Does My Dog Really Need a Bed?

It’s a common question of dog owners whether or not to purchase a bed for their pooch.  Some people prefer to allow their dogs to share a bed with them or let them lounge on furniture and still others think a dog is fine simply lying on the floor.  While it’s ultimately a personal choice, it’s important to note that there are a number of ways dogs benefit from having their own beds, not the least of which is comfort.  Here are just a few to consider.

Safety – Most human furniture is high enough that a dog has to jump to get on and off.  This can result in joint, muscle and ligament stress or injury to your dog, particularly if he is a puppy or has reached his senior years.  Providing him with a safe place to sleep that is at his level is best.

Cleanliness and Hygiene – As much as we love our dogs we can’t ignore the fact that they are animals.  Even the cleanest dog can carry bacteria which could pose a health concern when sharing furniture with their owners.  Dander and fur can also cause a problem.  For everyone’s health and wellbeing, it’s a good idea to let your pup sleep on his own bed.

Comfort and Security – Imagine having to lie on a hard floor every time you wanted to rest.  It’s no more comfortable for a dog than it would be for a human.   This is particularly the case for older dogs and dogs that have joint issues.  Providing a soft bed gives your dog a comfortable place to sleep and a place where he can feel secure.

Once you decide to purchase a bed for your dog the next step is selecting the right one.  Consider things like breed, size, age and any health conditions to determine which type best suits your dog.  For instance, memory foam and orthopedic beds are great for older, larger or dogs with joint issues while round or “donut” shaped beds are perfect for dogs that tend to circle before sleeping.

The bottom line is this: providing a comfortable bed to sleep on will not only benefit your dog, but will also create a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone in the family.

Reasons to Adopt an Older Cat

When it comes to bringing a new feline into your home, many people lean toward kittens.  Who could blame them?  Those fuzzy balls of fur are irresistible!  Older cats, however, can be just as rewarding and make excellent companions, both for your family and other pets.  Here are just a few reasons why you should consider adopting an adult cat.

First, older felines are typically already trained to do things like use the litterbox and not scratch the furniture.  Since you will have to put little to no effort into training, you can instead focus on getting to know your new cat and letting him get acquainted with his new home.  Additionally, unlike frisky kittens, adult cats tend to be more docile and less likely to get into mischief.  You won’t have to worry about how your house will look when you return from being away all day because an older cat will probably just use this time to catch some z’s.

Another reason to adopt an adult feline is that older cats, particularly those who have spent time in a shelter, tend to be extremely grateful to their new adoptive owner.  They are thrilled to be in a loving home where they are warm, well-fed and the recipient of attention and they’ll spend their lives repaying you with unconditional love.  Also, if you already own an adult cat and are adopting another as a companion, older cats typically adjust much better and are more tolerable than kittens.

Finally, adopting an older cat is a very humane decision.  The sad fact is that for every kitten that is adopted, an unwanted older cat is euthanized because she can’t find a good home.  By choosing an adult cat you are in many cases literally saving his or her life and that’s a decision you can be proud of.

If you’re thinking of adding a new cat to your family, please consider these things before making your decision.  While a kitten is certainly lovely to have around, an older cat can bring more love and personality into your home than you could imagine.  More importantly, they will be incredibly grateful for the chance to be accepted into your family and have a forever home to call their own.

Winter Safety Tips for Puppies

It’s that time of year again when jackets, gloves, scarves and hats are again part of our everyday wardrobe.  As the chill of winter begins to set in it’s important to remember that cold weather affects not just us, but also our four-legged family members.  Puppies are particularly prone to the dangers of frigid temperatures and seasonal weather.  Here are a few things to watch for to help keep your puppy safe during the winter months.

Frostbite and Hypothermia

People often think that a coat of fur is enough to protect a puppy from extreme cold.  What they don’t consider is that areas such as the ears, nose and paws are particularly vulnerable to conditions like frostbite.  Likewise, overexposure to extremely cold temperatures can also lead to hypothermia, a condition that can be deadly to a puppy.  To prevent these risks, limit time outdoors, provide shelter from the elements and keep the animal inside as much as possible.

Ice

Lakes and rivers are great places for pups to play during warmer months but during the winter they can become extreme hazards.  Puppies won’t know the difference between the safety of land and an icy body of water and could easily fall through thin ice and drown.  Never let your puppy roam unsupervised around frozen bodies of water.

Antifreeze Poisoning

A curious puppy won’t know that a puddle of antifreeze on your garage floor isn’t safe for him to drink.  In fact, ethylene glycol is actually the most dangerous winter hazard a pet can encounter because it’s highly toxic and can kill an unsuspecting pup if ingested.  Always keep an eye out for any possible leaks in your garage, driveway or anywhere else you may have used the chemical.

The winter can be a fun, exciting time for a lively puppy but it’s also important to protect them from the dangers this time of year can bring.  By following these tips and knowing what to watch for you can help your pup enjoy the cold weather safely.