How to Choose the Right Shelter Dog

Finding the right shelter dog may take a little time, as there are a number of things you need to consider first. You might find it difficult to gauge a dog’s true personality when it is housed in a shelter, as the noisy and cramped conditions of the place may make it feel anxious and depressed. However, it is possible to find the perfect canine companion in an animal shelter that will fill your life with lots of love and happiness.

Visit more than one shelter

Before making any firm decisions on which dog to adopt, it is important to visit more than one shelter. This will give you a better idea of what dogs are available for adoption and enable you to narrow your choices down to around four dogs. It is best to make notes on each dog and then make more than one visit to the shelters concerned. Remember to keep a few feet away from each dog at first so that you can observe them carefully. Dogs that are sitting quietly and watching what is going on around them and those that are excited to see people will generally be the best options. Try to avoid picking any dogs that are cowering in the back of their kennels or lunging at anyone that goes by, as these dogs could prove to have severe behavioural issues. It is also better to make these initial shelter visits on your own before taking other family members, especially children, along with you. If you take other people with you at first, it may be too overwhelming for the dogs and may make it more difficult for you to make the right decisions.

Take a closer look at your shortlisted dogs

Once you have narrowed your search down to several dogs, it’s time to observe each one in more detail. Firstly, go up to the dogs and see how they behave towards you, then ask if you can go inside the kennel and interact with them. Your next step is to ask if you can take the dogs for a walk and see how they respond to you. If the dogs are friendly, happy to play, and behave well on the leash, then you have made some good choices – it may even end up being tricky to narrow your choice down to just one dog!

Ask important questions

It is also important to ask the people who run the shelters some questions. They may not know all the answers, but it could be helpful if they know at least some of them. Ask if they know why the dog is in the shelter, if it has any known medical problems, and what its temperament is like. The answers to these questions could prove to be helpful, as you may find out that one of the dogs you like only needs rehoming because its previous owner became too ill to look after it and that it is great with children. If a dog has a known medical condition, it could prove too costly to take on board.

Narrow down your choices to one dog

After some thorough research and soul-searching, you should hopefully be able to narrow your search down to one dog. It is then time to make a firm decision on whether you are going to take the dog home with you or not. Try taking the dog out for one more walk, and remember to take other family members along with you at this stage to see how the dog reacts to them. It is important to make sure that you are completely happy with your decision to adopt, as it could be more disruptive for the dog if you end up having to take it back to the shelter a few weeks later.

Arriving home

Once you arrive home with your new canine pal, remember that it is important to begin training straight away. Lots of patience and understanding will be required, as it could take your dog around six to eight weeks to adjust to its new home and show its true personality. Make sure that your dog gets into a routine as soon as possible by providing it with its own area to sleep and rest away from draughts and other members of the household.


You should now have more idea of what to look out for when choosing a shelter dog. It is also important to remember to choose a dog that will suit your lifestyle and the size of your home. Giving a shelter dog a new and loving home will hopefully be the best decision you ever made!

Canine Anxiety and Homeopathic Remedies

As a dog owner, you should consider the dog’s physiological health when observing behaviors. Health and behavior are intertwined, and a dog who is healthy will behave quite differently from a dog who is experiencing pain or illness. Behavior issues such as lethargy, poor focus, or even aggression can be caused by an imbalance in the dog’s health. Often, owners want a quick fix for a behavior issue and think training is the first option. However, determining the root cause of the behavior is the most effective first step, and ensuring the dog’s health and well-being is in order should be the initial consideration.

Just as some humans may struggle in social situations, canines can also feel uncomfortable around other dogs or people. Canine Social Anxiety is a syndrome that affects a dog’s ability to socialize and communicate well with others. While there are several classifications of anxiety, social anxiety occurs in situations where the dog is in contact with other animals or people. This can include dog parks, walks, daycare, or visiting friends and families with pets.

Symptoms of social anxiety can resemble other behavioral issues, so it’s important to consider the dog’s responses, environment, and changes in behavior. Common symptoms may look like attention-seeking, such as barking, whining, and pacing. They may also pant or lick as they attempt to soothe themselves of their worries. Dogs with social anxiety may also look scared, taking a crouch position, tucked tail, and ears back. In some cases, a dog may also show aggression around other dogs as a response to their stress.

Assuming a veterinarian has given a comprehensive medical check and determined the dog is not injured or ill, treating the dog’s social anxiety becomes a vital step in ensuring the dog’s well-being. There are several natural remedies that can support an anxious dog. Trying several options and monitoring the dog’s response are the best ways to determine a personalized treatment plan. One such option is using lavender oils and scents to help create a relaxed atmosphere. Lavender is known for its calming properties, and using a small amount can create a tranquil mood. Skin-safe lavender oil can be massaged into the dog’s skin, or sprays and sachets can be placed around the home to produce the scent.

Another organic option is Bach’s Rescue Remedy. This is a liquid combination of five flower extracts that help produce a calming effect for the dog. It consists of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis. This tincture is often delivered as a few drops on the tongue or mixed into water. Dosage does not depend on the dog’s weight but rather, the dog’s stress level. Starting with a small dose and observing the effects will help determine the correct amount.

A more recent option for treating anxiety in pets is CBD oil. CBD is a cannabinoid compound found in hemp. While some people misunderstand this oil as a drug that will make the dog high, there is no THC in this oil. CBD can safely help anxious dogs return to a healthier state of mind. CBD oil dosage is based on dog weight, and is about 1-5mg per 10 pounds. While it’s hard to overdose to a toxic level, dosing too high may cause lethargy and an upset stomach.

Any combination of treatments can be used to encourage calmer, more social dog behaviors. They should be considered support rather than a cure-all. Healthy socialization and desensitization training should also be done to help the dog overcome its anxiety. All of these options should first be discussed and approved by the dog’s veterinarian. They will have background information, as well as a strong understanding of your particular dog’s health needs. These natural treatments can provide some levels of relief, but should also be done in conjunction with regular health visits to a certified vet.

The Importance of Dog Training

Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are there for you day in and day out. Owners should be the same way! A great way to do that is to train your dog. Training your pup is no small feat, but it can be done. To help you get started, here are some examples of an end goal, the important reasons why your dog should be trained, and some tips on how to get started. Keep in mind that all dogs and owners are different, and that these are just some general suggestions.

What Does a Well Trained Dog Look Like?
To be honest, dog training will look different for everyone. Each dog is different, and each human has different wants and needs for their relationship. Dog training is not a one size fits all. However, here are some general ideas for a what a well trained dog looks like.

1. Good Listener
A dog who listens to commands from their human is a well trained dog. By coming when called, leaving the object they were told to leave, or staying when told to stay, that dog is a safer and happier dog with a happy human.

2. Gentle On Their Leash
Loose leash walking is a great way for a dog to get proper exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog is pulling you down the road, neither of you are really having a good time. By walking loosely there is no pulling or straining, but rather time (and patience!) to stop and smell the fire hydrants.

3. Calm With Guests
A family friend comes over for a visit. As they walk in your house they are barked at, backed into the wall by an overly obnoxious sniffing nose, and even jumped on! A well trained dog will listen to commands and be kind when new guests arrive. This makes for a pleasant experience all around.

Why Should You Train Your Dog?
Training your dog has many benefits, and is truly vital for a good human-dog relationship. By not training your dog, you may be doing both you and your dog a disservice.

1. Mental and Physical Stimulation
Dogs are smart, and can be hyper. By training your dog, you can provide your dog with mental stimulation. This prevents destructive boredom habits, such as chewing. It also provides for positive physical stimulation. Being able to have your dog run through the house when called, or walk calmly on a leash makes for great physical exercise!

2. Training Creates a Strong Bond
If you dedicate 10-20 minutes every day, solely to your pup, you are bond to grow closer. Positive training sessions allow for you and your dog to learn how to listen to one another, and how to respect one another.

3. A Safer Time
A dog who isn’t trained, will not come when called. A dog who isn’t trained could break away from you on a walk. A dog who isn’t trained, isn’t as safe as a dog who is. By training your dog, you can be confident your dog will walk with you, and come back if called.

What Are Some Tips For Training?
Training is not one size fits all, but here are some basic tips to hopefully inspire and push you in the right direction. Find what works for you and your pup. Don’t be afraid to not use some things, or add more.

1. Socialization!
This should be done as early as possible. Introducing a dog to the world can be frightening at first. New smells, sights, and sounds can all come at once. By socializing early your dog will get used to exploring new places, meeting new dogs, and meeting new people.

2. Take Breaks
Dogs have an attention span just like us! They will get bored, they will have bad days. It is no reason to give up. Maybe today is not a day for repetitive sits, but rather a game of hide and seek to practice recall. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and make sure to have patience.

3. Proofing and Proper Toys
Make sure to provide your dog with proper toys. The best-trained dog still needs to chew. By putting objects out of reach, and providing proper toys, your dog is bound to be well behaved! This will save you time, money, and frustration.

4. Seek Professional Trainers
There’s nothing better than learning from a professional. Do some research and see if there are any local trainers. Meet up with them, talk with them, and see if they’re the right fit for you and your pup. You may have to meet with multiple trainers to find the right one, and that’s perfectly okay. Taking the time to find the right trainer is better than working with the wrong one for you.

5. Have Fun
Owning a dog is a special thing. It’s not meant to be homework, though caring for a dog is a challenge! Your dog is your best friend, companion, and someone who loves you unconditionally. Make sure to have patience, but also to have fun. Training your dog can be an awesome experience, one that you can learn so much from.

How to Prepare Your Dog for the Winter Months

The Dog Blog – How to Prepare Your Dog for the Winter Months

The winter months seem to come around all too quickly, so it is important to make sure that your dog is well prepared for the change in temperature. You will need to consider things like a dog coat, dog boots, a warm winter bed, and some extra cozy blankets for your pet. It is worth remembering that some dogs will be able to withstand the cold weather better than others, so you should find out as much information as you can about your dog’s individual requirements beforehand.

Invest in a dog coat and boots

Unless you have a cold-tolerant dog breed, like a husky or Newfoundland, you should consider investing in a dog coat and boots for your pet. When you begin looking at winter dog clothes, you will find yourself spoilt for choice with so many colors and designs to choose from. It is important to make sure that any coat you purchase for your dog fits well and doesn’t restrict their movements in any way. It is, therefore, best to measure your dog before you start looking at protective clothing and, if possible, try the items on your pet before you buy them.

It may take your pet a little while to get used to wearing a coat and boots, but plenty of patience and understanding should eventually pay off. If your dog really dislikes wearing boots, you could try using paw wax instead to protect their paws.

Brush your dog well after walks

It is important to brush your dog regularly during the cold weather, especially after walks, to remove any dirt from the coat and prevent it from getting badly matted. Ungroomed coats can also harbor unwanted pests such as fleas, and lack the insulation required during the cold weather.

Look after the ears and paws

Always dry your dog off well after a walk, paying particular attention to the ears and paws. Keeping the fur short between your pet’s toes can help to prevent sore, cracked pads and ice balls from forming, and trimming the hair inside their ears will help to prevent ear infections.

When walking your dog in cold conditions, especially if you live in a city, try to avoid walking on too much rough terrain. You should also be aware that there may be salt, grit, and pools of antifreeze underfoot, and these can all irritate your pet’s paws.

Limit your dog’s time outdoors

If the temperature plummets, it is important to limit your dog’s time outdoors to avoid the possibility of frostbite or hypothermia. Cold air can also have an adverse effect on a dog’s muscles and joints, so it is necessary to make sure that outdoor kennels or any other outdoor dog accommodation is well insulated.

Keep your pet hydrated

You should always remember to keep your pet well hydrated, even during cold weather conditions, as daily exercise, outdoor clothing, and an extra warm dog bed with additional blankets can have an impact on your pet’s hydration levels. Remember also to use plastic water bowls outdoors for your dog during cold weather, as metal bowls can freeze.

Provide a warm and cozy bed

All dogs should have a bed of their own that they can snuggle down in whenever they need a nap. Your home may be warm inside when the heating is on in the winter, but the temperature will drop quite quickly once it is turned off. It is therefore important to provide your pet with a bed that is insulated enough to keep it warm during the colder parts of the day. You may need to purchase a winter dog bed for your dog, or you could simply invest in some extra blankets. You could even consider buying a heated dog bed or a heating pad to place inside the bed.

Keep an eye on the calories

During the cold weather, your dog will burn up more calories than normal and will probably demand more food. Don’t be afraid to provide a few extra treats to keep your pet’s energy levels up. However, remember not to let your pet overindulge, and ensure that any extra food you provide is healthy.

Stay safe

When the winter arrives, the nights and early mornings start to get darker. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that both you and your dog are visible in the dark. It is a good idea to avoid wearing dark clothing on walks and to invest in some reflective gear for you and your dog. You should also avoid slippery paths as much as possible and stay away from frozen ponds and lakes.


Remember to keep old dogs with health issues and small puppies indoors if the outside temperature dips to extreme levels. Make sure that you have stocked up your cupboards with plenty of dog food and any required medications before the winter sets in. Keeping your canine friend warm and safe during the colder months of the year will ensure that they stay fit and well.

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