Happy New Year for 2021/ 2022. I personally want to wish everyone a great new year and happy holidays from everyone at Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic and Dr. Carol’s Pet Supplements. Holidays promise joy and celebration, but the festivities can also lead to stress and anxiety for people and pets. It is important to remember that visiting strangers, a tree, shiny ornaments, gifts to sniff and food to beg for can pose danger for pets.
Pet Safety – Holidays
1: Maintain Calm: Christina Chambreau, a homeopathic veterinarian, author and educator in Sparks, Maryland, suggests that petting a dog or cat several times a day can lower stress levels and instill a sense of normalcy. “Flower essences like Bach’s Rescue Remedy help attain calm,” she says. Add it to a pet’s water bowl in the days before a party or drop it directly onto the tongue if unexpected guests arrive. All-natural ingredients make daily use safe for pets and humans.
2. Avoid Bad Foods: “Fatty dishes are a problem, from oily potato pancakes to rich gravies for the turkey,” says Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center, in New York City. “Spilled food, unguarded pans and forgotten eggnog or liquor put animals at risk for severe gastrointestinal upset.”
3. Another common holiday fare can also pose a significant danger for pets:
- Chocolate—especially dark chocolate and dry cocoa powder—can cause seizures and heart arrhythmia.
- Onions, often used in dressing, can cause anemia in pets.
- Raw, yeasty bread dough expands when ingested, potentially causing bloat, a deadly twisting of the stomach.
- Raisins and grapes in desserts, cookies and fruitcakes can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Nutmeg is toxic for pets.
4. Trash: The trash can itself contains numerous hazards for furry family members. The string that binds roasted meats is tempting and may require surgery to remove if ingested. Trimmed fat can mean pancreatitis. Swallowed bones pose a dire threat to the entire digestive tract.
5. Provide Good Foods: Naked foods are best. Pets don’t need brown sugar, marshmallows, butter, salt or gravy to appreciate a treat.
“Unless there’s a special diet, share skinless turkey breast, sweet potatoes and green beans,” says Dana Humphrey, aka The Pet Lady, in New York City. “There’s always a friend or relative who thinks one taste won’t hurt. Turkey or sweet potato jerky and homemade treats let guests dole out risk-free bites.”
6. Mind your Pet’s Manners: Basic obedience training is a must. Your dog should know basic commands and be consistent in following directions. Be mindful of excessive barking or aggressive behavior.Be courteous and tip well. The goal is to make sure that you and your pet are welcome back anytime.
7. Nervous Nellies: If you know that your pet is nervous by nature, traveling can be extremely overwhelming. Bach’s 5 Flower Rescue Remedy is an all-natural way to soothe your pet’s nerves and avoid overly stressful situations. If your pet becomes motion sick, bring along some ginger cookies to help settle your dog’s stomach.
Pet Safety – Wintertime Tips
8. Antifreeze: Antifreeze, which is Ethylene Glycol, is deadly for pets! It also smells and tastes good to pets. Less than four teaspoons may be lethal for a ten-pound dog. A single teaspoon can be fatal to cats. Propylene glycol is a less toxic form of antifreeze and can be used instead of ethylene glycol. The brand is called “Sierra.” It works just as well in your car but is much less toxic to your pet.
9. Ice Melting: Ice Melting Products like Rock salt and De-icing chemicals are irritating to skin, mouth and your pet’s paws and footpads. Spritz your pet’s feet off with water when they come back inside is helpful. Signs of ingestion include excessive drooling, depression and vomiting.
10. Baits: Rat and Mouse baits are usually used more often in cold weather. Place baits in areas inaccessible to your pets. Peanut butter baits smell good are tasty to pets. Save labels and if think it’s been eaten by your pet, call their office and drive to your vet, ASAP. Most pets are treated with Vitamin K therapy and recover.
Puppy Training Tips
If your little pet came at Christmastime, then there is never a better time to train your pet, right out of the box!
11. Steps for Puppy Potty Training Success: First of all, buy a crate. Be sure it’s the right size: it should be large enough for comfort, but not too big because your puppy will sleep at one end and use the other end for his business. If you get an airline-approved crate, you can also use it like a mobile home when you’re traveling. You might be able to find a crate with an adjustable divider and slide the divider back as your puppy grows.
12. Outside: Puppies need to go outside when they wake up, after every meal, and before bedtime. Most puppies eliminate within the first hour after eating. They should be fed two to three times each day, at the same time. Food should be left out for 15-20 minutes, and the last meal should be finished five hours before bedtime.
Take your puppy out on a leash through the same door to the same spot every time, and when he does his business, reward him with praise. If your puppy does not eliminate when you take him outside, bring him inside, put him in his crate for 15 minutes, and repeat the procedure until you achieve success. At that point, when you bring him in don’t put him back in his crate.
13. Confining your Puppy: Confine your puppy in a relatively small, safe area of your home and provide constant supervision until your puppy is completely housetrained.
If you have to leave your puppy at home alone each day for several hours, restrict him to a larger area like a small room or a playpen. This area should provide enough space for sleeping and eating. Several feet away, place papers at the elimination site.
14. Common Mistakes: A common mistake is to let your puppy go outside alone. Many well-meaning pups come back inside the house and then do their business. This causes most people to become upset. Their reaction inadvertently reinforces the negative behavior.
If your dog relieves himself in front of you, softly tell a shy dog “no”, or use a firmer tone with a stubborn dog. Then take him to the spot on a leash where he is supposed to relieve himself and offer him immediate praise.
15. Correcting your Puppy: Correcting your puppy after the fact – even if it only happened a few minutes before – is ineffective because dogs have no way of associating your discipline with past behavior.
If your puppy does make a mistake inside, it’s important to get rid of the odor. Effective pet urine odor remover products such as Canine Elimin-Odor are available commercially and may be recommended by your vet. Using ammonia to clean up a mistake can actually make it worse. With dedication, supervision and patience housetraining your puppy will be a success.
Heart Dog Food
16. High-Quality Protein: Restricting protein used to be advised for dogs facing heart problems, but now we know that it could lead to decreased muscle mass, which can potentially be fatal. Protein is essential for keeping dogs’ hearts healthy because it strengthens the muscle. Their diet should consist of at least 25 to 30 percent high-quality, lean protein such as chicken and salmon, according to Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM, an integrative veterinarian from Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic in Ohio.
17. Low-Sodium: Just as with humans, excess dietary salt is never a plus, especially if your canine is at risk for cardiac issues. Even if your pup shows no signs, it’s best to keep them on a low-sodium diet with less than 100 mg daily, Dr. Osborne says. Keeping sodium levels consistent helps to avoid spikes which can also affect blood pressure.
18. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These fish oils are essential for an all-around heart-healthy diet for dogs, Dr. Osborne says. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and protect against abnormal heart rhythms. In one study of dogs with heart disease, survival rates improved with omega-3 supplements. Natural sources include cod liver oil (which can be found in some fresh, natural food), sardines, and salmon—or you can use supplements.
19. Taurine: Supplementing your dog’s diet with the amino acid taurine maintains normal cardiac function regardless of whether a heart issue is present, according to Dr. Osborne. Without adequate levels of Taurine, canine heart disease is a risk — and certain breeds such as Portuguese Water Dogs and Golden Retrievers are more prone to a deficiency. Taurine can be naturally found in cooked lamb or raw beef liver, or dogs can take it as a supplement.
20. Weight Management: Keeping your pup at a healthy weight is important for good health and even more important with heart issues. “Portion control is essential, and that means avoid free feeding,” Dr. Osborne says. Feed your dog 2-3 balanced meals each day made of wholesome, fres
21. Heart-healthy Dog Foods. Your dog doesn’t eat bacon for breakfast, and he’ll never turn down a game of fetch, so surely, he’s not at risk for heart disease, right? Nearly 8 million dogs in the United States already have heart disease (that’s 10 percent of all pups). Canine heart problems can be congenital, where the defect has been present since birth and exacerbated by age, injury, or diet, or acquired because of diet or disease. As with humans, regular exercise and vet check-ups are essential to staying healthy—and a nutritious diet can be particularly helpful with prevention. Here are some of the heart-healthiest ingredients for pups.
Pet Safety – Love
22. Always show some love: Always be prepared and remember the best gift of all is your LOVE!