Category: General

Reasons to Support Your Local Animal Rescue

Many people prefer to adopt dogs or cats from shelters and rescue operations. This is a responsible choice that can help animals find forever homes and save money on pet supplies and veterinarian visits. However, shelters and rescue processes need support to continue their important work. Here are four ways you can help your local animal rescue organization.

Helping Animals Get a Second Chance

Rescues and shelters save animals from euthanasia by finding them loving homes. They also provide rehabilitation and training to help abused animals recover and adjust to life in the outside world. Rescue organizations like the Humane Society of New York need volunteers to clean up messes, run events and assist with adoptions. They also need tech-savvy people to manage websites and social media accounts. Those who can’t volunteer in person can still help a shelter or rescue by donating money. This allows them to buy the necessary supplies and cover vet bills, spay/neuter costs and other expenses. By adopting pets, you can give them a second chance at life and help break the pet overpopulation cycle. You can also stop cruel breeding practices by refusing to purchase pets from commercial breeders.

Helping Animals Find Forever Homes

Animal shelters and rescues work tirelessly to connect pets with their forever families. You can help them by adopting or fostering, donating money or supplies, volunteering and spreading the word. Animal shelters need help with daily expenses and supplies, as well as for renovations and community outreach programs. Start a fundraising campaign for your local shelter or rescue. Rescues often have a smaller adoption process and are more flexible regarding how many animals they can take in. However, not all returns are reputable; contact veterinarians, other rescue groups in your area, and municipal shelters for references before choosing one. Also, look for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and ask for the rescue’s records. This will ensure that your donation is tax-deductible.

Helping Animals Get the Medical Care They Need

Animals in shelters and rescues often need vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and medical care for injuries and illnesses. Many animals are surrendered to shelters by their owners due to evictions, financial hardships or other reasons. It is easy to get involved with your local rescue or shelter. Typically, these organizations are volunteer-run and survive on donations and adoption fees.

These groups need help cleaning cages, cooking food for the animals, fostering a dog or cat, planning outreach events, and writing pet adoption profiles. Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for animal shelters, especially for expensive procedures. These funds can cover surgery costs and other medical treatments. This helps keep rescues open and increases the chances of finding a forever home for the pets they serve.

Helping Animals Become More Social

Animal rescues take in animals that cannot stay in municipal shelters and may specialize in certain breeds or special needs. They also scout for animals in other covers and help people find the best pet for their lifestyle. Many rescues have foster programs where they place animals in homes until they get adopted. This helps keep the animals socialized and allows them to live a normal life away from their kennels. It has been shown that fostering can increase an animal’s chances of adoption since it keeps the pets out of the kennel environment.

While most rescues cannot take in-person volunteers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still ways to support your local shelters and animal rescues. Consider donating supplies or starting a fundraiser to cover expensive medical treatments for homeless animals.

Helping Animals Learn New Skills

Animal rescues are crucial to local communities in a variety of ways. They provide shelter and medical care to animals in need and help rehabilitate these pets and give them second chances in their new homes. Some animals require special training to get accustomed to life in a home, while others need assistance with behavioral issues such as food aggression or separation anxiety. In addition, some animals may need to learn to walk on a leash or how to play with other dogs or cats. You can help by volunteering your time to teach these animals valuable skills. Many shelters and rescue groups have wishlists on their websites that list items they need. These include towels, toys, and other supplies.

The Wolf vs. the Dog: How Man’s Best Friend Evolved

Dogs are a part of our everyday life. They’re our trusted companions, our children’s playmates, and in some cases, our essential helpers.

But what is the connection between a dog and a wolf? Have you ever wondered if the wolf is the same as the man’s best friend? What is the relationship between the two?

The short answer is while scientists now believe that wolves and dogs are the same species, domestication has separated the wolf from the dog in many physical and mental characteristics.

All modern dogs are descended from the gray wolf, known as Canis lupus. Dogs are scientifically known as Canis lupus familiaris, indicating a common species with the gray wolf.

Let’s find out how mankind domesticated dogs and what are the similarities and differences between wolves and dogs.

