PRICE vs ETHICS
PRICE vs ETHICS
Written by Natalia Dolidze, Managing Director of Pets Habitat LLC
in collaboration with our guest blogger Kristina Jordanovska, Veterinary Student/Writer/Photographer
I was somewhat surprised our poll PRICE vs ETHICS resulted in nearly equal tie (Ultimately, would you: rather pay more for your new puppy or kitten, knowing he/she came from ethical source, home based breeder OR still consider & prefer cheaper pet, even under suspicion of him/her coming from puppy mill, because you can afford the price?). Such outcome has prompted and urged this brief article.
As the demand for puppies and their popularity rises in the UAE, so do the importers, breeders and the sellers of puppies. However, not everyone is meant to have a dog just as not everyone is meant to breed dogs and sell them. If you already have decided to have a dog, a lifetime companion, please do your thorough research before you get one.
First of all, do you know what’s a “puppy mill”? The word itself says it: mill – a factory or a plant for manufacturing different kinds of things. In this case, puppies! Puppy mill, aka puppy farm, is where dogs are bred in cages each and every season canine mom goes on heat in someone’s backyard or warehouse or another commercial setup away from much of human interaction, attention and concern. These sorrowful dogs are often dehydrated, severely malnourished, exposed to weather elements (cold in winter, hot in summer), lacking most of hygiene, basic veterinary consideration and all human kindness and empathy every living being needs and deserves. All possible costs are cut and minimized to make the most profit often even in such absolute necessities as vaccines (fake photocopied stickers are often used in pet passports). Such puppy factories have made a mess in the genetics of the breeds and are massively producing dogs with health problems, behavioral issues, while demonstrating ethical failings of our modern society. Puppy mills have become so common, real genuine breeders are losing their purpose and popularity. The only reasons why people still choose to buy puppies from a puppy mill is ignorance and low prices.
Before getting an adorable little puppy, consider your options and your conscience. If you don’t care about the breed and you just want a loveable companion, the first thing you should consider is adopting a puppy or an already grown dog. However, this way you can never be sure about the size it will grow up to be (most puppies/dogs for adoption are usually of larger sizes), the genetics, if it will have some health problems or not, the character and the temperament. Even so, if you adopt a dog, you have no guaranties at all, but you do a good thing and possibly save a life! It is not rare that mixed breeds, usually adopted dogs, are healthier than genuine pure breeds.
However, if you are looking for certain traits, if you or family members have allergies, if age and size are of importance, if you want to see/know more about both parents of your chosen puppy, then you must be ready to pay the price to authentic breeder, and if none is found within UAE, also the shipping and documentation expenses, airline fees, export/import duties, boarding and veterinary costs to name just a few.
When buying cheaper puppy from a puppy mill or unverified source, you run high risk of having sick puppy, in many cases dying from common viruses that can be prevented with hygiene and vaccines, poorly formed / deformed puppy due to malnutrition of mother and litter, genetically poor puppy due to inbreeding, not correctly represented breed (cross bred), not to mention you fund the appalling industry of puppy mills. Another aspect to worry about when you get a puppy with unknown background from potential puppy mill source is behavior. Dogs that are inbred and kept in not so good conditions with many other dogs in overcrowded cages, lacking elementary medical attention and basic human love and care, would probably develop not so nice temperament towards humans. In other words, puppies bred and raised in such commercial setups are known to be aggressive, unpredictable and unreliable towards people, children in particular, as little humans cannot always assess the warning signs of danger coming from their poorly bred canine companion as adults would.
When you buy a dog from a trustworthy breeder, or ethical breeder with a history of keeping and breeding the same breed, you know exactly the breed you will get, with stable temperament, well socialized disposition and predictable happy-to-be-around-humans canine behavior. It is not a secret that you will pay more money, but it nearly always worth the initial additional budget strain. You can put your fears to rest that your puppy will turn into healthy and happy long lived companion just as expected with no unpleasant surprises in between.
At Pets Habitat all our puppies come strictly from home and family based breeders, who breed yearly or every second year (this is why I often must say honest NO to some of my customers requesting their second puppy from us from the same breeder), where parent dogs live with human family as pets, loved, played, walked and even slept with in some cases. Many of our breeders have kids of their own and thus our puppies are well socialized with children since birth, familiar with kids’ behavior and tolerate any possible childish capriciousness well. All our puppies are raised with human love and devotion, their parents are never perceived as money bearing machines, and it shows in our puppies’ behavior and attitude towards humans, their even nature and their happy-go-lucky personalities.
