Bringing home a new pet can be exciting and heartwarming. Before you get caught up in the excitement of adopting a pet, however, it’s important to do a bit of homework and have conversations to ensure you’re choosing a lifelong fit for your family. As you take your options into account, remember these guidelines to prepare for a successful homecoming for your newest family member.
Welcome a 4-Legged Family Member with Care
Tips for a successful, lifelong pet adoption
(Family Features) Bringing home a new pet can be exciting and heartwarming. Before you get caught up in the excitement of adopting a pet, however, it’s important to do a bit of homework and have conversations to ensure you’re choosing a lifelong fit for your family.
When considering adopting, keep in mind that pets can provide as many benefits to you as you do them, such as helping to reduce stress, providing companionship, getting the daily recommended amount of physical activity and more. As you take your options into account, remember these guidelines from the experts at PetSmart Charities to prepare for a successful homecoming for your newest family member.
For first-time pet owners, a healthy adult dog or cat can help teach new pet parents the joys of having a pet and may not require as much attention as a puppy or kitten.
Families with young children might consider a family-friendly breed or mixed breed such as a hound. Older kids may benefit from additional responsibilities such as walking the dog or cleaning the litter box.
If you live in a home, consider fencing your yard for more relaxed playtime. If you live in an apartment, discuss any restrictions with your landlord and find out where the closest dog parks are to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Dogs need a place to call their own where they’re contained overnight and while you’re not home until they can be safely left to roam. Get a crate so your new pet can have an ‘apartment’ within your home.
You should always have more litter boxes than you do cats; for example, if you have one cat make sure you have at least two litter boxes. Litter boxes need to be scooped daily and completely changed weekly.
You can prevent many common diseases by keeping your pet at a healthy weight, current on flea, tick and heartworm prevention, fully vaccinated and on a high-quality diet. Preventing diseases costs less money than treating them, so discuss any concerns you have with your veterinarian.
To ensure your pet is covered in case of emergencies, consider options like pet insurance or opening a designated savings account and depositing 5% of your pay each pay period. If you take out an insurance policy as soon as you adopt your pet, he or she will not have any “pre-existing” conditions excluded from your insurance plan.
Find more tips for a successful pet adoption and locate upcoming adoption events in your community at petsmartcharities.org.
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There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too. Consider these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs.
5 Ways to Help Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy
(Family Features) There are many emotional benefits to owning a dog, such as companionship and unconditional love, but a pet can also positively affect his or her owners’ physical health, too.
According to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spending quality time with a dog can help ease stress and anxiety for the owner and can even lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To be able to reap the health benefits of dog ownership, it’s key to ensure you’re taking proper care of your dog with quality nutrition and plenty of exercise.
Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber offers these five simple ways pet owners can take the best care of their dogs, because when dogs are happy and healthy, their owners can be, too. To learn more about how dogs’ health is linked to their owners’, and for more tips for feeding your pet, visit IAMS.com.
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Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. When you are dealing with a puppy that responsibility increases significantly. This is because puppies need even more attention and care than older dogs do, especially in the training department. Just as with a baby, everything is new to a puppy. They must be taught everything from going to the potty to learning to sit and stay. If you are owning a puppy for the first time, the following tips should help get you started on this delightful journey.
Switching to Solid Food
When switching puppies to solid food, separate them from the mother for just a couple hours at a time and introduce and encourage them to eat solid food. Try mixing the puppy food with replacement milk inside of a blender so that you get a consistency similar to baby cereal. You can start this process when the puppy is approximately three weeks old. You want this to be a gradual transition. Over the course of a few weeks, the puppy should be able to nurse less and eat more puppy food.
Teach Simple Commands
Having your puppy follow your commands is about much more than learning cool tricks. It is essential that your dog be obedient to you because this is what shapes behavior patterns and helps to ensure the dog's safety. Here are some basic commands that your puppy should be able to follow and how you can teach them.
To get your puppy to sit, place a treat near the dog's nose and then move your hand up. This will cause the puppy to end up in a seated position. Although the pup is already seated, tell it to sit and then give praise along with the treat.
To convince your dog to come, get down on the puppy's level and gently give the leash a pull while telling your pup to come. Once the dog does, give it praise and a treat.
The ability to stay is crucial. Once your puppy has gotten the hang of sitting, start with this position. Place your open palm in front of you and tell the dog to stay. Back up a few paces, and if your pup does stay, reward it with praise and a treat.
The fastest way to potty train your puppy is with repetition and consistency. Keep on a regular feeding schedule and take the pup out 30 minutes after each feeding. Watch your puppy carefully for signs that they need to go. Breaking up their daily food into three small meals is another way to limit the amount of times they need to go outside. Finally, don’t forget to praise your puppy when they do the job outside and not on your floor.
All of these tips are definitely achievable, but they require some patience and repetition on your part. Repetition is how a dog learns, and when you add rewards to the equation, you can easily reinforce the behaviors that you desire.
Ready to take your puppy on their first outdoor adventure? We recommend this article.
If the thought of training your pet cat seems like a difficult feat, consider the daunting task of training one of nature’s biggest cats. Consider these tips and tricks from professional tiger trainers that you can use to train your cat at home.
How to Train Your Cat
5 tips from a professional tiger trainer
(Family Features) If the thought of training your pet cat seems like a difficult feat, consider the daunting task of training one of nature’s biggest cats.
After welcoming two 4-year-old Sumatran tigers, Frances and Huntley, the keepers at Nashville Zoo are doing just that. The training program, which is sponsored by TEMPTATIONS™ Cat Treats, is on display for the public to learn about how these colossal cats are trained.The trainers offer these tips and tricks from their experiences working with their tigers that you can use to train your cat at home. For more information on cat behavior, visit TemptationsTreats.com.
