Tempted by the idea of “surprising” your
loved ones with a precious puppy, kitten, or
newly-adopted dog or cat this season? The holidays
often send animal lovers in search of that perfect
furry critter to wrap in a red bow and place
under the tree Christmas morning. The other side
of this Norman Rockwell vision is that too many
of these “surprises” end up in shelters,
abandoned because their givers and recipients
were not prepared for the challenges of pet ownership.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates
that eight to 10 million cats and dogs are surrendered
to animal shelters annually, and half are euthanized.
A pet is a special gift, but only when you prepare
for its arrival and transition to a new home
well in advance.
“Puppies and kittens, as well as older
dogs and cats adopted from shelters, often experience
problems when they join a new family and environment.
This translates into destructive acts, such as
feline urine-marking, excessive canine barking,
chewing and other misdeeds that threaten the
pet and owner bond and damage the household,” said
Tammy Senter, marketing manager for Farnam Pet
Product’s line of Comfort Zone products. “We
offer a solution that can soothe pets as they
acclimate to their new surroundings, and helps
them feel safe and comfortable in their new homes.”
Zone® with D.A.P.® (Dog Appeasing
Pheromone) and Comfort
Zone® with Feliway® for
cats mimic pheromones that pets naturally use
to communicate with members of their own species.
These pheromones help to reduce the behavior
associated with fear and phobias without drugs
or electronic training devices. They are undetectable
by humans, and are nontoxic to people and animals.
How Do Pheromones Work?
Zone with D.A.P. reassures dogs by
mimicking the pheromone of a lactating mother
dog. By replicating this soothing maternal signal,
Zone with D.A.P. has been clinically
proven to end or reduce canine destructive behavior
by 86 percent and excessive barking by 70 percent.
Zone with Feliway mimics
the friendly facial pheromones that cats use
to mark their territory when they rub their cheeks
against people and objects. Studies show Comfort
Zone with Feliway has a 95 percent success rate
in reducing or eliminating two of the most common
problems in cats—urine marking and vertical
Pet owners can ask their veterinarians for D.A.P.
and Feliway, or go to a specialty pet store and
look for the retail brand names, Comfort
Zone with D.A.P. and Comfort
Zone with Feliway. The
products are available as plug-in diffusers or
“Many people are swept up in the fun
and energy of the holidays, and giving pets as
gifts has always been romanticized in our culture.
The kids want a dog, or a new couple wants to
solidify the relationship with a puppy or kitten—but
adding a pet to your life is a serious, long-term
commitment,” said Senter. “Before
making the decision to do it, several factors
must be weighed, including the needs of the pet,
the ability of the new owners to serve as caregivers,
and the costs of food and veterinary care. The
size of a house or apartment should also make
sense for the type of pet you want—for
example, a big dog fares better if it can play
in a yard, while a cat can live happily indoors
its entire life.”
Other considerations include appropriately matching
specific breeds with the person or family according
to compatibility levels. For example, herding
or working dogs need owners with active lifestyles.
Owners should also consider how their current
pets might react to a new member of the household.
America loves its animals, as proven by the
65 million dogs and 78 million cats that reside
here. Giving them as gifts should be taken seriously
by planning ahead, because the alternative to
a happy ending for new pets can be sadder than
the Island of Misfit Toys.*
* The Humane Society of The U.S.
D.A.P.® is a registered
trademark of Ceva Santé Animale.
a registered trademark of Ceva Santé Animale.