Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Preparing Your Children for a New Dog

If you’ve finally caved in and agreed to get a new dog for your family, then you might’ve just made the best or worst decision of your life. Most parents are responsible for the family pet even though the kids promise to take care of it. They don’t quite understand the pressure or responsibility required to take care of a living animal, but here are a couple of tips to help you ease them into the role of a responsible dog owner.
Maximus and EJ
With Max

Relax your child around your pets

One of the biggest concerns that you’ll face when introducing your child to a pet is that your child is going to be frightened, reckless and sometimes even aggressive towards your pet. These sudden jerky movements can often frighten animals that are new to your household, so ensure that you relax your child and teach them to be comfortable with your new pet. Teach them not to be too firm with your dog and take it slow when trying to build a bond.
With Champ
Teach them chores to look after your pet

There are some basic chores that your child can learn when getting them comfortable with your pet. Firstly, teach them to put away pet dishes and refill the food. This is a good place to teach your child how to properly manage feeding because overfeeding can make your pet overweight and underfeeding will leave them malnourished. Teach them how much food to pour, when, and how to properly clean the feeding dishes. It’s also recommended to teach your child how to deal with dog poop and urine. It’s probably one of the smellier and messier parts of dog care, but it’s something that your children need to learn if they want to grow up with their dog and learn to care for them properly.

Cleaning and grooming your dog

Children should be actively involved in the cleaning and grooming of your pet. The first thing you should consider is getting a guide and learn how to groom your dog. If you personally don’t know how to groom your dog, then you need to learn first, practice and then pass the information onto your children. For instance, if it’s a furry dog then make sure the coat is brushed on a regular basis. Clipping toenails is also beneficial to the pet and also your children, and even their teeth need a good clean now and then. Bathing your dog can also be quite a challenge, but it’s important that your children learn how to do it as well.

Don’t just leave it up to your children

Finally, we need to talk about commitment and responsibility. One of the worst things you can do is get a dog then leave it up to your children. As mentioned before, you’re going to be responsible for the dog as the parent and you need to slowly introduce your children to the tasks and responsibilities of a dog owner. This is why you personally need to also show some compassion and care when taking care of your dog. If you aren’t remotely interested in getting a dog, then tell your children you simply don’t have time for it.

Feeding Your Canine Companions

Food is important in any living creature’s life. Be it us human beings, dogs, cats or even plants, we all need food to sustain ourselves and help us grow. Whether you’re getting a new dog or trying to take your pet’s health more seriously, food is one of the first things that should be on your mind. Feeding your loving pet properly is the key to helping them live a healthy lifestyle.

What do you feed a dog?

This is the main question and most people would simply answer “dog food”. Though they are correct, it covers and extremely broad range of things that may or may not count for the breed or age of your dog. There’s not a single answer and if you’re serious about caring for your dog (or plan to) then you need to do your research about dog breeds and what to feed them. For starters, learn to read dog food labels. Most labels will show what is actually contained in the food itself, and some labels are even targeted towards certain ages or breeds. If you’re unsure how much of each nutrient your dog needs or how many calories they should be consuming, then consult your veterinarian for advice.

Wet vs dry dog food

Dogs can be fed wet or dry food depending on their preference, convenience and their dietary needs. Dry foods are great for dogs that have good teeth because they’re usually harder and need to be chewed. Wet foods, on the other hand, are moist and can be found in canned or pouch form. These contain liquids which mean that the actual food content is lower, and your dog will need to eat more wet food than dry. Wet food also helps when a dog is lacking liquid intake from drinking water, helping to stave off dehydration. There are many online resources to help you learn more about dog food, and it’s recommended you do ample amounts of research and also experiment by feeding your dog different types of food to see what is better for them.

How much do you feed?

Most store-bought dog food will contain serving amounts, but another way to tell how much you need to feed your dog is via a visual inspection. If your dog’s ribcage is visible, then they are underweight. However, if their stomach is parallel to the ground, then they are most likely being overfed. These are just rough guidelines, so it’s important to consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure about your dog’s weight. A great way to check if your dog is eating enough is to use a calorie calculator and manually adjust portions to their needs. Much like humans, there’s no magic number due to the countless situations your dog can be in and the number of breeds that are around. This is essential when your dog seems to be constantly hungry. Overfeeding a greedy dog is a common problem that has to be avoided, so keep an eye on their weight and consider speaking to a veterinarian if you suspect your dog has an eating disorder.