Jun 30 2017

Heat Wave

While we are having a grim end to the month of June, July, as usual, promises to be the hottest month of the year for Kansas City. Our summers are hot, muggy, and wet, while our winters are chilly, dry, and windy. Being in the midwest, you get a little bit of everything here, apart from tsunamis and hurricanes. You can learn a little more about weather in this metro area here. You can also view the weather monthly here. With the upcoming heat wave, we figured now would be a good time to provide tips for protecting your pet from those harmful rays, while giving suggestions for safe fun in the sun!

1. Visit the vet for an early spring or summer checkup.

My animals coincidently have their appointments in the summer, but it helps me out because I can see how bad allergies are and my dog always gets her yearly heart-worm test. These worms are spread from host to host through mosquito bites, and are more common in the summertime. It’s also recommended that you get monthly prevention if you are in an area that has a high mosquito rate. Your vet will have the prevention to purchase at their office.

2. Always keep fresh, clean water at the ready.

This should be nothing new, but always provide a nice clean bowl of fresh water for your pet. I personally have two bowls of water in the house and one outside on our patio, if my dog wants to lay in the shade outside. If it is too hot, only take them outside for necessary potty breaks, and no need to over-exercise. We wouldn’t want you or your pet to get overheated!

3. Know the symptoms of heat stroke in your pets.

Excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse are all symptoms of heat stroke. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. You’ll want to watch out for these during our high heat and humidity days! Do not leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle, it can cause a fatality!

4. Be careful about grooming your pets.

Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.

5. Check the pavement before you go on a walk.

Before you head out for a walk, touch the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads. Walk on the grass and stay off the asphalt. You also might want to try booties for your dog so his paws don’t burn. You can still go on walks, but staying in shaded areas of grass is really the only way to go in the heat.

Now for some fun ideas in the sun that will be both entertaining and safe for you and your furry friend!

1. Kiddie Pools

It’s summertime, and some dogs love being in the water, so why not invest in a kiddie pool?! My dog is forty-five pounds of love, and on Sunday we usually get her pool out and she has the time of her life. Always supervise your animals near water, but it’s a cheap and fun way to stay cool outside! Our first picture above is a Waif here that is enjoying their kiddie pool!

2. Ice Treats

This is always fun to make, and you can do it at home! Instead of soda flavors or fruit, you can freeze peanut butter or dog treats and give it to your pet on a hot day. It gives them something to work on, and it tastes great to them as well! Some people even freeze their toys for some extra fun times. Just make sure all the food is dog/cat friendly. 

3. Anything you can throw or toss. 

Now is the time to break out that frisbee or rope. Keep in mind that during the heat of the day, you and your dog should be inside for safety reasons, but two or three throws wouldn’t hurt. You can even do this indoors if you have the access. That way they can get ample amount of playing time while still staying cool, and you as well!

4. Sprinkler toys

Once again, some dogs really enjoy the water, and sprinklers are a cheap entertainment option. There are sprinklers you can purchase for your yard, there are dog specific sprinklers, so many different kinds! If your dog isn’t a fan of the water, they may want to sit this one out, but sometimes the price is worth it!

There you have it! Hopefully these tips for surviving in the heat and enjoying the summertime with your furry friend! Always check the weather so you nor your pet will have to suffer in the heat! Follow the links above to check Kansas City weather patterns. From all of us here at Wayside Waifs, enjoy your summer, and have a safe Fourth of July!

Adoption Hours for our campus are below. Let Freedom Ring for the animals at Wayside Waifs! It’s a grrr-eat time to adopt! Join us for our Let Freedom Ring adoption promotion starting this Wednesday, June 28 through Sunday, July 2! Half -price adoptions* for all adult dogs & cats (5 months and older), and all kittens! Adopt one kitten and the adoption fee is waived for a second kitten adoption! Hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are ready for a second chance and a forever home! All of our adoptable pets are spay/neutered, current on age appropriate vaccinations and microchipped. You can meet all of our adoptable pets on our website. Be sure to check back daily as more animals are cleared for adoption.
*This promotion excludes puppies under 5 months of age.

