Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Decide what type of pet is best suited for your family’s personality and lifestyle



Choose the right pet for you and your family

1. Dogs require more attention, time and energy than cats do, so if you don’t enjoy walks or hikes in the outdoors, or can’t imagine getting up on cold winter mornings to take your pet out to potty, a cat may be more your style.

Breed characteristics differ, so if you’re looking for a lapdog, you should look into a less-active breed. If you or other members of your family are very active outdoors and plan to bring a pet along, a hardier, more active breed is a better fit.

Some pets require daily brushing and grooming, others don’t require nearly as much.

Your chances of having a long-lasting wonderful relationship with a pet increase dramatically when you give serious thought to the type of animal that best suits you, and choose accordingly.

Train your dog for a lifetime of obedience

2.  Behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are relinquished to animal shelters, the number one reason they don’t find new forever homes, and as a result, the number one reason dogs are euthanized.

From the day you bring your puppy or adult dog home, you should begin teaching her commands such as come, sit, stay, and down. A puppy should begin formal training at eight weeks, and if you adopt an adult dog that has received no obedience training, you should enroll her in a class right away.

It’s also good idea to take your dog through a refresher course every few years, or when you need help with the inevitable behavioral glitch that will pop up as she ages.

Apply house rules consistently

3. As I discussed in my video What You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a New Pet, it’s very important for each member of the family to be on the same page when it comes to what your pet is and isn’t allowed to do in your home.

If one family member lets the dog bark at outside noises, but another family member corrects the behavior, you confuse the dog. If you don’t mind the kitty drinking from the bathroom sink but your husband does, decide which way it’s going to be and stick with it.
When your pet knows what to expect from his behavior, he will be much more inclined to do more of what you approve of and less of what you don’t.

Limit treats to training rewards

4. This is an excellent way to make sure your dog views treats as special rather than expected. It’s also helpful in keeping your pet from becoming overweight or obese.

Feed a species-appropriate diet, and partner with a holistic or integrative vet to maintain your pet’s well-being.

Socialize your pet

5. This is especially important for puppies. Again — behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families.

Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.

The ideal time for socialization is between three and 12 weeks for dogs; between two and eight weeks for cats.

Help your pet be as active as nature intended

6. Exercise and play time are necessary for your pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t give your dog opportunities to be physically active, or if you don’t encourage exercise for your kitty and find ways to make it happen, you may well end up with a bored, destructive, overweight pet whose health will spiral downward throughout her lifetime.

Find ways to enrich your pet’s environment

7. Your dog or cat needs your help to stay mentally stimulated. This is important not only to discourage destructive behavior in younger pets, but also to keep your older pet’s brain sharp.

Make sure your pet is in good company

8. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.

If you’re regularly away from home 10 or 12 hours a day or you travel out of town weekly for work, a dog might not be the best choice for a pet. If you already have a dog and find yourself away from home for extended periods, make arrangements with a friendly neighbor, relative, dog-sitter or a pet daycare center to give your pup the time and attention you’re not able to.

Keep a pet-friendly home

9. Keep a pet-friendly home. Your dog or cat is a part of the family. If she’s a kitty, she needs her own litter box in a quiet, out-of-the way corner, a scratching post or tree, her own toys, and a nice cozy spot for napping.
Your dog needs his own cozy spot as well, preferably a crate, a comfy bed that’s his alone and a selection of appropriate toys.

Understand that in households with pets, accidents will happen. Have the right cleaning supplies on hand, and learn the best techniques for removing pet stains.

Help your pet be the best pet he can be

10. Train your pet by setting him up to succeed. There’s a reason for everything your dog or cat does, and the reason rarely if ever involves being deliberately disobedient.

You should never physically punish your pet. It brings the animal pain and fear, and it gains you nothing. It’s a lose-lose situation. Please don’t do it.

Your job as a mistake-proof pet parent is to figure out the reason behind the behavior, learn how to encourage what you want to see more of and how to discourage inappropriate behavior.

With dogs, this usually involves additional training or behavior modification. With kitties, it involves arranging your environment to discourage behavior you want to extinguish.

Dr. Becker

    June 27, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Easy Tips for A Pet-Safe Holiday Season

    Tips for a Pet-Safe Holiday Season Easy Tips for a Pet-Safe Holiday Season
    There’s nothing more scrumptious than gathering with friends and family for the holidays, but many of the ingredients in human fun can result in distress for pets. As we kick off this season of lights, parties and yummy treats, the ASPCA wants to remind pet parents of the potential hazards certain goodies and décor can pose to our furry friends.
    “As you prepare for your holiday celebrations,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Animal Health Services, “remember to be wary of foods and traditions that can bring potential dangers to companion animals.”
    In honor of the joyous season to come, ASPCA poison control experts offer these essential tips for having pets at the party in a safe way:
    Avoid Too Much of a Good Thing
    While the holidays are a time for giving, there are some foods you should not share with your furry friends. A taste of mashed potato or a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, alcoholic beverages, coffee, onions, fatty foods, yeast dough and macadamia nuts can all lead to stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. A special no-no is chocolate, which if ingested can lead to death. And you may want to skip sharing the turkey—poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages.


    Put the Meds Away
    One of the most common holiday-related emergencies is the consumption of human pharmaceuticals. Make sure all your medications are securely locked away, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

    That Holiday Glow
    When you leave the room, put the candles out! Animals can easily knock lit candles over, causing a fire, and curious cats are particularly at risk of getting burned by candle flames. Also, be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on stable surfaces.

    Decorations Can Be Dangerous
    Holiday decorations such as breakable ornaments, string, ribbon and dreidels should be kept out of paws’ reach. These traditional decorations can cause choking or severe intestinal problems if swallowed. All holiday light strands, loose wires and electric cords can also pose serious dangers to your pet, especially puppies, who may chew on them.

    Go Tinsel-less
    Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

    Forgo the Flowers
    Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used this time of year and all varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca can cause kidney failure in cats. In addition, common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be potentially toxic to pets. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Safe alternatives include artificial flowers made from silk or plastic.

    Oh, Christmas Tree
    Cats often see trees as fabulous climbing posts. Be sure to securely anchor your tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. Also keep in mind that tree water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset if ingested. Stagnant tree water can also act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and, if ingested, a pet may suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    New Year’s Noise
    As you count down to the New Year, be alert to any pet hazards such as noise-makers and confetti. Noise-makers can frighten your pets, causing them to bolt out an open door or window. Confetti, if ingested, can wreak havoc on the digestive tract.

    Holiday Travel
    Before traveling with your pets by car or plane, make sure they have all the required vaccinations and are wearing identification tags or are microchipped. If you’re traveling by car, be sure to secure your pet safely with a seatbelt harness, crate or barrier and make frequent stops, allowing pets time to exercise and relieve themselves.

    If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, please consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a fee applies) or www.aspca.org/apcc.

    Posted:  Just One More Pet


    Sharing Thanksgiving With Your Pets

    A Poison Safe Home – Some Tips For the Holidays and All Year Round

    November 26, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | Leave a comment