I recently realized that a lot of dog parents don’t know what a dog license is. This is sad, especially since many cities require your dog to be licensed. It’s not a hard thing to do, and if it’s required, you should definitely do it for you furry friend. Even if it’s not strictly enforced, it can still have plenty of benefits for you and your pup.
What is a Dog License?
A dog license is something that can be put on your dog’s collar along with their identification. It proves that you’re licensed to own that dog and it’s a way to prevent them from getting lost. It also serves as proof that your dog has their rabies vaccination since you often need to show your dog’s medical records when getting a dog license.
If your dog is lost, then their license can help bring them back to you sooner. It can also save you from potential fines. If you’re ever asked to show your dog’s license, you could get a fine that’s much more expensive than the license itself if you don’t have one.
In other words, a dog license is just another way to keep your dog safe. Many humans think it’s unnecessary, but it’s much easier to get a dog license than to pay fees for not having them. Plus, it can help a lost dog get home too, which is extremely important.
How to Get a Dog License
Luckily, dog licenses are easy to access. Every city will have different requirements for where you can go to get your dog license, and oftentimes you just have to show them your dog’s vet records, pay them a small fee, and then get the license right there. Many cities also do them online or by mail.
Where we live, dog licenses are about $25 per dog. Yet, if your dog has been spayed or neutered, you can get half off. That’s just another incentive to spay or neuter your furry friends.
The best way to find out how to get a dog license is to look it up on your city’s website. Most licenses expire at the beginning of a new year, so you’ll need to get a new one every year. But it’s not very expensive and it’s easy to access, so there’s really no reason not to do it.
Sadly, most dogs don’t have licenses because their humans just don’t know about it. So, if your city requires a dog license, make sure you spread the word so your friends can keep their dogs safe too.
I won’t lie, when Molly and I see a human who chose to buy a dog instead of adopt, it’s frustrating. We want to tell them how important adoption is over and over again. It can be easy to get upset when humans don’t see your point of view, but we’ve realized that shaming someone else won’t help them see your point of view. So, there’s a better way to discuss dog adoption.
Why Shouldn’t You Shame People for Buying Dogs?
If someone has purchased a puppy from a breeder or a pet store, then they already have the dog. No matter how much you tell them that adopting is better than shopping won’t matter to them at that point. After all, they’re not going to return their new puppy. What good would that even do?
You should only encourage dog adoption if a person is in the process of finding a dog. You can try to steer them toward adoption before they’ve made a final decision. But once they bring a dog home, that dog is part of their family. They might later learn that adopting a dog is the better option, but that won’t change where they got their dog from.
So, if someone says they purchased their dog, please don’t be rude to them. Please don’t shame them. Odds are, they’ve heard it before. Many people who have bought dogs in the past regret not adopting later on. So, shaming them for their past decisions will only make them feel worse.
You never know what’s going on in someone else’s head, so as important as adoption is, you need to present it in a kind, welcoming manner, not a judgmental one.
How to Educate Them Instead
The best way to educate someone about dog adoption is to simply tell them about it. Don’t give them snarky comments about how they should’ve gone to a shelter first because that will only upset them. No one wants to learn from someone that they’re angry with.
I’ve noticed that a great way to spread the word is to tell stories about your own experiences with rescue dogs. Tell them about the day you adopted your dog and how that experience could’ve saved your dog’s life. Then, if they have any questions about rescue dogs, you can have a mature conversation with them about it. There’s no need to point fingers and blame others. Most people don’t adopt because they just don’t know the severity of the situation.
Most humans will ask things like, ‘what if I want a specific breed?’ or ‘don’t rescue dogs have behavioral problems?’ These questions might come off as rude, but many people have just heard rumors their whole lives. This is your chance to show them that rescue dogs are no different than other dogs. They’re just in more desperate need of a home.
You can’t change a person’s past actions, but you can prevent them from making mistakes in the future. If you talk to them and listen to their opinions, you can help open their eyes to the importance of rescue. Then, hopefully, they will choose to adopt their next dog.
