Spring Hazards For Your Pets

 

Spring is soon to arrive and with it new hazards for our furry friends.

Flowers/Plants

Tulips

Hyacinths

Daffodils

Crocuses

Lilies

Lily of the Valley

Foxglove

Azalea

Rhododendron

Yew Bushes

Basically, if it’s an Easter style or spring type potted plant, keep it away from your pet. If you’re uncertain, the ASPCA has a great website that shows toxic and non-toxic plants.

Garden/Outdoor Chemicals

Anything meant to kill a pest is probably toxic to your pet. This would include, but not be limited to things like:

Gopher bait

Rodenticide

Slug bait

Anything you wouldn’t drink/eat, your pet probably shouldn’t, either:

Antifreeze (or any other automotive chemicals)

Fertilizer

Herbicide

Blood/Bone Meal

Cocoa Mulch (or any mulch, as they can be treated with all sorts of chemicals)

Weed Killers

Indoor Hazards

Again, if you wouldn’t eat it/drink it, don’t let your pet:

Absolutely all cleaners (even if they are non-toxic to humans)

Paint

Mineral Spirits/Solvents

Human medications (just a reminder as some people may not take meds except for certain allergy prone times of the year and may forget to keep them in cupboards and away from pets)

Spring is the time for lots of home improvement projects. Don’t underestimate your pet’s curiosity, even if they seem afraid of the area when you’re around. Keep things put away and out of reach or keep the area closed off from your pet. Just because you wouldn’t eat a box of nails, doesn’t mean your pet wouldn’t.

All Easter decorations, especially the little strips of plastic green grass. Ingested by your pet they can cause an obstruction that could lead to death.

Open windows: if you are going to open your windows to let the fresh, spring air in, please make sure you have your screens back on. Pets can jump out windows and be hurt or lost without screens in place, even if you only opened the window a crack. It’s amazing what they can squeeze through.

Human Foods

Alright, so just because you would eat it, doesn’t mean your pet should:

Pork

Chocolate

Sugarless candies which may contain Xylitol

Honestly, if it’s not labeled as food for your pet and your veterinarian hasn’t given you the ok, it’s just safer not to give it to them. It’s better that their begging goes unfulfilled than your pockets get emptied of thousands of dollars in hospitalization fees, or worse, your furry friend dies. The ASPCA has a list of foods not to feed your pet, but it is woefully short.

While this post is not all inclusive, I hope it gives you an idea of things to keep away from your pets and helps you keep them safe as you enjoy the journey with your furry friends.

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Pets and Hot Cars

Unfortunately, people still don’t understand that leaving your pet in the car during hot weather is a bad idea. Dr. Ernie Ward shows us how bad it is inside the car.

 

Some foods to keep away from your dog

I came across this graphic today and I had to share it. These are dangers that can be avoided! This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start! Share with all the dog owners/lovers you know!

 

toxiclili

Check the Chip Day – August 15th!

Check the Chip Day

 

Is your pet microchipped? How up to date is the information attached to that microchip? I have personally had two cases of lost pets called into the clinic with outdated information in the microchip database. Luckily for those pets they were also wearing tags with our clinic information on them, so we were called when the owners couldn’t be reached.

Don’t take chances with your pet’s safety! You had them microchipped which is an excellent way to keep them safe, but now it’s time to make sure all of the information the microchip company has is accurate. It won’t do your pet any good if no one can reach you!

Buyer Beware

I was out at the farmers’ market yesterday and I came across a table where they had what looked like homemade (or at least not mass marketed) dog treats. Since I don’t have a dog anymore, I just glanced at them and was going to walk by when I saw the ‘flavor.’ It was peanut butter and bacon. I stopped and looked at them in confusion. Anyone else catch what the problem was? Yep, that’s right, it had pork in it. Those of you who follow my blog (thank you so much, by the way, I squeal whenever someone follows my blog, lol) may be familiar with my past post about the evils of pork: Pets and Pork Don’t Mix. If you haven’t read it, please click the link and check it out. It explains why pork is so bad for dogs and cats.

I waited until the woman working the table was finished with the people ahead of me and then I asked her about the treats. The treats said they had ‘natural flavors’ and she informed me that it was indeed real bacon as opposed to some kind of artificial flavoring. I told her about how pork was dangerous to the point of possibly being deadly for dogs and she was surprised. She had no idea and stated she’d never heard that before. Her attitude and body language also told me that she didn’t believe me. Now, normally I wouldn’t say anything more, but it would have been irresponsible of me to just leave. So, I told her I was an LVT, so that was how I knew. She nodded politely and I could tell she wasn’t the type who would do any research and that she would continue to sell those potentially deadly dog treats. Well, at least I informed her.

My purpose in writing this is to warn all of you and any other pet owners you know to ALWAYS read the ingredients in whatever you buy for your pets. Just because it’s ‘all natural’ or ‘organic’ or whatever other catchy term the companies are using now a days doesn’t mean it’s safe. Just because it’s made by a ‘big name’ pet company doesn’t mean it’s safe, either. So, do your pets and your wallet (hospital bills can be expensive) a favor and always check ingredients before you buy!

Where to go if you need help?

Having pets can be expensive and while it is definitely worth it (in my humble opinion) having a few resources to turn to is nice. I have personally used care credit to get two more quality years of life with my best furry friend.

Please share this all over the place! 🙂

Fear Body Language in Dogs

Dogs express fear via body language and knowing that body language can help prevent dog bites. This graphic does a pretty good job of showing the body language of fear in dogs. If you encounter a dog showing any of these signs, proceed with caution. He may bite out of fear.

 

FearBodyLanguageDogs

Puppy Bowl 2013

I’ll admit, I’m pretty excited to watch the Superbowl this year and I don’t have Animal Planet, so I’ll be missing out anyway, but for those of you looking for something else to watch Superbowl Sunday (February 3rd), the Puppy Bowl is for you! It airs on Animal Planet from 3-5, but check your local listings to make sure.

I’ve already chosen my favorite contender:

And never fear cat lovers, there’s a kitty halftime show!

Don’t forget there will be the Kiss Cam and the Water bowl Cam as well as a few new and exciting ‘cams.’ Also, word on the street is that this year’s cheerleaders will be a hedgehog cheering squad!

All of the animals playing in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters from around the U.S. and Puerto Rico and are up for adoption.

Does Santa Bring Puppies and Kittens?

Does Santa Bring Puppies and Kittens?.

This is a great post listing some reasons why you should think twice about giving a pet as a Christmas gift. I’m not saying absolutely don’t give one, but there are a LOT of things to consider before doing it. Thousands of dogs and cats are relinquished to shelters every year after having been given as Christmas presents.

Here is the ASPCA’s stance on gifting a pet for Christmas.

Here is a really good article that goes into a bit more detail about what it costs to have a dog/puppy and what to consider about giving a dog as a gift. Most of the things to consider apply to cats, too, so don’t be fooled into thinking that cats are ‘easier.’ They just have their own set of needs.

I just want to reiterate that I’m not saying don’t give a pet as a gift, but I am saying be completely certain it’s the right thing to do for the gift recipient and for the animal. A pet is a life long commitment not only of time, but of money and emotional investment. A pet is a living creature that can’t simply be tossed away with wrapping paper if it’s the wrong gift for someone. They can’t be exchanged at a white elephant party. A pet is a gift that will be around for up to twenty years or more depending on the breed and species, so be prepared for a lifelong companion. If you decide a pet is the right gift, please consider adopting from your local shelter.

 

Christmas Kitten

Holiday Pet Don’ts!

The American Veterinary Medical Association has a humorous picture that sums up the dangers of the holiday season for your cats and dogs. If you’re having a holiday party and your pets may be exposed to any of these dangers, you might want to put them in a separate room during the festivities or remind your guests not to feed your pets anything and to help you keep an eye on them.

 

AVMA_HolidayPetDonts