How to Prepare your Kids for Getting a Dog

Getting a dog can be a very exciting experience. It gives your kids some added responsibility and it also gives them something to care for. If you want to prepare your kids for getting a dog, then there are a few things that you can try and do.

Understand the Dog’s Background

It doesn’t matter where you purchase your dog, or even whether you choose to adopt. You need to know the dog’s history, and you also need to know if they are aggressive around children. At the end of the day, your kids should always come first and by knowing information like this, you can be sure to make the best decision. A lot of people think that they can force an unwilling dog to accept a child, but this should never be the case. It will end up in an almost certain disaster, and it will also put pressure on the family as well.

Treats

Treats are like currency, for canines. They are a fantastic motivator when you use them properly.

If you want to help your kids to understand this, then start by giving your child a couple of treats to hold. When the dog is being well-behaved, or when they do a trick on command, tell your child to give them a treat. This will help your child to bond with your new pet, and it will also help the dog to be more accepting of your kids too. When your child hands out a treat, make sure that they keep their hands flat as this will stop their fingers from being nipped. As time goes on, you can use the treats less and less.

Warning Signs

You should always tell your child to use gentle body language. You also need to tell them to use slow, and deliberate gestures. By doing this, the dog is aware of when they are going to be petted, or stroked and it also helps your child to respect the dog’s feelings too. Of course, you do need to tell the child about the dog’s body language too. They need to listen out for warning growls, and they need to know when to leave the dog alone. If your child does not look out for these signs, then your dog may end up with anxiety or they may even resist having a close relationship with your child. Remember that not all dogs will have been socialised to deal with new people and they might not all act the same way either.

Responsibility

Getting a dog is a fantastic way for you to teach your child responsibility. They need to know when to feed them, when to give them more water and even how to help them to stay healthy. If you want to help your child, then try and assign them certain jobs. This could include filling up your dog’s bowl in the morning or it could even involve letting them out in the yard. Depending on how old your child is, you may not want to let them take the dog out for walks to begin with. The main reason for this is because younger dogs tend to pull on the lead, purely because of how excited they are for their walk. It’s very easy for a child to lose control here, so always insist on holding the lead yourself until the dog calms down a bit.

Health

Looking after a dog isn’t just about giving them food and water. They are essentially becoming a member of the family, so you need to look after their health too. This could involve taking them to the vets and even getting their claws clipped from time to time. Your child may love giving your dog a treat from time to time and this is great, but they do need to understand that if they do this too often then they could risk harming the dog’s health. Your friends may ask “why does your dog’s breath smell so bad?” and you may even notice that they start to become overweight as well. All of this can be contributed to a poor diet, and if you can teach your child about this then you can help them to understand the needs of the dog you have much more efficiently.

So, getting a dog can be great for the whole family, but it is important that you teach your child how to look after them and how to care for their immediate needs. The sooner you do this, the better experience you will have.

 

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How To Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

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There is a phrase that everyone knows about that says that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But oh how wrong that statement is. Sure, it may be a little more difficult as they get older, but it doesn’t mean they’re incapable of learning things. Dogs are highly intelligent creatures, this is why so many emergency services use them. They work alongside the police to sniff out illegal substances, while finding people and catching them if they run. Some medical hospitals use them to sniff out cancer in humans, identifying if it’s in the body, and where. And they are even prescribed to people who aren’t able to manage for themselves, whether that be because they’re anxious or depressed, or suffer from a disability which means they are unable to do certain things by themselves due to being blind or deaf. So as you can see, if they weren’t super smart, they would never be doing the line of work that they do.

Dogs are there for us no matter what, that’s what makes them a man’s best friend. They manage to give us a new found confidence that we may have thought we lost. They stand by our side through the thick and thin. They make us laugh when we feel like crying. And they encourage us to be a better person.

So what about when it comes to teaching them things later on in life?

Here’s how you can ensure that you do it correctly.

Make sure they’re healthy.

If you have a dog that isn’t in full health whether that be due to an ear infection or worms, you can’t expect them to give you their full attention because they are already preoccupied with other niggling issues. Take fleas, for example, these are a very common nuisance that gets into your pups fur and breeds and breeds until they are covered in the little things. They then bite and feed on their blood, which becomes extremely irritating for your dog causing them to scratch, so much so that they end up pulling out patches of fur. In order to control this and kill off any eggs and crawlers, you’ll need Advecta that is made specifically to treat these horrible pests. Once you know that your dog is well, then you can start your training.

 

Make sure you’re patient.

You need to ensure that you are always calm and relaxed when going to start part of your training. There are times where you may think that you’re making progress, and then for some reason, your dog will do something wrong or forget, and you will feel like you’re taking a step back. However frustrating this may be, you need to keep your composure and not take it out on your pup. You need to know that they’re trying their best, and we all make mistakes. Patience is your best friend here, and your dog will pick up on it straight away. If you start to get annoyed, then stop the process, because your dog will sense the shift in your energy and will become anxious which will just make things worse.

 

Make sure it’s short.

