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Learn More About the Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

When you are looking to add a new dog to your home, one of the questions you may want to know is "What are the most popular breeds?" This question is very relevant because the most popular breeds are popular for specific reasons that may align with what your family is looking for in a pet. Knowing which dogs are the most popular is a good place to start your research when determining the best dog breed for your household.

Ranked at number one by the American Kennel Club is the Labrador Retriever. It is the most popular dog breed in the country. These dogs have maintained the top spot for over a quarter of a century due to their gentle dispositions, superior hunting talents, and high intelligence levels. These dogs can get quite big, so expect a lot of shedding and a sizable budget on dog food.

The second spot is held by the German Shepherd. These canines are frequently seen in military and law enforcement and are considered working dogs because they are smart and can be easily trained. The breed is known for their fierce family loyalty, energy levels, and intelligence. These dogs have a beautiful coat, but are prone to a lot of shedding.

Golden Retrievers are the third most popular dog breed. This breed is a cross between a yellow retriever and the Tweed Water Spaniel which is now extinct. Irish Setters and bloodhounds were also introduced to the breed which is now known as the Golden Retriever today. These dogs have a beautiful coat, are great at hunting, and have a gentle temperament with children. These dogs are great family dogs, but do need regular exercise and more extensive grooming.

The fourth ranked most popular dog breed in America is the Bulldog. These dogs are unmistakable with their iconic wrinkled faces and stocky build. These dogs were bred for bull baiting but quickly developed into family dogs when the sport was banned in 1835. These dogs are relaxed and are happiest lazing around the house and getting minimal exercise. These dogs can be great for apartment living, but due to their snout, may encounter respiratory issues.

A great choice for medium sized dog lovers is the fifth most popular breed, the Beagle. These dogs are feisty, playful and have a distinct howl that makes them ideal for hunting. They come in many colors and are incredibly energetic, so be sure to give this dog plenty of playtime so they don’t resort to bad habits like chewing on objects in your home!

It is incredibly important to make sure you do your research on the type of dog you would like in your home. Also be sure to visit your local shelter to see the breeds and dogs that they have. You can even request to be put on lists if you are in search of a certain breed, and can be contacted if that kind of dog winds up in the shelter. Be sure to visit our Ypsilanti office if you have any questions regarding dog breeds and adoption.

Understanding Your Pet Before You Take Them Home

Any animal you take into your home, to love and to care for, for the rest of the animal's life, is a big responsibility. Too often, people take on this monumental task, and find out that the job is harder than they imagined. People may get a dog, cat, or other animal for the holidays, not knowing what they are getting into. Pets should not be given as a gift. This leads to rehoming the animal, or worse, they set the animal loose. Domesticated dogs and cats have a really tough time when they are left to fend for themselves, especially if they have grown up in a home by themselves, with no other adults to teach them how to survive in the wild. Animal rescues are working overtime all across the world because irresponsible people make poor decisions for those pets. The first step to combat this epidemic is to realize the responsibility, and understand the pet you intend to bring home, so you can be well prepared when your life changes for the better when your companion gets through the door.

Basic Care for Your Animal

Before you acquire your pet, there should be no question that you know how to take care of that animal, regardless of what animal it is. Exotic pets tend to be called just that because they are uncommon for households to have. There is a reason for that. Most animals in the kingdom are not made for life with people. Dogs and cats are some of the best animals on Earth, and they have no issues with being raised in a house with people as their companions. Research should be done on your part to ensure you know exactly what to do in every situation in caring for that animal.

Where Can I Find More Information?

If you rescue an animal, the shelter will gladly give you any information, training, and basic equipment to care for that animal. If you ask, they will almost certainly set you up for success. Mostly, it is up to the owner, as they are ultimately responsible for the care and welfare of that animal. Any shelter, vet, or even a friend will help with any questions anyone has about anything pet care related. The internet is also a great resource if you find the information from a reputable website.

Caring for our animals is our duty. Understanding exactly what your future looks like with that animal is crucial in making that decision before loading them up in the car to take home. If you are ever unsure about the needs of an animal, call someone who does, so you can keep your pet happy and healthy. IF you have any questions about a pet you are interested in adopting contact your veterinarian in Ypsilanti at (734) 485-1622.

