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Week-by-week: A fun filled first year with your dog

A mouthy puppy is completely normal. Puppies perceiving everything as a chew toy is a natural part of their development. It is their way of learning the world, similar to babies discovering objects by touching. You will see this behavior especially during playtime, which can include nibbling on hands, feet and clothing. Save your hands, shoes, furniture and clothing from unwanted puncture marks from the dreaded puppy mouthiness.

Tips to combat your puppy’s piranha teeth

Not every pup learns the same way but here are a few ways you can help them understand that your hands aren’t toys.

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Having trouble leaving your dog alone? Check out this post on tips to curb Separation Anxiety

Puppy mouthiness have you at your wits end? Meet with one of our trainers to guide you through this stage and beyond.

Managing Your Puppy’s Needs

The first year with your dog is a year filled with exciting firsts, as well as challenging milestones. You are probably wondering what sort of changes you will have to make to your lifestyle with a new puppy, i.e., will they need to be drastic, how much attention and training does my dog need, and where do I begin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you!

a black puppy lying down with a blue ball in her mouth
Pre-Puppy planning, breeder, rescue expectations, and beyond Three Weeks Prior:

Discuss what your breeder or rescue is currently doing for the care of your puppy, set proper expectations.

Two Weeks Prior:
  • Schedule a session with a Trainer to create a schedule and start puppy-proofing your home. You should expect to go over
    • How to create a “safe zone”
    • Creating a dog’s schedule
    • Creating a consistent language for the household
  • Set up a Zoom call with New York Veterinary Practice to discuss your dog’s Annual Wellness Plan.
Day of arrival – tips for success:
Entering Your Home:
  • Take your dog to their “safe zone,” setup during your puppy-proofing. Your dog should have access to go in and out of the crate. Put kibble or a treat in the crate so there is positive association with the area.
  • Based on the schedule established with the Trainer, put down food and water (do not leave these down for more than 30 minutes). This will help your dog feel more comfortable.
  • Introduce your dog to your family and household. Do not approach all at once as this can be overwhelming. Allow your dog to come to you.
  • Tour your dog around your home, avoid areas you do not want them to go.
  • Now is a good time to begin your brief period of solitary downtime in the playpen / crate
    • Solitary downtime, or crating, should be no more than one hour per month of age
    • Avoid exceeding nine to ten hours in a day (not including sleeping periods).
    • This development is important for bladder control, preventing chewing / destructive behavior, and independence. A one hour period of aerobic exercises should follow these sessions.
Your puppy is home, has their own space, and is comfortable – what next? Check out this week-by-week guide to check in your and your puppy’s progress!

Gatherings

By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor
 

In this blog we will talk about what to do with your furry friend during big family events.

The most important thing is safety. The doors will be opening and closing as you welcome in your family and friends but this is also an opportunity for your furry friend to run out the door. Pick a spot in the house that is away from the entrance, most preferably a room, and place a crate or a bed. If you do place a crate make it as comfy as possible. Put a blanket over it to make it more private for your dog. This will secure that your dog does not bolt out the door as your greet your guest.

If you do want your pets present in the festivities have them tethered so they don’t bolt out the door as it also minimizes any risk of injuries; we don’t want our happy pups tumbling people down by accident. You can also set up a baby gate to block them from reaching the opened door. We also recommend giving your pet breaks throughout the holiday gatherings. They may love to socialize but there will be a point where they just want to nap and take a break. This is where that comfort spot comes in again. You can place them in their comfort spot so they can rest and recharge.

Dogs know their family but they might get a little shy around new family or friends they have never seen. To help with introducing your dog to family or friends they have never seen have a bowl of treats in the entrance on the door. Have people grab one treat and ask for a simple sit and treat your pet. This will create a positive association with new people and will also reinforce proper greetings. No one knows your dog better than you do, so if they are noise sensitive give each guest a heads up so they can approach your puppy in a quiet and calm way.


Always know what makes your dog uncomfortable. Any sudden movements from a person can spook your pooch, kids screaming, high pitch hello’s, loud clattering, deep voices, tall people, it can be anything small or big. Giving your pet a break throughout the festivities will help them enjoy the day more. Have their first greeting with a new member a positive one and remember to have your pet in a safe, secure spot while your guest come in. Micro-chipping and having the proper identifications is always highly recommended.

