Busting 5 Myths About Becoming a Foster

 

 

Fostering animals is a rewarding experience that not only benefits pets but also enriches the lives of those who open their homes to them. The Regina Humane Society’s Foster Program provides a crucial lifeline for animals in need, offering them a safe and loving environment before they find their forever homes. However, there are some common misconceptions surrounding fostering that may discourage potential volunteers. Today, we debunk five fostering myths associated with cost, time commitment, types of animals, cohabiting with other pets, and concerns about health and behavior issues.

Myth 1: Fostering is Expensive

Reality: One of the most prevalent myths about fostering is the misconception that it is financially burdensome. The truth is that the Regina Humane Society provides what is needed to foster, including food, veterinary care, and supplies. You supply your time and a caring environment for the pet during its time with you. Fostering allows you to make a significant impact on an animal’s life without breaking the bank.

Myth 2: Fostering Demands Too Much Time

Reality: Another common misconception is that fostering requires excessive time commitment. The Regina Humane Society understands that everyone has different schedules and commitments. Fostering is flexible, and volunteers can choose the duration that suits their availability. Whether you can commit to short-term or long-term fostering, every moment you invest makes a positive impact on the animal’s life.

Myth 3: Only Certain Types of Animals Need Fostering

Reality: Fostering isn’t limited to specific types of animals. While many associate fostering with puppies and kittens, the Regina Humane Society’s program includes a variety of animals, such as adult cats, dogs, small animals, and even birds. Whether you fancy felines or are a dog lover, there’s a perfect foster opportunity for you.

Myth 4: Having Other Pets at Home is a Barrier to Fostering

Reality: Some people believe that having existing pets at home prevents them from fostering. The truth is that many foster families successfully integrate new animals with their resident pets. The Regina Humane Society provides guidance and support to ensure a smooth introduction, making it a positive experience for everyone involved.

Myth 5: Foster Pets are Often Sick or Have Behavioral Problems

Reality: Concerns about the health and behavior of foster pets are common and understandable, but they are often unfounded. The Regina Humane Society thoroughly assesses the animals before placing them in foster care and provides necessary medical care. Some may be recovering from illness or surgery, and a quiet place outside of a shelter environment often helps speed their recovery.  Others may be too young to be adopted and need time to grow so they can find their forever home. While some pets do benefit from socialization to help behaviour, pets are always matched with a foster’s comfort level, experience, and home environment before being placed. RHS staff are never more than a phone call away to address any concerns or questions fosters may have.

Fostering with the Regina Humane Society is an invaluable opportunity to make a difference in the lives of animals. By dispelling these common myths, we hope to encourage more individuals to consider becoming foster volunteers and experience the joy of providing temporary care and love to animals on their journey to finding forever homes.

 

 

Regina Humane Society Shifts to Modified Operations for New Facility Move

 

 

 

Following over a decade of planning, andnd two years of construction, the Regina Humane Society (RHS) is ready to move to its new Animal Community Centre located at 4900 Parliament Avenue in Harbour Landing. The current RHS facility, just north of the city limits, has been operating for 60 years and is well past its useful life.

To facilitate the move, the RHS will shift to modified operations from January 29th to February 4th, 2024.  The RHS will continue to address priority animal welfare, public health, and safety calls during this time. For animal emergencies, or reclaiming impounded animals, the public may call Animal Protection Services at 306-777-7700. The Society requests that the public does not attend either its Armour Road or the Animal Community Centre locations in person during this time without first contacting Animal Protection Services by phone.

Our Spay & Neuter Clinic and Lost and Found departments will open at the Animal Community Centre on Monday, February 5, 2024. Adoptions and the main reception will open at Noon on Tuesday, February 6. The former location at 79 Armour Road is permanently closed.

The RHS Animal Community Centre will offer safe refuge for homeless pets; an adoption gallery with home-like habitats for dogs and cats; an education center with multi-purpose classrooms for after-hours public use; a veterinary hospital supporting RHS animals as well as continued delivery of spay/neuter services to financially disadvantaged pet owners; family pet cremations; dog park; dog washing station; green spaces; training centre and gift shop.

The Society acknowledges that the Animal Community Centre would not be possible without the unwavering dedication and support of its community to improve the welfare of animals. Details on the RHS Animal Community Centre and its Capital Campaign can be found on the Campaign website www.rhsalmosthome.ca.

Seven Indoor Activities to Exercise Your Dog’s Body and Mind During the Winter

 

As winter blankets the outdoors with frosty temperatures and chilly winds, our furry friends might find themselves with limited opportunities for outdoor exercise. However, keeping your dog active and engaged is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. To beat the winter blues, here are seven innovative and interactive ways to exercise your dog indoors, ensuring they stay both happy and healthy.

Hide and Seek

Engage your dog’s natural hunting instincts with a game of hide and seek. Grab their favorite treats or toys and hide them strategically around the house. Encourage your pup to use their nose to sniff out the hidden treasures, turning a simple game into an exciting mental and physical challenge.

DIY Obstacle Course

Create a mini indoor obstacle course using household items like chairs, cushions, and blankets. Guide your dog through the course, incorporating commands such as “jump,” “crawl,” or “weave.” Not only does this provide a physical workout, but it also stimulates their problem-solving skills and strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion.

Tug-of-War – Classic Fun with a Twist

Tug-of-war is a timeless favorite for dogs, offering a great way to burn energy and build strength. Introduce variations by incorporating obedience commands like “drop it” and “wait.” This adds an extra layer of mental engagement, turning a simple game into a learning opportunity.

Puzzle Toys

Invest in puzzle toys that dispense treats as your dog plays with them. These toys challenge their cognitive abilities, requiring problem-solving skills to access the hidden treats. You can even make you own puzzles by placing treats under plastic cups on the floor or in muffin tins covered by tennis balls or balled socks. This mental stimulation is vital for preventing boredom and ensuring your dog remains sharp and focused, even on the coldest days.

Indoor Fetch

If you have a spacious hallway or a large living room, a game of indoor fetch can be an excellent cardiovascular workout. Opt for soft toys to prevent any potential damage. This activity allows your dog to burn off excess energy, promoting physical health while keeping them entertained. Be sure the floor is non-slip to avoid any accidents.

Yoga for Pups: Doggy Workouts

Combine fitness for both you and your furry friend with dog-friendly yoga. Incorporate gentle stretching and poses that your dog can join in on. This not only provides physical activity for both of you but also strengthens the human-canine bond through shared relaxation and movement.

Indoor Stair Climbing

If you have stairs in your home, utilize them for a dog-friendly stair-climbing workout. Guide your dog up and down the stairs, encouraging them with positive reinforcement. This activity is an excellent way to elevate their heart rate and work various muscle groups. Ensure your dog is comfortable with stair climbing and avoid this activity if they have joint issues or other health concerns.

Don’t let winter weather be an obstacle to your dog’s well-being. With these seven indoor exercises, you can ensure your pup stays active, both physically and mentally. Keeping your dog engaged during the colder months not only contributes to their health but also strengthens the bond between you and your four-legged friend. So, embrace the winter season with creativity and enthusiasm, making it a time of joy and play for you and your beloved canine companion.

 

Winter Safety Tips for You and Your Dog

 

How your pet handles the colder weather depends on many factors, ranging from breed to age and general health. Many pets love the cold weather, while others are only interested in quick bathroom breaks and heading back to the warmth of the house.

Whenever you are outside in winter, always look for signs of discomfort due to cold, including shivering, running towards or standing near the door, and paw-lifting. Here are some further tips to help keep your pet safe and sound during the cold months ahead.

