Seasonal Pet Safety Tips

Seasonal Pet Safety Tips

Seasonal Pet Safety Tips

Seasonal Pet Safety Tips

Our goal is to help keep your pets happy and healthy year-round! As the holidays approach, there are essential hazards to avoid and helpful information our veterinarians have put together.

Below are some helpful resources to keep your pets safe this holiday season!

Holiday Pet Safety Tips by Dr. Weaver, veterinarian at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care.

To read Dr. Weavers entire article, click here

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Including pets in seasonal festivities is trendy and fun. At our house, each pet has their paw print on a stocking, which we stuff with toys and chews on Christmas morning! If they're lucky, they get other presents like a new collar or bed. We've also received adorable holiday cards starring beloved pets. For example, last year, we received a card with the family Boxer dressed as an elf and another with the whole family in Santa hats, including their Golden Retrievers! The possibilities are endless!

Rockin' around the Christmas tree or Menorah

The Christmas tree presents several avoidable hazards to pets, so here are a few tips:

  • Ensure the tree is well anchored so it cannot be pulled or knocked over by a climbing cat or rambunctious dog.

  • Keep the power cords protected from cord-chewing pets.

  • Hang ornaments that resemble toys out of reach.

  • Avoid loose tinsel or ribbon that can be eaten and cause a linear foreign body.

  • Consider putting strung popcorn up high or leaving it off altogether.

  • A lit Menorah is a fire hazard; ensure your pets can't knock it over.

Deck the halls with toxic holiday plants? Three of the most common holiday plants can be toxic to pets.

1) Holly
If enough holly is ingested, it can cause an upset stomach and symptoms similar to a caffeine overdose. Fortunately, holly isn't very tasty, so toxicity is uncommon.

2) Mistletoe
Mistletoe can cause upset stomach and cardiovascular signs if a substantial amount is consumed.

3) Poinsettia
Poinsettia can cause drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea if enough is eaten.

Holiday Food Dangers

  • Chocolate is very toxic to dogs. However, the size of the dog and the darkness of the chocolate determine whether or not it will cause a severe problem. For example, dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate and a Chihuahua is more likely to be symptomatic than a Saint Bernard.

  • Raisins can be toxic to dogs and cause acute kidney failure.

Hot Weather Tips for Pets

Hot weather poses a potential danger to your pets. Keep reading for warm weather tips and general guidelines, information on heat stroke, and even suggestions for keeping your small mammal pets (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc) cool in the summer time.

General Guidelines

  • If possible, keep your pets indoors with the shades drawn and the air conditioning or an oscillating fan on.

  • If your pet has to stay outside make sure they have access to cool and shaded areas.

  • Whether they are indoors or outside, make sure your pet has access to plenty of cool, fresh water. You can even try putting ice cubes in their bowls to keep the water extra cool.

  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around pools. Not all pets are water savvy and even experienced swimmers can get tired and have trouble getting out of a pool.

  • Keep long, thick fur trimmed in a lightweight summer cut.

  • Only take your dog on a walk early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler. Not only can exercise in extreme heat cause heat stoke but the hot asphalt can burn sensitive paw pads.

  • Avoid strenuous exercise or play in general in the hot weather; don't go on long hikes or lengthy walks.

  • NEVER leave your pet in the car! Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a veterinary emergency! If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke get them to a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!

  • Excessive panting

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Increased heart and respiratory rate

  • Drooling

  • Weakness, stupor, and possible collapse

  • Seizures

  • Bloody diarrhea

  • Vomiting

Flat nosed breeds such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Persians are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. Other pets at high risk include the elderly, overweight pets, and pets with heart or lung disease.

If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, get them to a vet immediately. In the interim you can try to cool them off by dousing them with cool (but NOT cold or ice cold water) especially on the groin, arm pits, and paws. You do not want to soak them completely with cold water. This can cause shock and can also cause the blood vessels to constrict, thereby trapping heat inside the body.

Tips for Keeping Small Mammal Pets Cool

  • Place a large, ceramic tile in the freezer or refridgerator overnight, then place inside the pet's cage. Make sure to cover the sharp edges so your pet won't get cut. You can purchase tiles at most hardware stores for fairly cheap.

  • Make sure they have access to full, fresh water bottles.

  • Place a cold, damp (not soaking wet) towel in one part of their cage, insuring your pet still has warm, dry spots in their habitat. You can also drape the towel on the outside of the cage, over one side to create a cool, shaded shelter.

