Raising Your New Puppy: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Puppy jumping on the beachRaising a dog is not an easy job.  While the rewards are many, it’s also a lot of work.  It takes a great deal of energy, patience and self-control to train and care for our Pets.  This is why Hannah’s placement process involves a thorough screening and counseling process to help our members prepare for their new family member.

There are many common mistakes Pet parents make in the puppy-raising process that can seem harmless but are anything but!  Here is a list of some of the biggest no-no’s and why they can be so damaging:

-          It’s easy to over-indulge our Pets.  However, like a child, spoiling a Pet can cause unwanted behaviors.  Remember, when she whines and we reward her with a treat or food, we are teaching her that begging pays off.  This can often lead to more severe begging, jumping, pawing or counter-surfing.

-          Feeding from the table is a mistake many Pet parents make.  The problem is, feeding a Pet from the table, even once or twice, can lead to a bad habit of escalated begging while the family is eating.  If you’ve made this mistake, stop now!  Over time, she’ll learn that the table-feeding is a thing of the past.  If you’ve never fed your Pet from the table, don’t start!

-          Yelling/screaming at your Pet is never a good idea.  Our Pets are not always going to do exactly what we want them to, which can be frustrating!  However, yelling or screaming only serves to cause unhealthy emotional responses, such as anxiety and fear.  It’s best to train and distract.  Is the Pet chewing a shoe?  Replace it with a Kong.  Did she run outside and into the street?  Yelling may cause her to continue running from you.  Lure her in with a treat and a calm voice.

-          It seems counter-intuitive to tell your Pet to get down when they jump up to enthusiastically greet us when we come home.  But this is a behavior that may not be welcome by all.  Rewarding a jumping dog with affection encourages her to jump on others and can cause injury if not addressed.  When she jumps up, withhold your greeting and affection until she sits calmly.

While this is a short list, these are some of the most common mistakes Pet parents make.  If your Pet already exhibits some of these behaviors or others and you need help, Hannah is here for you!

For a low monthly fee, Hannah members enjoy lifetime behavioral support by our team of Pet behavior professionals, as well as an all-inclusive health-care package (including spaying/neutering, vaccinations, preventative care, dentals, meds, emergency care and surgeries) and food delivered directly to your home.

To learn more about how you can enroll your Pets into Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to meet some of the wonderful Hannah Pets who are looking for loving forever homes, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

The Perfect Gift for the Perfect Pet

iStock_000012090078XSmallThe holidays are a time to share in a little food-eating and gift-giving among family and friends.  And this includes our furry family members!  The joy experienced by our Pets as they receive a new treat or toy is only matched or exceeded by the proud Pet parent.

The holiday experience wouldn’t be complete without the love and companionship of our Pets.  As we move closer to the big day, Hannah has put together a list of safe, fun and useful gift ideas for the Pets in your life.

-          Most dogs love plush toys!  This scene will be familiar to many: a small toy in perfect condition is shredded in a matter of minutes, turning it from a cute little stuffed bear to an unrecognizable mess of scattered cotton and rags.  In the middle of it all lies a proud, satisfied pup who is ready for a nap.  If this sounds like your dog (and you don’t mind picking up the mess), maybe a few stuffed toys are the perfect gift idea.  But watch closely; if your Pet has a habit of ingesting the material, avoid the plush toys.  Also, like all Pet toys, make sure you purchase those that are specifically made for Pets and are free of chemicals, toxins and small plastic bits that can cause injury or illness.

-          Kong toys have become essentials for most Pet parents.  They are hard, durable and can stand up to most the rough play that many Pets will put them through.  They’re also great for keeping your pet occupied.  (Injecting the Kong with peanut butter and then freezing it can keep your Pet busy for hours!)

-          Food puzzles are a great way to keep your dog entertained and occupied throughout the day. They also provide mental stimulation and keep your Pet quiet and focused while you are out of the house or working.

-          Cats and kittens require play that simulates hunting and prowling.  Interactive toys, such as laser pointers and furry mice, allow your feline family members to tap into their inner hunter.

-          Remember: exercise is essential to your Pet’s health!  Toys that will get them (and you!) outside, such as Frisbees and balls can greatly increase not only the wellness of your Pets, but also the bonds you share with them.

