Rainbow Bridge: It’s So Hard to Say “Good-bye”

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“Over the Rainbow Bridge”

*Warning: You will need tissues.

When it’s time to say good-bye

Saying good-bye to your best friend is one of the hardest moments of being a dog owner. Everybody wants their dog to live forever. I know their time on earth is never long enough. They will be happy on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

There are many factors that need to be thought over to make sure your dog is not suffering. (Too bad they can’t make out little Doggy Wills!)

Old Age

Old Golden Retriever

As our dog ages, they start getting grey muzzles, not wanting to go out as much, or stops enjoying things that they once loved. Older dogs can get arthritis and their joints may start to hurt. You might notice your dog is having a harder time getting up from laying down and having you help them on the couch or bed. It is important to see a vet if you notice your dog in pain as to control pain. Many dog may start to have incontinence also.

Health

Prone to Health Issues

Many types of dog breeds are prone to health problems in their lives. Golden retrievers may be prone to having cancer along with many other breeds. Boxers are known to be prone to heart problems like Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) which has been named “Boxer Cardiomyopathy”. Veterinarians pay close to the boxer’s heart to make sure they catch any irregular heart functions.

Obesity

Obese Chihuahua

A startling statistic is that more than 55% of America’s household pets are obese. Obesity is a leading cause of illness and death among dogs and is a risk factor for heart disease, kidney and liver disease, and diabetes. Pet owners should control the weight of their dogs by monitoring the dog’s caloric intake in conjunction with the animal’s energy expenditure.

Kidney Disease

Another health problem is kidney disease which occurs when a dog’s kidneys no longer properly filter waste products from the blood or maintain necessary hydration. A telltale symptom of kidney disease in dogs is drastically increased water consumption – a sign that can be easy to missed.

How much does your dog drink?

Diabetes

Due to the enormous uptick in canine obesity in recent years, dogs are developing diabetes at alarming rates. A diabetic dog will struggle to regulate his or her blood sugar, leading to potentially fatal reactions to food. Like kidney disease, an early warning sign of diabetes is a significant increase in water consumption.

My baby Frankie had diabetes for 9 years with constant monitoring with insulin shots. So if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, it can be controlled with insulin.

Lyme Disease

Dogs can live with the tick-borne illness Lyme Disease for years without displaying any symptoms. However, Lyme Disease can cause serious health problems for your pet. Hard-to-detect symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, and pain. For dogs that are frequently outdoors, early detection of Lyme Disease is crucial.

Accidents

Dog that was hit by a car.

Hit by a car or attacked by another animal can cause many problems for the dog to survive. You should always take your dog to the emergency clinic if this ever happens. (Be sure to keep yourself safe when transporting as the dog will be in pain and bite you. I suggest making a muzzle out of anything that’s handy.)

Quality of Life

When the inevitable time comes when they can’t stand by themselves, won’t eat or drink, or they don’t want to move at all, it’s time to take them to the vet for a quality of life (QOL) exam. There may be some medications that may help with making your dog comfortable, but if there’s nothing they can do, they might suggest putting your dog to sleep (euthanizing).

Euthanasia: Safe Passage to the Rainbow Bridge

That’s the one word that dog owners hate to hear. Even when you know it’s their time, it’s hard to come to terms with doing it. It’s a very humane way of stopping the suffering for the dog.

It’s a simple process that the veterinarian can do. The veterinarian will put in a vein catheter in one of the legs and inject a sedative to release pain and calm the dog down. (This is usually the same type of sedative they use before surgeries.) This will relax the dog and you’ll notice a more blissful look to them. The dog can still hear and feel you so give them all the kisses, hugs, and last good-byes.

Then when you are done saying your final good-bye, the veterinarian will inject the euthanasia solution in the catheter. It doesn’t take long for the solution to go to the heart and stop it. The veterinarian will then make sure the dog has passed away. Many clinics will do an ink paw print for you.

Say “Good-bye” At Home

But you can always let them pass over the rainbow bridge at home doing things that they love (or new things) like eating human foods, playing with the whole family, being on the furniture when before they weren’t allowed, sleep in bed with you, have a toy/ball party, and be sure to give them all cuddles.

Past the Rainbow Bridge

Now you have to make a choice for care after your dog has passed away. You can have them buried either in your backyard or cemetery, cremated where you can get their ashes back, or cremated without getting their ashes back. Many places that do cremations can do a clay paw print for you.


Saying Good-bye to Frankie As He Traveled Over the Rainbow Bridge

(My personal story)

Frankie on his last day.

It’s been a whole year since I have said good-bye to my Frankie. He was 14 years old when my family and I had him put him down by the veterinarian.

Frankie helping around the house with a screwdriver.

My parents got custody of Frankie when I moved out and got married. (I still made sure Frankie knew I was his mommy. My parents were mamaw and papaw to him.) I always checked in on him and visited a lot. I was there when he was diagnosed with diabetes, cushings disease, pancreatitis, and the love of wanting to eat anything that would fit into his mouth (luckily we always got what was in his mouth or it came out his other end without any blockage!).

Then I get the call that he wasn’t eating, vomiting every time he tried, and he was weak. I booked a plane trip to see him (and my family). Of coarse that was a couple days out. My mom called again saying they took him to the vet and the veterinarian suggested putting him to sleep. IT WAS ONLY 2 DAYS BEFORE I COULD GET THERE. I was heartbroken, but knew he was suffering and I didn’t want to prolong his situation. I told my parents to go ahead and do it. That was the hardest good-bye.

Frankie’s grave in the backyard of my parents’ house.

“Over the Rainbow Bridge Until We Meet Again.”

Dog Leash: Being Attached to Your Dog

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Virtually every community has a dog leash law. The law requires that dogs be kept on a leash at all times when on public property. While on private property, dogs must be under control of their owners. The intent of the law is to protect the health and safety of the public and to protect your pet.

The use of a leash will benefit you, your neighborhood, and your pet. There are many good reasons to keep your dog on a leash.

