Help Animal Shelters this Christmas

id-10091648Is there a rescue shelter for animals somewhere near where you live? There are very well-known shelters in some cities, but there are thousands of others that you may never have heard of. Where there are animals that have been abandoned or neglected, or need re-homing for some other reason, there will be shelter nearby that will try its best to care for those animals.

But the rising cost of veterinary bills and the increase in the number of animals being abandoned as people struggle to afford them mean that shelters are struggling to cope. Animal charities such as the RSPCA rely on public donations and volunteers to care for the animals in their shelters, some of whom need a lot of care and veterinary treatment to get them to the point where they can be successfully re-homed.

There are some ways in which you can help your local shelter. You could make a donation of money or food, bedding, blankets or collars. You could volunteer to work with the animals or in some other way to support the shelter or charity. Or you could become a fundraiser and organize an event in your local community to raise money and awareness of the sort of help that other people could give to the shelter.

At this time of year, people do respond well to pleas for help from those who need it in the cold months. It’s an expensive time of year, but you may find that people feel more sentimental and thankful for all that they have – and be more willing to give something to those in need. Organize a Christmas fair at your local village hall or community center with fun games for all the family. Either sell tickets for entry to the hall, or charge a small amount per game (e.g. tombola; bottle hoopla; pin the tail on the reindeer etc.) and make it clear how much will be given to the shelter you want to support. If you have costs to meet, such as the cost of hiring the hall, then those will need to be paid out of the proceeds of your fair before giving any ‘profit’ to the shelter.

If you’re not sure about arranging a fundraiser, you could always consider sponsoring an animal, or contact your local shelter to ask how else you might be able to help. At this time of year, any help will be very much needed and very much appreciated by all.

Vet-Co helps by working with various animal rescue groups, like Best Friends Animal Society, to improve the health of rescue animals. We also have events, like our Pets Photos with Santa, to get donations for people and pets in need.

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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (@Claire_Chat).

Managing a Dog That Chews Too Much

Many pet owners complain of a gnawing behavior problem: Their dog chews too much! However, this is a natural activity for all canines. They chew. They gnaw. It’s that simple.

Most pets gnaw on things out of boredom (or out of canine anxiety). If they have nothing to do they will find something to chomp on in order to occupy their time. It is important to leave things he is allowed to munch on around the house. Rawhide flips, Nylabones, cow hooves, KONG toys and the like are long-lasting chewable treats that your pet will absolutely love.

By leaving enough of a variety of proper things to occupy him, there is a lesser chance that he will choose to eat your dining room table legs or couch pillows.

Human babies teethe, and so do puppies. Always keep appropriate toys for the puppy to chew on (and ultimately destroy). By providing things that are acceptable for him to be chewing annihilating, you will be protecting the items you don’t want him to tear apart.

Make It Harder to Chew the “Bad” Stuff

Don’t forget to pick up things like shoes and socks that you don’t want him to chew while you’re not home.

Some trainers have even recommended smearing a little petroleum jelly laced with hot sauce to couch legs and other likely chewing zones — but this seems a bit overboard to us. Logic suggests that the deterrent won’t make your dog learn to stop chewing but rather that he should chew on something else. There are commercial “stop dog chewing” sprays (such as Grannick’s Bitter Apple) and gels that serve the same purpose. Use these deterrents under supervision.

Reprimand in the Act

If you catch your pet in the act of chewing on something inappropriate, you can reprimand him by shaking a can filled with coins or some other distraction like clapping your hands loudly and yelling “No!” Then immediately provide a toy that is acceptable to chew and pet him when he starts chewing this “good” toy. He’ll get the idea.

Never reprimand well after the fact — so if you come home and find a destroyed sock, it’s too late to yell. Just pick up the sock, throw it away and hold back your anger. You have to catch him in the act for any correction to work. A bit of patience is required on your part.

But… This Dog REALLY Does Chew Too Much

All that said, maybe you do have a dog that chews too much. Some do. They have a crazy need to munch on everything they possible can find. Sometimes they even eat dangerous items like nails or wood! (This is really bad.)

For any of these few problem doggies, we would advise crating them when you are not watching them. This not only keeps your stuff safe but keeps your pet safe too. A lot of people don’t realize that one bite on an electrical cord can kill your pet and/or set your house on fire. Neither option is acceptable, so sometimes it is better to kennel or crate your dog when unattended.

Furniture that has been made out of particle board may have creosote in it. Creosote is toxic to dogs. We know you don’t want your furniture destroyed, but we also know you don’t want your pet dead either. The safest thing if you want to know what to do if your dog chews too much is to confine him. Dog crating safeguards your property, your home and your puppy.

If your dog chews too much and nothing you have tried works, have your veterinarian take a look. Sometimes destructive dog chewing can signal pain with the teeth or gums.

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This guest post was compiled by the writing team at Pets Adviser, a pet advice website. You can find safe, healthy pet treats and dog chews at the Pets Adviser Shop.