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Clear the Shelters is Tomorrow!!
Friday, August 18, 2017

Don’t Forget – Clear the Shelters is TOMORROW!

Finally, the day is almost here! Tomorrow, August 19th is Clear the Shelters! All animal adoptions are free from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. as we attempt to find homes for every animal in the shelter. Please note that our regular adoption protocol will still apply during this event, so please bring a government-issued ID. There will likely be long lines, so we thank you in advance for your patience on this exciting day! All animals are first come, first serve so come with an open mind and an open heart!

Clear The Shelters

For a preview of some of the animals you’ll see at our shelters tomorrow, take a look at our FindAPet page!

We’re able to participate in Clear the Shelters due to donations from community members just like you! Please consider making a contribution to the SPCA of Texas on North Texas Giving Day or anytime right here on our website.

Black Cat Appreciation Day
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black Cat Appreciation

What if you could have your very own mini panther? Well, you can! Black cats are extra special because they are basically little ninjas that can stealthily prowl around your house, keeping an eye out for intruders.

Here are just a few of the miniature panthers we have available at the shelter right now!

ZAYDA

black cat appreciation

 

Zayda is a gorgeous, confident feline who not only loves attention, but demands it! She is not at all shy and will bump you to let you know she needs some petting.  

SIMBA

black cat appreciation

 

Simba is the epitome of a house panther! Confident, friendly and playful, Simba will brighten your home with his big personality. He is FIV positive, which means that he’ll have to be the only cat in the house or join a home with other FIV positive cats. Learn more about the myths surrounding FIV here!

Remember, black never goes out of style! See more of our available black cats on our FindAPet page and head to your nearest SPCA of Texas location to claim your very own house panther!

 

Hot Cars
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer is winding down, but it’s still too darn hot! We’d like to remind you about the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car. If you need to run errands, it’s best to leave your precious pup at home. Leaving your dog in the car for even a ten-minute stop at the grocery store can cause heat stroke.

Dangers of Hot Cars - Never leave your pet in a hot car!

If you see a dog trapped in a hot car, do not attempt to break into the car. There are no laws on the books in the state of Texas protecting individuals who damage property to rescue a child or animal.

Instead, if it is an emergency, call 911 and share the make, model and license plate of the car for assistance in rescuing the animal.  An additional step you can take is to go into nearby shops and stores to ask management to assist in finding the animals’ owner so that he or she may take his or her pets home.

Rest assured, however, that Texas does have an animal cruelty law that will hold people accountable, including jail time and a fine, for leaving pets in hot (or cold) car, causing the animal to suffer.

Back to School 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017

It’s that time of year again! Teachers, parents, and kids alike are all gearing up for the start of school.

Our educators work especially hard to prepare their classrooms before a crop of new students comes bounding through the door. If you’re a teacher, we sure hope you’ll consider adding a classroom pet to your back to school list!

rat

Whether you come adopt a rabbit, a rat, a snake or a guinea pig, a classroom pet can provide many benefits for your students. Classroom pets can help ease anxiety, assist shy students with socialization skills, teach children from pet-less homes how to nurture, and improve every child’s sense of responsibility.

You can also incorporate a classroom pet into lessons! Your students might write a story about Hammie the hamster or perform a study the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. You can prompt them to describe the physical characteristics of the classroom’s bearded dragon Morty or even teach them about proper nutrition with a lesson about what the class guinea pig Winnie needs to eat to stay healthy. There are endless ways you can incorporate a classroom pet into your lesson plans to enhance your students’ learning experience and to make the day a bit more fun! 

lizard, reptile

Rats, mice and hamsters are great starter pets if you don’t have a lot of experience with small animals. Rabbits require quite a bit of extra hands-on care, so we recommend rabbits as classroom pets for seasoned rabbit owners only. Remember you’ll have be responsible for caring for this animal on the weekends, summers and during the holidays so be sure you’re ready to commit to your new pet.

Naturally, you should first get permission from your school’s administration and make sure none of your students have allergies that would be aggravated by a furry animal. A fish or reptile would be a great alternative for classrooms with known allergy sufferers.

hamster

To help cover the expense of a classroom pet, there are grants available to teachers through Pets in the Classroom. This website is a fantastic resource for those looking to adopt their first classroom pet and even includes tons of sample lesson plans for every age group.

We have plenty of amazing critters available for adoption at our shelters that would make perfect classroom pets. Check out our FindAPet page to find your new teaching assistant!

Clear The Shelters 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Come one, come all to Clear the Shelters at the SPCA of Texas!

Both of our shelter locations are participating in the event, so head to your nearest one on August 19th!

What is Clear the Shelters?

clear the shelters

It is an annual, nationwide event dedicated to finding homes for all the animals available for adoption in participating shelters. To accomplish this feat, every shelter waives its adoption fees. This means that you can come adopt a vaccinated, spayed/neutered animal for free! Last year, more than 53,000 animals were adopted from over 700 shelters nationwide on this special day.

kittens, cat bed

This year, 62 North Texas shelters are participating in Clear the Shelters. The SPCA of Texas is proud to offer free adoptions for Clear the Shelters - we are able to do this because of the continued support of our donors. If you are unable to take in a new family member at this time, please consider donating now here or on North Texas Giving Day to help us cover the cost of these animals’ care.

To view our list of available animals, check out our FindAPet page. Stop by either the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas or the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 19th to meet your new best friend!

International Cat Day
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

 

Happy International Cat Day! Do we have a cat story for you!

Arizona Kitten

The SPCA of Texas is proud to announce that we received 50 kittens from the Arizona Humane Society yesterday afternoon. The Arizona shelter currently has over 800 cats at their facilities, so we are taking a few of them in to help out with their overflow! These little guys are settling in nicely after their long journey over the weekend. They aren’t available for adoption yet, but we have plenty of other cats and kittens in our shelters waiting for a home. You can take a look at who is currently available for adoption right here.

Here are some of the pictures from yesterday’s intake!

Arizona Kitten

Arizona Kitten

Arizona Kitten

arizona humane society, kittens

In light of this huge transfer in, we’d like to remind everyone that North Texas Giving Day is coming up next month. The money you contribute on this amazing day of charity supports our efforts to find homes for the animals that come through our shelters, including these adorable kittens. Mark your calendars with a reminder that September 14th is North Texas Giving Day and be sure to share your contribution on social media!

National Work Like a Dog Day (August 5th)
Friday, August 04, 2017

Tomorrow, August 5th is National Work Like A Dog Day. The holiday is dedicated to those who put in long hours of hard work on a regular basis, but we’d also like to celebrate dogs with jobs!

Canines are wonderful creatures that are capable of so much more than just companionship - although they’re pretty darn good at that too! Dogs all over the world help humans by lending us their excellent skills and willingness to please.

The compassion and dedication that therapy and guide dogs show their owners know no bounds. A helping paw, a comforting nuzzle, or an extra set of eyes to rely on can go a long way for those who need a little bit of help getting around or just getting through the day.

combat dog, working dog, work like a dog, k-9

We’ll always be grateful to our K-9 officers for helping to keep the peace in our communities and the brave combat dogs that help our troops defend our freedom. Remember, a dog in uniform is working so no petting or treats – it’s very important for them to remain professional.

Whether they’re shepherding a herd of goats, sniffing for contraband or rescuing people trapped by an avalanche, dogs truly know the value of a hard day’s work. Tomorrow, we suggest giving your own pup an extra treat on behalf of all the dogs hard at work across the nation.

 

July 2017 Adoptions
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

We’re having a fantastic summer here at the SPCA of Texas! During the month of July, an incredible 611 animals were adopted. We’d love to congratulate all the pets and their adopters on their new lives together.

adoption, estella, staff

 

That 611 total includes:

  • 2 birds
  • 110 cats
  • 156 kittens
  • 177 dogs
  • 133 puppies
  • 8 hens
  • 7 guinea pigs
  • 5 horses
  • 5 rabbits
  • 8 rodents

This puts our total adoption numbers for this year to date at 3,960! We’re still aiming for our goal of 11,000 animal adoptions for 2017 so if you or someone you know has been thinking about bringing a furry friend into their lives, please consider adopting. Dog and cat adoptions are still $25 through September 3rd! You can see a list of our available animals right here.

National Mutt Day
Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31st is National Mutt Day! Today we celebrate all the lovable, scruffy pups that come from all sorts of canine backgrounds. They may not be able to strut around the ring at dog shows, but we think they’re winners all the same!

Most of the dogs that come through our shelters are mixed breed, so we always have a wide variety of happy mutts on hand. Remember, dogs don’t care what breed of human you are, as long as you’re a good one!

mutt, national mutt day, adopt

This summer all dog adoptions are $25, so come on down to your nearest SPCA of Texas location or keep an eye on our calendar for our mobile adoption events. You might just go home with a new best friend!

For more information on National Mutt Day, head over to the official website or check out the Facebook page!

