TOP 10 MOST IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PARENTING A DOG

Good and responsible dog care means understanding your dog’s physiological needs and at the same time integrating your canine companion needs into your everyday life. It means knowing the most common health issues, how to recognize them and when it is time to ask for professional help.

The first thing to do before getting a new dog is asking yourself whether you are prepared to take care of another living being during its entire lifetime. Keep in mind that dogs are big time and money investments. However, owning a canine companion or rather allowing it to own you is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship, with many positive effects.

To help you become a responsible dog parent we have compiled a list of the 10 most important tips for raising a dog.

1.Respecting the vaccination protocol

Vaccination is a highly effective way of preventing many killer diseases. The effectiveness of vaccines varies – some give lifelong immunity, while others only partial protection against a particular disease.

Generally speaking dogs are vaccinated against:

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis
  • Rabies.

A young puppy should receive its first vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age. This vaccine offers only a temporary immunity. Since the goal is to achieve a long-lasting immunity, it is advisable to give the puppy at least one but preferably two more booster vaccines. So, generally speaking, that would be three separate vaccines given 4 weeks apart.

An adult dog should receive annual booster vaccines. Instead of annually, depending on the manufacturer, newer vaccines can be administered every 2 or 3 years.

Useful tip: Under certain circumstances, vaccines can have some side-effects (such as mild fever, decreased appetite, lethargy and discomfort at the injection site). Luckily those side effects are transient and self-limiting (fade away on their own over the course of few days). However, they are not a reason to skip vaccination.

2. Proper nutrition increases the lifespan  

The key to good health is well-balanced diet. Therefore understanding your dog’s nutritional needs is of imperative importance.  The perfect diet is supposed to be a proper balance of the six major nutrient groups – proteins, carbohydrates, fats & oils, vitamins, minerals and water.

When choosing the ideal food for your dog you need to consider its nutritional requirements which depend on several factors such as age, breed, body composition, gender (plus neutered/spayed), temperament, activity level and taste preferences. If not sure what type of diet your dog needs, do not hesitate to talk to your trusted vet or a canine nutritionist.  

Dogs with certain medical issues need specifically formulated or individually tailored diets. However these diets must be discussed and approved by a veterinarian or dog nutritionist. Addressing health concerns with corresponding diets, not only extends your dog’s survival time it also increases the quality of life.

Useful tip: Although modern dogs gradually adapted their digestive apparatus to the foods they could feed themselves with, dogs still prefer and thrive on a carnivorous diet. Understanding that your dog is a carnivore from an anatomical and physiological point of view is a good starting point for making the right feeding decision. 

3. Intestinal worms – the danger within

Many organisms live inside our dogs and they either cause no problems or even produce benefits for the host. The dog’s digestive tract contains bacteria that help break down food. They are the perfect example of a mutually beneficial relationship.

On the other side, internal parasites or worms also live inside the dog, but offer no benefits, and are often even detrimental, since they draw nutrients from the host. Worms can cause severe issues if they constantly use up the dog’s essential nutrients, block the intestinal tract or damage its walls.

It is highly advisable to have your dog tested for intestinal parasites and parasitic infections at least once a year and do not forget to bring a fresh poop sample to the visit. Based on the findings, the vet will likely recommend deworming medicines (available in the form of tablets, granules and liquids).  

Useful tip: You and your family can become infected with worms the same way dogs get them – through contact with infected poop. The intestinal parasites of the dog are potential health hazards for humans, too.

4. Fleas – diminutive creatures with dangerous powers

Fleas are the most frequently encountered external parasite in dogs. These ubiquitous little creatures are without doubt the single most common cause of medical skin conditions in dogs, and canine skin problems account for more visits to the vet than any other single condition.

A dog troubled by fleas will annoyingly scratch its body. Flea infestations can be diagnosed by finding fleas on the dog or seeing white and black (salt and pepper) grains, about the size of sand grains, in the dog’s coat. The white particles are flea eggs and the black particles are flea feces.

 For achieving on-going flea control, anti-flea products (protectors) need to be applied monthly. It is best advised to begin the treatment well before the flea season and continue the treatment through the year. Depending on the area where you live it may be needed to use protection all year round.

Useful tip: Fleas, eggs and feces can be hard to notice on heavily-coated and dark-colored dogs. To determine the infestations, alternatively, you can brush your dog while standing on a white surface. Then the grains that fall from the coat should be crushed. Since fleas eat blood, both the fleas and their feces will leave red marks when crushed. 

5. Allergies – a constantly growing problem

The incidence of allergies in dogs is on the rise. The occurring signs and symptoms differ, depending on the place where the allergic reaction occurs:

  • The dog’s skin – localized or generalized itchiness and skin inflammation or irritation
  • The lining of the airways – coughing, sneezing, wheezing and discharge from the nose and eyes
  • The lining of the gastrointestinal tract – vomiting and diarrhea.

Because of their complexity, allergies require multimodal approach:

  • Identifying the allergen
  • Eliminating or minimizing the exposure to that specific allergen
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs – antihistamines and corticosteroids
  • Shampoos – to sooth the irritated skin and rinse out the allergens from the coat
  • Hyposensitization – to reprogram the dog’s immune system.

Useful tip: Allergies can have a detrimental effect on your dog’s quality of life. If you suspect your dog is dealing with an allergy, do not hesitate to call your vet as soon as possible.

6. Physical and mental stimulation

Keeping your dog mentally and physically stimulated is your responsibility. The amount of stimulation depends on your dog’s breed, age, temperament and health condition. Generally young adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of physical exercise and a good dose of mental stimulation.

As a concept, mental stimulation is not entirely new. Although it was introduced many years ago, it was not properly embraced, probably because one can easily confuse mental with physical stimulation.

Physical activity tires your dog’s body but leaves the mind even more energized. Mental activity tires both the body and the mind. Inadequately mentally stimulated dogs show signs of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, which lead to destructive, restless, hyperactive and attention seeking behavior. Those behaviors are an outlet for the dog’s excess of energy. 

Keep in mind that a bored dog’s only limitation is its imagination. If you do not give him something to do, he will come up with self-employment ideas on his own.

Useful tip: According to experts the most important stimuli for dogs include: exposure to interesting places and things; new, exciting experiences; frequent opportunities to learn things and solve problems and investigating and interacting with objects and the environment around them.

7. Training your puppy into a well-mannered adult dog  

Dogs, as pack animals, are naturally inclined to respect and respond to the leader of the pack. Make sure, you are that leader. To earn your dog’s respect, you need to show consistent behavior and firmness.

Useful tips: If you want to easily train your dog, follow these rules:

  • Never punish your dog for something it has done earlier, because it is counterproductive. If your dog made a mess while you were at work, punishing it when you come back home is pointless. It will know that you are angry, but it will not know why.
  • Keep the training lessons short. Dogs have short attention spans and get distracted easily.
  • Keep the training lessons entertaining. If your dog is not interested in the lesson, it will find something better to do.
  • Voice tone and stance. Keep in mind that even young puppies are acutely aware of your body language and sounds and can quickly learn to interpret your voice tone and stance.
  • Train only when the puppy is alert. The best training time is right before feeding time.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques – lots of rewards, treats and praises.

8. The benefits of spaying/neutering

The benefits of having your dog spayed/neutered are well known – increased lifespan, decreased risk of certain medical conditions (such as pyometra, false pregnancy and benign tumors of the mammary glands in females and testicular and prostate cancers in males), reduction of the constantly increasing population of stray dogs and prevention of undesirable sexual behavior (urine marking, humping, aggression, escaping). 

Useful tip: It is recommended that the spaying/neutering procedure gets done while the dog is still young (preferably less than 1 year).  

9. Grooming is not a luxury

Dogs of all breeds need regular grooming. The only difference between different breeds is the time that needs to spent on grooming – from few moments to few hours a week.

 Usually when someone says grooming the things that come in mind are brushing, bathing and hair and nails clipping. However, a proper grooming session goes beyond these common activities and includes taking care of all potential sources of bad smell such as teeth, ears and anal sacs.

If grooming is too much for you, luckily there are experts who will do this challenging task for you. If your dog tends to get overly excited, stressed or aggressive during grooming, chances are you will need professional help.

Useful tip: Too much bathing can do more harm than good because it disrupts the natural balance of the skin microorganisms. Replace the old-fashioned bathing with wet dog wipes, dry shampoos and powders.

10. Your dog’s safety is a priority at all times

More often than not, good veterinary care is within easy reach. However, accidents happen and in some emergencies your dog may depend solely on you for help. By planning ahead and practicing how to restrain your dog, examine it and perform basic first aid you will be prepared for most eventualities.

In any emergency your responsibility is to quickly assess the situation, restrain and give first aid. The goal is to prevent further damage, reduce the dog’s pain and sustain its life until you can contact your trusted vet and seek professional help.

Useful tip: Choosing an insurance policy for your dog is an excellent idea yet many owners tend to overlook it. Good pet insurance policies cover a wide range of treatments and conditions, which may be beneficial on the long run. It is also recommended to include your dog in your planning for an emergency or disaster.


ITSKOO Automatic Smart Pet Feeder

ITSKOO – We are IOT technology driven, aiming to provide the fully structured cloud platform that enables all smart home devices into one single platform.

ITSKOO Smart Pet Feeder C.D.4 is our first retail smart product to let our customers have a taste of our world-leading Smart Home Platform. We understand the need for pet owners, and we design specifically to meet their needs. 

Contact us if you have any questions about our pet feeder and it’s our pleasure to serve you.

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TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A SMART AUTOMATIC PET FEEDER FOR CATS AND DOGS?

ITSKOO Smart Automatic Pet Feeder

WHY YOU NEED A SMART AUTOMATIC PET FEEDER FOR CATS AND DOGS?

As sad as it may sound, our hectic lifestyles often prevent us from spending enough time with our beloved pet babies. Busy schedules, work trips, late-night meetings…the list is endless. When it comes to us, our pets are just one portion of our lives. On the flip side, for our pets, we are their whole lives.

