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Cruisin' Canines

Have a High-Energy Puppy? Try These Helpful Tips

Minimize stress from having an overactive dog.

When you bring a puppy home, you surely expect them to be a little wild and unpredictable while they adjust to life with you and your family. However, their high levels of energy can become quickly overwhelming, and can make you feel like you’re in over your head. It’s okay! Having a puppy can be a stressful period of time. Thankfully, there are some ways you can minimize the stress. If your dog has a lot of pent up energy, they may be taking it out in ways that are unfavorable, so using some of these tips to help your dog relax and be better behaved can be very beneficial. Use Toys That Require Thought and Mental Energy Most dogs are pretty receptive to food as a reward, and what better way to offer food as a reward to a high-energy dog than to put it in a toy that requires the dog to work to get to it? There are a lot of toys on the market that involve making your dog work a little extra for a few bits of kibble or a treat. This will help wear your dog’s mental energy out, and it feeds them at the same time! Make Sure You’re Implementing Downtime Right After a Walk Of course, high-energy dogs will need a lot of exercise. However, right after a walk, after exercising, the dog may simply be keyed up and ready for more action. If this isn’t something you want happening, it’s important to work in a cool-down period for your pooch. This can involve things like grooming, obedience training, or the aforementioned puzzle toys—right after you come inside, go through a calming routine so that your pup knows that the walk and playtime are over, and it’s time to be calm and relaxed. Incorporate More Exercise Into Their Day Another way to tire out your overly energetic pooch is to simply introduce more exercise into their day. If you work full-time, that can be tricky to do, but hiring a dog walking company can help. In fact, many puppy walkers in Chicago will visit with young dogs twice in one day for short walks, instead of coming once for a long walk. Dog walkers will help your dog get the exercise it needs as it grows up, and you’ll feel less stressed out from having a puppy that’s sufficiently tired out by the time you get home from work. Get the Dog Involved in a “Job” Another way to expend some of your pup’s mental energy is to give it some physical AND mental exercise. That can include things like agility courses, playing Frisbee or fetch, or playing nose work games for sniffing. These intense tasks will help tire your puppy out, and they are also good for teaching and training diligence and tricks, so they’re multi-benefit activities. One important thing to remember is not to give up! As your dog grows up, he’ll likely grow out of his rambunctious ways, and will calm down a bit. Keep at it, and try not to get too stressed out about your high-energy dog: Puppies are only puppies for a short time, and then you’ll reminisce about when they were “so small and cute!”

Puppy Walking: Setting a Schedule

Puppy Walking Schedule

If you’ve recently brought home a new puppy, or you’re considering doing so, one of the most important things to know about your responsibilities is that puppies have to go outside a lot. We don’t mean three walks a day a lot, either—we mean roughly every hour and a half to two hours. The general rule of thumb when housebreaking a puppy is that for every month of age, that’s how many hours the dog can go without a potty break. So, for example, if your pooch is four months old, the absolute maximum amount of hours he can be left alone inside is four hours. Of course, that’s meant to be a guideline, and you should really only leave your dog for long periods of time without walks if you have to. If you’re worried about leaving your pet home while you’re at work, you can hire a puppy walker in Chicago to help out—while most dog walkers only come once a day, many puppy walkers will come twice for shorter walks to help your pup learn how to do their business outside. Scheduling Walks At Good Intervals In general, you should try and walk your dog first thing when you wake up, then again after the puppy eats breakfast. Since puppies have tiny bodies, they digest a lot faster than bigger dogs and will need to go to the bathroom sooner. Going outside a couple of times in the morning will help them get used to going to the bathroom outside, not in the house. Assuming you work a standard 9-5 schedule, after you leave for work, the dog can benefit from being taken out during the late morning and once again in the mid afternoon. This way, the dog doesn’t go more than three or so hours without a break to go outside. This can help the dog become acclimated to a potty schedule, so that you spend less time cleaning up messes. After you get home from work, the dog should go out once when you first arrive at home, then again shortly after you feed the pup dinner (for the same reasons as the before and after breakfast walks). Managing Your Busy Schedule With Your Dog’s Rigorous Training Plan One easy way to manage the highly demanding routine of housebreaking a puppy is to bring on a puppy walker until your dog gets used to going to the bathroom outside. Puppy walkers help the transition along, and help prevent accidents in your home. Additionally, they’ll help let your dog run off some excess energy—it’s a win-win situation! Puppy walkers typically stop by your home twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time—just enough time to get your pooch ready for a walk, take him or her on a quick jaunt around the block, then settle back in. Keep in mind when your puppy is small that the hard times don’t last forever—after a few months of consistent training, they should be able to hold it long enough to stay at home for a while on their own. Of course, dog walking still helps them stay entertained and well-exercised, but with any luck, you won’t need to clean up any accidents they have!

Our FEBRUARY Dog of the Month is

S’ven! a.k.a. Lovebug!   Breed: Frenchton (1/2 French bulldog, 1/2 Boston terrier) Age: 1 year old Where I Live: Humboldt Park Joys in Life: Playing fetch, sleeping under the covers in the morning, cuddling on the couch, playing with other puppies/dogs, and licking people’s faces Cruisin’ Dog Walker: Former: Doug and Current: Jesse              

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