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.
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
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:
Bringing home a puppy or kitten can lead to a lot of excitement. However, discussing issues that may arise and preparing in advance for a new pet’s arrival can help make for a smooth transition. Consider these tips to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home a resounding success.
5 Tips to Successfully Bring a New Pet into Your Home
(Family Features) Bringing home a puppy or kitten can lead to a lot of excitement. However, discussing issues that may arise and preparing in advance for a new pet’s arrival can help make for a smooth transition.
Consider these tips from the pet experts at PetSmart Charities to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home a resounding success.
Know that pet parenting is a lifetime commitment. That oh-so-sweet puppy or kitten stage only lasts so long, so be sure that you’re prepared to give a lifetime of loving care. Nurturing the bond you create during the early months can create a foundation for lifelong companionship.
Consider adoption first. There are literally thousands of animals of all breeds and ages looking for loving homes. Consider adopting a pet that needs a home from a local shelter or adoption event.
“When you consider an option like adoption, you can make sure one less dog or cat is living in a shelter while also providing the gift of unconditional love to a furry friend in need,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, which helps find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. “As a way to make adoption more accessible, we work with local adoption partners to bring adoptable pets into PetSmart stores each and every day, and especially during our National Adoption Weekends, which take place in stores nationwide.”
Select an appropriate pet. Integrating a pet into your household, especially for a first-time pet owner, can take some work. It’s important to consider factors like how often you travel, whether your work schedule will allow a visit home during the day for a potty-training puppy and if you’re willing to provide necessary care, such as daily brushing for a long-haired animal. Also consider whether you truly want a puppy or a kitten; an adult pet offers numerous benefits, such as potentially being house-trained already and more resilient for play with small kids.
Provide structure for your pet. In a new family, a pet will often look for where he or she fits in and try to understand the rules of the house. Dogs, especially, crave routine, boundaries and rules. Cats like to know what to expect, too. When pets don’t understand, they can feel uncertain and some pets might hide until they feel more comfortable. Sensible rules can help pets feel secure in their new environments. Being consistent with training, helping pets understand what behavior you want and providing a solid routine can help them feel comfortable and confident.
Prepare for pet parenting. The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys. Look into training classes and find a veterinarian you trust for regular checkups. Also take time to pet-proof your home, removing items that may pose a health threat or create temptations for undesirable behaviors.
Find more advice on introducing a new pet to your home and locate a local adoption event near you at petsmartcharities.org .
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips.
(BPT) - Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine
Animals love routine. It’s important for dogs to establish a mealtime routine whether they get fed first thing in the morning, after their walk or as small meals throughout the day. By establishing a routine, your pooch will quickly catch on when it’s mealtime.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy
Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want them to make a game out of their meal? Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime. They allow them to slow down to truly enjoy their food, making mealtime fun! Head to your local retailer to choose the correct bowl or toy for your dog.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety
Dogs and humans alike enjoy food with variety! That's why for nearly three decades, Kibbles ‘n Bits(R) has been making dog food with its signature combination of crunchy kibble & tender bits to bring joy to your dog’s every bite. With varieties including Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food and Steak & Cheese Flavored dry dog food, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your furry friend.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party
Have you ever danced due to excitement? Well, now your dog will, too. Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat. This new bonding ritual will create more fun for all family members and will have your dog busting moves in anticipation in no time!
5. Make it a training opportunity
Use mealtime as an opportunity to train and reinforce wanted behaviors. Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more about Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and what variety is right for your dog, visit https://www.kibblesnbits.com.
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