Pet Advice & Ideas

Top 3 Ways To Avoid A Bored Dog


dog chew up toilet paper in living room

You don’t need us to tell you that a bored dog is not a happy dog - and as a caring owner, that’s the last thing you want. After all, your dog deserves all the love and care you can give.

With that caring in mind, this blog shares three fun ideas to help increase your dog’s happiness and good behavior. But first, how do you even know if your dog is bored?

Look for these signs

Uh-oh, something’s been chewed. You come home and the rug is a sorry sight. Vets call it “problem behavior.” A friend shared this story with us. While she was away, her pup went to work on her husband’s loafers. Size 10s were chewed down to size 9s. And no wonder, dogs need stimulation -- in fact, they can’t be without it. So when we enrich their world, they become happier and better-behaved.

It’s easy to sense how your dog misses you when you’re away. Especially when you consider that millennia ago dogs were bred to have a working role. But most dogs aren’t working these days – they have little to do. This is evident when you consider the in-home security footage of one owner’s home while he was away. He saw an unhappy pooch… and rolls of unraveled toilet paper decorating the living room. Charming.

Dogs look to us for engagement and fun. Your dog deserves a lifestyle that beats a ho-hum existence. Because, according to ancient Greek wisdom, for a human or dog to thrive in top form, a healthy mind in a healthy body is key.

 Try these three fun ideas:

  1. Head to the park. A potty break or walk around the block for a bored dog may not be enough. Instead, go out for some intense playtime. It could take the form of an energetic frolic or the tried and true game of fetch with a stick, frisbee or tennis ball. Grab that barely-used tennis racket and hit a ball into the distance for your dog to fetch. And do it again and again. Watch your dog exhibit an Olympic performance with a smile that widens every time you send the ball flying.


    dog running at park

  2. Friends for your dog. You enjoy meeting new friends and, of course, your dog does too. Especially when there’s a chance to cut loose and run with them in a safe, protected area. Dog parks are a roam-free environment that could offer slides, hurdles, hoops to jump through as well as water features like spraying fountains.
  3. Scrumptious chew treats. Dogs adore our Water Buffalo Bully Sticks. So they’re perfect for a game of “Find the Treats.” It’s as captivating for your dog as it is for you entering a kitchen with delicious smells coming from the oven. You become transfixed by trying to discover where that aroma is originating from.

Got that picture? Now apply it to a fun game with your dog.

Start by hiding the Water Buffalo Bully Sticks in interesting places, use your imagination, be creative. Then set your dog on a search. Encourage your dog, signaling if they are hot or cold. Great fun erupts when the treats are discovered. That’s when you can lavish praise on your intrepid hunter. You’ll make your dog feel extra-special and proud ... but that’s only the beginning.

Because “Find the Treats” helps put an end to destructive behavior. It fulfills your dog’s love of chewing with something that’s tastier and healthier than a pillow or your beloved loafers. You both benefit as play promotes better behavior and bonding.

The former chief veterinarian of the RSPCA in Britain, Mark Evans, adds to that:

“There’s a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are really good indicators of a dog’s quality of life.”

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What You Need to Know About Feeding Trials


woman feeding her dog food

While looking for healthy products for your furry friends, you’ve probably faced a slew of information, and we understand how overwhelming it can be - especially since you want to give them the best life possible. We want to be clear about what goes into our products because we want you to feel confident in the product you’re feeding your pets. We’re proud of our products but your trust in our company is more important.

As an employee-owned purpose-driven company, we think differently and our definition of transparency includes giving you a behind the scenes look into our decision to conduct dog food feeding trials - and why it should matter to you. 

What Are The Pet Food Standards?

Did you know that there are two ways a dog food maker can demonstrate the nutrition of their foods? These are set by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the association that establishes nutritional standards within the pet food industry.

Nutrient Analysis

The most common of the two is through nutrient analysis. This involves laboratory testing of the finished food that measures how much of each key nutrient is present compared to the required amount. Beyond the required nutrients, additional tests can be ordered to tell a more complete story about the formula. For instance, if a brand prioritizes antioxidants they’ll want to test for that number, though it’s not required.

This additional nutrient analysis testing is the method we at Life’s Abundance have used for over two decades, and now, as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we’re engaging in the second of AAFCO’s sanctioned tests - Feeding Trials.

