Great Advice on Stress-free Travel with Your Cat
Planning a trip and want to include your feline friends?
Here is how you can do it without any stress on your or your cat.
What to Do with Your Frightened Dog, Part 1 of 2
Is you dog afraid of loud noises, like fireworks, thunder, or even the vacuum cleaner? Here are 4 tips on how to get them to be less fearful.
What to Do with Your Frightened Dog, Part 2 of 2
Here is the wrap-up on how to help your dog through frightening situations.
What to Do When You Have Either Lost or Found a Pet
Losing an animal is every pet owner's worst nightmare. Here is some sound avice on how to avoid that, as well as great information on what to do if you find an animal.
Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy
Even if your feline family member is living the cozy life of an indoor cat, they can still get bored and be destructive. Here are 5 interesting ways to keep your indoor cat happy, healthy, and entertained.
4 Tips to Avoid Cabin Fever with Your Dog
When the weather is cold and snowy, cabin fever can effect your dog. Here are several ideas on how to keep your dog busy and happy while the weather is uncooperative.
How to Introduce a New Pet into Your Home
Bringing a new pet into your home can be difficult for the pets you already have. Here are 4 tips on how to make the transition
a smooth one.
3 Basic Manners Every Dog Should Know
There are 3 basic manners every dog should know to be a happy member of your household. This video shows you how to get started training your dog to sit, come, and wait. Training your dog is a great way to spend time with them and it can be fun, too!
3 Tips to Help Trim Your Cat's Nails
Scratching problems are a common complaint from cat owners. A simple and humane solution to improve your cat's nails, rather than declawing, is to trim them. This video will give you 3 nail-care tips to help you and your cat have a long, happy life together.
Tips for a Puppy Play Date
As pet parents we can forget that our dogs need to play with other dogs. But, sometimes innocent dog roughhousing can become confused for aggressive.
Watch this video to find out some basic tips for the perfect puppy play date.
5 Tips to Prevent Litter Box Issues
Not using the litter box is a common reason given by owners who surrender their cat to a rescue or shelter. By following these five tips, you can help with most litter box issues in the home. This video will show you how important size, quantity, location, litter, and cleaning are to your cat's litter box.
3 Must-Haves for Dog Safety
There are three items every dog owner should keep in their home at all times:
- Hydrogen peroxide
This video shows how these three everyday household items can help turn a major problem into a minor problem.
Disaster Preparedness with Your Pet
We cannot predict when a major disaster will hit, but we can prepare for when one does. In this short video, Shelter Manager Stephanie Fries, will walk you through what it takes to be prepared.
Games to Keep Your Pets Happy
Your dog or cat can get bored. Here are some games you can play together to keep your pet happy.
Hide & Seek
Hide treats in your house and watch your dog or cat find them. Be sure to let them know how proud you are of their accomplishment.
Fill a Kong® or other brand of rubberized toy with treats. Then, cover the opening with peanut butter. Place in the freezer. It will be ready when you need to leave the house and want something fun for your pet to do.
Tricks are an easy way to encourage good behavior, but they also help the animal feel proud and useful! It is common for a dog to learn to sit, shake and lay down. Cats can learn these tricks too. Give it a try!
Play a cat or dog-friendly DVD on your TV. Cats and dogs are interested in TV, too. They just need the right movie to watch.
Get a bottle of pet-friendly bubbles and watch your dog or cat try to catch them!
Run & Chase
Tie a few cat or dog toys onto a string and walk through your house with it. Watch your dog or cat follow the toys.
Choose Not to Declaw Your Cats
A cat's claws are a vital part of its arsenal for both offense and defense. They use them to settle disputes among themselves as well as with other animals and people who are hurting, threatening or annoying them. In addition, a cat who is attempting to climb to safety uses her claws to grip the surface.
A variety of humane methods exist to manage the problem of destructive clawing and to prevent injury from cat scratches. These include having your cat's nails trimmed or filed down regularly in order to blunt the tips and providing scratching pads, posts and other appealing structures for the cat to use (this includes employing behavior modification techniques to induce the cat to use them).
Unfortunately, many cat guardians opt instead to have their cat surgically declawed, perhaps not appreciating the fact that removing a cat's claws would be comparable to removing their own fingernails, along with the bones to which they are attached. Declawing, or onchyectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claw cannot regrow, and the procedure is considered a permanent solution. The surgery involves the risk of anesthetization, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications, including infection, and is accompanied by severe pain that may last from several days to much longer unless appropriate analgesia is provided. Post-operative care and the length of time the cat must remain in the veterinary hospital depend on how the surgical procedure is performed and the skill of the surgical team.
We notice that some cats start urinating outside the litter box after being declawed. Their paws become very sensitive to the litter. We strongly discourage this surgery.
Solving Aggression Between Family Cats
• If your cat's behavior changes suddenly, your first step should always be to contact your veterinarian for a thorough health examination. Cats often hide symptoms of illness until they're seriously ill, and any change in behavior may be an early indication of a medical problem.
• Spay or neuter any intact pets in your home. The behavior of one intact animal can affect all of your pets.
• Start the slow introduction process over from the beginning. You may want to talk to an animal-behavior specialist for help implementing these techniques.
•If your cats are fighting, don't allow the fights to continue. Because cats are so territorial, and because they don't establish firm dominance hierarchies, they won't be able to "work things out" as dogs sometimes do. The more often cats fight, the worse the problem is likely to become. To stop a fight in progress, make a loud noise, squirt the cats with water, or throw something soft at them. Don't try to pull them apart.
•Prevent future fights. This may mean keeping the cats totally seperated while working on the problem, or at least preventing contact between them during situtations likely to trigger a fight.
•Don't try to punish the cats involved. Punishment is likely to elicit further aggression and fearful responses, which will only make the problem worse. If you attempt to punish either combatant, you may even become a target for redirected aggression.
•When you introduce cats to each other, one of them may send "play" signals which can be misinterpreted by the other cat. If those signals are interpreted as aggression by one of the cats, then you should handle the situation as "aggression" and seek professional help right away.
Aversion to the Litter Box
If your cat is avoiding his or her litter box, here are a few things you can do to change that:
• Keep the litter box extremely clean. Scoop at least once a day and change the litter completely every four to five days. If you can smell the box then you can be pretty sure its offensive to your cat as well.
• Add a new box in a different location and use a different type of litter in the new box. Since your cat has decided the old box is unpleasant, you'll want to make the new box as different as possible.
• Make sure that the litter box isn't near an appliance (such as a furnace) that makes noise or in an area that your cat doesn't frequent.
• If you have multiple cats, provide one litter box for each cat, plus one extra box in a different location.
• If your cat has a history of being outdoors, add some soil or sod to the litter box.
• To discourage your cat from using a certain area, cover the area with an upside-down carpet runner or aluminum foil, or place citrus-scented cotton balls over the area.
Reducing Separation Anxiety in Dogs
For a minor separation anxiety problem, the following techniques may be helpful by themselves.
• Keep arrivals and departures low-key. For example, when you arrive home, ignore your dog for the first few minutes, then calmly pet him. This may be hard for you to do, but it's important!
• Leave your dog with an article of clothing that smells like you, such as an old t-shirt that you've slept in recently.
• Establish a "safety cue"-- a word or action that you use every time you leave that tells your dog you'll be back. Dogs usually learn to associate certain cues with short absences by their owners. For example, when you take out the garbage, your dog knows you come right back and doesn't become anxious. Therefore, it's helpful to associate a safety cue with your short-duration absences.
• Consult your veterinarian about the possibility of drug therapy. A good anti-anxiety drug should not sedate your dog, but simply reduce his anxiety while you're gone. Such medication is a temporary measure and should be used in conjunction with behavior modification techniques.
• Take your dog to a dog day care facility or boarding kennel.
• Leave your dog with a friend, family member, or neighbor.
• Take your dog to work with you, even for half a day, if possible.
Solving Barking Problems
Social isolation/ attention-seeking recommendations:
• Walk your dog at least twice daily-- it's good exercise both mentally and physically. Walks should be more than just "potty breaks."
• Teach your dog to fetch a ball or Frisbee and practice with him as often as possible.
• Teach your dog a few commands or tricks.
• Take a dog training class with your dog. This allows you both to work toward a common goal.
• Provide safe, interesting toys to entertain your dog in your absence. Kong-type toys filled with treats or busy-box toys provide long-lasting fun for your dog.
• Keep your dog inside when you are unable to supervise him.
• Let your neighbors know you are working on the problem.
Territorial/ protective behavior barking recommendations:
• Teach your dog a "quiet" command. When your dog begins barking, say "quiet" and interrupt his barking by shaking a can filled with pennies or squirting water at his mouth with a spray bottle. When he stops barking say "good quiet" and pop a tasty treat into his mouth.
• Desensitize your dog to the stimulus that triggers the barking.
• If your dog barks while inside the house when you're home, call him to you, have him obey a command such as "sit" and reward him with a treat.
• Have your dog spayed or neutered to decrease territorial behavior.
Introducing Your Newly Adopted Dog to Your Resident Dog
There are many families that come to adopt who already have another dog at home. Here are some tips on how to introduce your dog to a new dog safely.
Make sure you choose a neutral location. Each dog should be handled by a separate person on leash. We recommend you take the dogs on a nice long walk together so they are able to become familiar with each other and drain off some energy. Once they are tolerating each other’s presence without fear or aggression then you can take them inside. Once inside, we suggest keeping the leashes on the dogs and letting them drag. If you do have to intervene for any reason it is much safer to grab the dragging leash than the collar.
Use positive reinforcement. Help both dogs experience good things from the first meeting in each other’s presence. Keep the meetings short and positive. During each break give the dog a command such as “sit” and follow with a yummy treat. If the dogs are left to meet on their own terms such as throwing them both into the yard to work things out, aggressive responses may occur. It is extremely important to monitor.
