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


Mar 5 2020

Waifs of the Week

Spring is in the air! Our Waifs of the Week, Felix and Elsa, share their Top 3 Favorite Springtime Activities.

Elsa – Terrier, Pit Bull, 1 year old

Yay! Spring is here!

#3 Enjoying the Outdoors with Friends
Don’t let my snowy name fool you. After a long cold winter, I can’t get enough sunshine! All I want to do is play outside and go on adventures with friends! When you come and meet me you’ll see that I love people and will take all the pets and snuggles you have to give. Maybe we can go to the dog park and when I’m all out of zoomies we can snuggle on the park bench. Being outside is the best! All the plants and critters are waking up from their winter naps and I can’t wait to sniff around and check it all out. Just thinking about it makes me happy and wiggly!

Car rides are cool too…especially if there’s ice cream!

#2 Springtime Adventures
As a zippy 1 year old, I love walks any time of year because exercise helps me stay happy and calm. I especially love walks in the springtime! I’m great on a leash and I’m a really good running buddy too! The nice volunteers at Wayside Waifs said that I keep a good pace on runs and don’t get distracted by the dogs in the yards we pass. I just love getting outside…the sun, the air, the flowers…I love it all!

#1 Cooking Out
There are lots of things to love about spring, but my #1 favorite Springtime Activity is being your Assistant Grill Master! I am happy to clean up when a piece of hot dog or burger falls off the grill. (You’re Welcome, in advance.) I sometimes forget my manners and jump when I’m excited. Yummy treats help me stay focused. Did you know that I can do tricks too? I know SIT, DOWN, and LOOK. A little piece of hotdog is the perfect reward to reinforce the training we do together.

Thanks for reading my Top 3 Favorite Springtime Activities! I hope you come to Wayside Waifs to meet me soon. I’m a funny, cuddly, and happy pup and I just know my forever family is out there. If you come to see me, please bring all the members of your family, including any doggos, so we can get to know each other. Happy Spring!

Felix – Domestic Shorthair, 5 years old

#3 Springtime Naps
Yaaaaaaawn…. Oh, hello there! I was just resting my eyes. All the springtime excitement makes me want a cozy nap. Good news! I’m eligible for a Slumber Pawty at your house! That means I can spend the night with you to see if we’re a good fit. I’m a little timid when I’m adjusting to a new environment so don’t be surprised if I often sneak off for naps at first.

#2 Soaking in the Sunshine
I love the feel of the sunshine on my coat! My silky black coat is puuuuurfect for absorbing the warm rays through the window. I really wouldn’t mind if you wanted to pet me or scratch me under the chin while I’m taking in the rays. I just ask that you spend a few minutes talking to me first. I’m a bit shy but once we get to know each other, I will take all the pets and scratches you have to offer!

#1 Birdwatching
As an unofficial member of the National Audubon Society, I am an avid bird watcher. Each year I look forward to springtime when all the tasty..ahem.I mean..colorful birdies come out. You, me, a window, and a pair of binoculars…sounds like the ideal spring day to me!

And thus concludes my Top 3 Favorite Springtime Activities. Do you suppose you could come visit me sometime? The staff and volunteers at Wayside Waifs are very kind but I’m ready to settle down with my forever family. I’m very vocal and would love to have a chat with you. I’m also a very tidy roommate and know how to use a litter box. Do stop by for a visit soon, won’t you?


Feb 5 2020

Cat Enrichment – Let’s Play!

Is your cat bored? Do they wander from room to room – chirping and looking for something to occupy their time? Sometimes during winter months, cats can get bored, just like children. Bird-watching might be non-existent due to migration, or if your cat enjoys the outdoors – or catio time – that could be limited due to the weather changes.

In our shelter, we are constantly using enrichment ideas to keep our felines active and happy. These same ideas can be used at home for your cat!

Screen Time!

Did you know there are actually games and apps specifically for cats? These can be videos of fish swimming or birds in the fountain. Some of them are actually games where cats can paw at the screen and affect what is on the screen. We do find tablets are better than phones as it gives the cat a larger surface to play on.

Here are a few to check out:

  1. Friskies CatFishing: Free for iOS or Android
  2. Petcube App: free for iOS or Android
  3. Paint for Cats – iOS download – $1.99
  4. Pocket Pond 2 – free for iOS or Android
  5. Mouse – free for Android

There are also several free videos for cats on YouTube. Just search “Videos for Cats” and numerous ones will pop up.

Toy Time

Have special toys on hand that you only utilize for actual play time together. Catnip toys should be giving in limited amounts of time and these would be great ones to only bring out when you are playing with your cat. These are available in our store Whiskers & Wags, or other big box supply stores. You can also read our blog about how to make your own no-sew mouse toys.

By making these toys only available during special play time, the cat will stay engaged and get excited when you bring them out. This also signals it’s time for some fun. Wand toys are also great for this type of play. It allows for socializing and bonding time with your pet and gives them some enrichment too.

Treats Please!

There are a wide range of toys and puzzle activities that incorporate treats into play. Treats are hidden within the puzzle. Through their sense of smell they can locate the treat and move or slide small doors to find the treat. These are also available in our Whiskers & Wags retail boutique.

What’s In The Box?

If you are on social media you have undoubtedly watched at least one, or a hundred, videos of cats having a box party. While we are not sure why cats have such a fascination with an ordinary box it definitely gives us a great way to recycle those Amazon boxes. We have seen shelter cats at Wayside play with boxes for hours. So hang on to those delivery boxes and see how your cat enjoy them. Oh, and don’t forget to share your videos with us on our social media! We love them!

While cats do like their alone time, just like humans they can get bored. Watching for signs can prevent them from getting into trouble and getting hurt. Not to mention, causing humans some undue stress and questioning pet ownership.

Have some enrichment ideas of your own? Tell us about them at info@waysidewaifs.org or share them on our social media! Happy purring!

Written by Trish Cross



Nov 25 2019

Holiday Safety Tips

Keep your furry friends safe during the holidays!

Brad showing off his holiday spirit!

Tip #1: Keep all food in a safe place. Make sure all of the food is in a place where your pets can not reach it. Open countertop areas, dining areas, and even coffee tables in the living room can be easy targets for our smart furry friends. Some Thanksgiving foods are harmful to pets. If your pet were to consume under-cooked turkey or raw turkey they could get salmonella.

Tip #2: Pass on the pie. Chocolate is very harmful for pets and artificial sweetener is too. Chocolate contains theobromine which is very toxic for dogs. If your pet consumes chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Tip #3: No bones Turkey bones can be harmful for animals. They can cause intestinal problems and splinter. Stick to pet approved treats and away from any bones.

Tip #4: Dispose of any trash
Do not leave trash out for your animals to get into. Greasy paper, bones, plastic, and aluminum foil from cooking can lead to blockage in animals intestines if they were to get into it. This can be fatal. Dogs don’t know the difference between smelly paper and real food – if it smells tasty to a dog it will likely be consumed.

Tip #5: Pay attention to your animals behavior
This is a big one because animals can feel very stressed during the holiday season with a lot of people in and out of the home. Make sure your animal is comfortable and not under any stress. Keep an area your pet likes off limits to guests so your pet can take a break. Make sure guests know about the pet rules about no treats and giving your pet space.

Tip #6: Enjoy the holidays with your pets
They are our best friends and we want to keep them happy AND heathy. Consider laying off treats before the holiday meal and save them for that special day so they enjoy them a little more. Pets deserve to feel a part of the celebration, but do not let them overindulge!

If you have any tips and tricks for Thanksgiving please share! We want to insure the safety of animals during the holidays!

Happy Holidays Everyone!


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


Nov 6 2019

Adopting a Senior Dog: A Series, Part Two, Tips & Tricks

November is adopt a senior pet month. As an owner of a senior pet, I wanted to share a few personal tricks, discoveries, and tips for senior dogs!

  • Senior dogs already have their own sense of being and to some people that can be off putting, but don’t let this scare you.

This aspect of their personalities only makes senior dogs more interesting! Puppies can be molded, but senior dogs tend to fit the puzzle they have already created. They know what they like, such as toys, food, and sleeping spots. I believe this makes it easier to understand them.  Sometimes they might change it up a bit, but most of the time they tend to stay on the same track. For example, Berta has a problem with others dogs and that still hasn’t changed. It’s just the way she is, but those aspects of her personality manageable and make them super unique!

  • Senior dogs tend to like softer snacks, food, and toys.

Their teeth are sometimes sensitive and as owners we need to be aware of these things. For example, I mix dry and wet food for Berta, and she loves it! I tend to not give Berta bones because they degrade her teeth (which are already very rigged), but we do give her a lot of Blue Buffalo products! I also put peanut butter in her Kong chew toy and freeze it — it gives her something to do and she absolutely loves it! Senior dogs also love their sleep and down time!

  • Senior dogs also love their sleep and down time.

They also love to just hang out and be involved. Don’t get me wrong senior dogs enjoy a walk now and then, but they also crave their rest. Don’t let this be a negative – this just means they have less of a reason to get into things! They don’t have tons of energy like puppies, so their crimes of passion are rare. Berta is perfect at home by herself and she spends her time relaxing. When she wants to release some energy she makes it very clear with a few jumps and scratches at the door. Another positive is that they are less likely to pull on a leash! Take this as a reason to cuddle and give them extra affection! Down time = attention time!

  • Trips out and car rides are great for senior dogs.

Even though they are “senior” dogs they still enjoy releasing energy and going places. Berta really loves trips to Starbucks for a pup cup We also take her on light walks and my advice is to pay attention to activity levels. Do not overwork them! It is also important to pay attention to younger children in the home as rough housing can lead to injuries.

These are just a few tricks and tips that worked for me. Do you have tips to share? Post them on our Facebook page and don’t forget a furry photo!

By: Emme Moorehouse


Oct 24 2019

Adopting a Senior Dog: A Series, Part One

There are many things in life that will bring a person happiness, but there are only certain things that will bring fulfillment: mine was adopting a senior dog. Everybody wants the joyful chirpiness of a puppy, but they don’t want to deal with the potty training and obliteration of furniture. Nobody tells you that this stage is rarely existent with a senior dog. Senior dogs normally are potty trained, well-mannered, and very lovable. In fact, they usually crave attention more than most puppies.

Some senior dogs have the longest times spent in shelters. My dog Berta was in the shelter for four years before we rescued her. Although those numbers were sad to hear within, seconds of adopting her the anxiety and stress of being isolated went away. It seemed as though she knew right off the bat that these people and this place was going to be forever. When she got home she jumped on the bed and fell right asleep. She slept through the night and woke us up to use the restroom. It was a relief to know that she felt safe and secure. It also was a perk that she was potty trained and well behaved! Still to this day her routine and positive outlook is consistent!

A lot of people stress about the expenses, time, and work that goes into owning a senior dog, I can honestly say none of those things have occurred yet with Berta. My recommendation is not to let those aspects hold you back from adopting a senior dog. It is hard to see the graying faces of so many beautiful and amazing dogs at the shelter and my hope is more people will lean towards adopting senior dogs.

This type of connection and love is rare. It takes a very special individual to adopt a senior dog. My advice is to be open minded and more aware of senior dogs the next time you consider adoption. The perks are endless and the fulfillment is everlasting!

By: Emme Moorehouse


Oct 18 2019

October is Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One of our missions at Wayside Waifs is to stop the cycle of violence towards people and animals! One of the main ways we use our voice at Wayside Waifs is by reaching out to the students in our community through our Humane Education program. Bullying is something students face on a regular basis. If Wayside can get students to start developing empathy at an early age, we can make progress towards disrupting that cycle of violence.

Our relationship with animals plays a huge part in this as well. We know that people who hurt animals often hurt people as well. Also, animals gain students’ interest and attention. Affection for animals helps students understand how our actions affect those animals and the people around them as well. The connection between animals and students results in positive reinforcement.

Responsibility is the first Core Value we teach as part of the program.

Responsibility is the foundation for all of our lessons. We have re-framed how we think of responsibility at Wayside Waifs. Instead of focusing on all of the things we have to do, we think about what the end result is. We help the students learn that when we “do what we are supposed to do whether we feel like it or not,” we can create peace. Each one of us are powerful individuals and our actions have the power to help create peace – or to create violence.

We talk about what responsibility looks like, feels like, and sounds like in our daily lives. Most importantly, we talk about the areas in which we don’t feel peaceful (when the greatest amount of bullying occurs) and what actions we can take to help transition to a feeling of peace. Animals play a big part in our own internal peace. They are instant stress relievers and companions. At Wayside our humane education animals stimulate positive thinking in the students and they also bring peace to the school setting! We use the voice of animals to create a better connection with students and the issues that occur in their own personal lives.

Wayside Waifs wants readers of this blog to share their own representation of responsibility. Think about the things you do on a daily basis and how have you tried to create peace in those situations. No matter how big or small an issue is, it is important to take responsibility when conflicts arise. Take initiative and share your stories of responsibility with us. We love to see our community come together and advocate for peace!

You can download a selfie signs on our website here.

By: Emme Moorehouse and Ashley Stanley


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