Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Are you spending too much money on your pets?

First of all, most pet owners consider their cats or dogs a bona fide member of the family. This is especially true with millennials. In fact, 1/3 of millennial-aged Americans (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home. This is according to a 2017 survey from SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25 %, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19 %.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” says Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

Also, the sheer numbers explain our obsession with our pets. According to the 2017-2018 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.6 millions homes. Of those pets, dogs are number one, with more than 60 million households having a dog, followed by a cat—47 million households.

Given how highly we regard our pets, it makes sense that so many of us want to pamper our pets. I know from my online business how many Americans celebrate their dog’s birthday each year and want to be able to throw them a birthday party with a dog-themed cake and dog bone shaped birthday candles. The ornate cake at the top of this article was made using our pit bull cake pan and professionally baked and decorated by one of our dog bakery customers, the Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove, Illinois. Soon our online store will introduce cat-themed cake pans and birthday candles for those 47 million households with cats that might want to celebrate their cat’s birthday. This will be part of our Kittieware line.

This is part of the reason that dog bakeries—or barkeries—are popping up all over the place and chowing down the profits. In a recent Voice of America article, Nicki Dobson of Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City, Missouri, explains how pet owners buy treats for their pups as they might ice cream for their children—and, by the way, there is dog ice cream on the market: “We have dogs come in every week,” Dobson said in that article. “Their dog needs a cookie every night. We have people who drop $50 to $75 on [dog] pastries every week.”

In addition to pet-themed bakeries, there are pet spas, pet-oriented restaurant franchises, hotels with pet programs and cat-friendly AirBnB locations. Even automotive brands are marketing to pet lovers, with vehicles with pet-specific features.

I can tell you that in some instances, when we choose brands that we give our business to as a family, we might base our decision on how pet-facing a business is. For example, if a bank doesn’t give out treats at the drive-through window, I find myself thinking, Why not?

Do you love your subscription boxes? Well, dogs and puppies can get them now. You can even dress your pup up in your favorite college or professional team’s sports gear so your pet is in the spirit when you sit down to watch the big game.

And many pet parents include their pups in Halloween celebrations, too. According to Pet Products News, millions will dress their pets up for Halloween. One statistic said that for every $3 parents spend on costumes for children, they’ll spend $1 on a costume for their pet. PARADE

More and more American families own pets.

A recent study says that 85 million families in the United States own a pet.

The American Pet Products Association’s study for the years 2017-2018 says that represents 68 percent of all families in the U.S.

Thirty years ago, when the study was first done, 56 percent of families owned a pet.

The survey found dogs are the most popular pets. Sixty-point-two percent of homes own one. Cats are the second most popular with 47.1 percent of families reporting they had a cat. Freshwater fish came in third with 12.5 percent.

Nicki Dobson is head of marketing and communication for Three Dog Bakery. The business calls itself the "original bakery for dogs." She said pets have become especially popular among Americans in the past 10 years.

She said, "People are having more pets and less children. People are concerned about what they eat. Our whole premise was trying to make things with human-grade ingredients and a focus on nutrition. They look like human food, but they're meant for pets."

Another company, Posh Puppy Boutique, sells clothes, jewelry and other items for dogs.

There are also pet hotels and pet health centers. One study found that Americans spend about $126 each month on their pets.

Three Dog Bakery opened in 1989. Dobson says there are now 45 bakeries around the world, including in Canada and China. She said cakes are the most popular item. She added that some people pay $50-75 on baked goods each week for their pets.

Pets rather than children?

Some younger Americans seem to be choosing pets over having children. Some are making big life decisions, such as buying a home, around the lives of their pets.

The SunTrust banking company did a study in 2017 of people under the age of 40 buying their first home. The study found that 33 percent said a good yard or good space for their pets influenced them to buy a new home. Only 25 percent said marriage was a reason, and 19 percent said the birth of a child.

Some companies now offer pet benefits such as pet insurance. They are also offering "pawternity" leave, which gives workers free time to spend with their new pets.

Dobson noted that taking dogs to work is now popular in places that permit it.

Americans' love for their pets is even influencing their travel plans. A recent survey found that 49 percent of pet owners have not left the country since owning their pet. Sixty-eight percent of those said it was because they feel guilty leaving their pets alone.

Health experts say pets can improve the health of their owners. The American-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness.

The CDC adds that pets also offer chances for outdoor exercise and socialization with other people.

Article Credit:  Americans Spending and Doing More for Their Pets

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) provides periodic updates on how much money U.S. citizens spend on their beloved pets each year. While spending for 2017 was estimated to reach $69.35 billion, Americans surpassed that estimate by a few million dollars.

 According to new annual industry-wide spending figures announced at this year’s Global Pet Expo held in Orlando, Florida, Americans spent a total of $69.51 billion on their pets in 2017.

 These statistics mean that 2017 pet spending outpaced 2016 pet spending by nearly $3 billion, showing 4 percent growth in the pet market.

 "Talk to any pet owner and they'll tell you how difficult it is to put a dollar limit on what they'd spend to give their loyal companion a happy life,” APPA president and CEO Bob Vetere said, “and it's this outlook that continues to drive growth."

 When it comes to what pet owners are spending their hard-earned dollars on, though, pet food reigned supreme, followed by pet supplies and over-the-counter medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other miscellaneous services.

Over the course of one year, growth was experienced in each of these five categories except for live animal purchases — which remained the same between 2016 and 2017.

"It's incredible to not only see growth for the pet industry in general but to experience growth across all categories with the exception of 'live animal purchases,’" Vetere said.

The good news is that veterinary care spending continues to grow year-over-year, showing a 7 percent increase from 2016. According to APPA analysts, this category is expected to continue on the same upward trajectory with 6.9 percent growth projected for 2018.

 The category that experienced the most growth between 2016 and 2017 was ‘other services,’ which includes grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting, yard services and more. This grouping is up 6.9 percent from 2016, coming in at $6.16 billion spent in 2017.

 "The industry is moving beyond simply the humanization of pets to where they are now widely accepted as part of the pet owner's lifestyle," Vetere said. "No matter the primary cause of increased spending on pets, be it enhanced nutrition, better healthcare, increased pampering, or greater technology, the one thing we know for sure is that pet owners have a top priority in pursuing longer, healthier lives for their pets.”

Article Credit:  American Pet Spending Reaches New High

Monday, August 27, 2018

Should you get pet insurance? Probably a good idea.....

As Veterinary Bills Add Up, More Pet Owners Opt for Insurance

Annual premiums last year totaled $1 billion, with 1.83 million pets insured

Insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals, dogs and cats, though more exotic animals may also be covered.
Insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals, dogs and cats, though more exotic animals may also be covered.

Two out of three American households—or about 85 million homes—own pets, and those lovable little roommates don’t come cheap.

Americans spent $17 billion last year on veterinary care alone, according to figures published by the American Pet Product Association. Per pet, that included $257 for the routine care of dogs and $182 for cats.

But accidents or illness can balloon costs, and to offset the expense, more households have turned to pet insurance, a niche product that for the first time last year grossed $1 billion in annual premiums.

Compared with auto, home and human health coverage, pet insurance is the runt of the litter. But that puppy’s growing.

Last year’s gross annual premiums were 23% higher than the previous year, when the total was $837 million, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. The number of insured pets also increased, climbing to 1.83 million last year, up about 16% from the previous year.

That’s only 1% of dogs and cats, but insurers expect the expansion to continue.

“Twelve million puppies and kittens come into the world every year,” said Rob Jackson, chief executive officer of the pet insurer Healthy Paws. “There’s still great room to grow.”

One yardstick to assess the potential is the United Kingdom., where a quarter of cats and dogs are insured, according to Laura Bennett, a pet insurance actuary and fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Although animals that are more exotic than cats and dogs may be covered, insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals.

In 2017, Americans owned 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, accounting for nearly half of all household pets, according to the pet product association.

(America’s 393 million pets also included other small animals, horses, birds, reptiles and fish. At 139 million, freshwater fish was the single largest category, accounting for 35% of the total. But come on. If you can’t cuddle it, is it really a pet?)

Insurance to offset the cost of veterinary care is a hybrid product. Like health insurance, it typically covers accidents and illnesses, but because pets are possessions, it is technically property and casualty insurance.

That’s the kind that’s purchased for homes and cars, but there’s a wrinkle: With car insurance, drivers don’t assume it’s OK to get into more accidents. Pet insurance may inspire a different response.

“If I go out and adopt a dog and buy an insurance policy, you don’t know how I’m going to behave,” Ms. Bennett said. “Will I go to the vet every time the dog coughs? You don’t know.”

About a dozen companies sell pet insurance in the U.S. The largest, in order of market share, are Nationwide, Trupanion and Healthy Paws.

Each is relatively new to the scene. Trupanion began selling pet insurance in the U.S. in 2008. In 2009, Nationwide acquired Veterinary Pet Insurance, which had been around since 1980. And Healthy Paws started in 2010.

There are no standardized actuarial tables to guide pet insurers in setting premiums. Each group crafts its own, often with the help of pet actuaries.

Trupanion, which insures 472,000 pets and employs four credentialed actuaries, bases its rates on characteristics such as pet breed and age—like other companies—along with details gleaned from the 1 million-plus claims the company has processed.

Among the lessons it has learned over the years is that different breeds have different health concerns.

“Golden retrievers are prone to cancers more so than other dogs that are otherwise comparable,” said T.J. Houk, Trupanion’s chief data officer and actuary. “Other breeds of a similar size have their own issues.”

That kind of information influences premiums, as does a pet’s place of residence.

“In New York there’s a very different level of available care than in most of the rest of country,” Mr. Houk said. “You see significantly higher prices there.”

With a $200 deductible, premiums for a mixed breed puppy in Manhattan would cost $76, Mr. Houk said. In Mobile, Ala., the same pet with the same coverage would cost $34.

Premiums also vary depending on a policy’s deductible, but in general, monthly pet insurance payments range from $25 to $150.

One reason for the growing appeal of pet insurance is the availability of increasingly sophisticated and expensive treatments.

“The cost of routine care is not going up,” Mr. Jackson said. “Where you find increases is in specialty care. That’s where you get the sticker shock.”

A torn cranial cruciate ligament, which is often referred to as a dog’s ACL, is an example of a common ailment that now has a variety of advanced treatment options with price tags to match.

“The old treatment was to repair the ligament for around $1,200,” Mr. Jackson said. “Now, you can set the bone, put a plate in there, and for $4,500, the knee is as good as new. It’s the same condition but a new way to treat it.”

And, if you choose to buy pet insurance, a new way to pay for it.

Article Credit:  Wall Street Journal

Monday, August 20, 2018

So Why You Should Adopt a Pet From a Animal Shelter?

You save a life.

You help break the cycle of pet overpopulation.

You take advantage of adopting an adult animal.

You help stio cruelty in mass breeding facilities (puppy mills and backyard breeders).

You get to choose from a wide-range of adoptable pets.

You get a lifetime resource with shelter and volunteers.

You support a valuable charity and community isntitutuion.

You pay less (low adoptions fees, spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations). 

You adopt a pet who has recieved good care.

By adopting an animal from a shelter you encourage others to adopt from shelters as well.

Adopting a pet is good for your overall health.

Adopting one animal helps other animals.

Social meda bragging rights (I just adopted a pet from a shelter selfie!)

Most pets from animal shelters are already hosuetrained.

A shelter pet will always be there for you.

Friday, August 17, 2018

So you want your pet to be a vegan?

If you're going to put your pet on a vegan diet, there are some things you need to know.

  • Some people who are vegan want to put their pets on vegan diets too.
  • It's easier for dogs to be vegans than cats.
  • Cats only eat meat, so they require strict supplements to sustain their nutritional needs.
  • There are companies that make vegan pet food, and you can even make your own.
  • But it's a lot of work to make sure your pet is getting what it needs, so make sure it's worth it for you.

In recent years, there's been an uptick in interest around putting dogs and cats on a vegetarian or vegan diet.But not everyone is in agreement about whether vegan diets are acceptable for cats and dogs, especially since both species have very specific nutritional needs. If you want your pet to go vegan, here's what you need to know.

Vegan diets affect cats and dogs differently.

Cats are strict carnivores. Cats could live on meat only; dogs actually need both.
Because of the differences in diet, it's a lot more challenging for a cat to eat a vegan diet than a dog. 
Dogs may not get all the nutrients that they need. For cats, a vegan diet does not actually have everything that they need to stay healthy. Making your pet go began is just not a good idea.

The ASPCA agrees with this sentiment, and its website states, "It is possible — though challenging — to keep dogs healthy on a plant-based diet, [but] a vegan diet is not appropriate for cats at all." 

This is because cats can develop heart issues if they're not eating enough taurine, which is only found in animal by-products and not in plants, according to the ASPCA.

There are some advocates for vegan pet diets.

PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch told INSIDER in a statement:

"A nutritionally balanced vegan diet can offer dogs and cats health benefits, such as healthier skin and coats, cleaner teeth, better digestion, easier weight management, and better protection against diseases."
There have also been studies that show the benefits of veganism for pets. A 2014 Austrian study of 174 dog owners reported that 38 owners said their pets had healthier and shinier coats after eating vegan food. A blood test of 20 dogs found that their vitals were all normal even on a vegan diet.


You'll need to know your supplements.

Both species need supplements to maintain a vegan diet. Notably, dogs need taurine and L-carnitine and cats need vitamin A, taurine, and arachidonic acid, according to PETA. (PETA is actually right on this fact.) CNN also reported that dogs require higher protein intake than humans. And since cats subsist only on meat, they also require high levels of protein. 


If you're considering a vegan diet for your pet, it's important to consult your veterinarian and purchase powder supplements or vegan pet food supplements. Also make sure you do extensive research on any and all supplements.

There are several vegan pet food brands on the market.

In addition to supplements, you can cook vegan food for your pets yourself or purchase them from vendors. PETA recommends brands like Amì, F & O Alternative Pet Products, and V-dog, Be sure to check the ingredient list closely to see which nutrients your pet still may need to have a balanced diet.
PETA recommends you add small amounts of the new vegan food to their normal diet and slowly scaling back on the meat until they're eating only vegan foods.

Do your research before trusting anything that PETA says.........

There are better alternatives for your pet than a fully vegan diet.

You do not have to use commercial dog or cat food. You can make do with homemade diets that you can make that are balanced … There are veterinarians that do nutrition that can put together a recipe for you that is nutritionally sound. Always ask advice from your veterinarian before starting your pet on a new diet. 
Contact your vet to ask if they provide that service or if they can recommend someone who does.

Pet owners need to know that healthy eating requires effort and attention to detail to make sure your animal is getting the proper nutrients and isn't developing dietary issues.

Article Credit:  ThisIsInsider

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Unhealthy Air Quality: How to keep your pets safe from smog and fire haze

Do you live in a city with a high amount of smog (city toxins) and/or poor air quality? Limit outside exposure especially on days where air quality is measured to be at its poorest. Pet owners should also limit animals’ outdoor time if there are nearby wildfires. Wild fire smoke can spread rapidly and hang around for days if not weeks. Smoke inhalation can cause disorientation and confusion, fainting, lethargy and seizures.
Both dogs and cats are at risk of respiratory issues, and doctors say certain animals are at heightened risk, especially puppies and older dogs, pets with asthma and bronchitis, and dogs with rounder faces and shorter noses (like bulldogs and Boston terriers).


Tips to keep your pets safe:
  • Keep pets indoors with the windows closed.
  • Use air conditioning to further filter the air, if possible.
  • Outdoor bathroom breaks should be kept short.
  • Avoid prolonged exercise.
  • Keep pets well hydrated.
  • Look for signs of respiratory stress and eye inflammation. If pets show symptoms, see a veterinarian immediately.
  • Urban farm animals (goats, chickens, rabbits) are less likely to become ill, as they are used to dusty conditions. However, it’s important to monitor them for abnormal behavior or symptoms of illness. Be sure to keep them sheltered from heat.
  • For homes that are smoky indoors due to the proximity to fires, consider keeping pets at a doggy day care or with a trusted friend who lives away from the area.

Signs of respiratory stress include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual or excessive coughing, sneezing, vomiting or loss of appetite
  • Swelling or inflammation of the mouth, eyes, skin or upper airway
  • Open-mouthed breathing, especially in cats
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Uncoordinated walking/unable to stand
  • Increased salivation
Owners should seek immediate veterinary care for their pets if they show any of the above symptoms.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Pot for Pets

CBD Oil For Dogs: What You Might Not Know

The results seem to be in … researchers are turning their attention to this herb and, so far, they’re finding there’s lots to like. And just as CBD has helped humans, your dog can reap the same health-boosting (and even life-saving) benefits.

Let’s look at the 10 things you might not know about this often misunderstood herb and the research that shows its promise in helping dogs with a variety of common health issues …

1. CBD Is Not Psychoactive

CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can also be found in cannabis and it’s this compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. Most CBD oils are just that … the beneficial CBD without the THC. And they typically come from hemp, not marijuana. In short, your dog won’t get “high” from CBD oil … he’ll get the relaxation without the intoxication.

And speaking of relaxation …

2. CBD Oil Reduces Anxiety

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias? CBD has been extensively studied for its effect on stress and anxiety. In humans, it’s been found to:
•Reduce anxiety caused by public speaking
•Reduce anxiety in both healthy people and people with anxiety disorders
•Be effective for panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders

3. CBD Can Fights Cancer

CBD and other substances found in hemp and cannabis have been found to have an anti-tumor effect. CBD has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increased tumor cell death.
•CBD helps the immune system’s killer cells to cause cancer cell death.
•CBD kills cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy.
•CBD’s anti-tumor properties slow and inhibit glioma cell growth.
•CBD can help increase the efficacy of conventional cancer treatment.

4. CBD Can Treat Seizures And Epilepsy

It’s estimated that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Most dogs with seizures are put on drugs such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. While they may help control the seizures, they can be extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. And the drugs don’t work in all cases.

CBD has been shown to work well in drug-resistant epilepsy. In one study, 7 of 8 patients with epilepsy that was resistant to drugs saw a definite improvement within 4 to 5 months of taking CBD.

And a survey of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy found that 84% of the children taking CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.

CBD for dogs

5. CBD Relieves Pain

The cannabinoids in CBD work so well for pain that scientists are considering it as a new class of drug for the treatment of chronic pain. Studies show CBD to be very effective for:
•Decreasing pain (including neuropathy and nerve-related pain)
•Decreasing the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress (which causes degeneration and premature aging)
•Decreasing inflammation in acute pancreatitis
•Reducing inflammation
•Reducing intestinal inflammation (associated with irritable bowel disease)

6. CBD Can Help With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Animal studies show that CBD can prevent colitis (IBD) and restore normal gut motility in inflammatory bowel disease.

CBD also has antibiotic properties, including Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

7. CBD Reduces Chronic Inflammation And Autoimmune Disease

CBD has been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines that can cause allergies, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity. It can also suppress something called Th17 dominance, which is a major cause of autoimmune diseases.

CBD also inhibits the production of inflammatory macrophages and decreases chronic inflammation.

CBD is also a powerful antioxidant that’s shown to be more powerful than vitamins C and E.

Research shows CBD can help relieve seizures, pain, anxiety and even inhibit cancerous growths.

8. CBD Can Protect The Nervous System And Help With Neurodegenerative Diseases

For dogs suffering from degenerative myelopathy and other spine and nerve issues, CBD shows a lot of promise. It’s been shown to help patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by protecting the brain cells from toxicity.

For senior dogs, CBD has been shown to protect the brain from cell death caused by free radicals and toxins.

9. CBD Increases Appetite And Helps With Nausea

If you have trouble getting your dog to eat, CBD may help. The National Cancer Institute reports that CBD increases appetite and carries this extra benefit, in addition to controlling cancer.

In animal studies, CBD has also been shown to help with vomiting and nausea, even when they’re the result of toxins and drugs.

10. CBD Promotes Cardiovascular Health

Just as veterinarian Dr Bassingthwaighte discovered, CBD has been linked to heart health. Studies show it can reduce the damage from damaged blood vessels and irregular heart rates, protect blood vessels from damage and dilate the arteries, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety.

Bonus: CBD Oil For Dogs Is Legal And Safe

With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time. It can decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs, so if your dog is on medication, you might want to check with your holistic vet before using CBD.

Most CBD oil for dogs and other pets is derived from hemp oil, so it contains no or very small traces of THC. Because of this, all 50 states have approved the use of hemp-based CBD for human and animal products.

The bottom line is, CBD oil could be a healthy (or even life-saving) herb for your dog. More and more pet owners and holistic vets are drawn to its diverse and marked health benefits and they feel good knowing the side effects are mild and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.

Choosing A Good CBD Oil For Your Dog

Not all CBD oils are the same … you’ll want a high quality CBD oil that works, so here are a few things to look for:
•Make sure the product is organic: If it isn’t organic, your CBD oil contains pesticides, fungicides or solvents.
•Don’t cheap out: The higher the quality and purity, the higher the cost. Don’t price shop … make sure your CBD oil is free of additives and has a good amount of CBD.
•Get the analysis: Ask for a lab analysis of the amount of CBD in the product. Many CBD oils contain only small amounts of CBD. The manufacturer should provide a certificate of analysis. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
•Buy CBD as a tincture: You can buy CBD in treats but the best form is in a tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop to make sure he gets the most benefit.

Start your dog off slowly but don’t let the naysayers tell you CBD isn’t a good option for your dog … the research is being done and the results are very promising.

Other Links About CBD for Pets

Pot for Pets: U.S. Federal Law Puts Vets Into a Quandary

Canada's largest cannabis company is testing CBD for pets

Pot-loving dogs: why cannabis extract is the new trend for our pets

Friday, August 3, 2018

Tips That Will Benefit You, Your Pet And Your Wallet

Choose Healthier Pet Food
By choosing pet foods with less by-products, preservatives and fillers your pet will be healthier and will have less visits to the veterinarian in the long run. Which means less money your spending on pet medical bills. By-products, preservatives and fillers can make your pet obese, sluggish and activate other health issues like allergies. Go for pet foods with whole ingrediants that you can understand i.e chicken, rice, etc. Also consider a raw food diet for your pet.


Opt for Enviroment Friendly Toys, Pet Accessories and Kitty Litter

Look for pet stuff made from hemp and organic cotton. Use biodegradbale kitty liiter paper shreds or grains from plant origins. Use organic shampoos or go diy and use vinegar and baking soda to clean your pets.


Pick Up Your Dog's Doo With Biodegradable Waste Bags

Always pick up your dog's do it's called being courteous to your neighbors and friends. No one likes stepping in dog poop period! Use baggies that deteriate quickly that way your not contributing to overflowing landfills filled with plastic bags that do not break down.    


If You Have a Pet Be Responsible
Ensure your pet is fixed and fully vaccinated. Pet overpopulation and spreading pet disease is not good for your pet, the planet or your wallet. When you get a pet plan on that being a forever pet. Know what you can afford petwise. If you cannot find room in your budget for at least $100or more in monthly pet expenses please just do not get a pet. Take care of yourself and your family first.

Sit. Stay. Heel.

Invest in Training for Your Pet and Yourself
Sure its fine and dandy to train your pet yourself. Far less expensive and you have the option of training your pet in anyway you want. Having your pet trained by a professional is highly reccomended. A professional animal trainer can point out any and all behavior problems your pet may exibit and can teach you how to deal with it. After all who wants to be responsible emotionally and financially  for owning a aggressive dog that ends up biting a child?