We hope these tips help you during all the holidays throughout the year. Have a great holiday and a very happy new year!

 

Cold Weather – Prepare for the Cold

By Casey Kantarian, Senior Behavior Counselor
 

Humans prepare for winter all the time with coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, pet safe salt, shovels and more. What can we do to prepare our dogs for the cold?

Sweaters are great for some dogs, while other dogs have fur that protects them from cold temperatures. If you have a coat, you feel well protected from freezing temperatures. What happens when your bare hands are exposed and your ears are freezing?  The rest of your body feels very cold and it takes a while for you to warm back up. Protect your dog with booties and socks like you would with gloves. Expose them to socks and booties well in advance before the winter months. Put them on and let them walk around indoors, using treats and fun games while they wear them. If they love meal time, put them on and give them their food. As puppies, it is important to teach your dog that holding their paws and touch their ears is fun! This helps for vet checks, tick checks, stress free grooming time and more! Remember, if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your dog. Booties and socks keep your dog warm and prevent your dog from the dangers of salt and frostbite! Get your dog used to socks and booties now! If booties and socks are difficult for you and your dog, keep them safe with pet safe wax protection. Mushers Secret Paw protection wax is a great alternative to booties to protect them from salt. This does not protect them from freezing temperatures!

Signs of frostbite and freezing temperatures:

  • Lifting its paw up in the air and trying to lift another paw
  • Bitterness and coldness when you touch the paw pad and the ears
  • Discoloration of the affected area (Pale, grey)
  • Can cause swelling

 

If you think your dog has been exposed to freezing temperatures, use dry towels and blankets that have been warmed by the dryer. Keep them wrapped up and call your vet right away.

If it is in the low or high 30’s and bellow, do not let your dog outside longer than a quick relief walk. If your dog does not go to the bathroom, let them back in side to warm up and try again later. If your dog struggles to use the bathroom when there is snow, still try to do short relief walks. If they do not go on the first try, bring them inside to warm up and try again later. Once they do go to the bathroom outside, reward them 3 treats, one right after the other with a high value treat.

Keep your pets occupied during the winter months with mental stimulation games in doors. Enter your dog in an indoor agility class to prevent “cabin fever” and an opportunity to build a positive relationship with your dog.

 

Halloween Hazards

By Michelle Aragon, Apprentice Behavior Counselor
 

Today we will be talking about the scary side of Halloween! Xylitol, chocolate, decorations that can be swallowed, and creepy monsters that can spook our furry friend. It is very important to keep in mind that what we consider fun can be scary for your pet.

 

Xylitol is one of the scariest things your dog can get its mouth on. It can be found in gum, granulated powder for cooking, candies, mint, toothpaste, mouthwash, it can be found in anything that contains the smallest amount of sugar. Any amount that is ingested can be fatal. Some of the symptoms can be vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases liver failure. The scary part is that there are some sugar-free gums that will show no symptoms for up to 12hrs! If you suspect your pet ingested xylitol its best to rush it to the emergency room. This scary chemical can also be found in chocolate. Everyone who has had or has a dog knows to keep chocolate away, especially dark chocolate. Some symptoms of chocolate poisoning is extreme thirst, pacing, diarrhea, shaking and seizures. These symptoms can last up to 72hrs.  During the day of Halloween it is vital that we keep anything slightly sweet away from our pets. Especially if you’re pet has a sweet tooth.

 

 

During holidays we keep an eye on our little kids just in case they want to grab a small decoration that can be swallowed, this must also be done with our pets especially puppies. Dogs explore their world using their 5 senses and especially their sense of taste. Anything small that is new to them they will sniff, lick, and possibly try to eat it. This is of course is a choking hazard. We don’t want anything lodging the intestines of our pets because that can result in a pricey vet bill that could have been avoided. Keep any decorations out of reach or in a container so it isn’t easily accessible to your kids or your furry kids.

Another danger is people in costumes. We understand that these ghouls and goblins roaming the streets are not real but to our pets they are! There are two ways our pets can react, they can either run or fight. They will try to remove themselves from the scary situation by running far away and in any direction they can which is a great risk. Keep your dog indoors either in a crate or in a room and let them sit this holiday out because we don’t want our pet fighting the “scary monster” either!

As social animals ourselves sometimes we want to include our dogs in events but our pets do not perceive the world the same as we do so it is important that if there is a slight possibility of our pets getting hurt, scared, or protective its best to give them a quiet evening to themselves. They would enjoy that a lot more! If you are worried that your dog ingested something call the ASPCA 24hr poison hotline: 888-426-4435.

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Ask about what is best for you and your dog!

 

Frolic

Frolic – Why Kids Need Dogs

By Mary McGranahan, Biscuits & Bath Intern
Have you ever been stopped by a kid on the street while walking your dog? Has your dog ever scared a kid by jumping on them to play? Both high energy and friendly, dogs and kids are a perfect match. Here are some reasons why children should experience dogs in their life.

 

Safety

Children are going to run into dogs their whole lives, especially children who are living in New York City. It is important for them to know how to approach dogs or react when they are approached by them. If they learn to read the nonverbal cues a dog gives, they will be able to tell which dogs are safe to pet and which dogs are best left alone. They will also know how to control their actions around dogs. Sometimes excited movements and affectionate gestures, such as hugging, that are natural to a child, may frighten a dog and cause them to lash out. Children who know how to properly greet dogs will be opening their world to many happy new encounters.

Self Esteem

Dogs are great at giving unconditional love and encouragement. Children benefit from the nonjudgmental nature of a dog’s love. It boosts their self-esteem. Studies have found that children who have trouble reading or verbally communicating will talk and read to dogs. They know dogs cannot understand if they make a mistake so they feel comfortable around them. Children also gain confidence from being made responsible for the care of a dog. Even completing the smallest task, such as filling the dog’s water bowl, makes a child feel accomplished.

Leadership

 A child gains leadership skills through teaching a dog. The child has to give the dog commands. The child also learns how to say yes and no to the dog. In leading a dog, the child is gaining confidence in their ability to lead others.

Socialization

Having a dog can help a kid come out of their shell. People like to approach dogs on the street and dogs like to say hello to new people. A kid will learn how to socialize as he or she is doing the same for the dog. This is especially evident in kids with Autism, who are more likely to introduce themselves and respond to questions when they have spent time with a dog.

 

Empathy and Compassion

Children learn empathy and compassion through interacting with animals. Dogs are reliant on the help of humans to meet their needs. Through feeding, bathing, and walking a dog a child is learning to take care of others. In return for their care the dog gives them love and companionship. This teaches them that, not only is caring for others right, it is also rewarding.

Happiness

The simple fact is, dogs make kids happy! When a kid interacts with a dog their brain releases serotonin and dopamine, both chemicals that make you happy. Blood pressure drops as well. When a child plays with a dog they are getting exercise and all the good endorphins that come from it. Dogs are therapeutic for kids who have PTSD, OCD, anxiety, fears, and developmental delays. They are used in hospitals and on college campuses to help students deal with grief and anxiety.

Children who have spent time around dogs will feel safe and be more empathetic, confident, and happy. To learn more about how you can give your child and their friends great experiences with dogs check out frolickids.com, email us at info@frolickids.com, or call 212-401-3015.

Unleash your inner dog!

In this session of Puppy 101, we’ll discuss one of the most important (if not the most) aspect of your puppy’s development: training!

Many people train their dogs on their own (with plenty of help from blogs and Youtube), but find that they have difficulty maintaining the trained behaviors. Working with a personal dog trainer is the ideal option for any pup: they’re familiar with your case, can adjust training according to your lifestyle, and can answer any specific questions you may have.

Arranging a meet-and-greet with your trainer as early on as possible will help you and puppy immeasurably: you’ll both be comfortable and secure with your trainer’s tips, tactics, and methodology, streamlining training and making it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

Here are some key points to keep in mind when beginning your puppy’s training process:

  1. Keep training consistent and structured for optimal (and long-lasting) results.
  2. Regular enforcement is critical to success! Skipping a day only hurts your pup’s development.
  3. Devoting 10-15 minutes per day working on basic commands further strengthens your relationship: don’t miss out!
  4. Engaging with their owners and surroundings curbs puppy boredom! Keep your buddy entertained!
  5. Training is a great way to keep your dog social. Socialization is critical for any dog, especially in NYC!
  6. Training is also great for introducing your dog to new environments, teaching them to acclimate well in new situations.

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Training your puppy is an incredibly rewarding experience-don’t miss out on this integral part of your bonding! Stay tuned for more training tips on the Biscuits and Bath blog, and thanks for joining us for Puppy 101!

Biscuits and Bath offers training classes, private lessons, train-and-play sessions, and home phone consultations with our trainers. Classes include Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Obedience, and Agility.

It’s time for your weekly dose of puppy-rearing tips!

This week, we’re focusing on the best part of owning a puppy: it’s always playtime!

Puppies are usually far more active, affectionate, and energetic in their earlier months than they are for the rest of their lives-It’s built into their code! Playtime helps your pup exercise,  socialize, and stimulate their brains so their pent-up energy doesn’t result in a ripped-up couch. It’s integral to their development to have appropriate outlets that will help them grow into strong, sociable dogs.

So have some fun reading up on playtime tips in this week’s Puppy 101!

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First up, TOYS: get a variety of toys so you have options to redirect their chewing and playfulness. Chew toys, squeaky toys, and big, meaty bones can be purchased in any pet store and will keep your pup busy for hours!

Secondly, find ways to reward appropriate play and behavior with things other than food (i.e. toys, love, attention, etc). This will be key to maintaining their attention when play time moves outdoors.

Thirdly, walks are incredibly important to your puppy. No matter where you live, what the temperature is, or how tired you may be, remember that this is your puppy’s prime form of exposure to the outside world! Work around your schedule to ensure your puppy always receives outdoor time, every single day. If you don’t have time to walk your pup, hire a qualified dog walker to get your dog moving!

Finally, know your breed. What activities was your puppy bred for? What’s your lifestyle? The answers to these questions are not always in-sync. If your puppy is a working or hunting breed, prepare to spend more time outdoors and engage in more hours of exercise.

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Those are some incredibly key points, but make sure to speak to a professional familiar with your dog’s needs to devise an optimal playtime schedule…and remember to HAVE FUN!

Biscuits and Bath offers daycare and dog walking in many varieties. If your puppy is still finishing vaccines, we offer special individual puppy sitting. One of our insured, background-checked dog can come play with your puppy, reinforce any training you may be working on, give a feeding, and refresh your pup’s water. Inquire today!

Welcome back to Puppy 101! This blog series highlights the key guidelines to making your puppy’s first months as smooth, productive, and stress-free as they can possibly be.

Let’s start at the most crucial of all your puppy’s needs: an amazing vet who can guide your puppy towards a healthy lifestyle.

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Your puppy’s health is priority #1. What many puppy owners unfortunately don’t understand is that pups require medical care as frequently as we do. We wouldn’t dream of not taking an infant for a monthly checkup, so don’t deprive your puppy of this crucial aspect of their healthcare.  

Creating a relationship with your puppy’s veterinarian is a great way to ensure you’ll always have your questions answered and your concerns addressed. If your puppy is comfortable with his or her vet, they’ll also be infinitely more calm and receptive to any treatment they may need in the future. An early meet and greet is a great way to begin a relationship with your vet.

Early meet-and-greets are a great way to receive guidance for designing the best routines for your puppy to ensure a long and happy life. Establishing your puppy’s diet, exercise,and social schedule under the guidance of a vet is a huge advantage. You’ll rest easier knowing a professional approved your choices for your puppy’s lifestyle.

Another important factor to keep top of mind is the specific challenges of your puppy’s breed. Knowing about breed-specific traits and medical regularities before they present issues is a great way to save time, money, and vet visits sometime down the line.

Keep in mind: mental and physical health are key components to a long, happy, wonderful life for your puppy. Don’t let these crucial necessities fall to the wayside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biscuits & Bath is the only facility in NYC with an on-site vet partner, New York Veterinary Practice. NYVP provides on -going education to our associates, vet care to our client’s dogs, and assistance during an emergency. The vet team checks their emails until 10 pm, 7 days a week! This means if your puppy is acting strange, or feeling under the weather, you can reach out and someone will get back to you quickly. Your puppy’s health is our top priority.

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