Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Welcome Home

The much anticipated arrival of your new puppy is an exciting event--  especially if you have never owned a dog before.  There are many different things to be considered before Spot comes home. What food should I get for him? Which toys will hold up to a vigorous chewing puppy? Should I get a crate? Collar style? Hopefully this post will answer some of those pressing questions.

Food:  Each breed and size is going to have a different required amount of food.  However, there are some guidelines that apply to all.  Don't leave the food down for your dog to graze on all day.  Feed your dog his portion in his crate (this helps to associate positive feelings with the crate) and leave him there.  After thirty minutes to an hour, take your dog directly to his spot and give him the elimination command.  This helps cut down on accidents as well as helps your dog to be regular.  We feed two times a day (three when they're younger).  Our favorite foods are either Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice, or one of the Kirkland Signature Natures Domain.

Toys: There are SO many different choices and variations for dog and puppy toys on the market. First of all, Many vets and pet stores will do their best to convince you that rawhide chew toys are healthy for dogs. This is majorly incorrect! Dogs are not able to digest rawhide.  The process that is used to make rawhide is highly toxic for any animal. Here is a link to a cute video about how rawhide products are made. We would recommend any Kong toys. Another natural alternative to rawhide are antler chews. They are completely natural, and the dogs love them! They are very clean, and don't have the mess that some natural dog toys have.  We also sometimes will get knuckle bones from the grocery store for a very special treat.

Crates: Dogs are den creatures.  We believe that crate training is highly important in a young pup's life. A crate gives them a place to call their own, and somewhere to go when they need time to themselves. It is also a place for them to sleep at night that keeps them out of trouble. While they will whine the first couple nights, stick to your guns and don't let them sleep with you. This will begin to teach the dog to settle, and prepare him for car trips in the crate or time at the kennel while you are on vacation.

Collar & Leash: Just like everything else, there are many different variations in collar and leashes. Our favorite collar style is called a martingale collar. This style provides more control over your dog without the choking effect of a slip collar. First choice for us in the leash world would be a multifunctional leash. They are very versatile and handy to use.

Beds: Soft cushy dog beds look so comfortable for your dog. And they are! But we've found that if you pair a puppy with a stuffed bed it often results in room that looks like it's covered in snow! The best choice we have found is what is called a Kuranda bed. Orthopedic, chew proof, and super easy to clean it is by far the best bed we have found for our dogs. This bed is what we use to teach place. It works perfectly because it is raised off the ground so the pup is either off or on the bed. No more slowly creeping away.

The addition of a puppy to your home is sure to bring much joy, laughter, and fun. But don't forget to be prepared for your new fur ball before he arrives! Everyone will be much happier if you do.

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