How to adopt the right dog

Choosing the Right Shelter Dog

The moment has arrived, your family has decided that it is time to add a furry member to the family. Here are some tips to help make the right choice when it comes to picking a pup that will thrive in your home.

First, congratulations on making such a great decision and thank you for choosing a responsible and life-saving option. Shelters all over the world are overfull and there are just so many pets that need a hero to walk in and choose them.

  1. Look into the shelters that are available in your area. Once you have narrowed down the shelters that you are interested in visiting, call and ask about the criteria that they use when assessing the pet’s temperament. You will want to be assured that you will know the animal’s history. This will give you needed information such as aggression and whether they have interacted with other pets or children and how they reacted to those encounters.
  2. Sit down with your family and talk about the accommodations you will expect your new dog to adapt to. Will you be bringing your new friend home to a small apartment or a large house with a yard? How old are the children in your home? What pets do you already have and how are they likely to react to a newcomer? Also assess how much exercise will be consistently provided. Remember, when you bring a pet into your home you need to consider the changes that your family may encounter for the next decade or two. Such as, new babies, kids growing up and moving out, travel, etc.
  3. Decide what age dog will fit your lifestyle the best. Puppies will require much more patience and training. The young adult dog will likely be potty trained and have grown out of the slipper chewing stage while still being full of energy. The senior dog will likely be better behaved and have less energy. This option is often the best choice for many different families, and adopting a senior is just such a wonderful thing to do for an older animal in need of a loving home.
  4. Once you have determined the space and energy your family has to give a pet, it’s time to do some research into breeds that fit into your lifestyle. When choosing shelter dogs, often the “mutt” is going to be the perfect fit. However, you can usually talk to the employees at the shelter and get a good idea of the contributing breeds of the animal.

  5. When visiting the shelter for the first time, it is recommended to leave the children at home. Kids have a way of falling in love at first sight. It is just so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and take home a pet before you know if it is the right fit. Instead, consider a trip to the shelter without the kids and narrowing it down to the best candidates. You can then get the kids and bring them in for the final decision.
  6. Spend plenty of time with your potential new family member. Ask the shelter for the opportunity to walk the pup on a leash and play in the grass a bit with the kids if you have them. Getting out of the chaotic noise of the shelter will likely help the pups natural personality shine through.
  7. Finally, do not feel rushed. If you do not feel it’s a perfect fit for you then come back and visit your potential pet the next day. Give you and your family plenty of time to make the right choice. You certainly want to give your new pet the right home and security that he is with you for the long haul.

Thank you for being such a responsible pet parent and giving a home to a dog in need! Please always spread to word to always rescue, not buy, and to have all pets neutered and spayed.

October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month

It’s October again and this month is always very special to us! October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month! There are so many wonderful reasons to adopt a shelter dog. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Dogs of all ages are available

Of course puppies are adorable, but they are also a ton of work! Think potty training, chewed shoes, chomped charger cables, torn up rugs, and countless other casualties that come along with adopting a cute pup. Sometimes a young dog is exactly what one is looking for, but a lot of times, the benefits of adopting an older dog far outweigh those of bringing home a puppy. Imagine having already skipped the house training and chewing stages straight to the sweet adult dog phase. Plus, you’ll get to see exactly what their personality is like! Total win!

Do your part to end animal overpopulation

The truth is, there just simply does not seem to be enough loving homes to go around for all the homeless pets. But with your support, more pets can get the medical treatment they need, including getting spayed or neutered, and more pets can find loving homes. Your adoption fees go to helping more animals so you know you’re doing your part.

There are all types of breeds

Maybe you have a breed in mind, maybe you don’t. But there are all types of dogs available for adoption; some purebred, some mutts. There are even small organizations that specialize in particular breeds. So, whatever you’re searching for, there is a doggy out there that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

You are supporting amazing organizations

These non-profit organizations are unfortunately a very needed part of communities. With your financial support, you’re helping fund these important rescues that are housing, feeding, and providing medical care for pets in need.

With your help it’s a win-win-win situation

At Hale Pet Door we are very proud of our Rescue Rewards programs and the hundreds of thousands of dollars we have donated to pet rescues and humane societies across the country and around the world. When you adopt a pet and purchase one of our pet doors, you not only wind up with a loving new family member but you also help support pet rescues. When checking out enter the name of the rescue where you adopted your pet and we will give you 10% off the price of your pet door AND we will donate an additional 10% to that rescue. For more information about our rescue rewards program, please visit the Pet Rescue section on our website.

How to Encourage Positive Behavior in Your Dog

Did you know that positive reinforcement can be one of the most effective ways of training your dog? It can be an easy habit to always scold your dog when he misbehaves, but in actuality, focusing more on rewarding good behavior can have a much greater impact. Here are a few tips to help encourage great behavior from your pooch!

Always reward immediately

Part of the idea of positive reinforcement is to give your dog immediate positive attention as soon as they do what you want. That way, he will feel encouraged to do it again. Praise him, talk to him happily with excitement, and give him lots of pets. And of course, when appropriate, reward with a training treat.

Ignore bad behavior

One of the other pieces of the puzzle is to reward good behavior, but ignore the behavior you don’t want. Dogs crave attention from you, and if doing a certain behavior results in you ignoring him, he’ll quickly learn to do the things that you respond to instead.

Make it a game

Have fun with your dog. Remember, your excitement and enthusiasm is contagious. Your dog will pick up on it and will want to play with you. You and your pooch can engage in fun exercise and activities together, while you’re training him simultaneously.

Keep it short and sweet

A dog’s attention span is not super long – so if you make your training sessions too lengthy, he’ll likely lose focus and you’ll both get frustrated. Instead, keep it fun and short. Be excited to work with him and stay calm and focused yourself. That way you’ll both be able to spend some quality time together while you work on the training.

Be patient

Don’t forget, learning new things isn’t easy for anyone, so be patient with your little guy! He’s doing the best he can and only wants to please you. So be sure to give him lots of encouragement when he makes the right choices, but also show him love and forgiveness when he makes mistakes. It won’t take long at all for him to start figuring out what it is that you’re wanting!

Stay consistent!

Positive reinforcement isn’t just for training sessions. You need to be using it regularly, every single day, throughout the day, every time he does what you ask. Example, if you ask him to come, and he comes right to you on the first command, that deserves a big scratch behind the ear and a “good boy!” If you ask him to stay by the door instead of bolting, and he does, don’t forget to praise him! It’s these little things that will really help reinforce his good behavior and will keep everything fresh in his mind!

Tips to Help your Pets De-stress During Quarantine

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Most families have been impacted greatly by the coronavirus pandemic and all of the associated changes. It’s easy to forget that our pets have been impacted as well.

Pets are wonderful at adjusting to their human’s routines, however, experts warn that it is difficult for many pets to adjust to their pet parents being around so much more than before. It may be easy to assume that dogs will want their human around as much as possible while cats want their alone time. However, experts note that this need for personal space is much more specific to your pet’s individual personality. Here are some tips to help recognize the signs of stress and help your best friend navigate these uncharted waters.

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Watch for changes in level of activity. Many animals will display restlessness and pace back and forth. Other pets may stay in one place and seem very lethargic. Both of these extremes may indicate anxiousness and can easily be misinterpreted as a need for more attention rather than less.

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Keep your ears open. Listen for higher pitch and more frequent barking from your dog or vocalization from your cat. These can be your pet displaying signs of distress or hypervigilance due to anxiety.

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Keep an eye on body language and aggression. Some animals may feel stiffer to the touch or develop new obsessive behaviors, tics or spasms. For example they may over groom, bite themselves or lick their lips repeatedly. Some pets may show more aggression towards their owners in the form of nips or bites even when being handled or treated the same way as normal.

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, don’t despair. This is a normal reaction to shifts in your pet’s family life. There are ways you can make this time a bit easier for your furry friend, however. Here are some tips to help your little one out.

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Give your pet their own space. If they have a corner of your home that they spend time in, just let them choose to come out and mingle as they please. Remember, your pet is used to having 8 or 10 hours a day of down time while the family is at work and school. They may be happy to have a place where no one will interact with them until they are ready.

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Stick to a routine. Your dog and cat thrive on routine. Things like when the family wakes up and scurries around, when the smell of food cooking fills the home, the hour before bed that the family sits together in front of the television or when they are walked and played with. Just like people, animals feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from day to day.

Finally, slowly reintroduce the change back to your regular routine. If you have been working from home and know that you’ll be going back soon, take a few steps to help your pet get ready too. Reinstitute the daily waking and feeding schedule that is their normal during the work week. Also, start leaving your pet at home for some errands and outings before you are gone for the entire day. This will help your pet to not be shocked when the door closes without them in tow.

Remember, pets and humans are great at adapting and overcoming changes and obstacles. Enjoy your family and your pets during this trying and unexpected time

Important Things You Need to Know Before Leaving Your Dog in a Hot Car

It can be tempting for all of us to leave our dog in the car from time to time. You’re simply trying to make a couple quick errands and need to run into the grocery store to grab a few things. Ten minutes tops. Or maybe trying to mail a package. Perhaps you just finished up an epic game of catch at the dog park, and now your pooch is riding shotgun. With just a couple small errands to do on the way home, you hate the thought of having to drop your dog off at home before making them. And although it can feel like a hassle to do just that, a beautiful, warm day could easily turn deadly for a dog locked in a car.

Hundreds of dogs die each year from being left in a hot car. Unfortunately, some owners with very good intentions simply do not understand how dangerous it can be to leave your dog in a car. Our hope is that if more people spread the word about the dangers of leaving dogs in cars, it will help educate owners and save a dog’s life. Here are some important things you need to know before leaving your dog in a hot car.

Did you know that cracking the windows does not help keep your dog cool? According to a study by San Francisco University, cracking windows had very little effect on the rising temperature inside the car. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside the car can rise to 99 degrees within 20 minutes. On a 90 degree day, that temperature can reach almost 120 degrees in that same time. Scary, huh?

Although all dog breeds are susceptible to heat stroke, or hyperthermia, it’s important to note that some breeds are even more sensitive due to the shape of their skull. Breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs could suffer from heat stroke even faster than other breeds. When dogs are hot, they pant to help regulate their body temperature. But once panting becomes ineffective against the heat and their body temperature rises too drastically, heat stroke will occur. Once heat stroke has begun to set in, the dog’s health will quickly deteriorate and it can happen extremely fast. Unfortunately, if a dog’s body heat rises too much, permanent organ damage and death can happen. According to an article by Earnest Ward, DVM with the VCA Animal Hospital,The prognosis depends on how high the body temperature elevated, how long the hyperthermia persisted and what the physical condition of the pet was prior to the heat stroke.”

Some obvious signs of heat stroke include excessive drooling, feeling warm to the touch, and a dry nose. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, it’s important to get him moved to a cooler environment immediately. An air conditioned room is ideal. You can apply room temperature water to his body, but do not use ice as this will lower his body temperature too quickly. Finally, make sure to get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. When it comes to hyperthermia, time is of the essence.

So, remember during these warm summer months, it may be convenient at times to let your pooch tag along on your errands, but don’t be tempted. It’s not worth risking your dog’s health to save a little time. Keep your dog happy and healthy by leaving him home when you have stops to make.

 

 

 

 

Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer is finally here and you and your pup are ready to hit the water together for some quality fun in the sun time! But before you and Fido dive in – there’s a few things you need to know to keep your pup safe this summer.

shutterstock_193662557Don’t forget the sunscreen!

This may surprise you, but dogs are vulnerable to getting sunburns, too! Especially those with lighter colored coats. There are even some amazing sunblock brands out there that are made specifically for dogs! So remember to throw a bottle in your bag before you head out the door.

Are you sure your dog can swim?

Before you even venture out into the water, it’s pretty important to know whether or not your dog can even swim. Some breeds flourish in the water. Other breeds not only don’t enjoy being in the water, but really struggle to swim well at all. So before you take your pooch for dip, let him explore some shallow areas first to see if it’s something he’ll enjoy or not.

Invest in a life vest

Whether your dog is a seasoned swimmer or a little nervous to even be near the water, a life vest is a smart item to purchase. No matter if you’re taking your dog out on a boat, or going to play fetch in the nearby river, a vest can be a valuable safety tool to keep your four legged swimmer safe no matter what happens. Just make sure that you measure him and pick out a vest that will fit him appropriately.

shutterstock_533592607Don’t forget that dog’s are not allowed everywhere

As much as we adore our little fur babys, they’re not always allowed everywhere we go. Some places are just not safe places for dogs to play. So be sure to check before you head out with your dog.

shutterstock_594205211Be on the lookout for blue-green algae

You may have heard about it on the news. There is a bacteria known as cyanobacteria that’s usually found in still waters like ponds and lakes. Although it’s not always easy to spot, you can often see it as a blue or green film sitting on the water. Sometimes it will look like brown or green flakes sitting on the shore. Unfortunately this bacteria is often fatal to dogs, so if you see anything unusual in the water, keep your dog away.

Bring fresh water for your pooch to drink

Although your pooch may be tempted to drink from the water he’s playing in, it’s not always a good idea. If it’s fresh water, it’s probably fine, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring some bottles of water along for the trip just in case you encounter some water that looks a little less than safe. And if you’ll be hanging out around the ocean, you’ll most definitely want to bring water as drinking ocean water can make your dog very sick. Don’t forget the collapsable bowls!

Don’t forget to rinse!

After your dog is all finished playing in the water, don’t forget to give him a good rinse to get any bacteria, chlorine, or debris out of his coat. If he decides to groom himself, you don’t want him to ingest anything harmful off his skin and coat. Giving your dog a wash will also help keep his skin from feeling irritated from the water, sand, and debris he may have encountered. And don’t forget to clean his ears – especially those breeds with floppy ears!

Have fun this summer and be safe!

Why Taking Your Dog to Work is Awesome

You may have heard of Take Your Child to Work Day, but how about Take Your Dog to Work Day? These days, more and more employers are allowing dogs to be brought to the workplace. What a great way to boost morale at your job! Best. Lunchbreak. Ever.

 

Here are only a few of the reasons why bringing your dog to work is awesome.

Destressing

It’s no secret that dogs do a fantastic job of reducing our stress. In fact, there have been studies done about just that. You see therapy dogs in hospitals helping those who are dealing with illnesses, and even support dogs assisting their humans who suffer from PTSD. The benefits of having a furry friend in our lives seem to be just endless. And if dogs are just that brilliant at helping us reduce our stress levels, then imagine how beneficial they would be hanging out with us at the office!

Getting to know coworkers

Have trouble breaking the ice with your officemates? Have no fear. A sweet and fluffy dog is sure to bring you and your cubicle neighbor together in no time! I mean, who can resist stopping to scratch the ear of any adorable canine? Bringing your dog with you to work is a great way to get to know some of the other people you work alongside every day! How about organizing a doggy meet and greet?

Get your body moving during your workday

For those of us who have jobs that entail sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen hour after hour, a dog in our office may be just the ticket to get our bodies moving! It’s tempting to spend our lunch hour sitting and eating at our desk, but what better motivation could there be to get up and walk, than a dog? Take an easy and healthy lunch with you and go outside with your pooch. Go take a little walk and find a quiet bench to spend some quality pup time together (just make sure you find a spot where dogs are allowed!). Maybe invite some coworkers to do the same!

Less time worrying about Fido

Like so many of us, you probably spend a good chunk of your day worrying about how your dog is doing all alone at home. So why not take that stress off your shoulders by having him right there by your side all day? And imagine how much happier he is having you in his sights? You’ll both be so much happier knowing exactly what the other one is doing at all times during the workday.

Way more fun meetings

I mean, come on. Let’s not kid ourselves here. How much more fun would those board meetings be if they were full of dogs? Discussing next quarter projections would be so much better if they included ears to scratch and bellies to rub! You’d never feel put out to attend another meeting ever again. Just as we mentioned before, dogs are fantastic at reducing our stress, so this is perfect! Having our pups with us at work is simply a must!

House Training Your New Puppy

A new puppy in the house is an exciting time! Full of wiggles and squishy puppy goodness. But it also can be a bit of a challenging time for new owners as they navigate the first training phases. One of the toughest and time consuming is the house training step. But don’t worry, as long as you’re consistent and patient, most dogs can be easily house trained.

Remember That It Takes Time

One of the first things to keep in mind as you begin the house training process is that it takes time, so be patient! Some puppies can be trained within 4-6 months, but others can take up to a year. The key is to never, ever give up and always be consistent! The more you stick to your routine, the faster your puppy will become trained to only go potty outside. If it feels like it’s taking forever, or that he just doesn’t seem to be learning fast enough, don’t fret. Every pup is different and he will get there!

The Nights Will Be Long At First

Be prepared to get up at least a couple times a night for the first few weeks. Typically, by 16 weeks, your puppy should be sleeping through the night. But this can vary by puppy. Some begin sleeping through the night much earlier. No matter how long it takes, it’s important to get up and let him go outside to go potty when he needs to. This will help reinforce the house training. However, be sure to very simply get up, take him outside, let him potty, and then bring him right back inside again and put him back to bed. If you’re crate training, take him directly back to his crate and put him back away. It’s important not to pet him or play with him or do anything that might make him want to get up during the night for anything other than going to the bathroom. You want to teach him that if he whines during the night, he will only be let outside to go potty, and that is it. This will encourage him to sleep.

Watch Him Closely During the Day

Keep a close eye on him at all times as he’s hanging out around the house. Take him outside every little bit and give him a command like, “Let’s go potty!” or “Outside!” or “Potty!”. Right at first, you might have to take him outside as often as every 15 minutes. Then every 20 minutes. Then every 30 minutes. As your pup gets the hang of it, you’ll be able to stretch it further and further out. But be sure to follow his cues and if it looks like he’s sniffing for a place to go to the bathroom, take him outside right away. And don’t forget to praise him each and every time he goes to the bathroom outside!

If You’re Crate Training

If you’re going to train your new pup to sleep in a crate, use this as a potty training tool. Keep him in his crate at night and only take him out of it when he needs to use the bathroom. Work on training him to go to his crate when you say “crate” or “kennel” or “go to your bed”. Give him a treat every time he goes to his crate and praise him. It can take some time for him to get used to using their crate so stick with it and work on keeping it a positive experience for him. Also, keeping him in his crate when you’re not able to keep an eye on him will really help with house training. He won’t want to go potty where he sleeps, so it’s a great tool for teaching him to hold it until he goes outside!

When You’re Ready to Use a Pet Door

As soon as you feel like your pup is ready to start learning how to use the pet door, just as you did with the other steps, be patient and go at your dog’s pace. Hold the flaps open at first so that he can get used to using the pet door before the flaps actually rest on his back. Reward him with a treat and lots of praise every time he goes through it. Don’t forget to use commands with the pet door as well so that he can associate it with going outside to use the restroom. Say this like, “Outside,” “Potty,” or “Tinkle,”

With a little time and patience, your pup is going to be house trained in no time! Remember, this stage won’t last forever so take your time getting Fido trained to use the bathroom outside, and you’ll be really glad you took the extra time to get it right.

Tips for Hiking with your Dog

With spring quickly approaching or already here in some areas, hiking season is right around the corner! And whether you’re planning just a quick day trip, or you’re looking at doing some serious backpacking, there are a few things to consider if you’re going to bring your pooch along. 

First, make sure you bring all the necessary supplies:

-Plenty of fresh water/portable filtration system
-Collapsible food and water bowls
-More than enough dog food and treats for the duration of your hike
-First aid kit
-Baggies for dog waste
-Blanket(s)
-Dog booties
-Unscented gentle baby wipes
-Towel
-Leash/lead

When you’re on your walk, be mindful to be constantly monitoring your dog’s behavior to ensure he’s not becoming taxed. Don’t rush and take plenty of breaks, especially if your dog is not as experienced hiking. If it’s warm out, try to find shady places to take breaks and allow your dog to get some water. If they’re barefoot, make sure the ground is not too hot for their paws. If it is, consider the dog booties. 

Avoid feeding your dog too much food before or during the hike, which might make their stomach upset. Instead, give them little snacks and treats along the way. This both gives him the motivation to keep going on the journey, but also gives him little energy boosts as well!

Keep a close watch on your surroundings during the hike. Watch for poisonous plants that your dog could get into, as well as wild animals that may not be too pleased to be messed with. Little critters like porcupines and snakes love to camouflage themselves, so it’s good to be aware. Your dog will alert you immediately if he spots something or catches a whiff, so he’ll give you the heads up. Keeping a leash on your dog is an extra bit of assurance that you can keep control over him should he become too interested in something.

If your dog is accustomed to a dog hiking pack, this can be a great way to distribute the weight carried. You can put their food and accessories in their pack, leaving yourself a bit more room in your own pack.

Remember to take your time during your hike and don’t allow yourself or your dog to become overexerted. Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day and to take plenty of nice long breaks as you go. A lot of dogs absolutely love getting to explore the outdoors with their owners on hikes through the wilderness, and with a little planning and preparedness, it’s a doable outing!

Have fun and happy hiking!

Manufacturing Reopening

Due to COVID-19, our factory operations were temporarily interrupted. The Governor of Colorado has issued a new Safer at Home Order so Hale Pet Door’s manufacturing facility is reopening 4/27/2020 with extended hours and producing all orders from oldest to newest. We are implementing new on-site guidelines to conform with social distancing and other safety and best practices to keep both our employees and customers safe and healthy.  Some of our staff will still be working from home responding to customers and supporting our team.  Your order will be processed as quickly as possible in the order it is received. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to manufacture and ship out the backlog of orders.

Take care and stay healthy,

Hale Pet Door