TOP 10 REASONS TO LEASH YOUR DOG

  • It’s a great good neighbor policy.
    • Preventing your dog from trespassing on the neighbor’s property during your walk. It also keeps your dog from jumping on people you encounter, ensuring that your dog has the chance of being properly introduced.
  • Improved companionship.
    • A well trained and leash-obedient dog is a pleasure to walk with.
  • Walking your pet on a leash will prevent the spread of disease.
    • It is less likely that your dog will be exposed to Parvo or Distemper. A leashed dog can be restrained from sniffing the droppings of other animals.
  • A leash is commonly referred to as “Your Pet’s Lifeline”
    • Protecting your pet from traffic and unrestrained animals. Accidents or animal bites are greatly reduced when responsible pet owners obey the leash law.
  • An obedient and well behaved dog is a positive reflection of its owner.
  • Re-locating your dog into another household is 100% easier if your dog is
    obedient and leash trained.
  • It’s a great way to reward your dog.
    • Your dog will immediately respond with a wagging tail the moment he or she sees you holding the leash.
  • It’s a great identification tool.
    • Symbolizing that the dog has an owner, and enabling someone who sees the leash and identification tag attached to the dog’s collar to find you if you and your pet should become separated.
  • It’s a great relief to wildlife
    • Keeping your dog from chasing squirrels, deer, and other wildlife.
  • It’s the law!
    • The law is in place to protect other members of the public and your pet from injury.

What type of leash is best for you and your dog?

Everyone has a special reason that they use and like certain leashes.

The standard flat lead

This is your common leash made of nylon. It’s the cheapest, fastest, one to grab to go. Since these are more cheaply made, a dog can chew right through them. Also when training, they can scuff up your hand easily.

Bungee and stretchable rubber leashes

This kind of leash is best with dogs that are running with you. The “bungee” part will give you both a little shock absorption. I would not recommend these for dogs that are reactive because when you try to pull them back towards you, there is still that “bungee” slack that you have to fight with. (This may lead to a slower reaction from the dog.)

Harness lead

These are made from rope and are made for a shorter time of wearing. It’s important to properly fit because the rope can rub the fur off.

Easy Walk harness lead

This is great lead when walking and still training the dog how to walk properly on a leash. (It’s best for the dog to already know basics of “Follow Me” or “Heel”.) How these work is if the dog tries to walk away from you, you can redirect where their body is going. (It’s like a head harness, but for the body.) These are great for dogs with the longer necks (greyhound, suki) or if the dog has had a previous neck injury.

Slip leads

This is an “all in one” leash and collar. The loop or “collar” goes around the head and is secured usually with an adjustable leather joint around the dog’s neck. You usually see these types in dog shows or if the dog is going be off leash. It’s simple and easy to use and store away. (I have one that I use for shelter dogs so it’s easy to transfer from one dog to another without using a clip or buckle.)

Retractable leashes

These are nice to have when you want control of your dog while having them at a longer distance from you. When they get closer to you, it automatically will retract into the handle. There is also a “pinch” toggle that you can customize how much length they get. These leashes come in different lengths of “cord”. I personally use this one when Chloe is running on the beach and wants to get into the water. Warning: if you hold onto the cord to pull dog back or as the dog is running, you can burn and can cut your skin.) Also, you need to pay attention to where the dog is if you have lots of slack on the leash. (I’ve personally have seen many people not pay attention to where their dog is and the dog ends up getting into a dangerous situation with other dogs.)

Traffic leashes

Leashes like this are short enough to have the dog right next to you. They are called traffic leashes because you keep your dog by you the whole time mainly passing other people or dogs. These are great for crowded areas. I’ve used this when taking Chloe into festivals so she’s stuck by my side at all times and I can correct her faster if she’s distracted.

Leather leashes.

Leather is great on your hands when you are working, training, or walking your dog. These are usually higher priced than a regular leash, but they are softer on your hands. They are more durable and last longer than a traditional leash.

Chain leashes.

The metal links are resistant to chewing, and the leash is heavy enough to slow down some dogs. It’s also very hard to snap or break a metal dog leash, so this is a great option for large, strong dogs. There are different sizes of metal links making the leash lighter or heavier depending on what kind of dog you have. (Example is don’t put on a think heavy chain on a chihuahua.)

Attachable waist leash.

Hands free walking/running, but still have the security of your dog by your side. These are great for runners or if you just need your hands free. There is a waist buckle for you and the leash clips onto it with rings. There is a bungie on the upper half to shock absorb any quick stopping or turning. Most have an extra handle closer to the dog when you need to pass a distraction or people. Some may also have a pack to keep your phone, poo bags, and ID/credit cards.


Frankie’s & Chloe’s experience with leashes

Going to a Halloween dog party. Little Farmer!!

Frankie has tried a couple of these. He was started on a regular leash, but it was rough on our human hands. Then he was switched a retractable leash to go out potty and short walks. He loved the “almost freedom” of a retractable leash.


On the West Coast.

I’ve had Chloe on many of these leashes. The BEST one is the waist leash. We can go walking and I’m not having to constantly hold onto the leash. Mine has a pack that I can keep my phone, poo bags, keys, and ID/credit cards. It makes me relax more and Chloe likes that she can walk into the grass when she needs and come back to my side. When we are at the beach, I have her on a retractable leash so she can explore. (She would run after seagulls if I let her loose!!)


Dog Collars: Necklaces and Training Collars

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Picking out the perfect collar for your pup

Picking out the right dog collars should be a fun experience. But walking into a pet shop or looking online can be overwhelming. Whether you want them to look stylish or looking for a collar for a special reason, collars should be comfortable for your dog.

Dog Collars

These are basic collars that your dog can wear everyday.

Basic collars that your dog can wear everyday are usually made from leather (be careful when bathing your dog for it will bleed) or nylon webbing. Less common materials can include polyester, hemp, metal, or “oilcloth” (vinyl woven with cotton).

Here’s how to measure the 2 finger gap.

When fitting these to your dog, you should take the measurement around their neck first.

Most collars will show common measurements that the specific collar will fit. Make sure to have at least 2 fingers worth of a gap between the collar and dog’s neck. This is so your dog can be comfortable while wearing it. (Just imagine having a tight necklace around your neck!)

With this type of collar you can put their identification tags (with name and number), rabies tag, and microchip tag on so they can get back home faster if they run away. (I put all three on Chloe’s collar so if she ran away, people would know she was microchipped also.)

Special Dog Collars

Martingale collars

Sometimes called “greyhound collars” because they’re designed for dogs whose heads are more narrow than their necks. They’re very popular among owners of greyhounds, whippets, Salukis, and other slim-headed breeds. These types of collars are usually wide to protect their necks when attached to a leash. (They can do damage to their necks if they don’t have an appropriate collar on.)

Hunting collars

For dogs that hunt. These kinds of collars usually has a built in identification tag. These are very nice as they don’t have their tags jingling around and getting caught in brush (which could scare what they are hunting away). Most of these are very durable and washable.

Training Collars

Training collars have special ways of training like learning to walk on a leash, stop barking, and getting the dog’s attention when they are not leashed or contained. These types of collars should only be used for training.

