National Poison Prevention Week

It’s March 20th, which means it is officially National Poison Prevention Week! We’re all pretty familiar with baby-proofing our homes from top to bottom to prevent accidental exposure to poisonous chemicals. But are we nearly as cautious with our pets? According to the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center, tens of thousands of calls were received last year related to dogs and cats who accidentally ingested garden-related products like insecticides, weed killers, and toxic plants. But poison goes much further than just garden chemicals–certain foods and medications are poisonous to dogs as well. Almost everyone is aware that dark chocolate is toxic to dogs–but did you know that grapes and onions are even worse? Or that certain flowers, such as lillies, cause kidney failure in cats? The first step in poison prevention is education and awareness–so we’ve compiled a list of the most toxic chemicals, foods, plants, and medications to watch out for, in order to keep your fur babies safe. Chemicals While Insecticides and household cleaners are the most common chemicals accidentally ingested by pets, poisonous chemicals are everywhere. Accidental ingestion can stem anywhere from loose screwtops on paint thinners, fertilizers and antifreeze to leftover Comet in the toilet. Always be sure that chemicals are stored in higher up cabinets and away from reach of curious cats and dogs. Ethylene glycol, a main ingredient in antifreeze, has a sweet, alluring taste- and fatal consequences. Also remember to keep trash cans closed tightly, too- rat poison, batteries and glue are toxic as well. People Food Alcohol Apples (seeds contain Cyanide) Avocado Broccoli Coffee + Tea (contains Caffeine) Dark Chocolate (contains Caffeine)...

Halloween isn’t for scaredy cats – or dogs!

Attention, animal lovers, it’s almost the spookiest night of the year and were suggest taking the necessary precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!”. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for furry family members. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or animal poison control at (855) 764-7661. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. Keep electric lights and cords from decorations out of the reach of your pets. If they chew on them, they could suffer from cuts or burns, or worse, life-threatening electrical shock. Be extra careful when putting candles in carved pumpkins. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). But, for most pets, wearing anything but their “birthday suit” causes them undue stress so do everyone a favor and leave the dressing up to us humans. But… If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or...

Fur and Fireworks on the Fourth of July

Tips for keeping your dogs, cats and other pets safe and happy during summer celebrations Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous. On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday. Help your pets keep their cool: Follow our steps for making them safe during loud and warm weather festivities. – If you are going to see live fireworks displays, leave pets at home. The crowds, commotion and loud sounds can be stressful. Dogs in stressful situations may also bite. – Make sure your pets are safely at home in a quiet, secure area and provide them with familiar toys, blankets or beds. A crate or a room will help keep dogs and cats who want to be left alone happy. – Crank up music or the television to mask the sound of fireworks. – Provide water and food: Fear makes dogs pant, and unfamiliar food makes them anxious. – If you and your pet are invited to a July fourth picnic or BBQ celebration, remember that alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets, so never leave your beverage unattended. Avoid giving your pets raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol, all of which are toxic. – Never leave your pet alone in the car, even with the windows rolled down. In just a matter of minutes, temperatures inside a parked car can reach dangerous levels. – Always...

Holiday Safety for Your Pets

‘Tis The Season for Pet Safety Holidays can bring stress to all of us, and pets are no exceptions.  When routines are disrupted and new activities occur, your pet may be the first to notice.  Follow these tips to make the holidays and other events more relaxing for everyone, including your four-legged family members. Animals can become stressed with the hustle and bustle of holiday guests. Therefore, it’s best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can get away from the energy and excitement.  Remember to provide plenty of food and water, and let your pet catch up on some Z’s! Holiday guests don’t know your pets’ routines. If your guests smoke, make sure they are careful with their cigarettes.  Also, let them know in advance whether they are allowed to give treats to your pets. As your holiday visitors come and go, there will be many escape opportunities for your pets. Make sure they are always wearing their current identification tags, consider having them microchipped (if they aren’t already), and keep watch of that door! Always keep your vet’s number handy, along with the number of animal poison control center, in case of an emergency. Safe Ways To Celebrate Make the holidays special for your pets, too!  Provide your furry friends with some extra love and attention to let them know they aren’t forgotten during the busy holiday times. Take your dog for an extra walk – it’ll help both you and your pet relieve some of that holiday stress. Keep a supply of pet treats handy and reach...