October is drawing to a close, and that means Halloween is on the horizon. While most kids, and many adults, enjoy this time of year, our pets can become agitated, frightened, even lost.
Here are a few safety tips to help your pets during the next few weeks:
If you decide to dress up your pet for Halloween and have the time to create a costume, here’s a link to a cute DIY strawberry costume, complete with instructions: https://www.berries.com/blog/strawberry-costume-diy#dog.
I once dressed Cody, my cocker spaniel, as a fireman – I thought he looked cute, but he didn’t seem very impressed with the idea!
For additional Halloween pet safety tips, visit http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_halloween_safety_tips.
May you, your children, and your pets enjoy a safe, stress-free Halloween!
As mentioned in last week’s blog, October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. Whether you adopt a dog this month or sometime in the future, knowing how best to introduce a new friend to your household if you already have pets is a helpful process for everyone involved.
Here are a few tips for introducing a newly-adopted dog to other pets:
Implementing these ideas can help make your next dog adoption story a much more happily ever after! For additional tips on this topic visit the following websites:
Adding a pet to one’s home can be a scary process. Many concerns can traverse one’s mind, such as “Will the animal adjust to my home?” and, if you already have pets, “Will the current pets I have adjust to the new one?” Yet, adoption is also a joyful experience, especially knowing you’ve saved a life (or two) and that you’ve given a loving home to an animal that may never have known what that means.
October is National-Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month, a time when many animal shelters and rescues promote the positives of dog adoption. According to Helping Hands Humane Society in Kansas, some of the benefits of adopting a shelter or rescue dog include:
There are many other reasons for adopting a shelter or rescue dog. My husband and I recently adopted a Shih Tzu from Hearts United for Animals, a Nebraska rescue that also specializes in rescuing puppy mill dogs. His name was Stormy (we’ve changed it to “Jeremiah”), and he was used for breeding purposes. His lack of compassionate care resulted in 28 teeth having to be pulled. He also needed neutering, which HUA did, and to be put on a healthy diet. The little guy has settled in quite well into my household; he is a very sweet, fun boy! He gets along wonderfully with our 2013 adopted springer/cocker mix, Mary; Jeremiah is her little shadow. When we were all outside a few days ago, Jeremiah raced through the backyard, his black ears winged back, his face skyward as if in thankfulness, my heart leaped for joy as my newly-adopted dog experienced the freedom and joy of running, playing, and basking in autumn’s sunshine. This is why rescues do what they do and why pet adopters like me do what we do – give an animal a second chance at life.
According to the ASPCA, more than three million dogs enter animal shelters every year; of those, nearly 700,000 are euthanized due to lack of homes as well as medical and behavior issues. There are numerous animal shelters and pet rescue groups across the country. In my state alone (Wyoming), there are 34 listed in Petfinder.com, a wonderful resource to find your next furry friend. In fact, Petfinder lists more than 270,000 adoptable animals from more than 11,000 animal welfare organizations across America.
Will you consider adopting a dog in need of a loving home this month? Dogs like Jeremiah are just waiting for a loving, forever home. You can save lives through adoption – believe me, there’s no greater feeling in the world than to see a dog (or cat) that’s been abandoned, neglected, or left in a shelter or rescue for another reason come out of its shell and lavish the adoptive “parent” with love and devotion!
Find your next furry friend at your local shelter or rescue, or via Petfinder.com, which by the way, is how we found Jeremiah!
I was down for the count for a few days – scratchy throat, sinus congestion, and cough. Although I was ill, I found great comfort – in my pets.
Our newly-adopted dog, Jeremiah, stayed by my side as I napped or simply sat in the couch recliner. Mary also remained nearby, and my long-haired tuxedo cat, Murphy, lay on the arm of the couch several times. The comfort I received from their nearness and from petting them is indescribable. Many of you can relate to that. Our pets can be our therapy, no matter if we’re suffering from a physical illness or from emotional turmoil.
Therapy animals provide great comfort to people. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, even horses and small ponies provide respite for humans in hospitals, hospice, or other settings. Through specific training, these animals are welcomed in more situations and facilities than ever before, as studies show interacting with animals de-stresses people and brings them joy.
Lutheran Church Charities takes these studies seriously, and the organization provides Comfort Dogs to help people impacted by natural or man-made crises. Just this week, some of those golden retrievers were dispatched to Las Vegas to help the city’s residents and visitors after Sunday night’s mass shooting. The LCC Comfort Dogs have also provided therapy for people impacted by other shootings as well as tornadoes and other natural disasters.
As I sat close with my pets this week, I was reminded how important we are to them, and I know how important they are to me. My animals give me love, acceptance, devotion, and comfort in my time of need, and many animals do the same for strangers.
Whether it’s your own pet interacting with you, therapy pets visiting hospital patients, or LCC’s golden retrievers dispatched to hurting communities, animals bring comfort to humans – they are considered by many as angels with paws. I know I am thankful for the comfort of pets, and I imagine many others are too.
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.