Some people might think that the prospect of bringing a dog into their family is “no big deal” and that they can wing it along the way. However, that’s an easy way to set yourself up for more work than you’re ready to take on. Here, we’re going to look at the questions you should ask yourself to determine whether you’re really ready for a new member of the family.
Will you want them a decade down the line?
Bringing a dog home is a long term investment. They’re likely to be with you for up to fifteen years. As such, it should never be a spur of the moment thought nor a poorly planned treat to get a dog. You should also make sure that you’re fixed where you are, and not planning to move around too much over the coming years.
Is your home suitable for them?
Just as you would have to make your home suitable for a toddler running around the place, you have to make your home suitable for pets, too. Aside from buying all of the supplies that they’re going to need, you need to consider potential household dangers. This can mean ensuring they can’t get to electric wiring, that the garden is secure, and that you don’t have any toxins lying around, household or plant.
Do you have the time to take care a dog?
Looking after a dog is a lot of work. You need to feed them, you need to walk them, you need to bathe them, groom them, play with them, and more. Some dogs have fewer demands on your time than others, but all of them will require time and attention. Make sure you understand your dog’s needs and whether or not you can fit them into your schedule before you get one.
Are you willing to do your homework?
How do you discipline a dog effectively? How do you train them to heel? How do you deal with separation anxiety? You can never tell what particular issues are going to crop up during your relationship with a dog, but you can rest assured that it’s very rarely smooth. Be willing to do your homework, whether via the internet, a dog magazine, or working with professionals. You’re going to have to do some troubleshooting at some point and be patient while finding your answers.
Do you have the budget for a dog?
Aside from the fact that dogs require a lot of accommodations from you, you also have to keep in mind that they also require quite a bit of money. This is especially true at first when you have to pay for all of their supplies as well as those beginning vet costs. Find out the cost of owning a dog and make sure you can make room for it.
If the answer to any of the questions above is “no”, then you should think about getting an easier pet for now. Dogs require and deserve love, attention, and care that goes beyond most pets.
At some point in family life, your children are going to ask you for a pet. It’s the inevitable side of parenting that children want to love a little more of an animal. You get it: you wanted to love more so you created more children! Children would love the chance to be with a pet and learn how to cuddle and have fun with a real life dog or cat. You could even look at getting a parrot if you want something you don’t have to walk!
A pet teaches your children responsibility, fun and how to love more. They can get more physical exercise, improve their mental health and learn more lessons about loyalty. Saying yes to a family pet is an exciting thing to do when you haven’t ever owned one before, and all you have to do is decide which pet you want. You’ll learn the hard stuff, such as where to get wholesale parrot food suppliers and how to contact them. You’ll also learn how to time walking your pet and how to clean up after it. Saying yes to a family pet may be more poop for you to clean up, but here are some reasons you should say yes.
It’ll make the whole family healthier. A pet encourages you to get out into the fresh air, especially if you choose to buy a dog. Before you start stocking up on the necessities, make a point of knowing how your new pet can make you feel healthier. You’ll all spend time outside more, and falling in love with a pet brings everyone together, too. If there are people in your family with allergies to pets, you’ll also spend some time learning how to make this easier.
Think about the costs. Yes, there are costs, but that shouldn’t stop you from saying yes to having a pet in the first instance. You need to think about adding a pet to your budget so that you can pay for food, accessories and vet appointments as well as insurance.
It’s a commitment you’re willing to make. Before you bring the pet home, know that it’s a big commitment to make and take the time to get okay with that commitment. Some pets need more time outdoors, and some pets don’t go outdoors at all. If you have the space, the love and the time to spend with a pet, then saying yes is a good idea.
You have the chance to give them a lot of love and care. You and your whole family can spend time with pets and love them. Make sure that your children know what it takes to look after a pet and you can all agree to look after it together. Assign roles to the family so you all know what’s expected of each of you.
You’ll keep it forever. The right pet for the family is one that you can keep forever, and it’ll be worth every second.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet, but if you know it’s imminent, you might begin to plan for the inevitable. Even if the emotional pain is too much to bear, you’ll still have to deal with a few realities.
Speak to Your Kids
Your children will be upset by your dog’s passing. The best thing you can do is talk to them ahead of time and gently inform them that their dog is unwell and will soon be resting peacefully. Try to provide only as much information as each child can comprehend, and be prepared to field some questions. It might help to inform them that the dog will no longer be in suffering after he dies. Preparing the kids will also allow them to say their final goodbyes.
Enjoy Your Dog’s Company
Set aside some time for you and your dog to be together. If he’s still able to walk, take him for a leisurely stroll through one of his favorite neighborhoods or parks. Sit with him and stroke his fur if he can’t move very much. During your last few days together, make sure to show your dog that you love him.
Consider snapping a few more pictures while you still have the opportunity to spend time with your pet. These may not be the best photographs of your dog, but you may need them later. These photographs might serve as a reminder that your pet’s time has come and gone, and that he is now free of pain and suffering.
Preserve Your Dog’s Paw Print
Keepsakes can provide you with something tangible to cling onto after your pet has passed away. Paw print kits are available, and you can make your dog’s footprint with them. You could find having anything your dog touched reassuring later on.
Preparing for the End of Your Dog’s Life.
