Puppy Socialization During a Pandemic

What Is Socialization?

Socialization is a term that is used for exposing puppies to different people, places and experiences so that they learn to not be frightened of these things later on in life.

If socialization is done properly, dogs can meet new people and go to strange places while behaving in a relaxed and confident manner. If a puppy has not been properly socialized, they may develop behaviour problems later on in life such as lunging, barking and biting at new people or develop intense fears to things like car rides and loud noises.

The period between 3-16 weeks of age is a critical period known as the socialization period. Proper socialization must be done during and continue after this timeframe in order to prevent future behaviour problems. In some cases, puppies that are not properly socialized in this critical period can develop severe behaviour problems that can make them unsuitable as pets as adults.

How Do We Socialize Puppies?

By exposing your puppy to different people, animals and situations such as going to the veterinary clinic or hearing a vacuum or fireworks for the first time, we can teach puppies to not fear novel situations as they get older. This is done by introducing them to these experiences in a way that makes them feel safe and rewarding them when they react to these scenarios in a calm and relaxed manner. Many people will socialize their puppies by taking them to puppy classes, to friends or family’s houses, allowing them to meet the neighbourhood kids and going to dog friendly stores.

Socialization During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Necessary social isolation and quarantine measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 means that puppies whose socialization period falls during this time may be at a disadvantage. This does not mean that it is impossible to socialize puppies during this time, but we need to do things a bit differently.

Socialization at Home:

  • Allow your puppy to walk across many different types of surfaces such as carpet, linoleum, the empty bathtub, plastic, gravel and even strange surfaces such as tin foil. You may hide treats and set up obstacles to make it a fun game as the puppy explores the area.
  • Introduce your puppy to many different types of sounds such as the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, doorbell, power tools and the radio to acclimatize them to the real world. You may play sounds such as fireworks or sirens on your computer or phone. Remember to reward them handsomely for calm and relaxed behaviour.
  • Play dress-up. Put on different hats, coats, boots, sunglasses and even the mask you wear to protect yourself from COVID-19. Have fun with it! Put on your old Halloween costumes to teach puppies that different appearances are nothing to fear.

Socialization Around Town:

  • Go for a drive. Taking a drive around town can help to reduce anxiety associated with car rides.  Going through a drive-through can help expose your puppy to new people.
  • Go outside. Allow your puppy to observe new people by sitting with your puppy at a safe social distance and rewarding them for calm and confident behaviour. Try to sit with your puppy in one new location everyday so that they can observe the world around them.

***Please be aware that until your puppy has had its full set of immunizations, your puppy is susceptible to diseases such as parvo virus. It is important to avoid high-dog traffic areas and avoid contact with the ground where other dogs may have been.

Many people are working at home right now, but remember that when you do go back to work the puppy will need to learn how to be comfortable when left alone. Make sure to provide some alone time for your puppy in a crate or a small room so that they can learn how to be confident on their own. This will help to reduce separation anxiety.

Getting a new puppy is a fun and exciting time. The time that you put into training and socialization now will pay off enormously in the future!

Don’t Kit-nap Kittens!

 

When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to rush to the aid of these fragile felines immediately. Thankfully, human intervention is typically not required in most cases.. In fact, in most cases when kittens are only a few weeks of age, the best thing we can do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care during this time as she offers the best chance for their survival.

If you find kittens, and are absolutely certain that they are orphaned, you can then step in and help by caring for the kittens until they’re old enough to find homes. Our easy to read chart will help you determine what the steps to take if you’ve found kittens with, or without, a mom.

Thinking about bringing kittens to the Shelter?

During kitten season, which lasts from April until October, the RHS can become overrun with kittens. It is critical to the health of all animals in our care that that we do not exceed our capacity to provide that care in a humane and effective way, and within our available resources. Please care for the kittens in your home until they’re eight weeks old. Our Wait ‘Til 8 Program will provide supplies, food and guidance to assist you as you foster the kittens until they are old enough to find new homes.

Click here to learn more about what to do when you find roaming animals.

We’ve Adjusted Our Methods, But Not Our Mission

Similar to so many organizations, the Regina Humane Society has adjusted the way we operate in order to keep our staff, volunteers and supporters safe. However, as an essential service provider, we are committed to helping animals in need. Although many of our programs and services have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission has not. We remain dedicated to improving the well-being of animals in our community.

