Heat Exhaustion is a Serious Matter

Our dogs and cats often enjoy a sunny day as much as we do, but when it gets too hot we need to pay attention to our furry friends. They can’t sweat the way we do, nor can they tell us if they are too hot or need water or shade. It’s our job to provide for them and keep them cool and comfortable when the temperature goes up.

Walk or exercise your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid the hotter midday temps. Be aware that pavement can get very hot. We have shoes, they don’t. Pets need shade outside and cool, well-ventilated rooms inside. If you are working in the attic or out in the garage on a hot day, make sure your cat hasn’t snuck in before you lock up. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your pets! Put out some extra water bowls if you are going to be gone all day. Above all, do not ever leave your pet alone in a car when it’s hot. Even on a mild day, temps in the car can rise dramatically in a very short time.

It’s important to know the signs of heat stress and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is very serious and if not dealt with immediately, it can lead to organ failure or even death. Older pets, obese pets, and breeds with short faces and noses are more susceptible (such as pugs, Bostons and bulldogs, as well as Persian cats). It’s helpful to start by knowing your pet’s normal temperature, which should be around 100-102. Too much exercise and hot and/or humid days are major causes of heat exhaustion.

Some of the early signs of heat stress include restlessness and panting or drooling. As heat exhaustion sets in, the pet will start developing rapid pulse and breathing, redness of the tongue and mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, irregular heart beat, stumbling or clumsiness, and disorientation. Pets at this point may produce very small amounts of urine and sometimes black, tarry stools. If the pet’s temperature gets to 104 or higher, they are in serious danger. Ultimately, seizures, collapse, and death can result, if nothing is done quickly to help your pet.

It is imperative to deal with this immediately. Start by getting your pet into the shade or a cool area. Spray with cool water and/or wrap them with a cool, wet tool. Pay special attention to the armpit and groin areas. Get a fan going if you have access to one. Do not use ice cold water! Cool is much safer. Get the pet to drink a little cool water if you can, but go slowly. Do not force them to drink. As soon as you can, get your pet to the vet. This is not something you want to deal with all by yourself. There are so many problems that can result from heat exhaustion so you really do need to get to the vet ASAP. The best way to deal with heat exhaustion is to do everything you can to avoid it in the first place! So enjoy these summer days, but make sure your furry friends are enjoying them safely!

Stay cool!


Tips for Summer Car Travel With Pets

Summer is the time when many of us hit the road for adventure, often with our best furry friends. Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe, comfortable, and happy on your journeys.

1. Plan a vet visit before you go, especially if you are going on a long trip or over state lines. Make sure you have an up-to-date copy of medical records (including proof of rabies vaccination, which you may need if entering another state), microchip with correct information recorded, and an adequate supply of any medications your pet needs.

2. Call ahead to make sure your pet is welcome at any planned stops. There are many pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and other venues but it is important to check ahead. If you are hiking in or near a National Park, be aware that many do not allow dogs on the trails, even with leashes (this includes Mt. Rainier and the Olympics). Pets are generally allowed in the campgrounds and on trails in National Forests.

3. Pack a separate bag for your pet, stocked with leashes, bowls for food and water, poop bags, a first aid kit, a few favorite toys, litter and some sort of litter pan for cats, wipes, treats, a few towels, any medications needed plus medical records, and a blanket or bed. Your pet needs a collar and ID tag. It’s best to bring water from home, and don’t forget the food! Never assume that you can buy your pet’s food along the way. If you will be at the beach or hiking, it’s nice to have a container of water in the car just for rinsing off sandy or muddy paws.

4. Restrain your pet properly in the car, with a harness, car seat, or carrier. Pets should not be in the front seat and should never, ever be on your lap if you are driving! Keep heads inside, especially on the freeway, keep your car cool, and make plenty of rest stops. Never leave your pet alone in the car during any stops.

5. Don’t feed your pet too much before a long drive. A light meal or snack is best, with a normal meal once you are settled into your destination.

6. Try to keep to a schedule of feeding and exercise as best you can. Pets like routines, even on a new adventure!

Happy travels!


Pet Health Pet Safety Travel with Pets

Hot Dogs, Hot Cars

Summer is almost here, and with it, lots of adventures with our canine friends. Often those trips involve some driving in the car, so it never hurts to remind people of the dangers of leaving their pets in a locked car, even if it’s just for a short time. Here in the Northwest, it’s especially important to plan your outings carefully at this time of year, as our weather can be just a wee bit erratic! It might be cool and rainy when you leave your home in the morning, but 20 miles down the road, or 30 minutes later in the same place, the sun can come out and temperatures go up. Even if the outside air is pleasant, temperatures in a car can rise very quickly to a dangerous level. According to the US Humane Society, an outside temperature of 72° translates to about 116° in a closed car within an hour.

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises people not to leave their pets in a closed car if the outside temps are hotter than 62° or colder than 32°. As much as your dog may love to ride in the car, if you are just planning to do errands and you know some of the businesses don’t allow pets, leave your dog at home. If you do take your dog, plan ahead. There are many pet-friendly businesses, eateries, and hotels, and the numbers are rising each year. If you have someone with you, one person can run inside and the other can take the dog for a short stroll.

Sadly, hundreds of pets die in cars every year, because their owners didn’t realize how hot it can get in a car. People say they are just going to be a minute or two, but something distracts them, the line is longer than they thought, or they run into a friend. Temperatures can rise 20° in just ten minutes. On an 85° day, temps can reach 114° in 30 minutes and 125° within an hour. Cracking your window just doesn’t help much.

In July 2015, Washington State passed a law making leaving a pet in a car under dangerous conditions a civil offense. This includes situations in which the pet could be harmed by heat, cold, or lack of water or ventilation. It authorizes police or animal control personnel to break in to rescue the animal and clears them of liability. It does not make it legal for citizens to do the same. However, there are things you can do if you see a pet in a car and you are concerned. The best option is to call the proper authorities and/or go to the local businesses to try to track the owner down. There is a very good guide of what to do at This guide provides detailed steps so you can assess the situation and provide the best assistance, as well as protect yourself (especially if you feel you must rescue the animal before help arrives) and the pet.

Dogs Pet Health Pet Safety

Flea Season is Here Again

No doubt about it, our warmer winters the last few years mean more bugs, and that includes fleas! Flea season is already upon us. Your best bet to deal with fleas is to act before they arrive. Feed your pet a healthy diet, take them to their vet checkups, groom them regularly, vacuum your house frequently, wash pet bedding, and watch your yard.

If you still get fleas, be patient and diligent about treating your pets. There are many chemical-based treatments out there, but be very careful. These can be very toxic to your pets, and often they don’t work as well as they should. If you wouldn’t put it on your own skin, don’t use it on your pet, who is much smaller and often more sensitive than you. Also consider the fact that if you have children and you use a topical flea treatment on your pets, your children will end up with it on their hands any time they pet the dog or cat.

As is often the case, the best way to deal with fleas is not always the easiest, but it is usually better for your animal’s health (and your own!). Start by vacuuming your house (dispose of the bag immediately–you don’t want it in your house!), wash any pet bedding in hot water and a hot dry cycle, wash your pet with a non-toxic flea shampoo if necessary, and then sit down and use a good flea comb. Be methodical. If you groom your pets on a regular basis, it won’t be so bad. My cat actually loves the flea comb and will come running if he sees me bring it out! Have a basin of soapy water handy, and some sort of toweling. When you see fleas in the comb, dunk them in the water or pinch them to kill them. They are pretty tough so pinch hard! Dump the water down the toilet and flush them away. Remember to keep at it. It’s going to take more than a few groomings.

There are a number of non-toxic products that will help with fleas. Diatomaceous earth can be a big help. It comes in a powder form and can be used on carpets, furniture, and especially in areas where a vacuum will not reach. You can also use it directly on your pet if they do not have open sores from the fleas but be very careful to keep it out of eyes, ears, and noses (yours too). You must get food-grade diatomaceous earth. Absolutely do not use the kind that is used for pools or yards. Also, be careful, as it is drying to the skin. It’s something that shouldn’t be used too frequently. It’s a bit messy to apply, but it’s cheap and effective if used properly.

Many people add Brewer’s yeast to their pet’s food and apple cider vinegar added to drinking water can help, especially with dogs (you might want to ask your vet before using this with cats, as they have a very delicate system as far as acid/alkaline balance). Apple cider vinegar diluted with water can be a soothing wash that helps with fleas, as can a lemon rinse (slice and let sit in hot water overnight–don’t use citrus oil). There are also several treatments using essential oils. These can be effective but be careful if your pet has sensitive skin, and be aware that what is good for dogs is often not good for cats. Pennyroyal, tea tree, and eucalyptus are among the many oils that should be avoided for cats. It should be mentioned here as well, that if you do choose a treatment from the vet, or over the counter, DO NOT EVER use a dog treatment for a cat.


Separation Anxiety

by Tony Wolfe

Dogs are very social, and when they are alone, they can sometimes become restless and nervous or even panic. Dogs with separation anxiety may destroy things (themselves included, try to escape, bark and/or have housetraining accidents. He does not do these things “to get back at you for leaving”, he is simply venting nervous energy in the only way he can. For some dogs, being alone for even a few seconds is terrifying. You will need to teach your dog that it is okay to be alone in small, easy steps (Baby Steps). If your dog is so fearful that he is in danger of hurting himself, consider finding a Veterinary Behaviorist to help you with this anxiety.

The most difficult part of this training program is avoiding going past your dog’s current comfort level for being left alone during your daily routine. For example, if today your dog is nervous about being alone for more than 5 minutes, try not to leave him for more than 5 minutes. Each time your dog is left longer than he is comfortable, you will be setting your progress back. However, If you must leave your dog for longer than he is ready for, find some way to take him with you or leave him with a friend or at a doggy daycare.


  •    Practice getting your jacket, keys, etc. at random times throughout the day to teach him that this is no big deal.
  •    Practice positive training for tricks or obedience to help build his confidence.
  •    Make sure your dog has 30 min to 1 hour of exercise per day to help him to relax when you are gone.
  •    Reinforce calm behavior by giving him extra attention when he is relaxed.
  • See your veterinarian to rule out underlying medical cause or for additional help. Sometimes medication is needed to help your dog get through this.
  •    Feed him the healthiest diet that you can afford.
  • Use KONGS, DAP’s (Dog Appeasing Pheromone), Anxiety Wraps, are just some items to hep with S/A.
  • Create a new “Safe Zone”. Record yourself talking (like reading a book). Place your dog in his Safe Zone, give him his chewy and play your recording. When he is calmly chewing, sneak out of the room, get your keys, and exit your home for just a second. Return to the room at the end of a gradually increasing time period. When you return, switch off the recorder and calmly enter his area. Ignore him until he is relaxed. If when you return you see signs of anxiety, cut the time you stay away in half next time. If when you repeat, he’s still experiencing separation anxiety, cut your time in half again!Once your dog is no longer anxious, start increasing the times again.
Dogs Pet Safety

Holiday Safety Tips

Pet Safety

Safety is important year round but the holidays seem to give us a real opportunity to make a list and check it twice. Because of the changes in schedules, in diet, in where the furniture is placed and/or how many people are going in and out of your home, here is a list of things to keep your pet safer during the holidays.

  • Company is coming so make sure all coats, purses and bags are put up and secure that may contain medications, candy (chocolate and sugar-free candy containing xylitol are poisons to pets), food wrappers, tobacco or batteries. If your pet ingests glass, broken plastic, ribbon/tinsel, or any of the above call your emergency vet right away. In the meantime, you can give your pet supplemental fiber in the form of high fiber bread, a one-quarter cup to two-thirds cup canned pumpkin, or ask your vet for suggestions such as Metamusil for immediate treatment using 1 teaspoon for a small dog to 1 tablespoon for a larger dog.
  • Putting local emergency numbers on the fridge or in your phone in advance of the holidays will be one more step for safety. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-426-4435 or National Animal Poison Control Center 1-800-548-2423 or 1-900-680-0000
  • Place a “healthy treat” bowl out handy for your pet and let guests know, “Yes, my pet can have treats but only from this bowl!” Your guests will appreciate making your pet part of the festivities and your pet will stay healthier and happier for the holidays.
  • Newly placed cords and plugs can look like chew toys to pets. Cover with cord bundlers or tape down seasonal additions for added safety.
  • Holiday guests, parties and other events can be very stressful and even frightening to pets. Make sure that your pet has a safe place to retreat to.
  • Make sure your pets I.D. tags are current and in readable condition in case they escape out a door when visitor’s come and go.
  • Is your pet a “pant-er” when excited or stressed? Place extra drinking water handy around their favorite spots.
  • If you are going to have ‘pet-guests’ for the holidays, pre-arrange a neutral place for your pet and the pet -guests to be introduced such as down the street taking a walk, or at the local park. All the adults involved in the meeting need to be calm, project confidence in being in control. Bring treats and lots of praise. Be prepare to remove/redirect your animal if there is any chance for a fight. Do not leave newly introduced animals together indoors or in a yard unless supervised by at least one experienced adult owner.
  • Introduce natural stress relievers such as Rescue Remedy, a Bach flower essence you drop in their drinking water or Mellow Mut Chicken Strip treats that contain Chamomile, Clover, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Linden Flower and more.

More tips for pet care during the winter season…

  • Check out our selection of pet brushes… brushing your pet vigorously and regularly is important. The air in most houses becomes dry during the colder months, which depletes moisture from your pets skin and fur, nose, throats and upper respiratory. Brushing improves skin, coat and circulation. Plus, use fatty acid supplements, such as Grizzly Salmon Oil, Solid Golds Flax seed Oil, Wellness WellCoat or Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil to help your pets skin and coat stay healthy and comfortable year round. Use a humidifier to keep moisture in air.
  • Keep Rescue Remedy on hand for a variety of reasons… For relaxation and humidifying, for both you and your pet, place a few drops of Rescue Remedy & water in a small spray bottle and lightly spray your pet before you begin grooming. This gentle, natural stress reducing liquid can help people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation. Put a few drops in their drinking water. If traveling, a common dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip and repeat every four hours as needed. Rubbing a few drops on their ears can work as well if you need an alternative way to dose. All is fair in love and in dosing your pets, right?

Cold weather tips…. consider how your pet tolerates the cold.

  • Small dogs breeds, puppies and older dogs can be more vulnerable to the cold temperatures. Consider some added warmth from our line of RC Coats. Velcro closings and reflective trim make them easy and safe. Carry their measurements in your pocket. 1- Measure from the base of their neck to the base of their tail. 2- Measure around their body right behind their front legs. 3- Measure across their chest for those breeds with deeper chests. You will be ready to find that perfect fit.
  • And to protect dry, sensitive paws, indoors and out, try coating them with a healing, protective ointment such as Happy Pets before taking your walk. Upon returning home from your walks, use a moisturizing wipe such as Earthbath Pet Wipes to clean any melting salts, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that they could ingest when grooming themselves.

These have been successful steps, that other of our Green Cottage Pets customers have taken in the past, to have safe and happy times during the holiday season.
More to come…stay in touch!

