Monday, October 29, 2018

Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween

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Fall/Halloween - the time of year where wonderful items like hot apple cider, pumpkins (pies and spiced lattes) and colorful changing leaves are in abundance (depending where you are in the world).

Another thing that’s in abundance are Halloween parties, trick or treaters knocking at your door and of course..CANDY. For some pets - they can handle people coming to the door and they can work a room full of people because they enjoy being social. However, not every pet can handle every situation. Here is a short list of tips you can implement to help your pet through handle people coming to the door or being in a large crowd.

-> Board Your Pet Overnight: For the pets who cannot in any way, shape or form deal with the constant sound of the doorbell, or crowds - see if you can find a reputable kennel to board them overnight. They will be safe and under supervision.

-> Sit Outside to Hand Out Candy: One thing you can do (if you’re able) is to set up a chair outside, sit and wait for the trick or treaters and hand out candy. This way, you won’t have to worry about the constant ringing of the doorbell or knocking on the door. While the dogs may still bark at knowing there are people outside - they won’t be as frenetic with the sound of a knock or doorbell.

-> Answer the Door with Your Pet on a Leash: If your pet doesn’t listen to a sit/stay, or they are small enough to squeeze by to walk out of the door, you can put your pet on a leash to ensure they don’t bolt. If you have a pet who is aggressive at the door for any reason - you can sequester them in another room with something (like a stuffed Kong) to keep them occupied.

-> Keep the Candy Up and Away: The metabolism and digestive system of our pets is more sensitive than ours. Excessive chocolate and sugar can cause a host of problems. The best way to ensure your pet does not eat their body weight in candy and chocolate is to place it well out of their reach. Here’s a great article about what to do if your dog ingests chocolate (there’s even a link for cats).

Do you have a tried and true method that you like to use for your pets during Halloween? Do your pets enjoy getting dressed up for a Halloween party? I’d love to hear from you or see a picture of your favorite pet in costume!

Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Do Dogs Get Depressed?

As an Animal Communicator, I hear a lot of questions from a wide variety of people. Most questions come from my mother (who is still wrapping her head around what it is I do *exactly*). This week’s post was inspired by one of her phone calls. She called me and got straight to the point by asking this:

“Hol, do dogs get depressed?”

My response was that yes, dogs do indeed get depressed. She went on to explain that a friend of hers had a dog who was given medication for their depression. I also explained to her that dogs are emotional beings like we are. She was still shocked at this revelation when she kept saying “Who would have known that a dog could get depressed?”

That is the point that I want all of you, my readers - to understand. That all animals, regardless of the species are emotional beings. They feel the full range of emotions like we do. They feel joy, love, anger, sadness, and they grieve. I am always sharing with people that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings, who have their own thoughts and opinions about the world around them.

My teacher - Penelope Smith has a wonderful blog entry entitled “Animals Confound Expectations”. In this entry, she talks about some of her experiences as an Animal Communicator and how most people have low expectations about an animals emotional sense, yet the animals wind up surprising the people.

As you go about your day with your animal companion, think about or be open to what is going through their minds and/or their emotions in each situation (if you don’t already). Or you can assess a situation if your animal companion acts very differently.