Halloween and your pet

Considering whether or not to dress you pet up this year for Halloween?  Well, if you are here are some tips for costumes, treats, and festivities!

Costumes:

Dr. Fransioli and Bebe dressed to impress for Halloween!

Many pets are willing to be dressed up for the holidays. Some even prefer it, such as the hairless Sphinx, who needs sweaters to stay warm! If your pet is willing and eager to dress-to-impress, try following these simple tricks:

  • Pick costumes that are easy to put on and remove. (Velcro is ideal!)
  • Avoid anything requiring safety pins. On the off chance one comes undone your pet could suffer greatly.
  • Ensure they can still see and hear without issue. Many pet costumes come with ear-friendly hats or little headbands so that their ears are not irritated.
  • Be careful of costume parts that can be easily chewed off. If there is any chance of your pet being alone while in costume, they may attempt to chew off and eat parts of the costume, creating a serious choking hazard.
  • Pick costumes that express your pet’s personality! If you pet is super shy, they may enjoy a costume that is subtler and will draw less attention or touching.
  • Check out Martha Stewart’s dog page for some great ideas

Treats

There are very few human treats during the holidays that are also pet-friendly. Consider making your own homemade pet treats, so that your special kid can enjoy the festivities along with everyone else. We regularly post great cat and dog treat recipes on our blog; just search “recipe” on the blog and they will pop up.  There are also several bakeries in San Diego that sell festival treats. Be sure to check out 3 Dog Bakery and Dexter’s Deli for a wide selection of pet-friendly goodies.

Toys are also a great “treat” option for your pet. If you don’t have time to DIY your own baked goods, or run through a pet-bakery, a nice Kong or new Halloween catnip toy may be a good alternative.

Festivities

If you have a social pet, Halloween may be their favorite holiday. Try to pick parties and events that are pet friendly. This will allow your social butterfly to have a safe and enjoyable holiday. If your pet is shy or has a hard time socializing, a quieter, low-key event may be the way to go. The San Diego Humane Society’s Doggie Cafe and Dogspot’s Howl-o-ween Extravaganza in Oceanside will both be great holiday parties for pets this month.

If you have not read last year’s blog post about the Halloween, be sure to check it out. There are more great tips to help your pet enjoy this fabulous holiday!

The Itch You Just Can’t Scratch

Families with dogs will know exactly what we are talking about when we say it is so hard to not empathize with your dog as they scoot their way across the rug on their bottom. That feeling of having a scratch you just can’t get to is quite familiar. Although there are many reasons why dogs itch and scratch, when it comes to their bottoms, there are only a few reasons why they may be scooting.

Even the sweetest, most adorable dogs can end up with an irritated bottom. If you see your dog scooting, be sure to investigate and find out why!

Fecal Irritation

Fecal irritation can be a really annoying problem for your pet. Abnormal bowl movements, such as soft stool, diarrhea or constipation, can cause feces to be left behind on their coat or skin. It is this little bit of leftover stool that will cause problems. Similar to when a baby’s diaper is not changed soon enough, their skin may redden and become irritated. You may begin to see your pet scoot to try and remove the fecal material and relieve the irritation.

To help give them relief, check under their tail, remove any stool you may find, and clean the area with a warm damp paper towel. If their abnormal movements, irritation, or scooting continue, please call us and we can better assess what else may be going on.

Anal Glands

A topic that is always trending in the animal world, anal glands (anal sacs) are the most common reason your pet may scoot. As a way to communicate amongst each other, pets carry a thick fluid in the glands located just inside their anus. The odor of the fluid is unique to each pet and can be detected by others. To humans, the odor is often atrocious (think old, dead fish blended with curdled milk, and you’ll be close). These glands can get blocked or infected, especially in small dogs. When this happens, your dog may begin to scoot to try and relieve the pain and discomfort.

To help your pet, call us and request an appointment. The doctor can tell in a matter of moments if the scooting is an anal gland issue. If it is, they will “express” the glands, look at the material under the microscope, and possibly recommend an antibiotic infusion depending on what is seen. For some pets, anal gland issues are a one-time problem, while for others it can be chronic.

Worms 

Another common reason for scooting is intestinal parasites. Some parasites, such as tapeworms, exit your pet’s body with their feces. As they exit the body, the wiggling worms can cause your pet discomfort and irritation. If you notice small, white rice-like segments in your pet’s stool, they likely have an intestinal parasite and it is very important to call and have your pet’s stool tested. Treatment of intestinal parasites is generally very simple and effective.

If you notice your pet is scooting, give us a call! We can help you better understand what is going on, and determine a course of action to help relieve your pet’s discomfort.

Football Sunday Doggie Muffins

Nellie loves to watch football with her dad, but to be safe only eats dog-friendly football snacks. So she and Dr. Halsey created these Football Sunday muffins, just for her!

Ingredients  

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup traditional rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup applesauce

½ cup water

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 eggs

1 apple, peeled, cored and minced

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line pan or baking tin with paper liners.

2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda)

3. In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients (applesauce, water, oil, honey and eggs).

4. Add in chopped apple and cheese to wet ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated.

6. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins or pan, filling almost full.

7.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Let cool completely before giving to your favorite pup(s)

 

*Be sure to store extra muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for no more than 2 weeks.