It’s November! As you decorate your home with pumpkins, turkeys, and other goodies for Thanksgiving, there are some other holidays us pet parents may want to observe. Here is a list of this month’s pet holidays and how you can celebrate!
ASPCA’S National Adopt A Senior Month
Are you ready to expand your furry family? If so, consider taking a trip to your local animal shelter and adopting a senior canine! November is ASPCA’s Adopt A Senior Month.
Did you know when people begin their search for a rescue dog, seniors are often overlooked? While many people dote over young pups, the truth is, senior dogs are an amazing addition to someone’s family! Most older pooches were someone’s pets prior to being in a shelter and, for some unfortunate reason, their former humans could no longer care for them.
Potential benefits of adopting a senior:
- Older dogs tend to be calmer and more laid back than younger dogs
- They crave to be with you
- They’re often housebroken
- Senior dogs probably know the basic commands – sit, stay, come, etc
- They appreciate the attention you give them
Be sure to check out my full article on the many reasons to adopt a senior dog. It’s definitely worth the read.
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
Cancer is a leading cause of death among pets. That’s why, in 2005, Nationwide teamed up with the Animal Cancer Foundation to establish the first National Pet Cancer Awareness Month. This pet holiday is meant to raise awareness and bring the fight to the forefront.
What Can You Do?
Since you’re reading this now, why not take a moment to observe your pooch. How well do you know your dog’s body? Knowing their baseline — what’s normal for them — is the only way you’ll notice if something has changed. Be alert to any new lumps, bumps, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding, sores that don’t heal, foul odors, or loss of energy.
If you suspect anything is off with your furkids, call your vet ASAP. Don’t delay because many cancers are treatable if caught early enough.
Has your fur baby had his annual exam? If not, you may want to schedule one today while it’s on your mind.
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week
Every year, during the first full week in November (beginning with a Sunday), The Humane Society of the United States observes National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week. The goal of the week-long celebration is to recognize and show appreciation to animal shelters and the individuals who care for homeless animals.
According to Martha Speaks from pbs.org:
“There are approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States, available to serve the estimated 6–8 million homeless animals that seek refuge each year, but only about half are adopted. While 63 percent of American households include pets, fewer than 20 percent of them were adopted from shelters.”
How can YOU participate in the celebration?
- If it’s within your means, open your heart and home and adopt a homeless animal.
- Volunteer at your local shelter. There are many jobs to be done. Call the shelter and ask what you can do. Walk the dogs, read to the animals, just spend time with them. It will break up and relieve some of the emotional stress of their day. Many of these dogs were someone’s pets before they were in a shelter. They are scared, lonely, and totally confused as to what is going on and why they are there.
- Most shelters work on very tight budgets and can only provide the basics. You can help make conditions a little better by your generous donations. Call your local shelter to see if they have a wish list or any special needs. Blankets, beds, towels, toys, and food are some things that are always needed.
- Monetary donations are always appreciated as well.
Pet Diabetes Month
According to usa.petdiabetesmonth.com
“It is estimated that 1 in 300 adult dogs and 1 in 230 cats in the US have diabetes.”
What is Pet Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition where a pet’s blood sugar isn’t being adequately controlled due to an insulin problem. Just like a human, a diabetic pet may either have an abnormal response to the insulin he is producing, may not be producing enough insulin or any at all.
What is Insulin?
Keeping this very simple – Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas. Its job is to keep blood sugar levels normal. If this doesn’t happen, a pet can get high blood sugar (known as hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (known as hypoglycemia). Either way, this is a medical condition that must be corrected or it can lead to many complications.
Pet Diabetes Month is a way to get the word out and raise awareness. There is no cure for Diabetes, but there is treatment.
If you have a pet with diabetes, or you want to find out what to look for, visit THIS official website. You’ll find a lot of valuable information. If you’re a pet parent and want to share your experience with pet diabetes, there is a section to share your story. Or perhaps you’d prefer to read some stories that have been submitted by others. If you are traveling on this journey, you’ll see you aren’t alone.
National Cook for Your Pets Day
National Cook For Your Pets Day is November 1st. This special day is meant to raise awareness of your dog’s nutritional needs and intake. If you’re already home cooking for Fido, or you use fresh food services like Farmer’s Dog (like I do), then kudos to you! If not, you may just want to try adding a few fresh selections in addition to their regular feedings.
There are lots of resources out there for anyone interested in home cooking. Just a quick note: Don’t ever just switch your dog’s diet to 100% home-cooking without researching how to properly balance meals and satisfy your dog’s unique needs.
On your journey to feeding fresh dog food, don’t forget to check out my cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes. It’s filled with 60 gluten-free and grain-free puppy snacks!
National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day is on November 7th. It’s the perfect time to learn more about canine lymphoma, check your own dog’s health, donate to research, and raise awareness (use #CanineLymphomaAwarnessDay to share on social media).
It all started in 2011 after dog agility trainer and competitor, Terry Simons, found out his dog was diagnosed with Lymphoma. According to the National Day Calendar:
“As an educated dog owner, Terry did all he could for Reveille. However, he soon discovered how elusive accurate information regarding options and treatment could be. Soon, Terry connected with professionals. They helped him choose the best path for his beloved companion.”
And after Terry’s dog passed away, he was inspired to start a foundation called CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research).
“The foundation dedicates its efforts to providing information, resources, and research into the devastating disease. Reveille’s legacy ensures dog owners know their options. They become empowered advocates of their four-legged family members.”
– National Day Calendar
Canine lymphoma is a very common form of cancer. Watch for enlarged lymph nodes, decrease in appetite, weakness, sleepy, sluggish, and/or unexplained weight loss. If you notice anything suspicious see your vet ASAP.