Monday, December 31, 2007

Dog Adoption: What I Learned from My 2 Rescue Dogs

There’s a hole in your life that only a dog can fill. You want a special dog, perhaps just a full-grown adult. Maybe your code of ethics calls for saving a dog’s life – not buying an expensive purebred.

I’m not a veterinarian or a dog trainer, but I’ve enjoyed two successful adoptions. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

(1) Clarify your requirements ahead of time.

Once you’re standing in front of a cage, it’s easy to say, “Well, he’s a lot bigger than I expected, and I really wanted a female, but oh he’s SO cute!” No amount of love or training will help if your dog needs more exercise than you can provide.

(2) Know the difference between shelter and rescue groups.

Most cities have humane societies where you can view dogs and make a choice. Rescue groups typically hold animals in foster care – which is good, because you can ask the foster mom all sorts of questions. For example, they can say, “This dog lived with two cats so you know you can trust her.”

(3) Be prepared to pay.

Shelter animals are not free, but you do get value for money. Expect to pay a fee that may include spay/neuter costs, licensing, and/or veterinarian visits.

(4) Consider an older dog.

By the time a dog has turned three or four, she’s as big as she’s going to get. No surprises! You’ll also have clues regarding his temperament.

(5) Plan to confine the dog during a period of transition.

Your new dog doesn’t get it. She was in a loving home (or left alone in a yard all day or even abused). Then she spent a few weeks in a cage, feeling lonely and isolated. Maybe she’s been passed around to multiple homes.

Bottom line, she’s stressed. She may chew, dig, bark, or even lose her house training at first.

Crating the dog prevents destructive behavior. My dogs both looked visibly relieved as they retreated to their crates every day. “Time to relax,” they seemed to say.

(6) Invest in training.

Most dogs are turned over to the shelter because of behavior problems. If you’re new to the world of dog behavior, take a class or hire a professional. Most behavior can be corrected, even among older dogs. But if you’re not sure, ask a professional. Some behaviors can’t be “fixed.”
(7) Incorporate large doses of exercise and walks into your day.

Walking together builds your bond and a tired dog is a good dog. Begin the exercise program immediately so you can gain a sense of how much exercise the dog needs – an important factor in the dog’s adjustment – and start training for the basics on the way home from the shelter.

Dog Fanatic Cathy Goodwin wrote Arf! Dog Health Comes Home: Tips and resources to care for your sick, injured and senior dogs. Download your copy at

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dog Scratching and Itching- By Sunil Tanna

Have you ever seen your dog driven crazy by an itch? The dog scratches and licks itself. It walks around, and then sits down to scratch some more. Eventually the dog may scratch itself so much that it gets open sores from all this scratching, yet the dog still can not seem to stop.

Why would your dog be doing this? Simple. When you feel an itch, you scratch it. When your dog itches, it does the same thing. The real question should be what might be causing your dog to itch?

Here are some of the most common possibilities:

- Your dog may have environmental dermatitis (which as the name suggests is a condition which is caused by environmental factors) or skin allergies. These conditions are particularly likely if your dog is fond of romping and playing outside, as well as dipping in holes and rolling on grass.

- Your dog may be suffering from infectious dermatitis, or excessive itching caused by bacterial and fungal infections. Lesions will occur on your dog's skin which the dog will continuously lick and scratch because it is causing so much discomfort.

- Your dog may be suffering from parasitic dermatitis. This is caused by tics, fleas and other parasites that live on your dog's skin. Be sure to bathe your dog frequently with anti-flea soap to prevent this.

- Inadequate nutrition can also cause itching. Always using quality dog food to feed your dog should prevent this.

Whatever the cause of the itching, it is a sign that something is wrong. If your dog keeps scratching itself, your best recourse is taking it to the vet for a thorough checkup, and getting the appropriate course of treatment.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The wonderful world of fish keeping

Aquarium keeping is a wonderful hobby and many people have been mesmerized by the underwater world ever since they got their first aquarium as a kid. Today, there is a rich profusion of fish species readily available on the aquarium market and you can keep aquatic animals from all over the world.

During the last few decades, there has been a dramatic upswing in marine fish keeping, but before you go out and get yourself some tropical reef fish you must keep in mind that caring for a saltwater aquarium is very different than caring for a freshwater aquarium. You will need to do your research, and also invest in necessary equipment to keep up the water quality. If you are a beginner aquarist, it is best to start out with a freshwater aquarium and gain plenty of experience before you proceed to saltwater.

Having a freshwater aquarium doesn’t mean that you have to refrain from colourful fish or that you have to stick to neon tetras, guppies and swordtails. If you want something a bit different, you can for instance take a look at the charming and appealingly coloured cherry barb.

There are also a lot of different cichlids to choose among, but you should keep in mind that many of the really colourful cichlids are fairly aggressive. Always gather trustworthy cichlid info regarding each species that you wish to keep in order to find out its requirements. If you prefer to stick to fairly peaceful but still colourful cichlids, the Kribensis cichlid is an excellent choice.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rare Hungarian Pointer

The Vizsla is an ancient Hungarian dog breed developed for both pointing and retrieving. The Hungarian spelling of the word is often perceived as complicated by English speakers and you will find a myriad of different spellings in articles about this dog, including Viszla, Vizla and Vizzla. The name should be pronounced VEEZH-la, where “zh” is pronounced like the letter combination “si” in the English word “vision”.

The Vizsla dog can trace its history back to the 9th when it was used for hunting by the Magyar tribes that inhabited the Carpathian Basin. Since the Vizsla is such a rare and unusual dog it is not a popular breed for puppy mill breeders and the general dog health of the breed is excellent.

Frequent baths using shampoo can harm the coat and skin of your Vizsla and must therefore be avoided. Only bath you dog when absolutely necessary and make sure that you chose a mild shampoo suitable for dogs.

The Vizsla is not a suitable dog to keep in non-insulated outdoor kennels in cold climates since it has not undercoat. It is an excellent working dog in cold climates (Hungary can have fairly harsh winters), but it can develop hyperthermia if it is forced to rest in a cold environment.

If you are fine with your dog getting its rest inside your home, the Vizsla is an excellent choice. It is a versatile and clever dog that loves to learn new tasks and work together with its owner. It must be provided with sufficient amounts of physical and mental exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dog of the Desert: the Canaan

The Canaan Dog is sometimes mistakenly believed to be a pariah dog which roams throughout the Middle East, however this is incorrect. The Canaan Dog is a true breed which has survived in the desert for more than 2000 years. In the 1930s the Israelis began a program of re-domestication of these dogs, recognizing their potential as guard dogs to guard their settlements . Their history as a desert breed has contributed strength and endurance to the genetic makeup, to say nothing of the fact that they are relatively disease free. Their bodies have developed in much the same way as the Arabian Horse, strong lungs and resistance to extremes of weather are part of their heritage.

The Israelis have been careful to preserve these characteristics and have also been careful not to mix in any other type of dog into the breeding program. On occasion they do bring in more of the Canaan Dogs from the wild deserts to continue to improve the domesticated stock. This is more difficult as the spread of civilization has made the existence of these desert dogs more tenuous and there are fewer places where they can still be found living in the wild.

The Canaan Dog can be any shade of tawny desert yellow or tan with white markings and also black with white markings. The coat is double and fairly short. Ears are prick, the tail is long and curves over the back when excited. They are of medium size, with surprising strength and agility, possessing great endurance and lung power. The dogs readily adjusted to civilization and are loyal and very affectionate family pets. Their major use is that of a dog guard that will protect outlying settlements from predators and give warning when strangers come. They are also useful as herding dogs for the flocks of goats. The Canaan Dog does not require harsh training methods and adapts to family living easily.

This is a comparatively rare breed and has only recently made an appearance in the Dog Show Circuit in the United States. They are classified as members of the Herding Group. Their numbers are gradually increasing. They are a relatively easy care dog and are happy as an urban resident or on the farm. Owners of the Canaan dog have found that they are generally not stubborn, are quite intelligent and make very good pets. They should show reserve with strangers but have proven themselves to be affectionate and loyal. The American Kennel club describes their temperament as "alert, vigilant, devoted and docile with his family".

Factors which contribute to the usefulness of this dog as a family pet are their easy care coat and their general good health. Owners of Canaans can expect that these dogs will present few vet bills in comparison to other breeds! They are known to be easy to train without stubborn tendencies or hyperactive traits. They are inquisitive and because of their history of survival of the fittest are independent thinkers but appear to have a great deal of common sense.

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Animals

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pet Health Insurance By John J. Foley

It seems that Pet Health Insurance is getting a lot of attention in the press and on the internet these days. It is a simple, affordable solution for those who love their pets but are concerned about the financial hardship of high-quality pet care. Pet health insurance is peace of mind that protects you and your beloved pet from the inevitable and the unexpected. This type of insurance is still relatively new, and many pet owners are still unaware of their options.

Pet health insurance is designed to provide pet owners with coverage for unexpected illnesses or incidents resulting in expensive veterinary costs. While it may seem like something that only movie stars get for their Hollywood pets, it is becoming more mainstream and is being offered for very reasonable prices. So wherever you happen to live in the United States, insurance is really important, especially if you happen to have more than one pet.

It is particularly of use in an emergency, such as when a pet is involved in a road traffic accident and needs surgery. X-rays and operations can soon add up to well over thousands of dollars, meaning that this insurance is necessary to prevent having to payout such large sums if and when such an accident occurs. There are many benefits of having it for your dog or your cat and this is why this is becoming increasingly popular in this day and age.


Coverage and cost vary, so it's important to thoroughly research the options if you decide to insure your pet. Coverage usually starts at eight weeks, but some plans won't cover pets over a certain age (usually between six and 10 years old, depending on the breed, type of animal and other factors). Coverage options range from catastrophic accident coverage to comprehensive illness coverage.

Pet health policies are similar to human insurance policies; annual premiums, deductibles, and different coverage plans based on what the owner chooses. When you purchase pet health insurance, it acts much like those plans meant for us in that the coverage usually starts right away but there may be a waiting period before the benefits kick in.

As for pre-existing conditions, some companies will allow coverage if the animal is stable or controlled (usually after a waiting period of 3 to 12 months), other companies will refuse animals with current conditions or terminal disease. Some policies (but not all) cover some preventative care, such as vaccinations, but there may be additional cost for this coverage. It's important to review your policy terms and conditions to ensure you have the right coverage for your pet.

When choosing pet insurance coverage, first consider what kind of insurance customer you are. Do you prefer all-inclusive coverage that pays for everything from routine checkups and vaccinations to accidents and chronic illnesses, or are you comfortable with a lesser degree of coverage that just kicks in during emergencies. You can usually decide what kind and how much coverage to provide for your pet. So getting yours is not really all that insane, and in the long run it could save you a great deal of money.

The cheapest way to take out pet health insurance is online; by going with a specialist insurer they can shop around on your behalf and get you the cheapest premiums with the best deals. If you are planning to have a pet for the rest for your life, then getting it is indeed a very wise decision.

With the increasing cost of veterinary care, pet health insurance is an absolute must for any pet owner today. As the cost of veterinary care continues to increase, it is quickly gaining popularity in the US. All in all though, it depends on you, and your pet(s), whether or not pet health insurance is the right choice.

Article Written By J. Foley

John Foley has written many articles about pets and their well being. If your looking for more information about this topic, You Can Go Here

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Ringworm Is The Common Dog Illness - By Judy Wellsworth

A common dog illness is ringworm and can be prevented and treated if your dog has the problem. Many illnesses affect dogs, some are very common and happen no matter how well cared for your dog is at any time. Dogs are creatures of the outside, and they can get into anything. Ringworm seems to be common in puppies and older dogs. Other common dog illness can be prevented with proper vaccinations and proper health care. Ringworm is a fungal infection that targets the overall health of the dog.

Diagnosis of Ringworm Infection
The common dog illness ringworm has several different ways to be detected and diagnose. The common way to detect ringworm is with a black light. The ringworms glow in the black light when the light hits them. Sometimes this practice does work and a vet will perform another test to detect ringworm.

Signs of Having Ringworm
If you see small areas of the body without hair, chances are your dog has ringworm. The skin will appear scaly and display pus in the area. After time the areas become larger when they receive no medical treatment. You will notice this parasite on the tail, head and legs.

Treating the Common Dog Illness Ringworm
If the health of the dog is healthy then the ringworm will clear up by itself in about four months. However, when severe cases exist, medical treatments are required. If your dog has the lesion, clipping the hair around the area is needed, but do not touch the lesion or it will spread. Apply a tropical anti fungal cream after clipping the hair away. Such creams like miconazole and lotrimin creams are used for this purpose. Do not let the dog lick the area where you apply the cream. A dog funnel collar may be required to prevent the dog from reaching the area.

If the cream alone does not work, antifungal shampoos and antifungal dips will benefit your dog and help the area to heal faster. Some other antifungal agents are griseofulvin and itraconazole, which work well on a dog.

Common Dog Illness Issues
Keeping your dog in perfect health and protected from bacterial, fungal and viral infections is your responsibility. The number one need of the dog is regular vaccines and proper care. Dogs need vaccines against rabies, parvovirus and distemper. Dogs also need to be checked yearly for heartworm, which can cause death to the dog if not properly prevented. Keep in mind that rabies vaccinations are given every two years and distemper vaccinations are received yearly.

Many conditions result in health problems and in some breeds of dogs, the breed is prone to more health problems then others. Joint problems and heart problems account for some of these more serious health problems. When looking for a dog, you need to be aware of some of the problems that can arise in a dog’s life. Besides the everyday parasites and injuries from rough play, some dogs are prone to eye infections, ear infections and mange.

You can also find more info on diagnose dog sickness symptoms and common dog illness problems. is a comprehensive resource to help dog owners identify their dog's illness symptoms and treatment options.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ways Of Avoiding Stress In Training Your Puppy

The main purpose in puppy training is to build a communication system between the two of you. You are teaching your dog how to learn. In contrast to the positive approach of puppy training, many obedience classes use a lot of leash jerking and a certain amount of punishment if the dog is not performing well. There is a fine line between the two attitudes and it is a vitally important difference.

With a young puppy, if you are forcing him to perform perfectly and punishing him even mildly if he does not, you may be asking for trouble later on. After a puppy is six to eight months old, he can usually begin to handle corrections and accept much more firmness in his training but not at three, four and five months of age.

Stress should not be a specific part of puppy training. That comes later when the pup is six to eight months old and ready for a more formal training. Of course, it is not possible or necessary to completely avoid stress because there is often a small amount in any of a puppy's activities. However, stress should be eliminated as a planned part of the actual training.

In puppy training, building confidence means knowing what you expect from your pup. Focus is the single most important command to teach your puppy.

The capacity to learn is born in every puppy, to a greater or lesser degree. Your puppy starts learning the moment he enters your house. (He starts learning about you and soon knows whether you or he will be the boss.) His capacity to learn grows as he does and is fully developed at the age of about a year. Although he eventually stops growing, he never stops learning.

All the Resources to help you Discover Everything you need to know about How To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy! For Puppy Training Visit

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