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Were you aware that there are literally hundreds of distinct dog breeds? When you decide to get a dog, choosing the right dog breed for you and your family is essential. With so many different dog breeds available, this can become a very daunting task. Luckily, there are ways in which you can narrow down your options somewhat, making the whole thing a lot easier.
First and foremost you should be considering one major factor….. How much space do you have? If you live in an apartment there is little point in getting a large dog that takes up a lot of room and may also need a lot of exercising. For living areas with limited space, consider the Toy group of dogs such as the Terrier Group or Miniature Pinscher. Also the cost of keeping your dog should be evaluated. Very large dogs may eat significant amounts of food whereas smaller dogs will eat very little in comparison. Try doing a rough calculation of cost for several different dog breeds over a twelve month period. Take into consideration food and regular visits to the vet for inoculation, worming etc. You will see that larger dogs are very often much more expensive to keep.
If you have children, you may want to consider what dog breed would suit them. Children can be quite heavy handed with pets sometimes; getting a Chihuahua for example may not be such a good idea as they are delicate animals. Similarly, having a Great Dane or Saint Bernard marauding around the house could be dangerous for a child. The age and number of children you have should definitely be considered as this will affect what type of dog would best suit your circumstances.
Another major point to consider is how much exercise you can offer your dog. If you have a reasonable sized yard, fencing it off will provide a good space for your dog to exercise itself. If you live in an apartment, consider getting a dog that requires very little exercise. An excitable Border collie would be a poor choice for an apartment life. Also, how much exercise can YOU put up with? There is no point getting a dog that requires lots of exercise such as a Hunting or Sporting dog breed if you cannot keep up the exercise regime. Try and get a dog that suits your lifestyle.
Grooming you dog is something to think about. If you do not have a lot of spare time in your life try to avoid dog breeds like the Standard Poodle which will need very regular grooming sessions. The short haired Terriers or Whippets make a good choice for somebody who has little time to sit and groom for hours at a time. Conversely if you have a lot of free time, regular grooming sessions with your dog will provide you both with a lot of quality time that you will both enjoy.
When choosing your dog, take a look at the bigger picture. Try to resist the temptation to go for the cutest, cuddliest, adorable dog you can find. Consider your lifestyle, your home, your family and try to find a dog breed that fits best with your life. After all, your new dog will be sharing your life with you for many years to come so making sure that you are both happy is an important thing to consider.
You’ve researched the different dog breeds to find the best one for you and your family, you’ve taken the time to find out whether the breeder you chose is ethical, and now you’re finally bringing that precious new bundle of joy home. The hard part is over, right? Actually, there are several mistakes that many new puppy owners make that can really turn this joyful time into a frustrating and worrying experience. Avoid these new dog owner mistakes to be sure you and your puppy are off to a great start:
1. Potty training your puppy indoors and then expecting him to automatically go outdoors when he is older. Those nifty potty training pads look an awful lot like nice, plushy rugs to your puppy and he may opt to use your rugs as a toilet spot after you do away with the pads.
2. Giving in to his sad whimpers and tucking him in your bed for the first few nights and then expecting him to sleep on his own in a few days without crying. He’ll just cry louder and longer once he knows what he is missing.
3. Letting your guilty feelings overwhelm you so that you don’t crate train him. Crate training helps keep your puppy safe, since he can’t get into dangerous things when you aren’t watching him if he’s crated. Also, he actually feels more secure when he is crated while no one else is home.
4. Taking your puppy with you when you go out, especially if you are going to a park or pet store. Puppies should be finished with immunizations before they go on outings. Their immune systems are often not fully developed when they are young and they are more susceptible to some of the deadliest dog diseases.
5. Letting your puppy do things that are cute in puppies and not at all cute in full size dogs, such as jumping up on guests. It is easier to curb these behaviors right away than it is to break your adult dog of bad habits.
Before making the decision about buying a new dog, here are some points you should consider :-
1. Is someone at home for most of the day ?
A dog, especially a puppy, should not be left on its own for more than a few hours at a time. If you are out at work from 9-5 don’t get a dog unless you can make satisfactory arrangements with a friend to let the dog out.
2. What about holidays ?
It is sad to say that more dogs are destroyed at holiday time than any other. Unless you have a helpful family to look after your dog, be prepared for the expense of boarding kennels. Because of the increase in running costs, reputable kennels now have to make a higher charge – don’t forget to book well ahead.
3. Are you prepared for the cost of keeping a dog ?
This includes not only the cost of food, and kennels at holiday time, but also the cost of vaccinations and also possible veterinary fees in case of illness. A dog, like a child, can fall ill quite suddenly and unexpectedly, so be prepared for any eventuality. Take out pet insurance for peace of mind.
To keep healthy and happy, dogs need daily exercise, and this means a good run in a field or park, or a game with a ball, not just a stroll round to the shops on a leash. If you love your dog, be prepared to sacrifice some of your leisure time each day, whatever the weather. If you can’t provide this kind of exercise to a dog, consider giving a home to an older dog. Your local dogs home may have just the right one for you.
