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Friday, April 11th, 2014
Have your kids been begging for a dog? I adopted a puppy about a month and a half ago, and I’m here to confirm what you probably already know: it’s a blast but so much work at the same time. One of the trickiest parts has been sorting through all the conflicting training advice. Everybody has a different opinion on what to do, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and concerned that I am somehow setting my little furball up for a lifetime of problems. (Yes, it’s a little like parenthood!)
I spoke to renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan, known for his work on the television show Dog Whisperer, and here are his recommendations for families raising a puppy:
- Make an agreement as a group. “Everybody focuses on what kind of breed they want, but first you need to all commit to the work ahead of you,” Millan explains. Often, a dog is brought into the family because the kids push for it, regardless of whether or not they are ready for the responsibility. Everyone needs to be prepared—and Mom and Dad need to make the ultimate decision together.
- Consider fostering a dog before you bring home your own. Everybody benefits this way: The dog gets to experience a house with a loving family, and you can get insight into whether or not your clan is ready for a permanent pet.
- Look for a dog with low or medium energy. “It has nothing to do with breed,” Millan says. “In a family of three kids, one will often be more active than the others even though they have the same parents. It’s the same with dogs.” Puppies with lower energy levels are more likely to be followers and won’t try to become the leader of the “pack.”
- Don’t try to be your dog’s best buddy. “Dog lovers want to be friends with their pet rather than the authority figure,” Millan says. This can cause serious behavior problems from a young age. Millan adds, “Discipline is not punishment. It’s teaching him how to behave. In the long run, giving your dog constant affection and no discipline is far more hurtful to him.”
- Let children help out by walking the dog. “Most kids want to chase dogs, but that’s encouraging a predatory behavior,” Millan explains. “They also like to carry puppies around like a baby. But puppies need to walk to experience their own environment. Otherwise, they’ll never learn the boundaries and rules around the house.”
- Start training young. Sure, he’s just a puppy right now, but if you let him get away with jumping or barking from the get-go, you will have serious trouble setting boundaries later on.
For more expert advice, check out the finale of Cesar 911, which airs tonight on Nat Geo Wild. (But first, watch our video on teaching kids to be responsible pet owners below!)
Photo by Allen Birnbach
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Looking back on my childhood, I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t some type of pet in the house. From three dogs to two cats (there was a hamster stint somewhere between the two), it’s safe to say my family was always a pack of animal lovers.
When I got the invite to attend Rolf C. Hagen’s showing of pet products, I couldn’t pass the chance to spot cool items for furry friends (and play with some kitties and puppies in the process)! Here are my favorites:
Want to get your feline active? Consider investing in the Senses series of toys. They can be set up like a race track with fun obstacles and resting points along the way. Kitty will love swatting the glowing balls as they pass through the elevated tunnels of the Super Roller Circuit. After play, naps can commence on the Comfort Zone, featuring a massager, catnip holder, and cushion that can be cooled. There’s plenty more Senses stations you can add to the track as well!
Nothing beats toys that multitask. Chew bones from Hagen’s GUMI collection double as teeth cleaners and breath fresheners, so Fido can keep his gums healthy during playtime. They come in mini, medium and large versions, too, for dogs of every size. When it comes to washing his bowl, the Design Dog Dish makes cleaning simple. Just lift the stainless steel piece out; no need to carry everything to the sink. Bonus: it’s dishwasher safe. Plus, the wood finish is much more decorative than the average dog bowl.
And because I can’t resist sharing cute cat pictures, meet Bastian, a 4-month-old kitten brought to demonstrate products. The Hagen event sponsored New York’s Animal Haven shelter, home to this little guy and other critters on scene. With products approved by pets themselves, it’s clear Hagen knows how to reach babies of the animal variety.
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Animal Haven, animal shelters, animals, caitit, Cats, comfort zone, Design Dog Dish, dogit, Dogs, GUMI chew toys, New York, pet adoption, pet gear, pets, Rolf C. Hagen, Senses toys, super speed circuit | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Your Life
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Interview by Ilyssa Panitz
Nick Cannon is in the dog house, literally! The America’s Got Talent host and husband of Grammy Award–winner Mariah Carey owns eight Jack Russell terriers. It’s no surprise, then, that Cannon teamed up with IAMS So Good to teach pet owners how to keep their loveable pooches happy and healthy. Parents.com caught up with the famous TV star to find out how he and his famous wife teach their children (2-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan) about animal safety.
How did you teach your toddlers how to pet the dogs? Did you and Mariah rely on a book or watch a video to teach your children how to pet the pooches?
Mariah was the one who taught them, because not only is she a long-time dog owner, but we had our puppies and kids at the same time. She demonstrated over and over how to pet the dogs nicely and with care. She would take our kids’ hands and let them do it so they really grasped the concept of how to be kind to the dogs. Over time, they got it. The kids are really good to the dogs and treat them like precious babies.
Do you and Mariah give the twins any jobs when it comes to caring for the dogs?
The kids love to help feed the dogs. They know when the dogs are hungry. When they see the bowls are empty, they say, “Daddy, we need to feed them, so put food in.”
When you and Mariah read books to the children, do they gravitate to stories about dogs? What’s their favorite book that has an animal as a main character?
They love stories about animals in general. They love stories that have to do with dogs, bears, and lions. They especially love lions right now! Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, is their favorite.
How do you get your children to play with the dogs?
The kids love to run around in the backyard with the dogs. Not only are they getting exercise, but they are really bonding with the dogs. As the dogs try to keep up with them, the kids laugh because they are having so much fun.
As a family how do you, Mariah, the children, and the dogs like to spend time together? Pets are known to get jealous sometimes when their owners have children. Have you experienced that?
We all go swimming, play with the ball, or go for a walk together. We do a lot together as a family. When we do family activities that include the dogs, they never feel left out.
In addition to pets being a big part of your life, I assume music is, too?
Music is on all day long. The kids love when we sing them lullabies to sleep. During the day, we play a lot of soul music. The kids are naturally musically inclined and they love listening to it.
Photo credit: Provided by IAMS
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Thursday, February 28th, 2013
6-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Not Allowed To Use School Bathroom
At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn’t think much of their son’s behavior. Coy took his sister’s pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas. (via Huffington Post)
Is One of the Most Common Drugs Prescribed During Pregnancy Safe for Your Baby?
Many expectant mothers are wary of taking drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy, as this time period can be crucial for the development of their baby. However, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure just what kind of effects medications can have on an unborn child. (via Fox News)
Texas Ten Commandments Resolution Calls For Prayer, Religious Displays In Schools
Texas state Rep. Phil Stephenson (R) filed a resolution on Monday calling for more “acknowledgement” of Christianity in public schools, encouraging Ten Commandments displays, prayer, and use of the word “God.” (via Huffington Post)
Children With Autism Show Increased Positive Social Behaviors When Animals Are Present
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia. (via Science Daily)
School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan’s Sequestration Hype
On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. (via Huffington Post)
First Lady Announces Effort to Help Kids Exercise
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Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks? Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise. (via Yahoo!)
animals, ASD, autism, childhood obesity, Coy Mathis, drugs, Exercise, medications, Michelle Obama, News, Newtown, Parents Daily News Roundup, pets, Phil Stephenson, Pregnancy, religion in schools, sequestration, Texas schools, transgender | Categories:
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Some Schools Add Days to Academic Year to Increase Learning Time
According to the National Center on Time and Learning, a nonprofit research group in Boston, about 170 schools — more than 140 of them charter schools — across the country have extended their calendars in recent years to 190 days or longer. (via NY Times)
Teens Who Don’t Have Sex Still at Risk for HPV
A new study conducted in Cincinnati, which involved teen girls and young women, found that 11.6 percent of those who had never had sexual intercourse were infected with at least one strain of HPV. (via NBC News)
Honey May Ease Nighttime Coughing in Kids
A spoonful of honey before bed may help little kids with a cough – and their parents – sleep through the night, a new study suggests. Parents also reported that after giving honey to kids, their coughing was less frequent and less severe. (via Reuters)
Hospital Brings 3,000 Cats to Cancer Patient
When 16-year-old cancer patient, Maga Barzallo said the thing she missed most was her cat Merry, Seattle Children’s asked Facebook fans to send in pictures of their favorite pets – and received 3,000 photos in response. The hospital staff then combined the cat photos with purring sounds to create a slideshow for the teenager. (via CNN)
Urine Test May Predict Women’s Bone Risk
Researchers report that levels of a substance called cross-linked N-telopeptide of Type 1 collagen, or NTX, which is released into the urine when bones weaken, can predict the risk for future fracture in premenopausal, asymptomatic women. (via NY Times)
Can Telling the Truth Make You Healthier?
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Telling a few white lies may seem harmless, but a new study suggests that you might improve your mental and physical health if you cut down on the fibs you tell. (via TIME)
bone risk, cancer, coughing, health, HPV, learning, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, pets, schools, sex, teens, women | Categories:
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Breast Cancer Charity Overstated Screening Benefits, Researchers Say
Researchers say Susan G. Komen for the Cure overstated the benefit mammograms have on survival rates of women with breast cancer. Komen’s messages stated 98 percent of women who get the screening tests survive at least five years, while 23 percent who do not get mammograms survive that long — a difference of 75 percentage points. (via NBC News)
New Pets May Help Autistic Kids Socially
Getting a pet may help children with autism to develop their social skills, if the furry friend is brought into the home when the child is about 5 years old, according to a new French study. The researchers discovered the children showed improvement in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort. (via Fox News)
Hidden Dangers in Vitamins & Supplements?
According to a new report in Consumer Reports, vitamins and supplements could do more harm than good in some cases. Between 2007 and mid-April 2012, the FDA received more than 6,300 reports of serious adverse events linked to dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbs. (via CNN)
Disharmony in the Land of Nod
A new study suggests that even moderate levels of household conflict can alter basic brain function in infants, leaving them hypersensitive to negative emotions. Researchers found chronic family conflict made infants more likely to have abnormal brain responses to angry speech. (via Huffington Post)
Chile Bans Marketing of Toys in Children’s Food
A new law in Chile aims to take some fun out of fast-food by forcing McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and other restaurants to stop including toys and other goodies with children’s meals. The complaint also targets makers of cereal, popsicles, and other products that attract children with toys, crayons, or stickers. (via Associated Press)
Speaking Multiple Languages Can Influence Children’s Emotional Development
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Researchers are investigating how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children’s emotional development. They propose the particular language used when discussing and expressing emotion can have significant impacts on children’s emotional understanding, experience, and regulation. (via Science Daily)
autism, brain development, breast cancer, Food, foreign languages, infants, language, learning language, mammograms, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, pets, supplements, toys, vitamins | Categories:
Monday, July 9th, 2012
Drawstring Deaths in Kids Down After Regulations
The number of child deaths caused by clothing getting caught on vehicles or playground equipment has dropped dramatically thanks to voluntary measures adopted by manufacturers, according to U.S. researchers. (via Reuters)
Cambodian Children’s Deaths Linked to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The mysterious illness that has killed dozens of Cambodian children may be a deadly strain of hand, foot and mouth disease, a common childhood illness, according to health officials. (via TIME)
For Healthier Kids, Get a Cat or Dog, Study Suggests
Kids who grow up with cats or dogs tend to get fewer respiratory infections during their first year of life, according to a new study from Finland. (via msnbc.com)
Should Movies with Smoking Be Rated R?
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If cigarette smoking were banned from teen-friendly movies, would kids be less likely to pick up the habit? Researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College think so. (via TIME)
Cats, death, diseases, Dogs, health, Health & Safety, kids, movies, pets, regulations | Categories:
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Paternity Blood Tests That Work Early in a Pregnancy
Now blood tests are becoming available that can determine paternity as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy, without an invasive procedure that could cause a miscarriage. The testing requires a blood sample from at least one of the possible fathers. (via NY Times)
Chemicals in Baby Shampoos Lead to False Marijuana Positives
Commonly used baby soaps and shampoos, including products from Johnson & Johnson, Aveeno and CVS, can trigger a positive result on newborns’ marijuana screening tests, according to a recent study. Just 0.1 milliliters or less of the cleansing products were found to cause a positive result. (via TIME)
Health Groups Criticize Allergy Drug Promotion
Public health advocates on Wednesday accused the drug company Merck of improperly marketing an over-the-counter allergy medicine directly to children using animated characters from the movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” (via NY Times)
Dogs Can Help Prevent Childhood Asthma
The microbes living on your pet dog may help to strengthen your immune system and prevent childhood asthma, according to a new study. (via msnbc.com)
Watching Violence Makes for Angry Kids, Study Shows
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Children exposed to violence in video games and on TV display similar reactions to those who witness war and acts of violence in real life, according to an Australian study. (via Fox News)
allergies, asthma, baby shampoo, Dogs, marijuana, paternity test, pets, Television, TV, violence | Categories: