Dec 8 2017

Preparing For the Holiday Season

It is going to happen, and we all know it; snowfall. Missouri winters are something to either look forward to or approach with extreme dread. We here at Wayside try to make the holiday season enjoyable for our waifs while they are in our care. We decorate the shelter, and invite volunteers and staff to participate in fun activities with our animals. We want to provide some helpful winter tips for bracing the cold, and preparing for the big holiday gathering!

1. Check your pets’ microchip information, and update their tags.

We know we always use this one, but it is important for owners to always keep tabs on their pets’ identification. Winter is a common season for people to lose their animals, and having correct phone numbers and chip information will allow them to be found easier and quicker.

2. Check under the hood of your car for cats!

If you park your car outside, chances are a cat sneaks under the hood at night for warmth. If you go to drive, always check by the tires, and any place you think a tiny animal can fit. Believe me, it is possible for them to find areas you might not think of.

3. Wipe their paws after going outside for any reason.

Now is the time of year when we salt the pavement, and other chemicals such as antifreeze, or de-icers are used. If an animal were to ingest these, it could bring on severe illness, or even crack their paws. Just doing a quick swipe with a towel does the trick!

4. Pay attention to your dog’s ability in the snow.

Some dogs, like Huskies, are able to withstand the cold for longer periods of time than others. That does not mean you have to skip their walks, but they might need to be shorter. Short hair, thin, elderly, or young pups are more susceptible to getting cold quicker.

5. Be prepared for any kind of emergency.

The cold weather can bring severe winter storms, including power outages, and snow-ins. It is best to stock up on emergency kit items so you can always be prepared. Having a first-aid kit handy is always a good thing too! Items like flashlights, candles, extra food, blankets, and water are some of the important things to have handy during those power outages.

Now we will share some holiday tips!

1. Choose your decorations wisely.

It is no secret that cats love shiny, crinkly, and colorful toys. Well, ornaments and decorations look exactly like a toy to them! Some dogs even enjoy playing with stockings or the tree. Pick essential decor so you will not be angry it is broken, but also plan accordingly so it is out of reach.

2. Make sure the holiday party food is out of reach.

Some of those festive feasts have perfectly good snacks for pets, but to be safe, keep them in a safe, out of reach place to avoid any accidents or illnesses. A little turkey, and unsalted potatoes is perfectly okay for a holiday dinner for canines and felines!

3. Keep everyone happy during your family gathering.

While hosting a big party, make sure your guests know if your animals are prone to sneaking out any doors.  We would not want a loose animal in the cold! Also, think about dedicating a safe room for your animals if they are wary of big crowds. Then you will not have to worry about them, and they will not be stressed!

4. Stay away from dangerous holiday plants.

Mistletoe and holly are fun items to decorate with, but your animal might think of it as a toy. Accidentally ingesting these plants can be very harmful to them. It can cause severe illness, so it is best to avoid using them altogether.

5. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. 

When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.

Come visit us this Saturday, during our Open House, and meet Santa Paws!

Please visit us during our regular adoption hours as well!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: CLOSED
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.

 


Nov 17 2017

The Importance of Play in Cats

Contrary to the adorable picture above, playtime is not just for kittens! Adult cats enjoy and benefit from playtime as well. Even senior cats like to get in on the fun! This blog post is meant to educate our readers on the importance of play in cats, and how it can answer many questions you may have about your cat’s behavior!

When kittens first start to play, they are very young, and they learn social skills, and mimic hunting behavior. The next time your cat is playing, pay attention. Does your cat wiggle its butt before pouncing on a toy? Cats do this to steady themselves before they pounce on their prey (or toy). Are your cat’s eyes dilated or constricted?  Before they pounce, their pupils might be dilated. This is to take in a larger surrounding area and it means they’re excited. Once they have caught their prey (toy), their pupils might be more constricted to focus on the one object. What do they do with the toy? Toss it in the air, carry it around, paw at it, scoot it across the floor to chase it around more, or hold and kick it. They might not want to share their prey/toy with others, including their human! Some toys are so valuable, and if you interrupt your cat, they might swat at you or growl.  Let them have their prize!

It’s all about the hunt. The best way to play with your cat is to mimic a cat’s hunting sequence. Following this sequence fulfills their need to hunt. Starting with a wand toy, move it around to entice them. Move it around the way bugs or birds flit around, or a snake slowly moves around objects. Lead your cat around furniture, through a tunnel, up and over the sofa, etc… Some cats prefer slow movements and others prefer fast movements. See what your cat prefers most! Mix it up a little even; allow your cat to catch the toy often, otherwise they might become frustrated and lose interest.

Some cats will play for a few minutes, others will continue to play for 20 minutes or more. Once you have an idea of how long your cat usually will play, slow the movements down during the last 5 minutes of the play session, and then completely stop all movement (in other words, the cat has killed its prey). Once it’s “dead”, cats often leave the toy alone. Give your cat a few treats, or feed your cat its meal immediately afterwards. This makes the cat feel fulfilled, in that they have hunted, caught, killed and is now eating their prey. Their natural instincts should take over, and after a good meal, they will likely groom themselves and then take a nice, long nap.

Cats tend to play more often in the early morning and early evening. That is because cats are crepuscular; meaning, they tend to be more alert and playful during twilight hours. Because cats are both a predator and a prey animal, this is the best time of day to hunt, but also to be on the move to avoid their own predators.  This is often the reason guardians are woken up by their cat running around around the house or asking to be fed at this time of day. Providing mental and physical enrichment can help to alleviate any stress a cat might be experiencing. A fulfilled and tired cat is a good cat! If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your cat, please consult with your veterinarian first.

Types of Play:

  • Individual play – leave cat toys lying around; rotate toys weekly or as needed so they don’t become bored; kongs with treats or some canned food inside; strategically place toys as if they are hiding (keeps cat busy when you are out)

  • Team Play (person & cat) – increases the bond between human and cat, as it is a positive experience; for cats that are very exhuberant and are high energy, it provides safe distance so the cat doesn’t grab or bite anything except the toy; wand toys should never be left out unsupervised since cats could ingest the wire, string or feathers; depending on cat’s energy level, play session should last 10-20 mins. per session; some cats need several pay sessions throughout the day.  Cats at Wayside Waifs highly recommend Da Bird, the Cat Dancer or the Cat Charmer wand toy.

  • Playing with another cat (or dog!) – some cats love to have a buddy of their own to play, chase, and wrestle with.

The following is a video where Mercury, a shy and fearful cat, is using play to reduce stress and build trust with people. Mercury came in two days ago, and was untouchable. Now look at Mercury! It truly shows how important play is in helping cats relax, and enjoy their time at the shelter, and more importantly, in their homes! Click on the link here to enjoy!

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So, don’t just leave toys out for your cat to play with, but take the time to play WITH your cat. They will love you for it!

Meet some of our fun feline friends, and canines, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Edited by Teryn J. Written by guest Bonnie Still-Wayside Waifs’ Feline Care Manager, and certified Cat Behavioralist.


Nov 10 2017

Thanksgiving Treats and Tips

It’s that time of year when we travel to our family member’s house, and have what is the most exhausting and delicious feast of the year. Thanksgiving is coming up, and we here at Wayside thought it would be nice to send out a friendly reminder of what you can, and cannot feed your pets. We also thought we would include fun dog and cat friendly recipes that are fun to make, and they have fun eating them!

  1. Turkey-Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
  2. Potatoes-Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.
  3. Cranberry Sauce-Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it, or have no sugar at all to be safe. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.
  4. Macaroni and Cheese-If you know your pet’s stomach handles dairy alright, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure though, it may be best to just give plain macaroni. Cats often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.
  5. Green Beans-Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.
  6. Corn-Loose corn is fine, but avoid corn on the cob.
  7. Homemade Rolls-Rolls fall to the ground during the annual food fight and are nibbled up by your kitty? Never fear. As long as they don’t have a lot of butter on them, they are safe for your pets to enjoy. 

Sweet Potatoes-Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that provide plenty of nutritional benefits for our canine companions.

There are also some fun receipts you can try to make Thanksgiving a little more pet friendly, besides just human treats! PetPlan has several fun recipes that you can try, both for dogs and cats! Pumpkin smoothies, sweet potato cookies, sorbet, oh my! EntirelyPets also features fun, simple recipes such as Muttballs, Puppy Meatloaf, and Catnip Cookies!

Finally, just as a reminder, please always keep your pets’ tags and information updated, because more company means more doors opening and closing. If you are going out of town, and have to board your animal, make sure to book in advance, as holidays are times when facilities fill up quicker. Continue taking the dogs on walks if they have a heavier meal, and put in some extra playtime with those kitties to work off those extra calories! Try your best to ignore the stare they will give you from below the table-the above treats and recipes should help you out! Be wary of counter surfing, as the aroma may overwhelm your pet. Immediately throw out scraps and bones you will not use and keep it out of reach from pets. Sometimes they get a little curious, and go dumpster diving!

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy your time with your family, pets included! Keep an eye out for Black Friday, as we might have a special going on. In the meantime, consider meeting some of our pets during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Oct 13 2017

Happy Halloween

Halloween is coming up, and some of you will likely participate in the time-honored tradition. Some of you will have your furry friend participate as well, which is a wonderful idea! We thought we would provide tips and resources to make your Halloween safe AND fun for your pets!

1. Stash away the candy!

This one seems obvious, but if your pet can reach it, they will be too curious not to try and eat it! We would recommend keeping it in a cabinet or a bowl high up on a counter. If your animal happens to eat either chocolate or a sweet treat, please contact your nearest emergency vet, or your personal vet depending on hours.

2. Keep your updated tags on your pet, and confirm microchip information.

We always use this as a tip, but it is important when you are opening your door several times in the evening, or having a party outside. It also applies if you are taking your furry friend trick-or-treating. Call your microchip company and make sure they have updated information, and always keep an updated rabies tag on their collar, just in case accidents happen.

3. Costumes are not the same as thunder shirts! 

What I mean is, while a thunder shirt may keep your dog relaxed, a costume might have the opposite reaction. They might try to rip it off or chew it up, and they could accidentally eat the fabric. Some animals love outfits, and if they do, that’s great! Just be aware in case your animal isn’t the biggest fan!

4. Pumpkins are not necessarily their favorite thing.

Pumpkins are not toxic to animals, so that’s a positive, but swallowing large chunks can cause a blockage that will cause stomach issues. If you’re one to light a candle inside of a pumpkin, a cat might want to play or knock it over! Overall, pumpkins are a cute decoration, but make sure no furry friends can reach them! It could lead to a health hazard or a fire hazard!

5. Be cautious when letting your animal out. 

Obviously they need a potty break, but Halloween pranksters have been known to hop fences and mess with animals! Black cats are particularly at risk, so if they are relieving themselves, please keep a watchful eye on them!

6. Consider keeping them in a separate room.

With strangers coming to the door all night, they might be on edge. Add to that people in scary costumes or masks on, and you might have a stressed out animal! By keeping them in a separate room, not only will they not escape, they will feel safer in the comfort of their home, not seeing scary objects!

7. Consider getting thunder shirts or calming spray.

With the constant stress of the door opening and closing, and strangers coming in your home, your little ones might get a little stressed out. A thunder shirt or calming spray may help them cope a little better. Many stores sell them, as well as our own Wayside pet store Whiskers &Wags! You can see the hours here.

Those are our tips for a fun and SAFE Halloween. Enjoy your time, and stay safe! By following these tips, your animal won’t think anything of the timeless holiday!

Come visit us during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Oct 6 2017

Pet Memorial Services: Department Highlight

We like to highlight departments in our shelter, as there are so many people that are working “behind the scenes” to make Wayside Waifs what it is today. Previously, we showcased our Feline Care Department, and this month, we would like to showcase our Pet Memorial Services and Facilities crew. They do such a wonderful job in maintaining our grounds, cemetery, and helping people in the process of grieving.

Our Pet Memorial Services area currently has one member-Tiffanie. She has recently become the only employee back there, and is doing a wonderful job! Thankfully, our Facilities department also helps her out. Those guys are Livio, Harold, and James. Together, they all make our shelter look amazing, and represent compassion at its finest.

The building pictured above is Pet Memorial Services, and it is located in the back of our campus. Inside, there is a viewing room, and several private rooms for owner appointments. Here at Wayside, we strive to make you as comfortable as you can during your time of troubles. We also have our urns and boxes out, so people can choose only the best for their pets.

