By Paula Fitzsimmons
We may love the scares and revelry of Halloween, but it can be quite a frightening time for pets. Elaborate costumes, ringing doorbells and toxic treats are just some of the things that can heighten pet stress and increase the risk of pet emergencies.
Keep Halloween fun and hazard-free for furred family members (and human ones, too) with the following Halloween safety tips, provided by veterinarians and pet safety experts. The key is to plan as early as possible; it’s never too soon to start strategizing.
By Maura McAndrew
A camping trip is often the perfect outing to unwind, especially since you can likely bring your dog along. In fact, camping offers just about everything a dog desires—outdoor exploration, delicious food cooked over an open flame and quality time with her favorite human.
While dog camping trips can be fun, it is important that you prepare appropriately. With proper preparation for camping with dogs, you can maximize comfort and safety, minimize stress, and create the most memorable experience with your favorite four-legged canine.
By Paula Fitzsimmons
You’re the proud pet parent of a mutt and wouldn’t have it any other way. Things like his capacity to display unconditional love are what’s important to you—not what breed of dog he is. Still, learning about your dog’s lineage can provide you and your veterinarian with an invaluable wealth of information about his health, and can even offer insight into his behavior.
This National Mutt Day, find out the benefits of getting a dog DNA test and meet the six most common mixed breed dogs that show up in the results.
Knowing your dog’s breed profile makes it easier to identify illnesses he may be predisposed to, says Dr. Jason Sweitzer, a veterinarian at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital in Thousand Oaks, California.
“Certain breeds have heart problems, and so you can have cardiologist consults more often to catch heart disease early. Other breeds are predisposed to some types of cancers that we want to be screening for earlier. Knowledge is power, and these tests can give you some knowledge about the breed.”
Dr. Angela Hughes, veterinary genetics research manager at Wisdom Health in Vancouver, Washington, recalls a story about Honey, a dog who had become ill with a high fever. After initial blood work failed to provide answers, the vet wanted to run more tests that would have been invasive and costly.
“The owner mentioned they had just done a Wisdom Panel dog DNA test and that Honey was half Chinese Shar Pei,” says Dr. Hughes. “This is when the veterinarian realized that Honey was likely suffering from a condition called Shar Pei Fever. They were able to treat her appropriately and she was home by that evening. The owner and the veterinarian also now have a plan for treating any future fevers that may arise.”
Besides uncovering predisposed illnesses, dog DNA tests can also give you insight into your furred family member’s behavior, which can potentially make training more effective.
“An example of this is when people are having difficulty training their Lab mix, only to discover it is a Hound mix. Changing the training method can lead to successful communication with your dog and ensure their breed-specific needs are met,” says Mindy Tenenbaum, who has an MS in Veterinary Forensics and is president of DNA My Dog in Toronto, Ontario. DNA My Dog makes the DNA My Dog breed identification kit.
According to the dog DNA test results from Embark, Wisdom Health and DNA My Dog, these are the six mixed dog breeds that show up most often: