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7 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for the End of Working from Home

In Part 1 of this series, we shared practical tips for teaching your cat or dog appropriate “office behavior” when you’re working from home.

What happens when you return to a job that’s outside your home?7 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for the End of Working from Home | atlanticvetseattle.comWhen you’re not around full-time, your pet won’t receive as much playtime, exercise, and the on-demand snuggles to which she has become accustomed.

  • Will your pet panic?
  • Will both of you experience separation anxiety?
  • How will you adjust to being apart all day?

When you are at home during your off-hours, will your pet cling to you 24/7, whining and scratching at the door while you’re taking a shower?

How can you gradually ease your pet into a routine that includes being left alone for much of the day?

Preparing your pet for the transition

Training your pet to be emotionally independent is similar to teaching her appropriate home-office behavior.

In our article on home-office training, we suggested that you not “reward” attention-seeking behavior (such as incessant vocalizing or plopping atop your keyboard) by petting or scolding your pet. Instead, provide her with activities that will keep her occupied and content.

In the same manner, you don’t want to unintentionally “reward” your pet for behaviors that may occur when you’re away from home, such as:

  • pawing at windows and doors when you leave
  • howling and whining
  • chewing or destroying your personal possessions while you’re away
  • soiling in the house

These behaviors are distress signals that your pet is feeling anxious or bored, and needs help learning to self-soothe.

If you know that you’ll soon be working outside the home, begin weaning your pet away from you now, and establish routines of what life will be like when you’re away.

Your pet needs practice regulating their emotions when they’re not by your side (or on your lap).

7 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for the End of Working from Home | atlanticvetseattle.com

Step 1:

Start by restricting your pet’s access to you. Crate train your pet or set up a pet gate in an area where they can see you, but not be in physical contact with you.

Step 2:

After they’ve become comfortable with being physically apart but still having visual contact, train them to be alone. Have an active play session with your pet or take them for a long walk. After they’ve had a chance to release pent-up energy, put them in another room with a food puzzle or a favorite toy to keep them entertained. Close the door. Check on your pet regularly at first, gradually increasing the intervals of their time alone.

Step 3:

Help your pet get used to the idea of you being away by leaving home more frequently. Give them a chew toy or food puzzle to work on while you’re gone. Gradually increase the duration of your time away.

Whether you stay away from home for a few minutes or a few hours, focus on making every “goodbye” and “hello” consistently calm, casual, and positive. This will help your pet understand that your comings and goings are normal.

Step 4:

Gradually ease your pet out of your work-from-home routines. Pets are very routine oriented can be demanding if you abruptly change their regular schedule. To help them acclimate to a new schedule, try this: If you feed your pet every morning at 8 a.m., change that up by feeding them at 7 or 9 a.m. This will help them learn to cope with random deviations in their schedule or move to a new schedule altogether.

Step 5:

Don’t take your pet outside to play or on a walk during hours you will normally be at work. Your goal here is to help your pet get used to new routines.

Step 6:

If you have nearby neighbors, let them know that you’re returning to work. Ask your neighbors to listen for signs of distress, such as incessant barking, and to let you know what they observe so you can adjust accordingly. Or consider some of the new pet-cams so you can keep an eye on how your pet is adjusting to your new schedule.

Step 7:

Engage the services of a neighbor, friend, or professional to pop in a couple of times throughout the workday to walk your pet or to take your pet on a playdate.

If your pet has trouble adjusting

Getting started now will help make your pet’s adjustment to your new routine go more smoothly. A gradual transition to more independence, instead of an abrupt change, will help keep your relationship with your pet healthy and her quality of life in a positive realm.

If the transition back to working away from home does not go well, here are six suggestions to consider:

7 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for the End of Working from Home | atlanticvetseattle.com

1. Doggie daycare

This alternative can help energetic dogs who enjoy the companionship of other dogs. Look for a facility that provides space to run and play and includes a variety of activities to physically and mentally stimulate your dog.

2. In-home dog sharing

Some dogs don’t thrive in doggie daycare and crave more human one-on-one interaction. Consider teaming up with another pet owner who works a different schedule and take turns “co-parenting” each other’s dogs.

3. Come home for lunch

If your workplace is close to your home, take your lunch break at home and spend quality time with your pet.

4. Add another pet

Much like adding a second (or third) child to a family, adding another pet can enrich everyone’s lives. It also means adding responsibilities, training, and an adjustment period. Here’s a helpful article from the American Kennel Club on the pros and cons of getting a second dog.

5. Provide toys and treats designed to stimulate interest and enjoyment

Dogs, in particular, love to chew, but when they’re distressed or agitated, they tend to chew the wrong things. We recommend chew toys and treats from KONG and West Paw. These companies make a wide variety of chew toys, including toys packed with a few treats and a little peanut butter for dogs, or a timed feeder for cats.

For more ideas, see our article: Why Dogs Chew Stuff, and How to Encourage Appropriate Chewing.

6. Work with a veterinary behaviorist

For cases of moderate-to-severe separation anxiety, you may want to consult with a behaviorist or ask about prescription anti-anxiety medication. To be most effective and to avoid pets doing harm to themselves and their home, these measures need to be implemented at the earliest sign of separation anxiety.

If you think you and your pet need this level of assistance, please submit an appointment request or call 206.323.4433 to make an appointment or so we can discuss medications and possibly, a referral.

Tips for Working from Home with Your Cat or Dog

Many work-from-home pet parents tell us they’re happier, less stressed, and are getting more exercise because of the constant company of their pet.

An added benefit of being around our pets all day is that we’re noticing potential symptoms of illness or injury at earlier stages and are scheduling important veterinary care on a regular basis.

On the other hand, pets who incessantly beg for our attention can distract us from our work. Like this:

Cats on the Keyboard

You’ve probably been on a Zoom call where someone’s cat (perhaps your cat) stuck its nose into the camera, meandered across the keyboard, jostled the device, or disconnected the call.

Cats love the warmth of a computer and they can’t resist the enticing movement they see on the screen. Plus, they like being the center of attention. When they sprawl across your keyboard and you “reward” them by petting them or talking to them, they think, “This is a great place to be. I’ll just stay here!”

Tips for Working from Home with Your Cat or Dog | atlanticvetseattle.com

This attention-seeking behavior is not conducive to meeting work deadlines. Instead of reinforcing the behavior, train your cat to break the habit by setting up a comfortable, warm deskside bed or by placing a cat blanket on a cleared-off shelf or windowsill. Reward your cat with attention and praise when it settles there.

Purposeful Playtime for Cats

Make sure you give your kitty plenty of love and attention when you’re away from the keyboard. Cats need mental challenges and purposeful playtime.

Schedule two or three 10-minute play sessions each day. The first one should take place before you start work.

This will tire kitty out a bit and will prepare them for naptime in their deskside bed. During each playtime, actively engage with your cat, rotating toys every few minutes.

Destructive Dogs

Dogs aren’t as keen on keyboards as cats are, but when they get stir-crazy, dogs can bark incessantly, chew things you don’t want them to touch, and generally destroy things.

They, too, need lots of mental and physical exercise. Try these 6 brain games to keep your dog’s mind healthy.

Pre-Workday Quality Time

Before you begin your workday (and again, later in the day), take your dog for a walk. Walks help keep their muscles strong, their joints limber, and their brains sharp. They’re good for you, too!

Prior to starting work, take 20 minutes to play scent games, puzzle games, hide-and-seek, and other interactive games.

Time spent together will deepen your bond and will tire your pup out, which helps deter negative attention-seeking behaviors such as whining and barking.

Tips for Working from Home with Your Cat or Dog | atlanticvetseattle.com

When you’re on a video or phone call, keep your dog busy and distracted by giving them their favorite toy or a frozen treat.

Create a consistent routine by setting up a space for your dog that’s independent of your workspace. It might be a crate or a gated area in your home. It should be comfortable and your dog should feel safe and relaxed there. Give your dog toys and treat puzzles to keep them engaged on their own.

Reward Appropriate “Office” Behavior

The most important thing to remember when working at home with pets is not to reward attention-seeking behavior. When they commandeer the keyboard or whine, paw, or nudge you, don’t talk to them or pet them. When you respond to these behaviors, it signals your pet that they will always get your attention by doing these things.

Don’t punish or scold your pet for these behaviors, either. Instead, thoughtfully provide your furry friend with activities that will keep them occupied and content. Reward them with a treat when they exhibit appropriate office behavior.

Read Part 2 in This Series

7 Steps to Prepare Your Pet for the End of Working from Home

Why Your Dog is the Perfect Workout Buddy

Why Your Dog is the Perfect Workout Buddy | atlanticvetseattle.comMany of us now work from home – perhaps permanently. One of the drawbacks of working from home is the allure of the cushy couch or recliner.

The “power nap” that becomes a full-blown two-hour sleepfest.

The ever-present tempting snacks.

These work-from-home “benefits” add up to a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to related health problems.

Humans benefit from regular movement, and so do our furry friends. You and your pet can mutually improve your health by developing an exercise routine you can do together.

Whether you’re looking to make a lifestyle change or need an activity you can do with your pet during lunch breaks, include your pet in the fun!

Why Your Dog is the Perfect Workout Buddy | atlanticvetseattle.com

The benefits of daily walks

People and dogs burn energy at close to the same rate when walking. This energy (calorie) burn will help you and your pet maintain healthy weight. Your dog will enjoy joining you as a companion for a walk or run in the fresh air.

A daily walk with your pet will help you both develop overall fitness, which reduces the risk of diseases that affect quality of life.

Exercise and fresh air also improve quality of sleep—for both of you.

Dogs and people have similar walking speeds when focused.

Keeping up with your dog’s steady, undistracted, walking pace will provide both of you with an adequate aerobic workout.

Pay attention to your pet’s tolerance of exercise, and consult your veterinarian if you have questions.

Our pets are our companions, but we (and they) still need a change of scenery. It’s good to go outdoors and experience the neighborhood. This environmental stimulation is healthy for both of you, and may improve your pet’s behavior once you return home. In addition, you and your pet may meet and interact with others on your walk.

Why Your Dog is the Perfect Workout Buddy | atlanticvetseattle.com

You and your pet can motivate each other to exercise.

People and dogs are creatures of habit, and you’ll both find satisfaction in the routine. Your pet’s enjoyment of the exercise will help you enjoy it more, and vice versa.

A walk and/or outdoor playtime provides the perfect opportunity for quality interaction with your pet—which is what you both need. These experiences result in more than physical health; they contribute to overall well-being.

Why Your Dog is the Perfect Workout Buddy | atlanticvetseattle.com

Preparing to exercise with your pet

Consider your pet’s abilities and temperament when deciding how to exercise. Some pets love to run. Others will do better with a steady walking pace. Intervals of walking and jogging might provide extra intensity for you and beneficial “rest breaks” for your pet.

Keep your pet in mind when choosing a walking/running route. With the same route every day, you will know what to expect and become familiar with turns and surface nuances.

Varying the route, however, provides new sensory experiences for you and your pet. This might be more important in a neighborhood than in a natural setting. Each day the same path in nature can still provide new delights.

Spring and early summer is a great time to begin a new exercise routine with your favorite pet. Enjoy the sunshine together—along with many other benefits!

Related articles:

Pet Health Insurance: Pros and Cons

Pet Health Insurance: Pros and Cons | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

I have a confession to make: I’ve changed my mind about pet insurance, or at least most pet insurance.

I used to be dead set against it, thinking it would affect veterinary medicine the way it has affected human medicine.

  • I feared a situation where an insurance company would rule how veterinarians treat their patients.
  • I feared that the cost of care would increase astronomically.
  • I feared that, along with increased costs, there’d be a corresponding increase in  mind-numbing paperwork and inefficiency.

I might be wrong.

I’ve witnessed how pet insurance from a reputable company can help save pets’ lives. In an emergency or critical medical situation, pets with insurance are much more likely to receive the care they need because their owners are financially prepared for it (instead of the pet being euthanized because their owners can’t afford critical care).

For now, pet insurance companies are not stipulating how veterinarians treat their patients, and the time required to complete the paperwork to assist a pet owner submitting a claim has been streamlined.

The relationship remains between the pet owner and the insurance company. Veterinarians receive no financial incentives from pet insurance companies whatsoever, but we do get the satisfaction of sending home a mended patient and a relieved pet owner.

Pet Health Insurance: Pros and Cons | atlanticvetseattle.com

Types of Pet Insurance Plans

Types of pet insurance plans range from “Cadillac plans” that cover even routine care, to less expensive options that only cover catastrophic events, such as serious injury or illness.

Another option some families choose is to create a pet savings account for emergencies or to designate a credit card for pet emergency care only. The most important thing is to prepare for pet emergencies and unexpected medical needs before they arise.

Pet insurance companies routinely request copies of a pet’s health record, so the best time to apply for pet insurance is when a pet is young, hopefully before any pre-existing conditions exist that might result in exclusions.

There are a number of pet insurance companies to choose from, and it pays to read the fine print very carefully. To learn more about the variety of pet insurance carriers, read reviews at petinsurancereview.com.

Licensed Veterinary Nursing: A Recession-Proof Career that Combines a Love of Animals and People

Licensed Veterinary Nursing: A Recession-Proof Career that Combines a Love of Animals and People

Whether you’re planning a first career or seeking a career change, veterinary nursing may be a wonderful choice if you love animals and people.

Licensed veterinary nurses are in high demand, with the number of openings nationally predicted to swell 16 percent by 2029 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What is a Veterinary Nurse?

Similar to nurses for human patients, veterinary nurses (formerly called veterinary technicians) are integral members of the veterinary health care team. Educated in the latest medical advances, they are skilled at working alongside veterinarians to diagnose, treat, and care for animals.

Responsibilities of a veterinary nurse are diverse, and may include:

  • Client education
  • Assist in surgery (monitor vital signs or “glove-in” as needed)
  • Administer anesthesia
  • Take patient histories
  • Evaluate and clean teeth (dental prophylaxis)
  • Collect samples
  • Analyze laboratory specimens
  • Wound care and bandaging
  • X-ray imaging
  • Physical therapy
  • Animal nursing care
  • Emergency first aid
  • Preparation and administering of medications and vaccines

Empathetic, compassionate, and hard-working, veterinary nurses enable veterinary hospitals to offer a variety of services.

Licensed Veterinary Nursing: A Recession-Proof Career that Combines a Love of Animals and People

How to Prepare for a Career in Veterinary Nursing

A licensed veterinary nurse is sometimes referred to as a veterinary technician or technologist, depending on the degree.

There are a variety of two-year, three-year, and four-year veterinary nursing degree programs. Upon completion, the student earns an Associate of Applied Science degree (2 or 3-year program) or Bachelor of Science degree (4-year program). Students attending in-person programs can usually work part-time while attending college.

Accredited In-Person Programs in Washington

  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom
  • Pima Medical Institute in Renton (and Seattle)
  • Yakima Valley College

Online Programs

In addition to in-person programs, one might consider one of several online veterinary nursing education programs instead. The online programs provide more schedule flexibility and allow students to complete the program at their own pace. Online programs are not for all personal learning styles, but cost approximately half the cost of an in-person program and allow for part-time or full-time employment while attending school.

Accredited Online Programs

Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for a state-by-state list of accredited online programs.

Obtaining an Entry-Level Position as a Licensed Veterinary Nurse

To obtain an entry-level position as a licensed veterinary nurse in Washington State, candidates need to:

For specific Washington certification and licensing requirements, visit the Washington State Veterinary Board of Governors.

Our Hospital Hours Are Changing: How & Why

We’ve listened to your feedback, and we’re excited to announce we’ve expanded both our weekday appointment availability and times, including adding evening hours.

Beginning in September 2021, our new weekday hours will be:

  • Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 7:30am to 7:00pm
  • Wednesdays & Fridays remain 7:30am to 5:30pm

New Saturday hours

Providing your pet with the best possible medical care requires a healthy, well-rested team. Thus, we have made the difficult decision to limit our Saturday hours to one Saturday per month (the clinic will be closed on other Saturdays).

During August, we’re winding down the Saturdays we are open, based on previously scheduled appointments.

We will be closed Saturdays, August 14 and 28.

Beginning in September, we will limit our Saturday hours to the second Saturday of the month from 8am-2pm.

Please plan ahead for your pets’ prescriptions and dietary needs.

These schedule changes have been very carefully and thoughtfully made with our staff sustainability in mind. Several factors during the pandemic have significantly affected veterinary clinics nationwide.

Beginning in May 2020, the demand for veterinary services jumped 50 percent.

Ramping up for this very rapid increase, while trying to keep our clients and staff healthy and happy, has been a tremendous challenge.

  • Firstly, families purchased or adopted an unprecedented number of new pets. We’re grateful for this, because it means shelters were empty for the first time ever.
  • Additionally, many folks have been home full-time with their furry family members and paid close attention to their pets’ healthcare needs. We’re thrilled pet parents are spotting potentially dangerous symptoms early on, but this has also contributed to the rapid increase in demand for veterinary medical care.
  • At the same time, to keep everyone healthy, vet clinics implemented COVID curbside service, requiring additional time for each appointment, as well as additional staff.
  • Finally, veterinary medicine as a whole has been experiencing a nationwide shortage of qualified veterinary staff.

Add all these factors have resulted in veterinary clinics and emergency hospitals nationwide being stretched to the limit, and many are turning patients away.

We’re working very, very hard to be there for you and your pet.

Urgent Care Appointments

We have increased our weekday appointment availability and will continue to hold Urgent Care appointments open every day to try to accommodate your pets’ acute care needs.

Emergency Appointments

Additionally, we work in Emergency appointments, over and above our fully-booked regular schedule, to try to prevent referring pets to an emergency clinic for non-life-threatening conditions.

Day Admission Appointments

We also offer day admission appointments (aka,  drop-off) for people who can’t attend their pet’s appointment due to other personal and professional responsibilities.

Day Telemedicine Appointments

Additionally, we offer day telemedicine appointments for selected medical conditions. If a telemedicine appointment is requested during our business hours, they can be scheduled with your pet’s regular doctor(s).

After-Hours Telemedicine Consultations

After-hours telemedicine consultations are also available 24/7.

How to Access Your Pet’s Medical Records Online

If your pet ever needs after-hours emergency medical for a serious or life-threatening condition that can’t wait until we’re open, it’s important to share your pet’s medical records with the ER doctor so they are familiar with your pet’s medical history.

Your pet’s medical records are readily available 24/7 from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone through our complimentary Petly Pet Portal.

To access your pet portal, use your email as your login and create a password – that’s all it takes! Each of your pets has their own page, tabbed down the side of the Home page.

We so much appreciate your patience as we continue to work hard to adjust to the “new normal.”

What hasn’t changed is our commitment to serve you and your pets with compassionate service, excellent medical care, and kindness.

Why We Offer Same-Day Urgent Care and Emergency Appointments

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably experienced a few unexpected trips to an urgent care clinic to have your child’s aching ear or pink eye or sprained wrist treated. You may have even gone to the ER for more serious medical matters.

Pets sometimes need urgent or emergency care too. However, because the demand for veterinary services has increased 50 percent during the last two years, combined with the severe shortage of qualified veterinary staff, many veterinary clinics and emergency hospitals are turning away pet patients because they are at capacity.

We try very hard to be there when you need us, but it requires creative scheduling, a willing staff, and a lot of hustle and hard work. By allowing room in our daily schedule for urgent and emergency care – with a slight fee increase – we help your pet get the immediate relief it needs and help you avoid a more costly visit and long waits at a veterinary emergency hospital.

Urgent Care Appointments

In addition to our regular pre-scheduled wellness and illness appointments, we reserve same-day Urgent Care appointments in our schedule every day.

There is a potential these blocked-out appointments will not be filled, yet our staff needs to be on hand and prepared regardless.

Urgent medical conditions are uncomfortable, but not life threatening, such as:

  • Eyes – swelling, discharge, redness
  • Ears – discharge, pain, odor, scratching, or shaking
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Vomiting (minor or occasional)
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild constipation
  • Change in urine color, frequency, or amount
  • Straining to urinate, dribbling urine
  • Change in amount of food or water intake
  • Change in behavior (mild depression, anxiety, excessive sleepiness)
  • Evidence of worms or fleas
  • Minor wounds
  • Lumps
  • Facial swelling, licking, or scratching

Medical Emergencies

We also accept Emergencies to the best of our ability. Pets with life-threatening emergency conditions take precedence over all scheduled appointments.

