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Keep Your Pet Safe on Halloween
Why Black Dogs Are Overlooked at Shelters
It’s National Cat Day: Show Your Cat Some Extra Love

Keep Your Pet Safe on Halloween

Halloween means costumes, treats, and candy. But if you have pets, Halloween can pose some problems and can even be scary for them. There are many things that are not safe for pets, and that includes Halloween candy.

According to the article, “10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets,” at, “All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats.” Pets who ingest chocolate can experience vomiting, rapid breathing, diarrhea, seizures and increased heart rate, the article said. Additionally, be very careful of candy with xylitol, the artificial sweetener, which can be poisonous to dogs.

The PetMD article also offered up the following tips:
• Keep your pets indoors and safely tucked away in a room, especially if you expect many trick-or-treaters at the door. It can be scary for pets who could try to dart out the door to escape.
• Keep lit pumpkins away from pets.
• Keep pets away from electric- and battery-powered Halloween decorations.
• Do not leave your pets out in the yard. “Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night,” according to the article.

While dressing up can be fun for the kids, pets may not be happy about it. “If you do choose a costume for your pet, consider your pet’s personality and what type of costume they may tolerate and for how long,” according to the article, “Halloween safety tips for pets,” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

It’s always a good idea to watch your pet if you have a costume on him. You want to be sure your pet is comfortable. “Also be sure to remove any chewable parts or objects that could come off and choke your pet,” the HSUS article said.

Why Black Dogs Are Overlooked at Shelters

Black dogs may be beautiful but they get the short end of the stick when it comes to adoption. For some reason they have a difficult time getting adopted from shelters.

There is something called black dog syndrome, “a phenomenon in pet adoption in which black dogs are ignored in favor of light-colored ones,” according to the article, “What Is Black Dog Syndrome?” at The Spruce Pets.

These black dogs are usually at shelters longer than the smaller dogs with lighter-colored fur. Additionally, many of the black dogs get euthanized because of that, according to the article.

Unfortunately, it’s not just black dogs who suffer from the negativity. Black cats have also faced the stigma. “Some believe black cats are in a tougher position due to the added stigma of superstition and their association with witchcraft, which could deter potential owners,” the article said.

According to the article, “Fact or myth? Are black dogs less likely to be adopted?” at, “According to ASPCA, 32% of black dogs were adopted in 2013, a significant number. But on the other side, shelters are full of dogs with black coats because they are among the most-surrendered pets.”

According to the DogsBestLife article, there are many reasons to adopt a black dog:

• Many family dogs are black, including the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Great Danes.
• Black dogs are natural heat absorbers and great to snuggle with on cold nights.
• Easy cleanup includes spotting black hair when it’s on the couch, your sweater, or the carpet.
• Adopting a black dog (or any dog) saves the dog’s life and another because it frees up room at the shelter for another to have a chance.

It’s National Cat Day: Show Your Cat Some Extra Love

If you didn’t have another reason to show your cat some love, now you do on National Cat Day. This special day is on Oct. 29 and gives you more reasons to show the love.

How can you show your cat even more love? You can “go the extra mile with a new toy or a new game,” according to the article, “5 Ways to Shower Your Cat with Love on National Cat Day” at

“Surprising your kitty with a new interactive puzzle toy or treat dispenser toy also offers a fun way to encourage them to play even on days when they’re not the center of attention,” the article said.

If your cat loves to look out the window, try a catio. It’s a great way to keep your cat outside while being safe. The catio is an enclosed patio designed for cats. If you don’t have room for a catio, take your cat outdoors in a pet stroller or cat backpack.

According to the article, you can also do the following:

• Bake your cat some homemade, healthy treats or buy some ready-made ones.
• Take fun photos of your cat and share away with friends and family.
• Treat your cat to a spa day with a good but gentle brushing.

According to the article, “National Cat Day: When is it and how can you celebrate?” at, there are other things you can do to celebrate the special day. “One of the best ways to get involved this National Cat Day is to adopt a feline furkid from a shelter or cat rescue organization in your area,” the article said.

You can also volunteer at a shelter and play with the cats or help clean cages and litter boxes. Shelters and rescues can always use the help.

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What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance and Is It Worth It
What to Do When Your Cat Stops Grooming Himself
Small Pets You Can Have If You Can’t Have a Dog or Cat

What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance and Is It Worth It

Have you ever wondered about pet insurance? Is it worth buying it? Does your pet qualify? What does it cover?
Pet insurance may be a good idea, especially since the cost of veterinary care is going up. “That’s because of higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services,” according to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Pet health insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury.”

First do your own research on pet insurance and the various companies that offer the service. Here are some things to take into consideration, according to the AVMA article:

• Research providers and make sure they let you know details, including any “limitations and exclusions” when it comes to coverage that is routine or wellness, and emergency.
• Are there add-on options, including dental care?
• Find out about pre-existing conditions.
• Does the carrier cover all breeds of pet?
• Find out about co-pays, deductibles and other fees.

Pet insurance does have limits, according to the article, “What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?” at ValuePenguin.

You pay a monthly premium for pet health insurance, and if you have a sick pet or one who is injured, you basically pay the pet’s bill upfront. Then you submit a claim to be reimbursed. You may also have a deductible while many policies also have a preexisting clause or one that excludes other things.

“While the monthly premiums can add up to a few hundred dollars per year, the benefit of pet insurance is that cost will be less of a factor when deciding whether to go through with a major procedure,” the ValuePenguin article said.

What to Do When Your Cat Stops Grooming Himself

Just as with humans, you’ll find pets slow down as they age. For cats, they may not only slow down, they will take more rest periods. You may also find they have more physical challenges.

Oftentimes, older cats will stop grooming themselves, and there are reasons why. According to the article, “Matted Fur and More: Grooming Your Senior Cat” at, “Many cats develop arthritis in their spine and hips, which makes the motion of grooming painful.”

Because of their pain, many cats cannot get to certain areas to groom themselves. So, there may be areas on their coat that then are messy and unkempt. Look out for the following signs:

• A cat who gets up more slowly
• A cat who grooms himself less often
• Accidents in the litter box
• Jumping less
• Less activity

You may have a very overweight senior cat, which also can make grooming more difficult. It can also lead to your cat getting more dandruff, unkempt fur, in addition to “a buildup of urine or fecal material,” the article said.

According to the PetMD article, you can help by doing the following:

• Brush your cat and pet him.
• Clip your cat’s nails.
• Schedule veterinary vet visits.

Sometimes a cat may have a matted back end, which is not only unpleasant but will stop your cat from grooming the area. “Cats with long fur are also in danger of getting tangles and mats more easily, and they may not be able to undo the matting on their own,” according to the article, “Why Has My Cat Stopped Self-Grooming?” at

If you can, have the fur around the area shaved lightly. Use your vet or groomer to help with this.

Have your cat checked by your vet to ensure there are no other health issues.

Small Pets You Can Have If You Can’t Have a Dog or Cat

If you can’t have a dog or cat at home, there are other, smaller animals you could bring home to make part of your family.

“From bunnies to hedgehogs, there are many other critters that can make great pets and might be a good fit for you,” according to the article, “Can’t Have a Dog or Cat? 6 Pets to Consider” at The article offers some possibilities, including:

• Rabbits: They are typically cuddly and friendly and they don’t bark or make much noise. They are great for apartments. Do your research to learn all about rabbits before bringing one home.
• Guinea Pigs: They are great with children and are affectionate. They are good indoor pets. “These typically friendly pets require attention, enrichment and exercise each day,” the article said.
• Hedgehogs: These animals are not for everyone, the article said. You would need to spend a lot of time “interacting with and socializing one,” the Vetstreet article said.
• Ferrets: They love to snuggle, play and entertain. They need exercise daily and need to be supervised when out of their cage.
• Birds: You’ll have to put in a lot of time and care if you bring a bird home. They also can be particularly messy and sometimes loud.
• Goldfish: A bowl is too small! They need a large fish tank, about 20 gallons, and they need care and attention.

Other pets to bring home include a hamster. They “are a cuddly, friendly, and inquisitive type of pet rodent,” according to the article, “7 Small Pets That Could Be Right for You” at Everyday Health. You only need one since they are solitary animals.

There are gerbils, who “tend to be very clean pet rodents,” the Everyday Health article said. Independent as well, gerbils can entertain themselves for a long time.

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When Kids Head Back to School, Keep Pets Happy
How to Celebrate Your Dog on National Dog Day
Best Ways to Travel with Your Pet

When Kids Head Back to School, Keep Pets Happy

The summer months were fun for pets who got to hang out with the kids day in and day out. So, how do you keep your pets happy and active when they’re home alone?

Your dog or cat might get depressed or anxious when left alone. Dogs can be more at-risk for separation anxiety when the kids head back to school, according to the article, “Pet Home Alone: Back to School’s Effect on Your Pet,” at They may dig, scratch, howl, or have a change in their mood. Your cat may experience trembling, hiding, or withdrawing, the article said.

“You can help your pets avoid separation anxiety by easing them into the new schedule,” the article said. It’s important not to make a big deal when the kids leave for school. Stay calm. Try using treats or toys to distract your pets.

“Once the family is back together in the evenings, be sure to shower attention on your pets to reassure them that they’re not forgotten,” the article said.

According to the article, “10 back to school tips for your dog” at Dog’s Best Life, you can try new things including a new schedule to keep your dog on track. Try the following:

  • “Set new bedtimes and change the morning feeding routine,” the Dog’s Best Life article said.
  • Try a vigorous morning exercise regimen.
  • Make the departure drama free.
  • Bring your dog if you walk or drive the kids to school.
  • Set up a play date with friends with dogs.
  • Take your dog on a trip to the park.

The more you help your dog prepare for the kids to be back to school, the better off for everyone.

How to Celebrate Your Dog on National Dog Day

National Dog Day is Aug. 26. There are so many ways to celebrate this special day for that four-legged friend who makes your world brighter. It’s no wonder there’s a special day for dogs. So, make sure you celebrate your dog in high style.

There are many ways to honor your dog on National Dog Day. According to the article, “11 ways to celebrate National Dog Day” at Best Friends, here’s how to show them some love:

  • Bake up some homemade treats.
  • Get outside in the great outdoors with your dog.
  • Take dog training classes. “Agility classes are a great option to keep your dog active and mentally sharp,” the article said.
  • How about a doggy spa day?
  • Schedule a doggy play date.
  • Splurge for a new ID tag and collar.
  • Make sure to have your dog microchipped and ensure all information is updated.
  • Book a doggy photo shoot.
  • Foster or volunteer with dogs.

Three are other things you can do for National Dog Day. According to the article, “Happy Dog Day! 55+ Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day With Your Four-Legged Bestie” at, while every day is great to celebrate your dog, go the extra mile on National Dog Day.

Start by donating to a dog shelter or charity. “You can do a straightforward donation by writing a check or you can buy pet products that give back to rescue animals in need,” the article said. Another way is to adopt a dog. Check out your local shelters and rescues to find the perfect dog for your family. You can also watch a dog-friendly movie with your dog.

Whatever you do with and for your dog for National Dog Day will show your dog how much you care, and he’ll love you for it.

Best Ways to Travel with Your Pet

When traveling by car with your pet, safety is of the utmost importance. But more than anything, you have to be prepared.

“By planning ahead, you can make sure your journey is safe and comfortable for you and your dog,” according to the article, “Car Travel With Pets: 10 Tips for Safety and Security” at Fetch by WebMD.

The article offers important tips to travel safely with your pet. They include the following:

  • Your pet should be restrained during the ride. “The safest way for your pet to travel is in a carrier that has been strapped to the seat with a seatbelt or other anchor,” the article said.
  • Take short trips with your pet before the trip so he gets accustomed to riding in the car.
  • Do not leave your pet alone in a parked car.
  • Include a travel kit for your pet.
  • Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar and ID tags.
  • Carry your pet’s important documents.
  • Bring water.

According to the article, “Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), when you travel with your cats, a carrier is essential. “It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat,” the HSUS article said. “Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.”

Always make sure your pet is in the back seat where it’s safer. An airbag that deploys while a pet is in the passenger seat can be dangerous, even if your pet is in a crate.

Make stops along the way for exercise and potty breaks. “But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash,” the HSUS article said.