Tag Archives: tips

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.

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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

BARK to School

Our warm weather might still say summer, but it’s time to get back to school. If summer is still on your mind and you haven’t quite finished all of your back to school shopping yet, we’ve got some things for you to keep in mind.

Did you know you can help support Seattle Humane with your back to school shopping? Below are several ways to help the animals by simply checking off the items on your list.

Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards – Sign up for Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program and every time you use your Rewards Card a donation will be made to Seattle Humane! You’ll still earn your rewards points, fuel points, and rebates, just as you normally do. For more information visit fredmeyer.com/communityrewards and link your card to “Seattle Humane.”

AmazonSmile – You shop – Amazon gives! Sign up for AmazonSmile and they’ll donate 0.5% of your purchases to Seattle Humane when you select us to be your preferred charity. Learn more at: bit.ly/AmazonSmile-SHS

Bartell Drugs eScrip – Before you swing by Bartell Drugs to pick up hand sanitizer and that handy headache medicine, be sure to sign up for their “B” Caring Card! You get the medicine cabinet staples you need, and Seattle Humane receives 4% back.

YourBuyGives – YourBuyGives works with leading online stores like Groupon, Expedia, Kohl’s and more that will donate a percentage of every online purchase to Seattle Humane. A great way to support your favorite cause at no cost to you. Participating stores will also provide exclusive discounts to you as well. A win-win!

Step 1: Go to YourBuyGives.com Seattle Humane webpage
Step 2: Click though to the website you would like to shop
Step 3: A percentage of your purchase will be donated to the pets in our care!

Shelter Pups – Just in time for new students heading to college – give them a replica of your precious pet for them to have always! When you order an adorable custom pup or kitty made from natural wool, 15% of each sale benefits the homeless pets in our care! Just be sure to click here when accessing the site to maximize your gift to help pets in need.

Seattle Humane Wishlist – While you’re out shopping, pick up a bag of food for our Pet Food Bank like cans of Friskies for our cats, or visit our Amazon Wishlist. Then head to Seattle Humane to deliver and visit with the animals. It’s the perfect way to calm some of those back to school jitters!

AND don’t forget about your furry friends too! Our pets can get the back to school blues when the family heads back to school and work after a long summer with everyone. Here are some tips to help with the transition of getting everyone in the family back on a regular school schedule.

  • Give your pet a treat every time you leave to help them develop positive associations with being alone.
  • Keep your departures and returns quiet and low-key so as not to arouse any alarm unduly. Leave a familiar blanket or one of your T-shirts with your pet. Your smell will help soothe them. Ask your kids to spend quality time with the family pet after school – a walk around the block, a game of fetch in the yard.
  • Puzzle treats entertain longer – Keep them stimulated with physical and mental workouts. Hiding treats around the home can keep a dog or cat busy for hours. Stuffed Kong’s are also great entertainment for dogs and some cats love to find a paper bag lying open on the floor (sprinkle cat nip inside)!
  • Consider hiring an occasional dog walker or bringing your pooch to a doggie-daycare a few times a week to break up their day. This can help alleviate boredom and provide your pet with exercise.
  • Don’t scold or punish your pet for bad behavior when you come home. It may make your pet more anxious and make situations worse.
  • Try to avoid making additional changes if you can help it – don’t change their diet at this time for example. Keep exercise consistent and set aside a designated time each evening to give your pet one on one attention.


Go Green!

Meet Obi, a 1-year-old Australian Cattle Dog/Shepherd mix who can't wait to charm your pants off!
Obi was adopted in April 2015!

With the 45th anniversary of Earth Day this Wednesday, we thought we could do our part by sharing some green pet care tips! Below are 5 ways that you can go green to help the environment and our furry four-legged friends.

1. Spot On

Should your furry friend leave a little mess on the floor, don’t reach for the bleach. Use vinegar instead. This environment-friendly liquid can act as an effective odor-remover and can kill mold and bacteria. Please keep in mind, though, that vinegar must be diluted correctly with water.

2. Make Pet Toys Out of Recyclable Materials

Instead of going out and buying new toys for your pet, get in touch with your creative side and craft your own. Using recyclable household materials such as old tennis balls, rope and socks, you can create a myriad of toys for your pets that can keep then entertained for hours. If your dog enjoys crinkly toys, try putting an empty plastic water bottle inside of an old sock – it’s sure to be a hit! Or if your cat loves cat nip (which what cat doesn’t?!) place cat nip inside of paper bag and it will keep your pet entertained for hours!

3. Bulk Up

Buy pet supplies in bulk or the largest available size. You’ll make fewer trips to the store and cut down on packaging to discard of. As an added bonus, it might even save you some money. Buying bulk food often times costs less!

Meet little Bear, a 4-year-old Miniature Dachshund mix who's full of spunk!
Bear was adopted in April 2015!

4. Grow Your Own Catnip

Your cat will love you for growing your own catnip! Just like humans, our pets deserve to eat the most natural, organic, and healthy foods. A green and low cost alternative to buying catnip, by growing your own your cat will be spared from pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals or additives.

5. Adopt

Looking to add another pet to the family? Then adoption is the way to go! Not only is rescuing a pet from life in a shelter a great cause, it is also a great way to help the environment. Adoption is in essence recycling a pet that was at one time unwanted and will now be given a home. An inexpensive way to become a pet owner, adoption is a great way to go green while saving green.

If it’s the right time for you and your family to adopt, then come into Seattle Humane and adopt a hybrid! We have a lot of mixed breed dogs available for adoption! Come into SHS now through April 22nd, and you’ll receive $45 off all mixed breed dogs one year and up! Go green with Seattle Humane — adopt, don’t shop!

This curious little fellow is BJ, a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix who's curious and playful.
This curious little fellow is BJ, a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier mix who’s curious and playful.

Boarding Your Pet

i-cwMrXZS-X2With summer right around the corner and spring break vacations occurring now, you might need to find a place for your furry friend to stay. Preparing for a vacation can be a stressful time, and if you can’t take your pet with you, it’s just one more thing to worry about. Finding a place for your pet to stay is an important step in preparing for your vacation and if you aren’t able to find a pet sitter or family member to watch your pet, you want to find the second best thing. Many boarding facilities have different rules and daily activities, before booking a stay for your family pet, consider the following helpful tips.

  • Ask around. Asking friends or family is one way of finding a great boarding facility. Friends and family can give you their honest opinion on how their experience was. Also, your local veterinarian might have a few suggestions for you too.
  • Visit in person. It’s important to go to each boarding location and visit them in person so you can see for yourself where your pet might be staying. Introduce yourself to staff to see how friendly and knowledgeable they are about dogs and cats. Also, be sure to seek out staff members who might specifically work with your pet. Find out if someone will be on the premises at all times and if there’s a veterinarian on call 24/7. Not only is it important that the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but it’s also important that the facility is clean, has appropriate enclosures for the size of your pet, and that your pet will have protected access to the outdoors.
  • Know the rules. Most boarding facilities will insist that your pet be up-to-date on all vaccinations. Be sure to bring a copy of your pet’s heath record with you when touring the different boarding facilities. If you find a facility you like, you can register right then instead of having to go back with the medical records.
  • Tour the entire facility. This includes the outdoor areas. Make sure there is a fence enclosing the yard so that your pet won’t accidentally escape. Also you want to be sure dog waste is picked up at the facility. You don’t want your pet staying somewhere that isn’t well taken care of!
  • Special kitty needs. Your cat might not enjoy the loudness of barking dogs, so be sure to check out the area they have designated for your pet. A lot of boarding rooms have a separate soundproof area just for cats to provide a less stressful stay. Also, be sure to see if they have a “cat room” where your pet can roam around and stretch a few hours a day. Make sure all litter boxes are properly tended to.
  • Room assignments. If you have two dogs that are bonded together, ask to see if they can be in the same room. If you are just boarding one dog, make sure that they won’t be sticking another dog in the same room as yours. Your pet doesn’t want to have to stay with a stranger!
  • Daily agenda. Ask the boarding facility for a copy of what your dog or cat’s typical day would be like there. How often will it be fed? How many hours will it be free to play? How often does your dog get taken on walks? Is there supervised time with other pets staying at the same location? Is there a trainer on staff who might teach your dog a few things while you are away? How often do they spend one-on-one time with your pet? And, do they have webcams in place so you can watch your pet from afar on your computer? A lot of facilities do have webcam access for your piece of mind.
  • Hours of business. Make sure to know the hours of operation for the facility you chose. You don’t want to be on your way to the airport in the morning and see that they aren’t quite open yet. Prepare in advance to know when they open and when they close.
  • Special instructions. If your pet has any special dietary needs or health needs, make sure to ask the facility if they allow you to bring in special food or if they are willing to administer medicine your pet might need. It might be a good idea to ask if you can bring your own food even if your pet doesn’t require a special meal, just so they don’t have to switch up their routine diet.
  • Grooming. Before picking up your dog, ask if they can groom or bathe your dog. Dogs especially might get a lot of different smells on them and it’s always nice to come home with a clean pooch!
  • Trial run. If you have concerns about how your pet might do in a boarding facility, let them have a trial run for a night. If your dog comes back stressed, dirty or upset, you’ll know to look for another facility.
  • Book early. Boarding facilities can fill up fast – especially the good ones. Be prepared that during the holidays you will need to book your pet’s stay way in advance.
  • Don’t forget your pet’s identification. Be sure to have your pet with a collar and identification tags with their name on it along with at least your name and phone number. It might also be a good idea to get your pet a microchip before being boarded. Often times identification tags or collars can fall off your pet and become lost. Microchips are a safe and easier way to find your pet if they get lost or misplaced while you are on vacation.

boarding your petPreparing ahead of time and having a plan will help ensure peace of mind for both you and your pet when you go on vacation.

Below are a few options near Seattle for boarding your pet:

Cascade Kennels

Holiday Kennels

The Barking Lounge