Tag Archives: pet

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

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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

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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!

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

20141119_080022_resizedSeattle is a pet-friendly city and home to several pet-friendly companies including Amazon and Trupanion. This Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day; before the big day arrives we wanted to make sure to brush up on some doggie etiquette! Take advantage of this special day and bring your furry friend into work with you – if your boss lets you! If you’re planning to bring your best furry friend to work with you, follow these etiquette tips so you and your pet can have a productive and successful day in the office.

  • Do an office check. As a general rule, most companies only allow dogs in the office. If you’re planning to bring your cat or exotic pet, be sure to check in with your employer about what animals are allowed. Also, be sure to pet proof your office space! Be sure to put away anything toxic, tape loose electrical cords and place things higher up so your pooch can’t reach them.
  • Make sure your furry friend is fit for work. Your pet should be healthy, well-behaved, socialized and house trained (If there is an accident, don’t fret, just clean it up!). Remember that your office will be an unfamiliar environment so use your best judgment when it comes to the well-being of your pet. It’s also important that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date before he comes in for his big day – if he’s not feeling well, let him take a sick day at home.
  • Prepare a doggie goodie bag. Bring your pet’s bed, favorite toys, food and water, and lots of treats to help your pet feel comfortable. This will also help to keep them busy so you can do the same.
  • Don’t force interactions between your coworkers and your pet. Not everyone is comfortable with animals and you want to be respectful of how they feel. Be mindful of fellow employees’ time and space.
  • Steer clear of certain locations. Be mindful of your pet and avoid taking them in the lunchroom or restroom.
  • Keep Fido close to you. Dogs should be kept on leash unless they’re in your personal office or cubicle.
  • Come to the office prepared. Always make sure your dog is properly identified by having them wear their collar with an ID tag. If they do happen to escape your office space, having an ID tag will make it easier to help Fido get back to you as quickly as possible! Also, setting up a baby gate in the office doorway will help prevent dogs from escaping.
  • Know your options. Have a backup plan for taking your dog home if he or she is not comfortable in the work environment.

Pets can be motivators in the workplace. By improving mood, morale and interpersonal relationships – there will be a noticeable increase in productivity. Having pets in the office can also help employees learn a healthy work-life balance, encouraging them to take breaks because their pets need one, too. Happy employees are better employees!

World Spay Day is Feb. 24!

Charlie is a handsome 1-year-old Labrador Retriever who's ready to take on the world with you!
Charlie was adopted Feb. 2015!

Spaying and neutering your pets is so important, and with World Spay Day being tomorrow, we wanted to share a few of those benefits!

Spaying or neutering your dog or cat will not only improve the health and well being of your beloved family member, but you will also be taking one of the important steps toward reducing the number of unwanted pets in shelters.

· You get a healthier pet. Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to roam away from home, get injured in fights or get lost.  They live twice as long and are less likely to develop breast, uterine, ovarian, prostate or testicular cancers.  This means lower medical bills. 

· You get a happier family member.  Spay/neutered pets are freed from the constant need to roam and seek out mates.  Their personalities do not change.  They are calmer because they are more focused on being a loving member of their caregiver family.  And with adequate daily exercise and a reasonable diet, they don’t get fat.

· Your pet can relax and smell the roses.  Spayed females and your family avoid the annoyance of serenading would-be suitors – screaming and howling throughout the day and into the night.  Altered animals are less territorial, less likely to fight and less likely to bite.  Walking your pet becomes a lot safer. 

· Your pet and your house will be cleaner.  Spayed females will not have heat cycles that soil your rugs and furniture.  And neutered males are less likely to mark furniture and rugs with urine.  This means less special cleaning bills.

· Spaying or neutering your pet is a good investment.  It will cost you more to care for one litter of puppies or kittens created by your family pet.  Even a responsible breeder rarely breaks even or makes money by selling dogs or cats.  And once you multiply the increased food, basic supplies, veterinarian and advertising costs to find homes for the animals, the cost of altering your pet will look like a very smart investment.

Meet Auburn, a beautiful 8-year-old girl who can't wait to show off her purrfectly loveable charm!
Auburn was adopted in March 2015!

· Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. The high numbers of pets are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

In honor of World Spay Day, Seattle Humane held our own Feline Fix Day on February 18th where our Veterinarian Team was able to perform 52 spays and 84 neuters on felines. And although our spay day is over for this month, there are many other shelters and veterinarians who are participating in World Spay Day. To learn more information about which veterinarians and shelters are participating, click here.