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Caring for Pet Rabbits

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to pet rabbits! Whether you’re considering bringing a bunny into your home or you already have one hopping around, this article will provide you with all the information you need to ensure the well-being of your furry friend. From understanding the unique characteristics of rabbits to their dietary requirements, exercise needs, grooming and hygiene, as well as healthcare and preventive measures, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonderful world of pet rabbits!

Understanding Pet Rabbits

As adorable and gentle creatures, pet rabbits make wonderful companions for individuals and families alike. Whether you are a first-time rabbit owner or considering adding a rabbit to your existing pet family, understanding the basics of pet rabbits is essential.

There are numerous rabbit breeds to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and appearances. From the compact and energetic Netherland Dwarf to the long-haired and majestic Angora, there is a breed to suit every preference. Researching different breeds can help you find the perfect match for your lifestyle and preferences.

When it comes to behavior and temperament, rabbits are known for their curious and social nature. They are intelligent animals that thrive on mental stimulation and interaction. Many rabbits enjoy being petted and cuddled, but it’s important to remember that each rabbit has its own personality. Some may be more independent and prefer their own space, while others may crave constant attention.

Providing the right environment and care for your pet rabbit is crucial for their well-being. This includes a spacious enclosure with plenty of room to hop and play, a balanced diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and rabbit pellets, as well as regular veterinary check-ups to ensure their health.

At Best Friends Pet Care, we understand the unique needs of pet rabbits and provide the highest quality care and products. From rabbit-friendly toys and accessories to expert advice on rabbit care, we are here to support you in creating a happy and fulfilling life for your furry friend.

Preparing for a Pet Rabbit

Before bringing a pet rabbit into your home, it’s important to make sure you are fully prepared. From choosing the right rabbit to setting up a rabbit-friendly environment and gathering essential supplies, taking these steps will ensure a smooth transition and a happy life for your new furry friend.

Choosing the right rabbit:

When selecting a rabbit, consider factors such as size, breed, and temperament. Research different rabbit breeds to find one that matches your lifestyle and preferences. It’s also essential to find a reputable breeder or adopt from a rescue center to ensure the rabbit’s health and well-being.

Setting up a rabbit-friendly environment:

Rabbits need plenty of space to hop, stretch their legs, and explore. Provide a large, safe enclosure that includes a hutch or cage, as well as a separate area for exercise. Ensure the enclosure is secure, with no small gaps or potential hazards. Also, designate a quiet and peaceful area of your home for the rabbit to retreat to when needed.

Essential supplies for rabbit care:

To properly care for your pet rabbit, gather the necessary supplies. These include a suitable litter box and bedding, a water bottle or bowl, a food dish, and appropriate toys for mental stimulation. Additionally, make sure to have a high-quality rabbit food that is specific to their dietary needs. Consult with a veterinarian to ensure you are providing the best nutrition for your rabbit.

Feeding and Nutrition

Feeding and nutrition play a crucial role in keeping your pet rabbit healthy and happy. Providing a

proper diet is essential for their overall well-being. Let’s explore some important aspects of feeding a pet rabbit:

Proper diet for pet rabbits:

Rabbits are herbivores, which means their diet should consist mainly of fresh hay, leafy greens, and a small number of pellets. Hay is an important component of their diet as it helps maintain healthy digestion and wears down their constantly growing teeth. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce provide essential nutrients. Pellets should be high in fiber and low in carbohydrates to prevent obesity.

Safe and healthy treats for rabbits:

While treats can be a great way to bond with your pet rabbit, it’s important to choose them wisely. Avoid sugary or high-fat treats, as they can lead to digestive issues and weight gain. Instead, opt for safe options like small pieces of fresh fruits (in moderation), such as apples or berries. Remember, treats should be given sparingly and should not exceed 5% of their daily diet.

Importance of fresh water and hay:

Fresh water is essential for rabbits to stay hydrated. Make sure to provide clean water in a sipper bottle or a heavy ceramic bowl that cannot tip over easily. Along with water, hay should always be available. Hay not only provides nutrition but also keeps their teeth in good condition. Choose good quality, fresh-smelling hay and replace it regularly.

By following these feeding and nutrition guidelines, you can ensure that your pet rabbit receives a balanced diet, which promotes their overall health and longevity. Remember, always consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary requirements based on your rabbit’s age, breed, and health conditions.

Exercise and Enrichment

Exercise and enrichment are essential for the health and well-being of pet rabbits. By providing them with regular exercise and mental stimulation, you can ensure that they lead a happy and fulfilling life. Here are some tips on creating a rabbit exercise routine, providing mental stimulation, and selecting toys and activities:

Creating a rabbit exercise routine:

Rabbits are naturally active animals and need plenty of space to run, jump, and explore. Ensure that your rabbit has a large, secure enclosure where they can stretch their legs. You can also allow supervised free-roaming time in a rabbit-proofed area of your home or garden. Encourage exercise by providing ramps, tunnels, and platforms for them to explore.

Providing mental stimulation for rabbits:

Rabbits are intelligent creatures that thrive on mental challenges. To keep them mentally stimulated, provide them with a variety of toys and activities. Puzzle toys with hidden treats, cardboard boxes with holes to explore, and interactive toys that encourage movement are all great options. You can also rotate their toys regularly to keep things interesting.

Toys and activities for rabbits:

When selecting toys and activities for your rabbit, choose ones that are safe and appropriate for their size and breed. Avoid toys with small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed. Some popular choices include chew toys, tunnels, balls, and treat-dispensing toys. Remember, each rabbit has its own preferences, so observe your rabbit’s behavior to see what they enjoy the most.

Grooming and Hygiene

Grooming and hygiene are essential aspects of caring for your pet rabbit. Regular grooming not only helps keep your rabbit’s coat clean and free from mats, but it also promotes bonding between you and your furry friend. Here are some important grooming and hygiene practices to keep in mind:

Brushing and grooming your rabbit:

Rabbits have delicate fur that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and remove loose hair. Use a soft brush or a rabbit-specific grooming tool to gently brush your rabbit’s fur in the direction of hair growth. This helps distribute natural oils and prevents hairballs. It’s also a great opportunity to check for any skin issues or parasites.

Maintaining proper hygiene:

Rabbits are naturally clean animals, but they still need your help to maintain their hygiene. Keep their living area clean by regularly removing soiled bedding and ensuring proper ventilation. Additionally, rabbits can be litter trained, which makes cleaning up after them much easier. Make sure to provide your rabbit with fresh water daily and provide a balanced diet to support their overall health.

Nail trimming and dental care:

Trimming your rabbit’s nails is crucial to prevent overgrowth, discomfort, and potential injuries. Use a pair of rabbit nail clippers and carefully trim the tip of each nail, avoiding the quick. Dental care is also important for rabbits as their teeth continuously grow. Provide chew toys and hay to help wear down their teeth naturally and schedule regular veterinary check-ups to ensure their dental health.

By incorporating these grooming and hygiene practices into your rabbit’s routine, you can help keep them happy, healthy, and looking their best.

Healthcare and Preventive Measures

When it comes to keeping your pet rabbit healthy, there are a few important healthcare and preventive measures to consider. Here are some key topics to be aware of:

Finding a rabbit-savvy veterinarian:

It is crucial to find a veterinarian who is experienced and knowledgeable in treating rabbits. Rabbits have unique healthcare needs, so it’s important to find a professional who specializes in their care. You can ask for recommendations from other rabbit owners or search for a rabbit-savvy veterinarian in your area.

Vaccinations and regular check-ups:

Just like any other pet, rabbits require vaccinations to protect them against certain diseases. Regular check-ups are also essential to monitor their overall health and catch any potential issues early on. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the appropriate vaccination schedule and recommend regular check-ups for your pet rabbit.

Common health problems in rabbits:

Rabbits are susceptible to various health problems, and being aware of these issues can help you take preventive measures. Some common health problems in rabbits include dental issues, gastrointestinal stasis, respiratory infections, and parasites. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a clean-living environment can help reduce the risk of these health problems.

By taking these healthcare and preventive measures, you can ensure that your pet rabbit stays healthy and happy. Remember, always consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance based on your rabbit’s specific needs.

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Teeth

As pet owners, it’s important to prioritize our furry friends’ dental health. Just like humans, dogs can experience dental issues that may lead to pain, discomfort, and even more serious health problems. Understanding how to care for your dog’s teeth can help prevent these issues and ensure their overall well-being.

The Importance of Dog Dental Health

Dental health is an essential aspect of your dog’s overall well-being. Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from various dental problems that can impact their health and quality of life. Understanding the importance of dog dental health can help you take better care of your furry friend’s teeth and prevent potential issues.

dog teeth cleaning

Common dental problems in dogs include plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. These issues can be painful for dogs and may lead to more severe health problems if left untreated. Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian can help identify these problems early on.

