Tag Archives: pet safety tips

Beware of Autumn Pet Dangers

Autumn has officially arrived. Like the other seasons, fall time brings with it a few pet hazards to be aware of! Learn more below from a vet in Roanoke, VA.

Pesticide Products

It’s not uncommon for insects, small rodents, roaches, and other pests to begin invading our homes in the autumn, seeking warmth and shelter from the cooling weather outside. You may set up pesticides, rodenticides, and similar products around your home to ward off these pesky critters. Remember: pesticides are poisons, made specifically to kill the creatures who come in contact with them! Place pesticides with extreme caution, and always use pet-safe products or non-toxic options.

Wild Animals

Wild animals like raccoons and opossums can be more active in the fall, and they may harm an unsuspecting pet who disturbs them. Snakes are another wild-animal hazard in the fall; since they’re preparing for hibernation and are extra grumpy, they may bite a pet who comes across them! Supervise your pet closely while outdoors, and keep them away from tall grasses and heavy shrubbery.

Autumn Plants

Several plants and flowers that flourish in the fall—chrysanthemums, Autumn Crocus, certain lilies, and more—can prove toxic to pets! Additionally, common fall decorations like gourds, pumpkins, and autumn corn can harm a pet. These plants aren’t toxic, per say, but they can cause choking or upset stomach if a pet manages to ingest too much. Always keep a close eye on your pet to make sure they don’t try to chow down on any autumnal plants.

Wild Mushrooms

Autumn is peak season for mushrooms. While the vast majority of wild mushrooms aren’t toxic, a small number are—it’s just not worth the risk for your beloved companion. Plus, even mushrooms that aren’t toxic may be sprayed with weed-killing chemicals or lawn fertilizers, which you don’t want your pet to ingest. When your pet is outdoors, keep them away from any and all mushrooms!

Chilly Weather

Of course, with autumn comes cooler weather. Don’t leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time, where they may get cold. (This is especially true at night, when temperatures can drop to near freezing later in the season!) Your pet will be safest and happiest indoors with you and your family.

These aren’t the only fall-time hazards out there for our four-legged friends. Call your Roanoke, VA veterinarian today to learn about more great safety tips!

Are These Pet Toxins Already in Your Home?

Believe it or not, you most likely already have a variety of potential pet toxins inside your home. Don’t worry, though—with a few simple precautions, you can keep your animal companion safe and sound! Learn more here from your vet in Roanoke, VA.

Pesticides

Do you use pesticides or rodenticides around your home to ward off pesky intruders? Remember that pesticide products are poisons, designed to kill the critters that come in contact with them. That’s why it’s important to choose pet-proof pesticides or go with alternative pest-control options that aren’t toxic to pets, like traps. Ask your vet for further advice.

Dangerous Foods

A great many human foods can prove harmful to a pet. The list includes grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, avocado, chocolate, candy, salty items like chips and pretzels, fatty or rich foods, and alcoholic beverages, among others. To protect your pet, don’t leave foods out on the kitchen table or countertops where pets may be able to reach them. Instead, store foods in cabinets or the refrigerator where they belong.

Human Medication

Various human medicines—standard painkillers like Advil or Motrin, antidepressants, cough syrup, all sorts of prescription drugs, and more—can prove toxic to a pet who manages to get their paws on them! A determined pet may even be able to chew right through a child-proof plastic bottle cap. Store all medicines inside a closed cabinet or drawer where your pet won’t be able to reach, and store your pet’s own medicine in a separate area from human medications so the two don’t get mixed up.

Poisonous Plant Life

Plenty of plants and flowers can harm a pet who ingests them. Oleander, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, philodendron, rhododendron (also called azalea), lilies, tulips, the sago palm, a variety of aloe plants, and ivy are just a few examples. Inside and outside your home, make sure you’re not harboring a harmful plant variety. Ask your vet what kinds of toxic plants are most common in the area where you live.

Cleaning Products

While a pet isn’t likely to seek out a cleaning solution to ingest, you’ll want to play it safe. Everything from household disinfectants and air fresheners to bleach-based products and carpet cleaner could cause serious problems! Keep the supply closet shut tightly at all times.

