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Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Choosing the right puppy daycare is an important decision that can significantly impact your puppy’s well-being and development.

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a puppy daycare:

Clean and Safe Facilities:

Visit potential daycare facilities to ensure they are clean, well-maintained, and secure. Safety is a top priority, so look for features like fenced play areas and trained staff.

Qualified and Caring Staff:

Professional staff members should have experience in handling puppies, understanding their needs, and managing group dynamics. A caring and attentive team contributes to a positive daycare experience.

Playgroup Size and Dynamics:

Inquire about the size and composition of playgroups. Ideally, groups should be organized based on size, age, and temperament to ensure a harmonious play environment.

Enrichment Activities:

Assess the variety of enrichment activities offered, such as toys, games, and interactive play. A well-rounded program contributes to mental and physical stimulation.

Health and Vaccination Policies:

Ensure that the daycare has clear health and vaccination policies in place. This is crucial for preventing the spread of illnesses and maintaining a healthy environment for all pups.

Pet Parent Testimonials:

Read online reviews and testimonials to gather additional feedback about the daycare.

Convenient Location and Hours:

Consider the location of the daycare in relation to your home or workplace. A convenient location makes drop-off and pick-up more manageable. Also, check the operating hours to ensure they align with your schedule and commitments.

Communication and Updates:

Inquire about the daycare’s communication practices. A good daycare should provide updates on your puppy’s activities and well-being. Ask if they have a system for notifying owners about any incidents or concerns that may arise during the day.

Cost and Services:

Understand the cost structure and what services are included. Some daycares may offer additional services such as grooming or training. Compare prices and services to ensure they align with your budget and the level of care you expect for your puppy.

Puppy daycare is more than just a service for busy pet owners; it’s an investment in your puppy’s overall well-being. From fostering socialization to providing mental and physical stimulation, a well-chosen daycare can contribute significantly to your pup’s happiness and development. By understanding the benefits and selecting the right facility, you can unleash the full potential of your furry companion and set them on a path to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Learn all the essentials for successfully caring for and raising your puppy via The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy and Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

The Benefits of Puppy Daycare: A Happy and Social Pup

Welcoming a new puppy into your life is an exciting journey, but it also comes with responsibilities, including ensuring your furry friend is happy, healthy, and well-socialized. Puppy daycare is a fantastic option for pet owners with busy schedules or those seeking to provide their puppies with socialization opportunities. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of puppy daycare and why it can contribute to a well-rounded and content canine companion.

Socialization Opportunities:

Puppy daycare offers a controlled and supervised environment for your pup to interact with other dogs. Socialization is crucial during a puppy’s early months to help them develop positive behaviors, communication skills, and proper play etiquette. Regular interactions with other puppies and trained staff at daycare contribute to a well-socialized and friendly adult dog.

Mental Stimulation:

cute puppy barking
Puppies are curious and full of energy, and they require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and undesirable behaviors. Puppy daycare provides a variety of activities and toys to engage your pup’s mind, keeping them entertained and preventing destructive behaviors that may arise from boredom.

Physical Exercise & Play:

puppies playing
A tired puppy is a happy puppy. Puppy daycare provides a structured environment where your furry friend can engage in supervised play and exercise. This not only helps them burn off excess energy but also contributes to their physical well-being, promoting a healthy weight and muscle development.

Puppy Self-Sooting Time:

A good puppy daycare will also carve out some important self-time. This is time for your puppy to relax on their own with a toy or treat. Also, this time is used to walk around – one-on-one – with a professional puppy daycare counselor to get accustomed to different sounds, smells and other important environmental stimulus. If your daycare is in the same facility as your pup’s place of grooming or other services, having them see and hear the noises of things, like a hair dryer, will help them not to develop any fears when they get a little older.

Professional Supervision:

puppy with counselor
Puppy daycares are staffed by trained professionals who understand canine behavior and can manage group dynamics. Having experienced supervisors ensures a safe and controlled environment for play, reducing the risk of injuries and conflicts among the puppies.

Consistent Routine:

Puppy daycare often follows a structured routine, including playtime, nap time, and feeding schedules (depending on how long your daycare sessions are and your puppy’s unique needs). Consistency is essential for a puppy’s well-being, and a regular routine helps them feel secure and comfortable in their environment. This can be especially beneficial for puppies who thrive on predictability.

Alleviates Separation Anxiety:

puppy
Puppies are known for forming strong bonds with their owners, and separation anxiety can be a common challenge. Puppy daycare allows your pup to spend time away from you in a positive and supervised setting, helping them become more comfortable with short separations and reducing anxiety.

Convenient for Busy Puppy Parents:

two puppies
For pet owners with demanding schedules, puppy daycare offers a convenient solution. Whether you have work commitments, appointments, or other responsibilities, knowing that your puppy is in a safe and engaging environment provides peace of mind.

Puppy daycare is more than just a convenience for busy pet owners; it’s an investment in your puppy’s overall well-being. From socialization and mental stimulation to physical exercise and professional supervision, the benefits of daycare extend far beyond the time your pup spends there. Consider enrolling your puppy in a reputable daycare to ensure they grow into a happy, well-adjusted, and sociable companion.

Learn all the essentials for successfully caring for and raising your puppy via The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy and Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

Are you located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group will allow your puppy to socialize with friends in a safe, supervised, and fun environment – designed just for them. Our Puppy Play Group Counselors are exceptional for both supervising play and training your puppy to be their best furry selves – from now into adult-dog-hood.

The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy

Bringing a new puppy into your life is an exciting and rewarding experience. These adorable furballs fill our days with giggles, love, and companionship. However, alongside the joy they bring, puppies also require proper care and attention to thrive. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of puppy care to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of your new addition.

Puppy Nutrition:

puppy eating from food bowl
A nutritious diet is crucial for a puppy’s growth and development. Consult with your vet or breeder to determine the appropriate food for your specific breed or mix. High-quality puppy kibble will typically contain the necessary nutrients in the right proportions. Also ensure that fresh water is always available.

 

Puppy Vaccinations and Veterinary Care:

puppy vet care, veterinarian
Just like human babies, puppies require a series of vaccinations to protect them against diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Parvo. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are also essential to monitor their health, provide preventive care, and address any concerns promptly. Schedule an initial visit soon after bringing your puppy home and follow the recommended vaccination and check-up schedule.

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our vet clinic partner offers monthly clinics, at our centers, for many of your pup’s vet care needs. Be sure to check our vet clinic schedule.

 

Puppy Exercise and Mental Stimulation:

two dogs running in grass, playing with toy
Puppies have boundless energy that needs to be channeled properly. Engaging them in physical activities like walks, playtime, and interactive toys are necessary to keep them fit and happy. Mental stimulation is equally important. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and socialization with other dogs and people contribute to a well-rounded puppy. Aim for a balance of both physical exercise and mentally stimulating activities. Learn more about The Benefits of Puppy Daycare and Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group offers all your pup’s exercise and mental stimulation needs to help them grow into a healthy, happy, well-rounded dog.

 

Puppy Hygiene and Grooming:

puppy
Maintaining your puppy’s hygiene is vital for their overall health. Regularly brush their coat to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Pay attention to dental care by brushing their teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Trim nails regularly and check ears for debris or infections. Bathing should occur when necessary, using puppy-friendly shampoo to avoid irritating their sensitive skin. Learn more on our blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Puppy Grooming

Located near one of our pet hotels and want to leave your puppy’s hygiene and grooming needs to our exceptional professionals? … Book a Puppy Grooming appointment with us today.

 

Puppy Socialization and Training:

puppies at daycareEarly socialization plays a significant role in shaping a puppy’s behavior and temperament. Introduce your pup to as many positive experiences, various environments, and different people and animals as possible. This will help build their confidence and ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. Basic obedience training is also essential for establishing boundaries, teaching commands, and reinforcing good behavior. Furthermore, a good puppy daycare program will integrate some self-soothing time for your puppy. Learn more about The Benefits of Puppy Daycare and Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group will allow your puppy to socialize with friends in a safe, supervised, and fun environment – designed just for them. Our Puppy Play Group Counselors are exceptional for both supervising play and training your puppy to be their best furry selves – from now into adult-dog-hood.

 

Puppy Safety and Puppy-Proofing:

puppy
Creating a safe environment for your puppy is crucial. Puppy-proof your home by removing any potential hazards, securing electrical cords, and blocking off areas that may contain toxic substances or plants. Ensure they are always supervised, especially when outside or in unfamiliar surroundings. Additionally, a secure fenced yard or leash training will prevent accidents or your puppy wandering off.

 

Welcoming a puppy into your life can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as long as you provide them with the proper care and attention they need. From nutrition to exercise, vaccinations to grooming, socialization to training, each aspect of puppy care contributes to their overall wellbeing. By committing to these responsibilities, you are fostering a strong and loving bond with your furry companion, ensuring a healthy and fulfilled life for them and countless joyful memories for you.)

Learn more about caring for your puppy with our Puppy 101 guide: Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

Preparing Your Dog for the Back-to-School Season: Tips for a Smooth Transition

As the back-to-school season approaches, families experience a shift in their household routines. While parents and children adjust to new schedules, it’s essential to consider the impact these changes can have on our furry family members. Dogs, being creatures of habit and routine, may also require support during this transition period. We’ve compiled valuable tips and advice on preparing your dog for the back-to-school season, ensuring a smooth adjustment, managing separation anxiety, establishing new schedules, and keeping them mentally stimulated during quieter periods at home.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Many dogs experience separation anxiety when their owners leave the house for extended periods. Back-to-school season can exacerbate these feelings of anxiety as the home suddenly becomes quieter. To help your dog cope:

Gradually increase alone time

Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. This gradual approach helps them build confidence and reduces anxiety.

Create a safe space

Designate a comfortable area for your dog with their bed, toys, and familiar scents. This provides them with a sense of security and a safe haven while you’re away.

Consider interactive toys and puzzles

Provide mentally stimulating toys and puzzles that dispense treats or engage your dog’s mind. These can help keep them occupied and distracted during alone time.

Establishing New Schedules

Dogs thrive on routine, so sudden changes in schedules can be stressful for them. There are many ways to establish a new routine with your pup during times of transition.

By sticking to a consistent feeding and exercise schedule you set a balance for your pup. Feed your dog at the same times each day, and maintain a regular exercise routine. Consistency helps them adjust and anticipate their daily activities.

Rather than random play, plan a dedicated playtime. Allocate specific time slots for quality playtime with your dog. Consider doggy daycare as part of this routine where your pup will be engaged socially with other dogs. Engage in interactive games, go for walks, or try new activities to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

When introducing a new routine, do it gradually. Start implementing the new schedule a week or two before the back-to-school season begins. This allows your dog to adapt gradually, minimizing stress and confusion.

Mental Stimulation During Quieter Periods

With the house being quieter during school hours, it’s important to provide mental stimulation for your dog to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Consider the following:

  • Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing devices

Invest in toys that challenge your dog’s problem-solving abilities and provide mental stimulation. These toys can keep them engaged and entertained while you’re away.

  • Interactive playtime

Engage in activities that stimulate your dog’s mind, such as teaching new tricks, practicing obedience commands, or participating in agility training. These activities strengthen the bond between you and your dog while keeping their minds active.

  • Enrichment activities

Create scavenger hunts around the house by hiding treats or toys for your dog to find. Use puzzle feeders or frozen Kong toys stuffed with delicious treats to keep them occupied and mentally engaged.

Managing Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is tough for both dogs and their pet parents. Signs of anxiety include crying out, barking, or causing destruction on furniture and household items to create calm. In a suddenly quiet house it is important to help your pup adjust with gradual departures, positive associations, and potentially built in care during the down times.

Make your departures and arrivals low-key to prevent heightening your dog’s anxiety. Avoid making a big fuss or prolonged goodbyes when leaving the house or returning home. By keeping the departures and arrivals calm, you can help your dog associate these moments with less stress.

Create positive associations with your dog’s alone time by offering special treats or toys that they only receive during those periods. This helps shift their focus from your absence to the enjoyable experience they have during that time.

If your dog experiences severe separation anxiety, enlisting the help of a doggy daycare or a reliable dog walker can be beneficial. They provide companionship and activities to keep your dog engaged and relieve anxiety while you’re away.

Conclusion

As the back-to-school season begins, it’s crucial to prioritize your dog’s well-being and help them adjust to the changes in household routines. By understanding separation anxiety, establishing new schedules, and providing mental stimulation during quieter periods, you can ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend. Remember, patience, consistency, and plenty of love and attention are key to helping your dog feel secure and happy during this time. By proactively addressing their needs, you can create a harmonious environment that supports your dog’s overall well-being throughout the back-to-school season and beyond.

Yappy Hour: Organizing a Dog-Friendly Social Event in August

The summer month of August offers the perfect opportunity to organize a dog-friendly social gathering known as “Yappy Hour.” It’s a fantastic way for dogs and their owners to socialize, make new furry friends, and enjoy a fun-filled event together. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the concept of a dog-friendly social gathering, providing valuable tips to help you host a successful yappy hour or playdate in August. We’ll cover ideas for games, refreshments, and ways to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all the furry attendees.

Understanding the Concept of a Dog-Friendly Social Gathering

A dog-friendly social event, often referred to as “Yappy Hour,” is an organized gathering where dogs and their owners come together to enjoy quality time with other canine companions. These events provide a safe and controlled environment for dogs to interact, play, and socialize, while owners can connect with fellow dog lovers. It’s a great opportunity for dogs to burn off energy, exercise, and reinforce their social skills.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Yappy Hour or Playdate

Download a FREE Checklist to Ensure a Successful Yappy Hour

Choose a Suitable Venue:

– Look for a dog-friendly location, such as a local park, dog park, or a spacious backyard. – Ensure the venue offers enough space for dogs to roam and play safely.

Set a Date and Time

– Select a date and time in August when the weather is likely to be pleasant. – Consider scheduling the event during cooler hours of the day, like late afternoon or early evening.

Send Invitations and Promote the Event

– Utilize social media platforms, local community boards, and word-of-mouth to spread the word. – Create attractive digital invitations or flyers to capture attention and generate excitement.

Establish Ground Rules

– Clearly communicate the rules and expectations to all participants beforehand. – Ensure that all dogs are up to date on vaccinations and friendly with other dogs. – Specify any restrictions, such as leash requirements or areas where dogs must be supervised closely.

Create a Welcoming Environment

– Set up shaded areas or provide umbrellas for both humans and dogs to beat the heat. – Arrange seating areas for owners to relax and socialize while keeping an eye on their dogs.