Knowing the signs of dental disease in dogs is crucial for timely intervention. According to PetMD’s article, there are clear indicators or symptoms to look out for such as:

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Plaque
  • Bad breath
  • Blood in water or food bowls
  • Thick saliva
  • Favoring one side of the mouth
  • Dropping food while eating
  • Facial swelling
  • Rubbing the face with paws

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Poor dental health can have several detrimental effects on your dog’s overall health. Bacteria from dental infections can enter the bloodstream and potentially affect vital organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, dental pain can cause behavioral changes and impact your dog’s appetite and mood.

To maintain good oral hygiene for your dog, preventive measures are key. Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste can help remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup. Providing appropriate chew toys and dental treats can also aid in keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.

Remember, prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to your dog’s dental health. By prioritizing regular dental care and taking preventive measures, you can ensure that your furry friend has a healthy mouth and a happy life.

Caring for Your Dog’s Teeth at Home

Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy is an important part of their overall well-being. Just like humans, dogs can develop dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath if their teeth are not properly cared for. In this article, we will discuss some simple steps you can take to care for your dog’s teeth at home.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is one of the most effective ways to maintain their oral health. Use a toothbrush specifically designed for dogs and a toothpaste that is safe for them to swallow. Never use human toothpaste as it can be toxic to dogs. Start by introducing your dog to the toothbrush and toothpaste gradually, using positive reinforcement and rewards to make the experience positive for them.

When choosing a toothbrush, opt for one with soft bristles and a long handle for easy maneuverability. You can also find toothbrushes that fit over your finger, making it easier to reach all areas of your dog’s mouth. As for toothpaste, look for one that is enzymatic and specifically formulated for dogs. These toothpastes help to break down plaque and tartar, keeping your dog’s teeth clean and their breath fresh. GoodRx Health cautions in their article, “This can be a slow process, and it is important to be patient with your dog. If your dog is ever anxious, stop.”

brush your dog's teeth

If your dog is not comfortable with having their teeth brushed, there are alternative dental care options available. Dental chews and treats can help to remove plaque and tartar buildup while providing a tasty treat for your dog. Look for products that are specifically designed to promote dental health and have the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval.

Establishing a dental care routine is essential for your dog’s oral health. Set aside a specific time each day or week to brush their teeth or give them dental chews. Consistency is key to maintaining their dental hygiene. Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian, who can perform professional cleanings and address any dental issues that may arise.

Professional Dental Care for Dogs

professional dental care

Regular dental check-ups for dogs are essential for maintaining their oral health and overall wellbeing. Just like humans, dogs can develop dental problems such as tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. By scheduling regular dental check-ups with a professional veterinarian, you can ensure that your furry friend’s teeth are in optimal condition.

During a professional teeth cleaning procedure, the veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog’s teeth and gums to identify any signs of dental issues. They will also perform a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, both above and below the gum-line. This procedure is typically done under general anesthesia to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.

When it comes to dental cleanings, there is often a debate between anesthesia and non-anesthesia procedures. Anesthesia dental cleanings are considered the gold standard as they allow for a more thorough cleaning, including scaling and polishing. Non-anesthesia cleanings may be an option for dogs with mild dental issues or for those who cannot tolerate anesthesia due to health concerns. However, non-anesthesia cleanings may not be as effective in removing tartar and addressing underlying dental problems.

Finding a reliable veterinarian for your dog’s dental care is crucial. Look for a veterinarian who specializes in dental procedures and has experience in handling dogs of all sizes and temperaments. Ask for recommendations from fellow dog owners or consult online reviews to find a trustworthy professional. Make sure the veterinarian uses modern dental equipment and follows proper sterilization protocols to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for your pet.

Promoting Good Dental Health Through Diet

Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining your dog’s dental health. The food your dog eats can have a significant impact on the condition of their teeth and gums. By choosing the right diet, you can help promote good dental health for your furry friend.

When selecting dog food, opt for dental-friendly options that are specifically designed to support oral hygiene. Look for products that are formulated to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, as these can lead to gum disease and other dental issues. Additionally, choose products that are made with high-quality ingredients and contain essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall dental health.

In addition to dental-friendly food, incorporating dental treats into your dog’s diet can also be beneficial. Look for treats that are designed to promote dental health, such as those with a textured surface that helps remove plaque and tartar. These treats can serve as a supplement to your dog’s regular dental care routine.

dog dental treats

While commercial dental treats can be effective, natural chewing options can also contribute to your dog’s dental health. Raw bones, bully sticks, and specially designed dental chews made from natural ingredients can help clean your dog’s teeth and exercise their jaws. However, it’s important to supervise your dog while they chew to prevent any potential choking hazards.

Lastly, it’s crucial to prevent excessive chewing, as it can lead to dental problems. Provide appropriate chew toys and discourage your dog from chewing on hard objects like rocks or furniture, as this can cause tooth fractures or breakages.

A Comprehensive Guide to Nurturing Senior Pets

As pet owners, we share a unique bond with our furry companions that transcends time. Our pets grow with us, becoming cherished members of the family. As the years go by, our pets age just as we do, and caring for senior pets comes with its own set of joys and responsibilities. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the beauty of adopting and caring for senior pets, addressing their needs, health considerations, and the unique rewards that come with offering a loving home to these wise and gentle souls.

The Joys of Adopting Senior Pets

The beauty of adopting a senior pet lies in their maturity. Their personalities are fully formed, and their calm and gentle demeanor makes them excellent companions for individuals and families alike. Typically they may have lower energy than a puppy and are house broken. Seniors, looking to be adopted, need us as much as we need them as they are often overlooked in shelters.

Building a bond with a pet takes time and the bond is the foundation for the relationship. Pets and pet parents with a strong bond have a higher success rate with training and presenting good behavior in public. When adopting an older pet, this bond often forms quickly. Older pets seem to understand the gift of a second chance, and the loyalty and affection they show in return are heartwarming.

Understanding the Needs of Senior Pets

Senior pets have different nutritional needs compared to their younger counterparts. High-quality senior pet foods cater to their changing dietary requirements, promoting joint health, and maintaining a healthy weight. If medical conditions arise, a senior pet may need specific food that can be prescribed by a veterinarian.

As with all pets, frequent veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor their health. With senior pets, it is even more imperative. Preventive measures and early intervention can address age-related concerns and ensure your pet’s well-being.

As pets age their needs change. With these changes they may require adjustments to their living space. Some senior pets may need soft bedding, ramps for easier access, and a warm and cozy environment to maintain a state of comfort.

Health Considerations for Senior Pets

One of the most important things to keep your pet enriched and satisfied is daily exercise. Although senior pets may experience a decrease in energy levels, regular exercise remains vital. Consider low-impact activities, like gentle walks and interactive play, to help maintain their mobility and prevent obesity.

Dental health starts with teeth, but can impact the entire body. As pets age, keeping on top of their dental health is of utmost importance. Regular dental cleanings and a proper dental care routine help prevent dental disease, which can lead to more significant health issues.

Senior pets are more prone to chronic health conditions such as arthritis, kidney disease, and diabetes. Working closely with your veterinarian to manage these conditions through medication, dietary adjustments, and monitoring is essential.

The Rewards of Adopting Senior Pets

Senior pets are often overlooked in shelters compared to their younger counterparts. However, they offer companionship that is rooted in experience. Their presence adds a sense of calm and serenity to your home, enriching your life in immeasurable ways.

Unfortunately, our pets have shorter life spans than us, but you can extend the life of a senior by providing a loving home, diligent oversight, and comfort. By adopting a senior pet, you’re giving a deserving pet a chance to spend their golden years in comfort and love. Your kindness and compassion can profoundly impact their quality of life.

Despite their age, senior pets have an incredible capacity for love. They form deep bonds with their caregivers and shower them with loyalty, gratitude, and unwavering affection.

Conclusion

Welcoming a senior pet into your home is an act of kindness that’s immeasurable. These wise souls have so much to offer, from the wisdom of age to the unwavering love they bring into our lives. By embracing the joys and challenges of caring for senior pets, we honor the beautiful journey we share with them. The rewards are plentiful, and the memories you create together will remain etched in your heart forever.

Interested in learning more? Download our Top Five Tips for Providing Optimal Care to Senior Pets Guide.

Guide to Responsible Dog Ownership: Nurturing a Lifelong Bond

When a pet parent brings a dog into their life it is a joyful and rewarding experience, but it also comes with great responsibility. A dog pet parent’s duty is to provide their furry friends with a loving home, proper care, and the attention they need to thrive. Responsible dog ownership goes beyond simply feeding and sheltering their pets; it involves creating a nurturing environment that ensures their well-being, happiness, and a strong human-animal bond. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key aspects of responsible dog ownership, offering insights and practical tips to help pet parents become the best dog owner they can be.

Research and Preparation

Before bringing a dog home, it is essential for a potential pet parent to research different breeds or mixtures of breeds to find a dog that aligns with their lifestyle, energy level, and living situation. When researching breeds, consideration should be made regarding size, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and temperament to ensure a good match. Understanding a dog’s breed characteristics and potential health issues will help a potential pet parent anticipate and address specific needs effectively.  

Adoption or Responsible Breeder

Responsible dog ownership begins with the source of a new pet companion. Consider adopting from a local animal shelter or rescue organization, giving a second chance to a deserving dog. These dogs often make fantastic pets and can bring immense a pet parent’s life. Pet parents opting to go with a breeder, should ensure that the breeder has a reputation for responsible breeding practices, including health testing, socialization, and proper care for the puppies and their parents.

Proper Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are crucial for a well-behaved and balanced dog. It also builds a great foundation for the pet parent – pet relationship so that it can flourish. New pet parents should consider enrolling their new furry friend in a positive reinforcement-based training class or work with a professional dog trainer to establish basic obedience commands. Socializing a dog with people, other animals, and various environments from an early age builds their confidence and ensures they can adapt to different situations throughout their lives.

Regular Veterinary Care

Maintaining a dog’s health is paramount to responsible ownership. It is important to schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor their overall well-being, receive necessary vaccinations, and address any potential health concerns promptly. Following a veterinarian’s advice regarding preventive treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworms ensures that preventative measures are in place. Spaying or neutering your dog is also essential to prevent unwanted litters and certain health issues.

Nutrition and Exercise

Providing a well-balanced diet is fundamental to a dog’s health. Often, a veterinarian can provide recommendations on diet and nutrition to determine the appropriate type and amount of food for your dog based on their age, size, and activity level. They will also provide tips to avoid overfeeding or relying on unhealthy table scraps, as obesity can lead to various health complications. Regular exercise is equally important, as it helps maintain a healthy weight, mental stimulation, and a release for your dog’s energy. It is also helpful to tailor the exercise routine to your dog’s needs, whether it’s daily walks, runs, or playtime in a fenced yard.

Safety and Environment

Having a safe environment for a dog, both inside and outside of the home, will set them up for success. Ensure that a dog has proper identification, including a collar with tags and a microchip with up-to-date contact information. Keep hazardous substances, plants, and small objects out of their reach. Secure the yard with a fence to prevent them from wandering off and expose them to dangerous situations. When taking a dog for a walk, use a secure leash and harness to maintain control and prevent accidents.

Mental Stimulation and Enrichment

Dogs are intelligent animals that thrive on mental stimulation and enrichment. Providing a dog with interactive toys, puzzles, and games will engage their minds and prevent boredom. Regularly rotating their toys will keep them fresh and exciting. Set aside dedicated playtime and engage in activities that challenge their problem-solving skills, such as hiding treats around the house or teaching them new tricks. Mental stimulation not only keeps a dog happy but also strengthens the bond between pet and pet parent.

Time, Love, and Attention

Dogs are social animals and require significant time, love, and attention from their owners. When getting a dog, pet owners should be ready to invest the necessary time to provide for their needs. Dogs crave companionship and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Committing to regular interaction with a dog, giving them with affection, and including them in family activities helps a pup feel connected. Daily walks, grooming sessions, and cuddle time are all opportunities to strengthen the bond and show love and commitment.

Conclusion

Being a responsible dog owner is a commitment that extends far beyond the initial excitement of bringing a dog home. It requires dedication, patience, and a genuine desire to provide the best possible care for a new furry friend. By researching and preparing, training and socializing, prioritizing health and nutrition, ensuring a safe environment, and offering mental stimulation and love, a lifelong bond can be fostered. Remember, responsible dog ownership is a rewarding journey that brings immeasurable joy and companionship to both pet parent and four-legged friend.

The Ultimate Guide to Cats

Cats have captivated our hearts for centuries with their mysterious nature, grace, and unwavering affection. As pets, they offer companionship, entertainment, and a unique bond that warms our souls. Let’s explore the multitude of reasons why cats make exceptional pets, learn about common cat breeds, unravel the intriguing layers of their typical behavior, discuss key considerations when adopting a cat, and shed light on potential health issues that cat owners should be aware of. Whether you’re a passionate feline enthusiast or contemplating the joy of bringing a cat into your home, this guide will deepen your understanding and appreciation of these remarkable creatures.

Why Cats Make Great Pets

Cats possess a range of qualities that make them beloved companions and cherished pets. They can fit well within a person’s lifestyle who enjoys playful interaction along with periods of independence. They also don’t take up much space so they are common pets for folks in urban settings.

Top 4 Qualities that Make Cats Great Pets

1. Independent Spirit:

Cats are known for their independent nature, which appeals to many pet owners. They appreciate their personal space and are self-sufficient animals capable of entertaining themselves. Their ability to balance independence and companionship is a unique characteristic that sets them apart.

2. Affectionate Nature:

Despite their independent streak, cats form deep bonds with their human companions. They express their affection through gentle purring, head rubs, and cuddling, providing comfort and warmth. The sense of companionship and unconditional love they offer is invaluable.

3. Playful Demeanor:

Cats are renowned for their playful and mischievous personalities. They possess an innate curiosity that leads them to explore their surroundings, engage in acrobatic jumps, and chase after toys. Their playful nature is a constant source of entertainment and amusement.

4. Easy Maintenance:

Cats are generally low-maintenance pets. They are meticulous groomers, keeping their coats clean and shiny. Additionally, their litter box habits are usually easy to manage, making them convenient pets for individuals or families with busy lifestyles.

Common Types of Cats

The feline world is diverse, showcasing a wide array of cat breeds with distinct characteristics. There are domestic long or short haired cats which are the most common and then more unique breeds like Siamese and Persian cats. With each cat breed there are specific traits that help guide potential pet parents on the right type for them. Domestic shorthair cats are the most common type of cats. They are known for their diverse coat colors and patterns. They are adaptable, healthy, and possess friendly temperaments, making them suitable for various households. They are commonly found in shelters looking for a forever home. Siamese cats are instantly recognizable with their striking blue eyes, short coat, and color-point patterns. They are highly sociable, intelligent, and often vocal, seeking interaction and forming strong bonds with their human companions. This cat breed may be more difficult to find within the shelter space as they are not as common as domestic shorthair cats. Maine Coon cats are renowned for their large size, tufted ears, and bushy tails. They have friendly, sociable personalities and are often referred to as gentle giants. Maine Coons can easily adapt to different living environments and tend to get along well with other pets.
Maine Coon
Persian cats are known for their long, luxurious coats and distinctive flat faces. They have calm and gentle personalities, preferring a serene indoor lifestyle. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their beautiful coat.

Typical Cat Behavior

Understanding cat behavior is essential for nurturing a harmonious relationship with your feline companion. Your cat may seem to be acting funny to you, but with a little research you can discover a meaning for their actions and enable you to embrace what is part of their nature. An important aspect of felines are their hunting instincts. Cats have an inherent hunting instinct, which even domesticated cats retain. This instinct is evident in their stalking, pouncing, and chasing behaviors, particularly during playtime. Providing appropriate toys and play sessions can help satisfy this natural inclination. Cats communicate through a combination of vocalizations, body language, and facial expressions. Meowing, purring, hissing, and tail movements are all forms of communication used by cats to express their needs, emotions, and intentions. Paying attention to these cues can foster effective communication and understanding. Grooming is important for most animals and especially felines. Cats are meticulous groomers, dedicating a significant amount of time to grooming their fur. This behavior not only helps them maintain a clean and healthy coat but also serves as a way to relax and soothe themselves. Regular brushing can strengthen the bond between you and your cat while promoting their well-being. Cat grooming himself

What to Consider When Adopting a Cat

Adopting a cat is a significant commitment that requires careful consideration. One must consider their needs in both the short and long term to ensure that they can make the commitment. They have a specific lifestyle that may or may not match closely to yours. One must also consider potential allergies to cats and future costs that may arise as your cat requires medical attention. Here are key factors to contemplate before welcoming a feline companion into your home:
  • Lifestyle Compatibility: Assess your lifestyle, living situation, and daily routines to ensure they align with cat ownership. Consider factors such as available space, time availability for interaction and care, and the activity level you can provide for your cat. Some cat breeds require more attention and activity than others.
  • Allergies: Determine if anyone in your household has allergies to cats. Additionally, if you have other pets, consider their compatibility with a new feline member. Proper introductions and gradual integration can help facilitate a harmonious coexistence.
  • Financial Responsibility: Owning a cat entails financial obligations, including food, litter, toys, regular veterinary care, and potential medical expenses. Consider your budget and ensure you can provide the necessary resources to maintain your cat’s health and well-being.

Potential Cat Health Issues

While cats are generally healthy animals, they can be susceptible to certain health issues. Being aware of these conditions can help you provide proper care and seek veterinary assistance when needed. These are the most common health issues seen within the feline community:
  • Obesity: Obesity is a common health concern in cats and can lead to various associated problems, such as diabetes, joint issues, and heart disease. Monitoring your cat’s weight, providing a balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise can help prevent obesity.
  • Dental Problems: Cats can develop dental issues, including tartar buildup, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Regular dental care, such as teeth brushing or dental treats, can help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental complications.
  • Urinary Tract Issues: Cats are prone to urinary tract problems, including urinary tract infections and bladder stones. Ensuring proper hydration, offering a balanced diet, and providing access to clean litter boxes can help minimize the risk of these issues.

Conclusion

Cats are extraordinary companions, enriching our lives with their unique personalities, independent nature, and unwavering affection. Their diverse breeds, captivating behaviors, and health considerations contribute to the depth of our understanding and appreciation of these remarkable creatures. By embracing the joys and responsibilities of cat ownership, we embark on a journey of mutual love, companionship, and endless fascination.

Pet Adoption: Everything You Need to Know

Adopting a pet can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Not only will you be gaining a new companion, but you’ll also be helping an animal in need. However, there are many things to consider when adopting a pet. Read this helpful compilation of the most important aspects of pet adoption from considering adoption to bringing a new pet home.  

Responsibilities of Pet Ownership

Before adopting a pet, one should consider the responsibilities involved with pet ownership. It can be up to a 20-year commitment, for some pets, so it is important to be in it for the long haul. To better understand the time, effort, and resources involved, we’ve outlined what to expect:
  1. Providing food and water

It’s important to provide your pet with a well-balanced diet and fresh water every day. Depending on the species and breed of your pet, their dietary requirements may vary, so it’s important to research and provide appropriate nutrition.
  1. Providing exercise and playtime

Most pets require regular exercise and playtime to stay healthy and happy. Dogs, for example, require daily walks and outdoor playtime, while cats and smaller pets may need opportunities to climb, play, and explore.
  1. Providing shelter

Your pet needs a safe and comfortable place to sleep and rest. This may include a bed, crate, or designated area in your home.
  1. Providing medical care

Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care, such as vaccinations and parasite control, are essential to your pet’s health. It’s also important to seek medical care promptly if your pet is showing signs of illness or injury. Adopting Cat Medical Needs
  1. Providing socialization

Many pets, especially dogs, require regular socialization with people and other animals to prevent behavioral problems and promote positive interactions. Consider your local doggy daycare program at a pet care facility near you.
  1. Providing training and enrichment

Training and enrichment activities, such as obedience training and puzzle toys, can help stimulate your pet’s mind and prevent boredom. Hiring an experienced pet trainer can help streamline this process and make the learning more impactful.
  1. Meeting legal requirements

Depending on where you live, there may be legal requirements for pet ownership, such as licensing, leash laws, and vaccination requirements.
  1. Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning up after your pet, such as scooping litter boxes or picking up dog waste, is an important part of responsible pet ownership. It’s also important to keep your pet’s living area clean and well-maintained.   By taking on these responsibilities and providing a safe, loving home for your pet, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your furry friend. However, if you feel unable to meet these responsibilities, it may be best to hold off on pet ownership until you are ready.  

What to Consider Before Adopting a Pet

Adopting a pet can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience, but it’s important to consider a few key factors before making the commitment. Some considerations will help you determine the type of pet that best meets your needs and fits best into your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle:

Consider your lifestyle and how it will fit with the needs of a pet. It’s important to make sure you can provide a safe and happy home for your new furry friend.
  • Do you have a lot of free time to devote to a pet’s care and exercise needs?
  • Can you afford the cost of food, vet bills, and other pet-related expenses?
  • Are you willing and able to adjust your lifestyle if the pet needs additional care, training, etc.?

Your living situation:

Your living situation is also an important factor to consider when adopting a pet. Make sure your living situation is suitable for the type of pet you want to adopt.
  • Do you live in a house with a yard or an apartment with limited space?
  • Is your home pet-friendly, with no dangerous or toxic items around?
  • Are you willing to pet-proof your house and are you ok if your furniture, etc. gets dirty or destroyed from a pet?

Your family:

If you have a family, it’s important to consider how a new pet will fit in. It’s important to make sure everyone is prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership.
  • Do any family members have allergies or phobias related to pets?
  • Is everyone on board with the idea of adopting a new pet?
  • Will everyone assist in raising the pet or have you determined how the care will be divided among your family members?

Your schedule:

Consider your work and social schedule, as well as any travel plans you may have.
  • Can you make sure your pet is fed, exercised, and cared for while you’re away?
  • If not, can you find a reliable pet sitter or boarding facility to provide care?

Your expectations:

Think about what you want from a pet, and make sure you choose a pet that fits those expectations. Understanding your expectations and choosing a pet that fits them can help ensure a successful adoption.
  • Do you want a lap dog to cuddle with or a high-energy dog to take on runs?
  • Do you want a low-maintenance pet or one that requires a lot of attention and training?
  • Are you willing to meet your pets need based on the type of breed that you adopt? High energy pets require more activity.

Your experience with pets:

If you’re a first-time pet owner, it’s important to choose a pet that’s suited to your experience level. Some pets, like cats, are generally low-maintenance and easy to care for, while others, like dogs, require more time and training. Consider your experience with pets and choose a pet that fits your level of expertise.
  • Am I willing to learn about my pet, what he needs, how to best care for him, etc.?
  • What are my reasons for adopting a pet?
By considering these factors before adopting a pet, you can help ensure a successful and fulfilling adoption. Remember, pet ownership is a long-term commitment, and it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility before making the commitment. With careful consideration and preparation, you can provide a loving and safe home for your new furry friend.  

Types of Pets to Adopt

There are many types of pets that you can adopt, each with their own unique needs and characteristics. Some of the most popular types of pets include dogs, cats, birds, fish, and rodents. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types of pets. Dogs: Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world, and for good reason. They’re loyal, affectionate, and make great companions. However, they also require a lot of time, attention, and exercise. If you’re considering adopting a dog, make sure you have the time and resources to care for them properly. Cats: Cats are another popular choice for pet adoption. They’re independent creatures that require less attention than dogs, but they still need daily care and affection. They’re also great for people with allergies, as they produce fewer allergens than dogs. Birds: Birds can make great pets for people who are looking for a more interactive companion. They can be trained to do tricks, and many species are known for their singing abilities. However, birds can also be noisy and messy, and they require a lot of attention and care. Fish: Fish are a popular choice for people who are looking for a low-maintenance pet. They require very little attention, and they can be a calming presence in your home. However, setting up and maintaining an aquarium can be expensive and time-consuming. Rodents: Rodents, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats, can make great pets for people who are looking for a smaller companion. They’re relatively low-maintenance and can be a great option for people who live in apartments or smaller homes. However, they still require daily care and attention. Whether big or small, adopting a pet requires several considerations to determine which type will best suit you. Some may require more time and space while others may be relatively low-maintenance. By assessing your needs and considering your future pet’s needs – you can discover a pet that is right for you.  

Steps for Adopting a Pet

Adopting a pet is a wonderful way to add a new member to your family while also providing a loving home to an animal in need. However, the process of adopting a pet can seem daunting if you’re not familiar with it. We will outline the steps you need to take to adopt a pet:

Step 1: Determine What Kind of Pet is Right for You

Before you begin the adoption process, it’s important to consider what kind of pet is best suited for your lifestyle. This includes factors such as the size of your home, how much time you must dedicate to caring for a pet, and what kind of activity level you can provide. If you have a small apartment and work long hours, a high-energy dog might not be the best fit for you. If you have allergies, a cat or another type of animal might be a better option.

Step 2: Find a Local Animal Shelter or Rescue Group

There are many places to adopt a pet, including local animal shelters, rescue groups, and even pet stores. We recommend starting with a local animal shelter or rescue group, as they often have a variety of pets available for adoption and can help match you with the right animal. You can easily find local shelters and rescue groups online by searching for “animal shelter” or “pet rescue” in your area. There is also an adoption program called Your New Best Friend that highlights partner shelter and foster organizations with adoptable pets.

Step 3: Visit the Shelter or Rescue Group

Once you’ve found a shelter or rescue group that you’re interested in, the next step is to visit them in person. This will allow you to meet the animals and see if any of them would be a good fit for your family. Many shelters and rescue groups allow visitors to spend time with the animals in a designated area, so you can get a sense of their personality and temperament.

Step 4: Fill Out an Adoption Application

If you’ve found an animal that you want to adopt, the next step is to fill out an adoption application. This application will typically ask for basic information such as your name, address, and phone number, as well as questions about your experience with pets and your living situation. It’s important to be honest when filling out the application, as shelters and rescue groups want to make sure that the animals are going to a safe and loving home.

Step 5: Meet with an Adoption Counselor

Once you’ve filled out the adoption application, you’ll typically meet with an adoption counselor. This person will review your application, ask additional questions, and help you make sure that the animal you’re interested in is a good fit for your lifestyle. They’ll also go over any medical or behavioral issues that the animal may have, so you’re fully aware of what to expect.

Step 6: Pay the Adoption Fee

Most shelters and rescue groups charge an adoption fee to help cover the cost of caring for the animals. The fee typically includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and any other medical treatment the animal may have received while in the shelter or rescue group’s care. Adoption fees can vary widely depending on the organization and the type of animal you’re adopting, but they’re typically much lower than the cost of buying a pet from a breeder or pet store.

Step 7: Take Your New Pet Home

Once you’ve completed the adoption process, it’s time to take your new pet home! Make sure you have everything you need to make your pet comfortable, including food, water, bedding, and toys. It’s also a good idea to schedule a visit with a veterinarian to make sure your new pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations.  

Preparing Your Home for a New Pet

Preparing your home for a new pet is an important step in the adoption process. It helps ensure that your new furry friend is safe and comfortable in their new environment. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home for a new pet.
  • Set up a designated space: Before bringing your new pet home, set up a designated area where they can eat, sleep, and play. This will help them feel more comfortable and secure in their new environment. Make sure the space is free from hazards and has plenty of room for your pet to move around.
  • Pet-proof your home: Pets can be curious and like to explore their surroundings, so it’s important to make sure your home is safe for them. Remove any toxic plants, secure electrical cords, and put away any small objects that your pet could choke on.
  • Invest in pet supplies: Make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your new pet, including food, water bowls, bedding, toys, and a crate or carrier. These supplies will not only make your pet feel more comfortable but will also help you establish a routine.
  • Prepare for accidents: Accidents happen, especially when you bring a new pet home. Have cleaning supplies on hand to clean up any messes and consider investing in pet-specific stain and odor removers.
  • Introduce other pets slowly: If you have other pets at home, it’s important to introduce them to your new pet slowly. Allow them to sniff each other through a closed door and supervise their interactions until you’re confident that they can get along.
  • Plan for training: Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an older dog, training is an important part of pet ownership. Consider enrolling your pet in obedience classes or working with a professional trainer to help them learn basic commands.
  • Create a schedule: Establishing a routine is important for both you and your new pet. Set up a schedule for feeding, walking, and playtime, and stick to it as closely as possible. This will help your pet adjust to their new home and feel more secure.\
How to Prepare Your Home for a New Pet By taking the time to prepare your home for a new pet, you’ll be setting both you and your furry friend up for a happy and healthy life together. Remember to be patient and understanding as your pet adjusts to their new environment, and don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if you have any questions or concerns.

Introducing a New Pet to Your Family and Other Pets

Introducing a new pet to your family and other pets can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. It’s important to take things slowly and make sure everyone is comfortable and safe during the introduction process. We’ve outlined what we believe to be the most important steps to take.

Prepare your home:

Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you have a designated space for them to eat, sleep, and play. This will help your new pet feel more secure in their new environment. Also, make sure your home is pet-proofed and free from any hazards.

Introduce new family members first:

If you have children or other family members who will be interacting with your new pet, introduce them first. Make sure they know how to approach the new pet slowly and calmly and give them the opportunity to get to know the pet at their own pace.

Introduce pets on neutral ground:

When introducing your new pet to other pets in your household, it’s best to do so on neutral ground. This means taking them to a park or other outdoor space where they can meet and get to know each other without any territorial issues.

Introduce pets gradually:

When introducing pets, it’s important to take things slowly. Start by allowing them to sniff each other from a distance and gradually move closer together. Always supervise their interactions and separate them if things start to get tense.

Use positive reinforcement:

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage good behavior from your pets during the introduction process. Reward your pets with treats or praise when they exhibit calm, relaxed behavior around each other.

Be patient:

Introducing a new pet to your family and other pets can take time, so be patient. Don’t force interactions and let everyone get to know each other at their own pace. With time and patience, your pets will learn to get along and become great friends.

Seek professional help if necessary:

If your pets are not getting along or there are signs of aggression or fear, seek professional help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide guidance and support to help your pets get along and live happily together. Introducing a new pet to your family and other pets can be a rewarding and fun experience. By taking things slowly and using positive reinforcement, you can help ensure a smooth transition and a happy life together. Remember to be patient, supervise interactions, and seek professional help if necessary.  

Conclusion

Adopting a new pet is a life altering decision. You must ensure that your expectations are reasonable and align with the pet you are hoping to adopt. Make sure you research your pet type and ask yourself important questions so that you have a successful start. Pet ownership comes with responsibilities and easing your new pet into your home requires patience, time, and energy.  

Why Cats Make Good Companions

Pet owners usually fall into two camps: Dog People and Cat People. And while we believe that both make great companions, there are certain benefits of cat ownership that stand out. Yes, we know they are finicky, feisty, and generally aloof, but on the same token, cats can be wonderful companions. Here is a list of our Top 8 Reasons Cats Make Good Companions:

#1 Cats are Quiet

Let me preface this – cats make noise. Some cats meow whenever they want something and some meows can be loud. This is on purpose. Cats meow to communicate with people – to say hello, ask for things, and to tell us if something is wrong. What is interesting is that adult cats don’t meow at other cats. They save this as a special way to talk to their human loved ones. However, though some cats may be extra vocal, it is unlikely that you will receive a noise complaint due to a cat compared to what you might encounter with a dog. Cats are pretty content sleeping all day and getting up for the occasional crunch of their food.

#2 Cats are Low Maintenance

Cats are small. They don’t require much space. They don’t need to go for walks or go outside. They clean themselves. Cats are low maintenance compared to other pets. They need fresh water, food, and a clean litter space. Oh, and the occasional treat. Check out these Top 7 Cat Needs.

#3 Cats Make Great Apartment Pets

Cats are great companions for apartment living. They are very self-sufficient and require less training than a dog. They also thrive on vertical space. In an apartment, with limited floor space, cats can benefit from perches and shelves that allow them to explore the height within an apartment. Cats are also entertained by looking outside at birds, squirrels, and other outdoor life. Keeping a cat engaged is fun and simple. Most cat toys involve an element of chasing and pouncing. These are all games that they can play within a small apartment – it’s important to keep them engaged.

#4 Cats are Independent

Independence and cats go hand-in-hand and is deeply rooted. Unlike dogs, cats are solitary predators. They must hunt alone and, in fact, their methods of stalking, hiding, and pouncing would not be successful if done in a group. Though they may seem like they would prefer to be alone, most cats enjoy the company of their favorite human. They can spend hours snuggled up beside you while periodically glancing up with an adoring face.

#5 Cats have a Long Lifespan

It’s been said that cats have nine lives and it often feels that way when we watch them jump from a high ledge or squeeze into tiny spaces. Factors such as diet, healthcare, and environment can have an impact on how long a cat can live. Some domestic cats can live up to 20 years old! However, on average, a cat lives 15 years compared to 12 years, the average for dogs. They are great companions for the long haul.

#6 Cats are Good for Your Health

While it has been noted that pet ownership, in general, can provide a wide variety of health benefits, there are some reserved specifically for cats. They can:

  • LOWER STRESS AND ANXIETY: One session of petting or playing with a cat can leave you feeling great. There is scientific evidence that a cat’s purr can calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure.

  • IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: Cat owners have been reported to carry a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

  • PREVENT ALLERGIES: If a child is exposed to cats within the first few years of life, they are more likely to develop an immune system that combats both cat allergens and other kinds as well.

  • REDUCE LONELINESS: They make great companions and provide unconditional love!

#7 Cats Cost Less than Dogs

According to the ASPCA, owning a cat instead of a dog can save you between $300-$800 per year. Since dogs are bigger than cats they have bigger demands. Cats require fewer food, toys, and supplies compared to dogs. Also, veterinary costs tend to be less expensive with cats. So, if you’re into saving money then a cat would make a great companion.

#8 Cats are Entertaining

For the same reasons our cats annoy us they also provide us entertainment. Cats are sassy. They make their own rules and if we get in the way are not afraid to serve up one of their looks with “cattitude”. The glares they give us are funny. Cats also hide in the strangest places. If you haven’t spent the afternoon searching indoors for your cat, then you haven’t been a cat owner long enough. Cats will make their sleeping spots in any place left unattended – leave a closet, cupboard, or dresser drawer open and expect a cat to waltz in. Cats are also entertaining in the way that they play. They can spend hours chasing a laser light or a toy mouse. They will pounce, flip, jump, twist and turn to get the toy. It’s hard not to smile. You might not need a TV once you get a cat.

Black Cats are Good Companions Too

With all the reasons listed above, it is evident that cats make great companions. They are easy to take care of and independent and give so much in return. If you are thinking about adopting a cat, then consider a black one. Black cats have been given a bad rap because of myths and fears surrounding black cats. And, because of this, they spend longer in shelters compared to other cats and are more likely to be overlooked.

 

Top 3 Reasons To Foster A Shelter Pet

By Christine A. Bournias

dog with pet foster

What Is Pet Fostering?

The sad reality is that shelters are overcrowded and simply cannot host the volume of furry bodies in need. Fostering is a way to provide temporary care and/or housing for these animals that need to live in a home environment prior to adoption.

