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Seasonal Cautions

Fall/Winter Pet Safety Tips

Exercise is important, even in the cold weather but there are certain things pet owners should look out for. After coming in from a walk or a run you should wipe our pets paws because there may be salt residue on them from walking over areas where winter salts have been spread. Do not let them eat or lick the salt! While walking your animal please beware of antifreeze and window deicer, which is extremely toxic to your pet. Smaller animals or animals with shorter coats may not be able to tolerate the colder weather as well as some. To prevent hypothermia or frostbite do not leave them outdoors unattended in extreme temperatures and use a sweater or a small coat during walks. This will keep your pet warm and more comfortable during the winter season.

Pets with arthritis may experience more discomfort during this time of year. These pets should also not be left outside. When they come in from their daily walk be sure they have a nice warm bed to lie down and warm up on.

If you have a cat that enjoys being outdoors please beware of letting him out during the winter months. Cats that are left outdoors may crawl under the hood of your car during cold spells because they like the warmth emanating from the cars radiator. If you are suspicious of this tap on the hood of your car. This will startle and scare them away.

Holiday Safety Tips

The holiday season can be fun and stressful for everyone, including your four-legged friend. There are many common, holiday items that can be dangerous or harmful to your pet and all pet owners should look out for.

A Christmas tree can be a big part of some households during the holidays but we should be aware of the dangers it can hold for our pets. Do not let your pet drink the Christmas tree water; some may contain fertilizers, which can be harmful to them. Please keep an eye out for pets that are known for chewing as well as small puppies or kittens that are very curious and are inclined to chew. Tree lights may get their attention and can cause electrocution if chewed on. Using tinsel to decorate the tree can also be harmful to your animal by causing intestinal obstruction. Other items that may cause an obstruction are ribbon, decoration hooks, small decorations, undersized toys and styrofoam from opened gifts.

Please avoid feeding your pets any kind of table food especially animal bones. All animal bones such as Chicken bones, pork bones, ribs or other small animal bones pose a threat of choking, intestinal obstruction or perforation. Try to keep a close eye on your pet when you have visitors and make sure all of your guests know not to feed your pet table scraps. You should also be conscious of chocolate, candy or alcoholic drinks left on coffee tables or other shorter tables all of these can be very toxic to animals.

There are a number of holiday plants that are harmful to your pet as well. Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe if ingested or nibbled on can be very toxic so it is wise to keep plants on high shelves out of the reach of pets. Lit candles should also be kept on a high shelf because if knocked over it can cause severe burns to our pet as well as house fires.

Having guests over is not only stressful for you but it can also be stressful for your pooch. Make sure that if things get too hectic around the house that your pet has somewhere quiet and comfortable to relax to keep his anxiety down. Remember "Fluffy" may be under foot every time you open the door so be sure to watch and make sure he doesn't have a chance to escape. Happy Holidays!

Summer

Fleas, Ticks and Insects

The warmer months beginning in late spring also bring us along with flowers, pests we do not want to have on our pets nor in our homes. Fleas and ticks are present not only in parks, but in our backyards. They are carried on birds, squirrels, wild animals, feral cats, deer and other furry creatures. They make our grass and foliage home until winter. Unless we protect our pets we are at their mercy.

The best bet for protecting our furry family members is to give Bravecto, the once every 3 month preventative. We carry recognized safe topicals and oral products that will keep your pets free of unwanted hitchhikers until the frost of winter removes them from our environment.

Be careful of stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and spiders. They can cause an allergic reaction whose symptoms can manifest as severe facial swelling, hives, intractable vomiting and swelling and/or inflammation at the site of the bite or sting. These symptoms may pose a danger to your pet. Call your veterinarian immediately and have your pet examined.

The 4th of July

Celebrating our nations birthday is fun for all but can be dangerous if we have pets. Aside from the inherent dangers of these miniature explosives, many animals become terrified at the loud report these fireworks produce. Keep those pets indoors during the festivities and try to calm them with a soothing tone of voice. Sometimes a mild sedative may be needed to control their high anxiety.

Hand in hand with fireworks we have our barbeques. Like most of us barbequing becomes a way of life until winter is again upon us. Risks associated with this great American pastime are burns from direct contact or having your pet attempt to grab a tasty morsel from the grill.

Feeding scraps may also pose a problem fo rour pets and can result in digestive upsets. Absolutely no scraps please!

Cars

Shopping with your pet can be fun. Most dogs love that car ride but DO NOT leave your pet in the car alone for long periods of time especially in the summer. A dog trapped in a hot car can lead to heat stroke and death.

Heat Stroke

The high temperatures associated with mid to late summer, especially in the afternoons of July and August can sometimes be fatal to our pets if precautions are not taken.

Do not over exercise your pet when the sun is directly overhead or when it is extremely hot. Your animal may experience heat stroke, which is life threatening.

Signs of Heat Stroke:
Panting
Collapse
Warm Skin
Elevated body temperature
Rapid heartbeat
Unwilling/unable to walk

At home you can apply cold compresses to your pets paws and shower with cool water but please seek immediate emergency care.

Pools

Swimming pools pose a danger to our pets. If you have a swimming pool, make sure your dog knows how to get out should he decide to take a swim. Show him where the steps are or he may panic and be unable to get out. Dogs can drown too! Make sure your pet is supervised or that you have a deterrent such as a gated fence surrounding the pool area.

On a less serious note there are dogs that are great swimmers and love to go for an occasional dip. If your pet is one of those make sure you dry out his ears afterwards. Water in the ear canal may cause infection.

Parks

A little romp in the park with your best friend is not only healthy for you both, but is also an adventure for your pooch. Adventures though may sometimes pose a risk. If your pet isn't protected he can pick up hitchhikers in the form of ticks. He may also become thirsty and take a few laps from stagnant water, which may or may not be infected with urine from rodents or other wild animals. It is smart to bring a canteen of water to keep you and your dog cool.

Dog parks allow for your pets to interact with other dogs. Make sure by asking other owners if their pets are tolerant of other dogs. A dog bite can really put a damper on the start of a great day for you and your pet.

Be sure to keep your pet on a leash; dog fights are more common during the summer months. It's also the law.

Anti-Freeze

Your pet drinking even a small amount of antifreeze is extremely toxic and can be fatal. Watch out for any spills from overheated cars and steer Fido away from this summer danger.

Have a great summer and have fun! But please remember to keep an eye on your pet!