When your dog is very young, you can train them for quite a long time before they get disinterested and you have to stop. But when they’re older, they will be a little slower, both physically and possibly mentally, so you shouldn’t push them too much otherwise it will all become a waste of time. Choose one command or trick, and focus on repeating that for five minutes. Do this once or twice a day, every day, until the command has been understood and they know what they’re doing. Then and only then, should you move onto the next things.

 

Make sure you praise them.

Every dog needs to be praised when they do something you’re happy about, otherwise they will never know when they’ve done something right. You need to give them a big fuss and cuddle and be vocal about it. They know when you’re pleased because your voice is in a higher pitch and it sounds playful, as a pose to being monotone like when you’re putting out commands. As well as doing this, you should always have a treat at hand. It can be anything as long as you know they really like them. Make sure you only give them a little bit though because the idea is to leave them wanting more. Then if there is any left over at the end you can give them to your dog and end the session.

 

Make sure the environment is empty.

If you’re going to be using a room in your home for training, like the living room, for example, make sure the area is clean and there are no distractions lying around like toys. If your dog is surrounded by other things that they like to do or play with, then they will find it very difficult to focus, even when they really want to. So if you know there is too much going on, move somewhere else. You also want to make sure that there are no noises coming from the tv or radio that can intervene with your dog’s listening. So turn everything off, clean up all the clutter, and make yourself the only thing of interest to your pup.
And there you have it. If you make an effort to follow all of these rules, then your older companion should be learning new things within no time. It may not happen overnight – but it might! There is no reason that they shouldn’t be able to pick up something new straight away if they want to. It’s just down to you to ensure that you go about it the right way. Make it fun and interesting. Believe it or not – dogs like to learn – it’s enjoyable for them, especially because they have your undivided attention during the process, and that’s what most of your furry friends pine after.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Seriously, Beef Liver is Tasty!

chewy.comBeef liver may not be tasty for you or me, but my dogs sure do eat it up. Chewy.com sent over a tub of Evanger’s Nothing but Natural Beef Liver Gently Dried Dog & Cat Treats for us to try out with our two crazy doggies Clark and Miss Lady.

When I saw that it was beef liver flavor I am pretty sure my stomach turned a little bit thinking of liver. I’m just happy these are not for me to eat. They are a perfect size as a reward treat to use when practicing tricks or other training techniques. Both Clark and Miss Lady will sit very pretty for one of Evanger’s Nothing but Natural treats. I also like the tub that these treats came in. After these are out I plan on keeping the tub to use for other treats.

IMG_3884Clark and Miss Lady will most definitely be enjoying the rest of these treats while also getting a re-enforced education in sitting, laying down, and other standard dog tricks. I tried and failed many times trying to get a picture of the dogs practicing their sitting while waiting for a beef liver treat but just couldn’t get it to happen. Follow me on Instagram to catch a photo when I do get it.

There are more flavors than just the Beef Liver if that is not your thing. Check out Chewy’s website for more awesome Evanger’s Nothing but Natural Dog and Cat Treats. I can see these being a go to treat for training for any dog. I’m not sure about a cat because I don’t have one but comment below if you have any experience training cats. I have heard they are hard to train and really independent. So I am interested in your responses.

All in all you cannot go wrong with these treats. Clark and Miss Lady love a good treat and when I can get them to sit for one of these tasty beef liver treats.

Chewy.com provided St. Louis Dad with these products as compensation in exchange for an honest review. Please visit Chewy.com for more toys, treats, and other items needed for your pets!

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National Pet Oral Health Care Month

chewy.comDid you know that caring for your pet’s dental hygiene is just as important as caring for your own? For your pets though it’s a bit easier than having them brush twice a day. Chewy is doing their part by spreading awareness for National Pet Oral Health Care Month. This month they have sent over a great product to try out with Clark and Miss Lady’s dental health.

IMG_3213Greenies Veterinary Dental Chews Large Dental Dog Treats have been a big hit with both of the dogs and us humans. Their breath usually is pretty stinky after they eat, so we gave them one of these after they ate and immediately I didn’t mind them breathing on me. I wouldn’t recommend it for long periods of time because their breath is still hot and slobbery. I love my dogs but I don’t love them breathing in my face. These Greenies make it just a little easier.

IMG_3009One thing you want to make sure with these kinds of treats is that your pups do not gulp them down. You will want to make sure they chew them up instead of eating them whole. Dog’s should never eat treats whole. They need to chew them up. If they are prone to gulping down treats you should probably talk to your vet about what your options are.

We like the Greenies brand, but really any brand that can help with your pet’s oral health is okay in my book. There are plenty of different treats that can easily help your pet. Just search Chewy.com for oral health!

From Chewy’s website.

Greenies Veterinary Large Dental Dog Treats help protect dogs from oral health issues and promote their overall health and wellness. These veterinary treats have a chewy texture that works with your large dog’s natural chewing action for optimal plaque and tartar reduction, and a unique shape that can be chewed at different angles for maximum tooth contact. Greenies Veterinary Dental Chews also feature a blend of highly soluble proteins, vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and chelated minerals, making them nutritionally complete for adult dogs.

Chewy.com provided St. Louis Dad with these products as compensation in exchange for an honest review. Please visit Chewy.com for more toys, treats, and other items needed for your pets!

 

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