Pet Care: Tips For New Pet Owners in Lincoln, NE – 2019
Are you the proud new owner of a pet? For those of you who grew up with dogs in your life, it might be hard to imagine life without one by our sides; but for someone deciding to get their very first dog, there can be quite a learning curve. Luckily, there are some pretty great resources for new dog owners and veteran dog owners alike, right here in Lincoln. You may be surprised by all the things there are to consider. Our local experts delivered some great tips that you won’t want to miss!
“Bringing a new dog into your house is a joyous occasion,” notes Dian Quist with KENL INN. “And you can keep it that way by starting right away with the rules of the house. Where will your new dog sleep and eat? Is it okay for the new dog to get on the furniture? Get your dog on a schedule for potty breaks, feeding, and exercise. It seems obvious to us humans, but not to a dog. Very few dogs tell you when they have to eliminate, so you can help them learn by being observant and getting them out after eating, waking up, or if they have been playing too long.
Patience is key when it comes to housebreaking because every pup will pick up the process at his or her own pace, and unless a dog is taught where to eliminate, he’ll look for any spot that’s convenient and safe—which often ends up being the carpet! Dogs aren’t born with the moral reasoning to understand that going to the bathroom inside the house is wrong, so keep that in mind when you start getting frustrated.”
Dian continues to say, “If you spend more time rewarding your dog for the good things, rather than punishing for the bad your dog will quickly learn these human rules. Dogs do what they are hardwired/bred to do! Most dog behavior is simply not acceptable to us humans—digging, jumping, barking, chewing, running away. It’s up to the pet owner to show them what they could be doing for fun instead.
Always remember that reinforcement builds behavior. If your dog is doing something wrong, show them an alternative. Digging in the yard; play fetch instead. Jumping up; learn to sit and get a reward when meeting people. Barking; teach a trick. Chewing; learn to catch treats. Running away; teach your dog that coming to you is best. These are just some examples of how to redirect your dog’s unwanted behavior into something that you can accept.”
Whether you’re training a new puppy or an older dog, it’s advisable to take classes or hire a private trainer. There are some basic training tips should be tackled right out of the gate. Good training is essential to provide for the safety and happiness of your dog. Proper training strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Every dog is different, some are laid back, some are hyperactive, and some are shy and need more self-confidence, and no one training technique will work on every dog.
At KENL INN, the “Personal Trainer” program is structured training using a combination of gentle, effective, humane, consistent, and safe methods. It is never too late to have your dog trained! It may take longer to train your adult dog because of the time needed to spend re-training the undesirable behaviors.
Ask about KENL INN’s K-9 Club Membership ($170 per year entitles you to half-price classes and more). Dian is the manager of dog training and has over 35 years of experience training people to train their dogs.
In addition to training consideration, there is also the question of what a pet owner should do with their pets while they are at work–especially if there is no one else at the house to take of them.
“Taking your dog to ‘doggy daycare’ has become the norm for many pet parents,” Dian points out. “Working all day and worrying about your dog at home can be distracting and stressful. Doggy daycare can provide a physical and mental outlet for your dog. When choosing a doggy daycare, you will want to tour the facility and ask many questions. Definitely look for cleanliness and security. Also, ask about the following: What kinds of activities are offered? Can you bring your dog’s food? Is the provider insured? What happens when there is an accident (these are dogs after all, and they play with their paws, mouth, toenails, and teeth)? Do the hours of the facility coordinate with your work schedule?”
KENL INN opened their doors in 1988 and has been celebrating 30 years of providing the finest in temporary quarters, daycare, grooming, and training to pet owners in the Lincoln area. They are proud of their facility, staff, and reputation. KENL INN remains a leader in the industry by staying current with trends and encouraging educational opportunities for their staff so that your pet receives the best care. They have cared for just about every small animal that is considered a pet! They offer many activities for dogs, including group play with other dogs, individual play with a Pet Care Attendant, nature hikes, and training. Cats and other small animals can receive individual play, as well. KENL INN’s salon accepts both dogs and cats and is staffed with a Certified Master Groomer. Many of their stylists have over 10 years experience. The Training Department offers group classes, individual trainers, in-home training, and board and train options. These services will give guidance and comfort to any new pet owner.
Also, note that KENL INN’s training area (“the gym”) is also used for private rentals for dog parties or to train in a comfortable, climate controlled environment when the weather is extreme.
Another option in Lincoln for doggie daycare, and even overnight boarding is WOOF!. According to Garrett Brehm with WOOF! Dog Care Center, the first month with your newly adopted dog is the most crucial. “The experiences you give your new dog during his or her first few weeks at home will play a big impact on their future, and yours. The practices and expectations established within that first month have a long-lasting effect on the behavior throughout your pet’s life. Make sure that you have time to invest in an intensive socialization program during his early weeks with you. Socialization describes the process by which your dog learns to relate to people, other dogs, and his environment. This is where doggy daycare comes in. When your furry family members come to WOOF! Dog Care Center for doggie daycare, they’ll get to explore over 10,000 square feet of the playground area. They’ll get to participate in off-leash, group play with other dogs of similar size, personality, and demeanor. Doggie daycare at WOOF! includes toys to chase and chew, playground equipment to romp and roll, and an exciting environment to ensure your best bud has a tail-wagging’ good time!
During your furry friend’s first day at WOOF!, he or she will spend the morning session playing one-on-one with a staff member’s dog. At this time, a member of our Dog Care Associate team will assess the type of play, demeanor, personality, and other traits and characteristics. After the morning session, we’ll slowly introduce in new playmates and play pals of similar size, personality, and demeanor! This process is unique to WOOF!, and we adjust it to accommodate all types of special needs. We believe our assessment-based approach helps to acclimate all dogs to doggie daycare and ensures a happy, healthy, comfortable daycare experience!”
Non-Profit Spotlight: Domesti-PUPS
Domesti-PUPS is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Lincoln, providing therapy dogs, service dogs for persons with disabilities, and trained rescue dogs. They offer beginner and intermediate training for dogs. There is no “one and done” type of training class if you’re training your dog right. Dog training is an ongoing process, and this class will keep you and your dog on the right path with continued success. In this class, your dog will also be socialized with other dogs, and learn new basic obedience techniques or strengthen existing commands.
For people who are interested in becoming a puppy raiser but aren’t able to make a long-term commitment to adopting a pet, Domesti-PUPS has a Raising-PUPS program, which consists of volunteers (and their family members) who serve as foster families for a puppy for the first 12-18 months of a pup’s life. The volunteers teach the dog basic obedience commands, socialization, attend pet therapy classes, and introduce the dog into the community through visitations to restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, public events, etc. Learn more about Domesti-PUPS and additional programs they offer at www.domesti-pups.org or call (402) 465-4201.
There’s a lot to love about bringing a puppy home, and there’s a lot to learn too. Make sure you do your research. We covered some main tips, but there are many more things to consider. Talk to your local experts so that your new furry friend can live his or her best life!