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Dangers of Thanksgiving Table Food and Your Pets
Declawing Your Cat and Why It’s Not Humane
The Importance of Socializing Your Dog

Dangers of Thanksgiving Table Food and Your Pets
People look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. It’s definitely a holiday where people love to gather around the table. If you have pets, they probably like to hang out under that table waiting for food to drop.

Feeding pets table scraps is especially dangerous during Thanksgiving. According to the article, “Thanksgiving pet safety,” at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.”

The article offers important tips:

• Keep pets away from turkey, which can cause pancreatitis. Other poisonous foods include onions, raisins, and grapes.
• Desserts are too rich for pets and chocolate is very dangerous. Xylitol, used in some sugar-free baking, can be deadly to dogs and cats.
• Yeast dough may cause gas and dangerous bloating in pets.
• Keep the trash shut tight and away from pets so they can’t get to the turkey carcass, any bones, or any string.

“Cats are actually more susceptible to the toxic effects of onions, garlic and chives; however, dogs are also at risk,” according to the article, “Dogs at Thanksgiving: Avoid These Dangerous Foods for Dogs” at Pet Central.

The Pet Central article also points to the dangers of macadamia nuts, which, when ingested by dogs, “can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.” Other nuts including almonds, walnuts, and pecans can also be dangerous to dogs because they are high in fats and oils.

Keep your pets away from alcoholic drinks as well as salty snack foods.

Make sure to watch your pets on Thanksgiving to ensure they don’t ingest any harmful foods.

If you fear your pet has ingested anything harmful, you can call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control number at 888-426-4435.

Declawing Your Cat and Why It’s Not Humane
Cats love to scratch and sometimes they get into things they shouldn’t. From scratching furniture to other household items, it can seem like a nuisance for cat owners.

Some owners turn to declawing. However, it’s important to do your research before making any decision.

“People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless ‘quick fix’ for unwanted scratching,” according to the article, “Declawing cats: Far worse than a manicure” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “They don’t realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.”

Other countries have banned the practice, but it is still allowed in places in the U.S.

Cats typically start to scratch at 8 weeks old, and it’s normal for them. “It isn’t done to destroy a favorite chair or to get even,” the HSUS article said. “Cats scratch to remove the dead husks from their claws, mark territory, and stretch their muscles.”

When cats start scratching, it’s time to teach them to use a scratching post.

Declawing is much more involved than people realize. According to “Position Statement on Declawing Cats” at the, “Declawing of cats, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claw cannot regrow. The surgery involves the risk of anesthesia, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications, including infection, and is accompanied by pain that may last from several days to much longer unless appropriate pain control is provided.”

It’s important to do research and speak with your vet or an animal behaviorist for alternatives.

The Importance of Socializing Your Dog
You do so much to create a great life for your dog, from providing food, bedding, and playtime to toys and veterinary care. What about socialization? It is a very important part of keeping your dog healthy.

“Improperly socialized dogs risk their own health, pose an injury risk to others, and often jeopardize the ability to provide ideal medical care when it is needed,” according to the article, “4 Reasons Why Socialization is Important for Your Dog’s Health” at

Four reasons to socialize your dog are:

1. When dogs are poorly socialized they are afraid of new circumstances, setting “off neurological signals that result in hormone secretion by various glands in the body,” the article said. It can lead to stress-related conditions.
2. It’s very difficult for a veterinarian to conduct a full physical exam on an unsocialized dog.
3. Dog owners with poorly socialized dogs often limit exercise due to fear of encountering other dogs and people.
4. It can be difficult or impossible for a groomer to do their job on an unsocialized dog.

Start socialization early. Also called “Proactive Exposure Training” at Preventive Vet, it “can help to reduce the development of fears and anxieties in your growing pup,” according to the article, “How To Socialize Your New Puppy and Why It’s Important.”

Start getting your puppy used to new sights and sounds in the home, from the vacuum to the dishwasher. Bring him out to your yard to explore while he’s on a leash to ensure he’s safe. Introduce him to family and friends, including visitors in wheelchairs and those wearing hats. Make sure to take him on car rides and bring him to local shops that allow dogs.

The more you socialize, the healthier your dog will be, and that’s good for everyone involved.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Dressing Up Pets for Halloween
What Is Bloat In Dogs and Why Is It A Serious Emergency?
Outdoor Activities You Can Do with Your Pet In Cooler Weather

Do’s and Don’ts for Dressing Up Pets for Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner. After a tough year, it’s a fun holiday we all can use and get excited about.

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, “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 “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.

What Is Bloat In Dogs and Why Is It A Serious Emergency?
What is bloat in dogs and why should you know?

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 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

Signs of bloat include:

• Swollen stomach
• Excessive drooling
• Panting
• 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

• 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

• 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!

