Posted tagged ‘Pet safety at Halloween’

Reading Subtle Signs

October 17, 2022

One thing you learn, if you live with animals long enough, is to pay attention to the subtle signs they give us. This especially applies when things are not well with them. Recently, our cat Zombie was acting out of sorts. Not wanting to eat (when he’s usually the first one in the kitchen at mealtime), sleeping all day, not even coming to bed at night but staying by himself in another room, as if moving was too much effort for him. Although he seemed to be improving by the second day, we decided a visit with the vet was a good idea, and fortunately we were able to get an appointment that afternoon. A couple of shots later, he is back to his normal self and up to his usual shenanigans. Zombie is prone to seasonal allergies and respiratory infections, so it was absolutely a good idea to not wait until he started showing obvious signs of illness. Since he’s a senior cat, we’re also going to try some arthritis medication, to see if that helps with mobility.

Most animals do not like to show outward signs of discomfort or sickness. Maybe a throwback to the wild when they couldn’t act ill for their own safety. Cats are even less apt to let you know when they don’t feel well. It is important to know a pet’s normal behavior and what is not, and I’ve always found it better to err on the side of caution than to wait too long. From Zombie’s bout with a former respiratory infection, I knew the signs, and I’m glad we had him see his vet (thank you Sunset Coast Veterinary Clinic!) before this incident could evolve into something worse.

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s also important to remember those cautions we’ve all heard many times. Keep candy away from pets. Put pets in a safe room during trick or treat hours, when doors are opening and closing frequently. Bring outside pets inside or at least place in a secure shelter, so as not to be at risk. Especially keep an eye on black cats (such as Zombie!) and protect them from nefarious pranks. It’s hard to say if the stories of black cats being the objects of cruel practices on Halloween are urban legends or sadly true, but why take that chance? Let’s keep Halloween a fun time and not one of searching for a missing pet.

From Zombie and Sandwich, Have a safe and Happy Halloween!


No Bad Luck, Just Lots of Love!

October 23, 2015


Most of us have heard that black cats are bad luck and that you don’t want one crossing your path. In the Middle Ages they were persecuted and often killed, along with the women who were thought to be witches. Unfortunately, the superstition still exists in some places today, and, in an effort to protect them, many shelters do not adopt out black cats around Halloween. Others believe it to be an urban legend that black cats are at risk and no longer halt adoptions. More of a concern is that black cats may be adopted just for “decorative” reasons, but reputable shelters and rescue groups today have firm adoption processes in place to prevent this from happening. Of course the truth is black cats have nothing to do with bad luck and everything to do with being your furry best friend. As you can see, Zombie just wants to play hide and seek, or maybe he’s checking out the shopping bag for treats. Whether you believe black cats are more at risk at Halloween or not, if you happen to have one in your family, please be cautious about allowing him to wander. Perhaps it is a leftover from those Dark Ages, but for whatever reason, cats of all colors can fall victim to cruel pranksters at any time of the year. So whether kitty likes it or not, the safest place for him to be is home.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, here are a few reminders for keeping all pets safe during this spooky season.

  • On Halloween night, keep pets inside, and if they tend to become easily frightened by strangers, confining them to a separate room with a special chewie or toy will give them, and you, more peace of mind. They are also less apt to escape when the door opens to trick or treaters.
  • Keep to a normal routine as much as possible. Pets do seem to thrive best and stay calmer when meal and exercise time is the same.
  • If they enjoy getting dressed up and going out with the kids, make sure they have an I.D. tag on their collars and are on leashes. Put reflective tape on them so they are more visible.
  • Have them get used to costumes, their own and the kids’, ahead of time. This can help prevent unexpected behavior that could lead to trouble.
  • Store candy in a safe place to prevent tummy upsets or even serious illness.
  • Never leave pets alone with a lit candle. Even candles in pumpkins can pose a danger.

One way to enjoy the holiday with your dog is to enter him or her in the Howl-O-Ween costume contest on Saturday, October 31, from 1-3 pm at Fuzzybutz in downtown St. Joseph.  There are two categories, children and adult, and registration forms are available at the store. Participants in costume will receive 15% off and a treat bag. It’s always a fun time for entrants and spectators alike.

Happy Halloween from Zombie, Sammie, and Foo Foo!

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