Choose the right puppy

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Choosing The Right Dog

 

The big day is approaching! After listening to your kids beg for a puppy for years, you're finally ready to give in and buy a dog. Before you take this big step, stop to consider a few factors that should influence your choice of dog. After all, you are about to enter into a 10-15 year commitment, and you want to make sure you're prepared!

 

First, reconsider your impulse to begin with a puppy. Puppies are undeniably adorable and appealing, but they require lots of exercise, training, and supervision. Depending on your work schedule and the ages of your children, do you really have time to handle a rambunctious pup? Puppies demand your constant attention for most of their waking hours! Many dogs given up to animal shelters are under one year old, surrendered by people who underestimated the energy of their puppy and the time required to help him grow up right.

 

Many people mistakenly assume they can mold a puppy to be exactly what they're looking for in a dog. This doesn't hold true for dogs any more than it does for kids! Pups are born with innate personalities which manifest themselves as the dog grows up. By starting with an older dog, you will have some idea in advance of your dog's personality and preferences. If your main concern is to have a family dog that will be safe with your children, for example, you can search for a dog whose personality already shows those traits. Most animal shelters and rescue groups evaluate their dogs for key temperament issues and can readily assist you in finding a dog that will suit your lifestyle.

 

Another factor to consider in choosing a dog is breed, or lack thereof. Dog breeds are well defined and easily recognized, and indeed many people associate the work "dog" with a smart Golden Retriever or German Shepherd. In doing so, you miss out on a world of lovable animals who would be glad to devote themselves to your family! Mixed-breed dogs can be every bit as loyal, loving, and playful as pedigrees, with one distinct advantage over their purebred cousins: they tend to live longer, healthier lives. Many breeds have been so closely bred to produce champion bloodlines that certain health and temperament problems are becoming more and more common. For example, the incidence of hip dysplasia in Goldens and Shepherds is above 75%! Health problems associated with genetic inbreeding are practically unheard of in mixed breed dogs. Generally, by choosing a mixed breed, you will avoid most hereditary health problems and gain a hardy, robust companion.

 

If your family has nevertheless decided on a purebred puppy, the last factor to consider is where to buy your dog. The only safe place to acquire a purebred puppy is from a breeder, where you can visit and meet the parents (canine and human) of your new pup. Mother dogs pass many of their personality traits on to their puppies, so meeting and liking the mother helps ensure you'll get a puppy you can live with. Seeing firsthand the environment your pup grew up in will also help you avoid the inbreeding and ill health associated with dogs from breeding farms, or "puppy mills". If the puppies and their living space aren't clean and sanitary, find another breeder!

 

By all means, before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a purebred puppy, stop by your local animal shelter to see the dogs available for adoption. In addition to a devoted, lifelong family friend, by choosing a puppy - or, better yet, an adolescent or adult dog - from a shelter, you get an even greater reward. You save a life!

by Shelley Wester

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Animals can suffer like humans do, so it is speciesism to experiment on them while we refrain from experimenting on humans. All suffering is undesirable, whether it be in humans or animals. Discriminating against animals because they do not have the cognitive ability, language, or moral judgment that humans do is no more justifiable than discriminating against human beings with severe mental impairments. As English philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote in the 1700s, "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"

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Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings. 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials. According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates. A 2013 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) found that nearly 150 clinical trials of treatments to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients have been undertaken, and all of them failed, despite being successful in animal tests. A 2013 study in Archives of Toxicology stated that "The low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety."

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Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe. The 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Animal tests on the arthritis drug Vioxx showed that it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice, yet the drug went on to cause more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths before being pulled from the market.

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Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that "it's very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we're trying to achieve in the human." Thomas Hartung, Professor of evidence-based toxicology at Johns Hopkins University, argues for alternatives to animal testing because "we are not 70 kg rats."

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Stop Animal testing!
Use alternative testing methods!

Alternative testing methods now exist that can replace the need for animals. In vitro (in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used. Microdosing, the administering of doses too small to cause adverse reactions, can be used in human volunteers, whose blood is then analyzed. Artificial human skin, such as the commercially available products EpiDerm and ThinCert, is made from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells and can produce more useful results than testing chemicals on animal skin. Microfluidic chips ("organs on a chip"), which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs, are in advanced stages of development. Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals.

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Important Information : Telephone line and Power supply down at Blue Cross of India , In the process of digging for Metro-water work happening on the road to Blue Cross they have cut the electrical and telephone cables . As a result of this we don't have any power supply and are running on Genset power intermittently. Also the telephone lines are down so temporarily no one is able to get in touch with us. Kindly bear with us till the situation is sorted out . We will update as soon as this is rectified. ... See MoreSee Less

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