To learn more about pet toxins at home, call your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic.

Keeping Your Pet Safe on the Fourth of July

In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day with family and friends. Are you planning on including your animal companion in the festivities? Remember: the Fourth presents a few pet hazards to be aware of! Learn more below from a vet in Roanoke, VA.

Fireworks

Tempting as it may be, don’t bring your dog to the local fireworks display. Each year, thousands of pets are frightened into running off thanks to the deafening booms of fireworks. You don’t want to search for a lost pet in the dead of night! Keep your animal friend safely secured at home in an escape-proof area. If you plan on setting off smaller pyrotechnics at home—firecrackers, sparklers, and the like—it’s always best to keep your pet indoors.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of common party and picnic foods can prove harmful for pets. The list includes onions, garlic, chocolate and candies, avocado, salty foods like chips or pretzels, grapes and raisins, fatty foods, and much more. Alcohol is another big pet no-no. If your celebration will include adult beverages, make sure your animal companion doesn’t have a chance to sneak a sip! To be safe, keep your pet far away from the treat table; give them their own meal instead to keep them satisfied.

Heat and Humidity

The Fourth of July means heat and humidity, and that can be a dangerous combination for your four-legged companion. Make sure that your pet doesn’t stay outside for too long this holiday; allow them back indoors, where it’s comfortable and air-conditioned, on a frequent basis. Also make sure that there is a dish of cool, fresh water for your pet to drink from as they please. This is the best way to avoid deadly dehydration!

Outdoor Pests

When your pet does venture outdoors, summertime pests like fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, flatworms, and much more present a real danger. If your pet isn’t set up to fend off these pests, infestations and infections can result that will cause serious health trouble! Keep your pet on high-quality pest preventatives to ward off fleas, ticks, and worms—talk to your vet if your pet is in need. You can also reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard by removing sources of standing water, trimming back tall shrubbery and grasses, and getting rid of any garbage lying about.

For more tips, call your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic today.

Valentine’s Day Hazards for Pets

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away. If you’re going to be celebrating with that special someone and you own a pet, it’s important to be aware of a few holiday hazards! Learn more below from your Troutville, VA veterinarian.

Chocolate

Chocolate abounds during the Valentine’s Day season. Chocolate of all types is a big no-no for pets, as it contains substances like theobromine and caffeine that don’t agree with our animal companions. If too much chocolate is ingested, a pet may display symptoms like lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and worse—take your pet to the emergency room immediately if they’ve ingested chocolate of any sort.

Candy

Candies, as well as certain gums and toothpastes, are often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that is toxic to animals. Avoid symptoms like weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, and seizures; keep the holiday candy to yourself, and store it in closed containers or cabinets where your pet can’t reach.

Candles

Lighting candles to set that romantic mood? Make sure they’re placed in areas where pets won’t have access. For one, a pet might swipe a tail or paw through an open flame, potentially causing burns. It’s also possible for a startled pet to knock over a candle, potentially starting a fire.

Human Food

All sorts of common human foods aren’t safe for pets to eat. If you’re cooking a meal for two this Valentine’s Day, make sure your pet isn’t waiting nearby to gobble up any errant morsels. Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, avocado, grapes and raisins, certain nuts, caffeinated foods and beverages… the list goes on and on! Keep your pet in another room while cooking, and don’t overdo it with table scraps.

Alcohol

If your romantic celebrations will include alcoholic beverages, it’s important for you to keep your dog or cat’s safety in mind. Alcohol affects pets just like it affects us—the difference is that pets will experience poisoning after only a small amount is ingested. Keep a close eye on adult beverages to make sure that your pet doesn’t have a chance to imbibe.

Plant Life

Lilies are particularly common this time of year. Did you know that they’ve very toxic to our feline friends, and might harm dogs as well? Check all bouquets and remove lilies if necessary.

Want more tips on keeping your pet safe this Valentine’s Day? Call your Troutville, VA vet clinic.