Jul 9 2020

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is a time to explore, adventure, and discover. There is no better way to enjoy these activities than with your best friend by your side! It’s important to make sure that you are keeping your pet safe so that you both can get the most out of these beautiful summer months. Dehydration and overheating are not something to take lightly and can lead to serious and fatal conditions.

Water

Collapsable bowls are great for traveling! Pet water bottles are also great because they have a bowl for your pet built into the lid.

While this may seem obvious it’s worth mentioning that your pet is going to need to stay hydrated, especially in these warmer months. Bring along a pet water bottle or bowl so that they can quench their thirst while they smell all the new smells and take in all the views. 

Consider exploring somewhere your pet can be near a body of water so they can cool off when needed. Perhaps explore a new trail that wraps around a lake or take your dog kayaking with you. Be sure your dog is equipped with a safety jacket! While we assume swimming is a natural instinct, not all dogs are good swimmers and they might need some assistance.

The Unforgiving Summer Sun

Be sure to keep an eye on the temperatures and humidity before an adventure. Pavement can also become very hot and can cause burns to your dog’s feet. The best way to verify is to place your hand on the pavement for a few seconds and if it’s too hot to touch then your pet should not be walking on it. Walking on the grass is a good alternative. These factors may rule out an outdoor adventure and equate to some fun indoor adventures near the AC. Heat exhaustion in dogs can lead to serious and potentially fatal conditions such as heat stroke and cardiac arrest. Mornings and evenings may be the best time to get outside with your pet during these hot summer months but it’s crucial to be aware of physical cues of overheating or exhaustion. These things can happen quickly, especially for dogs that are older, have longer coats, are extremely active or flat-face breeds such as bull dogs. 

Signs Your Pet is Overheating

-Excessive panting
-Excessive drooling
-Vomiting / diarrhea
-Gums or tongue is turning blue or bright red
-Less responsive
-Glazed eyes
-Dizziness, loss of coordination 
-Collapsing / experiencing convulsions 

Shade and plenty of chances to rest and hydrate are crucial in making sure your adventuring is not only fun but safe!

Under no circumstances should your pet be left in a car, even in the shade with the windows rolled down.

What to do if your pet is overheated

-Get them to a cool place as soon as possible.
-Offer them cool water to drink, soak towels and lay them over your dog or get your dog into some cool water.
-Get them to the vet. Call ahead so they can be prepared for your arrival.

Parasite and Pest Protection

Making sure your pet is current on flea/tick protection is crucial so that you don’t bring anything home from your adventures that you don’t want. There are many types of prevention so talk with your vet about the right option for you and your pet. Check out our “Spring is Here!” blog to learn more about the products we love at Wayside Waifs. 

Also be sure to be on the lookout for snakes and other creatures that could be harmful to you and your dog while you are adventuring. 

Now that you are knowledgeable with what to prepare for, keep an eye on, and what to do if your pet is to become overheated go out there and enjoy the summer to its fullest potential!

Written by Tara Cleveland, Wayside Waifs


Jul 1 2020

Fourth of July Safety Tips


Apr 16 2020

Choosing Toys for Your Dog

Playtime and enrichment are essential to keeping your dog happy and healthy by burning anxious energy, building muscles and stamina, and improving their motor and social skills.  The right toys make all the difference.  Here are a few tips and tricks for choosing the right toys for your canine companion.

Hard Toys

Toys such as Nylabone® and Kong® are good examples of hard rubber toys.  The durable rubber is perfect for chewing and tugging so you don’t have to worry about your furry pal ingesting pieces of the toy.  These toys often have interesting textures and nubs for your dog to explore.  Kong® and similarly shaped toys are handy for very active dogs.  They are designed to hold treats that will keep your dog entertained for hours.

Soft Toys

Some dogs prefer soft stuffed toys.  However, these types of toys aren’t right for all dogs.  Carolyn Law, Adoptions Manager at Wayside, warns “watching closely for any shredding, tearing, or ingesting of toy parts is vital.”  When introducing your dog to soft toys be sure to keep watch and remove the toy if your dog starts to tear it.  

Many dogs like to carry around their “stuffy” as a companion.  If your dog is this type, make sure their stuffed toy is small enough to grip with their mouths, but not small enough to ingest.  If you are crafty you can also repurpose old towels or cloth into toys.  Your dog may especially enjoy a toy made of an old shirt that smells like you.

DIY Toys

You can save money and reuse household materials by crafting toys for canine enrichment activities. Our team created these handy and fun DIY dog toy tutorials to build your own Dog Pull Puzzle, Dog Treat Search, and Dog Treat Dispenser toys.  For full tutorial instructions and other pins check out our Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/waysidewaifs/.

What to Avoid

  • Cooked natural bones – these can splinter and damage your dog’s digestive tract
  • Ribbons, strings, long fibers – these can get caught in your dog’s teeth
  • Anything with small or sharp parts, like springs or batteries
  • Large pieces of rawhide can cause intestinal obstructions

Whiskers & Wags Retail Store, located in the Wayside Waifs Adoption Center, has a large selection of toys, treats, and other enrichment goods for your furry friends.  Your Whiskers & Wags purchase support Wayside Waifs and provides life-saving medical care, food and safe shelter to 6,000 homeless pets.

As always, when in doubt, reach out to your veterinarian.


Apr 1 2020

Spring is here! Are your pets protected?

Spring has sprung and with the return of warm weather is the chance to enjoy the outdoors in all of its glory. There’s nothing like going on an adventure with your best friend by your side! It’s important to protect them from parasites and pests such as fleas and ticks that you can encounter along the way. Even if your best friend doesn’t go outside to explore (such as your house cat), keeping them on a preventive is the best way to ensure you or your other pets don’t bring in unwanted pests. 

There are many forms of prevention for fleas and ticks including topical medication, oral medication, and collars. Learn about the products we use at Wayside for dogs and cats and have no fear exploring outside this Spring with your best friend being protected with preventatives like these from Bayer! 

Seresto Collars 

This flea and tick collar lasts for 8 months! While many have experienced flea and tick collars before, this is unlike any you’ve ever tried because it is incredibly efficient. There is no residue, no odor, and there is no need to remove it during bathing or if your pet gets into water. Perhaps the best benefit is the convenience because unlike monthly preventions, once you put this on you are good to go for 8 months of protection. Checkout our Whiskers and Wags store to purchase and rebate options! 

Advantage Multi 

This is a monthly topical prevention that goes on the back of your pets neck / in between their shoulder blades. This product prevents heartworm disease, kills fleas, and treats and controls roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and sarcoptic mange in dogs. The benefit of this product is the range of prevention covered but it’s important to notice that tick prevention is not included within this product. So you would need to combine a tick prevention with this, such as the Seresto Collar. Topicals typically take up to 24 hours to dry and refraining from bathing your pet during this time is recommended. If you have little ones at home, be sure to monitor that they don’t come into contact with where this product was applied on your pet until it fully dries. 

K9 Advantix II

This monthly topical repels fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes through contact as well as kills lice and repels biting flies. Checkout our Whiskers and Wags store to purchase and rebate options! 

Advantage II

This monthly topical kills fleas, kills flea eggs and larvae as well as treats and controls lice infestations. Checkout our Whiskers and Wags store to purchase and rebate options! 

Always consult with your veterinarian to figure out the best preventative options for you and your pet. Please note: while some of these products are available for anyone to purchase from our Whiskers and Wags retail store at Wayside Waifs, some are not due to also containing heartworm prevention which we are unable to sell to the public unless they have adopted the animal from us within a year. Please talk to your vet about purchasing products with heartworm prevention as these are also very important to keep your pet current on.


Mar 26 2020

Be Prepared with a Pet Medical Travel Kit

Since the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic, preparedness is more important than ever, for you and your pet.  We recommend building your own Pet Medical Travel Kit. It’s quick, easy, and gives you peace of mind.  

Pet Medical Travel Kits are perfect for your car, RV, or boat.  Throw it in a backpack and take it with you on your next hike or visit to the dog park.  You can take your Pet Medical Travel kit anywhere you and your furry friend go!

Recommended Medical Kit Items (For Cats & Dogs)

Throw your Pet Medical Travel Kit in the back of your car
  • Medical gauze
  • Sterile pads
  • Small scissors
  • Medical Tape
  • Stretchy gauze wrap
  • Disposable gloves
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Antiseptic towelettes
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tongue depressors
  • Tick remover
  • Instant cold compress
  • Alcohol-free hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water
  • Clean towels or strips of clean cloth
  • Digital Pet Thermometer
  • Eye dropper or large syringe without needle
  • Muzzle (in an emergency a rope, necktie, soft cloth, nylon stocking, small towel may be used)
  • Cloth Blanket (to use as a stretcher)
  • Tweezers
  • Thermal Foil Emergency Blanket
  • Spare leash & collar

Don’t forget to include important contact information:

cat in a stroller
Kitties can go on adventures too!
Be prepared and bring your Pet Medical Travel Kit.
  • Your pet’s medical record (including medications and vaccination history)
  • Veterinarian contact information
  • Emergency veterinary clinic contact information
  • Animal Poison Control Center: 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435) (there may be a fee for this call)

Eric Kelley, DVM and Chief of Veterinary Medicine at Wayside Waifs reminds us “In an emergency situation the most important thing is to contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic”.  First aid care can improve your pet’s chances of a full recovery but should never be a substitute for veterinary care.  

Post your DIY Pet Medical Travel Kit to social media and tag us! @waysidewaifs


Nov 12 2019

Adopting a Senior Dog: A Series, Part Three, Emotional Support

The most important benefit that of adopting my senior dog Berta is the emotional support I receive from her daily. Berta has been my truest friend in this process of healing. Two years ago my mother passed away unexpectedly, my father passed a year before, and my brother a year before that. It was a very traumatic time and I struggled to handle the tide of feelings that stemmed from it. I still do. Berta has been my truest friend and an incredible emotional support in this process of healing.

About a year ago I decided to go the shelter. I truly had no intention of adopting, but then I saw Berta. Berta caught my attention with her calm demeanor. She was a dose of serotonin from the beginning. I did not know then that she was going to be the root for most of my happiness. It’s amazing how dogs can really feel how you are feeling without words. For example, Berta always senses my anxiety attacks before they occur. She consoles me through these rough spurs of emotions. A lot of things trigger me; it could be as simple as a song or a scene from a movie. Luckily, I have Berta right next to always eager to calm my tears. Dogs are not like humans, they are much more complex. They are our greatest friends and companions. To say I needed Berta would be incorrect, because in all actuality we needed each other. Berta has gone through many rough patches as well and our identities just fit. I could not imagine my life now without her love and friendship.

The aspect I value most about Berta is the solitude and comfort she brings to our home. She sleeps next to me every night and has calmed many unsettling dreams. Walking in the door after a long day is not as bad when Berta is happily waiting for you. The motivation to wake up and go out of the house is easier with Berta in the passenger seat. I feel much less anxiety with the support I receive from Berta on a daily basis. She is a safe haven to me. There are no bad days with Berta. The idea of struggling through mental roadblocks is not even a question when I am reassured with the companionship of Berta.

If you struggle with any emotional healing my suggestion is considering adopting a furry friend. Mine has been the greatest blessing this past year.

Before taking this leap please consider:

  1. Dogs do change your lifestyle. They require a lot of attention and love. Make sure you find a dog that fits the way you live.
  2. Not all dogs are emotionally supportive.
  3. Don’t just adopt the first dog you see. Look around the shelter and meet the dog.
  4. Shelter dogs have their own stories and it may take sometime for them to open up to you.

If you have a dog that brings a lot of love and joy to your home be sure to share this blog with them too!

By: Emme Moorehouse


Jul 2 2019

Pawty Like It’s 1776 – Safety Tips

The Fourth of July is a fun filled holiday for family and friends. It’s a chance to celebrate the birth of the United States with BBQ, fireworks, and warm weather. But that doesn’t mean our furry friends are as excited as we are! Wayside wants your pets to feel comfortable and safe during this holiday, so we have some tips for our four-legged family members.


1. Leave your pets at home.

We all love having our pets with us every chance we get. And to some it may seem mean to leave our pets at home when we’re out having fun. But the safest place for your pet on Independence Day is inside the safety of your home. Taking them to an unfamiliar location surrounded by people they don’t know with fireworks shooting off can increase anxiety and cause a pet to run away due to fear. And please don’t lock them in a car as a substitute — This can cause heat stroke!

2. Have a safe space available for your pet.

Whether it’s a closet filled with blankets or a crate full of their favorite toys, most dogs like having a go-to spot when anxiety hits. If your dog does not enjoy small spaces, that’s okay! Have their favorite blanket or dog bed ready and available for them in an open space if needed.

3. Use pet-friendly insect repellents and sunscreen.

The sunscreen and insect repellent humans use is not always safe for our furry best friends. The chemicals in these products can be toxic and cause sickness from drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and even neurological issues. There are plenty of pet friendly options to use for animals if insect bites or sunburn are a concern.

4. Keep alcohol out of reach of pets.

If ingested, alcohol can be very poisonous to pets. Drinks left on the floor or a low table might lead to ingestion. This can lead to weakness, low blood sugar, difficulty breathing, and, in extreme cases, respiratory failure. Keep drinks in hand or on a high table away from our curious friends!

5. Keep scraps away and out of reach.

We all get those puppy dog eyes when we’re eating food in front of our pets, but please resist! Table scraps can be extremely harmful to animals. Bones from ribs can splinter after ingested and cause obstruction; fatty table scraps can result in pancreatitis; there are many other examples of human food causing problems for our pets. Just because we can ingest something does not mean it’s safe for animals. Stick to their normal diet.

6. Keep glow jewelry away from pets.

The luminescent substance contained in these little plastic party favors are highly toxic and unsafe for animals if ingested, and the large pieces of plastic can cause blockage.

7. Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil out of reach.

Animals can be very sensitive to the scent from these oils. They can cause aspiration pneumonia if inhaled, and if ingested can cause stomach irritation and central nervous system depression. Keep all chemicals locked away or high up away from pets.

8. Never use fireworks around pets!

Pets don’t understand fireworks the way we do. All they see and hear is a bright and loud explosion happening in front of them. There is also a risk for severe burns if they come into contact with a fireworks, as well as exposure to toxic substances.

9. Have your pet identified properly

Proper identification could be the only way to find a lost pet if they do get loose. An ID tag and microchip are effective ways of retrieving a pet if lost. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date with the microchip company. Also have recent photos of your animal in case “lost pet” signs are needed.

10. Beware of lighter fluid and matches

These items are typically on hand when barbecuing. When not in use, keep them high up or locked away to reduce any risk of ingestion. Like many other chemicals, these can be very harmful and dangerous when ingested.

We at Wayside want this to be an enjoyable event for everyone. These are just some tips to help you keep your pets safe and comfortable for the Fourth of July!

Written by Emily Costelow


Apr 24 2019

Fleas, Ticks, and Intestinal Parasites….Oh my!

Waif alum Patrick is all smiles because he’s protected against harmful insects!

As a pet owner, you’re probably aware of the harmful effects of creepy crawly critters can have on your animals. We’ve answered some common questions about keeping your furry friends happy and healthy!

Q: What are heartworms? How do I prevent them?

A:  Heartworm disease is caused by long worms (heartworms) that live in an animal’s body. The can live in the heart, lungs, and surrounding vessels. Heartworms are spread via mosquito bites. Warmer climates experience an increase in mosquitoes and consequently, heartworms. Southern states unfortunately see more cases than the rest of the country.

When a mosquito bites an infected dog, they then carry microfilariae (heartworm offspring). When that mosquito bites another dog, they’ve then transmitted through the wound. Without a heartworm preventative, the heartworms have the chance to develop and cause devastating health effects.

Prevention is your best friend and is relatively affordable compared to the cost of treating a dog who becomes heartworm positive. Prevention comes in many forms. The FDA has approved a number of products to keep your furry friend safe. For shelter animals, Wayside Waifs uses Advantage Multi, a topical preventative. Advantage Multi is applied to an animal on a monthly basis and protects against fleas, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. It is recommended to have your dog tested for heartworms annually. Most times, a vet clinic can do this test during your visit.

The average cost of a monthly dose is only around $15, depending on the weight of the animal. A complete heartworm treatment can cost anywhere between $400-$1000. While it’s a financial strain for you, the physical impact on your furry friend is much harder. A dog battling heartworm disease can experience coughing, fatigue, difficulty breathing and issues with major organs, like the heart and lungs.

Q: What about my cat? Can he get heartworms?

A: Yes, your cat can also get heartworms from an infected mosquito. They are less susceptible than a dog because a heartworm doesn’t thrive in their body. Heartworms do not live as long and do not grow like they do in dogs. Though cats are much smaller than dogs, a few worms inside a cat would be considered a heavy infection.

While we know cats are less susceptible to heartworms, we know this isn’t the case with fleas or intestinal parasites. A preventative like Advantage Multi will keep them safe from all of these, for a relatively low cost.

Q: Do I need to use flea and tick prevention year-round?

A: YES! Fleas can still stick around when temperatures drop. They can keep warm on your furry friend. Yuck! Flea eggs can stay on your carpeting and furniture and develop in the temperate environment.

Ticks don’t necessarily die when we see winter’s first frost. Wildlife around us can carry these pesky bugs. Ticks aren’t picky about their host. They’re happy to latch onto you as well.

A Seresto collar provides up to 8 months of protection from ticks. They’re available for both dogs and cats!

A Seresto collar is an effective way to keep ticks at bay!

Q: What’s the deal with intestinal parasites?

A: Intestinal parasites live inside your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and can include a wide variety of worms. Bleh! These are usually transmitted via an inadvertent ingestion of eggs or spores in contaminated water, soil, or feces. Tapeworms are common and usually occur when an animal eats a contaminated flea. Any parasite can have harmful effects on your pet. Weight loss, diarrhea and malnutrition are just a few. Prevention is easy! Ask your vet about different prevention products! *Please note: Preventative meant for dogs can be fatal to a cat. Please ensure you’re using the correct product for your critter!

Utilizing a prevention product can save you money and heartache down the line. Your furry friend will thank you!

You can find these products and more at Whiskers and Wags, located inside Wayside Waifs!

As always, if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, contact your personal veterinarian!  


Apr 8 2019

How to Pet-Proof Your Plants

With spring finally here and summer on the horizon, our indoor and outdoor gardens are growing. Protecting our plants from our pets is one thing pet parents deal with regularly, but it’s also important to protect our pets from our plants. Not all plants are made equal when it comes to how safe they are for cats and dogs, so we’ve compiled some tips on how to keep your home green and pet-safe.

As a rule of thumb, do your own research on each individual plant you’re considering for your home. Ask the folks at Lowe’s or your favorite plant nursery if they carry any pet-safe plants, and when in doubt, a quick Google search should give you some peace of mind before purchasing. Your veterinarian should also be able to give you information about how to keep your home pet-friendly.

Popular plants toxic to cats and dogs include:

  • Asparagus fern
  • Aloe
  • Daffodil
  • Azalea
  • Tulip
  • Dumb cane
  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Sago palm
  • Certain herbs, like lavender and oregano
  • Certain succulents, like jade

It may be disheartening to learn that some of your favorite plants aren’t safe for cats and dogs, but a little extra time and research is worth the health and well-being of your furbabies. We’ve found some alternatives that are just as beautiful:

  • Boston, maidenhair, staghorn, and bird’s nest ferns
  • Air plants
  • African violet
  • Hibiscus
  • Spider plant
  • Prayer plant
  • Phalaenopsis orchid
  • Lace flower vine
  • Parlor palm
  • Certain herbs, like basil, sage, and thyme
  • Certain succulents, like hens and chicks, echeveria, and rosettes

As an added bonus, many of these alternatives are relatively low-maintenance plants, some only requiring low to medium light and weekly watering.

Still, if you must plant fairy rings of daffodils, or if you can’t let go of the healing powers of raw aloe, remember to closely monitor your pets around these plants. If possible, find locations for toxic plants that are inaccessible by your pets, giving special consideration to cat abilities.

The ASPCA keeps an index of the most-commonly reported plants toxic to pets. Common signs that a cat or dog has ingested a poisonous plant include difficulty breathing, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking, and an irregular heart beat.

If you think your animal has ingested a poisonous plant or other toxic substance, contact your veterinarian or ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poison hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Pet Adoption Center Hours:

Tuesday-Friday Noon – 8 PM

Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM

Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM

Written by Annie B.


Sep 4 2018

National Piano Month

You may not know that September is National Piano Month. Either way, you may be wondering what pianos have to do with your dog(s)! What if I told you pianos have the power to help calm down your pet when they are experiencing fear or when something triggers their anxiety?

Whether they are staying in a kennel, have a fear of thunderstorms or fireworks, suffer from separation anxiety, or simply have too much commotion going on around them, all you have to do is put on our good ole’ friends, Bach or Beethoven. This will help to put them more at ease and hopefully lullaby your baby right to sleep.

Music has been proven to affect the moods and behaviors of humans, so animal behaviorists decided to see if it works for animals as well. A study was conducted at the Canine Behaviour Centre in the School of Psychology at the Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland. The team was curious to see what types of auditory stimulation would have the largest impact on reducing the stress levels of dogs inside of shelters. Animals can get very overwhelmed in a shelter environment because many are scared to be in a new, unknown place with many new faces and sounds.

During this study, the dogs were exposed to five types of auditory stimulation: human conversation, classical music, heavy metal, pop music, and a control. Throughout the course of five days, the dogs’ behaviors were examined by professionals in order to determine which stimulation was most effective.

This study showed that classical music had the largest effect on dogs who are experiencing a large amount of stress or anxiety. The dogs spent more of their time resting in their kennels while it was being played, and the amount of barking was also reduced dramatically compared to the other stimulations. Overall, the study showed that classical music has a very calming effect on animals, just like it does with humans.

This tactic is not subject to only animals in shelters, but also the new additions to the family that you take home or those you already have there waiting for you. If you adopt an animal from a shelter, again, your house is going to be very new to them, and they will need time to adjust.

We know that animals cannot talk back to us to tell us how they feel, but they always hear you when you are talking to them, and that is something they love very much. If you can tell that something is making them anxious, play some classical music at a low volume or bust out some piano skills yourself, and just try to comfort them as much as you can. Spending the day inside on a rainy day cuddling with your best friend and listening to some Mozart does not sound like such a bad idea.

If you are looking to find a furry companion to help bring your stress levels down, please visit us at Wayside Waifs during our adoption hours!

* Monday: CLOSED

* Tuesday: Noon-8pm

* Wednesday: Noon-8pm

* Thursday: Noon-8pm

* Friday: Noon-8pm

* Saturday: 10am-5pm

* Sunday: 10am-5pm

Written by Cierra H.


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