How to Prepare Your Home for a Rescue or Foster Dog

According to the ASPCA, an estimated 6.5 million animals enter shelters across the United States every year; approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. They also estimate that 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year, while 3.2 million are adopted per year. Obviously, there is a tremendous need for people to adopt shelter animals or to provide foster homes for animals that need extra love and attention or a reprieve from a shelter than euthanizes animals. If you have decided that you are ready to accept a rescue or foster dog into your home, there are a few steps you should take to make your space animal-friendly.

  1. Approach Home Preparation as Though You are Baby-Proofing

Just like babies, dogs and cats can be very curious. The difference is, cats and dogs can jump onto surfaces and fit into small spaces, so you want to protect your animal and your belongings by approaching animal-proofing as though you are baby-proofing your entire house. If you are going to contain your rescue or foster dog to a particular area, focus on that vicinity first while keeping in mind that the animal could jump over an indoor fence or break free of a crate and have access to your whole home. That’s why you should look for small objects that pose a danger – such as pins, needles, thread, string, rubber bands, moth balls, cleaning supplies, medication, etc. – throughout your home. Also take care to block or cover electrical cords, television cords, and curtain cords. Get down on your hands and knees to get an animal view of your home and see whether you have missed anything.

Another way to prepare your home is to consider kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms as danger areas. Keep cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, medications, lotions, and other hazards on high shelves or in cabinets with childproof latches. Cover all trash cans and place them inside locked closets or cabinets if possible. Keep toilets, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers closed at all times. Look for small spaces between cabinets and appliances or behind washers and dryers into which your pet could squeeze to hide; if you find some, block them to prevent access.

  1. Check Your Houseplants

Some people move all of their houseplants to a higher level simply because they don’t want their rescue or foster dog to become tempted by the dirt. Others move them off the floor because they don’t want their dog to lift his leg on them. However, the first thing you should do is check to see whether your houseplants are poisonous to dogs. Unfortunately, more than 700 plants contain toxins that harm cats and dogs that ingest them.

Common houseplants that are toxic to plants include, but are not limited to

  • Asparagus fern
  • Corn plants
  • Dieffenbachia/Dumb cane/Tropic snow/Exotica
  • Elephant ear/Caladium/Malanga
  • Lilies including Easter lilies, Stargazer lilies, and Peace lilies
  • Cyclamen/Sowbread
  • Heartleaf philodendron/Panda plant
  • Jade plants/Chinese rubber plants
  • Aloe plants
  • Satin Pothos/Silk Pothos
  • Poinsettia

It’s worth noting that several outdoor plants also are poisonous to dogs. If you are planning to leave your dog outside in a fenced-in area or on a run, you should move these plants to another part of your yard that your dog cannot access. Among the most poisonous outdoor plants are azalea, amaryllis, carnations, daffodils, hasta, gladiola, ivy, milkweed, morning glory, sago palm, tomato plants, tulips, and yew.

  1. Prepare Yourself and Your Family

Of course, when you adopt a rescue dog or agree to welcome a foster dog into your home, it is not just the physical space that you need to ready for his arrival. You also need to ready yourself and your family for a new pet, and you will need to help him adjust and settle in by speaking quietly and letting him explore when he first arrives. You will need to be prepared to teach him some house manners and work on behavior issues such as barking, destructive chewing, territory marking, separation anxiety, and leash pulling. Educating yourself about being new dog parents or a new dog family is a great first step to preparing yourself and your family, and you can find more information on becoming an effective, loving pet owner on Rover.com.

You will successfully adopt a rescue dog or house a foster dog by preparing your home for his arrival. Begin by animal-proofing the home as you would child-proof for the arrival of a toddler, removing toxic houseplants and outdoor plants, and preparing yourself and your family for helping the dog make a successful transition into your home and your lives.

Author: Guest Writer Jessica Brody

Imagae via Pixabay by Lepale

Vote for pet daycare @ Jumping Bulldog!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Many of you may be on a mini get-away this Holiday weekend and didn’t know what to do with your furry friends.  Well, we may be able to help you with this dilemma.  Just answer a few questions about pet daycare and boarding at the Jumping Bulldog and let’s see what we can do.

Let the polling begin 🙂

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Spring Safety Tips for Pets

Woo-Wee-Woo, it’s spring time!!!

Woo Hoo, it's spring!

For our humans this is the time for spring-cleaning and BBQs, and for us canines this means O.U.T.D.O.O.R. time!!!  We get to play outside, sniff all the other doggie butts at the dog park, go on walks with our owners, play fetch, run, chase squirrels … oh, my, the list is long!

Yes, yes, yes, we’re super excited.  But it’s also super important that our parents’ take a number of precautions to make sure we’re happy and healthy this spring.

Check out these tips on how we can keep our best friends safe, healthy, happy and most importantly, keep their tails waggin’ with joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, my name is…

It’s a great idea to equip me with proper identification before letting me run under the open sky.

I might be so excited to run around that I may end up chasing a squirrel or bunny, and suddenly run away from you or lose my way.  Just place a visible ID tag on my collar with your information.  This way, you can be sure that your squirrel-happy pup will be returned home.  Trust me, I don’t like to be away from my humans; I don’t like it one bit!

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Fleas and ticks and critters… oh my!

My humans use flea and tick prevention for me year-round.  But it is especially important to use prevention during spring and summer when those creepy crawlers are particularly active, because those nasty critters can cause Lyme disease in dogs.  And let’s face it; flea infestations are no fun for anyone.  So, just tell your human that it’s best to prevent fleas and ticks before they happen.  Our parents can also help us by flea-combing our coats regularly, and by vacuuming frequently and disposing of the bags immediately after use.  And if you are lucky to have a grassy yard, tell your parent to please mow the lawn.

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Too cool for school…

Temperatures will be rising soon and humans have got to keep us cool. When we are outside on hot days, our temperatures rise higher than that of our parents because they don’t have a furry coat, an under-coat or fluffy hair.  So, it’s best they take us out for a walk or a run in the park when the sun is setting.  And if we are on a play date, they should make sure that there is always a shady retreat and plenty of water available.  Cuz’, slurp, we get thirsty, too.

You know we need water, if we are panting and have our tongues hanging out; that’s doggie code for “I’m thirsty, dude”.  And N.E.V.E.R., E.V.E.R., leave us in the car. You know some of us just love to go on rides with our humans, but only when they’re in the car with us. Even on a 60-degree day, temperatures can rise to 100 degrees inside a car.  Believe you me, it’s like a sauna, and it’s very stressful on us furballs.  When you realize that we are worn out and hot after chasing our best friends, please bring us inside and place a cool towel over the top of our neck, it does help.  Even better yet, just put a cooling bandana around our neck before you take us places.  That will help a lot, too.

pop

You remember those cheapo popsicles from the supermarket?  Tell your parents to buy them and suck them to cool themselves off.  Then, ask them to wash them out, fill them with our favorite doggie-safe broth (juice) and freeze them, and voilà, we have a pup-sicle 🙂

 

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Born to run…

If Fido has been a couch potato all winter, then it’s a good idea to get her back into outdoor activity gradually. Just like our humans, exercising and building up muscles slowly will help prevent injuries. Before we can go running with you, you have to make sure that we can at least walk 30 to 60 minutes alongside your stride without getting tired.  Tell mom and dad to consider your individual personality and fitness level. If you are pleasantly plump, have joint problems or are on your way to becoming a senior, it won’t hurt to get a quick warm up.  My humans let me sniff and waddle at my own pace for about 10 minutes before they get me to strut my stuff.

Your humans can play fetch with you for a few minutes to get some of that emerging energy out by throwing the ball or Frisbee and letting you sprint after it.  But tell them to only do this for a few minutes so they don’t wear you out completely.

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Scratch n’ sniff…

When it comes to allergies, dogs tend to have similar allergy symptoms as their humans. Fore example, grass and tree pollen may cause a dog to sneeze and have watery eyes- just like humans.

