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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Preparing Your Children for a New Dog

If you’ve finally caved in and agreed to get a new dog for your family, then you might’ve just made the best or worst decision of your life. Most parents are responsible for the family pet even though the kids promise to take care of it. They don’t quite understand the pressure or responsibility required to take care of a living animal, but here are a couple of tips to help you ease them into the role of a responsible dog owner.
Maximus and EJ
With Max

Relax your child around your pets

One of the biggest concerns that you’ll face when introducing your child to a pet is that your child is going to be frightened, reckless and sometimes even aggressive towards your pet. These sudden jerky movements can often frighten animals that are new to your household, so ensure that you relax your child and teach them to be comfortable with your new pet. Teach them not to be too firm with your dog and take it slow when trying to build a bond.
With Champ
Teach them chores to look after your pet

There are some basic chores that your child can learn when getting them comfortable with your pet. Firstly, teach them to put away pet dishes and refill the food. This is a good place to teach your child how to properly manage feeding because overfeeding can make your pet overweight and underfeeding will leave them malnourished. Teach them how much food to pour, when, and how to properly clean the feeding dishes. It’s also recommended to teach your child how to deal with dog poop and urine. It’s probably one of the smellier and messier parts of dog care, but it’s something that your children need to learn if they want to grow up with their dog and learn to care for them properly.

Cleaning and grooming your dog

Children should be actively involved in the cleaning and grooming of your pet. The first thing you should consider is getting a guide and learn how to groom your dog. If you personally don’t know how to groom your dog, then you need to learn first, practice and then pass the information onto your children. For instance, if it’s a furry dog then make sure the coat is brushed on a regular basis. Clipping toenails is also beneficial to the pet and also your children, and even their teeth need a good clean now and then. Bathing your dog can also be quite a challenge, but it’s important that your children learn how to do it as well.

Don’t just leave it up to your children

Finally, we need to talk about commitment and responsibility. One of the worst things you can do is get a dog then leave it up to your children. As mentioned before, you’re going to be responsible for the dog as the parent and you need to slowly introduce your children to the tasks and responsibilities of a dog owner. This is why you personally need to also show some compassion and care when taking care of your dog. If you aren’t remotely interested in getting a dog, then tell your children you simply don’t have time for it.

Feeding Your Canine Companions

Food is important in any living creature’s life. Be it us human beings, dogs, cats or even plants, we all need food to sustain ourselves and help us grow. Whether you’re getting a new dog or trying to take your pet’s health more seriously, food is one of the first things that should be on your mind. Feeding your loving pet properly is the key to helping them live a healthy lifestyle.

What do you feed a dog?

This is the main question and most people would simply answer “dog food”. Though they are correct, it covers and extremely broad range of things that may or may not count for the breed or age of your dog. There’s not a single answer and if you’re serious about caring for your dog (or plan to) then you need to do your research about dog breeds and what to feed them. For starters, learn to read dog food labels. Most labels will show what is actually contained in the food itself, and some labels are even targeted towards certain ages or breeds. If you’re unsure how much of each nutrient your dog needs or how many calories they should be consuming, then consult your veterinarian for advice.

Wet vs dry dog food

Dogs can be fed wet or dry food depending on their preference, convenience and their dietary needs. Dry foods are great for dogs that have good teeth because they’re usually harder and need to be chewed. Wet foods, on the other hand, are moist and can be found in canned or pouch form. These contain liquids which mean that the actual food content is lower, and your dog will need to eat more wet food than dry. Wet food also helps when a dog is lacking liquid intake from drinking water, helping to stave off dehydration. There are many online resources to help you learn more about dog food, and it’s recommended you do ample amounts of research and also experiment by feeding your dog different types of food to see what is better for them.

How much do you feed?

Most store-bought dog food will contain serving amounts, but another way to tell how much you need to feed your dog is via a visual inspection. If your dog’s ribcage is visible, then they are underweight. However, if their stomach is parallel to the ground, then they are most likely being overfed. These are just rough guidelines, so it’s important to consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about your dog’s weight. A great way to check if your dog is eating enough is to use a calorie calculator and manually adjust portions to their needs. Much like humans, there’s no magic number due to the countless situations your dog can be in and the number of breeds that are around. This is essential when your dog seems to be constantly hungry. Overfeeding a greedy dog is a common problem that has to be avoided, so keep an eye on their weight and consider speaking to a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has an eating disorder.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Praying Mantis : George

When we were at  our old house, there was a  huge praying mantis that always  visit our garden every summer.  The kids called him George.  When we moved here to our new home,  they saw a praying mantis again and they thought  it was George and he followed us here.  Kind of funny but there are certain things that would always reminds us of our first home.  
Our son is still  bummed out that we sold our first home, he  is more attached than his sister was  to our first home.  He felt the same way when we moved   out from our temporary house in South Korea.  He was very fond of the "Blue House" where we lived for almost two years  during my  husband's  last tour in the Navy.  
Anyway, since George used to love hanging out on the mums  in our garden, I picked him up and put him on my new mum plants.
He seemed to enjoy it.  I am not sure if there is something on the mums that they like but they seem to stay there  for a long time.
So here's George number two.
I hope that we see him again this summer, it would be nice.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Paying For Your Pupper!

Welcoming a canine friend into your life can be one of the most enjoyable events. There is nothing like seeing them running towards you, wagging their tail as soon as you get in from work. Or curling up with them by your side on the sofa while you watch your favorite show. But being responsible for a dog can be a pricey affair. That is why you should read on to find out all of the costs involved to make sure that you can take care of your pupper and give him the best life you can.

Purchasing your pooch

Of course, the first thing that you need to do is to find a dog that you connect with, and you want as a part of your family. There is two main way to do this.

The first is to decide on a breed of dog and then look around for one of that pedigree that is available. However buying a pedigree dog is usually pretty expensive and can cost anything up to several thousand dollars! You also need to ensure that you look at the breeder’s documents to make sure that your dog is the pedigree that they claim it to be, as they will be charging accordingly.


Of course, there is another way to find that perfect pooch too, and that is to adopt him from your local shelter. Shelter dogs are most often mongrels that have been abandoned or separated from their original owners.

Getting a shelter dog is definitely a cheaper way of bringing a canine into your life as shelters often only ask for a donation, as long as you pass the background checks.


Also, a word to the wise here, there are other ways of acquiring a dog such as buying one direct from their owner, or from a puppy farm. However, neither of these options is very sensible or cost effective.

Firstly buying directly from an owner can be a big gamble as they are likely to say anything to ensure they make a sale. So you could be getting a dog with severe behavioral problems that will cost you a lot to rectify, or in damage to your home.

Puppy farms are also out, as they are more concerned with producing pups for profit, rather than the well-being of the dogs themselves. This means that they are generally frowned upon in the dog world, and are best avoided. It is also quite common for puppies that come from such farms to have health and behavioral issues, which you will also want to avoid.

Essential items

Now before you bring Fido home and introduce him to the rest of the family, there are a few items that you will need to invest in to make him as comfortable as possible. Firstly you will need the correct size water and food bowls, a sturdy collar and lead, as well as some toys for when you exercise him.


But these are just the basic need for a fully grown and trained dog. If you are getting a puppy or untrained pooch, then you will also need to factor in the cost of toilet training pads as well as behavior classes. The cost of which tend to differ from state to state, but you can find out more about them here.

Monthly costs

But owning a dog isn't just a one-off cost, there are regular monthly and yearly cost that you will need to factor into your budget as well.


Picture source

In term of monthly costs, you will, of course, have food and treats to pay for, but you may also need to consider the amount you will have to pay for grooming. Especially if you have a long-haired dog whose quality of life can be severely affected if they are not kept neat and tidy.

Another monthly amount you need to be sure that you can afford is the cost of a dog walker if your schedule doesn't allow you to walk them at least twice a day. Although now with the help of websites like these you can arrange for a fellow dog lover that you have vetted beforehand to come and walk him for free. Which is a great way of having some money on the upkeep of your hound!

Yearly costs

Then there are yearly costs that you need to account for. These tend to be regular checkups and a booster vaccination at the vets. As well as paying for boarding kennels when you go away on holiday.

Unfortunately, a lot of folks forget to factor this into the overall cost of their holiday leaving them in the difficult position of either finding the money to pay for the kennels or having to cancel their vacations. Some people solve this by asking a friend or family member to dog sit while they are out of town, while others choose to borrow the money to pay for the kennels so they can go on their vacation. Luckily if you need to borrow money these days, you can easily get a small personal loan online. Which should be more than enough to pay for your dog’s boarding costs.

Unexpected costs

Lastly, another cost that is rarely considered at the time if getting a dog are the unexpected ones. These can be anything from having to replace a family member's favorite pair of shoes that Fido has taken a liking to chewing, to finding the money to pay for an urgent medical treatment for Fido himself.

While the smaller unexpected costs might not feel that stressful to deal with, the larger more serious one definitely are.

Some folks deal with them by using crowd funding sites, asking everyone they know to donate to them a small amount and share their story on social media. Raising the total cost of the treatment needed that way.


Whereas others realize that it can be a great idea to invest in vet insurance. So you know that if these worst did happen to your beloved pupper, you could do everything in your power to get them well and back up on their paws again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

#Kits' Growth Documentation. #BabyBunnies

These photos shows the kits first week of existence since the day they were born.  It was March 6 when  they were born.  We had  bunnies  before but  the female never got pregnant so we didn't have the experience of raising baby bunnies.  We only had these lion heads for a month and here the female already gave birth to four kits.  One  died right away, I think the Dad killed it.  We didn't  know that the female  was pregnant so we never separated them.  
Anyway, I noticed that their first instinct when they feel their Mom's hair is to lay on their back and start digging for the Moms nipples.  It must be  painful for the Mom because  the kits has their teeth already when they were born and you can hear the sound when they  nursed.
2-day old kits.  At two days old, they were starting to get mobile but still can't see since their eyes were still closed.  The white one is definitely the  smallest.  The kids called him Bino (albino).  Both parents are gray so we were surprised to see a white one.
 3-day old.  At 3 days old, we noticed that the Mom is not really nursing the white one so we bought a goat milk and tried to  feed him.
I tried to  let the Mom lay on her back so the white one could at least nurse a little bit but she kicked and the little one flew, I felt horrible.
From then on, we just tried to  feed the white one with the milk that we bought.  He was eating but not much.
The white one might be the runt but he was definitely the cutest.
You can tell the difference of how small the white one  was compared to the black ones.
 Four-Day Old .  We really tried hard to keep the white one alive by feeding him  with the goat milk but ever since  the Mom kicked him, he  didn't show progress of   growth.
Although he was  still trying to hold on to  his dear life, we can tell that he was struggling to keep up with the growing black ones.
Five day old - Their eyes were still shut but they  were becoming mobile.  They can  pretty much run around  inside the cardboard box where we housed them together with their Mom.
 Six Day Old -  The kits still look like kittens or  puppies but they are getting longer and more mobile.  
 We kept the Mom fed with fresh veggies  because that's what I read from an online source that in order for her to  produce milk, she has to have fresh food and  need to be  hydrated.  
 One Week Old - at this time, the  white one died which really broke our hearts because we really wanted him to survive as he was  the different and unique one among them.  But I guess the Mom  focused more on taking care of the healthy ones rather than the  runt but who knows.  All I  noticed was that, she never really  cared for the runt.  
 Anyway, here are the cutest  poses that they do  and I couldn't resist not to take pictures of them lol.
 One thing that we all did when they were little was let them sleep in our palms, they really loved it.  I think it was because  it kept them warm.
 They also love  it when you stroke your fingers along their backs.
 We've never really raised rabbits so this was all new to us.  Of all the pets, this was different because the Mom does not really lay down to  nurse the babies.  The kits just lay on their backs  and crawl; underneath their Mom to eat.
 Pippin  is a really good Mom though, she really take care of these two.  She kept an eye on them especially when she hears the dogs.  We kept  them in my office when they were little so I could keep an eye on them and they would stay warm as it i was cold down the basement where they  stay during winter.
 At two weeks old, their eyes were starting to open up.  At first they were red, it looks painful but I guess it was normal.
 Just like human babies,  kits  sleep a lot.  That's what they ever did, sleep and eat, run around a little but and then sleep again.
 At this age, their  hair  are growing longer and you can see the gray  ones  growing too.
 At this point, the kids have decided to  name them Lilo and Stitch.  They gave them a different name when the white one was still alive but decided to change it.
 They are becoming more and more  like bunnies than  puppies (look wise).
 We were very delighted when  one of them have an open eye already, it was the cutest thing to witness.
 These two really love  huddling on each other when they  sleep.
 I guess being together gives them warmth.
 Pippin, the Mom did not  pull her hair  so much but there were few spots  that she did when she first gave birth.  I think it's an instinct to them to pull their hair out  and use it to keep the babies warm. But since we  keep them warm, she stop pulling her hair.
 I love watching them when they sleep.  One love to  lay on his back with his legs up, lol.
 Sometimes, Lilo would  sleep underneath Stitch, I thought it's so cute.  Here are cuteness overload.
 At three weeks old, they can jump and chase their Mom every time they  want to  nurse.  We noticed  that at this time, Pippin is not nursing them as much.  I think the babies teeth  hurts when they try to  nurse on her.
 We started introducing the kits to  fresh food like lettuce.  They even tried to bite on carrots.
 At this age, they were  becoming adventurous.  They were jumping off the box.
 My husband suggested that we should cut a hole on the box so they don't have to jump.  They can  go to the  next box with out falling.  We were worried that one of them will hit their head on the wood floor if they fall.
They are now six weeks and I made them a bigger pin down the basement.  I still haven't let the Dad see them because I am afraid that he would still try to hurt them.  My husband is planning to build them a house in the backyard just like what we did  with Wubzy and Matilda at our old house.