Ok, so maybe you have been a dog owner all your life or maybe you are just about to pick up your very first puppy. No matter how much or how little experience you have we could all use some amazing tips in our pet parenting tool belt, right?! If you are looking to lay a positive puppy foundation, build a stronger bond with your dog, and keep your pet happy and healthy year-round, look no further! It’s time to dive into 5 tips that will change your life as a pet parent!
1. First things first: Puppies
Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? Have you ever had a dog who wouldn’t let you clip their nails or even brush behind their ears? You are not alone; this is far more common than you might think. When you first get a new puppy there are certain things you can introduce to them right off the bat to avoid potential difficulties in the future. As a pup much of their fear, like a baby, has not developed yet. The window of opportunity to familiarize them with things that have the potential to become frightening to them is smaller than you might think. We suggest starting the introduction process as soon as your fur baby arrives and maintaining consistency throughout puppyhood. Below is a list of activities to use as a starting point along with suggested timing. Every household is different so add or take away based on what makes the most sense for you and your new family member.
- Nail clipping: multiple times a week, even if you just pretend it will get them used to the clippers, the sounds, and the feeling of you touching their paws.
- Brushing: daily, use a few different types of brushes on any given week to alter the feel, this will help them to feel more comfortable when they go to the groomer, who uses a different brush than they are “used to”.
- Bathing: weekly, they may not always need it and it may be best not to shampoo every week (to keep their skin from drying out) but it is important that they practice getting in the tub/shower/clam shell and all the actions that go along with getting a bath. This will make you and your groomer’s life much easier in the future.
2. The Great Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a super food for our pups! It is no secret that every dog experiences diarrhea at some point in their lives. If your dog is having tummy trouble and producing soft/runny stool, try giving them a scoop of pumpkin. Pumpkin is rich in fiber which helps to ease digestion, absorbs water, and supplies energy to stimulate positive function of the intestines. Fiber is a prebiotic which helps to promote beneficial bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Mix a scoop of pumpkin in your pets’ food or give it on its own the next time they have an upset tummy. Keep a can of plain pumpkin in your pantry just for your furry friend.
3. Parting is such sweet sorrow
Let’s face it, many of us haven’t been away from our pets for more than a few hours here and there for the last year! The more we are around our pets, the more difficult departures can be on them. When we go from spending all day every day together to leaving for long periods of time it disrupts our pet’s routine and comfort level. Separation anxiety takes hold in so many of our furry friends but there are things we can actively to do ease their nervousness.
- Practice your “exit routine” without the exit Go about your normal routine before leaving the house and then DON’T. It will make the “real thing” far less hyper for your pet.
- Leave on the TV or Radio The human element and sound will offer them comfort.
- Stay calm It can be difficult to remain at ease when we know how upset our pet gets when we leave. They will feel that energy so be sure to take a few deep breaths and remain calm when you go to depart.
- Pawsitive association Our recommendation is a frozen peanut butter filled Kong. Any special treat or new toy to keep them happy and busy as you head out the door will do!
- Exercise daily A tired pup is a happy pup.
Did you know that your dog should drink 1 ounce of water per day for every pound of body weight? For large breed dogs that means over 100oz of water EVERY DAY! It may come as a surprise, but dogs are made up of 80% water, as opposed to the human 55-60%. This means it is 20-25% more likely for a pet to become dehydrated. Yikes! In order to prevent dehydration, it is important to know what this looks like in our pets.
- Loss of appetite
- Reduced energy levels
- Heavy panting
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth/gums
- Loss of skin elasticity
If you pet experiences any of these symptoms try to entice them with a fresh bowl of water. Whenever possible monitor your pet’s water intake. It is not always easy to measure exactly how much our pet is drinking on a daily basis but see our list below to help promote water consumption.
- Keep water bowls clean.
- Use more than one water dish.
- Frozen treats
- Get a drinking fountain.
- Add water to your pet’s food.
As always, our goal as a pet parent is to have the happiest and healthiest pets possible. Knowing the signs of dehydration and tips for how to keep your pet hydrated will keep your fur baby living their best life all year long!
5. Hug your dog!
Our pups associate touch with feelings of happiness and belonging. When we give a hug our bodies (both human and canine) release oxytocin, a feel-good chemical, which has a significant positive impact on the body. Something as simple as a hug can strengthen the bond between man and man’s best friend. It has been proven that a dog who feels safe and secure not only physically but emotionally is much less likely to exhibit destructive behaviors within their environment ex. chewing on furniture or using the bathroom in the house. Give a hug and you will build their confidence, strengthen your bond, and live in harmony.
There you have it, 5 tips that will enhance you and your pup’s life far beyond what you can imagine. Everyone needs a few tricks for those challenging circumstances, to keep your pet operating smoothly and cultivate a loving bond. Now you can feel like an expert in your own home and share these amazing tips with all your pet parent pals. Do you have an amazing pet parenting tip that has worked for you? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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