As one of the most biologically diverse states in the country, New Jersey is home to over 1000 different species of animal wildlife. Coyotes, foxes, raccoons, snakes, and black bears are some of the species that have adapted to life near humans, and it’s not uncommon to encounter one or more during a wilderness excursion or right in our own backyards.
As wonderful as it can be to live a state so richly populated with wildlife, it’s important to stay alert, especially if you own a pet. Interactions between pets and wild animals can have disastrous consequences, which is why it’s so important to make sure you understand and implement the principles of wildlife safety for pets.
When we think about pet-proofing our homes, it makes sense to put away leftover food, cover the garbage bin, and make sure your favorite slippers are out of reach. However, securing the medicine cabinet probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but perhaps it should be. The Pet Poison Hotline reports that nearly 50% of all the calls they receive involve human medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
A heart-shaped box of chocolates is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but for those of us with dogs, any chocolate in the home can put our canine companion at risk. As we prepare for an onslaught of delicious treats this February, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of chocolate toxicity and take steps to protect our pets.
It’s fairly well-known that chocolate is dangerous to dogs, but why? For starters, all forms of chocolate contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which cannot be properly metabolized by dogs or cats.
Most dog owners have heard of canine parvovirus, especially if they’ve adopted a puppy. The canine parvovirus vaccine is one of the first shots a puppy will receive – and for good reason. This highly contagious disease is often fatal and is extremely prevalent in our environment.
At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we want to make sure pet owners have all the information they need to protect their dogs from canine parvovirus.
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.Continue…
There’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…
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…
There’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.
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…
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.
By Karen Fazio, CDBC Director of Behavior and Training
One 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.