Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

When humans hop in the car, it is normal to make sure everyone has a seat belt on before driving. So, why isn’t this behavior also common for dogs? It is a little thing that many dog parents don’t even think about, but it could be a matter of life or death for your dog.

I’m not trying to be dramatic, but dog seat belts should become the norm. So, what do you need to know about restraining your dog in the car?

Why Should You Restrain Your Dog During Car Rides?

The biggest reason to restrain your dog during car rides is because if you get in an accident, it is not likely that your dog will survive without a seat belt.

If there’s nothing to hold them back, then your dog could go flying forward if you come to an abrupt stop. That’s a terrifying thought! If you’re safely buckled while in the car, your dog should be too.

Plus, dogs can actually be a distraction while you’re driving. I love to try to climb onto Molly’s lap while she’s driving, and while I’m sure it’s adorable, I understand now that it’s not safe. If she’s paying attention to me moving around while she’s driving, then she’s not paying attention to the road. If your dog is restrained, you are less likely to be distracted while driving.

Of course, you would buckle your human children into the car, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your dogs? We’re a part of a family, so we deserve to be just as safe as everyone else.

What Are the Laws?

Some states actually have laws about dogs being restrained in cars. While not every state is specific about these rules, there are at least 6 states where your dog has to be restrained: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Even though not every state has laws about this subject, this is not an excuse to keep your dog unsafe in the car. Having a dog unrestrained in your car is dangerous for them, for you, and for everyone around you! So, please think about purchasing some type of seat belt for your dog.

Where to Purchase a Car Restraints

There are lots of different types of car restraints out there. So, you have plenty of options to make sure you to choose the best one for your dog. Remember, you want them to be both safe and comfortable in the car.

Taco and I have seat belts that hook to our harnesses on one end, and then the other end just buckles in like a normal seat belt would. They are easy to use, and I don’t mind using them when I’m in the car. They allow me enough space to move a little bit, but if the car were to come to an abrupt stop, I wouldn’t get hurt.

If your dog cannot seem to sit still in the car though, you might want a stronger restraint. You can buy seat belts in different sizes, colors, and lengths. For smaller dogs, there are some seat belts that act more as a small carrier so that your dog can’t move around too much.

All these seat belts can help your dog be safer in the car, so even if you just purchase the cheapest one your find, it’s still better than leaving your dog unrestrained in the car.

Dogs should always be safe in the car just like humans. Spread the word about dog seat belts to make sure that everyone keeps their furry friends as safe as possible.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

If your dog has hair instead of fur, odds are you’ll need to take them to the groomer on a regular basis. I’m not a huge fan of getting groomed myself, but I’ll admit, I always feel better with a fresh haircut! Like me, many dogs are particular about getting groomed, so it is important to find the perfect groomer to take care of your dog.

Why Should You Groom Your Dog?

Even if you prefer to keep your dog’s hair longer, you should still try to visit the groomer occasionally. They can trim the hair and prevent your dog from getting matted. Longer hair can be harder to maintain, so unless you plan to brush your dog at least daily, you’ll need the help of a professional groomer.

Even if your dog doesn’t need their hair trimmed, they will likely still need to see the groomer for other things such as a nail trim or a nice bath. It is important to find a good groomer near you for these types of grooming items.

What Should You Look for in a Groomer?

The best way to find a good groomer is to ask around. If you see a dog with a good haircut, feel free to ask their human which groomer they went to. You can also call around or stop by different grooming places to get additional information on the specific services they have to offer.

The ideal groomer should be friendly to both you and your dog. They will genuinely care about your dog and do what they can to keep them safe while giving them the best haircut possible.

A qualified groomer should be able to answer any questions or concerns you have about your dog being groomed. They should be educated about all types of grooming and should even be able to offer you advice about your dog’s haircut. Then, afterwards, they will be able to give you details about how your dog did and specifically what they cooperated and didn’t cooperate for.

If you are unsure about which groomers to check out, look at the reviews ahead of time. All groomers will get an unhappy client from time to time, but if a lot of their reviews are negative experiences, they might not be the best choice for your dog.

Is it Okay to Switch Groomers?

Many dog parents like to find the perfect groomer and stick with them, but things happen. You might end up moving, a shop could go out of business, or your groomer could end up moving far away. If any of these things happen, don’t panic! It’s okay to switch to a new groomer.

If you need to switch groomers, you should use the same caution as you did when finding your first groomer. If you know ahead of time that you’re going to need to switch groomers, you can even see if your current groomer has any suggestions and see if they can leave some notes for a future groomer.

As long as you can find a friendly and trustworthy groomer for your dog, that’s what matters. If your dog always leaves the groomer being extra terrified, then that’s something to be aware of.

The perfect groomer will do what they can to make your dog as comfortable as possible. If you ever feel like your dog’s groomer isn’t the right fit for you, don’t be afraid to switch them to a new groomer. Your dog’s safety should always be a priority, so only choose a groomer that you really trust.

Scheduling a Grooming Appointment for Your Dog

Once you’ve decided on a groomer, it’s time to schedule an appointment! It is important to remember that groomers are often very busy, especially around the holidays. So, plan ahead!

If you know your dog will need to get groomed soon, call ahead of time to guarantee that you get the appointment you want. Like most humans, groomers prefer clients that plan ahead and show up on time.

In fact, if you show up early for your appointment, you’ll have plenty of time to go over the specifics of your dog’s groom with the groomer. So, the more you plan ahead, the more comfortable you can feel when getting your dog groomed.

Getting your dog groomed doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Just take your time when choosing a groomer and make sure you find someone that takes good care of your dog.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Different leashes are good for different dogs. So, when selecting the perfect leash for your dog, you might not be sure exactly what will work best. When Molly first adopted me, she got a retractable leash because she didn’t know much about having a dog just yet. Then, she later learned that it was much easier to walk me on a standard leash.

A lot of new dog parents select retractable leashes because they’re common and they seem more convenient. However, they can actually be very dangerous. So, what should you know about retractable leashes?

What is a Retractable Leash?

A retractable leash is a leash that can change lengths. It is typically a thin cord that is wrapped up in a spring-loaded device, which is covered by a plastic handle for humans to hold onto.

With a retractable leash, your dog has the freedom to walk farther than they would on a normal leash. You can even lock the leash if you want it to be shorter or longer.

Why Do People Use Them?

These leashes might sound like a great idea for your dog, but there are a lot of issues that could arise. However, many humans don’t know or don’t care about the dangers of these leashes which is why they continue to use them.

Many humans like it because it allows their dog more room to explore. They like that they can easily change the leash’s length with the click of a button. This featured can be good if you are far away from other dogs and people, but once you enter a crowded area, that is when the leash becomes more of a problem.

If you do use this leash in a secluded area, it can be a good tool for training. It can allow your dog to explore and then if they don’t listen when you call them back, you can use the leash to control where they go. Other than that, this leash is actually more trouble that it’s worth despite what many humans think.

Why Are They Dangerous?

The main problem with retractable leashes is that they are harder to control your dog with. Even with the leash locked, the cable is not as sturdy as a standard leash. Also, if your dog starts running quickly and you have to lock the leash, the sudden pressure could hurt them much more than a traditional leash could.

If any dogs should use this leash, it should be small dogs. I see a lot of humans walking their large dogs on these leashes, which makes it even harder to control the dog. I used to live with a 40-pound Pit Bull mix that walked on a retractable leash. When she ran at full speed, her leash snapped instantly. So, it is definitely not designed for large dogs or active dogs.

Even if the leash doesn’t break, if your dog runs unexpectedly, the leash could get pulled out of your hands. When I had a retractable leash, I would sometimes pull it out of Molly’s hand, and then the handle would hit the ground and scare me. A normal leash isn’t heavy or scary when it falls to the ground.

Also, these leashes can easily hurt those around you. If you look up “retractable leash burns” on Google, then you will find some disturbing results. These leashes can easily hurt humans and other dogs, especially if the human holding the leash is not careful.

Plus, the cord on these leashes is very thin, so from a distance, you might not even see it at all. This can cause people to trip on it, and some people might think your dog isn’t on a leash from a distance. Overall, the risks of this type of leash are just not worth it!

How to Find a Good Leash

There is a wide selection of traditional leashes out there. Even if you want to allow your dog to explore more, a shorter leash is actually better. A short, sturdy leash is the best way to control your dog, especially in a public setting. You don’t want to risk the lives of the humans and dogs around you.

When selecting a good leash, make sure you choose a nice harness as well. A harness can prevent your dog from choking, especially if they pull while walking. I don’t pull often, but when I see a squirrel, I can’t help but run! Therefore, I am grateful that Molly finally got me a harness.

Overall, retractable leashes shouldn’t even be an option anymore. There have been too many incidents with them, and they just aren’t safe! Just because an item seems easier doesn’t always mean it’s better, so keep that in mind when selecting supplies for your dog.

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Even though Molly does not encourage others to purchase puppies from breeders, there are still people out there that will do it. It’s usually much better than buying a puppy from a pet store, but why breed a puppy when you can adopt?

However, for those that do decide to purchase a puppy, there are some important things to look out for. One of those things is the age of the puppy. Sure, young puppies are adorable, but they need time with their mother and siblings before they can go home with their forever family. So, how long should a puppy stay with their mother after birth?

What is the Ideal Age for a Puppy to Leave Their Mother?

A puppy should not leave their mother until they’re at least 8 weeks old. Many responsible breeders will keep puppies with their mothers longer though, closer to 10 or 12 weeks old.

While many people are eager to bring home their puppy as soon as possible, there are actually a lot of health and behavior problems that arise when a puppy is taken too soon. When puppies are with their mother and their siblings, this gives them time to develop and learn new things. Removing a puppy from this environment too soon can get in the way of these developmental stages.

What are the Negative Effects of Taking a Puppy Too Soon?

Oftentimes, when dog trainers come across a difficult dog, they find out that it’s because the dog was taken from their mother too soon as a puppy. The first 8 weeks for a puppy are crucial to their development and they can have a lot of long-term effects on the dog.

Between the ages of 3 months and 6 months, puppies start to learn normal behaviors for dogs. They learn how to play with their litter mates which might not seem like an important skill, but dogs that don’t get this time to socialize can often bite too hard as adults because they never learned the proper way to play.

The mother will also be able to teach the puppies basic manners. She will growl or snap lightly at the puppies to help teach them, so if they don’t receive that discipline as a puppy, they could become rambunctious adults.

The younger your puppy is when you bring them home, the more issues you could face. Not only could there be issues with their behavior and training, but they could suffer from increased stress and they could even be more susceptible to diseases because of it.

Of course, if your puppy was taken too soon, they can still be trained, but it might be a much longer and more tedious process. All these issues can be avoided simply by not taking a puppy home before 8 weeks of age. Or, of course, the better decision could be to adopt a dog instead.

Why Do Some Breeders Sell Puppies Too Young?

For many breeders, money is the most important thing. So, they will try to sell their puppies at a younger age simply to make money sooner. However, this is not healthy for the puppy, so if a breeder tries to do this, do not take the puppy early! A trustworthy breeder will take the puppy’s health into consideration before letting them come home with you, so be careful!

Remember, you don’t have to buy a puppy from a breeder though. There are plenty of great dogs and puppies at rescues and shelters just waiting to find their forever home. Open your heart to one of them before you bring more dogs into this world.

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Check out my children’s book: DD’s Miracle!

Hi, my name is DD! I used to be a stray, and I met my family while they were on vacation in Mississippi. Once I met my them, I knew they were perfect for me, so I followed them to the place they were staying and I wouldn’t leave their side for the entire trip.

At first, they started calling me DD because it jokingly stood for “dumb dog,” but the name stuck. They quickly learned that I wasn’t dumb at all and they fell in love with me. I bonded with them during their vacation, and as they were about to head home to Virginia, they knew they couldn’t leave without me.

They brought me home with them and took me to the vet to make sure I was healthy and to make sure I didn’t belong to anyone else. When they found out that I really didn’t have a home, they decided to adopt me!

When they first met me, I was very scrawny. I hadn’t been fed much while I was a stray, so you could see my bones through my skin. My new family fed me plenty of food and gave me love, so soon, I was healthy in no time!

When my mom told her friends about my adoption story, they told her that she should write a book about me. She hadn’t ever considered being a writer, but she started working on a children’s book. It is about my story, and she wrote it to hopefully encourage others to adopt!

My book is now on sale and it’s called DD’s Miracle. Some of the proceeds from this book are being donated to non-profit animal rights organizations. So, please check it out!

If my family hadn’t adopted me, who knows what could’ve happened? I might not have survived. So, I am very grateful that I finally found the perfect family to love and care for me. Every dog should get the opportunity to feel this.

If you have a rescue dog with a story to share, please visit the contact page! Every story shared could help another family to adopt!

5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Dog health is something that is very important to humans. What you feed your dog is actually a huge part of how healthy they are. So, if you feed your dog a popular dog food brand, you should know if it’s been recalled before.

Sometimes recalls are for very minor issues that the company catches. However, sometimes the FDA has to issue the recall due to a more serious issue. Therefore, the more times a food has been recalled, the less trustworthy that brand seems. Here is a list of the dog food brands that have been recalled the most.

#1 – Blue Buffalo

Blue Buffalo advertises themselves as a high quality dog food brand, but they have had at least 8 recalls in the past 10 years. Some reasons for recalls were salmonella, possible mold contamination, and elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones. There were also some claims about high levels of lead in their food, but there was no proof as to whether or not this was true.

#2 – Bravo!

Bravo! is a brand that specializes in simple food with only a few ingredients. They also have had at least 8 recalls so far, 7 of which were for possible salmonella contamination and 2 of which were also because of possible listeria contamination.

#3 – Evanger’s

Since 2010, Evanger’s has had at least 7 recalls, 6 of which were for potential salmonella contamination. Then, their most recent recall in 2017 was for potential of pentobarbital, which is a euthanasia drug! They claim to be one of the most nutritious brands, but who knows what other recalls might arise in the future?

#4 – Iams

Iams is one of the most well-known dog foods, but it has actually been recalled at least 7 times so far. Similar to Bravo!, there are at least 4 recalls for potential salmonella contamination. Other recalls involved potential mold growth and aflatoxin contamination.

#5 – Pedigree

Pedigree is another popular dog food that isn’t quite as great as many people think. They have had at least 5 recalls. Two of the were for possible salmonella contamination and three were for possible metal or plastic fragments found in the food!

#6 – Nature’s Variety

Nature’s Variety has also had at least 5 recalls so far. Similar to many of these other brands, they have had at least 3 recalls for potential salmonella contamination. Also, there were recalls for potential plastic pieces in the food and even for an unusual odor in the food.

#7 – Purina

Purina has had at least 5 recalls so far. Three of these recalls were possible salmonella contamination and the others were for inadequate levels of certain items such as thiamine or vitamins and minerals.

#8 – Wellness Pet Food

Wellness Pet Food has also had at least 5 recalls so far. Only one recall was for potential salmonella contamination, but some of the other recalls were for other contaminations such as moisture and foreign materials.

#9 – Hill’s Science Diet

While many vets recommend Hill’s Science Diet, it really isn’t one of the best choices for dogs. The ingredients are not the best quality and it has been recalled at least 4 times. Once for potential salmonella contamination, twice for melamine contamination, and once just because of some labeling problems.

#10 – Diamond Pet Food

Diamond Pet Food has had at least 4 recalls so far. Two were for potential salmonella contamination, one was for possible aflatoxin contamination, and the other was for low levels of thiamine.

Do Recalls Mean That the Food is Bad?

No, it really depends on the recall. Just because a brand has been recalled a lot doesn’t automatically mean that it’s bad. Many recalls are voluntary, so if your brand of food is on the list, you can look into it more to find out the exact details of every recall.

The best way to judge the quality of the dog food is to look at the ingredients. The ingredients at the top of the list should be items that you recognize, and the first ingredient should be a healthy meat source. Recalls alone don’t determine whether a food is bad or not because there’s so many other factors that go into it.

However, certain recalls should raise a concern to dog parents. If a food has been recalled for possible salmonella contamination multiple times then this is likely an issue. This contamination is not only a health concern for dogs, but it can also be a risk to humans as well.

Which Dog Food Brands Have Never Been Recalled?

There are plenty of dog foods that have never been recalled. So, if recalls are a concern to you, then try switching to one of these brands.

Here is a list of some (but not all!) of the dog food brands that have never been recalled:

  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Fromm
  • Holistic Select
  • Life’s Abundance
  • Nature’s Logic
  • NomNomNow
  • Now Fresh
  • Nulo
  • Precise Holistic
  • Zignature
  • ZiwiPeak

You might notice that many of these are brands with primarily grain-free options. So, if you have heard bad things about grain-free dog food, I strongly suggest you to check out my article: The Truth About the FDA Grain-Free Investigation.

Just because a food has never has been recalled doesn’t guarantee that it’s healthy, but it often means that the company is more careful with the quality of their food. Molly has always been careful to select a healthy food for me, and I think it’s important that all dog parents pay close attention to their dog’s food as well. Dogs are amazing, so of course, we deserve the best food possible!

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Humans have a difficult time resisting the cute face of a puppy. This is why so many people walk past pet stores and stop to look at all the cute puppies for sale.

Looking at puppies for sale might seem like a fun, heartwarming way to spend your time, but there is actually a dark secret behind nearly every pet store. Therefore, you should never even consider a pet store as a location to purchase a new dog.

About 90% of Pet Store Puppies are from Puppy Mills

Yes, the sad truth is that most puppies at pet stores from from puppy mills. The puppies might seem adorable and healthy, but they all come from a dark past. By purchasing a puppy from a pet store, you’d only be supporting puppy mills and encouraging them to breed more dogs.

If a Pet Store Says They Don’t Support Puppy Mills, There’s No Way to Know for Sure

Many pet stores will be vague about where they get their puppies from or they might even lie to you. Just because they say the puppies are from a “certified breeder” doesn’t mean that breeder isn’t running a puppy mill. Therefore, it is almost impossible to tell which pet stores are telling the truth and which ones aren’t.

Most Pet Stores Lack Specific Knowledge on the Puppies

If you get a dog from a rescue, shelter, or even a reliable breeder, they will be able to tell you a lot about each individual dog and their overall breed. However, at a pet store, most of the employees just work at the store and don’t know much specific information on the puppies at all. Therefore, by purchasing a puppy from a pet store, you really don’t know exactly what you’re going to get.

The Puppies are Not Guaranteed to be Healthy

Despite what you are told, if you purchase a puppy that’s from a puppy mill, it will likely have health problems. Since puppy mills breed dogs in inhumane conditions, the parents are not completely healthy, which could greatly affect the puppy too. Therefore, there could be lots of unknown issues with your new puppy that you aren’t even aware of.

They are Expensive

Puppies are usually expensive, but if you buy them from a pet store, you’re likely paying much more than they’re worth. With a reliable breeder, the cost makes a bit more sense, but it just doesn’t seem right to pay a ton of money for a pet store puppy that you don’t even know much about. Plus, that extra cash is just going to help the puppy mills breed more puppies.

There are Plenty of Great Dogs at Rescues and Shelters

I know I’m bias since I am a rescue dog myself, but there is no reason to go to a pet store when there are so many rescues out there in need of a home. You could find the perfect dog for a cheaper price at a reliable rescue or shelter. Then, you would be supporting pet adoption instead of going against it.

If you were considering getting a puppy from a pet store, I really hope that this article was able to change your mind. Remember, there are actually plenty of rescue puppies out there. If you are looking for a young companion dog, please try opening your heart to a rescue puppy instead of a pet store puppy.

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