Category Archives: Pet Tips

Doggie Duds: Puppy Potty Training

Who doesn’t love a puppy? Adorable, floppy, and downright goofy, every home cherishes these early days. But with puppyhood comes… potty training.
Follow our six simple steps to build a strong potty training foundation with your pup. 

 

1. Crate Train.

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Dogs are natural den dwellers and most will seek a “den” of their own. Crates often become a sanctuary for dogs – they rest, chew, and seek refuge in that space. It’s also a great tool to support your potty training efforts. Because puppies will be confined in short periods of time, it reduces the likelihood of potty accidents and unwanted behavior such as chewing. *

Crates should be big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down. If you get a crate for the puppy to grow into, make sure your crate comes with a wire divider. Place the wire divider in the crate to limit the amount of room he/she has.

*Crate training is not a license to confine pets for half a day. For more explicit crate training instructions click here.

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2. Set Realistic Expectations.

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Puppies are able to hold their bladders for as many hours as their age in months (up to 9 months). For example, a 3 month old puppy will be able to hold his/her bladder for ±3 hours. This means that you should take your puppy out of his/her crate every few hours.

Potty training takes a full year to master on average. Do not feel discouraged or resentful if your potty training dog has accidents. However, frequent indoor accidents after 1 year could indicate a medical problem, and you should consult a vet.

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3. Create a Feeding Schedule.

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A set feeding schedule is key to potty training success. It becomes hard to control your puppy’s bladder if they are eating and drinking as they please. Feed puppies under 6 months, 2-3 times daily. Make sure that you are dividing their daily intake recommendation by number of feedings to prevent overfeeding.

Immediately after your puppy eats, take them potty.

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3. Repetition is the Key to Mastery.

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Take puppy out to the same spot every time, and give a chosen command (“go potty”). This will help your puppy understand your expectation. After several eliminations, your puppy should recognize the area’s smell and encourage him/her to go potty.

When your puppy is at their designated potty spot, keep them on leash, and allow them 10-15 minutes to sniff around.

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4. Potty Break Successful?

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Reward puppy with a treat immediately after elimination. When you bring them back inside, allow them around 30 mins of action-packed play and running around. Excitement can also cause a puppy to go potty, so be sure to take him/her outside for a potty opportunity before crating again.

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5. Potty Break Unsuccessful?

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If your puppy doesn’t go potty, place him/her back inside the crate. Try again in 15-30 mins. You may have to take them in and out a few times, but maintain your patience and keep encouraging your pup.

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6. Don’t Do’s.

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Even though puppy potty training can be frustrating and long, there are common practices that hinder the potty training process.

  • DO NOT shove your dog’s muzzle in his/her mess. Dogs do not have the intellectual capacity to connect their urine and feces. This will only teach your dog to fear you.
  • DO NOT scold your dog or be aggressive as you’re waiting for them to go potty outside. You will create a negative association with their designated potty space.
  • DO NOT free-feed. This will make it hard for you and your dog to control their bladder and bowels.
  • DO NOT leave your puppy in the crate for the entirety of your work day. If you are gone for longer than they can hold their bladder, hire a dog walker.

6 Winter Tips to Keep Fido Safe and Warm

Now that it feels like we’re in the dead of winter here in the PNW, what should you do to keep your dogs happy and active? Whether it’s indoor play or outdoor play, we’re here to save you and your furry babies from being cooped up all winter long.

 

1. Watch out for stinging and cracked paws!

Image Source: Pet Finder

It’s important that you keep a close eye on those adorable paws during cold and wet months. While winter walks can be crisp and refreshing, cold damp sidewalks and the chemical agents used to defrost our areas is enough to dry out paws, cause discomfort, and lead to cracked, bleeding paws.

To protect your pet’s paws, apply a moderate layer of petroleum jelly or other pet paw protection waxes. This will add a barrier layer between your pet’s paws and the ground. When you’re done with your walk, always spread those furry toes and inspect  paw pads for debris and injuries, as shown below.

Image Source: Daily Mail

If you live in an area with harsher winters, consider purchasing pet booties to keep those adorable furry feet protected and warm!

 

2. Bring a Towel on Walks

Image Source: Drypet.com

Can’t stay away from nature walks and hikes? Then be sure to bring a towel and water for your pup. On walks, periodically check your dog’s belly and legs to see if they need a quick towel dry. Wet bellies and legs can rapidly decrease body temperature

Also make sure to offer your dog some water in between dry offs. Cold winter months tend to be drier, which will increase their water needs.

