How can you be a great animal shelter volunteer?  Follow these five steps and you will become one.

1) You must be dedicated to the health and welfare of the animals you take care of in the shelter by giving them your love and kindness, showing them you care by taking care of them when they are sick and feeling left out, being their friend when they have lost their friend.

2) Make sure that they are fed and watered as per the instruction for the animal.  If an animal requires a special diet make sure that they only get the food that is recommended for that animal.

3) Take the time to play and walk with the animals.  Some animals require more vigorous work outs to keep them happy, others only require some petting and attention.  Take the time to know the animals you work with.

4) Once you know the animals read what other volunteers have said about the animals in their write-ups.  Keep track of what you notice about the animals and add your own information about each and every one.  Some of the items you can keep track of are:

  • How well they respond to voice command while playing
  • How well they walk around people and other animals
  • How well they play with other animals
  • Weather or not they adapt to having animals of other species around them (cat and dogs)
  • Weather or not they are approachable by other people

5) You must always be there at your appointed time because the animals depend upon you to be there.  An exceptional volunteer will also make time in their holidays to make sure that the animals are well taken care of.

So if you are thinking of becoming an animal shelter volunteer then the five items above will give you a clear idea of what is needed.  This is really what any animal needs weather or not it is at a shelter, in the home, or a stray.  They all need love and attention.

 

Animals in shelters typically come from a background of abuse and neglect. Sometimes these animals have little or no social skills with other animals or humans. Similar to humans, social skills with humans or other animals are vital.

What is socialization?

Socialization teaches dogs to interact with humans and other animals in a friendly manner. Those responsible for socializing dogs use different tactics and methods. Placing dogs in foster homes and forever homes requires they have certain socialization skills. The skills required depend on the makeup of those homes. Do the homes have children, other dogs, or other pets? How does the dog respond to children, males, females, and other animals?

Often times, animal shelters know little about the dogs in their care. Especially when the dogs are found abandoned. In these situations, how do you know what type of environment they will thrive in? The best shelters perform aggression testing to determine what social skills are in place and which need to be worked on.

Proper socialization decreases the dog’s stress and the chance of lashing out. Shelter dogs need to be introduced to socializing differently than a 3-week old puppy. Follow these steps for socializing your shelter dogs:

  1. Choose the right volunteer. Choose volunteers who are calm by nature. Anxiousness is easily detected by the dogs. If the volunteer is anxious or quick to yank on the leash, the dogs get scared.
  2. Introduce them to other shelter dogs. During the initial meetings keep both dogs on a loose leash. This gives the dogs chance to move freely to check out the surrounding environment. Keep the dogs about 8 feet apart to avoid a face to face meeting which many dogs don’t enjoy.
  3. Pay attention. Take notice of how the dogs react to one another. Look for signs of discomfort – stiff body, bared teeth, or growling. Maintain distance between the dogs in these situations or stop for the day if they don’t calm down.
  4. Introduce them to a group setting. After the dogs do well in the one on one introduction, they can be introduced to a group setting. Have the volunteer take the dog into a group environment on a leash. Drop the leash inside – give them chance to explore while still having a method to manage them. Take them off the leash after 20-30 minutes of good behavior. Continue to watch them for another 20- 30 minutes to make sure they remain calm.
  5. Slowly move them full-time to the group setting. Move new dogs into the group setting in stages. Let them stay for a few hours adding time every day until you work up to a full day with the other dogs.

The world of dog products is vast and all-encompassing. If there is a problem, there is an animal care product to fix it. One product quickly gaining traction for it’s multi-beneficial use is dog toe grips.

How do they work?

Dogs use their nails for traction they flex their paws and dig in their nails like cleats on natural ground. But on surfaces such as marble, linoleum, or hardwood floors, their hard nails can’t get a grip or traction. Toe grips are non-slip grips that fit right into a dog’s individual toe nails and here by friction. This eliminates the slipping problem that can be frustrating for all dogs- but almost paralyzing for senior dogs or those with certain injuries. Because the grips it onto the nails only- most dogs don’t even realize they are on, unlike socks or boots which fit over a whole paw and a dog can chew or push off.

Toe grips come in multiple sizes, so you are required to measure your dog’s nails to ensure a proper fit. Toe grips can migrate up the nail, so be sure to check regularly to ensure they are in the proper place.

What are the benefits?

Dog toe grips improve mobility and stability, increase canine confidence, and reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries. They are especially useful for senior dogs who do not have the ability to compensate on slippery hardwood floors they way they did when they were young to avoid sliding, or to those dogs who have difficulty going from laying to standing. They have also proven and effective way to restore confidence and mobility in dogs with the following problems:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Neurologic issues
  • ACL/Cruciate injuries
  • Blindness
  • Hind end weakness
  • Tripawds

The best part is- you no longer have to cover your house in carpet or throw rugs to allow your dog full access to your home. A set of dog toe grips will typically run you about $30- and are available both online and in pet stores. A set can last up to three months before needing replacement.

Dog toe grips are an affordable and easy animal care to give your dog his confidence and mobility back!

As the winter fades away and the temperatures rise, we naturally spend more time outdoors. Spring is a glorious time of year, but for allergy sufferers, it can be an extremely irritating season.  You may not realize it, but your dog and cat can suffer from seasonal allergies as well. You don’t need to be an animal health expert to figure out if your pet has allergies. Here are a few things to consider to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms.

How to tell if your pet has allergies

As the trees start to bloom, they release pollen into the air. These tiny airborne particles can cause your dog’s eyes to itch, but you’ll most likely notice your pooch scratching a lot. Their skin becomes very itchy and they’ll scratch, bite, and rub themselves against hard surfaces to find some sort of relief. You might also notice hot spots on your dog. According to an animal health expert, a hot spot is noticeably red and there can be bleeding and hair loss around a small area of skin.

How to help your pet cope with allergies

Environmental allergies are almost impossible to avoid for dogs who need to go outside to do their business. For cats, it’s quite simple – keep them indoors. To help alleviate your dog’s allergy symptoms, bath them frequently. The more they scratch, the more inflamed and tender the skin will become. Regular baths throughout the spring and summer months can help sooth their dry, itchy skin.

How to help prevent allergies

It may not be possible to prevent all seasonal allergies, but you can help prevent the symptoms.

  • Clean your pet’s bedding frequently and vacuum and clean the floors regularly.
  • Use non-toxic cleaners. Household cleaners with harsh chemicals can irritate their skin even more.
  • Animal health is a priority. Keep your pet healthy by visiting the vet yearly for their regular checkup. Allergies are an immune system response, so it’s important to keep your pet’s immune system strong.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet or raw food diet may also help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Each year thousands and thousands of animals enter into shelters. Sadly, some of these shelters are kill shelters meaning they put to sleep animals that are in perfect health and fun of love. This is because many shelters lack proper communication with their local communities about each animal that is in them. If shelters would, share important information about the animals that come into their shelters the animals would have a better chance at becoming adopted. If you are a shelter, wondering what needs to be shared with the community take a look at the list below for guidance.
#1 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Behavioral Problems
It is important to share with the community, not all animals that come into your shelter have behavioral problems. Some are well behaved and just neglected and need a new loving home. Share information about particular animals in your shelter that do have certain behavioral issues, but also share how these issues can be resolved with tender love and care and lots of patience.
#2 Share with the Community that Not All Animals in the Shelter have Health Issues
It is common for people to believe that animals in shelters have troublesome healthy issues, but this is not always true. Discuss with your community that the animals that come into your shelter are most of the time healthy, but on some occasions, you do get animals with health issues that are treated successfully. In addition, talk about the animals that are loving, and well behaved, that simply need ongoing treatments to live happy healthy lives so they can have a chance at becoming adopted too.
#3 Share with the Community that Adopting animals from the Shelter is More Affordable and a lot Safer
If you think going to the pet store and purchasing a new puppy is affordable, guess again. Adopting a new animal from a shelter is actually more affordable. This is because most of the animals from shelters are fixed, have already had a wellness check by a veterinarian hospital, and are up to date on all vaccinations. This means you simply get to enjoy the new pet you are bring home. Most importantly, animals adopted from the shelter have had behavioral evaluations, which helps properly place an animal in the right home that is safe for them and their new owners.
#4 Discuss with the Community that Adopting a Pet can Enrich Their Lives
It’s important to discuss with the community that adopting a pet from the shelter can enrich their lives. This is because animals can provide love, laughter and protection too. In fact, not only do animals from shelters provide love, laughter and protection, but animals are also a great remedy for curing loneliness and sadness. They can even help a person with a certain health condition to become more independent.
Bottom Line for Shelter Animals Needing New Homes
The best way for a shelter to find animals new loving homes that fit their needs and their new owners needs is by communicating with your community properly. Proper placement of an animal can ensure they have a home for life and their new owners have a new pal they will just absolutely love and adore. So, get the word out in your community about the animals you have in your shelters by posting articles in a local newspaper, posting flyers in your community areas and send news letters to each member that lives you’re your community. Let everyone know the truth about your shelter and the animals you have in them.

People who operate puppy mills are often posing as legitimate breeders, but all too often they are irresponsibly breeding puppies in unhealthy conditions. Dogs sold by puppy mills are more likely to be sickly or have genetic disorders than dogs from reputable breeders. Here are 5 signs that may indicate your dog came from a puppy mill.
The Breeder Does Not Provide Information
A legitimate breeder will have extensive information on each puppy sold. Your breeder should be able to introduce you to your puppy’s parents and should invite you to see the location where the puppy was born.
Breeders who do not allow you to visit their facilities should raise your suspicion.
The Breeder Does Not Provide Vaccination Records
Puppy mill operators want to make as much money as possible and often don’t spend money on their dogs. In many cases, puppies are not vaccinated at all.
If your breeder cannot provide a vaccination record for your puppy, that is a sign that the breeder is running a puppy mill.
Your Puppy Was Offered at Less Than 8 Weeks Old
Responsible breeders don’t sell puppies younger than 8 weeks old. This is because the pups need to be with their mother and litter mates until that time. If your puppy was sold before 8 weeks, it’s a sign that the puppy was the product of a puppy mill.
Your Puppy Has a Bad Odor
Puppy mills often smell bad because of too many dogs occupying too small a space. If you bought a puppy that smelled like a kennel, you should suspect that your pup came from a puppy mill.
The Breeder Did Not Ask About You
Honest breeders care about the puppies they sell and want to make sure you have the proper environment for the dog. They are also interested in making sure that you have good intentions in raising the puppy and are planning to have the dog spayed or neutered.
Puppy mill operators don’t care what happens to the puppy, so they don’t ask questions.
Puppy mills contribute to sickness in dog and promote animal cruelty. If possible, avoid buying a puppy from one of these places. Instead opt for a legitimate breeder, or adopt a rescue or shelter dog.

Matching fur babies with their family members is a day that will change the lives of both forever. This day can come even sooner if you publicize the animal as much as possible. You can increase animal adoptions in easy, simple ways.

Online Viewing

Animal adoptions have proven to skyrocket once people can put a face to an animal and fall in love. Put each pet on your website so people can browse through and find the type of animals that interest them. Offer fun personality traits and any background information. Write attention catching, fun copy to draw people into each pet. Make sure the pet looks snazzy and that the picture showcases their personality. Besides you own website, register with PetFinder.com. This website helps thousands of pets find their soulmates each year.

Mobile Adoption Events
Getting pets in front of hundreds of hands waiting to pet them will help your adoption rates. You can set up these adoption events at any city gathering or festival to increase exposure. Hand out education material about adopting pets so people can see the benefits. Many people simply cannot resist petting a cute animal and just leaving the animal there watching as they walk away. It’s hard to turn down puppy dog eyes and a sweet kitty cat purr!

Television
Many local television networks offer spots about adoptable pets. Dress a few of the pets up in a cute “Adopt Me” attire and parade them on television. If you’ve ever seen any of the late night talk show’s animal spots, you know they are some of the most fun and popular segments. People can see the personality of the animals and connect which leads them to coming in to visit the pet for potential adoption.

Flyers

Take adorable pictures of the adoptable pets and print them on cardstock along with a playful biography. You can place these at the organization when people come to visit or you can pass the flyers out when you are out with the pets on a walk or playing outside. Ask local businesses if you can stick some of the cards in their windows or at the cashier counter so the pets get utmost exposure.

 

A recent study conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) shows that people who adopt dogs from animal shelters are more content with their pet than people who buy a dog from a pet shop. This tears apart the stereotype of animal shelter dogs being “damage goods”, unfriendly and slow.

The truth is that animal shelter dogs are incredibly grateful to leave their strict confines and enter into your world. Can you imagine how good it must feel to leave a crowded shelter with little space to roam and play? You are doing an animal shelter dog an enormous favor by bringing him home even though you might not notice it right away. It might take your adopted dog a day or two to feel comfortable in your home but rest assured that deep down he is ecstatic with his new spacious digs, his new yard and his new family.

The survey mentioned above also indicates that dog owners who adopted from animal shelters were more than two times as likely to recommend adopting from the shelter than those who purchased a dog at a retail outlet. Part of the reason is the fact that dogs adopted from animal shelters typically require much less treatment and care from veterinarians than those bought at retail pet stores. So, you’ll be opening your heart and your home to an animal in need but you won’t be opening your wallet as much as those who opt to shop for a dog.

Part of the reason why owners who adopted animal shelter dogs are so pleased with their new pets is that the majority of these dogs lived with families in the past. This means that they will be able to quickly and easily socialize with you and your family. They’ll also be much more likely than pet shop dogs to seamlessly transition into your living environment and blend in with the rest of your household.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of adopting a shelter dog is that you are saving a life. Every dog deserves to live and live in a quality home. Just think about how much a shelter dog would appreciate the chance to live comfortably alongside a friendly family in a spacious home. Adopt a shelter dog today and save a life.

A landlord may feel the need to require animal insurance as a means of limiting her liability. Landlords, although appearing to have an interest primarily in their tenants and the tenants’ well-being, actually have a greater interest in themselves and the condition of their security property, otherwise known to  the rest of us as merely  our apartment or house. Because the condition and safety of their property interests is at the top of their lists, they must take practical steps to protect that property and their own liability as the owner of the property.

Animal insurance is important because it protects landlords against two types of liability, both of which scare property owners.  Animal  insurance covers the landlord in the event of any damage caused by the animal and  covers liability the landlord may incur as a result of an injurious act of a pet.

Animal insurance covering pet damage to a rental unit can be added as a rider to a tenants regular renter’s insurance policy for an additional policy premium. Insurance which includes liability insurance covering injuries caused by the tenant’s pets can also be added as a rider to the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy in locations where that coverage is available for renters to purchase. i f a  policy purports to cover various pet related injuries, be certain that the policy does not offer such limited coverage that it becomes impracticable to give effect to that provision. Coverage for anything is available in a particular state  only when that state’s legislature authorizes that coverage

There are additional contractual ways of offering protection to a landlord in addition to requiring animal insurance coverage provided by tenants on the acts of their pets. Certain pet agreements entered into by landlords and tenants may serve to reduce risks to landlords caused by pet misbehavior but does not replace the protection of animal insurance. One of these agreements can be put into effect by clearly stating the nature of any acts the landlord is responsible for and which acts of the pet’s behavior are then the sole  responsibility of the tenant-pet owners.

Any landlord making use of a pet agreement  to assign rights and/or responsibilities relating to pets on the premises must maintain a  list of the specific pets covered b the agreement and must further be vigilant to keep the list updated.

 

Millions of animals are euthanized each year before they even have a chance to find a loving home. Giving these animals a second chance combined with the smile and love they will bring to the new owner’s home simply warms the heart. Holding pet adoption events could be the gateway to a whole new life for these animals. The best thing is that adoption events aren’t too costly and can be held in many locations. Choosing a great location is essential to the success of your adoption event.

Petco

Petco is often flooded with excited potential pet owners each weekend as they visit adoptable pets. Petco partners with many foundations and companies to host these types of events. They offer a large area to your adoptable pets so people can meet the animals and find the perfect fit. You can offer infromation about each pet and even give education material provided by Petco to potential new family members of the pets. All you have to do is become an Approved Adoption Partner by completing an online application.

Local Parades and Events

A great place to bring together animals and their future owners is at a local parade or local event. Basically anywhere in your city that brings together many people in one place is a perfect place to host an adoption. People can spend time with the animals while enjoying the event at the same time. The best way to set this up is to contact the coordinators of the local event. They will usually give you a perfect location and let you take the reigns from there. Who can resist a little kid at a parade begging his/her parents for a cute, cuddly new pet?!

PetSmart – National Adoption Weekends

Petsmart is one of the best places to find wagging tails and purring kitty cats during adoption events. It’s is not only a great location to hold a classic pet adoption event, but gives you ultimate exposure on Petsmart’s National Adoption Weekends. PetSmart holds these events four times a year featuring several adoption organizations each weekend. On average the weekends help over 17,000 pets find their soulmate.