Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Halloween is celebrated in various countries around the world on October 31st. It is usually a night to dress up in costumes, where children go door to door “Trick or Treating” for candy. It is also a time for theme and costume parties and carries many traditions such as adorning houses with spooky decorations, carving pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns, bobbing for apples, playing pranks, visiting haunted houses and attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror movies. The modern imagery of Halloween as a spooky holiday with its themes of death and decay, evil spirits and monsters coming to life, and filled with frightening imagery and symbols have become the modern commercial incarnation of an ancient religious celebration.
Modern day Halloween evolved from a traditional Celtic celebration held the evening before the Christian feast of All Hallows Day, a day dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints and martyrs. It was Irish immigrants who brought the custom not only to North America, but to other parts of Great Britain, Australia, and parts of Asia, and Africa during British colonialism. While the more iconic and commercial elements of modern-day Halloween are largely influenced by the North American traditions that developed in the early 19th century, the exact traditions observed can vary greatly from country to country. In some countries like Australia, New Zealand and parts of the UK, celebrating Halloween is not as mainstream as in Canada, the US, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore, but slowly seems to be gaining popularity. No matter where in the world you live, if you celebrate Halloween in all its modern-day frightening glory, make sure you take a moment to think about how celebrating the traditions of the holiday might affect your pets and take note of a few tips to keep them safe.
Halloween Candy is NOT for pets!
Children look forward to the haul of candy they get from Trick or Treating all year. However, make sure that any and all candy is kept out of reach from curious wet noses. All forms of chocolate can be extremely toxic, even fatal for pets to consume. Candy that is artificially sweetened with Xylitol can also be toxic for dogs if ingested. And if pets get into the Halloween stash and eat it, wrappers and all, the foil and cellophane packaging can cause internal blockages, stomach upsets and more. Err on the side of caution, and keep all of the Halloween treats safely out of your pet’s reach.
Think carefully about costumes
Dressing up your furry friend for Halloween can seem like the cutest idea ever! But be smart when it comes to dressing up your pet. Make sure any costume choice is not too tight and does not restrict or prohibit any type of movement. Check that it also does not interfere with their range of vision or hearing. Look for any small or easily removable pieces like buttons or accessories that pets could tug off and ingest. If using any type of dye or paint is absolutely necessary, look for ones that are non-toxic and even ingestible, or ones made specifically for animals, so that if your pet ingests it while grooming they do not get sick. Try on your pet’s costume in advance of the big day; if they seem to react badly to it, acting distressed or showing abnormal behavior, consider forgoing the full costume for a festive bandanna instead.
Keep your pet safely inside during Halloween
Even a dog that is good with children and strangers can get overwhelmed or scared if your neighborhood gets busy with ghosts and goblins overtaking the streets on Halloween night. Keeping all your pets confined safely inside during Halloween can be a good idea for many reasons. The sight of scary creatures your pet does not know or understand may scare them and set off their protective instincts, causing them to react in aggressive ways. Just having them loose inside the house can pose issues; with the doorbell constantly ringing and people knocking, shouting “TICK OR TREAT” at their owners dressed as puzzling and unknown beings can make your pets territorial, anxious, and upset. Even a well-behaved pet may dart outside during an opening of the door, and Halloween is not an evening you want to be searching the neighborhood for your escaped furry friend. Keeping them somewhere out of the way, like a bedroom upstairs out of sight of the door, and turning on a TV or radio to drown out the sounds of Halloween can make the evening easier on your pet.
If you do decide to take your dog out during Halloween, make sure they are on a secure leash and kept close to you and under control at all times. The sight of frightening creatures out and about in their neighborhood may cause a usually-friendly dog to bark, growl or snap at an unsuspecting reveler coming in for a friendly pet, or take off across the street after a perceived threat.
You may want to consider not leaving your pets outside for extended periods of time on their own around and during Halloween. It is a time that pranksters and troublemakers of all kinds come out looking for mischief, and even if you think your dog is safe in your own yard, you would hate to be mistaken should anything happen. If you have an outdoor cat, it can be a good idea to keep them inside for a few days as well, protected from any pranksters and animal cruelty-related incidents.
Keep your pet’s safety in mind when decorating.
Going all out with festive decorations can be a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday, but make sure your décor is pet-friendly. Keep any electrical cords and wires tucked away or taped down so they can be chewed on. Remember that lit jack-o-lanterns can become a fire hazard with the swipe of a tail. Those spooky spider webs can get caught in fur, faces, and paws pretty easily. Pumpkins, gourds, and decorative corn husks, while usually nontoxic, can still cause stomach upset if ingested.
Halloween can be an exciting holiday to celebrate, but take a few moments to consider your pet’s safety, to make sure the whole family has a frighteningly good time!
Monday, October 24, 2016
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
This month is also home to National Pet Wellness Month. Sometimes keeping your pet healthy means having to give life long medications for specific health issues. Cats specifically can be difficult to medicate, but we have some tips on how to do it successfully!
The easiest way to give your cat a pill is to hide the pill in food. This usually works best if the pill is hidden in a small amount of tuna or cream cheese. To ensure that the pill is actually taken, it is best to give a small amount of food that the cat is certain to eat rather than a large portion that the cat may not complete. Some cats may spit out the pill, so it is important to monitor this activity. If your cat persists in spitting out the pills or if dietary restrictions prevent you from hiding the pills in an appealing treat, you will need to administer the pill directly into the cat’s mouth.
Here's a quick 2 minute video demonstrating how it's done.
If you're still having trouble, don't hesitate to call our office and ask for a personal demonstration with your kitty and one of our veterinary assistants.
Monday, September 26, 2016
October has many National Pet Holidays (which we will highlight individually throughout the month) and today we are going to feature Adopt-A-Dog Month!
Here are some great adoption tips from the ASPCA if you are interested in adding to your family!
Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet. Read on for tips to prepare yourself, as well as your home, for a new furry friend.
Are You Ready to Adopt?When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?
- Owning a dog or cat costs more than the initial adoption fee. Food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering and proper identification—that means a collar with tags and a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping—can add up.
- Time is also a factor. Dogs benefit from several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you're out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.
Which Pet Is Right for You?Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what pet is right for your household. Research different breeds and ask shelter staffers for guidance—they're experts at making perfect matches!
- It is important to consider whether your children, along with your resident pets, are able to accommodate the addition of a cat or dog to your household.
If You’re Considering Adopting a Dog
Loyal and loving, dogs are social animals who thrive on being upstanding members of their families.
- If there are young children in your home, a puppy may not be your best bet. You may want to consider adopting a medium-sized dog over five months of age.
- It is a good idea to draw up a schedule of who in the family will help with the care of your new dog, including walking, playing, feeding and grooming.
- Don’t forget to have your new friend spayed or neutered.
Preparing Your Home for a New DogWhether it's tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you'll need to make your home safe before adopting. That includes keeping toxic foods, pet-unfriendly plants and dangerous household items out of paw's reach. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home to welcome a new canine companion.
- Put a cozy bed for your pet in every room. Pets are much more likely to keep off of furniture if they have attractive alternatives.
- Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels and long cords that can become strangulation hazards.
- It may be a good idea to roll up and store decorative rugs until your new dog is fully house-trained.
- Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when home alone until his house manners earn him unsupervised freedom.
- Provide plenty of “legal” things for your dog to chew. If he has attractive toys and bones of his own, he’ll be much less likely to gnaw on your things!
Ready to do this? Visit the Charlotte SPCA website for a list of adoption events going on this month! Can't adopt? Here's are ways to help spread awareness from Petfinder!
- Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! #savedogs Find yours at Petfinder.com
- Tweet “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! #savedogs
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group (you can search for groups near you here) and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
- Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption Happy Tail on your blog, Facebook or Twitter page each day of the month.
- Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group to find out how you can help.
- Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.
- Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local paper.
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pics to Petfinder.
- Donate to your local shelter or rescue group or to the Petfinder.com Foundation in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.
- Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.