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How to Raise a healthy pooch

Give your dog the best life it can have, a healthy one…

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Would you say that yours is the smartest and the cutest dog ever?

If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably seen a video or ten of cute dogs pulling impressive stunts from, baby setting to getting ready to bed and covering themselves, or the ones that get hurt protecting their families.

These videos and the stories shared leave us in awe. These are stories that reinforce our belief that you can raise the smartest dog with the right set of training.

It takes a lot of paw practice.

So, where do you start? What do you need to do to raise a confident, smart, caring, loyal, and loving dog?

Dogs are great friends, but a dog could also be your worst enemy.

Contrary to popular beliefs, taking care of a dog is not easy, and it calls for a great deal of patient, as well as tact and diplomacy.

You need to be able to draw lines/ boundaries between you and your dog and make sure that you stick to them.

But, it’s not always a tough process, especially if you have the right resources to help you care for your pooch.

As a dog parent, I’ve lived through the struggles, the highs and the lows of raising dogs and I can tell you this, if you raise your dog right, you will not regret your decision to bring home a four-legged friend.

Since we want you to live on the sunny side of life even as you potty train your pup, we’re going to offer you all the help you need to bring up a great dog.

What should you expect from us?

  • Guidance in dog breeds
  • Dog training tips
  • Importance of mental stimulation/ exercises
  • And how to protect your dog from dog issues

Basically, we’re going to help you raise your dog well.

Understanding dog breeds

One of the most important considerations for every new dog parent has got to be the dog breed. While your dog is the cutest thing you’ve ever set your eyes on, you must know its exact breed.

Whether you have a mutt, a crossbreed, or a designer dog, you must know it’s genetic makeup.

Why?

Everything you know and see in your dog depends on its genes. Different dog breeds feature different temperaments, eye color, skin, coat color & length, dietary requirements, size, weight, height, exercise regimen, and even their disposition to diseases.

Therefore, you shouldn’t assume anything, and if you have to run genetic testing, a home DNA testing kit will suffice.

These kits are made by reliable companies, and as long as you handle the sample as directed, you should have the dog’s genetic profile in weeks.

With the right breed/ genetic information, your vet will treat your dog appropriately, and you can protect your pooch from some diseases when you know the dog could be sick from a specific condition.

Also, you cannot take good care of your pooch if you don’t know its life expectancy.

These details might look over the top, but for someone interested in their dog’s welfare, you cannot be too careful.

And to give you a general overview of what you should expect when it comes to dog breeds, the AKC has categorized dog breeds into 7 main breeds.

Their categorization is based on the characteristics and the innate roles of the dogs.

They include:

  • The Sporting Group (for example the Golden Retriever)
  • The Hound Group (like the Beagle or Dachshund)
  • Toy Group (like the Japanese Chin, Maltese, or Chihuahua)
  • Non-sporting Group (Poodle, Chow Chow, French Bulldog, or Dalmatian)
  • Working Group (Mastiff, Great Dane, or Boxer)
  • Herding Group (for example the German Shepherd or the Australian Shepherd)
  • Terrier Group (for example the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Bull Terrier).

Knowing the category that your pooch falls into will help you create the perfect regimen to ensure a healthy and happy dog.

Dog Training

Training a dog is one of the most important things that you have to do for that mutually beneficial relationship between you and your pooch.

Dog training is a crucial part of housebreaking. For this reason, we’ll focus on crate training, potty training, and obedience training.

  • Obedience Training

Are you one of the dog parents that doesn’t get why their dog never listens, regardless of what you do? How about learning something about obedience training?

Also, you should think about the fact that your dog doesn’t understand English. There’s a language barrier you need to work through. It might look like your dog doesn’t listen, but the truth is that it doesn’t understand a word out of your mouth.

So, before you start rewarding your dog for bad behavior, first understand how dogs learn.

You’ll learn all about it, but the bottom line is the rewards (for good behavior) and not rewarding the dog for bad behavior.

Also, yelling and disciplining your dog during training will not work. And you learn more about dog speak, keep in mind that your dog will only understand the consequences if they’re immediate and consistent.

Finally, you will not train those skills if you’re a bad leader. You need to be the alpha leader.

We have a detailed guide on training your dog obedience.
  • Crate training

According to the experts, crate training is the most important training process in housebreaking. And despite the fact that you cringe thinking of confining your pooch to a crate, crate training offers immense benefits.

Among them is the fact that when you crate train, your dog will sleep in the crate comfortably and you don’t have to worry about its safety.

There’s also the fact that a dog is a den animal, and as long as you keep the den clean and comfortable, the dog crate will be the dog’s safe place.

What’s more, a dog crate makes it easy for you to travel with your dog. Vet visits will also be easy.

So, once you create a comfortable and a safe crate, allow your dog to spend a few minutes in the crate (say 10 minutes) and then let it out.

You want to make the crate a safe, pleasurable space, and this means that you should use treats as rewards while keeping your pooch’s favorite toy in the crate.