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The Benefits of a Martingale Collar for Your Dog
Pool Safety: How to Keep Your Dogs Safe
Stomatitis in Cats: What Is It and Can It Be Treated?

The Benefits of a Martingale Collar for Your Dog
There are a variety of collars from which to choose for your dog, and there are many benefits of the martingale collar.

Often referred to as the greyhound collar or limited-slip collar, it is made for dogs with a narrow head and wider neck while also a good choice for any breed of dog who easily gets out of his regular collar.

“The martingale consists of a length of material with a metal ring at each end,” according to the article, “Dog collars,” at The Humane Society of the United States. “A separate loop of material passes through the two rings. The leash attaches to a ring on this loop.” If adjusted to your dog correctly and if your dog backs out of the martingale, it tightens but just to your dog’s neck size without choking him.

There are other pros about the martingale collar as compared to choke or slip collars that can be dangerous because of how tight they become when a dog pulls. A martingale won’t do that.

According to the article, “3 Benefits Of Using A Martingale Collar” at, the martingale is made from soft fabric and fits loose around a dog’s neck. The collar only tightens around the neck when it’s necessary. “Martingale collars distribute their pressure evenly around the neck rather than concentrating it in specific areas,” the SitStay article said.

The collar is good for training as it helps deter your dog from pulling his leash. “With a martingale collar, you can safely control your dog until they learn some basic commands,” according to SitStay. “The tightening action will indicate to dogs that they need to pay attention.” Not to mention, the collar can help keep your dog safe while walking.

Watch how to use the collar here:

Pool Safety: How to Keep Your Dogs Safe
Some of the best times of summer can be had in the swimming pool. It’s one of the perfect places to not only have fun but to cool off. What about your dogs? How can you keep them safe around the pool?

Keep in mind that not all dogs know how to swim. It’s a myth that they are born knowing how. While there are many dogs who like the water, many don’t.

Here’s some great pool tips for your dog, according to the article, “Five Pool Safety Tips for Dogs” at

1. Swimming lessons. Whether you do it or you hire a trainer, teach your dog how to swim. It’s important for your dog’s safety.
2. Buy a dog life vest. It’s a great way to ensure your dog is safe. “Just don’t rely on the life vest so much that you leave your dog unattended,” the article said.
3. Be extra careful with senior dogs. Many older dogs have certain health issues. First ask your vet if swimming is an option. If so, make sure you keep a careful watch over your senior.
4. CPR for dogs. This could be a lifesaver if you see your dog drowning. Click here for a PetMD article on how to perform CPR on dogs.
5. Ensure your pool is fenced in, yet another way to keep pets safe.

Also, remember it’s very important that dogs know how to get in and out of the pool, according to the article, “Dogs and Water Safety” at Fetch by WebMD. Make sure the water isn’t too cold before your dog takes a dip as cold water isn’t for all breeds. Also, rinse off your dog after swimming in any type of water, dry the ears, and never leave pets alone in the water.

Stomatitis in Cats: What Is It and Can It Be Treated?
There’s probably nothing worse than a toothache, and that goes for cats too. Stomatitis is a dental disease that cats get, and it’s very painful. While related to gingivitis, stomatitis is inflammation of the mucosal tissues in a cat’s mouth.

According to the article, “Stomatitis in Cats: Feline Dental Disease” at Best Friends Animal Society, some signs of stomatitis include:
• No appetite
• Pawing at the mouth
• Some personality changes
• Bloody saliva
• Weight loss

While there really isn’t one cause of stomatitis, a main belief “is that it is caused by chronic viral infections such as calicivirus and herpesvirus,” the article said. Weakened immune systems in cats can lead to the disease as well as immune-mediated diseases, ingestion of irritants, foreign bodies as well as kidney failure.

Managing stomatitis can include extraction of all of a cat’s teeth that have the inflammation, which “removes the sites to which plaque can attach,” the article said. Scaling and polishing can help but the plaque usually returns. Additionally, after extraction, vets will prescribe long-term antibiotics.

“Often, extractions and long-term antibiotics are not enough,” the Best Friends article said. “In this situation, an anti-inflammatory (typically, prednisone) is often needed. Prednisone can be given in oral form or as a long-acting injection.”

Most often the best option is removal of all the teeth.

“But this disease process is also very aggressive, and when you have full, degenerative disease occurring in the mouth, without aggressive intervention, many cats will stop eating and begin the dying process,” according to the article, “Feline Stomatitis: This is One Dental Disease You Don’t Want to Trifle With” at Healthy Pets.

And, cats can be OK without their teeth. “Many cats with full mouth extractions experience dramatic relief and have a significantly improved quality of life,” the Healthy Pets article said.