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Fall Safety Tips

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Garden State Veterinary Specialists

There are many things to love about the fall, but it is also time to start preparing for the challenges this time of year presents for your furry companions.

Back to School
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as children return to school. First, keep an eye out for signs of depression or anxiety in your pets. Switching from the bustling, energetic environment of a household on summer break to the extreme quiet of an empty home can cause animals to behave in unusual ways. Second, keep school supplies like glue and markers safely away from curious pets. The ingestion of these items can lead to gastrointestinal issues.

Tricks and Treats
Keep Halloween candy and Thanksgiving foods out of reach. The ingestion of chocolate, sugar-free gum (contains xylitol) and fatty foods can lead to trips to the emergency veterinarian during a favorite time of year. Halloween is the start of the “season” for chocolate toxicity. Both dogs and cats are at risk for chocolate poisoning. Large and small bones should not be given to your dog as a treat; small fragments can break off and be ingested, possibly resulting in the need for emergency surgery. While we all want to share in the holidays with our pet companions, it is best to keep them on a regular diet to avoid illness. Discuss with your veterinarian some safe treats your pet can enjoy.

Pesky Pests
As the weather turns cooler, insects and rodents that were happy outside all summer long may be looking for a place to continue to stay warm and dry. Remember to close up any entry holes and choose an exterminator who uses nontoxic products to keep your pets safe.

Dogs get the flu too
Canine flu and Bordetella, “kennel cough”, are airborne diseases that are highly contagious. Your dog may come in close contact with other dogs in kennels, doggie day care facilities and grooming facilities which puts a susceptible pet at risk. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is in a risk group and if vaccination is appropriate.

Holiday Stress
Lots of unfamiliar faces, loud talking and laughter can stress your pet. Try preparing your pet for visitors by exercising them, giving them chew toys and a separate space away from the festivities. A quiet place for them to retreat, especially for cats, can keep your pet stress free.

Every season is a time to remember to keep your pet’s vaccines up to date and to make sure they are seeing their primary veterinarian for a regular checkup. This will ensure that all of your family members have a happy and healthy fall. As always, keep pet’s vaccination and health information readily available and know the location of your nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the professional advice of your veterinarian.

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