Blood transfusions are just as crucial for sick or injured animals as they are for people. Without a ready supply of donated blood, animals may die unnecessarily. Thanks to the generosity of donor ...View Article
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Top Ten Cold Weather Tips
Brrrr…it’s cold outside! The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.
1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
2. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
7. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
8. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.
9. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
10. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
Top Ten Tips for Safe Car Travel with your Pet
For some pet parents, a trip’s no fun if the four-legged members of the family can’t come. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your animal companions. With thoughtful preparation, you can ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.
Planning a road trip? Traveling with a pet involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off—especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip:
1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided carriers available. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. And P.S., it’s smart to get your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.
2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.
3. Your pet’s travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure. Don’t feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle—even if it is a long drive.
4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
5. What in your pet’s traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
6. Make sure your pet wears a collar with an ID tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number, and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (never choke!) collars, please.
7. Don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window. This can subject him to inner ear damage and lung infections, and he could be injured by flying objects.
8. Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings. While this generally isn’t a problem, it’s always smart to be on the safe side.
9. When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area he’s not used to could result in tummy upset for your pet.
10. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.
Top 10 Pet Poisons
· Medications for humans
It only takes four regular strength ibuprofen tablets to cause serious kidney problems in a 10lb dog. Just one extra strength acetaminophen pill can be deadly for a cat.
Only use flea and tick formulas made specifically for pets, follow the instructions carefully and be careful not to let your pet around any other chemicals used to kill ants, roaches or other insects.
· Veterinary Medicines
Read the labels carefully and follow the directions exactly as written. Don’t leave the
medication where a pet can get into it or be tempted to eat it. Keep in mind that a lot
pet medications now have flavoring added to appeal to the animal.
Following is a short list of the many plants and flowers that can be poisonous to your pet: Lilies, sago palms, rhododendrons, azaleas, Kalanchoes and scheffleras. The list is so extensive it is best not to allow your pet to ingest any flowers or plant leaves.
Rat and mice poisons and traps should only be used where your pets can’t get near them.
· Household Cleaners
Laundry soap, bleach, all cleaning agents and disinfectants should be stored where pets can’t come in contact with them.
The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Baking chocolate is especially bad. It only takes 2 ounces to cause serious problems in a 10 lb. dog.
· Assorted Chemicals
Antifreeze, paint thinner, pool treatments, ethylene glycol, drain cleaners, alcohols, petroleum based products, ice melting products, acids and gases should all be kept where pets can’t come in contact with them
· Physical Hazards
Anything that can cause an obstruction in a pet’s airway (choking hazards) or stomach or intestines should be out of reach. Bones, tape, papers, small toy parts are just a few of the many examples. If your pet has a tendency to chew on leashes or collars, keep them out of reach when not in use.
· Other Home Products
Glues, solvents, paints all need to be kept away from curious pets.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, call the Pet Poison Hotline or your Veterinarian immediately. The ASPCA has an animal poison control center that is available 24hr/365 days of the year.