Ideas for Games and Activities

1. Doggy Ice Cream Social

– Offer a variety of dog-friendly frozen treats for the attendees to enjoy. – Set up a “make-your-own” ice cream station with safe ingredients like yogurt and fruits.

2. Canine Agility Course

– Create a simple agility course using tunnels, hurdles, and weave poles. – Encourage dogs to navigate through the course, providing treats or praise for their efforts.

3. Bobbing for Tennis Balls

– Fill a large basin or kiddie pool with water and drop tennis balls into it. – Dogs can have a great time retrieving the floating balls while staying cool.

4. Group Play and Socialization

– Provide ample space for dogs to interact and play with each other. – Monitor their behavior to ensure safe and friendly interactions.

5. Refreshments for Humans

– Offer light snacks and refreshments for the human attendees. – Consider providing water stations for both humans and dogs to stay hydrated.

Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Environment

1. Provide Waste Disposal Stations

– Place waste bags and disposal bins throughout the venue. – Encourage responsible pet ownership by reminding attendees to clean up after their dogs.

2. Have First Aid and Safety Supplies On-Hand

– Keep a basic first aid kit handy in case of any minor injuries or accidents. – Provide fresh water bowls and ensure access to shade for the dogs.

3. Professional Guidance

– Consider inviting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to provide guidance and answer questions. – They can offer tips on managing dog behavior and promote a safe and harmonious environment.

Conclusion

Hosting a yappy hour or dog-friendly social event in August can be a delightful experience for both dogs and their owners. By following the tips and ideas shared in this blog post, one can create a successful gathering where furry friends can socialize, play games, and build bonds while their owners connect and share experiences. Remember, safety should always be a top priority, so ensure a controlled environment, provide refreshments, and be prepared with necessary supplies to make the event enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.

Dog Exercise: Common Questions Answered by Our Trusted Veterinarian

Answers to commonly asked questions regarding dog exercise and enrichment, provided by Dr. Sharon Davis, DVM

dog running trail

 

1. How often should I walk my dog?

dog leash in mouth, ready for walk

This depends on your dog. The breed of your dog, age, weather outside, and any underlying medical conditions affect the amount of exercise your dog should receive. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you to make sure your dog gets the proper amount.

 

2. How does a dog benefit from going on walks?

dog exercise walk

Dogs like people require mental and physical stimulation to live the fullest happiest life possible. Dogs who going on walks increase their physical health as well as their mental health. Exploring new areas and new smells stimulates the mind. Getting the heart pumping and blood flowing stimulates the body to function better and longer. You, the pet parent, also receive these added benefits as well. Also dogs who get mental and physical exercise tend to be less destructive and anxious in the home.

 

3. I have a yard, can I just let my dog go into he back yard rather then go on a walk?

dog exercise, walk

Even a yard that is fenced in is not 100% safe. Unwanted wild life can get into the yard causing harm to your pet. Your pet may also eat something without your knowledge. Though a yard is great, it is always a good idea to supervise your pet. Plus going on a walk together increases your bond with your pet.

 

4. Is it important for dogs to run off leash? Why or why not?

dog exercise, trail

This depends on your dog, its breed, age, and any underlying health conditions. There are certain breeds at certain ages that require more exercise than a human can keep up with on a leash. It is however always important to make sure that your dog is well trained to follow off leash commands and it is done in a safe environment following all local laws.

 

5. Is it important for dogs to play with other dogs?

dogs playing with toy

Dogs are pack animals and enjoy the company of other dogs. It is an important part of their socialization skills. Dogs who play together should be closely supervised, up to date on their vaccinations, and temperament compatible.

 

6. Does playing with other dogs eliminate unwanted behavior at home?

dog resting bed after exercise

Physical activity tires the body and the mind. It can prevent unwanted behavior that results from boredom. It is also an important way that dogs learn to socialize and understand social cues from other dogs.

 

7. My dog has not been in daycare or has been out of daycare for a few months. How do I ease the transition for him to go back to daycare?

Best Friends Pet Hotel Doggy Day Camp dogs

This is where bringing your dog to a day care facility that has trained staff and you trust is very important. If your dog has never been to a daycare before the staff should do a temperament test on your dog to ensure he is put into a play circle that will work. It is also important that they gradually introduce your dog to one dog at a time. It can be overwhelming for a dog to be introduced to a pack of unknown dogs running at him. If your dog has just been out of daycare for a few months, the transition back should still be gradual but it will be much easier and quicker.

 

Doggy Day Camp at Best Friends Pet Hotel
To learn more about Doggy Day Camp or Daycare at your local Best Friends Pet Hotel or Best Friends Doggy Daycare locations, contact your local center.

Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

new puppy

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting, but sometimes overwhelming experience. Whether this is your first puppy or it’s been a while since you’ve had a pup, we’d like to help by answering the most common questions and offering tips to ensure you give your new pet the best care possible.

