Halloween can be frightening for your pets

My dog says to remember that Halloween can be a scary and dangerous time for your family pets. Be sure to keep your cats and dogs inside so they don't fall victim to pranks or theft.

Also be careful your companion animals don't dart out the door if you're staying home to greet Trick-or-Treaters; all the activity at the front door allows for a quick escape. Put your animals in the bedroom or den for the evening, give them a nice soft bed and some treats, and shut the door until everyone is settled in for the night.

Lastly, remember that all the costumes and masks can be frightening to animals, especially dogs. Faces are covered, people's outfits may make them appear larger or taller, and gestures may be more animated than usual. Even these slight changes can spook your animal or cause them to not recognize you.

Halloween is fun for humans, but be sure it's a stress free day for your companion animals. Happy Halloween!

The misunderstood bat

My dog says he doesn't understand why people get squeamish when they see animals who aren't fluffy and traditionally cute like he is. Bats, for example, are amazing animals who also provide a valuable service to the communities in which they live. There are more than 1,100 varieties, 70 percent of which eat insects (and, therefore, keep towns from being overrun with bugs!).

The Organization for Bat Conservation offers great programs to educate people about the wonders and variety of bats, how to make bat houses, and how to coexist with bats. You can even sponsor a bat!

This Halloween, when you put out that rubber bat as decoration, why not take the opportunity to tell your friends and family about the amazing world of bats. To learn more about these fascinating mammals, you can also visit Bat Conservation International.

Pitbull Awareness Day is this weekend

My dog says if you're near Austin, Texas, be sure to join in the fun for Pitbull Awareness Day this weekend, sponsored by Love-a-Bull (lovable, get it?). More details in the video below or visit Love-a-Bull directly by clicking HERE.

Halloween fun that also benefits kitty cats

My dog says if you're looking for something fun to do this Halloween and want to help a great cause, he's got just the answer for you. For those in the LA area, check out the Halloween FUNraising Party sponsored by the Stray Cat Alliance. Lots of entertaining activities and great food, and the best part is the MC, renowned animal expert Warren Eckstein.

Details are below, or visit www.straycatclub.org to purchase tickets.

Mushrooms can be lethal

My dog says that mushrooms can be extremely dangerous to your canine family members. Regardless of the variety, keep it away from your companion animal.

For more on the dangers and symptoms, read this great article from Petfinder by clicking HERE.

When pinatas strike back

My dog says he LOVES this comic. Why are pinatas always animals? Can't kids use a bat to beat the heck out of something else?

* The cartoonist, Dan Piraro, is a great animal advocate. To support him and all his animal-friendly comics, be sure to visit his blog, by clicking HERE. He's an awesome talent with a compassionate heart!

Animal CPR

My dog says that you should always plan for an emergency before it happens. For example, what if your dog or cat collapses? What if he or she stops breathing? Do you know exactly what you should do?

Check out the video below so you're ready to help your furry friend if he or she ever needs CPR. A few minutes watching these instructions today could save your companion animal's life tomorrow.

Vegan pizza in LA and DC

My dog says he's very excited that more vegan food options are being offered in restaurants, from the East Coast to the West.

For those in the Washington DC area, be sure to check out Duccini's Pizza in Adams Morgan. The joint now offers pizza with vegan cheese! It's gooey, it melts, and stretches just like real cheese. Get it during the promotional period (ends on Sunday) and you can get a large with toppings for just $5. For more info, click HERE.

For those in the Los Angeles area, check out Cruzer Pizza in the community of Los Feliz. They bake with the same brand of vegan cheese, Daiya, and offer a nice selection of fake meats for toppings. As of last report, Cruzer was the only pizza joint in California using Daiya. For a review of the yummy eats, click HERE.

For more information on restaurants that are cooking with Daiya vegan cheese, befriend this faux cheese on Facebook by clicking HERE.

And, if you have leftovers, Puddy will happily gobble them up for you!

Photo credit: Sick of Lettuce blog

Be a caring consumer

My dog says many cosmetics and household cleaners are tested on animals. You don't need to feed an animal chemicals to verify that they are dangerous! A common sense warning on products is quite adequate and animal testing is not required by law for such items.

Be a caring consumer and don't purchase products that were tested on animals. To learn more about which products are (and aren't!) cruelty-free, click HERE.

Help feral cats in your community

My dog says that this Friday is National Feral Cat Day. This special day is meant to bring attention to the issues facing feral cats—and the ramifications of not spaying or neutering your feline friends.

To plan an event for National Feral Cat Day or to get some ideas on how you can help educate others about the plight of feral cats, click HERE to visit Alley Cat Allies.

Best Friends Animal Society also has some other ideas about how to help ferals in your community. Click HERE for more ways you can help.

The amazing migration of the Christmas Island crabs

My dog says the migration of red crabs on Christmas Island has just ended. If you're ever in Southeast Asia in the early fall, you simply must make a point to watch this amazing trek of 65 million crabs. They travel five miles from their homes in the rainforest to the crest of the ocean in just five days (no small feat for a tiny crab!).

To learn more, click HERE.

What if dogs ruled the world?

My dog says he's in the mood for something light since it's a Friday afternoon. Check out this neat video that has dogs adopting humans! Cool soundtrack by You Scream I Scream and produced in conjunction with the Nantucket SPCA and petfinder.com.

Cow milk is for baby cows

My dog says he hopes you'll watch this quick little video about milk. There's nothing graphic, as a matter of fact, it's mostly writing. But it's just something good to know and think about the next time you pour yourself a glass of milk.

To watch the video, click HERE. And if you'd like to try my favorite soy milk, Silk, click HERE to see the different varieties that are available. They have all kinds of flavors and consistencies. If you like nonfat milk, you'll probably enjoy the Plain Silk Light (which isn't flavored like the vanilla or chocolate milks). If you like whole or lowfat, just get the regular Silk.

Neuter that boy and spay that girl!

My dog says he loves this song by Stan Wilson. It's catchy and has an excellent message. Click on the player below to see what the fuss is all about!

Eat yummy food to help needy animals

My dog says if you want to enjoy some scrumptious food and be entertained with music and comedy, go to the 4th annual Compassionate Cuisine event this Friday in Long Beach. Proceeds benefit Animal Acres, the amazing sanctuary that rescues and cares for "food" animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys.

To learn more about this fun event for a great cause, click HERE. To buy tickets, click HERE (and be sure to select "Compassionate Cuisine" from the list of events).

* Buy your tickets in advance for a sweet discount!

Secure your backyard to prevent escapes

My dog says he's quite heartbroken to hear that a dog was killed by accident at a city animal shelter when he escaped from his yard (click HERE to read the article). Spaz was an outgoing Pit mix with a personality to match his name.

To ensure your dog's safety, make sure he/she is never left outside unattended. To be extra careful, conduct periodic checks to ensure that your fence is secure. Look for weak boards, gaps, and areas that can be dug under. Don't store items next to the fence that your dog can use to get a boost over the fence. And, make sure the fence is high enough so passersby can't reach over to steal a small dog.

Accidents happen. This terrible tragedy with Spaz is evidence of that. Make sure your dog doesn't pay the ultimate price for something that would have been easy to fix. Your animals deserve your best.

RIP Spaz.

Vegan blog posts all in one spot

My dog says he stumbled across an interesting website while he was surfing around looking for dog toys online. VegBlogs aggregates vegan blog posts and podcasts from throughout cyberspace. It also has a wonderful list of reference sites on the right nav bar. Some food-related, some not.

Whether you're a vegan, or just curious, check out VegBlogs by clicking HERE. You're certain to learn something new and interesting!

Help ban declawing

My dog says that if you love cats, or animals in general, he hopes you'll sign the petition to stop the practice of declawing cats.

Declawing is a terribly cruel, and unnecessary, surgical procedure where the vet amputates the last joint on each of a cat's toes. It is not a toenail that is being plucked, it is a bone that is being cut into and the last digit of a cat's toe that is cut off. Each and every toe has the tip cut offbones, flesh, and all. Does this sound painless to you? It sure doesn't to me!

There are plenty of alternatives to having your cat declawed, which simply require a little effort on your part. Declawing may seem like the easy solution to stop an overzealous scratcher, but it is quite simply the cruel solution.

To sign the petition to stop declawing, click HERE.

It's Saint Francis' birthday

My dog says that today is the birthday of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Why not celebrate the day by doing something special to help the creatures with whom we all share the planet?

Donate towels or blankets to your local animal shelter, have a feral cat spayed or neutered, buy your dog a new toy, play with your kitty, feed the birds, throw peanuts to the squirrels, make a contribution to your favorite animal charity, or do something nice for a companion animal in your neighborhood.

If you love animals, find a special way to honor them today (and every day!).

Free screening of Peaceable Kingdom

My dog says that you simply must see the documentary, Peaceable Kingdom. It is a very powerful and touching film about animals on farms who are born and raised to be food. It's beautifully produced by Tribe of Heart (the amazing people who brought another great film to the big screen, The Witness).

Most of the movie focuses on the moving personal stories of those who are on the front lines rescuing animals and those who used to exploit these creatures, but are now advocating for their fair and ethical treatment. If you've never thought about "food animals" before, but you have a dog or cat whom you love dearly, this enlightening documentary will open your eyes in wonderful new ways.

Peaceable Kingdom has been shown at film festivals across the country, but if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area this weekend, there is a FREE screening at UCLA.

Here are the details:

When: Sunday, October 4th, at 2 pm
Where: UCLA, Kerckhoff Hall State Room, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: FREE
Parking: On campus parking costs $10
Sponsors: Bruins for Animals and United Animal Advocates of LA

Following the film, there will also be a short Q & A with discussion, light refreshments, and free literature.

To RSVP to the free Peaceable Kingdom screening, click HERE. And if you'd like to see the amazing film, The Witness (the story of a New York construction worker who starts to perceive animals in a different way), you can purchase it by clicking HERE. It's a wonderful film that will leave you inspired and energized.

It's World Vegetarian Day!

My dog says that he's excited that today is World Vegetarian Day (and the first day of Vegetarian Awareness Month)! If you're already a vegetarian or vegan, why not help others understand how easy it is to live a cruelty-free lifestyle? Click HERE to learn how to promote a veggie diet in your community.

Not a vegetarian? Here are some simple ways to get started down the path of compassionate living (courtesy of the North American Vegetarian Society):

Eat meat-free for the day or throughout the month
Learn how a vegetarian diet can benefit you personally
Try the meatless options available at local restaurants and eateries
Discuss vegetarianism with your interested friends, family and co-workers
Host a meatless meal or potluck for your friends
Eat meatless meals on a regular basis

To learn more about embracing a lifestyle that promotes compassion and respect for ALL living creatures, visit GoVeg.com to get the scoop. And, for a free veggie starter kit, click HERE.

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