Keep both pets and your Christmas decorations safe by avoiding these seven hazards

 

Christmas Tree

If you buy a real tree, skip the tree fertilizer, and keep pets from treating the stagnant water as their personal water bowl. Got a climber on your hands? To keep your dog or cat away from the base of the tree, use crumpled-up paper, a plastic bottle filled with beans, or anything else that creates noise at the base of the tree. This trick may scare them off, or at least warn of their approach in time for you to intervene.

Delicate Ornaments
To protect your pet and your valuable family decorations, make sure that small or breakable ornaments are placed higher on the tree. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazards, shards from broken glass ornaments may potentially injure their little paws and mouths.

Batteries and Small Toys
Every parent knows the joy of watching kids rip into Santa’s bounty on Christmas morning—followed by an afternoon of stepping on errant Legos, stray batteries, or tiny dollhouse pieces. Pets, too, discover these items and will eat them without proper supervision. These small pieces can get stuck in their intestinal tract, a condition that requires surgical removal.

Candy
Southern grandmothers are famous for scattering bowls of bite-sized sweets around the house during the holidays. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous if you’ve got curious (or particularly agile) pets. Small hard candies are choking hazards to pets without strong teeth and jaws, and chocolate is a long-known toxin to all animals, requiring a potentially expensive emergency visit to the vet. To be safe, keep these treats out of a pet’s reach. 

Small Bones 
Serving a holiday feast to your pets will only make them sick; thus, direct your table scraps into the trash rather than their food bowl. Particularly dangerous are turkey and chicken bones—not only can these cause blockages in the intestines, but they can splinter and break, causing punctured internal organs.

Festive Foliage
Deck the halls to your heart’s content, but remember: Holly and mistletoe, both popular seasonal decorations, can cause vomiting and severe stomach upset in pets if ingested. Keep the mistletoe securely fashioned over a doorway, well out of your pet’s domain.

Twinkle Lights
Keep strands of sparkling lights away from the bottom few branches of your Christmas tree, beyond the reach of your pet’s curious sniffing. Not only can pets get tangled in string lights, but these strands can give them a potentially life-threatening electrical shock if a pet bites through the wire. Tape extra lengths of electrical cord to the wall or a nearby piece of furniture.

 More from Southern Living and it’s writers here http://www.southernliving.com/christmas/christmas-pet-safety

 

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Pet Travel Tips

Pet Travel Tips

GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Make sure your pets are up-to-date with their PET TRAVEL TIPSvaccinations,flea, tick and heartworm treatments.
  • Microchip (in addition to collar and tags) – a very important tool to help you locate your pets should they wander during your adventures together. This little rice-grain sized object can help bring them back to you.
  • Pack their bags! Be sure to bring along extra collars, leashes, toys as well as food and water bowls for your pets.
  • Bring extra food, treats – and don’t forget the water. Water content changes from city to city so it’s best to prevent digestive upset and bring bottled water or bottled tap water from home.
  • Locate a veterinary medical provider near your travel destination. Being prepared will give you peace of mind. There are many sources to help you locate a quali ed veterinarian near your destination location. (www.healthypet.com/accreditation/hospitalsearch.aspx)
  • Bring medical records, medications and identification, including pictures of you with your pets.
  • First aid kits are essential in the case of an emergency.
  • Remember, pets don’t belong in hot cars! Heat stroke can be deadly and happens in minutes.

More from the Center for Pet Safety here http://www.centerforpetsafety.org/faqs/pet-travel-tips/

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Should You Adopt a Pet From a Shelter?

 

The next time you’re in the market for a new pet and wondering where to buy a cat, dog, or other animal, try setting your sights on your local animal shelter. Despite any negative stereotypes animal shelters may have, they actually provide a ton of healthy, happy pet options for your family to take home and love.

Here are 5 things you may have heard in the past about shelter pets, and what the actual truth is.

Myth #1: Shelter pets aren’t healthy.

Truth: In fact, shelter pets can be quite healthy. In addition, many shelter pets are spayed and neutered, and some even come with location microchips.

Although there is much variety in animal shelters throughout the country, most good shelters almost always provide excellent vet care for their animals. In most shelters animals are vaccinated upon intake.

Myth #2: I won’t be able to find a pure breed at a shelter.

Truth: According to some studies approximately 25% of all dogs in shelters are purebreds. 

Myth #3: Shelter pets are unruly.

Truth: Many shelter pets receive some training and socialization before adoption to help make the transition to their new family easier.  Many volunteers visit the shelters on a regular basis to socialize and train these animals for their fur-ever home!

Myth #4: I won’t be able to properly get to know my pet from the shelter before I take her home.

Truth: Many shelters offer online pet profiles so that you can get to know the animals that are available before you even step foot in the shelter. It is always a good idea to schedule a ‘get-acquainted’ session with your prospective shelter pet and, have a list of questions you can ask the available shelter staff and the staff veterinarian. You should also try to schedule a meet n’ greet with the other animals in your household to make sure the new fur-baby is a good fit for your family.

Myth #5: All the pets in a shelter will be older.

Truth: Shelters and rescues have pets of all ages.

At the end of the day, deciding where to get your brand new family member from is a big decision, but with the right information, it can be made a bit easier.

When you adopt a pet from the shelter, it is important to immediately establish a relationship with a veterinarian to care for that new addition to your family.  In fact, your pet needs to be examined at least yearly by a vet even if it appears healthy as many diseases are hidden and not apparent.  Remember, it is much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to treat it!

More from PetMD here

Returning Home after Evacuation for Natural Disaster

This is an excellent article from PetMD 

By Aly Semigran    

 

The relentless one-two punch of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma forced millions of Americans and their pets to evacuate. 

 

Though Harvey has passed and Irma is tapering off, the recovery is just beginning. As conditions allow, families are returning to their homes, many with their cats and dogs by their side. 

 

Hurricane prepardeness is of utmost importance for people and their pets, but post-hurricane safety is another thing entirely, and it’s too often overlooked. 

 

In the wake of these major storms, the American Veterinary Medical Association has released a safety checklist for pet parents who are returning to potentially dangerous or stressful environments. 

 

When returning home with pets following a disaster, the AVMA recommends the following:

  • Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines, or other hazards.
  • Do not allow pets to roam free outdoors until the area is safe for them to do so. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained. In addition, familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your pets.
  • Allow uninterrupted rest and sleep to allow your pets to recover from the trauma and stress of the evacuation and disaster.
  • The disruption of routine activities can be the biggest cause of stress for your pets, so try to re-establish a normal schedule as quickly as you can.
  • Comfort each other. The simple act of petting and snuggling can reduce anxiety for both people and pets.
  • If you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pets, contact your veterinarian to schedule a checkup.

 Read the rest of the article here 

 

Summer Safety for you Pets – Did you know?

  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
  • Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
  • Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerat (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.

Read more here https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips

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