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5 Tips for Safely Welcoming Your Adopted Dog Into Your Home

5 Tips for Safely Welcoming Your Adopted Dog Into Your Home

5 Tips for Safely Welcoming Your Adopted Dog Into Your Home

Written by: Paige Johnson for DMK Rehoming

Photo via thatsphotography

Congratulations! If you’ve made the wonderful decision to adopt a dog, you’ve both saved a life and taken a step in making yours even better. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition to your pup’s new home. Here are five of the most important ones:

  1. Make sure the kids know the best ways to interact

A new pet is exciting, but an overstimulated child can quickly overwhelm a dog that’s already facing a lot of changes. Talk to your kids about dog etiquette, and explain that the new member of the family is going to need time to adjust. They should give it space at dinnertime, pet it on its side or back, and approach it calmly. They also need to be prepared for the dog to be protective over its toys and to play cautiously.

  1. Help pets already at home adjust

If you already have another pet at home, you’ll want to take steps to prepare it for the new dog. Start by letting each smell a blanket or towel with the other’s scent on it, even keeping it somewhere nearby. When you move on to a face-to-face meeting, keep the dog on its leash and ease into the interaction. Don’t force either animal to acknowledge or sniff the other, and be prepared to separate them. Make sure they each have their own beds, food and water dishes, and toys, ideally in their own areas. With time, they’ll get used to each other.

  1. Give your new dog a safe space

Moving to a foreign environment with brand new sights, smells, people, and sounds is going to be a major adjustment for your pup no matter what. Make sure it has a safe spot to decompress, like a crate or designated corner with a bed. If the dog starts to act out, it may just need some quiet time, so be sure to leave it alone if it chooses to separate itself.

  1. Establish a daily routine

The sooner you can get your dog on your regular schedule, the better. Not only will it make the transition smoother for everyone, it will give the dog a comforting sense of consistency. Feed and walk it at the same times every day, and reinforce the commands and words you want it to learn. Make sure everyone has a turn with responsibilities throughout the day so your dog knows to obey each member of the family.

  1. Spend special time together each day

There will probably be some days that you get home and feel too tired from work or school to play with your dog, but it’s important that you give it some special attention every day. Everyone in the family should make a point to spend some time playing and petting the dog each day, ideally at different times so that it is consistent affection but not overwhelming. The more secure the dog feels, the more it will realize that this is its new home.

Above all, show your new dog love, patience, and understanding. Give each other time to adjust, and soon you won’t be able to remember not having the new pup in the family!

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

Is your child asking for a dog, but you’re not yet sure if you’ll get one? It might be a good decision to say yes to your kid’s request because owning a pet has various benefits to children as proven by science. This includes social, physical, and psychological advantages.

One of the most noticeable benefits of pets to children is that they become happier. Most kids love animals and they love playing with them. According to professionals, the dopamine and serotonin level of kids goes up when they are around pets like dogs. These are the chemicals that make you feel good. Even if you don’t know the scientific reason for this, you’ll plainly see how happy children are when they are with animals with your own two eyes.

You might be surprised to learn that having a dog or a pet in general can help a child become a better reader. How? There are kids who are shy or do not feel comfortable practicing reading in front of people, as they may be afraid of making mistakes or being laughed at. Studies have shown that there are kids who feel more confident reading with their pet. This might be because they know that they will not be teased if they ever make an error.

These are just a few of the good things that kids can benefit from having a dog. To open your eyes with all the other amazing things that pets can do to children, we created this superb infographic.

Take time to see this cute image below and find out the other benefits of having a pet:

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

Written for DMK by Jenny from HerePup.com.

4 Surprising Ways your Dog Says “I Love You”

4 Surprising Ways your Dog Says “I Love You”

Originally posted here by Lauren Boriotti on February 2, 2015

Ever wonder, “does my dog love me?” From belly scratches, to treats, to finding them the perfect sitter, we do a lot to show our dogs how much we care. Some might even say we’re obsessed (talking to them remotely with a cool/crazy pet cam? Who, me?) But how do we know they feel the same? Turns out there are some clear signs you can look for. Your pet can’t come home with a bouquet of roses, but he might bring you his favorite ball. And that’s a sign of deep affection. Yep—slobber and all.

If your dog shows any (or all!) of the following behaviors, all signs point to his or her unwavering love for you.

He Goes Crazy When You Come Home

We’ve all seen this before. You walk in the front door and you are eagerly greeted by your dog, tail wagging with a toy in his mouth (and probably lots of jumping too!). This is love in its truest form.

Your dog is displaying his excitement to see you in any way he can. However, according to the Wall Street Journal Blog, if your dog seems to do this each time someone walks into the house, he may be a bit…promiscuous. So, this isn’t the strongest determining factor as to whether Fido thinks you’re “the one.”

Specific Facial Expressions

A dog’s love isn’t all about tail wagging. Instead, it’s about facial expressions. In a recent study in Japan, dogs were introduced to their parent, a stranger, a dog toy, and an item they disapproved of. When seeing their parent, the dogs immediately lifted their eyebrows(especially their left). When they saw a stranger there was significantly less facial movement, and it was movement of the right brow.

Similarly, when seeing someone they knew and were bonded to, the dogs shifted their left ear back. If it was an item they disliked, they shifted their right. According to the study, this suggests the dog is likely more reserved when meeting someone new, or seeing something they dislike.

She Really Looks at You

In a 60-Minutes segment on CBS, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, to discuss a dog’s love. According to this segment, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.”

Why? Because when your dog looks at you, oxytocin is released, which is the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. This eye contact truly indicates your dog’s love for you.

We don’t recommend you have a staring contest for the first 10 minutes after you get home tonight. She will immediately sense something is different, and will likely look away. Instead, take time to try to maintain eye contact throughout the day and see how your dog responds.

He Yawns With You

We’ve all heard that yawning is contagious, and may have experienced this when a friend yawns during conversation. (Did you just yawn? Even reading about yawning can make you yawn!). But did you know that dogs experience the same sensation?

According to Live Science, a recent study shows that yawning indicates empathy in us. In other words, because humans are empathetic, they sense the yawn in their peer. It’s nearly impossible to measure a dog’s empathy, but it’s likely that yawning symbolizes a bond to their human.

In this study, dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned, as opposed to a stranger. Hard to believe? You can test it out at home. Just don’t be discouraged if your dog doesn’t yawn back immediately—he may not recognize the yawn, and instead wonder why you’re showing him your grin.

It’s True Love

There are plenty of “scientific” ways to confirm your dog loves you, but of course, these reactions vary from dog to dog.

The truest way to know if your dog loves you? Trust your gut. Whether he perks his ears when he hears your voice, looks meek when you leave but jumps uncontrollably when you get home, or cuddles up next to you any chance he can, we’re pretty sure his heart is 100% yours.

The Best Halloween Pet Events in Denver

The Best Halloween Pet Events in Denver
Originally posted on AXS by Deb Flomberg on Oct. 27th, 2014.

Don’t let your best friend get left out of all the Halloween fun. Dogs love Halloween, and there are lots of great ways to celebrate the day with the whole family, Fido included. Of course, the first thing you’ll need is a costume for your pooch, and there are so many fun and adorable ways to dress your pup up for the big day. Then head out to any of these pet friendly Halloween events to show off your adorable dog and his or her amazing costume. As with any pet event, make sure you keep your pooch leashed and be a polite pet parent. And, of course, make sure that your pup gets lots of extra treats on Halloween, just like everyone else.

Woof in Boots 3rd Annual Howlin’ Halloween Pet Costume Party
Price: $5 suggested donation

Thursday, October 30 2014

Bring your costumed pooch to Woof in Boots for this annual extravaganza. Your pup can enter the costume contest, as there will be three prizes for Best Pet Costume, Best Owner Costume and Best Combo Costume. In addition, the team at Woof in Boots have set up a plethora of other holiday themed events. Go bobbing for hot dogs, take photos in the Photo Crypt, get your face painted, enter the prize raffle and snack on all the treats (for humans and their pets) that you could want. Plus, the proceeds for this fun day all go to benefit the Maxfund Animal Shelter, so it’s for a good cause as well.

Lil’ Angel Pet Parade and Costume Contest
$10 per pet

Friday, October 31, 2014

Once you’ve purchased that adorable pet costume, here’s a second chance to show it off. Head over to Lil Angel Pet Boutique for its Pet Parade and Costume Contest. There are lots of events planned throughout the afternoon, including photos, bobbing for dog cookies and a kids safe street area with a bouncy house and a costume contest just for the kids. There will also be a signing and lecture from Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald on first aid for pets, and a demonstration of Pure Puppy shampoo and conditioner. The costume contest, of course, will offer prizes and all participants receive a goodie bag just for showing up in those adorable costumes. And this one is for a good cause as well. All proceeds benefit the Misha May Foundation.

Aspen Grove Trick or Treat Street
Friday, October 31, 2014

Price: Free

Bring the whole family, Fido included, to this fun event at Aspen Grove Shopping Center. It all kicks off as the kids get to meet the characters from the film “Hotel Transylvania” as they enjoy some trick or treating and carriage rides for the whole family. If you don’t have a pet to bring, you can even adopt one on site, as there will be pet adoptions there to help match some pups with new forever homes. As night falls, the family can sit and watch the film “ParaNorman” on the lawn following the costume contest. It’s a whole day filled with Halloween fun, so whip out those costumes for everyone in your family, and strut your stuff in style.

When Your Dog‘s Itching is Driving You Crazy

When Your Dog‘s Itching is Driving You Crazy

Orginally posted on drsophiayin.com by Dr. Sally J. Foote

What’s with all the scratching? Is it heat?

Summertime can often trigger skin rashes and ear infections in dogs. You may be cleaning your dog’s ears, bathing them, or giving them anti-histamines, yet they continue scratching away. There may be relief for a day or two, but it continues to come back. The foot licking, scratching, and gnawing starts to drive both you and your dog crazy. You Google all the remedies and you still cannot sleep at night – nor can your dog. What is going on here?

Possible Causes

While I cannot say specifically what is bothering your dog, there are some common factors that happen during the summer that increase allergy, infection, or flea problems significantly. When the days become more humid, the number of mosquitoes, fleas, and other biting insects can show a marked increase within a 24-hour period. These insects bite your dog triggering an allergic reaction. A dog who could once tolerate a few bites may then become overloaded and develop a rash. For some dogs they will have a rash on the belly; for others the ears will flare up. Baths in a soothing shampoo can help, but if your dog is still scratching or chewing intensely, have them examined by a veterinarian. The bacteria, yeast, and mange that is normally present will take advantage of the inflamed skin and make things worse. Delaying care will not only make your pet miserable, but creates a bigger problem that will take more medication, time, and money to treat.

Another factor that increases skin and ear inflammation is the increase in inhalant allergens from growing plants. Often, animals have a list of things they are allergic to, and they can tolerate a number of them at low levels with minimal skin or ear problems. Following a rainstorm, the pollen and mold counts increase, triggering intense allergic reactions. This can increase the inflammation, resulting in a rash that is intensely irritating. Controlling the allergens – like a food or flea allergens – can help when the environment rears its ugly head. It is best to work with your veterinarian to develop a plan for the care of your pets during the summer months.

What’s the plan?

If you have taken your dog to the veterinarian, and everything is better, it is still extremely important to have a plan to prevent continued flare-ups throughout the summer. Take your dog back in for that recheck even if the skin looks good, and partner with your veterinarian to develop a management plan. This will prevent chronic flare-ups which is best for your pet’s health and your sanity. I cannot stress enough the importance of a regular bathing schedule in the proper medicated shampoo as a preventative. Which shampoo is best, and how often, is what your veterinarian will prescribe as part of this plan. If your pet is difficult to bathe, many groomers will use the veterinarian prescribed shampoo you bring with you. You can also make bath-time more fun through positive training.

Irritated skin and ears can also cause dogs to be more agitated, or even aggressive. The chronic pain and irritation will tend to increase not only irritability, but also anxiety. Inflammation increases stress hormone release and decreases serotonin, an important brain chemical. This leads to guarding of the body – avoiding or reacting against touch. If your dog seems a little more “snarky” or “grumbling” (terms I hear clients use), it is likely a reaction directly related to the inflammation of the skin. When the skin improves, the behavior improves.