 

Teaching Your Puppy to Swim
Friday, July 28, 2017

Swimming is great exercise and tons of fun for both you and your dog, but your puppy has to learn to splash before he can swim! Before you start teaching your puppy to swim, you should purchase a doggie life vest. These are available in a wide variety of sizes in most pet supply stores. You should also keep your dog on a leash until you are confident that they will not swim away from you.

puppy, bath, swim, baby pool

Be patient with your pup as they get used to the sensation of being in water. Throwing your dog into the water is the worst thing you can do as it will likely cause a total fear of deep water. Introducing your dog to water slowly is the best way to ensure that your pup will come to enjoy the activity of swimming. Let your pet get used to standing with their paws in a baby pool before graduating to shallow wading. Rewarding your puppy with treats will help them associate the water with good feelings. Additionally, remember to bring plenty of toys to ensure your dog will have fun during training.

Once your dog is used to the water, you can help them get used to the feeling of swimming by supporting their belly as they kick their legs. Paddling with only the front legs can quickly cause exhaustion, so make sure your dog is using all four limbs to swim. Eventually, they will be doing the doggie paddle all on their own!

dog, tongue, baby pool, swim, summer

Here are some important things to remember every time you take your dog out for a swim:

  • Never allow your dog to swim unattended
  • Always give your pet a rinse with clean water after a swim to wash off the pool chemicals, bacteria, algae, sand or salt
  • Just like you, your dog can get dehydrated, sunburned and bloated. Make sure your dog gets plenty of water and shade and wait a few hours after mealtime before jumping into the pool
  • Never leave your dog unsupervised near a body of water

Have fun out in the sun this summer and remember, safety first!

 

Spotlight On: Potbelly Pigs
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Potbelly pigs are super cute, but they require a special type of owner! If you’ve ever wondered about adopting a potbelly pig, here are some important things to keep in mind about caring for pigs.

potbelly pig, pig,

They attach to their owners! Pig adopters need to understand that their pig is very sensitive to meeting new people. Introductions should be calm and based on the pig’s own comfort level. Keep in mind that pot belly pigs live between 12 and 18 years, so be sure you’re in for the long haul before taking one home.

It’s important to take charge of your new pig to establish dominance. Pigs need to know that you are the “head pig” so adopters should be firm and lead the pig. This is especially important if you are adopting an older pig. The more you brush them and give them belly rubs, the faster they will fall in love with you.

Pot bellies are incredibly social animals. They do best when paired with another pig. Their friend will keep them company when you are out of the house. Pigs often sleep with their snouts touching, which is incredibly cute to witness. All pigs require hoof trimming and male pigs grow tusks that may also need trimming that needs to be done by experienced vets.

potbelly pig, pig, baby pool, bath

Pigs are sensitive and communicate through body language. You must find a vet that knows and understands pigs. Vets that work primarily with dogs and cats may not understand your pig’s special needs. Also, potbelly pigs require specialized diets. They should not eat farm pig food. A few companies make pet pig feed, but pigs also require fresh vegetables, hay or bran, and the opportunity to graze on fresh grass. You can give your pet pig the occasional piece of fruit as a treat but it is extremely important not to overfeed your pig. Just like people, too much junk food can make pigs unhealthy and overweight. 

potbelly pig, pig,

Because pigs are so intelligent, they require a lot of stimulation through attention, training, and exercise. Adopting a potbelly pig is a huge responsibility and it’s extremely important that you do your research to make sure you’re ready for such an undertaking.

Last but not least, check your local regulations and home owner’s association guidelines to ensure that you are permitted to have a potbelly pig on your property. 

To see which of our pigs are available for adoption, please head over to our FindAPet page.

Reducing Pet Allergens In Your Home
Friday, July 21, 2017

As much as we all adore our furry best friends, we could certainly live without all that dander! When hay fever hits, the last thing you need is another irritant floating around in the air. Following these tips will help you (and your four-legged friends) keep your home’s air clean all year round!

Black Cat

One easy solution to ease nighttime allergies is to purchase quality hypoallergenic sheets. These sheets are designed to repel allergens. While down comforters are incredibly cozy, dander and dust mites can get trapped inside. Switching to a cotton comforter or quilt can make a difference in how you breathe at night.

Unless you can’t bear to sleep without your cuddle buddy, it’s a good idea to keep your fur baby off the bed and possibly even out of your bedroom. Having a clean, pet-free zone in your house can provide you and your guests with a comfortable area to breathe in. It’s also a good idea to clean your pet’s favorite spot more frequently and more thoroughly than other areas of your home.

Tortie Cat

Diligent cleaning is obviously the number one way to keep pet allergies at bay.  Wood, tile, and laminate are optimal flooring choices for pet owners as these materials are much easier to clean than carpet. Frequent dry mopping, dusting, and, if you have carpet in your home, vacuuming, will help keep dander from building up. When looking for a vacuum, you may come across many models that are specifically designed to pick up pet hair and dander. Some even have special attachments that are excellent at picking up pet hair from furniture and tight corners. Of course, dust around your home often – especially around vents and ceiling fans.

For more cleaning tips, check out these helpful hints in our Pet Care Tips section.

 

Memorial Day Pet Safety, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Memorial Day is often a great time to have family BBQs, take river floating trips with friends, and do any number of outdoor activities that can only be truly enjoyed when you have a three-day weekend to experience them.

As most pet-lovers can attest, enjoying these activities with our furry friends only enhances our enjoyment. If you plan to enjoy your Memorial Day weekend with your pets, there are some things you should be careful to avoid in order to keep your pets safe.



1. If you plan to host or attend a  BBQ with your dog, be sure to keep your dog from eating any table scraps. Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic and avocadoes are common foods at such gatherings, but are poisonous for pets. Alcohol is also
toxic for pets and should not, under any circumstances, be given to your pets. If you think throwing your pet some fatty scraps or bones from meat is a nice treat, please think again. Bones, especially those from poultry, are choking
hazards for pets and fatty scraps of meat don’t help your pet’s cholesterol any more than they help yours.



2. If you plan to enjoy water-based activities with your dog this weekend, first make sure that your dog is comfortable in and around the water. Not all dogs are great swimmers and small dogs especially should wear dog-appropriate
flotation devices if they are going to be near a lake or river. You’ll also need to make sure that your dog doesn’t drink the water from a lake, river or swimming pool as there could be toxins or chemicals that are harmful to them.



3. No matter the situation, your pets should always have access to shade, shelter and fresh water if you’re going to take them anywhere. Animals are more prone to heat exhaustion due to their fur and lack of ability
to communicate the need for water. Brachycephalic (smushed-faced) dogs are especially prone to over-heating as they have more difficulty breathing when hot or over-exercised. Always make sure that your pets have a cool place to
rest when it’s hot outside. You might even consider filling a kiddie pool so that your dog can lay his chest in it as this is how dogs regulate their body temperatures.



4. Before you and Fido leave for your weekend adventure, make sure that your dog is wearing up to date identification tags attached to his collar and that his microchip information is updated as well. We can’t stress enough
how sad it is to have your dog get lost without his tags. It makes it so much harder for good Samaritans and animal welfare agencies to reunite you with your beloved pooch! Likewise, an up to date microchip can provide a last defense
when it comes to getting Fido back home.



[Call 214-742-772 today to set up an appointment for a microchip and Pet ID tags at the SPCA of Texas! If you have  questions about more pet safety tips, feel free to email us at spca@spca.org.]

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National Chip Your Pet Month
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Losing a pet is heartbreaking because both the pet and her owner are a complete mess when Fido can’t find his way home.

Here on the blog, we’ve previously talked about how to recover your pet once she’s lost. The last line of defense in situations such as these is about as small as a grain of rice.

The solution is called a microchip.

May is National Chip Your Pet Month and rather than try to explain what it is and does, we’ll let you see for yourself in these infographics*

If you want to know how to use your pet's microchip, read on!

Not convinced that your pet needs a microchip yet?  

Make an appointment today to have your pet microchipped at one of our three low-cost spay/neuter and wellness clinics! Call 214-742-7722 to make your pet’s appointment.

*All infographics can be found on the SPCA of Texas’ “Infographics + Pet Facts” Pinterest board. Check it out for more  tips and tricks on popular animal welfare topics!


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National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 14-20
Monday, May 15, 2017

Every year in America, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs. Of these 4.5 million, about one in five people require medical attention for their injuries.

Unfortunately, children are by far the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured by the bites. And actually, most dog bite injuries to children happen during everyday activities in which the child is  interacting with a familiar dog.



Why is this the case? Kids generally have a way of interacting with the world that involves a lot of up close and personal inspection and touching. It’s not unusual to see a kid meeting a dog for the first time and reaching out to  touch the dog’s face, grab his moving tail, or press his face closer to the dog’s face.

