It's National Volunteer Week

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This week is National Volunteer Week, a week to celebrate service. Volunteerism empowers individuals to find their purpose, take their passion and turn it into meaningful change. People often think that to make a difference, they have to donate hours of their time, or be in the trenches in a Third World country, or donate hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, when we say every little bit helps, we mean it!

This week, as people generously donate their time to help the causes that ignite their passions, we wanted to focus on what it means to volunteer for a non-profit animal rescue no matter the type of task:

Animal Transport
When you transport an animal from the shelter, you are transporting them to freedom! You are the first point of contact for a once unwanted pet and get to give them their freedom ride. Freedom burgers are no doubt appreciated!

In addition, often times a foster’s work or family schedule conflicts with the date /time off an adoption event, and they are unable to bring their foster pet. When you transport a rescue pet to and from an adoption event, you are helping to facilitate finding them a forever home. You are ensuring they are getting the exposure they need to meet their new family. AND, once adopted, the pet’s foster is now open to take in a new foster pet that is hoping for their freedom ride.

Home Checks
Home checks are vitally important to the foster and adoption process. We want to ensure that a once homeless, abused, and/or neglected animal goes into the right home. We need to confirm the home is safe; that there is adequate fencing around the yard or land; and that the home is the right home for the pet that the family or individual is interested in fostering or adopting. By helping us with a home check, you are helping to ensure the home is just perfect for a rescue pet.

Data Entry
While it may seem very uninteresting, data entry plays a vitally important role in any non-profit organization’s operations. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Donor tracking: It is important for a charity to track donors so they know how much funds it has raised for various programs and its budget. It also allows the organization to remain in frequent contact with donors so they can consistently raise vital funds for its life-saving mission and programs.

  • Statistics: Statistics are very important for a non-profit organization. They show their supporters, donors, board and followers the impact that the organization has made in the community, which helps establish credibility, drive programs, raise funds, and develop important partnerships.

  • Other data: Having a good platform like Salesforce helps a non-profit keep track of mission-critical information. For PPITS, it helps us keep track of shelter and vet records, microchip information, and the contact information of our veterinarians, trainers, specialists, adopters, fosters and volunteers.

Marketing
Non-profit organizations always need to get the word out about who they are and what they do. It is important for them to create awareness for their mission and programs as well as their impact. Helping a non-profit in the areas of SEO, copy writing, newsletters, social media, etc. helps broaden, inform, and educate its audience and bring awareness to the organization, the communities it serves, and issues it set out to resolve.

Administrative
This too may not sound like the most exciting job on the planet, but it is nevertheless very important. Some tasks may seem simple, but they still have an impact on an organization’s mission. Responding to emails, coordinating appointments, helping with spreadsheets, drafting documents, and proofreading are all fundamental and help keep the organization running smoothly.

Coordinator positions
Helping an animal rescue is various coordinator positions such as Adoption Coordinator, Foster Coordinator or Medical Coordinator helps ensure that animals are getting the care they need. People in these positions also help find a pet a loving foster home, which saves more pets as well as finding a loving forever home, which also helps to save more pets. It streamlines the process between the founders of the organization and facilitates the vetting, foster and adoption process.

Fostering
Sadly, millions of pets die every year in the nation’s animal shelter system. This is due to overpopulation and a lack of resources to take care of these animals. Being a pet foster not only gives the pet a second chance at life; it also gives them the opportunity to mend a broken heart and prepare for the next chapter of their life. We can’t save a life without a dedicated foster in place. Being a pet foster is a temporary position which only takes a few weeks or months for the animal to be placed in a furever home! If you have the itch to adopt an animal but not sure you can make a full-time commitment then becoming a foster parent might be a great stepping stone! Check out our video on pet fostering and apply today to save a life!

Donate
We always say “every little bit helps” and it does!! It doesn’t matter the amount of the donation: $2, $5, $10… It all adds up and it all matters! Think about it: If everyone who follows our Facebook page gave just $2.00 today, that would equal $10,486.00! With that, we could rescue more medical needs pets and seniors. We could rehabilitate more dogs with behavior issues. We could spay/neuter and microchip more animals in the community and reduce owner surrenders. JUST $2.00 MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

In addition, we always need in-kind donations: food, beds, leashes and collars, litter boxes, toys, etc. We are also always looking for fun items to raffle or auction off at our fundraisers. Click the button below to make a monetary, in-kind, tribute or recurring donation.

There are many more great volunteer opportunities that help with our life-saving mission to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome abused, abandoned, stray and neglected companion animals Get involved today! We and all the animals at Paw Prints In The Sand would love your help!

Today Is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

Today marks National Dog Fighting Awareness Day! As an animal rescue organization, we are constantly trying to save those without a voice. But, we can’t do it alone. Today we reach out to the public and ask you to become more aware of the evil practice of dog fighting and how to combat it.

What is Dog Fighting?
Dog fighting is the illegal act of forcing dogs to fight one another for entertainment and, or profit/betting purposes. Dog fight matches can last anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of two or three grueling hours. In most cases, the canines won’t fight to the death, but can sustain serious injuries which often result in fatality.

Signs of Dog Fighting

  • Pit bulls locked up with a heavy padlock and chain. Most will be kept in basements to prevent detection, especially in urban areas. If there are a few pit bulls tied up in a yard while displaying antisocial and aggressive behavior, then chances are that they are being kept for dog fighting purposes.

  • Makeshift conditioning equipment. One example, treadmills with leashes attached which are used to tether dogs forcing them to walk/run till exhaustion.

  • Scarred dogs, especially pit bulls.

  • “Fighting pits” with scratch marks and possibly stained with blood.

What Can I Do To Help?
Sign the HEART Act petition NOW and urge Congress to pass legislation to help victimized dogs find a home faster! The dogs that are rescued can be caught up in the legal system for months or even years. They have suffered long enough and need to be rehabilitated and rehomed faster to ensure a better quality of life.

We have rescued many dogs from dog fighting. It is an amazing start for our furry friends. However, it’s only the beginning of their long journey to getting the loving home they all need and deserve.

Help us rehabilitate and rehome exploited dogs by becoming a monthly donor today!

  • $15 per month helps save a dog from dog fighting.

  • $25 per month helps microchip a dog that was used in dog fighting.

  • $50 per month provides food for a dog.

  • $100 per month helps provide spay or neuter & vaccinations for a dog that was once used i dog fighting.

  • $150 per month provides medical care for a dog that was used in fighting.

  • $500 per month helps train and rehabilitate a dog that was used in dog fighting.

  • $1000 per month helps with all of the above.


HERE ARE SOME OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT US:

  • Become a PPITS foster parent

  • Help with home checks

  • Volunteer at an event

  • Set up a fundraiser on Facebook or GoFundMe

  • Help us network our adoptable pets so we can save more!

  • Volunteer to help transport a PPITS pet to the vet or adoption event

  • Follow us on our social media platforms for more information on how to prevent animal cruelty and how to successfully care for our four-legged companions.

We - and the animals we save - sincerely thank you for your incredible generosity and continued support! We can't do it without you!




April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month

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April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month. It’s the time of year where we focus our resources to educate pet owners on how to properly care for their fluffy, scaly, and slimy companions to ensure that they live a long, happy and healthy life!

We know it’s hard to comprehend the notion that an animal is abused every 60 seconds. Currently, 46 out of the 50 States in America consider certain forms of animal abuse a felony. The term “animal abuse” or “animal cruelty” is classified differently in each State but for the most part can be identified as maliciously and intentionally maiming, mutilating, torturing, wounding, or killing an animal. Also, failure to provide an animal with proper food, drink and shelter is also considered animal cruelty.

Some forms of animal abuse are more obvious than others. Dog fighting is an evident method. But there are other forms that may not as recognizable, especially to uninformed and first-time pet owners. A prime example would be leaving your pet in a car while you run errands. You might think it’s O.K. to leave a dog in a car for 15 minutes on a mildly warm day. However, the reality is hundreds of pets die every year in America from heat exhaustion. It only takes 10 minutes for a vehicle’s internal temperature to raise by 20⁰ F and can easily reach 100⁰ F in under 30 minutes. In that time your treasured pet can become very sick or even die.

Follow us on our social media platforms for more information on how to prevent animal cruelty and how to successfully care for our four-legged companions.

@PawPrintsInTheSand

Instagram - ppitsresq

Twitter - @PPITSRescue

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pawprintsinthesandrescue/

Do you want to help an animal in need? We are looking for individuals to take part in our foster program to help our rescue animals find a furever home! Click below to find out more.


Don’t think you’re up for the challenge of being a foster parent? You can still help a little critter by joining the PPITS pack and becoming a monthly donor. Any amount can make a difference!

  • $15 per month helps save a shelter pet

  • $25 per month helps microchip a shelter pet

  • $50 per month provides food for a shelter pet

  • $100 per month helps provide spay or neuter & vaccinations for a shelter pet

  • $150 per month provides medical care for a shelter pet

 

OTHER WAYS TO HELP INCLUDE:

  • Help with home checks

  • Volunteer at an event

  • Set up a fundraiser on Facebook or GoFundMe

  • Donate your birthday, anniversary or seasonal gifts

  • Help us network our adoptable pets so we can save more!