When and Where Were the First Dogs Domesticated?

The domestication of early dogs from the ancient wolf is believed to have begun between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago.

The location of dog domestication is still a subject of intense debate among scientists. Some research suggests that dogs were first domesticated in East Asia, while others argue that it may have happened in Europe or the Middle East.

Despite this ongoing quest for pinpointing the exact location and time of dog domestication, most scientists agree that our furry friends have been man’s loyal companions for at least 15,000 years.

Domestication transformed wolves into our canine friends, altering their appearance, behavior, and genetic makeup. Today, dogs come in a variety of breeds and have unique abilities to assist us as service animals, therapy dogs, search and rescue partners, and more.

How Did Dog Domestication Happen?

There are several theories about the process of domestication of dogs from wolves. One theory suggests that early humans captured wolf pups, kept them as pets, and gradually domesticated them.

Another theory proposes that wolves began following mobile hunter-gatherers, and over time, a wolf population became an ecotype suited to the human niche created by hunter-gatherers, leading to the domestication of dogs.

How Wolves and Dogs Are Similar

  • Dog DNA is 98.8% the same as wild wolf DNA.
  • Dogs of similar size to a wolf share a similar life expectancy of 12-14 years in captivity.
  • Like wolves, dogs also have an impeccable sense of smell, far superior to that of humans.
  • They both display similar body language at times, such as tail wagging and growling.
  • The gestation times and life expectancies of dogs and wolves are remarkably close to each other.
  • Both dogs and wolves have a pack mentality, living in social groups and displaying hierarchical behaviors.

Differences Between Dogs and Wolves

  • Domestic dogs have evolved to be more sociable and responsive to human facial expressions and body language.
  • Typical wolf behavior is generally elusive and distrustful of everything, especially humans, while dog behavior is more trusting and submissive.
  • Wolves form stronger family units within their pack.
  • Only the alpha female wolf is allowed to breed, while there is no such hierarchy or difference among dogs.
  • Dogs reach maturity at 6-8 months of age, whereas wolves do not mature until 2-3 years old.
  • Wolves have larger and stronger skulls, jaws, and teeth compared to dogs.
  • Wolves typically have yellow or amber eyes, while dogs more commonly have brown or blue eyes.
  • The paw of a dog is about half the size of a wolf’s paw.
  • Some dogs have tails that curl upwards, unlike wolves.
  • Adult wolves do not bark. Only wolf cubs and adolescents have that trait.

Selective Breeding as Part of the Domestication of the Dog

Selective breeding has played a significant role in the evolution of the dog from wolves. Humans selectively bred dogs for specific purposes, such as hunting or guarding property, based on their fitness, ability, and utility.

This selective breeding led to a lack of genetic diversity within dog breeds, which can increase the risk of inherited diseases. However, it also resulted in the development of various dog breeds with distinct physical and behavioral traits.

There are many dog species that remain quite similar to wolves in many aspects.

Can Wolves and Dogs Breed?

Dogs and wolves are in fact one, not two species. Yes, wolves and dogs can interbreed and produce offspring that are themselves fertile.  This hybrid offspring is known as a wolfdog or a hybrid wolf, and they can have a wide range of physical and behavioral characteristics depending on the percentage of wolf and dog DNA in their genes.

However, it is important to note that owning a wolfdog as a pet can be challenging because their unpredictable behavior can pose a danger to their owners and other people. Some states have even prohibited the ownership of wolfdogs as pets due to safety concerns.

Final Thoughts

Modern dogs and wolves are the same species. Dogs share a common ancestor with wolves many thousands of years ago. Some breeds of dogs blur the line between dog and wolf.

But there are also many differences in their behavior and nature. Many humans and dogs share a close and permanent bond, whereas wolves tend to form a stronger bond with their pack.

The journey from the ancestral wolf to the domesticated dog has fascinated us for a very long time and will continue to be studied in the future.

Assistance Animals: What Are the Differences Between a Therapy Dog, Service Dog, or Emotional Support Dog

There are three primary types of assistance dogs: service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support dogs. While all three types of dogs can offer companionship and love, there are some key differences between them in terms of their training, purpose, and the type of assistance they provide. We’ll be looking at the traits of these assistance animals to understand the distinctions between them. 

