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We’ve all heard about crazy cat ladies – those people living in a whirlwind of cat hairs and a thousand meows (you may be one yourself) – but many of us are crazy dog people too. And while it’s fine to fall head over heels in love with our wonderful pets, if any of the following are true to you, your affection for your canine companion is borderline obsessive.

1. You spend more money on your dog than you do yourself

You have bought pooch the essentials. From these fabulous Responsible Owner dog collar and lead sets to feeding dishes and chew toys, you have done all you can to meet your dog’s needs. But if you find yourself adding more things to your Amazon wishlist for your dog than yourself; if you spend more time browsing pet store shelves than your local boutique, and if you spend more time dressing your dog up in fashionable items than catering for your wardrobe, then it’s quite clear where your priority lies.

2. You go overboard with treats

Here’s something you shouldn’t do. Giving your dog the occasional treat is fine, especially when they have adhered to good behaviour, but you shouldn’t confuse discipline with decadence. There is a time and a place to give your dog a treat, but if you are letting your dog eat the tasty morsels from your plate, and if you are handing out treats every time your dog looks at you with pleading eyes, then you are going to have a porker on your hands. And that isn’t a laughing matter, as their health may be at risk. DON’T DO IT!!!

3. Your dog has his own social media profile.

It’s kind of okay to share pics of your dog online, and it’s reasonable to visit pet-oriented social networks, but to set up their own profile? Fun for a while, but if you’re regularly updating their status and sending out tweets on their behalf, that’s a special kind of crazy right there. It can be funny, and many of us do it. But if you spend more time sweating over what your dog needs to tell the world on their social media profiles than you do your own? If you spend more time posting pics of your dog than of yourself, then you are bordering on obsession!

4. Your DVD collection is dog-eared

And no, we don’t mean your dog has chewed your DVD cases beyond recognition. We are saying that nearly every one of your film collection is dog-themed in some way. From family friendly dog-flicks like Beethoven and Benji, to those tear-jerkers you know you shouldn’t watch but still do (in the hope the dog will survive this time) – think Marley and Me and Hachi: a Dog’s Tale – there is no room for your partner’s Bruce Willis movies or those other films you used to obsess over. Not only that, but you probably set up a special movie night with dog-related movies; just you and pooch, a bucket full of popcorn (again, be mindful of those treats), and a box of tissues just in case Marley does pop his clogs again! Nooooooo!

And so…

This article may not relate to you at all. But if your dog is sat next to you in shades and a hat; if your dog is taking up all the room on the sofa, and if you’re about to tweet ‘Dogz Rule and Cats Suck’ from your pooches Twitter account, then we wouldn’t like to call you barking mad, but you probably are more than slightly obsessive over your four-legged friend!

Sarah x

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In recent years, the world pet market has started to get a lot more exotic. As demand increases, moving creatures around the globe gets easier, and products to support their ownership becomes available, animals from all four corners of the world are being sold as pets. Of course, though, when it comes to an animal which most people don’t even know about, it can be hard to find good resources to help you to raise them well. To support you through this, this post will be exploring some of the best places to find information about any kind of critter.

Around The Web

The internet has possibly the biggest driving force which keeps the pet industry adapting, as it provides people with the chance to learn about creatures from anywhere. In the past, books would be used for this kind of work, leaving you to deal with the animals which have been covered. There are loads of different types of site which can be used to achieve a goal like this.

Forums: Although they may seem a little old school, forums and message boards are still very popular around certain parts of the web, and this makes them a great starting point. Not only do they give you the chance to browse years worth of information, but they also make it very easy to ask questions and get direct advice which you won’t have to pay for. This is great for animals which are confusing or hard to understand.

Blogs: There are loads of passionate people in the world, and blogs give them the chance to talk about the things they love. When you’re looking for specific pet advice, nothing will beat this format, as you will be able to find websites which are ran by people with the same animals as you. This can make it easy to learn the basics of pet care, while also keeping up to date with the latest information to improve the life of your furry, feathery, or scaly friend.

Businesses: While it may seem like a lot of pet-based companies are simply out to get your money, with their overpriced products and awkward shipping arrangements, most of them can also be great sources of information. With this sort of organisation being responsible for the people they sell things to, they will have a lot of the line if they make a mistake which hurts you or your pet.

In Stores

The connection to businesses doesn’t stop online, though. In fact, in reality, pet stores can be some of the best places to learn about the animals you’re trying to look after. People who go for jobs in these sorts of places are often great lovers of pets. Some will like fish and birds, and others will prefer cats and dogs, but they will also be able to offer some insight into the world of animal care. If you have a very exotic pet, like a lizard or a frog, it could be worth going to a store which only sells these kinds of creatures.

Other Establishments

As the last are to consider, it’s time to think about the other establishments out there which can help you to learn about the pets you want to keep. There are loads of companies and other organisations which aren’t found in the store format. Instead, they will work in different ways, and this can make it incredibly easy to diversify.

Vets: Like doctors, vets spend a huge portion of their life working towards being able to help animals with their health. They will study, shadow professionals, and dedicate themselves to a life of care and compassion. Along with this, though, they are often animal nerds, and this makes them the perfect place to find advice when you’re struggling. Of course, it will be worth asking if you can have someone with experience with your type of pet.

Charities: Of course, some people don’t need to make a living to want to offer help, and this is where charities come in. You don’t need to be in some sort of strife to get the support of an organisation like this, though. Instead, as long as you’re willing to give something back, it should be very easy to find a charity with resources to share with you.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you will be feeling inspired to start researching the pet you’ve always dreamed of having. There are loads of beautiful animals out there, and the range of ethical choices is becoming wider and wider. Altogether, this makes for a great time to go out and look for an exotic pet.

Sarah x

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You will make sure that you eat a balanced and healthy diet each and every day, but what about your dog? Are you sure that the food you feed it on a daily basis is filled with all the important nutrients that it needs in order to stay fit and healthy? Dogs are just like us humans in that they also need a wide range of vitamins and minerals to ensure that their minds and bodies work as well as they should do. And that is especially important once your pet starts to age and their health might start to deteriorate. As long as they are getting all of the best nutrients in their diet, they should be able to overcome most illnesses and health conditions.

But what exactly should dogs be eating? Here are some very nutrients that your dog will need.

Protein

Dogs need protein in their diets just as much as humans do. It’s the basic building block in all life forms, and the body needs it to create new cells and repair current ones. Without enough protein, your pooch simply won’t be able to grow and develop as it should, and it also won’t find it easy to fight off common illnesses. If your dog is a puppy or pregnant, then it will need a very high amount of protein in its diet. If you buy dog food that is age-specific, it should contain the right amount of protein for your hound.

Carbohydrates

In order for your dog to have enough energy for all its walks, you need to make sure that it is eating plenty of carbohydrates. These are what the body uses for instant energy. Protein is also sometimes used for energy, but it is better put to use elsewhere in the body. So, getting enough carbohydrates in your dog’s diet will prevent it depleting its protein sources. Dog-friendly vegetables and grains are all great sources of protein.

Minerals

You can see here that glucosamine is a very important mineral for dogs as it can improve their bone health and help them in their fight against bone conditions such as arthritis. But that isn’t the only one you need to ensure is in your dog’s diet. For instance, your pooch will also need plenty of zinc, iron, potassium, and magnesium to ensure that their body runs as smoothly as possible. If you know that your dog has a specific mineral deficiency, you should be able to find dog food that has been specially fortified with certain minerals.

Vitamins

Don’t forget that there are some essential vitamins that your furry friend will need in their diet as well. If you feed your dog plenty of organ-based and plant-based foods, then you can be happy knowing that they should be getting a good range of vitamins every day.

So, do you think your pooch is getting enough key nutrients? If not, you might want to speak to your vet about the various ways you can improve their diet.

Sarah x

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Trust, affection, loyalty, and understanding are all very important parts of the relationship you have with your pet. Having worked towards a strong bond for many years, there will have been a lot of occasions where you have struggled to know what to do with your furry or feathered friend. One of the hardest of these times will be when it comes to choosing just how much you will be treating them. To help you out with your balance of discipline and decadence, this post will be exploring the area in detail, to give you the chance to start handling it with ease.

Like humans, most pets will experience some negative health effects if they are given too much of the food they love. Gaining weight will only be part of it, with the damage being done on the inside being of greater concern. To avoid complications as a result of over eating, it’s always worth making sure that treats are strictly moderated, limiting your pet to a healthy amount. There are loads of calculators online which can help you to figure out how much food your animal needs.

Along with making sure that you give them the right amount, you also have to think about the time give it to them, too. In a lot of cases, people will give their pet a treat when they are asking for it or being naughty to get attention. Giving an animal positive reinforcement like this will only ever have negative results, though. When you give them something for bad behavior, they will be much more likely to do it again as time goes on.

Of course, though, there are plenty of perfectly good excuses to give your pet something they like. For dogs, this can often be as a direct reward for doing some good, like performing a trick or being friendly to other dogs. Pets like cats, though, will have to be given treats when you feel the time is right, as they won’t benefit from training for this sort. It’s always worth tailoring this to the animal in question. Every creature will have its own personality and abilities, making it impossible to judge them based on the acts of another.

Finally, as the last option to consider, your ability to keep this sort of thing healthy will greatly rely on the treats you buy for them. Examples like AniForte Sprats for dogs are perfect for this, being made from all natural ingredients which benefits for a pooch. It will be worth doing some research at this stage. To help you out, your vet will probably have some ideas, and resources like blogs will also be able to lend a hand.

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With this in mind, it should start to get a lot easier to handle your pet treats without having to cut them out entirely. Just like your own diet, it will be very important that you manage this part of your pet’s life as well as you can. Thankfully, there are loads of tools to help you out, as a lot of people have experienced the same concerns.

Sarah x

For a lot of people, no family is complete without a dog. A furry friend to keep you all company is often the final piece of the puzzle for a lot of families. It often doesn’t matter whether they’re big, small, young, old, or anywhere in between, dogs can bring huge amounts of joy and love into your life. However, that doesn’t mean that owning a dog is always going to be easy. The truth is that dog ownership can come with a lot of challenges that you have to ready for, if you’re not it can end up causing a lot of problems for you and your family. With that in mind, here are some things that you should never forget when bringing a furry friend into the house.

Your kids

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Kids and dogs go together like nothing else in the world. They make perfect playmates and best friends that will be joined at the hip from day one. However, it’s important to remember that, as cute and loveable as your pooch might be, they are still an animal, and they don’t necessarily understand how fragile little ones can be. If your dog starts to play a little rough, it won’t mean to, but it could end up hurting your child if you haven’t trained it properly. Similarly, really young children often don’t know how to act around dogs and can end up making their lives incredibly stressful by pulling on their fur, trying to ride them, and just generally acting like little kids. You need to make sure that your kids are old enough to fully understand the responsibilities involved in owning a dog and how to properly interact with them so that everyone is as happy and comfortable as possible.

Unwelcome visitors

It’s not something that a lot of people want to think about, but when you bring a dog into the house, there’s a chance that you’re bringing in some pretty unwelcome hitchhikers too. Whether it’s fleas, ticks, or any other creepy crawlies, the idea of your home accidentally becoming infested can be enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. You need to make sure that you’re checking your dog’s fur for pests as regularly as possible and, if you find any, dealing with the problem right away. There are plenty of products like Pet-Lock that can get rid of any nasty visitors very quickly and you can find more info here about them, but you also need to spray around your house to deal with any who may have ended up in your carpets. If things get really bad, then it’s a good idea to take your pooch to the vet and get something a little stronger for them.

Exercise

Dogs need exercise. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, that’s just a fact of life. They have huge amounts of energy, and they have to do something with it, or there’s going to be big trouble. There may be days where you just don’t feel like taking them for a walk, but that won’t cut it when you have a dog. If you don’t take your dog out for regular exercise then they’re going to end up getting incredibly over excited and frustrated, and that’s not only going to lead to them feeling tense and upset, but it could result in your home getting demolished as they run around the place trying to burn off some of their excess energy. Anyone who’s ever had a sofa on the receiving end of an overly enthusiastic puppy’s jaws knows exactly what happens when you don’t help your dog burn off their excess energy. If you’re not willing to take your dog out and exercise them every single day, then you need to seriously think about whether or not this is a responsibility that you’re ready for.

The cost

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This is something that a lot of people really don’t want to think about, but the truth is that dogs cost money. Quite a lot of money in fact. Sure, there’s the obvious cost of buying a dog, especially if it’s a puppy for a pure breed, but even if you’re adopting a dog, there are still a lot of costs that you need to consider. For one thing, the simple cost of feeding a dog can be surprisingly high. Not only that but you’ve got bedding, toys, grooming, and a whole host of other things to consider. Then, when you factor in things like vets bills the costs just keep climbing. Now, these costs often aren’t enough to stop people wanting a new furry friend, but it’s definitely worth being aware of them in advance.

Leaving them alone

Your life isn’t going to just stop because you’ve got a dog, you’re still going to have to go to work, or see friends, or just leave the house to buy food. However, when you’ve got a dog, you have to consider the consequences of leaving them on their own. Dogs are social animals, and they don’t like being left alone. If you’re going to work all day, then consider having someone come and spend time with them, whether it’s your partner staying home with them, or hiring a dog sitter. Of course, if you’re in a position to, you might even want to take them to work with you!

Don’t think that this is all somehow meant to discourage you from getting a dog, far from it. There are thousands of dogs out there looking for loving homes to take them in. However, it’s a far too common occurrence that people take in dogs without really understanding the responsibility of doing so, which leads them to give them up not long after. That kind experience can be incredibly traumatic for a dog, and it can be very upsetting for your family as well. So make sure that bringing a dog into your home is the right decision for you and your family before you jump into anything.

Sarah x