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Senior Pet Shoppe Blog -  Spring 2017

Springtime Safety Tips

Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.

*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

Easter Treats and Decorations
Keep lilies and candy in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!

Screen Yourself
Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.

Buckle Up!
While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage. Please visit our Poisonous Household Products page for more information.

Home Improvement 101
Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Let Your Garden Grow—With Care
Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.

Ah-Ah-Achoo!
Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet. Please visit our Fleas and Ticks page for more information.

Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.

(Source: ASPCA)

We encourage your questions or comments about our Blog at info@seniorpetshoppe.com   

Rick & Maddy Edwards

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         ©2017 Senior Pet Shoppe
       www.seniorpetshoppe.com

Senior Pet Shoppe Blog – Happy New Year 2017

        Senior Pet Shoppe Blog – Happy New Year 2017

1. Dog Checkups & Preventive Care
As a veterinarian, pet owners often ask me what they should be doing in order to help keep their pets healthy. To help others with similar concerns what follows are my top ten pet health tasks to promote the well being of your pet. We all want the best for our animals. Hopefully these health tips will ensure your pets live a long and healthy life.
1. Yearly veterinary examinations
Annual examinations are as essential as food and love. Don’t wait for your pet to be sick before taking him to the veterinarian. Bring your pet in for a wellness exam at least once a year. Older pets and pets with medical issues may need to be seen more frequently. Your veterinarian will examine your pet from head to tail to insure he is healthy and up to date on immunizations and other preventives. In the long run these annual checkups will save you money and heartache by protecting your pet from preventable diseases and by detecting illness early when it is more treatable. Taking your pet to the veterinarian for an annual wellness exam is the best way to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. Click here to learn why even healthy pets need yearly exams.
2. Vaccinations
Most people wouldn’t skip vaccinating their kids and shouldn’t overlook vaccinating their pets. Immunizations protect our pets from devastating diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. As a shelter vet, I see too many animals suffering needlessly from preventable diseases like distemper and parvovirus. Ask your veterinarian to find out which vaccines would benefit your pet based on his lifestyle and risk factors, and how often your pet should receive booster vaccines.
  
3. Screening tests
Since animals can’t talk and tell us what is wrong with them, screening tests are important because they can detect disease before signs and symptoms develop. Depending on your pet’s age, your veterinarian will recommend screening tests to look for problems like diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid disease. Make sure you get the screening tests recommended by your veterinarian even if your pet looks healthy. Your veterinarian may also recommend screening tests before your pet undergoes general anesthesia to ensure they are healthy enough for the procedure.
 
4. Dental care
Commit to keeping your pet’s teeth clean and healthy. What does this entail? First, take your pet to the veterinarian for a checkup, and cleaning if necessary, at least once a year. Second, brush his teeth regularly with pet toothpaste and give him dental chews to help keep his teeth pearly white in between visits. Routine dental care can not only help keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy but also help prevent painful and costly dental problems in the future. Click here to learn what causes dental disease.
 
5. Parasite protection
Parasites are a common and important cause of disease in pets. They can be internal, like worms and protozoa, or external, like fleas and ticks. Besides making you cringe, parasites can cause significant morbidity in pets and can lead to death in the case of heartworm disease and Lyme disease, to name just two. Parasites can even pose a danger to other family members such as children. Fortunately, parasitic disease is easy to prevent. Speak with your veterinarian to ensure you are protecting your pets and family from internal and external parasites by using monthly preventatives year round. Click here to learn to stop heartworm disease in its tracks.
6. Microchips
If your pet doesn’t already have one, make sure you microchip. While collars and ID tags are important, they are not a guarantee that your pet will be returned home if he ever gets lost. Collars and ID tags are not foolproof because they can break or fall off. As a shelter vet, I see many lost pets end up in the shelter. I am a strong proponent of microchips because I think they are the best way to improve the odds that your pet will be returned home if he ever gets lost. Finally, don’t forget to keep your contact information up to date. A microchip isn’t very effective if no one can reach you to tell you they have your lost pet. Click here to see how a microchip helped Giget get home from 2500 miles away.
  
7. Spay and neuter your pet
Besides helping prevent pet overpopulation and being the responsible thing to do, spaying and neutering your dog or cat has important health benefits. For example, spaying and neutering lowers the risk of breast cancer, testicular cancer, and pyometra (infection of the uterus). Spaying and neutering can also help with behavioral problems such as spraying, roaming, and aggression. If your pet isn’t already spayed or neutered, call your veterinarian to discuss how spaying or neutering can benefit your pet.

8. Pet proof your home
Pets are curious creatures by nature, but sometimes their curiosity can get them into trouble. Make sure your home is safe for your pet by pet-proofing. Check the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s website for a list of the most common poisonous household plants to ensure that none of your houseplants are a potential hazard to your pet. Also, refer to their website to learn which foods and other household items may be toxic to your pet. Lastly, don't forget to keep all toxic chemicals stored safely away from your pets.

9. Exercise
Exercise is the best way for your pet to stay trim and healthy. Like us, pets can suffer from obesity and the problems associated with being overweight such as arthritis and diabetes. Make sure you exercise your pet and maintain their level of activity. For dogs, go on longer walks, play fetch and let them run off-leash in a dog park. If you’re a runner, check with your veterinarian to find out if it’s okay to run with your dog. For cats, have them chase a laser pointer and play more with them. Exercise is the best way to keep your pet physically healthy and mentally stimulated.

10. Teach an old dog a new trick
Muscles are not the only things that need to be exercised; stimulate your pet’s brain. This can be as simple as giving him interactive toys that stimulate his mind or teaching your pet a new trick. If you have a dog, consider enrolling him in an obedience course or sign up for agility training. While it is important to keep your pets physically healthy, it is equally important to keep their minds stimulated and sharp. Don’t forget that dogs are always capable of learning. Click here to see how this pup learned to walk on two legs.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Our thanks to Pet Health Network for great information!
We encourage your questions or comments about our Blog at info@seniorpetshoppe.com   
                       
                           ©2017 Senior Pet Shoppe
 

Senior Pet Shoppe Blog - Winter 2016

Senior Pet Shoppe Blog -  Winter 2016

 

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

 

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

 

Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

 

Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

 

Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

 

That Holiday Glow: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

 

Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

 

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

 

Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

 

Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.

 

Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

 

Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.

 

Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

 

House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

 

Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

 

New Year's Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

 

(Source: ASPCA)

 

We encourage your questions or comments about our Blog at info@seniorpetshoppe.com    

                        

  ©2016 Senior Pet Shoppe

 

 

Senior Pet Shoppe Blog Spring 2016

Hello Friends,

Spring is here!  Summer is on the way! 

Spring presents special hazards to our senior pets.

Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends. *If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435

Easter Treats and Decorations

Keep lilies and candy in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!

Screen Yourself

Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows. Check the screens periodically for looseness or tears.

Buckle Up!

While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage. Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be  toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

 

Let Your Garden Grow—With Care

Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can be fatal if eaten. Check out the ASPCA our full list—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.

Ah-Ah-Achoo! Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pesky Little Critters

April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet.

Out and About

Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.

We encourage your questions or comments about our Blog at seniorpetshoppe@gmail.com                 

                          ©2016 Pet Shoppe Plus-SeniorPetShoppe

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