Vacations are a time for relaxation and an escape from responsibilities. However, if you are leaving a new puppy behind, it might turn you into a basket case. You wonder about their health and well-being, and whether or not they may be undergoing separation anxiety. It is tough when dealing with puppies, because they count on you every day to tend to their every need. Leaving them for a first time can be nerve-wracking. You don’t have to feel lost or apprehensive, however, if you take the proper steps in preparing them and yourself for the short separation of a vacation. Here are 5 helpful tips to retain peace of mind as you travel and ensure that your little one is well taken care of.

Leaving Your Pup for the First Time? 5 Tips to Give you Peace of Mind

Practice Makes Perfect

Before you fully pack up your bags and depart for your destination, you should try leaving or making your presence scarce during the day for short periods of time. Begin this activity weeks in advance. Practice being separated from your puppy; leave him in a designated area in your home for a time without him hearing or seeing you. Instead of suddenly disappearing for a long time span, these shorter practice runs will help with adjustment. Lengthen the alone time each day. It will help you and the pet slowly get used to the idea of being apart from each other.

Leave Them with Someone Familiar

One easy way to know that the puppy is in good hands is to leave them with someone you’re familiar with. Have a neighbor, a friend, or a family member come and dog sit while you’re away. If you know of someone with pet experience, try calling them to see if they’re available for the time you’re gone. You want someone that not only likes animals, but has experience caring for them—taking care of a puppy is no small task. Invite him or her over to your house each day for about a week or two prior to your departure. Make certain they, as well as your puppy are comfortable around one another. Does your pup respond favorably to and play with the person? If he does, you know that your pet’s loneliness will be lessened.

Leave Instructions

Also, it is important to leave clear and detailed instructions pertaining to the puppy’s eating habits and specific needs. Is he teething? Are there any health concerns? Let the chosen caretaker know. Leaving a written list and schedule for the person can help alleviate your stress by knowing your puppy is being properly taken care of. Another solution to peace of mind is to give the dog sitter any relevant phone numbers where he or she can contact you. The emergency contact for your veterinarian would be useful as well.

Familiar Scents

If your friend, neighbor, or family member can’t come to dog sit at your house, you might be forced to send your puppy over to theirs. You may want to pass along any favorite toys or blankets to the new household. Familiar sights and smells will assist tremendously in relieving tension your dog may have in the different dwelling. Additionally, you can be comforted by the thought of your companion cozily curling up in his master’s blanket at night.

Professional Kennels

If none of your close acquaintances are available, putting your puppy in a professional kennel is always a solution. Check the pricing and kennel conditions for each one you may be considering. The professionals of KennelsLosAngeles.com suggest that the nervous pet owner take a full tour of any facility they are thinking about leaving their pup at—this way you can see exactly what the environment will be like and how your pet will do there. Ask if you can get a tour of the facilities, and talk with the supervisors to judge whether they’re dedicated workers and lovers of pets. Inquire about how they exercise and what they feed the animals. Knowing that your puppy is in reliable, loving hands can do wonders in curbing anxiety while traveling.

Enjoy Yourself

There will always be risks in leaving your beloved puppy for the first time, but these simple tips can do much in terms of lessening the worry. Taking the proper precautions and considering your puppy's well-being in your decisions will guarantee a safer and smoother departure on your vacation. Be involved and meticulous in your preparations, so you don't have to wonder and contemplate them later while you're attempting to do some sightseeing. Take a deep breath, relax, give your puppy a kiss goodbye, and enjoy your vacation. His tail will be wagging when you arrive home.

 

Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

 

By Natalie Gomez 22 days ago at 9:48 am 0 Comments
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If you've recently began the adventure of raising a puppy, you've got a lot on your hands (and you will for the next several months). If you've decided to enlist the help of an obedience school or puppy training program to help in the training process, you'll still have to put in the work at home with your pup to make sure they are learning and developing the right habits. Basically, you have to help them with their “homework” after they go to puppy school. Read ahead for a few ideas of how to best help your dog successfully pass through puppy school with flying colors.

Puppy Preschool

Consistency

If you're not consistent with your dog during the training period, confusion may ensue. For example, you may have enough patience to use positive reinforcement most of the time, but on rare occasions simply feel too exhausted or stressed and yell in frustration. While it's understandable that you don't want your carpeting permanently soiled or new European sofa destroyed, the animal will feel perplexed by different responses from you. As much as possible, maintain an even temperament and repeat the same firm commands for every misbehavior. The more consistent you can be in your reactions, the more likely your pup will understand how you feel about certain behaviors.

Positive Reinforcement

No matter what your puppy does, always have patience with him or her. Using positive methods of reinforcement will help the pup grasp the training concepts faster than negative methods will. Use positive reinforcement rather than punishment or tactics of intimidation. Remember the importance of redirection as well because a lot of behavioral problems stem from instinct, such as chewing on shoes and elimination of waste. Offer him a strong and safe chew toy when he takes a shoe, and always bring him outdoors or to the pee pad if he's had an accident. Any form of negative reinforcement may backfire, creating complications at school and home.

Control All Behavior

Just because your puppy learned to sit at school today, doesn't mean he should get away with nipping all afternoon. While it's very important to let him know he did well with one thing, keep a tight reign on all aspects of his conduct. This will reinforce the training process itself, clearly identify you as the person in charge and create a more stable home environment for everyone. Trying to teach the pup too much at one time will often create confusion, but you can't wait until the day they plan to cover “biting” in puppy preschool before you react to your pup's nipping problem (or any other problems that apply).

Coordinate the Effort

Just as a parent should know what their child is doing at school, you should make inquiries at your dog's training facility. Most programs are set up so that owners are present with their puppy at training school, however, you might send your dog to training sessions where you aren't present. Ask what he learned that day, what his strengths and weaknesses are and how you can reinforce the official training at home. Even if your canine is a star student, practice the routines and commands at home every day to ensure he fully commits to them, both by memorizing words and gestures and by adapting to the process of training itself. Again, you don't want the dog to be confused, so the more you can reinforce what they are learning at puppy school when you are at home, the training process will go much more smoothly.

Understand the Technicalities of Training

There are generally two types of dog training you should be aware of—both of which will probably apply to your puppy. One is behavioral for prevention and correction of inappropriate conduct. The other is obedience training for specific commands. Although most puppies love to learn, their attention spans are limited, and they can be easily distracted. Keep your home training sessions short and focused to best reinforce what he learns in classes. You might not realize it, but taking the puppy to an hour-long training session is a lot to ask of the little guy. He likely won't stay attentive through the entire session, so if you can implement what you are learning at home, it will become natural to them, and feel less like training.

Your approach to puppy training can mean the difference between quick success in puppy preschool or dealing with a puppy-school-dropout. Some dogs are more stubborn and less focused than others, so training can be frustrating. But the most beneficial thing for both you and your pup will be to start early—start forming the right habits early on so that you don't have to correct improper behavior later down the road. If you fulfill your role as coach and mentor well, the process should go smoother for both of you and the result will be a happy, smart and well behaved puppy you can be very proud of.

 


Dixie SomersThis article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, women's interests, or home and family. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband, three daughters, and a spunky Jack Russel Terrier who makes life interesting! You can follow her on Twitter: @DixieSomers

By Natalie Gomez 26 days ago at 12:00 pm 0 Comments
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Many times, our pets are telling us that they are not feeling well in subtle ways that can be difficult to know.  If ignored, it could mean putting your pet at risk of getting even sicker, or worse. Four warning signs that you need to pay attention to are vomiting or diarrhea, decreased activity or appetite, urinating more or having accidents in the house and coughing.

Four Subtle Warning Signs That Your Pet Might Need A Vet

Vomiting and Diarrhea
Though it's normal for pets to occasionally vomit or have loose stools, if this is occurring more than once in a day there may be something more serious going on. It is normal, for example, if a puppy has just eaten then runs and plays hard to vomit. His food had not yet digested enough and simply got jostled back up. Be aware if this is happening multiple times a day or if there is a change in your pet's patterns of behavior.

Loss of Appetite or Decrease in Activity
These two signs are hard to decipher. Pets stop eating food for numerous reasons, but if this is happening consistently, then they should visit a vet. Activity levels also vary in pets depending on age and other factors. However, if your normally rambunctious dog is napping all day, then it is advised to have him checked out by a veterinarian. Although it might seem like a nice break to have your puppy sleep more instead of chew on your furniture, this could be a sign of serious illness.

Urinating More Frequently
When your pet needs to relieve himself more often than normal, it could be a sign of something wrong. Many times pets that have been well house-trained for years begin having accidents around the house. This is a possible sign that it needs treatment from a vet since it's a leading symptom of a urinary tract infection.

Coughing
Often times a pet will cough similar to humans and for the same reasons: hair caught in the throat or food down the windpipe. But if the coughing continues for several hours or over the course of more than a day, then you might consider contacting your vet as serious conditions such as pneumonia could be attributed to this symptom.

Attending to the needs of pets is key to a long and healthy life. At the Central Animal Emergency Clinic, the professionals are skilled at treating all of these signs and symptoms to get your pet back to health. Be sure to not ignore these common yet subtle symptoms in your pet.

 

Anita GinsburgAnita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver and often writes about home, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn't writing.

 

 

By Natalie Gomez 31 days ago at 2:59 pm 0 Comments
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