Advice for First-Time Pet Owners
According to a 2017-2018 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68 percent of U.S. households — that’s about 85 million families — have pets. Over 244 million critters give comfort, make people smile, and provide unconditional love to their people.
How exciting that you’re preparing to join this world!
Picking the Right Pet
Think about the following considerations as you decide which pet will be the perfect addition to your family.
Your family’s lifestyle. Is your family constantly on the go and super active? You’ll want a pet that can keep up. Do you prefer to cuddle on the couch with a cup of tea, a good book, or your favorite Netflix show? You’ll probably welcome a critter with similar couch potato tendencies.
Kids. Age often determines the best type of pet. Younger children do well with animals that don’t require a lot of care or aren’t as hands-on, like a fish, rabbit, or guinea pig. Older children who can help with pet care might welcome a dog or cat.
Your home. A giant St. Bernard might not feel comfortable in a small, one-bedroom apartment. Greyhounds need zoom room. You’ll want a critter that fits your space.
Time commitment. Some pets require much more time than others. A puppy needs obedience training. Younger animals need more hands-on time than older animals.
Cost for care, upkeep, and supplies. Shaggy dogs (and even some cats) need regular grooming. Horses eat a lot of hay and grain. Cats love scratching posts. Certain reptiles are prone to illnesses that require frequent vet visits. After you’ve narrowed down the type of pet you’d like, research the average annual costs for their care.
Local laws. Check with your landlord, if you rent, to make sure you’re allowed to have pets. Some cities and townships restrict the type of dog breeds allowed. Others frown on less traditional pets like potbelly pigs or guinea fowl.
Health and safety risks. Reptiles, like turtles, can carry and spread salmonella, which is dangerous to young children and people with compromised immune systems. Certain dog breeds have reputations as nippers.
Should I get a cat? Dog? Fish? Guinea pig? Bird? Hamster? Rabbit? Reptile? The American Veterinary Medical Association offers sage advice and links to these and more exotic critters that make good pets.
Words of Wisdom
The amount of time spent planning and researching your pet adoption is time well spent. Before you bring the critter home, make sure you pet-proof (it’s kind of like toddler-proofing) your home. Get down on your hands and knees (encourage your kids to help) to see things from a pet’s eye view. Find and remove or hide wires and other easily chewed and swallowed items. Move poisonous plants out of reach.
Once you’ve brought your new pet home and introduced him to the family:
Friends with Benefits
Our four-footed friends because make us happy and feel good. They love us unconditionally. They’re our wingmen and provide hours of entertainment. So, good luck finding your perfect match!
Photo Credit: Pexels.com
Yorkie Tails, to Dock or not to Dock?
People have asked, ‘if we dock our puppies tails’? Personally we have done both. Yorkie tail Docking came into effect with AKC (American Kennel Club) show dogs. Their breeding standard is that “A Yorkies tail be docked to a medium length”. If it's not? The dog will be disqualified at shows.
In many other countries tail docking is illegal and considered cruel. I’ve experienced extreme verbal confrontations amongst yorky breeder clubs over tail docking.
In my opinion with any unnecessary surgery there is always a chance of infection. We had one case after having a puppy's tail docked at the Vet, where the puppy's tail got infected. This failure prompted us to abandon even the thought of any future tail docking trips. Of course, after medicating the infection from our pup, she healed well and was still beautiful as ever but the entire ordeal really wasn't necessary.
Personally they look cute both ways but it's a personal choice. Just know, a dogs tail is also where they get their balance from.
Pros and Cons of tail docking
*AKC show dog standard to qualify.
*Just like the way it looks.
*When cut there is a chance of infection and nerve damage.
*Dogs use their tails to communicate with other dogs and for swimming.
*Yorkies were born with GOD given cute tails that curl up.
Dog Etiquette: How to Bring Your Pup Out in Public
Your dog is your pal, your best buddy, the companion who gives you unconditional love in exchange for food, water, shelter, and the chance to run around with a tennis ball in his mouth. They’re also our companions outside the home. We take them for walks and spend some quality outdoor time with them and other dogs (and people, too) at the dog park. What’s more, they’re welcome at many pet shops and stores, plus more employers are allowing their staff to bring their dogs to work with them.
But don’t think that your dog is immediately ready for some time at the dog park or out shopping with you. Some dogs are shy around people, and some have anxiety to the point that they are skittish even in their own backyard. While some love an afternoon at the local dog park, others will get hostile around other dogs. You may have the most gregarious pooch on the planet who thinks that everyone she sees is her friend and wants a big slurp on the face from her. When taking your dog out in public, keep in mind some basic dog-owner etiquette.
1. Walk Safely With a Good Collar
The first way to better socialize your dog is during her walks. How many times have you seen dogs out on a walk with their owners, straining their leashes as the owners try to pull them away from a yard or another person. The dog ends up gagging and coughing, and the owner can’t wait to get home. To prevent this, invest in a good collar that keeps a dog from gagging as she strains. This collar will also keep your dog close by as you walk, whether it’s in the neighborhood, at the dog park, or in a dog-friendly store. The gentle pull on the leash reminds her to stay close to you.
2. “No” Means No, and “Down” Means Down
The key to getting your dog to behave around strangers or other dogs, or even scurrying away at the sight of someone, is impulse control, and that also involves your collar, leash, and a handy bag of treats. If you’re out on a walk with your pup and he sees someone, he’ll want to lunge forward to make friends. That may be the best time to pull on his leash and say, “No.” When he relents, give him a little treat. When he looks like he’s going to plant his paws on the other person, say “Down” and pull on the leash. Once he’s down, slip him a treat. When someone visits your home and your dog gets excited, take him by the collar, say “No” (often if you have to), then give him a treat. Get him used to those two words. Adding “That’s a good dog” is helpful, too.
3. Have a Pack of Dog Essentials
You may be able to enjoy an afternoon out without something to drink or snack on, but your dog probably won’t. When you go out, be sure you have some essentials, including a small container of food, portable food and water bowls, some bottles of water, and, yes, the dog equivalent of a “diaper bag” containing a roll of waste bags, a cleaner, some paper towels, and, of course, some treats. Having one of these is especially essential if you’re going to take your dog to work with you. And while some of the larger pet stores already have items for cleanup if a pet has an accident, other non-pet stores most likely won’t.
As The Washington Post reports, dogs make us feel good, and we make them feel good. But as much as we love our pooches, we need to consider others. So next time you’re out with your pup, make sure to practice dog etiquette.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Author a Yorkie Lover!