How to Protect Your Pet During the Winter
Winter can be a dangerous time of year for all pets. Especially pets that are kept outdoors. Temperatures drop to below freezing and dangerous chemicals can harm or even kill pets. Everybody loves their pets and wants to keep them safe and comfortable so, here are a few helpful tips to protect your pets during the winter months.
Keep Pets Warm
Frostbite and hypothermia can be deadly for your furry friends and can happen quicker than you think. According to The Washington Post, anything below 25 degrees Fahrenheit can be life-threatening to a small, short-haired dog. Make sure to put a sweater on your pup when going outside below these temperatures and keep walks short.
If you have an outdoor pet, bring them in if temperatures drop below freezing. A safe rule to go by is "If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them." For the rest of the winter days, provide an outdoor shelter and lay hay inside to add insulation. Also, provide a heated water dish, so their water does not freeze over.
Give Your Pet Plenty of Food and Water
When it is cold outside, our bodies burn more calories to keep us warm. The same thing happens with our pets. Feed your pet slightly more food during the winter months, particularly if your pet is an outdoor pet. Along with feeding them more, give your pets more water as well. This will help keep their skin from getting flaky and itchy due to drier conditions.
Watch Out for Rock Salt
Rock salt is thrown all over streets and sidewalks to melt ice that can be dangerous for you. However, rock salt can be harmful to your pet's paws. The little rocks can get pushed up into your pet's paws while on walks and actually burn their paw pads. When coming back inside from your walks, check their paws for any salt and remove it. You can also try out dog boots!
Prevent Antifreeze Poisoning
Antifreeze is highly toxic to animals and they can easily ingest it. All it takes is a leak from your vehicle and your pet can lick it up off the ground or get it on their paws, which they later lick clean. In order to catch antifreeze poisoning, Dr. Karen Becker says to check for these 3 signs:
- Within 30 minutes to 12 hours after, check for staggering, excessive thirst, and vomiting.
- Obvious signs calm and internal damage is taking place.
- Kidney failure takes place with signs like loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
If you notice any of these signs, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier it can be detected, the more likely they are to survive. Dr. Karen Becker also says to check for antifreeze products with propylene glycol, which is much safer than the alternative ethylene glycol.
Check Your Vehicle Before Taking Off
Small animals love to climb up into the underneath of vehicles when it is cold outside. The engine provides warmth for them and shelter from winds. Before starting your car, make some sort of loud noises to scare off any kitties that may have climbed into your vehicle. This could be honking your horn, hitting the outside of the car, or a quick sound of your car alarm.
Prevent Your Pet From Getting Lost
Losing your pet is already a terrifying experience, especially when it is freezing outside. In order to get them back to you as soon as possible, microchip and tag your pet. A microchip is a tiny implant that can be scanned at vet offices and shelters with your information on it. Some microchips even let you send out a "lost dog" notification so that anyone else on the app can be on the lookout.
For more information on how to protect your pet during the winter, contact us! We would be happy to help you with further instruction.
- Janet Thomas
Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe During the Holidays
The holidays are a time of lighthearted cheer and spending quality time with loved ones. Of course, this includes your favorite, four-legged friends! We have tips that will keep your furry friends in check when it comes to preparing them for guests in your home, keeping them calm and quiet, and which festive foods are off-limits for pets.
Preparing your pet for guests
You know your pet best and whether they tend to be well-behaved and courteous with guests or if they transform into a hurricane of yipping, jumping and becoming a little too excited.
- Nervous, easily-upset pets can be kept in another room, separate from the festivities. Make sure that this room is warm, comfortable and feels like home. You can put your pet's bed or open crate in the room, as well as their favorite toys.
- Even pets that are not nervous should have a safe space where they can retreat from the hubbub. This space should be quiet, comfortable, feel familiar and not occupied by guests.
- If your guest has their own pet that they want to bring along, make sure that your pet and theirs have sufficient time to become comfortable. And, if need be, you can politely refuse their request.
Keeping the doors secure
It's vital to know where your pet is especially during the holidays.
- With all the guests streaming in and out, be sure to watch the doors and know where your pet is at all times.
- To take additional precautions, be sure that your pet is wearing a tag with contact information. Microchips are also an excellent way to keep your pet safe.
Distract your pet
If you have a particularly friendly pet who tries to steal the show, you may especially benefit from keeping them distracted.
- If it's Christmas Day or Eve, keep your pet entertained with their new gift!
- Another suggestion would be giving them a kong filled with their favorite treat. Some pet-friendly treats are peanut butter, pumpkin (an especially festive treat in autumn) and cottage cheese.
- There are also a variety of interactive pet toys, such as puzzles designed for pets.
There are certain foods that your pet should not consume. Keep in mind that one rule of thumb is to avoid seasoned foods and to give your pet foods in their purest form.
- Marshmallows: Pets should not consume marshmallows that contain xylitol, which is toxic to them. Marshmallows are found in a variety of holiday treats, such as candied yams and pies. Instead, give your four-legged friend pure, unseasoned pumpkin.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is a definite no for pets and is toxic for them. Try giving them peanut butter, instead, for a satisfying treat.
- Onions and garlic: Many holiday meals are seasoned with onions and garlic, which are a no-no for your pet. Instead, give them raw or cooked carrots sans the seasoning.
- Raisins: You'll find raisins in a variety of holiday desserts, which are off-limits for pets and toxic for them. Consider giving them fresh yogurt, instead.
We want you and your furry friends to have a happy and healthy holiday season. For more information about pets and their wellbeing, you can keep up with us as we provide you with tips, news and our favorite pet products.
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
October is National Pet Wellness Month
We all want our animal companions to live long, healthy lives, and that's why October is National Pet Wellness Month. During the month of October, set aside some time to evaluate your pet's health and make sure that you are helping them stay in great shape.
National Pet Wellness Month is a perfect time to think about what you can do to maintain and improve your pet's health throughout the year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Schedule a vet appointment - your pet should be getting yearly checkups with the vet. A physical examination can catch any issues early and treat them before they become emergencies. Make sure your pet is up to date on all shots and medications. And a dental cleaning can also be a great idea, as dental health can really make a difference in the overall health of your pet.
- Think about diet and exercise - what your pet eats and how much exercise they get can have a huge impact on how healthy they are. Ask your vet for recommendations when it comes to food, and ask about how much exercise your pet should be getting.
- Pet-proof your home - it's easy to get caught up in day to day life, and sometimes we forget to put away household cleaners, chemicals, or other things that could be harmful for our pets. October is a great time to check your whole house to make sure that things are in their place, and that anything that's a danger is out of your pet's reach.
Our animal companions rely on us to keep them safe and healthy, so it's important to do everything we can to promote pet health. This October, and all year round, make sure you are doing the best for your pet!
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
Flea & Tick Prevention: 5 Tips This Fall
The summer is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean fleas and ticks no longer pose a problem for your beloved pets. September still offers plenty of warm days and opportunities for these little critters to cozy up to your four-legged friends. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep ticks and fleas away from your pets.
Prevention products are worth the investment. Stop ticks and fleas before they get the chance to make a home in your house. Topical or oral prevention products are an easy way to keep your dogs and cats pest-free.
Keep grass short to prevent a tick habitat in your yard. Ticks are attracted to woods, shrubs, tall grass, and weeds. Make sure to keep up with your landscaping to prevent ticks clinging to leaves in your backyard.
Inspect animals immediately after hikes and walks. Check between their toes for ticks, under the tail, and around their face, as dogs usually sniff low to the ground while exploring. Check for fleas where fur is short, like your pup's belly and armpits.
Remove a tick right away. If you do spot a tick, remove it right away to prevent illness in your animal. Apply rubbing alcohol, and make sure the entire tick is removed.
- Seek treatment if signs are present. Don't worry: there are a number of great products out there once fleas and ticks are discovered in your house. Carpet powders, shampoos, sprays, and combs are some of the methods to treat your home and animals.
Signs & Symptoms
Of course, excessive scratching is a telltale sign that your animals have fleas. Some other symptoms of fleas include hair loss, pale gums, and tapeworms. Ticks can transmit diseases that can cause fever, anemia, and weakness. Not all ticks spread Lyme disease, but it's best to remove the full tick as soon as possible to avoid serious illness in your pet.
Summer break may be over, but fall brings plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun with your pets: strolling through pumpkin patches, trick or treating, and apple picking. Don't be intimidated by flea and tick prevention. Contact us to find the right flea and tick products for your furry family!
- Janet Thomas
Summer Heat and Happy Pets
While we are all enjoying the summer sun and the activities that come with it, we may sometimes forget about our furry friends' reaction to the heat. Heat exhaustion can occur in any hot or humid space, even in a poorly ventilated indoor area. At the peak of the summer season, August is one of the hottest months of the year. With this, keeping pets cool and hydrated is of the utmost importance.
Pets, especially dogs, can appear to be tough and resilient to all types of weather, never complaining; that is, never complaining verbally. Dogs have different ways of telling us that they are getting overheated. These signs include excessive drooling or panting, struggling to breathe, a heightened pulse, or mild weakness in moderate cases. More severely, confusion or fainting, seizures, bloody diarrhea, or vomiting may occur. If you notice any of these signs of heat exhaustion in your pet, it is important to address it immediately.
