This is Halloween…this is Halloween….Oh- hello dearies! It’s that time of year where pet parents (I’m guilty!) love to dress up their pets for Halloween. We need to be very careful and monitor our pets closely to make sure they are not stressing out wearing a costume and limit their movement. Beware of choking hazards such as ribbons, frills, bow ties, bells or other loose items around your pet’s neck that might cause issues if it gets stuck. Always watch for these kinds of items and any potential choking hazards, like hanging beads or pieces that might fall off. If your pet acts annoyed, uncomfortable and you are constantly fixing their costume- it would be best to take it off. When going out to trick-or-treat, it’s better to leave your furry K9 at home. Dogs can be easily excited by the Halloween commotion, and a bite or a lost dog will quickly end the evening’s fun.
When taking candy inventory with your kids once trick–or- treating is over, it’s best that your pets are not in the same room. Treats, such as chocolate, gum and xylitol (a sweetener used in many foods), are hazardous to our pets. Candy may drop to the floor and your furry ones may get to it before you do. If your pet is like mine, she is right at your feet waiting….or eyeballing me from afar. When food is accidently dropped onto the floor, this 5lb sweet Chihuahua becomes a greyhound and grabs the food and runs under the kitchen table. She suddenly becomes deaf too. Goodness….. If you suspect your pet has eaten something that’s bad for them, call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center immediately. Don’t take any chances.
Throwing a party? Keep your pets out of harm’s way. Even if you are just having a few friends over for a Halloween party, keep your pets away from the festivities in a safe room. Masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening. Keep your pets away from dangerous decorations. Some hazards are obvious, like lit candles. Changes to your home can make your pets, especially cats, nervous or frightened.
Bring your pets indoors before night falls. Cats are always safest inside with you, but on Halloween it’s especially important to secure all pets inside.
In case they escape, make sure that all of your pets are wearing tags with current IDs (hopefully they are microchipped). Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters gives your pet the opportunity to slip outside. Give your pets a haven where they can feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed—tucked away from any Halloween hazards. Pacific Animal Hospital will be open until 8 pm on Oct. 31, if you have any questions or concerns. Call us at (760) 757-2442. Have a happy and safe October 31 darlings……
It’s that time of year when we get saturated with pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Same occurs with our pet food and treats! As such, we need to remember that pumpkin food and liquids need to be in moderation – yes for our pets too! Hehe! Canned natural pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for our dogs and cats. Pumpkin is often a top ingredient in higher quality kibble for our pets. Here are some of the health benefits of pumpkin for Kitty and Max:
* Helping with Constipation: Fiber from pumpkin works in pets the same way it does in humans and can actually treat some gastrointestinal issues. Some cats may experience decreased colon activity as they age, resulting in constipation. The added fiber from pumpkin increases the bulk of the stool and the colon muscles react by moving things along. Rumor has it, there is pumpkin scent litter! Proceed at your own risk!
* Reducing Hairballs: By increasing the volume of waste in the intestine, pumpkin can help your cat digest and eliminate fur swallowed during grooming. This can reduce or even prevent the formation of hairballs that are eventually regurgitated.
* Resolving Diarrhea: Yes, it works both ways! Pumpkin can soothe constipation but diarrhea can also be remedied with the addition of pumpkin to a dog or cat’s diet. It is particularly effective if the upset is the result of colitis caused by a rapid food change or the ingestion of a new food. After your vet examines your pet with this issue, he/she will be able to provide the amount added to your pet’s diet.
* Boosting Weight Loss: With 3 grams of fiber per cup, pumpkin can augment weight loss in dogs and cats. The fiber fills the tummy so your pet feels “fuller” sooner, meaning Linus and Lucy eat fewer calories overall.
* Supplementing Nutrition: One of the biggest benefits of pumpkin to pets and humans is its wealth of nutrition. Pumpkins contain carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin A , iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, and protein.
* Adding Antioxidants: Pumpkin contains antioxidants which help moisturize skin and help your pet maintain a healthy and shiny coat.
Henry loves his pumpkin flavored treat before coming to PAH!
Halloween is right around the corner and carved pumpkins are not something you want to feed your pets because mold begins rapidly growing inside them once the skin is broken. The best pet-safe sources are fresh or canned pumpkin cooked with no additional spices added. Do not get canned pumpkin designed for use in pie as this frequently contains spices, sugars, fats and other ingredients not suited for our pets. This means no sharing your pumpkin pie …..
Before adding canned pumpkin to your pet’s meals, talk to your veterinarian as a precaution. Too much canned pumpkin can lead to lose bowel movements and create an entirely different issue. May you and your pets enjoy this delicious pumpkin flavored season!
It is vital that we are able to recognize the signs of pain in our pets since they cannot tells us they are hurting. Our pets feel pain for many of the same reasons as us humans: infections, dental problems, arthritis, disease and cancer as well as discomfort after surgical procedures. We can voice when we are in pain, but our pets are only able to give us signs. There are certain signs and changes in our furry one’s behavior that can indicate when a pet is suffering. However, there are some pets that are great at disguising their pain. As a pet owner, you are the one most likely to these often subtle changes. The sooner your pet’s pain is diagnosed and treated, the sooner he or she can heal and resume a normal, happy life.
Here are just some of the behaviors or changes your pet may show you if they are in pain. If you suspect your pet is sore or uncomfortable, please notify your veterinarian immediately:
- decreased appetite
- withdraws from social interaction
- changes in sleeping patterns
- changes in drinking habits
- housetraining habits change (accidents)
- excessive scratching of a particular part of their body
- restless – stands up and lies down repetitively
- reluctant to move and tends to lie very still
- difficulty getting up from a resting position
- trembling or circling
- seeks more affection than usual
- pants excessively when at rest
- vacant stare
- glazed or wide-eyed
- appears sleepy
- enlarged pupils
- flattened ears
- coat lacks normal shine
- hair stands up in places
- protects a body part
- doesn’t put weight on a limb or limping
- doesn’t want to be held or picked up
- acts out of character
- aggressive tendency when normally a friendly dog
- growls, bites
- hunched, with hindquarters raised and front end down on the ground
- lays on their side
- anything unusual
It’s quite a list. Go with your instincts. If you feel your pet is “off”, making a trip to your veterinarian is so worth it. Catching things on time is critical. Pain occurs for many different reasons and this means there are many types of treatment depending on the diagnosis. Your veterinarian will recommend a diagnostic plan and treatment so your pet can remain as comfortable as possible.
It’s always wonderful to hear from clients 2-4 days later that their pet has improved greatly! One client called us every day to tell us how happy she was that her furry loved one quickly bounced back. Her pet was depressed, laid in bed all day and finally stopped eating – in one day. The diagnosis? A nail bruised at the base. Her playful pup loves to chase balls at the beach where there are rocks and most likely injured the nail. The owner brought her pup in and the doctor lightly touched his paw and the pet quickly reacted. The owner didn’t think to touch his paws because pup wasn’t limping.
Again, if you notice anything different going on with your pet, give us a call. We are always happy and ready to answer any questions and concerns you may have.