Ways to keep your pet safe during the Fall/Holiday season

I LOVE October!  It is my favorite month of the year.  Why you ask?  It isn’t due to Starbucks pumpkin lattes although I do enjoy these immensely!  I love October because it is the start of the cool weather in Charleston and what I like to call the “season of anticipation”.  The temperatures tend to drop a little towards the end of the month and you can start to feel the growing energy leading up to the holidays.  October also happens to be Animal Safety and Protection Month and so I thought I would offer a few reminders of how to make sure they stay safe and enjoy the Fall/Holidays.

1) Remember that it it still hot outside during the day.  Continue to make sure your pets have access to  adequate water and shade.

2) Continue to be wary of waterways, brush,  shaded areas, and allowing off trail running.  Snakes are still out there and still active.

3)  Perhaps this should be #1.  Continue heart worm prevention!  In South Carolina, heart worm preventative is recommended ALL YEAR LONG.  We still do have mosquitoes that can transmit heart worm disease in the Fall/Winter.

4)  Halloween will be here before you know it.  Be vigilant about what you (or your kids) leave out.  I had to endoscopically remove 5# of fun size MM and Kit-Kat packets from my lab Ariel’s stomach one Halloween after setting out the “grab bucket” on Halloween night!  Chocolate can be toxic!

5)  Thanksgiving is a time for feasting and being thankful.  Remember to secure the garbage can lids so that your pets don’t get into them and get GI upset or ingest something that could cause obstruction (corn cobs, turkey bones,etc).

6)  Christmas time brings decorations.  Tinsel is particularly bad for cats who like to ingest it.  Poinsettias can cause oral ulceration, salivation, and GI upset.  Breakable ornaments can get knocked down creating to potential for lacerations.   Extension cords can get chewed on by puppies (and older pets) resulting in electrical shock.

7)  When ringing in the New Year, remember to plan in advance if your pet has any noise anxiety.  Getting medications on board before the festivities begin can really make a big difference!  Also, be sure they are not left in a place that they can destroy or escape from.  Crating your pet if they have anxiety can help keep them calm and prevent them from hurting themselves or running away.

8) Finally, left unattended, candles can lead to severe burns and potentially even fires in your house.  Perry and I got lucky one year when we smelled burning hair only to find that Big Winky, our long haired cat, was standing by a lit candle with her tail on fire!  Fortunately, no harm was done, but it could have been terrible!

Hopefully, these reminders will help you all enjoy the Fall/Holidays safely!

dr mims

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