Halloween Pet Safety Tips for Your Dog and Cat

Halloween Pet Safety Tips for Your Dog and Cat

Halloween Pet Safety Tips for Keeping Your Dog or Cat Safe

Even though Halloween can be a fun and festive time for your children and family, in many cases that is not t same for your pet. In fact, for many pets Halloween can be a nightmare for these family members. Stress and danger can be very real for many pets. Please take the time to read this article and hopefully your pet will have a happy Halloween also.

Candy and Halloween Treats Safety Tips:

“All forms of chocolate, especially baking or dark chocolate, can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Halloween Safety Tip – Confine Your Pet – Keep Inside and Away from the Door

Keep your pet inside. Don’t put outside. It has been known that pranksters have teased, injured, stolen, and even killed pets on Halloween night. Be careful and avoid this potential tragedy. 

Keep your pet away from the door. Your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween. Also strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This could be scary for your pet. Dogs being territorial may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night and who wants to be searching for a lost pet on Halloween?

Especially, If your pet is scared of strangers or has a tendency to bite, be sure to put it in different room when trick-or-treating is occurring or give your pet a safe place to hide.

If you have an outside cat, keep the cat inside a few days before and after Halloween. Do not let cat to be outside on Halloween. Black cats are especially susceptible to pranksters and most humane shelters do not adopt out black cats in October.

Plants and Pumpkins Halloween Pet Safety Tips

All pumpkins, corn and any other Halloween plants need to be out of reach to all pets. Even though these are generally nontoxic, these can induce gastrointestinal upset if your pets should ingest them in large quantities. Also, Intestinal blockage can even occur, especially with corn cobs, if large pieces are ingested.

Also don’t keep lit pumpkins around your pet. They could possibly knock it over, burn themself or even start a house fire. A curious kitten is especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame.

Halloween Decorations Pet Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats

If you have electical decorations be sure wires and electrical cords out of reach. If chewed, your pour pet chews on the decortions it could be cut from shards of glass or plastic. If the electricl cord is chewed the peourt could get possible life-threatening electrical shock.
If you use glow sticks and have glow jewelry, be sure to keep it away from your pets. Even though the liquid material in these products is non-toxic, the taste is really bad and will makes your pet salivate profusely and act weird.

Halloween Pet Costumes Safety Tips

It is best not to put a pet in a costume unless you know that they love being dressed up. Also place the costume on your pet the before Halloween. This will give a chance to see how your pet reacts to the costume. Take the time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and don’t leave your pet without supervision while wearing a costume.

If your pet gets distressed, becomes nervous, or demonstrate other abnormal behavior, just let go in their “birthday suit”. Use a simple festive bandanna instead.

“The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”

Pet Halloween Safety Tip – Have Proper ID

While opening and closing the door for trick-or-treaters, be diligent that your dog or cat doesn’t rush out the door. Just in case, be sure your pet is wearing proper identification, a collar with ID tags (be sure that the information is up to date) or a microchip can be your best way of finding a lost pet.

Can Dogs Detect Our Emotions and Feelings?

Can Dogs Detect Our Emotions and Feelings?

Scientists have determined that dogs can really tell how we are feeling. Below is the article.

 

Can dogs tell when we are happy, sad or angry?

As a dog owner, I feel confident not only that I can tell what kind of emotional state my pets are in, but also that they respond to my emotions. Yet as a hard-headed scientist, I try to take a more rational and pragmatic view. These personal observations seem more likely to result from my desire for a good relationship with my dogs.
The problem is that studying emotional interpretations and responses across two interacting species is very difficult. For one thing, you can’t ask a dog how it’s feeling. So while many people can describe how their dogs respond to their emotional states – typically in ways we humans consider appropriate and perhaps even desirable – scientific evidence and explanation for this ability has mostly been elusive.

However, a new study, published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that dogs really can recognise emotions in both humans and other dogs using visual and audio cues. Scientists have already documented chimpanzees’ and Rhesus macaques’ ability to identify emotional states among their own kind. But this is the first study to demonstrate that any animal can tell how members of another species are feeling.

Dogs can also read each other’s emotions.

What we did know already was that dogs can discriminate between different human facial expressions and sounds associated with specific emotional states. By investigating the time dogs spent gazing at images of people and dogs paired with specific sounds, the new study attempted to explore whether dogs could recognise entire emotional states. Each image was paired with an emotional sound that either matched or did not match the facial expression in the picture. Where dogs gazed longer at images with matching sounds, this was interpreted as an ability to put the two things together and identify the emotional state.

