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All posts categorized as Pet Safety:

Winter Safety for Dogs

The AVMA shared some very helpful safety tips for walking dogs in the winter.  There is one important suggestion that they make about knowing your dog's limits in the cold and we wanted to pass it onto you.

Just like people, pets' cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet's tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog's walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing's disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets.

If you need help determining your pet's temperature limits, please contact us at Trooper Veterinary Hospital!  Enjoy the cold!

National Animal Safety and Protection Month

October is National Animal Safety and Prevention Month; a month dedicated to promoting the safe practices of handling and caring for both domestic and wild animals. Animals play an important part in our everyday lives, even if we don't personally have pets. So it's vital to make sure that they are treated kindly and with the respect and care they deserve. 

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month was created by the PALS Foundation. PALS is dedicated to helping people and animals coexist in a way that benefits all of nature. They believe that humans must come to know the value of all animals, both domestic and wild, and the important role that they play in our ecosystem.

There are several ways you can participate in National Animal Safety and Prevention Month. Some of them are as simple as being aware of the needs of your own household pets. For example, make sure they are micro-chipped so if they are ever lost, they can be easily found and returned; collars with identification tags are also just as important. Pet proof your home against the possibility of your animals coming in contact with any dangerous poisons or toxins. Put together a disaster escape plan in case you ever need to evacuate your pets quickly from the home. There are plenty of things you can do to take that extra step in making sure your pets are protected in all circumstances.

If you don't have pets of your own, you can still participate in Animal Safety and Prevention Month by volunteering at your local animal shelter. Foster a pet until it finds its new furrever home. There are plenty of animals that have not yet been adopted that would be very appreciative of your time and love. For those animal lovers who don’t have a lot of free time, donating money or much needed supplies to your local animal shelters is always appreciated. This will help to ensure that pets waiting to be re-homed will get all the necessary care.

Plan a trip to the zoo. This is fun for people with or without children. Take the time to educate children about animal care while they're still young. Education helps them gain a healthy appreciation of animals when become adults. 

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month is a wonderful opportunity to remind people of the importance of animals in our everyday lives. Though it's only one month out of the year, these safety practices should be observed all year round. With better safety practices, we can all lead happier and healthier lives.

To learn more, go to: https://www.dog.com/dog-articles/national-animal-safety-and-prevention-month/9973/

July 4th Pet Safety

The following are some July 4th pet safety tips from our friends at the American Veterinary Medical Association AMVA.

Fireworks, picnics and other Fourth of July traditions can be great fun for people; but all of the festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away; holiday foods can be unhealthy; summer heat and travel can be dangerous; and potentially dangerous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with it.

Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after the July 4th festivities.

Preparing in advance:

  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. If you have horses, you might consider marking a safety (breakaway) halter with your contact information and leaving it on your horse during this stressful time.
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs and horses – just in case.
  • If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Are pasture fences secure enough to keep horses or other livestock confined? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

Poisonous Plants for Pets

This list contains plants that have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Please note that the information contained in poisonous plants for pets lists is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a compilation of the most frequently encountered plants. If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, please call us.  To see the list, which was compiled by the ASPCA, go to: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Pets

Poison Control tends to see an increase in calls around Valentine's Day due to candy or plant ingestion.  If you are sending a bouquet to someone who has pets, let the flower folks know to NOT include lilies!  These flowers are toxic to cats and can cause a host of issues from lethargy to vomiting to, in extreme cases, death.  Likewise, if you are the recipient of a lovely bouquet, be sure to sort out the plants that may be dangerous to your pets.  Need a list?  Check out the ASPCA's toxic and non-toxic library here:  http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants 

Chocolates and treats sweetened with xylitol are also a danger to pets.  Chocolate contains methylxanthines which are stimulants that can affect multiple organ systems leading to life-threatening conditions.  Ingesting xylitol can result in a sudden drop in blood sugar which can result in depression, loss of coordination and seizures.  Keep these items out of reach of pets!

Wrapping paper, ribbons, string, balloons…all of these are fun items for pets to play with and chew.  However, if swallowed, these items can cause choking or an obstruction.  Clean up these items promptly and find other appropriate chew toys for your pets.

Check out these other safety tips (thorns, fire, alcohol) from the ASPCA and have a fantastic and safe Valentine's Day!

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/valentines-day-safety-tips

 

Happy Valentine's Day from Louie and his snaggle tooth!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Louie and his snaggle tooth!

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