Oct 19 2010

Are You Ready to Adopt?

When you start thinking about adding a pet to your family, it seems like all signs are pointing to ‘yes’. You see a car go by that has a dogs head sticking out of the window. You can’t get in enough cuddle time with your friends’ cat. Before you make googly eyes at the first available pet you see, stop and ask yourself if you are fully ready for the commitment, time and cost of a pet.

First, I know it’s hard to by pass puppies and kittens. They are so cute and small- what’s not to love? But you have to think, “Am I ready for the responsibility that comes with owning, not only a pet, but a young pet?” Owning a puppy or kitten is a lot like bringing a 2 year old toddler home. They don’t fully understand right from wrong yet. They don’t know not to chew on the carpet. They don’t know not to scratch on the couch. Everything is a learning experience for them. If you don’t have the time or patience to handle a toddler, you will probably have a hard time handling a puppy or kitten.

Are you in the right financial area of your life to afford a pet? You would think this would be the first thing people think of, but typically, it’s the last. Pets can be expensive- some more than others. You need to consider the cost of annual vet visits (and the possibility of an emergency vet visit), the cost of food, the accessories (leashes, collars, bowls, toys, etc) and, if you live in an apartment, the cost of having a pet in your home.

Do you have the time for a pet? If you go to work all day and then stay out all night you might want to reconsider if you have time. If you balance your life with kids in one hand, job in the other, and extracurricular activities are barely balancing on the tip of your nose then you should reconsider if you have time. And before you start thinking “well, I probably don’t have time for a dog, but a cat will do!” re-think! Yes, cats tend to take care of themselves but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy social interaction with their human. They’re not devoid of all feeling (c’mon, they hold grudges better than some humans, of course they have feelings).

If you’ve gone over all the details and have decided that you are ready to add an addition to your new home then head to your local shelter! There’s animals of all sorts (in the last year at Wayside we have had bearded dragons, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies, a pig and a chicken) to choose from. Every animal has their own personality, so take your time getting to know them. It’s a big decision adding a new addition to the family, and even a bigger decision having to choose one that will fit!

Lastly, have fun and take your time. You will be excited but don’t rush into a decision! This new addition will be apart of your life for quite some time to come so you want to make the best match you can. Don’t be afraid to adopt an older pet. Typically, shelters have more information on older pets and you also get to see their true temperaments instead of having to wait a few years for them to grow into one. Also, try and set up house before you pick up your new pet. The transition can be less scary and easier on them if everything is already in place! Are you still unsure if you are ready? Feel free to speak to one of Wayside Waifs adoption counselors. They are here to help and are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Ready, set, adopt!

Written by Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs

Jun 30 2010

Independence Day Is No Blast for Pets

It can be the worst weekend of the year for your pet – July 4th weekend.  Few of us are blessed to have pets who pay little attention to all of the booming, crackling and sizzling of fireworks.  Each year thousands of pets are separated from their owners after becoming so stressed from the noise of fireworks and subsequently run away from home.  Here are some recommendations to help you keep your pets safe and at home this 4th of July weekend.

1.  Don’t take your pet to the fireworks shows.  The large crowds, unfamiliar surroundings combined with the loud sounds of fireworks is simply too much for any pet.

2. Keep your pets indoors at home in a quiet room.  Some pets get so stressed they become out of control and destructive.  Remove any objects in a room that might harm your pet.  You can play soft music or turn on a television on to keep them company if you are not home.  Include their favorite toy or blanket for added comfort.

3.  Consider a babysitter for your pet if you are planning to be out enjoying the festivities.  Pets find comfort in having human companionship especially with someone they know and trust.  Being held and petted will help your pet deal with the stress.

4.  Never leave your pet outside unattended on the fourth even if you have a fence or a lead.  When animals become fearful and stressed-even those who would normally not jump a fence- can become unpredictable in their fear and try anything to get away.  Pets have choked themselves on leads and even hung themselves when they tried to jump a fence while attached to a lead.  Create a cool safe place for your pet in the home or garage area.

5.  Make sure your pet has the correct identification on their collar.  Now is a great time to make sure that your pets tags are current with your contact information.  Tags should include the pets name, your name and phone number.  If you can, also include the address.  Consider having your pet microchipped.  You can have this done for a small fee at Wayside Waifs and it is could mean being reunited with your pet sooner should your pet become lost.    

6.  If you are shooting off fireworks, take the proper precautions in making sure sparklers and other fireworks are completely cooled after burning.  Sparklers, for instance, can stay hot for hours after burning out and can not only burn your pets paws, but become lodged in between their feet.  Keep a bucket of water on a table to dump these types of fireworks in to prevent further burning. 

7.  Clean up the area where you have been shooting off fireworks.  Our pets are curious about debris and will go in close to smell anything.  These items are packed with poison even after they have been lit and sharp edges can cut their mouths, noses and pads of their feet.

8.  Finally, if your pet has a history of becoming seriously stressed by loud noises, like fireworks, consult with your veterinarian to see what options you may have to help with their stress.

Should you find a pet or your pet becomes separated from you, go to our website and file a lost/found pet report.  Make sure to include a photo, complete description of the pet and your contact information within the body of the posting. 

Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs

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