Pinch Prong collar

A metal collar with “prongs” that pinches the dog’s skin when pulled on. Lots of people use these to help with walking while on a leash. (I highly recommend teaching the “Follow Me” command before resorting to this collar.) Fitting this collar is more difficult. Here is a video that demonstrates how to put a pinch prong collar on and use safely.


Choke Collar Chain

A loop of metal (sometimes rope is braided in) that goes around the dog’s neck for training. These should never be left on if not training. The dog may choke itself to death if snagged on something and your not there to save them. Here is a great video about how to properly use a choke chain.


Head Harness/Gentle Leader

Not quite a collar, some models come with a fastener that links to a regular dog collar, but is a great tool when training a dog. Think of it like a horse’s bitless bridle that controls their head in the direction you want them to focus on and turn. (I personally love this training tool.) It’s an easier way to tell the dog what you are expecting of them with a short sharp tug. These are not a muzzle. Dogs can still open their mouth and play with toys.


Electric Shock Collar

A collar that has 2 prongs that sit at the dog’s upper throat under their chin. It comes with a remote control that is equipped with a sound (to warn the dog that if they don’t do what’s told, there will be a shock next) and settings for how strong the shock will be. If you train with this type of collar, DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND UNDERSTAND HOW TO USE. This kind of collar can cause burning if used at a too high frequency and can lead the dog to become fearful.

Dog Ears and “Howl” to clean them

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“I’m listening!!”

Taking Care of Dog Ears

Keeping you dog fit and healthy is just like taking care of a child. There are many things that you have to check on your dog to make sure there isn’t anything wrong or bothering them. I will be discussing how to keep dog ears clean and problems that can occur with them.

Why Clean Dog Ears

Cleaning your dogs ears is something you need to do at least a month. How often you should clean your dogs’ ears depends on their coat length (longer the coat, the more hair in the ear), how often they swim and get them wet, wax production, and age.

A Dog’s Ear Canal

Dogs have a longer ear canal than us humans have. Also, their ear canal curves into an “L” shape. This makes it easier and less frightening because it is hard to reach the ear drum with your finger.

Cleaning:

Cleaning dog ears may sound frightening to do yourself, but it is actually very easy. You want to make the experience a good one, so I would suggest having something to keep the dog occupied while you are cleaning, like having a surface covered with peanut butter to keep their head steady. The materials you should have on hand to clean their ears with are:

  • Guaze — This should a soft gauze that won’t scratch the inside of the ear.
  • Cottonballs — You can split these in half if you have a dog with littler ear canals.
  • Q-Tips — These should only be used on the outside of the canal for the creases of the ear. (If the dog shakes if you have a Q-tip in their ear canal, it can break off inside and hurt the dog. And it will be harder to retrieve the Q-tip out of the canal.)
  • Dog ear cleaner — This should be a special cleaner for dog ears. (Usually your vet has this for sale without a prescription or you can buy it at your local pet store.) Using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide will strip the ear canal of good bacteria and may cause dry, itchy ears that can become irritated.

First, you squeeze the ear solution into the ear. (Yup, go ahead and make a pool inside the ear.) Then swish the ear around to get the built-up wax loose.

Next, you use the gauze or cotton balls to swipe the inside of the canal. (I personally like to use the gauze because you can get deeper and it has enough of texture to grab ahold of the wax.) Use a clean cotton ball/gauze every-time you swipe the ear.

Go ahead and let your dog shake it’s head. This will loosen up more build-up. Once the inside of the canal is clean, you can use the q-tips to clean the creases on the outside of the canal that the cotton ball/gauze didn’t get. You can then dry off around the ear with a soft towel.

Longer Hair Coat Dog Ears

A dog with longer hair coat, there are hairs inside of the ear. If you take your dog to the groomers, they usually will pluck these out so wax doesn’t build up around the fur and cause an ear infection. These breeds are usually Malteses, Poodles, Terriers and Labradoodles to name a few.

Smelly Ears

If there is a pungent smell coming from their ears, there could be an infection. You should take them to the veterinary clinic so they can clean their ears and give them ear medication to fight the infection.

Dogs like to shake their heads

Dogs like to shake their heads and ears after waking up, drying themselves off after being in water, and to shake off a tickle in their ears or their body. But if you notice your dog is constantly shaking, pawing, or scratching at their ears over and over again, this could be sign of a problem they may be having. It could an ear infection, hair in the ear canal, ear mites, or a foreign object like cheat grass (this is a grass seed that has barbs and works itself into areas).

Ear Hematomas

Shaking their heads repeatedly can cause an ear hematoma. This is when a blood vessel between the skin breaks open and causes a pooling of blood. The dog’s ear will start to look like a balloon filling up with air.

This needs to be seen as soon as possible. (If the dog scratches it open, this can make for a big mess and healing may take longer.)

Mainly dogs with floppy ears get these because of the slapping against their head. If your dog has ears that go straight up, not cropped, their ears abstain more slapping against the head. German Shepards, Corgis, and Huskies have a lot of problems also with hematomas.

Treating the Hematoma

Surgery is usually needed to repair ear hematomas. If is a small area, the veterinarian may just use a local anesthesia, cut the area open, and inject a steroid.

If it is most of the ear, the veterinarian may consider doing the surgery by using full anesthesia. The vet will then cut the ear for draining of the blood and may cauterize the blood vessel that is broke. Then the vet will wrap and fold up their ear up against the dog’s head

Then comes the aftercare.

This is usually between 6-8 weeks. In this time period, the dog shouldn’t shake their head. If the dogs starts to shake, quickly make them stop. (There are special head wraps that you can buy to help keep the dressing on and the ear in place. (See Chloe’s story below.)

After the first week of care, the vet will want to check on them and change the dressing. This will usually be every week until the ear has heeled and dressing is no longer needed.

Another Hematoma?

This is very possible to happen again if the vessels in the ear break open. This can be very frustrating as an owner. But every dogs’ ears are different. If the vessels in the dog’s ear are tiny and thin, they may be prone to hematomas. Your veterinarian should notice this and go over the plans of care.


Chloe’s Personal Story

I was working in a veterinary clinic. Had no idea what an ear hematoma looked like on a dog’s ear yet. All I noticed was Chloe’s ear started having a small area, the size of a grape, on her ear inflating like a small balloon.

First Ear Hematoma

It grew very slow, but I could see it getting bigger everyday. By the third day of ballooning up, we took her to the vet. They said it was an ear hematoma because of her shaking her head because there was a hair in her ear.

They said the hematoma was pretty small, so they could just go ahead and cut, drain, and wrap her ear up. I was working and got to help with her small surgery. It was used with local anesthesia, a simple small puncture, drain, and wrap her ear which took nothing but 15 minutes. We did our best to not let Chloe shake her head.