  • Volunteer to help transport a PPITS pet to the vet or adoption event

  • Ask us about remote opportunities such as Adoption Coordinator, Fundraising Associate, or Medical Coordinator

We - and the animals we save - sincerely thank you for your incredible generosity and continued support! We can't do it without you!

Newly Adopted Dog Checklist: What You Need to Do and Buy for Your New Pet

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Written by: Trevor James, DogLab

So you got a new dog? Congratulations! We hope it’s a rescue dog, of course. ;)

If this is your first time as a canine parent, then you should know that there are several things you need to do and buy before bringing your new pup home with you.

New Dog to Do List:

Like us humans, dogs have different habits and personalities - some good and some, well, not so good. Adopting a dog is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get! There's no telling how your new dog will behave, so it's best to prepare for anything and everything.

Dog-proof your home

Your new dog will be arriving soon, so you need to prep your house and make it dog-proof to avoid any accidents. Much like baby proofing a home, you should:

  • Remove all sharp and protruding objects that can injure your new dog. It helps if you go down on all fours and crawl around your house so you can see what a dog sees. If you find something dangerous, take it out. Taping cut cardboard over objects you can’t remove is a cheap and effective way to dog-proof your home.

Shopping list: Duct tape, box cutter

  • Seal all outlets that are not in use. Tuck away all plugs and cables of your electronics so your dog won't chew on them.

Shopping list: Outlet covers, socket covers, cord shorteners

  • Assign permanent areas for food and water so your new dog will always know where to go (and keep the mess in one spot.)

Shopping list: Elevated stainless steel food and water bowls, food bowl mat

  • Keep everything you don't want your new furry friend to chew and destroy out of reach - shoes, toys, books, underwear, everything! Dogs can and will gnaw anything because it's fun and relieves their stress when they have separation anxiety. See our posts on ‘How To Reduce Separation Anxiety’ and ‘Tips for Crate Training Your Dog’.

Shopping list: Boxes, shelves, crate

Add "Safe Zones" and "No Fido Zones" to your home.

We know, these terms sound military!

But you need to have military precision to help train your new dog to get accustomed to his or her new home. Your home will feel foreign to your new dog, and it will take a while for him or her to adjust to her new surroundings.

Make your house feel more like your dog's forever home by:

  • Plan where your dog will sleep. It could be your bedroom or any part of the house except the basement and garage. Make sure you give Fido space where there is interaction with other people or pets in your house to make him or her feel welcome – You don’t want your pup to experience separation anxiety!

Designating a safe space for your new dog is essential. Your pup needs to feel secure in her new surroundings, and letting her roam around in a large area may spook your dog or cause boundary issues between you and him/her. A crate with a dog bed inside is a good and safe spot for Fluffy to hang out until he or she gets used to their surroundings.

Shopping list: Crate, dog bed, pillow

  • Assign areas in your home where your new dog can go and seal off sections that are off limits. Creating different zones in your home is an excellent way to train your new dog where he can and can't go.

A doggy gate is also a good option if you need to create a secure space for your dog, and you don't have a crate. Zoning your home is vital if you have other pets because it gives your tenured dogs or cats freedom to walk around they are accustomed to while they get acclimated with their new housemate and vice versa.

Shopping list: Indoor dog gate or pen or baby gate

  • Make sure your home is clean and parasite free. If you have other dogs, use an enzymatic cleaner to make sure the designated areas are clear of urine. Dogs potty on places where they can smell it, so...start cleaning!

Double check the space where you want your new dog to stay and make sure it's free of parasites, especially if you have other pets. Newborn ticks (larvae) can live up to 540 days without a host and feed for 5 straight days when they find one. Yuck! Apple cider vinegar is a non-toxic way to kill these buggers.

Speaking of cleaning, make sure you keep your cleaning products locked up. Many cleaning chemicals like ammonia and bleach are toxic to dogs.

Shopping list: Enzymatic cleaner, apple cider vinegar, spray bottle

When your new dog arrives.

  • Make sure you take things slow and steady. It takes anywhere from 3 days to 3 months for a new dog to feel at home in a new place, so please be patient. Expect to have a few accidents and hiccups along the way! Take your new dog for a walk around your house, backyard, and neighborhood so he or she can get a lay of the land.

  • If you have kids and other pets in the house, make the introductions stress-free. Try not to overwhelm your new arrival with hugs and kisses from everyone in your household or expect her to be chums with your other pets. Give any children instructions limit contact with Fido until he settles in.

  • Once inside your home, place your new dog inside a crate or sectioned off area where you want him to stay and feel secure.

  • Don’t force introductions to other pets in the home. Slow and steady wins the race, so be patient. Your resident pets are used to this being their space. Your new pup may have some anxiety in his or her new surroundings. Feel free to contact us if you need some integration tips for your new dog.

The Essentials

Now that you've prepped and primed your home for the arrival of your new dog, it's time to get busy shopping. In addition to the items mentioned above, your shopping list should also include the essentials:

  • A sturdy leash

Get a leash that's appropriate for the breed and size of your new dog. Make sure you get a strap that your dog won't be able to chew through! Do NOT purchase a retractable leash! They are recipes for disaster! Read more on the dangers of retractable leashes: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/06/11/retractable-dog-leash.aspx

  • Dog Collar and tag

Get a martingale collar to prevent your dog from slipping out of it if he or she gets excited or spooked while on a walk. Make sure to attach a dog tag with your contact information in case Rover runs off and gets lost.

  • Body harness

Using a harness is a great alternative for a martingale for walks. It is safe for your dog because it distributes the pull of the leash evenly. Harnesses are also help to prevent choking or putting pressure on their throat.

  • Microchip ID

Dog tags can come off and get lost. A microchip ID on your dog is forever. Make sure you register your dog’s microchip with the chip company so you can be easily notified if he or she is found.

  • Shots, Sterilization and Flea Control

Take your new dog to the vet and have him or her checked out. Your vet will give your dog shots (rabies, DHPP, Bordetella and Canine Influenza). If your dog is not fixed yet, make an appointment to do so ASAP! It is healthier for your dog and prevents unwanted litters. Also, purchase deworming tabs and a flea/tick preventative such as Comfortis or Nexgard.

NOTE: If you adopt a dog from a rescue, he or she should come with their complete set of shots. They also should already be spayed or neutered, microchipped and have had flea and deworming treatment.

  • Chew toys

Your dog will chew anything that he can get his paws on, including furniture. Make sure to keep this behavior in check by getting him some chew toys to keep him occupied. Don't stick to one, get your new dog several toys because Fido also gets bored.

  • Puzzle, tug and fetch toys.

Walks aren't enough if you want to bond with your new dog or drain her of excess energy. Playing a puzzle game with Fluffy will keep her mind sharp and is as taxing as any physical activity. Alternate between the tug and fetch toys to keep your new pal engaged!

Conclusion

The pure joy of bringing home a new family member and being a responsible dog parent is second to none. Before you embark on this beautiful journey, make sure that you dog proof your home for your new pup!

Speaking of fur, if you have a dog that sheds a lot, like a husky, a rubber pet hair broom is a worthwhile investment – sweeping up dog hair with a nylon bristled broom is almost impossible.

Don’t forget to get your new dog all the essentials she needs to feel secure and comfortable in her new surroundings. Get ready for some happy and unforgettable times!

Best of luck and happy parenting!

Untangling Pet CBD

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Marijuana. Cannabis. It used to be the drug of hippies and college kids. Now legalized in 30 states and the District of Columbia, it’s not so taboo any more. However, it is still very new in this regard, especially when it comes to medicinal use and regulatory issues.

Nevertheless, the increasing use of cannabis for medical purposes has spawned a budding industry. With this, comes a lot of confusion for consumers who are interested in exploring the health benefits of cannabis for both themselves and their pets.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll break down the most common compound for medicinal marijuana: Cannabidiol (CBD).

What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major constituent of the cannabis plant. It is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” like Phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD doesn’t activate the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in the same manner as THC. It does however, target a wide variety of proteins in the brain and nervous system that regulate cell activities. By interacting with the brain’s signaling systems in various ways, it can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea. Beyond our brains, CBD may benefit our bones and immune systems and work broadly throughout the body as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which may help protect cells from damages associated with neurodegenerative diseases. It has proven to have the same effect on our pet.

What are the differences between 250mg, 500mg and 1000mg of CBD?
You will likely see various pet CBD products with varying amounts of CBD (in mg). What does this mean? It’s basically the potency. 250mg is a low-potency oil while 1000mg is a high potency oil. It also means the percentage of actual CBD that is in the product.

For example: A single serving of the 250mg (30 mL) bottle is equivalent to 15 drops of oil. which translates to a 7mg dose of CBD. Pet owners may not even use a full dose though, as your pet can find relief with as little as 5-7 drops of oil, which translates to about a 3mg dose. However, make sure to talk to your vet prior to starting a CBD regiment for your pet, and always check dosing amounts as it applies to the size of your pet.

