Every year around Christmas thousands of people try to decide whether or not to get a dog for their kids for Christmas. Below are 6 Questions to help you decide if you should adopt a dog for Christmas from our friends at TheUncommonDog.com. Please remember, if you are going to get a dog don’t buy, adopt a dog from a dog rescue near you!
December 9, 2020 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Well, it’s no surprise that running a dog rescue is an enormous task. It makes sense that rescues can always use volunteer help with cleaning, feeding, bathing, walking, and caring for the dogs who reside there. But there are also unlimited possibilities for alternative volunteer support that you may not have thought about when the desire to help overcomes you. Here are a few ways you might be able to help, which may utilize your talents or professional qualifications, along with a few that take no time at all!
Make a Cash Donation
This is often the most overlooked and fully appreciated area that dog rescues could use more help in. If you think that donating money seems impersonal, you are wrong! Organizing fundraising events is time consuming and laborious, which takes away time that could be spent directly with the dogs. If you want to get creative, call a shelter and offer to pay their electric bill for the month. Or, make a donation in the name of a friend (human or canine) for a holiday or birthday. Set up a payment plan that you can afford, and skip 1 latte a week to donate your coffee fund.
Picking up a bag of dog food for your pooches? Pick up another for a local shelter. Have too many blankets and towels in cupboards all over the house? Red Rover, Red Rover, send them right over! Did you get a new computer, printer, digital camera, or (fill-in the blank)? Maybe your local shelter has that on the top of their wish list. In most cases, cash and items donated to a non-profit shelter are also a tax write-off for you. Woohoo!
Share Your Talents
If you’ve ever taken a photography course or tinkered around with taking photos for fun, you’ve probably got services that would be appreciated at the shelter. It’s hard to get a headshot of a dog who wiggles, pants, and thinks that “CHEESE” means it’s treat time. The better the photo of the dog needing a home, the more likely he is to get adopted. What do you love to do? Now ask how that can be a service to the rescue.
Use Your Professional Qualifications
Whether your profession is Web Marketing or Event Planning, there’s a need at the shelter! After all, you have to remember, a dog rescue is a business with a heart. Running a business requires an administrative department, volunteer coordinating, a marketing team, a legal team, and much more to keep going. Donating a few hours of time sharing your expertise goes a long way for many of the rescues running on a skeleton crew.
Obviously, fostering a dog and sharing photos of adoptable dogs on your Facebook page are awesome ways to help. But the need to help doesn’t stop there. Get creative and realistic about what you have to offer, and go for it! Heck, you might just be asked to dress up like Santa Claus for a holiday photo fundraising event. Now that sounds like fun!
Find a dog rescue or animal shelter near you >>
December 16, 2019 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Michael McCamish
You don’t have to adopt/foster all the animals, have a lot of money or be a petexpert to help your local animal shelter out, there are pleanty of other ways. Below is a list of things that you can do at almost any shelter that we can guarantee they would be thankful for.
- Volunteer. Whether or not you can afford to donate cash or items, you can always donate time to volunteer! Ask your local shelter how you can help. They always need people to help walk and wash dogs, assist visitors, volunteer at adoption events and more. Not only do these things help the shelter keep costs down, they help pets get socialized so it’s a win-win.
- Donate supplies. Almost every shelter has a list of supplies that they are always in need of normally containing blankets, chew toys, leashes, collars, paper towels, cleaning supplies and more. If there is not a list online, call or drop by. Make sure you do contact them though to ensure that you are getting the brand they need. Some cleaners are harmful to pets. Some shelters need items like computers, cameras, printers, etc… next time you upgrade, don’t just throw your old one out or let it sit collecting dust, donate it.
- Marketing. We all can’t be marketing and ad people like of Mad Men, but we can help spread the word! Take time to repost things on Facebook or reTweet on Twitter posts from your favorite organization to help raise awareness. If the organization you are volunteering for doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter page, ask them if you can create one. Positive talk and word-of-mouth does a lot and will help them.
- Take photos. Most shelters at least have a presence on PetFinder.com (if not, you can help them out there) and it really helps dogs get adopted if they have a photo. Grab your camera and take some photos.
- Make some phone calls. Most shelters have a wait list of people who are looking for a certain type of dog. The problem is that the staff does not have time to call people on the list when the dogs come in. Take time to help out and call potential adoptors when there is a match and help them find a forever home.
- Events. Every shelter does events to help raise funds and awareness. Volunteer your time to help recruit sponsors (even ask the company you work for), find vendors and at the very least, support the event by coming and telling all your friends to come.
Got more ideas? Help spread the word below. Don’t know of an animal shelter near you to volunteer with?
December 8, 2019 | DogGeek
A checklist of consideration when thinking about adopting a dog.
Many people think that when they buy or rent a house with a big yard, “Well, now we need a dog!” but there are so many more important considerations than your yard size when adopting a dog. Here is a list of considerations when you feel the urge to add a dog to your family.
- Can you commit? Dogs can live 15 years, and smaller breeds even longer. Where do you see yourself in the next 15 years? Regardless of whether or not you get married, have kids, retire and start traveling, move, lose your job, or get a divorce, are you willing to care for a dog through the process?
- Is this the right time?There are many life situations that compel us to want a companion by our side, but these intense emotional times can be when we make irrational decisions that we might regret. In times of grief (loss of a pet or relative), times of transition (a new job or house), or when planning for transition (planning a wedding or trying to get pregnant) it’s better not to add the responsibility of caring for a dog.
- Do you have the time?Do you have a stable routine that allows for daily walking, training, grooming and bonding? Dogs are social beings and having one in your family is like having another person in your house! You’ve got to be prepared to accommodate your new canine family member in all ways, incorporating them in your daily routine and putting their needs at the top of the list.
- Are you willing to work through the issues?They say that dogs are “Man’s Best Friend” for a reason. It’s about relationships. Just like scouring Match.com, when looking for the perfect dog to add to the family, you might be slightly fooled by the initial profile. Sometimes it can take time before baggage shows up. Your new dog might have an aggression trigger that you could have never predicted, or develop a separation anxiety issue once bonded to you. Are you willing to take the time to work with a trainer, or do what ever it takes to keep your dog safe and happy?
- Are you financially stable?In general, puppies, large dogs, and older dogs are more expensive to care for, but unforeseen expenses can happen with any dog. Are you capable of covering a vet bill, or damages to your house (accidents do and will happen!), and to adding the regular maintenance fees to your budget (food, vaccinations, toys, supplies)?
- Have you thought of the type of mate you are looking for?There are thousands of considerations about breed, size, age and disposition that one should consider before adopting. Do you live a physically active lifestyle (hiking, jogging, camping) that would be conducive to including an energetic dog? Do you have physical ailments that might limit your ability to walk a puppy or live with an active dog? Take a long, hard look at your life and determine what type of dog would fit into it nicely.
Before you find yourself looking into all the sad and loving faces at your local dog shelter, take the time to consider if it really is a good decision to adopt. It can be very difficult to say ‘no’ to a dog in need of a home, but there are other ways to help. If the time isn’t right to bring a dog home with you, spend time volunteering at or for a shelter. From dog walking to office work, you can provide greatly needed and appreciated services in many capacities! If the time is right to add to your family, you get ready to experience highs and lows and joys like you could never imagine. They truly are man’s best friend!
Find an animal shelter or dog rescue near you >>
October 15, 2018 | DogGeek
The announcements have all been sent out. The nursery’s complete. And you just got back from the babymoon. You’re both excited to bring home the little one. It’s going to be a life-changing experience, but you couldn’t be readier or happier for this next step.
Sure, the “nursery” may be a crate set up in the kitchen with a comfy blanket and an oversized pillow bed in the living room corner. But let’s face it, your new pup is essentially your baby. That being said, here are four must-do’s for new puppy parents who are preparing to welcome the newest member of the family.
Water, food, a collar and a leash are among the basics necessities you need at home to take care of your new dog. Follow this checklist to ensure you’re fully prepped for your four-legged companion’s homecoming:
- Food and water bowls
- Chew toys
- Crate and bedding
- Grooming supplies
- Registered ID tag and/or microchip
- Gate (to create boundaries)
- Puppy pads, carpet cleaner and odor neutralizer for house training
Spayed or neutered dogs tend to live longer, be healthier and have fewer behavioral problems, according to the Humane Society. Aside from those benefits, you also prevent future puppies (and overpopulation). For maximum health, you may also want to provide you furry friend with the following:
- Heartworm medication (monthly pills, monthly topicals or even a six-month injection) to prevent heartworm disease caused by an infected mosquito.
- Flea and tick control or preventative treatments to protect your pet from fleas, flea eggs or larvae, ticks and chewing lice. For a more nontoxic and natural approach, give your pup black walnut or vitamin-B flea treats, use a a fine-toothed flea comb, vacuum frequently, use herbal shampoo or apply a homemade natural insect repellent recommended by PETA.
- Regular veterinarian check-ups or even training classes to provide your pet with optimal health and discipline.
Dogs are loyal, loving animals and enjoy snuggling up at your side. But, they also want to resort to a safe space when they feel threatened or nervous, such as during a thunderstorm. Instinctively, dogs prefer to be in a den-like space, which serves as shelter away from the storm, according to Daily Puppy.
Darken a space with roller blinds, which are a safer alternative than long window dressings. Keep in mind that your pup also could damage vertical or mini blinds as a way to deal with his or her nervousness. Also, place a blanket, pillow and toys to comfort your dog during the storm, and create positive associations with the space.
Unfortunately, many pups are left at home during most the day, and babysitters or doggie daycare can be expensive. Instead, equip your home with iCPooch, which is an interactive care system for your dog. With iCPooch, you can video chat or deliver a treat over the Internet and lovingly keep in touch with your furry friend while away from home. The all-in-one pet treat dispenser and computer connects you and your pet at all times, whether you’re at work or on vacation.
Introduce the newest member of your family by planning a welcome-home party for friends, family and their dogs. Provide refreshments and bake biscuit-shaped sugar cookies for friends and family. Homemade healthy recipes like frozen peanut butter yogurt dog treats or apple crunch pupcakes are for the four-legged guests to enjoy.
Set up a fun obstacle course, or plan a “Go Fetch” dog-themed scavenger hunt, challenging owners and their pets to win a prize by finding hidden items, such as rawhide bones, a pair of slippers or chew toys. Don’t forget to create goodie bags filled with treats and toys to give your guests and their furry sidekicks as thank you’s for when they leave.
May 23, 2015 | DogGeek