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3 posts from March 2017

By Rachel Bird, PAWS Animal Behavior Lead

Who doesn’t love puppies?! They are adorable, fun to play with, and of course there’s puppy breath! Raising a puppy isn’t all tummy rubs and playtime though, there is some actual work involved. After all, you will be shaping and teaching your puppy to grow into the best dog she can be. But how do you start?

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Puppy proofing before bringing home your new pup is always a good idea. Make sure all valuable items are out of reach, but also be aware of any items that could be dangerous for your puppy to chew on. Puppies love to chew as it’s natural, but they don’t always know what is a dog toy and what isn’t. If you do catch your puppy chewing on an inappropriate item, gently remove it and give them an acceptable chew toy. Make sure your puppy has plenty of fun toys to keep her occupied, and praise her when she is chewing on them.

It’s also a good idea to closely supervise your new puppy in your home. That way you can make sure she is staying safe, plus you learn their ‘cues’ for when they need to relieve themselves. It’s important to remember a puppy under 6 months can only ‘hold it’ for a couple hours, and will need to go out for frequent potty breaks, especially after play sessions or when waking up. Sticking to a regular schedule will help your puppy to learn. Accidents are normal, and you should never punish your puppy for having one.

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Puppy classes are a fun way to start socializing your puppy with other dogs and new people too. Socialization is key to raising a well-adjusted puppy. All puppies under 6 months should experience new things every day. Not only should they interact with people and dogs, but new experiences and places too. Make sure to always have plenty of treats on hand. If your pup seems afraid, go slow and pair the new ‘thing’ with plenty of yummy treats to make it a good experience.

Remember that you are in charge of shaping your puppy’s behavior, and what you do now will impact your puppy for the rest of her life. Visit our resource library for additional hints on helping your puppy to become a great dog. Start training early, be consistent, and have fun!

Looking for a furry friend? Take a look at our available animals

Make a donation and help us continue creating happy endings for companion animals in need.

Become a foster parent for puppies and kittens in need.

By Jen Mannas, Wildlife Naturalist

Biologist and theorist E.O. Wilson once said “Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it...Eliminate one species, and another increases to take its place. Eliminate a great many species and the local ecosystem starts to decay.”

In the coming week, PAWS is celebrating the National Wildlife Federation’s National Wildlife Week. This educational program is used to get the word out about all the wild animals, big and small, who live together.

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Biodiversity is defined as the variety of life in the world or in a habitat or ecosystem. It is important because it boosts ecosystem productivity where each species plays an important role. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms, including us.

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Right here in Washington there are hundreds of native wildlife species that we coexist with. From the seabirds wintering off our coast to the songbirds at our bird feeders to the ever-elusive coyote. These species all play an important role in the environment that they live in.  Seabirds are indicators of the health of the marine environment.  They will be the first to be affected if something is wrong because they spend most of their life at sea and rely on marine resources for food. Songbirds protect trees and other plants by preying on insects that chew leaves and harm forests. Coyotes are a keystone predator that have positive effects within an ecosystem by keeping natural areas healthy. They regulate populations of smaller predators in turn allowing the prey of smaller predators, like birds, to survive. 

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In a changing world, it is important for us humans to better understand and celebrate this biodiversity.  We can even help promote it in our own backyards and communities by planting wildlife gardens and taking injured and orphaned wild animals to wildlife rehabilitation centers like PAWS for help.

In the past five years PAWS, has returned more than 5,800 animals back to the wild encompassing more than 165 different species. We returned these animals back to the wild so they can once again be active members within their population to help preserve the biodiversity in Washington. 

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Help us celebrate by checking back each day this week on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for patient updates, inside looks and information about species we are currently treating at PAWS. 

Happy National Wildlife Week!!

Inspired by our work? Consider making a donation today to help us continue providing vital care to wild animals in need.

Found a wild animal in need? Find out how PAWS can help

Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS

By Kate Marcussen, Community Education Coordinator

I never thought life would come to spending Friday nights in the roofing aisle of the home improvement store deciding which type of roof my cats would like best. Many people may consider this a strange preferred Friday night outing, but for me, it was the ultimate in excitement because we were finally building our very own catio!

For those who are unfamiliar with the phenomenon, a catio is an outdoor enclosure for cats. They have become a popular way to provide outdoor time for cats that is safe for pets and wildlife.

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Building a catio had always been on the ever so long “to do” list. Providing our two rescue cats, Tommy and Benjamin, with the opportunity to go outside and enjoy fresh air, while staying safe, was a must. It was also very important to us to protect the wonderful wildlife that visits our yard, especially the birds. Our resident Spotted Towhee particularly dislikes the cats as he follows the cats while they are outside on leashes, no more than 5 feet behind at all times, scolding them with alarm calls.

We set out to build a DYI catio. With access to basic tools such as a hand drill and miter saw, we knew that it could be done. We aimed to stick to a goal of spending under $200. The catio would be connected to a basement level window so the cats would have easy access. We drew up a plan of a 9-foot-long, 2-feet-wide and 2.5-feet-tall window box.

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Then we hit the aisles of the home improvement store. To be budget conscious we used wood 2x4's and 4x4's for the structure’s frame. We chose hardware cloth to use as fencing for its durability, clean and simple design, and low cost. For the roof we wanted polycarbonate, but it didn’t come in 9-foot pieces. After debating if we could fit the 12-foot long size pieces in the car (who were we kidding?) we decided to go with two smaller sizes that we could overlap.

The building process took us a couple of long weekends, a couple more trips back to the home improvement store, and a total of $172.63. After painting the catio to match the exterior house color it was time to get it into place. In a fit of excitement, I actually made us do this at 7:00 p.m. on a weeknight with headlamps on!

As I opened the downstairs window for the cats to enter their new digs, they cautiously looked up at me with expressions of “wait I can go outside alone?!” They both jumped out into the catio and paraded up and down the catwalk with tall, confident tails wiggling with excitement.

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Tommy and Benjamin still struggle with the idea of a cat door and the realization that they need to use their heads to push the door open. But after finally pushing through, they come running back inside, wild from the crisp air and they proceed to run laps around the house in delight. I’d say all the late nights in spent at the hardware store were well worth it, and something tells me that the Spotted Towhee would agree.

You can see this catio along with many others and learn more about why catios are such a great option for keeping cats and wildlife safe during Catio Tour Seattle 2017! Register now

Want to know more about our education programs? Find out here

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