10 tips for adopting a dog

We are living in the middle of a pandemic and it’s become obvious that many families are investing in new puppies to “curb the boredom” of lockdown. Most people are only permitted to head out for a walk once or twice a day, and with more people working from home than ever, the rates of adopting a new dog are on the rise. Adopting a dog has a ton of benefits and most of them are not considered before the adoption takes place. Adoption is one of the most selfless things that you can do for a dog who has been waiting for a loving home for some time. Dogs up for adoption often have predictable personalities and it’s these that make you feel secure when adopting a new pet for the family. The best bit about adoption is that you are rescuing a dog from a shelter life, giving the space for another dog who needs it.

A lot of families choose to head to https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-puppies-for-sale and buy a new puppy so that the dog can grow with the family. Puppies are always a lovely idea for a young family, but there are many out there that prefer to adopt a more senior dog who is already aware of what it’s like to be around people. Most are also already house broken, and that means they are ready to move in with a family most of the time. Before you go ahead to your local shelter, it will help to know everything that you can to make adoption the best option for your family. To that end, we have ten tips for you below that will give you some pause for thought before you go ahead and adopt your new dog!

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Prepare for the time this will take

Did you know that the adoption process can be a long one? New dogs should never be something you invest in on a total whim. This dog is going to be in your life for some time, with a minimum of (hopefully!) a decade of life ahead. This life is going to be shared with you, with your dog being loyal to you the entire time. You need to think about the kind of dog you want and the temperament that you want from your dog, too. Make a list of the things that would be must-haves and nice-to-haves, from the breed to the size of the dog. When you adopt a dog, you have to go through stages of home visits, paperwork, choosing whether your children will be open to the idea of a new dog. You can find a match for your family when you stop envisioning the TV ideal of the perfect dog and color of their hair! So, before you go in, know that this will take some time to iron out.

Choose a breed rescue

If you are finding it hard to look for the right dog – or any dog, to fit your family – then perhaps looking to a smaller breed is a good idea? Smaller rescues often don’t have large websites or a lot of money and your contribution to them can keep other dogs looked after while they await new homes. Smaller rescues also often offer specific breeds, so if you have a breed in mind, you’re going to do far better with a smaller rescue than a large home. Of course, it goes without saying that you should do a background check first and be thorough about it!

Go local first

So many people choose to rescue dogs from countries abroad, taking the time to go through quarantines and injections and this can be pretty pricey. The thing is, vets are worried about imported dogs and most of the time it’s because those bringing them over don’t go through the appropriate channels or get the right injections. These dogs are also often brought here on forged passports, which is not ideal! If dogs are improperly bred or bred in poor conditions, the impact of undetected foreign disease can be detrimental for the family. Rescuing from abroad may be the fashionable thing to do, but it’s not always the best thing to do.

Visit more than once

Before you bring a dog home from a rescue go and see them a couple of times. Rescue dogs need to be reassured of your commitment so a few visits will help you to do that. It gives you a chance to meet them and bond a little, and they get a chance to know that you’ll come back for them. It’s a good way to build up some trust. The first visit should be just you but the next one should be with the children if you have any. This way, your dog will know what to expect when you take him home for good.

Get a history

You should never take home a dog without a full medical history from the rescue center or breeder. You need the paperwork and the reputable places will vet-check the dogs on entry.

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Ask questions

You shouldn’t take your new doggy pick home until you have assessed their training and behavior needs. Not all dogs are house trained or lead trained, though most are. This will help you to get classes in place so that you can ensure that they are trained properly in no time at all.

Take him to the vet

Within the first week of rescuing your dog, take him to the new vet so that they can get acquainted and a check-up can be completed. It’s tempting to keep your dog at home but the best thing to do is have the checkup to determine any required vaccinations and flea treatments.

Buy pet insurance

You may have already thought of this one as you choose to have a dog, but pet insurance is a must. Not only this, but you want to have the right type of pet insurance. There are tons of different types but with older dogs and the increased likelihood of needed treatment later on, the bigger the pet insurance the better.

Start getting the house ready

There is a chance that you’re not bringing home a tiny puppy, but your rescue will still need to feel safe and secure. Having a dedicated quiet space for him to escape to is a must, and you need to ensure that you have puppy pads ready for those nervous urinators! Install a dog toilet space outside the back and have the lead hung in plain sight of their bed – which should be appropriately sized and comfortable.

Lower your expectations

As much as you need to settle in with a new dog, your dog has to settle with you, too, and this will take some time. Adoption takes time to settle and you need to get to know each other!

When you choose to adopt a dog, you are choosing to commit yourself and your family to the love of another being. This means taking time and being patient. Your dog may be nervous, he may cry and he may not feel settled for some time. It’s very important, then, that you give your family and your dog the time they need to get used to each other. Once you do that, you can enjoy a happy dog in a happier house, knowing that they will have forever with you to be loved and love you back.

** This was a contributed post.

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recipe: soda heart bread

This is one of two recipes that I have made this year in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Once again, this bread is deliciously dairy-free. However, you can swap out the almond milk for buttermilk and vegan butter for the real stuff in a heartbeat!

Soda Heart Bread


1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 large egg
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp vegan butter


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium-sized bowl, add the almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and egg. Whisk until well-combined. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Then cut in the butter and keep mixing until flour becomes crumbly. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and once it becomes a dough that isn’t too sticky, start kneading with your hands. Flour a surface and continue to knead for a few minutes, or until the dough has an even constancy throughout. 

3. Using a cast iron skillet or baking sheet with parchment paper, place the rounded out dough on top. Then cut a heart into the middle using a sharp knife or razor blade. Place in oven, and cook for 45 minutes or until bread becomes golden brown. Remove, let cool, then eat! Serve fresh with butter, or toast and turn into sandwiches. (This can be stored in an airtight room temperature container for up to five days.)


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happy birthday, husband

Tomorrow is Geoffrey’s birthday.

What a year we had. I struggled for most of it with health anxiety, and you remained my rock. You never once showed me that you were worried alongside me, and you seemed to understand when my mood would swing because of it.

When work slowed down and you were laid off as a result, you transferred to a different city that day and picked up right where you left off. You continue to work day and night for us, and *rarely* complain. ;-)))

You completed every project I asked for, and indulged me when I brought home 5 new cats and kittens.

Here you are with your little girl who has you wrapped around her little finger. We all love you so much!!

Happy birthday, Geo!



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5 uncomplicated ways to make your home safer

The new year: the ideal time to take a look at your home security. It feels good to start in 2021, knowing that our homes and families are safe and secure.

The safety of your home might not be something that comes to mind straight away when making resolutions. Many of us are still in the clutches of winter, with dark and cold nights looming. While it’s a perfect time to make the most of hot drinks and books in front of roaring fires, no-one wants that tarnished with the stress of old locks and security systems. 

Image via Max Pixels: CC0 License

Here are some simple ways to update your home security to feel comfortable in your home through winter, and the new year ahead. 

1. Secure Doors And Windows

Your front door is the most popular way for unwanted visitors to enter. So even though making sure your front door is secure seems almost too simple, it’s the most essential thing on this list. 

Thankfully, it won’t take much effort for you to ensure the frame is strong and the locks are working. You can consider adding in a deadbolt for extra security, or a video doorbell, so you know who’s wanting to enter. If you’re relocating into a new home, it’s a great time to change the locks. That way you know the locks you put in are top of the line. 

Don’t forget your windows! The latches on windows aren’t always the most secure – if the windows are old, they’ll be even more flimsy. You can ramp up window security pretty easy with some new latches. 

Image by: PhotoMIX Company via Pexels

2. Light It Up

Suppose someone’s sneaking onto your property when they shouldn’t be. In that case, they aren’t going to appreciate being in the spotlight when your outdoor floodlights activate. This makes ample outdoor lighting another straightforward way to make your house safer by making it less appealing to burglars. 

Make sure to have lighting cover front and back yards and entry points like the front door and garage. Solar lights are brilliant as they provide just as much coverage while saving you some pennies. If you’re going for something more high tech or mains connected, make sure to hire an experienced electrician. It pays to get them installed properly – plus, expert electricians can give great advice when it comes to choosing the nest product for your needs. 

3. Top Notch Security

Whether your home is new or old, it’ll most likely already have some sort of security system in place. It’s worth taking the opportunity to see if it really gives your home enough protection. There are plenty on options out there when it comes to home security systems. The sheer variety of them means you can choose something that will meet your needs, and tech level, exactly. 

Consider whether you want to install yourself. If you’d prefer a professional installation, it can change what system’s right for you. Most importantly, choose something you’re truly comfortable with. You’ll be the one using it after all!

Image by: Pixabay via Pexels

4. Get A Safe

Again, this seems pretty simple! But that’s exactly what this list is about – straight forward, easy options for you to feel safer at home. If the worst happens and someone unwanted manages to get inside your home, having a safe will mean those things most valuable to you are protected.

Like all of these suggestions – choose something that fits your life. Think about what’s important to you and the space you’ll need to protect it. Whatever option you go for, there are 3 things you’ll want to look for. Whether the safe is fireproof, waterproof and heavy enough that it can’t just be picked up and walked away with! 

5. Be Concious 

Some of these suggestions might be a little on the expensive side. So if you’re strapped for cash, the best thing you can do is be conscious of your home and surroundings. Knowing every little nook of your home and property leaves you in a better place to protect it. 

Check the perimeter in the evenings, check windows and doors are locked before leaving and know every inch of your property. Most importantly, though, get to know your neighbours! Even if your neighbours aren’t close, they are an invaluable tool for looking out for your home when you’re not around. Plus, it helps build a real sense of community and belonging, which is wonderful to encourage!

Image by: Kelly Lacy via Pexels

Hopefully, you’ve been empowered to make positive home safety decisions. There’s a little something for everyone, and you can take out as much or as little from it as needed. Here’s to a bright, healthy and safe new year. 

** This was a contributed post.

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recipe: borscht soup

Helllllllloooooooooooooo 2021!! I am SO happy to see you!

I always like to begin the new year with a healthy recipe post. I don’t know why- maybe to set the tone for a year of hopefully good health. Regardless, this one will be no different.

Here is a delicious recipe that is a bit of a different take on traditional borscht soup, all the while keeping you warm on those cool winter days. 

Borscht Soup


4 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 medium beets, peeled and chopped with gloves
3 medium potatoes, any kind, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 head celery, chopped
8 cups water
2 vegetable stock cubes
3 tsp dill, freshly chopped or dried
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, garlic, onion, and tomato paste over medium-low for 10 minutes. Then chop and add the beets, potatoes, carrots, and celery one at a time. Once all combined, pour in the water. Top off with the vegetable stock cubes, dill, thyme, salt, and pepper. 

2. Cook over medium-high heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables have softened. Then remove from heat. Serve warm and fresh within a day or two. Or, freeze and thaw the night before serving. Enjoy!


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