12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

Have you ever feel down, stressed, and worried about your kids after a long day at work, but when you get home, you see your little boy or baby girl sleeping soundlessly beside your pet dog? The very sight of that would immediately melt your stress and worries away. This is one of the clearest perks of owning a pet dog while also raising your kids at home. But supervision is also required because kids are just kids.

On the plus side, you are assured that your four-legged companion will do anything to protect the little member of the family. Not only will dogs protect your family, but they will also boost immunity, because at a young age, children get to be exposed to certain bacteria. Of course, this excludes those who are genuinely allergic. When immunity in kids is heightened even at a young age, trips to the pediatrician or doctor could be lessened, thus saving money.

Another great perk of having pet dogs while raising children at home is that as one family, you can all bond together, may it be outside for a picnic, at home on the sofa, or on the beach, soaking under the sun. Dogs are dynamic and can easily adapt, so tagging them along will be so much fun for the family.

The benefits of owning a dog outnumber the costs of having one. And there are too many to mention. However, we have prepared a colorful infographic below that will feed your mind and convince you further that having dogs at home will make everyone happy.

Read on and be amazed.

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

How to Introduce Your Puppy to a Leash?

A puppy is like a newborn child and it will need a lot of time and attention if he is to learn how to walk properly you will need to guide him each and every step off the way, and ensure that he gets all the love and support that he can from you.

Patience

The first thing you need to remember is the fact that you need to be incredibly patient with your pup. The concept of a leash will be new to him, and hence you must do your outmost to put him at ease. Take it slow initially and let your pup take his time whilst he is trying to adjust to his leash.

Find a Suitable Collar and Leash

Next up you need to remember the fact that you will need a collar and a leash which is suitable for your pooch. I would recommend you check out the wide variety that is available at Kustom-Fit Halters. I usually buy all of my collar and leashes from them and they seem to fit my dogs perfectly.

Baby Steps

Puppy Leash Introduction

Source: Flickr

First and foremost, let your dog familiarize himself with a collar and a leash. Be warned though some pets have a tendency to throw temper tantrums and hence they will have a tendency to resist putting on a collar or attaching a leash. Hence I recommend that you put the collar on preferably while you are feeding your pooch as at this time he will be occupied with eating food, and it is highly likely that he will be fully focused on his food and will not notice that you have slipped on the collar on his neck. From then on let him get accustomed to his leash and let time do his magic, sure initially he will try to scratch and claw the collar off but after a while you will find that your pup has gotten accustomed to the idea of having a collar around his neck, and doesn’t seem to mind it as such.

Leash and Playtime Go Together

Dogs on Leash

Source: Pixabay

Basic psychology indicates that if we associate a behavior with something positive, then it is more than likely to result in the subject looking forward to performing that action which will lead to the said behavior. In laymen terms the concept is famously known as Pavlov’s Dog. Hence similarly if you associate the leash with playtime, it is very likely that your pup will start associating his leash with a fun activity and will actually look forward the next time you attach a leash to his collar. Initially start of small and then take your pup to long walks, and maybe head towards the park. Such activities will only strengthen the association of the leash with playtime.

Encourage

Dog Hi Five

Source: Auggie

Initially do not yank on the leash and expect that the pup will follow each and every one of your commands. If however he does listen to your commands that is great news for you, however the chances are that he will be a bit stubborn and will refuse to heel. When that happens just exercise patience and kneel down and encourage and pet your pup to guide him towards the desired behavior. Some dogs might just sit down and refuse to move, in such a situation move a few steps away kneel down and offer your pooch a treat. This is an effective trick and it works every time. The reason for this is again due to positive association.

Introducing your pooch to a leash can be a bit of a challenge but with love and a lot of care you can overcome it quite easily.

Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

There is a belief amongst many dog owners that dogs are inherently supposed to know how to walk on a leash; however, that is more often than not the case especially if you have a shelter dog, and chances are that you will probably have to train them. Here are some tips that are going to help your dog master the art of walking on a leash.

Before You Start

Training Your Dog To Walk on a Leash

Credit: Wikimedia

The pre-leash stage is as important as the training exercises and whatnot. Here you check the fact that the leash and other equipment that you need is in order. In case you need to buy a leash or any other equipment for that matter, I recommend checking out Kustom-Fit Halters, as they have a wide variety too choose from.

Introducing Your Dog to the Leash

The first thing you do is monitor your dog’s behavior there may be times when he tugs at the leash and tries to break free, but at other times he will prod along and walk with you. In psychology there is a term called as Pavlov’s dog which refers to positive reinforcement and behavior modification. We basically are trying to achieve the same results. By rewarding the dog every time the leash goes slack. Give him a treat and a pat on the back to make sure that he repeats the behavior again and again till it becomes a habit.

A Cue

Training Your Dog To Walk on a Leash

Credit: Wikimedia

Let’s refer to Pavlov again, what Pavlov did was introduce a cue to let the dog know that food is coming, and his mouth would start to salivate. Similarly what you are going to do is use a clicker or some other means to let the dog know that food is nearby. The second he looks at you and adheres to your command reward him with a treat.

Reinforce

Training Your Dog To Walk on a Leash

Credit: Public Domain Pictures

By now I am assuming that you have got the basics down to a notch however it is understandable if your dog is not repeating the behavior as often as required, and it’s probably going to take a lot of love and patience for him to master the desired behavior. Remember dogs have a short attention span, and hence their mind diverts within seconds, make your dog come to you by backing up a few spaces and then allow him to come to you, the second he does that again reward him with a treat.

