How to choose a puppy that is right for your family
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Watch as Expert Dog Trainer Kathy Santo talks about all the research that goes into finding the perfect puppy. From breed and temperament to barking, you’ll learn all the details that are often overlooked by people when they’re shopping around for a new best friend.
Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS. Are you thinking of getting a dog? Bringing a new dog into your home is a big responsibility. You'll need to take the time to train and socialize your dog, as well as be prepared for the financial commitment that goes with pet ownership. Your dig will need food, supplies, veterinary care, and more. Remember, he'll depend on you for his health and well being. So be sure you're ready for a dog before you start the process. No surprise puppies. Make sure everyone in your household is on board with getting a puppy. Too often, puppies are given up if the family isn't ready for the commitment that puppies require. Once you've thought through the commitments and responsibilities associated with dog ownership, the next step is to figure out what type of dog is right for you and your family. Today we're going to discuss a variety of things you should think about before choosing your dog. What type of family do you have? Do you have kids or other pets? What size of dog works best for your family? Do you know how much cleaning and grooming time you can commit to? How much time do you have for training your new pup? What energy level is a good fit for your home? Is barking something to consider? What kind of temperament is right for your family? We all know how cute puppies and dogs are, and it can be hard to resist when you go to pick them out. Remember, they'll have an easier transition into your home if you think about the best type of dog for you. Consider the following aspects to help you choose the best dog for you and your family. Large dogs-- generally they aren't as suitable for apartment dwellers. They need a bit more space to move around, mostly for their long tails that need wagging space. They tend to be more expensive-- more dog food supplies and medical treatment. Small dogs-- they are more delicate and vulnerable. Being stepped on or mishandled can cause serious injury. Also, little dogs can be more sensitive to colder temperatures, so be ready to keep them warm. They're generally less expensive to maintain. How much cleaning up can you commit to? Long coated and double coated dogs shed, shed, and shed some more, leaving tufts of hair to float about the house and land everywhere. How much time are you willing to spend brushing or grooming? Make sure to consider the costs. A monthly grooming service can really add up over the years. If you lack time and patience to deal with a dog that's difficult to train, then an older dog from a rescue may fit your bill as well as a pup of a breed that is traditionally easier to train. Intelligence is not necessarily an indicator of train ability. Smart dogs often have their own agenda and require consistency on the part of their owners. Dogs with a willingness to work and a desire to please you often turn out to be the best companions. I recommend hiring a dog trainer to perform a few tests to help determine if the dog is a good fit for you. As a rule, terriers, hounds, and northern dogs are tough to train because of their intelligent and independent natures, while sporting and herding dogs are easier to train. The sharpest working obedience breeds are golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, border collies, German shepherds, and Shetland sheepdogs, breeds that develop closely with humans. Some dogs enjoy lounging at your feet to sleep the day away, while others are very energetic and ready to run a marathon right alongside you. Cute as they are, basset hounds, dachshunds, and corgis are not jogging companions. And Airedales, German shepherds, and border collies are not typical couch potatoes. All dogs need some exercise to stay healthy. Most adult dogs will not exercise themselves, so time for walks and other activities is important. Some dogs bark a lot, and the amount can vary by breed. Terriers and scent hounds use their voices to broadcast their progress in chasing prey. Shelties and collies bark to tell the sheep to get back to the barn. Canaan dogs bark to alert their families of potential intruders. Many dogs will bark if they're bored, so owners should also be sure to assess their own time and ability for training, walking, and play times, and should properly confine the dog when they can't otherwise keep it from disturbing the neighbors. There are some special collars available to deter barking dogs, and training methods that can help in some cases. But if potential owners take the noise factor into consideration, problems are more likely to be minimized. Breed and temperament can be described, but there is room within that description for individuality. For example, akitas are declared to be tough, loyal, aloof, dominant, aggressive to other animals, and often challenging. However, many akitas are sweet and cuddly, loves small critters, will climb in laps if allowed, and are anything but aloof and dominant. Terriers are scrappy, yappy, tough, and independent. But Airedale terriers bond very closely to their humans, and are somewhat protective. Hounds follow their eyes or noses, and are often oblivious to human presence. Dachshunds bond closely with their families, and greyhounds and whippets are sweet, gentle pets. Because temperament isn't always easy to judge when meeting a new dog, I strongly recommend hiring or asking a professional dog trainer to come with you to evaluate temperament. They'll be able to assess the dog's personality, compare it with your wish list, and determine what dog is the best fit for you. If you can arrange this, ask the people who've interacted with the dog the most about his temperament. Once you've thought about the commitments and have a good idea of what type of dog is the best fit for your family's lifestyle, check out your local animal shelter or animal rescue to see if a new addition is waiting there for you. I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition into your family.
