Dogs and Cats are My Friends!

Keep Your Pet Safe This Halloween
By Lisa Acho Remorenko - Santa Barbara Independent

Trick-or-Treating Is No Treat for Pets

Halloween is a joyous occasion if you are a child. Children get to dress in their favorite costume and go door to door collecting candy all night. What could be better? However, Halloween is not so fun if you are a pet. There are unfamiliar noises, strangers in costumes, knocks at the door all night, among many other things. The following are suggestions to keep your pet safe and stress-free this Halloween.

Keep your pet in a safe and quiet part of the house.

Constant knocking and doorbell ringing all night can be stressful for pets. Loud noises and people in costumes could cause your pet to become agitated and uncharacteristic behavior may result. Cats also tend to run when they hear loud noises, so make sure they stay inside. Unless you have a very social dog, the best place for your pets on Halloween is tucked away in a quiet room of the house and out of harm’s way. You may also want to play soothing music to drown out the noise and activity.

Keep chocolate out of your pet’s reach.

Eating chocolate can be fatal for a pet. Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine, a bitter, caffeine-related alkaloid, which can have a dangerous effect on your pet. If this chemical builds up in your pet’s system, it can be lethal. The effects of theobromine on a pet depends on their size and the quantity of chocolate eaten. Less than 1 ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight (i.e., less than 10 ounces eaten by a 10-pound animal) can be lethal. If your pet ingests any amount of chocolate, call your veterinarian right away and report your pet’s weight and the estimated amount of chocolate ingested. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, heavy breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, lack of bladder control, and in the most severe toxicity cases, coma. These blatant indicators mean something is wrong with your pet and they require prompt veterinary attention.

Keep decorations out of reach.

Make sure decorations that pets could chew on (like streamers and fake spider webs) are out of reach. I’ve seen a case where a cat’s intestines became clogged after consuming a synthetic spider web, so I would caution against decorating your house with these webs if you have curious cats (are there any other kind?). Also make sure jack-o-lanterns with candles and flames are out of harm’s way.

Avoid dressing up your pet.

Most pets don’t like to be dressed up for Halloween. Costumes can confine your pet’s movement and masks can obstruct their vision. If you happen to have one of those rare dogs who like being dressed up, make sure the costume is safe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement, sight or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a look out for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could possibly choke on.

Make sure your pet has proper identification.

Your pet should be wearing a collar, along with a proper ID tag, in case your pet escapes despite your best attempts. If your pet becomes lost, check with your local humane society and animal control right away. For more advice on locating your lost pet, refer to this previous Pet Chat column Homeward Bound.

A word about black cats.

The superstition surrounding black cats cause them to be the target of pranks on Halloween. Therefore, people with black cats should be extra careful about keeping them safely inside on Halloween. The concern is serious enough that most humane societies avoid adopting out black cats during the Halloween season due to the risk of them being harmed.

Keeping these safety tips in mind, you can have a safe and happy Halloween with your children and pets!

Pet Subjects
Telegraph (UK)

Our pet guru, veterinary surgeon Pete Wedderburn, answers your queries

We have nurtured an orphaned wood pigeon from a small chick. He is now beating his wings and will soon be able to fly. He has become very used to people, seeking our company. Would he survive if we released him in a week or two? Would it be wrong to keep him in captivity until the spring?
AL, by email

The natural impulse when dealing with needy wild animals is to care for them, but this urge needs to be tempered by asking: what's going to happen in the future? The aim should be to return wild animals to their natural habitat. You need to take steps to make this a possibility. For the sake of the bird, you should hand him on to wildlife experts. The RSPCA helpline (0300 1234 999) will give you good advice that may involve transferring the bird to one of their wildlife centres. These have big aviaries where your bird can learn to fly properly, with other pigeons. He will also be able to learn the other skills necessary for self-sufficiency so that when he is released, his chances of survival will be much higher.

advertisementOur dog recently returned from a stay in kennels with what appeared to be a cold. She sneezed for a week or so but was not otherwise ill. A few days later, one of our cats began to sneeze occasionally and developed a slight discharge from one eye. Again, he has not seemed ill in any other way. Now his brother is also starting to sneeze. I thought that cold viruses did not cross species, but could this be an exception?
JL, by email

Dogs and cats don't get the cold virus, but there is a bacterial infection, causing cold-like signs, that can be passed between the two species. It sounds as if your dog may have brought a form of kennel cough home from the kennels. The disease is caused by a bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica, or Bb. Although it only causes mild, self-limiting signs in healthy adult cats, it can be annoying and may require antibiotic treatment. Infection can be more serious in animals with weakened immune systems. There is a new vaccine for cats, similar to the dog vaccine, given by being squirted into the nose. If cat owners are concerned about a risk to their cats, they should discuss vaccination with their vets.

I had a frightening experience recently when my usually healthy nine-year-old cat suddenly lost her balance and became disoriented. She was unable to walk and yowled loudly. My vet examined her and kept her overnight for observation. She had recovered sufficiently to return home the next day. The vet thought that she was suffering from idiopathic vestibular disease. She is recovering slowly but still stumbles occasionally and is a lot slower than before. Will she recover completely and is it likely to re-occur?
DH, by email

Your vet would be the best person to answer your specific questions, but in general, most cats do make a more-or-less full recovery, although some are left with a mild head tilt and a less-than-perfect sense of balance. Recovery can take weeks or months. "Vestibular disease" is common in geriatric dogs and in cats. In the past, the condition was often referred to as a "stroke", but with the latest imaging methods, it has been proved to be sudden onset inflammation of the balance centres of the inner ear, with an unknown cause. The brain is not affected. The problem can recur, but does not usually do so.

Susie, my five-year-old cocker spaniel, has a personality change at this time of year. It starts when she hears the first firework of the season, when she starts to hide in the cupboard under the stairs. By the time that November 5 arrives, she is a shivering wreck, refusing to let us pull her out of the cupboard for a walk, even in the middle of the day. What can we do?
HL, Birmingham

This is common at this time of year and a website ( offers help for pets like Susie. The ideal answer is to start to desensitise dogs to firework noises by using recordings played back at a low volume, but this needs to begin several months before Guy Fawkes Day. At this stage, a cosy sound-proofed den is the best idea, lined with clothes carrying your smell and blankets in which she can bury herself. A DAP diffuser plugged in nearby will release pheromones that she will find calming. She should also wear a DAP-impregnated collar. Ask your vet for tranquilliser tablets, too. It sounds as if she is a severe case and you should do everything possible to prevent her distress.


Don't forget that small pets are also afraid of fireworks. If you have guinea pigs or rabbits in your garden, remember to take steps to protect them from the noise and flashes of fireworks. It makes sense to move hutches into sheltered garden sheds or garages for the next few weeks.

Homeless Man's Discovery Rescues Eight Abandoned Pups

L.A. Unleashed
A homeless man rummaging through a dumpster in the Kern County community of California City found something he hadn't expected: eight 6-week-old puppies in a trash bag.

He took the puppies to a nearby business. The business called California City Animal Control to take possession of the eight, dubbed the Trash Bag Puppies.

But the animal control facility wasn't equipped for so many dogs. The eight went first to a shelter in Los Angeles and then to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

Workers quickly named the eight for designer clothing brands: Dior, Gabana, Prada, Armani, Chanel, Vuitton, Fendi (above) and Gucci.

Now it's months later, they are healthy, neutered/spayed, and up to date on their shots. On Friday, the eight were made available for adoption. For more information, 858 756-4117 or

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo credit: Helen Woodward Animal Center

Video: How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
Dr. Lauren - (1:54)


Having A Freshwater Fish As A Pet
by Jed Segal

Aquarium and fish, they say, are the best additions to the household that can contribute to have a still and calm atmosphere. This consideration makes owning a fish a good judgment.
Sometimes however, it is better to get something more than a goldfish. Sometimes, it pays to get exotic fish as pets, better yet, make it exotic freshwater fish.

Exotic Freshwater Fish Pet

Exotic fish submit to the water creatures that aren't found in the spot or country. These come from other countries of assorted locations, typically from Africa, Asia or South America. They can penetrate the vicinity moreover through lawful or banned means.

Freshwater on the other hand means that the exotic fish is not full from the brine or the sea. It is easier to swear a freshwater fish as saltwater is more demanding to reach and claim.

Here are some other things to think:

1. Legality There was legal matters to take memo of. Some fish aren't allowable as pets because of their scenery or menace to humans.

They could belong with the carnivorous species and introducing them on waters will be a big threat. Even if they are reserved in the aquarium, they aren't tolerable to be in detention or under the check of mundane citizens.

Some exotic fished, while not carnivorous, are also considered as threats to the water system. They could materially change the tally of the population. This isn't good for the narrow environment.

2. Specific Needs Take reminder also of the necessities of the fish. They must be reserved in aquariums that are large enough to the kind. The water must be suitably cleaned and treated. They should also be fed evenly.

3. Commitment Owning an exotic freshwater fish also entails commitment. They have to be maintained and full treatment of. Even if they get too plentiful or fractious to supervise, they must be right treated.

It is actually criminal to start exotic fish into confined waters. Thus, it is best to ask for assistance from a local aquarium store or from authorities.

4. Pick a Specie There are hundreds of exotic freshwater fish to desire from. Pick one according to their flush or look. Take message also of other features like the exclusive home requirements and their feeding lifestyle. Be wary also of the age and advance factors. These should correctly costume the requests and capabilities of the household.


People have different reasons to own a pet fish, particularly the exotic freshwater print. The beauty mesmerized some. Some like the exotic reason. Many reasons can be had. Just be responsible owners for the security and allowance of the community.

About the Author
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How to Find a Lost Dog
Author: John Williams

Losing your dog can be a very worrying time for the most calm of us, and whether the blame was on you or it was on other circumstances, finding the lost dog should be your number one priority, the quicker you get started on looking for your dog, the quicker you will find them.

First you should keep calm and asses the situation properly; over-worrying will cause you to forget things that seem common sense to others. Start by closing all the doors in your house and properly searching your home. Dogs can find their way into most places unimaginable to us humans so look in every place possible and places you think would be impossible.

After you have search your house and dishwasher, clothes dryer, washing machine, and attic you will have to start to look outside, look in al the places your dog like to go to start with , then if not found, start to scour your neighbourhood looking underneath cars, hedges and bushes asking and taking to everyone on your travels.

If after searching your neighbourhood for your dog you do not find them, then the next day you should continue the same routine as the previous day, shouting your dogs name at all times and listening for any response.

After this stage, finding the numbers for local vets or pet health care services in your area may be a good idea to see if any injured or lost animals of your dog’s description have been rescued or found within the last few days. If not then flyers with a picture and a phone number should be posted and put up within a mile radius of your home, and checking the ‘found’ pages in the newspapers to look for any results.

If you follow the steps above you secure the best chance of finding your pet alive and well in a quick timescale and without too much worry.

Always remember to take down and remove the flyers after you have found you dog to maintain a good relationship with the people around you and a clean neighbourhood.

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How to House Train a Puppy in a Week
By John A Courtney

Then guess what happened! I wasn't watching her and she piddled all over my best carpet... And with a small puppy you're not going to see it until it's already happened... To say the least- I was upset. I smiled on the outside as I picked little Ruby up and took her outside... but inside I was a little angry. I knew I needed help but wasn't sure where to look. Wasn't this little puppy house training supposed to come natural? I suppose not.

As a last ditch effort, I went looking for the best information I could find. I needed more than just 'free tips'. Who could help me stop this before it got out of hand? I'd read a shocking statistic that the number one reason a puppy ends up in a shelter was because of house training problems. I didn't want little Ruby to become a part of that frightening statistic. But I am ashamed to say that I was quite frustrated and was about to take her to the pound after only two or three weeks of having her.

At the time, she wasn't the bundle of joy I'd fantasized about. I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to housebreak her by crate, paper train her, use a pad, or go outside. I was clueless... which caused Sally to be clueless. So I went online searching 'housebreaking a puppy.'

The first ad I saw was titled dog training That had me written all over it. So I clicked... The first thing that hit me was the similarities between the couple's story and mine. I don't know about you but I like having a face behind a website. The second thing I noticed quickly- ALL the success stories.

Puppy lovers just like me, who almost had given up transform their puppy... some literally overnight. After getting their system, I was literally blown away. This was not just a course on how to house train puppies as the title would have us believe. It is the most complete doggy training tutorial I've ever seen. You're shown how to use the puppy's natural behavior... Finally, I know the importance of beating the bad habits before they sink in. Doing it right the first time.

Implementing these tactics had my puppy house trained in about a week Some courses tell you to - figuratively speaking - go boil a pot of water. This course assumes nothing. This guy tells you what a pot is, where the kitchen is, what water is, how to put the water in the pot, then put it on the cooker, how to turn on the cooker and when to turn it off. That's the kind of attention to detail we're talking about here.

The focus of the course is training your doggy, specifically before bad habits are molded... and then he gives you step-by-step instructions to house training puppies... and finally he gives some controversial information that goes against the grain of most of today's trainers... There's a chapter for everything. And it's very well done.

When you complete this system, you'll be able to enjoy your dog again... It worked for me and I love my Ruby again. Trust me- I couldn't say that two weeks ago. This guy new what he was talking about, an expert in puppy training. He often lets that show through. But I didn't want a War And Peace Novel- I wanted help - fast.

But you know what? He's human, and that's exactly the sense you get when you're reading this course. It's just like being in a live classroom where stuff happens and the teacher needs to adapt. Although it's a little quirky at first, you easily get used to it and it's almost like having this guy sitting beside you, guiding you through every step of the process.

If you're prepared to put in a little time to learn, this system will blow you away. You can pay more expensive prices course but don't judge the content by the cover... I honestly think he'll wise up soon and increase his prices to match his competitors... but until he does- get it. I'm glad someone who knew what they were talking about helped us new 'parents'... The thought of giving Ruby back was something I didn't want to face.

This course - my friend - is one hell of an investment and money well spent. Get this information into your mind and you're never likely to go to regret the day you bought your dog. So if you want to learn how to house train your puppy now, go for it.

At this site we really do care about all animals, and helps restores our faith in human nature. Just the ticket for dog training.

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Franklin Pet Memorials
“Remember them with a custom solid bronze memorial.”

Contact: Cynthia Linnon
191 Howard Street Franklin, PA 16323
814-346-7205 ph 814-346-7047 fax

Are You An Animal Lover?
Author: jonsav

Some people almost seem to run a veritable zoo from their home. They often have several dogs, a cat or two, perhaps a rabbit, and maybe a guinea pig. Then again, there are those people who would not have an animal in the house. These folks will tell you that they want nothing to do with a pet and that they are not at all interested in adding a non human member to their families.

In reality, all people are probably animal people at some level. There seems to be a natural bond between humans and animals that almost everyone experiences at one time or another. Those who proclaim their distaste for pet ownership are probably not really aversive to animals; they just dont make a great connection with traditional pets. Thats perfectly acceptable, of course.

The dog many be mans best friend, but that does not mean each and every man has to love it! Unfortunately, we often allow our perception of dealing with animals to be governed by a limited perspective regarding pets.

For most people, the term pet means dogs and cats. Those are the two most popular forms of house pets. These animals are perfectly suited as human companions in general, but many people just dont seem to get along with them. Those folks may say they are not animal orientated, but they might not feel that way if they looked into some alternative pets that are available.

The realm of pets is not just a matter of cats and dogs. There are literally hundreds of other great pet options. Many of those who dont feel a connection with the cats and dogs can find a perfect match among the tiny pet alternatives that are available.

So how about a small pet. Many small, easily manageable pets will fit with anyones lifestyle while providing companionship and many enjoyable hours. These small pet friends run the gamut of species and personality, meaning there is probably a great option available for everyone. Even the most hardcore anti animal person is often surprised to discover his or her ability to develop a meaningful kinship with a small pet.

Those who prefer a quiet pet and who do not particularly want to be able to pat an animal may enjoy an aquarium. The soothing powers of keeping fish are well known and many people who have claimed to dislike animals have found themselves active aquarists over time.

Those who might want to explore an underappreciated animal might look toward snakes as an option. Though reviled by many people, snakes can make a wonderful pet and many people enjoy having them around and caring for them. Rodents are also popular among many pet owners, even though the whole of society tends to perceive them as a nuisance.

Not all of the small pet options lack fur, however. There are childhood standbys like hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs. There are also other mammalian options in addition to dogs and cats. From rats to ferrets, there are many possibilities.

Birds. Turtles. Exotic species. Options abound. In addition, believe it or not, some people who had previously expressed their absolute disdain for dogs and cats become completely enamored by miniature breeds and find themselves changing their perspectives after being introduced to the little guys (and gals).

These alternative pet ideas work because they usually overcome the chief objectives non animal people have to keeping a pet. Those with allergies need not worry about fish fur! A person who does not like the idea of taking long walks with a dog or training it appropriately can escape those concerns while enjoying his or her turtles. Those reluctant to add an animal to the family due to space limitations need not be concerned with a teacup cat running the house!

Really, deep down inside, everyone is an animal person. The trick is matching the right animal with the right person! Most of us find comfort with a cat or dog, but others might want to consider some other possible animal friends. For those who are not excited at owning a dog or cat, miniature pet options might make a perfect alternative!

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