Pet Health Pet Safety

All About Fleas

God in his wisdom made the fly and then forgot to tell us why.” Ogden

Could this go for fleas as well? I am sure that flys and fleas have a place in this world but just not in my home or on my pet!
A few facts to consider…

  • One adult flea found on a pet represents 1% of the fleas to be found in your home in one life stage or another.
  • The adult female can lay from 10 to 50 eggs a day and lives 60 to 100 days.
  • A majority of those eggs and resulting larvae and pupae remain within fifty feet of their host’s favorite resting spot, consequently it is important to think of environment when treating your pets for fleas.
  • Fleas account for more than half of all dermatological conditions requiring veterinary assistance.

Diet—The First Place To Start


  • Fortifying your pet against infestation starts from the inside out.
  • Fleas prefer weaker, less healthy hosts. Knowing this we can arm our pets for flea resistance by boosting their health and immunity.
  • Diet is the foundation of good health and a strong immunity system.
  • Whether it be biologically appropriate raw foods or a top quality dry, canned, or freeze dried food you want to buy foods that are USDA human grade foods. The first ingredient on the list should be meat, then whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, spelt and other quality, nutritious whole grains that diminish the chance of allergies. You want these whole-food pet foods to contain fruits and vegetables, along with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids from oils such as salmon oil, canola oil, flax seed oil, with digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid in the digestion and absorption of these foods. Plus recipes containing garlic and brewers yeast.
  • Choose foods that do not contain wheat, corn, or soy, gluten, added salt or sugars, added food colorings, by-products, or chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, or Ethoxiquin as these are poisons.

External Protection from Fleas

The first tool of defense is the flea comb. A flea comb along with a cup of warm soapy water goes a long way in winning the war. Most pets love this time (it is a big relief to be free of fleas!) and it lets you know at stage you are at in the battle. Just remember that for every adult flea you drown you are preventing generations of future parasites in your home.

Repelling? Beware!

There are many topical products out on the market. Many of them contain chemicals and pesticides, which we do not recommend. Many a family pet has had difficulty with the toxic nature of these products which can compromise their immune systems.

Green Cottage Pets, only provides products that are for the safe elimination of fleas, safe for your pets, safe for your family, safe for you and for the environment.

  • We research each product before recommending it for use with your pet. We stay within the products that use botanical to repel or products that will dehydrate the fleas throughout the different stages of their life.
  • We insist that everyone be label readers so here are some things to look for!

Sprays and Oils

  • Neem– used for centuries by man and animal is environmentally friendly, gentle, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and has wound healing properties. Scientific studies have found Neem to be unpalatable to biting insects. Regular use helps to soothe, and reduce risk of infections,itching and dermatitis caused by insect bites.
  • Pennyroyal, Oil of Pine, Fresh Extract of Wormwood, Rue, Cedarwood Oil, Extract of Black Walnut Leaves, Eucalyptus, Aloe Vera Extract, Chamomile Extract, Jojoba Oil, Rose Geranium Oil, (see special info about cat products below) are more of the wonderful, repelling and healing botanical you want to see as well on product labels.
  • Fleas, in all stages of their lives, are vulnerable to dehydration.You want to look for products that contain ingredients such as diatomaceous earth, baking soda, borax, corn starch which kills the fleas by dehydrating them which is non-toxic to pets, humans and the environment.

Important to Know

Cat formulas should not contain Pennyroyal and Eucalyptus as they cat be toxic to cats. Look for such ingredients as peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil, clove oil, thyme oil.

Pet Health

Kidney Issues

Common Kidney Issues

  • Deterioration of kidneys is a common problem of old age for both dogs and cats.
  • It is the second leading cause of death in cats (after feline leukemia and not counting accidents).
  • Anything in the food or in the environment which is not usable by the body must be eliminated. This is the function of the kidneys. It is important to choose healthy foods, from the very beginning, that are free from food preservatives, coloring agents, and the like.
  • Skin irritations and eruptions often precede eventual kidney failure in old age.
  • This process is accelerated if the skin discharge is repeatedly suppressed with corticosteroids. If you find your pet caught in a cycle of constant skin issues and treatments it is time to take another look at their food and environment.

Lets take a moment to say here, if you have ever wanted to share with others why you buy healthy food for your pets, or have been asked why you buy healthy foods for your pets, this is why!

Tom chooses only those foods which have proven themselves to be top quality, wholesome foods, free of fillers, wastes, by-products, chemical preservatives and other body-taxing ingredient.

Once a kidney issue appears, the strategy is to avoid further deterioration, if possible, and to assist the function of what is left. Working with a veterinarian aware of your pet’s chronic condition to attain the clinical examinations and therapy is an important step.

The main dietary goal is to reduce the load of metabolic wastes on the kidneys; this waste results from excess protein, phosphorus and sodium. Since most of the waste results from protein, you must feed a minimal level of protein of maximally usable quality.

In addition to a diet of high quality ingredient there are also recommended daily nutritional supplements and herb supplements that are successful at helping support and or strengthens the various systems in our pets bodies. We carry a wonderful line of herbs called Azmira.

Azmira was founded in 1982 by natural pet pioneer Lisa S. Newman (Doctor of Naturopathy with a PhD. in Nutrition), and provides various formulas for specific challenges with kidneys, allergies and more. Sound interesting? Next time you are in ask for more information.

Dogs Pet Health

My Puppy is a Chewing Machine!

By Tony Wolfe/Tail Waggin’ Dog Training


chewing dogPuppies may be just as much work as human babies – maybe more so because puppies can’t wear diapers and they have very sharp teeth!! It’s definitely true that, similar to infants and toddlers, puppies explore their world by putting things in their mouths. In addition,puppies are teething until they’re about 6 months old, which usually creates some discomfort. Chewing not only facilitates teething, but also makes sore gums feel better. Although it’s perfectly normal for a puppy to chew on furniture, shoes, shrubbery and such, these behaviors can be a problem for you. A puppy won’t magically outgrow these behaviors as he matures. Instead, you must shape your puppy’s behaviors and teach him which ones are acceptable and which aren’t.It’s virtually inevitable that your puppy will, at some point, chew up something you value. This is part of raising a puppy! You can, however, prevent most problems by taking the following precautions:

  •  Minimize chewing problems by puppy proofing your house. Put the trash out of reach, inside a cabinet or outside on a porch, or buy containers with locking lids. Don’t leave socks, shoes, eyeglasses, papers, or TV remotes lying around within your puppies reach.
  • If, and only if, you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn’t, interrupt the behavior with redirection, then offer him an
    acceptable chew toy instead and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.
  • Make unacceptable chew items unpleasant to your puppy. Furniture and other items can be coated with “Bitter Apple” to make them unappealing.
  • Don’t give your puppy objects to play with such as old socks, old shoes, or old children’s toys that closely resemble items that are
    off-limits. Puppies can’t tell the difference.
  • Closely supervise your puppy. Don’t give him the chance to go off by himself and get into trouble. Use baby gates and close doors.
  • When you must be gone from the house, confine your puppy to a small, safe area such as a crate.
  • Make sure your puppy is getting adequate physical activity.Take your puppy for walks and/or play a game of fetch with him as often as possible.
  • Give your puppy plenty of “people time”. He can only learn the rules of your house when he’s with you.

Encouraging Acceptable Behavior

  • Provide your puppy with lots of appropriate toys: Any Kong products, Buster Cubes, Cuz Balls, are just some examples. Let your dog know when he/she is chewing on an appropriate toy.
  • Rotate your puppy’s toys. Puppies are often more interested in unfamiliar or novel objects. Put out four or five toys for a few days, then pick those up somewhere they won’t be able to get to them and put four or five new ones out.
  • Experiment with different kinds of toys. When you introduce a new toy to your puppy, watch him to make sure he won’t tear it up and ingest the pieces.
  • Consider the various types of toys that can be stuffed with food. Putting tidbits of food inside toys focuses your puppy’s chewing activities on those toys instead of unacceptable objects.

What Not to Do

Never discipline or punish your puppy after the fact. If you discover a chewed item even minutes after he’s chewed it, you’re to late to administer a correction. Animals associate punishment with what they are doing at the time that they are being punished. A puppy can’t reason that, “I tore up those shoes an hour ago and that’s why I’m being scolded now.” Some people believe this is what a puppy is thinking because he runs and hides or because he “looks guilty.” “Guilty looks” are canine submissive postures that dogs show when they’re threatened. When you’re angry and upset, the puppy feels threatened by your tone of voice, body postures and/or facial expressions, so he may hide or show submissive postures. Punishment after-the-fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but could provoke other undesirable behaviors, as well.

Tony is a frequent speaker at our Saturday Meet and Greets here at Green Cottage Pets.

He genuinely cares about dogs and their owners and we thank him for sharing his knowledge with all of us.

Reach Tony at

Dogs Training

Introducing Your Dog to a Resident Cat

By Tony Wolfe/Tail Waggin’ Dog Training

It is important to have realistic expectations when introducing a new pet to a resident pet. Cats are very territorial and need to be introduced to another animal very slowly in order to get them used to each other. Slow introductions help prevent fearful and aggressive problems from developing.

What will need to happen:


Confine your cat to one medium-sized room with his litter box, food, water and a bed. Feed your dog and cat on each side of the door to this room. This will help them to associate something enjoyable (eating!) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that they are too upset by each other’s presence to eat. Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can eat calmly, directly on either side of the door. Next, use two doorstops to prop open the door just enough to allow the animals to see each other, and repeat the whole process.

Swap Scents

Rub a towel on one animal and put it underneath the food dish of the other animal. You should do this with each animal in the house. This is important so that they have a chance to become accustomed to each other’s scent.

Switch Living Areas

Once your cat is using his litter box and eating regularly while confined, let him have free time in the house while confining your dog (supervised) to the new cat’s room. This switch provides another way for the animals to experience each other’s scents without a face-to-face meeting.

Controlled Meetings

First, put your dog on-leash. Using treats, have him either sit or lie down and stay. Have another family member offer your cat some special pieces of food or catnip. At first, the cat and the dog should be on opposite sides of the room. Lots of short visits are better than a few long visits. Don’t drag out the visit so long that the dog becomes uncontrollable. Repeat this step several times until both the cat and dog are tolerating each other’s presence without fear, aggression or other undesirable behavior. Let Your Cat Go Next, allow your cat to explore your dog at her own pace, with your dog still on-leash and in a “down-stay.” Meanwhile, keep giving your dog lots of treats and praise for his calm behavior. If your dog gets up from his “stay” position, he should be repositioned with a treat lure, and praised and rewarded for obeying the “stay” command. If your cat runs away or becomes aggressive, you’re progressing too fast. Go back to the previous introduction steps.

Positive Reinforcement

Although your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with your cat is unacceptable behavior, he must also be taught how to behave appropriately, and be rewarded for doing so, such as sitting, coming when called, or lying down in return for a treat. If your dog is always punished when your cat is around, and never has “good things” happen in the cat’s presence, he may redirect aggression toward your cat.

Directly Supervise All Interactions Between Your Dog And Cat

You may want to keep your dog on-leash and with you whenever your cat is free in the house during the introduction process. Be sure that your cat has an escape route and a place to hide. Keep your dog and cat separated when you are not home until you’re certain your cat will be safe.

Tony is a frequent speaker at our Saturday Meet and Greets here at Green Cottage Pets.

He genuinely cares about pets and their owners and we thank him for sharing his knowledge with all of us.

Reach Tony at

Dogs Training