Fido Wants You To Be The Pack Leader

pack leader, leader, dogs

The importance of establishing a “pack leader” and socializing your dog cannot be emphasized enough. Dogs are pack animals. They look to you to be the pack leader.

By establishing your role as pack leader, and properly socializing your dog with other animals and humans, it’s less likely that you’ll encounter problem situations where you’ll need to exert that control.

You are the Alpha Dog

The term “alpha dog” has become a cliche, but the concept still applies to your relationship with your dog. Being a leader is different from being dominant. Being the pack leader involves setting boundaries, deciding when your canine companion eats, when they play, etc.

Your dog must understand that what you say goes. When you call him to come, he must come. When you tell him to stay, he can’t wander off. Obedience training goes a long way in establishing your role as the head of the pack.

Qualities of a Pack Leader

Dogs are very aware of energy. Just like they can sense when we aren’t feeling well, they can also sense nervous or emotional energy. As a pack leader, it is important to project calm confident energy.

For example, if you are walking your dog and he is continuously pulls, just stop. Be assertive by standing your ground until Fido comes back to your side and has a calm demeanor. Once Fido is calmly by your side, praise him and continue to walk.

Praising for your dog can be expressed in multiple ways. You can show Fido you are pleased with his behavior by giving him a healthy treat, like a NuVet Plus wafer. However, you can also show gratitude with a quick stroke under the chin or an enthusiastic good job!

Establishing Leadership

You do not have to yell commands to establish yourself as the leader. Although there is a time and place to vocally tell Fido no, setting boundaries and being consistent does most of the work.

One way to communicate to Fido that the house is yours is by waiting to let him inside. Stand confidently by the front, looking down at your pup until they are calm. Once they are calm, praise them and open the door to let them in after you.

You can do this same exercise by standing with Fido’s food and waiting for him to be calm before putting the food down for him to eat. You can also use this exercise when giving your canine companion his nutritional supplement from NuVet.

These techniques may take practice to get down, but they are an easy way to show your pup that you are in charge.

Meet and Greet

Once you have built a relationship with your dog, you can begin socializing your companion. A well-socialized dog will experience less stress throughout its life, in turn decreasing the stressful situations you encounter.

When introducing your dog to new dogs, it is best to have them meet on neutral ground. This way, no one resource guards or feels as though the other is intruding on their territory.

Have the dogs meet by sniffing each other from behind. Sniffing from behind is a less threatening way to say hello.

Be sure to introduce all new pets and people with a calm confident energy. If you are nervous about the play date, is is likely that Fido will be too.

By exposing your puppy or dog to various people and other pets in a safe environment, he will be better prepared to handle future encounters with strangers and new animals. This decreases the likelihood of behavior you’ll need to correct as the leader.

Socializing and Leadership

While socializing and asserting  yourself as the pack leader are ongoing processes, they are essential for a well-rounded dog.

If you’ve correctly established yourself as the leader and you maintain that role consistently, your relationship with your dog will flourish into an easy companionship and lifelong friendship.

Follow NuVet Labs on Facebook or Twitter for more helpful articles and pet themed fun!

House Training: Stop Accidents Before They Happen

House training your puppy is a necessity. No one wants a pet who eliminates wherever they want. Although dogs can be potty trained at any age, the earlier it’s done, the sooner you’ll see success.

The one exception to this is puppies under 12 weeks of age. This is because they have little to no control over their bladders. You can begin training with your puppy before he’s 12 weeks, but anticipate more accidents during this time.

Formulate Your House Training Plan

Preparation begins even before your puppy comes home. Create a plan based on your lifestyle and living situation, then purchase the supplies you need.

Unless someone will be home with the puppy all day, you’ll need to keep him in a safe, designated area. You can use a crate, a room with a closed door, or section off an area with a baby gate.

If you’re using a room of the house, be sure it has bare floors rather than carpeting or rugs so accidents don’t get soaked up while you’re away. Remove any items the puppy could chew on or get caught up in, including window blind cords and electrical wires. Puppy pads are recommended in this situation.

Using a Crate

If you’re going to crate train your puppy, decide what size crate you want to purchase. Do you want to purchase a crate that fits him now, or one he will grow into? A non-house trained puppy should have just enough room inside the crate to stand up, turn around and lie down.

The rule of thumb is to get a crate one-and-a-half times the length of the dog from his nose to the start of his tail. However, if you know your puppy will be much larger when full-grown, you can begin with a crate big enough for his adult size as long as you can attach partitions that will limit his access to the appropriate amount of space.

Leave the bottom of the crate bare. Puppies normally will not lie in their own urine. Therefore, limit the space in the crate to the room he needs to sleep, with nothing absorbent to pee on.

No matter the method you choose for house training, the most important and abundant supply you’ll need is patience.

Getting Started

Several rules of thumb will help you through the house training process.

  • Until your puppy has shown he understands the concept of eliminating in a designated area, keep him with you on a leash whenever he’s in the house. This allows you to quickly escort him outside if he looks like he’s about to go to the bathroom.
  • Puppies generally can hold their bladders for as many hours as they are months old plus one. For instance, a 4-month old puppy will likely be able to hold his urine for 5 hours. Therefore, if you leave your puppy alone for longer than that, expect to come home to an accident.
  • Never punish your puppy for an accident. It will only serve to create fear in him whenever he has to eliminate. If you catch him in the act, make a quick, sharp noise to get his attention, but not scare him, then quickly take him outside or to the puppy pad to finish. Praise him with words and petting when he finishes properly.
  • If he has an accident outside of your view, do not react when you find it. He won’t understand that you’re yelling or punishing him for something he did minutes before. Simply put the dog in another room and use an odor-eliminating cleaner on the spot.

Setting a Routine

Dogs respond well to structure. Create a routine for house training. No matter your schedule, try to stick as closely to the routine as possible every day.

1.Morning Elimination

Begin each morning with a trip outside on the leash. Give your puppy 5 minutes to eliminate. Immediately upon finishing – not before so you don’t startle him – praise him for it. Remain outside for another 10 minutes to ensure he empties his bladder and bowels completely.

Puppies don’t always totally eliminate in one squatting. If you bring him inside immediately after going, he will learn to hold it just to get more time outside.

If your puppy doesn’t go in the first 5 minutes, bring him back inside. Once inside, confine him in his crate, a small penned-in area or tether him to you with constant supervision. Continue to take him outside on leash every 15 to 30 minutes until you get a successful elimination, as described above.

2.Supervised Free Time

After the extra 10 minutes, come back inside and give the puppy supervised “free time” for 10 to 30 minutes.

When the puppy has developed manners in the house – not chewing on items or jumping on furniture – you can drop the leash to the floor and allow the dog to follow you around. Grabbing the leash if the puppy acts up or tries to wander off still gives you control over his actions.

3.Before and After Breakfast

Take him out again to go potty before you feed him breakfast. If he doesn’t go in the first 5 minutes, feed him in his crate or confined area to keep an eye on him.

Don’t give him more than 10 to 20 minutes to eat and drink, then take him outside immediately after he’s done. The additional 10 minutes is especially important after eating, even though he’ll likely relieve himself very quickly after a meal.

4.Getting Ready for Your Day

Bring him back inside as you get ready for your day, keeping him tethered to a heavy object in your view. Take him outside again after this resting period.

If you don’t get a successful elimination, bring him back in and confine him while you finish getting ready. Try one more trip outside before beginning your day.

Going to Work

If you work outside of the home and the puppy will be left alone for an extended time, be sure to take him outside to eliminate and exercise him just before you leave. Then put him in his crate or confined area with a small amount of water and a toy or two for entertainment.

If you will be home with him all day, continue the routine of taking him out after resting, eating or drinking water.

If someone won’t be home within the maximum time your puppy can hold his bladder, leave puppy pads in his area. Ideally, he’ll have an enclosed area near the door you take him through when eliminating outside. Leave his crate open inside the area and puppy pads placed as close to the exit door as possible.

Returning Home

When you return home, immediately take your puppy outside to eliminate, and then play with him for half-an-hour in the yard. Leash him to encourage elimination before returning inside.

Give him 30 minutes of supervised free time as you change or prepare dinner.
After he eats, take him outside immediately and follow the same routine as breakfast.

The rest of the evening should feature a walk, play time, obedience training and multiple trips outside to eliminate. Pull your dog’s water bowl at least 2 hours prior to bed time and take him out immediately before putting him in his crate or pen for the night.

Although your puppy may hold his bladder until morning, be prepared for middle-of-the-night potty breaks when he’s young. If he normally begins to whine around 3 a.m. and has to eliminate, set an alarm for 2:30 a.m. and take him out before the whining starts. This will discourage a tendency to cry simply to be let out of the crate or pen.

Advanced Behaviors

When your puppy has consistently eliminated successfully for several days or a week, you can begin to give him the “go potty” cue when you see him squat, circle or sniff the ground, indicating his need to go.

He will eventually learn this cue like “sit” and “stay,” allowing you to instruct him to eliminate when and where you want. Your puppy may eventually learn to go to the door you take him out of when he needs to eliminate, but you can easily reinforce or train this behavior.

Attach a small bell to or near the door and use the puppy’s paw to ring it before you take him out each time. Or simply use his paw to tap the door once or twice. He will learn that this behavior results in him being let outside.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • While puppies usually need to eliminate almost immediately after eating, drinking or resting, even adult dogs tend to have to go within 15 to 30 minutes after these activities.
  • During the house training process, always praise your puppy after a successful elimination. It reinforces the behavior you want.
  • Always accompany your leashed puppy during house training to be sure he goes to the bathroom. Don’t assume he eliminated because you let him go outside.
  • If you don’t have a yard to take your puppy into, substitute puppy pads for some of the trips outdoors, using the same timing and routines.
  • If your puppy consistently has accidents despite a training routine, take him to the veterinarian to see if there can be something else contributing to your puppies accidents.

Why Crate Training Is Not What You Think

crate, crate training

The first step in crate training your puppy is erasing any preconceived notions you have that putting him in his crate is a bad thing. Because dogs are pack animals, the den-like feeling that a crate provides often makes them feel safe and comfortable.

Never make going in the crate a punishment. When done properly, crate training will help you with house training, separation concerns, problem behaviors and traveling.

Crate Guidelines

Most crates are wire or molded plastic. Either will work for training, but the molded plastic type gives your puppy a more den-like feeling. Your dog should be able to stand up comfortably in his den, turn around and lie down.

The length should be about one-and-one-half times the length of your dog, not including his tail. Once your puppy is potty trained, you can increase the size if he’ll be enclosed in it for extended periods.

Location, Location, Location

Keep the crate in an area you and your family spend time in, but not in the midst of a lot of commotion. While you don’t want your puppy isolated in the basement, you also don’t want him inside the front door.

Your puppy should feel like he’s part of the family, but not be driven to distraction by all the activity around him. It helps to leave a toy or two in the crate for your puppy. However, do not include any blankets, bedding or other absorbent items until he is fully house trained.

Duration

A puppy should not be in the crate for more hours than the number of months old he is, plus one. For example, if your puppy is 2 months old, he should never be left in his den, even if you are around, for more than 3 hours at a time.

Adult, house-trained dogs who have recently been exercised can spend 8 to 9 hours in a row without any problems. No dog should spend more than 12 hours total in a crate in any 24-hour period. For instance, if your adult dog spends 8 hours in his crate sleeping, he should not be in the crate for more than 4 hours total during the rest of the day.

Steps to Successful Training

1. Be ready when you bring your puppy home

Begin conditioning your puppy to the crate right away. If you bring him home for the first time and the crate is already set up, leave a few treats, or NuVet wafers, inside and let him explore it on his own.

2. Don’t make a fuss

If you introduce it after your puppy has been home, act like it’s not a big deal. Don’t make a fuss over it and he’ll likely sniff it out on his own.

Again, place some treats inside to encourage exploration. Put his food bowl in the back of the crate and allow him to eat inside with the door open.

3. Sleeping

After a few days of the puppy exploring the crate on his own, bring it into your bedroom before retiring for the evening. Make sure he doesn’t eat or drink anything for about 2 hours prior to bedtime.

Just before bed, when the house is calm, exercise the puppy and make sure he’s gone to the bathroom. Then place him in the crate with a quiet chew toy and close the door. Being in the same room as you may discourage whining or pawing. If the whining does not stop, you’ll be close by to quiet him.

Don’t react immediately to his whining, unless you believe he needs to go outside. Often ignoring puppies is the best way to train them out of a problem behavior. Do not try to put the puppy in his crate to sleep before you are ready to go to bed.

4. Bathroom breaks

Anticipate taking him out to eliminate at some point during the night (3 hours for a 2-month old, 5 hours for a 4-month old, etc.). After a couple of evenings, you may know what time he’ll wake up to go to the bathroom. Set an alarm to wake yourself 15 to 30-minutes prior to that so you can get him out of the crate before he begins to cry or paw.

This discourages crying simply to be rewarded with getting out of the crate. After a few evenings in your bedroom, try leaving your puppy in the crate in its normal location overnight. Remember to wake yourself up to take him out during the night.

The Benefits

In addition to house training, other behaviors can be handled with crate training. Your puppy will begin to view the crate as a “safe haven”. When the activity level in the home is elevated or you are entertaining, your puppy can retire to his crate and still observe the activity without having to be in the midst of it.

Some dogs fear vacuum cleaner noise. A crate is a wonderful place for him to feel safe from the big, bad machine. It also gives you a place to put him if you can’t keep a close eye on him before he’s house trained or allowed to roam freely.

Some dogs react poorly when they are separated from their human family. Behaviors like barking, whining, digging or other destructive behaviors may occur while you are away from them. It’s a stressful condition that takes a toll not only on your neighbors or furniture, but your dog as well. By crating him for short periods of time while you are out of his sight in another room, you can desensitize him to your absence.

Barking, whining, and pawing are several of the behaviors you can train out of him with a crate. If he does any of these things while in the crate, he’ll learn that he only gets released when he stops. Similarly, if your puppy has begun to think he’s the boss of the house, the act of placing him in his crate and deciding when he can come out will help re-establish you as the leader.

Safety Tips For Driving With Your Dog

driving, dog, car

Running errands or going on road trips with your furry friend is an increasingly common practice these days. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t consider the dangers posed by having an unrestrained dog in the car. Keep reading to learn of common dangers associated with driving in the company of an unrestrained dog, and some need to know safety tips.

A Road Paved with Good Intentions

“My dog is calm and doesn’t move around.”

“My dog is too small to cause a problem.”

“I can protect my dog better if he’s in my lap.”

Above are just some of the excuses used to justify allowing dogs unlimited access in cars. While these sentiments surely come from a place of love, they don’t negate the potential for distraction and harm.

Potential Driving Dangers

It is dangerous to have any dog, even a small one, lying in your lap while you drive. They could unexpectedly jump up and knock the steering wheel, block your vision or throw your car out of gear. Fido could crawl onto the floor and inhibit your ability to properly operate the pedals.

A dog riding with his head out an open car window makes most people smile. However, it’s actually an invitation for problems. Watching the faces Fido makes takes your attention off the road. Your dog may try to jump out to chase something, forcing you to focus on keeping him in the car.

Even a dog that normally rides well in the back seat may be tempted to jump into the front. Whether he lands on your lap or goes for the passenger seat, you’ll be focused on calming him down verses driving.

An unrestrained dog is also vulnerable to injury when you break, redirecting your attention from a potentially dangerous road situation to protecting your dog from harm.

Tips to Minimize the Risks

Here are some key tips for a safe car ride with your pet.

  • To help avoid spastic behavior from your canine while driving, let Fido get used to smaller car rides and slowly increase the distance as he gets more comfortable.
  • Never allow your pet to sit on your lap or in the front of the car while driving.
  • Avoid unnecessary injury by keeping your pet away from the bed of your pickup truck. If a car accident occurs, your dog will have no protection.
  • To avoid miscellaneous objects injuring your pet, do not allow Fido to stick his head out the window.
  • The final step to eliminating the distractions of driving with your dog is quite simple (no, you don’t have to leave him at home): restrain him in either a specialized harness or crate. Getting the right apparatus is key to keeping your dog comfortable, but a proper restraint not only keeps your focus on the road; it also keeps your dog safe.

Adding the above steps to your driving regime when traveling with Fido will help keep you and your canine family member safe. You can also help protect your dog from harmful free radicals by giving him NuVet Labs supplements. Protect your dog with NuVet Plus K-9 and by restraining him in the car.

How To Become a Dog Trainer: Helpful Hints

dog trainer

Let’s face it. You love dogs! You feel like you really connect with the canine world and understand doggie behavior. As a result, you want to become a professional dog trainer and you are comfortable with the idea of devoting your time and energy to the well being of these amazing creatures.

Unfortunately, you cannot track down any kind of mandatory state or federal certifications that will allow you to make it official and share your expertise with the dog owning public. You ask yourself, what does a person need to do to become a dog trainer? Continue reading and we will help show you how you, too, can become a dog trainer.

Educate Yourself

Since there currently are no state or federal requirements in place for what is needed to be a professional dog trainer, one of the most important things you can do is learn as much as possible about dogs and dog behaviors. This means reading books, watching videos and spending as much time as you can around dogs.

Two good places to start are your local library and the internet. At your local library, you should be able to find books on the topic of dog training and the various methods that experienced dog trainers use in their field. The internet is also a valuable tool to utilize, with videos and articles about all things dog training.

There are also dog training certification programs available that you can participate in for hands on instruction. However, the first step to becoming a dog trainer is to get a dog that you can train.

Sign Up For an Obedience Class with Your Dog

An excellent way to see what is involved in a typical dog training session is to take part in one. If you have a dog, you also have the perfect opportunity to get out there and get your feet wet.

There are many ways to get into a class. Various pet supply stores offer in-house training at their locations that puppy parents and their dogs can take part in. Maybe you may want to go the route of doing an in-home private session with a trainer. Perhaps you may want to try both ways?

If you are in a class with other dogs and parents, you will get to see how the training is carried out in a group. Being in a group also exposes you to different people and dog breeds, both of which are valuable experiences. In a private session you have the dog trainer at your disposal and will have lots of opportunities to ask questions and pick their brain, so to speak, about the world of dog training and how to get started.

Breed Exposure

Try and expose yourself to as many breeds of dog, and dogs in general, as possible. Visit with friends who have different kinds of dogs or volunteer at animal shelters, which always have a myriad of dogs.

You may also choose to spend time volunteering or working with a rescue that is breed specific. Fortunately, most of these organizations can always use the help. The Internet can assist you in tracking down these organizations and point you in the right direction.

Apprenticeship and Practice

After you feel comfortable in the fun and challenging world of dog training, see if you can find a dog trainer to take you under their wing (or paw) so that you can learn the ins and outs of the business.

An apprenticeship will allow you to see how somebody makes a living as a trainer. Working with somebody in the business will also be helpful when it comes time to create a resume or portfolio of your work and experience. Another great way to hone your skills is to volunteer at animal shelters and offer to train and work with the dogs there.

Helpful Hints for a Future Dog Trainer

  • Set realistic expectations. It could take months or years to hone your craft.
  • A good dog trainer is always learning new things and seeking out information.
  • Keep detailed notes of your experiences & knowledge development.
  • Training is about working with dogs & their people – expect to encounter all kinds of personalities.

Working with dogs and their families can be a very rewarding and uplifting experience. For NuVet, keeping dogs healthy is rewarding, which is why we created NuVet Plus.

NuVet Plus is a nutritious vitamin supplement for dogs and cats. We regularly receive testimonials from happy NuVet families about how NuVet Plus has helped improve the health of their pets.  Learn more about how NuVet Plus can help improve the health of your pet.

5 Steps and Tips to Biking with Your Dog

biking, Fido, dog

If you are a bike-riding enthusiast and have considered biking with your dog by your side, continue reading. NuVet Labs, your pet’s best friend, list some important information about what you will need, what you should do and what to consider before taking Fido for a bike-run.

Dog Biking Supplies:

  • A non-tangling leash
  • Body harness
  • A lead baton
  • Reflective lights or tape – Reflective vests specifically made for dogs are also available
  • A collapsible container to hold water.

Step 1

Make sure to clear all physical activity that you and your pet plan on undertaking with your veterinarian first. Chances are you will get the green light. However, your veterinarian may also shed some light on something regarding your dog’s health that could surprise you, like hip or joint problems your pup may have.

Step 2

Get your dog familiar with your bike by walking your bike and your dog at the same time. You can also get an idea of your dog’s comfort level regarding the bike. Continue to do this until you feel your dog is ready for the next step.

Step 3

It’s time to get on the bike! Make sure that you ride at a pace that is easy for your dog. Like Fido, there is going to be a learning curve for you as well. Riding a bike with your dog running next to you is going to take some time for you to get used to.

Step 4

Bike with your dog consistently and regularly so you can build up Fido’s endurance. Before you know it, riding your bike with your dog will be easy.

Step 5

Enjoy the exercise benefits of a healthy, low-impact bike ride and the emotional benefits of spending quality time with your pup.

