Before You Get A New Puppy Or Dog: Getting Your Home and Life Ready For A New Pet

Before You Get A New Puppy Or Dog: Getting Your Home and Life Ready For A New Pet

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It is extremely important to take the time to do research into the right breed of dog for yourself and your family. Consider a given breed’s activity level and determine if that breed is going to fit into your lifestyle. Be honest with yourself; are you really active enough to fulfill the energy requirements for a Labrador or Pit Bull Terrier? It is also not a good idea to choose a dog from a movie or TV show.

Where Can I Adopt A Dog

Many good dogs and puppies can be found in rescues or shelters. There are breed specific rescues as well as those devoted to all breeds and mixed breeds. Many of these rescues can be found through your local veterinarian’s office or at Puppies can also be purchased through a dog breeder. Research the breeder throughly or ask your veterinarian for breeders he/she recommends. A good breeder will ask you multiple questions about your home and lifestyle; if he/she doesn’t, run, this is not a good breeder.

Find a veterinarian and Groomer

It is important to decide ahead of time on a veterinarian. If you don’t already have a veterinarian ask family, friends, or neighbors for recommendations. Have a new pet appointment scheduled for when you get your new puppy. If you have chosen a breed that requires regular grooming then this is also a good time to decide on a professional dog groomer.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Have your home ready for a new puppy or dog by picking up or moving anything you do not want chewed. Shoes, socks/underwear, wires, and the remote control are all items commonly chewed by dogs or puppies.

Decide The Type Of Food (for boston terriers especially)

Proper nutrition is important for your new pet. Do some research into a good food or take your veterinarian’s recommendation. If you decide to take a boston terrier into your house you should consider a number of aspects regarding the food of your dog. Special things to consider are foods that can lead to gas or sensitive stomachs. You should also be aware that some allergic reactions may occur to your dog when providing the wrong kind of food. Evanger, Blue Buffalo and Rachel Ray seem to be great choices. They are awarded top positions on as the best dog food for boston terriers.

Purchase Food, Bowls, and Crate

Get ready by purchasing food bowls and a crate before your new pet arrives. It’s also a good idea to have the eating and sleeping place prearranged so there is no confusion.

Read Up On Crate Training

Crate training is one of the best ways to potty train a dog or puppy. Have all the facts and dos and don’ts memorized before you get your new pet.

Consider Your Other Pets

If you have other pets think about the added stress a new puppy will add. Some pets will do great with a new puppy and others will need a transitional period.

Check Into Training Classes

Start thinking about where you’ll want to go for obedience training or puppy kindergarten classes. Puppy kindergarten is for young puppies and is a good idea for added socialization. Do some research by asking veterinary clinic staff members or rescue groups to find the best place.

Think About The Added Time And Money A New Pet Will Need

Think long and hard before adding an additional pet to your family. Dogs and puppies need a lot of love, patience, and time to become well trained, socialized, and happy. There is also a significant amount of money involved in raising a dog or puppy. Many people have decided to go with pet health insurance to help curb these costs.

Is My Dog Sick? – How to Check a Dog’s Vitals: Learn the Symptoms of Canine Illness, Monitor Temperature, Gums

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How can I tell if my dog is sick?” It’s a common question that arises among dog owners, but few pet owners actually know how to check and monitor a dog’s vital signs. Instead, most turn to old wives tales, like checking to see if the dog’s nose is dry or cold – notably, the wetness or temperature of a dog’s nose is not an indication of illness or health.

Fortunately, there are a few things to check if you suspect your dog is sick. The following vital signs and other physical indicators should be checked every few hours and the findings should be written down. Writing down a dog’s temperature and other vitals will help pet owners to determine if the dog’s condition or illness is getting worse.

When checking the following canine vital signs, it is best to check them when the dog is at rest, but not immediately after waking from sleep. Checking a dog’s vitals right after the dog awakens from sleep or right after exercise will skew the results.

Check the Dog’s Temperature

Begin by checking the dog’s temperature. This must be done rectally, ideally with a little bit of Vaseline on the thermometer tip.

A normal temperature for a dog is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the Dog’s Gums for Color and Moistness

The dog’s gums should be pink in color. With a healthy dog’s gums, the shade of pink will vary from a light pink, to a darker salmon color.

If the dog’s gums are pale or discolored, this indicates a serious problem. Unhealthy gum colors in a dog include white, grey, yellowish, brick red or blue.

When checking a dog’s gums, the pet owner should also check the moistness of the gums. Slick, moist gums are a good, healthy sign. Dry, sticky gums indicate dehydration – a potentially life-threatening problem in dogs and other pets.

Check Capillary Refill Time in the Dog’s Gums

Checking capillary refill time is another way to monitor your dog’s circulation. Poor circulation can occur due to heart problems, shock and serious illness.

Check capillary refill time by pressing a finger firmly to the dog’s gums. This will force the blood out of the tiny blood vessels. Remove the finger from the dog’s gums and pet owners will see that the place where they pressed down will be lighter than the rest of the gums.

It should take no longer than 1.5 seconds for the dog’s gums to return to normal color after releasing pressure. If it takes longer than 1.5 seconds for the dog’s gums to return to normal color after applying pressure with a finger, this can indicate poor circulation and/or low blood pressure – a serious cause for concern.

If no detectable color change occurs when pressure is removed from the gums, this indicates a serious problem – extremely pale gums and poor circulation, which is cause for a visit to the veterinarian’s emergency room.

Check the Dog’s Heart Rate

A dog’s normal heart rate will vary depending on size and age.

Young puppies and small toy dogs will have a faster heart rate, with an average around 180 beats per minute.

Larger dogs will have a slower normal heart rate, somewhere between 60 beats per minute for a giant breed dog and 160 beats per minute for a medium sized dog.

Note that checking the heart rate – directly above the heart – is different from checking pulse in the extremities. When checking the dog’s pulse, expect a slightly lower number. Normal pulse is between 60 (for a large dog) and 120 (for a small dog).


Check the Dog’s Respiration

Respiration also varies depending on the dog’s size. Smaller dogs will have a faster respiration rate, while larger dogs will have a slower rate of respiration. Normal respiration is between 10 to 30 breaths per minute.

Check the Dog’s Skin to Monitor for Dehydration

A sick dog will often be dehydrated, which only makes the situation worse.

Check a dog for dehydration by pinching the skin at the dog’s scruff. Pull the skin upwards into a “tent” and then release.

If a dog is dehydrated, the skin will take several seconds to return to normal; a healthy dog’s skin will immediately flatten out since it’s maintained its elasticity. The longer it takes the dog’s skin to return to normal, the more dehydrated the dog is.

As previously mentioned, a dehydrated dog will also have dry, sticky gums instead of the slick, wet gums seen in healthy dogs.

How to Choose a Dog Walker: Finding the Right Service for the Family and the Dog

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For dog owners in urban areas, it can be difficult to exercise a dog during the day. Larger breeds especially require more activity. A few lucky folks may be able to return home during the day to let the dog out for a walk. Others cannot. Dog who do not receive enough exercise can become destructive, chewing household items and making messes in the house.

To prevent the creeping guilt of a sad dog at home all day – here are some ways to select a reputable dog walking service.

What Kind of Dog Walking is Needed

The first step is to determine what kind of walks the dog needs (i.e., group or solo) and how often. Some families only need a dog walker once or twice per week. Work schedules can vary widely — and some are irregular from week to week. Dog walking services may require a minimum number of walks per week. Read carefully and consider the financial implications.

Finding a Dog Walking Service

To find a dog walking company, begin by asking friends or acquaintances who have animals. What services do they use or recommend? The family veterinarian is also a great resource. Make a list of the names suggested, and research each company to narrow it down.

Look for companies that have insurance, licensed and/or bonded employees, and that seem organized. Absent-minded animal handlers are not a good idea! Consider experience and training of employees, as well. The best walkers will be those who have some knowledge and understanding of dog behavior both alone and in groups.

What to Ask Potential Dog Walkers

Once the list of possible dog walking services has been narrowed down, it’s time to schedule interviews. An in-person interview with the dog walker, family, and the dog, is the best way to make sure the service is a good fit.

Watch how the dog walker interacts with the dog. Does he or she seem comfortable with the pet? Does the pet seem comfortable with the dog walker?

A sit-down interview should include questions about a typical day of service: when the dog walker will arrive, how they will gain access to the home, how many animals will be included in a group walk, and how long the walks last. This is also the time to provide information about the dog’s behavioral issues, feeding requirements, normal schedule, and special medications, if any. Ask about payment methods, scheduling, and minimum walk requirements.

Selecting a Dog Walker or Dog Walking Service

If possible, commit to a small number of walks for the first month. That way the dog can get used to having a dog walker, and owners can see if the service fits with the family schedule. Watch for changes in the dog’s behavior – both positive and negative. Review the costs and benefits. If things go well, congratulations – the family now has a new friend for Fido!