Tag Archives: safety

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.

Valentine’s Day Pet Tips

VdayPromo2015_WebAdLove is in the air with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching. Flowers will be sent and chocolates will be devoured, but some of these things can be dangerous for our pets. It’s important to keep certain foods, flowers and other items out of paws’ reach. There’s a rise in cases for poison control every year around Valentine’s Day that involve chocolate and lilies which can be potentially fatal for our cats.

We have listed some advice and pet tips to help you and your furry friends have a safe and happy holiday!

Pet-Friendly Flowers

Be sure to request that lilies are removed from a bouquet if the recipient has a cat at home. If you receive a bouquet of flowers, make sure to look through and remove all the dangerous flowers and plants. Check out this list of what should and shouldn’t be in your bouquets for the safety of your pets.


It’s okay for us to indulge in a little chocolate, but for our pets it can cause some damage and possible be life-threatening. With darker chocolates there’s a chance that it can affect gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiac function which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The lighter chocolates contain higher fat and can also lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Leave the chocolate to the humans and keep it out of paws’ reach!


It’s a completely normal time to break out a little wine or bubbly, but be sure to be extra cautious around your pets. If you spill your drink, make sure to clean it up before

This happy girl is Jasmine, a 3-year-old tabby with mesmerizing eyes!
Jasmine was adopted into a home of her own in Feb. 2015!

your pet can get to it and lick it up. Due to their smaller size, it can cause a lot of harm or potentially fatal respiratory failure if enough is ingested.


Keep your flower arrangements away from your pet! If they step, bite or swallow a thorny flower it can cause a serious infection or a puncture.

Burning Candles

It’s nice to have a romantic setting with candles or a little burning flame, but be sure to put the flame out before leaving the room. Our pets might be nosy and curious and can either cause a fire by knocking them over or burn themselves.

Gifts and Packaging

All of those pretty bows, ribbons, cellophane and balloons can cause your pet to choke or vomit if ingested. After opening presents, just do a quick clean-up session so it doesn’t pose a problem for your furry friends!

Luna is a fabulous 7-year-old German Shepherd mix who will make a great companion.
Luna was adopted in Feb. 2015!

Four-legged Companion

What’s better than getting a cuddly puppy or kitten for Valentine’s Day – however, returning a pet you hadn’t planned on having is not so romantic. A furry friend is a lifelong commitment and sometimes choosing a pet for someone else doesn’t always turn out right. Instead of adopting a pet for someone, you can always get an adoption gift certificate for that special someone! With no expiration date, your sweetheart has as long as it takes to find the pet of their dreams. Adoption gift certificates can be purchased by phone at (425) 649-7563 or in person at the shelter.

And if the time is right now, come visit the Seattle Humane Society – we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with half price adoption fees on dogs and cats 3 years and up, February 13-15!

Enjoy a happy and pet safe Valentine’s Day!

Pet Tips for a Safe and Fun Super Bowl!

10915204_10153042143252002_3696256560600945908_nAs we all get excited for the big game this weekend, we also need to remember our pet’s needs. This weekend is all about delicious finger foods, screaming fans and football! But, while you’re shrieking at the TV and jumping around like you’ve never seen a football game before in your life, your poor, confused pets will be taking the brunt of your excitement. Below are some tips on how to have a safe and fun Super Bowl for you and your furry friends!

  • Don’t forget your pet’s needs. Just because the biggest game is on TV doesn’t mean you can forgo your pet’s bathroom breaks and social needs. Record the commercials and save them for later while you give your pooch some much needed attention!
  • Keep the wings away. Although you might think sharing a bone with your dog might be nice, it can be very dangerous for them. Not only can it make their stomach upset due to all the fat and grease, but the bones can cause them to choke. If you really want to treat your pet, make some homemade doggy biscuits or stuff a Kong toy to keep them entertained and happily fed.
  • Create a quiet space. All the yelling and cheering can not only spook some of us humans, but also our pets. Create a nice quiet space where you pet can escape the loud noises and be able to relax in the peace and quiet. You might even consider putting them in another room with some fresh water and turning on some relaxing background noise.
  • Watch where you put your food. Having things out on the coffee table can make it really easy for pets to access. It might be convenient, but the greasy and salty foods shared at parties aren’t all that great for our pets. Try to keep things up on higher counters away from the reach of your pets.
  • Keep things tidy. Don’t leave cups or dishes around. Our pets love to get into food and beer when it’s left out.
  • Put your friend’s shoes away. Just in case, you don’t want your dog munching on someone’s shoe and have them be destroyed! Put the shoes in a closet or a place where your pets won’t be able to get them.


Enjoy the game, and GO HAWKS!

Holiday Pet Safety

AHP_4422-LThe holidays can be an exciting time with people visiting, lots of packages, lights, music, trees, wonderful smells from the kitchen, and days getting busier and busier. To ease your pet’s stress, it’s important to try to keep their routine as close to the same as possible. Of course we want to include our furry friends, but keeping their exercise and eating habits as close to their normal routines as possible is important. Also, you want to be sure to keep them from eating unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

• Christmas trees. Making sure your tree is securely anchored so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing a possible injury to your pet. You can always use fishing line to secure your tree to the ceiling or wall in case of any accidents, and place your breakable ornaments in higher spots. This is also insuring that the tree water doesn’t spill, which could include fertilizers which could cause your pet to have an upset stomach. Your pet could end up feeling very sick if they drink your tree water. To prevent your pet from drinking the tree water, try covering the base around the stand with a tree skirt.

