World Spay Day!

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Today is World Spay Day! Spaying and neutering your pet is something that is close to my heart. I want to talk about one woman in particular, that I am extra fond of, Ms. Cleo. Cleo was a foster that we took into our home after her 9 puppies were weened.. Yes 9 puppies!!!  Cleo was such an amazing mom to these little fur balls, and she is an even sweeter lady. I remember the first day we had her in our home. My first thought was how old she looked.. but then after examining her more, I realized she really wasn’t that old at all! I honestly don’t even want to know how many litters of pups she has had before she was lucky enough to come into rescue…enough to age her by many years. Now Mama Cleo is living her life like a queen, all awhile never having to worry about having another litter of pups again!

The topic of spay and neuter can be a pretty hot topic depending on who you are talking to. Everyone has the right to their opinion, thats what makes this world a great place! But I wanted to list some reason why fixing your dog is the best choice for your pet, and you!

  • Decrease the Risk of Cancer:
    By spaying and neutering your pet you are decreasing their chance of cancer. I don’t know about you, but when I get the chance to further my fur kids life, I’m taking it!
  • Shelters and Streets Are Overflowing:
    This is not new news! There are so many dogs and cats out there that are in need of good homes. By keeping your dogs or cats intact will only increase those numbers! Even if you have no desire to breed your pet, there is the risk of them getting out and impregnating, or getting pregnant. 
  • Behavior!!
    By fixing your pets you are decreasing the chance of having behavioral problems such as, marking (spraying with male cats), aggressiveness towards both people and other animals, the desire to run away, excessive barking, and of course dominance related aggression. None of these things are fun for either you or your pet!

There are many more reasons why you should get your pets fixed!! So if your pet is still intact, consider taking it in to get fixed! There are many discounted spay/neuter services, sometimes even free, out there! Take advantage!

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Lets Talk Collars/Harnesses

So I am obviously obsessed with collars, and harnesses, and walking my dogs, and many other things that I don’t want to admit on here. 🙂 Let’s chat about different types of collars and harnesses. There are many different styles out there, but I am just going to point out the ones that I think are the best options for people and their dogs. 

 

Your Normal Collar:
I am sure all of you know how a normal dog collar works. I typically would not choose to walk a dog in standard collar unless they are VERY well behaved on a leash. Meaning, very minimal pulling. The dog is putting all of its pressure on its neck when he pulls, and I just hate the sound of a dog wheezing because the collar is choking him. BUT there are a lot of dogs out there that walk very well on a standard dog collar. 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/176101332/grey-argyle-dog-collar?ref=shop_home_active_33

 

Martingale Collar:

I love martingale collars. If you are not familiar with these and you have a big power dog that loves to pull, you should look into them! These collars were originally for dogs like Greyhounds, where their necks were thicker than their heads, causing them to slip out of their collars. Now days, more dog owners of big beefy breads are using these collars. They are a gentle version of a “choke chain”. They will tighten around the neck when the leash is pulled, but they will only go so far. They are also make of nylon vs chain so a much more gentle substitute. These collars are great for running and for dogs who need a little more of a collar. Seriously check them out!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/177163217/elegant-red-martingale-dog-collar?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

Prong Dog Collar:

This collar needs to be worn by the HEAVY puller. These collars have metal prongs that dig into the dogs neck when he pulls to hard. Some dogs are such heavy pullers, this is one of the only ways to successfully walk. Or at leash have an enjoyable walk. These collars need to be used with caution though. Never leave these collars on or allow on during play. 

Chain Slip Collars (also knows at choke chains):
I personally think these collars should only be used during training. Other than that, a prong or martingale would be just as efficient. I know if I walked my dogs with one of these they would choked themselves out! And thats not fun for anyone!

Traditional Harness:
These harnesses are connected to the leash at the back. These are great for smaller dogs, who you still have control over. Having the connection at the back is not usually ideal for bigger dogs who have power. This allows them to use all of their force to pull you. Just think how dog sleds work, they are hooked up to pull. Same as a traditional harness. 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/175680818/dog-harness-teal-paisley?ref=shop_home_active_2

 

Front Hook Harness:

I will rave about these all day long if I was able to. But I wont bore you with that! These are what we use in our house. Don’t get me wrong, my dogs are not 100lb bodies of pure muscle. They are your average 50 lb mutt. BUT they do pull… A LOT! Our walks are so much more enjoyable once we found these babies. Since the leash is connected at the front it doesn’t give the dog the ability to use all of its force to pull you. When they pull the harness pulls them to the side. Now lets keep in mind, if you have a dog who is all muscle and pulls you to China every time you walk, these probably aren’t for you. But they are great for most dogs! Big or small. https://www.etsy.com/listing/170121415/no-pull-front-hook-dog-harness?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

There are many different options for you to explore to make your daily walks more enjoyable for everyone involved! 

Foster an Animal, Save a Life

I wouldn’t call myself a pro at fostering, and I certainly wouldn’t claim that I know everything about it. But what I do know are the experiences I have had in the last year of being a foster mama. I’ve cried a lot, I’ve laughed even more, and I’ve changed in more ways than I can describe in words. Fostering has opened my eyes to a huge world that most of us don’t even know exists. Fostering has opened my heart to be able to love in a way I have never experienced. And fostering has strengthened not only the relationship I have with myself, but the relationship my husband and I share. Unfortunately, sometimes, fostering comes with choices and challenges that no one wants to be dealt, but 99% of the time, it brings you so much happiness, compassion, and love. There is no greater thing than to see your beloved foster get the best home he could have asked for. To see the new families faces when they get a kiss for the first time makes up for the sadness of seeing him go. Not only did you supply food and shelter, but you gave this animal your unconditional love…. you saved a life! 

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Lets talk about some benefits of opening up your heart and home to a foster animal.
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Saving a Life:
Is there really anything else that needs to be added to this? You are saving a life by opening up your home. You are taking this dog off the streets, out of a wire cage, or from a toxic home. By doing this, you are giving this animal a chance at life. It also opens up space for a shelter to pull another dog off the streets. It’s a cycle that can’t happen without foster homes. 

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Change:
Sometimes when you take in a foster, they need more care than others. Sometimes they are skin and bones, have hair that is matted to their body, to scared to look at you, or have wounds that they got on the street. This is when things are the most rewarding. You get to see the incredible transformation of these animals. You get to see them at their most vulnerable, and than, when they feel like a superdog. It’s amazing, I’m telling you!

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You Benefit too!
Who doesn’t love puppy kisses? Who doesn’t think a clumsy puppy trying to climb stairs isn’t adorable? And who doesn’t feel great after doing something incredible? We all love and feel these things. Yes, you are right, fostering is challenging at times, and you might have to clean up some pee on the carpet. BUT…

  • It’s also a great way to “test drive” it before you buy it. If you aren’t sure you are ready for the commitment of a dog, than fostering is a good place to start. 
  • You will never be bored! Who needs TV when you have silly animals running around your house? 🙂
  • I have made the best of friends since I joined Oglala Pet Projects fostering crew. You can do the same!
  • Animals are proven to be anti-depressents. 

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I encourage you to please look into fostering for a local rescue or shelter! It’s not a lifetime commitment. You can foster as much as you want. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. I will try my best to guide you in the right direction. 

Why Adopt Your Pet?

You all know that rescue is very close to my heart, for many reasons! Not only has rescue brought me my fur kids, but it has opened my eyes to the need of rescue. Rescuing your next fur pet is more than just going to your local shelter and picking out the best looking pup to bring home. Rescue is a lifelong commitment and promise to that pet. I want to point out some more reasons to rescue your next pet, other than giving it a loving home.

Of course finding that perfect pet and giving it the best home it could ever ask for is number one reason you should adopt, but there are far more reasons than that!

Space:
By you choosing to rescue your pet, you are opening up more space for more animals to get rescued. Be that in a local shelter or a rescue with foster homes. There is not unlimited space and unfortunately there are many more animals that need saving than people to save them. So think about the next time you want to get another family member.

Education:
If you adopt your next pet you are raising awareness for all the other homeless pets. Your friends and family will want to know more about where your cute pup came from! Word of mouth is the best way to spread the news about local shelters and rescues.

Puppy Mills or unhealthy breeders:
We have all been there.. walking through the mall and you happen to pop your head into the pet shop and see adorable puppies or kittens. Please please please do your research when buying any sort of animal from a pet shop. There is such a high percentage that those dogs or cats came from puppy mills, or puppy farms! This is such an issue today involving, underfed, mistreated, non-vetted, and over bred animals. They are busting puppy mills monthly due to poor living conditions and the animals being mistreated! So this is a HUGE reason why you should adopt your pet.

You Want a Purebred?
Well guess what? Those cute puppies that were bought at the local pet shop have a high chance of ending up in rescue. So don’t think you can’t rescue because you want a breed specific dog. There are also plenty of rescues that specialize in one particular breed.

Money:
Most of the time adopting an animal saves you money in the long run. The fee is usually smaller and the animals typically come fully vetted.

Lifelong Best Friend:
And of course by adopting a dog you are not only saving their life, but you are gaining a best friend for years to come! In my experience rescue dogs will have a huge amount of gratitude for the rest of its life! Animals aren’t dumb, they know what you did for them.

So please consider looking into adoption the next time you need a new family member. You won’t regret it!

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Two examples of what you can get when you adopt! These two sweeties are available through Oglala Pet Project in South Dakota!

https://www.facebook.com/OglalaPetProject

Welcome!

 

 

 

Thank you for visiting my blog! We are super excited here at Beautiful Mutts to now have our own blog to ramble on.. trust me, there will be lots of rambling!

Lets start with how Beautiful Mutts came together. About a year ago my husband and I got our first fur child, Charlie! Ever since that little man came into our lives we haven’t been the same. We are those crazy dog people. Most of the public.. or our friends for that matter, think we are bananas for how much we love and treat our fur babies like our kids. Why not, they are our kids! Anyways, we got Charlie from an amazing rescue in Colorado called, All Aboard Animal Rescue. It was such an experience. We had to go to Petsmart at 7:30am and fight for him. There were so many people there all wanting these amazingly cute puppies!! I am pretty sure I used my boney elbows more than once, but we won, we won our dear Charlie! About 3 months after that we came across Oglala Pet Project here in South Dakota and decided Charlie needed a little sister. And then we saw Abbie on their Facebook! We got her about a week after that.

 

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A couple months after completing our family (or so I thought), I had a huge urge to help OPP. I contacted Andrea, the president, and asked if she would be willing to do a fundraiser with me. And that is where my dog collars came from! It was such a huge success I decided to open my own Etsy shop! On our way to South Carolina for Christmas and 22 hours later we came up with the name Beautiful Mutts. I wanted my dogs to be part of my business name, and they are both mutts and of course they are both beautiful, so Beautiful Mutts it was.

After this, Andrea contacted me about taking in a sweet husky mix named Foxy as a foster.  (Foxy will have her own post down the road. Just have to find the right words to show the world the impact that little girl had on me). And then this led me to my foster mama life and the beautiful people that have come with it!

These beautiful people I talk about, gave me the courage to quit my job that I was so unhappy doing and start another branch of Beautiful Mutts! Dog walking and Pet Sitting. And now here I am! 🙂 Happy as a clam and doing what I love!

And then there came Wallace, aka, Wally. I have been wanting a kitty for awhile now, but the husband was not very keen on the idea. So.. I came up with an evil plan of “fostering” a pair of kittens, knowing that we would end up adopting one! And my plan worked! He is such a fun cat! He is so in love with our dogs. Frankly, I am pretty sure he thinks he is a dog. 🙂 We love him and he completes our family.

 

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I am so grateful everyday for my rescue family! They have changed my life in more than one way. I  kiss them everyday and thank them for finding me.

Thank you so much for stopping in and learning a little about me! I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy doing it.