Nail Clipping for Dogs
At TLC, we know that your dogs are more than just pets; they are family members. And because you want to care for them like one of the family, you do what you can to make sure that they look and feel their best. Nail clipping for dogs is more than just a manicure for them. Learn why dogs need to have their nails clipped and common mistakes to avoid at home. Also, you can trust most professional groomers to offer nail clipping for dogs as part of their services.
Why Clip Your Dog’s Nails?
Did you know that nails that go unclipped can cause your dog pain? Many veterinarians warn that unclipped nails can turn their paws into a splayed foot which reduces traction. Unclipped nails for extended periods of time can also lead to deformed feet or injure the tendons causing pain.
If this is your first time clipping your dogs nails, purchasing clippers meant for dogs only is your fist step. Never use clippers meant for people. When searching for a pair of clippers, find a pair that is comfortable and easy to control. There are clippers available that are motorized, which can sometimes decrease the amount of time spent on each nail and make the process a bit smoother for your furry friend. Grinding your dogs nails also mitigates the chance that you’ll cut them to the quick (which causes bleeding). Take a look here at the 2018 list of best nail grinders for dogs.
Nice And Slow
Don’t rush through the process of clipping your dog’s nails. If you do, then there is a chance that you could tear the nails or clip them too short. This is one of the important nail clipping tips for dogs because cutting the nails too short can sometimes cause excessive bleeding. Make your dog feel like he is special for getting his nails clipped instead of making it seem like a chore or a common task. Prop your dog’s paws on your leg to allow for as much comfort as possible. An idea to consider is to let someone hold a spoon of peanut butter for your dog to lick on while you’re clipping his nails. Massage your dog’s legs to relieve some of the stress in the muscles, making it easier to approach the paws while clipping the nails.
Offer A Soothing Touch
Before using clippers, you can place an item that has a similar feeling on your dog’s paws. This simple action can get your dog accustomed to something being close to the nails and the feet. Try to let your dog get used to the sound associated with the clippers by squeezing them nearby, getting closer to your furry friend until you’re able to gently clip each nail.
For More Information
If you have questions about nail clipping for dogs or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at email@example.com.
Raising a Puppy
If You Want a Great Dog, Raise a Good Puppy
Raising a puppy sounds like a good ole’ time of throwing a ball and watching him scurry after it. We all know how holding a sweet puppy can just melt your heart. However, there is so much more to raising a puppy. Becoming a responsible puppy owner requires a lot of work and patience. If you want a great dog, raise a good puppy.
Never Know “No!”
Your puppy was born into this world completely helpless and blind. Now, in your care, he is fully dependent on you to teach him about the world around him, as well as what behaviors are unacceptable. Unfortunately, many trainers using old, outdated methods still tell you that the first thing you should teach your puppy is the meaning of “No!” The science and theory of learning, however, states otherwise. A puppy learns quicker and far more consistently when you can prevent his bad behaviors and reward the good ones. This motivates him to perform good behaviors instead of focusing the bad behaviors. An excellent example of preventing bad behaviors would be the use of a crate or playpen for housebreaking. Keeping your puppy in a safe place while you cannot keep an eye on him prevents him from wondering into another room to potty. When you take him to the proper potty place, you can reward him for doing his business. With time and consistency, he will want to potty in the right place, because you have positively conditioned him to do so!
Training Starts Now
The very first thing you should do with your puppy is begin training. This does not mean that you should begin a full training session before stepping foot indoors, but it does mean that the moment your puppy becomes yours, you should jump straight into his schedule! Dogs rely on schedules, and your puppy is no different. If he is given the ability to potty at the correct times, eat at specific times and given ample exercise and play times you have already started training! Puppies learn from repetition, and a schedule will get his mind and body in sync with the schedule you have made for him.
Even if your puppy is meant to be yours and yours alone, ask others to chip in on his care. Puppy care can be a difficult and daunting task to do it right all alone. Puppies need a potty break every hour or hour-and-a-half. If this doesn’t fit your schedule, ask a close friend of family member to do it and get them involved in your puppy’s life. It will be both rewarding for you, your friend or family member as well as your puppy. There may be times when you cannot be there when your puppy is in need, and it is helpful for him to learn to continue his schedule, even when it is with another person.
It’s Cute Now, But Not Later
Your puppy’s jumping and barking may be cute now, but when that little Labrador grows into an extra-large canine, it will just be annoying! A large, or even medium sized dog can easily knock over a person, making it a dangerous behavior to learn. Begin your puppy’s obedience by reinforcing behaviors like: no pawing, jumping, or being forceful with others in order to get what he wants. It’s simple to teach. First, hold a toy or treat that your puppy wants and wait. Then, he will get excited, jump, bark, or even lay down. These are all typical behaviors puppies use to get what they want. Finally, the moment he gives up and looks the other way is the moment you reward him by giving him the treat or toy! Continue doing this throughout the day, especially during play sessions. He is learning that he must be polite and gentle to get what he wants.
Consistency is Always Key
You will hear this one a lot, but it is for good reason. If you let your puppy get away with something you have just reinforced bad behavior that you were working to change. Telling yourself, “It’s okay, just this one time,” will simply add confusion to your puppy’s understanding of boundaries. Stick with your puppy’s training regimen and schedule. Remember to keep it training fun. After all, it is just one big game to your puppy. With the right attitude, it can be a fun game for you, too!
For More Information
If you have questions about raising a puppy or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diet & Routine Vet Care Tips for Dogs
If you want to have a long, beautiful relationship with your dog, then you should educate yourself on the basics of his health care. A foundation of good health starts with diet, and this should go hand in hand with routine, preventative veterinary care for your pet! Skip out on either of these, and you may be sorry later down the road. A poor diet can lead to obesity, liver failure and even diabetes. Skipping out on routine vet care could mean that your dog is silently suffering a preventable problem without ever knowing about it! Stop poor health before it starts with these diet and routine care tips!
