I’ve been a furmom for over a decade and to this day, there are things I still learn about my senior dog. This is especially true when my family moved to the US and I was left to care for Oreo on my own (the dog on the left is Georgia, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2017). So when I heard that Royal Canin organized Start of Life, A Facebook webinar series about the different stages and milestones of furbabies, I knew I had to go.
The first leg of the series, Royal Beginnings: Kickstart your Puppy’s Best Life, was specifically for puppy owners. Oreo may be a senior dog but I’m sure every furparent agrees that their dogs will forever be babies to them. When I took my role more seriously, I finally understood why my mom kept saying I’m her baby, even if I’m already in my early thirties.
Below are some of the tips I learned from the veterinarians, experts, and furparents who spoke. I’m sure you’ll find them useful:
Puppy-proof your home
The opening topic was all about preparing your home for your new puppies’ arrival with speaker Meg Laudit of Klondine Walker. Laudit gave some useful tips on how to puppy-proof your home, from making sure that all cleaning supplies are stored in high cabinets or behind secured doors, to keeping sharp and small objects out of reach.
She also added that while it’s tempting to add more plants indoors, puppy owners should research plants that are poisonous to dogs. This includes common plants such as aloe vera and ivy. Laudit also talked about buying the right gear like food and water bowls as well as collars, leashes, grooming supplies, and other things that can help to make your new puppy feel at home.
Choose tailored fit nutrition for your puppies’ unique needs
Another topic, Proper Food and Nutrition, was discussed by veterinarian and dog owner Dr. Kitsie Torres. Dr. Torres explained how diet plays a key role in every dog’s development and how a solid health foundation with tailored fit nutrition during their early developmental years can benefit your furry friend.
According to Dr. Torres, there are four nutritional requirements for puppies which are the following: more energy, immune system support, high digestibility, and more key nutrients. Also, did you know that dogs choose their food according to smell not taste? Other interesting topics under this segment were about feeding guides, proper portioning, and where and when to feed your puppy.
Take time to bond with your puppies
Singer-songwriter duo and dog parents of two adorable shih tzus, Moira Dela Torre and Jason Marvin, shared tips on how to help your pet become more socialized, even mentioning that one of their dogs actually grew up with a Persian cat.
Moira also talked about how important it is to bond with your puppies during their early stages of development while training them to be familiar and at ease with their surroundings. As they grow older and become closer to their owners, they will actually be returning the favor by being great companions and supporters for life.
Puppies deserve committed pet parents
Last but not least was Dr. Ed Unson of Animal House Veterinary Clinic who discussed interesting tips about the health and well-being of your new pup. Dr. Unson shared that owning a pet is a commitment and a responsibility so you need to build your team (a.k.a your veterinarian and everyone in the household) as it’s the key to having a happy life with your pet.
The quarantine has forced us to spend more time indoors, giving us an opportunity to bond with our furbabies more. I was curious how they would adjust when things go back to normal and we’ll be spending more time outdoors. Oreo has gotten so used to me staying at home that I am worried that she will have separation anxiety when I’ll need to go out for work and she’ll be home alone.
Dr. Torres and Dr. Unson shared the following tips to help them adjust:
- Prepare a quiet and relaxing space for your dog where they can be comfortable and alone.
- Practice leaving your dog at home alone. Start with separating from them for short periods, then gradually increase the time you’re away.
- Create a positive association with your dog whenever you leave. You can do this by giving your dog their favorite toy or treat before going out the door.
- Don’t be too excited over your dog when you come home to let them know that your absence wasn’t a big deal. Only give your dog attention once they’ve calmed down.
- Consider leaving your dog at doggie daycare.
These are just some of the things I learned during Royal Beginnings: Kickstart your Puppy’s Best Life. You can watch the whole webinar by visiting their Facebook page. If you have a pet cat, you can catch Royal Beginnings: Kickstart your Kitten’s Best Life, hosted by Janeena Chan with guests such as Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles on March 12, 2021!
This story is in partnership with Royal Canin. For more information, visit the Facebook page.