For the past three years, Petside.com has produced a great event knows as Pet 'Net - a compilation of blog posts from some of the Web's best pet-focused sites, all dedicated to a single topic. The event has harnessed the combined reach of a variety of bloggers to raise awareness about subjects that benefit from the deserved attention.
We are excited to participate this year in the Fourth Annual Pet 'Net Event , with the Pet ‘Net topic, Pet Adoption. In our opinion, there are numerous things you should know before bringing a dog home or even considering adoption.
Are you ready to be a canine caretaker?
Can you afford a dog?
What’s for Dinner?
Vaccinations and heartworm preventatives should not be considered an option. Depending on where your dog came from, he may have been exposed to numerous deadly diseases and a rabies vaccination is required in most cities. For less than the cost of going to Starbucks for a weekly coffee, you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog. A simple pill or topical solution is all it takes to ensure that your dog doesn’t suffer this painful disease. The damage that’s done to the dog and the cost of the treatment far outweighs the cost to prevent heartworm disease and a year’s supply of preventative runs between $35 and $80, depending on the dog’s weight. Very common in the South and warmer climates, heartworms are transmitted through mosquitos and causes symptoms including a cough and early exhaustion upon exercise or activity. In the most advanced cases, where numerous adult worms have built up in the heart without treatment, signs progress to severe weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood and, finally, congestive heart failure. Preventive drugs are highly effective and when regularly administered will protect more than 99 percent of dogs and cats from heartworm. In regions where the temperature is consistently above 57 °F year round, a continuous prevention schedule is recommended because of the prevalence of mosquitos.
Take the Time to Train and Socialize!
Create a Space for Fido in Your Home!
How do you Find the Right Pup?
When starting your search, there are many options we recommend, but one that we strongly discourage...a pet store. These puppies are cute and we all feel sorry for them and want to “rescue” them from the small box in a window at a store, but not only does this keep an industry that is not concerned with the health and well being of the puppy alive, it also could end up costing you much more money, time and heartbreak. The puppies in the mall most often come from puppy mills, where the conditions are terrible and respect for the animal’s well-being is not considered. These puppies often come with more than a wet nose and a wagging tail. They are prone to health and behavior problems, have poor socialization skills and often take much longer to housebreak because they are accustomed to lying in their waste. If that doesn’t deter you, consider the actual cost you will pay for one of these puppies. Pet stores that sell animals do so because it is profitable. They charge exorbitant amounts for popular breeds and, as a business, often cut corners to make each puppy more profitable. They are not concerned with that animal, or you for that matter, after the puppy leaves the store and you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and unnecessary stress. If you just can’t get past the puppy dog eyes in a store, go home and check out breed-specific rescue. Puppies that are not sold are often times returned to the puppy mill and many rescue groups step in to help save the animal from being euthanized. Many times, you can find a dog or puppy that was bred under the same conditions that pet store dogs are, but they are up to date on their shots and completely vetted. It’s the only true way to “save” a puppy from the situation and you will not be feeding the cycle of misery.
When searching for your four-legged soulamate, think about the adoption option! If you know the type of dog that is a fit for you, but age and breed standards are not a concern, the afore-mentioned breed-specific rescue groups are a great adoption option. Nearly every breed in the U.S. has a rescue group, usually filled with available dogs that are ready to curl up at your feet. These groups most often rely on foster families to care for the emotional and physical needs of the dog, often times this could be the first time the dog has been shown love and compassion. Some completely come out of their shell when in a foster home, while others show their sensitivities and fears. Regardless of the pup’s demeanor, potential adopters will have a more complete picture of what to expect and how to best prepare for caring for the canine. The rescue group also knows what is best for the dog and will only adopt out to proper candidates. There is usually an application process and a home visit or interview involved which can add time to the adoption, but it should make you feel good that they are just as concerned about a successful placement as you should be.
Maybe you want a canine companion, but don’t want the responsibility of potty training or puppy pranks? An older dog is probably a better fit for you. There are millions of dogs just past the puppy stage, or even further along in age, that are ready and willing to step into the role of trusty sidekick. Unfortunately, they are also usually first on the list for euthanization at shelters. There are simply too many and not enough resources to provide for them. By adopting an older dog you may literally be saving the dog from death, giving them a second chance at a happy ending. Another benefit of adopting an older dog is that you have a better picture of what you are taking on. You can see their physical traits and get some idea of their basic temperament, even though dogs in shelters and dogs newly in rescue foster homes may not always show their true personality right away.
Knowing and respecting your personal limitations when it comes to being a a canine caretaker is the only way. to ensure that you...and the dog have a long and happy life together. It is a commitment and responsibility that comes with the most amazing benefits and rewards when we take the time and effort to become the best canine caretakers we can be.
Want to learn more and help animals? Here are some ways!
READ AND LEARN about shelter adoption on Petside.com’s comprehensive one-page hub ( www.Petside.com/PetNet2011 ). With links to over 20 pet-centric websites, visitors can easily navigate from site to site and read articles on topics ranging from the benefits of adopting a senior pet to personal stories of strength.
VOTE for your favorite Pet ‘Net article with a new voting tool on the hub page . The blogger who garners the most votes will receive a $500 donation from Petside to the shelter of their choice!
SHARE AND DONATE with Pet ‘Net’s interactive social media campaign. To show pet lovers that there are many ways to support local shelters, Iams© Home 4 The Holidays and their Bags 4 Bowls initiative will donate 25 bowls of food to local shelters for every mention of the Pet ‘Net hashtag (#iheartshelterpets) and @IAMS handle on Twitter. Users can also “Like” Petside’s Facebook page ( www.Facebook.com/Petside ) for an additional donation of 25 bowls and share a personal adoption experience on Petside’s wall for a chance to be featured on Petfinder.com as a Happy Tail story!