Be aware of body postures. One great body posture you want to see is a “play bow.” This is when the dogs will crouch with their front legs on the ground and their hind ends in the air. This is an invitation for play. Be sure to watch carefully for postures that indicate an aggressive response such as showing teeth, deep growls, or an extended stare. If you see such postures you want to interrupt immediately by calmly getting each dog’s attention and getting them interested in doing something else such as obeying a command.
There are times when you may need to seek professional help. The longer a problem goes on the harder it can be to resolve. Luckily, most dogs enjoy the company of another canine friend. Dogs can learn so much from other dogs that we cannot begin to teach them.
If you are looking to add another dog to your home we would love for you to come by and meet some of our adoptable dogs. We have trained staff that can help you find the perfect match!
Want to help
Our center is always on the lookout for supplies that will help keep our dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy. From food to toys, we welcome a number of items that will give our fur friends a comfortable lifestyle. Some items can be purchased directly from our wishlist on Amazon.com. Just follow the links.
Special Enrichment Items
• Training dog treats
• Soft dog treats
• Adaptil and feliway in spray bottle
• Feliway plug-in diffuser with refills
• Peanut butter
• Disinfectant spray such as Lysol
• Hand sanitizer
• Dish detergent
• 39 gal or larger trash bags
• Tall kitchen trash bags
• Paper towels
• Toilet paper
• Resealable plastic bags - quart or gallon size
• 4” x 4” gauze pads
• Postage stamps
• Address labels- white 1" x 2 5/8"
• White & color copy paper
• Duct tape
• Zip ties - medium/heavy duty
• Radient space heater for the feline isolation unit
Cat & Dog Needs
• Box lids from copy paper cases (for disposable litter boxes)
• Heavy weight paper bowls for medication
• Egg cartons
• Dog squeaky toys
• Martingale-style collars (medium & large sizes)
• Kennel slipleads
• Stainless steel pet pails
• Made in the USA rawhide chews
• Kuranda dog beds
• Kuranda Vinyl cat perches
• Screw on cage food & water bowls
• Disposable cat scratchers
• Covered cat play houses (no carpeting)
• Kitty condos
• Kitty Kongs
• Gift cards to PETCO, PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, & Green DogGoods
Our Cat & Dog Food
We feed our dogs and cats the following food while in our care.
• Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin (cats & dogs)
• Science Diet Puppy Healthy Growth
• Science Diet Kitten Food
• Science Diet canned kitten & adult cat food
For Our Community Pet Food Donation program
• Dog and cat food, dry or canned
• Aluminum cans, cell phones, laptops, iPods, empty ink & toner cartridges
* We do not take comforters or pillows. (Some of our dogs like to chew the stuffing out of them.)
Donations may be dropped off during our regular business hours.
Article written by volunteer Debra Lockhart
I’ve been volunteering with a local rescue for about a year now and have loved every minute of it. In the past year, I’ve transported dogs, helped rescue dogs off of a chain, helped a dog give birth, adopted and said goodbye as some of my favorites have found their forever home. I’ve gotten to know some dogs more than others and have cheered nearly every adoption and only shed a tear or two for a few who have especially touched me in some way.
Still, there was something missing. This rescue is foster based, and at this time that is the one thing I’m not able to do, so most of my interactions come from adoption events or transport services. If I could bring my dog to work with me things might be different, because sometimes you just need to hug a dog or play with a kitty, so I began volunteering at our local SPCA. I figured that they were located close enough to my office that I could spend a lunch hour or two each week relaxing in the company of a furry little friend under the guise of helping them while in all actuality, reaping the benefits that come with cuddling a pet. Orientation was in two parts so after part one, I was able to ‘socialize with cats’ and I spent a good portion of a lunch hour on the floor of a kitty room getting and giving some soft purr-y love.
Part two allowed us to interact with the dogs and there was a special boy whom I met at both orientations and I was eager to go back and really interact with him on my first “dog day.” Its funny how a dog (or any animal, really) can grab your heartstrings and how it varies from person to person as to who that special furry pal may be. A fellow volunteer nudged me and pointed at a dog, “That’s my dog. I’m going to adopt that one.” “Hmmm, cute dog, nothing special,” I thought. He or she was the kind of dog I might not have given a second glance at if I weren’t here to generally socialize with the dogs.
In the kennel next to “her dog” was the special someone who had me at first glance. Truth be told, “special boy” is not usually someone who would grab my attention… except he did. He was just a medium sized dog, medium hair, medium build but with a deep chest and funny white paws that were too big for his body. (As a further testament to how perception skews what we actually see, he is listed as a large dog with long hair.) There was nothing exceptional… but his eyes. Ah, those soulful cinnamon eyes peering at me over the chew toy he hopefully offered me, they had me at hello.
To join these companies in support of the Allen County SPCA email Melissa.