Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Ahh-ooooooooo!

iStock_000028166570_MediumIt’s autumn! And with autumn comes the familiar décor of wispy cobwebbed trees, candlelit carved pumpkins, and make-shift scarecrows, propped carefully on the porch swing. Halloween is a time we nostalgically enjoy – remembering our childhoods spent on those blustery trick-or-treating adventures – and now, perhaps, shared with our own families.

For those of us who adore a four-legged companion, the family pet is also considered in these holidays, especially as the trend in pet costumes, pet Halloween parades, and pet-friendly establishments encourage us to include our pet in the merriment.

And, really, for many outgoing canines, Halloween is likely a great deal of fun for our pup. From those silly, scary, or sweet costumes, to the chance to greet new friends at the door, Halloween can be an enjoyable opportunity to include our dogs in the good times. Some cats have even been known to tolerate silly costumes, too.

While it is easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the night, there are some things to be mindful of when it comes to Halloween pet safety. By following these simple, spook-less safety tips, you and your pet will have a howling good time. Continue reading

Pet-Safe Halloween Treats (Good for Any Season)

Alcohol, Xylitol, and Chocolate… oh my!

Halloween party dogWhile these items may not appear in all Halloween treats or beverages, they do present a real scare to your pet when it comes to poisoning potential. Halloween week is the busiest time of year for the Pet Poison Control hotline, as the bowls of candy and other confections prove to be too easy a target (and temptation) for our pets, and our pooches in particular.

But, Halloween need not be a treatless time for our fur pals when we plan ahead and provide some nutritious pet treats, keeping unattended candy and snacks out of range. There are, after all, several healthful, safe, and delicious Halloween pet snacks your pet can enjoy anytime of year. Continue reading

Those Adorable, Adoptable Dogs!

iStock_000024726165_MediumOctober is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Dog Month, and your friends and West Park Animal Hospital want to thank all of the wonderful pet parents who have provided homes for pound puppies and other shelter pets over the years.

For those of you longing for a canine companion to bring home, please consider adopting a shelter pet. Aside from the love and happiness your four-legged friend will bring, you will also be providing a home for one of the millions of animals in overcrowded shelters and on the streets. Continue reading

The Great Escape Artist: Tips for Keeping Wandering Pets Safe

Running purebred dogThere are some pets who missed their calling as magicians. One minute you see them playing by the couch, the next minute, poof!, they’re nowhere to be seen. Cats are especially savvy at the art of hiding – where, after hours of searching, they can be found right above the washing machine, curled up next to the laundry detergent, or in the back of a hall closet.

Whether your pet friend is furred, scaled, or feathered, there’s nothing quite as frightening as a missing pet. And, depending on the size of your pet and how secure (or not) your home is, it may be very easy for him or her to slip through a door, fence, or window and roam.

It’s also true that certain times of year, such as storm season or Fourth of July, the noises we have come to expect and associate with celebration or season can present fear, stress, and panic in our pets. The busiest time of year for local animal control occurs on the Fourth of July, after all. So, it’s a good idea to be prepared in advance of such occasions.

But, generally speaking, how can a clever pet parent take some smart preventative steps to ensure all pets remain indoors, safe and sound? Continue reading