Spring and Summer Fun!

It is officially spring and almost SUMMER!  With the rising temps, we get all this glorious rebirth! Sunshine and outdoor fun go hand in hand. We, as well as our pets, will start to feel the revitalization that comes with the warmer weather. However, as with any change in season, there are things to keep in mind that might affect our furry friends this spring.

The arrival of warm weather also means the arrival of those pesky fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. If you have not kept up on your pets’ preventative through the winter, be sure to get it started a.s.a.p.!  Heartworm, caused by mosquitoes, is one of the most prevalent diseases in the spring. For more information on ticks and fleas, please reference our previous blog articles. Also, we are running our annual Spring is in the Air contest and you could win a three month supply of preventative! Check out our FB page for details or give us a call.

With the balmy breezes and comfy temps, many people get that urge to do their annual cleaning. As you clean, be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pet’s reach. Also, be sure to allow surfaces to completely dry before you let your pets walk on them. You want to avoid the cleaner getting on their fur and causing irritation or having them groom themselves and accidentally ingesting some. Be sure to read all labels on your cleaning products, and when at all possible, use those that are pet friendly.

We all love the warm breezes that flutter through our homes in the springtime, and so do our pets. However, be sure that if you have an open window, it is properly screened. Also, be sure to check your screens for any tearing or other weakness that could allow your pets to fall through.

As the grasses, flowers and trees bloom this spring, so do seasonal allergies. Many people are unaware that your pets can suffer from allergies just as humans do.  Allergic reactions in your pets can range from sniffling, sneezing and scratching to life threatening anaphylactic shock. The most common symptoms are runny nose and eyes and scratching. If you suspect your pets have allergies, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Moving from the indoors to the outdoors, spring is time of working on our yards and in our gardens. However, be sure that if you are using any fertilizer, insecticides or herbicides, your pet does not have access to these areas. They may make your lawn beautiful, but most contain ingredients that are toxic to your four legged friends. Be sure to check the label on any product you are using to see if it may harm your pets. Also, be aware of what plants you are planting in your yard. Lilies, rhododendron and azaleas are all highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten.

Finally, now that the weather is cooperating, people and pets love to get out and walk, run, hike and play. Though these are all fantastic activities that can help your pet (and let’s face it, us too) shed those winter pounds, they do provide more chances for your pet to wander off or get lost. It is wise to keep your pet leashed if you are out of your yard. Also, be sure to have tags with your pet’s name and all of your pertinent information on their collar. Finally, we highly recommend that you have your pets microchipped (please see our previous blog article on the importance of microchipping).

Keeping all of these things in mind, we hope that you, and your pets, get out there and enjoy the arrival of spring!

By on May 7th, 2019 in Pet Care

Making Halloween Spooktacular for Pets!

That chill is in the air. The leaves are falling from the trees. In a few short hours, the night will be alive with ghosts and goblins around every corner. Shouts of “trick or treat” will be heard around the neighborhood. Indeed, Halloween is here!

With Halloween upon us, you are probably ready for the big night! However, there are a few things to keep in mind concerning animals and Halloween. Even though we love this holiday, it is not always a pet friendly one.

So, here are a few things to be aware of this Halloween:

Halloween Candy.  One of the best things about Halloween is the awesome candy!  Yes parents, even you must admit to nabbing a piece of candy or 10 from your kids’ stash. Don’t worry, we are not judging. We all do it too. However, all that candy can be mighty tempting for your dogs and cats as well. Be sure to keep candy up and away from where pets can get into it. Although chocolate is the worst (and can even kill animals in large amounts), too much of any candy is not good for pets and can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.

Candles. Both in pumpkins and in the open, candles can be a hazard to your pet. Often, candles burning in jack o’ lanterns create a wonderful aroma that just begs a pet to come and investigate. This can lead to singed whiskers at best and severe burns in the worst cases. Be sure that the pumpkins are placed where your dog or cat cannot access them. Also be careful of placing candles in open areas where they can be knocked over by the dog or cat. In addition to painful burns from the flame or wax, this can also start house fires.

Costumes:  Everyone loves a cute dog or cat in a costume. But keep in mind; sometimes your dog or cat is not as happy with the prospect of dressing up. If you do decide to put them in a costume, be sure that they can move freely, the costume does not have small pieces that can be chewed off and ingested and that it does not impair their vision. Also, before you put any kind of dye or coloring on your pet, be sure to check with your vet. Even if it claims to be non-toxic for humans, this is not always true of animals. And one last warning pertaining to costumes; If you decide to take your dog trick or treating with your kids, be aware that all the little ghouls and goblins running around, crazy on sugar, might be a source of anxiety for your pup. Some dogs react with fear and others can get aggressive, so be prepared.

Glow sticks and glow jewelry.  Over the past several years, glow sticks and glow bracelets and necklaces have become a staple for the Halloween holiday. Parents give them to their kids to make them more visible and kids love them because they look cool. Cats and dogs love them because they make fun chew toys. Though the contents are not usually life threatening if consumed, they can cause pain and irritation in the mouth. Therefore, do not leave them lying around where your pets can get to them.

As with all things pet related, knowledge is key. Knowing what things to be aware of and what to avoid this Halloween can make it happy hauntings for everyone!

By on October 26th, 2018 in Pet Care

‘Tis the Season

Though the temperatures are a bit mild for this time of year, the holidays are upon us! Now is the time for festive lights, good food, decorations and holiday cheer. It is also a time of year where there are many distractions that can keep us from watching out for our four legged friends. Amid the decorating, shopping, meal preparation and present wrapping, things sometimes get overlooked, ending in an unplanned trip to your veterinarian.

Here is a list of potentially hazardous situations that you should be aware of to keep your pet safe.

~ Holiday lights and candles.

We all know how beautiful the house and tree look all lit up. However, for many animals, those twinkling and often dangly lights present a temptation pets cannot resist. They bat, pull and chew at the lighted strands, often resulting in electrical burns to the mouth or even death from electrocution.

If you decide to light candles for the holiday season, keep them high and in places where your dog and especially your kitty (who likes to defy gravity and get to places unseen) cannot reach. Not only can your pets get seriously burned from the flame or wax, they can also knock candles over creating a potential fire hazard for your home.

~ Tinsel and other decorations

Although it is not toxic, tinsel can cause serious harm and even death if consumed by your pets. Cats in particular are attracted to the shiny stuff that glitters and flutters as though alive. Once ingested, the tinsel can twist and bunch up causing intestinal blockages.

Also highly tempting to your pets are the bright, shiny and colorful bulbs that you hang on the tree. Both dogs and cats have been known to consume tree ornaments. Many of these can shatter, causing lacerations to the mouth, esophagus or stomach. They also can be potential choking hazards.

~ Holiday plants

Though they are beautiful and certainly add to the festive holiday mood, certain plants are highly poisonous and should be avoided or kept out of reach if you have pets. If ingested these plants may cause issues:

Pine needles – Pine needles can cause irritation to the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy.

Poinsettias – Poinsettias can cause mouth irritation and vomiting.

Holly – Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea and depression in your pet.

Mistletoe – Mistletoe can cause respiratory distress, erratic behavior, vomiting, diarrhea or even death.

~ Food

Finally, it is definitely the season for rich, delectable food. For many pets and people alike, the temptation can be great! But before you drop those scraps to your faithful friend, please remember that many foods can cause gastrointestinal issues at best or even death in the worst cases.

Chocolate  – One of the worst offenders, chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats alike, although worse for dogs.

Stuffing – The stuffing may contain nuts and herbs that can be potentially dangerous to your pets. Cats are sensitive to essential oils and sage. Many nuts, such as macadamia, walnuts, almonds and others can cause stomach irritation, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Fatty foods – Foods high in fat content, such as turkey skin and desserts can cause severe gastrointestinal issues and even pancreatitis.

Bones – Many people feel that it is natural to give dogs and cats bones. However, they can cause very serious health issues with your pets and should be avoided. Bones can easily lodge in the esophagus, stomach or intestines.  They can also splinter causing infection, blockages and even death if not treated.

We hope that these tips help you avoid any unplanned vet trips and that you and your pets have a Ho Ho Happy Holiday Season!

By on December 15th, 2013 in Pet Care