 

There are, of course, certain sections of the Pet Memorial Services building that we do not want to show pictures of, only because of how private it can be. There are rooms where owner euthanasias happen, and in the back is where they get the cremations ready, of the owners choose that route. However, this facility is clean, and very organized. Tiffanie goes out of her way to maintain records and schedule appointments on her own, until she gets the help of another staff member. Tiffanie is pictured below.

Our Facilities department does a number of things for the shelter in general, but for Pet Memorial Services specifically, they keep the plots organized, get them ready for burials and ceremonies, and keep the grounds mowed and treated. They are also very helpful whenever Tiffanie needs any extra help with any number of things, so they are all well-rounded guys!

While our grounds are very big, this is one of many beautiful sections of our cemetery. There are some interesting facts about our cemetery as well!

  • We have one monkey buried here named April, back in 1972.
  • We also have two Bearded Dragons, and a couple of “Fire Dogs” that are memorialized by fire hydrants. 
  • As early as 1946, over 12,000 animals have been placed here, whether they are owned animals, or communal. 
  • Fenby Webster was the lead contributor who helped to found Wayside Waifs. She helped found the cemetery in 1946.
  • We named different parts of our cemetery. Top of the World is our oldest part of the cemetery, having dates as far back as 1946. Cedar Shadows is where most of our cremations are. Peaceful Meadows(see arch above) is where our body burials are. We also have a section called Companion Fields, which is for our communal burials and cremations. 
  • We have a wonderful gazebo in the center of Peaceful Meadows, that is a great for a nice resting place for dog walkers, or if you are just gazing upon our beautiful grounds!

My own personal favorite is the gazebo, as it is a nice place to come and sit, and look at our beautiful campus. We have a business behind us, and Tiffanie says they often will walk around our cemetery during their lunch breaks, just to go on a nice walk. If you are curious about how you can help our Pet Memorial Services crew, consider making a donation in their name. The more money they have, the more upkeep and renovations they can do, and Tiffanie really wants to clean up or cemetery, and make it even better! I will end with some pictures of our cemetery, and current graves that are being kept in wonderful condition, and with regular visitors!

 

 

 

Please stop by our cemetery and take a look around!

Written by Teryn J.

 


Sep 10 2017

Pet Memorial Day

September 10th marks National Pet Memorial Day, a day in which people honor their pets, both past and present. It is a national holiday, and people gather or contemplate how their animal or animals have changed their lives, and share their stories. In honor of the holiday, we decided to showcase our Pet Memorial Services, and what all they do.

This is Tiffanie, our Pet Memorial Associate. She is solely responsible for this department currently, but she is amazing. She helps clients with the process of finding that perfect resting place for their pets, and manages the upkeep of our cemetery. She kindly took me and our other intern on a tour of her Pet Memorial Services building, and key spots of our cemetery. We just want to give a little snippet of how beautiful and well-kept our facility is.

 

 

Our Facilities department of Livio, Harold, and James keep up our wonderful grounds, and they work together with Tiffanie to help provide a safe and peaceful process during times of sadness. Tiffanie provided me with some interesting facts about our cemetery that I think you will enjoy.

  • We have one monkey buried here named April, back in 1972.
  • We also have two Bearded Dragons, and a couple of “Fire Dogs” that are memorialized by fire hydrants. 
  • As early as 1946, over 12,000 animals have been placed here, whether they are owned animals, or communal. 
  • Fenby Webster was the lead contributor who helped to found Wayside Waifs. She helped found the cemetery in 1946.
  • We named different parts of our cemetery. Top of the World is our oldest part of the cemetery, having dates as far back as 1946. Cedar Shadows is where most of our cremations are. Peaceful Meadows(see arch above) is where our body burials are. We also have a section called Companion Fields, which is for our communal burials and cremations. 
  • We have a wonderful gazebo in the center of Peaceful Meadows, that is a great for a nice resting place for dog walkers, or if you are just gazing upon our beautiful grounds!

There you have it! Tiffanie and our Facilities crew do such a wonderful job, and are here whenever you need them. Consider donating to our Pet Memorial Services team so they can continue to do a wonderful job with upkeep, and providing comfort in time of need! Have a wonderful National Pet Memorial Day, and reflect back on past pets, and make great memories with new ones!

Written by Teryn J.


Sep 8 2017

Lottie: Happy Tails

Being employed with Wayside Waifs is a very rewarding experience, and volunteers have the same feeling. Sometimes you get those special cases with cats or dogs and you cannot help but root for them. Lottie is one of those cases. Pictured above is the day Lottie came in, with a staff member holding her for a picture and then receiving her shots.

Lottie’s intake name was Sassy, I’m assuming because she was very vocal! She was given updated flea, tick, and worm treatments along with appropriate vaccines. They were roughly two or three weeks old at this time. She had five other siblings who were rescued from a hoarding situation. Our vets examined them on intake and noticed they had ulcers on their tongues, meaning they were suspect for Calicivirus.

Calicivirus is a common respiratory disease in cats. If a cats unvaccinated, or living in poorly kept conditions, they are more susceptible to the disease. Lottie’s litter was unvaccinated and leaving in a hoarding situation, so it is no surprise they developed the disease. The infection can occur in a cat at any age, but the most common age for cats is a kitten six weeks or younger. There are vaccines for the prevention of calicivirus, but it hasn’t been proven to protect it from all cats. The symptoms are flu-like, so once you catch those you would take the animal to a vet and get a proper diagnosis, and get antibiotics to treat it.

Lottie and her siblings were placed in our foster care program with veteran foster mom Annie Hughes. Annie has housed several fosters, and her specialty is litters upon litters of kittens. Annie recalls that Lottie’s siblings “were one of the cutest litters I’ve ever fostered. Three calico girls, and three spotted ones. And they were all sweet and cute!”

Here’s one of Lottie on her own!(Or two)

 

After approximately a week of antibiotics, their tongue ulcers were healed and their upper respiratory symptoms were gone. They were placed on one more week’s worth of medicine just to be safe. After they were fully healed, it was time to wait to be of age and weight to be altered and put up for adoption!

As mentioned above, I had worked at Wayside during this time and fell in love with Lottie’s pictures. I spoke to Annie directly and she was very excited that I found a kitten I liked. Normally I was able to withstand the power of cuddly kittens, but she wore me down. She offered to set up a time to come meet the litter and see if she was truly the right fit. After the meeting, it was over. I definitely wanted to adopt her, and I did!

While most of the time she does her own thing, she does like to cuddle every now and then. Our vet is terrified of her and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has two older sisters-a dog Cleo and a cat Sahara. She enjoys playing with Cleo, but Sahara doesn’t necessarily enjoy Lottie. That’s still a work in progress! I can’t imagine life without her, and I know that if it wasn’t for Wayside, Lottie and her siblings would still be in that hoarding situation getting sicker and sicker. I’m happy to report she has a clean bill of health and is enjoying her eventful life so far at a year+ old. Thank you Wayside!

You can find your own buddy at Wayside Waifs during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


Sep 1 2017

Falling for Fall

In less than a month, it will be Fall! Everyone looks forward to cooler weather, pretty scenery, and themed drinks. Our animals can enjoy the season as well, but there are certain things to watch out for. The following are tips on how to prepare for the season, which this year, is September 22 2017-December 21 2017.

1. Watch out for ticks.

Even though ticks are prevalent in the summer, they still are very active in the fall. If you do spot a tick, it is important to be careful when removing it. Any contact with the tick’s blood can potentially transmit infection to your dog or even to you! Treat the area with rubbing alcohol and pluck the parasite with tweezers, and make sure you’ve gotten the entire tick-leaving no parts behind.

2. Beware of rat poison, antifreeze, and other chemicals.

Ingesting antifreeze is lethal. Unfortunately both cats and dogs have been known to lick this up if any spills are is out and within reach. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets. Be careful when it comes to mouse traps and rodenticides like rat and mouse poison. Direct ingestion can be deadly. If your pet does ingest any chemical, seek emergency care immediately. 

3. Watch out for mushrooms.

In some regions of the country, fall is just as wet as spring. That means more mushrooms will pop up in your yard depending on where you are. While most mushrooms are perfectly safe, there’s a small percentage that are highly toxic to our furry friends (and to us!). If you think your pet has ingested a mushroom, contact your vet immediately.