  • Keep their cages indoors and out of direct sunlight.

  • Place frozen water bottles wrapped in towels in their cage for pets to lean against. Secure them so they do not have the chance to roll over.

  • Use an oscillating fan near their cage. This way the fan is not constantly blowing directly on your pocket pet but is still providing cool air flow.

  • Feed them frozen fruit and refrigerated veggies.

  • Mist rabbit ears lightly with water to help them regulate their temperature.

The House Rabbit Society has an informative page on rabbits and heat exhaustion with useful tips that can be applied towards other pocket pets as well.

By taking the proper precautions and following a few simple guidelines we can enjoy all the fun the season brings and keep our pets healthy and safe. It doesn't take much to make sure our furry friends are comfortable and cool in the heat.

Heat Stroke

By Stefanie Wong, DVM

What is heat stroke?
With the impending transition from spring to summer, temps climb into the 80s and 90s and sunny blue skies are the norm. Although you and I can change into shorts and tshirts, our pets often have a harder time coping with the warm weather. Did you know that pets, unlike humans, cannot sweat? To make matters worse, they’re covered with a dense fur coat designed for trapping heat. The primary (and for the most part, only) way they can release heat and cool themselves down is by panting. Unfortunately, sometimes panting doesn’t work as well as it should. When this happens, their internal body temperature can skyrocket, resulting in a condition called heat stroke.

Normal body temperature in dogs and cats runs from 99.5F – 102.5F. With heat stroke, we can see temperatures of 104 and higher. Once temperatures reach 106 and higher, organ damage can result and the need arises for aggressive treatment and hospitalization.
What should I look for?
Excessive panting and restlessness is the first sign of heat stroke. As it progresses, pets will start to salivate excessively. Most will go into shock - they may start to have vomiting, diarrhea and become weak or unsteady on their feet; their gum color is often brick red.

What should I do?
Heat stroke is a serious veterinary emergency. Take these initial steps at home then bring your pet to a veterinarian, ASAP:

  • Move your pet to a cool/shaded spot

  • Using a garden hose, buckets of water or bathtub, wet them down

  • *Do NOT use ice or cold water (this can actually make it worse)

  • Offer your pet water, but do not force them to drink if they do not want to

  • On the way to the hospital, turn all the air vents to your pet, with the fan turned all the way up

How does heat stroke start?
The following situations are very common when an animal comes in with heat stroke:

  • Weekend warrior type strenuous exercise on a hot day

  • Left outside on a hot day with no access to shade

  • Left in a car (doesn’t matter if the windows are rolled down or not, can even be seen with mild temperatures like 70F)

  • The temperature inside a car can rise quickly if exposed to direct sunlight (in one study, temperatures inside cars rose 40 degrees over the course of 1 hour!)

  • Brachycephalic (smush-faced dogs) such as pugs, Boston Terriers, etc. as well as dogs that are obese, have respiratory disease (ie. laryngeal paralysis) and are geriatric are at higher risk for developing heat stroke

Heat stroke is an entirely preventable disease!

  • Especially if your pet is at higher risk (see the above list), keep them indoors in an air-conditioned environment during the hottest part of the day

  • On hot days, save the longer walks/higher activity for the early mornings and late evenings

  • If your pet is going to be outside in the backyard, make sure there’s a shaded area for them to escape the heat and plenty of cool water for them to drink

  • Do not leave your pet in the car, even if it’s for a short errand

Water Safety

By Stefanie Wong, DVM

With climbing temperatures and sunny days already upon us, summer is right around the corner. In order to cool off, people and pets alike can be found jumping into pools, lakes and oceans. Swimming is great exercise for pets – it’s something that we highly recommend especially for furry friends with arthritis or joint issues, as it doesn’t require weight bearing. It’s important to be aware that even the most adept and enthusiastic of swimmers can run into problems – here we review the most important things to be aware of when swimming.

Although some dogs will pick up swimming naturally, it’s important to know that not all dogs are natural swimmers. There will be many dog breeds that will probably never be comfortable or happy swimming, such as French and English Bulldogs and other flat nosed breeds. If it’s your pet’s first time, it’s important to introduce them slowly and gradually to water. Keep each session short and start off with a body of calm, shallow water where they can gradually wade in to a level where they feel comfortable.

Always supervise your pet when swimming. Pets will eventually get tired and may not realize that they can only easily exit from one side of the pool. Older pets that were strong swimmers when they were younger will get tired more easily and may not realize their limits.

When boating or if you are not confident in your pet’s swimming ability, have them wear a canine life vest. Often these have handles that allow you to pull the dog up and out of the water if they are unable to get out themselves.

After each swimming session, be sure to clean out your pet’s ears. Too much water or moisture after a swimming session can predispose them to ear infections.

It’s important to be aware of the following risks so your pet stays safe:
Leptospirosis: Wild animals (ie. deer, raccoons, and skunks) can urinate into water sources such as rivers, lakes or streams. If that particular wild animal happens to be carrying a disease called Leptospirosis and your pet ingests the same water they urinated into, your pet can get very sick. Leptospirosis is a bacteria that can cause kidney and/or liver failure. There is a vaccine available for this. For more information please click here.

Blue-green algae: Just this year, Lake Chabot has had several cases of blue-green algae poisoning, which has called fatalities in dogs. Blue-green algae can cause liver failure and neurotoxicity. It is a rapidly progressive and often fatal toxin - we strongly recommend avoiding contact with water that is questionable.

Currents and tides can sweep your pet out to sea, be sure to check for riptides and survey the water before allowing your pet in.

Hypernatremia: When playing in or near the ocean, if your pet ingests too much salt water they can get salt toxicity or hypernatremia. If you see your pet drinking the ocean water, be sure to call them away and have them drink fresh water you’ve brought along instead. Hypernatremia can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and severe brain swelling if untreated.

Swimming is great way to cool off and enjoy summer. If you take into account and prepare for the above, then it can be safe too!

Beach Safety

By Nikki Smith and Erin Selby

Summer is a great time to take your dog to the beach. We are lucky to live close to so many dog-friendly parks in the East Bay. Some staff favorites are Point Isobel, Muir Beach, Del Valle, Ocean Beach, and Crissy Field. The best way to enjoy the beach with your dog is to be prepared and follow these safety tips:

  • Be mindful of your dog when playing in the water. Make sure your dog can swim. For more on how to teach your dog to swim, go here. Even water savvy dogs can become tired or become caught in a tide or an undertow. Consider investing in a special canine life jacket. Practice common sense and caution when your dog is playing in the waves.

  • Supervise your dog at all times. It is a joy to watch them run around in nature but be aware of your surroundings. Dogs can fall off rocks or trails or injure themselves. Beaches frequently have hazardous objects or strange materials around so it is important to keep an eye on your dog at all times to keep them from ingesting anything foreign or cutting themselves. Never leave them alone.

  • Come prepared. Bring a first aid kit, a leash, treats, and bottled water with a portable water bowl. Pack extra towels and a blanket to dry off your dog and to protect your car for the ride home. Even if you are visiting an off-leash beach it is always a good idea to have a leash on hand. It's best to keep your pet protected and under control when necessary. Keep your dog’s collar and current ID on at all times. Bring plastic bags for cleaning up after your dog.

  • Salt water is a bad for dogs because it can cause them to vomit/regurgitate or have diarrhea if too much is ingested.If you see your dog drinking salt water, stop them and offer them some fresh water from a portable water bowl.

  • Dogs may get car sick so cover your car seats with plastic bags and cover plastic bags with towels or blankets for comfort. Consider talking to your veterinarian about an anti-nausea medication.

  • It is common for pets to be sore after a day of heavy activity, especially senior or overweight pets. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not anti-inflammatory medication is appropriate for your pet and if the pain continues after a few days please call us to schedule an examination with your veterinarian.

  • Apply a flea and tick preventative such as Frontline Plus (ticks are a higher risk closer to the coast and in the tall grasses) at least 3 to 4 days before you head off to the beach.

  • Make sure your pet's vaccines are up to date. Don't let your dog chase or harass the wildlife. This is for your dog's safety as well as the wildlife's.

Outdoor Activities, Hiking & Camping

Make sure your dog is in good health before going on a camping or hiking trip. It is a good idea to bring a copy of your pet's medical records when you go camping in case of any accidents. It will also be helpful to have on hand to put other campers at ease with proof that your dog is up to date on all their vaccines. Protect your pet by applying flea and tick preventative prior to leaving for your trip to avoid infestation. Always make sure your pet has a current ID tag and collar on, as well as a registered microchip. Don’t forget to pack plastic baggies for bathroom breaks, portable water bowls, and a pet first aid kit.


By Stefanie Wong, DVM

Every day in the summer we remove foxtails, a weed rampant in California with seeds that look like a fox's tail. The tip of each seed has barbs, allowing it to move only deeper into your pet's eyes, ears, nose, feet, genitals, and coat. Foxtails cause a lot of discomfort to dogs and cats and can even migrate internally, potentially causing organ damage and severe illness. Check your dog's feet and coat for foxtails after a hike. If you think your dog or cat has a foxtail that you cannot remove at home, take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible to reduce the risk of the foxtail migrating deeper.

What’s so bad about them?
The foxtail is designed by nature to embed itself in the soil. Like a fishhook, the foxtail very easily makes its way in and is designed to never back out – foxtails need to be manually removed. If left to their own devices, foxtails will continue to advance forward and bury themselves deeper and deeper in tissues. We have seen foxtails travel so far that they embed themselves within the lungs or spinal cord, which can be life threatening.

What are the signs of a foxtail?
Pets will get these foxtails stuck in several spots:

  • Paws: If your pet starts limping, licking its paw constantly and develops a red fluid-filled bump in between its toes or somewhere in his/her paw, we recommend exploring it for a foxtail.

  • Nose: If you see sudden severe sneezing, then a foxtail may have worked its way up your dog’s nose. Unfortunately, it’s very rare that they will sneeze it out on their own. The sneezing can be so severe that they will start sneezing blood.

  • Ears: If your pet gets a foxtail in the ear, often they are very painful. They will suddenly hold their head to the side, cry out, shake their head and scratch at the ear. Often these are embedded deep in the ear canal, so you cannot see them just by looking at their ear. We need to look using an otoscope.

  • Mouth: This occurs especially if your dog likes to chew on long grasses; if they suddenly start hacking like they’re trying to get something up and repeatedly swallowing we may need to perform a sedated oral exam to make sure there isn’t a foxtail stuck in the back of their throat.

  • Eyes: If your pet starts suddenly squinting with severe swelling of the eye and green or yellow discharge, they may have a foxtail stuck in their eye – often it rubs on the surface of the eye creating an ulcer or superficial scratch over the cornea.

  • Skin: If you start to notice a rapidly growing fluid-filled swelling on your pet’s skin it may be an abscess (or pocket of infection) forming around a foxtail.

How do we get them out?
If we have a high suspicion for a foxtail, we may recommend sedation for your pet in order to perform a thorough search. Foxtails can be deeply embedded in tissues and can be a challenge to find and remove. Removal requires that your pet stay absolutely still – if they move suddenly we risk hurting them and the foxtail can move even deeper into the tissues and potentially out of reach.

How do I prevent this from happening?

  • Steer clear of tall grasses while hiking – do not let your pets run through them, chew on them or even sniff around them.

  • Right after you finish a hike, check your pet’s paws and coat for foxtails – if you catch them early while they’re still in your pet’s coat you can prevent them from becoming embedded.

  • Clear out foxtails, weeds or tall grasses from your backyard.

  • Keep your pet’s coat closely trimmed during the summer and fall so that foxtails are easier to spot on their coat and can be removed.

  • If your pet continually gets into foxtails, some pet owners have purchased these face masks at


By Kristel Weaver, DVM, MPVM

About rattlesnakes
Rattlesnakes are most frequently encountered between April and October and are most active in the spring when they come out of hibernation. They are not overly aggressive towards dogs or people, but will strike out when provoked as a defense mechanism. In Northern California we have one type of rattlesnake, the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

What happens if my dog is bitten?
The site around the bite wound swells up quickly as the venom causes severe damage to skin, muscle, and nerves. Once the venom gets into the blood stream it can lead to problems with blood clotting and cause damage to internal organs. Rattlesnake bites can cause death. Approximately 20-25% of rattlesnake bites are “dry” which means that no venom is injected with the bite, but you can’t easily tell if your dog received a “dry” bite or one with venom.

Rattlesnake bites look like two parallel wounds that may or may not bleed. Dogs are most frequently bitten on their face, neck or extremities. Venomous snake bites can cause extreme pain, swelling, cell death (tissue necrosis), clotting problems, and infection. Often, many dogs we see that have been bitten by a rattlesnake end up being hospitalized for a day or two and on some form of morphine because of the extreme pain. If you think a rattlesnake has bitten your dog, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

The good news - a vaccine!
There is a vaccine for dogs against rattlesnake venom. The vaccine stimulates the dog’s immune system to make antibodies against the venom so that, if bitten, the dog will have a less severe reaction to the venom. Possible side effects from the vaccine include a lump at the site of vaccination that goes away after a few weeks, flu-like symptoms or an allergic reaction. The vaccine is not made specifically for the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, but is still thought to provide protection if bitten because of similarities between the venoms.

Should my dog get this vaccine?
This is NOT a core vaccine recommended for all dogs. This vaccine is recommended for dogs that may encounter a rattlesnake. For example dogs that have rattlesnakes in their yard/environment or dogs that go hiking, hunting, or camping are good candidates for this vaccine. The first year that a dog is vaccinated against rattlesnake venom it requires two vaccinations 3 to 4 weeks apart. After that first year, dogs get a booster once a year in the spring. The vaccine gives a dog’s immune system an enormous head-start in responding to and protecting a dog from the harmful effects of rattlesnake venom. However, it is still recommended that any dog bitten by a rattlesnake, even if vaccinated, be brought to a veterinary hospital immediately. Further treatment, although abbreviated and far less costly than would otherwise be needed if a dog weren’t already immunized, is still required for some dogs that have been bitten.

Tips to avoid rattlesnake bites:

  • Never wear sandals when walking in wild areas.

  • Keep your dog on a leash while hiking.

  • Do not allow your dog to explore holes or under logs.

  • Avoid tall grass, weeds or underbrush where the snakes may hide.

  • Step on large logs and rocks, not over them, to see what is on the other side.

  • Don’t grab “sticks” or “braches” floating in the water; rattlesnakes can swim.

  • Never hike alone, in case of an emergency.

  • Do not handle a freshly killed snake -- the fangs can still be venomous.

Poison Oak

Poison Oak is widespread in Northern California and not only is it possible for you to get Poison Oak from your dog, it is pretty common too!

Dogs are generally not susceptible to the oil urushiol that comes from Poison Oak. But if they run about in the grass, bush, and trees they can get the oil all over their coats - and then all over you! So here are a few tips to help prevent you getting Poison Oak from your best four-legged friend.

Be aware of your surroundings and do not let your dog off-leash in certain areas. If you think your dog has been exposed to Poison Oak the best thing to do is give them a bath with a degreasing soap. The oil is difficult to remove otherwise. Make sure to protect yourself with rubber gloves and long sleeves and pants. You may even want to wear protective goggles - the last thing you want is water with urushiol flung in your eyes. Run lots of cold water and use Dawn or another degreasing soap to thoroughly wash your dog's coat. Be mindful of getting soap in your dog's eyes. You will want to use lots of cold water for a long period of time to make sure you have removed the oils.

Snail Bait

By Frank Utchen, DVM

Snail bait is the most common poisoning agent of dogs in California. Warning signs of snail bait poisoning include anxious twitching that becomes uncontrollable, racing heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea and respiratory failure. The twitching progresses to seizures and potentially death. Seizures can raise a pet's body temperature so high that brain damage can occur.

First, realize that there are two main types of snail baits, and one is considered relatively safe for dogs. Look for the active ingredient and use the kind that contains 1% Iron Phosphate. This is relatively safe for dogs, because there is actually very little iron in the compound, and what there is, is poorly digested and absorbed by dogs, so most of it passes through them without incident. That being said, Iron Phosphate can still be toxic dogs if they ingest enough of it: a 40 lb dog would have to consume about 3 lbs of this bait to receive a lethal dose of iron, although vomiting, diarrhea can occur with as little as about 1/10 of that amount.

However, there are other brands of snail bait that contain an active ingredient called Metaldehyde. Metaldehyde causes muscle tremors that progress to convulsions. Dogs can easily die from this poison.

Signs of poisoning begin to quickly after ingestion:

  • Pets can exhibit racing heart rates, vomiting, diarrhea, and respiratory failure

  • Anxious twitching which becomes uncontrollable

  • Twitching progresses to seizures

  • Seizures can raise body temperature so high that brain damage can occur

Since snail bait is commonly sold in flavored pellets that resemble dog food it tends to attract dogs. Traces of snail bait can be ingested when licked off paws during a grooming session. Each spring when the snails come out, we see numerous dogs at our practice that have ingested Metaldehyde that require emergency treatment, including iv fluids, injections of anti-seizure medication, and a one- or two-day hospital stay. Recovery depends on how much poison was ingested and how quickly therapy was initiated as well as the general health of the pet.

Pet safe alternatives to toxic snail baits include Sluggo Slug & Snail Bait, handpicking, and copper barriers. Keep all potential poisons well out of reach of your pets.

Know the facts:

  • The toxic ingredient in snail bait is metaldehyde and can cause seizures in animals that can be fatal.

  • Snail bait is commonly sold in pellets that resemble dog food and have a flavor that attracts dogs.

  • Snail bait can be licked off paws during grooming.

  • It takes less than one teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight for snail bait to become toxic.

  • Pet-safe alternatives to snail bait include Sluggo Slug & Snail Bait, handpicking, and copper barriers

Parties & Barbecues

Do not leave your pet unsupervised by the pool or any other bodies of water. Even swim savvy pets can get tired and struggle to keep afloat. Better yet - get your dog a special life jacket!Avoid feeding your pet any human foods or scraps from the grill. Bones pose many dangers, including chocking and intestinal obstruction. Fatty, sugary, and greasy food can cause pancreatitis. This is a serious illness that often requires hospitalization. Keep alcohol out of reach. Alcohol is poisonous to pets and can cause severe stomach upset. Be especially aware of the grease trap on your grill - dogs love to lick it clean. Make sure you clean it out before they do!

Make sure your pet has a safe and secure room. This is especially important if you are having a party. This room should be off-limits to guests. Set it up so that it is quiet and escape proof with plenty of fresh water. Place their favorite things in the room such as toys and a bed. If the safe room is for a cat, make sure to place a litter box in the room. This should be a place for your pet to feel secure when things get noisy as the night goes on. Some people like to leave a TV or radio on to help counter act loud party noises or to provide familiar sounds for your pet if you are away.

If you are having guests over, remember to inform them that you have pets and to keep all doors and gates closed at all times. Make sure your pet has a collar with a current idea and is micropchipped! It is not uncommon for indoor kitties and dogs to be accidentally let out the door or gate when people have guests over for back yard cook outs. Current collars and a microchip give you that extra layer of protection and ups the odds of a missing pet returning to your loving arms. A microchip placement is a quick and easy procedure done with a technician - call us today to schedule!

Fourth of July Safety Tips

The Fourth of July is the perfect summer celebration - warm weather, a day off work, delicious barbecued food, plus friends, family, and fireworks! It's hard to find a more winning combination which is why it is not a surprise that the Fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many people; for our pets, however, it is a different story. All the excitement, activity, tempting foods, and loud noises can cause stress, sickness, and fear in our furry companions. Here are some tips on how to help your pet stay safe and stress-free on the Fourth of July.

  • Set your pet up in a safe and secure room. This is especially important if you are having a party. This room should be off-limits to guests. Set it up so that it is quiet and escape proof with plenty of fresh water. Place their favorite things in the room such as toys and a bed and if you have a cat, make sure to include a litter box. This should be a place for your pet to feel secure when things get noisy as the night goes on. Some people like to leave a TV or radio on to provide familiar sounds for their pet and to help drown out the noise of the fireworks.

  • One way to potentially counteract the anxiety a pet may feel during fireworks is to make sure you exercise them and tire them out just before the activities start. Take your dog to a park to run around (as long as it's not too hot) or for a swim in the pool. Use a laser pointer to encourage your kitty to play and run throughout the house. A tired pet is often more relaxed and may be less stressed by the loud noise of fireworks.

  • Speaking of fireworks, do not take your dog to a firework display or use street fireworks around them.

  • Make sure your pet has a collar with a current ID and is micropchipped! Many pets get scared during fireworks and end up running away. Every year, a large number of lost pets are reported on the Fourth of July. It is common for indoor cats and dogs to slip out an open door during a backyard barbecue or cookout. Collars with current ID tags and a microchip give you that extra layer of protection and ups the odds of a missing pet returning to your loving arms. Microchip placement is a quick and easy procedure done with a technician - call us today to schedule and give yourself peace of mind.

  • Beware of barbecue and party food for your pet! Dogs are especially inclined to want to eat people food. There are plenty of dangers that come from pets eating greasy, sugary, and fatty human food - including pancreatitis, a dangerous illness that can lead to several days of hospitalization. Bones present choking hazards as well as possible gastrointestinal obstruction. If you notice your pet acting lethargic and/or vomiting please call us right away. Some human food such as grapes, raisins, onions, alcohol, and anything containing xylitol are toxic to pets. Make sure you let your guests know they are not to feed table scraps to your pets. (Better yet, keep your pets in the aforementioned safe-room!)

  • Plan ahead and call your veterinarian this week if you are concerned about your pet's well being during fireworks. They may recommend a mild sedative. Talking with your vet ahead of time allows you to perform a trial run to make sure you know the correct dosage for your pet.

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