The additional emergency fee helps cover our costs for working through breaks, lunches, calling in additional staff, and overtime costs. When we take in emergencies during the day, our staff members often must stay after hours to finish medical notes and return phone calls after hours.

Emergency medical conditions can include, but are not limited to, conditions such as:

  • Difficulty or irregular breathing
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Broken bones
  • Severe trauma (hit by care, fall, gunshot wound, burns)
  • Prolonged or multiple seizure
  • Poison exposure
  • Eating a foreign object
  • Significant bleeding
  • Paralysis
  • High fever
  • Significant wounds
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Inability to urinate or defecate

We Try Hard NOT to say “No”

Please know that if we to say “No” to an established client requesting an Urgent or Emergency appointment, we have carefully considered our current patient load, tried to make it work, but have determined it would dangerously overwhelm the care of the patients we already have in the hospital with the staff we have available at that time.

We try very hard not to say “No.” Please do your part by communicating with us early if you think your pet is developing a medical condition that will require care.

6 Brain Games to Keep Your Dog’s Mind Healthy

Proper exercise for dogs is important to their overall physical and mental well-being. But often, mental exercise is given short shrift when looking at fulfilling a dog’s needs.

4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog's Mind as Healthy As Her Body | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dogs that are bored or anxious can develop mild-to-severe behavioral problems. Providing your dog with brain exercise is easy to do.

Here are six ideas to try:

1. Train your dog to learn a new behavior

This video demonstrates how to work simultaneously on the “down-stay” exercise for your dog while getting your own workout.

You’ll need treats for your dog — consider using your dog’s daily allotment of kibble as rewards to help with weight control.

Here are 52 tricks you can teach your dog.

2. Enroll your dog in a continuing education class

People can take continuing education classes… why not dogs? After your dog “graduates” from obedience training, consider enrolling her in a “dog sports” course, such as agility training or scent work.

Or try a “brain games” class, where your dog can learn to ride a skateboard, discriminate colors, and more.

To find out what classes are available in your area, visit the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

3. Play nose work games

A dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times stronger than a human’s. Allowing her to “see” the world through olfactory senses stretches her mind and keeps her entertained.

You can teach your dog the “find it” or “seek” command with a nose work or scent game. As an enticement, select some smelly treats to have your dog find. The treat might be as simple as her regular kibble. Or it might be her favorite toy, or a favorite treat she doesn’t get very often.

Have your dog sit in the “stay” position and place a treat slightly out of her line of sight. Then tell her to “find it.”

Encourage her as she’s searching for the treat and praise her when she’s getting close and when she finds it. If she’s having trouble finding the treat, give her clues by making a scent trail for her to follow (or point out the treat to her).

As your dog masters the basics, you can up the game by placing treats or toys a little farther away, or in places where she won’t see them right away, such as on a windowsill or a chair.

4. Go on sensory walks

Similar to nose work games, sensory walks stimulate your dog’s olfactory senses while providing physical exercise. If you normally walk a straight line with your leashed dog next to you, consider designating certain times or areas during your walk for free sniffing. This video demonstrates how to teach our dog the “go sniff” cue.

Vary your walks, and search out places that have an abundance of new smells.

5. Arrange a dog-human “date”

Bring your dog with you on outings. Riding in the car and seeing new faces and places can be mentally stimulating for her and helps reinforce socialization.

Before setting out on your “date,” research dog-friendly places (such as coffee shops, restaurants, home improvement stores, garden/nursery stores). Check with the store manager first, and make sure your dog is on her best behavior during your date.

6. Give your dog an interactive puzzle toy

Dogs are natural problem solvers. Puzzle toys keep her focused on a task and boost her confidence.

You may need to experiment with several different types of puzzles until you find one that keeps her busy and engaged.

Your Pet Shouldn’t Have to Wait to Feel Better! Consider Urgent Care

Why pay for an emergency room visit if it isn’t necessary?

We can provide comfort and relief for conditions that aren’t serious enough for an emergency hospital, but are too pressing to wait.

Your Pet Shouldn't Have to Wait to Feel Better! Consider Urgent Care | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

We save a number of same-day Urgent Care spots in our appointment schedule every day.

If your pet is experiencing an urgent situation, please call us at 206.323.4433, and we’ll do our best to fit you into our schedule on the same day.

Urgent Care Conditions

Urgent, non-life-threatening conditions include:

  • ear infections
  • acute vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • skin conditions
  • eye problems
  • minor wounds

Learn more about our Urgent Care services.

Should I Adopt a Puppy or an Adult Dog?

family hugging dog

Bringing a furry friend into your family is a fun and challenging adventure.

No matter what their age when you adopt them, all dogs require lots of care and attention. Particularly if you’re a first-time dog parent, it’s important to know what’s realistic, in terms of the time you must devote to training, socializing, and exercising your dog.

Puppies require round-the-clock care

The first year and a half of a dog’s life is equivalent to humans from birth to age 18!

puppy shredding toilet paper

Like human toddlers, puppies seem to be everywhere at once. These active balls of fur are easily distracted. They are messy. They have accidents. They may whine, howl, bark incessantly, and chew things. They need frequent potty breaks, feeding, playtime, and walks throughout the day.

Dogs are mentally and emotionally immature until age 2 or 3. It’s critical to make sure your young dog receives constant attention, ongoing socialization, training, and plenty of exercise during this developmental period.

If you work long hours, are rarely home, or you travel often (without your pet), it’s best to adopt an adult dog (or none at all).

Which is the best choice for you: a puppy, adult dog, or senior dog?

The information and questions below will help you assess the type of canine companion that will best fit your lifestyle, energy level, and schedule.


large mixed-breed dog

Mixed-breed puppies can present you with some interesting surprises. What you had assumed would be a smallish lapdog may grow (and grow, and grow!) to monstrous proportions.

Question to ask yourself:

Am I emotionally prepared to parent a dog that grows much larger (or shaggier) than what I expected?


shy dog

Similar to a dog’s size, you can’t predict how a puppy’s temperament may change as she matures. When your new pup first enters your family, she will likely be nervous. After all, she has just been separated from her mom and siblings – from everything she’s ever known.

In the same manner, when you adopt an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue foster home, it can take anywhere from days to several weeks for your dog to acclimate to her new home and develop trust in you (longer, if she is coming from an environment where she was neglected or abused).

Question to ask yourself:

Am I willing to devote whatever time, training, and loving attention it takes to help my dog adjust to her new home?


shelter dog

When you adopt either a puppy or an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue organization, you should expect potential health issues:

  • inherited or undiagnosed conditions or behavioral problems
  • inadequate pre-natal or post-natal care
  • lack of veterinary care and routine vaccinations

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I prepared to deal with unexpected behaviors and/or medical issues that may be a result of my dog’s history?

  2. Have I been made aware of any known medical issues this dog has?

  3. When was the dog’s most recent wellness exam?

  4. Has the dog received necessary vaccinations and parasite treatment?

  5. Have I budged appropriately for immediate, ongoing, and emergency veterinary care throughout the life of my dog?

  6. Am I financially secure enough to pay a potentially costly vet bill during the first week/months after my dog is in my home?

Further Reading:

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit


In many cases, a young puppy will not have received any training. You will be responsible for crate training, potty training, leash training, grooming, and socializing your pup.

While most adult dogs will be potty trained, re-training may be needed in other areas.

Questions to ask yourself:

How much time and energy am I willing to immediately devote to training or retraining my dog in these areas:

  1. Crate training

  2. Potty training

  3. Leash training

  4. Grooming – If you plan to bring your adult dog to a groomer, find out whether they’ve visited a groomer before, and what the experience was like for your dog). Will your dog feel comfortable with you giving him a bath, trimming his nails, and cleaning his ears?

  5. Socialization training – Your puppy or grown dog needs to learn how to behave and interact with people and other animals.

Further Reading:

15 Tips for Socializing Your Puppy in a Socially Distant World

10 Tips for a Safe and Fun Off-Leash Dog Park Outing

After you have given serious thought to the questions above, ask yourself this final, important question:

Is a dog (puppy or adult) a good fit for my current lifestyle?

Like human children, your fur baby will be a family member. Does your situation in life, your income, and your availability allow you to fully commit to caring for your new family member?

If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” we suspect that you’ll find dog parenting a rewarding experience.

Further Reading:

6 Steps to Introduce a New Dog to Your Current Dog

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.