Halloween is just around the corner and many children will walk into strange homes, expecting candy. What they should also expect is that many of these homes will contain pets that are not prepared to see people dressed in strange costumes. Halloween is a high risk holiday for dog bites and pet emergencies.
There are several things about Halloween that makes it more pet-unfriendly than other holidays. For one thing, most neighborhood homes will see plenty of little visitors out trick-or-treating on Halloween evening. They will be dressed in costumes that may seem strange to pets. Any dog that’s scared, stressed or anxious is at a high risk of biting or escaping through an open door. Even if your pet is usually very social and enjoys visitors, the non-stop doorbell ringing and opening of the door may be too much, even for the most social of pets!
Keep your kids safe:
Children who are out trick-or-treating must be taught to avoid unnecessary contact with dogs. Avoid eye contact with any dog. In fact, it’s best not to have much contact even with your own pet dog while in costume. According PawNation.com, dogs recognize both sight and smell, and may be confused by the familiar smell of an owner in a strange costume.
Teach your child not to try to pet strange dogs.
If your children are planning to visit homes of people you know, call them and inform them beforehand so they can arrange to have their pets confined safely.
Keep your pets safe:
People who have pets will want to take special precautions for Halloween. It’s best to confine your pet in a room during the evening. Dogs can get excited when they are near doors and gates. Open doors also provide a quick escape route for a scared cat.
Do not allow trick or treaters to feed your pets any kind of treat. Halloween can be a dangerous time for pets to be ingesting items that can make them ill.
Be sure your pets are wearing a collar and ID tags so they can be returned home safely in the event they do manage to escape during the night’s festivities.
Keep your kids and furr-kids safe this Halloween!
October 14-20 is National Veterinary Technician Week so I thought it would be a good time to celebrate the technicians and all they do at Allentown Animal Clinic and at other hospitals around the country.
Veterinary technicians are a key component to our practice and the care that your beloved pets receive at every visit! In most cases you will interact with your technician more than any other member of the veterinary staff.
On any given day, veterinary technicians are needed to take an accurate and informative patient history, fill prescriptions,restrain animals so the doctor can do a thorough exam, draw blood, place IV catheters, run lab work, take radiographs, anesthetize an animal and monitor them under anesthesia, perform dental cleanings, provide nursing care and assist in surgery.
The job of a veterinary technician can be physically demanding at times but if you ask any technician why they chose the profession the answer is almost always the same. They chose it because they love animals! They are the people caring for your animal while it’s in our practice. They are the educators that will discuss topics such as flea and heartworm prevention, nutrition, and behavior at your appointments. They keep veterinary clinics running smooth and efficiently.
The theme of this year’s celebration is that these folks are “T.E.C.H. savvy”, with the acronym standing for Technicians, Educators, Caregivers and Healers. This could not be more truthful; without these vet care professionals aiding and assisting our vets, pets would not receive the high quality care that they need and deserve.
We would like to thank our vet techs as well as the countless others that chose this profession!
It’s that time of year again! Time to put on silly costumes, put out spooky decorations, and fill buckets with lots of yummy treats! Halloween can be alot of fun…but can also be a real nightmare for your pets! Keep these safety tips in mind to avoid potential disaster.
Those buckets of yummy treats are not good for us…but even worse for Fluffy! Chocolate, raisins, and artificial sweeteners can be dangerous for pets! If you do suspect your pet may have ingested any of these contact your veterinarian immediately.
While a flickering jack-o-lantern looks great on the porch and those spooky spiderwebs can make your house the scariest on the block they can be a potential disaster. Beware of curious pets that may burn themselves on the candles…or worse yet knock one over and start a fire! Artificial spiderwebs can be eaten, causing intestinal upset and potential blockages.
Sure, all the neighbors will “ooh and aah” over that dachschund dressed up as a hot dog or that kitty with the halo and wings but if you are going to dress your pet up in a costume make sure it’s safe. Be sure your pet can move freely and that breathing and vision are not obstructed in any way. Be sure the costume is free of dangling pieces and potential choking hazards.
To Trick-or-Treat, or Not?
Even if your pets are normally sociable and may enjoy visitors, too many strangers coming to the house in a short time may cause unnecessary stress. Also, a scared pet may be more likely to dart out of the door. Consider keeping your pets in a quiet bedroom until trick-or-treat is over.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Fall is my most favorite time of year! The weather is cooler and it’s a great time to get outdoors and spend some time with my pets! September 28 is World Rabies Day, sponsored by The Global Alliance for Rabies Control, and October celebrates National Pet Wellness Month so it’s also a great time of year to evaluate Fido and Fluffy’s wellness protocol. It’s a great time, if you haven’t already, to schedule that exam that’s overdue or talk to your veterinarian about a diet and exercise plan to slim Fido down.
Our pet’s age faster than us…5-7 times faster than us! Missing one wellness exam for our pets is like us not seeing the doctor for 5 years! Most veterinarians recommend wellness exams at least once a year, and twice yearly for pets in their golden years. During your pet’s wellness exam your veterinarian will do a thorough examination of Fido’s general body condition, hair, skin, nails, eyes, ears, heart and lungs. If any changes are noted, diagnostic testing such as blood work and x-rays may be recommended to further assess the disease process and aging patterns. This is also a great time to evaluate the vaccine protocol for your pet as well. No vaccine protocol fits all pets. Your veterinarian will take into consideration the lifestyle, environment, and health status of your pet to determine the best vaccine protocol for him!
Some things your veterinarian may recommend at a wellness exam include:
Wellness Bloodwork: Allows your veterinarian to assess organ function and will serve as a baseline as your pet ages. This allows your veterinarian to catch gradual changes and address any issues before they cause serious damage to your pet’s health.
Vaccines: Your veterinarian will determine what vaccines your pet needs based on his/her age and lifestyle.
Preventatives: Flea and tick preventatives to prevent parasite infestation as well as vector-borne illnesses. Heartworm prevention to prevent to heartworm disease–a blood parasite that is often fatal.
Your veterinarian will also ask about any changes you may have noticed in your pet’s behavior and habits. This information helps to detect any early signs of aging and illness.
Celebrate October and Pet Wellness Month by scheduling a wellness exam for your pet!