When a kid is familiar with the family dog, he or she then feels comfortable enough to start hitting or tugging on the dog. Unlike other dogs, human children who don’t know how to read the dog’s stiff body language, enlarged eyes and laid back ears as a sign to leave him alone will miss the dog’s physical cues.

And unlike other humans, dogs can’t speak to kids and say, “Hey, please cut that out!”  Their way of getting an  annoyance out is to react by baring their teeth and snapping. It’s not usually a drawn out movement; one quick reaction or a succession of quick reactions will send the message to other dogs.



The best thing you can do as a parent to both kids and a dog is to teach your children the correct way to pet and play with your pooch. This will help ensure that all creatures in your home live in harmony and will help your kids stay safe for life.

Teach your kids not to stick their face in your dog’s face, or crawl into a tight space with the dog as many dogs do not enjoy such close contact. Tell them that the dog does not like to be hit or have his arms and legs tugged on, just as your child does not enjoy those things.

Explain to your children that dogs have feelings sort of like humans do and that they can be annoyed, scared or mad just like people.



Also explain to your child that if they meet a new or strange dog, they should let the dog come up to them first. Do not let your child run towards strange dogs unless that dog’s owner says otherwise.

If the other dog owner tells you not to do something their dog does not like, communicate that to your child and supervise their interactions at all times. Explain to them what this new dog does and does not like and you just might teach your child to respect all dogs in the process.

We humans are blessed to be able to call our dogs “man’s best friend,” but as the superior creatures we have the responsibility of teaching both dogs and children how to live together in peace.



If you’re looking to bring a new dog into your family, check out our available dogs on our Findapet page! If you’d like  more information on how to care for your pets, take a look at our “Healthy, Happy Pets” board on Pinterest.

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Chihuahua Appreciation Day! (May 14th)
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother’s Day is coming up and we don’t want to steal mom’s thunder. But do you know what else is on May 14th?

It’s National Chihuahua Appreciation Day!

Amber the Chihuahua
The SPCA of Texas loves dogs of all breeds and sizes, and we’re pumped to highlight the tiny Chihuahua. They’re shaky, fierce and full of love and loyalty for their special person. Could that be you?

Chihuahuas are lap dogs through and through and make great apartment dogs as they are small in size and rather inactive between bursts of energy. They also tend to excel at alerting their owners to visitors and make even better snuggle buddies.

Nero the Chihuahua

If you’re looking for a fierce, yet tiny protector and companion, look no further than the SPCA of Texas! We have a few very adorable Chihuahua mixes available who are looking for their forever home and a lap to cuddle on.

To see our adoptable Chi mixes, visit this page.

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Proper Puppy Care {Puppy Mill Awareness}
Monday, May 08, 2017

I don’t have to explain to you how wonderful puppies are. They’re soft and fluffy and can fit an incredible amount of energy and playfulness into such a small package!

And let’s not even get started on how smart and curious they are. They are a joy to watch and interact with and no one can resist them.



With spring in full bloom and summer on the way, there are puppies popping up everywhere! Before you consider  bringing one into your home, just be sure you’ve got what it takes to care for one of these bundles of joy.

That curiosity I mentioned will lead a pup right to the temptation to chew up all your favorite belongings and he won’t be able to resist. He’ll also feel free to potty wherever he pleases because he just doesn’t know any better.

Are you prepared to spend lots of time playing with and training your pup?



If so, consider whether or not you’re prepared to spend upwards of $900 dollars on average on your pup’s first year of veterinary visits and supplies. Puppies have weak immune systems and require several rounds of vaccinations and tests in their first year of life.

Additionally, they need a lot of household items such as crates, collars, leashes, food and water bowls, blankets…and the list goes on. If you’re not willing to shell out some cash for these necessary items, a puppy might not be right for you right now.

If you think you can responsibly care for a new puppy, please consider adoption first. Many puppies sold at pet stores or online come from puppy mills. A puppy mill is an establishment that breeds puppies for sale in inhumane and deplorable conditions.

The mother dogs remain nameless and are kept only as long as they continue to produce litters of puppies. They usually are left with no medical care and are living in their own filth. They rarely, if ever, receive positive attention or compassion from the people who breed them, which means they have no basic training and no idea what a toy is.



When you adopt from a shelter, you help stop the economic demand for puppies bred in puppy mills, and thus help put puppy mills out of business. And every puppy adopted from a shelter saves not only that puppy’s life, but the life of another homeless animal that takes its place in the shelter.  

If you think you’ve got what it takes to adopt and raise a puppy, you should absolutely consider adopting from the  SPCA of Texas! I wasn’t kidding about puppies being everywhere, and we’ve got some to spare!



Our puppies come spayed or neutered with a microchip and they’re up to date on their age-appropriate vaccinations. If you want to take a look at who we’ve got available for adoption, check out our Findapet page!

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National Pet Month
Thursday, May 04, 2017

May is National Pet Month, the first full week of May is National Pet Week and there are lots of ways that you can celebrate each!

You could get down with your dog, chase bugs with your cat, get jiggy with your iguana, make funny faces with your fish or burrow under the blankets with your pet rat. The possibilities are endless!

The purpose of this nationally celebrated week of pets is to celebrate the human-animal bond and promote responsible pet ownership.



We know how fun it can be to own a pet and the benefits they bring to our lives, but with great fun comes great responsibility.

Before bringing a new pet into your home, do your research. Make sure you’re aware of all the big ways you’ll need to be able to provide care for the pet (or pets) you choose.

If you find that the level of time or money needed to care for the pet you had your heart set on is more than you’re willing to put up for now, it is absolutely the best idea to choose a different type of pet. This is why doing the research beforehand is so important; it can help prevent you from having to give up your pet later.



Moreover, it is the duty of a responsible pet owner to do your part and make sure your pets are not contributing to the overall homeless pet population.

Thousands of animals are born every year in unwanted litters and are left to roam the streets. These poor babies wind up in shelters where many are euthanized because there is nowhere else for them to go, or worse, they get hit by a car, spread disease or are eaten by wildlife.

To help stop this awful cycle, have your pet spayed or neutered. If your pets cannot be fixed, be sure to separate the males and females into different enclosures to prevent unwanted babies.

More than anything, simply continue to provide your pets with the unconditional love that you always have. And if you find it’s time to bring a new pet into your home, please consider adopting from the SPCA of Texas!

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Adoption Numbers for April 2017!
Monday, May 01, 2017

The SPCA of Texas has a huge goal this year. In 2017, we are aiming to find homes for over 11,000 animals! This number is more than double our previous three years’ yearly adoption numbers.

Community support is vital to helping us reach this goal, as we can only reach it when more people open their hearts and homes to pet adoption.

If you are considering bringing a new furry friend into your home, or you know someone who is, please consider adopting from the SPCA of Texas. You could play a huge role in helping us save more lives!



[To see our adoptable animals, please visit www.spca.org/findapet.]

Without further ado, we’re excited to announce how many adoptions we’ve had this month, followed by our year to date numbers!*

Are you ready?

In April 2017, the SPCA of Texas adopted out a whopping 522 animals! Here’s the break down for you: 

119 Cats

158 Dogs

2 Ferrets

2 Fowl

13 Goats

23 Guinea Pigs

6 Horses

58 Kittens

3 Pigs

81 Puppies

21 Rabbits

3 Rodents

33 Sheep

In the year 2017, the SPCA of Texas has already adopted out approximately 2,158 animals! This number exceeds our YTD numbers from 2016 by approximately 787 animals!

*These numbers do not include animals who were adopted and returned who have not already been adopted again.

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National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30)
Thursday, April 27, 2017

This year, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, as well as Pet Parent’s Day, fall on the same day, April 30th. Today, we’ll discuss all the wonderful benefits of adopting a shelter pet and what it’s like to be a pet parent.



When you adopt from a shelter, your pet comes into your home already spayed or neutered, microchipped and up to  date on his vaccinations. He’s been brought up to a standard of health suitable for your home and you probably paid a fairly small price to call him family.

The saying goes that when you adopt a shelter pet, the love you get is more than the love you give. This is so true because when you bring an adopted animal into your home, you are literally saving his life.



Because you adopted your pet, you may have brought him out of a life of abuse or neglect or even prevented him from
being euthanized. And you not only saved his life, but the life of the animal who replaced him in the shelter.

As a pet parent, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that the animal you now cuddle with on the couch is your best friend because you saved his life. Each animal has its own personality and way of entertaining and loving us.



Pet parents are very aware of this and love to share with each other how much joy and laughter their best friend brings to them. The cost of caring for a pet becomes almost nothing when we stop to realize how different our lives would be without our furry friends.

If you’re thinking about becoming a new pet parent, please consider adopting from the SPCA of Texas. All of our adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, given age-appropriate vaccines and microchipped. You can look for your new best friend on our Findapet page.

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National Lost Dog Awareness Day (April 23)
Monday, April 24, 2017


“Oh no.”

Dread and fear course through your body as comprehension of the situation takes over. You’re standing in your  backyard, staring at the open gate.

Fido is nowhere to be seen…

Unfortunately, situations such as the above are unfortunately commonplace for some pet owners. Some dogs have an uncanny ability to escape when the urge to wander takes over them.

In fact, it’s so common that Lost Dog Awareness Day has become a nationally recognized day in the animal lovers’ community.

Lost Dog Awareness Day was created in 2014 not only to bring awareness to the dogs that go missing, but also to celebrate the reunions. It’s an opportunity to learn more about prevention—how you can keep Fido safe and sound with you and not have to worry if he’ll return.

Today, that’s just what we’ll focus on.



How to keep Fido from wandering

The number one thing you can do to keep Fido safe is to make sure you’re keeping an eye on him. Obviously, you have a life and can’t always have your dog with you, especially if he has behavior issues, but there are precautions you should always be taking.

For starters, never leave your dog alone in an unsecure area (one that you’re sure he won’t escape from) for more than five minutes at a time. This includes leaving him in the backyard, your office, and especially your car. If you must leave your dog’s presence, make sure someone you trust is keeping an eye on him.

One reason for this is because dogs can get bored. They start sniffing around for something fun to do and if they’re smart enough, they’ll find a way to get what they want. Leaving your dog unattended outside for long periods of time encourages him to become bored and attempt escape.

You should also make sure that if your dog is outside, he is safely enclosed in a fenced in area where he cannot easily escape, or he should be on a leash that is firmly gripped in your hand. You or someone you trust should be with him, keeping an eye  on him.



Furthermore, you should never let your dog off leash in an open area unless you absolutely trust him. Distractions abound in the form of squirrels, birds, people and other dogs. Who’s to say even the most well-mannered and well-trained dog wouldn’t take off after a squirrel’s bushy tail?

Other reasons dogs escape include looking for food and looking for a mate (if they’re not spayed or neutered). Be sure your pet is “fixed” and always has the appropriate amount of food and water to keep them safely at home.

How to ensure you can be reunited with Fido if he escapes

Despite our best efforts as pet parents, accidents still happen.

The number one thing you can do to ensure that you will be quickly reunited with your dog is to put up to date identification tags on him. These tags should have your name and phone number on them, as well as your address, email and any reward that you might give for the return of your dog.

This information makes it as easy as possible for good Samaritans to contact you, as well as provide them with an incentive to do so. This is also a highly visible way for strangers to identify your dog as a pet and not a stray, making them more likely to reach out and help your dog.



Now, maybe your dog is a master escape artist and constantly manages to slip out of his collar before roaming the streets.

If this is the case, your next  line of defense is a microchip.

A microchip is a small chip inserted between the layers of your dog’s skin that electronically holds a code that links to your dog’s basic information as well as your contact information. In order to access this information, your dog has to be scanned with a microchip scanner that can read the microchip number.

Your neighbors probably won’t be able to able to read this information and if someone who is not familiar with your dog doesn’t know him by sight, this won’t do you much good.

However, a microchip is an excellent tool for when your dog is picked up by, or dropped off at, animal control.  Microchip scanning is a standard procedure performed by animal welfare professionals as soon as an animal enters their building. Veterinarians can also help scan for microchips.

Provided your contact information is up to date, you should be able to be reunited with your pooch! Then the welcome home party can start. 

You can also purchase a GPS locator tag, along
with the service to track your dog should he become lost.


If you are confident that your dog would not stray far from your home, or you think your neighbors might help you locate him, one excellent tool to use is social media. Create a poster with multiple photos of your dog from different angles and your contact information, as well as a reward.

Post these flyers all around your neighborhood and in places you know your dog likes to visit. Then, post it to all your social media channels and share it with your friends and family. Be sure to also share it to your local animal control agency’s page, as well as local animal shelters’ pages.

Another great resource are the animal control and animal shelters themselves. If you are ever unsure of how to proceed looking for your dog, call and explain your situation. Give them photo copies of your flyer so they will know without doubt that they have your dog if he comes through their doors. Then, check daily to make sure your pet did not come in since the last time you visited.

If you need up to date identification tags made or you’d like to get your pet a microchip, call the SPCA of Texas at 214-742-7722. We provide both of these services at a reduced cost to our communities!

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Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Week
Monday, April 17, 2017

April is National Prevent Cruelty to Animals Month, so today we’ll discuss this important issue and what we can do to help.

By now, many people are aware of all the horrible ways animals can suffer abuse. The most well-known issues include  dog fighting and puppy mills, but the list includes other types of cruelty including animal hoarding, cockfighting, horse slaughter, animal races and animals being kept in inhumane conditions.

Sadly, some animals are abused simply by being neglected. They are refused food, water, shelter or care.

If you believe any of these practices are absolutely unacceptable, the best thing you can do is get involved.



You can petition your government representatives for stricter animal cruelty laws, start a fundraising campaign to help your local animal control agency or animal shelter investigate animal cruelty, or even host an event just spreading the word about how to spot and report animal cruelty.

Perhaps the simplest thing you can do is inform your local law enforcement agency or animal cruelty investigations unit of animal cruelty that you are aware of.

The SPCA of Texas has an animal cruelty investigations unit that accepts roughly 3-5 thousand animal cruelty calls per year. From these calls, they usually rescue about 15-hundred animals per year.

If you would like to know more about how you can help stop animal cruelty, visit our webpage here.

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Heartworm Awareness Month
Thursday, April 13, 2017

April is Heartworm Awareness Month, so today we’ll be discussing this very serious disease and what we can do to help
our pets fight it.

For the most basic facts, check out the infographic from the Companion Animal Parasite Council below.

As you can see, heartworm disease is very serious indeed. It poses a threat not only to your pets, but to your wallet as well since treatment for the disease is very expensive.


The best way you can help your pets fight this awful disease is by preventing it. There are over 11 different heartworm preventative medicines on the market, so you will need to talk with your veterinarian about which medication is best for your pet.


Furthermore, you should start having your pet tested for heartworms during his yearly check-up. It can take 6 months
for heartworms to be detected once your pet has been infected. Yearly testing will help you catch it early enough for effective treatment.


If you have a puppy under 7 months of age, you can go ahead and start her on a preventative before having her tested as she is too young for the test.


The SPCA of Texas is equipped to help you prevent this disease because we provide heartworm preventative at each of our three north Texas clinics.

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Therapy Dogs vs. Service Dogs: What's the Difference?
Monday, April 10, 2017

Many people are aware that therapy and service dogs are becoming more common. However, there is still some confusion when it comes to the differences between the two.

Since April 11th is Therapy Dog Appreciation Day, we’ll go ahead and clear this up.

Image Source

What is a therapy dog?

Therapy dogs are dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings in which people might need affection and comfort. Such settings include schools, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, hospices, disaster areas and places where people with autism reside.

Service dogs have a much heftier job as they are responsible for assisting a physically or mentally disabled person to function in their everyday lives. Service dogs are specially trained according to their owner’s needs and are allowed access by law into public places such as restaurants, air planes, libraries, etc.



Because therapy dogs are not specially trained or absolutely necessary to their owner’s normal functioning, they are not afforded this same access. In fact, it is unethical to try to pass off a therapy dog, much less your regular dog, as a service dog in order to bring him or her with you into public places where dogs are not allowed.

However, this does not make therapy dogs any less important than service dogs. Therapy dogs bring an abundance of happiness and joy to those they visit. Studies have even shown that the presence of a therapy dog does wonders for sick and hurting people.  

How can I make my dog a therapy dog?

In order for your dog to become a certified therapy dog, you will both have to work your way through a certification program. These are available through a select few organizations across the country.

But before you invest in training your dog to become a therapy dog, ask yourself these questions about your dog’s current personality and behavior: 

  • Is your dog friendly and accepting of strangers?
  • Does your dog get along with dogs of all sizes and breed?
  • Is your dog calm, able to sit on command, and stay for a long period of time?
  • Is your dog comfortable around adults and children? Or prefer one to the other?
  • Is your dog able to walk calmly through a crowd?
  • Is your dog able to stay focused even with distractions?
  • Does your dog enjoy being groomed or pet by a stranger?
  • Is your dog confident and carefree?
  • Is your dog relaxed even with loud, disruptive noises?
  • Does your dog have good manners even when you're not in the room?
  • Is your dog comfortable in a new, or changing, environment?

If you answered yes to the questions above, look into enrolling your pooch in a Good Canine Citizen (GCC) class. Your pup will have to get his GCC certification before he can become certified as a therapy dog through an accredited therapy dog program.

SPCA of Texas Good Canine Citizen


[Photo of Mikey shortly after being adopted at 9 weeks old]


The SPCA of Texas is ecstatic to announce that one of our alumni has taken the first steps towards becoming a therapy dog!

We have received an update from Mikey (formerly Santos) and his family. Sherry (Mikey’s mom) shared the wonderful news with us!

She says that “Mikey has been studying very hard and...just received his Canine Good Citizenship certification! I was also able to register Mikey with the AKC Partners program and he is continuing to take training classes so he can go for the next level of certification.”


[Photo of Mikey at his CGG graduation!]

A huge congratulations to Mikey and Sherry for putting in the hard work and making great strides!

A common misconception is that therapy dogs must be purebred dogs who have been bred to have excellent social and obedience skills, but this is simply not true.

Therapy dogs are often household pets with excellent temperaments who love attention and are gentle enough to be handled by children. Some of the best therapy dogs are mixed breeds who came from a shelter and just have so much love to give.


[Photo of Mikey after starting training just a few weeks after being adopted]

In fact, the SPCA of Texas has a program in which volunteers take their certified therapy dogs to hospitals and provide much needed comfort and cuddles.

If you are interested in learning more about this program, shoot an email to our volunteer coordinators at volunteer@spca.org.

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Pet First Aid Awareness, April 2017
Thursday, April 06, 2017

Spring brings with it warmer weather and warmer weather means there’s a lot more trouble for your pets to get into. It also means it’s storm season.

April just happens to be Pet First Aid Awareness Month, so today we’ll discuss some of the ways you can protect your pets and help them if something does go wrong.

Preparing for pet emergencies
Perhaps the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for pet-related medical emergencies is to purchase or put together a pet first aid kit. Such a kit should include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting if your pet ingests something poisonous)
  • Eye washing solution
  • Gauze squares and rolls
  • Flex wrap bandage
  • First aid cream (such as an antibiotic)
  • Benadryl or other pet-safe allergy medicines (see below for doses)

Pet first aid is not the most popular topic when it comes to the pet-lovers community, but it is still an important one. A pet first aid kit is essential for every pet owner because there will be times when you won’t have time to get your pet to the emergency vet first. There will be times when you yourself will have to take action immediately.

 

Such times include when your pet is choking and his airway is blocked (you’ll need to know pet CPR), when your dog has bloat (it’s fatal in 20 minutes), when your pet ingests a poisonous substance (can affect smaller pets in 20 minutes, depending on amount of poison ingested) or when your pet becomes seriously injured and needs immediate medical attention.

You should always have the phone number and address of the nearest emergency vet clinic nearby, preferably in your phone, but try to also practice driving there. This will help your brain go on autopilot when your stress levels peak during an emergency.



Protecting your pets

Spring season is allergy season and animals are just as prone to allergies as humans.

If you know that your pet has seasonal allergies, you should know that it is perfectly acceptable to give your pet human allergy meds, so long as they are pet-friendly and given in the proper doses.

Benadryl is the most commonly accepted allergy medicine for pets, but you should consult with your veterinarian before deciding if allergy meds are the right choice for your pet. Cats can be more difficult to medicate, so you might want to ask your
veterinarian for alternative methods.

If you do decide to treat your pets, you need to know the proper dosage. For dogs, an appropriate dosage would be 1 milligram per pound, 2-3 times per day. For cats, the accepted dosage is 2 milligrams per pound, every 8 hours or more.



Spring is also storm season, so you’ll want to be sure you include your pets in your family’s evacuation plan. Be sure to plan ahead of time where your family will evacuate to. If it is at all possible to take your pets with you, this is the best thing you can do.

If it isn’t possible to take your pets with you, look into emergency boarding with your local animal shelters or veterinarians’ offices. The SPCA of Texas has [something about 2121 emergency relief boarding]. For more information about this program, click here.

After planning where you will take your pets, put together a go-bag for them. This will need to include a collar and harness, a leash or carrier and food, water, bowls, copies of your pets’ medical records and their medicines, as well as current photos of your pets in case they become separated from you.


Resources

Emergency situations happen when we least expect them. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared beforehand.

If you would like more information on Pet First Aid Awareness, check out the American Red Cross’ page here. You can also find information on their pet CPR classes here.

For more information about the SPCA of Texas’ emergency relief center call 214-742-7722 or email spca@spca.org.

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Adoption Numbers for March 2017!!
Monday, April 03, 2017

The SPCA of Texas has a huge goal this year. In 2017, we are aiming to find homes for over 11,000 animals! This number is more than double our previous three years’ yearly adoption numbers.

Community support is vital to helping us reach this goal, as we can only reach it when more people open their hearts and homes to pet adoption.

If you are considering bringing a new furry friend into your home, or you know someone who is, please consider  adopting from the SPCA of Texas. You could play a huge role in helping us save more lives!

adoption, adoptions, spca of texas

[To see our adoptable animals, please visit www.spca.org/findapet.]

Without further ado, we’re excited to announce how many adoptions we’ve had this month, followed by our year to date numbers!*

Are you ready?

In March 2017, the SPCA of Texas adopted out a whopping 643 animals! Here’s the break down for you:

2 Birds

141 Cats

203 Dogs

5 Ferrets

32 Fowl

19 Goats

36 Guinea Pigs

1 Tarantula

59 Kittens

117 Puppies

4 Rabbits

8 Reptiles

6 Rodents

10 Sheep

In the year 2017, the SPCA of Texas has already adopted out approximately 1,639 animals! This number exceeds our YTD numbers from 2016 by approximately 580 animals!

*These numbers do not include animals who were adopted and returned who have not already been adopted again.

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Respect Your Cat Day, March 28th
Monday, March 27, 2017

Most people are familiar with what dogs do and don’t like, but what about the cats?!

In honor of Respect Your Cat Day on March 28th, we’ll share some tips about how to understand your feline friend and show her that you love her.

respect your cat dat

Most domestic cats live to be 12-15 years of age. During this robust lifetime, they will spend the majority of their time—about 13-14 hours a day—sleeping. If you want to respect your cat, you’ll let them sleep uninterrupted.

Furthermore, most cats dislike being pet or rubbed on their stomachs. As hunters, they don’t like having their most sensitive area exposed. If your cat regularly exposes her tummy to you, it’s a sign of trust and not an invitation to be rubbed.

respect your cat dat

In fact, most cats would actually prefer that you ask permission to pet them. You do this by offering them your hand and then letting them actually pet you by rubbing their head or body against your hand.

The biggest way you can show respect to your cat is to spend time with her. Many people know cats to be low maintenance pets, but they still have instincts that need to be satisfied.

Playing with your cat before meal times is a great way to satisfy her hunting instinct, as well as provide her some physical activity to keep her in shape.

respect your cat dat

You can also bond with your kitty by grooming her. Cats naturally groom themselves, but those with longer coats need help removing mats and tangles.

You also want to be sure that you aren’t over feeding your cat as this can lead to serious medical problems later in life.

respect your cat dat

You’ll definitely want to show respect by claiming ownership of her. This means making sure she has up to date identification tags and a microchip with your information should she become lost.

[If you need ID tags or a microchip for your cat, check out our clinic services!]

respect your cat dat

You’ll also want to get your cat spayed or neutered. This will inhibit his or her desire to roam the neighborhood looking for a mate, as well as prevent your female cat from having kittens. By spaying or neutering your cat, you will show respect to all cats in your community by helping to reduce the total number of unwanted and homeless cats.

[Call the SPCA of Texas at 214-742-7722 to schedule your cat’s surgery today.]

respect your cat dat

Start implementing some of these tips with your furry feline and let us know how your cat responds! We’d love to know your story. Share your experience with us on Facebook or Twitter (@spcaoftexas), and don’t forget the photos!!

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It's National Puppy Day!
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bad breath, floppy ears, over-sized paws and very sharp teeth: these are things that are only considered cute when they belong to puppies!

March 23rd is National Puppy Day and who can resist the cuteness?! National Puppy Day was created to celebrate all the happiness that puppies bring to our lives, as well as to bring awareness to the importance of pet adoption.

Today, that’s just what we’ll do.

national puppy day

Where to find a puppy

The first and perhaps most important decision you can make regarding your new puppy is where you will find him.

A pet store is sure to have a good variety of purebreds, but the cost is actually greater than you think. Purebred dogs are typically very expensive, but the ones at pet stores are even more so due to the fact that their very lives are at stake.

This is because many pet stores stock their pups from irresponsible breeders and puppy mills. A puppy mill is defined as a breeding operation that neglects dogs for the sake of turning a profit. The dogs in their care are often malnourished and refused proper care in the form of lack of nutrition, grooming and socialization.

national puppy day

The puppies are usually taken from their mothers too soon and are often sick with some sort of disease or infection that ultimately affects their lifespan. Additionally, because the mothers are not properly socialized, many of the puppies do not know how to be a regular dog. This makes training hard for the new owner down the road.

When you adopt from a shelter, you are likely to face fewer problems with your potential new pup.