 

What do I feed my puppy?

puppy food

There are many choices out there in dog food, so it can be tough to feel confident you’ve found the right food to nourish your puppy. For starters, it’s important that you feed a high-quality food that is specially formulated for growing puppies. This food will have higher protein and fat levels, added DHA and EPA, and other vitamins and nutrients (such as calcium), all perfectly balanced to provide proper nutrition during growth.

Puppies’ nutritional needs change quickly as they grow, so be sure to revisit the amount you’re feeding frequently to make sure your pup is getting the proper amount for their growth stage. If you have a large breed puppy, like a lab or a golden retriever, you’ll want to avoid overfeeding, as this can cause issues with bone development as your pup grows.

Your puppy’s food will be complete and balanced, providing all the nutrients he or she needs in the correct proportions. While it might be tempting, you should avoid switching between foods or feeding table scraps because these can lead to a very picky eater in the future! Plus, some people foods can cause stomach upset and some can even be toxic. If you do give your puppy a little something on the side, we recommend these treats and other foods make up less than 10% of a pet’s daily food intake. And If you must switch your puppy’s food, be sure to gradually change the foods over two weeks to avoid an upset stomach.

 

When should I transition from a puppy formula to an adult food?

puppy

Our recommendation is that your pup should stay on puppy food until they are full grown, but know that “full grown” varies significantly depending on the breed. Many are done growing and can change to adult food by a year old, but some large breed puppies, such as Great Danes, will continue to grow for up to two years!

 

How do I set my puppy up for potty training success?

puppy potty training

Potty training is a much happier adventure for all involved when you make the experience positive by encouraging your pup when it succeeds rather than scolding when it has accidents. Puppies are still developing the muscles they need to hold their urine for the first 12 weeks, so you’ll need to take them out frequently and praise them when they go outside. Eating usually stimulates movement through their system, so you should take them out within 20 minutes after mealtime. It’s also a good idea to take your puppy out after sleeping, drinking, and playing. And always try to give a verbal cue such as “go potty” that the puppy can catch on to, along with plenty of praise as soon as they have gone.

Always keep your puppy in your sight while potty training to foster success. This is easier said than done, we know. So if you find that your puppy has had an accident and urinated or pooped inside, do not punish them after the fact. The puppy will only understand why you are upset if you actually catch him or her in the act. If you do catch your puppy going in the house, immediately interrupt the behavior with a verbal “no,” and take him or her quickly outdoors to finish. Be sure to offer plenty of praise when he or she goes outside.

Any time you’re not able to supervise your puppy, he or she should be kept in a crate. Puppies become comfortable and consider the crate their safe place to rest. They are also less likely to go to the bathroom in their crate as long as it’s not too big. For optimal success, you should allow your puppy to go to the bathroom before putting him or her in and as soon as they come out of the crate. Short periods of time in the crate will help your puppy learn to hold off until an appropriate potty time is offered. Another benefit of crating your puppy is that it prevents them from chewing on or eating things in the house while you’re not looking.

Remember that puppies often make mistakes during potty training, so do your best to keep up the positivity! If training seems to be really off course, it’s always good to check with your vet to rule out medical causes for the challenges. A professional trainer can also help smooth out the process if issues persist.

 

What can I expect from visits to the vet?

puppy vet clinic

You should schedule a vet visit as soon as possible after getting a new puppy and do whatever you can to make every vet visit as low-stress as possible. Be sure to give plenty of praise (and treats!) to make each visit a positive experience. This will help your puppy see the vet as a normal outing rather than an unpleasant experience as they grow older.

The vet will give your puppy a physical exam to look for any problems he or she may have been born with (such as hernias, luxating patellas, soft spots on their head, heart murmurs, etc.) or any other medical issues. In addition, your vet will deworm your puppy and get you started on a proper vaccination schedule. You’ll also want to talk about having your puppy spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.

Vaccinations are a proactive way to protect and support your puppy’s immune system from exposure to new diseases. Your veterinarian will create a plan for your puppy based on your unique lifestyle and routines, but they usually start vaccines around 6  to 8 weeks of age and booster them every 2 to 3 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. It’s important to follow your vet’s plan as getting all recommended boosters in with the correct intervals will ensure your puppy is fully protected. Some vaccines are considered core vaccines (rabies, distemper combo vaccine) and are given to almost all puppies. There are other non-core vaccines (bordetella, lyme, lepto, influenza) that are given based on an individual puppy’s chance of future exposure. This often depends on where you live and what your puppy will be in contact with, both in the environment and from other dogs. For example, does your puppy spend almost all of their time inside or do they go to dog parks or a groomer? Will you take them for a hike in the woods every weekend? Your vet will also likely start your puppy on a heartworm preventative and possibly a flea and tick preventative regimen.

