Surrendering your pet? Consider these options.


free photo

Few things are more difficult than giving up a pet, and it is never something to be done lightly. But sometimes circumstances require it, and then the question becomes, how to do this correctly, with the least negative consequences for the animal.


First, however, explore all the options that might enable you to keep your pet – that is, if you truly want to. One of the least-discussed reasons for giving up a pet is that the relationship simply didn’t work. You had hopes, but you and the pet never bonded. In those cases, the animal may actually be better off re-homed, with a chance at a more positive life.

But also consider the possibility that the fault for the lack of bonding may be yours, and may still be fixable. If the problem is behavioral, remember that behaviors can be changed if you’re willing to do the research and make the effort. In fact, the behavior of pets, even older, seemingly settled-in-their-ways pets, is far more malleable than most adult human behavior! So don’t give up tooeasily.

If the re-homing of the animal is an absolute necessity, then take some time to identify the best possibility. And be sure the pet is ready, which means that it has been spayed or neutered, and its vaccinations are up-to-date.

Talk to everyone you know. Friends, family, co-workers, your veterinarian, the animal’s original breeder. Often this is enough to do the trick. People will frequently “go the extra mile” to help out when an animal is concerned. P
ost on social media such as;,,,, etc. is extra effective, what better platform than your neighbors to get the word out about your pet.


A pet adoption service such as Petfinder, or elsewhere. I think that Petfinder is a particularly good option; a huge number of animal lovers visit the site every day. I once found a perfectly delightful cat through Petfinder, and traveled to the next state to pick it up. Never say your pet is FREE, always charge a surrender fee when relinquishing your pet. Craiglist can be a tricky arena and last thing you want is to have your pet used as a guinea pig for experiments or worse. So, be extra cautious with Craigslist.

Wherever you list the availability of your pet, include as many photographs and details as you can, and be scrupulously honest. That will win you respect and increase the chances of a good placement.

When you get responses, and you should, meet with the interested people and screen them carefully. Charging a small fee is one way of gauging a potential adopter’s seriousness and is perfectly appropriate.

When you do decide on a new owner, make it easy on them by including as many accessories as possible. Carriers, cages, toys, unused food and treats, and so on.


Find a rescue group or “no kill” shelter. In the San Diego area, there are a number of good ones, including:


Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe

They can help with dogs and cats. They can also assist with free pet spaying.


San Diego Humane Society, San Diego, Escondido, and Oceanside

Their website affirms that they only euthanize animals “when medically or behaviorally necessary”. They handle all types of pet animals, not just dogs and cats but also rabbits, rodents, reptiles, birds, and even horses.


Second Chance Dog Rescue, San Diego

A dog specialist. Like many such outfits, they take in adoptable animals from local government pounds that are in danger of being euthanized for no good reason except lack of space.


Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Encinitas

They handle dogs, cats, and rabbits.


San Diego House Rabbit Society, San Diego

Hope you find this list useful.





Pet Photography Tips by Allison Shamrell Pet Photography |

The Pet Training Collar Definitely Will Be A Beneficial Tool

The Pet Training Collar Definitely Will Be A Beneficial Tool

A canine teaching collar certainly will be an productive tool if utilized correctly and on the appropriate time. It is necessary to recognize the differences within the varieties of training collars on the market and which a single would most effective suit your wants as well as your dog’s temperament, size, and age. It will be equally important to note that a few of the education collars, for instance the prong collar, are usually particularly harmful to a young dog and have to not be put into use until the dog is at least 1 year of age.

Every collar includes a distinctive purpose and targets a diverse level of disobedience. Be positive to evaluate the present degree of obedience that has already been established and do so with a professional trainer if possible. It’s necessary to recognize the degree of difference involving the present state within the dog’s guidance along with the preferred outcome and to not base the choice of which collar to use based only on the preferred outcome. Some canines need a higher degree or effort and others might possibly merely require some gentle reinforcement.

Let’s get into a couple of within the varieties of dog schooling collars accessible with the first and most prominent being the prong collar. This one is made from a series of chain links which have open ended prongs that point in towards the dog’s neck. This collar appears painful and honestly can be if abused or misused. This an individual ought to only be utilised if the dog is truly out of control, a strong or aggressive breed, and if the dog is through 1 year of age.

A gentler selection would be the martingale collar. This a single is made from nylon or leather and seems to be like a normal head collar but it does not buckle or fasten. It really is pulled around and around the dog’s head and has a chain that connects the two ends of this material. There’s a loop on the chin which the leash is fastened to and when the canine pulls the collar will tighten. The difference between the martingale along with the prong collar, other than the prongs, is that the martingale collar features a threshold in which it cannot be pulled too tightly.

One of the most easiest ways to accessorize a pet is to change the collar around. A dog owner may have several dog collars and use them at various times. A dog owner that has a small dog and carries them around, may change the collar as per the owner’s outfit at the time. The collar may be changed to match the color or pattern of the coat or shirt of the owner.

Personalizing a collar could be as simple as a name being written on the color. This name may be placed on the color, with jewels, sparkles or thread. This is a project that the owner can do at home with some craft material. The name could be sewn anywhere on the collar and flipped over as needed.

Another alternative is the head halter or halti. This just one is typically seen on horses but is also very reliable on canines. It loops around the dog’s muzzle and then fastens at the back within the neck. It offers much more manage through a dog’s reaction and direction. Rather powerful for hyper canines who don’t necessarily pull but may very well jump or dart in diverse directions.

Frank specializes in dog training and you can see his latest website with advice on finding the right heartworm medicine for dogs and finding ivermectin for dogs online.

Allison's Top 10 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dogs |

Dog Training Ideas – Four Efficient Ways To Housetrain Your Pet Dog

Dog Training Ideas – Four Efficient Ways To Housetrain Your Pet Dog
Many dog owners become bewildered and disappointed because their dogs do not behave in the way they are trying to train them. The reason why dogs are great pets is their ability to be trained and their adaptability to a human environment. Therefore, the main reason why owners are not getting the results they want is probably not the fault of the dog. It is more to do with how they are being trained and the techniques being used. This situation can be avoided by using well researched dog training tips that are actually effective and produce results.

The first stage in training your dog is getting the basics right and this begins by teaching your dog how to sit properly. When a dog is trained to sit properly it can provide many benefits to the owner. For example, dogs tend to get over excited when there are a lot of people about. If you can train them to sit properly they will be more calm and relaxed in these situations. It will take a while for them to obey this command particularly, in crowded, busy situations and you may have to give your dog a gentle prod to get the message across.

The key to successfully training your dog new skills is through repetition. By consistently repeating your commands your dog will begin to learn that each command results in a certain action. An effective technique to lessen the time it takes your dog to learn is to use rewards when they have completed a command successfully. This will retrain your dogs brain to associate the completion of a command with receiving a reward or treat. Timing of the reward is crucial and this should be given immediately after the instruction has been completed successfully by your dog.

Housetraining a dog can be a challenge for many people however, all it takes is a little forward planning and discipline. To housetrain your dog properly you need to be consistent with your commands and instructions. It is not a good idea to lose patience with your dog as they will take time to adapt to the rules of the house and this is especially true for puppies as they tend to have a weaker bladder. Dogs love routines therefore, devise a schedule for your dog and help them get use to it. As well as house training develop a schedule for their eating times and walks.

A common problem with dogs particularly, in built up crowded areas is barking. Actually, in certain parts of the country barking is considered as noise pollution and you can be liable for a fine. However, there are a number of dog products on the market that can help your pet for example, a great training aid is the bark collar. The collar works by creating a harmless shock that annoys the dog each time it barks.

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Hiring a Pet Sitter? Here is a Hiring Checklist |

Pet Care – Health and Nutrition Basics

Pet Care – Health and Nutrition Basics

People who own dogs and cats for pets will identify with the fact that they are more like children and need a lot of attention. Taking care of your pets is of utmost importance. Most pedigrees require a lot of care and attention. This makes a good know how of the methods of pet care and nutrition indispensable. There are various ways to ensure great health for your pets through wholesome nutrition and healthy habits.

Preparing For a New Arrival
So, a little puppy or a kitten will soon be arriving? These little ones are up and about within a few days and will try and turn everything in their reach, upside down. What you need is an effective solution to make your home kitten proof or puppy proof. Try to get soft balls, stuffed toys and other little playthings to keep them busy.

Feeding your Pets
Dog Nutrition is no rocket science but they need to be fed according to their ages. Specially formulated food is available in the market for dogs of all ages. You can also make great homemade food for your pets. Start adding adult food to your puppy’s’ diet only after six months.

Nutrition for cats is a little complex. Homemade diets may not always suit their needs. Cats belong to the family of carnivores and will want specialized diets to enable them to live longer and healthier. Good cat diets are available in the market which comprise of all the raw materials that your kitty may need. Use cat food that comes with trusted seals of approval.

Other Aspects of Dog and Cat Health: – Pets are not ornamental pieces of furniture but living beings just like us. They need to be constantly petted and cuddled. You need to interact with your pets and train them to develop some basic habits of eating and bathing. You need to shower praises on them for their good behavior and not pay attention to the bad.

Health Care and Medication
Both dogs as well as cats need regular medical attention. On way to ensure their health and keep them away from diseases is to make regular trips to the vet. Go online to any pet health website and take a look at all the diseases and their symptoms. A few diseases and minor illnesses that your doggie may suffer from are asthma, arthritis, flu, constipation, deafness, dental disorders, diarrhea, ticks and ear mites etc. Some prominent feline diseases are cat scratch fever, cherry eye, Cushing’s disease, deafness, seizures, skin allergies and ringworm.

Some of these diseases are treatable and some are not. You will need to consult your vet regularly. The process of healing will sometimes take considerable time, so you will need to be patient.

In addition to all that has been mentioned above, you will need regular updates on Dog and Cat Nutrition techniques, thus subscribing to a pet care magazine is highly recommended.

For any help on Cat health check out the info available online, these will help you learn to find the Dog health an instant go!

The Key to Training Your Pet Is Consistency!


The Key to Training Your Pet Is Consistency!

Dog training classes are designed for dogs of various ages. If you adopt an adult dog, obviously, you do not need puppy training, but you will need some basic training, such as socialization and housebreaking.

One of the first steps to choosing a training class is to know what you want from your dog. Do you want your dog to learn basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come”? If so, then you can enroll him or her in a broad-based training program so that you and your dog can learn together. Often the reason dogs do not seem to “get” commands is because the owners do not know how to train their dogs, so training classes is for both the owner and the dog.

Leash training is very popular because many pet owners simply do not understand the entire concept. Often owners become frustrated when their dogs seem “wild” on the leash, but it is actually the owner’s fault because they are sending mixed messages by allowing the dog to pull or giving too much slack in the leach when walking. Therefore, just like all pet training, it is to teach the owner first what to do, and then relay that message to the dog.

Your dog is like a sponge and will learn just about any command you give him or her if you do three things:

1.Start slowly – do not expect your dog to instinctively know what you want the first time you attempt the training, keep it short and sweet

2.Reward and praise is crucial so that your dog understands that when they “sit” they will be rewarded

3.Be consistent. Dog’s learn by repetition, therefore, if you are inconsistent with the training, you cannot blame the dog for not learning

Keep in mind that different breeds do tend to pick up commands and training faster than others do. However, this is no different from people, some people are great in math while others excel in English. It is the same concept with dogs, you will soon learn where your dog’s strength lays and you can build on that. Some dogs are naturally agile, so you can incorporate some agility training, which is excellent exercise for your dog and helps to keep the dog focused and attentive. Other dogs are excellent at catching flying objects, such as a Frisbee or a ball.

Many people assume if they spend a lot of money on the “perfect” breed the dog will somehow be better trained “automatically” than a mixed breed, but this is fallacy because a mixed breed that has been properly trained can in fact, be better behaved than an expensive breed with no training. Therefore, you need to have a chance to tour the dog training company’s facility and find out all you can about them. They should offer puppy-training classes, basic obedience, advanced training, and behavior problem solving training.

When you choose a pet training program, choose professionals that understand the canine and the various breeds, so that you can get your puppy or dog off to a great start. Your dog sees you as the leader, so you have to be a strong leader and someone that your dog will happily follow and trust.

Sign up for Dog Training services from Alpha Paws.

Allison’s Top 10 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dogs

‏Hi there! I’m Allison, a professional pet photographer here in San Diego! I own Allison Shamrell Pet Photography, and I’ve been specializing in working with pets (especially dogs) for over four years… so I’ve learned a few tricks along the way! I’d love to share a few of them with you, just in case you’d like to improve your snapshots of your own pets.

  1. Get on their level!
    ‏Whether you have a dachshund or a great dane, your dog’s perspective is totally different than yours. And a new point of view can make a huge difference in your portraits! So get on the ground – even try laying down – and see the world from your dog’s eyes. I guarantee it’ll get your creative juices flowing!
  2. Look for the light.
    ‏Have you ever tried to photograph your dog indoors, at nighttime? (Especially if your dog is black?) Good luck with that! The best place to photograph fast-moving subjects like dogs is outdoors, in large patches of sunlight or shade. If you need to stay inside, make sure all the windows & blinds are open. The more light, the better!
  3. Make it fun for your dog!
    ‏Don’t make camera time an obedience test. You want your dog to associate the camera with positive emotions – that way the smiles and happy faces will come much more naturally – so bring treats and make it a game! Let him run around the yard in-between poses, and incorporate plenty of playtime. He’ll get excited every time you bring out the camera!
  4. Tucker him out first!
    ‏I hear it all the time: “My dog never sits still long enough for me to take a picture!” Well, how does your dog act after a trip to the beach, or a run with you? I bet they’re tired, even ready to take a nap – so it might be the perfect time to break out the camera! I always recommend that my clients take their dogs for a walk before our session, to get a bit of energy out first. Then, dogs are much more willing to sit & smile for the camera!
  5. Look for the details.
    ‏Does your dog have a unique spotted tail? Big paws? One lopsided ear? A cute butt? A beautiful portrait doesn’t have to include the dog’s whole body; get creative and look for the details that make your dog special. You can even zoom in & look for interesting patterns in your dog’s fur. Macro photography can produce beautiful results!
  6. Know your camera.
    ‏Are you working with an iPhone or a DSLR? Knowing your camera’s strengths and limitations is absolutely fundamental, because the more manual controls you have, the more creative you can get. If you’re able, try experimenting with different shutter speeds and apertures; you’ll notice a big difference the more you play around!
  7. Take plenty of photos.
    ‏There’s a saying in the action sports photography world: “Shoot 100 photos, and you’ll get 1 keeper.” It’s true for pets, too! Don’t get discouraged if your first few photos aren’t frame-worthy. I’m not advocating quantity over quality, but I don’t want you to expect a prize-winning photo if you only take three shots. Plus, digital memory is cheap – so snap away!
  8. ‏Ask for help.
    ‏Will a family member join you & help out? It’s handy to have a leash-holder, treat-dispenser and command-giver on your side. (Hint: is there someone in your family that your dog listens to best? Bring that person along!) Or grab a friend, and exchange photo sessions with each others’ pets!
  9. Keep the background simple.
    ‏You want to show off your dog’s beauty & personality, right? Keep in mind that a busy, distracting background will take away from your dog being the focus of the photo. Plus, if you try to photograph him/her somewhere public like a local park, there’s a good chance that plenty of other dogs & people will be around, not only cluttering your background but distracting your dog from focusing on you! I think every dog looks great in green grass; your backyard (however simple it may be) is a great place to get started!
  10. Take your time.
    ‏My entry-level session is an hour long, because it simply takes time for all the elements of light, composition and the dog’s position & expression to come together all at once. Expect to spend at least 10-15 minutes with your dog, playing and taking photos, if you really want to walk away with a new favorite image. And this rule especially applies to taking photos of multiple dogs; that’s not easy to do! Plus, your dog can pick up on your stress level… so relax, slow down, and enjoy the time you’re spending together!

‏I hope these tips were helpful to you! Thanks for reading, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about pet photography!


Allison Shamrell Pet Photography

Pet health check tips

Pet health check tips



Your pets are important members of your family, so it’s important to take proper care of them to make sure they stay fit, healthy and happy throughout their lives. Caring for animals doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive when you keep up with regular health checks to make sure your pet is fit and well throughout the year.

While home check-ups are not recommended as an alternative to seeking professional advice from vets if something does arise, they can be highly effective in staving off illness and identifying any potential problems before they have a chance to develop. There are some health checks you can make part of your weekly routine, such as checking under the animal’s fur for any lumps or scabs, inside their ears, and monitoring their eating and drinking habits.

Fighting fleas and other infections can be a little more trying, and should only be carried out at home if you’re confident in your ability to administer flea products correctly. You should never use products intended for dogs on cats, or the other way around, as this can prove extremely hazardous to your animal’s health, and many cats in particular die each year after improper application of insecticides.

You won’t be able to take care of everything at home, of course, and keeping up to date with visits to the vet to get your pet immunised against common diseases could help avoid more serious problems further down the line. Comparing pet insurance quotes is always an option for owners looking to find the best cover or the cheapest deals to protect their animals, and avoid having to pay the full cost for vet fees.

Getting your animal spayed or neutered is another important decision that you’ll have to make when they’re young, especially if you have a cat that you allow to roam free in the streets. Spaying isn’t only useful for avoiding unwanted litters of pups and kittens, but can also reduce your animal’s risk of developing illnesses such as breast cancer, not to mention preventing many aggressive tendencies in males.

For all the wonders that modern medicine can achieve for your pet, the most important things you can do for your animals are to make sure they eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Taking your dogs for walks helps to channel their aggressive behaviour, and even cats should be encouraged to move around with planned exercise regimes if you feel they’ve slipped into bad habits.

Mark your calendar for Walk for Animals!

May 9, 2015
7 AM to 12 PM
Benefiting: San Diego Humane Society
Join us on Saturday, May 9, 2015 for the San Diego Humane Society’s Walk for Animals at NTC Park in Liberty Station! Have a great time as you walk to celebrate our four-legged friends and raise funds needed to ensure that every homeless animal can find a new home. The morning festivities include breakfast, a scenic 2.5 mile walk, fun-filled doggie activities and contests, and an array of vendor booths.
For more information, please call (619) 243-3493 or email
Coming from out of town? Get a discounted rate on pet friendly hotels in San Diego, or call 877-411-FIDO to speak with one of our pet travel experts!

Spring Health Tips

Spring health tips with Mia Viegas.

Spring is here and so is the opportunity to take your beloved pup on many excursions. It is great fun to watch our dogs have a joyful time on hikes, beach outings, etc. With these excursions and warmer days pet parents need to be follow these simple steps to keep their doggies healthy.

1. With spring and summer the likelihood of a doggie getting bitten by mosquito is higher. Keep your pooch up to date on heartworm medication.

2. In addition to mosquitos, ticks and fleas are more prevalent as well, start flea and tick prevention even if you don’t see any of these pests on your pet.

3. Spring for some people means it is time to plant and garden. Selecting plants that are safe for dogs will go a long way in preventing toxicities from occuring. Example of some toxic plants are: Hyacinths, tullips, daffodils and certain lilies. Fertilizers and mulch can also be toxic to our pets.

4. With the onset of spring generally comes spring cleaning. BE AWARE THAT MANY HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS ARE HARMFUL TO DOGS. Some of these are:

So, now that you know some basics about keeping your pet safe and healthy this spring. Go have fun, pick up a leash and hit a dog park or dog friendly beach and your bound to notice a spring in your dog’s step. He will lick you for it!
Happy Spring Time

Hiring a Pet Sitter? Here is a Hiring Checklist |

Hiring a Pet Sitter? Here is a hiring checklist that you may find useful.

What To Look For When Hiring a Pet Sitter

The following checklist outlines some of the more important topics you’ll want to discuss when interviewing for hiring a pet sitter, dog walkers, and dog daycare providers. You may want to print it out and make notes on the businesses you speak with.

  • Name of Pet Sitter, Dog Walker or Dog Daycare:
  • Qualifications and Experience
  • References
  • Insurance and/or Bonding
  • Emergency Pet Care Procedure
  • Emergency Procedure (if pet sitter is unavailable to care for your pet)
  • Key Security
  • Contract and other forms
  • Cost