Many people are unaware of the fact that animal shelters are usually full of puppies. Spring brings with it lots of unexpected pregnancies and many of these litters wind up in the shelter. Puppies also make their way to the shelters around five months of age because they’ve outgrown their previous owners’ expectations. They are no longer cute or they are larger or more energetic than the owner thought they would be.

national puppy day

If you are considering bringing a new puppy into your home, consider adopting from a shelter. You will save the life of an animal who may otherwise be homeless or euthanized, plus your pup will come with some vaccines and a microchip already provided. He will also be neutered (or spayed, if he ends up being a she) and be deemed medically healthy enough for a new home. You will get to take the medical records home as proof.

Additionally, you will be well-informed about the animal’s history and what to expect of him as he grows. You will also receive training tips and tricks specific to your new pup. You should have very few surprises once you bring your new friend home.

national puppy day

In addition to all the perks your puppy will come with, you are likely to pay significantly less for a puppy at a shelter than you would from a pet store or breeder!

Here at the SPCA of Texas, your savings are even greater. This is because each puppy that we place for adoption goes home spayed or neutered with a microchip and is current on his or her age-appropriate vaccinations!

[If you are interested in adopting, check out our adoptable pets here.]

Preparing for a new puppy

Before you bring your puppy home, make sure your home is puppy-proof. Puppies have an uncanny ability to place their snouts in places they don’t belong. This can be a very bad thing when there are harmful objects involved, or if you value your possessions.

national puppy day

To best protect your new puppy, place all your dangerous chemicals and cleaners out of harm’s way. Lock them in cabinets or store them above ground level where your new friend couldn’t possibly reach them. The same goes for small items that your pup could accidentally chew and swallow.

Be sure to also pick anything up off the floor that you don’t want your puppy destroying. If you can’t remove something from the floor (i.e., furniture), be sure to have a way to limit your pup’s access to these things.

Like babies, puppies of all ages explore the world with their mouths. They want to know how everything smells and tastes. Your shoes, clothes, gadgets and furniture are no exception.

Be mindful of the fact that despite your best efforts, your pup will probably still chew on something you don’t want him to.

national puppy day

Take time to consider whether or not you can really live with a creature that might destroy your stuff. If you decide you can’t, then a puppy is not for you and there is no shame in admitting it.

Before bringing your puppy home is also the time to stock up on food, toys and training materials that your new friend will need. Instead of punishing your puppy for chewing on something inappropriate, try setting him up for success by catching him before he destroys it.

Have a couple of different chew toys and treat-dispensing toys on hand. You can give these to your pup when you notice his urge to chew. This redirects him from destructive chewing to appropriate chewing and keeps you from needing to punish him.

national puppy day

You’ll also want to purchase a crate or baby gates so that your puppy will have a safe space to relax while you cannot give him your full attention. This will prevent him from being able to reach anything he shouldn’t chew on while you’re away. This will also help with housetraining as puppies typically do not like to sleep near their own feces.

Puppies have very specific nutritional requirements, so you’ll want to purchase food that meets the requirements of your new puppy.

If you don’t yet know which type of puppy you’ll be bringing home from the shelter (wink, wink), don’t worry! Your adoption specialist will be able to provide you with the information you need and potentially provide you with a small bag of the food that your puppy was eating at the shelter.

If you happen to be purchasing your puppy from a responsible breeder, contact them beforehand and ask for a recommendation. They might also be willing to provide you with a small bag of the food that the puppy was eating while in their care.

national puppy day

Bringing a puppy home

Now the fun begins! You are officially responsible for another life and you want to do the best you possibly can. Where do you start?

When you bring home your new best friend, immediately schedule her first veterinary appointment. Puppies have weak immune systems and need the boost of their first vaccines at around 6-8 weeks of age.

If you adopted your puppy from the shelter, he will likely already have this first round of vaccines. You’ll need to check with your breeder about these vaccines if you did not adopt.

national puppy day

Most people don’t know that puppies actually need about 3-5 rounds of vaccines during their first year of life. Despite popular belief, many dogs can still catch viruses such as parvo and distemper as adults, especially if they were not vaccinated as puppies.

While you’re at the vet, ask him about all the upcoming vaccines and tests that your puppy will need so that you can plan to bring your new puppy in to receive them.

Also be sure to have your puppy’s microchip updated with all of your information attached to the chip so that your puppy can be returned to you if she gets lost. This might have been done for you at the shelter, depending on where you’re located.

national puppy day

If you bought your puppy from a breeder, you’ll need to have a microchip inserted with your information attached to it.

You’ll also want to set up an appointment to have your pup spayed or neutered so that you won’t have any unexpected litters later on down the road. This will also help prevent your puppy from developing undesirable behaviors such as aggression or breaking free from you to roam the neighborhood.

No matter where you purchased your puppy, you’ll also want to have identification tags made in case one of your neighbors finds her. A microchip is important because ID tags can fall off, but tags act as a first line of defense if your pup manages to keep them on and stay close to home.

[If you need affordable, low-cost clinic services for your new puppy, view our clinic services here.]

national puppy day

Puppy tips and tricks

There is so much that goes into caring for a new puppy and we here at the SPCA of Texas want to help you be as prepared as possible.

That being said, we have provided a list of resources for you in the event that you need some help at any point in the adoption process, from deciding whether or not a puppy is right for you to training your pup to be a model citizen.

Resources for new pet parents:

  1. Is a puppy right for me? à http://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/is-a-dog-right-for-you/
  2. What type of puppy should I choose? à http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds.html
  3. Available animals at the SPCA of Texas à http://spcafindapet.com/
  4. Pet Care Tips à https://www.spca.org/petcaretips
  5. Training your new puppy à https://www.spca.org/petuniversity
  6. Clinic services for your new puppy à https://www.spca.org/clinicservices

Be social with us! Like our Facebook page for more news from our organization and follow us on Pinterest for more pet care tips and adoptable animals!

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Three tips to make bath time more fun
Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring tends to be wet, which means that mud is plentiful. While you and your family may enjoy good, clean fun, Fido might have other plans. 

If you find that your dog is getting dirtier than usual, you might need to improve your bathing skills. Today, we have some tips and tricks for you.



Make it a positive experience

The bathtub should be a fun place. This means that you will want to get your pup used to being in it and having a good time.

Start by encouraging your dog into the tub with toys and treats. Let him play, eat and have fun in the tub. If he seems a little uncertain about staying in it, try laying a towel or non-slip mat on the bottom for stability.

Also try exercising Fido before bath time. He will be more relaxed and less likely to jump all over the place when he’s tired.

Make it efficient

To make bath time go by faster, try having all of your rubber duckies in a row before you start. Open all the bottles and supplies you’ll be using and place them within arm’s reach. Grab extra towels, even if you don’t think you need them. Have plenty of your dog’s favorite treats and toys on hand.

Be sure to close the bathroom door so that he can’t escape into the house while he’s soaking wet. The last thing you need is a wild wet dog chase!

bathe a dog

Make it pain-free

Make bath time even less painful for your pooch by brushing his fur beforehand. Get all the knots and tangles out because the water will only make them worse. This is especially important for dogs with long coats and undercoats.

To improve your experience, be sure to trim your dog’s nails beforehand. This will really help you if your dog tends to freak out and try desperately to escape.

Bonus tip: Leave it to the pros

If your dog just won’t sit still or behave for his bathing routine at home, leave him in the hands of the professionals. Your dog might not like his trips to the groomers, but it might be easier for you to make the journey there more  enjoyable than it is to bathe him at home.

SPCA of Texas, pet care tips, bath time

For more pet care tips, check out our Pinterest page or our tips page at www.spca.org/petcaretips.


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National Pet Poison Prevention Month
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Have you ever been scared that your pet got into something she shouldn’t have? Have you ever dreaded that thought that you’ll have to take your pet to the emergency vet because she might be suffering from poisoning? 

The saying goes that curiosity killed the cat, but this is just as true for dogs if not more so. Our pets are curious about almost everything, especially our food, plants and medicines. The best thing you can do to prevent your pet from  becoming poisoned is to limit her access to any of these three things. 

March is National Animal Poison Prevention Month, so today we’ll cover some of the most common poisons you can protect your pets from.

dogs, poison, prevention

Poisonous Foods

Obviously, chocolate is going to top this list. Of all the common foods we consume, this is the most well-known toxin. Chocolate contains high amounts of theobromine, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination and, after some other horrible symptoms, death. Dark chocolate contains higher amounts of theobromine, making it more dangerous than milk or white chocolate.

Other common, but less well-known toxic foods include: 

Coffee/Caffeine These products, as well as chocolate, contain methylzanthines (MX, for short). MX is found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, as well as seizures, tremors and hyperactivity.

Raisins and Grapes – Scientists aren’t quite sure what the toxin is that causes harm to our pets, but research suggests that these cause kidney failure in pets who ingest them.

Citrus and coconuts – These foods contain high amounts of citric and other oils that, when consumed in large quantities, can cause serious harm to your pets. In small doses, these foods merely cause irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Coconut water, however, is high in potassium and should not be given to pets at
all.

dogs, poison, prevention

Macadamia and other nuts – Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression and vomiting in dogs. Symptoms will begin roughly 12 hours after ingestion and may last up to 48 hours or more afterwards. Nuts - including almonds, pecans and walnuts - contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

Onions, Garlic and Chives – Popular toppings for your baked potatoes, these vegetables and herbs can cause serious gastrointestinal discomfort for your pets, particularly cats. If consumed in large enough quantities, they could also cause red blood cell damage to any pet.

Salt or Salty Foods – Too much salt in your pets’ diet can lead to excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning. We know the negative effects that salt can have on our human bodies over time. The same concept applies to our pets, except that they already generally live shorter life spans.

dogs, poison, prevention

Alcohol – Despite its place at the bottom of this list, alcohol is extremely dangerous for pets. In fact, it’s so toxic that it should never be given to pets. Just as in humans, alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death in our pets.

Not included on the list is an artificial sweetener called Xylitol. It is used as a sugar substitute in many gums and  candies. If you are a fan of sugar-free food products, be sure to keep these away from your pets as well. When ingested in large quantities, Xylitol can produce liver failure in pets.

Outdoor Dangers

With the warmer weather comes more opportunities for your pets to explore the great outdoors. While fresh air is good for everyone, some plants and the pesticides and fertilizers that sustain them are extremely dangerous for your pets to consume.

The most common toxic plants found in homes across Texas include:

Lilies – Plants known as true lilies are among the most toxic to pets, particularly among cats. It has been estimated that the mortality rate for pets who have ingested lilies is nearly 100%. Ingesting any part of the plant, even the water in the vase that holds them, can cause kidney failure within 48 hours. If you suspect that your pet has ingested any part of a lily, call your veterinarian immediately.

      dogs, poison, prevention

Sago palms – These are not true palms, but they are also among the most dangerous plants for pets. They are very common landscaping plants and as such, are easy for most pets to access. This is unfortunate if you have a pet with any sort of curiosity at all because every part of the plant is toxic, especially the seeds. Your pet could merely
chew on a branch without fully ingesting a part of it and still be contaminated.

Black locust trees – Also known as False Acacias, every part of this tree is poisonous for your pets, especially the bark and shoots. Research shows that 1 in 10 pets who have been contaminated have either died or been euthanized due to the potency of the toxins.

Yew – Another popular plant in Texas, this shrub is used for landscaping. Every part of this plant is toxic, especially for cats and dogs, including the berries. Toxins from this plant affect your pets’ brain and nervous system, as well as their cardiovascular system.

Other toxic plants include Caladium (aka Elephant Ears), Oleander, Larkspur (a wildflower) and Mistletoe. Despite popular  belief, Poinsettias are not actually toxic to pets but they do cause irritation to your pet’s primary organ systems when ingested.


dogs, poison, prevention

Media source

If you keep any plants in your home, do your research and make sure they are not bad for you or your pets. If you discover that they can be toxic for pets, do your best to place them in areas that your pets cannot access or perhaps give them to a friend without pets.

If you are going to allow your animals outside, make sure that you are supervising them, at least until you know they are not ingesting plants or fertilizer. If you can’t do so, be sure to limit their access to your plant life. It can be tricky to know which plants and fertilizers are bad for your pets, especially if you aren’t familiar with the plant life in your area.

Medications and Chemicals

Finally, make sure that all of your medications, cleaning supplies and other chemically-composed materials are locked away in cabinets or drawers where your pets are not able to get to them.

Animals process and eliminate drugs differently than humans do. For this reason, the majority of medicines that we use can cause gastrointestinal irritation and liver or kidney failure in our pets. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen
  2. Vitamins and supplements
  3. Pepto Bismol
  4. Aspirin or baby Aspirin (overdosing)
  5. Nasal decongestants
  6. Topical creams and ointments

dogs, poison, prevention 

Media source

Household products can also cause harm to our pets, primarily in the form of neurological problems (seizures) or digestive upset (diarrhea, vomiting). These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Petroleum jelly
  2. Lotions
  3. Body washes or soaps
  4. Breath fresheners (contain Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners)
  5. Mosquito repellant

Resources

From the moment your pet swallows something toxic, she has anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours before symptoms of the poisoning start to appear.

Always be sure to have your veterinarian’s number or the number of an emergency vet on hand in the event that your pet  manages to consume something that is potentially dangerous for him. You can also call the Animal Poison Control Center phone number at (888) 426-44-35. Assistance is available 24/7.

For non-emergency care, the SPCA of Texas has three spay/neuter and wellness clinics located in North Texas (1 in McKinney, 2 in Dallas) that provide low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and wellness care to pets of people who could not otherwise afford these services. If you need assistance, please call our Customer Care Center, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, at 214-742-7722.

For more information on pet toxins, you can visit the SPCA of Texas’ Pinterest board, Healthy, Happy Pets. You can also visit our Pet Care Tips page at www.spca.org/petcaretips/.



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The Line of Duty: Honoring K-9 Veterans with Heart
Monday, March 13, 2017

Most animal lovers are aware of how amazing dogs are. They’re smart, loving, funny and part of the family. Dogs are also capable of incredible athletic feats and loyalty, which is probably why the U.S. government decided that they could also be soldiers.

soldier, therapy dog, service dog, labrador retriever

Although it's not allowed, it's not uncommon for soldiers to adopt stray dogs they find overseas.


National K9 Veterans Day is celebrated on March 13th, which is the official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps. Today, we thought we’d briefly share the stories of 5 of the most famous K9 Veterans in history!

Sergeant Stubby

Perhaps the most famous of the early war dogs was Stubby, an American Pit Bull Terrier. He was found on the Yale campus as a stray in 1917 where he was informally adopted by Corporal John Conroy. During his time as a soldier overseas in World War I, Stubby participated in 17 battles and became famous when he captured a German spy by his rear! Sgt. Stubby lived to be about 11 years old.

sergeant stubby, pit bull dog

 

Smoky

Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier who was found as a puppy in a foxhole in Papa New Guinea. She was adopted by the William Wynne who trained her to do tricks for the entertainment of the officers in his unit. She is most notably known for her service to the Air Force during World War II. She was able to run a communication wire through 70 feet of underground piping, saving construction time and keeping the soldiers out of harm’s way in the process. She continued to entertain upon her return to the U.S. and lived to be 14 years of age.

smoky, war dog, yorkie

Chips

Chips was a Collie/German Shepherd/Husky mix who was perhaps the most decorated K9 soldier of World War II. After being donated by his owner to the military, he served time in Germany, France, North Africa and Sicily. He is most well-known for his infiltration of an Italian machine-gun nest and the subsequent capture of 10 enemy Italian soldiers alive! He returned home to his owner in 1945 a war hero and lived to be about 11 years old.

chips the war dog, german shepherd

 

Nemo

Nemo was a German Shepherd who served in Vietnam. He was extremely close with his handler, 2nd Class Bob Thorneburg. Nemo is most notably remembered for his incredible courage and dedication to his work. After warning his handler of a Viet Cong ambush, he and Thorneburg were both wounded. Nemo continued to attack the Viet Cong soldiers, giving Thorneburg the time he needed to call for reinforcements. Nemo then threw himself over Thorneburg and protected him until he was pried away by a U.S. veterinarian who treated his wounds. Nemo was the first K9 soldier to be retired for his wounds. After returning to the U.S., he lived in a private kennel near the veterinary office until he died at the age of 11.

nemo the war dog, german shepherd

Kaiser

Kaiser was yet another German Shepherd who served in Vietnam. From the moment he met his handler,  Marine Lance Cpl. Alfredo Salazar, the two were an inseparable team. Kaiser and Salazar participated in more than 30 combat patrols and saw 12 major operations through to the end. During one operation, the U.S. troops were ambushed by the Viet Cong and unfortunately, Kaiser was hit in the initial barrage. Faithful to the end, he died trying to lick Cpl. Salazar’s hand. He was buried under a tree in his platoon’s camp, which was thereafter named Camp Kaiser in his honor.

kaiser, war dog, german shepherd

 

K9 veterans have a much richer and broader history than we could give credit to in a single post. But we absolutely love that such inspiring and dedicated dogs can come from anywhere.

Both Stubby and Smoky were found and adopted by the troops they later went on the serve next to. Chips was
a mutt from the country who worked alongside someone who wasn’t his owner. Nemo and Kaiser were both dedicated to the military specifically for their positions.

Dogs are capable of so much more than we everyday civilians ask of them. Their loyalty and dedication to their mission is intense and heartwarming all at the same time.

If you are considering adopting a dog of your own, either as a service/therapy dog or a family pet, please consider adopting from the SPCA of Texas. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to give a homeless  animal a second chance at life.

You can find our adoptable animals on our Findapet page and see adoption updates on our Facebook page!

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PUPDATE: Two Korean Dogs Living Their Happily Ever After
Thursday, March 09, 2017

This week, we received the sweetest and most uplifting update from the couple who adopted two of our Korean dogs back in July. According to their new dad, Ellie (formerly Nadine) and Cooper (formerly Felton) are doing great!

[If you missed the original story about the SPCA of Texas’ Korean dogs, read this article or check out our Press Release first.]

 

Korean dogs
Cooper (formerly Felton) while he was in the shelter.

He says,

“Both have come so far that it is amazing. Ellie, although still wary of people, allows us to pet her and scratch her back and belly as well as do some playing. She still loves to eat and may be growing a little tummy.  She allows us to cuddle, although it's not reciprocated, and I have even laid my head on her without her getting up to leave. Although she remains a work in progress, she has come so very far and grows in confidence and love each day.

"Cooper is now unrecognizable. He constantly has his tail raised high over his back and communicates with that and his nose. He hasn't required a leash in months and is one of the first ones to go outside. He loves to be out at night and if we sneak out without his knowledge, he can be seen running and jumping across the yard by himself. Oh, the value of freedom! He has gotten to be quite a lover, always wanting to lay close and rest his head on your leg or stomach. When he wants to go out, which is every chance he gets, he will push the doors open and wait by the back door. He has latched onto [his new mom] and that is his person. She often says how happy she is that we were able to get both dogs, being fearful that someone else would have relegated them to the back yard since they weren't ‘dog like’ when we got them."

Korean dogs

Ellie (formerly Nadine) looking happy and carefree.

He then goes on to say,

“We have allowed them to grow at their own pace and have kept them with us at all times; however, it is getting time for them to be taken out into the world to see what else is there. We have been hesitant to do this until they feel safe with us (we don't want them to revert to their old ways). That part of their growth is coming. I moved some furniture and Cooper didn't want to go into the room that wasn't familiar but love and coaxing finally won out.


"People have said that these animals were lucky to have us but I think that we are just as lucky to have them. It is inspiring to see the transformation and know that they can finally be a dog and both give and get the love and attention they deserve.


"Thanks to all at the [SPCA of Texas] for your wonderful work and allowing us the opportunity to raise such beautiful babies.”

Korean dogs

Cooper in his new home with Ellie and his toys.

If that isn’t just the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard!! 

 

We absolutely love hearing heartfelt stories such as these from our adopters. If you have ever adopted an animal from the SPCA of Texas, please feel free to share your updates with us at any time!

 

You can share them to our Facebook page or shoot an email to kkerr@spca.org

 

Don’t forget the pictures!

 

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Professional Pet Sitters Week 2017, March 5-11
Monday, March 06, 2017

This year, March 5th to 11th is celebrated as Professional Pet Sitters’ week. Today, we’ll discuss what a professional pet sitter does and why it’s an excellent idea to hire one when you plan to travel without your fur-babies.

What’s the difference between a pet sitter and a professional pet sitter?


Many people believe that anyone can be a pet sitter. This is because a pet sitter’s primary job is to provide companionship and care to your pets while you are away. The job also includes feeding, grooming and walking or playing with the animals in their care. And let’s not forget about poop scooping. 

While it is true that almost anyone can be a pet sitter, only specially trained people may be professional pet sitters. In addition to the tasks above, a professional pet sitter is trained to perform animal first aid and CPR, as well as administer medications of all types. They might also be able to help train your pet while you are away from home, or at least continue teaching the basic commands.


Experienced professional pet sitters might also be able to provide specialized care for animals who suffer from particular behavioral issues. These include, but are not limited to, separation anxiety, hyperactivity or any form of  destructive behavior. 

Professional pet sitters are also insured and bonded and will conduct their business as though it is an actual business. They might specialize in one or two types of animals or in servicing specific clientele. They will also use contracts and  keep all of your and your pet’s information on hand in a client file. 

They will have proof of insurance and be able to provide you with references. They will potentially have a website for you to view that states all of their services and experience, along with all the contact information you need in order to get in touch with them.

Many professional pet sitters will place ads on reputable pet-themed websites or in reputable pet-friendly locations. But you can’t assume that because a person has an advertisement listed on a national pet-sitting website, they are a professional pet sitter. You always want to do your research. 

If their business is profitable enough, some professional pet sitters even have sub-contracted employees to help them with their workload. There are a few professional pet sitters who operate alone, servicing a small area near their own home. However, many pet sitters become professionals by working with large pet sitting organizations until they feel they have learned the business well enough to operate alone.

Why should I hire a professional pet sitter?

In a nutshell, you should hire a professional pet sitter for your peace of mind. You should be able to enjoy a vacation or trip out of town without worrying whether your pets—or your home—will be safe.

Because you know that a professional pet sitter is specially trained, you can rest easy knowing your pet is having the time of his life while you are away. Because the pet sitter is insured and bonded, you can trust that if anything does go wrong, the professional sitter will have the resources to set it right. 

Additionally, a professional is running a business and a business runs on excellent references and recommendations.  The professional pet sitter that you choose is going to care about the service she provides and will go out of her way to make sure your pet and your home are in pristine condition when you return. 

The chances are also high that your professional sitter has a website or social media presence. This means you could receive daily updates on your pets, if that’s something you decided was important to you.

So how do I find the perfect pet sitter for me?

My pet has specific health needs and medications:  You’ll want to find a sitter that will be able to care for him in the appropriate manner. Many sitters are not 100% comfortable administering medications to pets. This is especially true if your pet is a biter or otherwise causes a fuss when it’s time to take her medicine. The perfect pet sitter for you is the one who can calmly, reliably and efficiently administer your pet’s meds when she needs them. When searching for a sitter, be sure to check their references and ask them about their experience with medicating pets.

My pet is extremely hyperactive: Does Fido run circles around your yard all day? Your ideal pet sitter is fit, active and willing to spend an hour or two walking, jogging, playing with or otherwise exercising your pet every day that you are away. It’s likely that your energetic pet also has some behavior issues. If this is the case, you will want to find a sitter who is not only active, but confident in their ability to control your pet while out and about. You will want to confirm
that they live an active lifestyle and observe them interacting with your pet when he is performing his most hyper behavior.

My pet is very young: Young pets can be particularly difficult to work with as they still have so much to learn about  living in a human home. When searching for a pet sitter, make sure to ask if they are comfortable working with young pets. Some older pet sitters are not willing to work with younger animals because of the work involved. Some younger pet sitters don’t have the experience necessary to provide proper care. Whatever the case, be sure the sitter that you choose is very aware of your house rules, your schedule and your preferred method of training. Young pets are constantly learning and these will all play a vital role in how well your new puppy or kitten, etc. fit into your new  home.

My pet is antisocial/uncomfortable with strangers: If Fluffy isn’t a fan of strangers, it’s likely that she will be fearful or timid around whichever sitter you choose. This also means that she could become aggressive towards the sitter when they enter your home. You need a pet sitter who understands how to work with fearful or timid animals, as well as  follow standard animal safety regulations. The last thing you want is for your pet to attack a human, but you will need to hire a pet sitter who is insured just in case. You might also like to hire a sitter who commonly works with shy or fearful animals and who offers to work with your pet to overcome this. If you know without a shadow of a doubt
that your pet is aggressive with strangers, you should start by doing the responsible thing and have someone your pet is familiar with be the caretaker while you are away.

My pet is exotic/aquatic/uncommon: Many professional pet sitters specialize in working with cats and dogs as they are some of the most common animals kept as pets. If you happen to have small mammals, reptiles, birds or fish, you will need to look for a pet sitter who can accommodate such animals. For most sitters, caring for small mammals is not that big a leap from cats or dogs. However, say you have a hamster or bunny that bites. You will need to find a sitter who is more comfortable working with this. If you have reptiles and they will need to feed or have their living spaces cleaned while you are away, you are better off hiring a professional who specializes in caring for reptiles. The same goes for exotic fish. 

I can’t afford a professional pet sitter: As much as you love your pets, sometimes the perfect pet sitter is simply the one you can afford. This is especially true if you’ve planned a long, expensive vacation and just want to keep your pets at home without breaking the bank. If this is the case, it is perfectly acceptable to call on your neighbor or a local teen who needs some extra cash. Your pet will still benefit from the companionship and care that the pet sitter can provide. Your pet will also benefit from being able to stay at home while you are gone instead of being thrust into a strange and unfamiliar place. 

Where can I find more information?

Because the pet sitting industry has exploded in the last decade, professional pet sitters today often choose to be a part of one of two professional pet sitting associations.


The first is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). The second organization is called Pet Sitters  International (PSI). On both of these websites, you can locate professional sitters near you and find out more about what types of trainings, etc. professional pet sitters have access to.


If you have questions or concerns about this post in particular, you can contact the SPCA of Texas at 214-742-7722 or at spca@spca.org

Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see updates from the organization and follow us on Pinterest for more cool tips and tricks on how to care for your pets!

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Jose

SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner