Becoming a pup parent has a lot of similarities with raising a tiny human. From feeding your dog the best food to training them where to go potty, there are many resources you can use to figure out the best strategy to approach these tasks successfully. Granted, I have a bias for books but there are many websites and blogs that carry great advice free of charge!
Here’s the list of my favorite reads for Dog Lovers, especially dog parents:
This book shows a more evolved Cesar Millan technique that still relies on dominance but not in a physical way. His spiritual growth, struggles and life lessons are presented as the background to the story and lots of time is devoted to explaining how an owner’s emotional state can affect how the dog behaves. Although there is advice and case studies in the book for anxious or aggressive dogs, the author advises that we contact a professional if we ever need help training, diagnosing and treating a dog for a particular symptom or behavior. I read the books without having ever seen his show and I found that his commitment to improving dogs’ lives is very commendable; the title proves this. It was a very quick read and a god introduction to life as a dog pack leader but be warned that it hasn’t been proven that this approach works for all breeds. Apply what you learn with caution.
In this book, the author focuses on explaining the psychology behind owning a dog and how humans get it wrong most of the time when training and living with “man’s best friend”. Using animal behavior experimental findings, and coupling them with real life events in her farm, Patricia excels at explaining how our approach to training and communicating with dogs is almost always wrong. It defies logic but humans treat their pets as if they understood them forgetting that English (or whatever language you speak) is their second language. This is a wonderful scientific read about how to relate better with your pet and what to expect from serial pet parenting; not all furchildren are alike and they all respond differently to the same stimuli. Although there are similarities with Cesar’s book in themes and approaches, the zoology and animal behavior journal paper info acts as a tool to cement the findings about techniques and tips presented in the narrative giving it a more credible aura. Like Cesar’s book it asks that you seek professional advice before attempting any behavioral redirection in severe aggressive cases. Great read for the scientifically inclined but also works for the layperson.
I kept getting bombarded with advertisements about BarkBox and I decided to join their Facebook page. To my surprise they offered tips, stories and advice about dog care, rescue efforts and news from around the pup world. The great thing about this blog is that they categorize posts based on content which warns you if something is not suitable for work (NSFW), good or humorous among other categories. Even though they fill up my news feed quite frequently with “click bait”, it is worth the click. There is enough content to entertain and educate you for hours on end. Read with caution since it is easy to binge on this cute and fluffy material.
Like BarkPost, I follow this magazine online through Facebook. Their main goal is to educate pup parents in regards to the contents of foodstuffs for pets, give tips and advice about healthy and organic products and communicate news about the dog community. They take up less amount of space in my news feed and the information is scientific and more serious in nature. Typical articles include pet food recalls, news about branding products as Made in America or any other legal or relevant information that makes headlines. You will be amazed at how much of the mainstream products have issues and you will learn about ways to counter exposing your pup to these bad fillers and preservatives. I’ve caught a few recipes off their page. Good information for those inclined to treat their furkids like real children.