Tag Archives: holiday

7 Ways to Transition New Pets into the Home

The holiday season is a time of year where shelters everywhere experience many “gift adoptions.” While the thought of surprising your loved ones with a long anticipated furry friend might be heartwarming, many of these gift adoptions don’t work out. Why? Because many gift adoptions are impulsive. They can also be forced – where potential adopters feel pressured to pick any cute animal just to put him or her under the tree.

Instead of bringing home a pet for Christmas, we suggest purchasing a gift certificate from Seattle Humane. This way, you’re still surprising your family with an adoption, while giving your family time to search for your perfect furry friend! You’ll also be able to include them during the exciting search process.

But sometimes that PURR-FECT pet comes along, and you just can’t let go of him or her. If your home has resident pets, follow our pet tips below for a seamless introduction:

 

1. Introduce dogs in a neutral environment.

Dogs should be introduced in a neutral environment. Seattle Humane requires all dogs meet prior to introduction. But before bringing home your new family member, be sure to let the dogs meet again in a park.

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Leash both the dogs and introduce them in a calm area. Have one person handle one dog each. Make sure to keep walking until your dog’s body language is calm and relaxed. Keep leashes loose as tense leash can make your pet anxious.

Once the dogs are showing curiosity about each other, allow them some sniffing time. Treat good behavior in both dogs promptly. If the dogs lash out at each other, pull them away and resume walking.

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Typically, dogs will become at ease with each other after a good walk. But sometimes when taking them home, resident dogs may exhibit territorial behavior. Do not punish dogs for being aggressive. Remember that the introduction process is highly variable with each dog. Be patient and remain positive.

 

2. Introduce cats to resident pets by scent.

Cats should be introduced to resident pets by scent. Confine resident pets in one room and allow the new kitty to sniff around the house. Once kitty is adjusted to the new smells, confine him/her in a room of his/her own. See the picture below for room inspirations! Then allow resident pets to sniff out the house.

Once a day, rotate the pets. Confine and allow resident pets to explore kitty’s room. While resident pets are sleuthing, allow kitty to smell out the rest of the house.

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This process should take anywhere from 1-3 weeks depending on the pets’ personalities.

Resist the urge to throw the pets in one room to “work it out.” This ironically almost never works out and instead reinforces unwanted behavior. Also, never confine a cat in a crate while allowing resident pets to sniff around the crate.

 

3. Create positive associations with their scent.

To encourage a good relationship between pets, make sure to give them plenty of treats for good behavior. Do not yell, scold, and spank if they lash out on each other. This will make them associate each other’s presence with fear and anger. Instead, pull them away from each other and give them their needed space. Try again later, and promptly reward any good behavior.

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For kitties, feed new cats in their allotted room. And feed resident pets outside the kitty’s door. Once they seem comfortable, you may put kitty’s bowl on one side of the door, and resident pets’ food on the other side.

 

4. Allow sneak peeks.

For kitties and resident pets, once they’re comfortable with each other, allow sneak peeks. You may carry kitty and allow them to see each other. Reward good behavior. Moderate hissing is normal. But if fearful behavior comes out, put kitty back in the room. Try again the next day, and reward good behavior.

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Another good method is using a baby gate and keeping kitty on one side, and resident pets on the other. This allows them to get full view and interactions, while still providing a safe barrier.

 

5. Exercise the dogs regularly.

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If the dogs are tired out from exercise and play, a seamless home transition is more likely. Cooped up dogs are more likely to lash out from frustration.

 

6. Do not leave pets unattended.

Even though your pets might look like they get along, do not leave them unattended for a few months. You never know how pets will interact once you leave.

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Instead, continue to confine your new pet in their own space, while leaving resident pets in their usual set up.

 

7. Be patient and get your family on board.

Introducing pets to each other is a long process that requires lots of individual and team effort. Do not be discouraged if your pets need some time to get used to each other.

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Just keep trying, be gentle, slow down, and be positive. Also be sure to talk to your family to get a game plan on board.

Sweetheart Sunday – Poppy

It’s Sweetheart Sunday. Please meet Poppy, a 3-year-old purebred American Bulldog! 

Poppy is just the sweetest, gentlest girl you’ll ever meet.

 

 

Poppy has incredible manners. Watch her take treats oh-so-gently from my hand.

 

 

She has irresistible eyes that will melt hearts. She’ll look up at you adoringly when you show her some love.

 

 

Poppy is a quiet girl. But, she’ll let you know when she’s ready to play.

Watch Poppy politely asking me to play with her!

 

 

Poppy absolutely ADORES playing tug of war. She’s a fair player too!

She’s very strong, but knows how to play the game with gentle give-and-take.

 

 

She’ll hog the rope toy if you let her!

I highly suggest you do, because she talks to it and it’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen!  

 

 

Poppy’s also a major pro at fetch. She’ll literally play fetch with anything! Watch her chase her puzzle toy around.

 

 

Once you’ve played with her, Poppy doesn’t hold back her gratitude!

She’ll express her adoration for you by leaning on your leg and giving LOTS of gentle kisses.

 

 

So don’t delay! Come by Seattle Humane and adopt this gentle honey today!

 

Learn more about Poppy here

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!

Introducing Sweetheart Sunday!

Happy Sunday fellow animal lovers! Today, we are launching an excited weekly post called Sweetheart Sundays where we feature a pet who is still waiting for his or her furr-ific home!

Our first Sweetheart Sunday is true to her title. Introducing the biggest love bug in the world, Rosalie!

Her name isn’t the only thing that’s pretty about her. Rosalie is a babe.

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I mean, look at those EYES!

Rosalie also got a brain to match her beauty. This girl is smart. Watch her sit!

 

But Rosalie doesn’t let her beauty and brains get to her head! She’s loves everyone! We met for only a few seconds before she went to give me hugs and kisses.

Then she put a tennis ball in my hand, and her goofball side REALLY came out during fetch. Watch her excitedly run for the ball and forget it! 

 

The best part about Rosalie? She’s still available for adoption. You know you can’t resist that face! So stop by Seattle Humane today and meet her today! 

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Check out more footage of this beauty.

For more information about Rosalie’s ideal home, visit her profile!

 

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!