Tag: Dog care

6 Steps To Bring A Rescue Dog Home

Have you decided to save a life and bring a rescue dog home?

Congrats, you are giving a forgotten rescue dog a second chance at life. Once you bring a rescue dog home, they will reward you with years of unlimited love.

Once you decide to adopt, it is useful to know what to actually do from the minute you pick them up, through their first few months in your house. These 6 tips will guide those critical first few months, helping you bring a rescue dog home into a calm, loving environment while helping them with what can be a scary transition.

1. Know your Rescue Dog’s Background, But Don’t Let It Make You Soft

Many rescue dogs, unfortunately, come from rough backgrounds. Many are abandoned or abused.  Some live tied to a chain with very little shelter or are left in a crate for hours on end.

Knowing where your rescue came from can help you help them acclimate to their new home.

But, don’t let traumas of the past make you too lenient with your new buddy. Dogs are incredibly resilient, and after a period of adaptation will push the limits of what they can get away with. Letting them know the boundaries, in a gentle, loving way, from day one will head off any behavior problems in the future.

If you bring a rescue dog home, especially a young dog, and decide that because they come from a bad background, you’ll let them do whatever they want in your house, expect trouble in the future. You have a tremendous opportunity to teach them that humans are compassionate, forgiving teachers, and they are now in a loving home with reasonable boundaries.

Get everyone in the family on board. Use the same words for training. Have everyone show the dog the same path to the door to go out, or however you’ll train them to let you know they need to use the bathroom. Have everyone follow the same feeding and exercise routines. Consistency is key, and this allows for a positive training approach.

2. Show Them Around Slowly

It’s tempting to bring your new dog home and let them run wild. There’s an undeniable cuteness to watching a dog that was depressed, confused and scared while living in a cage just an hour before now running around, exploring her new home with her nose.

But, most experts agree that keeping some rooms off limits at first will help your rescue become orientated in their new home while knowing that there are places they can’t go. This is a useful exercise in your yard as well. Blocking off flowerbeds, sections of the lawn, or parts of the fence that could lead to an easy escape can keep your dog safe.

3. Be Loving and Patient

Your rescue is undergoing a lot of change in a short time. They’re adapting to a new family, a new home, a new neighborhood. Even if your resume dog is house trained, they may not know the best routes to the door to let you know it’s time to go out.

Accidents will happen. As rescue dogs are often accustomed to being yelled at or physically punished following a bathroom accident.

Show them that cleanup is no big deal, there will be no yelling, and that the only physical touch they’ll receive in your home is of a loving nature. A confident dog is easily trainable. Use these as teachable moments.

4. Baby Proof the Area

This is important. Treat your new pup’s arrival the same way you would if a toddler was visiting. Hide exposed wires. Pick up small objects from the floor. Put cleaners and chemicals out of reach. Dogs, even seniors, explore with their noses and mouths. Remove all possibly harmful objects and you’ll avoid dangerous problems.

5. Establish Routine

Dogs thrive on routine. So, imagine how upsetting it is to go from their old way of life to living in a rescue with multiple dogs and other animals to being driven in a car to a strange home with new people. This ties in with number 1. Show them the ways of their new home and new life slowly, consistently, and patiently.

Guide them to the rooms they’re allowed in. Take them outside and let them explore your yard safely. If you are in an apartment, a few laps around the neighborhood will help your rescue get used to the area and feel more confident. Walking is also a great way for dogs to release mental energy and stress while bonding with their new family.

From day 1, start them on their feeding, exercise, play, and rest schedule. It’ll take a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but once the settle, they’ll be thrilled to know that 9-am is breakfast, 10am is walk time, and it’s all naps and play till dinner.

6. Be Flexible When You Bring a Rescue Dog Home

Know that your dog’s true personality may be in hiding. Dogs like to please, so for the first few weeks, expect them on their best behavior. Anyone who’d adopted a rescue will tell you – after 2 – 4 weeks, they’ll let their full personalities bloom.

They may be more or less energetic than at first, and they may eat more or less. They may show a rambunctious side.