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

Written by Teryn


Jun 23 2017

Fourth of July Safety Tips

It’s the time of year to celebrate Independence Day! It is an annual Federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and registering as a country, the United States of America. We typically celebrate with family, friends, fireworks, and good times. However, our furry friends don’t enjoy the holiday as much as we do, so we here at Wayside thought it would be helpful to provide tips on Fourth of July safety for our four-legged family members.

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This goes without saying, but sometimes the animals get so nervous and scared they might try to run off and find a safe place. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

2. Leave your pets at home.

To avoid something like a lost pet happening, and to ease your furry friends’ stress, consider leaving them at home for the celebration. Most pets do not want to be near fireworks when they are set off, and find the most comfort at home. Please do not lock them in the car either, because they could suffer from heat stroke and/or brain damage.

3. Don’t put insect repellant on your pet.

This also should go without saying, but if your family is having a get-together and you would like to take your pets before the fireworks show, do not put insect repellant or sunscreen on your pet. There are certain ingredients in both that are poisonous for animals, and will have effects like neurological disorders and lethargy.

4. Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended to where your pets could reach them.

Dogs and cats are naturally curious, and if a beer or cocktail is left on the ground, they might consider knocking it over and drinking it. If consumed, the animal can get intoxicated and very weak, and could even go into a coma. Put those drinks on coasters on a high-rise table so they are unable to reach it, and provide fresh water for them to drink instead.

5. Keep your pet on their normal diet.

This is the time of year when people are barbecuing more and more because the weather is nice. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.

6. Don’t give your pet access to glow jewelry. 

Glow jewelry is that super popular item that people put in freezers and wraps around your joints in place of bracelets and necklaces. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

7. Don’t force your pet into a costume for the holiday. 

It may seem cute to dress them up in the red, white, and blue, but unless your dog (or even less likely, your cat) loves to play dress-up, don’t push the issue. If they have a medical condition, some sort of loose clothing is definitely acceptable. Also, if your animal shuts down during the fireworks, consider purchasing a thunder shirt, which can be found at our store Whiskers & Wags. They are proven to help make animals feel safe and secure, while keeping anxiety levels down.

8. Do keep matches and lighter fluid out of the animals’ reach.

Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. Keep those items on a high-rise table out of their reach, and all will be well!

9. Consider getting calming treats and Adaptil collars

Calming treats and Adaptil/anti-anxiety collars are both sold in our retail store Whiskers & Wags, and they have been helpful to ease stress for our animals here. The collar mimics the dogs’ natural pheromone that helps ease tension, and can help them relax during a fireworks display, as long as they are indoors. Calming treats will help do the same things, and will taste good as well!

10. Brush up on flea/tick treatment.

Ticks and fleas are more abundant than ever because of the mild winter we had. They will find a host environment in dogs and cats, and during a celebration it might go unnoticed. We also sell seresto collars which help battle unwanted visitors for up to eight months. They will help during that barbecue and high heated areas! They can be found at our retail store Whiskers & Wags.

These are just some tips that help our furry friends, and you, prepare for the celebratory holiday! Enjoy, and be safe! Our retail store Whiskers & Wags is open during our adoption hours, provided below.

Adoption Hours:

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

Written by Teryn


Mar 19 2014

Fido’s Spring Checklist

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

Spring To-dos:

Up the Exercise

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

Wash The Paws

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

Flee & Protection

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

Groom the Coat

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

Learn More

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

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Mar 6 2014

How to Transition Your Dog’s Food

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

Know Your Addition

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

See the chart below for details.

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

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

Red Flags:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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

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

Adopt Today

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

 Adoption Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm

 

Proudly serving the Greater Kansas City community. 


Jul 2 2013

Celebrating a Safe Fourth of July

With the fourth of July just around the corner, we know many of you will be celebrating with outdoor festivities. Wayside Waifs wanted to share some tips for helping keep your furry friends safe this upcoming holiday.

·          Never use products on your pets, such as sunscreen or insect repellent, not labeled specifically for use on animals. Products not specifically designed for animals may cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and/or lead to neurological problems.

·          Did you know alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison your pets? They can make your animal weak, depressed, comatose, and even cause respiratory failure resulting in death. The best advice, never leave an alcoholic drink unattended.

Fireworks

Tips to help keep your pets safe this fourth of July

·          If barbequing, be sure to keep matches and lighter fluid out of reach. Matches may contain chlorates, which could cause difficulty breathing or kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid isn’t only an irritant to your pet’s skin but can also cause aspiration pneumonia or serious breathing problems if inhaled. 

·          Did you know food such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocados, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can be potentially toxic for your furry family members? Please do not feed your pets anything they do not normally eat. Any changes in their diet could give them severe indigestion and diarrhea.

·          Never allow your pets to play with or wear glow jewelry. Although the fluid isn’t highly toxic, it can cause gastrointestinal irritation. The plastic container could also pose a choking hazard or intestinal blockage from swallowing.

·          If using citronella candles or other bug repellant items, keep them out of reach. They may cause stomach irritation, problems for the central nervous system, or aspiration pneumonia in your furry friends.

·          Never use fireworks around your beloved pets! Not only do they pose a risk for severe burns to curious animals, but they may also contain potentially toxic substances if ingested. 

 

The best rule of thumb, leave your pets at home this July 4th. Booms from fireworks and large crowds may also scare your pets. Be sure to place them in a cool, quiet, and escape-proof section of your home.


Dec 20 2012

Let It Snow! Keeping Your Pets Safe This Winter

Winter is definitely upon us! Not only is it time for humans to dig out their cold weather clothes, it’s also time to think about keeping our pets safe during these arctic cold days. Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe.

1. Keep your pets inside. Limit your pets outside time for bathroom breaks when temperatures start to tumble. If its too cold for you, it’s defintely too cold for your pet. If your pet is normally outside, move them to a sheltered garage or heated dog house, away from the wind.

2. Outdoor cats have been known to find refuge underneath the hoods of cars. When the car is started, the cat could become injured or even killed by moving parts of the engine. If you have an outdoor cat, honk the horn before starting the car to give the cat a chance to escape.

3. Keep your dog on a leash in the winter weather. Pets can lose their scent in the snow and ice and find refuge in unfamiliar places. This is also a good opportunity to check your dog or cats id tag to make sure they have the most current contact information in case your pet becomes lost or stolen. We also recommend mircrochipping your pet. More dogs are lost during the winter than any other time of the year.

4. When getting your pet groomed, don’t have them shaved down to the skin. A longer coat provides more warmth. Bathing your dog? Be sure to completely dry them before taking them out for a walk. For short-haired breeds, put them in a warm sweater with a high collar that gives the pet coverage from the base of their tail to the belly. My toy poodle Lucy loves to wear her jacket and waits for me to put it on her before going outside.

5. Make sure to keep a dry towel near the door when you bring in your dogs from being outside. Thoroughly dry their paws, legs and belly. They can pick up bits of salt, antifreeze and other lethal chemicals from being outside. It can also be painful for the animal to have shards of ice in their fur. A dogs paws can actually bleed from encrusted ice. This is also a good opportunity to give them some extra love and praise them for good outdoor behavior.

6. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. The vehicle can act as a refridgerator, keeping the cold inside and causing your pet to freeze to death.

7. If your pet spends a lot of time playing outside, increase his food supply. Make sure to include extra protein to help keep his fur in great shape.

8. Coolant and antifreeze are lethal for cats and dogs. If you have any spills in your garage or driveway make sure to clean them thoroughly. Stay away from product s that use ethylene glycol. If your pet should ingest any of these products, call your veterinarian immediately.

9. Rock salt is also dangerous for pets. “Safe Paw” is pet safe ice melt is available for sale at Wayside Waifs and is safe for pets.

10. Give your pet a warm place to sleep. Make sure beds are located away from doors and drafts. Warm blankets or a large pillow is great.

Written by Trish Stinger
Web & Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs


Jun 13 2011

Keeping Your Pet Safe- Common Pet Poisons in Your Yard

Warmer weather is finally here, and just as many of us will be spending more of our time outdoors, so too will our pets.  Whether it’s in our own yard, a park, or a neighbor’s yard which your dog may enter while you are out on a walk, you can help to insure the safety of your pet by familiarizing yourself with the potential poisons that you may encounter. 

