Wildebeest's Guide to Mental Health for Dog Parents
What exactly is mental health? It’s the well-being of our mental state which affects how we think, feel, and act. According to the World Health Organization there has been a 13% rise in mental heal...read article
So you’re going to be a dog parent — congratulations! The time between making the decision to get a pup and actually bringing your new beest home might feel like forever, but it will give you plenty of time to get your place prepared.
Introducing a dog of any age to a new environment can be stressful for both of you, but by planning ahead and readying the household in advance you’ll be able to relax to enjoy their company when they arrive. Here are our tips for starting off on the right paw when bringing beest home:
Research Nearby Vets
Whether you’re adopting from a shelter or picking a pup from a breeder, routine shots and checkups are a must to keep ‘em healthy. Finding the perfect vet to answer all your new pawrent questions and make your pup comfortable will make a big difference. Take the time to research out online reviews and ask other animal lovers for recommendations so you know your pup will be getting the best care possible. Once you decide on a vet, ask about their operating hours and emergency line. If they don’t provide a 24-hour service, be sure to find an after-hours pet hospital just in case!
Though you and your pup will probably be inseparable for the first few days, for dogs of any age it’s advised to do a thorough puppy proofing to keep them out of trouble! Things like cables, rugs, and curtains may not seem like appealing chew toys, but dogs in new environments tend to have a knack for breaking the rules. Remember to think from their perspective, as things can look different (and much more chewable!) from four legs. Whether your bringing home a young pup or an adult dog, establishing boundaries before introducing temptations will help you keep your beest and belongings safe.
Gather Your Supplies
Don’t bring your pup home empty handed! Get as many supplies as you can in advance to keep them entertained and safe from the moment they come home. A food bowl and a bed are essentials for the home, as well as toys and treats to keep them busy. A collar, leash, and poop bags are the very basics for keeping them secure on the go and let you start house training right away. Purchase these items separately or as part of a dog starter kit so you can be sure you have everything you need!
You may also consider getting a no-pull harness and/or a solid treat pouch to start your leash training together which is one of the best ways for you & your new pup to start building that special bond. :)
Keep in mind, Wildebeest offers a limited lifetime warranty on all products and will offer a 25% discount on replacing your gear that's outgrown, chewed or has general wear & tear.
Start With Small Spaces
Whether your pup is from the shelter or a breeder, they’ve likely never had open access to an entire house before! That’s why it’s recommended to start them off with small spaces before you let them run free. Partitioning off space with baby gates or crates will help cut down on the new space overwhelm, and help prevent accidents in your home. By starting small and gradually adding more square feet, your pup will come to recognize the entire home as their safe haven instead of an open range area to cause mischief.
Being a new pup parent can be stressful, but by preparing beforehand you’ll be able to relax in the company of your new best friend right away. Life is more colorful with your beest, and you’ll be going on all kinds of exciting adventures (hiking, exercising, travels...) in no time. Congratulations on your new pup — we know you’ll have a blast!
Wildebeest creates durable, stylish dog gear. Equipping your best friend for all of your adventures while providing a Wild4Life guarantee, we’re committed to creating products the entire family will love.
Wildebeest's Guide To Bringing A New Beest Homeread Article
Apr | 17 | 2018
Between wagging tails, park distractions, and having to constantly restock on treats, there’s no doubt that dog photography isn’t easy. We’re always amazed at the pups we see on Instagram, and more amazed at the pawrents’ dedication to their craft.
In order to learn more about the dog photography process, we decided to consult with the humans behind our Ambassadog accounts. We asked them about everything from training to equipment to how in the world they get their pups to stay still. Read on to learn their dog photography tricks & treats!
On managing dog personalities & keeping pups patient
“Dog parks are nice because the dogs are off-leash and can act more natural. A squeaky tennis ball almost always works to get the attention of a dog the first time they hear it. For those who do not respond to the squeaker, a quick up and down hand motion or a food incentive is helpful.” — @seattledoggos
“I used to hold one of [Otis’} tennis balls in my free hand that wasn’t holding the camera and keep the ball right next to the lens to get him to focus. Otis, like most dogs, like to work to receive a reward or praise. Another tip is to try using freeze-dried liver treats as motivation during photo shoots. I’ve never, and I truly mean never, met a dog who doesn’t love those!” — @otisbarkington
On maintaining focus & getting the perfect pose
“There are definitely times where our surroundings are a little too distracting so sometimes, I let [Delilah] get some curiosity out and try again in a little bit or sometimes if I get in her face with a treat, she’ll refocus. I’ll be honest, sometimes I can really get a good reaction from her when I say “Do you want to go to the park?” But I swear I’m not lying to her!” — @heytheredelilahthedog
“[Otis] was definitely food motivated in the beginning. A few good beef liver treats and constant encouragement was the key! Otis has always had a great engaging connection with us, so eventually, when I ran out of treats during a photo session, he kept his eyes on me and held his poses with no problem. He’s pretty talented!” — @otisbarkington
On deciding on equipment & editing
“My DSLR is faster than my iPhone, thus more reliable when taking pictures of wild and energetic dogs. I only use my iPhone when I am out and about and happen to run into a cute dog. That being said, recent iPhone models (and the equivalent smartphone) take very high-quality images, so they are good for someone who happens to have one and is experimenting with photography. Although I am looking to upgrade, I am currently photographing with my dad’s 12-year-old Nikon which can still produce decent images. They lack the impressive specifications, but older DSLRs are also significantly cheaper than recent camera and iPhone models, making them another option for a beginner.” — @seattledoggos
“The aesthetic of Delilah’s Instagram is something that I work really hard to keep consistent. I use primarily gpresets (https://www.gpresets.com) for Lightroom and occasionally will bring a photo into Photoshop if it needs some extra attention. Maintaining the color palette has been very difficult to achieve even when using the same presets. I’ve learned that my photos often have to be taken during similar parts of the day where the light is soft because my editing reacts differently to harsh light versus soft light.” — @heytheredelilahthedog
On training for prop photography
“Always make sure to keep the priority of making your dog(s) comfortable. Never put them in a situation where they feel stressed or anxious, and always be encouraging and patient with them. Start off small! Otis used to be able to only balance my beanies on his head, then one day he worked up to balancing some of my empty lens glasses. He’ll do anything for treats and some belly rubs.” — @otisbarkington
On managing a dog’s IG
“Something I was unprepared for was just how much time this account would take to manage...I feel like I’m running a full-time side gig. For those starting out, decide how serious you want to be about this before you get into it. I had no idea what I was doing and what this account would turn in to. If you want to make it a serious account, be prepared for how much time you will need to invest in it. I’ve been very lucky to make some awesome friends through this account, but it comes with a lot of dedication and genuine engagement. Lastly, manage the account and take the photos for you, not for the likes. I see so many people constantly worrying about how one post didn’t get as many likes and comments as another. That shouldn’t be what matters. You’re doing this because you love your pet and you want to share that with anyone who wants to see.“ — @heytheredelilahthedog
A special thanks to @heytheredelilahthedog (pawrent @briannawollard), @otisbarkington, and @seattledoggos for taking the time to talk! Curious about how your own pup could become a Wildebeest Ambassadog? We’ve got a page for that!
Wildebeest's Guide to Dog Photographyread Article
Mar | 06 | 2018
The chill of winter is fading away, meaning it will soon be prime hiking season for you and your beest! Whether you have a seasoned adventure pal or a young pup excited for their first spring in the wild, these tips will make sure you and your best friend are prepped and ready to enjoy your wild adventures.
1. Take the Road Less Traveled
Just like breaking in your hiking boots keeps your feet happy, your dog’s endurance level is an important factor in how comfortable you’ll be on the trails. The usual walk around the block is less stimulating to a dog’s senses than exploring the great outdoors, and walking in all-terrain environments will put a different kind of strain on their body. To prepare your dog’s muscles (and nose!), try walking new routes around town or embarking on a few “urban adventures” before you hit the backcountry. They’ll still be thrilled for their first trek of spring, but this way they’ll already be well-versed in experiencing new sniffs and trails.
2. Refresh Those Manners
Depending on where you’re hiking, hitting the trails on a busy weekend might feel more like a group nature walk than a wilderness adventure—meaning your pup will be exposed to all sorts of new humans and dogs. Even if you’re going to a less populated area, your pup will still experience a plethora of smells and stimuli that might tempt them to ignore even their most familiar commands. Taking some time to refresh your pup’s memory of directives and leash manners will help their good behavior transfer seamlessly to the trail. Whether they're an off-leash pro or you plan to keep them tethered to your side, making sure their basic commands and leash etiquette are top notch will keep you both stress-free in any hectic situation.
3. Update Their ID tags
Dog tags are something all owners hope they’ll never have to rely on, but making sure they’re up to date before a big adventure never hurts. Check not only that the phone number is current and legible, but also be sure the tag is soundly secured. Brush and branches can easily snag dangling hardware as your dog romps through, so securing dangling tags or upgrading to a contoured plate will ensure they’re readily identified no matter what they get in to.
4. Keep The Right Supplies
You probably already keep a first aid kit with your hiking supplies, but adding a few tools to make it equipped for dogs and humans will keep you both safe and comfortable should an accident occur. Most of what a dog might need in the wild overlaps with a human’s first aid needs, but there are a few canine-specific supplies to bring. From itchy bites to splintered paws, knowing you’re prepared for anything is the best way to have fun without worry.
5. Pack Water for Two
It's super important to stay hydrated while you're out & about. Don't forget to pack enough water for you AND pup according to your activity plans. Having an ultra-compact portable bowl on hand will keep your load light while offering peace of mind that pup won't go thirsty on the trek.
6. Be Ready for Any Weather
Unfortunately, even the most pleasant days can give way to showers, chill, or sweltering heat in an instant. Make sure that you and your adventure pal are prepared for any weather so you both stay comfortable and content! The proper outerwear for your pup will provide protection against damp chills, while booties provide traction in the event of slick mud. Additionally, overheating is a concern for some breeds regardless of where the thermometer lies. If this applies to your pal, pack enough water to wet down fur should they start to get too warm. When planning for your adventures, simply equipping the right gear will allow you and your beest to tackle any weather with ease!
7. Camp much?
If you're the kind of pack that's into adventures beyond day hikes, check out these tips Steph from campingcooks.com put together. This article is a nice source of information on how to be prepared and stay safe on your camping adventures with dogs. :)
Wildebeest believes life is more colorful with your beest—which is why we create pet gear that works for the entire family! Everything is made in California and designed for all of your adventures.
5 Tips To Get Your Dog Ready For Hiking Seasonread Article