Selecting the right dog is like choosing the right house — each one offers something different and it’s smart to start your search by asking yourself exactly what you’re looking for. Small, medium or large? High maintenance or low? Expensive or cheap? This is a big life-changing decision so consider all important factors, including:
Kids are definitely a factor when choosing a furry family member since they always come first, so definitely read up on what pups tend to fit in well with busy families. If you want to keep the price of a family pet to a minimum, there are cheaper options out there like animal rescues or shelters, who can give you the most bang (bark?) for your buck on a dog.
If you’ve got your mind set on a purebred dog, there are interesting reasons why breeders can set their prices sky high and you should understand all of them and always research your breeder before buy. Once you consider all these factors and narrow your scope, picking the right pet won’t seem so daunting — after all, making the choice between cute and cutest should never be a chore.
So you’ve found a best friend, yay! But who’s going to care for him when you go away? If the answer falls somewhere between Uhhh and Ugh, don’t fret. There are plenty of pet care options out there, you just need to know where to look. Googling the following in your area is a good place to start: Hire a dog walker or pet sitter
Making a choice that works for you can be overwhelming, especially when there are so many things to consider like cost, how you feel about having your pet cared for by a stranger or having a stranger inside your home with your belongings and your most valuable (furry) possession. If you have an older pet, familiarity may be key, so if you go with a pet sitter, try scheduling visits with him or her before you leave for an extended period. Puppies may require a daily schedule of activities to keep them entertained and could benefit from interaction with other dogs.
If you’re currently navigating that sometimes tricky space called puppyhood, be sure to read up on all the milestones your new friend will be hitting, like the “chewing everything in sight” phase — yeah, it’s a thing — and the all-important task of house-training. Knowledge is power — way more powerful than any set of puppy dog eyes.
Having a dog is boring … said no one ever! But there are definitely ways to keep things even more interesting. Whether you’re planning for Take Your Dog to Work Day, a walking tour of your city, or, even more low key, a doggy date that includes Netflix and a nap, there never has to be a dull moment when your dog is around. Choosing activities can depend on your dog’s activity level, which tend to fall within these three categories:
There are a zillion activities adventurous dogs will enjoy — biking, hiking or boating, anyone? — but, as any dog owner will tell you, it helps to be prepared and always think three steps ahead of those four paws. (Don’t forget a leash, doggy life vest when you’re around water, or those all-important poop bags!)
If you’d rather stay than go, there are ways to bring the fun to your happy place, a.k.a. your comfy home. Try your hand at creating a DIY toy to keep their attention or make a dog-safe treat or pupcake for your deserving pooch (free of things like chocolate, grapes or raisins, which can be toxic to pets). Speaking of food — which is always a key ingredient for fun — you should know how to select chow for your fur-kid, including how to read those always mystifying pet food labels.
Because when you take things to the next level by throwing a barking birthday party for your BFF and all of his or her furry friends, you’ve gotta keep those mouths happy. That’s just Fun 101.
If your canine constantly keeps you guessing — like, what’s that loud noise coming from his belly? Why is his hair falling out so much? Is that blood in my dog’s pee? Or, every owner’s worst night terror, why is he peeing in my house? — it could be time to do some serious detective work.
Accidents in the house are among the most frustrating problems and you can start sleuthing by accessing the situation. Start by:
Other pesky things like doggy dandruff, hot spots or (gasp!) worms are common problems that plague dogs everywhere, so before you hit up the internet for an over-the-top amount of info and graphic photography, try to zero in on your dog’s problem. Note potential symptoms your pal maybe experiencing — any itching? discomfort? — and contact your veterinarian for help (that’s what they’re there for!)
Before you go, ask yourself:
A solution to your dog’s issue will most likely lie with your vet and, hopefully, you’ll soon be back to business as usual — things like, the curious destruction of your favorite pair of shoes.
Our dogs are there for us in tough times — and we’re happy to return the favor.
So when a major medical event like a stroke knocks your buddy down, you want to know how to help them get back up. If you think your dog has suffered a stroke, also known as a sudden death of brain cells, it can help to know the most common symptoms to look out for:
While there’s no specific treatment for a stroke, if you think your dog has had one always seek the help of a veterinarian for an expert opinion. Your dog has the best chance at recovery if he’s under the medical supervision of a vet.
A neurological disorder, like vestibular disease, can rear its ugly head in some of the same ways, and only a professional can break down clinical signs to determine a cause. It’s helpful to be aware of other neurological disorders that are common among our canine friends: seizures, spinal disease, Wobbler syndrome, intervertebral disc degeneration and herniation.
If your aging pup is facing a vision loss diagnosis, you’ll be happy to know it may actually be more traumatic for you than it is for them. There are ways to manage your lifestyle and your home (using smells, sounds and routine, for instance) so that both of you can continue to enjoy the good times while facing the challenges ahead.