Practice

Training Your Dog To Walk on a Leash

Credit: Geograph

Once you have got the basics mastered regularly practice with your dog around 25 minutes daily, teach him about the behavior expected of him, and guide him at all times. Behavior reinforcement is largely successful if it’s done on a regular basis, and done in an environment which fosters growth and learning. Offer your dog treats and praises every time he comes to you with a leash on, and ensure that he can practice in a distraction free environment.

It’s Time to go Outside

It’s now time to head to the great outdoors, and put your dog’s skills to the test. Remember that you are bound to be confronted with new challenges as your dog gets accustomed to the new surroundings (chasing squirrels is particularly troublesome), but you can overcome this with love, patience and some training. Remember to follow these tips, to ensure that your dog has no trouble at all whilst walking on a leash.

5 Tips for Taking a Road Trip With Your Pet

With summer behind us, now is the best time to jump in the car and hit the road for an epic weekend road trip. You might not be able to jet away to distant lands, but exploring an undiscovered part of your own country can be a fun way to while away the weekend. Taking your dog along for the ride can be great fun, but there are a few things you need to consider before hitting the road.

A photo by Cam Bowers. unsplash.com/photos/KECL1sCTi9w
Image credit: Cam Bowers

What will be least stressful for your dog?

Some dogs will suffer from awful separation anxiety, so even going away for a weekend and leaving them with a reliable pet sitter or family member will make them very stressed. On the other hand, some dogs don’t respond well to travelling, so taking them on a road trip can be quite stressful. Decide what will be least stressful for your dog before making any big decisions about taking your dog with you.

Safety First

Don’t forget that your dog also needs to belt up, for your safety and for theirs. Your dog needs to be able to move around enough to get comfortable, but not enough that they can climb into the front seat. Make sure your dog is wearing a harness instead of a collar for extra comfort and create a dedicated space on the back seat to keep them comfortable throughout the journey.

Dogs can get motion sickness too!

If you’re familiar with the car sickness, you’ll know how terrible it feels. And you might also be surprised to know your dog can get sick too. Your vet may be able to prescribe some specialist motion sickness pills or a mild sedative to help your pooch snooze through the journey. It’s important not to give your dog a motion sickness pill intended for humans, and you should always test the dosage on a shorter journey to help you and your dog get used to it.

Beware the local flora and fauna

Dogs are notorious for poking their noses it places it shouldn’t be, and this is particularly difficult when you’re in a new and unfamiliar place. If you are walking your dog in a woodland area, keep him on an extendable lead so you can be ready to help him out if he has a run in with the local wildlife. Try not to let him eat unfamiliar berries or drink from standing water, and keep him away from grassy areas where snakes may be lurking! To give you peace of mind when he is off the lead, make sure he is microchipped and that his dog microchip number is registered with a few different microchip registries. This will give you the best chance of being reunited if he darts.

Your dog has luggage, too!

If you’re staying overnight, make sure you bring plenty of food, a familiar blanket and some toys to keep him occupied. Other useful essentials include dog shampoo, a tick remover, plenty of poop scoop bags, a spare collar and lead, first aid kit, a travelling water bowl, and plenty of treats.

How to Find a Reliable Pet Sitter

For those not acquainted with the term, pet sitters are professional individuals who can be hired to take care of your pet in times of need. Quite similar to babysitting and house sitting, this profession has gained a great deal of recognition across the globe, especially among those who lead busy lifestyles and simply can’t seem to find enough time to nurture their pets. Whether it’s an urgent business trip, a vacation or a new job with hectic work hours, a pet sitter is the best solution when it comes to making sure that your pet is well taken care of. Of course, you probably want what’s best for your pet and finding a reliable pet sitter can indeed be a hassle. In order to find a real, qualified professional, make sure to keep these few things in mind.

image 1

Phone-a-Friend

Before you start making any kind of arrangements, first check whether you have a friend or a family member who is willing to take upon the task of taking care of your pet. This is always the best option, as pets generally feel more comfortable with familiar people, rather than strangers, no matter how qualified they are. If this isn’t the case, you can always ask someone reliable to personally recommend a pet sitter. This can save you both the time and energy from going through the hassle of interviewing and finding the perfect sitter for your pet.

Check the References

If it so happens that you find yourself in a situation where you need to hire someone unknown, the best option by far is to opt for professional pet sitter companies or top qualified individuals. This way you can be sure that you’re leaving your pet in safe hands. Of course, no matter how professional and qualified a person is, the best you can do is check their background and references. This can give you a good insight in the previous engagements of the sitter. It’s also important to check whether the said company (or individual) is fully bonded and insured.

image 2

Training and Abilities

Another important aspect of hiring a good pet sitter is getting a good insight into their abilities, completed programs and training. This is a crucial factor that could determine the overall choice of the sitter, as you want to hire someone who is eligible to provide your pet with services and care it deserves. This is especially important if you have an exotic animal species or a pet with special needs.

Establish the Terms

One of the most common mistakes when concluding any kind of business is forgetting to establish the terms of agreement. When it comes to these kinds of arrangements, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you shouldn’t presume anything and that nothing goes without saying. Before you sign the contract or officially hire someone, make sure to establish everything you expect the sitter to do. This involves giving your potential sitter a list of chores, tasks and schedules of how and when your pet needs to eat, sleep, go for a walk, take medication etc.

image 3

Give Them Insight

Lastly, if you wish to get the best possible care for your pet, it will be necessary to provide your sitter with all the essential documents, supplies and information regarding your pet. The list of foods, treats, vitamins and possible medications are indispensable for pet sitting, as well as a list of emergency contacts and veterinary office information.

Once you gather all the needed information about the company or the person you’re planning to hire, make sure to invite them to your house for a short meeting. This will help your sitter get a proper insight in your home and surroundings, but most importantly it will give your pet a chance to get acquainted with its new caretaker.