Greater Birmingham Humane Society

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The following pet care and behavior articles are designed with the hope that they will answer some of your fundamental questions:

  • Children and Dogs - Living with a pet can be beneficial to children. Pets can enhance a child's self-esteem, teach them responsibility and help them to learn empathy. However, children and dogs are not always going to automatically start off with a wonderful relationship. Parents must be willing to teach the dog and the child acceptable limits of behavior in order to make their interactions pleasant and safe.
  • Crate Training - Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules. A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he'll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.
  • Declawing - To a cat, scratching is a natural behavior. Most cat owners declaw their cats to prevent them from scratching furniture or to eliminate the possibility of being scratched when they are trying to cuddle with their favorite feline. But what pet owners don't often realize is that the decision to declaw their cat should not be taken lightly.
  • Destructive Chewing - Exploring the world with their mouths is normal behavior for dogs. Chewing can, however, be directed onto appropriate items so your dog isn't destroying items you value. Until he's learned what he can and can't chew, it's your responsibility to manage the situation as much as possible, so he doesn't have the opportunity to chew on unacceptable objects.
  • Do's and Don'ts of Pet Loss - Grieving the Loss of a Pet - Those of us who support grievers of animals do so in various professional and personal roles: grief counselors, support group facilitators, animal communicators, veterinarians and their staff, animal shelter staff, friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances. These specific roles often dictate the intensity, frequency and boundaries of the form of our grief support, and the relevance of the suggestions listed in this article.
  • Grieving the Loss of a Pet - Grief following the death of a pet or after giving away an animal is normal. Don’t be embarrassed or think your feelings are unimportant. Read this article to learn how to work through your emotions and how to provide support to loved ones grieving the loss of a pet.
  • House Training - Housetraining your new dog requires time, vigilance, patience, and commitment. Following the procedures outlined in this article, you can minimize house soiling incidents, but virtually every dog or puppy will have an accident in the house. Expect this. The more consistent you are in following the basic housetraining procedures, the faster your new dog, young or old, will learn acceptable behavior.
  • Inside or Out? - Some dog owners believe that dogs, especially large ones, should be "outdoor only" pets. However, dogs are pack animals and benefit greatly from routine social interactions. Dogs of all sizes are happier, healthier, and safer when they can be indoors with their people the majority of the time. Learn how you can work with your dog such that it is a content member of the household.
  • Preparing Your Pet for Baby's Arrival - Helping your pet adjust to the arrival of a new baby is much like preparing a young child for the same event. Handling your pet’s curiosity, anxiety and increased insistence for attention may seem like an overwhelming task, in addition to preparing yourself and your household for the baby’s arrival. You can, however, help your pet adjust to the big changes ahead with minimal time and effort by making gradual adjustments to your lifestyle before the baby arrives.
  • Spay and Neuter Resources - The Greater Birmingham Humane Society encourages all pet owners to have their pet spayed or neutered. Altering or “fixing” pets is the only proven method to ending the senseless euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets in our community. Here you can learn about the low-cost options available to Alabama residents.
  • Heartworms and Your Pet - Did you know that in 2005 the average vet clinic in north-central Alabama reported 6 to 25 cases of heartworm disease in dogs? In south Alabama, more than 50 per clinic were reported for the same time span. Heartworm disease is potentially fatal and should be a very real concern for Alabama pet owners. Learn more about the disease and take action to protect your pets!

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The Greater Birmingham Humane Society's mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals and people through education, advocacy, and services.