The spookiest night of the year is just around the corner. Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls will be roaming about, and such scary sights and sounds can frighten and harm our beloved pets. Take some time to ensure your pet’s safety during Halloween by following a few simple tips:
For more tips on keeping your furry friend safe this Halloween, visit this website: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/halloween-safety.html.
In about a week the goblins and zombies will take to the streets. It’s the spookiest of holidays, and Americans love to spend money on their kids – including their furry ones. According to the National Retail Federation, the average amount spent on Halloween is about $75, on candy, decorations, and costumes.
Halloween Express lists the top 10 pet costumes. Those include Superman, Ghostbusters, bees, spiders, and lions. The NRF estimates people spend about $350 million on pet costumes, spending $1 for every $3 spent on children’s outfits.
According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent more than $60 billion on their furry friends last year, and will likely spend more than that in 2016. From sweaters and raincoats to sporting team t-shirts and holiday costumes, pet clothing is big business. Practical wear is just as important as fashionista statement, maybe more so. Booties to keep paws clear of snow and ice and life jackets for outings on the boat, clothing and outdoor wear
For a fun, informative article on pet fashion, visit http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/dog-fashion-moves-novelty-sweaters-practical-outfits-article-1.2048335.
For a look at some cute pets in interesting Halloween costumes, see http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/halloween-ideas/g1784/popular-pet-halloween-costumes/.
The ASPCA offers some important Halloween holiday pet safety tips. See this list at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/halloween-safety-tips.
I once dressed my cocker spaniel as a fireman for Halloween, complete with a red hat. He wasn’t terribly thrilled, but he sure looked cute!
Pets may not be very cooperative for playing dress-up. If you plan to take your dog trick-or-treating or have your cat participate in your Halloween party, make sure you “practice” prior to the big night. Also, make sure the costume properly fits your pet, and consider breed, weight, and measurements before purchasing, and ensure your pet can see, breathe, and drink normally with the outfit on.
Some people create their own pet costumes. For ideas, visit this HGTV website: http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/15-diy-pet-costumes-for-halloween-pictures.
Have you ever dressed your pet for Halloween? Do your furry friends regularly wear clothing?
Although all dogs shed, some breeds are better for people with allergies than others. Here’s a short list of dogs which may be better suited for allergy-suffers:
Find more dog breeds that may be good for people with allergies at http://www.akc.org/about/faq-allergies/.
It’s estimated that 10 percent of Americans are allergic to dogs. But, that doesn’t mean if you’re part of that population that you can’t have a dog. Consider adopting one of these hypoallergenic breeds during the month of October, which is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. Find your new furry friend through Petfinder: www.petfinder.com.
Most of us know that warm, fuzzy feeling of seeing a puppy or kitten at play. Pet lovers all recognize that tug at our heartstrings when we visit a Humane Society or animal shelter and see the many animals looking at us sadly through the cages. We also know the quiver of our lip when we look on the Internet, view the photos, and read the stories of the numerous pets needing new homes, looking to be placed by the hundreds of pet rescue organizations. Many of us, in turn, respond by adopting a pet or two.
There is little else that lifts one’s spirits than to come home from a tough day at work or school and be happily greeted by a four-footed friend. If you are thinking of adding a pet to your home, seriously consider adoption – more than four million animals every year go into shelters and rescues.
October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, a great time to add a furry friend to your household. Here are six tips to help insure you and your new pet will spend many wonderful years together:
I’ve enjoyed the companionship of dogs throughout my life. Most have lived to at least ten, some to be twelve, and Cody, our cocker spaniel who passed in January, was more than seventeen. Cody was deaf and couldn’t see very well during those final months, but one thing he possessed, nearly to the end, was spirit. He was loyal to his people and to his animal friends. That’s a great lesson to learn from an old dog: loyalty.
Sage, the sweet, blind springer spaniel my husband and I adopted in 2001, shared our home and hearts for more than 11 years, living to be 12 ½ years of age. She endured several eye surgeries prior to becoming completely blind due to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Yet, through it all, she showcased courage and perseverance. Her entire life reflected those traits, as well as kindness, friendship, and compassion.
There’s a lot we can learn from an old dog. Here are a few things:
October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, and November bring National Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month. Bring those two together and in October consider adding a senior dog to your household. Just as we can learn from the wisdom of older people, we can also learn from elderly animals – if only we’d open our hearts to what these wonderful creatures can teach us.
There is a wonderful story from last year about a man who adopted an eight-week-old puppy and kept the dog all of his life. Then, as the dog’s quality of life dwindled, the man didn’t abandon the old dog or stick it in a shelter, as many people do; instead, the man took his dog on a trip of a lifetime, like having “a bucket list,” visiting places he wanted to share with his dog. Read the wonderful, heart-warming story and see the moving photos at http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/york-man-takes-dying-dog-bucket-list-adventure/story?id=31338158
Another such heart-warming pet-human adventure story came this past summer: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/13/health/dog-last-trip-trnd/
These stories showcases devotion, love, compassion, and joy. May we find beauty in life around us, in nature, in people, in ourselves, and in our companion animals – no matter what their age.
They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. From big to little, from extra-tiny to extra-large, dog breeds are as variable as the human race. Red, white, blue, black, brown, tawny, spotted, solid; short-hair, long-hair, no-hair. Outgoing and friendly, shy and reserved, protective, loving. A hunter, a herder, a comfort, service-oriented. Sniffing, drooling, laughing, quiet, boisterous. There is a type of dog for every type of person.
Dogs have been part of humankind’s existence for eons. And yet, millions need homes each and every year.
October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, a time to celebrate the joy of canine companionship and promote the adoption of these wonderful creatures. The ASPCA estimates nearly eight million dogs and cats enter shelters across the United States annually; about three million are killed. Sadly, only about 35 percent of animals that are available for adoption actually get new homes, meaning millions are killed because not enough people adopt.
In addition to the humane societies and animal shelters, there are rescue groups, many of which are voluntarily-run, that take in dogs (and cats) in an effort to re-home them. From coast-to-coast, these tireless individuals run these organizations with one focus: to save and adopt-out pets. Some are breed-specific; many of these are noted by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Others are type-specific, such as herding dogs or large dogs (see the websites for HERD of Wyoming and Big Dogs Huge Paws). Others accept whatever dog needs rescuing. To find a shelter or rescue group near you, visit Petfinder.com. Or, if you’re interested in a breed-specific rescue, visit the AKC website: http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/rescue-network/contacts/
When you adopt, especially from a kill-shelter, you are saving a life. In fact, you’re likely saving two lives: the one you adopt and the one coming into the shelter after it. Wherever you adopt, shelter (kill or not) or rescue, you are helping more than one dog, for when you adopt, room in that facility or foster home is made for another animal in need.
Dogs that go into a rescue or shelter aren’t bad; they are likely being given up due to a move (the #1 reason people give up their animals), health of the person (an elderly individual going into a nursing home cannot take their beloved pet with them), or other life change, such as job loss. If behavior is the cause, the owner likely did not provide his/her dog with obedience training. Simple commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” “come,” and “no” alleviate a lot of behavior issues – but a dog can’t teach those things to himself; owners need to be responsible for the training of their pets. Classes are often held through AKC clubs, big-box pet stores, such as PetCo and PetSmart, or one can hire a trainer (or research how to train a dog themselves – just remember, positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog).
Pets improve people’s lives. Research shows people with pets are happier and healthier. Dogs make us exercise; even walks around the block help both humans and their canine friends be healthier. The simple act of petting a dog decreases blood pressure, reduces stress, and calms us down as well as uplifts our moods. Many dogs enjoy riding in the car, going for walks, jogs, and hikes, and simply being a part of a family; therefore, they make wonderful companions!
So, consider adopting a dog this month. Whether you are single, married, have children (or not), or are retired, there’s a dog to fit every lifestyle. Of course, you need to find the RIGHT dog -- that’s one of the roles of animal shelters, rescue organizations, and humane societies. The staff and volunteers who spend time with the animals know their personalities and may often know the dog’s background, therefore, they offer a tremendous service for those hoping to add a dog to their life. But, do your research as well. You know your lifestyle – learn about the breeds and discover what type of dog best fits your family life and energy level. Visit this website to learn about the different dog breeds: http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/
Be a hero – save a life today by adopting the right dog for you!
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.