News - Panhandle Animal Shelter

Your Complete Guide on Crate Training a Puppy

by Jackie Brown

We all know that our four-legged friends can get a little boisterous when overexcited or being welcomed in a new loving home. And as for puppies, well, they’re not used to house rules! However, they are not to blame since we are here to train them! Even though it may take up your time and effort, the benefits of crate training are immense. Here is our complete guide on crate training a puppy or a rescue dog who you’ve opened your heart and home to.

What is Crate Training?

Our pets, just like children, yearn for their private space. In that sense, crates are exceptional since they have the function of training your pet and providing them with a sense of comfort. 

You can use them to be in control of where and when your puppy relieves himself, to teach him house rules and which areas are limited, but also to isolate boisterous dogs during travels or when you are introducing your pooch to your baby or young children. Once your pet is used to crates, they become a happy place, where your small buddy can feel safe and joyful. However, this training takes time, patience and devotion, but the outcome is satisfying both for the puppy and the owner.

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

Selecting a crate

Probably the most complicated and tiring part is choosing the best dog crate for your furry friend since crates come in all sizes, shapes, and materials. From wire, fabric, plastic, and wood, there are hundreds of different options you can decide upon. Just make sure that the crate is large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around. If you are choosing a crate for your puppy, maybe it is a better solution if you take a bigger one, since they outgrow them quickly!

Photo by Gulyás Bianka on Unsplash

The crate training process

Crate training should be a positive and rewarding experience, both for you and your furry friend. It is useful to know that there are slight differences in crate training a puppy and a grown dog. The process can take up weeks depending on the age, temperament and past practices of your dog. However, keep in mind that positivity, patience, and praise are crucial steps in your teaching. To properly crate train your dog, follow the complete guide below:

1.   Introduce the crate to your pup by placing it in a familiar area. This comforts him as he is being presented to a new object in his surroundings.

2.   Place the crate with puppy pads since puppies still have to learn how potty time functions.

3.   Add a blanket, or that toy your puppy absolutely adores to chew. This should make the dog crate more engaging to him.

4.   The door of the crate should be open and a treat or a kibble should be nearby. 

5.   If possible, before crate training, prepare your puppy by zapping their energy (play ball, go for a walk or similar physical exercise).

6.   Once that is done, give a command to him such as ‘Crate’ to let him know that he should go inside. While inside, stay nearby and watch as he explores his new surroundings. Then call him outside and give him a lot of praise for passing the first step. You should repeat this two more times for more successful guidance.

7.   After repeating two more times, the next time your pup enters the crate, try closing the door behind him for a couple more minutes. After coming out, praise him again for being a good boy.

8.   Repeat this process, but after each time wait a minute or two before letting him out again. After some time, by increasing minutes, your puppy should be comfortable being in the crate for even 30 minutes.

Puppy Crate Training schedule

Have in mind that young puppies should not be in crates for longer periods since they are still learning how to potty. Therefore, always be mindful of their bladder control and try to break up their crate time.

·  Puppies older than six months should be crated in hours for their age in months, plus one. Therefore, if the puppy is 7 months, he should be crated for 8 non-consecutive hours with the addition of potty time.

·  Disrupt crate time with playing, different activities and walks while teaching your puppy that crate should be for eating, resting and napping.

·  Keep in mind that puppies younger than 6 months should not be in crates for 3 consecutive hours, as they still have not comprehended their potty time.

Be attentive towards your pet, always give him praise and be careful of their needs. Only then, with small changes in their habits, success is inevitable. Our furry buddies deserve all the love and patience we can give!

About the author: Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 13 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

Pet Food Trends for 2020

by Jackie Brown

The new decade is all about sustainability, alternative solutions and better food choices.
Our pets are not excluded, as more and more dog owners incline towards smarter and more creative options for their animal’s health and wellbeing.  Here are the newest pet food trends that will make you rethink what you know about animal nutritional needs and hopefully incorporate something fresh into your own pet’s diet.

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Fruit finally enters the picture

It was only recently that fruit has gained such importance in the dog and cat food industry. Although it can’t fully supplement all the necessary nutrients in an omnivorous diet, it definitely contributes to a well-balanced and high-quality food options.

Fruit like bananas, apples, strawberries, and blueberries are rich in vitamin C and A,  antioxidants, potassium, fibre and minerals very beneficial for gut health in our four-legged companions. The best way to incorporate them into your pet’s feeding regimen is by making delicious snacks with mashed fruit and other ingredients like nuts and grains. Sour fruit is not really a go-to option for pets, so you’ll have to somehow mask the flavour and make them appealing. The more variety, the better, in order to achieve optimal results.

That said, not all fruit is safe for animals. Check with your vet if your dog or cat could benefit from a fruity diet and which plants are actually safe. Avocados, cherries and grapes, for example, are not safe for dogs as they contain toxins like cyanide which can be harmful and cause diarrhoea and nausea to your beloved pooch. 

As this is developing into a strong trend, there’s an abundance of information on safe fruits for pets and how to properly mix them with other pet food.
Food for puppies or kittens is very specific and needs to be rich in vitamins, minerals and calories to adhere to all their specific  growth, development and reproduction needs. 

Cannabinoids and their use for dogs

As the alternative medicinal solutions gain more popularity and value, CBD slowly becomes a useful choice for relieving pain, controlling anxiety and even helping with insomnia.

When it comes to pets, cannabinoids can be very helpful and many veterinarians using the holistic approach actually recommend it for different types of inflammation, dog anxiety, seizures and more. 

Be careful, though, not to give your pet THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, as it is highly toxic for animals. Nevertheless, mainstream medicine finds more and more uses of CBD oil for treating dogs suffering from arthritis, and even cancer.

CBD faces many problems, specifically with legalization and it depends on the country you live in. However, due to many potential health benefits, it’s being excessively researched, so be ready to come across it even more.

Everything has its purpose – sustainability

An ongoing trend in human diets, as well as pet food, has definitely become using meat by-products.  The industry has found a way to utilize everything humans consider garbage and turn it into a great nutritional source.  Things like rendered poultry fat, internal organs, even feathers are being added to dog food for flavour and calorie boost. 

The key is to make a quality combination of ingredients that puts in use all the meat by-products which would normally be wasted, without compromising the needed nutritional value.

Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

Alternative proteins and pets

Although mostly based on meat products, pet food (especially for dogs and cats) does not have to contain meat-based protein. The technology has developed means of fermentation that can produce protein without having an impact on the environment and animal welfare. 

Another alternative protein that pet food processors have been experimenting with is insect protein. Yes, it sounds gross, but insects are a great source of good protein and have actually been used in the human diet for centuries, just not something we’re normally used to. Pet food industries use larvae of insects to create protein-rich flour which is then included as an ingredient when making kibble, for example. 

Canned food for animals can contain eggs as a great source of protein and other minerals and nutrients. It’s not so revolutionary, but it can definitely serve as a replacement for all the produced meat.

Final thoughts

As long as you have spoken with your vet first and understand your animal’s nutritional needs, there’s no harm in trying out these new diet trends. As our perception of the world changes, the rules change, making the choice span much greater. Choose what’s best for your pet’s needs and it won’t matter what’s in or trendy, as long as your animal is healthy and happy.

About the author: Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 13 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. She is contributing writer for National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness: The Veterinarian’s Approach to At-Home Animal Care (April 2019) and author of the book It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

Prepare Yourself, Home and Family For A New Dog

By Casey Williams of

Congratulations, you are adding a furry friend to your home and this is a joyous occasion. A new dog is a major commitment as they require constant care, supervision and training. 

The dedication required to acclimate a dog into the house is important to the well-being of both the dog and the family. The reward for putting in that time is well worth it. A dog can quickly become a loyal family member and create special bonds with each person in the home. 

Here are a few things to remember when it comes to caring for your new addition.

Essentials To Provide For Your Newly Adopted Dog

The following are essentials that responsible dog owners need to provide for their new dog:

  • Vet care that includes yearly check-up appointments and necessary vaccinations
  • Nutritious food and water
  • Shelter

Other items highly suggested to prepare for your new pup include the following:

  • Dog bed
  • Kennel if needed
  • Toys to keep the dog entertained
  • Treats
  • Fenced in yard or way to safely allow outside time

Once the dog is officially yours, then you can begin your own routine and training for your furry friend.

Make Your Home A Happy Space For Fido

Everything in your home will be new and exciting to your dog. You must be patient as your pup takes in the new surroundings. You can help take the edge off by putting comfort items in all of the rooms that your dog is allowed in. 

A dog bed and toys should be located in the room you want your dog to rest in. Leave the dog bowls down in the kitchen or area that you will be feeding your dog. Let your dog sniff out these items and learn his or her way around. Your dog will enjoy his or her new toys and begin to feel at home in their new environment.

Restrictions Are Good In The Beginning

Do not let new dogs have access to the entire home at once. This is not to restrict them and make them feel isolated but it will help them feel comfortable gradually and not become overwhelmed or easily confused. 

Utilize baby gates or simply shut doors to keep your dog in one area at a time. A new home is a new layout for your dog to learn and the most important thing is to learn which door to exit to use the yard and where their food and water are located. 

Keep a watchful eye on your dog and you will know when it is ready to explore a new space. Typically within the first month of having a dog it will then gain access to the entire home. Going out and not making messes throughout the house will become routine and your dog will not get lost or disoriented in the space. 

Smaller homes take less time to familiarize with and age also plays a factor in this. An adult dog may have previously been in a home and already be housebroken. Those dogs will probably familiarize themselves more quickly than a 10-week old puppy that is still in the process of being fully potty trained.

Establish and Familiarize Your Pet With the Vet

You should have your new dog seen by your veterinarian. Even if your dog comes with papers it is a good idea to drop those off in person so your dog becomes familiar with the care establishment they will be frequenting. 

The place will be less intimidating the more they are introduced. There are added bonus points here if your vets’ office has a groomer that you like in the same building. Your dog will become more comfortable with more positive visits. 

Speak with your vet about vaccinations and preventative treatments for your furry friends’ health. As time passes and your dog becomes more comfortable in your home you may notice some behaviors that should be corrected. 

Your veterinarian is also a wonderful asset to help you establish a trainer to get your dog back on track. If you do not have a veterinarian lined up then it is essential to make this a priority as soon as you bring your pooch home.

Prepare Yourself and Be Responsible

Part of being responsible also includes prepping your home for your dog. Remove all plants and other items that could be toxic to pets. Prepare for the added expense and time commitments to properly care for your dog. 

Responsible pet ownership is very important. Your dog relies on you for literally everything. You are the person that lets him out into the yard, you are the person that feeds him, you are the person that walks him and gets him groomed. 

You are the one that your dog waits all day to see because you make him happy. Never leave your dog outside on a hot day without water. Limit exposure in extreme temperatures whether it is excessive heat or frigid cold. 

Never leave your dog without shelter and always feed your dog on the recommended vet routine and quantity. 

Wrapping Up

Prepare yourself mentally for any challenges your pup might present. This is key to preparing yourself and your family to become responsible pet owners.

When you add a dog to your family you are signing up for a life of commitment and vet care. You will need to provide all of the basic needs to your pet to ensure he lives a long and healthy life.

*Casey Williams is a profession dog trainer and the founder of – visit for more articles by Casey.

Kickstarter Questions

After launching our Kickstarter campaign for Home To Home™ we realized there has been some confusion about how Kickstarter works. Here’s some answers to frequently asked questions:

How does kickstarter work?

Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform. It’s typically used when people want help raising money to support an idea, program, or new product. Once a project is shared on Kickstarter, other people can ‘back’ the project by pledging towards it. Usually, backers get a reward for their money.  A key part of Kickstarter is that if the project doesn’t raise enough money to meet its goal, the project doesn’t get funded at all. This means nobody gets charged, and nobody receives the rewards either. 

Is this a monthly donation or is it a one time thing?

Your pledge to a Kickstarter campaign is a one time thing, and you won’t be charged until the campaign reaches its goal. If the campaign doesn’t reach its goal, you don’t get charged and you don’t receive rewards.

When do I get charged?

If the campaign reaches its goal, you’ll be charged at the end of campaign. For the Home To Home™ Kickstarter, this is on May 9th, 2020.

Is it true that Home To Home™ doesn’t get any money if you don’t reach the $150,000 goal?

Yes. The campaign relies on people to pledge towards the goal. If we meet our goal, people who backed the campaign are charged for their pledges and Home To Home™ will receive the funds, minus Kickstarter’s fees. If we don’t reach our goal, nobody is charged for their pledges. If you’ve pledged to the campaign, this is a good reason to share it because the more pledges we get the more likely we are to reach our goal. When we reach our goal, Home To Home™ gets the funding it needs and backers get perks – it’s a win-win!

How do perks work for Canadians or other international backers?

Due to the cost of shipping, we cannot ship rewards internationally. However, you have a few options. First, you can pledge to the campaign because you believe it in. You won’t get any rewards. You can also pledge at the $1 or $5 levels and receive virtual rewards. 

Is this an event? 

The Home To Home™ Kickstarter is not an event. It’s an online fundraiser that ends on May 9th, 2020. There is no attendance necessary and all the information needed to support the fundraiser is on the campaign site here:

I’ve pledged the campaign, but how else can I help?

Thanks for pledging to support the campaign! Now that you’re a backer, please tell your friends about it and ask them to support the campaign too. Sharing is caring and we could really use your help telling everyone about our Kickstarter. 

Where can I send my questions?

We welcome your questions. You can email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Home To Home™

With the launch of our Kickstarter for Home To Home™, we’ve been receiving more questions about how the program works. Founder Mandy Evans and National Program Coordinator Joya Blair answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the program in the following videos:

Why Is Home To Home an Important Tool for Shelters?
Are Animal Shelters the Best Place to Take a Pet Who Needs a New Home?
Are Animal Shelters Wanting Home To Home?
Why Do People Give Up Their Pets?
How Does Home To Home Guarantee the Health of an Animal?

Visit our Kickstarter campaign page by clicking the following button:


Home To Home™ Kickstarter

When keeping a pet is making hard times worse, many families make the painful decision to take their pet to an animal shelter. There’s a better way!

Home to Home™ keeps pets out of animal shelters, reduces stress for the pet and owner, and helps pets go straight from one loving home to the next. 

Now more than ever, animal shelters are asking for Home to Home™ because they are being forced to close their doors, even though pets still need help finding homes.

To keep up with the demand, we’re raising $150,000 on Kickstarter to pay for an upgrade to our web platform so we can onboard more shelters. With your support, we can make Home To Home™ come true for every pet who needs our help!

Click the button below to go to our Kickstarter campaign:


Dance Party Challenge

Want to win a $20 gift card to our thrift store (good for use once the store reopens)?! Watch this video to find out about the challenge for this week and how you can win.

Post Falls Animal Shelter Partnership

Panhandle Animal Shelter has partnered Post Falls Animal Shelter to help PFAS with grants, medical supplies, etc. PAS executive director – Mandy Evans – applied for a grant for PFAS spaying/neutering program and the grant was awarded! Watch Mandy deliver the news to Sherri Benner of PFAS.

State of the Shelter (Five Days After Restricting Public Access due to COVID-19)

A Panhandle Animal Shelter update five days after we had to restrict public access due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Director of Medical and Shelter Operations – Devin Laundrie – joins us in this video to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the shelter.

Podcast: People Are Animals Too Darnit!

People Are Animals Too, Darnit! is a podcast hosted by Mandy Evans – executive director of PAS- which explores the human-animal bond with an emphasis on personal and community wellness from an animal-welfare perspective. To truly help animals, we need to understand the complexity of the human condition. Learn from experts in animal welfare, doctors of human and veterinary medicine and social leaders as they share their thoughts on the human-animal bond. 

The podcast is in both video and audio format. Here are some of the platforms on which the podcast is available:

You can also listen to the podcast on the website and