Tag Archives: senior

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.

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.

Kind Donations for Senior Pets

Max, with his little sister, dropping off his kind donations for our senior dogs at the shelter.
Max, with his little sister, dropping off his kind donations for our senior dogs at the shelter.

As December is finally upon us, that means November and Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month are now over. Throughout the month of November, all senior pets 7 years and up had their adoption fee discounted. During this time, we were able to find loving homes for 35 senior pets!

Our special promotion was publicized in our November e-newsletter earlier in the month and was spotted by a very special individual. Max, who’s only 10 years old, is the founder and CEO of The Dog-Gone-Good Company, and he donated a basket of goods to each senior pet who was adopted. We met with Max two weeks ago as he brought in a few “Thank You” baskets for each new parent of an adopted senior dog. All baskets included a hand-tied fleece blanket, various toys, two bags of biscuits and a voucher for a free initial examination at Loyal Companion Vet Clinic.

Max founded his company in 2012 to raise funds to attend summer camp. Now, his company has grown to include two other team members along with two interns. He generously donates twenty percent of all profits to animal rescues and fundraisers he’s involved in.

The Dog-Gone-Good Company makes all natural organic dog biscuits with only human-grade ingredients. As of right now they have six different dog treat flavors, and when you order a bag of biscuits, you get a free dog toy!

If you’re looking for a great holiday gift for your canine friend, consider getting them gourmet all natural doggy biscuits from The Dog-Gone-Good Company!

 

November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month!

Meet Jamie, a sweet 10-year-old Chihuahua mix ready for some adventure!
Jamie, adopted Nov. 4, 2014!

Now is the perfect time to adopt a senior pet. Why? Because November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month, and senior pets are just the best! All month long the fee for adopting a senior pet will be reduced!

A majority of senior pets come to us due to no fault of their own. Sometimes their owners become too ill to take care of them or they just don’t have the means to make owning a pet possible anymore. Our senior pets are so special and deserve that extra special love and care!

When looking for the perfect pet it’s easy to go for the cute little puppy, but what about that adorable older dog? Most of us tend to overlook the senior pets. What you didn’t take into account though was the countless hours needed to be spent with a new puppy. Many senior dogs already know all their doggy manners and are a lot more manageable! Shelters are filled with happy, healthy and active senior dogs that are in need of a home.

As you are looking for a dog, don’t look past the older dogs. They make great pets for numerous reasons!

Senior dogs need love and homes just as badly as younger pups. Many older dogs were once owned and loved by someone, and for whatever reason they were given up and are in need of a new home. They make loving and loyal companions, just like any other dog!

Queenie is an inquisitive 11-year-old girl, ready to be your new snuggle buddy!
Queenie was adopted in November 2014!

Just add love! All they need is love. Older animals adapt to their new family after a little love and time. You might not be their first family, but they won’t show you any less love! They will quickly shower you with love and you will become his love and only family! Older dogs have been around the block and they already know what it takes to get along with others, they will be a part of the family in no time at all!

They know they have been given a second chance at life. More mature dogs and cats truly understand that they have been saved and given that second chance. You can see it in their eyes, that they are saying, “thank you for saving me.” Older dogs are often the last to be adopted, so you can be a hero!

Make great companions for any age. Senior pets typically have a more relaxed temperament which makes a great pet for the young and the elderly alike! Our younger children can benefit from a senior pet who is more tolerant and may already be well socialized with the younger kiddos. More mature people also benefit from our senior pets because they are more likely to be aligned with their energy level. They will still need the exercise, as does any pet, but they aren’t going to need to run a marathon every day!

This little guy is Timmy, an 8-year-old Chihuahua/Dachshund mix ready to become a part of your family!
Timmy was adopted in November 2014!

They are super-loving companions. Like we said above, senior pets typically already have a more relaxed temperament and know what it takes to get along with everyone! Older dogs already know how to make a great loving, loyal companion and late night snuggle buddy. We often get emails from adopters who have adopted wonderful senior pets telling us how it was an instant bond and they couldn’t be happier with their choice!

What you see, is what you get. There won’t be any surprise growth spurts or major temperament changes. They have already grown into their body and personality so you know they will be a good fit for you and your family.

They aren’t a 24-7 job. Grown-up dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, they allow you to have more freedom. They already have their routines set in place, and enjoy their relaxing and nap time. Older animals are mellower than younger pets and more emotionally mature.

This fluffy sweetheart is Baxer, she's an 11-year-old loving girl awaiting your visit!
Baxter was adopted in November 2014!

Training is a lot easier. A senior pet may already know some basic commands and they will definitely be more responsive to learning more. They have more focus than a puppy or a kitten. They are also wired to please their human friends and are faster learners. Also, older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—if they aren’t, like I said above, they are fast learners! Your furniture will also thank you because they are less likely to be destructive chewers unlike puppies who are in their prime teething years.

They’re cute! Plain and simply put, senior pets are just oh so cute and deserve a second chance at life!

Need we say more? Senior pets are the best! You will quickly learn this too if you adopt one! Stop by Seattle Humane all month long to enjoy this special senior pet adoption promotion.

For the month of November, all senior pets get their age discounted from their adoption fee for pets 7 years and up!