Jul 14 2014

Meet Wayside’s First Canine Behavior Modification Specialist

Gabby Muñoz began her new position at Wayside Waifs in May. Along with overseeing Wayside’s behavior modification and enrichment programs, she also works with the most challenging dogs to make them adoptable. Gabby works with one of our Waifs

Gabby received her Master of Science degree in Biology, with Zoology concentration, from Western Illinois University. Before joining Wayside she served as head of dog training at Dog Pawz Day Care in New Orleans. Most recently, Gabby was a zoo keeper at the Kansas City Zoo. She has two adopted cocker spaniels, Wylie and Brando and has been a volunteer at Wayside since last May.

Gabby has created a new series of dog training classes at Wayside. Check out our website to learn more about these classes and to sign-up for upcoming sessions.

Written by: Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager
Wayside Waifs


Jun 15 2014

Taking Care of Older Dogs

older-dogsMost dog owners arrive at a point where it is difficult for their dog to do the simplest tasks, like getting up a set of stairs or going for a spin around the block. As a dog owner, this is heartbreaking. The hard fact of life is that, like people, dogs age and require assistance doing otherwise routine things. Although it can be difficult seeing your best friend go through these changes, there are some things you can do to ease the transition.

How You Can Help

By making some simple changes to the way you care for your dog, you can greatly enhance their day-to-day quality of life.

Concentrate on what food you are giving your dog.

There are several considerations that are important to make when it comes to the diet of an older dog. Spending a little more money on the purchase of quality food is important, as it often helps ensure your furry friend is receiving the nutrients he or she needs. Better quality food does not equate to more food. Just like humans, being overweight takes a toll on your dog’s body frame, especially as they age. On the same token, you want to be certain your dog is not underweight, which brings us to our next point.

Maintain Fido’s Dental Health.

Try to brush your dog’s teeth regularly. This will help prevent some diseases and make sure they don’t lose teeth prematurely. Sometimes dental issues keep dogs from eating, causing them to be underweight. If you notice this happening, check their teeth to see if that’s the cause for weight loss.

Schedule regular veterinarian visits

Checkups once a year are fine for most mature dogs; however, it is your responsibility to take your dog to the vet if you notice any unusual or concerning changes. The goal? Prevention, not recovery. Listen to your instincts. If something seems wrong, it probably is.

Keep your dog active and engaged.

Exercise is crucial to the well-being of your aging dog. Just remember, though. Mental health is of equal importance.  Having toys around for your dog to play with will keep them engaged. Car rides and walks offer a great change of scenery, too. And with sensory stimulation playing a key role in your dog’s happiness, it must not be overlooked in everyday interactions.

Treat Your Dog How You Would Want to be Treated.

The simplest way to ensure your aging dog’s happiness? Treat your dog how you would want to be treated in your old age. It’s as simple as that. As man’s best friend, Fido deserves some extra T.L.C.

 

 

 


May 21 2014

Meet Raider

A Foster Story From Julie Poland

raiderr

In a home environment, he has been extremely well behaved.  He follows me around the house and gets up immediately, even if sleeping, just to see where I am going.  He’s been very sweet and gentle with my two kids and husband.

He never liked going back to his kennel at the shelter, and he initially did not like to go into his crate at home either. However, within a few days, he was running up the stairs with my other dogs at bedtime and happily going into his crate to wait for his treats. He sleeps all night in his crate and even lets us sleep in late on the weekends!

He was great with other dogs at the shelter and was in many playgroups with other canines, too.  His play was so appropriate that he was used as a test dog when new dogs arrived at Wayside Waifs to see if they were friendly with other dogs. He’s also been fantastic at my home with my two small dogs.  They are not playful and Raider will occasionally try to engage them in play, but he respectfully stops when they don’t respond to him.

We even had a litter of four foster puppies when we first brought Raider home, and he was so gentle when the puppies tried to play with him.

Raider is crate-trained and house-trained and is great about going outside to go potty.  He walks very well on a leash and only pulls when he sees squirrels and other dogs on leashes.  Raider is only two years old, so he does get into mischief like the young dog that he is. He is still learning what is appropriate to chew and what isn’t.  However, with supervision, he’s learning quickly and is great about dropping something he’s found in exchange for a treat.

My family is enjoying spending time with Raider and will be sad to see him go.  We think he would be happiest in a home with a fenced yard and another playful dog. He was adopted recently for about a week, and the family loved him and had wonderful things to say about him. Unfortunately, one of their dogs did not like Raider.  If the family tried to give attention to Raider the other dog would attack him.  They felt it would be best for Raider to go to a home with another dog who would accept him.  We hope his forever family finds him soon, so he can live the wonderful life he so deserves!


May 19 2014

Footprints on My Heart

adoptionAn Adoption Story: By Megan Pickard

I have always been an animal lover.  I believe animals teach us unconditional love, more so than any other life lesson. When the time came for me to find a volunteer position, there was no question it would be in the animal field. My family and I had adopted our dog from Wayside Waifs seven years ago, so my mother and I applied to become dog walkers. We took dogs from their kennels outside during the day, so they had a chance to run and socialize with humans beyond a glass door. But I wanted to do more to help animals in my community. So I applied to become a foster mom.

Foster moms bring animals out of the shelter when they need some extra TLC. Some animals are very sick, and some come from abusive homes, so they need to re-learn how to love. Others just don’t do well in the noisy environment of a shelter. I instantly fall in love with every animal that comes home with me, treating them like my own furry babies.

It isn’t easy to care for a sick or scared animal; but each day I care for them, I feel my confidence grow and my sense of purpose renew.

One of my favorite memories as a foster mom is taking my first litter of six lab puppies back to the shelter and meeting each family that came to adopt one. There is so much satisfaction knowing that you helped a family find their forever pet. However, not all experiences are pleasant. Last year, one of my foster kittens died in my care. Her body was taken back to Wayside Waifs, where an autopsy discovered an enlarged heart caused by a genetic disorder. I knew nothing I could have done would have prevented this and nothing I did could have caused it, but I still felt very sad. I took comfort knowing that I had given her the best last days any kitten could have had.

From this sadness, happiness was restored again. Since then, I have taken in seven puppies, many more extremely rambunctious kittens, and cats (one crazy pair climbed the Christmas tree and destroyed several ornaments – that’s when I knew they were well enough to go back to find their forever family).  I currently have an excitable 4-month-old puppy that was rescued from a dog-fighting ring.

What has my volunteer work taught me? My future plans include being a nurse, and I believe the special affection animals show us is teaching me how to be a compassionate nurse. I have taken in several dogs, rescued from abusive situations, which now bathe my face with kisses whenever I return home. The previously mentioned rambunctious cats came to my house extremely malnourished and ill and left with restored health. More than anything, these animals have taught me to love unconditionally, no matter what your past is, reminding me that each day is a gift that should be enjoyed to the fullest –especially if that day brings you Christmas trees to climb and ornaments to destroy!


May 2 2014

Costume Ins-purr-ration for the 2014 Fur Ball Gala

fur ball galaAs you may know, this year’s Wayside Waifs-sponsored Fur Ball Gala is centered around a fun baseball theme. Because our organization has some serious spunk, we like to celebrate and fundraise in true style. To get you warmed up and ready for the big night, we have comprised a short list of ideas from our very own Look Book.

Baseball Costumes That Will Make the Crowd Bark

Base 1 – Ease into this year’s A League of Their Own-inspired theme with a classic baseball T-hat combination. Keeping things casual with a timeless three-quarter-length baseball T is a sure way to blend in with the crowd. A comfy T paired with a baseball hat of your choosing – we’re partial to the Royals – is sure to earn you a round of applause.

Base 2 – Want to step up your costume game, while showing your favorite team in the league some love? Be royal at this year’s gala by sporting your favorite dark blue Royals jersey and fan swag. And if you’re root, root, rooting for another team, that’s okay, too. We welcome friendly rivalries.

Base 3 – For a non-traditional approach to this year’s theme, pay tribute to the hardworking men and women who distribute tasty beverages and savory finger foods throughout ball games.  Hotdogs. Cotton candy.  Lemonade. The options are limitless, and think how much fun – and treats — you can have as you get your costume together.

Base 4 – Cross home plate with a splash and go all out with a full-fledged baseball ensemble. Tube socks, cropped pants, a jersey, and a glove will have you looking like you’re on the roster. And, if you want to take your outfit to the next level, throw on an umpire’s mask and chest protector for good measure.

Tune In

On May 10th you can see the costumes firsthand at our annual Fur ball Gala, which will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center. And, if you cannot make it out for this year’s festivities, be sure to follow our social media feeds for live updates.

Facebook                                          Twitter                                  Instagram

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

 


Apr 24 2014

The Dos & Don’ts of Dog Park Etiquette

dog-parkApril showers bring May flowersand lots of visits to the dog park, of course. As you leash up and head to your favorite dog park, be sure that you have reviewed this list of dog park dos and don’ts. You won’t regret it! By employing some basic precautions, you and Fido will have long days of fun in the sun all spring and summer long.

What to Avoid:

  • Visiting overly crowded dog parks
  • Bringing a young puppy – under 4 months of age – to the dog park
  • Providing treats & toys that could spur jealousy
  • Fraternization amongst unfixed (spade or neutered) dogs

What to Do:

  • Keep your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date – don’t forget flea and tick meds, too!
  • Bring poop bags to prevent spread of disease or any unwanted messes
  • Keep a close watch on Fido. It’s a new place with new dogs, so you will want to monitor for signs of aggression or agitation.
  • Don’t forget a back-up water supply – one for you and another for your pooch! A panting pup needs to stay hydrated, especially when it is warm outside.

Learn More

Wayside Waifs invites you and your four-legged friend to enjoy our Bark Park. Your membership fee earns you full access to our well-lit, fenced-in, off-leash dog park. It gets better! All the fees aid our adoptable pups in need of homes. And if you need some last-minute tick or flea meds, you can make a quick purchase at our Whisker’s & Wags shop, where all purchase proceeds benefit the shelter animals in their journey to find a forever home.

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Mar 19 2014

Fido’s Spring Checklist

spring checklist As the grass begins to turn green, snowbells blossom, and the sun sets later in the evening, you and Fido may find yourselves developing a case of spring fever. The good news? With the right precautions taken, you and your pooch will be ready to spring into warmer days with a seamless transition. Employing the tips below is easy, and you’re sure to have some fun along the way.

Spring To-dos:

Up the Exercise

When it’s cold outside, many owners and canine companions get less exercise. Not to worry, though. Although your pooch doesn’t need to get in beach-worthy shape, he or she does need to get conditioned for long days of fun in the sun. The key? Like any exercise regimen, you should ease your way into full-fledged workout mode. In no time walks around the block will turn into 5-mile trail hikes.

Wash The Paws

Beds of green grass are fun for pups to roll around in, but during the spring, be careful of potentially harmful chemicals, such as herbicides, that are used for the removal of  unwanted vegetation.

Flee & Protection

Rolling around in the grass is all good fun until somebody gets a bad case of fleas or ticks. The solution? Monthly flea and tick preventative medication is best practice; however, you’ll also want to give your dog a thorough comb-through if you go for a hike in a heavily wooded area. You can purchase these products at Whiskers & Wags, Wayside’s Boutique. All proceeds from sales in the store benefit the animals at the shelter!

Groom the Coat

Spring is a time for fresh starts, so be sure to send your pet for a day at the groomers, where he or she can get a fresh cut that keeps them cool and comfortable as the weather gets warmer outside. It also helps to get in the routine of brushing them at night.  This can not only help them relax but it keeps the tangles and dander to a minimum.  And, hey, it’s great quality time together. Need some more convincing? Think how cute your pooch will look with their new hairdo!

Learn More

Looking for a furry friend to take long strolls with on breezy spring evenings? Wayside Waifs of Kansas City is home to a number of adoptable dogs and cats that are looking for their forever home, so be sure to stop by the shelter today.

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Mar 6 2014

How to Transition Your Dog’s Food

dog foodUnlike their human counterparts, dogs do not need to eat a rainbow (yes, keep those skittles to yourself on family movie night). Although eating food with a balanced spectrum of nutrients is important, owners should aim to consistently provide a healthy meal for their canine companions. However, as dogs mature or develop food allergies or sensitivities, you may come to a point when you need to switch dog food. Don’t panic; follow these simple steps to avoid post-breakfast or dinnertime discomfort.

Know Your Addition

In just five days, you can seamlessly transition your dog’s food. It’s simple: All you have to do is know some basic calculations for you and Fido to be on your way to a healthy new start. Begin by adding 20% of the new food in with 80% of the old. From here, you will up the new food in 20% increments each day, while simultaneously lowering the old mix by 20%. Easy, right?

See the chart below for details.

  • Day 1 – 80% Original food + 20% New
  • Day 2 – 60% Original food + 40% New
  • Day 3 – 40% Original food + 60% New
  • Day 4 – 20% Original food + 80% New
  • Day 5 – 100% New

While these proportions help most dogs make an easy transition to their new food, it is not a foolproof plan. Because of this, there are some telltale signs of irritation you’ll want to watch for throughout this process.

Red Flags:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs, stop administering new food and visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

When it comes time to change your dog’s food, be sure to employ the following steps. And remember, there is no universal solution for all dogs. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to observe your dog for any unusual diet-related behavior as you make this transition.

Adopt Today

If you are looking to adopt a dog you can call your own, Wayside Waifs of Kansas City has a number of animals in need of permanent, loving homes.

 Adoption Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

 

Proudly serving the Greater Kansas City community. 


Feb 25 2014

Fight the Winter Blues With Pet Exercise

snow playIt’s cold outside. Let’s face it: We are all dragging a little bit – even the dogs. As a pet owner, it is important to remember that while we are able to get outside throughout gloomy winter days, dogs often remain pent up indoors. Sofa snuggles and afternoon snoozes are great, but too much time on the dog bed can have a lot of canines feeling blue. Don’t wait for sunnier, warmer days to exercise your pooch! There are a number of great winter exercises you and your favorite companion can enjoy.

Winter Exercises for the Pooch:

Snow Angels

One of the things that makes dogs such great animals is that they still enjoy all the things we did in our youth – playing in the snow is no exception. In fact, many of these furballs relish the opportunity to run their paws through fluffy, white powder. While it’s still winter, bundle up and take your snow angel (yes, we know you call your dog “angel,” “sweets,” and other heart-melting nicknames) out for some good, old-fashioned playtime in the snow.

snow dog

Extra Training

What better way to get your pooch ready for warm park days than some additional training classes? These classes are fun for everyone, as they allow pets to socialize with their canine peers, all while learning new tricks and skill sets. After some winter classes, your furry friend will be the star of all his or her warm-weather park dates.

Sensory Stimulation

Just as we require mental stimulation, dogs have keen senses that need to be challenged to stay sharp. When your dog’s nose cannot keep busy sniffing freshly cut grass or blooming flowers, a fun game of sniff-and-eat will combat the winter blues and boredom. Something as simple as an impromptu food-driven obstacle course will do the trick, keeping your dog’s mind stimulated and its belly full.

Learn More 

Are you looking for a furry friend to roll around with in the snow? Wayside Waifs of Kansas City is home to a number of adoptable dogs and cats that are looking for their forever home, so be sure to stop by the shelter today.

Adoption Center Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Feb 3 2014

Quick Tips for Wintertime Potty Training

potty trainingPotty training your pup can be trying business. So, what do you do when you add snow or ice-laden ground to the picture? Although a wintery mix can complicate things, taking some basic measures can help ease this transition. At Wayside Waifs, we know a thing or two about potty training, and we are here to share some quick and simple tricks that should have your pooch potty trained before you can say “spring” and by the time the flowers are in full bloom.

Potty Training Pointers:

Create a Potty Zone.

When there is snow on the ground and you are trying to potty train your canine, be sure to clear off an area that facilitates your dog’s needs. The area does not have to be huge, but you will want to be certain it is large enough that your dog does not feel cramped.

Send Cues.

One of the most important parts of potty training is sending your pooch the right cues. You want potty time to be unlike any other time. So, when you grab your leash or head to the yard, be sure to get down to business. Saying commands like “Go potty,” or “Do your business,” just before tinkle time is a good start. A rule of thumb? Be firm and consistent with your commands, so your dog associates them with potty time.

Praise, Praise, Praise.

Once your pooch gets it right, going potty outside upon command, make sure to let them know they have done a great job. That’s right; after they finish their business, remind them how good their behavior is. Treats are another form of positive reinforcement; however, just remember to dish them out immediately after the proper behavior occurs.

Learn More

Looking for a canine companion? Wayside Waifs has a number of pooches that would love to find a permanent home. These pointers should get any pooch on the road to becoming house trained in a short matter of time.


Shelter Hours
:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm 

 


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