5 Tips for a New Puppy Parent

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Having a puppy can be both stressful and rewarding. Here at Pet Wants Cincy we love puppies and we love feeding them. In honor of National Puppy Day this month, we wanted to share 5 things we wish we had known when our dogs were puppies.

1) When They Need To Relieve Themselves

Potty training can be a stressful time. Puppies have small bladders and don’t know where you expect them to do their business. To help avoid accidents in the house it’s useful to know when your puppy is most likely to take a potty break. Puppies are most likely to relieve themselves after they have eaten; slept for more than 20 minutes; or played rigorously. It is a good idea to watch your puppy closely after any of these activities and watch for sniffing as an indicator you should get them outside ASAP!

2) Better Nutrition Matters

Many new puppy owners feed the food the shelter gave them or whatever the breeder was feeding. It is important in the first year to give your puppy the best nutrition possible. Here at Pet Wants we are committed to improving your life and that of your pet. We focus on diets that are made fresh and are free of corn, wheat, soy, and animal by-products. Puppies are growing and need proper nutrition to support muscle development, bone growth, and a healthy immune system. Ask your Pet Wants staff for advice on your puppy and which diet works best for his/her individual needs.

3) Train Yourself Before Your Puppy

Training is an important part of development for a puppy. Training needs to start day 1, but most of us discover that we are not equipped to train our puppy. One of the most important aspects of training a puppy is understanding how to train him. Before you bring your puppy home, do research and establish how you are going to train your puppy to sit, lay down, and go potty. Consistency is key; so, make sure you, your significant other, and the entire family know how the dog is going to be trained. Nothing hinders training more than giving the dog different commands to elicit the same behaviors. Everyone involved in training needs to use the same commands so as not to confuse the pup.

4) Make Sure You Have The Right Chew Toys

Puppies love to chew. Some Puppies chew to keep themselves busy while others chew especially hard when they are teething. Many people gravitate towards fluffy stuffed animals because they are cute and remind us of the animals we buy human babies. When you are getting prepared for your puppy be sure to stock up on bones, rubber and rope toys that are a bit tougher. This will help sooth sore gums, and keep them occupied for much longer than a stuffed animal.

5) Crates Are Good

A crate is one of the most useful tools to help in potty training, traveling, and keeping your pup and you’re your belongings safe when you leave. Crates can be a great tool to use for your puppy’s entire life or until you are sure that you trust your pup alone when you are gone.  The first thing to know about your puppy’s crate is that they just need enough room to stand up and turn around. The divider is not just an accessory that comes in the box or a spare part, it’s a vital tool in proper crate training. If puppies have too much room they will poop in the crate which will not help you in training. Having a confined space can make your puppy feel more secure and encourage him to hold it longer until you get home and can take him out. If the crate is too big, you can stick a box or empty cooler in the back and cover it with a soft blanket to make it more cozy and right-sized for your new fur baby.

Always use the crate in a positive way; never for punishment. Always leave the crate door opened when you are home and never put your pup in the crate if you are angry at him for something he did wrong. If you scold your pup and he goes to his crate that is fine, but never use the crate as a punishment. This associates negative feelings with the crate and you want to avoid that. When you leave, put your pup into his crate and give him a special toy or treat that is reserved for time in the crate only.  To help prevent separation anxiety, crate your pup and leave the house for short periods of time, gradually increasing your time away as the pup becomes more at ease in your absence.

 

We hope this helps you prepare for a new family addition. For more helpful tips on your pets visit us www.PetWantsCincy.com and speak with a Pet Wants Nutrition Specialist.

4 Ways You Can Help in October for Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month

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Did you know that it’s officially Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month? Given that there are more shelter dogs than ever who need help, this month is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is passionate about animals to do their part to help. Since plenty of people want to contribute to this initiative but aren’t exactly sure how, I’ve put together a list of four different ways you can use your time and resources to help make a difference:

1. Spread the Word on Social Media

A simple but effective way to support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month is to let other people know about it via social media. Doing so can be as simple as sharing this post with others. If you want to remind people throughout the month, another useful option is to find pictures of specific local shelter dogs and share those.

2. Find Out What a Shelter Needs

There are number of great shelters around the Cincinnati area. You can easily find multiple ones via a Google search. Then when you find a specific shelter that resonates with you, check their website to see if they have a donation wish list. If this list isn’t on their website, you can contact them and ask about it. Once you know what the shelter needs, you can put together a donation on your own or organize a mini-drive to help collect those essentials.

3. Volunteer at a Shelter

In addition to things like food bowls and collars, shelters also need support in the form of time. So if you haven’t ever volunteered at a shelter before, October is the perfect month to start. Being a volunteer in this environment is a very rewarding experience. While not all shelters have the same needs, common activities for volunteers include walking dogs, playing with animals who are recovering from injuries, helping with dog training, working in the adoption center, folding laundry and helping with public events.

4. Adopt a Shelter Dog

Choosing to give a dog a home is a big decision, which is why it’s not something you should rush. But if you’ve been thinking about adopting a shelter dog for some time now and have the resources to do so, October is a great opportunity to follow through with this decision. By adopting a shelter dog, you’ll get to save a life and also enjoy all of the benefits that bonding with this type of wonderful animal will bring to your life. Plus, you’ll make room for another dog in the shelter!

Pet Wants Cincy is a company that’s very passionate about the well-being of all dogs, which is why we want to say thanks for using your time and resources to help support Adopt-a Shelter-Dog Month!