Tag Archives: winter

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.

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

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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!

Preparing Your Pet for the Cold Weather

i-7wgBDXk-XLBrrrr—it’s cold outside!  The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the temperature dips.

Keep Pets Indoors– Pets can get frostbite, too! Never leave your pet outside in cold temperatures. On freezing cold days, keep your walks and snow-romps short.

Dress Appropriately – Just because your pet is covered in fur, doesn’t mean that he or she can withstand cold temperatures. A dog’s coat provides some insulation against the cold, but short-haired dogs need a coat or sweater for additional warmth while outside. If salting is used in your neighborhood, make sure to use dog booties to prevent your pet from getting chemicals on the pads of his feet which can lead to burns and possibly poisoning if he licks his feet.

Increase Food Supply- Dogs have to work harder to stay warm when exercising outside.  Increasing his food supply, particularly protein, will keep him and his fur in tip-top shape.

Beware of Seasonal Poisons- Coolant and antifreeze can spill in the garage or on the street and are lethal poisons for dogs and cats.  A dog’s paws, legs and stomach should be wiped off when coming in out of the rain, sleet, snow or ice.

Offer Warm Sleeping Spot- Providing a warm place to sleep, off of the floor and away from drafts, will keep dogs and cats feeling comfortable during the cold months.

Save a Life by Tapping On Your Hood- Outdoor cats will climb under the hoods of cars for warmth, so be safe and bang loudly on the car’s hood before starting the engine to give any sleeping cats a chance to vacate.

Holiday Traveling Pet Tips

Meet Baby Girl, an 8-year-old Labrador Retriever ready to fill your life with love!
Baby Girl was adopted December 2014!

The holidays are upon us and many of us will be traveling to visit friends and family. If you plan to bring your dog or cat along on the flight, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Book a nonstop flight and take temperatures into consideration. During winter months, if possible, fly during the day when it’s warmer.
  • Very small dogs can travel in the cabin if they fit in a soft-sided carrier that slides under the seat in front of you.
  • Carriers must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • A health certificate is required when your pet travels as air cargo. The certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
  • According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases, dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying.
  • Exercise your pet before leaving for the airport. This will help your dog calm down prior to and after the flight.

    Pancakes is a 3-year-old charmer ready to indulge in some chin scratches from you.
    Pancakes was adopted January 2nd, 2015!

If you are planning on taking a trip and can’t bring your pet this holiday, make sure you’re entrusting them with a great sitter. Some of you might already have a trusted sitter you go to every time you have to leave your furry friends, but if you don’t, consider Rover.com!

Seattle Humane Society has partnered with Rover.com, the country’s largest dog boarding marketplace, to help dog owners connect with local dog-friendly homes and dog sitters.

When you book a dog sitter through our SHS Rover landing page and use the promo code SHS10, Rover.com will donate $10 to Seattle Humane. Sign up today! You can find a sitter and help save lives all at the same time!