Easter for children can mean egg hunts, baskets of candy, and going to the mall to meet the Easter Bunny. Easter for our pets can mean a few temptations
to chew, ingest, and lick things that aren’t good for them. With Easter right around the corner, remember to take a few extra steps to keep your
Easter grass can make a basket really pretty but it’s irresistible for dogs and cats. They love to chew on it and if ingested it can be dangerous. Use tissue paper instead or if you do use Easter grass, keep those baskets out of reach of your pets.
Chocolate contains theobromine and can cause hyperactivity, seizures, and an elevated heart rate in dogs. Keep the Easter stash hidden and away from your dog.
Candy that has the sugar substitute xylitol, a sweetener, is toxic to dogs and cats. It’s often found in candy, gum, and some baked goods. If your pet ingests it, a drop in blood sugar can occur and cause problems such as seizures and liver failure. You may have to put your dog in another room while the kids celebrate Easter and dive into that basket of candy and chocolate.
Easter lilies are very pretty but cats have a tendency to chew on them. These flowers are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting and lethargy. Hopefully your cat doesn’t jump on every surface in the house and you’ll be able to find a nice spot for the flowers. But if not, it may be best to avoid having Easter lilies in the house to keep your cat safe.
Table scraps from dinner can be bad for your pet. The ingredients, spices, and fat content can make your pet ill, upset their stomach, or cause other problems such as obesity and behavior problems. Remind your family and guests to not give any food to the dog. If your dog does beg, you may need to crate your dog during dinner or have him hang out in another room with a toy or Kong with some treats to distract him.
Real or fake eggs might be mistaken as a treat or toy by your dog. If your dog eats or chews on a fake plastic egg, it can cause intestinal problems. Real eggs that have been forgotten during an Easter egg hunt can spoil and if your dog finds them a few days later and eats them, expect an upset stomach. Keep track of the number of eggs you hide in your yard and where they are to gather up any undiscovered ones after the hunt is over.
Toys for the kids can be mistaken as toys for the dog, especially by the dog. Stuffed bunnies, chickens, and other plastic toys can be chewed, swallowed, and slobbered on by your furry buddy. Your dog might swallow plastic, stuffing, or other parts that can cause intestinal blockages or an upset stomach. Keep the baskets out of reach of your pet.
Crowded houses with friends, family, and guests can be overwhelming to your dog and cat. If your pets do not handle crowds well, crating your dog in a room away from the guests or putting your cat in the bedroom is the best solution with some food, water, and their bed. It cuts down on them getting into trouble, eating something they shouldn’t, and being easily frightened by all the people and noise.
From all of us at Leader we wish you a Happy Holiday!
The days are getting longer, we are putting away our winter gear, (in Florida we never got it out) and we’re getting geared up for the outdoorsy fun we’ll be having in the spring. But, as we prepare for spring, we have to keep our pets in mind. Season changes mean new things are in their environment and some stuff needs to be checked.
Thank you petswelcome for these safety tips.
It’s time for our twice-yearly clock adjustment to save energy and eliminate excuses to wake up earlier. Everyone in U.S., with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii, sets clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of each March. This inevitably causes millions of Americans to be sleepy for the next couple of weeks. While we pour an extra cup of coffee on Monday to shake off the lost sleep, what effect does daylight savings time have on our dogs?
How are dogs affected by daylight savings time?
Dogs are creatures of light. That is, animals are closely tuned to the cycles of light and dark in terms of their physiology and behavior. Dogs tend to wake when the sun rises and sleep after sunset. Many dogs have precise patterns; they do the same things at the same time every day like clockwork, but they can’t read clocks. Because dogs can’t read time, arbitrary movements of the hour hand should have less affect on their daily routines. Or does it?
What really disrupts our dog’s lifestyle during daylight savings time changes are the sudden differences in our daily routines. Your dogs will probably be awakened an hour earlier or later to go potty. Their meals will be served at a different time; walks are rescheduled and it feels different when human family members come and go. Mornings get brighter and come earlier and evening walks warmer and later. For most dogs, these changes are abrupt, unexpected, and challenging. They may ponder, “Why am I eating now? Why do I have to get up so early?” We need to ask how we can help our dogs adjust to time changes.
Helping our dogs adjust to daylight savings time
For most dogs and people, the time switch is “no big deal.” Sure, the first week may be a little unsettling but nothing an extra shot of caffeine or an additional walk can’t correct. The key is to have a routine and stick to it. Even though you may not be tired because the clock says 9 p.m. and your body feels like it’s 8 p.m., it’s important to go to bed at your normal time. Let your dog outside and put him to sleep at the regular time. He may stare at you quizzically and tell you that he's not ready. Don’t listen to him. The sooner you lock into the new schedule, the sooner you’ll be acclimatized and rested. And who couldn’t use a little more sleep?
Longer walks or more playtime, can help improve sleep quality and patterns.
Meals should be fed at roughly the same time each day, year round. Avoid high carbohydrate or sugary foods, especially before bedtime. I’m a big advocate of daily routines, especially morning rituals. Wake, walk, feed and walk again before leaving. Dogs are true “creatures of habit” and relish routines.
Because our dogs are closely connected to the environment, the prolonged days of spring and summer naturally encourage them to become more active. Many dogs will behave friskier after the spring solstice. I call this the “Springtime Rally” in many of my older patients, as they seem to gain renewed vigor as the weather warms.
The take home message is to be aware that your response to daylight savings time directly impacts your dog. Grumble if you choose, but take solace knowing your dog welcomes the time change. He welcomes longer days because that means more playtime; longer, warm naps and extra time spent together. And that’s always good.
By Ernie Ward DVM
If your fur baby were to stop breathing would you know what to do? Knowing what to do can save your pets life until you can get him or her to your Veterinarian. Thank you to our friends at the American Red Cross.