Dog Facts

What every dog owner needs to know. How well do you know your dog?

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Dog's come in all shapes and sizes — out of all the dogs you've ever met you've probably been more attracted to some breeds than others. Perhaps you had a dog when you were growing up and want the same breed for your children. But more needs to be determined than breed or size when choosing a family dog.
With so many dogs being abandoned to shelters, it' clear that the wrong decision will cause your family heartbreak and frustration. This resource can help you to learn how to choose the best dog for your family.
Understanding canine health issues could help you save your money and have a healthier dog. Many pet owners pay veterinarians hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year due to chronic ailments. Poor nutrition is often the cause of chronic health issues. Give your dog or cat the nutrition he needs, and you can probably spend your hard-earned money on other things besides vet bills.
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Perhaps one of the most embarrassing behavior problems is a dog who acts aggressively on leash, whether towards dogs, other animals or people. Often these dogs do not...
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"How much is that doggy in the window, the one with the waggly tail...?" Familiar words to an old tune suggests that many people at one time or another consider having a dog as a pet. They might have fond memories of the old Boxer or Cairn terrier that they grew up with. Maybe it was a good-natured mutt or even a neighbour' well-behaved German Shepherd. Some folks imagine owning a beautiful and heroic dog such as "Lassie" of book and screen fame. Often, the reality is that many pups purchased on impulse wind up in shelters or banned to a chain in the garden because they didn't measure up to the dream. This is written to help you consider the answers to the questions you should ask before buying that cute little puppy... Read more . . .
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    If your dog could talk, these are some of most important things she would like to tell you...
  1. My life will probably only last 7 to 14 years. It will hurt me more than you know if I have to be away from you for longer than a day or two.
  2. If you have patience with me and give me time to learn what you would like from me, I can promise you, you will never be disappointed.
  3. Trust me with your life and have faith in our future together. If I don't feel that you honestly believe in me, I will suffer great emotional stress. My sense of self-worth is totally dependent upon your confidence in me.
  4. Don’t stay mad at me for long or confine me to a cage to punish me. You have your friends, your job, and your recreation. I HAVE ONLY YOU!
  5. Talk to me about anything you want as frequently as possible. Even if I can’t comprehend your precise words, I can understand the meaning of what you’re telling me by the tone of your voice.
  6. Remember no matter how you treat me, I will NEVER forget it.
  7. When you consider raising your hand to hit me, remember I have teeth that could break the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
  8. Before you scream at me for failing to respond to your commands as I usually do, take time to think about what might be wrong with me that would cause me to treat you differently. Maybe I haven’t been eating right or drinking enough water. Or maybe my age is catching up with me and I just can’t do what I used to do.
  9. Take good care of me when I get old. Someday you will be as old as me and you will see how it feels.
  10. Be there for me through good times and bad. Never say you can’t handle taking me to the vets for stitches or surgery. Nothing could make me feel worse. Everything in my life is easier for me to deal with when I have you standing by my side. Remember my love for you is unconditional and it will last for your entire life.

Resource Box - © Danielle Hollister (2004) Danielle Hollister is the Quotations Editor at BellaOnline and Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine.

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Animal Shelters and Rescue

By: David the Dogman

The two studies, conducted by Colorado State veterinary epidemiologist Dr. M.D. Salman and sponsored by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, reveal that moving and other lifestyle issues were the main reasons given by pet owners when surrendering their animals to shelters. But the majority of those pets--64 percent--are euthanized instead of adopted into new homes.

The studies also found that the majority of pet owners who surrender their animals to shelters are under 30 years of age and that more dogs are taken to shelters than cats and all other animals combined.

"Euthanasia of domestic pets in the United States is an epidemic," Salman said. "These studies give us the first glimpse of why so many pets are entering shelters and what happens once they are surrendered by their owners."

About 1,000 shelters in the United States responding as part of Shelter Statistics Survey accepted an estimated 4 million pets each year in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Of those sent to the reporting shelters that participated in the study, about 64 percent--or 8.2 million pets--were euthanized.

The survey also revealed that, on average, 42.5 percent of pets that entered animal shelters were submitted by animal control authorities and nearly 30 percent were surrendered by their owners. The remainder were relinquished by other sources. Twenty-four percent, or 3 million, of the animals taken to shelters over the three-year period were adopted by new families. Only 10 percent, or 1.2 million, were reclaimed by their owners.

The studies mark the first, large-scale national effort to quantify pet overpopulation in the United States and identify reasons why pet owners relinquish their animals. With this information, the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy hopes to develop strategies to curb the epidemic of pets entering animal shelters.

Of the 70 reasons pet owners could cite for relinquishing their pets, 15 percent said their animals were ill or old and needed to be Euthanized; 7 percent said they were moving; 5 percent felt they had too many animals; 4 percent said owning a pet cost too much; and 3.5 percent said the animals had soiled the house.

In addition, the majority of respondents--62 percent--were under 30 Years of age and 52 percent had at least finished high school.

"Some of the reasons pet owners cited for giving up their pets to shelters may be resolved through educational or other types of programs," Salman said. "Most of the problems are really not with the animals, but rather with pet owners who may not be knowledgeable enough about or prepared for the realities of owning a pet."

The council is composed of 11 non-profit and scientific organizations. Members include the American Animal Hospital Association, American Humane Association, American Kennel Club, American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Teachers for Veterinary Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Cat Fanciers Association, The Humane Society of The United States, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the National Animal Control Association and the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators.

Colorado State University' Epidemiology and Animal Disease Surveillance Systems is the scientific co-ordinator for the council. The center is based in the department of environmental health in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at:
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