National Poison Prevention Week

National Poison Prevention Week

While most of the time it is not something dangerous, unfortunately, there are numerous toxins and poisons in and around most homes that pets can get into.  March 20-26, 2016 has been proclaimed as National Poison Prevention Week which aims to spread awareness of harmful contaminates that can affect both humans and their four-legged family members.  Here are some tips to poison-proof your home and prevent accidental ingestion: Begin by checking any plants or cut flowers in the home or garden. Many plants, including lilies, azaleas, daffodils, lily of the valley and others are toxic.  Depending on the plant, just one or two nibbles can be fatal!  Home fragrances, such as liquid potpourri, can burn your pet’s skin and be toxic if your pet decides to give it a taste.  Spray aerosols or any heavily fragranced products should not be sprayed around birds, as they are especially sensitive to airborne chemicals.  Ashtrays, cigarettes, nicotine chewing gum or patches should be kept out of reach–even one cigarette butt contains enough nicotine to poison a pet.  Batteries should also be kept out of reach of pet’s paws, as they can cause chemical burns. The kitchen can pose many dangers to pets.  Human foods that are toxic to pets include raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough, fatty foods, salty foods, and chocolate.  Other toxic kitchen hazards are caffeine, alcohol, table salt and xylitol.  Garbage cans should have a tight top lid so that curious pets do not go digging through the garbage, which can contain any of the above toxins, coffee grounds, moldy foods, bones, or many other...
Holly, jolly, holiday safety for your pets

Holly, jolly, holiday safety for your pets

Holidays can bring stress to all of us, and pets are no exceptions.  When routines are disrupted and new activities occur, your pet may be the first to notice.  Follow these tips to make the holidays and other events more relaxing for everyone, including your four-legged family members. Animals can become stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests. Therefore, it’s best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can get away from the energy and excitement.  Remember to provide plenty of food and water, and let your pet catch up on some Z’s! Holiday guests don’t know your pets’ routines. If your guests smoke, make sure they are careful with their cigarettes.  Also, let them know in advance whether they are allowed to give treats to your pets. As your holiday visitors come and go, there will be many escape opportunities for your pets. Make sure they are always wearing their current identification tags, consider having them microchipped (if they aren’t already), and keep watch of that door! Always keep your vet’s number handy, along with the number of animal poison control center, in case of an emergency. Safe Ways To Celebrate Make the holidays special for your pets, too!  Provide your furry friends with some extra love and attention to let them know they aren’t forgotten during the busy holiday times. Take your dog for an extra walk – it’ll help both you and your pet relieve some of that holiday stress. Keep a supply of pet treats handy and reach for one before you’re tempted to...

Halloween isn’t for scaredy cats – or dogs!

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year and were suggest taking the necessary precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!”. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for furry family members. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or animal poison control at (855) 764-7661. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. Keep electric lights and cords from decorations out of the reach of your pets. If they chew on them, they could suffer from cuts or burns, or worse, life-threatening electrical shock. Be extra careful when putting candles in carved pumpkins. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). But, for most pets, wearing anything but their “birthday suit” causes them undue stress so do everyone a favor and leave the dressing up to us humans. But… If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or...
Fireworks and Fur – Not for the Fourth

Fireworks and Fur – Not for the Fourth

Tips for keeping your pets safe during the summer celebrations Independence Day is a fun summer holiday filled with barbecuing, backyard games and fireworks. Just be sure that while you’re enjoying the day with family and friends you’re also keeping the safety of your four-legged friends in mind. Following these guidelines will help keep your furry friend out of harm’s way. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells, so on the Fourth of July (and the days around it when people are likely to set off fireworks), it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to hide jarring noises. Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside. And if you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time. Safeguard your pet with a collar and I.D. tag All pets,...

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Skin Care

In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the seventh step: Skin Care. We take such good care of our own skin because it’s the first thing most of us see when we look in the mirror. We will spend hundreds of dollars a month on expensive cleansers and creams for acne, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, redness reducing, moisturizing, calming, luminating, free radical fighting… You get the idea. But what about your pet’s skin? Because they’re covered in fur, feathers or scales, we have a tendency to forget that there is skin (just like ours) under there. Your pet’s skin is an indication of her overall health. The skin is an organ and acts as a barrier to protect the body from infection and other harmful diseases. Excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking may be a sign of a skin problem. Other signs that may indicate a skin problem:        Scratching, licking or chewing at scabs        Redness or inflammation        Hot spots (one particular area where itching is intense)        Round, scaly patches on the face and paws        Dry, flaky or otherwise irritated skin        Hair loss, bald patches        Rashes        Lesions        Drainage of blood or pus        Swellings, lumps or skin discoloration        Rubbing face against furniture or carpeting If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, take her to your veterinarian to diagnose the condition before it worsens. Many times your companion is experiencing one of the following skin problems:...