Friday, October 25, 2013

Trick AND Treat: Keeping Pets Safe on Halloween

On Halloween, kids aren't the only ones doing tricks for treats. All the excitement around costumes, trick-or-treating and decorating can get your pet riled up and ready for some fun, too. Get them involved by picking out a festive four-legged costume and taking a few precautions to make sure your whole family enjoys the holiday safely.

People Treats vs. Pet Treats. As pointed out by Parade magazine this week, all those Halloween candies that we just can't get enough of, especially chocolate, are not safe for pets to eat. The plastic and cellophane wrappers they come in are no good for dogs, either. Keep your trick-or-treat candy bowl covered and out of reach of your pet. Instead, you can find festive pet treats for an extra special something for your sweetie. Visit our lobby for some spooky and delicious options that will keep your pup busy munching away.

Ding Dong Dog. During prime trick-or-treat hours, it is best to keep your pet enclosed in an area away from the front door or wherever children will be visiting. The constant flow of guests can be stressful on your pet, not to mention the risk of a cat or dog sneaking out the front door as you hand out treats. Keep everyone safe and secure by giving them their own space away from the costumed kiddies.

Decor Gore. Be sure to check for decorations that could prove dangerous for your dog. As much as we love to put out pumpkins, candles and other witchy decorations this time of year, a curious or agitated pet may decide to do their own redecorating while you're not watching. Just like candy, keep these festive pieces out of your dog's reach, and be especially careful with flames or electronic pieces.

Take Care with Costumes. Sparky might look perfectly spooky in that ghost costume, but make sure your pet's outfits on Halloween do not limit their visibility or movement. You want your pet to be comfortable in their attire, so make sure their cute costume fits well and is not restrictive in any way. Read tips on getting your dog used to their costume on our sister company Morris K9 Campus' blog, A Dog's Life.

Not sure what kind of costume would fit your dog best? We offer tons of cute and creative pet costume ideas on our "Pet Costumes" Pinterest board. Visit for a dose of inspiration as everyone's favorite spooky holiday approaches! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Inn" the News: Morris Animal Inn Media

Have you seen Morris Animal Inn in the news lately? Our pets have been the stars of some exciting broadcasts and articles, from Fox and ABC News to the New York Times. Catch up on some of our most recent coverage:

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer told viewers about our Canine Fit Camps in honor of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. After announcing the staggering statistics that 52% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, they followed Lolita, a Dachshund, on her quest to drop some pounds. Lolita, affectionately known as "Lola" by her owner, swims laps in our indoor pool, climbs stairs on outdoor play equipment and trots on the treadmill.

Fox 5 NY followed Bosun, a Golden Retriever, and Chase, a Black Lab, as they get in shape through intense games of catch, stair runs, and group play swims. They advised pet owners to help their pets along the weight loss path by limiting treats and feeding them healthy snacks, like our Yogurt Parfaits here at Morris Animal Inn.

Roll over? Fat Chance! The New York Times saw Lolita trot away on the treadmill, watched Black Lab Ruby launch over hurdles in our play yard, and followed Rhodesian Ridgeback Ashley up and down stairs to earn her healthy treat. They showed how our participants get a skip back in their step after getting in shape through our Canine Fitness Programs.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Human Element: Pets are People, Too

We’ve always treated our dogs and cats like a part of the family. Today, new research and experiments teach us that our pets are a lot more like us than we may think. From surprising talents to human-like brain waves, our four-legged friends are showing their skills in ways that make us proud to call them “man’s best friend.”

At the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center, researchers are going above and beyond drug and bomb-sniffing by training dogs to sniff out cancer. Dogs’ high level of olfactory smell sensors makes them the ideal candidate for this kind of training, explained Working Dog Center director Dr. Cynthia Otto, who is training three dogs to sniff out ovarian cancer in tissue samples.

Pups have been picking up the skills quickly, and the hope is that they will one day offer a non-invasive alternative for cancer screenings. Otto believes there may be something innate in dogs’ abilities to pick up on different odors, just like how wild animals tend to shun sick members of their packs in the wild.

Cats are dipping their paws into the treatment world, too. One café in Paris, Café des Chats, is offering “purr therapy” for patrons looking for a pick-me-up. Café Manager Margaux Gandelon said that she noticed the therapeutic value of cats’ company upon introducing a dozen rescue cats to her café. “Purring produces vibrations which heal, which relieve arthritis and rheumatism, which lower your blood pressure and your heartbeat,” she said. For busy Parisian residents who are unable to have pets of their own, a cup of coffee paired with a relaxing kitty snuggle at Café des Chats is just what the doctor ordered.

Doctors and scientists have spent years studying the behavior of animals to try to analyze what they are thinking. The inability to study a dog’s active brain waves left us wondering what’s really going on in our pup’s head… until now. Emory University neuroeconomics professor Gregory Berns and his colleagues have trained dogs to lie awake and unrestrained in an M.R.I scanner. An M.R.I requires the patient to be awake and completely still in order to truly study brain function. Now that these dogs are able to meet these conditions, we are able to access a never-before-seen view of what goes on in our dog’s heads.

The exciting conclusion come to by Berns was that “Dogs are people, too.” Although the studies are just beginning, they have already found many similarities between the dog and human brain. Similarities between an area of the brain called the caudet nucleus, which plays a large role in the anticipation of things that humans enjoy, were particularly striking. This early research seems to indicate the existence of canine emotions, making them more human-like than ever before.

Our pets continue to surprise us every day, from they way they seem in tune to our emotions to their many talents and skills. In what ways does YOUR pet surprise you?

Friday, October 4, 2013

October is National Pet Wellness Month

October may be filled with fall festivities and Halloween costumes, but this month also celebrates pets with more than just the image of a dog howling at the moon. As National Pet Wellness Month, October is a time for reevaluating your pet’s health and preventing disease. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers tips for considering your pet’s wellness this month in order to keep them healthy all year round.

Make sure your home is safe for your pet. Pet-proofing your home is important whether you have a new pet or have had pets for years. There are many everyday objects (medicines, pesticides and some household plants) that can prove poisonous to our pets. Go through your home to be sure that all potentially harmful objects are out of your pet’s reach.

Schedule a veterinary check-up. Just like with humans, it’s important that you pet visit the vet more than just when they are ill or injured. Having a regular physical can help ward of diseases by getting routine vaccinations and allowing your vet to look for any signs of potential health problems.

Consider your pet’s diet and exercise routine. Dog and cat obesity can lead to extensive health problems as your pet ages. Speak with your vet about what specific foods and physical activities are best for your pet to help extend and increase the quality of their life.

We are excited to encourage pet wellness this month at Morris Animal Inn, where the wellness of our pets is a priority every month! You can take steps towards giving your pet a long and healthy life by taking these safety precautions and bringing your pet to Morris Animal Inn for daily activities and healthy treats. Our Canine Fitness Program, which was recently featured in The New York Times, offers healthy snack options like yogurt and vegetable parfaits and high levels of physical activity like dog treadmills, swimming sessions and stair climbs. Call us at 973-539-0377 to join us in recognizing National Pet Wellness Month today!