Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

I’ve noticed that humans tend to assume things about each other often. They might not say it out loud, but their judging expressions speak for them. But there’s no need to be ashamed. All humans do it (and maybe some dogs do too), but they can choose how they act afterwards. So, what do I mean by this?

Common Dog Parent Assumptions

Molly knows that she’s guilty of being a judgy dog parent. When she sees people walking designer puppies, she’s quick to assume they were from a breeder. When she sees someone buying low-quality dog food, she assumes they don’t care about their dog’s health. But most of the time, these are just quick thoughts in her head and nothing more. She often feels bad for letting her mind think these things.

But the truth is, we never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. The fancy-looking puppy could’ve been a rescue. After all, you never know when someone will abandon or surrender the puppy they just bought. Or maybe they did buy the puppy from a pet store, but now they’ve learned their lesson since. And as for dog food and other products, not everyone researches as much, so they might not know the food isn’t the best. Or maybe their dog is extremely picky and that’s all they’ll eat. Or maybe they’re buying the cheapest food so they can donate it. You just never know!

After all, I’m sure a lot of people look at me and assume I’m from a breeder. What can I say? I’m just the cutest Shih Tzu ever. But of course, Molly is a proud rescue dog mom, and the last thing she’d want is people assuming she supported a breeder instead of a rescue.

Dog Parents Need to Work Together!

So, instead of making assumptions about fellow dog parents and then judging them for their decisions, humans need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Instead of assuming the worst in others, assume the best. After all, they’re in the same boat as you. They’re just trying to give their dogs the best life possible.

My point is that all dog parents have something in common: a love for dogs! So, they shouldn’t be fighting or turning their backs on each other. Instead, they should work together to make this world as great for dogs if possible. Of course, you can keep encouraging people to adopt when the time is right, but don’t be rude about it. It’s important to help dogs while also spreading kindness, so keep that in mind on your day-to-day basis.

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Hi, it’s Mabel! As many of you probably know, Molly recently took on two foster dogs at the same time. She was caring for Cuda the very senior dog and Tuck the puppy mill survivor. Both seemed like they would take a long time to get adopted, each for different reasons. But now, both of them experienced miracles! They were both adopted last week… by the same family!

The couple initially applied to meet Tuck, who is so afraid of people that he won’t let anyone touch him. During his meeting, Molly kept Cuda in the kitchen behind a gate so he could still see her. Tuck is always more comfortable around other dogs, so Molly thought it would help him if Cuda was nearby. Plus, he grew very fond of Cuda since he arrived in foster care.

Despite not being able to hold him or cuddle him, the couple fell in love with Tuck. But then, they asked to meet Cuda too. So, Molly brought Cuda out and right away, Cuda rushed to the family, begging for love and attention. Tuck seemed a little more at ease with Cuda in the same room.

That couple chose to adopt Tuck on the spot, but later, they decided that they wanted both of them! They thought it would be good to have another dog to help Tuck adjust to his new home. Plus, Cuda will give the family lots of cuddles while Tuck gets comfortable around people.

These humans were some of the nicest applicants Molly has met with. She is so grateful that they’re willing to extend their hearts to a senior dog and a puppy mill survivor. She has no doubt that they will have an amazing life ahead of them. The couple decided to keep both of their names.

Of course, Molly misses Cuda and Tuck a lot. She grew very attached to them, even more so than with her past fosters. But she’s so happy for them, and I’m happy to have a little time to myself. She’s taking a week break, and then she plans to foster some more. I better get extra treats for being such a good host!

As I’ve said many times before, if you’re a huge dog lover like Molly, then please consider fostering. It saves lives!

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Now, I know the title of this post might sound harsh, but hear me out. Almost every family wants a puppy. And who can blame them? Puppies are cute, tiny, and it’s fun to see them grow into their big puppy paws. But as I’ve said before, don’t bring home a new animal just because they’re cute. Even if you think puppies are the cutest things in the world, they might not be right for you. Here are some reasons that most people aren’t ready for a puppy.

Puppies Can’t Be Left Alone for Long

If you have a full-time job outside of your home, then a puppy isn’t for you. While adult dogs can hold their bladder for most of the day, puppies cannot. Young puppies shouldn’t be alone for more than an hour or two. Puppies can only hold their bladder for about one hour per month of age. And if you force them to hold it longer, potty training might only become harder. While older dogs also shouldn’t be alone more than they have to, puppies are more of a full-time commitment.

Puppies Need Lots of Training

Since young puppies haven’t lived in a forever home before, they have a lot to learn. Puppies need training, including potty training, household manners, and basic commands. Adult dogs might already have knowledge in these areas, but getting a puppy is like starting from scratch. So, you need to be able to set aside time to train your puppy. And most importantly, you need to be willing to be patient with them.

Puppies Have Accidents

Even if your puppy is doing well with potty training, accidents can still happen. Not only potty accidents, but also chewing and destroying things. Puppies are young and inexperienced, so they really don’t know any better. So, you need to be able to stay calm and not lose your temper when they misbehave. If they get into trouble, it just means that you need to focus on training even more.

Puppies Love Attention

Most dogs love attention, but puppies especially crave it. After all, younger dogs are often full of energy, so they want to run around and play with you every chance they get. This might sound fun in theory, but it can be exhausting after a while. A puppy might take all your attention away from your usual hobbies for a while. So, you need to be willing to spend lots of time with your new family member. And if they’re becoming too clingy, don’t feel bad giving them a little alone time so you can focus on you.

Puppies Are Expensive

All pets are expensive. After all, you’re welcoming another living thing into your home. But puppies are especially expensive because they might have more medical needs, they might rip through more toys and other objects, they will eat a lot of food to match their growth spurts, and they’ll need all the basic supplies that all dogs need. Plus, you should have lots of money set aside in case your puppy needs emergency vet care. So, if you’re not financially stable, you’re not ready for a pet, especially not a puppy.

Puppies Are Best for Experienced Dog Lovers

Many new dog parents make the mistake of getting a puppy as a first-time pet. But puppies are better suited for someone who has had a dog before. With an adult dog, what you see is what you’ll get. You’ll still have to do some training and spend a lot of money, but they won’t be as demanding as a puppy. So, if you’re dying to bring home a puppy, consider all the difficulties that come with a younger dog. Perhaps an older dog is better for you. After all, dogs never stop being cute, no matter how old they are. (I mean, look at me! I’m 7 and still adorable.)

So, am I saying you should never get a puppy? Of course not! Rescues and shelters get puppies in often, so it’s great that people are adopting them. But the point of this post was to get humans to really consider the decision. Many people are distracted by a cute puppy face without thinking about the extra work that puppies bring. Adult dogs can be just as cute and lovable as puppies, so don’t overlook a dog just because they’re not young anymore.

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Hi everyone, it’s Mabel! It’s been a while since I shared an update about our foster adventures because this past week was a little chaotic. We’re still fostering Cuda the senior girl, but Molly decided to foster another dog at the same time. I told her that was too many dogs, but she didn’t listen to me. Luckily, I still get the most attention though because I’ll always be her favorite dog.

Anyway, our new foster dog is a puppy mill survivor named Tuck, and he’s already been with us for about two weeks. He’s a 1-year-old Maltese who spent his whole life in a crate up until this point. When Molly saw that he was coming to the rescue, she knew she had to foster him. After all, his appearance and story are almost identical to her first dog Zoe.

But even though Tuck is much younger than Zoe was when Molly adopted her, he’s much more scared. Zoe was in a puppy mill for about 6 years, so you’d think she would be more skittish. But sadly, Tuck is the most terrified dog we’ve ever seen. When Molly picked him up from the rescue, he had to be muzzled because he would squirm and bite whenever someone tried to carry him. As soon as she got him inside, he hid in his crate and refused to come out. After all, being in a crate is all he’s ever known.

Yet, day by day, Tuck came out of his shell a little more. He soon started hanging out in my fuzzy dog bed instead of his crate. He didn’t mind being near Molly, but as soon as she reached to pet him, he sprinted away.

He’s still terrified of Molly touching him and picking him up, so she avoids doing it as much as possible. Even so, he’s improving in so many other ways. Before, he would only go outside if Molly carried him out, but now, he goes out if he sees her open the door for him. He knows to do his business outside, and while he’s still potty training, he has had minimal accidents. He tries to play with Cuda, and he even picks up some dog toys occasionally. It seems like he doesn’t know what to do with the toys, but he sees me and Cuda playing with them, so he tries to be like us.

Luckily, Tuck loves food. So, treats definitely help motivate him. He won’t eat them out of Molly’s hand usually, but he likes when she gives them to him. So, every time she walks near him or pets him, she gives him a treat to help him associate those things with something good. Because in the past, being touched was probably followed by something not so nice.

As you might’ve guessed, Molly really wanted to adopt Tuck. She wants another dog and she thinks he could be the perfect one once he gets more comfortable. She even submitted an application for him, but then, she had a scare where he bit her one day. She thinks maybe she accidentally touched the spot where he got neutered when she picked him up, but she’s not sure. After that, she realized that adopting him would be too overwhelming for her right now, and she’d like to give other people the chance to apply instead.

This week, a family met Tuck and they fell in love with him just like Molly did. If all goes well, he will be headed off to his forever home with them next week. I know this will be the hardest foster dog for Molly to say goodbye to, but she’s just so happy that he’s getting the loving home he deserves.

When people buy puppies from pet stores or online, dogs like Tuck are ones suffering and breeding over and over again. So please, if you’re not already encouraging people to avoid puppy stores and questionable breeders, please do so. And encourage adoption instead. There are so many amazing dogs out there already looking for forever homes. Help give them a second chance.

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3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Every time Molly tells someone that she fosters dogs, they always have the same initial response: “oh, I could never do that!” Or, “doesn’t that make you so sad?” There seems to be an ongoing stereotype that fostering is sad. And for some foster parents, I’m sure it is at times. But we’ve learned that if you go in with the right mindset, then it’s the opposite of sad. It’s uplifting and fulfilling.

When Molly was younger, she thought the same thing as everyone else. She assumed fostering would be sad because the idea of letting a dog go after spending so much time with them seemed difficult. But since we started fostering, she hasn’t been sad about it once. Instead of crying and eating ice cream after saying goodbye to foster dog, she celebrates and gets ready to take in another. So, here’s why we think the “fostering is sad” assumption is just a myth.

Why Fostering Doesn’t Make Us Sad

Whenever we foster, we go into it knowing that this dog isn’t a permanent family member. We have a goal to find them the best home possible. And we remember that without our help, each foster dog’s life might’ve been much worse. When you’re saving dogs’ lives, it’s hard to be sad.

Every time a dog is fostered, that opens up space for another dog to be saved. Our rescue gets dogs from overcrowded southern shelters, so many of these dogs could’ve been at risk of death before our rescue saved them. The more dogs we foster, the more dogs that can be saved.

And for many dogs, a foster home gives them a chance to shine. Shelters are often stressful and scary for dogs, so the adoptable dogs might not act like themselves, which could make it harder for them to get adopted. We support shelters very much, but we’re happy to provide them a more comfortable place to stay while they wait for their forever homes.

When someone is interested in our foster dogs, we can choose if they seem like a good fit or not. So, we don’t have to worry about our dogs going to someone who seems untrustworthy. All the families who have adopted our fosters have been so kind and have kept in touch.

On each dog’s adoption day, I’ve noticed that Molly gets so happy. I can see her face light up as the dog goes off to their happily ever after. The reason she’s so happy and not sad is because she feels so fulfilled. She knows that she helped make life better for these dogs and it’s hard to be sad about that. Even if she wanted to adopt them, she knows it’s not a reasonable decision for her right now. Plus, I don’t want to have to share her attention with any other dog permanently yet!

But ultimately, fostering is more heartwarming and fulfilling than sad. That’s what Molly always says. Of course, she misses every dog she’s fostered, but the positives greatly outweigh that.

Every Dog Lover Should Consider Fostering

We think every dog lover should try fostering at least once. Not only does it make a difference for dogs in need, but it also puts things into perspective for you. It helps you see how many dogs out there really need help and why it’s so rewarding to adopt a dog instead of buying one. Fostering is one of the best ways to make a difference in the dog world.

Of course, we understand that not everyone is capable of fostering. If your schedule is busier than usual or if you landlord doesn’t allow it, then it’s okay not to. But don’t avoid it just because you think it will be too sad. I encourage everyone to try it at least once. Because it’s such a valuable, impactful, and rewarding experience. And if now is not the right time for you to foster, consider donating and spreading the word in the meantime.

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4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Adding a new family member is never easy. This seems like an obvious statement, but many humans forget. They expect their new dog to magically fit into their family, but that isn’t realistic. Change is hard for everyone, especially dogs, who love routines. I’ll admit, I even had my troublemaking days when Molly first adopted me, but now, we’re the best of friends. So, if you’re planning to adopt a new dog, be patient and keep the following tips in mind.

Have Everything Prepared in Advance

Adopting a dog shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision. And based on the lengthy application processes at shelters and rescues, it’s unlikely that it will be. But when you finally come across the perfect dog, it might be easy to rush into it without being prepared. So, I recommend gathering supplies as soon as you know you want a dog, even if you haven’t found the perfect one yet. You can save the size-specific stuff, like a collar and crate, for later. But it can’t hurt to have a few dog supplies ready in advance.

Your home should be set up for a dog before your new furry friend walks in the door. The more objects you have for them, the easier it will be for them to adjust. Even if you already have another dog, it’s a good idea to give your new dog toys and a bed that are specifically for them so they can have their own space.

They’ll Need Time to Adjust

It will probably take your dog a while to feel comfortable in your home. All dogs adjust at different paces, but it will usually take three days for a dog to start acting like themselves, three weeks for them to get used to the routine, and three months to feel like a true member of the family. So, be patient. If your new dog isn’t cuddling and playing with you right away, that’s normal. Change is stressful for them, so give them some time.

They Might Act Different Than Expected

If the dog’s foster family said that they’re potty trained, but they have an accident in your home, it doesn’t mean someone lied. If a dog was described as playful online, but is very shy with you, that’s not an error. In most cases, dogs act differently when they get adopted because they’re scared and confused. They’ve probably traveled a lot in the past few months, so they don’t know what to expect. If they act unusual when they first come home, don’t get mad at them. Instead, be understanding because they’ve been through a lot.

It Might Take a While for Their True Personality to Show

Some dogs will feel comfortable right away, but others will continue to act out of sorts for a while. Do your best to make them feel comfortable and accept that they might not be ready to come out of their shells yet. They likely need time to learn to trust you, and when they do, a magical friendship will form. But never rush a dog into being friendlier because that will only make the transition harder.

Show Them Love and Don’t Give up!

Getting a new dog can be a stressful situation. You might get frustrated and disappointed when your dog doesn’t behave as expected. But instead of letting your anger get the best of you, think about how your dog must feel. They’re suddenly alone with some humans that they don’t even know. Of course they’re not going to treat it like home right off the bat. So, continue to give your dog love and care for them well. Because eventually, they will warm up to you and realize that you won’t leave them behind like their past humans might’ve. All the transitions while getting a new dog are worth it in the end.

While most dogs just need time to adjust, it’s also important to note that not every dog is adopted by the right family. If your dog just doesn’t seem to be fitting in to your household, it’s okay to return them so they can find a better home. Just make sure you give them some time before making that decision. And of course, always be responsible when re-homing a dog.

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5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Like many dog lovers, Molly is quick to trust dog rescues. After all, they’re saving dogs in need out of the goodness of their hearts, so we need to be kind to them. But as it turns out, not every dog rescue can be trusted. Why? Well, because some of them aren’t rescues at all!

Molly volunteers for a group called Bailing Out Benji, who raises awareness about puppy mills and aims to ban puppy sales in pet stores. At a recent volunteer event, she was reminded of a horrible fact: some puppy mills are disguised as rescues!

How Can a Puppy Mill Call Themselves a Rescue?

The answer to this is simple: they lie. It’s the same way puppy mills get away with anything. With more cities banning puppy sales, puppy mills will try to find any loopholes they can. Some cities changed their laws to allow only rescue dogs to be sold in pet stores. But that rule quickly backfired when pet stores lied and said that their puppy mill puppies were rescues.

Also, as I mentioned before, people are more likely to trust rescues above all else. People like to know they’re doing a good thing. So, puppy mills might pose as rescues to get more sales.

It might seem farfetched, but while volunteering Molly saw a real life example. A woman approached the Bailing Out Benji booth and went on and on about how she supported rescues and hated puppy mills, which is a fairly normal response for most dog lovers. But then she went on to explain this “amazing” rescue she got two of her dogs from. She said the woman running the rescue drove her van closer to her to bring her the rescue puppies. And for anyone who knows about puppy mills, meeting in a neutral location is a red flag of a puppy mill.

Of course, Molly didn’t say anything in the moment since she didn’t know for sure, but one of the other volunteers researched the “rescue” afterwards. As it turns out, the business had many reports of being a puppy mill and had since been shut down. It’s heartbreaking to think that the woman thought she was doing the right thing, but ended up supporting the businesses she feared instead. It just goes to show that humans need to be extra cautious about where they get their dogs from.

How to Tell if a Dog Rescue is Legit

You can never be too cautious when finding a place to get a dog from. So, here are some tips to ensure that you’re getting your dog from a certified rescue and not an inhumane breeding business in disguise.

Make Sure It’s Certified

A real rescue will be registered as a 501c3 nonprofit. This is public information and can be accessed on the IRS website. They should also have an official business license, and probably more legal documents on top of that. If a rescue is ever hesitant to give out this information or if you can’t find anything about it online, that’s a huge red flag. A real rescue will have no problem being upfront about their licenses and certifications.

Do a Google Search

It might sound obvious, but many dog parents forget to do their full research before getting a dog. A quick Google search of any rescue, shelter, or breeder could give you some shocking information. If a “rescue” has any negative reviews claiming to be fake, don’t take it lightly. Any fishy information in a Google search should be taken seriously. After all, puppy mills get away with so much since people don’t always question unusual actions.

Ask Detailed Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A real rescue will be happy to tell you as many details about their organization as possible. After all, they want to ensure that each dog goes to the perfect family. Ask questions like, “why did you choose to work in rescue?”, “what does the adoption fee cover?”, “what is your rehoming policy?”, and “will you help if the dog gets sick?” Despite being non-profits, rescues will usually do everything they can to help adopters and make sure everything goes smoothly. Puppy mills are quick to disappear if your puppy is sick or needs to be returned. They’re quick to make a sale while rescues have a lengthy adoption process. Also, a puppy mill might not answer these questions as thoroughly as you’d expect from a rescue.

Don’t Meet in a Neutral Space

This might seem like the opposite of the “stranger danger” rules, but meeting in neutral spaces is a key sign of a puppy mill. Most rescues either have an office where you can meet the dogs or they will direct you right to the dog’s foster home. If they offer to meet you in a random parking lot with their van, suggest something else. Puppy mills will do anything they can to avoid showing you where the dogs have been kept. So, if they can’t show you a loving environment for the dogs, then don’t trust them.

Ensure That They’re Passionate About Rescue

Finally, this rule isn’t one that you can easily determine. It relies more on your gut feeling. Anyone who works in rescue knows that you have to be passionate about saving dogs to do it for little to no money. So, you can sometimes tell if a place is trustworthy just based on how they talk and how they interact with the dogs. If you suspect that saving dogs isn’t their passion, then trust those instincts. A puppy mill breeder can lie all the want, but they can’t fake love and passion.

After finding out this information, getting a dog might seem harder than ever. Even when you’re doing the right thing, you could be unknowingly supporting a bad business, which is terrifying to think about. But if this fact is worrying you, don’t panic. You can still help a dog in need by taking your time and doing proper research. And if you know a reputable rescue, be sure to recommend them to your friends and family to ensure that they don’t make any mistakes when getting a dog.

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Hi everyone, it’s Mabel! We’ve been fostering so consistently that it’s hard for me to keep up with posts about each dog. So, I apologize if we don’t share every detail about our foster adventures. If you want more consistent updates on me and our foster dogs, check out our Instagram page.

We are currently on our 6th foster dog. Molly says we’re ready to take on a big dog now, but somehow we ended up with another tiny dog. Her foster mom needed a new foster home for her because she was intimidated by the high-energy dogs there. So, our home is definitely more relaxing for her. Her name is Cuda, and she’s 14 years old!

Cuda was surrendered recently because she didn’t get along with her family’s new baby. While I’m sure the family thought long and hard about it, it still must’ve been a tough decision. Imagine having a dog for that long and then having to give them up. I know Molly wouldn’t be able to do it, but we respect the family’s decision and we’re glad they did the right thing by bringing her to a loving rescue.

If you saw Cuda though, you’d never know she was 14 years old. She gets around really well and is very lively. She enjoys playing fetch and going for walks just like any other dog. She even jumps on furniture and climbs stairs with no issues (but Molly carries her a lot just to be safe). And she doesn’t seem depressed or scared at all. She made herself at home right away, and she seems comfortable around us.

All of our other fosters got adopted as soon as possible, but I have a feeling it might take Cuda a little longer. Sadly, a lot of families aren’t willing to take a risk with a dog her age. But Cuda seems very healthy, so I think she still has a few years left in her. Hopefully someone will be willing to open their heart to her and give her the retirement home of her dreams.

While I’m usually hesitant about foster dogs, I like Cuda. We’re both lazy dogs who keep to ourselves and only seek attention when we feel like it. So, we respect each other and haven’t barked or growled at each other at all. If it takes her a while to get adopted, I guess that’s okay. I don’t mind having her around. But of course, I can’t wait for her to find her happily ever after!

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Guest post written by Cindy Aldridge

You’ve got the toys, bedding, and healthiest food picked out, and you’ve dog-proofed your whole house — you’re ready for your very first dog, right? Well, almost. Once you’ve got all the physical essentials figured out, it’s a great idea to find some apps to help you through dog ownership. There are tools to help you through all kinds of unexpected situations to ensure that you become the best pet parent you can be.

PetCoach by PetCo

Apps Reviewed explains this app is absolutely ideal for first-time dog owners. It offers a way for you to get free advice from certified vets, as well as nutritionists and dog trainers. Constantly needing to look up advice online can become overwhelming — not to mention the danger of finding incorrect tips from someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. PetCoach removes that risk; no matter what concern or question you have, you know you’ll get a trained expert’s advice. 

If you need to do some research, the app is ideal for that as well. It gives you access to numerous articles with trustworthy information, making it the perfect place for new dog owners to learn. And if you have a common problem, you might not even have to wait to talk to a vet — just browse through their resolved questions so that you can immediately find an answer to your problem.

Puppr

As FOMA points out, training your dog is a vital step in ensuring a happy relationship between the two of you. But training can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, Puppr can help. This training app comes with simple step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of different commands; each step has pictures to make the process even simpler. 

And it doesn’t just teach the basics — as your dog improves, Puppr shows you how to train your dog to perform increasingly complex tricks. On top of all that, you will have access to live chat in case you have any questions, and the app even provides you with a clicker to help you use positive reinforcement with your pup.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance App

Dealing with insurance is never easy, but this app helps simplify it so you have one less thing to worry about. With it, you can upload photographs of your invoices so that Healthy Paws can immediately begin processing claims, avoiding any delays or late fees. 

Additionally, you can upload pictures of your pets, easily check the status of your claim or update your policy, and have quick access to the Healthy Paws blog, which offers a wealth of great tips and advice for first-time dog owners.

To make the best use of these apps, you’ll need an updated phone that can support them. If you’re looking to upgrade, the iPhone XS Max has a number of benefits perfect for dog parents. Its dual camera will let you take stunning pictures of your pets, it has a beautiful graphics display, and it’s powerful enough to run all the apps you need. 

If you prefer Android, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a great choice. It has both form and function — it features high-quality graphics and a slim body but is also durable and water-resistant for up to 30 minutes in any kind of water. This makes it the perfect phone to bring along on adventures with your dog without needing to worry about causing damage. You can even use it to snap fun underwater pictures — something Puls warns will ruin most phones.

Lastly, regardless of which type of phone you choose, you need a car charger to ensure your phone stays powered when you’re out with your dog. Being caught out with a dead smartphone battery isn’t any fun, so make sure you have this important accessory with you!

Getting your first dog is an incredibly exciting thing, but it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, help is right at your fingertips. These apps are a great way to ensure you’ll always have access to professional guidance so you and your new pooch have a wonderful life together.

For more great tips and information on living a fulfilling life with your furry friend, or for a personalized comic, connect with Mabel the Rescue Dog!

5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Note: All the images in this article are royalty-free images, not real animals we encountered.

Humans have a strange obsession with random animals. They see a cute animal and their instinct is to say, “I want one!” But a lot of the animals that humans love aren’t pets, they’re wild animals. And while it might seem easy and affordable to take an animal out of the wild and keep it, think again. Wild animals are not pets and shouldn’t be kept as domesticated animals. Here’s why.

A Past Mistake

This topic actually hits close to home for Molly. While she’s embarrassed to admit it, she took a few animals out of the wild and kept them when she was a kid. When she was about 9 or 10 years old, she took two blue-spotted salamanders (Sally and Sammy) home after a camping trip. She had done lots of research about how to care for a salamander and was certain she was ready.

She did a great job caring for them, but she was just a kid, so she didn’t know she’d done anything wrong. Sally lived for only two years, but Sammy is still alive today. She’s now under the care of a friend because she couldn’t travel to Florida and back with us.

While Molly loved Sally and Sammy very much, she often regrets her decision. Because as she got older, she learned that it’s illegal to take native salamanders out of the wild. Of course, once they had been home with her for a while, they were too domesticated to be released back into the wild. But she gave them the best lives possible, and now she’s learning from her mistakes. And we want to share what we’ve learned with other animal lovers too.

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Wild Animals

There’s a bigger reason as to why you shouldn’t keep wild animals as pets, other than it being “bad.” Here are a few reasons you should avoid it.

It’s Illegal

In many cases, owning an exotic animal is illegal. And even if it’s not, you’ll still need a license or permit to have most of them. So, it’s not easy to take an animal out of the wild and keep it. Plus, most of the people who do it are professionals who keep these exotic animals to rehabilitate them or care for ones born in captivity. If you’re unsure what your area’s laws are, you can check the exotic animal laws by state. But unless you’re a trained professional, I would recommend not pursuing these animals.

Wild Animals Can’t Be Fully Domesticated

Wild animals can learn to become comfortable in a home environment, but they’ll never be fully domesticated like a dog or cat. Dogs and cats have adjusted to companion life over the course of thousands of years. So, if you take an animal out of the wild, they won’t behave like a dog no matter how much you love them. Their natural instincts will be present, and the whole situation will probably confuse them.

You Can’t Provide the Ideal Home for Them

No matter how hard you try, your home will never be a match for that animal’s natural environment. Again, dogs and cats are used to living in the comfort of a home. Wild animals are not. Animals live in environments that fit all their behavioral, survival, and nutritional needs. They won’t be able to find that among human objects. So, by taking them away from their true homes, you’re only hurting them. After all, it’s unlikely that you’re going to grow trees in your home or lets bugs roam free.

It Could Endanger the Species

When exotic animals are sold as pets, it could damage their population in the wild. Horrible people will illegally capture wild animals and then sell them. The more animals that are captured from the wild, the less those animals can reproduce. Most people buying exotic pets probably aren’t looking to breed them, so this process could cause species to become endangered or even extinct. So, if you’re qualified to care for an exotic pet, be sure to do a lot of research when finding out where to get one. Like puppy mills, there are people selling exotic animals that aren’t trustworthy either.

They Could Carry Diseases

Not only could you put the animal in danger, but you could be putting yourself in danger too. Many wild animals carry diseases like rabies, distemper, and salmonella. So, they could pass on life-threatening diseases to you and your other pets. Of course, you would take a stray dog or cat to the vet to prevent this, but you can’t always do this with wild animals. Finding a vet for exotic pets is much harder than finding a dog vet. Plus, many exotic animals have claws and teeth that could hurt you too.

Be Responsible When Adding an Animal to Your Family

What I’m trying to say is that you should be responsible when adding any pet to your family, no matter what animal they are. Of course, Molly and I do have an exotic animal in our home (her axolotl named Wooper) but she did a lot of research before finding her. Wooper is from an animal rescue, so she wasn’t bred for profit and she can’t be released back into the wild. And owning axolotls is legal where we live, so we confirmed all that before we brought her home.

So, if you don’t know where to responsibly get a pet, adopt! Adopting is the easiest way to ensure that you’re helping an animal in need rather than supporting an inhumane business. Whether you want a dog, cat, or an unusual pet like an axolotl, adopting is your best option. Sure, some animals are harder to find at rescues, but if you’re patient, the perfect pet will come along just like Wooper did.

All animals are cute. And you might want to keep them all as pets. But whenever you choose a pet, do it for the animal, not for you. Do it because you want to give that animal a loving home, not because you think they look cool. If everyone thought that way, there would be way less pets suffering. So, thank you again to everyone who has chosen to adopt an animal in need.

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