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Archive for June, 2010

Reigning Cats and Dogs?

Jun 30, 2010

This month is National Shelter CAT month - encouraging adoption of cats. Since we’re all about dogs, here at Porch Potty, we thought we would share some helpful tips on introducing your dog to a cat you already have at home.

We always want to be sure of the reigning King or Queen of the household!  (Your family dog or cat!)

Read the tips below. Reference them, tweet them or place them in your Facebook status update!

Enjoy!

The following includes information adapted from “Creating a Peaceable Kingdom: How to Live with More Than One Pet” by Cynthia D. Miller and from various PAW volunteers.

* Understand differences in social order. To cats, physical place is all important. To dogs, social place is all important. As long as the dog accepts the cat’s dominance over territory, they typically work out a relationship.

* As with introducing pets, think positively. Act with authority and confidence. What you feel and think translates to your actions, and your animals sense your emotions.

* Dogs and cats do not communicate the same way and have trouble understanding one another. For example, a dog will lift his paw gesturing that he wants to play, but a raised paw to a cat is a threat.

* A good-natured, well-trained resident dog often accepts a young cat as a member of the family rather easily. In contrast, introducing an adult cat to a puppy can be hard on the cat. Puppies are rambunctious and full of energy.

* Keep the dog on leash during introductions. Use a halter for very young dogs. Try to keep the leash loose.

* Take dogs to puppy obedience and regular obedience school and teach desired behavior using positive reinforcement. Your dog needs to always remember you are the leader.

* Confining a puppy or dog is necessary at times. It gives the cat time to roam about the house, surveying his territory. If you keep the dog separated with a gate or in an exercise pen, your cat can safely investigate the newcomer.

* When you leave the house, separate the animals in physically, securely separated areas. Give each access to water, a bed or other suitable resting place, and some toys. Be sure the cat has access to a litter box. Make sure everyone in your family and any caretakers understand the need to separate the animals.

* For the cat’s safety, make sure the cat has escape routes to get away from the dog. For example, a cat door leading to another room in the house and ledges on which he can easily jump. Always provide places where each animal can retreat for safety and privacy, a spot that is his or hers alone. A cat can use the top of the refrigerator; a dog can use a crate.

* Use a baby gate so they can get to know each other without coming into full contact. Or confine the new pet to a room and allow the animals to sniff each other under the door. A tip from PAW volunteer Lynne Keffer: put up a baby gate at the top of a stairway or in a doorway. (Stack gates one atop another if the dog’s a jumper.) Cut a small hole in the gate, just big enough for the cat to fit through. Things typically improve once the cat learns he has an escape hatch.

* Other escape hatches include floor-to-ceiling climbers and installing extra-long hooks and eyes in doors to prop a door open just wide enough for a cat.

* Teach the dog the “leave it” command, and use this command when you want the dog to leave the cat alone. Also teach the dog the “down” and “stay” commands so that you can place her in a down-stay in the presence of the cat.

* Praise the dog when she doesn’t bark or want to chase resident cats, advises PAW volunteer Ginnie Maurer. Praise and reward the dog for any calm behavior around the cat. Do this consistently, not just once in awhile.

* Praise a cat when he’s gentle around the dog. Keep the cat claws clipped short so if they do connect with the dog, the damage will be minimized.

* Observe your pets so that you can catch them in the act of being good. Give them ample opportunities to earn praise so that they learn what is acceptable behavior. Reinforcing good behavior is the key to encouraging animals to repeat that behavior instead of engaging in undesired behavior.

* Food can be a powerful motivator. You can use food treats to reward a dog for choosing to look at and listen to you in the presence of the cat, instead of chasing the cat.

* Keep dog toys nearby. Direct the dog to a toy and away from the cat when the dog gets rambunctious. Make sure cats have access to their own toys too, so they’re less likely to target a dog’s tail as a plaything.

* Make sure to give the dog plenty of exercise so that he has less energy to channel into chasing and otherwise bothering the dog.

* Let animals sniff each other — that’s how they get acquainted.

* Avoid overreacting to hissing, barking or growling. These are common ways for animals to communicate. However, be ready to intervene if hostility mounts.

* Do not expect the pets to become buddies right away. Let the animals establish the relationship at their own pace. Realize that some dogs and cats will not become buddies.

* A puppy’s innocent behavior can trigger a serious scratching from a wary cat, so as always, it’s important to keep watch.

* Prevent the dog from having access to the kitty litter box. Keep the box in a room that’s physically off-limits to the dog. Dogs like to eat cat droppings, which are very unhealthy for them.

* To keep a dog from chasing or stalking cats when you are home but otherwise occupied, use a crate or tether the dog to a heavy piece of furniture, suggests Ginnie. Or use a long leash that’s tied at your waist.

* Keep in mind that predatory behavior comes naturally to both dogs and cats. They like to chasing moving objects, including other animals.

* If you have more than one dog, do not let them gang up on a cat.

* Be sure to pay attention to the resident pets. Take care not to give all your attention to the newcomer.

* During mealtimes, each animal needs to feel safe and relaxed while eating. An animal who feels the need to defend his food is under much stress (this will also affect digestion). At least initially, feed in separate areas and give the animals their own food bowls. It helps to give the cat an elevated place to eat that cannot be reached by the dog. The height gives the cat a sense of security.

* Introduce new pets when things are going well at home. Do not bring a new pet home during a stressful time in the household.

For more Dog Tips about pet care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit  their website at: www.paw-rescue.org

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Featured Dog of the Week: Meet Mana!

Jun 28, 2010

MANA

Mana and her owner, Jana, connected with us on Facebook. It’s exciting to see a member of the Facebook community connect with us and share their great story.

Jana (Mana’s owner) shares:
“Mana is a 5 month old chihuahua. I live in an apartment, work and go to school so it is not always easy to make sure she gets out on time to do her business. I also live by the beach where the weather can be generally nice but it can easily get too cold for her. I tried pee pads, but she likes to tear them up and I have also tried a litter box with dog litter, but she liked to eat the paper pellets. I had heard about indoor “grass” potty for dogs so I did some research and found Porch Potty. I am really glad I did because it has helped us both quite a bit; I enjoy a mess free house and Mana enjoys having her own little piece of the outdoors without the outdoor weather.”

Jana Sepulveda
Santa Barbara, California

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Will You be the Voice of Rescue?

Jun 25, 2010

Today is Take Your Dog To Work day! And, while I know so many cannot (due to rules and regulations of the workplace). There are so many other places you can take your dog as a reminder to them to consider adopting from an animal shelter and rescuing someone… just as in this story.

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Why You Need to Take Your Dog To Work

Jun 23, 2010

Here are the top 10 reasons why – courtesy of Pet Sitters International:

It is a GREAT day to make people, in and around your work place, aware of the heartbreaking life, struggles, and challenges for shelter dogs. And, the need for adoption.

Who knows?  Perhaps someone at your place of work, church, school, or an organization where you volunteer has been thinking about adopting a dog, and this small gesture will help them know that it is the best decision they can make.

Even if you can’t take your dog to work during the day – where can you take your dog during your off-time that day and help spread the word?

When someone asks you or mentions “hey, cute dog!” – you can respond - “It’s take your dog to work day.  There are many dogs at the shelter looking for a home. If you or someone you love could rescue one they’ll make a remarkable difference in your life.” It might be just the change that someone’s seeking.

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Featured Dog of the Week: Meet Dexter!

Jun 21, 2010

DEXTER

Dexter found us on Facebook during Pet Appreciation Week when his owner, Jill, wanted to include him in our amazing Pet Appreciation Video for 2010. As you can see, Dexter, is sporting his “I’m on Facebook” shirt and some very cool shoes! It took a lot for Dexter to take a photo on his Porch Potty with his shoes on. His routine is shoes off BEFORE getting to his potty! Thank you, Dexter and Jill!

Jill, (Dexter’s owner) shares:

“Dexter loves his porch potty and his new shoes. We are very blessed to have him, he is a rescue and is 19 months old. As soon as I take off his shoes, he promptly jumps on his Porch Potty and pees! LOL!”

Jill Krovitz
Dublin, California

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You Were Complaining About Having No Shoes

Jun 18, 2010

We’ve all heard the saying, “He was complaining about having no shoes until he met a man with no feet.”

Here’s the dog version of that….

What a reminder!

It’s NOT at all what happens to us – it’s what we do with what happens to us that makes all the difference in the world.

Now, go hug your pooch and spend some time playing this weekend with your four-legged sweetie!

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June 25th: Are You Taking Your Dog to Work?

Jun 16, 2010

Take Your Dog to Work Day is being celebrated every year to support dog adoptions through information dissemination to the public and making them experience how it is to own a dog.  This special event exhibits the extraordinary bond between owners and their dogs.  This year it happens on Friday, June 25th, 2010.

Will you support this event and take the time to take your dog to work?

If so, I hope these helpful tips make your Take Your Dog to Work Day experience a winning advocacy.

1.)   This special event marks it 11th Anniversary this year.  Take time to plan ahead for success for that day!  “Fail to plan; you plan to fail”.  Make a plan early!

2.)   Make sure that your dog has been cleaned and properly groomed.  There are dogs that are timid, assertive or uncontrollable.  If this is the case, you may opt to take part in this event by taking a photo of your dog to the office or arrange a fundraising activity for a local shelter that you support.

3.) Exercise your pooch prior to bringing him to your workplace.  That might help settle him and also give him the opportunity to relieve himself. (Or, you can bring a Porch Potty to work with you!)

4.) Remember to bring with you some toys, treats and blankets to your office to assist you in making your dog feel more comfortable and avoid the stress of staying in a totally new environment.

5.) Assign a special space under your office desk or in a corner nook to give some place for your dog to have time alone and a place of safety when he already gets weary from all the interactions with the other dogs brought by your other officemates. (Or, even from the interactions of your co-workers!)

6.) Stay away from offering your dog some treats in moments when he is surrounded by other dogs. No need to start a food fight at the office! :)

7.) Make sure that your dog has identification on him in the event that he gets lost or unleashed.

