Category: “Adoption”

The Importance of Pet ID Tags

tagsDid you know that nearly one out of every three pets will get lost at some point during their lifetime? Without proper identification, 90% of lost pets never return home.

No one really expects their pet to get lost–even when you take the best of precautions. Accidents can happen–gardeners leave gates open, natural disasters separate pets from their owners, and some resourceful pets will often find a way out of even the most secure yard.

All pet owners are encouraged to ensure that their pets have proper identification at all times. Providing your pet with proper identification is the most important precaution you can take to dramatically maximize your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. Recommended forms of identification are: an ID tag a license from your local animal control or municipality a microchip.

We all know that an ID tag is a small metallic or plastic tag affixed to your pet’s collar that can be personalized with your contact information. A basic pet ID tag should contain a pet’s name and contact phone number. It’s also equally important that the information on the ID tag remains up-to-date. After all, how can you expect to be reunited with your pet if you haven’t kept your information on the tag current? Pet ID tags are available at most pet supply stores and can also be purchased through a number of online vendors.

One should also consider the durability and readability of the pet ID tag. A readable tag is critical for a lost pet. Consider getting an engraved tag as it is often easier to read and will last longer than ink-printed tags. Also, a pet may be able to chew through a plastic tag and render it unreadable.

A pet license is proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies and is registered with the jurisdiction where you reside. Pet licenses are similar to ID tags; they are generally small metallic or plastic tags that should be affixed to your pet’s collar at all times. Licensing a pet is another safeguard against having a lost pet stay lost. There are many times that only the license tag remains on a collar; and, if the license is current, the owner’s name and phone number can be obtained.

Lastly, a microchip is a device implanted beneath an animal’s skin which contains a unique series of numbers and letters that would be used to identify the lost animal. These same numbers and letters are also printed on a microchip tag that should also go on your pet’s collar. The microchip tag alerts someone that your pet is microchipped and contact information may be available. Even if a pet isn’t wearing a mircochip, a lost pet may be brought to a vet’s office or an animal shelter and that animal will be “scanned” to see if it has a microchip. If an owner’s current contact information is registered with the microchip company, the owner can be contacted regarding the lost dog. If an owner doesn’t keep the information current, there the possibility that no contact could be made and the dog remains lost.

It is important that all pets have both permanent and visible forms of ID. Lost pets often lose their collar and ID tag/license and can only be identified by their microchip. Conversely, since microchips are embedded under the skin, ID tags and licenses serve as physical proof of ownership that alerts someone who has found your pet that he or she has an owner. Multiple forms of ID drastically increases the likelihood that you will be reunited with your lost pet.

It is vital that each pet owner takes the time to put some form of ID on their pet and checks often to make sure the ID remains on the collar. It takes such a short time to ID your pet–can you think of any excuse for you not taking the time to do so? So many animals are put to sleep each year because the pet owner didn’t take the time to place an ID tag on them. Imagine the pain and suffering that can be avoided by doing this one small task that makes the difference between losing your pet forever or you and your pet remaining together for life!

Remember: Proper and current identification is your lost pet’s path home to you!


How Should I Choose a Vet?

vetMost people like to choose a vet or pet clinic close to their home. Not only is this more convenient, but it’s also important to have a vet or animal hospital nearby should your pet experience a medical emergency. Most cats don’t like to be confined for a car ride so a shorter trip to the vet is less stressful for your feline friends.

If you’re choosing a vet for the first time, a personal recommendation is probably the best way to get started. Ask your pet-owning friends, relatives, and neighbors if they can recommend a local vet that they’ve used or heard good things about. If you don’t know anyone in the area, a groomer, dog trainer, or animal shelter professional should be able to give you some tips. If you contact a veterinary school, they’ll also be able to provide you with a list of vets in your area.

Veterinary care should be a routine part of your dog or cat’s life. It’s always best to see a vet for a routine examination or vaccines first–if you have a future, serious pet illness or emergency, you’ll know that you have a medical professional with whom you feel comfortable. Finding a vet who relates well to the human owner is just as important as finding one who works well with your pet. During a medical event, the pet owner is often just as nervous and upset (if not more) than the dog or cat.

If you can’t afford a veterinary clinic, there are sometimes more economical options through a local pet shelter or animal rescue group. With costs for pet medical care increasing, there are many different types of pet insurance available now too.