By no fault of their own, most often animals are hurt or have serious illnesses that can’t be overcome. Some have insurmountable surgeries that can’t be performed because the animal is too far gone or too old for critical care. These animals, especially senior animals, often are misplaced and are much more difficult to place.

dog back sitting in park on leash

Worse, certain animals are often discriminated against based on their appearance. Unfortunately, the Black Dog Syndrome is real and common amongst shelters. It comes down to which animals have a better chance of adoption. While the numbers are improving, black dogs and cats are more difficult to adopt.

DID YOU KNOW?
October 1 is National Black Dog Day! “A 1998 study of 1,468 dogs offered for adoption at a local Humane Society did find that dogs with black fur were a factor in whether they got adopted. However, at the same time in 2008, the general manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services found that in a 12-month period covering 30,046 dogs, slightly more dogs that were completely or predominantly black were adopted than dogs that were not. And these two aren’t the only contradictory studies.” —Ceasarsway.com, Why Black Dogs Are Less Likely To Be Adopted

Many rescue organizations that don’t have a brick and mortar building in order to host the volume of animals that need shelter are typically run by Foster Pet Parents alone.

Fostering is ideal for some people, but not so much for others. Nonetheless, you must be prepared for all the responsibilities that go along with caring for different animals that may not be your first pick.

man with cat closeup

Why Do Rescue Organizations Need You To Foster?

Global animal welfare organizations need to relieve overcrowding and place needy animals in permanent forever homes.

And foster homes are in dire need.

When an animal is given the chance to live in a temporary, yet safe and supportive sanctuary, their chances for adoption increase exponentially.

This mission of any shelter is for needy animals to live out their lives in a forever home.

Due to the 2020 pandemic , many shelters hastened their efforts to ‘clear the shelters.’ While that sounds good in theory, it’s more important than ever to make sure these animals remain in loving homes.

Fostering or adopting a pet during time “at home” is wonderful. But as you transition back to your life as you know it—and return back to their semi-regular schedule—make sure that you’re fostering for the betterment of the animal.

Always stay just as committed to your furry companion through any unexpected life circumstances. Foster because you’re truly able to do it, not because you’re ‘bored.’.

Scenarios That Call For Temporary Homes:

  • An animal that suffers from anxiety of shelter stress, especially animals that need extra attention. As they await permanent residence in a foster home, their stress diminishes and they become better acclimated to the life of everyday human home life.
  • Abandoned, neglected, or abused animals benefit from a healthy human bond
  • Disabled, ill, injured, or senior animals that need dedicated medical attention
  • Animals in need of socialization and training for a family environment
  • People who suffer an area emergency or disaster. Animals displaced due to natural disasters are often awaiting reunion with their families. As these families work to re-establish their lives, they rely heavily on pet fosters.
  • Nursing cats and dogs
  • Young kittens and puppies that are too young to be adopted

dog near window with sun shining in

A Shelter Has A Responsibility To Their Animals

Just because you’re fostering, doesn’t mean it’s not as serious as adopting.

Look to an organization that will match animals with homes that best fit the needs of both the animal and the pet foster’s lifestyle. A reputable rescue organization will conduct a thorough vetting process and will find unique ways to save lives and ensure a successful fostering experience.

What An Organization Looks For In A Foster Pet Parent:

  • High level of commitment
  • Serious ONLY applicants
  • Financial security
  • Animal experience
  • Patience and understanding of shelter’s thorough vetting process

To minimize potential disharmony, shelter experts recommend keeping foster pets and their existing furry companions apart at certain times.When it comes to acknowledging an existing household environment, experienced Foster Pet Parents make sure to have a balance between moderate separation and proper socialization. For example, Foster Pet Parents may walk their own dogs together, but will chose to separate them for playtime and meals.

woman holding dog

A Foster Family Has A Responsibility To A Shelter Animal

Just like searching for the perfect adoptee for the animal’s forever home, a reputable rescue organization will also seek out an ideal candidate for pet fostering as well.

The organization who arranges your fostering journey should provide proper information about the animal you’re about to foster. Inquiry about your shelter pet’s entire medical history and temperament before bringing the shelter animal to meet the rest of the family—including other fur family members is a must.

boy with dog on yellow sofa

Make sure that the rescue organization is straightforward with you on either a clean bill of health or other pre-existing concerns that the shelter animal may have. If your animal is sick from the beginning, know what you’re getting yourself into.

The rescue or shelter needs to tell you any and all conditions upfront. Be sure that you have access and disclosure as to the animals health history, as well as their complete Veterinarian’s directives.

You’ll be assigned to take your foster to their Veterinarian visits with medical expenses covered by the organization. In order to increase their adoption chances, you’ll be asked to attend adoption events with your foster pet

When it comes to essential supplies, training, and special needs, there’s typically a pivot contact person from the shelter. That contact person should be able to provide you access to proper veterinary care or health & wellness clinics, as well as a 24-hour emergency number, should a problem arise.

vet with cat

Do YOU Have The Right Stuff To Foster?

Not certain you have what it takes to foster a shelter animal? While fostering is a heroic gesture, it isn’t the right choice for all. Therefore, it’s important to make a wise and foresighted decision.

A Foster Pet Parent has a vital role to play in this animal’s life. Fostering a shelter pet shouldn’t be taken lightly. Fosters are essential for the health and well-being of the animal.

As a temporary guardian to a dog or cat in need, Foster Pet Parents are the animal’s advocate. You represent them to the public and are their voice.

Why NOT you?

dog bandaged paw

How Do You Foster Without Falling In Love?

The rescue organization has approached you with the idea of fostering an animal from the rescue organization you support. Now what?

Remember, if you foster an animal, don’t think you won’t fall in love with them. You do fall in love. But, you’re fostering shelter animals to save lives.

“Fostering provides a great way for shelter animals to transition to a new home. When an animal in need receives the opportunity to live in a home environment, the fostering experience teaches the animal basic house manners, as well as the chance to socialize with people and other animals. It’s your opportunity to help animals without a long term commitment.” —Nicole A.

Fostering is one of the most unselfish things you can do for the love of an animal in need.

Foster = Love

Shelter animals usually find you, not the other way around. You have to decide if fostering a shelter animal is for you. Is it the right timing in your life—and do you have the resilience to do so?

woman with dog at park

What It Takes To Foster

Inner strength.

People will impose their beliefs on you and tell you that they just could never foster. Don’t let their own weaknesses deter you.

Be prepared, they’ll ask these questions:

  • “Why do you foster? (I couldn’t do it.)”
  • “How can you be a Foster Pet Parent without getting attached?”
  • “Doesn’t it hurt when you have to say good-bye?”

You got this.

Answer: Fostering gives a shelter pet a chance to know what true love is.

Here’s the reality: Fosters save lives. And shelters need you.

Characteristics Of A Foster Caregiver:

  • Compassionate
  • Committed
  • Devoted
  • Experienced
  • Gentle
  • Patience
  • Stamina

Be the reason they love humans.

pet adoption family

NOW Could Be Your Opportunity To Foster

You love your community. And you LOVE animals. Maybe it’s finally time to consider making the move to foster an animal in need?

Your philanthropic gestures do not go unnoticed and you’d do anything to save an animal in need. You give your heart and soul to help support your local rescue organizations by donating money—and precious time—to volunteer at the shelters.

Now you’re in the position to do more. It might just be the perfect time to foster a shelter pet.

Fostering an animal is gratifying and rewarding—it saves lives. Opening up your home to foster an animal in need can help the organization free up a spot for another animal in need also.

Most notable, it may provide you with the opportunity to channel the love you have for animals by caregiving for foster pet(s). By fostering, you have the honor of providing encouragement to an animal in their crucial stages of their life’s journey to being adopted.

woman kissing dog

3 Reasons To Be A Foster Pet Parent

1. Offers You The Opportunity To Give Back To Your Community

Can’t adopt just yet? Fostering is an excellent alternative. Helping your community by getting involved in adoption events is a good way to make a difference. Search the Petfinder database for local animal welfare organizations that could benefit from your fostering duties.

“Animal welfare organizations work to place lost, abandoned, abused, and relinquished animals in permanent homes. This helps relieve overcrowding and reduces an animal’s stress by providing a temporary and supportive sanctuary while he awaits permanent adoption.” —Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

Contact your local organizations and rescue groups to learn about specific opportunities near you. In fact, Best Friends Pet Hotel is hosting adoption events at Pet Hotels near you.

woman with dog at park

Make Philanthropic Gestures

Fostering a shelter pet is a positive next step toward their forever home. What a better way to give back to your community and to the betterment, health, and well-being of pets in your area.

Follow Neighborhood Rules

Every county and town is different with the amount of animals allowed. Abide by your individual city laws and animal limits per household.

Stay Community Focused

1. Volunteer Where Your Passion Is
2. Help Needy Animals At Your Local Shelter
3. Make A Difference

woman kissing dog

2. Provides More Room In A Shelter

Fostering an animal in need is the most courageous thing you can do. When you foster one shelter animal, that leaves space for another needy animal to be saved.

You’re saving lives when you foster by giving an animal in need a chance at life. In addition, when you foster and you’re unable to own a pet due to lifestyle restrictions, you’ll reap benefits of pet ownership.

Why Animals In Need Benefit From Foster Pet Parents:

    • While animals are awaiting adoption, fostering offers a safe and supportive environment
    • Fostering reduces an animal’s stress by placing them in a comfortable home
    • By fostering, you improve an animal’s chances of obtaining qualified adoption applicants that can lead to adoption
    • When you foster a shelter pet, you have the chance to enhance their adoption potential
    • Many times relatives or friends of Military members don’t have the experience or cannot commit to long-term deployments. Fostering an animal for a military member provides a temporary, safe home to animals that anticipate being reunited with families following an emergency, natural disaster, or military deployment

According to Dog Is My CoPilot”, these two organizations help provide fostering services for deployed service member’s pet:

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Assists active duty deploying military service members, wounded warriors and honorably discharged/disabled veterans with medical/homeless hardship situations to reunite them with their pets following deployments and/or hardships.

Dogs on Deployment : Facilitates an online community to arrange fosters for deployment, family illness. or any other circumstances that render a service member temporarily unable to care for a pet. This online resource was founded by an active duty husband and wife team.

military dog

Steps To Consider When Fostering:

      1. Make sure you’re ready to foster by considering all aspects of your life
      2. Consider other family members and/or household pets
      3. Conduct breed research, animal’s history, and temperament assessment
      4. If applicable, know how and when to separate your foster pet from other family members
      5. Work with a reputable rescue organization
      6. Provide a safe, calm home environment
      7. Keep animals secure with a fence and/or other escape barriers
      8. Communicate with one contact person during the transition and fostering process
      9. Look for transparency on medical health of animal
      10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

dog giving paw to woman

At Home With Your Foster Pet?

There are several things you can do for your foster pet to have a good temporary home.

Homemade tunnels and obstacle courses and hide and seek sessions can be a wonderful way to provide a positive experience for your shelter pet. Nose tricks and interactive mind games help them stay alert. Interesting mental stimulation outside of a loud shelter is always positve.

Treat your furry friend to a frozen favorite dispensing toy or a spa-like pet massage in order to ease stress and comfort tired muscles. Just for fun, you can bake sticky treats for dogs or make a tuna snack for your cat.

girl reading to dog on bed

Venture Out With Your Foster Pet

Be sure to stay in shape together, enjoy the outdoors, read to them, sing them songs, and go for long walks together. Whether it’s a new direction around the block or a curious sniff and walk, adding adventure to you and your pet’s life is worth the extra energy you will expend.

Jumping through hoops will be new and different for your fostered pet. Also, training courses with a foster dog can be pivotal in their life. Encourage desired behavior and enjoy the process of making mistakes.

dog in grass

Give Them A Good Life: Camp Options

If it’s a dog you’re fostering, seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel to watch your pets when/if they’re approved to be around other pets. New adventures and Doggy Day Camp offer an unique experience for your foster pet.

Camp benefits your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Remember current vaccinations are required for an interview assessment.

Best Friends Pet Hotel tennis ball
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Avon)

3. Allows You The Chance To Love Other Pets

Fostering makes you feel needed. It expands the love in your heart. You’re a better person just by knowing another “furry” somebody else. You could be just the person they’re searching for to help them.

Fostering a shelter animal isn’t a replacement for adopting one of your own or filling the void in your heart when you lose your furry family member. It still takes a special person to foster other pets. Remember, your fostered shelter pet is a completely different animal than your own.

Enjoy The Foster Pet For Everything They Are

A foster pet can bring a sense of joy and fresh starts to a family and their future family.

Perhaps you’re still healing through the mourning process of losing a beloved pet? Keep your pet memories alive, but take the time you need to heal. Focus on everything your foster pet is and not what they’re not. Whatever you do, try not to compare the two.

Loving a pet is good for you.

woman with cat's head on shoulder

What Is A “Failed Foster?

Most Foster Pet Parents realize when the time comes to let go. They relinquish the shelter pet to another person for adoption because they recognize it’s in the best long-term interests of the animal to have a permanent home.

Foster Pet Parents are there to shepherd the journey for the animals next stage in life. It gives us a chance to channel our love and passion for what we believe in.

However, some Foster Pet Parents fail.

“Sometimes volunteers become so attached to the animals in their charge that they legally adopt them. This is known as a ‘foster failure’ because the capacity of the volunteer to care for other ‘temporary’ pets is diminished by one.”Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

It’s common for fosters who are caring for animals for an extended period of time to develop strong bonds that lead to ‘foster failure.’ Some Foster Pet Parents get too attached to their shelter pets and keep them as their own. This failure situation is acceptable. While they fail the fostering process, they succeed at giving that animal a winning home.

woman hugging big dog

Fostering a shelter animal provides temporary care to those furry friends who benefit from living in a home environment. It’s a terrific way to give a shelter animal a chance, while at the same time enhancing your own life with the responsibility and companionship of an adoring pet.

So, do you have room in your family for one more?

Consider fostering a shelter pet—you could be the best thing that happens to that animal. You might just be that person that’s a lifetime Foster Pet Parent that both your local shelter and community rely on.

Good luck with your decision. We’re here to help.

 

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.

New Family Addition: Pet Introductions Made Easy

By Christine A. Bournias

adopted dog with family

Contemplating A New Addition To The Family? ​

You’re thinking about bringing a new pet into your family.

You saw a photo of a puppy online and you just have to have him. Besides, you’re at home more—and you’re “bored.”

Not so fast. Take a breath. Think it through.

Animals are adorable and cuddly. But, are you ​really​ ready for a new addition to your family? Ask yourself: Is ​now​ a good time for one more responsibility? It’s much better to regard your decision ​before​ you make up your mind based on cuteness alone.

Sometimes love is not enough. Neither is cute. What you want and what you need are two separate things.

Okay, okay. Yes. You’re ready for a new pet!

You Decided To Adopt A Pet. Now What?​

The local shelter is “emptying” the shelter, and you heard it’s an ideal time to adopt an animal.
With ​current animal considerations and almost the entire world under government regulation ​to self isolate, you’re convinced that a new pet for your family will be a good move to occupy your time—and home.

●   Consider your lifestyle outside of self isolation
●   Think long term
●   Inspect your current environment
●   Avoid making rash decisions based on emotions alone
●   Discuss pet responsibility with your family

pet mom kissing adopted dog pug mix

​Welcome To Your New Home. Be A Good Boy. ​

Congratulations! You decided to bring a new member into your household.

Love wins, but there’s more to owning a pet than love. This cute ​little​ bundle of fluff is a live breathable creature that will grow up and be a ​large​ breathable creature that needs you from day one.

Tiny kittens transform into grown cats. And puppies get big. Therefore, you must know how to love animals ​and​ be committed to their entire life as they sprout up.

young girl with adopted cat

Pet Introductions: It’s Not Easy. But, It’s Not Impossible. ​

When you haven’t been used to having a ​best friend at home, you might be rusty on what it takes to properly care for your new pet.

Perhaps you already have a houseful of humans to care for, or you have many other pets running around your home.

Do you currently have an older cat that rules the house? Are there young children or senior citizens living with you? Expecting a baby? Or teenage girls? Can you handle a whimpering pup, or could you commit to rescuing a special needs kitten instead? Maybe working with a senior dog is suited for your family?

How will all these moving parts meld together with your existing family? ​

 

Be Smart About Your New Family Pet Additions ​

Whether your new member of the family is a dog—or cat—you want to prepare your household and accommodate your home for your pet’s arrival.

​FOR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION:
1. Are you ready to take on the responsibility that comes with caring for a pet?
2. Is your entire family and living situation suitable for bringing in a new family member?
3. Most importantly, is your budget aligned to care for your pet properly?

Getting a new pet requires responsibility and hard work. In order to be a successful Pet Parent, your pet requires from you rigor, discipline, financial commitment, and a lifetime of devotion.

​Pet Parent Success Takes Planning. And Patience. ​

A new pet. It’s not as simple as it seems. But, with a little guidance and lots of patience, you can become a pro. We’re here to help:

​3 Simple Tips Before You Introduce A New Pet Into Your Family ​ ​

 

1. Avoid Rash Decisions

Is Your Entire Family Ready For A New Pet? ​

If you base your new pet decision based on emotion alone, you may be in for a big surprise.

Do your homework and don’t make reckless decisions at the expense of an animal’s life. Quick decisions can lead to trouble. You may not be able to provide the ideal home for your new pet—or worse, you could find yourself having to relinquish a pet if you simply can’t care for them properly.

You wouldn’t relinquish your human child, why would it be any different with your fur kid?

Your new puppy is a forever commitment, not a pair of shoes.

Please explore all options if a new pet is a good fit ​before​ the final adoption or purchasing process.

