Is Your Dog Sick?


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Poison Prevention Tips

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to make sure that their lifesaving information stays right at your fingertips, so they shared these 10 tips for keeping your pet safe from poisoning:

1. Be a Cautious Cleaner. Some cleaning products can cause burns in your pet’s mouth or esophagus, while others can lead to liver or kidney damage. To keep your pet safe, store all cleaning solutions out of their reach and keep animals out of the way while cleaning and rinsing. A dog may choose to drink old dirty mop water over fresh clean water!

pets_1682. Bait-er Safe Than Sorry! Place baits for rats, mice, ants, roaches, etc. in areas inaccessible to your pets. Some baits contain ingredients like peanut butter that may attract a pet. Don’t forget that some pests—like mice and rats—may move bait into an area your pet can easily reach.

3. The “Don’t Even Try It” Diet: Never give human food to your pet without checking with your veterinarian. Grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs. If too much garlic or onion is ingested, red blood cells can be destroyed, causing anemia.

4. Steer Toward Safety: Automotive products such as gasoline, oil, antifreeze, tire cleaners and windshield antifreeze should be kept where pets do not have access. Clean up spills immediately, even if you don’t think a pet would go in the garage.

5. Rx Only. Pets metabolize and eliminate some medications differently than humans. Only give your pet medication recommended by your veterinarian. The wrong medication can cause severe illness or even death.

pets_1696. Prudent Planting. Identify plants in your house and yard and remove those that can cause severe or life-threatening clinical signs (a few examples include oleander, yew, sago palms and lilies). Check to see if plants are toxic before landscaping.

7. The Pest Test. Discuss flea and tick control with your primary care veterinarian. Always read the label before applying a product to your pet and follow the directions. Never apply products to a species if the product is not labeled for that species. If you have both dogs and cats, double check that you are applying the correct product to the correct animal every time.

8. Be Home Aware. When work is being done at your home (like pest control, cleaning or painting), be sure you know what products are being used. Knowing the correct name of products (or even better, the EPA registration number) will assure that your pet is receiving the right medical advice should ingestion occur.

9. Pill Protection. Keep all prescriptions and medications out of your pet’s reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Keep your pet’s medications in an area away from the family’s medications. This will help prevent a pet accidentally ingesting a human’s medication (and vice-versa!).

10. Be App-solutely Sure. Download the free ASPCA APCC mobile app for information about the toxicity of hundreds of products. The app provides pictures for easy identification, and tools like our “Chocolate Wheel” can calculate the severity of toxicity depending on factors like your pet’s weight and the amount ingested.

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Fit or Fat?


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Why Keep Cats Indoors?

Many cat lovers have a mistaken impression that cats need to be free to roam about outdoors in order to have a happy life. Indoor cats, however, can do plenty of roaming and exploring without ever venturing outdoors, and when they stay inside, they avoid a wide range of risks and hazards, including…

  • Diseases that can be spread from feral cats or other outdoor pets
  • Fleas, ticks, mites, worms and other pests and parasites
  • Predators looking for the easy meal a domestic cat can be
  • Poisons and toxic chemicals, such as antifreeze, oil, pesticides and rodenticides
  • Animal cruelty from unscrupulous persons who may harm or torture the cat
  • Catnapping attempts, either to turn the cat in to a shelter or adopt a “homeless” cat
  • Exposure to poor weather, freezing temperatures and storms
  • Cars and other vehicles that can kill roaming, unwary pets


Because of all these threats, it is no surprise that cats kept exclusively indoors live much longer, healthier lives than their outdoor counterparts. In fact, an indoor cat may live 5-10 times as long as an outdoor cat, giving many more years of faithful companionship to its considerate and responsible owner.

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Just Say “Hello”


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Pet Dental Health Month

national-pet-dental-health-monthFebruary is National Pet Dental Health Month and a great time to start regularly brushing your furry friend’s teeth.

Many pet stores and veterinarians’ offices sell toothpastes and tooth brushes specifically for dogs and cats. A special tip from some veterinarians is that we should think of our pets’ teeth similar to how we think of our own.

Just as we can’t expect mouthwashes or healthy, crunchy food to remove all of the plaque from under our own gum lines, similarly there is nothing so successful in removing plaque as consistent brushing and yearly professional cleanings for cats and dogs. Choose a pet-approved toothpaste in a flavor your pet likes. Never use human toothpastes, because pets swallow toothpaste and we don’t want them to ingest fluoride on a regular basis. It is in fact the brushing itself that disrupts the plaque biofilm and slows the progression of dental disease.

There are recommended toothbrushes approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. It’s also safe to use a soft-bristled toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association, such as a toothbrush made for children.

Pet owners should aim to brush their pets’ teeth every day. Rawhide chews, dog treats, water additives and other products can complement a home dental care program that centers on tooth brushing. Tooth brushing should be the mainstay of your home dental care plan.”

Some pets may not be amiable to having their teeth brushed. If you are considering beginning to brush, but have not had a recent cleaning, it may be safest to start by letting your pet lick toothpaste from the toothbrush. This way, your pet develops a positive association with tooth brushing. Then, begin a regular regimen of brushing following a professional dental cleaning.

In some cases, consistent tooth brushing is not a workable option for certain pets and owners. Yearly professional cleanings are still going to help in these situations. Water additives, gels, and treats may help as well. The products most likely to help slow the progression of gum disease are those with the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal.

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Dog Friendly Medications


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