How to make July 4th Safer for Dogs and Cats

Snap, crackle, BOOM! Celebrating our nation’s independence often terrifies dogs and cats. You can keep them safe with a bit of planning and a large dose of compassion.

Here are some ideas to try.
• Hold a Fireworks Party. When you first hear fireworks, or realize your Pet is afraid of loud noises, make it a game. Reward your Pet with a treat and excitedly explain, “It’s a fireworks party!” Build the association between loud noise and a positive outcome. It’s also a good idea to make a Fireworks Party part of puppy training. Done consistently, this could help your dog to avoid future noise-related anxiety.
• Desensitize your dog. Another take on the Fireworks Party, Pet Parents can desensitize and counter-condition their dog to loud noises. Certain sounds (fireworks, thunder, planes flying overhead) are played at a low level so your dog hears it but does not have a negative response. A high-value reward is offered during or immediately after the sound is played. Gradually increase the sound until your dog makes the connection between loud sound and reward. Note: This process can take some time and is not always effective. If it’s not working, stop and try something else.
• Create a safe place. Your dog or cat should always have a place of refuge in your home. That could be their kennel, a closet, or under the bed. Allow your Pet to seek refuge in a dark, quiet spot and keep these places accessible. Turning on the television or a mellow radio station will help drown out the sound of those bombs bursting in air.
• Consider medication. Just like their human counterparts, some Pets suffer severe anxiety attacks. If your Pet is panting or shaking uncontrollably, refusing food and water, give us a call. This may be an extreme case in which medication such as Trazadone or Acempromazine would greatly assist in calming and comforting your Pet.

Other Steps to Take:
• Play with your Pet. A tired Pet is a calm Pet. When playtime is over, move your dog or cat to a quiet place.
• Put a collar on! It’s not unusual for dogs and cats to beat feet out of a fenced yard. Make sure they are wearing a well-fitted collar with an ID tag. Better yet—microchip your Pet! Hannah microchips all Pets on the Total Lifetime Care plan. We can also fetch your lost Pet, let us tell you how.
• Leave your furry friends at home. Put them in a kennel, with plenty of chew toys for distraction, or leave with a pet sitter.
• Try a Thundershirt. These use gentle compression to calm your dog. You can also make one at home. Take an old t-shirt, put your dog’s front legs through the arm holes, then knot the hem over his back.

Pet Parents are the best advocates for their dogs. If you know your dog has anxiety problems and you’ve tried these ideas with little result, anxiety medication can be prescribed. Hannah members are urged to make an appointment by calling 360-816-8000. If you are not a member, but would like more information about fireworks anxiety or about joining Hannah, please give us a call.

5 Tips for Take Your Dog to Work Day!

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

Now in its 17th year, TYDTWDay is an annual event sponsored by Pet Sitters International. It was created to celebrate dogs and to promote adoption.

Hannah participates — every day!  

The ability to bring our Pets to work is one of the perks of being a Hannah Team Member. This allows our Pets to interact and socialize with hundreds of other Pets and people every week.

Because we are experts in animal behavior and training, visiting one of our Health & Education or Placement Centers will show you how we can help you have a well-behaved furry family member of your own.

5 Tips for a doggone good day

Research shows that 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.

Here are 5 ways to make it happen:

  1. 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.
  2. 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, rawhide chews or a food puzzle.
  3. Set aside time to stretch all six 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.
  4. Your Pet may be one who will stay by your side, no matter what.  But in the workplace, it’s important to keep your Pet leashed, not only for your Pet’s safety, but also out of courtesy for your coworkers.
  5. 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 us at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall

Happy Tails! How to Have a Great Road Trip with Your Dog

School’s out! And that means the first day of summer is almost here. What better way to spend those lazy, hazy, crazy days than on a road trip? Whether it’s a weekend at a campsite or a pilgrimage to some famous national park, a long drive is a great way to bond with your kids, and the family fur-face.

Here is how to make sure your Happy Trails includes Happy Tails.

Be sure to bring a copy of your dog’s vaccination records, especially proof that the rabies shot is current. You’ll likely need to show these records at a hotel, boarding facility or doggie daycare.

Collar, Tags and Microchip. At an absolute minimum, make sure your dog is sporting his collar and an ID tag. At Hannah, we never want you to lose your Pet, which is why each and every Hannah Pet is microchipped! Our Total Lifetime Care program includes microchipping and registration. Plus, vaccinations and well-pet checkups are also covered.

For every potty break, make sure you leash your pet—before you open the car door. Temptations abound, and even the best-mannered dogs will be off and running if you’re not careful.

Pack your dog’s favorite food—plus a few gallons of the water he is used to drinking. Any kind of tummy upset is no fun for a dog, or the Pet parent charged with cleanup duty. Before you go, check with your Hannah vet for some additional how-to’s about caring for a sick pet. And if your dog is prone to travel sickness? Your Hannah vet can suggest remedies, even prescribe a gentle sedative, to make the ride easier. PS—Hannah can also help you pack a First Aid kit for your dog.

Bring along a set (or two) of seat covers, blankets, and towels. It’s a dirty world out there, and your dog will use any excuse to get grimy. Bonus hint: Stash a roll of quarters…just in case you pass a laundromat.

For us, sleeping in a different bed each night is part of the fun. For some dogs, not so much. Having the security of their own bed, favorite blanket or toy can ease anxiety, both on the road and when you get to the hotel. Bringing your Pet’s kennel is the best security blanket of all.

Road trips are all about the journey…at least that’s what we tell ourselves. But for our dogs, that long stretch of from here to there, cooped up in a car, is boring. Make sure you pack a variety of toys that will keep your Pet amused and calm.

Double check your hotel reservations. Presumably you did that before you hit the road, but it’s still good to verify:

  • If the hotel accepts Pets
  • How many Pets are allowed
  • Is there a weight limit
  • How much are the deposits
  • Are there any other rules the hotel asks Pet owners to follow.

Since you can’t leave your Pet alone in a hotel room, it’s also a good idea to see if pet sitting services are available.

Bon Voyage!

Hannah members enjoy an all-inclusive Pet care plan that includes all veterinary care, 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, please visit us at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall. You can also contact our Member Services Team at 360-816-8000.

Knee Surgery Gives Kona a New Lease on Life

Matt Davis has a unique relationship with Hannah.

He is the director of Employee Benefits for RiskPoint Insurance Advisors and Hannah is one of his clients.

“When I started working with Hannah, I thought the program sounded pretty cool. I already had a dog, and I talked about becoming a member,” he said.

“I never did anything about it, and a few months later, Kona blew out her knee.

“We found out it would cost about $5,500 to get it fixed. That’s a lot of money, and we were agonizing over the decision. Meanwhile, the dog is hobbling around. It’s not a life-threatening condition, but she was also never going to be the same dog again.”

A few weeks later, Matt was again at Hannah. “I was thinking, ‘I wish I had joined Hannah back then, because the surgery would have been covered.'”

Much to his surprise, Matt found out he could become a member, even with Kona’s pre-existing condition. Not only that, Hannah put together a plan that allowed Matt and his family to pay for the surgery over time.

“It was like getting a no-interest loan for two years,” he said. “They just added the cost to my monthly plan.”

The good news: The surgery was a phenomenal success. “She is the same dog she was before, she goes a million miles an hour, she jumps and plays. You can’t tell she had the surgery or that she was ever hurt,” Matt said.

Even better: Future peace of mind. “I found out when she had the surgery that there is a better than 50 percent chance she will blow out the other knee. If that happens, it won’t be a pre-existing condition and the second surgery will be covered, I won’t have to pay extra to have it done,” Matt said.

Overall, Hannah membership has been a great experience. “It is great knowing that we have protection if anything happens to her. It won’t be a huge financial burden for us,” Matt said.

About Kona’s Surgery
Kona, an eight-year-old black lab, tore her cranial cruciate ligament, also commonly referred to as the dog ACL. While there are several available options to treat this condition, the best, and generally the most expensive, solution is Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO).

This is a painful, chronic condition and it can severely diminish a dog’s quality of life. Most dogs with a torn ACL avoid putting weight on the leg. TPLO surgery is unique because it completely alters the dynamics of the knee and minimizes the risk of reoccurrence.

“If you saw her today, you’d never believe she had this major surgery. The recovery period was tough, but the results have been amazing, well worth it,” Matt said.

“We’re so glad to be Hannah members!”

Monty vs Rat Poison: Hannah saves his life

My dog is young and has always been healthy. About two years ago he ingested rat poison and only because I had access to round-the-clock medical care was this very serious situation noticed. If I hadn’t had been a Hannah member I would have put off taking my boy to the vet for one more day. Like so many dog owners, I was “hoping” the problem would go away on its own. Had I waited, it might have been too late to save Monty’s life.

Thank God Monty is a Hannah dog. He required blood transfusions and several nights in the hospital, and…and…and…you get what I’m saying. Pricey. Max out all my credit cards kinda spendy. Since then he has also developed an auto immune disease that requires various medications daily. And the vet team at Hannah’s has been with me step-by-step.

I have called nurses at 2 in the morning, I have constantly (and in great detail) discussed his bowel movements. I have worried over and asked questions about the smallest details of his care post-poisoning. And I have received nothing but answers and reassurance.

Today Monty is doing great. Dr. Hughes is the physician in charge of Monty’s case because it was so atypical. He has been invaluable to Monty’s on going health care. Because Monty can longer receive the rabies vaccination (it puts him at risk for another auto-immune attack) Dr. Hughes has written letters on my behalf to the city. This extra effort has made life much easier for me and Monty.

It has been such a relief to know that if anything happens to Monty, not only will I be able to reach someone at any time of day for help, I won’t have to pay anything but my monthly fee.

I would do anything for my boy and would spend all the money I have (and don’t have) to save his life. But since he is a Hannah dog I know that I won’t have to sell my kidneys to do it!

Thanks Hannah team!

Katrina Quezada, Hannah Member

Couch or Scratching Post? 3 Ways to Stop Cat Scratch Fever

iStock_000000504161SmallRare is the cat parent who has furniture that is unscratched and unscathed.  In fact, some have simply given up on that old sofa with the shredded arm and decided it now belongs to the cat!

Addressing cat behavior at a young age can help Pet parents avoid much of the destruction that can occur when scratching and other unwanted habits go unchecked.  If you have a cat enrolled in our Total Lifetime Care program, you can call for behavioral support 24-hours a day.

Here are a few other ideas to try:

  1. First, before bringing a cat home, or at least when he or she is still young, invest in a scratching post, or better yet, three!  Place one anywhere your cat spends the most time playing or napping.  Rubbing a little catnip on the post or dangling a favorite toy in front of it will help attract and encourage your new cat to “scratch here!”  Hannah members who have been placed with one of Hannah’s wonderful cats or kittens take home a brand new scratching post (along with a litter tray, scoop, collar, treats, toys and everything else they need to get started!) as a part of our Welcome Home Kit.
  2. Already running into scratching problems?  Try making the scratching spot (or spots) less inviting by securing plastic or tape over the area.  There are also herbal deterrents that can be sprayed on the favored scratch-spot to make the area less tempting.
  3. Finally, for your cat’s least favorite solution, trim those claws!  Warning: your cat will hate it and, more than likely, you will, too.  Getting them into the habit of receiving nail trims at a young age will make it easier as they get older.  But if it’s still too much trouble, Hannah members can bring their Pets in for a professional, “no-claws-bared” nail trim.

Hannah is happy to match you with a perfect exercise partner, or you can enroll your own Pet into our Total Lifetime Care (TLC) program. For more information, please contact us: Clackamas: 503-905-5200 or email OR Washington Square: 503-924-6850 or email

How to train your dog to earn those treats

Give and take. It’s the hallmark of every human relationship. It also works much the same way with our beloved pooches.