First Vet Trip
The very first thing you should do with your new dog or puppy is take him straight to the vet! In fact, most contracts from both ethical breeders and rescues will state that an examination by a licensed vet within 72 hours is required! This is to make sure your new best friend is healthy and coping well in his new home. He may also receive booster shots at this point, which is typically a 5 way vaccine that includes protection against deadly Parvovirus.
The Wellness Examination
Even if your dog is an adult, you should not forget about his yearly wellness exam! This is the exam where your vet will look and feel in places an owner normally will not. He will feel your dog’s stomach for anything out of the ordinary, feel his organs to make sure they are of normal and healthy size, and make sure your dog is over all healthy. He will also check inside ears, mouth and even express your dog’s anal glands if it needs done! If anything does seem out of the ordinary, your vet may have caught it in time before it became a serious threat to your pet’s life.
Nutrition for Health
Your dog needs to have a diet that is tasty, but also one that is healthy for him. Unfortunately, most manufactured pet foods, even the most popular ones you see advertised on television, are the worst for your dog’s benefit. Seek out foods that are grain free and made from whole foods instead of just meals and flours. Better yet, find a recipe book for raw or cooked homemade meals to keep your dog as healthy as he can be!
Don’t Be Fooled by Labels!
Sometimes a dog food product may seem like a great choice, but the nutritional ingredient list will tell the truth! Always read the ingredient list. The first three items listed are those in which the food holds the most of, so you must make sure no meals, by products or grains fall as those first three ingredients. You will also be able to seek out important items on an ingredient list. For example, if you want a high fiber food for a dog with digestive problems and find a food that claims to have pumpkin in it, flip the bag over and read the list! The further down pumpkin is on the list, the less amount of pumpkin is actually in each bite. The only way to be 100% certain of what and how much is in your dog’s food is to make it yourself!
If you want to stay involved with your dog’s health and proper care, ask questions to your vet! Learn about canine diet and never stop accepting new information! Science discovers new things almost daily when it comes to the dogs we love so much. Your thinking and feel about your dog may change with the more you learn, and your love for him will only grow with more knowledge!
Socialization for Dogs
While many dog owners believe their dog to be the friendly sort, and they very well may be, the act of socialization goes far beyond just saying his to house guests. It goes beyond meeting new people, trips to the Dog Park and doggy play dates, too! Socialization includes items that may be strange to a dog, different floor textures, sounds that can be scary and more. You can start your dog, at any age, down the road to being well socialized with patience and care.
The Fear Periods
While all dogs are continuously learning throughout their lives, including socialization, the two fear periods in a puppy’s growth are probably the most impressionable. These two times in your puppy’s life are when objects, people, other animals and dogs can hardwire a certain emotion and reaction in your dog. The experiences he has during his fear periods are the ones that he will carry with him for the rest of his life, even the bad ones. This is why trainers, breeders, rescuers and veterinarians always stress socialization during puppy hood, because these emotions and behaviors that your puppy learns at this time become difficult to change in the future.
The first fear period will begin before your puppy is even weaned at four weeks old. If your puppy came from, or is coming from a breeder then it is up to your breeder to begin socialization at or before this time in your puppy’s life. The same can be said for a rescue or shelter! It is incredibly important for a puppy at the beginning of his four weeks of life to begin learning new things and have a positive exposure to things that may seem scary to a dog. This first fear period ends at about twelve weeks of age, which means you will receive your puppy during his first fear period! This is a prime opportunity to begin training immediately and form a wonderful bond with your puppy.
The second fear period is a guess, as each individual puppy may be slightly different. It can occur anywhere between seven and eight months of age and lasts for two weeks. During this time you may see more flighty behavior from your puppy, hence the name fear period! It helps to know your puppy well so you can realize quickly that he has entered his second fear period. While socialization should be taking part on a regular basis no matter what your dogs’ age is, this is the most ideal time to introduce him, or reinforce socialization with items and people specifically as well as work on preventative training so your dog will not become reactive in the future.
Exposure vs. Experience
Exposure is needed to socialize a dog, whether you are working on introducing him to umbrellas or other animals. However, exposure alone will not socialize your dog! The key to a well socialized dog is the brief, positive experience he goes through while the exposure is taking place. This does not mean you need to give your dog a treat after he cautiously explore a scary hat on the ground, but instead encourage him to explore it more and when he’s done give praise and move on. It literally can take minutes to socialize your dog with an item!
When it comes to socializing your dog with people, especially if you have a shy dog is not to force him to allow others to pet him. Forcing your dog to let strangers put their hands on him will work against you in socialization. If your dog is shy, let him just observe people, and when a stranger asks to pet your dog don’t feel obligated to let them. Just kindly tell the person your dog is in training, and most people will happily accept and understand to respect your dog’s space. When your dog becomes interested in the people, and not providing fearful or cautious behaviors, like leanings towards someone without stretching out his back legs (as this allows him a quick exit,) you can allow a person to pet him. Ask the person to kneel at his level, while providing their side not chest in his direction and let your dog approach. This makes the person look inviting instead of threatening, and gives your dog the ability to have a positive social experience with a stranger. Once should be plenty for a shy dog, but an outgoing pup may want to meet humans as many as possible!
Dogs learn for life. No dog is too old to learn new things, not even socialization! If you adopted an adult or senior dog, don’t feel as if you don’t need to help him become comfortable with new or strange things. Even if something is scary to him, he will love to learn something new and be more confident instead of fearful. Never stop teaching any dog new things, especially when it comes to socialization!