Now the day has arrived: you finally have a puppy of your very own. It can be fun, exciting, and as you quickly discover, really overwhelming. You’ve got this little ball of fuzz and sharp teeth wandering around your living room and it’s like, what now? What do I actually DO with this creature? Should I… walk her? Train her to do something? Enroll in puppy preschool? Perhaps start a puppy college fund?
House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet. It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside.
When you bring that soft, sweet-smelling little ball of a puppy into your home you know right away that she is depending on you for, well, everything. It’s up to you to give her all the care she needs every day. It can be a little intimidating—she needs nutritious food, plenty of attention, gentle training, safe toys, socialization, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care. And that includes puppy vaccinations throughout her first year.
Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination. By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog. Here are Cesar Millan's best dog travel tips to help make that happen.
Our pets love summer just as much as we do! For many, it’s the best time of year to be out, about, and enjoying all that the season has to offer. While there is certainly nothing wrong with taking your pet out for picnics, hikes, swimming, or running, keep in mind that warm weather can be dangerous. It’s hard for pets to keep cool when the sun is beating down, and animals don’t sweat like people do. Dogs do sweat, but not very much, and it does little to cool them off.
Emergency treatment and first aid for pets should never be used as a substitute for veterinary care. But it may save your pet's life before you can get your pet to a veterinarian. You never know what will happen and it’s good to be prepared. When you are camping, driving across the country, or a natural, manmade disaster hits, you need are going to want to be ready. Just like you have a first aid kit for the humans in your home, it’s important to keep a first aid kit handy for the canines in your life.
Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:
It's a misconception that dogs and cats cannot live together. However, introducing a puppy into a household with a cat (or cats) takes some planning and patience to make the transition smooth for all involved. The introduction should be done slowly, in a step-wise fashion.
Chasing is a natural instinct for a dog, but it is not appropriate behavior in your home when directed toward your cat. The following guidelines can help you deal with this behavior through management (preventing the problem) and training (motivating the dog to change his behavior).
Thankfully, pet food manufacturer's knowledge has changed and they now make some properly formulated foods. We've all learned much more about just what it takes to put together the right combination of ingredients in the proper ratios to create a nutritious diet. Unfortunately for the pet food purchaser, and worse for the dog, there are available all across the United States various brands of foods that, despite what the label may claim, are NOT a good source of nutrition for your dog. Some are actually harmful!
If you have a dog and a new one will be entering or visiting your home, there are things you can do to ensure that the meeting goes off without a hitch. A new dog can mean you are bringing home a foster or a new family member, someone who has a dog is moving into your house, or someone is visiting with a dog. If you know that both dogs are very social with a variety of other dogs, the meeting should be easy. However, some dogs don’t get out and mix with other dogs that much, or may have only had one or two dog friends in their lives.
Bringing home a new cat or kitten is always exciting. You cannot wait to introduce the new addition to your family and friends; and you are already looking forward to years of happy companionship. The way you introduce your new cat to your household can make a big difference in how well he makes the adjustment. Remember that cats are very much creatures of habit. They like things to be predictable and pretty much the same from day to day. You will be taking your cat out of a familiar environment, putting him into a noisy, moving vehicle, then expecting him to adjust to new surroundings, new people and perhaps, new animals. This is a lot to ask, and no matter how wonderful you and your home are, even the most easy-going cat is likely to be stressed and nervous. To make the transition as smooth as possible, take things slowly and give your cat plenty of time to get used to his new home.
Toilet training your cat may sound like a convenient alternative to the litter box, but don’t be in a rush to get rid of that box without knowing what you and your cat will be facing. There are serious negatives to toilet training and too many people jump on the toilet training band wagon without fully understanding potential downsides to this technique. I have done many consultations for cat behavior problems as a result of owners attempting to train their cats to exclusively eliminate in the toilet. The cats end up stressed out and confused, and the cat parents almost always wind up very frustrated. What is supposed to be the answer to the dreaded litter box set-up may end up creating a major behavior problem.
Your cat does not simply need a litter box - she needs a clean litter box with fresh litter. Your cat will be inhibited from using her litter box if it smells of urine. Think about it from the cat's viewpoint. When she soils your dining room carpet, the area is immediately and thoroughly cleaned. Given the choice between a regularly cleaned place and a litter box that gets changed only once or twice a week, your cat will naturally prefer the carpet. The litter box must be cleaned daily.
Your sofa and your nerves are in tatters. You're scolding your cat, knowing all the while that it's futile. This is not a cocker spaniel that you're dealing with. This is one of nature's most pragmatic and self-sufficient creatures: a cat. Worse, you're well aware that your cat considers your behavior baffling. She looks at you as if you've gone slightly mad. "Why the Fuss?" she seems to say. "What are you raving about? I'm simply doing my thing — what's up with you?" You're at an impasse. What to do?
Introducing a new cat or kitten to a household can be quite stressful, to all concerned. Indeed, it can be easier to introduce a dog to a cat than a cat to a cat. This is because a cat won’t view a dog as competition for resources – it might have to get used to its excited behaviour and learn to stand up to it to avoid being chased, but this usually happens very quickly and much more easily than we imagine. The cat-cat thing is much more difficult.
If you’ve never taken your cat on a drive before, you might be put off by the horror stories others have told about car rides they’ve taken with their cats. In fact, if you’ve been a cat owner for a long time, you might have lived through some of these horror stories yourself. There’s no question that cats tend to be dislike car rides. But if you make the necessary preparations, use appropriate equipment and take a cat’s perspective when planning your trip, both humans and cat can have a great time.
Lucky for us, there are vaccines to help prevent many illnesses that affect cats. Vaccinating your cat has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help her live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Although vaccination has the potential to protect pets against life-threatening diseases, vaccination is not without its risks.