4. Let them grow out their fur coat.

If you have a dog that you shave during the summer, let him or her start growing their coat back in the fall. Just like you need your Fall/Winter coat they’ll needs theirs too. You can continue to groom them, but only for a trim and not a full-on haircut. You wouldn’t want them to get super cold outside!

5. Get your holiday plans in order.

As the holidays approach, most of us will get busier and possibly have to travel. Take time out and plan ahead so you can make the holidays easier on your pets. If you have a pet that has special needs or is wary of new people, be sure to tell your guests about your pet before they come over. Make sure your pets can’t escape through the main entrance of your home. This is especially important if you plan on having several guests in and out of the house this holiday season. It may be worth investing in a baby gate or creating some kind of barrier between the door and your pet. Especially if you have pet that’s known for bolting. If you are leaving out of town and will be boarding your pets, call months in advance as most vets and boarding places get booked up.

6. Be careful with holiday treats and decorations.

Aside from known hazards such as chocolate, cooked bones, raw bread dough, many fruits and vegetables can also be life threatening to pets. Many shiney new decorations look like really fun toys to your pets. Make sure decorations are out of reach because many of them contain toxic metals and can become choking hazards.
7. Keep school supplies out of reach.
Fall is back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. Although these items are considered not lethal to pets, their stomach might develop a blockage if ingested. Be sure your children keep their school supplies out of your pet’s reach.
8. Watch out for wildlife.
Autumn is the season when snakes are preparing for hibernation, increasing the possibility of bites to those unlucky pets who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet parents should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be lurking in their environment—and where those snakes are most likely to be found—so pets can be kept out of those areas.
These are just some of the many things you can watch out for during the fall season, but hopefully these helped you! You can always visit our campus during our adoption hours.
  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn

 


Aug 11 2017

FIV: Fabulous, Invincible, and Valuable

FIV(Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a complex retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. In non-fancy jargon, basically the cat’s body is unable to properly protect the immune system. As a result of immunodeficiency, most infected cats do not show symptoms and have a normal life expectancy, but they are prone to developing other infections and certain types of cancer. We adopt out FIV positive cats, and I just want to showcase how great they are, by explaining their unique quality.

A retrovirus, such as FIV, is slow-moving and can lay dormant in the body for months and even years. That is why most infected cats do not show symptoms right away and live a normal life expectancy. Many people compare it to the human virus HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus.) Genetics may or may not play a role in if a cat is more susceptible in getting the virus. The average age is five years at the time of diagnosis, and the likelihood of infection increases with age.

FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through deep bite wounds, the kind that usually occur outdoors during aggressive fights and territorial disputes-the perfect reason to keep your cat inside. Another less common way is if the mother of a litter is FIV positive. She may pass that down to one or more of her kittens, which is where genetics comes into play. FIV is more common in males because of the more aggressive tendencies males get in terms of defending themselves in the outdoor territory, but female cats can get it as well. Cats who live indoors are the least likely to be infected. The most common cat that will get FIV is an un-altered, free-roaming, outdoor male cat who fights.

People cannot catch FIV, only from cat to cat. As mentioned above, symptoms take years to develop, but some of those are fever, weight loss,  anemia, dental disease, and sneezing, to name a few. If you think your cat has FIV, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get them tested. FIV infection is determined through a blood test, and sometimes they require another test be done later on for confirmation.

At this moment, there is no cure for FIV, but it is very manageable. There is a vaccine, but it does not protect all cats. Keeping your cat indoors is one of the most important things, so they don’t get sick, and they don’t infect others. By spaying and neutering your pet, the chances of getting the infection decrease. A vet might prescribe medicine to combat and secondary infections your cat may get. Monitoring your cat is really the most important way to stay one step ahead of this disease. If FIV continues to stay un-treated, the secondary infections they already develop can lead to life-threatening diseases/conditions.

As mentioned earlier, here at Wayside, we adopt out FIV cats because we believe they provide a unique quality to someone’s life, including ours! We have five FIV positive cats currently looking for their forever home. I figured I would take this opportunity to introduce them.

This handsome man is Blackbob. You can learn more about him here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

This dashing orange man is Jaws. You can learn more about him here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

This chatty dude is Captain. You can learn more about him here.


This little guy is Edison. You can learn more about him here.


This cuddly boy is Carter. You can learn more about him here.

These are all of our lovely FIV boys. I personally met all of them today, and they have two things in common; FIV and being complete love bugs! What is really nice is this sign is on the back of all of their kennel cards to explain to potential adopters what FIV is. 

Along with this note, our staff and volunteers are always so helpful if anyone has questions. I recommend giving any of these boys a try, they are all so sweet!

We are closed this week due to our Mega Match event during the weekend. I’ll post those hours below.

Monday-Thursday: Closed

Friday: 10:00-7:00

Saturday: 10:00-7:00

Sunday: 12:00-6:00

Written by Teryn


Aug 4 2017

Back-To-School Tips

When August comes around, we start thinking about school. Either the back-to-school sale, school supplies list, making sure everything’s ready, or just dreading the upcoming semester. What we might not always think about is how our furry friends in the home might understand what August means. I’m going through some tips and explaining what our pets feel like during those different schedules after summer.

Not all animals will feel this way when people start going back to work and school, but some will experience sadness and loneliness. They might mope around or sleep more. Maybe your dog starts chewing on things they shouldn’t, or maybe your cat becomes more vocal or pees in the litter box. Many people will not connect this to back-to-school time. Like some people, animals like having routine because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, if kids are playing with them all day, and suddenly they go away for long hours, it can cause confusion and stress.

There are so many ways that we can prepare for to curb this anxiety your pet might feel, and it is a great teaching moment for your children! Here are some tips that can get you through this transition.

1. Transition Time

If you prepare at least one week before school starts, the animal can mentally prepare for your absence. This could be leaving your dog inside during the early hours of the morning by themselves. Only for about thirty minutes or so, and that should help simulate school time. Another good trick is to start breaking out lunch boxes or school supplies that your dog would see when you leave them. They can get used to the items and desensitize them around it, making for an easier transition. 

2. Come up with a routine.

As mentioned above, animals are all about routine, and without it they can have severe depression or separation anxiety. To avoid that, you can start a new routine for all year round, that can benefit the children, you, and your animals. The schedule should include but is not limited to feeding, bathroom breaks, walks, and exercise/play time at set times each day. You could plan for a morning walk before or after school, and cuddle time in the evening, depending on what your schedule looks like. Coming up with a routine will reduce the stress on your animal.

3. Turn on the TV/music before you leave.

I do this with my animals, because I think they worry more when it is completely quiet. We used to turn on the radio, but now we turn on the TV for them. I usually put it on cartoons because they make the most noise and they can hear happy music. Human voices or calm music helps them adjust from seeing and hearing you all day to just nighttime.

4. Prepare special toys for the environment.

With you and the kids gone, the animals have lost their favorite playmate. If you provide toys throughout the day, and switch them out to make it fun, they will be able to transition. You can also provide food puzzles so they have to play and think while eating their food. We personally hide treats around our living room so they can have that to do as well. Some people will fill a puzzle feeder or Kong toy with peanut butter or cream cheese for an extra treat. Save those “favorite” toys for when the kids come home so they can enjoy it a little more.

5. Think about Daycare.

Sometimes dropping your dog off to daycare will help them make new friends and be busy all day. Cat daycares are few and far in-between, but you can always check to see if someone does that, but cats will not be as upset as dogs will. This will allow your dog to expend some energy, while being in good care and the company of others.

6. Quality Time

It is important to re-connect with your pet at the end of a busy week. With school back in session, your dog may not get as much time playing with your family as during the care-free days of summer. Remember that even though your pet wasn’t at work or school all day, he still needs time to unwind. Consider activities like: Long walks at the park, Lounging around on the couch, Daily walks, even as the days get shorter, A weekend picnic, A weekend hike, A visit to a restaurant or establishment that allows dogs, and A special weeknight brushing.

There aren’t that many tips for keeping your pet calm and collected while going back-to-school, but this is really all it takes. August can be a stressful time for you and your family, but don’t forget about your furry friends!

Come visit Wayside Waifs!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


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