 

3. Keep Your Home Warm and Humidified

Image Source: ifunny.com

ASPCA recommends keeping your home warm and humidified during winter walks. Repeated transitions from the cold to indoor dry heat can be taxing on your dog’s skin (and yours too!). Keeping a humidifier on during cold months will help skin retain some moisture.

 

4. Hold the Baths!

Image Source: Dogguide.com

Bathe your pets less during the cold seasons to protect their skin. But if your dogs get muddy and dirty playing, it’s still best to bathe them. To keep their coats shiny and their skin moisturized, opt for oatmeal-based shampoos.

For dogs prone to dry skin and skin infections (like Cocker Spaniels), mix 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts shampoo to moisturize and cleanse at the same time. When you wash it off, the coconut oil will partially stay on their skin – leaving them silky and smelling good!

 

5. Get Them a Coat

Image Source: Blue Willow Dog Coats

Dogs that frequently walk in the cold will benefit from a nice jacket. While a simple fleece layer is enough for many large dogs, those who live in areas with heavier snowfall will also appreciate a significant extra layer. If you’d like to purchase something a little more heavy duty for your dog, check out Blue Willow Dog Coats.

 

6. Have Fun Indoors!

Image Source: Positively

On days where weather is not cooperating, or where you would like to keep your dog clean, indoor play is an excellent option! Dogwood Play Park and House of Ruff in Seattle, offer canines and their companions a space of play and mingle. While your dogs have fun ruff-housing, you can grab a drink and relax! For the more introverted dog, K9 House of Fun offers a reservable space for solo-play.

Check out our previous rainy day pet tips for more indoor fun ideas!

6 Thanksgiving Tips to Keep Your Pets (and Turkey) Safe

Every Thanksgiving, pets everywhere are popping their cute heads over kitchen counters. It’s hard to resist those cute big eyes begging for a taste. And while we all love to spoil our pets, here are some guidelines to follow to keep your fur babies healthy and happy:

1. Keep Food Away from your Pet’s Reach

Image Source: Barkpost
Image Source: Barkpost

Keep food a safe distance away from pets. This enables you to control what and how much they’re eating. If you’d like to throw your pup a slice of turkey breast, sweet potato, and vegetables – go for it! Just make sure that piece of turkey is cooked through and boneless!

But there are foods you’ll want to stay away from. Don’t feed your pets turkey fat and skin, excess fat can cause diarrhea and digestive issues in pets. Also refrain from serving food that has been prepared with onions, garlic, grapes and raisins.

If you’re making bread from scratch, don’t feed your pets the dough! Raw yeasted dough breaks down to alcohol when digested which can cause some serious gas at best, and a trip to the veterinary ER at worst.

 

2. Tell your Guests: Don’t Feed the Animals!

Image Source: Christian Vieler
Image Source: Christian Vieler

Everyone loves to spoil the resident pet(s). Provide your guests with a bucket of dog treats. That way you can monitor how much table scraps are given to your pets to prevent digestive issues. Also, guests might not understand what is safe or toxic for dogs. To eliminate the risk of a sick pet on thanksgiving, leave the table scrap feeding to you.

 

3. Keep Fur Babies Entertained

Image Source: WishForPets
Image Source: WishForPets

To prevent disasters like the one pictured, feed your pets before festivities begin. This will ensure their tummies are full and potentially encourage better behavior. Feel free to be generous and add a few teaspoons of drippings, lean meat, and veggies (no onions or garlic!) into their food.

 

3. A Room of Their Own

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Image Source: Bea’s Book Nook

Even the friendliest of pets can get overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Move their beds, favorite toys, and a prepared food puzzle toy or rawhide to keep them calm and entertained during the festivities.

 

5. No Sugar for Sweet Fur Babies!

Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: Pinterest

Sugar in large quantities can trigger a sugar high in pets which will cause hyperactive and unfocused behavior – a nightmare when you’re entertaining! Sugar free sweet treats often contain xylitol which is incredibly toxic to pets and can cause life-threatening symptoms. To stay in the clear, opt out of giving your pets sweets during any festivities!

 

6. Know your Emergency Procedures!

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Image Source: BarkPost

In the unlikely event your dog gets sick, have your emergency procedures handy! Know the nearest full-service animal hospital that will be open. Watch for these signs that indicate your pet needs medical attention:

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea, stool with blood, or difficult eliminating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Continuous lethargy
  • Uncoordinated movements

Contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic food. If your pet exhibits any of the signs above go to your nearest animal hospital.

Happy Thanksgiving from all at Seattle Humane!

Leading Teens One Paw at a Time

“If we are to reach [the] world… we shall have to begin with children.” — Mahatma Gandhi

At Seattle Humane, we recognize the importance of fostering and nurturing our community’s youth with lifelong skills. Leadership, advocacy, and compassion are just some of the skills we are looking to support in our youth. That’s why we are excited to unveil our new program geared to young teens 12-17 years old, Teens for Animals!

One of our youth groups after completing their program

Focusing on the unique and profound human-animal bond, Teens for Animals (TFA) strives to teach youth the importance of being an advocate and educator within their community of peers, family and friends.

While exploring the responsibilities of pet ownership and learning of the important role pets play in our community, teens will learn how to be a compassionate civic-minded leader and team player of their own respective communities.

For those who discover a deep passion in animal welfare, TFA will provide an excellent platform for exploring and conceptualizing career opportunities!

Image Source // Seattle Humane
Teens of all ages interacting with our resident pets

TFA will meet 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. on designated Saturdays starting November through May. Class sessions are a combination of animal interaction, classroom activities, and welfare advocacy. We cover everything from puppy mills to feline behavior. Learn more about our program and requirements here!

If Teens for Animals sounds like a perfect program for you, or a teen that you know, hurry and apply now!

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Here are some of our teen program graduates supporting us during a marathon!

The extended deadline for this one-of-a-kind program is November 17th. There is a low enrollment fee of $25 per applicant. This fee helps cover costs of running the program, and will include supplies for teens – a teen volunteer t-shirt, name tag and binder.

We are committed to making our programs accessible to all, if you are unable to cover the enrollment fee, please submit a scholarship request at the end of the application.

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In action: the human-animal bond as a vehicle for instilling compassion, leadership, and civic-mindedness

Top 5 Reasons Why Senior Pets are Awesome

Here at Seattle Humane, it’s no secret that our senior pets are hidden gems. Often overlooked by potential adopters, senior furry babies are given the short stick because of misconceptions. But have no fear! We are here to shatter those misconceptions, and spread the word on why senior pets are simply awesome.

 

1. What You See is What You Get

Image Source // Pibble Life
Image Source // Pibble Life

There’s no surprises with these guys! Senior pets have had time to settle into their personalities – their likes and dislikes are easily known. Also, senior pets who come into our care have a slew of behavioral tests done, so that you will know every detail of what they’re like and what pet parent would make them happiest. We make it a breeze to find your perfect fit!

 

2. House Training? What House Training?

Image Source // Midwest Animal Rescue & Services
Image Source // Midwest Animal Rescue & Services

Say goodbye to constant midnight potty breaks! Say goodbye to the dreaded non-clumping litter! Most senior dogs and cats come with oh-so-desired house training skills. A word of advice though – if your senior pet starts having accidents at home, don’t stress. It’s simply time for a veterinary visit to ensure there are no underlying issues.

 

3. They Have Indoor Manners You Can be Proud of

Image Source // Seattle Humane
Image Source // Seattle Humane

Almost all senior pets have history. This means that they’ve lived in a home with other humans before, and understand how to properly behave at home. Most senior dogs know to chew on a bone or rawhide, and to stay clear of your shoes and furniture legs. As for senior cats, they are wise enough to know that scratching posts are much better nail sharpeners than your furniture. Your home (and wallet) are safe when bringing home a senior!

 

4. No Chill Pills Needed Here!

Image Source // Seattle Humane
Image Source // Seattle Humane

Senior pets have no need for chill pills, unlike their younger comrades. By the time cats and dogs turn 6 years old, they will have calmed down significantly from their baby and teen days. This means that they need less exercise and stimulation. But don’t worry – most senior dogs still love a hike and a good game of fetch, while most senior cats still love to play with their cat wands.

 

5. They Make the Best Pets For Kids

Image Source // Today.com
Image Source // Today.com

Because senior pets have are mostly house trained, well-mannered, and calm, they make excellent companions for kids. Don’t fall for the grumpy old senior stereotype. These young-at-heart furry babies are less likely to jump and overwhelm your kids – most of them will curl up and snuggle with your human babies and you! So if you’re looking for a furry companion, don’t forget to give senior pets a second look.