Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt ๐Ÿ’•

5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

After seeing many hurtful comments about Pit Bulls on YouTube, Facebook, and even my blog, Molly decided that this was a topic she wanted to cover. Most people who are against Pit Bulls use the argument that over 60% of dog bite fatalities were caused by Pit Bulls. I know Molly likes to have an ideal balance between facts and emotions, so she decided to look into this more to see how accurate dog bite statistics are. As it turns out, they might not be showing us everything.

Most sources agree that Pit Bulls cause the most dog bite fatalities. We’re not disagreeing with those statistics, but they definitely don’t change how much we love Pit Bulls (and all dogs). Plus, we don’t think those numbers are quite as cut and dry as many people think. Here are some reasons why those statistics could be misleading.

“Pit Bull” Isn’t One Breed

The term “Pit Bull” is very vague. Many people mistake it for one breed of dog, but it’s really used to described any dog with a stocky, muscular build, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. So, that percentage of dog bites is accounting for a wider group of dogs than just one breed.

Many People Misidentify Breeds

Not only is Pit Bull a broad term, but many people use it for dogs that wouldn’t technically fall in that category. People can label a dog as a Pit Bull just by looking at their appearance, but sometimes, those dogs don’t have any Pit Bull breeds in them at all.

In a 2015 study, shelter staff and veterinarians observed people identifying dog breeds. The participants claimed that 62 of the dogs in the study were Pit Bulls even though only 25 of them were some type of Pit Bull breed.

Pit Bulls Mixes are Super Common

Pit Bulls may be even more common that we think. When considering all the dogs that could fit under this label, about 20% of dogs in the United States are Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes. Plus, there are plenty of breeds that look similar to Pit Bulls even though they aren’t commonly grouped in the category. More dogs of one breed means more potential for dog bite instances.

People Are More Likely to Report Bites for “Dangerous” Breeds

Victims of dog bites seem more likely to report the incident if they think the breed is dangerous. The Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions states that dog bite statistics aren’t really statistics. The dogs with the most bite incidents tend to be common breeds and big dogs, which should be expected. There are so many other factors that should go into dog bite statistics than just breed.

Also, reports rarely take mixed breed dogs into account, despite there being so many mixed breeds in the world. For example, if a dog is a mix of a Golden Retriever and a Pit Bull, a bite victim would likely label the dog as a Pit Bull and not a Golden Retriever.

Bigger Dog Bites are More Dangerous

If we’re looking at bites and not just fatalities, it’s unlikely that Pit Bulls would rank the highest. I’ve never seen a big dog bite, but I’ve seen lots of small dogs bite. Yet, it’s less likely for small dogs to inflict severe damage, so most small dog bites go unreported. Two small dogs have bitten Molly, but she never went out of her way to report them because both situations could’ve been prevented. Big dogs are just more likely to cause a severe injury or fatality if they bite.

We’re not saying that small dogs are aggressive. I don’t like to say any dogs are aggressive. However, smaller breeds seem more likely to bite because people often handle them even when it’s clear they don’t want to be picked up. Dog parents also tend to be more lenient when training small dogs because they know they can’t cause the same amount of problems as a giant dog.

Here’s the Bottom Line!

On this blog, we love all dogs! The sad reality is that most dog bites could’ve been prevented, but the dog still has to suffer for it. Dogs usually have warning signs before they bite, which is why it’s important to teach kids how to behave around dogs. Most dog bites involve young children, so it’s likely that the kids were stressing the dog out in some way. If you’re worried that your dog could bite, keep them away from people and work on training more often to prevent future problems.

Of course, getting bit by a dog is terrifying. We don’t want to discredit the pain and suffering of dog bite victims. But we don’t think dogs should pay for it when someone could’ve trained them or kept them away from that situation. Instead of banning specific breeds from towns and businesses, there needs to be a better way. For communities worried about dog bites, ban dogs based on their individual temperaments rather than their breeds. No dog should be hated just because of their looks.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

Hi, it’s Mabel! I realized that I hadn’t posted about our most recent foster dog yet, and I think it’s important that I mention him. He’s already adopted, so by the time this gets posted on my blog, he’ll likely have gone off to his forever home.

His name is Baidu, but we just call him Du. Du is our 16th foster dog, and he’s very different from the dogs we normally take in. Molly chose him because she had a good feeling about him when looking at his photo. She said he looked sweet and calm, despite being 55 pounds (much bigger than most of our fosters.) I think one of the deciding factors was the fact that he looked like Winston, the giant “polar bear” we fostered.

Anyway, Du is not as calm at Molly thought, but she’s still happy she chose to foster him. It took me a while to get used to him, but I think I’m finally okay with him being around. Not only is Du huge compared to me, but he’s very clingy. He loves to be as close to Molly as possible, and he never gets sick of giving kisses. He seems to think he’s a lap dog, even though he can’t comfortably fit on a human’s lap.

Du has gotten into some trouble during his time with us. He had a few accidents at first and he chewed up an Xbox controller, but those are pretty normal young dog things (he’s about three years old, maybe less). But he also scaled the fence outside while Molly was shoveling snow. Luckily, he’s not a flight risk, he just wanted to be close to her. He also managed to get out of his crate twice, but the crate door was closed both times. We’re still not sure how that happened.

But Du makes up for all the trouble because of how sweet he is. Even though I like to keep my distance from him, I know Molly adores his cuddles and kisses. If you’re not petting him enough, he’ll set his paw on you to ask for more pets. I think it’s annoying, but Molly won’t stop talking about how cute it is.

Even though Molly prefers shy dogs, it seems like most people like energetic, loving dogs more. Right away, Du had lots of people interested in him, so it didn’t take him long to find a home. Our time with him has been fun and exciting, but I think Molly is hoping for a little old dog next. However, she likes to mix it up once in a while so she can get experience with all kinds of dogs. Sometimes, the perfect dog ends up being a dog you never expected!

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

Every dog at a shelter or rescue can benefit from a foster home. Foster homes allow them to get used to a comfortable environment while they wait for a forever family. However, there are some dogs that need foster homes a lot more than others, so which dogs should be a priority for foster parents?

“Pit Bull” Breeds

The term “Pit Bull” can be used to describe any dog with a muscular build, but it’s most commonly associated with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers. Sadly, Pit Bulls have a bad reputation, which makes it harder for them to find homes. Even the people who adore these dogs might not be able to adopt or foster them because of breed restrictions in their communities.

Any dog that could be considered a Pit Bull is at a high risk, which is why many rescues try to label them as “mixed breeds” instead. Since Pit Bulls are so common in shelters, they’re the hardest to adopt out and the first to be euthanized if rural shelters have no space. Most of these breeds are also considered high energy, so they might not be suitable for all foster homes. If you’re able to welcome a Pit Bull into your home temporarily, you could be saving their life.

Puppy Mill Survivors

As many of you know, Molly is very passionate about saving puppy mill dogs. These breeds aren’t as high-risk as Pit Bulls, but they can often take a while to find homes for because they’re usually terrified of the world. Kennels are no place for a puppy mill survivor to be because they’ve spent their whole lives in cages. If they’re stuck in a shelter, they won’t grow and make improvements. Thus, a loving foster home is the best way to help these dogs come out of their shells and learn what love is like.

Dogs with Behavioral Problems

Not many people want to put up with dogs that aren’t “perfect.” There are a lot of dogs that don’t get along with cats, other dogs, or kids. Some dogs may display aggressive or fearful behaviors in certain situations. All these things limit the amount of homes that are suitable for the dogs. If no one is able to accomodate these dogs in foster care, they may be euthanized in overcrowded shelters. Many homes have pets and kids, but if you have an environment that will help the difficult dogs calm down, you should consider taking one in. Most of them are only acting out because they’ve never been trained or loved.

Young Puppies

You might be surprised to see puppies on this list since they’re usually the first to get adopted. But the reason is that shelters are no place for young puppies, especially if they’re under 12 weeks old or not vaccinated. Young puppies are still building up their immune systems, so they’re vulnerable to many diseases like parvovirus. With so many dogs coming and going at shelters, it’s easy for puppies to get sick. So, it’s much safer if they can be in foster care.

Pregnant Dogs

Pregnant dogs can be a lot of work since there will soon be a whole litter of puppies in your home, but many foster parents love caring for them. As you can imagine, pregnant dogs deserve a comfortable place to give birth, so they shouldn’t have to be stuck at a shelter. When you take in a pregnant dog, you’re helping a lot more dogs than just one if you think about the puppies.

Of course, all dogs need a foster home. Every dog fostered can free up space for more dogs to be saved. So, if you can only foster the easy dogs who get adopted quickly, that’s okay! All fostering makes a huge difference, but I just wanted to shed some light on the dogs who need it most. Thank you to everyone who has helped care for dogs in need.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Molly suggested that I write this post after she saw an upsetting Facebook post. Someone she is following made a post talking badly about a shelter. Specifically, they complained about how a local shelter hasn’t upgraded the dog kennels despite improving other areas of the building. Molly isn’t one to start social media arguments, so she decided to let me explain her perspective on here.

We never like to talk badly about shelters and rescues. Of course, no organization is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should consistently point out their flaws. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t talk badly about animal shelters.

They Have Good Intentions

Shelters and rescues don’t make much profit, if any. They exist for the sole reason of helping homeless animals. So, even if they don’t seem like the best organization, most (if not all) of the people working and volunteering there care deeply about animals. This is even true for kill shelters because they don’t want to be killing the animals in their care. So, before you complain about a shelter to other people, remember that they’re not in it for the money. They truly want to make a difference for animals, even if their execution isn’t the best.

Shelter Kennels Are Better Than The Alternative

Almost every shelter I’ve seen doesn’t look comfortable. Most dogs have a cement floor and a single bed in their space. I certainly wouldn’t want to stay at a shelter for even a day, so I’m grateful that I was adopted. But most dogs don’t stay at shelters for long. And even though the kennels look depressing and uncomfortable, they’re much better than the alternative.

If shelters didn’t exist, especially no-kill ones, a lot more dogs would end up dead, abused, or on the streets. Staying in a kennel for a few weeks is much better than them having nowhere to go and no food to eat. Plus, keeping kennels clean is no easy task, so that’s why the floor isn’t soft for them. If you feel bad for dogs at shelters, please try fostering so you can help them be more comfortable while they wait for adoption.

Bad Publicity Could Push People Away From Adopting

If you talk badly about a shelter, it’s easy for humans to get the wrong idea. The more bad things people hear about shelters and rescues, the less likely they’ll be to adopt. Being critical of one organization could sway someone’s opinion enough to make them go to a breeder instead. That would add more dogs into this world, making even more dogs end up in shelters. So, please think about the potential effects of your opinions before posting them publicly.

Running a Shelter Is A Lot of Work

Shelters and rescues make mistakes, so it’s easy to judge them. But what many people forget is that running an organization like that is a lot of work. Even just volunteering can be stressful at times. Anyone who’s working or volunteering at these places are not looking for money or any other kind of personal gain. They just want to help dogs. So, criticizing a shelter takes away from all the hard work that these wonderful people are doing.

I know Molly’s heart breaks a little every time someone talks badly about the rescue she fosters for. So, don’t be mean toward organizations without knowing all the facts. There’s usually a good reason for the decisions they make.

Donations Can Make Shelters Better

Talking badly about a shelter could make someone less likely to donate to them as well. But a lack of donations is usually the reason shelters and rescues don’t run as well as they could. Don’t let your one negative experience prevent those animals from getting the funds and supplies they need. If you’re concerned about how the shelter will be using money donations, then donate supplies instead. Organizations are always grateful to get items like food, blankets, and leashes.

I know shelters and rescues aren’t perfect. There are times when we’ve been frustrated with their decisions too. But it’s important to not let their flaws overshadow all the amazing things they do. These places do so many more life-changing things than bad things. So, next time you think to talk badly about a shelter, rescue, or similar organization, I hope you think about these things. Being critical won’t help anything, but being positive could save some dogs’ lives.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you probably know that Molly and I write about the positives of fostering a lot. She loves fostering dogs, and since I’m her dog, I tolerate it because I know it’s important to her. But I want to take a moment to discuss the less exciting parts of fostering. They aren’t reasons to avoid fostering dogs entirely, but they’re aspects you should be aware of before you care for a dog in need.

Stressful Parts of Fostering Dogs

Anytime things don’t go as planned during fostering, it can be stressful. Caring for a dog is a big responsibility, so naturally, humans want it to go smoothly. But every journey will have some bumps in the road. Whether it’s training problems, health concerns, or a difficult time finding an adopter, it’s easy to get stressed out while fostering.

Molly and I recently found a home for Odin (fka Sonny) after two months of searching. He was one of the easiest dogs to look after due to his extreme shyness. However, we’re now fostering a puppy mill survivor named Cicely. She’s a sweetheart, but Molly is frustrated because she’s difficult to potty train. Otherwise, Cicely is a very easy dog, but that one aspect is stressing Molly out.

But there’s a reason we keep fostering, despite the struggles. Yes, it can be stressful at times. Certain dogs drive us a little crazier than others. But there are lots of ways to overcome those difficult situations.

Overcoming Foster Struggles

The stressful parts of fostering always end up being worth it because the good parts overshadow them. Sure, training can be tedious and time-consuming, but it makes finding a home for the dog easier. Plus, we usually only have each foster for a few weeks, so it only costs a short period of our lives to make the rest of a dog’s life perfect.

Plus, Molly says the cuddles, playtime, and heartwarming memories make up for all the parts that drive her insane. She has a hard time staying mad at adorable rescue dogs who are just looking for a better life.

So, yes, fostering can be stressful and it can make humans want to pull their hair out at times. But there are very few things in life that will make you as fulfilled and full of joy. No matter how many times Molly gets annoyed with a foster dog, she knows she’ll keep fostering because it saves the lives of many lovable canines.

If the downsides of fostering have been steering you away from doing it, I encourage you to give it a chance. Focusing on the good things will make the stressful times only seem like minor inconveniences in the long run.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Hi everyone, I wanted to write a quick blog post about this topic because of something that recently happened to me. As some of you know, it was my birthday last week! But I didn’t write a post about it this year because I wasn’t feeling well. I threw up several times, so I didn’t get to enjoy any birthday treats. So, I thought some dog parents might have similar questions to the ones Molly had.

Is Vomiting a Serious Health Concern?

Yes and no. The answer to this question depends on why your dog is vomiting. Like humans, dogs vomit for a variety of reasons. Some are just because of an upset stomach while others are a symptom of a more serious illness. If your dog vomits once, but is fine otherwise, it’s probably not anything severe. However, if you notice repeated vomiting or vomiting paired with other symptoms, it could be linked to a health problem.

When Should You Take a Vomiting Dog to the Vet?

Ultimately, this is up to you, but most sources say that if a dog vomits several times throughout the day, you should contact your vet. Of course, if you notice other weird symptoms and behaviors in addition to the vomiting, a vet checkup is definitely needed. Even if your dog only vomits once, you can still take them to the vet if you’d like, but it’s recommended only if it’s a consistent problem or one with additional symptoms.

The reason I bring this up is because I had to go to the vet recently for my upset tummy. On my birthday, I threw up several times, but then I was fine overnight, so Molly thought that was the end of it. Unfortunately, I threw up again later the next day, so she rushed me to the vet. Even though the vet decided that I was just reacting to something weird that I ate, the visit helped me a lot. They gave me medicine and fluids while I was there, and gave me a bland diet to eat for a few days to calm my stomach. Molly thinks the food smells disgusting, but I think it’s yummy! I’m definitely feeling a lot better now.

It’s Better to Be Safe Than Sorry!

The moral of the story is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re worried about your dog’s health, even if it seems like a minor issue, contact your vet. Even if it turns out to be nothing, you’ll at least feel better knowing that you made sure your dog was safe. That’s much better than ignoring their symptoms when something serious could be going on.

Vet visits can be expensive, but they’re an essential part of caring for a dog. I’m glad that Molly worries about me and protects me. As much as I hate going to the vet, I know that it helped me feel better. Now, I’m ready for a birthday re-do!

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

I love having a fenced-in yard, but there are many humans who don’t have them. Recently, I’ve realized this even more because our current foster dog, Sonny, needs a home with a fenced-in yard. He’s very shy and still too scared to walk on a leash, so having a confined space to go outside would be safest and most efficient for everyone. So, it made me wonder why more dog parents don’t have fences.

All dogs can benefit from fenced-in yards, but you don’t need to have them. I’ve decided to take a look at the positives and negatives of having a fenced-in space for dogs.

Pros of a Fenced-In Yard

Like most dogs, I’m in favor of fenced-in yards! But let’s take a look at why they can be great for dog parents.

It’s Convenient

I know Molly doesn’t like taking me out when it’s raining or super cold, and honestly, I don’t like to be outside long in those situations either. So, having a fenced-in yard is great for quick potty breaks. Plus, it gives me a little more freedom to explore the yard and do my business at my own pace.

It’s Perfect for Shy Dogs

For dogs like Sonny, fenced-in yards are the best way to go outside. Shy dogs often don’t like going for walks because they might come across unfamiliar situations, including humans and other dogs. So, if you have a dog like Sonny who’s terrified of everything, including a leash, then having a fenced-in yard makes it easy to get them to go to the bathroom.

It Reduces the Chances of Your Dog Running Away

Flight risk dogs will do anything to escape the house, so leaving the door open a crack is risky. Yet, if your yard is surrounded by a fence, your dog can’t run away if they sneak outside. It offers a protective barrier for dogs that like to try to run.

It Could Offer Some Privacy

Depending on the type of fence, it could also offer some privacy for you and your dog. Some dogs get very stressed when they see people and dogs walking by their house, so a fence that’s not see-through is a great way to keep them relaxed and secure.

Cons of a Fenced-In Yard

Even though fenced-in yards are clearly awesome, there are some downsides to them. Here are a few reasons why humans might not buy fences.

It’s Expensive

I’m a dog, so I don’t know a lot about fences, but I’m sure they’re expensive. Not everyone can afford to make additions like that to their homes, and that’s understandable.

It Might Reduce Your Dog’s Exercise

Having a fenced-in yard might cause some parents to be lazy with their dog’s exercise. They might let them out in the yard more often instead of walking them because it’s more convenient. But dogs need walks for exercise and for excitement. So, please don’t deprive them of that if you get a fence.

Not All Neighborhoods Allow Them

A big reason a lot of humans don’t have fenced-in yards is because their neighborhoods don’t allow it. Some neighborhoods have strict rules and not all fences look nice. So, some families might not be able to have a fence even if they wanted to.

Are Invisible Fences Better?

Many people choose an invisible fence because it follows neighborhood regulations better and it’s often less permanent. However, that doesn’t always mean they’re better. If you install an invisible fence, you can’t just let your dog outside as soon as you put it up. You need to spend a lot of time teaching your dog where the boundaries are.

For obedient dogs, this process might not be too hard, but for shy dogs like Sonny, it would take just as much work as leash training. Plus, invisible fences are sometimes unreliable, even for well-trained dogs. So, I recommend a regular fence, but I know not all humans can have those.

Do You Need a Fence for Your Dog?

No, you don’t need a fence for your dog, but I’m sure many pets would appreciate it. Fences allow your dogs to spend more time in the yard without you having to stand outside in the cold with them. You should still keep an eye on your dog while they’re in the yard, but it’ll be more convenient for the both of you.

Some rescue dogs like Sonny do better in a home with a fenced-in yard, so please don’t be mad if a foster parent requires it. Most rescues and shelters want to make sure the dogs find the best home possible, so that’s why they might have unique requirements sometimes. If your home isn’t the right fit for the dog you’re interested in, don’t worry! The perfect dog will eventually come along, and they might not be the kind of dog you initially expected.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

Hi everyone, it’s Mabel! I realized that I haven’t talked about our most recent foster dog yet, which is very surprising because Molly says he’s her favorite so far. I’m pretty sure she has said that about at least two other dogs too, but I’m pretty sure she means it.

Sonny is our 14th foster dog, and he’s super shy. If you don’t already know, Molly has a soft spot for shy dogs because of her first dog Zoe, who was a puppy mill survivor. Sonny wasn’t from a puppy mill, but he spent the first two years of his life as a stray. So, despite being so young, he’s very scared and shy.

When Molly picked Sonny up from the rescue’s office, he was completely shut down. She said he was curled in a ball and frozen in place. He wouldn’t even move to sit in the bed next to him. He was rescued with a smaller dog named Cher, who was a little friendlier, but still shy and confused. Molly planned to foster both of them, but since they needed extra patience, the office suggested that she only take one of them at first.

So, Molly took Sonny home and he immediately ran into his crate. He spent the entire first day in his crate. Molly had to carry him outside to do his business, and somehow, he was already potty trained. As soon as she set him outside, he did his business, and then he rushed to go back inside. He was too scared to eat or drink for the first day too.

Then, after a day, Molly decided to foster Cher too. However, Cher only stayed with us for about an hour. At first, she was super sweet and a lot more curious than Sonny. She walked on a leash and played with toys, which are things Sonny still hasn’t wanted to do. Then, once Cher saw Sonny, she became so excited! She ran into his crate with him, and they both wagged their tails like crazy.

However, after about ten minutes together, Cher’s personality changed. She grew very protective over Sonny and would growl or nip at me and Molly if we tried to go near Sonny. Molly quickly realized that as much as Sonny and Cher loved each other, they would be better off in different foster homes. So, she took Cher to the office, where she found a different foster home.

It’s hard to tell if Sonny misses Cher or not, but he probably does. We’ve had him for almost two weeks now, and he’s still terrified of humans and spends most of his time in his crate. Yet, he’s made lots of progress. When Molly isn’t in the same room as him, he peeks around the corner to see what she’s doing. If Molly goes outside with me, Sonny will come outside if Molly props the door open. Then, he’ll go back inside after he does his business. He has also been eating and drinking normally every day.

I know Molly will be sad when Sonny leaves, but she’s working really hard to make sure he finds the perfect home. Some people have shown interest in him, but not everyone is willing to work with a super shy dog. He’ll need a lot of patience and space, so I’m excited for him to find a forever home where he can keep getting that. One day, I think he’ll be very loving, but it will take him a long time to learn to trust humans. Molly keeps saying he’s so sweet and that he just needs time to understand what love is like.

If you have a quiet, patient home, you should consider adopting or fostering a shy dog. Molly says that seeing their transformations is one of the most rewarding parts of fostering!

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

Most kids love dogs, but they’re not the most experienced with dog care. I’ve noticed that kids will repeat whatever their parents tell them, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings about dogs. To ensure that your kids become the best dog lovers they can be, here are some things they should learn at an early age. After all, dogs are living creatures and family members, so we want all humans to be kind to us.

#1 – Puppies Shouldn’t be Sold at Pet Stores

When kids want a puppy, they will probably take the first puppy they see. In some cases, that puppy might be in the window of a pet store. Even though humans used to sing about how much the doggy in the window was, that song is very outdated. Pet stores sell puppies from puppy mills, so buying a pet store puppy is only encouraging people to hurt more dogs through inhumane breeding practices. A reputable breeder will want to make sure their puppies go to good homes, so they won’t ship them off to be sold.

Instead, teach kids about rescue dogs. Tell them that there are already thousands of dogs out there waiting for forever homes. After all, kids aren’t picky about dogs, so why not take a chance on a rescue dog? You could be saving their life.

#2 – All Breeds Are Good Dogs

Molly’s heart breaks every time she hears a kid talk badly about a dog. The most common example is Pit Bulls. Many adults despise Pit Bulls because of false assumptions about them, so kids will repeat those opinions without a second thought. Yes, Pit Bulls can bite, but so can all dogs. Most Pit Bulls are very sweet and misunderstood. In fact, the term “Pit Bull” can be used to describe any dog with a stocky build, not just one breed.

Humans should be teaching kids not to judge humans based on looks, so the same should be true for dogs. Don’t let your kid think that one breed is superior to another. Let them know that dogs who bite are a result of humans not training or controlling them properly. All dogs can be good dogs if they’re given a chance.

#3 – Be Gentle Around Dogs

One of the most important things to teach kids about all animals is to be gentle. It’s hard to resist a cute puppy, but humans need to restrain themselves at first. Not all dogs react the same to affection, so being kissed and cuddled by a stranger could spook them. Teach kids to ask for permission before approaching a stranger’s dog.

Also, make sure they’re gentle and keeping their hands away from the dog’s face. If your kids tend to run, jump, and stomp a lot, then it’s best to keep them away from unfamiliar dogs to ensure that everyone stays safe.

#4 – Not All Dogs Want to Be Pet

It’s also important to remind kids that not all dogs want to be pet. Even your own dog might shy away from attention now and then, and that’s okay! Dogs don’t exist just to please humans, we have our own likes and dislikes too.

So, let your kid know that if a dog walks away from them, they should leave them be. It might be tempting to following a cute dog and give them a big hug, but this could lead to many complications. Even the most outgoing dogs might want space now and then, so it’s important for all humans to know that.

#5 – Service Dogs Are Different Than Family Dogs

For kids, it’s exciting to see a service dog walking around in a building. But please don’t encourage your kids to approach service dogs. I know there are many news stories about humans getting upset over not being able to pet a service dog, but that’s ridiculous. Service dogs aren’t the same as family pets. When they’re out in public, they have a job to do, so they need to stay focused.

Of course, service dogs still get plenty of love and care, but petting them distracts them from protecting their humans. If you see a service dog in public, educate your children about the important jobs they do.

#6 – Choosing the Right Dog Requires Patience

Getting a dog is exciting, but humans need to remember that getting a new dog requires patience. Even adults can have a hard time understanding that. Many families are quick to buy an expensive puppy solely based on breed. But you shouldn’t be choosing a family member based on looks! Instead, meet a few dogs and get to know their personalities first. That way, you can see which ones get along best with your family.

If you’re planning to get a dog, remind kids that it’s not an easy process. When meeting adoptable dogs, make sure your kids are a part of the decision-making process. Ask them what they like about each dog and discuss more than just looks. In many cases, the perfect dog isn’t what you’d expect, and your kids will still love them no matter what.

Kids always have lots to learn, so don’t overlook teaching moments related to dogs. The more kids know about dogs, the safer and happier everyone involved will be!

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!

4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

For many humans, this might be a sad, sensitive topic. Yet, breakups and divorces happen, and it’s important to think about how it will affect all members of your family. Many humans spend so much time focusing on kids, property, and belongings during a breakup that they forget that pets will be affected too. So, who should get a dog during a breakup? And will your pets understand what’s happening?

Who Gets the Dog in a Breakup?

According to Psychology Today, pets are considered property in breakups, so it’s not really a custody battle. Yet, anyone who has a dog knows that we are family. So, deciding who keeps the dog is much more important than picking who gets a couch or TV. If possible, try to discuss this situation while you’re on good terms, even if you plan to stay together forever. That way, the decision will be much easier if things ever go wrong (which hopefully they won’t).

First of all, if someone owned the dog before you got together, they will likely take the dog. I am certain that Molly would never give me up in a breakup because I was here first, so I hope other humans would be the same way. However, many couples adopt dogs together, which can make the situation much trickier. Also, if it’s a divorce, it’s a legal matter which may require a judge getting involved.

However, I think the answer of this question is simple. Where the dog ends up should be in the dog’s best interest. I’m sure both humans will be willing to fight for the dog, but this isn’t the type of argument you want to be petty about. Instead, think about what’s best for your furry friend.

If one person cared for most of the dog’s needs, they’ll probably be the best choice. Also, if one person is financially stable while the other is not, it makes sense for the dog to go somewhere where their vet bills can be paid. Of course, there are many other factors than just these, but they’re some things to think about. Overall, I think it’s important for exes to put their arguments and differences aside to focus on the dog’s future and well-being.

How Do Breakups Affect Dogs?

We might not know exactly what’s happening during a breakup, but most dogs can tell that something is wrong. Since we don’t speak human languages, we understand our humans based on body language and tones. When we hear our parents fighting, bickering, and acting different, we can tell that something is wrong. That’s why some dogs might be more comforting when you’re sad.

Even if your dog can sense a change coming, they might not understand it. It’s difficult for them to be around someone all the time and then suddenly never see them again. So, to make things easier on them, make the transition as seamless as possible. Continue their regular routine as closely as you can. If you need to move to a new place, bring plenty of supplies that remind them of their old home.

Your pet may be anxious and confused at first, but they’ll eventually adjust to their new routine. After all, they’ll be happy to have at least one familiar human with them. If your dog keeps displaying unusual behaviors without improvements, you might want to ask your vet for advice.

Be Careful When Adopting a Dog Together

The important thing to remember is that getting a dog is a big decision. It’s even bigger when more than one person is involved. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but also families whose kids will soon leave the house and roommates who want a dog together. Make sure you’re thinking clearly about the decision before rushing into it.

If you adopt a dog with someone else, make sure you discuss a potential breakup ahead of time. It’s an uncomfortable conversation that no one wants to have, but it’s the responsible thing to do, and it could make your relationship stronger. Then, your dog will never get caught in the middle of a nasty fight over who gets to keep the dog.

In most cases, getting a dog is clearly for one person in the family. For example, Molly’s family adopted me together, but I was always known as Molly’s dog, which is why I moved out with her. Having these expectations can help relieve your dog’s stress if a breakup ever occurs. No one wants to talk about breakups and divorce, but dogs are a part of the family, so they shouldn’t be forgotten during big life events like that.

Like my blog? Please follow me on Facebook!