For Your Pet's Best and Healthy Life
With the New Year you may have decided your New Year’s resolution is to live your best healthy life. Good news is you do not have to have to go through it alone. Your furry little friend can also benefit from starting new healthy habits. That is why Ren’s has put together this list of tips and tricks that will help your pet live their best and healthy life!
Many people believe that once a dog is fully potty trained and can hold their pee through the night, they no longer need their crate. A crate serves many different purposes then just simply helping potty train your puppy/dog. Crates act like a safe space for your dog and mimics the feeling of being in a cave which naturally calms your dog. Taking the crate away when they still actively use it is like taking away their bedroom. That being said, some dogs once potty training is over never want to use the crate again. The best way to know if your dog is fine without a crate is to leave it up for a few months after potty training and see if they willingly use the crate. Even if they choose to sleep with you they would still like to go in there throughout the day.
If your dog decides that they no longer wish to use their crate and have not touched it in months then you can take it down. Though it is still important to give them some sort of safe space and/or area that is all their own. This can be achieved by getting your dog a bed. Just like your own bedroom, a dog bed can act as a safe place to retreat to when your dog needs some alone time. A bed can also keep your dog sleeping in one spot.
Dogs love playing tug for a variety of reasons, with the top reasoning being it is a way to strengthen bonds. Playing tug with your dog is a great way to interact with them and get some one on one time. If your normal bonding routine is going for a walk, but you find with the cold weather you are not able to do that as often, having interactive toys ready to go at home is a must for many dog owners. Puzzle toys are great as they require your dog’s full focus and attention in finding a treat. Remember, puzzle toys should always be used under supervision so that your dog does not begin to destroy the toy in order to retrieve the hidden treat.
Daily walks are an important part of a dog's healthy lifestyle, but some dogs are nightmares on the leash. Dogs pull on a leash for many different reasons, the most common is that they believe that is how they are supposed to walk. If you continue walking behind your dog as they are pulling this indicates to them that pulling works and it is how they move forward. There are a couple of different tools you can use to help correct this behaviour. The first is a harness. A harness is more comfortable than a collar, especially because it does not put pressure on a dog's throat. When your dog pulls forward, stop walking and wait until they sit or the leash relaxes. This will teach your dog the only way to move forward is if they walk with you.
If your dog is an aggressive puller to the point where you feel as though you are going on a drag and not a walk, a harness and a head halter in combination will fix this issue. A head halter is a strap that goes over the muzzle and clips to the back of the head, and is similar to the head harnesses that horses wear to be led. The combination of the two gives you control of both the head and body allowing you to teach your dog to walk beside you. Head halters can sometimes feel forgiven to your dog and they may try to remove it by pawing at their face or rubbing their head on the ground. It is important to then desensitize your dog by putting it on then taking off periodically throughout the day while rewarding them with treats.
In case your furry friend gets lost, it is important that your dog has up-to-date tags that list your current phone number and address. If you know your furry friend likes to go on adventure’s without you, consider getting a GPS tracker you can attach to their collar. Be sure to also ensure your dog's collar is in good condition and fits comfortably but will not slip and come apart if you become separated.
Oral hygiene is an important part of your pet's overall health but oftentimes is overlooked. Over 80% of dogs will have some form of active dental disease by the age of 3. Regularly brushing your pet's teeth will reduce their chance of getting some sort of dental disease and ensure they will live a healthy life! If you have never brushed your dog's teeth before, or have tried with little or no success, check out our article on how to brush your pet's teeth!
While it is true you do not have to walk your cat or let them out to do their business, that does not mean they do not require a stimulating environment. Cats are natural climbers and jumpers, and often feel safest when up high. That is your cat will often jump up on furniture, countertop, and even cabinetry. Cat trees take care of your cats' need to climb and jump while also creating a safe space they can claim as their own. Cat trees also promote exercise and both physically and mentally stimulate your cat, which not only saves your furniture and countertops but also leads to a happy cat.
Another great way to create a safe and comfortable space for your pet is with a cat bed. Cats can sleep anywhere and at any time, so it is understandable to think that they may not need a cat bed. However, cat beds have many benefits, the first being helping them find a comfortable spot. When a cat has a bed, it encourages them to sleep in one spot and allows the cat to feel safe as they know that bed is theirs. Using cat beds, especially in your home office, will allow your cat to be close to you without them feeling like they have to be on top of you.
Laser pointer’s and toss toys are a great way to both have one on one time with your pet but also helps get them active. Toss toys and laser pointers mimic the movement of prey making them desirable for your cat to chase. Many indoor cats do not get enough exercise, so introducing these toys ensures they live a healthy life.
Cats, just like dogs, can also experience oral health issues and over 70% will develop some sort of dental disease by the age of 3. Cats are also known to hide their pain and discomfort for their humans, so many pet owners do not even know there is an issue until more serious health issues arise. Brushing your cat's teeth once a month help keep their teeth and gums healthy, and will keep you informed about any changes with their teeth and gums. If you know your cat will never let you brush their teeth, consider using dental treats.