Our springer/cocker mix, Mary, died in the spring due to cancer. Our household is emptier without her. Her happy personality, enjoyment of people and the outdoors, her comforting presence is greatly missed. We needed time to grieve. Now, we feel ready to add another dog to our family.
How does a person know when the time is right to adopt a pet?
That all depends on the person. I’ve known individuals and families who have lost furry friends and never adopt another. I’ve also known people who missed their animal so much, they took hardly any time to bring home another pet. Only you know for sure when the time is right.
Whether you’re considering adding another dog or cat to your household as we are or if you’re looking for a pet for the very first time, you should do some preparation, not only mentally but physically. For example, make sure your house is ready to welcome a furry friend. If you’re looking to get a cat, make sure you have a litterbox and cat litter, some catnip mice and other toys, and a climbing/scratching post as well as food, water, and dishes. Therefore, when you bring Kitty home, she’ll have all the basic things she needs right away.
The same goes for a dog. Do you have toys, food, pans for the food and water, a dog bed, collar and leash? Do you have a yard and plans for exercising your pup? Are you mentally prepared for the responsibility of caring for a dog?
September is considered Dog Ownership Responsibility Month, a time to remember that pet owners are responsible for the life and care of their animal. Ownership responsibility is EVERY DAY of EVERY MONTH. Therefore, the very first thing you need to recognize before adopting a pet is to accept that responsibility for the animal’s life. blDo you have time to properly care for a pet? Are you willing to spend time, not just feeding and watering your dog or cat (or whatever type of pet you have), but engaging with the animal, exercising, exploring, playing, even sitting on the couch and watching TV. Know the activity level of the pet you’re considering; if it’s a herding or hunting breed, like a border collie or springer spaniel, that dog will need lots of exercise and engagement. If you’re considering adopting a cat, you don’t have to walk it or go to the dog park, but you should still plan playtime, especially for a kitten or young adult.
If you have other pets in the house and are looking to add another, as we are, make sure the animal can accept coming into a household with other animals. And, have a plan of introducing, say your new dog to the cats in your household. Our home includes two elderly cats and a middle-aged shih tzu. We have experience introducing a new dog into the household; we adopted Mary in 2013 and had the cats then as well as an aging cocker spaniel. Mary’s laid-back personality and the fact we brought the elderly cocker with us to meet her helped make the transition easy, even with the cats. When we adopted Jeremiah, the shih tzu, he and Mary spent time in the car and in a hotel room together, helping to seal their bond immediately. We introduced Jeremiah to the cats slowly, intentionally, and within a few short months, the household was peaceful, although anxiety reigned for the first few months. That’s to be expected as everyone gets used to each other.
There’s a lot to think about when considering bringing a pet home, whether it’s your first adoption or your tenth. There are many resources, including pet adoption checklists, that you can review and may find helpful; find a few below:
When should you adopt a pet? Whenever you are ready!
It's a new month and a new season is on the horizon. With the dawning of September and autumn just around the corner, I thought I'd create a quick, yet helpful and fun post about pet blogs.
In addition to my little corner of the dog and cat writing world, there's a plethora of other pet bloggers out there who want to help dog and cat owners (and guardians of other creatures as well, such as parrots, ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, lizards, and other creatures) as well as provide some laughter to our world. Pet Life Today recently created a list of noted pet blogs, which you can find here: https://petlifetoday.com/best-pet-blogs/.
Over the years, I've guest-posted for some pet blogs; you'll find a short list of those sites below:
Front Seat Ryder: https://frontseatryder.com/
A Heart for Shelter Dogs: http://www.aheartforshelterdogs.com/sample-page/
Lincoln Pet Culture: https://lincolnpetculture.wordpress.com/
Black Dog Animal Rescue: http://www.bdar.org/news
And a few years ago, I was interviewed for Coffee with a Canine:
There are many wonderful resources on the web for pet lovers, including great blogs such as those noted above. There are hundreds, if not thousands, more. Take some time to see what other pet lovers have to say, the recommendations they give, and the wonderful animals they love and help. Even some veterinarian clinics post blogs as do many rescue organizations, such as Black Dog Animal Rescue in Cheyenne and Best Friends Animal Society in Utah (https://bestfriends.org/blogs)
As I look to release my novel next month, I'll be guest-posting, as well as be interviewed, at different blogs, and I will announce these as they come along on my website.
Meantime, enjoy the content I and other pet lovers provide to help and to entertain you.
