All posts in The Pet Gal

20 Feb 2018

Top Industry Secrets That Set Your Puppy Up For Success

Top Secrets To Set Your Puppy Up For Success

Bringing a new puppy into the home is a time of joy, love, and excitement. It is also a foundational period during which the basis of a dog’s behavior, health, and relationship with its owner is established. To ensure the best for your little one, there are a few key do’s and don’ts when it comes to becoming a new pet parent.

secrets to puppy success

PUPPY DO’S

Spend Time With Your Puppy

The transition from litter to a new home can be a stressful time for young dogs. In addition to getting to know their new family, they are acclimating to entirely new surroundings and dealing with the separation from their littermates and mother.

Spend as much time as possible with your fur baby in the first week or two at home to help set a solid foundation for them. Setting up their space in the home, creating a reliable routine, and enjoying quality bonding time together are all helpful practices. The best part of scheduling extra time with your puppy? Ample cuddles and playtime!

Visit Your Vet

Most puppies are sent home to their new families when they reach 6 to 8 weeks of age. They are extremely susceptible to diseases at this time, as they have been weaned and the antibodies provided by their mother’s milk begins to wear off. It is best to schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible to ensure they receive necessary vaccinations. If your pet was weaned too early or was found without a mother, it is even more important that a vet be an active part of your puppy’s early life, as they could already be infected with harmful diseases.

It is also important for the vet to assess their overall health. If there are any chronic health problems present, it is ideal for pet parents to be made aware as early as possible.

Veterinary care is an integral part of a dog’s life. Setting up a good relationship between your puppy and their primary care vet will mean a long, happy life for you to spend together.

Begin Training Day 1

We all want a well-trained and well-behaved dog. The earlier training begins, the easier it will be to ensure your puppy grows up to be just that. For your puppy’s well-being – and your sanity – it is important to begin training immediately and consistently.

The Pet Gal believes in 100% positive reinforcement based training. We don’t support the use of balance training, or alternative collars such as shock, choke, or bark collars. With our professional experience, we know that positive reinforcement training is the best choice for all dogs, as it provides a positive incentive for good behavior and is a stress-free process which solidifies the bond between puppies and their humans.

Provide Structure

Set your puppy up for success by providing structure in their training and their schedule. Puppies learn best by routine. By establishing continuity with a schedule that is repeated each day they are better able to master things like potty training and good behavior.

One of the most important rules of thumb in maintaining structure in training is to make sure all members of the household know the training commands you’ve chosen. If the puppy’s command to stop jumping is, “OFF” then everyone who interacts with your puppy needs to be consistent with that term to prevent confusion.

The Pet Gal understands it can be hard to provide consistency in potty breaks, feeding, and training when you have a full-time job or other commitments. Our pet sitters are happy to help keep your puppy’s schedule on track with our in-home pet sitting services. For a typical work day, we recommend two 15-min pet sits – one visit mid-morning and the other during the afternoon to start. As your puppy grows more active, we suggest longer visits. We know the importance of structure, so our sitters communicate actively with you to ensure all your puppy’s training cues, feeding schedules, and daily routines are reinforced while you’re away.

Give Your Puppy Lots Of Love And Have Fun!

Creating a relationship with your new puppy is the best part of the process. Be sure to stay present and in the moment with your fur baby, because puppyhood doesn’t last long. While it can be stressful at times, be sure to savor the moments of sweet cuddles, affection, and playtime. Give lots of hugs and kisses, take plenty of photos, and give your puppy all the love it deserves.

puppy success secrets

PUPPY DON’TS

Invite Too Many Guests Over

While it’s understandable to want your new puppy to meet all your friends and family, overstimulation can cause anxiety, upset routine, and interfere with training. Loud noises, crowds of people, and confusing training commands can make it difficult for your puppy to acclimate to its new home. In the beginning, introduce your puppy to new people in small doses and be sure that visitors know your training cues.

Punish Your Puppy

While the trials and tribulations of puppyhood can certainly test your patience, punishment is never the answer. Not only are punishments – spanking, yelling, hitting, rubbing a dog’s nose in their accidents, etc. – ineffective, they also generate distrust between owner and puppy.

A puppy needs to know that you are their safe place, their protector, and their family – someone they can trust in all situations. Positive reinforcement training solidifies this bond and is more effective in producing good habits.

Socailize Too Soon

While socialization with other dogs is an important part of the training process, ask your vet when they think the appropriate time for your puppy to begin interacting with other dogs is. Often this depends on the puppy’s age, health, and temperament. Your pet’s vaccination status is a deciding factor on when they can visit places such as dog parks, kennels, and pet stores. Once your puppy is approved for socialization, be sure all first-time interactions with other dogs is done gradually in controlled environments.

Travel Right Away

Schedule, structure, and security are paramount during the first months of a puppy’s acclimation to a new home. Leaving a puppy during this time can cause unease, stress, and throw a wrench in all the hard work you’ve put into training.

If you must leave during this time, the Pet Gal offers a variety of pet sitting services including visits ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, overnight stays, and in-home boarding to provide you with more flexibility during your puppy’s first few months.

Forget To Cherish Every Minute

With that sweet puppy breath and adorable eyes, it can be easy to forget that your tiny bundle of love will soon grow up into a full-sized dog. Allowing a golden retriever puppy to sit on you when it is lap-sized is one thing, but what about when it grows to be 60+ pounds? Chewing on things, pulling on the leash, and jumping on people are all behaviors that seem negligible – even cute – when a tiny pup does them. But before you accept it as commonplace, ask yourself if this is a behavior you want an adult dog doing. It is always easier to train a puppy with fresh behaviors than to train an older dog out of ingrained habits.

Pet Gal Kirstie.

12 Sep 2017

Heart Broken Kitty Lands On Her Feet!

Heart Broken Kitty Lands On Her Feet!

Most of you read our previous blog post Heart Breaking Reason Kitty Needs Rescuing about adopting sweet Emma whose pet parent Jon sadly did not return to her after open heart surgery.

Jon had actually paid for care several weeks out so Pet Gal Jennifer Immel became extremely close to Emma while making every other day visits to check on Emma and give her loads of love. Throughout Jennifer was in constant communication with Jon’s family and worked diligently to try and find Emma a new forever home. Unfortunately, she was not able to find the right home for Emma.

That’s when we reached out to our incredible clients to ask them for help in finding the perfect new home for Emma.

The response to our request was overwhelming, we had the highest volume of traffic to our site for a single day ever, with 11 amazing families offering to adopt her! One kitty loving Pet Gal client who moved out of state wanted to adopt her and pay to have her flown to Denver! Another client offered to pay for her care until she could find a new family. After we saw all the responses coming in we knew we were going to be able to find Emma the perfect pet parent.

After careful consideration, Jennifer chose the daughter of a current Pet Gal client, Joey. Jennifer coordinated the meet and greet with Jon’s son, Scott, his family and Joey at Jon’s home. Joey couldn’t help but fall in love. Jon’s family, through their tears of mixed happiness and sadness, said their goodbyes. Emma found her new home!

Emma & Joey

We followed up with Joey today and she shared how Emma was adapting. She told me on the phone she was so heartbroken when she heard about Emma’s story and feared for her safety and life if she ended up going to the shelter. She was thrilled to be able to adopt Emma.

Here’s her update:

“It was nice talking with you this afternoon. As I mentioned, Emma is settling in nicely in her new home. She’s already making herself comfortable – sleeping on the bed, hanging out on the screened in porch patio furniture, etc. I think it’s going as well as can be expected for such an adjustment for her. We are having to work through some issues she has with her new brother, Nelson, but I think that will work out in time. Nelson has been great, he’s not fighting back when she lashes out at him – he just runs away and is left to wonder, “What’s up with this girl, what’d I do?!?”

Aside from her treatment of her new roommate/brother, she’s a super sweet girl who very much enjoys getting attention, being brushed, playing in cardboard boxes, etc. We are enjoying getting to know her more and trying to make her feel welcome in her new home!

I’m including a couple of pics I have of her – one was soon after we brought her home (still wondering what was going on) and the other in one of her new favorite spots (on the patio).

Best,

Joey”

Emma In Laundry

We can’t say how proud we are of The Pet Gal Family that answered the call to help Emma and the awe-inspiring care Pet Gal Jennifer provided above and beyond her visits. She was able to provide loving care for Emma, be a support for the family, find Emma’s new home all while working through the emotional loss of a long time client. Pet Gal Jennifer defines true professionalism and heartfelt care and an exemplary member of The Pet Gal Team.

Pet Gal Susan.

02 Aug 2017

Heart Breaking Reason Kitty Needs Rescuing

Heart Breaking Reason Kitty Needs Rescuing

Our featured rescue this week is very close to the hearts of our Gals. Sweet Emma was in our care while her guardian went in for open heart surgery. Sadly, he didn’t come back home to her. We’re continuing our visits giving her plenty of love and reassurance while her guardians family as well as The Pet Gal team help to find her a new, loving and happy fur-ever home.

Rescue This Kitty

Emma always greets us with purrs, leg rubs, and joy. She’s incredibly sweet and loves affection. She’s nine years old (born May 1, 2008) and has had a sibling cat most of her life. She hasn’t been around dogs but given her sweet nature, we’re sure she’d adapt well. She has no health concerns or issues and is micro chipped.

Rescue This Kitty

Her dad, who’s been a Pet Gal client for almost 9 years, provided her with a loving environment and took the best possible care of her. The surviving family (who resides out of state) would love to see her go to a loving home.

If you’re interested in adopting this sweet kitty, please send an email to info@thepetgal.com.

26 Jun 2017

How To Setup Your ShurLok Lock Box

How To Setup Your ShurLok Lock Box

This is a step-by-step guide to help you setup a ShurLok Lock Box. The video will cover everything you need to get started, how to enter the shackle combination, and how to access the key door.

To Get Started You Will Need:

1) A ShurLok Lock Box
2) A Lock Box Setup Card (Found In The Portal)
3) A Paperclip (Do Not Use A Screwdriver)
4) A Pen and Paper (To Write Down Your Combinations)
5) Watch the video below
6) Additional help Shurlok Support


To see the benefits of using a lock box check out an earlier post – Don’t Get Locked Out!.
Pet Gal Susan.

14 Jun 2017

Is It Too Hot To Walk Your Dog?

Is It Too Hot To Walk Your Dog?

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a nice walk with your favorite four-legged friend. Like most dog owners before heading out you probably grab a poop bag, a leash, and even some water then head out to enjoy a nice walk; without knowing it you might be putting your dog at risk of serious injury. Unlike you, they will be going on this walk barefoot, and even though their pads are tough, hot pavement can cause severe burns in minutes.

What may feel like a very comfortable air temperature may result in nearly double on the walking surface, 77 degrees can be 125 degrees on your dog’s paws. At that temperature, skin destruction can begin within a minute! A good rule of paw is to press the back of your hand against the ground for 7 seconds. If it is hot to your hand, it is too hot for your dog.

too hot for a dog walk

Here are 5 tips from a professional dog walker to help you enjoy walking your dog this summer and keeping them healthy.

Walk Your Dog When It is Cool

If you live in a hot state, you should walk your dog before 11 am or after 7 pm.

Walk Your Dog On The Grass

If you must take your dog for a mid-day walk, keep them on the grass; it is much cooler than concrete and asphalt.

Walk Your Dog In Shoes

There are several brands of dog shoes and booties on the market that can provide protection from extremely hot surfaces.

Cool Your Dog After The Walk

Apply cool water to their neck area and paws after the walk to cool them down.

Water Your Dog After The Walk

Make sure to have plenty of room tempurature water available for them to drink after the walk.

Pet Gal Susan.