We're Pupford! Ask us anything about dogs! We're empowering dog owners to experience healthy relationships with their pups through training and nutrition! AMA!

May 15, 2018

Would you do whatever it takes to keep your pup healthy and happy? 🐶

At Pupford (where our dogs outnumber us as employees... see our employee picture day below), our answer is an overwhelming YES. We are passionate about helping dog owners create better relationships with their pups and keep those pups’ tails wagging.

A little backstory. 👇🏼

One of our founders Yukiko is a mother to two senior Dachshunds and a fluffball Samoyed.  She LOVES dogs (maybe a little too much... actually that's not possible.) and got into fostering surrendered pups in our home state of Utah about three years ago.

When you bring a new foster pup into your home, most of their background is a complete mystery. All you know is that it’s your duty to prepare them for adoption into a loving home. Preparing pups for adoption is like caring for any other dog, and it revolves around three critical components:

  1. Companionship - Both man and dog are historically social beings and neither can thrive without meaningful relationships.
  2. Nutrition - Receiving the right daily nutrition can rapidly transform a dog’s physical and mental health.
  3. Training - Proper obedience encourages positive behaviors, provides mental stimulation, and builds trust.

These three things work together in tandem to make a pup truly happy! 

So, let's chat about how to make those 👆🏼three critical components happen! We love pups, so ask us anything about man's best friend! 

Connect with us on Instagram too, because who doesn't want their feed to be filled with cute doggos?! 

Pupford says:

This AMA will end May 16, 2018 5PM EDT

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Does it make you a bad person if you have to give up a dog you love so much because of health issues or if your landlord prohibits pets?
May 16, 8:29AM EDT0

Thanks for the question.

This is, of course, a very delicate situation. We believe that before getting a new dog, owners should be fully aware and prepared for the huge task and blessing that is owning a dog.

Specifically, with the landlord issue, it is important to clarify and ensure those things before getting a dog. Of course, unforeseen circumstances can arise in which dog owners should do everything in their power to either find a new living arrangement or ensure the rehoming of their pet.

With health issues, we believe that is also an inherent part of dog ownership that should be carefully considered before taking the leap to get a new dog. As situations change, these health issues can at times become extreme. In these cases, we advocate strongly that owners who are unable to care for their dog do all they can to ensure their pup finds a new home, and not just abandon the pup at a shelter.

We feel that the most important thing is to assess your situation (financially, living arrangements, etc.) before getting a new dog. When that happens, both owners and dogs can live happier and healthier lives.

May 16, 11:29AM EDT0
What’s the best way to introduce a new dog to a family who already has a very territorial dog?
May 16, 5:31AM EDT0

Great question!

This video gives some great insight into this challenge!

A couple notes.

It is important to build trust between the two dogs as much as possible. That often is created more effectively outside of the home (the area the dog is territorial over) like at a park.

Once they have some level of trust and surety with each other, moving the 'meetings' into the home can be more effective.

May 16, 11:14AM EDT0
When are you launching? Where will you ship to?
May 16, 2:27AM EDT0

We are working to launch sometime in July. You can stay in the loop here pupford.com/pages/be-the-first-to-know

We are currently planning to launch just in the United States and potentially Canada (some of this is still up in the air). We do have plans to strategically expand into other countries, but as you may know, there are strict compliance regulations for shipping food products to foreign countries.

On a side note, our upcoming digital training courses and content will, of course, be available all over the world.

May 16, 11:11AM EDT0
Is it possible to train a dog who’s no longer a puppy?
May 16, 12:49AM EDT0

In regards to old age, any age dog can learn new commands with the right training techniques. It’s NEVER too late!

Yes, it may be more difficult than training a puppy, but even senior dogs can pick up new commands. I recently helped our 12-year-old Puggle learn new commands and improved his leash walking ability, so yes it is possible! :)

We are in the process of launching our digital obedience training courses that will be available free to all dog owners! You can join our newsletter to know when these new courses launch! https://pupford.com/

May 16, 11:12AM EDT0
How do you make sure that a person will be a suitable owner of a dog?
May 15, 5:20PM EDT0

When we work with foster dogs, the process of finding the right owner is very extensive and thorough.

Each potential owner must complete a lengthy application with questions about their home situation, other pets in the home, children in the home, prior dog experience, ability to exercise with the dog, ability to train, and much more.

It is also important to note that each dog requires different owner and home types. For example, a senior dog may fit perfectly with a busy home full of kids who may not have tons of time to exercise or train a dog. Whereas a younger, large breed dog would need a new owner who could take him on walks, hikes, and fully train him.

After the application process, each potential new home goes through a meet and greet process with the dog to ensure that the owner and dog get along and have a connection. The process is very important to us to ensure that the dog finds the best home possible.

Please let us know of any other questions :)

May 15, 6:51PM EDT0

So, my dog is 3. She's SUPER excitable!! (She's a doxador - part dachsund, part labrador.) When she gets excited, she pees. Every time. When someone comes to the door, she pees. When she sees a treat, she pees. What on earth can I do to stop this??? We take her out plenty often. She could have been out to pee 5 minutes before someone arrives, and it doesn't matter. More pee. 

Long post, but advice would be much appreciated!

May 15, 3:38PM EDT1

Our pup, Doris, had a similar problem when she was younger. Peeing is a submissive behavior and when a dog does it, they are basically saying to you "I am not a threat."

Our recommendation is when you see your pup for the first time in a while, or when she meets new people, totally ignore her and don't pet her immediately. (This can be hard to do with a cute little pupper!) Once they've had a minute to calm down, then you can great them after they sit for you (hopefully you're teaching them to sit when greeted 😀 )

This should help any time they are excited. Even when you're giving her a treat - try giving it to her with less emotion. Once she gets better with the excited peeing, then you can bring back more excitement into rewards. Dogs can read emotion extremely well and when you're very excited and greet them with a high pitched, excited "Hi puppy!!!" and pet them playfully, then they get more excited and are prone to peeing. When visitors come to your home, have them do the same and completely ignore the pup at first - then once she's calmed down, they can greet each other properly.

*****One VERY important note: punishing and scolding for this behavior will not help solve the problem, it will only make it worse because your pup will want to be even more submissive and potentially pee more.*****

This issue should get better as your pup gets older as well.

Let us know of any other questions :)

May 15, 4:18PM EDT0
If you ask someone else to train your dog, would you dog still follow you?
May 15, 1:21PM EDT0

Very interesting question Megan.

Our answer is yes.

There are many options for 'boarded training' where you send your dog away for an extended time. The theory is that once the dog has learned the commands, he or she will respond to those engrained commands no matter who is leading them.

I personally have gone the route of training my dogs on my own (with professional guidance) because I feel that I have established a stronger connection emotionally with them because of it. 

Either way, having your pup trained can be extremely worthwhile and fulfilling.

Ask any other questions you may have :)

Last edited @ May 15, 1:31PM EDT.
May 15, 1:26PM EDT0

Also want to add that we will be launching trainer-led digital training courses in the near future. Our hope is to help dog owners worldwide get the training they need for free!

May 15, 1:27PM EDT0
Is there a special way to deal with dogs who've been abused by previous owners?
May 15, 1:14PM EDT0

Thanks for this question, Diane!

This can be a very difficult and tense situation.

Building trust with the pup is extremely important. Previously abused dogs often have serious trust issues (understandably).

There are many ways to build trust. Some are as follows:

-Playing games and giving exercise. As simple as that may sound, it shows the dog that you have interest in their happiness and well-being.

-Training. Of course, this can be difficult but it is extremely important. Zak George (who we are partnering with to launch a free digital training course) has a great video that talks about this: 

Anything you can do to build trust back up with your dog will help greatly.

Thanks for your question :)

May 15, 1:23PM EDT0
Did you have to pass any regulations for getting the dog food to market? Is it a tedious process?
May 15, 6:45AM EDT0

Great question!

Yes, there are a lot of regulations for getting the food to market.

Dog food regulations fall under the umbrella of the FDA who follow the guidelines of AAFCO. Compliance with these guidelines is policed by individual states. All certifications and regulations must be met based on the state that you sell it.

So, yes we have gone through all of these regulations to ensure that our food meets all requirements and of course, provides the best nutrition for your pup!

May 15, 11:20AM EDT0
How to know the best brand for the food of your dog? All are advertised as the best!
May 15, 6:05AM EDT0

We believe in what's called 'Ingredient Synergy'. You can learn more about it here: pupford.com/pages/be-the-first-to-know

May 15, 11:12AM EDT0
What is the most popular product sold on your shop?
May 14, 4:23PM EDT0

Currently, our most popular product is our Vet Strength Joint Supplement.

It's formulated to support senior pups, large breeds, and dogs with joint issues.

With veterinary strength ingredients like Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Green Lipped Mussel, and Glucosamine Hydrochloride this is the ultimate supplement to help alleviate your dog’s joint pain and start repairing those damaged joints.

May 14, 6:05PM EDT0
What are some of the common problems thad dogs have before you rehabilitate them?
May 14, 1:44PM EDT1

Although nutritional and other health issues are common, the most common problem we’ve encountered is a lack of training.

The large majority of foster pups don’t know how to sit, stay, or any other basic commands.

96% of dogs that end up in shelters have received ZERO obedience training. That is why we are working to launch our free digital training courses. These courses are aimed to help owners have successful and happy relationships with their pups, and in turn lower the number of dogs in shelters.

May 14, 3:40PM EDT0
How often should a pet owner get their dog to the vet? How does that change with their age and is it same across breeds?
May 14, 11:05AM EDT0

This is a very great question! When a pup is very young, they require more frequent visits. Young pups need to receive the necessary shots, vaccinations, and checkups at a young age, which demands more frequent visits.

As they age, dogs can typically get by with visiting the vet once or twice a year! Your vet will really be able to give you the most accurate answer for your dog’s needs.

Similarly to humans, getting your pup a frequent check-up can help you catch any health issues before they become serious or life-threatening!

When your dog gets to senior age, they often need more frequent visits as new health issues are more likely to develop at old ages (again, very similar to humans).

May 14, 3:39PM EDT0
Is training necessary for small breeds and dogs that are just companions?
May 14, 5:15AM EDT0

We feel that training (at least basic obedience training) is extremely important for all breeds. As we train our pups, it allows us to have a stronger and healthier relationship with them.

Basic obedience is important for the safety of both your dog and the people around your pup. Teaching your dog how to behave in public and at home can give you better peace of mind and help your dog feel more comfortable in what can be otherwise stressful situations.

May 14, 3:39PM EDT0
How do you choose your employees? What kind of experience do you look for?
May 14, 1:57AM EDT0

Must love dogs :)

May 14, 3:39PM EDT0
Is it okay for a dog owner to feed his dog from the same food he eats?
May 13, 8:24PM EDT0

Short answer, no.

Dogs have different dietary needs than humans. A  risk of feeding your dog home-cooked meals is that he or she may not receive all the necessary proteins, vitamins, and amino acids for a happy and healthy pup.

It is important to find a dog food that gives your pup high-quality ingredients in a form that keeps their nutritional value!

May 14, 3:38PM EDT0
How does the cost of the dog food you developed compare to regular dog food?
May 13, 6:24PM EDT0

Thanks for this question! Our dog food only costs about $70 for a month supply (for a 25-30 pound dog), or about $40 for the 4 lb bag. It equates to about $2.15 per pound.

In comparison to kibble, it is slightly more expensive. But, the same is true for food for yourself, right? You might save a few bucks a month eating fast food every single day, but at what long-term cost?

The dollar for dollar or cost per pound comparison of our food to “regular kibble” doesn’t show the whole picture. Although you likely would pay less for a kibble food, you need to think about why it costs less. Kibble companies often sacrifice quality and use fillers, just to maximize their profits!

We feel that spending a little bit more on your dog’s food will provide benefits that greatly outweigh the cost difference. These benefits can include a healthier weight, better brain capacity, a healthier skin & coat and overall improved health. That’s something you won’t always find in a cheaper “regular kibble”.

For us, it comes back to having the best relationship with our pups. We want to provide dog owners with the highest quality, delicious dog food to help them live happy and healthy lives.

May 14, 3:38PM EDT0
Are vegetables and fruit good for dogs?
May 13, 10:03AM EDT0

It very much depends on the type of fruit and vegetable! Here is an extensive list of fruits and vegetables that are good for your dog. www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/natural-foods/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/

Quick insight:

A few DOs: apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, blueberries.

A few DONTs: cherries, grapes, tomatoes.

Our dehydrated dog food contains some fantastic fruits and vegetables for your pups like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and more!

May 14, 3:38PM EDT0
Do you have any competition with the Pupford dog food? It seems so simple and genius that it’s crazy it has not been done before!
May 13, 9:37AM EDT0

Great question! Yes, there are some other companies that sell dehydrated dog food.

Our feeling is that we are truly ‘competing’ against all the bad-nutrition foods out there! We want to see all dog owners have the understanding and access to healthy food that can help them create a stronger lifelong relationship with their pup.

May 14, 3:37PM EDT0
Do you have any background as a veternarian? How did you prepare yourself to deal with dogs? Do you think dog owners should have some basic training for that?
May 13, 7:07AM EDT0

I personally do not have background as a veterinarian. I prepared myself to deal with dogs by reading books, viewing videos about dog health and training, attending obedience classes, and by doing lots of other research about dogs.

With that being said, I found it difficult to find quality information, especially around training. Everything was quite scattered and made it difficult to put it all together in a logical manner.

That is why we are working to launch digital dog training courses that will help ‘train’ current and future dog owners to have the skills necessary to help their dog live a healthy and happy life!

May 14, 3:37PM EDT0
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