Thinking about expanding your family to include a puppy or adult dog? Here are some things to think about before bringing a dog into your life.
- Don’t make an impulsive decision. Be aware of the dog’s needs and how he will fit with your lifestyle as you begin your search.
- Dogs need exercise and playtime with you. Obedience training is recommended for basic manners so that your new furry friend is welcome with you and others.
- That cute puppy won’t always be little. Consider your space availability, what size and breed you can accommodate, the dog’s energy level and how all this fits with your lifestyle.
- Safety and protection of your dog is your responsibility. You’ll need a fenced yard or grassy area for leash-walking. A tag with all current information is important to put on the collar that is always on his neck. Consider a tattoo or microchip from your veterinarian.
- Health care can add up. Dogs need vaccinations, heartworm medicine, regular flea and tick control, medical attention when there’s an unexpected illness or ailment.
- Include dog care into your budget for basics such as food, grooming, collars, leashes, toys and perhaps a special place to sleep. Training counts too.
- Most important, dogs need lots of companionship. Dogs are pack animals and now you’re his herd, providing the security, care, love, kindness and protection he needs.
- Your adopted dog needs kindness, companionship, and care for a lifetime, which averages about 12 years. Some dogs live to be 20 years old!
Many people assume cats and kittens don’t have needs similar to dogs. Actually, kittys need basics, kindness, care, too, just with a different twist.
At the Tulsa SPCA, you can sit and visit with our many friendly cats in our no-cage cattery. Our adoptable cats roam free. You can play together, meet each one, observe the different personalities that come in both plain and beautiful kitty packages.
Here’re some ideas to consider when adopting a kitty. Being aware of what your adopted cat needs will help you create a cat-friendly place for your new furry friend and the kitty will be less stressed.
- Be patient. Most cats don’t do well with changes in their environment, schedule and lifestyle.
- Understand that cats DO NOT respond to force, and that they DO respond to praise! Reprimands only work if you catch your cat “in the act”. Punishment that follows an action by more than a few seconds won’t stop him from doing it again, and may even cause him to be afraid of you or the surroundings. If you do catch you cat making a mistake, it is better for both of you to create a distraction by making a loud noise or throwing something (NOT at the cat!) that will attract its attention, but not toward you.
- Provide a space she can call her own, complete with food and water, a bed (a cat carrier with a soft pad inside is a good choice), a litter box, a scratching/climbing post, a window to look out of, and some toys.
- Place food and the litter boxes away from appliances and air ducts that could come on unexpectedly, and locate them such that another animal (or human!) cannot sneak up on the cat while she uses them. To keep them appealing to the cat, food and water should be fresh, and the litter box “scooped” every day.
- Give her something to scratch on to ensure that she can “do her thing” without damaging your things. Praise her profusely when you see her use it to let her know that this is hers to use.
- Provide places to climb and look out of windows to help keep your indoor cat(s) healthy and happy.
- Cats seem to prefer to feel like they are “in control” of their surroundings, and to choose the changes they want to make. When you make changes (food, litter, toys, etc.), offer them in a separate container next to the familiar one so your cat can decide whether or not to change.
- Be sure to see your veterinarian regularly. In addition to providing preventative health care through regular check-ups, they also can help you troubleshoot any “issues” before they become problems.
- At the Tulsa SPCA, you can sit and visit with our many friendly cats in our no-cage cattery. Our adoptable cats roam free in a safe environment. You can play together, meet each one, observe the different personalities that come in a variety of beautiful kitty packages.