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The Secret Life of Pets: Max has to learn to get along with Duke. How should you introduce two dogs to each other for the first time?

The Secret Life of Pets: Max has to learn to get along with Duke. How should you introduce two dogs to each other for the first time?
Posted on by Petplan
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The new comedy The Secret Life of Pets, which is in cinemas now, shows what pets get up to when their owners’ backs are turned.

One character is Max, a pampered Terrier who struggles to adapt when his owner brings home a giant, hairy rescue dog named Duke. Max’s perfect life is totally upended, as he is forced to share, not just his home but his owner’s affection.

Most dogs are very sociable and will welcome a new friend to play with. However, introducing a new dog into the household can sometimes be tricky!

Petplan is delighted to be a brand partner for the film and explores the best ways to successfully introduce your dog to a new dog.

Location, location, location

It’s best to host their initial meeting on neutral territory that’s unfamiliar to either of them. Introducing a dog into the others territory could lead to confrontation.

However, if it’s a location that one dog is use to meeting other dogs at, such as a local dog park or pet shop, this may be a great location to introduce them as they are already mentally prepared for meeting other dogs.

The initial stages

Have both dogs on leads and make sure that you and whoever is holding the other leash are both relaxed and calm – holding the lead loosely. Tension on the lead could communicate that you are anxious or fearful.

Walk side by side in the same direction, far enough away from each other so that the dogs can’t touch. This will allow them to become accustomed to each other’s presence. Then allow them to cross paths, so that they can smell where the other has walked.

First contact

Now it’s time for them to properly meet! Let them approach each other, both on leads just in case things don’t go exactly to plan.

They may sniff each other, bark a little, and posture. Teeth baring, air snaps or growling could also occur.

Try speaking over the top of this interaction in a soothing and calming tone.

In the event that it does become aggressive, separate them. Allow a cooling off period and then try again, stating from the first phase again, this time taking each step slower.

Let them get better acquainted

If so far so good, then remove their leashes and allow them to become acquainted.

Try to not fuss over them, as it can unnerve them and ruin the meeting. Step back and let them work each other out at their own speed.

Take things back to the house

Once you have passed these stages successfully, it’s time to take them home. It’s best to transport them separately to avoid conflict.

Make sure that all toys are put away beforehand, so that they don’t fight over them, and feed them separately.

As they get more accustomed to each other and become friends, you can re-introduce toys and feed them together.

If things don’t quite go to plan with the introduction and you are concerned about their relationship, then it is always worth consulting with your vet or a pet behaviourist to ensure both dogs stay happy and healthy.

Have you introduced another dog to your family’s dynamic? Do you have any tips to share? Let Petplan know in the comments below…

The Secret Life of Pets: Chloe loves her food! How can you keep your cat’s waistline trim?

The Secret Life of Pets: Chloe loves her food! How can you keep your cat’s waistline trim?
Posted on by Petplan
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If you think you know what your pet gets up to when you’re not around, the new comedy The Secret Life of Pets, which is in cinemas now, may make you think differently.

Set in Manhattan we see how Max, a pampered Terrier, and his friends fill their hours with fun and adventure while their owners’ backs are turned.

One friend is Chloe, a rather, shall we say, ‘tubby’ cat who, like many cats, takes any opportunity to have a good feed!

It can be tricky controlling your cat’s weight, especially when they roam outdoors and can access food, but you can certainly take steps to make sure your cat doesn’t end up with a few excess pounds, and reduce their risk of developing liver disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure or skin problems – all conditions that can be associated with obesity.

Petplan are delighted to be a brand partner for the film and share our top six tips for keeping your cat fighting fit…

1. Is my cat overweight?

It can be difficult to determine whether your cat is overweight, particularly in long-haired breeds. Happily, Petplan has a guide for body-scoring your cat so you can check.

2. Talk to your vet

It’s important to rule out any underlying health problems that could be causing weight-gain. Consult with your vet, and if your cat gets the all clear – ask your vet what your cat’s ideal weight should be.

3. Cut out the treats!

The odd treat can seem like a small thing, but a couple of treats a day adds up. A piece of cheese can be the equivalent of a whole meal for your cat in terms of the amount of calories and can really add up! Reward your cat with your attention instead, such as their favourite game.

4. Try a lighter formula diet & feed little and often

Most pet food brands offer a ‘light’ formula for overweight cats or those prone to putting on weight. These diets have fewer calories. Follow the recommended daily amount by measuring out the amount on kitchen scales, or most pet food brands have feeding cups available which makes measuring your cat’s daily amount much easier.

5. Feed little and often

Try splitting your cat’s portions into smaller but more frequent meals – but still ensure you only feed their daily recommended amount. If you have more than one cat, feed them separately in different rooms.

6. Get kitty active!

If your cat would rather lounge around the house than exert themselves in any way, then making exercise fun is the best way to encourage them to get active.

Set up a daily play session with them – play ball or try cat feeder dispenser toys which make your cat work to unlock a treat. Only use their usual food (from their daily allowance) and not high calorific treats. Investing in climbing towers or shelves, whilst alternatives such as putting their feeding bowl at the top of a flight of stairs or at heights, can encourage them to move and jump.

If your feline friend is an indoor cat then consider letting them out into a securely fenced-off garden or an outside playpen. House cats can be prone to lethargy and laziness, and fresh air and new stimulation can often be the cure for this.

Does your cat love their food like Chloe? Has your pet overcome obesity? Let us know your tips in the comments below…..

The Secret Life of Pets: It’s a secret Snowball doesn’t want you to know - how to keep your rabbit happy and domesticated…

The Secret Life of Pets: It’s a secret Snowball doesn’t want you to know - how to keep your rabbit happy and domesticated…
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains:
If you think you know what your pet gets up to when you’re not around, the new comedy The Secret Life of Pets, which is in cinemas now, may make you think differently.

Petplan is delighted to be a brand partner for the film and explores the best ways to enrich your rabbit’s environment and keep them in the best of spirits!!

The Secret Life of Pets: Pops may be old, but that doesn’t stop his adventures! How to ensure senior dogs, like Pops, stay happy and healthy 

The Secret Life of Pets: Pops may be old, but that doesn’t stop his adventures! How to ensure senior dogs, like Pops, stay happy and healthy 
Posted on by Petplan
This article contains:
If you think you know what your pet gets up to when you’re not around, the new comedy The Secret Life of Pets, which is in cinemas now, may make you think differently.

Petplan is delighted to be a brand partner for the film and takes a look at health problems that can affect dogs as they age and how best to ensure your dog stays happy like Pops…

Having an older dog is a great experience. While they may not have the youthful energy of a young pup, they more than make up for it with their calm demeanour and loving nature.

However, as they enter their twilight years, they may be susceptible to health issues. Petplan identify health problems that may creep up and offers advice & tips & on how to help your ageing pooch…

Stories from the surgery: treating cataracts and Lenticular Sclerosis in dogs

Stories from the surgery: treating cataracts and Lenticular Sclerosis in dogs
Posted on by Petplan
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Petplan vet Brian Faulkner has once again taken time out of his busy schedule to tell us all about some of the strange, funny and sometimes difficult cases he encounters in his surgery.

This month, he tells us about how one very innocuous condition is regularly being mistaken for a far more serious one…

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