You humans might think Halloween is a fun time, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It kind of freaks us cats and dogs out. Between the non-stop knocks at the door, people dressed in strange outfits, and all of the treats we're not supposed to have, we can get a bit stressed on this day. We're not saying that you shouldn't have your fun. Just make sure that you follow a few simple tips so we make it through to November 1 without a meltdown, okay?
Halloween is a fun diversion for kids and many adults, but the holiday is often stressful for pets. This begins long before October 31 officially arrives. Dogs and cats are naturally curious about anything new in their surroundings, including streamers, cut-outs, and other Halloween decorations. If you decide to decorate, avoid lighting candles and make sure everything is out of your pet’s reach. This allows you to enjoy the season while keeping your pet safe at the same time.
Don’t Share Your Halloween Candy
Be sure to keep all Halloween candy away from your dog or cat and instruct your kids to do the same. It may be tempting to give in when your pet is begging for treats or looking at you with sad eyes, but even a small amount of candy could be harmful. Besides chocolate, artificial sweeteners cause the most problems for pets. These candies can induce diarrhea, vomiting, and severe abdominal discomfort.
Separate Your Pet from the Festivities
Your pet may become highly agitated by the constant ringing of the doorbell and opening of the door on Halloween night. To avoid an escape attempt or even an attack on the trick-or-treaters, prepare a room in your home for him in advance. He will be more comfortable with his favorite toys, pillow, and food than out with all of the commotion. The same is true if you host a Halloween party. Just be sure to peek in so your pet knows you haven’t abandoned him and let him come out to join the family at the end of the night.
Another reason to keep your pet secured on Halloween night is to keep her safe from pranksters. People have been known to steal pets on or near Halloween, particularly black cats. It is a big enough problem that most animal shelters won’t allow people to adopt a black cat around Halloween just to make sure the animal doesn’t meet a cruel fate.
Costume Safety Tips
It seems like Halloween costumes for pets get more creative and adorable every year. There is nothing wrong with dressing your pet in a costume for as long as you follow a few safety tips. As with children’s costumes, make sure anything you put on your pet doesn’t cover his eyes, nose, or mouth. It’s important to supervise your pet closely while he’s wearing the costume to make sure that he doesn’t try to eat a piece of fabric or anything else that could be harmful.
If your pet does become sick or injured on Halloween, try contacting our clinic first. Halloween is on a Monday this year and we are normally open until 8:00 p.m. After hours, try the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661. We wish you and your pet a Happy Halloween and would love to see a picture of her in costume.
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My friends and I might give you a hard time about going to the vet, brushing our teeth, and the many other things you do to take care of us. Don't believe our act. We appreciate your loving care so much that we're even willing to give you tips you might not have thought of on your own.
The American Veterinary Medical Association started Pet Wellness Month a dozen years ago to encourage people to consider their pet’s overall well-being. Unfortunately, the absence of an obvious illness doesn’t mean your pet is as healthy as she could be. In the spirit of the awareness event, we would like to highlight seven important things you can do to take the best possible care of your pet. These include:
Schedule a preventive care exam at least once a year. Puppies, kittens, and senior pets should visit us more often. These check-ups give our veterinarians the chance to determine potential health problems in your pet as early as possible. Some conditions require only careful monitoring while others will need treatment. We always let you know exactly what we discover during a preventive care exam.
Keep up-to-date on your pet’s vaccinations. This not only prevents him from serious illness or death, but some vaccines are required by law. Our staff will also discuss optional vaccines your pet may benefit from, such as Lyme disease or feline leukemia.
Spay or neuter your pet. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year because there just aren’t enough people willing to provide them with a loving home. Altering your pet also reduces the risk of conditions such as mammary gland tumors or testicular cancer.
Don’t forget the importance of oral hygiene. Did you know that untreated dental problems can lead to issues with the heart, kidneys, and joints? We would be happy to demonstrate how to gain your pet’s cooperation long enough for you to brush her teeth. Additionally, checking your dog or cat’s oral hygiene is a normal part of our preventive care exams.
Be sure to feed your pet nutritious foods. Ingredients that have the word meal or by-product added to it are little more than filler and don’t provide any real nutritional value. We also encourage you to limit treats and make sure that your pet gets exercise each day.
Prepare a kit for your pet in the event of a natural disaster. If you’re suddenly facing a flood, fire, or tornado, you won’t be thinking clearly about what your pet needs to survive. Having a bag ready to go that has his food, toys, medications, and other essentials will help you evacuate your pet safely.
Learn as much as you can about your pet’s species. This allows you to form a deeper bond because you have realistic expectations about her behavior. It also gives you the tools you need to create a living environment that is as stress-free and nurturing as possible.
Feel free to contact us at Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic if you have questions about your pet’s health or care. If we haven’t seen your pet in more than a year, please schedule a check-up today.
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