Blog

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

The winter holidays are fun for us humans, but our parties, decorations, and festive foods can put our pets at risk! Here are a few tips for keeping your animal companion safe this season:

If you have a cat, skip the tinsel. Cats are particularly attracted to shiny objects, so they’ll likely try and play with and eat it, which can cause gastrointestinal obstructions.

Secure your Christmas tree to the ground or the wall to keep it from falling over if your dog bumps it or your cat climbs it. You can also deter your pets from the tree by hanging lemon-scented air fresheners in it.

Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies, are highly toxic to cats and dogs and can cause organ failure and death if pets eat them.

You know chocolate is a no-no for fido. Also on the naughty list are grapes, raisins, onions, currants, macadamia nuts or walnuts. Watch for the artificial sweetener xylitol in candy, gum and some peanut butters—it can make your pet very ill.

Having guests over or a holiday party? Consider putting excitable or anxious pets in another room with toys and bedding. This way, your pet has somewhere to hide and feel safe outside of the commotion.

Watch those alcoholic drinks! It doesn’t take much for small animals to get alcohol poisoning, which can cause serious health complications. 

Have questions about keeping your pet safe this season? Give us a call at 703-952-1522. 

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Many of the holiday treats we love can cause health problems for our pets if they eat them. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe this holiday:

  • Turkey—and especially turkey skin and gravy—is high in fat, and even small amounts can trigger pancreatitis. Small turkey bones can also get lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal system and cause blockages. Watch out for kitties stealing that tasty cooking string, too!
  • Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. Alcohol can cause severe drops in body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar. Overactive tails could also knock over glasses.
  • You already know chocolate is dangerous for pets. But baking chocolate has even higher concentrations of caffeine and theobromine, the two substances in chocolate that are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. If you’re using baking chocolate in your desserts this Thanksgiving, or any other chocolate for that matter, keep nosy snouts out of the kitchen!

Show your pets you’re thankful for them by keeping them safe this Thanksgiving! If you have any questions about keeping your pet healthy and happy this holiday, give us a call at 703-956-1522

The Skinny on Fat Pets

The Skinny on Fat Pets

If you were thinking about sharing some of your holiday feast with your pet, keep this in mind: according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. Just like people, these “fluffy” pets are more likely to develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint injuries, and cancer.

The fact is that well-loved pets are often too-well-fed pets. Your AMCC veterinarian can assist you in choosing the best diet for your animal friend, and offers these tips to help pets slim down:

• Measure your pet’s food to make sure you’re not overfeeding
• Place food into toys that require interaction with your dog or cat to receive a food reward (food puzzle).
• Hide kibble around the house so that your cat must hunt for food, or put it high on a kitty tree
• Spread meals out throughout the day (but make sure the total amount fed for the day is the correct amount)
• Play with your cat or dog using love and attention, not treats

If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight or have questions about feeding and exercise, don’t hesitate to schedule an exam by calling (703) 956-1522.

Don’t Ignore That Lump

It’s a scary statistic: The Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) reports that 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for dogs over the age of two.

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, created by the ACF to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms, and treatments for cancer in our companion animals.

Just as with people, the longer your pet lives, the higher their risk of developing some form of the disease. The most common types of cancer in dogs include lymphoma, mast cell tumors in skin, and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Some of these cancers have subtle symptoms or may appear as an enlargement or lump that a pet owner might just attribute to aging. In many cases, those bumps may be a benign lipoma (fatty tumor), but it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

That’s why it’s important that pets have annual wellness checks—and for pets over seven, AHCC recommends twice-yearly exams and blood testing as well as chest and abdominal X-rays. It’s especially crucial for cats, who are experts at hiding illness but often have more aggressive cancers than dogs.

Many types of pet cancers are treatable, but the earlier they’re caught, the better your pet’s chances of a good outcome. For more information on pet cancer or to schedule an exam for your pet, make an appointment online or call us at (703) 956-1522.

Gobble Up These Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Many of the holiday treats we love can cause health problems for our pets if they eat them. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe this holiday:

• Turkey—and especially turkey skin and gravy—is high in fat, and even small amounts can trigger pancreatitis. Small turkey bones can also get lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal system and cause blockages. Watch out for kitties stealing that tasty cooking string, too!

• Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. Alcohol can cause severe drops in body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar. Overactive tails could also knock over glasses.

• You already know chocolate is dangerous for pets. But baking chocolate has even higher concentrations of caffeine and theobromine, the two substances in chocolate that are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. If you’re using baking chocolate in your desserts this Thanksgiving, or any other chocolate for that matter, keep nosy snouts out of the kitchen!

Show your pets you’re thankful for them by keeping them safe this Thanksgiving! If you have any questions about keeping your pet healthy and happy this holiday, give us a call at (703) 956-1522.