5 Fun Things to Do With Your Pet

Fall is just around the corner, and you want to enjoy what’s left of the warm weather with your pet with more than just the usual walk around the block. If this sounds like you, consider these five activity ideas for summer fun with your four-legged friend that can boost your pet’s enjoyment level a few notches and strengthen the pet/owner bond. And although we hope it doesn’t happen, should an emergency occur, remember that Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Fun Things to Do With Your Pet

  1. Dog Parks: Even if your dog has been to a dog park before, no two days at a dog park are exactly the same. There are always new dogs and people to meet and different squirrels and birds to chase. And perhaps the best part for your dog is that at many dog parks, dogs can roam free to play catch or hide-and-seek. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog at all times, especially around dogs that are much larger or smaller than yours.
  1. Road Trip: This doesn’t necessarily have to be an extended road trip across state lines. It could be just a quick drive while you run your errands, visit your friends, or pick up some food at your pet-friendly pet store. Many pets love riding in cars and being able to spend time with you, instead of waiting at home for your return. Just make sure your pet is comfortable with car rides first before bringing them along. You know your pet better than anyone, so look for the visual cues they give you, and make your decision accordingly.
  1. Backpacking/Hiking: Pet sometimes need a change of scenery, so if you’ve been taking yours to the same places over and over again, try a hike through a trail in the woods for your next excursion. Your pet will love this outdoor adventure and get some exercise at the same time! Remember to fill your backpack with plenty of food, water, bowls, and a first aid kit, and make sure your pet is updated with their preventatives and vaccinations. Carry a first-aid kit for you and your pet as well, and know how to administer basic first aid if your pet becomes injured, and remember, you can call us at any time for emergencies at (914) 949-8779.
  1. Camping: If your dog enjoys the hiking and backpacking, why not turn it into a full camping trip?! During your planning, research the camp area to ensure that it’s pet friendly and to determine the best trails to hike on. Remember to bring an extra sleeping bag and/or blanket as well for your pet to sleep on. For their safety, it’s best to have them sleep in the tent with you, and make sure to keep an eye on them near the grill or fire pit.
  1. Kayaking:Kayaking might be an activity you’ve ever thought of doing with your dog before, but it can actually be very enjoyable for both of you, not to mention a great work out for YOU. If your dog enjoys the water, plan a kayaking trip with them! Just be sure to have a life vest for your dog, in case he jumps or falls out of the kayak.

We want you and your pet to have fun and bond this summer, so we hope these tips will help you do just that. And remember if an emergency should occur while you’re out enjoying these activities, please give us a call at any time at (914) 949-8779. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you and your pet.

 

 

Labor Day Safety Tips for Pets

1. Do not apply any sunscreen or
insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use
on animals.
2. Always assign a dog guardian.
No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the
family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in
yard or other secure area.
3. Made in the shade. Pets can get
dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure
they have a shady place to escape the sun.
4. Always keep matches and lighter
fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which
could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even
kidney disease in severe cases.
5. Keep your pet on his normal
diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and
diarrhea.
6. Keep citronella candles, insect
coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce
stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your
pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.
7. Never leave your dog alone in
the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places
where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family
members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
8. Make a safe splash. Don’t leave
pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers.

One Thing you should Never see on Pet Food Label

If you see the words “veterinarian approved” on your pet food
label, look out. That claim is always untrue.

Veterinarians do not approve labels or products. Only state regulatory
agencies can do that, according to the The Business of Pet Food, a new
website launched by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
That’s just a taste of the information you’ll find on the site: www.petfood.aafco.org.
What else?
Ingredient lists, labeling requirements, analyses of commercial pet food and
government regulations for making and labeling pet food.
The site is for people who sell pet food — or want to. But there’s lots of
information for pet owners, too.
“Many people are surprised by how many regulations apply to the pet
food industry,” says Liz Higgins, Chair of AAFCO‘s Pet Food Committee.
For example, did you know “veterinarian recommended” means that
the company making the food actually surveyed veterinarians to find out if they
would recommend the food?
And, like we said, “veterinarian approved” is never true.
So, if you’ve ever wondered …
What’s really in my pet’s food?
What would it take to turn my secret recipe for Tasty Treats into a
mail-order business?
Go to http://www.petfood.aafco.org.

Originally
published by Healthy Pet.

Pets & Pool Safety

Swimming is one of the most fun activities for a hot summer day, for people and pets! Just keep in mind that your pets need supervision just like your children. When you can’t be outside with them, keep your pool gates closed and locked to prevent unwanted swimmers from entering the area. Help keep your children and pets, and those who live in your neighborhood, safe!

Bloat

What Is Bloat?

When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.
People often use the word “bloat” to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.

What Are the General Symptoms of Bloat/GDV in Dogs?

  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse

What Causes Bloat in Dogs?

The exact cause is currently unknown. Certain risk factors include: rapid eating, eating one large meal daily, dry food-only diet, overeating, overdrinking, heavy exercise after eating, fearful temperament, stress, trauma and abnormal gastric motility or hormone secretion.

What Causes GDV in Dogs?

The exact cause is currently unknown.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Bloat?

Bring your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Timeliness of treatment is paramount, since a dog exhibiting signs of bloat may actually have GDV, which is fatal if not promptly treated.

How Is Bloat Treated?

Depending on your dog’s condition, a veterinarian may take an X-ray of the abdomen to assess the stomach’s position. The vet may try to decompress the stomach and relieve gas and fluid pressure by inserting a tube down the esophagus.

How Is GDV Treated?

If the stomach has rotated, emergency surgery is necessary to correct torsion. There are many complications that can occur both during and after surgery, including heart damage, infection and shock; intensive post-operative monitoring for several days is routine. Most vets will recommend that during this surgery, the dog’s stomach be permanently attached to the side of the abdominal cavity in order to prevent future episodes.

Are Certain Breeds Prone to Bloat/GDV?

Most dogs love to overeat if given the opportunity, so any dog, from a Greyhound to a Chihuahua, can get bloat.
However, it is very rare for dogs that are not large, deep-chested breeds to be struck with GDV. This condition most often afflicts those dogs whose chests present a higher depth-to-width ratio. In other words, their chests are long (from backbone to sternum) rather than wide. Such breeds include Saint Bernards, Akitas, Irish Setters, Boxers, Basset Hounds, Great Danes, Weimaraners and German Shepherds.

How Can I Prevent Bloat/GDV?

  • Feed your dog several small meals, rather than one or two larger ones, throughout the day to avoid eating too much or too fast.
  • If appropriate (check with your vet), include canned food in your dog’s diet.
  • Maintain your dog’s appropriate weight.
  • Avoid feeding your dog from a raised bowl unless advised to do so by your vet.
  • Encourage normal water consumption.
  • Limit rigorous exercise before and after meals.
  • Consider a prophylactic gastropexy surgery (which fixes the stomach in place, as described above) if you have a high-risk breed.