In conclusion, I’ve heard people tell me how they bought a very special breed of dog from someone/somewhere for low price and it didn’t turn out to be that breed, however they got attached to it and love it and keep it anyway. I guess that is the best case scenario that could possibly happen when you buy a dog from unverified sources. Can you imagine how heartbroken you as an owner would be if you found out that your puppy was dying from some virus or health problem that you had known nothing about at the time of purchase? Sadly, this is what happens very often with these puppies… Also, you wouldn’t want to pay for a Chihuahua that you plan on keeping in a small apartment and get a Labrador cross instead (happened too)!
I advise you to be very careful and patient when researching from where you should buy a dog, especially if you are a first time owner. Consider all and always ask questions, because in the end the price doesn’t matter when you weigh long term effects of owning lifelong friend, who is healthy and with no serious problems!
Do you have your opinion on this subject or would you like to ask a question? Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org…
FREE TO GOOD HOME
We always have pets free to a good home, mostly cats and occasionally a dog, either from our own rescue efforts, abandoned at our store or directly from many of you who no longer are able to care for your pet. Although I may be critical and opinionated towards most pet owners, who are too readily willing to rid of their previously much loved pets, I do understand that life situations change, and there are times when it is in the best interest of the pet to find him/her another family. It is never an easy process. Most people do not want older, medically dependent or otherwise troubled animal with own share of bad habits on their hands, many ask for young puppy/kitten or pedigree pets “for adoption”. The truth is every domesticated animal deserves a home, regular meals, responsibility of medical attention, caring hands and a little bit of love every now and again at the very least, whether animal is older or not as good looking as our aesthetic eyes dictate us or comes with previously ignored negative traits. It is up to us to find that humanity and compassion within ourselves, and sensibility to estimate if we are able to provide this pet permanent home, care and love for the rest of his/her natural life.
I am categorically against pet euthanasia in event of owners’ relocation or any change of life circumstances. I cannot see a reason behind someone wanting to end a life of previously loved living being (we are still talking of pets here, not human relationships ;P) in a situation where a healthy animal, blessed with a gift of life, must die solely for the convenience of human family.
Also, please note, for all pets adopted directly from our store we do take donations. This is not done for profit and it rarely covers actual expense of our rescue efforts. The primary purpose of donation is to emphasise that animals don’t come and go “free”, it is also to establish the potential future owner is willing and capable of elementary expenses and basic financial responsibility pets come with. Animals, for sale or for adoption, are not anyone toys. They come with financial obligation as well as time and love “expense”.
PET SAFETY IN DUBAI, UAE IN GENERAL AND EVERY OTHER CITY
PET SAFETY IN DUBAI, UAE IN GENERAL AND EVERY OTHER CITY
Written by Natalia Dolidze, Managing Director of Pets Habitat LLC
Just a reminder…
Elevators. The danger of elevator to your pet pooch has been brought to attention of many since recent youtube security cam video went viral depicting the turmoil of Canadian pet owner when her Rottweiler’s leash got trapped in between the elevator doors. Her Rottie was very lucky to escape unharmed and the owner suffered just a couple of broken fingers, which is a very small price to pay in such dramatic ac! From our customers unfortunate personal experiences such and similar accidents end tragically for the dog and the grieving owners, often having to witness the shocking demise of beloved pet right in front of their eyes. Therefore, please pleases please remain vigilant when near elevators with your pet dog on the leash! I would say that best way would be to take your small to medium size pooch into your arms anywhere near elevators just to be on safer side and hold your larger dog (ideally should not be living in apartment in the first place) on a very short leash right by your side muzzled (to avoid another kind of accident inside tight spaced elevator with other people and possible other canines too).
High floors. The chance of your pet falling down is another common apartment related danger, especially for cats, who tend to get carried away by sudden onset of their hunting instinct every now and again. How many times have I heard “My cat knows”, “my cat would never fall/jump”, “my cat doesn’t care for birds”. They do care, they don’t always know and they do jump and fall, most often not on their feet as many of us tend to believe. Broken bones, fractured jaws and death results all too often. Please protect your pet animals, cats and dogs, by not allowing them access to the balcony without your constant supervision. This is your pet, YOU are responsible to know better, NOT the pet. It only takes a second…
Cars and busy roads. This brings us to another danger of urban living. Needless to mention we all live in a very developed world in UAE with number of cars soaring each year. All of us who drive well know the instant an animal, another car (or human) comes in our driving way. As much as we wish to avoid the impact, we often cannot with all our best intentions. Thus, please be responsible over your pet animals and do not always blame the drivers. Do not allow your pet dog off the leash near roads or on long retractable leash, retractable leashes occasionally fail and snap off, freeing the startled dog to run, often in front of the car. It should not, but it does happen.
Another aspect of this common situation is with cats. Many of us living in villas and townhouses often allow our felines to come and go as they please. Personally, after many unexplained disappearances over the years, I have finally put an end allowing my cats the liberty of outdoors. You find it cruel? May be. But they live much longer that way and I don’t have to carry another emotional scar of “what did happen?” As much as I agree that this is tabby’s nature and this may be what our cats desire most, it is for the benefit of their extended life not allowing them outside even with supervision. It takes couple of seconds for your pet cat to jump the wall and vanish into the neighbour’s territory unknown, how many bells will you be ringing in search of your moggy, especially if late at night? Thinking “my cat knows home and will come back later” often results in emails with subject line “help: lost cat”. Of course cats know and they will come back, hopefully, eventually, provided they will also be able to dodge all the cars on the roads they’ll choose to cross several times over and battle down all other dominant cats on their way and possibly a dog or two off the leash. How many times while jogging did I personally have to shoo some feline off the dark, dim, curvy roads, not just crossing, but also sitting, rolling over and cleaning themselves fully relaxed mid of driving path. Please try to think on behalf of your furry Kamikaze and keep them indoors for their own sake.
Heat and humidity. Should this even be mentioned?! It gets extremely hot and humid in UAE as we all can feel. If you cannot stand outside yourself, your dog (and even pet cat) may have even lower tolerance to the weather element. We have a choice of moving indoors, drinking water, cooling ourselves down when we feel we can’t bear the heat/humidity any further. Your pet does not always have that choice and ability to open doors, windows to come in or out, or starting the car if left locked inside. Please be kind and thoughtful! It takes just a few minutes for your dog (or cat) to become fatally overheated, especially brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Persian cats and others. I have witnessed crying owners unable to cope with sudden loss of their dogs due to such unexpected mishap. Leave a/c on for any of your pets indoors (even mice, I’ve seen them die within an hour when a/c accidentally failed once), make sure your pet always has access to clean fresh water (at any time, any place, any weather condition). Do not accidentally, or purposely, lock your pet out even for only few minutes during any weather, especially hotter months! It would also be a good idea to do regular very short trim for your pets during hotter months (at Pets Habitat of course!).
On that note, I would also like to clarify that we, at Pets Habitat, do not import puppies or kittens during extremely hot UAE summers. It is just too much for most animals to bear, especially those coming from cooler EU countries. We neither wish to put our pets through any more discomfort they already may be experiencing on flights nor do we want to take any risks losing healthy young animal to the intense heat of UAE while in brief transit between Dubai airport facilities. So please do not ask me to import you any pet during summer months, the answer will be “not before end September”, which is still hot, but bearable at night hours (when we schedule our animals to arrive).
Swimming pools. Another common danger not many people think about is your swimming pool. Unless your pet is a fish (who enjoys highly chlorinated water), please do not allow your pet dog or cat near pools unattended. Yes, probably all animals can instinctively swim, but for how long?! Most animals will not have our ability to pull themselves out of the water, especially after being shocked scared and exhausted inside. They may become disoriented in the waters on the beach as well as your household pool. Some of us who have been on a boat and jumped into the seas for a brief swim know not-so-easy process climbing back up in. Now imagine your animal alone in the pool. We have had customers whose pets drowned in their own pool when left unattended for a very short time. Do not allow animals alone near water, simple.
Burning hot asphalt, tiles, sand. If you think you can fry an egg on the hot surface during UAE hotter months, your pets would probably burn their paws as easily, particularly applicable towards dogs on the leash taken for walks. While walking with your pet try taking your shoes off. Can you walk/stand comfortably? If not, neither can your pet. Stay attentive, be kind. It may be disputable subject if staying indoors is a better option for you and for your pets during extreme heat of UAE summer, perhaps, you can adopt summer routine of indoors exercise.
Poisons. Aside from the obvious indoor/garden plants and fertilisers, let me remind everyone that chocolate is lethal to pets, dogs and cats particularly (as we would most often be tempted to offer this to our begging pet). Avocado is dangerous to many animals, particularly birds, although if it is harmful to cats and dogs is still highly arguable, I would avoid feeding it to my pets to stay on side of caution. Pear, apple seeds are poisonous to most parrots and other birds as well as fumes of frying pans (notably for the tefal coating) can be deadly to all birds, thus please keep all birds away from kitchens (not to mention fire and burning hazards of hot surfaces, water, knives, etc. of our household kitchens).
Anything I forgot to mention, please feel free to remind me on email@example.com
HEAT STROKE! WHAT IS IT? PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
HEAT STROKE! WHAT IS IT? PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Written by our guest blogger Kristina Jordanovska, Veterinary Student/Writer/Photographer
edited by Natalia Dolidze, Managing Director of Pets Habitat LLC
Heat stroke is a very common condition in dogs during the summer period or in places where the temperatures are high and it is humid. In UAE it can happen very often because of the climate. But before we explain how to prevent it or to teach you about first aid if it happens, we need to find out what really is a heat stroke.
Heat stroke, what’s that?
While people have a pretty good thermoregulation system, dogs really don’t. They are built to conserve energy, rather than release heat. So, because of that they have the tendency to heat up a lot faster than people. For example, hyperthermia is a condition in which the body temperature is increased above normal range and it can be fever or non-fever hyperthermia. Fever hyperthermia is usually as a result of some inflammation. Whereas, heat stroke is the condition of non-fever hyperthermia, when the thermoregulation system of the body cannot accommodate to the excessive surrounding heat. Also, heat stroke can be caused because of excessive levels of thyroid hormones or lesions in the hypothalamus- the center for body temperature regulation. Body temperature of over 41°C is typical for heat stroke, with no signs of some kind of inflammation. It is really important to know that this condition is very serious! So serious that it can lead to multiple organ dysfunction. Most common breeds that suffer from heat strokes are long haired dogs, brachycephalic or short-nosed, flat-faced breeds.
How to recognize heat stroke? What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are mostly the same for non-fever hyperthermia or heat stroke and fever hyperthermia. The most important ones are the following:
– Excessive drooling.
– Increased body temperature (over 40°C).
– Rapid heart rate.
– Irregular heart beat.
– Changes in mental status.
– Reddened gums and mucosa.
What can lead to heat stroke? Causes?
While the most probable reason for heat stroke is very high air temperature and humidity, there are several more reasons that can put your pet in this serious condition. For example:
– Upper respiratory tract diseases, which can inhibit normal breathing and thermoregulation.
– Anesthesia complications.
– Extreme exercise.
– Primary diseases like heart/ blood diseases, nervous system diseases, paralysis of the voice box or larynx.
– Poisonous compounds, such as strychnine and others.
There are several things you should know about how to prevent heat stroke. First of all, your dog should have access to fresh water at all times, whether it plays outside or inside. Next, make sure if your dog spends some time outside, to have access to shade at all times. For dogs with predisposing conditions such as heart disease, breathing problems, or elderly dogs you should know that they should be kept out of the sun, in the shade and to avoid extensive physical activity. This also goes for obese dogs.
- Never ever leave your pet in the car! Even if you’re gone just for few minutes, a car parked in the sun or even in the shade on any day in UAE, can become an oven trap for your pet and cause heat stroke!
- Even if your dog is healthy, avoid taking it jogging with you, or taking it for long walks when it is a very hot day.
- Don’t muzzle your dog on extremely hot days! This prevents your dog to ventilate properly, which obstructs thermoregulation.
- You should avoid the beach, places with only asphalt/concrete and sand. In these kind of places the heat is reflected and there probably isn’t any shade.
- Let your dog swim or cool it down by wetting it with water! This can help in maintaining a normal body temperature.
- Always keep your air conditioning on when you are out of the house at least in one room which your pet has access to in order to cool down.
Most important, you should use common sense in preventing heat stroke. Just imagine how it would be like for you to wear few layers of clothes in a hot and humid day…
- Remove your dog from the heat! Put it in a cooler area, if possible an air conditioned place.
- Cool you dog down with water! Try watering your dog, but be careful not to use freezing water, because that can cause problems too.
- Give your dog water to drink! However, don’t push it, maybe it is not in a state to drink by itself. Also, the water should be cool or room temperature, not freezing cold.
- Take your pet to the emergency veterinarian! After all, if you are not a professional, you need to take your dog to the vet for checkup and even for some IV if the vet suspects dehydration.
- Do not cover your dog! When you use wet towels to cool your dog down, don’t cover it with them, just let it lay on top of them. Covering your dog only worseness the situation because it holds the heat.
Now you know the most important things about heat stroke, and how to prevent it or treat it if it happens. Have you ever had experience like this? How did you manage it? Share your stories, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY GROOMING YOUR DOG IS GOOD FOR HIS HEALTH
WHY GROOMING YOUR DOG IS GOOD FOR HIS HEALTH
Written by our guest blogger Tina OReilly
Many pet owners reject the idea of having their dogs (& cats) professionally groomed due to expense. Some mistakenly feel they can do just as good a job at home as a professional. Dog owners think that grooming is simply a chance for your dog to feel a bit spoiled for a few hours.
Proper grooming should involve far more than a trim of the toenails and a quick shampoo. Grooming done by professionals provides a chance to have your dog checked for any underlying health issues that would otherwise go completely unnoticed. A professional clip will enhance your dog’s coat and the tools and equipment used in a salon are far better and higher tech.
Qualified groomers offer better results. A professional has access to the best hand scissors; they know how to hand strip and use professional tactics to keep your dog looking beautiful and well groomed. They also use the best products on the market for your dog. You might not know which shampoos are best for your dog’s coat. Using the wrong product can damage your dog’s coat. Groomers use safe products to ensure your dog looks and feels great, without harm to his health.
You should start grooming when your dog is a pup. He’ll get used to the procedure and it won’t be a stressful time for him as adult. Depending on your dog’s coat, long-haired or short-haired will determine how often you should have your dog groomed. Long-haired dogs need to be groomed more frequently than your short-haired.
There are many benefits to visiting a good groomer. Skin issues and lumps are two of the most common problems that tend to go unnoticed until detected during a thorough grooming session. Long-haired breeds could suffer these issues for months, even years before they become apparent if not professionally groomed on regular basis.
Additional benefits of grooming your dog are it ensures healthy growth and brushing promotes good blood circulation. Your dog’s coat can get an increase of grease, which blocks their pores and causes sebaceous cysts. Regular grooming cuts down on the grease levels.
Dogs with longer coat (and cats!) tend to suffer from matted hair if not brushed regularly. The heavy wads weigh down the skin, causing soreness. The groomer would also check for balls of matted fur between your dog’s paw pads and possible skin lesions hidden underneath the mats.
Another benefit is with a properly done professional grooming session, the groomer, using the proper tools, will remove much of loose hair and cleanse the skin. In return it will save your furniture & your clothes from your pet’s hair and dander.
You’ll protect your family too. Groomers can identify infestations of ticks, mites and signs of ringworm in cats and dogs that can potentially transmit to your other pets, you or your family.
No one, not even your veterinarian, gets down to the skin of a dog as often as a groomer does and the skin is the largest organ of the body, so a conscientious well-educated groomer can spot a problem early on! Professional groomers to do a head-to-tail check of dogs feeling for anything not quite right.
Groomers check ears for debris and infection, trim nails, and find lumps and wounds that owners may have overlooked. Having a good working relationship with a groomer you trust will ensure your pet maintains a healthy coat and skin, decreasing risks of infections. For pets that have chronic skin problems, a groomer can be instrumental in keeping the skin as healthy as possible.
Next time you’re considering whether or not it’s worth it to pay more for a professional, remember it’s well worth it. It guarantees you peace of mind. You’ll know your dog is in good hands and will come home free of any health risks.
To book your pet’s grooming appointment please call 04-3418085