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4 New Year’s Resolutions Your Pet Wants You to Make

It’s that time of year again – time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions and ways to improve your life in the coming year. Sometimes we need a little help deciding which resolutions to make and who better to ask than the person that spends the most time with you – your pet. After all, your daily habits and routine have a direct effect also on the happiness of your pet. So, we did the research and asked pets all around the country – “What New Year’s resolutions do you think your human should make this year?” We discovered that if your dog could choose your New Year’s resolutions, this is what they would be likely to say.

“Get out of the house more often – and take me with you.”

When questioned further, pets (especially the dogs) had a lot of specific suggestions on places that their owners should go. The Dog Park and pet food stores were two of the most popular answers. Go figure.

  • Trips to the Dog Park are mutually beneficial to both you and your dog. It’s great social interaction and exercise for your dog and leaves you with a healthier and happier dog, which is always a plus.

*Of course, the dog park is not for all dogs. Before checking out the dog park, you’ll want to make sure your dog is comfortable around other dogs. Check out this list of Dog Park Safety Tips before you visit.

“Take on a new hobby – one that includes me having fun, too.”

This was another one that was really popular with the dogs that were interviewed. Turns out, humans aren’t the only ones with a passion for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. And did you know that dogs could excel at paddle boarding? Apparently it’s a new thing.

  • Enjoying various hobbies with your pet can really strengthen the bond that you share, and the exercise that comes along with it is mutually beneficial for both of you.

“Let loose and get frisky every once in a while.”

Now, we heard this one from the majority of the cats that were part of our research. They kept talking about how it’s not necessary to be so serious all the time, and how it’s important to let loose and have a little fun. During the interviews with most of the cats, we kept getting the distinct feeling that the cats were actually talking about themselves rather than their owners. Typical cat behavior. The mention of catnip on multiple occasions was a dead giveaway.

  • Cats can come off as being very serious and low energy a lot of the time, but it is important to still exercise their active and frisky side on a regular basis as exercise is beneficial to all of our pets. One of our favorite ways of doing this is with catnip or the ever famous red laser light. Almost all cats have a wild side and deep down they are dying for you to bring it out.

“Include a 30 minute walk in your daily routine – and bring me along.”

This was a popular answer, obviously among dogs, but we were surprised with how many cats were craving a daily walk. We suspect this may be the culprit of some of the bitter feelings toward the family dog.

  • Did you know that cats can also enjoy joining you on your daily walk? They can even be trained to wear a harness and leash to do it safely.
  • Regardless, adding a daily walk to both your routine as well as your pet’s routine can make a huge difference in yours and your pet’s overall health.

Now that you have a little bit of insight into your pet’s brain, thanks to our dedicated research, what are your New Year’s resolutions going to be this year? Here’s to wishing for a happier and healthier coming year for both you and your pet!

Wellness TruFood Thanksgiving Twitter Chat Recap

This year, we wanted to make sure that pet parents would be ready to include their furry family members in the Thanksgiving holiday feast. To do this, we recently hosted a Twitter Chat with Wellness veterinarian, Dr. Louise, DVM. During our 1-hour-long chat, we talked about ways to include healthy superfood ingredients in your pets meals with our Wellness TruFood line for dogs and cats. Take a look at how it went!

In preparation for the Thanksgiving season, as well as the Twitter Chat, we worked on a TruFood photoshoot to capture the delicious, nutrient-rich ingredients up close. We were joined by Wellness dog, Dakota, who was not shy with digging into her holiday plate and showing us all how tasty it was. Check out these behind-the-scenes “blooper” shots!

And now, the final product:

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our Twitter Chat, and we’d like to congratulate winner @rooneyanddesi who won a year’s supply of Wellness TruFood for participating!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The Purrfect Howl-O-Ween

Pumpkins, scarecrows and goblins, oh my! Halloween is upon us and this holiday is one that is fun for everyone – including our four-legged friends! Pet owners all across America look forward to this holiday and many spend hours upon hours picking out the perfect costume for their pets. How do you celebrate Halloween with your pet? We’ve got some tips on how to have a fun and safe Halloween with your pet!

The Costume Factor

If you have a pet that doesn’t mind suiting up in a festive Halloween costume, then you should consider yourself lucky! Not all pets will be jumping at the chance to wear a costume, so it’s important to make sure that you don’t force your pet to wear something that they aren’t comfortable in. Your pet can participate in the festivities simply by wearing a fun Halloween bandana. Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

Trick or Treating

Whether you are going out trick or treating or staying home to give out candy, keep your pet’s safety in mind!

  • If you bring your pet along for trick or treating, make sure they are on a leash the entire time.
  • If it’s dark outside, your pet should be wearing some type of reflective gear so that they are noticeable to all drivers.
  • Don’t let your pet leave home without their ID tag – you never know when they could get away from you.
  • While at home giving out candy, take extra precautions to make sure your pet doesn’t slip out of the door when trick or treaters arrive. If your pet is known to be an escape artists, it’s probably best to keep them in a secure area during this time.

Speaking of Treats…

What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Halloween? Candy! Dentists everywhere cringe at the thought of what their patients are indulging in on this particular holiday. While candy isn’t really good for anyone, it can be even more harmful to our pets.

  • Keep all Halloween candy in a safe place where your pets cannot get to it. There are some candies that can be fatal to your pet, especially in large doses.
  • That doesn’t mean that your pet can’t have any treats on Halloween! Pick up some special Halloween treats for your pet so they don’t feel left out while everyone else indulges in their favorite candy.

Community Events
There are always some fun events going on in the community during Halloween, and some events are even catered specifically to our furry friends! These events are a great chance to get your pets out and allow them to socialize.
  • Pet Parades: We love a good pet parade! Whether your pet is dressed in full costume or simply sporting a spooky bandana, pet parades are a fun way for your furry friends to get some good exercise and socialize with other pets.
  • Costume Contests: What could possibly be better than a bunch of adorable dogs (and cats) dressed in funky Halloween costumes? If your community is hosting one of these events, you certainly don’t want to miss out! Your pet doesn’t have to be dressed up to get in on the fun! Again, if you take your pet out to any events in your community, keep their safety in mind. Make sure they are on a leash and they are wearing proper identification at all times.
Halloween can be such a fun holiday for the whole family, but it can also be a nightmare if you aren’t looking out for your pet’s safety. Take these tips into consideration and you and your pet are sure to have the “Purrfect Howl-o-Ween!

· Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

5 Things Your Cat Wants to Say to You

Calling all cat lovers! October 29th is National Cat Day and we couldn’t possibly be more excited to celebrate.  Their quirky and loving ways are unlike the characteristics of any other pet that you may have. Cat lovers know that the presence of a cat in their life is irreplaceable by any other pet. Well, in celebration of National Cat Day, we’re taking a stab at interpreting the complex minds of our furry cat friends and letting you in on some things that your cat has been dying to tell you – if your cat could talk, these are some things that he might say.

“I love you, but I need my space.”

If there is one thing that we know about cats, it’s that they are far less needy than the other pets in the house. They don’t need the constant attention and affections that some pets (ahem, dogs) sometimes need. There are some moments in which they love nothing more than to be curled up right beside you on the couch, and other moments in which they disappear into one of their secret spots and prefer not to be bothered (or found).

“Excuse me, the litter box isn’t going to clean itself.”

I mean, our cats do us the honorable service of basically training themselves to use the bathroom in the appropriate place, without any help from us. So, the least that we can do is keep their litter box clean so that they can continue to make our lives easier. Trust us, there are consequences for not keeping the litter box clean, but the fault will be all your own.

“The dog can stay, but don’t tell him I said that.”

Cats may not want to admit it, but they have a love/hate relationship with the dog of the house. They may act like the dog is the pain of their existence, but there is a love that exists between them deep down. Now, there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes the two pets simply cannot coexist together, but sometimes we think that it’s all just an act. We would be willing to bet that when no one is at home, Fido and Garfield are taking cozy naps together.

“Cats like treats too, you know.”

We’ve all been guilty of it – we go to the store and buy dog treats in five different recipes, but we don’t even venture over to the area where the cat treats are located. I mean, are cat treats even a thing? Well, our cats are here to tell us – yes, cat treats are most definitely a thing. In fact, Wellness offers cat treats in all different recipes and varieties, so give your cat something to purr about and surprise them with a brand new bag of delicious treats. No wonder cats have so much built up resentment towards dogs, right?

“Are you kidding me with that red laser light?!”

Now this is a game that we all have likely played with our cats. The ole laser light on the wall game. This game will send your cat into a complete focused frenzy where all they can think about is capturing that evil red light and destroying everything in their path while doing it. It’s hard to really tell, do our cats love this game or do they hate it? I guess we will never know, but the exercise has got to be good for them, right? So, grab some catnip and a laser light and make sure someone is ready with a camera – this is going to be good.

How to Spoil Your Cat on National Cat Day

Does your cat rule your life? If so, National Cat Day gives you a perfect excuse to spoil your cat even more – not that you need one. Go ahead and fill your Instagram with a photo shoot of your favorite kitty without shame.

Of course, your kitty would like you to show appreciation in real life. For example, does your kitty like games? There are lots of ways you can help your feline stay mentally stimulated.

Laser pointer – This is an old favorite. Point the laser pointer at a spot on the floor and let it catch your cat’s eye. Move it slowly across the floor and Fluffy will do her best stalking tiger impression. Once she’s fully engaged, you can pick up the speed and eventually move the laser all over the room. If your kitty enjoys this, she’ll get a good workout.

String on a stick – This classic cat toy requires you to tease Fluffy with the string or feathers and then, pull them away. By holding the stick, you maintain control (and can save your fingers from outstretched – and excited – claws.)

Catnip stuffed mice – Roughly 50% of cats feel the effects of catnip. That is to say, they smell the stuff and go into a wild state of ecstasy. If your cat is one of them, you may witness kitty rolling around on the floor as if in the throes of a delicious dream upon sniffing the herb.

You can pick up fabric mice stuffed with this member of the mint family and give it to your cat. If you DON’T see her overcome with the happiness response you expect, maybe your cat is immune to the virtues of catnip.

Your feline may also be given to sedate joys like:

Belly rubs – When your kitty stretches out and rolls over exposing the belly, she’s asking for a belly rub. Give that kitty belly a rub.

Or, you could always get kitty a new collar and make sure she has an updated ID tag. In case she gets out of the house it’s good to have I.D.

There are many ways to spoil your favorite feline.

Of course, the real reason National Cat Day (October 29) exists is to encourage adoption. Pet adoption champion Colleen Paige started the day to remind people that the shelters are overcrowded with pets who need homes.

There’s even a new trend you may have heard about. A cat café.

What’s a Cat Café?

Unlike taking your dog to lunch at a sidewalk café, a cat café is a way to introduce adoptable cats to diners. The idea is that if you take the cats out of the shelter environment and give them a safe place to play, they’ll relax and their personalities will come out.

Cat café’s are popular in Japan and Germany and there are many in the works in the States. However, the U.S. health codes here have so far prevented them from opening – something about mixing cats and food – so while they’re working out the details, if you want to adopt a kitty, the shelters are still your best option.

How will you celebrate National Cat Day?

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Winners


Last month, we asked Wellness fans to share with us how their pets love Wellness by entering up to 3 photos in our Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest. Thank you to everyone who participated! We received so many wonderful photos of your pets and their favorite Wellness recipes. After much deliberation, we’re very happy to announce the Grand Prize winner of the contest, along with the Runners Up and Honorable Mentions. The Grand Prize winner will receive a year’s supply of Wellness! The Runners Up will each receive a deluxe Wellness prize pack, and each Honorable Mention will receive a bundle of Wellness goodies!

Can we get a drum roll please?

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner: Lucky, submitted by Cynthia D. “Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

Photo---cdorminey@nctv

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 1st Runner Up: Kono, submitted by @kono_in_orlando via Instagram.
love-pet-photo-contest-first-runner-up

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 2nd Runner Up: Gacy, submitted by Karin J.

“Who wants Wellness for dinner? Gacy does!”

gacy

Lucky loves her Wellness Signature Selects. When it’s mealtime she hops onto the stool next to the counter to watch me get her food ready. If she could talk she’d probably say, “Come on mom! Put down the camera and get this can open!”

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest 3rd Runner Up: Zoey & Henry, submitted by KellyAnn Z.
“Zoey + Henry love Wellness Pet Food! They are lifelong fans of Wellness because it helps keep them healthy and happy!”

Third Runner Up

Honorable Mentions

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Sluggo, submitted by Lindsay B.
“Sluggo Will Work For Wellness”

Honorable Mention 1

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness kitty, submitted by Lauren A.
“Thank you for keeping me happy and healthy!”

Honorable Mention 2

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Tatiana, submitted by Christina S.
“It’s 5 o’clock… What are you waiting for?” My service dog Tatiana is always ready for her Wellness Core. Thank you for Wellness for keeping her healthy and looking like a puppy.”

