Halloween Pet Safety Tips | Allentown Animal Clinic

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 a lot of fun…but can also be a real nightmare for your pets! Allentown Animal Clinic reminds you to keep these safety tips in mind to avoid potential disaster. 

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Avoid Treats

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.

Decorations

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.

Costumes

Sure, all the neighbors will “ooh and aah” over that dachshund 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.

Trick or Treat Safety for Pets and Kids

If you decide to let your pet enjoy the trick-or-treating festivities, please keep in mind some ways to keep your pets safe!

 

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!

Top Pet Tips for Fall

ImageKeep your furry friends healthy and happy this fall!

Ahhh! Fall is here! It’s the time of year for football, cool crisp air, beautiful fall leaves, and possibly a bit of snow! It’s a great time to get your pets outside! Dogs love a good romp in the freshly fallen leaves! Cats enjoy the midday sunshine as the days get shorter.

Keep your pets healthy and help them enjoy the season by following Allentown Animal Clinic’s fall pet tips!

Rat poison and other rodenticides

Fall is the time of year when mice, rats and other rodents scurry inside for warmth. Be careful when it comes to mouse traps and rodent poisons. Many poisons currently on the market can be very harmful to household pets. Talk to your veterinarian about safe pest control methods.

If your pets do get a hold of a rodent be sure to monitor closely for any signs of illness.

Fatten up!

As the temperatures drop, it can take more energy to stay warm. You may need to feed your pet a bit more to help compensate. Before you change your pet’s feeding, be sure to discuss with your veterinarian.

Antifreeze Toxicity

Some people start to winterize their vehicles when the fall weather hits. This includes changing fluids such as antifreeze, which can be deadly for pets. Just a teaspoon or two can kill a small dog or cat! Chemicals in antifreeze has a sweet smell that is very enticing to pets. It’s imperative to clean up any spills immediately and keep your pets out of the garage while working on your car.

Chocolate and hearty foods

Both fall and winter are big holiday season, where we tend to eat a lot more heavy foods and sweets. Make sure your pets don’t get into food that can make them sick. This includes chocolates, grapes, and raisins! Other foods that are too rich, and high in fat can cause stomach upset and some serious medical conditions.

 

Brought to you by Allentown Animal Clinic, and our friends at PHN.

Monsters inside WHO?! | Allentown Animal Clinic

ImageEver wonder why your vet asks you to bring a fecal sample to your pet’s wellness appointments?

Dogs and cats can have many parasites, both internal and external. Internal parasites are those which live in the various organs inside the pet’s body. Intestinal parasites are internal parasites that live in the small or large intestine. External parasites, such as fleas, ticks and mites, live on the outside of the body.

There are several intestinal parasites that can infect dogs and cats. Most commonly we see roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.

ROUNDWORMS:

Roundworms are a common intestinal parasite. They live in the pet’s intestines, consuming partially digested food.

Puppies can acquire roundworm from the placenta before they are born.

Pets may also be infected by swallowing roundworm eggs that contain larvae. Larvae hatch in the pet’s stomach and small intestine and migrate through muscle, liver, and lungs.

Female roundworms can produce 200,000 eggs in just one day. These eggs are protected by a hard shell, which enables them to exist in soil for years!

Roundworm eggs passed in one animal’s stool can be infectious to other pets.

Roundworm pose a health risk for humans, as well. Children, in particular, are at risk for significant health problems, should they be infected.

HOOKWORMS:

Pets can be infected with hookworms in four ways: orally, through the skin, through the mother’s placenta, and through the mother’s milk.

Hookworms use their hook-like mouth parts to attach to the lining of the intestinal wall.  A large number of hookworms can cause anemia.

Skin irritation and itching can be one  of the common signs of a heavily infested environment. Larvae can burrow into the skin and cause the pet a great deal of discomfort.

Hookworms do not infect humans internally, however, the larvae can burrow into human skin.

WHIPWORMS:

More commonly seen in dogs than cats, whipworms live in the cecum, the top part of the dog’s large intestine. Whipworm can be difficult to diagnose, since they have a tendency to shed less eggs than other species of intestinal parasites.

Infestations can cause mucousy stool and weight loss in pets.

TAPEWORMS:

Tapeworms can be transmitted by ingesting fleas, or my hunting and eating rodents and other wildlife that may be infected.

Tapeworms can be 4-6 inches in length within the pets intestines. Tapeworms, however, are most commonly diagnosed by seeing segments of the tapeworm in the pets stool or stuck to the fur near and around the anus.

Most of the parasites that infect our pets can be diagnosed with a microscopic evaluation of your pet’s feces.