We were very strict in aftercare. All our check-ups went great and her ear was back to normal.

Second Ear Hemotoma

One month passes, and I see her getting the same lump on the same side of her ear. All I could do was say, “Well, here we go again!”

This time after the vet opened it up and drained it, they injected a steroid to stop the vessels from bleeding and plug up the area. Her head was once again wrapped up. This time we bought a special head wrap that velcro over the dressing. It was a life saver. (I highly recommend getting them.) All our check-ups went perfect. The vet said that should solve the problem.

Third Ear Hemotoma

Three months go by after all the aftercare went well, then here comes Chloe with her same ear blowing up like a balloon, getting bigger every couple hours.

This time the vet injected even more steroid in her ear. He said her ear will probably be warped, but I didn’t care about that. I just wanted this to be the last time dealing with this.

She now has a warped ear with lumps where the steroid is. We’ve been in the clear for 2 years!!

New Puppy: Bringing Them Home

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You brought your new pup home and now what?

How to introduce your puppy to your home

Adding a new family member to your home is an exciting experience for the whole family. But before you bring your new puppy home, there are some things you should think about and plan out. It’s better to be prepared and have everything ready so you can enjoy and train your new dog.

Items to have beforehand

Having items like food, treats, food and water bowls, some toys, a crate, a collar, a leash, and some blankets or plush dog bed can make it easier for you so you aren’t rushing around to find these items and not enjoying your dog after you have brought them home.

Make a Sleeping/Relaxing Area

Have a plan where the dog is going to relax and sleep when you aren’t able to watch them or when you leave the house. This should be a quiet peaceful place where there won’t be distractions like children running around.

Where’s the Potty Area going to be?

These are great for apartments.

What kind of outdoor area do you have for the dog to go potty? Will the dog be able to go potty outside or do you need to get a doggy turf potty (these are mainly used if you live in an apartment on multiple floors and only have a balcony). Remember, you’re going to have to potty train, so you’ll be going inside and outside a lot at first.

“Puppy Proofing”

Lastly, you should “puppy proof” your home. Cover electrical wires or have them where your dog can’t get to them. Make sure hazardous house cleaners are put in cupboards with child locks (dogs can use their nose to open doors!). Make sure children learn to keep their toys picked up. I would recommend having doors to rooms you don’t want the dog to go into kept closed.


When you have the essentials, you are ready to bring your new pup home!

Keep them leashed when entering the house

When you bring your dog home, have them on a leash as you enter your home. Walk them around with you and let them sniff around to get used to everything. (If you let them off leash, they could go potty somewhere or start tearing up something that they shouldn’t!!) While your pup is learning about your house, you should keep them in one room with you at a time. This will make watching them easier for you and you won’t be running around the house trying to find them, or what they have gotten into!! You can keep them tethered to an area or have gates closing off an area where you can see them. (Most dogs won’t go potty in the area they are resting.)

If you need to walk around the house, you can attach them to you with a leash around your waist. (This will also help with the “Follow Me” command because they will associate being around you as normal.) This will help also when they have gotten accustomed to the house rules and will follow you around the house themselves.

Potty Training

Potty training is the most important thing to start. If you have a puppy, this will be every couple hours since puppies have little bladders and can’t hold themselves very long. This will begin as soon as they get up, after eating, after drinking, after playing, after a nap, before you leave them crated, and before they go to bed at night. It’s important to have a routine so the pup can begin to understand when it’s the correct time to go potty. Accidents will happen, but to remember that they are still learning. Do not punish a dog for going potty inside. This can lead to them being scared to potty in front of you and they can start to hide their pees and poos in places where you won’t find it. This can be a stinky situation!!

Proper Dog Toys

Don’t punish if they are chewing on something they shouldn’t. You can give them one of their toys to exchange. Give them praise when they start playing with their toy.

Teaching your dog what their toys are from other household items that aren’t for chewing and tearing up is also important. You wouldn’t want to find that your dog has been chewing on your favorite expensive shoes! Kids should keep their toys picked up so the dog doesn’t get confused and start playing and chewing on your kid’s teddy bear, barbie, or legos. This can lead to ingestion of an item and cause blockage in the dog’s stomach. (Meaning an emergency trip to the vet!!)


Dog’s First Vet Visit

This should happen preferable the first week or so after you bring your pup home. Be sure to check around and ask family and friends about their recommendations. It is very important to establish a veterinary clinic. Your dog is going to be going here for check-ups, vaccines, and when they feel under the weather. Their first visit is usually a wellness exam to make sure they are in top health. (Some breeders and rescues will pay for your first visit!) The veterinarian will go over what vaccines and any health questions you have. They may also recommend foods, places to take your pup like daycares and dog parks when they have been fully vaccinated. They can also recommend training classes.


Enjoy Your New Puppy!

Your dog may take weeks to get comfortable with their new routine. It’s a lot to learn and remember for them. You wouldn’t expect a baby to know this much in a few weeks!!

Thank you for adding me to your family!!

Car Rides With Dogs as Passengers

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“Who wants to go for a ride in the car?”

Taking your dog with you for a car rides can be fun for both, but there are steps you should take to keep you and your dog safe. Having a dog in the car is just like if you had a child with you. Make sure the dog is safe and secure (preferable in the backseat) so they aren’t distracting you while you drive and they aren’t jumping around.

Doggy Seatbelts For Car Rides

One main item that helps dogs stay safe is the doggy seatbelt. This is usually a harness that the dog wears that fastens into the belt buckle. (I recommend not attaching the belt to the collar because if you stop fast, that can cause for a choking hazard and may injure the dog’s neck.)

I like this kind of doggy seatbelt because they are customizable where you can lengthen or shorten how much space the dog gets in the backseat.

Dog Basket Seat

If you have a little dog (pug, chihuahua, yorkie, small terrier, etc) that can’t see out the window with a traditional doggy seatbelt, there are basket car seats that they may enjoy better. Now they can look around and still be safe and secure.


Don’t want the car seats to get dirty and full of hair?

I have and love the backseat cover/barrier for our truck. This keeps the seats and floor from dog hair, mud, sand, any other debris the dog may track in! They are usually made to be put in the washer when they get dirty. The barrier part of these are great since it stops them from coming up to the front seat area. (Please use a doggy seatbelt with this. Dogs can still jump over the barrier.) There are slots where the seatbelt buckle end pokes out to fasten your dog in.


Does your pup get motion sickness on car rides?

“AHHH, things are going by toooo fast!!!”

Dog motion sickness is more commonly seen in puppies and young dogs than in older dogs, just as carsickness afflicts more children than adults. The reason for this is because the ear structures used for balance aren’t fully developed in puppies. This isn’t to say that all dogs will outgrow travel sickness, though many will.

If the first few car rides of your dog’s life left them nauseated, they may have been conditioned to equate travel with vomiting, even after their ears have fully matured. Stress can also add to travel sickness, so if your dog has only ever ridden in the car to go to the vet, they may literally worry themselves sick on the road.

Signs of Dog Motion Sickness

Dogs don’t turn the unflattering shade of green that people do when they’re experiencing motion sickness, but there are some signs of dog travel sickness you can learn to identify. These include:

  • Inactivity, listlessness or uneasiness
  • Yawning
  • Whining
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Smacking or licking lips

Treatment for Dog Motion Sickness

The best way to prevent dog travel sickness is to make the car ride as comfortable as possible for your dog.

Your dog will experience fewer nauseating visual cues if they face forward while you’re traveling, rather than looking out the side windows. One way to guarantee this is by using a specially designed dog seat belt. If you choose to have your dog ride on the front passenger seat, keep in mind that air bags do pose a potential hazard to dogs. Even though you can’t be sure your dog will face forward while riding in a travel crate, many people prefer to use crates for safety — and they do have the added benefit of containing vomit, should your dog become ill.


Dogs in Truck beds

If you need to put your dog in a truck bed, make sure they are contained (crated) and safe. There are many hazards when traveling with your dog loose in a truck bed. Mostly, dogs will want to jump out if they see something enticing. Even having them just tethered to the inside of the bed can cause injuries. If the dog decides to jump out, they can hang themselves! It’s estimated that more than 100,000 dogs die each year riding in the back of a pickup.

These dogs can jump into traffic injuring themselves and cause a big accident.
This dog can jump out, slide off, or fall off.

Dogs do not have great stability when in a truck bed. They can slide around and injure themselves. In some states, this is illegal. California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all have strict laws protecting dogs from injury and death from truck beds. Most other states have fines when they catch you.

Here is a great example of crates you can get for your truck.

Chloe’s story

Chloe in her doggy seatbelt getting ready to take a trip across
the country.

When my husband (Ben) and I would ride around and bring Chloe with us, we were uneducated and did the ‘put a leash around the headrest and connect it to Chloe’s collar’ in the backseat. She would always lose her balance and end up choking herself because she fell to the floor and the leash wasn’t long enough. We immediately started looking for something to keep her more contained. I found a doggy seat belt at T.J. Maxx so I thought I would give it a try. It has been a life saver for Chloe and me. Now I know she safe and won’t go flying if I have to stop quickly.

My husband got a backseat cover for Chloe for Christmas and we all love it. Now Chloe can come up a little closer without falling to the floor to get closer to us. Plus all the mess she tracks in from the beach and mud, all we have to do is pop the cover in the washing machine!

Chloe likes to pretend that she’s driving!!

Kids and Dog Manners When Together

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Manners for Kids and Dog

There are certain things that kids and dog should do to keep the home a happy place for both. Many times a dog gets displaced (rehomed, taken to the shelter, or even euthanized) because dogs and kids can’t get along. If the dog bites a kid, the first things a parent thinks is sending the dog away. (You wouldn’t do this to a child because they didn’t understand what was expected of them!!)

About 10% of dogs in shelters are because they didn’t get along with kids.

Manners for the Dog to Learn

There are manners that you can teach a dog to respect you ad your family

Make sure the dog gives you eye contact before treating or clicking.
  • You can teach the dog to look at you. This will disrupt what the dog is doing or fixating on. This is called the “Look at Me” command. It’s very simple and fun for the dog to learn. (Always make training fun for you AND the dog. This makes the dog feel like they are making you happy and makes for a tighter bond between you.)
  • Here are the steps to take:
    • Have a treat in your hand and let the dog sniff it so they know you have something yummy for them.
    • Hold the treat out straight and to the side of you. (Yes, the dog is going to look at your hand!)
    • This is the part where they have to figure out what they have to do to get the treat. (This engages their mind and makes them think!)
    • As soon as they look or even glance at you, tell them “yes” (or if using clicker training, this is the time to click) and give them a treat (preferable from the other hand).
    • You can then lengthen the time the dog looks at you. After lots of practice and repetition, the dog should look and keep eyes on you for the treat.

This is a way for the dog to always look at you. You can than start saying “Look at Me” when the dog is looking at you. You can now use this command to distract the dog from what they are doing. After the dog understands this command, you can start to tell the dog what to do next.


Now you can start teaching the dog to “Go to Place”

Teach kids that this is the dog’s space and to leave them alone if they were told to “Go to Place”.

This is where the dog has a certain place to relax and lay down. This could be their crate, a certain rug, or area away from children.

  • First, decide where their special place should be. With treats, you can lure them to the area.
  • As soon as their paws touch the area, tell them “yes” or click. They will start to associate the area or place to where they get treats!
  • When they get comfortable in the area or place and start to sit/lay down, start telling them “Place” then give them a treat when they go to their special place. (They will start to put together that when they hear “Place”, they are going to get a treat.)

The dog is looking at the owner and reading the hand signal. Owner has treats in his other hand.

The next part after “Place” is the “Stay” command. This is where they have to stay in their special place until you relieve them. (This command is more difficult for some dogs. The main point is don’t let them follow you unless you have relieved them from their “place”.

  • With the dog in their “place” and relaxing, start by saying “Stay” (you may put your hand flat like a stop sign) and backup one step. If the dog stays, say “yes” or click and toss them a treat. Then you can return back to them to release them by saying “OK” (Don’t have them come to you for the treat. This makes them think they can just leave their place without you telling them it’s ok.)
  • You can start backing up a couple more steps as long as the dog is staying in their place. Always coming back to them to treat and tell them “Free” to release.

Teaching “Release/Free” Command

This is a hand signal for the “Release/Free”command telling them they are free to move from their space. After the dog has stayed in their place, your can wave both hands back and forth and say “Free”. Saying “OK” can confuse the dog if they hear you say the word, but you wasn’t talking to them. Example is if someone has asked you a question and you reply to them “OK”, all the dog heard was “OK” so they think they can be free from their space.


A fun and very important command is “Come” (kids and dog can do together)

This is when the dog will stop what they are doing and come to you. This is very practical when you want the dog away from kids or the dog decides to go running away.

  • Begin with them on a tether (long leash) and have treats ready for when they come to you. (Tether is for when they don’t listen, you can reel them in!)
  • Start with a short distance between you. Say “Come” with treats visible and reel them towards you.
  • When they come to you, say “yes” or click and give them a treat.
  • Now try saying “Come” without reeling them in. If they come to you immediately, give them a treat. If they don’t respond right away, reel them in again and give them more treats. (This will make them think, “if I come to you, I get treats!”)
  • Once they understand this, you can have them go out further away from you and say “Come”. (As they go further away from you, you will have to make sure your voice is carrying for them to hear you.)
  • After they have this command down great, you can try without the tether. (If they regress, put the tether back on and reel them in while saying “Come” to reiterate the command.)

*You can also say their name followed by saying “Come” for example, “(Dog’s name), Come”. This should get their attention that it’s them that you are talking to.


Have you ever had a dog that pulls on the leash?

Having your hand by your side with treats will make the dog want to walk with you and get treats!

There is a way that you can teach your dog to follow you and be at your side the whole time. This way you can train your dog to follow you before even putting the leash on!

  • Having treats in your hand, hold your arm to your side so the dog can smell the treats.
  • Start walking and entice the dog with the treats.
  • If the dog is following and keeps their nose at your hand, give them a treat as you are walking. (Best is to start in your house away from distractions!)
  • Walk around your house with treats and your dog following until you know your dog has grasped the idea.
  • Now you are ready to try outside. (I would recommend backyard or somewhere there aren’t a lot of distractions)
  • You are now ready to put the leash on your dog! Make sure you have enough treats to keep putting in your hand. (If you run out of treats, the dog will start to think they don’t have to be right by you and start pulling on the leash.)

Kids Manners to Teach

Kids like to play and think dogs are just toys for them. Remind children that dogs are not toys! Being a responsible parent and dog owner will make your house happy and will save you and your family from heartbreak.

For young kids, it is best to redirect them if they are mistreating or doing something the dog doesn’t like. Instead of just telling them “No, don’t do that”, you can tell them “Try doing this instead” and show them how to properly be around the dog. This way the kids can still interact with the dog in a safe manner.

Kids under the age of 5 should be taught to be gentle to dogs. No pulling on their fur, ears, tail, making the dog hug them, laying on top of the dog, running up to the dog, or sticking their fingers around the dog’s mouth. These WILL lead to biting.

You can teach how to safely pet the dog by holding onto their hand with your thumb in the middle of their hand (this is to make sure they won’t grab onto the dog or fur) and show how to gently stroke the dog. ALWAYS ACTIVELY SUPERVISE YOUND CHILDREN WITH DOGS. Accidents can happen very quickly and have dire consequences.

“Always leave a sleeping dog alone”

Dogs can startle very easily when woken up quickly and may go into “Fight” mode before they comprehend what is going on around them.

You can teach children the command “Come” by having the dog come to them and the child put the treat on the ground in front of them. (Don’t let them hand the dog the treat because the dog may accidentally bite their hand while trying to take the treat from them. Safety First!!)

If a dog is just too scared of the distraction or of children, you can toss treats AWAY from the distraction or children. This will make the dog feel more comfortable in situations and know they don’t have to participate.


5 Types of Supervision of Kids and Dog

There are 5 different types of parent supervision. What kind of supervision do you usually do when dogs and kids are together?

*The best is to be a Proactive and Active parents. When you are not watching, things can escalate quickly and become a serious situation.

Dogs are our “Fur Babies” and need to be loved, understood, and taken care of.

Young Kids and Dogs Together in Peace

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How dogs and young kids should interact with each other

*Young kids and dogs should always be actively supervised

Young kids and dogs need to know how to communicate with each other


Understanding what a calm dog looks like

A calm dog is one that will welcome what is going on around them and do not startle or become too anxious around young kids and noises.

What you should be looking for is a loose face with eyes calm (not wide eyed or eyes darting around). Calm dogs are usually laying down or sitting with their mouth open with no or some panting (if they are hot). Ears are relaxed (not laid back or very alert). Tail may be wagging, but don’t let this fool you!

Above: Eyes are calm, ears are relaxed, head is on its paws signaling they are content.

Stress signs that dogs give

These signs are telling you that they are nervous and unsure. May lead into biting if not caught soon enough.

A dog shows a lot of signs before they even think of biting. It is very important to understand what these signs are and what you should do before the scenario escalates.


The #1 rule is to never go by their tail.

Dogs wag their tail telling others what they are feeling. People usually don’t pick up on how to perceive the way the dog is wagging its tail. Stress tail wags are usually stiff and very slow. The tail may have a low sweeping look.

Signs Dogs Give

When you look at the dog, is its eyes wide and darting around? They are trying to figure out what is going on and if they should “Fight” (bite) or “Flight” (run away from the scene).

They may be licking their lips and nose signaling that they are feeling stressed. Yawning is also a way that a dog shows they are stressed. If they haven’t been exercising or caught up on their sleep (so you know they aren’t just sleepy), this is showing signs that they don’t like what is going on around them.

Some calming signals (dog is trying to calm themselves down) that dogs give out that you should be watching for are:

  • When they turn their body sideways or turn their head away from what is going on around them
  • They may stand still like they are frozen. This is their “Freeze” that means they don’t know how to react and may be scared.
  • They may have slow movements like walking with their head down very slowly and the tail may be sifting low and slow.
  • They may sit or lay down trying to make themselves as small as possible. (Be sure to see how their eyes and ears are. Are they very alert and wide eyed?)
  • If you approach them, they may lick your face signaling for YOU to look away. This is not a kiss. It’s the way a dog is telling you to turn your head away because they are scared and they don’t feel comfortable.

Adults and young kids should learn a dog’s growl, meaning they are close to biting.

When hearing this, there should be a way to distract the dog away from the scenario. They may also growl with a snarled face. This is when their lip rises up enough to show their teeth and they scrunch up their face with their tongue inside away from their teeth. (They wouldn’t want to bite their own tongue!)


A DOG SHOULD NEVER BE PUNISHED FOR GROWLING

Punishing a dog for growling only makes them more anxious and they may go right into biting before giving a warning.


Here is a video showing when a dog has had enough. (The dog in the video is resource guarding his toy, but the same goes for if kids are aggravating a dog or the dog doesn’t want to be in a particular situation.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb2qyZCFNU0

This video is done by a trained professional. The owner gives a command at the beginning for the dog to guard its toy.


Expecting A Baby?

Set your dog up for success when you are expecting and bringing a baby into the house.


What should you do to get your dog ready for a new baby?

The best thing you can do to get your dog ready is to “Scent Mark” areas and things that the baby will have a connection to so your dog can associate these things to the baby. One item you can use for scent is baby lotion that you will be using on your baby. This means you are marking things that will smell like a baby. Putting baby lotion on:

  • Baby toys
  • Stroller
  • Rocker
  • Baby bed
  • Baby blankets
  • Swing
  • Etc.

This will trigger the dog to welcome this smell, so when you bring the baby home, the dog associates the baby smell is something that is ok and not get anxious.


Dog Reactions

Reactive to Motion

Some dogs are very active to the motion of toys and when kids are playing. For example, if the kids are playing with a remote car and the dog wants to chase after it, it is best to put the dog in an area away from the commotion with something for them to be occupied like a treat or dog toy.

Bikes, skateboards, and scooters may also trigger the dog to run after it. For these occurrences, the best way to help your dog is to train them to focus on you or something else. You can have them play with one of their toys they love or toss treats AWAY from the distraction.

Training Tools

Never use a training collar (pinch collar, choker, or shock collar) when training to avoid a distraction. They will associate the pain to the distraction and they will be more frustrated and may start biting.

I would suggest using a head gentle leader (Think like with horses, you have control of their head) or their regular collar. Just a quick little tug to get the dog to look at you and away from distraction.

← Here is a gentle leader
This kind of leader controls their head and when you pull on the leash, their head will turn in that direction.

← This is a pinch collar
This kind of collar pinches when pulled on. Dogs associate this with pain and what the distraction is causing them do get more frustrated.

← This is a shock collar

With this collar, the prongs are placed on the throat and the owner has a remote that can emit a noise and/or a shock. There are different levels of shock frequency. If turned too high, it can hurt the dog and lead to a burn on their neck. Plus it makes the dog more fearful.

Reactive to Noise

The best way to get a dog comfortable with noises associated with babies and kids is to have recordings of a baby crying, children playing and screaming, and loud toys.

Play these recordings while the dog is relaxed. Or you may play these recordings and have the dog pay attention to you while you hold and give treats.


Herding breeds

Most herding dogs would like to herd the children if they are running around. (The dog wants to herd the children all together in a central location. That’s why they are called herding dogs because they were bred to herd sheep, cattle, or other animals! To them, kids are just another kind of animal!!)


Quite Place Away From Noise

Dogs need to have a place to themselves where they feel safe. Somewhere quiet would be idle where they can rest and relax.

Crates are a great place! It is a place where only they can go and get away from everything and relax.

Never use the crate for punishment. They will associate being punished if they are put in the crate and will stop entering to relax.

More to come tomorrow with young kids and dogs. . . . . .

Aging Dog: When Your Pup Turns Grey

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Physical and Mental Signs that Your Dog is Aging

When pets start to get a grey muzzle.

Everybody ages, including your aging dog. That adorable little pup that grew into your constant companion may be showing signs of aging, both physical and mental.

Different breeds and sizes of dogs age at different rates. A large breed like a Great Dane is considered senior at around six years old. A small dog, like a Chihuahua, for example, may not be considered old until it is seven to ten years old.

The more tuned-in you are to the typical signs, the sooner you can help your dog age gracefully.

Physical signs of aging dog

Cloudiness in eyes or difficulty seeing

Eye cloudiness (nuclear sclerosis) can happen so gradually that you might not notice it right away. While it’s a fairly common occurrence in senior dogs and doesn’t affect vision, it may also be a sign of cataracts or other eye diseases, most of which are easily treatable.

Your dog may also start bumping into things or have trouble locating a toy on the floor or other familiar objects. You may notice it is more difficult for them to find their way around in dimmed light and the dark. This could signal vision loss.

Horrible breath

While doggie breath isn’t uncommon at any age, if your dog seems to suddenly have awful breath, it could indicate gum disease, tooth decay, or infection.

The immune system weakens as dogs age and they are not able to fight off infections as easily as they did when they were younger. Along with a good dental cleaning, your vet may decide to do blood work to rule out infection.

Slowing down or difficulty getting around

Dogs start to get more ache in their joints.

An older dog may have trouble with stairs, jumping into the car, or just getting up after a nap. You might notice weakness in their back legs.

While we all slow down as we age, your dog’s mobility issues could be caused by arthritis or another degenerative disease.

Along with any medication or supplements your vet recommends, you will have to adjust your dog’s exercise regimen to slower and shorter walks or a new exercise routine. Swimming, for example, is gentle on the body and many dogs love it.

New lumps and bumps

Lipomas are squishy.

Some dogs are prone to harmless fatty lipomas, but these lumps under the skin are more common as dogs age. However, any new lump should be checked by a veterinarian to rule out a malignant tumor.

A change in weight

“I haven’t been feeling great lately.”

It’s not surprising that older, less active dogs sometimes gain weight and you may have to adjust your dog’s diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight. However, you should also pay attention if your senior dog loses weight.

This could be the result of reduced muscle mass, which is common in older dogs, or it might be caused by reduced appetite, poor absorption of nutrients, or a digestive illness. If your dog loses more than 10 percent of their body weight in a few months, or even in a year, consult your vet.

Incontinence or difficulty “going:”

May need to go out to potty more often.

If your dog suddenly seems to forget their houset raining or seems to strain when urinating, these could be signs of a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.

However, incontinence is not unusual in elderly dogs and there are medications that can help.


Behavioral and mental signs of aging dog

Frankie at the age of 14.

Physical changes aren’t the only differences you may notice in your dog as they age. Changes in behavior can signal an underlying physical problem or may be a normal sign of aging.

If your pup has suddenly turned into a grump, they may be in pain caused by arthritis or be experiencing some other physical discomfort. Or your high-energy companion may be sleeping hours a day.

Older dogs need more sleep, just let him nap.

However, changes in behavior may also be the result of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CCDS). According to a study at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, CCDS affects 14-35 percent of dogs over eight years old. A dementia similar to Alzheimer’s in humans, CCDS can bring about pronounced changes in your dog’s everyday behavior:

  • Fear of familiar people or objects.
  • Changes in the sleeping-waking cycle, including restlessness or pacing at night.
  • Increased barking and vocalization.
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors.
  • Forgetting commands and cues that they once knew.
  • House soiling.
  • Increased anxiety.
  • Confusion and disorientation.
  • Marked change in activity level.

Your vet will be able to make a diagnosis by asking you simple questions during the appointment. While there is no cure for CCDS, there are some new medications and therapeutic options your vet can discuss with you.

How can you help your aging dog?

The single most important thing you can do is check with your vet if you see any of these physical or mental changes. The vet can determine the underlying medical causes and prescribe treatments.

He can also help you make some decisions about your dog’s care going forward: changes in diet and exercise, changes you can make around the house, or in the daily routine.