Tips:

  • Make sure your dog is suited for exercise. Certain breeds of dogs are not designed for endurance exercises and may get overheated, or will just be plain miserable.
  • If your dog is overweight, it’s a good idea to work on reducing his weight before beginning strenuous exercise.
  • Don’t leave your dog attached to the bike if you are not on it. Your bike could fall on your dog and cause injury.
  • Don’t attach the leash to the handlebars while riding as this cold turn the wheel and cause an accident or difficulty steering and balancing.
  • Biking with a puppy is not recommended. They are too small and more prone to injury.
  • Consider another way of transporting a puppy or smaller dog on your bike. There are baskets on the market that can be attached to your bike for this purpose.
  • Consider a dog trailer for your bike if you have an older dog or a larger dog that is not suited for running.
  • Don’t get frustrated with your pooch if she doesn’t really take to biking. It’s not for every dog.
  • A bike designed for trails, with wider tires is better suited for dog bike-running.

Pet Health

One way you can get your dog in running mode is by making sure they are in good health. You can help get your dog healthy by adding a nutritional supplement like NuVet Plus to their diet.

NuVet Plus is comprised of human grade ingredients and manufactured in an FDA approved lab. Trusted by dog parents around the United States and Canada, NuVet Plus has been chosen by the discerning families of canines for the benefits they have seen their dogs gain from a daily regimen of NuVet Plus.

The NuVet Plus supplement strengthens the immune system, promotes a healthy skin and coat, supports ear and eye health, improves digestion, and more. Dogs with joint issues have also benefited from NuJoint Plus, a nutritious supplement especially designed for joint health.To learn more about exceptional NuVet products, please visit nuvetonline.com.

Why Exercise Is Important For Your Pet

pets, exercise

Just like your human family members, your new pet needs plenty of exercise in order to live a healthy, happy life. However, it’s important to recognize your new addition’s limits. Then, you can develop an exercise routine that is appropriate for your puppy or kitten’s size, breed and temperament.

Your veterinarian can help you create an exercise routine that is beneficial for everyone in your home. Proper exercise can help diminish destructive behavior, avoid hyperactivity, develop good social skills, improve sleeping habits and allow your pet to maintain a healthy weight.

Beginning to Exercise

There are a few key things you must consider before beginning an exercise routine with your new puppy or kitten. For starters, you must make sure that both you and your pet are in good shape to exercise. You may want to consider a slight warm-up routine before you start with the rigorous exercise program.

For instance, start your puppy off by letting it run in circles a few times before taking a short walk. When you are done exercising, you will want to let your pet stretch a bit in order to prevent injury. Hold out a treat in front of your animal in order to make them take a bow and stretch their muscles.

Note that you can exercise your dog or kitten both indoors and outdoors. It is just important to choose a spot that is safe and comfortable for you and your pet. You don’t need a lot of supplies in order to work out with your pet — simply invest in a leash if you are taking your dog outdoors or buy a few toys that might stimulate some activity.

Exercise Tips for Puppies

  • Talk to your veterinarian about types of exercise that would be beneficial for your new pet. For example, a pug has a short and flat nose and might have a difficult time breathing on an extended walk or during vigorous exercise. Likewise, young puppies should not go on walks that are too long, as their bones are still growing and developing.
  • Include brain exercise routines to help develop your new puppy’s mental skills. Puzzle toys are perfect for helping your dog learn how to find treats and explore appropriate spaces. For example, a Kong is a common puzzle toy. This toy allows you as the pet owner to store a treat in the Kong toy. Your dog will have to think about how it will retrieve the snack. It not only keeps your dog occupied, but also provides your pet with mental stimulation.
  • Disguise exercise with fun play activities. A daily dose of playing will help you bond with your puppy, as well as get them to use up some of their excess energy. Fetch is always a great choice, and also teaches your dog a few things about obedience along the way.

Exercise Tips for Kittens

  • Kittens will get most of their exercise through play activities, and you should make it a point to play with your cat at different intervals throughout the day. At a minimum, cats should receive about 10-15 minutes of one-on-one play time with you.
  • Consider purchasing a scratch post or climbing tree for your new kitten. These toys encourage them to stretch their new muscles and develop good habits. A scratch post gives them an appropriate place to use their claws. It also helps file down the sharp points on their claws.
  • Be your kitten’s play mate. Remember, your cat’s no longer with its siblings, which help to teach it a lot of its social skills. Let your kitten romp with you, and gently let your new pet know when it is playing too rough.

In addition to developing a well-rounded exercise routine for your pet, you also need to make sure all of their nutritional needs are being met. Choosing a healthy pet food with plenty of protein is a good start, but don’t forget to include pet nutrition supplements such as the one’s offered by NuVet Labs. The NuVet puppy and kitten supplements are designed to enhance your pet’s diet to ensure it is getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals, allowing it to have the best start in life.

Agility Training For Dogs: The Basics

agility training, dogs, nuvet

Dog agility training is a wonderful activity for many reasons. For example, agility training allows your dog to get mental and physical exercise. It is a fun, but serious, game for your pet; and most importantly, it creates a special bond between the two of you that strengthens your relationship. However, before starting to train your dog, you should know the basics.

What Is Agility Training?

In the simplest terms, agility is an obstacle course for your dog. Dog agility is a popular sport with competitive events. The handler directs their dog to complete various tasks, including going through tunnels, over tables, moving boards, jumping over bars and weaving through poles.

The agility course mimics movements that your dog would utilize if they were hunting. For example, jumping over logs, climbing steep surfaces, squeezing between bushes, and running quickly to catch up with prey. The agility obstacles help fulfill your pups natural instincts.

You (the handler) and your dog stay in constant contact through body language and quick verbal cues. Your canine family member relies on you to guide them through the course.Trust, clear communication, and teamwork are essential for success at the sport and in creating a stronger bond between you and your dog. Assisting your dog through agility courses will also help reinforce basic obedience commands that are used in everyday life.

Your Dog…

All breeds and sizes can participate in agility training and competition. However, you must evaluate your dog’s physical and mental health to determine if he would do well with agility. In order to be a good fit, your dog should respond well to your commands and enjoy being around people and other dogs.

The pace and demands on the body require that your dog be in good physical health. Joints can take a beating in agility, so consider adding NuJoint Plus dog hip and joint supplement and NuVet Plus from NuVet Labs to your potential competitor’s diet. If your dog doesn’t enjoy running or marches to the beat of his own drummer, he may not enjoy agility.

…And You

Just like your dog, you must possess the physical stamina to complete agility courses. You can navigate from a distance if running isn’t for you, but it requires specific instruction from a qualified trainer.

You should also consider the time and money you have to put towards the sport. To reap the full benefits of agility – bonding, exercise and mental stimulation – you have to work at it regularly. Whether you attend a group, a private agility class, or you purchase equipment to train at your home, cost is a factor. Quality equipment is essential for your dog’s safety.

Getting Started

If you decide to embark on agility training with your dog, begin by assuring his physical health. Agility is a great form of exercise for your canine companion. It will help him strengthen his muscles, stay fit, improve endurance, and burn excess energy.  Before beginning your agility training, start your dog on the right foot by putting him on the path to perfect health with a high-quality nutritional supplement.

 

 

4 Basic Tips For Any Dog Training

Dog Training

dog training

You love your dog. You always try to learn as much about caring for them as you can. From regular vet visits to daily NuVet Plus pet supplements, you never miss a chance to take care of your furry friends.

They make you smile, show unconditional love, and keep you company. Many days they are the brightest part of your life. However, that doesn’t stop you from wanting good behavior from them.

Training is a big commitment, and starting off on the right foot is essential to success.
Before your canine companion picks up too many bad trends, there are four basic and manageable tips that can make any dog training regimen more productive.

Be Consistent

No matter what you are trying to teach your dog or what method you are employing, the only way to get good results is through consistency. As intelligent as dogs really are, they won’t always be able to understand the subtle distinctions that make a behavior okay sometimes and not others.

If you don’t want your dog to jump on guests, then they should never jump on you. If the dog does not understand a command, then you must stick with them and show them what you mean every time until it becomes clear.

Consistency extends beyond training. Consistent nutrition is as important for the animal as it is for you, so don’t forget to provide your pup with a daily nutritional pet supplement.

Be a Teacher

In many ways teaching a dog is like teaching children. When nuanced communication is impossible, instructions need to be simplified and repeated.

Just like a child, a dog will wear down and become bored when training sessions continue for too long. You can break up the learning with physical activity to invigorate your pet and keep the environment positive.

Another parallel is in increasing complications. When you teach a dog to stay, you begin by remaining close and keeping the dog focused on your command. As their understanding and discipline grows, you can add more distractions and give the command from farther away. All lessons should develop like this, only expecting advanced results after the basics have been mastered.