One key element of the study was that the dogs did not have prior training or familiarisation with the task, suggesting an intrinsic ability to recognise emotions. But, interestingly, the study dogs did have a more significant response to conspecific (dog) stimuli than to heterospecific (human) stimuli.

It’s well understood that dogs are supremely good at reading and responding to human body language and possible intent (just ask anyone who has picked up a dog lead or dog bowl in front of their pet). Dogs can also demonstrate strong behavioural attachments to owners and react differently in cognitive tests based on the presence and behaviour of the owner. This suggests that dogs have evolved the ability to use their human companions as social support systems in unfamiliar situations. So the ability to identify human emotional cues would be a significant addition to this skill.

However, dogs are also likely to have learned that if they respond to their owners’ sounds and facial expressions they will be treated in a certain way. The classic example is of a dog that has disobeyed an order displaying what appears to be a “guilty face”, as a way of appeasing its owner when scolded. How much this learned behaviour plays a role in dogs’ responses to human emotions is, I suspect, something that we can’t fully determine, although the study goes some way to acknowledge canine abilities in this area.
Humans and dogs have lived and evolved together for at least 15,000 years and probably much longer. Given this, and the close bond that many people have with their dogs, it may not come as any surprise that dogs appear to have developed this skill in recognising human emotions.

This ability is likely to have been very important in helping dogs become accepted by humans and integrate into our society and culture, bringing enormous benefits on both sides. Dogs are likely to receive greater care from their human companions if their bond is enhanced by the dogs’ apparent empathy. The humans, meanwhile, receive unconditional companionship and emotional validation from their canine counterpart. Undoubtedly, this study further adds to our understanding and appreciation of the cognitive abilities of “man’s best friend” and highlights the mutually beneficial relationships we often have with dogs.

 

 

Documents You Need to Have for  Your Pet

Documents You Need to Have for Your Pet

Living in Florida, we are exposed to possible hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. These potential natural disasters could displace our pets or cause us to have to evacuate where we live. Having these eight documents are essential to preserve your pet’s well being. The following article by Carol Bryant.

 

In a day and age of electronic everything, from iPads to Android phones, there is still a time and place for documents that are tangible, touchable and shareable. There are several documents all pet parents should have on hand to ensure their pets’ wellbeing. Here are 8 documents that every pet parent should keep safe.

1. Rabies Certificate or Waiver

Dogs and cats are generally given a tag to wear after a rabies vaccination is administered. The certificate/proof of rabies vaccine administration is a critical document. The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies from state to state. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), some states are also beginning to provide exemptions for vaccination requirements if medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian. If this applies to your pet(s), ensure the waiver is a document you have easily accessible.

2. Latest Vaccine Records

Although veterinarians keep this information in their paper and/or electronic files, you should have a copy, too. Admittance to pet-friendly hotels, or getting into certain expos and pet-friendly events, often depends on current vaccination records. If your pet receives an annual blood titer level to show levels of certain vaccines within the bloodstream, have this document at your disposal as well.

3. Proof of Ownership

Although no one ever believes it will happen to them, sometimes divorce or separations happen and custody battles over pets ensue. Since pets are viewed as property in the eyes of the law, whoever can prove they own the pet(s) will most likely receive the rights to keep and maintain that pet. Proof of ownership can be an AKC registration record or something more formal that is legal and notarized. If you share your pets with someone else, ensure ownership is clear in writing.

4. Trust

The only documents that are legally enforceable are those that are prepared accurately prior to your demise. If something happens to you, a trust outlines where your pet goes, who cares for him and what funds are available. A will has many pitfalls that allow for loopholes when a pet’s wellbeing is considered. Will instructions are not enforceable in most cases. With its many pitfalls, a legal trust provides a host of additional protections and advantages. The American Bar Association is a great place to start for legal direction, but always consult with an attorney for such an important document. Never assume a verbal agreement will hold up in a court of law. Get it in writing and have the document secured where loved ones can obtain it upon your passing.

5. License

Many states require a dog or cat license. In addition to a standard tag that most states issue for the pet to wear, keep any document handy that is sent your way by the state/county.

