The shopping season has begun in earnest, and regardless of whether your pets have been naughty or nice this year, we’re guessing they are on your shopping list. Before you hit the stores for Black Friday, or settle in on your couch for Cyber Monday, allow us to make some suggestions for fun and useful holiday gifts for pets.
While it may seem Scrooge-ish to say “no” to a new puppy request from a child, many parents make the mistake of giving in. A few months later, that out-of-control adolescent dog seems less desirable, and the child is no longer that enthusiastic about daily chores and the like.
Each year, well-intentioned people make the mistake of giving a pet as a gift, causing thousands of animals to be surrendered to shelters because of poor planning. This is not to say that pets should never be presents. However, there are many things to consider before bringing a cat, dog, or other animal into someone’s life. Continue…
We all have foods we want to (or should) avoid, but the holidays make it really, really hard. Savory meats, sweet treats, and buttery goodness abound during the last few weeks of the year, and your pet isn’t immune to all the temptation. Indulgences are just plain difficult to ignore, but we hope the dangers of pet pancreatitis are enough to keep you saying “paws off” to certain dishes.
A Functioning Pancreas
The pancreas doesn’t get much credit – until it’s under attack. The truth is, a healthy, functioning pancreas completes two critical jobs. Primarily, it produces insulin, an integral part of blood glucose regulation. Second, the pancreas makes enzymes that aid in food digestion. Normally, these enzymes are secure inside pancreatic cells until released into the small intestine to do their job. They help breakdown proteins, carbohydrates, and fats so your pet’s body has energy.
With holiday travel at its peak the next few weeks, you may be preparing to hit the road in the days ahead. Whether you’re headed over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or plan to speed down the interstate to meet your in-law’s for the first time, holiday travel can be an adventure in and of itself.
Add in your dog as your co-pilot, however, and the holiday travel adventure just got real. From pit stops to muddy paws, there is a lot to consider when it comes to traveling with pets, especially around the holidays. Continue…
Just as you finish the mile-long list of tasks before the big holiday gathering, you notice something amiss with your pet. Maybe he or she is hidden deep within the back of the closet or has decided to use the laundry basket as a litter box.
Unfortunately, holiday stress can manifest in many ways in your pet. Strangers or disruptions in their routines can create anxiety, and the holidays can create behavioral issues in pets who may not otherwise display such challenges. Continue…
As we are all decorating for the holidays, a quick reminder about the hazards encountered with the holidays and pets. The holidays are busy and stressful and we may not give our pets as much attention as other times of the year. I know my dog gets jealous and will act out by destroying the kid’s toys or chewing on things he is not supposed to chew on. Thankfully, he has never had an issue. That is not always the case. It actually happened to my mom yesterday where her dog swallowed a sock. Fortunately, we noticed it soon enough and made him vomit so it did not get stuck in his intestines.
A few years ago, I saw an Airedale who was not as fortunate. The owners had just decorated the house and went out to dinner. One decoration they used was 50 feet of garland. When they returned home they noticed the garland was missing. It was easy to figure out what had happened, as the Airedale had 10 feet of garland sticking out of his mouth. The remaining 40 feet was in his stomach. Garland is held together with a thin metal wire in the center that could not be chewed apart, so I assume he just kept swallowing until he was full!! With surgery we were able to get him back home the next day.
Have a Happy and Safe Holidays from all the staff at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital!
Halloween Candy and Pets
As we all get ready for Halloween and buy lots of chocolate and candy to pass out to the trick or treater’s, please remember that chocolate and candy can be dangerous to our pets. As we are probably all aware that dogs cannot have chocolate, but there is some chocolate that are worse than others. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. It has the highest concentrations of caffeine and theobromines. It only takes a small amount of Baker’s chocolate to be dangerous. One ounce of baker’s chocolate in a 20 pound dog can cause seizures and needs immediate treatment. In a 10 pound dog 3 ounces of milk chocolate can cause a rapid heart rate and potentially seizures which would require medical attention. Lesser amounts of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
The other product that can be very dangerous is xylitol. Xylitol is a product in sugar free gum and is becoming more popular in baked goods. A small amount of ingested xylitol can be very dangerous. It will cause the blood sugar levels to drop which can cause seizures. It can also cause liver failure. This is a very dangerous product to dogs so please make sure they do not receive xylitol.