Choosing the Perfect Pup

Every puppy is perfect in its own way and the magic is in choosing one that is just perfect for you. As a great dog lover, you would probably have a hard time choosing one to live with and love. 

This is because the longing eyes and antics would draw you to them so that you would go home with every single one of them if you could. But choosing that one pup to pour all of your love on shouldn't be too much of a hassle if you know exactly what you're looking for. 

Not certain what it is you're looking for? This article is here for just this. Here are some tips that would help:

  1. Do Your Due Diligence

You need to have sufficient knowledge of the various dog breeds before going ahead to make a choice. Factors ranging from size as an adult to grooming needs to exercising and feeding should all be considered. 

If there's a particular breed you're interested in, you should go on the internet and research in-depth so that you're not caught unprepared at any point.  In addition, if you have a family, you would have to consider other members of your family. 

All of this information will be gathered when you do your due diligence. 

  1. Physical Appearance

A puppy's physical appearance is an essential metric for the selection process. Does she look like she's healthy overall? Is she active or does she just cower in the corner? 

Similarly, features such as the eyes should be clear, the ears should not have a discharge, opening the mouth, the gums should be pink and healthy. 

Furthermore, breathing through the nose should be soundless and done with ease, the fur must look healthy, and check the underbelly for the umbilical hernia. Zero protrusion is what to look out for.

  1. Temperament/ Personality

Doing your due diligence would give you an idea as to the temperament of the dog breed that you're interested in. However, in addition to that, you should begin observing in person the moment you walk in the door. 

Typically, you shouldn't order a pup, walk in yourself and watch how the pup interacts with you. For instance, does the pup have a fast recovery rate from the startle of hearing a loud sound like a book drop? 

When you move around the room, does the pup tag along? The answers to questions like this would give you an insight into your puppy's temperament. 

  1. The Right Pet Store

More than anything, the place where you get your puppy from goes a long way in determining quality of life, particularly in their first few weeks of life. You can always get a notable pet store close to you by doing some internet search, and you might be able to visit the puppies before they are grown enough for new homes. 

This is usually around when they are 7-12 weeks of age. Given that the pet store workers are experienced, you would be able to communicate freely. And of course, you can have them answer some key questions for you.

Potty Training in 5 Steps

Potty training is one of the most important first lessons that you have to teach a new pup. Since they haven't been told otherwise, they wouldn't see anything wrong with messing the floor up or doing their business anywhere they deem fit. However, you do not want a house-turned-pup toilet on your hand. So, here are some 5 steps to potty train your pup: 

  1. Set Up Your Home

The idea behind potty training is teaching your dog that the entire house is their extra-large den simply because they are known for being averse to soiling their own space. For this, you would need to restrict your pup's movement around the house until he is old enough to roam without incident. 

You would be needing a dog crate or a baby gate that would restrict your pup to that particular area. The more time they spend there, the less they would feel inclined to mess the place up, hence, potty training would move swiftly. 

  1. Use a Potty Cue

The idea behind a potty cue is so that your pup knows exactly what time it is when you use the word or phrase. It would imply that it's potty time and at a point, you would be able to get your pup to go potty just by saying it. 

The phrase can be anything, just one that doesn't come up in regular conversation. The idea is to use the word or phrase just as your dog is starting to do its business in the right spot. 2-3 days after, once you think he's connected the cue to potty, start mentioning it just as he is getting in potty position. 

After this, the next step is to give it before he even gets into position. This would register as the word or phrase for 'time to go'.

  1. Treating

Pup training consists of a great deal of treating for positive reinforcement. When you give your dog a treat for doing something, it implies that it is a desirable one and he starts to connect the action to the treat. 

During potty training, if your dog goes to the potty in the right spot, and gets a treat, but never does during accidents, he would start to note that it is the right thing to do. 

Since timing is crucial, you might need to add an approving sound like a click or "yes" at the precise time, and then give the treat later. This way, your pup knows that the treat was for that particular action. 

  1. Create a Schedule

You shouldn't be alarmed by the fact that you might have to take a puppy to potty up to 10-15 times daily. As a rule of thumb, the bladder develops to hold urine longer every month in pups, so, a month-old pup would be able to hold his bladder for an hour while a 5-month old pup would hold his bladder for up to 5 hours. 

Therefore, it is essential to create a schedule that your pup would start to associate with potty time. For instance, you can make it: First thing in the morning, right after each meal, when your pup gets up from napping, at regular intervals during the day and evening, and right before you go to sleep. 

  1. Allow for Playtime

After your pup has eliminated in the right spot, you can allow him to play around for some minutes without fear that he would soil the place. After this, you can then have him go back to the restricted area. Playtime should be based on the rate of development of your pup's bladder.

Top 5 Rare Dog Breeds

You probably consider yourself a maestro when it comes to identifying dog breeds. The good ol' reliable German Shepherd, the adorable Labrador Retriever, or the spoiled Chihuahua. 

There are breeds that you see and can identify at the drop of a hat. However, there are a number of dog breeds that are not all that common. There is even a possibility that you've never heard of them. Here's 5 of them:

  1. Azawakh

Azawakhs are known for their fierce loyalty and protectiveness of their owners. Unlike other dog breeds that smell before seeing, this breed is a sight hound and mostly discovers its prey using its sights. 

It stands regal with long legs and has its origins in the Sahel region of Africa, where it stood guard over nomad's tepees while withstanding the harsh conditions. 

This breed was introduced to America in the 80s, was entered into the American Kennel Club's Foundation in 1997, and is known to shy away from strangers.  

  1. Telonian

The Telonian is a Malaysian breed and the only known one at that. Specifically trained to catch vermin by the Orang Asil indigenous people, this breed moves really fast and has great sensory abilities. 

It also has a surprising climbing ability which is clearly an adaptation to the homes of the Orang Asil people that were built on stilts to prevent invasion by wild animals. 

  1. Norwegian Lundehund

With a long history dating as far back as the ice age, the Norwegian Lundehund is one of the rarest of dog breeds alive. They feature a crimson coat and were originally intended for hunting down Puffin birds on the edges of coastal cliffs. 

As a result of this hunting environment, over the years, this breed has mastered scaling rocky cliffs. In addition, although pretty close to extinction, it is known as a breed that builds a close-knit relationship with its owner.

  1. Thai Ridgeback

The Thai Ridgeback sees its origins in Thailand and just along the breed's back, you would find a ridge similar to that of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks. This ridge which is found in only three dog breeds refers to a strip that grows away in the opposite direction of the fur. 

Although for a while, they could only be found in Thailand, the breed has started to spread gradually. However, they are notable for their great escape methods and need a close eye kept on them. 

  1. Otterhound

The British Otterhound is ranked one of the most vulnerable dog breeds In the UK. It is believed to be as old as the medieval age and bred mainly to stay on guard during fishing. 

It is kinsmen with the Bloodhound and displays similar virtues such as determination and dexterity. This breed features a healthy and impressive crop of hair and makes for a great companion anyway. 

They eat in a pretty messy manner, and their grooming, well, you can definitely handle it. 

Vital Nutrients That Your Dog Needs

Your dog's nutritional needs supersedes every other in terms of importance, it is what guarantees your pup would live a long, healthy life. You may skimp from time to time on grooming or neglect to take Milo walking on rare occasions. But for his meals, you want to pay extra care to guarantee that he's getting all the right nutrients in the right proportions. What are these vital nutrients? Check them out: 

  1. Water

A mature dog's lean body mass is made up of about 70-80% of water. It is vital for digestion, regulating body temperature, and even the elimination process. On a biological level, it serves as a transportation system for conveying nutrients to the various cells. 

Your pup's water needs depend on activity level, health, and temperature. Most dogs can regulate water intake on their own, and if your dog is on high-moisture food, they would generally take less water. However, always make clean and fresh water available. 

  1. Fat

Fat is a better source of energy than both protein and carbohydrates, supplying up to twice as many calories. It also provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which function in protecting the organs, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, and boosting a healthy nervous system. 

On the flip side, excess fats can cause gastrointestinal problems or pancreatitis, so, it should be well regulated. Pup fat sources include plant-based oils like hemp seed and flaxseed as well as low-mercury fish and fish oil. 

  1. Protein

Protein is a source of both essential and non-essential amino acids that your dog needs to stay alive and healthy. Pups are unable to produce their required amount of proteins, so they need to get it from their diet. 

Proteins are responsible for a range of structures ranging from bones to muscles to nails and even healthy hair. It also has some energy components and complements that are supplied by carbs and fat. Fish, eggs, and lean-muscle meats are great sources of protein for pups. 

  1. Carbohydrates

Dogs are able to get a measure of glucose from fat and protein, therefore, carbs are not essential. However, they are important because they are the main source of glucose which supplies energy for daily activity. 

A good measure of carbohydrates also provides the body with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins for general pup health. It can be gotten from gluten-free grains and legumes. 

  1. Vitamins

Vitamins play several important roles such as aiding blood clotting (K), boosting the immune system (A), functioning as antioxidants (C and E), amongst others. 

They are usually required in minute quantities and can be gotten from diets like dog-friendly plant-based foods or muscle meats. 

  1. Minerals

Minerals are essential to the body for sustaining metabolic functions and play a major role in various processes. 

For instance, calcium and phosphorus are a major constituent of bones, iron transports oxygen, zinc aids injury recovery, nerve transmission is aided by sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium amongst other functions. 

Dogs are unable to naturally manufacture minerals, hence, their only source is their diet. Feed like meat and bone is rich in phosphorus and calcium respectively while a great source of zinc is shellfish.