It’s The Third Trimester: Time To Prepare Your Home

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If you’re in the final trimester of pregnancy, then you’re probably thinking deeply about how to prepare yourself, and your home, for the arrival of a newborn. At first, it seems like a rather simple task: just go down to local big box furniture store and pick up a crib, some blankets, and perhaps a car seat. But it soon becomes clear, the more research you do, that a lot more goes into welcoming a baby into the home than just a bit of shopping. There are so many factors to consider, not only to make sure that your baby stays happy, but also that they remain safe. Here’s what to do.

Get The Pooch Out Of The Way

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You might have lived with your pet cat or dog for years and never seen any act of aggression from them. With that said, animals can still be dangerous to babies, even those that are otherwise tame and pleasant to be around. Dogs have been known to maul babies, and so keeping them separate from one another is essential.

The best way to do this for dogs is to install gates around the kitchen or at the bottom of the stairs as a physical barrier to prevent their movement. With cats, it’s a little more difficult, but things like cat nets over the cot can prevent cats from killing children in their sleep. You should have a policy of no pets in the bedroom while the child is vulnerable and helpless, and then introduce pets under supervision as the child gets older.

Prepare Older Siblings

If this is your second baby, then it’s important to manage the expectations of your existing children before it arrives. Children, especially infants and toddlers, don’t like it when your attention is suddenly diverted away from them and onto a new baby. It generates a profound sense of jealousy and can often lead to destructive behavior. Ideally, your existing children should behave tenderly towards the new baby, but without the right preparation, this is by no means guaranteed.

Sit down with your existing children before the new baby arrives and remind them of how important they are to you. Make sure you include them in any way possible in helping you to raise the child, so that you’re both on the same team and they don’t feel like they’re competing for your attention. You can also ask talk to the older siblings about their duties when the new baby arrives, such as helping mommy fill up the baby’s bottle.

Find An Experienced Mom, Take A Notepad, And Ask For Tips

If you’re completely new to the motherhood gig, it’s worth approaching existing moms for some much-needed advice. Moms will often have tips and tricks which they developed through bitter experience. As a new mom, it’s worth taking advantage of these conversations to make things less frantic once the baby finally arrives.

Remove All Dangerous Chemicals

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Because they’re so new to the world and haven’t yet built up substantial immune systems or even protective microbiomes, newborn babies are very susceptible to chemicals in the external environment. Early exposure to harmful toxins in cleaning products can lead to illnesses and allergies which last for the rest of their lives.

It’s a good idea, therefore, to root through your cleaning cupboard and throw out all but the safe cleaning products. Only use products which contain minimal amounts of artificial ingredients and state clearly on the packaging that they’re hypoallergenic. These products have been tested in clinical trials and proven not to harm babies.

Make Sure You And Your Partner Present A United Front

When it comes to parenting, consistency is key. But consistency is hard for individuals, let alone couples with different ideas. Experts recommend that parents get on the same page before bringing a new child into the home. Not only will you have to agree on your personal value when raising children, but also the day to day regimen for the child’s upbringing. Who will be responsible for what? What chores will you and your partner need to agree on doing in advance? What will be your partner’s role during labor and birth?

Prepare For A Laundry Avalanche

Anyone who has ever raised children will tell you that doing the laundry is a major undertaking. It’s incredible how something so small can generate so much mess. Before the baby even arrives home, you’ll want to get ahead. Make sure that everything is already clean and washed before the baby arrives so that you’re in the best possible condition to face the mountain of washing that is to come.

According to Laura Dellutri, the woman who wrote “Speed Cleaning 101,” it’s important to make sure that you’re using a detergent that doesn’t contain any dyes or perfumes that might irritate baby’s skin. There are specials kinds of detergents which have been formulated to have powerful stain removing actions while also protecting baby’s skin.

With that said, stains are inevitable with a newborn baby. Poop, baby formula, and dribble are par for the course. With that said, you can win the war against stains with enzymatic cleaners which break down stains at the molecular level. If you notice a stain on fabric, use the enzymatic cleaner as soon as possible to remove the stain before it becomes incorporated into the material.

