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How to Teach Dogs Important Basic Commands
How to Socialize Your Dog with Other Dogs
There’s Much to be Thankful for When It Comes to Pets

How to Teach Dogs Important Basic Commands
When you bring a dog into your home, it’s a good idea to teach him some basic commands. It can help you both, especially in establishing some boundaries in as well as outside the home. It’s a great way to get in some bonding time, too.

Additionally, when your dog knows commands and is well-behaved, it can keep him safe. According to the article, “Tips on Training Your Dog,” at, for those dogs who may take off if a door is open, “it’s imperative that he comes back when called. Keeping your dog away from a speeding car or an aggressive animal could save his life.”

Good mannered dogs also help when you encounter neighbors so that your dog doesn’t jump on or scare anyone.

Start with the proper collar and leash as well as training treats. Training sessions should be brief, say a short word and your dog’s name with each command, train three to five times a day for basic commands, and praise a lot, the article said.

There are many dog commands including “watch me,” “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “heel,” “wait,” and “come,” among others, according to the article, “15 Essential Commands to teach Your Dog” at

Before you begin to teach your dog some of the commands, consider the following information, according to the Inside Dogs World article:

• Always be patient with your dog.
• Don’t push your dog too hard.
• Avoid distractions by finding a quiet place.
• Don’t punish your dog.
• “Practice at home or garden first before exercising commands publicly,” the Inside Dogs World article said.
• Make it fun.
• Be involved and engaging.

Ensure you are soft but firm and the leader of the pack. Before you know it, your dog will know his basic commands and you’ll both be better for it.

How to Socialize Your Dog with Other Dogs
Along with teaching basic commands, one of the most important things you can do for your dog is to socialize her.

According to the article, “The Loving Action Every Dog Needs but Too Few Receive” by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker at, “Veterinarians, animal shelter staffs and an ever-growing number of pet parents are learning the far-reaching consequences of unsocialized puppies who mature into unbalanced adult dogs.”

Ideally, socializing should begin at puppyhood, but sometimes there are adult dogs who have not been socialized, which can lead to issues. But there are things you can do to help.

Article tips include:

• Obedience classes are an opportunity for your dog to be around others. “Make sure classes are not fear-based dominance training, which will exacerbate anxiety,” the article said.
• Arrange a play date with a friend’s compatible dog.
• If your dog is right for agility, get him involved. If not, try flying disc, dock jumping, dock diving, and more.
• Daily walks for fresh air are a great way to get out and socialize.

There can be a variety of reasons for dogs who have behavior problems, from not being properly socialized to a genetic predisposition. While socialization techniques should be used throughout your dog’s life, there are some things that might not be right for your dog.

For instance dog parks may be great for some dogs, but not for others, according to the article, “Socializing the Adult Dog: Sorting Good Advice From Bad,” at “It may be overwhelming to meet numerous new dogs and strangers in an unfamiliar environment,” the article said.

Socialization done correctly helps your dog with other dogs and people. “Keep in mind it will take longer to socialize an adult dog than a puppy to this extent, so please be patient,” the Vetstreet article said.

There’s Much to be Thankful for When It Comes to Pets
Can you count the ways to be thankful for your pet? Start now because November is the month of giving thanks. You’re grateful all year long, but now you can shout it from the rooftops. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit or whatever pet makes you thankful, this is the time to show your thanks.

Most everyone has their own reasons for being thankful for their companion animals. “After all, your cat or dog is a member of your family and deserves to be appreciated for all the love and companionship he offers you,” according to the article, “Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets,” at

Pets are:

• The best cuddle partners
• Always happy to see you
• Great for your own health
• All about the fun
• Funny and make you laugh
• In tune with you and know how to comfort you when you’re down

The list can go on. Our pets bring us so much joy that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin to list all the reasons. According to the article, “10 Reasons To Be Grateful For Pets This Thanksgiving” at, our pets provide a unique love and a variety of ways that enrich us, including:

• They keep us present.
• They are wonderful company.
• Our pets give us a purpose, especially when we adopt.
• “Pets allow us to learn as we go, to fail, and to be imperfect – and they love us anyway,” the Adopt-A-Pet article said. “We are indebted to animals for accepting us just as we are.”
• They keep us active by way of walks and play time.

Our pets do so much for us, so it’s important to thank them for bringing so much joy every day and letting us know how truly lucky we are.

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The Challenges of Moving with A Pet and How to Do It
Fostering Animals Is Good for the Animal and Human
Tips on Socializing Fearful Cats

The Challenges of Moving with A Pet and How to Do It
Moving is never easy and can be one of life’s top stressors. When you throw a pet into the mix, things can get a bit challenging. But pets are family, and that means they move with you.

“So first and foremost, make sure you are well prepared to move an animal or beloved pet prior to the actual move,” according to the article, “The Dos and Don’ts of Moving Animals” at In order to prepare, the article suggests “creating checklists, researching travel requirements, contacting your vet and looking into pet relocation services.”

The following are some tips from the article:

• Bring a copy of your pet’s health record.
• Consider your pet’s emotional needs and maintain consistency.
• If flying, check with the airline’s rules.
• Ensure crate or tote is ventilated.
• Avoid feeding solid food hours before you travel.
• Keep your necessities separate from your pet’s belongings.

If traveling with pets in a crate, get your pets used to the crate, according to the article, “Moving With Your Pet,” at Help acclimate your pet by carrying her in the crate in the house or riding in the car.

“It is a good idea to pet-proof your new home,” according to the ASPCA article. Pet-proofing includes keeping electrical cords out of the way, ensuring windows have secure screens, removing poisonous plants, “and confirm that no pest-control poison traps have been left anywhere in the house.”

Don’t let your pet roam the new home just yet. New spaces can be overwhelming. “Start by allowing them to adjust to one room—their ‘home base’—which should include their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls and litter box for cats,” the ASPCA article said.

In the end, moving with pets just takes patience. Before you know it, your pet will fit right in.

Fostering Animals Is Good for the Animal and Human
With so many animals in shelters and rescues across the nation, there is a great need not only for adopters but for foster homes. There are so many reasons to foster an animal in need. It’s great for animals and can be an amazing experience for humans.

“When you foster, you agree to take a homeless dog into your home and give him or her love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the dog is adopted,” according to the article, “Why Foster A Dog and What Does It Entail?” at

The article said there are many rescue groups and shelters needing foster homes for the following reasons:

• Some rescue groups have no physical space and rely on foster homes.
• Young puppies need care until they are old enough for forever homes.
• Injured or sick rescue dogs need a place to recuperate.
• A dog who is stressed at the shelter may need a calm, home environment.
• A shelter is running out of room.

There are many wonderful reasons to foster a dog or cat. According to the article, “8 Reasons Why You Should Foster Animals,” at, “Many shelters rely on foster homes to keep pets until they have room, and some rescue groups are run entirely through foster care.”

Here are some great reasons to foster, according to the PetSafe article:

• Fostering helps increase an animal’s chance of adoption.
• Fostering is temporary until a permanent home is found.
• It keeps animals out of shelters.
• You’re helping to save a life and you help socialize an animal to get him ready for adoption.

When you foster, everyone wins. You can feel good for helping out an animal, and that animal gets lots of love before he moves on to a permanent home.

Tips on Socializing Fearful Cats
Some cats are just plain shy, fearful or scared. If you recently brought a new cat into your home, and he shows signs of fear, there are things you can do to help your cat come through to the other side.

Cats can be fearful for different reasons. “Your shy cat may have been traumatized or she may never have had a chance to be properly socialized,” according to the article, “9 Tips for Socializing a Shy Cat” at

Other tips to help bring your fearful cat out of his shell include being patient and compassionate; keeping him safe in a small room along with his bed, food, water, litter box and toys; keeping the room quiet; talking to him in a soft voice; using food to entice; and letting the cat approach you when he’s ready.

According to the article, “No More Scaredy Cat – 10 Ways to Make Friends with Your Scared, Shy Cat” at, there are other tips to help socialize your very shy cat. “Feed and interact with your cat on a consistent schedule, and scoop his litterbox at least once daily,” the article said.

Additionally, keep loud noises at bay as they will scare your cat. Always be calm and gentle when you approach and interact with your shy cat. Make sure not to force your cat. “Don’t pull him from his hiding spot or hold him against his will (unless there’s an emergency of some kind and you need to move him),” the article said. Also, try to schedule play time with your cat.

The above tips can help bring your cat out of his shell. All cats are different and progress at different stages. Be patient and you’re bound to see improvement day by day.

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Is Pet Insurance Right for You and Your Pet?
Overweight Pets and the Risks
How to Keep Your Pets Cool in the Heat

Is Pet Insurance Right for You and Your Pet?
There’s a lot of talk about pet health insurance and whether it’s right for you and your pet, and if it’s worth it?

As with health insurance for humans, there are many similarities. It “helps cover the cost of veterinary care if your pet becomes ill or injured,” according to the article, “What is Pet Insurance” at Some plans will reimburse for wellness procedures including spay/neuter, vaccines, and heartworm testing.

According to the article, the similarities to some human insurance plans include that they both have:

• Deductibles
• Co-pays
• Maximum payouts
• Premiums
• Wait periods
• No coverage on pre-existing conditions

Pet insurance is different from human health insurance because:

• It’s a reimbursement plan
• No networks are used

So, do you really need pet insurance? According to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at, veterinary medicine is now more advanced and the cost has increased. “Pet insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury,” the article said.

However, pet insurance may not be for everyone. There are many considerations. To start, the article recommends speaking with your own vet and doing research. Some considerations include:

• No matter the insurance provider, “your veterinarian should be monitoring the health of your pet as part of a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship,” the article said.
• Insurance providers should provide details to include limitations and exclusions for routine care and emergency care as well as premium increase as pets age.
• Add-on options including dental.
• The provider’s definition of pre-existing conditions.
• Does the provider exclude particular breeds?
• Is there a discount for multiple pets?

Before you decide on pet insurance, compare and contrast companies and the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you and your pet.

Overweight Pets and the Risks
One extra treat for your pet becomes another and before you know it, your pet is overweight.

According to the article, “Long-term Effects of Obesity on Pets” at, “the reality is that the extra treats and the resulting extra weight are causing lasting damage to your pet’s internal organs, bones, and joints — some of which can never be remedied even with a change in diet and exercise.”

Today vets are seeing more obese pets. They are in as much danger as an overweight person. It’s important to make habit changes so that your pet can live out a long and healthy life.

“According to recent findings by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more than 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats can be classified as overweight or obese,” the article said, adding that the following conditions can occur due to excess weight:

• Exercise intolerance, decreased stamina
• Respiratory compromise (difficulty breathing)
• Heat intolerance
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Diabetes or insulin resistance

There are things you can do to help get your pet back on track and lose the weight, according to the article, “Obesity in Dogs and Cats: The Most Common Health Threat to Our Pets,” at

While humans may “super-size their meals” they are often doing it with their pets, too. The following are tips for a healthier weight for your pet according to the article.

1. Discuss your pet’s weight and diet with your vet and do a weigh in.
2. Don’t allow your pet to graze.
3. Make mealtime an interactive activity using puzzle feeders.
4. Don’t overfeed. Read labels for serving size suggestion.
5. Exercise more.

If you’re not sure what to do for your overweight pet, start by speaking with your vet.

How to Keep Your Pets Cool in the Heat
The heat’s still on and that means making sure you know how to keep your pet safe and cool.

Not only does the heat make humans and pets feel uncomfortable, it can be dangerous, according to the article, “Keep pets safe in the heat,” at The Humane Society of the United States (

The article offers some tips to keep your pets safe and cool:

• Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the car is running with AC. It’s still dangerous!
• When it’s hot, keep the exercise limited.
• Fans don’t cool off pets as they do humans, so you’ll need more than a fan.
• Always have lots of water and provide shade when outdoors with your pet.
• Make some homemade pupsicles, and always have water on hand.
• “Keep your pet from overheating indoors or out with a cooling body wrap, vest or mat,” the article said.
• Watch for signs of heatstroke, including glazed eyes, heavy panting, and rapid heartbeat.
• Have a disaster plan on hand in case of a power outage.

According to the article, “Hot Weather Safety Tips,” at, don’t leave pets unsupervised around the pool as “not all dogs are good swimmers.”

If you have a dog with long hair, don’t shave him. “The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn,” the article said. “Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.”

When temps are high, keep pets off the hot pavement and asphalt as it can burn their paws.

While we all have to deal with the heat during the hotter months, it’s important to keep your pets safe and cool.