What about pets and costumes? Is dressing up your pet even a good idea? Does your pet even like it?
Pets are cute no matter what, and an adorable costume may make your pet look festive but there are some things to keep in mind.
According to the article, “10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets” at PetMD.com, “If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your pet.”
Try the costume on your pet before Halloween, introducing the outfit slowly, even one piece at time and for short periods at a time. “If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go in his ‘birthday suit,’” the article said. Or just have your pet wear a fun bandana.
For pets who don’t enjoy wearing a costume, don’t force it. “If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow,” according to the article, “Halloween Safety Tips” at the ASPCA.org. “Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”
Ensure the costume your pet wears is safe and that it fits but is not too tight or too loose. Check for any pieces that can pose a choking hazard as well. Safety is always No. 1 for your pet.
Bloat, also called gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome (GDV), “is a disease in dogs in which the animal’s stomach dilates and then rotates, or twists, around its short axis,” according to the article, “Bloat or Stomach Dilatation in Dogs” at PetMD.com. Other emergency conditions can occur including “progressive distension of the stomach, increased pressure within the abdomen, damage to the cardiovascular system, and decreased perfusion.”
With bloat, there is no time to waste and getting your dog to a vet is of the utmost concern because it can be fatal.
Bloat can happen to any type or size of dog, but it usually occurs in larger breeds and more so in older males, according to the article, “Signs and Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs” at PetMD.com.
Signs of bloat include:
• Swollen stomach
• Excessive drooling
• Walking around/pacing
• Trying to vomit without success
Even though vets don’t know the causes of bloat, the following can put your dog at risk, according to the article, “Dog Bloat: How to Protect Your Pup” at WebMD.com:
• Using a raised food bowl
• Eating one large meal a day
• Eating too fast
• Playing or running after your dog eats
If X-rays show a twisted stomach, “your dog will have emergency surgery to untwist it and put it back in its normal position,” according to the WebMD article. “The vet also will fix the stomach in the right place to keep your dog from getting bloat again.”
There are some things you can try to help prevent bloat, according to the “Signs and Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs” article. They include feeding small meals during the day, not using an elevated bowl, avoiding dry dog food, reducing stress, and having readily available water all the time.
Outdoor Activities You Can Do with Your Pet In Cooler Weather
Let’s hear it for cooler weather! Who doesn’t love a dip in temperatures after a long, hot summer, especially after having been cooped up inside for months. Getting outdoors for fun activities will be good for you and your pet.
Start with longer walks for exercise and then contemplate other fun fall things to do together.
Here are fun activities, according to the article, “11 Fun Activities to Do With Your Dog This Fall” at Vetstreet.com:
• If your dog is OK with Halloween costumes, enter a contest.
• Apple picking. Keep your dog on a leash and check the orchard’s dog policy. “You can share a bite of apple with your dog, just make sure he doesn’t eat the seeds, which can be toxic,” the article said.
• Take a mini vacation to an off-season destination.
• Go hiking. Speak to your vet first to ensure your dog is healthy enough for the exercise routine. You’ll see fall foliage but avoid poison ivy. Ensure your dog has tick prevention but also check for ticks while you’re out there.
• Find a pile of leaves for your dog to jump into, but ensure there’s nothing sharp in the pile.
According to the article, “6 Great Fall Activities for Dogs” at Pet Central, you can start with pumpkin picking, which is perfect for the fall. “Many pumpkin patches allow well-behaved, leashed dogs to accompany their parents on pumpkin picking excursions,” the article said. Before you head over, call and find out if they welcome dogs. If so, make sure to bring cleanup bags, fresh water, and ensure your dog is always on a leash. Also, ensure your dog is on flea and tick prevention medicine.
There’s so many things you can do with your pet in the crisp, fall weather. So, get out there and enjoy!