Poisonous Plants
We all enjoy a beautifully landscaped yard, but when you are designing your green space, please keep in mind that not all plants are safe for your pets.  Some of the most common toxic plants are: Amaryllis, Azalea, Calla Lily, Daffodil, Daisy, Elderberry, Elephant Ears, Eucalyptus, Foxglove, Hens-and-Chicks, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Iris, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Lily-of-the-Valley, Morning Glory, Nightshade, Poinsettia, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Tomato Leaves, Tulip, Wisteria and Yew.  If your pet ingests a plant that is poisonous, first remove any remnants from your pet’s mouth and save it for identification purposes for your veterinarian.  Then, wash out your pet’s mouth with water and check for any irritation, swelling or discoloration.  If your pet is vomiting, has excessive drooling, diarrhea or seizers, or if your pet is unconscious or acting lethargic, and you suspect he/she has consumed a poisonous plant, seek veterinary care immediately. 

Mulch and Compost
Cocoa mulch is popular for its attractive color and odor but it is highly toxic for pets.  This mulch is a byproduct of chocolate and its sweet smell can be very enticing to pets.  Ingesting cocoa mulch can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures and other neurological problems, and if consumed in large enough quantities, can even cause death.  Pets should also be kept away from your compost pile.  Although composting is great for the environment, make sure your compost pile is in a secure area and safely away from your pets.  Moldy food, coffee and a variety of other foods can be toxic to your pets. 

Fertilizer, Weed Killer and Insecticides
Fertilizer, weed killer and insecticide can all be helpful in producing a lush green lawn and a beautiful garden, but they must all be used with caution.  Fertilizer and week killer can be especially problematic to your pet’s digestive tract and consumption may even result in a life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction.  Most product labeling cautions to keep your pets off of the treated areas until the product is dry, but other safety experts recommend keeping your pet off of the treated area for at least 24 hours.  Like fertilizers and week killers, insecticides can also be quite harmful if consumed by pets.  Snail, fly, mole, gopher, mouse and rat baits are all toxic to pets.  If you choose to use these items, manufacture labels should be read and followed carefully to ensure the safety of your pets.  If you find that any of these products have been consumed by your pet, call the Pet Poison Center at 888-426-4435 and immediately seek veterinary care. 

Garden Tools
Garden tools can also be a safety hazard for our pets.  Rusty, sharp tools or those that are stored with contaminated dirt still on them can pose a risk to an overly curious pet.  After use of all garden tools, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and stored safely away from your pets. 

Insects
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, wasps/hornet/bees and some spiders can all be harmful to your pets.  The best protection from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes is to have your pets on monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative year-round.  For spider bites, clean the area with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or povidone iodine.  If your pet develops a rash, fever, chills, diarrhea, is vomiting, or becomes lethargic, seek veterinary attention immediately.  If your pet is stung by a wasp, hornet or bee, carefully remove the stinger by wiping it off/out with a credit card, knife or fingernail.  DO NOT use tweezers.  Next, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the area, and then apply an ice pack to relieve any swelling.  Benadryl (the regular one, not the one for sinus relief – 1mg. per pound of body weight) can also be helpful in alleviating any swelling.  Most stings are not seriously problematic, but if your pet was stung on the head, especially around the eyes, ears, nose or mouth, or has any sort of allergic reaction, fever or low body temperature, wheezing, rapid breathing, trembling, pale gums, vomiting or diarrhea, it is crucial to get him/her to your veterinarian as soon as possible.  Multiple stings, especially bee stings, (as a swarm of bees can often be aggressive and pursue you or your pet over some distance), will likely present the worst case scenario.  In this case, antihistamines must be administered immediately to prevent shock, maintain fluid volume and protect the various internal organs which may be at risk.  Again, in extreme cases such as this, it is best to seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian.

Summer is a great time to be outside and to share our time outside with our pets.  With careful planning and then taking the appropriate safety precautions, the warm weather months can be a safe and happy time for you and your pet(s).  Always have your veterinarian’s phone number close at hand, along with the Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435.  We wish you and all of your pets a safe and happy summer!