Having a smart automatic pet feeder is an excellent way of making sure your pet’s nutritional needs are taken care of while you are away from home.

The pros of using a smart automatic pet feeder

As creatures of habits, dogs and cats like having the same schedules every day. Therefore, using a smart automatic pet feeder has both emotional and physical benefits for the pet. The emotional wellbeing is ensured by maintaining the consistent feeding schedule. Following the same pattern every day makes your pet feel secure.

As for the physical benefits, using an automatic feeder is an excellent way of preventing obesity. Having a strict and consistent schedule will allow you to monitor your pet’s nutritional intake every day. Plus, it is a good way of knowing how much your pet eats. For example, if your pet’s appetite is decreased and you are free-feeding it chances are you will not be able to notice the decrease unless it is significant. With the automatic pet feeder, even the slightest changes will be noticed.

Buying guide

The modern market offers a plethora of smart pet feeders. With so many available choices making the right one can be quite challenging. To help you successfully navigate through the plethora of choices, we have compiled a list of essential features your smart feeder should have.

These are the features you need to consider:

  • Compartment capacity – this feature depends solely on your needs. If you plan an extended weekend getaway you will definitely need a feeder that can store a larger amount of food. If the container is too small, your pet will be starving because the food will run out before you get back home. On the flip side, if you are busy only during work hours then it is advisable to get a feeder with a smaller container. That way your pet’s food will remain clean and fresh for longer.
  • Food category – this feature is based on your pet’s diet type. Namely certain health conditions require certain types of diet. Those diets sometimes come in only one form – either wet or dry. Not every pet feeder is suitable for both types of food. Feeders designed for wet food should have a cooling system that will keep the wet food fresh. The cooling system consists of a storage compartment underneath the food where ice packs can be stored. Bottom line, when making the purchase make sure you consider your pet’s diet type.
  • Programmable timers – this is a particularly important feature. Being able to set a strict schedule is important for controlling your pet’s eating routine. At this point, once again you need to consider your pet’s eating habits. For example, if your pet eats 4 times a day, buying a smart feeder that can only feed 2 times a day would be a waste of your money.
  • Portion size – featuring this option is a must when parenting a pet that needs proper weight management. By being able to set a portion you will prevent your pet from overeating which will eventually lead to obesity. On the flip side, if you pet is not a voracious eater, defining the meal size helps you save food instead of wasting it.   
  • Voice recording – this option is not readily available in most smart pet feeders but it is definitely fun ad worth having. It allows you to record your own voice and have your pet called when it is meal time.
  • WiFi connectivity – featuring WiFi connectivity enables you to connect the feeder to the internet and interact with your pet through a smartphone app. In most cases, the smartphone app will allow you to watch your pet via video, dispense treats on command and interact to your pet directly.
  • Selective feeding – this is vital for households with multiple pets. In such case you should search for a smart feeder that has special microchip tag reader that identifies the pet whose meal time has come.
  • Power source type – usually pet feeders are battery operated but are designed in an energy efficient way. This ensures particularly long usage (6 to 12 months) of a single pair of batteries. Newer smart feeders with built in cameras and WiFi connectivity have to be plugged to a socket.

ITSKOO Smart Automatic Pet Feeder C.D.4

Considerations when using a smart pet feeder

It should be well-noted that human interaction cannot be substituted with automatic pet feeders. Buying an automatic pet feeder does not exclude the need of hiring a pet sitter or boarding facility.

Simply put, pets are social creatures. Well dogs more than cats, but anyway, they enjoy your companion and thrive on interacting with their human families. A recent study suggested that cats are calmer and more confident when the owners are at home. 

In a nutshell, automatic pet feeders are an extremely useful tool as long as they are used rationally, properly and for the right causes. Leaving your pet in a solitary confinement just because you own a smart pet feeder is not an option for responsible pet parents.

The ITSKOO Smart Pet Feeder Review

,Hey Alexa/Siri, please feed my dog/cat, – feeding your pet has never been so easy, all you need is your mobile phone. And to be honest, we always have our phones in our hands.

First of all, the ITSKOO Smart Pet Feeder is made of pet safe materials such as eco-friendly ABS and PC plastic. Both materials are suitable for cats prone to feline acne and dogs prone to skin conditions. The design also features an anti-humidity desiccant which keeps the food fresh no matter how long it stays in the dispenser.

Secondly, this feeder is simple to use and maintain. As mentioned, you can control the device with your mobile phone no matter where you are. The feeder is easy to maintain and keep clean because both the food bowl and the food container are detachable. It is recommended to have them cleaned every 2 to 3 months. Additionally, once the feeding is successfully completed, the app will notify you.

Thirdly, the smart feeder ensures complete control over how much your pet eats. You can choose to dispense food portions ranging from 10 to 100 grams. This is particularly important for pets on weight loss programs because if the automatic feeder does not feature portion control, weight gain is likely to occur.

Last but not least, this amazing product comes with a lifetime warranty. That way you can enjoy a total peace of mind.