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Mutt versus Pure Bred

There is a long standing debate among dog lovers and breeders; who is better, the mutt or the pure bred?  (Pure bred dogs include designer dogs like Puggles and Labradoodles).  There hasn’t been much study on the subject – so really there’s no definitive answer. What we do know is that mutts tend to get the short end of the stick.  Mixed breed dogs make up the majority of shelter dogs and are euthanized far more often than their designer counter parts.  Mutts are great dogs and make amazing pets. There are some upsides to mutts – a more diverse genetic background generally means that the pup will not suffer from congenital diseases.  Also, mutts don’t suffer from breed-specific health problems.  Mutts are also able to perform any task a pure bred can including search and rescue. So how do we get the word out about our mixed breed friends?  The answer is National Mutt Day.

What is National Mutt Day?

National Mutt Day is a 2 day campaign to raise awareness about mixed breed dogs.  Did you know that mixed breed dogs are euthanized far more than pure bred dogs?  Due to the popularity and demand for designer and pure bred puppies mutts are neglected and often end up in shelters. National Mutt Day is celebrated on both July 31st and December 2nd.  The extra day helps increase awareness about mixed breed dogs that need and deserve a good home.

The Goal The ultimate goal of National Mutt Day to get 10,000 mutts adopted on July 31st and December 2nd.

How Can You Help?  Why adopt a mutt of course.  But if you can’t adopt a mutt there are other ways to help.  The following have been suggested by Mutt Day founder Colleen Paige:

  • Donate $5 to a local animal shelter
  • Donate other items needed by shelters (food, toys, beds, poop bags)
  • Volunteer at a shelter

To find out more about National Mutt Day check out their website and Facebook page: http://www.nationalmuttday.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/NationalMuttDay?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser Is your pup mixed breed?  Share a picture of your mutt with us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo?ref=hl

Did you know that pets can become diabetic?  This blog discusses what pet diabetes is and its causes, signs and Symptoms, preventative measures, and resources for pet with the illness. What is Pet Diabetes and What are the Causes? Pet diabetes is very similar to human diabetes.  Insulin, made by the pancreas, allows your pet’s digestive system to absorb the glucose your pet gets from food; glucose is used for energy.  Pets with diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin to absorb the glucose in their bloodstream.  When this happens the glucose builds up in your pet’s bloodstream making them sick. The above information comes from MSD Animal Health http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM09_0114B.pdf Type 1 diabetes often is the result of genetics and generally develops early in a pet’s life.  Pets are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.  This is the adult onset for of the disease and may be prevented. Causes According to the ASPCA there is some uncertainty regarding the causes of pet diabetes.  But the ASPCA cites the following factors that increase the likelihood of your pet developing the disease:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Genetics
  • Obesity due to poor diet (high sugar/carb/grain diet depending on species) and a lack of exercise
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas

For more about Pet Diabetes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Signs and Symptoms PetMD (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general-health/top-ten-signs-your-pet-has-diabetes) cites the following symptoms in both cats and dogs:

  • Increase in thirst
  • Increase in urination
  • Increase appetite
  • Sudden weight loss and signs of malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Weakness of Fatigue
  • Thinning or dull fur
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

You may notice these symptoms over a relatively long period of time.  If you notice any combination of these symptoms in your dog or cat contact your vet. You may also want to check out this article from WebMD http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/diabetes-dogs-symptoms-treatments-dietary-management Prevention There is no 100% guarantee that you can prevent your pet from developing either Type1 or Type 2 diabetes.  However, the following tips can help you greatly reduce your pet’s risk of developing diabetes:

  • Exercise
  • Appropriate diet – your pet’s diet should be specific to his/her species and needs
  • Do not overfeed your pet
  • Stay away from human food
  • Healthy weight
  • Regular vet visits

The above information comes from the ASPCA https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/diabetes Note: This blog is a compilation of careful, well-sourced, internet-based research.  All information comes from reputable resources that include veterinary doctors.  Should you have any questions, want to make changes to your pet’s lifestyle, or be under the impression your pet has Type 1 or 2 diabetes consult your veterinarian. Resources Education – this site hosts a great deal of information about pet diabetes including nutrition and diet information http://www.petdiabetes.com/ FAQs and Tips – this website includes FAQs about both feline and canine diabetes and tips for insulin injection http://www.cat-dog-diabetes.com/ Checklist for vet visit – this checklist has questions you can ask your vet about your pet’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/PDF/PM11_0066.pdf Info – this link includes a brochure with information about pet diabetes and a checklist for pet sitters if you ever have to leave your pet in someone else’s care http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com/links.asp Connect with Us Connect with us on FB at https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo.  Does your pet have diabetes?  Please share your tips or any online sources you know about for caring for diabetic pets.

Adopting a Senior Dog

November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month.  This blog defines what “senior” means and gives the positives of adopting a senior dog and an overview of what to expect when bringing your new senior dog home. What is a Senior Dog? According to the ASPCA dogs reach the senior stage of life on average between 7-10 years of age depending on their breed.  Big breeds reach senior-hood earlier than small breeds; large and giant breed dogs (51+ pounds) reach their golden years as early as 5. Positives of Adopting a Senior Dog There are a lot of misconceptions about adopting a senior dog.  This section includes information from Cesar’s Way and The Winnipeg Humane Society.  If you’re thinking of adding a dog to your life here are some things you might want to consider before deciding what dog to bring home:

  1. Old dogs can be taught new tricks.  Just because a dog is in the late stages of life doesn’t mean that it can’t learn.  Old dogs are just as capable as puppies at learning new things.
  2. Senior dogs generally don’t need to be trained.  Most old dogs already know basic commands like “sit” and “stay”.  Further, senior dogs are, in general, already potty trained.  This will save you a lot of time as you won’t have to worry about starting training from the beginning.
  3. Senior dogs are experienced dogs.  Old dogs are typically less excitable and calmer than younger dogs.  Senior dogs have already lived through the puppy stage and have experienced different living situations and types of people.  Many senior dogs have an even-keeled temperament which makes them good with children and less likely to destroy your home and shoes.
  4. Old dogs make great companions.  In general, older dogs already know how to accompany a person on a walk and how to play fetch.  You won’t have to train them to heel or bring you their favourite fetching toy.
  5. You might be saving a life.  Older dogs are often over looked at shelters in favour of younger dogs.  This means that older dogs are the first to be euthanized.  When you choose a senior dog you are likely saving its life.
  6. Senior dogs settle into your life quickly.  Senior dogs have pack experience – they know how to fit into your life and can adjust more readily than a young dog.

These are only a few of reasons adopting a senior dog is a great idea.  Remember, when adopting a new pet always look around first – find the pet that will fit your lifestyle. For more information on the benefits of adopting a senior dog check out:

Bringing a Senior Dog Home If you’ve made the decision to adopt a senior dog here are a few tips from Petfinder:

  1. Take it easy – don’t invite over a lot of people to meet your new dog on the first day.  If you have other pets introduce your new senior dog to them individually.
  2. Take the tour – take your senior dog on a guided tour of your home and yard.  Once the tour is done let your senior get settled into their space.
  3. Safe spot – provide your senior pup with his/her very own safe spot.  The spot doesn’t have to be secluded from the rest of the family.  Place your dog’s bed and toys there.
  4. Diet transition – if you’ve decided to change your senior dog’s food take it slow.  A sudden change in foods with very different qualities can make your dog sick.  Mix the old and new foods together for a week or so – slowly decrease the amount of the old food.

You may also want to arrange a vet visit with in the first week.  For more tips and information about your new senior dog’s first days at home check out:

PHOTO CONTEST Do you have a senior dog?  Go to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo) and post a picture of your senior pup along with your pup’s name, breed, and age. The contest closes November 12 at 11:55pm.  The winner will be announced November 15 on our Facebook pack. For more information or if you have any questions please feel free to contact us through our website: doo-n-go.com, Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo or email: [email protected]. Remember to Share: Do you know someone with a senior dog or who is thinking of adopting a dog?  Share our blog with them J

"Doo-n-go bags are great! Plus they work and support nonprofit rescues and who doesn't like that!!"

Regina Harman, Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation

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