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November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”

November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
Thanksgiving is around the corner. With so many things to be thankful for, make sure you don’t overlook your pets. They bring so much joy and add so much to life, and November is the perfect time to give them thanks.

According to the article, “Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets” at, your pet “is a member of your family and deserves to be appreciated for all the love and companionship he offers you.”

Some of the great things you get from pets include snuggling sessions, their excitement when you arrive home from work, laughter, they are playful, they are great companions so you’re never alone, and unconditional love. “Pets don’t care what you look like, what you do for a living, that you bite your nails or clean only when company’s coming over,” the article said.

Pets truly “make us whole and happy,” according to the article, “10 Reasons To Be Grateful For Pets This Thanksgiving,” at The article offers some more reasons to be grateful for pets:

• Animals keep us present and “remind us to be mindful.”
• Pets give us purpose. When you help homeless animals or shelter pets, “it feels worthy and meaningful.”
• Animals are good teachers by allowing us our imperfections and accepting us as we are as we learn and grow.
• Pets keeps us active. We walk our dogs and go on hikes, and we play with our cats and rabbits. They help keep us physical and young.
• We become better. “Studies show that petting an animal can reduce a person’s heart rate as well as their blood pressure, and animals keep us physically healthier overall because they keep us moving,” the article said.

For all pets bring to life, being grateful to them is the least we can do.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Many of us wait all year for Thanksgiving to come, dreaming of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, oh my! If you have sneaky dogs or cats who enjoy hiding under the table or standing at your leg begging for a morsel, it might be hard to resist their cute faces. However, think twice before you drop that turkey.

Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving feast more than a sick dog or cat. “In fact, abrupt changes in diet or too many rich, fatty foods are just a few of the reasons why veterinary clinics see an uptick in cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and gastrointestinal upset right after Thanksgiving,” according to the article, “10 Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Pets” at

Many Thanksgiving foods are detrimental to pets who should stay away from things cooked with garlic, butter, sour cream or bacon drippings. “Don’t leave food within reach of counter surfers and take garbage outside so your pets don’t into it while you’re engrossed in the football game,” the article said.

Some foods are literally poisonous to pets. According to the article, “Thanksgiving Pet Safety” at (American Veterinary Medical Association), keep pets away from fatty foods that are hard for them to digest, poultry bones that can do damage to the digestive tract, and some holiday sweets that have ingredients that are poisonous.

The AVMA article offers tips:

• Some poisonous foods for pets include onions, raisins and grapes. Even a bit of turkey or turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.
• Keep pets away from desserts especially ones with chocolate and xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
• Yeast dough may cause bloating and gas.
• Keep trash away and out of pets’ reach.

If your pet eats anything poisonous, call your vet, emergency clinic and/or ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435.

Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”
Cats are amazing animals. They are intelligent, adorable, fun, playful, and sometimes sneaky. Ask any cat person, and they’ll tell you all that and more. They also may tell you about their cat’s saggy belly. Not all cats develop that flap underneath near the belly, but some do. What is it?

Sometimes cats who are not overweight otherwise may have a hanging belly. “Unlike most dogs that generally have firm bellies, this pouch of saggy skin just in front of the rear legs is common in cats and can often be seen swinging merrily from side to side as the cat trots along,” according to the article, “Why do many cats have a saggy belly?” at

The saggy belly is a part of your cat’s natural anatomy. The technical term for the flap of skin is the “primordial pouch,” which also can be seen in some lions and tigers, the article said. “This bit of loose skin and padding at the belly provides extra protection and insulation to your cat during fights when a cat’s practice of “bunny kicking” with the rear paws could result in severe abdominal injury to their opponent.”

It is also said that the flap allows the stomach to stretch in order to hold more food, which would make sense for cats in the wild, according to the article, “Why Does My Cat Have a Flabby Belly?” at Pawesome Cats.

When a cat ages and his metabolism slows, he may store more fat. This could cause the pouch to increase its size as well.

Remember that even though the flap is part of your cat’s overall anatomy, it’s not a reason to keep him otherwise overweight. Keep your cat at a healthy weight to help him live a long life.

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We all know that exercise is not just good for the body but the mind as well. It keeps us healthy and makes us feel good, if not during then afterward. Sometimes getting up off the couch to exercise can seem like a chore. However, an exercise partner can help with motivation. You might not know it, but the best partner can be your own dog.


Most dogs love at least a good walk, which can be great in and of itself. But many dogs can be up for much more than that, and they’re always eager to get outdoors and exercise. “That energy can be contagious: research from Michigan State University found that canine owners were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than folks who didn’t have a dog,” according to the article, “13 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog” at


Get Moving


There are so many more exercise activities for you and your dog. According to the article, some include:


  • If you’re a runner, your dog will keep you moving as soon as he learns your routine. Be careful when it’s too hot and humid though.
  • Stand-up paddle boarding. This is great for dogs who love the water. While you are paddling and getting fit, your dog rides on the nose. It’s great for dogs of any size. Make sure your dog wears a life preserver.
  • Dog-friendly boot camp. Who knew? But it’s a thing. These classes for people and their dogs are sprouting up more and more, “In a typical class, you’ll run through high-intensity moves for strength, balance and cardio while your four-legged companion practices obedience drills,” the article said.
  • This is especially great for herding dogs, such as border collies and Australian shepherds.
  • Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. This is great when it’s cold outside and you don’t want you and your pup to be stuck indoors. Not only is it great for cold-weather dogs such as huskies, but other dogs love snow as well. Try snow booties.


Then Came Yoga


More people and their dogs are doing yoga. Some yoga instructors are now even teaching “doga” or yoga with dogs, according to the article, “Doga: Doing Yoga With Your Dog” at


With doga, members of a yoga class “perform yoga poses that incorporate their dogs,” the article said. “While the dogs aren’t doing the exact same poses as their human partners, they are either participating by performing a compatible dog-friendly pose, or are contributing by becoming an extension of the yogi’s pose.”


Yoga can be great for your dog, especially if he is anxious. The benefits are many and include spending time with your dog, teaching him to trust you, and both of you enjoying a sense of peacefulness.


It just goes to show, that incorporating your dog into your exercise plans makes for happy healthy dog and human.


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Should You Dress Up Your Pet for Halloween?
How to Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy All Year Long
Debunking the Black Cat Myth?

Should You Dress Up Your Pet for Halloween?
Halloween is just around the corner! It means fall is truly in the air, pumpkins are out in full force, and witches are buying up broomsticks as if they were going out of style. Should you buy a cute costume for your dog or cat?

Costumes are definitely not for all pets, according to the ASPCA article, “Pets in Halloween Costumes: Pro or Con?” which “suggests putting your pet in a costume only if you’re sure he will enjoy it.” Some pets love to wear costumes while others are not fond of it at all. Sometimes it can even cause stress.

If you know that your pet if OK with a costume, the ASPCA article offers tips:

• Ensure the costume doesn’t “constrict his movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow,” the article said.
• Check the costume so there are no pieces that are dangling or that can be easily chewed.
• Your pet should wear ID in case he gets lost or escapes. Remember, “tags or a microchip can be lifesavers,” the article said.

In Dr. Marty Becker’s blog, “The pros and cons of pet Halloween costumes,” take your pet’s personality into consideration. “If your pet is shy, old or excessively dignified, limit costume capers to a spooky bandana and put your dress-up desires into your own costume,” Becker wrote.

Ensure your pet’s hearing and sight are not compromised and that the costume doesn’t irritate the skin. If your pet tries to get out of the costume, he should probably not wear one. If you take your pet outside, be visible and use a glow-in-the-dark collar or leash.

Be sure that your pet doesn’t get into the candy. Have some of his own special treats with you or waiting at home.

How to Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy All Year Long
If you have a cat at home, it’s important to ensure she not only is happy, but that she lives a long, healthy life. While we often hear about taking dogs to the vet, it’s just as important for cats to get checkups.

According to the article, “How to Have a Healthy and Happy Cat,” at, as
“the cat population slowly increases, veterinary care provided to cats progressively decreases. Typically, cats fail to receive the same veterinary attention as dogs.”

It’s easier than you think to keep your cat healthy and does not have to be too costly. The article offers tips:

• Keep your cat inside as cats left outside alone can be prone to various dangers.
• Keep cats healthy with a yearly physical exam and twice a year for senior cats.
• You’ll need a carrier to transport your cat to the vet. “Teach him or her that it is a safe place and not a torture device,” the article said.
• A microchip can save your cat’s life if she gets out of the house.

Famous for being independent and curious, cats can sleep up to 20 hours in a day, according to the article, “Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Cat,” at They like to play, too, so be sure your cat has toys, from colorful string to toy mice. Also provide clean water and yummy food.

Because cats are very particular, make sure their litter box is always clean. You don’t want your cat to potty anywhere else in the house. The petMD article said that a “scoopable litter is great for easy cleaning on a daily basis.” You’ll be able to watch your cat for any signs of health issues such as changes in odor so you can remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Debunking the Black Cat Myth
Scary. Creepy. Spooky. Those terms have been associated with black cats who have been getting a bad rap for a long time, especially around Halloween. Superstitions abound around black cats including the one about them being unlucky.

Unfortunately, the myth about black cats doesn’t do anyone any good, especially black cats, who are more difficult to adopt at shelters because of their unfounded bad reputation.

According to No. 7 in the article, “9 Common Cat Myths Debunked,” at, “There are nearly as many superstitions about black cats bringing luck as there are about them being harbingers of bad luck.” Basically, it depends on who you talk to and their culture and in what part of the world they live.

There is a type of historical connection with witches and black cats, which then somehow brought the bad luck along with it. And “in some cultures, meeting a black cat can be a sign of good fortune,” according to Petfinder’s article, “Cats and Witches: The Magical History of Black Cats.”

Black Cats and Adoption

Because of so many superstitions involved black cats themselves have had some bad luck, according to the article, “Black Cats” at A stigma follows them so that they “are often overlooked at shelters,” the article said, which may be a “result of our deep-rooted, long-held cultural superstitions and fears about black cats.”

In the end, black cats are simply felines who need love just like any other cat. “They have their own personalities: some are loving, some are aloof, some playful, and some sedate,” according to the article.

Black cats bring love, fun, laughs, good times and companionship. They need homes just like any cat, so taking home a black cat will be a great choice for human and feline.