Posts Tagged ‘Pet Safety’

Time for Your Pet’s Check-Up

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

When did your pet get his last wellness check? It may have been a while; it’s easy to let well-vet visits and annual check-ups get lost in the daily shuffle when your pet is happy and healthy. Though your pet seems healthy, it is important to attend to routine vaccinations and check-ups. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so as you get your own health in check, take time to swing by the vet; this will ensure you and your pet have a healthy year.

Why Are Annual Vaccines Necessary?

Vaccines are used in human and pet medicine to strengthen a patient’s immune system against dangerous and deadly diseases. In recent years, you may have noticed the number of vaccines your pet needs have increased. The reason is that as veterinary medicine advances, so do the variety of vaccinations that are available to immunize your pet against disease. In other words, if there was a vaccine to immunize against heart worms, wouldn’t you want it?

As for whether or not vaccinations are necessary on a schedule is dependent upon the pet. The recommendation is to update most immunizations annually as the longer a pet goes without a vaccine, the weaker his immune system becomes (some immunizations are needed every few years). Though getting increasingly more vaccines year-after-year seems costly, two consequences of not getting vaccines that are more costly are: your pet becoming seriously ill or losing your pet (in which case, the costs are emotional).

What Vaccines or Boosters do Pets Regularly Need to Get?

Though there are many vaccines available, there are only a handful of core vaccinations. These are considered to have high efficiency.  Vaccines include:

  • Distemper: Canine distemper is a severe, airborne virus that can cause permanent brain damage in dogs as well as other problems. Feline distemper is also severe and can be fatal.
  • Parvovirus (canine): This is a contagious disease and can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and death.
  • Calicivirus (feline): A contagious upper respiratory condition leading to oral ulcerations, fever, joint pain, and anorexia in felines.
  • Rabies: Rabies is fatal to cats and dogs; there is no treatment other than prevention.
  • Adenovirus, types 1 and 2 (canine): Type 1 is spread through canine urine and feces and leads to hepatitis, which causes severe liver damage and death. Type 2 is spread via coughs and sneezes.
  • Feline Herpesvirus: Herpervirus causes a highly contagious respiratory problem called feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR).

There are also non-core vaccinations that are highly recommended but that can be administered on a case-by-case basis. Variables for non-core vaccinations include your pet’s health and age and risk of exposure. A few non-core vaccines include those for feline leukemia, bordetella (feline & canine), canine influenza, and lyme disease (canine).

What if My Pet is Indoors?

A common question when it comes to pet vaccinations is whether or not pets that live exclusively indoors need routine vaccinations. Individual veterinarians may have differing recommendations for the frequency of vaccinations, but the recommendation is still yes. Though indoor pets have less exposure to potentially deadly viruses than outdoor or indoor / outdoor pets, there is always risk be it from your pet getting outside, to encountering an ill animal, to having an already-compromised immune system.

Consult your veterinarian to determine what vaccines your pet needs and how often. If you haven’t had your annual check-up yet, or if it’s been a while, make an appointment this August and get on the health bandwagon during National Immunization Awareness Month.

Vaccines are one essential way to boost your pet’s immune system. Feeding your pet a diet rich in natural ingredients is another important and easy way to contribute to your pet’s immune health and overall wellness.

Ways to Protect Your Pet

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s a great time to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure you pet stays safe and healthy. This ranges from evaluating the tag and collar your pet has to ensuring your pet is tick and flea-free.

Protect Your Pet from Being Stolen or Lost

Even the most loyal and well-disciplined cat or dog is at risk of running away or of being stolen. Sometimes, pets can escape while you are out of town, and if your pet does not have proper identification, then it is possible you will never see your pet again.

Though there is no way to guarantee a lost or stolen pet will be returned to you, having some form of ID on the pet helps increase the likelihood that pets and their owners will be reunited after a separation.

  • Collar and ID Tag: Your cat or dog should wear a properly fitted collar at all times. There are breakaway collars for cat owners who are concerned their outdoor kitties might get caught on something. In addition to the collar, your pet should have an ID tag that includes helpful information be it the pet’s name and your phone number, or the pet’s name and the name and number of your veterinary clinic.
  • Microchip: If you are opposed to collars and tags, microchips have been very successful in helping pet owners reunite with their pets. Your veterinarian installs your pet’s microchip. Should your pet ever be lost, a scan of the microchip will reveal your information, and you can immediately be reunited.

Note that there are occasions where a friendly neighbor isn’t the one who finds your lost pet. If your pet ends up at the city pound, then an ID tag or a microchip could save your pet’s life.

Protect Your Pet from Parasites 

As the weather gets warmer, the parasites become more problematic. Fleas and ticks love making nests in your cat or dog’s hair or fur. Even more annoying, fleas and ticks are everywhere. They are outside in the grass; they are in your home in the carpet or in the bedding. Neither indoor nor outdoor pets are immune from picking up a parasite.

Help prevent fleas and ticks by:

  • Combing your pet with a flea comb
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean
  • Give your pet regular baths
  • Consider using a flea prevention product with your veterinarian’s guidance (note that elderly and pregnant animals can be harmed by certain flea and tick products)

Keeping your home clean and your grass routinely mowed will also help keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Protect Your Pet with Routine Checkups 

It is easy to forget to schedule regular wellness checks with your vet especially if your pet is healthy; however, an annual visit is important so that your pet can stay caught up with vaccinations. Additionally, your pet gets a professional evaluation on overall health including weight, skin condition, oral care, etc.

