Posts tagged ‘animal safety’

December 23, 2013

Happy and Safe Howlidays!

 Christmas brown lab asleep

Hi, there! This is Brooke, your pet-loving gal here. The holidays are here, and you are probably up to your eyebrows in things left to do, cookies to bake, and cards to send—I know I am! Here are some tips on keeping your cherished pets safe and happy during this festive season.

Christmas Trees

This is an example of a bad kitteh!

This is an example of a bad kitteh!

  1. Make sure to anchor your trees from adventurous kitties that climb and dogs with crazily wagging tails—you don’t want all your hard work “decking” the tree to come crashing down in the middle of your eggnog!
  2. If you have a live tree, keep your animals from drinking the tree water, which may be full of pesticides as well as bacteria from the stagnant water. Ingestion of these nasty things can cause diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.
  3. Regardless of whether your tree is real or artificial, be sure to clean up the dropped needles often. Curious pets will eat those needles faster than you can say “No, don’t—!“ They are toxic and will cause vomiting, even if fake (trust me on this L).
  4. Do not leave pets unattended with the Christmas tree, if possible. A fully decorated tree comes stocked with all kinds of dangerous “toys”:
  • Hot light strands can burn or electrocute dogs or cats, which have a tendency to chew on things. Keep light strands secured and covered or away from the lower levels of the tree.
  • Be sure to put glass or metal ornaments higher up on the tree, and watch for broken ornaments with sharp hooks or attachments—little paws can easily step on these items.
  • Tinsel may be beautiful, but it’s a big no-no, especially for cat households. Cats will ALWAYS find stringy, dangly items, and tinsel (along with other strings or wires) can be ingested and can get tangled in the stomach or intestines, leading to scary emergency surgery or even death if not caught in time. No thank you!!

Holiday Plants

Many plants that make our houses cherry and bright this time of year are bad news for our furry family members. For a more extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, check out this link from the ASPCA: http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/Plants. If you suspect your pet has gotten into anything suspicious, whether plant, food, or otherwise, be sure to call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic IMMEDIATELY. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year: (888) 426-4435.

Common Holiday Plants Your Pets Should Avoid

  1. Lilies: deadly to cats, can cause kidney failure
  2. Mistletoe (especially the berries): highly toxic, causes upset stomach and potentially fatal heart problems
  3. Holly: causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy
  4. Poinsettias: not as toxic as often thought, these should still be avoided as they can upset pets’ digestive system
  5. Amaryllis: causes diarrhea and vomiting
  6. Certain species of ivy, namely English ivy: can be extremely harmful if ingested

Forbidden Food and Drinks

Christmas cat and dog eating

We all know that your animal friends are very skilled at watching you pitifully as you shove another yummy treat in your mouth. Their doleful eyes entreat you to share a bit of delicious food with them. Don’t do it!! You can show your pets that you love them in so many healthier ways.

  • Be sure and feed your pets before dinner or party guests arrive—that way, Spot will have a full tummy and be less likely to beg for scraps from your guests. Also, give your animals some special treats made just for them when they have been good (or just because), and politely ask your guests to avoid passing along tasty morsels to your pets.
  • This shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but be sure to keep the dogs and cats (and any other small creatures) in your house out of the booze and smokes. Even accidental ingestion of alcohol or nicotine by a curious pet can be deadly, so if your party is getting very merry—be careful!!

Some foods that can be harmful to your furry friends are:

  • Turkey skin and gravy: can cause pancreatitis
  • Onions and onion powder: can destroy red blood cells, causing anemia
  • Chocolate: can damage the nervous system and urinary tract as well as the heart muscle; can be deadly
  • Grapes and raisins: grapes, especially, can cause kidney failure (who knew?)
  • Bones, especially poultry bones: can tear or block the intestinal tract; these injuries can be fatal
  • Not a food but food items: strings that are used in turkeys or roast, as well as the little  “pop-up” thermometers; discarded aluminum foil; food and fixings garbage—make sure to keep these items picked up and thrown away, with garbage sealed tightly

Joy to the Animals

Sweetness!

Sweetness!

We can absolutely include our furry or feathered family members in the holiday festivities—we just have to be smart pet parents. Stuff your pets’ stockings with worry-free toys, like rubber dog toys, indestructible Kongs filled with special treats, durable rope “bones”, size-appropriate balls, catnip mice, interactive krinkle mats, and colorful lanyards with bells and mirrors for your favorite bird.

Ok, you guys. Get to jingling those bells, and stay warm!

Blessings, Brooke

Advertisements
October 14, 2013

Halloween . . . Fun for Your Pets?

white dog in pumkin

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn is slowly creeping into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

 

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Halloween blog otter

Love this otter!

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

halloween blog cute face

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

Keep your babies safe!

Keep your babies safe!

Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

tiger pumpkin

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke

October 26, 2012

Making Halloween a Happy Time for Your Pets

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn has finally crept into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

 Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke