Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Here’s an article from the ASPCA on how to make sure your pets are safe and happy this Halloween:

Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents 

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

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5 Resolutions for Your Pet

I received this from the ASPCA in my in-box. It’s a great reminder to not only consider your own health in this new year, but to also remember the health of (wo)man’s best friend (or feline):

Maybe you’ve made a few resolutions for yourself this year, but how about your pet? Even small changes can make a big difference in the life of your furry friend.

1. Check-up on your pet’s health.

Set up your pet’s annual check-up this year. A nose to tail exam can help your veterinarian spot and treat health issues in the early stages. Opt for wellness coverage including an annual physical exam!

2. Brush those pearly whites.

Pledge to brush your pet’s teeth regularly, and keep an eye out for signs of gum disease like swelling or discoloration. Ask your veterinarian for tips on good dental care. Plus, Level 4 covers an annual dental cleaning.

3. Watch your pet’s weight.

Extra weight on a pet can result in health problems and be like a person carrying an extra 30 to 50 pounds. Hold back on treats and use a well-balanced pet food.

4. Get your pet moving.

Is your pet getting enough exercise to stay fit? Dogs need at least 30 minutes of physical activity twice a day. Cats should get at least 15 minutes of interactive playtime a day.

5. Prepare financially for your pet’s care.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help you manage unexpected veterinary costs. It can also cover wellness care to help you keep your pet healthy year round. Learn more and get a free quote.

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Another day!!!

Happy Samantha-dog

Curious Emily-dog

One of the things that I love so much about having dogs is how excited they are every morning. It’s like they wake up and think: “Oh, another day!! How great!! Let’s go outside. Let’s play. Let’s eat breakfast again — the same thing that we had for breakfast yesterday, and every day last week, in fact, every day this year!” They love being alive. They have no idea if the day will be a good day, or if they will get to do something fun, like go to the park or chase a squirrel, but they are excited about it anyway. They are excited even if yesterday was a really boring day when I worked all day and they were stuck in the house with only a few short walks for bathroom breaks.

Every morning when I see how happy my dogs are, I think: I aspire to be like them.

How about you? Do you approach each day with excitement for the possibilities? Would you like to?

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The unofficial end to summer is now upon us. We are returning from vacations, going back to school, and digging back into work. The changes can be exciting (or depressing!) for us. But change is usually not so welcomed by our pets. If you are a pet parent like me, I thought you might like to read the below short article from the ASPCA about how to determine if you pet is having a hard time with the transition and what you can do about it.

ASPCA: Conquering Your Pet's Back to School Blues

As the summer light fades into fall, pets across the country are adjusting to new routines as their family members go back to work or school. What were once carefree days cruising around the park or swimming in the creek are now spent sitting by the front door waiting for busy pet parents to come home.

But what if your pet doesn’t adjust peacefully to this new reality? It’s not an uncommon problem—after all, cats and dogs are particularly vulnerable to any change in their schedules, and they thrive on stimulation. With nothing to do, pets are forced to find ways to entertain themselves, which may include excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.

Here are some common signs that your pet may be having a hard time saying goodbye to summer:

– Urinating and defecating in the house

– Incessant barking and howling

– Chewing and digging

– Attempting to escape the house or yard

– Pacing without pause

But all is not lost! Our behaviorists have some great advice for keeping your pet’s “back-to-school blues” at bay.

– Start small by desensitizing your pooch to the cause of his anxiety. Introduce several short periods of separation, and then gradually increase time spent apart.

– Help your dog associate being alone with something good such as a tasty treat. Every time you leave the house, give your dog a food-dispensing toy—the Kong is one of our favorites, but there are plenty of others.

– Please don’t scold your dog if he doesn’t adjust quickly. If you punish him, he may become more upset and the problem could get worse.

– Be patient, and work with your pet until he feels comfortable and enjoys spending time alone. For a thorough guide to helping your pet overcome his anxiety, please visit our Virtual Behaviorist.

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