Even though it’s going to be hard, you need to think about what you’ll do with your dog’s body when he dies. Making plans in advance will relieve you of the weight of decision-making while you are grieving.
If you want your dog’s body cremated after he dies, your vet can help you organise it. If you want your pet’s ashes returned to you, you may have to arrange a private or individual cremation, like those provided by Paws To Heaven.
After the death of your pet, you must also determine whether you will be keeping or scattering their ashes. To keep them safe, you’ll need to put them in a container. An inexpensive ceramic canister can suffice, or you may like to invest in a more formal burial urn.
Recovering from Loss and Grief
A pet’s death affects each person differently, and there is no one correct method to deal with grief. Let yourself cry, and don’t care about what others think. The longer you wait to express your sorrow, the longer it will take for you to heal.
In some cases, losing a dog is as emotionally traumatic as losing a family member, particularly if you’ve had your dog for a lengthy period of time. Do not hesitate to consult a bereavement counselor if you are struggling to accept that your dog’s life is coming to an end, or if you suffer from severe depression after he passes away.
Normally, your partner may show a considerable amount of affection towards their pet, especially if you came into the picture after. They’re (usually) cute, friendly, and attached to their owner, so there’s no doubt there will be a lot of love in the air between them. If they own a dog, then you just know that there is going to be a secure bond that will be hard to interfere with.
But, in a relationship, there is a line that has to be drawn. It is enough to have to compete with other humans to get the attention of your partner, but to compete all day every day with a fluffy companion is where most draw the line.
When your partner loves their pet more than they love you, it can leave you feeling like a third-wheel. If this is the case, it can often be a sign of a problem in the relationship or just a difference of opinion. It is important to consider if there is a problem in the relationship, so it can quickly be resolved. In some cases, it is just the way your partner is with animals vs. partners and something you will have to learn to live with.
To help you determine if your partner loves their pet more than you, here are 6 signs you can look out for.
1 Your partner is too quick to forgive their pet
…but finds it too easy to hold a grudge when you do something wrong. Does this sound familiar? They may be cute, but if they tend to get away with everything and you struggle to gain their forgiveness… there may be a problem. If you were both to accidentally smash a glass, how would the reaction differ?
2 Your partner shows their pet constant affection
… and shows you very little. This can mean that your partner does enjoy physical contact, especially if they are showering your pet with kisses and cuddles, but for some reason, does not want any affection from you. If this is the case, then it sounds like there may be an issue worth exploring here. Affection from a pet is very different from a partner, especially if their pet has been in their life a long time, through the good and the bad. Show some compassion and try to speak with your partner.
3 Your partner gets more excited for their pets birthday
…and frequently makes no effort with yours. This can be exacerbated if your partner likes to go all out for your pet and throw a party, invite friends over, buy a cake and lots of presents. Is there something going on which means your partner does not want to throw you a party or is it just a standing tradition your partner has with their pet?
4 Your partner finds it harder to say goodbye to their pet
…and is not bothered if and when you leave the room. It can be a clear sign that your pet is much more important than you are if your partner is heartbroken if they have to leave your pet, especially for a short period and there is a clear difference with the behavior when you leave.
5 Your partner compliments their pet
… and you don’t so much as get a smile. If you fail to get affection and any kind of compliment from your partner, this could mean there is an issue, especially if they shower their pet with kind words and cute nicknames. This doesn’t, however, always mean there is something wrong, especially if you are in the early stages of a new relationship.
6 Your partner goes above and beyond when their pet is unwell
… and you are left to fend for yourself when you are sick. Your partner probably cares a lot more about their pet if they turn the world upside down and go beyond the usual for their pet when they are sick. This usually looks like rushing your pet to the vets and providing them with all their attention.
Many signs can show your partner loves their pet more than you. If you resonate with any of these signs, it is not always a bad thing. It can just mean that your partner behaves differently, especially if the relationship is relatively new or their pet has been in their life a long time.
Christmas is coming, and many of us are currently in the midst of our festive planning. It might look a little different this year, of course, thanks to the continuing disruption caused by the pandemic, but there is still much to look forward to.
But while in the planning stage, we shouldn’t forget about our four-legged friends. Dogs love Christmas too, so we should do what we can to ensure they have a wonderful time over the festive period.
Here are some ideas both you (and your dog) will find useful.
1: Buy your dog a present (or two)
When you’re busy unwrapping gifts with your family on Christmas morning, you don’t want to leave your dog out of the equation. Admittedly, he might be more than happy with the wrapping and cardboard that he can chew into after you have created a merry old mess, but you should still buy him a gift or two of his own. Ideas? Well, how you could buy a calming dog bed, that is both comfortable to sleep on and a place for him to calm down if he gets anxious or overly-excited. Or how about some new toys to play with? Especially if his other toys are looking past their best, he might appreciate something new to chew on. Or perhaps something functional, like a new water dish, a brand new collar, or a warm jacket for his winter walks.
2: Keep safety in mind
Your dog won’t have a very happy Christmas if he becomes ill over the chilly season, so do all you can to create a hazard-free zone. Put your tree out of reach if you can, as pine needles, once consumed, can cause your dog to feel unwell, and the same applies to your tree decorations. Holiday plants can be toxic to dogs, such as mistletoe and berries, so think about this when decorating your home. And while your dog will be desperate to eat the leftovers on your Christmas dinner plate, remember that some festive foods are bad for dogs. Brussell sprouts are okay to feed him (your kids will be pleased), but check out this list of toxic Christmas foods before putting anything in his dinner bowl.
3: Spend time with your dog
There will be times when you might have to shut your dog away for a while, such as when you’re entertaining any guests with fur allergies, or when you’re busy decorating the tree or cooking dinner. However, don’t leave pooch alone for too long. Christmas is a time for families, after all, and your dog is a valued member of your clan! So, let him sit with you all when you’re watching your Christmas Day movies. Play with him when he starts to get a little restless. And keep up with your usual walking routine, as both you and your dog will need the exercise after eating bounteous amounts of festive food.
So, paws for thought, and do what you can for your dog this Christmas. Like you, he will want to have a good time over the festive period, so treat him well, keep him safe, and enjoy spending time with him.
If you’re thinking about installing a cat flap or a dog flap in your home, then there are several important factors to consider. Ideally, a cat flap or pet door should add convenience and increase safety, not the opposite. There are also different kinds of pet door you can look into, to decide which one would best suit your home and your lifestyle. If you have pets, especially dogs and cats, it’s important to try and give them their independence. This does, however, depend on their breed. Here’s how to choose the right pet door for you.
Things to consider before installing a pet door
Some cats, for example, are bred as house cats. This means that they won’t necessarily be safe going in and out on their own. It’s vital to speak to the shelter or breeder where you got your pet and find out first whether they can go outside safely.
If you’re pet is safe to go outside, the next thing you need to check is the conditions of your garden. Is outside safe for your pet? Have a clear out and do some garden maintenance. Run through a checklist to ensure your garden is pet-friendly. That way, you’ll have peace of mind when they’re off roaming on their own.
The location of your cat flap or pet door is also important. You’ll need to find a suitable door or wall in which your dog or cat can enter easily and safely. Think about whether this will disturb you in the night.
The benefits of a pet door
You ideally want to create a safe living environment for your pets and all your family. A pet door is actually safer for cats and dogs. They can always get outside, but also they can get back in. If they need to come in quickly due to foxes or bad weather they can without having to get your attention.
It’s also beneficial for their wild nature. For dogs that don’t normally use litter trays like cats would, it helps to avoid any toilet accidents. Both animals will have a little more freedom and independence which has several health benefits.
Different types of pet doors
If you aren’t sure which is best suited to your home then you could start by reading some cat flap reviews. For further information, here is an overview of the most common types:
A 2-way locking pet door has a simple locking system. You can manually set the door to locked or unlocked.
These are more advanced. You can set “in” to either locked or unlocked, and “out” to locked on unlocked.
These are opened by a magnet attached to your cats collar.
Your cat’s microchip acts as an electronic key, so no other cat can open it.
If you would like to give your pet more freedom and independence, a pet door could be right for you. Make sure you take their safety into consideration before you decide.
Springtime normally brings out the fun side in everyone. After long months of rain, wind and snow, we’re finally back out into green fields, bountiful meadows and enjoying the sunshine. Our pets especially feel invigorated and want to run as fast as they can, while chasing butterflies. But, sadly, it’s not all fun and games because springtime does have a few hazards waiting for our pets. Although the majority of them are far from serious, some of them can transpire into larger issues that we hope never to deal with. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there to avoid suffering through any of them.
Cats and dogs love to chew on flowers during this time of year. They are bright and they are juicy. They love to eat some flowers because the petals are filled with sugars. However, the bulbs of some flowers are toxic and can make your pet vomit or suffer from diarrhoea. Watch out for flowers such as daffodils, bluebells, cyclamens, lilies and azaleas to name but a few. It can cause your pets to have sudden convulsions if there were to ingest one of the bulbs. You should keep an eye on what your cat is doing in your garden and when you go for a walk with your dog, make sure you’re telling them to stop when they bite at flowers. Sometimes, our pets have to be saved from themselves.
Springing into action
Part of what makes spring so bright and beautiful is the countless living things that spring into action, all at the same time. It’s almost as if they are working in unison, on the same schedule and it’s a wonderful melee of action. However, during the spring, parasites are out in force as well. Particularly, fleas, as they begin to lay up to 50 eggs a day on any living creature they can find. That’s why you need to see this link, whereby you can buy a tasty chew treat, which battles an array of parasites from mites, fleas, ticks, heart-worms and other worms that fester in the digestive system. It will help to limit and control secondary conditions that will make your dog feel lethargic and off his or her appetite.
Stick to trails
If you’re a man or woman of the country, you will need to stick to the walking trails when you’re out with your dog. Poison ivy is one of the worst things your dog can come into contact with. If they eat it, expect to see excessive drool, convulsions and vomiting. If your dog rubs up against poison ivy, he or she will be driven mad with itchiness, causing them to roll around on the ground uncontrollably. Look out for the signs of ivy, it’s a very thick, dark green leaf which can be mistaken for something harmless. If your dog is affected by it, bathe them in a shampoo with oatmeal to calm the inflammation.
Springtime is a joyous season, where life makes leaps and bounds once again. But beware your dog doesn’t go crazy with excitement and does themselves more harm than good.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It is a time for us all to enjoy spending quality time with friends and family whilst enjoying some much-needed downtime.
Do you have pets? If so, do you spoil your pets at Christmas?
We have two dogs, Coco our two-year-old Siberian Husky. We also have Hunter, our 1.5-year-old German Shepherd. Both dogs get spoilt every birthday and every Christmas…. also, in-between if I am honest!
I have had a few comments saying I am bonkers, but why shouldn’t they be spoilt too? After all they are part of our family. If you are a pet owner or have owned a pet in the past, I am sure you will understand the bond you get with your pet. It is a strong bond that is also special. So why not show our pets just how much we love them too.
Last year I attended a sewing machine class with my Mother-In-Law. At this day class we were both shown the basics of how to use a sewing machine, something I had been wanting to learn for years. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and have been putting my new found skills into practice ever since.
Of course, Coco and Hunter were both made something on my very own sewing machine. I made them both a stocking each. Do you hang a stocking up for your pets? It is only fair that our fur-babies have their very own stocking.
Hunter loved having his very own stocking, he would go and check it every now and then.
Coco’s stocking was a different shape to hunters.
I thought I would do Coco’s stocking a little different to Hunters. I found Coco’s stocking much easier to make than Hunters.
An old snow drape which I cut to size to create the snow effect.
Printed photo of Hunter.
Hollow fibre stuffing.
How I made the stockings: the same instructions are for both stockings
I started off by drawing myself a template to work with for both stockings.
This was then used to have two pieces of Calico cotton fabric cut to roughly the same size.
The template was then pinned onto the Calico fabric and then the Calico was then cut to size and shape.
One piece of Fusible wadding was then cut to size. Which was just a little smaller than the Calico.
The three was then layered and ready for sewing together (Fusible wadding in the middle).
Once layered the fabrics were then pinned together, to help hold the shape needed and make life much easier when sewing.
When I had finished sewing the three fabrics together I then stuffed the paw sections with Hollow fibre stuffing. I then run a stitch across the top to help keep the stuffing in position.
For the bone label on Coco’s stocking I cut a template out and used it to cut a fat quarter to shape. I cut two bone shapes out of a fat quarter and cut one piece of Fusible wadding. I then layered them with the Fusible wadding in the middle, pinned and sewed them together.
I then started to decorate the stockings as per photos below. Using fat quarters, pom poms, Hunters photo, buttons and glitter stars.
In order to hang the stockings I cut some ribbon to size and sewed it in position.
They were both hung nicely in place at Christmas waiting for Santa Paws.
Our dogs are, and always will be apart of our family. NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS!
Bringing a dog into your family is an exciting time, giving them a loving family home while also adding a new member to your household. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, but a lot of fun too.
Looking after your dog’s health and wellbeing is as vital as looking after your own, and there’s a lot you can do to make sure they’re loved and looked after. Here are some tips for caring for your happy, healthy dog.
Give them a comfortable place to sleep
Giving your dog a warm and cosy bed to sleep in will help them feel at home, settle them into a routine and protect your furniture too. Where you keep the bed is up to you – some like to keep their dog downstairs, while others like keeping them in their bedroom. Wherever you choose, it should be warm, comfortable and away from anything that could be dangerous. Giving your dog their own bed can help them settle down in the evenings, giving you a restful sleep too.
Make sure they get plenty of exercise
Exercise is very important for your dog to ensure that they are happy and healthy. How often you should walk your dog depends on their age and size, but regular walking is recommended for all dogs. When dogs are exercised regularly, they are able to maintain their weight, socialise with other dogs and they get the chance to explore. Giving them plenty of exercise will stop them from getting bored, which will stop them from damaging your furniture, flooring and clothing. Walking the dog is good exercise for you too, so why not take them out in the mornings and evenings to help you get some exercise too?
Look after their teeth
Many dogs suffer from neglected teeth, and it’s no wonder – there’s not much they can do themselves! However, you, as a responsible dog owner, can do your bit to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and checking their teeth for problems can help to prevent issues which will require a vet later on, while maintaining a healthy diet can also help to keep teeth strong and gums healthy.
Dogs should have regular things to chew on so that they can help keep their teeth strong. Special dental chew treats are great for dogs, or you could try a deer antler dog chew as a more natural alternative. Having plenty of chew toys around the house will stop them from chewing like your textiles and furniture, although it’s best to keep dogs away from anything you’d rather have left in one piece!
Groom them regularly
Most dogs enjoy a spot of grooming, and it can be a good way for you to bond with your pooch! Grooming also has many benefits, including to keep your dog’s in a good condition and to spot any potential issues that they might have such as fleas and ticks. There are different ways to groom your dog, and dogs with particularly long hair might be taken care of if you take them to professional dog groomers.
Get them vaccinated
Just like people, dogs can benefit from being vaccinated to protect them against different diseases. If you get your dog as a puppy, it’s likely that they’ll have had their initial vaccinations before you bring them home. Register your pet with a vet to put a vaccination programme in place that will keep them safe and healthy. Regular check-ups with the vet will keep an eye out for any potential health problems, so don’t forget to put those appointments in your diary.
Make sure they have plenty of fresh water
Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially during warmer weather, so make sure they drink often and keep fresh water to hand, even when you’re out and about. The amount of water a dog needs a day depends on their size, so it’s worth researching this to help them get the right amount. Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits, you’ll be able to work out where and when they like to drink to help you make sure that they get enough. If you’re going on long walks, consider taking a bowl and a bottle of water with you to keep them hydrated on the move.
