Fido to the Rescue: What Does it Take to Become a Service Dog?

A service dog can mean a better life for those that need them.Dog lovers everywhere know how wonderful it can be to share life with a canine companion; the bond we share with dogs is truly unique, and their ability to detect and respond to our feelings and concerns is nothing short of incredible.

For the thousands of men, women, and children living with a physical or mental disability, the bond with a dog can actually be life changing. Service dogs offer their handlers the chance to live independently, move freely, and can even save lives.

What is a Service Dog?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is not a pet. A service dog is defined as one that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Some of the ways in which a dog can be of service to a human handler include: Continue…

Ready, Freddy? Disaster Preparedness and Your Pet

Disaster preparedness for your pet should be part of your family's disaster plan.Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors knows to bring along certain supplies “just in case.” Indeed, it’s always better to have something and not need it, instead of the other way around. So it goes with disaster preparedness. When thinking about evacuation plans, medical needs, and more, it’s good to have a general understanding of how to protect and provide for your pet should an emergency situation arise.

Better Safe than Sorry

One of the best defenses against separation is to microchip your pet. This is important for general pet care, of course, but in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, it provides the best chance at a happy reunion. While microchipping isn’t a replacement for a collar and ID tags, microchips definitely add an extra layer of protection. Continue…

All the Feels: The Unlimited Joy of Fostering a Pet

Fostering a pet helps with shelter pet adoptionDo you remember the day you brought your pet home? Along with all the excitement and laughter that comes with getting a new pet, there’s nothing quite like the feeling that comes with knowing you’re helping an animal in need.

Fostering a pet brings that same sense of reward and happiness. Beyond adoption (although that’s certainly amazing), shelters and rescues are in desperate need of volunteers for everything from cleaning kennels to taking care of their fosters. If you’re looking to step up your volunteer efforts, fostering a pet may be just the thing for you.

Fostering a Pet

As one can imagine, animal shelters are often at capacity and don’t have the resources to take in every animal in need. Fostering is a way to help those pets while minimizing the stress of staying in a crowded shelter. Continue…

Trouble in Paradise: Common Issues with Rescue Pets and How to Resolve Them

rescue petDeciding to open your home and heart to a rescue pet is an important and meaningful life decision. Not only are you gaining a new best friend, you’re saving a life and helping to reduce the homeless pet population at the same time.

Although adopting a rescue pet can be a wonderful experience, many of these animals arrive in our homes with health, behavior, and/or emotional issues that may leave owners confused, frustrated, and wondering if they made the right decision. Fortunately, many of these undesirable behaviors are easily corrected, and The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are here to support you as you create a wonderful life for you and your new pet.

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The Unshakeable Love Between Pets and Owners  

pets and ownersFor the majority of pet owners, our love for our four-legged family members is unconditional. We provide them with everything they need to survive and thrive, shower them with attention, and think about them when we aren’t together. For the most part, we’re pretty sure our pets love us back. From the excited dog who greets us each day to the contented purring of a sweet kitty, most pet owners can cite many ways our pets show us love.

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center agree that pets and owners love each other, so we delved into the latest scientific research about this remarkable relationship. We relish the opportunity to share our findings with you…

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Rainy Day Games and Activities for Your Pet

Rain or shine, your pet needs exercise and interaction every day to keep them at their healthiest and happiest. As we look ahead to the coming winter months, it’s likely that some days may not lend themselves to outdoor play. This can be especially disconcerting for the dog who loves to go on walks to the park.

Since we can anticipate wet, cold, and snowy days ahead, it’s important to have a few indoor activities for your pet in mind. The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center have a few ideas to help you enjoy those rainy days with your pet (and the whole family!).

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Summer is a Great Time to…Swim, Grill Out, Travel, Adopt a DOG!

adopt a dogWe realize dogs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (what?!), but for those who cherish our canines, we think they’re top notch! Besides, there’s a reason they’re man and woman’s best friend – a friend who not only thinks you’re, like, the BEST HUMAN EVER, but also someone who will never insult your taste in music (even ABBA) or take over the remote.

Many animal lovers who have always wanted to  adopt a dog can make an indelible difference in the life of a sweet fur friend this summer. Adopting not only offers a forever home to a deserving animal, but it also makes room for others to be rescued. So what are you waiting for?

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I Found A Lost or Stray Pet: Now What?

Elmhurst_iStock_000017412926_DoubleAs a consummate animal lover, you may rejoice at the chance to help a stranded or lost pet, but it can definitely be unnerving for some, including the animal. Of course, the four-legged friend that took up residence under your deck or on your front stoop may be a stray without a devoted owner. He or she could also have a warm, loving home somewhere with a worried or heartbroken pet parent waiting.

If you have found a stray or lost pet, or just want to know what to do if that ever happens, there are simple things you can do to help. The following ideas, intended with everyone’s safety and security in mind, will help:
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The Benefits of Puppy Kindergarten Class

TasteAdopting a new puppy can be a life changing experience for everyone involved. To ensure your new addition gets off on the right paw, puppy kindergarten classes are a great option. While many training basics can be accomplished at home on your own, there are some major benefits to professional puppy training classes.

Here’s what to expect:

Social Benefits of Puppy Kindergarten

Puppy kindergarten classes, taught by a professional dog trainer, provide much more than just instructions for housebreaking and positive Continue…

Puppy Training: Puppy Manners 101

LeapingPuppyPuppies learn by cause and effect, and are naturally born with the instincts to bark, jump, play rough, and bite. Because of this, having a well-behaved dog requires that you teach manners to your puppy from an early age, and reinforce those teachings over and over as they grow.

We recommend that all puppies get off to a great start by joining a puppy manners training class. But before your class begins, there are a few simple things you can do at home to start encouraging positive behaviors.

Redirect Bad Behavior

Puppies are fluffy balls of enthusiasm. They are excited to wake up, excited to eat, and especially excited about their new relationship with you. Continue…