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Fall Pet Safety Prevention that Deserves Your Attention

 

Don’t let your pet “fall” into some of the most common safety hazards we see this time of year. Fall may be the most beautiful season to some, but there are unique risk factors you can prepare for. If you’re anything like most people, you breathe easier this time of year. 

We want to help keep autumn a delight for you and your family with a quick reminder of some pet safety tips.

1. Mushrooms Are a Must-Avoid

As mushrooms pop up all over our backyards and walking trails, it’s important to steer clear of these less-than-fun fungi. Dogs and cats get curious about mushrooms from time to time, but they can get extremely sick or even die if they eat the wrong mushroom. 

Know where mushrooms grow in your backyard and remove them. Don’t let your dog or cat play unattended anywhere near mushrooms and supervise your dog on walks.

2. Keep that Antifreeze Locked Away and Clean Up Any Drips

Antifreeze poisoning or ethylene glycol poisoning happens more than many pet parents realize. And this poison acts quickly. Within 12 hours for cats and 24 hours for dogs, a pet that laps up a little antifreeze can suffer kidney failure.

While dogs are attracted to the sweet scent of this poison, cats often walk through drips and get sick from grooming their paws after. 

So, wipe up even the tiniest spills (a drip the size of a quarter can do irreparable damage to a cat or dog). Keep all antifreeze containers sealed and out of reach of your pet. 

3. Decor Galore! Pet-Friendly Reminder that Decorations Can Be Dangerous

Decorating for fall holidays punctuates the excitement of the season, but many everyday decorations can do damage to your pets. 

Skip the edible decor. Strings of popcorn, corn cobs, and gourds can tempt dogs. And when a dog falls for these temptations, it’s not pretty. From diarrhea to surgery to remove string, it’s easier to just skip the edible decor.

And cats will be cats. Feisty felines will happily knock off glass and ceramic pumpkins, get themselves tangled in a string of lights, and even bite electric cords.

As you add spice to your home decor, keep your pets in mind and aim for safe rather than sorry.

4. Creepy Crawlies

As the mercury drops, we spend more time outdoors: raking leaves, enjoying the fall colors, and enjoying a hot cup of tea on the porch. Letting your dog out to play is great for mental and physical stimulation, just make sure you protect her from creepy crawlies.

Protect Your Pet from Fall Pests By

- Bagging leaves (rodents that carry fleas and ticks love leaf piles)
- Remove debris from near the house. This will help prevent spider bites.
- Keep your screens sealed. Bugs will try to make their way indoors as temperatures drop.
- Keep your dog or cat on flea and tick prevention.

5. Don’t Let Your Pet Catch a Chill

While the cool autumn air feels amazing, dogs and cats can still suffer from hypothermia this time of year. Make sure your dog or cat has access to plenty of water while outside and take breaks on hikes with your pup.

If your dog or cat is enjoying the backyard, be sure to check on them frequently and bring them inside after a while. Even though our pets have coats, they need shelter to help regain their warmth. If your pet is shivering, she’s too cold.

Remember that senior pets and young pets have a tougher time regulating their body temperatures.

6. Opt for Natural Rodent Remedies

Rodenticides can kill your pets. While rats, mice, and bats don’t make the best roommates, the chemicals used to poison them can cause permanent damage or death to your pets.

Try trapping instead of poisoning. And keep those traps far from where your dog or cat will find them.

Happy Fall from Our Practice to You and Your Furry Family

Enjoy the love, memories, and unbeatable adventures that arrive with the autumn breeze with your pets. Keep your pets safe and prevent accidents before they happen. If you need to refill your pets’ flea and tick prevention prescription, give us a call.

We hope your fall is filled with friends, family, and more treats than tricks!

 

Image credit: Pexels / Jb Jorge Barreto

Happy National Immunization Awareness Month!

National Immunization Month

August is here, bringing plenty of sunshine and joy. Do you know what else August provides pet parents? A chance to take a moment and meditate on your dog’s health. That’s right! August is National Immunization Awareness Month, or as we like to think of it: “National Protect Your Pets and Help Them Live a Long and Happy Life Month” - but that’s a bit of a mouthful!

You may think this is an odd occasion to celebrate, but we hope this article will change your mind.

How often do you think about the importance of immunizations? Vaccines are the unsung heroes of your pet’s health and of modern veterinarian medicine.

Immunizations, Protecting Pets and Their People Since 1885

Did you know that we have rabies to thank for the pre-exposure immunization process doctors, pharmacists, and of course, vets use every day to save millions of lives? When a nine-year-old boy contracted rabies from an infected dog, Louis Pasteur jumped into action and gave the boy a diluted dose of the virus. After a series of 13 inoculations, the boy lived! Thank you, Louis Pasteur!

It is amazing how immunizations help the body’s immune system protect itself.

Yet More Reasons to Celebrate Immunization Today

Vaccines save lives and make our pets’ lives better. From heartworms to distemper, vaccines let our pets live long, happy lives, and give us more opportunities to make unforgettable memories with them. They keep our pets healthy and strong.

Immunizations also keep us safe from zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

What Would Life Be Like Without Pet Vaccinations?

Our pets have become a part of our families, and without vaccines for zoonotic diseases, we may not be able to snuggle our furry friends as closely as we do. It’s hard to even imagine how frightening it would be to not know if your dog or cat could possibly be carrying rabies or leptospirosis.

While spending quality time with our pets is important, it’s easy to forget how immunizations also improve our pets’ quality of life. Immunizations prevent illnesses that can kill dogs and cats like distemper and parvovirus.

Immunizations are Paw-sitively Astounding!

Immunizations don’t just prevent death, they prevent pain and suffering.

Let’s take a quick look at distemper as an example. Puppies receive distemper vaccines as soon as they’re old enough. Why? We don’t want our most vulnerable babies to have to suffer with or spread this serious and contagious disease.

The distemper virus attacks the nervous system which leads to repetitive and uncontrollable movements like circling and head tilting. As the virus becomes more and more serious, it causes seizures, paralysis, vomiting, and often death.

There is no cure for distemper. Luckily, we can protect dogs and puppies easily with a series of easy to administer vaccinations.

We won’t break your heart with any other sad scenarios, but it does make you thankful for modern veterinary medicine, right?

There is no doubt that vaccinations are important. They are more than just important, though. Simple vaccinations offer the best protection to help your pets live long and happy lives.

Core Vaccinations

For Dogs

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Rabies

For Cats

  • Feline panleukopenia (often called Feline distemper)
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus type I
  • Rabies

Non-Core Immunizations

For Dogs

  • Bordetella
  • Borrelia (causes Lyme disease)
  • Leptospirosis

For Cats

  • FELV

Remember that vaccinations are most effective when:

  • Administered to puppies and kittens before they are exposed to possible illness.
  • Administered at the correct intervals. Remember to avoid gaps to keep your pet protected.

Vaccines also prevent illness which is easier and less costly than treating it. They also give pet parents peace of mind knowing their pet won’t contract a contagious disease from wildlife.

Final Thoughts for Summertime Immunization

If you’re planning on enjoying some dog park fun don’t skip your pup’s canine influenza vaccine. Dog flu spreads quickly and easily. All it takes is a sneeze, sharing toys, even sharing a water bowl to spread dog flu. Dogs that get the flu remain contagious for 26 days and 25% infected with the flu show no symptoms but continue to spread the virus.

Dog flu can slow your pup down and make her feel miserable with lethargy, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Don’t Let Your Cat Catch A Nasty Illness

Cat parents are more likely to skip bringing their cats in than dog parents. In fact, only 50% of cat owners bring their feline friends into their vet each year according to the AVMA. Don’t wait for your kitty to get sick before bringing her in. We can help keep her happy and healthy with a few simple vaccinations.

So, Happy National Immunization Awareness Month! We hope that you will celebrate your pet’s good health and take a moment to check and make sure your pet’s immunizations are up-to-date. If you’re unsure, give us a call and we will gladly check our records.

 

 

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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