Best Friends Animal Society
A longtime Virginia resident, retired dentist Dr. Mike Sagman has a passion for animal welfare that reflects his experience of losing his beloved canine companion Penny to contaminated dog food. As manager and founder of DogFoodAdvisor.com, Dr. Mike Sagman offers a full range of informational resources related to canine diet and welfare. He is also a lifelong supporter of the Best Friends Animal Society.
A recent article on the Society’s website focused on a volunteer whose efforts help rescue homeless animals across the Los Angeles area. These activities center on the NKLA Pet Adoption Center, which has been instrumental in bringing a no-kill ethos to local humane animal treatment efforts.
Unfortunately, approximately 1.5 million animals are killed each year at shelters across the country, simply because they lack a safe home environment. Best Friends reserves euthanization strictly for cases in which an animal has an untreatable condition and such an action is an “act of mercy.”
In order to avoid unnecessary euthanizations, Best Friends promotes spay/neuter programs, as well as adoption instead of pet purchases. Other efforts through a network of regional programs focus on persistent issues such as puppy mills and breed discrimination, and work to make life better for pets nationwide.
Selecting a Dog
With a background in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, retired dentist Dr. Mike Sagman is an animal lover who had the tragic experience of his adopted dog Penny passing away due to a doctor-recommended dog food which was contaminated. This experience led to Dr. Mike Sagman creating the website DogFoodAdvisor.com. As founder and managing editor of the site, his passion for dogs extends to efforts to educate the public on the benefits of pet adoption.
Adopting a dog is a serious undertaking and involves a commitment to care for the animal for as many as 10-15 years. This means that such a move should be undertaken after full consultation with all family members and with an understanding of how responsibilities such as feeding, grooming, walking, and socializing with the pet will be shared. In cases of space restrictions or family members often being out of the house, it may turn out that the disadvantages of having the pet would outweigh the benefits.
Once it’s decided to take home a new pet, consider the dog breed and personality type that will best suit the family. In many cases, the personality of the individual dog being adopted comes first and foremost. For example, a pit bull may be inappropriate for families with young children, even though individual dogs of the breed can be loyal, protective, and even-tempered.
When bringing the new pet home for the first time, make sure the home environment is well prepared, with toxic foods kept securely out of the way and potentially dangerous or breakable items around the house stored in secure areas. The next step is to create a warm and loving home environment that the dog can quickly acclimate to and feel a fully participating member of.
Throughout his life, retired dentist Mike Sagman, DDS, has loved dogs. For four decades, he cared for patients through his cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice in Virginia. After losing his rescue dog Penny, Dr. Mike Sagman started the Dog Food Advisor, a reference website that publishes ratings and reviews of hundreds of dog foods.
Following are several things to do to ensure you choose the perfect rescue dog:
– Watch from a distance: Most dogs get excited when someone approaches them. This can be a great way to make sure a dog is friendly, but it won’t give you a very accurate picture of its personality. Instead, watch the dog from a distance and note its behavior. Based on how the dog acts alone, you can determine whether it is more likely to be calm, excitable, timid, or nervous.
– Ask questions: Before you rescue a dog, make sure you ask the shelter plenty of questions about the dog’s history. Doing so gives you information about a dog’s known medical issues and whether its temperament has been gauged by shelter staff. Further, if the dog was surrendered, the shelter can provide you with information about why the animal was given up.
– Bring a trainer: It may seem early to enlist the help of a good trainer at this stage, but having a trainer with you at the shelter can ensure you’ll find a dog that will train without too much trouble. Experienced trainers can often notice signs of behavioral problems quickly and with minimal time spent observing the animal. They can also test whether the dog already knows any basic commands.
Dog Food Advisor
Dr. Mike Sagman, a retired dentist, is a dog lover and supporter of dog adoption charities. After his own dog died because of tainted pet food, Dr. Mike Sagman started Dog Food Advisor, a website to help consumers make the best food choices for their pets.
When people consider adopting a dog, they often think of the benefits of love and companionship the animal can bring into their lives. However, adoption is also a socially responsible way to address the animal overpopulation crisis, which results in the euthanizing of more than 2.5 million dogs and cats every year in the United States.
Most animal shelters have too many animals and too few people to adopt them. If more people adopted instead of purchasing pets, the need to euthanize would be reduced.
Purchasing a pet can also be very expensive, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, while adoption usually costs less than $60. Moreover, buyers often unknowingly purchase dogs supplied by disreputable, abusive puppy mills. By adopting, less money goes to puppy mills, making a smaller incentive for breeders to operate them.
Adopting a Dog
Mike Sagman serves as the president and CEO of Clicks and Traffic, an online media company that operates The Dog Food Advisor, a public service website. Mike Sagman founded the website in 2008 after the loss of his beloved poodle-terrier mix Penny, and he supports efforts to help dogs. Individuals and families thinking about adopting a shelter dog may want to consider the following tips:
1. Focus on temperament over breed. Some people have their hearts set on a certain breed or type of dog before even setting foot in the shelter. However, this does not ensure that the dog will fit your living situation, as some require more exercise, training, and grooming than others. Talk to shelter staff about the dog’s temperament and individual needs before making a decision.
2. Introduce everyone prior to the adoption. Many shelters recommend introducing the entire household to the dog before filing any paperwork. If you already own a dog, it’s important to establish whether it will get along with its new housemate. Ask the shelter about arranging a meet-and-greet between the dogs, and introduce them one at a time if you own more than one.
3. Acquire dog care basics in advance. Essential items include toys, a collar, and a leash. Ask the shelter about the dog’s chewing habits when selecting toys.
4. Pet-proof your home. Pet-proofing your home means stowing items that can pose a health threat and securing those that you don’t want the dog to chew on. Puppies are especially curious and may chew on whatever they find. Items that you should secure include shoes, electrical cords, garbage bins, and household chemicals. Sit on the floor to give yourself a better idea of those items that are within your dog’s reach.
5. Engage the entire family. Ensure that everyone in your household understands their responsibilities for the dog’s care and participates in training. Establish clear rules in advance.
As president of Michael E. Sagman, D.D.S., Ltd., in Newport News, Virginia, Dr. Mike Sagman operated his private dental practice for nearly 40 years. Dr. Mike Sagman is currently the founder and managing editor of The Dog Food Advisor, a website that provides reviews and ratings of over 950 dog food products.
The Dog Food Advisor at dogfoodadvisor.com was created as a public service website to help dog owners become more informed about the products they feed their dogs. Led by the founder of Dog Food Advisor, the research team looks at nutritional content and ingredients to help determine an appropriate star rating for each product.
The Dog Food Advisor receives tips and information regarding dog foods from a private network of nutritionists, whistleblowers, and company executives in the pet food industry. Researchers also gather information for their findings from the medical libraries of the United States National Institutes of Health.
Mike Sagman is a former United States Army Captain that has served as a dentist for over four decades. A specialist in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, Mike Sagman is also an avid dog lover and is also the creator and editor of the Dog Food Advisor website.
The Dog Food Advisor, which can be found at www.dogfoodadvisor.com, is a public service website designed to help consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing dog food. The website was created in response to the tragic loss of Dr. Sagman’s dog, Penny, to melamine tainted dog food. The affected dog food was later recalled by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A common industrial ingredient, melamine is a chemical compound that contains nitrogen. The substance, which is not approved for use in any food or consumable products, is often used as a binding agent, as a component of thermosetting plastic, in fertilizer, and in other industrial applications. According to the FDA, melamine is more toxic when combined with other melamine related compounds which include cyanuric acid, ammelide, and ammeline.