A quick guide to adopting a dog or cat

Are you considering the adoption of a lovable dog or cat? Read this quick guide to selecting the right pet for you!

Where should you start?

Talk with the current pet owners or humane Society that you plan to adopt them from. Ask questions to help you know and understand if this pet is the right fit for you. Be sure to ask if the pet has any ailments or disabilities to be aware of. Take all things into consideration to help your new pet find his forever home with you.

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5 Things to Know Before Adopting a Senior Pet

Whether you currently own a senior pet or you’re planning to adopt one, wouldn’t you agree that they are amazing creatures? Senior pets have so much to offer a family. They may come with different responsibilities than a younger pet, but they are equally as beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree?

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month so we thought we would take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about senior pets and how one might be the perfect fit for you.

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Senior Pets: 15 Signs That Your Pet is Starting to Feel His Age

How do you know when your pet is actually a senior? Is your cat or dog showing signs of aging? Has he begun to slow down or act differently from when he was a little one? This might be completely normal, but sometimes hard to accept for pet parents.

15 things to watch out for or question with aging pets:

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Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy

The first thing to remember is that not all pets are created equally. Like most humans, some pets have good and bad days. Some pets also have different needs than others. You have to keep these things in mind when exploring ways to keep your pet happy. Understanding and acknowledging your pet’s needs and wants will help you to achieve this goal. The fact that you are even reading this post is a good sign that your pet is probably already living a pretty wonderful life. Keep up the good work!

5 Things to keep in mind if your pet seems unhappy   

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How to Prepare Your Pet for Winter Weather

139856735-cold-weather-dog-paw-care-632x475With holiday arrangements in full force, it might be hard to remember to prepare your pet for the colder winter months. You know it’s headed your way and your pet can probably sense it, but what exactly can you do? Take some time to make sure you have everything he or she might need before the freezing temperatures hit hard. Below are 5 ways to help prepare your pet for the colder months ahead.

  1. Your pet has fur, but could they benefit from a nice warm coat or sweater while spending time outdoors? ABSOLUTELY. If you already have a coat from last year packed away take a few minutes to make sure it still fits your pet. Whether your pet enjoys the outdoors or runs in and out only to take care of their business, an extra layer might not be a bad idea. If your pet has never used a coat before, consider taking him and her to the store to get a comfortable fitting. You might also want to introduce the coat or sweater to your pet slowly. Have them wear it for small amounts of time to start off with. Some pets do not enjoy having clothes on.
  1. Put a reminder by the door to check your pet’s feet when they come inside. Whether it’s snow, leaves or any other outdoor debris, checking your dog’s feet as they come indoors is never a bad idea. Snow can get stuck in their fur and cause issues. You might want to leave a floor mat, towel or paw cleaner by the door to help eliminate potential issues.
  1. Refresh your memory on all things that are hazardous to pets this time of year. One to always remember is antifreeze. Dogs are attracted to the smell and it tastes sweat on their tongue. Licking up antifreeze can be very bad for your pet. Holiday poinsettias are also dangerous. Don’t let them take a nibble on this plant! Here are a few more articles that will give you even more tips about pet poison prevention.
  1. You might not want to get your pet as many haircuts. Depending on the dog, it might not be the best idea to keep the same grooming schedule as you do in the warmer months. Does your dog’s groomer keep your pet’s hair a bit longer in the winter or do you prefer it just as short? Do you think your pet will be extremely cold if it snows? Will keeping his or her coat longer cause snow to get stuck in it. This might be a good question for your veterinarian. Depending on the pet and how many coats your pet has, adjusting your grooming schedule might be a wise idea. Changing up the type of shampoo you use can also be beneficial. Try a shampoo with added moisturizers.
  1. Keep an eye on your pet’s skin. Just like humans, the cold can cause issues for your pet’s skin. Keep an eye out for redness, cuts and dryness. If you see signs of skin irritations limit the time your pet spends outdoors. You might even need to visit the vet. Pay close attention to your pet after they go outside each time. A lot of dogs enjoy the snow, which can cause issues to the paw pads, nose and ears. Keep an eye out and you might be able to spot any problems.

Do you have any ideas for pet owners to help prepare their pets for the colder months? Share them with us on our Facebook page.

Reasons to Love a Mixed Breed Dog

National Mutt Day is upon us (July 31st) and we are excited to celebrate! Why, you ask? Because any day that we can officially celebrate our pets is a great day for everyone. There are just so many reasons to love and appreciate our beautiful mixed breeds – and any pet for that matter – that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. We’ve tried our best and to help us get our point across we’ve incorporated several pictures for your enjoyment. We certainly love our mixed breed pets!

They are beautiful inside and out.

Mixed breed

 They are unique.

Dog swimming in the pool about the grab the ball

Mutts cost you less money when you first purchase them and you love them just the same! 

Doberman Mixed Breed Senior Dog with Ear perked up 

Several mixed breed dogs are rescues. That makes us feel good about saving a life. 

Group Of Dogs With Owners At Obedience Class

 We love their personalities!

Mixed breed dog three on a sofa.

Mutts are said to be healthier than pure bred dogs. 

Willing to Serve

Some people believe that mixed breeds have more common sense. 

Black mixed breed dog in water portrait

 There are simply lovable!

adorable staffordshire bull terrier puppy outdoors

Do you have a “mutt” in your home that you would like us to celebrate? Share of a picture of your pet and we’d love to post it to our almost 25K fans on Facebook. Thank you for celebrating National Mutt Day with 21st Century AnimalHealthcare and The Paw Print!

5 Ways to Help Your Dog Feel Like a Puppy Again

Is your dog getting older? Is her hair starting to turn a little gray? You grew up together! Your child now has a close personal relationship with your sweet four-legged friend than you do. This just can’t be happening.

Seeing the signs of aging in your furry family member is never easy, especially when it’s health related. Luckily, we have a few tips to help your dog feel like a puppy again. It might even make you feel better about the situation, too. Always be sure to talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s routine or diet.

Give one or more of these easy tips a try and let us know how it helps you and your aging pet. Good luck and have fun!

1. Play ball! When was the last time you played ball with your dog? It’s never too late to spend quality time with your pet. Being a little lazy with your pet is not uncommon, especially when times are busy at home. Help your dog feel like a puppy again by reintroducing her to some of the old games you use to play. Dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to this re-introduction. Smile, laugh, pet and hold your dog close. Appreciate her like she deserves. Make her feel young again!

2. Give your dog a joint supplement. Is your dog less active than in previous years? It could be because her hip and joints need some extra support. Try 21st Century Animal HealthCare’s Hip and Joint supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin. They are veterinarian formulated and will provide optimal support for your pet’s joint function. The full line of Hip & Joint supplements provides the correct level of relief for your pet’s age and needs. See all hip and joint care options for 21st Century Pet here.

3. Try new things. Why is it that when we’re young we try new things without hesitation (except green and smelly foods, of course) and genuinely enjoy these new adventures? Try something fresh with your pet. Are you both set in a boring routine? Mix it up by visiting a new dog park or a pet-friendly restaurant downtown. Get out of the house with your pooch. You both might discover something you never thought you’d like! It might even make you feel younger again!

4. Give your dog a daily multi-vitamin. 21st Century Animal Healthcare has a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement specially formulated for senior dogs. It is highly palatable and easy to chew. Our daily vitamins for dogs are formulated specifically for your pet’s age.

5. Walk regularly. Exercise is great for your dog even if it’s a short leisurely walk. Just like for humans, it’s important to keep the body active and moving. Have you gotten out of the habit of taking your dog for a walk? Your dog could feel great taking regular walks again. Start off slow and gradually work your way up to a longer trip. Remember to bring water, just in case. If your dog is not regularly walking, she might need a few breaks here and there. Once you see that your dog is feeling tired, head home and go out again the following day. Remember not to push your aging dog too much.   

We hope you try one of these five helpful tips to help your dog feel like a puppy again. Age is just a number, right? As your pet ages, embrace the change and adapt to his or her needs. Is she no longer able to jump on the bed? Get her a ramp. Is the food harder for her to chew? Put a little water in the bowl to make it softer. There are many tips about how to help your aging pet feel more comfortable. Bottom Line: It’s never too late to help your dog feel loved and happier than ever before.

