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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:57 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
Do you guys still have crates for your pups or is it something you just do at the beginning?


Orion's travel crate is in the living room, with the door removed, and he likes to use it as a bed. When he didn't have a crate yet he liked to crawl and hide under coffee tables and armchairs, so he's just a fan of small enclosed spaces.

Moon wrote:
Oh, the one thing I didn't notice mentioned (may have missed it) that a lot of people don't consider is grooming needs.


Oh that's a good point! Originally, short-haired was on our list, but then we met our dog and obviously that went out the window. Luckily Orion is super tolerant of brushing. It did cost us over 1.000 euros in vacuum cleaners over the years. What I didn't know though is that his breed is known for having terrible teeth, and he is not tolerant at all of teeth brushing. That's a lot more of a hassle.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:04 am 
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Managing behaviour is totally what we had to do with our reactive rescue dog. I went through the most awful period of guilt and shame, that I couldn't 'fix' her and be a 'proper' dog Mum. These days I 100% accept her as she is and just avoid triggering situations the best I can and it makes us both much happier :)

Also we crate trained when she was a pup and now she behaves great at home and just roams free (we don't even have the crate anymore).

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:59 am 
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I got my dogs when they were already adults, neither were previously crate trained. Our first dog (Maggie, Corgi mix) took to the crate pretty well. Our beagle took a little time but since beagles are food motivated, it wasn't that difficult. Basically our dogs are fed in their crates, sleep in their crates at night, sleep in their crates whenever we leave the house (I work at home) or they go into their crates to chill whenever they feel like it. The theory is that crates mimic natural den behavior of dogs. I recommend wire crates rather than plastic crates. In winter, we cover the crates with blankets to keep the crates warmer.

When both of us worked outside the home, we put the dogs in their crates during the day and then they slept in a sectioned off area of the living room.

And we have both cats and dogs. One thing I didn't mention previously is some dogs will really, really like litter boxes so you'll have to figure out how to make sure that the litter boxes are either in an area that the dogs can't get too without supervision or dog proof. Since we have a multistory home, and we use baby gates, the intro wasn't too big of a deal for us. I can't remember what we did other than maybe put the dogs in their crates and had the cats around. Then we had supervised time but we also have areas where the cats can get that the dogs can't so the cats could leave whenever they wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:08 am 
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Bigby was supposedly crate trained before we got him. Initially we were putting him in the laundry room behind a baby gate as a crate. With a bed and blankets and all that, but he started to really hate it and would shudder and whimper when we were going to leave so we tried letting him roam free and he does great. For all of his other issues, he is at least not destructive. When we leave now we give him a Kong with wet food and he eats it and then sleeps on the bed the rest of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:00 am 
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Oh yeah we used to do that when we both worked outside the home. Sunday night was kong creation night. We'd put wet food, treats, peanut butter in it and then freeze it. We had multiple kongs and did it for multiple days ahead of time. I know it seems kind of weird to give dogs food stuff when they are going to be home by themselves for a while but they didn't have any accidents and it wasn't like they were bolting for the door when we got home.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:40 am 
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I also wanted to chime in and talk about dog doors. About twice a month our dog Sig is home alone for about 9-8 hours. On these days I make sure to give him a BIG brisk walk (leashed for about 45 minutes and off-leash for about 15-20 minutes because we have some space around us to do so – and in this off-leash time he loves to play fetch and silly “gotcha” games with me!) and we have an electronic dog door. I had no idea these existed until about a year ago and it’s awesome! There is a little sensor you attach to their collar and when they get near the door it quickly opens to let them in or out, but won’t shut when they are walking through it. This way our indoor kitty doesn’t get out and outdoor critters don’t get in (our neighbor woke up one morning to find raccoons in her kitchen. eep!). Anyways, not that you need an electronic dog door, but know that they are out there!


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:15 pm 
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we got both our dogs as adults and didnt crate train either of them but i kind wish we had.
we did buy a big crate when we got our first dog. i think mainly we wanted a place to enclose him at night when we first got him. he wasnt a fan but we had it in our bedroom and he would cry for a little bit then go to sleep. eventually we stopped latching it but put him in and then would leave the door open and after he had been for us for awhile we just put a dog bed out for him and packed the crate away. i just personally have high anxiety and didnt want him roaming the house at night because i wouldnt have been able to sleep.

we have a split level house so our living room is pretty big and the way our couch fit in it left a spot that created a little nook area and is just big enough for a crate pad to fit in (the little bed cut specifically to fit in a crate) so we made him a den because as someone mentioned dogs like den areas. for a really long time we had a blanket stretched from the end of the couch to the banister to make him a roof but it kept falling down and i cant remember the last time we fixed it but he still likes it.

when we got our second dog i was super stressed because our first dog is insanely dog reactive so it was kind of an insane idea to begin with to get another dog. we both worked full time so i wanted to crate new dog during the day in a room upstairs while we were at work. our old dog already would spend his day in our finished basement with the door closed. i wanted several barriers between them because i didnt want a dog fight while we were gone. so we put him in the crate during the day while we were at work and he was a very unhappy camper about it but i didnt know what else to do. we think he was pretty traumatized by his first family (who as far as we know had him since a puppy til he was 5) abandoning him so when we left him during the day he went kinda bonkers. the end of that story is he busted out of the crate (ill spare the gory details) by the end of the week and thankfully he didnt destroy anything else but was just roaming the upstairs of our house highly stressed out.
we tried getting a plastic hard sided crate that looks like the kind dogs go on an airplane in but he wasnt having that and it ended up in our attic for several years.

so the moral of that story is i wish we had spent more time desensitizing him to the crate and training him. now when i go to dog sporting events with him sometimes if the weather is really hot they might have indoor crating available but i cant crate him because he responds very poorly to being closed in and then left.

weirdly enough however when i was pregnant and freaking out about integrating a baby with 2 crazy dogs we brought the plastic crate down from the attic and put it in the corner of a room and took the door off and did actual training with him to view it as a positive place. i wanted a place for each dog to go to as a safe zone if they were sick of the kid and i also wanted to be able to put them some place secure in the beginning while we were all integrating. i dont think i ever had to shut him in the crate and now he uses it as a den and freely goes in there and snoozes.
for the longest time we were super strict on the dogs having their own personal den and i wouldnt let either one go in the other ones "house" but i kept finding our first dog Willy in the crate and eventually gave up as they dont seem to care.

we still use the metal semi busted crate when we go camping. it's still usable so we bring it and put it in the lean to and our reactive dog (who LOVES camping) sleeps in it at night and if he is getting riled up or barking at something we put him in it and put something over the front so he cant see stuff walking by so he can have a "time out" for a bit

as far as cats go i will first say i have never had a cat, i know next to nothing about cats, i am allergic to cats so my interactions with them are limited but i do know several people with both dogs and cats and i feel like a lot of the times cats take care of themselves. they are pretty agile and good at getting out of the way. our friends had 3 old cats when they got dogs and those cats were like HELL NO and basically stayed upstairs and the dogs were not allowed upstairs. those cats have since passed and they have 2 other cats now and i believe they all integrated (i still dont think the dogs are allowed upstairs but the cats now come downstairs).

my SIL has two cats and one very playful dog. one of the cats is pretty skittish of everything and i think generally stays away from the dog and the other cat and the dog play which i saw in person and it's pretty cute! that particular cat is a bit older and the dog is full grown but still puppy age so sometimes the cat is basically like "enough already" and leaves or swipes at the dog.

my inlaws have 1 cat and two little dogs that are walking little dog stereotypes (yappy, bark incessantly, etc) and i think the cat just steers clear of them.

my vague understanding of cat stuff is its not unusual if you bring home a dog for the cat to be like "f this" and disappear into one room or area of the house for awhile and not come out.

the bottom line is you guys are already caring and awesome pet parents and whatever dog you end up with will have struck the jackpot. i would definitely talk about things you guys want/dont want but also try not to overthink it (which is probably next to impossible)

also, ICELAND! JEALOUS! so cool!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:55 pm 
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I think the key to crate training is you have to be patient and definitely create it as a positive place.

We never put our dogs in their crate, we only gave them opportunities to go in their themselves. So feeding was a big part of it. Also with my beagle, who was potentially mistreated by his former family, he hated the crate at first and absolutely refused. So we initially starting with putting his food bowl near the crate. Then inside the entrance of the crate and then at the back of the crate. Initially he would run in, eat his food and then run out.

Another thing we did is try to lure them in from the back of the crate and we said things like 'good crate' and so they definitely know the word. And when we did start closing the door, we would close it, give them a treat and then open the door back up. It took probably 2 weeks of patience to get our beagle fully crate trained (where he would go in willingly, lay down and not bark) and our corgi mix took to it in about a week.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:11 pm 
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OK! We have a spot ready for a crate when the time comes.

What do you guys feed your pups? LP I saw you said Wellness CORE, not sure if that's available in Canada but I'll check! Dry food, wet food, homemade food anyone? With cats (especially males) it's important to give them wet food a lot because they can get urinary crystal blockages otherwise, is it the same for dogs?

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:19 pm 
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It's not the same for dogs, as cats have a particularly complex urinary tract.

We fed Cuddles V-Dog, which is mail order vegan dog food and it kept him in amazing shape. When we first got him, we fed him regular dog food and he ended up with constant ear infections. Three vets (who examined him), recommended an ear ablation because of the amount of damage to his ears (from dog fights) and told us the ear infections would be impossible to cure. But we put him on V-Dog and within 2 weeks, they cleared up. And our vet told us that he was always in amazing health, especially for his age and all he had been through.

I also love the ethics of V-Dog and how fast they are to find a solution with you. It's a great company and a great product!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:37 pm 
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Pretty sure Wellness Core is available here, ask at your local Global about getting it.

Don't get too tied up in foods ahead of time because you don't know what your future dog will need. You might want to get V-dog but your new guy might not be good with grains, or you might find a grain free diet doesn't agree with them at all (none of my dogs ever did well with a grain-free diet, the smell in here was insane!).

Tungsten was fed raw for a long time but can eat basically anything we put in front of him. Due to process of elimination we found Mona doesn't do well certain proteins or grains. We tend to feed them the PC nutrition first lamb and oatmeal variety because it works for Mona, but honestly their quality and ingredients are quite good and the price point is awesome. There's also enough different kinds that most people can probably find a variety that works for them. Small/large breed specific, grain free, sensitive skin/tummy (what Mona eats), seniors... Lots to try. Everyone I know in the animal industry thinks the brand is a decent choice. That said, I certainly know lots of people that are happy with V-dog if you're interested in researching that option.

The chihuahuas both get veterinary diets for very different things which I hate doing but with their medical needs I'm not screwing around with that.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:13 am 
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I had to try a million types of food with Orion as he seems to have a very sensitive stomach. Now I found local brands that work; he gets kibble 6 days a week (dry food is supposed to help against dental plaque buildup, which is a problem with him), a high quality wet food on Sunday which he adores, and unprocessed treats in his toys when we leave every morning. At his dog hotel they serve BARF (biologically appropriate raw food - ie vegetables and meat) on which he does great too, but I don't have it in me to handle meat.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:20 am 
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I started off on a vegan kibble when Vulpe was a pup, but my ex and I used to argue over meat all the time. When we separated ~3 years ago, we established 'joint custody' and he feeds her meat. At home (with me) she gets two cooked meals a day of fish, rice and vegetables. She also gets various treats & chews for dental care. Every now and then I try to switch her to a veggie or vegan food and she just goes on hunger strike with me.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:49 am 
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Harley eats Eukanuba. It's what my first dog ate from the second he was weaned until he passed away very recently at 14..so I figured if it worked for him...

There were a couple instances where Eukanuba was out of stock in Israel because they switched European providers. The first time the place I order my food from made a suggestion (I can't remember what) which gave him awful diarrhea for the entire time he ate it. The second time they gave me something he seemed to like fine, (can't remember what that was either) but it cost a good bit more than the Eukanuba, and I didn't hear any complaints when I switched him back.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:54 am 
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We used V-dog for a long time but we had some issue with it, I can't remember what so switched to Natural Balance Vegetarian (which is vegan).

Then my beagle had some issues overall and we switched to a vet formula for him (hydrolyzed protein, not vegan) but my corgi mix still eats the natural balance.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:36 am 
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and we used to use Acana (duck and pear - as he has a sensitive stomach), but we've now switched him to Castor and Pollux's Ultra duck and sweet potato. he does just as well on it and it's $25 less per bag which is good because he goes through a 25lb bag every 3 weeks!


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:51 am 
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Moon brings up a good point. i would first buy a smaller bag of whatever kibble you want to feed and try that for a bit but keep in mind that your pup may have some squishy poo and tummy issues when you first adopt him. in shelters i believe they typically feed basically what is donated (?) so switching the diet can be rough on a dog's stomach so it might just take him/her a bit to adjust plus the stress of a new home. so if you buy one food and you find the dog is having some soft poo for awhile dont immediately think it's the food you bought.

as far as raw and/or home cooked meals go i think it's really hard (?) to get all the nutrients a dog needs by doing solely that. some people are super duper into it and i think we tried both at certain points but it ended up being too much work and i was worried i was missing some essential nutrient or something. plus as a vegetarian at the time it was just icky for me.

i think you bake sometimes right?? there are tons of recipes for homemade dog treats online and even books. im not sure you could find a book with solely vegan dog treats but there are plenty of recipes online that would probably be vegan. i know ive made my dogs cookies a few times but we typically just buy treats. even though the dogs arent vegan i typically buy them peanut butter ones to cut down on the gross out (for me) factor and cut down on the animals im feeding them.

we've been lucky that so far we've never had any diet related issues with either dog. we feed them straight kibble with a scoop of pumpkin (one dog seems to typically have soft poo and this added fiber seems to help) and that's it as far as food goes. they get supplements for their aging joints and we just bought salmon oil because our first dog Willy has aged drastically later and his hips are bad but we've never had to do a veternary diet or an allergy diet or anything. so we have been lucky in that regard.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:09 am 
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This is all so helpful. Thanks so much, dudes.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:25 am 
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And if/when your new pupper gets an upset tummy, raw pureed pumpkin does the trick (make sure to buy a can of just pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling!). It will turn their poo bright orange, but pumpkin is good for any doggie stomach issue- whether they're blocked up or there's too much coming out!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:17 pm 
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i just thought of one cat related tip.
dogs are scavengers and most dogs i encounter will eat anything and everything (my dogs included) so if you feed your cats on the floor or anywhere a dog could get it you may want to start feeding your cats on a counter or something.

that would be a good change to make pre-dog so they can get used to it.

i think even picky dogs will sometimes eat cat food. there's nothing wrong with cat food for dogs it's just if you leave it on the floor the dog will eat it all and the cat will get none.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:57 pm 
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Oh good tip! Other cat-dog tip: Dogs love eating cat poop. It's a bit gross but also a way that parasites may spread. So keep your litterbox somewhere the dog can't use it as a snack bag.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:10 pm 
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Eeeeeew.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:14 pm 
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Sorry for bringing the gross! But would you rather know ahead of time, or find out after you get lots of dog kisses (and discover that the litterbox is suspiciously clean)?

Image

Also, just be aware on walks that your dog will gleefully find dead and smelly things to roll in. I was walking my friend's 5lb Yorkie and in the 2 minutes I turned my back to get a bag, he had rolled in a dead bird. No matter how tiny and overbred they are, the wolf comes out.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:25 pm 
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Catching up on this thread a bit and sharing my experiences:

Food: Cammie is also on Wellness Core. Our vet feeds her dogs the same thing so I'm pretty confident that it's decent stuff. Grain-based food wasn't the best for her. She also free feeds because she'll only eat when she's hungry and won't overeat - your pup may be the same, but it's a wait and see kind of thing.

Dog door: We have a fenced in yard and a dog door in the storm door of our back door. When we're home and the weather is nice Cam can go in and out as she pleases, but if we don't want her to go out for whatever reason we can just close the back door. I wouldn't feel comfortable with her being able to go out when we're not home because I wouldn't want someone to snatch her or for her to get in over her head with a neighborhood cat or random wild animal.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:27 pm 
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OH MY GOD IT'S SO TRUE.

dogs LOVE cat poo

my beagle mix (beagles are gross) will eat ANY kind of poo. im pretty sure ive seen him eat other dog poo a couple times (usually he stops at same species) but he has eaten cat poo, deer poo, horse poo, raccoon poo, coyote (?) poo, bunny poo etc.

he will roll in it too because he is NASTY (beagles are also unbelievably adorable and awesome. they are like children they do gross things that make you want to vomit but you love them anyways)

our lab mix is a more discerning poo eater but would definitely eat cat poo

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