Resources For Pet Parents

Being a pet parent is a big responsibility and a lifelong commitment. Your pets bring you joy, love, companionship and fun, and as a pet parent you want to provide the best care for them. But as pet parents ourselves, we understand that sometimes issues arise that cause concern or that make even the most patient parent feel frustrated.

We've gathered some resources to help you understand and work with your pet to overcome some common challenges. Let us know if you have issues not covered here and we will help find solutions for you.

Litter Box Training, House Training and Inappropriate Elimination

Choosing, Introducing and Training Pets

Understanding Common Behaviors

Feline and Canine Play

Cat Aggression and Fear Behaviors

Dog Aggression, Fear and Other Behaviors

Feline Destructive Scratching and Declawing

Regarding Declawing: Because the procedure is so traumatic to the animal (it is not just the claws that are removed; their "fingers" are amputated in order to remove the claws), many veterinarians have stopped offering declawing procedures, and we don't recommend declawing unless absolutely necessary for the health of a cat. However, we know that destructive scratching is definitely unpleasant for pet owners, so we've done some research (and some work with our own feline friends at home) and found that often all it takes is regular nail trimming and some well-placed scratching posts to keep a cat from being a destructive scratcher. Below are links to our favorite tips.

If you have been considering declawing and after trying these tips and working on claw clipping you wish to have your cat declawed, we'd recommend calling private practice veterinarians in the area and seeing if you can talk to the vets about the particular methods they choose to use for the procedure and what kind of complications and outcomes they tend to have with their patients. Maybe they can even give you some references from previous clients.

Canine Destructive Chewing and Digging

Other Topics of Interest to Pet Parents

Special thanks to the Humane Society of the United States' Pets for Life program for providing these tip sheets.