The following articles were authored by guestauthor

Home Prep for Your New Puppy

Getting a new puppy is truly a wonderful moment for you and everyone in your family. After all, a dog is a man’s best friend. So, it’s only natural that you make sure that your young pup is safe and happy in your home as well, right? In order to do that, you should take the time and effort to prepare your home. You may think that pups don’t need much since they’re small, but precisely because of that, you have to create a comfy, secure and warm space that everyone will love and enjoy.

Dog-proof your home

This is definitely the first step that you need to do. Pups are curious and playful by nature, and if you’re not careful about how your home is organized, they can get into some dangerous trouble. With that in mind, make sure that you hide away any cables and accessories that your pup can chew on or knock over. Moreover, numerous chemicals and even plants that are not dangerous for humans can be very toxic for a dog, especially a small one. Therefore, you need to remove any cleaning agents and plant pots that may cause your pet’s health problems.

Designate the puppy’s own space

It’s very important that you prepare a specific area in your home where your puppy will spend time at first. In general, when left to explore the entire home, the puppy can get overly confused and even scared because of different sounds and smells. Therefore, it’s better to keep them in a kitchen, laundry room or some other space that has just enough room for them. Of course, following the previous advice, you should make sure that this space is pet-proofed. Also, you have to consider the fact that your puppy has a way to go until it learns not to soil random areas in your home. This is why you need to restrict the pet’s area of movement for a while, until they’re not ready to explore the home to the fullest.

A comfy place for sleeping

Puppies may be energetic but they also need their sleep. Therefore, it’s essential that you prepare their crate and bedding as well. You may find the crate unnecessary at first. However, it’s better for a puppy to get used to lying and sitting in a crate when young. Don’t force them to get into the crate but leave the door opened and put comfy bedding inside so that your pup can go in there whenever it wants. Of course, you should purchase a proper bed and other comfy accessories that come with it. Just like with the crate, you should be very careful about choosing the right bed size, as well.

Get the other essentials

Obviously, there’s a lot more to prepping your home for pup’s arrival aside from choosing their space and getting them a bed. You have to make sure that your pup has everything it needs to be healthy, happy and comfortable. Therefore, don’t forget to buy and store the food recommended for the pup’s breed. Also, it will need at least two bowls – one for food and one for water. Toys for small dogs are also very helpful for young canines. Obviously, there are some other things that you should think about. For example, you may want to get an easy-maintenance rug for your home and prepare for the time when your dog will go in and out of your home. Also, don’t forget about dog shampoos and other grooming essentials. You may even want to consider getting a special pet bath tub or organizing your own bathroom in a different manner.

Before your pup settles in your home, a smart move would be to look for a vet that you trust and love. This will make things a lot easier for you and your dog when the need for medical help arise.

Companion Animals as Alternative Therapy for Mental Disorders and Addiction

Mental health problems are difficult to treat with medicine and therapy. There’s usually no cure, and mental health problems can present suddenly and without warning. People struggling with mental health disorders may need therapy for the rest of their lives, or they must rely on medication that may have little to no effect on their problems or that has uncomfortable side effects. It doesn’t help that suffering from a mental health disorder carries a stigma and can lead to isolation. Sufferers often cut themselves off from people, medical help, and reality. The difficulties of treating mental health issues are so concerning that medical professionals have adopted alternative therapies in an effort to help their patients.

Animal-assisted therapy is an alternative form of mental health therapy where patients are given a companion animal to help them recover. Companion animals, also known as Psychiatric Service Animals, are pets that instill feelings of companionship, responsibility, and accountability in patients. Companions animals are technically not service animals. Service animals are specially prescribed by doctors and therapists to help patients with specific disabilities, diseases, disorders and mental problems. Companion animals decrease loneliness, paranoia, feelings of isolation, and help patients reconnect with people and the world.  Their calming abilities allow for a mental clarity that can aid therapy and medication. Studies have shown that companion animals can also help drug addicts in recovery programs.

Any Animal Can Be a Companion Animal

Almost any animal can act as a companion animal, but dogs in particular are very effective as because of the incredible emotional bond that exists between humans and dogs. Things to keep in mind before getting a companion animal:

  • Any breed of dog can act as a companion animal.
  • Make sure that your home is suitable for a pet.
  • Make sure the pet is size appropriate to serve the patient’s needs.
  • Make sure the patient is prepared to clean, groom and take care of a pet.

Companion Animals Offer Hope to People in Need

Companion animals have an extremely calming effect on people. They can level out or increase the natural chemicals in our bodies that cause happiness and contentment. Medical professionals turn to animals when medicine fails, or to relax people so that they respond better to medications. Sometimes the animal is a final option in treatment. Companion animals can help people with:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Drug addiction
  • Psychosis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicidal thoughts

Companion Animals Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Substance abuse can make addicts selfish, manipulative and worried about their own needs. This behavior isolates them from society, people and much-needed help. And while addiction can be difficult to overcome, researchers believe that companion animals can help a lot in addiction recovery therapy programs.

  • Studies show that petting or hugging a pet has great calming effects and can reduce aggression.
  • Companion animals and the comfort they provide can be used as a coping mechanism during recovery and sobriety.
  • Caring for a dog can provide a model for responsibility and accountability.
  • Dogs react to behavior shifts and mood change. They can act as a mirror for an addict to see what they’re doing to themselves.
  • A companion animal, which needs constant care, inspires an addict to think of something besides their own needs and cravings.

In addition to being an alternative therapy, a companion animal can become a lifelong friend. The moment a pet realizes he is yours and you are his, you become instant partners without hesitation. He will be by your side the moment you need him, and always give you the benefit of the doubt.

A companion animal is not a cure-all. A person has to be motivated to get better and to care for the animal so it will care for them. If a patient accepts a companion animal as part of alternative therapy, they have a strong chance at increasing their chances of recovery.

How to Naturally Boost Your Dog’s Immune System

A strong immune system fights all the potential infections and responds to them accordingly, keeping the dog healthy. Considering how dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to various environmental influences, their health must be taken care of, and immune system kept strong. Aside from keeping the dog stress-free, offering them healthy food, and staying up to date with the vaccinations, you can do several other things to boost your dog’s immune system.

Take care of their hygiene

Proper hygiene is vital for a dog’s health. While they may be spending every day sniffing and licking pretty much everything, that still doesn’t mean that they’re immune to everything. Even though they’re much more resilient to various bacteria and infections than humans are, dogs still need to be properly cleaned and taken care of in order to stay healthy. Some of the germs that the dogs collect on their feet or coat may help in fighting various diseases, but you still need to wash the canine regularly.  Furthermore, try to keep the dog away from areas that contain many viruses or bacteria from other animals. Brushing the teeth is an essential part of personal hygiene as well, so don’t forget to do it for your four-legged friend. With various specially designed snacks and toys that dogs can chew on, you won’t have to go through the trouble of forcing the dog to stay calm while you brush their teeth.

Let them socialize

Dogs love to spend time with other dogs, as well as with humans, so keeping them isolated is never a good idea. That will lead to stress, which can later cause severe depression, thus weakening their immune system. Therefore, always keep the dog in the company of other canines or yourself. It will increase their physical activity, which will automatically keep them happy and boost their immune system.

Wash their toys

Even though the dogs’ natural instincts lead them to explore, sniff and lick basically everything, they’re not immune to dirt. Therefore, make sure to keep the germs at bay and wash the dog’s personal belongings regularly. Reduce the daily microbe load, and wash their bowls and toys to keep their immune system strong. However, don’t use too aggressive soaps or detergents, but only wash the bowls in lukewarm water, unless they’re too dirty. Always dry the toys and bowls completely, to avoid germs spreading out in moisture. Also, keep the spare toys, dog food and all the dog supplies in a moisture-free environment, to avoid any bacteria spreading, or the food going bad before the expiration date.

Feed them antioxidants

Antioxidants prevent various diseases, slow down ageing and boost the immune system. Therefore, make sure your dog has plenty of red beans, pinto and kidney. However, don’t feed them too much beans, to avoid bloating and gas. Avoid feeding them raw meat, eggs or fish, because they often contain Salmonella. The optimal amount of proteins, enzymes, vitamins and fibres will keep the infections at bay and boost the immune system of a canine.

Fight parasites

Keeping the dog parasite-free helps the immune system work well. Heartworms, ticks, fleas and worms tend to strain the immune system, making the dog more prone to infections. Therefore, protect the dog from all sorts of germs and parasites, and visit the vet regularly to keep the canine healthy and parasite-free.

Probiotic supplements

Introducing probiotics into the dog’s nutrition is an excellent way to boost their immune system. With a capsule or two a week, your dog will get the sufficient amount of probiotics that will help kill harmful pathogens in the intestines. Not only do they boost the immune system, but promote good digestion as well.

Keeping a dog’s immune system strong will help the canine stay healthy and fight infections. Therefore, make sure you know how to boost the immune system in order to prevent the dog getting sick.

The Five Tips for Your Dog Care You Need to Follow

Caring for your dog doesn’t only mean feeding him every day! Just like caring for yourself and other people, there are other aspects of your dog’s life you will need to take care of. But what exactly should you look after? Read on as I show you five tips for your dog care to help give you an idea on giving your dog the healthy and happy life he deserves.

Five Tips for Your Dog Care

Every dog deserves unlimited happiness and great health, but it doesn’t come without effort! Your dog depends on you, which is why you should follow these five tips for your dog care:

1) Keep Him Well Fed

This is crucial to keep your dog healthy! Who can’t live without the right type of food? I recommend you to provide dog food with an adequate amount of fat and protein to keep him satiated and strong. Keep in mind to feed him at regular intervals, about twice a day.

Do remember to provide an accessible water source near where your dog usually stays. A dog bowl filled with water or a water fountain will keep him quenched the whole day without you worrying about him being dehydrated.

2) Provide a Clean and Fun Living Area

Your dog deserves a nice place to live in, and that includes investing in the quality dog beds for him to sleep soundly during the night or to rest after a whole day of playing. Keep his environment clean and fun, so he’ll have things to do while you are busy at work. Invest in fun toys and keep his area neat, cleaning the floors or his bed with a vacuum for pet hair. That way, he won’t get allergies nor will he feel abandoned without anything to play with.

3) Communicate and Spend Time

This is another very important factor some pet owners fail to focus on. Spending time with your dogs is crucial to keep your dog happy and feeling loved. Giving him some cuddle time and training him to become a better dog will strengthen your relationship and have him improve his mental health. Take him to daily walks, play fetch or teach him new tricks. Show him he is loved and he will reciprocate by guarding your household for life!

4) Regular Visits to the Vet

No matter how old for dog is, he will require at least monthly visits to the vet. That way, you are ensured his in good health without any issues to worry about. Make sure that hie is updated with his vaccinations and that he has a regular checkup at least once every few months. Don’t ignore any symptoms and take him to the vet to have him checked as soon as possible!

5) Grooming

Not only will regular grooming have your dog look good, but he will feel better, too. After all, no one would feel comfortable with matted hair or a lot of ticks. Groom him at least once a week by trimming his nails, brushing his hair, and removing his ticks. Bathing at least twice a month is recommended as well, especially for long-haired dogs who live in hot climates.

In Conclusion

I hope that these five tips for your dog care help you become more knowledgeable on keeping your dog happy and healthy. So what are you waiting for? Whether you have a puppy or a senior dog, follow these tips in caring for him today.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips for your dog care, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog Playpen

If you are a dog/pet owner then you must know how difficult it is to handle or supervise them all time. It becomes more difficult when you are busy or out of home. In that case, a dog playpen will be a great solution for you both for indoor and outdoor use.

A playpen is similar to a separate house for pets. It provides enough space to play and exercise for them. If you are a new dog owner then you will get a chance to train up them.

All the pets are not well mannered. Sometimes they become mischief too. The enclosed area of playpen allows them to stay safe and also control them from any kind of misconduct.

A dog playpen will surely be an ideal choice for your dog if you can choose the perfect one for your dog. It might seem to you that all the dog playpens are same, but actually they are not. All the playpens are distinctive in features and each one is specially designed for different kinds of pets.

If you want to buy a dog playpen then you should consider some important things that might help you to get the perfect fit for your dog/pet.

Indoor or Outdoor Use?

Dog playpens are made from different materials. Before buying a dog playpen you should decide whether you will use it inside home or outside. Playpens that are made from wood will not be suitable for outdoor use. These can be broken down when will be exposed to heavy rain or heat etc.

For outdoor purposes you can use dog playpen that are made from sturdy materials like hard plastic or metal etc. And for indoor use you can choose wooden or soft crate like dog playpens easily.

Space inside the playpen

At first you should think about a dog playpen that has enough space inside so that your dog can move, walk around and play easily and peacefully. If they don’t get enough space they can become depressed or mischief.

There must be enough space to accommodate food and water, playing toys, comfortable bed and tray or pad for toilet etc.

Size of your pet

The size of your dog/pet is an important factor while choosing a playpen. Different pets come in different sizes. And according to pet size playpens are also made in different sizes. For large size dogs obviously you have to buy a large and stronger dog playpen. Otherwise, it will be difficult to confine them inside.

On the other hand, for comparatively smaller dogs or other small size pets you can easily go for a small dog playpen and that is made from plastic wire or soft sided playpens.

Construction of the playpen

Dog playpens are made from different materials. Materials vary according to the purpose of use. For small dogs you can choose playpen made with sturdy plastic. It will remain safe from rust even in rain. And you should prefer playpen made from metal in case of large dogs.

Sometimes pets become chewy. They can chew soft materials. In that case, you should consider the harder materials.

Generally, dog playpens are of two types- fixed and flexible. Flexible playpens allow you to connect more panels together to make it bigger. If you need more space then you can go for flexible dog playpen. Otherwise fixed playpen is ok.

Safety

Most important thing you should keep in mind is the safety of your pet. A dog playpen should be strong enough, the panels should be attached tightly and it should be slightly attached to the ground.

You should keep in consideration the height of the dog playpen. Some dogs are jumper. If the height of the playpen is low they can climb up or jump over the playpen.

If you have dog and puppies then you should keep the puppies in separate small playpen available in the market.

Author Bio: John Howes is the founder of PetCareUp. 29-year-old, entrepreneur, Pet lover and passionate blogger. He loves to write about pet and helps pet owners to choose the best products for their pet.