Sunday, September 17, 2006

Isn't he just adorable?

2-month old puppy went up for adoption today at Mont Kiara. Got snapped up in a flash with that adorable face of his. Chubby little fella too although he was a tad shy!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Toys For Dogs

Almost every dog loves toys, and the selection of toys for dogs has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Dog toys now rival cat toys in sheer variety and availability. Let's take a look at some of the options:
  • The Kong
    Indestructibly fun, as a throw toy, a treat toy, or just something the boys like to toss around by themselves. Best of all, dishwasher safe. This is something that dogs with separation anxiety can be safely given in the crate while you're out. Fill it with a frozen peanut butter concoction, and your dog will be happily occupied in your time of absence.

  • The Buster Cube
    My favourite. If only because it actually occupies the furry family members for longer than a half an hour.
  • Ozzy will roll his around all day if I let him ... as long as it has treats in it, that is.
  • Squeaky Toys
    There is no limit to the variety of squeaky toys. Some are soft, some are hard rubber, soft plastic, or fuzzy, and in all shapes and sizes ... but they all have one thing in common. An ear-splitting squeaker inside them.

    Dogs tend to have mixed reactions to squeaky toys. Some dogs, like their owners, wish death upon the squeak, and will proceed to disembowel all squeaky toys in their presence. This, while immensely satisfying, is not a safe exercise. If your dog is a squeak-assassin, please supervise him and remove the squeaker before he can choke on it.

    Some dogs (especially Raider) just love the squeaking toys. They will treat it like a baby, carrying it around gently in their mouths, cuddling it on the sofa, all the while giving it loving squeezes (squeak squeak squeak). They will not rip, gouge or tear, and the squeaker will last forever.

    Then, of course, there are the dogs who have absolutely no interest in squeaking toys at all, until they see their brother with it. I have two of those. It makes for interesting times.
  • Cheap Toys - Stuffed Toys
    By far, my greatest frugal discovery ... buying cheap stuffed animals at yard sales for the dogs. Once they are washed in hot water, and all the detachable bits have been removed (eyes, noses, sometimes beads and whiskers) these make a perfectly acceptable alternative to expensive dog stuffies. As a bonus, you can even find them as large as your dog likes. Perhaps, larger than he is.
  • Floatables
    Perfect for retrievers at heart, floating retrievables are a must have if your dog likes water. Easily visible in dark water (unlike sticks), floating rings, balls, and other such goodies make for great summer fun.

What You'll Need For Your New Puppy

A first time puppy owner will need quite a few things to start off with, and it's best if you've acquired these items before you bring your new pet home.

Must Haves
  • A travel crate, whether you are crate training or not. Some shelters or even breeders insist that you have these before they let you take your newest addition home.
  • Bowls, one for water, one for food. The smaller the puppy, the smaller the bowl. You'll probably need to upgrade in size as your puppy grows.
  • Leash. A six-foot nylon lead is best for training a puppy. There are different widths and strengths available, get the right size for your pup.
  • Adjustable buckle collar. It is best to get one that will fit properly now, but can be enlarged.
  • An average goes through a LOT of collars during the growing stages. Be prepared.
  • Appropriate food. Ask your new vet, or the shelter staff, or read labels carefully. Your new puppy deserves a high quality food to get the best start in life.
  • Have a veterinarian appointment lined up to check your new pup for worms, and any other possible health problems, as well to get his puppy vaccines.
  • Line up some obedience classes like Puppy Kindergarten.

Extra Goodies
  • Toys - Squeaky toys that are rubber seem to be every pup's favourite
  • Bitter Apple Spray - to keep your new puppy from eating your chairs, tables, books, etc
  • Puppy Treats - essential for training, there are literally hundreds of kinds and flavours on the market
  • Training Books - If you need some extra help

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why Do I Want A Dog?

The Puppy Commitment

From Krista Mifflin,
Your Guide to Dogs.

Committing Yourself to Being a Good Owner

Acquiring a puppy takes a lifetime commitment on your part. Dogs can live upwards of 15 years if they are healthy, so it is not a decision to be made lightly. It is essential that you choose to share your life with a dog for the right reasons, otherwise you can make both yourself and the dog miserable.

The Wrong Reasons

I want to be able to make money off the puppies.
Having a litter of puppies is a terrific way to put yourself in debt. The costs of breeding are astronimical, and accidents can happen that could cost you both mom and pups. Breeding is best done by people who make the breed their life, and breed for ideal temperament. Breeding a dog for money is a real myth.

My children want the dog.
Children are not going to be the primary caretaker, you are. Most children are not ready for that kind of responsibility, and children also get bored quickly once the novelty wears off. If buying a dog for your children is just a handy excuse to get one for yourself, then by all means, please continue shopping, but be aware that possibly every minor and major chore that the dog involves will fall on your shoulders.

I want a dog to protect me.
Any dog that barks will make a good watch dog, but rather than a reason for getting one, this is just a fringe benefit. Getting a dog for protection purposes can bee a very dangerous mistake, as a poorly trained dog can be the cause of serious injury, and various lawsuits. A dog is NOT a tool, and should never be used as one. A dog is a lifetime, not a few hours of work when it is dark outside, or you are not home.

I want something to love me.
A dog does not exist to fulfill your emotional needs, no matter how you may want it to. Dogs are separate entities and must be cared for as such, with training, grooming and health care.

So what IS the right reason?

The only reason you should commit yourself to a dog is because you want to share your life with a furry companion. You should be prepared to spend a lot of time at the veterinarian's office during the first few weeks, pay a lot of money on high quality food, and train your dog right, which takes a lot of time and effort.

It's a huge commitment, and a big strain on the bank account, but nobody can deny the rewards.