Spring and Summer
The warmer seasons of the year are here and it’s time to relax and enjoy them! As you spend time going on long walks with your furry friend, having picnics in your backyard, and preparing your garden for the summer, make sure you keep your pet’s safety in mind too! The team at Haslett Animal Hospital is here to ensure that you are educated and informed about the dangers that can affect your pet. Some of these dangers include:
- Heatstroke. Heatstroke is a common problem for people and pets in the warmer months of the year. It can be caused by overheating and a lack of proper hydration, so it’s important to make sure that your pet always has a cool place to relax and plenty of fresh water to drink. Check their bowl frequently to make sure they never run out. Most importantly, never leave your pet in a parked car.
- Picnic Foods. Many of the delicious treats we enjoy during our picnics and barbecues are on the “forbidden” list for our pets. Tasty treats like corn-on-the-cob and barbecue ribs are delicious to us, but our pets can choke on them. Sugary desserts, chocolate, grapes, and even onions are toxic to pets so these should be kept out of their reach at all times. Let your guests know about these concerns and always keep a close watch on your best friend.
- Lawn and Garden Chemicals. Fertilizers are often required if you want the look of a perfect manicured lawn, but it’s important to remember that these and other gardening chemicals are dangerous for our pets. Remember to follow all application instructions, which sometimes include keeping your pet off the lawn for several days following application!
- Parasite Prevention. Ticks, specifically blacklegged ticks, are becoming a big problem in our area. Ticks can spread Lyme disease to people and pets, and this disease can have deadly consequences if it’s not treated. Luckily, Lyme disease is preventable. We recommend keeping your pet on a parasite preventive all year long to keep them safe from the diseases that fleas and ticks carry. Our veterinarians can recommend the preventive that best suits your pet’s needs.
Fall and Winter
When the weather cools down, different hazards will present themselves to your pets. So whether you’re preparing to decorate your home for the holidays or cook for the upcoming holiday party, keep your pet’s safety in mind. The team at Haslett Animal Hospital is here to ensure that you are educated and informed about the dangers that can affect your pet. Some of these dangers include:
- Chocolate. Humans may be able to eat this tasty treat, but did you know chocolate is poisonous to our pets? There is a chemical in chocolate and cocoa products called theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Their digestive systems can’t metabolize theobromine quickly, which means that it can build up to toxic levels in their bodies. Keep all chocolate, cocoa products, and any “people foods” out of your pet’s reach. Instead, give them pet-friendly treats and snacks.
- Holiday decorations. Before you deck the halls this holiday season, remember that your pet doesn’t know that your decorations aren’t toys or food. Tinsel and ribbon can be choking hazards, and broken or sharp ornaments can perforate the lining of your pet’s stomach if they swallow them. Festive plants like poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous to pets. We recommend using artificial plants, putting your delicate or antique ornaments in places your pet can’t reach, and anchoring your Christmas tree to the wall or ceiling so it won’t topple over on your pet if they jump on it or accidentally run into it.
- Frostbite. Just because your pet is covered in fur, doesn’t mean they will be fine outside in the cold weather for extended periods of time. Pets can get frostbit on their noses, tips of their ears, paws, and other exposed areas of their bodies. Signs of frostbite include:
- Swelling of affected area
- Discoloration of affected area
- Pain in affected area
- Blisters or skin ulcers
- Affected area is cold or brittle to the touch
- Don’t leave your pet outside for long periods of time, and consider having your pet wear a sweater or booties to protect their feet. If you suspect your pet has frostbite, bring them inside immediately and contact our practice right away.
- Sidewalk salt. This is great for keeping roads and sidewalks free of ice in the winter, but it can mean trouble for pets. When dogs walk on surfaces that have been covered in sidewalk salt, it can become imbedded in their paws and fur. When they come inside they will lick their paws and fur to try to remove it. If ingested in small amounts, sidewalk salt can cause chemical burns, drooling, or vomiting. If ingested in large amounts, it can cause lethargy, weakness, seizures, or even death. To avoid ingestion of sidewalk salt, thoroughly wipe your pet’s paws and body when they come inside, and use only pet-safe sidewalk salt.
If you have questions about these or other pet safety concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’re here to ensure that your pet leads a long and healthy life under our watch.