Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter safety for pets

Brrr! It's cold outside.

Winter is officially upon us, and although we are lucky to live in a mild climate here in San Diego County, there still are some things to keep in mind during the colder months. 

The ASPCA suggests the following tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy: 

·         During the winter, cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars to keep warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. Bang loudly on the hood before starting your car to give the cat a chance to escape.

·         Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear. 

·         Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol
·         Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

From all of us here at the Escondido Humane Society, happy New Year, and we’ll see you in 2013!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gift ideas for your four-legged friends

Our pets are part of our families, too, and it wouldn’t be fair to exclude them from the excitement of opening gifts on Christmas morning. If you are still searching for just the right gift, here are a few gift ideas to brighten the holidays for your pets (with a little help from adoptable pets at the Escondido Humane Society):

Personalized ID tags: This gift idea is our favorite because it is not only fashionable, it also will help your pet find his way home if he gets lost. ID tags are available in cute shapes and fun colors, so you can personalize them to your taste. Be sure to add all relevant information, including your pet’s name and your name, address and cell phone number. Another great gift idea is to microchip your pet. Microchipping provides an extra level of protection and peace of mind and will ensure a speedy reunion if your pet is lost.

Zoom Groom Brush: Our adoptable cats love the Zoom Groom Brush and personally endorse this gift idea. The Zoom Groom’s flexible bristles will give your cat a massage while picking up loose hair. Regular grooming reduces hairballs and stimulates skin for a healthy coat

Da Bird Cat Toys: This is another favorite among our adoptable cats. Even those felines who usually don’t show interest in playing go nuts over the Da Bird feather and mouse toys. Laser toys and fuzzy mice toys are also popular with our adoptable cats, so your feline friends might enjoy them as well.

LED lighted collar or leash: As soon as the time changes in the fall, it can be dangerous for you and your pooch to go out for evening walks. LED lighted collars and leashes ensure that drivers and pedestrians can spot you coming, making daily walks safer for all parties involved.  

Cold weather wear: OK, so it doesn’t exactly get frigid here in San Diego County, but short-haired breeds can get chilled and might appreciate a coat or sweater for the holidays.

Pet pedometer:What better way to burn off all of those extra holiday calories than working out with your pet? Just like a pedometer we would wear, this fun gadget counts steps, calculates distance and tracks calories.

Cottontail Cottage: This one is for all the bunny pet parents out there! Our adoptable bunnies love their daily run time, which often includes jumping and playing in their Cottontail Cottages. Bunnies also love toys, which would be a great gift option. Here is a good online resource for picking out an appropriate toy:

A few additional ideas include new toys ( if your pooch destroys stuffed toys in seconds flat try a Kong); a bag of your pet’s favorite treats; or a new cat scratcher for your feline.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Season Brings New Challenges for Pet Owners

Originally published on Poway Patch:

While we celebrate the end of the Dog Days of Summer, it’s important to note that the new season does bring some challenges for pet parents. Here are a few things to keep in mind as we get deeper into autumn:

Watch out for snakes: It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security once the temperatures cool, but our reptile friends are still out and about. Snakes are preparing to hibernate this time of year, which means they are particularly bad-tempered. When hiking with your dog, keep him on a leash and stay on the trail. If you do see a snake, do not approach it and slowly back away. At home, be diligent about keeping your yard tidy.

Be careful with rodenticides: It’s not uncommon to see an increase in rodents around your home when the weather turns colder. Rodenticides may keep them at bay, but they contain poison that is highly toxic and even fatal to our pets. Humane mousetraps are a safer option – you can find them at your local hardware store. If you must use a rodenticide, use it only in areas that your pets cannot reach or access.

No fungi: Have you ever noticed little mushrooms popping up in your yard? Fall is prime time for the fungi to appear, so you may be seeing them more and more. Most mushrooms are non-toxic, but some are dangerous to dogs and cats. Just be sure to keep your pets away from where they grow.

Fleas and ticks: Summer is the peak season for fleas and ticks, but you still need to be diligent about prevention year-round. There are countless products on the market that promise to prevent and treat fleas on our pets, so consult with your veterinarian about which products are best for you and your pet. Bees, hornets and wasps are other critters that are prevalent in the fall. They are known to burrow under fallen leaves, so keep your yard clutter-free to prevent painful stings.

Toxic plants: If you move your plants indoors as it cools down, be aware that many plants are poisonous to our pets. Just a few include amaryllis, aloe, lilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, daffodils, daisies, philodendron, some palms and grasses, poinsettias, holly and some common herbs.

Use caution when changing your car’s coolant: According to the ASPCA, autumn is a common time of year to change your car’s engine coolant, but ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic to pets. Switching to a propylene glycol-based coolant is a good choice. Although these can still harm pets they are less toxic than other coolants. Either way, keep your pets away from your garage when changing the coolant, and clean up any spills immediately.

Cats and cars: During cool weather, some cats sleep under the hoods of cars to keep warm. Before starting your car, bang loudly on the hood to give the cat a chance to escape.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Keep your pets safe this Halloween

Originally published on Poway Patch Oct. 22:

Halloween offers a lot of spine-tingling fun for us and our families, but it also presents certain hazards for our pets. Here are some helpful tips on how you can keep your pet safe, relaxed and healthy this Halloween:

Pet costumes: Dogs and cats dressed in Halloween costumes are adorable, but be mindful of the attire you pick for your pet. Avoid tight clothing or straps that might restrict their breathing, and make sure you supervise your pet at all times so they don’t get tangled up in or chew on their costume (this could cause a choking hazard).

Treats: Those tasty Halloween treats are toxic to our pets. Chocolate is the obvious danger, but Xylitol, a chemical used to sweeten many candies, can cause low blood sugar or liver failure if your pet consumes even the smallest amount. Keep candy out of your pet’s reach, and keep a watchful eye over your pets if your youngsters like to spread out their sweet treasures on the floor. Wrappers and lollipop sticks pose choking hazards or can cause obstructions, so stash your trash to avoid any accidents.

Trick-or-Treat: Trick-or-treating is a fun family activity, but leave your pets at home. The loud noises and crowds of little people in spooky costumes and masks can give your pet a scare, so they’ll be happier in the safety of their own home. If you have trick-or-treaters coming to your door, keep your pets in a safe, quiet place away from the constant activity. As always, make sure they are wearing proper identification and are microchipped in case they bolt out the open door.

Decorations: Halloween is definitely a fun holiday to decorate for, but those Jack-o-Lanterns, plastic skeletons and cobwebs can be dangerously enticing to our pets. Keep them out of reach if possible, and supervise them at all times. If you have Jack-o-Lanterns, consider using battery-operated candles instead of flame candles, which will be a serious fire danger if your pet knocks them over.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PET PERSPECTIVE: Stay on the right side of the law

Originally published in the North County Times Oct. 15:

Do you know the laws for your pets here in San Diego County? As pet owners, it's our responsibility to know and understand the law, not just for the safety of our pets and the people around us, but to prevent costly fines and tickets. Here are some animal-related laws you should know:

Rabies vaccinations and dog licensing: All dogs older than 4 months must be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. The first rabies vaccination is good for one year, and the subsequent vaccinations are valid for three years. You must purchase a license within 30 days of your dog reaching the age of 4 months; within 30 days of adopting your dog; or within 30 days of entering your jurisdiction. If you don't obtain or renew your license by the expiration date, it will result in a late fee.

Disturbing the peace: It is a public offense for your pet to unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the public. There are remedies you can try if your dog is overreacting to the slightest sound or barking constantly, including regular leash walks, turning on your stereo or TV to drown out noises that may trigger barking and keeping your dog inside at night and when you are away.

Humane treatment and care: Humane treatment of an animal includes providing him or her with adequate shelter, food, water and exercise. It is recommended that you have your pets examined by a veterinarian at least once a year.

Restraint of dogs: At home, you must effectively control your dog at all times, whether it's by voice, electronic pet containment system or with a fence or other enclosure. You cannot tether an animal to a fixed object for longer than three hours in a 24-hour period. It is lawful for your dog to be on a trolley line as long as he or she can go the full extent of the line and is wearing a harness. On walks, your dog must be on-leash at all times, and the leash cannot exceed 6 feet. In the car, you must safely enclose or protect your dog by a harness or other device that will prevent him or her from falling, being thrown or jumping from the vehicle.

