There’s nothing as heartwarming as the sparkle in the eyes of a child receiving an adorable new family puppy that jumps, tail wagging, into their arms to deliver kisses and immediate love. On the other side of the coin, there’s nothing as heartbreaking as the ache and bewilderment in a dog’s eyes when they turn out to be more effort than anyone imagined and don’t get the care they richly deserve. Owning a pet is a privilege and a life-changing love story, but it’s not something to take on casually for a few special moments. Pet ownership is a lifetime commitment that comes with a wealth of responsibilities—with unimaginable rewards if you’re in it for the long haul.
Making A Loyal Friend
Katie Titterington of Arnie’s Pet Food Store (arniespetfoods.com) said a dog’s main focus is to please their owners, and with the proper training, nutrition, and lots of affection, they will quickly understand that they’ve become a member of the family or a loyal friend. It’s a shared sense of love, joy, and security that makes lives better on both sides of the relationship. As a pet owner, however, it is your responsibility to take the steps to honor that loyalty and live up to the love your best friend wants to deliver unwaveringly.
“If you are considering adding a pet to your family, there are several things you should take into consideration,” Katie said. “For example, if you live in an apartment and now own a dog, you will need to take the time for daily walks with your new partner. You can also take your dog to a city park or open space on a long line and let them explore, or visit one of Lincoln’s off-leash dog parks where they can run and play. Daily exercise is essential for a happy, healthy pet. Even if you are a homeowner with a fenced yard, daily walks can help you learn to control your dog, create a bond, and increase your dog’s senses of the world around them.”
A major concern for dog owners is selecting a proper diet to insure good health, providing maximum nutrition and energy. The folks at Arnie’s pride themselves on their five-star high quality all natural pet foods. Their award-winning pet food lines are produced by family owned and operated businesses. FROMM for one has been producing high-end pet foods for five generations. Their full line of treats and chews are 100% all natural and sourced in the U.S., and their pet health care products contain all natural ingredients—no synthetic chemicals—to help keep your pet healthy and happy.
“Your dog’s main focus is to please you,” Katie said. “With a little training, proper nutrition, and a lot of affection they will quickly understand they’ve become a member of the family and a loyal friend.”
A Life-Changing Experience
Dian Quist, who manages Kenl Inn (kenl-inn.com), said owning a pet is truly a life-changing experience and recommends that you take the steps to making it positive both for your family and your new dog or cat. That includes asking experts for help, and enrolling in training classes, so you’ll both have a friend for life. Kenl Inn offers handling/grooming tips during their Just for Puppies class and their Basic/Manners obedience class, and if you have a dog that needs styled, their grooming salon can do that for you—or they’re happy to teach you how to style your own dog.
If you’re getting a new puppy or kitten after losing an older pet—or adding to a household with an older pet—be aware that puppies and kittens are going to be a lot more active and curious—which is the perfect example of positive words that could translate to a possibly destructive pet! Also consider the time of year that you’re bringing a new pet into your home. Sometimes, winter isn’t the best time for those active, curious ones. If and when you do decide to move forward with getting a new pet, there’s a lot to get done before bringing it home, too—and that includes creating a routine.
“When bringing a new pet into your household, you’ll want to have everything ready before your new pet arrives,” Dian said. “Where will the pet sleep? Eat? Play? If you are a family, you might want to divide up the chores so that everyone gets some quality time with the pet. Who will be responsible for feeding in the morning, afternoon, evening? Who will be responsible for brushing/combing? Who is responsible for potty breaks and exercise? Creating a routine for you and your pet will help your new pet adjust. We oftentimes ask a lot from our pets, like expecting them to just go with the flow. If you’re lucky, that will work, but it’s not the norm.”
Daily hands-on care is ideal for every dog or cat, and it helps teach them that petting and examining are good things, which also helps your veterinarian down the line. What’s more, it helps you notice if something is different or wrong, and it helps you know when it’s time to clean dirty paws, clip toenails, or brush or comb your pet, and it reminds you to examine their ears and mouth regularly.
Love Them by Leading Them
When you get a new pet, training is absolutely crucial. The Balanced Pack (www.thebalancedpackdogtraining.com) encourages dog owners to transform into leaders to guide their dogs through life. They take a unique approach to dog training, with their focus on each dog’s state of mind, because they must determine how a dog feels about a situation for real change to take place. When you bring a new dog into your household, setting boundaries is a crucial first step toward a successful training path and long-term relationship.
“I believe one of the biggest mistakes new dog owners make is giving their new pup too much freedom without including boundaries,” said The Balanced Pack Owner and Trainer Alyse Krejdl. “It is common that new owners want their pet to feel loved and safe in their home. This is often done by showering the dog in all the toys, treats, and affection they could possibly want. This strategy can easily backfire, as the dog can begin to feel entitled and have a lack of respect for their owner. If your dog doesn’t respect you, they certainly won’t be inclined to listen to you or follow your guidance. When bringing a new dog into your home, put some boundaries in place, teach your dog what the boundaries are, and have a way to hold them accountable. This will help your dog look to you as their leader and not just as a treat delivery service.”
Alyse completed more than 400 hours of hands-on experience covering a wide range of dog behavior and training before launching The Balanced Pack training programs. Before setting up a training program for your dog, they’ll take you through a required consultation, where you can learn about their philosophy, training styles, and process to determine whether you and your pet are a good fit for any of their training options. Programs available include a Puppy Program; Basic Behavior Program; a Behavior Modification Program; and an Off Leash Program, all with the same goal.
“If you are struggling with your dog’s behavior or training, you don’t have to do it alone,” Alyse said. “The Balanced Pack aims to keep dogs happy, healthy, and safe in their homes. When dogs control their emotions and trust in their owners, their reward is more inclusion in our lives.”
Your pet is bound to have occasional stress, need joint-health support, and have many of the same wellness needs as humans. With that in mind, we suggest that you make CBD American Shaman (cbdamericanshaman.com) of Lincoln part of your pet-health plan. They have dozens of CBD products aimed at helping your buddies relax, manage stress, and provide relief and overall wellness. That includes everything from full-spectrum and THC-free CBD hemp oil tinctures to canine and feline food, and treats for your cat, dog, or horse. Stop in and learn more!
Life with a furry friend can create one of the best relationships you’ll enjoy in your lifetime. Your pet wants nothing more than to make you happy and love you to the fullest, so it’s up to you to set the stage for success. It will be worth every penny and every moment you spend.