While the perception is the higher the potency, the more effective the product, which is not altogether untrue; CBD product potency is really about the degree to which CBD can effect a dog’s health. It is directly related to the ability of that CBD product to be absorbed, transported and made available to individual receptor sites. This is primarily determined by the method of delivery:

  • Sublingual- under the tongue. When administered this way, the cannabinoids come into close contact with blood-rich tissues in the mouth and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of this, sublingual administration is considered the best choice of dosing.

  • Oral ingestion from treats or on food. While not as effective as sublingual administration, putting some CBD oil in your pet’s food is less “invasive”. However, it is possible that a percentage of the original stated dose is lost due to the presence of digestive enzymes and stomach acids. This results in a much lower bio-availability of active cannabinoids and therefore, lowers the absorption rate.

Full spectrum CBD, such as PPITS Pet CBD, contains an array of non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabidivarin (CBDV) just to name a few. All have shown to help with conditions such as anxiety, cancer, inflammation, seizures, diabetes, arthritis, pain, and nausea to name a few. When combined, all the cannabinoids and terpenes work together in synergy, which ultimately make it a more effective product.

How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

Written by: Duncan Kingori, AuthenticDogs

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Like humans, our pets also experience separation anxiety. In dogs, separation anxiety is characterized by agitation, upset, and even destructive behavior. These behaviors are exhibited by dogs when they are separated from their pet parents. You may misinterpret your dogs' actions for disobedience and a lack of proper training, yet your dogs' behavior may be an exhibition of separation anxiety.

Your dog is used to you being around and is dependent on you, and any change may cause them to experience anxiety. There are other behaviors exhibited by your dog that may be attributed to separation anxiety, and you need to help your dog reduce his or her separation anxiety or have no anxiety at all. This is to ensure that he or she may be at peace and happy- and well behaved. Here are some recommendations to help ease your precious pup’s separation anxiety:

1. Engage your dog in exercise before you depart

A dog that is tired tends to be calmer as opposed to one that is still energized. Therefore, one way to reduce separation anxiety in your dog is by engaging your dog in exercise for about half an hour before you depart. You may take part in outdoor or indoor activities and exercise with your dogs. For instance, throwing a Frisbee or tennis ball across the yard and letting your dog play ‘fetch’ is a great exercise. It also offers mental stimulation, which helps with calming. When you do this for about 30 minutes, your dog will be exhausted by the time you leave. Their attention will be towards food and sleep, and they will hardly notice that you are gone, or when you are leaving the house.

2. Teach your dog to get used to being alone when you are at home

Help your dog to get used to being by themselves, even when you are in the same house. Have your furry baby to remain in a certain room in the house (or crate if crate trained) while you go to another room in a different part of the house. If your dog's separation anxiety is severe, you could do this in short intervals of about 20 seconds. In time, you can work this 20 seconds up to about 30 minutes. It will help reduce your pooch's separation anxiety. They will learn to spend time away from you even when they are conscious of your presence in the house.

3. You need to change the signals of your departure

Like humans, your dogs are conditioned to associating certain signals with a specific behavior, thus your dog knows your routine before you leave home. Therefore, you need to break the routine so your dog will not associate certain signals with your departure. For example, put on your shoes 30 minutes to an hour before you leave and sit on the couch and watch the television, or maybe change the place where you store your purse and hang your keys.

This will break your dog's association of specific actions with you leaving, and thus their separation anxiety will not be triggered. You can also give your dog treats to calm them and distract them as you go. Eventually, they will view your departure in a positive light, and see that it is not a scary thing to be all alone.

4. Minimize the level of emotions when saying your hellos and goodbyes

Completely abstain from getting very emotional when you are leaving your dog and exhibiting a lot of excitement when you get home. The extra attention and excitement increases your dog's fear of being alone. Be calm when you are bidding your dog goodbye. When you arrive back home, in a quiet and collected manner, say hi to your dog, but don't show too much affection or excitement until he or she has calmed down. By remaining calm when you return, you reduce the level of separation anxiety in your dog.

5. Get your dog his or her personal space

Rather than sharing your bed with your dog, get them their own bed or crate. In addition to separation anxiety, crate training is a great tool for resolving many other behavior issues such as pottying or marking in the house and destructive chewing. Plus dogs are den animals, so they like to have their safe haven. Train you dog to remain in his or her personal space by making it a positive experience with petting, playing, treats, toys or bones. This teaches your dog to be independent and to love their own space. When your dog enjoys their own company, they will be less anxious when you are away from them.

