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How to Create a Happy, Safe Halloween for You and Your Pets
Let the Dogs Out for Safe, Outdoor Fun in Cooler Weather
Underbelly Cat ‘Sack:’ Does Your Cat Have One and What Should You Do?

How to Create a Happy, Safe Halloween for You and Your Pets

Halloween is around the corner promising fun, tricks, treats and costumes. Have your pet in on the fun, but ensure she is safe at all times.

There’s really no trick to your pet’s safety. The ASPCA’s article, “Halloween Safety Tips,” offers common sense advice:
• Keep treats away: Many Halloween treats are dangerous for pets, so make sure to keep the candy bowl out of your pet’s reach. All forms of chocolate can be dangerous for dogs and cats, and candy with xylitol is harmful, too. If your pet eats anything toxic, call your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
• Wires and decorations: A flame in a jack-o-lantern can be deadly and start a fire if knocked over, so place in a safe area. Keep wires out of pets’ reach.
• Costumes: “For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress,” the article said. “The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.” Ensure the costume fits well and that she can move. Check for choking hazards. If your pet is “distressed or shows abnormal behavior,” ditch the costume.
• If you expect lots of trick-or-treaters, keep your pet safe in a separate room because “too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets,” the article said, and you don’t want your pet escaping out the door. Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with tags.

It’s also important to keep your pet safe from the unknown outdoors, according to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) article, “How to Give Your Pets a Safe and Happy Halloween.”

According to the HSUS, “Cats are always safest inside with you, but on Halloween it’s especially important to secure all pets inside.”

Let the Dogs Out for Safe, Outdoor Fun in Cooler Weather

When the temperature finally cools down in Arizona, all paws are up for fun in the fall weather. During the hot summer months it can be difficult to find things to do for dogs. The mid-fall weather is the perfect time to get outside so both of you can explore, exercise and have a ball — no pun intended!

Get out with your dog for some usual things such as extra-long walks, jogging and longer car rides ending up at the dog park.

Here are other fun ideas to try as suggested in Vetstreet’s article, “11 Fun Activities to Do With Your Dog This Fall:”

• Pumpkin patch pooches. With Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s pumpkin time! “Many pumpkin patches allow dogs — provided they are on leashes and their owners clean up after them,” the article said. Check the rules first.
• Off-season travel. Get out of town for a long weekend and stay at a pet-friendly hotel. Also, “Many beaches allow dogs during the off-season — and as a bonus, travel prices are often lower,” the article said.
• When all else fails, go camping! Rough it up with your pooch on a nature-loving camping trip. “Just make sure that in addition to packing the necessities for yourself, your dog is well-equipped as well,” the article said. “That means bringing a leash, dog food, treats, food and water bowls and a bed. And don’t forget the first aid kit!”

Don’t forget football season. Your dog is sure to have a favorite team, so make sure your tailgating pup is ready for a touchdown.

According to the article, “6 Great Fall Activities for Dogs,” at, “Gridiron season has an ongoing love affair with canines: From mascots to dog apparel, there are so many ways to get your favorite pooch involved.”

Underbelly Cat ‘Sack:’ Does Your Cat Have One and What Should You Do?

Is your cat a sad “sack?” If your cat has a “sack” under his belly, you might wonder what it is and why it’s there, especially if your cat is not overweight.

Sometimes, “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 “While some people mistakenly assume the cat develops this excess flesh as a result of being spayed or neutered, it’s actually a normal part of your cat’s anatomy.”

According to the article, the flap of skin and fat, “which often feels like a half-full water balloon” actually has a technical name called a “primordial pouch” that also can be seen in lions and tigers.

The “sack” is there for a variety of reasons, according to the article:

• It provides additional protection to your cat during fights. Additionally, “cats have excess skin covering the entire body which helps them squirm out of the grasp of other predators,” the article said.
• It allows the cat to move more freely “to fully stretch and extend the back legs when in full stride.”
• A primordial pouch that is visible “is actually a part of the breed standard” for breeds including the Bengal and Pixie Bob.
• Although the pouch or “sack” is normal, keep your cat at a normal, “healthy weight so excess fat isn’t stored in your cat’s abdominal flap,” the article said.

Since a cat’s metabolism slows down with age, the pouch’s size may increase and may store additional fat, according to the article, “Why Does My Cat Have a Flabby Belly?” at Pawsome Cats.

Speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

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