In 1965 Britain's Farm Animal Welfare Council developed the Five Freedoms which have since become internationally accepted standards of care that affirm every living being's right to humane treatment. I am almost 2 years old and these basic freedoms have been denied to me most of my life. I am writing to change that.
Read more: The Five Freedoms
You know how your cat is being all lovey dovey drunk and giving you all the signals to pet her and she is purring and rubbing on you letting you know how wonderful you are? And then in the blink of an eye she is sinking her teeth into your hand? Well, that is normal. But I can tell you why it is normal and how to avoid the little “love nibbles” in the future. Please note, just because I am writing this does not mean that I condone or participate in this behavior.
Read more: How Much Petting is Too Much Petting?
Already burned out on election campaigns? Then sink your teeth into a campaign that is guaranteed to have a positive result. I am calling it The Coco Campaign and its one focus is finding me a loving home. But don’t worry, this entire Pet Column will not be limited to me, there will be transformative wisdom and inspirational awakenings mixed in as always.
Read more: The Coco Campaign
Big news on CNN folks. Ready? The “crazy cat lady” stereotype has been researched and debunked. And what’s more is that researchers have found that “cat people” (people smart enough to include cats in their households) actually tend to be more empathetic than non-cat owning people. Looks like the “crazy cat lady” is actually the “comforting cat person”.
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It is common practice among dogs to not get involved in politics. But can someone please explain to my canine brain how the Environmental Protection Agency, a government agency that is supposed to be protecting the environment, just reauthorized the use of the controversial cyanide chemical traps (called M-44s) to kill coyotes, dogs, foxes and other wild animals across the U.S.?
Read more: Cyanide Bombs Endanger Pets, People & Wildlife
Many cats naturally aspire to great heights. And yes this often leads to kitty kitchen counter cruising. Some feline inclusive families just accept this as part of the agreement they make with their cats while others wonder if there’s an actual solution to keeping their counters paw and butt free. Today I will enlighten you on the secrets to countering the counter cat…
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Dear Pet Column, is it true that I should not take my new puppy out in public until she has received her last puppy vaccination at 16 weeks?
-Perplexed Puppy Parent
Dear Perplexed, I am going to help you put this mythology away in a puppy crate forever. Puppies should absolutely be taken out into the world before the age of 12 weeks and certainly should not spend this incredibly critical period of development wrapped in a plastic bubble at home.
Because I am just a dog and you may not respect my wisdom I am lifting a quote from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) position statement on puppy socialization: “Because the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear, this is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences. Incomplete or improper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/or aggression. Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact, behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters. Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.”
AVSAB’s statement continues, “The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life... For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.”
And here is a quote from the American Veterinary Medical Association (meaning regular vets not just animal behaviorists): “By 8-9 weeks of age most dogs are sufficiently neurologically developed that they are ready to start exploring unfamiliar social and physical environments. Data show that if they are prohibited from doing so until after 14 weeks of age they lose such flexibility and may be fearful in these situations. Such dogs may function well within extremely restricted social situations but may be fearful and reactive among unfamiliar people, pets or in environments outside of the house.”
My advice is to find a good positive trainer before you adopt, as well as a veterinarian who will administer your puppy’s vaccinations on a schedule that will facilitate the pup’s timely admission to a puppy class. Do as much thoughtful, structured socializing as possible (more tips on that in an upcoming Pet Column) with your puppy at your home, and/or in the homes of friends or family members who have no dogs or healthy, vaccinated, reliably dog-friendly dogs who can be trusted to not scare or harm the puppy.
My name is Moo and I am an energetic 3.5 month young heeler mix that came to Second Chance after being found wondering the highway near the Ridgway State Park. I am a very sweet and happy puppy looking for a lot of love and special attention. Because of my early emotional trauma from abandonment I currently do not do well when left alone. I would love an attentive family that has a confident dog that I can learn from. I love to play with other dogs and go for long walks after long cuddle sessions with humans. Come meet me today!
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.
While waiting to be adopted I have been reading Temple Grandin’s book, Animals Make Us Human. As a cat I am particularly fond of this book title. The content was even juicier. It introduced research that challenged the long accepted “alpha male” paradigm of dog training and parenting. It highlighted that in the wild wolves do not naturally function through wolf packs structured by dominance hierarchies but from peaceful family units. It answers the controversial question regarding whether dogs are better suited to live with parental figures or alpha pack leaders…
Read more: Parenting vs Alpha-ing
My name is Bailey, an energetic one year young homeless Heelixer (Heeler mix) puppy. Today I write about what it really means when you make a decision to bring a pet into your life. I don’t want to preach but I do want to promote the pet parenting philosophy that my friends here at Second Chance Humane Society believe in. They agree with me that if this philosophy were embraced by all there would no longer be a need for animal shelters.
Read more: The Pet Parenting Philosophy
Kitten season has arrived here at Second Chance, yay for kids who love kittens! And yay for me because Second Chance has reduced their kitten adoption fees as there are so many of us here! While we wait to be adopted we are receiving lots of kid visits. Kids love kittens but sometimes they love us too much. So I wrote some guidelines to help you teach your child that kittens are not toys but fragile creatures that can become injured by a curious well-meaning child that wants to hug tiny bodies and tug cute tails and ears.
Read more: Kids & Kittens