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6 Tips That Will Help You Better Understand Your Dog

Dogs aren’t called a “man’s best friend” for nothing. As reported by Technology Networks, dogs are capable of understanding reward responses and in turn, form strong bonds with their owners, much like an infant-mother relationship. However, it does take time and effort before your dog can recognize your words or intent. Through insights into your dog’s behavior, you can not only improve your relationship with them but also train your dogs and keep them safe. For example, you’ll be able to teach your dog to not chase their ball across the street during playtime. If you’d like to learn more about how to read your dog’s behavior, here are six tips to help you understand your dog better:

Read more on dogs

Dog language can be difficult to learn at first, so it’s best to fill this knowledge gap. It helps to do a lot of research, especially from animal behavior experts like Alexandra Horowitz. In her book, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, Horowitz debunks some of the things we misunderstand about dogs and teaches us new things about how our four-legged friends think, feel, and perceive the world around them. Unlike humans, you can’t explain why certain things are “bad” because they have simpler values. A similar approach is tackled in Patricia McConnell’s The Other End of the Leash, where she talks about how mastering communication with your dog is essential to maximize training and understanding.

Lean on their posture

A dog’s overall body stance can tell you a lot about a dog’s mood and intention. A tense body, hunched towards the ground could mean they’re stressed or scared. Sometimes as a sign of submission, dogs roll on their back to expose their bellies. By recognizing certain mannerisms, you can learn more about their personalities.

Look at their facial expressions

Dogs can put on different facial expressions. However, not all expressions can be interpreted the same way as humans. When in a tense situation, dogs tend to yawn to calm themselves or lick their lips to express their discomfort. Their ears are also a giveaway to how your dog is feeling.

Image credit: Pexels
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/happy-woman-petting-dog-in-field-7790876/

Understand their quirks

Some dog breeds may communicate differently compared to others. In the case of huskies, Animal Food Planet shares how this particular dog breed is very vocal because it’s how they convey their mood and demands with their ‘pack’. Huskies don’t tend to bark as much; instead they use different noises like howling, chirping, or whining.

Watch their tails

Many people misinterpret a wagging tail as a happy sign. A wagging tail usually just means your dog is emotionally stimulated, and it’s up to you to understand the context. You can also assess their emotions by how high their tails are – a fearful dog would put their tail between their legs, while an assertive dog would hold it high.

Socialize your dog

One of the best ways to better understand your dog’s behavior is to socialize them. Our post on “Puppy Socialization” states that socialization isn’t limited to interactions with others dogs, but also with people and different environments. New experiences can be frightening for some dogs, and it’s possible for them to form a negative association, so it’s important to take things slow so they aren’t startled by sudden changes.

There are several ways dogs can share how they’re feeling — be it vocally, through their facial expressions, their posture, or their tails. Many of these signals work together to convey a message, and you can learn these cues when socializing with your dog or reading about others’ experience. It’s essential to recognize how your dog communicates through their body language to build a lasting bond with your pet.

Article written by Rose Jensen for Eusoh

A Dog Parent’s Guide To Safe Summer Travel

Written by Indiana Lee

Summer’s here and it’s time to get out of the house and take those warm-weather vacations that we all love. It’s an opportunity to enjoy time with your family, and that may include your dogs as well. If your pets are partial to traveling, you can take them along for the ride, but caution and proper preparation are necessary. 

If you’re planning to take your pup on your next adventure, then heed these tips to make it a fun and safe experience for everyone.

Plan Accordingly

If you plan to bring your dog on vacation, then you need to start planning ahead of time to ensure all of your pet’s needs are met during the trip. Make sure to pack their identification and documentation so they can be found if they get lost. Also, bring at least one tagged collar and have your pup wear it at all times. If your dog has a microchip, ensure it’s working properly. 

If your travel includes a camping trip or other outside adventures through forests or parks, it’s important to have your pup up-to-date on all of their shots. For travel outside of the country, bring proof of all vaccinations and obtain a medical certificate if you plan to fly. No matter how you plan to travel, you should bring a first aid kit that you can use in case of emergencies.

Be prepared to take care of your dog’s basic needs. Bring their waste bags, toys, and enough treats to keep them happy and healthy. During travel, hydration is especially important for people and pets alike, so bring their water bowl and extra bottles of water if you have the opportunity to do so. 

Keeping your pet comfortable and safe during the hottest weather is also important. Never leave your dog in the car, give them plenty of water, and save your outdoor adventures for the early morning or evening when the temperatures are more bearable.

Practice Car Safety

An epic road trip can create memories that you and your dog will remember forever. It’s important to avoid the most dangerous times to drive, which include the late evening and afternoon, especially if you are in an area where there are a lot of commuters. The more cars that are on the road, the more dangerous it is. Do your best to be off the road and at the hotel or a nearby attraction during those times.

Before you take your dog on a long car trip, you need to verify that your pet is comfortable riding in a vehicle for long periods of time. If you’re unsure, practice before the trip. You can do that by taking your furry friend for a shorter trip around the neighborhood and then taking longer trips every day to see if your dog gets less fidgety. If your dog seems comfortable but gets restless from time to time, you can plan a route that involves plenty of opportunities to stop so you can both get out and stretch your legs. You can also take your pet for a long walk before the trip so they can work out some of their anxiety.

Flying With A Pet

If your vacation requires a flight, you’ll want to take extra precautions with your dog. Firstly, call the airline before you buy your tickets and ask if they have any unique guidelines or paperwork that you need to bring with you during the flight. Just like the car, you need to verify that your dog is comfortable with flying and won’t panic. Visit your vet before you leave and get a check-up, and they will tell you if there are any red flags.

On the day of the flight, you can prepare your pup by feeding them early enough so that they are satisfied but not too much or too close to the flight, or they may get an upset stomach during the trip. Again, let them get plenty of exercise so they are less anxious and more likely to sleep during the flight. Finally, make sure to buy a large enough pet carrier so that your dog is comfortable. Have the pup sit in it before the flight so they can get used to it.

If it looks like your dog will be too stressed to enjoy a trip, you may need to leave them at home in the care of a pet sitter. If you do, provide as much information about your dog as possible, including their medical history and your pet’s recall, so the sitter can easily call them back if your pooch escapes.

It is possible to have a fun and safe trip with your furry friend. Consider the tips mentioned here and create memories that you will treasure forever.

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

Puppy Socialization: How to Raise a Confident, Happy Dog

Written by Indiana Lee

If you are considering adopting or otherwise getting a new dog to keep you company, then you’ll need to know how to socialize your new pup. Socialization is how you adapt your dog to new situations and ensure that they grow up happy and well-behaved. This process begins at birth and should continue until your pup can be in social situations without fear.

There are many tactics that you should try when raising a confident dog, and they involve getting them used to being in new places, seeing new things, hearing different sounds, and even making them comfortable within your own home. Let’s talk about socialization and how you can get started.

The Importance of Puppy Socializing

Just like with human babies, you can’t expect newborn puppies to just go out into the world and understand everything they see. There’s a lot of stuff going on out there, and it can be downright upsetting if the right training isn’t provided from the start. Socializing is necessary for all dogs. Just because you have a small pup, it doesn’t mean that they won’t lash out if they are afraid.

In fact, small dog training is especially important because some tiny breeds experience what’s known as “small dog syndrome”, where they try to act bigger than they really are by jumping up on people, barking, chewing belongings, and generally ignoring your commands. You don’t want things to get to that point.

To make puppy socializing work to its maximum potential, you need to subject your dog to a lot of different sensations and experiences. Some experts recommend the puppy’s rule of 12, which states that you should have your dog experience at least 12 different types of surfaces, play with 12 different objects, meet 12 new people, hear 12 different noises, and so on. That way, you can ensure that your dog can see, feel, and hear as many new things as possible so they will be less afraid when they get out in the real world.

The point is that the socialization process will be different for every dog. Just make sure not to expose them to too many new things at once or it may be overwhelming, and the routine will become that much more difficult.

Socializing When Out and About

To get your pup used to new experiences in the outside world, owners need to get them out of the house. If you are not a social person or you live in an isolated town, then you may want to consider moving and living in a pet-friendly city. Essentially, these are cities where pet ownership is more common and there are fewer restrictions for dogs so they can enter more businesses and go to more places. Living in this type of city encourages pet owners to get out of the house to exercise and meet new people, and when you have these adventures, so will your dog.

When you do show your pup new experiences, you must take baby steps, so they don’t get too overwhelmed. So, instead of bringing your dog to a loud party with lots of people, introduce them to one or two strangers at a time. A good starting place is a public park where you can take your walk and see the occasional person or pet, and both of you can get healthy exercise. Just ensure that your dog is vaccinated, so they don’t get sick or injure others.

If you are having trouble getting out of the house, your pup is still fearful, or you don’t understand the best steps for socializing your dog, remember that you can search online for puppy classes. By signing up for these friendly programs, your dog can learn obedience skills while having the chance to socialize with other pups. These classes should not take the place of your own socialization efforts, but they can be a big help.

Comfort in the Home

While a lot of socialization should involve getting your dog out into the world so they can experience new things, they must be socialized inside your own home as well. If you ever have an unexpected visitor or a party at your house, you will want to know that your dog will behave themselves and stay out of trouble. Sometimes just the act of decorating for a gettogether can make your dog anxious, so if you do have a dinner party, have your pup around while you hang the decorations, set up the lighting, and put out the food so they aren’t startled by a sudden, drastic change.

When you are socializing your dog at home, you want to get your pup used to walking on different surfaces, including carpet, concrete, linoleum, wood, and anything else you have available so they are not startled when they encounter something new. Also, you want to have your dog hear different sounds around the house, such as the dishwasher, hair dryer, and vacuum cleaner. You can also play recorded sounds of thunder or other dogs barking, so they recognize these experiences when they witness them in the real world.

Throughout all of these socializing exercises, remember to keep it positive. When you play new sounds, smile and act happy, so your pup doesn’t see them as a threat. Also, reward them with treats and toys after they have conducted themselves properly during a new experience.

In the end, puppy socialization is the most important step to take when you get your new dog. Show them new things, take it slow, and most importantly, have fun! Once your pup is ready for the outside world, the sky’s the limit to the types of adventures you’ll enjoy together.

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

Dog Walking Tips in a COVID-19 World

Dog walking is an essential and loved pastime for dog owners, and the pandemic saw an increase in dog walking as more people spent time at home. This was hugely beneficial for older adults as a study found that it alleviated the loneliness associated with COVID-19. While many restrictions around COVID-19 have been lifted, cases are still rising across the country. This means that dog walkers should still be taking the following precautions to protect themselves and their pets.

Watch out for canine COVID-19 symptoms

It’s important to know that COVID-19 transmissions don’t just happen between humans. Dogs can also be infected with the virus and pass it on to other canines and it is up to owners to be vigilant. This is why it is important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 in dogs to avoid taking your pet out and potentially infecting other dogs. The CDC notes that common symptoms include lethargy, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, eye discharge, and a fever. Should you notice these telltale signs you must immediately get in contact with a vet and isolate your dog. And while transmission from animal to human is rare it can happen, so also monitor yourself for symptoms.

Avoid crowded areas to protect the vulnerable

Close contact with other people and pets is how the virus is spread, so you should also avoid crowded locations when dog walking. This is especially true in areas frequented by senior citizens as they are the most vulnerable to the virus. AskMoney claims that many retirees walk dogs as a part-time job as well as to exercise and get out of the house. Senior dog walkers are also more likely to stick to certain routes, which can get crowded if in busy urban areas or parks. When walking your dog be mindful of this and avoid these areas even if you don’t feel any symptoms. Even though society is moving on from the virus it still pays to be courteous when out.

Photo credit: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/woman-walking-with-her-dog-walkway-park_3212103.htm

Wash your dog regularly and sanitize leashes after walking

It is important that you take the right steps to keep yourself and your pet safe once you’re back home with your pets. Texas A&M University explains how the chance of transmission can be lessened by regularly washing their coat with gentle soap. You should also regularly disinfect their leashes and harnesses after a walk that involved close contact with other dogs to be on the safe side. As an owner you must also wash your hands thoroughly after a walk.

Dog walking in a COVID-19 world should always be done with the above precautions. These tips will ensure that both you and your pet will stay happy and healthy, and you will also be doing your part in reducing the spread of the virus. For more information on how to ensure your dog is healthy do read our ‘2022 Pet Health Checklist’. If your dog does need medical treatment, consider partnering with established communities like Eusoh. We will help you receive pet care reimbursements, making caring for your dogs less financially demanding and more accessible.

Article written by Rose Jensen exclusively for Eusoh

Separating Fact from Fiction: Cats, Toxoplasmosis, and Pregnancy

Written by Indiana Lee

Your cat isn’t just a pet. She’s family. Now, however, that family is about to get bigger. You’re having a baby and you would do anything to keep that baby safe, healthy, and strong. 

But what does that mean for you and your fur baby? Chances are, you’ve heard all the horror stories about the risks cats ostensibly pose to pregnant women and their unborn children. 

You may wonder if you have to sacrifice your beloved cat to save yourself and your little one. The good news is that you don’t have to rehome or avoid your feline baby just because you’re growing a tiny human. 

What you do need to do, however, is learn to separate fact from fiction when it comes to toxoplasmosis. That way, you’ll have the information you need to protect yourself, your baby, and your fur child.

What Is Toxoplasmosis and What Are the Risks?

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a common single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It’s estimated that more than 40 million people in the United States alone may carry the parasite, but most will go through life without experiencing any symptoms at all.

However, persons with severely compromised immune systems and pregnant women are at increased risk for developing severe toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women may also pass the infection to their unborn children. A prenatal toxoplasmosis infection may, in rare cases, lead to significant disabilities, including congenital eye diseases.

Humans can be exposed to and infected by the Toxoplasma parasite in a myriad of ways. The parasite may be unwittingly ingested by eating raw or undercooked meat or seafood, through utensils that have been cross-contaminated by raw meat or unwashed fruits and vegetables, or by contact with contaminated soils.

Cats, Toxoplasmosis, and Pregnancy

One common misconception about toxoplasmosis is that all exposure to cats carries a risk of toxoplasmosis infection for pregnant women.

This is patently false. You can still hug your cat, pet and play with your cat, and brush and snuggle your cat as usual when you are pregnant.

Where you need to be cautious, in other words, isn’t with your cat at all. It’s with their litter box. The toxoplasma parasite may be shed in the feces of infected cats. However, the parasite shed in cat feces does not actually become infectious to humans for one to five days. Thus, changing or scooping the litter box daily can significantly reduce your risk of exposure to the parasite.

By far one of the best ways to prevent toxoplasmosis is to ensure that your cat doesn’t become infected in the first place. 

Since cats generally acquire the parasite by killing and eating infected rodents, keeping your cat indoors can help prevent their exposure in the first place. You can create an indoor haven for your cat so that they’ll never miss the outdoors by providing lots of interactive toys as well as plenty of vertical space to keep them interested and occupied.

For an added layer of protection, if you are pregnant, you may ask another family member to take charge of scooping and changing the litter box. Clearing away the feces every day will get rid of the source of the parasite before it can become a threat to humans.

If you can’t find anyone to do the scooping and cleaning for you, then just make sure that you wear gloves while handling the litter box and also that you thoroughly wash your hands with hot water and soap immediately after you come into contact with the cat box. 

Healthy Habits

As noted above, contaminated cat litter is by no means the only way for humans to become infected with the toxoplasma parasite. So, if you are pregnant, you should be proactive in guarding against the infection, even if you don’t have a feline friend in your home.

This means that you should always use gardening gloves and wash your hands after working in the soil. Handwashing is also crucial when you’re handling raw meat and seafood or unwashed fruits and vegetables. Utensils and surfaces that may have come into contact with these items also need to be immediately wiped down with antimicrobial soap.

Above all, you will want to follow all the standard measures for ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Eating a nutritious diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, getting consistent, high-quality sleep, and taking prenatal vitamins can help boost your immune system. This, in turn, will decrease the likelihood of an active infection, even if you were to become exposed to this common parasite.

The Takeaway

Misconceptions surrounding toxoplasmosis have separated far too many cats from the pet parents who love them. The good news is that understanding what toxoplasmosis is, how it is contracted, and how it can be prevented will empower expectant mothers with the information they need to protect themselves, their babies, and their felines.

Image Source: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/kitten-white-cat-cute-domestic-1285341/)

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

Dogged Determination: Starting a Successful Small Business While Welcoming a New Pet

Starting a business is no small feat, so adding a new pet into the mix can make for double the challenge. Both these endeavors require time, attention, and a whole lot of patience. Luckily, there are a number of online resources you can take advantage of to make these tasks manageable and your business a roaring success.

Setting Up Your Business

To make things as easy as possible, it would be wise to put efficient systems in place to free up some of your time.

  • Workspace: By choosing to run your business from home, you’ll reduce your initial startup expenditure that would’ve been spent on rent. You’ll also avoid wasting time on a daily commute, which will free up an extra hour or two to spend with your new pet. To add to this, your pet will enjoy the comfort of your presence throughout the day while they adjust to their new home. Take a look at a few ways you can set up a home office that will keep you both comfortable and productive.  
  • Business Registration: When choosing a business type for your official registration, it’s important to make a selection that will afford you maximum flexibility and financial benefits. Start an LLC in California for tax advantages, reduced paperwork, and investment benefits. By making use of a formation service, you’ll spend less time doing the legwork required for registration so you have the benefit of being more available to your new furry friend’s needs.
  • Accounting: Keeping thorough financial records is a pivotal part of running a successful enterprise, but it can be challenging if you are unsure of the relevant procedures. Make use of integrated invoicing software to streamline your payments process and keep track of all business-related income. It may also be worthwhile to hire an accountant on a contractual basis to ensure that your business is financially compliant and to save time that could be better spent with your pet. 

Training Your Pet

A well-trained pet is the key to avoiding messes around the house and unruly behavior that distracts from your other responsibilities to your business. If you have a puppy, there are a number of apps that are designed to help with potty training, health and safety, grooming, and much more. Alternatively, you could turn to social media platforms like Instagram for content on how to keep your pet well behaved.  

If you’d prefer for your pet to remain close to you while you work, start by making your office a comfortable space for them too. This can be achieved by pet-proofing your equipment and furniture and stocking up with the most essential pet supplies to keep them occupied as long as possible.

If you have any hope of getting work done during your day, establishing a routine for your pet is non-negotiable. Be sure to take breaks at regular times so that your pet is aware of when you have their attention and when you should be left alone. If you have a dog, consider walking them during your lunch break so that some of their energy is abated.

Life with a new pet is exciting, yet there’s no doubt that it can be time-consuming and even exhausting at times. In order to help your new fur baby adjust while starting a successful venture, you’ll need to put effort into both these challenges and create a routine that best serves both interests. 

Eusoh is committed to offering pet insurance that is affordable and reliable. We believe in being completely transparent about how premiums are used and we hope to empower our clients through this process. Find out more at: www.eusoh.com

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The Ins and Outs of Bringing a Puppy Into Your Home

Image Source: Pexels

The Ins and Outs of Bringing a Puppy Into Your Home

Written by Indiana Lee

Adopting a puppy is one of the most exciting things to do, whether you want a family dog to grow with your kids, or a canine companion if you live alone. Puppies are instant serotonin, providing happiness, unconditional love, and pure energy wrapped in a fluffy, furry frame. 

There are plenty of joys that come with bringing a puppy home. Their cuteness alone is worth it! 

However, there can also be a lot of stress. Puppies are just babies, and it takes some time, effort, and energy to get them trained while keeping them safe. While about 2 million dogs are adopted each year, it’s not a choice to take lightly. 

Whether you’ve already decided to adopt a little four-legged friend or you’re still considering it, let’s cover some of the ins and outs of bringing a puppy home. You need to know what to expect, how to handle the extra stress, and how to ensure your pup’s safety as they get acclimated to their forever home. 

Preparing Your Home

Before you bring your new puppy home, one of the most important things to do is make sure your home is canine-ready. Puppies are cute, but they’re often chewers. They’re also innately curious and won’t hesitate to get into things they shouldn’t. On top of that, they’re not going to be potty trained right away. 

While cleaning up after some of these messes will be the norm for a while, there are things you can do to take some of the stress away, including puppy-proofing your space. Some of the best tips to keep in mind include:

  • Covering exposed electrical outlets and hiding cords
  • Moving valuables to higher locations
  • Putting lids on trash cans
  • Securing cleaning supplies
  • Moving any houseplants that could be toxic

A good rule of thumb is to go to each room in your home and try to look at it from a puppy’s perspective. What could they get into that could be dangerous? For example, in the bathroom, are there medications out that they could open? Can they get into the detergent in the laundry room? Is there a charger cable sitting on your bedroom floor they could chew through? 

Going through each room will keep your puppy safer and will also make it less likely for your home and/or belongings to get destroyed. It might seem like a lot of work now, but it will be a less stressful experience later!

Keeping Your Puppy Healthy

Puppies require a lot of attention. In addition to being curious about things they probably shouldn’t get into, they are also more susceptible to certain diseases, including :

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Kennel Cough
  • Adenovirus

You can make sure your puppy stays happy and healthy through its first year by making sure they regularly see a veterinarian, exercising them every day, and monitoring their nutrition. Your pup’s vet will be able to give you more insight into their individual needs for growth. However, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to go with commercial dog food or make your own

It’s also important to make sure your little furry friend develops good sleep habits from a young age. Like human babies, puppies require a lot of sleep. However, they also have a lot of energy! If your puppy isn’t worn out by the end of the day, they might not want to sleep at night, which can throw off everyone’s sleep cycles and create more stress. 

To instill better sleep habits in your pup, make sure they’re tired by the end of the day! Give them a lot of exercise, especially at night. Limit water intake before bed, too, so they won’t have to get up and “go” so often during the night. As the old saying goes, “a tired dog is a good dog.” 

Making It Work for Everyone

If you live alone, bringing a puppy into your home is a fantastic way to keep from feeling so isolated. However, if you live with roommates, family members, or even have other pets at home, it’s essential to make sure your new puppy’s presence works for everyone. 

Start by making sure you have the right supplies on hand, so you don’t end up putting that responsibility on others. Some of the most basic supplies needed for a puppy include:

  • Food and water dishes
  • Toys
  • A collar
  • A leash
  • Outdoor “poop” bags

You might also want to consider having your puppy set up in a designated space in the home. Dogs are den animals and don’t usually mind spending time in a crate or kennel. As they get used to your home, keeping them crated or confined to one room will give everyone time to adapt to the new situation. 

Because it’s not uncommon for puppies to have accidents, you might have to deal with some unpleasant smells for a while. No amount of cuteness is going to cover that up. You can ensure you and your roommates or family members continue to breathe easily by knowing how to safely remove pet odor from your home. Take care of surface odors as quickly as possible, and wash things like blankets, bedding, and anything else your puppy comes in contact with regularly. 

Having a puppy is so much fun, but it’s also an incredible responsibility. Keep these tips in mind to create a more positive experience as you bring a puppy home, and you’ll be able to start your life together on the right foot/paw.

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

What You Should Know Before Adopting Your Next Pet

Written by Indiana Lee

A new pet can be a great addition to your family. They bring joy into your home and parents often find them a useful tool for helping teach their children about responsibility. Not to mention that animal interactions can help reduce stress in ways that are good for mental and physical well being. 

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, such benefits are likely to be at the forefront of your mind. Nevertheless, there are challenges and responsibilities you must consider before taking the leap. Although adoption gives animals in need homes and can enrich your family, rushing in can have negative consequences for everyone. 

Home and Surroundings

If you have space in your house, creating a dedicated room for your pet can be a practical and wise consideration. Not only does it keep their various accessories stored in a single place, it can also help address the changing needs your pet has throughout their lives. This could include setting up specific furniture, such as beds that are easy to keep clean. You can also place their toy storage in this area. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, though. Even just dedicating a corner of the living room or an entryway can be effective.  

Whether or not you have a dedicated space, remember that much of your home still needs to be safe and accessible for a pet. As such, before adopting you need to assess your home for this. Are the rooms of your house big enough to accommodate a large dog with a lot of energy? If you live in an apartment with a balcony, will you need to put up fencing to prevent falls?

Look around at your home’s fixtures and fittings, too. Dogs and cats will occasionally get rambunctious. If you have heavy and tall furniture like bookshelves and cabinets, you may need to secure them to the wall. Breakables on surfaces that get knocked may not just damage the objects but injure your pet. Even certain plants can be poisonous. Taking your time to assess here allows you to plan adjustments and make more informed choices.

Health and Wellbeing

When you adopt a pet you’re also taking responsibility for keeping them healthy and well. This isn’t just a case of keeping them fed and watered. Pets have complex wellness needs and you need to make sure your family is in a good position to provide this. You have to be committed for their entire life; the good and the bad.

Again, this should begin with some health considerations at home. There may be elements of the environment you need to adjust to make sure it’s healthy for your pet. This must include an examination of any household chemicals you use for cleaning. Consider whether you can substitute these for safe and green items. You also need to think about allergens. Dogs and cats can suffer from respiratory issues here just like humans. Examine how regularly you vacuum and dust your home and perhaps invest in pollen and pollution filters. Noises, lights, and excessive heat may also cause stress, so review the potential exposure to these, too. 

Finally, but certainly not least important, here, you should get pet insurance. Nobody likes having another bill to pay each month. But vet bills can be extremely expensive and owners often have to make decisions about treatment based on affordability. Insurance can mitigate the impact here and make sure your pet gets the care they need and deserve. If you can’t afford pet insurance yet, it may be worth reconsidering adoption at this time.

Time and Attention

Adopting a pet isn’t just a fresh experience for your family. It’s also new for the pet itself. You’re bringing them into a new environment with people they don’t know. Not to mention that they may have experienced some trauma at other times in their lives. As such you must expect a transition period. Part of your consideration here is whether you have the time and attention an adopted pet requires of you.

Sometimes this will be relatively easy, particularly with cats. But some animals can experience separation anxiety initially. Not to mention that younger animals will need a certain amount of training and guidance to get used to their surroundings. If you don’t work from home, it can be worth considering taking some vacation time to help an adopted pet settle in. It can help them to get used to the surroundings and ease into your routines.

Similarly, it’s important to think about how often you’re away from home for long periods of time. If you find you travel a lot with work, the idea of coming home to a welcoming pet can be comforting. Some technologies can help make sure your pet is fed and even allow you to monitor them remotely. But this isn’t always the most appropriate approach for your pet too often.

They need to spend time with you, play with you, and most importantly bond with you. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever go on a vacation. But they do need regular and meaningful time with you. If necessary, you should consider where you can adjust your usual schedule to give quality time and attention to your pet. You’ll also find this makes the experience most positive for you both.

Conclusion

A pet can undoubtedly be a key part of your family. However, before you commit to adoption, it’s important to look at whether you’re ready for it. Review your home and any adjustments that might need to be made. Consider how an animal’s health and wellbeing can be incorporated into your lifestyle and finances. Seriously assess how your schedule might impact transition and bonding. With some commitment and planning, you and a new pet will get the most out of your relationship.

About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.

Personal Finance Tips for Pet Owners

This article was originally written by Susan Doktor

Pet lovers are a different breed in some respects. Our Facebook reels are chock full of cute kitty videos. We can’t help but stop and say hello when a beautiful Golden Retriever crosses our path. 

But successfully managing our personal finances is a goal that cuts across all kinds of people. Pet parents just have another wrinkle to consider: being prepared to give our furry dependents the happy, healthy lives they deserve. And that means managing veterinary care bills. On average, pet owners spend between $374 and $980 every year on routine vet care. Cat owners have it a little bit easier than dog owners but, either way, vet costs can take a chunk out of your budget. Does that figure surprise you? You’re not alone. Most pet parents underestimate the cost of pet ownership. Consequently, they are often ill-prepared to manage pet expenses. And that can result in pets not getting the health care they need. Sadly, affordability is a factor in pets being given up for adoption or even euthanized. If you care deeply about animals, going into pet ownership with your eyes wide open is essential.

So how can you be sure you’re able to manage the cost of healthcare for your beloved companion? It comes down to being smart about personal finance. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can guarantee that you’re financially prepared to maintain your pet’s health and even manage the emergencies we often face as pet parents.

Tip Number One: Start an Emergency Pet Fund

It’s fairly easy to estimate the cost of routine pet care. Most pets should have two well visits with their vets per year. These visits involve exam fees, which, depending on where you live, can run between $50 and $250. Many vets recommend annual fecal exams and heartworm testing, which adds to the cost of preventive care. Periodic vaccinations for such life-threatening diseases as rabies and distemper increase the cost of routine care by between $80 and $250 per year, depending on which vaccines your pet is due for.

All of those costs fall within the realm of expected and you may be able to manage them as part of your monthly budget. What often creates havoc in pet owners’ lives are the unexpected costs that come with serious illnesses and accidents. That’s why the first financial step pet owners should take is creating an emergency pet fund. We recommend setting up a separate savings account for this purpose. Ideally, you should set up monthly deposits to your pet emergency account. The easiest way to do it is to time deposits to coincide with your monthly or bi-monthly paychecks. That’s easy to do when you do your banking online. At a minimum, we recommend you maintain a $1000 balance in your emergency pet fund. Depositing just $20 per month in your account will get you to that goal quickly. It’s best to have your fund in place before you bring a new pet into your home. But to cover all your bases, don’t stop there. Some veterinary treatments are very costly: cancer care and orthopedic surgery are among them and are more common than we like to think, particularly in certain breeds. Almost half of all dogs will develop cancer after the age of ten. It’s a grim statistic, but it’s something to take into account when saving for pet expenses.

Tip Number Two: Earn Money by Investing Conservatively

Once you’ve established an emergency fund, you may want to consider putting any additional money you can save into conservative investments. A financial advisor can point you in the right direction by recommending investment vehicles that have history of reliable performance. Conservative investments won’t make you rich overnight. Higher returns on investment are associated with more risky assets. But there are plenty of investment options that balance risk and reward. 

You can start by visiting TreasuryDirect.gov. Treasury bills and treasury notes. Treasury bills are sold for less than their face value and you can buy bills that mature in a very short time: between just a few days and 52 weeks. Treasury notes have longer maturity times—they’re available for 2-, 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms. They pay interest every six months. But both T-bills and T-notes are considered exceptionally safe investments because they are backed by the US government.

Certificates of deposit and money market accounts, available through your local bank or credit union, are also considered sure bets. Assuming you follow the requirements for the type of account you open, such as maintaining a minimum balance and limiting the number of transactions you make using your account, CDs and money market accounts can’t lose money because they are insured for up to $250,000 by either the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or, in the case of credit union accounts, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). CDs are more like bonds: they have longer maturity dates. Funds deposited in a money market account are more liquid—you can use them as you would a checking account. You can make periodic withdrawals from them without incurring any fees. Again, CDs and money market accounts don’t return a lot on your investment. And given the high inflation rates we’re experiencing now, they may not offer much return at all. Be sure to compare the interest rates offered by these accounts to the current rate of inflation and economists’ inflation predictions to find out whether investing in CDs or the money market makes sense right now.

Tip Number Three: Dip Your Toes in the Stock Market

Financial advisors recommend that clients develop a diversified portfolio of investments. That often means buying a mix or low-risk and higher-risk assets. It also means investing across a wide range of industries or commodities—just in case one of them hits hard times. 

Once upon a time, stock market investing used to present a lot of obstacles for small investors who didn’t have enough to invest to attract a stockbroker or pay the commissions associated with trading. But the market is different today, due in large part to technology. The advent of low-fee and no-fee stock trading apps has leveled the investing playing field. 

Investment apps make use of artificial intelligence and the same sophisticated data that real live stockbrokers use to make investment recommendations. Beginning investors can rely on them to build diversified portfolios for them. You can tailor your investments to suit your risk profile now and make changes as your needs and attitude change. Experienced investors can easily chart their own investment courses using these apps, as well. Most apps offer commission-free trading nowadays and are free to download.

Some investment apps integrate other personal finance features, such as automatic savings and budgeting assistance. If you’re trying to set aside funds to ensure your pets’ health and wellbeing, those features can certainly get you on the right track.

Tip Number Four: Consider Investing in Non-Traditional Assets

If you follow the news with any regularity, you’ve no doubt heard about investing in cryptocurrency. Many people—call them trailblazers—who invested in crypto when it was first invented, have seen their fortunes rise at a phenomenal rate. But crypto ownership has become more mainstream. By 2021, about 16% of Americans reported they’d purchased cryptocurrency. For those who can manage the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets, experts say there’s still money to be made. All you need is a cryptocurrency exchange—a place where you can buy crypto-assets—and a crypto wallet, which makes it possible to transact crypto business. Some exchanges are like crypto supermarkets, where you can choose among dozens of crypto brands, and others are more like boutiques, where all the crypto available is under the same label. While the number of businesses that accept cryptocurrency for payment is relatively small, it’s growing. Cryptocurrency may soon be coming to a veterinary clinic near you.

Tip Number Five: Join a Pet Expense Sharing Plan

Eusoh is a unique community-based organization that helps pet owners pay for the inevitable veterinary expenses they’ll incur. It’s based on pet owners helping pet owners. Members pay two fees: a monthly membership fee and another fee that goes toward sharing the overall veterinary costs all members incur. It’s different than pet insurance and, in most cases, is less costly. Many pet owners find Eusoh a no-brainer. The easiest way to manage large veterinary expenses is to have someone else pay for them, right? For pet parents, Eusoh membership can serve as the foundation of a smart financial strategy. Eusoh membership stands out as an investment choice because it’s no risk and puts our pets’ health first. It pays for itself when your pet falls seriously ill and you have expenses to share. But it also pays us back in peace of mind, knowing we’ll always be able to provide our pets with the care they need.

Author Bio:

Susan Doktor is a journalist, business strategist, and lifelong pet owner. Her contribution comes to us courtesy of Money.com.

Meet These Pro Golfers and Their Pets 

Photo by willeecole on Depositphotos 

Pro golfers are celebrities in their own right. We love to watch their skills on the course, but it’s a human trait to be interested in what goes on behind the scenes of their lives! And never mind the wives and girlfriends… What we really want to know is about pro golfers and their pets!

Some golfers bring their junior fluffs with them on tour, and you may have seen some little pups running around the course if you watch golf. Regardless of how serious the game is, you can’t help but find them adorable, whether they’re chewing on a golf glove or falling asleep on the fairway. 

Here are some of the most well-known golfers out there and an introduction to their lovely, personality-filled pets. Enjoy! 

Tiger Woods & Many Dogs 

Since the start of his career in the 90s, Tiger Woods always had many canine companions. His rather famous previous pooches include Yogi, a white Labradoodle, and Taz, a bouncy Border Collie. Fans of Tiger will have seen these two in various photos over the years, but sadly both beloved pups departed in 2019. 

Woods’ other well-known pooch is Bugs, an adopted Border Collie Springer Spaniel cross who’s been in the family since 2015. The most recent addition to the family is Lola, who Tiger has trained to fetch his golf balls! 

Collin Morikawa & Koa the Doodle 

Collin Morikawa may be the best iron player on the tour and the reigning Open Champion, but that steely determination is no match for the puppy dog eyes of his adorable doodle, Koa. He’s been with the family for just over a year, and he’s even got his own Instagram page so fans can follow his life! 

He’s clearly a much-loved little curly pup, decked out in custom-made knitted bandanas so he’s by far the most stylish golfer pooch out there. 

Koa is regularly seen on the course with his dad being a good boy and posing for photos next to equipment, trophies, or just by his cute self. 

Nelly Korda & Rafi the Kitty Cat 

While most golf pros are dog people, Nelly Korda is one of the few who has a much-loved cat, Rafi. While she does have a few photos of her sister Jessica’s curly little doodle, Charlie, she’s a cat gal. 

Rafi doesn’t feature a whole lot on her Instagram, it may be because cats are much less easy to travel with than dogs! She does have a cute Rafi-embroidered towel which you may have seen if you’ve watched her on tour. 

Justin Thomas & Franklin the Doodle 

JT is dad to a charming little black and white doodle named Franklin, who just happens to be besties with Tiger Woods’ pups. He’s a regular on Justin’s Instagram feed, as well as being a regular on the course with JT. 

Lexi Thompson & Leo the Havapoo 

Lexi Thompson has spent a few years away from the game. She’s been open about the stresses of being a pro golfer, which led to her stepping away from the game to recharge her batteries in 2018. 

When she’s on the road, she spends much of her time in the company of her beloved Havapoo, Leo. The little white floof has played a large role in helping Thompson recover from her mental exhaustion, and he features often on her social media! 

Max Homa & Scotty the Lab 

Max Homa is one of the funniest guys on the tour and on social media, but he’s also all about his dog, a white Lab named Scotty. You can tell the two most important characters in Homa’s life—his wife and Scotty—because they’re regular features on his social media! 

Conclusion 

It’s great to see how many golfers love their pets! We’re seeing a trend though… Golfers and dogs! We love getting a glimpse into the people behind the celebrities, and seeing golfers interact with their beloved fluffy pets is a great way of remembering that they’re just human and get taken in by those puppy dog eyes and loving purrs just like the rest of us! 

We’ll be keeping an eye on these pro golfers and their pets as we go forward. Follow them on Instagram if you want to keep up with their careers and their fluffs!

Core vs. Non-Core Vaccines for Your Dog

Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

As dog owners, we want to make sure that we are prioritizing the safety and health of our furry friends. When it comes to the various vaccines that dogs need, it can be tricky to ensure that you have your bases covered. However, it is important to stay updated on your dog’s vaccination schedule

Core Vaccines

Download this puppy vaccine schedule to stay up to date on your pup’s shots!

DAP/DHP

The DAP/DHP vaccine is usually given in one shot and protects against three different viruses. This vaccine protects against canine distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), and parvovirus, which are all highly contagious and dangerous for dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, nervous systems, and more. Young dogs are at the highest risk to contract these illnesses, so it is essential to inquire about this shot with your veterinarian. 

Rabies

If you are unfamiliar with rabies, it is a viral disease that harms the nervous system of animals who become inflicted. Severe symptoms can range from fever, excessive drooling, and even paralysis. As dogs can pass rabies to one another and even to humans through saliva, usually from a bite, vaccinating your dog against this disease will protect them and protect you. 

Non-Core Vaccines

Download this new puppy vaccination tracker to check off each appointment and shot!

Bordetella

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a contagious respiratory disease that is passed through bacteria. It often presents itself through kennel cough and the inflammation of the bronchi and trachea. If your dog spends time around other dogs at the dog park or a boarding kennel, it is a good idea to get your dog vaccinated.

Canine parainfluenza

Believe it not, canine parainfluenza is a very common cause of kennel cough which is highly transmissible between dogs that spend time near one another and in close quarters. If you happen to travel or take your pup on doggie play dates, you may want to vaccinate them against this disease. 

Canine influenza

Also known as dog flu, canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that dogs can get from being around other infected dogs. Symptoms include cough, fever, runny nose, or lethargy. In severe cases, dogs can develop pneumonia and even die. Luckily, vaccinating your dog against canine influenza will prevent this from happening!

Leptospirosis

While it is not extremely common due to high rates of vaccination, leptospirosis is a disease that occurs from Leptospira bacterial infections. Symptoms can greatly vary based on severity but liver failure, fever, vomiting, and other side effects are likely. Dogs contract this through infected tissues, urine, or even drinking from a contaminated lake or stream. 

Lyme disease

If your dog spends time outside in tall grasses or bushes, you should be wary of ticks and diseases they carry. Lyme disease occurs from infection with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes and joints, fatigue, and lack of appetite. There are risks associated with Lyme, and therefore, it is important to protect your dog against this. 

Making these optional vaccines part of your adult dog’s routine will ensure his or her safety into their older dog years! Download this adult dog vaccine tracker. 

Protecting our dogs means giving them the best chance they have against potential risks, dangers, and diseases. There are tons of ways to keep your dog safe and prioritize their wellbeing. Looking to take the first step and learn more about vaccinating your dog? Use the printables included in this post courtesy of The Zebra for more information on each vaccine and how to best manage your dog’s immunization timeline.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe In The Car

According to Pet Pro Supply, 84% of dog owners do not keep their pets properly restrained when traveling with them in a car. 

Some dog owners might think that keeping their pet restrained while riding a car could make them feel uncomfortable. However, driving with your pet unrestrained can put them in harm’s way if you have an accident.

In a car crash, an unrestrained pet could be hurled forward and hit the back of a seat or the dashboard. This collision could injure or even kill your dog.

You should, therefore, always keep your “pawsengers” restrained in a car whether you’re going to an outdoor adventure or just bringing them to the park. We will now run through some of your options for keeping your dog restrained in your car in this article.

1. Dog Harness Seatbelt

You can keep a larger dog safely restrained in your car by having them wear a dog harness and attaching the harness to your car’s seatbelt.

Dog harness seatbelts have a tether that can be attached to your car’s seatbelt to keep your dog from moving and tumbling off the seat in the event of a sudden stop. 

This form of car harness is best for well-behaved dogs who can stay in one place for extended periods of time since it restricts their movement.

It should not be used with energetic dogs because they may get restless if restrained, and this can be distracting when you are driving.

It should also only be used for dogs weighing above nine kilograms as smaller dogs are not heavy enough to make the seatbelt taut if they suddenly lurch forward. 

2. Zipline Harness

A zipline harness is suitable for active dogs who need to move about while riding in the car.

It is made up of two mechanisms: the harness that your dog wears and the “zipline” which is usually a short leash attached to any two fixed points in the car.

The harness secures your dog to the zipline, while the zipline allows them to move around in the rear of the car in a controlled manner.

It’s critical to keep the harness just long enough to allow movement while keeping it short enough to keep your dog from hurtling forward when you step on the brakes.

3. Passenger Seat Hammock

A passenger seat hammock gives a pleasant spot for your dogs to lie down in the back seat and creates a barrier between the front and rear seats.

It’s best for older dogs who need to lie down the majority of the time because it keeps them from falling off the seat and catapulting forward.

4. Plush Carry Box

A plush carry box serves as a booster seat which is fastened to the car seat with a safety harness to keep your dogs secure. 

It’s ideal for dogs who are too little to wear a normal harness and who enjoy looking out the window.

It’s also perfect for anxious dogs because it allows them to see their owners and their environment.

Make sure your plush carry box is big enough for your dog to sit and lie down in. You can also keep them entertained by placing their favorite toy in the box.

5. Crate

Hard-sided crates are one of the best ways of securing your dog in the car while traveling because of their sturdy structure.

Crates can protect your dog from flying debris and prevent them from being tossed during an accident. 

Their solid build, however, may also cause discomfort to your dog when confined inside the crate for a long time. Therefore, you should place a soft blanket inside the crate to ensure that your dog is as comfortable as possible.

You should also make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to move around in.

If your dog is not used to being confined, you should think about alternatives to a crate for keeping them safe in the car. Keeping them in a crate may upset them, thereby creating a distraction for the driver and increasing the risk of an accident.

The Takeaway

There are many options for keeping your dogs safe when traveling in a car. Some methods may or may not be effective for your dogs. You should, therefore, explore different approaches and see which one is the best for your dog.

It is also a good idea to consider getting a health care plan for your pet so you’re always covered in case of an accident.

This article was contributed by Mike Skoropad. Mike is the CEO of automotive parts retailer United Tires.