Play with them
Dogs love to play, and spending time with them can help to train them, burn off excess energy and make them happy. What you’ll soon realise is that playing with your dog will help boost your mood too, so even if you’ve had a bad day – some time spent with them will soon perk you up. Come up with some different doggy games and get the whole family involved in keeping them entertained. A frisbee or a ball can provide hours of fun for a dog as long as they’ve got someone to play with.
Ensure they have a good diet
Dogs rely on the right nutrition to keep them healthy, strong and to stop them getting overweight. While many people might give their dog some scraps from the table or let them have some foods that they shouldn’t, it’s not advisable and could soon lead to some bad behaviours. You can ensure a balanced diet for your dog, and stop them from being unwell by not giving them chocolate and other foods that could cause serious harm. Monitor your dog’s diet regularly to make sure they’re not putting on weight or that they’re getting food from sources that they shouldn’t.
A well-trained dog can be a joy to live with, and can help you to raise a well-behaved dog that you can trust around your family as well as other people and animals when you’re out and about. Training your dog helps to keep them stimulated, by helping them practice their instinctive behaviours. You can help keep them stimulated by varying their route and surroundings, introducing them to new people and other animals and teach them new tricks as often as you can. This is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and can be a lot of fun for the both of you!
Don’t leave them alone for too long
It’s not recommended to get a dog if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Dogs enjoy company and being left alone all day can cause them to feel lonely, bored and start acting out through barking, scratching and more. Different dogs have different needs, and you should get to know how long is too long to leave your dog at home alone. If you’re going to be out of the house for too long, why not think about getting a dog walker or enlisting a friend or family member to spend time with your dog during the day?
Keep your home clean and hazard free
A dirty home can cause many issues, but as your dog spends a lot of time close to the floor, it’s important that you keep it as clean as possible to stop them picking up germs, etc. Keeping your home clean is more of a challenge with a dog around, but making a list of regular chores and splitting them up between the family will make it easier. It’s also important that you keep hazards out of harm’s way, including small objects, cleaning products and anything else that could be harmful to your pet.
Bath them when they need it
Baths can help a dog stay clean and keep their coat in good condition, but they don’t need one as often with you might think. Around once a month should be fine for a dog with normal skin, as any more often could mean they end up developing dry skin. Use a specialist dog shampoo to help them keep their natural oils balanced and to stop you using anything too harsh. If you’re worried about your dog smelling in between washes, there are things you can do to keep your dog clean in between baths.
Give them some space
Some dogs like a bit of alone time – a space where they can go to feel safe when they need it. When there are fireworks nearby, for example, it helps to give them a safe space to hide away in while they wait for it to be over. Sometimes they just want a bit of peace and quiet – especially if they’ve been playing and exploring all day!
Your dogs are an important part of the family, and keeping them happy and looked after will give you some incredible memories to share. A dog is a lot of responsibility, but they have a lot of love to offer and will love being a part of the family. Provided you care for their needs and give them the love and attention they deserve, owning a dog will be extremely rewarding and one of the best things to happen for your family.
As regular readers of our blog will know, we did have a beautiful boy dog for over 10 years called Buddy. He sadly passed away just under two years ago. Back in January this year the emptiness from not having a loving dog around the home was just too strange and the decision was made to not replace Buddy as he is irreplaceable and will always be forever in our hearts and could NEVER be replaced but to get another dog.
Fast forward a little and we was soon welcoming home a beautiful Siberian Husky girl who we have named Coco. She was 8 weeks old when she joined our family. Coco has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives since joining our family. We had 10 months dog-free before Coco came along and it just felt so strange not having a dog around. After losing Buddy we didn’t think we would be able to get another dog let alone love another but the emptiness just got to much. We’d often find ourselves looking at dogs for sale but then quickly looking away thinking no way, the heartache of losing them is just too much and not wanting to go through it all again. The subject was quickly changed.
So what changed our minds?
A family member visiting you and showing you photos and videos of their friends dogs pups is what. The next day we went to see them and before you know it research on the breed was being done and a day or two later we was visiting Coco a deposit was left and our new adventures with Coco began!
Coco being a Siberian Husky means lots of energy, lots of walking, lots of bikejoring all in all lots of fun adventures. She has been with us 10 months now and has already been on four holidays with us. A caravan holiday, camping holiday, boating holiday and a log cabin holiday. We enjoy forest walks, river walks, bike rides, trips to the park/seaside – her favourite game is to play ball, she will have you throwing a ball for hours on end. She recently enjoyed a fishing trip and enjoyed laying by the river.
We take Coco with us where ever pets are welcome. She has joined us on pub lunches, dinners, for coffee at local cafe’s, she even joined us on a trip to choose our new tent at Go Outdoors as pets are welcome in our local store. Sadly pets are not welcome everywhere which is understandable and there are times she has to stay at home.
We became dog fosterers…
With Coco having lots of energy and being socialised from when we very first got her we became dog fosterers so she would have a friend to play with. We fostered Goldie a beautiful Labrador who was the same age as Coco. She loved having a friend and welcomed Goldie straight away without any problems. Goldie was with us for a week and as lovely as it was for Goldie to find her forever home it was also sad. Coco had gotten used to having a friend about to have fun with and we had all taken rather a shine to Goldie, she was a beautiful girl. As choked up as we all was we had done a good thing and provided a safe and secure temporary home for a dog in need.
Seeing Coco be so happy with having a friend to charge about with (who has much more energy than us) cuddle up with, burn off energy with it was sad to see her on her own again. When out on walks/bikejoring she gets so excited to see other dogs she just loves company. The hunt was on to find Coco her very own friend, one that was to come and to stay this time.
Coco cuddling Goldie our foster dog
Then came dog number two….
The search was then on. Research was then done as some say two of the same-sex are best avoided but then I panicked about two dogs different sex and what we know could happen. The search then began and the cutest of all dogs just stood out and stole our hearts. The boys kept on asking for another German Shepherd dog but to be honest I was very unsure but agreed to look and see what happens.
This is what happened…..
I am a sucker for cute fur babies, look at this 8 week old boy, how on earth could I say no to this.
A week later he joined our family and was introduced to Coco who was very keen to charge about with her very own friend. He is a joint birthday gift to Ian and Coco from us.
Coco loves her new best friend dearly and follows him everywhere.
For anyone wishing to follow Coco and Hunter’s adventures they both have their very own Instagram accounts
We now have two fur babies and love them both dearly. Lots of new fun and adventures now await us which we are so looking forward to.
Sadly, back in March 2017 we had to say a very sad goodbye to our loving Buddy who passed away in his sleep. Buddy was our German shepherd dog and was our fur-baby for just under 11 years.
Back then we said “NO MORE” dogs as the saying goodbye was just too painful. Time passed and our home was just too quiet. Come January 2018 we were welcoming our little Coco, a Siberian Husky girl into our lives and home, aged 8 weeks old.
Not long after our Buddy had passed away my Endometriosis started to flare up. Resulting in myself having to step down from my position at work and go in on a part-time shift. I found I was moping around at home, I got very depressed and if I am completely honest I ended up in a very dark place. Thankfully Ian got me back to some form of me again.
Getting Coco has really lifted my spirits. She gets me up and out everyday, whereas before I’d just get up and mope about – Coco is my anti-depressant.
We go on lovely long walks with her, she comes out with us in the car. We go off into the countryside, walk along rivers. We visit dog exercise parks and stop off in pet-friendly pubs/cafe’s. She basically comes with us everywhere.
Coco is a very friendly dog and absolutely loves nothing more than to play ball, chase and no words can even begin to describe how much she loves her paddling pool…. she’d sleep in it if we’d let her.
With Coco being so friendly and her energy levels being so high we have decided to open up our home and become dog fosterers. We have been in discussions for a few weeks now with our local dog rescue centre and have been accepted to become dog fosterers.
Coco with our sisters dogs at our sisters house.
What is a dog fosterer?
A dog fosterer is someone who is willing to open up their home and help provide a temporary home for a dog in need. To give lots of love and look after them, help build them up to get the best chance of a fresh start in life. Let’s face it we all deserve a second chance, even a dog!
We will be helping to play a vital part in the rehabilitation of the dogs which will help improve their chance of finding their new forever home.
We will be helping to build the dogs confidence if needed, building them up and helping them to get used to a normal lifestyle in a home environment. We will be giving the dogs the love, care and affection they deserve. They will have a friend forever with Coco.
By fostering dogs, we will be doing a good thing by helping to build a dog’s confidence and helping to settle a dog with a new forever home with a loving family. Being part of that will be so rewarding.
Before we take in any dog, checks are made by the rescue centre and we get contacted from there. Coco will be meeting them outdoors first. Once they have met and if all goes well things will move forward from there and hopefully we can then help provide a safe loving home for a dog in need. Coco will love having a friend to burn off energy with.
We are really looking forward to fostering our first dog and opening up our home.
For those not aware, we recently welcomed Coco into our family. Coco is a Siberian Husky girl. Before we welcomed Coco home we made sure we was fully prepared for her as we wanted to make sure we had all the basics in place needed. Before we collected Coco we defiantly wanted to make sure we had a crate.
Reasons to get a crate
Our reason behind getting a crate and crate training her is because we believe a crate can help with preventing destructive and obnoxious behavior when we can’t be with her and keep her safe. We also want Coco to feel that a crate can be a safe and happy place for her to go when things get too much for her and she wants to be left alone.
A crate also helps when going out in our car to make travelling safe for her. Our aim for crate training is purely for safety and positive reasons and is never used as a punishment for her. Coco is never in her crate for long periods of time, an hour at the most.
Type of crate
When the decision was made to get a crate for Coco we then had to decide on what type of crate as there are a few different types to choose from. After our research into the crate we decided that a collapsible metal crate would be best for training her. We then had to decide on the size of crate to get.
With Coco only being a pup but a puppy that will grow quickly we went for a medium size one to start off with and will change size as and when needed. We hope that a medium size crate will be of correct size for her for a while, allowing her to have the height and movement room needed to stand and turn round.
Comfort of the crate
Cocos crate is located in our living room. This is where we are most of the time when we are at home. She can see us at all times when she is in her crate so she still feels apart of everything but feels safe at the same time. Her crate is in the corner of our living room so she gets a full view of whats going on. In her crate she has a lovely comfortable bed for added comfort
Making the crate welcoming
We wanted to make the crate a welcoming place to her, a place she will love to go so we made the crate comfortable with a bed. We made it a rewarding place to go so she gets a treat of some kind when she goes in, either a treat or her meal. We have placed a blanket over the top of the crate to cover the back and sides to give it a den feel to help her feel that bit more safer.
Length of time in the crate
Coco is only in her crate for short periods of time (no more than an hour maximum) when we ask her to go in, otherwise the crate door is left open for her to freely go in and out as she pleases. She always has access to water when inside with the door closed. We gradually increased the length of time she is in the crate starting off with just a few seconds at a time as we didn’t want her to be scared of going inside. The length of time inside the crate with the door closed was increased upon our judgment of Coco being confident enough.
Make it fun
With Coco only being a puppy everything to her is a game. We found that if we turned entering the crate into a game she listened more and picked up commands much easier. It’s a way of making learning fun. To her it is just a game but for us we are getting her to listen and do as asked but in a rewarding way so it’s a win win situation.
When playing ball after a while roll it into the crate – When it’s treat time hide 1 or 2 in the crate and say go crate – We fill her Kong toy up and ask her to go crate to have it and she can only have it if she stays in her crate, if she comes out with it we put it back inside and command go crate, this is repeated until she knows she only has it if in her crate. Another thing we do with coco is when we are doing daily training we now do them inside her crate – such as sit, down, paw etc as each command completed she gets a treat.
Coco wasn’t keen on the crate at first but we allowed her the time to get used to it being there before we introduced her more to it. We started off by getting her to enter the crate using the command go crate and come out as she wished, making it as fun as possible and using the command EVERY TIME we want her to go inside her crate.
We then got her to enter the crate and try and keep her inside for a few seconds with the door open and us sat by the door. Treats are given each time she enters the crate. I use a few treats and then some of her dry food biscuits from her meal, saves on an upset stomach. From here we then went on to feeding her some of her meals inside the crate, after a few feeds we then gradually worked ourselves further away from the crate door leaving it open.
Once we felt Coco was happy enough we then went on to closing the door, starting off with a few seconds at a time and gradually increasing this each time. We always reward with a treat of some kind upon entering the crate, NEVER on coming out – reason being because we want it to be more fun staying put once inside otherwise she will be crying to come out to get a treat. We want her thinking that her crate is a good positive place to be!
We have had Coco six weeks now and she is currently happy to go in and out of her crate on her own. It took a few weeks to get her to do so but being patient paid off in the end. We have now moved on to Crate training Coco in the car – so far it is going very well. If you would like to follow our travels and adventures you can do so over on our travel blog.
Some of you may know that 6 weeks ago we welcomed Coco into our family. Coco is a beautiful Siberian Husky. Before we made the decision to get another dog since sadly loosing our beautiful boy Buddy a lot of research was done and then a lot of preparation. Before bringing her home we wanted to make sure our home was puppy safe and that we had all essentials needed for her.
This was Coco when we first met her. She was only 7 weeks old at the time.
We have now had her for 6 weeks and what a 6 weeks it has been. She has certainly put a smile back on all our faces and she fills our hearts with so much joy, we all love her dearly. She has us up on our toes where we’d normally be sitting around – we are now up and out on long family walks, chasing leaves whilst enjoying and exploring the great outdoors.
Sadly since we have had Coco we have had to visit the vets every week with her. She has had a bad skin condition. She has been on two different lots of antibiotics and is now on a medicated shampoo to try and help it. She has recently had a test done and we are waiting on the results. We have been advised that is could be a wheat allergy and to check for this in any food or treats that we give her until advised otherwise by the vets. In the meantime our poor little girl has to wear this horrid cone to prevent her from making herself sore with her biting and scratching at herself where her skin irritates her. It is for her own good we know but we can’t help but feel sorry for her. At her last weight check 10 days ago she was 6.6kg.
Still a happy Coco
Even with her uncomfortable skin complaint going on our little Coco has still been a very happy and playful girl who loves everybody and everyone loves her. She loves to be chased, she has a thing about socks at the moment and loves nothing more than to pull them off your feet. Her favorite ball at the moment is one of Lees beer-pong balls that she claimed as hers when he left it laying about (that will teach him to clear his things away) finders keepers after all.
When out walking she absolutely loves to see people and wants sorry expects everyone to make a fuss of her and when they do so loves it. She is currently getting braver with being around other dogs, she has been a little nervous but is getting braver everyday. She is currently going through the teething stage as to be expected so everything that can be moved has been put away or up high when not being used.
Our clever girl
She shocked her vet on her first visit as we trained her rather quickly with a few commands. In her first week of joining our family we had her knowing the commands sit, paw and lay down. We remembered from dog training classes we went to with Buddy and are now teaching the same with Coco. Over the past few weeks we have now taught her to roll over and get in her bed when told. One command we are struggling with and that is to leave, when we put things down we would like her leave it until told she can have it but she is way to keen/excited and wants things straight away. She is still a puppy at the moment so we can’t expect too much from her just yet. We will keep at it as we are sure she will pick the command up soon.
As far as house training goes we are getting there, she has good days and bad days. Coco has a habit of forgetting herself now and then and needs reminding on the odd occasion. Also when playing ball or tug if she gets excited she starts peeing without realising and has to be put in the garden fast. She will soon get the hang of it and is getting better each week.
