Monday, October 31, 2011

Candy & Pets. Pet Costumes. Dog Training. Pet Quiz. Dog Vaccines. Halloween.


Beware! Halloween Candy is Just One Type of Food that Could Kill Your Pet

"Which “Human” Foods are Toxic for Pets?

People food was the third top poison to pets in 2008, and while certain human foods can be very healthy for dogs and cats -- and it’s certainly preferable to feed your pets fresh, species-appropriate human-grade food as much as possible -- there are some foods that are toxic to pets.

Here are some human foods you absolutely should not feed your pets:

  • Grapes and raisins, which can sometimes cause kidney failure in very low amounts

  • Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both classified as methylxanthines; these can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death (the more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is for your pets)

  • Onions and members of the onion family, such as leeks and chives; these can cause damage to red blood cells that could result in anemia in both dogs and cats.    The exception is garlic, which is metabolized into a different metabolite than onions that is not toxic to pets. A small amount of fresh garlic fed to pets daily actually has some great health benefits.

  • Macadamia nuts may cause problems including weakness, depression, vomiting, ataxia, tremors, and hyperthermia.

  • Rising bread dough can be life-threatening – The bread dough itself is not toxic but the animal's body heat can cause the dough to rise in the stomach, doubling or tripling in size and leading to impaction. The dough can also produce ethanol, which causes animals to stumble and become disoriented, lethargic and depressed.

  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute common in sugar-free chewing gum, can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia and liver damage in dogs; if your dog has ingested gum, bring your dog to the emergency vet immediately!

Again, if you know your pet has ingested a toxin and is showing signs of distress, take him to your emergency vet immediately. If your pet is not showing any symptoms yet, but you suspect he may have ingested a toxin, call Poison Control at 888-426-4435 to find out the next best steps to take."

More at:


It's Halloween - Why Is Your Pet Hiding Under the Bed?

"People dress pets in Halloween costumes to amuse themselves and other humans.
  • Many pets find costumes uncomfortable, restrictive and probably humiliating.
  • Costumes can also be dangerous to your pet’s health and safety.
  • Elaborate holiday costumes are expensive indulgences that do nothing to enhance the health or quality of life of most pets.

By Dr. Becker

Halloween is tonight and I hope no one reading here is thinking seriously about forcing a four-legged family member into an elaborate costume.

Why trick your pet at Halloween by stuffing him into a costume? Why not treat him instead - to a challenging puzzle toy, an extra-long play session, a new comfy bed or some other indulgence?

I realize mine is not a popular opinion in some circles. But please read further before jumping to conclusions.

9 Reasons Not to Dress up Your Dog for Halloween

Please note: The following also applies to cats and other companion animals, but since it's dogs we most often see in Halloween costumes, I'm referring to them to illustrate my point."

Read the rest of the article at:


Do-it-Yourself Dog Training Tips

"If you can't afford a dog trainer or simply prefer to train your own pet, here are some dog training tips from the professionals:

First establish trust. "Puppy training requires reasonable expectations," says Achey-Zarnas. "You should think of your 5-month-old pet as a 2-year-old child. It's not about obedience training at this stage. You want to establish trust."

Take baby steps. "Puppies, like children, have short attention spans. Mostly they want to eat, snuggle, and nap. You can begin to establish a sense of teamwork with simple training like sitting and walking on a leash, but you can't force discipline on a puppy any more than you can on a child," says Achey-Zarnas.

Try a dog playpen. "When you are away from home, crate your puppy," says Gorton. "Think of the crate as you would a playpen or a crib. The crate is a safe place for your pet to be. Use the crate to prevent unwanted behaviors. Never use the crate as a form of punishment."

Reward good behavior. "Don't wait for your puppy to do something wrong. Reward good behavior and set boundaries with ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ but not with punishments that break down the relationship. Puppy training is about preventing bad habits that can be hard to get rid of later and can affect your pet's health physically and emotionally," Gorton says.

Use treats carefully. "Use food treats to reinforce good behavior. They are your most powerful tool in the beginning. Puppies are like young children in the 'me stage.' Treats get their attention and help you bond with them," says Achey-Zarnas.

The Right Way to Train Your Dog

In the past, much of dog training was centered on the dominance theory. This style of training was based on the understanding of dogs as pack animals similar to wolves. The dominance theory says that a dog will try to "lead the pack" unless you establish dominance. Many dog trainers, and the Humane Society of the United States, now stress positive reinforcement as the best dog training style. The International Positive Dog Training Association considers training tools like choke chains and shock equipment as pet health hazards.

"Dogs are not wolves. They are domesticated pets that depend on humans and want to please us. The idea of the alpha dog and the pack belongs in the wild, not in your home," says Gorton. "Dog training is much closer to parenting than to training a pack animal. You want your pet to see you as a good teacher, not as a tough boss. When you bring a pet puppy into your home, think of your dog's training as parenting a new member of your house."

Adds Achey-Zarnas, "Neither overly permissive parenting, nor punitive parenting is good for a child. We don't want dog training to be punitive or permissive either — we want it to be proactive. That means finding the balance between positive reinforcement and setting boundaries.""



Pet Health Quiz:

"Facts and Myths About Your Four-Legged Friends

How Much Do You Know About Your Pet?

dont feed rabbits carrots

Is one dog year seven human years, and do pet rabbits really crave carrots?

Put your pet health knowledge to the test.

Avoid giving carrots to rabbits and all animals because carrots contain a high amount of sugar, which is something your pet doesn’t need. She recommends giving rabbits broccoli, sweet potatoes, or another vegetable instead."

Pet Health Myths and the test at:


Good News About the Latest Canine Vaccination Guidelines

"The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Task Force has issued updated vaccination guidelines for 2011.

A highlight of the new guidelines: The three non-rabies core vaccines (distemper, parvo and adenovirus) are now recommended every 3 years instead of annually.

Another highlight: The task force acknowledges that distemper and parvo vaccines provide immunity for at least 5 years and the adenovirus vaccine for at least 7 years."  More at:


What does the Bible say about Halloween?


"But it does speak concerning witches, the occult, and paganism.

Exodus 22:18, You shall not let a witch live.

Deut. 18:10-12, "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD…"

"The celebration of Halloween has no such Christian spiritual features. True, this holiday falls on October 31st, which is the eve of All Saints Day, which is a festival day celebrated by some Christian churches. However, the modern celebration of Halloween is not generally thought of as a Christian time of worship.

The day does have religious significance for some people, particularly wiccans and druids.  For some people and in some regions, Halloween or some of its elements may have a non-Christian religious meaning. Some Halloween activities could be considered anti-Christian, and would, therefore, be avoided. Christians would want to avoid demonic associations, for example. With these things in mind, it would be appropriate for Christians to consider carefully their activities on this holiday."

"Just before reaching a conclusion on the subject, I was struck with the thought that I ought to further my search and find out what Wicca, the official religion of witchcraft, has to say about Halloween. Perhaps they viewed the day as a simple fun and innocent neighborhood activity?

“Shock” is the only word to describe what I found. Halloween is a real, sacred day for those who follow Wicca. In fact, it is one of two high and holy days for them. The Celtic belief of spirits being released is current, along with the worship of Samhain (the lord of death) – both are promoted as something to embrace on that day. There is no question in my mind that to those who believe and follow the practices of witchcraft, Halloween represents an opportunity to embrace the evil, devilish, dark side of the spiritual world."



Should Christians Celebrate Halloween??

For those who celebrate, do you know the meaning behind it?




Ray and I could have started on some jobs outside, but it was chilly, so we concentrated on some long overdue maintenance jobs inside first.   

We got out the Ultra Shark vacuum which has a shoulder strap that makes it very handy for doing the ceiling fans.  They run 24/7 so they do get dusty. 

Then we vacuumed and re-stuffed the filter containers in the ionizing air cleaners.  There is one big one in the living room, one in the grooming room and one in my bedroom.  The filters for these are so expensive that we make our own.  We cut up some charcoal filter material and the thick pleated filters that are for central units, and refill the filter housings with that.  They help keep the air conditioner's filters clean in the summer, and great in the winter when the house is closed up.

A quick vacuum of the back of the computer, so that cat fur isn't sucked into it, is something I do often, too.

Hopefully, this is the last time we had to clean the air conditioner's filters, but you never know, sometimes we have to run AC in December.

The back yard hedge had grown straggly, so Ray trimmed that with the electric hedge clippers, while I raked up the pine needles and poo!  That's my job as it is my dog, and any  visiting dogs, that need to be picked up after, and I like to keep it clean.


The cats enjoyed some screen porch time, as it warmed up to a lovely sunny day.

1 comment:

Dizzy-Dick said...

Because critter hair is a problem with filters of any kind, I cut screen to fit in front of all my filters to catch the large stuff. Vacuum the screen and you are good to go.