Pet Tips & Helpful Advice
Where do you store your pet food?
Proper pet food storage is critical to prevent bugs, mites and toxic plastic leakage. We recommend that you leave your pet food in its original package and place the entire bag in a container. If you are not washing your pet food container after every purchase of pet food, you can develop storage mites in your container and not know it. Storage mites can cause illness to your pet that can cause allergy type symptoms. Pet food bags contain production information that you may need if your pet gets sick from the pet food. If you do want to pour your pet food in a container, we recommend that the container be BPA free and you wash the container after each use. Storage containers are also great for bird seed, cat litter and treats. Come check out our various containers! They will be part of our Customer Appreciate Sale on June 13th & June 14th.
Dog Training Tip by Jennalee – Paws on Pavement
As the sun is starting to show it’s face, the warmth can bring out some unforeseen dangers. While walking your dog outside, take caution on asphalt (blacktop surfaces). Many dogs can experience burnt paw pads from long walks on asphalt. Make it a habit to check your dogs feet after a walk. If your dog has any issues with having their feet touched, work with your dog to desensitize them to the touch. An easy way to do this, is to provide a treat while touching their feet. Once they begin to associate their feet being touched with receiving a treat, they will start to have a positive association with their feet being touched versus a negative one. This exercise is also great for building a strong trust bond with your fur kid!
Cold Weather Tips for your Pets
– Potty Breaks. If you’re getting cold just opening the door to let the dog out, it’s probably too cold for the pet to stay out much longer as well. Even short trips outside in sub-zero temperatures can lead to frostbite of the feet, nose and ears. Limit their time outside.
– If you have feral animals or livestock, provide them with windbreak, cover, warm bedding, fresh food and fresh, unfrozen water. Animals that are outdoors also may seek shelter in a warm car engine. Please remember to toot the horn and/or tap your cars engine hood before starting it.
– Be sure to wipe your pets paws and underside, making certain there are no ice balls clinging between the toes or on the sole of the foot as these can cause frostbite to an animal that is left outside for a significant time in sub-zero temperatures. This also will help remove rock salt or other chemicals picked up in their paw pads from the street or driveway.
– Be careful when taking out an older, arthritic pet. They tend to become stiff and tender and find it hard to walk on the ice or snow. A bad slip can cause injury. Try to provide a clear and safe path for your elderly pet.
– Have or live near a pond or lake? With the up and down temperatures we have been having, these bodies of water may not be frozen and your pet or livestock may end up falling through. Be cautious!
– Never let your pet off leash on ice or snow, especially in a snow storm. Their scent is lost and dogs can panic and run away.
– Please do not leave your pet in the car. At times that 2 minute trip in, we bump into someone we know, we forgot something on the far side of the grocery store and before we know it, it is 30 minutes, 45 minutes later. In winter, the car ends up holding the cold air and pets can freeze to death.
– Own a short hair breed? Consider a sweater or sweatshirt and/or a jacket if they are cold when going outdoors for a potty break.
– Considering a grooming trip? You may want to ask for a longer cut than you usually get. The longer coat style will provide more warmth for your pet than getting their coat shaved down. Also if you bathe your dog, please let them dry completely before allowing them outdoors.
– Antifreeze or windshield washer fluid can be dangerous. Even a few drops can prove to be fatal. Do not allow your pet to get their noses and mouths near suspect puddles. Be certain to throughly clean any spills from your vehicle. More and more people are asking the dealership or their mechanics for pet friendly products that have propylene glycol rather than the traditional products containing ethylene glycol. If you suspect your pet has licked up antifreeze or windshield washer fluid, do not delay…CALL YOUR VET!
– Provide your pet with a warm, dry, comfortable place, away from drafts and off solid, cold surfaces to rest.
– The air indoors can become very dry and cause dry noses, upper respiratory infections, dandruff, itchy skin and more. Consider using a humidifier and adding healthy oils such as coconut oil or fish oils to their diet.
– If you see domesticated animals outdoors for long periods of time in cold weather, please speak with the owner. If that fails to improve the situation, contact animal control. Frigid temperatures can lead to illness and even death. You may be their only voice. Be this animals advocate!
Five Important Tips for your Pets and the Holiday Seasons
1. A number of Christmas season plants are poisonous to pets if eaten such as ivy and holly – moderate to very toxic; mistletoe – very toxic; Christmas greens such as balsam, juniper, cedar, pine and fir – all parts have a low level of toxicity; hibiscus may cause vomiting or bloody diarrhea if ingested; and poinsettias leaves and stems are low in toxicity.
2. When decorating your tree, do not use tinsel. Tinsel isn’t toxic, but if eaten, the tinsel causes intestinal obstruction and can cause your pet to choke. The same is true with ribbons and bows. Use these items with caution around your pets.
3. As always, do no feed your pet holiday candy, especially chocolate.
4. Your holiday lights contain a fluid called methylene chloride. It is moderately toxicity to animals but can be lethal depending on the amount digested.
