Easter Pet Safety

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Easter is a great time to celebrate with family, but if you have pets, there are a few extra things you might want to think about if you want to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.

 

Decor

Some of the typical Easter plants and flowers can be toxic for your pet.

Easter lilies are one of the most popular plants of the season, unfortunately they are also one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cats. Ingesting only one or two petals can be fatal to your feline friend. It can also happen when your cat grooms lily pollen off of their fur or paws. Given the high risk and the devastating consequences, the safest thing you can do is to keep these lilies out of homes with cats. The danger they pose to your cat’s health is far greater than the beauty they can add to your decorating.

Cyclamen can be bought in gardening centers and supermarkets, so they can easily end up in and around homes this time of year. Their roots contain the most poison but the flowers can be dangerous as well. Small bites may cause vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea, while eating a larger amount can result in heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and even death.

 

Though all parts of the Amaryllis plant are toxic, the bulb, which is often exposed in these plants, is the most dangerous part for your pet. Pets that eat part of the beautiful Amaryllis plant can suffer vomiting, drooling, and abdominal pain. In some cases, they may even develop a sudden drop in blood pressure or breathing problems.

 

Avoid an Easter Basket Disaster

Candies are made for people not dogs. While it is commonly known that chocolate is a big hazard. Lesser known is the danger that sugar-free candy can pose to your pet. Many sugar-free gums and candies now contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that, though it may be beneficial for people with diabetes and a high risk of cavities, is highly toxic to dogs.

Even a small amount of xylitol can cause a steep drop in your dog’s blood sugar, leading to seizures, and possible coma or death. Xylitol can put your dog into liver failure from which they are unlikely to recover, even with intensive veterinary care. Ingestion of any candy should lead to an immediate call to your veterinarian or one of the animal- specific poison control centers.

Keep raisins, as well as grapes and currants, well away from your dogs as they can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs. Kidney failure is debilitating, expensive to treat, and often fatal.

If you have pets, stay away from Easter grass. This common filler of Easter baskets is often too tempting a ‘toy’ for pets to stay away from, particularly cats. When ingested, Easter grass has a high likelihood of causing irritation or obstruction of your pet’s intestines. Such digestive problems will likely result in a decrease in energy level and appetite, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. And while the irritation may resolve with at-home care, it just might require several days in the vet hospital, too. Any obstruction, on the other hand, will most certainly require surgery to correct. This means a stay in the hospital for your pet, and a bill typically upwards, and sometimes well upwards, of $1,000 for you.

 

The Dangers At Easter Dinner

Pork roast & Ham

These high fat and high salt meats can pose a danger to your pet in large amounts. A little sneak isn’t going to be dangerous, but multiply that with a house full of people, your pup can be in for one big tummy ache.  Ask your guests to refrain from feeding your pup at the table.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

 

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As temperatures begin to drop it is time to start thinking about how to keep our furry friends safe and warm.

If You’re Cold, They’re Cold!

Keep your pets indoors on cold days. Make sure they have access to warm, dry shelter during the day.

Keep the Water Bowl Full and Let the Kibble flow Like Wine

Make sure there is fresh, non frozen water for your pets. It is common for pets to want to eat more during the winter to keep that layer of fat.

Dress for the season.

Shorthaired and small dogs can get cold very quickly. Keep them warm with a high neck sweater that covers their belly. Rock salt used to melt ice can cut up your pet’s paws. Booties can help prevent this from happening.

Don’t leave them in the car!

In the winter, the car can become a refrigerator, causing your pet to freeze to death.

Let it Grow!

Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter — his coat will provide warmth. And if your dog needs a bath, dry him off completely before taking him outside on a walk.

Want to Enjoy the Winter Wonderland?

Don’t let your dog off leash. Dogs can lose their scent easily and become lost in the snow. Don’t forget to make sure your pet wears an ID tag and has a microchip with up to date info

Be cautious when you start your car.

The warm engines of parked cars are a magnet for outdoor cats and critters. Check the wheel wells and give your hood a few hard knocks to make sure whatever is in there has a chance to get out. Cats have been killed by fan belts and engine parts.

Thanksgiving Dinner

HAVE YOUR PET JOIN US FOR A THANKSGIVING FEAST AT WILLOW PET HOTEL—ONLY $19.99

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is a time for families to get together, give thanks to one another and to eat delicious food. You know how excited your pup gets with all that food around, right? Imagine this; while sitting around the dinner table, your family pet comes putting their face on your lap, giving you the puppy dog eyes for a piece of your delicious meal. Unable to resist, you decide that it’s okay to feed it anything off the table. STOP!

Continue reading “Thanksgiving Dinner”

Top 10 Apps & Gadgets for Pet Owners

Every day, our tech becomes better and better at addressing our everyday needs. For animal lovers, that includes helping us care for our pets. Here are ten of our favorite mobile apps, gadgets, and other whats-its (and a few forthcoming ones that we’re excited about) that will help you out with various pet-related tasks, like feed, watching, tracking, monitoring, and first aid.

1. Tagg

Tagg GPS tracking collar

This rechargeable GPS tracking collar takes safety one step further than a microchip, sending you text messages and emails if your pet leaves  the safety zone you establish. You can see where your furry friend has been, and find their exact location using a smartphone app. The collar also logs activity over 90-day periods, allowing you to see how much energy your pet is expending, or whether there are any changes in behavior that might signal illness or other irregularities. Available for cats or dogs, the device and first three months of tracking service costs $100, then $7.95 per month.

 

2. FitBark

FitBark Bluetooth collar attachment

This one’s not available yet, but we’re looking forward to checking it out. With this small, bone-shaped Bluetooth collar attachment you can start keeping track of your dog’s exercise to make sure he or she is getting what they need. A smartphone app logs your dog’s activity and sends you reports that compare it with recommended levels. A base station connects to your home Wi-Fi network and uploads logged activity that you can access online while you’re out. The product is in its second round of Kickstarter funding and should be available in December 2013. Available in five colors, it’s currently available to Kickstarter pledge backers for $60.

 

3. iCam

iCam app for pets

Watch your pet from afar with this app for iOS and Android. Keep an eye on any pet in real-time, right on your smartphone or other mobile device. Take the anxiety out of long trips with a comforting glance — or enjoy catching your beloved animal doing what they do when you’re not around!

 
 

4. PetCube

PetCube Camera

You and your pet can enjoy each other remotely with this camera, speakers, microphone and laser pointer all in one. The cube resembles a small speaker, fit with a 162-degree wide-angle camera that streams 720p video to your smartphone or computer. You can give access to family and friends and let everyone in on the fun, no matter where they are! The app also gives you the ability to interact with animals in shelters located around the world where PetCubes have been set up, bringing some joy to animals down on their luck. PetCube is currently available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping this fall.

 

5. PetziConnect by Petzila

PetziConnect by Petzila

This gadget also allows you to watch and speak to your pet from outside the home, with another handy feature: it drops a treat at the touch of a button on your smartphone. The device plugs into any wall outlet for a pet-level view and connects to your home Wi-Fi network. Talk to your companion via the smartphone app or Web portal, or take a picture or video and post it to any social network. Petziconnect is built for durability, the company says, in case your pet tries to access those treats without your help. The product is seeking backers on Indiegogo and is available to pre-order for $99, with first shipments slated for December 2013.

 

6. Sony Action Cam Pet Pack

Sony Action Cam Pet Pack

Want to see the world from your dog’s perspective? Sony’s HDR-AS15 Action Cam can make that happen in 1080p resolution video at 60 fps, with Steadyshot image stabilization for smooth shooting no matter how crazy your dog gets bounding along. The camera is designed to resist water, mud, dirt and dust. It mounts on a harness that best fits dogs 33 lbs and over. The camera weighs a little more than 4.5 ounces and won’t impede your dog’s playtime. You can fast-upload the videos via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, or with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. The camera and harness ship later this month for $329.99, or if you already have an Action Cam, you can purchase the harness for $45.

 

7. Petoxins

Use this app from the ASPCA to help keep your pet safe from toxic plants. The agency’s Animal Poison Control Center handled more than 140,000 cases of pets in 2009. It’s team of toxicologists put together a comprehensive database of plants reported to have harmful effects on dogs, cats and horses. The searchable database includes plant names, images, potential symptoms if ingested, first-aid information and one-touch dialing to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for iPhone users. Use it in case of emergency, to ensure the safety of your regular walking routes, or when buying plants for your home and garden.

 

8. Pet First Aid

This app for iOS and Android puts first aid for your pet at your fingertips, complete with videos and illustrations demonstrating proper restraint, muzzling, bandaging, CPR and other emergency responses. Dozens of articles cover myriad maladies, from scratches to fractures to impaling. All content is bundled with the app, so the information is handy when you’re in the wild away from an internet connection. You can also use it to record their vaccinations, identifications, veterinarian contact info, medications, allergies and conditions, and any other reference notes for your visits to the vet.

 
 

9. MyPetMinder

MyPetMinder

Keep track of any important dates and events for your pet with this iOS app. Great for remembering vet visits, administering medication, changing food or water, or anything else involving your pet. Designed to be user-friendly, MyPetMinder keeps it all in one place.

 

 

 

 
 

10. Foursquare

You might already use it in your own life, but consider Foursquare to help organize your pet’s needs and activities as well. Find vet offices, pet stores and dog parks in your community, or locate friends with pets nearby for a playdate. The app is available on iOS, Android and Blackberry App World.

 

Bonus: Dog Whistler

Dog Whistler iOS App

Train your dog with this free app available for iOS. The whistle is fully customizable; you can set the frequency and pattern, and set it on a timer. Potentially useful for calling a lost dog, breaking up a canine fight or just getting your dog’s — or family and friends’ — attention.