Make the walk a little shorter. Instead of one or two long walks, break your walk time into shorter segments that will end before anyone gets too cold. It can be wise not to go as far from home as well so that, should you notice your pet feeling the cold, you are not too far from home. You can still cover lots of distance when you go in circles!

Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, just like humans. Hypothermia symptoms may include shivering, whining, lethargy, and fur and skin that is cold to the touch.   Frostbite may be less noticeable and may take some time before the symptoms appear in the form of blisters or skin ulcers, stiffness or clumsiness, and areas of blackened or dead skin.  Frostbite is most likely to occur on the paw pads, tails, and ears. If you think your pet could be showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Clean your pet’s paws after a walk. Winter walks can take you through many nasty chemicals and substances that can harm your pet, including salt, ice melter, and anti-freeze products. Check for chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin as well. To clean your pet’s paws after a walk, gently wipe them with a soft towel or cloth soaked in warm (not hot) water and wrung so it is only damp. This will melt away snow and ice and remove any salt buildup. Once you’re finished, dry off their paw with another towel.

Paw protectors, which are available in a wide selection of styles and sizes, maybe another option to keep your pet’s paws clean and are widely available at most pet stores. But remember that some pets will wear them without issue, and others may not like them.  Go along with whichever your pet will tolerate.

Just like in summer, never leave them alone in the car. A vehicle can act like a freezer, trapping in cold air, which can quickly endanger your pet. If you must travel with your pet, never leave them unattended in your vehicle, even with the engine and heat running.

Save the shorter haircuts for the summer. A little extra hair will provide your pet with that much-needed extra warmth. A quick trim should avoid clinging snow chunks and salt crystals for long-haired dogs. For those less shaggy short-haired pups, a nice coat or sweater with a high collar will help them stay cozy on those chilly winter walks.

Remember, whether you’re walking around the neighbourhood or playing at one of the off-leash parks – always stay with your pet, be aware of their body-language and comfort level, and be prepared to call it a day should your dog show signs of discomfort.

 

 

No Scaredy-Cats (or Dogs!)

While Halloween can be a scary good time for kids and families, it can be a nightmare for pets! This year, take the stress and danger out of Halloween by following a few easy steps:

  • Keep treats away from your pets – Halloween treats can be toxic to your dog or cat- especially chocolate, with dark chocolate being the worst. Many can also be a choking hazard due to their size, shape or wrapping.
  • Keep pets away from the door – Besides the possibility that Boots may bolt out the door, pets can be stressed or frightened by costumes and noise from Trick or Treaters. It is best to keep them in a room away from the Halloween action. If you use a candle to illuminate your pumpkin, be sure to keep your pets clear to avoid any burns or fire risks.
  • Avoid leaving pets in the yard – Pets may become agitated if left outside during Halloween noise and movement. By keeping them inside, you also avoid excited Halloween’ers who may offer your pet treats that could be harmful or mischief makers who could hurt them.
  • Leave the dog at home – While taking the dog Trick or Treating with the kids may seem like a great opportunity for a walk, your dog could be frightened by all the people, noise, and costumes and may react unpredictably towards others.
  • Exercise caution with burn or fire hazards – Decorative candles and electrical cords should be kept out of reach from curious pets.
  • ID’s, please – Always make sure that your dog or cat has proper identification. If, for any reason, your pet escapes or becomes lost, a collar and tags or microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances your pet will be returned to you.

Happy Halloween!

Embracing the Golden Years – The Joys of a Senior Pet

 

As pet owners, we often adore young animals’ playful energy and exuberance. However, a unique and heartwarming pleasure comes with embracing the golden years of a senior pet. Just like humans, the aging process often comes with a wealth of endearing qualities and moments to treasure. Let’s explore the joys of having a senior pet and the profound bond that can develop during these precious twilight years.

Calm Companionship – Senior pets often possess a calm and relaxed demeanor, making them the perfect companions for peaceful moments at home. They are content to curl up beside you, offering a soothing presence and a quiet companionship that can bring a sense of tranquility and solace to your life.

Enjoying Every Moment – Senior pets teach us the importance of cherishing every moment we have together. As they age, we become acutely aware of the passage of time and the need to make the most of each day. Every wag of their tail or purr of contentment becomes a treasured gift, reminding us to savor the present and create beautiful memories. Realizing that one day you will miss the walks, the constant scratches at the door to go out, or even the scratches on the chair can be incredibly grounding.

Adopting a Senior Pet – We often see senior pets enter the shelter for a variety of reasons.  They may be simply stray, require medical care, or their previous owner may have passed away.  These pets, who are used to a happy home, suddenly find themselves in a strange environment with no familiar people or places in sight. While all adopters are special and precious to us, those who open their lives and homes to senior pets touch our hearts deeply. Often, these pets require additional care that comes with extra expense and may only have a few precious years left in their lives. Yet, their special human angels take them in any way, allowing them to live out their remaining time surrounded by love and compassion.

The joys of having a senior pet are immeasurable. These loving souls bring us comfort, companionship, and a reminder to appreciate the simple moments in life. They offer us a profound connection and teach us valuable lessons about love, loyalty, and living in the present. Even though we know that a difficult day lies ahead, they do not and live each day as it comes. Let us celebrate these treasured companions and embrace the beautiful journey we share with them as they gracefully enter their twilight years.

The Myths and Facts About Spaying/Neutering Your Pet

 

In just about every community, there are homeless, lost, and unwanted animals.  In our province, too many cats roam our city streets and rural areas, and homeless dogs wander alongside their feline counterparts. As the fallout from the Pandemic continues, the RHS has seen over 1,600 cats and over 600 dogs enter the Shelter this year, which is an alarming 15% increase in the case of the canines.  Many of these animals had endured starvation, numbing cold, or blistering heat.  Others had been injured by vehicles, other animals, predators, or even people.  The RHS uses many programs and initiatives to help save the lives of these lost or unwanted souls and is able to return many to their families or find homes for most of them, but it is unfortunately not sustainable long-term. Should the trend continue, it could be devastating for our animals and community.

The single most effective solution to pet overpopulation is spaying or neutering your pet. By preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, we spare these animals the suffering that many will endure as they try to live without a home and proper care, threatened by disease, the elements, and other animals and people. In addition to this, sterilization has benefits for you and your pet. Spayed and neutered pets have reduced rates of certain cancers (particularly of the reproductive systems), they typically roam less and thus avoid the dangers of the streets, they are less prone to “marking” and spraying, and they tend to show less aggression and dominance behaviours.

In spite of the benefits to the individual pet, their family, and the community, many pet owners still choose not to sterilize their pets and for a myriad of reasons.  Some, unfortunately, are fuelled by the many myths that float around the internet and other places.

Here are some truths behind some of the more widespread myths regarding sterilizing your pets:

MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of birth, so my pet should have a litter.
FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly forgotten when these litters become a burden when no homes can be found for them.  Often, they experience unbearable suffering on the streets, are abandoned in a field, are run over by vehicles, are attacked by other animals or become ill due to lack of proper living conditions, food, and care. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets.

MYTH: I want to breed my pet.
FACT: There are many reputable breeders who breed their animals responsibly, and most already have homes for offspring before they are bred.  Unfortunately, too many people simply become “backyard breeders” and contribute to the number of unwanted animals by breeding animals in the hope of a quick profit. This was particularly true as some saw an opportunity to cash in on high pet demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many make the mistake of assuming they will be able to find homes for the offspring, only to find that there is no market for them. Often, these pets, or their offspring, end up neglected, abandoned, or taking up valuable space and resources in Shelters.

MYTH: I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: The reality is that this is more about you than your dog. Dogs do not have any concept of ego, masculinity or ego. Neutering your pet will not change his basic personality or give him some sort of identity crisis.

MYTH: It’s better to have one litter before spaying a female pet.
FACT: There is substantial medical research that indicates that the opposite is true. Pets spayed before their first heat are typically healthier and avoid many ailments related to their reproductive systems.

MYTH: It’s expensive to have a pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: While there may be costs to having the surgery performed, it can be minimal compared to the potential of long-term costs incurred by a non-altered pet, impound fees, and increased license fees. Each dog and cat adoption through the Regina Humane Society includes spay/neuter surgery. In addition, your new family member’s adoption includes vaccinations, identification tattoo, microchip and a post-adoption veterinary exam.  This adds up to over $800 in value!

Simply put, spay and neutering our pets saves lives.  By helping our own pets live healthier lives, and preventing unwanted pets suffering on the streets, it is one of the best and easiest means of creating a healthy and manageable pet population in Regina.

Each canine and feline pet adoption at the RHS includes spay or neuter surgery, so you never have to worry about additional costs or contributing to pet overpopulation.  Our Subsidized Spay/Neuter Program helps ensure that financial constraints are not a barrier for those families who want to be a part of the solution.  If you would like to learn more about the program, please visit our website, here.

 

 

 

Caring for Pet Rabbits

 

Pet rabbits make wonderful companions with their gentle nature and adorable personalities. Whether you’re a first-time rabbit owner or have had rabbits before, providing them with proper care is essential for their well-being. Here’s a guide to help ensure that your pet rabbit stays happy and healthy.

  1. Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment: Rabbits need a spacious and secure enclosure that allows them to hop, stretch, and explore. A large indoor cage or a hutch with ample room is ideal, but providing them with regular supervised access to a safe outdoor space can also be beneficial. Make sure the enclosure is well-ventilated, free from drafts, and protected from extreme temperatures. Line the floor with soft bedding, which provides comfort as well as entertainment.
  1. A Balanced Diet for Optimal Health: A rabbit’s diet should primarily consist of fresh hay, as it promotes healthy digestion and wears down their continuously erupting teeth. Provide a variety of leafy greens and vegetables, such as kale, romaine lettuce, and parsley, while avoiding foods that are toxic to rabbits, like onions and rhubarb. Additionally, offer a small amount of high-quality rabbit pellets to ensure they receive all necessary nutrients. Fresh water should always be available, preferably provided through a drip bottle or heavy bowl to prevent tipping.
  1. Mental Stimulation and Exercise: Rabbits are naturally curious and active animals, so it’s important to provide them with mental and physical stimulation. Offer toys, tunnels, and chewable items to keep them engaged and prevent boredom. Cardboard boxes and tunnels can serve as hiding spots and provide a sense of security. Regularly supervised playtime outside the enclosure allows rabbits to exercise and explore their surroundings but be cautious of potential hazards or predators.
  1. Grooming and Hygiene: Rabbits are meticulous groomers themselves, but they may require some assistance in maintaining their coat and overall hygiene. Regularly brush their fur to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Long-haired breeds may need more frequent grooming. Check their nails regularly and trim them if they become too long, or consult a veterinarian for assistance. Dental health is crucial for rabbits, as their teeth continuously erupt. Monitor their eating habits and weight for any signs of dental problems. Consult with your veterinarian should you observe any changes in eating habits or weight.
  1. Veterinary Care and Socialization: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure your pet’s health and catch any potential issues early on. Vaccinations, spaying, or neutering might be recommended by your vet to prevent certain health conditions and behavioral problems. Rabbits are social animals, so spending time with them is essential for their well-being. Rabbits tend to prefer to interact with you on their level and often do not favour being picked up. Always be gentle when picking up your rabbit, ensuring you are supporting their hind legs securely. Never restrain or pick up a rabbit by using its ears!

By following these guidelines and providing your pet rabbit with love, attention, and proper care, you can create a happy and healthy environment for them to thrive in. The joy and companionship they bring in return will make it all worthwhile as you build a lasting bond with your furry friend.

Exploring the World Through Scent Walks

 

Every dog owner knows the joy of watching their furry companion explore the world with their keen sense of smell. While regular walks are essential for exercise, mental stimulation, and bonding, incorporating scent walks into your routine can take your dog’s outdoor adventures to a whole new level. A scent walk allows your dog to tap into their natural instincts, providing them with an enriching, fulfilling and even practical experience.

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell, far surpassing that of humans. Their olfactory receptors are estimated to be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than ours. By allowing your dog to explore the world through scent walks, you’re providing them with an opportunity to engage their most dominant sense. Scent walks stimulate their minds, allowing them to gather information, discover new scents, and engage with their environment on a deeper level.

Benefits of Scent Walks:

1. Mental Stimulation: Scent walks engage your dog’s brain, providing them with mental challenges that can tire them out just as much as physical exercise. The act of sniffing and deciphering scents keeps their minds sharp and focused, preventing boredom and destructive behaviors.

2. Emotional Well-being: Dogs find great joy and satisfaction in following their noses. Scent walks offer them a sense of purpose as they embark on a sensory adventure filled with new and exciting smells. This can boost their overall happiness and help alleviate anxiety or stress. It’s also a means of identifying what other animals have been in the area – it’s been said that scent walks are the equivalent to humans scrolling social media to catch up on what’s going on in the world!

3. Physical Exercise: Although scent walks may not be as physically demanding as high-intensity exercise, they still provide your dog with a moderate level of physical activity. Walking at their own pace and pausing to investigate various scents can contribute to their overall fitness and well-being.

Tips for a Successful Scent Walk:

1. Choose the Right Location: Opt for areas with diverse smells, such as parks, nature trails, or even your neighborhood. Avoid heavily polluted areas or places with potentially harmful substances.

2. Let Them Lead: During a scent walk, let your dog take the lead and follow their nose. Allow them to choose the direction and pace, intervening only if necessary for safety reasons.

3. Be Patient: Scent walks are all about allowing your dog to explore at their own pace. Resist the urge to rush or interrupt their sniffing sessions. Give them ample time to fully engage with the scents around them.

4. Incorporate Training: Scent walks can also be an opportunity to reinforce training commands such as “leave it” or “come.” Use treats or toys to reward your dog for responding to your cues while still enjoying their olfactory adventure.

Scent walks offer a unique way to deepen the bond with your four-legged friend while providing them with mental stimulation and an enriching sensory experience. By embracing your dog’s natural instinct to sniff and explore, you’re offering them a chance to engage with the world in a fulfilling and meaningful way. So, grab your leash, head out to a scent-rich location, and embark on an adventure that will leave both you and your dog with tails wagging in delight.

Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

 

Losing a pet is an emotionally devastating experience that can leave a profound void in our lives. Whether it is a loyal dog, a playful cat, or any other cherished animal companion, the bond we develop with our pets often transcends words. When they pass away, we are left with feelings of grief, sadness, and a deep sense of loss. While the pain may seem unbearable, there are ways to navigate this difficult journey of mourning and find solace in the memories we shared with our beloved pets.

  1. Allow Yourself to Grieve: The loss of a pet is a genuine loss, and it is important to acknowledge and validate your feelings of grief. Give yourself permission to experience the sadness and allow the tears to flow. Each person grieves differently, so don’t rush the healing process. Remember, it’s crucial to be patient with yourself and accept that it takes time to heal.
  1. Create a Memorial: Honoring your pet’s memory can be a comforting way to cope with the loss. Consider creating a special memorial or tribute. This could be a photo album, a memory box with their belongings, or planting a tree in their honor. Such gestures allow you to reminisce about the joyful moments you shared and keep the memory of your pet alive.
  1. Seek Support: During this difficult time, it can be immensely helpful to seek support from friends, family, a counselor or even support groups specifically dedicated to pet loss. Surrounding yourself with individuals who understand the depth of your grief can provide solace and validation. Sharing stories and memories of your beloved pet can also help in the healing process.
  1. Express Your Emotions: Finding ways to express your emotions can be therapeutic. Write a letter to your pet, expressing your love and gratitude. Keeping a journal about your feelings or creating artwork can also provide an outlet for your emotions. Engaging in these activities can offer a sense of closure and allow you to express what may be difficult to put into words.
  1. Take Care of Yourself: Grieving takes a toll on your emotional and physical well-being so it’s crucial to prioritize self-care during this period. Eat nutritious meals, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy and peace. Engaging in regular exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature can help alleviate the pain and uplift your spirit.
  1. Consider a Ritual or Ceremony: Just as funerals and similar events help us following the death of a friend or family member, some people find comfort in organizing a small ritual or ceremony to say goodbye to their pet. This can be a private event or involve close friends and family members. Creating a meaningful and personal goodbye allows you to honor the bond you shared with your pet and provide closure.
  1. Open Your Heart to New Companionship: While it may seem too soon, opening your heart to a new pet when you are ready can bring healing and joy back into your life. Remember, the love we have for our departed pets does not diminish; it simply creates space for new relationships and new memories to be formed.
  1. Cremation: Having your pet cremated offers the opportunity to have their ashes with you or you wish may inter them in a place that has special meaning to you. The RHS Pet Cremation Service offers professional and respectful cremations services to most area veterinary clinics and the public. You can learn more here: https://reginahumanesociety.ca/programs-services/pet-cremation-services/

Losing a beloved pet is a painful and challenging experience, but it is important to remember that you are not alone in your grief. Allow yourself to grieve, seek support, and cherish the memories of your furry friend. Embrace the healing journey, and with time, you will find solace and begin to cherish the unconditional love and companionship that your pet brought into your life.

Providing the Best Life for Your New Feline Friend

 

 

Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home is an extremely exciting and life-changing time for both of you. By taking a little time to plan, you can ensure that you and your new furry friend have the time of your lives, together.

Creating a Comfortable and Healthy Home for Your Cat

Before bringing your cat home, prepare a quiet, secure room where they can get used to the sounds and smells of their new home.  Ideally, the room will include a comfy place to sleep, food, water, a litter box, some toys, and a couple of places to hide as they may be a little nervous at first.  They will likely, in time, want to explore.  Gradually allow access to other areas of the home and let them explore at their own pace.

Quality Food

Feed your cat a balanced, age-appropriate diet, following your veterinarian’s recommendations, and always have fresh water available in a clean bowl. Some cats love drinking running water from a tap or pet water fountain, so you may try these as well. A well-fed and hydrated kitty is a happy kitty!

Routine is Awesome

Cats thrive on routine, so try to establish consistent feeding, play, and grooming times. This predictability will help your new pet feel secure and comfortable in their new home.

Help Them Love the Litter Box

Cats can be picky creatures and appreciate a clean litter box. Scoop waste daily and change the litter completely at least once a week. Place the litter box in a quiet, always accessible location away from food and water. Should you notice that they stop using the litterbox or are defecating or urinating outside of the litterbox, consult with your veterinarian to ensure no medical conditions are at play.

Grooming

While cats are superb natural groomers, regular grooming by you will help prevent hairballs, matting, excessive shedding and maintain a healthy coat. Most cats will love a good brushing once per week, and many have no issues having their claws trimmed too.

Playtime

Play provides much-needed physical and mental exercise and stimulation for your cat. Chasing down toys and batting them around the room (and eventually under the couch, inevitably!) allows your pet to engage in their natural behaviours of hunting and stalking.  Be sure to have plenty of toys for them, including a few that you participate with as well, such as cat wands.  This will help build your relationship and trust.  Be sure to let your cat capture the toy occasionally so they do not lose interest.

What to Scratch?

Cats have a natural need to scratch.  When doing so, they stretch out their muscles, shed old claw material and mark their territory. Always place a couple of scratchers or cat trees where they are allowed to scratch and encourage them to do so.  If you do not, they will find a place on their own, and it will likely be your couch or easy chair! In addition, cats love to climb and perch to observe their cat-dom from above.  A nice cat tree with a place to rest or snooze is always a great idea.

Veterinary Care

A post-adoption veterinary exam is included with each adoption at the Regina Humane Society. Be sure to schedule your appointment soon after adoption to establish a baseline of your cat’s health and address any potential issues. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are essential for maintaining your cat’s well-being.

Spaying or Neutering

Each feline adoption at the RHS includes spay/neuter surgery to help prevent overpopulation, reduce the risk of certain health problems, and improve your cat’s behaviour. If you adopt or bring a pet into your home that is not sterilized, ensure that you consult with your veterinarian about having the surgery done as soon as is possible.  Sadly, there are more pets than there are homes for them in our community, and bringing more litters into the world contributes to animal suffering and neglect.

Taking care of a newly adopted cat requires patience, love, and attention to their needs. By providing a safe and comfortable environment, proper nutrition, regular grooming, and engaging activities, you’ll set the foundation for a happy, healthy life together.

To see all available pets at the RHS, please click here.

Safety Tips for Camping with Your Dog this Summer

 

 

Camping is one of the most popular summer pastimes in Saskatchewan! And, why not?  We get outside in the fresh air, it’s cost-effective and a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with your friends and family. Often, we include our canine friends in our plans. If you’re thinking of camping with your dog (or even your cat!), here are some important safety tips to keep in mind.

Before you leave home:

  • Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date as you never know what they might encounter in the forest or campground.
  • Ensure that your pet is microchipped and has tags on their collar with a phone number where you can be reached while on vacation.  Should they decide to investigate where that chipmunk lives and wander off and get lost, this may be critical in reuniting with your pet.
  • Bring their favourite toys and blankets. Being in a car or camper for hours can get boring!  Make the experience fun and comfortable for your pet by taking along a few favourite toys and blankets so they’re happy at their home away from home.
  • Spend some time with your pet in the camper or tent. If you can, you might even plan a sleepover in the backyard or driveway to make sure they’re comfortable and have a chance to explore the accommodations.  You don’t want any unpleasant surprises after traveling for a few days to the campsite!
  • Plan stops along the way for pee breaks and ensure you have available water for your pet.
  • Familiarize yourself with any local laws at your destination that may restrict where pets are allowed to be, breed-specific legislation, and any other “need to knows” about having pets in that area.

At the campsite:

  • Always keep your pet on a leash as there could be other pets or wildlife in the area.  You are also in unfamiliar territory that your pet may want to explore, creating a risk that they may get lost.  You may also consider bringing a crate to ensure your pet stays with you and to make them comfortable if they use one at home.
  • Provide plenty of shade and water. Our Saskatchewan summers can get extremely hot at times, and it is crucial that your pet has a cool place to keep cool and relax.
  • Never leave your pet unattended, in a hot tent or car. Be sure you are aware of your pet’s condition and that they are not exposed to hazardous situations and conditions.

Watch for potential pet hazards:

  • Keep your pet away from the campfire: Campfires are notorious for sending sparks flying in all directions.  Burning embers pose a serious threat to those close to the fire, especially your pets.  Be sure to have fire safety equipment on hand.
  • Be aware of any potentially hazardous plants that may grow where you are camping and be sure not to expose your pets to any that may be there.
  • Never let your pet drink from streams or ponds as they can be sources of infectious bacteria or other pollutants. Always have clean potable water available to your pet.
  • Check for ticks and other parasites after you venture through wooded areas or through tall grasses.  Burrs, thorns, and other plant-based hazards should also be avoided or removed if they become entangled in your pet’s fur.