Service Dogs

A service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. The disabilities served by service dogs can be physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. Service dogs are working animals, not pets. The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service dogs typically wear a vest or harness that identifies them as working animals. This helps people know that the dog is not just a pet and should not be disturbed while it is working.

Service dogs are different from other assistance animals in that they are allowed access to public places that are off-limits to other animals, such as restaurants, stores, buses, and government buildings. This is because their work or tasks directly assist their disabled handlers with everyday activities. 

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals under the ADA and therefore are not granted the same access rights.

The work or tasks a service dog performs must be directly related to the handler’s disability. For example, a service dog may be trained to help a person who has epilepsy by providing balance and support during seizures or alerting them to an oncoming seizure. Service dogs can also be trained to open doors, pick up dropped items, turn lights off or on, and provide other types of assistance such as reminding their handlers to take medication for PTSD, for example. If you have a service dog, perhaps as a veteran with disabilities, it is worth keeping in mind that you may well also be entitled to further disability benefits – you can see more here if this applies to you.

If you encounter a service dog without their owner, the owner may be in need of help. In the event that their owner is incapacitated, most service dogs are trained to seek out a nearby person and nudge or bark at them. Follow the dog and they may lead you to their owner, and you can identify the situation and call for help if necessary. 

Some of the more common service dog breeds bred by dog breeders include:

1. Labrador Retriever

2. Golden Retriever

3. German Shepherd

4. Collie

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are pets that have been specially trained to provide comfort and affection to people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other settings. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are not individually trained to perform specific tasks for their handlers; rather, they undergo training to learn how best to interact with people in order to provide comfort and relieve stress.

Therapy dogs typically visit hospitals and nursing homes on a regular basis with their owners/handlers. They may also visit schools and libraries as part of reading programs designed to help children improve their literacy skills. Therapy dog teams must adhere to strict guidelines regarding vaccinations and health clearances before they can begin visiting facilities. In addition, therapy dog teams must complete a training program that covers topics such as proper handling techniques and how best to interact with different types of people.

Some of the more common therapy dog breeds include:

1. Greyhound

2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

3. Beagle

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

5. Shih Tzu

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals (ESAs) provide companionship and emotional support for people with anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental illnesses. Unlike service dogs and therapy dogs which receive specialised training for their roles, ESAs do not require any specific training; however, they must meet certain criteria in order to qualify as an emotional support animal. 

In order for an animal to be considered an ESA by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), the individual must have a documented mental illness that significantly impairs at least one major life activity and requires treatment from an LMHP. The animal must also provide some form of emotional support that alleviates at least one symptom of the individual’s mental illness (e.g., providing comfort during periods of anxiety).

Why Encino Rat Control is Important

Encino is a neighborhood located in Los Angeles, California’s San Fernando Valley region.  It also has a rich Native American history.  Did you know Encino got its name from all its mighty oak trees?  Encino is Spanish for “oak tree.”  We wouldn’t want rats nibbling on those beautiful oak trees, would we?

Why Encino Should Worry About Rat Control

Even though Encino doesn’t have a known rat problem, Encino rat control should still be a priority for the city.  Why?  Rats don’t care about your geographical location.  They will go wherever they want, and no town is safe.  Encino should educate themselves on the signs of a rat infestation, so they will be prepared if they ever have this type of problem.

Rat Infestation Signs

  • Rat droppings
  • Rats have terrible eyesight and use dirt and grime on their bodies to make a familiar path to follow.  Look out for grime-coated rub marks.
  • Rat Holes or Nests:  Some rats use holes to borrow through paths, store food, and as a place to sleep.  Other rats may prefer making nests to living in holes. 
  • Scratching Noises:  Rats are excellent climbers, and you’ll be able to hear them doing it by the scratching sounds their paws make.
  • Since rats use dirt and grime on them to their advantage, footprints will probably be easier to spot.  One way to test for rats is to sprinkle talcum powder or flour on the floor and see if any little prints show up.

Rats Can Get Onto Roofs

Not even Encino rooftops are safe from rats.  Roof rats are usually white-bellied, grey-bellied, rats that have stowed onto ships, or Alexandrine rats.  They are not fans of the cold but can thrive in a warm Encino climate.  Rats are very adaptive, which is another reason why Encino rat control should be an investment for the city.

Signs of roof rats may include:

  • Hearing movement inside walls or attics
  • Droppings, chewed wood or pipes
  • Tunnels in your installation

Act fast if you see these signs because roof rats reproduce quickly and form large populations.

Rats Carry Transmissible Diseases

Rats are notoriously filthy creatures, and with good reason. They carry a whole host of transmissible diseases that can be transmitted to humans through their contact with rats or by coming into contact with items that have been in contact with rats. These include:

1. Leptospirosis, which causes fever, headache, muscle pain, chills, and vomiting. It can lead to meningitis in some cases.

2. Salmonella, which causes diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting within 12-72 hours of exposure.

3. Rat-Bite Fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis), which causes fever and headache within a week of being bitten by a rat or other rodent (such as mice). It can also cause death in rare cases due to septicemia (blood poisoning).

4. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), caused by the Sin Nombre virus transmitted by urine, droppings, and saliva from infected deer mice or white-footed mice living in areas where humans live or visit frequently (such as cabins or campsites). The first symptoms include flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and muscle aches followed by respiratory problems such as shortness of breath.

5. Bubonic Plague, caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. The disease can be transmitted by fleas, which rats and other rodents carry. To understand how this happens, we need to look at how the fleas carry the plague: they bite people (and other animals) and then defecate near their host. If these infected feces gets into open wounds or mucous membranes, it can cause an infection.

How To Protect The Health of Your Family

If you live in an area with a high risk of pest infestation, then it’s time to take action. Regular pest control will help keep you and your loved ones safe and well.

At American Rat Control, we know how important it is to keep pests at bay. That’s why we offer a 24/7 service that can help prevent an infestation before it starts. Our team of experts will work with you to develop a customized plan for your home or business so that you can rest easy knowing that any threats are being taken care of immediately.

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner looking for protection from bed bugs or termites, termite inspections, and treatment plans, our experts have got you covered! Our services include:

  • A thorough inspection of your property
  • Identifying potential problems with pests like cockroaches and rodents
  • Mitigation techniques to stop infestations before they start

The Bottom Line

Rats are unique animals that humans have always been fascinated with because they have caused us so much grief.  There have even been studies done on birth control for rats.  Until the day comes when we can control their population, invest in Encino rat control.

Author bio-

Louis started American Rat Control Inc. because he realized there were not very many options in the pest control industry for expert rodent control and removal. Durring his 37+ years in rodent control & Construction he developed processes and techniques to quickly identify rodent entry points on a structure and how to seal them up to last and look good.

Dog Equipment and Supplies Checklist for New Dog Owners

There’s something very comforting and loving about having a dog be a part of your family. While bringing a new pet into your home can be a lot of fun, it can also be a little stressful. 

If you’re planning on welcoming a new dog into your family, and you want to do so as effectively as possible, keep on reading for our must-have list of dog equipment.

Collars and Leashes

A good quality collar and leash are two of the most important items on the list.

The collar should be comfortable for the dog to wear and sturdy enough to hold up to daily wear and tear. The leash should be the proper length for the dog and also be made of durable material.

Collars like martingale leashes combine collar and leash into one. An article on a martingale leash said that this works best for dogs that usually chase other dogs, are not being walked, are pullers, or dogs suffering from ADHD.

Crate or Kennel

Crates are dogs’ safe place where they can go to relax and feel secure.

The crate or kennel should be large enough for dogs to stand up or turn around in, but not too big. It should be made of strong material that will not collapse if the dog bumps into it or jumps on it.

It should have a soft and comfortable bed or mattress inside for the dog to lie on. The crate or kennel should be placed in a safe, quiet place in the home.

Bowls for Food and Water

When choosing a bowl, make sure it’s the right size for your dog and is made of durable material.

You may also want to get a separate bowl for water and one for food, or choose a bowl that has dividers to keep the two separate. You’ll also want to make sure the bowl is easy to clean.


Your puppy must have different and interesting toys to play with, if not, they might chew on your belongings. Chew toys also help keep your dog’s teeth clean while they exercise their jaws. They also provide mental stimulation for your fur baby.

Dog Equipment for Grooming

Quality dog supplies like shampoo, conditioner, and de-shedding tools are essential. You will also need a brush, comb, and nail clippers.

This also includes items for cleaning, such as a vacuum cleaner, steam mop, paper towels, and waste bags. It is also important to have the proper shampoo, conditioner, and grooming tools, such as a brush and comb. 

Proper Preparation

These are some essential items every new dog owner should have on hand. Proper preparation also includes research.

New dog owners should take the time to learn about their dog’s breed and specific needs. As a new dog owner, it is important to be prepared with the proper dog equipment and supplies. 

By taking the time to properly prepare, new dog owners can set their furry friends up for success and provide them with a loving, forever home.

For more information on what it takes to raise a new happy, healthy pooch, take a minute to check out the rest of our blog.

5 Toys for Destructive Chewers

Chewing on toys and bones is important for a dog. Not only can it help relieve mild anxiety, frustration, or stress, but it can also help keep your pup’s jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing is a great outlet for extra energy as it can keep them focused and release endorphins which can increase the sense of well-being and pleasure.

However, if your dog chews through toys like they are nothing, it can make it more difficult to ensure they have this outlet. And while you may want the right toys for your tough chewer, the wrong type won’t last long and can even be dangerous to your dog. That’s why it’s important to find special dog toys built for destructive chewers.

Here are a few of our top picks and some tips for finding the best toy for your canine pal:

Top Recommended Toys for Tough Chewers

The ideal material that will stand up to your dog’s tough teeth will be durable, but not dangerous. While no toys will be 100% destroy-proof, some toys are made to last longer than others, such as those made from rubber.

Generally, look for toys like chew rings, heavy duty toy balls, and chew bones. These different products offer a range of stimulation and entertainment, as well as physical and mental exercise. And, they are designed to withstand tough teeth.

A few of the top toys to check out for your pup include:

  1. West Paw Zogoflex Hurley Tough Dog Bone: Not only are these toys made in the U.S.A. and easy to clean, but they are also 100% damage free guarantee. So, if your dog does destroy the Hurley, you’ll get a new one sent to you. These dogs are great for chewing and playing fetch, even in water since they float. However, they aren’t hard enough to damage your dog’s teeth.

  2. Kong: Just about KONG products are designed for chewers, including the KONG Extreme Rubber Ball, Classic KONG, KONG Extreme Goodie Bone, and KONG Flyer. They are tough and durable, made out of natural, non-toxic rubber that is soft on your dog’s teeth but made to withstand chewing. These toys are available in a variety of sizes and shapes and are easy to clean. Plus, they are reasonably priced. Some KONGs can even be stuffed with treats or peanut butter for extra stimulation.

  3. Goughnuts: Checkout the Original, MaXX, or Buster for a toy that’s tough but fun to play with. Plus, it has a built-in safety net – in the MaXX 50 ring, the outer later is black and the inner layer is red. As long as you don’t see the red, the toy is safe to play with. If you do see red, send it back for a free replacement. These toys are thick, heavy, and durable, but they are gentle on teeth.

  4. Reinforced plush toys: If your dog likes plush toys but is ripping out the stuffing within seconds, try a plush that doesn’t have stuffing and may be reinforced with tougher material to stand up to your pup’s teeth. Squeakers can also help keep your dog’s interest, and if they do destroy the toy, clean-up is quick and easy. Try this Squeaky Wild Forest Raccoon or Speedy Fox from RexiPets.

  5. Nylabone or Benebone: If you want to give your dog an actual bone to chew, your best options would be Nylabone or Benebone chews. Be sure to choose one that’s for your dog’s correct weight and only let them chew while supervised, because pieces can break off and be swallowed. However, these brands design their toys out of a durable nylon material that most dogs enjoy chewing. Grooves and shapes can be perfect for your dog to hold and clean their teeth, and yummy flavors can make the bones even more fun to chew.

Tips for Finding the Best Toy for Your Destructive Chewer

Shopping for the best toy for your dog can be tricky, especially if they seem to destroy everything you buy. While starting with the recommended toys above, there are a few other tips to follow to find the best for your pet:

  • Choose one for your dog’s weight. Not all chews are made the same. Many toys are marketed as “suitable for dogs that weigh up to XX lbs.” Make sure you don’t buy toys that are made for small dogs if yours is 80 lbs., or vice versa. Not only will it likely be destroyed quickly, but it can also be dangerous.

  • Choose hard toys with caution. Really hard chew toys, like antlers, bones, and hooves, are great in moderation and long-lasting. However, these chews can chip, fracture, or break your dog’s teeth, or they can splinter and cut your dog’s tongue and gums. Swallowed pieces can cause internal issues. If you buy your dog a hard toy, be sure to supervise the chewing and only let them chew a little bit at a time. Also, inspect the toy prior to your dog chewing it.

  • Shop for durable materials. Rubber is probably the material that’s firm enough to stand up to serious chewing but has enough give that it won’t hurt your pet’s teeth or mouth. It is also easy to clean, and many rubber toys float if your dog likes to play in the water.

  • Check the “chewing style” on the packaging. Many toys will list on the packaging what type of chewing style that toy is made for. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, look for “power chew” or “extreme chewing style.” Depending on how much of a destructive chewer your dog is, you may also be able to consider “strong chewing style.” Choosing the best style will not only help your toys last longer but can also help keep your dog safe.

5 Signs Your Pet Should See a Vet

No pet parent wants their furry friend to be in pain or feel uncomfortable for longer than necessary. However, it can be difficult to tell what’s normal pet behavior and what means a pet needs to go to the vet — after all, pets can’t tell their owners when they need to visit a vet. You should be looking out for a few common signs that may require a veterinary appointment. Here are five signs you should make an appointment with a vet.

1. Difficulty Breathing or Rapid Breathing

In general, labored or rapid breathing is a sign that there may be a problem with your pet’s health. Of course, if you’ve just been outside or your pet has just played around, that’s completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if you notice that your pet regularly seems to be wheezing or breathing rapidly, it’s a good idea to book a veterinary appointment to make sure everything is okay.

2. Problems Eating or Drinking

One of the first signs many pet parents notice is a change in eating or drinking habits. This may be a refusal to eat or drink, or it may be eating or drinking significantly more than normal. Either way, if your pet has started eating or drinking differently than normal, it’s a good idea to check in with a veterinarian to make sure that change isn’t related to illness.

3. Changes in Normal Behavior & Movement

When pets are in pain, they’ll often move in different ways to avoid triggering the pain. For example, they may stop going up the stairs, avoid jumping up on the bed or couch. They may try to find ways to get down from the furniture without landing too harshly. If you notice that your pet is suddenly being “more careful” than normal with their movements, it might be because of pain issues.  Booking an appointment with a veterinarian can help figure things out.

4. Red, Cloudy or Weeping Eyes

Changes in the way a pet’s eyes look may indicate an infection, issues with vision, or something else entirely. The difference in how a pet’s eyes look from healthy to not can be very different from how a human’s eyes look. However, if you spend time with your pet, you can likely tell the difference between normal eyes and eyes that may indicate health concerns. Pet telehealth is a great option to ask a veterinarian quickly about your pet’s eye condition and to get advice on how to resolve it.

5. Unexplained Aggression or Behavioral Changes

Stress or aggression from other animals may trigger completely understandable behavioral changes. However, behavioral changes can also come from less obvious sources like illness. Think about it: When you’re in pain or unwell, you’re probably a bit grumpy, right? It makes sense that you would see a similar type of behavioral change in an animal that’s experiencing pain.

