Month

April 2016

10 things to know before you get a puppy

1. Hard work. Puppies are like newborn babies. They need to be walked in the middle of the night, comforted when they are scared and crying, and plenty of interactions to help them grow up into well-balanced, happy pets.  Consider the amount of time this entails.  If your life is running from one activity to the next, maybe it is better to hold off until things slow down.

2. Cost.  Owning a pet, especially a puppy is expensive. Consider the fact that most dogs will live between 10-20 years.  They require multiple visits to a vet, monthly medicines (such as flea & tick preventatives), vaccines, licenses (in some states), food, accessories, grooming and vitamins. Typically, cost of ownership in the first year will be the highest.  Ranging somewhere between $1000 and $3000.  Total costs over your dog’s lifetime will range between $10,000 and $20,000.  If you don’t have it in the budget, time to hold off.

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Are you a Bumper Sticker person?

I must admit, I’m not really the bumper sticker kind of person.  My car is boring and nondescript.  Hard to find in parking lots, if you know what I mean!  But I was driving the other day and saw a bumper sticker on a Mini Cooper that said ‘My Dog Is A Republican’ and well, it made me chuckle.

A few miles down the road, I saw ‘My Dog is Smarter than Your Honor Role Student.’ Glancing to the right was the ‘My Kid is an Honor Role Student’ – driving side by side. I really started to laugh and got to thinking that there is this whole underground bumper sticker battle going on right under my nose!  Thousands of people boldly declaring to the world their thoughts and views in 4-8 words:

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How do I know if my dog has allergies?

How do I know if my dog has allergies?

Sneezing, watery eyes, nose dripping and itchy skin.  Yup, sounds like allergies.  Just like humans, dogs can have allergies too.  Also, like the 2-legged mammal, allergies can show up at any stage of your pet’s life even if they did not exhibit signs of an allergic reaction before.  But how do you know for certain it is allergies and not something more serious?  It’s not like your best bud can say, “The ragweed is really bad this year!  I can barely stand it.”

Rule of Thumb – Two Main Types of Allergies

1) Food
2) Outdoor Allergens.

What’s the Difference?

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Fleas, Ticks, and Bugs…OH MY! PART 2

Ticks.  Just the word alone makes me think of old B-Rated horror films that portray these nasty blood suckers.  And with good reason.  Just the thought of something as disgusting as a bug, resembling a spider, attached to your skin, sucking your blood like a vampire can give even the bravest of people the heebie-jeebies.

Tick
Tick – Close up

Ticks, like fleas (Covered in Part 1), are resilient and crafty.  They live in the deep woods, suburbia and urban neighborhoods.  Besides being miniature Dracula’s, ticks can carry very serious and debilitating diseases – the most common is Lyme’s Disease.   A fantastic resource regarding ticks and how they affect your pooch is on the amazing website Dogs and Ticks

If you don’t have the time or the subject makes you all-together queasy, I’ll cover the basics and avoid the gore!

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