6. Leave some comfort articles and background music playing for your dog

Leave items that will comfort your dog, such as dirty clothes in the laundry bin that have your scent. This will help the dog to relax, as they will remember that at some point you will be returning home. You could also remove the stress factors from your dog's body. Also, hide treats in the house so that the dog can enjoy hunting for these treats while you are away. Or, give your dog a Kong or deer antler to distract them while you leave. Remember to leave some soothing  music for your dog, so that when they are tired, it can help soothe them to sleep and relax. YouTube has great videos to help with separation anxiety.                 

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 Helping your dog get over his or her separation anxiety requires dedication and a commitment to finding a safe and long lasting solution, so that your dog may be happy, calm, and a good dog!

Tips for Crate Training Your Dog

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Crate training is in an important part of dog ownership. Many think that it is mean or cruel to crate a dog. That is only true if the crate is used as a form of punishment. However, that is not what creating dogs was meant for.  A crate should NEVER be used as punishment!

Dogs are den animals. They like being in their “den” or safe haven. The primary purpose of a crate is for housetraining. Dogs don’t like to soil in their dens. A crate is also great to help prevent destructive behavior that often occurs as a result of separation anxiety. It also helps to create boundaries and establish human leadership.

The key to crate training is creating a warm, cozy environment where your pooch feels safe. Many dogs love their crates so much, they spend time in it even when they don’t have to.

The important part of crate training is to make it a positive experience for your dog. It is important that he or she knows that they can get out. Here are some tips to help your dog love his or her crate:

  •  Give your dog his or her meals in the crate. This will create a positive association with the crate, especially if your dog is food motivated. Do this for about a week with the door open, then start closing the door while they’re eating. Their food will distract them from the door being closed. Open the door and let them out when they’re done so they know they can get out. Gradually increase the time that your dog is in there with the door closed and remain nearby.

  • Play the treat game- throw treats in the crate. Let your dog go in and get the treat then come back out. Do this a couple times a day for 10 or 15 minutes. After a few days, you can close the door and leave your dog in there for a few minutes, giving them treats and praises while they’re in there. You can gradually increase the amount of time that the door is closed.

  • Play fetch – similar to the treat game, throw a tennis ball or your dog’s favorite toy in the crate. Let them go in and retrieve it. This creates a fun experience for your dog and gives him or her a little exercise too!

  • Use a verbal command to enter their crate such as “kennel” or “puppy bye byes” – whatever works.

Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes without becoming anxious or afraid with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods of time. Continue to crate your dog when you are home so they don’t associate the crate with being left alone. We recommend covering the crate with a towel or blanket to create a den-like atmosphere.

We all love to sleep with our pups, but it is recommended that you crate your dog at night, especially in the beginning. Put the crate in or near your bedroom so he or she knows you’re there. This is especially important for a puppy since puppies aren’t yet potty trained and will often need to go potty in the middle of the night. Keeping them nearby will allow you to hear them if they start whining, needing to go outside. Keeping the crate near you at night is also important for seniors so they don’t associate the crate with social isolation.

Your dog may bark or whine until he or she is fully crate trained. DON’T GIVE IN! This will only reinforce unwanted behavior. Depending upon the dog, it could take days or a few weeks to be completely crate trained.

**Make sure your dog is fully crate trained before leaving him or her for an extended period of time (no more than a few hours). You wouldn’t want your dog to become stressed and injure him or herself in an attempt to escape.

As mentioned before, crate training can help with separation anxiety once your dog is completely crate trained. However, if your dog has serious anxiety you may want to consult with a dog trainer or animal behavior specialist.

 

4 Tips to Help Your Cat and Dog Get Along Better

Sponsored by AlliVet

Photo: Chendongshan/Shutterstock

Photo: Chendongshan/Shutterstock

Having multiple furry friends in your home can be fun and fulfilling. However, if you have animals of different species -- like dogs and cats -- it can also be challenging. Many dogs and cats don't naturally react well to one another, which means that they might not enjoy having each other's company at home. Therefore, if your dog doesn't immediately take to your cat (or vice versa), there are some simple things that you can do to help improve their relationship, so everybody can be healthy and happy at home. Here are four of the simplest and most effective tips for helping your cat and dog get along better.

1. Start on a Leash

The first time you introduce your dog and cat to one another, start with both animals on a leash. Try a harness and leash with your cat, and a head harness and leash with your dog. Let the animals meet slowly, sniff each other and get used to being around one another. Once neither seems fearful or overly-excited, you can slowly let the cat off the leash. Once the cat has gotten comfortable, let the dog off the leash last. This will give the cat time to adjust -- and cats tend to be the more fearful creature in the dog-cat pairing.

