March 23 is National Puppy Day
March 23 is National Puppy Day! Since 2006, National Puppy Day celebrates the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. Over the years, this holiday has grown into an international holiday, and has trended on Twitter since 2012.
Creator Colleen Page—who also founded National Dog Day and National Cat Day—created this event to help save orphaned puppies across the globe while educating the public about the horrors of puppy mills. According to the National Puppy Day website, there are approximately 8,000-10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. , including many businesses that call themselves breeders that purposely allow their dog to get pregnant in hopes of selling puppies through local papers or online.
“The tragedy of puppy mills is that they don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold,” National Puppy Day’s website reads. “Most of these animals live in crammed cages with no room to movie, in complete and utter squalor.”
While National Puppy Day is a great day to post pictures of your adorable puppy to your Twitter feed, don’t forget why we celebrate this holiday: for the fair and ethical treatment of dogs across the world. To learn more about National Puppy Day and why adopting a puppy is important, visit http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/
9 Ways to be Kind to Animals
They make us laugh. They're our best friends. They're a source of comfort. If you love your pets, it's easy to share and show your kindness to animals as well. Here are some ideas on how you can spread the love and be kind to animals:
1. Speak out for animals
2. Never tolerate animal cruelty
3. Adopt a shelter pet
4. Spay or neuter your pets
5. Keep pets' vaccinations current
6. Identify your pets with tags or microchip
7. Appreciate wildlife
8. Leave room for animal habitats
9. Interest others in the cause
Children Can Help With Pet Care Tasks
Children should help with the responsibilities and tasks that are associated with having a pet. As adults though, we need to remember that children are children and adolescents are adolescents. It's very important to assign tasks that are appropriate with the child's age.
• The Toddler - A toddler can help parents with pet care simply by being involved — "helping" a parent fill food and water dishes, grooming, going with parents to take the pet for a walk or to the veterinarian. The toddler and young child can accompany the parent when he or she purchases the food, grooming supplies and other essential elements involved in pet care. The toddler can also give the dog a treat for good behavior. This special job is rewarding and enjoyable for both the dog and the toddler.
• The 5 to 7 Year Old - The children in this age group are capable of doing some of the tasks above (feeding, watering, grooming) without parental help. Don't assume that children will automatically assume these responsibilities and that they will always remember to do them. Very often, a nice friendly reminder from mom or dad is required.
• The 8 to 12 Year Old - At this age, a child can feed, water and play with the pet alone (depending on the pet's temperament and area for exercising). Parents still need to supervise children in this age group for some tasks, like walking the dog. It's not advised that children under 10 walk a dog without adult supervision.
• The Teenager - Depending on your teen's maturity, you can sometimes allow him/her to take full responsibility for the pet, including feeding, cleaning up after, driving to the vet and exercising the pet. Allowing your teen to take the dog to obedience classes can also be a good activity for both of them.
Overweight Pets Are In The Majority
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has revealed that pet obesity rates have held steady in the past year, with 58 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs recorded as overweight or obese, despite efforts by the Association to spread awareness of the dangers of pet obesity. Pet obesity, like obesity in humans, can lead to osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint injury, cancer and decreased life expectancy.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention also found most owners of overweight pets do not realize their pet is considered overweight. Ninety-five percent of dog owners and 90 percent of cat owners believed their overweight pets were in the normal weight range.
"There's an entire nation of pet owners who are loving their pets to death with too many calories and not enough exercise," said Joe Bartges, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist and internist. "They are in the dark that their pets are overweight and that a host of diseases can arise as a result."
Adopting A Pet
You see a cute tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for your attention. Or maybe it's a handsome, tail-wagging Labrador mix who couldn't be more friendly and has those irresistible puppy eyes.
If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work.
Adopting a pet, however, is a big decision. Dogs and cats are living beings who require lots of time, money and commitment - over 15 years' worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.
Things to Consider
The fact that you're thinking about adopting a pet from an animal shelter, rescue league or humane society means you're a responsible and caring person. But before you make that final decision to bring a furry friend into your life, take a moment to think about these questions:
•Why do you want a pet?
It's amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because the kids have been asking for a puppy usually ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you even after your children leave home.
•Do you have time for a pet?
Dogs, cats and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care and companionship every day of every year. Many animals have been given up because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to properly care for them.
•Can you afford a pet?
The monetary costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter and other expenses add up quickly.
•Are you prepared to deal with special problems that only a pet can cause?
Fleas, scratched-up furniture and accidents from animals who aren't yet housetrained are just a few of the inconveniences that you will face.
•Can you have a pet where you live?
Many rental communities don't allow pets, others have restrictions. Make the necessary inquiries before you bring a pet home.
•Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?
If you're a student, in the military, or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down may be the wiser choice.
•Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind?
Adopting an energetic dog or a breed that is unsuitable to share your small apartment (a Border collie for example), is not a good idea. Choose an animal who will be comfortable in your surroundings.
•Who will care for your pet if you go on vacation?
You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors, or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
•Will you be a responsible pet owner?
Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible pet owner. Of course, giving your pet love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet and regular veterinary care are other essentials.
•Are you prepared to keep and care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime?
When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime.
Get an Animal for Life
Sure, it's a long list of questions. But a quick stroll through the animal shelter will help you understand why answering them before you adopt a pet is so important.
Please, think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility and love for the life of the pet.
Much of the information for this article was contributed by the Humane Society of the U.S.