Bringing Home a Friend for Fido

Thinking of bringing a second dog into your family? There are a number of benefits in doing so. Whether your family dog is young or old, introducing a canine companion can help with a wide range of health and emotional issues.

  • Separation Anxiety: Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owner leaves for extended periods of time. A second canine can help alleviate the destructive habits associated with the anxiety, allowing both dogs to entertain one another and offer a sense of companionship they are familiar with in a pack environment.
  • Revitalize an Older Dog: If your dog is aging, bringing home a younger dog can help increase the activity in your household. This in turn could potentially help extend your senior dog’s lifespan and overall disposition. For the pet owner, a younger dog can help with the healing after an elderly dog’s passing.
  • Easier Training: Many of the concerns had surrounding puppy training are erased when there is already a well-trained dog in the home. Dogs learn more quickly from one of their own, as they can look to him or her as an example.

Introducing a second pup to your family should be done with the same amount of dedication and thoughtfulness as bringing home your first. With patience, training and care, two dogs can double the happiness, support and love a pet brings.

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A Dog As Your New Roommate

Some apartment residents find themselves having reservations surrounding the thought of sharing their rented space with a dog. From neighbors to pet fees and restrictions, the thought of having a four-legged roommate can be intimidating. While certain breeds work better with the unique challenges apartments deliver, bringing a dog home doesn’t have to be ruled out because of an owner’s living arrangement.

  • The first step to take when thinking of bringing a pup home is to check in with your apartment complex’s office staff. More often than not, apartment complexes have restrictions set for specific breeds, as well as weight limitations
  • Prior to moving your newest addition in, make sure your apartment is pet friendly and prepped for welcoming your dog home. Have valuables and items that may offer temptation (shoes, cords, etc) hidden away and out of your pup’s reach. Allow your pet to become slowly accustomed to the new surroundings, and try to leave for shorter periods of time during the adjustment period.
  • Not everyone is an immediate fan of a new pooch. When spending time outside, introduce your neighbors to your dog and explain that he or she is getting acclimated to the new home. Learn who may have some fear associated with a dog in their immediate area, and teach your pup to stay close by as you walk.
  • Create a daily routine for your dog and stick to it. Staying consistent with feeding and outdoor times helps teach your pet when to expect to use the bathroom or get exercise. Apartments usually don’t offer the leisure of a fenced-in yard or doggie-door, so establishing a routine is vital to combating accidents.

Sharing a small space doesn’t have to be difficult. With proper planning and patience, a four-legged roommate can be the most enjoyable of them all!

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Communication Is Key

Similar to humans, tone and delivery are as important as what is being said when speaking to your dog. Commands, praise and behavioral corrections should all be delivered differently and dependent on the desired result.

We’ve gathered a few tips for helping pet owners better communicate with their pups:

  • Commands: To gain your dog’s undivided attention, commands should be preceded by the dog’s name. Speak in a confident, strong and firm tone. Using repetition will allow your pet to understand exactly what is being asked of them. Make sure to always reward your pet for listening.
  • Corrections: When correcting a dog, pet owners can differentiate the pet’s negative behavior from what they’ve asked in the command by using a higher-pitched tone. If your pet does not follow the command initially, follow up with an instructive reprimand. For example, if Spot does not sit after asked to, say “NO, sit”. If Spot is still unresponsive, instruct him into the sitting position.
  • Praise: Always show your excitement when praising your pup. Dogs strive to please their owners, and having an exuberant tone tells your dog that they have achieved just that.

The key to all forms of communication with your dog is consistency. Whether your words or tones, it could be more difficult for the dog to understand the commands being asked if words such as “off” and “down” are interchanged. Lastly, keep chatter positive for your pooch. You two are building a lasting relationship, so make it a positive, fun one.

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Dog Walking After Dusk

Walks are a part of most dog owner’s everyday routine, but taking them can grow more difficult with changing seasons. When the hours of available daylight shorten, there is a heightened need for taking safety precautions both during the walk and before stepping out of the door.

Dressing for visibility ensures you and your pet are seen by others on the road, especially in lower lit neighborhoods. Light colors and shiny fabrics help drivers and other pedestrians stay alert and notice your path. Reflective strips are the ultimate in clothing visibility and are also offered on dog collars and leashes.