Feeding Trials

Simply put, feeding trials allow us to study the nutritional value a pet gets from consuming a food. So - how does it work? Eight dogs are exclusively fed the food being tested for a number of weeks (duration varies based on life stage). Periodic blood tests and the dog’s weight are tracked and recorded to demonstrate that the nutrients shown on paper actually make it into the dog’s body at life-sustaining levels. The dogs are always humanely treated and if for any reason they aren’t doing well on the food they are immediately taken off the trial. 

Why Conduct Feeding Trials?

First and foremost, we have a responsibility to the hundreds of thousands of dogs eating our food, and because of this, it’s important to know how nutrients in our formulas behave once digested by the dogs eating them. Our formulation philosophy for years, has been made up of nutritional analysis and decades of anecdotal evidence but with the addition of science-backed feeding trials, that philosophy is even stronger. 


Life's Abundance dog foods

In the veterinary world, feeding trials are the gold standard to demonstrate a food’s nutrient value. Now when your vet asks if your dog’s food has been through a trial, if you’re feeding Life’s Abundance, you can confidently say ‘yes.’ We know from all our veterinary consultants and colleagues how important feeding trials are to veterinarians as a mark of quality assurance. This is our way of showing we're absolutely serious about making the best food out there.

The decision to conduct feeding trials was a years-long process involving many levels of staff at Life’s Abundance. We’ve:

  • consulted with veterinarians,
  • consulted with insiders who have seen many sides of laboratory research,
  • looked for alternative testing protocols,
  • interviewed testing companies and toured testing facilities ourselves

It took all of this time, effort and consideration to be certain we’d found a testing company that met our standards for animal care, interaction, environmental enrichment and overall welfare. It was important for us to take this time so that we feel as good about the process as we do the results, so you can too.

What Feeding Trials Won’t Tell You

Though a feeding trial is a true scientific study, it will only tell you whether a food is adequate enough to keep a dog alive. It won’t tell you about the quality of the ingredients or if they have any health enhancing benefits. At Life’s Abundance, it’s more than formulating, making and delivering great food. It’s about getting the ultimate nutrition into your dog so they can thrive.

Feeding trials take time to complete but we’re dedicated to taking as many of our products through trials so you can have full confidence in our products. Here is our feeding trial status as of Fall 2021:

  • All Life Stage Dog Food, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice - Successfully completed Summer 2022.
  • Adult Weight Loss Dog Food - Successfully completed Spring 2020.
  • All Life Stage Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Brown Rice - Successfully completed Summer 2021.
  • Grain Free All Life Stage Dog Food - In queue to start. Tests are not run concurrently which makes the timeline to complete the series quite long.

We remain dedicated to adopting certified testing methods to reassure our customers of the quality of our product. If you’re not currently feeding your pet Life’s Abundance food consider making the switch to our uniquely formulated foods that have feeding trials to back their efficacy.

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Introducing A New Cat Into Your Home


person holding two kittens

Cats make wonderful pets. With temperaments ranging from affectionate to reclusive, cats bring joy and playfulness to our homes with their unique personalities and endearing quirks. So, you’d think that bringing a second, third, or fourth cat into your home would be bliss right?

While, in theory, this may seem simple, the process of introducing cats to one another and teaching them to coexist can be a somewhat involved process. Because cats are often loners by nature, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure that your two cats feel comfortable and safe around one another. Here’s what you can do to give your resident cat and newcomer the best chance at a successful introduction and set them up for a lifetime of companionship or at the very least, a peaceful coexistence.

Separate Spaces  

When you first bring your new cat home, it’s important to keep them completely separate from your current cat. The best way to do this is to enclose the new cat in a room with a door, like a bedroom or office. Preferably one that your current cat has spent significant time in so that their scent is present in the room.

Make sure this room is pleasant and comfortable for your new cat and keep in mind that isolating them isn’t a punishment; it’s an effective way to make them feel safe in their new home. Some things you may want to stock their room with are toys, a cozy bed, food, water, and a litter box. Also, it’s best if this room is easily accessible by human family members, so that they can enter often to play and socialize with your new cat.

A room with a door that has a little bit of space underneath is ideal as this gives the cats an opportunity to be in somewhat close proximity and in some cases even see one another, if they choose, without forcing them to socialize.

Mirrored Feedings

When it comes to feeding your cats, think of the door dividing them like a mirror. Whatever you do on one side, you do on the other, meaning the cats should be fed at the same time, with their food placed close to the door, on their respective sides.

If either cat hisses or shows aggression when coaxed to eat near the door, simply move that cat’s food a few feet back from the door and allow them to eat from a distance. With each mealtime, try inching their food bowl a little bit closer to the door. When the cat complies, be sure to reward them liberally with enticing treats they love.

The Great Switcheroo

After about two or three days of relatively calm behavior between the cats, it’s time to make the big switch. Give your new cat free reign of the house and put your current cat in the room where the new cat has been living. Don’t switch anything else – they should be using one another’s toys, food bowls, litter boxes, etc. (Do be sure to clean the bowls and the litter boxes before the switch, though).


woman playing with two cats

This step may need to be repeated, particularly if one or both cats is showing signs of stress. Repeat this process until both cats are comfortable around one another’s scents. To help facilitate this, consider rubbing the cats with a towel that possesses both of their scents. Start by rubbing a small, clean towel or blanket on one of your cats. Then, without washing it, rub the same towel on the other cat, so that their scents are mixed. Then take this towel back to the first cat, so that both cats have one another’s scents on them.

Visual Confirmation

If all goes well, it’s time to let the cats see one another while still keeping them physically separated. It’s likely they’re not ready to be together quite yet, so you can open the door to the new cat’s room and secure the entrance by stacking two baby gates in the doorframe. This creates a barrier tall enough to keep your cat from easily scaling it, otherwise you’ll witness firsthand just how agile felines can be. This will allow them to be contained but still see one another.

If the cats both seem calm enough, you can attempt a more formal introduction. If possible, each cat should be accompanied by a human on opposite sides of the barrier. Place each cat a couple of feet back from the barrier and let them see one another. If they acknowledge one another, introduce them by saying their names, and don’t forget to reward them with a treat.

Time to Meet

If your cats have progressed through all of these steps without fear, anxiety, or aggression, it’s time for the official meeting, which should be brief and supervised, with a human standing by to separate the cats if things take a turn-you’ll want to avoid any cat fights.

If this is successful, you can start to increase the time the cats are together, until they’re finally both comfortable occupying the same space. And if they aren’t ready yet? That’s completely okay! It can take some cats up to a year to fully accept another cat into their home territory. Have patience and keep trying- you’ve got this!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

What Scents Do Cats Love?

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Can Dogs Be Bilingual?


man talking to his dog

One of the most wonderful things about having a pet is the strong connection and bond we share with them. Have you ever talked to your dog, and watched as they seemed to listen intently, tilting their head and hanging onto your every word?

But do they really understand us - and what about when we speak to them in different languages? Is it possible for them to become bilingual?

Dogs and Human Language

Do dogs even understand human language? As it turns out, yes and no. Dogs process language similar to the way human children (up to the age of 14 months) do. That’s to say that they understand commands and familiar words, but have trouble distinguishing between commands, and words that sound similar. For example, if you tell your dog to “drop” or “bop” they may hear no difference between the two.

However, we do know that they do listen to what you say, and they comprehend at least some of it. As for how much, no one is quite sure- perhaps with further research, we’ll learn more about how much of their bedtime stories our furry friends are actually understanding.

Bilingual Dogs

Are dogs capable of understanding more than one language? Yes they are, as long as they’re taught from an early age - like human children. In a recent study, it was determined that dogs can tell the difference between their “native” language (the one in which they were trained) and other languages.

During the study, dogs were played recordings of the classic book “The Little Prince”, in their native language, and then in a language to which they hadn’t yet been exposed. During the study, brain scans were taken of each dog. The results show that their brains reacted differently to the unknown language, indicating that they can distinguish between various human languages.

This indicates that if you are bilingual, and you’d like your dog to be as well, it’s possible to train them to understand multiple languages, at least when it comes to common commands.


woman on bridge shaking dog paw

Training a Bilingual Dog

The keys to training a dog to become bilingual are consistency and repetition - just like teaching them how to sit. For example, if your dog is already fluent in English commands, use this as a jumping off point. Say the English command, and then immediately follow it with the same command in whichever language you’d like your dog to learn. Another key to training is to reward them with one of their favorite dog treats each time they correctly obey. 

Be sure to use the same word to indicate a command every time, especially in languages that might have many word options that mean the same thing.  Once your puppy reaches genius-levels of obedience when responding to commands in the second language, be sure to continue reinforcing that behavior with consistent treats for a job well done!

Aren’t our dogs amazing? Not only do they fill our lives with love, spread joy everywhere they go, and keep our lives exciting, but they also have the capacity to be bilingual (or tri-lingual, if you consider the fact that they’re already fluent in ‘dog’!) Learning a second language can be  challenging for anyone, so if you succeed in training your dog to become bilingual, be sure to show them your support and admiration by constantly telling them how much you love them - in both languages, of course.

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A Spa Day For You And Your Pet


woman shampooing hair

Summer days are fun but they can be long, hot, and draining. Whether you’re spending the time with your furry friend just lounging outside, traveling, or playing - it’s bound to get tiring and we know just what you and your pet will need - a spa day! Here’s our necessities for ultimate relaxation - not just for you, but your furry friends too!

Nothing cures a stressful day better than a soothing bath. Research shows that spending 30 minutes in the tub helps to lower blood pressure, fight depression and allows you to sleep better. Want to give your bath a boost? Use a cleansing soap with charcoal to draw impurities from your pores - leaving you with clean, refreshed skin. It also features tea tree and neem oils which are amazing at soothing and calming your skin. Plus, there’s no dry-skin feel afterwards thanks to the Dead Sea salt contained in this bar that helps retain natural moisture.

For a more complete refreshing experience from head to toe, while you shower, remember to use a light facial cleanser to help brighten up your skin. Preferably one that includes these key ingredients that offer a slew of benefits:

  • Aloe leaf juice, argan oil and shea butter to capture debris without stripping skin.
  • Sugar cane, white willow bark and citrus peel extracts to gently exfoliate and reveal your natural glow.
  • Apricot, neem and hemp seed oils to calm irritated skin.
  • Bilberry and cranberry fruit extracts to help fend off the effects of environmental stress.
  • Omega fatty acids to deeply nourish and promote healthy, even skin.

Prolonged time in the sun and exposure to harsh UV rays can damage hair cuticles causing dry, brittle hair. So make sure to restore your hair with a botanical shampoo and conditioner. Regardless if you have curly, dry, or oily hair - these two products are made with all hair types in mind. Lather, rinse and repeat if necessary and you’ll be ready to show off your hair’s natural vibrance all summer long.


dog in the bath

Now that you’re refreshed it’s time to take care of your furry friend. After an hour or so of  playing in the yard they’re going to be due for a cleansing bath. No one loves that wet dog smell - not even your pet, probably - so pamper them with this luxurious shampoo. Infused with rosemary and sage, just a small dollop will bring out your pet’s natural shine, and it’ll do more than just mask odors - it neutralizes them. They’ll be left with a beautiful coat and a light citrus aroma.

However, if you don’t have time for a full-on bath (and they’re not too dirty), this portable Bath Fresh Mist is a quick fix until you can get around to bath time. This spray on formula uses the same Ordenone ingredient to completely get rid of odors rather than cover them up. You’ll love the way this mist nourishes their coat with a mix of certified organic herbal extracts, aromatic botanicals and natural fruit extracts.

After this spa day, you and your pet will be feeling your very best. Now, it’s just time to cuddle up on the couch after a long day - feeling refreshed, clean and relaxed.

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The 5 Best Apps For Your Pet


man looking at phone with dog next to him in car

Pets are always there for us, whether we're looking for a cuddle or a laugh to help us wind down after a long day. For all they do to make our lives a little brighter, our furry friends deserve the best of everything, and that’s why we love the variety of apps that have popped up to improve our pets’ lives. Whether you want to make sure you never miss a vet appointment, keep your shoes from becoming a chew toy, or find new ways to have fun together “there’s an app for that.” Here are five of the best apps to download today for those with fur babies:

PetDesk

PetDesk helps you keep track of your pet's veterinarian appointments, vaccinations and lab results. You can request in-person appointments and/or launch virtual care appointments, all within the app. PetDesk is a great way to stay organized and make sure your pet is up-to-date on their shots and medications - truly a must-have for any pet parent!

GoodPup

GoodPup is a top-notch pet app that offers 1-on-1 video chat sessions with experienced trainers, which means you can get custom advice and guidance in the  comfort of your home. This app is great for anyone that needs a flexible schedule or wants to teach Fluffy not to jump on the counter without spending a fortune.  It also has a 24/7 chat feature that allows you to connect with an expert whenever you need it- for those late-night puppy woes. 

Pro tip: While using this training app, make sure to keep some delicious, healthy dog treats or cat treats on hand as a reward. Your furry friend is guaranteed to be on their best behavior!


woman looking at phone while playing with cat

Puppr

For those pup parents accustomed to a more ‘on-demand’ video service, the Puppr app is purrrfect. Puppr features over 100 recorded video lessons, and a live chat feature that connects you with trainers for a little extra help when you need it. There are other fun features like a progress tracker, photo entry challenge, and a built-in training clicker. If your pup could brush up on their manners, or you're looking for a fun way to bond, give Puppr a try.

BringFido

Love to vacation with your pet but find it hard to find pet-friendly getaways? With BringFido you can find pet-friendly restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Whether you're on the go or looking for local spots that welcome guests on two legs or four, BringFido is a great resource.

Buddies

Being a pet parent is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it's also a big responsibility. Now  you can earn actual rewards every time you take good care of your furry friend, just by logging their exercise, diet, appointments, and food purchases. You can also take and share photos of your pets, write updates about their day-to-day lives, and invite your friends and family to follow along - even better, you can redeem points for treats for your pet to enjoy. 

There are so many apps out there that can make our pets' lives better, and taking care of them a little easier - these are just five of our favorites. What apps do you use to improve your pet's life? Let us know in the comments below!

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4th Of July And Pet Safety


dog with family on fourth of july

4th of July comes with a lot of festivities - from delicious BBQ’s to games with the family and of course, that special light show to end the night. Of course, you want your whole family to feel safe and have fun, but what about your furry friends? Did you know that July 5th is one of the busiest days for vets and animal shelters? Reasons range from post-fireworks shock, holiday food causing stomach problems and overly exhausted pets from a long day in the sun.

Luckily, there are many ways to prevent these issues from happening so you can keep your pet as safe and calm as possible during 4th of July. Here are our pet safety tips:

Be Cautious With People Food

We all love a good cookout on the grill for Independence Day! However, foods such as burgers, hot dogs and ribs aren’t the best for your pet to ingest. Bones can cause blockages in their digestive system and even pierce their intestines. Make sure that you keep these foods and any alcoholic beverages out of their reach, even when they’re giving you those puppy eyes. Also, be sure to keep them away from the grill where they can be harmed by the heat, smoke or even the matches used to light it.

When Possible, Keep Them Indoors

We understand that your pets, especially the pups, love to roam and play outside. However, your best bet for pet safety on 4th of July is to keep them inside. This will prevent your pet from bolting out of the yard and potentially into the street, when those startling fireworks start. If you’re leaving them home during the show, allow them to have access to an escape-proof, safe spot whether it is in your bedroom or in a crate. Also remember that the sun is beaming this time of year and your pet can experience heat exhaustion and even sunburn. Be sure to leave them in a cool spot with lots of water.


dog with flag bandana

Provide a Distraction

If you’re leaving your pet at home, you should provide them with a distraction to help pass the time and ease their nerves. It might be surprising to find out what calms their anxiety. This could be anything from soothing music to leaving the TV on to drown out the loud noises outside- Lassie usually does the trick Of course, you can never go wrong with a treat-dispensing toy filled with delicious, healthy dog or cat treats!

Check ID Tags And Keep Photos

In the worst case that your dog or cat does escape during the fireworks, you’ll want to take precautionary measures to find them easily. Make sure your pet is easily identifiable and check that they have their collar on with an accurate ID tag. If they are microchipped, verify that this information is correct as well including your name, their name, your phone number and your address. For an extra layer of pet safety, look at recent photos you have of them and keep them on hand to show to local rescues and neighbors should your pet escape.

Have a Chat With Your Vet

It’s always a good idea to talk with your vet if your pet is prone to anxiety. Sometimes, no matter what you do to keep your dog or cat calm, they’ll still feel stressed. Consult your vet to find out if there is a solution, such as prescribed medications, that can help keep your pet at peace for the holiday.

