How Do You House Train A Puppy?
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A new puppy is wonderful in pretty much every way, at least until they start having accidents around your apartment or house. But do not fear, Expert Pet Trainer Kathy Santo has all the answers. Watch as she takes you through the basics on everything from establishing a routine to rewarding your puppy when they eliminate outdoors.
House training your puppy requires more than a stack of old newspapers. It calls for patience, commitment, and above all, consistency. Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and today we're going to talk about how to house train your puppy. A trusting and consistent relationship is fundamental to successful house trading. The more consistent you are, the faster your puppy will learn. House training a puppy can take several weeks, and sometimes longer with smaller breeds. The first step to house training your puppy is to establish a routine. Puppies do best on a regular schedule, because it teaches them that there are times to eat, times to play, and times to potty. As a general rule, a puppy can control his bladder about an hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is only three months old, he can probably only hold it for about three hours, if not less. Make sure to take him right out after he wakes up, during and after play time, and after eating or drinking, because these are times he'd most likely to have to go. If you work, and are unable to take your puppy outside as often as needed, you could hire a dog walker to give your puppy his necessary breaks. I recommend picking a specific bathroom spot outside, and always taking him there first when he's on a leash. While your puppy is going, say something like, 'go potty,' so that you can eventually use that phrase to remind him what to do. You should take him out for a walk or play time after he's gone potty, or he might just learn to hold it to keep you outside. Reward your puppy every time he goes potty outdoors with praise or a treat, but make sure to do so immediately, before he goes back into the house. Rewarding correct behavior is the best way to teach your puppy. Be careful not to reward your puppy until he's completely finished, or he may forget to finish up outside, and then have an accident inside. And remember, what goes into a puppy on a schedule comes out of a puppy on a schedule. So always take your puppy out after feeding. Try picking up your puppy's water dish about two and a half hours before bedtime, so he won't have as much water to try and hold overnight. If you keep a consistent schedule, your puppy could be house trained by the time he's five to six months old. But don't be discouraged if it takes your puppy longer, or has an occasional accident. Many factors, including breed of dog, consistency, and temperament can contribute to a longer training period. If you feel that there's little to no progress, consult with your veterinarian to be sure that a medical issue, such as a bladder infection, isn't the culprit. Supervision in the beginning is critical. Exercise pens are extremely helpful while house training. Keeping your puppy in a small space within eyesight will allow you to notice and react when they start showing the signs of needing to eliminate. Those signs can be barking, scratching at the door, squatting, sniffing, or circling. If you're unable to monitor your puppy, you can confine him to an area small enough so that he won't want to eliminate there. A space just large enough for him to lay down with a couple extra inches is just fine. Many people choose to combine with a crate, which can be very helpful for house training your young dog. For more information on crate training, watch 'How To Crate Train Your Puppy.' I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition to your family.
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- adp_description_block497Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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