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5 Reasons To Adopt A Dog You Simply Can’t Refuse

Dog lovers know how deeply rewarding it is to open our hearts to a canine friend. But if you’re on the fence about becoming a dog parent, or someone else in your life is, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five reasons to adopt a dog that you simply can’t refuse.

Reasons to adopt a dog

1. Dogs provide companionship

One of the best reasons to adopt a dog is that they provide companionship unlike any other animal. Dogs are loyal companions that give us so much love. Ask any dog owner, and they’ll tell you how wonderfully compassionate these animals are. They enjoy the company of humans and most will do whatever they can to please their owner–especially if there are treats involved!

2. Dogs make great exercise partners

Having a dog around encourages you to get moving, be more active, and incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. Dogs have a way of getting us off the couch for a game of fetch or for the highly-anticipated evening walk. Much like a personal trainer, they won’t let you skip a day, either! Daily exercise is important for every dog, and can help you stay in good health, too.

3. Dogs reduce stress

One of the lesser known reasons to adopt a dog is that dogs can provide us with wonderful psychic benefits that improve our health. Having a pet in the home can actually help lower high blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and significantly boost your mood. There’s something undeniably comforting about having a furry best friend to come home to after a long day!

4. Dogs can protect the home

If safety is among your reasons to adopt a dog, you may want to look into adopting a breed like German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or Doberman Pinscher. They are natural protectors and can help guard the home. With proper training and a strong, confident owner, guard dogs can alert a person or family of danger, intruders, or an attacker. These dogs are often revered for their intelligence, loyalty, and territorial instincts, but they also know when it’s time to show affection and shower you with kisses.

5. You can save a life

One of the most profound reasons to adopt a dog is that you can help a pet in need. With so many homeless and abused pets sitting in shelters or looking for homes through Get Your Pet, it’s likely that adopting one will save their life.

 

Don’t need any more reasons to adopt a dog? Start browsing adoptable pets near you with Get Your Pet.

Socializing Your Dog With Children is a Must

Adopting a dog when you have kids in the home is a big step. Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an older dog, you should always assume there will be a need for some training or socializing. Here are some tips for socializing your dog with children.

Socializing Dogs With Children

Create a safe environment

Part of socializing your dog with children means making sure all parties have a safe and calm environment. Start by prepping your home to accommodate your furry, new, family member! We have tons of tips on puppy-proofing your home and making sure it’s the ideal setting for introductions and socializing.

Educate your children

Adopting a new pet into the home often means a transition for the whole family. Make the transition easier on everyone by having a conversation with your kids before bringing home your new pet. Discuss any responsibilities your children may have and teach them how to respect animals. Kids should learn about the right way to approach a new dog and how to behave around a new dog.

Socializing your dog with children

Training your dog to be kid-friendly is a must for any pet owner, whether you have kids or not. A good rule of thumb is to always work on socializing your dog with children when everyone is in a good mood. Don’t attempt to force a meeting with cranky, tired kids or dogs. Let the kids know that a dog’s crate is their safe place, and that they should let the dog retreat to their crate when they need space. Overall, it’s important to keep the experience a positive one, and to allow the dog the come to the children when the dog is ready.

Always supervise

Small dogs and toy breeds are good companions for kids, but they can easily get hurt during playtime. Conversely, larger dogs are sturdy and can handle rougher playtime, but they can unintentionally hurt a child. A prime rule for socializing your dog with children is: always supervise children during playtime and never let your child pick up a small dog without your permission or supervision. Even the most gentle dogs can become stressed or scared by loud noises, sudden movements, or the occasional temper tantrum! Need help deciding what size dog may be good for your family? Read up on some general information here.

Take things slow

It’s important to go slow when socializing your dog with children. Even if the dog you will be adopting has lived with kids in the past, you should still make introductions slowly. The best way to socialize a dog with kids is to start early. When adopting a puppy, you can begin by training them to not jump up and to learn basic commands. This will set them up for a lifetime of good behavior.

If you want to adopt a pet, visit Getyourpet.com to adopt a dog or cat near you.

Every Dog Day: Get Your Pet’s Own National Holiday

Every Dog Day

What is Every Dog Day?

