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October 22, 2013

Safe Halloween for Dogs and Cats! + Ernestine’s Holiday Sentiments

Halloween for Dogs and Cats

It’s Halloween time and as always this time of year, we want to make sure your pet wakes up healthy and happy on November 1st.
Most pet owners are aware of some of the dangers inherent in Halloween, like chocolate candy. But there are other potential hazards you may never have thought of.
For instance, did you know that Halloween costumes can frighten your pet? Or that you should never let a black cat roam the neighborhood this time of year?
Other hazards include certain Halloween decorations, candy and candy wrappers, and even the adorable pet costumes you see in every store.
To make sure your pet stays safe on October 31st, keep these 10 do’s and don’ts in mind. Happy Halloween!

  • If your pet isn’t costume-averse (many dogs and most cats are), just make sure whatever you put on him is:

Lightweight to avoid overheating
Doesn’t confine or restrain his movements in any way
Is free of any adornments he might be tempted to chew off and swallow

  • Some pets don’t mind clothing or other holiday accessories, but many do. If your pet is frightened or annoyed by the puppy princess gown or the Darth Vader dog cape, be a pal and don’t force the issue. Let your pet enjoy the holiday, too.
  • Many dogs and most cats find a constantly ringing doorbell, random shouts of “Trick or Treat!” and people dressed up in weird costumes to be anxiety producing. Even if your pet seems excited by all the noise and activity, excitement is a form of stress, especially for dogs and cats.
  • Know when it’s time to remove your pet from the action and tuck her away in a safe, quiet spot in your home.
  • If your neighborhood tends to be full of trick-or-treaters and fun gatherings on Halloween, it’s a good idea to make sure your pet can’t escape through an open door or window, either to investigate all the commotion, or to escape it.
  • Kitties should probably be closed off in a bedroom or other safe area of the house for the night, and dogs should always be on a leash for trips outside.
  • Dogs are another story. Most pet owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate for dogs. But there are other types of sweets that also pose health risks for canine companions, so a good rule of thumb is to keep ALL Halloween candy and treats like raisins, trail mix and grapes out of the reach of pets.
  • Halloween candy isn’t the only health threat for pets. Believe it or not, ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause life-threatening bowel obstructions, which often require surgical intervention.
  • Beware all potential Halloween fire hazards. A frightened cat escaping across a table decorated with lit candles, or an excited dog crashing into a carved pumpkin can spell disaster.
  • Glow sticks and jewelry have become very popular, and pets — especially cats — have been known to gnaw on them. The substance that creates the glow is phenol, which can leak out and burn your pet’s fur and tongue. Choking on small pieces is another concern.
  • It’s a good idea to have a quiet, safe spot ready and waiting for an overly excited dog or frightened kitty. Make sure there’s comfy bedding, a litter box if your pet is a cat, a few toys, and some “white noise” in the form of a radio or TV playing in the background.
  • Depending on the situation and your pet, you might want to put her in there at the beginning of the evening, or simply keep the spot handy in case you need it later.

Even with the best intentions and planning, occasionally pets escape into the night on Halloween. So make sure yours is wearing current identification, and if your pet is microchipped, insure your information is current in the chip maker’s database.

From Ernestine:

We are excited that the two dogs we fostered at Belmont Crate Escape, Molly (bloodhound) and Jet (hound mix) were both adopted to forever homes last weekend.  I have been reading lately about new ‘discoveries’ you humans are making about us canines, like that we have emotions. (And you think we are slow to learn sometimes!)  We are way more in tune and perceptive than you imagine. I am glad that Molly and Jet will have homes for the holidays. Like you, most of us love and feel the pressure of the holidays at the same time.  The extra people and food around can be good and hard.

Obviously, we have favorite people in our lives. Y’know who I really like? Ellen DeGeneres. Sometimes I get to listen to TV when my people are out of the house, and every day at the end of her show she says, ‘Be kind to one another’. I know you count us in your blessings.  But busy can mean tense and snippy, and we feel that too.  We definitely feel your pain- more than you know. We also feel your love.

ok, that was a lot of mush for Alpha Ernie!! Going outside to play with my blue ball before the snow!

 

Later, Ernestine

October 11, 2013

Oct- Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, Ticks in Fall, AND A Spooktacular som|dog Halloween Party!

 

Ernie’s Blog Intro:

Breaking News!  som|dog, based in Somerville, exists to do lots of good around assuring that dogs are manageable and safe in urban and suburban communities. They help/ support rescues, the Somerville Shelter, and much more! Crate Escape is a big fan and is proud to partner in their efforts!

A Spooktacular som|dog Event!

Get out your favorite Halloween costumes and join us at Crate Escape Charlestown for a creepy, crawly evening of doggone fun!

Save the date:  Thursday, October 24th,  6:30 – 9:30pm

Bobbing for tennis balls, tricks and treats for canines and their humans. A costume contest, craft beer and much more! Details and ticket information to follow!

It’s going to be FUUUUUNN!  som|dog is putting last touches on the details; we will share soon!

My chihuahua brother, Sundance, got a deer tick on his eyelid this week! He was just walking through the grass. See some facts about ticks in Massachusetts.

And, many of us seriously want to help the ‘No More Homeless Pets’ efforts, but cannot currently adopt or foster. Check out the ideas from Petfinder.

ernie easter bonnet
(ok, so it’s an Easter bonnet– saving my REAL costume for the party!)

Later, Ernestine

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month
How Can I Help?

By Jane Harrell, Petfinder.com Associate Producer

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and there are more dogs in need than ever. Check out the articles on petfinder.com for great information on adopting a dog, a dog adoption checklist, tips for the first 30 days of dog adoption and more!

But what if you can’t adopt? Here are some easy ways you can still help:

  1. Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com”
  2. Tweet, retweet and repeat the following (or your own brilliant message): “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! http://www.petfinder.com #savedogs”
  3. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
  4. Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption on your blog, Facebook or Twitter (hashtag #savedogs) page each day of the month.
  5. Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group, or register in our volunteer database.
  6. Add a petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.
  7. Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local paper.
  8. Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pics to Petfinder.
  9. Donate to your local shelter or rescue group or to the Petfinder.com Foundation in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.
  10. Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.

 

Important to Continue Using Tick Repellent in the Fall

Ticks have become far more prevalent in New England over the last decade. It really takes a frost that lasts a few days to end the danger of ticks for the season.

The most discussed and feared tick is the deer tick. Deer ticks are carriers of two increasingly common diseases: Babesiosis and Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, a new disease associated with ticks has also been discovered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Ehrlichiosis/Anaplamosis. (I googled it- sounds similar to lyme disease, the tick is brown. Instead of attempting to identify tick types, it is better to prevent them all!) Here are some facts:

  • Deer Ticks cling to plants near the ground – especially in wooded, grassy or brushy areas.
  • While the Deer Tick cannot jump or fly, it clings to humans and their clothing when people or pets brush up against it.
  • Ticks can bite both small animals and humans, so tick-borne diseases can betransmitted to humans either directly from the tick or from the bite of an infected animal, including squirrels and chipmunks.
  • single tick bite can result in a human contracting more than one disease – such as Lyme Disease and Babesiosis – at the same time.
  • These diseases can be treated effectively when diagnosed early. However, while doctors are getting better at diagnosing Lyme Disease as it becomes more prevalent, the same is not true of Babesiosis, which is still often misdiagnosed.
  • Ticks are most active in Massachusetts between April and September; but you still need to be cautious through the fall.
  • Ways to avoid tick bites and the diseases they may carry are to control the ticks and to practice smart bite prevention measures

There are many tick prevention products available. We prefer the non toxic and sell topical treatments in Belmont and Cambridge.

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Have a beautiful fall weekend!

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