Preventing a pet poisoning is important throughout the year, but as we head toward Valentine’s Day and Easter, providing a few safety reminders is always a good idea. While we all do our best to protect our pets accidents do happen. Knowing the red flags of toxicity is a must, as well as training ourselves on how to react when a pet is in peril.
The reason that chocolate is toxic to animals is because it contains the compound theobromine. Different chocolates have different concentrations of theobromine. For example, the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, baker’s chocolate, and products with a high percentage of cacao are particularly dangerous. Milk chocolate has less, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave out for your pet to sample!Continue…
Changing leaves, crisp breezes, and pumpkin-spiced everything are just a few of the reasons we love fall. Pets also enjoy the cooler temps and interesting smells in the air this time of year. But beware! Seasonal dangers can put them at risk. Fortunately, with our fall pet safety tips, you can keep their tails wagging and avoid an unwanted scare.
The best way to enjoy Halloween with your pet is to make sure they stay safe! Continue…
Even with the most diligent of owners, pet escapes can and do happen. All it takes is a gardener accidentally leaving the back gate open, or the front door being opened just enough for your pet to scoot through.
Statistics show that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lifetime. And without identification, 90% will not return home. Those are some scary statistics! Microchipping your pet is not only easy, safe, and inexpensive, it also affords lost pets their best chance of being reunited with their owner.
How Does A Microchip Work?
A microchip is a rice-sized device that is implanted under your pet’s skin during their annual wellness exam. The microchip stores a unique ID number that can be used to retrieve your contact information if your pet is ever lost.
Once the microchip is placed, it is registered with the national pet recovery database with your contact information. If your pet is lost, any veterinary hospital, shelter, or rescue organization can scan your pet for the microchip, pull up the ID code, and call the microchip company, who then contacts you with your pet’s location.
Microchips work with radio frequency, so there are no moving parts or batteries. The radio frequency is only activated when a microchip scanner is waved over your pet’s body. Continue…
With the holidays behind us (how did that happen so fast?), many people are looking ahead to 2018. Maybe we want to eat better, exercise more, or just become more fit overall. As we think about our own health, why not take your pet’s weight and health into account, as well? There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to take stock.
Is My Pet Overweight?
Did you know that over 50% of pets in the U.S. are classified as overweight or obese? This is true for both dogs and cats. We might think it’s no big deal, and some of us might even think our pudgy friends are cuddlier that way. In reality, however, overweight pets are at a greater risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. On the other hand, pets who reach and maintain a healthy weight reduce their risk of illness and injury, lead longer lives, and have better overall health.
So, how do you know if you have an overweight pet? Your veterinarian can assess your pet’s weight and overall health and make recommendations regarding weight, diet, and exercise. More than a simple number on a scale, a healthy weight is about body composition, breed, age, and general health. In our office, we can teach you how to determine your pet’s body condition by observing their shape and feeling certain parts of their body, which is a great tool in determining if your pet is at a healthy weight.
I Have an Overweight Pet – Now What?
Not to worry. First, this is not a reflection on you or your ability to care for your pet! A weight loss recommendation is just your veterinarian’s commitment to your pet’s good health. At Fairview Veterinary Hospital, we’ve put together a few ideas to keep your pet on the path to a healthy weight:
All in the family — Make a commitment as a family to your pet’s weight loss. A weight loss program won’t work if one or more family members are sneaking food to your pet! Those sad begging eyes can be tough to resist (we know!), but try to keep focused on your pet’s overall health to dissuade people from giving extra treats and meals.
The best quality diet — Talk to us about your pet’s individual needs. We can help you choose a quality diet that meets your pet’s nutritional needs.
Measuring every meal — What you don’t measure, you can’t manage! We can determine exactly how much to feed your pet and provide you with a measuring cup to make sure your pet stays on track.
Regular exercise — Try a new activity with your pet! Swimming, hiking, or a fast game of laser pointer tag can be great exercise, both physically and mentally. Exercising together can also be a great way to bond with your pet.
Treating them well — Most of us love sharing treats with our pets as a way to express our love. However, all those extra calories can quickly derail weight loss efforts for your pet. Instead, try unseasoned fresh or cooked veggies and fruits like carrots, green beans, or apples.
Checking progress — Once a goal is set for your pet’s weight loss, it’s important to monitor and record your pet’s progress. Like any weight loss program, there will be wins and missteps. Together, we can ensure your pet stays on track and can help you make any necessary adjustments along the way.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is an effective way to give your pet a healthier, longer life. Having some fun along the way is an added bonus! If you’d like to share any ideas for healthy pet weight loss or if you’d like additional help, please give us a call.
