MISSISSAUGA, Ont. () – With the cold weather nearly behind us and spring just on the horizon, many people who’ve been thinking about getting a dog are making plans to finally bring home a four-legged friend.
But welcoming a new dog into the household — especially a young pup — isn’t always an easy transition. It requires patience, understanding and commitment to learn how to get along together.
“Teaching your new dog to behave well in a positive, encouraging way is critical to making sure you and your pet have the loving, rewarding relationship you’ve been hoping for,” says Celine Rignault, Marketing Manager of Dingo. “Good training starts the minute you bring your new dog home.”
Dingo, which makes the only rawhide dog treats on the market with real meat in the middle, suggests the following tips to help new dog owners get off on the right paw with their pets:
Dog Proof Your Home:
- Just like new parents need to kid-proof their homes to make sure their children have a safe environment, new dog owners need to dog-proof their places to eliminate possible safety issues or trouble spots. Make sure to clear out any safety hazards or furniture and clothing that could be damaged by a pup that may still need to learn that not everything is a chew toy. It’s a good idea to keep your pooch contained to a smaller area of your home for the first few weeks, while it’s getting comfortable — especially if it hasn’t graduated from toilet training yet.
Stock Up on Doggy Gear:
- There are endless options of goodies, toys and accessories to buy for your new best friend, but first you need to start with the bare essentials. Here are a few items that every dog owner needs right from the outset:
- Collar with proper identification tags;
- Sturdy food and water bowls;
- Comfy bedding for you dog to sleep on, like a large cushion or blanket;
- Durable toys that encourage healthy chewing; and
- Disposable bags to clean up doggy waste during walks.
Serve Only Healthy Foods
- Your pup may look longingly at what you and your family are serving up for your own dinner, but there’s no room at the table for a four-legged guest. Many foods humans eat can be unhealthy for pets. Feeding your dog table scraps can also encourage bad behaviours, such as begging and mooching. Stick to high-quality foods with the appropriate amounts of protein made specifically for dogs, based on their age and activity level.
Reward Good Behaviour
- There’s nothing wrong with breaking out a healthy snack or treat to reward your dog if it behaves well or does what you ask it to do. But like your new pet’s meals, make sure the treats you provide are high-quality and appropriate for its overall diet. Dingo offers several healthy treats, including Wag’N Wraps with chicken and pork wrapped inside premium rawhide and mini rawhide with real chicken inside — both are a great source of protein and promote clean teeth and gums from natural chewing action.
- Dogs are smart and generally like to please their owners to receive positive reinforcement, such as attention or treats. But they can also be easily confused — especially if they’re receiving mixed messages. If you expect them to follow your rules, they can’t be told one day it’s okay to sit on the couch and ordered off it the next. Prior to bringing your dog home, decide on house rules and then enforce them consistently. Use the same commands and directions to help your dog understand what you’re asking it to do.
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