the hot springs.  At the top of this hill behind me is the Grand Promenade, a lovely scenic walking path about a half mile long that's dog friendly.  There are several more trails right off the Grand Promenade you can follow as well.

The natural hot springs created the establishment of bathhouses in the 1800's, where people went to bathe in the natural hot springs in search of health and healing.  The properties on Bathhouse Row have been beautifully restored and preserved for historic purposes.

Today there are spa's in Hot Springs but they are more about overall health and wellness than only bathing in natural spring water.  However, you can still soak in the natural spring water in some of the spas and resort hotels along bathhouse row and in other parts of the town.   The most interesting part of "Bathhouse Row" is the beautiful architecture and the history behind the bathhouses. 

The historic Arlington Hotel is a focal point in the town of Hot Springs.  If we had made reservations in advance we could have stayed at this beautiful, dog friendly hotel!  The hotel even has it's own bathhouse.  There are several dog friendly hotels in Hot Springs, but I highly recommend advance reservations or you may end up scrambling around trying to find lodging. 


The historic, dog friendly Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas

This beautiful statue sits on the road divider that runs in front of the Arlington Hotel.
This sign stands on the lawn in front of the Arlington Hotel.  If you're a baseball fan, you'll want to see this!  Oddly enough, Hot Springs became a site for major league baseball's Spring Training in the late 1800's.  In fact, in the late 1800's the Chicago Whitestockings set up Spring training in Hot Springs.  Today that team is known as the Chicago Cubs, recent World Series Champions!  Many of baseball's legends trained and played in Hot Springs.  You can learn more about that by going on the Hot Springs Baseball Trail

Hot Springs also has a bit of a sordid past.  It was once an area plagued by organized crime.  Illegal gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging were a problem from the late 1800's  through the mid 1900's.  Strolling through this town surrounded by such natural beauty, it's hard to believe it was once a popular hangout for gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and other mobsters!

The Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas was popular with old time baseball greats.
The infamous Arlington Hotel, popular with old time baseball greats.
There is so much beautiful architecture all throughout the town of Hot Springs.  Some of the most beautiful architecture can be found along Bathhouse Row.

There is a lot of beautiful architecture in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Although Hot Springs was settled in the 1800’s, there’s evidence that the hot springs were utilized for thousands of years.  According to local Native American mythology, the hot springs were considered a healing place, sacred territory of the Great Spirit.  Native Americans referred to Hot Springs as "The Valley of the Vapors" and the area was considered neutral territory, where all tribes could peacefully partake of the healing waters.

Arkansas has natural beauty in abundance and in general is quite dog friendly.  There are lots of attractions and things to do where your dog is welcome throughout the state, especially hiking through the beautiful forest areas.   We hope to return to Arkansas many more times in the coming years.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also like:
100 Places to See With Your Dog: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
How to have a successful Road Trip With The Dogs
Tips For Air Travel With Pets
Find a Fabulous Pet Friendly Destination Getaway

Have you ever visited Hot Springs, Arkansas?  Do you think it would be a fun trip?  Leave us a comment & share your thoughts, we always LOVE hearing from you!


Friday, November 11, 2016

A Rescue Organization for Every Dog Breed

There's a breed-specific rescue organization for nearly every breed of dog out there!  If you want to get a puppy or a dog and you have your heart set on a specific breed of dog, please look for rescue organizations rather than hitting the local puppy store or buying a dog online. 



When you get a dog online, you know virtually nothing about the dog or the person behind the dog.  You have no idea what you're getting into or what the real story is with respect to the dog's health or background.  Puppy stores also have the reputation of getting many of their puppies from puppy mills, where the breeding dogs are kept in horrific conditions.  If you don't want to support or encourage those efforts, you can still get the dog breed of your dreams from a breed specific rescue organization

Do a Google search of rescue organizations for the breed of dog you want and you'll no doubt find a bunch of listings.  For example,  I adopted Phoebe from the county shelter when I lived in Phoenix. She's a Havanese (a mix actually). Phoebe is such a sweet, smart little dog, typical for that breed.  If I wanted to get another Havanese dog or puppy, I'd do a search on  "Havanese Rescue Organizations in New York".  That search turns up at least 8 listings of places I could adopt a Havanese dog from, here in New York.  

I could scour all the local animal shelters and adoption web sites waiting for that perfect Havanese to appear, but I may not be successful anytime soon.  Although many purebred (and designer) dogs pass through shelters, it's hit or miss and they tend to get adopted quickly.  As an Adoption Counselor at the shelter, I could always tell which dogs would go fast.  Most of the purebreds and Anything-A-Poo type dogs were the first to get adopted.  



While I was volunteering at the Phoenix shelter, I kept searching for a Siberian Husky puppy to come into the shelter.  I had everyone on alert in case one came through.  At the time, I really wanted a puppy but of the very few Huskies that came through our shelter the youngest one was nearly a year old.  I had just started volunteering and wasn't aware that there were specific rescue organizations out there, lots of them.  Now I know better!

One of the benefits of adopting a dog from a rescue is that unlike many animal shelters, most rescues have the resources and the time to really get to know the pets in their care.  They can work with the dog on issues such as walking on leash, potty training, or behavioral issues like resource guarding or fearfulness.  They're able to spend the time needed to prepare the dog for adoption and find the right person or family to facilitate a successful adoption.  Shelters don't usually have that luxury, especially municipal shelters. 

If you think you might be ready for a puppy or a dog soon, start researching rescue organizations for the breed of dog you want  now.  It can take time to find that specific breed of dog ready to be adopted from a quality rescue.   If you're willing and able to drive into a neighboring state to get your dream dog, expand your online search to include rescues in neighboring states as well.  Locate a couple of rescues that may be able to supply you with the pup you want.  If they have a Facebook page, start connecting with them!  Let them get to know you.  Don't be that stranger who emails and says "Hi, I want a French Bulldog puppy... can I come get one this weekend?".  It won't go over very well.

Rescues aren't like the county shelter, with totally open adoption policies.  They're usually pretty careful about who they adopt their dogs out to.  Expect them to ask you some questions - possibly lots of questions! They want to make sure the dog is going to the right home and that the owner and dog are a good fit.



Be prepared before you reach out to a breed specific rescue organization.  You want to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the breed of dog you want and that you understand the needs of the breed.  For example, if you wanted a Husky they'll want to be sure you understand that a Husky is a very high energy dog that needs a ton of exercise and that they can be sly escape artists.  If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and have no fenced in yard, you might be rejected as a Husky adopter.  

Don't feel offended if the rescue organization asks questions about your home environment, your lifestyle, and whether or not you can afford Veterinary care.  They're asking because they want to make a good match for the dog and for you, one that will last the dog's lifetime.  When you initially connect with the rescue, try to find out what their adoption requirements are so you will be prepared.



When we are ready to add another Husky to our family, I definitely want that Husky to be a rescue.  I already know the rescue organization I want to work with and I'm connected with them on Facebook.  I also have a secondary Husky rescue on the back burner if needed!

I hope this will help you Adopt Don't Shop even if you have your heart set on a specific breed of dog or cat.  Happy Tails!!

You may also like these related posts:
8 Questions To Ask Before Adopting A Dog
Finding Homes Through Animal Shelter Transport
A Puppy For Christmas?  Wait, Not So Fast!

Have you adopted a pet from a breed specific rescue, or do you plan to?  Tell us about it in the comments, you know how much we love hearing from you!


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