Is a Collar or a Harness Better for Your Dog?

Martingale Rolled Dog Collar

No two dogs are the same (just like people). That means what works for one dog may not necessarily work for another even if they’re the same age and breed. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and with all sorts of personalities. In order to help you make an informed decision, here’s everything you need to know about collars and harnesses.

Remember: your ultimate goal in selecting a collar or a harness is to meet your training and behavioral goals, but your dog’s size, personality, and any medical conditions should factor into your choice.

All About Dog Collars

You should choose a collar for your dog if your dog doesn’t pull on the leash. It’s not recommend to choose collars if your dog has throat issues, such as respiratory issues or trachea problems. If your dog meets these requirements, he’s the perfect candidate for a traditional collar.

Collars come in many different styles and sizes. We don’t recommend you choose any of the negative reinforcement collars, such as choke chains, to train your dog. Instead, choose a collar that’s stylish and comfortable. Use treats and other rewards to provide your dog with incentive for good behavior.

If your dog slips collars, we recommend a martingale collar (aka the greyhound collar). Martingale collars get a bit tighter when your dog pulls or backs up, which is traditionally when he can slip out of a customary collar. Don’t worry, this doesn’t hurt your dog; it only ensures he won’t slip loose. They offer gentle control, and are typically wider than traditional collars.

All About Harnesses

If your dog has any throat issues, such as those mentioned above, absolutely avoid collars at all costs and choose a harness instead. Harnesses are also the perfect solution for dogs who are able to slip collars or who pull or lunge while being walked. If your dog pulls on the leash, he may cause injury to himself, but this won’t happen while in a harness.

Most veterinarians recommend harnesses for small breeds because they’re so delicate. They are more prone to injury. Any slight pull against the collar can cause their fragile neck to become injured, so don’t take the risk with these breeds, especially toy breeds.

There are two types of harnesses, front-attaching harnesses and back-attaching harnesses. Front-attaching harnesses are best for large dogs because it allows for more control during walks. Back-attaching harnesses do not provide this leverage, but they are better suited for small and toy breeds as they’re less likely to put on too much pressure and injure the dog.

There are lots of options to choose from on our website, www.DogCollarsBoutique.com. Check out our selection to browse the right collar or harness for your dog. Your dog is unique and his fashion should reflect this uniqueness, but more importantly it should keep him safe and act as a training tool for you.

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The Benefits of Walking Your Dog + Giveaway

Dogs love walks, especially in spring when the weather has turned from frigid to comfortably warm. It’s this time a year that your dog is treated to new smells and fresh air. We welcome spring to all our visitors by offering you the chance to win our ultimate dog walking package, which includes everything you need to ensure comfortable walks all season long. Enter below, but first read up on the benefits of walking your dog (you may be surprised that the benefits aren’t just for your dog, but for you as well).

Regular Exercise and Potty Breaks

If you regularly walk your dog, you understand that it provides both of you exercise. It’s such a healthy activity and we encourage all of our friends with furbabies to walk their dogs once per day for at least 30 minutes. Most veterinarians agree that this activity should exist separate from bathroom breaks to encourage exercise and exploration.

That being said, dog walking encourages your dog to evacuate outside. So, it’s important to participate in short potty walks too. If you’re struggling to potty train, regularly walking your dog gives you the opportunity to reward him when he evacuates outdoors. Give a treat each time he goes to reward him for this good behavior and you’ll soon come to find he only goes outdoors and never inside.

Manage Your Stress and Connect with Nature

According to Psychology Today, dog walking isn’t just good for your dog it’s also good for you. Besides exercise, dog walking provides you with therapy because it helps to balance your stress and connects you to nature.

“Research has shown that being around a dog can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and dampen other physiological stress responses. The effect is so strong that service dogs are sometimes used to help war veterans manage PTSD.”

Physical activity is also a great remedy for stress, so you’re doing double duty by spending time with your dog and taking long walks. Nature also plays a role in your happiness, as studies have shown that a connection to nature can increase your sense of well-being. Take your dog for walks in parks and on trails to really get away from the bustle of the city and attune with nature’s beauty.

Dog Walking Tips

Before loading your dog into the car and heading out to a state park or nature reserve, double check that the location allows dogs on the premises. Not all do. Local parks may have ordinances against dogs too. It would be disappointing to be ticketed or turned away when you arrive.

Once you’ve chosen a place that is natural and encourages dog walking, you’re most of the way ready for your walk. You need a few supplies, such as a collar, leash, and fresh water for your dog to drink. We’ve included all of those goodies and more in our giveaway, which is located at the bottom of this post. Walk your dog for at least thirty minutes, and make sure to bring a plastic bag or scoop to clean up his refuse.

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Earth Day Tips for Going Green with Your Dog

In honor of Earth Day, which is on April 22nd, here’s an infographic that tells you how you can go green with your dog. The graphic provides 14 tips on how you can reduce your dog’s “carbon paw-prints” while helping your dog live a healthier life and saving a ton of money. Happy Earth Day, and if you need more tips for staying green with your dog, please leave a comment with your questions.

Oh – one more thing – dog collars can be green too. When choosing a new collar, look for earth-friendly and sustainable materials.

The Green Dog Owner

Infographic Courtesy Of Ultimate Home Life

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The 10 Best Live Action Animal Movies

Pal as Lassie 1942

A picture of “Pal” who played Lassie in the original film

Judging by the popularity of Disney’s Zootopia, it’s safe to say people love films with animals in them. Because animals can sometimes lead a stressful life on-set, it’s a good thing live animal actors are being replaced by animations and CGI effects; however, that doesn’t stop us from loving the animals who had starring roles in some of the most cherished movies of all time. These are my picks for the best movies that starred live animals. What are some of yours? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post to let me know if I missed anything.

1. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

I was lucky enough to see Homeward Bound in the theater with my childhood bff. It was one of the best movie going experiences of my life. Now, I get to relive the story of Chance, Shadow, and Sassy with my kids and they treasure it as much as I do. Homeward Bound is truly a timeless classic, and continues to delight kids, which is why it’s at the top of my list. Also, I ship Shadow and Sassy… I don’t care that one is a cat and one is a dog; those two were meant for each other and love knows no bounds.

2. Milo and Otis

I remember the first time both of my daughters watched Milo and Otis. My oldest was around six years old and cried “This looks old…” and “The animals don’t talk…” The narrator soon grabbed her interest and to this day she’s a huge Milo and Otis fan. When my youngest had the same complaints, her older sister told her, “Hush, you’re going to love it.” An orange cat and a pug on a wild adventure with bears and a snake; what’s not to love about that?

3. Benji

I’m an 80s and 90s kid, and growing up it seemed there was a new Benji movie every year. The seminal film, 1974’s Benji introduced us to the heroic mix-breed stray who saved two kidnapped child and found a forever home. Amazingly, the original film grossed $39 million and cost just $500,000 to make.

4. Lassie Come Home

To my late grandmother and me, Lassie Come Home was so much more than a movie. It was a book to read and a television show to watch on lazy summer afternoons. Lassie made us drive really slowly by the neighbor’s house because they had a few collies roaming around. She was the dog growing up, the name you always thought of when the Family Feud question was, “What’s a popular name for a dog?” The original film and its six sequels released throughout 1951.

5. Marley & Me

The 2008 film based on the book that made me cry for two days… Marley & Me is the story of a writer and his golden retriever, who is comical in his disobedience, but beautiful in his ability to love unconditionally. If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book first. Both are a true joy to experience.

6. Babe

Babe is one of those startling deep movies that’s cute enough to make you laugh and then cry. You don’t walk into a lot of kid’s movies thinking they’ll change you in any significant way, but Babe was one of those movies that did because it dealt with issues of abandonment and finding peace and acceptance between widely different cultures. For its time, it was incredible and it remains a treasured classic. Babe won an Academy Award for best visual effects, and was nominated for six more awards, including best picture.

7. Beethoven

I’m not a huge fan of the myriad of sequels Beethoven spurned, but I am forever a fan of the original. I’ll never forget when Beethoven rushed to save the little girl from drowning in the pool, but disappointed her father at every turn until such a time that he could save the family. St. Bernard’s are among the giant breeds, and this film perfectly highlights the difficulties and the joys of owning one.

8. Free Willy

The plight of the orca (killer whale) is one not widely known before Free Willy. It introduced the world to the horrors of captivity, and the magical way orcas communicate. They are among the smartest creatures of the animal kingdom, and in Free Willy it became a boy’s mission to return him to the wild.

9. Shiloh

Based on a book of the same name, Shiloh tells the story of Marty, who finds a runaway beagle. Unfortunately, the dog’s owner is abusive to him. It becomes the boy’s mission to secretly care for the dog and keep him from his abusive owner. Don’t watch this film until you’ve read the book, which expertly raises ethical questions kids can relate to, such as is it ever okay to lie?

10. Old Yeller

Okay… Old Yeller isn’t one of my favorite movies per say. There’s no denying it’s a classic, but the end is full of so much shocking sadness, only the strongest among us can get through it without crying. But, it has to make the list because I still watch it if it’s on television, and before it’s sad it’s a beautiful tribute to the relationship kids have with their dogs.

What are your favorite movies starring animals? Leave a comment and let me know.

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3 Quick and Delicious Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

homemade dog treats

Healthy, homemade dog biscuits.

Why bother with the store when you can whip up delicious and healthy dog treats in less than the time it takes to run to the pet store? Dog treats are an essential part of training, and that means you’ll need a lot which can get costly. By making your own dog treats, you ensure you’ve always got treats on hand and you know exactly what you’re feeding your dog.

The following is a few of my dog’s favorite recipes, which are adapted from the recipes of some of the best human chefs in the world. Yes, they make dog treats too. The links to the actual recipes are below the recipe.

  • Please consult with your dog’s veterinarian about possible allergies before feeding him any new foods.

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Damn Delicious calls these treats, “The easiest homemade dog treats ever.” They take only 25-minutes to make, and they feature a dog’s favorite ingredient: peanut butter. With only four ingredients, you may already have everything you need to make these treats in your fridge and pantry.

Set your oven to 350 degrees, and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat together 2/3-cup pumpkin puree, ¼-cup peanut butter, and 2 large eggs. Once fully combined, slowly mix in about 3 cups whole wheat flour. You may need more or less than this amount; basically, you want the dough to be well-mixed and not sticky.

Knead the dough for a few minutes, and then roll it out with your rolling pin. Use cookie cutters and then transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the edges are golden brown (about 20 to 25 minutes). Let cool before serving.

Get the full recipe here: http://damndelicious.net/2015/01/07/homemade-peanut-butter-dog-treats/

Julia’s Barkilicious No-Bake Bites

This recipes makes about 18 balls. They’re a little sticky, so maybe store them in a container where they won’t be flattened, dried out, or mushed together. Your dog is going to love these treats, and they only take a couple minutes to whip up.

You’ll need a food processor, but if you don’t have one a pestle and mortar will work too. Grind about a ½-cup of rolled oats up this way until you’ve got a soft oat flour. Then mix the grinded oats up with another ½-cup of rolled oats (not ground), 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/3-cup coconut oil, ½-cup low-sodium chicken stock, and a small handful of finely chopped fresh parsley.

With wet hands, you can roll up the dough into yummy balls or flatten them for more traditional looking treats. You can freeze some of them if you don’t think you’ll use them all before they go bad, or you can store them in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Get the full recipe here: http://barkpost.com/5-ingredient-no-bake-dog-treats-recipe/

Martha Stewart’s Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits

The great thing about Martha’s biscuits is how many they produce. The recipe makes about 5 dozen biscuits, and calls for only a few ingredients. The biscuits are flavorful to dogs and they make inexpensive treats for training, but they’re not as healthy as a few of the other recipes; however, they have no dangerous filler ingredients, which makes them a great alternative to store-bought, non-organic biscuits. They take a little over an hour to prepare, and another hour or so is needed for cooling.

Mix together 1-cup all-purpose flour, ¼-cup wheat germ, ¼-cup brewer’s yeast, and 1 teaspoon salt. In a separate bowl add 1 ½-tablespoons of canola oil. You’ll need approximately 1 cup of low-sodium canned chicken stock. You’ll need to ration some out for brushing the baking biscuits, but most will be mixed into the oil as you also mix in the flour mixture. Once fully combined, roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s about 3/8-inch thick. Then use a cookie cutter, such as a bone shape, to cut the biscuits. Bake them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 400-degrees, and then brush them with the remaining chicken stock. Bake another 10 minutes or until they’re done. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for at least one hour.

Get the full recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/264802/homemade-dog-biscuits

Dog Collar Boutique has a vast array of training tools to help you train your dog. This includes specially designed training collars, gentle leaders and head collars, and dog training leashes, harnesses, and additional accessories.

 

 

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Lhasa Apso Holds the Record for Longest Eyelashes on a Dog

longest eye lashes on a dogAt a whopping 13.6-cm (5.35-in), Prince Albert of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada currently holds the world record for longest eyelashes ever measured on a dog. If you’re looking for a breed with beautiful long lashes, Lhasa apsos are certainly the breed to buy; or, perhaps, you’re reading this because you think your dog may have the longest lashes. If you think your dog can give Prince Albert a run for his money, you’ll need to first measure his lashes and determine they’re longer than 13.6-cm and give Guinness World Records a call, so they can send someone out to verify the length truly wins. Prince Albert has held his record since November 27th, 2004.

Breeds with the Longest Lashes

Lhasa apso are predisposed to thick, long lashes because they have such long hair. The lashes grow to keep their long tresses from falling into their eyes. Any dog that is predisposed to long hair is also going to be predisposed to long lashes. Cocker spaniels, Old English sheepdogs, and Maltese are a few breeds that are predisposed to very long lashes.

How to Get Your Dog’s Lashes to Grow

Although it’s never recommended by groomers to let your dog’s hair grow too long (because of matting and other issues), you can encourage lash growth by choosing a longer hair cut especially around the eyes. This doesn’t guarantee your dog’s lashes will grow longer, but it could help. The most important thing is that you don’t allow your dog’s hair to grow so long it irritates the surface of his eyes. His eyes are extremely delicate, and it’s essential they’re kept free from hair, particles, and debris.

You can avoid matting by regularly brushing your dog and by washing with high-quality shampoos and conditioners. A great choice is Tora Honey & Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner. Follow up with the Wild Orchid & Almond Detangler when you go to brush his fur. Be careful not to let any of the products you use get into your dog’s eyes, although Tora products are safer than most because they’re formulated with no volatile organic compounds and no questionable preservatives or toxic chemicals, such as parabens, sulphates, and formaldehyde. You can view the full range of Tora’s grooming products by clicking here.

Long eyelashes are beautiful on a dog and they’re harmless; unless, they somehow become entangled in his fur. If they become entangled call your veterinarian to schedule a visit or get his advice before you trim the lashes. You can choose to trim your dog’s lashes at any time, but be careful if you do because a single scratch or poke could cause permanent damage. If you’re worried, ask your groomer to do the trimming for you.

Finally, it’s important to be aware of trichiasis (aka distichiasis), which is a rare eyelash disorder. These eyelashes should never be trimmed, and instead your veterinarian should be contacted immediately. Trichiasis is when one or more eyelashes grow from an abnormal spot, such as higher on the eyelid or inside the eyelid (ectopic cilia). Your veterinarian is the only one that should remove these lashes.

 

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How to Silence Dog Tags

Engraved dog tag

Pewter Square Best Friend ID Dog Tag

Your dog needs tags for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, tags tell strangers your dog is yours and that he’s been vaccinated. If your dog is picked up for any reason, the shelter is going to use the tags to let you know he’s safe. This is why engraved dog tags are so necessary; unfortunately, they can jingle obnoxiously when the metal pieces of your dog’s tags and his collar bump together. Here’s a few ways you can silence his tags:

Use Silicone Dog Tag Silencers

Silicone dog tag silencers fit around your dog’s tags and keep them from making noise. The rubber silicone is flexible, and stretches to fit around the tags. They’re easily found in most pet stores and online, and they’re typically very inexpensive. Silicone silencers are easily the best method for solving this issue.

You’ll need to choose a fairly standard shape for your dog’s tag to fit it with a silicone dog tag silencer. If the dog tag is a star shape or some other sort of odd shape, you’re not going to find a silicone cover to fit it. Choose dog tags in a circle, oval, or square shape, such as the Pewter Friend ID Dog Tag, the Doggie ID Tag with Paw, or the Pewter Square Best Friend ID Dog Tag.

Make Your Own Dog Tag Silencer

There are a few ways you can DIY a dog tag silencer, including the easiest method which is to hot glue your dog’s tags directly onto his collar. Because of the coarseness of nylon or braided collars, this method won’t typically work on those collar types. You’ll need a flat material collar, such as leather or faux leather, to affix the tags. Allow the glue to dry fully before you put the collar back on your dog.

Another method is to wrap the dog tags in braided paracord. The cord can be found in most hardware sections, including at Walmart and Target. Simply wrap it around the edges of the tags, and then hot glue or tie off the ends to keep it secure. It’s small enough to keep the lettering visible, but thick enough to ensure no obnoxious sounds are heard from metal-on-metal clanking.

The final DIY method is to wrap string around both the tag and the collar. Wrap the string so tight that the tags don’t move even when your dog is in motion, but don’t use so much string the words on the tags are no longer visible.

Check Pinterest for even more DIY dog tag silencers, but avoid the ones that ask you to make a tag bag because the bag obscures the writing on your dog’s tag, which may confuse someone who comes across your dog.

Use a Brass Nameplate

Nameplates are a bit more effective than hot gluing your dog’s tags directly onto the collar. They cost more than DIY, but are guaranteed to last a bit longer and won’t fall off when the glue wears off. The nameplates attaches to the collar using rivets, and because the tags are no longer hanging, there’s no noise. Nameplates are sold in pet stores and online.

Overall, there are a number of ways to eliminate the obnoxious jingle of clanging dog tags. A dog’s hearing is so much stronger than a human’s, it can be assumed if the sound is annoying to you it’s even more annoying to your dog. By silencing the jingle, you’re doing your dog a favor too.

 

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Don’t Let Your Dog Get “Flipped” By Dog Thieves (Infographic)

Dog theft is on the rise, and it comes in more forms than just a backyard snatch-up. Shady dog nappers have been known to scout out popular off-leash locations, rob homes, and even “flip” dogs they promised a good home.

As many as two million animals are stolen every year, and only 10 percent are ever returned to their owners. Check out this infographic and learn some tips for preventing dog theft. Then, keep reading to learn exactly what dog thieves are planning to do with your dog once they’ve kidnapped him. Remember: tagging your dog with identifying information, such as his name and your phone number, is among the top ways to ensure he’s returned if ever lost.

Preventing dog theft

What Happens to Stolen Pets?

In best case scenarios, your dog will not be mistreated. Instead, the thief (or thieves) will list your dog for sale. This is called “dog flipping,” and it’s when thieves steal or sometimes adopt dogs in order to sell them for profits. If your dog has been stolen, check Craigslist and Pet Finder to see if he’s been listed for sale there.

Unfortunately, a best case scenario is rarely the scenario. In most cases, dog thieves are going to mistreat your dog. For some dogs, their lives are considerably changed after being stolen because they’re likely entering an abusive situation. People steal dogs for all sorts of nefarious reasons, including to kill them. Pet Finder lists the following as ways a stolen pet may be abused:

  • Sold to research laboratories
  • Fighters or bait in dog-fighting
  • Breeders for puppy mills
  • Meat for human consumption
  • Fur for clothing and accessories
  • Dissection Protective guard dogs
  • Ritual sacrifice for satanic cults
  • Sadistic acts

Sometimes, a stolen dog is surrendered to the pound. Perhaps the thief couldn’t sell the dog and didn’t want to keep up the costs of caring for him. Whatever the reason, stolen dogs sometimes show up in pounds weeks after a theft occurred. Make sure to check your local shelters often, and give them a photograph of your dog. Pound seizure happen when the law requires animal shelters to turn unwanted animals over to laboratories for experimentation. By checking in with pounds often, you can ensure this isn’t the fate of your dog should he be surrendered for any reason.

Dishonest people take dogs. They are unscrupulous, dangerous, and caring for your dog is not a top priority for them. Unfortunately, it’s due to this lack of morals that terrible, sometimes horrendous challenges await a stolen dog. Learn the dangers of pet theft, and use the knowledge you gain to educate others. This will help protect other dogs from the terrible fate of being stolen.

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What to Do When Your Dog Escapes

Der-kreativ-schmied-mitarbeiter-02Alabama is a one year old German shepherd mix. Her owners thought she was secure in the backyard because the fence was tall and the all-metal gate had a fork latch. They discovered too late that Alabama had learned to lift the latch with her snout to come and go as she pleases. It wasn’t until a neighbor walked her home that they’d discovered the need for a more secure gate. In the days to come, Alabama would frequently escape even though her owner’s had taken to keeping an eye on her.

Don’t Give in to the Chase

One of her owner’s biggest concerns was how much fun Alabama found the chase. She’d get loose and play a game with them. They’d get close to nabbing her and she’d dodge them to run farther away. It was a dangerous game of cat and mouse because the family resided by a busy road.

If your dog is like Alabama and escapes, don’t make the mistake of chasing her. She’s enjoying the thrill of freedom and she believes it’s a game. The best way to get her to respond and return is to not chase her; instead, stop running, get low to the ground, and call her. If she’s had some obedience training, use her commands to make her sit or stay.

The “come” command is your best friend in this situation. In the case of Alabama, it only took an afternoon to teach her this command. It begins with leash training. Walk your dog in a dog-friendly off-leash location (or, your backyard). Hold a treat under her nose, drop her leash, and run a bit away. Yell, “come,” and then feed it to her immediately. Do this enough times and your dog should learn the command forever.

Here’s a few more tips to get your dog to return to you if she’s running away:

  • Lie down and curl into a ball
  • Run in an opposite direction
  • Turn your back to her and sit down
  • Open your car door and ask her if she wants to go for a ride

What to Do When Your Dog Escapes and You’re Not Home

Remember: Always license your dog and ensure she’s wearing her tags. Call local shelters and animal control to warn them to keep a lookout for her. Her tags will provide anyone who comes across her with her name and your phone number. This is your best method for ensuring her safe return. Check out our article: Everything You Need to Know About Licensing Your Dog learn more. 

It can be scary to return home and find your dog missing. This is why it’s never a good idea to leave your dog unattended outdoors (even if she’s tied up). Of course, there’s always the chance she’ll find a way out of the house too.

It’s important to first consider the reasons your dog ran away. Is she bored? Does she have sexual urges? (This is a good reason to get your dog fixed.) Is she curious or afraid? Sometimes, dogs escape because you’ve moved and they’re compelled to return to an old residence.

Knowing why your dog escaped is going to provide you with places to search for her. For example, if it’s a sexual urge, you can start looking around the neighborhood and checking with local dog owners to see if they’ve seen her. She may be drawn to other dogs if she’s bored as well. If she was curious or afraid, check nearby natural locations, such as parks. If you didn’t move too far away, the old house may be where you’ll find her.

How far she’s gone is dependent on her size. In general, if your dog is athletic, there is a five-mile or more radius where you’ll need to search. Small dogs and puppies won’t travel as far; perhaps, a half-mile to full-mile radius. In most cases, you’ll find your dog within two-miles of where you live.

In the case of Alabama, she only escaped a half block to a neighbor’s property. Her owners installed a more appropriate locking mechanism to their gate and never left her unattended again. Once you’ve recovered your dog, it’s important that you make changes so she never escapes again. Teach her the appropriate commands and she’ll return to you. Make changes around your home to prevent her escape, and make sure she’s fully licensed just in case she’s picked up by a stranger or animal control.

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Licensing Your Dog (Infographic)

Animal control uses your dog’s license to contact you in the event that he’s picked up or dropped off at the pound. A study conducted by the ASPCA reports that 15 percent of pet owners have lost their pets (dogs and cats). Licensed animals are more likely to be returned, but what are some of the other reasons you should license your dog? (Additional reading below infographic.)

What you need to know about licensing your dog

It’s the Law to License Your Dog

You could ignore the law, but if your dog escapes you’re in for a hefty penalty. “The cost of the license is far less than the penalty for being caught without one,” reports Cesar Milan contributor, Nicole Pajer. Penalties up to and in excess of $250 may be charged if it’s determined your dog is unlicensed. There’s even the potential to be charged with a misdemeanor crime.

Here’s a few ways you could be caught:

  • Your dog escapes
  • You’re visited by the police for any reason and they inquire
  • Your dog bites someone
  • Someone reports you (a neighbor, a veterinarian, etc.)
  • A government employee sees your dog and looks into his licensing

As you can see it’s quite easy to be caught without a license. And, the penalties are too steep not to spend the few bucks it takes to license him.

Remember: you must license your dog once per year. After the first time, most local agencies will mail you reminder. If you choose to microchip your dog, you may only have to register him once in his lifetime. Check with your local agency to determine their policy on microchipping.

Your Licensing Fees Benefit the Entire Community

Vaccinations are what keep dogs alive and disease free, and licensing makes vaccinating your dog mandatory. It also allows animal control to monitor potential health threats. By understanding how many dogs in a community are vaccinated, an animal health expert can make logical estimations about a rabies threat level (or any diseases’ threat level). If there’s a potential health threat, they’ll have your information on file to warn you, which means you’ll be able to better protect him.

Of course, licensing also increases the likelihood that you will be reunited with your lost dog. Beyond these benefits, there’s also the community-wide benefits of your licensing fees. The funds you contribute are typically used to support animal control’s budget, as well as operate local animal shelters, wildlife refuges, and support low cost vaccinations and spay and neutering programs.

It’s Easy to License Your Dog

Licensing begins at your dog’s first veterinary appointment. Once vaccinated for rabies you can license him. The only necessary document is your rabies vaccination form. Your dog doesn’t have to be spayed or neutered to be licensed; however, some communities charge more for dogs that aren’t fixed. So, you may want to get him fixed before licensing him too.

Your first time licensing your dog will require a trip to your local county offices. In most cases, licensing happens at the City Clerk’s office; however, animal control and other buildings may handle it. Check your local listings to determine where you have to go. You don’t have to bring your dog, and once you’ve licensed him initially all future renewals can be mailed in.

 

 

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