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  • The Importance of Crate Training

    Many people feel like crate training their dog is cruel. Or they go through a couple of sleepless nights from their dog whining in its cage and give up. Let’s address why crate training is beneficial to both you and your dog, and worth sticking through those (for some) first heart-wrenching weeks. The obvious first reason is potty training. It helps to control their bowels and get a sense of timing. The less obvious reason is, puppies can be fearless and some anxieties don’t develop until later on in their adult lives. They feel comfortable in a den, so getting them used to a crate as puppies can help their adult anxieties with thunderstorms, fireworks or even just being home alone. Dogs are social creatures that depend on us, they are loyal to their families and want to spend time with them. We all have lives and sometimes the dog can be overexcited or in the way if you have guests over. Utilizing the kennel allows them to be a part of the action without having to shut them off into a different room or outside where they might have the tendency to bark or dig because they are bored and frustrated. At some point, your dog will be in a kennel setting. Whether transporting to the vet, groomers or if you live in Florida, hurricane season. So getting them used to the crate will lessen the stress on both you and the dog when you are required to use one later. Crate Training Tips: #1 ALWAYS use positivity and rewards. Use treats, toys, meals and positive tones when coaxing your dog into the crate. #2 Time spent in the crate should be increased incrementally. Your dog will negatively associate the crate if too much time is spent in it during the day and at night. #3 If your puppy is whining while you’re practicing on lengths of stay in the crate while you’re at home, do not let them out! They are creatures of habit and routine, which is why the crate training works so well. They will quickly figure out that the way to get out of the crate is to whine each time they are put into it. #4 It can be hard to tell if your dog is whining to go out to the bathroom in the middle of the night or just wants to be out of the crate. If after a couple of minutes the dog is still whining, take them outside to do their business but do not allow for any playtime. Put them straight back to bed! #5 Most puppies can get the fundamentals of crate training down in the first couple of weeks. But if they don’t, don’t give up or get frustrated! Ultimately, you chose to bring home a pet companion and you owe it to them and to yourself to raise it to be a well-mannered, well-loved dog; and functional discipline is at the core!

  • Prepare For Hurricanes With Your Pets

    If you're a local Jupiter resident reading this, you're no stranger to hurricanes. If you're not local to Jupiter, your state has its own Act of God in which these same rules can apply. It's easy for us Floridians to brush off a looming hurricane because we are desensitized to the media chaos until the very last minute. But if you are in fact in the path of the hurricane the last thing you want to do is not be prepared for it and go viral on Facebook as the adult fighting the kid at Walmart for a last pack of canned baked beans. If you have pets, they don't understand the local news anchor standing on the beach in the middle of high-speed winds. You need to have a plan in place for them- read our 10 tips below to prepare for a hurricane with your pets. 1. Make sure your pet has ID. - Head to your local pet store for a very affordable engraved pet tag with your details in case your pet panics and escapes during a storm 2. Crates - For both cats and dogs. This is to keep them safe and easy to transport if need be. 3. Vet Records - If you have to evacuate to a hurricane shelter they will ask for your pet(s) vet records and require updated vaccinations. You don't want to be turned away in this situation if there is a mandatory evacuation. 4. Food, Water, Meds - Two-week supply of food, water and prescription medications in case of power outages and store shut downs. 5. Know Your Local Evacuation Center - Do your research on pet-friendly shelters and hotels. is a great resource to check your area. 6. Micro-chip - Animals can panic and flee in these situations and if someone finds them after the dust settles, almost every pet store and vets office will have a micro-chip scanner. If they end up in a shelter you will have to prove ownership. In addition to the microchip, some pictures of your pet will go along way- preferably with you in the pictures. 7. Emergency Rescue Alert Sticker - If something happens to you or your home, an emergency rescue alert sticker by the front door can alert officials or neighbors that there are pets in the home that need to be checked on. 8. Community Cats - If you are the community cat feeder and are concerned for their safety during the storm there are a couple things you can do if they are feral and untrappable. Take in any items that aren't secured to the ground, i.e., chairs, plants, bricks, etc. Bring cat food to a higher ground in case it floods. Tie shelter for cats on a patio (or shed) to a sturdy structure with the opening of the hole facing the house. Cover the shelter with tarps to block out the wind and use Mylar blankets inside for extra warmth. 9. Leash dogs BUT DO NOT LEAVE THEM LEASHED OUTSIDE - This is cruel. Few things irk an animal lover more than hearing about a pet tied up during a severe storm. Aside from karma coming after you- there is a proposed bill in Florida that will make it illegal for pet owners to leave behind their dogs during a hurricane or other severe weather event. Punishment could include a year in prison or a fine up to $5000 - or both. If your dog has a habit of bolting when scared it is best to leash your dog while inside. If the weather gets really bad and you lose a window- a scared pet may run. 10. Pet Trust - Legally naming a caregiver to take care of your pets in the event something happens to you is a great plan whether there's a storm or not. Unpredictable accidents happen and your pet who has served you loyally doesn't deserve to go to a shelter if something were to happen to you. If you would like more information on creating a pet trust please reach out to The Pet Cottage, we can help! 561-818-5025

  • Gratitude Luncheon

    On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in April, members of The Pet Cottage pack gathered to share a meal, meet each other and share stories. Fosters, volunteers, board members, friends and staff were each introduced by Wendy our founder. Sharing a history of how our pack has evolved because of each person involved was enlightening and fun. We played a game of reporter interviewing each other, exploring the ways we are alike. Finally, we each shared a favorite Pet Cottage story. There were tears and laughter and delight. Everyone left the luncheon feeling connected to each other and to The Pet Cottage. It was a lovely time. We will definitely be hosting these on a regular basis. Make sure to join us next time!

  • Cats vs. Christmas Trees

    Is it possible for your tree and your sanity to make it through Christmas? I can't address the sanity- except for wine, lots of wine. But I can help with that tree your cat believes is a giant scratching post. 1. Leave the tree bare when you first bring it home. It will give them a chance to get used to it and the appeal will wear off. You can also use this time to figure out how to tether it to a wall in the case that your cat is undeterred by your first subtle attempt and wants to bring it crashing down to the ground. 2. Don't use toxic material i.e.; tinsel, tree fertilizer, poinsettias, fake snow, etc. You may want to re-think glass ornaments as well. These all look like dangling cat toys to them. And if your cat is one of those who likes to test the 9 lives theory, unplug your lights at night and when you leave the house. 3. If this doesn't work: distract, distract distract. You probably have a plethora of boxes from Amazon Prime when you ordered gifts last minute. If you own a cat you know that boxes win over any toy you've ever bought them! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOOD LUCK! If you have any funny stories or clever suggestions about your cat vs. your Christmas tree send them to us!

  • Pet Friendly Fourth of July

    Happy Fourth of July everyone!! Being one of our most fun and interactive holidays, it is very important to recognize pet safety this Independence Day. Not everyone realizes how much our little animal friends are affected by the festivity's noisy parties and most of all the big fireworks shows. Many animals find fireworks scary. Unfortunately, these loud fireworks often send animals into a full panic to the point where they accidentally injure themselves. The loud, unexpected whizzes, pops and bangs are often louder than military jets taking off. If you have a pet that's sensitive to thunder, smoke alarms and vacuum cleaners, then your little furry friends are most likely not going to enjoy the fireworks show. Because pets panic it is important to be prepared and educate yourself on how to keep pets calm during fireworks. Sadly when animals get scared their first instinct is to bolt away and escape and often wind up lost, injured and unfortunately even killed. But don't fret... There are precautions and ways you can prepare: -Walk them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off. -Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks. -Put on some music or TV to mask the fireworks sound. -Create a quiet space where your dog or cat can feel in control. -Create some hiding places around your home. -Microchip your pets in case they get startled and escape outside. -Consider crating them and partly cover the cages with blankets so an area is sound proofed and hidden but allow another area for the animals to look out. -Consider bringing your pets indoors. The best thing you can do for your animals is to be ready for the holiday and to not ignore the possible issues that loud fireworks can create. By preparing in advance before fireworks start, your pets will be able to cope with the noises. So take precautions, keep your animals safe and happy and have a spectacular Fourth of July!!!

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