How to Socialize a Puppy

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Contribution from Richard Cross
Editor of TheDogClinic.com

Puppies that have positive experiences with a wide range of dogs, environments, people and objects grow up to be less stressed and more adaptable. This is why socialization is one of a new dog owner’s most important tasks.

It can be hard to keep track of your dog’s experiences though. To help new dog owners, The Dog Clinic has created a checklist for puppy socialization. This is great for printing and sticking on your fridge, so everyone in the household can see your dog’s progress.

Socialization isn’t just about giving your dog lots of experiences though – these experiences need to be positive and controlled. The article also contains a complete guide to safely socializing a puppy with almost any new experience.

Puppy Socialization Checklist
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Amazing Apps for First-Time Dog Owners

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Apps for dog owners.
Image courtesy of Unsplash

Guest Post by: Penny Martin

Our furry friends are often the highlight of our world. We come home to curl up with them and find contentment in their love. They act as additional members of our family, bring us joy, fill our hearts – and even help us to be healthier. It’s normal to want to take care of them in the best way possible when you bring them into your life.

Of course, when you’re getting your first bright-eyed pooch, you need to be prepared. Whether that includes making your home a cocoon of safety and toys or simply buying your dog the most comfortable bed you can find, you want to feel like your home is your dog’s home, too.

Aside from the everyday essentials, however, there is a lot to learn about dog health and safety. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps that can help — as long as you have a device that can keep up. Newer apps tend to require more power and memory than older phones supply, so if yours is on its last breath, consider an upgrade. Look for pet parent-friendly choices, like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro, which has ample memory and speed for even the most intricate apps, and the amazing three-camera system can take terrific pics of your pooch. Android offers plenty of great options as well, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. According to CNET, it has an especially generous display, an all-day battery, and stellar camera tools. Whatever device you use, just make sure you have a phone up to snuff so you don’t miss a trick, and so you and your pooch are set up for success with these terrific apps.

iKibble

The iKibble app provides you with an incredible search interface for foods your dog might enjoy. You can find new meals to buy them, mark things they dislike or have a reaction to, and read short descriptions on what exactly you’re feeding your pal. You can also learn what foods are toxic to dogs so you don’t accidentally share any leftovers that might make them sick.

Chewy

Made for pet lovers everywhere, Chewy gives you access to thousands of products that cater just to your barking family member. And you can shop for food during those moments when you know you’re running low but don’t have time to run to the store. Surprise your furry friend with a toy they deserve, from frisbees to chew toys, etc. You can even fill prescriptions from the vet when you’re pup is feeling a little under the weather, and much more. 

Animal Poison By ASPCA

Animals are sensitive to toxic substances, just like humans, and sometimes things you can eat can actually make your dog sick. Your dog can also develop allergies or experience a reaction if those things are consumed in small or large quantities. With the Animal Poison by ASPCA app, you can select your pet’s species on the homepage and plug in what was consumed. Learn how to deal with the reaction, and if needed, locate the closest and most recommended vet around, then bring your adorable dog back home with you safe and sound. 

Say Bark!

As App Annie explains, Say Bark! is pure entertainment! This app gives you the ability to use funny and creative filters or stickers on pictures you take of your four-legged friend. In addition, you can record a silly audio clip and share it with friends or family. It’ll have you all laughing and sharing cards and clips with everyone.

With each app that you download you’re creating a safer and more loving environment for your dog. Fall in love with the newest addition to your family, learn need-to-know information on taking care of him and spend forever making memories and sharing pictures and videos that showcase just how cool your little family is. Dogs are special and so extremely loyal, and these apps help you return the affection and make life better for you both.

Summer Safety Tips for Your Pet

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Guest Post By: Hannah Stevens

Dog on beach.
Image courtesy of Pexels.com

Summer is usually a great time to enjoy ourselves and spend time out with our favorite companions. However, spending long sunny days with our pets can spell danger to them. Dogs usually do not cool off quickly in hot conditions. Therefore, it is wise to learn the necessary precautions from animal experts.

Keep Your Dog Cool

To prevent dehydration, ensure that the furry companions take plenty of fresh, clean water and stay under a shade or in cool places to help them regulate their body temperature. Also, avoid over-exercising them in scorching weather. Similarly, know how to tell the symptoms of overheating such as;

  • Difficulty in breathing and excessive panting.
  • Increase in respiratory and heart rate.
  • Mild weakness and drooling, stupor and sometimes collapsing.

These symptoms can escalate to bloody vomit and diarrhea and sudden shot in their body temperature.

Never Leave Your Pet in a Car

Not only is leaving your dog in the car dangerous, but it is also illegal in some states in the United States. Dogs love riding in the car but certainly would not enjoy being stuck in there on a hot summer afternoon. Though it may seem as if a short while is harmless, dogs can suffer severely from 10 minutes in the car, deliberately inducing heatstroke. It’s advisable to search for the owner immediately if you see a dog left in the car or call the police.

Do Not Shave Your Dog

You may need to trim off long hair on your dog, but you should never shave them. The long coat acts as a cushion against overheating and sunburns. The fur on your pet also helps it keep warm during the freeze. It is advisable to leave it an inch long every time you are doing the routine pet grooming.

Adhering to grooming schedules despite the season also enables you to monitor any infestation of pests, thus prevent them from spreading. Make sure that any insect repellant products and sunscreen that you apply on the pet are explicitly authorized by a vet. A well-groomed and insect free dog will lead a healthy life and enjoy quality sleep.

Mind the Paws

When temperatures rise, hot floor surfaces will cause a dog to heat up pretty fast since their system picks heat from the ground. Despite the pooch heating up, the paw pads can also be injured. Minimizing walking at this time or avoiding asphalt and cement which heat up quickly. Driving around with your dog on the back of a truck can also cause the paws to burn from the hot metal. However, if you have to have the company of your dog, doggy boots can come in handy to protect the paws.

Encourage Swimming

Like human beings, dogs can enjoy a swim on a hot afternoon as well. It could be dangerous since not all dogs can swim so dress them in a life vest. The vest’s color should be bright enough to be noticed in case riptides, and intense storms sweep them away. Make sure you always keep watch when in the water.

Snake Bites: How to Protect Our Pets

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Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

Cute dog.
Photo by Bruno Cervera from Pexels

Description: When warmer periods arrive, most of us feel way more energetic, and we want to spend every spare moment walking, hiking or simply playing outdoors with our four-legged friends.  But what we rarely think about is that during warm months there is a higher risk for our dog to be exposed to snakes bites. 

You might wonder, why there are more snakes in spring and summer as well as why on earth would a snake bite a dog?  Well for starters, snakes hibernate during winter, so they also feel more energetic as the sun begins to warm up. They are also searching for food to fill their empty stomachs because they have digested all the food they had eaten before hibernation. There are greater chances to encounter a snake in your garden while hiking or anywhere else for that matter.

That wouldn’t be a problem if our pets would have the same sensation regarding snakes as we do. However, no one has told dogs that snakes might pose an immediate danger in some cases as our parents or grandparents told us. For dogs, a snake on the road or in the backyard is just another animal. Dogs are by nature curious and playful creatures, and when they meet other animals, they like to sniff and get to know a potential new friend.  Some dogs can be too persistent in their curiosity or emotionality and won’t leave the snake in peace. This is when snakes bites occur.

 On the other hand, snakes are timid and cautious. Since they have no limbs or claws, the only way they can defend themselves from what they consider to be the dangerous situation is biting. You must know that both venomous and nonvenomous snakes bite. It is crucial that you immediately get your pet to the vet so it can get proper care to prevent any consequences. 

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What to Know Before Adopting Your First Dog

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Guest Blog Post by: Kaytie Elizabeth Pascale, Writer

Happy adopted dog.

Thinking about adopting your first dog? Congratulations are in order—it’s an adventure and a relationship with an animal that will provide a companionship that’s unmatched. However, making the decision to adopt a dog is a huge life decision, and before you finalize it, there are numerous things to consider and understand before committing to this journey.

Expenses

Before you make the decision to adopt your first dog, you need to determine a few of the basic costs, including the expenses of properly caring for a dog. One of the basic needs of any animal is food. Calculate the cost of food and research how much you’ll need to feed your dog as it gets older and bigger. Many people can overfeed their dog, which may lead to health problems in the future.

Vet bills and medical care are another expense you need to account for. You may want to look at the option and price out pet insurance, but make sure you budget for annual check-ups and vaccines, potential injuries and illness, and an increase in medical care as your dog ages and needs additional care.

In addition to the cost of basic needs, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent undesirable behavior. Be prepared to invest in toys that will keep them mentally stimulated and engaged during the day. You may also want to think about hiring a pet sitter to come to the house to play with them or take them on walks during the day if you work long hours. Another option to check out could be doggie day camp to give them the physical and mental stimulation and outlet they need, while also promoting social interaction.

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Providing Mental Stimulation for Your Dog’s Happiness and Well-Being

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Adorable dog.

Boredom caused by a lack of stimulation not only creates an unhappy pet, but it can also cause your dog’s brain to shrink. Prompted by distress, this may lead to your dog exhibiting destructive behavior or simply appearing lethargic. We all want what’s best for our pets, and providing plenty of stimulation for your dog should be seen, not simply as an indulgence, but essential to their happiness and health. With just a few simple changes or additions to your dog’s routine, you can provide a stimulating environment that will stop your dog getting bored and anxious.

A Range of Stimulating Toys

For keeping dogs mentally stimulated, toys should be seen as a necessity. This is especially true if you have to leave your dog alone for any period of time. Toys are vital for their well-being, by providing entertainment, distraction and comfort throughout the day. Dogs quickly get fed up with the same toys, so it’s a good idea to routinely rotate and update them to keep your dog stimulated. A regular subscription box is a convenient way to introduce innovative and unusual accessories to your dog. When your dog has a good mix of durable chew toys, interactive games and challenging treat dispensers to choose from, they dog will be happily entertained and stimulated.

A Change to the Routine

Although most dogs enjoy a steady and regular routine, especially those who are particularly vulnerable or anxious, small changes can be exciting and create moments of interest in their day. Try some simple obedience training for a few moments each day in order give your dog a mental workout. Make sure they know how to sit and stay, and teach them when to pick up or leave an object. At the same time as keeping them busy and engaged, you’ll be improving their behavior and teaching them new tricks. As a reward, and to keep them mentally alert, you can hide treats for your dog in interactive toys, or around the garden for them to find.

A New Outdoor Adventure

Even if you have scheduled, regular times for walks and exercise, simply taking a different route can expose your dog to interesting and unusual surroundings, sounds and scents. Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than yours, and when they stop to sniff, they are busy acquiring and processing information, often from traces of pheromones from other animals. This means it’s important to give your dog plenty of time to explore stimulating scents in order to make the most out of even a short walk. Meeting other people and their dogs in the park can also be stimulating for a sociable dog. As well as encouraging good physical exercise, playing with other dogs of a similar nature is a fun distraction, and a great way for your dog to let off steam.

As well as physical exercise, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and to prevent undesirable behavior. By mixing up their routine, encouraging them to work for treats, and rewarding them with a selection of interesting and engaging toys, you can be assured that your dog is happily entertained and living a fulfilling life.