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Tips When Hiring a Dog Walker

Your dog is like your baby, a member of your family. It’s only natural that when you’re leaving your dog in the care of someone else you’d want to make sure that not only are they protected but that they get everything that they need.

First things first, know your dog and figure out what your dog needs.

Your dog’s stamina, temperament, health issues, etc. will need to be communicated to your potential dog walker beforehand, especially if they are planning to take your dog in a group with other dogs.

When you’re searching online, you might want to look to see if the company specifically writes that they’ll need more information about your dog before starting. It shows upfront that they care about the well-being of your dog rather than just wanting your business.

You can check out this website as an example: Dog Walkers Barrie. Their service pages list some of the things they look out for before providing their service. The last thing you want is for your dog to develop health or behavior issues, or god forbid injuries, as a result of over or under extension from a simple walk. Which ties into my next point: 

Scheduling & Budgeting

Figure out how often your dog will need to be taken out for a walk. Break it down to the time (s) of the day, the days of the week, and for how long. This ties in with knowing your dog as well. If your dog’s stamina would only require 30 minutes of a brisk walk vs a 1 hour walk or intense run, you’ll need to discuss this. The dog walker will need to know how long and how often you’ll require their services.  

Pricing of dog walking services vary so do your research. How much are you willing to spend? Don’t be afraid to negotiate, some walkers offer deals or exceptions but don’t forget, you get what you pay for.

Choosing the right dog walker

References/recommendations

Ask around, do your research. There’s only so much information you can get from the internet. I’d prefer personal recommendations myself but you can also ask your dog walker if they have any past clients you could speak with. It’s like going into any other job interview, except this time you’re the boss asking for references. 

Interview questions to ask:

  • Do you have experience with dogs like mine?
  • How long have you been a dog walker?
  • Have you had any special training? (i.e- first aid, administering medications, etc)
  • Are you licensed/insured? *Some cities require permits to walk a certain amount of dogs at a time.
  • Where will you go with my dog?
  • What protocols do you have in place when a dog becomes ill or injured?

Lastly, arrange to meet with the walker ahead of time to see how they would interact with your dog in person. It’ll give you that peace of mind for that first walk. 

 

11 Benefits to Creating a Daily Routine for Your Puppy

Creating a daily routine for your pup will make them more disciplined and teach them how to be a well-behaved member of the family. It’s essential that you give each part of the day its own purpose and include space for playtime, relaxation, and training sessions. From which dog supplies you’ll need to the behaviors you’re trying to encourage, every little bit matters during this process. If you want to know why a solid routine is beneficial, we’ve got the answers for you.

Tips for Creating a Great Puppy Routine

Before we dive into the benefits, we wanted to cover some quick tips regarding how you can make a puppy routine successfully happen.

  • Be Consistent – First, you have to be consistent with your training and how you spend each day. You can’t wake up one morning and decide that it’s time your pup sleeps in their bed instead of with you when that’s never been the arrangement before and expect them to conform immediately, only to change back a week later. Keep things simple, repeat day after day, and remember why you are creating the routine in the first place.
  • Don’t Forget Your Puppy’s Needs – Your puppy has physical, mental, and emotional needs that all require effort from you. For example, your puppy needs to be fed on a schedule, just like you do, so try to plan around that. Also, think about how much exercise they need throughout the day and what playtime should look like before it gets too late.

Throughout their life, they will also likely require some help with their personal grooming. How often you should wash your dog will vary a little by breed and age, but a wipe of paws and mouth here and there can go a long way. These are the sorts of things to consider and build into a routine that goes beyond your day-to-day life and spans weeks or months.

  • Use the Right Training Techniques – When it comes to training, don’t forget why you are doing this in the first place. A daily routine should be done with discipline and consist of commands that your puppy needs to learn for their safety and yours. In addition, we recommend using positive reinforcement, as aversive-based training methods have been researched and shown to negatively affect the psychological welfare of companion dogs.
  • Don’t Forget to Relax – Most people are so busy being stressed about how much work needs to get done to create the perfect model citizen of a dog. If you want to relax and enjoy more time with your puppy while maintaining consistent routines, think about ways to give them the attention they deserve that adds meaningfully to their quality of life. You can play with them or snuggle up on the couch to watch your favorite show. Whatever it is, not everything has to be intense and conform rigidly to a schedule.

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Eleven Benefits of a Daily Routine for Your Puppy

1) Provides Structure

Structure is key. For example, the day can start with a walk or playtime before breakfast. This routine teaches pups to expect exercise, attention, and meals in certain stages, and it signals when one is finished and it is now time to transition to another.

2) Gives You More Time

With a predefined schedule, you’ll know what your puppy needs and when so you can best schedule it or ask for help when necessary. Just think about how much time you could save by knowing exactly when the next feeding, training session, or playtime will be.

3) Teaches Discipline

Puppies will learn that there is no food available at certain times or without certain behaviors — for example, after a walk and when they sit and wait for it to be served. This simple act of routine and patience can put them on the track to become well-behaved household members in the future.

4) Promotes Good Behavior

Puppies will learn to take cues from you when it is time to play, go for a walk, or even wind down for sleep. This can make living together a lot more fun for everyone in the household, human and dog alike.

5) Keeps Your Dog Healthy

Puppies are still developing and growing. Routines give them what they need when they need it. That could be food, exercise, mental stimulation, and sometimes all three at the same time. This helps them grow appropriately to their full potential and develop a robust immune system.

6) Provides a Chance to Relax

Not having a schedule can cause your pup to turn into a very bouncy ball of fur with an endless list of demands for attention. Suppose you want some quiet time for yourself. In that case, creating a routine is the most efficient way to ensure that they use their energy when appropriate and know when it’s time to relax.

7) Gives You a Chance to Play

Creating a routine that includes playtime with family members will give your puppy the companionship it needs and the opportunity to expend some of that exuberant energy. It’s also lots of fun for us humans to interact and bond with our new dogs this way. Just be sure to always appropriately supervise kids whenever they’re involved and to be sure to teach your children the appropriate behaviors with the same rigorousness as you are your pup. 

Source: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock.com

8) Gives Self-Management a Chance

If you’re always available to your pup, then they might be less likely to control themselves in the future when you aren’t around. Without a schedule, it’s very easy for them to become destructive or play with things they shouldn’t. Creating an effective routine makes this problem a thing of the past.

9) Promotes Great Habits

No dog will learn what is expected of them by doing it just once. It takes time and patience to create good habits and know what is expected of them at various times and in different situations. Consistent routines make this possible through repetition.

10) Gives You Peace of Mind

If your pup knows what to expect every day, then you can rest easy that they’ll be less likely to misbehave during certain times. For example, suppose they consistently get a walk each night before you yourself go to bed. In that case, they’ll likely learn this cue and be more prepared for sleeping the night through without a fuss as they’ve expended excess energy and know what’s coming.

11) Saves Money

Yes, routines save money! Being consistent and deliberate in your routine creates a happier and more content puppy that will grow into a well-mannered adult dog. They’ll be less destructive, have fewer accidents, and will generally be better household members. This means no replacing shoes or carpets. The time you invest in creating and sticking to a good routine will pay dividends in the long run.

Slowly But Surely

Remember that no puppy will learn everything expected of them overnight. Changes in their behavior or habits may happen slowly or gradually. This is why it’s important to maintain patience and create flexibility within your schedule. Your puppy is relying on you to provide not just food and water but also love and guidance. A solid routine is a part of showing them this love.

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.

Best Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products on the Market

It is essential to keep your home clean to avoid germs that could harm your health and cause your dog to develop allergies. However, it would be counterproductive if your cleaning supplies are not safe for use around dogs.

Avoid the frustration of hunting for safe cleaning solutions with our easy-to-find list of pet friendly cleaning products!

What Are The Best Cleaning Products For Dog Owners?

Make your trip to the store a breeze without worrying about what cleaning products are dog friendly with our list of five best pet-friendly cleaning products separated by category so you can find what you need easily!

Pet-Friendly Detergent

Tide Purclean Unscented

Its USDA-certified, plant-based formula is free from dyes, chlorine, phosphates, and optical brighteners, making it completely safe for pets.

It is also unscented, so you don’t have to worry about perfumes irritating your pet’s skin or other senses.

Finding Pet Friendly Cleaning Products No Longer Needs To Feel Like Hunting For A Needle In A Haystack.

Pet-Safe Multi-Purpose Wipes

Clorox Anywhere Wipes

These gentle wipes efficiently clean all kinds of messes, no matter how greasy. While the bleach-free, unscented wipes are ideal for heavy-duty cleaning, the plant-based cleaning agent is perfect for all surfaces and completely safe to use around children and pets.

Pet-Friendly Floor Cleaners

Need a floor cleaner that addresses issues like odor, shine, bacteria control? Here’s our selection of top three products that will leave your floors clean and germ-free. The best part? There’s no residue, stickiness, or risk of discoloration (to your floors).

Odorite’s Natural Floor Cleaner

This highly concentrated, micro-biological cleaner formulated with active bacteria provides a thorough cleaning and controls odor.

It’s a natural product with no alcohol or chemicals, making it safe for use around pets. So you can say goodbye to nasty smells without having to risk your dog’s comfort or health.

Method Squirt+Mop Floor Cleaner

This biodegradable formula contains plant-based cleaners that remove dirt. The best part? You get an intense clean, and glossy shine without having to rinse your floors!

BubbleNut Wash Natural Floor Cleaner

A natural, organic floor cleaner, the BubbleNut Wash floor cleaner’s herbal formula is safe to be used around dogs and children. Ingredients such as lemongrass and citronella repel insects, while neem and tulsi kill germs and provide a rigorous cleaning.

Which Cleaning Products Are Unsafe For Dogs?

Knowing what not to buy is easier if you know exactly what to look out for. Here’s a list of harmful chemicals to avoid when exploring options for pet friendly cleaning products.

Ingredients To Avoid

Ammonia

This is a common ingredient in all types of cleaners as it effectively removes stains. However, ammonia is toxic to pets and can cause skin and eye irritations. It can also cause severe burning in their nose, throat, and stomach if they accidentally lick it.

Bleach

Bleach’s strong scent is likely to hurt your dog’s nose as they have a hypersensitive sense of smell. This can cause breathing problems and also result in serious health issues if they ingest it by mistake.

Phthalates

Often listed as “fragrances,” this family of ingredients can be dangerous to your pet if inhaled. Present in air fresheners, cleaning sprays, and carpet fresheners, these are meant to reduce the odor around the house but can harm your pet in the process.

If you do use a product containing phthalates, you must ensure that your pet is not present in the room.

Sodium Hydroxide

This is a common ingredient in most heavy-duty cleaners and must be used with extreme caution in general. However, if you have a dog, it is best to avoid it as the mildest contact with Sodium Hydroxide can cause severe reactions such as burning your dog’s throat or nose.

Chlorine

A common ingredient in scouring powder, clothes whiteners, toilet cleaners, and mildew removers, chlorine can cause skin irritations due to prolonged exposure externally. It could also dull your dog’s coat and dry their eyes, and cause severe health concerns if ingested.

How To Choose A Safe Cleaning Product For Your Pet

Here’s how you can ensure that your cleaning products do not harm your pets in any way:

Read The Labels

Go through the ingredients list to ensure that there are no harsh chemicals that could potentially harm your dog.

Also, follow the instructions written on the label and ensure that you dilute the product as recommended.

Ensuring That You Are Using Pet Friendly Cleaning Products Could Save Your Dog From Being Seriously Hurt.

Clean All Your Cleaning Equipment And Tools

If you are using liquid cleaners, always rinse your buckets and mops. When done, dispose of the wipes properly and secure the lid of your garbage bags so your dog doesn’t get their paws into them. Don’t forget to close your storage cabinets so your dog does not have access to the supplies, as they could hurt themselves while exploring.

Use Regular Laundry Detergent

Avoid harsh cleaning agents and fragrances that could irritate your dog, especially when washing bed sheets, blankets, and pillow covers that your dog frequently sleeps on. The same applies to when you wash their toys.

How To Keep Your House Clean With Your Pet Around?

Considering everything we’ve mentioned, it may seem like a Herculean task to keep your house clean while you have a dog running around.

It’s understandable – they are curious and energetic creatures that do not realize when something could harm them.

This dog guide ensures that your home remains spick and span while your dog is safe from cleaning supplies-related injuries.