She melts our hearts everyday and brings so much joy to each and every day. Do you have a pet?
Check out our Instagram if you would like to see more photos of Coco – Instagram
On Friday we will be welcoming a puppy into our home and into our family. Meet Coco our 8 week old Siberian Husky girl.
The decision to get another dog certainly wasn’t taken lightly seeing as we only lost our loving Buddy back in March. A lot of thought had gone into it along with loads of research into the breed of dog we had chosen to see if the breed was right for us. Once the decision was made to get a Siberian husky we began our search. Lots of calls were made and advise seeked.
We was put in touch with a lovely breeder who we had made contact with, she sent us some photos of her puppies and Coco stood out from the off, an appointment was instantly made to go and meet with her last week.
The breeder had questions for us and we also went along with a list of questions for her. Once we all felt happy we then met with Coco and Coco’s mum. We spent time playing with them both, had lots of cuddles and all got to know each other. We learnt a lot from chatting with the breeder and she helped by answering any questions we had.
We chose to collect Coco at a later date so it gave us time to prepare our home, the breeder was happy to keep Coco and fully understands, she was only too happy to help. Not only does it give us time to make our home puppy safe but it gives us time to be 100% sure of our decision to get another dog.
We wanted time to check for…
Electric cables she may be able to reach.
Small gaps she may squeeze into.
Objects she may find tasty looking and chew on – best moved for now.
Make sure our garden is puppy proof. No holes in fences, poisonous plants etc.
Locks on gates, doors and cupboards to prevent visits is unwanted areas.
Add a stair gate to save any falls if she was to go exploring.
To ensure our furniture is safe and cannot fall on her if she was to explore.
Add fencing to any hazard areas in our garden.
And time to purchase this never-ending list of accessories….
A travel Crate for safe travelling.
Lead, collar and name tag.
Food and water dish.
Crate for indoors.
Food and treats.
Puppy pads/training kit.
Pet friendly cleaning products for any accidents.
Along with all the above there is also going to be a life-long commitment in place for Coco from the moment we collect her on Friday. She is going to be so loved and looked after with every need met.
Love and comfort.
Most of all our love, time and understanding.
When we collect her on Friday she would already of had her first lot of injections, wormer and flea treatment so we will need to get her registered with a vet of our choice and have this followed up and kept up-to-date. Coco will also have been micro chipped so she will hopefully always be returned to us if she was to ever get lost….fingers crossed this never happens.
As for pet insurance we have been looking online and have a few quotes she will be covered for her first month with us so this gives us time to choose who we wish to go with.
When we collect her we will be prepared for any travel sickness/anxiety she may suffer. After all it will be our first of many new experiences together.
We are currently working our way through our checklist and are very excitedly counting down to Friday too.
We will be keeping you up-to-date on how she settles in with a follow-up post very soon. We will be sharing photos and videos of her over on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the mean time.
Do you have any tips you would like to share with us on ways we can help her settle into her new home with us?
Pets are a source of much love and joy for families. Children especially enjoy and respond to the warmth and friendship they provide. A pet can be a furry best friend, partner-in-crime, companion, someone to cuddle with and much more for your child. Pets also make great teachers. They improve a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development while imparting a few valuable life skills as your child interacts with them. If you are considering adding a pet to your brood, here are some of the potential skills children can gain from looking after a family pet:
Valuable Life Skills
Unconditional love. Pets are non-judgemental and can be quite therapeutic for lonely children or those with emotional distress. A pet can give support and comfort as well as play with your child. This can help them learn the importance of friendship.
Responsibility and confidence. Giving your children age-appropriate chores such as feeding, grooming and cleaning up after the family pet helps them learn what it means to be responsible. In turn, the responsibility of caring for the pet can inspire confidence. Children as young as four can help with simple tasks such as filling water and food bowls. Bathing, grooming, walking, giving cats or dogsflea treatment etc., can be the responsibility of older children.
Empathy and compassion. As your child cares for a pet that is dependent on him, he learns empathy and compassion. Your child learns to read and recognize the pet’s needs and how to best fulfil them, especially if the animal becomes scared, falls ill or grows old.
Patience. Children can learn patience from housebreaking a kitten or puppy or by teaching their pets new tricks. These young animals don’t learn all they need to know overnight while other pets might be slow to learn. Dealing with these situations and other instances of animal training will teach your child that patience and consistency are vital ingredients in attaining success.
Coping with loss. Although you probably don’t want to think about this, the lifespan of most pets is considerably shorter than those of their owners. Commonly, your child’s first experience with the death of a loved one is the loss of a beloved family pet. If this is managed in a respectful way that pays tribute to the pet and acknowledges the pain and grief felt, the experience can be invaluable to children as they grow up.
Looking After A Pet Is An Important Life Changing Decision.
Before selecting a family pet, you should make sure you inform all family members, especially children, of your decision. You should also pay attention to the type of pet you’d like to have. Some, such as cats and dogs, require almost constant care and are well suited to families. Others such as fish, birds and guinea pigs might not provide as much interaction. Remember that just like people, animals have different personalities and traits. Understand the different breeds available and get recommendations from a vet before making your final decision.
Pets can teach children plenty of skills that will help them grow to become well-adjusted adults. Add in the pure joy that pets bring and it seems unthinkable to let your child grow up in a house without one.
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Anita & Ian
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