Dogtown Kennels
A righteous man provides for the needs of his animals. PROVERBS 12:10
El Paso, IL                309-232-9500



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Dogtown Kennels
Pet Ownership
As A Pet Owner 

   As a pet owner, you have many obligations to your four legged friend. Lets try and look at this as a marriage between you and your pet (s). When you choose to adopt this pet you have committed yourself to loving that pet for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do you part. There may be some circumstances where you just can't keep that pet, and if this happens, you should do everything within your power to find them a wonderful home or even contact your breeder as most breeders will try and help you find a home for the pet or have you bring them back to their establishment.

  Before you make your final decision in purchasing a new pet, you will have many things to think over, such as: Is this a spur of the moment decision or have I thought long and hard about this? Am I prepared to love this animal unconditionally, as they will love my family and I? Am I ready for house training and sleepless nights for the first few days or even weeks? Am I able to afford the proper nutrition and vaccinations? Am I prepared for an emergency vet bill? 

  There are many things to think of and many things that people are unaware of when it comes to being a pet owner. You need to train your dog, so that he/she will listen to you and be a wonderful pet for you, your family and even friends. You have to be willing to spend time with that pet, as they are much like children and some breeds require a lot more attention, where others are just happy enough to be laying at your feet while you are watching a good movie or reading a book. 

  Remember that walking your new family member is wonderful exercise for them and also you. It not only is beneficial to a stronger heart, but also helps with muscle tone and helps with any weight issues. This can also be quality time for you and your pet and not only will they enjoy the time away from the same walls that they see every day, but will love the chance to be with you and share new experiences. Playing fetch with your new friend will make him/her over joyous to know that you will take time out of your busy schedule to make them happy.

  Grooming you dog should be done several times a year. I am asked many times about how often do I suggest to give their new little puppy a bath. I tell them, that I would bath them once per week, unless they get into something that smells horrible or the mud. Many people prefer to give them a bath a couple of times per month. No matter how often you bathe your puppy, please make sure that you have shampoo that will condition the coat and the skin. Just remember that bathing your pet to often can cause the skin to dry out, which in turn will cause the dog to itch uncontrollably. I strongly suggest that you brush your puppy every day for 15 to 20 minutes, as this will help the natural oils in their skin to keep the hair soft and will also help keep the skin moist. If you have a dog that needs to be groomed by a groomer, I always suggest taking them every 6 weeks or how ever often you would normally schedule hair appointments for yourself. This way, your pet and you both can be pampered for a few hours. Also remember to always trim your pets nails, as if you let them become long, they can curl and grow back into the pads of their feet or they become extremely uncomfortable. Also, make sure that your puppy does not have front or back dewclaws. If they do, do not forget to trim these also. If your puppy comes from here, they will not have any, as I remove them! 

  When you decide to finally get a puppy, the puppy will go through teething (depending on how old it is when you get it) and will seem to want to eat your favorite shoes, chew on the furniture and love to shred up paper. The best thing for this is to get them plenty of bones to chew on or plenty of toys. I prefer to use the NylaBones, and sometimes I will give them rawhides. Just remember that with rawhides, that if they swallow it, to watch the dog very closely as these can swell inside the stomach and intestines and can cause serious trouble. There are also puppy teething rings, although I have not tried any of these yet. I have been told that they really do work, so I will leave that up to you.

  Puppies are much like human toddlers, you need to keep a close eye on them every waking moment or they will find something to get into. When you least think about it, the newest member of the family will find something to play with and it never fails that it will be something that they are not suppose to have. Such as a roll of toilet paper (which by the way is one of their favorite games - they see how far it will go through the house, before mom and dad notice), they will find the one garbage can that you have forgotten to put up out of their reach or an electrical cord to chew on. Puppies are very mischievous and love to play with what every their little eyes see and they can fit into their little mouths.

  One of the biggest things to remember is that when you first take your puppy home, they may not want to eat and drink and may cry a lot. We understand what is going on, but they do not. All that they know is, that everything that was familiar to them, is now gone. So, be patient with them and understand, that if you were taken away from all of your siblings, your mother and the first human that you ever knew, you too would be upset and cry. Also, when the puppies go home, they are very much like children, as that they can play for short periods of time and then find a quiet area that is out of the way and will fall sound asleep. Although, sometimes, they will fall asleep in the middle of the yard or in the middle of the floor. Don't disturb them, be grateful for the reprieve for a little while and while they are sleeping, sit down and relax.