If we can prevent the need for urgent or emergency care, we do whatever is needed, right? Sure, accidental injury or sudden illness aren’t always predictable, but when it comes to overall pet wellness, many health conditions are preventable. Between vaccinations, regular dental care, and parasite prevention, pet owners can protect their pets from all sorts of problems, and Fairview Veterinary Hospital is here to help.
The Big Picture
Maintaining regular pet wellness exams is key to lifelong health. Adult pets should be seen once a year, but younger animals, seniors, and those with existing medical conditions should be seen twice or more annually.
Together, we can support your pet’s overall health by preventing diseases before they become too costly or too tough to treat. By stopping or slowing the effects of illness, we can focus on other elements of long-term pet wellness, such as nutrition, weight, dental care, and more.
Head to Tail
Every time we see your pet, we conduct a physical examination. Comparing new data with previous results gives us insight into any changes. Weight fluctuations, behavior concerns, and emerging issues can be addressed before they get out of hand. Diagnostics, such as x-rays or bloodwork, can be extremely helpful in diagnosing and treating health problems.
With our proactive approach to pet wellness, we hope to reduce the cost of emergency medical treatments. Preventing serious disease is much easier than treating or curing them. We’re always happy to discuss which vaccinations your pet should have based on his or her individual lifestyle.
Parasites and More
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites present unique threats to overall pet wellness. Regular blood tests and fecal screenings can help us administer the right type of preventives to protect your pet and your family.
Short-Term and Long-Term
Spaying or neutering your pet not only solves the problem of unwanted litters, but this procedure can also reduce behaviors associated with mating (like roaming or marking). Also, spayed/neutered pets are less likely to develop reproductive cancers.
Pet Wellness for All Ages
Whether you’re new to pet ownership or you’re caring for a pet you’ve raised since infancy, we welcome your questions or concerns. Lifelong health starts with routine pet wellness exams, and our team is happy to help you get started. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
While summer may be coming to an end, that does not mean that we’re spared from hot weather even in the fall! With last year setting records as the hottest year on Earth with plenty of steamy days well into October, it’s important to stay vigilant about warm weather safety!
Scorching temperatures, blazing sun, and thick humidity can create dangerous conditions for even the sturdiest among us. Our pets also need extra TLC during the hottest months of the year to ensure they remain healthy and comfortable. Take a moment to bone up on your end-of-summer pet safety knowledge with your friends at Fairview Veterinary Hospital!
Pet’s bodies simply aren’t as efficient as human’s when it comes to keeping cool, putting them at a high risk of overheating during the warmer months. Keep your fur friend safe from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat-related emergencies with the following tips:
Make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, cool water at all times, both indoors and in the yard. Carry a collapsible bowl and a bottle of water with you on walks, visits to the park, or anywhere you go.
Before you head out for a walk, check the temperature of the sidewalk, sand, trail, or other surface by placing your palm on the ground. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
Limit walks and outdoor playtime to the early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler.
Keep pets indoors where there is air conditioning or fans during the hottest time of the day.
Heat stroke in pets is a serious condition, and can develop rapidly in hot weather. Be on the lookout for excessive panting, drooling, reddened or blue gums, and rapid heart rate. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, move him or her to a cool, indoor location and contact us for assistance.
Did you know that pets can get sunburns? If you know your pet will be in the sun, protect him or her by applying a pet-friendly sunscreen to the tips of the ears, snout, belly, and anywhere there is light-colored, white, or minimal fur.
Before taking your pet to the lake, river, beach, or anywhere outdoors, make sure there will be some type of shade available.
Kiddie pools, slip n’ slides, and sprinklers are all fun ways for pets to keep cool on hot days. You can also toss a few ice cubes into his or her water bowl to promote hydration and keep the water cool.
Never, ever leave your pet inside a parked car, even for a moment. Temperatures inside parked cars, even those parked in the shade with the windows cracked, can climb to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes. The safest place for your pet is at home.
A Helping Hand
Warm temperatures lead to especially dangerous times for stray dogs and cats, who may not have access to enough water or shelter. Protect any strays in your neighborhood, along with your own pets, by keeping bowls of water around the yard. Contact your local Humane Society if you notice an animal chained outdoors without adequate water or shelter.
This warning holds true for your vehicles as well! Just because September is coming and our temperatures should drop moving forward, it’s vital to realize that even a breezy, 70 degree day can make your car an oven for your pets. It’s best to just leave pets at home when running errands to avoid disaster. These days, folks will easily break your car windows if they feel an animal is in danger and, in many states, these actions are supported by local law enforcement. Don’t put your pet or yourself in danger – let your pets stay comfortable at home!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Fairview Veterinary Hospital with your summer pet safety questions.