It's Friday the 13th, a day for many of you that holds a bit of distress and apprehension over unlucky events and occurences. However, I actually believe these days are lucky. I think it's all about what energy you put into the universe and how you direct it. Nevertheless, to celebrate the spirit of today, here are some interesting animal superstitions. If there's one that you like the most or is not listed below, please comment about it! I would love to hear any relevant superstition stories too.

Albatross

In the days of sail, an albatross flying round a ship in mid-ocean was an omen of wind and bad weather to come. It was very unlucky to kill it because it was thought to embody the restless soul of some dead mariner. BatsA bat means long life and happiness, a good omen, to the Chinese and Poles.
Bees
If a bee enters your home, it's a sign that you will soon have a visitor. If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant. 
Birds
A bird that flies into a house, foretells an important message.
The white bird foretells death.
A bird call from the north means tragedy; from the south is good for crops; from the west is good luck; from the east, good love.
Butterfly

If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.
Calf
If the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one. 
Cat
A black cat is lucky or unlucky, depending on where you live.
In Egypt it was believed that a black cat crossing one's path brought good luck.

If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it. 
Source: Old Wives Tales

A cat onboard a ship is considered to bring luck. 
Source: Old Wives Tales
A kitten born in May - a witches cat
Stray tortoishell cat - bad omen
Cats bought with money will never be good mousers
Cat sneezing once - rain
Cat sneezing three times - the family will catch a coldKilling a cat - sacrificing your soul to the Devil
Kicking a cat - Rheumatism

Cricket

A cricket is a lucky house spirit that takes it's luck away when it leaves.
Crows
One's bad, 
Two's luck, 
Three's health, 
Four's wealth, 
Five's sickness, 
Six is death.
Dogs

When a dog is staring intently, at nothing, for no apparent reason, look between the dog's ears and you'll see a ghost. 
Source: Dog Hause Visitor Martha Conolley (heard in West Virginia)When a dog howls in an otherwise silent night, it is said to be an omen of death, or at least of misfortune. A howling dog outside the house of a sick person was once thought to be an omen that they would die, especially if the dog was driven away and returned to howl again. A dog which gives a single howl, or three howls, and then falls silent is said to be marking a death that has just occurred nearby. 
Source: Vanessa's Pagan Place Folklore Page
Meeting a dog - good luck (especially dalmations)
A greyhound with a white spot on it's forehead - good fortune
Being followed by a strange dog - bad luck (especially black dogs)
A dog eating grass - rain

Dragonfly
Catching a dragonfly - marriage within the year

Eagle
Strength, divinity and immortality
Christian belief - symbol of ressurection
Several eagles flying together - peace
Eagles sitting motionless - an enemy approaching
Eagle egg eaten by two people - protection against witchcraft
Hearing the cry of an eagle - omen of death
Fish
Throw back the first fish you catch then you'll be lucky the whole day fishing.
Frogs

Frogs, like toads, were once thought to have peculiar properties, and were frequently used in healing charms, and in others of a slightly less innocent nature.A well known country cure for thrush was to hold a live frog with its head in the patient's mouth. As it breathed, so it drew the disease away and into itself. Warts could also be cured by rubbing a frog across them.HornetsIf the hornets build their nests high in trees during the summer, it will be a bad winter. If they build their nests low in bushes, it will be an easy winter. Source: Dog Hause Visitor Martha Conolley (heard in West Virginia)
Horses
Spotted horses are magical.
Grey horses and horses with four white socks are unlucky.
Horseshoes

A circular ring made from an iron horseshoe nail gives the same protection against evil as the horseshoe itself. The horseshoe or crescent moon shape was seen as a sign of good fortune and fertility. One legend says that the Devil called on St. Dunstan, who was skilled in shoeing horses. St. Dunstan recognized him and fastened him to a wall. He then set to work with such roughness that the Devil roared for mercy. St Dunstan turned the Devil loose after making him promise never to enter a home on which a horseshoe was fixed. Witches fear horses, so they are also turned away by a door with a horseshoe mounted on it, The horseshoe must be hung with the points up to keep the luck from spilling out.Horseshoes are considered lucky for their healing powers (cures hiccups) and for their protective influence (specifically against witches). It resembles the crescent moon and is thought to protect against the evil eye. Similar-shaped charms were used among the Chaldeans and the Egyptians. Related to animal worship, it approaches the form of a serpent biting its own tail-a universal symbol of eternity. There is a time-honored belief in the magical power of iron. Blacksmiths were often identified as sorcerers and the efficacy of fire as a bane to demons supported this idea.
A horseshoe, hung above the doorway, will bring good luck to a home. In most of Europe protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position, but in some parts of Ireland and Britain people believe that the shoes must be turned upward or "the luck will run out." 
Source: Old Wives Tales
A horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away. 
Source: Old Wives Tales

Ladybug
The bright scarlet ladybug is a luck-bringer, probably because it is traditionally associated by its color with fire. It is a sign of good fortune if one lands on a person's hand or dress. It must, however, be allowed to fly away of its own accord, and must not be brushed off.Landing on you - very good luck
Landing on your hand - Good weather
Number of spots - number of happy months ahead
Direction after it leaves your person - the direction from which your future love will come

Peacocks
A peacock feather has an evil eye at the end. Argus, the Greek legend, says a hundred eyed monster was turned into a peacock with all it's eyes in it's tail.
Rabbit's Foot
Because of the rabbit's ability to reproduce, the rabbit's foot also became a symbol of fertility. Rabbit's feet are also symbols of new life because of their prolificacy, they also were linked with darkness, witches and the devil because they live underground. By owning a rabbit's foot as a talisman, you would have vital connections with many powerful forces.
Seagull
Killing a seagull - bad luck
Seen far inland - bad weather

Sheep
To meet a flock of sheep on a journey is an omen of good luck. 
Sparrows

Sparrows carry the souls of the dead, it's unlucky to kill one.
Spiders

Superstitious people probably don't kill spiders because it has been unlucky since a spider spun a web over baby Jesus to hide him from Herod.When the spiders build their webs high, it's going to rain soon. 
Source: Dog Hause Visitor Martha Conolley (heard in West Virginia)
Swans

A swan's feather, sewed into the husband's pillow, will ensure fidelity.
Wolf
During the middle ages, wolves were ascribed magical powers and wolf parts became an important part of many early pharmacies. Powered wolf liver was used to ease birth pains. A wolf's right paw, tied around ones throat, was believed to ease the swelling caused by throat infections. 
Source: Dog Hause Visitor Paul Wigle (Wolf Country Web Site)

Sources:
The Dog Hause
http://www.angelfire.com/realm/swordandchalice/cerribits/animals/index.html

and other websites with the same exact information
 
 
Animal At Heart has gathered 9 simple tips for keeping your pet happy, safe, and healthy during the Winter months.

Tip 1: Keep your pet indoors as much as possible.
When the temperature drops, both dogs and cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for supervised exercise. All cats should be kept inside during the winter, because they can freeze, become lost or stolen, injured, or killed. However, all cats and shorthaired, very young, or old dogs should not be left outside regardless of the season.

Tip 2: Keep your pet on a leash and give him/her an ID tag.
This may seem instinctive, but there are many dangers that can be avoided by using a leash. With snow or ice, and especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.  In addition, a leash becomes very crucial when walking them near suspected frozen bodies of water. The ice may not be sturdy enough to support your pet and he/she could fall through. If a pet breaks through the ice, do not attempt to rescue your pet yourself; call 9-1-1 or go for help.

Tip 3: Be mindful of your pet’s feet.
If your pet walks on salted or chemically treated areas, be sure to wash its paws after your walk. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Gently rub the bottom of the feet to remove these irritants as soon as your dog is off the road. This may be surprising but many dogs need boots in cold weather, regardless of its coat length. A way to tell that your dog’s feet are uncomfortably cold is by watching to see if your dog frequently lifts up his paws, whines or stops during walks. Also, snow can get stuck between dogs' toes and freeze, causing pain and discomfort. A way to prevent this is to trim the hair between the toes and keep the nails cut short to make it easier for them to walk in icy areas and to prevent accidents. You can visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for more information. 


Tip 4: Consider clothing for your pet.
When taking your dog for a walk, some dogs, especially short-coated breeds may feel more comfortable wearing some form of protective and insulated clothing or boots. I know many of you may feel opposed or think it is ridiculous, but adding a layer can actually be very beneficial for them to stay healthy.

Tip 5: Pay attention to your pet’s food and water supply.
Keeping warm in the winter will exhaust their energy levels, which is why it is important to make sure they have access to enough food and water. You should also routinely check your pet's water dish to make sure that the water is fresh and unfrozen. Also, when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal bowls, so try using plastic instead to help them avoid that painful experience.

Tip 6: Be aware of dangerous resting or hiding places.
Outdoor cats, and other wild animals, sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars and when the motor is started, they can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If outdoor cats live in your area, please bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to vacate the area.

Tip 7: Do not leave your pet in the car.
During the cold winter months, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. 

Tip 8: Give your pet a warm and comfortable place to rest.
Find a cozy place for your companion to rest, preferably off of the floor and away from any drafty areas, to ensure their well being.

Tip 9: Be aware that existing pet ailments can be intensified.
Cold or damp weather aggravates existing conditions in pets, such as arthritis, especially in older or overweight animals. Pet stores and veterinarians can provide natural and medicinal treatments for a number of conditions.

Sources:

1-800-PetMeds
Yahoo! Voices
ASPCA
EOPSS
The Humane Society
 
 
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