Let Your Dog Out When It’s Time To Clean

You can kill two birds with one stone – get your dog their daily dose of exercise, and clean the house. How? Just let them out in the backyard when you decide to clean the house!

They can run around and play, and you can deep clean the house without the risk of them being hurt.

If you don’t wish to send them out alone, encourage the kids or your partner to take the dog out for a walk to the park or even down the street.

The Easiest Way To Prevent The House From Getting Dirty In The First Place, Is To Make Sure Your Dog Doesn’t Get Their Dirty, Muddy Paws All Over The House.

Have A Cleaning Station Near The Entrance

“Prevention is better than cure.”

Just a couple of wipes, a sturdy doormat, a spray bottle, some dog towels, and maybe a few handy treats are enough.

You don’t have to keep this at your main entrance and ruin the aesthetic – keep it at your backdoor or on the porch if you wish!

Divide The Work

You could divide the work, so it gets done quicker, which means you will have to keep your dog distracted for less time. Alternatively, you could hire a house cleaning Las Vegas service, or a service wherever you’re based, so the job is done as quickly as possible while you distract your pup! 

If you’re working alone, keep your dog entertained in one room and close the door as you clean the other.

You could also train them to sit in a designated corner in the house or on their bed, so they do not obstruct your cleaning. Just bribe them with a treat for good behavior once you’re done!

Clean Around Your Dog’s Schedule

If your dog is comfortably settled down for a nap, they’re unlikely to bother you while you go about your business. This is a great time to get a quick cleaning finished!

Another great way to keep the house neat is to tidy up on the go. This means that your more intense cleaning sessions will also take less time as you’ll be starting with a relatively tidy home.

You can also ask someone to dog-sit for you when you occasionally want to deep clean your house as it won’t take too long.

Indulge Your Dog If They Get Too Restless

If you can, take breaks during your cleaning routine to indulge your dog in some hugs or play a game of fetch.

If you’re just sweeping the house, you could ask your dog to pass you the broom to make them feel involved if they are too restless. You could also keep an extra mop or brush that you don’t use to clean to keep your dog occupied—they may leave you alone once they feel like they’ve accomplished something by helping you out.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered everything you need to know to avoid hurting your dog with harsh cleaners. To summarize, the most important things to remember when cleaning with your dog around is:

  • Read the ingredients list.
  • Follow the instructions on the label.
  • Keep your cleaning supplies out of your dog’s reach.
  • Always clean your equipment once you’re done cleaning.
  • Stay alert and focus on your cleaning routine to ensure that your dog doesn’t get up to mischief with your supplies while you’re distracted.

Happy cleaning!

How to Train Your Energetic Dog to Be Gentle Around Your Newborn

Let’s face it — dogs can be a handful. Whether they scratch at the carpet or make a mess when coming inside from the rain, dogs are a lot to handle sometimes. Add a brand new baby into the mix, and suddenly things get a whole lot more hectic. Of course, you can train your dog to be more gentle around your newborn. Here’s how!

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  1. Understand that your dog will need some adjusting. Dogs are habit-based creatures, just like most animals. Because you’ll be bringing an entirely new scent and body into the home (and probably changing some of your own routine), your dog might take some time to get used to the situation. It’s important to make sure that you’ve invested in items that will help keep your dog safe during this hectic adjustment period, such as a dog tag tracker in the event the dog gets out while you’re busy attending to your crying newborn. Without this mindset, you and your dog will find it even more difficult to adjust to the new situation.
  1. Condition your dog not to enter the nursery unless allowed. Part of training your energetic dog to be more gentle around your newborn is training your dog to respect boundaries. Reminding your dog that you’re the leader of the house is always a good idea, and you can do that by restricting their time in the nursery! Before bringing the baby home, be sure to practice bringing your dog into the nursery and then shutting them out of it. This will give your dog the idea that they can’t always go into that space, which will really help you out on those nights where you have to sleep in the nursery because the baby is sick or isn’t sleeping well.
  1. Maintain some of your routine. An energetic dog needs to be exercised! One of the ways you can train your dog to be more gentle with your newborn is to take your dog out while your newborn is still sleeping. While one of you stays inside, the other should go walk the dog. A longer walk is better so that your dog is slightly more worn out when they arrive back and the baby is up and out of the nursery. They’ll be so exhausted that they won’t go running or jumping! And, while many new parents find it difficult to maintain their routine right after childbirth, it’s important that you try to maintain the same feeding and walking times with your dog. Without these consistencies, it opens the door for your dog to start exhibiting behavior issues, which won’t make it easy to control them around your newborn baby.
Source: Daniel Besic/Shutterstock.com
  1. Ask for help. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your newborn and your dog, it’s okay to ask for help! Friends, family and even neighbors can step in and keep the dog on a routine for you so that you can catch up on sleep or focus on the baby. Being a new parent is tough, especially if it’s your first child. Asking for a support network to step in is never a bad thing. Just make sure to update your dog ID tags so that anyone helping you out has all the necessary information they need should an issue arise!
  1. Bring home something of the baby’s first. One of the main reasons energetic dogs pose an issue with new babies isn’t from aggression but rather curiosity. Each person has a unique scent, and that scent is what dogs use to determine levels of threat. In fact, dogs have a sense of smell that’s well over 10,000 times more acute than humans! This means that dogs will be able to easily tell when there’s a new scent in the house, such as a new baby. In order to make their surprise at the new scent a little less energetic, bring something home from the hospital that the baby’s used before bringing the baby home. You can bring a bib, a onesie, a hat or even a burp cloth to make this easier. Let your dog sniff the item, but only let them sniff it for a specific amount of time. You’ll want to take it away so that you can establish that the scent is yours and the dog is only allowed to sniff it when told. Bring items home every day from the hospital so that the dog gets to smell the items more than once. Ideally, your dog will come to recognize the scent and won’t get overly excited or confused by it when you bring the baby home.
  1. Take the dog out while mom arrives home with the baby. So that your dog doesn’t overexert themselves or scare the baby, take them out while mom comes home. That way, mom can shower and change into clothes that smell more like her instead of the hospital, and the dog gets some outdoor play time prior to coming back indoors. Then, since mom won’t be in an unfamiliar scent, your dog will be much calmer.
Source: Mariia Korneeva/Shutterstock.com
  1. Invest in a dog trainer. Trying to train your dog by yourself with a new baby in tow is a tough job. Instead, consider hiring a dog trainer to help you out during this time. The dog trainer will work with you to help your dog learn not to jump on people as they’re holding the baby, not to charge at the baby and countless other behaviors that you might not even realize your dog might do with the new baby around.
  1. Spend time with your dog. You’ll still want to spend some time with your dog, such as playing in the yard or cuddling on the couch. Dogs who feel neglected will start to act out, much like children! Giving your dog some TLC while the newborn is resting is a great way to continue bonding with your pup and keeping them from acting out and behaving poorly.

Why Steel Buildings Are the Perfect Solution for Animal Shelter Overcrowding

Animal shelters have an overcrowding problem in the United States, which many shelters have looked for creative ways to solve instead of euthanizing the animals they are brought.

Approximately 6.5 million animals are brought into shelters every year, and only half of them get adopted; about 1.5 million of these animals who do not find homes are euthanized. It is because of this that coming up with a new way to avoid overcrowding in shelters needs to be found. One of the best solutions to animal shelter overcrowding is s teel buildings.

If you are looking to open a new shelter in your area, or you need to expand the shelter you currently own to make room for overcrowding, you likely want a building that is durable and reliable and that can be easily expanded on later on. Steel buildings offer all of these things, plus the buildings are sustainable, fully customizable, and virtually maintenance-free.

Affordable

A prefabricated steel building from General Steel is much less expensive to build than a building made of traditional materials like wood. It is also better for the environment since it does not require trees, and it is 100 percent recyclable. Steel buildings are also energy efficient, so you will save money on heating and cooling costs to make your shelter the perfect temperature for the animals, no matter the time of year. As a more affordable building option, these can easily be a solution to the overcrowding problem in animal shelters today.

Maintenance Free

Steel buildings are virtually maintenance-free, so you will save a fortune on building maintenance over the lifetime of the building. In addition, since steel is not an organic material, it cannot warp or rot like wood can, mold and fungus cannot grow on it, and it is immune to the bugs and vermin that can get into a wooden structure.

A steel building will not shift and loosen over time like a wooden building will either, so your shelter will stay sturdy for decades.

Expandable

If you find the need to expand your animal shelter in the future, steel buildings are easy to add onto, attaching right onto the end of the existing building.

Customizable

You can completely customize your s teel animal shelter, so you can give the building large play areas, boarding pens, grooming areas, veterinary areas, offices, waiting rooms, and anything else your building needs. Plus, you can get up to 300 feet of open, column-free space, so there will not be columns taking up precious space that could be better spent on more important parts of the building.

Conclusion

With an affordable and sustainable option available for animal shelters, you can open a

high-quality building for the animals that will last for decades and give the animals a comfortable place to await adoption. In addition, since they are easy to expand, if you find your shelter running out of space too frequently, you can affordably add onto the existing structure; the only limit is your lot size!

7 Stimulating Games for Puppies That Help Them Learn

Puppies love to stay busy, which can be exhausting for you. A bored pup is likely to find mischief or develop behavioral issues, like chewing or barking to occupy itself.

Luckily, there are easy options for engaging your pup, from cute dog toys to simple games. When you play mentally stimulating games with your puppy, you can wear them out just as much as a good romp at the dog park would.

Not sure where to start with stimulating games for your puppy? Here are seven easy, fun and engaging games to play with dogs of any age.

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1.     Puzzle Toy Time

Your puppy loves to solve problems. A puzzle toy is a great way to keep your puppy entertained while letting them use their natural problem-solving ability. A wide variety of puzzle toys are available for your dog, ranging from easy to complex.

Once your pup has mastered an easy puzzle, move on to more advanced challenges. Keep sessions short to avoid frustrating your dog. You should start with no more than 15 minutes, but you can do multiple sessions a day.

Puzzle toys can be plastic, plush, stuffed or even homemade. Try out a variety to see which ones your puppy likes best.

2.     Play Hide and Seek

Just like toddlers, puppies love a good game of hide and seek. This game helps train your dog with the “stay” command while providing mental stimulation.

To play hide and seek with your dog, they’ll need to hold a “stay” command for at least 10 seconds. If you are still training this command, you can play the game with a partner to distract your pup while you hide.

Once you’re well hidden, release your dog and call them toward you. They’ll use their powerful sense of smell to find you. Don’t forget to reward them with treats or praise once they locate your hiding spot.

3.     Name That Toy Game

You can teach your dog more words than just commands. An average dog can learn over 165 different words. Increase your puppy’s vocabulary by teaching them the names of their favorite toys.

At first, you’ll work on teaching your dog the name of each toy. Using one toy at a time, state the toy’s name and reward your dog while they’re interacting with it. Once they’ve learned a few toys, you can begin to challenge them by asking them to pick between toys to identify the one you’re naming.

For an advanced version of this game, you can hide their toys around the room. Then ask your dog to find one. Eventually, your dog will be able to identify which toy they need to sniff out and bring back to you.

4.     Make Eye Contact

You know the power of puppy eyes. One look and you’re ready to cave into whatever their puppy heart desires. You can reverse the trick and train your dog to make eye contact with you.

Eye contact is great for getting your puppy’s attention. It’s a helpful command for interrupting bad behaviors. Eye contact also releases oxytocin in both you and your dog, strengthening your bond. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with forming attachment.

You can easily teach your dog to make eye contact with you. Start by holding a treat to your forehead or in front of your eye. As your dog gets used to looking at the treat, slowly phase it out in favor of a hand signal and verbal command. You can increase the duration of eye contact over time, but don’t push it for more than a few seconds.

5.     Rainy Day Trick Training

Training basic commands with your puppy is both mentally stimulating and essential for good behavior. However, not every command you teach your dog needs to be useful. A great rainy day activity is seeing what tricks you can train your dog to perform.

Let your puppy know you are starting a training session, maybe by placing a box of treats in the room with you. Then reward your puppy every time he interacts with the box. After a while, only reward for the action you want to train, whether that’s standing in front of the box or pushing it around the room.

You can also work on building compound tricks with your puppy to get them to accomplish a task. Dogs can learn to fetch you a bottle of water or close a door once they know some basic commands. These complex tasks boost your dog’s confidence while strengthening your relationship.

6.     Agility or Obstacle Course

For a stimulating game that can also be a physical workout for your dog, consider building an obstacle course or agility track. You don’t need to buy any fancy gear to make a course. Your chairs and other household objects will work just fine.

Typical agility obstacles are jumps, weaving cones and tunnels. Set up one or all of these at a time. Every time you train, alter the order of the obstacles to create additional mental challenges for your puppy.

7.     Find the Treats

Another game that puts your puppy’s nose to the test is playing “find the treats.” They’ll love being able to use their sniffing and scavenging skills to find tasty rewards. Just make sure you put away anything tempting that isn’t dog treats before you start playing. Otherwise, you may find your dog goes off course, and you’ll end up googling “why do dogs like socks” because he’s into your sock drawer rather than playing your game.

When you first play “find the treats” with your puppy, don’t hide them. Simply place them on surfaces around the room. Tell your dog to “find the treats” and offer praise when they start eating them. Once they’ve figured out what the game is all about, you can start hiding the treats in more challenging locations.

Mix It Up

Your puppy loves variety. Keep things interesting by mixing up your routine with these 7 stimulating games for puppies. In the process, both of you are sure to learn some new tricks.

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!

How to Choose Between a Purebred and Mixed Breed Puppy

Purebred dogs are often considered the gold standard. They’re bred for a set of characteristics, and if you use a good breeding, you know what you’re getting. You also pay a premium for that service. Mixed breed dogs are truly a mixed bag, but they may enjoy hybrid vigor and are generally more affordable. So which option is right for you? Here are a few tips on how to choose between a purebred and mixed breed puppy.


Know What You Want from the Dog It Will Become

Purebred dogs are often born for a given skill set. They have the body type and instincts to do something. For example, golden retrievers may retrieve anything that falls into the swimming pool including your toddler. Sheep dogs will herd anything but especially sheep. Some training may still be required, but that involves teaching them commands and practicing to hone their existing abilities. On the other hand, you may not be able to train a born hunting dog not to chase anything that looks like prey.

In contrast, almost any dog can be a well-behaved companion for your family with a little training. This means that mixed breed puppies are fine if you want a dog for your kids to play with or to keep your mother company. Many mixed breed puppies could be trained to serve as watch dogs, too. In these cases, a cheaper mixed-breed dog is fine. But if you want a dog for a specific task like a hunting dog or show dog, get a purebred puppy.

Know the Risks that Come with Each Option

While not all mixed-breed dogs are healthy, they are not prone to the health problems that can come from the de facto inbreeding that comes with purebred dogs. That is why purebred dogs need to be carefully inspected by a vet before you buy them. Use this educational website when looking for a purebred puppy. You’ll want to find reputable breeders who only breed and sell healthy dogs. But learn what health problems a given breed may be prone to so that you can watch out for it. If you’re worried about the costs associated with frequent vet visits, you can look into a dog-specific pet insurance plan.

While purebred dogs are ten times more likely to suffer from conditions like hip dysplasia and kidney disease, mixed breed puppies are at greater risk of other things. They are more likely to suffer from patent ductus arteriosis and ruptured cruciate ligament. They are also more likely to be hit by cars, since they are less likely to have refined instincts.

Mixed breeds are also more likely to suffer from infectious diseases than purebred breeders. That’s because purebred breeders won’t allow infectious diseases to go untreated. On the other hand, the puppy mill owner doesn’t care.


Understand How the Dog Will Fit Your Lifestyle

Purebred dogs have better defined personalities and abilities, whereas mixed-breed dogs are literally a mix. However, you can make reasonable assumptions with any dog based on an assessment of the dog. Is the dog highly anxious? It may or may not be a good guard dog with training, but it probably shouldn’t be left alone all day. Is the dog calm and relaxed? It might be a good companion, but you’ll still need to find out if it is good with kids. Does the dog come from a large breed or have two large parents? Then you probably shouldn’t pick it if you live in an apartment. An active dog needs to be walked regularly, and it will be happier if regularly played with. If you just want to let it out to pee on the grassy patch in your backyard, you shouldn’t get a more active breed.

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.

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