No Tricks or Treats for Your Pets!

 It’s almost October and Halloween is just around the corner!  It’s easy for pets to get stressed out or into trouble around this time of the year and it’s always a good idea to think about safety.  Here are some helpful tips from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to keep your pets safe and stress free.

First and foremost, always keep candy, especially chocolate away from your dog or cats reach.  Try to keep the wrappers away from them as well, this can seem like a fun toy to pets but tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can cause choking or intestinal blockage.  Also keep decorative corn and other popular Halloween plants out of reach, they can cause gastrointestinal upset.

It can be fun to get your furry friend into costume, but please make sure your pet likes it before the big night, try it out first.  Costumes can cause them a lot of stress or even constrict their movement, hearing, or ability to breathe.    Lastly, for less social animals it’s a good idea to keep them in an area away from the commotion and where they feel safe.

Survey Shows American Pets are Packing on the Pounds

Obesity is no longer just a health concern for the American people. According to a recent national survey conducted by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Cruelty, more and more pets are joining their owners in tipping the scales. The survey shows that some 45% of dogs and 58% of cats are either overweight or obese. This is a 2% increase for dogs and a 5% increase for cats from the previous year.

Continue reading Survey Shows American Pets are Packing on the Pounds

The Dangers of Canine Dental Disease

Studies show that 80% of dogs show signs of gum disease by the age of 3.  Symptoms include tarter buildup along the gum line, persistent bad breath, and gums that are red and inflamed. If these signs sound familiar, get out your pup’s toothbrush because it may not be too late!

The early stages of gingivitis aren’t particularly dangerous for your pooch and are easily treatable with proper dental care. Regular vet visits that include an oral checkup, home dental care, and teeth cleanings are all essential for correcting the early stages of gingivitis and preventing more serious disease.

Canine gingivitis that’s left untreated can lead to Periodontal disease, which is a painful infection between your dog’s gums and teeth. Periodontal disease can cause discomfort for your dog, lead to tooth loss, and spread infection to other parts of the body. Prevention is key to stopping Periodontal disease and avoiding the costly vet bills that accompany. You can prevent periodontal disease with oral hygiene products from retailers like vetdepot.com.

Consult with your dog’s veterinarian about the best steps to take for a healthy doggy smile.

Back to School Might Mean Separation Anxiety for your Pup

It’s that time of year again; kids are saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer and returning to the classroom. But children aren’t the only ones adjusting to the back-to-school routine. Many dogs experience some form of separation anxiety when kids return to school, especially pets in homes where parents are at work during the day.

Hours alone in an empty house will seem unfamiliar and maybe even a little scary for a dog who has spent the entire summer with plenty of human interaction. This unfamiliarity may cause anxiety for your dog, which can sometimes lead to destructive behavior around the house. Luckily for you and your pup, there are a few things you can do to combat this situation.

  • Don’t make a big deal out of the morning goodbye. An elongated goodbye may clue your furry friend into thinking something is up, so try to act like the first day of school is no different than any other day.
  • Make sure your dog is supplied with as much comfort as possible when left alone. Leaving the television or music on at a low volume might help ease separation. Familiar toys, blankets, or pet beds are also an excellent source of comfort.
  • Keep your dog occupied! Toys and chew treats are a good way to avoid destructive behavior and keep your dog entertained while you’re away.
  • Make the time your dog does get to spend with your family count. Regular walks, play time, and lounge time together will make for an all-around healthier, happier pooch.

In some cases, separation anxiety is severe enough for your veterinarian to prescribe medication available from retailers like http://www.vetdepot.com. Contact your pet’s vet with any questions or concerns.

A Pet Owner’s Guide to Preparing for a Natural Disaster

Hurricane season is upon us and it’s important to have an emergency preparedness plan for you and your family in case disaster strikes. When facing the possibility of a hurricane or any other natural disaster, don’t forget to include your furry family members in your evacuation plan. According to the American Red Cross, “if it’s not safe for you to stay behind, it’s not safe to leave pets behind either.”

Here are a few things for responsible pet owners to keep in mind when planning ahead:

Know where to go: If evacuation becomes necessary, remember that many evacuation shelters don’t allow pets. If you don’t have family or friends in the vicinity, it’s a good idea to make a list of pet-friendly hotels and motels in your area ahead of time and keep that list in an easily accessible place. Some veterinarians and boarding facilities also offer shelter to pets in the event of an emergency.

Make sure pets are wearing identification: Having your pet wear proper identification is a good idea at all times, but during emergency situations it’s even more crucial. In the event that you and your pet do become separated, ID with up-to-date contact info is the best way to become reacquainted.

Pack an emergency kit: Along with your family’s emergency kit, have supplies packed and ready to go for your pets. According to the American Red Cross, your pet’s emergency kit should include:

  • Medications
  • Sturdy leash and harness
  • Muzzle (if necessary)
  • Pet food
  • Drinkable water
  • Plastic bags or kitty litter/pan for waste
  • Pet carrier large enough for your pet to sit and lay down in
  • Current photos in the event that a pet does get lost

 If space allows, comfort items such as treats, blankets, beds, and toys are a good thing to have on hand as well.  These items might soothe a pet who’s experiencing fear or stress due to an unfamiliar situation.

For more information about preparing for a disaster, visit http://www.redcross.org/.