5. Avoid using fire salts (fireplace colored items) in your fireplace. They are moderately toxic to your pet. The symptoms are gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting and a variety of other manifestations, including convulsions.
For additional Holiday Pet Safety Tips, please visit http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/holiday-safety-tips for a safe holiday season for your pets!
Landscaping Materials & Your Pets
As you begin our landscaping projects this year, be aware of landscaping materials and plants that are hazardous to your pet such a cocoa mulch. Here’s a link of plants that are toxic to dogs, cats and horse.
Click here to view a list of plants that are toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
Hazardous Materials Around Your Home
Your pets rely on you to protect them from harm. In general, you should only feed your pets natural food and treats specially formulated for the type of pet that you have. Some human food and drink can make animals sick, so keep them out of your pets’ reach.
Here are some examples:
• Alcoholic beverages
• Substances containing caffeine, such as coffee
• Fatty foods, especially drippings and grease from cooking
• Chicken and turkey bones
• Grapes and raisins
• Macadamia nuts
• Salt and sugar
• Yeast dough
• All medications (aspirin is especially harmful to cats)
Many other things in or around your home can cause serious illness or even death in your pets, so be aware of their surroundings and always consult your veterinarian in any suspicious cases.
Here are some examples:
• Bait for rodents
• Batteries (they can contain corrosive fluid)
• Car care products, such as cleaners or oils
• Household cleaners
• Ice-melting products
• Nicotine products
• Pesticides for insects
• Plants that are toxic to pets
• Pool or pond products
• Poisonous snakes
Other potential dangers in your home include burning candles that may be knocked over, electrical cords that can be chewed, and loose cords or wires that animals may become tangled in. Take a look around your house and make it pet-safe.
Traveling With Your Pets
Don’t let your pet ride in the back of an open truck. He can be injured if you need to brake suddenly or take a sharp turn. Tying the animal to the truck doesn’t solve the problem; he can still be seriously hurt or killed. If you must use the back of a truck to transport
a pet, put the animal in a secure crate that is anchored so it doesn’t move around in the bed of the truck.
Also, never leave your pet in a vehicle in hot weather, even for a few minutes. Even with the windows wide open, the car can quickly become hot enough to cause heatstroke, brain damage, and even death. In winter, your can can act like a refrigerator, so please don’t leave them in there.
Finding Your Lost Pets
If you’ve lost your pet, don’t waste any time – begin your search as soon as you notice that the animal is missing.
Here are some steps to take:
• Utilize web resources. If you reside in our area, contact the 2 following local organizations in Illinois and Wisconsin, http://lostdogsofwisconsin.org/ and http://www.lostdogsillinois.org/ . They both have a community within Facebook.
• Ask everyone: neighbors, children, mail carriers, passersby. Show them a photo of your pet. Even if they have not seen him, they may be willing to keep an eye out for him.
• Create a flyer with your pet’s photo, a brief description and your phone number. Distribute the flyers and post them on telephone poles in the area where you lost your pet. If you can afford it, you might consider offering a reward.
• Put a “lost pet” ad in the local newspapers. The ad should be titled “Lost Cat” or “Lost Dog” and should include your phone number, the date that the animal was lost, where she was last seen, and a clear, brief description containing the animal’s name, breed, color, sex, age, and whether she was wearing a collar. (Note: If you’re offering a reward, you might want to leave out one detail, such as gender, in order to avoid scam artists.)
• Go to all the shelters in the area – don’t just call them. Give them a color photo of your pet with your phone number on it. Ask to see all the animals in the shelter and visit every cage.
• Go back and check all the shelters every day. Shelter employees are often very busy, so you can’t depend on someone remembering that an animal like yours was brought in.
• Call the local animal control officer in all the surrounding towns. Send each a photo and visit the town pounds daily.
• Call area veterinary clinics and send them a photo of your pet. Ask each of them if any animal fitting your pet’s description has been brought in.
• If you suspect that your pet may have been stolen, report your pet missing to the police. They may know if an animal fitting your pet’s description has been hit by a car (or they may be able to direct you to the department that handles this).
• Read the “pet found” section in each of the local newspapers daily. Many papers run “found” ads for free. Follow up on any ad that describes an animal similar to yours, since you can’t count on the finder to describe your pet exactly as you would.
• Look around your neighborhood carefully (or wherever your pet was lost). Cats can wander into a neighbor’s basement or garage, fall asleep and accidentally get shut in.
• Late at night or very early in the morning, when the area is quiet, go to the place where your pet was lost. Bring his favorite food and a flashlight. Call his name and wait to see if he shows up. Try this repeatedly.
• If your pet is an indoor cat who does not usually get out, place her litter box outside, where she may smell her own scent and recognize her home. (Do not clean it out first!)
• If your pet is registered with a lost-pet network organization, call them right away.
• Don’t give up! Persistence is often the key to finding a lost pet. Some animals have been found after months of being missing.