The Cat & Halloween

Ever wonder why the image of a black cat is so closely associated with Halloween?  Or why they are associated with evil, bad luck, and witches?

Over the years the cat’s nocturnal habits have created a mystique around them that left the human imagination running wild.  Cute, cuddly kittens by day and sneaky hunters by night, the cat’s natural behaviors left many historic observers paranoid.  Adding to the suspicions were typical cat behaviors such as batting at or looking at things unseen by people and their uncanny senses in the dark.  Observations such as these caused many theories and stories about the cat’s nature to be told.

Also, in Europe many pagan religions including witchcraft were tightly associated with animals, including cats.  During the rise of Christianity when paganism was deemed “evil” by many, cats got wrapped up in the stigmatism.  Black has also always been a color associated with the night and evil things, hence the black cat earning a bad rap.

 

Happy Howl-o-ween!

We all want to include our pets in the festivities of the season.  For many, this includes dressing them in the many cute costumes that are marketed for dogs and cats.  Unfortunately, sometimes the concern for safety gets lost in these good intentions.

Some pets just do not tolerate wearing costumes.  If your pet seems distressed, anxious, or upset when wearing his/her costume, it may be best to find an alternative.  Festive collars, cute bandanas, or even holiday-themed bows can be just as fun.  Also, be sure your pet’s costume allows your pet to move, sit, and breathe freely.  Never leave your pet unattended in a costume and be sure all pieces of the costume are non-toxic and do not have any choking hazards.  Find other ways to include your pets in the holiday celebrations that don’t include costume-wearing and make this Halloween as enjoyable for your them as it is for you!

National Veterinary Technician Week

This year during the week of October 14th we are celebrating an important part of your pet’s healthcare team- the veterinary technician.  Do you know what a vet tech does?

  • Veterinary technicians have completed an accredited two-year degree while veterinary technologists have completed an accredited four-year degree.
  • Vet techs have to pass an exam to earn the license and must complete continuing education requirements to maintain that license.
  • While the veterinarian diagnoses pets, prognoses their diseases, performs surgeries, and prescribes medications, a licensed vet tech can (and often does!) do everything else.
  • Veterinary technicians can earn specialties in areas such as anesthesia, dentistry, internal medicine, surgery, emergency and critical care, and many others.

Veterinary technicians are an integral part of your pet’s care.  Take this opportunity to recognize them!  Express your thanks or share your story about how a vet tech helped your pet in the comments section below.

Scaredy-Dog?

Halloween is right around the corner, but that may not be the scariest thing on your dog’s mind.  For many dogs, storms are a real and strong fear that can be very difficult to deal with.  If you have a dog who experiences thunderstorm anxiety, start by talking to your vet.  Several techniques including desensitization to sounds can help to alleviate some of the anxiety.  Some dogs respond well to conservative therapy such as a “safe” spot within the house, pheromones, or anxiety wraps.  Others dogs will require treatment with medications that may include sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs.  Your vet can help you to develop a customized program that is most likely to ensure success in helping your pet get through stormy weather.  While your dog may never like thunderstorms, it can learn to tolerate them with a well developed behavioral modification plan.