Portland Dog Park’s: Hannah’s Top Pick

 

Labrador and Trainer with Dog Chew Toy at ParkCompared to other areas in the continental U.S., Portland doesn’t get a lot of sunshine or clear skies.  But when we do see that big yellow ball in the sky, we know better than most how to take advantage of it!  On any given sunny weekend, you’ll see open-air street fairs, food and drink festivals, city-wide river floats, and even pet-centered activities.

 

We’re lucky here in Portland.  Considered by many to be the most pet-friendly city in the country, our Pets enjoy the luxury of accompanying us to the farmers market, the pub and of course, the dog park!

Portland has more dog parks per capita than any other U.S. City.  Many of these are off-leash parks, for the best-behaved Pets among us.  Here is a short list of some of our favorites:

-          Council Crest Park in Southwest PDX offers some amazing views of the city and the surrounding area.  Council Crest also offers a large unfenced dog area.  For getting the heart-rate up, there is also a network of beautiful hiking trails that weave throughout the park.

-          One of the most popular parks in the city is Mount Tabor, with its impressive views, paved and unpaved bike-n-hike trails and the fenced dog park on the western base of the park.

-          Chimney Park in North Portland may be the most popular dog park for those “in the know”.  At 5.5 acres, your furry family members can really stretch their legs!

-          For the water dogs in our lives, Sellwood Riverfront Park can’t be beat!  Situated in the middle of a great neighborhood filled with shops, cafes and pubs (many of which have pet-friendly outdoor seating areas), this is a great place to spend an hour or a day.

-          Some smaller, neighborhood parks that we really enjoy include:

  • Wallace Park in the Alphabet District, with its fenced in dog yard and shady environs.
  • Normandale Park on NE Halsey is great for those with small dogs, as they have separate play areas for the little guys and the larger dogs.
  • Laurelhurst Park, one of Portland’s best known, has it all: trails, sporting courts, outdoor movies, ponds.  And of course, a breathtaking dog play area!

While we love playing and running with our pets, it’s important to know your furry family member’s behavior level before introducing them to the dog park.  If your Pet tends to run and you’re seeking an off-leash park, try a fenced option as opposed to an un-fenced park.  Does your Pet play rough?  Maybe take him/her to the park when it’s a bit less populated.

Behavior is the key.  Training is key and Hannah can help!  Hannah’s behavior team has provided guidance and instruction to countless Pets and their Pet parents through classes and consultations.   Hannah members enjoy all of the benefits of complete Pet care with none of the stress.  Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program not only provides lifetime behavioral training, but also all-inclusive veterinary care and high quality food, delivered right to your door.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

 

Who’s in Charge Here?

Couple in bedCompetition is a natural element of canine society.  Dogs, like other animals both wild and domestic, compete for food, mating partners, resting spots, toys, etc.  Dominance and submission is a way to determine these things through what is essentially a hierarchical ranking system.  As social creatures, dogs tend to organize themselves in their packs and social groups.  In play or work, some dogs will behave in a somewhat supervisory role, controlling the play and leading the charge, while others will often submit and follow the leader.

Some Pet parents tend to see dominance as a negative.  But it’s important to understand that dominance and aggression are not synonymous.  A dominant dog can seem stubborn and want to be in control.  What does this mean to the Pet parent?  Simply put, since there is a significant personality difference between submissive and dominant dogs, it means that training will need to be adjusted if it’s going to be effective.

The first step, of course, is to identify if your Pet is indeed dominant.  Clear signs of dominance include:

-          Barking when receiving commands

-          Jumping on people and furniture

-          Marking

-          Disobeying simple commands

Once you have determined that you indeed have a dominant Pet on your hands, training should begin immediately.  While training is extensive and should include classes and consultations, such as those provided by Hannah’s behavior professionals, here are a few tips to get started:

-          Establish yourself as the boss.  As a member of “the pack”, your dog should see you as the leader.

-          Commands should be firm, but not mean or aggressive.  Don’t give up on a command.  Repeat it if necessary until it is obeyed.

-          Since dominant dogs will often eat first, the Pet parent (or pack leader) should always eat before feeding the Pet.  When it’s time for your dog to eat, make him/her sit and wait patiently as you prepare the meal.

-          Dominant dogs will bristle against commands.  As a result, start with simple commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “lay down” to establish your dominance.

Some Pets are easier to train than others.  Hannah’s behavior team have provided guidance and instruction to countless Pets and their Pet parents through classes and consultations.   Hannah members enjoy all of the benefits of complete Pet care with none of the stress.  Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program not only provides lifetime behavioral training, but also all-inclusive veterinary care and high quality food, delivered right to your door.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Fireworks and Scary Noises!

 

Dog KissesFor many dogs, there is nothing that provokes more anxiety than loud, booming noises.  At the mere hint of thunder, loud airplanes or fireworks, they will begin to shake, pant and will often find a dark, enclosed place, like a closet or bathtub.

 

Remember that dogs have an acute sense of hearing.  The light rumble of thunder 10 miles away might go unnoticed by you, but your furry family member hears it loud and clear.  As many as 20% of dogs suffer from a fear of loud noises.  And while every Pet parent wants their Pets to be safe, secure and free from anxiety and fear, some things, such as the loud, rumbling boom of Independence Day fireworks displays, cannot be avoided.

 

But there are things we can do to alleviate the anxiety and with younger pups, even avoid the fear altogether.

 

-          If you have a young dog who has not yet developed a fear of loud noises, regular exposure to big, booming sounds can help your Pet to avoid developing such fears.  This holiday weekend is a great opportunity!  Take your dog to a fireworks display.  This will not only expose him/her to loud noises, but the crowd will allow for socialization and behavioral training.

 

-          If your Pet has already developed a noise phobia, allow access to a hiding place.  Dogs will often seek out a safe spot to wait out the perceived danger.  If your Pet has a favorite hiding spot, make sure s/he can access it.  Pets like to feel wrapped up or “hugged” when they feel fear or anxiety.  An enclosed hiding spot can provide this.

 

-          Similarly, some Pets can benefit from Anxiety Wraps or Thunder Shirts.

 

-          Provide a distraction.  Keep a Kong filled with peanut butter in the freezer or a flavored rawhide close by.  When the noises start and the anxiety begins to set in, give your Pet the treat.  This will not only provide a needed distraction, but if it’s done consistently, your Pet could begin to associate the noises with a positive reward.

 

-          In some cases, Pets can benefit from anti-anxiety medications.  While these medications should only be administered in very extreme circumstances and after consultation with your Pet’s veterinarian, they can be very helpful and provide a great deal of comfort to a fearful Pet.

 

Hannah the Pet Society has worked with many Pets and their Pet parents to address severe anxiety and fear caused by loud noises and other triggers.  Our team of Pet behavior specialists are always available to answer questions and provide support to our valued Hannah members.

 

Hannah members enjoy the benefits of complete Pet care for a low monthly fee.  Not only does each member get the expertise of our behavior team through classes, telephone advice and consultations, they also receive all-inclusive veterinary care (including prevention, vaccinations, dental care, emergencies, surgeries and medications) and food delivered right to their door!

 

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Heartworm Season

Have you noticed that some of the Northwest’s least welcome summer visitors have begun to buzz and attack as the weather heats up?  For most of us, mosquitos can be merely a nuisance; something to shoo away as we camp, hike, grill or just soak up the rays of summer.  But there are major risks associated with mosquitos, especially for Pet parents.

Heartworm is spread by mosquitos and can be more dangerous than most people can imagine.  While it often goes undetected at first, heartworm can become more severe over time and can eventually become deadly.  But it is preventable with simple heartworm prevention.

Here are some simple facts:

  • The symptoms of heartworm are lethargy, coughing and difficulty breathing.  In severe cases, it can even lead to heart failure and even death.
  • Heartworm prevention is not inexpensive.  However, treatment for victims of heartworm can cost as much as 10 times the amount it costs for prevention.  (For Hannah members, prevention is always included!)
  • Prevention can be given in pill form, or through an intravenous injection, which lasts 6 months.  Hannah offers both of these options.
  • The oral form of heartworm prevention is also useful in preventing other parasites such as roundworms.
  • While heartworm is most common in hotter and more humid climates, where mosquitoes are most prevalent, it is a risk anywhere mosquitoes can be found.  This includes the Pacific Northwest.

At Hannah, we believe the best approach to caring for our Pets is by providing the most effective preventative care available.  Hannah Members and their Pets enjoy a comprehensive and all-inclusive veterinary care program, called Total Lifetime Care, which includes prevention (flea, tick & heartworm), dental, medications, surgeries, spay/neuter and emergencies.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

iStock_000016084712workPack some kibble, grab a leash and create a comfy spot under your desk, because this Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Anyone who has visited one of Hannah’s Health & Education or Placement Centers has probably seen or even interacted with some of the many Pets who accompany their Pet parents to work.  The ability to bring our Pets to work is one of the perks of being a Hannah Team Member and allows our Pets to interact and socialize with hundreds of other Pets and people every week.

If you work in an appropriate, Pet-safe environment and if your Pet has a calm, friendly and obedient disposition, it’s a great idea to bring your Pet to work with you!  As noted in a recent blog post, people who complete a difficult task in the company of a loving Pet, are less likely to feel the effects of extreme stress and anxiety.  Also, Pets can help to create a more positive, fun and energetic work environment, leading to greater morale and higher productivity.

A few things to keep in mind:

-          Before bringing your Pet, make sure it’s ok!  Check with your supervisor and coworkers to ensure there are no policy, safety or health concerns.

-          Your Pet will be there all day.  Make sure to provide food, water and something to keep them occupied, such as a peanut butter Kong, rawhides or a food puzzle.

-          Set aside time to stretch those legs every few hours.  That could mean taking a few laps around the building, or if there is a safe area to do so, play a quick game of fetch.

-          Your Pet may be one who will stay by your side, no matter what.  But in the workplace, it’s important to keep him/her leashed, not only for your Pet’s safety, but also out of courtesy for your coworkers.

-          Provide a comfortable spot for your Pet to rest, such as under your desk or work-station, or if you work outdoors, under a cool shady spot.  (If you drive for a living, a pet can be a great traveling companion.  Just remember never to leave your furry family members in a hot car!)

Looking for that perfect Pet to accompany you throughout your life?  Hannah can help!  All of the Pets we place are tested for behavioral safety and checked for any apparent veterinary concerns.  Not only that, but we provide an all-inclusive Pet care package called Total Lifetime Care, which covers all veterinary care (including prevention, vaccinations, dental care, surgeries, emergencies, medications, spay/neutering, etc.), behavioral training and food delivered right to your door.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Dads, Dogs, and Reducing Stress!

iStock_000015336548dadHappy Father’s Day to all of Hannah’s Dog Daddies!  Hannah is proud to provide the best care, training and food available to them and their furry family members.

Parenthood is not an easy job, as every mom and dad knows.  Add to that the pressures of career, bills, home care and all of the other realities of daily life and for many the stress can be overwhelming.  Unfortunately, stress has become somewhat unavoidable in our society.

Pets are a great resource not only for companionship and love, but studies have shown that they can also help us reduce stress and live a more healthy and happy life.  Here’s how:

-          One major study showed that petting or playing with a Pet can increase levels of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone, and reduce the production of the stress inducing chemical, cortisol.

-          In a study on Pets and blood pressure, the University of Buffalo showed that interacting with Pets can actually reduce blood pressure more effectively that ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors.

-          Pets need exercise and they encourage us to get outdoors and get our blood pumping!  Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce and deal with stress.  A regular walk, run, swim, bike ride or hike with your best friend is a great way to provide needed exercise for you and your Pet!

-          Loneliness is a source of stress and tension for millions of Americans.  Nothing quite compares to the companionship and unconditional love provided by Pet.

-          If possible, bringing your Pet to work with you can be enormously beneficial.  One study showed that completing a stressful task can be less so if done in the company of a Pet.

Feeling the effects of a stressful life?  Family, work, day-to-day life, getting to you?  Hannah can help!  Our ground-breaking pet-matching process can help you find the perfect Pet for you, your family and your lifestyle.

And we don’t stop there!  Our Total Lifetime Care program takes the stress out of Pet care by providing food delivered right to your door, lifetime behavioral training, and all-inclusive veterinary care (including preventative care, dental care, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, emergencies, surgeries and medications) all for one low monthly fee.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

June is National Adopt a Cat Month!

iStock_000023764675catThinking about adding a Pet to your family but not sure which is the right one for you?  Consider a cat!

Cats are complex creatures who can be affectionate, aloof, playful and mischievous all wrapped into one fluffy companion.  If you’re someone who is out of the house for a good portion of the day and don’t have the time to commit to a puppy or adult dog, a cat might be the purr-fect Pet for your busy life.

But like all other big decisions in life – and make no mistake, adopting a new Pet is a big decision – there are several things to consider and preparations to be made before bringing your new Pet home.

-          First, make sure that everyone in the house is prepared to live with a cat.  This means, ensuring no one suffers from cat allergies.  In the U.S. alone, about 50 million people are allergic to cat dander, sometimes quite severely.  If you don’t know, check before making the decision.

-          Consider the cost.  Cats can be less expensive to feed, train and care for than dogs, but even healthy cats require regular preventative care, vaccinations, dental care and highly nutritious food to maintain a long, healthy life.  And these things are not free!  Hannah members know the high cost of providing responsible, top-quality care for their Pets and have chosen us as their provider for all of their Pet care needs at fraction of the cost.

-          Know the language.  What is a cat trying to say when they are purring, meowing, whipping his/her tail or hissing?  There are several books and online resources available so study up!  It’s important to know how to read your cat.

-          Cats need regular exercise and stimulation.  But remember that cats don’t exercise the way dogs do.  Cats are hunters and cat toys such as stuffed mice, balls, etc., can help to stimulate this instinct while providing the exercise they need.  So before you bring your new Pet home, stock up on supplies and toys!

-          Remember, you don’t “own” your cat.  Cats are independent animals and as such, many will tend to wander.  Even for indoor cats, it’s important to microchip and keep them tagged at all times.

Hannah has provided hundreds of wonderful families with their perfect forever Pet.  But we don’t stop there!  With Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, members receive food delivered right to their doors, behavioral training and consultations and all inclusive veterinary care (including preventative and dental care, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, surgeries, emergencies and medications) all for one low monthly fee.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to talk to one of our Pet Counselors about finding the right Pet for you, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Clackamas Town Center can be reached at (503) 905-5200 or email Francesca.Ferrucci@hannahsociety.com

Washington Square can be reached at (503) 924-6850 or email Jody.Ward@hannahsociety.com

May is National Pet Month!

iStock_000005170943SmallAs May comes to a close and we welcome the summer sun to the Northwest, we at Hannah are celebrating National Pet Month!

Beginning 25 years ago in the UK, the purpose of National Pet Month is to recognize the many ways our lives benefit from our furry family members, and the impact they have on our health and happiness.

Every Pet parent knows that Pets make our lives better.  But most of us are unaware of the fact that the Pets in our lives can actually make us healthier and even help us to live longer.  Here are just a few ways Pets can improve health and promote happiness and a long life.

-          Mental and emotional stress can take a great toll on our physical well-being.  Pets help us reduce stress.  The presence of a Pet at home waiting for us after a long workday can not only help us to reduce stress, but they are also a comfort during difficult times of loss and anxiety.

-          Believe it or not, Pets can actually help us to reduce allergies.  According to a study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, children who grow up with Pets in the home are 33% less likely to develop Pet-related allergies later in life.

-          Pets promote heart-health!  Dogs need regular walks, runs and, if available, dog park playtime!  This encourages us, as Pet parents, to get out and walk, run, swim, hike and practice Doga (Yoga for dogs – yep, it exists!) with our Pets on a regular basis.  Regular exercise can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and other major ailments resulting from a sedentary lifestyle.

-          There are also specific benefits that Pets provide to those already suffering from difficult and debilitating illnesses.

  • Alzheimer’s sufferers tend to have significantly fewer stress-related outbursts when there is a Pet present.
  • People with AIDS are less likely to suffer from severe depression and anxiety.
  • The presence of Pets in the home can actually help reduce blood pressure levels in those with high blood pressure.

We at Hannah believe that Pets not only increase our health and reduce our stress, but that they increase the quality of our lives in so many other ways as well!  In fact, our Total Lifetime Care program was developed to make Pet parenting even easier.  Hannah members enjoy an all-inclusive Pet care plan that includes all veterinary care (vaccinations, spaying/neutering, preventative care, emergencies, surgeries, medications, dental care, etc.), high-quality food delivered right to your front door, and lifetime behavioral training!

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or if you are looking for that perfect Pet for you and your family, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Clackamas Town Center can be reached at (503) 905-5200 or email Francesca.Ferrucci@hannahsociety.com

Washington Square can be reached at (503) 924-6850 or email Jody.Ward@hannahsociety.com

Keep Your Family Safe From Dog Bites!

At this point, many of us have seen this video, captured by security cameras: a young boy gets off his bicycle near his family car.  A dog prowls from next door, quickly creeps around the car and aggressively pulls the child from his bike and begins biting and pulling on his leg.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the boy’s cat lunges from under the car and attacks and then chases the dog away.

This week marks National Dog Bite Prevention Week and reminds us that stories like the one above are far too common.  But in most cases, there is no protective cat nearby to save the day.

Hannah is committed to providing Pet parents with great Pets that have been tested both medically and behaviorally.  We also provide training and education that can help to keep Pets from becoming aggressive in uncomfortable circumstances.

But aggressive dogs are not always avoidable.  In fact, millions of people are bitten by dogs annually, most of them children.  Here are a few tips to avoid dog bites:

-          Children want to trust dogs.  But it’s important to teach them the “trust but verify” rule.  Before approaching an unfamiliar dog, remind children to always ask first before approaching.

-          Children should be taught to respect Pets.  One reason for this is simple: safety!  Children who are not given proper instruction can aggravate Pets, play too rough with them and treat them like toys.  This can lead a Pet to become aggressive.

-          Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing/caring for puppies.

-          If you encounter a loose dog that is unaccompanied by a Pet parent, avoid eye contact, keep a wide birth and do not approach it.

-          A dog that is poised to attack will have a tensed body, his/her ears will be back, the tongue may be flicking and he/she may be backing away.  If you encounter a dog who is behaving with these or other threatening behaviors, avoid the urge to run or yell.  Stay still and quiet with your arms at your sides and avoid eye contact.  Once the dog has lost interest, slowly back away and get to a safe place.

The two most effective ways to avoid dog bites are choosing the right Pet and consistent and thorough training.

Hannah can help!  With our state of the art Pet Matching process, we can help to find the right Pet for you and your family.  Every Hannah Pet is tested for health and behavioral safety.  And every Hannah member receives lifetime behavioral training to help give your Pet the instruction they need to be the best companion your family could hope for.  With our Total Lifetime Care program, members receive, not only training, but complete veterinary care (including preventative care, emergencies, surgeries, dental care, medications and vaccinations) and high quality food delivered right to your home.

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care, or to learn about our Pet Matching program, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Clackamas Town Center can be reached at (503) 905-5200 or email Francesca.Ferrucci@hannahsociety.com

Washington Square can be reached at (503) 924-6850 or email Jody.Ward@hannahsociety.com

Beware of Hot Weather!

iStock_000000940064hotThe heat is on! For many, this is the time to don those hiking boots, leash up the dog and hit the trail, or find a spot to throw a blanket down in the park. While inclimate weather has never stopped us in the Pacific Northwest from getting outdoors, now that the temperatures are rising, it’s a good time to stop and remember that while we may be fully prepared for the heat, our Pets may require different considerations.

Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises to a dangerous level, causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat and if severe, seizures, unconsciousness and even death. While heat stroke – or sun stroke – is common in humans, Pets can be at greater risk. Some of the signs that your Pet is suffering from heat stroke are: heavy panting & labored breathing, bright red tongue, thick salivation and vomiting. If it gets progressively worse, your Pet may become unsteady or even collapse.

Unlike humans, pets don’t have a built-in cooling mechanism: they don’t sweat. And most dogs, while at play, don’t have a trigger to tell them when it’s time to slow down or stop. It’s up to us to help our Pets avoid the dangerous effects of the heat.

How to help prevent your Pets from suffering heat stroke:

-          Most people know how dangerous it can be to leave a Pet in a hot car. Remember, leaving your Pet alone in the car, even for a few minutes, can lead to severe heat stroke. Even in the shade, the windows in your car can quickly magnify the outside heat, often to intolerable levels. In a very short amount of time, the heat in your car can easily increase by 20 degrees or more.

-          While traveling with your Pet in the car, keep the temperature low.

-          Keep your Pets hydrated. Pets should always have clean, fresh water nearby, whether outside or in.

-          On extremely hot days, it’s best to keep your Pets indoors. Avoid long walks, runs and visits to the dog park.

-          On extremely hot days, it’s best to keep your Pets indoors. Avoid long walks, runs and visits to the dog park.

-          Have a long-coated Pet? Consider a summer cut to help him/her remain cool! Even regular brushing and combing to reduce excess hair and fur can help keep your Pet’s temperature down.

-          Have a plan! Always keep your emergency veterinary provider’s number handy, as well as funds to cover any unexpected veterinary expenses. Fortunately, Hannah members receive 24-hour care and never have to worry about paying for unexpected or emergency vet visits. With Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, members not only receive valuable behavioral training and high-quality all-natural food, but all veterinary care (including emergencies, medications and preventative care) is covered as well!

Hannah is dedicated to the health, happiness, safety and welfare of your Pets. Remember, if you see signs that your dog or cat is suffering from heat stroke or any other potentially dangerous ailment, call Hannah immediately. We’re here to help!

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Clackamas Town Center can be reached at (503) 905-5200 or email Francesca.Ferrucci@hannahsociety.com

Washington Square can be reached at (503) 924-6850 or email Jody.Ward@hannahsociety.com