Whatever the change, be ready for it. Since you established their routine early and set boundaries, these transitions are easy. You’ll have a confident, happy dog who’s thriving in their new forever home.

3 Key Factors In Picking A Rescue Dog

Here are a few important steps to consider when picking a rescue dog.

1. Size of Rescue Dog

Every year, thousands of dogs are given away or abandoned because the puppy that someone bought grew to be bigger than anticipated.

This is an unacceptable mistake.

If you live in an apartment or a small home, do not get a Great Dane puppy hoping it will stay tiny. It won’t. If your building has a weight restriction, don’t get a dog that exceeds that restriction by a significant amount. A 30-lb Beagle might squeak by on a 25-lb limit. A 130-lb Saint Bernard will not. Please do not put a dog in this situation.

You should also consider the size of the dog, even if you have no such limitations. Do you want a big dog that can roughhouse with you?

Do you want a medium size rescue dog that fits in bed with you, but can also run around the yard chasing squirrels without you living in fear that it will break a brittle bone?

Maybe you want a lap dog that you can carry around with you.

These are all key questions to ask yourself before you adopt a rescue dog. Most people reading this site love dogs and have only the dog’s best interest at heart. But, even the strongest among us has taken that trip to the rescue thinking we want a Pom only to find that an irresistibly cute Rottweiler grabs a hold of our heart. If this happens, and you know that you can accommodate the Rottie, then go for it. But, if you can’t keep a big dog, stick with your original plan.

2. Activity Level of Rescue Dog

This one is tricky because it changes over the course of a dog’s life. Puppies that were tearing the house apart grow into calm, easy-going dogs.

Quiet puppies can turn into high-energy adults.

But, knowing the general disposition of the breed you’re choosing can help with this.

Remember that dogs are living beings with individual personalities. Take some time to think about what you want your relationship with your new dog to be:

  • Do you want to hike with her?
  • Are you looking for a Netflix and ice cream partner?
  • Do you like to walk the city with your buddy by your side?
  • Are you taking him off-leash to run the beach or in the countryside?
  • Do you want a little of all of the above?

Researching breeds can help. It’s not absolute since, though. There are lazy Terriers and high-energy English Bulldogs. But, in general, breed energy requirements are a good indicator.

If you are looking at a mixed breed, try to evaluate the dominant breed, if possible. If not, see if you can spend some time alone with the dog to get a better feel for how it behaves outside of the shelter. Remember, being in a rescue around multiple dogs, with new people coming in and out to meet them can change a dog’s behavior. Some will be scared, others overly excited. See how they are away from the excitement.

3. Age of Rescue Dog

The age of the dog you’re considering is key.

Are you high energy? Yes? A puppy may be right for you. Remember, no matter how energetic you are, puppies have a tremendous amount of energy to burn. This can lead to much mischief. If you’re not ok with losing a pair of shoes or two, go older.

Are you medium energy? Consider a dog between 1 and 3 years old. At this point, bigger dogs will have settled down considerably. Smaller dogs are still in late-puppyhood through the one or two year mark, so they’ll give you much playfulness, but the destructive period is mostly over.

Are you prone to long binge-watching sessions on the couch? Think a 20-minute walk is the height of your exercise life? Like a calm, quiet house? Consider adopting an adult or senior dog.

Now, don’t think that seniors or adults are not playful. They are. In fact, it’s not uncommon for senior dogs to regain a puppy-esque playfulness after leaving a rescue or shelter. But, those energy bursts are short-lived. A good walk with your new friend and she’ll be more than happy to lay on the couch with you for hours afterward.

Adults and seniors also come with the added benefit of knowing their disposition already. It’s tough to judge where a puppy’s personality will lead, but with a dog 3+, you have a good idea of who they are right away.

12 Wonderful Things Humans Have Done For Animals In 2016

Whether 2016 was a great year for you or not, there is no denying that some pretty amazing things happened. It just so happens that 12 of these awesome things were animal related. Here are 12 wonderful things humans did for animals this past year.

Goat with anxiety wears duck costume to make her feel safe:

When Polly’s owner bought her a duck costume, she didn’t realize it would help with Polly’s major anxiety problems – and make for one of the cutest pictures ever.

Pup lives in his own Harry Potter-like room:

After moving to a new house, the Chihuahua’s owner decided to create a space for him. She turned the cabinet under the stairs into his very own bedroom – furnished with a dresser, tiny bed, and lots of snacks. Just like Harry Potter.

Chicken on bed rest gets to watch nature documentaries:

After an injury, a chicken, named Strawberry, was put on bed rest. So she wouldn’t get bored, her owners set up an iPad with shows for her to watch. Her favorites were nature documentaries and shows with other chickens.

Dog receives his own letters:

Pippa is obsessed with getting the mail for her family. So, if there isn’t any mail that day, her mailman will write her a letter she doesn’t go home empty pawed.

Cat gets wrapped in Christmas bandages:

When Missy was bitten by a snake, she had to be hospitalized. Her nurses wanted to make her time there more festive, so they put Christmas-colored bandages on her.

Pup takes last walk on beach with hundreds of new friends:

Walnut’s dad had to make the difficult decision of putting him down. He wanted to make Walnut’s last walk memorable, so he asked people on Facebook to join them. To his surprise, hundreds of people showed up!

Mice are given their own storefronts:

Thanks to a group of artists, some mice got to experience their very own trip to the mall. The artists wanted to build some storefronts with mice in mind. The mice definitely approved.

Dog that was abused gets stuffed animals that look just like her:

When Justice was rescued, her mouth and legs were bound with electrical tape, leaving her with a scar across her snout. The shelter that saved her wanted to raise awareness and money to stop animal abuse, so they created a line of stuffed animals modeled after her.

A family celebrated Christmas early for their dying dog:

After Scooby’s family realized he wouldn’t make it to Christmas, they decided to celebrate it early. They even decorated the house and gave him presents!

Shelter dogs get treated to Puppuccinos:

One shelter decided to treat their pups to some afternoon Puppuccinos. It gave the dogs something to look forward and improved their chances of getting adopted.

Man surprises cat by dressing up as his favorite toy:

A man decided to surprise his cat and dress up as his favorite shark toy. The cat seemed more confused than surprised, but it was a nice gesture to say the least.

Man surprises dog by dressing up as his favorite toy:

And finally, one of the top trending animal stories of 2016. Unlike the cat with the shark toy, Jolena was very excited when her dad surprised her dressed up as her favorite Gumby toy.

The Easy-To-Follow Schedule For Puppy Vaccinations

You just got a new puppy – congratulations! Get ready for endless fun, lots of love, and a lifelong companion. You may know puppies require more vaccinations than adult dogs but do you know which ones they need and when? Here is an easy-to-follow guide and schedule for puppy vaccinations.

The Vaccinations Puppies Need

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Bordetella is primary cause of kennel cough. It is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes coughing, vomiting, and even death. Injections and nasal spray vaccines are available.

Canine Distemper

Distemper is an extremely serious disease that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous system. It causes watery eyes and noses, fever, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and even death. There is no cure but the symptoms can be alleviated. One vaccine given between the ages of 12-16 weeks typically protects a dog for life from developing distemper.

Canine Hepatitis

Different from human hepatitis, canine hepatitis is a liver disease. It causes slight fever and congestion. It also causes vomiting and bloat. There is no cure for this disease, but dogs can overcome mild cases. Severe cases may result in death.

Canine Parainfluenza

Parainfluenza is another virus that contributes to kennel cough.

Corona Virus

Affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) system, this is a nasty virus that can also cause respiratory infections. Symptoms include lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. And while there is no cure, vet’s can help lessen the symptoms.


Heartworm prevention is extremely important for puppies. It is not a vaccine, but a monthly pill that will protect your puppy from contracting the disease through infected mosquitos. Dogs in early stages of heartworm disease show little to no symptoms but more a more severe case will result in coughing and trouble breathing. It can be deadly if left untreated.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections such canine parainfluenza or Bordetella. It is an inflammation of the upper respiratory area. Mild cases cause dry, harsh coughing but severe cases can cause gagging and retching. Only rare cases end in death but it is highly contagious and spreads quickly.


