Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips in White Plains, NY

The holiday season is usually a fun, joyous time of year. While we’re busy decorating, shopping, and spending time with family and friends, our pets safety may sometimes go unnoticed. The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains and Nanuet, NY, can help you with the following holiday pet safety tips. And although we hope your holidays DON’T include any medical emergencies, if your cat or dog is need of emergency care, we’re open and here for you nights, weekends and holidays.

Real Christmas Trees

Did you opt for the real Christmas tree this year instead of an artificial one? If so, keep in mind that the pine needles of real Christmas trees are considered mildly toxic to pets if ingested and can also puncture the intestines. Always keep the floor area around your tree cleaned by checking it a few times a day, or simply make sure your pet doesn’t have access to it.

Tinsel Decorations

If you have a cat or other curious pets that may be drawn to the stringy, sparkly nature of tinsel and other similar items, it’s best to hang these decorations high on the tree or to not use them at all. Ingesting tinsel and other stringy items can result in an intestinal blockage and can often require surgery.

Dangerous Foods

Christmas time is a popular time of year for chocolate, so if you’ll be buying candy or baking cookies or brownies, remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Raisins, macadamia nuts, and foods that include the sugar substitute xylitol are also toxic. Other potentially dangerous foods are those that are high in fat, such as sausage and poultry skin. Although not toxic, ingesting a large amount of fatty foods can result in pancreatitis and/or weight gain.

Christmas Lights

Whether they’re on your tree or framing your windows, Christmas lights can be a tangle hazard to pets that paw at them and knock them down. Another potential hazard is the obvious burn or shock risk if your pet chews on the wires. If you know your pet is the curious type, keep the Christmas lights high and out of their reach or consider some pet-friendly alternatives instead, such fiber-optic lights.

Toxic Plants

We know seasonal plants can make a home more festive for the holidays, but did you know there are some that are toxic to dogs and cats? Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are just a few of the ones on the list. So either keep these plants away from your pet or go with the artificial versions instead.

If you have any questions about these cat and dog holiday safety tips, or if your pet is in need of emergency care, give us a call in White Plains (914) 949-8779 or in Nanuet at (845) 536-5645.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

Happy Halloween! As you make the final preparations for the big day, The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY wants to make sure your pet is safe. Halloween should be a fun holiday, but for pets, it might NOT be so fun if you’re not educated about the potential dangers. Consider the following five Halloween pet safety tips so your cat or dog can enjoy this holiday, and remember, should an emergency occur with your pet, we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.

 Halloween Pet Tips in White Plains, NY

  1. Keep Your Pet in Sight

Since Halloween is unfortunately the time of year when many pets go missing, it’s important to always know your pet’s whereabouts, both inside and outside. During trick-or-treat hours, keep your pet in an area where they can’t go running out through the front door as it opens for your guests. Limit your pet’s time outdoors to only a few minutes at a time at night, since there might be more people than usual walking around the neighborhood at this time of year. If you have an outdoor pet, keep them inside until a few days after Halloween for their safety.

 

  1. Don’t Give Your Pet Candy

 Although we know those big begging eyes might be hard to resist, avoid giving your pet candy this Halloween. Chocolate contains an ingredient that’s toxic to dogs and cats, and dark/Baker’s chocolate is even more toxic. Candy and gum made with xylitol is also poisonous. These sweet foods can leave your pet with pancreatitis or something worse, possibly landing them at The Veterinary Emergency Group for emergency treatment. Keep all the sweet treats out of your pet’s reach, and consider buying some new dog or cat treats instead to keep your companion occupied.

 

  1. Choose a Comfortable Pet Costume

 We know there are hundreds to choose from, but when making a decision on which costume to choose for your pet, consider the following: Avoid costumes that contain pieces that can be easily chewed off, become tangled, or caught on something. Choose a costume that’s comfortable for your pet, one that isn’t too tight or too big. Also make sure no parts can obstruct your pet’s breathing or sight. Have your pet practice wearing the costume in short time increments to get them used to it, but if your furry friend still refuses to wear it without throwing a fit, don’t force them. Carefully remove the costume and hope for better luck next year.

 

  1. Provide Sufficient Pet Identification

Whether in the form of an ID tag/collar or microchip—or both—it’s important to make sure that your pet has sufficient identification, in case they become separated from you this Halloween. Ask your local family veterinarian if they offer microchipping to provide your pet with a permanent form of identification and increase the chances of a happy reunion.

 

  1. Use Caution When Decorating

 Candles, lit jack-o-lanterns and several other Halloween decorations can cause hazards for your pet if you’re not careful. Use caution when selecting which decorations to use and where in your home to place them. Some pets—especially cats—have been known to bump lit candles and jack-o-lanterns and cause a serious fire hazard.

