postheadericon Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Adoptable DogEvery year approximately 2.7 Million cats and dogs are euthanized due to the fact that there is simply no more room to house them. They are not sick, aggressive or non-home-able, there are just too many unwanted animals. Despite the valiant efforts of local animal shelters and rescue organizations they are continually flooded with pets.

There are many reasons that so many animals are euthanized ranging from financial, to relocation, to divorce. But the reason does not matter, nor does it help these poor innocent animals find homes. There are so many wonderful reasons to consider adopting versus shopping when you’re thinking about adding a new pet to your family.

Here are some wonderful reasons why you should Adopt vs Shop for your pets:

- It is highly likely that you will bring home a healthy pet when you visit an animal shelter or rescue. They examine and vaccinate your potential pet, not to mention neuter or spay in most cases. Their mission is to save lives and reduce the pet population. When shopping for a pet you can often will come across puppy mill dogs who were breed with profit over welfare in mind. AND the horrid conditions which most puppy mills are run is cruel, unconscionable and inhumane.Adoptable Dog

- Puppy mills are run with the dollar in mind, not your pet’s welfare. They over breed, allow the dogs to live in filthy conditions, and then ship them across the country to shops around the world. Do you know how traumatized that puppy is by the time he lands in your lap? The behavioral and medical issues that plague pet shop pups are beyond your wildest dreams.

- For those who want a certain breed, luckily there are rescues for virtually every breed imaginable. With a little research you can still save a life by adopting.

Adopt. Don’t Shop! You will be rewarded with many years of loyalty. These pets truly sense that they are being saved and you are the person providing that warm and loving fur-ever home.

Photo Credit: stephskardal via photopin cc

postheadericon Deaf Dog Awareness Week September 2014

It’s Deaf Dog Awareness Week!

This amazing event is held during the last week of September, and this year Deaf Dog Awareness began last Sunday and wraps up this coming weekend.

Thblind dog awarenesse event is sponsored by Petfinder and the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund, and its sole purpose is to generate awareness of our furry friends who are deaf. It is also a great opportunity for these pups to be recognized as fully loveable, trainable and trustworthy pets. They may have special needs due to their inability to hear, however they are still so worthy of our love and care, making outstanding pets. SO many deaf dogs are killed each and every year simply because of this impairment.

There are a variety of ways in which a dog may end up deaf:

-Untreated ear infections

Some of the above causes can be treated if you work with your vet to avoid hearing loss. Some dogs are just born this way. If you work with your deaf pet and have patience you can have a wonderful friend! A deaf pet is just as easily trained as their hearing litter mates but only as long as humans let go of the myths and stereotypes associated with deaf dogs.

All dogs are amazing at learning visual commands. In fact, most dog trainers say that we use TOO many words when talking to our dogs. Most deaf dogs can learn to be desensitized to being startled due to not being able to hear people, pets and cars etc., and approach them. Most dogs will never act aggressively due to their hearing loss – in fact, it’s quite unheard of. When selecting a deaf pet that will be around children, the selection process is no different then when choosing a hearing pet.

There are several ways you can help during this week long event as well as long after:

-Promote Deaf Dog Awareness week.
-Help raise awareness during the rest of the year.
-All pet rescues are always in need of food, bedding, and other supplies!
-Adopt a friend in need as there are so many rescues who are dedicated to homing these pups.
-Learn sign language and use your skills with all dogs.boy and dog love

We’d love to hear your stories of deaf dogs that have entered your life, and help spread the positives about adoption of hearing impaired pets. There are so many things you can do to show your support. There is no reason why these pups cannot know love and kindness and find a “furever” home.

photo credits: Janaviemae and sperkyajachtu via photopin cc

postheadericon Preparing for a Natural Disaster with Pets

Many families spend time working on a “plan” to keep the family safe should disaster strike but all too often, those plans don’t include the most vulnerable members of the household – The family pets! Have you put together a plan to keep your pets safe in the event of a natural disaster? If not, keep reading for some important information.

natural disaster pet evacuation

You should begin your plan of action by compiling this list:

  1. Your vet’s contact information including name, phone number and address.  Your nearest relative’s contact information (list more than one).
  2. Your pet’s medical history, including vaccination records.
  3. Rabies license number.
  4. Microchip identification number and the microchipping company’s contact information.
  5. Local hotels, motels and shelters that allow pets, and ones that will let your pet stay during an emergency.
  6. Pet Kennels/Boarding Facilities that can take pets in during times of disaster.
  7. Names, addresses and phone numbers of nearby friends and relatives that are willing to assist you with your pets during an emergency.






The Disaster Pack /First Aid Kit –

  • a leashpet first aid dog
  • collapsible bowl
  • brush/comb
  • emergency sedatives
  • up to date photos of your pet
  • food and/or treats
  • self-cling bandage
  • muzzle
  • gauze
  • bandages
  • alcohol
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • latex gloves
  • eye wash
  • scissors
  • cold pack
  • bulb syringe
  • Benadryl
  • blanket
  • rectal thermometer
  • towels
  • pet Carrier that can be easily accessed during a quick exit
  • disposable litter box with litter


Keep all of your emergency materials together, including the list. Make sure all family members, as well as your emergency contacts, know where you keep the list and supplies in the event you are not at home when disaster strikes.

Hopefully you’ll never have the need to put your emergency plan in place, but it will give you great peace of mind to know your furry family members are taken care of if the need arises!

photo credit: Life Lenses and smiteme via photopin cc

postheadericon How to Help a Fearful Dog (the key is in the “WHY”)

Is your dog fearful? Does he lack the lack the confidence to live in harmony with the world around him? Well, you can help him become a more confident, happy dog but first you must figure out WHY he is so fearful.  There is a full spectrum of fears: anxiety, mild fear, moderate fear, intense fear, and phobias. Read on to learn about the causes of fear.
boston terrier dog


If any of this rings true to your dog, you may want to consider a behavior modification program.  There are a multitude of dog trainers in Knoxville, with a variety of training styles.  When thinking about hiring a trainer be sure to question the training philosophy that is used, and then make sure that it matches up with your own philosophy that you hold as a pet parent.

One trainer that we can recommend, and that several of our clients use, is Sally Hummel with Dog Training in your Home.  Sally’s goal as a trainer is “to be a catalyst for creating great relationships between dog owners and their dogs and to bring hope, and quick results, to those who feel frustrated or overwhelmed in living with their canine friends.”  She uses a Multi-Method Training system, identifying what training method your individual dog responds best to, before setting up a training plan.


6 Causes of Fear:

Pain/Illness: Some dogs develop fears while experiencing pain. For example, if a dog has surgery on a certain area of his body, he may develop a fear of that area of his body being touched due to the pain he experienced during that time.

Abuse: Prior experiences of abuse may cause a dog to fear people altogether. It’s all dependent on the abusive experience. If the dog was abused by a man, he may fear only men. Certain sounds or other environmental factors may remind him of the abusive experience so he may fear that too. If you know your dog’s history, it may help you uncover his fear.

Lack of Socialization: If a dog is not socialized between the ages of a few weeks up to 12 weeks, he may have some issues with fear as a direct result. Socialization is necessary for proper development. It’s never too late to socialize a dog; it just may take some time and plenty of patience.

Genetics: Sometimes it all begins in the womb. A dog’s genetic code and/or breed may dictate his predisposition towards fear or confidence. It is believed that this is the most difficult fear to overcome.

Learned Fears: Fear of association is very common among pups! Many dogs will associate a ride to the groomers with the car, so the ride in the car causes fear even though it’s not the car that’s actually causing the angst, but the destination.

Traumatic Experience: Post traumatic stress is a big hurdle to overcome. It requires a lengthy rehabilitation process, and even then the dog may always express some signs of fear as a direct result. Dog attacks and abuse can cause this syndrome to wreck havoc in your dog’s life.

Fear in dogs is just as complex, if not more, as it is in humans. It requires behavior modification therapy and lots of love to overcome. Patience and persistence is the key. Never give up on your dog – You will be greatly rewarded with a lifetime of love and companionship.

scared dog

photo credist: MTSOfan and Elevated via photopin cc

postheadericon How to Identify Heat Stroke in Dogs: It’s Still Hot out Folks!

Kids headed back to school last week here in Knox County, and around East Tennessee,  but summers not technically over yet, folks! That means that heat stroke is still a big danger to your dog!  I’m still seeing plenty of 90 degree days in the future forecast.

summer dog

Exposing your pet to the heat can have serious and possibly deadly consequences. Why? Dogs have a hard time cooling themselves off. Their system of cooling off is not as sophisticated as ours. Dogs can only cool themselves off by panting and sweating through the pads on their feet, but that’s not equivalent to a human sweating.

Heat stroke is preventable during the sweltering summer heat if you follow some simple tips! But first, here are some of the signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Bright red or pale gums
  • Bright red tongue
  • Depression
  • Temperature of 104+ degrees
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed over eyes
  • Seizures
  • Thick saliva
  • Increased pulse or heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Fizzinesshot dog tennessee

Instead of taking the chance of these scary symptoms happening to your dog, follow these tips.

Tips to Help Prevent Heat Stroke

  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car. The temperature can rise to deadly levels within minutes!
  • Exercise your dog in the early morning or late evening hours when it’s cooler outside. If you can, play indoor games whenever possible.(When we have dog walks scheduled mid-day during the summer, we follow several precautionary measures, including: walking shaded paths, reducing our speed, caring water, taking breaks inside, and substituting indoor play for part of the time in extreme temperatures)
  • Provide your dog with plenty of water AND shade whenever he’s in the backyard.
  • Many dog houses actually retain heat so your dog needs other areas of refuge besides his dog house.
  • When your dog is outside, allow him time to play water games. Spray him with a hose or provide him access to a kiddie pool so he can regulate his own body temperature in the cool water.
  • Your dog’s fur is like insulation so don’t completely shave him in the summer! He should have at least an inch of hair to insulate him and prevent sunburn.
  • Never muzzle your dog when he’s out in the heat, and short nosed dogs like pugs should never be muzzled at all!
  • Senior dogs, obese dogs and dogs with any other ailments are at an increased risk of being affected by the heat, so keep them inside where it’s cool whenever playing water

What if it’s already gotten to the point that you are noticing several of the symptoms in your pet, and you suspect heat stroke?  During normal office hours, please call your vet to determine the next steps.  If it’s after hours or the weekend, we recommend the following after hours vet office:

Animal Emergency Critical Care and Referral Center

10213 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922; 865.693.4440
photo credit: CurtoxJennie Faber, and smerikal via photopin cc

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