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Best Joint Supplements for Your Dog

Guest Post by Jim Smith

Harrison-kugler-d2hWXEV8J-8-unsplashAre you looking for the best joint supplements for dogs?

Watching your once happy and lively dog in pain can be heartbreaking. Arthritis, joint, and hip issues have become increasingly common in senior dogs. Joint supplements can help reduce symptoms.

But are they safe to use?

In this blog post, we’ll go through everything you need to know about joint supplements for dogs and help you pick the best ones.

Let’s get started.

As with humans, when dogs start getting older, they develop certain health issues associated with old age. Joint pain and inflammation are becoming increasingly common in all breeds.

Why is that so?
One of the biggest reasons is that our dogs are getting fatter. Overweight and obese pets are more likely to develop hip and joint pain as the weight puts more pressure on your dog’s joints.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Joint Pain

Not sure if your pooch has joint pain?
Our furry friends won’t be able to tell us they’re in pain. Dogs are especially good at hiding their pain and won’t let you know they’re hurting unless it’s unbearable. In the wild, showing pain can be a sign of weakness. So, dogs are programmed to hide it.

Common signs of joint pain in dogs include:

  • Hesitation in climbing stairs
  • Not jumping up and down the furniture
  • Swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Standing up can be challenging
  • Overall bad temper
  • Low energy

If your dog is showing any of these signs, take him to the vet for a proper check-up and diagnosis.

Best Joint Supplements

Joint supplements can be a boon for dogs with limited mobility. They help alleviate most of the symptoms and bring back your happy-go-lucky pooch.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best joint supplements.

1. Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Supplement Plus MSM

It comes in a yummy chicken flavor and is manufactured in the US using globally-sourced ingredients. Helps improve joint health and mobility.

2, Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews

These come in easy to chew tablets and helps support joint health. Decaffeinated green tea provides antioxidants.

3. Petlab Co. Joint Care Chews for Dogs

This helps improve joint mobility and improve blood flow to the joints, providing your dog with flexibility, strength, and comfort.

Here's the Deal: Common Joint Supplement Side Effects

While dog supplements for joints do help alleviate symptoms, they can have harmful side effects of their own, such as:

  • High doses cause excessive urination
  • Diabetes (in case of sugar-based supplements)
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Bald spots
  • Constant licking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Itchy skin
  • Gassiness

Some of these symptoms are easy to deal with, while others are more serious. So, it’s best to stick to natural supplements for your pooch. These are safe, effective, and easy to use. More on those in a moment.

A Note on Cheap Chinese Supplements

You’ll find several cheap supplements on the market when looking for the best joint supplements.

While these look like a great deal, they can end up making your pet extremely sick! The FDA is investigating 600+ pet deaths and 3600+ injuries linked to Chinese supplements. Products imported from overseas are not regulated by the FDA. This means that they aren’t legally obliged to disclosing where the products are sourced from. In fact, some supplements may be advertised as “Made in the US” but can be sourcing their ingredients from China and other countries.

Isn’t that terrifying?

That's why it is safer to stick to natural joint supplements for dogs.

Choosing Natural Joint Supplements

Natural supplements for dogs are safe, effective, and easy to use. They help reduce joint inflammation and the pain that comes with it.

And, they don’t have harmful side effects!

  1. CBD Oil for Dogs
    CBD Oil For Dogs finds its origin in the cannabis plant. CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat chronic pain conditions like hip and joint dysplasia. It helps reduce pain and doesn’t have harmful side effects.

    CBD oil isn’t just great for hip and joint issues. It helps with a plethora of issues like anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and helps improve a dog’s overall quality of life. You’ll find many CBD products online, most of them are low-quality. So, you should choose organic, natural, and lab-tested oil like Relievet’s CBD oil for dogs for effective results.