-          Enrolling your Pet in Hannah’s Total lifetime Care program is a gift that will keep your Pet healthy and happy all year long and for years to come.  For a low monthly fee, your Pet will receive complete, all-inclusive healthcare (including preventative care, dentals, medications, vaccinations, emergency care and surgeries), nutritious Pet food delivered right to your door and all the behavioral training you and your Pet require!

Hannah’s TLC program is an essential component in providing your Pet with all they need to live the longest, happiest life possible!  Is there a better gift idea out there than long life and happiness?

To learn more about how you can enroll your Pets into Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, or to meet some of the wonderful Hannah Pets who are looking for loving forever homes, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

The Importance of Pet-Proofing Your Home

iStock_000000504161SmallPets are a great source of love, companionship and joy.  But they are also a lot of work and need our supervision and care.

Our homes are full of common items that we often overlook, but that can be extremely dangerous to a curious or playful Pet; items such as power cords, small toys, harmful plants and foods.  The most common, everyday items to you or me, could cause severe injury and even death to our Pets.  What follows is a brief list of preventative measures every Pet parent can take to help keep your furry family members safe and secure.

-          If your family includes cats as well as dogs, keep the litter-box in an area which is inaccessible to Fido.  Cat feces is irresistible to some dogs and if ingested can lead to parasites, illness and blockages which require surgery and will result in death if left untreated.

-          The scent of feminine hygiene products and under-garments can tempt an unsupervised Pet to chew and swallow these items, potentially causing choking or intestinal blockage.

-          Power cords can be a great temptation to playful Pets.  Keep items which are not in use unplugged, covered up and/or out of reach.

-          Household cleaners, chemicals and medications can be fatal to Pets. Remember to always keep harmful items and materials out of reach or in a latched closet or cupboard.

-          As with children, small toys can pose a choking hazard to Pets. Keep small toys and knick-knacks picked up and out of reach.

-          While most are harmless, many common houseplants such as aloe, carnations, lilies and ivy, can be toxic to dogs and cats.

-          Keep food out of reach. Some food items are dangerous to pets, such as chocolate and alcohol. But even if the food items themselves are harmless, the packaging can cause obstructions in the airway or stomach.

Thousands of Hannah members enjoy the security and peace of mind they receive from knowing that if the unexpected should happen, we are there to provide all-inclusive veterinary care, including emergencies, intensive care, surgery, hospitalization and medications, all for one low monthly fee.  A Pet who has ingested harmful material may require exploratory surgery, followed by many examinations and medications, all of which are covered at no extra charge by Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care (TLC) program.  Not only that, but Hannah also provides food delivered right to your door, as well as training and individual consultations to help prevent unwanted and potentially dangerous behavior.

Whether you have a puppy, kitten or and adult Pet, or if you’re thinking about adding a Pet to your family, it’s never too late to Pet-proof your home and ensure your furry family members are safe. Hannah is here to help!

To learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care (TLC), or to meet some of the wonderful pets looking for a new home, please visit our Placement Centers in the Clackamas Town Center and the Washington Square Mall.

Benefits of Adopting Older Pets

iStock_000005170943SmallWho doesn’t love a puppy?  They’re cute and playful, and full of love and curiosity.  But there is a price to pay for all of that cute and cuddly wonder.  Along with the joy and fun, it’s important to keep in mind that puppies are a lot of work!  To assume the responsibility of a puppy is a major commitment that should not be taken lightly.  From elimination training to vaccinations, chewing to late-night whining, raising a puppy is no small task.

For this reason and many others, families often choose an older dog who already has a bit of training and/or maturity under his belt.

Here are a few advantages of choosing an adult Pet:

-          Adult Pets are usually in need of a new home after being rescued or surrendered from a less than ideal situation.  Inviting them into your home can make an incredible difference in the lives of an amazing Pet.

-          Training is an essential part of Pet parenting.  Often an adult dog will have a foundation of training already instilled in them.  Some are even fully trained but have been surrendered due to unforeseen circumstances in the lives of the previous Pet parents.

-          Unlike a puppy, whose personality is still developing, an adult dog has many identifiable traits and characteristics, which can be useful in choosing the right Pet.

Hannah has some wonderful adult Pets who are looking for loving forever homes!  With Hannah’s innovative Pet Matching process, we can identify those Pet traits that would best suit your family and lifestyle.  Hannah performs a complete medical screening and behavior evaluation to ensure you get a healthy and trainable Pet.

But we don’t stop there.  Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program provides all of your Pet food (delivered right to your door), all-inclusive veterinary care (everything is covered, nose to tail: vaccines, parasite control, medications, dentals, surgeries, illness, emergencies, etc.) and lifetime behavioral support.

Are you looking for a new Pet to add to your family?  Visit Hannah this holiday weekend and you are sure to find one, which you and the Pet will be thankful for, for years to come!  To meet these great Pets or to learn more about Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, please visit one of our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Link

iStock_000014192263XSmallThanksgiving is a day to gather loved ones together for food, family and football!  But one beloved family member may not be welcome at the table.

While we love our dogs and cherish their companionship and company, we certainly don’t want them begging at the dinner table.  It’s not an unusual habit.  In fact, for thousands, if not millions of Pet parents, begging has become a habit that is tolerated, ignored and in some cases, even unintentionally encouraged.  Here are some tips for preventing or eliminating these unwanted traits:

-          First and foremost, don’t give in to the begging.  A begging dog that is rewarded with a treat or table scraps learns that there is a value in this behavior.  By giving into the whining and begging, you are not showing your Pet affection; you are teaching him/her that unwanted behaviors can lead to welcome pay-offs!

-          Ignore it!  Begging and whining are attention-seeking behaviors.  Even if you don’t give in by feeding the Pet, providing any form of attention could encourage him/her to continue and repeat the behavior in the future.  Just remember, you feed your dog; he’s not starving!

-          The key to effective Pet training is always be consistent!  Remember, ignoring your Pet’s unwanted behavior 6 days a week doesn’t matter if you toss her a scrap on the 7th day.

-          It’s never too late!  If your Pet has never had a problem with begging, that’s probably because you’ve never encouraged or rewarded the behavior.  However, if your Pet has already developed a habit of sitting at your feet and pawing or whining at meal times, there is still hope!  Stop encouraging the behavior now.  It may take time but eventually, you will see results.

Training is not easy.  Especially if your starting late in the game with an adult dog who is already set in their ways.  But Hannah is here to help!  Our team of professional behaviorists and trainers provide classes for adults and puppies and are available for one-on-one consultations to address members’ concerns and questions.  Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program provides members with, not only lifetime behavioral support, but also Pet food deliverer right to your door and all-inclusive veterinary care!

To learn more about Hannah’s TLC program or to talk to a counselor about how to choose the right Pet for you, visit our Placement Centers at Washington Square Mall or Clackamas Town Center.

drtripp

 

 

Vets and their Pets!

This week, in honor of Veteran’s Day, we would like to take a moment to thank the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in our military forces.  At Hannah, we hear many stories of the courage and sacrifice made by these extraordinary folks and of the amazing Pets by their sides.

Most of us have seen the heartwarming videos of soldiers returning home from duty and the enthusiastic greeting they receive from a loving Pet.  But that bond doesn’t end there.  Many of these heroes are suffering from major wounds, both external and internal.  And these incredible Pets can help them build a bridge to recovery.

The number of combat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is staggering.  And while the US government and other aid organizations struggle to provide care and treatment for vets with PTSD and other combat and trauma-related disorders, ailments and injuries, Pets may be the most ready and effective tool for stress relief and therapy available.

imagesIt is a well-known fact that interaction with Pets helps to substantially relieve stress and anxiety.  But what are some other ways Pets can help?

  • Pets bring out feelings of love and compassion, which can help those suffering from injuries or recovering from a traumatic episode to connect not only with the Pet, but also to reconnect with society.
  • Members of the military have grown accustomed to a form of orderly, standardized living.  Training a Pet, delivering commands, etc., can be an enormous source of comfort in the transition to civilian life.
  • A playful, energetic Pet can encourage veterans to exercise and get outdoors, which can help to reduce stress levels and contribute to physical recovery and therapy.

There is no simple cure for PTSD and other physical and psychological effects of war and combat.  Often, recovery can be a long process with uncertain conclusions.  But one thing is certain: the positive association of Pets and their Pet parents can contribute to enormous progress in the recovery process.

Hannah salutes all who have served and continue to serve.

To meet some of the wonderful pets looking for their new forever homes or to learn more about how you can enroll your furry family members into Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, please visit our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall.

Enroll by this Sunday and receive a special military discount of 1 month FREE!

Call:360-816-8000 or email info@hannahsociety.com

Hannah’s Annual Pet Quiz!

smiling girl and dogEvery year, the first full week of November is a time to honor and appreciate animal shelters and rescues, nationwide!  Hannah is proud to work hand-in-hand with regional shelters and rescues to place Pets in need into great, loving forever homes.

Once again this year, in honor of these wonderful organizations, we are taking a break from our regular Hannah Blog to test the knowledge of our readers with a little Hannah Pet Trivia!  (The answers appear at the bottom of the blog.)

a.) How many teeth does the normal adult dog have?  (28, 32, 42 or 46)

b.) In the 1989 Tom Hanks film, “Turner & Hooch”, what breed of dog is Hooch?

c.) What percentage of cat parents talk to (or admit to talking to) their Pet?  (62%, 75%, 86% or 95%)

d.) What is a dog’s most highly developed sense?  (sight, taste, smell or hearing)

e.) What percentage of a cat’s life is spent grooming itself?  (10%, 20%, 30% or 40%)

f.) Dalmatians are born with spots.  True or false?

g.) All cats are born with blue eyes.  True or false?

h.) How many teeth does the average adult cat have?  (28; 30; 36 or 40)

i.) According to the American Kennel Club, what is the most popular dog breed in the United States?

j.) A fear of dogs is also known as “____phobia”.

k.) Cat urine glows under a black light.  True or false?

Hannah is committed to supporting local and regional shelters, rescues and animal welfare organizations.  But our commitment doesn’t stop there, as Hannah members know.

Hannah Pet parents 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.

(a. 42; b. Dogue de Bordeaux; c. 95%; d. smell; e. 40%; f. false; g. true; h. 30; i. Labrador Retriever; j. Cynophobia; k. true)

Halloween Treats and Tips for Your Pet!

 

FrenchieHalloween is just a few days away!  And that means candy, knocks at the door, families and children in outrageous costumes and of course, Pets dressed as superheroes, hot dogs, butterflies and cows.

 

Nothing is quite as cute as a pug dressed as a princess.  Or a Bassett hound in Yoda ears.  But with the fun and surprises that the evening is sure to provide, there are a few very important reminders, which every Pet parent should keep in mind as they prepare to stock up on sweets and welcome the neighborhood kids to the door with tricks and treats.

 

-          The key to any frightfully sweet Halloween are the sweets themselves.  While a sugar is good for the soul, it’s essential that sweets (most importantly, chocolate) are kept far from the reach of our Pets.  Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can even be fatal.

 

-          Does your dog go nuts every time the doorbell rings?  If so, Halloween can be particularly stressful for you and your furry family member.  Maybe sit outside to greet your trick-or-treaters.  To cold?  Put your furry family member in a back room where s/he will be more comfortable.  If the problem is so severe that he may hurt himself or cause damage, consult your Hannah behavior team for expert advice.

 

-          While we all love the costumes, it’s important to take into consideration how your Pet is handling the situation.  Certain costume accessories, such as masks and head adornments, can cause anxiety.  Choose a costume that does not restrict vision, hearing or range of motion.  Remember, that Batman mask might be super adorable to you, but it could be causing a great deal of stress or discomfort in your Pet.

 

Holidays and events such as Halloween, Independence Day and New Years are fun for all, but they could be having unexpected effects on our Pets.  Hannah members always have a partner in dealing with these concerns.  As part of Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, our behavior team is always available to answer questions and provide guidance.

 

But we don’t stop there.  In addition to valuable behavioral training and support, Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program provides 100% of your Pet’s veterinary care (including vaccinations, dentals, parasite controls, emergency care and surgeries) and high quality Pet food delivered right to your door!

 

To learn more about Hannah’s TLC program, visit one of our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center or Washingto

n Square Mall.

Tricks, Treats, Doorbells and Barking

Frenchie There are certain times of year that can drive a dog (and a Pet parent) absolutely crazy!  With so many loud bangs and cracks, one of those times is Independence Day, which can cause severe anxiety in dogs.  Another is New Year’s Eve for the same reason.

Another is Halloween, which is nearly upon us.

Many dogs have a bad habit of barking uncontrollably when the doorbell rings or someone knocks.  This can be particularly troublesome when you have multiple visitors approaching your home, offering a trick or a treat!

If your dog is particularly sensitive to the summoning of the door, you may be in for a long, noisy evening, come October 31st.  Here are a few tips for dealing with this kind of extreme behavior:

  • Many puppies don’t start out barking at the door.  If you’re the lucky parent of one of these Pets, it’s important to encourage this behavior early and often.  When someone comes to the door, praise your silent pup with encouragement and a treat, causing a welcome distraction.
  • If you’re not a member of this fortunate group, other measures may be necessary.  This will take some work on your part, but the benefits could be immeasurable!  Does he lunge at the door when there is a knock or ring?  If so, try this exercise: stand inside the door while your dog is not paying attention to you.  Ok, now discretely knock.  When he barks or pushes forward, calmly and quietly stand between him and the door.  Don’t yell or acknowledge the barking.  Instead, patiently wait until he stops and sits.  Reward the settled behavior with praise and a treat.  And repeat.
  • Practice makes perfect!  Try this exercise a few minutes a day, every day, until the barking is under control.  Follow these same steps when a real visitor comes to the door.
  • Don’t mimic the behavior.  Remember, dogs do not learn from negative reinforcement.  Yelling at a dog to stop barking is counterproductive.  To the dog, you’re joining in.  You’re barking, too, and thus encouraging the behavior.
  • Hannah can help!  Members of Hannah the Pet Society benefit from a highly-skilled staff of behavior specialists who are available for classes, one-on-one behavior consultations or telephone advice.

Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program provides members with 100% of their veterinary care (including vaccinations, dentals, parasite controls, emergency care and surgeries), high quality Pet food and the best behavioral training available!

To learn more about Hannah’s TLC program, visit one of our Placement Centers at Clackamas Town Center or Washington Square Mall.

 

The Importance of Preventative Care

He's a big healthy boy!

We all want what’s best for our families.  For our children, that means the best diet, the highest levels of nutrition, regular medical and dental check-ups, the best education possible and regular exercise.  We want the same for our Pets!  We want them to live long, happy, healthy lives.

We can help make this happen by practicing a few preventative care habits that will have immeasurable benefits for our Pets and the relationship we have with them.

Below are five basic steps that every Pet parent can follow to provide the best and healthiest life for their Pets:

  • Your Pet’s diet is the most important contributor to your Pet’s long-term health.  A consistent diet of nutritious food, containing high-quality ingredients and free of excessive fillers is the start of any healthy lifestyle, whether for Pets or humans.  Feeding your Pet low-quality food is similar to giving your family a steady diet of junk food and could lead to major health risks later in life, such as diabetes, heart disease and digestive problems, among many other concerns.
  • A regiment of steady exercise to get the blood pumping will ensure your Pet gets the physical and mental stimulation they want and need.  Daily walks, runs, playtime and regular games of fetch are not only great for the health of Pets but also for their Pet parents.
  • Ensuring your Pets receive timely vaccinations and, when necessary, parasite controls can help your Pet avoid harmful and even deadly viruses and infections.
  • Regular check-ups and dental cleanings are essential in preventing harmful infections or ailments before they can cause serious illness or damage to your pet’s long-term health.
  • A well-trained Pet is more sociable, interactive and well-adjusted to the community around her.  As a result, early and consistent behavioral training can help your Pet live a more stress-free life.
  • By enrolling in Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program, we can provide Pet parents the tools needed to give their furry family members the best life possible.  Under the TLC program, Hannah members receive all-inclusive veterinary care (including vaccinations, parasite controls, dental care, emergency care, surgeries and medications), food delivered directly to our members’ homes, and lifetime behavioral training and support.  We’ll even give you tips on exercise, playtime activities, treats and other Pet care needs.

To learn more about Hannah’s TLC program or to talk to a counselor about how to choose the right Pet for you, visit our Placement Centers at Washington Square Mall or Clackamas Town Center.