Understanding Your Pet’s Behaviors Better

All five of these behaviors are signs that you should book an appointment with a veterinarian to make sure everything is okay. Telehealth solutions like Vetster with a free mobile app, make it easy to book a licensed veterinarian and get advice on your pet’s health issues from the comfort of your own home.

The Beginner’s Guide to Managing a Multi-pet Household

There are several reasons why you might think it’s a good idea to add another pet portraits to your household. Some animal lovers simply adore the possibility of having several four-legged friends underfoot. Meanwhile, there are pet parents who think their fur babies might be lonely staying at home all by themselves and believe that it would be good for their beloved pets to have a playmate.

Whatever the case, if adopting a new pet is something that you’re giving some serious thought to, it’s also important for you to remember that doing so requires a bit of planning. For one, even if your pet might be the sweetest, friendliest creature in the world, it’s impossible to guarantee how they’ll get along with the new addition. They’ll more than likely need a bit of prep before they’re ready to share stomping grounds that they’ve had sole dominion over this whole time. Having multiple pets also means addressing different sets of needs for each fur baby. Finally, you’ll probably also have to go through personal adjustments of your own.

Fortunately, by establishing a few ground rules and getting ahead of certain common situations, you and your new pets can all co-exist peacefully under one roof. Here’s our practical beginner’s guide on how to manage a multi-pet household:

Provide Each Pet with Their Own Supplies

Animals can be extremely territorial, not just about certain spaces in your home but also about the things that they use and feel that they own. One dog simply won’t appreciate having the scent of another on their bed, blanket, or favorite soft toys. They also won’t take too well to another pet sniffing around their food or water bowls. Maintain the peace in your home by giving each pet their own beds, playthings, and accessories. You can also invest in custom dog collars and leashes to make it easier to differentiate each pet’s items.

Stay Calm and Compassionate, yet Authoritative

Your pets will inevitably take their attitude cues from the way you conduct yourself. To assert control over the situation from the beginning, you’ll need to project a sense of firm yet considerate leadership. You’ll want to make it clear to your fur babies that you have full control over all the resources they need or want, such as food, toys, access to certain areas of the home, and even your attention.

This means establishing ground rules and making sure that your pets follow them. Generally, you’ll need to reinforce good conduct and ignore actions you don’t want to see repeated. If they’re polite and patient, reward them. If they’re unnecessarily noisy or rowdy, you may have to deprive them of games, toys, and other forms of interaction.

Introduce Your Pets to Each Other Properly

One of the most common mistakes that anyone can make when bringing a new dog into their fold is failing to properly introduce them to the existing pet. It’s a simple process that can help ensure a lifelong friendship between the two pups, though, so it’s worth taking the time and effort to do.

First, you’ll want to pick a neutral spot where the two fur babies can introduce themselves to each other. It should ideally be outdoors and fully-fenced, but one that neither dog has already claimed by having visited or walked through it frequently. It’s also a good idea to pick a quiet place where there aren’t any other people or animals about. Keep both dogs leashed and allow them to get familiar with one another.

You’ll know that the dogs will get along fine if they exhibit signs of positive body language, such as wagging tails and a genuine interest in one another. From there, you can allow them to interact with each other off-leash, rewarding and praising them for their good behavior the whole time. If either of them seems tense or frightened, comfort them and give them some time to calm down before giving it another try.

Feed Pets Separately and Supervise Them While They Eat

We’ve already mentioned how territorial pets can get in a general sense, but they can become even more aggressive when there’s food involved. To prevent your fur babies from getting all worked up and causing accidents, your best bet is to separate your four-legged friends during mealtimes. You can do this by following a certain schedule or simply establishing different feeding areas for them in the house.

Don’t prepare as you serve, either—instead, put an assembly line together so that everyone gets their chow at roughly the same time. Puppies, senior dogs, and those who suffer from certain health conditions may do better when fed in a crate or a closed-off space. This will allow them to eat in peace without experiencing hostile behavior from another pet.

You can live happily ever after with multiple pets at home, as long as you provide them with a reasonable amount of choice, control, and predictability over their lives. It can be challenging at first, but you’ll soon be thanking yourself for making such a great decision.

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