6. Emergency Numbers

Most folks keep emergency numbers in their cell phone, but what if you are hurt or your pet is with a sitter and an accident occurs? In addition to the Pet Poison Helpline (or another reputable poison control center for pets), keep a handy list of phone numbers including the veterinarian, emergency veterinarian and anyone you need to contact in the event of an emergency. We keep a laminated list on the refrigerator and on our home office bulletin board.

7. Photographs

Always have a current printed photograph of your pet along with a photograph of you with your pet handy. Cell phones are great for snapping photos, but in a pinch, having a copy of your pet in a nice glossy 5 x 7 or larger is best to have in the event of an emergency. Nobody wants their pet to go missing, but being prepared will help in the event your pet disappears.

8. Emergency Evacuation and Accommodations Plan

Though I never thought I’d need to utilize emergency evacuation plans, I was grateful to have them when flood waters threatened my home. During a critical time when local authorities implemented a mandatory evacuation, my list of items came in handy. I was able to gather all belongings needed, get them safely stowed away, and leave the area in a hurry.
Bonus points if you have a list of pet-friendly hotels in place ahead of time. When we had to evacuate, a 3-hour ride to find pet-friendly lodging occurred. Have more than one spot in mind incase your first option doesn’t work out.

Reasons a Pet is a Benefit for Kids in a Family

Having a pet in a house with children has the tendency to finish that family. The human animal bond within the house will certainly support and grow, thus supplying significant positive family dynamics, especially for the youngsters. For many, having a pet in the house completes the mental image of their family.

Let us not forget the 6-8 million pets a year that are housed in animal shelters. Getting a pet for the family will in addition assist these animals.

From: Adoptapet.com (http://www.adoptapet.com/blog/10-reasons-pets-are-good-for-kids)

There are so many benefits that pets provide for kids! It’s easy for kids to get wrapped up in the idea of owning a new pet, but it’s up to their parents to make sure the experience is a positive one, and that the pet receives the care he or she needs for their entire lives. Kids tend to think of all the fun, good things. Parents who are experienced, or even first-time pet owners, know there is a lot of patience, time, and effort involved, but that the pay-off of sharing your home and life with the unconditional love a well-cared for pet gives, it’s well worth it. For those parents sitting on the edge, here are several positive benefits you might not have thought of when bringing a pet home for your kids.

1. Children who grow up in homes with pets have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.

2. Playing with dogs may help lower blood pressure.

3. Kids with pets get outside more – to go for walks, run, and play – and enjoy all the associated health benefits.

4. Pet owners require fewer doctors’ visits.

5. Emerging readers often feel more comfortable reading aloud to a pet.

6. Nurturing a pet is an acceptable way for boys to “parent play”; to practice being caregivers.

7. Feeding and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility.

8. Children with pets display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem.

9. Sharing the love and care of a family pet forges an additional common bond among siblings.

10. Cuddling a pet reduces stress, loneliness, and anxiety.

11. Pets offer security and stability. Nearly 70% of children confide in their pets, confident their secrets will not be betrayed.

12. And pets provide a natural gateway into the animal kingdom- love for one’s pet as a child often translates into an adult belief that the relationship between humans and animals is one of mutual support.

Ebola | As A Pet Owner – Should You Be Concerned?

Ebola | As A Pet Owner – Should You Be Concerned?

Ebola is all over the news. A dog was euthanized in Spain because the owner came down with Ebola. This has created a controversy. The bottom line is we don’t really have enough facts and research to really make an educated decision. It would have been nice to have quarantined the dog so we could have gotten more information about the potential danger, if any. Below is an article created by Veterinary News Network (VNN) which will provide some information for you.

Can Ebola Virus affect our Dogs and Cats
www.MyVNN.com

• For the past several months, countries in West Africa have been experiencing an outbreak of illness caused by the Ebola virus. People infected with this virus usually show a fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, followed by dysentery or blood in the diarrhea and abdominal pain. It is basically a viral hemorragic fever.

• Sadly, although recoveries can happen they are rarew and up to 90 percentage of people who test positive for Ebola will die. There is currently no cure. As with many diseases, the only treatment is supportive care, such as rehydration and treating any direct symptom as best as possible.

• With the recent news that a second person has tested positive for Ebola here in North America even after taking all the precautions of a health care worker in a major hospital, many people are becoming alarmed about the transmission of the disease especially considering the uncontrolled migration of people through our southern border and other unidentified viral infections that are known to have come to our contry via this route.

• Further, with the euthanasia of the an infected patient’s dog in Spain (and the outrage that caused around the world), the concerns of the Ebola virus are not limited to protecting only people, but also whether or not our pets are at risk of infection or could possibly transmit the disease to people or other animals.

• Here is what we know at this time; precious little research has been devoted to whether dogs or cats can become infected with Ebola, consequently facts are known. At least one study has indicated that dogs can become infected with the virus, deveop a titer, but the dogs in the study did not demonstrate transmission. (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/3/pdfs/04-0981.pdf).

• However, even though dogs do develop antibodies to the virus, at this point there is no evidence that dogs actually get sick or even show symptoms. What’s more important though is that there are no documented cases of dogs passing the virus to humans. And it must be emphasized – this is true AT THIS POINT, as wse are early in our experience with this disease outside of Africa.

• Because no studies of this particular virus have been done on a large scale in dogs and cats, we are simply in uncharted territory and do not know. Because of this we all have to be vigilant and watch for these general signs and get out pets treated immediately.

• Both the CDC and all veterinary health authorities, public health agnencies and epidemiologists and microbiolobists are on alert around the clock, it is important to understand everything is being done to monitor populationis of people and all animals for unusual signs and even testing where necessary.

• If your pet is sick or shows any symptoms such as fever (usually seen as lack of appetite), vomiting, diarrhea etc., you should see your veterinarian immediately and we’ll make our best effort to get a diagnosis and treat your pet.

 

 

Pet Microchipping Could Possibly Save Your Pet’s Life

How Can A Microchip Help My Pet Get Back Home

 Video Courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Microchipping is one of the most loving things you can do for your pet. A lost pet will experience a tremendous amount of trauma from being separated from its owner, as well as feelings of disorientation as they desperately try to find their way back home. An exuberant pet that inadvertently dashes out into the street when a gate has accidentally been left open is led by instinct and a feeling of freedom to keep exploring. This can cause an animal to stray further and further away from home. If a pet is found and there is no way to determine who the owners are, the founders may decide to keep it for themselves, or take it to an animal shelter. If the pet is not claimed by its owners within a reasonable period of time, it will be put down.

Millions of lost animals turn up at animal shelters every year, most are not returned to their owners and have to be euthenased, as the shelter cannot cope with such large amounts of animals. If a pet has been fitted with a pet microchip the animal shelter will be able to scan the microchip to find the identification number encoded into the chip. This identification number will enable the supplier of the microchip to access the registration of the pet, which contains all the contact information of the owners, and soon the pet can be reunited with its loving family.

Although microchipping will significantly increase the potential of finding your pet if it should get lost, it is only one component in a system involving the microchip, scanners that are able to read the information on the chip, and the registration of the contact details of the owners, as well as a collar with tags which inform someone who finds the pet that it carries a microchip.

How does a microchip work?

A microchip is a very small device, no bigger than a grain of rice, that is contained in a capsule together with an antenna and a capacitator. This capsule is implanted under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades, of a pet. A scanner activates the microchip and the information encoded into the microchip is displayed on a small LCD screen. When you microchip and register your pet, an identification number is linked to your contact information on an online registry, which can be accessed by organizations who own scanners, such as animal shelters, humane organizations, animal hospitals and veterinarians, who will contact you to advise you that your pet has been found.

Owners of pets sometimes forget to update the contact information when their living circumstances change. A microchip is only as effective as the correct contact information it contains, so it is most important to not only microchip your pet, but to register the microchip with the supplier of the device, and then keep your contact information up to date. It is also most important for your pet to wear a collar with a tag, which will tell the person who has found your pet, that it has been microchipped. If the collar is damaged or lost, there is still a chance that someone will take the pet to a place where it can be checked for microchipping.

 

Oak Tree Animal Hospital
7201 Armenia Avenue North
Tampa FL 33604
1.813.935.2080

A veterinary animal hospital located in Hillsborough County providing veterinary medical
and surgical care in Northwest Tampa and surrounding areas.

Need veterinary care for your dog or cat? We are an affordable animal hospital in Tampa FL.

Call us for an appointment and let us help you with your best friend and companion.

 

 

An Age Old Question | Why Is My Pet Eating That  Grass Again?

An Age Old Question | Why Is My Pet Eating That Grass Again?

The information contained in this article was obtained from Veterinary News Network and Applied Animal Behavior Science, 111: 120-132.

A very commonly asked question of veterinarians is “Doctor why does my dog or cat keep eating grass?”

Over the years the usual answer has been that the pet eats grass, because the pet is sick and instinctively tries to make themself vomit. The other common answer is that there is some type of deficiency within the pet’s diet, and the pet is trying to correct the deficiency.

Well, to test these notions, the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, conducted a survey of over 3,000 pet owners. The study was developed by Drs. Karen Sueda, Kelly Cliff and Benjamin Hart. Of the 3,000 surveys, 1,600 were used in the study. They found that 80% of the dogs, when having the chance to eat grass or some other plant did so. From the results they also found that 68% of the dogs ate grass on a daily or at least a weekly basis. Very few, only 8%, of the dogs demonstrated any signs of illness before eating grass or some other plant and of that group, 22% vomited post ingestion. The vomiting was more prevalent in dogs showing some signs of illness before eating the plant material. The survey also implied that younger dogs tended to eat grass or plants more and they did not appear to be ill prior to ingestion, and did not vomit routinely after ingestion.

Based on these findings, it appears that eating grass or plants is more of a behavioral issue that occurs commonly in dogs, and there is no relationship to the pet being ill and the grass eating by the pet. They also concluded that vomiting does not usually occur after the ingestion.

We just said this is normal, but it has also been suggested that the eating of grass and/or plants, may be a means for dogs and cats in the wild, to help eliminate intestinal worms. Based on this, our domesticated species may have simply inherited the trait for the consumption of grass and plants.

With cats, the situation is about the same; however, it appears that cats are less likely to eat grass or plants, they also do not appear to be ill before ingesting and they also do not usually vomit after eating plant material.

So what’s the conclusion here? Well, basically it is concluded that this is a normal behavioral action of both dogs and cats, and pet owners need not be concerned with it. However; if the pet has signs of illness prior to ingesting grass or plants, the pet should be examined as a precautionary measure to determine if there is an underlying disease process occurring. Finally, this does not mean that dogs and cats can eat any type of grass or plants. Remember, there are toxic plants in nature and in homes. Also, the ingestion of grass that has been treated with fertilizers, weed killers and pesticides could potentially be very serious if ingested.

It might just be best, to take measures, so your pet does not ingest any grass or plants.

 

Watch this video for more information…

 

How to Teach Three Easy Dog Tricks

How to Teach Three Easy Dog Tricks

Well, maybe not that one!

To teach your dog tricks even easy ones you need to have some small reward treats, be in a quiet suitable place and keep the training sessions to 10 – 15 minutes or your dog will start to get bored. Remember when he gets something right lots of praise and a reward treat. Just be careful not to get him over excited or he will lose concentration.

Getting your dog to give you his paw

First get your dog to sit, then as you say the word ‘paw’ take your dog’s paw in your hand, give the dog a treat, repeat this. After a few times, do not take his paw so quickly, say the word, count to one then take it. Now you should notice he is bringing his paw up as you say the word. If he does not, go back to saying it at the same time. Do it a few more times then slow your response again. After 2 or 3 sessions most dogs will this one up quite happily.

The high five is a progression of the above trick

Hold a treat in your fingers and raise your hand slightly higher than you would for the paw trick. Your dog will think you want to do the paw trick and will reach for the treat with his paw as we taught him earlier. As he reaches up you say, “high five” and give him the treat. Once your dog has mastered the paw trick, this one should be very easy to learn and with just a few sessions, he will be doing it on hand signal rather than voice control.

Getting your dog to jump through a hoop

Before you start this one, I would just like to ask you to be a little sensible and not hold the hoop too high, as you do not want your dog to hurt himself while doing the trick. Sit your dog on one side of a hoola hoop. Get the dog’s attention on your hand. On the other side of the hoop, take a treat in your hand and give the dog the command to release him from the sit. At first he may attempt to go around or under the hoop. If this happens, start again. Your dog wants the treat and will soon learn that going around or under does not get it, so he will soon start going through the hoop. When he does, say hoopla and give him the treat. He will soon be jumping through the hoop on the command of hoopla. If you have a smaller dog,you might want to start with the hoop touching the ground so the dog just goes through the hoop and then, slowly raise it as he gets used to the trick.

 

Oak Tree Animal Hospital – Tampa
Tampa, FL 33604
1.813.938.2020