Photo Credit: Top photo from flickr by smlp.co.uk, Lower image from flicjkr by Liz White.

Why Your Cat Wakes You Up at 4:00 In the Morning

This is dedicated to everyone who’s been awakened at the crack of dawn by their cat! The truth is that it may not be hunger that drives your cat to rouse you. It’s because cats are crepuscular—a great word that describes activity that takes place at twilight, i.e. at dawn and dusk. Prey tends to be active during these times, so cats naturally evolved to take advantage of Mr. Mouse’s social hours. If anyone tells you cats are creatures of the night, that’s not technically true. Cats have superb night vision, but even they can’t see in pitch-black darkness, so cats tend to sleep when it’s dark/night.

So, what can you do if your cat’s crepuscular peak hours don’t coincide with yours?
It goes without saying: don’t allow your cat to share your bed/bedroom. And it may be best to shut your cats in a room at night as far away from the bedroom as possible so that you don’t hear them scratching the door in the morning. If your cats are your bed companions, try getting blackout curtains to shut out the early-morning sun. That might buy you a bit of time (but not much – I have black-out curtains). Try earplugs to block out their crepuscular cries (works a bit, but not much use when the cat decides to walk on your face, or make bread on your chest). Try keeping your cat awake during the day so it sleeps longer at night. Apparently, cats sleep up to 16 hours a day!

What To Do If Your Cat Wakes You During the Night to Play
Some cats need to be locked out of the bedroom because they may nip at your toes moving or swat at your eyelids twitching while you sleep. If your cat cries and scratches at the door, you can discourage him by placing something he dislikes in front of the door, such as vinyl carpet-runner (placed upside-down to expose the knobby side) or double-sided sticky tape. If your typically well-behaved cat suddenly starts wandering restlessly at night crying or needing to eat more, there may be an underlying medical concern, such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) that is easily controlled with medication. Have him checked out by your veterinarian. Excessive nocturnal crying can also be due to age-related deficits, such as a loss of hearing, vision, or sense of smell. Try moving your cat’s food and water dish near his bed and put his litter box along an easily followed path. Letting the cat sleep near you may be comforting to you both.

If your cat wakes you up during the night to be fed, try an automatic feeder with a built-in timer to dispense food according to a preset schedule. Set it to open once or twice during the night. Your cat should learn to wait by the feeder rather than bother you. Feeding several small meals during the day may also help curtail your cat’s excessive nocturnal appetite. Save the largest meal for right before bedtime. Bonne nuit!

Crate Training Your Puppy (or older pet)

Crate Training your PuppyDuring the first several months of your new puppy’s life, a dog must learn to feel secure in his environment. An insecure dog can develop problems that will negatively impact his ability to house train, cause cowering, digging, chewing and incessant barking. Adult dog behavior is shaped during the early stages of puppyhood. Many dogs are placed in shelters or end up on the streets as a result of poor training on the owner’s part. Like children, dogs need proper training and direction. Most problems with dogs can be prevented if proper direction is taken from the beginning. Invest a little of your time now, and and it will result in a lifetime of enjoyment for you and your canine companion.

Dogs are pack animals by nature and prefer a dark, small, den-like atmosphere as opposed to a huge open room that we humans would enjoy. Dog crates are simply a rectangular structure just big enough for the dog to lay down in. They should NOT be large enough for the dog to play in. The natural tendency to stay clean is basic instinct. The crate becomes the den that humans took away when we domesticated dogs thousands of years ago.

Crates are primarily used for house breaking puppies. But may also be used to train/re-train adult dogs as well. Crates are not cruel by any stretch of the imagination. It’s like an indoor den for you companion. Crates should NOT be used for long term confinement. More than 10 hours for any dog is too long to remain in a crate without being able to relieve themself. Once a schedule is set, dogs usually have an admirable ability to “hold it.” This time period must be gradually worked up to through proper training from puppyhood.
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