Halloween turns dogs into pumpkins

Pumpkins will be the most popular costumes for dogs this HalloweenDevil dogs, frog princes and French maid poodles are typically content from a child’s imagination or a Walt Disney fairytale; the arrival of Halloween, however, means that pet owners will be scouring costume-shop shelves to find a clever and comfortable costume for their animals.

This week, Yahoo! Reported the occurrence of the search term "Pet Halloween costumes" increased by 3,725 percent from one week ago. As owners prepare for the holiday, local events around the country plan to decide upon the year’s best pet costume.

Recalling an iguana cheerleader that entered a competition last year at a Guardians for Animals event in New Jersey, Guardians spokesperson, Alex Whitney, told the Observer & Eccentric Hometown, "We voted her first place. We couldn’t not do it, when she stood up and waved those pom poms."

The event, which will be held again this year, benefits Guardians, a nonprofit organization aims at rescuing animals from dying in shelters and promoting pet care.

In other regions, pet photo and costume contests are sending proceeds to local animal shelters and the U.S. Humane Society.

An ABC News affiliate reports that the most popular costumes for dogs this year will be pumpkins and devils.

Veterinarian: Clean teeth in pets add years to life

Dental care for pets can lengthen life spansIn recognition of National Pet Wellness Month, pet health specialists are reminding dog and cat owners of the symptoms of common pet diseases which can easily be overlooked.

Specifically, veterinary officials in Florida and the Greenies Company have pointed out that regular checkups and dental exams are essential in maintaining a dog or cat’s health. Dr Jan Bellows a veterinary and pet dental specialist in Weston, Florida, notes that periodontal disease is the most common health problem for pets with almost 75 percent of dogs and cats experiencing the infection by age 3.

Periodontal disease develops when plaque on the pet’s gum line introduces bacteria into the bloodstream, which can cause organ damage in advanced states.

"Cleaning your pet’s teeth can actually prolong its life," said Bellows. "Daily care is not optional if you want your pet to live a long, healthy life."

In additional to daily brushing, veterinarians suggest tooth wipes, dental treats and foods that clean teeth for dogs and cats.

Doctors Foster & Smith says dog owners should watch for bad breath, red or swollen gums, discolored teeth, or strange bumps as indications to visit a veterinarian.

Dog daycare ideal for busy pet owners, anxious pets

Day care for dogs promotes pet care for busy ownersA dog day care center begun by an entrepreneurial pet owner in 2001 has sprung into a nationwide franchise that gives busy dog lovers a respite from kennels and the guilt of leaving a pet alone during the day.

Recognizing a need for convenient pet care in her area, Amy Nichols quit her job and opened Happy Tails Dog Spa, a personal care facility, in an industrial park in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C, USA Today reports.

Nichols indicated to reporters that convenient pet care was the main goal of her project and the main element of her success. "I knew 50,000 people come to Tyson’s Corner every day. I didn’t want to be where the homes were. I wanted to be where the jobs were."

A departure from typical kennel care, Dogtopia features four playrooms, a dog lounge and webcams to allow owners to watch their pets on the company’s website. Customers pay up to $35 a day or more if the dog gets a bath or stays overnight.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends personal care facilities for dogs that experience separation anxiety.

Cartoon dog trains humans in life lessons

Cartoon dogs aren't just for entertainment anymoreThe benefits that pets provide to humans are well-documented: they give companionship, encourage exercise, offer protection and sniff out crime. One author is even using the lovable creatures to advance a narrative on the wonder and joy entrenched in life’s smallest moments.

Eckhart Tolle, an experienced author who writes in a spiritual context teamed up with the cartoonist Patrick McDonnell to write the new book, Guardians of Being. The book, which is set to release this month, includes McDonnell’s illustrations which are recognizable from his acclaimed comic strip, MUTTS.

According to a ZooToo column, the book reflects on the moment-by-moment outlook of a fictional dog and reinforces the ways that dogs can gratify their owners through friendship and loyalty. Guardians of Being furthermore insists that through pet care, humans can learn about the methods of simple living that dogs pursue.

One reviewer from the Inspired Retailer said that "though such as "Allow your dog to take you for a walk every day, it’s good for the body and it’s good for the soul’ make the book a great gift" for animal lovers.

Dating back to Aesop’s Fables in 620 B.C. writers and thinkers have contemplated the lessons that wildlife imparts.

Dog Whisperer shouts in support of humane education

Ceasar Millan advocates for the fair treatment of animalsCeasar Millan, host of the hit National Geographic Channel show Dog Whisperer, announced today his intention to donate to a program that promotes and educates on the humane treatment of animals.

Millan and his wife, Ilusion, plan to give $250,000 to the North Shore Animal League America to help launch the Mutt-i-grees humane education curriculum.

The program, which collaborates with Yale University’s School of the 21st Century, approaches lessons in humane animal treatment by viewing the subject through the lenses of emotional intelligence and social skills. Though a trial curriculum is being tested in pre-kindergarten through third-grade classrooms, the full program will begin in 2010.

According to Millan, "The unique program shows children how to treat animals while teaching important social and emotional skills – skills such as empathy, collaboration and caring – so kids will grow up and become pack leaders in the animal world as well as the human world."
The quarter-million dollar endowment is the largest gift donated by the Ceasar and Ilusion Millan Foundation to date.

The U.S. Humane Society, an organization that provides insight on pet care and helps prevent animal cruelty, encourages responsible pet owners to consider adopting a homeless animal from their local shelters.

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