There are many simple, yet powerful methods of treatment for heat exhaustion. The most effective way to cool your pet's body temperature is to wrap a towel soaked in lukewarm water around them. Lukewarm water should be used in place of cold water, as it will not suddenly reduce the animal's temperature, potentially causing harm. Additional ways to cool down your pet include placing them in front of a fan or dabbing cotton balls saturated in rubbing alcohol on their paws and stomach. Rubbing alcohol is toxic to animals, however, and should be kept safely away from a pet's mouth.
After your pet has cooled down to a point of not showing symptoms, it is recommended to contact a veterinarian, who may suggest additional treatment such as IV fluids, careful monitoring of blood pressure, or medications.
There are a few simple tips to prevent your animal from getting heat exhaustion.
- First and foremost never leave your pet in a car alone. Even with the windows cracked, it is very easy for a parked vehicle to become like an oven to your pet. Taking into account that your furry companion requires exercise, it is important to walk them either in the morning or evening, when temperatures are not so hot outside. If the pavement or sidewalk is too hot to your touch, then it is also too hot for your pet's paws. If your pet simply enjoys being outside, a properly cooled, indoor space should be available for them to access. In the case that they must remain outside, a shady area out of the sunlight and plenty of water should be accessible to them.
- Shaving your pet to keep them cool is not a viable means of prevention. An animal's fur actually acts as an insulation coat for both heat and cold. Shaving your pet gets rid of this protective layer, and can even lead to your animal getting sunburns. If your pet is very fluffy, simply trimming or thinning their fur may help to relieve them of unneeded insulation. Leaving at least an inch of fur is recommended. It will also keep them more comfortable and clean in the summer months.
- If your pet is alone for extended periods of time, such as during your summer vacation, it is worth looking into boarding. Boarding facilities are well informed of the dangers of heat exhaustion and will keep your pet happy and safe from the heat while you are away.
- Pets who have shorter, flatter faces, such as pugs or Persian cats, should be monitored more closely in the heat or humidity. Their face shape causes them to have a more difficulty panting which proves ineffective in cooling off, states the AAHA. Older or overweight pets should almost always be kept indoors in the hotter months. If your animal has a heart or lung disease, they should also be more closely watched for symptoms of heat stroke and be kept properly cool at all times.
- Janet Thomas
A Safe and Fun 4th with your Furry Friends
It's the big event of the summer--the 4th of July! And with it comes picnics, outings, and gatherings with family and friends. Of course, most of us don't want to leave out our four-legged family members from the celebratory fun!
Remember that what's fun for us two-legged merrymakers, however, may not necessarily be fun for our furry friends. Your pet may well be happier staying at home and indoors rather than experiencing noisy fireworks and crowds.
If, however, you are playing host to a cookout or just feel better having your pet as your date, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure the holiday is as safe as possible for him:
- Make sure your pet's identification is up-to-date. Animals can get spooked by the bangs and booms of fireworks, and this can cause him to panic and run. Guests in your home mean no harm, but doors and gates can be inadvertently left open, and your dog may decide it's a good day for exploring the neighborhood. Be sure to have a recent photo and current tags on his collar; having your veterinarian microchip your pet offers the highest level of assurance.
- Summertime brings celebrations...and bugs. These pests are a nuisance to animals as well as humans. Arm yourself with a bug repellent, but don't forget your pet! Many heartworm medications contain mosquito-repellent qualities, but a natural topical solution can also be effective while also being safe for all those people who can't resist loving on your furry friend.
- No, Rover doesn't need those chicken bones. Keeping your pet on his healthy diet can be a challenge when there's an abundance of barbecue (and guests) around! You may be well aware of the dangers of certain foods and ingredients for your pet, but Uncle Joe may not realize that a chicken bone to a dog is actually unhealthy. Be sure to educate your guests, or if you're the guest, keep your pet close to you at food-related gatherings. Keep a pet-friendly snack in your pocket (or maybe set bowls of them around for guests who wish to be generous to your animals).
- No, Rover would not like a beer. Alcohol doesn't typically appeal to animals, but mixed drinks can sometimes include ingredients that do. Much like on humans, alcohol can have negative effects on pets. They are much smaller than their human counterparts, so it takes much less to give them a buzz. Too much can leave your pet with gastrointestinal distress, slow and shallow breathing, or even seizures and unconsciousness in extreme alcohol poisoning cases. Asks guests to put drinks out of reach, or try to serve it in closed containers. A trip to the veterinarian due to something preventable is definitely not the way to spend your day of celebration!
Be sure to check out our pet safety products, and enjoy your summer days and the sparkle of summer nights with your furry pals!
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin