Category Archives: Did you know?

Preparing your pets for a hurricane

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Pet owners know their animals are more than just cats and dogs. They’re often their best friend and for many leaving their best friend behind while evacuating from a storm is not an option.

“I would take your pets anywhere. I mean, we don’t have any children, this is our child so we will take them everywhere we can with them. There are a lot of hotels that are pet-friendly so they should call and get some information on it and they can definitely find hotels that will accept them,” said Stephanie Kircher, dog owner.

That’s exactly what animal experts say you should do. According to the ASPCA if you need to evacuate you should call ahead to find a shelter or hotel that accepts pets. You also need to put together a hurricane preparedness kit for your pet. The ASPCA suggests a pet first-aid kit, 3-7 days worth of canned or dry food, disposable litter trays, litter or paper toweling, liquid dish soap, disposable garbage bags, pet feeding dishes and water bowls, extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash, photocopies of medical record, at least seven days worth of bottled water for each person and pet, a traveling bag, crate, or sturdy carrier, flashlight, blanket, and recent photos of your pets.

The founder of Dog Harmony, a Santa Rosa Beach dog rescue, suggests pet owners should get their dogs micro-chipped. Some vets and boarding facilities may stay open during storms if you have to leave your animals behind, but finding your options before a storm hits will give you peace of mind.

“Definitely be sure they’re micro-chipped so when you’re traveling. If you happen to lose a dog but you’ve got a way for the dog to be identified so they can be returned to you,” said Nancy Bown, founder of Dog Harmony.

One man we spoke with doesn’t believe any animal should be left behind if a storm threatens the area.

“Would you leave your kid behind? Would you leave anything you cared about behind? To me it’s just I would never do that. At least give them the fighting chance. You don’t want to take care of your pet then at least get it to a place where it can fend for itself. Leaving it behind locked in a cage or something like that is not humane,” said Will Jarrett, dog owner.

Red Cross officials say some of their shelters will be pet friendly if you go to a shelter that is not pet friendly they say they will still do their best to find a spot for you.

Read the whole story here: http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Preparing-your-pets-for-a-hurricane-443102553.html

Breed Labels: When Guesses Turn Into Predictions

As we travel around the country, having conversations with shelters and rescues about the “pit bull” dogs in their care, we find that there are always a few big a-ha! moments that help people understand that all dogs are individuals just a bit better.

One of the more exciting moments typically happens during our Labels & Language presentation where we discuss the role of breed labeling in shelters and the assumptions we make about dogs based on those labels.

Read more here >>

Keeping dogs safe in the heat

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The founder of Dog-Harmony joined us in the studio to tell you how you can keep your dogs safe from the heat this summer.

There are some things you can do to make sure they don’t get a heat stroke. One thing is to make sure your pets drink enough water. You also shouldn’t leave them out in the sun too long. If you start to notice that they are panting more or their eyes and gums get red, it is a good idea to bring them inside.

For more tips or information on how you can adopt a dog, check out Paris’ interview. http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Keeping-dogs-safe-in-the-heat-435582613.html

Why do dogs wag their tails?

Check out this great article from PetBucket!

Tails serve many practical purposes for our canine companions, from giving them better balance while running to spreading their unique scent to other dogs nearby. Tails are also one of our pets’ key ways of communicating, letting others know when they’re feeling nervous, excited or open to communication. By watching your dog’s wag, then, you can better understand how he’s feeling and what he’s trying to say.

Dogs use their tails, face and body posture to communicate, making his tail one of your pet’s primary means of expressing his moods. In fact, studies have shown that dogs only wag their tails when they’re with company, making it a completely social activity. Watching a dog’s tail, how it’s positioned, whether it’s relaxed and how fast it’s moving can communicate crucial information. A tail held high usually signals enthusiasm, for example, and confident canines tend to hold their tails higher, allowing them to spread more of their scent. A dog holding his tail extremely high or wagging only the tip, however, is likely on high alert and you should avoid him or proceed with caution. Those with their tails low or between their legs are more timid or feeling nervous. Read the rest of the article here.

Protecting Your Pup from Mosquitoes

Such a great post on The Bark this week. Check it out…

This summer’s routine insect-prevention strategies are taking on a new urgency as public health experts warn that certain parts of the U.S. may experience outbreaks of the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Latin America.

As you protect yourself from any and all mosquitos this summer, don’t hurt your dog in the process!

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people use insect repellents that use of these ingredients:

  • DEET (used in Off, Deep Woods Off and Cutter)
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Para-menthane-diol.

Unfortunately, DEET can be poisonous to your dog. Ingesting it can cause your dog to have stomach problems, conjunctivitis, breathing difficulties and seizures.

Read more here.

Just Adopt The Dog!

Fostering dogs is an integral part of animal rescue. Not only does it help the foster dog learn the proper skills and behavior to be successfully adopted, it also allows more dogs to be saved. The need for foster parents is apparent as it seems that any shelter or rescue can always accept more foster homes.

Unfortunately, in the animal rescue community, it seems common to encounter those (especially online) who make comments about fostering that can actually be very hurtful to those who choose to foster. Click here to read more on BarkPost.

We heart Pit Bulls… and you should too!

Thinking about adopting a pit bull? Congratulations! Pit bulls can make very sweet and loyal family dogs. Adopting a pit bull should be fun and joyful, so we’ve created a list of handy tips to help you make good choices.

Socialization is the key to a happy and confident dog. All puppies should be enrolled in a puppy class where part of the time is devoted to off-leash play with other dogs.

Pit bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes. There are many pit bull rescue groups that can recommend training classes.

It’s play time! Pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors—be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog.

You may experience breed discrimination.Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws.

Do your research. Bringing home a pit bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership—not bad dogs—that causes pit bulls to be aggressive.

Adoption is the best option. By rescuing a pit bull, you are saving a dog that needs a home and family. Adopting a pit from a shelter means that the dog will have had an initial health evaluation and should also have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered for you. More and more shelters use a standardized evaluation to assess the behavior of their dogs. If the dog you’re interested in has been evaluated, ask to see the results so you can get a more complete picture of the dog’s typical reactions to things.

Consider adopting an older pit bull. With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for much more easily than with a puppy.

Set a good example for others. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your pit bull the love and care she deserves. And always let others know what great companions they make!

Are You Ready to Adopt?

When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?

  • Owning a dog or cat costs more than the initial adoption fee. Food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering and proper identification—that means a collar with tags and a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping—can add up.
  • Time is also a factor. Dogs benefit from several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you’re out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.
  • It is important to consider whether your children, along with your resident pets, are able to accommodate the addition of a cat or dog to your household.

Why Support Dog-Harmony?

The reason we feel people should become involved with Dog-Harmony or to donate is we are the only proactive rescue using education as a tool to lessen Shelter population. Behavioral issues are the number one reason dogs are surrendered to a shelter. By having a certified trainer running the organization – we can be sure our dogs do not have any behavioral issues before they leave our care therefore reducing the risk of return. To this day we have had one return and it was due to a family situation not any fault of the dog.

Dog-Harmony is a necessary community organization to help lower the euthanasia rate. By providing education we hope to lessen the number of dogs surrendered to a shelter.

Our mission statement is to create lifelong adoptions by providing personalized and ongoing education support and training for people and dogs.