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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Safe Dining With Your Pet – A Reminder

Note: In a June posting, we outlined some of the top food groups that owners should ensure remain out of their pet’s diet. Having heard of some unfortunate incidents this summer, we felt it was important to reiterate some of the highlights.

There is nothing more satisfying then enjoying a delicious meal that is made from scratch. While there are many foods that are safe for our pets to enjoy, there are some foods that can not only be hard for our pets to digest, but extremely dangerous to their bodies as well. Double check the food you’re sharing with your four-legged friend the next time you dine.

Onions, garlic and chives might add great flavor to many dishes, but for cats and dogs digesting any form of this legume can cause a gastrointestinal upset and a break down in red blood cells, leading to anemia. Cooked, raw, dried or powdered…keep these ingredients away from your pet’s food dish.

Dogs and cats should also steer clear of grapes and raisins. The causes are unknown, but these fruits can cause kidney failure. Pets that ingest grapes or raisins may show signs of repeated vomiting and lethargy.

We may think chocolate is the ultimate decadence, but to our furry friends it can be lethal. Dogs and cats have a negative reaction to the theobrominel, also known as xantheose, an alkaloid from the cocoa plant found in chocolate. This is extremely toxic to pets and can cause abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and a myriad of other health issues – sometimes fatal. (It is important to note theobrominel is found all forms of chocolate including white chocolate.)

Caffeine and alcohol are probably the last thing you would offer to your pet, but is important to take safety measures to keep your pet from getting into your morning cup of joe. Even coffee grounds contain caffeine that can cause heart palpitations, rapid breathing and bleeding in pets. 

Keeping an appropriate balanced diet for your pet can help to ensure a longer, happier healthy life for your canine or feline friend.

End of Summer Travel

The summer travel season is almost over and that may mean packing up not only the family, but the family pet for one last trip before it’s gone. Here are a few tips for traveling with your pet to keep the stress level low for you and your pet.

If traveling by car, make sure to get the proper equipment. Pets are the most the safe and comfortable in well-ventilated crates. Make sure your pet has space to stand and turn around as necessary. You should also get your pet used to their crate in your home before putting them in the car. If you pet has never traveled by car before, get them used to the feel of a road trip by taking shorter car trips around the neighborhood. When the long trip comes, they will be better prepared for what to expect. Check your hotel’s pet policy ahead of time so you are not in a bind when you arrive. There are many web sites geared toward finding pet-friendly hotels.

In some cases air travel may be the only option to get your pet to their destination. The ASPCA recommends only flying with pets that are small enough to travel in-cabin with you and be stowed under your seat. Check with your airline to find out their specific policies about pet air travel.  Did you know there are companies that specialize specifically in the air travel of pets? If your pet is going to flying, check out a pet airline where you pet flies in-cabin in the safety of crate, complete with a pet flight attendant!

Happy Travels!

August Heat Advisory

As we enter what can be almost the hottest part of the year here in Arizona, here are a few simple reminders to ensure the safety of your four-legged friends.

  1. WATER! WATER! WATER! Always take plenty for both you and your pet!
  2. Walk early in the morning when the temperature is lower and the pavement is not too hot – your pet still needs their routine exercise, with just a slight adjustment to the schedule. Just think…you will have your workout done too!
  3. If you can’t walk early in the morning, head out in the late evening. Once the sun is nearly set, the pavement may have cooled just enough…but please be sure to check first!
  4. If early or late aren’t options, be sure to take additional precautions; make sure there is grass for your pet to walk on) and implement some sort of paw protection, as the temperature of the pavement (and even the dirt) can cause both pain and serious burn injuries.

Dog Park:

  1. WATER! WATER! WATER! Always take plenty for both you and your pet!
  2. Your vehicle is going to be really hot…and if it is parked outside, SUPER hot! Even in the garage, the temperatures in the car can climb into potentially fatal ranges. So be sure you:
    • Turn the A/C on and open the windows to let the hot air start escaping
    • Put a sheet or blanket on the seat and back, wherever your pet might be sitting
  3. Bring a damp towel/cloth with us to the dog park so you can wipe down legs and paws. The summer brings a lot of unwanted bugs, and this can help your pet bringing any home with you.

At Home:

  1. WATER! WATER! WATER! Always make sure there is plenty for both you and your pet!
  2. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water inside – including in the kennel.
  3. Always make sure when your pet goes outside for a bit of exercise that there is lots of fresh (and cool) water.
  4. Ensure that there are plenty of shaded areas outside, and remember the heat of the sun moves throughout the day…so one area might be shaded in the morning, but in full sun by the afternoon, which means the water is going to be too hot to drink and very dangerous for your pet.
  5. Keep your pet’s outdoor time and exposure to these extreme heat temperatures to a minimum. It’s important to get your exercise, but know for sure that if you’re uncomfortable outside, so is your pet. Keep walks and outdoor activities shortened during this extreme heat season.