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Why Adopt a Senior Dog?

When you adopt a Senior dog, you get all the benefits of a sweet, doggie companion without any of the headaches of potty training, chewing and mess-making so common to puppydom. Your senior adoptee will likely be well-mannered and will make an easy transition to your home.

In honor of Senior Dog Month, Wellness shares three good reasons to consider saving a senior pup:

1-      Their maturity makes them easy to train and they’ll settle in quickly.

Senior dogs have years of experience living with humans and many of them can easily adapt to a new environment—including one with kids and other pets. Many of them are already housebroken so you can skip that phase.

2-      They like to lounge – A senior dog will not require the hours of exercise a puppy needs. A few short walks a day and your senior is good. The rest of the time, he’ll be happy to lounge in a comfy spot.

3-      What you see is what you get – You already know how large the dog is and the temperament is easy to size up. There will be no surprises later.

Soon to be empty nesters, those with a less active lifestyle and dog lovers who’d simply enjoy having a dog lay by their feet can all benefit from adopting a dog entering his or her golden years.

At What Age are Dogs Seniors?

Veterinarians say 7 years old is the standard, however, there is a bit of leeway depending on the breed/size of the dog. Smaller dogs are considered “senior” at an older age while large breeds could be “seniors” at age 6.

Why Do Great Dogs End Up at the Shelter?

Pet shelter staff say many of the reasons pets end up there have nothing to do with the dog. Rather, dogs sometimes end up at the shelter due to a life change experienced by the pet owner. Pet owners may move or take another job and they don’t think they have time for the dog anymore. Pet guardians may also become unable to care for a pet as they get older or fall ill. There are multiple reasons a dog may be up for adoption that have nothing to do with the dog’s disposition.

Many senior dogs have a lot of life and love to give. Check out these adorable senior dogs, up for adoption.

How to Celebrate National Dog Week

Every Dog Has His Day (Or Week)

You can’t have too many opportunities to celebrate those who love us unconditionally. It’s even better when there’s a special day—or week—given especially for that occasion.

National Dog Week is the last week of September. According to one source, it was founded in 1928 by Captain William Lewis Judy to promote responsible dog ownership.

We like to think of it as another opportunity to celebrate and share the love of dogs.

Puppy kisses, happy greetings and lots of tail waggin’ fun bring smiles to our faces throughout the year. Plus, the weather is getting cooler and that makes it a perfect opportunity to get outside with your favorite furry canine.

Here are three ideas for celebrating National Dog Week:

Hold a Dog Party

Don’t have a good yard for several doggies to play? Enlist a friend who does. Invite 3-5 dogs (and their humans) over for a play date. The humans can take turns throwing balls and Frisbees and the dogs can catch them. Many dogs also love a great game of chase. They can run in circles chasing one another for at least 10 minutes.

Don’t have dogs who play chase or catch Frisbees? That’s ok. They’ll still enjoy the social opportunity. If you work long hours away from home, your pets may not get enough companionship. Just make sure the invitees all get along and enjoy one another. Then, everyone can leave happy and tired.

Get Involved in Doggie Events

Lots of animal shelters hold fundraisers throughout the year to support their mission of saving animals. They always need volunteers and can be a great way to help dozens of dogs without adopting more than your house can hold.

You could even organize a “Mutt Strutt” to benefit the shelter or for veterinarians to help families in need. Many veterinarians keep a special fund to help pet-loving families who find themselves in a financial crisis when it comes to caring for their pet.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

After Labor Day, many beaches become pet friendly again.

Enjoy a romp in the sand and surf. Make clean up easy on yourself by stopping by a “doggie wash” on the way out.They’ll feel happy after a good outing. They’ll be over the moon after a great outing and a good bath.

Is the beach too far? Take a hike in the woods or at a nearby State Park.

Whatever you choose to do, your best friend will enjoy being with you. How will you celebrate National Dog Week?

Happy National Mutt Day!

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any pure bred pooch.
Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created Mutt’s Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.
Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded Mutt’s Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of overpopulation.
What Can You Do?
Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.
Get your pet spayed or neutered for population control.
Donate old towels and bed linens to a shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.
If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!
Benefit of Mutts
In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breeds have an advantage over pure bred pooches.  Studies show they often live longer, healthier lives thanks to a lack of inbreeding.
They’re devoted. Some people even say rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.
Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt
Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs deserve loving homes where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.
Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.
Long live mutts!
Who’s your favorite mixed breed? We’d love to hear about him/her in the comments below.

Embrace your favorite mutt! Whether long-haired with pointy ears or short-furred with a stub of a tail, mutts nuzzle their way into our hearts as much as any purebred pooch.

Pet expert and advocate Colleen Paige created National Mutt Day as a biannual event (July 31 and Dec. 2) to recognize the lovable mutts waiting for their forever homes at crowded animal shelters around the country.

Every year, thousands of animals are euthanized due to overpopulation and she wanted to do something about it. In 2005, she founded National Mutt Day as a day to recognize those animals and raise awareness to the problem of pet overpopulation.

Browse adoptable dogs like Gatsby here

Click the photo to view adoptable dogs like Gatsby

What Can You Do?

Consider adoption instead of buying your next pet and donate time and/or dollars to a local animal shelter.

Get your pet spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation.

Donate old towels and bed linens to an animal shelter.  The animals will appreciate having a soft bed to lie on.

If you can, volunteer at the animal shelter. You can walk dogs, foster pups or maybe help organize events like a Mutt Day Celebration!

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Henry.

Benefit of Mutts

-In addition to the good feelings that come with knowing you’ve saved a life, mixed breed dogs have an advantage over purebred pooches.  Studies show they can often live longer, healthier lives.

-They’re devoted. Many people believe that rescues are extra grateful to their pet parents, as if they know they were saved. And, maybe they do.

Celebrate Your Mixed Mutt

Whether you call them “mix”, “mutt” or “Heinz 57”,  these dogs each deserve a  loving home where their biggest concern is which patch of sun to lie in.

Why not take your favorite mutt for an extra-long walk in honor of Mutt’s Day? Maybe even sneak in some extra cuddle time and a special treat.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Click the image to view adoptable dogs like Tower.

Long live mutts!

Is your pet a mutt? Share your photos on our Facebook page!

Wellness Adopt a Cat Month Giveaway & Donation

It’s National Adopt a Cat Month! You can read more about cat adoption here. In honor of this special month, we’re hosting a giveaway and donation to an animal welfare organization. To enter, simply comment on this Wellness Natural Pet Food Facebook Post and share your cat adoption story. On June 30th we’ll be announcing a winner who will receive a Wellness Cat Prize Pack! In addition to receiving a prize pack, Wellness will make a donation of $250 to the animal charity of the winner’s choice. This is a great opportunity to spread the word about pet adoption and to help raise money for an organization that you’re passionate about.

Comment here to enter!

Celebrate Adopt a Cat Month

June is Adopt a Cat Month. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a new kitty, June is a good time to choose from frisky kittens to older, more relaxed cats.

Shelter cats are often well socialized because they’re around other animals and the staff. They’re used to being handled and petted which can translate into being good housecats.

Photo credit: Sun Sentinel

Photo credit: Sun Sentinel

Are you open to adopting a cat with special needs? Sometimes, all that means is that kitty needs a dose of medicine in the morning, a special food or a little extra attention. Your new kitty may have a broken tail or may be missing an eye, but he’ll love you just the same! To ensure a good match when choosing your cat, focus on personality rather than looks. Before you go into the shelter, take a moment to think about what type of cat may fit your lifestyle. Are you looking for a high-energy, playful young cat, or a middle-aged snuggle-bug? Which cats do you “click” with? Oftentimes, you’ll find that you don’t pick a cat, your cat picks you.

How a One-Eyed Cat Found a “Forever” Home

The white cat had been adopted and returned to the shelter twice. It seems cleaning out his eye was too unsavory for many people. The cat reached out to a passing man who stopped to investigate and asked the shelter staff if he could hold him. After multiple visits, he and his girlfriend decided to adopt the pirate kitty who’s grown into a sweet belly rub lover.

A Military Deployment Leads to a New Home

In another instance, a woman adopted “Kirby”, then found out she was being deployed. Heartbroken, she felt she had no choice but to return Kirby knowing she’d be gone for months. A family of four met Kirby at the shelter shortly after she returned him and fell in love. Now the kitty joins two dogs and another cat to make a happy home.

Some towns have special “cat only” shelters with a variety of available kitties. The staff at these shelters are especially well-versed in all things cat. Of course, no matter the pet shelter, the staff will take care to make a good match. They’ll ask you questions and help you choose a cat with the right temperament to fit into your household.

What’s your inspiring cat adoption tale? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page.

Celebrate National Specially-Abled Pets Day

National Specially-Abled Pets Day is on May 3. It’s a day to honor the amazing pets who’ve braved challenges such blindness, deafness and paralysis, and to bring awareness to the specially-abled pets in need of loving homes.

If you’re thinking of adopting, a specially-abled pet may be the perfect fit for you.  Sadly, specially-abled pets are often overlooked at the shelter based on the assumption that they’ll require too much care, but so many of these pets have a lot of love to give and an opportunity for a happy life with their new pet parent.

Thinking of Adopting a Specially-Abled Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know

The key is to ask questions before you adopt. Find out if the pet needs special medication or surgery or has other ongoing medical expenses. For example, if the condition is expected to worsen and require expensive medical treatment, you’d want to know this so you can be prepared.

You’ll also want to learn what type of “pet-proofing” you’ll need to do before bringing home your new pet. For example, a dog in a wheelchair will need ramps to get up stairs. A blind dog may need gates to block off stairs and prevent falls.

Can They Play?

If you’re considering adopting a dog in a wheelchair, you might wonder how they get around and if they do the things “regular” dogs do like go for walks and play fetch. The answer is “Yes!” Dogs in wheelchairs will love going for walks, playing with other dogs and chase balls as much as any dog.

Likewise, blind or deaf dogs can enjoy runs and even agility training just as much as dogs with great vision. With their strong sense of smell, dogs quickly “map” their landscape and learn where the obstacles are and how to navigate them. Blind dogs can learn certain commands like “step up” to help them maneuver in the world while deaf dogs can learn hand signals.

Specially-abled cats can also make great companions.

As with any successful adoption, the key is learning about the pet’s temperament and needs and matching it with yours. You may find specially-abled pets at your local shelter though there are also special rescue groups devoted to finding homes for these special pets. You can check out Pets With Disabilities for listings of specially-abled pets in many areas.

What’s your experience with a specially-abled pet? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page!

National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

It’s National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day! Wellness fans were asked to define their pet adoption experience with One Word & One Photo–here are their responses.


Awesome



Bliss


Destiny


Family2


Forever


Friend


Fun


Healing


life-changing


Love3


Miracle


Natural


Treasure

10 Ways to Help Your Dog Adoption Go Smoothly

When you rescue a dog from the shelter, you give him a second chance at life. Here are 10 ways you can get off on the right paw.

1– Talk with the shelter staff. Have them introduce you to their favorite dogs. Tell them what you’re looking for in a pet. Let them know what pets you already have and whether you have children. They’ll guide you to one that’s a good fit.

Find a dog who matches your temperament. If you enjoy lengthy hikes or other athletic endeavors, a high energy dog like a lab mix may be good for you. On the other hand, if you have small children or are looking for a dog who loves to snuggle, an older, more mellow dog may be a better option. The shelter staff can help you narrow your choices.

2- Once you’ve narrowed your choices to 2 or 3 dogs, see if you can take them each for a walk. Getting them away from the kennel environment will help many dogs relax and show you more of their personality.

3- Introduce your other family members to your candidates. This will help eliminate unpleasant surprises once you get home together.

4- If you already have a dog at home, see if you can bring your current dog in for a “meet and greet” or trade towels/blankets with each dog. The idea is each dog smells the other and begins to get accustomed to the other’s smell so they aren’t completely new to one another.

5- Once you’ve made your choice, determine where your new best friend will spend the first few days at your home. Even if your new friend is house-broken, the stress of moving and a new environment may cause him to “forget.” If you confine him to a kitchen, you’ll have easier clean up, yet, he’ll be able to adjust to family life.

6- If you plan to crate train, get the crate ready and decide where it will go in your home. When your new pet comes home, leave the crate sitting in its area with the door open and let him explore the crate on his own. You may find he enjoys being in it when he’s relaxing.

7- Aim for a calm schedule the first few weeks with your new pet. Take a few days off work if you can, and avoid planning travel right after adoption. Stick to scheduled meal times and walking times. The first few weeks are a critical adjustment time for everyone. Give yourself time.

8- Take your new friend to your veterinarian for a full checkup shortly after you bring him home. This gives you a baseline on health and temperament independent of the shelter.

9- Your new pet may benefit from doggie training classes or other forms of socializing such as dog parks. However, it’s important to discuss this with your vet and watch your pet’s temperament. Not every dog does well in these environments.

10- Make sure everyone in your family is onboard with the training plan. When everyone adheres to the schedule and uses the same commands, it’s easier for your dog to learn.

By giving a shelter dog a “forever home,” you’ll be deeply rewarded. You may find yourself the recipient of deep gratitude from your pet.

What tips do you have for a successful adoption?