And a pup may develop itchy paws, too, which can cause us to lick, nibble and bite on them. This constant scratching, of course, may lead to open sores, raised welts and loss of hair.  So, tell your parents to do what they can to reduce the amount of allergens in the house by vacuuming carpets and sweeping floors often.  And they should pay special attention to your favorite spots in the house such as under beds, on the couch or near windows, maybe, and tell them to clean (vacuum or wash) window treatments regularly.  And lets not forget our bedding, which needs to be washed regularly using a gentle detergent that is free of dyes or perfumes.  It may also help for your humans to limit your outdoor time and activities during allergy season.  They can take you out or let you go potty when it’s less windy, or before they mow the lawn.

Now, there it is, my fine, furry friends.  With a little bit of effort and preparation your humans can almost guarantee you a happy, healthy and playful spring.

Happy sneezin’!

Ozzie

 

 

My Dog and I: Ouch, my feet hurt!

The other day I had an annoying pebble in my shoe I wanted to get rid off.  So, I stepped out of my shoe and put my toes on the pavement –OUCH, the ground was so hot that I actually burnt my toes!

egg-frying-on-sidewalk

Ozzie sat next to me, happily, looking up at me with that loveable, huge grin that is so characteristic for him.  This made me think:  if I burn my toes on the hot pavement, what about his little paws?  I figured I already knew the answer, but I did some research just to be sure.

Here is what I found out:

People think: Dog paws have protective calluses and won’t burn on hot pavement.
Not so: A dog’s paws can and will burn when exposed to extremely hot surfaces such as pavement, sand, concrete, asphalt and so forth.  Test the ground; hold your bare hand or, as in my case foot, on a sidewalk for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin to handle it is also too hot for your dog’s paws to handle.  In fact, Fido’s pads cannot only burn but blister, too.

People think: Dog paws have protective calluses and won’t burn on hot pavement.
Not so: A dog’s paws can and will burn when exposed to extremely hot surfaces such as pavement, sand, concrete, asphalt and so forth.  Test the ground; hold your bare hand or, as in my case foot, on a sidewalk for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your skin to handle it is also too hot for your dog’s paws to handle.  In fact, Fido’s pads cannot only burn but blister, too.

People think: Oh, I have her winter booties; they should protect her from the hot ground when I take her for a walk.
Not so: If you put outright winter boots on your dog’s feet in the summer, chances are that he will sweat even more.  According to Thais Zoe, author of Lucky Duck Living, “dogs have the ability to cool their paws through the in-between of their pads”.  Heat rises from the ground up and gets trapped in the boots.

mainA much better alternative is Pawz boots (because they don’t trap the heat and the dog actually has traction, and, therefore, she can walk properly) or Musher’s Secret, which is a super dense wax that protects paw pads in extreme temperatures –hot or cold.

Musher's-S

I love this stuff, I use it on my arms when they are scratched-up from the rose garden, or from playing with my cats and puppies, I use it on my chapped hands and lips, I use it on Oskar’s nose and pads, and I use it as a general heal-all remedy for minor surface injuries.  Trust me, my husband thinks I’m nuts. But hey, if it works, why not 😉

The point is that it’s easy to misunderstand or overlook our pets’ discomfort.  We need to pay close attention to their body language as well as other signs.  Our French Bulldog, Oskar, always has a huge smile on his face, even when he’s panting like crazy.  So, if you can’t walk your pup in the shade, take preventive steps.

As Dr. Patty Kuhl points out in her PetMD article If You Can’t Stand the Heat … On Burnt Pad Denial in Dogs,  “Your dog would probably follow you to the ends of the earth and never complain.”

Woof, woof & meow!

Images courtesy of: Dietmar Hoepfl, Musher’s Secret.net, Pawz.com

My Dog and I: Bringing home a new pet

Why Do i Want a Puppy?

Dogs and all kinds of other pets surrounded me growing up, and many times my family made me take part of the responsibility for their care.

About seven years ago I felt that I was ready to raise my first puppy on my own.  But before I jumped into the joy of puppy parenthood, I asked myself a bunch of important questions:

  • Why do I want a dog?
  • What is my true level of experience and knowledge in handling a dog?
  • Do I want a puppy or an older dog?
  • Will I have the time, space, patience and money to care for and play with my pup?
  • What type of dog do I want, a mixed breed or a pure breed?
  • Which breed might best suit my own personality and lifestyle?
  • Where do I find the most accurate and reliable breed information?
  • Are there any good veterinarians in the area?
    • (In case of an emergency I wanted someone close by.  Sometimes the time it takes to get your pet to the right care can mean the difference between immediate help and long-term health affects!)
  • Where is the best place to get a puppy (breeder, rescue, pet store, etc.)?
  • What are my responsibilities in raising a well-rounded dog (grooming, socialization, nutrition, training, etc.)?
  • Is my neighborhood safe enough for walking my dog, is there a park nearby?
  • Will my cat tolerate a new pet, and vice versa?

I am probably forgetting a topic or two, but knowing the answers to these questions were the basis for bringing Oskar, my French Bulldog home!

Getting Ready for my Puppy!

I am a huge believer in pet adoption!  Alas, Oskar was a spur of the moment gift from my husband, a gift I have cherished every single day since we brought him home!

One day we strolled along Lexington Avenue and stopped by a pet store.  We had no intention of buying a dog (all babies are cute and you want to take all of them home!), but holding Oskar in my arms, he suddenly began nuzzling my neck and wouldn’t let go.  My husband sensed the immediate and deep bond between this dog and me, and the rest is history.  We both knew that adoption was the way to go, but we consoled ourselves in the simple fact that even pet store animals needed “rescue” and a home.

Bringing home Oskar was a most amazing thing.  But, there was also a huge drawback because aside from bringing home a new puppy, I ended up with over $800 worth of nonsense I didn’t need, including a $78 dog toy with a beating heart that Ozzie never even once looked at…yes; pet store staffers WILL prey on the emotions of a new pet owner!

When opened The Jumping Bulldog I promised that this was not something that would ever happen to my customers.  It’s simple, having a pet of any kind, a puppy especially, is expensive, and dollars spent on unessential items are better spent elsewhere.

So, here is my “Need versus Want” list to help you save money, and still have everything you need for a comfy home for your new addition:

  • Appropriately sized folding crate for crate training (read more about crate training in another post)
  • Puppy/ dog food that is appropriate for your type of dog
  • Wee-wee pads
  • A collar and a leash
    • (The collar is to get them used to having a restraint around their small necks.  If you want to walk your puppy around the house, it might be good to use a harness instead for a harness may prevent tracheal injury)
  • Tags with your and your vet’s phone number
  • A food bowl and a water bowl
  • A doggie bed
  • A grooming brush and puppy wipes
  • A baby gate (often cheaper than a doggie gate) to keep your puppy/ dog in one area
  • Two or three chew toys
    • (Too many toys all at once may be confusing to a new puppy.  If you want to buy more toys, it’s a good idea to rotate them to keep the puppy interested in its toys.)

Contrary to popular belief you do not need to begin feeding your 10 or 12 week old puppy treats right away, nor do you need to bathe him; so, that’s money you can spend a little later.  You also don’t need to buy clothes for your brand new puppy, even if you bring her home during the winter.  An old blanket or beach towel will suffice.

Once you know that you are bringing home a new pet, it is always a good idea to set up an appointment with your veterinarian of choice for an initial check-up and consultation.  The vet will tell you what you may need in addition to the items I mentioned above.

Having said that, happy pet parenthood, and relish in one of the greatest joys on God’s green earth 🙂

Doggie PlayCare & Doggie Depot

 

We are touched by your relentless support, as by your consistent request to do this once again.  So, here it is —back by popular demand— Doggie PlayCare has returned to The Jumping Bulldog!

For inquiries just give us a call. All details will be posted here as well as on our website soon!

As always, thank you for your support 🙂

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