Halloween Costume Safety

Dog in Cookie monster Halloween costume
As adorable as dogs may look in Halloween costumes, it’s important to prioritize safety and comfort over style and cuteness. If you’re planning to dress up your dog for Halloween, here are some tips to keep in mind: Make sure the costume fits properly and doesn’t interfere with your dog’s sight, hearing, breathing, or movement. Avoid costumes with pieces that can be tripped over or chewed off. Never leave your pet unsupervised while dressed up. Don’t remove your dog’s collar or ID tag. If your dog has a thick coat, choose a lightweight costume to prevent overheating. Do a dress rehearsal before the big day. If after a few attempts, your pet rejects the costume, don’t force it.

Christmas Tree Pet Safety

cat in christmas tree
As fun and festive as the holiday season may be, it can be a confusing and dangerous time for our pets. Decorations pose unique risks and that includes Christmas trees. If your celebration includes setting up a tree, be sure to take precautions to keep pets safe. Here are 8 tree-trimming tips to keep in mind: 8 Ways to Pet-proof Your Christmas Tree Opt for plastic or wooden ornaments instead of glass, which can break and cause injury. Avoid using edible decorations to reduce temptation. Toss out the tinsel — it can cause severe damage to your pet’s intestinal tract if ingested. String lights and power cords can cause oral burns and electric shock if chewed. Hang them near the top of the tree or skip them altogether. Anchor your tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent pets from knocking it over. Sweep up pine needles, which can cause GI upset or a foreign body obstruction if too many are swallowed. Cover up the tree stand to prevent pets from drinking the water, which can contain pesticides, fertilizer, or bacteria. Don’t put wrapped gifts under the tree, especially if there’s food inside. Keep presents in a safe place until it’s time to open them.

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2)

A rabbit being examined
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) is a highly contagious and usually fatal virus that affects both wild and domestic (“pet”) rabbits. The virus can be transmitted not only from rabbit to rabbit, but via food, bedding, or other contaminated materials. A vaccination for the virus has existed for years in Europe and other parts of the world, but not in the United States. In October 2021, a new U.S.-developed vaccine received emergency authorization from the USDA. In preliminary studies, the vaccine proved highly effective in preventing disease with minimal side effects. The vaccine series consists of the initial vaccine and a booster shot approximately 3 weeks after the initial dose. A rabbit is considered fully protected two weeks after the booster shot.

Hiking with Your Dog

Kobe hiking
Credit @when.kobe.met.cali The only thing better than spending a day in the great outdoors is having your best friend with you. Along with the exercise, a trek on the trails can deepen the bond between you and your dog and provide valuable sensory enrichment. Before you embark on your adventure, it’s important to be prepared. Here are 10 steps to take before hitting the trails: Check with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy enough to hike. Make sure your dog is up to date on his vaccines and flea, tick, and heartworm preventives. Find a dog-friendly trail and be aware of any restrictions. The website provides trail guides and maps, and you can filter your search to include only trails that allow dogs. Keep your dog on a leash to reduce his chance of getting into trouble with wildlife or poisonous plants. It will also help other hikers feel comfortable when they pass you on the trail. Make sure your dog’s microchip is up to date and that he’s wearing a collar with his current tags. Start with an easy hike that’s no more than one hour long with a small incline. Look for trails with loops rather than long out and back routes in case your dog gets tired and you need to cut it short. Pack plenty of food and water for your dog and yourself to keep you both energized and hydrated. Never let your dog drink from lakes or streams no matter how clean they may look. They often contain parasites and other bacteria, which can be harmful or fatal to your dog. Bring along poop bags and pick up after your pet. Dog feces contains bacteria that can disrupt local wildlife and groundwater supplies. Pack a pet first aid kit and know the location of the nearest veterinary ER. Always check your dog’s whole body for ticks, cuts, and burrs when you get off the trail.

Fever in Dogs in Cats

dog and thermometer
A fever is an abnormally high body temperature. A normal body temperature for a cat or dog is between 100 and 102.5°F (37.8 to 39.2°). A cat or dog is considered to have a true fever if their body temperature ranges from 103 to 106°F (39.5 to 41.1°C). When to see a veterinarian: If your pet has a temperature between 102.5 to 104.5°F (39.2 to 40.3°C), consult your veterinarian. For temperatures above 104.5°F (40.3°C), seek immediate veterinary attention.