5 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips in Milford, CT

It’s that time of year again! As you’re busy trimming the tree, planning the parties, and making the egg nog, we want to make sure your pet is safe from some of the potential holiday hazards. Consider the following five pet holiday safety tips from the team at Animal Clinic of Milford, and contact us if you have any questions. We hope you and your four-legged friend have a wonderful holiday and a prosperous new year!

Real Christmas Trees

Considering getting a real Christmas tree this year? Although having a real Christmas tree has its perks, it can also have some drawbacks if you have a pet. To a thirsty dog or cat, a bucket of Christmas tree water is just an oversized bowl of drinking water, but if that water contains any chemical preservatives, drinking it can be very dangerous. Another potential hazard are the pine needles, which are considered mildly toxic if ingested. So unless your pet is well trained to stay away from the tree or if the tree area is blocked off from your pet, it’s safer to opt for an artificial tree.

Holiday Plants

Unfortunately, real Christmas trees aren’t the only plants that can be hazardous to pets. Mistletoe, holly, and lilies are a few of the other seasonal plants on the “dangerous” list. If ingested, these plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought. To keep your pet safe from these toxic pets, keep them high and out of your pet’s reach, choose artificial plants instead, or simply choose a different, more pet-friendly decoration.

Tinsel and Garland

They’re shiny, they’re sparkly, and they make our trees beautiful, but that tinsel and garland might not be the best decoration choice if you have a curious pet—especially if that pet is a cat. Many cats are naturally drawn to stringy items like yarn and ribbons, so that tinsel and garland is likely going to attract Kitty, too. If ingested, these decorations can pose a choking or obstruction hazard, which may require surgery to correct. So if you have a curious pet, either avoid buying these decorations altogether or keep them high on your tree, where your pet can’t easily access them.

Holiday Foods

Tempted to share some of your holiday dinner with your four-legged friend? Before you do, consider the fact that some “people food” is actually toxic to pets. Some of the most common toxic foods to pets include chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, and the sugar substitute xylitol. If ingested, these foods can leave your pet feeling very sick or worse. Other potentially dangerous foods are those that are high in fat, such as sausage, bacon, and poultry skin. Avoid feeding your pet any of these foods to prevent sickness and weight gain.

Some of the non-toxic foods are apples and carrots (chopped in small pieces), cooked poultry (white meat with no bones or gravy), and green beans. Although these foods are safe and have several health benefits for your pet, make sure to limit the amount you give them. “Everything in moderation.”

With these tips, your pet can have a safe, happy holiday with you. However, if ever you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic substance or is otherwise in need of emergency care, call Animal Clinic of Milford at (203) 882-8311.

The Importance of Senior Pet Care

0004_wellness_animalclinicm

Pets age about seven times faster than humans, and for larger breeds, the rate is even faster. Once a pet reaches about 7 years of age, they are considered “seniors” in the pet world. Just as with humans, with age comes an increased risk for a number of conditions, such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, dental problems, and kidney disease. There are also many other things to consider when caring for a senior pet, such as diet changes, exercise, and preventive care.

If you have a pet that’s around 7 years of age, you might be wondering how often you should bring your senior pet to see a vet. Animal Clinic of Milford in Milford, CT recommends that you bring your senior pet in at least twice a year for a comprehensive wellness exam and at least once a year for blood work. This allows us to determine if there are any health issues that need to be addressed.

 

About the Senior Pet Visit

During your senior pet’s bi-annual exam at our clinic, we perform a full, nose-to-tail evaluation, just as we would for a younger pet. We also examine the internal systems with a check of the nervous and respiratory systems, blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. The results of these exams help us determine your pet’s health status and make any necessary treatment recommendations.

While the comprehensive physical exam allows us to detect symptomatic health conditions, oftentimes, an annual blood test allows us to detect conditions that may or may not have any physical symptoms. Also known as a senior blood panel, blood work for senior pets can show the presence of disease in its early stages. The sooner we catch an illness, the sooner we can treat it. The results of an annual senior blood test also lets us check your pet’s organ function.

Is Your Senior Pet Due for a Visit?

If your pet is due for their bi-annual wellness exam or annual blood test, we encourage you to schedule an appointment here at Animal Clinic of Milford in Milford, CT. We want your pet to enjoy their golden years, just as much as you do, so give us a call today!

 

Why Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

One of the most common questions that the Animal Clinic of Milford team hears from our clients is “why should I vaccinate my pet?” We understand why this question is asked. After all, pet vaccination is an ongoing concern that starts when your pet is very young and extends throughout their life. Pet owners want to know, is pet vaccination really necessary?

0013_random_milford_ad

The short answer is yes, pet vaccination is extremely important for your pet’s ongoing health.

What Happens When a Pet is Not Vaccinated?

When a pet owner chooses to not vaccinate their pet, or when they choose not to maintain a proper vaccination schedule, they put their pet as well as all animals (and sometimes people!) that their pet comes into contact with in danger!

In recent months, we have all heard about the ongoing outbreak of Canine Influenza, making this vaccine extremely important for all pets that come into contact with other animals. This disease can be easily spread to pets who are boarding, attending daycare, going to grooming visits, etc. It’s important to remember that even if the pet that is going to these activities is protected, they can also bring the disease home to pets that are not completely protected.

When a sick pet or unvaccinated pet spends time in a public place where other animals congregate, they are putting themselves and everyone else at risk!

How to Maintain a Vaccination Schedule

At the Animal Clinic of Milford, we recommend maintaining your pet’s vaccination schedule to ensure that they are never unprotected for any period of time. We can work closely with you to determine which vaccines are necessary for your pet, depending on their lifestyle, activities, hang-out spots, and more. Our team makes every effort to ensure that each pet is protected at all times…not just when they’re planning on going someplace new.

We invite you to call us today to schedule your pet’s next appointment. Remember, maintaining your pet’s vaccines and preventative schedule is the BEST way to keep them safe and healthy for life.