Resources for New Dog Owners

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Owning a dog can be both rewarding and exhausting. I am not a mother, but I know parents who claim house breaking a puppy was more difficult than late night infant feedings. Every dog has its distinct personality and while some resources may help in training and caring for it, your dog may not be as receptive to some techniques as others. Here are some of my favorite resources and helpful tips for raising up that pup.

Frozen towels or old tshirts for teething puppies.

When Bianca was a puppy, she’d cry herself to sleep because her teething gums were so sore. She would chew on anything for relief and I found that taking Matt’s old shirts, tying several large knots with them, dipping them in water and freezing them worked best. She would chew on them until they melted.

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PetMd. 

While you should always consult a vet when your dog is obviously sick, there are times when you’re simply trying to figure out if a behavioral or physical reaction from your pet is normal. For instance, what does it mean when your male dog is chattering his teeth or when your dog barks in her sleep? PetMD is a great resource for questions like these, but I would refrain using the site to diagnose your dog.

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Care

Finding a reliable pet sitter can be difficult, but with Care.com, you can filter through hundreds of people that are verified non-crazies. Just be sure to interview them. Here’s how to go about interviewing a potential sitter. 

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Top Toys*

Something to throw: balls that are large enough that your dog cannot choke with them and frisbees are great options here

Something to pull: Some dog behaviorists feel that playing tug with your dog promotes an aggressive attitude, while others simply say that its natural dog playing. Personally, my dogs play with me and with one another and they are fine, but try it and see if it works for you. I like rope toys for this.

Something to cuddle with: Most dogs love furry toys. Make sure they aren’t stuffed with anything poisonous or something your dog could choke on. Many dogs will chew up the toy (as is the case with my bully breed), while others simply want to hold it in their mouth or have it nearby while they are sleeping.

Something to stuff: Dogs love nut butters. Stuffing a KONG with peanut butter and leaving your dog to lick it, is a good way to curb separation anxiety. Plus it’s unlikely that they can choke on it. Never leave your dog alone while they are chewing on a treat whether that be a bully stick or a cracker.

Something to teach: I love this toy for dogs learning to earn their meals.

*Be sure to check with your vet regarding your dog’s diet and make sure they are not allergic to nut butters or gluten before selecting their food and treats.

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