Increase the time your dog spends in the crate gradually.

As long as the crate is comfortable and you reward your pooch often, you will find that crate training is quite simple.

  • Potty training

While crate training is fairly simple, we all know that potty training is not the easiest thing for a dog parent.

With the speed at which your dog learns how to use the potty box or the potty spot depending on things like their age, history, and the training method you use, you should not be too hard on your pooch if it doesn’t get things right the first time.

We’ll help you with potty training by teaching you about the cues you should pick on during training and how to make sure your dog doesn’t make their accidental potty spot.

For example, you need to clean the rug and even blot it dry if your pooch pees on it.

Cleaning the rug will not only leave you with a clean house, but it also makes sure that your dog doesn’t repeat their accident because they can smelt their scent of the rug.

You will also learn that consistency is key when it comes to potty training – after you pick a spot, stick to it and make sure your dog knows that it can only go on that one designated spot.

If the outdoors doesn’t work or if you don’t have a backyard, you should get a potty box or a piddle pad to ensure that your home is safe.

Keep in mind that while potty training is a bit difficult, dogs love clean spaces and they will not sh*t the bed they sleep in.

Overall training tips

  • Keep training sessions short and sweet when teaching new skills
  • Be consistent and repeat teaching some skills
  • English is not your dog’s second language. Teach one word at a time
  • Be patient
  • Practice anywhere and everywhere
  • Use real rewards

How to Raise a healthy pooch

How to Raise a healthy pooch

As your pooch learns potty training, crate training, and all the other skills needed to survive and live happily, also need to make sure that it’s well taken care of.

Food

Buy high-quality food for your dog/ puppy. While there are breed-specific foods on the market, most of the big dog food brands on the market offer the best foods for pups and adult dogs, small/medium/large breeds, and either dry or wet.

While there are too many options to choose from, you need to make sure that the food is natural, whole meal, and rich in proteins and healthy fats.

Avoid high-carb foods and make sure that the daily feeds do not exceed the recommended daily caloric intake

Take a look at the micronutrients too. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chondroitin, and glucosamine are some of the nutrients you should look out for.

Don’t forget that some foods are bad for dogs and they could kill them. For example, chocolate, garlic, and avocados are great for humans but dangerous to dogs.

Exercise

Besides making sure your puppy or adult dog eats the right food, we’ll also help you in exposing your dog to the right exercise.

Some dog breeds are more active than others, with breeds like German Shepherds requiring a lot of exercises, daily.

Most of the time, the dog breed you take home is determined by your lifestyle.

You don’t want an active dog when you prefer spending time in your couch or in front of the computer, with exercise as an alien term for you.

Besides physical activity, your dog also needs mental exercises, and this is where the dog puzzles come in. Mental exercises are important because they will enhance your dog’s learning while reducing their risk of dementia.

Would you like to read more on the best dog exercises?

Grooming

Part of raising a healthy dog is ensuring that it’s well groomed. So, you should be ready to clip its nails, brush its hair (daily sometimes), trim the hair, clean the ears, and bathe it.

Fortunately, this should be easy once your dog gets over its fears and after it understands the basic commands, you throw its ways like sit or roll.

Grooming keeps your dog healthy in more ways than you can imagine. For starters, you don’t know what kind of bugs got in its hair when you were at the park.

Also, if you ignore the ears, you will have to deal with an expensive and very painful infection.

Socialization

No one wants a scared puppy or dog out in public. So, teach your pooch socialization as early as possible.

With most pups accepting of change and new experiences as early as 3 weeks, you don’t have an excuse for putting off socialization.

As your dog grows older, it becomes harder to teach some of these things. So, be ready to teach this skill early. You can learn how here.

But remember that socialization leads to relaxed, safer, and happier/ enjoyable dogs. The dog will not be startled by crowds or loud noises.

Further to this, taking good care of your pup involves:

  • Finding a great vet and making the most out of your first visit to the vet
  • Establishing a bathroom routine
  • Watching for the first signs of illnesses like loss of appetite, diarrhea, pale gums, or difficulty breathing.
  • Neutering

Common dog issues and problems

There are things you should never ignore in a dog. These are the things that often spell worse issues going on.

Whether behavioral or biological, watch out for any changes, find the cause of the problem then address it.

Some of the things you should be aware of include bad breath, circling, biting, digging, eating poop, panting, head pressing, sitting on your feet or even between your legs.

You shouldn’t ignore yawning, urinating in the house, or scooting.

Often, these are signs of anxiety or even a medical condition that needs to be addressed immediately.

Besides the behavioral changes, watch out for skin problems, ear infections, vomiting, urinary tract infections, parasites, dental diseases, diarrhea, vomiting, obesity, arthritis, and poisoning.

Do you feel as if you just had everything thrown at you once? Well, it doesn’t have to feel that way. We have several articles offering comprehensive details on the different aspects of dogs and caring for dogs.

The information has been collected by experts who’ve spent hours to ensure that you have everything you need to raise your pooch right.