 

Written by Karen Brown
Development Associate at Wayside Waifs


Nov 17 2010

Keeping Your Hounds Happy This Holiday Season

For many of us, that special time of year — from sometime in early November thru the first of January — is a magical time. It’s the holiday season. But if we are dog owners, this time of year may be a real cause for concern. How will our dogs behave around lots of people ringing our doorbell and coming into our home? What will our dog do when we put up the gloriously decorated Christmas tree with beautifully wrapped presents underneath? What about all the special food laid out for our “human” guests to enjoy? How will he handle all the hustle and bustle and comings and goings?

It’s scary to imagine that in less time than it takes to say, “Happy Holidays,” the dogs have torn open packages, chewed the collector’s ornaments, bowled over a guest, unplugged the flashing lights, pulled the roasting pan from the trash, eaten the cookies, sent Grandma’s good china shattering to the floor and vomited on the rug. Instead of listening to carols, you’re busy looking up the phone number for the emergency vet clinic or profusely apologizing to guests because they need to “leave early” because of your dog’s relentless jumping up, or barking at them.

This is a good time to remind ourselves that all dogs are different. They have different personalities. While one dog may revel in the change of pace, another may find it a confusing, stressful time. Your normally placid dog may suddenly begin to exhibit unusual behaviors, such as stealing food, jumping up on people, or growling or snapping at visitors. As owners and “pack leaders”, we need to communicate and demonstrate to our dogs that while their world may be different during these times, we will continue to keep them safe, well managed and secure.

So what can we do now to help prepare ourselves and our pets for these holiday season challenges? Fortunately there are a lot of good answers to this question. To get you started, we will explore just some of them.

Begin working NOW on your dog’s greeting manners if you plan to have guests. Have a friend help by knocking on the door while you practice SIT and STAY with your dog. Teaching your dog what to do when guests arrive will save you and your dog stress from constant correction. Some people teach their dog to “go to your mat” as soon as the doorbell rings.

Keep feeding and exercise routines the same before and during the holidays. Changes to these routines might make your dog feel uncomfortable and anxious. This could bring out unwanted behavior issues.  If you cannot be available to care for the dog at times during the holidays, designate a friend or family member or your local doggy daycare center to provide meals, walks and continued companionship.

Provide your dog with a good “safe zone” place where he feels safe and comfortable. Let your elderly or very shy dog, for example, decide if things are too stressful to remain with the group. Your dog should be able to “escape” to some place away from all the hustle and bustle. It could be a crate or a laundry room or perhaps a basement area. Be sure to give your dog lots of interesting things to do while he is alone – Kongs, toys, food dispensing toys, pigs ears, etc.

Put the food bowl away for a while and feed all of your dog’s meals from Kongs stuffed with his kibble. This takes time and energy to consume breakfast and dinner while you’re busy doing other things. For larger dogs, it might take 4-5 large Kongs to hold all of a meal.

 Anticipate your guest’s arrivals and confine your dog to prevent it from escaping or, worse yet, “soiling” your guest’s clothes with an unwanted jump.

Before your guests arrive, take your dog on a long walk or stimulating doggie adventure. It will take the edge off your dog (and you!) and give you a calorie deficit in preparation for all those gourmet hors d’oeuvres that will be passed around.

Try your best to include your dog, don’t exclude. It can be frustrating to be kept alone and away from al the fun! Don’t banish your dog during holiday activities, but do encourage good manners by requiring that he or she stay on the dog bed, in the crate, behind the baby gate or tethered during the holiday meal.

If overnight guests are joining you for the holidays, orient them with a list of your dog’s rules and etiquette to ensure your training efforts are consistently reinforced. For example: no feeding from the table, no approaching the dog when he or she is sleeping or eating, feeding only “approved” treats, etc.

Happy New Year! Your dog has sensitive hearing and thus the fireworks, bells and whistles of New Year’s revelers can be very frightening. Be sure your dog is in a safe place away from the noise and that he or she can’t escape from your home, yard or auto. Microchip your dog so that both of you can get reunited quickly!

Holiday gatherings can be very over-stimulating for dogs and kids alike, so never leave the dog alone with any little people, even his own kids. Interactions between the dog and kids should be strictly supervised by an adult who’s dog-savvy enough to know when your dog needs a break. Apply the same rule to dogs and children that you would use for managing children around swimming pools in the back yard!

 If your dog is the excitable or anxious type, he might benefit from an over-the-counter remedy, such as Rescue Remedy, to help keep him calm down and relax. Ask your veterinarian about his or her recommendations as well as how much you should use and how often. Comfort Zone or DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) is another good homeopathic option that can also help to maintain your dog’s calm demeanor.

During holiday gatherings, keep a watchful eye for plates and cocktails left at dog level. Since good intentions are prone to fail with so much going on, consider confining your dog to his crate or another room while your guests are bustling about (make sure he has something wonderful to do while he’s there) just to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble.

Be always mindful about heath and safety concerns during the holiday season. Be vigilant about things like: Turkey bones can pose a choking hazard for dogs; Keep things like holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants out of reach from your dog because they are poisonous to dogs; Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth; Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels and well out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail; and the list goes on.

Much of this is just common sense that we would use around young children during this joyous and festive time of year. With that in mind, we wish all of you a joyous, happy and safe holiday season. And we extend to all of our furry friends, many holiday woofs and lots of joyous wags.

Written by Skip Daiger & Kay Lampe
Professional Dog Trainers and Volunteers at Wayside Waifs


Dec 31 2009

Teaching “Stay” for Real

Zak George doesn’t kid around when teaching a dog to “stay.” He calls it the most important command a dog can learn. Notice in this video that even when Zak corrects the dog for disobeying (or “breaking”) the “stay” command, he’s not coercive or threatening–just firm. A direct, eye-level stare is effective for the dog who just can’t … well … stay put. Even when teaching important commands, threats or punishment will only teach a dog to fear you, and that’s the opposite of what you’re looking for. (Note: Be sure you’re familiar with clicker training before trying this method.)

posted by Claire M. Caterer


Oct 21 2009

Pet Tips for the Purr-fect Howl-o-ween!

                                                   Happy Howl-o-ween!
Halloween is fun for the kiddos but can be dangerous for our furry friends.  While some things may seem like common sense, others are things we might not even think about! 

Here are some tips to keeping your furry family members safe!

1.  No treats!  Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous to dogs and cats.  Symptoms of ingesting significant amounts of chocolate may include: vomiting, hyperactivity, drinking excessive amounts of water, increased or frequent urination, and heart rate.  Your pet may also have seizures. 

Candies that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs.  This sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.  Significant low blood sugar can also cause liver failure.

Watch those wrappers!  Ingesting the foil or cellophane wrappers can be a choking hazard or intestinal blockage.

2. Pumpkins and decorative corn can cause gastrointestinal upset and can even cause intestinal blockage.  Also watch carved pumpkins with lit candles inside!  Pets can easily knock over pumpkins and cause a fire.  Curious cats are especially at risk or getting burned by lit candles. 

3.  Keep all wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach from your pets.  If your pet chews the cords, they could have damage in the mouth or electrical shock.

4. Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween and it can be fun to get your pet a costume too.  Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.  My poodle loves to wear clothes, but some pets find it extremely stressful.  Be mindful of how your pet is feeling.

If you do dress your pet in a costume, make sure it isn’t constricting their movements, hearing or ability to breathe, bark or meow.  I would also recommend trying on costumes prior to the big night, that way if  your pet is stressed, uncomfortable or allergic you know before the big night. 

Also check the costume for buttons, dangling accessories/accents or pieces that could be chewed off easily.  These all pose not only choking hazards but could also cause intestinal blockages. 

5. Not all dogs and cats are social and excessive knocks on the door, or doorbell can be stressful.  It is recommended that you put your pet in another room, away from trick or treating during peak hours.  Last year, we let our toy poodle run around the house and every time she heard the doorbell she went into a barking/attack mode.  To this day every time she hears a doorbell, even if it’s on the television, she goes berserk!  It was a big mistake to let her be around this commotion before she was ready.

Also be careful of opening the door- this is a prime opportunity for your pet to dart off or scare small children who are unaware you have a pet. 

6.  As always, make sure your pet has identification and is micro-chipped.  If your pet should escape or become lost this will increase the chances that you will be able to find them.

Halloween can be a fun time for the entire family, just be extra mindful of your furry family members and what tricks or treats they are enjoying!

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs


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