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Crate training your puppy
Crate training your puppy

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Crate training your puppy

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Watch as Expert Dog Trainer Kathy Santo talks about how to crate train your puppy. She’ll go over everything from the philosophy behind the crate training method to precautions you should take to make sure that it’s a positive experience for the both of you.

 

Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and today we're going to talk about how to crate train your puppy. We'll begin with a general discussion on the philosophy supporting the crate training method. We'll review what you'll need, the steps involved in the process itself, and some possible troubles you may encounter along the way. Before you begin crate training, it helps to understand the philosophy behind this method. If your dog is properly crate trained, he'll view his crate as a private room with a view, a safe haven he can call his own, and a quiet place he can relax in. He won't see it as a rigid structure of confinement and punishment. In fact, it'll be just the opposite. In nature, wild dogs seek out and use their den as a home where they can hide from danger, sleep, and raise their young. In your home, the crate becomes your puppy's den, an ideal spot to sleep and stay out of harm's way. And for you, the benefits of crate training are house training, because your puppy won't like to soil the area where he sleeps, limited access to the rest of the house, where he learns the house rules, and transporting safely and easily in the car. Start crate training a few days after your puppy settles in. Before you can start crate training, you and your family members must understand that the create can never be used for punishment. Never leave your young puppy under six months in his crate for more than three hours. He'll get bored, have to go to the bathroom, and won't understand why he's been left alone in discomfort. As your dog gets older, he can be crated for longer periods of time, because his bladder isn't as small. But keep in mind he still needs a healthy portion of exercise and attention daily. If you and your family are unable to accommodate your puppy's exercise, feeding, and bathroom needs, consider hiring a dog walker or asking a neighbor or friend for assistance. After that, the crate should be a place he goes into voluntarily, with the door always open. There are a variety of crates available for purchase these days, each of which is designed for a different lifestyle need. When selecting a crate, you want to make sure it's just large enough for your puppy to be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down in comfortably. Because your puppy will grow quickly, I often recommend getting a crate that fits the size you expect your puppy to grow to, and simply block off the excess crate space, so your dog can't eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. The two most important things to remember while crate training are that it should be associated with something pleasant, and takes place in a series of small steps. The first step is to introduce your puppy to his crate. This will serve as his new den. Put bedding and chew toys in his crate, and let him investigate his area. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it. Observe and interact with your puppy while he's acclimating to his crate. This will help forge a sense of pack, and establish you as the pack leader. Encourage him to enter the crate with soft words and some treats. You can also pre-place some treats in the back corners and under the blankets to help make it a pleasant experience. Step two is to start feeding your puppy in his crate. Begin with the bowls near the opening of the crate. As your puppy becomes less reluctant to enter, slowly inch the food back every feeding, until you're placing it all the way in the back. When you get to the point where your puppy happily enters the crate, and stands in the back to eat, begin gently closing the crate door behind him while he's eating. At first, open the door immediately after he finishes. But after that, begin leaving the door closed a bit longer every time. If your puppy cries, you may have increased the time too fast. So decrease the length of it, and then slowly begin increasing it again. When he does cry, do not let him out until he stops, or he'll always do this to get his way. Once your puppy is used to eating his meals and waiting to be let out with no anxiety or crying, you can start confining him longer when you're home. To do so, call him over with a treat, and give it to him in his crate. Associating a command such as 'kennel' is important, so he understands the reward is a result of going in the crate. At first, you'll need to sit quietly next to him. If he's fine after 10 minutes, go into the other room for a bit, and then come back and let him out, only if he is calm and not crying. If he is crying, you'll have to wait until he's calm. Once you can leave him for about 30 minutes at a time without him getting upset, you can start leaving him there longer. Eventually, decrease the amount of reward you give him for entering the crate, so that saying the command word is sufficient. When you get home after being away for a long time, your puppy will likely be very excited to see you. It's important not to reward this behavior, or anticipating your arrival every day may be stressful for him. And lastly, make sure to crate your dog for short periods of time while you're home, or else he will associate crating with being left alone. I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition to your family.

  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
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    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri
     

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 
     

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 
     

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.
     

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.
     

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.
     

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!