Saturday, October 24, 2015

Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Talkin’ Turkey 
If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice 
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delicious, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough 
Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake 
If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing 
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A Feast Fit for a Kong 
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

7 Signs of Pain in Dogs

When it comes to dogs, pain can be hard to detect. For dog's wolf ancestors, showing signs of weakness made a wold vulnerable, which resulted in danger. Because of this heritage, it is in a dog's nature not to purposefully reveal when it feels pain, sick, or is injured. It's important for dog owners to be aware of these seven signs that signify their pooch is in pain.

1. Gait
A gait is a change in the way your dog walks, like limping, hobbling, or favoring a leg over another. 

2. Energy
If your dog is more lethargic than usual it may mean she or he is feeling a little under the weather.

3. Appetite 
Disinterest in food is a clear indication of ailment.

4. Eyes
Those puppy dog eyes we all love so much can do more than just get a few treats out of the owner. Bloodshot and dilated or constricted pupils can be a sign that something is awry. A dog in pain also tends to squint frequently.

5. Demeanor 
If your sweet pooch has turned from lover into Cujo all of a sudden, it may be an indication that she or he is hurting. 

6. Breath
Shallow, fast breaths or excessive panting for no discernible reason could be a sign that your dog isn't feeling well.

7. Posture
If a dog is hunching over, fidgety, or particularly rigid it may mean they are injured or sick.