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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Common Household Toxins Affecting Pets part 2

National Veterinary Technician Week
In a follow up to our post yesterday on household toxins we thought we would share with you five more toxins that you should look out for around the house.

  • Metaldyhyde This chemical is used in snail bait but also attracts some pets. If you have a problem with snails or slugs you might consider a different method to remove them thats less toxic. One option would be as simple as watering your lawn or garden early in the morning instead of in the evening.
  • Organophosphate This is a common insecticide used in gardens because it is effective and degrades quickly. Even though this toxin does degrade rather quickly it is still best to keep pets away from treated areas for a few days if possible.
  • Toad Poisoning This isn’t something that you particularly chose to have in your yard or garden but still something to look out for. When threatened several species of toads secrete toxins, which can be licked off by a curious dog. It is a good idea to keep an eye open when an indoor pet is spending time outside exploring.
  • Heavy Metals Mercury, lead or excessive amounts of zinc, iron, cobalt and copper can cause serious illness in pets, especially if allowed to accumulate in a pet’s body. A common source for heavy metal poisoning in pets is something as seemingly harmless as a penny. Pennies minted after 1982 are 97% zinc with copper plating.
  • Antifreeze Most people think of antifreeze as a toxin around winter but with newer cars most engines have a significant amount of antifreeze in them year round. This can leak out and leave a toxic puddle waiting to be found. Make sure you always clean up any leaks you find immediately.

Common Household Toxins Affecting Pets

Each year thousands of pets are treated for poisoning from being exposed to common things around the house. Some of these cases are due to pets simply getting into things being left out within their reach others are due to pet owners not being educated in some of the dangers that your pet can be exposed to. We have put together a list of some of the most common.

  • Medication One of the most common toxins for pets is medication made for people. A persons body reacts differently to medication then a pets does and giving them medication made for you is never a safe idea.
  • Rodenticide These are common poisons that people have in a garage or a locked closet and so they rarely think their pet can get to them, and in most cases they are half right. Locking away the poison keeps your pet from reaching it there, but once you start using it the rodent can carry it to where you pet can get to it. With pets around the house it is a better idea to try and find a non-poisons option to deal with rodent problems.
  • Methylxanthine (it’s in chocolate) Theobromine and caffeine are both part of the class of chemical compounds known as methylxanthine. In toxic amounts these ingredients can cause vomiting, dehydration and heart arrhythmia among other things.
  • Plants Plants are great for indoor air quality but many can also be toxic to pets. When having household plants around be careful to make sure that your pets cannot reach them.
  • Household Chemicals Pets are curious, and like to get into things to see what’s going on. Cleaning supplies are an inviting target to an inquisitive pet. Make sure you keep cleaning chemicals put away where your pet won’t be tempted to check them out.

Training outdoors

Its already starting to get nice outside from the short winter cold we have here in phoenix. If you got a new puppy this winter you might be planning some outdoor training very soon, maybe a little time at the local park. Here are a few things to keep in mind that might make training better for you and the new pup.

  • Be Patient. Puppies take training and that takes LOTS of patience
  • Be Positive.  Use positive reinforcement and reward your pet using petting, small treats and positive vocal cues. Don’t ever yell at or hit your dog
  • Be Clear. When correcting your pet don’t ramble and be ambiguous with your commands. Use a strong voice with crisp clear commands
  • Be Calm Sometime puppies will want to run around and play. This can become frustrating if you are trying to get them to focus on the task at hand. Keeping your cool is important if you start losing your temper and yelling you won’t be helping them or yourself.
  • These tips will help you and your new pup get more from your training sessions.

Focus on Food

Pet HealthNew years resolutions are not only for you, most pets could use a few themselves. One of the biggest New Years resolutions people make is to lose weight, and like people, if our pets made that same resolution they will need a little help. The APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) estimates the 54% of dogs and cats are overweight. Arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, and reduced immune system functions are all serious and very life altering conditions that come from being overweight. Here are a few things you can do to help your pets start fulfilling that New Years goal to lose weight.

  • Decrease portion size. Increase the number of times you feed your pet in the day to 3 or 4 and decrease the size of each portion can help dramatically decrease a pets weight.
  • Feed them more whole foods. The consumption of highly processed dry pet food can lead to weight gain, switching all or some of your pets diet to more fiber and nutrient rich whole foods can be a great way to work towards being healthier.
  • Get Moving! Many pets stay inside all day and have very little activity. If your pet is having trouble with weight simply getting them up and moving is important. Make a commitment to daily exercise with your pet you will both feel better.
  • Set realistic goals. Goals are fantastic when changing any form of behaviour but making those goals something you can reach is just as important. Things don’t change overnight so set short term and long term goals you can reach then work for them.

Ask your veterinarian for their help in creating your health plan. Then make sure you follow up with regular wellness visits to make sure things are on track. You should have a wellness visit every 6 to 12 months just to make sure you’re getting and staying healthy.