The Truth about Leaving Dogs Alone

dog sitter jolietMany people, too many in fact, leave their dogs alone for an entire workday. This isn’t good because dogs are social creatures who crave love and attention often. They need a physical response from people and the games they play in order to be happy. This means, even if your dog doesn’t destroy the house while you’re gone, it doesn’t mean he’s okay with being so lonely. If you have a life where you can’t make it home from work for lunch, and nobody else lives with you… then you need to figure something out because your dog is sad, lonely and bored. He or she could potentially begin to suffer separation anxiety, and even resort to retaliating behavior, like using the bathroom indoors or chewing furniture.
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Why You Should Leave Your Pets with a Professional Sitter & Not a Neighbor!

10731985_SNot interested in taking good care of your pet?  If that’s the case, then go ahead and follow the poor advice from Chase Bank, as seen on the Shorewood Patch! I cringed at the sight of the title, as an animal lover and not as a pet-sitter; anyone who cares for animals would feel disturbed by such haphazard advice. [Read more…]

5 Awesome Tips for Potty Training [Continued from Last Week]

My last post covered advice on how to get the most out of your potty training. Today, I’ll go a bit further into that with a few tricks I’ve learned in my time.

5 Tips to Help Make Potty Training Easy

1.       You’ll need to crate –train your pooch, it’s the perfect method for potty-training and many pet owners swear by this method. You obtain  the perfect sized crate by finding one that your dog can stand up and turn around in comfortably. Be sure you don’t get a crate that’s too big or it won’t work. Puppies don’t like to use the bathroom in the same area that they sleep in, so this is how they learn to hold it. Take your puppy to the bathroom every time you let him out of the cage so that he gets used to going outside.

2.       Make a set schedule and adhere to it. Get your dog on a strict routine, and he’ll begin to understand when potty time is, and then wait for that.

3.       Make communication easy. Always ring a bell when you take the dog out, and then leave some jingle bells nearby the play area. Your puppy will eventually associate the noise with bathroom time, and will jingle them to let you know it’s time!

4.       Hand accidents correctly, never punish your pup for going to the bathroom in the house- just correct the behavior while it’s happening.

Products like Potty Patch and Bio Dog are great for emergencies.
 

A Quick Note on Potty Training Dogs in Apartment Buildings

Potty training a puppy isn't the same every time, so even if you're experienced with pets, you should still do a bit of research and form a plan. Puppies are like snowflakes or fingerprints; some are alike, but no two are identical. Each puppy comes with his own set of variables, like socialization, home size, breed, and of course their personality. For example, Yorkies and Chihuahuas can take longer to train because they're so independent and intelligent.

Potty training a dog in an apartment is a lot different from a doing it inside of a big home, especially if your abode is a few floors up. You’ll need a few supplies and a lot of patience, but it is possible to have a perfectly trained, housebroken pup inside of an apartment building.

For great strategies, visit some of the links below:

10 Reactions to Your Dog’s Quirks

Whether you’ve had your dog for three weeks or three years, some of these reactions and statements will have you laughing and saying “Deb, that is so true”. Dogs are hysterical, adorable creatures, even when they’re being mildly irritating.

 

  • Your first day with your dog:

    Animation3

  • When you have had rough day and you come home to your dog’s unconditional love:

    Bill-Murray-Caddyshack

  • When your dog feels ill:

    hyperventilating

  • The entire potty training process:

    too-much

  • When your dog gets mad about your steak dinner:

    mad-sorry

  • When your neighbors don’t like your dog:

    deal-wit-it

  • When you buy your dog an expensive toy, and he chews The cord off of something:

    bummed

  • That one rare day your dog doesn’t care that you’ve been gone for eight hours:

    rejection

  • Even though you expect a new puppy to have an accident, you still react like this when he or she has an accident:

    horg

  • Talking to your dog like he understands, and feeling like this when he doesn’t:

    kristen-stewart-sad

Did I miss one? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 

 

Deb Alling | Pet Nanny of Joliet, Plainfield, and Shorewood, Illinois

 

(I’d like to thank reactiongifs.com for providing the wonderful reactions to the silly things dogs do!)

 

Compromising on Dog Breed – Getting a New Puppy [Part 3 of 4]

In the last post, I covered choosing the best dog for you, but that’s only good for those bachelors and bachelorettes out there. When you have a significant other, or a family to appease, you have to consider what you’re willing to compromise on.

So the kids want a big dog, but maybe you had your heart on a small breed- what can you do?

Try showing them some pictures like this….

new puppy pug dog walker and pet sitter in shorewood

If that doesn’t work, you’re going to have to do some research.

It’s actually pretty easy, all you have to do is ask yourself WHY you want said dog. Head back to part two, and remember the questions you asked yourself. Maybe you want a small dog for close companionship, or maybe your goal is to have a dog that lives as long as possible.

Everyone should write a list on the most important qualities in a dog, and what features they can give up. Although dogs are adorable, simply picking the cutest might not be the best.

Go back to pedigree.com and fill out the form, with everyone involved. If you can’t get everyone to agree, mention that now might not be the best time to get a dog, and I promise… attitudes will change. It’s a completely new perspective when you realize that you’re considering what’s best for your pets and your family.

Deb Alling | Pet Nanny of Joliet, Plainfield, and Shorewood, Illinois

 

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a New Dog [Part 1 of 4]

The decision to get a dog is a simple one for most people, you either love dogs and want one in your family, or you don’t. The tricky part is selecting dog breed and getting everyone in the household to agree on what they want from their new companion.

So, this inspired a four-post series on getting a new dog and everything you need to know to get started. Today’s post will cover how to determine if you’re ready to get a dog. Next week’s posts will cover choosing the right breed for YOU, and part three will cover how to compromise on a breed with others. Part four is a big, fat surprise!

Before getting a dog you need to be sure that you’re ready for the responsibility that comes along with it. Think of the end of the movie Aladdin, when Jafar wants to become a Genie for the power.

At first, he’s like “Great Idea!”

new puppy and adult dog walker and sitter in Joliet IL

And then, the responsibilities catch up with him, and it ends up a disaster.

dog walking blog in plainfield IL

Yeah, getting a dog is kind of like that.

So, how can you be sure you’re ready? You have to ask yourself a few questions first, and the answers will tell you whether you’re ready for a new pup or not.

Can you afford a dog?

Not simply, can you purchase the dog… but can you afford to give him a good life?  A dog is an awful lot like a child, and medical expenses can come out of nowhere. Make sure you have enough savings, and a steady income that will always provide your pooch with what he needs.

Do you have “itty bitty living space” like Jafar’s lamp?

Make sure you have enough room inside the home and in the yard. A tiny apartment might be okay for a Teacup Poodle, but certainly not a Golden Retriever or Rottweiler.

Is Your Abode Safe and Dog Appropriate?

In addition to size, you need to be careful of things dogs can get into. They’re not like cats, they won’t avoid something that is dangerous for them; dogs eat things. I repeat: Dogs. Eat. Things.

Be sure everything is out of the way, use bitter apple spray on cords, and look into the materials used to build your home or apartment. For example, ask someone to inspect the paint on your walls. If you have an older house that still has lead paint, you’ll either need to correct that or watch your dog like a hawk. You never want your dog to scratch paint or lead paint off walls, and risk ingesting it.

What are your limitations?

Do you dislike the idea of walking daily, or, do you find that you get irritated easily? When your pooch needs something, and you don’t want to do it, you can’t take it out on the dog. Be sure you’re ready to handle the care and maintenance of a dog. Your reward? Unconditional love.

If you feel that you’re ready for a dog after this post, then I warmly welcome you to the world of being a discerning pet owner. Congratulations on your decision to give and receive the uninterrupted bliss that is loving a canine.

Check back on Monday for more help, as the next part will help you select your dog breed!

 

Deb Alling | Pet Nanny of Joliet, Plainfield, and Shorewood, Illinois

 

 

[Jafar Gif Courtesy of http://andthenthingsgotfunny.tumblr.com/]

Common Questions and Coping with Pet Loss Part 2

 

Tips for Coping with the Death of a Pet

This is the second post in a two-part blog session about the pain of pet loss. The previous post covers common questions about euthanasia and pet-loss. If you have not yet read the first post, please click here.

The loss of a pet is a painful and traumatic experience, and the only reason we’re willing to put up with it, is that it is worth it! Loving your dog, cat, bird or whatever is an experience that nobody can take from you, and nothing could ever duplicate. Connecting with many pet owners and loving animals myself, I understand this pain. I’ve learned the best ways to get through it.

Below, you’ll find fifteen quick tips for dealing with the loss of a loved pet.

  • Intense grief is extremely normal. This pain can last for weeks or even months. Just know during this time that you are reacting the way anyone would, know that you are not alone, and know that you are not crazy.
  • Be honest with yourself about the pain. Don’t deny that you’re inconsolably sad; you have a right to feel bad. Express this pain and loss through art, writing, or conversation.
  • Remember the pet and all the fun times you had; watch old video clips or reminisce through photos with a few friends
  • As we stated in part one, wait at least a few months to get a new pet. You must take time to heal, as with all relationships.
  • Distract yourself to help ease the pain. Take up a new hobby or watch movies that will take your mind off your pet. For example, do NOT watch “Marley & Me”.

 

 

 

Common Questions and Coping with Pet Loss Part 1

When you make the decision to euthanize an old or suffering animal, it’s never easy. Even though it’s for the best, and you’re doing the humane thing, it’s often hard. Although nothing can make it easy, understanding the process and your pet’s perspective may help ease the pain and guilt, even if just a bit.

Common Questions about Pet Loss

  • How do I Know Euthanizing My Pet Is the Right Thing to Do?
    Some pet owners are unsure when it is appropriate to euthanize a loved pet; they wonder, “How do I know this is the right decision?” Well, the answer is simple, visit the vet! Ask a veterinarian for a professional opinion. However, ultimately, it’s your decision. If your pet is in pain and can’t sleep or live happily, and if there is no remedy or cure for his ailments, it’s time to let him move on.
  • What Happens When The Vet Euthanizes My Pet?
    Many people wonder exactly what happens during the euthanasia process. Veterinarians are adept at making animals comfortable and not scared; your pet will simply think he is going to sleep. This is a very gentle and humane death. This is a two-step process, though. First, the veterinarian will administer a calming sedative, putting the animal to sleep. After that, the vet injects a medication that will end the life in a quiet and painless way. The animal does not know his life is ending and there is no suffering. This is the best love you can give to your pet when he can no longer live a happy and pain-free life. 
  • Should I Adopt Another Pet For The Family?
    There are many different opinions on the idea of getting another pet after the loss of one.  Though this seems like a great way to heal and move on, it can cause confusion. You must give yourself time to heal; otherwise, you could end up resenting your pet and thinking of him as a replacement, which is completely unfair to the pet.

 

Check Back on Monday for the Follow-up to this post in a two-post session on pet loss.

Canine Training Advice: Know The Difference Between Structure & Punishment

A significant divide exists between punishment and correction with pet-training, specifically in canines. Unfortunately, due to myths, media, and confusion, even caring pet owners blur the line between correction and punishment.  You must not train your dog to fear you or his home, and you must not punish him for behaviors and quirks he cannot control.

You should NOT let your pet wear the pants in the relationship though, or life will feel a lot harder for the both of you. It is important that you discipline your dog, so that he understands what behaviors you will tolerate. It’s similar to the way humans must adhere to policies and protocols; living organisms need structure or chaos will ensue.

 Take a word of advice from Cesar Milan –

“In their natural world, dogs or wolves live in a highly disciplined and structured society. The packs’ very survival depends on maintaining order, and order doesn’t happen without discipline. But often we feel that implementing discipline is a form of punishment to a dog. Nothing could be further from the truth!” 

Changing your dog’s behaviors is important, but you must execute the discipline with care and caution, and you must not punish the dog, or assume he’s upset with you. Think about it… imagine how you’d feel if something were harming you, simply because you couldn’t control your bladder?

So, what is the difference between a correction and a punishment? How can you correct the behavior without confusing or harming your dog?

A correction means that you announce a verbal disapproval of your dog’s behavior as he is making the action. A punishment is a harsh verbal disapproval or physical harm,that occurs after the dog has completed the deed. You must stop your dog from doing the irritating behavior as he is doing it; otherwise he will be confused, and he may end up living in fear of you.