Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Howl-o-Ween!!

Bear and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers, tail-waggers and fellow dog lovers a Happy Howl-o-ween!

Stay safe and happy!!
...and don't forget to keep some treats handy for our four-legged trick-or-treaters!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

8 (more) Tips for Poochy Safety this Howl-o-ween

A wonderful (and adorable) inforgraphic put together by the Uncommon Dog.

Bear and I may not be going out trick-or-treating this year, but we will most definitely be dressing up to hand out some candy.

Bark back at us! How will you and your pooch be celebrating this year's spooktacular festivities?

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's Paws

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

10 Halloween Safety Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.

originally sourced from PetMD

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Do Dogs REALLY Like Being Dressed Up For Halloween?

Like many pet owners, I have, on occasion, dressed up my dog. Bear has been trussed up and presented as an old English Gentleman (complete with top hat, tie and vest) two years running, but there have been some mumbling and murmurings within the pet-parent comumunity that suggest that dressing your pooch up as a pink princess, superhero or food item may actually be considered "cruel" by some circles.
 Alexandra Horowitz, a dog expert who teaches psychology, animal behavior and canid cognition at Barnard College in New York, says that while dressing up the dog for Halloween may delight the owner, the dog most likely is not amused.
Ms. Horowitz, author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know,” notes, though, that the experience of wearing a costume isn’t “entirely torturous” for your pet.To put raiments on a dog is to blithely ignore his essential dogness. Consider the Canis part of his heritage. Both wolves and dogs are descended from some wolflike ancestor; thus, we might look at the behavior of the dog’s cousin, the present-day wolf (Canis lupus), in order to provide one explanation for dog behavior. Among wolves, one animal may “stand over” another: literally placing his body on top of and touching the other, as a scolding or a mild putting-in-one’s-place. To a dog, a costume, fitting tight around the dog’s midriff and back, might well reproduce that ancestral feeling. So the principal experience of wearing a costume would not be the experience of festivity; rather, the costume produces the discomfiting feeling that someone higher ranking is nearby. This interpretation is borne out by many dogs’ behavior when getting dressed in a costume: they may freeze in place as if they are being “dominated” — and soon try to dislodge the garments by shaking, pawing or rolling in something so foul that it necessitates immediate disrobing.
But it's not all bad.  She also goes on to state that:

By submitting to be a jack-o-lantern, hot dog (with bun), biker dude or princess, the dog gains something valuable. He gets your attention, and probably an extra round of liver treats. Aside from the liver, there is little as nourishing to a dog as the attention of his owner.
To learn more, read the full article, “On Dressing Up Your Pets,” 

 Bark back at us and let us know: How does your pooch react to being dressed up for Halloween?

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws