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Guide

Puppy Care Guide

INTRODUCTION

A SMOOTH LANDING

INTRODUCING YOUR PUPPY TO ANOTHER PET

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOD

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS

CREATURE COMFORTS

POTTY TRAINING

KEEPING YOUR PUPPY HYDRATED

PLAYTIME, EXERCISE & SOCIALIZATION

SAFETY FIRST

SPAYING OR NEUTERING

TRANSITIONING YOUR PUPPY ONTO NUTRIENCE

TEETHING & DENTAL CARE

TRANSITIONING TO ADULT FOOD

TEENAGE MONTHS

INTRODUCTION

CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING A PET PARENT!

Your new dog, whether a puppy or full grown adult, will need as much attention as the real thing. If you’re already a parent, you know what that means, and if you haven’t had a baby yet, caring for your new pooch will be great practice.

A new dog is tons of fun, but it also takes effort, patience and love to care for them.

First things first – if you have any questions or concerns regarding the health or development of your new dog, contact a trained professional (e.g. a veterinarian, a veterinary nutritionist or canine behaviorist) right away. While independent research can certainly be helpful, they are the only people who are qualified to give you accurate and current advice regarding the physical and mental health of your new pet.

We sincerely hope that the days to come are as fun and exciting for you as it is for your newly adopted family member.

REMEMBER, GOOD DOGS COME FROM GOOD TEACHERS!

– The Nutrience Team

A SMOOTH LANDING

Transitioning from one home to another can be confusing and stressful for a dog. What we call the “smooth landing” factor is all about making your pet feel at home in their new surroundings as quickly as possible. Ensuring a “smooth landing” can be fairly easy:

Do

  • Ask for a toy or blanket you can take home with you so your new friend has some familiar objects and smells to comfort them as they get used to their new surroundings.
  • Create a safe, secure area in your home for them to stay in when you aren’t around – you could install gates and barriers or purchase a special dog crate, appropriate for the size of your dog.
  • Set aside a few days after the adoption to bond with your new dog. Your presence will be comforting to them.
  • Make sure hazardous items and keepsakes are kept out of reach.
  • Pick up a few treats and new toys from your local pet store.
  • Give them lots of praise or “good” behaviors.

Don't

  • Leave your new dog unsupervised with young children and other pets.
  • Allow your dog to roam free outdoors until you are 100% sure they will return.
  • Punish them or yell when they do something wrong – teach a replacement behavior instead. They are eager to please, and will learn the “correct” behavior quickly.
  • Overwhelm them by introducing them to too many new people or things at once.

INTRODUCING YOUR PUPPY TO ANOTHER PET

We all just love the thought of bringing home a new puppy. But there is one area of concern: you already have a pet. How will they react to the new puppy? You have no idea how your other furry friend will feel about the addition of a new puppy to the family. It’s hard to predict our dog’s or cat’s behavior, but in fact, just like bringing home a newborn baby to a toddler, your resident pet will likely feel jealous and neglected for a short period (which is normal), while you try to get the puppy familiarized to your home and your everyday routine. Here are some helpful tips on how to help introduce your puppy to another dog or cat.

Introducing your new puppy to your resident dog

It is better to introduce the new puppy at a time when you will have at least a weekend to be home. You will want to observe and supervise closely at first. Try to introduce them on a neutral territory. Take them both to a park and allow them to sniff and play with each other on a leash. If you see any aggression, you have control by holding the leash. Puppies often play rough and do not know their own strength, so your older dog might not enjoy the new addition right away. Remember to be patient and calm during the initial introduction. If your puppy or dog displays unwanted behavior towards one another, it is important to correct it.

Introducing your new puppy to your resident cat

Introducing a puppy to a resident cat is a different process from that of introducing it to a dog. It is best to opt for a slow and steady desensitization method for this type of introduction. The goal is to reduce your puppy’s reaction to the cat by gradually increasing its exposure to it.

First and foremost, you want to ensure the safety of both pets. To do so, it is recommended to have them physically separated by a door or gate. Let them get used to each other’s presence and smell. Little by little, open the gate or door and let them interact with each other with supervision. The puppy and cat should be praised and rewarded for being calm around each other. Once they are fully comfortable with each other, you may keep the gate or door open to allow free access for both pets.

Tips for a smooth introduction

Allow them to play and explore each other at home with supervision.

Remember that your resident dog or cat may show signs of possessiveness and territorial behavior to assert their place in your home and around their space to show your puppy who is in charge. You can slowly let them play together while supervised so that they can begin to build trust in one another.

Make sure you can leave them for a few hours before you remove any barriers between them, while they are unattended.

It could take up to 3-4 weeks for your puppy and older pet to get along and play comfortably without needing supervision or any type of intervention. Once you have noticed full days where there is no “rough play” you can start leaving them together for short periods of time during the day.

Correcting poor manners

Your puppy may try and demand attention from your resident dog or cat. This may aggravate your older pet who may have no interest in roughhousing with a younger dog. To correct your puppy’s behavior, simply distract your puppy with a toy or by taking them to another part of your house. Remember to praise your older dog or cat for their patience with the new fur-baby.

Remember, patience is the key to success.

When you introduce your new puppy, keep in mind that introduction is new to both your puppy and your dog or cat. Your resident pet has been the only pet in the house for some time so it is only natural that it will take some getting used to. Your puppy will eventually learn their place in your household. Give them both time to adjust to each other and try not to stress as they will feed from your energy. Enjoy the new addition and take it one day at a time, it’s all worth it!

Sources:

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOD

How to Pick the Right Puppy Food

Interested in our Nutrience puppy foods? Nutrience has a variety of puppy foods to suit puppies of all sizes and activity levels. Here’s a little guide to help you choose the right Nutrience puppy food for your puppy.

Our formulas specifically formulated for puppies:

Our Healthy Puppy Fraser Valley in the SubZero line contains an elevated level of crude protein, perfect for a puppy that is always on the go! Mixed in with our grain-free kibble are freeze-dried Nutriboost cubes. Nutriboost is a mix of animal protein and 4 superfoods: pumpkin, for its digestive properties, cod liver oil which is rich in omega-3, green-lipped mussels for their anti-inflammatory properties, and Acadian kelp, rich in antioxidants. These cubes are freeze-dried to ensure minimal nutritional degradation and provide a taste your pup will adore!

Our Infusion Healthy Puppy formula is a grain-inclusive chicken-based formula. Our infusion recipe is infused with freeze-dried chicken liver throughout the kibble for a superior taste your dog will love! Infusion Healthy Puppy has a moderate level of crude protein at 28% which is the perfect amount for a moderately active pup.

Our Nutrience Original Healthy Puppy is a tried and true classic. This recipe uses chicken meal and brown rice to provide your puppy with the nutrients and energy they need! Like all Nutrience formulas, this recipe includes salmon oil to promote a healthy skin and coat, prebiotics for a healthy digestion, and is made from Canadian sourced ingredients!

Our formulas formulated for all life stages:

Nutrience has many options that are suitable for all life stages, including puppies, in our Grain-Free and SubZero lines. When a food is suitable for all life stages, it means that it is rich enough to cater to the dietary needs of a growing puppy, but also fall within the AAFCO recommended guidelines for adult maintenance. With an all-life stages food, it is important to correctly follow the feeding guide, as this will change and eventually plateau as your pup grows.

Our Grain-Free and SubZero lines also have a variety of recipes that cater to small breed puppies and puppies with sensitivities.

If you have a small breed pup, we recommend our Fraser Valley Small Breed or Prairie Red Small Breed formulas which have a smaller sized kibble. These formulas are suitable for all life stages.

Other puppy-friendly options in our SubZero line include Northern Lakes which includes fresh duck, and Canadian Pacific which is a fish-based formula. Both options are chicken and grain-free.

Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken, and Herring recipe is available for both small and medium breeds. This formula uses three different sources of animal protein, providing your puppy with a complete and diverse amino acid profile. With a 34% crude protein level, this food will satiate your puppy and meet all their energetic requirements. Other formulas in our grain-free line include Pork, Lamb and Duck, and Ocean Fish. Both recipes are chicken free and are fantastic options for dogs with chicken or grain sensitivities. Please note that the latter two recipes are only available in medium sized kibble.

Should you need more guidance on which Nutrience puppy food to choose for your puppy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram!

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS

Of course, having the right training, feeding and grooming tools on hand will make this transitional period much more enjoyable for everybody.

There are literally thousands of pet products available on the market today for dogs of all sizes, personalities and breeds – but don’t let the vast array of choices overwhelm you; just ask a sales associate at your local pet store for help. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Essentials

• Collar with identification
• Leash or walking harness
• Food and water bowls
• Bed or crate
• Dog food, chews and treats
• A variety of toys – choose a few to find out what your new friend likes best!
• Doggy first aid kit (ask your vet for a list of essential items)

Useful Additions

• Waste collection bags
• Grooming tools: brushes, shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers, etc.
• Doggy toothpaste and toothbrush (or tooth cleaning finger mitt)
• An “accident” kit – enzymatic cleaners, extra training pads
• A carrier (useful for toy
or small breed dogs)

CREATURE COMFORTS

One of the first things you’ll want to do is ensure that your new dog has a place to relax and sleep. This will mean choosing between a pet bed and a crate. Of course, if you have the space and the budget, you could choose to have both as well.

The benefits of a pet bed are obvious – for you it means less dog hair on the couch, and for your furry friend it means their own place to lounge wherever you put it.
On the other hand, dog crates, available in many standard sizes, are safe arbors for pups that need some quiet time, and can aid in housebreaking. They also provide protection against indiscriminate chewing on table legs, carpets and your favorite pair of shoes while you are out of the house.

Crates are:

• A great option for puppies or dogs who are not housebroken yet
• Good for dogs with separation anxiety or a high drive to chew
• Useful for when you’re out for prolonged periods of time

POTTY TRAINING

Potty training your puppy is an inevitable and necessary task you will have to achieve. Accomplishing this goal will be completely conditional on your consistency and patience with your new fur-baby. It is best to begin potty training your puppy when they are around 12 to 16 weeks old. At this age, puppies have better bladder and bowel control. Before this age, it may be very difficult for your puppy to hold it in.

It usually takes between 4 to 6 months for your puppy to be completely house trained depending on their breed. Smaller breeds urinate more frequently, and therefore, require more trips outside. Here are some tips that can help ease the potty training process:

Designated Potty Area

  • It is always helpful to have a designated potty area outdoors so that your puppy learns where to do their business. You should visit this same area with your puppy in the morning, right after meals and before bedtime to reinforce this location and avoid any accidents indoors. If you are unable to be home for an extended period of time, make sure to keep your puppy in a crate or puppy-proofed room with a potty pad just in case they need to go. You should always make sure they have emptied their bladder before you leave them.

The Potty Phrase

In addition to having a designated area for potty training, you may also want to come up with a phrase that will let your puppy know that it’s time to relieve themself outside. For instance, you may want to say something like “potty time” when it is time for them to do their business.

Positive Reinforcement

Whether you begin your puppy on potty pads temporarily or directly outside, it is important to always reinforce them positively when they do their business in the dedicated area. You may reward your puppy with lots of praise and a treat for every correct behavior. If your puppy has an accident, you should never scare them. A simple “uh oh” and a redirection outside is the best way to correct this behaviour. Likewise, if you catch them in the act, you should interrupt them by saying “uh oh” followed by your potty phrase and lead them outside even if they’ve already finished their business, to show them the correct location they should be going to when they need to eliminate. Reward your pup if they continue their business outside after the accident. Punishments for accidents are never effective and may even cause your dog to be mistrusting and fearful of you.

Frequency

The more consistent and positive you are in rewarding your puppy and being proactive in letting them outside, the easier it will be for them to become fully house trained.

Accidents and Odours

Dogs are sensitive to odours and easily make associations with them. Therefore, it is imperative that you thoroughly clean the areas where your puppy has their accidents. If not cleaned properly, the scent will remind your puppy that they have to “go”, creating an association with potty time and that area.

Puppy Pads

If you wish to use puppy pads to potty train your dog, it is recommended to gradually move the puppy pad towards the door in order to create an association with the door and eliminating outside. Remember that puppy pads are only a temporary solution and that the ultimate goal is to have your puppy completely house trained to go do their business outside only.

Areas of Concern

If your fully potty-trained puppy or dog begins to suddenly have accidents, you may want to visit your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical conditions.

 

Sources:

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/house-training-your-puppy#1

https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/house-train-dog/

https://www.cesarsway.com/potty-training-a-puppy/

KEEPING YOUR PUPPY HYDRATED

It’s important to have fresh, clean water available at all times. In addition, canned food is another way to help keep your pet hydrated – while it doesn’t replace drinking water, it’s high in moisture (about 75-80% as opposed to about 10% in dry food) and can be a tasty option for pets that have a low thirst drive.

PLAYTIME, EXERCISE & SOCIALIZATION

Because dogs are active, curious creatures, they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

The amount of exercise, play and socialization will depend on the age, breed, and personality of your dog. Giving them the proper amount of physical and mental stimulation will ensure that they stay fit, have a proper outlet for all of their exuberant energy, and will keep them out of trouble.

Playtime is all about keeping your dog mentally alert.

FETCHING/PLAYING BALL

Harnesses the retrieval instincts of dogs.

CHEWING

Stimulates the natural urge to keep teeth clean and sharp, so provide your dog with some interesting chew toys; always supervise playtime with toys. If you believe your dog has ingested any inedible parts of toys, please consult your veterinarian right away.

SOLVING “PUZZLES”

Helps improve mental acuity and relieve boredom. For example, a hollow toy filled with treats that has to be moved a certain way to release the treats can keep them entertained for hours on end.

TRICK TRAINING

Helps improve mental acuity and relieve boredom. For example, a hollow toy filled with treats that has to be moved a certain way to release the treats can keep them entertained for hours on end.

In addition to play, exercise is an important aspect of a dog’s life. It helps dogs, as it does us, to stay fit and strong; it also allows them to explore the world outside their home and satisfy their need to patrol their territory. Every dog is different. Some prefer leisurely walks while others love to run on turbo speed. You should adjust the amount of exercise to suit the energy level and age of your pet. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog!

Socialization is key to developing your dog’s personality. It is the process by which a dog learns to relate to people and other animals. While breed type can play a part in your dog’s personality, it is, for the most part how your dog is socialized that will define his or her character. The goal is for them to be trusting, calm, and friendly and be able to adapt to different situations.

The earlier you can start the better, as after 5 months old, dogs become increasingly more difficult to socialize. Some activities that may help in their development include:

Taking part in a basic obedience class in a group setting to get used to other dogs and people.

• Slowly and gradually introducing your dog to new sounds, such as the vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, cars and trucks.

• Going out with your dog to different parts of your neighborhood – for example, on the street, a friend’s backyard or to community events.

SAFETY FIRST

Can I Leave My Puppy Home Alone?

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting, but it also comes with some changes in your daily routine. Puppies need company, interaction, and exercise and some breeds more than others. Also, they don’t have much bladder control which means they cannot hold it in for too long. Here are a few guidelines to follow when leaving your puppy alone at home.

Your puppy’s age and his bladder control:
  • 1 hour: A puppy between 8-10 weeks old will only be able to hold it in for up to an hour.
  • 2 hours: A puppy between 10-12 weeks will likely only hold it in for 2 hours maximum.
  • More than 3 hours: As a rule of thumb, puppies between 3-6 months can hold it in for one hour per every month of age they are; so a 4-month-old puppy can wait approximately 4 hours to pee.
  • Up to 6 hours: After 6 months of age, like most adults, dogs can hold it in for up to 6 hours. Of course, it can vary depending on the puppy’s size, health, and habits.

That being said, you’ll want to make sure that your puppy is not left home alone during this time.

For the first couple of months, you can use a crate to keep your puppy safe if you need to leave your home. It is best to introduce your puppy to its crate for short sessions of 10-15 minutes until they feel comfortable and secure. You can use some treats or toys to help them adjust to it. Make sure the treats and toys you leave in the crate are large enough so that they cannot be a choking hazard. As a rule, it is not recommended to leave your puppy with a bone without supervision.

As your dog gets older, they can be kept in the crate for longer periods of time. But keep in mind, that crates should always be used as a short-term solution. Before and after leaving your puppy in their crate, don’t forget to walk them so that they’re getting enough exercise and can do their business before you leave.

