Adopt, Don't Shop. Why Resucing Animals is so Important

Animals aren't designer bags or shoes. They're living creatures that we call our best friends.

But too often people forget that. Instead of focusing on the joy and love that comes with pet companionship, too many of us obsess about a particular pedigree. Now you can find breeders of all kinds, creating designer dogs in situations that often resemble sweatshop factories.

Meanwhile millions of loving animals who did nothing wrong, just weren't born with the right "papers," languish in shelters.

Beautiful Animals, Ugly Numbers

If they're lucky they'll be adopted into a new home. If they're not they'll be one of the thousands of animals that Chicago-area shelters put to death each year.

  • In 2015, the Chicago city shelter took in 4241 dogs and 3092 cats.

  • 295 dogs and 94 cats were adopted.

  • 1235 dogs and 263 cats were euthanized.

  • 1768 dogs and 2436 cats were taken to rescue groups

Even at rescue groups these pets' future is uncertain. Most municipal and nonprofit shelters do not have the time, money or other resources to hold unlimited numbers of animals indefinitely.

Open the Cage, Open Your Heart

The only answer to the endless euthanizing of healthy animals is to adopt. No animal was born to live in a cage. Adopting a homeless pet doesn't just help the pet, it helps you too:

  • Adopting a pet costs much less than buying one.

  • You'll get low-cost spaying, neutering and vaccination services.

  • "Purebred" often means "born with serious congenital defects." Ask any owner of a purebred dog about its medical condition and life expectancy. Shelter pets, on the other hand, tend to be "mutts" with vibrant health and no inbred defects.

  • You'll see love light up their eyes every time they look at you.

Endless Love

Whether you find your new friend at a city shelter, rescue group or in an alley, when you open your door to that lonely pet you'll fill your home and your heart with love.

Shelter pets have been chosen for special programs that bring companionship to seniors, wounded veterans and survivors of trauma. You won't find breeder-provided animals in these programs. There seems to be a special bond between people who have experienced life's sorrows and these special pets.

Many of these are older animals, who make great companions. Older pets usually:

  • are calm and quiet

  • require less maintenance than a new puppy or kitten

  • have a known medical history

  • have fully developed personalities, so what you see is what you get

  • are used to humans and our mysterious way

It's like those bumper stickers that pet owners sport: "Who rescued who?" When you take in a homeless pet, both your lives will be transformed.


Healthy Fruits & Veggies For Your Pup

You want to eat right for yourself, right? Don’t you want your best furry friend to eat healthy too? With all the concern over ingredients in dog food, how about including fruit and veggies to your dogs diet. This is a list that includes good fruits and veggies and the ones to stay away from. Introducing new foods into your dog’s diet can cause the stomach to feel upset. So be cautious to give small amounts and only one new fruit or veggie at a time. Take a read over this list and give Fido some fresh food as a healthy treat!

Good Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Bananas. Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Mango, Oranges, Pear, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon

Tip: Be sure to wash all fruit and remove rinds and seeds, pits and inedible skins

Bad Fruits (Stay away! Stay away!)

Grapes, Raisins, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit, Persimmons

Good Vegetables

Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Green beans, Lettuce, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet potatoes

Tip: Steam or boil broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Much easier on the dogs digestive system

Bad Vegetables (danger!)

Garlic, Onion, Mushrooms, Rhubarb



A Walked Dog is a Happy Dog


By Girl & the Dog

Many dogs enjoy lounging on the sofa as much as their people, and sometimes it is easy to forget that they need to exercise. Your lazy dog might seem satisfied to stick around the house, but it is up to you to get him up and moving for the sake of his health. One of the best exercises for dogs is simple walking. Here are the top ten reasons your dog needs to be walked.

1. Your Dog Will Remain Trimmer

Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can carry too much extra weight, and this can lead to diseases including canine diabetes. Walking is an ideal way to burns off calories from those extra doggie treats.

2. It is Excellent for Heart Health

Like people, dogs can suffer from heart ailments. Exercise helps keep the heart and circulatory system healthier. Walking is a gentle aerobic exercise that increases the heart rate and helps make the heart muscle stronger.

3. Dogs Were Meant to Move

Your dog curled up in his little bed might not seem it, but dogs come from a long line of hunters, fetchers, swimmers, herders and rescuers. Dogs are not built for a sedentary life. They do best and feel the best when they get to move around.

4. Better Bowel Function

Exercises like walking stimulate and increase blood flow to all the organs, including the bowels. It is like giving the bowels a gentle, healthy massage. This can help keep your dog regular and prevent constipation.

5. Walking Outdoors Stimulates the Brain

All animals need sensory stimulation to develop and maintain healthy brains. Dogs are no exception to this rule. A dog that goes on walks regularly will be a smarter and happier dog.

6. Your Dog will be Less Anxious

Exercise helps relieve excess tension and promotes healthy glandular function. This means that dogs that are walked tend to be calmer in general than those who are not walked, and they often sleep better.

7. Better Behavior on Outings

Dogs that get to go on walks tend to associate getting out of the home with pleasant things. This can mean that getting your dog ready to go visit the vet or to visit grandma becomes easier. Nervousness associated with leaving the security of the home is lessened when dogs understand that the outside world can be filled with fun things.

8. Improved Muscle Tone

Most dogs don’t have a gym membership, and even if you have a nice big yard, it is likely your dog won’t get enough exercise to develop a well-toned physique. Muscle tone is important not because he cares about looking handsome to other dogs but because muscle tone helps stabilize bones and joints. This stabilizing effect can prevent dislocations and other problems down the road.

9. Less Aggression

Aggression is one of the most serious behavior disorders in dogs. In some cases, aggressive behaviors arise because a dog is restless and bored. Getting walked helps these dogs work off extra tension and receive the sensory stimulation they crave, which can make them calmer.

10. Develop Better Social Skills

During a walk, a dog is exposed to many different sights and scents, including those of other animals. He can learn to get used to these new scents and be less excitable around other dogs.

When you have added walks to your dog’s schedule, you should start seeing improvement in her mood, and even health, in just a matter of weeks. This is especially noticeable in dogs who were previously couch potatoes. Remember that even most elderly dogs can benefit from an occasional stroll, so don’t hesitate encouraging your senior pup to join in on the fun.