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5 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

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5 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

The choices you make for your pets can affect the environment in the same way as the choices you make for yourselves. It’s important to try to reduce your pet’s carbon paw print whenever possible. This might not always be an easy task and their health and happiness should always come first. There are, however, several ways you can be a more eco-friendly pet owner:

Adopt a pet:

By adopting a pet from a shelter rather than buying one, you could end up saving two lives. You’ll be giving a home to an animal that needs one, and also freeing up space in the shelter for another stray or abandoned pet. It’s a more ethical choice to adopt a pet from a shelter.

Be responsible about the type of pet you adopt. If you want a dog but only live in a small home, then it’s best to go for dogs for small spaces. If you get a larger dog, then remember to take it for walks once or twice a day as it will need regular exercise.

Sustainable pet food:

There are several ways to make pet food more sustainable. You could try to make your own dog food, it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds. Speak to your veterinarian about the dietary needs of your pet. Certain animals might need more specialist food that you can only buy.

If you’re buying pet food, check out the best brands for healthy and sustainable products. There are several brands that aim to reduce their environmental impact by limiting shipping, emissions, and GMOs.

Recycled toys:

Some animals such as dogs and cats can really go through toys. These will probably end up in a landfill. It’s better to go for recycled toys or toys made from natural, biodegradable materials. These toys are much better for the environment in the long run.

There are also some great brands that sell eco-friendly toys. These toys are made from durable recycled plastic. You can also find recycled leashes and other accessories. These can even be made from earth-friendly fabric like hemp and other certified recycled materials.

Non-toxic shampoo:

Use organic and natural shampoos for your pet’s bath time. You can find plenty of organic pet products online and they’re not very expensive. Look at the label and see if it’s free of dyes and parabens, as it will be better for your pet’s fur. Not only are non-toxic shampoos gentler on your pet’s skin, but they’re also better for the environment. There will be fewer nasty chemicals running down the drain as a result.

Clean up waste:

You can get a hold of recycled eco-friendly cat litter from big brands such as Purina. This is made from old newspapers. If your dog or other animals do their business outside, then clean it up. It can actually be damaging to the environment to leave it. When cleaning up after your pet, use bags made from plant-based or recycled materials and throw it out immediately.

We can all do our part to help the environment and now your pet can be included with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Creating A Forever Home For A Rescue Dog

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Creating A Forever Home For A Rescue Dog

If you are considering getting a dog, you may want to look at getting one from a rehoming center. Dogs can bring joy to your home, and the right dog will feel like a part of your family. But, with so many dogs being given up for various sad reasons, there are plenty of sweet pups that need new loving forever homes, and you may be the people to give that to them. You can start with the following tips:

Looking For Your Rescue Dog:

Many rescue centers will list the dogs that they have on their website. With a brief description and photo, you can see if there are any that catch your eye. The best way to find the right dog, though, is to pay a visit to the rescue center and see all of the dogs that they have to see which appeals.

It may take several visits to find the right dog for you, but you do need to remember that you are keeping that dog for life, so make sure that they are the right dog before committing.

Things To Keep In Mind:

Sadly, some dogs will have had a rough time before going into the center. We may never know their histories or the circumstances that brought them there. You will need to keep this in mind, as a rescue dog may have some anxieties or be nervous around certain people or animals. They may have also developed separation anxiety which can become difficult to manage.

With the help of a behaviorist, however, it is possible to help many dogs with emotional problems and in many cases, after a few months of living with you, they will adapt and become less anxious.

Shopping For Your New Dog:

There are a lot of things that you’ll need to get for your new dog. A bed, lead, treats, and more. Finding the right food is going to be important. Check out Freshpet dogfood reviews to find healthy food that your dog will enjoy. Picking the right food is crucial, as many dog foods are like human food, and are packed with preservatives and fat. Keeping your dog’s diet healthy will help to reduce the chances of illness later in life.

Letting Your Dog Settle In:

It can take a few months for your rescue dog to fully settle into your home. During this time, they may challenge boundaries. It is important that you use positive reinforcement to train your dog so that they learn how to behave in your home and when you are out together. This means rewarding your dog when they do something that you want them to, rather than telling them off when they have done something wrong. Teaching your dog about the right way to behave ensures that they are happy and are able to listen to you. Consider enrolling your dog in some training classes to help you.

Adopting a rescue pup will give you and your pet a whole new lease on life – congrats on welcoming your new furry friend into your home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Puppy Love

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Puppy Love

Hello everyone! This past week, we welcomed a brand new tiny, furry member to our family and he goes by the name of Archie! My mom and dad adopted a new baby brother for our little terrier, Ollie, from One Of A Kind Pets in Akron and he is the sweetest ball of Golden Retriever fluff you will ever see in your life. Take a look and prepare accordingly for your heart to melt:

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We Mushenheims are a lover of all dogs big and small but we have a special place in our heart for Golden Retrievers. Sadly, our sweet golden, Gem, passed several months ago and we still mourn the loss of her and all of our fallen angel pets. However, we have always been a two dog family and, once we felt the time was appropriate and we were ready, we began to look into different pet rescue sites for a new pup to adopt.

After a handful of failed meet and greets with some of the dogs we were interested in because little Ollie straight up didn’t like them, we were beginning to lose hope. And, then, tiny Archie rolled into One Of A Kind Pets, an amazing rescue organization, and we decided to give it one more try.

My parents brought Ollie into One Of A Kind to meet Archie and, thankfully, they got along swimmingly… Probably because they’re the exact same size for now! So, needless to say, the adoption was a go! We have never had a puppy before, as we’ve always opted for older pups and it is definitely a different change of pace. Archie is three months old and loves to chew on everything, sleep, and then continue to chew on everything. 😀

We are so in love with our new little baby and, although Ollie remains indifferent to everything, I think he likes him too. I can’t wait to watch Archie grow and play and I am obsessed with that uber soft puppy fur! He is already and irreplaceable part of our family and we are so thankful to One Of A Kind Pets for bringing him to us. ❤

Have you gotten a new pet recently? What animals do you have at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Puppy Feel At Home

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The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Puppy Feel At Home

It doesn’t matter whether you are the proud new parent of a miniature schnauzer pedigree pup, a labrador puppy, or a young rescue mutt. The chances are, that you want your new addition to feel welcome in his new home. Being taken away from his mom and siblings at a mere eight weeks of age is traumatic enough, but now he has to get used to a whole new environment and set of people. The least you can do is to try and make this transition as easy as possible. Take a look at how you can make your little pupster feel at home quickly:

Talk To The Breeder:

Just like human beings, dogs show their personalities from a young age. Although still a puppy, your pet will have likes and dislikes that only his breeder will know. It pays to have a conversation with them so you can carry on some sort of routine. Check when the feeding schedule is, what food he enjoys, and the sorts of toys he likes chewing. With any luck, the breeder will give you a blanket or small bed with his mom’s scent on to ease his transfer into your home. You might get a small selection of chew toys, puzzle games, and a collar. A good breeder will always want the puppy you are welcoming into your home to feel at home straight away.

Buy A Quality Bed:

When a puppy first arrives at your home, be ready for him to go exploring. Your new family member will be sussing out his surroundings and trying to work out whether it is a safe space for him or not. Make sure that you buy a high quality bed. You could choose a tweed dog bed or a cushioned nylon type. Don’t opt for the soft fluffy type as these will get chewed up immediately. Place it somewhere in the room that you will be most of the time and see if he settles on it. Marking his territory by claiming his bed will make him feel secure and make that first night sleeping somewhere new a little bit easier.

Crate Training:

While the idea of placing your dog in a crate at night sounds like punishment, you are actually creating a safe space for him that is solely his. No one will intrude on this space, and he can retreat there whenever he wants some downtime, if he’s feeling tired, or if he’s feeling anxious. The crate can be used for training as well as a place to sleep overnight. If you are toilet training, you can place your little buddy in there for enforced rest, but only for a couple of hours at a time. Fill it with toys, a blanket, some chews, and water. Make it cozy and inviting and he will see it as his little den.

When you get a puppy, it’s vital that you are prepared. Make sure the whole family knows the ground rules and that you’re working together to make your new hound a member of the family. Before long, you will forget what life was like before you had him.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

And They Call It Puppy Love…

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And They Call It Puppy Love…

It doesn’t matter whether you have welcomed a not so little new St Bernard, a cute little puppy pug, or a delightful dachshund into your home, there are certain things that you must do to ensure that your new pup is receiving the best care. As a responsible owner, you want your new dog to feel like a part of the family straight away. At the same time, you don’t want anything to overwhelm him. In the same way as you would welcome home a new little human bundle of joy, you need to take time to settle into a new routine for your puppy. Take a look at what you can do to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your canine:

Nutrition:

There is no point in bringing your new pup home only to feed him food that he’s never tasted before. The chances are that he adores the grub that the breeder was feeding him, so ensure that you get a crate of it. Familiar smells and tastes will help settle the nerves of your pooch. Ensure that you bring the toys that he has played with in his previous environment and place them in his new playpen. This will be the first time that your new dog has been away from his litter pals and mom, so it’s vital that you are on hand pretty much twenty four seven, at least for the first few weeks.

Behavior:

It’s not uncommon for your puppy to bite especially as he’s getting to know his own capabilities. It’s vital that you try and nip this in the bud as soon as possible. Alongside formal puppy training to teach him the traditional obedience commands, you need to back this up with a firm but fair approach at home. When playing with your new four legged friend, don’t use your hand directly and instead use a toy. If they do manage to bite (often during play) then show a sad face, say firmly ‘no biting’ and ignore them for up to a minute. With consistent responses to his nipping, you should find that the behavior stops very quickly. Any issues, and you can get expert advice as to how to halt the biting.

Some puppies scratch or destroy items around the home. While this may be playful and amusing if he gets hold of a sock and demolishes it, this can be more serious if you return home from grocery shopping to see your sofa destroyed. This is classic separation anxiety and needs to be addressed. Go out for very short periods of time and build up the minutes you are away very slowly. Ensure that you play with him a lot and leave plenty to interest him when you are out to prevent destructive tendencies.

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So. Cute!

Exercise:

When ready, it’s important to get your pooch used to other canines. The easiest way to do this is to take relaxing strolls down to the park. Take your time and don’t be worried if your dog seems a little nervous. This is natural. Keep him on the leash and allow him to sniff other dogs, but keep a close eye on him to ensure there’s no aggressive behavior.

Before you know it, you will have a brand new and established member of your family – an adorable one, at that!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Four Legged Friend Friday

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Four Legged Friend Friday

Hey everyone and TGIF! With Halloween now behind us, I had to dedicate one last post to some spooky fun on lifewithlilred until next year. My two beloved rescue pups, Gem and Ollie, got a little more than they bargained for this Halloween when my mom and I decided that dressing them up as Despicable Me minions was the way to go for our neighborhood’s trick or treat:

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As you can see, Ollie doesn’t seem to care too much about his new side job as one of Gru’s pill shaped sidekicks.

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Gem, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to get out of her costume immediately!

I hate to say that I was laughing at poor Gem’s expense, but oh my goodness – I could not stop laughing. Despite how cute she looked in her minion garb, nothing was cute about her STINK EYES that she gave to literally every single member of my family as we tried to snap some pictures. Gem is a really emotive dog facially and her death stare, as seen above, says that she was not too pleased about her costume.

Even though Gem was a total diva while we prepared her Halloween wardrobe, she definitely perked up once the trick or treaters started arriving at the door. Gem and Ollie enjoyed all of the attention and were happy to have made all of the little kids laugh. But, best believe, that they were happiest of all once their minion costumes came off and were retired to the closet until next year!

My Four Legged Friends were an obvious hit this Halloween and they sure are cute – costumes or not! Did you dress up your pets this Halloween? What should Gem and Ollie be next year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is Your Family Ready For A Pet?

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Is Your Family Ready For A Pet?

Deciding if you’re ready to open up your home to a pet is a big step to take, and it requires careful consideration, especially if you have kids. You’ll need to think about the cost, time commitment, emotional energy, and logistical complication involved in having a pet, and then determine which kind is right for your family. A fish is low cost and low maintenance, but a dog is more memorable, active, and engaging. You know your family best, so if you’re thinking about getting a pet, here are some important questions to ask:

Is our family ready?

Having a pet is a great way to teach kids about responsibility, empathy, and to help them learn to cope with loss. A pet can also be a great resource for kids emotionally, because of the unconditional love and attention they can give. However, very young children might not be prepared for the responsibility of walking a dog every day or changing kitty litter, so if your kids are under the age of ten, be prepared to take on much of the actual work yourself.

Can we afford a pet?

Furry friends can be expensive – Food, toys, and medical costs for a pet can go well beyond your expectations. Buying food in bulk, making toys from old socks or recycling, and taking reasonable measures to prevent heart disease, dental problems, and other costly medical issues can help keep costs down. But if you’re not in a stable financial place, having a pet might only make things worse, which isn’t fair for all parties involved.

Is our house pet-friendly?

Plenty of pets live happily in little houses and apartments, but if you rent, having a pet can cause issues if you need to move to a new place. Birds, rodents, reptiles, and fish are great apartment pets because they’re perfectly happy spending most of their time indoors in a tank or cage. Dogs and cats can be trickier, because they need more outside time. If you don’t have access to a garden or a park, or live near a busy road that might not be safe, think carefully about what kind of pet you can safely accommodate.

Other Considerations:

Not every kid is ready to care for a pet, especially if they’re young or easily frightened. Take a trip to a petting zoo or animal shelter to volunteer and see if your family has the right dynamic to take a pet in. Timing is also important to consider. With a pet, your ability to travel last minute is much less likely. If you have a family vacation you’re planning or a wedding out of town, it might be worthwhile to wait until after the trip to settle down with an animal at home, so everyone can adjust together in a stable environment. Also bear in mind, that while a mouse or a fish might only live a year or two, a lizard or a dog might live fifteen years or more. If your kids are older, when they leave for college, you might be looking after the pet alone. Make sure you’re ready for the commitment before you make any decisions.

If you do decide that your family is ready for a pet, there are plenty of resources on how to train and care for your new family member and prepare your house for an animal. If and when you’re ready to make the decision, there will be lots of new things to consider, but lots of amazing benefits and memories to be made, as well!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Translating Your Love For Animals Into Action

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Translating Your Love For Animals Into Action

Mark Twain famously said: “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog”. While this might be a little harsh as a statement, there are a lot of people who could agree with Twain’s words. In fact, there are plenty of famous people who share Twain’s opinion from Marilyn Monroe, who found that only humans bit, to Elton John whose best man at his wedding was his dog. While preferring dogs to humans might seem a little off, there are clear advantages in developing a bond with animals. They are reliable, they don’t judge you, they don’t have any hidden motive, and, more practically, they provide friendly company. As an animal lover, you can make the world a better place for our furry, feathery and scaly friends by doing some (Or all!) of the below:

Change an animal’s life:

Do you know how many pets are abandoned every day? Rescue centers are filled with found, lost, and lonely pets who need a little help to find a better life. Some of them have been through horrendous situations such as abusive owners. There’s no denying that adopting an animal from a rescue center can make all of the difference. Of course, this isn’t a path for the faint-hearted, as some pets will need a lot of patience and support to trust another human being, so do make sure that you are informed about their backstory. But don’t despair, the effort is worth it! More often than not, animals with the worst stories are the kindest. They are quick to recognize your intentions and show their gratitude. If you want to start with an easier case, you could adopt an old pet as they tend to be peaceful, easy to manage, and just as cute.

Share your opinions and be proud of them:

Sometimes, all it takes to make a difference is to make your opinions clear and known —  respectfully, of course! You can talk to your friends about your beliefs about animals, for example, and maybe encourage them to follow your model. You could opt for a more passive conversion by wearing message tees to promote animal rights and animal pride — discover more fashionable alternatives over here. Sometimes nothing makes a stronger impact than a tee that says how much you love your dachshund. It’s fun, playful, and weirdly unforgettable and that’s what matters!

Become a wildlife’s hero:

If you want to turn your love for animals into something meaningful, you can join some of the wildlife actions for the protection and safety of all animals. You don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to make a difference. Adopting a wild animal through the WWF can help to fund wildlife protection. If you’ve got time, you can volunteer with zoos or organizations to help clean beaches and rescue animals. Buying responsibly also means that you can support companies that don’t pollute the environment and endanger wildlife. So what’s stopping you?

Being an animal lover is not just about watching kitten videos on YouTube. It’s a matter of doing your share to help animals and promote the cause. By adopting a dog in your neighborhood or choosing to donate to save tigers in the wild, you turn your love into a valuable action.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Lil Red Loves: Giving Back!

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Lil Red Loves: Giving Back!

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while or even are just friends with me on Facebook, you will know that there are two particular causes that are very close to my heart. One being animal rescue organizations and the other being the Special Olympics. Canine Lifeline, the rescue group that I volunteer for, and the Special Olympics are both organizations that I have worked with for about three years. Both causes are incredibly dear to me and I am here to talk about why. Let’s discuss:

Canine Lifeline:

I have had many a post on my blog about my precious rescue pups, Gem and Ollie, both of whom came from Canine Lifeline. This rescue group brings dogs up from rural, all kill shelters and tries to find them a new furever home in Ohio. Not only that, but they work hard to cover the medical expenses for the pups that are heartworm positive or who suffered in abusive conditions in their previous owner’s “care”.

My mom, sister, and I try to do everything within our time budget to help out with the needs of this amazing organization. Whether it be walking the dogs, bathing them, washing the blankets in their cages, or giving them some play time, we try to lend a helping hand as often as possible. We also have fun trying our luck at their raffle fundraisers where you can win amazing gift baskets! If it wasn’t for CLL, Gem and Ollie wouldn’t be here to be such a treasured part of our lives. With that in mind, the least we can do is try to give back!

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^^^ Gem is in the first picture and Ollie is straight lounging in the second one. *Featuring Patrick Starfish*

Special Olympics:

This will be my third year of coaching Special Olympics figure skating and I am SO excited for practices to commence in October. I have been working with people who have special needs for roughly three years, as well, and I can’t imagine being in a better, more rewarding field. Compliments to about ten years of competitive figure skating, I have been able to use my somewhat forgotten skills to help my students grow as athletes and it brings me so much joy.

Coaching and motivating my athletes in whatever way that I can has led me to wonderful new friendships as well as a weekly workout – it’s really a win/win situation! I live for the practices, the actual Special Olympics games, and the celebration banquet when it is all over. Seeing my students enjoy themselves and succeed in an incredibly difficult sport is all the payoff that I need, and I plan on coaching every year until I physically can’t do it any more. Plus, Coach Sarah has an excellent ring to it!

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^^^ Team picture!!! ❤

There is nothing better than volunteering your time, energy, and skills to an organization that is special to you. And, of course, monetary donations are also much appreciated, especially to both of my above causes, which are nonprofit.

And speaking of nonprofit organizations, if you are helping to plan a fundraising event for one of your causes, then the services at Eventbrite are a great place to start. Your raffle or dinner will be sure to be a hit with Eventbrite’s event planning, promotions, and social sharing tools to help your favorite cause reach new audiences and, of course, earn some money.

Lil Red Loves: Giving Back and I hope that this inspired you to help out with a cause that is meaningful to you! Which organization do you volunteer for? How do you give back? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Comal Habitat