Choosing The Right Dog Breed For You [Part 2 of 4]

This is the second post in a series of four, covering everything new dog owners need to know before bringing home a new friend.

Most dog lovers start out the same way: infatuated with all dogs. We don’t care what country they came from, or what size they run; dog lovers don’t discriminate. This can make choosing the right breed hard. Hard, but not impossible. It all comes down to understanding who you are and what kind of companion you need. It also involves doing a little bit of research.

It’s simple once you look at what you want out of your dog. Do you like to run? Alternatively, do you like to cuddle and laze around your home? Consider the way you live, and research the best breed according to your regime.

In a nutshell: If you’re the type of person who likes to relax after a long day, a small breed with a ton of energy is not for you. If you get a Chihuahua or a Jack Russel, you’re going to be like….

choosing the right breed for a new puppy

You want to pick the dog that melts your heart. Who doesn’t love cute things? “Adorable” is a subjective term, so find what you love the most. Pugs, Chihuahuas, and Corgis receive a lot of attention for their tiny statures and adorable features.

Basically, choosing your dog breed is like choosing your husband or wife. When you look at your dog and don’t understand how you ever lived without him or her, you know you’ve picked the right one.

You can do some research, and use online tools to determine which dog is right for you. Head on over to pedigree.com with help on selecting the right puppy for you.

 

 

It starts with a series of questions, like the photo below.

 

 

choosing the right breed for a new puppy

And then it shows you the perfect dog options for you (as shown below).

choosing the right breed for a new puppy

Okay, now you’re ready to go pick up your new pooch!

 

excited for getting a new dog in shorewood illinois

 

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.

 

Fun Events & Dog Friendly Parks of Plainfield, IL

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About Plainfield

Plainfield, Illinois provides plentiful fun, feel good vibes, and activities to those who seek it. You’ll find many interesting activities and other positive aspects to make Plainfield home. Listed below are just a handful of things that you will encounter; these experiences will make your days in Plainfield exciting and enjoyable. Plainfield, IL is certainly a place worth living, and it is very pet-friendly! [Read more…]

What to Expect as Your Dog Ages – Part 2 of 2

From birth to death, what to expect with your puppy

This is the second installment of a two-post session, covering the life of your new companion. Please click here, if you did not read the first post.

When most of us were kids, we didn’t have the ubiquitous technologies that kids today have, and we spent our time playing words games, or snuggling with pets. The point is… we’ve all tried to figure out our own age in dog years. This led to the common belief that one dog year is equal to 7 years of a human’s. While close, it’s not exactly true….

This means you could start thinking of your dog as an old man when he’s middle aged- How RUDE!

Before giving your dog a complex about his age, head on over to the pedigree website and check out their dog-age calculator. The formulas vary based on dog breed, so you’d want to use this tool, as it can help you figure out where your dog is at, physically and emotionally.

Once your dog is about eight years old (50 in human years), head to a vet for a middle-aged doggy checkup. You can work with the vet to plan, and take any tests you can to see as far ahead as possible. At this stage of life, doggies can get lazy- but it doesn’t mean they’re old or sick. Increasing daily activity or getting another pet can motivate him to get his energy back, just check with the vet first. Think of it as a little doggy  mid-life crisis, appease him with a fun day at a park, a new toy, or a new canine friend!

In the older years (10+), your dog may show his age in different ways…

You can give your dog a long and happy life, as long as you keep a keen eye on his health. You may notice your dog becoming defiant or ignoring commands; loss of hearing is common in dogs, so you may want to have a vet check your dog’s ability to process sounds.

Your dog may also experience muscle and joint pain. Luckily, your vet can suggest supplements and foods to aid and relieve this pain.

It’s also possible for your dog to become lethargic and sad occasionally. You can quickly change this by challenging his mind with a unique toy, or by holding him and giving him pure and unconditional love.

When Your Best Isn’t Enough

The best care and love is no match for time. Dogs cannot live as long as humans can, and for us to try is cruel. Yes, you want to give your dog the best life possible, but that includes knowing when enough is enough. When your dog is in pain, and is too old, owners have a tough decision when it comes to letting a dog go; the hardest choice is often the right one. For information and advice on dealing with the loss of a vet, please read : http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/caring-for-your-pet/euthanasia-decision.html

 

 

What to Expect With Your New Puppy – Part 1 of 2

After talking to a few friends, I realized that there is a lot of hearsay about dogs, specifically about what you can expect with their ages. It inspired me to put together a brief, yet informative collection of what to expect with your new canine pal. The first post in our two-post session, covers what to expect with a new puppy. Check back tomorrow for the final post in this session, covering what to expect as your dog heads into his old age.

When you first make the decision to get a puppy, you’re distracted by the fact that you’re getting a new furry companion. Then, as you start to think about your new pup, you’re distracted by decisions, like where to get the pooch, and which breed suits you best. Then the supplies you need, cute outfits, and adorable toys distract you. Then when you get the puppy, that unconditionally loving face and big endearing eyes distract you. The point is, in the midst of all of the excitement and love going around there is little time for preparation, including thorough research on what to expect. Understanding what to expect at each age will make your life a lot easier, and  it won’t take hours of reading or watching videos to accomplish. Simply, follow the chart below to learn what you can expect from your puppy, from the time you bring him home until adulthood.

Why Start at Eight Weeks?

Most breeders keep newborn pups until about eight or nine weeks. Chances are, unless you breed dogs, you won’t get a puppy younger than seven or eight weeks old. Any care prior to eight weeks, you cannot learn in a small blog post, the puppy needs professional care at this stage.

8-12 Weeks – Cute Baby Stage

Your puppy is developing his motor skills. This is when he begins to understand human emotions, and he begins to react to commands and reprimands. This is the best time to train them, because this is the age where they learn what behaviors you will and will not tolerate.

This is also when the puppy learns his place, and the ideal time for you to show that you are the alpha. This will make training easier. The puppy should watch you eat, and learn that you only feed him after you’ve eaten. The same idea holds true for walks, make sure the puppy learns that he does not walk ahead of you. These principals will make training much easier in the future.

The wonderful part is that this is when your puppy realizes that you are his family. Your new companion will warm up to you and want a lot of attention during this stage. This is the best time to introduce the puppy to people he will see often.

13-16 WeeksTerrible Twos

This is your puppy’s defiant phase. YAY!

Be prepared for a lot of this –

new puppy needs and advice

However, the things that occur during this time are equally adorable as they are annoying, making this an endearing time for you and your puppy. Even though he knows what behavior is okay and what isn’t, he’ll push the limits. You have to be a bit more strict during the training process, because that is what he’s testing, your reaction. If you let him get away with it the first time, you bought yourself a whole life of headaches. Don’t get lenient or lazy with ridiculous behavior, if that picture up there is any sign of things to come, you’ll never eat cabbage again.

Moreover, during this time…. your dog will need you, as he’ll be teething. Distract your pooch with plenty of love and tough dental toys, as this will become his first, full-blown chewing phase. Luckily, most dogs go ballistic over a few of the treats listed below, so this phase doesn’t have to be a destructive one.

Beyond 4 Months of Age – A Dog!

At this age, your puppy will start to seem more like a dog, in terms of hunting behavior and mating instincts. Even if your puppy behaved well on a leash, he might not behave every time as an older dog. Until neutered, dogs may run after a mate, or another dog. This is also their exploration time, so a retractable leash is ideal; dogs need the freedom to explore, but also protection.

 

 

*gif courtesy of buzzfeed.com
Deb Alling | Pet Nanny of Joliet, IL

Adorable Animal Photos to Improve Work Performance

According to the Wall Street Journal, employees who peruse pictures of cute animals at work actually perform better at their tasks. The benefits of looking at these heart-melting photos outweigh the wasted time it takes to view them. The study shows that almost half of the tested groups performed better after viewing photos of cute animals.

 What’s even better is, The Huffington Post UK recently addressed the same article, while adding forty pictures of cute animals to help you focus on your tasks at hand. To celebrate the best slacking excuse ever, I’ll highlight a few of my favorites

 

This Happy Couple-    3/28/2013   Proofs Hill Country Pet Sitters - 2 Pages BG Tree Service- Miller Tree Care - 1 Page Dog Years Training & Boarding Center - 2 Pages Signarama - 2 Pages BG Tree Service - 2 Pages Linda C Smith - 2 Pages Baldknob Marina - 1 Page CB Vernlund Photo Imaging - 1 Page D Van Baalen Art - 1 Page Delux Body Company - 1 Page Dallas House of Flowers - 3 pages Zeo Health- 4 Pages Larson Lighting- 2 Pages Cafe Physique- 2 Pages ALB Technology- 5 Pages Bargain Hunter Outdoor- 1 Page Unitech Applications - 1 Page T Basix - 1 Page Snow Lake Kampground- 3 Pages Revised Pauley's Pups- 1 Page  Edits/Rewrites Bass N Boars - 1 page (proofed the other 2 pages)  The Koala Concerned About His Health –Cute Animal Photos Help Employees ConcentrateThis Delicious Pear – Cute Animal Photos Help Employees ConcentrateThis-Cute Animal Photos Help Employees ConcentrateThis-Cute Animal Photos Help Employees ConcentrateAnd of course, this-Cute Animal Photos Help Employees Concentrate

*All Photos Courtesy of The Huffington Post UK

Advice for Choosing Your Pet’s Veterinarian

When it comes to veterinarian selection, the best thing that you can do for your pet is research several candidates, thoroughly. While word-of-mouth referrals are a big help, it doesn’t always mean that the vet is consistently amazing. The person raving about his or her wonderful experience may have not caught their antics yet.

Not to say that all vets are evil. In fact, just the contrary, vets dedicate their lives to helping animals heal and thrive. Alternatively, a select few vets out there are just lazy and negligent. Sometimes, you even wonder how they made it through college. Even though the good vets outweigh the bad ones, you must protect your loved ones from the lazy.

Cleanliness

Imagine walking into an office, and it looks pristine; everyone is quite friendly. You would never know that their methods for sanitation consist of haphazard cleaning efforts. You can eliminate this worry by reading reviews and checking for professional endorsements. For example, a vet in good standing with the humane society most likely follows the sanitation rules meticulously.  Remember that just because a place looks clean, does not mean that it is 100% safe.

Caution & Experience

Obviously you should not judge a book by a cover, but consider finding an older, experienced vet. New and inexperienced vets may practice extra caution, but they’re still prone to beginner mistakes and learning experiences. Yes, they have to learn, but not with a being that you cherish so dearly.

Etiquette and Behavior

Do a search online to see what others think of the veterinarian. You’ll see if the vet does or says anything inappropriate in the off-hours. Check Facebook, if it looks like your vet is a post-grad party-animal, you might want to steer-clear. Hangovers do not go hand in hand with caring for living things. Furthermore, by running a search on your vet, you’ll learn more about what being a client is like.

A good example is a blog run by a veterinarian in “who knows where”. This vet was smart enough to leave his or her name off it, but it is still very upsetting to pet owners. “Vets Behaving Badly” is a blog run by a myriad of vets and vet techs. Sure, they think they’re venting about their day and making fun of the “insanity” that is the American Public. However, what they don’t realize is, they’re making fun of their clients; the people who give them their income. They’re publicizing the events of a vet visit, which should be kept private. This is a good thing to check before visiting your vet, because, imagine you’re having difficulty with potty training, or maybe you fed your dog something unhealthy. You didn’t know, and your vet should simply educate you, not judge you and publicize it. True caregivers would never mock pet owners for lacking a vet’s knowledge.

Finding a vet in Joliet IL

*Photo courtesy of positivedoggie.com

Sure, we all despise the people who leave their dogs outside for weeks straight, and other horrible things. Positivedoggie.com does it right, whereas ‘Vets Behaving Badly‘ does it wrong.

Another thing to look out for is vets with ‘tude. They might not behave badly on the internet, but some vets will judge you right to your face. As long as you’re not neglecting or harming your pet, your choices are yours and yours alone. If your vet is anything less than respectful and polite to you and your furry friend, then they do not deserve your business.

To recap that’s cleanliness, experience, and etiquette. If you search reviews, look online, and ask around, you’re sure to find the best pet doctor in Illinois!

 

 

Tips from eHow!

  • Knowing that a veterinarian is well-educated and knowledgeable about animal health is important, but compassion for animals is an absolute necessity.
  • Although choosing a veterinary clinic based on location is tempting and traveling is stressful for your pet, the extra driving may be worth it to receive quality care.
  • Trust your instincts and ask for a second opinion if you think one is warranted.
  • All veterinarians who practice in the United States must be graduates of an accredited school of veterinary medicine and must have a current license on display.

 

Read More: How to Choose a Veterinarian | eHow.com