• Tinsel. Kittens especially are attracted to this shiny, sparkly “toy” that they can bat around and carry in their mouths. A nibble can easily lead to them swallowing the tinsel, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract and can cause severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. If at all possible, try to find something else to decorate with, other than tinsel.

• Food. It’s very important that we keep our sweets and especially chocolate away from our furry friends. But there are also many other things that we need to keep in mind to keep out of the way of our pets. Often times our table scraps have herbs and seasonings that can make our pets very sick. It’s important to do your research before feeding them anything from the table – and instead of table scraps, try spoiling your pet with a new toy or pet biscuit! Also be aware of the things they can get into, such as garbage cans or items left out on the counter! Our pets can be very sneaky – so be on the lookout!

 Toys. We love to give our pets gifts for the holiday season, but make sure you pick out toys and gifts that are safe for them!

Some things to keep in mind:

  •  Dogs often like to tear toys apart and can swallow the smaller pieces that come off, this can lead to them becoming lodged into the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Kong toys are a great and safe gift for your pet to enjoy, and it can be cheap to refill! It’s easy to stuff different foods and treats in your pet’s Kong to keep them entertained and safe from harm’s way.
  •  Although our feline friends enjoy the long, stringy toys, these can be the most risky toys for them. It’s important to watch out for ribbon, yarn, string and other loose little parts that can get stuck in their intestines that can often lead to surgery. Instead, surprise your kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow or a stuffed cat nip toy – they will be very happy!

• Holiday plants. Some plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and various berries can cause pets to suffer from serious illness. Instead of taking the chance that your pet could ingest this, try to opt for some holly-jolly artificial plants to ensure that they are pet-safe!

• Candles. Having that holiday glow is nice, but be sure not to leave them unattended because if they are knocked over it could cause a fire or they could burn themselves. Also use appropriate candle holders, and place them on a stable surface and higher up out of reach. Those fluffy tails can be a problem around a burning flame!

• Wires. Try to place electrical wires and cords along with lights strings in our-of-reach areas, especially if your pet is a chewer! Wires can deliver a potential lethal electrical shock to your pet. Also making sure batteries are out of reach too because a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.

• House rules. If you have animal-loving friends who just need to play with your pet, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session, but then after a while let your pet have the opportunity to retreat to their own quiet space. Sometimes our pets just need a little alone time in their own private space. Make sure to provide them ample fresh water and a nice place to snuggle up and relax. Often times the noise can be too overwhelming for our furry friends and it’s nice to have an outlet for them.

• Meds and alcohol. Be sure to keep all medication and alcoholic beverages away from your pets. If they’re ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

• New Year’s Noise. As much fun as the big countdown is for us, it can be dangerous and frightening for our furry loves. Keep in mind that the strings of confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines if ingested and potentially lead to surgery. And also noisy poppers can be terrifying for our pets and can cause damage to sensitive ears.

We all want to have a great holiday season, including our furry friends! Just be sure to be aware of the dangers that are around during this busy time. It’s possible to have a fun and safe holiday season, just be aware of the tips listed above!

Happy Holidays from Seattle Humane!AHP_4443-L

How to Have a Fido-Friendly Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingInfographicThe bounty of rich, tempting foods at Thanksgiving can pose health hazards to our four-legged friends, making Thanksgiving a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Keep your pets healthy and safe this holiday season!

Seattle Humane Society urges pet guardians to follow five common sense tips to keep pets healthy and happy during the holiday fun and festivities:

  1. Keep the feast out of reach! Agile and creative dogs or cats can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table.
  2. Resist offering your leftovers. Rich and fatty foods like dressing, pie, and gravy can lead to serious and painful pancreatitis.
  3. No turkey bones! Turkey bones can cause very serious and sometimes fatal consequences for your pet.
  4. Plan ahead for pets. Stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats and then reduce the amount of his regular meal to accommodate the treats he will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food, so having him skip dinner may be a prudent choice if he has been snacking all day.
  5. Make a special treat. Some people enjoy cooking for their dog and cat while they are cooking for the rest of the family. Pick up a recipe book just for companion animals at the book store, or just type “homemade pet treat recipes” into your favorite web search engine for lots of interesting choices.


Here are some recipes for homemade goodies for your dogs to enjoy:

Healthy pumpkin balls

This snack is not only delicious but is also filled with fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.


  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
  4. Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
  5. Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
  6. Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened

Apple crunch pupcakes

A fruity treat your dog will adore


  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dried apple chips (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix water, applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended
  4. Pour into lightly greased muffin pans
  5. Bake 1 ¼ hours


Some things to watch out for

  • Keep into account the allergies your dog has to specific ingredients
  • Store your homemade dog treats in an airtight container and place them in the freezer
  • Allow them to thaw for 10-20 minutes before serving to your dog
  • Treats can last for up to 6 months in the freezer

There are many tasty treat recipes for your canine out there, but here is a website with a few more healthy homemade treats!