Quality of Life

Pet owners’ greatest fear is having to make a decision about their pets’ end of life, and that fear may make an owner unwilling to visit the vet. They may also not be educated about the signs of aging and take a “wait-and-see” attitude.

I have seen this first hand and it is heart wrenching. One visit to the vet, the dog is fine, alert, and knows its owner. A month later, the dog is snapping at the owner and family. The owner could barely bring his dog into the vet office because of it snapping at everybody. They decided to euthanize him that day. It really got to me how fast CCDS happened in such a short time.

The cost of care is also an issue for many pet owners. If they are prescribed medication, therapy, or both, it is for the remainder of the dog’s life.


Our dogs give us many years of love and loyalty and it’s only natural to want to make their senior years as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Aging is a normal part of life and with some vigilance and attention to your dog’s health, these can truly be “golden years.”

” My face may be white, but my heart is pure gold. There is no shame in growing old.”


My baby Chloe is 12 years old. I have seen her slowing down the past couple years. In her young age, she could walk 5 miles in any weather. (Between 400 – 800 F) Now she can only make it 2 1/2 miles and the weather can’t be over 700 .

She takes more naps than usual. (I love when she is snoring and dreaming.) She still has a great body shape because I have decreased her feeding since she’s less active.

She has been getting a couple lumps (lipomas) and moles around her body. I keep these in check to make sure they are not rapidly growing (sign of cancer). She is still a happy girl that loves her walks and treats. She hasn’t had any accidents in the house and knows when she needs to go. All we can do is keep our pup healthy physically and mentally.

“Puppy Mill” the REAL Scoop of What They Are

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What is a Puppy Mill?

A puppy mill is an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility that churns out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. Dogs from puppy mills are often sick and unsocialized.

Puppy mills commonly sell through internet sales, online classified ads, flea markets and pet stores. In fact, the majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills.

Responsible breeders will be happy to meet you in person and show you where the puppy was born and raised—and where their mom lives too.

Mom of Puppies at Puppy Mill

Mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages with little to no personal attention. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are abandoned or killed just because they can’t reproduce.

Due to poor sanitation, overbreeding and a lack of preventive veterinary care, the puppies from puppy mills frequently sadly suffer from a variety of health issues. That creates heartbreaking challenges for families who should be enjoying the delights of adopting a new family member.

Cruel Commercial Breeders of Puppy Mill

Cruel commercial breeders want to maximize profit by producing the highest number of puppies at the lowest possible cost. Here’s how they do it.

Cramped Spaces

Most puppy mill dogs don’t get a chance to feel grass at all.

More breeding dogs equals more puppies, which equals more money. Cruel breeders maximize space by keeping dogs tightly contained. Dogs are commonly kept in small, stacked, wire-floored crates or in outdoor pens exposed to heat, cold and rain. They eat, sleep and give birth in confinement.

Diseases in Puppy Mill

Dogs are kept in disgusting cages.

The conditions of these facilities encourage the spread of diseases. Especially among puppies with undeveloped immune systems. Puppies often arrive in pet stores with health issues ranging from parasites to parvo to pneumonia.

No Vet Care

These dogs are just meant to breed. When that’s over, their life is over.

Dogs (like people) need regular health care. However, because it can be costly and time-consuming, veterinary care is limited to almost none. Breeding dogs and puppies don’t get to see a veterinarian often. Not for regular checkups, vaccines, teeth cleanings or even when they’re sick.

No Grooming

Pushing dogs to their limits.

Puppy mill dogs aren’t bathed, their hair is not brushed and their nails are not cut. This can lead to painful matting and nails so long it hurts to stand or walk on surfaces.

No Emotional Care

They have hundreds of dogs.

Puppy mills only plan on selling puppies. There is little incentive to provide much physical or emotional care to the adult breeding dogs. Lack of normal human interaction hurts social animals like dogs. They may pace back and forth in their cages, bark nonstop, cower or appear entirely shut down.

Non-stop Breeding

To them, it’s all good as long as the puppy is alive.

Female dogs are bred at every opportunity. Even if they are sick, injured, exhausted or have genetic traits that could be damaging to their puppies.

Sudden Separation

They don’t care about health or behavior issues.

Puppies aren’t given time to gradually separate from their mother and litter-mates. Once there’s a buyer, puppies are immediately removed from the mother. This kind of sudden separation can lead to fear, anxiety and other lasting behavioral problems that may be difficult or impossible to treat.

Shipped Off

As long as the puppies live, they get their money.

Puppies are often shipped long distances by truck or plane to brokers and pet stores. The transport may be noisy, crowded, filthy, and too hot or cold. Puppies may also be exposed to illness and disease causing them to spread the illness to other puppies.

No Homes for Moms

Most dogs will never know the comfort of a home.

To a commercial breeder, the profits are in the puppies. No effort is made to find homes for adult dogs who can no longer breed. When their bodies are so depleted or sick that they can no longer produce puppies, they’re often abandoned or killed.


Pet Stores:

BE WARNED: WHERE DO THEIR PUPPIES REALLY COME FROM?

Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for puppy mills and are essential for keeping puppy mills in business. Both licensed and unlicensed mills sell to pet stores. Many mills sell to pet stores without the required license and are not held accountable. Puppies are bred in mills and then shipped all over the country.

For example, puppies bred in the Midwest may be shipped on trucks to southern California or Florida. So these kind of mills can ship all over United States.

My personal story:

I wanted a pug so bad and begged my parents. We would stroll through pet shops and look at all the puppies.

One day my mother and I walked into a pet shop that was in the mall. There was one pug that had just arrived. Of coarse we asked if we could play with him. We played and I begged my mom and dad to get him.

Finally they said yes!

We asked all about where he came from and the shop owner said he came from a nice Amish breeder with last name Yoder. I thought, “Wow, he must have had a nice family on a farm.” On the papers, it said his mom was China Doll. I thought this all sounded like a reputable breeder.

My parents and I were the perfect owners. We took him to the vet as soon as we got him to make sure he was healthy. Everything checked out great.

Then as I was training him, he LOVED to eat his own poop and everything he could get into his little mouth. I thought this was just puppy behavior. But he never grew out of it. Thank god that everything he did ingest, came out without surgery!

This was all before I educated myself about puppy mills.

Turns out that a lot of Amish do puppy mills as a source of income. It broke my heart to learn this. At first I thought that I had saved a puppy. But that should not have been my mentality.

Conclusion of Puppy Mill

That’s what puppy mills are hoping for in today’s world. That you “SAVE” a puppy. That just means that you fell for “PURCHASING” a puppy from them. So as the saying goes: