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 approaches to dog training, and you'll usually find that the right approach varies from dog to dog. You should always strive to establish dominance, making yourself the alpha to your dog's beta or omega. All canines are pack animals, and they thrive having a distinctive structure in the home. These tips will help you connect with your puppy or dog through training, and reach your goals without too much frustration.
Dogs are more likely to listen to someone who they respect, which means you need to be respectful to them, too. Be assertive, but don't challenge them or match their aggression. According to Handicapped Pets, the best thing you can do is bond with your dog in ways that are meaningful to them, such as playing and going for walks. You may also want to explore training techniques such as clicker training, which uses a small device to condition your dog to respond to a sound frequency or series of clicks. Different training objectives work best with their own approach; for example, clicker training may be better teaching standard obedience while mirror training or modeling can be useful when attempting to teach more complex tricks.
Always strive for positive reinforcement when training your dog. Punishment rarely works, and the best thing you can do with non-harmful misbehavior is to ignore it. Rather than focusing attention on what your dog is doing wrong, guide them to perform the desired actions instead, and reward them heavily for it. Remember that they may not perform a trick or do something perfectly the first time. Celebrate their effort, and over time, you'll begin to notice an improvement. Treats are great for rewarding good behavior. However, according to VitaLife, it’s important to mind the ingredients, look for additional benefits the treats may provide, and consider the size and calorie count in order to have a happy and healthy dog.
Set Realistic Standards
Some people expect their dog to become robotic, effortlessly responding to every command. While dogs can certainly be well-trained, they are still living creatures, each with their own unique temperament, personality, and motivations. Sometimes, your dog may be tired or not in the mood to train. Accept this, and don't force them to practice or punish them for not listening to everything. Be flexible and patient with your dog as you would strive to be with another person. As you get closer through training, it will become easier to strike a balance and develop a good rhythm.
Dog training can be a wonderful way to bond with your pup. Sign up for obedience and agility classes, ask your vet for tips, and don't be afraid to reach out to a professional trainer and learn from an expert.
Adding a four-legged friend to the family is no small decision, and it’s easy to get distracted by sweet eyes pleading to be taken home. Becoming a dog parent is a major commitment, so it’s important to do your research and make well-informed choices before deciding on a new dog. Take smarter steps to bring your new fur-baby home with these tips.
How to Find the Right Dog for Your Family
(Family Features) Adding a four-legged friend to the family is no small decision, and it’s easy to get distracted by sweet eyes pleading to be taken home. Becoming a dog parent is a major commitment, so it’s important to do your research and make well-informed choices before deciding on a new dog.
No matter what stage of acquiring a dog you’re in, educate yourself about your options. A resource like Be Dog Smart, an online tool designed to guide consumers through the process of looking for a dog, can help you every step of the way, regardless of whether you’re considering getting a dog from a professional breeder, pet store, friend, family member or adopting from a shelter or rescue.
By asking the right questions, researching credible sources and requesting transparency from those who provide companion animals, you can rest assured you are taking the right steps to bring home a new furry family member.
Take smarter steps to bring your new fur-baby home with these tips from the Pet Leadership Council, the creators of the Be Dog Smart initiative:
For additional tips and to learn more, visit BeDogSmart.org.SOURCE:
Pet Leadership Council
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.
Introducing a new dog to the family can bring plenty of excitement, sweet snuggles and puppy kisses. However, there are also plenty of practical steps to consider to successfully transition a pup into its new environment. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time puppy parent, these tips can help your newest family member feel right at home.
5 Tips for New Pet Parents
(Family Features) Introducing a new dog to the family can bring plenty of excitement, sweet snuggles and puppy kisses. However, there are also plenty of practical steps to consider to successfully transition a pup into its new environment.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time puppy parent, these tips can help your newest family member feel right at home:
Purchase the necessities ahead of time. Similar to newborns, new pets require products that fit their size, age and life stage to ensure their safety and good health. This includes chew-proof food and water bowls, an ID tag with name and contact information and a sturdy leash for both walks and training. Many experts discourage retractable leashes because they offer little control. For puppies specifically, some veterinarians recommend harnesses to attach a leash to because their necks are too fragile to attach a leash to a collar. Remember, puppies are going to grow, and items like beds, crates and collars will need to grow as they do, so you may want to hold off on investing in pricier options until they’ve matured.
Offer high-quality food that provides balanced nutrition. Feed new pets the best quality food possible because an investment in your pet’s food is an investment in its health and longevity.
“Quality is a top priority when new pet parents are selecting food, so reading ingredient labels and understanding what nutrients are important for your pet at his or her life stage is key,” said Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition manager at Petcurean. “Better quality food will usually equate to fewer vet visits overall. The same goes for treats.”
An option like Petcurean's Now Fresh wet food features novel textures like shredded, stews and pates and is made with 100 percent fresh meats and bone broth gravy, which adds a meaty flavor. All recipes are 100 percent grain- and gluten-free and non-GMO, making for a perfect treat, topper or complete and balanced meal.
Have enough playthings around the house. Keep dogs from destroying furniture, shoes and household items by providing them with fun, safe and entertaining toys. Chew toys and puzzles that combine play and treats are interactive, which can give dogs mental stimulation and help keep them out of mischief.
Pet-proof the house. Dogs are naturally curious and spend time exploring their homes, especially pets eager to get to know their new environment. Items on counters and shelves that could be dangerous to a small child are also dangerous for dogs, including wires, sharp or small objects and fragile items. Store them up and away from your dog or in locked cabinets for safekeeping.
Provide a safe spot to retreat. Moving in to a new home can cause a pet to feel a little disoriented and overwhelmed. Providing a safe place for the dog to retreat from enthusiastic kids, other pets and general household commotion can help the pup feel calmer. A crate or kennel lined with a soft pad or blanket in a quiet area of your home is typically a good choice – it’s a confined space and can also serve a dual-purpose with housetraining, if needed.
Find more tips for proper pet care at petcurean.com.SOURCE:
When it comes to nutrition, every dog has specific needs and pet owners know them best. Each dog is unique and his or her food should be as well. Feeding your dog personalized food could help yield these five benefits.
5 Benefits of Personalized Dog Food
(Family Features) For dog owners, your pet is often your world and there are few things more special than the bond you share. From playtime to mealtime, you never settle for “good enough,” and your dog’s health is no different.
When it comes to nutrition, every dog has specific needs and you know them best. Each dog is unique and his or her food should be as well.
When deciding which dog food works best for your pet, keep personalized foods like Just Right by Purina in mind, which can help address your dog’s unique needs. It combines your firsthand knowledge with nutritional expertise to create the best dog food blend for your dog. By answering just a few questions about your pet’s breed size, eating habits and more, you can create a personalized blend of food that includes your dog’s name, photo and feeding recommendation that gets shipped directly to your door.
"Every pet is an individual and that includes how we feed them," said veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, a 17-year veteran of “Good Morning America” and founder of Fear Free. "A highly personalized diet tuned to their specific needs and combined with plenty of exercise and regular veterinary care can dramatically impact their nutrition, health and wellbeing."
Feeding your dog personalized food could help yield these five benefits:
Healthy skin and coat
Joint health and mobility
Young or old, big or small, every dog’s nutritional needs are unique. For more helpful tips and ways to benefit your dog at mealtime, visit justrightpetfood.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Just Right by Purina
(BPT) - Millions of people every year open their hearts and homes to rescue dogs to find their new best friend. It’s an act of compassion that is beneficial and fulfilling for person and pet.
But, a new study shows adoption is not an option for everyone. In fact, even if shelters were cleared, there are not enough dogs for everyone who wants one.
Findings from a recent study by the Moore Research Group show an annual demand of at least 8.1 million dogs and growing. Yet, according to the latest research from Mississippi State University, there are only 2.6 million dogs available for adoption from shelters every year. That means 5.5 million people looking for dogs need to search elsewhere. And, without options for those people, we would simply run out of dogs.
Where to find dogs
So, where do you go when you are ready to welcome a four-legged friend with a wet nose and wagging tail into your home? It starts with what you are looking for.
You might be OK with any dog, no matter the size, mix, age or temperament that nuzzles its way into your heart. But, for others, specific needs often require certain canine traits only found in individual breeds.
Parents of children with allergies might need a dog breed to be hypoallergenic. Those living in big cities may not have enough space for a dog with high exercise needs. Families with small children may need a dog with patience and playfulness. Some people seek a dog for home or personal protection. Having a range of options increases the chances you will find the perfect match and a dog won't end up in a shelter due to a poor match.
Snap up rescues
Adoption is a wonderful option that comes with the benefit of giving a homeless animal a second chance.
But, this new research from Mississippi State University also shows that thanks to the good work of animal shelters and rescue organizations, more lives are being saved and fewer dogs are homeless in shelters.
When looking to adopt, there are several different possibilities to choose from, including shelters, rescues and animal control facilities.
Before you adopt, ask what is known about the dog, including its age, breed, temperament and health. Has it been seen by a vet, is it spayed or neutered and microchipped? Spend some time with the dog, introduce it to other family members to see how it interacts.
Finally, make sure you fully understand the organization’s policies and procedures so you have peace of mind should the adoption not work out as hoped.
Buy from a good breeder
If you are looking for specific traits in your canine companion, getting a dog directly from a breeder gives you a great opportunity to learn about your new pup from an expert.
Be prepared to wait as sometimes a breeder might not have puppies that are at least 8 weeks old.
If you can, visit the facility in person or have someone else visit on your behalf. If not, ask for references and get information about the puppy’s parents and its health records. Ask if there’s a guarantee, so you can go home feeling prepared and confident about the road ahead! A responsible breeder will not only share that information, they might interview you.
Purchase at a pet store
Pet stores can be a great place to get your next pup if you just do a little research. Does the store look and smell clean and is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Does the puppy look good from head to tail? Ask the staff where the puppies come from and if the store owners have visited the breeders.
Are the breeders USDA licensed or do they participate in any certification programs? Ask about the puppy’s health, has it been seen by a vet? What is its daily exercise and routine care? Has it been socialized with other dogs and people? Do they provide a guarantee on its health?
Find friends or family
When someone you know has a litter, news travels fast. Don’t let a puppy’s cuteness skew your judgment. When you talk about the dogs, don’t be shy — ask questions. They should give you a good picture of what life will be like with your new pup.
As consumer demand for dogs and puppies continues to grow, having options available for selecting your next pet is essential. The right choice is the first step in establishing that deep and lasting bond with your loyal companion. A variety of responsible options ensures everyone who wants a dog can responsibly get one. To learn more about the availability of dogs and finding the right one for you, visit protectpetchoice.com.
When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy.
Prepare for Your Puppy’s 1st Outdoor Adventure
(Family Features) When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
It’s an exciting world for puppies with lots to learn and discover. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy.
Taking proactive steps now to protect your pup can help save time and money later in life, but most importantly, it can lead to a healthy, happy life for your furry friend.
Learn more about flea and tick control and pet safety at adamspetcare.com.
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Adams Flea & Tick
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