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When Adopting, Don’t Forget That Senior Pets Make Great Family Members, Too
Thanksgiving Is a Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
What You Should Do If Your Pet Ingests a Foreign Object

When Adopting, Don’t Forget That Senior Pets Make Great Family Members, Too


So many people seem to want puppies and kittens. There’s no doubt that they are cute and cuddly. However, senior pets are adorable as well. They have their own way about them. They are lovable and need a great forever home. Overlooked by many who want the younger pets, seniors make great companions who are forever grateful. And there’s no better time to adopt a senior than during November, which is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

According to the article, “November Is Senior Pet Month: Consider Adopting an Older Pet,” at the ASPCA website, “Animal shelters across the country are full of animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds and ages, but senior pets are typically the most difficult to place.”

Older pets typically spend more time at shelters and rescues being passed over for younger pets while waiting for homes, “if they find one at all, that is,” according to an article at DogTime. Additionally, the euthanasia rates for those older cats and dogs are higher than for younger cats and dogs.

One of the many great things about adopting an older pet is that there are basically fewer surprises. According to the ASPCA article, many of these dogs and cats are already trained, fully grown, and “their personalities have developed.”  Even though they may seem more set in their ways, “that doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” the article said. “In our experience, senior dogs are often easier to train than puppies due to their calm demeanor and prior interactions with human companions.”

Older pets are also great family companions for seniors and those who are at a point where they are less active. Seniors oftentimes dote on their senior furry family members, making senior pets feel especially welcome in their new home.

Thanksgiving Is a Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets

We love our pets. They make us laugh, give us purpose, cheer us up when we are down, and keep us active and playful. There are so many things to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving, so make sure to give thanks to your pet, too.

According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in its article, “What Are Your Pet’s Plans for Thanksgiving?” one of the most important things we can do for our canines and felines during the holiday is to keep them safe and healthy. “It’s all too easy for dinner guests to accidentally leave a door open and allow an escape,” the article said. “And your uncle’s goodhearted desire to slip a few leftovers to your dog under the table can actually be dangerous.”

We would never want our pets to become lost and be out alone and scared, or fall ill due to ingesting dangerous foods that bring them to the emergency clinic. Be prepared with the HSUS list of foods your pets should avoid.

Here are some ways to give thanks to your pets:

  1. Keep your pets in a safe, calm place if you are expecting company. Your pets may get stressed out, so ensure they have their own calm area to hang out.
  2. Have natural, safe treats on hand and keep your pets away from leftovers that can cause harm.
  3. Enusre you make time for them during the hustle and bustle of the holiday. Take them on a walk or enjoy extra playtime just for them.

Our pets give us so much joy and make us feel special while they are always excited to see and be with us. Let’s show them some extra love in return this Thanksgiving.

What You Should Do If Your Pet Ingests a Foreign Object

From rocks and socks to clothes and paper for dogs and thread and rodents for cats, some pets want to eat anything and everything they can get their little paws on! Some just seem to be vacuum cleaners who will suck up anything that comes their way. What if that something poses a danger and gets stuck?

In dogs, “Sometimes, objects are too big to progress through the digestive tract, and when this is the case, they cause an obstruction,” according to “Does Your Dog Have an Appetite for Life?” at Pet Health Network. If your dog suffers from symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or lack of appetite, consult your veterinarian as it may be cause for concern. Your vet may want to take X-rays or run bloodwork or other tests. Treatment can vary from inducing vomiting to surgery.

According to the article, “If the object has made it into the intestine, surgery is imminent.” If there is a blockage, it “can cut blood supply to the stomach and intestinal tissue. After a few hours, it is possible for the tissue to become necrotic, or ‘die.’”

Although there are similarities when cats ingest a foreign object, there are some differences, too. In the article “Did Your Cat Eat Something Weird?” at Pet Health Network, watch for vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite. If a cat swallows thread it can be very life-threatening, “especially if it is attached to a needle,” the article said. “As the cat swallows thread, it can wrap around the tongue and pull against the tongue with each swallow. If that sounds uncomfortable, consider what can happen if a needle is attached to that thread: it may pierce the stomach or intestines multiple times and keep the thread from passing through the digestive tract.”

As with dogs, if your cat has swallowed a foreign object and may be stuck, surgery could be required. Ensure that you consult your veterinarian for the best possible outcome.

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Black Cats, Halloween and Debunking the MythsBlack cat

Halloween is nigh. Often what follows are the countless myths about black cats. From being bad luck to the numerous stories told throughout the years about black cats who are used for ritualistic torture, you can’t help but wonder what’s true and what’s a hoax. So how do you determine fact from fiction when it comes to black felines at this time of year?

One myth is that there are those who steal black cats from yards or off the streets in order to use them for rituals, while another myth says black cats are adopted from shelters prior to Halloween to be used for decoration, only to then be returned to the shelter. It is also heavily advised to keep black cats and pets in general indoors because of the nature of the holiday. Any of the scenarios are just as horrifying as some of the scary movies that are released this time of year.

Whether the myths are just rumor or speculation, there are many shelters throughout the country that refrain from adopting out black cats during this time of year as a simple precaution.

However, what’s the truth, and will we ever really get to the bottom of the rumors?

In the article by Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, “Are Black Cats in Greater Danger Around Halloween?” at VetStreet, the concerns are “based on little more than hearsay, that black cats are sought out on Halloween for Satanic rituals” along with the other myths. “In the meantime, people who’d offer perfect homes for these pets may not come into the shelter at all while an adoption ban is in effect.”

For those who blame Halloween and rituals on cats not returning home or being killed, there are typically explanations such as being hit by a car, being poisoned by accident or on purpose, or caught by coyotes, the article said. This is reason enough to keep cats inside the home during Halloween and throughout the year.

According to Becker’s article, Francis Battista, cofounder of the Best Friends Animal Society said, “There is no evidence that black cats are at special risk of abuse if adopted around Halloween.” She added that the “fear-driven policy” only puts cats of all colors at risk of dying in shelters “due to overcrowding.”

In the article, Becker points out that good shelters look for reasons to adopt out their pets. “They recognize that powerful, positive marketing (such as through the Shelter Pet Project and Petfinder) helps get pets into great homes. The shelters that put black cats ‘on special’ are using a ‘hook’ to get people thinking about adoption.”

And that’s no trick. It’s actually the best treat there is!

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From Tricks to Treats: How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Most everyone loves Halloween. Between the costumes and all the treats you can eat, it’s a great time for children, adults and pets. There’s ways to ensure your pets stay safe. From dangerous costume materials to toxic foods, it’s important to keep your pets out of harm’s way.

According to the ASPCA’s “Halloween Safety Tips,” remember to keep all that tasty candy away from pets. Your pets may want those tasty treats, but they can be downright deadly to them, and that’s real scary! “Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets,” according to the ASPCA. If you fear your pet has gotten into anything toxic, contact your veterinarian or immediately contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

You may not realize the dangers Halloween decorations can pose to your pets. Be careful of wires and even a carved jack-o-lantern. According to the ASPCA, “pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire.” Also remember that kittens are curious and easily can get burned by candle flames. The ASPCA also suggests keeping your pets away from pumpkins and “decorative corn.” They may not be totally toxic to pets but they can cause an upset stomach.

Your dog may look absolutely adorable in that Batman costume. And kitty may wow them in a Wonder Woman getup. However, costumes are not for every pet and “may cause undue stress.” Unless you know your pet is up for that costume, the ASPCA doesn’t recommend it. If the costume is a go, the ASPCA says:
• Ensure the costume does not limit “movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow.”
• Ensure the costume does not have any “small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces” that could cause choking.
• Ensure the costume fits correctly so that it does not “get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”

Keep your pet calm during the activities of Halloween, including when strangers come to the door. If your pets get too stressed out, it’s best to leave them in another room. Always “be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside,” and that they are wearing ID at all times, just in case, according to the ASPCA.


October is Dedicated to the Welfare and Care of Domestic and Wild Animals

African Dog
October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month, an entire month dedicated to the welfare of animals, both domestic and wild. National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation, which was founded to help “people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all nature,” according to This special month was “dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals.” It recognizes the importance of animals and the roles they play in our lives, even to those without pets. It hopes to ensure “that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve.”

According to, there are a variety of ways in which to participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Here are some ideas:

  • Tend to the needs of your own pets, starting with ensuring they are microchipped for their safety. Make sure they wear ID tags at all times.
  • Your home has many items that can be dangerous or toxic to pets. Pet proof your home so your pets can’t get into anything that is harmful.
  • Create a “disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home.”

For those who don’t have pets, here are some great ideas:

  • Volunteer at a local shelter
  • Foster a pet
  • Donate money
  • Donate supplies to shelters

It’s a great time to get others involved and spread the word, especially for those who don’t know about National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Contact your local newspaper, TV and radio stations and tell them about it and ask what they will do to help promote and bring awareness. The more people who know, the more who can get involved to help ensure that safety practices for animals are in place this month and throughout the year.


Foods to Keep Away from Pets to Ensure Their Health

Every year, usually beginning in October due to Halloween and other upcoming holidays, we are reminded once again of toxic foods and pets. It’s a good reminder to keep a list handy now and throughout the year.

If we let our pets have the run of the house, they would eat anything and everything. However, that would be a very bad idea. Very often the foods we love to eat can be very dangerous to our pets and sometimes can even cause death. So it’s best to know what foods are OK and those that are not.

Remember, it is always a good idea to discuss food choices with your veterinarian. In addition, the Humane Society of the United States provides a list of foods that may be poisonous for your pets:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
  • Yeast dough

If you feel your pet has gotten into any food that may be poisonous, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling (888) 426-4435. (A fee many apply.)