What Harmful Ingredients are in My Dog's Food?

Finding a food with a large percentage of meat and protein is crucial. Puppy food, adult food, and senior food are different, and you should be aware of which is best for your dog. Overly processed product and by-products are not good for anyone. They are synthesized products that have nutrients, but are not natural, so animals find it difficult to digest and maintain a normal, healthy lifestyle when relying on that for their diet. A lot of dog foods will put what is called "filler" into their product, so they can use the least amount of good ingredients possible, while still giving you a large bag of food to feed your dog. It seems like a good deal at the store, getting more for less, but most of the time, they are just filling it with corn by-product and other worthless ingredients that does not benefit your dog or your wallet.

Your dog's food should have plenty of meat, protein, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and everything else they need to thrive. Compare labels the next time you go to the store. You may be surprised at what you have been feeding your furry friend. Consult our Ypsilanti vet to discover which foods are perfect for your dog.


A Reminder from Your Veterinarian in Ypsilanti: Check Your Pet’s Teeth!

It is a good idea to monitor your pet's oral hygiene. If your pet has toys that help remove plaque from their teeth, this can help but it is important to check your pet’s mouth often for any changes or discolorations. If you see any yellowing, black spots, or notice your pet not chewing or eating, it may be caused by an oral issue. Cleaning their teeth is the first step. When they are young, if you can, teach them that brushing is a good thing by rewarding them for letting you brush their teeth. It is easy enough to do. If you find that you cannot get rid of their bad breath by brushing or treats, then consult our office

Animals do not need their teeth brushed every day. Give them something to eat or chew on that will do the work for you and them. But, occasionally, such as when you give them a bath, clean them during that process. This will greatly reduce the risk of infections and oral problems your pet may have if their mouth stays dirty. Call our veterinarian in Ypsilanti at (734) 485-1622.


The 5 Best Dogs for Apartment Living

Dogs are man’s best friend, but when it comes to these furry companions—size does matter! If you live
somewhere that is small, cramped, or way up on the penthouse floor, apartments are generally not the
ideal home for dogs that require a lot of space to run, are large or rambunctious.

Not all small dogs are created equal, however. There are some dogs that are much quieter than others
which you may value if you have thin walls and easily irritable neighbors. Other dogs are very friendly
and interact with strangers better than some breeds, and there are many dogs that, while small, still
may have too much energy for a tiny apartment in the city.

These five dogs are the top breeds you should consider for apartment living:

Basenji- These dogs are the perfect breed for apartments because they don’t bark. They also typically stay around 20 pounds and no more than 18 inches high. These dogs are the perfect size to cuddle, have short hair, a curly q tail and pointed ears. The Basenji is known for not behaving himself when left unattended for long periods of time so a household in which people are often home is best for the Basenji.

Bulldogs- While a bull dog may look rather large due to their stocky build, they are often less than 18 inches tall and love to just lay around and sleep the day away. The bulldog breed is known for being lazy and they only like short walks. You won’t have to worry about downstairs neighbors getting upset over your rambunctious bulldog that’s for sure!

Chihuahua- The tiny chihuahua breed rarely exceeds 12 pounds and make phenomenal apartment companions because of their size, minimal needs for exercise, and ability to potty pad train. These dogs are great for elderly or disabled people who can’t take a dog outside often. Chihuahuas are recommended for families with older children and need to be supervised around new people because they can be nippy!

Dachshund- Dachshunds are the smallest breed of hound dog and are known for their short legs. Nicknamed “Weiner Dogs”, these small breed dogs have long bodies and floppy ears. They come in a variety of colors and are lively and affectionate. Dachshunds can also be exercised entirely indoors and trained for potty pads.

Lhasa Apso- If you don’t mind a high maintenance dog, the Lhasa Apso is a super cuddly canine companion for apartment dwellers. These breeds have very long hair and need daily brushing and professional grooming frequently. Their coats are heavy, and they require lots of training and socialization to have good manners. Lhasa Apso’s are loyal and friendly towards their owners.

No matter which dog you choose for your apartment, make sure to research the breed and choose the dog that will make the best addition to your home. Small dogs are known for their feisty personalities and many require more attention and training than you may realize.

