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Pet Alzheimer’s Disease – Is Your Dog or Cat Showing Signs?

Story at-a-glance
  • As your pet ages, he can develop canine or feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is a degenerative brain disease similar to Alzheimer’s in humans. Studies show 40 percent of dogs at 15 have at least one symptom, as do 68 percent of geriatric dogs. About half of all cats 15 or older also show signs of cognitive decline.
  • Veterinary behaviorists are speaking out about the need for vets to monitor behavior in older pets just as they do other body systems. The earlier a cognitive problem is recognized, the earlier intervention can begin, giving pets more quality time with their families.
  • Cognitive dysfunction is not “normal aging.” Diagnosis of the disease is a diagnosis of exclusion, since many health conditions in older pets have symptoms that mimic those of cognitive decline.
  • A balanced, species-appropriate diet, exercise, mental stimulation and environmental enrichment are basic tools for pet owners who want to help their dog or cat stay mentally sharp.
  • There are also several supplements that can be beneficial for older pets, including SAMe, coconut oil, resveratrol, ginkgo biloba, and phosphatidylserine.

Aging Pet

By Dr. Becker

Unfortunately, just like people, dogs and cats also develop degenerative brain diseases known as canine or feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome. But unlike humans, often the signs a pet is in mental decline go unnoticed until the condition is so advanced there’s little that can be done to turn things around or at least slow the progression of the disease.

Often, even an animal’s veterinarian is unaware there’s a problem because he or she doesn’t see the pet that often and always in a clinical setting vs. at home. In addition, according to Dr. Jeff Nichol, a veterinary behavior specialist in Albuquerque, NM, many DVMs aren’t aware of just how common cognitive dysfunction syndrome is. Vets assume pet parents will tell them when an older dog or cat is experiencing behavior changes, while owners assume the changes are just a natural part of aging.

In a large Australian study published in 2011 on canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD),1 scientists at the University of Sydney reported that about 14 percent of dogs develop CCD, but less than 2 percent are diagnosed. In addition, the risk of CCD increases with age — over 40 percent of dogs at 15 will have at least one symptom. Researchers also estimate the prevalence of cognitive dysfunction in geriatric dogs at 68 percent.

In a study also published in 2011 on cognitive decline in cats,2 a researcher at the University of Edinburgh, Hospital for Small Animals estimated that a third of all cats between 11 and 14 years of age have age-related cognitive decline. That number increases to 50 percent for cats 15 years and older.

Are You Discussing Your Pet’s Behavior Changes with Your Vet?

Veterinary behaviorists are beginning to speak out about the need for vets to monitor behavior in older pets just as they do other body systems. According to Dr. Marsha Reich, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior:

“Just because he’s getting old doesn’t mean that we just stand on the sidelines and let him get old. There are things we can do to intervene and improve the dog’s ability to function and improve its quality of life.”

Dr. Gary Landsberg, a veterinary behaviorist in Ontario, Canada, agrees. "This is critical. Early recognition allows for early intervention,” he says.

One of the challenges for vets is that older pets often have multiple health conditions that must be managed, and behavior issues – when addressed at all — often take a back seat. This is especially true for DVMs who expect pet parents to make a separate appointment to discuss behavior changes they’ve noticed in their dog or cat. Typically by the time that happens, if it happens at all, it’s too late.

Animal behavior experts would like to see vet clinic staff give owners a behavioral questionnaire to complete before the dog or cat is taken to the examination room. (Questionnaires could even be emailed to pet owners a day or two before a scheduled appointment.) The vet can then quickly scan the questionnaire to see if there’s a need to discuss changes in an animal’s behavior with the owner.

The questionnaires, if done routinely, also provide a history both the vet and pet owner can refer to as the dog or cat ages.

At my practice, we have clients complete a “Catching Up” form every 6 months at their wellness exam, which covers any new behaviors that may have developed over the past months since their pet’s last exam.

Your Pet’s Mental Decline Has a Physical Cause

Cognitive dysfunction presents as a psychological problem, but the root cause is actually physical and is the result of age-related changes within the brain.

Dogs’ and cats’ brains age in a similar fashion and undergo oxidative damage, neuronal loss, atrophy and the development of beta-amyloid plaques. These ß-amyloid plaques are also seen in human Alzheimer’s sufferers.

According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, professor and program director of animal behavior at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, “normal aging” does exist. Some features of cognitive function do decrease with age, but cognitive dysfunction of the type seen in Alzheimer’s disease is not normal.

While canine dementia isn’t exactly the same disease as Alzheimer’s in people, the development of ß-amyloid plaques in pets results in confusion, memory loss, and other symptoms related to mental function. And the condition can come on and progress very rapidly.

Diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction in a pet is a diagnosis of exclusion. There are many conditions older animals acquire that mimic the signs of cognitive decline, so it’s important to rule out all other physical reasons for a change in behavior. For example, a small seizure can cause a pet to stand still and stare. If your pet seems detached, he could be in pain. Inappropriate elimination can be due to kidney disease. These disorders and many others can result in a change in behavior unrelated to cognitive decline. That’s why it’s so important to rule out all possible alternative reasons, especially in aging pets.

It’s also important for your vet to review any medications your dog or cat is taking. Older animals metabolize drugs differently than younger pets, and if a dog or cat has been on a certain medication for years, it’s possible it is having a different effect as he gets older.

And keep in mind your aging kitty may need a more accessible litter box, and an older dog may need more trips outside to relieve herself.

How to Help Your Aging Pet Stay Mentally Sharp

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your aging pet maintain good mental function for as long as possible, and delay the onset and progression of cognitive decline.