5. Family circumstances
Dogs and children usually love each other and get on well, but don’t make the mistake of buying a young puppy for a small child. Young children can be very cruel and a puppy may be badly thrown about. Worse still a young pup’s bones may easily broken if a child treats it like a toy. Wait until the children are older and a little more responsible.
If you don’t have much time to spare, choose a dog with a smooth or wire coat which needs little attention to keep it tidy. Long and curly coated dogs look beautiful, but they need daily grooming to keep them this way. Poodles need regular trimming, as well as grooming, so unless you are able to do this yourself be prepared for extra expense.
Everyday, people witness countless acts of heroism, big and small. Heroes, too, come in different shapes and sizes, forms and breeds, man and animals alike. Dolphins, seals, horses, cats and whales are just a few from the animal kingdom that displays tremendous protective instincts that save man from all sorts of danger. But nothing beats “the man’s best friend”.
After displays of great courage and bravery during World War I, dogs have seen a different light. They were thrust into the limelight unknowingly. Since then, dogs have been called to as all time heroes – recognized, rescued, trained and cared for by man. All kinds of award were given to dogs to celebrate their heroism and saving prowess such as the “Dog Hero of the Year Award.”
The dogs carry on a long line of lifesavers. They have shown unthinkable acts of saving adults and children alike in grave danger like fire, drowning, road and home accidents, intruders and robbers, and even in a huge tragedy like 9/11. The images of heroic dogs finding possible survivors or even lost bodies under rubbles and debris in ground zero crushed the hearts of many Americans.
These canine heroes come from all breeds, backgrounds and locations. Take note, they are not pedigreed. These dog heroes are not at all dominated by big dogs, though they are often used for the purpose of national security. Their breeds vary from the famous German Shepherd, Saint Bernard and Collies (remember Lassie?) to Poodle, Labrador, American Pit Bull Terrier, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman, Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Shetland, Sheepdog, Terrier and Weimaraner.
During the Vietnam War, 4,000 dogs were recruited to assist and protect U.S. troops, thus prevented an estimate of 10,000 plus American casualties. At that time, they were considered “surplus armaments”. They were either euthanized or left to their fates in Vietnam. Now, books and documentaries preserved the memories of countless canines that aided in the protection of mankind.
Today, dog heroes play an even more critical role in the fight against terrorism. The ability of dogs to detect bombs is already proven since World War I. A German shepherd’s nose has 250 billion smelling cells to give it the ability to detect a target odor amidst all other odors.
Breeds do not guarantee a “dog hero status.” Like men, dogs need a rare set of attributes to stand out: intelligence, being calm even in the presence of loud noise, focus amidst distractions and a compulsive desire to play with a toy. After all, the game is to find the scent and get the toy.
What changes do you need to make to your dog feeding regime as your dog gets older?
The changes you make to your dog feeding regime, and when you make them will vary depending on the age of your dog, and the breed of your dog.
It is considered that the larger and giant breeds of dog age earlier than the smaller and toy breeds of dog.
Your objective in managing the nutrition of the older dog is to enhance his quality of life, delay further ageing changes, and to extend his life whilst maintaining his optimal weight.
You are also trying to slow down the onset of disease and improve immune function.
Older dogs will generally be less active than younger dogs so as a rule will require a less energy dense dog food, unless of course the dog’s appetite is reduced for some reason.
Continuing to feed a dog the same amount of food with less exercise will inevitably result in obesity, a problem all too common in many dogs today.
In the old dog obesity can be a bigger problem than in the young dog as there may also be concurrent arthritis and organ problems which will be made worse.
A keen eye is needed to assess the energy needs of your dog as it ages, so be aware and switch brands if your dog’s weight shows marked changes as it ages.
For the older dog a good quality animal protein based on meat, fish eggs, milk or cheese is better than cereal protein.
A balance needs to be struck between providing too much protein which may be a problem for dogs with renal failure (a common problem in older dogs), and providing too little.
As ageing dogs tend to have less muscle and bone they will have less of a tissue protein reserve and need a certain level of protein in their diet to avoid a negative nitrogen balance.
Your veterinarian is the best person to monitor your ageing dog’s renal function and advise the appropriate level of protein in his diet.
When your dog’s protein intake is low due to inappetance, this can be increased by heating the food to increase palatability and release more aromas, and by feeding smaller more frequent meals and by supplementing with vitamins.
Carbohydrates are mainly provided by cereals and legumes in the diet, and these are a cheap source of energy.
Care should be taken with the sugar content of some of these foods
Fats are essential in the diet to provide a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins, and are essential for the health of old dogs.
However too much may result in obesity, so again moderation is the rule.
Fibre has a role too in the elderly dog as many are predisposed to constipation.
