“Can I Have A Puppy?”

123RF-17245805_sSooner or later, every parent is likely to hear: “Please, can I have a puppy?”

Rather than dodge the question, parents should consider whether their family is ready for a pet, says Sharon Bergen, senior vice president of education and training for Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of early childhood care and education.

Bergen suggests that parents weigh the pros and cons of adding a pet to the household before agreeing to a child’s request. “A pet can teach children responsibility and become a wonderful addition to a family – or it can be a burden,” she says. Bergen recommends families consider the following before making a decision.

Who will care for the pet? Families should agree beforehand who will be responsible for feeding, walking, bathing and cleaning up after the pet.

Do you have space for a pet? Families living in apartments or townhouses may prefer a cat, a bird or fish, rather than a Labrador Retriever. Check the library or Internet to learn more about different types and breeds of pets to determine the one most suitable for your family.

Owning a pet is time-consuming and may be expensive. Family members should realize that they may have to give up other activities to properly care for a pet. If the prospect seems too daunting, parents should consider waiting until the child is old enough to help care for an animal.

Bergen recommends the whole family meet the animal before deciding to take it home. Owning a pet is a life-long commitment, so think carefully before adding a pet to your family.


Five Steps to a Better-Behaved Pet

Nov-2013-iStock_000014546418XSmallWant to live a healthier lifestyle? Get a dog!  Studies show that pet ownership helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and fends off feelings of loneliness and depression.

While nothing can top the love and companionship of a dog, there are some unpleasant behaviors that just won’t do – from barking all night to having an accident on the floor to chewing on your shoes.

If your dog is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be acting out due to boredom, pent-up aggression or because of a lack of training. With proper lifestyle adjustments and diligent training, you’ll be on your way to having a happy, well-behaved pet. The following tips will help your furry friend become more obedient:

1) Spay or neuter. The Humane Society of the United States says that this common procedure can help your dog live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavior problems.

2) Help your pet relax. Just like people, dogs can get anxious, agitated and stressed.

3) Have a workout routine. Provide your dog companion with regularly scheduled walks each day. This will help your dog avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

4) Go to school.  Enrolling your dog in an obedience class will teach you how to control your dog’s behavior both safely and humanely.

5) Be patient. Though teaching your furry friend to be more obedient may take determination on your part, it’s worth it. Your dog will appreciate bonding with you during the process.



Five Great Gift Ideas for Pet Lovers

123RF-9880980_sWith the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of gifts to give your friends and loved ones. Finding unique gifts can present a challenge, and most people never consider giving pet-related gifts. Since the chances are good that more than one person on your holiday gift list has a pet that he or she adores, why not give a distinctive gift that they will treasure? Here are five great gift ideas to get you started:

1. Fine Art Animal Prints

Dogs may come in many shapes and sizes, but each has a personality all of its own. One of the most delightful gifts you can give to a pet lover is a fine art print of his or her breed.

2. Crystal Animal Statues

Whether your gift recipient has a dog, cat, horse, or rabbit, he or she is sure to enjoy an elegant crystal animal statue. Hand-finished animal statues are beautiful yet whimsical. Crystal animal statues can depict a wide variety of pets.

3. Stone Animal Statues

Who wouldn’t love a playful stone animal statue depicting their beloved pet? Animal garden statues are perfect gifts, as are stone animal statues for the home and office. While some statues – like a sleeping spaniel puppy or an eager dachshund – make you feel warm inside, others – like a cat holding a pair of binoculars up to his eyes, ever watchful for a bird – make you chuckle. Stone animal statues are available for virtually any type of pet, and are certain to be cherished.

4. Animal Posters

If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know how funny they can be. Animal posters depict pets in a variety of outlandish situations (remember the cat in “Hang in There”?), and are affordable.

5. Entertainment

When it comes to gifts for pet lovers, there’s nothing more unique that pet-related entertainment. There is actually a music company that creates music for animals, so consider giving a gift of music about and for cats, dogs, or birds. Another great gift idea is to buy a DVD or video that is designed to entertain your recipient’s pet. They can play the DVD or video while at work or out running errands – guilt free!

It’s both original and thoughtful to give a gift that acknowledges someone’s pet as a central part of his or her life. Pet lovers will appreciate and treasure your thoughtful gift.


Traveling With Your Dog!

123RF-12810424_sGoing on a vacation and want to take your dog along?  First decide if your dog should go with you.  If he/she would feel more comfortable with a friend or relative, it is best to leave him/her behind.

However, if you decide to take your dog along, it can be lots of fun.  Here are a few tips for traveling by car with your dog:

  • Make sure you plan lots of pit stops along the way.
  • Make a list of a few vets along the way, just in case.
  • Don’t forget to pack a few of your dog’s favorite toys.
  • Pack any medications your dog may need.  A jar of K9KlearUp™ would be a good thing to take along.
  • Make sure the hotels you have booked are pet friendly.
  • It would be best to take your dog to the vet before you go away, if your dog is overdue for a vet visit.
  • Don’t feed your dog just before the trip. Feed him at least a few hours before, so he won’t be car sick.
  • Make sure your dog cannot roam around inside the vehicle.  You might want to purchase a dog safety belt or carrier.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a car in warm weather, for any length of time.
  • Your dog should always have a sturdy collar with home address and cellphone number on a tag.


Some interesting facts about dogs:


  • Dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years
  • Some dogs can be as smart as a two year old
  • Over 5 millions dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year
  • Dogs can feel envy but not guilt
  • Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, and most of them are made with their ears.
  • It has been proven that dogs can be trained to sniff out some cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, bladder cancer and prostate cancer.
  • There are more than 350 different breeds of dogs worldwide.
  • The heaviest dog ever weighed in at about 319 pounds
  • The oldest dog died at 29 years of age
  • Dogs are descended from the wolf family that roamed through Europe, Asia, and North America.
  • The Latin name for dog is “Canis Familiaris”
  • Dalmatian puppies are born pure white.  Their spots develop as they get older.