Displaying a love for animals, especially dogs and cats, seems to come naturally to most children. For the most part, having a pet (or interacting with one) can be a fun, positive experience for all involved. However, it’s important to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both kids and pets to build a lifelong foundation of love and respect.
Approaching an Animal
When approaching an unfamiliar dog, make sure your child knows to always ask the owner first before petting. If the owner gives permission, the child should offer their hand, palm up, to be sniffed. If the dog seems accepting, your child may stroke their shoulder or chest.
Cats can seem slightly less predictable than dogs, and their body language isn’t always readily obvious to humans. In general, kids should know to let a cat come to them for affection. A cat who’s hissing, lashing their tail, has ears flattened, or one who walks away should be left alone.
It wouldn’t be summer without the quintessential summer vacation. Whether you’re zipping off for a quick weekend road trip or have a more leisurely plan in mind, bringing your pet along for the ride can add an element of fun and laughter to your adventure.
As nice as it can be to have your four-legged family members with you, traveling with pets requires a bit of extra planning and preparation. Your friends at Town and Country Animal Hospital are happy to share our tried and true tips for a safe and successful vacation with your pet.
Tips And Tricks For Traveling With Pets
We know that your pet’s safety and comfort is your top priority. Even the most laid-back pets (and pet parents) will feel more relaxed and secure if you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s ahead of time. Continue…
Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and other symptoms of allergies are something many of us have had to deal with, and even if we don’t personally deal with allergies, we know someone who does.
Pets can also suffer from seasonal, environmental, and food allergies, although the symptoms may manifest differently than they do in humans. Allergies in pets are not always easy to diagnose and treat, but there are several proactive things a pet owner can do to keep their furry friends comfortable.
Bags of candy, jack o’ lanterns, your scariest costume, and…pet safety? Is pet safety on your to-do list this Halloween? It definitely should be. While the season of witches and ghouls is right around the corner, toxic treats and other risks to pets can soon follow without the right precautions.
Halloween is a great time for kids of all ages. Tricks and treats abound! To take the spooky out of the season, Town and Country Animal Hospital wants to help you create the best time for your fur friend (without all the scares).
Tips on Treats
There’s nothing like chocolate bars and candies to cast a delightful spell over most of us. Unfortunately, these tasty bags of sweet treats will likely intrigue our pets. Items such as chocolate, Xylitol (a sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies), macadamia nuts, raisins, and grapes all prove to be highly toxic for animals.
When the weather is classically wonderful (that is, June through August), a dangerous situation can feel somewhat inconceivable, as if danger only happens to someone else. Sure, summer is the season for kicking back and catching up on leisurely activities, but it’s also a time for important safety reminders.
Summer risks can present problems for our pets when we’re busy with something else. That’s why your Town & Country veterinarians encourage you to err on the side of caution with our summer pet safety tips.
Unless you’re an entomologist, parasites probably bug you. They’re creepy, crawly, and have the potential to cause all sorts of health problems in your pet. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are the main offenders, but with year-round parasite prevention you can kick them to the proverbial curb.
No Fleas! Please?
Fleas get inside the home via pets or people. Mostly picked up in woodpiles, leaf litter, shady areas, mulch, or grass thatch, they can be deposited there by squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, opossums, and others.
While they can wreak havoc in your house, a single flea can lay eggs on your pet, developing into larvae, pupae, and adult fleas before you know it. Because it can take a few months to fully eradicate a flea infestation, it’s best to stop the cycle before it starts by using a monthly parasite preventative year round.
Likewise, fleas can remain dormant inside your home during the colder months, only to awake and take over when the spring comes.
Blood-suckers already have a pretty terrible reputation, but when they spread disease, they become truly awful. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis are all transmitted from ticks to pets (and other animals). However, when parasite prevention is maintained throughout the year, your pet is protected from threats like the deer tick, brown dog tick, lone star tick, and American dog tick.
Lyme disease has been found in all 50 states. If your pet frequents wooded areas, we recommend having him or her tested for tick-borne disease and vaccinated against Lyme disease. But remember, your pet doesnt have to be in the deep woods to pick up ticks – they can easily be in your own backyard so you should be checking your pet often.
We all know the feelings of frustration and futility when you call your pet inside only to be coolly ignored. This resistance tends to happen around dusk, when the opportunity to experience the emerging darkness is savored and shared by pets and predators alike. It’s easy to have a sense of security in our own backyards, but it’s important to know that your pet can be at risk anywhere.
Your companion’s safety is important to us, which is why we’re offering the following tips on how to protect your pet.
The Wild at Your Doorstep
Coyotes are arguably one of the biggest threats facing pets. You might have seen the recent effort in Decatur to reduce the number of coyotes in neighborhoods. Sure, we’re north of the river corridor, but the risk is still very real to our pets. Fierce, confident, and somewhat laissez-faire about their proximity to humans, coyotes will attack a pet left out at night. Some tips to keep in mind: