Adopting a dog involves a financial commitment. And puppy adoption, in particular, can be costly, shares Dogster. In fact, within the first year you’ll have to budget for spaying/neutering and the necessary vaccinations.
In addition, you should carefully consider the costs of food, veterinary care, pet toys and beds, grooming and even boarding at a kennel if you vacation.
Dogster.com partners with PetFinder to bring the largest listing of adoptable dogs on the web. It’s the perfect place to start your dog adoption search.
For Overland Park area residents, check out the local Dogster adoption page to get started with your information gathering on dog adoption.
Where Should I Look For A Dog?
Consider visiting a shelter to rescue a dog. While many shelter dogs are mixed breeds, the Humane Society of the United States says that one in four is purebred. There are also rescue groups that specialize in finding homes for dogs of a specific breed; adopting a rescue dog may be far cheaper than buying a puppy from a breeder. However, if you do choose to use the services of a breeder, be sure to choose a reputable one.
Dog walkers typically choose from four basic types of leashes. Most leashes come in varying weights and materials. Whether you have an adult dog or a puppy, it’s important to get the right kind of leash for your best friend. Talk to your vet or local pet store about what they would recommend for your unique dog.
- Retractable leash. Allows you to easily stop, extend or retract the lead for precision control. Gives your dog room to roam and sniff.
- Leather leash. Works great to use during dog training, like teaching your dog the heel command.
- Bungee leash. Decreases the force of your dog’s pulling as well as keeps the leash from tangling and getting under foot.
- Hands free leash. Allows you to enjoy the full arm rotation and have the security of having your dog safe and running in front of you.
There are typically three types of dog collars to choose from, made of knitted nylon, leather, rope or chain link.
Here are the three basic collars:
- Regular collar. Small dogs or dogs that walk to the heel command do well with regular collars.
- Harness collar. Typically straps around the dog’s chest. Designed to help discourage dogs from pulling as it directs pressure onto the dog.
- Choke and Prong chain collar. Often used on big dogs and dogs with thick fur. When the dog pulls, the chain tightens around the neck and discourages pulling.
“The Overland Park Police Department’s Canine Unit (K-9 teams) responded to patrol or tactical needs over 90 times during 2011,” says Ofc./K-9 Trainer Cory Flaming. “This can range from a vehicle stop, search warrant, or large event,” adds Ofc. Flaming, who is part of the department’s Emergency Services Section.
”We use the Police Service Dog (PSD) teams in several different ways to assist in tracking, area searches, building searches and felony car stops. The Patrol discipline relates to finding people or suspects, and uses techniques such as narcotics and explosive detection,” adds Ofc. Flaming.
Ofc. Flaming is proud to introduce Overland Park’s three Police Service Dog (PSD) teams:
1. Ofc. Justin Doherty with K-9 “Deuce” – a 10-year old Belgium Malinois certified in narcotics detection and patrol.
2. Ofc. Ben Hardin with K-9 “Cezar” – a 6-year old German Shepherd certified in narcotics detection and patrol.
3. Ofc./K-9 Trainer Cory Flaming with K-9 “Mack” – a 3-year old Belgium Malinois certified in explosive detection and patrol.
Flaming shares how the K-9’s are selection tested, usually from nationally recognized K-9 vendors. The tests are designed to test their natural drives and traits, requirements for police service dogs. “Sometimes 50-100 dogs are tested before finding a suitable working K-9,” says Flaming. “All of our current PSD’s are imported from various parts of Europe.”
K-9’s Deuce and Cezar searched over 210 vehicles/buildings, resulting in over 100 narcotics finds. K-9 Weaver searched over 290 vehicles/buildings, resulting in 3 explosives finds.
K-9 Handlers not only respond with their assigned K-9’s, but they must also serve as a SWAT/WMD Operator. When an officer wishes to become a handler, they must go through a whole new hiring process within the department. This process includes a resume, physical, and several interviews including family and neighbors. If the handler passes the process, they are required to complete a 10-week basic course with their assigned K-9. At the end of the course, they must pass a difficult certification which is then repeated once a year.
Handlers are required to care for their K-9 partner 24 hours a day, so they stay at home with their handlers. They are not considered pets and are kenneled while away from work at the handler’s home. The City provides a large outdoor and indoor kennel which is installed at the handler’s residence.
K-9 Teams also provide K-9 demonstrations on a regular basis at the request of certain organizations such as “Pet Pals” at the Deanna Rose Farmstead or “Paws in the Park” at Shawnee Mission Park.
Established in 1989, the OPPD K-9 team is currently assigned to the Emergency Services Section within the Police Department. In addition to serving the City of Overland Park, the K-9 teams assisted surrounding cities on 25 occasions in 2011.
Sponsored by the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, the 25th annual Dog-N-Jog is set for Sunday, June 10, 2012.
Bring your dog for a morning of fun where more than 1,200 canines and 2,000 of their companions will participate on The Country Club Plaza. Dog-n-Jog is a 1 and 2 mile walk/run benefiting The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Activities include vendor booths, agility demonstrations, costume contests, a raffle and more.
Master emcees include NBC Action News Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak with his weather dog, Stormy, KFKF Radio’s Debbie Erikson and Q104 Radio’s TJ McEntire.
This year’s race will begin at the intersection of Central and Ward Parkway and cover Ward Parkway, Pennsylvania, and Nichols Road. Plenty of Plaza parking will be available for you and your pooch at the Starbuck’s parking lot off Central and the Hall’s parking lot off Wyandotte.
For more information and schedules, visit the Humane Society’s events calendar.
Does your dog lick or chew his paws constantly? If so, more than likely this behavior is already driving you insane. Although all dogs lick themselves as normal grooming behavior, excessive licking and chewing indicates an underlying problem. Getting to the bottom of why a dog does this is not always an easy task.
Nicola Parry, a vet at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says there are most likely five common suspects.
- Allergies: Often dogs will lick their paws if they have an itch – although it can be due to itchy paws, it can also be a result of an itch elsewhere. Oftentimes when dogs feel itchy, they just lick somewhere accessible – the paws – as a way of soothing the irritation. Although many types of allergy can be causative, flea allergies or even a simple flea infestation can be very common causes, especially in the summer.
- Injury:Damaged skin also causes itchiness. This can arise secondary to problems like flea allergy, or it can be a primary problem. It’s not uncommon for dogs to cut their paws, or even to have foreign material such as grass seeds stuck in the skin between their toes.
- Habit:Boredom or lack of exercise can often lead to licking, especially in dogs left home alone for long periods of time
- Anxiety:This can be linked to boredom, for instance if dogs become anxious when alone, but other incidents can also cause anxiety. Simple things like a change in routine can lead to anxiety in some dogs, as can additions to the family, such as a new baby or a new pet.
- Compulsive Disorder:Some dogs develop obsessive, compulsive issues that lead to constant licking. Although uncommon, this can be very difficult to control.
Why Is The Licking A Problem?
In addition to being annoying to most owners, the constant licking can be a real problem for dogs, adds Parry.
If left unchecked, the licking can lead to skin damage, open sores and secondary bacterial infection. This can become a vicious cycle since the damaged skin is more irritated and painful, causing even more licking.
If your dog licks his paws due to habit or anxiety, there is also the risk that this can progress into compulsive behavior.
Happy Tails Spa, an eco-friendly grooming and wellness spa company with products for the modern dog, features 5 great tips for treatment:
- Treat for fleas:Since these are a very common cause of paw licking, be sure to institute a flea control regime, even if you don’t see any. Flea The Scene is an effective, natural product that can help eliminate this problem.
- Control the itch:Breaking the “itch-scratch” cycle can help to stop the licking in cases due to flea allergy. Itchin’ For Relief and Healthy Skin Shiny Coat are great for this purpose, helping to soothe your dog’s skin naturally.
- Cover the paws:Some dogs respond well to this, and it can occasionally stop the behavior. Dog booties can be used, or even simple dressings using self-adhesive material such as Vetrap®.
- Health check:If your dog’s constant licking persists, or if open wounds develop, your veterinarian should rule out underlying health problems, such as skin infections or entrapped foreign material.
- Behavior Therapy:If your dog licks his paws as part of a compulsive disorder, a behavioral expert may need to recommend behavioral changes or medication.
“So if your dog is licking his paws, take some comfort in the fact that this is a common complaint,” shares Parry. ”The good news, however, is that many cases are less complicated and very manageable.”
Overland Park pet licensing requirements help protect the public by ensuring all dogs and cats are vaccinated for rabies, a requirement for license and tags. The license/tag also assists Animal Control when returning stray animals to their owners.
Set by city ordinance, Overland Park’s pet license fees are $10 for spayed/neutered animals and $20 for male/female pets.
Letting a dog run loose with a leash attached but not held by an individual is a violation of the city’s leash law. Violations may result in a fine of $100 or more.
The city does not operate any off-leash parks. However, Johnson County residents can enjoy these three off-leash dog parks, including one in Overland Park:
Overland Park sidewalks and trails are bustling with dog walkers. Big dogs, small dogs, and dogs in-between, Spring has sprung with dog walking activities. Walking a dog may seem like a mindless activity, but it’s not just a walk in the park. Dog owners should follow dog walking guidelines out of courtesy, safety and common sense.
It’s important to follow these 10 dog walking commandments that are crucial to ensure the safety and happiness of dogs, their owners and the general public, shares Marisa Landau in the PotomacPatch newsletter. Marisa shares tips of her own experiences with her dog and as an owner of a professional dog walking company.
1. Pick up poop.
Not only is not picking up poop illegal, but it is also unsanitary and can ruin other people’s shoes. If you have ever had the misfortune of stepping in dog poop, you know how frustrating it can be.
Although you may feel confident in your ability to control your dog with vocal and non-verbal commands, you never know when something might distract him and cause him to run off. I have seen plenty of dog owners lose track of their “well-behaved dogs” when a deer passes by or another dog approaches. It is also important to keep your dog on leash because you don’t know how another dog may respond if your unleashed dog approaches them. Some dogs get “leash aggression” when approached by dogs that are not leashed. It is illegal to keep dogs off-leash in public areas—that is what dog parks are for.
3. Be aware of your surroundings.
Talking on the phone or listening to music while walking dogs may be a good way to pass the time but keep in mind that it is also distracting. I have found that bad things are most likely to happen when you let down your guard. Between traffic, other dogs and sirens, you need to know what is happening around you to keep you and your dog safe. These days you can find plenty of stories of people being hit by cars while they are texting or talking on the phone, so imagine if that sort of distraction caused something horrible to happen to your dog.
4. Don’t allow your dog to jump and sniff people unless given specific permission.
Passing by dog owners in tight spaces, hallways or elevators can be a nuisance or even frightening for people who are scared of dogs. As difficult as it is for some of us to imagine, not everyone loves dogs and therefore not everyone welcomes a wet nose to the crotch or a paw print on their pant leg. When passing other people, keep your dog very close to you out of courtesy to others. Do not allow him to sniff or jump on other people unless they approach your dog first or ask to say hello.
5. Ask before allowing dog to greet others.
I can’t keep track of how many times people let their dog run up to my dog and say, “It’s OK, he/she is friendly” without bothering to ask if my dog is as well. Just because your dog is friendly DOES NOT mean another dog will not react (particularly if one dog is on leash and the other is not). My dog, Kaya, does great with 99 percent of other dogs but every now and then a certain smell or look from a strange dog will set her off. It really bugs me when people let their dogs approach anyone without bothering to ask if it is okay with the other person. Please realize that like people, dogs react differently to various individuals and even the friendliest dogs might react poorly if provoked, or even if not.
6. Wait until you have right of way to cross the street.
This seems like common sense, but I have seen this scenario too many times: Someone is walking their dog and tries to hurry across the street before oncoming traffic arrives. The dog senses that his owner is in a hurry and, because he is nervous, sits down and refuses to walk. The owner is now stuck in the middle of the street with a dog refusing to move while cars are headed right for them. All it takes is a couple of seconds to wait for the walk signal to keep you and your dog safe.
7. Be mindful of where your dog goes potty.
This can be tricky in more urban areas as the good potty spots are limited due to a minimal amount of grass. However, when walking along people’s yards try to be courteous about where your dog does his business. If he must go on a lawn, keep it 2-3 feet from the road. Don’t let your dog go traipsing on someones flower bed. Here is a little known secret: The grassy areas between the sidewalk and the streets is considered public property and therefore is fair game.
8. Keep your dog on a maximum six foot leash in busy areas.
This will keep your dog from jumping on other people and from lunging into the street. Retractable leashes are great for open fields or trails, but on busy paths or sidewalks keep your dog close out of safety and courtesy to others.
9. Make sure the collar and/or harness is on properly and securely.
I have heard stories of multiple dogs escaping and running away from either slipping out of their harnesses, or from backing up and slipping out of a collar that was too loose. This is particularly crucial for dogs that are nervous or skittish. If a dog hears a loud noise and tries to back up, he can very easily slip out of his collar if it is too loose. Always make sure that your dog’s collar and/or harness is tight enough so that you can slip just two fingers underneath it.
10. Pick up poop (so important that it has to be said twice).
You may think you are being sneaky by pretending not to notice, claiming you forgot a bag or all of the above, but you’re not fooling anyone. I am a true believer in dog “poop karma.” If you don’t pickup after your dog, it is likely that you will ruin a nice pair of shoes by stepping in another dog’s mess. Maybe then you’ll change your ways.
Summer boating with your dog can be a blast as long as you keep safety tips at top of mind. Boating with your furry pal is a great way for you to be outdoors with your best friend.
Dogs that like to swim and play in the water should enjoy spending time out on the boat. Even if your dog prefers to stay dry, they will enjoy being with you and will have fun riding around in the boat getting fresh air.
Don’t forget to pack up a bowl of water, pet waste bags, a pet first aid kit and a waterproof bag of dog food for extended day trips.
As featured on CritterMinute.com, here are some important safety tips to follow when boating with your dog:
- Start with a short trip, especially if it is the first time your dog will be in a boat. You might want to spend some time in shallow water so your dog can get her/his sea legs and allow time for her/him to adjust to the sounds and movement of being on a boat.
- Make sure your dog is under constant supervision. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong.
- Keep a life jacket on your dog, even if he knows how to swim. There are many different types of vests, you’ll want to make sure to buy the correct size for your dog. Just keep in mind some dogs may panic when they accidentally fall over board. Another reason to keep a life vest on is in case your dog does not know his limitations. Some dogs will keep going until they pass out. Most of the life jackets come with a nifty handle to help pull your dog safely back onto the boat.
- Another thing to consider is your dog’s footing. Dogs do not have boating shoes and boats with fiberglass decks can become especially slick for your dog to walk on. Consider putting down some carpet, which will allow your dog to have better footing. This will also keep your dog’s paws from burning on a hot deck.
- We all wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the harsh sun when out on the water. You may want to provide your dog with a pair of doggles. Doggles are safety glasses made for dogs. If your dog will tolerate wearing them, they will protect your dog’s eyes from the sun.
- You’ll also want to make sure you have sunscreen for your dog. There are special sunscreens available, which are formulated to protect your pooch. A dog’s nose is very susceptible to sunburn. If you have a dog with very short hair you’ll want to make sure he’s protected on his head, belly and anywhere else he may burn.
- Make sure if you’re out fishing that all hooks, bait and anything else a dog is likely to get into is kept away from your dog.
- You will also want to make sure your dog has a place to get out of the sun. This is important so your dog has a place to cool off when temperatures and sun can become overwhelming, and always keep plenty of fresh drinking water on hand for your canine sailor.