Category Archives: new puppy

Adjusting to a New Pet in Your House

By Suzanne Alicie

As firm believers in responsible pet ownership, we never advise giving a pet as a gift unless you are sure it is wanted. Many times parents take advantage of a holiday or birthday to give their children a much desired pet, or one weekend they simply give in to repeated requests for something furry and fun. No matter what the occasion of welcoming a new pet into your home, there are many ways in which your family will have to adjust. There are also ways you can prepare beforehand to make it easier on everyone involved.

A family discussion of the responsibilities that each person will have once the pet arrives, the doling out of pet chores and preparation of the home for the presence of a pet will help everyone be prepared for the excitement and upheaval that a new pet can cause.

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At What Age Should You Begin Puppy Training?

By Linda Cole

It’s easy to put off starting a training program for a new pup until after he’s older. An eight week old puppy may still be a “baby,” but he’s already learned a lot from his mom and siblings. His education needs to continue in his new home as soon as he gets there. Therefore, the best age to begin puppy training is the minute you get him home.

Puppies adjust quickly to new surroundings. Of course, he’ll have a period of missing his siblings and mom. You can carry the scent of his old life with you to his new home by taking a baby blanket or towel with you when you pick him up. Rub it on his mom and siblings and let them play on it. When you arrive home, place it where you want him to sleep so he has familiar smells around him. Helping him get through his first few nights will be your first training session.

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How to Dog Proof Your Home

By Ruthie Bently

Before you adopt a puppy or an adult dog, it’s a good idea to evaluate what you need to do to dog proof your home, i.e., to make it safe for your new friend. It’s easy to see why you should “puppy proof” your home, but why do it for an adult dog? An older dog needs the same consideration as a puppy because you may not know the situation the dog came from. If they were primarily an outdoor dog or lived in a kennel, there are many things your new dog may not have encountered before, which may seem like wonderful new toys to them.

So where do you start? Make a list of rooms to check, which should include all those you spend time in, as well as closets, storage rooms and the garage. Next, go room to room and evaluate the dangers or temptations your new dog may encounter. If you know the size of your new companion, getting down to their level to evaluate the room is a good way to find potential temptations. You will find more things by looking at the room from your dog’s eye view than you might by looking at it from your regular height.

In the living room, look for any exposed electrical cords the dog could trip over or chew on. Other items of interest include television remotes, cell phones and computer mice. Any item that contains batteries can be harmful if your dog decides to make it their new chew toy. Check desktops and tables the dog may be able to get to, and move all items that could be dangerous out of the dog’s reach. Window blind and curtain cords can be a strangulation danger for a pet. Check that they are at least 30” off the floor; if they aren’t you can purchase cord shorteners. You may want to move your knick knacks to a higher place, as a dog with a longer tail can empty a tabletop with just a few sweeps of their tail and won’t understand why your face is turning color when they are just happy you are home.

Your new dog will probably be spending time in the kitchen, so remove any temptations here too. Make sure your garbage is behind a door, has a tight fitting lid or is above the level your dog can reach. If you use recycling bins you will want to keep them out of the dog’s way; dogs can cut themselves investigating any cans or broken glass they might find. All cleaning supplies should be stored out of the dog’s reach. If you store your dish detergent and cleaning supplies under the sink, you can purchase cabinet latches that are not only kid proof, but dog proof too.

In the bathroom, move all soaps, toilet bowl cleaners and deodorizers to a safe location, since some dogs are attracted by the scents of these items. I actually had my bathroom and living room “toilet papered” by a dog that loved to play with toilet paper. He’d pull it all off the roll and go racing around the house with it flowing behind him. You can thwart this by getting a toilet paper guard, or hanging the dispenser up high. In the laundry room, install a shelf behind the laundry center for your supplies. You could also dedicate a shelf in your pantry to all the chemical cleaners, deodorizers and cleaning tools.

If you have children, get them a toy chest and keep it in their bedroom. The dog may be attracted to their toys and the small pieces can be dangerous for them. This will also keep your dog from chewing up your child’s stuffed animals and Barbie dolls.

The last room to dog proof is the garage. Although your dog may not spend time in the garage, some of the most dangerous things for them are found here. Anti-freeze is a well known pet hazard, but gasoline, paint, oil, brake and transmission fluids can be dangerous too.

Outlet plugs are a good idea for any unused electrical outlets around the house. A dog that isn’t housebroken may lift his leg on a wall plug; this inexpensive item can save you from a power outage or something more serious. The previously mentioned cabinet latches are also good for keeping dogs out of lower cabinets that may contain pots, pans and cleaning chemicals.

My friend used to store her two-liter bottles of soda in a floor height cabinet without a latch, until her dog got into it and grabbed a full soda bottle to play with. The pop bottle survived the bounce out of the cabinet, but didn’t survive the subsequent playtime with toenails and teeth. While this was more of a messy situation than a dangerous situation, it shows why dog proofing your house is a good idea.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Introducing a New Dog to Your Other Pets

By Ruthie Bently

Have you ever brought home a new dog and had a battle on your hands? How do you go about introducing a new dog to your other pets or animals without that happening? It depends on the situation. I have had to go through it several times with three of my dogs, most recently with Skye. Introducing Skye to my other animals was probably the toughest, because although Skye was used to other American Staffordshire Terriers, she had never seen a cat, geese or chickens. Being a Terrier breed, she has an instinctive prey drive.

I have to admit I was a bit worried about Skye meeting the animals, because she and her cohorts were known for chasing after any animal that was unlucky enough to wander into their exercise yard at the breeder’s.

I am never foolish enough to let Skye loose outside her dog yard when the chickens are out. She has and will chase them if she can, and she does race along the inside of the fence when they are in my garden.

When she first came home, she was accosted by a gander that felt he had to let her know who was boss. Skye in turn, let him know she did not appreciate having her tush pinched by his beak, by taking off after him and giving him a run for his money. I knew how fast Skye was and realized she could catch the goose if she chose to. Skye just wanted to teach him a lesson, which he passed on because none of the geese ever bothered her after that.

I was blessed, because I was able to acclimate Skye into our household with a minimum of fuss. For the first several nights, we crated her and gave the cats time to get used to her. They could walk up to the crate safely and check Skye out without her being able to get to them and vice versa. I actually told my cat Munchkin (who had been pining since Smokey Bear passed away) that Skye was her new dog, and she should keep an eye on her. In fact, before we had the dog run installed I would leash walk Skye around the property, and Munchkin would frequently accompany us.

If you are introducing a new dog to an existing dog, the best way for them to meet for the first time is on neutral territory, which belongs to neither dog. Contact a friend or relative that doesn’t own a dog and see if they would be willing to let you use their yard for the introduction. Make sure that both dogs are leashed and introduce them gradually. Use a friendly voice and have treats like CANIDAE Snap Biscuit® or Snap-Bits™ treats on hand. Watch both dogs for any sign of aggression and separate them if you see any growling, hackles being raised, or any other sign.

Before adopting a new dog, you might want to provide them with a blanket to sleep on and bring it home before you bring them home. Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell and in this way you can give your resident dog a new smell to get used to before the dog comes. Before bringing your new dog into the house, it is a good idea to remove any food dishes or toys that belong to your original dog. They can cause conflict and provoke a fight if your first dog is territorial. It is a good idea to segregate the new dog by using a crate or keeping them in another room, until both dogs can get used to each other. This process will also work if you are introducing a new dog to your cats.

For pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, ferrets or birds, have an adult family member hold them and introduce the dog while they are leashed. This way you have some amount of control. Watch your dog for any signs of extreme interest, which could include lunging at the other pet, barking or even snapping at them. Depending on the dog’s response, age and breed, you may want to keep the pet in a room that the dog is not allowed in without supervision. If you have a puppy and get one of the above mentioned pets while your puppy is still young, you will have a better chance of them getting along. Some dogs are just so driven by instincts that you can’t unteach them.

Our household revolves around not only the humans that live here, but our animals as well. By using these simple methods of introduction, you too can have a harmonious household with multiple species as family members.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How Do You Know Which Puppy is Right for You?

By Anna Lee

Your kids have been driving you crazy begging for a puppy. You and your spouse have discussed it and have finally agreed that the children are old enough to take some of the responsibility. Or perhaps it is just you and your husband at home and you feel it is time to become dog owners. You’ve done your homework and you know what breed you want. You have made arrangements to visit several breeders in your area. Now you are getting a little worried that you might pick the wrong dog. How do you know which puppy is right for you? I will tell you how my husband and I picked our dog – we didn’t; she picked us when she stole our hearts.

We went puppy shopping at a reputable location friends had recommended. We knew they had a reputation for selling healthy puppies. We originally wanted a black lab pup, but after we looked around we realized they did not have any out of the 50 or so puppies available. Then we spotted a large fenced area that contained four yellow lab puppies. We watched them for a while but they did not show any interest in coming over to us. They were playing with each other and totally engrossed. We decided to continue looking and go back to them later in the visit. That didn’t happen.

We saw one yellow lab puppy in a fenced area with one other smaller puppy. The second puppy was asleep but the lab was wide awake and ready to rock-n-roll. We asked if we could play with her and the worker took us and the puppy to a large room where we could get to know her. I sat down on the floor and she proceeded to chew my shoe strings and nibble on my fingers. She piddled on the floor, ran in circles and acted silly. She was very amusing and put on what we affectionately named “The Abby Show.” She then kissed our faces with great enthusiasm. She had such an outgoing personality that she stole our hearts within the first few minutes.

After a half hour we put her back in the enclosure, thanked the workers and left. On the ride home I cried the whole way. All I could think of was that little face looking at me as if to say, “Wasn’t I good enough?” My husband asked if I wanted to go look anywhere else and I told him no. When we got home he called the location and told them we would get her the next day – we did and that was 11 years ago. She hasn’t left our sides since.

She didn’t hold back, she came at us with every cute trick in the book. She stole our hearts that day in April; she was our Easter gift. When you pick out a puppy you want one that responds to you, one that interacts with you and steals your heart. She did all of that and more, and continues to do so daily. Her personality will draw you in whether you are a dog lover or not. She still puts on “The Abby Show” daily. She makes us laugh and you can’t ask more than that from a dog!

There will come a time in the future when we will be looking to get a new puppy. I hope that the decision process goes as well as the last one. Instead of us picking the puppy we will know the right one – when she picks us.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.