9 Astounding Cat Facts!

Anyone who has ever been lucky enough to have a cat knows how fascinating they can be. From their seemingly physics-defying bodies to their unique personalities, our feline friends are full of surprises. Here are nine cat facts that just might astound you!

1. Cats and giraffes have one thing in common

You might think that there can't possibly be any way that a cat is like a giraffe. Sure, cats don't have long necks, nor do they eat leaves. But there's one strange way that they are alike: their walk. Both cats and giraffes walk by first moving the back foot of one side, then the front foot of that side, then the back foot of the other side, then the front foot of the other side. This gait is extremely rare in the animal kingdom, so rare that the only other animal besides cats and giraffes that walks this way are camels. Luckily, that's also where the similarities between cats and camels ends. Can you imagine a cat with a hump? Me neither.

2. Adult cats only meow to people

It's true! Kittens will meow at their mothers to let them know when they're hungry or cold, but when they grow up, they stop meowing to each other and will meow exclusively to humans. Why do they do this? Probably because they know that's the surest and quickest way of getting us to do what they want. They'll meow when they want food, when they want to go out or come in, or even when they just want attention. While some meowing is normal, if your cat starts meowing a lot more than usual, it's a good idea to take them to a vet, as it might be a sign they're in pain.

3. Cats hate the smell of oranges

And lemons, limes, grapefruit...pretty much all citrus. You can use this to your advantage if there are places you don't want your cat to go (like your garden) or things you don't want your cat chewing on (like your houseplants). Just chop up citrus peels and scatter them in your garden or houseplant pots, or dilute lemon or orange juice with water and spray it on plants or surfaces.

4. A group of cats can be called destruction (no, really!)

A group of cats can also be called a clowder, cluster, clutter, dout, glorying, nuisance, or pounce. You can call a group of kittens a litter, or, if you want to be fancy, a kindle.

5. Cats can drink sea water

As anyone who has ever had to give a cat a bath can attest, most cats hate being wet. But their relationship with water is more complex than that. Cats don't get as thirsty as dogs. They also have taste receptors for water, which humans don't have. Most interestingly, though, cats can survive on seawater. This is something humans certainly cannot do. What makes cats different? Their kidneys can filter out the high levels of salt, making sea water a hydrating choice in a pinch.

6. You can train your cat to use the toilet, but you might not want to

Do you hate cleaning the litter box? Of course you do. Everybody does. It's the worst thing about owning a cat. So it might be tempting to give toilet training your cat a try. While it's an arduous weeks-long process, it is possible, but some vets recommend against it. For one thing, balancing on the edge of a toilet is an unnatural position for cats to eliminate waste in, so even after the training your cat might stop using the toilet, choosing instead your rug, or your bed, or a basket of laundry as its litter box. Also, your cat might poop, but it won't flush, so that litter box smell isn't eliminated, it's just transported to the toilet. Not quite what you were aiming for.

7. A cat's ears are controlled by 32 muscles

If you've ever watched your cat closely, you've seen that their ears are amazingly mobile. That's because they have a whopping 32 muscles that allow those ears to move independently and turn a full 180 degrees. They use those ears to pinpoint sound with amazing accuracy, as well as to communicate with other cats and with us (you might want to think twice about petting a cat that has its ears back and flat against its head).

8. There are two cats who hold the title of the world's biggest cat

That's because it's measured in two ways! The longest cat, measured from nose to tip of the tail, is Stewie, a Maine Coon cat that was a whopping 48 and a half inches long (just over four feet)! The tallest cat, measured from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the paws, is a Savannah cat named Trouble, who stood an impressive 19 inches. Both Stewie and Trouble replaced the same previous record holder, another Savannah cat named Scarlett's Magic, who was both the longest at 42.7 inches and the tallest at 18.1 inches. That's a big cat!

9. The first cat video ever was Thomas Edison's "The Boxing Cats" in 1894

Who knew that the man who introduced the light bulb and the phonograph to the world also introduced the first cat video? Considering the first motion picture cameras were developed in the 1880s, this 23 second black and white film is among some of the very first movies.

Of course, we all know that cats are awesome, but sometimes we can be amazed by exactly how awesome. Considering how fantastic these furry felines are, we humans are incredibly lucky to have them as part of our lives.

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