ASPCA’s Top 10 Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

The article below was published by the ACPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website.  Feel free to click on the link for more information. 

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Grey kitty in a witch's hat

Try not to annoy your pet, no matter how cute she looks.

 

Photo by A. Jones

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

Trixie wears a skull bandana

A happy pet = a happy owner
Photo by A. Jones

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era

For all you animal (especially those more fond of cats) and history lovers, this is an interesting article.

Mimi Matthews

Inconsolable Grief by Ivan Kramskoi, 1884.

During the early 19th century, it was not uncommon for the mortal remains of a beloved pet cat to be buried in the family garden.  By the Victorian era, however, the formality of cat funerals had increased substantially.  Bereaved pet owners commissioned undertakers to build elaborate cat caskets.  Clergymen performed cat burial services.  And stone masons chiseled cat names on cat headstones.  Many in society viewed these types of ceremonies as no more than an amusing eccentricity of the wealthy or as yet another odd quirk of the elderly spinster.  Others were deeply offended that an animal of any kind should receive a Christian burial. 

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Rabbit Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, rabbits main food source is hay and leafy greens, not carrots!
  • Because of the position of their eyes, rabbits are able to see close to 360 degrees all around! However, they have a blind spot in front their nose.
  • Adult Rabbits have 28 teeth including 4 incisors. Their teeth grow continually for their entire life, but they are normally worn down through constant chewing.

Source: Animal Planet.  Check out Animal Planet’s Live Bunny Cam.  

Karl Szmolinsky and his rabbit "Robert", the World's Largest Rabbit

EBERSWALDE, GERMANY – Pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert 2, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006 in Eberswalde, Germany. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.). (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Top 20 Facts about Rabbits

Here is a list of the top 20 interesting facts about rabbits…

1. The World’s Largest Rabbit named “Darius” weighs approximately 50 pounds and is currently 4 feet, 3 inches. Although this might sound unbelievable, “Darius” is indeed a real rabbit that currently lives with its owner Annette Edwards from the UK. It has been reported that Darius thinks he is a dog.
2. The “most valuable” rabbit on Earth, “Darius”, is currently insured for around $1.6/million and has his own personal caretaker aka body guard. (Not that anyone would be brave enough to mess with a 50 pound rabbit anyhow.)
3. In the wild some female rabbits can produce about eight litters of bunnies per year.
4. The largest litter of bunnies every reported consisted of 24 kits.
5. Rabbits are natural runners and can reach speeds of up to 30 to 40 mph.
6. Domesticated rabbits that people raise do not open their eyes until they reach about 2 weeks of age.
7. Baby domestic rabbits are actually born fur-less.
8. Rabbits have 28 teeth.
9. The World’s oldest rabbit on record lived to be 16 years old.
10. The average lifespan of a domesticated rabbit is around 5 to 8 years.
11. Pet rabbits generally live longer than rabbits used for production and those living in the wild.
12. With the right guidance rabbits can be trained to live indoors perfectly.
13. In the UK the rabbit is the third most popular pet option.
14. The average heart rate of a rabbit ranges between 130-325 beats per minute.
15. It is estimated that over 2 million U.S. households own a pet rabbit.
16. Thousands of rabbit shows take place annually in the Continental United States alone, each year.
17. Male rabbits are referred to as “bucks” and female rabbits are referred to as “does”.
18. Believe it or not, a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life.
19. Rabbits can jump up to 36 inches or higher.
20. In general rabbits are very clean animals that will groom themselves and even each other.

Check out this article on the topic of raising rabbits.

 

Dog Trivia

Did you know?

Pug dog yawns

Click here for a different view on yawning dogs.

Dogs and wolves yawn as a sign of contentment.

Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions with most of them made with their ears.  Due to breeding, bulldogs and pit bulls only have 10 facial expressions. As a result, these dogs easily get misinterpreted by other dogs resulting in fights.

Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet.  The only way they can discharge heat is by panting.

One of the world’s oldest dog breeds is the Saluki.  It is believed to have been developed in ancient Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C.

The fastest dog is the greyhound, which can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

Dogs can see colors yet at the same time are colorblind.  Orange, yellow and green all look the same to a dog.  Blue-green is seen as white to a canine.    A human sees the rainbow -ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) while a dog sees RYYYBIV (Red, yellow, yellow, yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet)  Blue-Green is seen as white to a canine.

The phrase “Three Dog Night” is attributed to Australian Aborigines.  On cold nights, these nomadic people would “need” to huddle with three dogs (dingos) to keep them from freezing.

Black Cat Appreciation Day – Blackie, the Muse

Carl Mydans Gjon Mili and his cat Blackie, 1944

Carl Mydans Gjon Mili and his cat Blackie, 1944 ©

Blackie was the muse and pet to Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili.

Gjon Mili (November 28, 1904 – February 14, 1984) was an Albanian-American photographer best known for his work published in LIFE which he photographed artists such as Pablo Picasso… and Blackie.

The famous photographer and anyone who met Blackie found it easy to appreciate this black kitty.

Blackie regarding a portrait of himself made by artist Saul Steinberg during a session at Mili's studio, 1947.

Blackie regarding a portrait of himself made by artist Saul Steinberg during a session at Mili’s studio, 1947. Photo by Gjon Mili

 

Cat Quiz w/Answers

 

1. A cat has how many whiskers, on average?   D. 24

A) 8
B) 12
C) 16

black cat - white whiskers

Do you see 24 whiskers?

D.) 24

2. Do cats have fewer teeth than dogs, or more?  Cats have 30 teeth. Dogs have 42. 

A) Fewer
B) More
C) Same

3. People have about 650 skeletal muscles. How many do cats have?

A) 500
B) 650
C) 800

4. Which brain is the cat’s brain most similar to?  A cat’s brain is more similar to a human’s brain.  Your cat is suddenly a genius, right?

A) Dog’s
B) Human’s

5. Outdoor-only cats live, on average, about:  3-5 years.  Indoor cats live an average of 15 years.

A) 3-5 years
B) 7-10 years
C) 12-15 years

 

6. A term for a group of cats is:

A) caggle
B) covey
C) clutch
D) clowder

 

a litter of kittens

The average litter of kittens is between 2 to 6.

7. A term for a group of kittens is:  Besides, cute?  Call them a Kindle.

A) kaggle
B) kindle
C) nook
D) kaboodle

 

 

8. True or False: A cat, standing in a still position, can jump up to six times its own length.  True. 

9. True or False: “Tabby” is the name of a cat breed.  False

 

10. All of the following are the names of cat breeds, EXCEPT:  Beauceron is a name of a dog breed, not a cat breed. 

A) Balinese
B) Beauceron
C) Birman
D) Burmilla

11. The thick hair around the face of some cats (such as Persians) is called:

A) Mane
B) Ruff
C) Pelt
D) Shock

12. True or False: Just like female cats, male cats have five or six pairs of teats.  True

13. True or False: Like dogs, cats sniff one another’s butts.  True 

14. How much of their waking hours do cats spend grooming themselves?

A) 11%
B) 33%
C) 66%

15. What’s it called when a cat rubs the side of its head on you or on furniture?

A) Beaning
B) Bunting
C) Brocking
D) Tagging

16. A cat named Towser was an expert mouser. (True story!) How many mice did this famous cat reportedly catch in her lifetime?

A) 899
B) 8,899
C) 18,899
D) 28,899  (This kitty means business!) 

17. Cats can’t taste this:

A) Sour
B) Sweet
C) Bitter
D) Salt

18. What’s the total number of claws that most house cats have?  18. Five claws in the front paws and 4 in the rear paws = total of 18)

A) 16
B) 18
C) 20
D) None of the above

19. Cats stay pregnant for about how long?

A) 2 months
B) 4 months
C) 9 months

20. Which of the following statements about body language is FALSE:  A tail tucked underneath the body actually means, “I am scared.”

kitten scared by big dog

This kitten displays the classic signs of being scared.

A) A cat’s tail held high means “I’m happy.”
B) A twitching tail means “I’m getting irritated.”
C) A thumping tail means “I’m totally frustrated!”

D) A tail tucked underneath the body means “I’m hungry.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to find out what you can do during June Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month.

Answers:

C. 24 whiskers
A. cats have 30 teeth, but dogs have 42
A. 500 skeletal muscles
B. more similar to a human’s brain than a dog’s brain
A. 3-5 years (contrast this with around 15 years for indoor cats!)
D. clowder
B. kindle
True
False
B. Beauceron is the name of a dog breed, not a cat breed
B. ruff
True
True
B. 33%
B. bunting
D. 28,899 (wow!)
B. sweet
B. 18 (five in the front paws and four in the rear = 18)
A. just over 2 months
D. is false. A tail tucked underneath the body actually means “I am scared.”