Don’t Forget Your Pets in Your Back to School Plans

LaptopDogSummer will soon be over, and you’ll be focusing on getting the kids—and maybe yourself—back to school. Every change in routine can be stressful, so be sure to plan for those hours alone that your pets will have to endure.

Start Planning Now for a Smooth Transition

Just as you prepare the kids and yourself for a new routine, get the fur-kids ready by starting with one change at a time. Perhaps they’ll have to eat their morning meal earlier than on your summertime schedule, so start feeding them at the school schedule time about 2 weeks in advance. This will ensure that your dog’s elimination will be on schedule when there’s no one home to let her out.

Providing your dog with a high quality Hale Pet Door can save you from discovering unexpected accidents to clean up because your dog will be able to get outside to your safe fenced yard, so he can answer ‘nature’s call.’

Provide Plenty of Toys for the Long Day Home Alone

If your pet will be on its own for many hours, it’s a good idea to offer some new toys that will keep him busy while you and your family are away. When you offer new toys on a rotation in addition to favorites, your pup will be more interested in them than other things she may find around the house to chew.

When dogs can get outside — to run, explore the scents in the air and play with toys they’ll be happier to come into the house to nap instead of finding things to chew and destroy.

Plan for Potty and Exercise Breaks

If your dog is crate trained and you leave her in the crate while you’re gone, remember that during the day 5 hours is the maximum time you can safely leave an adult dog confined. They need to get out to eliminate and stretch their legs, so if you’re gone more than 5 hours, be sure to arrange for a friend, neighbor or dog walker to come and let your dog out.

Puppies need to get out more often depending on their age and bladder/bowel maturity.

When you have a high quality pet door, your dog can get out and ‘take care of business’ whenever necessary, and you can save money on dog walking fees.

Plan Ahead for Success

Your dog is part of your family, and you want him to enjoy the peace and quiet of staying home alone. When you consider your dog’s needs and plan for them, you’ll all have a successful school year.

Check out all the Hale Pet Door models here

Planning Your Vacation? Plan for Your Pet’s Staycation

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Make plans for your pets’ enjoyable staycation while you’re away

It’s great to get away – a vacation can be an experience or just time to relax without the day to day stresses and responsibilities of work and homeownership.

If you’re going someplace that won’t be fun for your pet or the travelling is too stressful, planning a safe and stress-free staycation for your pet is just as important as the destination you pick for yourself.

Options for Your Best Friend While You’re Away

  • Kennel Your Dog
  • Home Boarding
  • Ask Friends, Neighbors or Family to Care for Your Pets
  • Hire a House Sitter: Full or Part Time

Kennel Your Dog

If you just have a dog or dogs to care for, a professional kennel may be the option for you. Be sure to check the facility and staff out in person to make sure that your dogs will have consistency of care while you’re gone.

If you have more than one dog, will they be able to stay together for company? Will the routine be similar to yours at home with plenty of human interaction and potty breaks? Is the kennel clean and climate controlled?

Your dog’s emotional health affects her physical well-being, so visit the kennel with your dog to see if she’ll be happy at the kennel while you’re gone.

Home Boarding is a new option in some areas. Dogs are boarded in a home and live with the family and other pets. Ask dog trainers, your veterinarian or check pet message boards to see if this is an option for you.

Always ask for references and visit with your dog if you’re considering the home boarding option.

Staying with Friends and Family

If your dog feels at home with friends or family, this could be your best option. Just be sure to let your friends know if Fido regularly has to go out at midnight if he’s fed after 5 pm or any other special behaviors that are triggered by any change in schedule.

When your dog can keep his regular schedule, even in a different environment, there will be less emotional and digestive upsets.

Let Your Pets Enjoy a Staycation

If you have other pets in addition to your dog, a house/pet sitter may be the best option for you because you need to have someone care for your cat, bird, lizard, fish, etc.

This could be an extended family member, friend or professional pet/house sitter. When you have a dog door, the caregiver can keep their work schedule while your dog can get out to answer ‘nature’s call’ whenever necessary.

The familiar environment is the least stressful for dogs, and this arrangement can give you the best peace of mind while you’re on your well-deserved vacation.

Check out the many pet door options available at Hale Pet Door Products

 

Hale Pet Door Announces New Size – Tall Small Medium

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Medium, Tall Small Medium, Small Medium Hale Pet Doors

After 30 years of manufacturing 11 standard sizes of pet doors, Bill Hale saw a need for another size for those taller than Small Medium yet thinner than Medium dogs.

The Tall Small Medium has a passage opening of 6 ½” wide (same width as Small Medium) by 12 ½” high (same height as Medium). We recommend this new size for dogs that weigh 12-25 pounds and are 12”-15” tall.

This new size is available in all of our 10 pet door models:

  • Door Model
  • Wall Model
  • Screen Model
  • In Glass Model for Double Pane or Single Pane Glass
  • Standard Panel Insert
  • Omni Panel Insert
  • Springtech Window Model for Horizontal and Vertical Windows
  • Opti-View Window Model for Horizontal and Vertical Windows
  • Omni Window Model for Horizontal and Vertical Windows
  • Storm Window or Screen Replacement Model

If you have a narrow space for a pet door and a dog that is only 6 inches wide, the new Tall Small Medium could be the right size Hale Pet Door for you. Check out our product line at Hale Pet Door Products

New Hale Screen Pet Door Model Fits ALL Screen Doors

Hale Universal Screen Pet Door Makes Ordering Easy

Hale Universal Screen Pet Door

The Hale Universal Screen Pet Door will fit every screen door without modifications

When the Hale Screen Pet Door was first designed, most screen door frames were 1/2 inch thick.

As screen door manufacturers changed their designs, we began to modify the screen pet doors by cutting off one leg of the frame to accommodate thicker screen door frames. This modification required more information about where the pet door was to be installed and which side the screen and spline were located.

The Hale Universal Screen Pet Door eliminates the need for this extra information.

Go to Hale Screen Pet Doors Customize page to see the changes in the choices.

The Hale Universal Screen Pet Door uses spline frame on all 4 sides of the pet door – unlike the original screen pet door which used spline frame on the top and screen side and main frame on the bottom and door frame sides. The main frame has a groove which fits over the screen door frame if it’s ½ inch or less thick.

If you had a screen door frame that was over ½ inch thick, we would modify the main frame by cutting off one side or ‘leg’ of the main frame. To cut off the correct side, we had to know where the pet door was to be installed – Inside Looking Out on the Left or Right – and where the screen and spline were on the screen door – inside or outside. This has caused much confusion in the ordering process.

The Hale Universal Screen Pet Door eliminates all these details because it can be installed without modification in all screen doors. For the bottom and screen door side of the pet door, there are clips that are screwed into the pet door, and the screen and spline hold the pet door to the frame. Because our spline frame is double-sided, the screen and spline can be attached from either side – making the installation easier.

Installing Hale Universal Screen Pet Door

Installing the new Hale Universal Screen Pet Door is similar to installing the Original Screen Pet Door

You can still order the standard Hale Screen Pet Door with main frame on the bottom and one side if your screen door is less than ½ inch thick here

Just be sure to click on the Customize button if your screen door frame is over ½ inch thick to get the new Hale Universal Screen Pet Door.

The Hale Universal Screen Pet Door is available in our 4 colors: White, Arizona Beige, Dark Bronze and Brushed Aluminum.

Want Your Dog to Go Out the Pet Door, But Keep Your Cat In?

Lab and Cat

Dogs and cats can be great friends, but you may have different ideas about who should use the dog door.

 There’s no doubt that cats are safer as inside cats. Cats like to roam and hunt, and they can climb the fences that keep your dog contained.When you want to keep your cat inside, yet allow your dog free access to the yard, you can train your cat to avoid the dog door with aversion or avoidance training.

This is easiest to accomplish with kittens or cats that have never enjoyed the great outdoors.

The objective is to make the area near the dog door an uncomfortable place for your cat. You can accomplish this by taking these steps:

  • Put your dog in another room, so she doesn’t inadvertently get ‘trained’ to avoid the dog door.
  • Have a helper with a noise maker like a metal garbage can lid and hammer stay quietly outside the dog door, out of sight from inside the house, close to the pet door.
  • Bring the cat to the area inside the house near the pet door. You may want to use a rug right inside the pet door for your dog to ‘wipe his feet’. When the cat walks near the pet door or on the rug, silently or quietly signal to your helper to make loud noises. Your cat will probably run away.
  • If your cat is bold, you may want to repeat the performance until the cat no longer wants to go near the pet door.

When your cat gives the dog door a wide berth in his daily wanderings, you’ll know that he won’t be in danger of going outside.

People often ask me about electronic pet doors where the dog wears a collar with a transmitter to open the pet door only when the dog approaches the door. Unfortunately, the electronics that I’ve experimented with are not reliable. The door sometimes fails to open when the dog comes to the door, and the door would open when someone walked by with a pocket full of change or keys. Also, if your cat and dog are best friends, the cat can run out the door on the heels of the dog, then not be able to get back in. These doors can also open when the dog is resting near the door, making feline escape a possibility.

Use aversion training to keep your cat away from your pet door so your cat is safe inside your home while your dog can get out to answer ‘nature’s call’ whenever necessary.

You can choose the right size, energy efficient, attractive Hale Pet Door for your dog here

 

Choose Safe Pet Toys to Avoid Accidents

Schnauzer and Airedale playing with ball

Dogs Love to Play with Balls

It’s so much fun to buy toys for our pets. We want toys that will attract and amuse them while keeping our cat or dog occupied. Safety is not often a concern while we’re shopping, but it should be.

Squeakers are very attractive to both cats and dogs as they mimic prey animal noises. When the squeaker stays safely inside the toy, it’s great. There have been cases, however, when a dog tears a toy apart, swallows the squeaker and becomes very sick requiring lifesaving surgery. If you get a toy with a squeaker, watch your cat or dog as they play with it, so they don’t tear it apart and swallow the squeaker.

Dogs love bones and rawhides to chew. Hard bones can chip teeth. Softer bones can chip off and get stuck in the dogs’ teeth, gums or soft palate which could require veterinary intervention. Some dogs will consume rawhides without much chewing. This can cause choking or digestive problems. Nylon or hard rubber bones are good options for dogs who enjoy chewing. But be sure to inspect them regularly and discard them when they show pieces breaking off.

Chasing balls is great fun for most dogs and some cats. Be sure to have a large enough ball that won’t get caught at the back of your pet’s mouth which can cause suffocation. Also get a ball that your pet can’t chew apart. When the ball becomes weathered or damaged, discard the potential choking or blockage threat.

Feathers and yarn can be fun cat toys, but if your cat pulls the feathers or yarn apart and swallows them they can create problems requiring veterinary care. Mylar film is often part of cat toys because it floats, is shiny and attractive to cats’ prey instincts. This material is also made into tinsel for Christmas trees, and it can be hazardous when cats chew or swallow it.

One of the best and safest cat toys is a laser pointer. Your cat can chase the red light to her heart’s content. The light can go over and into cardboard boxes or paper bags. Just pay attention to where you’re pointing, so kitty doesn’t climb and claw the curtains or knock that Ming vase off your shelf.

If your pet likes to cuddle soft toys, be sure to get a child safe toy. When the toy wears thin or too much exuberant playing tears the toy, discard it as stuffing can cause choking or digestive system blockages. Be aware of any small parts that can come off and be chewed or swallowed can be hazardous.

When you rotate your pet’s toys, they’ll stay interested in the ‘new’ toy when you bring it out again. Always put questionable toys out of pets’ reach when you’re not available to watch them.

If your pet is fortunate to have a Hale Pet Door, be sure to put the inside toys away while you’re not home.

Share your pets’ favorite toys in the comments below.

How to Really Love Your Pet

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February is the month of love, and you know how much love your pets add to your life. You want to return that love to let them know how precious they are to you. But have you thought of what your pet needs to be truly loved?

Give Your Pets What They Need

It’s only natural for people to give their pets the things that they would appreciate receiving, but pets are different species, so they have different needs and desires.

Dogs are pack animals, so your presence is the best present you can give your dog. Exercise and playing with you simulates hunting with the pack—a necessity for your dog’s mental, emotional and physical health.

Cats are usually more solitary types, but they appreciate play that simulates hunting. Short bursts of intense physical activity followed by a snack and a nap is the cat’s meow.

Give Your Pets What They Want

There is one constant between humans and pets. The desire to be near and to interact with loved ones. Give your pets your time. You may not have large blocks of time to spare, but there is truth to “quality time” even if it’s a few minutes at a time.

A peaceful environment where pets feel safe is another gift you can give your pet. Take time for training, so your pet knows what acceptable behavior is. Pets don’t understand punishment, so catch them doing the right thing and praise that behavior. Instead of yelling, “No!” which raises your blood pressure and confuses the animal, give him something to do – go lie down in his bed or safe spot with a small treat or favorite toy.

Be consistent with your expectations for your pet. If you like your dog to jump up to greet you when you have your sweats on, remember that she will also jump on you when you’re wearing your good clothes too. You can have it both ways by teaching your dog a cue to give you a hug when appropriate and a different cue for staying down.

High quality food, a comfortable place to rest and good company are the ways to show love to your pet. Don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door  so your pet can go outside when necessary and come back into the house again.

Getting in Shape with Your Pets

Jack Russel Terrier lifting weights

Let your pet be your fitness coach

New Year’s Resolutions come and go, but this is a great time of year to resolve to let go of that extra baggage – for you AND your best friend.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that Americans and their pets are too well fed, resulting in overweight and obesity. Carrying too much weight can cause health problems from diabetes to heart problems to bone and joint damage for people and their pets.

Try some of these ideas to burn calories and build strong muscles and bones. Always consider your and your pet’s health and conditioning before beginning any exercise regimen. If you’re not sure that you or your pet is healthy enough to workout, contact your physician or veterinarian.

Too Cold and Icy for a Run?

If you live where winter becomes an impediment to your outdoor exercise schedule and your gym doesn’t allow dogs, consider a brisk walk in the park instead of running along icy roads. When you walk in snow, you’ll be using more energy than on a smooth road, so your walk can turn into a calorie burner for you and your dog.

Turn Training into Indoor Fun and Exercise

Whether your dog needs to learn Stay and Come commands or could use some practice, you can turn training into a game while you both get some exercise.

If you have carpeted stairs you and your dog (or cat) can get some extra aerobic exercise. Just ask your dog to Stay while you race up the stairs (or down the hall, or across the yard) then call her to Come. Praise her lavishly while you reward her with a treat and repeat until you’re both breathing hard.

When your pet gets good at Stay, you can turn it into a game of Hide and Seek by using the Stay command or distracting him with a few treats while you hide then give the Come command or whistle to get him searching for you. If you have helpers at home, they can hold or distract your cat or dog while you hide then give the Find and your name command to teach another behavior.

If your pet is in better shape than you, a game of fetch can stretch out muscles and create those feel good endorphins that will make your pet happy and relaxed when the game is over.

Make Getting in Shape Fun

Just the thought of exercise can make you tired, but if you make working out a game for you and your pets, you’ll both enjoy getting in shape.

And don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door to make sure that your pets are healthy and happy in 2014!

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Golden Retriever with Christmas Tree

Enjoy the holidays with your pets by keeping them safe

The holiday season is officially here! It’s time to celebrate with family and friends with decorations, gifts and luscious foods. It’s tempting to give in to the soulful looks of your furry friends when you’re enjoying exotic foods, it’s important to know that some of your favorite foods and decorations can be toxic or dangerous to your pets.

Foods that Can be Toxic to Your Pet

  •  Alcohol in beer, wine, mixed drinks
  • Caffeine in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cold medications and pain killers
  • Chocolate in candies, cakes and cocoa
  • Yeast Dough before baking
  • Raw Eggs
  • Fat Trimmings and Bones
  • Grapes, Raisins and Currants
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and Dairy Foods
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Persimmon, Peach and Plum pits contain cyanide
  • Raw Meat and Fish
  • Salty Foods
  • Sugary Drinks and Desserts
  • Xylitol sweetened candy, toothpaste, gum, baked goods and diet foods

Be Careful with Your Holiday Decorations

The following holiday decorations have been known to be hazardous to pets:

  • Pointsettias, Lilies, Mistletoe and Holly Berries
  • Tinsel and Garland if ingested
  • Candles can cause burns or become a fire hazard
  • Electrical Cords if chewed
  • Flocking or Imitation Snow
  • Preservatives in Live Christmas Tree Water
  • Snow Globes and Bubble Lights can contain toxic chemicals
  • Edible Ornaments can have toxic components
  • Potpourri can contain Essential Oils that can be toxic to cats: Cinnamon Bark Oil, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil,  Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Thyme Oil or Wintergreen Oil

Plan Your Festivities to Avoid Your Pets’ Anxiety

You love sharing your home with family and friends, but make sure to consider your pets when entertaining – what’s fun for you may be stressful for your furry family members.

While your Labrador can be comfortable in the midst of the party, your cat may not be as social. Know your pet, if you think your cat or shy dog might be freaked out by so many strangers in the house, give them safe haven in a closed bedroom, their crate, or bed in a quiet corner.

Be sure to caution your guests about approaching your pets while they are in their “safe spots”. When your pets feel that they’re safe, they’ll come out of hiding to mingle, but don’t be surprised if they don’t appreciate your party.

Get a Hale Pet Door and Take the Stress Out of the Holidays

 Your pets’ safe haven may be their fenced backyard. When you have an energy efficient Hale Pet Door, your pets can come and go to the party as they please.

If you’re going to be away for the holidays, your pet sitter will appreciate the convenience your dog door brings to her schedule and your dog’s well being because he won’t have to wait for someone to come and let him out.

When you’re out visiting friends and relatives, the time can fly by – but with a durable Hale Pet Door, you won’t have to worry about getting home to let your dog out because she’ll be able to go out when she needs to.

There are dog doors for every location in your home. Check them out at Hale Pet Door and order yours today!

Get an Energy Efficient Pet Door for Your New Senior Pet

Mature dogs often make the best pets

Mature dogs often make the best pets

November is Adopt-A-Senior Pet Month. It’s a great time to find your new best friend and save a life. Many shelters and rescues run “specials” on adoption fees for senior pets during November, so you’ll have more to spend on beds, toys, treats and a pet door.

In the world of pets, “senior” is not really “old”.  Very large dogs (over 90 pounds) are considered senior at age 6. Large dogs (51 – 90 pounds) become senior citizens at age 7. Medium dogs (21 – 50 pounds) are senior at age 8, and small dogs (up to 20 pounds) reach senior status at 9 years. Cats are considered senior citizens when they reach 9 years.

While puppies and kittens are cute, senior pets are a lot less work because they assimilate quickly, are not as destructive – no teething to deal with, are more laid back and really appreciate the care you give them.

As with pets of all ages, they require good food, fresh water and appropriate exercise. Most of all they flourish on love and attention.

When dogs can answer ‘nature’s call’ right away, they are healthier and less prone to develop urinary or digestive tract problems. Since it’s difficult for you to be home all the time, a high quality pet door can let the dog out and let him back in the house to rest.

No matter what size senior pet you adopt, you can have a dog door that’s the right size for your pet because Hale Pet Door makes 11 sizes of pet doors. If you want to replace your existing dog door with an energy efficient and durable Hale Pet Door, you can have a pet door made to fit the hole you already have in your door or wall. Just call 800-646-4773 with your rough opening – you might be surprised at how affordable a custom size dog door can be.

Because you want to keep the new addition to your family safe for years to come, the soft heavy vinyl flaps of the Hale Pet Door provide the best protection against outside air while staying safe for your pets. These flaps are crystal clear with stainless steel strikes that hold firm to 5 times stronger Alnico magnets while allowing your pet to come and go as he pleases.

Help the shelters and rescues find forever homes for their senior pets and save a life. Just let us know that you rescued your pet, and you’ll save 10% on your Hale Pet Door with our Rescue Rewards Program. We’ll donate that same 10% to the shelter or rescue where you adopted your pet.

Do you have a senior pet? What’s the best thing about your older pet? Please share in the comments below.