Making Cold Weather Pet Safety a Top Priority

Pet winter safety is important to all pets, big and small

Old Man Winter has arrived here in New Jersey, and we can expect a full season of inclement if not unpredictable weather. Just as you might have unearthed all of your winter gear, winterized your car, and battened down the hatches for impending wet weather, it’s equally important to consider cold weather pet safety.

Cold weather pet safety has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Check out some of our tips and tricks for keeping your pet healthy and oh-so-cozy during the harsh winter months.

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Good Eats: Pet Nutrition and Fad Diets for Pets

Pet nutrition does not always follow fad diets for pets

Obsessing over our diets is something Americans are good at, and this obsession is easily translated into the world of our pets and what they eat. Not only are there hundreds of different brands of pet food to choose from, but almost everywhere you turn someone is touting the latest dietary trend as the best way to feed your pet.

As stressful as it can be to figure out how to provide your pet with the nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives, the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital can walk you through what every pet owner should know when it comes to proper pet nutrition.

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The Word Around the Trough: How to Keep Up With a Hydrated Pet

Black cat drinking out of blue coffee cup on tableThere’s really no better time than August to think about your pet’s hydration needs. In other parts of the calendar year, they just seem to get what they need without too many worries. But these last few weeks of high heat and humidity can cause serious problems for animals. A hydrated pet is a healthy one, and we’ve got some tips and tricks to make it happen.

The Benefits of Water

A hydrated pet is at lower risk of developing a urinary tract infection, and they also have a healthier and more consistent internal body temperature. Water is cooling, maintains high energy levels, and flushes toxins from the body.

Take Notes

Do you know how much water your pet drinks every day? Or, one step further would be to know how much should they be drinking for maximum hydration. On average, the general rule is that for every 10 pounds of body weight, one cup of water is needed per day. If you spend a few days noticing that your 60 pound dog drinks less than 6 cups every day, it’s time to try out some new methods. Continue…

Retractable Leashes: Neither Dog, Nor Man’s Best Friend

By Karen Fazio, CDBC
 Director of Behavior and Training

retractable leashes are a serious threat to pet health and pet safetyOne day, as I was about to leave my house for a walk with my dog, I saw (Insert dog’s name) spot a squirrel in our yard. Not surprisingly, before I could utter the word “NO!” he took off after it. Worse still? As he was bolting down the front steps, I realized  – a bit too late – that I had forgotten to lock the retractable leash he had on. I stood, transfixed at the top of my brick stairs, as the zip line ran out… The last thing I remember was toppling down the stairs and landing flat on my face, leaving me with a small scar just above my right lip that serves to remind me of the dangers associated with retractable leashes.

I will admit that retractable leashes can be fun. They provide pets with a sense of off-leash freedom that allows them to explore areas that they might not otherwise be able to. However, in my experience, the risk of serious injury, or even death, far outweigh any pleasure you or your dog might enjoy.

Retractable Leashes Present a High Risk for Pet Injury

Retractable leashes are commonly made out of thin nylon cord, which can cause serious injury to both pets and their owners. When these leashes get wrapped around a finger, arm, or leg they have the potential to cause severe burns and deep gashes, which may send the victim to the emergency room. When wrapped around the body or limbs of a pet, the risk for broken bones or even dismemberment is tremendous.  

Serious neck and spine injuries also are a consideration for pets, especially if your pet bolts when the mechanism isn’t locked and it reaches the end of the line, suddenly jerking your pet backward at his neck. In these cases, trauma to the neck and spine is a certainty; and some cases, the injuries are grave enough to cause death.

Taking the Lead

Despite how comfortable retractable leashes may feel in our grasp, they can be difficult to hold on to when attached to 
a struggling or pulling dog. This is because the handles are designed to be held 
primarily by the fingers, which tend to be quite weak.

This point can easily be proven if one should try to hang from a chin-up bar by their fingers. It simply cannot Can’t be done. With that consideration in mind, there’s little 
possibility an individual would possess 
enough finger strength to effectively hold back a struggling pet.

If you would like to learn more about the dangers of retractable leashes, and what options may be right for your individual pet, please schedule an appointment. The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy, both at home and on the trail.

Cut The Fat: Preventing Pancreatitis In Pets

Pancreatitis In pets is a serious pet health condition and should be considered a pet emergencyAs we prepare for BBQ Season, many of us are probably thinking ahead to the inevitable aftermath of too much food and too little exercise. Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, and other unpleasantries are the typical side effects of a large meal. While certainly not fun, it helps to remember that these symptoms will pass and we’ll be back to normal the next day.

For pets, however, it’s a different story. Besides the fact that some people food is toxic to pets, indulging in BBQ leftovers or scraps may lead to a dangerous condition known as pancreatitis. Understanding pancreatitis in pets and how to prevent it is critical to keeping your pet safe and healthy.

Pancreatitis 101

The pancreas is a glandular organ located near the stomach. Its primary functions are to secrete enzymes that aid in digestion and to regulate blood sugar by producing insulin. Pancreatitis in pets occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed and swollen; the secretion of enzymes is restricted and the surrounding tissues are affected. Continue…

Fit by Fido: Increasing Exercise for You and Your Pet

Exercise for you and your pet is key to both human and pet healthSpring is finally in full swing, and while your pet isn’t concerned about getting that bikini body you’ve been envisioning, there’s great reason for increasing everyone’s level of fitness. The warm weather, gorgeous new blooms, and opportunities for beach-goers are all definite pluses when motivating yourself to come up with some exercise for you and your pet.

There are several options for dog-friendly places and activities for you and your pet this spring. We’re here to help you get started off on the right paw!

The Many Merits of Exercise for You and Your Pet

For us, exercise is needed to decrease the risk of disease, improve mood, maintain a health weight, and to stay connected with others. The same is true for our pets, who also require daily exercise in order to thrive. Continue…

Weight Loss Goes High Tech: Modern Weight Management in Pets

weight management in petsThe obesity epidemic that plagues the United States has reached our pets, and the results aren’t pretty. Overweight and obese pets are at risk of many of the same health concerns as overweight humans, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, certain cancers, and decreased life span.

Keeping our pets as healthy as possible is important, but the fast-paced, busy lives so many of us lead make it difficult to keep the focus on weight management in pets. Your team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to helping you optimize your pet’s health through the prevention and treatment of pet obesity.

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The Best Indoor Pet Activities to Keep the Winter Blues Away

As the temperatures start to sink and the evening hours approach earlier than before, it can feel like time is standing still. We enter a state of hibernation or some other seasonal trance bookended by daylight savings, but we aren’t the only ones to notice. To be sure, animals sense the seasonal shift quite profoundly, as well. Pets who previously couldn’t wait to get outside are now standing anxiously on the threshold

How do we support the needs of our pets on rainy, cold, or snowy days? Why, with these indoor pet activities, of course!

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An Important Reminder About Holiday Food Safety For Pets

food safety for petsFragrant gravy ladled over a steaming mound of mashed potatoes, crisp and golden turkey skins, vibrantly colored cranberry sauce that’s both sweet and tart. If your mouth is watering just thinking about a traditional holiday meal, you can imagine how excited your pet becomes when his or her heightened senses picks up on the aromas of the Thanksgiving and other winter holiday dinners.

It’s tempting to slip a morsel or two to a begging pet, or to nod off after a big meal before putting away the leftovers or taking out the trash, but we can be sure that our pets haven’t overlooked any of these temptations. As delicious as our holiday foods are, some of them pose serious risks to our pets.

Before the holiday season is in full swing is the perfect time to bone up on the principles of food safety for pets.

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The Wait Weight Is Over: How to Make Pet Exercise…FUN!

There are so many benefits to pet exercise, but that doesn’t mean it’s always fun. Sure, it helps to reduce behavioral problems, increase health and wellness, and build confidence, but if pet exercise isn’t fun, all parties involved can get bored. Don’t worry, everyone gets stuck. The good news is that pet exercise can be fun again, and with our fresh tips, it’s a guarantee.

Pet Exercise: First Things First

Before you change things up for your pet, we recommend a routine wellness exam. Once we’ve established that your pet’s breed, age, overall health, and lifestyle can withstand a change to the exercise routine, we’ll help you plan a new daily workout that leaves you both feeling good.

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