Any potential issues can be addressed. You can also use your annual visit to consult with your vet about any concerns you might have or about questions regarding parasite prevention, microchips versus tags and collars, spaying and neutering, staying safe in harsh weather, disaster preparedness, and more.

Be proactive about protecting your pet; with a proper ID, flea and tick prevention, and regular wellness checks, you can keep your pet safer, healthier, and happier.

Winter Tips

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Now that the coats and gloves are out of their summer hibernation you may need to give some extra thought to your pets in cold weather. Animals with diabetes and other health issues can be particularly susceptible to the change in weather.
1—Coats– While a St. Bernard will be thrilled with the drop in temperature, your
Pointer may be shivering. Shorthaired dogs simply don’t have the same advantage. You can keep your pet warm with a coat, blanket or vest. A waterproof one will keep them warm and dry on those wet, dreary days. Shorthaired dogs will also be happiest with shorter walks when it’s really cold outside.
2—Give ‘em shelter – While many dogs will be prefer to be inside during the winter, the cold weather breeds (and some cats) will want to enjoy the snow more than you. If your pets will be outside for extended periods, provide them with a dog house or a crate on the porch. Add a blanket or towel for comfort and warmth. Of course, check on them often and don’t leave them outside in freezing weather when you’ll be away for hours. Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia if they get too cold.
3—Protect them from ice/snow melters – The chemicals used to melt snow and ice in driveways and on sidewalks are good for preventing slips, but they can be harmful to your pets. Be sure to rinse or wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. Otherwise, they’ll lick the chemicals off, causing  inflammation and upset tummies.
One way to clean them when you come in from a walk is to use a rimmed cookie sheet by the door. Fill it with warm water and have them step in it, or place their paws in one at a time. This will loosen any ice crystals that may have gotten lodged in their paws and warm their feet up. Wipe them with a towel afterwards.
4—Lock up Antifreeze – Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats but it can be deadly. Keep antifreeze locked up and far out of the reach of curious pets.
5—Play inside – When the “wintry mix” is into its 3rd day, or your pet isn’t one who enjoys the cold, warm up inside. A rollicking game of “hide and seek” will warm you both up. Just make sure you take a few minutes to move delicate furniture or breakables out of the way.

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Now that the coats and gloves are out of their summer hibernation you may need to give some extra thought to your pets in cold weather. Animals with diabetes and other health issues can be particularly susceptible to the change in weather.

1) Coats– While a St. Bernard will be thrilled with the drop in temperature, your

Pointer may be shivering. Shorthaired dogs simply don’t have the same advantage. You can keep your pet warm with a coat, blanket or vest. A waterproof one will keep them warm and dry on those wet, dreary days. Shorthaired dogs will also be happiest with shorter walks when it’s really cold outside.

2) Give ‘em shelter – While many dogs will be prefer to be inside during the winter, the cold weather breeds (and some cats) will want to enjoy the snow more than you. If your pets will be outside for extended periods, provide them with a dog house or a crate on the porch. Add a blanket or towel for comfort and warmth. Of course, check on them often and don’t leave them outside in freezing weather when you’ll be away for hours. Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia if they get too cold.

3) Protect them from ice/snow melters – The chemicals used to melt snow and ice in driveways and on sidewalks are good for preventing slips, but they can be harmful to your pets. Be sure to rinse or wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. Otherwise, they’ll lick the chemicals off, causing  inflammation and upset tummies.

One way to clean them when you come in from a walk is to use a rimmed cookie sheet by the door. Fill it with warm water and have them step in it, or place their paws in one at a time. This will loosen any ice crystals that may have gotten lodged in their paws and warm their feet up. Wipe them with a towel afterwards.

4) Lock up Antifreeze – Antifreeze tastes sweet to dogs and cats but it can be deadly. Keep antifreeze locked up and far out of the reach of curious pets.

5) Play inside – When the “wintry mix” is into its 3rd day, or your pet isn’t one who enjoys the cold, warm up inside. A rollicking game of “hide and seek” will warm you both up. Just make sure you take a few minutes to move delicate furniture or breakables out of the way.

5 Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

With the arrival of June, summertime fun is in the air. Whether you’re headed to the beach or a backyard BBQ, be sure to take extra precaution with your pets to keep them safe. Pack a water bowl, some snacks, a towel and have fun!

Safety Tips for Dogs:

  • Stay hydrated — If you’re going to be outside with your pet this summer, make sure Fido has plenty of clean, cool water. Dogs can get overheated if they’re playing or running hard and they need to drink plenty of water.
  • Keep food and drink out of reach – Nothing puts an end to a picnic faster than realizing Max ate all the hamburgers and hot dogs. Plus, the ensuing stomach upset will not be pretty.
  • Lock down – holiday celebrations bring fireworks and dogs don’t like them. The booms and explosions hurt their ears and frighten them. Make sure you have a crate for your pet, or keep them on a short leash or better yet, get them home before the fireworks begin.
  • Dog bug repellant – if your dog attracts mosquitos, ease the itch with a bug repellant such as pennyroyal or citronella rubbed into a bandanna and tied around your pet’s neck. Pests don’t like these scents and are likely to seek dinner elsewhere.
  • No alcohol – Alcohol can be fatal to dogs so don’t let them get into the beer or other alcohol.

With a little planning, you can have a fantastic summer with your pet and keep everyone safe.   Share your plans on our Facebook Page.