From The Expert

Welcoming Home Your New Feline Family

Congratulations on the decision to adopt your first kitty!!! We know you are ready to give your new cat tons of love and snuggles, but do you have everything else you need to make your home ready for your new family member? Take a moment and look over this list to make sure you are prepared to give your cat the best home ever! #1– Pet Carrier You will need a pet carrier to bring your cat home and to travel safely anywhere else. You can choose a soft sided carrier or a hard carrier-just make sure it is big…

From The Expert

Spring Adventures and Dog Parks

As we start thawing out from a cold and very wet winter, it’s likely that you will want to get back to the fun outdoor activities that you enjoy with your dog!  Here are some hints and tips for getting back to the dog park and some alternative activities for your dog. Generally speaking, I do not recommend using traditional dog parks as a frequent source of social interaction or physical exercise.  They might seem like a great idea to allow dogs to run off-leash and burn off energy, but they are high risk environments for a variety of problems….

From The Expert

Puppy School Is Prevention!

If I told you there was a way to help prevent your new puppy from having behavior problems like aggression, fearful responses to the world, barking and lunging at dogs or people when on leash, hatred of nail trims, and bad manners as an adult, would you jump at the chance to do it? Most people would absolutely say yes! Who wouldn’t want to help try and prevent problem behaviors before they start? Well, thankfully there is a way to help increase your odds of avoiding behavior problems in adulthood—puppy school! Most people know about puppy school, but did you…

From The Expert

The Creation of the American Dog

Our domestic dogs are descended from wolves and jackals and though they may not have gained in cunning, and may have lost in wariness and suspicion, yet they have progressed in certain moral qualities, such as affection, trust-worthiness, temper, and probably in general intelligence.–Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871)   Then the Woman picked up a roasted mutton-bone and threw it to Wild Dog, and said, “Wild Thing out of Wild Woods, taste and try.” Wild Dog gnawed the bone, and it was more delicious than anything he had ever tasted, and he…

From The Expert

Enrichment, Brain Games, or Mental Exercise

Years ago when I started volunteering at a local animal shelter I would walk dogs and get them out of their kennels to stretch their legs. When we would return to the kennels they seemed to be content and tired. One day I met a dog who was literally jumping at the door to get outside and I would walk him and take him back to his room and he would still be bouncing around. After weeks of his bouncing, I couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t tired. I read through my volunteer manual and saw something about Enrichment and…