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!

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.

 

 

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.

Emergency and Urgent Care for Your Pet

Emergencies can happen at any time of the day, when many veterinary hospitals are closed. Even if you think an emergency will never occur with your pet, it’s important to know where the nearest emergency vet is located. Located in White Plains, NY, The Veterinary Emergency Group serves pets from a number of communities, ranging from Manhattan to the Bronx. We have been providing emergency and urgent care services for over 25 years. Whether your pet needs treatment for a fracture, wound, or any other emergency, our experienced veterinarians are here to help.

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Our hospital is open nights, weekends, and all major holidays, for your convenience to treat your pet, and no appointment is required. However, we ask that you call before your arrival, if possible. Our hours are:

Monday        6pm-8am
Tuesday       6pm-8am
Wednesday  6pm-8am
Thursday      6pm-8am
*Friday          6pm-
*Saturday     24 hours
*Sunday       24 hours

We know how stressful it can be to have a pet experience an accident, so you can be confident that our team of compassionate, skilled doctors will provide exceptional care in a timely manner. We also take the time to discuss your pet’s treatment in detail to ensure you have a full understanding of their condition.

Common Emergencies We Treat

The Veterinary Emergency Group treats virtually any pet emergency. Our facility is equipped with an in-house laboratory, digital X-ray technology, a Snyder ICU unit, and more to treat your pet. Some of the most common emergencies we treat include:

  • Trauma and other injuries
  • Puncture and other wounds
  • Poisoning
  • Acute lameness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Heatstroke
  • Seizures

You can learn more about the conditions we treat by visiting our Urgent Care and Emergencies pages. If you think your pet is in need of emergency or urgent care, give us a call at (914) 949-8779 to speak with a doctor.

Springtime Pet Safety Tips

Spring has sprung, and
with the change of season, our thoughts inevitably turn to Easter celebrations,
spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. But the new balmy
weather can prove not-so-sunny for curious pets—or their unwitting parents.
Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of
potential springtime hazards for your delicate, furry friend. To help you out,
our ASPCA experts have come up with a few seasonal tips that will help prevent
mishaps or misfortunes. 
Screen Yourself Many pet
parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows.
Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats,
who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug
and sturdy screens in all of your windows. If you have adjustable screens, make
sure they are tightly wedged into window frames.
Buckle Up! While every
pet parent knows dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them
to ride in the bed of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car
windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye
injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury,
or worse! Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a
seatbelt harness designed especially for them. 
Spring Cleaning Spring
cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep
all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all commercially sold
cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. The key to using
them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.
 Home Improvement
101 Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your
pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels
to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be
cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and
power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated
pet-friendly room during home improvement projects. 
Let Your Garden
Grow—With Care Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides
keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren’t meant
for four-legged consumption and can be fatal if your pet ingests them. Always store
these poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions
carefully. Check out our full list of garden care tips. 
Poisonous Plants Time to
let your garden grow! But beware, many popular springtime plants—including
Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas—are highly toxic to pets and can easily
prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—and pics!—of toxic and non-toxic
plants for your home and garden.
Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like their
sneezy human counterparts, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and
pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause minor sniffling and
sneezing as well as life-threatening anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your
pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
· 
Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is
on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick
control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for
your pet. · Out and About Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer
walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat
has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home
address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information. Canines should
wear flat (never choke!) collars, please. 
 Source:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/springtime-safety-tips

Top Ten Emergencies in Cats

Cats
often become reclusive and hide when they are not feeling well which makes
knowing when they need to be seen by your veterinarian a challenge. They have
unique signs and symptoms of emergency conditions that often go unrecognized by
their owners. Some injuries are obvious, such as a cat with an open wound,
while others have more subtle signs that can be equally deadly if left
untreated. Knowing what signs to look for is crucial in determining when to
seek emergency care for your cat. Below is a list of some of the most common
cat emergencies and their signs.
Urethral Obstruction
This
is a condition in which a cat, usually male, is unable to urinate due to a
blockage in the urethra (the tube leading from the urinary bladder to the
outside environment).
Cats
will show a sudden onset of restless behavior which includes frequent trips in
and out of the litter box. They will often attempt to urinate in unusual places
such as in a bath tub or on a plastic bag. You may notice a very small stream
of urine that contains blood. More often than not, despite a cat’s straining,
there may be no urine or even just a drop produced. In later stages of the
obstruction, cats may cry loudly, vomit, and become lethargic.
You
should consider these signs a serious emergency and seek veterinary care
immediately. There are reports of cats developing kidney failure and dying
within 12 hours after the onset of signs. Expect your cat to be hospitalized at
least 36 hours for treatment of this condition which may include a urinary
catheter, intravenous fluids, and pain management. Female cats are less likely
to become obstructed due to their wider urinary tract.
Toxicities (Poisoning)
The
combination of their curious nature and unique metabolism (the way their body
breaks down chemicals) makes cats very vulnerable to toxins. Owners are often
not aware that their home contains multiple products that are poisonous to
their feline companions. The most common cat toxins include antifreeze,
Tylenol, and rat or mouse poison.
The
signs your cat displays depends on what type of poison they have encountered.
Antifreeze will often cause wobbliness or a drunken appearance first, then
progresses to vomiting/weakness as the kidneys fail. Tylenol may cause an
unusual swelling of the head and changes the cats blood color from red to
chocolate brown. Rat or mouse poison interferes with blood clotting so you may
see weakness from internal blood loss or visible blood in urine or stool.
Breathing Problems
Many
times cats hide the signs of breathing problems by simply decreasing their
activity. By the time an owner notices changes in the cat’s breathing, it may
be very late in the progression of the cat’s lung disease. There are several
causes of breathing changes but the most common are feline asthma, heart or
lung disease.
Foreign Object Ingestion
As
you know cats love to play with strings or string-like objects (such as dental
floss, holiday tinsel, or ribbon), however, you may not know the serious danger
that strings can pose to your cat. When a string is ingested, one end may
become lodged or “fixed” in place, often under the cat’s tongue, while the
remaining string passes farther into the intestine. With each intestinal
contraction, the string see-saws back and forth actually cutting into the
intestine and damaging the blood supply.
Signs
that your cat has eaten a foreign object may include vomiting, lack of
appetite, diarrhea, and weakness. Occasionally owners will actually see part of
a string coming from the mouth or anal area. You should never pull on any part
of the string that is visible from your pet.
Most
times emergency surgery is necessary to remove the foreign object and any
damaged sections of intestine.
Bite Wounds
Cats
are notorious for both inflicting and suffering bite wounds during encounters
with other cats. Because the tips of their canine, or “fang”, teeth are so
small and pointed, bites are often not noticed until infection sets in several
days after the injury.
Cats
may develop a fever and become lethargic 48 to 72 hours after experiencing a
penetrating bite wound. They may be tender or painful at the site. If the wound
becomes infected or abscessed, swelling and foul-smelling drainage may develop.
You
should seek emergency care for bite wounds so that your veterinarian may
thoroughly clean the area and prescribe appropriate antibiotics for your pet.
Occasionally the wounds will develop large pockets called abscesses under the
skin that require surgical placement of a drain to help with healing.
Hit by car
Cats
that spend time outdoors are at a much greater risk for ending up in the
emergency room. Being hit by a car is one of the most common reasons for your
pet to suffer traumatic injuries such as broken bones, lung injuries and head
trauma. You should always seek emergency care if your cat has been hit by a
vehicle even if he or she appears normal as many injuries can develop or worsen
over the next few hours.
Increased Thirst and
Urination
Sudden
changes in your cat’s thirst and urine volume are important clues to underlying
disease. The two most common causes of these signs are kidney disease and
diabetes mellitus.
Your
veterinarian will need to check blood and urine samples to determine the cause
of your cat’s signs. Having your pet seen on an emergency basis for these signs
is important as the sooner your pet receives treatment, the better their
chances for recovery. Many times exposure to certain toxins, such as antifreeze
or lilies, will show similar signs and delaying veterinary care can be fatal.
Sudden inability to use
the hind legs
Cats
with some forms of heart disease are at risk for developing blood clots. Many
times these clots can lodge in a large blood vessel called the aorta where they
can prevent normal blood flow to the hind legs. If your cat experiences such a
blood clotting episode (often called a saddle thrombus or thromboembolic
episode), you will likely see a sudden loss of the use of their hind legs,
painful crying, and breathing changes.
On
arrival at the emergency room, your pet will receive pain management and oxygen
support. Tests will be done to evaluate the cat’s heart and determine if there
is any heart failure (fluid accumulation in the lungs). Sadly, such an episode
is often the first clue for an owner that their cat has severe heart disease.
In most cases, with time and support, the blood clot can resolve, but the cat’s
heart disease will require life-long treatment.
Upper Respiratory
Infections
Cats
and kittens can experience a variety of upper respiratory diseases caused by a
combination of bacteria or viruses. Upper respiratory infections, or URIs,
often cause sneezing, runny noses, runny eyes, lack of appetite, and fever. In
severe cases, they can cause ulcers in the mouth, tongue, and eyes. More often
than not, severe cases are seen in cats that have recently been in multiple-cat
environments such as shelters. Small or poor-doing kittens are also easily
infected and may develop more severe complications such as low blood sugar.
Sudden Blindness
A
sudden loss of vision is most likely to occur in an older cat. The most common
causes are increased blood pressure (hypertension) that may be due to changes
in thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) or kidney disease. There are some cats
that appear to have hypertension with no other underlying disease.
Sudden
blindness should be treated as an emergency and your veterinarian will measure
your cat’s blood pressure, check blood tests, and start medications to try to
lower the pressure and restore vision.
Anytime
you notice a change in your cat’s eyes, whether they lose vision or not, you
should consider this an emergency have your pet seen by a veterinarian as soon
as possible.

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.” 

E-Cigarettes and Pets Do Not Mix

E-cigarettes are
sparking heated debates as lawmakers, medical professionals and industry
grapple over the relative safety of the nicotine-delivering devices. But for
pet owners, there is no debate. Nicotine poses a serious threat of poisoning to
dogs and cats, and e-cigarettes back a powerful punch. The problem is that many
pet owners don’t realize it. 
Pet Poison Helpline has
encountered a sharp uptick in calls concerning cases of nicotine poisoning in
pets that ingested e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine refill solution. In fact,
over the past six months, cases have more than doubled, indicating that along
with their increased popularity, the nicotine-delivering devices are becoming a
more significant threat to pets. While dogs account for the majority of cases,
nicotine in e-cigarettes and liquid refill solution is toxic to cats as well.
“We’ve handled cases for pets poisoned by eating traditional cigarettes or
tobacco products containing nicotine for many years,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM,
MS, DABT, DABVT and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison
Helpline. “But, as the use of e-cigarettes has become more widespread, our call
volume for cases involving them has increased considerably.” In an effort to
educate pet owners before an accident occurs, Pet Poison Helpline offers this
important safety information. 
What are
e-cigarettes? 
E-cigarettes are simply
another way of delivering nicotine. Designed to resemble traditional
cigarettes, the battery operated devices atomize liquid that contains nicotine,
turning it into a vapor that can be inhaled. The most recent craze is flavored
e-cigarettes, which are available in an array of flavors from peppermint to
banana cream pie, and everything in between. 
What makes e-cigarettes
toxic to pets? 
The aroma of liquid
nicotine in e-cigarettes can be alluring to dogs, and flavored e-cigarettes
could be even more enticing. The issue is the amount of nicotine in each
cartridge, which is between 6 mg and 24 mg. So, each cartridge contains the
nicotine equivalent of one to two traditional cigarettes, but purchase packs of
five to 100 cartridges multiply that amount many times over, posing a serious
threat to pets who chew them. For example, if a single cartridge is ingested by
a 50-pound dog, clinical signs of poisoning are likely to occur. But if a dog
that weighs 10 pounds ingests the same amount, death is possible. Dogs of any
weight that ingest multiple e-cigarette cartridges are at risk for severe
poisoning and even death. In addition to the toxicity of nicotine, the actual
e-cigarette casing can result in oral injury when chewed, and can cause
gastrointestinal upset with the risk of a foreign body obstruction. Some
e-cigarette users buy vials of liquid nicotine solution for refilling
e-cigarette cartridges. The solution is commonly referred to as “e-liquid” or
“e-juice.” The small bottles hold enough liquid to fill multiple cartridges,
meaning they contain a considerable amount of nicotine. Pet owners should be
very careful to store them out of the reach of pets. 
What happens when
e-cigarettes are ingested by pets?
Nicotine poisoning in
pets has a rapid onset of symptoms – generally within 15 to 60 minutes
following ingestion. Symptoms for dogs and cats include vomiting, diarrhea,
agitation, elevations in heart rate and respiration rate, depression, tremors,
ataxia, weakness, seizures, cyanosis, coma, and cardiac arrest. 
What to do if a pet is
exposed? 
Because nicotine
poisoning can happen so rapidly following ingestion, prompt veterinary care can
mean the difference between life and death for a pet. Home care is not
generally possible with nicotine exposure due to the severity of poisoning,
even in small doses. Take action immediately by contacting a veterinarian or
Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. As always, prevention is the best
medicine. E-cigarettes, cartridges and vials of refilling solution should
always be kept out of the reach of pets and children. 
SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2014/09/e-cigarettes-pets-mix/   Published on September 2, 2014

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 

Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips

Exposure
to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped
paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can
suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from
ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws.
Says Dr.
Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA
Animal Hospital,
“During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can
lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging
from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to
minimize their furry friends’ exposure to such agents.” To help prevent cold
weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please heed the
following advice from our experts: 
·
Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking
skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes
inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes. · Trim
long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and
de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. (Don’t neglect the hair between
the toes!) 
· Bring a
towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk,
wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for
cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. 
· Bathe
your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can
remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If
your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo
and/or rinse. 
 ·
Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and
prevent skin from getting dry. · Booties help minimize contact with painful
salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can
also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes,
causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible. · Massaging
petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt
and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal
chapped paws. 
·
Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates
blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition. 
· Pets
burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing
dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and
making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated,
and her skin less dry. 
·
Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your
pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the
winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops. 
 SOURCE:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/top-ten-winter-skin-paw-care-tips