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admin, Author at Life With A Puppy

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The World’s Most Dangerous Food for Dogs

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golden retriever swimming The Worlds Most Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Kona’s Work Day Adventure


Kona’s Day Out, Puppy Style

One of the biggest things we’ve been trying to do with Kona is socialize her early and get her exposed to as many environments and situations as possible (within reason of course because she is still a puppy and doesn’t have all her shots yet.)

One of the things a friend of ours told us to do to for socialization was to take Kona for car rides. If we only take her in the car when she goes to the vet, then she will learn to hate the car because she knows it means going to the vet. But if she always goes in the car and the car could mean any type of adventure, then she will love the car.

We have two types of ways Kona goes in the car. One is in her crate (longer trips):


And the other is in her harness attached to a safety loop. This is her setup for shorter car rides around town. Check out her setup here:


Today I had a Skype meeting. We joke that Kona is our assistant so I put her in the chair and let her take the Skype call. She was very attentive and took good notes. We praised her for doing so well:


After our call, I had to run errands so we took her to CVS. She sat in the cart and was very attentive! Note: I am not sure if dogs are even allowed in CVS but no one said anything so I went with it. She was scared of the shopping cart at first but after a while she got used to it and even liked it!

After our CVS adventure I took her for a walk and she played with some other dogs. I like to let her walk up and sniff and play with other dogs (as long as they’ve had their shots) and children. It’s gotten to the point where she is so used to getting pet and being played with that if someone walks by and does not pet her, she sits and whines! What a silly, silly pup. She sure does love her attention!

When we got back in the car she was all tuckered out and fell right asleep.


After we got home she took a short nap and we packed up the car to head out to grandma and grandpa’s house. Kona enjoys going to grandma and grandpa’s house because she gets to visit with my parent’s eight year old golden retriever named Bailey. We call her Tia Bailey because Bailey is technically her “aunt.” Haha! Kona loves being around bailey and mimicking everything she does. When they want together Kona walks so well on the leash because she wants to be like Bailey.

Spending time with our canine cuties livens the spirit and creates lasting memories. Dog Fence DIYDog Fence DIY encourages exploration beyond the fence!

**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.**

Puppy Biting and Nipping

The Puppy Woes: Nipping and Biting

Having a puppy is a wonderful, exciting experience. But one of the things that many forget and many seem to forget to document is that having a puppy is a lot of work and does come with its woes. Today I want to talk about nipping and biting.

Our golden retriever puppy Kona is a good girl. She’s very sweet, carries the newspapers, is house trained (for the most part) and plays well with her toys. But she has one big issue that is causing us the puppy woes: she nips and bites at us on walks. Puppy nipping and biting is becoming a huge problem because she will jump up and bite my shirt. Quite often when I am walking her in the morning and have on nice clothes for a meeting, she will jump up and bite my shirt. I now have 3 goPuppy Nipping and Bitingod shirts thatI wear regularly with puppy teeth holes in them.

Another puppy woe comes with my jeans. Whenever I wear jeans, she jumps up and bites at my crotch or tries and bites my jeans. I now have several little puppy holes in 2 good pairs of jeans.

This is a difficult situation for us because normally when she bites we can say “Ouch” and act hurt and turn away. This has been a very effective method with her and now she hardly ever bites down on us when we are playing in the house. However, when we are on walks it is a different story. When we are on walks, she jumps up and bites and her teeth get caught on the thread of my clothing. If I turn away too fast, this just causes my clothing to rip more.

We are really at a loss at what to do here. I don’t want to have to wear certain clothes to walk her and she is smart enough to learn that she shouldn’t be acting this way. We need help in teaching her that this type of puppy nipping and biting is wrong and unacceptable behavior. Any insight would be much appreciated.

I am thinking about carrying a spray bottle on walks but realize that might be overkill.

Any thoughts? I look forward to getting your feedback.


Golden Retriever Puppy Fetches the Newspaper


Kona is 11 week old and learning fast!

5 Tips to Keep your Puppy Cool in the Heat

Summer May Be Winding Down, but the Heat is Still On: Tips To Keep Your Puppy Cool in The Hot Weather

Keep Your Puppy Cool in the Summer Heat

Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to overheating and the summer months can lead to discomfort especially for puppies. Just as children can be affected by excessive heat, so can puppies. You need to know how to take care of your pets in the hot summer months. Below are five tips to keep your puppy cool in the heat and avoid dehydration.

