Steph recently visited with local Vet Tech Katie Pengra to learn about integrating your pets with children. Here’s what they covered:
What are the most important things to consider to create a safe environment for your kids and pets?
Every household, animal, and child are different, but following a few simple rules can help to create a safe environment for your kids and pets.
1) Creating Boundaries. This includes both physical boundaries and conceptual boundaries
2) Positive Reinforcement for both your pet and you child so they can associate good things with each other.
3) Personal Responsibility. A parent or guardian must set up their pets and kids to be successful. Kids are scary! Dogs can be scary! You can’t expect for them to just get along without your help.
How do you implement the first two rules?
1) For boundaries, every animals has their trigger, just like people. They can be protective of their food, their toys, or even spaces. You should never allow a child to go near dogs when they’re eating. Keep your child’s toys in a bin on the opposite side of the room from a dogs most common spaces or feeding areas. It’s equally important to create a safe space for your pet that your kid can’t go. And if there’s anything that really makes your dog on guard, maybe they don’t get that item anymore. It’s also very important that your kid learns they can’t climb on, tug on, or bother your dog when they’re asleep. The child could end up inadvertently injuring the dog, and they may react with aggression. Dogs can’t help that response because boundaries are important!
2) Positive reinforcement is just as important. You don’t want your kid or dog to think they’re always on edge around each other. Have your child give the dogs treats or help you feed them while also giving them space to eat. Never yell or get angry if your child gets in their space, just redirect and make it clear that this is the dog’s space, or toy.
What does personal responsibly mean on this context?
Keeping dogs physically and mentally stimulated is so important. If you were trapped in a house 24/7, you’d probably be grumpy too! Try to walk your dogs for 30-60 minutes a day. Keep lots of toys available or consider a puzzle food bowl to make them work for their food especially if they tend to scarf it all down. Keeping them flea, tick, and heart worm free, up to date on shots, and regularly vetted is very important. A healthy pet is a great base for creating a healthy and balanced home.
A healthy, happy balanced pup starts with a great diet. Dogs need the proper amount of nutrition to keep them energized and feeling good. Nulo Pet Foods can help provide that with their high-meat kibble or freeze dried raw foods. Steph feeds Jack and Millie both but Nulo’s kibble is a daily staple for her dogs and includes a protein-rich diet with the first 3-4 ingredients being proteins from animal sources. It also offers Low carb and low-glycemic ingredients to provide stable energy levels and a patented probiotic for digestive and immune health. Steph’s pups, Jack and Millie, obviously have high levels of energy but feeding them the right diet has made a world of difference in their day to day behavior.
When it comes to “treating” pets you want to look for something that’s High-protein and not artificially flavored or highly processed. Dogs will have more happy days when you consider their digestive & immune health. Steph uses Nulo’s training treats to teach new tricks or reward Jack and Millie and they also keep Nulo’s Jerky and Protein Sticks on hand for days when they want to give them something extra special that will still leave them feeling good.
To order Nulo’s new Hydrate product go to nulo.com/h2o
Steph and Rosie partnered with Nulo Pet Food to share some important tips to keep in mind to keep your pets hydrated and healthy as we head into the hottest months of the year.
Q: When is the best time of day to take your dog out for a walk?
-Early morning or evening/dusk when temperatures are at the mildest is what is recommended and something to keep in mind is that since lighting is lower at those times make sure your dog is wearing protective gear or a blinking light and it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re wearing high vis gear too.
Q: How can we protect dog’s paws on hot days?
-Always do a temperature check on the pavement with the back of your hand. If it’s hot to the touch then it’s too hot for your pup!
-To protect your pup’s feet, try walking on dirt pathways rather than paved paths. If you must walk on pavement, you can train your dog to wear “booties” with rubber soles to protect their paws.
Q: How do we make sure they’re getting enough exercise without overheating?
-Exercise and a proper diet go hand in hand, just like for people, so while you focus on making sure your pet gets enough exercise, also make sure you are giving as much attention to what makes it in your pet’s bowl each mealtime.
-Moderation is key during the hot summer months. Try exercising with your dog in smaller intervals more frequently. For example, instead of spending a solid hour outside, try going for smaller walks in 10-15-minute increments throughout the day.
-No one knows your dog better than you, so whatever you do just make sure you’re monitoring and staying in tune with how your dog is acting and feeling!
Q: How do we monitor hydration while staying active outdoors?
-Many people don’t think of water as a “nutrient”, but it’s actually one of the most important ones! Like our own bodies, your dog’s body will naturally lose water all day.
-A good way to keep hydration top of mind for your dog is to make sure your dog gets at least one ounce of water for each pound he/she weighs. For example, a 50lb dog will need at least 50 ounces of water each day or even more depending on temperature and exercise levels. An easy way to keep track of this on the go (or even at home) is to carry your dog his/her own water bottle and keep track of how much he/she is drinking that way. When you’re home or stationary, make sure water is available at ALL TIMES and monitor the levels in his/her bowl to ensure your dog is getting enough water.
Q: What Nulo products can we add to support hydration?
-Nulo’s Bone Broths, meaty pouches, and canned recipes are all high in moisture and support hydration, but we’re especially excited about Nulo Hydrate! Hydrate is Nulo’s very own, innovative water enhancer for pets. All you have to do is shake, squeeze into your pets’ water, and serve! It not only adds palatability to your dog or cat’s plain water, but also includes B-vitamins, electrolytes, and essential amino acids for optimal hydration – especially during these hot summer months!
-Nulo Hydrate is also easy to carry with you while you are out and about with your dog. Nulo’s other products, like bone broths, are a great option to serve each night with mealtime to make sure that your pet is getting all of the water and nutrients they need this summer.
Q: Can you suggest a few spots in Austin to safely exercise your pups?
-Places like Zilker Park, Red Bud Isle, and Lady Bird Lake are a few super popular areas that offer great exercise opportunities, access to water, and shade – ideal qualities to look for in the summer! Just make sure to check the latest news on toxic algae levels wherever you choose.
For more information or to order Nulo Pet Food products go to Nulo.com
Sponsored by Nulo. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.