Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

It’s so sad when our humans have to leave us at home all by ourselves. We don’t like being alone, and we just miss them so much! Because of this, lots of dogs suffer from separation anxiety, making it harder for them to be alone for long periods of time.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common behavioral issue for dogs. It often happens when dogs have a change in routine or lifestyle. However, every dog is different, so separation anxiety could be different for every dog.

Here are some common signs that a dog has separation anxiety:

#1 – They Destroy Things

If your dog is normally well-behaved while you’re home, but as soon as you leave, they start misbehaving, this could be a sign of separation anxiety. If your dog is anxious while they’re home alone, they might get into things they shouldn’t, which could end with them ripping up your shoes, pillows, or furniture.

As mad as you might be, it is important not to punish your dog for these destructive behaviors. It will only confuse them and not lead to any improvements.

#2 – They Have Accidents

Dogs with separation anxiety are also more likely to have accidents while they are away from you. Even if your dog never goes to the bathroom inside, it could be a nervous habit that they experience while you’re gone.

Many dogs will feel bad after doing this because they know they’re not supposed to. Some dogs will even try to find a way to clean it up to the best of their abilities. So, this is another behavior that you shouldn’t punish your dog for, especially if you know they are feeling anxious while you’re away.

#3 – They Bark More Often

Most dogs bark now and then, but if your dog has separation anxiety, you might notice them barking or howling more, especially as soon as you leave their sight. This is another nervous behavior that should not be punished.

#4 – They Experience an Unusual Pacing

Obviously, this is a behavior that you will not notice if you are away, but if you have a security camera or if someone else is watching your dog, you might be able to learn that your dog has been pacing. If they have separation anxiety, this is likely something that they will experience only when they are alone or not with you.

How Can You Help Them?

If you suspect that your dog has separation anxiety, there’s no need to fear. There are plenty of different ways that you can help your dog feel more comfortable on their own.

#1 – Make Sure They Have Plenty of Things That Smell Like You

Even when I’m with Molly, I love sleeping on things that smell like her such as her clothes or blankets. It helps me to feel safe and more comfortable. So, when a dog has separation anxiety, make sure they have access to a comfortable spot that smells like you.

It might sound odd, but you can leave some of your dirty clothes on the ground for them to nap on or something similar. This will help your dog to feel more comfortable knowing that they can still smell you.

#2 – Give Them a Toy or Treat to Keep Them Busy

Try giving your dog a delicious chew before you leave or a toy that’s stuffed with treats. These types of items can keep dogs busy and entertained, which will take their minds off the fact that you’re gone. Sitting alone all day can be lonely, so we like to be given some way to keep us entertained and busy during that time.

#3 – Walk Your Dog Before Right You Leave

Of course, you should always walk your dog before you leave to make sure they go to the bathroom, but it is also important to help get some of their energy out. If you have time, take them for a longer walk so that they will be tired when you have to go. That way, even though they will still miss you, they will be able to take a well-deserved nap.

#4 – Don’t Make a Big Deal When You Leave and Come Back

It can be difficult for dog parents not to say bye a million times before they leave, but this just draws more attention to the fact that you will be gone. The same goes for when you come home, but of course, make sure you give us plenty of love after being gone for a long period of time!

When you leave, you should always say a ‘safe’ word that lets your dog know that you’ll be back. It can be as obvious as “I’ll be back” or it can be something totally different. As long as you repeat it every time you leave and come back, your dog will eventually be able to associate it with the fact that you’re not leaving forever.

#5 – Try Working with a Dog Trainer

Some dogs can be more difficult than others, so if you’ve tried everything, it might be time to get the help of an expert. There are dog trainers that have expertise in all different areas of dog training, so there are some that will be able to specifically help you with behavior aspects such as separation anxiety.

If you’re worried that your dog has separation anxiety, don’t hesitate to try helping them in any way possible. It’s no fun for them if they have to sit at home worrying all the time, so the sooner you can help them understand that everything is going to be okay, the better.

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Service dogs are amazing. They can perform incredible tasks and even save the lives of their humans. They have gone through a lot of training to do what they do, so not just any dog can be a service dog.

However, some humans seem to think they can put a vest on their dog and get the same benefits that service dogs have. It might seem harmless, but more and more people have been doing it, which is disrespectful to real service dogs. With so many fake services dogs around, people don’t take these amazing dogs as seriously anymore even though some humans need these dogs to survive!

Many humans choose to pretend their dogs are service dogs or even emotional support dogs so they can avoid paying pet fees at apartments or on planes. When flying, Molly and I have seen lots of people with dogs that clearly weren’t real service dogs, and it’s sad that no one does anything about it. Of course, us dogs want to be with our humans 24/7, but it’s not fair to pretend to be someone you’re not.

Signs That a Service Dog is Fake

With service dogs, you are not allowed to directly ask if they are legit. However, you can ask two simple questions: “Does Your Dog Provide a Service?” and “What is Your Dog Trained to Do?” If the dog is truly trained to be a service dog, their human should be able to answer these questions specifically and without hesitation.

With emotional support dogs, it’s more difficult to tell and they’re easier to fake. You are allowed to ask more questions about emotional support dogs that you think are fake, but only airline employees, landlords, educational administrators are allowed to ask to see the official paperwork.

So, what are some key signs that a service dog is fake?

#1 – The Dog Barks or Whines

Usually, when a service dog makes a sound or disturbance, they’re trying to tell their human something. Oftentimes, they are trained to warn people of a stroke or panic attack. However, if the dog keeps barking uncontrollably for no reason, then they are likely not a real service dog. Service dogs go through extensive training to make sure that they are focused and well-behaved at all times.

#2 – The Dog Seeks Attention

Of course, humans love to pet dogs, but service dogs are working. They are not supposed to seek attention and want to be pet. Their own human is the only person that they should want attention from because they are trained to know that they have a job to do for that specific person.

#3 – The Dog is Not on a Leash

Much like every dog, service dogs should be leashed at all times, and they should walk well beside their human. They should not be tugging on their leash or falling behind while their human is walking. They should be trained to walk right beside their human with no problems.

#4 – The Dog Has Accidents Inside

Service dogs are also house-trained. They know that they are supposed to go to the bathroom outside, so there is no reason for them to go to the bathroom inside, especially in public.

#5 – The Dog is Easily Distracted

These dogs need to be focused on their human at all times, so they should not be distracted by smells such as other dogs or food. They should resist smelling items as they walk.

Of course, none of these signs alone are a guarantee, but they should definitely cause suspicion. Emotional support dogs are different than service dogs, because they don’t go through intense training, but they should still be well-behaved.

For both service dogs and emotional support dogs, humans should not have them unless they truly need them for a medical reason. Otherwise, they are ruining things for the people that truly do need them.

More laws are being created about cracking down on fake service dogs, but it is difficult to stop it from happening entirely. Please spread the word so that more humans can see that lying about their dog being a service or emotional support animal is not okay.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

It is no secret that every kid dreams of having a puppy. They often beg their parents all year for a dog. Of course, a Christmas puppy might sound like an adorable idea, but puppies are a lot of work!

There’s a lot that goes into caring for a puppy and a lot of kids aren’t willing to do all that extra work. So, if you’re going to get a dog at all this holiday season, why not adopt to a rescue dog that will otherwise spend Christmas alone?

Why is a Puppy for Christmas a Bad Idea?

When giving a puppy as a gift, many people forget how much of a commitment a young puppy really is. Kids just get excited over the sight of an adorable puppy and don’t think much beyond that. Many people don’t think of the long-term consequences.

#1 – Puppies are Living Things, Not Just Presents

People will often put puppies in boxes just like they would with any other present and have kids open them. That can be very stressful for a young puppy, and they are so much more than just a present!

Most presents don’t need constant time and attention either, so many humans don’t consider this when gifting a puppy. They just think they’re a cute gift, and then they get frustrated when they realize how much work a puppy really is. Don’t ever give a living thing as a gift unless the family is completely prepared and ready to welcome a dog into their home.

#2 – Too Many Christmas Puppies End up in Shelters

Many puppies that are gifted for Christmas just end up at a shelter not long after. Once people realize how much work a puppy is, they often decide that it was a mistake. Or they decide they don’t want them anymore once they are full-grown.

People often forget that dogs can be unpredictable. It can take a lot of training, patience, and love to bond with and raise a well-behaved dog. Sadly, a lot of people just give up on their dog when things don’t go as planned. But a dog is a lifelong commitment, not just a one-time gift. You need to be prepared for your puppy to change as they grow.

#3 – A Dog Should Be a Planned Decision, Not a Surprise Present

Many families love to surprise their children with puppies. Sure, an adorable puppy is always exciting, but many people become less interested when they realize how much work it’s going to be.

If your family is planning to get a dog, always discuss it thoroughly ahead of time. You need to make sure you are willing to commit to this new family member, and you should have all supplies ready. A dog is not a last minute gift, but instead they are a family member that everyone should be prepared for.

#4 – Too Many Christmas Puppies Are From Puppy Mills

I know I talk about puppy mills a lot, but it is very important to Molly and I. Many families will pick up a puppy from a pet store for Christmas, and many of these puppies are from puppy mills. Therefore, not only are you purchasing a puppy that you might not be ready for, but you could also be supporting a horrible industry.

#5 – Puppies Are a Lot of Work!

People often choose a puppy over an adult dog because of how adorable they are. They get so absorbed in the puppy’s appearance that they forget how much more work a puppy is over a full-grown dog. You need to be willing to train your puppy and be patient with them. If you are not willing to commit a ton of time and effort to a young puppy, then you are making a mistake.

Why Are Rescue Dogs Better?

Of course, no dog should be brought home if a family isn’t ready for them. However, if you are sure that you are ready to bring a dog into your family, why not consider a rescue? Many rescues have been looking for a home for a while, so they would love to have a nice home to spend Christmas at.

Plus, even if you get your puppy from a responsible breeder, you are still bringing a new litter of dogs in this world. So, if you decide you don’t want that puppy, you’re just adding to the large number of dogs that are at shelters and rescues. Why not consider a dog that already needs a loving home instead of bringing a new one into this world?

Can’t Adopt? Consider Fostering!

Some families don’t have time for a young puppy or an older dog, and that’s understandable. If you still want to help out though, then there are ways. If you will be staying home for the holidays, you could consider fostering a dog during that time. No dog should be alone for Christmas, so why not open your home to a dog in need even if it’s just for a short period of time?

If you can’t adopt or foster, then donate or volunteer! Shelter and rescues appreciate all the help they can get. So, this Christmas, show rescue dogs that they matter. Spread the word and do everything you can to help them find a forever home as soon as possible!

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

For humans, hugs and kisses are a universal sign of love. So, it is for common for people to also want to hug and kiss dogs as much as possible. What can I say? Dogs are just so lovable!

I personally love getting as many kisses as possible. I understand that kisses are a positive behavior, so I often snuggle up to Molly expecting even more love. However, not all dogs will react in this way. What many humans don’t realize is that a lot of dogs don’t understand these forms of affection.

How Do Dogs Feel About Hugs and Kisses?

Like any situation, every dog reacts differently to hugs and kisses. Some dogs might kiss back, some might be indifferent, and some might even be scared of them! It really depends on the dog, so it is important to pay attention to their body language.

With new dogs, it is best to avoid hugs and kisses. If you see an adorable dog walking down the street, don’t just run up to them and start showing them affection because you have no idea how they’ll react. You shouldn’t run up and hug random people, so why would you do that with dogs?

When you first meet a dog, give them time to get used to you. If you are always in their face, hugging and kissing them, this could make them anxious. They probably don’t know that hugs and kisses are nice, so they might act out due to fear. Always give a dog personal space if you’re unsure how they’ll react.

Over time, dogs can get used to hugs and kisses, and many will even enjoy them. However, you can never assume that a dog wants this kind of attention. Sure, dogs are so hug-gable, but you need to resist the urge to cuddle every dog you meet.

Dog Warning Signs

While some people believe dogs attack out of the blue, this is just not true! We have warning signs before our behaviors just like humans and any animals do. It is important to be familiar with these signs to make sure that your dog feels comfortable and safe at all times.

If the dog is avoiding eye contact, their body is stiff, their hair is on end, or they’re trying to get away from you, then these are some of the first signs that they are uncomfortable. These signs might be difficult to detect, but if you notice them doing any of these things, then it’s probably time to give them some space.

As dogs get more annoyed, we will often have more obvious warning signs such a snarling or growling. If this happens, your dog is not trying to be mean, they’re just trying to tell you to back off a little. If your dog growls or bares their teeth at you, then it is definitely time to stop trying to hug and kiss them.

Learning to Give Dogs Space

As cute as dogs are, you’ll have to give them space from time to time. If they walk away from you or distance themselves from you, it is important that you don’t continuously follow them. Everyone needs time to themselves now and then, so dogs are no different.

Oftentimes, it is hardest for kids to understand that dogs need space. Kids love to be as close to dogs as possible, and they often will not stop loving them even after the warning signs. So, if you have kids in your household, make sure you teach them to give your dog the space they need, especially when you first adopt them.

Just because dogs need time to themselves occasionally doesn’t mean that you can never love them. Make sure you give them time to come to you, and don’t force anything. We are very loving animals as long as you treat us right.

How Do Dogs Show Affection?

While dogs won’t always understand hugs and kisses, we have our own ways of showing love. If we love our humans, we’ll let them know! Every dog has their own unique way of being affectionate, but there are some universal signs that your dog loves you.

Of course, a wagging tail is often a good sign. When your dog is happy to see you, they will likely wag their tail like crazy. So, their tail is a great way to tell how your dog feels about a situation.

If your dog approaches you, looking to be pet, this is another sign that they love you. They will likely also lick you or lean against you. Even just making eye contact with you is often a sign of affection.

Humans and dogs might show affection differently, but that doesn’t stop us from loving each other! Just be patient with your dog and let them come to you. Save the hugs and kisses for after you’ve developed a closer bond.

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Hi, my name is Sammy! I was found as a stray and taken to the shelter when I was very young. I loved going for walks and being pet by all the wonderful staff.

At the shelter, my name was Bear because of how fluffy I am! I’m not one hundred percent sure what breed I am, but if I were to guess, I’d say Border Collie mixed with something extra fluffy!

At 8 months old, I was adopted by my mom and dad. Right away, I loved them very much! I am now 11 years old, and I have the best life possible!

I love going for walks, boat rides, and even golf cart rides! My parents say that I am the perfect dog for them, and they can’t believe they were lucky enough to adopt me.

I’ve done lots of amazing things throughout my life so far. When my parents got married, I was the ring bearer at their wedding. Also, I was a star on America’s Funniest Home Videos because my parents taught me how to get a beer out of the fridge. The video of me doing my special talent has been viewed over 13 million times!

My parents even helped me make a Facebook page of my own. I love to share photos of myself doing exciting things so that my friends and family can stay up to date with me.

When I was 7 years old, I started to not feel so great though. My parents took me to the doctor and found out that I had diabetes. My parents need to give me an insulin shot after my breakfast and dinner to help me feel better. Don’t worry, the shots don’t hurt, and they always give me yummy treats afterwards!

Now, thanks to my amazing family, I am feeling much better. They have shown me so much love over the years and they make me happy each and every day. I am so glad that they adopted me because they showed me what it’s like to truly be loved.

If your dog has an adoption story to share, please visit the contact page to encourage more dog lovers to adopt!

Oh, and here’s my video from America’s Funniest Home Videos in case you haven’t seen it yet:

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure many of you have big feasts planned, so it is likely that your dog will be getting some table scraps. However, a lot of the food that is served on Thanksgiving can actually be harmful to your dog. So, I decided to create a list of what you can and can’t feed your dog during this celebration.

What Should You Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

There are lots of foods that are perfectly fine for humans that are actually harmful to dogs. Many foods provide choking hazards or have harmful ingredients that can effect dogs in ways that they don’t for humans. So, it is important to know whether or not something is healthy for your dog before your feed it to them.

These are the foods that you should NOT feed your dog for Thanksgiving:

  • Corn on the cob is okay if the corn is fed in loose pieces, but the cob itself is actually very difficult for dogs to digest.
  • Any food with garlic in it can damage red blood cells and have long-term effects on your dog. (Stuffing is one of the Thanksgiving foods that often has garlic and other harmful seasonings)
  • Gravy is very high in fat, which could cause gastrointestinal distress.
  • Pie is a delicious dessert for humans, but the high amount of sugar in it is harmful for dogs.
  • Turkey Bones could splinter, causing a choking hazard.

Which Foods Are Okay to Feed Your Dog?

While human foods shouldn’t be an everyday treat for dogs, we do love to eat them whenever we can! Since Thanksgiving is a special day, why not give your dog some small table scraps to show them that you care? As long as you make sure the foods are okay to eat, your dog will be just fine!

Here are the Thanksgiving foods that are okay for your dog to eat:

  • Bread is fine as long as it is free of nuts, raisins, and spices.
  • Carrots are good for dogs, especially if you cut them into small pieces.
  • Ham can be given in small portions since it’s high in fat and salt.
  • Sweet Potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, so they are a healthy and beneficial treat for dogs.
  • Turkey is okay to eat as long as the fat, skin, and bones are removed.

Celebrating Thanksgiving with a Dog

Thanksgiving can be a confusing time for your dog. Lots of people and food can create so many unusual smells, and we can’t help but want to beg for food. However, sometimes this begging can get out of hand and disturb the meal.

If you feel it’s necessary, you can keep your dog in a separate room while the family eats. Give them a treat to chew on to keep them busy, and reward them for their patience. We never like to be left out of the fun, but sometimes we can be a bit too much at big family gatherings.

If there’s a food at your dinner that is not on the list, please check out my other article about human foods to see more foods that dogs can and can’t eat.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Humans typically trim their own nails often, but many of them forget about their dog’s nails. Sure, our nail look different than human’s, but we still need ours trimmed regularly too! Most dogs are not a fan of getting their nails trimmed, but it is something that you should get in the habit of doing.

What Should You Know About Dog Nails?

Like human nails, dog nail can only be trimmed to a certain length without hurting your dog. A dog nail is made out of a hard outer shell that grows like a human’s would. Then, they have a pink inside part that is made of blood vessels and nerves, which is called a quick.

When trimming your dog’s nails, you need to make sure that you don’t cut to close to the quick. With light colored nails, you can easily see the quick, but with dark-colored nails, you need to be a lot more careful.

If your dog’s nails get too long, then this can actually be harmful for them. I have even seen dogs that have nails so long that they grow into their paws! That sounds very painful! Trimming their nails can help you to avoid issues like this.

Most dogs don’t like their paws being handled, so nail trimming is their least favorite part of grooming. I can admit that this is true for me as well. However, even if your dog hates getting their nails trimmed, it is a care requirement that should be done regularly.

How Often Should You Trim Your Dog’s Nails?

Most groomers recommend that dogs get their nails trimmed every month or so. However, if their nails have not been trimmed in a while, it is possible that their quicks have grown too long. If that is the case, you will need to trim them every two weeks until their quicks grow back to a healthy length.

If you get your dog groomed by a groomer regularly, nail trimming is usually included with that. Therefore, you shouldn’t really have to worry about trimming their nails if you keep up with their grooming. If your dog ever needs to come in more often for nail trims though, your groomer should let you know.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Many dog parents trim their dog’s nails at home, but there are also many that don’t feel comfortable with it. Molly takes Taco and I to a groomer to get our nails trimmed because she feels safer that way.

Plus, I can put up quite a fit for my nails, so Molly feels more comfortable letting a professional trim my nails. Just make sure you find a groomer that you trust to handle your dog for regular nail trims.

If you’d prefer to trim your dog’s nails on your own, that’s perfectly fine too! Just make sure that you slowly introduce them to the concept before just trimming their nails right away.

Some dogs don’t like their paws being touched at all, so slowly get them used to having someone touch their paws. Then, allow them to sniff the tool you’ll be using to trim their nails. They will likely still be scared of getting their nails trimmed, but slow introductions can certainly help a bit.

Nail grinders (also known as dremels) and nail clippers are the two most common tools to use when trimming your dog’s nails. Nail clippers are typically best only for long nails because if their nails are shorter, you could accidentally clip them too short.

A lot of groomers and parents prefer grinders, preferably ones that don’t make too much sound. You can be more careful with a grinder, and the trimming is more gradual than just clipping off the nail. The sound of the grinder often scares dogs, but it is typically the safer option.

If you are new to trimming your dog’s nails, you should ask a trusted vet or groomer to show you how to properly trim their nails first. You want to make sure you feel confident in doing it before you start trimming your dog’s nails on your own.

What to Do if Their Nail Gets Cut Too Short

Unfortunately, accidents do happen, so it is important to know what to do if your dog’s nail accidentally gets cut too short. If this happens, the nail will probably start bleeding, so you will need to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible.

The best way to stop a dog’s nails from bleeding is to use styptic powder. If you plan to trim your dog’s nails yourself, you should always have some styptic powder on hand just to be safe. You can simply apply it to your dog’s nails with moderate pressure to quickly stop the bleeding.

If your dog’s nail is still bleeding after applying styptic powder for 30 seconds, reapply the powder again.

Getting nails trimmed too short is a scary experience for a dog. If a dog is extremely afraid of getting their nails trimmed, it is likely that someone trimmed their nails too short in the past. It is a painful experience that is difficult to forget.

If you accidentally cut your dog’s nails too short and they won’t cooperate for nail trimmings after that, then you might have to take them to a professional. If they are even too scared to go to the groomer, a vet can trim their nails if needed.

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