The following changes to our hours are currently in place:

Hours of Operation

Office (including adoption pick-up, cremation pick-up, in-person donations):

Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Closed Monday – Tuesday

Adoptions:

Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 6 p.m. daily
Closed Monday – Tuesday
Adoptions are by appointment only by calling 306-543-6363.

Lost & Found (including Cremation Service drop-off):

Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Lost and Found: 306-543-6363  Ext 237

Animal Protection Services:

Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Animal Emergencies only, 24 hours, 306-777-7700

While there’s much that remains out of our control, the RHS will continue to adapt as needed, look for innovative ways to help animals and our community and work tirelessly to remain true to our mission. We will continue to stay up-to-date with new information that arises on COVID-19 and will make changes as necessary in line with the recommendations of our public health agencies.

We thank everyone for your understanding and support as we work our way through this evolving situation.

How You Saved Reese and Her Puppies

Our world has changed. In the face of a global pandemic, we’ve all shifted how we work and live to keep our community safe. But there is one thing that hasn’t changed. The Regina Humane Society is still here for animals in need 24 hours a day. We can’t close our doors to animals in dire need. We continue to provide safe shelter, veterinary care, rehabilitation and animal protection services no matter what is happening beyond our doors.

We’ve always relied on the generosity of people like you to keep the Shelter operating. But right now, we need you more than ever as we struggle in the face of declining resources and money. With many of our critical programs, events and fundraisers canceled or postponed, today we are calling on you for your compassion, strong sense of community and urgent support to help care for animals in need.

Your donation, no matter the size, helps animals just like Reese. The very pregnant mom-to-be was wandering alone, scared and struggling, when she was rescued. Upon settling into the safety of the Shelter, she gave birth to eight healthy and adorable pups. Rolo, Henry, Heath, Ruth, Pixie, Dot, Patty and Lolly arrived under the watchful eye of our veterinary team. We’re so happy to share that this canine family is doing well in foster care and soon all nine will be ready for adoption.

With so much going on, and an uncertain economy, it’s hard for us to come to you right now, asking for your support. But we know, no matter what is happening in the world, that your concern for animals suffering neglect, abuse or abandonment hasn’t changed.

Will you make a donation to ensure we can keep helping animals at this critical time?

Click here to donate to our COVID-19 Relief Fund

A Painful Path Leads to a New Start

RHS Animal Protection Officer McNeill was there when Kong needed her most. The young dog was exhausted from running and was suffering from a snout full of porcupine quills when she came to his aid. The frightened pup began to relax as her kind words and gentle touch reassured him that there was nothing to fear.

Following surgery to remove the quills, Kong’s sad mug was replaced by the goofiest slobbery smile as his injuries began to heal. As is often the case, more porcupine quills requiring removal surfaced over the next week extending Kong’s stay at the RHS for a full recovery. During that time, his goofy personality and clown-like antics captured the hearts of everyone he met. Fully healed, Kong was made available for adoption last week and charmed his way into the heart of his new dad too!

Thanks to our generous community, we are able to be there for desperate animals who are alone and scared 24 hours a day. We’re all wishing you a lifetime of safe and happy adventures, Kong!

The Things We Have

Before the pandemic, things were moving fast. We were often too busy for hobbies, family dinners, and that phone call with an old friend that we meant to have. With the need for social distancing though, we’ve been given time to slow down. We’ve been granted an opportunity to reflect on the things we have.

Here at the Regina Humane Society (RHS), we too are looking past the chaos and uncertainty and finding the good. We see kindness each day in our selfless staff who are committed to providing the best possible care to vulnerable animals in need. Although we have paused our volunteer programs at this time, we know we have a team of incredible people waiting on standby, willing to help when given the opportunity. We have amazing foster families available to provide temporary sanctuary to animals in need of extra care. We have supporters that stand with us no matter how great the storm.

The RHS is very fortunate for the goodness that surrounds us, however, much still remains unknown. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, many revenue generating programs have been halted and events have been postponed or canceled. But the constant need to provide care for animals remains unchanged and with this, we need your continued support more than ever.

We recognize that life is challenging for many right now, however if you’re able to, please consider making a donation to the RHS so we can continue to do what we do best – improving the lives of animals in our community.

Social Distancing with a Pet

As our community works together to slow the spread of COVID-19, social distancing is a crucial action we can all take to help. However, social distancing is a dramatic shift for most of us and does not come without challenges. It can be lonely for both humans and pets, so it’s important to continue doing things each day that evoke joy. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help keep you and your pet entertained.

Stay Active
Going outside for a walk is a great way to practice social distancing while giving you and your pet fresh air and exercise. As the days get longer and warmer, walking can be a helpful way to appreciate the day. Do however avoid group walks and always be sure to practice a safe social distancing when passing by others.

If you are in self quarantine due to travel, illness or possible exposure to COVID-19 – please do not walk outside. Be sure to follow the regulations and directives of government and medical professionals.

Spring Cleaning? Use Trash to Make Treasures
Lots of household items can be turned into toys for our beloved pets. This will keep you busy and bring your friend new excitement. Maybe you have some old towels lying around that could gain new life as rope toys. Or a sock without a match that could be turned into a catnip knot. The internet is full of ideas for home made toys, just always be sure to supervise.

Brush Up on Skills
Now is the perfect time to work on tricks and training. Practicing skills and manners with your pet is an ideal way to help them burn energy while strengthening the bond you share. Maybe there’s a new trick you’ve always wanted your pet to learn, now’s the time! At the end of the day, you’ll feel great about what you were able to accomplish as a team!

Play a Game
There’s lots of awesome ways to keep your pet busy. Try hiding treats throughout the house and letting your pet use their nose to find them. Or maybe you have a puzzle toy that’s been collecting dust – if not, no problem! There are lots of ways to get your pet thinking using items you already have around the house. Try hiding treats under cups and getting your pet to select which one has the hidden treat. Or use a muffin tin and place treats under tennis balls or pairs of socks and let them move the objects to find the treats.

Know How Much You Mean to Your Pet     
For many of us, these are uncertain and stressful times, but for our pets this is what dreams are made of. Many people are working from home, staying in during evenings and weekends, and shopping online, which all amounts to more time with our beloved pets. Know how important you are to your pet and how much happiness you are bringing them by being with them. Enjoy the snuggles and companionship and try to relax.

Partner Profile – Metro Pet Market

Metro Pet Market is passionate about animals and their welfare. As a proud Regina Humane Society partner, they provide us with approximately 1,000 ounces of premium high-moisture Lotus Natural Pet Food each month to serve the cats in our communal rooms.

Since 2007, Metro Pet Market has been leading the Real Food Revolution in Regina. They believe that nutrition is the foundation of good health, and sell only the freshest and most wholesome pet foods in their stores.

Many commercial foods contain filler ingredients and by-products which may not promote optimal health for our furry family members. Metro Pet Market offers a variety of natural and biologically-appropriate food for pets, including Lotus Natural Pet Foods’ unique line of holistic canned stews. We’re grateful they are here to help ensure that our Shelter cats receive quality nutrition.

To learn more about Metro Pet Market and what they can offer your furry friend, click here.

To learn more about the adorable cats and kittens available for adoption, click here.

Metro Pet Market

Thank You for Giving Flynn a Fighting Chance

A young pup’s curiosity can be one of its most endearing qualities. But when that curiosity leads to a porcupine, the result can be anything but pleasant. Young Flynn was particularly unlucky when his encounter drew the full brunt of a porcupine’s defenses earlier this month.

While clearly painful, porcupine quills can have devastating effects on their victim. Due to their pointed structure and backward facing barbs, quills tend to move inward and continue to push deeper into the animal’s body over time. While many animals recover from their injuries, some quills can work their way into the nervous system, nasal cavities and even the heart and lungs causing a myriad of problems – some being fatal.

Fortunately, Flynn was found and brought to the Shelter shortly following the attack and Regina Humane Society (RHS) Veterinarians meticulously removed the quills. Despite removing hundreds of quills, his prognosis was positive – in fact looking at him now, you can hardly tell he ever met a porcupine! After being monitored for several weeks, Flynn was ready to start his search for a forever home and lucky for Flynn, his search did not take long as he was adopted just two hours after being made available!

Because of the continued support of our community, the RHS Veterinary Team was there to help Flynn in his time of most desperate need. Flynn has now been happily adopted and is on his way to start his next journey in a loving home. Thank you for giving him a fighting chance.

Happy Tails and Happy Travels!

While we all know winter is coming every year, when it does arrive it still seems like a shock!

Many of us will look to take our pets with us on our vacation, but travelling with your pet can be nerve-racking, especially for first timers – but it doesn’t have to be!

