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Heated Dog Bed for Christmas

Are you having difficulty deciding on a present for your dog? Although the question might imply that you are about to indulge your dog and create a spoiled brat, this is not the intent of this article. Deeply rooted in practicality, an interesting gift that you can get your dog this Christmas that will be both beneficial and also very appreciated is a heated dog bed. Heated dog beds are fairly common, especially in northern climates where it is cold much of the year or with dogs who have thin coats, thin blood, arthritis or are older and have a difficult time staying warm. Heated dog beds are a great way to make your dog more comfortable and happier overall.

Heated dog beds work much the same way as an electric blanket does for you. The bed has either a battery or can be plugged into the wall to heat up the fabric evenly and entices any dog seeking warmth to lie down. The heating element is deep in the bed so there’s no chance of your dog coming into contact with it and burning him or herself. If your dog is prone to chewing, you will want to look for one whose cords are chew proof so that your dog won’t wreck the bed by chewing on it. You’ll also want to ensure that the one you purchase has a washable cover so that you can keep the bed clean as well and sanitized. There are even fancier versions of heated dog beds, which not only heat, but vibrate as well, so that your dog gets a warming massage. If all of this is too rich for your blood, you can make your own heated dog bed by inserting a microwavable pad or a low voltage heating element into a dog bed that is safe to use and saves you some you money at the same time.

Keep in mind that the majority of heated dog beds are intended for indoor use only, so if your dog spends a lot of time outside, you’ll have to do some additional searching. There are heated dog beds that are safe for outdoor use, but you should check before you buy one so that you can ensure that the bed will survive a long harsh winter and will last for years to come.

Although you may be comfortable lowering the heater to 77° to keep your utility bills low, this may not be warm enough for some dogs, in particular older ones or smaller breeds. As mentioned earlier, as dogs age, like humans, their joints stiffen, muscles take a little longer to loosen up and their blood is thinner, taking longer to warm up. Smaller dogs will never have quite the same insulation as their larger canine friends. So, while it might seem like an indulgence, offering your dog the warmth he or she needs to sleep comfortably and get going in the morning is merely kindness for your companion.

If you are looking for a good, long lasting gift that your dog will love, will use all winter long and last for years, a heated bed will be a welcome gift. These beds are safe to use, easy to take care of and will really make your dog feel better, sleep better, and make even the most stubborn dog stay in its own bed! There are plenty of beds to choose from, so you can get one that is the right size, a brand you are comfortable with and has all the features you want from being chew proof to massaging your pet! Help your best friend stay comfortable all winter; put a heated dog bed under the Christmas tree this year and enjoy having a happy, pain free pet again.

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Some Basic Things to Know Before You Bring a Dog into Your Home

Regardless where you choose to get your dog, whether it be a breeder, animal shelter or from someone who rescues and fosters animals, there are some things you want to be concerned with to ensure your dog is as healthy as she or he can be before she or he even steps one paw in your home.

Are their shots current?

- At minimum they should have rabies and distemper

- Puppies purchased from a breeder or rescued at a young age, prior to 16 weeks will not have had a rabies shot.

- They should have DPPH (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus)

Have they been spayed or neutered?

- Unless you intend to breed your dog, he or she should be altered. There is much debate about the age for this. Some literature suggests this should occur by six months and others suggest that a female (yes commonly referred to as a bitch) should be spayed after her first heat to avoid uterine cancer. You will want to read literature from advocating both perspectives and make the determination that is best for you.

- Again, if your dog is less than six months old, chances are, neither a male nor a female will have been spayed. There is an exception to this. Most shelters will not release an animal for adoption until he or she has been altered. Their jobs are difficult enough trying to keep the animal homeless population down; they aren’t about to add to the problem.

Ensure they don’t have worms and parasites

- Whether they’re from the shelter, a rescuer or a breeder, all dogs eat myriad of things, including feces (one’s own, other dog’s and cat’s) that give them parasites

- Don’t assume because your dog is from “a top breeder” he or she is immune to worms and parasites

Breeders, unlike shelters, are not mandated by the same city and state regulatory agencies and some are not very clean or ethical. Some breeders admit to inbreeding father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister and see nothing wrong with it. In their view, it’s all to ensure the “champion blood line” is preserved. If this is the case, you would hate to learn that because of inbreeding your pet suffers from:

Hip dysplasia

- Very common in German Shepherds (GSDs), Huskies, Akitas and other large breeds

Neurological problems and has seizures

- Very common in English Springer Spaniels

Retinal problems and/or deafness

- Can occur any breed

Difficulty breathing easily and is prone to allergies and asthma

- Pugs sadly present with this often.

Overheats easily

- Pekingese are well-known to suffer from this

It’s important to do your homework, wherever, regardless where you feel it’s best to find your beloved animal companion. These are just a few of the examples to look for with respect to breed and known problems that can occur in any dog. If you don’t do your homework, you run the risk of getting an animal prone to problems and being unsure what to do. This is by no means a suggestion to find another breed, especially if your heart is set on a particular one. It’s merely a guide to share so you can go in with eyes wide open.