Category Archives: Pet Health

Pet Safety: Avoiding Autumn Seasonal Hazards

Does it feel like languid summer where you live, or is there a cool fall nip in the air? Perhaps you and your pet are taking advantage of the break in the heat to get active outdoors, or maybe you’re curled up inside, indulging in a new season of television. Autumn poses its challenges to pets, like any season, but with a few precautions, you’ll still have plenty of fall fun. Take a look at these reminders from PetMD and the ASPCA.

Dwindling Daylight

If only fall didn’t come with fewer hours of daylight! Take care when walking your pet, keeping in mind that the reduced light makes it more difficult for drivers to see the two of you. Wear reflective gear and bring along a flashlight; you might even consider a light-up collar for your pet. Ensure that your pet’s tag and/or microchip information is up to date.

School Supplies

You might feel like your dog needs a refresher on what he learned in obedience school, but he certainly doesn’t need any school supplies! Keep glue sticks, markers, and other school supplies out of pets’ reach. Even an item with low toxicity can be harmful in other ways (as a choking hazard or the cause of a blockage).

Antifreeze

Don’t let your pet be lured by the taste of antifreeze. This temptation is extremely toxic to pets, even in small amounts. Check your car for leaks, clean up spills immediately, and keep your pet away from areas where antifreeze is stored. Seek veterinary attention if your pet ingests it.

Rodenticides

Likewise, rodenticides are toxic to pets and should be used with extreme caution. Place them in an area that is completely inaccessible to pets.

Mushrooms

Most mushrooms are not harmful to your pet, but a small percentage of them are toxic. It’s best to remove them from your yard and to keep your curious pet away from an area where mushrooms are growing. Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests a wild mushroom.

Fleas and Ticks

Just because temperatures dip doesn’t mean it’s safe to stop your pet’s preventative medication. In most areas, autumn is one of the worst seasons for fleas and ticks. Consult your veterinarian, who will probably suggest that you continue your pet’s flea and tick preventatives year round. Follow label instructions carefully, and use only the dosage that is appropriate for your pet.

Cold Weather

Be aware of cold snaps and drops in nighttime temperatures. Ensure outdoor pets have adequate food, water, and shelter. If you take your indoor pet outside, keep in mind that he may not be able to withstand cooler temperatures for long periods of time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pest Control, pet, Pet Health, Pet Owner Gifts

It’s National Pet Week!

National Pet Week was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the AVMA Auxiliary. Celebrated each year during the first full week of May, National Pet Week encourages pet owners to take steps to keep their pets happy and healthy. In honor of the 40th anniversary of this special week, the AVMA is highlighting seven essential actions to improve the welfare of pets. Click here to learn more!

Sunday: 
Choose well and commit for life.

Monday: 
Socialize now. New doesn’t have to be scary.

Tuesday: 
Nutrition and exercise matter.

Wednesday: 
Love your pet? See your vet!

Thursday: 
Travel with care.

Friday: 
Emergencies happen. Be prepared.

Saturday: 
Give your pet a lifetime of love.

Leave a comment

Filed under pet, Pet Health

March Is Pet Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Are you starting to get the “spring cleaning itch” but feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect? Why not start by making sure that potentially harmful foods, medicines, and household chemicals are out of the reach of your pet? After all, spring with your pet should be a happy time!

Recommended by PetMD and the ASPCA, here are just a few steps you can take to protect your pet:

1. Keep pet medications and human medications stored separately so there’s little chance of a mix-up.

2. Take the time to read the label carefully before giving your pet medicine.

3. Keep medications locked in cabinets, rather than on the counter or table.

4. Review the ASPCA’s list of “people foods” that can be toxic to pets. Make sure these items are kept away from your pet.

5. Make sure household cleaners, paint, automotive fluids, and even cosmetic items like nail polish remover are not accessible to your pet.

6. Be aware of which plants can be dangerous to your pet, including household plants, seasonal decorations, and lawn and garden greenery.

7. Research safer insecticide alternatives. Read the labels of lawn and garden products to determine if they are toxic to pets, and follow instructions carefully. Store these products out of the reach of pets.

8. Keep pets out of garbage cans and compost bins. Ensure that your garbage can is tamper-proof and that your pet can’t open it.

9. If you must use a rodenticide, follow instructions carefully and make sure your pet cannot reach the treated area. Properly dispose of dead rodents before your pet can get to them.

10. Know the symptoms of pet poisoning. Have a plan in case of accidental poisoning, and be ready to act fast. Keep your veterinarian’s information and other emergency numbers, like a pet poison hotline, readily accessible.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pet Safety

July Is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month

It seems fitting that July is National Pet Hydration Month—we humans are trying to stay hydrated and cool this month too! Whether your pet is soaking up the summer outdoors or chilling indoors with the A/C, hydration is key. 

First of all, how much water does your pet need each day? According to PetMD, your pet needs about a half ounce to one full ounce of water per pound of body weight. As you might expect, large pets will need more water than small ones, and dogs will drink more water than cats. 

To ensure that your pet gets its daily H2O, PetMD recommends providing fresh, clean water that’s easily accessible, supplying multiple water bowls if you’re a multi-pet family, and keeping the water bowl away from noisy areas if your pet seems skittish. 

If you and your dog are out exercising, remember to stop for water breaks, especially if you notice that your dog is panting hard. PetMD recommends providing enough water to quench your pet’s thirst but not allowing large gulps that could lead to stomach upset.

Have a safe (and hydrated) July with your pet!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Health

How to Safely Exercise Your Dog in Warmer Weather

As the warmer weather rolls in, you want to get outside and enjoy it. Of course, you love taking Fido with you! Just remember that while you can shed the layers of clothing you’ve bundled up in all winter, your dog doesn’t have that same advantage. Here are some tips from the ASPCA for exercising with your pet under a summer sun:

• Keep a close eye on your canine companion. If your pet seems tired and doesn’t want to continue exercising, don’t force her, and make sure she gets plenty of fresh, clean water.

• Watch for symptoms of overheating. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat, and they’re much closer to the hot pavement. If your pet is panting more than usual or having difficulty breathing, let him rest in the shade for a while.

• Stay indoors during the heat of the day. Exercise during the cooler times of the day for your dog’s comfort, such as around dawn, dusk, or in the evening.

• Swimming unsupervised isn’t safe. Not all pups can swim, so don’t leave your pet unattended around large bodies of water. If you’re out on a boat or in a deep pool, get her a life vest to ensure her safety.

• A dog’s fur helps regulate body temperature. Even if your dog has long hair, don’t just shave it off. His fur coat has layers to it, and removing them makes it more difficult for him to stay cool during the hot days and could lead to a painful sunburn.

Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs, Fitness, Pet Health

Challenge Yourself! Healthier Pet, Healthier You

The seasons are changing, the temperature is spiking, and your pet can’t wait to get outside and soak it all in. Challenge yourself to join your pet in the great outdoors with Move More Month!

During the month of April, the American Heart Association challenges people to exercise more throughout the day. What better way to inspire motivation than by including your pet? Begin a morning or evening routine of walking your dog or playing with your cat. If you keep the time consistent from day to day, your pet will always remind you to get up and move.

Here are a few other ways to motivate yourself to exercise more:
➢ Open windows and let in that fresh spring breeze
➢ Prop a toy near your key or purse repository
➢ Hang a dog leash rack next to the front door
➢ Schedule pet playdates and exercise in your calendar
➢ Find an accountability partner by inviting friends and family to join

Leave a comment

Filed under Pet Health

Make These Pet Resolutions for the New Year

Include your pet in your New Year’s resolutions. Improve your pet’s life alongside your own and find some stress relief along the way. Once there’s a new established routine with your pet, keeping those resolutions will be a little easier!

• Add more playtime or walks to your daily routine. Use feathers on strings to keep your feline’s hunting instincts sharp, or take longer walks to give your dog more socialization time.

• Help your pet with her hygiene—trim her nails, brush her fur, and give her regular baths. Aside from keeping your pet healthy, this gives you a chance to spot any skin or fur issues early on.

• Strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend by showing him more affection. By petting him often and giving him more belly rubs, both of you will benefit emotionally.

• We always want our pets to stay safe, so make sure your pet has a collar and updated ID tags. Get her microchipped in case she wanders off, and avoid anything that might be toxic to her.

This year, think about that little (or big) friend you keep near and make his or her life a little better along with your own. Happy New Year!

Leave a comment

Filed under pet, Pet Health, Pet Safety

February Is Responsible Pet Owners Month

February is the perfect month to show your pet a little extra love—not only is Valentine’s Day just around the corner, but it’s also Responsible Pet Owners Month. Take some time to review these great suggestions from the AVMA on how to be a responsible pet parent. Click here to read more.

❤️ Thinking of welcoming a new pet? Select a pet that fits your lifestyle.
❤️ Remember that your pet needs exercise and mental stimulation.
❤️ Be sure your pet receives preventative health care.
❤️ Clean up after your pet.
❤️ Check that your pet has proper, up-to-date identification.
❤️ Obey local ordinances that pertain to your pet.
❤️ Have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Health, Pet Safety

What Is the Difference Between a Pet Seizure and Syncope?

Did you know there is a difference between a pet seizure and syncope? No pet owner wants to think of a pet suffering a collapse, but basic knowledge of the two terms will be helpful. Take a look at some information from PetMD—and consult your veterinarian if your pet has a seizure-like event.

Pet seizure
A pet suffering a seizure may fall on its side, salivate excessively, become stiff, chomp its jaw, or make paddling motions; see PetMD for other symptoms. Before a seizure, a pet may appear worried or frightened; after a seizure, a pet may be confused and disoriented. Pet seizures have several potential causes, including blood and organ issues, genetic abnormalities, tumors, toxin exposure, and trauma.

If you suspect your pet is having a seizure, take the following steps recommended by PetMD: Stay away from your pet’s mouth and head, and don’t attempt to hold him down; he may unintentionally bite. If possible, remove any nearby objects that could injure your pet. Keep track of when and how long the seizure lasts so that you can relay this information to the veterinarian. Seek medical attention immediately if the seizures occur in clusters or if the seizure lasts more than a few minutes.

A veterinarian will likely conduct a physical exam and recommend lab work; he or she may prescribe medication to control the seizures. Remember not to abruptly discontinue any epilepsy medication.

Pet syncope
Syncope is the clinical term for fainting. Typically, syncope causes only a temporary loss of consciousness, but it’s a good idea to consult your vet to determine any underlying conditions.

Syncope is commonly caused by a lack of nutrients and oxygen due to interrupted blood flow to the brain. Potential causes include excitement, emotional stress, low glucose, heart disease, or certain drugs. Again, a veterinarian’s diagnosis is important.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Health

September Is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Undoubtedly, your pet has come up with all kinds of ways to “tell” you when he’s hungry or needs attention—but how does he express pain? September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to review some of the signs that your pet may be in pain. Remember to spread the knowledge, and to always consult your veterinarian if you notice these symptoms. He or she can recommend the best treatment options.

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has compiled a list of common signs that your pet may be in pain. We’ve listed a few below. View the full list here.

Some common signs of pain in dogs:

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Whimpering
  • Howling or growling
  • Aggression
  • Refusal to move
  • Decreased appetite

Some common signs of pain in cats:

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding
  • Lack of agility
  • Stops grooming
  • Weight loss

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pet Health