  2. Collagen
    Collagen is a type of protein found in cartilage, tendons, bones, ligaments, and joints. As your dog grows older, collagen production slows down, causing problems like mobility issues, joint and hip pain, weakened teeth, etc. You can boost your pet’s collagen production using collagen supplements.
  3. Turmeric
    Turmeric has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of issues. It’s safe to use with pets and helps reduce joint inflammation and pain. For the best results, choose organic Turmeric.

Did we answer all of your questions?

You’ll find several dog supplements for joints on the market, but not all of them are safe for your pooch. Some have serious side effects, while others are imported from questionable sources.

So, it is safe to stick to natural supplements when possible.

CBD oil for dogs is heavily researched scientifically proven to reduce joint pain--and it is safe to use. But, with the market saturated with CBD products, it’s important to choose the right one for your pooch.

Relievet’s CBD oil for dogs is natural, organic, and lab-tested to ensure quality.

Do you have any questions? We'll be happy to answer them if you visit https://www.relievet.com/.

Jim Smith has a passion for animals -- he lives with his cat and two dogs in San Diego. He has been writing about animals for the past 5 years, specializing in natural and alternative health.

Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash


Your Dog at Work - Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Dog-2467149_1920If your employer allows dogs, is it a good idea to bring your dog to work with you?  Having dogs at work is something of a growing trend, with such major employers as Amazon, Google, Salesforce and Ticketmaster allowing it.

These days, you may have been spending a lot of time at home, so it could be tough for your dog to see you go off to work. Maybe you can take him or her with you!

According to PetPlace, "Companies that have tried experimenting with dog-friendly workplaces have reported positive feedback, stating that pets in the office allow them to get through long workdays happily, improving overall morale, employee attendance, and a better work-life balance."

Still, allowing dogs at work takes some preparation and getting used to. For example, employees must be asked if they have allergies or a fear of dogs. In addition, behavior and hygiene are two primary concerns. The employee who owns a dog must be confident the dog will react well to strangers and be able to acclimate to an office environment. Dogs must also be vaccinated and free of fleas, ticks and any contagious conditions. An evaluation period to see whether your dog can be a good canine citizen at work is a good idea. But imagine how cool it would be to work in a dog-friendly office!

Read more about the pros and cons of dogs at work here:
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/bring-your-dog-to-work-pros-and-cons/

Image: Pixabay.com


Feel-Good Quotes About Dogs

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Here are some really great quotes about dogs:

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
– Anonymous

Happiness is a warm puppy.
– Charles M. Schulz

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
– Will Rogers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
– Ben Williams

My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.
– Elayne Boosler

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
– Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
– Andy Rooney

Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.
– Caroline Knapp

If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.
– Charles Yu

To err is human – to forgive, canine.
– Unknown

You'll find plenty more here: https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/just-for-fun/favorite-dog-quotes/?

Image: Pixabay.com


Adopting a Dog? You Need to Ask These 20 Questions

Dog-3435827_1920If you've decided to adopt a dog, congratulations! It's a wonderful thing to do and it will be exciting for you. In the excitement, though, you want to be sure you are making a smart choice and adopting a dog that's right for you and your family. One of the biggest reasons adopted dogs are surrendered is because the adopter didn't think carefully about what kind of dog was a good fit.

That's why you should find the list of 20 questions put together by YourDogAdvisor.com to be really helpful.

Some of the questions -- with the answers -- included in this list are:

How big is the dog going to get?

Was the dog handed in or is it a stray?

Has the dog's socialization skills been assessed?

What are the dog's energy levels?

Does the dog have any specific grooming requirements?

Check out all of the 20 questions and their answers here: https://yourdogadvisor.com/questions-to-ask-when-adopting-a-dog/


Dogs and Ice Cream

Christian-bowen-OYUzC-h1glg-unsplashWhen you're cooling off with some yummy ice cream, do you let your dog have a lick -- or even buy a kiddie size for your fur baby? Plenty of people do just that -- but this information from PetPlace.com is a good reminder that ice cream made for human consumption isn't always great for dogs.

According to PetPlace, the sugar, fat and lactose in ice cream make it an unhealthy treat for dogs. In addition, these common ice cream ingredients are downright dangerous for dogs:

  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • raisins
  • macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol

Here are some reasonable alternatives as cold doggie treats:

  • Unsweetened frozen yogurt blended with frozen fruit or peanut butter
  • Chicken or beef broth ice cubes

And don't overlook local ice cream shops that offer specially made doggie treats, including Asheville and Black Mountain locations of The Hop.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash


Travel with Your Dog in the Time of COVID-19

Land-2564197_1920If you've been thinking of venturing out on a trip with your dog, you've no doubt thought about the possible complications of travel because of COVID-19. That's why you may find a free guide from MillionMileSecrets.com valuable.

This handy guide offers comprehensive information about flying with your dog, including the latest regulations for traveling with pets on major airlines. You should be aware, for example, that virtually every major airline no longer accepts pets in cargo areas, but they do allow "carry-0n pets" if your pet fits in a carrier placed under your seat.

In addition, the guide covers alternatives to airline travel: Traveling with your pet by car, by ship and by train.

You'll find the guide here: https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/travel-with-pets-covid-19/

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


What to Do with Your Doggie Around Asheville

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If you're like so many of the dog owners who are getting cabin fever and maybe a little bored with dog walking, take heart: The "Asheville Date Night Guide" has some cool ideas for what to do with your doggie in the Asheville area.

Among the suggestions listed are:

  • Dog play dates at French Broad Dog Park or Fletcher Dog Park
  • Dog-friendly hikes - 5 suggestions, including Bent Creek and Rattlesnake Lodge
  • Double dog dates - places where humans and dogs are allowed, such as the Battery Park Champagne Bar

Check out all the ideas in this helpful article here: https://ashevilledatenight.com/asheville-dates-for-your-dog/

Image by Jeff Chabot from Pixabay


How Old is Your Dog in Human Years... Really?

Harrison-kugler-d2hWXEV8J-8-unsplashMost dog owners have always done simple math to determine the age of their dog in "human years" -- multiply each dog year by 7 and you have the answer, right?

According to new scientific research, that may not be quite right. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently reported, "Dogs are much older than we think, and researchers devised a more accurate formula to calculate a dog's age based on the chemical changes in the DNA as organisms grow old."

Here's a new formula that, according to scientists, will be much more accurate than the 7 dog years = 1 human year we are all used to:

"The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says that a canine’s human age roughly equals 16 ln(dog age) + 31. (That’s the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, with 31 added to the total.)"

If you can't figure that out, don't worry. The AAAS has created a handy calculator where you can just fill in your dog's age and find his or her age in human years. You'll find it half-way down on this page:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/here-s-better-way-convert-dog-years-human-years-scientists-say

Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash


Free Pet Food - Hendersonville, Aug. 10

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 10.55.15 AMBlue Ridge Humane Society will be offering a free pet food distribution for those in need or affected by COVID-19, on Monday, August 10, from 9 am-1 pm at the Blue Ridge Humane Society Adoption Center located at 88 Centipede Lane in Hendersonville, NC.

Cat and dog food will be distributed first come, first serve, as supplies last. Social distancing and protective measures will be taken by all staff and we ask the public to do the same during the drive-thru pick-up.  Additional resources and supplies will also be available.

If a pet owner is in need of food but unable to attend the pick-up, please call or text the BRHS helpline at (828) 393-5832.

Image: Blue Ridge Humane Society


Should You Adopt a Second Dog?

Dogs-189015_1920If you've owned your dog for awhile, you undoubtedly have developed a special bond. One reason your dog naturally bonds with you is because dogs are pack animals. Dogs are generally happier as part of a pack whether it's human or canine, but most dogs seem to welcome a canine companion. So the question is: Should you adopt a second dog?

Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, the veterinarian who heads the well-regarded Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, believes that "dogs in general are happier with other dogs. It's hard on social creatures not to live with their co-species members." Still, getting a second dog should not be a hasty decision. “A dog might enjoy another dog initially,” she says. "But the two dogs may not display their full range of behaviors in that situation, and they have to make a quick decision based on initial impressions. We’re layering our own best judgment over that to create what is essentially an arranged marriage that may or may not work to best advantage.”

The Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has some excellent, authoritative suggestions for how to add a second dog to your household in an informative article, "Would Your Dog be Happier with a Second Dog?" Read it here: https://www.tuftsyourdog.com/dogownership/would-your-dog-be-happier-with-a-second-dog/

Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay


7 Tips on Canine Body Language from the ASPCA

This information is provided as a public service from the ASPCA.

Erda-estremera-JBrbzg5N7Go-unsplashDogs communicate with one another and with us using their own elegant, non-verbal language. These seven tips focus on seven important aspects of a dog’s body: eyes, ears, mouth, tail, sweat and overall body posture/movement. Staff and volunteers can use this information to interpret what an animal is feeling.

Eyes

When looking at dog's eyes, pay attention to the white part of the eye (the sclera), and consider the focus and intensity of the dog's gaze. When a dog is feeling tense, his eyes may appear rounder than normal, or they may show a lot of white around the outside (sometimes known as a "whale eye".) 

Dilated pupils can also be a sign of fear or arousal—these can make the eyes look "glassy," indicating that a dog is feeling threatened, stressed or frightened.

A relaxed dog will often squint, so that his eyes become almond-shaped with no white showing at all.

Mouth

A relaxed dog will likely have his mouth open and may be panting, with no facial or mouth tension. The corners of his mouth may be turned upward slightly.

A fearful or tense dog will generally keep his mouth closed, and may pull his lips back at the corners (also known as a "long lip".) He may also be panting rapidly. A panting dog who suddenly closes his mouth in response to something in the environment may also be indicating increased stress. Drooling when no food is present can also be a sign of extreme fear or stress.

A dog displaying a physical warning may wrinkle the top of his muzzle, often next pulling his lips up vertically to display his front teeth. This is called an "offensive pucker." The muzzle is wrinkled and the corner of the mouth is short and forms a C-shape. This warning often comes with a tense forehead, hard eyes. The dog may also growl—all very clear warnings to anyone approaching.

Some dogs display a "submissive grin" or "smile". This is also a gesture where a dog shows his front teeth, but a smiling dog is doing just that. He usually shows a lowered head, wagging tail, flattened ears, a soft body posture, and soft, squinty eyes along with those teeth. Teeth don't always mean aggression—it is important to consider the whole body and the context to understand what a dog is saying.

Yawning and lip licking may be an early sign of stress, particularly when accompanied by a tight mouth and often a whining sound.

Ears

Dogs have a wide variety of ear types. Although it may be easier for us to see ear position in dogs with erect ears, even floppy-eared dogs like Basset hounds can move the base of their ears forward and back to show different emotions—just look at the direction of the base of the ear. When a dog is relaxed, his ears may be slightly back or out to the sides. As a dog becomes more aroused, the ears will move forward, pointing toward a subject of interest. When their ears are most forward their foreheads often wrinkle.

Tail

When observing a dog's tail, there are two things to consider: the position of the base of the tail, and how the tail is moving.

A relaxed dog holds his tail in a neutral position, extending out from the spine, or maybe below spine level. As the dog becomes more excited or aroused, his tail usually rises above spine level.

The tail movement may be a loose wag from side to side or sweeping circular motion. As the dog becomes more excited or aroused, his tail usually rises above spine level. He may also move his tail side to side in short, rapid movements as he becomes more excited.

A fearful dog will tuck his tail between his rear legs. The tail may also be held rigid against the belly, or wag stiffly.

Hair

Much like your own “goosebumps,” the hair can raise along a dog’s back when he is upset or aroused. This is also known as piloerection or “raised hackles” and can occur across the shoulders, down the spine, and above the tail.  Hackles don’t always mean aggression is imminent, but they are an indicator that the dog is excited or upset about something.

A frightened or stressed dog may also shed more than usual. 

Sweat

Dogs pant to cool themselves, but panting can also be a sign of stress, particularly rapid panting accompanied by a tight mouth with stress wrinkles around it.

Dogs also have the ability to sweat through their paws. You may notice a dog leaving wet footprints on the floor if he is particularly upset.

Overall Body Posture and Body Movement

When initiating play, dogs often start with a play bow and generally follow up with exaggerated facial and body movements. A playful dog's body movement will be loose and wiggly, with lots of movement and brief pauses during play.

A dog who seems stiff, moves slowly, or who keeps moving away may not be interested in social interaction with this playful dog.

Looking away, sniffing, scratching, lying down, or other avoidance behaviors may also indicate that the play session is over.

A fearful dog may lean away, lean back, tremble, crouch, lower his body or head, or roll onto his side or back. Often, his eyes will often be fully open with large pupils, his forehead will be wrinkled, and his tail will be lowered or tucked.

An extremely fearful dog may freeze completely or frantically try to escape, and he may urinate or defecate when approached.

A dog displaying aggressive body language will look large, standing with his head raised above his shoulders. His body will be tense, with weight either centered or over all four feet or leaning slightly forward onto the front legs.

A dog displaying aggressive behavior may also have a wrinkled muzzle, a short lip, and a hard eye.

Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash


Therapy Dogs and Autism

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The federal government's Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that, in 2020, about 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism or autism spectrum disorder is a set of conditions with symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, challenges in communication and social skills, sleep disorders and sensory sensitivities.

There are varying degrees of autism, and while there is no cure, there are many therapies, tools and interventions that may be helpful. One option families explore is bringing an autism therapy dog into their family. A therapy dog is trained to provide comfort in a therapeutic context. Outside of medical settings or an institutional environment, a therapy dog is an option for people with autism because they can help encourage social interaction as well as being calming.

DogDigz offers a helpful, comprehensive guide to the use of therapy dogs for children. It includes:

  • an explanation of the differences between therapy, companion and service dogs
  • types of dogs for specific circumstances
  • how a therapy dog can help a child with autism
  • organizations that can help

Get this free guide here: https://dogdigz.com/therapy-dog-autism/

Image: DogDigz.com


5 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Get Through COVID-19

Jumpstory-download20200713-171305Guest Post by Lynell McCready

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people that dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is stressful. It’s important to take steps to help manage potentially overwhelming emotions and anxiety. 

During this trying time, families have suffered an economic burden; they have had to shelter in place and practice social distancing. All of these factors contribute to anxiety. It’s crucial to find a way to ease stress and to find enjoyment. If you are a pet owner, you know that your dog or cat plays an active role in relieving your anxiety. Consider five ways your pet can help you through the COVID19 pandemic. 

1. A Pet is Good for Your Mental Health

There is a reason thousands of families welcome dogs and cats into their hearts each year. A pet makes a great companion if you are stuck at home and cut off from friends and family. Your dog is a friendly ear when you need someone to talk to or a great distraction when you feel the stress mounting. 

Often pets can pick up cues for how someone they love is feeling, too, so if you are sad or lonely, your dog will be there to provide comfort and may even make you laugh. 

2. Pets Give You Purpose

When you are stuck at home, it can be a struggle to find a reason to get up out of bed. A dog that needs exercise or grooming provides purpose. It’s not just about you. There is someone special in your life that needs your help, and that is motivating. 

Having a dog means you must stick to a schedule, get out of the house several times a day, and do some cleanup. He is the gift that keeps on giving by letting you know that there are still things you must do even if you are sheltering in place. 

3.  Dogs Keep You Moving

Staying home puts you at risk of becoming inactive. Lack of physical exercise can encourage chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes. People who live sedentary lives have a higher risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and dementia. 

The pandemic may mean that you can’t go to the gym, play tennis or even golf. The things that kept you active in the past are out of your reach right now, except for maybe one. The need to walk the dog doesn’t change because there is a virus out there. 

Having a dog can be a source of activity. You can take her with you for a run or go to the park and play. It’s a chance to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. 

4. Take a Break

For many, the pandemic means working at home. It’s easy to get caught up in your work and forget to take a break. You don’t have colleagues to get a cup of coffee with or to remind you it’s time to quit for the day. 

Your office buddy is now the four-legged variety that nuzzles your leg when it’s time to get up from the desk. She is there to let you know it’s been several hours since you took her outside. Your dog keeps you on schedule when being on the clock means staying at home in quarantine.  

5. Add a Little Sweetness to Your Life

Between watching the news reports and interacting on social media, it’s easy to get caught up in the negativity. Add that to the fact that you are stuck at home either by yourself or with your family, and it’s easy to feel like there is little joy in life right now. 

A dog is nothing but joy. That unconditional love and lasting sweetness will remind you that there are good things in life. This situation is temporary, so focusing on the negative does more harm than good.

When you feel that negative energy taking over, sit on the couch, and have a cuddle. Maybe it’s time to grab the leash and take a walk or do some training. Your dog is ready anytime you are, so make the most of his positive nature and let it help you fend off the negative. 

When the pandemic is over, you will look back on your time with your pet and develop a new appreciation for what a dog or cat brings to your life.

Lynell McCready has had pets all her life, and each one has taught her something different about not only herself but how she wishes to view the world. But it wasn’t until a job in the late nineties that took her away from her animals did she realize the impact that we have on our animals’ lives. For the last 15 years, she’s been a pet-sitter, offering and assuring people who do have to leave their pets that they will be well-loved and taken care of while they are away.

Image: Jumpstory


Hot Weather and Dogs

Bulldog-1275760_1920Every dog owner knows that summer temperatures can be dangerous to their pet, especially when a dog is left in a hot car. What you may not know is that some dogs are much more susceptible to the heat than others.

Reporting on a British study, The New York Times recently indicated that "Big dogs, older dogs, dogs with flat faces and certain breeds are all at higher risk of illness or death in hot weather. ... Nine breeds were at significantly higher risk than others, and five of them have flat faces: Bulldogs, French bulldogs, dogues de Bordeaux, chow chows and pugs. Greyhounds, English springer spaniels, Cavalier King Charles spaniels and golden retrievers were also at higher risk."

Care should also be taken with dogs older than twelve, since they have a 75 percent higher risk for illnesses caused by excessive heat. Dogs that weigh over 110 pounds are also at higher risk. And for all you mixed breed/shelter dog owners, you'll be happy to know that purebred dogs have an 85 percent higher risk than mixed breeds.

Image: Pixabay.com


Pandemic Causes New Emphasis on Dogs and Homeowners Insurance

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One good thing that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic is animal rescue shelters have seen a spike in dog adoptions. In a happy turn of events, “foster fails” account for many of these adoptions — when pets who were to be temporarily fostered are bonded with and become a long-term member of the family. 

People are finding themselves spending more time at home with their dogs — all day, every day. However, one thing these pet owners may not have considered is: What happens when they return to work, and their dog is suddenly left alone at home for extended periods of time? People’s social lives will also return to normal, meaning their dog will suddenly be exposed to house guests and visitors for the first time. How will their dog behave in these new situations?

You may think your dog is predictable, but how sure are you they will be on their best behavior when they are confronted with new people, places and situations? Dogs are not always as predictable as people may think. If your dog happens to bite someone or damage another person’s property, do you know whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover the damage?

