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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Getting a Grip on Halloween Pet Safety Measures

Halloween pet safety is a must for a pet-friendly HalloweenThere’s a lot to love about fall in general, but the highlight for many is, of course, Halloween. We’ve been enjoying the costumes and decorations on display for weeks now, but the remaining days before the big event should include the mindful prevention of injury to a family pet. They all mean well, but pets can find themselves in a deep cauldron of hot water without Halloween pet safety tactics firmly in place.

The Obvious Dangers

Most pet owners are very aware of the dangers of chocolate, raisins, and Xylitol-sweetened treats around Halloween. While reducing these threats continue to be an essential of Halloween pet safety, there are additional risks to remember that aren’t so obvious. Continue…

Autumnal Gift: A Cornucopia of Fall Pet Safety Tips

Fall pet safety can make autumn with pets fun!Accidents, mishaps, and calamities happen throughout the year, but certain types of emergencies affect pets during specific months. For example, chocolate poisonings spring up each Halloween and Valentine’s Day, while antifreeze exposure is a focus in the winter. This time of year, it only makes sense to discuss the ways that fall pet safety tactics can impact your pet’s health, security, and wellbeing.

Clean it Up

Many homeowners take the weeks after Labor Day to tackle backyard or garage duties. Sure, it’s more fun to have your pet nearby while you’re cleaning out the garden shed, weeding, or treating the lawn, but it’s best to keep the following tips in mind: Continue…

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…

Is Slime a Major Threat to Pet Safety at Home?

Is slime a threat to pet safety?Summer evokes endless sunny days, swimming, and entertainment opportunities galore, but sometimes we need a little downtime to catch up. Summer craft activities come in really handy for families looking for some chill out time at home, and the one that steals the show each time is, of course, slime. Made with fairly simple, common ingredients, this ooey, gooey stuff pleases everyone from toddlers to tweens.

The drawback to slime and other craft activities is that their ingredients can threaten pet safety at home.

So Slimy, So Fun

Slime is usually comprised of borax, laundry detergent, salt, and zinc sulfide (to make it glow in the dark). Making it at home can be done with warm water, white glue, borax, and food coloring, but most people add glitter, starch, and shaving cream.

Because animals experience their world through the senses of smell and taste, it’s absolutely necessary to keep slime away from them.   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.

Throwing Some Shade: The Essentials of Summer Pet Safety

Giving pets shade and making sure pets have plenty of water to drink are important parts of summer pet safetyOn a warm, sunny day, it’s natural to seek out a porch, shade tree, or head inside to relax after spending time outdoors. With the intense summer sun and high UV index, it’s wise to protect your skin and avoid the heat with several rest breaks in the shade. The same is true for our animal friends, although we sometimes think they’re more resilient than they really are.

For this edition of summer pet safety, we focus on why shade is an important consideration and offer up tips on how to ensure your pet’s health and safety this season.

Why is Shade Necessary for Pets?

Pets don’t have the same advantages as humans when it comes to dealing with heat, and they have the additional burden of a fur coat. To some extent, the coat does help wick away moisture and protect the skin, but their primary mode of cooling down is through panting. When temperatures start to soar, this is not enough without lots of water and the ability to seek shade. Continue…

The Best Summer Has to Offer: Outdoor Safety and Your Pet

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…”
Outdoor safety and your pet is an important part of keeping your pet healthy and happy.Who can resist all the wonderful outdoor activities this time of year? There are so many fun opportunities for exercise, socializing, and rest and relaxation! The benefits increase tenfold when we’re able to share the great outdoors with our pet family members.

Like most things that involve our animal companions, outdoor safety and your pet is a topic that deserves close attention. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has some key pointers to help you prepare for summer fun in New Jersey with your favorite furry pal. 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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On The Lookout: Pet Toxins In The Home, Yard, And Urban Jungle

pet toxinsWe all want the best for our pets, and of course that includes keeping them safe from potentially poisonous substances. Because so many items commonly found in our homes, gardens, and neighborhoods can pose a hazard to our pets, it’s vital that pet parents are not only educated on the potential pet toxins, but also know what to do in the event of an accidental pet poisoning.

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