Always keep a cell phone on you in the case of an emergency. While cell phones can act as a distraction to some, having it accessible is an important factor when leaving your home for an extended amount of time. Smart phones also offer flash light features if needed during your outing.

As with any walk, a well-trained dog helps ensure overall safety. If your pup doesn’t walk well on a leash, he or she is more at risk to travel off path or away from the owner entirely. Teach your pet how to properly interact with bypassing dogs, and always stay alert.

Don’t let the lack of daylight put a damper on you and your dog’s quality time. With a little preparation, walks are possible during any hour!

 

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Chewing: What It May Mean About Your Dog

The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 40 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at GreatDaneLady.com

While often frowned upon by some pet owners, chewing is a very natural process for canines – especially when they are young (7-8 months) and in the teething stage. Some dogs continue their chewing habits into adulthood as a result of boredom and not enough human contact or stimulation. In other cases, destructive chewing increases as a dog develops anxiety when left alone for extended periods of time. Chewing habits that stem from anxiety are often due to improper socialization very early in the pup’s development.

When a dog turns to chewing objects that are potentially harmful, such as plaster, rocks, dirt, tree bark and plants, it is possible that the pet is suffering from nutritional deficiencies. If so, the issue needs to be corrected immediately before causing serious health problems.

Precise Pet Foods go beyond the normal pet food standards, providing necessary ingredients that help avoid nutritional holes in a pet’s diet. Many dog foods on the market are lacking in usable minerals, making it difficult for a dog to benefit from many of those minerals listed. In some instances, minerals may be listed on the pet food bag but some dogs do not have an easy time processing them. Trace minerals are critical for helping ensure a pet’s hormones are healthy. Through the use of kelp, these minerals are put back into the pet’s diet. Additionally, fruits, vegetables and botanicals in Precise Pet Foods help fill in diet gaps to create a more natural diet, similar to those had by animals found in the wild.

With Precise Pet Products, food formulas are created with the best ingredients to provide all necessary items in a dog’s diet. When using Precise, you know you are helping ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are met.

 

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Sharing

Thanksgiving. A holiday best known for its abundance of deliciously prepared food and of course, the notion of sharing. While partaking in the holiday festivities can offer temptation to sneak a few treats to your pet, the majority of your Thanksgiving meal is not safe for any four-legged family member.

While you don’t have to rule out all items on the table when looking to indulge your pet, there are a number of safety precautions that need to be taken to ensure even pet-friendly food is being given in a safe manner.

  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not only a good source of fiber, but have high levels of Vitamin A and C. Dishes with large amounts of sugar, such as casseroles and pies, should not be fed to your pet. Stick to the plain version if you plant on sharing with them – whether baked or mashed.
  • Turkey: Turkey is perfectly safe for pets if prepared properly. Make sure all bones are removed and that the meat is cooked all the way through. Remove the skin and any traces of fat, as they are hard for pets to digest and could lead to pancreatitis.
  • Cooked vegetables: Carrots, peas and green beans are all safe when fed in moderation. Be sure to set aside any vegetables for your pet prior to mixing in butter and seasonings.
  • Foods to avoid completely: Onion, cake, nuts (walnuts and macadamia), mushrooms and herbs like sage and nutmeg are all highly toxic. Be sure anything you are feeding your pet is not mixed with ingredients that could make them sick. It should go without saying – but chocolate and alcohol should be kept far away from your cat or dog at all times.

Even foods labeled safe for pets should be fed with caution. Every animal’s stomach tolerance is different. More often than not, owners don’t discover a pet’s food allergy until feeding a treat for the first time. Be smart when including your pet in holiday festivities – don’t let hungry eyes get the best of you!

 

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Protecting Your Pet When Disaster Strikes

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation it has caused throughout the East Coast, it is important to prepare not only your home for a natural disaster, but your pets as well.

Gathering your pet’s important medical information, proper identification and necessary supplies is the first step to prepping before severe weather hits. Having proof of vaccinations can help when needing to stay at a hotel or shelter. Also, make sure your pet’s I.D. tags are secured to their collar. In the event of an evacuation, never leave a pet behind.

Stocking a disaster kit for your dog or cat ensures that necessary food and medications will be accessible no matter what the situation. Include water bottles, proper food formulas, any necessary medications your pet is currently taking, a leash or carrier and blankets. If there’s a possibility of evacuation, keep a bag packed with these items ready to take with you.

If you are braving a natural disaster from your home, locate the safest area in your house for you and your pet. With loss of power comes the loss of the ability to control indoor temperature – whether warm or cool. As severe weather approaches in the cooler months, be sure to prepare by gathering as many extra blankets as possible. During warmer months, power outages can often cause a dramatic increase in your home’s temperature. If you lose the ability to air condition or fan your house, take the necessary steps to ensure your pet is well hydrated.

For more tips on protecting your home and family in the event of a natural disaster, visit the American Red Cross online.

 

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Do you know pet CPR?

Though you may not want to think about a day when your pet’s life is in danger, it is important to know these crucial tips in case you’re ever in an emergency situation.

Knowing how to properly perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) could save your dog or cat if they stop breathing. We recommend taking a look at the below infographic by the American Red Cross for tips on administering pet CPR. If your pet isn’t breathing, begin administering CPR immediately before bringing them to a veterinarian by following these steps:

 

http://www.redcross.org/

Putting this information in a central location in your home can remind you of the procedure and be handy in case an emergency ever arises. Have other tips to share with fellow readers about saving your pets with CPR? It’s an important issue – please comment to share!

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Planning Pet Parties with Pizzazz

Do you celebrate your pet’s birthday or the day they were adopted? The prevalence of pet party planners is growing every day as more and more animal lovers are getting in on the fun.

We think it’s a great way to celebrate our four-legged friends so we rounded up a few tips for hosting a successful pet birthday party.

Here are a few ideas for fantastic furry fetes:

  • Remember your pet’s needs when you make the guest list. Dogs may not mind the company of other canines at their party but cats are less sociable and prefer the company of their favorite humans to other felines. When throwing a birthday party for your cat, ask your guests to leave their own pets at home and instead bring fun things to play with like yarn balls and ribbons.
  • Pick a good location. Cat parties can be held in the comfort of your home but dog parties can be a little more rowdy and should be held in fenced in backyards, dog parks, or other dog friendly spaces.
  • Choose a theme and decorate accordingly. Themes are a fun and creative way to make the party special. Pets can even dress in costume to fit the theme! We love the idea of a pet super hero party with pets dressed up as Batman or Superman!
  • Serve treats! Both pet and human party-goers will enjoy themed drinks and snacks made fresh for the occasion by you or your local pet bakery. We recommend a can of Precise pet food topped with an unlit candle for the full birthday cake effect!
  • Play games! Dogs will enjoy rousing games of tug-of-war or fetch while cats prefer chasing flashlights in dark rooms or playing with yarn.
  • Don’t forget the treat bags! At the end of your party, send your guests home with treat bags to remember the occasion. Fill decorative bags with a variety of treats for pets and humans too. You can even add a toy or ball into the bag as well.

Have you ever thrown a birthday bash for your pet? Comment on this post to share your stories with fellow pet owners!

http://www.cesarsway.com/dogtraining/affection/Dog-Birthday-Party-Planning-Guide

 

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Picking a Pet Name

Are you bringing a new pet into your family? Finding the perfect pet name can be tricky but we’re here to help! We’ve gathered a few ideas for choosing a great name that fits your pet’s unique personality and appeals to both of you!

Here are five tips for picking the perfect pet name:

  • Give it a few days: Wait a few days after bringing home your pet to decide on a name so you can see their personality and let their name reflect it. Your dog or cat may not show their full character until they get to know you better, so give them some time!
  • Keep it short: Dogs and cats often respond best to two-syllable names. If your heart is set on a long name then come up with a nickname that will be easy to learn. It’s also a good idea to use names that start with hard consonants like K, P, and D because they trigger more response in pets’ brains.
  • Pick a name you are proud of: You will be calling out your pet’s name many times a day so stay away from embarrassing names. You may not mind calling your dog “Baby” at home but would you be comfortable calling it out at the park?
  • Get your pet involved: Try calling out a few of your favorite names and see which ones they respond to. You’ll often find that they will ignore some but have a positive response to others.
  • Make it different: If you have other pets in your household, make sure to give your new pet a name that doesn’t sound too similar to theirs. Similar sounding words can easily confuse pets.

What strategies do you use when naming new pets? Comment on this post to share your ideas with fellow pet owners!

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