Celebrated on November 15, Every Dog Day is a chance to proclaim that every type of dog deserves love equally. Every Dog Day looks past breed, declining to single out any one of them as though it needed to be defended. It’s an opportunity to celebrate dogs for who they are, rather than what they are.

Why did we create Every Dog Day?

Get Your Pet has always participated in celebrating days like National Pit Bull Awareness Day. These holidays aim to bring awareness to the stigmas surrounding certain dogs. But, in calling them out, we may be unintentionally perpetuating the idea that they are “different”.  Initiating this holiday is one way we can advocate for all dogs equally.

How is Every Dog Day different from other national holidays?

Holidays honoring our pets seem to be popping up all the time. National Mutt Day, for example, focuses on celebrating dogs of multiple, mixed, or unknown breeds.  National Dog Day is a more broad celebration of our dogs as pets and family members in general. Every Dog Day, on the other hand, has a message: that stereotyping dog breeds is mistaken.  Dogs of all types have so much love to give. They all deserve our love and protection – mutts, purebreds, large and small dogs alike. This holiday encourages us all to look beyond breed and discover what makes every dog special.

Why November 15?

We intentionally chose a date shortly after National Pit Bull Awareness Day, observed in late October.  Get Your Pet encourages the pet-loving community to join the conversation and help end breed discrimination.

How can I celebrate Every Dog Day?

Get Your Pet is inviting everyone to celebrate Every Dog Day by entering our contest. Share a photo of your dog on social media and tell the world why they’re the best. The contest, held annually from Nov. 1-7, gives entrants a chance to win a $250 gift card from Pet Valu (redeemable in stores or online). And two runners-up will each receive a gift box courtesy of Pupjoy. For more information about the Every Dog Day contest and how to enter, visit EveryDogDay.com.

 

To adopt a dog or cat, visit getyourpet.com to start browsing adoptable pets near you.

English Bulldogs: All About the Breed

Bulldogs are America’s sweethearts. That’s why it’s hard to believe that years ago their ancestors were bred for bull-baiting, or dog fighting. Today, however, the Bulldog is a docile, dependable companion dog. Learn all about English Bulldogs to see if they are right for you.

English Bulldogs

Types of Bulldog Breeds

Rather than pertaining to a specific breed, the term Bulldog is actually a classification referring to many dog breeds. The American Bulldog, English Bulldog (sometimes referred to as British Bulldog), French Bulldog, and Boxer, for example, all fall under this heading. Still, people most commonly use the term Bulldog as a general label for the English Bulldog (pictured above). For the purposes of this article, we’ll only be talking about the English Bulldog.

English Bulldog Personality

English Bulldogs are fun-loving, courageous, and dependable dogs. They are low-maintenance, easy-going dogs who love to be around people. They are happiest when relaxing alongside their human, cuddling on the couch, or being petted. Despite their easy-going nature, they can also be a bit stubborn and may need a little coaxing to do something they don’t want to do!

Why Are English Bulldogs a Popular Mascot?

You may have noticed that many schools, military institutions, and sports teams use the English Bulldog as their mascot. This is because the Bulldog is tenacious and tough–two very commendable qualities! Most notably, they are the official mascot of the United States Marine Corps. The first mascot of the US Marine Corps was an English Bulldog named ‘Pvt Jiggs’ who lived on a base in Virginia. Pvt Jiggs quickly rose in the ranks, and has paved the way for a series of Bulldogs to hold the title.

Common Health Issues

Unfortunately, English Bulldogs are prone to developing certain health issues due to their build. Because of their short, compact bodies, they are more likely than other breeds to develop joint and weight issues. Although they don’t require much exercise, it’s important to keep your English Bulldog active by taking daily walks. This will help to combat obesity and reduce the their risk of developing joint pain.

Do English Bulldogs Make Good Family Pets?

English Bulldogs are a popular family pet for many reasons. They get along great with children and make gentle lifelong companions. Even if they don’t spend much time playing, they are usually happy to watch from the sidelines!

 

Interested in adopting a dog or cat? Visit getyourpet.com to start searching pets for adoption near you.

Meeting a New Cat For the First Time

Whether you’re adopting a cat and are meeting them for the first time, or you’re meeting a friend’s or family member’s cat, you want to start off on the right foot. Follow these tips for meeting a new cat for the first time.

meeting a new cat

Ask about the cat’s preferences

If you’re meeting a cat through Get Your Pet,  you’ve probably already discussed them with their Guardian. Before meeting a new cat, you should have an idea of whether or not they like to be petted, and where. Not all cats like you to stroke their backs, but some cats love it! The best way to learn about a new cat is to ask someone who knows what they like.

Let them come to you

As tempting as it is, you should never immediately hold out your arm to a cat’s face when first meeting. They may perceive this as a threatening gesture. Instead, allow the cat to come to you, at their own pace. Approach them in a way that doesn’t startle or alarm them. Small, slow movements work best when meeting a new cat.

Learn cat body language

Meeting a new cat is the perfect opportunity to test your knowledge of cat body language! Do you know how to recognize when a cat is scared, nervous, or asking for affection? Look for a curved, upright tail and relaxed body language, or a tummy in the air as an invitation for cuddles. A wiggling body and wide eyes, on the other hand, means they’re about to pounce. Brush up on your cat communication skills so you can always know what cats are telling you.

Make them feel comfortable

If you know a cat loves shiny, sparkly things, then it only makes sense to spoil them with those things. Surround them with things you know they love, or offer to play with them using their favorite toy. Get them out of their shell by using a familiar toy or game and by appealing to what they like.

Give them time

It’s normal for cats to by shy around new people. Meeting a new cat is a learning experience for both parties. It’s important to give the cat time to get comfortable around you. Cats are curious creatures by nature, and will usually approach new people once they’ve had a chance to watch from afar.

If you’d like to adopt a cat, start browsing adoptable pets now with Get Your Pet.

Dog Training Tips Every Adopter Should Know

Congratulations! You’re a dog parent. Before settling into a routine with your new pet, you need to set some ground rules. Whether you’re training a new puppy or just brushing up on basic commands with an older dog, dog training makes life with a pet better. Even if you plan on hiring a professional dog trainer, you should still have a handle on some basic dog training tips to help make the process go more smoothly.

dog training tips

1. Establish Rules Right Away

Establish what your dog is and is not allowed to do right off the bat to avoid any confusion. Before your dog even arrives home, set them up for success by determining the rules and having alternative solutions ready. For example, if don’t want them up on the bed at night, then set out a crate or doggy bed next to the bed to encourage them to sleep there. Learned behaviors are likely to become habits if you consistently enforce them.

2. Be Consistent

Puppy or dog training only works when you enforce the rules every time. To make sure you aren’t sending any mixed signals, everyone in the household should be on board with the rules. If one family member rewards your dog with belly rubs after they jump up in bed, that teaches the dog that rules can be broken. Instead, have all members of the home agree to stick to the rules to make training go more smoothly.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

One of the most basic dog training tips is to always reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior. Praise your dog with lots of pets, encouraging words, and treats when they do something good. When your dog engages in bad behavior, such as jumping up to greet you, turn away and ignore the behavior. Your dog will learn that to get your praise and affection, they must follow the rules.

4. Think Like A Dog

Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to make associations between an action and a consequence unless one occurs immediately after the other. That’s why addressing any bad behavior in a timely manner is one of the most important dog training tips. For example, if your dog jumps up on off-limits furniture, address the situation immediately by telling them to get down. Scolding them later will do no good because they will have already forgotten the incident and will not be able to make the connection.

5. Teach Commands “Come” and “Stay”

Not only can dog training help ensure a lifetime of good behavior, but it can keep your furry companion safe in the face of danger. “Come,” “sit,” and “stay” are usually the first commands we teach dogs, because they are useful in many situations. Teach your dog to obey these commands before going on to any other tricks. Here are some dog training tips for teaching these commands.

Want to adopt a dog or cat? Visit getyourpet.com to browse adoptable pets near you.

5 Ways to Honor Your Pet’s Memory

Anyone who has lost a pet knows how terribly painful it is. Preserving your pet’s memory can help ease that pain. So, in observance of National Pet Memorial Day, we’re suggesting  five ways to honor your pet’s memory.

ways to honor your pet's memory

Make a memorial

Just as we do when we commemorate people, we can find comfort in having a special time or place to remember our pets. Many find comfort by creating a designated place dedicated to remembering their pet. You can fill yours with pictures, memories, and other trinkets that remind you of your missing friend. Or, maybe all it takes for you to feel closer to them is for you to set aside time to visit their favorite park.

Start a scrapbook

You’ve taken a ton of pictures of your pet, and look fondly back on them to revisit old memories. So, why not turn those memories into a scrapbook? Creating a memorial scrapbook can be a good opportunity to find closure, peace, and comfort after losing a pet. It’s one of the most personal ways to honor your pet’s memory, because you can reflect on all the good times you shared while you are making it. Plus, you can take it out and page through it whenever you want to think of your pet and smile.

Donate

One of the best ways to honor your pet’s memory is to make a donation in their name. You can choose a cause that has a personal meaning to you or did to your pet. For example, if your pet suffered from an illness like heart disease, you can donate to an organization that researches treatment options. Or, donate to a local shelter or rescue organization. Either way, your donation will have a personal meaning and will help other pets and the people who care for them. Never donated before? Check out these helpful tips and recommended charities.

Volunteer

You don’t need to have money to make a difference in the lives of pets – just some free time. Volunteering is one of the most rewarding ways to honor your pet’s memory, because you directly and personally help pets in need. Call to see if your local shelter or rescue needs help caring for the animals. If you find it too difficult to work with the animals directly, you can offer to help out at the desk or answer phones. Whatever you decide, there’s always a need for animal welfare advocates, and your compassion will lift you up.

Adopt a pet

One of the most common ways we can overcome the loss of a pet is to adopt a pet. Adopting a new pet doesn’t mean you’re replacing your old friend. It simply means you’re ready to begin accepting the love and companionship of a pet back into your life. Adopting is one of the best ways to honor your pet’s memory because you may be saving another pet’s life. If that is your choice, start browsing adoptable pets near you at getyourpet.com.

Why Should We Spay and Neuter Our Pets?

We hear it all the time, but why exactly is it important to spay and neuter our pets?

spay and neuter

Reduce Pet Overpopulation

The primary reason we spay and neuter pets is to reduce the overall pet population. By reducing the number of accidental litters, we can decrease the number of homeless animals. According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million animals enter shelters each year. Many of them are stray animals, but many are puppies and kittens from unwanted or unexpected litters. The simplest way to reduce the number of abandoned pets entering shelters is to prevent our pets from reproducing.

Prevent Health Issues

Health considerations are among the most compelling of the many reasons to spay and neuter pets. For instance, one of the benefits of spaying or neutering is a longer lifespan. Also, unaltered pets have an instinctual need to roam in search of a mate.  This causes them to get into fights, struck by cars, or injured in some other way. Because fixed pets don’t have these urges, they often live longer. Spaying and neutering can also reduce a pet’s chances of developing health issues like reproductive system cancers, uterine cancer, and fatal uterine infections.

Deter “Bad” Behavior

Although spaying and neutering don’t necessarily change a cat or dog’s personality or habits, they can help forestall the development of certain undesirable behaviors later on. When we spay and neuter our pets at an early age, we can prevent them from spraying or marking territory around the house, mounting objects or people, and even barking. Of course, we need to use training and reinforcement to correct any learned or habitual behaviors.

When Should We Spay and Neuter?

If you do choose to spay or neuter your pet, we suggest you discuss the timing with your veterinarian. Traditionally, dogs are spayed and neutered when they’re six to nine months old; cats, when they’re as young as eight weeks. Many veterinarians choose to spay and neuter early in the pet’s life to prevent health issues down the road. Others believe that allowing a pet to grow and develop their musculature before spaying and neutering is the way to go. Talk to your veterinarian to decide what is best for your pet.

Looking to adopt a dog or cat? Get started browsing adoptable pets now at getyourpet.com.

 

German Shepherd Dogs: About the Breed

German Shepherd Dogs are among the most popular, and most distinctive, dog breeds in America. What makes them so special?

German Shepherd Dogs

Loyal Personality

German Shepherd Dogs are loyal, dependable, and intelligent dogs. They take pride in pleasing their owner and find joy in serving them. While not necessarily aggressive, German Shepherds are extremely protective of their loved ones and will not hesitate to take action when they judge it necessary. Because of this, German Shepherds make excellent watchdogs. They are usually reserved around strangers, but soon warm up to be lifelong, faithful companions.

Working Dogs

German Shepherd Dogs are happiest when they have a job to do. For centuries, the German Shepherd has been performing jobs in agriculture, law enforcement, and the military, and has even provided services for the disabled. Because they are herding dogs at heart, they can sometimes display their ancestral herding instincts by nipping or herding small children. Though this behavior is not intentionally harmful, you can correct it through proper socialization and training. Because of their strong desire to work, German Shepherds should not be alone for long periods of time. When bored, they may turn to more destructive behaviors to keep busy. Always make sure your German Shepherd gets plenty of exercise, and be sure to stimulate his brain during play time. They often even enjoy agility training or obedience competitions.

General Care

Caring for German Shepherd Dogs is easy if you know what to expect. First, German Shepherds shed year round. You can minimize shedding by brushing two to three times a week. German Shepherds have a clean, thick coat that helps protect them from the elements. Because of this, you don’t need to bathe them unless they are extremely dirty. They also love to chew, so good dental hygiene and tooth protection is important. You can provide your German Shepherd with plenty of safe chew toys to keep tooth tartar at bay. Here are some great guidelines for dog chew toys that are best (and worst) for your dog’s teeth.

Are German Shepherd Dogs the right breed for you?

If you live an active lifestyle, enjoy time outdoors, and are a confident dog parent, then the German Shepherd might be a good choice for you. A German Shepherd owner should be able to handle some barking, chewing, and lots of playtime! German Shepherds make great family pets, and they get along great with kids. However, people who spend a lot of time away from home might be better served by adopting a lower-maintenance breed.

Looking to adopt a dog or cat? Get started browsing adoptable pets near you with Get Your Pet.

Meeting a Dog For the First Time: Dos and Don’ts

Hooray! You found a dog on Get Your Pet that you’re interested in adopting. You’ve messaged their Guardian, introduced yourself, and asked all the right questions. They seem like a great fit. Now comes the fun part—meeting them! Here are some do’s and don’ts for meeting a dog for the first time.

meeting dog

Do: Let the dog approach you

When meeting a dog, it’s important to be calm and go slow. Your first instinct may be to run towards the dog with open arms, but not so fast! Approaching a dog in this way may startle them, and it can come off as intimidating. Instead, hold a natural stance, and allow the dog to come to you. You want to avoid coming across as fearful, however, as this can lead the dog to be defensive. Be careful, yet confident, when meeting a dog for the first time.

Do: Let the dog sniff you

Introducing yourself to a new dog is all about understanding the dog’s instincts. Dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell. They use scent to understand, and make decisions about, their environment. In just a few sniffs, a dog can get a feel for the gender, health, and even the history of another dog. When a dog sniffs a person, they can determine whether that person has a dog of their own, where in the neighborhood the person might live, and more. They can also pick up on a person’s unique scent to jog their memory as to whether and when they’ve met before! To let a dog sniff you, don’t extend your hand to their face. Instead, let the dog approach you and sniff your hand on their own terms.

Don’t: Pet him on the head

When first meeting a dog, always take care to respect their boundaries. Petting on the head can be threatening for a dog, especially when the person petting them is a complete stranger. Rather than reach for his head right away, start by petting them gently on their back or shoulders. Then, you can work your way towards their face if they are comfortable with it.

Do: Pay attention to body language

Just like humans, dogs communicate through body language. When it comes to decoding dog body language, we have a few tips. In general, things like a curved body, wagging tail, and excitedly circling around you is a good sign; it means they want to get to know you. Bowing down with front legs extended is a gesture that says “Play with me!”. Watch out for anything that could indicate an aggressive or threatening mood, like showing teeth or a stiff, erect tail. It’s also important to note that all dogs react differently to stress. Some may express discomfort or anxiety by licking their lips or yawning. This is considered normal behavior for a dog who is put in a stressful or unfamiliar situation.

Do: Use a calm, low voice when meeting a dog

It’s common for people to use “baby talk” when first meeting a dog but the correct way to approach a dog is to speak in your normal voice. Keep it calm and low. Using a higher pitched voice can signal weakness as well as stress out the dog. Establish your relationship right from the start by emanating confidence and respect for any new dog you meet.

 

Looking to adopt a dog? Start browsing adoptable pets near you on getyourpet.com.