Aug 27 2009

Dealing With Muddy Paws

These last couple of days I have gotten quite a bit of rain at my house.  Although my toy poodle, Lucy, prefers for me to hold the umbrella while she “does her business” she always manages to find a muddy place in the yard to check out.  I know that I am not alone in this problem.  From the time we adopted her, we worked with her to make her more comfortable with getting her paws wiped.  Here’s how we did it.
First, we started with baby or ‘puppy steps’, by touching her paws while they were still on the ground.  Lucy had been abused by her previous owner, and has some trust issues so this took some practice.  Once she became comfortable with this, we started using a small towel and each time the she let us touch the paw, we rewarded her with a small treat.  We practiced with each paw.  Lucy soon found this to be her favorite part as she is pretty food motivated. 
Once your dog is happy to see the towel coming to their paws and realizes this means they get a treat, you should be able to wrap the towel around their entire paw to get them really clean.  If your dog is hesitant, remember to reward and take puppy steps to help your dog adjust.     

If all of this seems overwhelming, there is another option.  I found it to be a curious invention, but a local television tested it and reported it does work.  It is called the “Paw Plunger”.  Their moto is “Cleanliness is next to dogliness.”  It looks like a plastic cup which is filled with warm water.  But when you look inside the cup, there are several soft, small brushes that gently remove the dirt without causing the dog any discomfort.  The dirty water can easily be dumped.  According to the inventors the Paw Plunger will put an end the mess of cleaning your dogs muddy paws.  While it may remove the mud, it doesn’t dry them, so you would still need to use a towel.  Since Lucy is only 5 pounds, this looks a little too big for her so we are going to stick with the towel and if she gets her way, the treats too.



Aug 25 2009

Keep It From the Beagle

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

Eloise in her Beano-loving days.

My beagle mix, Eloise, puts everything in her mouth. She is, after all, a dog. At age five, she concentrates on fallen food, socks, shoes, and used Kleenexes. But in her puppy days, everything was up for grabs. One day I brought home Chinese takeout and arranged it on the dining-room table next to a bottle of Beano. In an instant, Eloise took a running start, leapt onto the chair, and skated across the table, sending kung pao shrimp and fried rice flying. What was she after? The bottle of Beano. She scooped it up in her jaws, catapulted off the back end of the table, and zoomed through the family room, down the hall, and into the master bedroom. By the time I reached her, she had the childproof lid off and was chomping down a handful of pills. 

In a panic, I called Animal Poison Control. No worries, they told me; you might even end up glad she’d had a few Beanos. 

I knew pills could be trouble, and we were lucky. But lately I’ve found out about a few “harmless” kitchen foods that could prove more deadly than Beano: 

Raisins & Grapes.  Really? Yes. Too many grapes, whether in fresh or dried form, can cause renal failure in dogs. Don’t ever give them as treats, and if you suspect your dog has eaten a bunch, get him to the vet right away. 

Onions & Garlic.  Dogs lack the enzyme needed to digest these properly–they’ll cause gastrointestinal distress. 

Apple Cores/Seeds.  Only the fruit is safe–even apple leaves and stems may contain dangerous compounds. 

Macadamia Nuts. Causes gastrointestinal trouble. 

Fruit pits/seeds.  Apart from the choking hazard, the pits of plums, peaches, and cherries can cause internal health problems. 

Summertime barbecues and picnics are prime feasting time for nosy dogs. Keep all of these away from your pup, and be careful when offering your dog leftovers. Monitor guests as well and keep firm rules: No feeding from the table. Those hound-dog eyes may be mournful, but at least they’ll be around for many summers to come.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Aug 20 2009

The Ultimate Litter-Box Solution

It’s arguably the least pleasant aspect of your feline family member–cleaning out the litter box. And because we encourage you to keep your cats indoors for their safety and health, you can’t avoid this chore. Or can you?

I’ve heard rumors for years that cats can be taught to use the toilet. I never tried it with ours, figuring that she was an old-lady cat whose arthritis might preclude such a feat. But the idea is intriguing, and thanks to YouTube, I’ve seen actual proof that this is possible.

Can any cat be toilet-trained? Personally, I think that cats are such independent, unique creatures that perhaps quite a few can’t be persuaded to depart from the litter-box habit. But maybe yours has the right stuff. Does he fit this profile?

  • fairly easygoing; not too freaked by changes in routine
  • motivated by treats/training to do what you want
  • already litter-trained
  • still a kitten (probably easier than training an adult)
  • not a tiny kitten (must be big enough to avoid falling in)

If your cat seems toilet-friendly, and you have the time and patience, check out this how-to article. Products are available to make the process easier, but jazz musician Charles Mingus  swears by good old-fashioned cardboard boxes to do the trick. If you give this a try with your kitty, let us know how it works! Good luck!

posted by Claire M. Caterer

Aug 18 2009

Surrendering a Pet

Surrendering a pet can be the most difficult decision a person makes.  For many it’s heart wrenching.  We understand that situations arise that can prevent someone from being able to continue caring for a pet.  The most common situation we are seeing today is eviction and foreclosure, forcing people to move and unable to take their pet with them.    Recently, Mr. Brown and Mr. Black, 11-month-old Pekinese brothers, were surrendered by their owners due to economic hardships.   In 2008, 2395 animals were surrendered by their owners.   Wayside Waifs understands the difficulty in making this decision and we are here to help.
Mr. Black

Mr. Brown                         Mr. Black 

If you are considering surrendering your animal because of behavior issues, we urge you to utilize our “Ask a Trainer” service on our website  We have several behaviorists and trainers that can assist you through unique animal behavior modification.   

If you need to surrender your animal because of a life changing situation here is what you need to do: 

  • Call 816-761-8151 ext. 4404 or 4405 and listen closely to the instructions on the recording.  An Admissions Counselor will call you back within 48 hours.  We schedule appointments for each client so we can better serve you and answer all of your questions.  We also take this opportunity to collect as much information as we can about your pet.
  • Prior to your appointment download and complete the feline or canine surrender form and bring it with you  
  • Make sure your pets vaccinations are up to date and bring the records with you.
  • Have your pets coat clean and brushed.
  • Bring some of your pet’s favorite items along with you to help the pet transition more easily into the new environment.    

    ollowing these tips will help the speed the intake process.  Please allow at least 30 minutes for the intake process.  

    When you arrive your pet will receive a behavioral and health assessment.  If your pet passes the behavior assessment, he/she will be placed immediately into our adoption program.  If your pet does not pass the behavior assessment (which identifies signs of human, animal or food aggression) he/she will not be placed into the adoption program.  An Admissions Counselor will then sit down with you to talk about options available to you which include guidance to work through behavior issues at home.  After working with your pet we can schedule a follow-up appointment to re-evaluate your pet. 

It’s important for you to honor your appointment time. The fee to surrender is $40 per animal.  This fee allows Wayside Waifs to continue to care for the 30 to 50 pets we receive on a daily basis.

Wayside Waifs understands that this is not a decision made easily and we promise to do our best to work with you and your family through the process.  

Aug 14 2009

Still in the Heat of Flea and Tick Season

Although summer is coming closer to an end, we are still in the heat of flea and tick season.  My own waif was scratching this morning and I realized it was time to re-treat her.  Here are some tips for successful flea control:
1. Start treating before the weather heats up.  Many people treat all year long.  Fleas and ticks can live year round, especially indoors.  

2.  Each pet in your home needs their own individual dose of treatment.  Wayside Waifs recommends Frontline.  The individual dose will kill existing fleas and break the cycle of flea reproduction.  It can take 3 months to get a flea infestation under control.  

3.  If you walk your pet outside, you can pick up fleas from an area where other untreated pets have been.  These fleas can hitch a ride on your pet and get into your home.  Consistent treatment is always recommended.

4.  To keep fleas under control; vacuum daily and discard the vacuum bag immediately, wash all pet bedding each day, brush cats with a flea comb, wash all human bedding where pets may have napped and keep a watchful eye. 

5. Look for a treatment that is waterproof so you can bathe your pet and allow your pet to enjoy a dip in the pool. 

You can purchase Frontline Flea and Tick treatment at Wayside Waifs!  Come by during business hours to pick up yours.

Aug 11 2009

Vote For Wayside Waifs!

Wayside Waifs is one of 6 finalists in a Twitter Fundraising event called Twestival. Click on the link below, then click on vote (choose all 3 votes if you like!) so we can get in the number one position.  Whoever wins will be the recipient of all funds collected at an event held in September! 

Please vote, and tell your friends to vote, too!!!  You do NOT need to be signed up on Twitter to vote, just click on the vote button next to our name.

Aug 10 2009

Hot Weather Tips for Pets

The dog days of summer aren’t always easy for our animal friends.  The heat effects dogs and cats the same way it impacts humans.  Dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn. By taking some simple precautions, you can celebrate the season and keep your pets happy and healthy.

1. Keep pets inside.

2. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle—heat exhaustion can be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace in no time.

3. Walk your dog in the morning when the heat and humidity are best.  

4. Don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt.  Their body temperature can rise quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.

5. Get a long hair dog groomed for the summer.  Long haired breeds can be shaved to a one-inch coat.  Never shave down to the skin as this robs the dog of their protection from the sun.

6. Be sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

7. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Aug 6 2009

Foster Care Month

Wayside Waifs has declared August Foster Care Month!  Each Saturday in August we will have three foster dogs and their families at Wayside Waifs.  Potential adopters will have the opportunity to learn all about these great dogs from the caring foster families that have been helping them prepare for their new forever home. 

This weeks fosters are Annabelle, Day Day and Devito.  These fosters are also featured as our Waifs of the Week and you can find their stories on our homepage. 

Day Day is ready to find his forever home!


Day Day is ready to find his forever home!




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