Interested in Adopting a Pet for Someone Else During the Holidays? Bad Idea! Here’s Why…

Thinking of adopting a pet for SOMEONE ELSE during the holidays? Here is some advice for you as the holidays grow near.

An animal should never be a surprise because they change the household completely – not temporarily, but forever.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know if this person or family is willing to put forth the time and effort it takes to care for, and train a new furry friend? Adopted pets need time to adjust to their new environment. Things are never a ‘walk in the park’ in the beginning!
  • Will they have the time to set-up, and work on a consistent routine?
  • With all of the gift-giving, can they afford the necessities? (i.e. medical care, food, litter/litter boxes, leashes, etc.)
  • Do they have the energy to take them for regular, daily walks or clean up any messes they may have left in the house?
  • Will they be in the right “frame-of-mind” to keep their cool if the new arrival does something they disapprove of?

If the recipient is not prepared for this, the animal will end up in a shelter. It’s a fact. Pets are not just a “fun experience;” they are a complete lifestyle change.

After asking yourself these questions, and realizing how much work goes into having a new pet around the house, do you really want to put this pressure on someone else?

Don’t do it, it’s a bad idea!

If a family wants a dog, let them make the decision – let them do the research, so they can meet the dog prior to taking them home, just to make sure it’s a good fit.

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On another note, if YOU are interested in adopting a pet for YOURSELF and you feel it’s the perfect time, wonderful! Many pets are looking for their forever homes!

Here’s some advice for you:

Don’t purchase puppies from pet stores or off Craigslist…Even if they give you the “look,” or have a cute picture!

  • The majority of pet stores get their pets from something called “Puppy Mills.” A puppy mill, sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility that finds profits much more important than the humane treatment of the animals.
  • They will breed the dogs as much possible so that they can make a profit. After the puppies are born, they are sold to pet stores and the pet stores then sell them to you at a ridiculous price.
  • Not only does this lead to a lot of inbreeding and suffering, but it also causes a lot of innate issues within the puppies. More often than not, the puppies that are sold at stores will have complications like allergies, bad hips, or behavioral problems such as compulsive barking or chewing, that I guarantee you will not want to deal with!

As for Craigslist: would you buy a child off of Craigslist? It’s the same thing. They are living-beings that you will have for a long time.

  • You will always want to meet them first, to make sure it’s a good fit. Once the purchase on Craigslist is done, it’s done. No meeting, no interaction. Who knows what their history was like, if they’ve been spayed or neutered, how their previous owner treated them, or what kinds of behavioral / medical issues the may have?
  • They should be healthy, fully vaccinated, and have very few issues – Many ad’s claim this, but are not able to prove it, or simply fake it.
  • Many times, what you see on the internet, is not at all what you get.
  • Craigslist puppies are also often puppy mill supporters. Please don’t support them, just don’t do it – it’s really a bad idea.

Support your local animal shelters. If you live in the Washington State area, you can find many local animal rescue organizations on my blog. Otherwise, it’s super easy to find them in your area!

Reasons for adopting from an animal shelter:

  • They will match you with a dog they feel is a good fit for you.
  • The dogs have been well-adjusted, and cared-for, in a foster home or shelter.
  • They will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and vet-checked, so you will know right away if they have any medical issues. If they do have medical issues, they will guide you on how to handle them appropriately.

Here are a few Google search ideas for you:

  • “Animal shelters in _________ state”
  • “Purebred animal shelters __________ state”
  • “Golden Retriever/German Shepard/Pug… rescue organizations “City”

Websites, such as Pet Finder, Humane Society or APSCA  are also a great resources to find shelters near you:

Final Thoughts:

  • Don’t purchase a pet for someone else! Let them make that decision.
  • Don’t support puppy mills or Craigslist sells.
  • If you are looking for a new addition, do your research and educate yourself so you end up with a happy, healthy pup, that’s a great fit for you.
  • There are thousands of animal rescue organizations that take in homeless pets. Support them.

Thinking of Giving Up Your Pet? My Wish. Your Reality.

My kitty sits on the new cat tree we bought her recently. This one is placed in front of our large window in the living room, so that she can look out, and see what’s happening in the “real-world.” Her world is safe – she has no fears, and no worries. Her biggest worry each day is if she’s going to get her Bonito Flakes for desert. She deserves to have a good life, just as much as any human does.

So many animals are abandoned, given up, or sold on Craigslist each day. How can people be so heartless? How can you give up on a living being that completely and utterly depends on you?

  • Perhaps they peed on your bed… because you never show them love.
  • Perhaps it’s because they shed too much… and you claim to have “allergies.”
  • Perhaps it’s because they have energy… and you don’t. Or because you moved to a small apartment, AFTER you got your large Labrador Retriever.
  • Perhaps it’s because they’re not what you were hoping for… but truth be told, you have a new boyfriend, or girlfriend, and you’ve forgotten all about them.

Any of this sound familiar? It should because The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized because of poor excuses like this every. single. day.

My only hope is that people not give up so easily. Find ways to make things work. Animals bring so much joy to lives – see the positive and stop focusing on the negative.  I wish people would look beyond their selfishness, and see the truth – face reality… and that is, there is no such thing as perfection, and you cannot expect that from your pet.

Stop making excuses. Stop giving up so easily. Be a responsible pet owner. Be a respectful human being.

My Experience Fostering a Little Pug Named, Lucy.

My husband and I had been thinking about fostering a dog for quite some time, but there were always several factors holding us back; not enough time to provide the care they need, having to be selfless, adjusting our shy kitty to the new lifestyle, but what scared me most was developing a bond that I couldn’t let go of.

We do some volunteer work with the Seattle Pug Rescue, and often get emails asking for volunteers to open up their homes for fostering. I would continually delete them thinking it just wasn’t the right time, but always felt so guilty because we have a loving home and big hearts, and if we just opened them up to a dog in need, we could change a life forever.

One day we received an email from the Pug Rescue stating they were in desperate need of foster homes. That is when we put all of our uncertainties, doubts and anxieties aside and just let it happen. Not knowing what we were getting ourselves into, we stopped by the Pug Rescue to pick out a pug. They did their best to match us up with a pug that would be a good fit for our situation.

Out walked a little pug named Maria. She was shaking, tail between her legs, head and eyes faced down toward the ground, not interested in being anywhere else, but a dark corner of a room, where no one would bother her. She approached us, not knowing what to do. We crouched down to her level and let her sniff our hands. She let us pet her head and her tiny ears. Her big brown eyes slowly softened. I do believe, at that point, she knew we were going to change her life.

Right away, we decided she needed a new name, one she would be proud of and one she could take with her to her forever home, knowing it’s a new beginning… so we named her, Lucy. During the several weeks we had Lucy, we gave her all of the love we could possibly give. We showered her with affection, and gifts, and long walks, and belly rubs. We showed her what life was really about. In return she gave us constant companionship, unconditional love, never-ending laughter, and reminded us every day to take things in stride and live each day to its’ fullest.

Lucy blossomed into a happy, energetic, playful little girl. This is when we knew she was ready to find her forever home. It was a sad day for my husband and I, and there were certainly moments where I couldn’t hold back my tears, but knowing we changed Lucy’s life, and got her ready for her forever home, makes it all worth it. Watching her come back to life was an incredible experience.

Too many animals are killed each year because there is just not enough room in shelters. For each family that fosters, a new space becomes available for another animal in need. Fostering also helps animals adjust to home life making it a smoother transition when they find their forever home.

Fostering is taking a pet in need, guiding them in a positive light and showing them how to live and love again. If you are in the right situation, and have the opportunity to foster, it will be well-worth your time – one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done. I guarantee it.

Thinking About Adopting a Pet? Patience is a Virtue.

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I adopted my kitty, Gracie, 7 years ago. Before we found each other, she was given up for adoption several times, passed-on from home to home. Because these families gave up on her, I was lucky enough to find her.

Why was she given up for adoption each time you ask? When I first adopted Gracie, she had a serious insecurity issue, and due to this insecurity, she would leave me “not so nice” gifts on the bed. Why was she so insecure? Because everyone gave up on her – she had no one in her life that she could trust, and leaving messes on the bed was her way of dealing with her confusion. It took a lot of patience, understanding, and unconditional love on my part, to get her through that stage. Now-a-days, she meow’s a little to get her favorite treat, but that’s as bad as it gets. She has not had an inappropriate incident for 6 years now. Patience is a virtue.

Adopting is a serious, time-consuming matter. Before adopting, ask yourself these questions –

  • Are you truly ready to adopt? Are you honestly, genuinely ready? Obviously many families or individuals think they’re ready until they adopt, and find out it’s not at all what they wanted. Really think about it before going down that path. It’s not fair to the animals, or other potential adopters (that are ready), as it can lead to many negative issues, that are hard to reverse.
  • If you happen to get a pet with health issues or behavioral problems, are you willing and able to take the time to care for them or train them? Behavioral problems is one of the most common reasons adopters return pets to shelters. This is a matter to be taken very seriously, and thought about completely.
  • Will having a pet fit into your lifestyle? What kind of pet do you want to adopt? Dogs are a huge commitment. They need several walks a day, a regular feeding schedule and require a lot of attention. Do you work all day, but you still want a furry companion? Perhaps a kitty is better suited for your lifestyle. You are not just taking care of yourself anymore, you are taking care of another living being.
  • Can you afford to care for an animal? Between veterinarian bills, basic training, and household needs, including food, beds, leashes, etc, pets can get expensive. If you can barely afford to keep yourself going, don’t bring a pet into the situation.
If you do not feel you’re in the perfect situation to adopt, don’t adopt.
 
If you decide to adopt, you absolutely need to have patience –
  • Both you and your new pet are trying to adjust to the situation. Who knows what their past was like, but they could be trying to recover from an abusive situation, or abandonment. If you have patience, they’ll come around. Most importantly, do not give up on them!!! It would be them suffering, because you, as a human being, did not genuinely consider your situation prior to adopting. It shouldn’t be them that suffers.

Me Time.

Quick Tip: Do you give yourself “me time?”

Finding the right balance between busy life and quiet moments, can determine your happiness and effect your energy and mood. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to relax and do something you enjoy.

Ever wonder what your kitty does all day? He meditates.

Adopting a New Furry Friend? Looking for a Particular Breed? Check Out These Rescue Groups!

Are you thinking about adopting a fur baby, and are in search of a particular breed?

Many people don’t realize you can actually adopt a specific breed from animal rescue organizations. As a matter of fact, most well-known breeds have rescue organizations dedicated to them.

This is extremely important to understand so you don’t go on a hunt for your new addition in pet stores, where they often get their pets from Puppy Mills.

Most reputable rescue organizations make sure their animals are; vet-checked, vaccinated, dewormed, and spayed/neutered before adopting out. While no one can guarantee the long-term health of any animal, most do take the time and incur the expense to get basic healthcare and assessments done before the pets go to permanent homes. Ever wonder why these organizations are always in need of supplies and donations?? This is why.

Another benefit of adopting from a rescue organization – they always have a good idea of how each of their animals behave in the real world. They usually know if a dog is housebroken, good with other dogs, good with cats, appropriate for children or not, high energy, mellow, etc.

Here’s just a small list of some purebred animal rescue organizations in the Pacific Northwest…

Was One of Your Resolutions to Get Your Pup More Exercise? Hire Pawblem Solved to Help You Out!

Welcome to 2012!

Was one of your resolutions to get your pup more exercise? It’s probably hard to do when you work long hours during the week.

Pawblem Solved has a few mid-day Monday – Friday dog walk times available! We’ll make sure your pup gets PLENTY of exercise (& some extra TLC to go along w/ it!). This is also a great option for new puppies!

Contact us for more info or to set up a consultation: info@pawblemsolved.com.

We service Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland, Washington.

New Years Resolutions for Pets!

New Years is just around the corner, and with the New Year, comes many new beginnings! Do you have any goals set for the New Year? I bet you do!

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on your life and become more pro-active about things you want to change or improve upon for the upcoming year. Why not, while you’re at it, set some goals for your pets as well?

Ask yourself this; what are YOUR goals?

Perhaps;

  • Exercise more?
  • Lose weight?
  • Spend more time with family and friends?
  • Learn something new?
  • Enjoy life more?

These are some of the top goals for New Years, and can easily translate to your pets as well.

Yes, we tend to place ridiculous expectations on ourselves, but keep in mind, your pets’ health and happiness is based on the care you provide to them.

So with that being said, let’s get down to business…

Exercise More: If working out more is a goal you’ve set for yourself, you obviously understand how important exercise is and how it helps you maintain a healthy weight, keeps your muscles and joints flexible, and simply affects your behavior and life expectancy. Exercise affects animals the same exact way. Not only can exercise extend your pets lives; it may also expend some of their nervous energy and make them a little less likely to feel anxious when you go to work every day. The benefit of knowing your pet needs exercise?…is knowing you’re going to get exercise as well!

Lose Weight: All excuses aside – excessive weight in an otherwise healthy pet is a direct result of consuming unnecessary amounts of food and not getting enough exercise. Sound familiar? Perhaps this was information given to you from your Doctor. According to the “Association for Pet Obesity Prevention,” these are the common risks related directly to overweight pets:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Kidney Disease
  • Many Forms of Cancer
  • Decreased Life Expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

Yes, it’s quite the list, so stop overfeeding and get up and off the couch! Your pets will thank you!

Spend More Time With Family and Friends: Another question for you: Do you get lonely when you’re left alone? Some people may not think animals have the same emotions, but I guarantee you they get lonely, bored and often depressed if left alone for too long. Spend time with them when you’re home, play their favorite game, take them for a walk or run. Truly enjoy their company because that’s why you adopted them in the first place, isn’t it? If you plan to be away for long periods of time, speak with a neighbor or friend about stopping by, or hire someone to give them a little extra TLC during the day.

Learn Something New: Learning something new is not only an important aspect for your health, but your pets’ well-being as well. Mental exercises can improve your pets’ behavior and boost their self-confidence. They also help keep them sharp, alert and happy.

Check out these websites for some fun ideas (and keep in mind, it’s certainly not just limited to cats and dogs!):

Enjoy Life More: “Dogs never pass up the opportunity to have fun.  It is the very heart of every living spirit; the essence of every dog.  It encourages strong bonds and deep affection.  If there is no pleasure, there is no life.” I love this quote from The Daily Dog!

Don’t ever pass up the opportunity to have fun with your pet!! Enjoy their company, take the time to love them, talk to them, cuddle them, and give them lot’s of TLC, because they deserve it… and so do you.