 

If your pet is need of emergency care this Halloween or any other time of year, remember that we’re available 24/7 to help. To learn more about these Halloween pet safety tips or to speak with a veterinary emergency doctor at The Veterinary Emergency Group, give us a call at (914) 949-8779.

 

 

Reasons To Act More Like Your Pet

Pets aren’t always easy to take care of, and they often require a
substantial time commitment (something you’re all too aware of at, say, 3 a.m.,
when Bing Clawsby is finally ready to go outside and do his business). But pets
provide an amazing return on that time investment, especially when it comes to
your health. Case in point: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and
triglyceride levels than non-pet owners. But that’s not all. Pets also model
many surprisingly healthy behaviors that humans would do well to emulate. Here
are just a few, according to veterinarians, dog trainers, and other pet
experts. 
1. They focus on what matters most. You may get grumpy after a bad
day at the office, but your pooch never does. “Companion animals mostly care
about food, love, and shelter (not always in that order). As long as they have
those things, they don’t need much else,” Mary Gardner, DVM, a veterinarian and
cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice tells Yahoo Health. “Pets also
don’t complain much at all. People believe they hide their pain; I simply think
they manage it differently.” If humans could model these behaviors, Gardner
adds, we’d be healthier, happier, “and more people would want to be around
us.” 
2. They practice portion control (even if not by choice). Snowball
might not want to limit her kibble intake any more than you want to limit your
tortilla-chip intake. Nonetheless, she typically eats reasonably sized helpings
of nutritionally balanced food — and never gets to eat straight out of the bag.
Follow her lead. “Both animals and people need structure and regulation when it
comes to portion size,” says Jme Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo
Animal Rescue based in Redmond, Washington. 
3. They know how to de-stress. Your pooch doesn’t pour a glass of
cabernet when the going gets rough (though, yes, it would make a very popular
YouTube video if she did). She may, however, start begging for a walk or to
play a game. Smart dog! “Actively seeking healthy activities — that function as
de-stressors when stress levels are high — helps to reset people as well as dogs,
and bring us back to a productive and functional status, from which many things
feel a lot more ‘do-able,’” Marisa Scully, a certified dog behavior specialist
in Philadelphia, tells Yahoo Health. 
4. They hit the hay. People don’t get enough sleep: According to a
2014 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans said that
a lack of sleep had impaired their activities at least once in the previous
week. Learn from your cat or dog, who knows just how important it is to get
enough shut-eye, says Jeff Werber, VVM, president and chief veterinarian of
Century Veterinary Group in Los Angeles. “Whether it’s a lazy dog day
afternoon, or a quick cat nap, you won’t find them burning the candles at both
ends.” 
5. They stretch! There’s a reason one of the most common yoga moves is
named downward dog. Dogs (and cats) stretch constantly — and we should do the
same, notes certified dog behavior consultant Russell Hartstein. Why?
Stretching can improve flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. 
6. They’re open to new things. Animals are naturally curious.
“Open a box or empty a bag and before you know it, your cat will have climbed
in to investigate. Walk your dog past a gardener planting flowers and chances
are she will check it out before moving on,” Werber says. “And they’re always
up for some fun. A game of catch, a walk, a visit — bring it on.” Since
research has found that seeking out new experiences can keep people feeling
young and healthy, we’d do well to follow suit.
7. They’re comfortable getting zen. Numerous studies have found a
correlation between mindful meditation and reduced stress, decreased heart
disease, and a stronger immune response — and that’s something your cat already
knows how to do instinctively. “Each morning I sit on the sofa with my cat,
Turtle, while I drink my first cup of coffee,” says Kristen Levine, a pet
living expert. “We spend about 10 minutes together, her getting neck and head
rubs, me enjoying her purring and having a few meditative moments at the start
of the day.It sounds simple, and it can be, but depending on the activity, it
can have a powerfully relaxing or invigorating effect for both human and
critter.” 

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather



Keep pets indoors and warm 
The best prescription
for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family.
The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise
but kept inside the rest of the time. 
Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 
During walks,
short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what
the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to
severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold
snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer
permanent damage. 
Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside
A dog or cat is happiest
and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much
of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is
large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough
to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the
ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered
with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. 
Help neighborhood outdoor cats 
If there are outdoor
cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people,
and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they
need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give
them a hand. 
Give your pets plenty of food and water 
Pets who spend a lot of
time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes
energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is
fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is
low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal. 
Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 
Warm engines in parked
cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid
injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before
starting your engine. 
Protect paws from salt 
The salt and other
chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet.
Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates
his/her mouth. 
Avoid antifreeze poisoning 
Antifreeze is a deadly
poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up
spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants
and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and
family. 
Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold 
If you encounter a pet
left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and
type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic
documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact
your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your
evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when.
Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been
remedied. 
 SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html