Three Household Pet Toxins

Our homes are generally safer than the great outdoors, but they still pose a few potential hazards for our pets! Here, your Atlanta, GA veterinarian tells you about just three of the most common:

Toxic Food

Almost every kitchen contains a few foods that pets shouldn’t have. The list includes onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, alcohol, avocado, chocolate, candy, gum, salt, fatty foods, certain nuts, and many more. Never leave these foods out on countertops where pets may be able to gain access.

Poisonous Plants

Chrysanthemums, elephant ear, certain aloe plants, the sago palm, daffodils, tulips, poinsettias, lilies, ivy, oleander—the list of potentially toxic or irritating houseplants and flowers goes on and on. Do some research online for a complete list, and talk to your vet about what varieties are most common in your area.

Human Medicine

Did you know that everything from aspirin and cough syrup to antidepressants and prescription drugs can harm a pet? Never leave human medicine bottles in open view; a pet with strong jaws may be able to chew right through a child-proof plastic cap!

Would you like more helpful advice on pet toxins in your home? Contact your animal hospital Atlanta, GA today.

Common Household Pet Toxins

Many things in our homes have the potential to poison our pets—it’s up to you to keep your four-legged friend safe from harm! Here, your Jacksonville, FL vet tells you about three of the most common household pet toxins and how to have your pet avoid them.

Poisonous Plant Life

The list of toxic plants and flowers is quite long—lilies, certain aloe plants, the sago palm, elephant ear, tulips, chrysanthemums, and daffodils are only a few examples. Ask your vet what toxic plant life is common in your area, and remove it from your home or garden if necessary.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of human foods aren’t good for pets, including chocolate, candy, grapes, raisins, alcohol, avocado, onions, chives, garlic, and much more. Don’t leave harmful foods out on countertops where pets may gain access; instead, store them safely inside cabinets or the refrigerator.

Pesticides and Fertilizer

If you use pesticides on your garden or in your home to ward off pests, use caution—these products can harm pets easily. Fertilizer is also dangerous and should be stored very carefully.

Your Jacksonville, FL veterinarian can tell you about other potential pet toxins in your home. Call the clinic today!

Why Do Cats Knead?

Kneading is characterized by an alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object, like a pillow, blanket, or your leg. Have you ever seen your cat do this and wondered what’s going on? Here, your Wake Forest, NC vet tells you about some of the possible reasons kitty does this.

Nursing Instinct

Kittens knead their mother’s belly during nursing, which is believed to stimulate milk production. It’s entirely possible that adult cats who knead are performing a sort of “remnant” behavior from childhood—they may even experience feelings of contentment associated with nursing when they knead!

Napping Instinct

Experts believe that the ancient wildcats of old kneaded grass and dirt in order to soften these areas up for napping. Your cat may knead because it’s a trait passed down from her ancestors.

Scent Marking

Did you know that your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands? These scents are released into an object when your cat kneads, thereby marking it as her own. If your cat kneads you, you should feel honored—it may be her way of claiming ownership over you!

Want more insight into your cat’s behavior patterns? Contact your animal hospital Wake Forest, NC.

Keeping Pets Safe in Wintertime

When the temperatures drop, our pets need our loving attention more than ever. Keep your four-legged friend safe and sound this winter with these tips from a Terre Haute, IN veterinarian:

Indoor Time

Pets will be much safer and happier indoors with you and your family, where it’s comfortable and warm. Restrict outdoor time to quick bathroom breaks and exercise sessions; leaving your pet outdoors for long periods of time is only inviting frostbite and deadly hypothermia.

Avoid Deep Snow

Even if your pet loves frolicking around in the snow, it’s safest to avoid deep snowbanks. Pets—even athletic breeds—can exhaust themselves trudging through deep piles or banks of snow. Smaller pets can even sink in and struggle to get out!

Beware of Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a common wintertime hazard because car owners add it to their engines this time of year. Unfortunately, antifreeze is highly toxic to pets; it contains ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting alcoholic compound that can harm pets in very small amounts. Keep pets indoors when using antifreeze, and store the chemical safely where your pet won’t be able to reach.

Call your Terre Haute, IN animal hospital today for more cold-weather and wintertime safety tips.

Keeping Pets Safe in the Cold

Most pets, unless they happen to have a thick coat of fur, aren’t well-equipped to deal with winter weather. Here, your Niagara Falls, ON veterinarian gives you a few tips on keeping your animal friend safe when it’s cold outside.

Limit Outdoor Time

Keep outdoor time during an absolute minimum in the winter; leaving your pet outdoors is only inviting deadly hypothermia and frostbite. By limiting outdoor time to quick bathroom breaks or exercise runs, you’re ensuring that your pet stays happy and healthy.

Use Pet Clothing

There are many options available today for pet clothing, from parkas and sweaters to booties and even earmuffs. While not all pets will take kindly to wearing clothes, a nice sweater can help ward off winter’s chill, especially for pets with thin coats of fur. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a type and brand of pet clothing.

Ice Tips

During the winter, ice may be treated with road salt or chemical ice melters. You don’t want your pet tracking these substances in on their paws and then licking them off. Avoid ice patches whenever possible.

Want more wintertime safety tips? Contact your pet clinic Niagara Falls, ON today for help from the professionals.

Xylitol Toxicity in Pets

Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in many candies and gums, is one of the most dangerous food substances out there for our four-legged friends. Here, your Sun Prairie, WI veterinarian tells you about the symptoms and treatment for xylitol poisoning, as well as how to prevent episodes.

Symptoms

The symptoms of xylitol poisoning usually reveal themselves within 30 minutes ingestion. They include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and—without treatment—coma and death. It only takes a small amount of xylitol to do serious damage, so rush your pet to the emergency room if you see them ingest a product containing the sweetener.

Treatment

Activated charcoal may be given to slow the poison’s absorption in the stomach. Vomiting may be induced to rid your pet’s system of the toxin, and fluid therapy and electrolyte replacement might be necessary to return your pet to full health. In addition, follow-up appointments may need to be scheduled with your Sun Prairie, WI vet to check on your pet’s recovery.

Prevention

It’s much easier to prevent an episode of xylitol poisoning entirely. All you have to do is restrict your pet’s access to the substance! Never leave it on countertops or tables within pets’ reach.

How to Save Money on Your Pet’s Care

What animal owner wouldn’t like to save a little money on pet care now and again? Of course, you never want to sacrifice your pet’s well-being just to save money. Below, your Minnetonka, MN veterinarian offers a few practical solutions.

Practice Preventative Medicine

Preventative medicine is far more effective than treating an illness or infection after the fact—it’s also far cheaper. The regular cost of preventative medicines pales in comparison to the amount you’ll pay to have an infection or disease eradicated once it’s taken hold. Talk to your veterinarian to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite preventives.

Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering avoids or lessens the risks of genital cancers, other cancer types like prostate and breast cancer, and other issues like urinary tract infections. These problems will be worrisome and costly to treat down the road; avoid them initially by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Groom at Home

Most pets can be groomed at home using a canine- or feline-specific brush. This will save you money in the long run. Of course, if your pet has specialized grooming requirements, talk to your Minnetonka, MN vets about getting help from the professionals.