In this video, Hannah Pet Behaviorist Dr. Rolan Tripp shares some ideas on how to train your dog to earn everything from dog treats to extra cuddles to a rousing romp in the park. The result? A better behaved, calmer dog whose focus remains on you.

For more ideas on improving your dog’s (or cat’s!) behavior, Hannah’s Total Lifetime Care program provides unlimited behavioral training, PLUS complete veterinary care (including preventative care, emergencies, surgeries, dental care, medications and vaccinations) and high quality food delivered right to your home.

You can learn more about Hannah by visiting us at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall. Or you can call for more information: 360-816-8000.

12 Deadly Sins: What NOT to feed your dog!

By now most of us know not to feed our dogs chocolate. But did you know there are some other foodstuffs that can make Fido fall ill?*

Here’s a quick list:

1.  Chocolate: We love chocolate, and so do our dogs. What is a fun addiction for us can lead to serious health problems for your Pet. Theobromine is the culprit here, and symptoms of poisoning include:

  • diarrhea or increased urination
  • vomiting
  • excitability or restlessness
  • dehydration, excessive panting
  • seizures

While a taste of chocolate might not harm your dog, an overdose is possible based on your dog’s age, weight and overall health. If you think your dog has snacked on your chocolate stash, call your Hannah vet. We’ll tell you what to do.

2.  Xylitol and Xylitol-containing products. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener most often found in sugar-free candy and gum. It’s also a sugar substitute and comes in per-serving packets. Dogs may develop disorientation and seizures within 30 minutes of ingesting xylitol-containing products, or signs may be delayed for several hours. Some dogs who ingest large amounts of xylitol develop liver failure, which can be fatal. All dogs ingesting xylitol-containing products should be examined by a veterinarian immediately.

3. Onions (and garlic!) Some dogs love onions. They’ll do a sit up and beg at the sight of your tears. Don’t give in. These foods contain a compound that damages red blood cells. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. While it’s uncommon for dogs to eat enough to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, may put your dog at risk.

4. Grapes, raisins and currants. This one is still a mystery to the veterinarian community. Some dogs can gobble grapes with no problem, others become seriously ill. Some dogs have an immunity to grapes one day, the next they are in toxic overdrive and are dealing with kidney failure. Until the cause of toxicity is better identified, the safest course of action is to avoid feeding grapes or raisins to your dog, even if your Pet has been ok eating them in the past.

5. Raw bread dough. We’ve all heard stories: A pan of biscuits was left to rise and now it’s clearly hanging out in the belly of your dog. Your first instinct might be to wait it out and let Nature take its course. Think again. Raw bread dough made with live yeast can be hazardous if ingested by dogs. Once swallowed, the warm, moist environment of the stomach allows the dough to keep on rising. Serious, time-critical complications can occur, so it’s best to call your Hannah vet. We also have a 24-hour emergency care hotline, so you can call us anytime.

6. Hops. Home brewed beer is a delicious hobby here in the Pacific Northwest. Just make sure your dog doesn’t get into the hops—raw or spent (cooked). The symptoms of hops poisoning include an incredibly high body temperature (sometimes topping 108 degrees Fahrenheit), restless behavior, excessive panting, muscle tremors and seizures. Left untreated, this can result in multiple organ system damage or failure. Prompt veterinary intervention is necessary to prevent death in these dogs.

Other foods to avoid:

7. Macadamia Nuts (not fatal, but not a good feeling, either)
8. Avocados (the skin and pit)
9. Anything that is moldy or rotten (hide your garbage)
10. Fatty, greasy foods (these are no better for your dog than they are for you!)
11. Anti-freeze (but you knew that already)
12. Ant bait (if it attracts ants, it will attract your dog)

If you ever have any questions about what to feed, what not to feed, and what to do if your dog is acting wobbly or weak after eating who-knows-what, please call us: 360-816-800.

*Thank you to the ASPCA for this information

How to Stop Your Puppy from Biting

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and we at Hannah are committed to providing members with Pets that are healthy and well-behaved. Our Pet behaviorist Dr. Rolan Tripp knows how to “nip” biting in the bud, and he shares some easy how-to tips in this video.

There’s no doubt about it. We love our dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there were 70 million dogs in the United States (2011) or one dog for every 4.5 people. More than 35% of all homes have at least one dog.

While some breeds get blamed for biting more than others, there is another way to look at it: There are 70 million “nice dogs” – but any dog can bite. These can range from a painful nip to a bite that requires surgery.

Some other findings:

  • There are 4.5 million dog bites per year. Of those, 20% require medical attention, and 27,000 of those people require reconstructive surgery.
  • Thirty-one people died from dog bites in 2013.
  • Between 2010 and 2012, more than 359,000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 were bitten.

Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt a dog, or even choose one breed over another. It means you should consider adopting from Hannah, because we provide ongoing training and education so your Pet is a well-behaved, healthy family member.

Still, aggressive dogs are not always avoidable.

Here are 5 tips to avoid dog bites:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or nursing/caring for puppies.
  4. If you encounter a loose dog that is unaccompanied by a Pet parent, avoid eye contact, keep a wide berth and do not approach it.
  5. 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 Pet Matching process and Pet Aptitude Test, we can help you 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.

Our Total Lifetime Care program provides training, complete veterinary care (including preventative care, emergencies, surgeries, dental care, medications and vaccinations) and high quality food delivered right to your home.

You can learn more about Hannah by visiting us at Clackamas Town Center and Washington Square Mall. Or you can call for more information: 360-816-8000

Daisy Dodges a Torpedo, Hannah Saves Her Life

I cannot say enough good things about Hannah. We have always wanted to get a dog for our family and for our girls to grow up with, but we couldn’t imagine how we could pay for emergency things that pop up when you are responsible for taking care of an animal. We are simply not in a position to have a lot of savings to cover a vet bill reaching into the thousands, and we felt it would be extremely irresponsible to get a dog that being the case.

Then we found Hannah when we were at the mall. We not only fell in love with a dog there, but once we found out about the Total Lifetime Care monthly maintenance that covers all the essentials and emergencies for your pet, we were hooked. We went through the long process of screening and were finally able to get our sweetie, Daisy. She is the most adorable, sweet, social, affectionate, smartest puppy, and everyone in our family adores her.

We also put our cat Ollie on the TLC monthly maintenance program, and so far we have taken him into the vet twice, had flea and tick treatments, treatment for an allergic reaction on his skin, vaccinations, and a regular checkup.

As for Daisy, she was screened for behavior before ever being allowed to come home with us, and we immediately started puppy training classes with her through Hannah as part of the services provided in our monthly care. It has been going really well and we couldn’t be happier.

Today was the real test of how Hannah operates, however, because this morning we had a huge scare. I thought Daisy was going to die right in front of us, but we managed to save her because of Hannah.

Daisy and my five-year-old daughter were playing Torpedo, the name I think of when Daisy pins her ears back and runs full out across the house back, and forth. They collided foot to head/snout and Daisy seized, froze up, and stopped breathing. We immediately got on the phone with Hannah’s ER line and Erin (the nurse) had my husband do CPR on Daisy. She started breathing, came out from her coma, and regained control of her limbs.

I rushed her to Hannah and Dr. Tripp gave her a neurological exam among other things, and went through every step with me to explain what tests he was doing and why. He said she is fine and that we “dodged a bullet,” which we really did. Daisy is on the mend now, being babied and loved by all of us, and she should be fine.

I can’t believe how incredibly easy it was to get her the help she needed so quickly and without any paperwork, extra cost, or worries above being worried about how she was. I can’t thank Erin or Dr. Tripp enough. They really understand just how much we love Daisy, and they helped us get through a really scary episode with minimal stress.

~Tara DeMaderios and Daisy