Veterinary medicine is a highly-specialized field. Veterinarians have to complete the same number of years in medical school as human physicians and the competition to get into a top veterinary college is extremely intense in North America. Top vet schools in the U.S. include the University of California at Davis and Cornell. Some veterinarians are board certified in particular areas of medicine, such as cardiology or ophthalmology. They have studied an additional two to four years to get this specialized degree.

Veterinary offices may be small, single-doctor operations or very large animal clinics. Services will vary according to size. Many of the larger operations offer boarding facilities as well as pet grooming in addition to medical care.

What are some details I should look for when choosing a vet?

•Is the facility clean and comfortable?

•Are the technicians and front office and other clinic employees friendly and professional?

•How many veterinarians are available at the clinic?

•Are you able to choose one as your permanent vet so that you can see the same individual each time you come in?

•You should be able to see the degrees and credentials of your veterinarian posted on the walls of the clinic.

•Are tests such as blood work, X-Rays, and ultrasound done on the premises or sent out to other clinics?

•Are services such as grooming, nail clipping, and dental cleaning available?

•Ask to visit the kennel area. If your pet has to spend the night, you want to make sure the cages are clean and odor free. Cat cages are usually separated from dogs to minimize stress for the animals.

•Most veterinarians and animal clinics are open during regular office hours Monday through Saturday. Some

•larger clinics are open on Sundays too, but most are not available after hours. It is very important to ask your vet

•for the name, location, and telephone number of the nearest 24-hour animal emergency clinic. If a medical

•emergency occurs in the middle of the night, you will not want to waste valuable time hunting for an open clinic.

It’s also very important that you have your regular vet’s number as well as the emergency after-hours number listed in a prominent spot (such as the refrigerator door) for easy location–especially if someone other than the pet owner needs it quickly. It’s also a good idea to have your vet’s number programmed into your phone so one doesn’t have to first start looking for the number in case of an emergency.

If anyone is wondering which veterinary service the Pet Rescue Center would recommend, we recommend “Desert Dunes Animal Hospital” located on Washington and Ave. of the States in Palm Desert. Their phone number is 760-345-8227. All of our animals are taken care of there and a number of our volunteers’ animals are taken care of there too. We’ve been using Desert Dunes Animal Hospital for many years.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

pet_66_3Individuals with pet allergies are not actually allergic to cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, or horse hair but to the dander that each animal sheds.  Dander in furry animals is similar to dandruff in humans and even animals that do not shed fur shed dander into the environment.

Most allergy specialists will recommend that individuals with pet allergies do not bring furry, dander-producing pets into their home.  This is well-intended and sound advice as allergy sufferers would likely be more physically comfortable not sharing their home with a furry pet.  For allergy sufferers with mild to moderate reactions, the emotional benefits of having a pet trump the physical discomfort or a runny nose, sneezing, or itchy eyes.  Individuals with severe allergic reaction should heed their allergist’s warning and avoid adopting a furry pet.

Also remember that there is no breed of dog that is completely hypo-allergenic so beware of breeders who try to sell dogs with that trait.  There are, however, certain breeds of small dogs that produce less dander and this can help alleviate the allergy symptoms.  Another helpful tactic is to get a breed that does not bark much, thus reducing the amount of saliva you’ll encounter.

Small Dog Breeds Good For Allergy Sufferers

Poodles and Poodle-Mixes:  Toy and Miniature Poodles share the same gene as their large cousin which keeps them from shedding.  Though the shedding is not directly related to most allergies, it can cause a secondary allergic reaction.  They also produce less dander than other dogs.  Some small Poodle mixes are the Affenpoo (Affenpinscher/Poodle), Bich-Poo (Bichon Frise/Poodle), Bossi-Poo (Boston Terrier/Poodle), and the Pugapoo (Pug/Poodle).

Terriers:  Many terriers are good choices for a person with dog allergies.  Because their coat is so dense and wiry, there is little shedding (which causes the secondary allergies) and they have a lower amount of dander.  These include the Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, and West Highland White Terrier.

Lapdogs:  Some of the small lapdogs are considered better for allergy sufferers, though many are great barkers which means more saliva is let loose into the air.  The Bichon Frise does not shed and produces slightly less dander.  This is true also for the Maltese and Havanese.

Toy Dogs:  The less there is of your pup, the less dander there will be.  Dogs such as the Yorkie, Chihuahua, and Pomeranian produce a similar amount of dander per pound to other dogs and their tiny size means there will be far less dander in the house.

Seven Ways to Reduce the Allergens

1. Groom Often–by grooming your small dog every day, you can greatly reduce the allergen. Bathing them weekly is especially helpful as it removes the dander.

2. Keep the Bedroom Off-Limits–it may be tough to learn to sleep without your pooch,   but keeping the bedroom off-limits to him will create a allergen-free zone for you.

3. Use a HEPA Filter–invest in a HEPA air cleaner.  It will catch much of the dander.

4. Vacuum–vacuuming regularly will get the dander which has settled in the rugs and couch.

5. Wash Your Hands–make it a habit to wash your hands after every petting session with your pooch.

6. Give Your Dog Omega 3s–by including fish oil in your pup’s diet, you will ensure that his coat is healthy and it will reduce dander.

7. Consider Medication–this is for you, not your pooch.  There are many allergy medicines on the market which will help relieve any symptoms.  Your best bet is to see your doctor who can recommend the best one for pet allergies.

Often, a person will be allergic to one breed and not another regardless of its known dander production.  Spending time with a specific breed before buying or adopting it can help you determine how you will react to it.  And don’t rush out to buy a Chinese Crested as hairless dogs can cause even more allergic reactions because their dander has no fur catching it before it goes into the air. With some preparation and by following a few, simple rules, you can have your small dog and pet it, too!

Finding the Right Dog to Adopt

Finding the Right Dog to Adopt

Adopting a dog is a decision that should be made with care and deliberation. A dog is not a toy or a clothing accessory; it’s a living creature. The decision to adopt a dog should be treated with the same careful attention that you would use if you were deciding where to live, to have children, or whether or not to get married.

Too often, people adopt a dog because it is “cute” or “fashionable” rather than based on the merits of its behavior and energy levels. In these situations, the dog may be returned to the dog rescues, shelter, kennel, or breeder, and each return is a black mark on that dog’s record. It suggests that the dog is un-adoptable, and the more often a dog is returned, the more likely it is to eventually be euthanized.

Evaluate Your Own Energy Level

When selecting a new dog, it is vitally important to take into account how that dog’s energy will harmonize with your own. The most important step is to take some time for self-reflection and to identify what your own energy levels are. Do you wake up early every morning, pound a power bar and a health shake, and go for a run in the mountains? Or do you take life at a more leisurely pace? When energy levels conflict, resulting frustrations on the part of both human and dog can create tensions and issues with dramatic repercussions, so take into account how your energy will affect your decision.

Dog Breeds and Energy

Once you’ve identified your own energy levels, begin your research on dog breeds and their energy levels. Remember, dog breeds don’t necessarily dictate its personality, but some dog breeds are known for having a certain energy or disposition. Once you’ve done your breed research, you can begin your search for a dog with a few ideas in mind. It never hurts to be prepared.

Dogs in Cages

If you decide to begin looking at shelters and dog rescues, keep in mind that a dog in a cage at a shelter will be difficult to appraise in terms of its level of energy. Dogs in cages for any significant length of time can be frustrated and edgy. It may help to have a professional or someone with some expertise assist you in gauging your potential dog’s energy levels.

Questions to Ask

Don’t be afraid to ask the rescue staff about the dog. They aren’t concerned with getting dogs out the door at any cost – most are dedicated to finding good homes for the dogs in their care – so you can be pretty confident that they’ll give you the straight story. Find out what the dog is really like and how he gets along with the staff and the other dogs. How does he act at mealtimes? What is he like when people come by to view the other dogs? The answers to questions like these will give you a better idea of what he will be like with you and your family at home.

Take the Dog for a Walk

The dog walk is an excellent litmus test for a new dog. Find out from the shelter if you can “test drive” the dog that you’re interested in. Take him out for a spin around the block and see how the two of you get along. Not only will you get an early idea of how you work together in a pack-oriented activity, but you’ll get a better understanding of his underlying temperament once you’ve drained away the frustration and pent-up energy he has from being in his cage.

Most importantly, do your best to leave your emotions at the door. You will have plenty of time to bond with your new dog once you’ve brought him home and incorporated him into your family. For his sake and yours, try not to let the environment of the shelter and the weight of the decision influence you to adopt a dog. Dog rescues can be heart-breaking places if your thoughts are focused on the fate of every single dog present. It’s crucial for you to choose the right dog, and not just one that you feel sorry for. Feeling pity for a homeless dog won’t benefit him or you in the long run.

Keep an open mind, do your research, and have patience! In the end, you’ll both be better off for it.
Written by the Cesar Millan Foundation

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