Even if they aren’t getting another dog anytime soon, there are still ways that they can help dogs. Donating, volunteering, and fostering are all great ways to help if you’re not in a place to adopt a new dog just yet. And, of course, spreading the word is always the best and easiest way to get more people to adopt.
Not every human will have the same opinions and experiences as you, and that’s okay! Instead of arguing with them about where they got their dog, please be kind to them. It’s easier to convince humans to adopt instead of shop if you’re friendly and educational with them rather than rude and judgmental. This mentality goes for all types of conversations, not just about dogs. So, please be kind to other humans. You know your dogs would be.
There are lots of ways to find adoptable dogs near you, but it can take a while to come across the right rescue pup. Luckily, I recently stumbled across an amazing website that helps you find your dog the right way.
How I Met My Dog is a site like PetFinder, but it helps you find the perfect dog based on personality, not looks. I think it’s a resource that all new dog parents should utilize.
What is How I Met My Dog?
How I Met My Dog was created by a woman named Mary Ann Zeman who really wanted a Dachshund twenty years ago. She couldn’t find one at a rescue right away, so she turned to a breeder. She adored how lively, brave, and cute the breed was. Or, so she thought.
She ended up buying two Dachshund puppies from the same litter: George and Gracie. George was exactly what you’d expect from a Dachshund, but Gracie was more shy and reserved. She often cowered in fear, and Zeman quickly realized that Gracie might’ve been better off in a different household. But she had grown attached to the pup, so it was too late.
This helped Zeman realized that every dog is unique. A breed is just a generalization of a dog’s personality, but two dogs of the same breed could be complete opposites. From there, she came up with the idea for How I Met My Dog, which matches you with rescue dogs based on personalities, not breeds or appearances.
How Does it Work?
When you search for a dog on this site, it will ask you a series of questions first to help you find your best match. These questions are related to your lifestyle and desired dog behaviors as opposed to what breed your ideal dog is. Then, it will show you matches nearby that would be great for your home.
At that point, you can narrow it down based on size since some sizes work better in different households. However, you still can’t discriminate against breed. This site encourages you to love the dog for who they are and not who you expect them to be.
So, if you’re looking for a new furry family member soon, please check out How I Met My Dog. And please encourage others to use it too. Dogs are so much more than just a cute face. We have amazing personalities that the world needs to see!
Having your dog wear a collar seems like the norm. Most dogs wear collars to hold their identification tags in case they get lost. Many dog parents also use these collars for walking their dogs too. This might seem convenient, but did you know that harnesses are actually the safer choice?
Harnesses vs. Collars
Collars are usually cheap and easy to find. The sizing for them is easy because it just goes around your dog’s neck. Collars are great for holding identification tags, dog licenses, and whatever else you want your dog to have on them at all times. But Molly strongly believes that collars shouldn’t be used for much else beyond that.
The reason is that collars are a choking hazard. If you’re walking your dog with the leash attached to the collar, you could accidentally choke your dog every time they run, pull, or get wrapped around an object. Even well-behaved dogs could get hurt. Plus, it’s much harder to control your dog when they’re only wearing a collar.
Harnesses are much more complex than collars, but there’s a good reason for it. Harnesses strap around your dog’s body, so if they pull, they won’t hurt themselves. Harnesses can also keep dog safer when clipped into an object like a car seat or a stroller. They might be harder to put on and adjust, but they keep your dog more secure when you’re out and about.
Why Harnesses are Better
Harnesses are safer, more secure, and easier for training. All this together makes them superior to collars. I believe that you should have a collar on your dog for identification purposes, but you should never put any pressure on their collar. Otherwise, your dog could have a hard time breathing. So, use a harness instead while walking to keep your dog healthy.
Also, harnesses can help you better control your dog in busier areas. This can help them stay away from unfamiliar people and animals, and it can help you teach them to listen better. No matter how well-trained your dog is, problems can always arise. So, it’s best to have control over them just in case they tug on the leash or get into trouble.
How to Choose the Perfect Harness
The reason most dog parents avoid harnesses is because they’re difficult to find sizes for. You’ll need to measure your dog in at least two different spots ensure that you get the right size. Then, they might have some complicated straps and adjustments to put them on.
So, the easiest way to find the right size is to bring your dog to the pet supply store with you. That way, your dog can try on harnesses to make sure they’re a comfortable fit. If you’re buying it online, you’ll just have to measure your dog carefully then. Read online reviews too to see what sizes similar dogs used.
If your dog usually pulls a lot on walks, you can get a no pull harness, which can hold them back easier. However, if your dog is more relaxed while walking, you can get a thin, comfortable harness for your pup. There’s not just one universal harness. Choosing a harness all depends on your dog’s size, shape, and activity level.
If your dog currently walks with a collar, please consider switching to a harness. It will be safer for you and everyone nearby.
Right before I go to sleep, I tend to lick myself a lot. For a while, I’m sure it bothered Molly since I sleep right next to her, but now, I’m sure she’s used to it. Sometimes I lick my paws, my legs, or even my butt, and I know many dogs are the same way. So, is there a specific reason for this?
Normal Licking at Night
Some dogs lick themselves when they’re bored. So, if your dog isn’t ready for bed, they might lick themselves as a way to pass the time. A lot of the time, this is why I do it. When I’m bored, I also tend to lick people or furniture too. Sadly, I’m not allowed to lick our new couch though.
However, I recently saw on Rover’s blog that some dogs lick before bed due to instinct. As puppies, dogs get licked by their moms, often before they sleep. When your dog licks, it could be related to their memories of their mom. It could also just mean that they’re trying to clean themselves like their mom used to clean them.
If the licking is just occasional and in different areas of their body, then there’s likely not a cause for concern. Yet, if your dog’s licking increases, that’s a different story.
When to be Concerned
Excessive licking could be a sign that your dog is in pain. If a certain area of your dog’s body hurts, then they may repeatedly lick it to try and soothe the area. If they start licking more than usual, then you should pay attention to what area they’re focusing on.
Parasites and infected anal glands are the most common reasons for increased licking. Bugs like fleas are more active at night, so you should check your dog for critters before bed to ensure that they’re safe. If you can’t find the reason for licking, then you should visit your vet if it doesn’t go away. They can help you get to the bottom of it.
Allergies are also a common cause for licking, so if your dog only licks at night time, then they might be allergic to the detergent used on the sheets or something else in your bedroom. If that’s the case, try to find the allergen and eliminate it.
Should You Try to Prevent Licking?
If the licking is occasional and just part your dog’s regular routine, then there’s no need to prevent it unless it bothers you. As I mentioned before, licking is often a sign of boredom, so make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before bed. That way, they’ll be tired enough to sleep right away.
However, if the licking is unusual, then you should seek help as soon as you can. Excessive licking is often the sign of an early medical problem, so it’s important to catch it before those symptoms worsen. Remember, dogs can’t talk to humans, so it’s up to you to recognize our behaviors and help us as needed.
Hearts and Bones Rescue is a foster-based organization that has dogs in both Texas and New York. In those locations, they have a network of foster parents and other volunteers to help the dogs in their care find forever homes.
By keeping all the dogs in home environments instead of at shelters, the dogs will feel more comfortable and be more prepared when their forever family comes for them. Their goal is to give every rescue dog the life they truly deserve.
We first heard about this rescue when we came across some news stories about them. The rescue had gained some popularity because they were naming their rescue dogs after real-life heroes amid the coronavirus. Community members could nominate healthcare workers for the incoming rescue dog names.
If a dog at their rescue is named after a hero, they add a little information about that hero in the dog’s bio. I was so interested by this because it’s such a heartwarming and unique way to recognize the amazing people out there. The COVID-19 pandemic is a difficult time for everyone, so it’s important to honor medical workers in any way possible.
From what I can tell, this rescue is a group of truly incredible humans. They want to make a difference for every dog in need, and they won’t rest until every dog finds their forever home. It’s a difficult task, but as long as we keep caring, we can get it done.
Like all rescues and shelters, this organization needs all the help they can get! Please consider donating to help the dogs in their care. Even small donations can make a huge difference.
Do you know of a shelter or rescue that goes above and beyond to save dogs? Do you have a dog with an incredible rescue story? If you answered yes to either of those questions, please contact me to get a special article featured on my blog. Let’s encourage more dog lovers to adopt!
Some dogs are much more fearful than others. For example, Taco whines and cowers over smallest things in life while I don’t let little things scare me. That’s just because every dog is unique, just like humans are. But did you know that the clothes you wear can actually scare your dog? Here are some common clothing items that can worry your dog.
Hats and Sunglasses
For some dogs, anyone with a hat or sunglasses on shouldn’t be trusted. Why? Well, there’s lots of reasons for this. For some dogs, these clothing items just seem scary and unfamiliar. For others, they mask the person’s identity, so your dog might not even recognize their humans at first. The same could be true for humans wearing masks during the coronavirus.
This isn’t necessarily a common fear, but some dogs get confused by long-sleeved shirts. If your dog is used to you dressing in short sleeves during the summer, then they might become confused when you suddenly change your wardrobe for the winter. Some dogs might even think your sleeves are chew toys! Taco used to always chew on Molly’s sleeves when we lived in Florida because he was confused.
Most of the time, dogs don’t care what your clothes look like. We don’t have any type of fashion sense. However, we can recognize certain patterns and relate them to things in nature. In the wild, animals with stripes are often dangerous. Stripes can be a warning sign that an animal is about to bite, sting, or spray something stinky. So, some dogs might act unusual if you’re wearing stripes.
Some dogs are much more anxious than others. So, if you have a skittish dog like Taco, then they might get scared every time they see change. So, if you drastically change your style or if you dress up in a Halloween costume, your dog might act negatively. All dogs behave differently, so there’s no guarantee as to how your dog will react to your outfits.
So, if you dog acts weird out of the blue, then you might want to check what you’re wearing. If your outfit is different than usual, you might be confusing your dog without knowing it. If you have an anxious pup, it might be better to slowly introduce them to new outfits before wearing them. That way, you won’t startle them too much.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I love camping! When Molly was in high school, we went camping with her family a lot. And now that we’re back in Wisconsin, we’ve started going again. Camping is exciting for any dog because of all the amazing smells and sounds. However, it can also be overwhelming for a dog who has never been before.
The campground I go to is on private land that Molly’s grandpa owns. So, we only camp around humans and dogs that we already know. This makes it much safer and more fun for me and the other dogs. Yet, I know that not all families can do this. So, how do you prepare to bring your dog on a camping trip?
Supplies to Prepare
Camping is like an outdoor vacation in a way, so you need to bring all the essentials. Whether you use a tent, cabin, or camper is up to you, but always make sure your dog has a comfortable place to sleep.
I sleep in a tent while I’m camping. It’s very comfortable, but I can easily hear the sounds outside while I sleep. This can be distracting at times, and I’m guilty of waking Molly up with my random barking. So, it’s definitely an adjustment for any dog.
Here are some supplies you should gather:
Dog Bed – Even if your dog curls up next to you at night, you should still bring their dog bed with you. This will give them something familiar to lay on at night and in the car. It should smell like home to them, which will make them more comfortable.
Leashes – All campgrounds have different rules when it comes to dogs, but even if they can be off-leash, you should still carry a leash with you just in case. You never know when your dog might get into trouble. A great purchase is a longer outdoor leash to allow your dog to have more space to move while tied up.
Dog Food – You don’t have to bring the entire bag of dog food, but at least make sure you bring a little extra just in case. I’ve had other dogs eat my food before and sometimes I’ve stayed longer than expected, so it’s always better to have more food rather than not enough. Also, make sure a water bowl is always available for your dog.
Treats – All dogs should get treats while camping. Even if they’re usually well-trained and well-behaved, they might act out in this unfamiliar setting. Use treats to help train them on how to behave at the campground and to reassure them that they’re doing a good job.
Toys – Camping isn’t just about you. Your dog should have fun things to keep them entertained too. If you bring toys along, it’s a good idea to make sure they won’t get dirty easily. Waterproof toys are perfect for dogs that love to jump in the water. So, try to choose a weather resistant toy instead of a plush one.
Flea and Tick Preventatives – Your dog should always use a flea and tick preventative during warm months, but it’s especially important during camping trips. If you don’t use an edible or topical preventative, you can try a flea and tick collar for the time being. But remember, your dog should be protected all summer, not just during outdoor adventures.
ID Tags and Microchip – Dogs often get lost when they visit unfamiliar places, so you should do everything you can to make sure they get home safely if they wander off. Make sure they wear identification tags with your number on them at all times. Also, they should have a microchip with your updated information in case your pup loses their collar somehow.
Fan – This is optional, but if you’re sleeping in a tent, then you might want a fan to drown out the background noises a bit. Taco and I love to bark at every bird chirping and leave rustling. However, when a fan is on, we can’t hear those little noises as easily.
Of course, these are just a few basic suggestions. Every dog has different needs, so you should create your packing list based on what your dog needs on a regular basis. Some other items you should probably get are life jackets for the water and seat belts for the car ride.
What to Expect
At first, your dog might be very confused and curious about camping. They’ll likely want to take in all the smells and explore as much as they can. This adventurous spirit could cause them to wander off without meaning to, so it’s a good idea to keep your dog leashed until they at least start to feel familiar with the space. For some dogs, this might take much longer than others.
You’ll want to work on training while at the campground. If you plan to take them off their leash, you’ll need to teach them where the boundaries are. Also, practice basic commands to make sure your dog will still listen even with distractions around.
If there are other dogs at the campsite, then make sure you’re careful. Not all dogs like to play, so don’t let your dog run up to unfamiliar dogs without permission. Even if your dog is friendly, there’s a chance that another dog might not like strange dogs. So, it’s safer for everyone if you control your dog regardless of how they feel about other dogs.
Before you go to sleep at night, make sure your dog spends some time in the tent, camper, cabin, or wherever they will be sleeping. After Molly sets up the tent, she usually sits inside it with me so I can feel comfortable in it. If your dog becomes familiar with where they’ll sleep, then they should be less restless at night.
The more you camp with your dog, the better behaved they should be. Camping is a new experience for them, so it will take some time for them to get the hang of it. Be patient with your dog and give them plenty of time to take in the new smells.
Finding a Campground
Molly and I have never had to search for a campground before because we always go to our family’s campsite. However, we understand that finding the perfect campsite can be tricky. Most campsites will allow dogs since it’s outdoor, but some might have more rules and restrictions than others. Make sure you do your research before just showing up.
I’ve heard that BringFido is a great resource for finding dog-friendly campsites. BringFido is a website that shows you all the fun places that you can go with your dog. So, if you’re not familiar with the campgrounds in your area, then I would recommend searching for dog-friendly places on this site.
Once Molly wrote an article about a campsite called 4 Paws Kingdom, which is made specifically for dogs. It has 8 dog parks, an agility course, a swimming pond, a dog bathhouse, and special events like dog campfire songs. It’s in North Carolina, and I think every dog should visit it at some point in their life (I still have to check it off my bucket list!).
I hope this information helped you on your future camping trips. Camping is the best type of vacation to bring your dog on because it’s all outdoors. I go camping often, so if you have any questions about camping with your dog, feel free to leave a comment!
North Shore Animal League in New York is known as the world’s largest no-kill rescue. They work with over 2,000 different shelters around the world to make sure as many dogs find homes as possible. Their mission is: “Rescue. Nurture. Adopt. Educate.”
This organization has been around since 1994, and they have spent every day since then saving animals in need. They have saved over 1,000,000 animals so far!
Not only is North Shore doing their part to save as many animals as possible, but they’re also spreading the word. They are a leader in the no-kill movement, so they want the world to know about the importance of rescuing dogs, just like I do.
They take in as many animals in need as possible, and they give them the medical attention they deserve. Every year, they perform vet exams on about 85,000 animals to ensure that every dog is as healthy as can be.
Once a dog is healthy, they try to find the perfect home for them. Specifically, they make sure the dog finds a responsible, loving forever family. Each year, they find homes for about 18,000 animals! They also help with adoptions for many of their partnership organizations.
They even have a curriculum to educate others about the importance of what they do. They’ve visited thousands of different schools, libraries, and other locations to spread the word. So far, they’ve reached about 3 million people with this curriculum.
Are you looking for a furry friend near New York? Check out their adoptable animals to see if your future family member is there! Even if you can’t adopt at the moment, please consider donating. Every donation matters!
Also, if you purchase the song “Rescue Dog” by Train, a portion of these proceeds are also donated to this shelter!
Do you have a rescue dog of your own? If so, please contact me to get a story about them featured on my blog! Let’s encourage more dog lovers to adopt!
Sadly, there are a lot of dogs at shelters. Too many people are buying puppies and not enough people are adopting. In many cases, the breeds of these dogs are somewhat random, and they’re all surrendered for different reasons. However, there seems to be a few breeds that are much easier to find at shelters than others.
Dog Breeds Commonly Found in Shelters
It’s heartbreaking to think that some breeds are abandoned more than others, especially when humans continue to surrender these breeds without thinking twice.
Of course, every shelter and rescue has different dogs. Different locations also have different dogs in their care, but overall, these ten dog breeds are often found in shelters more than others:
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier
Why are These Dogs Often Looking for Homes?
There isn’t just one explanation for this. However, I can make some educated guesses. First of all, these breeds usually shed at least a little bit. I know it might seem like an insignificant thing to some, but many people find low shedding dogs like me more desirable. That’s why you’ll see dogs like Shih Tzus or Poodles get adopted much faster.
For some of these breeds, like the American Pit Bull Terrier and the German Shepherd, they get overlooked because of their reputations. Sadly, there are so many rumors about some breeds, which makes it harder for them to find homes. Oftentimes, these breeds are just as lovable as any other breed, but humans don’t give them a chance because of ridiculous stereotypes.
Then, for other breeds like the Labrador Retriever and Chihuahua, it could be due to popularity. Labs are one of the most popular breeds out there, yet they’re still up for adoption a lot. This is because their high demand causes humans to breed them more, which only adds to the dog overpopulation problem.
Sadly, less desirable coat colors, such as black instead of gold, causes dogs like Labs to get overlooked too. Also, many humans lose interest in their older dogs, which is unfortunately why senior Chihuahuas are often at shelters.
For other popular breeds like the Boxer and Jack Russell Terrier, it could be because the dogs weren’t what the families were expecting. Both of these breeds are usually lovable, but they have A LOT of energy. Some people choose a dog based on looks, but then when the dog misbehaves or acts too crazy, they turn their backs on them. The fact that anyone would treat a dog that way is horrifying!
Dogs are Lifelong Family Members
All of the above reasons are terrible reasons for giving up a dog. Yet, they’re still a reality. Many humans overlook dogs or give up on their dogs simply because things didn’t go as planned. However, this is never okay, and the breed of those dogs shouldn’t matter.
When you bring a new dog home, you’re bringing home a lifelong family member. That dog will be with you through every up and down in life, and nothing should be able to change that. So, if you’re not ready for that type of commitment, then you’re not ready to be a dog parent.
Yes, these breeds are commonly found in shelters, but they’re not the only ones. All dogs can be rescues, so please adopt, don’t shop. All dogs deserve love, so it’s important to take your time when choosing the perfect family member.