Be Positive

Just like humans, dogs react to positive reinforcement. If you focus too much on correction and things done wrong, the dog will get discouraged. However, negative reinforcement is unavoidable so try to keep positive reinforcement in mind as well.

Patience and encouragement is vital for creating an environment that makes it clear to them which behaviors are correct. Positive reinforcement does not have to be used just during training. Whenever your dog is being good, take a moment to let them know. As much as they love treats and their Nuvet Plus, even a kind word or a reassuring pat is enough to convey the message.

Be Precise

A dog’s sense of timing is different from yours, so whether you are praising or correcting, you need to time your words correctly. They won’t understand if you are praising them for something they did a few minutes ago.

Likewise, corrections need to be expressed during the undesirable behavior. Dogs live in the now, so they will always think that your actions are based on what is currently happening. If your timing is off, wait patiently for the next opportunity.

Keep in mind these key behaviors and you are sure to have success in your dog training efforts. Training your dog properly allows you both to get the most out of your lives together and spend your energy on health, happiness and fun.

If you are looking for more ways to do right by your favorite animals, feel free to check out Nuvet online. You can also follow Twitter @NuVet for helpful tips and tricks!

How To Stop Your Dog From Tearing Up The Furniture

Nothing can make you think twice about your decision to get a dog quite as much as walking into your home and seeing that your dog has chewed up your favorite chair. If you have a dog who is chewing furniture, here are some steps you can take to discourage this behavior.

Use the Crate

Dogs will rarely tear up furniture when they are engaged with their owners. However, you can’t always be around. If you can’t be around, try to keep the furniture out of paws reach.

Teach your dog to enjoy alone time in his crate. When he is crated, he can’t get to your furniture, walls, baseboards, doors or belongings.

Get Some Exercise

Dogs often tear up things because they are bored or have pent-up energy. Generally, if the dog receives adequate daily exercise they will not have the pent up energy that leads to destructive behavior. A daily walk can be the key to avoiding this problem.

However, exercise needs vary depending on the breed and age of your pet. It’s a good idea to look up specific information on your dog to come up with the ideal exercise plan.

Remember, too, that simply turning the dog outside on his own is not enough. You need to be engaged by playing with him or taking him on a walk to ensure he is getting enough exercise. If you simply can’t go outdoors, invest in a treadmill your pup can walk on, or find ways to play indoors to exhaust extra energy.

Improve Nutrition

If your dog is tearing up furniture and ingesting it, take a closer look at his nutrition. Dogs who are lacking vital nutrients will often eat non-food items in an attempt to improve their internal balance.

Most commercial dog food is lacking in nutrients. Consider adding a tasty supplement for immune support, like NuVet Plus, to improve your dog’s overall nutrition. NuVet Plus is composed of natural, human-grade ingredients that are cold processed to maintain their rich nutrients and provide superior bioavailability.

Protect the Furniture

You can also purchase an over-the-counter deterrent product to spray on your furnishings to ensure that your canine companion is not interested in tasting the furniture. These sprays are bitter tasting and will deter your dog from the chewing behavior.

If your pet leaves stains, excessively sheds, or leaves unwanted odors on your furniture, consider getting more pet-friendly furnishings. For example, patterns and dark colors helps to camouflage pet stains.

Although pet odor cannot be seen, it can still be very noticeable. Consider investing in a natural stain and odor remover. NuVet Labs manufactures an all natural, organic stain and odor remover that actually removes undesired odors and discourages your pet from soiling the spot again. If all else fails, slip covers for your couches and chairs can also limit the damage to your furniture.

Once the behavior is un-learned, you will find that the dog stops being interested in the furniture and will find other, more appropriate, things to chew or play with.

Provide Alternatives

Make sure you have plenty of safe chew toys and bones available for your pup. It may take some work to find toys that are interesting to your dog, but once you find them, invest in several. Your dog needs something to chew while you are teaching him not to chew the furniture.

Teaching your dog not to chew or damage the furniture will take time and patience, but with a little bit of work, you can have pristine furniture and a dog that is a benefit to your family.

Don’t forget to include nutrition in your process. NuVet Labs has various testimonials that show the difference nutrition can make in your pet’s behavior.

For more helpful tips, follow NuVet on Twitter.