Have a Happy and Safe Halloween – here are some final tips for you and your pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.

Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.

Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.

If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have a microchip.

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We love our patients

We took care of” Riley” during a very serious illness, he was hospitalized for several days. His Mom, Karen, was so worried during the whole ordeal. She took him home once he was able to eat on his own and then spent her days and nights providing home nursing care.

We are pleased to report that Riley is doing so much better and he even had Karen order this fun cake for the doctors and staff today!

We love our patients and their pet parents!

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Will YOU be the winner?

 

Halloween is two weeks away and it is time to prepare for our annual contest – who would like to win the gift basket?

Have you decided what your pet is going to be? Are you buying or making the costume?

Here is a link for inspiration: www.entirelypets.com

Good luck!!!

 

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Top 5 Halloween Safety Tips

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is flooded with calls every Halloween from worried pet owners. Here are the top 5 tips to keep your pets safe:

1. Lock candy safely away. Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

2. Don’t leave glow sticks lying around. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and we will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

3. Keep your pet identified and visible. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

4. Calm your pet. Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

5. Check those costumes. Costumes can be fun for the whole family. If you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. Never leave a costumed pet unattended.

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Halloween Costume Contest

BOO, it is that time of the year again: Best Halloween Costume Contest – please submit photos of your pets all dressed up on our Facebook page and the winner will receive a complimentary exam and gift basket!

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Ways to pamper your cat every day

Pamper your best pet pal — your cat — with excellent food, special treats and the care and attention he craves!

For most cat owners, their furry friend is much more than a pet. The loyalty and love a cat brings into your home makes it a member of the family! Because you return the love, it’s nice to be able to pamper your cat with some special activities, treats and the very best care. Here are a few ways to pamper your favorite feline!

Catnip

Cats love catnip — just be careful not to give them too much, as excessive amounts can hurt a cat’s body. A pinch or two as a special treat is purr-fect!

Massage

Everybody loves a massage, and your cat is no exception. Gently rub the cat, giving special attention to the head and tummy.

Clean litter box

Cats are fastidious by nature, so keep their litter box clean and fresh.

Veterinary care

Bring your cat to the office for regular check-ups to keep him healthy, and always get immediate medical attention if the pet is ill.

New toys

Cats love toys: rubber mice, balls with bells inside, a roll of yarn, etc. Reward your pal with a new toy occasionally. The natural curiosity of a cat will make the introduction of something new an especially fun treat.

Grooming

Cats regularly groom themselves, but they’ll enjoy being brushed. It’s a mini-massage that keeps their coat sleek and snarl-free, and it feels great.

Play space

It’s a jungle outside with a world full of hazards to cats. That’s why many owners choose to keep their cats indoors. You can buy or build an outdoor enclosure so your frisky friend will have some new play space to explore and enjoy the fresh air!

Plant it

Plant some cat grass in your outdoor cat enclosure. It’s available at most pet supply stores and will satisfy your cats urge to graze on plants.

Perch

Install a safe indoor perch for your pal near a sunny window. Online retailers and pet stores sell padded perches where pampered pets can relax and enjoy watching the world go by.

Roaming space

Cats are curious and like to roam the house. Leave doors open to bedrooms and bathrooms so the cat can come and go as the mood strikes!

Temperature control

Cats enjoy warmth, so don’t turn the furnace down too low in winter when you leave home for the day. Have a couple of fleece blankets for the cat to cuddle with — they’re a perfect cozy comfort at nap time!

Good eats

Cats can be finicky eaters, so pay attention to the special foods your cat enjoys. It should be healthy, nutritious and in a flavor and formula that the cat prefers.

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