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2018 World’s Cutest Rescue Pet


Congratulations to PEOPLE MAGAZINE’S 2018 World’s Cutest Rescue Dog Winner and runners up. Check out our rescue winners’ tales of love, hope and happily ever after.

2018 World’s Cutest Rescue Pet Winner – Penny

With her passport stamped, Penny’s journey began with the help of Kyra’s Rescue. Facing an unknown future and the loss of an eye, this loveable pup was whisked out of Turkey to begin her new life in the United States. Shortly after her arrival, she found her forever family in Virginia—in fact, she arrived on a very special birthday for her human mom! Penny’s life didn’t just change that day, but she changed the lives of her human family. Penny has helped her 12-year-old human sister, Kate, control her type 1 diabetes by keeping her active and healthy and has brought out 10-year-old Nora’s loveable, compassionate and playful side. From mom to dad and two sisters, Penny’s life wasn’t just rescued that fateful day—but she rescued the lives of her forever family too.



Meet Rex, a yellow lab mix who is always on the go living his life to the fullest! Although born with a disability that left him without the use of his front legs, Rex has never let that stop him. He loves to swim, with a life jacket of course, and enjoys scooting around on his cart. The love and joy Rex shares is contagious as he proves day after day that no disability will slow him down. Follow Rex’s inspirational story on his very own Facebook page!


5 years ago, Keller’s future looked bleak. She was born deaf, her vision was impaired and her breeder was threatening to put her down because no one would want a “broken dog”. Thankfully, the breeder turned her over to a rescue and Keller was adopted at 7 weeks. Her new human mom, Amanda, quickly realized that Keller was a pretty normal dog and very smart. After some training and learning about each other, Keller and Amanda can communicate with over 70 hand signals. In fact, both now travel the country showcasing Keller’s talents in agility contests and teaching others what special needs dogs are capable of, and that they need forever homes too.

  • When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog to Soft Food?

    smiling lab sitting in front of brick wall

    As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.

    When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.

    two dogs eating from two bowls

    Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food

    If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.

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    Teeth Sensitivity

    As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.

    However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.

    Digestion Aid

    Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.

    Hydration Help

    It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.

    girl kissing older dog on the head

    Slower Metabolism

    Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.

    Picky Eaters

    While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!

    Whether you choose dry food, soft food  or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.

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