This disease is caused by bacteria and dogs often show little to no symptoms. If they do appear, expect vomiting, fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite and weakness. Antibiotics are most effective at treating leptospirosis.

Lyme Disease

Transmitted via ticks, Lyme disease in dogs causes swollen lymph nodes, fever, and loss of appetite and affect their heart, kidney, and joints. If left untreated, it can lead to neurological disorders. Antibiotics can treat it if diagnosed quickly, though relapses can happen.


A GI disease, parvo causes vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, and severe diarrhea. Extreme dehydration happens quickly and can often lead to death within 48 to 72 hours. Immediate veterinary attention is required. There is no cure, but keeping the dog hydrated and the symptoms under control will help them build up their immune system.


Rabies can cause death rather quickly if treatment isn’t given within hours. It invades the central nervous system and causes anxiety, headaches, excessive drooling, hallucinations, and paralysis. Almost every state requires a rabies vaccination.


Here is a schedule to help you determine when to bring your puppy in for their vaccinations:

AgeRecommended VaccinationsOptional Vaccinations
6-8 weeksDistemper, measles, parainfluenzaBordetella
10-12 weeksDHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus)Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
12-24 weeksRabiesNone
14-16 weeksDHPPCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease
12-16 monthsRabies, DHPPCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1-2 yearsDHPPCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1-3 yearsRabiesNone

(Table adapted from akc.org)


Puppy vaccinations will cost an average of $75-$100, depending on where you live. This will include the “core” vaccines of DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza) given at 6-, 12-, and 16 weeks of age.

Shelters often charge less for vaccines. Most charge around $20 but some are even free. If you adopted your puppy from a shelter, they most likely received the necessary age-appropriate vaccinations.

The first year of vaccinations is the most important one. They help prevent nasty diseases and parasites that dogs can easily contract. After your puppy finishes their core vaccinations, work out a schedule with your veterinarian for annual exams and vaccinations to ensure your dog remains healthy through his adolescence into adulthood!

How To Deal With Bullies At The Dog Park; The Dogs And Their Humans

Whether they are on two or four legs, no one likes a bully. And while bullies aren’t everywhere, they can definitely pop up in certain places – the dog park being one of them. So how do you deal with bullies – both dogs and humans – at the dog park? Here’s your guide.

Pay Attention

Most dogs love the dog park. Getting to run around with their furry friends and release some energy keeps them happy and healthy. But not every dog – or owner – feels the same way. One way to keep an eye on potential bullies is to pay attention.

While some pup parents like to kick back and relax at the dog park, that’s not necessarily the smartest thing to do. Watch how the dogs are interacting with each other and how the owners are responding to their dogs, including those that aren’t being watched closely. Being on alert will help you react quickly if you notice any bullying happening.


One of the best ways to avoid a dog park bully is to leave. If a dog isn’t being handled properly by their owner, the best scenario may be to leave.


No, we don’t mean move out of the city or state, we’re talking about moving around the dog park. If you have more than one dog or there are a group of dogs playing nicely with your own pup, keep their attention on you by walking around or playing with them. This will provide a distraction from a bully.

Make Sure There is Space

A good way to avoid dealing with bullies is by going to a large dog park. In a smaller park, there is not enough space to move away from the bully, which can result in an altercation. In a larger park, you’ll be able to remove your dog from the situation by isolating them.

Don’t Engage with Bully Parents

While dogs can certainly be more energetic and bully-like than others, most of the time it’s the dogs’ owners you need to watch out for. If you notice a dog owner bully, the best thing to do is simply not engage. It may be hard to hold back – especially if they’ll yelling at your dog – but engaging could lead to more serious problems. So, it’s best to just let them be and head home.

Know When Your Dog is the Bully

Some dogs are just not meant for the dog park. No matter how desperately you want your dog to be a dog park lover, it may never happen. So if you do take them and they end up being the bully, apologize and stick to long walks or hikes instead.


Dog parks can be a wonderful experience for both you and your pup. But not every pup loves them. Use these tips to help you deal with dog park bullies – both in human and dog form.

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