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Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Labrador Retriever

Referred to as America’s Favorite Dog, the Labrador Retriever, is commonly seen in one of three colors – the yellow lab, chocolate lab, and black lab. They were bred to be hardworking dogs, while also being fun-loving companions. Early labs worked hard beside fishermen helping them with a variety of tasks. Labs continue to earn their reputation as hardworking pups by fulfilling roles as service dogs, military dogs, and police dogs.

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These loving pups can grow up to 80 pounds and usually live around 10-12 years. Labs have earned a reputation of being highly active, and even a little rambunctious. While they may calm a bit as they age, they will remain pretty active throughout their life. They are friendly with kids, as well as other pets, making them wonderful family dogs.

 

Some other interesting things you may not know about this breed:

  • Labs love to eat and can quickly become obese.
  • They need at least 30-60 minutes of intense exercise every day or they will release pent up energy in destructive ways.
  • Labs originated in Newfoundland.
  • They were introduced into the United States in the 20s and 30s.
  • The breed’s popularity started picking up after World War II.

 

Source: “Labrador Retriever” http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever

National Puppy Day – March 23

Happy National Puppy Day! Cheers to puppies everywhere!

shutterstock_53574544This holiday, which is now an international holiday, was started in 2006 by Colleen Paige. Paige is a celebrity pet and home lifestyle expert and author. She began this holiday to bring awareness to the horrible happenings at puppy mills and the countless puppies that are abandoned every year.

Paige is also an advocate for puppy-free pet stores. She informs us that there are 8,000-10,000 puppy mills in the United States. These mills keep puppies locked in cages that are too small and often found malnourished. Not only are the puppies mistreated, but the breeders get as many litters as they can from the mothers, and then send them away.

The horrible truth of these mills is what inspired Paige to begin celebrating National Puppy Day. When you are ready to welcome a new furry member into your family, please remember to check rescues and humane societies. Even if you are looking for a pure breed, still check a rescue first. Many puppies and young dogs are orphaned after being purchased from a puppy mill for one reason or another. These rescued pups will be thankful for the second chance, and ready to love your family!

Source: National Puppy Day, http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/#!why-adopt/cez3

K-9 Veterans Day – March 13

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We celebrate a handful of fun, playful pet holidays such as; If Pets had Thumbs Day on March 3rd. But K-9 Veterans Day should not be taken lightly. K-9 units are comprised of a handler and a dog, and in most states, these dogs carry the same merit as human officers. Harming these courageous pups is punishable by law and held to the same standards as harming human officers. Let’s take a minute to look back in history and learn about how K-9s started their life in public service…

Dogs were first used for police work in France in the early 1300s. They were most commonly used for guard work, and started being used for what we know today as police dog work in 1888. London Metropolitan Police Force was the first to use these dogs to apprehend suspects and the trend spread across the world. In the United States, police dogs, specifically German Shepards, were first used to control riots. While pups are still used to track and apprehend suspects, they are more typically used for their keen sense of smell. They are trained to sniff out drugs, weapons, explosives, and chemicals used in arson cases.

These K-9 officers are trained by what is called a handler. These handlers are human officers that assist in the training and care of these pups. In order to build a strong bond and trust, the K-9 lives with the handler and their family.

As mentioned, these pups require a lot of special training, but we must also recognize the natural instinct found within the breed. Certain breeds have proven to be better with some tasks.

Police dogs – German Shepard, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retriever, Bloodhound, Beagle, Rottweiler

Fire dogs – Dalmatian

Search and Rescue dogs – Border Collie, German Shepard, Bloodhound, Labrador Retriever

U.S. Custom and Border Protection dogs – Sporting Dogs, Labrador Retriever

Military dogs – Dutch and German Shepards, Belgian Malinois

So today let’s take a moment to salute these veterans who are often overlooked and underappreciated. They are smart, brave, and complete our police forces, fire departments, and military! To the ones who serve today and the ones who have served in the past….thank you!

Sources: Police Dog History, http://k9handler.com/police-dog-history/

                  Top 10 Service Dogs, http://dogtime.com/top-10-service-dogs.html

Vacation Time

Tis the season…
…for vacation that is!!! As plans are made for spring break or the summer, one question always arises. What are we going to do with our pets? Let’s take a look at our options.shutterstock_110897444

Take ‘em with you – Why not?! Many hotels these days allow pets, and many activities are ones in which pets can also participate. Your pets, as part of your family, might enjoy the opportunity to get out and experience a different scene than what they see day in and day out…your house, backyard, and neighborhood. Allow them to experience the mountains or a beach. However, you have to factor in the cost of taking your pets with you. Often times, the hotel will allow pets, but charge you a premium…and if you are flying to your destination, you may have to purchase your pet a ticket. So, what is the other option that will allow your pet a vacation of their own if you are unable to take them with you?

Pet resort / Boarding – Pet resorts provide a hotel getaway for your pets without the added expense of a human hotel.   These resorts cater to your pet, allowing them ample play time, relaxation time, and often times will offer extras such as grooming. Your pet gets a chance to socialize and make new friends!  And, some of the AZ Pet Vet locations offer boarding services, so what better place to leave your furry friends than with the veterinarians you know and trust.

Friends or family – Some people are lucky enough to have family and friends close by that your pets can go stay with or can stop by to check on them while you are out of town. This might be the most cost effective option if you are on a tight vacation budget.

Pet sitter – Pet sitters come in different shapes and sizes. Many people run pet sitting businesses in which they will walk and feed your pets, play with them, check your mail, water your plants, and whatever else you might need done while you are out of town.

With all these options, there is no doubt that your vacation season will be pleasurable for you and your animal babies! Bon voyage!