How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Don’t give in to your pets’ begging for human food this Thanksgiving! Many of the holiday treats we love can cause health problems for our pets if they eat them. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving:

  1. Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. When pets ingest alcohol, they often experience severe drops in body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, which can all lead to death if treatment is delayed. Overactive tails could also knock over glasses and break them, and broken glass can easily cause injuries.
  2. Turkey is high in fat, and because of this, even small amounts can trigger pancreatitis. Pancreatitis has potentially fatal side effects like dehydration and liver and kidney damage. Small turkey bones can also get lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal system and cause blockages, which typically require surgery to repair.
  3. You already know chocolate is dangerous for pets. But baking chocolate has even higher concentrations of caffeine and theobromine, the two substances found in chocolate that are extremely toxic to pets. If you’re using baking chocolate in your desserts this Thanksgiving, or any other chocolate for that matter, keep nosy snouts out of the kitchen!
    Show your pets you’re thankful for them by keeping them safe this Thanksgiving.

If you need more help preparing for the holidays with your pets, contact us today!


Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Halloween is a sweet, spooky time for us and our kids, but it shouldn’t be sweet or spooky for our pets! Many things associated with Halloween put our pets at risk. Here are a few important safety tips to follow to make sure your pets are safe and happy on this eerie holiday.

  • Chocolate and xylitol—a sweetener often found in peanut butter and chewing gum—are extremely toxic to pets. Chocolate can cause upset stomachs, heart arrhythmia, kidney failure and seizures, and xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, seizures and even liver failure and death if large amounts are consumed. It is important to tuck all candy away so it stays out of your pets’ reach. Make sure your children know not to feed candy to pets, too.
  • Keep pets away from the front door, especially pets with social anxiety or pets that are territorial. Trick-or-treaters will be knocking and ringing the doorbell all night, which can make any pet anxious, so keeping pets in a secure place will lower their anxiety. Plus, you’ll be opening and closing the door frequently, so keeping them away from the door limits their ability to attempt an escape.
  • Black cats are often pestered on and around Halloween because of superstitions. If you have a black cat that spends part of his time outside, consider letting him be an indoor-only cat for the week around Halloween. It will ensure that he stays safe.

Need more assistance preparing for Halloween with your furry friends? Give us a call today at 303-557-7686.


Reading Between the Lines of Pet Food Ingredient Lists

Choosing diets for our pets can be a daunting task. There are so many options available, and reading ingredient lists can feel like reading a different language! Here are some explanations for common terms you may encounter on bags or cans of pet food.

By-products: Meat by-products are cleaned, uncooked parts of an animal, like internal organs, that don’t actually include the meat itself. By-products do not include hair, feathers, hooves or teeth.
Meal: Meal consists of by-products that have been cooked and turned into dried solids.
Grain-free: Grain-free pet foods do not include any grains whatsoever. Contrary to popular belief, a grain-free diet is not necessarily always healthier for your pet. It’s most important for a food to provide a balanced diet that’s full of nutrients.
Natural: Foods labeled as “natural” must only have ingredients from animal, plant and mined sources, meaning they cannot contain synthetic ingredients like artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives.

Please contact us today for more information on specific types of food that would be best for your pets.


Combatting Separation Anxiety During Back-to-School Season

Every year, back-to-school season brings about changes in our schedules. However, while we and our kids get used to our routines again fairly quickly, we still often forget that these changes affect our pets, too.

Dogs often struggle with their human companions being gone more often, and many pets suffer from separation anxiety. Some dogs are unable to cope with being alone, as being around their families makes them feel safe and comfortable. A dog usually presents signs of separation anxiety throughout the day when her family is gone, and a cat generally show signs after his owners have been gone for a few days at a time.

Signs of separation anxiety regularly include:

  • Barking, whining or crying, usually rhythmically and in a higher pitch.
  • Marking or other forms of inappropriate elimination in the house. Talk to your Santa Clarita Animal Hospital veterinarian to make sure this isn’t a sign of a different underlying health issue.
  • Chewing items that smell like the owner or that the owner touches often, like clothing, couches, beds, cell phones, remotes, books and magazines.
  • Drooling, shaking or pacing.

To help your pet get used to a schedule change:

  • Give your pet things to do while you’re gone. Provide plenty of toys so your pet doesn’t feel bored and so she learns she can have fun when you’re not around, too.
  • Don’t block your pet out of the entire house while you’re gone. Pets often escape confinement because they want to be near you, or at the very least, near your scent.
  • Try to change your behavior when you leave and when you come home. Don’t shower your cat or dog with pets before you leave, and don’t act especially excited when you come home either. Keep your distance in these moments so your pet learns that you leaving and coming home is normal.

You can read more about pet separation anxiety here: http://source.colostate.edu/pet-health-back-to-school-time-can-trigger-separation-anxiety-in-pets/

If you need more help managing your pet’s behavior issues, schedule an appointment at Littleton Veterinary Clinic by calling 303-557-7686.