When beginning the training process, identify your cat’s likes and dislikes. Some cats are motivated by toys while most are motivated by food. When starting the training process, try out a few different treat flavors to identify what gets your cat’s attention. Treats such as TEMPTATIONS™ Cat Treats come in a wide variety of flavors, making it easy to find one that will make your cat come running. For cats with health or weight restrictions, utilize toys or tactile reinforcement like petting for motivation.
Focus on Practicality
Celebrate the Small Victories
Dental care for dogs is important, but it’s an aspect of care that is frequently overlooked by dog owners. Making sure you are aware of what your pet’s mouth typically looks like and talking to your vet if you spot any issues can go a long way toward protecting your furry friend. Also consider this advice to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy and his or her breath fresh.
Make Sense of Doggy Dental Care
(Family Features) Dental care for dogs is important, but it’s an aspect of care that is frequently overlooked by dog owners. One of the few outward signs of dental problems lurking just below the surface is bad breath.
According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease is the most common clinical dental condition occurring in adult dogs. However, it is preventable with consistent home dental care and regular vet visits.
Knowing there’s a problem with your pet’s mouth starts by understanding what a healthy dog’s mouth should look like. Teeth should be intact (not jagged or broken) and free of plaque and tartar buildup. Tongues should be moist without any lumps or cuts and gums should be salmon pink, though some dogs naturally have black or black and pink gums.
Making sure you are aware of what your pet’s mouth typically looks like and talking to your vet if you spot any issues can go a long way toward protecting your furry friend. Also consider this advice from veterinarian and host of Animal Planet’s “Evan Goes Wild” Dr. Evan Antin to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy and his or her breath fresh:
“Practicing good dental hygiene is just as important for pets as it is for humans,” Antin said, “I recommend DentaLife ActivFresh chews, which are designed with nine ridges and have an active-ingredient blend of honey and natural spirulina that has been scientifically tested to fight bad breath at the source.”
To learn more about protecting your dog’s dental health, visit purina.com/dentalife and consult with your veterinarian.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (veterinarian checking dog’s teeth)SOURCE:
When structured school days and hours away from home return to the schedule, all members of the household feel the shift, even pets. Be on the lookout for these potential mishaps this school year.
4 Tips to Keep Pets Out of Trouble During Back-to-School Season
(Family Features) When structured school days and hours away from home return to the schedule, all members of the household feel the shift, even pets. Pets go from long days with the family in the yard to less time and activities with their favorite people.
Keep them in mind as you plan your days to ensure they get the activity they need and remain in a safe environment. When left to their own devices, furry family members can make questionable decisions, and the old “dog ate my homework” adage can come to life in a number of ways.However, pet owners can count on an option like GREENIES™ Dental Treats to distract their pets from bad behavior and be their dog’s best decision of the day. Be on the lookout for these potential mishaps, and visit Greenies.com for more information on better doggie decisions.
Watch the Door
Store Lunches and Goodies Safely
Keep Backpacks Zipped
Stow Away Wires and Cords
Photos of family walking dog and women with laptop and dog courtesy of Adobe Stock. Photo of girl with backpack courtesy of Getty Images.SOURCE:
While cats can be quite independent animals, they still rely on their pet parents to maintain their well-being. It’s up to pet owners to provide the adequate care, nutrition and home environment to ensure their furry friends live long and healthy lives. Consider these tips for raising healthy and happy cats.
5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy
(Family Features) While cats can be quite independent animals, they still rely on their pet parents to maintain their well-being. It’s up to pet owners to provide the adequate care, nutrition and home environment to ensure their furry friends live long and healthy lives.
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As temperatures rise and days get longer, pets, just like humans, get excited about spring. It’s time to get into new routines, and warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to spend more time with your pet, creating memories both indoors and out. Here are a few ideas for enjoying springtime with your pet.
5 Springtime Adventure Ideas for You and Your Pet
(Family Features) As temperatures rise and days get longer, pets, just like humans, get excited about spring. It’s time to get into new routines, and warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to spend more time with your pet, creating memories both indoors and out.
Here are a few ideas for enjoying springtime with your pet from the experts at the NUTRO™ and GREENIES™ brands.
1. Get Active Outside – With the return of sunshine, spring is a prime opportunity for you and your four-legged friend to get active in the great outdoors. Take out your tennis shoes, grab a leash and hit the road. Whether you’re taking a walk, visiting a dog park or going on a hike, regular physical activity outdoors can help keep you and your pet healthy and active.
2. Spring Cleaning – This isn’t just about dusting off bookshelves or decluttering closets. It’s also an opportunity to reassess other aspects of your life that could use a cleaning, such as yours and your pet’s diets. As part of the NUTRO. FEED CLEAN™ philosophy, dog and cat food recipes are made with real, recognizable ingredients, such as chicken, salmon and sweet potatoes, allowing you to share your healthy eating lifestyle with your pet.
3. Yappy Hour on the Patio – It’s that time of year when sidewalks are buzzing with the weekend brunch crowd. As you enjoy fresh, seasonal foods, your fur baby can have quality time on patios with you, too. To help make pets welcome in more places, Mars Petcare established the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which works with local businesses and governments to encourage pet-friendliness.
5. Go on a Mini Road Trip – Whether you’re heading out on a weekend camping trip or an adventure in a field of flowers, don’t forget to include your pet in your plans. It’s important to consider how your furry friend will ride along with you on your road trip. Try bringing a blanket or toy from your house, so your dog can be comforted by the smells of home. Also, when the family is in the close quarters of a car for an extended amount of time, make sure you pack an option like GREENIES™ Dental Treats to help freshen your dog’s breath.
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