activism · animal · cruelty free · vegan

Tips for Keeping Your Best Friend Safe on Halloween

Halloween is exciting, but it’s important to protect your animal companions from hidden dangers!

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1. Keep Your Pet Inside!
Pets left outdoors can encounter tricksters. PetMD notes that people harass, harm, steal and even sometimes kill pets left outside on Halloween.

2. Keep Candy Out of Reach!
Make sure that all candy is kept safely away from inquisitive pets. Don’t forget about the wrappers, too, since some pets will investigate and eat those. The American Veterinary Medical Association reminds pet parents that xylitol (often found in sugar-free candies and gum) and chocolate are especially problematic. Learn more about dangerous foods for dogs.

3. Don’t Make Your Pet Unhappy

Don’t dress up your pet if he seems unhappy about it. Some pets dislike costumes or are stressed out by them. PetMD suggests taking the time to let your pet try the costume and get used to it before the big night. If your pet doesn’t seem thrilled to be wearing the costume, try a bandanna, new festive collar (remember to move your pet’s tags!) or letting your pet celebrate in his birthday suit!

4. Avoid the Masks
If you dress up your pet, skip the mask. You want to be sure you don’t obstruct your pet’s vision at all or interfere with their ability to breathe.

5. Be Careful with Costumes
If you do dress up your pet, make sure that the costume is safe and non-constricting. Also, be sure to supervise your pet while he’s wearing the costume. Veterinarian Dr. Becker suggested to ABC that pet parents could remove the costume as soon as a few photos are taken.

6. Put the Pumpkin Somewhere Safe
Keep jack-o-lanterns and festive pumpkins out of the reach of pets. Although pumpkin is generally safe, eating too much of it can cause upset stomachs according to the ASPCA. In addition, candles in jack-o-lanterns can singe curious pets or cause fires if knocked over! Even if you use glow sticks, the AVMA reminds pet parents that those can cause pets to “salivate excessively and behave strangely.”

7. Remove Your Pet Before Trick-or-Treat
Consider keeping your dog or cat in a room away from the front door. Aside from the dangers of door dashing, even calm pets can be upset by the strange sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters. You also want to be sure that your pet won’t scare or accidentally harm a trick-or-treats with an exuberant jump!

8. Don’t Forget ID
Whatever else you do, be sure that your pet is wearing identification. It’s also a good idea to update your pet’s microchip. If your pet isn’t microchipped yet, learn how they work and some of the benefits of microchipping your pet. While these should keep your pet from becoming lost, it’s always better to be prepared — just in case!

activism · animal · cruelty free · facts · HSUS

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt, Not Buy

When I went to an animal shelter in Los Angeles 3 years ago, I didn’t expect to go home with a dog. I was still trying to figure out which dog would be a good fit for me and my home. But, when they brought Callie into the room and she immediately jumped into my lap and started kissing me, I knew she was mine and vice versa. And the rest is history. So, why should people adopt rather than buy? Even in 2013, many are simply not aware of the consequences of buying a dog. They may think that shelter dogs are ‘used’ or they want a ‘particular’ dog. Here are 5 reasons why you should adopt and never buy:

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P.S. This isn’t a photo of Callie.  Just a (really cute) stock photo of a dog. But, if you want to see a photo of Callie, I’ll gladly send you one because I love to show her off. 🙂

1. You’d be saving a life. The HSUS estimates that 6-8 million animals enter shelters each year and 3-4 million are euthanized. When you buy from a breeder, you are killing a shelter dogs chances at being adopted.

2. Shelter dogs have lots of love. Shelter dogs tend to appreciate what they have. They understand what it’s like to be a rock bottom sitting in a cage at the shelter. So, when you give them a forever home they  return the favor with endless love. Most shelter dogs are also already house trained and know basic commands.

3. Adopting a companion is cheaper. Plus, your money goes to a good cause (helping other animals get out of the shelter!). Most shelters and adoption centers will have animals which have received full medical attention and been spayed / neutered, micro chipped and up-to-date with all their vaccines which will save on your quotations for multi-pet insurance plans.

4. Shelters care about finding a suitable home. Okay, so, I’m sure there are some breeders who care about who buys which dog but breeders are trying to make a profit. In other words, breeders have a skewed motive. Unlike shelters who genuinely want to make sure the animals in their care go home to a good family.

5. Less genetically inherited health problems. Purebreds tend to have more health problems, as opposed to mixed breeds. Besides the fact that now an animal is suffering because someone wanted to turn a profit, you’re also potentially looking at a lot of health care costs.

Need more reasons to adopt? Living with a companion has been proved to lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety and can help you live longer. Awesome, right? Share this post on Twitter and Facebook with your friends and family!