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Lonely? Get A Four-Legged Companion

One of the worst feelings in the world is loneliness. It’s an empty, alone feeling that can lead to severe depression. No one wants to be lonely. In fact, they say that the worst thing that can be done to a person psychologically is to put them in solitary confinement. Interaction with other humans is essential to our sanity and our health.

There aren’t always other humans around, however, and while you probably don’t live in solitary confinement, you might spend a lot of your time at home by yourself. If you don’t live with anyone else, it can get pretty lonely. There are several ways you can try to combat your loneliness, such as by making plans with friends. A more long-term solution is to get your very own four-legged companion. A dog or cat can make a wonderful pet and cure your loneliness.

Adopting a Companion

If you want to get a pet, the best place to go is to an animal shelter. Adopting an animal, rather than buying one from a breeder or pet store, is the most compassionate thing you can do. The best part is that most of the animals in a shelter feel very lonely, too, and they may have been feeling that way for a very long time. When you adopt a shelter animal, you’re curing not only your own loneliness, but theirs as well, which is something to be proud of.

Living with a Friend

After you’ve adopted a four-legged companion, you’ll have to get used to living together. The best part is that you’ll never have to be alone at home, but a pet isn’t as big of a hassle as a roommate. With a pet, you don’t need to share the bathroom or deal with unwanted chatter. You can have the best of both worlds - peace and agreeableness along with companionship. It will be an adjustment, but it will make a big difference in the long run.

Doing Activities Together

With a pet, you’ll also have the opportunity to do lots of things with them, including physical activities like going for walks or playing fetch. Your pet can even accompany you in the car while you run errands or go other places, meaning you don’t even have to be alone while you’re driving. Loneliness often comes with another awful feeling - boredom - and a pet will certainly cure a boredom problem with ease. Pets love to play, and you’ll keep each other entertained.


There are so many benefits to living with a pet. Not only will you be less lonely, you’ll also be happier and healthier, literally. Studies have shown that pet owners live happier, longer lives, which is why pets are especially good for elderly people who live alone or people who are sick. You don’t have to be lonely anymore - go adopt your four-legged companion today. You’ll be very glad that you did, and so will your new companion.

Katherine Walters is an animal assisted therapist who often discusses the ways in which animals can help people with loneliness.

Importance of Trimming Your Dog's Nails

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In thinking about caring for a beloved dog, many people forget about trimming the nails. Yet keeping your dog’s toenails trimmed is an essential part of the dog’s health, and trimming should be done at least once a month. If your dog’s nails can be heard on the floor when he walks, or if he’s beginning to limp, that means it’s time to trim.

A dog’s walk can be drastically affected by its nails, since dogs walk and run on their toes. This is a stark difference from humans, since our nails are not used for walking or providing balance. If you’re in doubt about how often to trim the nails or how short they should be, keep these two principles in mind. The nails should not protrude over the pads of the dog’s paws, and they should not touch the ground.

When the nail is too long, walking can become awkward and even painful. Long nails can also contribute to hip and back problems, splayed or deformed feet, punctures that open the skin to infections, and bone trouble. Long nails can also begin to split or bleed into the pad of the foot. This will cause the dog to walk slowly, limp, or not walk at all.

There are two ways to trim nails: with a standard toenail clipper or with a dremel. A standard clipper works well, as long as the person is careful not to take too much off. If the clipper cuts to the quick of the nail, it damages the tender vein that runs through the nail. This will cause even more pain for the dog, along with some light bleeding. On the other hand, the dremel is a gentle sander that can round the edges of a nail without cutting to the quick. In light-colored nails, the quick is easy to see. If your dog has dark or black nails, you may want to use the dremel simple to avoid hitting the vein.

Of course, regular trimming should be part of your dog’s care since puppyhood. Yet if you adopted the dog when it was older, there may be an adjustment period as the dog becomes accustomed to the monthly routine. Dogs can often be frightened simply because they don’t know what to expect. Trusting the process to a professional at your local animal shelter or veterinarian may be the best choice simply because that person is skilled at calming down animals in distress. If you opt to trim the nails at home, make sure to involve someone whom the dog trusts, and reward his good behavior with a treat afterward.

Many dogs, especially younger ones, will wear their nails down simply by playing. Inactive or older dogs, though, will prefer to walk on grass or other soft surfaces, and their nails will not be worn down naturally. Check your dog’s nails periodically until you have a sense of how quickly they grow. No matter what your dog’s breed, lifestyle, and health history are, nail trimming should be a regular part of his care.

Author bio: This guest article was written by Eva Kettler, who often writes for LaPorte Animal Clinic in northern Colorado. When she's not writing, Eva enjoys renovating her 60-year-old house and making peach jam.

Five Rules For Adopting Dogs

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If you are thinking of offering a home to one of the thousands of dogs awaiting adoption in animal shelters across the country then first of all thank you for considering this option rather than simply deciding to buy a puppy.   There are far more dogs in the UK than there are willing dog owners, and evermore dogs are born each day as a result of dog breeding for profit and through owners not spaying or neutering their pets.

Charities like the RSPCA spend considerable time, effort and money rehoming dogs to people who want to adopt and they do so cautiously so as not to hurriedly place dogs for adoption only for the placement to fail. 

Here are the five basic ‘rules’ if you are considering adopting a dog.

  1. Do Your Research

What type of dog do you want?  Is there a particular breed you have in mind, or do you just know the sort of size of dog that you could comfortably accommodate in your home and garden?  What sort of characteristics do you want in a dog: loyalty, playfulness, companionship?  Do you want a puppy or would you be prepared to consider adopting a dog?

  1. Do Your Maths

How much will it cost to:

  • Feed your dog (ask the staff at the RSPCA if you are unsure of how much a particular size of dog would eat)?
  • Insure your dog (or have your dog treated by a vet for unexpected health problems)?
  • Vaccinate your dog and treat it for or prevent parasites? (Also ask how often you would have to do the latter).

Then work out how much all of this would cost you on a monthly basis and decide whether you can really afford to keep a dog.  There are other expenses, like buying collars and leads, toys and bedding, but these are usually one-off costs. 

  1. Don’t Overestimate Yourself

If you are thinking of rehoming a dog as part of a fitness drive, to encourage you to get out of the house and exercise more often, be honest with yourself as to how likely it is that you will really get up every morning and take your dog for a walk, even in the winter months.  Choose a dog that will suit your energy levels.

  1. Adopt for the Right Reasons

Never adopt a dog to teach your children ‘responsibility’ by handing over all responsibility for that dog to your children.  By adopting a dog you, the grown-up, will be the owner and have all the responsibility for caring for it.   

  1. Do Be Patient

Rescue dogs may take a while to settle down in a new home.  They may have experienced great hardships, abuse or neglect and it will take a while for them to adjust to having a safe, happy home.  Give them plenty of time to adapt to their new rules and environment and don’t be afraid to ask RSPCA staff for advice.

Follow these rules and find a dog that you can care for and love for years to come.

Featured images:

This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, jewellery passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Jewllery, Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).

Five Rules For Adopting vs. Buying a Dog

If you are thinking of offering a home to one of the thousands of dogs awaiting adoption in animal shelters across the country then first of all thank you for considering this option rather than simply deciding to buy a puppy.   There are far more dogs in the UK than there are willing dog owners, and evermore dogs are born each day as a result of dog breeding for profit and through owners not spaying or neutering their pets.

Charities like the RSPCA spend considerable time, effort and money rehoming dogs to people who want to adopt and they do so cautiously so as not to hurriedly place dogs for adoption only for the placement to fail. 

Here are the five basic ‘rules’ if you are considering adopting a dog.

  1. Do Your Research

What type of dog do you want?  Is there a particular breed you have in mind, or do you just know the sort of size of dog that you could comfortably accommodate in your home and garden?  What sort of characteristics do you want in a dog: loyalty, playfulness, companionship?  Do you want a puppy or would you be prepared to consider adopting a dog?

  1. Do Your Maths

How much will it cost to:

  • Feed your dog (ask the staff at the RSPCA if you are unsure of how much a particular size of dog would eat)?
  • Insure your dog (or have your dog treated by a vet for unexpected health problems)?
  • Vaccinate your dog and treat it for or prevent parasites? (Also ask how often you would have to do the latter).

Then work out how much all of this would cost you on a monthly basis and decide whether you can really afford to keep a dog.  There are other expenses, like buying collars and leads, toys and bedding, but these are usually one-off costs. 

  1. Don’t Overestimate Yourself

If you are thinking of rehoming a dog as part of a fitness drive, to encourage you to get out of the house and exercise more often, be honest with yourself as to how likely it is that you will really get up every morning and take your dog for a walk, even in the winter months.  Choose a dog that will suit your energy levels.

  1. Adopt for the Right Reasons

Never adopt a dog to teach your children ‘responsibility’ by handing over all responsibility for that dog to your children.  By adopting a dog you, the grown-up, will be the owner and have all the responsibility for caring for it.   

  1. Do Be Patient

Rescue dogs may take a while to settle down in a new home.  They may have experienced great hardships, abuse or neglect and it will take a while for them to adjust to having a safe, happy home.  Give them plenty of time to adapt to their new rules and environment and don’t be afraid to ask RSPCA staff for advice.

Follow these rules and find a dog that you can care for and love for years to come.

Featured images:

This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, jewellery passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Jewllery, Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).

Not Bad To The Bone: Dogs With Undeserved Bad Reputations

Seeing a news report about a dog attack, reading about illegal dog fighting, or hearing about other horrific stories involving dogs usually all involve one common element – a bad human, not a bad dog breed. A child is not born afraid of mice, for example, but given enough exposure, stories or empirical reasons to become fearful of a mouse, and surely he will become afraid of them. The same is often true for dog breeds that achieved a bad reputation; a few incidents or sensationalized stories that standout primarily, while frequently involving a human element that conditioned them to be the way they are. Here are three dogs that have achieved bad reputations that don’t deserve them:

Pit Bull

Few dogs have received as much negative media attention as the Pit Bull dog breed of the last two decades. No dog breed is born inherently good or bad. The Pit Bull, like any other member of the family, is largely a product of its upbringing. While it is true that Pit Bulls love to compete, fight and play, they absolutely love human interaction, giving kisses and feed on positive attention. Their bad reputation as a dangerous dog is greatly publicized in the media, but rarely do we hear about the human factor that created the situation or scenarios of abuse that leads to these incidents. Further, Pit Bulls can be rehabilitated even after being conditioned to be “bad dogs” as witnessed in the Michael Vick incident, wherein 49 of 50 of his Pit Bulls that were used in illegal dog fighting were eventually successfully placed with loving families. Don’t be too quick to judge the loveable Pit Bull. Irresponsible humans have given this dog breed a bad reputation is doesn’t deserve. With proper care, patience, training and love, the Pit Bull is an awesome addition to your family.

German Shepherd

Since it is often used as a guard dog or in service with law enforcement or the military, the German Shepherd has a presupposed intimidation factor that tends to give it an undeserved bad reputation. While it is true that this dog breed needs firm direction by a convincing handler, their loyalty to the human pack tends to perpetuate their fearful or intimidating stereotype. The German Shepherd is one of the most highly trainable dog breeds and capitalizing on that drive to perform for its leader for positive attention will dispel any conception of a bad dog breed quite quickly. An intelligent, energetic and playful dog, the German Shepherd’s bad reputation needs to take a walk.

Neapolitan Mastiff

When a dog weighing the size of an average adult male approaches, it has an immediate intimidation factor for most people. The Neapolitan Mastiff weighs in at approximately 165 pounds; however, that doesn’t mean that it deserves the bad reputation that is often associated with it. To be upfront and fair, the owner of a Mastiff must be established clearly as in charge, or it will gladly throw its weight into the matter and attempt to assume that role. However, with early socialization (as with all dogs), continual training, and daily exercise, your Neapolitan Mastiff will be a happy, relaxed and well-behaved family member.

Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.