Getting a new dog is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Whether you are getting a puppy or a rescue from the shelter, your new dog is likely to have a few destructive impulses. If you take care of their issues early, you can help your dog become an integrated member of your family and a happy addition for everyone.
Get Them Chew Toys
The first thing you need to do to help dampen your dog’s destructive ideas is to help them understand what things it’s okay for them to destroy. By investing in a few solid chew toys, you can help your dog tohave a place to chew while also protecting your possessions from their sharp teeth. Depending on the dog, you may need heavy-duty chew toys to prevent them from being immediately destroyed. Do a little research and give your dog a few options so that you know they love the toys they have. Be sure to replace chew toys as they get old, and don’t let your dog eat any part of them as that can lead to health problems.
Every dog needs training, dogs are smart and capable, but without proper training, they can get into trouble. Puppy training will address common issues before they become ingrained in the dog’s behavior. By investing in dog training early, you can help your dog to know what behaviors are and are not acceptable. Training can also help your dog to learn how to behave well with other dogs and get used to strangers. The more exposure your dog has to training and socialization when they are young, the easier time they will have adjusting to new situations and avoiding destruction in your home.
Give Them Enough Exercise
Dogs are most likely to cause trouble when theyhave excess energy. If you invest the time every day to walk your dog or play with them, they will have less energy to do naughty things around the house. The amount of exercise your dog needs will vary from breed to breed and even from dog to dog. You should be able to get a feel for when your dog is tired after or during exercise and that can be a good starting point. When your puppy is small, they may not be able to go very far on a walk, but as they get older, they’ll need more.
Getting a dog is a big responsibility with a lot of work involved. Take time to give your pup attention and training so that they will be able to behave the way you need them to be.
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Get the Dish on Proper Nutrition for New Pets
(Family Features) As families continue to cope with changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are taking advantage of more time at home by welcoming a new puppy or kitten to their households.
One possible reason for animal lovers looking to expand their households is the mental and physical health benefits from the human-animal bond. A library of studies shared by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute found pet ownership can provide a variety of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing feelings of loneliness or stress and helping manage depression.
However, before welcoming a new pet, even seasoned pet owners may benefit from a refresher on proper care, especially when it comes to feeding and nutrition. Dogs and cats have unique nutritional requirements, which means their pet food recipes must be carefully formulated. Puppies and kittens need more of certain important nutrients such as protein, fat and key minerals to grow into healthy, strong adult animals.
If you’ve welcomed a new pet to the family, or plan to soon, learn how you can care for his or her special nutritional needs with this advice from the Pet Food Institute.
Identifying Life Stages
Your veterinarian can help determine an appropriate time to transition your pet to adult food; usually when it is nearly full-grown. For kittens, that may be around 10-12 months. For puppies, the timing can vary depending on size with larger breeds taking up to two years to fully mature.
Understanding Food Labels
Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight
Treats can be useful tools to help reinforce good behavior, keep pets occupied, aid in training or show love. However, they should be fed in moderation, accounting for no more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Pet food is formulated to provide dozens of essential nutrients that dogs and cats need in their diets, so avoid using treats in place of regular meals. Also know that sharing table scraps adds calories and many common human foods can be dangerous for animals.
Providing your pet with the right nutrition early in life can help ensure proper growth and long-term well-being. Find more advice to ensure your four-legged family member is getting the necessary nutrition at petfoodinstitute.org.
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Pet Food Institute
5 Ways to Give Your Furry Friend a Little Extra Love
(Family Features) Pets have a unique ability to make their owners’ lives happier, offering unconditional love, companionship and even health benefits.
In fact, studies supported by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute and National Institutes of Health have shown pet ownership can positively impact physical and emotional well-being, in addition to building social relationships and connections among communities.
Because pets can have such a positive impact on owners’ well-being, it’s important to periodically take a step back and show appreciation for all they offer. Consider these tips and tricks to thank your pets for the joy they add to your life.
