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Diana L. Guerrero

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October: Ulti-mutt Pet Party Month
by Diana L. Guerrero   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, September 29, 2008
Posted: Monday, September 29, 2008

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October is the ulti-mutt pet party month. Barktoberfest, pet blessings, and Howl-o-ween will keep you and your pet busy. Animal expert, Diana L Guerrero shares vital pet safety tips in this article.

October is filled with pet celebrations that include pet blessings, barktoberfest, and howl-o-ween. As more and more pet parents celebrate with their pets, it is also a time to take precaution for pet safety during the festivities.


Diana L Guerrero said, “More than 63% of American households contain pets. Today those furry family members are included in a variety of celebrations. Many go to church in early October when a large number of pet blessings take place. Fall festivities also include bark-toberfest and end with Halloween. It is the ulti-mutt pet party month.”


Guerrero is a pet ceremony specialist and the author of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES TO CELEBRATE PETS & OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677). The book is a pet lifestyle guide that includes a glimpse into contemporary pet ceremony trends and explores the history of pet blessings and other events.


Pet blessings occur throughout the year but escalate during early October during the celebrations of the Catholic Feast Day of St Francis and World Animal Day. Here in the United States blessings take place from San Francisco to New York.


Popular blessing of the animals events take place at St Boniface in California, Duke Cathedral in North Carolina, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, and the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York.

During her work on BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS, Guerrero discovered that pet blessings and other contemporary ceremonies have become mainstream staples of the metro pet crowd.


“Although there were a few early trend setters, the momentum really began in the 1990s and people keep adding more creative ceremonies.”


Barktoberfest is a real party scene but since beer isn’t good for pets most savvy pet owners buy pet friendly Bowser Beer or Happy Tail Ale. In response to the pet party trend many new specialty pet products and costumes are launched every year.


Howl-o-ween is a time when many people dress their pets up to celebrate. A 2007 survey by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) revealed that close to 46% of pet owners costumed their pets. Another 22% planned to wear coordinating costumes to match those of their pets while only 32% refused to wardrobe their dog or cat.


However, Halloween is also a dangerous time for pets. Most animal shelters won’t adopt out black pets during the few weeks before the holiday to avoid risk of ritual sacrifice.


Guerrero’s Ten Pet Party Safety Tips:

  • Make sure party pets are wearing current identification.

  • Keep animals confined on Halloween. Seclude them safely in a room away from the door and distractions.
  • Walk pets before dark to avoid any altercations with costumed characters.
  • Store and dispense candy so that it is not accessible to pets. Many treats are toxic and even lethal to pets.
  • Avoid the liability that comes from dressing up your pet and sending the critter out trick-or-treating with kids.
  • Don't dress up pets unless they love it. If you do dress them up make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe.
  • Avoid restriction of movement, vision, hearing or the ability to breathe or vocalize. Costumes should not contain small dangling accessories that could be consumed or cause choking.
  • Restrict your pet's access to decorations. Jack o'lanterns with candles are obvious fire hazards, but cats can also get tangled in streamers. Pets can also become ill from eating holiday decor.
  • House animals indoors just before and during Halloween. This protects pets from pranksters who tease, injure, steal, or kill animals.
  • Keep pets away from costumed ghouls and goblins. Halloween bites are not uncommon. Even friendly animals may bite due to stress, fear, or protective aggression.

Guerrero includes additional hints and tips for pet parties and pet safety in BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS & OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677).


Free previews are available online at The book is available at booksellers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom or online at or

# # #

Diana L Guerrero

Blessing of the Animals (ISBN 1402729677)

ABOUT: BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS is an animal lover’s collection of anecdotes, prayers, and ceremonies for pets and an exploration of animal blessing traditions. The book is a mix of historical fact, fun, quirky descriptions, heartfelt sentiments, and novel ceremonies. Readers will discover contemporary celebrations such as meow mixers, pet mitzvahs, and pet nuptials and learn about the pet party craze, beastly beauty pageants, and the real party animals who show up at yappy hours and seasonal galas.

Review copies of BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: A GUIDE TO PRAYERS & CEREMONIES CELEBRATING PETS AND OTHER CREATURES (ISBN 1402729677) are available to reviewers and journalists. Contact Krista Margies at Sterling Publishing (212) 532-7160 or email:

Web Site: Blessing of the Animals

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