Cute Dog Pictures because…why not?

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It’s Wednesday and it just so happens that two of my friends posted cute dog pictures on Facebook today.  First up is Freddie, or Frederick Von Humphriestein as he is known on his birthday.  Freddie, a terrier/min-pin mix, is 12 and enjoys long walks and chasing non-venomous snakes.  Mostly he enjoys snuggling up on furniture, which “supposedly” he isn’t allowed to do!cute older dog

But look at that face! How could you deny him anything he wants?  Except grapes. NEVER grapes.

Next are 3 well-behaved dogs, thanks to lots of training classes and puppy day care for one of them. In the center is baby Flynn, who is 2 months old. Flynn’s mom and dad have taken much time to train their three dogs (from left) Summit, Izzy and Axel.  Summit is still technically a puppy though he looks gigantic, and he goes to daycare each day so that he can run off some of his never-ending energy.  But seriously, look at how well-behaved these dogs are!  Oh, and the baby is cute too.

cute dogs with baby

Tips for helping your pets and children bond

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When it comes to pets and kids, there are several steps you can take to make sure your puppy or even older dog learns to socialize well with children of all ages.

The dog

  • Begin socializing your pet as soon as possible.  If you’ve got a puppy, then between 5 weeks and 5 months is the best time to really begin introducing your pet to children.  This chart from the ASPCA shows the best times to introduce your puppy to a variety of people, places and things:
  • Even with older dogs, you can still help them to become more used to children by slowly introducing them to kids and various child-based situations.  Try taking them to a soccer field to watch children play or take them to a friend’s house where children are present. Introduce them to children of various ages.
  • Teach your dog the “pack” order and how to be comfortable as a pet in a human society by making sure he knows his place: make sure the dog gets fed after people do; make sure that you or your child enters the house or leaves the house before the pet does so that the pet sees who is in charge.
  • Don’t force your dog into a situation that he or she isn’t ready for and make sure not to allow the dog to play roughly with children.
  • Be sure to supervise all pet/child encounters!

The children

  • Make sure your children know that pets are real creatures, not toys.  They should always be gentle with pets.
  • Children shouldn’t grab toys away from pets.  Teach your child how to coax the toy (if playing fetch) from your pet and how to reward the pet with treats for a job well done.
  • Make sure children know to leave dogs alone while the dogs are eating and make sure that they know not to run up to strange animals.

Children and Cats

Cats are quite tolerant of children.  From my own experience it seems every time cats are around children they seem to just lie there while kids do their best to “gently” pat the kitty.  Still, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when helping your child and cat bond:

  • Make sure that children approach cats from a sitting position so as not to seem threatening.
  • Remind children that cats are alive and need to be treated gently and with care.
  • Perhaps reward your cat for his good behavior with a favorite treat or some catnip.

Puppies and Kittens: 5 essentials

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When you bring home a new puppy or kitten, there are several great items you should have on hand to make life easier for everyone.

For puppies
1. Piddle Pads – when house training your new puppy, piddle pads can come in handy.  If you have to be gone for an extended period of time, having a pad your dog knows is an “ok” place to go will make life easier for both of you.  Young puppies have bladders that are still developing and may not be able to hold it if you’re away for a while.

2. Treats – The best way to teach your dog what behavior is acceptable is by rewarding him or her with a treat.  Kind words and a little bit of a treat after using the bathroom outside, coming when called or sitting will go a long way towards getting your young puppy to obey.

3. A good leash – Taking your puppy on walks is a great way to get him or her used to a leash, and also used to the world around him.

4. Name Tags / Collar – Make sure to get your puppy a collar and a name tag with his name, address and phone number.  If he ever escapes from you, you’ll be glad to know that information is there for someone if they find him!

5. Gates – If you want to confine your puppy to one room of the house while you’re at work, having a gate to close off certain rooms of the house is the way to go.

For kittens
1. Spray deterrents – there are lots of pet-safe sprays available that will help keep your new kitten from clawing on furniture or curtains.

2. Treats – Kittens don’t really understand punishment, but they DO understand rewards for good behavior.  When your kitten does what you want, like coming when called or using the litter box, have a small treat handy.

3. Litter box and litter – a new litter box will be necessary for your new kitten. If you already have a cat at home, make sure to bring home at least one extra box and maybe 2.

4. Furniture and/or toys – kittens need places to play and things to play with.  Make sure to get a good scratching post and perhaps even a tower or two for your cat to climb on.  Small toys to chase will also keep your kitten’s mind active and alert.

5. Carriers – when transporting your kitten to the vet or anywhere else, a good carrier is essential for its safety!

Find all of these items and more at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center, 2851 North Avenue, Grand Junction.