Sylvester, June 11th Pet of the Week!

Thufferin’—well, you know. His name’s Sylvester, but the resemblance between his personality and the iconic cartoon character’s ends with his name and color pattern. Syl’s a mere babe at 3 months old, but he promises to be a handsome guy, with that cross between a milk mustache and Salvador Dali’s! No smug attitude like his namesake’s—just a whole lot of friendly and playful—but we’d still keep Tweety Bird at a distance! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Whiskers. Ask for ID#A643327

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(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Do You Leave Lights on For Your Dog?

When you’ve gone out for dinner in the evening, have you left lights on for your dog? If so, then you’re not alone! Many pet parents do this. But is it really necessary? It depends.

Can Dogs See in the Dark?

Yes, in fact they can see better than we do in the dark. However, they don’t see as well as cats can in the dark. How can dogs see better than we do when there are no lights on?

First, you’ll need to understand how the eyes work. Our eyes and dogs’ eyes have cones and rods, which are light receptors inside the eye. Rods make it easier to see when the light is dim, while cones help us to discern colors.

Dogs have a different number of cones and rods than we do. They have fewer cones than we do, meaning they don’t see as many colors. While we have three, dogs only have 2; researchers aren’t sure what two colors dogs can see, but many believe dogs can see yellow and blue.

In addition, our canine friends have more rods in their eyes, which makes their night vision much better than ours. Dogs also have an extra layer of tissue in the eye called the tapetum lucidum, which literally means “tapestry of light.”

Have you seen your dog’s eyes glow in a photo or when the light hits just right? In a photo, you may see your dogs’ eyes flow yellow or green. That’s the tapetum. The tissue reflects light onto the retina, somewhat in the same way a mirror shines light. The effect is that dogs have more night vision. They can see in the dark and when there’s a limited amount of light.

Even though dogs can see better in the dark than we can, they’re not able to see when it’s totally dark.

Along with the ability to better in the dark, dogs also have 250-degree vision, compared to our 190-degree vision. This wider field of vision allows more light into the eye, making it easier for them to see in low-light or darkness.

What About Leaving My Dog in the Dark?

The answer depends on the circumstances. Just like us, dogs usually sleep at night, in the dark. They don’t need a light on in most cases. So, it may not be necessary to leave a light on for your dog when you’re home and in bed sleeping. Your dog knows the routine and will settle down to sleep.

If you go out for the evening and leave your fur baby at home, he may feel better if you leave the light on. Some dogs may feel afraid of the dark when you’re not there. This could be a part of separation anxiety. Other dogs may be scared of the dark if they were abused or neglected before you adopted them. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell if your canine companion is afraid because you’re away, or if he’s had reason to be afraid in the past.

Is My Dog Afraid of the Dark?

You may be able to test whether or not your pup is afraid of the dark. One thing to try is leading your dog into a dimly lit room and watching his response. Or you could pretend to be going out for the evening, leaving your dog in the dark at home.

Some people have found their dogs will become more vocal when left alone in the dark. Their dogs will bark, howl, cry and whine. These could be signs that a dog is afraid of the dark and/or experiencing separation anxiety. One more cause could be that he is experiencing vision troubles, so he can’t see very well in the dim light or the dark. This could be a problem that develops in older dogs, or dogs that have certain eye/vision conditions.

Dogs may also act out when they’re alone in the dark. They may become more destructive, chewing up anything and everything as a way to release their fear or anxiety. You may come home to find couch pillows in shreds scattered over the living room, or maybe your dog has knocked over and chewed the potted plants, etc.

Other dogs may hide in a small space, such as a bathroom or under a table or bed while you’re away. And they may be more sensitive to noises outside your home at night.

If you believe your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, then it’s a good idea to talk to the vet about this. Anxiety is a medical condition that can be treated with medications and/or behavioral modification.

Your fur baby may have a vision problem, which will also need to be checked by the vet.

Maybe your fur baby just doesn’t like being alone in the dark—that’s OK.

Ways to Help Your Dog Feel More Comfortable in a Darker Setting

There are some things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable when it’s dark.

1). Use light timers or light sensitive bulbs: one solution is to buy some light timers or light sensitive bulbs. Timers will turn the lights on at a time you set. Light sensitive bulbs will turn on when the light becomes dim. Either method will turn on lights for your dog, so he can feel better.

2). Use night lights: for dogs that have vision problems in the dark, nigh lights can help the dog to see better. For instance, if your pup sleeps with you at night, but then goes to another room or downstairs, leave night lights along the route he uses. This way he’ll be able to see better and feel safer in the dark.

3). Leave a radio or TV on: this may be helpful for dogs that are suffering from separation anxiety. You may choose to leave the TV or a radio on while you’re away for the evening. This way, your fur baby will have some normal sounds in the background to soothe and calm him. It will feel like he’s not alone.

Did you know there are TV programs and YouTube videos that are made especially for dogs? These often work well for dogs who have separation anxiety. However, if your canine companion has a strong prey instinct, you may want to avoid programming that includes small animals like squirrels, etc. Your dog may get so excited he decides to chase that animal on the screen, knocking over the TV in the process!

Being afraid of the dark, experiencing vision problems in low-light, or having separation anxiety in the dark can be scary for some dogs. It’s OK to leave the light on while you’re away to make it easier for your canine companion to get around and feel more comfortable.

Captain, June 4th Pet of the Week!

Orange cats are special—they just are. This boy, just 11 months old, is already a Captain! Yep, that’s his name—we think that his good looks, charm, kindness and constant desire to be held raised him in the ranks. Despite what the song says, you don’t need to wait another day for the Captain of your heart. The ship’s come in! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Ninja. Ask for ID#A643336 and special instructions about Ninja’s care and condition.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Anne, May 28th Pet of the Week!

Could Anne be any more adorable, or any more obvious that she’s making up to you so you’ll take her home? Anne’s a silly girl who loves to play at being shy, but she’s actually coquettish—or is that co-cat-ish? She’s a year-old tabby who loves nothing more than to lounge around and turn her world literally upside down! If you’d like Anne to do the same for you, find out how you can adopt her by calling 562-570-PETS or emailing AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov. Our shelter’s closed to the public right now, so adoptions are conducted through appointment. When you contact us, specify Anne and ID#A642922 .

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

4 Tips to Take Best Pet Portrait Photo

Our pets might not have two legs and opposable thumbs, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the family. Our furry friends have made their way into our lives, and we can’t bear to live without them. As with many other things we love, we want to capture precious moments on film, but this can be tricky. Follow our four tips for perfect pics.

Plan Your Sessions

Capturing candid shots of your pet might be difficult if you haven’t planned for it. They tend to move around a lot, and when you see that perfect moment, your camera or phone isn’t ready, and you miss it. Plan a time to take the photos, and decide on what kind of picture you want. 

If you’re going to have a pic of them relaxing, the best time would be in the evening when they are sleepy. Action shots are better when they are energized, so playing with your pets will bring those pictures to life. 

Try to take the photos in an environment that your pet is familiar with. If you’re in an unfamiliar place like a photo studio, your pet won’t be relaxed, and you might not get the desired effect.

https://pixabay.com/photos/puppy-dog-pet-night-sch%C3%A4fer-dog-3688871/

Light and Shutterspeed

Use natural light as much as possible, and don’t worry too much about complicated lighting setups. Bright lights might frighten your pets and could create a red-eye effect in the photos. If the weather outside is clear, you can consider taking pictures in your garden.

Pets move, especially dogs, so action shots are challenging to take if you don’t use fast shutter speeds. You will more likely get a blur instead of an image when using slow shutters. This means that you would need a decent digital camera to take these kinds of shots. A smartphone simply won’t work.  

Level Down

Most of the time, we look at our pets from above, and photos at that angle are not that flattering. If you have a small dog, you could try putting it on the couch, with you sitting on the floor beside it to capture them from the front. With bigger dogs, you might need to lay on your belly to get the perfect shot. The idea is to take the photo from eye-level or lower. 

Attention Grabbers

Once you have your pet in the right place and at the right time, you want them to focus on you. To do so, you need to grab their attention. For dogs, a treat out of camera range might do the trick. For cats, a toy on a string will pique their interest. If you have a partner helping you, then let them stand behind or next to you with the treat. 

In this way, your hands are free to take the photo. Be patient, and as soon as you see the picture you like, start snapping away. Don’t only take one photo. Take a whole bunch so that later you can decide which one is the best to keep. 

A beautiful way to immortalize them is to have the photo converted to a panting. If that’s something you like, then you could go to Instapainting or other sites to get amazing portraits. 

https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-chihuahua-adorable-young-funny-1033161/

Final Thoughts

Pet portrait photos are precious memories that will stay with us long after they’re gone. It’s worth the effort to get that perfect shot. If you struggle with doing it yourself, consider hiring a photographer to come to your house. Either way, have it done while your pets are still with you.

Ninja, May 21st Pet of the Week! Update: Adopted!

Cats, dogs, rabbits—fanboys and fangirls are known to choose Ninja as a name for their pets. Except for this Ninja—he’s earned his name. Ninja, a beautiful and affectionate 4-year-old neutered male, was attacked by a coyote and survived to tell about it (and yeah, you should see the other guy!). His wounds are being addressed and are healing. All he needs is a home and humans who know that the outdoors is no place for a kitty. Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Ninja. Ask for ID#A642486 and special instructions about Ninja’s care and condition.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Whiskers, May 7th Pet of the Week!

The most magnificent animals are found in the most dreadful situations. Frightened little Whiskers was found in a box at one of the train stations! You should see him in person—he has gorgeous black-and-white medium-length fur and the most beautiful, long, white whiskers we can remember seeing. He’s having a tough time adjusting to a kennel environment, and he’d be so much better off in a loving, supportive home. Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Whiskers. Ask for ID# A642071

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(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Cali, April 30th Pet of the Week!

Cali, 8 years old, is a beautiful, smart, loyal and loving soul. She’s your typical lounge buddy, stealing your attention whenever possible for tummy rubs or head pats. As you can see in her photo with her foster, Cali’s affectionate and caring, and she’s sweet to all people she meets. She has a calm energy and perfect manners in the house: no begging or jumping on the furniture. She saves her get-up-and-go for her walks! Cali’s a strong gal and needs some confidence on the other end of the leash and is a bit reactive to other dogs and cats, so caution and guidance are must-haves! But she’s very responsive to commands, so redirecting her isn’t too much of a challenge. We know she’ll only get better with time as she learns the behaviors that you want from her. Cali’s taking part in Live Love Animal Rescue’s effort to put shelter dogs into foster homes during the pandemic. If you want to give her a forever home, find her profile on Live Love’s page at www.liveloveanimalrescue.org/adopt, and fill out an adoption application there.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)