Here are a few tips to help ensure everyone has the fun in the sun they are looking for:

Check with your Airline

Be sure to check with your airline regarding what is required for your pet to travel including proper crate, food, water and medical documents. Many airlines will allow smaller pets to be in the cabin with you, but may have special requirements to do so. A good quality carrier that allows your pet to stand up and turn around is a must!

Visit the Vet

A trip to your family vet is a good idea to get any required vaccinations and legal documents that may be required for your pet to travel and be with you at your destination. The check-up will also ensure that your pet is medically healthy and able to make the trip safely.

One Step at a Time

If you are introducing your pet to a new carrier for the trip, set it up at home for a few days before with the door open so your pet can explore and get used to it. Tossing a few treats inside now and then will help your pet to see it as a happy place!

The Big Day

A little exercise is a good idea to burn off some energy before you leave for the airport, especially if you dog tends to have high energy. Give them a light meal a few hours ahead of the flight, but they can have water right up until take off. And don’t forget a potty break at the airport before boarding!

Avoid Surprises!

Be sure to research your destination and any rules or regulations that may be in effect including regulations regarding bringing pets to that jurisdiction, leash laws and any breed specific legislation. Plan ahead and have the address and phone numbers of some nearby veterinary clinics just in case your pet becomes ill or injured. It’s a good idea to have ID tags on your pet’s collar that include your contact information at destination so they can be easily returned should they wander off.

Happy Travels!

32 Ways to Give

Help make the 32nd Annual Regina Humane Society Telethon, presented by Access Communications, a huge success!

This year’s Telethon is Sunday, March 15, but you can help now! Start your fundraising activities today. Whether you’re an individual, office, school, or group – you can make a difference in the lives of homeless animals in your community.

Stuck for ideas? We put together a list of 32+ creative ways to fundraise, but the options are endless!

Tune in Sunday, March 15 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and watch Access7, or stream the Telethon online, and see how your support has directly helped thousands of animals! The Telethon will feature visits from a few special animals who will come back to say thank you! Plus, success stories, behind the scenes looks at the RHS, information and entertainment!

Each year our Telethon is a success because of you!

Fundraising Ideas for Schools and Corporate Groups
  1. 50/50 raffle
  2. Bake sale
  3. Battle of the bands
  4. Bottle drive
  5. Bowl-a-thon
  6. Candy gram fundraiser
  7. Craft sale
  8. Dunk tank
  9. Garage sale
  10. Jellybean count
  11. Pancake breakfast
  12. Pie someone
  13. Spelling bee
  14. Scavenger hunt
Fundraising Ideas for Schools
  1. Book sale
  2. Coin challenge
  3. Challenge students to cover an entire classroom floor with coins.
  4. Dress like a Disney character or superhero
  5. Family dance
  6. Hat day
  7. Lemonade stand
  8. Movie night
  9. Pyjama day
  10. Parents night out
  11. Read-a-thon
  12. Sports day
  13. Talent show
  14. Winter carnival
Fundraising Ideas for Corporate Groups
  1. Board game tournament: Players pay or fundraise to participate, with a prize of bragging rights and helping a good cause. Bonus, you get to see the Monopoly side of someone!
  2. Bonus vacation day: Sell raffle tickets for $10 and the prize is an extra day off work.
  3. Buy a parking spot: Sell or auction off prime parking spots.
  4. Chili cook-off
  5. Corporate donation matching day or month
  6. Donate your spare change or coffee cash
  7. Dress down day
  8. Gift card raffle: Have restaurants/businesses donate gift cards and raffle them off.
  9. Guess the baby: Ask everyone in the team to send you a baby photo of them and pin the photos up in your main meeting room. Charge a small fee for entry and ask your colleagues to guess who’s who on a sheet of answer paper. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize.
  10. Hot chocolate and/or coffee sale
  11. Jailbreak: Lock the boss in the boardroom with only their mobile phone and the promise that they can come out once they’ve raised their donation target from their contacts.
  12. Pack a lunch challenge: Pack a lunch and donate the money you would have spent eating out.
  13. Potluck days: Have each department host a potluck for the entire staff. Staff pay the hosts for their meal.
  14. Silent auction
  15. Steak night
  16. Swear jar: Set up a swear jar in the office and any time somebody curses, they need to make a donation. If you’re not an office full of potty-mouths, you could set up a buzzword jar instead. Colleagues would need to pay up when they use some of the well-known buzzwords in your corporation.
  17. Take your pets to work