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5 Tips for Settling a New Dog into Your Home

5 Tips for Settling a New Dog into Your Home

Congratulations on your new dog! As a serious dog owner, you have probably prepared in advance and purchased food, some toys, a sleeping place, and looked into a good veterinarian.

But while a dog may become your best friend, you cannot forget that a dog is a dog, and not a human. This means that your dog does not think like a human, and you cannot expect the things from a dog moving in that you would for a human. The adjustment period when the dog comes home is a challenge, as any owner who has watched their dog run amok the minute they got inside for can attest. Here are a few smart tips can make the adjustment period much easier.

1. Take Charge

At the end of the day, you are that dog’s master. This means that when you take it home for the first time, you have to make it clear that this is your home and not the dog’s.

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So while it is tempting to just hug your new pet and give it treats and play with it, you have to be firm at the start. When you take it home, enter the house first. Have the dog accompany you while you enter every room first. Do not let it wander around and do not hesitate to be stern (not angry) if it starts trying to sniff or move away from you.

With pets and children, it is better to be stern first and ease up later than the other way around. Show your dog that you are in charge, and that will go a long ways towards ensuring good behavior in the long run.

2. Give it Space

One mantra you will hear from dog experts is “three days, three weeks, and three months.” This mantra refers to the amount of time it takes a dog to get acclimated to its new home. It takes three days for a dog to get over the shock of moving, three weeks to get settled into a routine, and three months to feel “home.”

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This mantra matters because you cannot expect a dog to feel right at home when it moves in. Your dog may spend the next three days just sleeping, and he will make mistakes as he will not be sure of his boundaries. Correct him the instant he makes a mistake, but understand that your dog views his new spot as a foreign spot and that he will mess up. Patience is necessary.

3. Be careful with dog food

If you picked up your dog from a shelter, check to see what kind of food they have been feeding it. If your dog is eating one kind of food at the shelter and then immediately switches to another kind at your home, the result can be digestive problems and diarrhea.

This does not mean you are stuck feeding your dog the shelter food. As pet nutrition company Hill’s observes, you should switch over a period lasting from five to seven days. Mix the old and new food together. Each day, decrease the portion of the old food and increase the portion of the new food.

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And do not try to save money by skimping on dog food costs. The additional expense of higher quality food in the short will be made up by your dog’s superior nutritional health. This means fewer visits to the vet.

4. Don’t forget to dog proof

Before the dog enters your home, you need to proof the home and prevent him from getting into and destroying your valuables. The American Humane Society has a fantastic list of actions you should take in advance. Note that proofing is a constant process that does not end when the dog is brought in the home for the first time. When you make changes to your home, consider how it can impact your dog’s safety.

But while you may have tried to proof your home, the odds are that you have missed something that your dog could get into or destroy, including its own bed. You can easily find indestructible dog beds, but even then, you need to monitor your dog for the first few days or weeks to make it clear where he is allowed and what he can do. As noted above, be stern at the start.

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5. Be careful with dogs and children

If you have children, their excitement towards having a new dog will far exceed your own. But young children often lack the self-awareness and discipline needed to treat a dog properly, which can end tragically if you do not supervise both of them.

One of the biggest tips when watching children and dogs interact is to ask yourself how you would feel if that dog was a human. You would not let your child poke through someone else’s food or stare in their face, so do not let them do that to your dog.

You should also construct a safe space where a dog can go away and be alone. Make sure your children understand that when a dog goes to that spot, it is not to be disturbed.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Aiko via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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