Hi, I’m Sweetie!  I’m a 1-year old female Bullmastiff and my campaign for a Dog of the Month at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter continues. Due to the COVID 19 Safer-At-Home Order, people aren’t coming out to meet me to cast their vote because the shelter remains closed. But, I’m still available, and the shelter staff tell me that you can make an appointment to meet me! Since we’re all cooped up and at up looking for ways to enrich our lives, adopting me would help you do just that! My skills on walks will get you out every day to enjoy the sunshine. Got cabin fever? Bored and lonely are concepts that don’t exist when you hang out with me. I’m energetic, playful, and give sweet slobbery kisses. Whether you choose to enjoy a book, or want to stream your favorite TV show, quiet and polite, I’m the perfect snuggle buddy. Plus, since I must be the only dog in an adult home, you will enjoy my undivided attention! Sweetie, ID#A058349, is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter located at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica CA, 90404.  The shelter is closed to the public and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at (310) 458-8595.

PET TIP OF THE WEEK: SOCIALIZATION FOR DOGS DURING COVID-19

During the Safer-At-Home order, Santa Monica dog parks remain open to Santa Monica residents with a current City dog license.  But dog parks come with their own risks and encourages crowding, making it difficult to maintain social distancing.  There are many other ways to socialize your dog during this time that are safe and fun!

Many use the dog park as their only source of exercise for their dogs.  Increased adrenaline may cause dog fights.  Many dogs are unneutered, and may have other unsafe behaviors that are difficult to manage in a group environment. If danger ensues, keeping social distancing may be impossible, creating the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Like people, dogs require different types of social stimulation to remain well adjusted.  During the Safer-At-Home order these opportunities include dog friendly stores, different walk routes as it exposes dogs to different smells and sounds, quality time with each member of the household focusing on engaging in different types of activities, and virtual dog training.

When you are thinking about socializing your dog, do not limit your dog to the dog park.  If your dog has a current license tag with the City and you must go to dog park, avoid the crowds by going during off-peak hours, and be mindful of your dog at all times so that you can prevent any unsafe interactions.

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at loveatfirstsit.net

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