Here’s a checklist of things you’ll need to create a safe space to leave your puppy while your puppy is on their own:
  • A crate if you are crate training. Choose one that has room for your dog to stand up, turn around, stretch out, and lie down.
  • Baby gates. Can be used as a pet gate. It’s a fun, freestanding choice if your dog isn’t a jumper.
  • A dog bed. Should be sufficiently padded and made from a comfortable material. It should also be easily washable (accidents happen)!
  • Cozy items. Leave a blanket or one of your old shirts so your puppy can feel warm and safe.
  • Remove any hazards. Electrical wires, sharp objects, plastic bags, plants, and household cleaners are some common hazards.
  • Leave out water. Always make sure they have fresh water available.
  • Training pads. Creating a potty spot can encourage your puppy to do their business in the right place and prevent having to clean messes.
  • Safe toys. Food-dispensing toys like Kong are a great alternative to keep your pup busy while you are away. Also, puzzle feeders can help avoid unwanted boredom behavior. However, never leave your dog alone with a toy that could be chewed apart and swallowed.
  • Keep a light on. This is especially important if puppies are adjusting to a new environment. Leaving a light on will help your puppies see their surroundings and feel safer in their new home.

Tip: If you plan on leaving your puppy alone, try leaving them for short periods of time to see how they react. If you need to be away for a longer period, you should ask someone to come and check on your furriend. If all goes well, you can gradually increase your time spent away from home. Keep in mind, never leave your dog alone for more than 6-8 hours. Your dog will thank you for it!

 

Source: https://www.rover.com/blog/ca/long-can-leave-puppy-alone/

Are Dog Parks Safe for Puppies?

You recently adopted your puppy and you’ve heard about the importance of socialization at a young age for proper development. Your first thought may be to bring your puppy to a dog park to interact with all the other dogs there. But are dog parks really safe for puppies? A dog park is definitely a great place for socialization but there are also a lot of risks with bringing a puppy to a dog park too soon that you must consider before doing so. Here are a few health, safety, and development hazards you may want to consider before doing so. Let’s have a look!

Health Hazards

Dog parks, in general, are not the cleanest of places due to the amount of dog urine and feces that are accumulated in the same small area, making it a breeding ground for bacteria. Some dogs may also carry diseases such as ‘kennel cough’, also known as canine infectious respiratory disease which is highly contagious between dogs. It is highly recommended not to bring your puppy to a dog park before they’ve had all their vaccines to ensure your puppy’s safety when being exposed to potential bacteria and diseases.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, depending on the protocol your veterinarian will establish for your specific dog, all pets should receive a series of vaccinations as puppies by six months of ages and their first booster is to be given a year later.

Ticks and fleas are also common in grassy dog parks. You will want to make sure that your puppy is up to date on their vaccines and has the proper protection from these pests.

Safety Hazards

At a dog park, there are several things you cannot control. Not only is your puppy vulnerable to catching a bug, but they are also a lot smaller and weaker than most older dogs that will be encountered at the dog park. A noisy, high-energy place where dogs can run freely is not always the safest place for a puppy.

A large dog, whether intentional or not, could seriously harm a puppy or small dog, which is why it is crucial to think twice before bringing your fur baby to a dog park. Dog fights are not common but do happen at dog parks making it an unsafe environment, both physically and mentally, for under-socialized puppies.

Development Hazards

It’s also important to note that your puppy will be experiencing the dog park for the first time, and at such a young age, they are easily traumatized by their experiences and interactions. If your puppy has an overwhelming experience at the dog park, such as a nip from another dog, it is likely that they may become weary of the dog park or of other dogs in general. Thus, it is best to wait until your puppy has grown and developed enough confidence to cope with the uncomfortable interactions they may experience. Experts deem dog parks unsafe for puppies younger than 6 months old.

When to Know if My Puppy Is Ready for Socialization?

Socializing your puppy with other people should begin right away. You’ll want your puppy to become comfortable around other people as soon as possible, so make sure to introduce your pup to your friends and family. Start by introducing your puppy in a calm, neutral environment with only one or two people at a time to not overwhelm them. They will slowly grow their confidence with each introduction and will begin greeting your friends with a wagging tail if they don’t already!

As for other pets, it’s best to socialize puppies with age-appropriate playmates or dogs that you know and trust to be gentle and calm, during the early months of their lives. Your puppy could pick up some bad habits from these playmates otherwise.

Once your puppy is of age and properly socialized, and has all of their vaccines, you’re ready to bring your fur baby to the dog park! Enjoy!

 

This information is not intended to replace veterinary or professional advice.

Sources:

SPAYING OR NEUTERING

Sterilizing your pet is an important responsibility as a pet owner. While we may not see many stray dogs in big cities, overpopulation of dogs is a problem across North America. Stray dogs are common in more rural areas of Canada, and in more urban areas, we see devastating numbers of dogs in shelters. Because dogs have such a short gestation period and the ability to produce many puppies in a single litter, their populations grow exponentially in a very short period of time.

Many pet stores across Canada have taken the initiative to help alleviate some of the overcrowding in rescue centers and are now putting rescue dogs up for adoption. In most cases, these dogs are already sterilized before finding their forever homes. While it is often recommended to only sterilize your pet once they have reached their predicted adult weight, rescue centers, however, do not have a choice and need to neuter or spay at a young age to help put an end to the reproductive cycle and overpopulation.

Why should I spay or neuter my dog?

Sterilization of your pet has health benefits as well. Reproduction of a dog that is too young or with a mate that is not suitable (large breed male with small breed female) can be associated with physical risks such as puppies getting stuck in the birth canal. Gestation also demands a significant amount of energy. If the dog’s higher energy needs are not met, a pregnant female is at risk for malnutrition.

Sterilization of dogs also reduces the risk of hormone related cancers. A hysterectomy completely eliminates the possibility of pyometra, a fatal uterine infection, as well as both uterine and ovarian cancer in female dogs. Spaying females before their first heat also eliminates the risk of mammary cancer. Neutering of dogs completely eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, a common disease in aged, intact males.

When should I spay or neuter my dog?

The majority of vets recommend sterilizing your dog when they have reached their predicted adult weight. This number will differ from dog to dog, as some small breeds reach their predicted adult weight as early as 8 months, while some giant breeds continue to grow until 2 years old. Hormones play a role in the growth and development of puppies. Sterilization before the dog reaches their full growth potential will alter these hormones. If you have not yet neutered or spayed your dog, do not bring him or her around other dogs until you have done so.

Effects of Sterilization

Behaviour Changes

Pet owners have reported that their pets were more gentle and less hyperactive after sterilization. Male dogs who are neutered are also less likely to demonstrate behavioral issues such as aggression, mounting, roaming, and urine marking.

Is weight gain a side effect of sterilization?

The short answer is not really. Weight gain occurs when there is an energy imbalance; the animal is taking in more energy than it is expending. The age at which dogs are neutered typically corresponds with the natural decrease in growth and energy requirements. Caloric intake should decrease after sterilization. If pet owners continue to feed the same amount, their pet will gain weight. Because dogs and cats are often spayed or neutered just before maturity, the change in reproductive status is often blamed for weight gain, when the reason is usually a change in energy requirements due to age. Regardless, there is a hormonal component that will affect food intake. Sterilized females tend to consume more, as they do not experience estrus, during which the animal will naturally consume less. The metabolism of sterilized animals also tends to slow. This lower metabolic rate along with overconsumption will lead to an energy surplus and weight gain.

Studies demonstrate that both cats and dogs who are sterilized have an overall longer lifespan.

Always consult your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet based upon his/her breed, age and physical condition. Keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, it may NOT be best to wait until your female dog or cat has gone through their first heat cycle.

 

References:

TRANSITIONING YOUR PUPPY ONTO NUTRIENCE

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to transition your puppy onto a Nutrience formula! As with any food, it is important to gradually transition your puppy or kitten from one food to another to reduce the likelihood of digestive upset. Start with a proportion of 25% of the new Nutrience food and 75% of the old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next 5 to 7 days by gradually increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the amount of old food.

Some pets may require a longer transition time depending on their sensitivities or when changing to a new formula that is drastically different from the current one. In cases where your pet has a sensitive tummy, or the ingredient panel or macronutrient content is radically different between formulas (namely the protein, fat, and/or fiber content), we recommend a 10-to-14-day transition period to give your pet’s digestive system time to adjust.

 

Good Feeding Habits For Puppies

Pet Obesity: A Heavy Problem

Pet obesity is a serious problem that is becoming more and more common. Did you know that up to 60% of the dog and cat population are considered overweight or obese?

Simply filling up your pet’s bowl when it is empty is often referred to as “free feeding” and can result in overeating and obesity in dogs and cats. Weight gain occurs when an animal consumes more energy than it is burning. Dogs and cats may overeat when free-fed if they are being offered an irresistibly tasty diet. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to provide a diet that is not only nutritious but also delicious, portion control is critical to prevent overeating. There are some external factors that influence food intake as well. The timing and the environment in which your pet is fed can have an effect on how much they eat. Dogs and cats who eat multiple meals a day and those eating in presence of other animals tend to consume more.

Whether your animal’s bowl is left out or they are fed in intervals, it is crucial to follow the daily portion recommended which can be found on the ‘feeding guide’ of every bag to prevent excess calorie intake. If your pet is at their ideal body weight and body condition score, continue to feed them according to their current weight. However, if your pet is overweight, in order to help them lose the excess weight, their food should gradually be cut back to the feeding recommendation for their ideal body weight, as continuing to provide enough food for their current body weight will provide enough calories for them to stay overweight. You may also want to use our Feeding Calculator for a more tailored feeding recommendation.

Interactive Toys

Also, interactive feeders are a great way to stimulate your pet. While our domestic cats and dogs are cozy at home, their ancestors and cousins spend up to 80% of their time foraging for food. An interactive feeder such as a feeding tree or puzzle will stimulate your pet’s natural hunting instincts and make them work for their food. Animals who are fed through interactive feeders are less likely to eat out of boredom and tend to eat only when they are hungry. Interactive feeders should be filled with your pet’s recommended daily portion of food.

It is highly recommended to use a small kitchen scale to measure your pet’s daily ration of food in grams, as this will allow you to control the amount of food provided with much better accuracy. Everything with regard to dog and cat food is calculated first by weight, then converted to volume (cups), for which the numbers must be rounded and are therefore less precise.

Be sure to check out our Feeding Calculator on the Nutrience website!

Happy feeding!

 

Sources:

APOP. 2018. Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Available from: https://petobesityprevention.org/

TEETHING & DENTAL CARE

How to Help a Teething Puppy

Your puppy’s teeth may be cute, but they sure are sharp! Did you know those puppy teeth are actually sharper than adult teeth? These 28 temporary teeth that your puppy has will eventually fall out to make room for their adult teeth. This process is uncomfortable, resulting in what we call teething. Your puppy’s teething is unavoidable which is why it is important to make your puppy feel as comfortable as possible during this time to diminish any discomfort or destructive behaviour.

Depending on your puppy’s breed, they may start teething as early as 3 weeks old. By around 3-4 months old, their baby teeth will begin to fall out and be replaced by 42 adult teeth. By 6 months, all their baby teeth should have fallen out. Your puppy will often swallow their teeth or lose them without you ever seeing them, so no need to worry. However, if you realize that some of their teeth have not fallen out after 6 months, you may want to pay a visit to your veterinarian just to make sure all is ok. This means that pet parents should prepare for teething up until this age and try to make this uncomfortable period as pleasant as possible for their furbabies. Here are some tips on how you can soothe your puppy’s teething:

puppy teething husky
Chewing is Soothing

Your puppy will have sore gums and will look for something to chew on to soothe the pain. To avoid any damaged furniture or shoes, it is best to give your puppy some toys or bones to chew on. Make sure you supervise your puppy and ensure that the toys or bones are the right size as they can easily become choking hazards. It is great to have options so that your puppy can choose which toy he or she finds the most soothing while teething.