Honorable Mention

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Polar, submitted by Allison S.
“Polar powers through his farm chores fueled on Wellness Core Ocean Formula! #LovesHisWellness”

Honorable Mention

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Lucy, submitted by Sarah S.
“Wellness was love at first bite with Lucy. You can tell by the look in her eyes! We absolutely love all your products.”

Honorable Mention

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness students, submitted by Deb N.
“We’re so happy our mom included our bag of Wellness Core Superfood Protein bars in our lunchbox for our first day of school! We eat Wellness dog food for our meals too!”

Honorable Mention

Wellness Love Pet Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Wellness feast, submitted by Johnal L.
“Wellness…it’s what’s for dinner!”

Honorable Mention

Thanks again to all who participated!

-Your Friends at Wellness

National Dog Week

So, let’s be honest here – for all of the fellow dog lovers out there, EVERY week is Dog Week.  There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t celebrate the love that we have for our four-legged friends. However, some super clever person out there decided that it was time to go NATIONAL with our love for dogs, so the last week in September is now deemed National Dog Week, and that sounds like a perfectly good reason to celebrate our furry friends! Let’s talk about some ways that you can celebrate with your dog.

10 Ways to Celebrate National Dog Week

  1. Take a hike. Chances are, your dog drools over adventure! Plan a hiking adventure for you and your dog to enjoy together – research local state parks and make sure they are pet friendly. Your dog will love the new scenery and you’ll both be glad that you went!
  2. Start a new training activity. Whether obedience, Agility, Flyball, or playing Frisbee, there are a lot of benefits that come along with these kinds of activities – for you and your dog! Teaching your dog something new is a great way to give your dog the mental stimulation and physical exercise that they need.
  3. Start a blog or social media account. Why not share your dog’s life with the world, using stories and pictures? I can guarantee you that people will love it! What’s even better is that you will always have special moments of your dog’s life documented somewhere, and you are sure to enjoy looking back and reliving those memories in the years to come.
  4. Volunteer at a rescue or shelter. This is a great and important way for dog lovers to give back to their community. Animal shelters are always in need of a helping hand and it can be very rewarding knowing that you are helping other dogs in need, even if it’s just taking them on a walk once a week.
  5. Arrange a playdate. Do you have neighbors or friends with dogs? If you know that they play well with other dogs, playdates are always a fun idea. Not only is it great for your dog to socially interact with other dogs, but a good backyard romp with another furry friend is also great exercise for your dog.
  6. Join a dog walking group. Chances are, your community offers local groups of like-minded dog lovers that get together for weekly group dog walks. This is a great way for your dog to get social interaction and also a way for you to meet people in the area that share your love for dogs. Dog lovers unite!
  7. Schedule a health check. OK, so this may not be your dog’s favorite thing to do, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your dog. Life gets busy sometimes and time slips away from us – this is a good week to schedule a health check up with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog’s health is in check.
  8. Adopt a dog. Adopting a dog is not a decision to be made lightly. It is important to give plenty of thought and consideration to bringing a new dog into your home. If you have been considering getting a dog for some time, this would be the perfect week to save the life of a dog at one of the local shelters in your community.
  9. Share the love. Share the love that you have for your dog this week. Post a tribute on social media with pictures and thoughts expressing how much joy your dog has brought into your life. You never know, you may inspire someone else to adopt a dog of their own!
  10. Hug your dog. Give your dog some extra love and affection this week – or better yet, give them extra love and affection EVERY week!

Are you ready to celebrate National Dog Week now? We all love our dogs every day of the year, but try this week to step out of your routine and show your dog how much you love them in an extraordinary way. Happy National Dog Week, fellow dog lovers!

Take a hike.* Chances are, your dog drools over adventure! Plan a hiking adventure for you and your dog to enjoy together – research local state parks and make sure they are pet friendly. Your dog will love the new scenery and you’ll both be glad that you went!
Start a new training activity. * Whether obedience, Agility, Flyball, or playing Frisbee, there are a lot of benefits that come along with these kinds of activities – for you and your dog! Teaching your dog something new is a great way to give your dog the mental stimulation and physical exercise that they need.
Start a blog.  * Why not share your dog’s life with the world, using stories and pictures? I can guarantee you that people will love it! What’s even better is that you will always have special moments of your dog’s life documented somewhere, and you are sure to enjoy looking back and reliving those memories in the years to come.
Volunteer at a rescue or shelter. * This is a great and important way for dog lovers to give back to their community. Animal shelters are always in need of a helping hand and it can be very rewarding knowing that you are helping other dogs in need, even if it’s just taking them on a walk once a week.
Arrange a playdate.  * Do you have neighbors or friends with dogs? If you know that they play well with other dogs, playdates are always a fun idea. Not only is it great for your dog to socially interact with other dogs, but a good backyard romp with another furry friend is also great exercise for your dog.
Join a dog walking group. * Chances are, your community offers local groups of like-minded dog lovers that get together for weekly group dog walks. This is a great way for your dog to get social interaction and also a way for you to meet people in the area that share your love for dogs. Dog lovers unite!
Schedule a health check.  * OK, so this may not be your dog’s favorite thing to do, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your dog. Life gets busy sometimes and time slips away from us – this is a good week to schedule a health check up with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog’s health is in check.
Adopt a dog. *Adopting a dog is not a decision to be made lightly. It is important to give plenty of thought and consideration to bringing a new dog into your home. If you have been considering getting a dog for some time, this would be the perfect week to save the life of a dog at one of the local shelters in your community.
Share the love. * Share the love that you have for your dog this week. Post a tribute on social media with pictures and thoughts expressing how much joy your dog has brought into your life. You never know, you may inspire someone else to adopt a dog of their own!
Hug your dog.* Give your dog some extra love and affection this week – or better yet, give them extra love and affection EVERY wee

Back to School Blues – Treating Pets with Separation Anxiety

Is your pet having difficulty adjusting to the new fall schedule? Maybe he’s eyeing you with panic as you get ready to leave the house? Separation anxiety isn’t only relegated to pets who’ve had a difficult background. It can also affect them when there’s a big change in schedule – such as the kids going back to school. If your pet has gotten used to people being home all the time and now they aren’t, it can cause upset and concern. Muffin doesn’t know it’s simply the time of the year, all Muffin knows is people were around and now they’re not and it often means long hours alone. Sometimes, separation anxiety can show up as extreme panic.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

  • Excessive barking
  • Whining
  • Urinating or Defecating Inside (Only when you’re not around – otherwise they’re house-trained)
  • Scratching at doors/windows
  • Destroying Things

If your usually calm dog is now destroying furniture or eating his way through a door, you have a severe case of separation anxiety on your hands.

How to Deal with Separation Anxiety

In some cases, you may need a calming drug. Talk to your veterinarian about the possibilities on the market. There are many anti-anxiety drugs available.
In the meantime, try these tactics:
Don’t fuss over your pet when you leave or come home. Instead, calmly step out the door and when you return, ignore your pet for a few minutes (as best as you can) and then give a small pat or scratch behind the ears.
Confine your pet to a laundry room or another space where he or she can inflict minimal damage.
Leave a “scented” shirt or other dirty laundry item with your pet. As you know, dogs are highly focused on scent and your familiar smell can help calm him.
Give your pet toys that will keep him busy, for example, a peanut butter stuffed Kong. However, it extreme instances your pet may not touch it until you return.
Calming scents like lavender can help. You can spritz it in the room and around your pet’s toys/bed.
If you can take your pet to doggie day care or to work with you, that will ease the stress. The whole point is that your pet doesn’t want to be left alone.

According to The Humane Society, crating won’t help and can make it worse. Punishment also won’t work.

In some cases, you may need a calming drug. Talk to your veterinarian about the possibilities on the market. There are many anti-anxiety drugs available.

  • Don’t fuss over your pet when you leave or come home. Instead, calmly step out the door and when you return, ignore your pet for a few minutes (as best as you can) and then give a small pat or scratch behind the ears.
  • Confine your pet to a laundry room or another space where he or she can’t inflict damage.
  • Leave a “scented” shirt or other dirty laundry item with your pet. As you know, dogs are highly focused on scent and your familiar smell can help calm him.
  • Give your pet toys that will keep him busy, for example, a peanut butter stuffed Kong. However, it extreme instances your pet may not touch it until you return.
  • Calming scents like lavender can help. You can spritz it in the room and around your pet’s toys/bed.
  • If you can take your pet to doggie day care or to work with you, that will ease the stress. The whole point is that your pet doesn’t want to be left alone.
  • According to The Humane Society, crating won’t help and can make it worse. Punishment also won’t work.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Is Experiencing Separation Anxiety or Just Bored?

Bored dogs can be destructive and howl the day away. But their symptoms usually disappear if they get enough exercise – depending on the breed, that can mean a 10 mile run every day. Separation anxiety is more like a panic. If your dog gets visibly distressed while you’re getting ready to leave the house…that’s classic separation anxiety.

If you watch closely you’ll see the difference. You can try taking your pet out for a longer walk before and after work and seeing if that helps. A mid-day dog walker can relieve both bored dogs and give an anxious dog a break. You can also offer your pet a favorite treat before you leave. Often, a dog experiencing panic at the thought of being left alone will ignore it. They’re truly terrified about being alone and even a favorite treat won’t sway them.

What about your pet? Is he or she showing signs of separation anxiety?

Wellness Wagon Tour Photo Recap

    National Mutt Day

    A hidden gem, a diamond in the rough, the four-legged prince (or princess) among thieves – the mutt has found its place in the dog world. What used to be thought of as a derogatory term, the “mutt” is now something to be celebrated. Shelters around the country harbor many of these gems – sitting undiscovered, waiting to pick their perfect human family.

    The Best Kept Secret: Why You Should Rescue a Mutt

    The real question to be asked is, “Why would you not rescue a mutt?” Animal shelters are known for harboring the mutts of the dog world, the diamonds in the rough.

    • No one expected that the dog in the third kennel down on the right, that looks to be the perfect mix between a Corgi and a Jack Russell Terrier, would bring life into the home of a husband and wife struggling with conception.
    • Who would have thought that the Golden Retriever and Border Collie mix with bright blue eyes, would be the missing puzzle piece of motivation for his new owner with dreams of running a marathon?
    • The Pit Bull mix that sat quietly in the corner, in the very last kennel on the left: her owners would tell you that she is the most loyal dog to ever enter their home, and that taking a chance on her was one of the greatest decisions they have ever made.

    There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”
    Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

    There truly is no greater love and appreciation than that of a dog who has been rescued, but their owners will inevitably begin to ask themselves the question, “Which one of us is really being rescued here?”  Rescue a mutt from your local shelter and you will officially be in on the secret. Here is a not so subtle hint: It’s both of you.

    This Mutt’s For You

    No matter the breed, making the decision to bring a dog into your life and home is not one to be taken lightly. There is indeed a perfect mutt for your family, but there are things that deserve your careful consideration. Lifestyle, space in your home, and breed characteristics are all things that factor into finding your ideal four-legged companion.

    What does your Saturday morning look like?

    • Do you wake up, eat clean and jump on your mountain bike, or maybe pound the pavement in an early morning run? There is a Labrador and Boxer mix somewhere, dreaming of the day he can join you.
    • Do you like to curl up on the couch with your coffee and a good book, or even indulge in one of those guilty pleasure television shows? There is a Shih Tzu and Poodle mix somewhere that would love nothing more than to make a cozy spot right next to you. That’s one of the good things about dogs: they won’t tell anyone how much you love The Real Housewives.

    A Happy Home

    • Larger breed dogs with a high energy level are not going to be happiest cooped up in a one bedroom apartment in the city, unless maybe you have them trained to do your Starbucks coffee run each day. . .multiple times a day.
    • On the other hand, a dog with a lower energy level will be happy with a more low-maintenance, leisurely schedule: even if that schedule consists of hours of mindless television in your one bedroom apartment.

    The dog that you bring into your home should be a direct reflection of your lifestyle, and your home should appropriately accommodate his or her needs.

    Breed Characteristics

    Animal shelters are filled with mixed-breeds of many kinds, and the beauty of the mixed-breed dog is even better odds of finding the perfect mutt for you. Mixed-breed equals a broader gene pool, and once you discover what characteristics fit best into your life, the shelter is the right place to begin your search.

    • For example, any breed mixed with a poodle would be a good fit for someone with a mild pet dander allergy, as poodles tend to be hypo-allergenic.
    • Likewise, a dog that appears to be a mix of Labrador and Border Collie, may have the friendly disposition of the first and the whip-smart agility of the second.

    No one is trying to take anything away from the purebreds of the world. However, it is time for them to scoot over and make a sunny spot for their equally adorable furry friend, the mutt, because all dogs deserve their day in the sun.