Books are an important avenue for learning and relaxing. Now and then, I’m going to blog about a book that has impacted me in some way and features animals as characters or are the principle focus of the book. Since yesterday was National Dog Day, I’m starting off with an entertaining contemporary romance called “A New Leash on Love."
Combining romance and animal rescue is something a person who enjoys reading doesn’t come across often, and since I’m stepping into that genre with the release of my first novel, I was intrigued to come across “A New Leash on Love.”
The book is written by Eliza Boyd, who has created and published several clean, contemporary romance books. “A New Leash on Love” is the first installment of her Animal Sanctuary Romance series. The story takes place in True Love, Arizona, where we meet Hannah Lockhart, who has come to the small town to help her cousin establish an animal sanctuary. Hannah promises to stay a few weeks and though she loves animals, she can’t wait to return to her big city life. Enter Luke Steiner, a man once burned by love so badly he lost his business. Now re-established in True Love, he tells himself, “Never again.” His eatery and his dog are his focus - until he volunteers at the animal sanctuary and works alongside Hannah. The undercurrent of the story is a wrong number text message.
The author writes a fun, oftentimes humorous, clean romance story with serious undertones of the determination - and need - for animal rescue. I enjoyed the tension and flirtation between Hannah and Luke, especially since the two characters don’t realize they are texting each other after a mix-up in a phone number given to Hannah by a member of the community. The two primary characters, when they meet in person, get off to a rocky start due to Luke’s concern for his dog’s health (which Hannah doesn’t know about at the time). Luke’s inner turmoil about his dog, Ralph, speaks volumes to me as a pet lover and pet parent; those of us who live with animals know the twisting of our hearts when our dogs, cats, and other critters are ill and we’re seeking answers to the issues. Reading this aspect of Luke’s life helps make him a likeable character, even with his other flaws (after all, no person is perfect).
That’s the other aspect of this book that I like: the characters are relatable. Hannah is in search of herself, even if she doesn’t realize that; many of us have been at that point in our lives once or twice. Her cousin wants to rescue animals and provide a sanctuary for them - who wouldn’t love a person with such compassion and kindness? And the people of True Love are caring and helpful to their neighbors - our “real world” needs more people like that. And, of course, as Luke and Hannah come to realize the text message brought them together and subsequent texts helped them to really get to know one another, the “real” Hannah and Luke, there’s a Happily Ever After, which we who read romance always want to see take place.
Boyd’s writing style is witty and entertaining. The story flows and the characters are enjoyable, including the animals she introduces us to, such as a group of goats that come to the sanctuary. Luke’s dog, Ralph, develops a friendship with a cow that is sweet and fun to read, weaving a subtle reminder that we don’t all have to be the same to enjoy each other’s company.
“A New Leash on Love” released earlier this summer. If you’re looking for a fun, clean romantic read with undertones on the importance of animal rescue and the joy of animal companionship, I encourage you to get a copy of this book. Or, if you’re simply looking for a fun read with some flirty yet clean romance and delightful animals as secondary characters, this could be the book for you. “A New Leash on Love” is available in print or via Kindle through Amazon.
Her next creation in this new field of pet rescue romance is “No Kidding in Love,” a story which again takes place in True Love, Arizona (Boyd has another series about this fictional community). “No Kidding…” is a brand-new release, available August 29 - I pre-ordered the book, and I look forward to reading the story. With a goat on the cover, I can tell this will be another fun read!
What book(s) have you read recently that’s animal-related? Why would you recommend it/them? Watch for more book reviews on my blog later in the year.
Monday, August 26, 2019 is National Dog Day in the United States. This special day celebrates all things dog, the various breeds, the family pet, and the dogs that work and save lives. Founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, this special day is a way to educate people on the importance of dogs in our lives and the on the joy of dog
There are many ways to celebrate National Dog Day. How about going to the local pet supply store and buying a new toy or two? Maybe buy your pup a new sweater or blanket to keep him/her warm during the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Take your dog to the nearest dog park for a run off-leash. Take a walk in a new area of town or even on a day trip in the car. Share photos of your dog on social media. Can you add another furry friend to your family? Adopt a dog! You can also volunteer at your local rescue or animal shelter.
National Dog Day also promotes the joy of sharing life with a dog, and therefore, promotes dog adoption. Several national organizations partner with Ms. Paige and National Dog Day, including Best Friends Animal Society in Utah and the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
Take time during these next several days to celebrate dogs, including your own. Spend extra time with your pup and shower him/her with great affection, including the gift of your time. Take time to encourage
and educate others about the joy of sharing life with a dog and encourage adoption. Dogs do so much for us; they are loyal and loving. Let’s return that devotion and love not only during National Dog Day, but each and
If you’re more of a cat person, don’t worry - National Cat Day comes on October 29, 2019!
I’m always excited to welcome guest bloggers to my site who have relevant, interesting content to share. This week, I’m pleased to host Zachary Painter from SiegeMedia as he shares how people can earn extra money or even become small business owners working with animals. Whether you are a student preparing for college or university or a mom whose kids are getting ready to go back to school, a part-time (even full-time) pet business may be just for you! I appreciate Zachary introducing us to the business side of pets!
Guest Post By Zachary Painter
Content Marketing Specialist
If you have a burning passion for animals, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to make some extra money, then you should seriously consider starting
your very own pet side hustle!
Currently, 68% of American households own a pet, so there’s no shortage of needs out there for pet enthusiasts and experts. From dog walking to pet blogging, there are jobs for every type of professional.
So, what exactly do you need to do to get started? Well, there’s a few things. We’ve listed them in no particular order below:
Other factors worth considering are startup costs, competition, and need in your area. To make the process a little easier, Wikibuy has created an infographic that discusses 12 pet side businesses, what you need to get started, and more. Check out the information below or click this link to view the infographic: https://wikibuy.com/blog/pet-businesses-2d172dc10ba9
So, if you love animals and want to make some extra money, consider establishing a pet business, not only to spend time with pets, but to serve people who have pets. Let us know if you’ve operated a pet business in the past or hope to in the future and what type of business that was/is. Leave us a comment!
With summer in full swing and temperatures at record-setting levels in many areas, cooling off with a dip in the pool or an outing to a lake or an ocean can be what many people, and their dogs, want to do. In addition to boating, fishing, and surfing, there are many water activities a person can enjoy with their dog. Below are five ideas:
There are many other water-related activities you and your dog can enjoy together, such as fishing, boating, surfing, and strolling along the beach or riverbank. No matter what you and your pup do to cool off around water this summer, one thing to keep in mind is the harmful, potentially fatal, blue green
algae. Hot weather produces toxins in the algae and causes major “blooms;"
skin irritation occurs on both people and pets, and dogs that lick the algae can get the toxins into their bodies and cause major illness, even death. Therefore, BEWARE!
Mosquitoes, ticks, and sunburn are also things for which to watch when spending time on the water.
Even with such hazards, you and your pup can enjoy water activities together. Be safe, be cautious, and have fun on the water during these last weeks of the summer season!
Summer often means travel. Earlier this summer I took a trip to my home state of Iowa, with treks through other states in the Midwest as well; my Shih Tzu, Jeremiah, made the road trip with me. He's an exceptional little traveler. However, not all pets are. I'm pleased to host Sarah Archer this week with thoughts on helping your pet feel comfortable in the car, and a link to a guidebook for more ideas.
Guest Post by Sarah Archer
Ah, the open road with just you and your dog. Seems like a dream. But if you are a pet owner with a dog that doesn’t much like the car, it can be a difficult ride. While some dogs love to stick their heads out of car windows, others can get skittish, whine incessantly or be violently ill.
If your dog has trouble getting used to the car there are a few things you can do to try to make it easier for them.
Keeping your dog comfortable in your car makes pet ownership so much easier. So does helping your pet feel more comfortable at home. There are simple things you can do to make sure that your life with a dog is blissful and everything you ever dreamed. See the guide to helping your new dog feel comfortable at home from Your Best Digs and find more ideas on how to keep you and your dog comfortable together both at home and in the car.
About Sarah Archer:
Sarah is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.
With summer fully underway and hot temperatures throughout the United States, one thing many people like to do is cool off in the water. That may mean a swimming pool, or it may mean a lake, pond, or river. If you want to spend time in the natural setting, beware of harmful blue-green algae – this slimy material can make both people and pets very ill, and can even kill our beloved animals.
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), “Blue-green algae blooms can occur anytime during the summer, though they are normally associated with warm weather and low rainfall.” Although algae are naturally part of an ecosystem, “under certain conditions, algae populations can ‘bloom’ with dramatic growth.” And though most are not toxic, “there is no way to visually identify whether a particular bloom contains toxins that are harmful to people or animals.”
Such blooms occur when waterways have excessive nutrient levels, such as phosphorus. When going to a lake, reservoir, or other waterway and you notice high levels of algae, avoid going into the water and keep you pet away as well. According to the MPCA, “If your dog does go into water with heavy algae growth, hose it off right away, before it has a chance to lick itself clean. Animals become ill when they ingest the toxins, so preventing them from drinking affected water or licking toxins from their coat is key to preventing illness.”
The most common signs of poisoning from blue-green algae include:
Without treatment, your dog could go into shock and a coma – and can die. If you believe your dog has ingested toxic algae, take your furry friend to the veterinarian immediately.
Enjoy the water and the outdoors this summer with your furry companion but beware of this potentially lethal aspect of nature. Find an informational guide here:
Learn more about blue-green algae and its affects on humans and animals here:
Earlier this summer I traveled more than 3,300 miles in the car with my shih tzu, Jeremiah. We packed a lot of activity into a 10-day excursion, including visiting people I’d not seen in four decades. Despite his start at a puppy mill, Jeremiah is an exceptional traveler! We’ve never put on as many miles on a companion vacation like this, so I wasn’t sure how he would handle the trip. Some dogs don’t do long-distance very well; others love the discovery and newness of such adventures – Jeremiah falls into that category, and I’m grateful.
During our vacation, we visited gravesites of ancestors I never knew as well as those of friends departed much too soon. We met with people I’d not seen since I left my home state of Iowa 41 years ago and those I’ve visited within the past decade. We drove past old homesites, visited camping and picnicking areas I experienced as a child, and met up with people I worked with more than 20 years ago. We spent time at national wildlife refuges and state parks, encountering various wildlife species, and visited historical sites that I’ve wanted to see for years but never had opportunity. All the while, my little four-footed companion either slept soundly in the back seat of the car or spent some time near me in the passenger seat. We stopped for lunches, potty breaks, and walks. Jeremiah was a hit with people wherever he went, helping us to socialize with other travelers as well as with the friends from my past. Even one motel manager struck up several conversations as Jeremiah and I walked in and out of the building.
Pets Help Us Meet New People
Pets bring out the best in many people. They help us connect with one another. Who can resist the cute faces, the sloppy smiles, and the wagging tails or soft purring of such creatures? Whether you travel with a dog or a cat (I encountered one couple doing just that!), animals draw humans to one another – it’s one of their special gifts.
This summer, whether you do a long vacation or a short staycation, consider taking your dog or cat with you. Our animals miss us when we leave them and many, as related above, enjoy the adventure of travel. If your pet is one of those, highly consider taking him/her along. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but you might just make new human connections. And certainly, your adoring pet will enjoy spending that adventurous time with you!
Plan Your Pet-Friendly Vacation
Here are a few things to plan regarding pet travel in the car:
Jeremiah and I had a great time on our summer vacation, and I look forward to many more travels with my buddy!
Read another traveler’s thoughts on vacationing with her pet here:
For more travel tips for vacationing with your pet, visit these websites:
Guest Post by Brittany Wolf
I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger this week! With the hotter weather, dirt, bugs, and such that summer brings, bathing our pets (especially dogs) may be of greater necessity. Brittany Wolf gives us advice regarding this activity, an adventure some dogs just don’t like. I hope you enjoy her post this week!
If your four-legged kid hates to take a bath, it’s likely you don’t enjoy bathing him or her either. We understand how hard it is to convince your dog to take a bath, but it is possible! Yes, you read right. There are several ways which will make dog bathing time wonderful and enticing for both of you.
The irony is, your dog will love playing in the water while splashing all around the home, but when it comes to scrubbing and adding soap, he will find every nook and cranny in which to hide. Here are some tips that will help your dog enjoy his bathing time with little fear or discomfort.
It is important for your dog to enjoy the bathing process. The ideas given can be effective to let your dog get comfortable with the sound of running water. Plus, when you take him to the bathtub, start with small steps. First, get just his feet wet, and then his legs. This will help alleviate any sudden panic attack. It is really okay if you aren’t completely successful the first time because the goal is to make your pooch comfortable with bathing and continue building upon success each time.
Brittany Wolf is a content writer & blogger at Red Dash Media. Apart from blogging frequently at work, she enjoys reading and writing poems in the comfortable space of her home. She also likes trekking with friends when in the mood to explore nature and then post pictures from her adventures on Instagram.
For additional help regarding dogs and bathing, check out these helpful sites:
Veterinarian and pet writer Dr. Marty Becker provides additional hints to successful bath time here:
Find a YouTube video from PetCo about bathing a dog here: