5 Tips for a New Puppy Parent

blog header pic

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.

3 Tips to Help Calm New Year’s Nerves

happy-new-year-dogs

Can you believe it’s almost 2018?! Soon bottles will be poppin’, fireworks exploding and the festivities will be underway! Although we love to send the year out with a BANG, this can often prove to be more stressful than fun for our dogs.

Here are 3 tips to help calm those New Year nerves:

1. Try some pre-party exercise:
Exercising your pup before the New Year’s Eve party can help tire them out when it comes time for the evening celebration. An overstimulated dog will be that much more nervous, so take your dog out for some energy-draining activity that day. If he’s tired, it’ll be much easier for him to sleep through the chaos.

2. Give an herbal supplement:
Sometimes, just a short-term calming aid will do the trick. Pick up a Pet Wants Snooze-Booster Pawsicle with turkey, lavender and chamomile, to help to soothe some of the nervous tension. Or try some NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Soft Chews that are packed full of thiamine and L-Tryptophan, these bites help reduce stress and tension while the added melatonin helps to promote rest and relaxation. Give your pet a tasty treat 30 minutes before a stressful situation and enjoy his calm demeanor in any distressing situation.

3. Use an acupressure wrap:
Pet Wants Cincy sell a wrap called the Thundershirt. It’s design uses acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce stress. The Thundershirt is a wrap for your dog with Velcro tabs provide gentle, constant pressure. Their website reports that over 80% of Thundershirt users see significant improvement in noise anxiety symptoms. Most dogs respond with the very first usage; some need 2-3 usages before showing significant improvement.

Happy New Year from all of us at Pet Wants Cincy!

Do Dogs Feel the Changes of Daylight Savings Time?

depositphotos_9202690_s-2015

Most people are happy about the extra hour of sleep they’re able to gain when clocks turn back an hour near the beginning of fall. While that experience can be a positive one, the same isn’t always true once this new schedule goes into effect. Plenty of people require a few days to adjust to a new sleep pattern. Others don’t like the fact that it is dark when they go to work in the morning and dark when they get off at the end of the day. And for a portion of the population, this shift completely throws off their internal clock and can cause ongoing sleep challenges for weeks at a time.

Since this single change can have so many different effects on people, it brings up an interesting question of if the switch has any impact on animals. While dogs obviously don’t look at a clock and decide what they need to be doing, they do follow a set schedule for different activities that’s driven by their circadian rhythm. Because the change that humans make to their clocks impacts this schedule that dogs internally follow, we want to highlight a few of the disruptive issues dogs may experience this time of the year:

Going to the Bathroom

Even though potty training a puppy can be quite a challenge, once a dog gets in a consistent routine of going to the bathroom, they’re going to want to stick with it. Many owners take their dog out when they first get up in the morning. So if you start sleeping in an hour later due to the clock shifting back, your dog may get quite antsy or start trying to get you up at the time when it usually goes out. Depending on your dog’s personality, you may be able to shift to a new morning potty time in just a few days or you might have to stagger this shift over a longer period of time.

Eating

Your pet knows when to expect its bowl to be filled with delicious dog food. So when that important event doesn’t happen right on schedule, plan on your dog coming straight to you for a refill. As with going to the bathroom, the time required to fully shift your dog to a new feeding schedule can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Spending Time with You

If you come home at the same time every day, your dog knows when to expect you. So it’s completely normal for your dog to be a little extra excited or even anxious when you first start coming home in the days following the time change.

Because dogs do have such a consistent inner clock, yours may be caught off guard when going to the bathroom, eating or hanging out with you doesn’t occur at the normal time as a result of the shift caused by Daylight Savings Time. While this is definitely a change your dog is likely to notice, the good news is as long as you’re aware of it, you can take a few steps to minimize the amount of time your dog feels like it’s out of its normal routine.