You may want to try a Nutrience Cabin Chews elk antler, which is splinter-free and great for teething puppies.

Keep it Cool

We’re not just referring to keeping calm during this uncomfortable time, we mean literally, keep your puppy’s mouth cool! Sometimes the best remedy for a teething puppy is a frozen towel or some ice cubes. Wet a clean washcloth, twist it or tie it and put it in the freezer. Your puppy will love chewing on this as it thaws and becomes crunchy. Not only will it be fun for your pup, but it also numbs their gums.

Another trick is to fill a Kong toy with some canned food and freeze it to prolong the chewing. Remember that if they are thinking about their food, they are not thinking about their uncomfortable gums!

Maintain Rules

Your puppy may have an urge to chew on absolutely everything to ease their discomfort. Make sure that you teach your puppy the difference between appropriate chewing toys and items that are not for them. The best way to do this is to positively reinforce them with praise or treats when they chew on their toys. If your puppy chews on something that is not theirs, simply tell them ‘no’ and replace the item with a chew toy. If you receive a nip from your pup, you will want to do the same and walk away. They will eventually get the hint that you will not give them attention if they nip you. Do not punish them, they are learning. Punishments do not correct behaviours and can lead them to be afraid of you. Don’t forget that this period is extremely important for their social development and they look to you to teach them the right ways to behave!

Puppy-Proofing

Teething time can quickly become a nightmare if you do not puppy-proof your home. Puppy proofing is not only about protecting your furniture and new shoes, its also about keeping your puppy safe. For the legs of your furniture, you may want to purchase a chewing deterrent spray, which you can find at your local pet store, to keep your pup from chewing on them. You will also want to supervise your pup around your furniture and hide anything that they can possibly get their teeth on. This means that all shoes and kid’s toys should be out of reach. Cords and cables should also be hidden or taped as this is also a safety hazard for them. If you are unable to supervise your puppy, it is highly recommended that you keep them in a puppy-proofed room, a cage, or a playpen until you can.

Time for Dental Health Care

Once your puppy has stopped teething and their adult teeth have grown it, you will want to start thinking about proper dental care. Oral health is a critical part of your dog’s health and you will want to make sure to start them young to prevent any problems in the future. Did you know that nearly 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach the age of 3? Find out here how you can begin a good oral health routine for your puppy to keep them smiling!

How to Mantain Good Oral Health

Some facts to make your teeth chatter!

Did you know that some form of periodontal disease is reported in 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of 3? It is one of the most common diseases observed by veterinarians and is reaching epidemic proportions. Small dogs and cats are more prone to periodontal disease due to their small mouth size and overcrowding of the teeth. Small dogs also have a lower ratio of bone to teeth in their lower jaw when compared to large breeds, therefore the deterioration of the bone in small breeds has a larger impact. Although smaller breeds are more prone to dental problems, all cats and dogs are at risk without proper oral care.

Why do so many dogs and cats have periodontal diseases?

Most pets have periodontitis due to an accumulation of plaque on their teeth that is not removed. Plaque deposits are caused by bacteria and allow the bacteria to proliferate. These bacteria not only cause bad breath but damage the gum tissue, connective tissue, and eventually the alveolar bone. Plaque can be removed most effectively by abrasion and with the help of chemical agents, however, if left untreated will calcify into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a tooth scaling at your veterinarian, a process for which the animal will need to be anesthetized.

Prevention is key with regard to periodontal disease, and getting your puppy or kitten used to good oral health practices when they are young makes teeth brushing much easier when they are older!

The importance of brushing

Kibbles are a great way to help maintain healthy teeth due to the abrasion on the teeth that removes plaque. However, dogs and cats often only chew with their molars making it hard for kibbles to target the canine teeth, located at the front of their mouths. Brushing will benefit your puppy or kitten by removing plaque from all teeth but is especially important for those teeth that a kibble does not get to.

How often should I brush my puppy or kitten’s teeth?

Ideally, you should brush your pet’s teeth every day for 2 minutes. Kittens and puppies love to have a routine, so if you can establish a routine to brush your pet’s teeth at the same time every day, they may be more receptive.

It is best to get your pet used to the toothbrush and toothpaste by introducing it slowly. Start by showing your cat or dog the toothbrush and touching it to their mouth. Don’t forget to reward them with treats after each step!

How do I brush their teeth?

Place a small amount of toothpaste on your finger or the toothbrush and let them lick it off. It is important to always use toothpaste specifically designed for pets and not for humans. Human toothpaste can be toxic and is never recommended for companion animals. We recommend using a cat or dog toothpaste containing an enzyme to help fight plaque-causing bacteria. There are a variety of toothbrushes available on the market. Use a toothbrush that is easiest and most convenient for you to manipulate.

Gently brush your cat or dog’s teeth by moving the toothbrush in circular motions on the teeth, paying special attention to the gum line. The abrasive rubbing action is what will remove plaque and prevent periodontal diseases such as gingivitis.

You may give your cat or dog breaks, as not to overwhelm them, rewarding them for their patience with positive reinforcement including kind words, pets, and treats.

It may take time for your cat or dog to adjust to brushing, but don’t give up! Two minutes of brushing per day is much more agreeable for your pet than suffering through periodontal disease or anesthetized teeth cleanings at the vet.

Unlike human toothpaste which contains fluoride and detergents, toothpaste intended for animals does not need to be rinsed away, so once you’re finished brushing, you’re all done!

 

References:

  • Case et al. Canine And Feline Nutrition. 3rd ed., Mosby, 2011, pp. 437-449.

TRANSITIONING TO ADULT FOOD

When & How to Transition

It can be hard to know when to transition your puppy onto an adult dog food. We always recommend keeping your pup on a puppy food until they reach their predicted adult weight. On average, most dogs hit their predicted adult weight at roughly one year old, however, there is no magic number that can be universally used for all dogs. The age at which your dog can be considered “adult” will differ from dog to dog, depending on their breed.

Small breeds can reach their predicted adult weight as early as 9 months of age, whereas some large breed dogs continue to grow until two years old! While some dogs tend to calm down with age, others keep that “puppy energy” for a little while into adulthood. If this is the case for your pup, we recommend starting an adult food once they are fully grown and following the feeding recommendations for a more active adult to supply adequate calories for the energy they are burning. As your dog matures, monitor their energy level and body condition, and switch to the normal adult dog feeding recommendations when your dog starts to have a calmer demeanor (is burning less energy) or starts to gain excess weight.

It is important to gradually transition your puppy from one food to another. Start with a proportion of 25% adult food to 75% puppy food. Slowly change the proportions over the next 5 to 7 days by gradually increasing the amount of adult food and decreasing the amount of the puppy food. If your pup has an especially sensitive stomach, you may prolong the transition period to 10 to 14 days.

Nutrience Adult Dog Foods

Nutrience has many options that are suitable for dogs of all shapes, sizes and needs!

Our Grain-Free and SubZero lines also have a variety of recipes that cater to small breed dogs and dogs with sensitivities.

Our SubZero line is best suited for active dogs who prefer a grain-free, high-protein diet. Our Nutrience SubZero food is a Canadian-made ancestral diet combining protein-rich kibble and freeze-dried Nutriboost to deliver the nutritional benefits of raw in a convenient and easy to feed kibble. Our formulas are prepared with fresh, never frozen Canadian sources of meat, poultry, Pacific wild-caught fish, and real freeze-dried protein for a superior flavour.

If you have a small breed dog, we recommend our Fraser Valley Small Breed or Prairie Red Small Breed formulas which have smaller-sized kibble. These formulas are suitable for all life stages.

If you have a medium or large breed dog, your dog will likely enjoy a formula from our SubZero line. Our most popular formula is our SubZero Prairie Red, made with beef, bison, wild boar, Pacific wild-caught fish, which comes in a regular and large-breed format. Other popular formulas include our Fraser Valley formula, which is chicken-based, our Northern Lakes formula which is duck-based, and our Canadian Pacific which is fish-based.

Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken and Herring recipe is available for both small and medium breeds. This formula uses three different sources of animal protein, providing your dog with a complete and diverse amino acid profile. With a 34% crude protein level, this food will satiate your dog and meet all his or her energetic requirements. Glucosamine and chondroitin are added to our Grain-Free line. These supplements act to promote the synthesis of synovial fluid to maintain hip and joint health! Other formulas in our grain-free line include Pork, Lamb and Duck, and Ocean Fish. Both recipes are chicken-free and are fantastic options for dogs with chicken or grain sensitivities.

Our Infusion Healthy Adult, Beef and Healthy Adult, Chicken formulas (available in both small and large breed formats) are best suited for moderately active dogs who prefer a grain-inclusive formula. This protein-rich kibble is infused with freeze-dried chicken liver for a superior flavour that even the finickiest dogs will crave.

Our new Care line is great for dogs with special needs such as Weight ManagementOral HealthSensitive Skin & Stomach, and Calm & Comfort.

Does your dog have a food sensitivity or allergy?

If your dog is experiencing itchy skin, diarrhea, vomiting, hives or swelling, he or she may have a food allergy or sensitivity. Our Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula is a grain-free food suitable for all life stages. Nutrience Sensitive Skin & Stomach is made with fresh salmon and hydrolyzed fish protein concentrate. This recipe is free of all common allergens including chicken, beef, lamb, dairy products, eggs, meat meals, gluten, and grain (including soy, and wheat). Compared to poultry, beef and lamb, fish is the most easily digested animal protein and is the least likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Going the extra step of hydrolyzing a protein ensures that this formula is hypoallergenic and caters to the gastrointestinal sensitivities your dog may have.

Do want to prevent your dog from developing periodontal disease?

It is never too early to start proper oral hygiene practices for your dog! Did you know that some form of periodontal disease is reported in over 80% of dogs over the age of 3? Our Care Oral Health formula uses DentaCrunchTM technology. Its large kibble size, rich in insoluble fiber forces your dog to chew and removes plaque through a mechanical brushing action. The tapioca in this recipe maintains the integrity of the kibble, allowing the tooth to really sink in, for the best possible brushing. Stay-Clean-50 is another ingredient unique to Nutrience Oral Health. Stay-Clean-50 is a Vitamin C derivative that inhibits the growth of plaque-causing bacteria. It is extremely soluble in saliva. Most dental foods rely on sodium hexametaphosphate, a chemical that prevents plaque from calcifying into tartar. By targeting plaque rather than tartar, Stay-Clean-50 is attacking the root of the problem. Nutrience Oral Health is free of sodium hexametaphosphate. Please note that because of the large kibble size, some small breed puppies may have difficulty with this food.

Is your dog anxious or hyperactive?

Dogs are naturally rambunctious at a young age and tend to calm down with time. However, some dogs may suffer from anxiety from a young age. The treatment of stress and behavioural issues varies from dog to dog and some may require more extensive treatment methods than others, however, a diet specifically formulated to help your dog’s mental wellbeing is a great place to start. These diets alone are not a cure-all solution but have tremendous benefits to help promote your dog’s mental health and behavioural issues. Our Nutrience Care Calm and Comfort formula relies on high levels of L-Tyrosine and L-Tryptophan to promote the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, respectively. These neurotransmitters play a role in mood regulation, focus, and ease of training. Calm and Comfort is a chicken and whey protein-based diet.

Air Dried, Frozen & Raw

If you’re looking for something other than kibble, you may also be interested in our new Air Dried food, which is available in three flavours: The RancherThe Fisherman and The Farmer. This recipe is showcasing our country’s fresh, high-quality ingredients. Handcrafted in small batches in Canada, we air-dry our foods at low temperatures to preserve all the nutrients & flavours those ingredients have to offer, resulting in a highly digestible, highly nutritious, and, just simply a really good-for-them food.

Furthermore, our SubZero Raw food is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients including sustainably-caught salmon and herring, as well as hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken and meat. All our raw foods are prepared with human-grade food. Our grain-free raw food is available in three formulas: Raw Praire RedRaw Fraser Valley and Raw Northern Lakes.

Similarly, our SubZero frozen dog food rolls are a great alternative to raw food. These rolls are gently cooked for optimal nutrition, then frozen at the peak of freshness and are the perfect addition to your dog’s diet. These fresh rolls are made with pasture-raised, grass-fed, hormone & antibiotic-free beef lamb,venison or chicken, sustainably-farmed chinook salmon and GMO-free produce. These frozen dog food rolls are made of 86% meats, organs and seafood, and 14% vegetables, fats, vitamins and minerals.

For a full list of Nutrience adult formulas, click here.

Most of these formulas are available in a wet format as well! Should you need guidance on which Nutrience cat food to choose for your cat, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram.

Should you need more guidance on which formula to choose for your dog, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram!

You can always use our Feeding Calculator if you are uncertain about how much to feed your dog daily.

TEENAGE MONTHS

Welcome to the Teenage Months

You’ve made it through the puppy phase and you are now entering the teenage months. A dog’s adolescence can be anywhere between the ages of 8 months and 2 years old. During this time, you may notice some changes in your pup’s behaviour and physique. Just like teens, puppies go through a transitioning period that affects the way they act and look. You may notice your puppy becoming bigger, more stubborn, and even at times, confused. This is a critical time to put your puppy training to the test. Find out what to expect during your puppy’s adolescence.

 

Behavioural Changes

Your puppy will go through hormonal changes, similar to what you went through as a teen. You may notice mood swings and stubbornness during this period. They’re just being a teen! Just because your pup is an adolescent now, it does not mean that it is time to stop training and correcting behaviour. Your once obedient pup may now be ignoring you when called, becoming more aggressive and trying to run away to explore on their own. Common characteristics of a teenage puppy include increased independence, forgetfulness or confusion and destruction. Do not be alarmed if your puppy isn’t performing basic commands while also destroying your backyard with potholes and leaving bite marks in your favourite shoes.

Your pup will also try testing boundaries with other dogs and people during this time, so make sure you are on high alert around others and their pets. Always correct improper behaviour and positively reinforce proper behaviour. They are going through a lot of changes, so it is best to be especially patient and understanding during this time. Your loving star pupil will come around in no time!

You may also notice your dog having random spurts of energy which we like to call the “zoomies”. Don’t worry about these, they are just a sign that you have a happy pup! This period is a great time to build a stronger bond with your pup and get to know their personality.

Lastly, it’s important to note that your dog is also experiencing sexual maturity during this time. This means that females can experience their first heat cycle (estrus) and males will become more interested in their female four-legged friends. By now, your male dog has probably also started lifting his leg when marking his territory and mounting other dogs or people. You may want to start thinking about consulting your vet about the right time to spay or neuter your dog.

teenage puppy adolescence
Physical Changes

One of the most noticeable changes you will see is their growth and muscle development. Likewise, you’ll notice that their puppy fur has fallen out to make room for their adult coat. Be prepared for lots of brushing and vacuuming if your breed of dog sheds. The same goes for their puppy teeth which have now been replaced with some adult chompers. You should also expect your dog to be close to reaching their adult weight. You may also notice a more rigid posture and no more floppy puppy movements.

You’ll notice that your dog has a lot more energy than they once had as a sleepy puppy. You’ll want to make sure your dog gets enough physical exercise. However, your dog’s skeletal structure is not completely developed yet so you’ll want to avoid any extreme activity that may hinder their joints. Therefore, any activity that requires sudden turns, jumps and stops should be avoided until they’ve reached adulthood, which can vary depending on the breed of your dog.

 

What You Can do to Make Adolescence More Bearable

Keep them busy! The best thing to do during this period is to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated. For mental stimulation, opt for bones or interactive toys. Training is also a great way to tire out your pup mentally. As for exercise, make sure they are getting at least two walks a day. Think of it this way, the more tired they are, the less they are likely to cause a ruckus.

You’ll also want to make sure that you are continuously correcting and rewarding behaviours so that only the positive ones are carried over into adulthood. They are no longer puppies, but they definitely still need their training!

Another important point is to make sure your dog is properly socialized during this period. Your dog should be exposed to new places, people and other dogs quite frequently. Socialization is super healthy for your dog and a critical component of their proper development. Make sure to make these interactions a positive experience for your pooch so they don’t become afraid of socializing and will help your pup build their confidence.

Now that you’ve got all these tips and tricks, you’re ready to successfully survive puppy adolescence!

Enjoy your teen pup, they will be an adult in no time!

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