Here's an informative guide for dog owners about dog behavior and homeowners insurance: https://www.coverage.com/insurance/home/new-pet-owners-guide/

Here's additional information about whether pets are covered by homeowners insurance:
 https://www.thezebra.com/homeowners-insurance/coverage/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-pets/

Image: Coverage.com 


Beware of Puppy Mills

Rottweiler-1785760_1920Sadly, North Carolina does not currently have a law that bans puppy mills or backyard breeders. While there are certainly responsible breeders in the state, puppies offered for sale at pet stores, through classifieds, at flea markets and by neighbors could be cause for concern. Many of the animals offered for sale through such means could have been raised in horrendous conditions. They could be medically or behaviorally unfit to be adopted. That's why, for most consumers, the better choice is to adopt a dog from your local animal shelter or humane society.

Here are some facts about puppy mills you should know from The Puppy Mill Project, a nonprofit organization:

A puppy mill is a breeding operation that breeds dogs for profit, prioritizing financial gain over the health or well-being of the dogs. If a breeding operation breeds for profit and sells to pet stores or to consumers over the Internet, it is not a responsible breeding facility. While puppy mills may vary in size and conditions, any breeding operation that places profit over the health or well-being of the dogs can be accurately described as a puppy mill. We will never use the term puppy mill, commercial breeder, or puppy farm to describe a responsible, reputable breeder.

If a pet store claims it buys only from "licensed breeders," this doesn’t mean anything more than that the breeders are licensed to sell to pet stores and that they meet the USDA’s minimal standards. The USDA’s standards for care of companion animals are extremely minimal, and these standards are not adequately enforced. Pet stores will often tout that their puppies only come from the best USDA-licensed facilities, yet the conditions in USDA compliant facilities are often far below what most people would consider acceptable for companion animals.

Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for commercially-bred puppies. Pet stores are necessary to sustain and perpetuate the puppy mill industry. It is imperative to cut off the end of the supply chain to decrease the number of puppy mills. Further, pet stores are complicit in consumer fraud. Pet stores often misrepresent the true origins of their puppies and mislead consumers into believing that they are purchasing a responsibly and humanely-bred puppy. Focusing our educational and advocacy efforts on pet stores is an extremely effective way to fight puppy mills.


Allergy-Proof Your Home... for You and Your Dog

Putz-bucket-1290940_1920Dogs are remarkably loyal to humans -- and they also are remarkably similar to humans in the conditions and diseases they share. Among those conditions is the allergic reaction, a common occurrence year round, but especially when trees and grasses send off pollen during the spring.

Keeping your home allergen-free is good for you and your dog, and a handy guide from Everlywell.com offers 18 easy ways to allergy-proof your home. The guide offers room-by-room suggestions and printable checklists as well as an allergy log. It also includes a special section about pets, who may unwittingly bring outside allergens into your home.

Get your free guide here: https://www.everlywell.com/blog/indoor-outdoor-allergies/how-to-allergy-proof-your-home/

Image: Pixabay.com


COVID-19 Facts and Myths Related to Dogs

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COVID-19 is still very much a threat to all of us. You probably have a lot of questions about how to keep you dog safe during this global pandemic. Cyberpet has put together a handy infographic with  the answers to twelve of the most common questions concerning pets and coronavirus. You'll find authoritative answers to questions including:

  1. Can pets catch coronavirus?
  2. Can my dog transmit coronavirus?
  3. How can I protect my dog if I am sick?
    ...and 9 more.

You'll find the infographic here: https://www.cyberpet.com/covid-19-and-pets/


The Most Popular Dog Breed is...

Young-2293890_1920Carolina Mountain Dog is a bit biased, but we believe the most popular dog breed in America is the mixed breed! Any "mutt" is #1, as far as we're concerned, especially if he/she is adopted from an animal shelter or rescue organization.

Still, if you're interested in knowing the "official" results of the AKC's annual ranking of the most popular dog breeds, here are the top 10 for 2019:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Bulldog
  6. Poodle
  7. Beagle
  8. Rottweiler
  9. German Shorthaired Pointer
  10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The list was released on May 1, 2020. To see the rest of the list, visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/2020-popular-breeds-2019/

Image: Pixabay.com