2. Give Your Cat a Place to Escape to

When you introduce your dog and cat, give the cat a place to where she can run and hide. That way, if the dog is overwhelming her, or if she feels fearful, she can find a way to escape. Providing a hiding place for a cat lowers the stress level of the situation. Try providing a perch or a place up high, where the cat can get above the dog if she wants to.

3. Try Using Baby Gates or a Crate

Baby gates are a great way to slowly introduce animals to one another. Put up baby gates or a crate to contain you dog then let the cat wander. Baby gates and crates allow the animals to see and smell one another and get to know each other without the risk of an altercation.

4. Don't Force It

No matter how much you want your cat and dog to get along, you can't force them to like (or even tolerate) one another. If their rapport seems tense or uncomfortable, don't force them to spend time together. It can take weeks or even months to get animals used to one another, so focus on slowly increasing their exposure to one another. With luck and time, you'll see that animals are used to each other and maybe even enjoying spending time together, too.

Having both a cat and a dog as pets can be a lot of fun, especially if you can get them to love each other just as much as you love them. If you're having trouble getting the animals to get along, you may want to consult your veterinarian or animal behavior specialist, who can work with your pets or give you helpful tips for improving their relationship.

Four Common Cleaning Chemicals That Are Toxic to Pets

By: James Hall, Freelance Writer and Home Cleaning Expert, @Spotless_Vacuum

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It’s no secret that many household cleaning products are toxic to humans. A quick glance at a label shows just how careful we need to be when cleaning our homes.

These chemicals are even more dangerous for our canine and feline companions though. Our pets spend their time on the floor, so are more likely to suffer skin irritation or absorb chemicals via their paws.

Pets also don’t understand the dangers of cleaning chemicals. They won’t think twice about licking the floor after cleaning, chewing a bottle of bleach, or drinking out of a toilet bowl after it’s been cleaned. This can lead to anything from mild irritation to severe illness and even death.

For this reason, pet owners need to be careful when deciding which cleaning chemicals to use. In this article, we’ll discuss four dangerous chemicals, along with some tip for keeping your pet safe.

Which Chemicals Should You Avoid in Cleaning Products?

1. Bleach
Undiluted bleach is a serious danger to pets. Swallowing it can lead to diarrhea, internal burns and vomiting. Just breathing bleach fumes can cause respiratory irritation. For this reason, you need to be careful when using bleach to clean floors, as it could remain on both the floor and mop. Follow the instructions for dilution carefully and store any tools you used in a safe space.

On the other hand, diluted bleach can often be used safely. Just make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed and aired after cleaning.

2. Ammonia
Ammonia is a common ingredient in oven and window cleaners. It can cause irritation to a pet’s respiratory system, so shouldn’t be used in the same room as your pet. Make sure you allow plenty of time to air out the room before you let your pet back in.

You should never mix ammonia with bleach. This combination creates a toxic gas that can be deadly.

3. Formaldehyde
Many people are surprised that formaldehyde is found in cleaning products, as it’s usually associated with embalming.  The chemical is often used in hand soaps, general cleaners and even pet shampoos though.

Unfortunately, formaldehyde poses serious health risks to pets. It can irritate the skin and eyes if allowed to circulate in the air, and may affect respiratory function. It has also been linked to certain types of cancer.

4. Glycol ethers
These chemicals are often found in stain removers and carpet cleaners. They have been linked with a variety of illnesses, including kidney damage and anemia.

Glycol ethers are often included in products that are labelled as “natural.” Make sure you check the label before you buy.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe

Aside from being aware of dangerous chemicals in household products, there are other ways to keep your pet safe when cleaning. Here are a few examples:

Switch to Natural Cleaning Products

There are a number of natural cleaning products that are both effective and safer for your pet. These alternatives are also often better for the environment.

One of the best examples is baking soda. This has a variety of uses, including absorbing odors, removing grease, and getting rid of mildew. Other useful alternatives include white vinegar, lemon juice, castile soap and essential oils.

Even these natural alternatives are not necessarily safe for a pet to ingest in large quantities though. You should still keep your dpet in another room and thoroughly rinse any surfaces after cleaning.

Read the Label Carefully

Always  check whether a cleaning product needs to be diluted. A diluted chemical is safer for both you and your pet, so these instructions shouldn’t be ignored.

Once you’ve cleaned an area of floor or other surface, wipe it thoroughly and wash with clean water - even if the cleaning product was already diluted. This reduces the chance of your dog ingesting dangerous chemicals.

Keep Pets in a Separate Room When Cleaning

You should keep your pet away from where you’re cleaning - especially when mopping the floor. After rinsing with water, wait for the surface to dry before letting him back in.

Be Aware of Your Pet’s Allergies

Pets can develop a wide range of allergies. Dust, mold and pollen allergies are three of the most common, along with certain types of food.

Cleaning with mops or vacuums can often stir up airborne allergens, which is another reason why it’s important to keep your pet(s) in a separate room.

Store Dangerous Chemicals in an Inaccessible Cupboard

Cleaning chemicals are most dangerous in large quantities and before being diluted. For this reason, it’s vital to store all your cleaning supplies in a place your pet can never reach. A high cupboard is often the perfect location.

Some pets can be surprisingly adept at opening cupboard doors though - especially if they think it contains food. If your pet knows how to open doors, you may need to buy a padlock to ensure she’s safe.

Remember, cats and dogs are naturally inquisitive. A chemical bottle might seem like the perfect toy, so it’s up to you to keep your pet safe.

Contact Your Vet Immediately if You Suspect Your Dog Has Been Exposed to a Dangerous Chemical

There are a variety of symptoms if your dog has been exposed to cleaning chemicals. These include vomiting, loss of appetite, sore skin, excessive dribbling and pawing at the mouth.

While many cleaning chemicals will only cause mild irritation, especially when diluted, others can cause serious illness, such as liver or kidney damage. For this reason, you should always contact your vet immediately if you notice a change in behavior.

Summary
Household cleaning chemicals can be a serious health risk to pets. It’s important to be aware of toxic ingredients, such as ammonia and bleach, and to take steps to minimize the risk to your pet.

One of the best ways to keep your pet safe is to switch to natural cleaning alternatives. You should also thoroughly rinse surfaces with clean water after cleaning and store dangerous chemicals in a secure cupboard.

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

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Adopt-A-Dog Month®

What Can An Adopted Dog Bring To Your Life?

For millions of dogs, there’s something special about the month of October. No, it’s not holiday sweaters or Halloween treats. It’s the promise of a better life. You see, October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to help homeless animals in shelters all across America find loving, happy homes.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, be a hero and consider adopting a rescue animal or a dog from your local shelter. You’ll be saving a life and greatly improving yours. Dogs are amazing, supportive, and heroic companions who can make a huge difference in your world as a best friend, an exercise buddy, someone who can be trained to provide animal-assisted therapy and help those with challenges they may face, or simply be a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work.

Your local shelter is the perfect place to find dogs of every type, size, age and personality — all waiting for a loving home. Or if you prefer a particular breed that isn’t currently available at a shelter, go online to find a legitimate breed-specific rescue group in need of adopters like you.

How to Celebrate

  • Adopt from a shelter or rescue group: When you’re ready to open your heart and home to a new best friend, adopt from your local animal shelter or rescue group. Talk with shelter staff to find the perfect dog for you and your lifestyle, and remember that older dogs make excellent pets too.

  • Fundraise. What better way to celebrate your love of dogs than to host a fundraiser in their honor? Start a Facebook fundraiser for your favorite rescue. Or, set up a #MonthofRescue challenge and ask your friends and followers to donate $1 a day to your favorite rescue. Just $31 can help provide food, shelter and the chance at a loving home for a dog in need.

  • Spay or neuter your dog: Have your dog spayed or neutered, thus preventing the possibility of unexpected, and potentially unwanted, puppies. Spayed and neutered animals have been shown to lead longer, healthier lives and have fewer of certain behavioral problems than animals who have not been spayed or neutered.

  • ID your pet: By putting identification on your dog, either in the form of a tag, a microchip or both, you will reduce the possibility that your pet will become one of the presumably “homeless” dogs that end up at your local shelter. Only 15-20 percent of dogs who enter a shelter are reunited with their owners. Make sure your dog is one of the fortunate few by outfitting him with proper identification!

  • Support your local shelter or animal rescue group: Show the pets at your local shelter or rescue group that you care by donating time, money, or supplies like pet food, leashes, beds and toys. Call the shelter to see what supplies or services are needed most. Even the smallest effort can make a difference.

  • Foster a homeless pet: It is so true when we say “fostering saves lives” because it does! We can’t rescue an animal in need without a dedicated foster home in place. For more information on fostering, visit our foster page at www.pawprintsinthesand.org/foster. It’s only temporary, but means a lifetime for a pet!