Public protection from dogs: You are responsible for ensuring that your dog does not harm or endanger the health or safety of people or other animals. Always be vigilant, and never assume that your dog will act predictably in unusual circumstances or with unfamiliar people.

Warm weather tip: It is a public offense to leave your animal in an unattended vehicle where the animal is in danger because of high temperatures or lack of sufficient ventilation. On a warm day, vehicle interior temperatures can reach extreme levels and endanger your pet's life in a matter of minutes, even with partly open windows. If you are running errands, leave your pet at home. Shaded parking areas, open windows or an air-conditioned vehicle with the engine off won't save your pet's life.

Sanitation: It is a public offense, and poor pet etiquette, to allow your dog to relieve himself on someone else's property. You must always remove and throw away feces left by your dog, whether it is on public or private property. Sanitation laws also apply to your own property, as you are required to keep your property sanitary and free of any offensive odors.

If you have any questions about our local animal laws, you can call the Escondido Humane Society at 760-888-2275. Other local animal control agencies:;

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What to Do When Your Pet Is Missing

Originally published on Poway Patch Sept. 9:

Here at the Escondido Humane Society, we see several lost pets come through our doors daily, and we often hear people tell us that they didn’t know to look for their pet at the shelter.

To ensure that you will know what to do if you lose your furry family member, here are some insights into the role Animal Control plays in our community and some tips on what to do if your pet gets lost.

Animal Control facilities in San Diego County: The Escondido Humane Society is contracted to provide Animal Control services for the cities of Poway, Escondido and San Marcos, meaning if you lose your animal within those jurisdictions it may end up at our shelter. The San Diego Humane Society provides Animal Control services for the cities of Oceanside and Vista; the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services provides Animal Control services for the unincorporated areas of San Diego County and the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach.

What should you do if you have lost your pet? If you have lost your pet, the first step is to visit your local animal control agency (see above). All lost/found pets are listed on our websites for you to view, but we still strongly encourage you to visit us in person. If you have a picture of your pet, please bring it with you. Here at the Escondido Humane Society we will escort you through our stray kennels to see if your pet is here. We will file a lost report with your pet’s information, and you also can look through our found reports. We allow pet parents to post “missing” posters in our lobby, so it’s a good idea to bring one with you. Don’t give up! Keep checking back with the shelter, as some people who find pets hold on to them for a few days in hopes of finding you.

What else can you do? Post “lost” notices in the neighborhood where you lost your pet, and watch out for “found” posters. You also could place an ad in the local newspaper to report your pet as “lost” and keep an eye out for “found” ads.

Preventive measures: We can’t say it enough: Make sure your pet is microchipped! It may not prevent your pet from getting lost, but it will ensure a quick reunion. Also have proper identification on your pet at all times that includes your name, phone number and/or address.

Have you ever lost your pet? Did you know what to do?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Certified Pre-Owned Pets adoption event

WHAT: Waived fees for all adult dogs and cats at EHS
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15 and 16
WHERE: Escondido Humane Society, 3450 E. Valley Parkway

Join us for our Certified Pre-Owned Pet free adoption event this Saturday and Sunday!

During the special adoption weekend, we will be waiving fees for adult dogs and cats to qualified adopters. "Pawfurred pricing" includes $0 down and 0% financing - completely free, except for a lifetime commitment to provide love and care.

BedeliaWe have all makes and models of adult pets, such as Tiger (pictured above), who at 8 years old is one of our vintage pets, and Bedelia (right), one of our sleeker, newer models.

The 2012 models with that new kitten or puppy smell also are in stock for a $25 fee - well below the sticker price. Spay/neuter, microchip and vaccinations are standard in all models.

Click here to view our adoptable pets online, or visit them in person at 3450 E. Valley Parkway.

Please note: All potential adopters must meet Escondido Humane Society adoption criteria.

ASPCA $100K Challenge Month One update: We're excited to report that we reunited or found homes for 389 animals in August! Thank you for your support as we compete to win a $100,000 grant for our animals. "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates.


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