Tag Archives: pet safety

Pet Safety Tip: Use LED Flameless Candles!

To your pet, there are just so many interesting sights and smells in your home to explore—but that candle burning atop your table shouldn’t be one of them. Some rowdy playing nearby or a swish of that furry feline tail, and (oops!) you could have a real mess and dangerous situation on your hands.

Opt for flameless candles instead! Most battery-powered LED flameless candles provide a warm, flickering glow but are not hot to the touch. You don’t have to worry that if the candle is tipped over, the flame will start a fire. You don’t have to be concerned that your curious pet will get burned from the flame or the hot, dripping wax. And finally, you won’t be exposing your pet to potentially harmful fumes (some flameless candles are scented, so you may want to opt for unscented varieties).

Stock up on LED candles for a safer environment in your home. Flameless candles can be used in mantel displays, centerpiece arrangements, lanterns, wall sconces, and even seasonal decorations.

LED Flameless Candles

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

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.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pet Safety

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 particular challenges to pets, just 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 sweet 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.

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

New Year’s Eve Pet Safety Tips

You’re ready to ring in the New Year, but is your pet? Your four-legged friend will need some extra attention during this time; all the commotion and revelry might leave him feeling stressed or scared. Make sure you both have a fun, safe start to the New Year with these pet safety tips from the ASPCA and PetMD.

1. Ensure Proper Identification

Make sure your pet’s ID tags and microchip details are up to date. Fireworks or other loud noises might startle your pet, and though you hate to think of him lost, it’s best to be prepared.

2. Give Your Pet a Secure Space

Secure pet gates and provide your pet with a safe, enclosed space away from all the ruckus. This comfort zone should include fresh water and a place to snuggle or “hide” if he gets scared.

3. Avoid Confetti

Remember that those shiny, tempting confetti strings can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, so cross the confetti off your list. No kitty wants to start the New Year with surgery!

4. Provide Your Pet with Soothing Sounds

Give those sensitive ears something other than fireworks and party noise to listen to, such as soothing classical music or a favorite TV show (if your pet has one).

5. Exercise Beforehand If Possible

If the weather permits, take your dog for a walk before the party’s in full swing. Or, enjoy some indoor activities together. Exercise beforehand can help to tire your pet out, so he’ll be calmer before the New Year’s merriment.

6. Furnish Toys or Food Puzzles

Distract your pet from the hubbub with toys that he can play with safely or a food puzzle that will keep him engaged.

7. Remember the TLC!

Comfort your pet if he seems anxious. Speak in soothing tones and be gentle with your affection. You can even give him a few treats when he’s being calm.

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Preparing Your Home for a New Pet

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 9.48.05 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 9.50.20 AM

You might be thinking about selecting a heartwarming holiday gift this year – a new pet! As cute and irresistible as they are, new pets are not toys, and they’ll need your love and care for years to come. Make sure your home is ready for a new pet this Christmas, so that the transition is as smooth and joyful as possible.

Making a List (and Checking It Twice)

Stock up on supplies before you bring your new pet home, so you won’t have to make a frantic run to the pet store. The basics include a collar with a name tag, carrier, pet food, treats, food and water bowls, a scooper and bags, pet bed, toys, and grooming tools. Remember litter and a litter box for your cat, and a leash for your dog. The ASPCA recommends easing your pet into his new home by providing him with the food and litter he’s been used to, at least at first.

Before the First Day of Christmas

Take care of a few tasks before the Christmas frenzy hits. Make sure you have an identification tag ready with your phone number, and a secure carrier so your pet is safe while you travel home. Schedule a wellness visit; the Humane Society recommends taking your pet to the veterinarian within a week of adoption. Make sure other pets in the home are in good health and up-to-date on their shots. Do your research on feeding schedules, housetraining for dogs, and kitty litter training.

Our Troubles Will Be Out of Sight

Your pet’s safety is of the utmost importance, so pet-proof your home where needed. The ASPCA recommends removing stray items that your pet could chew or swallow, covering electrical outlets, putting away harsh chemicals, and moving any toxic houseplants. Remember that window cords can be a strangulation hazard to pets, so opt for pet-friendly alternatives. Keep washer, dryer, and toilet lids closed so small pets don’t climb inside. Move valuables to safe locations, and consider investing in furniture covers or pet gates to protect your furnishings.

All Is Calm

During your pet’s first days home, provide him with his own quiet, safe space and limit his access to other rooms. Place his food, water, and bed nearby, and let him explore his new surroundings. While it’s tempting for everyone in the family to lavish him with cuddles and attention, keep in mind that your pet is in a new home, and he’s still getting his bearings. Slowly introduce him to other rooms, children, and pets so he isn’t overwhelmed with all the excitement. According to the ASPCA, a cat may need up to 14 days to relax in a new environment.

‘Tis the Season to Be Jolly

Busy pets are happy pets! A bored pet can wreck havoc on your furnishings, so set aside time for exercise and play. The ASPCA recommends giving your dog at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. Furnish your pet with toys that allow him to chew or scratch, such as chew toys for a dog and a scratching post for a cat.

Peace on Earth

Make sure everyone in the family is ready to accept the responsibility of a pet. Do your best to divvy up pet chores ahead of time, and take turns feeding, grooming, cleaning, and walking your pet.

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Filed under Cats, Christmas, Dogs, Pet Safety

Pet Safety Tips for the Summer

Bring on the summer! What activity does your pet like best? Maybe it the simple pleasure of rolling around blissfully in the green grass, leaping into the air to capture a Frisbee in his teeth, or sprinting after a neon yellow tennis ball. Soak up the fun, but keep these summer pet safety tips in mind.

We’re Having a Heat Wave

Though a walk around the neighborhood can be relaxing for you and your pet, common sense dictates that it’s not always a possibility in the summer. Avoid the midday swelter, and opt for early morning or late evening strolls. Shorten your walk when necessary, and keep your pup hydrated. Remember that your pet’s feet aren’t protected by sneakers, so lead him away from scorching pavement that can burn his paw pads. In addition, never leave your pet alone in a parked car, no matter how short the errand or how pleasant the day. According to the Humane Society, even if it’s only 72 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 116 degrees in less than an hour.

Paws” at the Pool

Splashing around poolside or taking a dip in the cool water might be the epitome of summer fun for you, but not necessarily for your pet. When possible, teach your dog to swim and consider outfitting him in a bright life vest; PetMD cautions that accidents can happen even if your pet is wearing a life vest, so stay vigilant. Even if your pup happily takes to the water like a fish, never leave him unsupervised near a pool.

Keep your furry pal from drinking chlorinated water, especially large amounts. The AKC recommends that you gently rinse him off after he exits the pool and then dab his ears with a dry towel. Remember that pool-time might be a challenge for puppies, short-legged dogs, arthritic or debilitated pets, and pups with vision loss, so consider spending quality time indoors instead.

Chemical Reaction

Those scraggly weeds might be an eyesore begging to be eradicated, or maybe you’re ready to give extra encouragement to your slow-growing plants, but think again if you own a pet. The Humane Society recommends avoiding pesticides, fertilizers, or gardening products that can pose hazards to pets. And while you’re slathering yourself in sunscreen, keep in mind that the common zinc oxide formulation is only intended for you, the pet parent. Protect Fido’s ears and nose with a pet-safe sunscreen created specifically for dogs.

Where, Oh Where, Can He Be?

Summer brings with it all sorts of curiosities and even a few scares for your pet. Even calm or well-behaved pets might scamper after a taunting squirrel, or flee after a turbulent bout of thunder or fireworks. Bring your pet indoors before stormy weather or a pyrotechnic display that might cause him discomfort. Make sure his ID tags and microchip information are up-to-date.

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Pet Safety Tips for a Happy Halloween

As the calendar days creep toward Halloween, you’re making plans for the most fabulous Fright Night yet. Your favorite furry pal has surely been curious, watching you lug in oversized bags of candy and unearth spooky decorations. This holiday shouldn’t be scary for your pet, though, so take note of these Halloween pet safety tips from PetMD and the ASPCA.

Sweet Enough As Is

Your beloved pet is plenty sweet enough on his own – so keep all Halloween candy away from him. All forms of chocolate, as well as candies with artificial sweeteners, can be dangerous for pets.

Not My Style

Your pet might be a camera darling in her new costume, but her comfort should trump cuteness. Test her costume out on her before Halloween, and forgo the new threads if she seems uncomfortable or distressed. Also make sure that her costume doesn’t restrict movement or breathing. Avoid small adornments that could be chewed off and choked on.

Double, Double, Door Trouble

If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, consider keeping your pet in a separate room away from the front door. You don’t want to stress your pet with all the commotion or give him a reason to turn territorial. You’ll also want to keep him from darting outside on what could be a chaotic night for pets.

It’s the Not-So-Great Pumpkin

Those lit jack-o’-lanterns certainly have a pretty glow, but exercise caution if you use candles. Pets could get too close and burn themselves or knock over the pumpkin display. And on the topic of pumpkins, make sure your pet doesn’t ingest them, at the risk of tummy trouble.

The Name Game

With the proper care, this should be a happy Halloween for you and your pet. To be on the safe side, however, make sure your pet has an up-to-date ID tag and/or microchip.

Halloween2014

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, pet, Pet Safety