Because they are so little, puppies can get sick quickly. Watch for any diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, discharge from the eyes or nose, fever, decreased appetite, limping, or general changes in health or behavior. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these.
Always remember that your vet is your ally, and you both want the best for your puppy. If you have questions about something or if you miss a vaccine booster or dose of preventative medication, be sure to check in with your vet. They will be happy to get you back on track.

 

Time for training!

puppies playing

It’s important to socialize puppies with people and dogs, but be careful about who you introduce your puppy to until they’ve gotten all of their puppy vaccines at 16 weeks. Until then, it’s best to keep your puppy in a fenced-in yard and only let them interact with fully-vaccinated dogs. You’ll want to avoid places where other dogs frequent (such as dog parks and pet stores), and carry them in and out of vet clinics to help reduce their exposure to diseases.

Puppy classes are strongly encouraged for training and socialization, and reputable classes will require that all puppies be up-to-date on vaccines. These classes are great for both you and your puppy, and they will foster a positive long-term relationship by teaching you how to communicate and interact with each other.

Your puppy will lose its baby teeth and get adult teeth throughout its first eight months. Chewing and biting is a normal play behavior between puppies, and it provides relief to pesky teething pain. You can teach your puppy that biting you is inappropriate using a high-pitched sound to mimic the noises puppies use with each other when playtime gets too rough. Immediately give your puppy a toy to play with and praise them for playing with the toy.

 

Brushing up on grooming tips

puppy grooming

Now is the perfect time to get your puppy comfortable with things they will encounter in the future, such as vet visits, nail trims, ear cleaning, and brushing their coat and teeth, so they will not be afraid of these things as an adult dog. Trimming nails can be done at home, but ask your vet to show you how.  Cutting them too short can cause a bit of pain and bleeding, and it might make them wary of nail trims in the future. It’s also great to get your puppy used to daily tooth brushing. Dental disease can be detrimental to the body later in life, so keeping the teeth clean is a great way to keep them healthy. You can use a regular toothbrush or a finger brush, but be sure to use toothpaste specially made for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic to pets.

Puppies can be messy, but we only recommend giving a full bath every two weeks if possible. More frequent baths can dry out the skin. Between baths, you can spot wash your puppy as needed. It’s important to use a shampoo that’s made for dogs because the pH of their skin is different than that of people, so our soaps and shampoos can dry out or irritate their skin.

 

Anything else I should know? I’m a bit overwhelmed!

puppy beagle

Exercise, plenty of toys, and playing are important to keep your puppy’s mind stimulated. Gradually introduce exercise (but don’t overdo it) and keep a close eye on your puppy when it’s playing with toys. Remove any strings or small parts that can come off the toy, as they can cause choking or blockages in the intestines if swallowed. Always supervise your puppy if he or she is playing with plush toys. Their sharp little teeth can cut through and get the stuffing and squeakers out easily, and these can be hazardous when swallowed.

Most important of all, enjoy your puppy! Take lots of pictures to look back on later. They don’t stay small for long, and there’s nothing better than puppy kisses to brighten any day.

 

Learn more about puppy care and raising a successful dog with The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy
 

Best Friends Pet Hotel – Puppy Wellness Resources:

Puppy Play Group

Give your puppy a strong foundation for life! At our Puppy Play Group sessions, your puppy gets to play in a supervised pack environment that teaches them proper socialization, manners and play skills to prepare them for adulthood.

Click here to learn more about Puppy Play Group and to book a reservation.

 

Puppy Grooming

Whether you need a quick shampoo or “the works, our expert groomers will make your furry friend fabulous. Each appointment includes a free consultation to discuss your pup’s personal grooming needs. Bonus: First time puppies receive a discounted bath for only $10 and a discounted bath and haircut for only $20!

Click here to learn more about grooming and to book a reservation.

 

Vet Clinics

Click here to learn more about our vet care, see our upcoming clinic dates and locations, and to make a reservation.

 

 

Blog Post Source: https://freelypet.com/blogs/nutrition-articles/puppy-101-a-quick-start-guide-to-caring-for-your-new-canine-companion

 

 

Doggy Day Camp: Ready For A New Adventure For Your Dog?

By Christine A. Bournias

happy do our car window road

​Is Your Dog Ready For A New Adventure? Perhaps It’s Camp Time!​

So, you and your dog have been cooped up in the house. If you think you’re restless, can you imagine how your dog feels?

dog in hammock

As the weather turns nice outside, it just might be time for you and your dogs to venture out of your normal routine. Maybe you’re ready for an adventure — something new in your pet’s busy schedule?

Doggy Day Camp Provides A Favorable Outlet For Dogs

Current dog camp regulars may need to be reacquainted to their normal routine. And, dog owners that have never tried a ​Doggy Day Camp ​might find today an ideal time to try one out.

Whether your dog functions best with individual playtimes, or if they thrive in a canine group setting, Doggy Day Camp allows your dog the opportunity to be their own dog.

dogs running and playing outside

7 Doggy Day Camp Tips

1. Take Medical Responsibility

Keep current with your pet’s vaccinations before entering any populated dog park or canine group setting. Before you venture out into a new place with your dog — regardless if it’s Doggy Day Camp or a beach just for dogs — it’s your duty as a pet owner to make sure that your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

dog vaccinations veterinarian

Whether your dog is a young pup, or an aging senior, you owe it to your furry friend(s) to take special care of their medical needs. For your health and well-being of your pet, ​regular medical check-ups, conducted by your Veterinarian or trustworthy veterinary clinic, are a critical part of responsible pet ownership.

Be sure to consult with a ​trusted Veterinarian for medical care that’s appropriate for your pet.

2. Ask Questions, Consult With A Pet Expert

It’s beneficial to explore all of your boarding and daycare options.

Your dog may be the life of the party while other dogs may not. They may need more space from other people or dogs during playtime. Your dog may be a curious puppy transitioning into society or they might be an older dog that has little tolerance of rambunctious dogs.

In a Camp setting with other dog guests, they may even become possessive of a furry family member from the same household. ​Resource guarding ​can be minimized and/or avoided within an ideal environment and with properly trained staff.

“Once I allowed my dog to have a few days away from the house, Butch was calm and content with the whole family when he returned home.” ​—Tom D.

Within a different pack at Camp, dogs have a language all their own. Proper introduction and socialization into this new world is required for a well-adjusted pet at Doggy Day Camp—and at home as well.

Determine If 1:1 Care Is Right For You

Your dog may be different. That’s okay. Every pet is extraordinary and they should be cared for
as such. They may excel with individual care instead of within a large group setting.

dog peeking through heart cutout in fence

Dogs that need extra attention—or owners who prefer to have their pets play as a family—may find that a crowded play area is not right for them. Find a Pet Hotel that caters to your individual dog’s needs. True pet professionals are trained for safety and thrive on creating a happy, healthy experience for your pet.

You owe it to your furry friend to ​ask questions and explore the best route to take. Ask for an interview at various times of the day, slow days—and at peak hours. If you know your pet well enough, you’ll immediately know if this is the place for your pet. You may both determine that individual play is more appropriate for your dog and his behavior. See what options are available for your pup to be engaged on an individual level and what that would mean.

dogs puppies playing with ball in grass

3. Get An Assessment First

Look for the best environment for your dog to play or stay.

Determine if the facility is an ideal environment for your pet well in advance—not the day before you hop in the car or board an airplane to leave town. Your dog is family and they need a safe, healthy place to stay. Investing this time upfront is critical.

A thorough interview process or assessment needs to be conducted ​before​ attending any Doggy Day Camp activity. If your dog hasn’t attended Camp (or never stepped paw) in a boarding facility, it’s important to get your dog evaluated by​ leaders in the pet hospitality business. Pet Experts are trained to assess your pet for proper size and temperament​ during their initial visit.

Scheduling an interview for your dog well in advance of your drop off date will give you and your daycare provider time to make appropriate accommodations for your pet. In addition, reintroductions are necessary for Camp “regulars” to get back to normal at their local daycare provider or Pet Hotel.

dog friends hanging out at camp
Photo Credit: Breanna Elizabeth, Best Friends Pet Hotel (Willow Grove)

“If your dog has been away from boarding or Doggy Day Camp for more than a year, it’s time to schedule an interview to reevaluate your pet’s profile at Camp. As your dog adapts back into their canine group routine—and to ensure safety measures—we like to observe your dog’s behavior, check for up-to-date vaccines, and assess their overall demeanor when attending an area with new dogs and people. Our goal is to make sure all dogs have a fun, yet safe experience.” —​ Jessica H., Hotel Area Manager, ​Best Friends Pet Hotel

4. Ease Into Camp

Your pet needs plenty of physical activity, mental stimulation, and training time throughout all stages of their lives. But make sure you don’t do too much too soon.

dogs meeting each other, becoming friends

While dogs like variety, they’re creatures of habit and often become anxious with sudden changes to their new daily routine. They may even resist leaving their familiar humans. If your dog is showing signs of ​separation anxiety, try lessening the duration of sustained play. This plan might help ease their way back to their normal dog time at Camp.

“Your dog needs mental stimulation and physical exercise at Doggy Day Camp. If your pet has been stuck indoors for awhile, the sooner you get back to a regular schedule the better.” —Jenn C., Hotel Manager, ​Best Friends Pet Hotel (Wakefield)

Doggy Day Camp “Regulars” returning back to Camp might want to limit their high activity days and a lot of dogs all at once. If it’s been a few months, perhaps a handful of half days would be beneficial. The sooner your dog gets acclimated to their regular Camp days, the faster they can get adjusted to a healthy schedule of events. Dogs who are mentally stimulated—with lots of healthy exercise—have dependable eating and sleeping schedules also.

two dogs playing

When it’s time for your dog to get out of the house and have some fun with other dogs, you owe it to your pooch to make an appointment. Reserve something new and special for your pet and notice a difference in their overall behavior.

