Friday, January 6, 2017

Is Adopting an Older Dog Right for Your Family?

At Pet Wants, we’re committed to making high-quality pet food that helps pets live happier and healthier lives. In addition to making great food from fresh ingredients, we also want to support current and potential pet owners in any way that we can. One issue we talk about with plenty of people who are interested in pets is adoption. With millions of dogs and cats across the United States in need of good homes, we always recommend going to a local shelter in Dallas instead of buying a dog.

But prior to going to a shelter, it’s important to spend a little time thinking through your family’s readiness for bringing a dog home. As you’re thinking about this topic, we encourage you to consider the age of the dog you want to adopt. Many families default to wanting a puppy. However, we want to cover a few different reasons why giving an adult dog a home may ultimately be the best choice for your household:

Easier Transition

People who haven’t been exposed to puppies often underestimate just how much work they can be. When you get a puppy, you’re responsible for potty training it. Not only does that process take time, but puppies are only physically capable of controlling their bladders for a few hours at a time.

So if there are times of the day when no one is able to be at home to take a puppy out, accidents are going to happen. And since puppies are full of energy, they’re going to start doing destructive things like chewing on furniture whenever they get bored. Although adopting an adult dog is still a big commitment, they aren’t nearly as time-intensive as a puppy.

Can Still Learn

One of the most common myths about older dogs is they can’t learn anything new. In reality, adult dogs can definitely learn new tricks or commands and are often easier to train thanks to their long attention span. And as mentioned above, chances are they will already know basic commands like sit.

Will Give Their Love and Loyalty

Dogs are very loving and loyal animals. When a dog comes from a situation that wasn’t so great, they may be even more giving in these ways to their new family. You’ll also have the fulfillment that goes along with knowing you brought home a dog who may have otherwise been euthanized due to overcrowding.

If you want to see for yourself what it is like being around an older dog, we encourage you to take your family to a local Dallas shelter so you can all spend some time interacting with dogs of different ages.

The 3 Best New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Owners

Although many people make New Year’s resolutions and then drift away from them within weeks, plenty of other people use the start of the year to make lasting changes in their lives. There are two traits that set the latter group apart from the former. First, setting clear resolutions is necessary for finding success with this kind of goal. And second, you need real motivation beyond simply jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon.

To help you on both fronts, we’ve put together a list of three clear resolutions you can set for yourself. And to provide the extra motivation, we’ve chosen ones you can do with your dog. Tackling any of the resolutions together will let you both enjoy the highest quality of life. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into the resolutions:

1. Go for a Daily 30 Minute Walk

Over the course of just one month, walking with your dog for thirty minutes a day will add up to at least 15 hours. This type of consistent activity will help you and your dog feel great. Using an app or a calendar where you create a chain of X’s is a great way to stay motivated by not wanting to break your streak.

2. Think Before You Eat

Whether it’s when you’re in front of your computer during the day or relaxing on the couch at night, it’s easy to consume a significant amount of calories through snacking without even realizing it. That’s why cutting out this type of behavior is a relatively simple but very effective way to help shed any excess pounds. And for your dog, this resolution should take the form of not feeding table snacks and instead, giving your dog a house-made pet treat when you want to reward it.

3. Be Consistent with Brushing and Flossing

Most people are good at brushing their teeth on a consistent basis. However, the same isn’t always true for flossing. Even though it may seem like a hassle, flossing is very useful and you’ll be pleased with the results of doing it regularly. As you take care of your own teeth and mouth, you should do the same for your dog. Research has found that even a single brushing a week for dogs with a fluoride paste can cut their risk way down for multiple types of oral health issues.

Based on your current routine, you may want to set two or three of these resolutions. While that’s an awesome attitude to have, we do recommend spreading them out. Start with just a single resolution, and then after you’ve stuck with it for three to five weeks, you can add another one to your plate. Spreading out your resolutions will help you ultimately achieve more instead of getting overwhelmed all at once and giving up.