Adding fibre in the form of wheat bran or cooked vegetables two or three times a week will help to keep your elderly dog regular!
Most dog foods will have more than adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus for the older dog.
There may be a case for reduced levels of phosphorus and salt in the diet.
Some supplementation of zinc and vitamins may be helpful in the older dog, particularly the vitamin B complex.
The main food types for the older dog are – dry, semi-moist or canned.
Diet changes should be made slowly to prevent tummy upsets and diarrhoea.
Be sure to have plenty of water available for your dog, particularly if fed a dried food, and also if kidney and liver disease is a problem.
Reduced appetite in older dogs may be helped by feeding them 2 or more times per day with smaller portions so that they get their full daily requirement.
There are many commercial senior dog food diets now available.
It will pay you to thoroughly examine the different types to increase the life span and vitality of your older dog.
Choosing the right dog for your family with kids need some research if you are new to the dog ownership. Families with kids need to pay attention on certain dog qualities such as temperament, size and energy level before adopting or buying a dog.
Kids like to play with dogs. Sometimes they forget to respect dog’s cue to back off. You need a dog that won’t mind if his hair or tail gets pulled. Size is the another important consideration. This is for the safety of children as well as for dog. There are dog breeds that are very good with children but too big; especially with small children who may be accidentally stepped on or knocked over.
Some dog breeds that are good with children have high energy or activity levels than others. If dogs don’t receive the exercise they physically require, they are more likely to develop behavior problems such as excessive chewing or barking. Select a dog breed that loves children but requires less exercise if your family is not so active.
Here are some breeds that work well with kids:
Beagle: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 40 to 59 lbs. Beagles do shed. if you or a family member suffer from allergies, it is worth looking into other breeds that do well with kids.
Bassett Hound: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 50 to 65 lbs. Gets along well with other dogs and pets. Minimal exercise needed.
Cairn Terrier: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 13 to 25 lbs. Minimal shedding.
Cocker Spaniel: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 13 to 30 lbs. Regular exercise may be needed.
Dachshund: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 16 to 32 lbs. Minimal exercise needed. They are medium shedders and require modest exercise. Housebreaking can be difficult.
Golden Retriever: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 65 to 75 lbs. Easy to train. Get along well with other dogs and pets. Daily exercise needed. Loves to pay with balls and other toys, so exercise is fairly easy.
Labrador Retriever: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 60 to 75 lbs. Minimal grooming required. Requires daily exercise.
Pug: Generally a non-biting breed. Good with kids. Approximate size: 14 to 18 lbs. Sheds copious amounts, usually seasonally.
While there is no guarantee a certain type of dog will get along well with children, there is a wide range of dog breeds (many more than mentioned here) that are known for being excellent family dogs. Always remember, before adopting or purchasing your next puppy, please do your homework.
Some of us just to refuse to think of our dogs are just dogs. For us there are dog clothes!
Cute sweaters, doggie tee shirts, dog booties, stylish bandanas, and let’s not forget little hats. These are among the items people will purchase to dress their dogs in style.
Dressing a dog is more about the owner having fun than the animal, but as long as the clothing isn’t uncomfortable, most dogs don’t mind humoring their human friends. Some even seem to enjoy grabbing the spotlight with their new look.
Internet shopping has taken the concept of dressing our dogs to new levels as websites offering all manner of “designer” dog clothing have popped up everywhere. With names like Glamour Dog, Designer Dog Wear, and Paw Printz Boutique (dot com, of course), these sites offer the tops in canine fashion for proud owners to place on their pups.
Years ago, it was not uncommon to see a dog in a knit sweater or some other cute clothing article, but today there are nearly as many clothing choices for dogs as there are for people. There are dresses and slacks, raincoats, eyewear, headwear, footwear, and every imaginable item. There is doggie casual wear, for hanging around on the beach, doggie formal wear for those special black tie occasions and even doggie wedding gowns and tuxedos for the wedding of a doggie’s dreams!
In many cases, the doggie designer clothing comes complete with a doggie designer price tag. Dog dresses at Glamour Dog dot com, for example, are listed with prices that run from $40.00 for a basic Mary Jane dress to $86.00 for prom wear! Some of these dog clothes cost more than many people spend to dress themselves. Nothing is too good for our “best friend!”
Some personal favorites include the doggie trench coat ($70.00), the various college football jerseys ($25.00), and the 100% cotton doggie bathrobe – perfect for the pooch who wants to emulate Hugh Heffner.
High end Doggie Duds can be traced to celebrities like Paris Hilton’s Tinkerbell and Anna Nicole Smith’s Sugar Pie. Both are rarely seen in public with out some form of clothing. The PR these pups bring to the industry can do nothing but make the business boom even further.
So, if you’re in the market for dog clothes that will turn heads and get your pooch noticed, designer doggie duds may be just what the fashion critic ordered. Just be sure not to combine designer labels or adorn your dog in designs that clash. After all, what could be more gauche?