Give Your Pet Something to Call His Own
Train with Treats
Pencil Your Furry Friends into Your Schedule
Practice Daily Well-Being
Give a Gift
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4 Tips for Keeping Your Pet's Coat Healthy
(Family Features) Dogs and cats come in many shapes and sizes, and can have a range of different coats, from short-haired to long and smooth to curly or wire-haired.
While every pet is unique in looks and personality, a main responsibility for all pet parents is to make sure their furry friends are in good health. A pet’s coat is an indicator of overall health, so keeping a close eye on your pet’s snuggle-worthy appearance is one way to continually gauge the well-being of your dog or cat.
Consider these four tips to help keep your dog or cat’s coat healthy to ensure he looks and feels his best. For more details on bringing out your pet’s unique best, visit IAMS.com.
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How to Welcome a New Puppy to the Family
Introducing a new puppy to your household can bring many rewards. However, getting the hang of things can take some time, especially for first-time pet owners.
In fact, it takes the average pet owner almost four months to get into the flow with a new four-legged family member, according to a survey by Royal Canin. Eight in 10 respondents said the first year of pet ownership is the most important, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The survey found 64% believe the first year is also the most difficult and deciding how to train a new pet was cited as the most important decision pet parents have to make.“Bringing a puppy home is a hugely rewarding experience for pet owners, but it's also a time of huge challenges and steep learning curves,” said Dr. Jill Cline, pet nutritionist and site director of Royal Canin's Pet Health and Nutrition Center. “In addition to helping your puppy adjust to its new home, you can support your puppy’s health now and always with a nutritionally complete diet tailored to its specific needs.”
Make welcoming a new puppy a rewarding experience for the whole family with these tips.
Your puppy may be feeling stressed by new sights, sounds, smells and the separation from its mother. Manage the noise and activity to avoid adding to this stress.
As soon as you get home, take your puppy to your yard or outside area so it can go to the bathroom. Use positive verbal reinforcement when the job is done.
Once indoors, block off a safe area and let your puppy sniff and explore on its own time. Getting acquainted with a new place takes time and lots of exploring. Some puppies can be overwhelmed by too much human contact, so allow your puppy to come to you.
Puppies like to know what to expect. Plan your routine for feeding, potty trips, exercise and grooming so you can get started on day one. If you know what routine your puppy had before adoption, it’s best to continue for consistency until your puppy is settled.
Any sudden dietary changes can cause stress or digestive problems, so for the first week or two, give your puppy the same food as its previous owner, following the feeding recommendations on the package. Nutrition tailored to specific developmental needs can help fragile, young puppies grow into strong, healthy dogs. It’s important to select a high-quality food based on age and expected adult size.
Your puppy’s eating spot should be away from where you and any other pets eat. Allow your puppy to eat in peace to prevent it from feeling nervous or protective.
Puppies tire easily and need as much as 18-20 hours of sleep per day for healthy development. A crate near where you sleep lets your puppy see and smell you but keeps it from wandering off. Put something that carries your scent in your puppy’s bed along with a blanket to snuggle into.
Remember to schedule regular veterinarian visits and gradually introduce your puppy to new experiences like sounds, car travel, walks and other animals. It’s also important to begin behavior training right away to develop good habits from the start.
If you’re interested in getting a new puppy, before making a decision on which breed best suits your family and lifestyle, you can see all 196 registered breeds during the 2021 AKC National Championship. Find more advice for welcoming a new puppy into your home at RoyalCanin.com/puppies.
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Congratulations on your decision to adopt a pet! There are many animals out there in need of a loving family, and there are many families in need of a loving pet, so this decision is a win all around. If you want to find the perfect pet for your family, there are a number of things you should think about. Scroll down to learn about some of the most important factors you should consider before adopting a pet.
Research Your Pet’s Personality
Animals have personalities, just like people do. For this reason, it’s important to take personality into consideration when choosing a pet for your family. For example, if you want to adopt a puppy, interview the puppy breeder to learn about what the dog’s personality is like. Doing so will ensure that your family will get along with your pet; this will increase your chances of finding a pet that fits in with your family’s culture, personality, and lifestyle.
Research all the different species and breeds of the pet you are considering; each breed will have unique characteristics and personality traits. If possible, try to meet your potential pet before adopting them. This will give you a chance to interact with them and envision the role they might play in your life.
Set a Budget
Before adopting a pet, it’s important to know the financial commitment you’ll need to make. Some breeds are much more expensive than others. For example, buying a pure-bred Labrador retriever from a puppy breeder will be more expensive than adopting a puppy with unknown origin from an animal shelter. In general, adopting a dog will be more expensive than adopting a cat. This is due to several reasons, including the fact that dogs have higher energy levels and are therefore injured more often.
In addition to the cost of buying the pet itself, you’ll need to cover their initial medical costs, vaccinations, adoption fees, and training. You should also research the amount of money your pet will require to be fed, watered, groomed, and cared for. Calculate the cost of equipment you’ll need to house your pet, as well as the cost of their food and daily care.
Take a realistic look at your budget to make sure you’re financially ready to give your pet the care it deserves. Making sure you’re ready for the financial commitment of a pet will protect you from any unpleasant, expensive surprises.
List Your Priorities
If you know you want a pet but aren’t sure about which one would be best for your family, you should make a list of what you’re looking for in a pet. List your priorities. If you have allergies or other medical needs, make sure these items are on your list. Many pet researchers have discovered that the bond between owners and their pets is the strongest when the owner has a clear idea of what they want from keeping a pet, and bases their choice of animal based on that. While you may not be able to find a pet that meets every single item on your wish list, knowing your priorities will help you find the best pet possible.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle is an important factor to consider when you choose a pet. Are you or your family members gone at work or school all day? If so, a pet who requires a lot of attention might not be the best choice for your family. Are you a couch potato? If so, a pet who needs a lot of exercise might not be the best pet for you. The answers to questions such as these will help you assess your lifestyle and find a pet that will be the best fit for you.
Just as you need to be ready for the financial commitment of owning a pet, you must also be ready for the toll a pet will take on your schedule. Make sure you have enough time to give your pet the care it deserves. Before you adopt your pet, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a local veterinarian who can give you an idea of the medical care, diet, and daily needs of your pet.
Review Local Animal Regulations
Regulations on pets will vary depending on where you live. For this reason, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the local animal regulations in your area before choosing the kind of pet you want. For example, some apartment complexes do not allow certain breeds of dogs or other pets. Understanding these regulations is especially important if you are considering bringing a nontraditional pet into your family.
If you are planning to register your pet as an emotional support animal, you should be aware of the application process to make this happen. Many owners are uncomfortably surprised with the amount of red tape they have to get through in order to obtain permission for their pet to live with them. Reviewing your local animal regulations will take some time and energy, but the knowledge you gain will be worth it. Doing so will help you prepare for your pet in the best way possible.
Think About Needs of Other Pets
If you already have other pets, it’s important to think about their needs before adding another pet to your home. Introducing a new pet to your family can be extremely beneficial for your existing pets, but there are a number of risks you will take as well.
It’s important to make sure your home has enough space for a new pet. You should also consider the relative ages of your pets, as well as their personalities. Depending on their personalities, it might be necessary to introduce your new pet to the others slowly so that they can get used to each other. Plan to encounter some difficulty if your existing pets are territorial.
As you prepare to adopt a pet, make sure to clear space for it in your budget, your schedule, your home, and your heart. Research the local animal regulations in your area and consider the needs of any other pets you might have. Following these suggestions will make your pet adoption experience a happy one!
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Think of what the world would be like if humans and dogs hadn’t formed their unique partnership all those thousands of years ago. Dogs have influenced every corner of human life, as humans have influenced theirs, often to the point where they do not resemble their wolf ancestors in the slightest. For hunting, guarding, or simple companionship, nothing beats a dog.
They Are Trustworthy
The one indisputable thing about dogs is you can trust them with everything. Tell them your deepest, darkest secret, and no one will ever know. They can’t even be called as a witness if you commit a crime in front of them. Of course, they'll miss you when you’re in jail, but they’ll be waiting till you’re out. Remember Greyfriars Bobby, the little Skye terrier who sat by the grave of his master for 10 years till he himself passed on at age 16.
Anyone Can Have One
You may have seen photographs of people and dogs who look just like each other. But the compatibility of a dog to its person and its person’s environment is more than skin or fur deep. A tiny dog like a Chihuahua is perfectly happy in a studio apartment, but such a small space is not ideal for a St. Bernard. If someone in the household is allergic, there are dogs that are hypoallergenic. Indeed, there are dogs that have no fur at all, such as the Mexican hairless, and these types don’t spread dander around.
Not only is there a dog for every type of person, but anyone can go to the shelter or a reputable breeder and have one. Keep in mind that tigers and some of the more exotic pets take special permits and aren't usually happy in human captivity.
They Are Great for Mental Health
It is not uncommon for a dog parent to claim that the dog kept him or her sane through periods of isolation whether that isolation arose from a pandemic or other disaster natural or man-made. A dog does not care about the things that drive humans crazy, such as deadly viruses. They need to go for their walks or play in the backyard. They need to be watered and fed and brushed and combed and cuddled by their humans at the end of the day. For a dog, there is nothing else.
The pleasures of having a dog are many, especially when times are tough. They are completely trustworthy, and there’s a dog for everyone, from the elegant Afghan hound to the irresistible mutt found in the shelter. They are a boon to mental health. Truly, dogs and humans were meant for each other.
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Many dog owners become annoyed when their pet bites, digs, begs, scratches, or barks. Here are some great solutions for three common bad dog behaviors that can help you and your pet get along better.
Puppies bite for several reasons. Like babies, when puppies are little, they explore the world through using their mouths. They tend to bite more when they are tired or teething. You can train your puppy to stop biting by refusing to reward it for biting.
If your puppy (or dog) nips at you, stop all play and fun interaction for 5-10 seconds—no talking, no eye contact—then resume play. If he keeps nipping and biting, stop the fun again, and stop your interaction even more clearly by standing up or leaving the room. Repeating this cycle can help discourage your dog’s bad behavior and train him to stop biting. If your puppy is teething, you can try bitter apple, lemon juice, and diluted vinegar or hot pepper.
Again, like babies, dogs cry and bark for many reasons. You should first understand the reasons why your dog might be barking in order to stop it. Sometimes dogs bark to get attention. If this is the reason your dog is barking, you should ignore his barking until he stops. If you interact with him at all through talking, eye contact, or physical touch, you will reward him for barking. If you wait to interact with him until he completely stops barking, he will get the message that barking for attention is unacceptable.
Your dog could also be barking because he is stimulated by something, like passerby, cars, or another dog. In this case, you can train your dog to stop barking by desensitizing him to the stimulus. For example, your dog barks when he is around other dogs, then start desensitizing him by introducing him to other dogs at a distance. As you carefully bring your dog closer to the other dog, reward him with treats. If the other dog moves away or out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. This will teach him that his stimulus, or another dog, is positive and will bring rewards, so he won’t bark.
The solution to solving this problem is simple: never give food to your dog from the table. Each time you break this rule, your dog will learn to expect rewards from begging. By refusing to reward your dog with food from the table, you can teach him to stop begging.
Dogs learn through rewards and punishments. In most cases, you can teach your dog to stop behaving badly through rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. Finally, be patient, and remember that learning takes time.
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