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5 Essential Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

5 Essential Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

Taking your first dog home is probably one of the most exciting moments of your life. Not only have you given this pup the awesome new home it deserves, but you’ve also acquired a furry best friend and partner in crime who will stick by your side through thick and thin. Although you’re currently in what’s much like a honeymoon phase for new pet parents, you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot more that goes into providing for this adorable little ball of fur than you might have thought.

Owning a dog is a big commitment that comes with some big responsibilities. This little creature now relies on you to be the sole provider of care, nutrition, entertainment, and love for the rest of its life. Although there’s a lot of work that goes into your newfound role as a pet parent, the benefits will far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Here are a few tips to help you get your relationship with your new dog started off on the right foot!

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1. Pay attention to feeding guidelines

Many assume that you can take a random approach to feeding your dog. The problem with feeding your dog at random is that you risk the chance of under- or overfeeding your pup, which could lead to healthcare issues in the future.

To ensure that you’re feeding your dog the proper amount each day, check out an online guide to find the feeding requirements for your pet according to its specific needs. Pet Food Chat offers up an excellent guide that discusses pet food types and proper feeding portions that can help you come up with a healthy diet plan for your dog.

2. Start potty training ASAP

Although it may be tempting to get a bit lax in your potty training schedule as your new dog gets acquainted with your home, it is absolutely essential that you create a potty training regime and stick to it – especially in the developmental phases of your dog’s relationship with you and your home.

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If you haven’t potty trained a pet before, you’ll want to check out a guide or two to make sure you create an effective training schedule. Pet MD and The Humane Society both have pretty solid guides for housetraining a new puppy.

3. Enlist help when necessary

Sometimes one of the most difficult things for humans to admit is that we need a little help. Although you might think you can manage most challenges your new dog presents, some situations might require a little help from an outside source.

If you’re having trouble with the housebreaking process or are finding that your pup is destroying your house while you’re gone, you might want to look into hiring a pet sitter or a doggy daycare service to help you out. You can use locator sites like FindDoggyDaycare.com or PetSit.com to find pet care help in your area.

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4. Introduce your pup to other humans and animals

Socializing your new dog will seriously benefit you later. By introducing your dog to new people and pets now, you significantly increase its ability to have healthy interactions with others at parks and guests in your home later on.

Many choose to dive right into the socializing process by taking their pets to a park to socialize with other humans and animals right off the bat. However, experts recommend creating a socializing plan to make the process safer and more effective. Nylabone offers a dog training guide that can help you build an effective socializing strategy for your dog.

5. Respect the leash law

Few things are more fun than watching your dog run around and entertain itself for hours on end. Although it’s plenty fine to let your dog roam freely in a leashless dog park or in your own back yard, abiding by the leash laws where they are enforced is extremely important when it comes to ensuring the safety of yourself, your dog, and other people and other animals around you.

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If simply stating that leashing your dog when and where necessary will help you protect yourself and others isn’t enough to convince you to keep your dog on a leash sometimes, I encourage you to check out Vet Changes World’s breakdown of the top five reasons you should leash your dog where the leash law is enforced.

Now that you’ve got the important guidelines down, it’s time to get to the fun part which is watching your dog grow and become accustomed to its new home. If you have any questions or perhaps a tip you’d like to share with other readers, post away in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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