Tag Archives: pet safety

Summer Pet Safety Tips – Toxic Barbecue Foods

Barbecues are a big deal in Arizona – not just in the summertime, but all year round! It’s important that everyone have a great time and stay safe; including your pets!

Do you know what common backyard barbecue foods are especially dangerous for your furry friends? AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some valuable insights about pets and barbecues with the Your Life Arizona viewers. Check it out!

Potential Food Hazards For Pets

Corn on the Cob – while it seems like a natural treat, it poses a choking hazard.

Hot Dogs – another hazard for dogs! They are OK in very small amounts, but remember the preservatives and salt are not good for Fido’s tummy.

Potato Chips & Pretzels – these crunchy human treats have far too much sodium which can cause excessive thirst and urination in both people and pets. For pets, the worse case scenario: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, or death.

Ribs, Steak or Chicken Bones – yes, we all love barbecued ribs and other savory treats, but resist the urge to throw your dog a bone. All bones – especially when cooked – pose a danger to pets so any sort of bone treat requires strict supervision. From choking hazards, to splintering and causing a puncture to the digestive tract, there are too many dangers to pets. Bones can also break teeth – so always keep a close eye on your dog when chewing bones of any sort.

Fatty Foods – these are very hard on a dog’s intestines and can cause all sorts of tummy upsets, diarrhea and other icky things you do not want to have to contend with – the biggest danger of all is inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis – so skip the fatty stuff!

Guacamole – Avocado contains a toxic compound called persin that is very dangerous to birds, rabbits and horses, much less so for dogs, but enough to put it on our banned food list. It’ll cause tummy upset. Guacamole also contains garlic and onions which are toxic for dogs.

Grapes – while many fruits and veggies are fine for pets, grapes and raisins have been connected to dogs developing kidney failure. While some dogs can eat them and be fine, others might eat just a few and develop a life threatening toxic condition.

According to the ASPCA, dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually show symptoms like vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. Untreated, dogs will become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated and refuse to eat. They may also increase urination for a period, followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days. Dogs who survive acute raisin or grape toxicosis are likely to suffer long-term kidney disease.

Chocolate Desserts – chocolate can be fatally toxic to dogs, especially when it’s the sugar-free variety. Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol can lead to blood sugar levels dropping rapidly within a half hour of ingestion, which can lead to disorientation, seizures or liver failure which can be fatal.

Alcoholic Drinks – just a few ounces of beer or wine can be poisonous to a dog or cat, so be sure to clear away drinks that pets (or children) could get into.

If you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t – give your vet a call. If it’s after hours, call an Emergency Vet location or the Pet Poison Hotline, which is open 24/7: 855.764.7661

Summer Safety Tips: Pets and Monsoons

We’re definitely at the height of monsoon season here in Arizona. AZPetVet’s Dr. Amy Schomburg shares a little insight on how to keep pet safe and calm during these incredible storms.

Many pets get anxious and agitated by loud noises like fireworks and thunderstorms. Arizona’s monsoon season can be dangerous to pets in many ways. From toxic Sonoran Toads to pets getting frightened, escaping the home or yard and then getting lost or injured,  it’s important to take a few precautions.

  • Loud noises like thunder can trigger a flight response, so keep pets inside during storms. Block all potential escape points including pet doors.
  • Stay calm. Pets read emotions and know when we’re feeling anxious.
  • Use a ThunderShirt when storms are forecast – the snug fit helps calm frightened pets.
  • Create a safe space in your home for pets to retreat to during storms and include a favorite toy or blanket to help comfort them.
  • Allow access to plenty of fresh water – pets will drink more when feeling anxious.
  • Make sure all of your pets are microchipped and the information is kept up to date! We see more lost pets after storms than any other time except the 4th of July. A current microchip helps pets find their people and return home quickly.
Find more tips on how to keep pets calm and happy, click here.

Pet Safe Holiday Tips

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, What a Temptation You Are to Me…

The safest place for your Christmas tree is in a room that’s off limits to your pet. If that’s not feasible, situate it in a corner that you can block off with a play fence or other obstruction.

Be sure to secure your Christmas tree to your ceiling or walls with fishing line or some sort of discrete string. This will help prevent Fido or Fluffy from tipping it over onto him/herself, or onto someone else.

Pine needles (real and artificial) can seriously injure your pet if they are ingested. Keep your pet away from the water for your live Christmas tree as they may be getting a dose of tree fertilizer or other harmful chemicals with their drink. 

Do not put aspirin, sugar or anything else in the water at the base of your tree if you have pets. Some of these additives can be extremely toxic for pets.

Secure any electrical cords for holiday lights so your pets can’t get to them. Some pets like to use them as chew toys, and that can lead to a shocking experience!

Christmas lights can get extremely hot, giving your dog or cat a bad little burn if they venture over to sniff or touch them.

Finally – remember that if any pet emergencies arise during this holiday season, AZPetVet is always ready and willing to help out. Happy Holidays to all!

Keep this number handy: Pet Poison Control Hotline: (888) 426-4435

Emergencies Happen – Are You Prepared?

emergency preparedness, emergency planning, disaster planningEmergency situations can arise at any time, and nobody is immune. This is why it’s so important to have a plan in place for your family and your pets.

Aside from children and the elderly, pets are our most vulnerable family members, and they are completely dependent on us to keep them safe. Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to look at ways you can prepare for emergencies and natural disasters.

We’ve all seen the heartbreaking images from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The devastation is unimaginable. Many have also seen the reports of pets left to fend for themselves or lost in the flood waters, which is distressing for everyone. Advance planning can take much of the worry out of disaster preparedness.

Ready.gov has some helpful resources:

Get Informed

  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
  • Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Make a Plan

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
    • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
    • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
    • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

 

Heat Stroke in Pets: Know the Warning Signs

heat strokeHeat stroke, or hyperthermia, is a real danger for pets and people. Hyperthermia occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously above normal (103°F), putting them in danger of multiple organ failure or death. Early recognition and treatment of heat stroke improves your pet’s chances of making a quick recovery.

SYMPTOMS

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reddened gums
  • Reduced urine production
  • Rapid/irregular heart rate
  • Vomiting blood/ black, tarry stools
  • Changes in mental status (ie, confusion)
  • Seizures/muscle tremors
  • Wobbly, uncoordinated/drunken gait or movement
  • Unconsciousness / Cardiopulmonary Arrest (heart and breathing stop)

TREATMENT: At the first sign of overheating, it’s important to take steps to gradually cool your pet down. Do NOT use ice or extremely cold water as it can cause shock and other undesirable reactions. Spray your pet with cool water or wrap them in cool, wet towels and use a fan for convection cooling.  Evaporative cooling can also be used by swabbing isopropyl alcohol on foot pads, groin, and under the forelegs. When their temperature reaches 103° F, stop cooling to avoid dropping below normal body temperature, then seek veterinary care.