Golden Retriever or Labrador [Infographic]

Do not confuse these two distinct breeds with their latter name "Retriever." Golden Retriever or Labrador, both are the most loved dog breeds throughout the US.

The basic difference between the two dogs lies in their temperament, skin coat, fur, life-span, and epidemiology.

Golden Retriever Or Labrador

golden retriever or labrador

Appearance

  • Labradors have a sturdy built and well-defined body cuts.
  • Golden Retriever looks more of the goofy kind. They are bigger than labs most of the time and their body is longer than a lab.

Coat

  • Labs are double coated just as the Golden, but they have shorter fur (Hardly an inch long).
  • Goldens have longer, lot more fur and a super fluffy tail.

Temperament

  • Goldens are known to be eager to please their owner when compared to Labs who are mostly food/treat driven. They are very obedient and one of the easiest dogs to train.
  • Labs are mostly couch potatoes - most of the time, all they worry or think of is food and treats.

Major Health Ailments faced by Bulldog [Infographic]

Bulldog, also known as the British Bulldog or English Bulldog, is a medium-sized breed of dog. It is a muscular, hefty dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose. 

Here is an infographic highlighting the major health issues faced by Bulldogs.

National Puppy Day

March 23 is celebrated as the National Puppy Day through the U.S. Puppies are probably the most adorable animals on Earth. Thanks to their undying charm, innocent eyes, and timid limbs, they manage to capture our affection.

National Puppy Day is all about raising adoption awareness. Tons of homeless puppies land in the shelter every year. They are basically stuck in the rescue center throughout their life until they are adopted or euthanized.

National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Celebrity Pet & Home Lifestyle Expert and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day (among many others).

The benefits of adopting a Puppy

a. Cheaper to Adopt

It's cheaper to adopt a pet than to buy one. Almost 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters every year. Each year 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized, simply because there isn’t enough space for new pets that land up in the shelter.

It costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need homes too.

b. Prevent Puppy Mill

It helps to prevent puppy mills from producing pets meant for commercial selling. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed and ill-fed. Most animals from puppy mill land up in the shelter when they aren’t brought by anyone.

c. Awareness about Animal Rights

Adopting a pet raises the concern for shelter animals. People who aren’t aware of shelter animal will learn about them. Those who are unaware about the ill-treatment of animals will learn about the issues faced by innocent animals. This helps to place a new law or legislation for animal rights.

d. Happy Time

You get to spend lots of time playing and cuddling with a puppy. The recent scientific study revealed that spending time with your favorite pet helps to reduce stress and depression. Most old-age homes have started adopting pets to spend time with their elder members.

How to Celebrate National Puppy Day?

  • Adopt a puppy from your local shelter, rescue or pure breed rescue organization.
  • Are you prepared for puppy parenting? Start off on the right paw! Hire a professional that can help you.
  • Donate money, food, and toys to your local shelter.
  • Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.
  • Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills in your state.
  • Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their puppy.
  • Have a puppy party and invite all your friends and their puppies!
  • Join a fun, dog-friendly community online and post pics of your puppy for the world to ooh and ahh over!
  • Host a community event to raise money for your local animal shelter.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a puppy or play with a puppy, clean cages or anything else they need help with.
  • Have a portrait painted of your puppy to suspend the fleeting magic of puppydom.
  • Buy your puppy a fun, new puppy toy.
  • Give your puppy some fun exercise by taking him or her to puppy daycare.
  • Brush your puppy to eliminate excess fur.
  • Give your puppy a massage or holistic spa treatment.
  • Get your puppy some leash training lessons.
  • Buy your puppy a cute new outfit or fashionable collar and leash.
  • Have a tee shirt made with your puppy's photo on it.
  • Take your puppy to the beach.

How to Prevent Heartworm in Pets

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small threadlike creature.

It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

American Heartworm Society (AHS) reported that the case of heartworm in Dogs has increased by 21 percent in recent years. Almost 200 dogs get infected each year.

Stage of Metamorphosis

It generally takes about seven months for larvae, once it is inside a host, to mature into adult heartworm. They then lodge themselves into the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. Adult heartworms can grow up to 12 inches in length and can live 5-7 years. A dog can be infected with as many as 250 worms in its system.

Although it affects the heart, the adult parasites often reside in the pulmonary arterial system (lung arteries).


7 Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs

Some of the common symptoms of heartworm disease are as follows;

  • A soft and dry cough
  • Inactivity or lethargy
  • Weight loss or anorexia
  • Rapid or difficult breathing
  • Bulging chest
  • Allergic reaction
  • Collapse

The best thing is that it can be treated successfully with safe treatments available in most veterinary centers and pet hospitals.

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs

The heartworm in Dogs can be prevented with monthly chewable tablets. The drugs approved for use in the US are Ivermectin (sold under the brand names Heartgard, Iverhart, and several other generic versions), Milbemycin (Interceptor Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Flavor Tabs), and Moxidectin (ProHeart) administered as pills or chewable tablets.

The preventive measures are recommended year-around in the regions with higher temperature. Annual heartworm testing is highly recommended for pet owners who choose to use minimal dosing schedules.

 

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month

Making your home hygienic and safe is critical to avoiding pet poisoning because more than 90% of poisonings occur at home. Pets have a habit of nibbling on leftover, scavenging the dust bin, and ingesting pills on the floor.

Basic Food that causes Pet Poisoning

Many foods commonly found in the kitchen are toxic to our pets. Avoid giving your pets a taste of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (sugar-free gum/peanut butter)
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Caffeine
  • Onions
  • Macadamias
  • Mushrooms

43% of pet-poison call was made for dogs that ingested over-the-counter-drugs, and 16% of calls were for dogs that helped themselves to foods that are safe for humans, but poisonous for dogs.

The overdose of dietary supplement and vitamins were another cause for pet poisoning.

Although it’s hard to determine the poisoning, you must look out for these signs to provide immediate medical treatment.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Twitching
  • Tremors
  • Seizure

Some of the other major pet poisoning problems are;

a. Irregular Heartbeats from Dog Poisoning

Ingestion of items such as jimson weed, kalanchoe, milkweed, mountain laurel, and oleander can cause an irregular heartbeat.

b. Kidney Failure from Poisoning

Antifreeze poisoning can cause your dog kidney failure and the inability to produce urine. Plants can also cause kidney damage. House plants such as dieffenbachia, Easter lily, caladium, pigweed, and philodendron can cause antifreeze poisoning that can lead to pet’s kidney damage.

c. Liver Damage from Dog Poisoning

Eating medications like acetaminophen and plants such as tansy ragwort or rattlebox can cause liver damage in pets.

d. Loss of Blood from Dog Poisoning

Ingesting rat or mouse poison can cause loss of blood from the stool. Eating onion, garlic, sweet clover, or bracken fern could also lead to anemia.

e. Neurological Symptoms from Dog Poisoning

Accidentally eating antidepressants, alcohol, aspirin, drain cleaners, dishwasher soap, gasoline, marijuana, flea repellents, tobacco, furniture polish, and strychnine can lead to severe neurological ailments in pets. The seizure is a common problem created by poisoning. Bite from breeds of snakes, spiders, toads, and frogs can cause the seizure.

How to Prevent Pet Poisoning

1. Keep Cabinets and Doors Locked

You must consider keeping your kitchen and bathroom cabinets closed all the time. The shelf which are in pets reach should be locked, so they can’t open it. Do not throw unused or expired medications in the garbage can.

2. Be Aware of Poisonous Household Products

Most household products such as lotions, creams, perfume, and house plants can cause fatal poisoning in pets. You should determine what things can be poisonous to your pets and consider keeping them away.

3. Stay Informed

Be mindful of the types of products, food, and plants you bring into your home. Also, keep the number of emergency services and veterinary care in reach. It is essential to have the local poison control phone number accessible and added to your mobile phone’s contact list. Better yet, download an app!


Always be careful when it comes to the life of your pet! Keeping in mind the safety first is important to ensure their health and wellness.

Dog's Daily Nutritional Chart [Infographic]

Maintaining a dog's daily nutritional intake is essential to ensure they remain healthy and safe throughout their life. Malnutrition or excess intake of minerals is common among most dogs. This can be prevented with proper diet chart provided by your veterinarian.

Here's a general guide for a dog's daily nutrition.

February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

February is recognized as “Spay and Neuter Awareness Month” throughout the U.S.  The purpose of celebrating the day is to encourage pet owners to get their pets sterilized before the arrival of spring and summer months.

Spring and summer are associated with the rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens. The experience can get really unmanageable for most animal shelters, hence, spaying and neutering helps to prevent the problem.

Although neutering and spaying are associated with fixing male and female pets respectively, neutering can be used in the case of both male and female pets. Castration, sterilizing, and fixing is few of the contemporary terms used by most people.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering your Pets

a. Female pets live a longer and healthier life

Spaying has major health benefits to female pets. It helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is rampant in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying female pets before their first heat prevent from these diseases.

b. Neutering provides major health benefits to male pets

Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering male dogs prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

c. The spayed female won't go into heat

While cycles can vary, female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. To attract males, they often yowl and urinate -sometimes all over the house! Spaying prevents female feline from going into heat.

d. The male dog won't want to roam away from home

An intact male often roams outside home to find a possible mate. Neutering your pet helps to keep them grounded and prevent unnecessary roaming outside the home.

e. Neutered males are well behaved

Neutered pets focus their attention on their human families. Unneutered dogs and cats generally mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house, and they tend to be aggressive. Neutering pets help to prevent aggression.

f. Spaying or neutering doesn’t make pets obese

Fixing your pets doesn’t invite obesity, lack of exercise and overfeeding does! Keeping your pet fit is more to do with daily diet, calorie intake, and exercise.

g. It is highly cost-effective.

Spaying and neutering pets cost lesser than you have imagined. It also prevents any unnecessary accidents, health issues which can cost more in the near future.

h. Good for Community!

Stray animals pose a real problem in a human settlement. They tend to prey on wildlife, invite car accidents, damage the local infrastructure, scratch or bite children etc. Spaying and neutering help to prevent aggression and overproduction of pups and kittens.

i. Education purpose

Millions of pets land in animal shelters every year, most of them are euthanized because only fewer pets ever get adopted. Fixing your pets helps to educate society including young children about the benefits of spay and neuter.

Control pet population

Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. To prevent animals from landing up in animal shelters or outright being assaulted on street, you can consider spaying and neutering them to control the unnecessary childbirth.

National Seeing Eye Dog Day

DID YOU KNOW? January 28 is celebrated as the National Seeing Eye Dog Day.

Seeing Eye Dog Day is commonly known as Seeing Eye dogs, guide dogs or assistance animals usually assigned to lead blind and visually impaired people.

It isn’t unusual for the disabled to use the assistance of pets for their everyday chores. Assistance animals are specially trained to service dogs who assist their human companion to navigate on streets, help reach destinations, and help with daily chores.

It takes a lot to become an assistance animal. Generally, they are trained by the organization, often by their professional trainer. It generally takes between 3 and 9 months to train a dog in a ‘puppy stage.’ An assistance animal can stay with the handler for 8-9 years.

The initial cost for acquiring a Seeing Eye dog could go up to $50,000 with the ongoing cost going up to $1200 a year.

A brief history of Seeing Eye Dogs

Although the reference to first Seeing Eye dogs go back to 16th Century, the popular use of Seeing Eye dogs took place in Germany during World War I to help the returning veterans who were blinded in combat. US Senator Thomas D Schall became the first American to use a Seeing Eye Dog.

Earlier, the German shepherd was widely used as Seeing Eye Dogs, however, they have been replaced with Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses for the handling ease.

Features of Seeing Eye Dogs

  • The dog must be specifically trained to mitigate the handler’s disability in some way, such as for example, opening doors, detecting allergens, and alerting to a ringing phone.
  • The dog must be trained to a high level not to be a nuisance in public, to be safe with members of the public and well behaved, as well as being healthy, and not posing a hygiene threat.
  • Some Assistance dogs wear vests, harnesses, lead sleeves or a patch but this is not required by law.

How are Seeing Dogs Trained?

Selection

The first process of training Seeing Dogs includes careful selection of pups. While selecting a pup the trainer will look into the health, temperament, breed, and characteristics of a dog. Most dogs are selected from reputable breeders, shelter homes, or those who are already are a part of a family.

Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Golden Retriever/Labrador crosses are the most chosen breed for Seeing Dogs mainly because they remain healthy, good-tempered, gentle, highly sensitive, and tolerant towards their handlers.

Socialization

The initial process focuses on socializing the pet rather than the formal training. The pets are kept in a familiar and happy environment and are toilet trained, clean, confident and happy.

Task Training

Once a pup is old enough the trainer will commence the special training focusing on tasks. These tasks make them distinct and specialized assistance dogs.

In the USA an assistance dog handler may be asked if they have a disability, and what tasks the dog does to mitigate that disability as the only 2 legal questions to ascertain that a dog is indeed an assistance dog.

Generally, the tasks done by the Seeing Eye dog depends on the handler’s disabilities, therefore there is almost no limitation on the types of tasks a dog can be trained to.

Obedience and Public Access

Seeing Eye dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers in public areas along with pet restricted areas such as public transport, restaurants, or hotels. Obedience training helps a dog to become polite, well behaved and acceptable in public. Public Access tests evaluate a dogs’ ability to behave appropriately in public.

5 Most Reliable Police Dog

Dogs are the most reliable being in case of human needs. From search and rescue to military espionage, dogs are the most dependable animals.

Every military working dog is an NCO (Non-commissioned officer). The custom was basically made to prevent handlers from mistreating their dogs; hence, a dog is stated as one rank higher than its handler.

Many search and rescue dogs were deployed after September 11, 2001 attack. Some of the heroic dogs who helped find survivors were Trakr (German shepherd), Bretagne (Golden retriever), Apollo (German shepherd), and Roselle (Labrador).

The working dogs are generally used for Illicit-substance detection, tracking human, Cadaver-sniffing, disability assistance, and search and rescue etc.


#5 Dutch Shepherds

Dutch Shepherd is one of most reliable dog breed used in Police K-9 unit. They are known for their versatility and fewer demands and can adapt to a harsh and meager existence. Also known as Hollandse Herder, they are a herding dog of Dutch origin.

The Dutch Shepherd can weigh between 50–70 pounds on average. The height varies between 55–63 cm. Depending on the coat type, the breed can be distinguished as short-hair, long-hair, or rough-hair.

#4 Labrador Retrievers

Labrador or Labrador retriever is a type of retriever-gun dog popular in United States, Canada, and U.K. They are a multi-purpose dog are used as

  • Disability assistance dog
  • Blind Aid and Autism therapy dog
  • Law enforcement dog

They are often prized as sporting and hunting dogs.

They are often categorized in one of two ways; English labs or American Labs. English Labs are recommended as non-professional pet owners, while American Labs are extensively used for police training.

They are generally found in yellow or similar shades and Chocolate shade.

#3 Bloodhounds

Bloodhound is a large scent hound dog originally bred for hunting and for tracking people. They are known for their ability to discern human scent over great distances, even days later. Their extraordinarily keen sense of smell combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct makes them a dependable search and tracking dog.

They generally have a short lifespan and can suffer from various ailments such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), and a high incidence of eye, skin, and ear ailments.

#2 Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois is sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog rather than as a separate breed.

They are mostly used as a working dog for detection of odors such as explosives, accelerants (for arson investigation), and narcotics; tracking humans, and search and rescue missions. Due to their smaller size and versatility, they have replaced German Shepherd in many units.

Male Malinois are 61–66 cm and can weigh 25-30kg, while females are about 56–61 cm and can weight 20–25 kg.

#1 German shepherd Dogs

The German shepherd is a relatively new breed developed originally for herding. Originated in Germany, they range from medium to large size.

Because of their strength, agility, temperament, and obedience, they are primarily used as working dogs; disability assistance, search and rescue, K-9 unit and military dogs. Few German shepherds have successfully acted in movies too.

The standard height of German shepherd is 60-65cm for males and 55-60cm for female. A male German shepherd can weigh 3040kg while females can weigh 22-33 kg.

Change a Pet’s Life Day is almost here!

It’s almost time to celebrate Change a Pet’s Life Day. Celebrated on January 24, the special day is held every year to encourage people to adopt pets from shelters and raise animal awareness.

On this day, pet shelters reduce the cost of adopting a new pet. Although the day highlights the importance of pet adoption to save shelter-pets from being deprived of homes, there are other ways you can support the cause.

Adopt a Pet

About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), simply because the pet shelters lack enough room for new pets and lesser pets are ever adopted.

It actually costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed.

Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need forever homes too.

Sponsor a Pet

If you can’t take a dog for yourself, you can get one for others. Consider gifting a shelter pet to your friend, family or someone considering to adopt a pet this year. Most adoptable shelter-pets costs ZERO to $250, hence, gifting one won’t be hard on your pocket.
Volunteer your time

You can also consider volunteering your time at the animal shelters. A helping hand is always appreciated. You can clean the shelter home, utilities, and beds, or play with the pets to keep them indulged and active. Volunteering your time will help shelters provide care for all the dogs that they look after, and it helps dogs get some much-needed socialization.

Donate

Animal shelters can't run by themselves. They need funds to carry out daily activities of feeding, caring, and nurturing the pets, initiating rescue missions, finding and protecting dogs, neutering or spaying, micro-chipping, and vaccination. Consider donating to animal shelters so they can give back to society.

Spread the word about Adoptable Dogs

You can always spread the word about the shelter homes in your area or any pet that needs to be adopted. Those who have less or none information about adoption will be encouraged to adopt a new pet.

Raise Awareness for Shelters

You can always put a word to your mayor, congressmen, or advocates to raise awareness for the animal shelters. Even better, you can seek if your local shelter is organizing any event. You can always offer a helping hand.

Tell Your Dog's story

To encourage others to adopt new pets, you can share your own story of owning a pet. When did you first meet your pet? How were the initial challenges? Unforgettable story or experience you share with your pet etc. Showing the positive impact your dog has had on your life is a great way to show others that a dog might be right for them, too.

One simple act of kindness can make a difference in a pet’s life.