Make Room In Your Fridge

If you’re like most families, your fridge is already full to bursting. But with the addition of a baby, you’ll need even more space. Though your child will be on a liquid diet, to begin with, over time, it’ll need to be transitioned on to solid food, and you’ll need space in your refrigerator to keep it all.

It’s a good idea to work from top to bottom in your fridge. Start by removing food from the top shelf, give it a good clean, and then move on to the next. The bottom of the refrigerator is the area most prone to spills. Remove any milk stains and make sure the refrigerator is fresh and clean.

 

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How to Prepare Your Dog For the Winter Season

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As the cold weather fronts draw in, temperatures drop and the days get shorter, there’s one other member of your family who you will also need to prepare for when winter rolls in. As one of the most popular pets in the US, your four-legged friends need just as much love and attention as you would give you to your nearest and dearest in readiness for the holiday season. Ok, so you don’t have to go completely overboard, but the difference between outdoors and indoors temperatures, frostbite and even sniffles can affect your pet too. Be prepared to review your dog’s food, check that they are in optimal health and introduce a few small changes that will ensure to keep your four-legged friend’s tail wagging right through until spring! There’s nothing worse than a sick pet to spoil your holiday season, so read on to find out how to prepare your dog for the winter season.

Wrap up warm

It’s worth doing some research into your pet to find out how their breed adapts and copes with lower temperatures. Larger breeds such as German Shepherds and Huskies, for example, will grow a thicker coat to withstand adverse weather conditions, but if your pooch is originally from warmer climates, chances are they will feel the chill. If your pet lives in the yard, don’t forget to check if the dog house is properly insulated and prepared for the oncoming cold spell. Does your dog live indoors? Then check that their bed provides enough comfort and warmth so that they don’t feel the cold through floor tiles or due to a pesky draught, damaging for aging joints.

Limit the amount of time that your pet spends outdoors and be sure to dry them off before they enter the house thoroughly. Pay particular attention to your pooch’s ears, as damp, dirty ear canals can result in painful ear infections. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your pet’s paws too, as snow and ice can collect in between the toe pads, resulting in sore, peeling skin and even frostbite in some more severe cases – extremely painful for your dog’s sensitive paws.

A serious winter concern in dogs is hypothermia. Keep a close eye on your pet’s mood if they have spent a long period of time outside. Lethargy and depression, combined with a slower breathing rate could be a sign of a more serious condition. Hypothermia can be life threatening for your pet, so make sure that they come inside to dry off at regular intervals.

Is your pet a lover of the great outdoors? Why not look to invest in a coat if you own a smaller breed if they lack a naturally thicker coat.

Get your vaccines

Colder months mean a higher risk of infection and illness for dogs, just as for humans. Take extra care if your pet loves to play in the snow, as it could be hiding frozen ponds or dirty water, full of bacteria and damaging to your dog’s immune and digestive system. Just because it’s the season for you to overindulge, do keep an eye on all those sweet treats around your home. Remember chocolate and dried fruits are incredibly poisonous to dogs – so keep all temptation well out of reach.

Take care when using antifreeze! Its sweet taste is incredibly appealing to dogs. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and should be used and stored well out of the reach of your pet (and children). Similarly, as in the warmer months, do not leave your dog in your car for a prolonged period of time during the winter – leave them at home where they will be out the way for you to run all those pre-Christmas errands.

It’s important to keep your pet’s vaccines up to date and valid all year round. This applies to your worm and dog flea treatment too. A pest free pooch will ensure that your holiday celebrations go without an itch or a tick.

Consider diet

Do you feel lazier during the winter months? There’s a chance that your dog does too! It’s not always appealing going for a walk in the cold and dark, but that’s no excuse to compensate for lack of exercise with treats and snacks. Don’t divert from your dog’s diet – it’s important that they remain lean and in prime health all year round. A varied, raw, nutrient-filled diet is best for your dog to adjust to colder temperatures, providing them with the energy that they need to enjoy and explore with you.

Keep an eye on your dog’s hydration levels. Just as in summer, it’s important to check that your dog is drinking enough water and keeping hydrated. Extra clothing in winter and warm central heating will mean that your pet needs to take on more water. If your pooch lives outdoors, change a metal bowl for a plastic one to prevent your pet from injuring their sensitive tongue.

Don’t neglect grooming

It may be cold outside, but keep that grooming regime on track. Don’t neglect brushing and grooming after spending time outside. Fun in the snow can dirty fur and result in knots and matted fur which is painful to brush out and makes it difficult for your pet to groom themselves properly. Brushing is a great exercise for you to bond with your pet, so why not get that coat to really shine.

Own an older dog? Be sure to make a fuss of them this winter. Senior pets are much more susceptible to bugs and germs, while older joints will feel the cold a lot more. The cold can also aggravate any existing illness that your dog already suffers from. Consider giving your senior a joint supplement in their food ration and make time for extra hugs.

Even if the weather gets colder, there’s no excuse for you not to get outside and enjoy time with your faithful companion. Keep the above tips in mind to have a happy and healthy holiday for all.

 

 

 

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Tips For Caring For Your New Pet

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Bringing home a new dog is exciting. You’ve picked out the perfect pet and now you’re ready to give it a beautiful life. The issue is that you’re not quite sure where to start or what to do with them. It’s an obstacle many new pet owners run into when they first bring their animal home.

Believe that you can do it and you will. Do whatever it takes to give them a great place to live. Ask around your friends and relatives and get their pointers for how they’ve managed over the years. Take your time and be patient with yourself. See tips for caring for your new pet.

Provide a Comfortable Home

Once you agree to own a pet, your home becomes a shared space. It’s very important you provide a warm and cozy home for your dog to roam and lay its head. Block off a separate area that’s made for the dog. Place their food and water and bedding in locations around the home that are easy to access. Show the dog where their personal space is so they know where they can go when they want to be alone. Understand you’re going to be sharing your space now. It’s up to you to train your dog about where they can and can’t go in and around the home.

Learn about Them

Go online and learn about your pet. For example, research the best dog food for boxers if this is the type of dog you own. According to American Kennel Club, boxers are among the top ten most popular dog breeds in America. Since boxers are a comparatively active breed of dog, choosing food that fits their physical needs can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to learn about your type of dog and what their particular needs are, such as the kind of food they eat. Equipping yourself with knowledge will help guide you in making a lot of your decisions going forward. You don’t know until you find out, and there are plenty of resources online to help you.

Supplies

Get your supplies ready for your dog’s arrival. Bring home items such as a kennel, leash, dishes and more. Prepare your home for their first few days and you should be just fine. There will be other items you’ll want to grab along the way, but start with the essentials. Having the right supplies will make carrying for your pet a lot easier on you. Make a list and have the pet supplies on hand for when your new pet comes home. Remember that you can always go find what you’re missing at a later date.

See a Vet

It’s a good idea for your pet to see a veterinarian when they first get home. Establish a relationship so you’re prepared should you have an emergency situation down the road. The vet will be able to tell you what kind of shape your dog is in and what shots they’ll need in the near future. You’ll feel much more comfortable knowing you have a good vet you can turn to in a time of need or for regular checkups.

Exercise & Play

Getting a dog means that you better be ready to run and pay. Your pet needs exercise and benefits greatly from being able to walk or run around. Just like us, dogs need to burn calories, stimulate their minds and stay healthy. Research the exercise needs for your breed, because it varies depending on the type of dog. Another major reason dogs need exercise is to avoid boredom, which leads to destructive behaviors. Take them out the in backyard and play chase or fetch if you don’t want to leave your house. On other days when you have more time, take them on a hike or go for a long walk. Have lots of toys around the house so they can play whenever their heart desires.

Grooming

Groom your pet by taking them to a professional shop or doing it yourself at home. Your dog needs baths and to be brushed on a regular basis. Doing this will keep your dog clean and reduce the amount of shedding. It’s also important to use flea and tick preventatives and check their fur for them daily during the warm weather months. Also, having a pet will require more maintenance by you around the place. Clean the house and vacuum often to keep fur and dirt at a minimum.

Reward Them

It’s a smart idea to reward your dog for good behavior. This is how you get them to listen to you and be on their best behavior. Do it early so they learn in the early stages of their life before they’re adults. Use treats as a reward when you’re training them and bring home a new toy once in a while when they’re obedient. Give them hugs and snuggles when they’re acting appropriately and continuously enforce positive actions. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how well they react to your encouraging voice tones and commands.

Love Them

Owning a pet is a big responsibility, but most pet owners find it enjoyable. While it can be stressful at times, don’t let it overwhelm you. Remember why you got your dog in the first place. Love and care for them and show them affection. Animals are great companions and are always there for you. Let them know who’s boss, but make sure you show them how much you love them on a daily basis. You’ll create a bond between you and your new pet and produce a level of trust which will help when you’re training them.

Conclusion

Understand what you’re getting into before you agree to take on the responsibility of owning a new pet. Once you’re sure, follow through with your end of the bargain and build a nice home where they can live and play. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn along the way. These are tips for caring for your new pet.

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Explore New Ways to Strengthen Your Bond with Your Dog

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Having a dog as a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. They offer not only friendship but also love and companionship. However, just because dogs are loving and faithful pets, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work at the relationship.

If you’ve adopted a new dog who’s had a difficult past, you might have to earn your dog’s respect and love for them to feel safe and happy. There are ways that you can start to develop a stronger bond between you that will last a lifetime.

Start Training Together

One way that you can start to build a good relationship with your dog is to participate in positive reinforcement training. You need to show them that you are a good person and that they can come to you for all things good.

You should make the training fun and also positive, by giving rewards for good behavior, and you will encourage your dog to enjoy being good for you.

Spend Some Quality Time Together

It might sound unusual, but your dog needs time with you just like any other member of the family. Just sitting there with them and giving them some attention can be the perfect thing for your best friend.

You can make it part of your walking routine to sit down on your walk and share some peaceful time together. Or, you can take them with you while you train – it will certainly make a big impression on your dog.

Make Food Part of the Training

To reinforce the bond you both have, you need the dog to know that you’re the giver of food, and treats as well. There are some great companies like PawsIQ that offer healthy treats for dogs that you can use.

By using meal times and treats as ways for them to see you as the food giver, you will strengthen the bond. It will also work to reverse any negative experiences they may have had with previous owners.

Earn Their Respect

Dogs are just like people in the way they need to see that you respect them. If you show them that you won’t do anything to hurt them, they will soon become a lot closer to you.

If there’s something that they don’t like, then try not to do it. That way, they will see that you respect them and understand what they want.

Try and Make Experiences Positive

There are times when you will need to do something your dog hates. Whether that’s having a bath or going to the vet, they’re going to look to you for support. Try to give them their favorite toy or a treat if they do well, as a way of offering comfort.

The bond between a dog and its owner can be extremely strong, to the point where they will never want to leave you. It’s this relationship that makes dogs such good friends and pets.

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Tips For Making Purchases For Your Pet

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Owning a pet is a big responsibility. There’s a lot to think about and do on a daily basis. You love your pet and want what’s best for them. That’s why you take your time with decisions and make sure you’re always doing what’s in the best interest of your pet.

Don’t always go with the first item you see or hear about. It’s important to stay open-minded and spend time soaking it all in before making a selection. Remember that there’s not always a right or wrong answer, a lot of it comes down to preference. See tips for making purchases for your pet.

Go to the Store

One plan of action is to shop around in the different stores. See what retailers have in stock and are promoting at the time. Head to a few different shops to compare products and prices. Pay attention to when the sales are so you can save yourself some money. Experiencing the product in person may change your mind about it. You may also be drawn to a few other items you didn’t even know you needed until you entered the store.

Read Reviews

When in doubt, read customer reviews. This is especially helpful for products like frontline plus for cats reviews because they’re often pricier and you’ll want to know it actually works. Take your time reading through the comments and noting the important points. This has the power to really change your attitude toward a product and whether you spend your money on it or not. Take the average consensus and then form your own opinion on the matter. This is great information for helping you make an informed decision.

Ask Family & Friends

Call up your family or friends who own a pet and see what they think. Ask them about specific products you’re considering purchasing and if they’ve ever tried them. You know you’ll be getting an open and honest answer to your question. This is refreshing compared to when you solely have to rely on the sales person to give you their take on it. Get input from a few different family and friends because it’s possible they’ll have different opinions too. Gather an average outlook on the matter and use it to help you in your decision-making process.

Search on the Internet

Take matters into your own hands and put in the time to do the research yourself. Compare and contrast various products and websites until you locate what you’re looking for and feel good about it. Work until you find the information you need to come to a conclusion. Keep in mind that this could take a while given how much data’s out there on the Internet. Stick with it and stay confident you’ll come to the right solution.

Conclusion

Taking care of your pet takes effort on your part. Use these various methods of gathering data and information to help you find what you need. These are tips for making purchases for your pet.

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The Confusing Case Of Kitty Care

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Cats are incredible creatures. Seemingly effortlessly, these animals can scale walls, jump much more than their own height, and survive falls from great heights. Along with this, a lot of people find cats to be able to generate a good bond with their owners. Altogether, this makes for an excellent pet which can surprise you well into their later life. But, looking after this sort of animal can often be a challenge. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the key areas you should consider when thinking about your cat’s well being. A lot of people ignore this area, leaving their pets to live their lives. But, this isn’t always what’s best for them.

  • A Good Personality

Cats are incredibly emotional creatures, like most mammals. This is one of the key reasons people enjoy them so much as pets, as they are able to reflect very similar emotions to the ones we feel. Having a mind so complex can come with some issues, though. During their formative years, a lot of their personality will be built around the way they feel. If they are unhappy or scared all the time, it will be likely to make them aggressive. But, with the right treatment, they should be able to be handled with ease. A lot of veteran cat owners will tell you that the best way to produce a well-mannered cat is through bothering them as a kitten. Playing with them, giving them attention, and generally annoying them can help you to develop a very tolerant animal.

  • A Happy State Of Mind

Of course, a large part of any animal’s personality will be dictated by their state of mind. Most people aren’t aware of how their environment can affect their pets. If arguments are a regular thing in your home, your cat will likely be very high-strung, resulting in bad tempers. But, if you have a happy household, your cat will be happy, too. Factors like litter boxes can also impact your cat’s state of mind if they aren’t cleaned properly. Intentionally scaring or worrying your cat is also something to avoid, as it will usually negatively impact their mind.

  • A Healthy Body

Finally, it’s time to think about medical health, instead of mental health, as this is another important area to consider. Most pet owners will take their animals to see a vet at least once every six months. This gives you a chance to make sure your pet is healthy, without relying on a medical issue as your warning. Along with this, you should also consider purchasing regular flea meds for cats, as this sort of parasite can make a cat’s life hell. This will help you to make sure that your cat is always as healthy as possible, helping to keep them nice and happy.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what should be done to keep your pet cat healthy and happy. Not a lot of people put this sort of effort in with their pets. But, in the long run, you could be making their life a lot better for just a little work.

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Eight Tips for Looking After Your Dog During the Summer

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Your dog is your best friend. You care about them tremendously and don’t want them to get hurt. It’s important to pay special attention to your pet in the summer when the temperatures are hot. As the pet owner, you know best and need to take care of your dog since they can’t always take care of themselves.

Understand the repercussions for not ensuring your dog is cool in warm weather. This will motivate you to take it seriously and not mess around. Be responsible, and read up on the best ways to avoid overheating and take action right away to protect your dog. See tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer.

Shelter

If you’re outside a lot in the summer, get an underground dog house to protect your pet. There are cooling vents installed in the structure and they’re very safe. It’s great for all weather patterns and keeps your dog dry in the rain. It’s perfect shelter away from the heat and sun in the summertime. Dogs love being outside, so avoid banishing them to the indoors if you don’t have to. They want to be in nature and are excellent watchdogs for detecting danger in the neighborhood. The dog house will allow your pet to be where they like it best, outdoors, without any concerns to their safety.

Ice Cubes

Give your dog ice cubes or cold treats when they’re feeling overheated. This is a great way to reward and cool them off at the same time. Make a game of it once they’re not overheated and throw the ice cubes so they have to fetch them. They love this because they know it’s edible and gives them a chance to get some water. Ice cubes are a budget-friendly way to make your pet happy and cooled off in an instant. They love them and won’t want to stop nibbling on them once they have the ice cubes in their possession.

Hose

Use your hose to cool off your dog. Be kind and gentle with them, but spray them down and have them roll around in the water. It’s easy and works like a charm. Turn the hose to different spray patterns and watch them splash around as they quickly cool off. Keep a hose in your backyard for those times you don’t want to run inside to get water. Use it to fill their water dish and cool down their fur.

Water Dish

Always make sure you bring a water dish outside and with you wherever you go with your pet in the summertime. If you go hiking, bring your own water and dish with you so you can stop and provide your pet with water as soon as they need it. This goes for wherever you may travel with them during the warm months. Always have a water dish in and around your home too. Buy multiple dishes so you can set a few around the house and have others for when you travel. Allow your dog access to water at their leisure. Make it as easy as possible for them to get to fresh water whenever you’re with them. They’ll start panting and can quickly overheat, which is exactly why you want to have water available at all times.

Pet Pool

Every dog needs a pet pool. Get a blowup pool for your backyard in the summer. They’ll play in it and run in and out of it to happily cool off. If you have multiple dogs or a dog friend, it’s fun to watch them play and splash around as they chase each other. A pet pool is great because it’s nice for cooling off their fur and they can also drink out of it. Little pools aren’t just for kids anymore. You’ll be surprised at how often they’ll jump in and out of it throughout the course of an afternoon. This way you can have them outside for longer periods of time without having to worry about hydration.

Keep your Home Cool

Turn your air conditioner on and cool off your pet in the summertime. You’ll also enjoy the lower temperatures as you move around your house. It’s important that their space is cool and comfortable. You don’t want them sweating and panting in the house. Get them a cooler spot to sleep in the summertime and put away any warm blankets.

Remove them from the Car

Never keep dogs in the car for extended periods of time when you’re not in it. This is unsafe and dangerous to their health. You risk the dog overheating and not being able to bring itself to a sustainable temperature. A car can quickly soar in temperature on the inside, even when it’s not that hot outside. Take the dog with you when you leave the car or don’t bring them with in the first place. Signs of overheating include a rapid heartrate, heavy drooling and panting. Visit your vet right away if you notice these indicators.

Exercise Smart

Be careful when you’re exercising with your pet. Even though you want to take them running and hiking, be mindful if it’s safe for them to go with you. Try exercising outside in the morning or evening when the temperatures are more mild. Don’t assume that just because you don’t think it’s that hot out, that your pet will be fine. Be smart and put safety first. Walk if you have to and get your pet to shelter right away if you see any signs of overheating. Limit how much you do when it’s hot and humid. Be careful of your dog’s paws on the hot concrete and let them walk on the grass.

Sprinkler

When you’re outside, set out a sprinkler for your dog to run around in. If you have kids, they’ll all be able to join in the fun. It’s also nice for you because you can water your grass at the same time you entertain your pet and kids and keep them safe.

Conclusion

Summer is a fun season with lots of great outdoor activities, but it also gets very hot. Watch out for the safety of your pet and pay attention to their needs. These are tips for keeping your dog cool in the summer.

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Important Tips on How to Take Care of a Large Breed Dog

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Owning a dog is one thing but owning a big dog is an entirely different challenge. Not all canines are created equally and the largest dogs require a level of care that many owners find surprising and even a little intimidating.

Big Dogs Need Large Spaces

This tip seems like a no-brainer, but many owners underestimate the space required to raise a large breed dog. You don’t need a ten-acre farm, but a ten by ten patio is not going to cut it.  Big dogs need room to roam, or at least be able to run for short distances. Most are not the most graceful of athletes, especially when young, so make sure they have plenty of runway to get up to speed.

Many owners successfully raise large dogs in smaller spaces by taking advantage of public areas such as parks to make sure their pet gets the exercise it needs. Dog parks are the best option as they provide an off-leash environment and plenty of opportunity for socialization.

Size matters when raising a large dog. Everything for your dog should be appropriately sized. Otherwise, you won’t necessarily get the intended results. This includes dog beds, toys, leashes, and other accessories. It is especially important to properly size training aids such as dog muzzles to ensure your pet can learn new behaviors safely.

Large Dogs Respond Well to Positive Reinforcement Training

One mistake many owners make with large breeds is assuming their training must be more physical due to the size of the animal. This is not true. Large breeds tend to be very sensitive and may develop resentment when the trainer is too firm. A gentle touch and positive reinforcement will reap far greater rewards.

The most important component to training large breeds is early familiarity. When your dog is still a puppy, spend time just playfully wrestling and touching your pet’s paws, belly, and face. Acclimating your dog to being touched in these areas will make veterinarian and grooming visits much more pleasant for years to come.

Walking a large breed dog who pulls hard on the leash is not fun. Start your leash training early and be consistent in your expectations. Most dogs can be taught to heel by eighteen months if worked with on a weekly basis. Incorporate other basic skills into your regimen such as sitting and staying on command.  The result will be a much more pleasant and controlled experience when your dog is in public or confronting visitors to your home.

Health Concerns Specific to Large Breeds

Although they appear robust and powerful, many large breeds produce fragile animals with significant health problems. Most issues can be addressed through proper diet and exercise, but some contribute to the lack of longevity which plagues many of the largest types of dogs.

Bloat can occur in any breed, but it is more common with larger dogs. Bloat is an internal build-up of gas resulting in a distended stomach and abdomen.  Bloat is serious. It has been known to be fatal and strikes rapidly.

Bloat is caused by:

  • Overeating
  • Eating too fast and swallowing air
  • Strenuous exercise soon after eating

Most dogs that suffer from bloat are deep chested, more than seven years old, and have a history of bloat in their family. Bloat triggers also include anxiety and poor coping skills, poor diet, and reactions to certain medications.

Joint health is a major concern with large dogs.  Most big breeds are susceptible to issues with their joints including hip dysplasia. To prevent such problems from occurring, care must be taken with large breed dogs from the time they are puppies to prevent injury. Do not exercise your larger dog on hard surfaces until fully mature and do not encourage leaping from heights such as tables or pickup beds.

Big dogs also suffer from more instances of heart disease than smaller breeds. It is thought that almost 10% of all large dogs die from heart failure, particularly Canine Congestive Heart Failure. This is why it is of particular importance that large breeds remain at a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

What to Feed a Large Dog

A large breed dog is different than an obese dog. If you allow your large breed dog to become overweight, you are taking years off your pet’s life. Large breed dogs are susceptible to joint disease and heart problems.  Neither of these things is helped by obesity.

When a large breed dog is young, it will require a lot of calories. Large dogs grow quickly and eat massive amounts of food. But, soon enough this intake slows as the dog stops growing and becomes less active. Monitoring this change in metabolism is critical to maintaining the health of your dog.  Often owners fail to notice when their pet slows down and do not adjust their portions accordingly.

Once your dog is mature, the number of calories consumed will depend heavily on activity level. But, the quality of the food should not change. Dogs do best with food composed of natural protein sources with little filler. Once a dog begins to age, many quality dog foods carry a line designed specifically for older dogs which include supplements to promote continued joint health.

Exercise and Activity Will Keep Your Large Dog Healthy

Many large breed dogs do not receive enough exercise; as a result the quality and length of their life suffers. Large dogs need daily exercise to thrive.

As puppies, large dogs have a tremendous amount of energy. They will require several short walks every day. As your dog grows older, these needs will change. Walking once each day will suffice for exercise.  Elderly large dogs still benefit from daily exercise, despite their low activity levels. Even a short walk at a slow pace is better than no exercise.

Large dogs are amazing to own. They are capable of fierce loyalty and can be incredible companions.  But as with all breeds, large dogs have special needs due to their size and breeding history. Knowing what to expect and what to will arm you with the information you need to raise a healthy large dog you can enjoy for years to come.

Author Bio:

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com.

 

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Pet Peeves: Keeping Your Furry Friend Happy

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Much like having a child, deciding to have pets brings with it a lot of responsibility. No longer are you only responsible for your own well-being. Now, you also have another creature to look after. And, the work you have to put into them will often get in the way of other things that you love. But, it’s well worth it. The love and affection you will receive from your pet will be all they have to give. They will treat you like the greatest thing in their life. But, to get this sort of response from an animal, you have to give them the same thing back. To help you with this, this post will be going through some of the areas pet owners seldom consider. And, how you can use them to make your pet’s life better.

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Imagine eating the same food for each and every meal. When you wake up, it’s the same thing as you had for dinner. And, your lunch is equally as boring. This is the life of a lot of pets. Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners don’t consider their pet’s need for variety in their food. Bigger pets, like cats and dogs, will get bored of their food very quickly. Of course, it can be hard to give them a different type of food for each meal. But, you can make some smaller steps towards bigger change. Finding cat and dog treats made locally is a great way to get healthy and tasty treats for your pets. Giving them a couple of treats each day will give them a lot more variety in their good. And, it gives you something to give them when they’re well behaved.

Along with their need for good food, your pets will also need some different kinds of attention. Most animals are much more emotional than you would expect. Cats, for instance, will often become depressed or frustrated when they are ignored too much. When you choose to have a pet, you also choose to dedicate a certain amount of your time to them. People often wonder why their pets are anti-social or hard to deal with. But, it’s often the case that the owner themselves is causing the issues, by not giving their pet what they need.

Finally, but, probably the most important issue to consider is your pet’s medical care. In a lot of cases, pet owners will miss the signs that their pets are sick or uncomfortable. But, this can lead to issues become much larger than they have to. Instead, you should be taking your pet to the vet for checkups on a regular basis. This sort of service will cost a little bit of money, but it’s worth it. Often, medical conditions will only get worse when they’re left unchecked. And, as your pets can’t tell you that they’re in pain or discomfort, it could be a very long time before you notice the issue.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start putting more effort into the time you give your pets. A lot of pet owners lose interest in their furry friends as they get older. But, this is unfair, as they still have to live with you. And, their need for these different things will stay the same.

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Essential Information for All New Pet Owners

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We are a nation of animal lovers. More and more people are getting pets as new additions to their family. But if you haven’t had any pets before, things can be a little daunting. How do you choose the right one for you? How do you go about getting one? Do they have special requirements while they grow up? What do they eat? Where do they sleep? The list goes on and on. But not to worry. We have all the information necessary for new pet owners. Just read on!

Which Pet Should I Go For?

The kind of animal you opt for will depend entirely on how well equipped you are to care for an animal. All animals require a lot of love and attention, but some are definitely more high maintenance than others. If you find that you have a busy work schedule and are out of the house for hours most days, a dog won’t be the pet for you. You might be better suited to a cat, which is much more independent and can let them in and out of the house via a cat flap. Or perhaps a hamster, as these creatures are nocturnal and will sleep or keep themselves occupied while you’re out of the house. Reptiles such as snakes and lizards are low maintenance in terms of handling (they generally prefer to be left alone) but are more high maintenance in terms of ensuring that their living environment is suitable (you will have to adjust tank temperatures throughout the day and keep the atmosphere humid with water spray bottles). Before getting any pet, research their requirements for a healthy, happy life and ensure that you are able to meet or exceed them.

Where do I get them?

It’s always tempting to head out to get an animal from as young an age as possible. But you should definitely consider adopting! There are so many animals out there in need of a loving home and you could provide one for them. Visit your local animal shelter and meet some of its occupants. Chances are you’ll fall in love before you leave. If you have small children, bear in mind that all rescue animals may not be appropriate, as some may be shy or anxious. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of any animal and their temperament before committing to taking them on.

What Professional Care Will They Need?

With every animal comes great responsibility. You need to make sure that their every need is met. The first step towards this is ensuring that you have a good vet on hand for an emergency and nonemergency cases. The day of the week doesn’t matter when it comes to emergencies and if the worst is to happen you don’t want to be frantically searching last minute for vets open Sunday near me. Know beforehand and make sure your pet is registered!

What Home Care Will They Need?

Never settle for the basics. Make sure that your pet’s every want and need is catered for. Ensure that they have a constant supply of food and water, regular exercise and toys to stimulate them and keep them occupied throughout the day.

 

 

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