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- adp_description_block121What Do Dogs Eat? Tips On Feeding Your Dog
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Feeding your dog the right nutrients and a complete, balanced diet doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher. Find out what can a dog eat, how much food to feed your dog, how many times to feed a dog, how to handle treats and supplements, and much more.
- How Do I Decide What To Feed My Dog?
When deciding which dog food is right for your pet, consider these three factors:
- Your dog’s life stage (Whether your dog is a puppy, an adult, or a senior)
- Lifestyle (How active your dog is)
- Condition (Overall health and bodyweight of your dog)
- How Many Times Should I Feed My Dog?
Puppies should be fed three times a day from weaning (3 to 6 weeks) to 4 months of age. After 4 months, they should be fed twice a day. Most dogs should continue to be fed twice a day throughout their life, although some pets do well with one feeding.
- How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog?
The amount to feed your dog depends on its age, size, and activity level. Feeding guidelines, which list the daily-recommended portion, are included on all IAMS™ packages. Start feeding your dog with this amount and adjust according to its needs. Remember to divide the portion accordingly if you feed more than once a day.
- How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
The amount you need to feed your puppy depends on 3 main factors — breed, weight, and age. However, you can look at this general guideline that we recommend for puppies:
Adult Target Weight (KG)
Recommended Daily Feeding (g/day)
<3 months 3-6 months 6-9 months 9-12 months 12-18 months
Small breed (25-50)
Transition to IAMSTM PROACTIVE HEALTHTM ADULT DOG
This diet contains 390 kilocalories of metabolizable energy (ME) per 100 gms. Remember to have clean, fresh water available for your dog always.
- When Should I Switch My Puppy To An Adult Dog Food Diet?
You should not change your puppy’s food to adult abruptly. Giving your pet time to acclimatize to the new taste of adult food is very important. Also, if you suddenly switch your pup’s food, it can cause digestive problems. Go through this schedule that will help you understand how much to feed your dog and transition your dog’s diet from puppy food to adult food:
- Day 1 – Add 75% puppy food and mix 25% adult food on your dog’s plate.
- Day 2 – Add both foods in equal quantities i.e. 50% puppy food and 50% adult food.
- Day 3 – Increase the quantity of adult food to 75% and bring down the quantity of puppy food to 25%.
- Day 4 – Fully transition to adult dog food.
Here is the weight and age-wise breakdown on when to transition your puppy’s diet to adult food
Age to Begin Transition
Small breeds that weigh < 20 lbs
9 and 12 months of age
Medium breeds that weigh between 20 and 50 lbs
12 to 14months of age
Large breeds that weigh more than 50 lbs
12 to 24 months of age
- When Should I Switch My Dog To Senior Food?
While transitioning from adult dog food to senior dog food, it is important to factor in your dog’s weight. Take a look at this weight table to know when to transition your dog’s food from adult to senior –
Age to Begin Transition
More than 90 lbs
51 to 90 lbs
21 to 50 lbs
Up to 20 lbs
- What Is The Best Way To Introduce A New Diet To My Dog?
When changing your dog’s food diet, it’s important to slowly introduce new food. Start by offering your dog’s daily portion in a ratio of 25% new food to 75% current food. During the next three days, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of the old food.
- What Food Can A Dog Eat If It Is Overweight?
If your dog has gained unhealthy weight, make sure to cut down on fats along with increasing regular exercise. We recommend IAMS Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food, which is low on fats and offers a nutritious blend of fibers and natural prebiotics that support healthy digestion and L-carnitine for a healthy metabolism. How much food to feed your dog if they’re overweight is another major concern. You need to make sure you do not decrease the quantity of the food your dog eats as it will prove detrimental to its health — your dog needs its daily intake of proteins and required fatty acids.
- What Should I Feed My Pregnant Or Nursing Dog?
It’s important to understand that your dog’s nutritional needs change during pregnancy and ensure you feed her nutrition-rich food. For pregnant dogs, we recommend IAMS™ Puppy food as it’s full of proteins that can help your pregnant dog during the gestation period and also improve the quality of milk to nourish her puppies post-delivery.
- Is It Necessary To Feed Both Wet And Dry Food?
Wet food is an excellent treat that can be fed alone or mixed with dry food. Although IAMS wet dog foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, it is not necessary to offer wet food at every feeding. Our dry foods are formulated with high-quality protein sources such as chicken, lamb, or fish, and contain all the essential nutrients pets need. The crunchy texture of dry food also promotes healthy teeth and gums and aids in overall good oral hygiene. In addition, some of our dry dog foods contain a dental enhancement to help block tartar buildup on teeth during and after meals.
- Will My Dog Be Bored Eating The Same Food All The Time?
No. Boredom with food is a human trait. Dogs are creatures of habit and usually are happy with just one food. Dogs generally eat to meet their energy or nutritional needs. They have very short digestive systems, and if their diet is abruptly or constantly changed, digestive disturbances can occur. Also, constant changes can make a pet a finicky eater.
- Is It All Right To Moisten Dry Food?
Adding water will not change the nutritional value of dry pet food. However, once moisture is added, the food should be eaten relatively soon — and any uneaten portion should be discarded to avoid spoilage. We recommend feeding your dog dry food from IAMS because it is beneficial to your dog’s dental health.
- Will It Hurt My Dog If They Eat My Cat’s Food?
Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements and should not eat each other’s food. For example, cats require a much higher level of taurine in their diet. An occasional venture into each other’s bowls will not be harmful, but it is not recommended to feed your dog cat food regularly.
- How Many Biscuits Can I Feed My Dog Each Day?
We recommend feeding your dog approximately two to four small biscuits per cup of food. Keep in mind that when you add biscuits to your dog’s daily diet, this increases its daily calorie intake, so you should reduce the amount of food you feed. Check the calorie content of the biscuit since biscuits vary in size and formulation.
- Can I Supplement Your Dog Foods With Vitamins, Minerals, Oils, Etc.?
Our foods are nutritionally complete and balanced. Adding vitamins, minerals or oils can offset the balance the food provides. One of the benefits of feeding your dog a high-quality product is that it has been carefully balanced in proper ratios to provide optimal nutrition — nothing needs to be added.
- Why Does My Dog Need To Eat Protein?
Protein is one of the essential elements that should be a part of your dog’s diet. Including protein in your dog’s diet will strengthen its muscles, ligaments, and cartilages. A protein-rich food also brings about a healthy shine to your dog’s coat!
- Why Should One Maintain A Feeding Schedule For Dogs?
It is important to maintain a feeding schedule for dogs so that they are conditioned to expect food at that time and also avoid irregular snacking in between.
- What Are Things Not To Feed A Dog?
You should never feed your dog home-baked goods, candy, gum, chocolate, limes, onion, and grapes. They can harm your dog’s digestive tract and cause infections as well.
- Why Should You Feed Iams Dog Food Over Homecooked Food?
IAMS dog food is full of key nutrients that your dog needs for its healthy growth. The basic ingredients in our food include chicken, fish oil, beet pulp, wholesome grains, and natural prebiotics.
- How Can I Learn More About Pet Nutrition?
To learn more about pet nutrition and dog food diet, feel free to contact us here.
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