by Pam Ranheim | Jun 28, 2021 | cats, dogs, pet care, pet health, pet lovers, pet sitting, pets, Plymouth MA
Fireworks are often a terrifying experience for our pets, especially dogs. Since dogs are so much more sensitive to sound, fireworks can cause stress and anxiety and cause dogs to seek a safe haven. July 5th is usually the busiest day of the year for Animal Shelters due to so many pets getting lost trying to get away from the BOOMS of Fireworks. Since fireworks in the summer are inevitable, we share 5 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks so that your family can enjoy a relaxing summer celebrating from the comfort and safety of your home.
1. Provide a safe space for your Dog
Creating a space where your pup can go to feel safe and protected during a scary time (e.g. Fireworks or severe storms) will ease their anxiety. A crate is a great place to start. Include a bed, add their favorite blanket, give them a few toys for comfort and their cozy den will feel like a safe house when things get loud or spooky. If you have extra space or are hosting a party, reserve a quiet room for your pets that they can escape to when things get overwhelming. Setting up an intentional space for them to feel safe is vital, so they have more options than just hiding under your bed or in the bathtub.
2. Desensitize your pet to Fireworks
Playing videos or recordings of Fireworks at home in short spurts can help your dog become more comfortable with the “real thing.” Using a YouTube Fireworks Video is a great place to start. Be sure not to overdo it, as these can also make your dog more sensitive to loud noises if over-exposed. If, after a couple of these sessions, your dog’s reaction has not eased, you may want to switch gears. Try playing music or watching TV recordings of outdoor festivities that mimic the sounds of celebrations and fireworks as practice for the real thing.
Changing the visual atmosphere of the room can also help your dogs receive fireworks more easily. Closing the curtains can help muffle the sound and hide the visual flashing component, which can also cause alarm. A dark place with sounds coming from a distance can help our dogs handle fireworks better.
Never underestimate the power of EXERCISE! Taking your dog for a nice long walk in the morning will help ease their anxiety in the evening. As the saying goes, “A tired pup is a happy pup.” Having been properly exercised, they are more likely to sleep or feel relaxed during stressful times later in the day. Be sure to take proper care when exercising your dog during the summer months. We recommend walking your dog during morning hours when the temperatures are cooler, and the ground is not hot or harmful to their paws. After their morning exercise, they will have no energy left to be fearful or anxious about fireworks or storms occurring in the evenings.
4. Be home with your Dog during Firework times
This option is not for everyone, but if possible, stay home with your pet during prime fireworks hours. Your presence will provide the best possible comfort to your four-legged baby. Being home allows you to problem solve, distract, and pivot as needed. When you are home, you can adjust the TV volume and put on or take off their Thundershirt, as needed. The Thundershirt is another great tool to keep dogs calm during stressful times by creating comfort and calm.
Giving delicious treats or playing with their favorite toys will keep their mind off their anxiety and distract them as well.
The way you act also affects your dogs. A calm non-distraught owner will convey calmness to their pets in any situation. Overall, your dogs will be happier and more confident knowing you are with them.
If you cannot be home, you may want to purchase a Dogness Smart Camera with a treat dispenser. This will allow you to keep a close eye on your pet and provide a delicious distraction for them until they are safe in your arms again.
5. Talk with your Vet
If you implement the above tips and your pet is still riddled with anxiety, reach out to your veterinarian. There are many calming agent options a vet can recommend for your pet. This includes anything from all-natural CBD oils to calming chews as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. The pet may also recommend specific trainers or training techniques to help your dog feel comfortable around loud noises and fireworks. Your Vet will be able to guide you in the best direction given your dog’s history and current state.
As pet parents, we intend to keep our fur babies safe. Fireworks, and our pets’ reactions to them, can be unpredictable. These 5 ways to keep your dog calm during fireworks are just some suggestions to help your dogs during the firework season. Pets still escape from homes despite our best efforts, so please make sure your pet comes home safely by keeping their ID tags updated. Microchipping your pets will also help quickly identify them in case they run away. Be sure to include your pets’ name, a working phone number, and your current street address in the identification.
Share this FREE infographic to spread the word and keep pets safe this 4th of July!
Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information.
by Pam Ranheim | May 5, 2021 | dog walking, dogs, pets, Plymouth MA
We know getting our pups out in the fresh air and physically engaged is essential. What better way to get out in the fresh air than to visit the dog-friendly trails in Plymouth, MA. Plymouth is packed full of fabulous trails just waiting for you and your pup to explore! Whether you have an elderly dog who just needs a short stroll or a 2-year-old yellow lab ready to run miles and miles, there is a trail just for them. Here are 5 dog-friendly trails in Plymouth, MA that you should explore!
Ellisville Harbor State Park
Trail Length: 0.9 miles
Route Type: Out & Back
Parking: Large Dirt lot in from of Ellisville Harbor State Park
Address: 1861 State Rd, Plymouth, MA
Directions: Ellisville Harbor State Park
The Ellisville Harbor trail is one of the most dog-friendly trails around. The path is straightforward and the out-and-back design with well-worn paths make it an easy route to follow. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy the water and marsh views while taking a refreshing break at the lookout with your pup!
There is also a sandy bottom path leading to the ocean at the turn around point so you can enjoy the grandeur of mother nature in serenity. However, it is important to note, the beach itself is not dog-friendly from April 1st-Sept 15th each year. Be sure to plan accordingly and take in the sights and scents from a distance.
This nearly one-mile trail is a perfect choice for anyone looking to try out hiking with their pup for the first time or anyone who needs to keep their hike short and straightforward. Please note: a couple of our dog walkers report finding ticks on pets taken on this trail, so be sure you and your pup are protected and do a thorough check for these pests post-walk.
Hedges Pond Loop (at Hedges Pond Recreational Area and Preserve)
Trail Length: 1.6 miles
Trail Type: Loop
Parking: Public Parking in the entrance lot (paid parking during summer season)
Address: 158 Hedge’s Pond Road, Plymouth, MA
Directions: Hedges Pond Loop
Hedges Pond loop is a gorgeous dog-friendly trail in Plymouth, MA, that allows dogs to run about off-leash. The pond itself is known to be one of the cleanest and most swimmable in all of Plymouth! This trail is not paved but is kept in excellent condition. The debris and roots are cleared regularly, and the terrain is not too steep, making it very user-friendly. If you are making it a family outing, there is also a playground area for the kids and picnic tables to enjoy!
The summer months do require a Beach Sticker or payment on-site to enter the premises. So if you want to avoid paying to use the trail, the off-season is an equally delightful experience. As locals, experiencing Fall in this area is beautiful, but this spot is a must-see no matter which season you decide to enjoy it!
Plymouth Town Forest Trail
Trail Length: 3 miles
Route Type: Loop
Parking: Small dirt lot at Drew Rd. and Long Pond
Address: 127 Long Pond Road (area of) Plymouth, MA
Directions: Plymouth Town Forest Trail
If you are looking to get your steps in for the day or trying to exhaust an energetic dog, then this is the trail for you. On this 3-mile loop, you and your dog may just have the whole place to yourselves. Enjoy a well-maintained path with clearly marked signs making it easy to navigate. There are a few ponds along the trail that offer beautiful views. The Great South Pond for example, is a perfect place to stop for a picnic or a quick break in your walk.
This is a great trail choice for dogs that need minimal foot traffic or who do not engage well with others when out on leash. This trail is also open year-round so that you can bring your dog hiking, bird watching, and even horseback riding throughout the year!
Cape Cod Canal
Trail Length: 7 miles (one way); 14 miles (down and back)
Route Type: Out & Back
Parking: Multiple lots running along the length of the Canal.
Address: Bourne Scenic Highway, Bourne, MA
Directions: Cape Cod Canal
Although not technically in Plymouth, the Cape Cod Canal is the most trafficked trail in the Plymouth Area. The flat asphalt path is excellent for both people and dogs who don’t enjoy exploring rough terrain or being out in the woods. Dogs must be kept on a leash but be prepared for some socialization with your pup. The Canal is a popular place for bringing four-legged friends, so there is no shortage of other dogs to say hello to!
If you have a small or elderly dog who doesn’t need a ton of exercise, the trail is perfect for strollers and wagons. So load up your pup in their chariot and get out there to explore the most scenic route around! You’ll enjoy waterfront views that run the entire length of the trail, making this spot a sight to see no matter how far you go!
Plymouth Harbor Trail (at Nelson Memorial Park)
Trail Length: 2.9 miles
Route Type: Out & Back
Parking: Nelson Memorial Park parking lot
Address: 235 Water St, Plymouth, MA
Directions: Plymouth Harbor Trail at Nelson Park
The Plymouth Harbor Trail is another fabulously flat and mostly paved path for anyone looking to stay close to sea level. While a popular spot, it is not as busy as the Cape Cod Canal. So, if you are looking for a little more peace but need an easy-to-use pathway, this is an excellent choice. Portions of this trail also come with impeccable shoreline views. The Plymouth Harbor Trail is very dog-friendly but does require dogs on leash. This trail has easy access from Nelson Memorial Park and is complete with free parking, making multiple trips here easy and affordable.
There are many beautiful places and trails to visit in and around the area. These were just a select few that made this list. Here were our 5 dog-friendly Trails in Plymouth, MA. Comment below with some of your favorite trails in the area!
If you don’t have time to take your dog out for trails or walks, Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking, Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA.
Let us help you get some things off your plate! To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page and Contact Us for more information.
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by Pam Ranheim | Apr 28, 2021 | dogs, pet lovers, pets
With Summer just around the corner, it’s not too late to start planning your summer vacation with your pups in tow! There are a ton of dog-friendly vacation spots in and around New England. With beaches, cityscapes, parks, and beautiful views, New England has something for everyone to enjoy. Here is our list of 5 dog-friendly vacation spots in New England.
Inn By The Sea
The Inn by the Sea in Maine is a dog’s paradise vacation. This family-friendly resort welcomes dogs to stay and even offers a special INNcredible Pets Package loaded with services to pamper your pup. In addition to it being accommodating to canines, the surrounding area is also dog-friendly. There are beaches, trails and dog-friendly dog parks to enjoy with your pup. To relax, the Inn by the Sea has pet massages as well as gourmet room service for both you and your dog to enjoy. If you’re looking for a nice relaxing getaway to get pampered and forget the stresses of everyday life, then the Inn by the Sea is for you.
As the name suggests, Dog Mountain is a space dedicated to dogs located on a mountain top in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. These grounds are free of charge to the public and open to visitors so that dog owners can meet and enjoy the company of their dogs running around. The grounds also have a chapel dedicated to pet parents who lost their pet and want to reflect on those memories. In addition to this, Dog Mountain hosts dog parties throughout the year so that dogs and pet parents can enjoy their time together. Whether you only visit the mountain once or make a couple of trips out, this is a great space to visit on vacation with your furry friends.
The Vanderbilt is a beautiful historic hotel with an old charm that you and your pup can enjoy. The hotel allows for up to two pets for an additional fee for their rooms, but they provide bowls, beds, and treats for their canine guests. Outside the hotel, adventures are waiting for you. From cliff walks to cruise rides, Newport, Rhode Island has attractions for your seaside vacation with your pup! When you’re hungry, you and your dog can enjoy some fine dining at the Clarke Cooke House and watch the sunset on the water together. The beautiful scenes in this vacation will have you and your pup feeling like you’re in a dream.
The Wilburton Inn, located in Manchester, Vermont, doesn’t just welcome dogs; they celebrate them! Each year, they have multiple dog-related events known as ‘doggie slumber parties‘ to celebrate particular holidays with visiting pups. Wilburton believes that it’s not a family vacation unless your fur babies come along for the trip!
The beautiful 30-acre establishment offers nearby activities for your whole family to enjoy, like walks and hikes in the surrounding areas. If you feel like going up to town, you can bring your pup along as Manchester is a very dog-friendly city and welcomes dogs in shops and outside restaurants. Wherever your adventure takes you in Manchester, Wilburton is sure to include your whole family in the fun.
Fairmont Copley Plaza
For a posh getaway to experience city living with your pup, visit the Fairmont Copley Plaza. This fancy building is known to be one of Boston’s most dog-friendly hotels. To prove it, they hired a black lab to be a ‘canine ambassador‘ for the hotel!
While in Boston, you can spend your day walking the city streets and admiring the sights and sounds of everyday life in the city. Your adventure can lead you to many discoveries and hopefully some dog parks for your pup to enjoy. In the evening, you can relax in your beautiful suite and order some room service to enjoy a peaceful night together. Your dog is sure to be welcomed with open arms at this establishment!
New England has many dog-friendly travel spots to choose from. Whether you want a country getaway or a couple of days on a beach, the New England area has all this to offer and more. These are our 5 dog-friendly vacation spots in New England, but there are plenty more out there. Please let us know about your favorite places to travel with your dog in the area. We would love to know!
If you’re going on a vacation without your pets, please consider looking at our pet sitting services and contact us for more details. Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!
by Pam Ranheim | Apr 7, 2021 | birds, cats, COVID-19, dog walking, dogs, pet care, pet health, pet sitting, pets, Plymouth MA, special needs pets
Given the amount of time we have been spending with our fur babies during the “Stay At Home” order, we can expect our pets to experience some form of separation anxiety. Easing your pet into their pre-pandemic routines may be a challenge as we return to work and the outside world. We have come up with five ways on how to ease your pet’s separation anxiety. These steps will allow for a smoother transition into a routine for the changes to come.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety occurs most commonly when an animal is hyper-attached to their human. They feel abandoned when they are separated from someone they spent so much time with. This can manifest in different ways for different pets. Some pets become more vocal or destructive, and others become quieter. Some signs of separation anxiety include:
- Vocalization: howling/whining/barking or excessive barking
- Destructive chewing furniture/ personal belongings (destructive behavior)
- Inappropriate urination (peeing outside the litter box or on the owner’s clothes)
- Scratching at the door/destructive behaviors
- Refusing to eat
- Become quiet or withdrawn
Generally, these behaviors start once you begin your routine to leave home, or after you have left. Picking up your keys or putting on your coat will be a sign your pet will associate with departure. These sound like some daunting characteristics, but rest assured, separation anxiety can be aided and even eliminated from the pet given the proper care and training in most cases.
Here are five ways on how to ease your pet’s separation anxiety.
Practice your ‘exit routine’ without the exit
How many times have you gone to put your shoes on to leave the house, and one of them has magically disappeared? That is because our pets KNOW what it means when we put our shoes on. Try doing the final few steps of your exit routine without actually exiting. Put on your shoes, grab your keys, wallet/handbag, and then stay home. Instead of leaving, give your pet extra loving, maybe a treat, belly rubs and reassurance. When you do this, your pet will start to disassociate those “exit actions” with you leaving the house. Do this several times a day as you lead up to the actual exit date. If you have already begun working outside of the home, you can still practice this technique during periods of being home, such as evenings, weekends, etc.
Good Old Entertainment
We would be a little anxious listening to ourselves breathe all day while missing our favorite person. Our pets can also get anxious and distressed from the silence. Give your fur baby some light entertainment while you are away. Whether it’s the radio, music, the TV, or even an audiobook, leaving something on with a human voice will make them feel like someone is there with them. This is a simple way to comfort your pet and give you some peace of mind knowing there is something to keep them company while you are away.
Help your pet to stay calm even when they miss you
Humans emit pheromones that our pets can smell. These hormone-like chemicals tell our pets when we feel nervous, fearful, or anxious. Our anticipation of knowing our pets will be anxious when we leave can cause us to emit those chemicals, adding to their separation anxiety and emotional distress. If you can’t help but feel worried about leaving them, pop a mint or piece of gum into your mouth to throw them off your scent.
Pawsitive association works for our sweet kitties and slobbery pups by rewarding their good behaviour through toys or treats. For this behavior modification exercise, try purchasing a new toy that you only bring out when you leave. This will give them something positive to enjoy while knowing you are leaving. If the way to your pet’s heart is through their stomach, then have a special snack on hand. Tuna juice for cats or frozen peanut butter Kongs for pups are great treats. This will keep them busy as you head out the door and leave them with the fondest of memories of you as they snack away!
Exercise and Interaction with Other Humans
Exercise and interaction are a fantastic way to build up your pet’s confidence and ultimately relieve much of their anxiety. Spending a designated time walking your dog or playing with your cat before you leave will also tire them out. Try to plan your day out thoughtfully and include them into your daily routine. This will not only help them get into a daily schedule, but the exercise and play will also be good for their physical and psychological well-being. Remember, a tired pet is a calm pet, which guarantees peace of mind.
If you have been home around the clock over these last several months, chances are both you, and your pet will feel a void when the time comes to part ways. Hiring a midday dog walker or cat sitter is a great way to make sure the transition is smooth for both of you. A dog walker will make sure your pup gets fresh air and great exercise to prepare them for the second half of their day while waiting for mom/dad to arrive home. A cat sitter can come by during the day for some playtime and a treat or two. Having “outsiders” come into the home will help your pet become more adaptable. This ultimately places less hyper-attachment on you, giving you a happier, healthier, less anxious relationship.
If you are concerned with cross-contamination when considering hiring a dog walker, cat sitter, or pet sitter, check out our Covid safety measures to learn all about the safety guidelines Just Around the Corner Pet Sitting and Dog Walking is implementing. We believe in keeping our clients, their fur babies and our employees safe during these unique times. Together we can ease our pet’s separation anxiety while creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
Have experience with an anxious pet as a pet owner? Let us know how you helped them overcome and ease Separation Anxiety in the comments below.
by Pam Ranheim | Feb 18, 2021 | cats, pet care, pet health, pet lovers, pets, Plymouth MA
Whether you have a cat, are about to bring home your first, or are pet sitting a kitty in your home for a short time cat proofing your home is a must. Anytime we prepare to bring cat into our home no matter how long or short their stay, we must first make their environment safe and secure. Not only is this crucial for keeping the cat safe throughout their time in your home but it provides much peace of mind for you too. Let’s break down every room of your house to share the best ways to cat proof your home.
A cat playing with a cord of a set of blinds
Tie up blind cords. Oh, the fascination of a long, lanky blind cord! While these common ribbons of material are the best thing since catnip to our kitties, they pose certain dangers that you want to avoid. Playtime with a blind cord can quickly turn into a tangled mess escalating fear and frustration in our kitties. A caught paw could become a broken bone and even, God forbid, a choking hazard almost immediately. Avoid disaster and tie up those intriguing blind cords.
Hide electrical cords. Who doesn’t love a long cord to play with, chew on, and even befriend? Well maybe not you, but your cat sure does. Wherever possible secure all electrical cords either tightly against a wall or hidden in a space your cat cannot reach. Avoiding electrocution is key to being a successful cat parent, hide the electrical cords.
Cover outlets. If you are a cat owner already you know that felines have an innate sense of what they are not supposed to do and go right for it, right? These curious little areas on the wall are no exception. Electrocution aside, their claws can easily get stuck in the tiny holes of an outlet and cause major pain.
Candle with care. Flames are intriguing to our curious kitties. Be sure to always place your candle up high or in an area that your cat cannot or will not get to. Even when a candle is not lit avoid letting the candle become a play toy. Once a cat feels like something is theirs to play with, whether it is lit or not, they will not make a distinction between times they can and cannot play with it. Candle with care my friends.
Check if a plant is poisonous before bringing it into your home. Always, always, always check here to see if a plant is poisonous to your pets before bringing it into your home. There is a surprising amount of quite common plants that are poisonous to our beloved fur babies. Do not assume, always check the poisonous plants to pets list first!
A cat smelling a poisonous poinsettia
Stovetop safety. This is more about a “redirection” routine for when your cat decides to dance on the stove top. Establish a ground rule that being on the stovetop, no matter when, is never allowed to keep your curious felines save. Whether you use a spray bottle or blow a whistle to signal the current action is not acceptable, decide what works for you and choose something your cat can understand.
Keep drawers and cabinets closed. The kitchen houses many potentially dangerous items so it is best to avoid “playtime” all together in this area. In addition, be mindful of closing cabinets and drawers immediately after use. We all know how sly and quick our kitty cats can be and the next thing you know they are playing with the Ninja blade at the back of your corner cabinet! Keep cabinets and drawers closed and keep your kitty safe.
Countertop awareness. Remember that there is a cat constantly roaming around every room of your home looking for interesting things to play with. Do not leave hot pots/pans or other potential dangerous yet intriguing kitchen tools unattended. When not in the kitchen clear your countertops of any knives, blenders, mandolins, etc. Your cat may never show an interest in being on the kitchen counter, but don’t underestimate the power of a bored cat. You can never be 100% sure a cat won’t do something, am I right?
Keep trash securely covered. Keeping the trash covered always is extremely important. After all, what we put into these shiny barrels is TRASH. Whether it’s rotten food, raw chicken packaging, or plastic bottle ties (which we sincerely hope you cut up before placing in your bin) nothing good comes from a cat getting into a trash can. Avoid a choking catastrophe or an emergency vet visit be putting a lid on it.
Bedroom/ Office Space
Keep nightstands and desks clear of potentially dangerous items. We all have our evening routines whether putting on creams, taking nightly meds, or even sewing up a hole in your spouse’s work shirt. Kitty thinks wahoo! It doesn’t get much more intriguing than string with a shiny needle attached or the chattering sound of pills when they bat at the container with their paw. Whatever your routine looks like be sure to have a proper place to securely put those items away when they are not actively being used.
Hide mothballs. Do not leave mothballs out in the open. Always hide them in a drawer or up on a shelf in your closet. Place them anywhere that your cat cannot get to as they are toxic to our precious kitties.
Research your essential oils. Not all essential oils are safe for pets. If you love running your diffuser even just occasionally be sure to research the types of oils you are using first. Click here for a list of oils that are toxic to pets.
Cat smelling a flower and essential oils
Cover the trash. Just like the kitchen these curious bins that house all the things their humans don’t want/need anymore is just too much not to play with. Dental floss in particular must be avoided as it can easily be ingested and cause major intestinal issues. Keep all trash bins throughout your home covered for optimum pet safety.
Always put the toilet seat lid down. This is particularly important for new kitties. They can easily slip and fall into the toilet bowl when trying to climb the toilet. Avoid disaster by simply keeping the toilet seat cover closed.
Safety container for detergent. Laundry detergent not only smells wonderful, but it looks exciting too! This is particularly true of those convenient detergent pods that are so popular these days. After all, to a cat those colorful pods are the perfect size for them to play with and who can avoid sinking their teeth into the rubbery, ooey gooey-ness?! Avoid temptation and keep all detergents and fabric softeners in a secured cabinet or container.
Keep washer and dryer doors closed. You have heard the horror stories, don’t let it happen to you! Always close the doors to your washer and dryer to keep your kitty out. If you need to air out the washer be sure to check that your cat is not anywhere in the room before shutting the door to the laundry room itself. Only then should you leave the door to one of these machines open.
Double check before starting a new laundry cycle. Even when we exercise proper precaution and keep the doors to our washer and dryer closed our kitties can act in the blink of an eye. Always doublecheck the drum of your machines for your curious kitty before shutting the door and starting a new wash/dry cycle.
Hazardous household materials
Store Chemicals and hazardous materials safely. From car oil to rock salt always keep chemicals and other hazardous materials in proper bins, containers, or out of reach locations. Even if you keep all these items in your garage where your cat “never goes” we all have had those moments with Felix senses a mouse or gets the itch to run out the door into the garage for no apparent reason. It is better to be safe than sorry. Keep hazardous materials safe and secure to avoid disaster.
There you have it! With every room in the house safely secure for your fur baby to live, play, and love as they please you can enjoy peace of mind and harmony. Just remember, never underestimate the power of curiosity in your cat. Have experience cat proofing your home? Share your tips in the comments below!
Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking , Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!
by Pam Ranheim | Jan 20, 2021 | dog hiking, dogs, pet care, pets, Plymouth MA, puppy
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.
Dog and their owner watching the sunset
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.
Dog drinking water from a bowl
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!
A kid giving his dog a hug
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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