Author: Orla O'Keefe

Most of my day is spent playing with dogs. When they nap, I'm here working on my blog. You're welcome to reach out and connect with me.

Top 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Veterinary Clinic

About 68 million households in the U.S. own a pet. If you’re part of that number, you likely consider your furry friend to be a member of the family! They might even be your “fur baby.”

Because your pet plays such a big role in your life, it’s important to keep them healthy. That’s why choosing a veterinary clinic you love and can trust is crucial.

Not sure how to find the best one? Read on for 6 factors worth considering that can help.

1. Can You Trust Their Staff?

As you’re checking out different clinics, try to meet the vets and technicians that work there. Make sure that they’re friendly and attentive. You need to trust in whichever veterinary clinic staff could be examining and caring for your pet.

2. What Is Their Clinic Like?

Some vet clinics allow you to tour or visit their facilities before enrolling as a patient. Doing so gives you the chance to ensure their clinic is well-maintained. You don’t want your pet treated in a chaotic or unsafe environment!

You might also get to see their vet equipment. You can check if they’re prepared to treat your pet and whether they keep it sanitary.

3. Where Are They Located?

Visiting veterinarian clinics that aren’t local doesn’t make sense. It’s inconvenient to drive far to get to one, whether for a routine check-up or an emergency. Unless there aren’t any clinics nearby, try to consider options within a reasonable driving distance.

You can look at your choices by searching “vet clinics near me” online. You can sort your results by distance, too.

4. What Do Their Reviews Say?

One of the best ways to sort through your options for veterinary clinics is by looking at their reviews. They might have patient testimonials on their website, but unbiased third-party sources are better. 

By reading their reviews, you can learn how well they treat their patients — both human and animal. You’ll also find concerns or red flags worth knowing.

5. What Services Can They Provide?

Depending on the type of pet you have or your needs, you should inquire about each clinic’s services. There are different specialties for veterinarians, so make sure they can handle your pet. 

For example, can they treat exotic animals, such as reptiles or rodents? Can they go beyond general treatment and offer services for toxins or trauma?

6. How Much Do They Charge?

It’s no secret that pet care gets expensive. Routine check-ups can cost more than $100, and anything more continues to add up even higher. 

As you consider your options, don’t hesitate to ask about their fees. Comparing clinic prices is a must! You don’t want to end up with a vet bill you can’t afford.

Choosing a Veterinary Clinic Made Easy

If you have a pet, you probably want to give them the best care possible. That’s why choosing a veterinary clinic to take them to is so crucial. Use this guide to help you find the best one for you and your furry friend!

To find more interesting articles for pet owners, take a look around our website.

Safe Summer Exercise Tips for Your Dog

Everybody loves the dog days of summer, including your four-legged friend. But summertime also gives rise to canine incidents, from sunburn (yes, it’s a real concern, even for long-haired breeds) to dehydration and bug bites. Our pets still need exercise when the weather’s warm, and they’ll want to be right next to us at the beach, on camping trips, and when relaxing in the backyard. Load up your picnic basket or backpack with some H2O, sunscreen, and your favorite natural dog treats, because it’s time to get out and get active with your pet in the safest way possible!

Water, Water, Water — The most serious concern to be aware of when exercising your pet in any weather is dehydration. Dogs get dehydrated just like humans do, but, since they’re unable to say so, we have to make sure we’re prepared and bring plenty of water on every summertime playdate. Be sure you know the signs of dehydration, which include panting, pacing, loss of elasticity in the skin, xerostomia (dry gums), and thick, pasty saliva. Here are some tips for keeping your pet hydrated all summer:

  • Always bring a large bottle of fresh water with you wherever you go and constantly offer it to your dog.
    • After a run or a particularly hard play session, offer your pet water and encourage them to take a break to drink.
    • Provide positive reinforcement when your pet drinks water.
    • Bring along a collapsible bowl so you don’t have to do the dreaded pour-and-lick, which may leave your dog thirsty and frustrated.
    • If your four-legged friend isn’t super keen on lapping up the H2O, you can try adding flavor to the water, such as a bit of broth or bullion.
    • Don’t overwork your pet in the summertime. Make sure to take plenty of breaks and know when it’s time to head in for some shade and a nap.
  • Prevent Saltwater Poisoning — Taking your dog to the beach for a swim or jog is a great way to get them exercise and build strength without putting too much weight or strain on their joints. However, there are some very important things you need to know before bringing your furry friend to the beach on a hot, summer day, including the risk of saltwater poisoning.

Dogs who are not used to salt water may be tempted to lap it up while playing in the surf, but that’s a major no-no. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), drinking excessive amounts of salt water can cause your pet to experience weakness, diarrhea, seizures, and muscle tremors.

Consider Dog Sunscreen — Remember, just like people, dogs can get sunburn and can have serious complications associated with too much sun exposure. Hairless and light-colored breeds are especially high-risk, but all pets can experience burns. In addition to keeping your pet out of the hot sun — more info on this below — you will want to consider investing in some dog sunscreen to help protect them on those hot, sunny days. Always make sure to use sunscreen formulated specifically for dogs because some ingredients in human sunscreen can be harmful or even toxic to certain dogs.

  • Keep Your Dog Out of the Sun — Make sure to keep your dog indoors during the hottest times of the day, which typically last from around noon into the late afternoon. A hardy dog chew treat is a great way to keep your dog occupied and help them expel some energy while they cool off inside. If you do bring them outside, shade is absolutely crucial to keeping your dog happy and safe during the hottest months of the year. If you like to go running, hiking, or swimming with your pet, it’s best to go early in the morning or after 5 p.m. Many beaches prohibit dogs in the middle of the day anyway.
  • Remember Flea and Tick Prevention —The warm weather months bring all kinds of opportunities to explore nature and get lost on the trails. Pet owners know that means extra opportunity for opportunistic fleas, ticks, and other bugs. Unfortunately, Lyme disease and other insect-borne illnesses can wreak havoc on your pet’s immune system — not to mention make them super uncomfortable and itchy — so you want to make sure you’re especially diligent about their preventative regimen during these months.
  • Take Them for a Swim (Safely) — If it’s especially hot out, taking your dog for a swim may be one of the best options for safely getting them exercise and burning off some serious energy. However, you need to make sure you do so in the right way to ensure safety for everyone.

Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs aren’t born with the ability to swim. In fact, even water-loving breeds — spaniels and retrievers are especially prone to loving water — may need to learn how to swim over time. Always let your dog lead and make sure they’re comfortable in the water before using this as a form of exercise.

Be Mindful of Car Safety — If you plan to take your dog on a ride to the lake, trail, or dog park, be conscious about leaving them in the car for too long. The temperature in a car on a summer day can get to 100 degrees or higher very quickly, and the heat can be fatal for your dog. Be extra conscious of how long your dog is in the car, in general, and never leave them locked in the car alone on a hot summer day when heading out for some exercise.

Summer is the best time of year, bringing with it sun, warmth, and plenty of opportunity to get outside and bond with your furry friend. But it also comes with a host of potential issues for both humans and their animals, so it’s vital that you stay vigilant and keep your pets safe. Follow these tips and enjoy a fun, low-risk summer with your best pal!

What Are The Pet Fashion Trends To Look Out For In 2021

Pets can turn heads with their companion spirit and dressing sense. Notwithstanding the pandemic, the pet industry in 2021 is thriving by the numbers. Several factors like diet, grooming, insurance and pet sitting are making animal obsession a serious thing.

Like food and edibles, pets have their distinct taste in outfits and accessories. Fashion isn’t just for humans; our furry friends are embracing street-style shoes and elegant attires. Whether you have a naughty puppy or a high-maintenance Golden Retriever, they need stylish and statement t-shirts, sweaters, collars, hats, and more. Here are some trending fashion picks to dress up your pet in.

Sweaters

Turtlenecks and woven knits aren’t just for humans; dog sweaters are notching up in stylish warmth and comfort. Made from acrylic, polyester, cotton, and other skin-friendly fibers, dog sweaters keep core temperatures down. While shopping for the best dog sweaters, pay attention to the size suitable for your pup or cat.   

Festive Costumes

Festive occasions like Halloween and Christmas stress the need for ingenious costume designs. Dress up your dog as a tuxedo gentleman or mermaid to add to the fun and frolic for these gala holidays. Diamond dog collars and quirky bow ties add swagger value and make your pet friends loud and proud. For the non-festive days, add a sunflower streak or sky-blue tinge to your pet’s costume.      

Accessories

When buying pet costumes, go creative in choosing sequins, beads, sparkling stones for your pet attire. Choose logos of famous brands to make your pet show off its modern-day fashion aspiration. Go for customized collars and name tags for your pet safety. Follow in-season trends for your pet wear and weigh your pet’s comfort level before thinking of a bandana or a tiara.              

Footwear

A neat pair of shoes on your furry friend’s toes say a lot about your pet’s style consciousness, and an active dog will need a sturdy pair of booties to slog all day long. On the other hand, an urban pup may be more interested in contemporary footgear-like plush slippers for elegance-flaunting. Whatever you choose, invest in a pair of dog socks for additional security.

Sleepwear

Wish sweet dreams to your Dachshund with super cool dog pajamas. Though dogs have in-built fur, more comfort can never hurt. Find the right size when buying a dog pajama online. Choose pets’ night clothes with witty words or cut patterns to bring a smile to your face. If you have a conservative pet, explore a blend of style and comfort in night dresses.

Summing Up

Apart from tracking outfit colors and trends, choose skin-friendly organic material while dressing up your furry friend. Take your pet to a veterinarian regularly to prevent ticks, itching, or other skin problems. Whether you are a kitten lover or a dog admirer, explore the right balance of glamor and soberness.

A German Shepherd’s Guide to Healthy Living

German Shepherds are one of the most beautiful dogs on the planet. They are kind, loving, caring, brave, and protective. They are always down for a walk, or just as happy to spend a relaxing day on the couch.

In short, they are the perfect companion.

But they are also prone to a number of breed specific health issues.

The most common genetic issues that German Shepherds experience are Hip Dysplasia, Hemophilia (only in males), Elbow Dysplasia, and digestive problems. They can also be prone to disc degeneration, joint issues, and eye problems.

As sad as it may be, these issues can drastically reduce your dog’s time on this earth, while simultaneously making their final years less enjoyable.

We all know that a good diet and plenty of exercise will have enormous benefits, but there’s also another option that’s been gaining in popularity…

Dog Supplements?

Dog supplements are exactly what they sound like — supplements for your dog.

They often take the form of a multivitamin that contains a number of different vitamins and minerals. Because your dog’s body uses these to maintain health and function, they can have a positive impact on things like eye function, joint health, and digestive health, while also staving off disease and illness.

With this in mind, they are a great addition to your dog’s diet if you want to provide them with everything they need to maximize health.

The catch?

Over the last couple of years there has been a huge influx of dog supplements onto the market. Some of these are “general” in nature, while others are “breed specific” (i.e. designed for specific breeds of dogs).

All of which begs the question — is one better than the other?

The One-Size-Fits-All Solution

General dog supplements are simple in their approach.

They try to provide the most important vitamins and minerals for all dog breeds into a single option. With this in mind, they do cover most of your bases when it comes to things like cardiovascular health, joint health, and eye health.

As an added bonus, because they are easier to create, they are often a bit cheaper than breed specific supplements.

The downside here is that while they capture what most dogs need, their dosages are not tailored towards specific breeds. As a result, they could be lacking certain nutrients that are important to some dog breeds, but not others.

Although they are not a bad option, they may not be as effective for dog breeds that have common and unique issues.

Which is where breed-specific dog supplements enter the discussion.

Breed-Specific Dog Supplements

Breed specific supplements are exactly what they sound like — supplements tailored to provide everything a single breed of dog needs to optimize health and function.

Many would argue that these particular supplements are much more effective at improving the health of your dog because they provide the specific nutrients that your dog needs.

In the case of German Shepherd health supplements, they would be tailored towards preventing things like hip and elbow dysplasia, while also acting to improve joint and digestive health and function.

In fact, over the last couple of years we have seen a number of supplements for German Shepherds hit the market because they are one of those breeds that have somewhat unique issues.

The only negative to these types of supplements are they do come at a higher cost, because they are more complicated to make.

Ingredients to Watch Out For

If you are interested in pursuing a breed-specific supplement for your German Shepherd, then there are a few key ingredients that you want to look for.

First on the list are glucosamine and chondroitin.

Both of these compounds are renowned to improve joint health, prevent the development of arthritis, and reduce sensations of joint pain. This makes them a great way to improve any side effects of dysplasia, while also improving daily function.

These should be a staple in all specific German Shepherd joint supplements.

Second up, Omega-3 fatty acids are a must. These compounds have been shown to prevent inflammation and arthritis, while also improving cardiovascular and metabolic health.

And lastly we have Lutein.

Lutein is a compound with anti-inflammatory properties. More importantly, its supplementation has been shown to have some very positive effects on eye health — especially when it comes to improving and preventing age-related macular disease and vision impairment.

This is key in making sure your German Shepherd maintains its eyesight into its golden years.

Key Points

Supplements are a great way to improve your dog’s quality of life and maximize their health — however, not all supplements are made equal.

If you have a German Shepherd, finding a breed-specific dog supplement that meets your needs is going to be the best way to maintain their health and function.

Just make sure you do your research and pick a good one.

How To Enhance Your Long-Distance Relationship During COVID-19

Humans are social animals that require constant interaction with other beings to survive and live a happy life. One of the essential parts of your life is personal relationships and understanding. With the pandemic around the corner, many couples face difficulty in understanding each other. Also, the long-distance relationship is yet another hurdle in the path of a happy and satisfactory relationship. You can tackle the difficulties with adequate commitment, communication, and mutual understanding. Also, try to beat the distance with FaceTime talks or virtual movie dates.

Here are the top tips to make your long-distance relationship work during pandemic days.

  1. Go On Virtual Movie Dates 

Are you tired of endless chatting and wish to bring a change in your long-distance communication? Try the virtual movie dates with your partner and watch your favorite movies together. While it may not be as fun as watching movies in the theatre, it still evokes a sense of understanding within you both. Also, look out for a platform like Netflix Party that allows you to watch movies in synchronization. You can comment on the funny scenes and talk about your favorite dialogs from the flick. 

With the pandemic around the corner, you must do your bit to add a little romantic touch to your relationship. Along with this, go for alternative turns when it comes to choosing the movie that you’re going to watch. Such little gestures mean a lot to your partner and enhance your bond in the long run.

  1. Send Unexpected Gifts 

Surprises are the best way to transform the mood of someone you can’t meet right away. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, there’s no better way than sending cute gifts. You don’t need to look out for some luxurious or expensive gifts. Instead, try to find the little meaningful gifts that may bring a smile to your partner’s face. When it comes to getting an ideal gift, make a list of the things your partner loves. It could be anything, from a simple box of dark chocolate to fresh-baked cashew cookies. Also, you can take care of your partner’s health with white maeng da  that control pain. 

Don’t reveal the news to your partner and let the act be a surprise. It helps in uplifting your partner’s mood and might divert their mind from the difficult times. Remember that the distance isn’t big enough to kill your happy and committed relationship while working to improve it.

  1. Ditch Texting For A While 

Texting your partner all day long can be tiring for both of you and kill the spark in your relationship. Instead of chatting on WhatsApp, you can switch to sending voice recordings. Also, it is an easier way to rant about your day and gives your thumb some rest. Listening to your partner’s voice is likely to make you feel much closer and happier than usual. It allows you to express what you feel intimately and romantically. Hence, the next you wish to talk, record a memo rather than hitting the keyboard. 

You can sing your partner’s favorite song and send it to them after some heated arguments. Such little acts contribute to a long-term positive impact on your relationship. Not to forget, it evokes a sense of appreciation in your partner’s mind and resolves the differences sooner. 

  1. Go Old-School & Send Letters 

Most people are too involved in the modern ways of living and don’t seem to care about old-school habits. If you’re stuck in the pandemic and can’t meet your partner, you must try the vintage ways of communication. All you need to do is send some handwritten romantic letters to your partner. Not only will it make you both feel more connected, but it also makes you crave for the next letter. Such an act is quite intimate, meaningful, and healthy for your long-distance relationship. Your partner is the constant emotional as well as mental support you have during these difficult times. Hence, you must take out the time to nurture your bond and create some precious memories to cherish for a lifetime. 

During the difficult times, you must remember how far you’ve come to keep going until you’re physically together. Send letters, talk more, and be there for each other as much as possible.

  1. Plan Your Next Trip

Although you don’t head out on an adventurous journey with your partner during the pandemic. But, you can always plan your next getaway and make the necessary reservations. Planning for your next trip together is likely to make you happier. Also, it reminds you that the distance is temporary and your bond is permanent. From the suitable destination to the hotels and sightseeing, you must plan it all. Not only will it save your time in the future, but it also helps in tackling the present scenario. Make sure to do your bit and turn your next meet-up into a memorable one.

Final Verdict

Long-distance relationships can be a big challenge to conquer, especially during the COVID times. You need to put in extra time and effort to make your relationship survive through the difficult days. That’s where the role of FaceTime talks and virtual movie dates creep in. You can plan quick virtual meals together or watch your favorite flick to lighten up the mood. Along with this, surprise your partner with cute little tokens of love like baked cookies or their favorite chocolates. Such cute gestures are all you need to do for a long-lasting and happy relationship.

5 Reasons Traveling With Your Dog Gives You Pleasure

Dogs are an anytime companion—in your happy and sad hours, in daily life and celebrations. But they are frisky and love to go out, whether it is a few miles or yards. The pandemic may have put travel restrictions on you and your four-legged animal, but leisure travelers can take their dogs along for road trips and airline travel as per quarantine guidelines.

Whether you have one or two, dogs are special travel buddies who can get you significant activity and photographic memories in your country and cross-country voyage. Here are five reasons for you to consider a travel break with your furry friend.

1.  Improves Social Support And Bonding

Friendly, social, and responsive, dogs love to mix around with human beings and pets. They are experts in making people express their fondness for them, even if they are strangers. Dogs drive out loneliness, anxiety, depression, negativity with their wagging tail and innocent looks. Surveys show that pets help people make social connections and improve health. Are you worried about how to travel with your dog with osteoarthritis? You may consider budget buds Fido’s pain after veterinary consultation.

2.  Enhances Your Selfie Moments

Pictures of your Husky or Bulldog in one frame with you are not everyday material but true nostalgia. Take your digital camera and your adventurous dog along for the road trip. You will come back with lots of memories of you and your fur baby.

3.  Boosts Your Physical Activity

With a dog for company, there will never be a dull moment. Dogs’ playful aptitude makes them eager and comfortable with roads, hills, walking tracks, and beyond. Just take your dog’s water and nibbles along, and it will help you discover the lost lanes and new pathways.

4.  Personal Assistant And Lovable.

Dogs may beat you in waking up to a morning alarm and motivate you further to put on your fitness shoes for weight management. Allow your pup to watch over you and your activities, and alert you for your protection. If you can’t find an item of daily need, your gestures may make your intelligent pet fetch it for you from nowhere. Dogs are brain sharp and can sense your everyday likes and dislikes.

5.  Gives You Genuine Company

When you have your pet dog as your co-traveler, you have reasons to feel happy. Your Fido will nudge you for equal bed space and may prefer a bone at pet-friendly patios. Dogs have sharp sniffing skills and may pursue you to change the route or leave the spot.

Final Thoughts

With a dog in tow, you will never be alone. They are the epitome of unconditional love, and their sense of security and attachment is matchless. Dogs are our best friends in need, so pack your bags with your furry friend to create unforgettable memories.

Dog Collars Vs. Dog Harnesses – Which is Better for Training?

Is there anything better than exploring the great outdoors with your very best and furriest friend? Every dog owner and their fluffy companion look forward to their time together each and every day. Although this might be one of the best loved elements of your time together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that each walk is going to be as smooth sailing as you’d wish that it would be. Your perfect solution to this? Investing in a quality dog harness. You might be more familiar with the slightly more traditional choice of a dog collar, however, upgrading your selection of adorable accessories really could transform your training time as well as your walks with your dog for the better now and way into the future. Here is why you should consider making the switch for a new and improved dog harness the next time you hit the dog park or pound the neighbourhood pavements with your pup by your side…

Image Credit: Stylish Hound

Keeping your dog in-check

If you’re looking to teach your dog how to behave and make appropriate adjustments to their behaviour while you’re out and about, then a dog harness is your best first step on your journey towards creating the perfect fluffy little student. A Y-shaped chest plate on a harness creates a comfortable yet secure stance that makes sure that you have control of your dog, teaching them to stay stable, calm and close to their human at all times. This reinforced nature of smooth sailing walks will set in, making for chilled out adventures for the both of you.

Minimise pulling

The minimised pulling is one of the most significant benefits of making the switch from collars to dog harnesses for your walks. The better the control, the more likely your dog will stop pulling. The secure fit across their body prohibits tugging or charging onward whenever they feel. Less pulling means that you can really treasure and enjoy the time that you have outside with your best friend. The best dog accessories maximise your quality time and create special, positive moments that you will love to look back on for years to come.

Secure the safety factor

Getting a safer walk in goes both ways! Your dog is going to experience a comfortable distribution of weight across their entire chest and back instead of a focused dose of tension right at their throats. The lack of tension is far safer for your dog’s neck should they try to pull or zip forward ahead of you in a cheeky but predictable fashion! This is going to keep your dog nice and secure no matter what happens while you are out and about. You’ll also find that the greater level of control that you experience protects your arm, back and neck from nasty strains or pulls when your dog charges ahead of you. A double dose of safety? Yes please!

Go handsfree

The right dog harness can clip onto your belt or waist bag and give you handsfree flexibility for enjoying time with your dog, fully! Throw the ball, pet your dog or reach for treats with both hands. This is also fantastic if you want to hold a few training sessions whilst you’re out at the park.

Find freedom whilst saying goodbye to discomfort

The freedom, security and comfort that both of you will experience is unmatched! Look for padded handles, soft, silky and weather resistant materials as well as a secure fit to create optimum levels of comfort for you and your dog.

How to find the right dog harness…

Now that you’re schooled on some of the many benefits of investing in a dog harness, it’s time to start sniffing around for the right one! Here are the things that you need to watch out for whilst you’re looking for your dog’s perfect harness fit…

Materials: Hunt for silky smooth and ever so soft neoprene for a cosy and comfortable fit for your dog. You’re also going to want to watch out for a secure buckle, weather resistant hardware and safe joinery to make sure that your harness sticks with you and your dog through thick and thin.

Fit: Fit is essential for making the right choice for your dog, get it wrong and risk hurting them or causing more difficulty when you’re out on your walk so listen up! Measure your dog’s chest circumference to ensure that you are going to make the right and safest choice for your fluffy friend.

Style: Lastly, style. Choosing the right accessories rests on selecting your harness according to your pup’s playful personality! If they’re bold and bright go for something loud, perhaps they’re cute and cheeky? Look for energetic patterns. Maybe they’re more chill? Choose zen, calming colours like blue and green. Or maybe your pup is all business? The graphic geometric prints and plainer colour choices will work best for them!

Dog collars are useful, too!

Don’t forget that dog collars have their place in your dog accessory collection! Aside from adding some absolutely adorable personality to your dog’s looking, collars are a bit of a must for ensuring that your dog is nice and safe at all hours of the day. Your dog’s collar tag will disclose their name and your contact information which will make sure that you are always notified if the unthinkable happens and they wind up in the big wide world without you there. Your harness is best for walks, but it can be worn in combination with your dog’s collar and leash for a complete cute look that will have your dog wagging with excitement every single day!

The Beginner’s Guide to Managing a Multi-pet Household

There are several reasons why you might think it’s a good idea to add another pet portraits to your household. Some animal lovers simply adore the possibility of having several four-legged friends underfoot. Meanwhile, there are pet parents who think their fur babies might be lonely staying at home all by themselves and believe that it would be good for their beloved pets to have a playmate.

Whatever the case, if adopting a new pet is something that you’re giving some serious thought to, it’s also important for you to remember that doing so requires a bit of planning. For one, even if your pet might be the sweetest, friendliest creature in the world, it’s impossible to guarantee how they’ll get along with the new addition. They’ll more than likely need a bit of prep before they’re ready to share stomping grounds that they’ve had sole dominion over this whole time. Having multiple pets also means addressing different sets of needs for each fur baby. Finally, you’ll probably also have to go through personal adjustments of your own.

Fortunately, by establishing a few ground rules and getting ahead of certain common situations, you and your new pets can all co-exist peacefully under one roof. Here’s our practical beginner’s guide on how to manage a multi-pet household:

Provide Each Pet with Their Own Supplies

Animals can be extremely territorial, not just about certain spaces in your home but also about the things that they use and feel that they own. One dog simply won’t appreciate having the scent of another on their bed, blanket, or favorite soft toys. They also won’t take too well to another pet sniffing around their food or water bowls. Maintain the peace in your home by giving each pet their own beds, playthings, and accessories. You can also invest in custom dog collars and leashes to make it easier to differentiate each pet’s items.

Stay Calm and Compassionate, yet Authoritative

Your pets will inevitably take their attitude cues from the way you conduct yourself. To assert control over the situation from the beginning, you’ll need to project a sense of firm yet considerate leadership. You’ll want to make it clear to your fur babies that you have full control over all the resources they need or want, such as food, toys, access to certain areas of the home, and even your attention.

This means establishing ground rules and making sure that your pets follow them. Generally, you’ll need to reinforce good conduct and ignore actions you don’t want to see repeated. If they’re polite and patient, reward them. If they’re unnecessarily noisy or rowdy, you may have to deprive them of games, toys, and other forms of interaction.

Introduce Your Pets to Each Other Properly

One of the most common mistakes that anyone can make when bringing a new dog into their fold is failing to properly introduce them to the existing pet. It’s a simple process that can help ensure a lifelong friendship between the two pups, though, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to do.

First, you’ll want to pick a neutral spot where the two fur babies can introduce themselves to each other. It should ideally be outdoors and fully-fenced, but one that neither dog has already claimed by having visited or walked through it frequently. It’s also a good idea to pick a quiet place where there aren’t any other people or animals about. Keep both dogs leashed and allow them to get familiar with one another.

You’ll know that the dogs will get along fine if they exhibit signs of positive body language, such as wagging tails and a genuine interest in one another. From there, you can allow them to interact with each other off-leash, rewarding and praising them for their good behavior the whole time. If either of them seems tense or frightened, comfort them and give them some time to calm down before giving it another try.

Feed Pets Separately and Supervise Them While They Eat

We’ve already mentioned how territorial pets can get in a general sense, but they can become even more aggressive when there’s food involved. To prevent your fur babies from getting all worked up and causing accidents, your best bet is to separate your four-legged friends during mealtimes. You can do this by following a certain schedule or simply establishing different feeding areas for them in the house.

Don’t prepare as you serve, either—instead, put an assembly line together so that everyone gets their chow at roughly the same time. Puppies, senior dogs, and those who suffer from certain health conditions may do better when fed in a crate or a closed-off space. This will allow them to eat in peace without experiencing hostile behavior from another pet.

You can live happily ever after with multiple pets at home, as long as you provide them with a reasonable amount of choice, control, and predictability over their lives. It can be challenging at first, but you’ll soon be thanking yourself for making such a great decision.

Puppy University Program, Partnering Vet Students And Service Dogs In Training, Graduates Its First Class

Graduating college is a huge accomplishment. But for these unlikely puppy university graduates, it means something so much more.

The three pups, named Koda, Esme, and Tucker, are from Saint Francis Service Dogs. They took part in the first-ever Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Puppy University program this past year. .

The program began in 2015 when the college’s Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR) partnered with Saint Francis Service Dogs – a nonprofit based in Roanoke, Virginia that helps people with disabilities become more self-sufficient and independent with service dogs.

Over the course of year, they spent their weekdays at the veterinary college in a structured program as part of their service dog training. They learned foundational skills like interacting with people and other animals, walking on a leash, and traveling on the bus.

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On the weekends, the pups went home with their puppy raisers and learned more socialization and training.

Not only does the program help puppies become service dogs, it also helps the veterinary students learn lessons on the human-animal bond.

So when it came time to finally graduate, the three pups got the full college experience, of course.

They had their very own graduation ceremony – complete with caps and gowns – and received their “diplomas”.

Their training isn’t over, though. They’ll spend nine to twelve months formally training with Saint Francis Service Dogs before going on to help those in need.

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We can’t imagine these pups being any less than amazing in their new roles as service dogs. If you’d like to help out Saint Francis Service Dogs, click here.

Big Dog Carries Little Friend

Blizzard, a huge St. Bernard, took a liking to his little sister right off the bat. Now, the big dog carries his little friend everywhere they go. 

Big Dog with Little Dog

Lulu, a Shi Tzu mix, came into the family as a puppy.

She immediately bonded to Blizzard, following him everywhere. She saw him as a source of protection. 

And comfort. 

Not long after the two met, Lulu began climbing on top of the Saint Bernard to sleep. 

Let Me Carry You 

Not long after she began sleeping on his back, Lulu got the unexpected bonus of getting a ride – everywhere. 

Blizzard walks with Lulu perched on his extra-wide back. She gets a birds-eye view of the world while they walk down the country roads surrounding their home, go sightseeing in the town, take hikes, or simply watch tv together. 

Dog Carry Little sister

Anytime LuLu is separated from Blizzard, she demands to climb back on her big brother’s back.

Why Do Some Dogs Bond So Strongly?

If you live in a multi-dog home, or have tried to encourage your pup to make friends, you know it’s not always a slam-dunk. 

Sometimes two dogs just don’t get along, no matter what. 

Others act like old friends from the minute they meet. 

In the case of Lulu and Blizzard, it was love at first sight. These two share an exceptional bond. With Blizzard allowing her onto his physical space, it shows a great deal of comfort with her. 

What causes this close bonding?

Energy Matters

Dog behavior expert Cesar Milan teaches a lot about your dog’s ability to read energy. According to him, they read our energy (emotions, chemical signals, etc). This is why some dogs like us more than others.

Dogs Playing In Field

And, why your dog knows when you’re sad, happy, or angry.

The same seems to be true for dogs. 

Have you ever met someone new, or been introduced to someone in a group of people, and you knew immediately that you disliked that person? You have nothing to base your judgement on but “gut feeling.”

Humans are not very in tune with what our gut is telling us. In that situation, we are reading that persons energy, or having a bad chemical reaction to them. 

Your dog does this on a much higher level with both people and other dogs. 

Don’t Let Your Dog Wander Into Unsafe Territory

One of the worst things that can happen is your dog slips out of your yard and winds up around unfriendly dogs. Make sure you know where they are at all times. 

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