If you have a dog or cat that gets easily stressed during the 4th of July, don’t worry. With a little planning, you and your furry friends can have a fun-filled holiday sans stress. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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Feeding Tips For A Picky Pet


dog taking kibble out of owner hand

Your pets are more like family members. They bring you joy, laughter, and snuggles, and you’d do just about anything to keep them healthy. However, that can be difficult when you have a pet that’s a picky eater. It may sound silly, but our furry friends can be just like us when it comes to food – they know what they like and what they don’t. Luckily, there are some simple feeding tricks you can do to help them become a better eater. Here are a few to get you started:

Be Consistent

For both cats and dogs, it’s important to have a consistent schedule when it comes to feeding. For picky pets especially, knowing exactly what to expect and when to expect it can help make mealtimes easier.

Choose a time (or times) for your dog or cat to eat and feed them at that same time every day. Rather than leaving food bowls out all day and allowing your pet to graze, instead try putting food down for 10-15 minutes, and then taking it away until the next mealtime. This will help coax your fur baby to eat at a certain time, rather than allowing feeding to be a free-for-all. Once you find a food that they love, stick to it. Don’t change up food or introduce new treats during mealtime. Once your pet knows what to expect (and what is expected of them) mealtimes tend to become a lot more manageable.


owner holding food bowl next to cat

Eliminate Obstacles

There’s a difference between being picky and having a true obstacle when it comes to eating. For example, pets can be allergic to different foods and ingredients. If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, you can bring them to your vet to be evaluated. If confirmed, you should switch to a food that doesn’t contain the offending allergen.

Additionally, some dry foods can be too hard for pets to chew, particularly for small or older dogs. There’s an easy fix to this! When using a kibble, like our All Stage Dog Food, add a small amount of water to the bowl of food and stir. This will soften up the kibble pieces just enough that pets with small, minimal, or sensitive teeth can comfortably chew them.

Spice It Up

Barring any allergies or physical issues, some animals just need their food to be a little more enticing. Adding different types of toppers or enhancements to regular kibble might be enough to convince your picky cat or dog to give it another try. Try crushing up our Turkey Hearts Freeze-Dried Cat Treats or Bison Kidney Freeze Dried Dog Treats and mixing them into your pet’s food.

Alternatively, you might consider adding a very small amount of fish oil to their daily food. Not only does the oil’s flavor and scent entice many animals to eat; it also is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that may help support your furry friend’s joints, coat, skin, eyes, heart, and brain. Our Fish Oil for Pets is a high quality fish oil that may just do the trick!

Our pets are silly, loveable, and oh, so quirky. Even when they give us grief about their food, we still can’t imagine what we’d ever do without them. We hope these tips and tricks will help your picky dog or cat work up a better appetite and make mealtime just a little bit easier for the whole family.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

What Scents Do Cats Love?

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The Ultimate Puppy Behavior Guide


puppy napping on human lap

They’re snuggly. They’re adorable. They’re impossibly tiny, little, fluff balls, and they’re invading your home, yet there’s nothing like the joy, love, and excitement a new puppy can bring to your family. into your household.

Along with that love and joy comes a ton of responsibility, so knowing what to expect can make your transition, and theirs, a bit smoother. Here are five common puppy behaviors to be on the lookout for.

Nipping and Chewing

There’s no way around it, puppies are prone to sinking their teeth into things- it’s one of the ways they explore their world. That doesn’t make it any less aggravating, or painful, when they nip at your fingers, or any less annoying when they chew your favorite shoes to shreds, but remember that although it may seem personal, it’s not. They’re learning and it’s your job to teach them how to behave.

When your puppy nips at you, quickly and firmly stop them, so they know it’s wrong. When they chew on inappropriate objects, try to correct and redirect by offering a toy or bone for them to gnaw on instead.

Teething and Losing Teeth

Speaking of teeth, did you know that puppies lose their baby teeth, just like children? It seems obvious, but some people don’t even know that’s a thing until their first puppy is deep in the throes of teething.

Losing teeth and growing new ones can be uncomfortable for your puppy, so you may see them more aggressively chewing, along with other signs such as red, inflamed or bleeding gums, drooling, bad breath, or increased fussiness and irritability. You can help them by offering teething toys or softening food, if needed. And don’t worry, the teething phase goes by quickly.


puppy chewing on toy

Potty Training and Housebreaking

One of the most challenging tasks for dogs and their human parents alike can be potty training or housebreaking. Dealing with accidents around the house can be stressful for both you and your puppy, but it can be hard for young dogs to understand how to notify you when they need to go outside or how to go on a potty pad to relieve themselves.

One key component to proper housebreaking is positive reinforcement. Every time your puppy successfully goes potty outside, it’s important to reward them with a treat. This helps them associate going potty outside with a positive response, so next time they’ll be motivated to continue practicing this good behavior.

The Zoomies

Now let’s talk about one of our all-time favorite puppy quirks: the zoomies! If you haven’t had a puppy before, this may sound ridiculous to you, but hear us out.

Ever seen the Indy 500? You know how the cars race around the track at impossibly high speeds? Okay, so picture that, except replace the track with your home, and the cars with your puppy. These are the zoomies!

Out of the blue, puppies will get a burst of energy and careen around the room, the yard, or the house at breakneck speed. What to do about this puppy behavior? If your puppy is on a predictable zoomies schedule (many of them regularly get the urge at the same time of day or night), maybe move anything breakable out of the way. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the adorable and hilarious show!

Napping

Sometimes, the zoomies will use up so much energy that you might find your puppy passed out on the floor shortly afterwards. That’s not the only time puppies sleep though. Puppies, especially young ones, need ample time and space to sleep, both during the day and at night.

It can be easy for us, their humans, to get so carried away playing with them, taking them for walks, and showing off their cuteness, that we forget to give them a break. It’s important to have a calm, quiet, comfortable place available for your puppy to take a snooze whenever they need. They’re working hard to grow and learn, and naps are an important way for them to recharge.

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for the whole family. We wish you and your new fur baby luck, laughter, and love as you learn each other’s behaviors and work to become one happy, united family!

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dog in owners arms

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh

Our pets are more to us than, well, “just” pets. They are loyal companions, joyful playmates, and reliable confidantes. They are members of our families who leave permanent marks on our hearts. But with all the love and snuggles inevitably comes the hardest part of pet ownership – loss.

Losing a pet is painful. There’s no way around it. Everyone who’s been through it knows what it’s like to have an animal shaped hole in their heart for the pets who’ve gone before them. And while there’s no way to circumvent the grief and sadness that comes from the death of an animal, there are some things you can do to help get yourself to the other side.

Acknowledge your loss

Before you can move forward, you need to acknowledge the loss you have suffered. Give yourself time to sit with your grief and try to absorb and comes to terms with what has happened. It’s important to know that there is no timeline, no “correct way,” to handle saying goodbye to a furry family member. The process looks different for everyone. Whatever it looks like for you, be patient, kind, and gentle with yourself.

Talk it out

For many, talking about their fallen four-legged loved one is an important part of the healing process. Whether this means confiding in a family member or close friend, reaching out to a support group, or even writing it out in a journal, talking about, saying the name of, and remembering your sweet pet can help you work through feelings, and ease some of the pain.


cat laying on owner lap

Find closure, ceremonially

While this may not be for everyone, many pet owners find comfort in saying goodbye through some sort of ceremonial practice. This can be as simple as lighting a candle and silently sending good thoughts to your deceased pet, or as elaborate as a full-blown memorial service. Regardless of the structure, a ceremony can be helpful in closing this chapter on you and your pet’s relationship and transitioning to one where they live in your heart, rather than by your side.

Memorialize their life

It may be comforting to find some way to memorialize your dear furry friend. This will look different for everyone but could include planting a tree in your pet’s honor, painting a picture of them, donating in their name, creating a scrapbook of your time together, or reserving a special place in your home to dedicate to their memory. This gives you and the others grieving your pet a concrete place to feel connected to them and their legacy.

Pay it forward

No matter the species, breed, or temperament, our pets all have one thing in common – they make our lives better. Sometimes, the best way to remember and honor them is to take a page out of their book. Reach out and help others. Volunteer at an animal shelter or senior center. Help a neighbor in need. Reach out to friends who are coping with their own losses. Brighten someone’s day, and as you do, remember how your cherished pet brightened yours. Volunteering and helping others gives you a place to channel anxious energy, occupies your mind, and helps you form new connections, all while improving the life of another. If our departed pets could tell us what they wished for us, we have to imagine this would be part of it.

Losing a pet is never easy. When they cross the rainbow bridge, we are left to navigate through grief, loss, and sadness. While the pain will never truly go away, eventually you will be able to look back on your lives together, appreciate the joy and love, and know that your memories will keep them forever alive in your heart.

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