Steckelberg Vet Clinic Blog
2020 has been scary enough, so there’s no need for any extra worries this year. To help keep your pets safe this October, we’re offering you our top tricks to keeping the treat in this sweet month.
1. Chocolate, Raisins, and Xylitol
When it comes to trick-or-treating goodies, keep them out of paw’s reach. You likely know that chocolate is poisonous to pups, but did you know that raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute, are too? It’s true.
What else should every pup parent know about these not-so-sweet treats? There’s no way to predict how sensitive a dog will be to grapes and raisins. Some become extremely ill by eating just a couple of small berries, while others don’t react to them at all. If your neighbors insist on giving out those tiny boxes of raisins, don’t risk having them raided by your dog: raisin poisoning can cause liver failure.
Xylitol is a sweetener typically found in gum and gummies. It’s highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to become very ill, very fast. If a canine consumes this sugar replacement, it can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.
What about chocolate? The darker, the more dangerous, but any amount of chocolate can be too hazardous for dogs to eat.
What should you do if your dog eats any of these substances? Give us a call immediately.
2. Keep Your Pets Away from the Door
Why shouldn’t your pets crowd the door as trick-or-treaters come to make their demands? Your dog or cat may be scared of the costumes, and the noise and excitement of visitors can make pets nervous.
When pets are anxious, escaping out of the front door looks awfully appealing. This is why many cats and dogs wind up at the shelter on Halloween night, a very spooky place for any pet.
Did you adopt a COVID puppy or kitty? Be sure your pet has a shiny new ID tag and consider microchipping them if you haven’t yet done so. If your pet already has a chip, make sure it’s up-to-date with your information.
3. Jack-O-Lanterns and Candles Can Be a Spooky Problem
Many newly-adopted dogs and cats are still learning about the human world, and some lessons can get them into trouble. Even pets that have been with you for years can find themselves in precarious situations during this season.
Something as simple as burning candles and displaying a jack-o-lantern can be a Halloween hazard for pets. For example, while cooked pumpkin is beneficial for dogs to eat, your pup won’t know your carved pumpkin isn’t dinner and may take a nibble of a raw one, go overboard, and get sick. Fall is also when we frequently hear about candles causing burns to pets and even starting fires.
To keep your pet safe, choose battery-powered candles, and keep your jack-o-lantern away from curious noses.
4. Planning to Dress Your Pet in a Cute Costume?
We love all the silly and adorable pet costumes that are popular these days. While these get-ups are cute, they can also become dangerous for pets.
Doggie or kitty dress-up is a great activity when the outfit fits appropriately and doesn’t have choking hazards, but even so, never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing a costume. When wrestling to get garments off, pets can get tangled in ties or pull off buttons, which can quickly become a choking hazard.
When dressing your senior pet, be sure to be gentle. Stretching your pet’s limbs can be painful for pups and cats with arthritis or joint pain.
5. Keep Your Pet Safe from Fall Decor and More
Decorating for Halloween is one of the most fun activities this time of year. As much as we love the aesthetic, dried corn, winter gourds, themed wreaths, and spooky webs or ribbons can create intestinal blockages if a pet eats them. Try to keep these decorations up high on walls or doors, so nobody nibbles them.
Electric cords connected to outdoor inflatables and other decorations can cause severe burns if a curious pet bites into one, and are a fire hazard if they get chewed. Keep cords taped down or secured far from your pet.
Have a Not-So-Scary Halloween This Year!
Have a safe, happy Howl-o-ween! We hope your pet has a warm and cozy fall season. If you need a little help keeping the creepy crawling parasites we see this time of year from coming indoors with your companion, make an appointment to see us today. It’s always a treat to see you and your pet!
Have you thrown yourself into your spring cleaning? If you’re like most people, you’re airing out the house, getting some plants in the ground, and enjoying the beauty of this season with your pet by your side. In fact, this is one of the best times of year to be a pet–the birds and squirrels are active and back to their favorite hobby of entertaining our dogs and cats, and the weather is perfect for letting some fresh air in for your cat or taking your dog on a long walk. If you’ve knocked out your spring cleaning and are ready to move on to some pet care musts, we’re here to help! We put together a list to help you plan your springtime pet care.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, every year, thousands of pets are affected by accidental poisoning. To raise awareness about common poisons and how we can prevent our pets from being exposed to them, Pet Poison Prevention Month is observed in March.
Just like humans, our pets can suffer from obesity. As pet owners, it's our responsibility to make sure our animal companions stay at a healthy weight. Not only does obesity limit your pet's mobility, but it can also lead to a host of health problems and make your pet more susceptible to disease. Here's what you need to know about pet obesity and how to prevent it.