Search Results for: My Furry Valentine

My Furry Valentine is Coming Up

My Furry Valentine, the region’s largest annual animal adoption event, is coming up this Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14, 2016, from 11am – My Furry Valentine5pm, at the Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH 45246.

Over the past four years, the event has found homes for more than 2,000 animals. The 2016 event space is larger than ever, to accommodate more visitors, vendors and more adoptable pets. Community members who want to help but aren’t looking to adopt can donate pet supplies. The event also features entertainment, games, a photo booth, prizes and more for families to enjoy.

This year, vouchers for free admission ($3 value) can be picked up at all Greater Cincinnati UDF locations from February 1 through the event weekend. Also new this year, on Saturday, February 13 from 10-11am there will be an opportunity for visitors to meet with adoptable pets before the event opens to the general public. Early Bird admission fee is $15 per adult (children under 17 are free with an adult), and can be purchased in advance at http://myfurryvalentine.com/ticket-sales/ and at the door. Quantities are limited.

For additional information about phoDOGrapher’s My Furry Valentine, visit http://myfurryvalentine.com or contact My Furry Valentine event organizer, Carolyn Evans at carolyn@MyFurryValentine.com.
 

My Furry Valentine Is Cincinnati’s Pet Adoption Mega Event

All too often puppies and dogs find their ways into shelters, for many reasons, often for no fault of their own. They are the victims of circumstances beyond their control, like an illness or death in the family, divorce, growing family, family relocation, or improper training and preparation from owners.

Nearly 3 million of them are euthanized every year in the United States.

My Furry Valentine Cincinnati pet adoption event

photo credit:
PhoDOGrapher
for My Furry Valentine

All I have to do is walk into my parents home where I am greeted with 40 pounds of love to be reminded these animals deserve places they can call home. I see all the time through my dog training clients and friends the beautiful gift of adoption.
Coming up this Valentine’s Day weekend is our region’s largest pet adoption event, My Furry Valentine. It will be at the Sharonville Convention Center from 10 am to 5 pm.

My Furry Valentine is hoping to find homes for 550 animals during the weekend event. The event is fun, family-friendly and free to attend. This year’s My Furry Valentine is hosted by phoDOGrapher and presented by Top Dog sponsors IAMS and Tri-County Mall with additional financial assistance from The Joanie Bernard Foundation.

Please click here to read my list of considerations before you go.

Visit www.myfurryvalentine.com.

Some Things To Consider Before My Furry Valentine

Have you been wanting to add a furry companion to your household? You are about to have one of the largest selections from which to choose at My Furry Valentine.

 

The mega-adoption event founded and led by Phodographer Carolyn Evans brings together dozens of Cincinnati area animal rescue groups with a common goal of finding homes for more than 550 animals.

My Furry ValentineIn addition to adoptable pets, the event features: family friendly games, face painting, arts & crafts, a rescued farm animal petting zoo, and a variety of pet vendors. Parking and admission are free. Pet adoption fees and applications vary. All pet adopters will receive: a professional photo of their new pet, goody bag overflowing with free pet supplies, toys, treats, coupons, an Alcott adventure leash and collar set, and 1 large bag of IAMS pet food.

I attended the event last year and fell in love with this sweet girl I am holding. She found her forever home there as did hundreds of others. What a wonderful effort.

If you are planning on attending, as a dog trainer, I want to encourage you to give thought in advance to your adoption. Having that forethought will go a long way toward setting your relationship with your pet up for success long term.

A Few Considerations

1. Puppy or Adult

There are some advantages to bringing home a puppy, some of which include the moldability of your puppy’s behavior and temperament to your lifestyle. However, keep in mind that puppies are living, breathing, chewing, playing, barking, eating, urinating beings. The first six months of your puppy’s life will be critical when it comes to socialization, teaching it all of the many life skills to set it up for success.

On the other hand, an adult dog’s habits, manners and temperament have a much longer history of practice – for better or for worse. Ask questions about your potential new companion (puppy or adult) before making the adoption. With adults, there are many who have great skills already and just need a second loving, forever home. There are others who have a few behavior problems that can be worked through with positive reinforcement training. And there are others who have very significant issues that will significantly alter your life due to management and positive training. Ask yourself if you have the time, the environment and the knowledge to benefit a dog with significant issues before bringing one home.

2. Choosing a dog – basics

When it comes to choosing a dog based upon breed qualities, it is important to note that within all breeds there is a wide variation in personality, behavior and temperament just as there is a wide variety among human children and adults. It would be a mistake to come home with a Golden Retriever and think it was simply born to be completely accepting of children climbing all over him. With any dog or puppy, it is up to you to  set him up for success in your lifestyle.

However, it is important to consider breed-specific qualities and problems such as the amount of exercise needed for a working dog or health issues or potential health issues.

When choosing a puppy or dog, a few things you may want to watch for are: how the puppy/dog plays, how the puppy/dog reacts to being petted, is the puppy/dog reactive, does the puppy/dog approach strangers or back up from them.

3. Expenses

Ask yourself, can you afford a new puppy or dog? A puppy’s first year will include vaccines, spay or neuter surgery, and other possible medical expenses. Medical expenses and grooming expenses (depending on the breed) will need to be budgeted for. You will also need a dog crate, exercise pen or baby gate (for puppies especially), an ongoing supply of treats, high quality dog food, a comfy bed, a leash and collar (halter, Martingale or gentle leader), and training. You may also need to fence in your yard. And, if you plan on vacationing, you will need to add the expense of care for you pet.

4. Your living environment

Do you live in an apartment, a home without a yard or a home with a large fenced in area behind it? Different breeds will require different amounts of exercise, have different volumes of bark, and different sensitivities to stimulus. Before you arrive at My Furry Valentine, think about what types of breeds will be most successful in your environment. (Remember – mixed breeds have ‘breeds’ in them.) In general, sporting, hounds, herding and terrier breeds will require more daily exercise.

5. Children

It is important to realize that regardless of the breed of dog you bring home, EVERY dog will have his or her limits when it comes to tolerating being approached or handled in ways that make it uncomfortable. If you are planning on bringing a puppy or dog into your home with small children, do you have the time to supervise all of their interaction and teach your kids and dog skills for success? Do you know how to read dog body language to know when to intercede if those interactions become uncomfortable? A positive dog trainer can work with you to teach you and your children how to interact appropriately with your dog, and help to set you and your family up for success.

6. Other Pets

Similar to children, some dogs are naturally great with other pets, whereas other dogs are not. For some, a careful management and desensitization plan will go a long way toward helping the animals succeed. Ask yourself if you have the time to devote to this if needed. A positive, professional dog trainer can help.

7. Your Time and Lifestyle

Taking good care of a dog or any pet requires time for training, exercise, socialization and management. Remember, there is no such thing as a ready-made, well behaved dog. Once you bring your new friend into your home, it is your responsibility to teach it so that it can grow to its fullest potential and adapt successfully to your lifestyle and your family.

Different dogs will need different amounts of exercise and mental stimulation; however, they all will benefit from exercise. Bringing a puppy into your home is like bringing home a child. Your life is going to change dramatically between training (including house training), managing, and exercising. A working dog such as a border collie will need a lot of exercise – mentally and physically. Are you prepared for daily long walks or other ways of having your dog’s needs met, or would a dog that needs much less exercise be more successful in your home? Some dogs like the husky or Burmese mountain dog will be more tolerant of cold temperatures (and more sensitive to heat).

8. Health

A nutritional, high quality diet will benefit your dog in many ways behaviorally and physically. For dog food reviews, please visit: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/. It is a great idea to have an emergency pet fund set up for those unforeseen incidences; however, also realize you will have annual medical expenses too and older dogs will often need more medical attention.

9. Training And Socialization

Training begins the moment you bring your new dog or puppy into your home, whether you realize it or not. All animals are continually learning from the consequences of their behavior. Be cognizant of that and reinforce the behaviors you want to see more of while not giving value to the behaviors you do not like.

Teaching puppies early on to associate positive outcomes with different people, places and things is very important toward prevention of behavior issues down the road.

Considerations Before Adopting A Puppy

Going to a pet adoption event like My Furry Valentine, it is so easy to fall in love at first sight. Those dogs and puppies (and kittens and other animals for that matter) have a way of getting into your heart, and before you know it, you are walking off with a new friend…with whom, if all goes well, you will be sharing a home for many years to come.

Many times the reason dogs and puppies are in rescue situations to begin with are because those animals, for any number of reasons, were a mismatch for their adoptee. Or, if those animals are not surrendered, they may not be living out their fullest potential; and may be a source of much stress for their human companions…definitely probably not the initial intention of bringing home a new pet.

questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog or puppyTo help ensure you don’t become one of those statistics, BEFORE leaving for the adoption event, give these things some thought:

Ask yourself.

Can you afford a new puppy or dog? A puppy’s first year will include vaccines, spay or neuter surgery, and other possible medical expenses. Medical expenses and grooming expenses (depending on the breed) will need to be budgeted for. You will also need a dog crate, exercise pen or baby gate (for puppies especially), an ongoing supply of treats, high quality dog food, a comfy bed, a leash and collar (halter, Martingale or gentle leader), and training. You may also need to fence in your yard. And, if you plan on vacationing, you will need to add the expense of care for you pet.

Should I adopt a puppy or an adult dog? Bringing a puppy into your home is like bringing home a baby. They are living, breathing, chewing, playing, barking, eating and urinating beings. Those first six months are so super important to your puppy achieving its fullest potential. Management and training are critical, and can seem all consuming for a period of time. Are you prepared for the impact this will have on your life? Are you prepared for the possible damage to your home when mistakes happen? Before adopting a puppy, ask questions to find out as much as you can about how it was raised and socialized; its health history; and its temperament.

With adults, there are many who are well trained with no history of problem areas who are just in need of a second home. There are others who do have problem behaviors that will need to be worked through with training using positive reinforcement. And there are still others who have very significant behavior issues that will require someone who has the knowledge to be able to help them, and the willingness to make necessary changes to their home and lifestyle to manage the dog.  Good intentions alone are not enough to help a dog who has significant issues. Be honest about asking yourself if you have the time, the environment and the knowledge to really help a dog like that before bringing him/her into your home.

What traits am I looking for in a dog? Does size matter? Remember that a larger dog will need more space, larger crates and toys, more food, etc. Do you want a dog who will lounge on the couch all day or who will need a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation? Remember, boredom and lack of needed enrichment can be the culprit for many unwanted behaviors. Is it important to you that your dog plays well with other dogs? Does it matter if your dog sheds a lot?  Is slobbering tolerable or intolerable? Do you want a dog who will need to be groomed on a regular basis? Certain breeds have greater risks for some health issues. These are just some of the considerations to think about. Be realistic with yourself in terms of your lifestyle – now and in the future.

When choosing a puppy or dog, a few things you may want to watch for are: how the puppy/dog plays, how the puppy/dog reacts to being petted, is the puppy/dog reactive, does the puppy/dog approach strangers or back up from them.

Have I considered what general dog breeds I should consider? Animal Planet has a good one that asks you some questions (like ones I mentioned above) and then makes suggestions on compatible breeds. It is really important to know before taking the test that, while the suggestions are based upon predictably, every animal is an individual. Even within the same litter you will find dogs who differ in temperaments, exercise needs and more. And adopting a dog (such as a golden retriever) who is *supposed* to be great with children does not mean that your specific dog will be that way. Genetics and how it is raised both factor into that.

If I have young children, do I have time to help their relationship succeed with the pet? Young children should always be proactively supervised when interacting with your pet, as EVERY dog will have a limit of what it will and will not tolerate. Your dog should have its own personal space when it wants to be alone. Do you know how to read dog body language and know when to intercede? There is training that will need to be done for both your dog and your children to teach them appropriate behavior around each other. A positive dog trainer can work with you to teach you and your children how to interact appropriately with your dog, and help to set you and your family up for success. I have a class just for kids. Please click here to be contacted for future dates.

If I have other pets, am I able to devote what is needed to help that relationship succeed?  Not all dogs are naturally great with other pets. A careful management and desensitization plan may be needed, and will go a long way toward helping the animals succeed.

When you do come home with your new friend,

Just know that as your puppy’s caregiver and teacher, it is up to you to teach him appropriate skills to succeed in your household and in life; and to work to prevent inappropriate behaviors.

The good news is that all of those skills are teachable with clear, positive communication….and patience. What are some of those skills? Teaching bite inhibition, crate training, house training, calm behaviors and other basic behaviors (come, sit, down, stay, wait, etc.), socialization to a variety of people, dogs, things and places, teaching the value in enrichment toys, prevention of resource guarding and chewing on inappropriate things, just to name a few.

Remember, your puppy is constantly learning. Beginning his life journey with you by teaching him with positive reinforcement will create a dog who loves to learn, loves being around you, and listens to you.

Your new adult dog too is constantly learning, and will benefit from clear, positive communication.

I’d enjoy helping you on that path.

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