5. Allow Consistent Camp Time

Before shaking things up to their daily at home routine, it’s wise to establish a ​predictable​ and rewarding Doggy Day Camp schedule for your pet. Fill their ‘dog days of summer’ with lots of playtime, frequent rest breaks, and proper hydration.

“Healthy rest allows your dog the chance to recharge and refocus their energy at Camp. In contrast to popular belief, an exhausted dog is n​ot​ necessarily a happy dog. In addition to all the extra fun and activity, we provide our pets plenty of rest time so t​ hey can excel in the play area.​” —M​elissa A., Hotel Manager,​ Best Friends Pet Hotel (Clinton Township) ​

Many facilities will offer a membership program to enable a consistent day camp experience. As a membership program, campers are expected to attend camp for a certain number of days per month depending on what is needed. With this, day camp becomes a normal, scheduled activity for your pup where he can see the same friends while he attends. Dogs like schedules and thrive in environments where they have set expectations. The “pack” created in a membership program, maintains its equilibrium and the pack members feel balanced.

little dog sleeping with teddy bear

Your dog will thank you for the variety of mental stimulation, physical exercise, and yes—a little time away from their human caregivers.

6. Get A New “Do” After Camp

Dogs like to play and get dirty. They also enjoy feeling fresh and clean. A little pampering will make your dog feel good all over. A day at the spa is always a treat — even for your dogs.

Scrub their teeth, clip their dew claws, and clean their ears. If your dog has gone too long without a good trim, it may be a great time for a ‘new hairdo.’

dog getting groomed by dog groomer

Seek out specialized ​grooming professionals ​who keep current with industry certifications and pet trends.

“Your dog’s grooming needs is important to their overall health and well-being.”—​ Kim M., Hotel Manager,​ ​Best Friends Pet Hotel (North Plainfield)

7. Try New Things

Getting outdoors more often is a good feeling. If your dog gets a little wind in their nose, they are happy and content. Walking in nature or taking a new route on your hiking trail usually does the trick. But, if your dog is restless with their typical walks, they could be ready to attend Doggy Day Camp.

dog playing in tent at day care
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Cincinnati)

No matter how macho your dog is, all dogs love extra attention.

Life is never mundane with Doggy Day Camp. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages enjoy Camp. There are lots of interesting themed parties and loads of fun that benefit your dog.

Doggy Day Camp: It’s Like A Dog’s Bucket List:​

dog training with dog trainer

Play + Training + Treats

Keep things interesting by enrolling your dog in training courses. Even if your dog is well-behaved and was top of their class at puppy class, sign them up for a refresher course. 1. It keeps your dog’s mind sharp and 2. training class is something you can do together.

DID YOU KNOW?

A dog performs best with conditioning. Positive reinforcement is not about “positive” in the positive/negative way. In dog training, positive reinforcement means “adding” on to desired behavior with marking and rewarding as the addition.

A different environment can solidify training constructs. Working with your dog and investing time for ​advanced training and tricks in many environments other than your house or backyard can be beneficial.

dog playing frisbee with human

Toys. Lots and lots of toys.

Purchasing fresh pet toys, including games, are helpful to fight boredom. Interactive, dispensing devices keep your dog occupied and entertained while they learn. There are many ​durable toys and long lasting chews ​that will keep your dog occupied for hours when they’re not at Camp.

Even old toys can seem new if you switch things up. Rotate and replace toys in their toy bin or play the name game! Dog toys can do wonders to playtime excitement.

But, what if your dog needs more?

dog story time at doggy day care
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Cincinnati)

Best Friends At Home

To supplement your pet’s learning, teach them ​new tricks at home! The new ideas are sure to keep your dog’s tail wagging and bring a smile to your face.

Fun is endless when you have a dog: Read to them, ​bake biscuits, splash around in their kiddie pool, ​dress them up ​with ​bow ties, build obstacle courses, or offer your dog a challenging ​game of shells,​ hide and seek, or peek-a-boo.

dog sitting for biscuit treat

Your Dog Needs Doggy Day Camp

They love to run on the beach and explore new scenery. Working dogs need a “job” other dogs live for new friends, new people, and new toys. Many dog Campers benefit from physical exercise, mental stimulation, and a chance to meet other canines and new people.

Dogs need to greet other dogs and all sorts of other people.

dogs playing with kong toy

Getting Fido acclimated to a dog group setting requires careful pre-planning, time, and research in order to discover the best place for both you and your pet. Invest the time you need to find a place that you and your dog feels most comfortable with. If it’s the right place for your pet, you’ll notice a calm and content dog that looks forward to going to Camp ​and​ enjoys being at home too.

Our pets need their own time away from us to be their own dog. Besides, where else can your dog read books? So, let them romp, play, and experience new things.

Ready to learn more about Doggy Day Camp and other fun adventures? VISIT: ​Best Friends Pet Hotel or call your local center.

 

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.