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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is important to remember that there is no one solution to pet problems. You should consult with a veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist for any medical or behavioral problems.



Have other questions? Need answers? Check out these related links



Can I leave my dog in the car for short periods?
NO!!! A car heats up very quickly on warm days, reaching a temperature of 160 degrees in 10 minutes. Short trips frequently become longer ones. Cracked windows don’t cool the car enough to protect your pet. The best place to leave your dog on warm days is at home.
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How big a problem are dog bites?
Dogs bite nearly 4.7 million people annually. Bite injuries are on the rise, with medical treatment up 37% since 1996. Annually, in the United States approximately 30 people are killed by dog attacks.
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How do I housebreak a dog?
Even if the dog was previously housebroken, it may have forgotten or might be confused in its new surroundings. It’s best to assume the dog knows nothing. Begin by using a crate or confining the dog to a small area. Confine the dog when you are not home. When you return home, take the dog out. Praise if it eliminates outside and then allow it inside to play. If it does not eliminate, return the dog to the crate and try again a little later. NEVER use the crate as punishment!

If the dog continues or was previously housebroken and is suddenly having accidents, take it to a vet. Sometimes medical problems can cause difficulty in bladder control. Male dogs also like to mark inside; neutering will usually help with this problem.
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How do I prevent my child or myself from being bitten?
See: How do I teach my children to safely approach a strange animal?
If a strange animal approaches and appears to be ready to attack remain still with your hands at sides and quiet. If the dog begins to bite you, lie on the ground and cover your neck and face.
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How do I teach my children to safely approach a strange animal?
First, tell them to ALWAYS make sure the animal is with an adult. They should NEVER pet an animal that is not with an adult. Next, they should ask. This is an important rule for everyone, adults and children alike, to remember. They need to move slowly and cautiously. Also remind them to never place their face near a strange animal. If the animal should suddenly become upset and bite, the child will be bit on the face.
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How do I train my cat to use the litterbox?
Confine the cat to a small room with the litterbox. After a few days, you should be able to allow the cat to roam throughout the house.

Please remember that certain changes can cause a cat to stop using a litterbox. Moving the box to a high traffic area, changing litter, adding a new cat, and illness can cause a cat to avoid their box. Male cats also like to mark inside; neutering will usually help with this problem.
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How to find a lost animal?
Check out Lost Your pet .
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Is the Montgomery County SPCA Government funded?
No. We receive no government subsidies. Any funds given to our shelter by the local municipalities are either by donation or for services rendered.
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What do I do if my child or myself are bitten?
Clean the affected area and see either your family doctor or visit the emergency room. Bite wounds commonly become infected and need antibiotics. A tetnus shot may also be necessary. It is important that you can either describe the animal who attacked you or know the owner of the animal. You will need to know if the animal is current on its rabies vaccination.
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What dogs are most likely to bite?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), un-neutered male dogs are the most likely to bite. The breeds at highest risk are (this information is compiled from bites requiring medical treatment); Pit Bulls, Rottweillers, German Shepherd Dogs, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, St. Bernards and Akitas. However, please keep in mind that ANY dog can bite.
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What kind of pet is right for me?
The pet you choose will be a long-time companion and you must consider both your lifestyle and the pets needs. If you are going to have to work late often and there is no one else to care for your pet don't get a pet that needs to go out on a specific schedual. If you are often going to be away for extended periods of time, make sure you can find a pet-sitter or kennel that you trust to care for your animal. If your home feels like Grand Central Station use caution in getting a pet that may be overly protective. If you are only at home long enough to sleep, you may want to consider botany.
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When is the best time to get a new pet?
There is no one time to get a pet. However, it is a not a good idea to get a pet immediately prior to or for a holiday. If you do wish to get a pet for a special occasion, make an announcement at that occasion and then, after the holiday, start looking for a pet.
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Who is at the highest risk for dog bites?
It is reported that children, especially boys between 5 and 9, and mail carriers are at the highest risk for dog bites. The face is the most frequent target area on children and the lower extremities on mail carriers.
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Why does the SPCA insist on neutering cats and dogs?
The shelter’s policy has to do with over-population. There are other reasons (medical and behavioral) that should be discussed with your veterinarian or animal behaviorist.
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