Monthly Archives: November 2016

How to Keep Pets Safe in the Cold

shutterstock_112452653As the seasons change and it becomes colder outside pets can feel the difference too. Some pets enjoy the cold but not all do so it’s best to know how to keep them safe. When it comes to keeping them safe common sense is the best way to go, if you are cold most likely they are too. Pets do have fur but just like us they still feel the cold. Always bring your pets in especially if the temperature is 20°F.

Cold tolerance is different for each pet. The tolerance depends on the type of coat, how their body stores fat, activity level and over all health of each animal. Even if pets do have a longer coat and are used to the colder weather they should still not be left unattended outside for any length of time and make sure their coat is groomed. (Matted fur doesn’t aid in keeping them warm and can cause skin problems) Shorter coated pets are more sensitive to cold so even little sweaters and booties are a good choice for them. Your pet may appear healthy but cold can make even slight sicknesses worse. If your pet is diabetic, has heart disease, kidney disease, hormonal imbalances they generally have a hard time regulating their body temp. Very young and very old animals are generally prone to having issues with the cold so always keep a close eye on them.

Pets should be kept inside during the colder months but if they do stay outside make sure that they always have food and water. Try to check the water frequently to keep it from freezing and sometimes use heated water bowels. Animals outside should always have shelter and it’s best to be facing away from wind if possible. The bottom should be kept off the ground and the bedding should be thick and warm. The bedding should be changed regularly to make sure it stays warm and dry. Try to avoid space heaters and heating pads because the pet can burn themselves and it can sometimes catch fire. Also make sure that if your pet is going to be staying outside that they keep a healthy weight through the winter, they will need more calories to help with body heat but it’s best to check with your veterinarian to make sure they don’t gain too much weight.

shutterstock_166559537If you want to make sure your pet is still active during the colder months that’s fine just limit the time they are outside and make sure they are monitored the whole time. Walks are fine but it’s better to shorten them. Always check their feet after being outside to make sure they are not cracked or bleeding. Always clean off ice and snow from paws and try to keep fur between toes cut short. When taking them outside make sure to stay clear of ice, frozen ponds or lakes, pets can fall or fall in and it can become an emergency quickly. Also make sure they have proper identification on at all times when outside just in case they would get away from you.

In addition to just to the cold weather there are other things to watch for in the colder months. Antifreeze is out a lot in the cold and it smells very sweet to animals but is very deadly. Small amounts can cause major problems for them and sometimes even death. Always watch and make sure any spills are cleaned up right away. Monitor wood stoves, fire places, electric blankets and space heaters because they can burn them very easily. Never leave them in the car because they can be affected by carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia. If there is severe weather coming always try to be prepared not only for yourself but your pets as well. An emergency kit is a good option with enough food, water and medications including heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention for 5 days. Also try to have extra blankets, leashes and collars.

Thanksgiving Precautions

By Kendra Martin

The holiday season is upon us and Thanksgiving is starting it out. Everyone loves to meet up with family and enjoy a nice dinner but pets aren’t always as enthusiastic as we would like. Here are some tips and tricks to keeping them happy and healthy during this holiday time.

Pets enjoy being with us all the time especially when we are eating and most of us know that not everything we eat they should eat. Turkey and turkey skin being one of them. It is extremely fatty and pets have a hard time digesting fatty foods and sometimes it can even cause pancreatitis. Also desserts are generally not a good idea either due to chocolate or xylitol (which is generally in unsweetened desserts). Try to keep all trash up and away from the ground or reachable by pets. Almost everything smells good to them but is not generally safe for them to eat.

shutterstock_4156369When holidays come friends and family visit but some pets get too excited and others are not fond of the idea at all. It’s good to always know ahead of time how your pet is going to be. Sometimes it’s good to keep them separate all together. Certain pets are better in an area by themselves with their favorite toy. Cats tend to get very stressed when anything changes in their home especially a lot of people being in their space. Stress can cause disease so keeping them by themselves is generally the best idea in keeping them calm and stress free. Always tell your guests know if your pet is around to make sure they don’t leave doors open and watch when entering and exiting your home. Keeping up to date identification and collars are always a good idea just in case your pet gets out.

Decorations always make the holidays come together but try to make sure that you keep your pets in mind. Lit candles and fire places make things look so nice but can quickly cause problems with your pets. They can easily become burned or even knock things over and start your house on fire. Not to mention certain plants that are really pretty can be very toxic. For example baby’s breath, sweet william and lilies to name a few. Keep an eye on all ribbons and strings, cats especially love to play with them but if they decide to eat them can quickly become a problem.

Traveling with pets can be fun but it’s good to plan ahead. Heath certificates from your veterinarian are used when traveling across state lines and international borders and when flying in an airplane. Never leave pets alone in vehicles regardless of length of time or weather because it can easily become dangerous. Always have your pets restrained properly in vehicles when traveling either in a harness or carrier but never in the back of a pickup truck. Pets can easily become distracting or find little places to hide in vehicles. In case you can’t take your pet with you on your travels there is a lot of boarding kennels available out there but it’s always good to fully check out the facility first and find out what vaccines are necessary to board there. 

The best precaution when it comes to pets is to be prepared. Try to have a game plan ahead of time to make sure they stay safe and healthy. If traveling with your pets it’s a good idea to have copies of their medical records, extra medications, and up to date identification in case anything would go wrong while enjoying the holiday season. Fast action and being prepared saves more lives.