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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Adopting a Cat – Top Tips for Welcoming New Feline Friends

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Each day, millions of homeless cats of all ages are waiting for forever families to find them, and thousands face euthanasia. June is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Cat month and the ASPCA’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month, so if you’ve been thinking about adding a feline friend to your family it’s a good time to review some key points before you bring your kitty home.

Adopting a rescue animal is not always easy, especially with older animals that may have a history of abuse or neglect, but with the right preparation and some tender loving care, the journey is usually well worth it. While it’s exciting to bring a new kitty home, it’s a stressful time for him or her. Cats are territorial animals, so of course they’re going to be confused, scared and unsure
coming into a new home full of unknowns.

Provide a Safe, Confined Space for Your Kitty

Set aside a confined, safe space like a laundry room, spare bedroom or bathroom for your cat to live in while adjusting to the new surroundings. A cozy bed, cardboard box or cat carrier can provide a sense of safety for your new friend, as long as your kitty is able to stand up and turn around easily. There should be plenty of food, fresh water and a clean litter box with an inch or two of litter in the room as well, but be sure to keep the litter box away from the food. After all, you wouldn’t want to have your dinner next to the toilet.

Meeting the Family Members

Sharp claws can do lots of damage. With a little encouragement and catnip, a scratching post or cat tree will help keep them away from furniture and draperies. And speaking of claws, if you have other animals in the home, it’s important to keep them separated from the newcomer and introduce them slowly. Don’t push things. They will be very aware of each other’s presence – a baby gate can help keep boundaries intact. Always keep dogs leashed when they’re first meeting the newest family member. If they exhibit any signs of jealousy or threatening behavior, correct the behavior immediately with a command like “Sit!” or “Stay!” Be extra careful with small children – they can get overexcited and squeeze or pet too roughly, causing the cat to struggle, scratch or bite out of fear.

Above all else, be patient. It might take a week or two for your new cat or kitten to feel safe enough to come out and explore, but you’ll know when they’re ready. With a little time and a lot of patience and understanding, you’ll make a friend for life. Make sure it’s a long and healthy one by scheduling a Wellness visit with your vet as soon as possible.

TYDTWDAY….What?

Dog with laptopFriday, June 20, 2014 marks the 16th anniversary of Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDAY…that is one crazy acronym). In 1999, Pet Sitters International (PSI) held the first official day in the United States, with nearly 300 companies participating. Rooted in celebrating the great companions dogs make, the event was established to encourage both adoptions and as a way of getting businesses and employers to experience the joy of pets in the workplace while supporting their employee base and local pet community. Now, more than a decade-and-a-half later, the event is still going strong!

Is your company participating in TYDTWDAY this year? Here are some interesting facts to get your employer on board!
– 17% of working Americans 18 and older reported their company permits pets at work (American Pet Products Association (APPA), 2008)
– Employees who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol (2012 study by Virginia Commonwealth University)

Want more? According to a survey by the APPA in 2006:
– 55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment
– 50 million believe having pets in the workplace helps co-workers get along better
– 38 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment
– 37 million believe having pets in the workplace helps inprove relationships between managers and their employees

Here is a summary of the top six steps for planning your TWDTWDAY Event as provided by PSI:

Step 1: Share your idea with your boss or head of human resources. Get them on board.

Step 2: Select an event coordinator. Depending on the size of your company, you may need a committee.

Step 3: Decide how your company will celebrate. From bringing your dog to work, all the way to contests, games, prizes, fashion show and more, select activities that work best for your place of business.

Step 4: Select a local shelter or rescue organization to benefit from your TYDTWDAY Event. Remember, the day was created to celebrate dogs AND promote their adoptions. Think about how your company can use your event to promote adoption or raise supplies for a local shelter or rescue group.

Step 5: Take advantage of services offered by local pet professionals. Check with your local professionals; veterinarians, groomers, dog trainers, or pet store owners who may be interested in providing informational materials, door prizes or other items for your event.

Step 6: Notify your local media. Not only is the goal to raise adoption awareness, but this can simultaneously garner positive media attention for your business!

And, here are some helpful reminders from our blog last year to ensure you have what you need to make the most of TYDTWDAY:

• Make sure your dog is up to date on all their shots and is in optimal health. You may want to contact your vet to find out if they recommend a kennel cough vaccine before having your dog in close quarters with other canines for the day.

• Brush up on obedience training. Make sure that your dog knows (and responds to) basic commands to sit and stay. It’s important that he behaves properly when introduced to both new people (and dogs!). If your dog is extremely nervous about making new friends, work with your vet to determine low stress methods to help him acclimate more calmly to new situations. Sometimes an outing to a dog park on a quiet afternoon or inviting a friend and their dog over for a play date can help ease some of their anxiety.

• Prepare for the big day by bringing all your pet’s essentials: food, water, bowls, treats, a toy or bone to keep them occupied, and a leash. Think about where your dog will spend their time while they are at your office and how to make them comfortable. You may want to bring in a dog bed or crate for naptime or other amenities to make the day as delightful for your dog as it will be for you.

• Know when to go. If your dog is not behaving properly or can’t settle down in a new environment, take a break and bring him home to his regular environment. You can always try again next year!

Learn more at the official event website www.takeyourdog.com.