​Still A Good Time To Get A New Pet? ​

While certain breeders and animal shelters have a return policy in place, a new pet shouldn’t be temporary. You can’t try out your new pet for size, reassuring yourself that you can always take them back if they’re not perfect.

Their paws may track in mud on your new flooring, their barking might be persistent, and their excited tail may knock over a few family heirlooms when it wags.

Think about a ​forever​ home for your best friend.

family deciding, adopting dog

Get Agreement From Your Family To Add A Pet ​

Please be certain that both you and your family can provide a suitable environment for your new furry friend. It takes commitment from the ​entire​ family.

The whole family needs to be on-board from the get-go.

It’s a tough decision ​not​ to get a new pet, but not as tough as it would be if you discover that each member of your family is not committed to caring for your pet.

“When I adopted Louie, he displayed many challenging behaviors that made me question my decision to adopt him. I learned quickly that I had two choices to make; 1) to keep him and 2) to love him. My family had to be on-board with that decision as well. A large part of loving Louie was having him (and me), my grandchildren, and Louie’s alpha pups properly trained.” —Danise DiStasi, Author ​Love Like Louie

A new pet is not a toy.

Be smart about your pet decision. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re not busy working. Pets require more than a bowl of kibble and minimal attention every once in a while.

All pets are loving, breathable beings, and deserve a forever home with a lifetime commitment. Make sure they fit in well within your current situation and overall lifestyle.

 

teenage boy with adopted dog

2. Do Your Research

Take action ​now​ on what kind of animal you would like to care for. Research dog and cat breeds ahead of time to determine temperament and common traits.

Dog breeds ​​aren’t created equal. Determine the kind of animal you would like, and study the breed at great lengths to understand common tendencies and behaviors. This research will help in determining if a new pet will align with your lifestyle and household.

Know your family.

A household with grown teenage boys or a family with an infant are two (2) completely different circumstances. Newborns require around the clock care, young children become restless, and teenagers get bored easily.

Consider your current family arrangement and talk with your family to gauge commitment on time investment for a pet.

Together, take a vow to invest time with your new furry family member.

Are you always on the go? Or, are you more of a couch potato? Do you want to purchase a pet? Or, do you have room in your heart and home to adopt? Regardless, do your homework on the animal.

These initial questions will guide you to the appropriate breed. ​

Pet Adoption ​

Adoption is not for everybody, but if it’s for you, be cautious of organizations that give away animals or try to ‘empty’ their facility in a short amount of time with little to no adoption cost per animal.

Instead, look for organizations that focus on ​keeping​ those animals in forever homes.

It’s important to find a rescue organization that’s in business for the betterment of the animal. Make sure they’re not just keeping their doors open for money only. Avoid risky organizations that are merely trying to clear out their cages fast.

It’s a good sign if the shelter or rescue organization asks you what you’re doing for the next 10-14 years of your life to determine your commitment and responsibility level. You’ll know right away if the organization is in it for the animal. And if you’re not sure, consult a pet professional or experienced rescuer for sound advice.

 

If a rescue organization requires strict background checks, welcome the scrutiny. You’ll know they have the best interest of the animal if they take time to ask you for personal references. Look for organizations that conduct home checks and thorough lifestyle interviews.

 

Rescuing a pet is more than a huge decision. It’s for their lifetime.

A new pet is a forever decision, not a fleeting moment. With fur kids, you’re responsible for every single decision of their life—from the time your eyes meet behind cage bars, to the time you’re cradling them in your arms and they’re taking their last breath.

You’re their whole world. You owe it to your new pet to be theirs. ​

 

Pet Purchase & Purebred ​

You may have your heart set on a ​​certain breed. If you choose a reputable breeder for your new puppy, be mindful of your puppy’s health and their parent bloodline. Research the ideal time to separate a puppy from his mother and littermates, and become familiar with the various ​​stages of a dog’s life​.​

big dog kissing little dog

​DID YOU KNOW? ​
If you’re looking for a particular kind of pet, remember that there are many accommodating purebred rescue organizations to choose from.

 

Remember, not all pets are a good fit. Period.

 

Save the heartbreak. If you’re not ready to be a pet caregiver, please reconsider your decision until either your commitment level, lifestyle, and/or environment changes to a life with a pet. Better to know now than to make unfortunate adjustments later. Getting a new pet when you’re not ready will make NOBODY happy. You and your new pet deserve more.

 

Sometimes a human family and a dog just don’t connect well with one another. It happens.

A Chihuahua is much different than a Great Dane. Not all breeds are consistent within the breed either. Every pet is unique—even within the same breed. But, researching common denominators before you make the leap of adding a new addition to your family is critical.

 

adopted dog licking young girl's face in yard

“Dogs.They come into our lives to teach us something. Your pet picks you, not the other way around.” —​ Unknown

 

​Regular Medical Health Check Ups Are A Must ​

Medical health exams are critical throughout the entire life of your pet, particularly during the initial stages of bringing your new pet into your home. Keep up with check-ups and consult a ​trusted Veterinarian ​​for the best care for your new fur family member. Plan out your costs to care for your pet’s ​​vaccinations ​​ahead of time.

veterinarian with adopted cat

Pet essentials, pet health insurance, quality pet food, pet products, and pet extras all cost money. Providing a safe environment for your dog to roam and romp is vital for mental stimulation and physical activity. Playing fetch or walking your dog all require your time.

 

dog dressed as vet with white coat and stethoscope

Other considerations include ​​grooming, Doggy Day Camp, and ​boarding with stay and play ​options. In addition, many ​reputable pet care organizations ​​conduct careful assessments for size and temperament. Most will provide one to one care for pets that need individual attention and don’t fair well in a group setting.

Consider Existing Household Pets ​

Slow and steady is the key. If you have specific questions, consult a pet professional first. ​

Dogs And Dogs ​

Pets that have been at your home longest usually will try to establish their territory. Think like a dog. It’s all about dominance and pecking order, so introductions need to be slow and intentional.

two dogs kissing on leashes

Two dogs can definitely be company, but make sure you are deliberate in your approach. Introduce a new pet on neutral turf first and conduct walk-bys.

 

​DID YOU KNOW?

Dogs want to please us. We need to show them how.

 

Book a tour of the facility. Schedule an interview for your pet to see if daycare is a good option for your family.

Dog professionals will look at your dog’s size and temperament to determine the best Doggy Day Camp options. Most established pet care facilities practice strict safety measures and will require pet vaccines. As a bonus, many also provide attractive offers to new guests​.

 

dog professional walking adopted dog on leash for advanced tips to learn how to add a new member to your existing fur family and unique situation. Make sure you make a concentrated effort to put a ​​training plan ​​in place for your dog.

Cats And Dogs ​

If a dog and cat didn’t grow up together, it can be challenging to meld the two lives. They’re different species, with different needs. Ask your ​pet expert professional ​for additional consultation.

adopted cat and dog in backyard

Provide an exercise outlet for your pet. Take time for playtime. Make time to rest. There are innovative ways to keep your pet occupied and entertained when you’re ​at home ​too.

3. Be Deliberate.

Go slow and steady with introductions with your family. ​

New Babies ​

When coming home from the hospital, greet the family pet first. Kids are unpredictable. So are dogs. If you have a new baby home, allow your new pet to sniff items of your baby (like a bib or cap) before you enter the house. Your sense of smell is intense and a ​dog’s nose tells a whole story about how they see the world. ​

NEVER leave a baby unattended. Even the gentlest, tamest dog can be provoked by sudden movements like a child reaching over its head or grabbing its tail or ears. Unprovoked and unpredictable bites happen when people aren’t paying attention to BOTH the child and the pet. Pet owners are held accountable for undesirable and dangerous actions.

Consult a professional Dog Trainer or Dog Behaviorist to get ready for your pet’s (or baby’s) big arrival.

adopted dog meeting baby

Share pet responsibility with the family. Allow each member of the family to share in the responsibility of feeding, walking, and playtime. Those proactive actions will strengthen your bond and promote desired behavior and good habits. Hand feed kibble every once in a while will earn your pet’s trust. But remember to ​​allow your dog to be their own dog ​from time to time.

 

​Introduction Tips Can Make New Pet Additions A Breeze ​

“Love depends on how we view others…The characteristics of a loving person are patience, kindness, truthfulness, and trustworthiness.” —​ ​ ​Danise DiStasi, Author ​

woman holding dog against cheek, yellow background

  • Know why love is important. Be there at the beginning of their life. Be there until the end of their life. When the time comes, help your pet cross over that ‘rainbow bridge.’ Recognize ​how and when to let go.

pet dad high diving new adopted dog on couch

​Final New Pet Addition Thoughts ​

Just because the dog in the window is cute, doesn’t mean that they’re right for your family.

Take the time to make a careful decision for their ​forever​ home. Love is not enough. Commitment is a lifetime and not a fleeting moment. Keep your new pet happy and comfortable during their entire life. No shortcuts, do it well.

We’ll be here to assist you throughout your pet’s entire life journey.

adopted dog snuggling with cat

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.