Living with Pets

Information provided in these articles is intended to provide some guidance for you and your pet. Not all animals behave (or respond) in the same manner. Should you have questions or concerns about anything you see here, please consult your veterinarian. While we work with vets on a regular basis, we are not veterinarians. We feel the articles here provide useful but general guidelines and suggestions for working with your pet. Please note, some articles may be disturbing to young children. Please preview articles to make sure they are appropriate for your child.

If you've been to the Georgia SPCA Shelter recently, you've probably seen the precious dogs we have available for adoption – from frisky, frolicking, adorable puppies to more sedate, mature dogs who are just looking for a second chance at the loving home they deserve. You already know how fabulous shelter dogs are, and how much they enrich the life of anyone lucky enough to adopt one.

If you are reading this article, chances are you either have a dog (or more than one) and/or know someone who shares their life with one or more dogs.  As a society, we have begun to humanize our pets and while some might shake their heads in disbelief and disagreement, we in the doggie know embrace the special bond shared with our canine family members. Here, then, are ten ways to be the best dog parent you can be to your one (or more) pooches:

10 Unplug electronically each day for one-on-one time with your dog.

A cat-proofed home is a cat-safe home whether your new pet is a newborn kitten or a fully- grown cat. Before that first front paw crosses your threshold for the first time, your home must be a health zone, not a hazard zone. Be especially attentive to the sensibilities of former “outside” cats, who may never have walked on wooden floors, carpets or tiles, or been exposed to so many unfamiliar sights before.

More and more, Americans are traveling with their pets. In fact, a recent study conducted by AAA and Best Western International found that more than half of US pet owners take their pets with them when they travel! As more people are taking their canine companions and fluffy felines with them, the resources available for finding pet-friendly places to stay, eat and play are growing.

Going on vacation? Cats are creatures of routine, so as much as you can keep your cat’s lifestyle stable, the less traumatic your absence will be. Here are some tips on keeping your kitty happy even when you have to go away.

Ideally, keep your cat at home – cats are territorial and feel safest and most comfortable in their familiar environment.

If you find a stray dog or cat, keep in mind that the animal may be a lost pet, and someone could be frantically searching for him/her. Cats and dogs get loose for one reason or another and may become lost. If a lost pet has been on the run for weeks or months, he or she is going to be dirty and skinny and have fleas, even if he/she escaped from a wonderful home. Missing Pet Partnership* developed its “Think Lost, Not Stray” campaign to dispel the assumption that every roaming animal is unwanted.

If you’ve lost your pet, don’t waste any time. To maximize the chances of finding your pet, begin your search as soon as you notice that the animal is missing. Here are some suggested steps to take:

If there’s ever a natural disaster or situation requiring evacuation in the area where you live, you’ll want to be ready to keep not only yourself safe, but your pets, too. You’ll want to think about how to be prepared for three types of disasters:

Going out of town? A boarding kennel can give your pet quality care—and can give you peace of mind.

Pros and cons of using a boarding kennel:  Your pet depends on you to take good care of her—even when you have to be out of town. Friends and neighbors may not have the experience or time to properly look after your pet, particularly for longer trips. Leave pet care to the professionals, such as a pet sitter or boarding kennel.  A facility specializing in care and overnight boarding allows your pet to:

You can have a happy, healthy life with your pets, even if you're allergic to them.  The benefits of having a pet usually outweigh the drawbacks of pet allergies for many people. You'd be surprised to know how many people, with non-life-threatening allergies, live with pets despite having allergies to them!

Moving to a new home can be just as stressful on your pet as it is on you. Following are some tips to help you help your pet through this change of address.

When you already have a dog and you're bringing a new dog home, you want to make sure the introduction goes well and avoid setting up future conflict.   Making some preparations before you get home and setting your dogs up for positive interactions during their first few weeks together will go a long way toward a harmonious long-term relationship.

The death of a pet is never an easy time. Whether it is an older animal, who may have been a part of the family longer than most of the furniture and some of the children, or a pet who has been with you for only a few years, the loss can be truly traumatic. And if the end comes through a conscious decision for euthanasia, other emotions become entangled with the basic sense of loss. Once it's over, you may prefer to think that the experience is behind you. Unfortunately, it is not.

Should you decide that taking your pet with you on a trip isn't a good idea, there are options for keeping them at home.

If you currently rent your home or apartment, we ask you to give special thought to your future before you adopt an animal. Our lobby is often filled with heartbroken owners who never dreamed they’d have to give up their pet because they moved and could not find new housing that allowed animals. Perhaps the best decision is to wait until you own a home. Or often times, it is easier to find rental housing that allows cats, small dogs or a small companion animal, rather than larger dogs.

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