July 4th is often the official "kick-off" of summer. Including your pet in many of your activities can be fun for everyone involved, but be sure to take precautions where necessary.
Parades, barbecues, family gatherings and fireworks are the hallmarks of our Independence Day celebrations. But, be aware that fireworks are frightening to many dogs. When dogs panic from firework noise, they often run and many dogs have been lost this way. Be sure to keep your pet on a lead or keep her/him indoors.
Just as you would keep an eye on small children, be aware of where your pet is and what s/he is doing when you are at gatherings. Whether you're in the backyard, at the beach or someplace else enjoying a lazy day of summer, don't let your pet get too close to the grill or fire pit. Avoid gastrointestinal emergencies by keeping your pet away from charcoal and discarded food items such as fish or sparerib bones, pits from fruit (including avocado), corn cobs, skewers and garbage in general.
If you and your furry buddy are out in the car and you need to stop at a store, NEVER leave your pet in the car. Even though some people don't think temperatures in the 80s feel too warm; in an enclosed, sunny space such as a vehicle, the temperature can reach over 110 degrees in just 10 minutes. This can cause heat-stress or heat stroke in a pet, which can lead to death.
If you see an animal locked in a vehicle in a parking lot, intervention may be necessary. Try to locate the owner of the car through the store or restaurant's paging system or contact the police to free the animal.
March 20th is the first day of Spring, bringing with it longer days, warmer (we hope) temperatures and Spring flowers.
With Easter around the corner, it's important to note that Lilies are highly toxic to cats. The leaves, pollen and flower of lily plants can make your cat extremely sick and can even be fatal. Some signs of lily toxicity are loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy and liver failure.
According to the ASPCA, some varieties of lilies are also toxic to dogs and include lily of the valley, calla lily, peace lily or palm lily (which is the houseplant Dracaena). Dogs who have ingested these lilies may experience stomach upset, tremors and depression.
A few other popular Spring blooms are also dangerous. These include Daffodils (otherwise known as paper whites, narcissus or jonquils), Tulips and Azaleas. Daffodils and Tulips contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause drooling, intense vomiting, convulsions, diarrhea and heart problems. If the leaves of the Azaleas are ingested, they can cause loss of appetite, stomach upset, weakness, leg paralysis, central nervous system depression, cardiovascular collapse and death.
If you suspect your pet has plant/flower toxicity, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Pay careful attention to the type of plants/flowers you bring indoors or plant outside. There are a number of attractive plants that are non-toxic to pets. Consider African Violet, Rose, Begonia or Easter Daisy, to name just a few.
Tis the season! As the baking, decorating, shopping and making merry comes full swing, be mindful of potentially unsafe escapades your furry friends can get into during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Be careful that your "people" treats such as chocolate, candy, nuts, raisins, cranberries and grapes (to name just a few) don't become "pet" treats. Whether something is dropped on the floor or that family friend just can't help "sharing" her plate of holiday goodies with your pet, watch what your pet ingests.
Decorating with fresh greens? Be aware of holiday plants and trees that are toxic to both dogs and cats including: Holly, Mistletoe (and the berries), Amaryllis, Christmas Rose and Norfolk Island Pine.
Mind those tree ornaments! Pets don't understand that the ball hanging from the tree is glass and not rubber and s/he may bat it down or try to fetch it. Either way, it could spell disaster and an emergency trip to the vet if s/he walks in broken glass or worse, ingests it. Even unbreakable or fabric tree decorations can tempt a pet who may view these items as food or nice bits of clothing to chew on. (Some dogs have a fascination with socks, others with crocheted snowflake ornaments...but that's a story for another day.)
If you believe your pet has ingested something dangerous/poisonous, contact your veterinarian immediately or Animal Poison Control Center http://www.aspca.org/Home/Pet-care/poison-control.aspx.
Happy Holidays to all of our furry friends and pet parents!
ZG pro team