We all know that pets can bring so much to our homes when they arrive, but are we sure we know all about having and caring for a pet at home? We’ve gathered experts in the field that will help us learn more about these topics on this Expert Roundup, and we are sure that it would provide so many excellent tips and advice. Happy Pets, Happy Homes!
How to Introduce a New Pet to Your Home?
Adjusting to a new environment can take its toll on even the most confident pet. Ease them in by using a pheromone plug-in and providing daily calming supplements for several weeks. Ensure they have all of their own resources if there are other pets in the home. This should include their own water bowl, cozy bed, and toys.
Dr. Linda Simon, MRCVS, MVB | Member of Wag!’s licensed veterinary team
How to Start Training My Dog at Home?
There are many dog training philosophies, but I support positive training methods – rewarding the behavior you want to encourage and ignoring or redirecting the unwanted behavior. Set up a realistic goal of what you want your dog to know, e.g., five primary skills at home or take a test and enroll in a most fitting training program with your dog. Prepare some tasty treats – cooked meat, cheese work for fussy dogs. Many dogs will work for dry kibble as spending time with you is already rewarding.
A few suggestions for successful long-term training:
1. Keep it Short
Remember! Always keep the training sessions short. Make sure to start and end every session with an easy exercise or cuddle session so that your dog is looking forward to the next session.
2. Take it Slow
Be patient. Dogs who were never trained before need time to understand your body language and what is being asked from them. Don’t try teaching them everything on the same day or one after another. Make them get hold of one cue and then move towards the other one.
3. Be Persistent
It is not enough to learn a behavior once. It is important to reinforce it in different environments, with other distractions. If you taught your dog to sit in the kitchen, try it out in your living room, outside, in a dog park. You will see how differently your dog responds. Polish the old commands while adding the new ones to your training schedule.
4. Agree on the rules
Make sure all family members agree on the rule and make them consistent with the dog. If the dog is not allowed to go on the sofa, it should be a strict rule. If your dog is sometimes allowed and usually not, the dog will keep trying to check if today is their lucky day.
5. Give an alternative
If your dog is misbehaving, instead of saying what not to do, tell what to do instead. If your dog keeps jumping on you, don’t simply say “no.” Instead, ask for a sit and when a dog does it, reward with your love and attention.
Rasa | Dogo App
How to keep your dog active?
The amount of physical activity a dog requires depends on the breed and age of the dog. Whereas you need to be very careful not to over-exercise your young puppy (no matter what breed), every healthy adult dog should have at least one long walk a day, ideally off lead so they can zoom and sniff about as they wish, or you could use a long training line attached to a well-fitting harness.
You can, and should, also provide plenty of mental engagement daily via positive reinforcement training, puzzle toys, scent games, going on a sniffer around the neighborhood, etc. (20 minutes of cognitive engagement = 1 hour of physical exercise).
Agility classes or enrolling in a trick training course are great ways for you and your dog to work and learn together and try to avoid throwing a ball a million times over. It doesn’t do anything for your dog’s joints and bones and will quickly turn your dog into a ball-obsessed adrenaline junkie.
Alexandra Nelke | Wolfgang’s Way Dog Training & Behaviour
How to integrate a rescue dog into your home and family?
The first step is to meet with the new dog, just you and the dog—no other animals or children. Make sure you and the dog are compatible. Once this is established, introduce other animals and children by way of a meet and greet at the shelter. Both animals should be secured and leashed in case there are aggressive reactions from one or both. Even once the dogs are settled down, still, keep them leashed for a bit in case you need to pull one off another. Once both dogs are settled down, then let them off leash and watch what transpires. By now, most dogs will have adjusted and accepted each other.
Give the new dog 3 days to get settled, 3 weeks to feel secure, and 3 months to feel at home as if they belong. Have patience with a new pet. They need to learn how to fit in.
Barry K. | Halifax Humane Society
What are the most common accidents that happen to a pet inside our homes? and how can you prevent them?
Apart from torn nails and fractured teeth, one of the most common ways pets can accidentally hurt themselves is by eating something they’re not supposed to. There are tons of hazardous objects around the house that pique pets’ curiosity — from food in the trash to poisonous houseplants, prescription medications, children’s toys, and beyond. Dogs get a bad rap for swallowing all sorts of things, but cats are also known to ingest foreign objects like string and hair ties that can cause serious internal damage. To prevent these accidents and consequences such as severe diarrhea, kidney failure, drug overdose, intestinal blockage, and even death, it’s critical for pet parents to safely store known household toxins, pick up small choking hazards, and reinforce positive eating behaviors.
Kaelee Nelson | Dog Trainer & Behaviorist at Pawlicy Advisor
How to potty train your dog?
My best tip for potty training is to give your puppy a way to communicate with you. Potty Bells are a huge help in bridging the connection between you and your pup, it’s one of the first ways they’ll learn to seek you out for their needs.
Lindsay Pevny | Blogger at LittleDogTips.com
How to Enrich your Dog’s Daily Walks?
When I think about enriching my dog’s daily life and walks, I think about what my dog enjoys and what natural tendencies they have.
A dog has a natural tendency to use its noses as it is its most powerful sense. In the wild, they would use their sense of smell to find food or a mate. So allowing our dogs to have some time to sniff around on a walk is wonderful enrichment. There is always something new for your dog to smell, like who passed by and when. You can also bring alone some puzzles for them to find as you walk.
Do some training with your dog. Remind them how we would like them to walk and reward them for it.
You can also vary where you walk, taking a few paths and letting your dog explore. Bring a toy along too and just have fun with your dog!
Nikita Poe | Patrick’s Pet Care
Which things should be considered to get the best insurance for my pet?
You should choose your pet insurance policy according to your dog’s age, breed, and health. Compare quotes from insurance companies and determine what their policies cover. Does the policy provide coverage for medical treatments, diagnostic tests, and certain conditions? Does the policy have an age limit? Pet insurance means doing your homework, but you and your pet will appreciate it in the end.
Erin Cain | Pet Insurance Review
Which reptiles can I have as a pet at home, and which are their essential care instructions?
While there are various reptiles suitable as pets in your home, many species do require more advanced techniques when caring for them. Because of this, we recommend a bearded dragon as someone’s first reptile. They are rarely aggressive and reasonably easy to socialize (they’ve been known to follow owners around the house just like a cat or dog). There are numerous sources available to help you learn how to provide them with the proper care.
Like any pet, however, you should still do your homework before getting one. Let’s go over a few of the things you need to consider before bringing that new beardie home.
What kind of home does my bearded dragon need?
While bearded dragons do require a large enough enclosure for them to move around in, they don’t need as large as many other exotic species. Initially, you’ll want a 40-gallon tank or vivarium, but ideally, as your birdie grows, you’ll want to upgrade to one that is 75 gallons. Preferably, you’ll use an enclosure that has transparent sides, so it mimics their environment in the wild (there aren’t any walls in the outback) and allows you to view your new friend easily. Then you’ll also need to provide substrate or flooring (reptile carpet or tile is best as other things like sand and bark can cause issues), UVA & UVB lights (they require about 12-14 hours a day of these light sources. They do make combination bulbs that provide both light sources), and finally a basking spot and hide so they can stretch out in the light during colder times and hide when it gets hot (Again, they make some that will provide both in a single accessory).
What do I feed my bearded dragon?
Beardies are omnivores, so you’ll want to provide a diet consisting of various proteins, vegetables, and as an occasional treat, fruit. Insects most commonly used are crickets or an even better source if you’re up for it, dubia roaches which are a source rich in fat. As a backup, you can occasionally offer mealworms but be careful as they can sometimes be hard for your beardie to digest. Vegetables can range from dark leafy greens like kale, arugula, and collard greens to red and yellow vegetables like squash, bell peppers, and carrot. Berries are generally the best type of fruit to provide. Remember: mix up their diet (you don’t like eating the same things all the time), don’t use wild sources as they could have chemicals or other stuff on them that will make your beardie sick, and ALWAYS put calcium dust on their food to avoid calcium deficiencies.
Finally, you won’t need a water bowl in their enclosure. Bearded dragons
get hydrated by consuming water in the food they eat or through condensation, dew, etc. We still recommend misting their enclosure once a day, spraying some on them directly as they will lick the water off their head.
Do I have time to socialize with my bearded dragon?
While not generally social in the wild or even in captivity in a same-sex environment, bearded dragons can become very social once you have spent the time to build trust and a bond with them. As pets, numerous owners have beards that will follow them around the
house, go for walks with them (leashed, of course), sit in their laps or on their shoulders, and watch television. If you commit to having one as a pet, you set aside time daily to hold them and form a bond.
Daniel Glenn | Kissagator
What can I do instead of declawing my cat?
There are accessible, humane alternatives to declawing, including sturdy scratching posts, scratching pads, nail trims, deterrents like double-sided tape and Feliway, Soft Paws, etc.
Declawing is the amputation of a cat’s first toe bone.
Declawing always causes varying degrees of long-term pain and suffering and always harms health and well-being. Cats are stoic and hide their pain and suffering until they are in a severe state.
Removal of a cat’s claws and toe bones means removing a cat’s ability to stretch its back muscles and changes how the feet hit the ground. This can lead to back problems, including pain and muscle atrophy. Think of it like wearing improper shoes in humans.
Declawing is inhumane and an intentional act of mutilation. It causes behavioral issues like biting, aggression, and litter box avoidance because of the pain and discomfort that the declawed cat has from their toe bone amputations.
Why do cats need their claws?
Cats need their toe bones and claws for many aspects of their physical and psychological health and well-being. Claws and the toe bone attached to them are an essential part of a cat’s anatomy. Most mammals walk on the soles of their feet, but cats are different. They are digitigrade, which is another way of saying that they walk on their toes.
Cats use their claws for many things: balance, exercise, grooming, itching, walking and stretching. If a cat is stiff, it sinks its claws into a surface to create an anchor from which to stretch its back, legs, and neck. This is the only way a cat can exercise many of its back, leg, and neck muscles.
Cats naturally scratch to promote nail health, stretching for exercise, which leaves their spine and joints flexible and relieves stress.
As you can see, our experts have the best tips and advice for us to have and take care of our pets from home. It’s essential to know when you will have a new pet and how to receive them. Make sure that you can give them the best care possible so that you have a happy pet and a happier home.