8.) Keep in mind that you have to bring a leash and ensure that you take time in walking your dog during the day. Bring supplies “just in case” he has an accident. (I find that carting tons of cleaning supplies with me absolutely wards of any accidents – just like washing the car ensures rainfall!) :)

9.) Before the day, cover with your co-workers how to handle treats especially if they’re bringing their dogs, too.  Avoid upset stomachs or competition between dogs by just providing treats to your own pet and encouraging your co-workers to do the same.  If someone does slip a treat to your dog, be sure to make note of it just in case there’s any negative after effects – you’ll have a list of what could of attributed to that.

10.) Most importantly, do not forget the essence of Take Your Dog to Work Day.  This day is intended to be a fun-filled day for everyone and an exceptional way to make you and your pet bond throughout the day.

So, whose taking their dog to work?

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Hot Car No Place for Your Dog

Jun 14, 2010

First, you can find all this information on MyDogisCool.com and here we’re merely passing great info along.

It’s important

Summer is here and much as we all like to have our dogs with us.  We must be smart about it and be sure that we’re not putting our pet in harm’s way.

Do not leave your dog in your car.

Even for a minute.

Not one.

Because it can become an oven in less than a minute and you can get distracted.

If you find a dog left in a car:

  1. Alert the store manager
  2. Call the police
  3. Call animal control
  4. Call a local animal shelter
  5. Call the SPCA
  6. Call someone and make sure someone responds before you leave

How hot does a car get and how fast?

  • San Francisco State University – April 2007 fact sheet utilizing data from a Golden Gate Weather Services study
  • Another study reprinted from the Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society
  • A study from Stanford University shows that even on comparatively cool days, such as 72 degrees, a car’s internal temperature will rocket to 116 degrees within 60 minutes. And keeping the windows open a crack hardly slows the rise at all.

If your dog gets how in these hot summer months, cool him/her down with water (not ice water) just regular water.

If you’re dog has any of the following symptoms, it could be heat stroke – seek medical attention, even if they look fine.  The internal organs could be severely affected and will show no outward signs sometimes.

Signs of heat stroke include (but are not limited to): body temperatures of 104-110F degrees, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, staggering, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, coma, death.

Here are other ways to help our four legged friends:

~Print out or email these flyers to others about keeping your dog cool.

MYDOGISCOOL black and white flyers – Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

MYDOGISCOOL red flyers – Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

MYDOGISCOOL POSTERS (seen above)

~ Keep all these phone numbers in your cell phone.

  1. Police
  2. Animal Control
  3. SPCA
  4. Local Animal Shelter
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Pet Appreciation Week Video

Jun 11, 2010

Thank you to our amazing pet owners and their fabulous dogs! :)

From owner, Kimm:

Burnahrd is a 7 year old rescued dog that won my heart when he was a year old.  He lost his left back leg due to abuse by his former owner.  Maighie is a 2 year old rescued dog that started out as a foster and decided to stay with us.  She lost her right front leg and shoulder by getting caught in her former owner’s garage door.  It took about 6 months for Burnahrd to start playing with Maighie but now they are fast friends!

From owner, Jillian:

River is very special to me though and I try to show my appreciation to her every day! I love training her and teaching her tricks, going on walks, taking her out to visit people and anywhere I can take her, she loves playing, I make sure her bed is comfortable … See Moreand warm (with a heating pad when needed), and I always take some time to let her relax on my lap! I always say, “She is a very spoiled dog, but she deserves it.” :-)

From owner, Jill:

Dexter loves his porch potty and his new shoes. We are very blessed to have him, he is a rescue and is 19 months old

From owner, Maria:

I love Rocky!  He’s the other “boy” in my house and my four-legged son! :)  He is always joy-filled and filled with care and happiness.

From dog, Casper:

I, too, look forward to sitting and relaxing with my mom beside me….but hard to pin her down! I particularly like to ‘chew’ on the back of her hand….I think she likes it…I just hope that I am not hurting her too much! I do ‘talk’….here I am ‘talking’ to you!

With love to all of our dogs! :-)

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Pet Your Pooch

Jun 9, 2010

I look forward to times when I can sit, relax and just have my Rocky on my lap or beside me.  I really don’t know who it’s more relaxing for – me or him!

For Pet Appreciation Week, why don’t you just spend a few extra moments with your pooch today.   Extra petting and time together is always an extra treat to your four-legged friend!

It’s funny to read all these “suggestions” across the web on how to show appreciation for your pet.  One place even suggested “licking” your dog.  (I won’t be doing that!) Yet, I will spend extra time with “the Rock”.

When we spend time together we also talk.  Does your dog talk to you?  I don’t have Rocky on video talking – yet.  But, he does talk to me.

Here’s a cute video of other chatty mutts.  And, remember to send in your dog’s photos – either email us – maria[at]porchpotty[dot]com of post it on our Facebook page.  I’m compiling our APPRECIATED DOG video and want to make sure your sweetie’s in there.

Enjoy!

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