  • The foundation for good health and vitality for pets of any age is a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet. Your pet’s diet should include omega-3 essential fats, such as krill oil, which are critical for cognitive health. Your pet’s body needs an ideal energy source to promote the processes of metabolism, growth and healing. That perfect fuel — especially for aging pets — is a healthy variety of fresh, living food suitable for your carnivorous cat or dog.
  • Keep your pet’s body and mind active with regular exercise appropriate for your pet’s age and physical condition, and mental stimulation (puzzles and treat-release toys can be beneficial). Make sure your dog has opportunities to socialize with other pets and people. Think of creative ways to enrich your cat’s indoor environment.
  • Provide your pet with a SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) supplement as a safe and effective way to stall or improve mental decline. Consult your pet’s veterinarian for the right dose size for your dog or cat. There are also commercial cognitive support products available.
  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older pets. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support.
  • Other supplements to consider are resveratrol (Japanese knotweed), which protects against free radical damage and beta-amyloid deposits, ginkgo biloba, gotu kola and phosphatidylserine – a nutritional supplement that can inhibit age-related cognitive deficits. Consult a holistic veterinarian for dosing guidance.
  • Cats are often nocturnal throughout their lives, but older dogs can develop problems sleeping at night. They tend to sleep all day and stay awake all night, pacing, making noise, and feeling anxious and uncomfortable. Behaviorists recommend melatonin, which is not only a sedative with a calming effect, but also an antioxidant. I also use Rhodiola, chamomile and l-theanine in both cats and dogs with excellent results.
  • Keep your pet at a healthy size – overweight dogs and cats are at significant increased risk for disease as they age.
  • Maintain your pet’s dental health.
  • I recommend twice-yearly vet visits for pets no matter the age, but this becomes even more important for animals getting up in years. Keeping abreast of your dog’s or cat’s physical and mental changes as she ages is the best way to catch any disease process early. Ask your vet to perform a blood test to check your dog’s internal organ health to make sure you are identifying possible issues early on.

When your pet begins to respond to therapy designed to improve cognitive function, in the case of a dog, you can begin re-training him using the same techniques you used when he was a puppy – positive reinforcement behavior training involving lots of treats and praise.

Of course, none of these recommendations will be terribly helpful for a pet in the advanced stages of cognitive decline, which is why it’s so important to diagnose and begin treating the problem as early as possible.

Cognitive dysfunction is a progressive disease that can’t be cured, but early diagnosis and intervention can slow mental decline and offer your aging pet good quality of life.

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September 23, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pet Age

How Old is My Pet? Correctly Calculate Your Dog or Cat’s Age!

Most people think that calculating the age of dogs and cats in "human years" is quite simple: multiply their age by seven. For example, a 4-year-old dog or cat would actually be 28 years old in human years. But when you really begin weighing out the arithmetic, this method doesn’t add up. Say a 1-year-old dog is the equivalent of a 7-year-old human — get out of here! How many 7-year-old humans are sexually active and capable of reproducing? Dogs and cats are much more likely to have babies at 1 year old or even at 10 years old, than any person who is 7 or 70.

Many veterinarians now agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formulas for dogs and cats.

DOGS
Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered "senior" dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10  or older. 

But with all the vitamins, probiotics, stomach enzymes, better food (raw or home-cooked) or at least natural and organic pet foods that pets are now eating plus the fact that many live inside out of the elements and are pampered, pet age is increasing. So while many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formulas for dogs (and cats), the average is changing daily.

So, A Dog’s Life Can be Longer Than You Think…

Bella and her owner David Richardson

Pictured: Two of the oldest dogs on record – #1 Bramble at age 27 (Died at age 27, 211 days) and #2 Bella at age 26 (Died at age 29, 193 days)

Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method. (Use these as a guestimate and guide.  More and more pampered dogs are living an additional 3 to 5 years over the top averages, or even longer)

Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.) Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula.

Here is a chart, for easy reference:

clip_image002

A dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer. (Great Danes only live between 7 and 12 years.)

Wikipedia: List of Oldest (Known) Dogs

CATS
Now let’s take a glimpse at a simple formula for calculating feline age in human years. Assume that a 1-year-old cat is equal to a 15-year-old human and a 2-year-old cat is equal to a 24-year-old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old cat would be 32 in human years.)

The following chart shows this formula of calculation:

clip_image004

Check out this and more great stuff from PetsAdviser.com and WebVet.com:

lucy old cat

Pictured:  Lucy at age 39 (still alive)  -  Oldest Living Cat on Record

What’s her secret? It must be something in the Fancy Feast.

Lucy, from Llanelli, South Wales, is a proud Gen X’er – in her time, she’s lived through eight prime ministers, a handful of wars, and the rise of the technological generation. But the years take a toll, and at 39-years-old, Lucy’s gone deaf and probably has a bit of trouble getting up in the morning. But that’s all excusable when you consider Lucy is a feline.

The only other cat who comes close to her age was Creme Puff, a Texas cat who died at 38 years and three days.

And when you see 29-year-old dogs and 39-year-old cats, you realize that the charts are really only guestimates.

Related: Top 5 Ways to Improve Life for Your Senior Dog

How Long are Cats Supposed to Sleep?

The Truth About Cats’ Nine Lives

Dog TV: Programming for Your Pup

How to Safely Remove Fleas from Kittens

h/t to Gayle Hickman  -  Yahoo.com – h/t to MJ

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Your New Adult Dog

Your New “Adult” Dog


Prologue

There is very little material out there to help people who have adopted older, grown, “second-hand” dogs. Some shelters may have handouts for their clients. Carol Lea Benjamin has written Second Hand Dogs (see below), which is the only book published to treat the topic extensively (and even then it is a relatively small book). Other books that are of use are: Job Michael Evans’ People, Pooches, and Problems, which will help you if you have some behavioral problems with your new dog. Another of his books, Evans’ Guide to Housetraining Dogs contains some sections on how to housetrain grown dogs. There are undoubtedly bits and pieces elsewhere in other books.


Why A Grown Dog? What About Bonding?

Many people feel that an older, grown dog is better for them. Older dogs don’t require as much attention as a growing puppy does. They are often easier to housetrain, if not already so trained. They are past their chewing stage, and have settled down from the usual adolescent boisterous behavior. Such a dog presents no surprises in its final size and appearance. It may already have the traits they want in a dog.

With an adult dog you have a much better idea of what you’re going to end up with. A puppy can have the genetic heritage to be aggressive, a fear-biter etc. and you will not know until the dog is older. It’s also very easy to make mistakes raising a puppy. With an older dog, the mistakes have already been made and it’s generally not too hard to tell which problems will be easily correctable.

So an older dog’s previous history is actually an asset, not a detriment. Quite often when a dog is put into a new situation, they are looking for leadership and will attach to you almost immediately. Even breeds known as “one-person” dogs will accept a new master rather easily. For example, observe the relationship between a blind person and a German Shepherd guide dog. These dogs have been through at least 3 homes before they’re matched with their blind people.

The research on bonding that is most often quoted (Clarence Pfaffenberger’s New Knowledge of Dog Behavior) is almost always misrepresented: i.e. the puppies in those studies were deprived of all human contact until they were older; the research had nothing to do with how well dogs that have bonded with some human or humans transferred those bonds later on.

An additional benifit to adopting an older dog is the truely wonderful feeling one gets when the dog comes out of its shell and bonds with you. The bond feels special, particularly when it is an older dog that no one wanted. The rescue and subsequent bond with that dog is strong, lasting, and special.

Older dogs are often not adopted from shelters because many people want puppies. It is wonderful when one can come in and offer a good life to the older dogs.


Where Do I Find One?

There are a good many places you can find a grown dog. Besides the obvious, like shelters, there are other sources. For example, breed rescue organizations have many suitable adult dogs. Breeders often have dogs that they have retired from the show circuit and are not breeding; they also have younger dogs that simply never fulfilled the potential that they showed as a puppy and thus cannot be shown or bred. Both are otherwise perfectly good dogs.

Sometimes people give up their dogs because of death or divorce or other personal upheaval. Perhaps the dog was intended for work, but was injured and rendered unfit. An adult dog in need of a home is not necessarily an abused dog with an unknown background.

Ask local veterinarians. They often know of dogs that need adoption.

Shelters

Shelters, of course, are a very obvious place to get adult dogs, but it can be hard to get an idea of the dog’s true behavior and potential. Some breeds, like Shelties, may absolutely shut down in a shelter and will appear to have behavior problems when they really don’t. Find out how much time and about the physical space your local shelter is prepared to give you for evaluating dogs–beware of shelters that won’t even let you take the dog out of the kennel run to see it! If the shelter will let you take the dog out on a lead and spend some time playing with it you can generally get a good idea of the dog’s potential. Count on spending some time working with the shelter staff to find the right dog for you.

Keep in mind that many dogs are at the shelter because their owners couldn’t or wouldn’t keep the committment they had made by getting the dog in the first place, not that the dog was at fault. Reasons include “not enough time for the dog,” “moving to another place,” “dogs not allowed where living,” “divorce,” and “not enough space.” Frequently dogs with behavior that the previous owners could not handle are fine in new homes. As long as you scrutinize your potential dog carefully and you are prepared for the work of owning a dog, you are not likely to wind up with a problem dog or a problem situation.

About 25% of the dogs at shelters are purebred! If you have a specific breed in mind, you can check your shelters regularly in case one comes in. Keep in mind that even if the dog arrives at the shelter with its papers, many shelters will withhold the papers since they don’t want to see people take such a dog and then breed it. You might get its pedigree without the registration, but even that’s uncertain. Many shelters will take down your name and the breed you are interested in and call you when one comes in.

If you don’t care about the breed, you can check your local shelters for a dog that you want. You should have some idea of what size and coat type you prefer before going in.

Breed rescue

You can contact a local breed rescue organization. These organizations will scout shelters for dogs of their breed, take them in, evaluate them, and put the adoptable ones up for placement. They can give you a good idea of the dog’s temperament and known background.

Most major breeds are represented in most major cities. You can always contact AKC for the address of the national breed club which you can in turn ask about local addresses.

Breeders

Or, you can contact local breeders and see if they have older dogs that they are trying to place. Sometimes a puppy that is kept as a show prospect does not fulfill it’s earlier promise and is subsequently placed. Sometimes a brood bitch or a stud dog is retired and the breeder looks for a suitable home for it. Some breeders do keep their older pets, but in many cases find that a loving home for it is in the dog’s best interests. Breeders too have dogs that are returned to them for any number of reasons: dog turns out to not be show-quality, people are moving and can’t keep the dog

Go to dog shows and ask around, or contact a breed club (note: for some clubs, referrals to “rescue” dogs are handled by one volunteer, whereas the puppy referral service also handles dogs that were returned to their breeder–so when contacting a breed club, make sure you’ve made contact with all the appropriate people).

Other places

Vets and kennels sometimes have abandoned dogs they are happy to place into good homes; call around.

People sometimes give away or sell dogs through the newspaper: ask carefully about why the dog is being given up. Many people are not very knowledgable about dog behavior and will not be aware of if problems are the result of heredity or the result of their own mishandling. There is an advantage here of being able to see how the dog was kept and get an idea of relationship between previous owner and the dog. Sometimes the family is moving, or has lost some income, or there have been deaths or other upheavals where the dog’s behavior is not an issue. Do make sure you don’t feel pressured into taking the dog just because the person wants you to take it.


How Do I Select A Suitable One?

Regardless of where you get your dog, you should make some effort to evaluate it before making your decision. Does it follow you? Watch you warily? What happens if you sit down next to it? How does it respond to a leash? A sudden noise or movement? What is known about its background? How does its health seem? Is it lame? Offer it a tidbit and see what its reaction is.

If this is a dog through a rescue organization, chances are that a foster family has been taking care of it in the interim. Ask them to tell you what they’ve learned about the dog. If you have children or other pets, ask them how it would react to them.

If you’re looking at an animal shelter, you should have the opportunity to interact with the dog in a fenced-in enclosure rather than simply staring at it through the bars of it’s kennel. Many dogs are extremely shy or upset in the kennel and it’s difficult to tell what they are like. Bring some tidbits and see how it does outside the kennel. Walk it around on a leash if you can.

If you are getting a dog from a breeder, then you should be able to find out about all its background. Do ask all the questions you have.

You can evaluate it’s temperament to some extent. Remember that the dog may be anxious or disoriented and thus not behave as it would normally.

In evaluating temperament,

  • Talk to it. What is it’s reaction? Does it look up at you? Ignore you? Cringe and move as far away from you as it can?
  • Stand up and move near it. How does it react to you? Does it come up and lick your hand? Crouch down with ears down, perhaps urinating? Back away? Back away with ears down and snarling?
  • Squat down, extend a hand and let it approach you (do not approach it). Does it come up (perhaps after some hesitation) and lick or sniff your hand? Does it move away?
  • If you have children, bring them along. How does the dog react to the sight of them? To them walking up to it? To them sitting down and waiting for the dog to approach?
  • If you want to know how it reacts to cats, ask for permission to walk the dog past the cat part of the shelter. You might be able to improvise something else if you’re not at a shelter: walking it around the neighborhood past some cats, for example.
  • Bring along a friend of the opposite sex with you to determine if the dog is averse to the other sex or not. Some dogs have specific fears of men, for example, so it’s best to check this out especially if this will be a family dog.
  • If you walk away from it, does it follow you? How does it react to various things when you take it on a walk?

Dogs that are obviously uncertain in their temperament (snarling and biting, etc.) are not generally up for adoption at shelters. Dogs that tend to whine or urinate or crouch down are generally submissive dogs (not a problem unless it’s severe or not what you want). Dogs that approach you, even cautiously, tend to be friendly. This is obviously just a rough indication of the dog’s temperament. Stay away from dogs that seem to be too fearful unless you feel you know enough about dealing with these dogs to help it overcome it’s fear. These dogs can turn into fear-biters.

Indications of friendliness: Ears relaxed or down. Tail level with body, moderate to fast rate of waving. Approaches and sniffs. Watches you but averts eyes if you look at it too long. Play bows (front legs lay down but back legs are still standing).

Indications of submissiveness: Ears down. Eyes constantly averted. Dribbles a little urine. Rolls over on back. Licks your chin or anything near. Tail tucked between legs.

Indications of fearfulness: Ears down, eyes averted, tail tucked, runs away from you. Shivers in corner [some breeds shiver anyway]. Cringes or yelps at sudden movements.

Indications of dominance/assertiveness: Ears erect or forward, tail up high and wagging stiffly [spitz type breeds can be difficult to ascertain between friendly wagging & assertive wagging]. Holds ground, stares at you. These are not necessarily bad things. If the dog eventually approaches you and is friendly, then it’s likely a reasonably self-confident, friendly dog. If it growls, then it’s probably more aggressive.

Indications of aggression: Growls at you with ears forward and a stiff-legged stance, tail still. Watchful and alert.

Indications of a fear-biter: Growls or snaps at you, ears are folded flat back, posture is crouching or submissive even though it is growling or snapping.

Some dogs appear totally disinterested. They don’t respond one way or another to you. These dogs may be sick. They might be overstimulated or exhausted. Or they might just be very independent dogs. Some dogs are more independent and less overtly affectionate than others.

Plan on making repeated trips to whatever agency/person has the dog for repeated evaluations. Let the dog dictate the speed at which you progress through these steps. For very shy dogs, it may take a full week of visits to progress to step three. If the agency/person that has the dog will not allow you to remove the dog from its current environment for an evaluation, look elsewhere for a potential dog. It is important to get the dog away from its current environment as it may be very shy and timid there, by association, but carefree and wonderful when alone with you, like on a walk. The only way to tell is to remove the dog from the environment. Stated another way, you should eliminate the current environment the dog is in from any potential problems you may see with the dog. You will be able to tell by comparing its reactions in the original environment and when it it outside of it.

The questions you ask during these steps are often a function of the environment in which the dog will be placed should you decide to adopt it. For example, if you have other dogs at home and the potential adoptee is housed with other dogs and seems to get along well with them, chances are better that you will be able to integrate the dog into your home, as opposed to a dog that is agressive towards other dogs.

Implicit in these steps is asking the agency/person that has the dog for all information they have about the dogs background. Just a stray they picked up? Was it an abused dog? How did it come to be where it is? All of these things give you more information that can be used to evaluate the dog’s personallity and suitability for adoption.

When you evaluate the dog during these steps, look for any physicaly ailments as well. Lameness, shortness of breath, lethargy, and so on. Above all during these steps, evaluate the dog and how the dog reacts to you. It is important for you to feel confident that this is a dog that you can nurture and spend time with and enjoy, and that it will enrich your life. Do not feel bad if you must reject a potential adoptee. This is part of the adoption process, and it is important for you both to get off on the right foot.

If you decide to adopt the dog, you should always take it directly to the vet before you even take it home. If there is something seriously wrong with the dog, you want to find out before you’ve had the dog long enough to form an attachment to it.


What If I Already Have Pets?

Select a dog that is, to the best of your knowledge, accustomed to other dogs (i.e., one that is socialized with other dogs). Also, pick the opposite sex dog than the one you currently have, if possible. Hopefully, you know your current dog well enough to know how well it gets along with other dogs. If it is a naturally submissive dog when around other dogs, it probably does not matter too much whether the adoptee tends toward submissive or dominant (but not too dominant).

However, if your current dog is a dominant dog, a dog that has been around you for a long time, or a male dog (generally speaking), your best bet is a dog that tends towards the submissive and is smaller than your current dog (like a small, quiet, female). Size is can be important as your established dog may feel threatened by a newcomer that is larger than he or she.

Introduce your established dog and the new addition in a neutral place, like a park or a home that is new to both animals. Both dogs should be on a leash. If your current dog is obediance trained, a down/stay is in order. Allow them to sniff one another and encourage play, discourage agression. Should your adoptee show agression, forcibly place the dog in a submissive posture and hold it there (as in an alpha roll). Then allow your established dog to come and sniff the new dog. What this does is diffuse a potentially violent situation by forcing the new dog to be submissive to your established dog. The new dog learns to trust the established dog by realizing that the established dog is not going to eat him, and your established dog learns that the new dog is submissive to him. This fosters trust amongst the two animals. This may not be necessary, but sometimes it is. By all means, if the dogs want to play, let them. In fact, encourage them, and don’t interfere unless you feel you must.

At home, the first thing you must do is establish a spot for each dog that is physically separated from each other. Kennels, crates, or even different rooms. Never, never, never feed the dogs together. always feed the dogs simultaneously in these physically seperated areas (if in different rooms, close the doors while the dogs eat). If you must free-feed, the dogs should be placed in their respective areas for the entire time each one’s food is down. Also use these areas for “time-outs” when the dogs are misbehaving.

The second thing that is required is that you must be sure to spend quality time with your established dog, and just with him. You may even need to increase the frequency of normal activities you would do with your established dog. This helps keep your established dog from feeling misplaced by the newcomer.

Finally, be sure and do activities with both dogs. This encourages the dogs to do fun things together, as well as fostering pack cohesion and communication.

Remember, the general rule of thumb is to make sure that both dogs realize you are alpha. They will need to work out their own hierarchy among themselves, but they must understand that you are on top and you are in charge.

With cats, you should make one room be cat accessible only. The easiest way to do this is to put up a barrier in the doorway. As long as your dog does not want to kill the cat(s), they will eventually adjust. Make it very clear to your dog that it is not to chase cats — correct it for even looking at the cat — and things should work out. Keep in mind that cats can take up to six months to adjust to a new dog, even a friendly one. Patience.


Acclimatizing Your Dog To A New Home

The first thing you should do is take your dog out to the yard where you expect it to eliminate. If possible, get the dog to eliminate there. If not, take it inside and give it some water. Tour your house and go back outside again. It should eliminate this time.

Take care to enter through doors before the dog does. When you feed it, be sure you’ve already had your food, or eat some tidbit first. You want to tell your dog, without fanfare or histrionics, that you’re in charge here. This puts many dogs at ease since they won’t have to wonder who the alpha is.

The dog should sleep in the same room with you, but not on the bed. You should either use a crate, or a sleeping pad/towel, or tie it to a bed post, although the crate is best.

Try and get into a predictable routine as soon as possible. Dogs prefer a routine, and you will help your new dog settle in more quickly by adhering to some routine. Examples: feeding at the same times, walking at the same time, going to work and returning at the same times.

Start right away with expected behaviors. If you don’t want the dog on the furniture, then don’t let it on them from day one. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that the dog is moping and should be given more leeway initially. If you expect good behavior matter-of-factly from the beginning, you’ll have less trouble in the long run.

If the dog appears to be moping, leave it be but stay nearby. Don’t let it mope too long — distract it with a walk or a bit of playing.


Crate Training An Older Dog (Just One More Pet is Anti-Crate training for anything other than travel)

You should take some effort to crate train your new dog, if it is not already so trained. There are several benefits: if you have to housetrain it, a crate is most helpful; a crate gives your dog a place of its own which helps the adjustment period; and it gives you a means to train it toward being left in your house all day.

Before a dog is locked into a crate, the dog must be as comfortable with it as possible. If a dog is put into a crate while it is afraid of the crate, the dog’s fear may build while inside and the resulting trauma may be impossible to overcome.

To make a dog comfortable, the dog must first learn not to fear it, and then to like it. To alleviate fear, the following things can be tried.

  • Put treats or food into the crate for the dog. Start near the mouth of the crate, and then move the treats farther inside each time.
  • Leave the door off the crate or tie it back at first. The door can swing shut on the dog while the dog’s head is in the crate, startling the dog with the contact and the strange sound.
  • Possibly get the dog used to part of the crate. For instance, take the top half of the crate off and use all these tricks to get the dog used to that alone, then repeat the process with the whole crate.
  • If the crate is big enough, get in yourself. (seriously!)
  • Get the dog excited about a toy and throw it in the crate for the dog to chase.
  • Think of the crate as a good thing yourself. Dogs are good at reading their master’s attitudes. Never (ever) use the crate as a punishment.
  • Once the dog will go into the crate, feed the dog its meals in the crate.
  • If the dog seems particularly averse to the crate, try a different type of crate (eg, instead of a wire mesh, try the plastic kind or vice-versa).

Once the dog is unafraid of the crate, put the dog inside and close the door. Immediately lavish the dog with praise and food for a short time, then let the dog out. Do not, at this time, leave the dog alone in the crate, or the dog will associate the crate with your leaving. Also, before the dog is fully acclimated, it may grow panicky if left in the crate long.

Finally, put the dog inside for progressively longer periods of time, always praising the dog as it goes in, and perhaps giving treats.


Training Your Dog

Obedience

The old adage that you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is patently false. Your dog may in fact be easier to teach than a young puppy since the attention span will be better.

You should definitely look up obedience training in your area and enroll yourselves. You will probably both enjoy yourselves quite a bit, and it’s a good way to build a strong relationship with your new dog.

In addition, it is important to get the dog into obedience not just to teach the dog good maners, but to get the dog socialized for other dog and people. Plus, it will give the dog something to do, which is often very benificial with older adopted dogs.

Housetraining

Sometimes dogs have trouble with housetraining when they are first placed. There are a number of reasons: they may never have been properly taught. Many dogs wind up in the shelter because their owners didn’t know how to teach dogs correct elimination habits. Perhaps they have spent much of their lives outside or in kennels. Such dogs may not understand that elimination is reserved for outside.

You should train these dogs exactly like you would a puppy, with the big difference that they will catch on much more quickly, being adult and having a full set of bladder muscles. Confine them to a crate or otherwise watch them; take them outside regularly to eliminate. You might try using a phrase such as “Do it” or “Go potty” — especially if your dog is a retired show dog, it may already understand this. Patience is your best ally — keep your dog’s schedule consistent until you’re sure it understands where you expect it to go.

Don’t punish a dog for going inside. You will get much better results much more quickly if you anticipate its needs and have it go outside, to your praise, each time. In fact, it is generally your fault if the dog eliminated inside rather than the dog’s.

You should note that some aggressive male dogs may mark your entire house in an attempt to claim the house as his territory. You should first get him neutered, and then, since such aggression is likely to be a problem in other areas (such as growling when you approach his food), you should consult a book such as Evans’ People, Pooches, and Problems.

Some dogs urinate submissively. If it is lying down, even on its back, when it urinates, this is not a housetraining problem. This dog needs work to raise its self-esteem. For now, avoid the problem by toning down your approach to the dog. If it is urinating submissively when you come home, make your arrival much less exciting. Don’t look at it for a few minutes, then just talk to it. Finally, scratch it a bit on its chest (petting it on the head is very dominant). Avoid bending at the waist over your dog. Squat instead.

In the long term, to deal with the problem of a too submissive dog, you will have to teach it confidence and help it build up self esteem. A good way to to do this is to some obedience training, though take care to use motivational methods with little or no corrections (tryCommunicating with your Dog by Ted Baer for some good hints). Be unstinting in your approval when the dog does something right.


Neutering An Older Dog

Many people wonder if getting an older dog (of either sex) neutered poses a problem for the dog. The answer is that it doesn’t. Your male dog will adjust easily to being neutered — in fact he may well behave as if he had never been neutered. The most likely change in behavior is reduced aggression toward other male dogs. Your bitch will not have any problems with being neutered either. Unfortunately, she may not derive the health benefits of early neutering if she has already had more than two estrus periods or is over two years of age before being spayed. This means that you should be sure your vet checks her for mammary cancers at each checkup even though she is spayed.

As a general rule, all rescued dogs should be neutered. There are some special circumstances, such as rescuing a dog of a known breeding and returning it to its breeder, but these are extremely rare ocassions and not likely to happen to the average dog-adopter. Neutering an older dog of either sex will not hurt it at all.


Introducing New Things or Overcoming Dislikes

Your new dog may never have been, or actively dislike being, bathed, groomed, nail-clipped. You will have to proceed slowly and with patience. Take baby steps. Your dog hates being brushed? Start out with a warm wet washcloth and rub in short lick-like strokes until the dog relaxes, then stop. Repeat this and eventually introduce a short bit of brushing, until the dog relaxes (always end on a positive note). Eventually the dog will accept being brushed. You can do the same technique with almost anything else. With clipping nails, first start with the goal of getting the dog to accept your handling of it’s paws. Then accustom it to having its toes massaged & handled. Then to having its nails flexed and handled. In the meantime, carry around the clippers so that the dog learns to ignore them. When you actually start to clip the nails, clip off a teeny piece off of one nail and put the clippers away. Later on, do another nail. When the dog accepts this quietly, do two nails, and so on.

If you find out that your dog is afraid of something, remove it from its environment, initially. Plan out how you want to deal with it, what steps and increments you want to take. Then slowly work on it. Work on one thing at a time to reduce stress on your dog. By doing it this way, you will build up the dog’s self confidence and trust in you.


Author – Cindy Moore , cindy@k9web.com (no longer active) – 1995

Second-Hand Dog: How to Turn Yours into a First-Rate Pet (Howell reference books)

People, Pooches and Problems: Understanding, Controlling and Correcting Problem Behavior in Your Dog (Pets)

Posted:  Just One More Pet

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , | Leave a comment

POEM – SENIOR DOG WANTING A FOREVER HOME

POEM – SENIOR DOG WANTING A FOREVER HOME

Too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore,
It seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed,
A place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail.
Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong,
I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head,
Can’t justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day,
The younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope,
You saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw through the grey, and the legs bent with age,
And felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed,
And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low,
You love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another,
But you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give,
To you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years,
We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave,
I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new,
My thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear,
Of the person who made my last days so dear.

–  Author – Leslie Whalen, in memory of her dog Tray

One by One, they pass by my cage…

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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January 25, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pet Health Alert: Cancer Prevention in Older Dogs

Cancer

Cancer is not only a risk for human beings—it can affect our canine companions, too. “Veterinary research estimates that the incidence of cancer in older dogs ranges from 50 to 75 percent,” according to Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital (BMAH).

Such high numbers of the disease may have to do with innovations in pet health care, such as vaccines and deworming. “Nowadays, more pets are protected from parasites, heartworms and viral disease,” observes Dr. Murray. “As a result, they are living longer and developing cancer in their old age.”

Veterinary oncologists are also detecting cancer more often and at earlier stages with the help of sophisticated diagnostic tools such as ultrasound, CT scans and even MRIs for pets.

Though we cannot prevent all cancers, there are certain steps pet parents can take to greatly diminish the chances of their animal companion contracting the disease:

  • Spaying and neutering pets before their first heat cycles can significantly reduce the occurrence of mammary tumors and helps prevent ovarian, uterine and testicular cancers.
  • If you notice a mass on your pet’s skin, have it examined immediately by a veterinarian. If it is cancerous, have it removed as soon as possible.
  • Don’t allow your pet to be exposed to cigarette smoke.
  • Use pet-formulated sunscreen on vulnerable, fair-skinned pets.
  • Avoid chemical lawn products, which are proven to cause cancers in pets, including bladder cancer and lymphoma.
  • Avoid Toxic Substances in Your Home
  • Avoid Toxic Plants and Food for Your Pets

Related Posts:

Posted:  Just One More Pet

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adopt a Senior Pet…

Senior animals can be superior companions for human seniors. They aren’t overly energetic (like puppies and kittens), don’t need to be housebroken and know not to scratch or chew the furniture. Moreover, it’s not true that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks”

Broadway animal trainer William Berloni adopts all of his performing animals from shelters and prefers mature animals, saying they are happy to accept new living patterns in exchange for obtaining “a new leash on life.” And, since young animals are the most frequently adopted, you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you may well have saved your new pet’s life.

By:  Sara Whalen of Pets Alive

Posted:  TrueHealthIsTrueWealth http://truehealthistruewealth.blogspot.com 

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

November Is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month

NOVEMBER IS ADOPT-A-SENIOR-PET MONTH

Thinking of adopting? Consider a senior pet. They’ve often already learned the important things, like household manners, and are happy just to sit in your lap or by your feet.

 best_friends

A Companion Animal’s Golden Years

Our companion animals rocket through infancy in six short months, struggle though an adolescence that seems like forever but it’s actually only 12 to 18 months, and then reach that plateau known as adulthood – ages 2 to 8. Before we know it, Mojo and Belle have reached their Golden Years.

As with every stage of life, cats and dogs in their golden years demand some special considerations. For example, not unlike their human caretakers, geriatric dogs and cats slow down – in some cases way down. Older animals tend to sleep more soundly and for longer periods. It is more difficult to roust them out of bed in the morning, and they may become a bit more snapish if startled out of a slumber. A soft, orthopedic foam bed with a machine-washable pile cover (essential for cleaning up old-age accidents) becomes indispensible for arthritic bones that seek warmth and comfort.

Because of changes in metabolism, an older animal is unable to regulate his body heat the way he used to. A thinning coat doesn’t help matters either. Older pets feel colder in the winter and hotter in the summer that they did in their middle years, so winter sweaters may be advisable even for breeds that never needed them before. Summer walks may need to be shorter or taken at the coolest time of the day.

Four of the five senses diminish with age, leaving only the sense of touch as acute as it was in more youthful days. Hearing loss is noted by owners who feel that their companion has tuned tuned them out. Such a loss may help to explain why older animals seem to sleep more soundly or react more aggressively to being woken up.

Loss of the sense of smell can be quite dismaying for owners who rely on their working dogs’ noses to perform tasks such as drug detection, search and rescue or tracking. (Although I do know a few beagle and basset hound owners who are excitedly looking forward to the day when their dogs will be less scent-oriented on their strolls outdoors.)

A diminshed sense of smell can be more serious for felines than for dogs, because cats rely on the aroma of food for their appetite. Some geriatric cats have been know to waste away as their sense of smell waned. You can avoid such an outcome by purchasing a more aromatic food or heating up the regular entree, thus releasing a stronger odor.

Cloudy lenses, cataracts and eye dieseases may dim the sense of sight in your older pet. Most companion animals compensate extremely well for loss of vision and move about abode with a sense of ease. Sometimes an owner does not realize that a pet has gone blind until the furniture is moved and an animal loses it’s way in unfamiliar terrain. A reluctance to leave the house by a dog that once cherished his walks may have its roots in diminishing vision. A trip to the veterinary opthamologist may be in order.

Like their human counterparts, many older animals gain too much weight. Obesity is due to reduced activity, overfeeding, and a lowert metabolic rate. The additional weight stresses the heart and can exacerbate arthritis, resulting in an animal that is even less likely to exercise.

How do you help a fat cat or plump pooch? Diet and exercise. Foods that can be found at both grocery stores and specialty shops are formulated with the senior companion in mind. Prescription diets are available for cats and dogs with heart, liver and kidney problems. Moderate play can keep muscles toned, blood circulating, and, perhaps most important of all, the digestive system moving. In other words, play can prevent constipation – a very serios problem, particularly in older cats.

Mojo and Belle’s senior years area time that demands owner alertness. Weigh your companion every three months. Bring weight swings in either direction to your veterinarian’s attention, for they could indicate a serious medical problem such as diabetes. Frequent grooming sessions will also keep you in touch with any physical changes. Keep your eyes and nose open for tumors, lesions, lumps, discolorations or bad breath, and report any such changes to your veterinarian. Early treatment can prolong your caompanion’s life considerably.

Behaviorally, a cat or dog may become set in his ways and resist change. Slow introductions to new environments and activities are in order. Don’t fall for the old saying. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”! Of course you can; it just takes a little longer. Old Dogs, Old Friends, a new book by Chris Walkowicz and Dr. Bonnie Wilcox, is filled with stories of dozens of canines who took up new activities in their golden years.

For those who think that bringing in a new, younger companion into the household will put some life into their old boy or girl, think again! If Mojo or Belle has been the “only child” a new addition can add more stress than he or she can bear and cause the animal to go off it’s feed, become snapish and irritable , or go into hiding. It could also lower it’s resistance to disease.

However, if your dog or cat has always been a part of a mulit-animal menagerie and is in relatively good health, a new household member may fit with little fuss.

Although geriatric cats and dogs are seldom the ideal new companion for a young child, they do quite well presiding over a full-time working household or sharing retirement with a senior citizen. If you are interested in providing a few quality years for a feline or canine senior that has fallen on hard times, go to your local animal shelter or SPCA and make your wishes known to the adoption counselors. A geriatric companion is waiting to wash your face and warm your heart – not to mention your feet. Ah, the “tails” they can tell!

We all want our pet dogs to live as long as possible, but the fact of the matter is that on average, certain dog breeds live longer than others. This might be a consideration when choosing a dog breed and it is therefore useful information to know before hand.

The average life span of the North American or European dog is 12.8 years. This is a large increase in life span over the past 100 years and is mostly attributable to better food and better medical care. Within this 12.8 year average for all dogs is a large range of life spans where certain breeds live longer and certain breeds live less long. In general, larger dogs live shorter lives than smaller dogs. This is due to the fact that the bodies of larger dogs must work harder (are more stressed) than the bodies of smaller dogs. That said, the life expectancy of any one dog in particular is ALSO determined by the stresses in its life (both physical and psychological), what it eats and how well it is taken care of.

There are, however, dogs that are living and living healthy lives to between 16 and 20+ years depending on their breed, their environment and how they are taken care of.  Pets like humans who take care of themselves are living longer.  Our pets, however, are dependent on us for their longevity.

Source: PetFinder

Old Dogs, Old Friends: Enjoying Your Older Dog


November 13, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Adopting A Senior Pet Has Many Advantage For Families and Seniors

When Kathy Simko brought home her newly adopted dog, a 9-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever named “Maggie,” she quickly discovered that her canine companion was full of pleasant surprises

“I asked my sister if she thought Maggie might enjoy going for a walk,” Simko recalls. “As soon as I said it, Maggie jumped up and began wagging her tail. She pranced across the kitchen, picked up her leash in her mouth and brought it to me. Not only did she love going for walks, but I found out she was perfectly leash trained. In fact, she was wonderfully trained in just about every way.” 

Many older dogs and cats are full of pleasant surprises like Maggie.They’re mature, well-mannered and eager to spend time around people. Those are but a few of the reasons why pet experts say a mature dog or cat is the ideal match for the person or family who craves companionship, but doesn’t have the time, energy or financial resources that a puppy or kitten requires. 

Behavior & Training   

The popular phrase “what you see is what you get” rings true for mature mutts and calm cats.  Their new Pet Parents know in advance how they get along with other pets and small children, not to mention whether they enjoy getting a bath, riding in the car and how they behave at the veterinarian’s office or groomer.  Because puppies and kittens don’t reach maturity until they’re about a year old (even 2 years in the case of some dog breeds), it can be difficult to predict how they’ll ultimately react to different stimuli or situations.  

“Older animals are fully grown and their true personalities are apparent,” says Ellen Clark, operations director for the Wisconsin Humane Society.  “There are few surprises with an older pet.”  

Even better, many older dogs and cats have already been housetrained and they’re beyond the destructive chewing and scratching stages, Clark says. As a result, their Pet Parents don’t need to invest in training classes, chew toys or puppy pads. Older dogs and cats also enjoy a good night’s sleep just as much as their Pet Parents. Unlike puppies and kittens, they don’t need comforting or a potty break at 3 a.m.  

“And, you can teach an old dog new tricks if you need to,” Clarksays. “They’re often easier to train because they are mellow and they can focus on you. They learn quickly.”  

Age-Appropriate   

Mature pets are a good choice for people young and old. Families with small children are wise to consider getting a grown dog or cat who’s already lived in a home with kids and is accustomed to a child’s running, squealing and rambunctious play. Some puppies and kittens are frightened by children and could react with aggressive behavior, such as nipping or scratching.  Puppies especially can become over-stimulated when playing with children and might accidentally bite or scratch. And, kittens and puppies have sharper claws and teeth which can result in a more serious injury.  

At the same time, research suggests that pets can improve senior citizens’ physical and emotional health. Older dogs that don’t need long walks or strenuous exercise and calm cats who prefer a quiet household, are a perfect match for older Pet Parents.  

Medical Matters  

Aprille Hollis, public information officer for Maricopa County Animal Control (MCACC) in Phoenix, says that some adopters shy away from mature dogs and cats because they wrongly assume that older pets will develop health problems.  

“A puppy or kitten can get sick or suffer medical problems just as easily as an older dog or cat.  Any pet can get sick or hurt at any age,” she says.  

Instead, Pet Parents are likely to discover that many of their new companion’s veterinary needs have already been taken care of by the previous owner or, in the case of shelter pets, by a shelter veterinarian.  For example, many older dogs and cats have already been spayed or neutered.  They’ve also already received the first series of vaccinations necessary to protect them from deadly diseases, such as parvovirus and distemper in dogs and feline leukemia in cats.  That means they’ll need only annual booster shots to stay healthy.  

Fewer Fees … or Free!  

Because older dogs and cats are more difficult to place than kittens and puppies, many shelters across the country reduce or waive their adoption fees. It’s not uncommon to see adoption fees for pets older than 5 or 6 years of age reduced by 25 to 50 percent vs. younger dogs, cats, kittens and puppies.  

“Our adoption fee for dogs and cats aged 5 years and older can be considerably lower because it’s harder to find homes for these pets.Everyone wants the puppies and kittens,” says MCACC’s Hollis. “For example, our puppies can range from $100 to $150, while the fee for an older can be $65.”  

At WHS, Clark adds, there is no fee to adopt a cat aged 1 year and older (adopters are still carefully pre-screened to ensure a safe and responsible match).  

“The cats are already spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated and implanted with an identification microchip,” she says.  “We found that our kittens are adopted very quickly, and by not charging a fee for the older cats, we can find them ‘forever homes’ much more quickly too.”   

Finding an Older Pet 

If getting an older pet makes sense, here are a few options for finding one: 

Check newspaper and Internet classified ads. You’ll find scores of family pets for sale or even “free to good home.”   

Looking for a particular breed of pet? Consult a breed-specific rescue organization. Many breed-rescue groups utilize a network of volunteer foster-care providers to care for homeless animals until they find a permanent home. 

Visit your local humane society or animal control facility. An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats end up in U.S. shelters every year, but only half of them find homes. Many shelters now have links on their web sites so prospective adopters can see pictures of available pets before driving to the shelter. 

Looking to adopt an older pet? See pets for adoption in your zip code at adoptions.petsmart.com

Written by: Kimberly Noetzel / PetSmart Charities

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Permalink: https://justonemorepet.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/adopting-a-sen…ie-and-seniors/ 

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments