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.

 

Can This Food Harm Your Pet?

Believe it or not, there are so many dangerous foods which can affect our pets’ health and well-being and the animal care team at the Veterinary Emergency Group wants to help you keep them safe. Especially during the holiday seasons, there are many popular human foods that our pets may encounter, some of which can be dangerous for them, and it’s important for all pet owners to know the difference.

Dangerous Foods for Pets in White Plains, NY

Some popular foods that can harm or kill your pet include:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Onions
  • Poultry bones
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol found in sugar free candy
  • …and more

How to Protect Your Pet During the Holidays

During the holiday season, it’s important to talk with your house guests to make sure that no one gives your pet treats without your consent. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t eat anything without your knowledge. It is also important to keep an eye on fallen table scraps which your pet could pick up and eat without warning. We recommend keeping your pet in a separate room during holiday mealtimes and parties to avoid this concern.

Remember that if your pet does consume food that is dangerous for them, the Veterinary Emergency Team can talk you through it and help you determine if emergency care is necessary. We are open and able to provide emergency care during all the hours your family veterinarian is unavailable, and that means weekends and holidays too!

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.

 

 

Top 3 Pet Travel Items

Traveling With Pets in White Plains, NY

So you’re planning a week-long trip with your pet to sunny Florida this summer, or perhaps you’ll be driving a few hours away for a weekend camping trip. Wherever you’re going and however you’ll get there, Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains, NY wants your dog or cat to be prepared for the trip.

In addition to food and water, there are many items that should accompany your pet when you travel, for their safety. Far too often, there are pet accidents and injuries that occur that could have been avoided with adequate preparation. We want to prevent these incidents from happening toyour beloved companion, so we have selected what we consider the top three items you need to travel with your pet.

  1. Emergency Supplies/First Aid Kit

Pets are curious by nature and can find themselves in potentially dangerous situations when they’re in a new environment. Hiking in the woods, playing in a dog park—you name it. As a rule of thumb, always bring a pet first aid kit when you travel with your pet. In addition to basic first aid supplies (gauze, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, etc.), your kit should include our phone number (914-949-8779) for local trips and the number of the nearest emergency pet hospital to your destination for long distance trips. Remember, Veterinary Emergency Group is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, should an emergency occur.

  1. Car Safety Harness/Carrier

A car safety pet harness is especially important for long road trips or trips on bumpy roads. Most pet safety harnesses are designed with a seat belt loop so they can be secured by a locked seat belt. A safety harness can keep your pet safe and seated while preventing any distractions caused by their roaming around the car. There are many sizes and styles available to accommodate most pet breeds. For air travel, all airlines that allow pets require pet carriers. Just be sure to check with your airline first for their pet policy, including the carrier dimension requirements.

  1. Pet Supplies

This may seem like an obvious item, but you’d be surprised at how many pet owners forget to bring their pet’s leash or collar during trips. Keep in mind that many places, such as parks and beaches, require that pets be on a leash at all times. Plus, many pets can be act unpredictably in a new environment and will likely want to explore, so keeping them on a leash will help keep them from chasing squirrels and rabbits, following the scent of another pet, etc. Make sure that your pet has identification as well, whether it’s in the form of an ID tag, a microchip, or both. Having a recent photo handy is also a great idea.

Pet Safety Tips for Memorial Day

Like
many Americans, you may be planning a festive Memorial Day, complete with
barbecue and fireworks. It’s important to remember, fireworks and dogs don’t
mix.

Unlike
people, dogs won’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of
pyrotechnics with a celebration. Fireworks will often cause panic and anxiety
in dogs. It’s important to remember that dogs panic at the sound of fireworks
and flee into the night, often winding up lost, injured, or killed.
Here
are a few tips to help keep your pet safe this Memorial Day.
1.   
Keep your pet indoors at all times, if
possible.
2.   
Use Pet Friendly Repellent.
3.   
Don’t give your pet table food.

ASPCA Hot Weather Tips

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, ASPCA experts warn.
“Most people love to spend the warmer days enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, but it is important to remember that some activities can be dangerous for our pets,” said Dr. Camille DeClementi, Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center. “By following a few simple rules, it is easy to keep your pet safe while still having fun in the sun.”
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

 Visit the Vet
A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventive medication. Do parasites bug your animal companions? Ask your doctor to recommend a safe flea and tick control program.
Made in the Shade
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

 Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

No Parking!
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal in several states.

Make a Safe Splash
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

Screen Test
“During warmer months, the ASPCA sees an increase in injured animals as a result of High-Rise Syndrome, which occurs when pets-mostly cats-fall out of windows or doors and are seriously or fatally injured,” says Dr. Murray. “Pet owners need to know that this is completely preventable if they take simple precautions.” Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

Summer Style
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
Street Smarts
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Avoid Chemicals
Commonly used flea and tick products, rodenticides (mouse and rat baits), and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. When walking your dog, steer clear of areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Keep citronella candles, oil products and insect coils out of pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.

Party Animals
Taking Fido to a backyard barbeque or party? Remember that the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
Fireworks Aren’t Very Pet-riotic
Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma to curious pets, and even unused fireworks can be hazardous. Many types of fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as potassium nitrate, copper, chlorates, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/hot-weather-tips.aspx

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!