#1 – Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

This one is a no brainer. Whether you are stopping for a quick grocery run after a visit to the vet, you should never leave your puppy in a parked car on a hot day. Leaving your puppy in the car on a hot day can be fatal, and should be avoided even when you expect to be away for a few minutes. This applies even when parked in the shade. The interior of the car is a lot hotter than the outside, and can negatively affect your pets if left in the car. Do not do this!

#2 – Regular baths

You don’t have to go to the beach for your pet to cool off in on a hot day. Our #2 tip to keep puppy cool in the heat is to give your puppy regular baths. Noon is the best time to let your pet cool off in a kiddie pool. Make sure that your pet doesn’t drink the chlorinated water. Also wash down your pet after a swim if the water is chlorinated or salty.

#3 – Stay Inside

This is an especially good idea for puppies. Avoid going out in the heat all together. Dogs tend to be more sensitive to heat than people which is why it might be a good idea to stay inside. The puppy will appreciate being cool in the house away from the blistering heat.

#4 – Keep Your Puppy Hydrated

You puppy will need a lot more water to drink during hot days than normal. Make provisions for extra water, and watch out for signs of discomfort which often indicate dehydration. If you are outside in the shade, carry a water bottle for your puppy to drink from. This is an especially important one on the tips to keep puppy cool in the heat especially when outside on a hot day. If you must leave the house, make sure that you restrict your movements to grassy and well shaded areas.

#5 – Know How to Cool Down Your Puppy

You need to know that dogs cool from the bottom up. This means that simply spraying your puppy with water might not be enough to keep your puppy cool, especially if they have a darker coat. Darker coats usually absorb more heat, which is a good point to consider. One great way to keep your puppy cool is to let them lie on a wet towel or freeze a cold washrag and let them chew on it.

With these tips to keep puppy cool in the heat, you should be able to get through the summer without any problems. Just like children, young puppies need extra care and attention. This is the best way to ensure that you raise a healthy and happy dog. These tips also apply to fully grown dogs, and especially aging dogs which need more care and attention. Remember to consult your vet if you see any questionable signs from your pet. It’s better to be safe when dealing with the heat.

Do you have any tips to keep your puppy cool in the heat? Post in the comments and share with us!

Groupon Pet Deals: Daily Deal Coupons for Pets

Groupon Pet Deals

We just learned about Groupon Pet Deals and we’re super excited to share this news with you all. Groupon has launched a daily deal coupon site for pets. It’s not a separate site – Groupon Pet Deals is within Groupon on their main header. As new puppy owners there is a lot to owning a pet that is new to us and a lot of start up expense in buying things like crates, toys, dog collars, leashes, puppy training manuals and puppy house training books, etc. We are pretty happy to have a daily deal site like Groupon Pet Deals so we can hopefully save some money in the long term. We made a list of all the deals that Groupon Pet Deals is currently offering. Please note, some of these deals are only for the Los Angeles area because that’s where we live. But we encourage you to check out all the deals and see if there is a pet deal that may benefit you!

Adjustable Pet Gates
Adjustable Pet Gate (Up to 77% Off). Multiple Styles Available. Free Shipping and Free Returns.
20-Page 8.5"x11" or 11"x14" Custom Hardcover Photo Book (Up to 75% Off). Free Shipping.
FurHaven Pet Bed
FurHaven Quilted Pet Bed Throws (Up to 53% Off). Multiple Sizes and Colors Available. Free Returns.
FurHaven Faux-Fur and Gusseted Big Dog Pet Pillows
Furhaven Faux-Fur or Gusseted Pet Pillow (Up to 57% Off). Multiple Styles Available. Free Returns.
BarkBox Monthly Delivery of Dog Goodies
$19.99 for a One-Month Trial Subscription for Dog Goodies from BarkBox ($29 List Price). Free Shipping.
SmartTag Pet ID
SmartTag with One-Year, Five-Year, or Lifetime Pet-Protection Plan from SmartTag Pet ID (Up to 58% Off)
ShopTough LED Pet Collars and Leashes
ShopTough LED Pet Collars and Leashes (Up to 80% Off). Multiple Sizes and Colors Available. Free Returns.
Home Dog Boarding and Pet Services from DogVacay (Up to 57% Off). Three Options Available.
Pet Magazines
Pet Magazine Subscription (Up to Half Off). Multiple Magazines Available.
Kingdom of Pets
$19.99 for a Dog-Training Mastery Multimedia Package from Kingdom of Pets ($99.95 Value)
Animal Planet Wooden Pet Stairs
$34.99 for Animal Planet Wooden Pet Stairs ($49.99 List Price). Free Shipping and Free Returns.
Guide Dogs
$10 Donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind
One or Five Four-Hour Mobile Doggy-Daycare Sessions from wooftidoo (58% Off)

As we find new stuff like this, we will be sure to post it on Life with a Puppy and if you find stuff for us to check out, please post in the comments and let us know!

Puppy Crate Training Tips: 5 Ways To Get Your Puppy To Love Its Crate

Crate Training Your Pup? Here are our Top 5 Puppy Crate Training Tips to get your puppy to love its crate

Tips for crate training golden retriever

Making sure your puppy is crate trained is one of the most important things you can do when you bring home your new pup – here are our top 5 puppy crate training tips to help with a smooth and easy transition for both you and your pup.

1) Make Your Puppy’s Crate Nice and Comfortable This is something that we stress because it really worked for us. A lot of different advice we read has said to not use beds, pillows, or towels because the puppy will soil them but we have found that our golden retriever puppy is much more apt to go in her crate when there are towels and pillows inside. Use old towels so you don’t risk them being ruined. When your puppy is older and out of the chewing phase you can invest in a nice bed or crate pad to make the crate super comfortable.

2) Introduce Them to The Crate Slowly Make the crate seem like the coolest thing ever to your puppy. Dork out and get super excited. Even go in the crate yourself or put an old towel or t-shirt in there with your scent. Don’t force them in the crate at first and allow them time to explore.

3) Have Special Toys & Treats Your Puppy ONLY Gets When They Are in The Crate This is something that has really helped us with crate training our golden retriever puppy, Kona. We have special toys and treats that she only can play with in her crate. The brand we recommend is Kong toys. This stuff is like puppy crack. Kona has a Kong puppy toy and a Kong teething stick. We also have the Kong puppy “Stuff’N” Easy Treat snack which is basically like puppy cheese whiz. She loves it. Is it bribery? Possibly. But when you need to leave and your dog won’t stop whining, it’s comforting to have a toy that will keep them happy and preoccupied for at least a few minutes while you are gone.

Kong Stuff'N Treat
KONG Stuff’N Easy TreatKONG Stuff'N Easy Treat

4) Leave the door to the crate open when your puppy is not in it. Puppies are naturally curious and if they can explore their crate at their own free will they are less likely to feel like they are being forced into their crate when the time comes.

5) Praise your puppy when they are being good in the crate. When they are being good and quiet, praise them. Golden retrievers love to please their owners and there is nothing they love more than praise. This will teach them to build on their good behavior and not whine and bark when they are in their crate. Reinforce good behavior with praise and nip the not so good behavior in the butt.

Crate Training A New Puppy: What You Need To Know

The Do’s and Don’ts of Crate Training Your New Puppy

Crate Training your New Puppy

It took a while for Kona to get used to her crate but now she loves it. Notice the divider in her crate to not give her too much space at first.

Puppies are naturally curious (they’re puppies, after all) and if left with too much freedom around your home they will attempt to chew anything in sight – electrical cords, furniture, your shoes, etc. You name it – they will put it in their mouths. Therefore to ensure the safety of your puppy (and your own peace of mind), we recommend crate training a new puppy and putting the puppy in its crate whenever you are not there to give your puppy your full attention. Even turning your back for a split second can cause a pee pee accident or injury. Crate training a new puppy will not only be useful when confining your puppy in the house, but also when traveling with your puppy. It is necessary to introduce your puppy to its crate immediately when you bring your puppy home, and train your puppy early enough on how to use it so your puppy learns to love its crate.

The Do’s and Don’t of Crate Training A New Puppy:


  • Ensure that the crate has been placed in areas where people spend a lot of time in your home, for example in the living room or in the kitchen. By so doing, the puppy will be comfortable spending some time in the crate because it can still enjoy the company of the people in the house. If you place the crate in an isolated place like a laundry room or basement, the puppy will feel lonely and will not enjoy spending some time there.
  • Be gentle when getting the puppy into the crate. Let the puppy sniff and explore the crate when it’s door is wide open. Entice your puppy into its crate by praising it and also giving it toys to play with (note: be careful of leaving toys in your puppy’s crate while unattended for too long due to choking hazards)
  • If you do not know the right size of crate for your puppy, buy a large crate. It is better to have a larger crate than a small one that the puppy will not fit in properly. If the crate is too big, you can use the divider panel that comes with the crate to minimize the space. Our puppy Kona is a golden retriever and uses a large crate like this one.
  • If the crate is comfortable, the puppy will be coming back more often. Try using towels or a soft bed in the crate to ensure that your puppy will be comfortable while inside. You can always start with old towels and buy your puppy a nicer bed once it gets past its chewing phase.
  • Be patient when training your puppy to use the crate. It takes time for the puppy to get used to a new habit. Patience is key!


  • Do not allow your puppy to move around the house unsupervised. In the event that you realize that the puppy is not willingly getting into the crate, slowly guide it in.
  • Do not punish your puppy by forcefully pushing him in to the crate. The puppy should be able to associate the crate with safety and comfort and not a place where he faces punishments.
  • Do not put your puppy in a crate if he is vomiting or if has diarrhea. Ensure that the puppy has obtained good health before you can crate it again.

Does your puppy whine or bark while on the crate?
It is important to note that puppies are not naturally accustomed to spend their time in a crate. Therefore, when you crate them, they may whine or bark to indicate that they are scared or that they are uncomfortable. If your puppy is whining or barking, first make sure that your puppy has emptied its bowels and does not have to pee pee or poo poo. If it has already gone potty and you are sure this is not the cause, you can reduce whining and barking to ensure that the puppy is at ease by;

  • Providing a soft bed and towels in the crate
  • Providing it with bones and toys for entertainment whenever the puppy feels bored
  • Allow the puppy to get used in staying in the crate. Don’t crate him for long hours at the start.
  • Place the crate where the puppy can see people for example in your room. Your company is enough to stop the puppy from whining.
  • Pay attention to the puppy when he is just quiet by talking to it and also by taking it out of the crate for a walk. Be very kind and gentle in your speech.

Remember, patience is key and by crate training your puppy at an early age you are setting you and your dog up for a great training foundation and peace of mind when you are not home or able to attend to your puppy.



Day 6: Kona Sleeps at Grandma and Grandpa’s

Kona’s First Sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s House

Kona did well overnight with my parents. My dad woke her up at around 2am to take her to go potty and after that she slept the rest of the night in a crate next to Bailey’s crate. She is really enjoying being around Bailey. The golden retriever book I read says that canines will naturally prefer the company of another canine than a human, and I can totally she that. When she is around Bailey she is 100% Bailey all the time – chasing her around and nipping at her. Bailey is so calm and gentle and doesn’t seem to mind all that much. We are thankful for that.

I came over to my parent’s house in the afternoon to do some work and check on Kona. I also took her in the pool with me again. This time she didn’t shake as much from the water. I think she is getting more used to it. She was really cute in the pool. I can’t wait to see what she swims like when she is older.

After spending a couple hours of quality time with Kona, I headed back to camp at Leo Carrillo. Kona was very tired from swimming and went right to sleep in her crate. We were thankful for that. Good girl, Kona!

Day 5: Kona goes swimming

Golden Retriever Puppy Learns to Swim

Leo Carrillo State Park

Today we packed up the car to head out to Leo Carrillo State Park for our annual family camping trip. We each drove separately. In my car I had the following:

  • 2 Longboards
  • 2 Shortboards
  • 1 Stand Up Paddle Board
  • 2 Skateboards
  • 2 Beach Chairs
  • 2 Camping Chairs
  • 1 Stand Up Paddle

golden retriever swimming

And in Marion’s car he had all of our clothes, a crate, and Kona! We wanted to make sure she was safe and sound and didn’t feel too cluttered with all the surfboards and bulky items around her.

We drove straight to my parent’s house where Kona will be staying for the next 5 nights while we are camping. Luckily my parents only live about 30 minutes from where we are camping, so it will be easy to come and go if we need to. My parents have an 8 year old Golden retriever names Bailey who is very sweet. Kona will enjoy being around her. My parents also have a pool, and we took Kona swimming for the first time ever! We walked her out to the middle of the pool and let her swim to the steps. She was doing the doggie paddle – her natural instincts are just incredible. We took her in the pool a few times and then wrapped her in a big towel. She was cold and shaking, but she warmed up quickly. It was a new, big experience for her!

Afterwards we got ready to head over to camp. It is going to be so hard to leave her for several days, but we know my parents will take great care of her. Have fun at Grandma and Grandpa’s, Kona!